On the 9th of June a bulletin was published, which fixed public attention on the precarious state of the king's health. It announced that his Majesty had suffered for some time from an affection of the chest, which had produced considerable weakness. The burden of regal state, assumed at so late a period of life, seemed to have been too much for his strength, and to have caused too great a change in his habits. In the preceding month of April his eldest natural daughter, Lady De Lisle, died, and also the queen's mother, the Dowager Duchess of Meiningen. These events made a deep impression upon his mind, which acted upon his enfeebled constitution and aggravated the symptoms of his disease. From the 9th of June, when the first bulletin was issued, he grew daily worse; the circulation became more languid, and the general decay more apparent. On the 20th of June he expired, in the seventy-third year of his age, having reigned nearly seven years. His kindness of heart and simplicity of character, which had endeared him greatly to all classes of his subjects, caused him to be generally and sincerely lamented. In the House of Peers Lord Melbourne referred to his death as a loss which had deprived the nation of a monarch always anxious for the interest and welfare of his subjects; and added, "which has deprived me of a most generous master, and the world of a man擨 would say one of the best of men攁 monarch of the strictest integrity that it has ever pleased Divine Providence to place over these realms. The knowledge which he had acquired in the course of his professional education of the colonial service and of civil matters, was found by him exceedingly valuable, and he dealt with the details of practical business in the most familiar and most advantageous manner. A more fair or more just man I have never met with in my intercourse with the world. He gave the most patient attention, even when his own opinion was opposed to what was stated, being most willing to hear what could be urged in opposition to it. These were great and striking qualities in any man, but more striking in a monarch." The declaration doubtless came from the heart, and was the more creditable, because the king's opposition to the Ministry had been most pronounced. He looked upon the second Melbourne Cabinet as forced upon him, and, though he had regard for one or two of them攑articularly Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston攈e made no secret of his dislike to the whole, and never invited them to Windsor. We have already given an instance of one of his discreditable outbursts, and his conduct during his later years was in other respects eccentric in the extreme. Besides, his zeal for reform had long passed away; and he was in complete sympathy with the factious proceedings of the majority of the House of Lords when each Ministerial measure was proposed攆or instance, the Church Rates Bill he met with a long and ably argued list of objections which it required all Lord Melbourne's tact and firmness to overcome. But, with all his oddities and faults, William IV. was a thoroughly honourable man, and his opposition to his Ministers entirely aboveboard. 33. I myself drove out my good and true husband in a shameful manner and placed the guilt at his door, and although he is angry he is decent enough not to say anything 56to anybody. He takes the blame on himself. All my friends and acquaintances think that he is really the guilty one. On the day before her Majesty had desired to see Sir Robert Peel, to bid him farewell; but before he had set out for Windsor he had learnt the circumstances of the failure of the Whig leader to form a Cabinet; and as the result of his interview with the Queen he returned to London to resume the reins of Government. His position was greatly strengthened. Of his late Cabinet, Lord Stanley alone insisted on retiring, his place at the Board of Trade being filled by Mr. Gladstone. The baffled Whigs and the discontented monopolist party threatened a formidable combination; but, as regarded the Ministry itself, the change of policy was effected with far less sacrifice than might have been expected, considering all the circumstances of the case. 开心情色站|开心播播|开心五月|婷婷五月|开心播播网|深爱激情网 The Irish peasantry very soon learnt that whatever Emancipation had done or might do for barristers and other persons qualified to hold situations under Government, from which Roman Catholics had previously been almost entirely excluded, it had done nothing to remove or even to mitigate their practical grievances. They found that the rackrents of their holdings were not reduced; that the tax-collector went round as usual, and did not abate his demands; that the tithe-proctor did not fail in his visits, and that, in default of payment, he seized upon the cow or the pig, the pot or the blanket. Through the machinery of the Catholic Association, and the other associations which O'Connell had established, they became readers of newspapers. They had read that a single tithe-proctor had on one occasion processed 1,100 persons for tithes, nearly all of the lower order of farmers or peasants, the expense of each process being about eight shillings. It would be scarcely possible to devise any mode of levying an impost more exasperating, which came home to the bosoms of men with more irritating, humiliating, and maddening power, and which violated more recklessly men's natural sense of justice. If a plan were invented for the purpose of driving men into insurrection, nothing could be more effectual than the tithe-proctor system. Besides, it tended directly to the impoverishment of the country, retarding agricultural improvement and limiting production. If a man kept all his land in pasture, he escaped the impost; but the moment he tilled it, he was subjected to a tax of ten per cent, on the gross produce. The valuation being made by the tithe-proctor攁 man whose interest it was to defraud both the tenant and the parson,攖he consequence was that the gentry and the large farmers, to a great extent, evaded the tax, and left the small occupiers to bear nearly the whole burden; they even avoided mowing their meadows in some cases, because then they should pay tithe for the hay. So strongly did the latter feel the urgency of the case that Parliament was called together again on the 6th of December. It was opened by the king in person, who, in his Speech, recommended the speedy settlement of the Reform question; referred to the opposition made to the payment of tithes in Ireland; announced the conclusion of a convention with France for the suppression of the African slave trade; deplored the outrages at Bristol; and recommended improvements in the municipal police of the kingdom. On the 12th Lord John Russell introduced the Reform Bill the third time. It is said that his manner, like his proposal, had undergone a striking alteration. His opening speech was not now a song of triumph, inspired by the joyous enthusiasm of the people. He no longer treated the Opposition in a tone of almost contemptuous defiance. The spirit which had dictated the celebrated reply to the Birmingham Political union about the voice of the nation and the whisper of a faction seemed to have died within him. Lord John Russell proceeded to explain the changes and modifications that had been made in the Bill since it was last before the House. As the census of 1831 was now available, the census of 1821 was abandoned. But a new element was introduced in order to test the claim of a borough to be represented in Parliament. Numbers alone were no longer relied upon. There might be a very populous town consisting of mean houses inhabited by poor people. With numbers therefore, the Government took property, ascertained by the amount of assessed taxes; and upon the combination of these two elements the franchise was based. The calculations needed to determine the standard were worked out by Lieutenant Drummond, afterwards Under Secretary for Ireland. Upon the information obtained by the Government as to the limits of each borough, its population, and the amount of assessed taxes it paid, he made out a series of a hundred boroughs, beginning with the lowest, and taking the number of houses and the amount of their assessed taxes together, as the basis of their relative importance. Thus Schedule A was framed. In the original Bill this schedule contained sixty boroughs; in the present Bill it contained only fifty-six. The consequence of taking Mr. Drummond's report as a basis of disfranchisement was, that some boroughs, which formerly escaped as populous and large, were now placed in Schedule A; while others, which were better towns, were taken out of that schedule and placed in Schedule B, which now contained only thirty instead of forty boroughs, as in the former Bill. The diminution in this schedule, consisting of boroughs whose members were to be reduced from two to one, was owing to the fact that the Government had given up the point about reducing the number of members in the House of Commons, which was to remain as before, 658. Thus a number of small boroughs escaped which ought to have but one member each攕o small that every one of them ought to have been in Schedule A, that their members might be given to new, prosperous, and progressive communities. Twenty-three members were now to be distributed. Ten were given to the largest towns placed in the original Schedule B, one to Chatham, one to the county of Monmouth, and the rest to the large towns, which, by the former Bill, obtained power to return one member only. The new Bill retained the 锟?0 qualification. Every man who occupied a house of the value of 锟?0 a year was to have a vote, provided he was rated for the poor. It was not the rating, however, that determined the value; it did not matter to what amount he was rated, if only at 锟? or 锟?, if the holding was really worth 锟?0 a year. "Yes, a dozen hands would be comfortably stowed away in that case," replied my uncle. "I suppose you have already made up your mind about her?"