原油“无处安放” 全球遭遇储油难

Savings-banks afford a very good index to the improved condition of the working classes. In 1830 the total number of depositors in the United Kingdom was 412,000; and the amount deposited, 13,500,000. In 1840 the number of depositors had increased to nearly 800,000, and the amount to 23,500,000. The total number of depositors in 1845 was 1,000,000, and the amount of investments nearly 33,000,000. Of this sum, domestic servants, nearly all females, deposited 80,000.

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The feeling of humanity that gained ground among the masses powerfully affected the middle classes. The consequence was that the state of public feeling produced by the practical inculcation of Christianity and the diffusion of knowledge compelled our legislature to change its system, despite the obstinate resistance of Lords Eldon and Ellenborough, hardened by a long official familiarity with the destructive operation of legal cruelty. How fearful the amount of that destruction was we may infer from the calculation of Mr. Redgrave, of the Home Office, who stated that had the offences tried in 1841 been tried under the laws of 1831, the eighty capital sentences would have been increased to 2,172. Mr. Redgrave gave the following succinct history of the mitigation of the criminal code during the reigns of George IV. and William IV., in a series of enactments which were extorted from a reluctant Legislature by society, humanised through the education of the masses:In 1826, 1827, and 1828 Sir Robert Peel carried several very important Bills for the consolidation and amendment of the criminal laws, but these Bills did not abolish capital punishments. That statesman, indeed, made it a matter of boast that he did not constitute any new capital felonies, and pointed out an instance in which he had abated the capital punishment by increasing from 40s. to 5, the sum of which the theft in a dwelling-house constituted a capital offence, and by widening the technical description of a dwelling. In 1830 Sir Robert Peel brought in his Forgery Bill, and petitions were poured into the House from all quarters against the re-enactment of the severe penalties for this offence. Sir James Mackintosh again took up the subject, and moved that the capital punishment be struck out from the Bill. He was unsuccessful; but in the last stage of the measure Mr. Spring-Rice was enabled to defeat the Ministry by a majority of 151 to 138, and to remove the sentence of death from the Bill. It was, however, restored by the Lords, and the Bill, as altered, was suffered to pass the House of Commons at the end of the Session. In 1832 two most important Bills for abolishing capital punishments were passed. Mr. Ewart, assisted by the Government, was able to carry a Bill abolishing the punishment of death in cases of horse, sheep, and cattle stealing, and larceny in a dwelling-house. He was opposed by Sir Robert Peel, and an amendment was made in the Lords, subjecting these offences to the fixed penalty of transportation for life. At the same time, Ministers brought in a Bill for abolishing capital punishment in cases of forgery. The Bill was introduced into the Commons by the Attorney-General, and into the House of Lords by the Lord Chancellor. It passed into law, but an amendment was made in the House of Lords, under protest of the Lord Chancellor, exempting the forgery of wills and powers of attorney to transfer stock, which offences were left capital. In 1833 Mr. Leonard carried his Bill for abolishing capital punishment for housebreaking, executions for which offence were continued down to 1830. In 1834 Mr. Ewart carried a Bill for abolishing capital punishment for returning from transportation, and in the following year for sacrilege and letter-stealing. This was the state of the criminal law when Lord John Russell brought in Bills for its mitigation, founded on the report of a committee which Government had appointed. The little progress which Sir S. Romilly and Sir J. Mackintosh had made in opposition to the Governments of their day will be seen by the foregoing sketch, as well as the extensive and salutary changes which followed. Lord John Russell's Bills effected an extensive abolition of the sentence of death, and a mitigation of the secondary punishments. He was enabled to abolish capital punishments in all cases but murder and attempts to murder where dangerous bodily injuries were effected; burglary and robbery when attended with violence or wounds; arson of dwelling-houses where life was endangered; and six other offences of[427] very rare occurrence. The number of capital convictions in 1829 was 1,385; and in 1834, three years after the extensive abolition of capital punishments, the number was reduced to 480.

ST. JUST. (After the Portrait by David.)

Wellington acquitted himself as well as could be expected in the circumstances. Austria was induced to acknowledge an old debt to Britain, and to pay an instalment. The utmost which she could obtain from the Allies on the slave trade was a reissue of the joint condemnation of the traffic which had been pronounced in 1815 at Vienna, and a special assurance from France that as soon as public feeling would admit, steps would be taken to carry out the treaty with Great Britain. In the discussion of the affairs of Italy the Duke took no part; but the peace which he had urged upon Russia and Turkey was happily concluded, on terms honourable to both. With regard to the struggles for freedom in Spain and other countries, the Duke found the Allied Sovereigns in the worst possible temper. They had no patience with Britain on account of her dissent, however mild, from their policy. "Hence, though England never expressed her approval of the military revolts in Spain and Italy, or even in South America, still, because she declined to be a party to the suppression of the free institutions in which they issued, Austria, Prussia, and Russia spoke of her as the champion of revolutionary principles all over the world."

Having, for the third time, expelled the French from Portugal, with the exception of the single fortress of Almeida, Wellington proceeded to reconnoitre the situation of affairs in Spain. Whilst on his march after Massena he had sent word to General Menacho to maintain possession of Badajoz, promising him early assistance. Unfortunately, Menacho was killed, and was succeeded in his command by General Imaz, who appears to have been a regular traitor. Wellington, on the 9th of March, had managed to convey to him the intelligence that Massena was in full retreat, and that he should himself very soon be able to send or bring him ample assistance. Imaz had a force of nine thousand Spaniards, and the place was strong. He was besieged by about the same number of French infantry and two thousand cavalry, yet the very next day he informed Soult of Wellington's news, and offered to capitulate. Soult must have been astonished at this proceeding, if he had not himself prepaid it in French moneythe surrender of Badajoz, under the imminent approach of Wellington, being of the very highest importance. On the 11th the Spaniards were allowed to march out with what were called the "honours of war," but which, in this case, were the infamies of treachery, and Soult marched in. He then gave up the command of the garrison to Mortier, and himself marched towards Seville.

CABINET MEMORANDUM, NOVEMBER 6.