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    Nevertheless, the results actually attained in the first two years were briefly these: first, the[466] chargeable letters delivered in the United Kingdom, exclusive of that part of the Government's correspondence which formerly passed free, had already increased from the rate of about 75,000,000 a year to that of 208,000,000; secondly, the London district post letters had increased from about 13,000,000 to 23,000,000, or nearly in the ratio of the reduction of the rates; thirdly, the illicit conveyance of letters was substantially suppressed; fourthly, the gross revenue, exclusive of repayments, yielded about a million and a half per annum, which was sixty-three per cent. on the amount of the gross revenue of 1839, the largest income which the Post Office had ever afforded. These results, at so early a stage, and in the face of so many obstructions, amply vindicated the policy of the new system. But by its enemies that system was declared to be a failure, until the striking evidence of year after year silenced opposition by an exhaustive process.

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    But in spite of Bute's incapacity the expeditions planned by Pitt were uniformly successful. The British fleets were everywhere busy attacking[174] the Spanish colonies, and cutting off the Spanish ships at sea. A fleet had been dispatched, under Admiral Rodney, at the latter end of the last year, against Martinique, carrying nearly twelve thousand men, commanded by General Monckton. They landed on the 7th of January at Cas de Navires, besieged and took Port Royal, the capital, St. Pierre, and, finally, the whole island. This was followed by the surrender of St. Vincent, Grenada, and St. Lucia, so that the English were now masters of the whole of the Caribbees. A portion of this squadron, under Sir James Douglas, then proceeded to join an expedition, which sailed from Portsmouth on the 5th of March; the fleet commanded by Admiral Sir George Pococke, and the army by the Earl of Albemarle. The squadron arrived before Havana on the 4th of JuneKing George's birthdayand effected a landing without much difficulty.

    • The chief seats of the hosiery manufacture are in the counties of Derby, Nottingham, and Leicester. The number of stocking-frames in England in 1821 was under 30,000, showing an increase in thirty years of only 10,000. Mr. Felkin gives an estimate for 1833, which states that there were 33,000 frames in England, producing 3,510,000 dozen stockings a year, and consuming 8,137,000 lbs. of cotton yarn, worsted, and silk, valued at 814,000; the wages for making them amounting to 948,000, and for finishing, 229,000; the total value being little short of 2,000,000 sterling, and the total value of the materials 560,000. The total number of persons employed in the making of stockings was 73,000. The total of fixed capital engaged in the manufacture was 385,000, and of floating capital 1,050,000. The quantity of cotton hosiery goods made in 1833 was estimated by Mr. Felkin to have increased more than fifty per cent. in the preceding twenty years. [See larger version]

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    • Whilst these contentions were going on, Wren had entered fairly on his profession of architect. He built the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford, begun in 1663, and completed in 1669; and the fine library of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the beautiful square, Neville's Court, to the same college. He also built the chapels of Pembroke and Emmanuel Colleges, in the same university. In the erection of these, he suffered, from the conceit and conflicting opinions of parties concerned, a foretaste of the squabbles and contradictions which rendered the whole period of the building of St. Paul's miserable. In 1665 he found leisure to visit Paris, and study the magnificent palaces and churches with which Louis XIV. was embellishing his capital. There he got a glimpse of the design for the Louvre, which Bernini, the architect, showed him, but only for a moment; and he was in communication with Mansard, Le Vau, and Le Pautre.

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    Here the Americans assert that when the minute-men did not retire on the first order, the English fired on them and killed eight of them. The English, on the other hand, declare that the Americans, in retiring, no sooner reached the shelter of a wall than they fired on the British; that the firing came also from some adjoining houses, and shot one man, and wounded Major Pitcairn's horse in two places; that then the English were ordered to fire, that they killed several, wounded others, and put the body, about a hundred in number, to flight. By this time the alarm had spread, the minute-men came running from all places, and as the English, having executed their commission, began to retire, the Americans shouted, "The lobsters run!" The minute-men now rushed over the bridge after them, and firing from behind trees and walls, killed a considerable number of them. The Americansexcellent shots with their riflescould only be seen by the smoke of these rifles, and the English, tired with their long night march, instead of halting to hunt them out, kept on their way towards Lexington. The whole march was of this description: the English, unable to get a good shot at their enemies, the minute-men pressing on their rear, still sheltered by trees and walls. The result would have been more disastrous had not General Gage sent on to Lexington another detachment of foot and marines, consisting of about sixteen companies, under command of Lord Percy. In this first bloodshed between the colonists and the mother country, the British found they had lost sixty killed, forty-nine missing, and one hundred and thirty-six wounded.[218] The Americans admitted that they had a loss of sixty, of whom two-thirds were killed. A quarrel took place between Massena and Ney on the subject of attacking the British and Portuguese who invested Almeida, where was a French garrison, and Ney threw up his command, and retired to Salamanca. Massena was daily expecting the junction of Soult, who had taken Badajoz; but Wellington did not give time for this junction. He attacked Massena at Sabugal on the 3rd of April, and defeated him with heavy loss. Massena then continued his retreat for the frontier of Spain, and crossed the Agueda into that country on the 6th. Wellington then placed his army in cantonments between the Coa and the Agueda, and made more rigorous the blockade of Almeida.
    At the same time that we were thus dragged into hostilities with Sweden, we were brought into hostilities with the Czar too in defence of Hanover. Peter had married his niece to the Duke of Mecklenburg, who was on bad terms with his subjects, and the Czar was only too glad to get a footing in Germany by sending a large body of troops into the Duchy. Denmark became immediately alarmed at such a dangerous and unscrupulous neighbour, and remonstrated; whereupon the Czar informed the Danish king that if he murmured he would enter Denmark with his army too. Of course the King of Denmark called on his ally, George of Hanover, for the stipulated aid; and George, who hated the Czar mortally, and was hated by the Czar as intensely in return,[35] at once sent his favourite, Bernsdorff, to Stanhope, who had accompanied him to Hanover, with a demand that "the Czar should be instantly crushed, his ships secured, his person seized, and kept till he should have caused his troops to evacuate both Denmark and Germany."

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