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--(i)ur foitbim Cfltmponkni


(i)ur foitbim Cfltmponkni TWe deem it right to state that we do not at all times identifr 'â¢ireelves with our correspondent's opinion" ] If there be in the "lowest deep" of political gloom a "lower still, we have sunk into the latter but we are by no means gloomy, nevertheless. The truth is, that nothing political stirs the public mind just now, foreign questions are voted a bore; and as to home questions, there are none of any political significancy. Cabinet Ministers are away from town enjoying their Christmas holidays. They will return here to their official haunts in about a fortnight, and there will then be a Privy Council, when the day for the meeting of Parliament will be fixed. Under ordinary circumstances, the 9th would be a very likely day for the Houses to meet, this being the second Tuesday in February but as this happens to be Shrove Tuesday, and the House usually adjourns on Ash Wednesday, I think it probable that Tuesday, the 2nd of February, will be the occasion when Lord Palmerston will virtually exclaim, Uprouse ye then, my merry, merry men; it is our opening day." A joke is current that Cobden, who was formerly very successful in the Manchester trade, has now especially succeeded in muzzlin' Delaine I Not a bad joke, if it were wholly true but it is the best thing I have heard throughout this dreary controversy. Happily no one now pays any great attention to it, and posterity, I think, would not care to have it appended to a new edition of the elder Disraeli's "Quarrels of Authors." I am glad to see that at last the magistracy are setting their faces against prize-fighting. King and Heenan will have to appear at the sessions to answer the charge of "breaking the peace," and a day or two ago, two other prize-fighters-Goes and Baker-were summoned to- appear before the Guildford magistrates. On of these fellowB "missed the train," but the feel- ing of the magistrates was clearly shown in the matter y binding over the other to keep the peace for six months and to pay the cost. m--N k!i,%l other cases of a similar kind have recently transpired, and it is to be hoped that the prize-fighting fraternity will take warning by the result. But in my opinion the penalty ought to be made more severe. Pugilism lowers the tone of public morality; it promotes betting, swearing, and drinking it facilitates highway robbery; it opens the door to all sorts of chicanery in connecti. with the fight itself while there is positively not one good thing to set off against these and many other evils. The sooner the law on the subject is altered the better for our public morals. The proposed railways, which are mapped out as if the sole intention of their projectors were to mar and ruin the metropolis, are not, I am happy to hear, to be allowed to be hustled anyhow through the com- mittee-rooms of the House of Commons. An organised plan of placing the public in possession of the facts, fairly stated, and of opposing such as will be detrimental to the public interest, has been agreed on; or, at least, is under contemplation. I hope the plan may not fall through. Every district throughout the country should have its watch committee on this important subject. I am glad to find that steps are being taken here to form an association for the closing of public-houses on Sunday. I am glad of this, I say; not that I necessarily agree with the proposal to its full extent, but because I think the subj ect demands more atten- tion than it has yet received. There are, of course, two opinions on the matter at least, if not twenty; but it is undoubtedly the fact that public-houses are now open on the Sunday far longer than is necessary for the convenience of the public. Whether they ought to be closed altogether is another question. I will merely add that I wish the gentlemen who take up this subject on the affirmative side of the question would add to their programme the closing of public- houses at 11 o'clock on Saturday-nay, on every night. I am persuaded that an immense amount ef evil is done by keeping these places open till midnight or later, and that there is not an iota of good to set off against it. A- â nndlheToUo^^P in one P*8 appears that Signori-j.. From a bankruptcy report it of their profession investâ¢' others ⢠⢠_L i .,i. 'â¢easily-won fortunes in a joint-stock Court millinery estate T, "hment in Regent- Ktreet. It used to be imagined that tht..â earned their wealth with sufficient ease them to spend it freely amongst the people who paf them so well. But, no; they turn it over, I and take a double profit out of their fine voices. What will the ladies think of you now, El vino, Assur ? Va superbot" âAnd why not, may I ask ? There is nothing dis- honourable in it, and it is far better than hoarding up wealth, as so many of our celebrated artistes have done, who have made large fortunes here, lived economically, and carried it all away to some obscure chateau in Italy, France, or Germany. But what Tambarini, Gardoni, &c., do is done by others whose names would strike the public ear with more surprise were those names known. It is not considered socially the correct thing for a nobleman to invest his money in trade. Pecunia non old when it comes from landed property, but in the refined upper classesâthe cream of the cream of societyâmoney derived from trade has, we all know, anything but a savoury odour. And yet I am assured that in many of our large trading establishments noblemen are virtually partners. They lend their money, and take shares in the profit and loss. How largely the aristocracy are connected with limited liability companies as directors is well known; and when noblemen can, without any loss of dignity, receive pay as directors, take shares in a mine or an hotel company, I do not see why they should not also âif so it please them-have a share in a wholesale grocer's, a clothier's, yea, and even a cheesemonger's. It is scarcely, perhaps, in accordance with our notions of the age of chivalry and our old nobility," but it at least serves one good purpose-it tends to the com- mingling of classes without arriving at their amalga- mation. English literature has lost one of its chief ornaments, and the clubs and literary ooteries of the metropolis one of their most admired members in William Makepeace Thackeray. So full are the biographies which have appeared that I will not attempt to supplement them, but I cannot refrain from laying my poor immortelle upon his grave. I personally knew him to be a man of kindly and genial nature, and I mention thin because the tone of many of his writings gave him a reputation which he may partially have deserved as a novelist, but which he certainly had not earned as a man. Many a young and straggling author owed much to Mr. Thackeray's kindness of heart. The hackneyed phrase he dies deeply lamented by a large circle of friends" was never more true than in his case and in the literary world he leaves a gap which will not easily be filled. .buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, where so many literary brethren meet to do him honour, and where some deep under the cold turf, Thackeray can scarcely be said to have gone. He is ever present with us by his writings. For myself (like all who personally knew him well), I shall not soon forget his tall and manly figure, his massive head, with its white hair and its genial countenance. There was a sly, dry humour about his mouth and his eyes which made you fear him, but the whole expression of the face made you love him. Had it not been that when he was a boy at the Charterhouse some juvenile Sayers left his permanent mark on Mr. Thackeray's nose (for noticing which peculiarity Mr. Edmund Yates years ago incurred the great satirist's displeasure and ultimately had to retire from the Garrick Club), his face would have been handsome; as it was it was kindly, and I, for one, shall never forget it. By the way, what suffering to an acute mind must Thackeray's broken nose have caused him (we can speak of it now he has gone). Jerrold, who "never said a foolish thing, and never "âbut I will not continue the quotation-was once in company with Thackeray and others, when the conversation turned on some attempts to pervert" Mr. Thackeray during a visit to Rome. Eh!" said Jerrold, trying to make a Roman of you, have they ? They should have begun with your nose." Doubtless the great natiristsoonhad his revengo on bin brother wit. Thackeray successively paid a graceful tribute to those men of somewhat similar genius, though manifesting itself in different ways-Jerrold, Albert Smith, and Angus Reach. For the widow of the latter the great novelist gave readings and gained a consider- able amount. Literature, as I have said, sustains a very severe loss in William Makepeace Thackeray. Such a man ought to be buried, not in Kensal Green Cemetery, but in St. Paul's or Westminster Abbey. We have now fairly sot over the holidays, and are hard at work again. We have had, on the whole, I think, a merry Christmas. Trade has been lively, and so have the people. The rich have been giving parties at a bountiful old rate," and the poor have not been forgotten. The miserable debtors in our prisons, and the still more miserable poor in our workouses, the children in orphan schools, and the poor generally have been regaled, somehow or another, with at least one good dinner in the year, and hearty and genial wishes have in numerous instances been followed by some- thing more substantial May the present year be to all my readers a happy new year."

Utiscelbttous IWedigcHtt,