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REVIEW OF THE YEAR 1863.

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REVIEW OF THE YEAR 1863. The past year will ever be famous in history, as that in which the Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, was married. It is the subject which takes fitting precedence of all others in a review of the events of the year just departed. On the various facts con- nected with the Prince's union we need not dwell- the tale of the entry of the fair young Princess into London, and the wonderful and wondering crowds which greeted her, has oft been told. The joyous- ness and unusual brilliancy of the London season is still well remembered, and the fact that, wherever the rriuucDO went, thousands upon thousands of loyal Eng lish hearts assembled to greet her. Soon afterwards, the royal couple settled down for awhile at the Prince's new seat in Norfolk, where, after a long round of balls, fetes, and entertainments, their Royal Highnesses have enjoyed themselves by driving about the estate, and visiting the surrounding neighbourhoods. The only drawback to the gaiety of the Court and the aristocracy during the London season was the great grief under which Her Majesty the Queen still laboured, and which kept her from appearing in public. Neverthe- less, Her Majesty has made several endeavours to draw herself partially from her seclusion, and we hope it may not be long before she is able entirely to do so. The opening of Parliament in the month of February will be remembered as the first occasion in which His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales took his seat in the House of Lords, as Premier Peer of the United Kingdom. He listened with attention to the debate on the address, and bowed his acknowledgments to the compliments which my Lord Dudley and the Earl of Grenard passed upon him. In another place the speech of Mr. Disraeli was also very eulogistic of the Prince and his fair bride. The address on the speech from the Throne was unanimously agreed to. The following is a summary of the more important ~hh.tr In Parliament which have been contested duriner the year. In January, the election for Totnes took place, and after much excitement Mr. Dent, the Con- servative candidate, was defeated by Mr. A. Seymour, by a majority of eight only in the same month the election for East Kent terminated in the triumph of Sir E. Dering (Liberal) over Sir N. Knatchbull; at Devonport and Devizes, Conservative candidates were returned, in the month of February, after fiercely- contested elections; at Tamworth, Sir Robert Peel's protege, Mr. Cowper, was defeated by a large ma- jority in favour of Mr. Peel, the independent can- didate. The Lancashire distress has, we regret to observe, been again reported on the increase. There is, how- ever, a great consolation in the fact that the Public Works Act is coming into operation in most of the towns in the cotton manufacturing districts. This will turn the labour of the workmen to useful public erections. A fearful colliery explosion took place in the month of October, in South Wales. It is stated that within the last eight years twenty lives have been lost In this pit, which belongs to Mr. Talbot, M.P., and is worked by the Messrs. Vivian. The scenes at the mouth of the pit when the accident happened were described as truly heartrending. The cause of the explosion was the negligence of one of the miners in using his safety- lamp. A number of murders have disfigured the newspaper records during the past year. The subjsct is not a genial one, and we will not linger to particularise them-merely remarking that capital punishment seems less than ever capable of repressing crime. The Volunteer gatherings at Wimbledon, in the month of July, passed off with great eclat, from the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales. The exertions of Lord Elcho, the moving spirit in the com- mittee, are worthy of every commendation. The notorious William Roupell, ex-M.P. for Lam- beth, left his prison cell in the month of July to enter the witness-box against a Mr. Hawes, who held pro- perty under the convict's v% orthless title deeds. He again swore to his own guilt of forgery and perjury, but this time the jury were not unanimous, and he was mnt back to prison, disappointed. Another great prize-fight, fresh in the recollection of our readers, has taken place during the year. Heenan and King, the two most gigantic athletse of the ring, met at Wadhurst early in December, and fought for 2,0001. After a tough struggle, King was pro- claimed victor, and the American has to go home again defeated. Subsequently they had to appear be- fere the magistrates, but we fear this was but a matter of form. Among the minor events of the year we may men- tion the introduction of the Budget, which gave satis- faction to the Legislature and the country alike the attempt of Sir George Grey to amalgamate the City and Metropolitan police forces, which was resisted success- fully by the people of London; the victory of Macaroni at the Derby and the Two Thousand; the agitation about Dr. Colenso; the Crawley court- martial (resulting in the acquittal of the accused); the action against Colonel Calthorpe for slandering Earl Cardigan; the death of poor Ann Walkley, and the public agitation on the subject; the revolution in Ma- dagascar and the death of King Radama the riots in Prussiaâthough of very little moment, concerning the ¡.Ia." minwtry the elevation of M. de Persigny to a dukedom, and his retirement into the otium citiib dignitate of private life; the visit of the Reverend Mr. Beecher to England, and his orations at Exeter Hall; the meeting of the Social Science Congress, the inaugural speech of Lord Brougham and the Times and Cobden quarrel, which will soon be for- gotten. The year 1863, like all other years, has taken away from us many of our public men of literature, politics, and art. We may head the list with one who died while the year was yet young, and who has taken no mean part in all the three great branches of our social economy--the Marquis of Lansdowne. A munificent patron of art, literature, and the drama, he died, at the age of 80, full of honour and beloved by all parties. Mr. Daniel Whittle Harvey and Captain Gladstone (brother of the Chancellor of the Exche- quer) both died in the month of February. The former was well known as an advanced Radical in politics, and as Chief Commissioner of the City police. Sir James Outram died early in the month of March, and was interred in Westminster Abbey, clese to the remains of Lord Macaulay, the historian and statesman. The life of this gallant sol- dier was truly one of devotion to his country, and he fully earned the honours which were heaped upon him. His Grace the Duke of Grafton, of fox-hunting cele- brity, also died in March, and his son, the Earl of Euston, succeeded to the title and family estates. Sir George Cornewall Lewis, at the time of his death Secretary for War, died early in April last, and was It'gretted by all who entertain respect for scholarly attainments and high official capacity and a scene of true affection for their old friend and colleague was witnessed when the members of the House of Com- mons heard of Sir George's demise. Prince Frederick William, brother of the King of Prussia, Lord Nor- manby, the Duke of Hamilton, Sir .Joshua Jebb, and Sir Cresswell Cresswell died in the month of July. Lord Clyde, the master spirit of the Indian war, died in August, greatly lamented by the country at large. A short time since an influential meeting was held, at which the Duke of Cambridge presided, and it was determined to erect a statue to the noble lord's honour. The venerable Lord Lyndhurst expired in October; he began life as plain Mr. Copley, and lived to be Lord High Chancellor thrice. His lord- llhip's life is truly a lesson. Archbishop Whately'B nalDe, too, figures in the long list of deaths, as do also those of Earl Elgin and Mr. Justice Wiglitinan, b.)th deceased during the last month. Finally, litera- ^j*re has sustained a severe loss in the death of Mr. hacker ay, one of the most original of modern novelists. Undoubtedly the most important event which has transpired on the Continent for years is the proposal of the Emperor of the French for a European Con- jfe8s" His Majesty frankly invited the sovereigns of ur°pe to a Congress in which the affairs of the Con- inent shpuld be discussed, and by means of whic'i Q Pacification of Europe should be arrived at with- M a shosk." Various powers responded in the affir- 1Ve to the Emperor's invitation, including Prussia, Italy, Spain, Russia, and the Germanic Confederation. England, however, held aloof from the proposal, and a letter from the Foreign Secretary informed the Emperor that his project was visionary and impracti- cable. Whether the Congress will ever sit, remains to be seen. At all events, it is a step in the right direction. The past year witnessed the rise and development of the Polish revolution. Beginning in a mere resis- tance to a forced conscription, and openly disavowed by the leaders of previous revolutionary movements in Poland, it gained strength gradually, and at last assumed the proportions of a national revolt. Every one of our readeis haa read the accounts of cruel- ties practised on both sides, and of the fearful struggles of the Poles for existence. England, France, and Austria joined together to reproach Russia for her cruelty, but nothing more. The insurrection is not yet "played out," or quelled, and no one can foretel at present what the end will be. The unhappy war in America still rages, and our readers are too familiar with the various phases of the struggle to need our mention of them here. Suffice it that the end seems as far off as ever that both sides seem embued with bitter hostility and the chances of war are pretty evenly balanced. When the end will come, or what it may be, no one can at present predict. The year saw the outbreak and, it is to be hoped, the close of hostilities between this country and Japan. The murder of Mr. Richardson led to a rupture of our friendly relations with Japan, which was followed, after some delay, by the bombardment of Kagosima. Many persons think the Government does not come out of the affair with clean hands. After the destruction of Kagosima, the Japanese agreed to give up the indemnity demanded by the British, and no further hostilities have taken place. The King of Denmark died in the month of No- vember. oa went bor^ .BomG important fruits for the European balance of power, we refer to it se- parately. His Majesty was a good king, as times go, but an indifferent husband. He was married mor- ganatically to a dancer, whom he raised to the peerage as the Countess Danner. The king died very sud- denly, and Prince Christian, father of the Princess of Wales and the King of the Greeks, has been pro- claimed King of Denmark. The interminable Schlea- wig-Holstein question has, of course, been revived, andbefore it is settled there, will, not improbably, be war between Denmark and Germany. The reunion of the Ionian Islands with Greece has now become afait accompli. Although much opposition was threatened, the Government carried their point without a collision, and the protectorate of England consequently ceases.. The Mexican war has been almost terminated during the year, and the country declared an empire. The capture of Puebla will be remembered as the first great advantage which the French gained, and as the stepping-stone to the conquest of the whole empire. Before long the Archduke Maximilian will probably be called to reign over the Mexicans by the voice of universal suffrage. The year has been marked in Russia by the abolition of serfdom, or, as the Czar terms it, the transitory epoch." On the occasion of the proclamation a Te Deum was sung in all the churches throughout the empire. Might not this be appropriately followed by concessions to Poland ? Eighteen Sixty-Three, which has taken a king from Denmark, has given one to Greece, over which kingdom George'I. now reigns in tranquillity. At first the infatuated Greeks would have none other than our own Prince Alfred for their king, but they were given to understand that, although their wish wag very flattering to the Prince, the Queen, and the nation, still (and with all due respect) they couldn't have him. The consequence was a great deal of diplomatic notification, a great many exchanges of courteous international dispatches, and at last the acceptance of the Crown by Prince George of Denmark, brother of our gracious Princess of Wales. Long live his Majesty, say we and may the Greek nation prosper, and discharge its debts. The year closes happily amid pretty general pros- perity. Our trade is good, and we are, if not at peace with all men, still unembarrassed by any great war, May it be, not for the nation only, but for our readers individually, A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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