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■ LONDON CORRESPONDENCE. rfi HE dream of peace into which the country JL had dropped, after having its fears dispelled by the Ministerial speeches at the opening of Parliament, was rudely broken by the alarming intelligence which announced the resignations of the Foreign and Colonial Secretaries and the ordering cf the Mediterranean fleet to the Dardanelles. The springing of a mine under foot could hardly have bean more sudden or unexpected. Owing to the want of agreement in the statements contained in the morning papers the whole matter was involved in a good deal of uncertainty at tirat; but the critical character of the situation was soon made olear when questions were put and answered in Parliament. It was the Daily hews which announced that instructions had been sent to the fleet to proceed to the Dardanelles for the purpose o? landing in the vicinity of Boulair a force of marines and blue i-toketa in order that they might act as interi n defenders of the lines of Gallipoli; but it appeared from the Ministerial explanations subsequently given that the or<W— afterwards countermanded on the conditions of peace being made known—was for the ships to proceed direct to Constantinople, which could not have been done without the express permis- sion of the Porte. The Admiral of the fleet must have obeyed the first telegraphic order he received with promptitude, as it wa3 only when he had arrived at the entrance to the Dardanelles that counter instructions were received from the British Consul, and the ships accordingly with- drew to the familiar anchorage of Besika Bay. As we are led to believe that a strong feeling in favour of war pervades the navy, it is not difficult to imagine how deep the disgust would be when the counter-inatruoMons made it appa- rent that something had occurred to cause the Government to change its mind and purpose onoe more. It may be taken for granted that the ob- servations of the blue jaokets-who are as fond of fighting for its own dake as Irishmen-would not beat all complimentary to Lord Beaconsfield. To them, above all men, it would be aggravating in the extreme to find themselves doomed again to inaotion after the hope had been kindled in their breasts that they had got some of the right sort of work in hand at last. The friends of officers may expect to find the first letters they receive from the fleet all boiling over with angry complaints. Lord Carnarvon's resignation Is a very serious matter occurring as it does at a time when the state of affairs in South Africa is assuming a serious aspect. In everything undertaken by hi a in conneatiom with the Cape Colonies, he has shown how admirably fitted he was for conduct- ing the difficult business of the responsible post he has just left on account of his disapproval of the war policy of the Premier. In appointing Sir Bartle Frere to be Gover- nor of Cape Colony at a time when troubles were threatening on all sides, Lord Carnarvon displayed wise prescience, and he has also acted with the promptitude demanded by the occasion in sending out regiments to asaiat the contingents of volunteers in putting down the in- surgent Kaffirs. Lord Sandon, whose name has been mentioned in conneetion with the vacant post, will find the Colonial Secretaryship greatly more difficult and harassing than the offioe he has hitherto held. The successful exhibition of the telephone ai Osborne House, and the desire of the Queen, com- municlted through Sir Thomas Biddalph, to posaess a set of the instruments, will no doubt give an impetus to the widespread use of Professor Graham Bell's invention. Some time ago there was an American story of two telegraphic nlerks, belonging to the opposite sexes, conducting their courtship and arranging their marriage by means of the ordinary wire; and it seems that the King of Spain has set an example to all the world by devoting the telephone to a similar purpose, so far at least as wooing went. Before his marriage, according to the Madrid cor- respondent of the Times, he was in the habit of making use of this serviceable instrument for exchanging endearing words with the Prince is Mercedes, now his Royal consort. It i3 also stated thai the Persian Am- bassador in London sends telephonic messages to the Shah, and we may soon expeot to hear that the example thus set is being fo lowed by other Ambassadors at the Court of St. James's. The telephone possesses advantages over the telegraph as a ready means of asking and answering ques- tions. It will also prove of great service to newspapers. It wag announced in the Daily News one day last week that the Parliamentary summary and a portion of the Parliamentary report of the previous night's debate had been transmitted from Westminster to the office in Bou erie-jttreet by means of the telephone. There seems every possibility that this wonderful invention is susoeptible of such improvement that the voices of members, speaking in either House of Parliament, may yet be heard by the occu- pants of what we may call auricular halls at Bir- mingham or Liverpool, Edinburgh or Glasgow, Inverness or Aberdeen. Rurality Is not associated, in many minds, with tin idea or conception of London, > and yet it is reported that a woodcock was recently "flushed" in Rotten-row. Men- tion has also been made of occasions when wood- cocks have been taken at St. James's-park and the grounds surrounding the Horticultural- garden?, South Kensington. Londoners who are in the habit of looking skywards occasionally when walking along even the busiest thorough- fares may have it brought home to their minds sometimes, by what they see overhead, that the metropolis is not quite deserted by the denizens of wild nature. The aquatic birds not unfrequently take flight from the waters of one park to those of another —say from the Regent's-park to the Ser- pentine, or from the Serpentine to the tree and rush bordered lakelets in Battersea- park. To the keen eyes of birds in the air the numerous large parka lying within the limits of the metropolis must give an aspect of rurality to what is generally considered to be a wilderness of brick. On a olear day, at the migratory time, flocks of wild fowl may occasionally be seen con- tinuing their flight steadily from west to east or from north to south over the whole extent of London. However it would never do, even for an enthusiastic naturalist, to stand stock still on the street gazing upwards at the long flight of a detachment of migratory water-fowl. He would have two or three dozen of sky-gazers gathering around him in a few minutes, and if he did not come to his senses in time he might find a crowd all about seriously interfering with the traffic. The election that took place in Greenock last week shows how defective the Liberals still are in organisation as compared with the Conservatives. Of the four candidates three were Liberals, and, if tha constituency had not been deeply im. pregnated with Liberalism, the Conservative can- didate, who was not far behind the winner, would inevitably have gone in at the top of the poll. At Perth and Lelth the same thing might have occurred if some of the candidates had not sacrificed their ambition at the shrine of party. There is evidently an increase in the number of aSpIrants for Parliamentary honours, and we may look out for a terrible scramble all over the country when the next general election takes place. D. G.

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