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LONDON CORRESPONDENCE. THE political thermometer has, like the ordi- nary weather-glass, shown a milder tem- perature throughout the week; but no material change for the better can be said to have taken place as regards war prospeots. There is a widespread feeling and fear that no good will come of the projected Conference, and the Govern- ment seem to have the same impression, as great activity is observable at all the dockyards and mili- tary oentres. There is significance too in the pro- minence given in the metropolitan papers to everything that concerns the army and navy. One day last week there appeared, in the outside sheet of the Times, an elaborate article on our field forae, containing statistics which possess more than ordinary interest at the present anxious time. Of late, in the metropolis, there has been an increaje in the number of recruiting sergeants, and volunteer corps are likewise addiog largely to the number of their members. TVra lil-\3 before me at this moment a paper, issued from the head-auartera of the 19th Surrey R fles, New- street,* Kennington park, announcing tha.t permission has been obtained from the War Office to raise two more companies, ani inviting respectable young men, height not less than five feet six inches, to join immediately as reoruits. As inducements to join it is stated that the entrance fee, five shillings, is the only expense incurred; that thecoips has good brass and drum and fife bands; that there are two ex- cellent rifle ranges; that* valuab e prizes are given annually for competition; and that dramatic, athletic, and cricket clubs are esta- blished in the corps. What more tempting in- duoements could be laid before respectable young men? One of the small side arohes is all that now remains of Temple Bar, and Fleet- Btreet presents at that part quite an un- familiar appearance. The solitary arch still standing makes it look as if besieging cannon had been employed in the work of demolition. Some time must elapse before we get entirely accus- tomed and reconciled to the absence of the Bar, great obstruction though it was to the traffic. The change upon this portion of Fleet-street will be very marked when the stately Law Courts are finished, and when Childs' new bank, which u to present some fine architectural features, is erected on the opposite side. During the winter the Law Courts, in spite of the continuance of the masons' strike, have continued to rise, and they are now an object of attraction to passers-by on the pavement. The building with its turrets is now sufficiently advanced to let it be seen that it will prove, when completed, ornamental as well as useful. Sir George Jessel, when suddenly fired at by Dodwell the other morning at the entranoe of the Rolls Court, displayed an amount of coolness in the circumstances which proves him to be a man of wonderful pluok. A judge differently con- stituted as to nervous system would have been unable to reply to the congratulations offered him in the ready and colleoted manner the Master of the Rolls did almost immediately after the alarm- ing occurrence took place. For similar attaoks 011 judges, with murderous Intent, it is necessary to go back to the years 1616 and 1631, and it ia i something remarkable, considering the maniacal tendency of persons with real or imaginary diffi- oulties, that no outrage of a like kind has been attempted between the last-mentioned date and the morning of Friday last. If the poor crazy Cobbett, son of the famous William Cobbett, who died suddenly a short time ago, and who was always going to the courts with a grievance, had been constituted like Dodwell, there is a possi- bility that he too might have attempted to take the life of some judge. It has been mentioned that the nearest parallel to the incident referred to above was the assassina- Mon of Mr. Spencer Percival, then Chancellor of the Exohequer, by John Bellingham at the en- tr_ '.ne to the lobby of the House of Commons. iBelliiigham, who had carried on business as a •wiamh^nt at Archangel, and who had a grievance for th, he appealed in vain to the Treasury to Mid de: ressed, posted himself in the lobby on th^ on.r of May, 1812, and shot Mr. Percival rightbelINugh the heart. It was Lord Granville, «ur A2-c. »dor at St. Petersburg, whom the assassin fly accused of negleoting his suit, and whom h" nded to have destroyed had not the unfortunate chancellor of the Exchequer fallen first in his way. In Brougham's "Historical Sketches" it is stated that Bellingham (in this respect res: lbling Dodwell) never attempted co escape, ana that he was taken, committed, tried, condemned, executed, and dissected all within one week from thetime he fired the shot. Still more summary was the punishment inflicted on the ruffian who attempted to injure Chief Justice Richardson at the Salisbury Assizes in the Bummer of 1631. His right hand, which had hurled the brickbat, being first oni off and nailed to the gibbet, he was immediately hanged in the presence of the Court. More than one protest has been entered of late against encroachments whi ih are being made upon Hyde-park and Regent's-park. As regards the first it is complained that, in the most prominent position within view of Park-lane there are two new buildings complete—one the chief gardener's house of three storeys, the other a large and lofty engine-house-and that in another pro- minent position there are being ereoted an ord- nance office, a large police barrack, and a guards' barrack for the protection of the powder magazine, which last building ought certainly to stand in a very different locality from the site it now occupies. With respect to Regenfe-park the complaint is that one of the house-owners within the inner cirole has erected large and permanent building's adjoining his house. Since the Zoological Society have, at various times, lnoreased the number of their buildings as their family multiplied, no other encroachments ought to be tolerated and it is fervently to be hoped that the recent remonstrances that have been made on the subject will cause measures to be taken as effectual as those that have been directed of late years towards the protection and preservation of Epping Forest. Ladies who, like Mr. Justin M'Carthy's Minola Grey," make the Regent's-park their favourite resort for recreation and meditation should earnestly protest against all those encroachments that threaten to produce constipation of the lungs of London. But there is something besides the eyesores of encroachments troubling Hyde-park at present. The Serpentine, which has the misfortune of being an artificial sheet of water, without a constant living flow to keep it pure and olean, is already becoming offensive at this early period of the year, and there is no saying how disagreeable and noxious the effluvium may prove by the time the summer months come round. It was believed that the thorough clearing which this fine piece of water got three or four years ago would have kept it sweet for ever; but, alas! keen olfactories, even as far off as Hyde-park-corner, know too well already that this belief has turned out to be a delusion. Something will require to be done without delay, otherwise the park will lose the at- tractive charm of sweet and exhilarating air. D. G.

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