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LONDON CORRESPONDENCE. "m -/TOST people wlio require to work for a living IVI have got back into harness again, though it is not very easy for some to settle down quietly to business after the pleasant interlude of the Easter holidays. Many of the artisan class— tie men who call themselves working men par excellence-do not seem much inclined to do any- thing during the rest of the week that follows Easter Monday, and they may accordingly be seen wandering aimlessly about, EO me times with their wives and families In tow, but more frequently accompanied by two or three select chums, whose bonds of affinity are often on a par with those of Tam o' Shanter and Souter Johnny. The weather during the holidays. has been of the mixed character which distinguishes April— an alternation of showers and sunshine. Fortu- nately there was a total absence of those bitter east winds which have afflicted us so much of lite yestrs at Eastertide. Holiday-makers can afford to laugh &t April shower?, just as fcne sun himself doe3 when he breaks forth, after the transit of passing clouds, with bursts of radiance and the old favourite haunts of Londoners — including Blackheath, Greenwich-park, Hampstead-haath, Baahey-park, Clapham-common, and Battersea- park-were frequented by the customary crowds. The cocoaaut men, who are not now allowed to prosecute their roaring avocation on Clapham- common, set up their sticks in rural lanes, where they are least likely to be interfered with by the police, and they generaUy manage to hock some loiterers who are not unwilling to try their lack. It is the river steamers that suffer most when there is a prospect of flying showers, as the ac- commodation below decks, when shelter would be acceptable, is of a very meagre description. Though the half-expected volunteer review did not take place, chiefly owing to the objections offered by the railway companies, still many of the metropolitan corps took full advantage of the holiday time, some detachments having started so early as the middle of last week to places within a radius of fifty or sixty miles around London. Head-quarters were established at Brighton, at Twnbridge-wells, at Sutton, at Epsom, at Gad's Hill, at Hitchin, and Staines Moor. In these volunteer outings there is a com- bination of business and recreation which renders them very enjoyable to the men. Some of the de- tachments appeared for the first time in their bran- new scarletooats and helmets, and their new uniform gave them quite a brisk and spruoe appearance. In the metropolis efforts are being made to get up corps of what are called "Active Service Volunteers;" and it in stated that some2000 have already been enrolled, though the movement looks a little premature. Some of the Cabinet Ministers are not so well off during the recess as the ordinary members of Parliament, to whom this Easter has brought a longer holiday than usual, probably to make amends for the earlier meeting In February. To many of the more earnest members, however, the recess will be a period of unrest, as they can- not but see that the course of events is bringing the country ever nearer and nearer to the brink of war. While the Lord Chancellor, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Home Secre- tary, the Colonial Secretary, the Secretary for India, and the First Lord of the Admiralty have been fortunate enough to make their escape for a short time from State oares, it is other- wise with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and the Secretary for War. The Earl of Beaoonsfield cannot beat a re- treat to Hughenden, though the time of the singing of birds has come. He is staying in town, and the ominous aspeot of affairs is likely to detain him here until the reassembling of Parliament. The Marquis of Salisbury is placed much in the same position, as he comes to town daily from Hatfield. to transact business at the Foreign Office. The War Searetary (Colonel Hon. F. A. Stanley) Is also reported as remain- ing in town for the present. The Premier, the Foreign Secretary, and the Secretary at War form an ominous conjunction at the present orlsis; whioh is epochal in its possible Issues. There is no mistaking the fact that, since Par- liament rose for the recess, there has been an in- crease in the signs of approaching war. However reassuring the statement extracted from bir Stafford Northcote might seem to be, there was a significance not to be misunderstood in the an- nouncements that a contingent of troops had been ordered up from India to Malta, and that no munitions of war were to be exported from this oountry. These are two measures which would hardly have been taken unless Government had deemed war to be inevitable. All Prince Bismarck's efforts to act as mediator between England and Russia have hitherto proved without avail. One after another his proposals have fallen to the ground. It is greatly owing to the maintenance of the alliance between the three Emperors that sus- picion attaches to Bismarck's motives and in- tentions. The proposal of a simultaneous with- drawal of Russian troops from the neighbour- hood of Constantinople and of the British ironclads from the Sea of Marmora is one to which our Government could hardly be expected to give much heed, as the ships, after they had once retired, could easily be prevented from again entering the Dardanelles. This would have the effeot of placing Russia in a still more advan- tageous position than she even occupies at present. The ohange of Cabinet at Constantinople has been brought about, as the members of the former one were considered too favourable to Russia. The new Ministers are said to be a colourless set-men of neutral views, who have no marked leaning either towards Russia or England. It follows that they must become mere puppets in the hands of the strongest-minded Ambassador, as the Sultan himself does not seem capable of impressing any definite sort of policy upon his Ministers. In some country towns people always take the time of day from the town-olook; they regulate their watches by its movements; and if anything goes wrong with it the solar system might as well oo me to a standstill. If a stranger, in such cir- cumstances, asks anyone he meets the correct time of day, all he reoeives in reply is a nonpos- tutmu and a ruefol shake of the head. In com- parison with these provincials, Londoners may consider themselves the most fortunate of men. The sixth clock synchronised to Green- wich mean time has been just put up in London by Messrs. Barraud & Lunds, the in- ventors and patentees. This last one, enolosed in a suitable carved oak case, has been placed imme- diately over the window at the oorner of Cheap- side and Queen Victoria-street, and will thus afford true time, at all hours of the day, to the large seotion of the public constantly passing to and fro in that crowded and busy neighbourhood. Often doubtless this new clock will have the effect of sharpening lagging steps. D. G.

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