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(our Jonbun Comspontat


(our Jonbun Comspontat [We deem It right to state that we do not at all times (identify ourselves with our Correspondent's opinions.] One of the first lessons taught to children in the primer tells them that the horse is a noble animal." The creed is one which has received general endorse- ment in all ages; for if we go back to ancient history, sacred or profane, we find that Solomon had 40,COO stalls of horses for his chariots, and that the people of Theasaly were amongst the best equestrians which the world ha? produced. In peace or in war-in the quiet pursuits of agriculture, or in bearing down upon armed battalions in the fiald of battle—the horse is found to be of incalculable service. The neighing of the war-horse is mentioned with much effect in the Book of Job. Chariot racing was a Greek exercise, and the chariot of an Ethiopian officer Is referred to in the eighth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Julius Caeiar relates that Casuvelaunns, after dismissing his other forces, retained no fewer than 4,000 war chariots about his person. The first Athenian chariot is supposed to have been produced about 1,500 years before the Christian era. I quote these facts merely to show how popular the horse has been from the most remote antiquity, and to illustrate the immense service he has been to man. One of the exercises amongst the ancient games of Greece was horse racing, and in our own day we see what vast num- bers collect on such occasions. The Horse Show at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, is one of the favourite gatherings of the year for all classes, from Royalty downwards. It is held early in June, a very different time of the year from that selected for the Cattle Show, in the first week of December. The Horse Show, as a rule, leaves bright and cheerful associations behind it; whilat clustering round the collection of horned cattle, sheep, and pigs are remem- brances of fog and gloom, and bitter winds. Exactly half a year separates the two; and if the sight-seeing public was polled as to which left behind it the moat pleasant memories, the verdict would be in favour of the horses. Another evidence of the popularity of the horse is found in the enormous assemblages which gather in Hyde Park on the afternoons selected for the parade of the Coaching and FoOr-in-Hand Clubs. Thousands is really not I the word for them. They are there from all parts of London, and are well repaid for their journey, for some of the best blood in Enrope passes before them. Often more than thirty fours-in-hand elicit the admira- tion of the multitude. Blacks, greys, browns, chest- nuts—the most fastidious may have his choice; and you have not ceased to praise one turn-out before another has come up, and you find your superlatives exhausted. The animals themselves are good to look upon, but the magnificent way in which they are mounted sets off their proportions to the best advantage, and makes these afternoons amongst the most agreeable of the summer. A new suggestion has been made for supplying recre- ation to the people. It is proposed to build a palace of noble proportions, chiefly composed of glass and iron, on the banks of the Thames close to the railway stations and steamboat pier in Batteraea Park. The cost is estimated at jE100,000 and the building would be called the Victoria and Albert Palace, because that is the site which the Prince Consort wished to have for the great exhibition of 1851. The object is to provide wholesome recreation for the people, and the palace would contain a large conservatory, aquaria, and fresh and sea water swimming baths. These aquaria are rapidly becoming exceedingly popular institutions-that at Brighton has achieved foritselfan European reputation; the Westminster Aquarium has lately burst into favour, and that at the Crystal Palaee is one of the most generally patronised departments of the place. By the way, we were all glad to see that amid all the other Whitsuntide attractions, more than 63,000 visitors went to the Crystal Palace on one of the holidays. The institution at Sydenham has been trying to please us for more than twenty years, and thoroughly deserves all the public support that can be given to it. The anxiety respecting what is called the Eastern Question, and the despatch of a powerful ironclad fleet to the Mediterranean, remind us that although only twenty years have elapsed since the conclusion of the war with Russia, the science of fighting, more especially upon the sea, has been com- pletely revolutionised in that time. Although it looks a great deal when added to a man's age, it is a mere speck in the history of a nation, or of the world. Yet in this brief space we have overturned the traditions of thousands of years. From the time when Noah set about the construction of the ark until within even the past fifteen years, ships of wbatever description were of wood. When the Baltic and Black Sea Fleets were despatched from our shores in 1854, it was as true then as it had ever been that our ships were British oak and hearts of oak our men." The huge Duke of Wellington, the flag-ship of Sir Charles Napier, an enormous three-decker now lying in Portsmouth Harbour, was then looked upon as the embodiment of strength, and as the finest specimen of naval architecture which could be pro- duced. She was mounted with 131 guns, and could throw six tons of iron shot in four minutes. What chance would this monster ship have now against one of our ironclads. To say nothing of the calibre of the guns now carried, a single blow from a ram such as that with which our men-of-war are now furnished, would send her like a stone to the bottom. When the Russian war was over, a grand naval review was held by the Qaeen at Spithead, in April 1856; yet of the vast armada which then crowded the surface of the sea, not a single vessel would now be of the slightest service in offensive warfare. Old things have passed away, and all have become new. The 35-ton gun was looked upon as a prodigy, yet it has been superseded by the 81 ton weapon; the Devastation finds herself eclipsed by the Inflexible, and at the same rate it would-be impossible for any one to predict what farther revolutions, not twenty, nor even ten, nor five may produce. Preparatory to the National Rifle Competition at Wimbledon in July, a series of important rifle meet- ings are being held this month. To the great gathering upon the Surrey Common, every crack volunteer shot in the-ktagdom looks forward with high anticipations, and these June meetings are the precursors of the Wimbledon contests. A larger amount of money was never,offered, than is now being competed for. The sum, it is stated, reacts the extraordinary total of £ 11,000, and for the moffth preceding Wimbledon, this it must be acknowledged, is .more than liberal. It may" well be called profuse. Under such circum- stances*no one can wonder that increased devotion to the use of-the- rifle is being displayed by both civilians and volunteers. Success can only be achieved by the moat careful and systematic practice, and our riflemen "are fully aware of this. No ardent Bportsmaq," defies the inclemency of the weather more- persistently than the thorough-going marksman at tile rifle 'ranges. With rumours of war in the distance, and All kinds of threatened European com- binations, the spread of rifle-shooting is to be encouraged All much as possible. The pastime is harmless, and the accomplishment possesses great value while nothing can exceed in interest and attraction the meet- ings and periodtcal competitions of our rifle associa- tions. The Hospital Sunday collections will be made on the 18th instant; but hitherto, these, so far as London is concerned, can scarcely be said to have been a success. A sum of about £27.000 is really a very poor affair amongst three millions and a half of people. The metropolis is so vast a place, covers such an area, and combines so many interests, that it is very difficult for it to ufiite even for a charitable purpose. Residents of St. Martm'j«in-the-Fields, and of the western end of the Strand, know the vahie of the Charing-cross Hospital, for they witness it every day; therefore they would wMlingly subscribe towards its support. Thou- sands in Shereditch and Whitechapel have been re- lieved from the East London Hospital, but the in- habitants of that region do not care to contribute to a general fund which is to be distributed promiscuously at Holloway in the north, Brixton in the South, and St. George's In the West. The mass of the people at the East-end will never go to Holloway, to Brighton, er to Hanover-square in their lives; why, then, they ask, should they trouble about supplying thewants of localities to which they qre as completely strangers as they are to Birmingham or Manchester? That is the true secret why this movement has not succeeded so well in London, as in many a large provincial town. It may be added that the large hospitals with rich founda- tions do not share in this fund. St. Bartholomew's, or Guy's, for instance, would swallow up between 24,000 and £5,000 each if they were allowed to participate according to the, proportion supplied to the poorer in- stitutions. But they do not want the money, being amply provided for already. The removal-of the- remains of the Orleans family from England to France for interment suggests some curious reflections. On a cold February day in 1848, King Louis Phillippe, as plain John Smith, landed at Newhaven in^fiehjng smack, an exile for ever from the land over which he had ruled. He did net long survive his downfall, dying in 1850, but his Qaeen, Marie Amelifo.. lived until 1863, when she was buried by the side of "her husband in the land of their expa- triation. Amongst those who came over to this country to the funeral of the ex-Queen of France ten years ago waa.M. Thiers, who had been one of the King's chief Ministers; and as Le stood abovo the vault in which the. members of the ex-Royal family lay, it was generally, supposed that M. Thiers had had his day so far as statesmanship was concerned, and that he could never again wield influence in France. At that time the late Emperor Napoleon was at the height of hi4 power, had banished the Orleans family and confiscated their estates, and to all appearanee had founded a Napoleonic dynasty which could have nothing possibly to do with Orleanism. Four years rolled by, and the scene suddenly changed. The Continent resounded with the tramp of armed men, and in that mighty upheaval the fabric of the French Empire crumbled into dust, and the Empire of Germanr rose before Europe in its place. Napoleon, like Louis Phillippe, sought refuge in England; he also lived two years amongst us as an exile; died, and was buried in our midst. Louis Phillippe rested in the soil of Surrey; his antagonist was laid in the soil of Kent, an adjoining county. There they were at last, within a few mileB of each other, sleeping their long Sabbath of repose, and typifying the rest of the weary after the toils of time. Louis Phillippe had banished Napoleon, and Napoleon in his turn had exiled Louis Phillippe yet in each case the end of life's journey found both in the same position. After being in the grave more than a quarter of a century, Louis Phillipe's remains are now taken up, borne across the Channel, and interred at Dreux, in the province of Normandy. Another revo- lution of the wheel of Fortune in France, and the body of Napoleon will be taken from the vault at Chisel- hurst, conveyed over the Channel, and placed by the side of his illustrious uncle under the gilded dome of the Invalides Such are the vicissitudes of high station amongst our nearest neighbours On the afternoon of the 20th instant the guns will thunder forth from the grey battlements of the Tower a Royal salute in honour of the Queen's accession to the throne thirty-nine years ago. It was early in the morning of the 20th of June, 1837, that the PrinceS) Victoria was roused from her Bleep by the intelligence that the death of the King her uncle had converted her into the ruler of the vast dominions belonging to the British Crown. Many a ministry has been ap- pointed, and many a Parliament dissolved since that summer day; and of the knights, citizens, and bur- gesses, who then sat in the House of Commons, there are not a dozen who now remain. Of these few Mr. Gladstone is one, for he has been in Parliament since 1832. The Melbourne Cabinet was then in power, and almost its sole representative now is the venerable Earl Russell, who between Lords and Commons has had a Parliamentary life of 63 years, and at the age of 84 is still amongst us to remind us of the stirring times in which, long ago, he took so prominent a part.


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