Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

16 articles on this Page

©nr fonkt Comspottai.

News
Cite
Share

fonkt Comspottai. We deem it rights to state that wo do not at aR +.ïme9 identify ourselves with our correspondent's opinions.) At the commencement of the Session-and the re-as- sembling of Parliament last week was virtually the commencement of the Parliamentary campaign—the contrast between the activity of the Commons and the inaction of the Lords is always more remarkable than at any other time. At the end of a Session it some- times happens that their Lordships are harder worked than her Majesty's faithful Commons; but, through- out a Session, the Lords, as a rule, take it much easier than the Commons. There is more legislation com- pared with talk in the Upper Chamber than in the Lower, but at present their Lordships have really done nothing. Had there been any important business on hand, the absence of the Premier would have been more felt than it has been. Everyone will regret to hear that his lordship continues very weak from the effects of his recent severe attack of gout, but it is to be hoped that he will soon take his place once more at the post of honour in the Chamber I of Peers. Aa to the Commons, they have com- menced the political campaign with spirit. Pity that one of their first acts was to continue the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland, but it is generally admitted that there is no help for it, and even the Irish members did not make a stand against the Government proposal. May we soom see danger's troubled night depart, and the star of peace return;" and may Ireland, freed from the blighting curse of Fenianima, soon enter on a new oareer of prosperity. A very gratifying announcement has been made by Mr. Disraeli, that a measure with respect to primary education will be introduced by the Govern- ment in the course of the Session. It remains to be seen whether Ministers will propose so large and liberal a scheme that the Liberal party can give it its support. Meanwhile the Public Schools Bill has been read a second time. The effect of this measure will be to revise tho statutes and charters relating to Eton, Rugby, Harrow, Winchester, Westminster, Shrews- bury, and the Charter-House schools, and to aim at removing all obstacles to their expansion in accordance with the spirit of the timea but it is worth remark that the measure will only apply to these seven schools. It will not touch St. Paul's Merchant Taylors', the Bluecoat School, Queen Elizabeth's grammar-schools, and many others which to all intents and-purp0øe8 are public schools." If, however, the seven leading public schools referred to are reformed in the interest of the community thia will be an immense boon in itself, and it will infallibly lead the way for further reform. Her Majesty's Journal in the Highlands con- tinues to sell largely, and by thia time must be pretty well known, through reviews and extracts, to the majority of her subjects—leaving out of count those who foolishly refrain from reading newspapers. But it is, on dit, to be translated into French by Madame Hoe&W formerly French governess to the Princesses Beatrice, Louise, and Helena. The simple, chaste, and unpretentious style of the book will. how- ever, render it difficult to translate it into the language of our next-door neighbours, who delight in going a roundabout way to express the simplest idea. Her Majesty, it is stated, has presented a copy to the Royal Free Hospital. What is to be done with it! Who is to read it aloud, if any ? Will the patients ever have an opportunity of reading it as they lie on their lonely, cheerless beds in those startlingly clean and painfully proper wards ? And how is it that this hospital did not get a oopy from amongst those that Dr. Jenner was commissioned to distribute among the London hospitals ? To all of which questions, I, like Brutus, pause for a reply. As yet there is no confirmation of the startling state- ment by the Washington correspondent of the Standard last week, that President Johnson had decided on insisting on payment of the Alabama claims or else on going to war—or at least on suspending diplomatic relations, which is a preliminary to it. We may reasonably conclude, therefore, that this WM-we will say, a misapprehension. But still the sooner this horrid Alabama question is settled somehow or other the better. At present it is a continued source of ill- feeling. There is another claim which we can afford to laugh at. Mr. George Francis Train claims S100,000 for a day's imprisonment, or rather did claim it, for his bombast seems to have died away. This gentleman has a very high opinion of himself, and if this country had to buy him up at his own estimate we should want another penny of income-tax to buy him. But he is very kind and good to refrain from pressing his claims—in fact he was very considerate in the first instance. He might just as well have said a million, and he would have been just as likely to get it. At a time when both capital and labour are from various causes comparatively idle in thia country a pamphlet by Mr. Kitto, the Government mining surveyor of the colony of Victoria, deserves attention. He shows that immense areas of unoccupied auriferous country exist throughout Victoria, and points out that thousands of miners in Great Britain, who are com- pelled to lire in idleness, might be profitably employed in working the Victoria mines. If this view of the matter be true, and his facts appear unimpeachable, it is remarkable, as showing how wonderfully correct was Sir Roderick Murchison, the eminent geologist, who twenty-two years ago was so impressed with the belief that gold would be found in that part of the world that he advised the tin miners of Cornwall to emi. grate to Australia, and mine for gold as they mine for tin in their own country. It was fully three years after this advice that gold was found about 100 miles from Melbourne, and many of us must remember the excitement that ensued, and the streams of emi- gration that flowed to Australia from all parts ef the world. Thousands of these persons were from various reasons unfitted for the labour of gold-mining, and abandoned the work, and now it seems that there is a great want of labour. Mr. Smyth, the Secretary of Mines for the colony of Victoria, stated a few months ago, "we have room for four times the number of persona now actually engaged in mining." This is a statement which should induce enquiry among that portion of the working classes who are employed— when they can get employment-in this department of labour. From the capitalist's point of view the Victoria gold-mines must possess a charm, seeing that several of them pay as high as 1,500 pet cent. per annum, an amount which is almost incredible, but some curious facts are mentioned in illustration. Mr. Kitto, in ad- vising the Australian United Gold Mining Company to purchase and work the Central gold-mine in the colony for which he is Government Mining Surveyor, says the result will be at least 70 to 80 per cent. profit for many years. But realised facta are more curloua still. The Sir William Don mine since last March has made a profit of 5,000 per cent. on its paid-up capital; while the Band of Hope mine has produced a profit of £240,000 per annum, nearly equal to the whole of the profits of the metallic mines of Great Britain and Ireland for 18G7. This is. suggestive. If gold is to be discovered in such startling ratios as these, and its purchasing power is to decrease as of late years, must not salaries be riz ? But I am not going into currency theories, and make a sudden halt. Archimedes, we have been often told, said that he could move the world if he could find fulcrum. What his lever was to be is not stated. May we not say, however, that we have a lever which mores the world, that lever being the PreM ? What a gigantic power, for instance, is the Press of Great Britain! From the Newspaper Press Directory" for 1868 it appears that there are now published in the United Kingdom 1,324 newspapers, thus distributed: in London, 253 in the provinces, 751; in Wales, 49 in Scotland, 132; in Ireland, 124 in the British Isles, 15. There are no less than 85 daily papers in the kingdom—58 in England 1 in Walea 12 in Scotland 13 in Ireland and 1 in the British Isles. The ad. vance in ten years is remarkable, and of special im- portance, seeing that this shows how the cheap, ntaxed people's Press has taken root in the United Kingdom. In 1858 there were only 866 journals, the overwhelming majority of these being dear, and nothing near so good as the cheap Press of to-day. But who will venture to say that the Press has reached its limit ? On the contrary, there must still be many groups of villages totally unrepresented by the Press, to say nothing of towns where there is room for more newspapers than those which now exist. But the fact as it stands is a great fact;" and when we add to it another, that there are no less than 621 magazines and reviews, there is room for any amount of speculation on the immense influence that must thus be exerted on the popular mind, and this influence will extend as education opens up an ever-widening field for news- paper enterprise. While people are talking about horseflesh as food, wowld it not be well to endeavour to get a little more beef and Mutton. Mighty roast beef is an English- man's food," says the old song; it accounts for the freedom that ran in his blood." And the same old ditty assures us—though I don't wholly believe it—that •■r fathers of old were robust, stout, and strong And they kept open house with good cheer all day lODg Which made their plump tenant* rejoice in the song, Oh the roast beef of old Ifcglaad And oh the old bplah roast beef! Now it seems that in some parts of Australia beef and mutton are being sold for 1 jd. a lb., amd that, naturally enough, ev colonial kinsfolk have been turning their attention to the but modes of preserving it. It is said that in Melbourne beef haa been preserved in tinll for months, and when opened, after several months' inoaroerationvwM found to be very good and even to taste M §ood M fresh meat. The latter statement i8 rather difficult to believe, but surely our men of science, to whom scarcely anything seems impossible, could find eut some method of preserving meat long enough for its being sent, from Australia, where it is almost dirt cheap, to England, where it is painfully dear. Thousands of our poor never taste meat because its price is so high, while in Australia sheep are still boiled down for the fat only. The sooner our scientific men hit upon a plan of compensation the better for our masses of poor in this country. Everybody knows Leicester-square, by reputation at.least. They say that it is to be transmogrified into pretty knick-nack shops and restaurants in the Parisian style. But then "they have said something of this kind for years, and Leicester-square remains the dull, dreary desert it has been for years.

PASSING EVEHTS, RUMOURS. &0,

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

A "FLOWERY ADDRESS" TO THE…

SUICIDE OF A LONDON STOCKBROKER.

------------BANQUET TO MR.…

JURIDICAL VALUE OF A DYING…

------------Klkfiteifous fntclitgcttte,

Ii.::.;:;a.... EPITOME OF…