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ff dropolttan (Sossixjs.


ff dropolttan (Sossixjs. BY OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. Ii i jv :arks under this head are to >o regarded as tho ex- iKS .n 0 independellt opi¡¡íOIl, from .ne pen of a gentleman ,m v,■„ have the greatest confidence, but for which we :ve..nekj.; do not hold ourselves responsible.] The election petitions have somewhat revived the languishing interest in political affairs, but otherwise there is still but little excitement in the political world, and there appears little chance of politics securing much public attention till Parliament meets on the ICth of February. Her Majesty, by the way, returns to Windsor on the 15th or 16th of that month, and this lias led some people to hope that Parliament may be opened by the Queen in person. The public are very naturally looking forward to the meeting of Pru ament with special interest, in consequence of the rumours, and something more than rumours, of con- si- lemble redactions in army, navy, and the Govrrn- liktut departments generally. That this will be the poncv of the present Ministry might easily be shown by adducing numerous direct and indirect statements and facts all tending in that direction. Take the latest of these. A deputation has waited on Mr. Card well, the Secretary for War, urging Government to assist the operatives who have been thrown out of employment at the dockyard and arsenals at Woolwich, lie Secretary for War emphatically said that he could not hold out any prospect of increased work, nor could he promise any assistance from the Government, whu rather contemplated further reductions. Bad news this for the employed as well as the unemployed. No doubt reductions are needed, but it is a lamentable thing that it is always the working classes who suffer first, and oftentimes they are the only persons who do suffer, while governors, superintendents, managers, officers, &c., retain their snug berths. Whether in carrying out their policy of retrenchment, the present Government will make an exception to the rule remains to be seen. The only other great political subject which occupies public attention is the Conference, and there is every reason to believe that it has arrived at a satisfactory conclusion, and that all danger of war is now averted. There is one inference, and a very pleasant one it is, to be drawn from the reports of tbe numerous meetings of banks, companies, &c., that have recently taken place, and that is, that confidence, which Pitt said was a plant of slow growth, has been growing for some nine past. The joint-stock banks, notwithstanding that during a great part of the year the value of money was so low, have as a rule made large profits and declared handsome dividends while many other limited liability companies, of varied character, have also found that the effects of the panic which set in in May, 1S66, have now almost died away, and good dividends have been declared, with the prospect of a larger division next half-yearly meeting. Commercial men generally now appear to expect a period of revived activity and enterprise. Without wishing to enter on any of the disputed points in the great Ritualism controversy, it is not easy to avoid reference to the matter as one of the most prominent topics of the day. The great meeting of Ritualists at the Freemasons' Tavern the other day appears to me to have failed to arrive at any conclusion at all on the leading question that brought them together—whether they should obey the law of the land or resist it, this being the terms in which the chairman himself stated that question. At first a majority of the meeting passed a resolution ac- knowledging the duty of submitting, under protest, to the law of the land, upon that law being put in force' it rejected an amendment refusing sub- mission then it struck out the words" upon that law being put in force then that part of the resolution (which had been carried) which acknowledged the duty of submitting was struck out; and then an addendum wa-i made to the already altered resolution leaving sub- mission or non-submission" to the individual judg- ment of each priest." So that practically with the exception of repudiating the Court of Trial Appeal the meeting left off where it began. All who take an interest in the affairs of the Church of England must now be anxious to see what will be the next move- ment on the part of the Judicial Committee of the bishops or of Government on the one hand, and the llitualists on the other. Will the Privy Council rest c ntented to have merely declared its judgment, with- out that judgment being enforced? Will the bishops act upon it ? Are the Ritualists to be allowed, if they choose to do so, to defy the law of the land as ex- pounded by the highest legal tribunal ? Such are some of the many questiousnow agitating the public mind. Volunteers, who have recently had something to grumble at in Mr. Card well's refusal to aid them in their effort to obtain any increase in the capitation grant, have now something else to talk about of special interest to them. Where shall the Easter Monday lleview be held ? It is said that the choice is to lie between four towns—Portsmouth, Brighton, Dover, and Guildford and that Lords Truro, Bury, and Ivanelagh, with some other gentlemen, have been appointed a committee to decide this ticklish question. There are arguments in favour of each, and not the weakest in favour of the latter town is that the annual Review has never been held there before. Many, however, would regard this as an argument against it. Wherever the Iteview may be held, it is to be especially desired this year that it may he a success, on account of the Government having felt it to be their duty to refuse any further money to our citizen soldiers. There have been a good many resignations since Mr. Cardwell's decision was arrived at, but we may still look to the volunteers for that patriotism which has never yet failed. A clergyman in Clerkenwell—one of our poorest and most densely-populated districts—draws attention to a fact which is of great intE-r, "t to the working classes generally. He says, By the last mail I am informed that the Government of Ontario, Canada has deter- mined to make free grants of 200 acres to every bona fide settler. This will be an immense boon to the working classes of Great Britain about to emigrate to Canada, where, after five or six years' labour, a com- fortable living can be obtained as a good provision for old age." And he adds that a society has been formed in iiis district on the principle of self-help and mutual help—with a view, I presume (though he does not say so), to assist unemployed working-men to emigrate to our Canadian possessions. Are there not, may I ask, some funds out of Mr. Peabody's bounty that could be applied in this way. That benevolent man has given to "the poor of London" some £:350,000, and it is universally admitted (except by Mr. Peabody himself and liis trustees, strange to say) that the poor of Lon- don—the absolutely impoverished class—have not benefited by his munificence, though mechanics and artizans and their families may have largely benefited by it. If a few thousand pounds were devoted to emigration, under proper conditions, it would be a boon indeed to the half-staiving, unemployed poor. How often are we called upon to read some lament- able report of an "Accidental death from a gun!" The tale is nearly always the same. A silly, practi -al- joke-loving man sees a gun which he thinks is unloaded he presents it to somebody, in fun;" he draws the trigger, and a corpse lies before him. Argue and moralise as we may, this kind of practical joke occurs over and over again. But Mr. Justice Keating has yone somewhat beyond moralising and argument. In summing up the evidence in the Barnsbury shooting case, the learned Judge has laid down that, "if any one takes up a gun without knowing whether it is loaded or nut, and without taking any steps to ascer- tain whether it is loaded or not, presents it at another, discharges it, and death ensues, he is guilty of the crime of manslaughter." This ought to be exten- sively promulgated, and for this reason I give it ad- ditional publicity. If juries will have the courage to act on this judicial dictum, it will go far to put an end to this stupid and wicked species of practical joking-. It is said that a trial to which the public looked forward with much interest "Day v. Rous has been privately arranged, and will therefore not go to court. I think it is better that it should be no. There is another sporting event (though spirt- ing of a very different character) which at present, it is feared, will not come off. It is said that owing to the unexpected inability of one of the intended Cam'ridge crew, and the absence of any com- pete .t man to till his place, the University rowing match will not take place this year. A similar fear existed last year, and for a long time it was doubtful whether the match would be rowed, but the difficulty was at last overcome all in good time. May it be so this year. The grand feature ot this annual contest between the two great universities is that it is rowed for honour, and honour only, and I believe is in this respect unique. If for no other reason, therefore, it is to be hoped London will be favoured with its grand annual acquatic tournament. The Newspaper Press Fund, which, in its young days, of course, had to contend against numerous dif- ficulties, may now be regarded as a thoroughly esta- blished institution. It now numbers 217 members 170 < f whom are resident in London, and 77 in the country and there arc no less than Cl life members. Its r-ec:uniary position is secure, for it has an inverted capital of upwards of £4,400. But still, making due ail raufo for all these facts, the Association is not so v i supported as it ought to be. Instead of 2-17 :• tsieve ought to be 5uO at the very least. I :[.1 that during the past year the society made g to distressed members to the amount of £305. Like the--Literary Fund and some other associations, the N.P.F. keeps secret the names of those who are relieved. If it do not exactly do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame, it at least applies the Press system of anonymity to the alleviation of trouble, and thus renders a double service to the recipient of the bounty.



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