ARREARS OF RENT IN IRELAND. j c A Parliamentary paper issue^on Monday gives th6 ( information on which the Government base their cal- culations as to the amount of arrears of rent in Ireland j that will have to be dealt with under the Arrears Bill. From the information culled from the Board of Inland Revenue, the constabulary, and the local Government Inspectors, Mr. Gladstone concludes that rents fall due, as an ordinary rule, in May and November, with a certain period of grace, varying according to the custom of the district, before they are collected." The liability of the State under the Bill extends therefore to rents which should have been collected up to May or June, 1881. The maximum liability which the State can incur is one year's rental of the holdings affected, or about £6,500,000. This would practically imply an arrear at the present time of three years, or nearly £ 20,000,000, viz., the rent falling due in 1881, which the tenant is to pay, and two years of antece- dent arrears, for the State is only to pay half of such antecedent arrears. It is needless to say that this is not the case. The maximum arrear of rent for 1880-1 which can be deduced from the Income Tax Return is about £2,800,000, and as rents were fairly paid up to 1878, it is reasonable to suppose that antecedent arrears are considerably less. The reports of the Local Government Inspectors point to an average arrear for the whole country, up to the present time, of considerable less than two years' rent, including the year which the tenant will have to pay, and if this be so, it supports the conclusion drawn from the Income-Tax Return. I Lastly, the Constabulary Returns show a large per- centage of estate on which there are no arrears, and a large percentage also on which the arrears do not ex- ceed two years. With this evidence before him, sup- ported as it is by the opinion of the Commissioner of Valuation, Mr. Gladstone considers himself justified in reckoning the moiety of arrears up to November, 1880, which will constitute the liability of the State, at about £2,000,000.
THE ROWLAND HILL MEMORIAL FUND. It was an excellent thought to hand over the balance of the subscriptions, raised for a memorial to the late Sir Rowland Hill, to form a nucleus of a fund for the relief of distressed Post office servants and their widows (says the Evening Standard). After the statue'in the City and the monument in Westminster had been erected, a surplus of £14,1575 remained-a goodly sum in itself, it must be acknowledged, but totally inadequate for the assaugement of the cases of distress likely to arise among a most deserving class. Those of this generation have but small conception of the benefits to civilisation which came in the train of the cheap postal system. Our grandfathers would be astonished almost to the verge of unbelief, not only at the changes wrought by that economic mode of inter- communication, but at the multitudinous others which, to-day, contribute to our health, comfort, and happiness, and which are accepted thanklessly, as mere matter of course. Sidney Smith, who was not born till 1771, leaves us a passage in which he thus writes of the personal experiences of his youth :— "Gas was unknown: I groped about the streets of London in all but utter darkness of a twinkling oil lamp, under the protection of watchmen. I have been nine hours sailing from Dover to Calais before the invention of. steam. It took me nine hours to go from Taunton to Bath before the invention of railroads, and I now go in less than six hours from Taunton to London In the journey from Taunton to Bath I suffered between ten thousand and twelve thousand severe contusion, before stone- breaking Macadam was born. If I had the gout there was no colchicum. If bilious, no calomel. If attacked by ague, there was no quinine. And whatever miseries I suffered, I had no post to whisk my com- plaints for a single penny to the remotest corner of the empire. And yet in spite of all these privations, I lived on quietly, and am now ashamed that I was not more discontented, and utterly surprised that all these changes and inventions did not occur two cen- turies ago."
TEACHING THE DUMB TO SPEAK. An interesting meeting was held on Wednesday, at the Vestry Hall, Kensington, when the all im- portant fact was proved to demonstration, in the presence of a large company of ladies and gentlemen, that children born deaf-and, of course, oompletely dumb—can have, and are having, speech bestowed upon them by a system of instruction which bids fair to supersede the old style of digital signs. Those who attended the meeting, and witnessed the wonders which the new system worked, were enthusiastic in their approval and applause; and the greatest praise is due to Miss Hull, who keeps a private school at Holland-road, Kensington, for the manner in which she may be said to have restored mental vision to a class of fellow-being» The meeting, it may be said, was convened by Miss Hull to be held in the interest of the Society for Training Teachers of the Deaf, and by this means diffusing the speech system throughout the kingdom. Miss Hull was introduced formally to the meeting by the Chairman, the Rev. Dr. Forrest, rector of St. Jude's, South Kensington, who said that the system which had now been on trial for four years had proved an unquestionable success. At the close of the Chair- man's remarks, several children-boys and girls-of ages ranging between five and thirteen, came forward. To them Miss Hull spoke, and they, with eager eyes, watching the motion not only of her lips, but the various indications of the sounds she uttered, not only repeated her words in intelligible tones, and wrote them down in fair round hand upon a black board, but a also returned intelligible answers. There was an evident newly-discovered pleasure to the poor little things in thus being not only able to understand the questions, but also in seeing that their answers were understood in return, which made the exhibition or demonstra- tion a deeply touching one to the majority of the audience. The Rev. William Stainer also addressed the meet- ing, and pointed out that when the deaf speak only in signs they are people apart, and the infliction de- scended from generation to generation, whereas by the present means they were at once admitted upon equal terms as members of the whole human family.
LORD DERBY ON FREE TRAIa. In London, on Saturday, the annual dinner of the Cobden Club was held at Willis's Roomp.. The Earl of Derby presided, and was supported by a strong gathering of Ministers and British and foreign mem. bers and guests. The Earl of Derby, in proposing the first toast, saidThe first toast which I have the honour to pro- pose to you as is the invariable custom. on these occa- sions is "The Health of her Majesty the Queen." Constitutional monarchy is a beautiful and delicate machine, and, like all beautiful and delicate pieces of mechanism, it requires careful handling. (Cheers.) It is difficult to overrate the mischief which might be done by any Sovereign who should be bent upon the increase of his own authority, and in that pursuit should disregard those unwritten but well-defined traditions which govern our public life. It is a great honour to Her Majesty that in her long reign prudence and patriotism have lad her to resist any temptation to move in that direction, and, ^keenly in- terested as we know her to be in public affairs, she has not the less scrupulously and thoroughly respected those invisible limits by which her practical exercise of power is bounded. (Cheers.) She has had her reward, for not only does she ever hear her name mentioned with honour and respect in every part of the civilized world, but it will be inseparably connected with an age the most remarkable that England has ever known in amended, in improved social institutions, and in unequalled progress, not material only, but scientific and intellectual also, and in what most concerns us in this room, an age in which the first great development took place of the principles of free trade. I give you with all the honours The Health of Her Majesty the Queen." (Cheers.) The toast was drunk with much enthusiasm, as was that of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the other members of the Royal Family. The Earl of Derby, who was loudly cheered, then rose and said,-I rise now to propose to you the toast of the evening, "Prosperity to the Cobden Club." More than a generation has gone by since the close of the great struggle on the Corn Laws half as many years have elapsed since the death of the remarkable man who was the leader in that battle. As far as we in England are concerned, the controversy which he carried on has only an historical interest. The issue is decided, and will not be raised again within any period to which we can look forward. I assert this confidently, and I assert it with the full knowledge that a certain ghost or shadow of protection still walks the earth. Fair Trade, I believe, is the name of that not very formidable apparition (laughter) but, as every practical politician on either side knows, it is a ghost only, and not a reality. (Hear, hear.) Let those amuse themselves with trying to lay it who have nothing else to do. We say that, apart from all arguments founded on general principles, protection cannot be revived, because the artisans the town population—those who are not concerned in agri- culture, are not; in the least likely to submit to a tax on their fcod and unless corn and meat and other produce are included among protected articles, agriculturists will not thank you for increasing the price of other articles which they consume and do not produce. To put the matter in another way- if we were to take it into our heads to retaliate on the Americans, the chief protectionist nation in the word, we could not do it by taxing luxuries, for they send us none we could only tax food, which our own people would not stand, and raw materials, which would be simply injuring our own industries. Therefore, as far as home affairs are concerned, I look on the question as settled. I am quite aware that at this point I may be met by an objection taken from another point of view. I may be told, Talk about free trade beinc secured you have never had it; you raise 20 millions by duties on imports." Well, it often happens that people who talk over matters together find that they are using the same terms in different senses, and the word "free trade" is, per- haps, not free from ambiguity. If it be said that there is no free trade while any import is taxed—that a clean sweep ought to be made of Customs and Custom Houses, then no doubt we are not Freetraders, nor is any country in the world, so far as I am aware. You cannot get rid, in England, of Customs without doing away with Excise duties also you could not, for in- stance, let in spirits untaxed from abroad, and keep up the tax on those made at home. And what- ever many of us might personally prefer if we could frame the world anew to our liking, I suppose there are not many living politicians who expect to see an end of Customs and Excise both. But the general interpretation put on the word "Free Trade is something different. It is commonly understood, I think, to mean only the absence of protection, the placing foreign produce on exactly the same footing as our own, the taxing of im- ports for revenue purposes only, and the removal of all duties not absolutely necessary for that purpose. In that sense we have been consistent Freetraders, at least, ever since the Is. duty on corn was abolished; and though when opportunity serves we shall be glad to see the still remaining duties lightened, yet I do not con- ceive that the Cobden Club, or any other body of Free- raders, has ever pledged itself collectively to a total abolition of the Customs. Passing from home affairs, what are our prospects in the colonies ? There is no use in refusing to look at events as they are; and undoubtedly the ideas which prevail in our most important colonies are not what English Freetraders would wish to see there. (Hear, hear.) The controversy which practi- cally has closed at home there remains still open. Protection is accepted and believed in as a system by a large part of the colonial communities. Now, I do not know that we ought to be startled, though we may be disappointed at that state of things. We are apt to forget that our circumstances at the time of the Corn Law struggles were peculiar, and such as do not exist in a new country. English Freetraders have immense advantages in two respects. The taxes which they mainly voted against were taxes on food—the most unpopular, naturally, of any and the class which was chiefly supposed to benefit by these taxes was numerically email, and one against which it is always easy to raise democratic feeling. It was not a question of the rich against the poor it was a ques- tion in which a small section of the rich (and it is fair to say many of the poor also) found themselves in antagonism at once to the mercantile and manufac- turing plutocracy and to the main body of the work- ing classes. We are apt to argue, The principle has been victorious here why not everywhere ?" But I am afraid we must admit that, so far as the masses are concerned, the victory never has been and never will be one of abstract reasoning. We cannot alter the conditions under which we live; the masses decide these ques- tions, and it is not their habit to study long columns of figures nor to weigh nice and carefully-constructed arguments against each other. They follow a much simpler guide. The English democracy said when English protection was in question, "Here are the laws which make our food dear; let us get rid of them but the colonial democracy say of protection as it concerns them, "Here are laws which keep up the price of our labour they ought to be maintained. In England they looked at the matter from the point of consumers in Australia and Canada they are apt to look at it from the point of view of producers. I do not think they will be converted by reasoning, but the test of experience is a sure one. (Hear, hear.) And, luckily, experience will not be wanting. As if on purpose that the experiment shall be fairly tried, the two most important Australian colonies have adopted an opposite policy; Victoria goes for pro- tection, New South Wales for free trade. They are very similarly circumstanced in other respects, so that it is a perfectly fair fight, and we at least are not likely to feel any doubt as to the result. (Cheers.) There is another thing which ought to be noted when the prevalence of protectionist ideas in the colonies is talked of. How far are those ideas really protectionist? How far do they grow out of a delibe. rate preference for the protective system, or how far j are they the result of financial expediency and financial j difficulties? We know that our leading colonies are | going ahead at a great rate in expenditure as well as in resources. I will not say that they are going too fast, for they have an immense future, and their present burdens will be as nothing to them fifty years hence but what with selling land and treating the proceeds as revenue on the one hand, and what with piling up debts on the other, they are drawing pretty heavily on their future. Now, direct taxes are not popular anywhere, least of all in a young country where there is very little accumulated capital. Indirect taxes are very often, though, of course, not always protective, and it is a powerful reinforcement to the protectionist party in a colony when they can say, "If you take off protective duties you must submit to a heavy income tax or land tax. The moral of that is this, that if colonies are to be Freetraders, they mus not outrun the constable. Free trade and economy are inseparable. Large expenditure in a young coun. try means large impart duties, and they open the door to protection. (Hear, hear.) No doubt I may be told that the protective system is adopted in seme colonies from an entirely different cause: that the policy is accepted and believed in for its own sake. I do not I deny it; I do not see that it can be denied. 1 here is something in it of pure selfishness of precisely the same feeling which makes the colonial working men object to Chinese immigrants, or, indeed, to any immi- grants at all in large numbers. They have got a mono. paly of the labour market, and they mean to keep it. They do not as yet see that in lessening the general I wea! th of the country they are lessening the demand for their own labour. That ia one of the lessons which expe- rience will teach them,and probably before many years MR ovfr. But no doubt there is another feeling at work with which it is still more difficult to argue, as it does not rest on any basis of reasons. The wish that a country should produce within itself all that it requires may I sometimes be due to an exaggerated caution. It was t BO in the case of M. Thiers, one of the shrewdest of mankind, who knew as well aa we do the economical advantages of free trade, but who thought that France ought to be self-supporting in view of a possible coalition against her. But very often it is a mere unreasoning dislike of having to rely on outside help. We all know (and many of us understand) the feeling of the country gentleman who likes to grow his own fruit and kill his own mutton, though quite aware that it costs him more than if he bought both in the market; and I think, among Americans especially, some feeling of that kind may be traced. They like the notion that they can do without Europe, though they would not at all like the inference inseperable from it that Europe could do without them. As to what is said about the advan- tages of providing a variety of occupations, that is a Elea which one can hardly suppose is seriously used ut thare is an argument far more plausible, snd therefore, far more dangerous. Colonists will tell us that they quite agree that as a permanent thing pro- tection is inexpedient, but that just as beginners learn to swim with corks, so a young country has a right to foster its native industries until they are strong enough to hold their own. Well, that may be merely an excuse; but, if it is seriously meant, a more mis- chievous delusion cannot well be started. Those who use the argument sincerely do not see that they are tying their own hands in the future. It is the idlest of all follies to suppose that when you have created a body of protected interests, guaranteed by the State against all external competition, you will be able to withdraw the protection under which they have grown up. If they are not powerful and flourishing, then, no doubt, it may be possible, but in that case the expedient of tem- porary protection has failed to accomplish its purpose; if they are powerful and flourishing they will be too strong to be treated in that way. (Cheers.) I do not see, as regards the colonies, that we can do any- thing directly to check the growth of the protective spirit. We know that, however loyal they may be and are to the British connexion, the slightest hint that can be made to look like dictation from Downing- street is sure to drive them in the opposite direction. All I think we can do is not to encourage or advise an increased colonial expenditure-it must be paid for somehow, and it will probably be paid for out of pro- tective duties. It is hardly worth while in this presence to expose the absurdity of that well-meant proposal which we sometimes hear of, according to which the British Empire should be formed into a Zollverein, absolute free trade being the rule within it and protection against all outside. It is impracticable as involving the necessary co-operation of a number of distant and free Legislatures which are not the least likely to surrender their commercial independence; it would open the widest possible door to the largest possible number of frauds, and it would not even please those classes at home, if there are any, who still retain a wish for protection. Take the case of Canada, for instance. According to this ingenious scheme Canadian corn would come in free, but Rus- sian corn, or that from the States, would be taxed. The English farmer would not get what he is supposed to want, and the English working man would be paying more for his loaf in order to give a bounty to colonists who, as a rule, are better off than him- self. As regards the United States-I say it with regret-I believe it would be idle to hold very hopeful language at this moment. Undoubtedly protection is dominent in the New World, and the States are so rich in their soil, in their influx of population, and in their boundless future that they can hardly ruin themselves if they try. All one can say is that American politics show many instances of sharp and sudden turns, and that sooner or later free trade must become a sectional question. Western farmers will not always enjoy the notion of paying tribute to Eastern manufacturers and if, as I believe, the States which profit by protection are the minority of the whole (I might say even a small minority) that is, a circumstance which in a popular Government and among a singularly intelligent people must tell in the long run. Perhaps, also, the growth of a Socialist movement, directed against private property in all forms, and especially against property in land, may lead American statesmen to consider whether it is wise to maintain a system which undoubtedly tends to build up vast private fortunes at the general ex- pense. In the meanwhile we have to recollect that the case of the Americans is peculiar. They have America to themselves they, unwisely as we think, are Protectionists as against Europe, but over an area as large as Europe within the Union itself there exists absolute free trade. Their Constitu- tion and their geographical position do much to neutralize the mistakes of their policy. That is no comfort to us certainly, but it is an excuse for them. I have said already that to Freetraders the sky is at this moment overcast, but in one quarter there is a prospect of better things. Light comes to us from the East; and, considering the many difficulties that surround Indian finance and the uncertainty of a part of the Indian revenue, it is a bold step as well as a wise one that the Finance Minister of India has taken. We have now in India a nearer approximation to absolute free trade than exists anywhere, except in England. All Customs duties have been swept off, except those of wines, spirits, opium, arms, and ammunition, and on one or two more articles. There are no internal transit duties as in the old days of native States, and it is probably the first time in the history of the world that so vast an area and so enormous a population have been practi- cally set free from commercial restrictions. If we owe to the people of India, as I think we do, reparation for some acts of past aggression and injustice, we are in the right way to make it now. When discussing the general principle of free trade there is a wide field of thought into which I do not care to ask you now to enter, but which deserves serious attention. We are constantly calling on the State to control and regulate our relations with one another more and more closely —how long people are to work, how they are to be taught, what they are to drink, what sort of houses they are to live in; in all these matters and many others we are pepetually invoking Parliament to interfere, I am not arguing that that tendency is wrong-it is a vast question but I think that its indirect effect is not favourable to freedom of trade; for the principle upon which free trade rests is that of the sufficiency of the individual to attend to his own interests, and it is natural for the average man, for the untaught man, to ask, if the State can manage men's business for them in many departments of life better than they can manage it for themselves, why is trade to be the excep- tion ? It may be that we cannot help ourselves, but it is at least worth while to note the existence of a diffi- culty from which, probably, we cannot escape. Of our prospects and improved commercial relations with European countries there is much to be said, and I believe we need not be despondent; but that is a subject which so peculiarly belongs to the able states- man who is to answer to this toast—Sir Charles Dilke -that I prefer to leave it in his hands. (Cheers.) The world of Freetraders has long been divided on the subject of commercial treaties. They are objected to by many persons, partly on the general ground that it is unwise to sanction the principle of reciprocity by making tariff reductions matters of international bargain, partly for the more special and cogent reason that it is not wise for England to begin bar- gaining when she has already given away gratis nearly all that she jnight have kept to trade with. Well, in that last criticism there is force, and every English negotiator must feel it but the con- troversy is really one of practical expediency rather than of abstract theory, and if through the machinery of a treaty we can get better terms than without one, I think most people will be content to put their ob- jections ip their pockets. With France especially the political advantage of closer relations is so great that we ought, I think, to make some sacrifice rather than forego it. It is not a question of trade only; it is a question-to use a phrase which I am not fond of, but which is sometimes convenient—of "high policy" as well. There is nothing more cer- tain than tnis, that the great preventive of war is trade. Religion has not served to check wars; they were never more frequent or more barbarously carried on than in the ages when faith was unshaken, and when every man was a believer. Forms of government have not sufficed to check war, for we have seen democracies as pugnacious as Govern- ments of any other character and I am afraid that we can hardly contend that even the general increase of intelligence has done much to make men peaceable. But if you so connect two countries that neither can injure the other without equally injuring itself at the same time, you have not, indeed, a perfect guarantee against quarrels, for that is impossible, but a better guarantee than any other yet devised. The most plucky of pugilists would hardly care to fight if the arrange- ment were of such nature that every blow he struck hurt him as much as it hurt his opponent, and that is really the position of two countries between which close commercial intercourse exists. People some- times say, Look at the great expectations which were formed between 1.846 and 1853, and # see how they have been disappointed. Well, if it is meant that a good many conSdent predictions have been falsified, that is true enough—the same thing has happened very often before, and will happen very often again. But if it is said that free trade has failed to check the fighting propensities of men, I deny that utterly; an experiment cannot be said to fail which has never been tried. There has been no general adoption of free-trade principles throughout Europe, and until they are adopted I do not see how any man can -decide that they will not have the result which their first promoters expected. As far as this country is concerned I think we do see a very marked change. There is much less inclination than of old on the part of the English people to become principals in every quarrel, and,- though four years ago there seemed to be a reaction, we know how that ended; 1880 showed us what the actual public feeling was in that matter. I deny, therefore, that the policy of Cobden has been a failure. (Cheers.) He was too sanguine. Most reformers are, I suppose without that temperament a man can hardly be a reformer. He allowed, perhaps, too little for the influence of various passions on men but where is the public teacher, I ask again, in any age and country, who has fully realized his ideal? A man is not to be deprived of credit for what he has done because he himself expected to do more and it is unreasonable to talk as if a new principle had been tried and found wanting when it has hardly even been preached in Europe for more than thirty years, and hardy acted upon except by one single country. The world moves slowly, and for my part, if it were to change its ways of thinking in a few years, I should not be sanguine of the change being permanent. Quick growth means quick decay, and with ideas, as with plants, those that are longest in coming to maturity are likely also to be longest in lasting. That peace, not war, is the normal condition of States; that they are gainers, not losers, by each other's prosperity that ideas, rather than arms, in the long run, decide the destinies of mankind-these are the principles which this club endeavours to promote and as we firmly be- lieve them to be true, we should distrust the very laws of our being if we did not expect them to be victorious. (Cheers.) But we do not expect them to be victorious at once, and while we speculate freely on the possi- bilities of the future, we are not the less ready to deal as practical men with the exigencies of the present time. I think it better to avoid any direct reference to those circumstances of the moment which, no doubt, are in all our minds, but as to which we have not before us the materials on which to form a judgment. It is enough to say here and now that no Ministers 1 who have ever held power in this country are less likely to err on the side of aggression or of panic than Mr. Gladstone and Lord Granville. We know that they are the friends of peace; we know also that they have experience and judgment enough, in the impro- bable case of an emergency arising, to appreciate the necessity and the duty of self-defence. (Loud cheers.) Sir C. Dilke, Bart, M.P., returned thanks for the toast of the Cobden Club, concluding by proposing The Foreign Guests," which was responded to by M. de Lesseps, Mr. Cyrus Field, M; Auguste Couvreur, and Mr. Len She Sing, who addressed the company in Chinese. The Earl of Kimberley, in proposing the toast of Our Colonial Guests," spoke of the colonies and of the Suez Canal, and on the latter subject remarked that, come what might, the Government would know how to defend the interests and honour of this nation. Mr. B. Murry Smith (Victoria), Mr. R. J. Jaffray (Victoria), and Mr. Burke (Jamaica) responded to the toast. Sir J. Caird proposed "TheHouses of Parliament," and the compliment was acknowledged by the Earl of Dalhousie. Mr. T. B. Potter, M.P., in proposing "The Health of the Chairman," took occasion to advert to the pros- perous condition of the Cobden Club. During the past year they had received B2,500 beyond the ordinary subscriptions. This had enabled them largely to in- crease the circulation of true Cobdenian publications throughout the world. During the last eighteen months they had circulated publications to the num- ber of 800,600. The Earl of Derby, in reply, said he should thank them most effectually in the fewest possible words. He was sincerely sensible of the kindness which had been shown to him, and he wished they had had a better chairman. He could not claim to have been always a Freetrader, for his education had been in the opposite camp; but he could say that for 33 years ot Parlia- mentary life they would find no utterance of his either in or out of Parliament in favour of a bellicose policy, or which had not been in favour of international peace. (Loud cheers.)
M. DE LESSEPS AND THE CHANNEL TUNNEL. M. de Lesseps and the Baron Erlanger, accom- panied by several distinguished French gentlemen, arrived at Dover on Friday afternoon in last week, for the purpose of inspecting the Channel Tunnel works. They were received by the Hon. James Byng, and in the evening were entertained at dinner. M. de Lesseps, in answer to the toast of Our dis- tinguished guest, proposed by Sir Edward Watkin, said that the tunnel was now encountering the same opposition which the Suez Canal met with. The practicability of the tunnel having been now shown, the enterprise was sought to be kept back by prejudice but England was above all a country where common sense reigned supreme, and common sense would fight the battle for Sir Edward's as it had fought the battle for his own enterprise. He ridiculed the idea of an invasion of England by the French, and said that there was a much greater danger at this moment that the cordial relations between France and England might be dis- turbed by the Egyptian difficulties. He did not see that there was any danger for the Suez Canal. He fully recognized the immense importance it had for Eng. land, but he ventured to say that the Suez Canal was not so closely connected with Egyptian politics as was generally believed. The Canal did not run through Egypt, but was really on the border of Egypt, and he firmly believed that there was not the slightest danger of its perfect security. He who had originated and made it was entitled to be believed when he said that the fears which had so excited the public were exaggerated. He thought that the national movement in Egypt was a serious thing, and should not be looked upon with contempt. He hoped that England and France would combine to give to Egypt a fair scorpe for liberal development, by which all parties would be benefitted. M. de Lesseps concluded by expressing his convic- tion that the tunnel between England and France would be constructed, and that one day England and France would be equally desirous of it, seeing its benefit to both countries.
On Saturday M. de Lesseps and a distinguished party visited the works of the Channel Tunnel, at the invitation of Sir Edward Watkin, Bart., M.P., chair- man of the South Eastern Railway Company and of the Submarine Continental Railway Company. Among the guests were the Duke of Sutherland, Baron Emile and Baroness Erlanger, Prince De Polignac, Lord Bramwell, Lord Wharncliffe, and Lord Hothfield. The French party (who were invited by M. de Lesseps) were brought over in a special beat by Mr. Fenton. The descent of the shaft having been made. and the second passing place reached, M. de Lesseps proposed "The Health of the Queen." He observed that the diffi- culties surroundings the enterprise of the Channel Tunnel were the same that he had encountered in con' nection with the construction of the Suez Canal; they would in the same way be overcome, for the reason that the work was demanded in the interests of man- kind. The party then proceeded to the beading, and it was stated that about 1,900 yards of tunnelling had been made. At a subsequent luncheon, M. de Lesseps pointed out that great works could not be carried out without opposition, and this was the spur that kept up the interest and courage of those engaged in the under- taking. In his own case he had really received the permission to make the Suez Canal when it was very nearly made.
The directors who are conducting the work have issued a series of eleven resolutions, which they trans- mitted on the 22nd ult. to the Prime Minister, who on the following day, through his secretary, stated that he had forwarded them to the Secretary of State for War and the President of the Board of Trade. They add that what they ask the Prime Minister to do is simply to state whether he is of opinion that the construction of a submarine tunnel would endanger the national security, in which case the persons who have subscribed the cost of the experiments would be advised to suspend operations on the responsibily of her Majesty's Government. Or if, on the other hand, he is of opinion that such a tunnel would not endanger the national security, then that the experimental works should be allowed to proceed under such reasonable regulations as the Board of Trade may lay down— always bearing in mind that these experimental works have been conducted under Parliamentary sanction, and have been, and will be, carried out .without any charge to the State."
SIEGES OF PABIs.-Paris has had to withstand a considerable number of sieges in the course of its history. Sometimes the assailants have been successful, but on other occasions they have failed. We subjoin a list of the principal sieges 53 B.C. the Romans fought a successful battle outside the city, and then entered it; 463 A.D. Childric 1. drove out the Romans 845. The Normans pillaged and burned the city 887. Charles the Fat surrendered the city to Normans after standing a twelvemonth's siege; 1358. The Dauphin, afterwards Charles V., laid siege to Paris without success, and the attempt of Edward III. in the following year was attended with a similar result; 1420, The English troops captured the city, and held it for sixteen years, not- withstanding the attempt of Charles VII. to reduce it in 1427; 1464. The Count of Charolais attempted its capture, and failed; 1536. The Emperor Charles V. of Germany likewise failed to capture it; 1593. Paris BUBtained a memorable siege during the civil war, and opened its gates to Henry IV. in the following year 1594. The allied troops occupied Paris, and re-establish- ed the monarchy under Louis XVIII. 1814. After the battle of Waterloo the allied troops again captured the city, and occupied it for three years and lastly, there was the memorable siege of 1870-71 by he PpoBsiaas.
"BUHL." In the current number of the Builder we find some interesting particulars of the famous cabinet-maker whose name has been a household word with us during the last week or two. Buhl-or Boulle, to be quite correct-was, we are told, born in Paris in 1642. He was the son of a cabinet-maker, but if he had followed his own bent he would have become a painter, and only adopted the line in life which was to make him famous at the urgent desire of his father, who wished him to become his successor. Nothing much is known of his early life, but the fact that he was lodged in the Louvre as the protege, of Louis XIV., with carte blanche to carry out his ideas for the decoration of the King's palace by the time he was thirty years of age, shows that his artistic abili- ties must have developed themselves at an early age. From this time commissions for work poured in upon the young cabinet-maker altogether beyond his power to execute, and he might have been wealthy. As a matter of fact, however, we are told he was constantly in pecuniary difficulty. This appears to have been owing to his passion for rare prints and drawings, for the purchase of which he raised money in every direction. He had at one time a collection considered to have been one of the most complete and interesting in existence. Un- fortunately, a fire broke out and destroyed the greater part, to the intense grief of the owner. Over £15,000 his losses were estimated at—a sum, which, of course, a couple of hundred years ago was very large. Boulle seems to have lived in the Louvre for half a century. He died there, at the age of 82, and was buried in the Church of St. Germain l' Auxerrois, leaving behind him two sons, one of whom, having been employed in the Sfevres manufactory, was the first to introduce the use of porcelain into furniture.-Globe.
THE REVENUE RETURNS. Noticing the Revenue Returns for the quarter, just ended, the Daily Telegraph remarks Not much can be inferred from the figures of the first quarter in the financial year as to the revenue of the full twelve months, but the official return just issued brings out very encouraging results so far as they go. They are in fact unexpectedly encouraging, since during the whole of the past three months the indications have been those of retrogression rather than of improvement. For a great part of that period Customs lagged behind, Excise showed an utter absence of elasticity, Post Office and Tele. graphs made little headway, Taxes barely held their own, and the Miscellaneous items persistently lost ground. Mr. Gladstone in his last Budget warned, and at the same time disappointed, by the yield of the previous year, made very moderate estimates as to the productiveness of 1882-3, while his new proposals were simple in character and insignificant as to ex- pected results. As it seems pretty certain that the additional tax on carriages will be dropped, and the intended contribution to county taxation for turn- pikes dropped with it, even the new proposals disap- pear, and. therefore, the comparison of the entire yield of Revenue items, quarter by quarter, will not be complicated by extraneous considerations. Thus far, at least, each item is undisturbed by the action of any now influences either swelling the amount or reducing it. The net result, as we have said, is unexpectedly favour- able. The Customs, an item which sadly disappointed the Chancellor of the Exchequer all last year, shows an increase of S65,000, while Excise, an equally tanta- lising and uncertain factor, has gained £15,000. If we could assume that the improvement under these two heads fairly reflects the general condition of the country, then we might safely predict a prosperous year's Revenue, for the Budget estimate of both was less than what was yielded in 1881-2; and, moreover, if the country is prosperous enough to create a largely increased consumption of the articles which pay tribute to Customs and Excise, most other sources of Revenue will also profit more or less. As it is, they too mostly exhibit a gain for the quarter just expired. Stamps, which afford a very fair criterion of the activity of general business, show the very large augmentation of 8337,011. Land Tax and House Duty have gained £50,000, Post Office j330,000, and Telegraphs £5,000. The exceptions are, Income Tax, which has lost £145.000, a circumstance easily explained by the fact that the corresponding quarter last year benefited by the collection of arrears at a higher rate; Interest, which has fallen off £ 7,182; and Miscellaneous, which shows the considerable decrease of 8132,041, As the net result, the quarter is better than last year's by the highly respectable total of £217,788. Of course it is too soon to say that this increase will be continuous. Some items, Excise for instance, may be accidentally swollen; others, like Miscellaneous, may be only apparently losers; and an adjustment of accounts between departments may explain all. Yet we may be thankful that the year has opened so well, and must hope that neither short harvests, nor complications abroad, nor industrial re- lapse at home, will check what looks like the beginning of a permanent change for the better.
EMIGRATION FROM IRELAND. The committee of "Mr. Tuke's" Fund which was started last April to promote emigration from the West of Ireland, have just issued their report, signed by Mr. Sydney Buxton and Mr. H. Hodgkin, the hon. secretaries. The report and the accompanying statements by Mr. Tuke and Major Gaskell, who selected the emi- grants in Ireland and arranged for their embarkation, are very interesting reading, as showing what can be done by private enterprise in the matter of emigration, and as paving the way for future action on the part of the Government or private associations. The success which has attended the efforts of the Committee has doubtless been due to two causes. 1. The very careful selection of the emigrants (for which the Committee are naturally grateful to Mr. Tuke and Major Gaskell), so that those who could help themselves should be made to contribute a portion of the cost; and that those sent out should be sent to places fitted for their physical and moral circumstances. 2. The care taken to see that proper arrangements were made on the other side of the Atlantic for the recep- tion of the emigrants, so that they should not be entirely friendless on arrival, and that they should be placed in the way of obtaining work and wages. The accounts received from America and Canada justify the hope that all those sent out will do well. The Committee seem to have confined their atten- tion to Galway and Mayo, and certainly the aecounts received on all hands of the destitution existing in the westernmost portions of those counties justify the Committee in their action. The num- bers emigrated by the fund amounted to about 1,200 persons in families, and they were emigrated and all found," in many instances at the very cheap rate of £6 5a. a head. This is a considerable work for a private society to have accomplished, but after all it is more or less a drop in the ocean of the emigration essential to be accomplished if peace and prosperity are to return to these distress- ful parts of Ireland. It seems essential that the Government should be called upon to take action in the matter, and apply money towards the emigration of families by a grant to the poorest districts, and by loans at easy rates to the less poverty-stricken districts. It is certain that grants of money for pur- poses of emigration will be the only means of really relieving the West of Ireland, for the poor rates are so heavy at present that further burdens would represent the proverbial last straw, and ruin the district. There is precedent for Government aid, seeing that the Land Act of 1881 provided for an amount of jS200,000, n bo be lent for emigration purposea. The emigration clause has proved a dead letter in consequence of the iecison that boards of guardians are not public bodies ander the Act, and they alone would borrow money ( For emigration purposes. a The Committee may be fairly congratulated on the I result of their labours, more especially as they have t confined their attention to the emigration of families, ( not of individuals, and have shown that this more diffi- 1 cult, and yet infinitely more useful and humane form 1 of emigration, can be duly and successfully accom- i plished. They are pioneers in this form of the work, i and we trust that their example may be followed. We < may add that the Committee itself is in no way politi- ] cal, except in the highest sense. It has for its chair- i man Mr. W. H. Smith for its deputy-chairman, Mr. I Whitbread; and Mr. Forster has lately joined it. It I is composed of members from both sides of the House j and of the highest reputation. i
A WONDERFUL CAVERN. The annual report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1880, which has only just been issued, contains an elaborate report of a visit made under the auspices of the institute to the celebrated cavern of Luray, in Page county, U.S.A. This cavern, or rather series of caverns, was only dis- covered in 1878, and has hardly yet been thoroughly explored, but, from the description given of it, it is of far more interest than the better known Mammouth cave or Wyandotte cavern. The cavern consists of a series of vaulted chamber gathered round a central vestibule, which affords common entrance to them, each differing from the other in general effect, and in the wonderful forms which the stalagmites and stalactites have assumed. One long arched irregular space, studded with fungoid growths and stalactites, has received the name of the Vegetable Garden, from the ex- quisite varieties of the incrustations resembling different plants. One circular chamber is known as the Fish Market. Here from the sides of a projecting wall depend hundred of stalactites re- sembling rows of fish some grey all over, others with backs black and bellies white, and all covered with a shining moisture which enhances the illu- sion. The Cathedral, the Theatre, the Saracen's Tent, are titles applied to other portions of the cave, all bearing the special features which the names indicate. In the Cathedral natural music can be called forth by striking the thin sheets of stalactites hanging from the ceiling and walls, which, graduated in length and thickness, give forth soft, musical notes in different tones, so that, with practice, well-known airs can be played on them as an a harmonicon. The Giant's Hall—the largest chamber of the series -the Frozen Cascade, the Bridge of Sighs-a natural footpath leading over a deep chasm-the Throne-room, the Hollow Column-a natural cylinder giving access to another chamber nearly 60 feet above—these are some of the more striking features of the place, but by no means exhaust the list of phenomena which the cave affords. The Smithsonian party sum up their description with these words :—"There is probably no other cave in the world more completely and profusely decorated with stalactitic and stalagmitic ornamen- tation than that at Lauray. Here in this dark studio of nature are reproductions of all those objects which are wont to fill the mind with pleasure, wonder, or alarm — crystal fountains, spouting geysers, cascades, flower gardens, gems which are the crown jewels of nature set off against a background of velvet darkness, cathedrals gorgeously sculptured and frescoed, chimes and deep-toned organs, thrones, spectral beings, terrestrial, celestial, and infernal— objects whose multiplicity, variety, and splendour would exhaust the whole literature of mythic and fairy lore in providing names for their infinite diversity of beauty. "-Colonies and India.
NOT PARTICULAR TO A SHADE. -Fishmonger: "Oysters, sir? Well, they're rather out," you see; unless you like blue points? "—Customer: Blue or green, It's all one to me. I'm colour blind !"—Funny Folks. GOOD OLD AGE,-At Lerwick, last week, the deaths were recorded of three very old women, at the ages of 94, 99, and 100. The centenarian was Mrs. Coutts, of Arcus, who was born in Shetland, and came to the town of Lerwick when she was only two years old. Although feeble in body of late years, her mental faculties kept wonderfully clear to the end.. THE VIOLIN.-Of all musical instruments, the violin is the most enduring. Pianos wear out, wind instru- ments get battered and old fashioned, the pipes of organs become scattered and the original construction is lost sight of, all kinds of novelties are introduced into flutes, but the sturdy violin stands on its own merits. Age and use only improve it, and, instead of new ones commanding the highest prices, as in the case with other instruments, it is the violins of the few Italians makers of the last three centuries that command fabulous sums. It is impossible to handle an old violin without a feeling of veneration, when i one reflects on the number of people who have pro- bably played on it, the weary hours it has beguiled, ( the source of enjoyment it has been, and how well it ] has been loved. <
THE HAMILTON PALACE COLLECTION SALE. The sale of the Italian pictures on Saturday at Christie's was attended with an interest quite as great as in the preceding week, when so many pictures wers bought BO successively for the National Gallery. On this occasion four more were acquired-viz., Portrait of Ludovico Cornaro, of Venice, the writer of the Book on Longevity, an old man of 100 years, 23in. by 18|in., by Titian, £ 336; The Last Supper, MSn. by 8iin., attributed to Masaccio, £630; An Allegory, 3ft. 8in by 3ft. 2in., by Pontormo, £315; The Circum- cision, by Luca Signorelli. An altar-piece, on thick planks joined crosswise, 8ft. 6in. by 6ft., with ten figures life-size, the high priest in the centre of the group, before the arched apse of the altar. The strong sunlight that fell upon this grand picture as it was uncovered on the wall brought it out with splendid effect of rich colour, and raised a spontaneous burst of applause, after which the biddings started with 500 guineas, soon reaching 2,000, when M. Guchez began, and went on steadily, as it appeared, with no other bidder against the auctioneer's advances, and watched with no small anxiety by the crowded audience, until he shook his head as Mr. Woods called 3,000 guineas, beyond which there was no advance, and almost as the hammer fell a round of enthusiastic applause expressed the satisfaction of the audience that this noble example was bought for the nation. The total of the day amounted to JE19,785 3s. Some very high prices were obtained on Monday, the eighth day. A pair of altar candlesticks, of old green Venetian glass, 23in. high, sold for .£84- A ewer, of elegant form, of ancient Oriental glass, enamelled and gilt on the neck and with equestrian figures, and projecting tongues of glass, with beautiful pattern of interlaced strap work and arabesques, considered to be the work of the 15th century, 7in. high, £2,730. An Italian cabinet, ebony, inlaid with old Florentine piefcre dure mosaic, mounted with ormolu, with the companion cabinet, £903. These formed part of the furni- ture in the room in the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, where the Emperor Paul was aBsas- sinated. The Due de Choiseul's writing table and cartonniere, an oblong Louis XV. writing table of parqueterie, mounted with vases, and festoons of foliage of ormclu, and surmounted by a clock, by Alard, £ 5,565, The Rape of Proserpina, a fine group in bronze, by G. di Bologna, ormolu plinth, chased with foliage, with The Rape of Helen, the companion group, B1.428. A chime clock, in case of ormolu, of rare design, with figures above, surmounted by a lion, holding the Arms of England, £ 861. The sum realised by the day's sale was £17,496, bringing up the tetal to about £ 215,000. The splendid enamels, the two pieces of the rare Henri Deux ware, and the Milanese damascened metal-work in caskets; coffers, and tables, in Tues- day's sale, completely rivalled the old French parqueterie furniture in the tremendous prices obtained (remarks The Times). The two beautiful little pieces of Henri Deux ware or Oiroa faience, from the place in France where it was made, did not quite realize the high price anticipated, though together they brought 1,960 guineas, but, being bought by different persons, they are now separated after having been together since they were purchased by the late duke in 1859, the tazza for E280 and the salt-cellar for £80. The hexagonal salt- cellar, 4in. high, width 3f in. It forms a raised pedestal with columns, and in each of the panels of the hexaggn a kind of alcove in which are figures of three cupids seated back to back with their arms joined. The whole surface is elaborately incised and filled in with arabesques, in fine brown lines, and masks in relief-£840. A tazza, height 4in., width Slin., of the same beautiful work, with masks, shells, and terminal figures, dolphins, and foliage, and the usual device of the three crescents interlaced found on this rare kind of ware, and supposed to refer to Diane de Poictiers— £ 1,218. A terra-cotta bust of Madame Elizabeth, by Marier, signed and dated 1791-£441. Among the other prices realised were the following :—A square chess table of cinque- cento work in damascened iron; the table inlaid with panels and cartouches of elaborate gold and silver damascene work, and with slabs of lapis lazuli; every part of the column supporting the table is covered with arabesques of exquisite design in gold and silver and relievo ornaments in gilt bronze, with figures in the round Milanese work, circa 1540 reputed to have been presented by a Duke of Milan to a Prince of Savoy, from the Soltykoff and Debruge- Dumenil collection, A great contest occurred for this extraordinary table between Mr. Loewenstein and Mr. Denison, the latter gentleman being the purchaser at £ 3,150. An inkstand, formed as a book, of steel cinque-cento work, damascened and inlaid with gold and silver of Milanese work of the 16th century-£168; a curious cabinet, with fall-down front, the entire surface enriched in a most elaborate style with panels of cartouche work, slabs of lapis lazuli, jasper, and onyxes, every part damascened with rich arabesque patterns in gold and silver, length 42in., height 36in., Milanese work, circa 1540— £ 1,071. The day's sale realised jE29,373, making a grand total of £247,085 for the nine days' sale.
THE SALE OF THE BECKFORD LIBRARY. Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge continued on Saturday the sale of the Beckford Library, the property of the Duke of Hamilton. An Aldine edition of Apulieus of 1521 was sold for j3153, a Paris edition of 1586 of the same author for B100, and several other works at high prices. P. Aretino Ragionamento, Novara, 1538, beautiful copy in brown morocco in Grolier style, sold for j3175 Navigation du Roy d'Ecosse Jacques V., autour de son Royanme, Paris, 1583, 4to, very fine copy in vellum, with the arms of Thuanus on the sides, 2140 a capy ot the letters of St. Augustine, in French, Paris, 1684, 6 vols., with the arms of Cardinal de Goady, in gold, by Boyes, j3140. The total of the day's sale amounted to £3,200, being an average of more than JE11 10s. per lot. At the third day's sale the high average of the previous days was well sustained. The most impor- tant lots wereBarrozio da Vignola, Orders of Architecture, 1st edition, with many designs and fine plates—1 vol., fol. 1563, Thuanus's copy, .£186. Barry's series of his etchings of his Adelphi pictures, atlas fol., 1808, £29. Bartolozzi's portraits, 61 proofs, £31. Beuil (Sieur de) de Limitation de Jesus, &c.. large paper, plates by Despret, a superb specimen of Monnier's binding in citron, with variegated leathers and figures with animals and flowers, double, with olive covered with gold a petits fers and gold fly leaves, 8vo, Paris, 1690, £356. This was the gem of the day, and it brought the total of the day up to £ 3,050. Among the books sold tin Tuesday were the follow- ing :—" Biblia Latina, printed on vellum, with capital letters illuminated in gold and colours, bound with oak boards, covered in red morocco, with gold tooling and clasps, fol., Venetis, 1476, £330. W. Blake's "Songs of Innocence and of Experience," 1789, £146; Sir W. Tite's copy sold for £ 61, and Lord Beaconsfield's for JE85. W. Blake's "Milton," a Poem, engraved throughout, and ornamented with beautiful designs by Blake and coloured by himself, blue morocco extra, by J. Mackenzie, very rare, JE230. The sale of the Beckford Library was continued on Wednesday. Among the principal lots were Boydell's Set of Prints, engraved after the most capital paint- ings in the collection of Catherine II., Empress of Russia, lately in the possession of the Earl of Oxford, at Houghton, in Norfolk (usually termed "The Houghton Gallery "), in two vols., with many por- traits, imp. fol., 1788, £205. J. Bruce's travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, in five vols-there 'were only twelve copies printed, and this is the presen- tation copy to Queen Charlotte, 4to., Edin. 1790, £27. T. de Bey's Emblemata Nobilitati et Vulga scitu Digna, in two vols., 4to., Francof, 1593 96-this copy Mr. Heber bought for S12 12s. at the sale of Dr. Chauncey's library, it now brought £290. The day's sale realised £ 2,063.
SINKING of an EXCURSION STEAMER ON THE OHIO. A sad accident happened on Tuesday on the Ohio River above Wheeling. About dusk the steswnef Scioto, with a party of 500 excursionists on board, when going up the river, came into col- lision with the tug John Lornas, near Mingo, Ohio, and sunk in less than three minjites. Most of the passengers in their fright jumped into the water. The tug John Lomus and some skiffs from the shore picked up hundreds of them, but at least 20 were drowned* and possibly many more have perished. The account8 hitherto received are very confused.
= THE LIBERTY AND PROPERTY DEFENCE LEAGUE. Lord Elcho, M.P., on Wednesday presided over the first meeting of the Liberty and Property Defence League at the Westminster Palace Hotel. Mr. Jinowlesj M.P., moved, and Earl Fortescue seconded, a resolution, declaring that looking to the tendency 01 modern legislation to interfere unduly and un' justly with freedom and property, it was need* to form an association which, without regard to party ties, would endeavour to guard individual liberty on" property of all kinds, including the rights of Jabour, against undue interference by the State. Other resolutions similar in purport were adopted the speakers generally arguing against action on the part of the State in those matters which are best left to private enterprise.