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®nr Jønbøn Ciraspwfoeni.


Jønbøn Ciraspwfoeni. |We deem it rigkt to state tfcr.t we do not at all times jfautiiy ourselves with our Correspondent's opinions.] It is singular to note the steadiness which during the past year and a half has characterised the balance of political parties in the House of Commons. Seats have been gained and lost, but there has been a set-off In each case, and the number of supporters of the respective party chiefs in the Lower House is exactly where it stood at the end of 1881. This is a remark- able result, looking at the frequency of bye-elections. For instance last year there were twenty-three, the Liberals winning Liverpool and the Conservatives securing an advantage at Salisbury. During the first half of this year sixteen elections have taken place, and while the Liberals gain a seat at Hastings, the Conservatives had previously won one at South- a >pton. For eighteen months to pass in this way is an experience without parallel in the history of recent Parliaments. Meanwhile it is to be noted that the life of the pre- sent Parliament is gradually ebbing away. It will have turned the corner of its existence at the end of the present session, even supposing it to run its full term, which few Parliaments do. The next session will be its fifth, and none run more th'\n seven. Only twice within the past half century has the seventh session been reached, and on neither occasion were there seven fall sessions. The present Parliament met on the 29th of April, 1880, and the prorogation took place on the 7th September following. That was a short session, but this was compensated for in 1881, when both Houses mst on the 6th January, and sepa- rated on the 28th August. The conservative instincts of the English people— using the word in its literal and not in its political leDse-have been a fruitful theme of remark at diffe- rent times. Most of m remember the terrible severity of the winter in the beginning of 1881, when a sheep was roasted on the ice in the upper reaches of the Thamee, and the river below bridge was covered with floes borne up and downe by the tide, and testifying to the Arctic nature of the temperature. That was the time of the great snow storm, which swept this kingdom from the Orkneys to the Land's End, and the snow was piled in hillocks in the streets of our large towns. Parliament was then sitting, and the visitor to the strangers' gallery of the House of Lords, aa he looked down upon the Lord Chancellor, might have envied that high functionary, as he sat on the warm woolsack -comfortably wrapped in his robes, and with his full-bottomed wig, he was the best protected from the cold in the Assembly. Six months waned away, and these islands seemed to have passed from the frigid into the torrid zone. There was a temperature of 98 in the shade, a heat never registered before in this coun ry. Patlisment was still sitting, and the stranger in the House of Lords would have seen the Keeper of the Queen's Conscience habited precisely the same in the sweltering heat as in the bitter cold. There is no elasticity in the regula- tions affecting the Chancellor's attire adapting it to the manifold fluctuations of our climate. These thoughts have been suggested by the great heat which characterised the end of June, and on the 29th of that month caused a review at Aldershot to be postponed. But the improved weather of the present summer as compared with last and with many of its predecessors, is undoubtedly a great blessing to the farmers. Last year, it will be remembered, July was marked by a low temperature and by cloudy skies. The heat was sufficient to ripen the corn but indifferently, for there is no ripening power in the sun when the thermometer stands at less than sixty degrees. On the 29th June the temperature in London was 84 in the shade, and although London feels the extremes of heat and cold, as much or perhaps more than any other place In the Kingdom, there is no doubt that the heat of that day did an enormous amount of good over the wide-spreading agricultural districts of our land. July this year, happily for the prospects of the farmer, came in favourably. So far as London was concerned, a more delightful summer day has seldom been wit- nessed. The reports from the agricultural districts are much more favourable than in some recent years and altogether after a long period of depression pros- pects in country and in town would appear to indicate the dawn of a better day. It has frequently beea remarked that the House of Lords is a chamber for show, and the Commons for business. In the Lords the reporters are placed at some distance from the front benches, and this, with the defective acoustio properties of the House, renders hearing at all times difficult and often impossible. In the Commons, as the press gallery is directly over the Speaker's chair, it commands the Treasury and the Opposition benches, and is, therefore, very favourably situated for hearing. Yet, of late, it has not escaped notice that in some opening sentences of Mr. Glad- stone's observations, it is not easy to catch what he says. This is particularly so at question time, when more especially upon matters relating to foreign policy the words of the Prime Minister of England are tele- graphed in a few minutes to all the capitals of Europe. At one time his voica was heard with ease in every corner of the ehamber in which he has had a seat for fifty years. Now the right hon. gentleman often talks in a conversational tone across the table as though he were holding confidential communication with Sir Stafford Northoote or Sir Richard Cross, the represen- tatives of the journals meanwhile asking each other in grave and earnest tones what the Premier is saying. The death of Mr. William Spottiswoode, the Presi. dent of the Royal Society, swiftly followed that of Sir Edward Sabine, who had held the office some years previously. To these two distinguished men, who died within twenty-four hours of each other, life seemed to have been meted out rather unevenly. Sir Edward Sabine enjoyed an existence of more than a whole generation of men beyond the term allotted to Mr. Spottiswoode, dying at ninety-four as compared with fifty-nine, the age of his successor. Mr. Spottiswoode has so recently and so prominently been before the world as a man of science that his fellow savants at onee signed a memorial to Dean Bradley for the interment to take place in Westminster Abbey; and the custodian of that venerable fabric. had no hesitation in complying with the request that the remains of so eminent a man should rest with those af many another philosopher in a building hallowed to the memories of so many illustrious Eng- lishmen. The London season is drawing to a close when we approach the middle of July, but while it lasts there in no doubt that the popularity of the drawing-room meeting continues. This has become a favourite form of assisting many a good work. Instead of engaging Willis's Rooms or Eietar Hall, the promoters of a charity or of a religious or philanthropic organisation are enabled to secure the assistance of a nobleman who places his drawing-room at their disposal for the holding of the annual meeting, admission being by tieket. For instance, at the Duke of West- minster's town residence in Park-lane, three or four of these gatherillCs in a week are often held, and M. these take place is the magnificent Rubens room, they are very well worth attending, more especially as the Duke often extends an invitation at the close of the proceedings for the visitors to go over the house, and inspect one of the completest collection of articles of vertu which has been got together in London. Speaking of the season is a reminder also of the approach of Goodwood, which very soon follows the Newmarket July meeting. The time has been when an important debate in the House of Lords has been postponed for a week because it should not interfere with the enjoyment of Goodwood by the peers. This was in 1871, when the Army Purchase Bill stood over so that the Duke of Richmond might entertain at Goodwood House the distinguished company which is always invited there to spend the race week. Goodwood finishes up the glories of the season, which, fortunately for the representatives of rank and fashion; has this year been favoured with much better weather than in recent times. Rank and fashion do not wait as a body for Parliament to rise, for Parliament may sit into September for aught the uninitiated know to the con. trary, by wfeieh .time the.. days materially shorten, and the nights become chilly, more especially to those who take excursions upon the sea. Punctually to the day the welcome returns for the year as well as for the quarter ending the 30th June, were issued on Saturday evening. The net increase on the twelve months, as compared with that of 1882, ex- ceeded three millions and three quarters sterling, while the increase upon the three months was £ 820,600. With bright sunshine over the land to gladden the heart of the farmer, and an augmenting amount of national receipts into the Exchequer, the hopea for the future of the country's prosperity, rest upon a better foundation than they have done for some years past.







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