Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page








OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT. The news of the assassination of the Governor-General of India reached London on Monday afternoon too late for publication in the earlier edition of the evening- papers but reaching the Stock Exchange just before the door was closed, not too late to temporarily affect city transactions. This may account for many mischievous rumours being at once put into circulation. Of course, another rising" was predicted, and recollection of the "old mutiny" became in many minds associated with the last sad occurrence. This will account for the signicant allusion made in the House of Commons later on in the evening by Colonel Sykes, to the effect that the act, which men of all parties deplore, must be regarded only as an act of individual fanaticism, and not as a political matter. Lord Mavo was so general a favourite that on both sides in both Houses of l:arliament it was obvious that the melancholy event was felt keenly, not only as a national, but a personal, loss. It had, too, the effect of damping for the night the interest which otherwise would have been manifested in many disputed matters that came on for discussion. The new speaker looks well in his robes, and it is evident that many of the prejudices first entertained against his election are beginning to wear away. It was contrary to general expectation that Mr. Brand was elected to the speaker- ship without opposition. I was never of those who looked with apprehension at the prospect of the ex-Whip's occupying the Speaker's chair. Mr. Brand will disappoint the fears of the purists of the Spectator school, as well as the pardonable apprehensions of the rabidest Tories. He has been well trained, in every sense of the term he is a perfect gentleman, chivalrous and high-minded and, in regard to his knowledge of the forms of the House he has no superior. Whig, Tory, Radical, House-Rulist, and Adullamite may expect perfect fair play at his hands. At the present writing the American question wears a more ro-assuring aspect. The New York press is less bellicose than it was—even the shrieking Herald exhibits a mood that, compared with its recent manifestations, is charmingly judicial. Yet the renegade Scotchman who holds the reins of this paper must be characteristic. This is the latest" Let the Alabama claims stand, and thereby let England be held to bail to keep the peace with the world." Held to bail, indeed' And where- fore ? Because England preserved an attitude of neutrality during the war exactly similar to that main- tained by France ? But for an abiding belief in the good sense of the American people, contradistinguished from the idiotcy of the New York press (which is not the press of America, recollect), one might feel wrath with the presiding genius of the New York Herald. It is to be hoped that the Americans who have been clamouring for war will read the grave utterances of the Gorman press. Germany should by comparison know something about our national strength, and be able to make a shrewd estimate of the chances of it struggle between this country and the United States. Well, it is the opinion of Germany that America would get the worst of it should war be declared. Pressure from without has at last induced Yiscount Sydney, the Lord Chamberlain, to give way in the matter of accommodation in St. Paul's Cathedral on the thanksgiving day. He has already made arrangements for about twelve thousand visitors, and he will probably be induced by continual pressure to provide accommoda- tion for about four thousand more. The Cathedral held this number when the Iron Duke was buried, and the church is no smaller now than it was then, nor have Her Majesty's lieges grown stouter! Along the line of route windows and separate 'seats are being rapidly let. The lowest price I have heard of for a. single seat is a guinea, and two guineas is a common price. Windows are being lot at ten, fifteen, and twenty guineas each. The great point of attraction will be Temple Bar, which is to be elegantly decorated, as it is here that the Lord Mayor will deliver up the keys of the city to Her Majesty. Seats that command a view of the ceremony will probably fetch four or five guineas. I believe the illuminations at the west end and in the city will be re- markably good, and from Charing Cross to the Exchange the flags and decorations will be eriual to anything of the kind that has ever been seen throughout that splendid line of roadway. Nothing, I believe, is yet absolutely knov.-n about the day being observed as a general holiday here, but I have no doubt it will come to that. In fact, it will be absurd to attempt to do any business. Along the route of the procession the trades- men can afford to forego ordinary profits, considering what they will make by letting seats. As the train from Birmingham to Sutton Coldfields, on Saturday last, was running at full speed, a little girl leaning against a carriage-door fell out, to the horror of herparents, See. As the little child was not much hurt, this exciting accident is likely to pass unheeded, except by those who witnessed It. But allow me to call attention to two facts-first, that all attempts to attract the notice of cither the guard or the driver were useless and, secondlv, that the guard, who happened to see the child fall, immediately (it is said) applied the brake, but to no purpose, and the tiain could not be stopped till it had run a mile beyond the place of the accident. What can show more clearly how much we need compulsory rail- way reform r There arc in existence many practical plans of communication between passenger and officials, and also railway brakes which will stop a train-I am afraid to say in'how short a distance-and yet neither is adopted on this line, ncr on several others. Pending the report of the Megaira commissioners (which will be nothing more, on dit, than a recom- mendation to have an enquiry into the several depart- ments of the Admiralty), we have indirectly obtained some benefit from the two previous inquiries. The Admiralty have just issued an order assessing, if the word may be employed, the relative responsibility of the various oflicials in respect to the survey and inspection of ships for the future. Can it be that this is done to stave off the recommendation to which I have alluded? It looks marvellously like it. Here is a strange invitation to a dead man :—" Mr. John Moon, of New South Wales, who died in 1858, his widow, or any other relative is required to prove his decease, and will much oblige by communicating," &c. And this advertisement in the Times emanates from a lawyer How can the departed person prove bis own decease ? There is no other way but by table-rapping through a medium. Pity that lawyers cannot write j their own language. The judge who tried the against the proprietor of ) the Difis Doii/ys, and who iinp-'sec! a pin .liy of £ .10, subsequently that the treasury should hand over the money to the society for the suppression of vice, towards the expenses incurred in the prosecution. The treasury will not be in a hurry to do that, if it does it at all, and I cannot see that the society deserves the gift. It lies dormant as a rule, and only wakes up as a rare exception. There is- another publication quite as bad as that which is now suppressed, and yet the society does nothing in the matter. And how scandalously it has failed in its duty with regard to the valentines which have outraged common decency this year as much as ever. If the society would really do what it professes to do, it would not want for funds. It may seem rather ungracious to say this now that a prosecution has been successful, but I refer to the matter for this very reason. It is the exception which proves the rule. There is no real difficulty and very little expense about a prosecu- tion under Lord Campbell's Act. When the Government come to advocate the abolition of nomination, they might well adduce the scenes that took place at the Galway nomination, but the fact is that scenes of riot and disorder at the nomination of candidates are so common that there is no want of material for illustrating the evil of the system. But if nominations are to be abolished, as is thought probable, there must be some substitute for them. In the case of uncontested elections, something like the existing system is indispensable. Apropos of elections, I will give you it as my opinion that a peer boasting the illustrations lineage possessed by the Duke of Newcastle should be far above Eatanswill and its tactics. It might be said that a peer with such a lineage would preserve that state of isolation which properly belongs to his rank, if he consulted the traditions of his own family, and paid some attention to the political signs of the times. But the present Duke of Newcastle is not a political peer. He is better known at Newmarket, and Goodwood, and Don- caster, and Epsom, when the frequenters of those places are indulging in the pastime of racing, than he is in the House of Lords, even on "great nights." He has issued a manifesto whose tone is amusing. He does not tell his tenantry how they must vote, but how lIe would vote. His proclamation is not dissimilar in casuistry to that famous speech of Tom Styles's in Society." Gentle- men, don't put him under the pump don't duck him in the horse-pond I doit't tear him limb from limb!" &c. His grace of Newcastle has at length distinguished himself. His address to those Notts electors will not soon be forgotten. Although it was a disappointment to many that the Queen did not deliver her own speech at Westminster, Londoners are being comforted by the promised State visit to the city. Very great preparations are being made in the interior of St. Paul's Cathedral for the thanksgiving service, and after attentively reading the account of the arrangements, they appear to me to be far from necessary for a service which will only occupy an hour or two. Great dissatisfaction is being expressed by the city companies,and by many civic officials, at the contemplated limitation of the accommodation to 8,000 persons, whereas the Cathedral would probably hold double that number. Though I see nothing of the kind stated, I am certain that jealousy must exist betwaen the Lord Chamberlain and the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral. There is ample precedent for the former officer of State arranging the sittings on the occasion, but Viscount Sydney is evidently bent on making the attendance small and select. At present there is only the muttering of distant thunder; but ere long the storm will burst out, nnleu the Lord Chamberlain gives way to the representations that are privately made to him. Meanwhile, people are expressing surprise that the Prince will accompany the Queen to the Cathedral if the state of his health permits of his undergoing the fatigue. That looks preparatory to the announcement that he will not go, reminding us of the omission of the character of Hamlet from the play of that name. Surely such a hiatus valde deflendm as this cannot be contem- plated. There seems, indeed, to be a strange un- certainty about all the arrangements, and the public are scarcely allowed to know anything. Whether the Queen will go in state or semi-state, and at what hour and by what route; by what route Her Majesty will return—these and many other points are at the present time not made clear in the public announcements. It is all, however, tolerably well understood, and the shop- keepers along the Strand, Fleet-street, and Ludgate- hill, are reckocing on being able to let their windows at high figures. The few windows that will command a view of Temple Bar will bring fancy prices. We have not yet come to "prudes for proctors, dowagers for deans," though we virtually had "sweet girl graduates in their golden hair," and the employ- ment of young ladies as clerks in telegraph offices and commercial establishments makes progress. The ladies will feel interested in hearing that there is a probability of young women being employed as clerks in some of the London banks and insurance offices, but I confine myself to the statement of this as a probability. I shall not believe it till I have stronger evidence of it.


Family Notices