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TOPICS OF THE WEEK.

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TOPICS OF THE WEEK. GENERAL M'CLELLAN.—The Times, after comment- ing upon the selection of M'Clellan to fill the chair of the Chicago Convention, makes the following re- marks :—We see every reason to congratulate the friends of humanity and of common sense on the reso- lutions arrived at by the Chicago Convention. In General M'Clellan we have, if not exactly a "Young Napoleon," at any rate a man of modesty, caution, and discretion, who has shown himself in the darkest hour of his country's destiny equally averse from a military despotism in his own person and allowing its establishment by others. There is reason to believe that the liberties of the American people are safe in his hands, and that, when every principle of the con- stitution has been trampled under foot by military violence, is of itself no trifling recommendation. General M'Clellan has not proved himself a great soldier, he has not acted in the political struggles of the day with all the vigour and promptitude which, as it seems to us, the occasion demanded; but that he must have played his part with no ordinary discretion and good sense is sufficiently proved by the unanimous support which he has commanded in times so critical and amid opinions hitherto so divergent. It has been so constantly the practice to fill the Presidential chair of America with nonentities thp-t the probability of the election of a person of the calibre of General M'Clellan strikes us as being in itself in the nature of a revolution. The notion that the American Democ- racy should submit to place itself under a leader, and that leader a man of character and ability, unstained by the arts of the demagogue, and trusted mainly for his personal character, is so strange and startling that we really begin to hope the war has taught lessons never learnt in peace, and that in the hard school of adversity the evils engendered by a too luxuriant and exnberant prosperity may have found a remedy. THE PRINCE OF WALES IN DENMARK. — The Danes are a simple, brave, and kindly race. Their very simplicity helps to explain their demeanour at the present moment. Wherever the Prince and Prin- cess of Wales have gone thus far they have found a warm welcome. Should they visit the capital, we do not doubt that natural gosd-feeling and kindliness will triumph over the sullenness of the hour and the admonitions of some of the papers, and that the people of Copenhagen will follow the example of the crowds at Elsinore. But we, in England, must not wonder, nor rail, nor harshly criticise, if, just at this moment, the Copenhagen papers counsel a sullen deportment, and the population of the capital feel inclined to adopt the recommendation. Russia is in favour now in Copenhagen, and will do her best to foster the sentiment of the day. England does not fool jealous in the least. Y. e only hope that the new family alliance which a daughter of Denmark is contracting may not prove even less of a security to the independence of the country than that other alliance of which the Copen- hagen people are now disposed to complain. When the bitterness of defeat and humiliation shall have passed away, the Danes will do justice to the English people. They will admit, perhaps, that it would have been better with them if they had been content to entrust their cause to the support of that moral in- fluence-that power of public opinion—which just now it is the fashion to snoer at and depreciate. Bat the calmer mood which allows a place to such con- siderations has not yet arrived, and was not, indeed, to be so soon expected. In the meantime, let us not be too ready to think the worse of the Copenhagen population, even though their feelings of national disappointment and anger should make them disin- clined for festivity, or for the demonstration of that hospitality which is usually so congenial with their nature.—The Star. HONOUR TO WHOM HONOUR IS DUE.-The Illus- trated London News, after commenting upoa the life and character of Sir George Cornewall Lewis, says:- One cannot but rejoice that those among whom he had his home, and who knew his social as well as his political virtues, have erected a memorial worthy of him, of themselves, and of the city it will hereafter adorn. There was unusual appropriateness, too, in the choice of Lord Palmerston to inaugurate the statue. The venerable Prime Minister first placed Sir G. C. Lewis in high political office, and has probably owed something of his own success to the solid quali- ties of his colleague. In truth, every feature of the ceremony, as well as the statue itself, which was thereby dedicated to the public, struck us as having a remarkable fitness in it, as being in keeping with the character of the man to whose memory it was designed to pay a becoming tribute of honour. The occasion naturally suggests the reflection that in this United Kin gdom of Great Britain and Ireland—indeed, one may fairly say, all the world over-real work seldom misses a correspondent reward. The right hon. baronet could not boast of high social rank. His powers of mind were not extraordinary. Nature had not done for him much beyond what she does for the majority of mea. in middle-class well-to-do life. But, then, he made the very best use of the opportunities and the intel- lectual faculties which he had—undervaluing nothing, wasting nothing of which he would have to give account, and which he might improve by use. And this, perhaps, is the surest road which can be taken to distinction. Few who are resolved to excel ultimately throw away their labour. Sir George Cornewall Lewis's career presents an encouraging example to men whose highest endowment is their capacity and disposition to work. In view of the monument which now adorns St. Peter's-square, Hereford, no English- man can well make light of the rewards of industry; but turning a glance inward from the honoured states- man to himself, he may retire to his home stimulating fresh efforts by a remembrance of the line- "But slow and steady wins the race! THE SHAKESPEARE TERCENTENARY COMMITTEE. -It seems that we have not yet heard the last of the Stratford-upon-Avon Tercentenary Committee and its miserable failure to organise a national festival in honour of Shakespeare. Inexperience, mismanage- ment, and overweening confidence in the ultimate success of the celebration have been followed by their natural results—general discredit and a large deficit in the accounts. The committee, presided over by the local mayor, was impressed with too high an opinion of the importance of the work in which it was engaged, apparently thinking that, as it had, unbidden, imposed upon itself the care of providing a tercentenary festival in honour of the greatest poet the world has ever known, it must necessarily become a national festival -and that. notwithstanding all the unpleasant mis- understandings and bickerings that took place: people from all parts of the country would flock in dense crowds to Stratford at the bidding of Mr Flower and his colleagues. "Too sanguine reliance upon distant help," and inexperience in the conduct of "public undertakings," are, therefore, at the last moment, frankly acknowledged as the real cause why so large a balance as £3,000 should appear on the wrong side of the committee's accounts. Its resources were derived from public subscriptions and the sale of tickets; but that the former would not be large might justly have been concluded from the slow and feeble manner in which the stream of subscriptions flowed into the committee's exchequer. The amount received from that source, for the purposes of the Stratford festival, was not more than £1,567, the whole of which, minus £300, was expended on account of "management," including office and travelling ex- penses, salaries, advertising, printing, &c. The pavi- lion, the contract price of which was to have been £ 1,300, < ost £ 2,000 over the estimate, in addition to £ 1,400 for fittings and decorations. "Refreshment for performers," many of whom gave their services gratuitously, as well as the Shakespearian dinner and the fancy dress ball, are represented in the accounts by the small item of £ 747. In short, nothing that was provided paid. Everything was carried out on the most extensive, if not extravagant scale, but the committee forgot to count the cost, and did not seem- ingly trouble itself about the solution of that very vulgar and unpoetic problem, how to make both ends meet. The result is that some people have to pay the piper to a tune which will not be very agreeable to those concerned.-The Press. »

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