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TOPICS OF THE WEEK. -+- THE MARQUIS OF TOWNSHEND'S PHILANTHROPY. -Lord Townshend, whose affection for dumb animals is well known, has just discovered a new variety of the genus and a new sort of oppression. A farmer on the Yorkshire Wolds expects his, or rather her, servants to go to church on Sundays. They are hired by the year, as is usual in that part of the country; they live in the house, and are as much domesticated as those who are more immediately called domestics." Per- haps the lady goes to church herself, and does not quite like the notion of leaving people at home of whose character she has no better evidence than that they prefer practical heathenism to any known form of worship; perhaps she is a Christian, and wishes her servants to be Christians also; perhaps she has found (as Yorkshire agriculturists not unfrequently do) that the special time fixed upon for mischief, of whatever sort, is generally that during which the master or mistress is pretty certain to be at church. For whatever reason, Mrs. Harrison chose that her servant should attend to his duties on Sunday as regularly as on other days; and a recalcitrant labourer was instructed by the magistrates that the law is per- fectly clear on the subject. Lord Townshend writes an indignant letter to Sir. G. Grey, and-meeting ap- parently with no encouragement in his crusade against the law-rushes into print, one of the newspapers tak- ing up the strain with aterrible howl about persecution. Lord Townshend should learn a little logic. The magis- trates inform the man that he must "attend some place of worship." This is not exactly equivalent to com- pelling him to attend church, though apparently his lordship does not see the difference. The persecu- tion" amounts to just this-thn man may not have certain hours in the week set apart for his special amusements, of whatever kind, with a guaranteed immunity from the chances of discovery. Lat his lordship, or those who sympathise with him, try the expedient of leaving a new servant—farm labourers in Yorkshire are almost changed annually-of un- known character in his house with the promise that during certain hours in the week he shall have the house to himself, free of oversight. Lord Townshend would also do well to read a little book called "PJoughing and Sowing," which has attained more than a local reputation. He will find that the York- shire farm labourer is not at all an animal in his lordship's line. He is a clever, sturdy, manly fellow, that may be made almost anything of under good training; he is also too often grievously ignorant; and his class has been sadly neglected in all higher matters by many of those who ought most actively to have cared for it. Altogether he will discover that he never did a sillier thing-and we fear this is saying a good deal-than when he -did what little lay in his power to hinder a Christian widow in her kind endeavour to do her full duty to those committed to her charge;-The Press. PRUSSIA AND THE GERMAN STATES.—The jealousy of the great Powers towards each other may for the moment be sleeping, but it is not extinct. Prussia has allowed it to be understood that she wished to annex ,the Duchies, but she has not ventured to carry her plan out. She may possibly succeed still; but the rebuffs she meets with, and the cautious way in which she feels compelled to proceed, show that an increase of territory by the mere exercise of the strong arm is not a gain that comes very easily to a great Power. Nor is it true that Denmark was a little Power abandoned by her big friends without any just cause when she was being robbed of what was incontestably hers. She has for years enjoyed the possession of the Duchies on a different tenure from that on which she held the other parts of her dominions. It was the intervention of Russia, with the sanction of England, that gave her that possession, and she was placed there on her good behaviour. She did not behave so well as to enable her to appeal very confidently to her friends, and her subjects in the Duchies did not wish her to rule over them. Nor were the Duchies claimed by a big Power. They Were claimed by that most harmless of men, the Duke of Augustenburg, and it is at this moment only a piece of pure guesswork to say that they will pass into the hands of Prussia. An open aggression by a large State on a small one is not at all a probable event in these days, for it would provoke a great contest and create a great scandal, which it would obviously be much wiser to avoid if quieter means would bring about the desired end, or if the territory annexed were sure to become a centre of local disaffection. The reason why Prussia may be trusted not to invade and appropriate Saxony is that, if Saxony is worth having, it may be obtained in a surer and less objectionable way, and that, although there is some chance that -no power would interfere to save Saxony, there is also a great chance that aid would be forthcoming. Saxony might fight, and then the lesser States of Germany might help her, and then France might help them. The risk, in fact, is greater than the prize. And then the question is not forced on Prussia whether she will have Saxony by violence or not at all. She may, without striking a blow or awakening any opposition, acquire a political supremacy over Saxony which will give her all the accession of strength and consequence that the incorporation of Saxony could give her. But in order to effect this she must satisfy the Germans generally, and Saxony in particular, that she is worth joining. In order to do this, however, she must show herself to be moderately liberal and just. The Germans do not want much in the way of political wisdom, but they want something. It was because she took the lead in what, thirty years ago, was thought a liberal commercial policy, that Prussia became the head of the Zollverein. If, however, Prussia becomes mode- rately liberal in politics, she will not be ruled by men capable of wantonly and without excuse appropriating a neighbouring State. There is every reason to sup- pose that, during the lifetime of the present genera- tion, there will be great changes in the smaller States of Europe, but there will be changes also in the internal composition of large States, and we may venture to hope that these changes will not be in a direction which would make acts of shameless rapacity viewed with less indignation abroad and less compunction at home.—Saturday Review. PROFESSOR FAWCETT ON REFORM.—Professor Fawcett made a speech on Parliamentary reform at Brighton on Monday evening which, though it may serve his purpose well as a candidate for that consti- tuency, will scarcely, we think, add to the political reputation of that thoughtful and able writer amongst men of his own calibre. Mr. Fawcett takes a firm stand, like many other parliamentary politicians, when- ever he can feel the ground of economical science strong under his feet; but otherwise, also like them, he drifts into the democratic view, partly in deference to the beokonings of Liberal constituencies, and partly from want of some tangible intellectual principle to hold by, short of complete democracy. For instance, in this very speech he reiterated the expression of his mild intellectual contempt for the principles of the Financial Reform Association, and even ventured to assert, what is most true but not a very popular view, that clerks who receive quarterly .£150 to X200 a year, are really poorer and more heavily taxed men than working-men who receive their X3 or X4 a week. On matters of this kind we are sure that no wish to be popular will warp Mr. Fawcett's clear intellect, or even keep him silent when he ought to speak. But the moment he passes the comparatively solid ground of figures and finance, you begin to see the thoughtful Liberal who is guided by facts only in his inferences, fading away into the hustings Liberal whose convictions are, for want of a firmer root, considerably affected by his wish tosecurepopnlarsupport. We have reiterated our desire for the admission of the working-classes into the pale of the representative system at times when no political I change could seem less agreeable to the public. But we have always maintained that the trnejusticeistoadmit them to a share in the representative system, not to hand over to them the monopoly of the representative I system, and we cannot conceive how any one who really values the principle of national representation, can differ from us. Mr. Fawcett apparently does not, but has recourse to the old and, we must say with respect, childish intellectual expedients for persuading us that the numerical magnitude of the working-class, if admitted en masse, would not in any way affect the influence exercised over the choice of a representative by the middle and more educated classes of the com- munity. "It was another most singular fallacy," said Professor Fawcett, "to say that the extension of the suffrage to the working man would overwhelm the votes of every other section of the community. The argument implied that the working classes would always unite themselves in a solid phalanx with motives and aims opposed to the rest of the com- munity. There was no ground for saying that. Those I who knew the working classes knew that, upon all great questions affecting them there was a great difference of opinion among them. In regard to the question of the relation between capital and labour many working men were strenuously opposed to trades' unions and strikes. In regard to the closing of places of public amusement on Sundays, a great diversity of opinion also existed. In regard to the question of war with Poland, he had attended a meeting in the London Guildhall where a Tory peer stood almost alone in expressing the desire that Eng- land should go to war on behalf of the Poles, and he never witnessed such a manifestation of enthusiasm as that expression had drawn from the working men present. These illustrations would show that people had no right to assume the opinion of the working classes on a-ay great question would be this or that. He believed they took as much interest in politics, and had the interest of the country as much at heart, as any other section of the community. Spectator.

"Harvest Cart" in Suffolk.

Epigram on the Belfast Riots.

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