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TO, WIT TALE. ! r

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TO, WIT TALE. r BY OUB SPECIAL CORBESPON )ENT. ( < 0. readers iviU im&erstanA that vse do not h<J1il ourselves repon- siblefor our eible Correspondent's opinions. THE Prince ancl.Princess, of Wales being in the capital of Sweden, where they have- been right royally received by the great-grandson of Napoleon's marshal, Bernadotte; the Queen and Court in the Highlands statesmen on the Moors, or "discoursing sweet music" in' the shape of addresses, bucolic or political, to their constituents — there is at present a remarkable dearth of metropolitan gossip. It is true, war is raging: in the United States, Poland, Algeria, Tunis, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, China, Japan, and Afghanistan, enough blood-shedding is going on to crush the hopes of -the friends of universal peace but then not one in a thousand knows anything about these wars z;1 and, moreover, the countries are so far distant, that with the exception of the great conflict between the North and South, people in London feel but little interest in their doings, albeit they affect humanity in general. Again, the feverish excitement about the Briggs murder is beginning to subside, for there is nothing new to be said about that sad tragedy until the trial. By the way, the scene at Bow-street Police-court on Monday was one I shall not soon forget. J have witnessed many scenes of interest in that court — notably, that when the pirates of the "Flowery Land" were committed for trial but that at the examination of Muller beggars the description of the most skilful reporters. The avenues of the court were crowded to, excess, and in the interior the privileged few (few, indeed, by comparison with the number of persons who- sought admission) were literally jammed together, and during the taking of the depositions their upturned faces exhibited an anxiety so intense that it can-only be explained by that old English love of fair play, which many people suppose has been questioned by the mem- bers of the German Legal Protection Society, who are so much interested in, and have so commend- ably and earnestly exerted themselves in this cause cetebre. The meeting. of the Social Science Congress at York has excited great interest during the past week. Naturally, it's proceedings are narrowly watched and scanned by all interested in the ob- jects it proposes to carry out. This congress has, indeed, set itself a great task, and it is per- forming it well. To a certain extent its present work is mere theorising, but with the view of re- ducing its theories to practice in the future. Most notable at the Congress was the presence of Lord Brougham, who, at the age of eighty- six, delivered a long address upon the re- formation of criminals, the ticket of leave system, and middle class examination (advocating the proposition that females as well as males should be allowed, to offer themselves) with a judgment and perspicuity scarcely surpassed by any effort of his earlier days—a fact, by the way, that should put to the blush the scribe of a daily paper for the flippant and somewhat coarse article he penned during the past week against the learned and venerable peer. Who can say there are no longer giants in the land ? While Lord Brougham was astonish- ing the world at York, the noble Premier, but a few years his junior, was, by way of recreation from the labours of governing, distributing the prizes at the rifle shooting at Wilton, and delivered a speech before some 5,000 people, which, although upon the hackneyed subject of volunteering, was replete with a vigour and freshness all his own. Apropos of volunteers, as I predicted some time since, the Court of Lieutenancy have at last pro- moted Major Richards, of the Third London, to the lieutenant-colonelcy of that regiment, an act of tardy though simple justice, for Colonel Richards has the honour and merit of not only having been one of the very first promoters of the volunteer movement,' but of having himself raised a regiment, of some 1,600 strong, of purely working men, who, considering the small amount of time they have at their disposal for volunteer duty, form one of the most effective corps in the service. The mention of working men brings me to the subject of the Industrial Exhibition of the working classes at the Agricultural-hall, Islington. It is likely, I am glad to say, to be a great success. The working men themselves have taken mp the idea with spirit, and have sent for exhibition many interesting objects, the productions of their leisure hours. I can cordially recommend to manu- facturing towns the adoption of this excellent plan, by which the workmen are stimulated to emulate each other, and enabled to develop their talents by comparison. The exhibition will be opened on October 17th, by Earl Russell. Among military men I hear much satisfaction expressed at the celerity and liberality with which e, a her Majesty has lately bestowed the Victoria Gross upon officers and soldiers for heroic deeds done in that miserable Maori war in New Zealand. Apropos of this badge of honour, there is much grumbling in the navy, that its gift is never accompanied, as it sometimes is in the army, with promotion. Surely, while the nation so liberally grants its millions for the ships, sailors should be a little more thought about. At all events, there should be no such marked difference with respect to promotion be- tween the two services. Railway travellers express no little delight at the report presented to the Board of Trade by Colonel Yolland as to the cause and prevention of accidents. The colonel shows clearly that the chief cause is the niggardliness of directors, and their carelessness of human life when weighed in the balance with their own profits. The pre- ventive measure pointed out by the colonel is the universal and more complete use of the electric telegraph. He would have the telegraph stations on each line multiplied so that the position of each ( train could be accurately known and that thus, ] apart from wilful neglect on the part of drivers s and guards, accidents from trains running into one another. would be impossible. "But," say directors, "consider the expense of carrying out such a system! as business men, we ha.d better pay £50,000 as the cost of an accident, than ex- pend £200,000 by wajpof prevention." Such may be their opinion and decision, but the public will agree with the colonel that if they cannot be induced voluntarily to alter their system, and introduce those improvements which science has placed within their reach, the Legislature must interfere and compel them to do so. The safety of passengers, who are not left the choice of another mode of convey- ance, must be secured, let the outlay be what it may. As for shareholders who may complain, let them remember that they should have con- sidered their probable liabilities before embarking in the speculation; and let them also reflect that though it may cause a considerable expenditure at the outset, it will be to their ultimate advantage to provide for the safety of the passengers. Z.

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