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OUTLINES OF THE WEEK. ——

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OUTLINES OF THE WEEK. —— THE news from America is important. The success of General Sheridan following close upon the achievements of Farragut and Sherman, has been perhaps hastily, said to have ensured President Lincoln a certain if not an easy victory. The details of the battle are very few, and the com- binations involved were obviously simple. Sheri- dan and Early stood watching eaeh other near Opequan. The latter was deceived by a false report that a certain broken bridge of the Balti- more and Ohio Railway, which crosses the Opequan Creek at about twenty miles from where he was stationed, had been repaired. He sent a division of his army to break it down again, and this force was unexpectedly attacked and overpowered. It is stated that the Confederates were taken at a disadvantage, and that General Sheridan, who has always had the reputation of being a most skilful military commander, attacked the enemy before they had time to put themselves together. The Confederate General Early, how- ever, maintained his high reputation by seizing on a position which cost the Federal troops dearly. The latter appear to have lost 4,000 men, whilst the loss of the defeated army is stated as 6,000. This battle was much less important than the former victories at Mobile and Atlanta, for here the Confederates have lost no ground that has not been lost or won before; but it makes the third Northern victory within a short time, and it comes as a climax of success to the present Government immediately before the presidential election. If that contest were to come on immediately, Mr. Lincoln would be quite certain of success; and, indeed, there is little probability that' a more popular candidate than the present President will seek the vote of the nation. M'Clellan is weekly decreasing in popularity since he has declared that" for abolition merely he would not fight," and has thus forfeited all right to the support of the anti-slavery party. SPEAKING of America, however, an address has been very quietly prepared in England, which is on its way to the United States. It is a very humble, yet at the same time a very unselfish and kind-hearted call to the American people to pause in their work of slaughter. This address was forwarded with an explanatory note to the Governor of New York by Sir Henry de Hoghton, in the steamer which left England a week ago. There are 350,000 signatures appended to it. The list comprises the names of nobility, clergy, mayors, and members of town councils, heads of colleges and public offices, leading merchants, members of the learned professions, &c. The signatures are said to cover some 700 yards of canvas, and are arranged in four parallel columns which, if taken consecutively, would extend beyond a mile and a half in length. The names of a large number of the Catholic clergy of Ireland are also appended to the address. This document will, we hope, convince the American people that England desires their welfare; that she looks with pity upon the loss of life and property which is going on; and that she wishes.that a permment peace may be established, and that the country may be again prosperous and the people happy. A HOPE is now expressed that there may be a speedy termination to the war in New Zealand. The poor Maories are short of food, and their sur- render is therefore anticipated. It will be re- membered that some discussion has taken place as to how tbt: native prisoners taken in war should be treated. Technically, they are rebels, and are liable to be shot or hanged; but humanity shud- ders at the thought, and the Secretary for the Colonies has addressed a letter to the Governor of New Zealand, which has given general satis- faction. Mr. Cardwell writes in a very authori- tative strain, informing his correspondent that he will be held responsible by the Home Government for any acts which may appear to the Government and people of England to be unnecessarily severe or unjust, or which would have a tendency to prolong, without sufficient object, a civil war. We therefore trust such a peace will be concluded with the poor natives of New Zealand as will cement a permanent friendship between them and the British settlers. PHILANTHROPISTS hail with. delight anything which treads upon superstition, and makes man ■ so man. so near akin. Wasterr civilisation isi1 I being felt even in Tudia; and the fact that a mar- riage has recently taken place between a Hindoo widow and an Indian law student in Calcutta, both being of different castes, has created a sen- sation in many parts of India, and is considered an auspicious forerunner of the death of caste prejudice, which has hitherto been the great obstacle to reform in India. The introduction of railways has done something towards this desired end, as men of different castes now freely mingle together in the railway train-a proceeding which was looked upon as utterly impossible a few years since, when Indian railways were first projected. LOOKING at home news, we are sorry to see that there is likely to be distress in the cotton districts in the ensuing winter. Reports from the relief com- mittees of Blackburn, Burnley, Middleton, and their immediate neighbourhoods, are very unfavourable. It is even stated that in some of these districts the distress is as heavy as it has been since the beginning of the cotton famine, and the authorities have been obliged to put in force those extraordi- nary means of relief which were adopted during the height of the crisis. In the Manchester dis- tricts, however, mills are going, and the people generally are employed. It will be wise for the authorities in those districts where poverty is likely to prevail, to seek out improvements which will be of permanent service to the community, and employ the people who have no other occu- pation. THE strike amongst the colliers in South Staf- fordshire has caused some sensation during the past week, and, lest the quarrel between masters Vud men should be misunderstood, we will endea vour to explain it. The price-of iron has fallen, and the iron-masters, who generally own collieries, not only reduced the wages of the iron-workers, but those of the colliers, whose produce had not fallen in price. The colliers, thinking this unfair, struck, and the masters have been en- deavouring to obtain coal from Wales to keep their works going. The colliers thereupon asked their fellow-workmen in Wales to prohibit any master from sending coal into Staffordshire; but they were unable to carry their object, and the strike continued. It must be remembered that coal is used to a great extent in the manufacture of iron, without which the'ironstone could not be calcined in the first instance, or melted in the second stage; therefore the masters con- sidered coal one of the principal features in the production of iron, and, at the present price of that article, thought they were justified in the reduc- tion. Lord Leigh, the Lord-Lieutenant of War- wickshire, made a humane effort to bring about a reconciliation between the disputants, and an early settlement through his means was antici- pated. The men offered to go back for a month at the wages the masters proposed, provided the old rate had effect afterwards; but the employers refused to give an absolute pledge, though they undertook "to watch for the first opportunity to advance the price of iron and increase the colliers' wages." The men, however, refused to accept this, and the strike, which has been going on for fourteen weeks, is still continued. We trust that before many years are over our head we may see some national means devised for arranging dis- union between masters and men, for the present system is a bitter mockery, entailing much sor- row and suffering on those whose lot is sufficiently arduous under the most favourable circumstances. WITH these slight drawbacks we may con- gratulate ourselves on the prosperity of England. Her revenue returns for the quarter that ended on the 30th of September show that the income of the country surpasses even the most sanguine expectations of the Government. During the financial year no less a sum than ^870,373,944 was paid into the national exchequer.1 There is an increase in the revenue of the last quarter as compared with the corresponding quarter of 1863 of .£380,985. The increase is chiefly under- the head of excise, which now realises .84,352,000 instead of .£3,992,000 at the same period of last year; and in the Post-office, which is now credited with .81,045,000, instead of = £ 905,000—an increase of = £ 140,000; whilst the total decrease of taxation upon the various items introduced by the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer is .£340,000. This will be something for Mr. Gladstone to boast of when he introduces his next budget. IT has been often said that a coach and four could be driven through an Act of Parliament, and this appears to have been somewhat exemplified last week. At the Petty Sessions at Banbury, the district surveyor summoned several people whose cattle he had impounded with the view of recover- ing the penalty of £ 5, imposed by a new Act passed last session; but on proceeding to give judgment in the case, the magistrates discovered that the amended Act renewed the power to im- pose the fine for straying cattle, but gave no authority to impound the cattle consequently an injustice had been done to the owner rather than to the person whose land had been trespassed upon. A contemporary has urged that this inci- dent is worthy of being noted as affording a practical argument in favour of Stuart Mill's notion that purely legislative business—that is, the business of the construction of the laws of the' land—should be taken out of the hands of great miscellaneous bodies, like our Houses of Parlia- ment, and entrusted to a smaller body, selected with a view to that special work, paid fairly for their trouble, and retained in office without refer- ence to party politics. THERE has been no new feature in politics during the past week. Mr. Disraeli has a second time addressed the farmers of Buckinghamshire, and, in answer to an accusation brought against him of lowering the price of wheat, in consequence of his eulogy of the past harvest in his former speech, he humorously replied that, had he not made the statement he did, our porta would have been crowded with foreign grain, and the fall in prices would have been as large again as it is. Mr. Doulton, member forLambeth, has rather surprised his constituents with his doctrines. Taking a view of the Session, he said that the Tories were not exactly Whigs, as he had previously thought, and should now consider the defeat of Lord Palmerston a "great calamity;" reminding his audience that a change of Government always cost money, and that we were now paying £50,.000 a year for dis- charged servants* Lord Enfield and Mr, Lindsay, M.P., have each addressed the Middlesex Agricul- ( tural Society's meeting, held at Uxbridge. The ] noble viscount expressed an earnest wish that the blessings of peace might be soon restored to the American people; at the same time, he hoped England would not yet attempt to play the part of mediator between the combatants. Mr. Lind- say, according to his invariable custom, stuck up lustily for the South.

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