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TOWN TALK. BY OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. •— Our tsedm win understand that we do not-hold ourselves rupw sibUfor our able Correspondent's opinions. CHARLES LAMB, in one of his inimitable essays, divides men into two classes those who borrow, and those who lend, and he assigns a decided superiority to the former. He invests them with a kind of royalty. They lay all men under tribute, they make a decree like Caesar that the whole world should be taxed, while they are humble enough to perform the invidious duties of the publican. The delightful essayist dwells upon their jaunty carriage, their rosy appearance, the lightness of their step, their more than royal appearance of freedom from oare, their princely way of speaking money. To refuse them anything they may ask of you is a thing not to be thought of; the tone of careless contempt in which they speak of the trifle they require, the absolute right which they evidently believe themselves to possess to whatever may happen to be in the pockets of other people, forbid so absurd an idea. Besides, there really is no time for reflection, the crown or half- sovereign is extracted as quickly as a tooth by a first- rate dentist; it is done by the single twist of a masterly hand. It is only, How are you, my dear fellow" (here there is a patronising squeeze of your fingers)? "Have you a crown about you? Ah, thank you J Good bye." And away goes our friend to collect his income some- where else. This is one of the ways of living on what Thackeray calls "nothing a year," of which not a few in London avail themselves. This is the dull season for such gentlemen. They have at present to content themselves with such com- paratively humble birds as your correspondent. In Fleet-street, the other evening, one of them asked me for a half-crown. Presently I saw him driving in a Hansom cab I walked home that evening myself, and, unless tired, should have thought it- sheer extravagance to take a cab. I have been done in this way about half-a- dozen times in as many days. A half- crown, or any amount that one can afford, for that matter, is never thrown away if given to those who need it; but it is only little short of a crime to encourage men who make it their trade to levy this kind of black mail- men who are moral ruins, their tower of self-respect prostrate, and their whole building hastening to inevitable decay. I HAVE given you a glimpse at these gentlemen very much because there is really very little "town talk at present. Jones, who used to be a cyclopaedia of news, is studying Murray's Guide." Brown is deep in a work by an experienced tourist, in which it is shown how you may starve yourself and go up and down the Rhine for £ 5. Robinson is similarly employed. Excursion trips here and there, Mr. Cook, eligible watering-places where good shooting may be had, are the only subjects much discussed now—by the few who are here to discuss them. At Button's—where lawyers and literary men do congregate-there are still the pale young sylphs in waiting, but the shrewd, wrinkled faces, the high foreheads, the bald and semi-bald heads, the eye-glasses and the whiskers, the Q.C/s, the magazine writers, the students of the Temple and Lincoln's-inn, are nowhere to be seen. For myself, I feel" as melancholy as a lodge in a warren." I feel baked. I am sick of this huge brick-kiln of a London, and the moment this letter is finished I shall wipe my pen and pack up. and be off for three days at least. But where ? That is a question I have not time to settle at present. WHEN a lover of fish cannot get whitebait he has to relapse on the less delicate eel or whiting. The quidnuncs, in default of more enticing matters, are discussing in a languid manner-quite W. keeping with the thermometer-the Fenians. Some persons affect to think there is little or no Fenianism in Ireland; but of its w.ide-spread existence amongst the lower class of young men in that country there cannot be much doubt. Fenianism is a very small mountain, which can only bring forth a very small mouse, which may successfully hide itself from Sir Robert Peel's cats under a good-sized cabbage-head or an umbrageous potato-stalk. Regarded from the point of view it would wish to be-namely, as for- midable to England—anything more absurd, more outrageously ridiculous, it would be impossible to conceive. Just think of the intelligence of young fools, who imagine that people will leave America, break up all their ties, and come over to liberate Ireland from the most powerful nation in the world-to which three-fourths of the Irish people are loyal! Let us hope that Fenianismis one of the last feeble outbursts of a spirit which has been, since this country has treated Ireland with an enlightened policy, the greatest impediment to its progress. Some make the mis- take of supposing that the Rom an Catholic clergy encourage Fenianism. The truth is that the great mass of the priesthood are against it. Since the French revolution, the Irish priesthood have never as a body fostered rebellion. The way their brethren in France were treated taught them a lesson they have never forgotten. In '48 the attempts at rebellion would not have been such a miserable collapse but for the priests. They are, indeed, partially responsible for Fenianism. They .have in their schools encouraged a mistaken nationality, a half-smothered hostility to England, which could not but result in Fenianism or some- thing likeit. Atpresent, the priests asd the Fenians are at daggers-drawn. Many will not give absolution to Fenians. When last in Ireland, I attended a meeting in which the names of Arch- bishop Cullen and some other bishops were hissed at, because they were opposed to the movement. They don't like the fruit. Why then not cut down the tree ? They have raised a spirit which it will require all their power to lay. Nor will that spirit have been raised in vain should it teach them to sow in the minds of the rising generation seeds that will grow up in loyalty and in content, in a pride anything but slavish in the union of the two countries, and in a noble ambi- tion to contribute to, and share, their mutual glory. THE shooting of Sergeant Sherlock by Foy has given new life to those questions which arose out of the murder of Major De Vere. A large number j of persons seem to think that the soldiers are treated too severely. They even say that the dis- l cipline is too rigid. If they are treated with tyranny they have no remedy. I even heard some utter the rather dangerous and wholly superficial remark, that such crimes did good, and that only for them there would be nothing but the most frightful oppression in the army. They failed to see that danger so uncertain would I never make a man watch his every word and every act. They were advised by a humorous friend of mine to write to Earl De Grey, and propose that I every ten or five years an unpopular officer should be shot by way of a counterbalance to the tendency there is to over-great severity. By this way, he said, they would obtain all the advantages of which they spoke, and with as small a sacrifice of officers as possible, besides taking away all temptation fj:om the soldiers to be- come murderers. Others say that it is ridiculous I to be looking for causes and casting about for I remedies for these things; that you will always I have in the army, as in other places, wild natures; and, as a natural consequence, such catastrophes, which, if they prove anything, prove the necessity of severe discipline. Others again say, Why, in times of peace, serve out powder and ball? failing I to see that anything like distrust or fear would be highly inexpedient. The advocates of strict dis- cipline would leave the put vshment of such men as Foy in the hands of the military authorities. But it is replied, that under the gravest charge that can be brought against a man, a soldier would then be without the privilege of bein g tried by his peers; and it is just possible that the military and civil tribunals might ultimately come to have different standards of punishment for the same great crime. The most intelligent persons with whom I have spoken seem to think that, without making any very sweeping changes, a system less severe might be tried. The experiment, they say, could do no harm; and it might result in the'conviction that an army would lose nothing in discipline or effi- ciency by being allowed a little more liberty, and being treated with a little more consideration. I HAD some conversation this morning with an acquaintance of Louis Jordan and his reputed wife Angelina. I learned that he was a little rat-eyed man, that he was rather severe on Angelina, that they lived well, that Angelina was either brought up or resided a long time in France, and that she was anything but happy with Monsieur Lotus. The reader is aware that I speak of the swindler, who, after representing himself as an agent, took in so many innocent foreigners from St. Peters- burg to Lisbon. PEOPLE are laughing at the way the Germans have been done in the affair of Schleswig Holstein. But when they forget Prof. Max Miiller and the Germans, they express themselves rather indig- nantly at the hypocrisy and treachery of both Austria and Prussia. These nations have acted like two scheming attorneys who should fight out a case for a plaintiff, and, having been successful, pocket everything for costs. Why does not Punch give us a cartoon of Austria and Prussia eating the oyster, and Germany, surrounded by metaphysical treatises, meekly receiving the shells from her generous friends ? Z.


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