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TOWN T -A. LK. BY OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. i Our readers will understand that we do not hold ourselves respon sible for our able Comspondent's opinions, --+- THE event of the week, which has thrown every- thing else into the shade, is the meteor-like cam- paign on the Continent, by means of which Prussia. has, so to speak, "doubled up" Austria in seven days instead of seven years. It seems only yester- day that these two rivals for supremacy in Ger- many, after long preparation, declared war against each other. Nearly a million of men in arms were to be engaged in the struggle; a contest was com- menced of which no one pretended to see the end; but, judging from past experience, everyone ex- pected it would be a protracted one. In little more than a week it was all over. With Prussia it was almost the blow before the word. Her strategy, according to military critics, was wrong, J .Y because she directed at least three armies by different routes upon a converging point, thus allowing the commander-in-chief of the enemy the opportunity of throwing himself upon and defeat- ing any one or these corps d'armee before they could form a junction with the others. Well, it appears that history does not repeat itself exactly, and that professional military men and critics are not always the best judges of what is going to happen. Count Bismarck had a little secret in his possession on which, in combination with the alert- ness of the troops in carrying out a clearly devised plan of a campaign, he relied with confidence for success. That confidence was fully justified. The needle-gun of the Prussian army, which can be loaded at least four times to one of the muzzle- loading weapon of the Austrians, and which is proportionably more accurate and deadly as a weapon of precision, proved so destructive in every skirmish and battle, that practically the forces of Prussia were quintupled.' Bulldog courage, energy, discipline, military strategy were nothing against the terrible" needle-gun." The way to Vienna was open to the victorious Prussians, the Austrian army was routed and dis- organised, and the Kaiser awoke to the fact that he must give up fighting and begin to negotiate. V He therefore at once ceded Venetia to the Em- peror of the French, and besought his good offices as a mediator to secure, in the first instance, an armistice with his formidable foe as a preliminary to the conclusion of amicable arrangements. "'4 Never before did war commence upon so large a scale. Never before was it so suddenly brought to a termination; and the facts justify the views and prophecies of those who foretold that just in proportion as the engines of warfare by sea and land were made more perfect aad more certainly destructive upon a large scale, so would war itself become more and more impossible between rcivilised nations. BYRON somewhere mentions that on an ancient battle-field an earthquake passed away unheeded. That has been very much the case with us as regards the change of Ministry. At any other time everybody would have been talking abotft that, and nothing else. As it i3, Mr. Gladstone makes his valedictory speech-reciprocates compli- ments with his successor at the hospitable table of the Lord Mayor—Ministers give up their seals of office, which are delivered over to other Minis- ters, who thereupon kiss handsand really no one, except those immediately interested in the change, setms to think the affair worthy of more than a passing notice. In another two or three weeks, at the most, the Session will close, and Lord Derby and his friends will have ample time to consider before next February what kind of bill of felre they will set before the nation. I TALKING of reciprocal courtesies at the Mansion House, it is worth noting that the entertainment given by the Lord Mayor to the King and Queen of the Belgians was in all respects a marked suc- cess. The King spoke well and heartily, so did the Prince of Wales and his brother, the Dake of Elinburgh-in fact, all the speakers were above the ordinary level, and Lord Major Phillips, not only on that particular occasion, but during the whole of his term of office, has acquitted himself so much to the satisfaction cf his fellow-citizens, that his re-electisn in next November is one of the most likely things on the cards. SOMEBODY proposed, years ago, that a railway director, a bishop, and a railway superintendent, L should travel by every train as the best means of preventing accidents." That the suggestion was an excellent one in principle has just been illustrated in a rather striking way. For a long time past complaints have been made of the danger to life and limb from the reckles3 or unskilled riding of persons, who ought not to be admitted into the Bide in Hyde-park. Of the sug gestion that mounted police should attend for the protection of the public, no notice was taken by the authorities. The other day, however, the Prince oE Wales was riding out with the Princess ani the Queen of the Belgians, when somebody, I who had lost all control @f his horse, bore right down upon the party, scattered the ladies right and left, and cannoned against the Prince's horse, whiih rolled over like a. rabbit when shot. Of course, the future King of England got an ugly fall, which he bore with great equanimity, and when his hat and the heel of his left boot with the spur on were picked up and restored to him, he rode back to Marlborough-house a muddy if not a moody man. The frince may congratulate him- self on being a public benefactor; perhaps the person who rode him down has a right to partici- pate in the self-gratulation, for the eyes of the ranger of the park and of the first Commissioner of Works were immediately opened. "Jemmy Buttons" will no longer be allowed to endanger either his own life or that of others in Rotten- row," at alt events, in the height of the London season. IT may be noticed that the Qaeen has formally constituted the Royal Commission which is to in- quire iato our coal resources, and the list includes such a number of eminent men that we may rea- sonably anticipate an exhaustive and practical report on a subject of first-rate importance to the country. THE m3st notable event at the marriage of the Princess Helena at Windsor was the fact, that when the Primate asked, "Who gives this woman to this man ? the Queen stepped forward, and, by a gesture, signified that she did -so. Some people wonder whether this is in accordance with the rules and discipline of the Church. They never heard of a woman being a father before, but then they forget that the Qaeen is the head of the Church, and also that, as Queen, she can do no wrong. CENSORIOUS critics unhappily abound who do not believe in the latter article of faith. For in- stance, .£60 a year has been awarded to the widow of a man whose literary and scientific labours con- ferred immense benefits upon the country, while, as in too many cases of the kind, he left his family destitute. zCl,200 a year is at the disposal of the Queen for what are called literary and scientific pensions..£60 was thought enough for the desti- tute widow of the literary man; twice as much has been granted to the widow of the late private treasurer to her Majesty—Sir C. Phipps-who cer- tainly was not, according to the intentions of the Act," distinguished in science, literature, and art." It is a pity that those who advise the Queen on such matters have not better taste, and fail to per- ceive that such jobbing can only have the worst possible consequences on public feeling. Z.








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