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Am Gymry Llundain.


Notes of the Week.


of almost every branch of the Civil Service, so that, notwithstanding the great decrease in the Navy expenditure, we shall only save about eighteen hundred thousand altogether. Such a Budget as this can hardly be a Dissolution Budget. The Catastrophe in India.—The details now coming to hand prove that the havoc caused by the earthquake in India last week is more awful than any of us imagined at first. It is impossible to say yet what- might be even an approximate computation of the number of lives lost, but it is believed by those who are in the best position to judge that the tale of mortality will probably amount to something like ten thousand. Alarge number of Europeans are among those killed, many of them women. A whole battalion of native troops perished in one town, and tales of deaths and entombments come in from village after village. Some of the reports are too heart- rending to contemplate. Such catastrophes make us tremble in the presence of the forces of Nature, and the impotence of man is brought home to every mind. If our knowledge and science could only foresee such occurrences and thereby give warning of their approach, the destruction of life might be lessened. But they come upon us apparently without any warning at all, and we are perfectly helpless to defend ourselves and our fellow men. All we can do is to bow down in humility and awe before the invisible omnipotence that works so mysteriously around us. And let us also remember that our quarter of the world, much as we blame its climate and atmospheric environments, has its compensations, after all. The Disaster in Madrid.Of very different character from the catastrophe in India was the disaster that occurred in Spain last Saturday. A new reservoir that was in course of construc- tion in Madrid fell into ruins, and, it is reported that 400 persons at least have been killed or injured. This seems, pending inquiry, to have been an avoidable disaster, caused by the in- sufficient strength of the pillars supporting the structure. Some of the workmen engaged in the work state that there were evident signs of weakness during the past fortnight, but that the engineers took no notice of them. These state- ments, along with the ghastly scenes at the place of the calamity, have created intense excitement among the working classes of the city. The latest news says that processions of women carrying black flags are marching through the district where the accident happened, and that a huge crowd has marched to the centre of the city and forced shopkeepers to close their estab- lishments as a sign of mourning. It is also stated that the authorities mean to forbid funeral processions to the victims, and that serious dis- turbances are to be feared. All this is very suggestive of the Spanish temperament. Why should the people desire processions, and why should the Government desire to stop them is a problem difficult for a Britisher to understand. But we hope that there will be a thorough inquiry into the cause of this terrible accident, and that whoever be responsible will receive the condemnation and punishment they deserve. Fleets Drawing Near.-As we write it is re- ported that the Russian Armada under Rodjest- vensky has passed Singapore into the China Sea, and also that a Japanese fleet was in the vicinity a I day before; but up to the present no news of an encounter has come to hand. According to some agencies the Russian admiral himself was not with the squadron that passed Singapore, and it is surmised that he had detached a few of his ships and had taken another direction in order to fall upon the enemy from the rear in case the larger fleet would be attacked in the Straits. On the face of things it seems as if the greatest naval battle of modern times is imminent, and there is intense excite- ment In all naval and shipping circles. It is a thousand pities that the Russians are bent upon going to destruction in this fashion. There is not the slightest prospect of victory for them, and even if they manage to avoid complete annihilation at the hands of Togo, they can only escape to Vladivostock and be bottled up there, with no prospect of delivery either from sea or land. Such reckless disregard of the value of human lives is appalling. If there ever was a time when European and American diplomacy ought to take the bull by the horns-or rather the bear by the claws-that time is the present one. When rulers, such as the Czar, show such utter disregard of all the claims of humanity, then it is the sacred duty of more rational Powers to usurp his authority.