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MONDAY, MARCH 4, 1872. .




P A R LI AM EJN T A R Y GOSSIP. [BY AN INDEPENDENT WELSH MEMBER.'] The great event of the week has been the Thanks- giving service at St. Paul's. The arrangements made for the safe and satisfactory conduct of this grand cere- monial, both within and without the Cathedral, seem to have been such as to reflect much credit on the autho- rities'. The great majority of the members of both Houses of Parliament went from Westminster it, steamers, and landing at Paul's Wharf, walked up to the church. There was not much attempt at orna- mentation within the walls, beyond fest@ons of scarlet cloth; nor was it necessary, for the great, and majestic temple did not require or admit of any tinsel decoration. And certainly, after the streaming crowds that for hours were pouring into the building, had all taken their places, uutil every niche and corner was occupied, the spectacle was magnificent and imposing. Thirteen or fourteen thousand persons, representing every class in the community, were supposed to be gathered within those capacious walls; and when, a few minutes before one o'clock, the organ struck up God save the Queen," and her Majesty slowly walked up the nave, leaning on the arm of the son that had been restored to her, as it were, from the Valley of the Shadow of Death, a thrill of emotion ran through most hearts, for one touch of nature makes the whole world kin." As a spectacle the ceremony was no doubt a great success. But as a religious service, many felt it hollow and unsatisfying. Most people thought it was a mistake to have new music, of no great excellence, introduced on such an occasion, instead of some of the grand compositions of Handel or Mendelsohn. And cer- tainly the Archbishop did not prove himself a Bossuet or a Massilon. There was a general impression that his ad- dress was pointless and jejune, andthat a great opportunity was lost, which a man of real eloquence could have turned to precious account. The most touchingpoint in the service was when the last hymn was sung, and when her Majesty and the other members of the Royal Family were seen to join, and the whole vast assembly lent their voices to swell the simple melody. The other parts had been performed by a choir, but this seemed to proceed from the heart of the congregation. The outrage on her Majesty on the following day by the wretched boy, whose brain is probably crazed, pro- duced, as will be readily imagined, a thrill of indignation when it first became known. And, though since the facts have been fully ascertained, it is seen that the Queen was not really exposed to any danger, does not detract from the admirable composure and self-command which Her Majesty displayed, because when she found the muzzle of a pistol within a foot of her head, she could not, of course, be aware that it was not loaded. And yet she seems not to have betrayed a sound or sign of alarm. The discussion on the second reading of the lballot Bill was weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable. It turned mainly on a question of favour, whether that and the Corrupt Practices Bill should be considered together in the Committee. The Government was thought to have taken the wind out of the sails of the Opposition by accepting the amendment of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. But nothing can stop the flow of talk, and protests were still found for going on with the debate for hours, the old arguments against the Ballot, which had been rejected a hundred times, being once more re-stated, while of the friends of that measure it may be said that- Thrice they vanquished all their foes, And thrice they slew the slain." But the utter weariness of the scene culminated when Mr. Cavendish Bentinck, by dint of mere audacity, kept several hundreds of gentlemen waiting in or about the house, while he elaborately argued a proposal which, of course, was a mere joke, that votes in the House of Com- mons should be taken by the Ballot. Rumours are still in circulation that the Lord Chan- cellor may before long retire, in which case there is only one possible successor-Sir Roundell Palmer.