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œUt foitfttm Cwresponbtitt.…


œUt foitfttm Cwresponbtitt. _Wc- aeem it right to state that we do not at all Bum soakttf ourselves with our Correspondent's opinionaj The Triennial Handel Festival, at the Crystal Palace, attracts to London every three years an im. mense number of those who take an interest in the musical art in all parts of the country. Although thegreat composer diedin 1759, it was not for many years after his death that any attempt was madd to per- petuate his fame by any organized celebration. In 1791 there was a Handel Commemoration Festival in Westminster Abbey, at which there were a thousand executants, and in 1834 there was another, of which the performers were scarcely so numerous. But the Clystal Palace Festivals, as we know them, began in 1857, when the four days' programme drew 38,000 visitors. Another was held in 1859, to commemorate the centenary of Handel's death, and on that occasion there were over 81,000 visitors. The year of the International Exhibition, 1862, attracted to the Palace Festival more than 67,000 persons; in 1865 the number was 59,000; in 1868 it rose to 82,000; in 1871" the highest figure was reached—84,771. Three years ago the number was 78,839. The appearance of the orchestra, filled with its four thousand performers, can never be forgotten by those who have witnessed the spectacle, while the dignity and pathos of the choruses produce an ineffaceable impression upon the minds of the thousands who have come from far and near for the purpose of being present at these celebrations. The training ship, in which boys are prepared for the navy or for the merchant service, is an institution, the merits of which are becoming more and more recognized with the advance of time. The visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to the Warspite, which lies in the river off Charlton, has drawn promi- nent attention to a subject of great importance, and it will also be borne in mind that the two sons of the Heir-Apparent, the Princes Albert Victor and George Frederick, are naval cadets—a graceful way of showing the interest of the Prince of Wales in a profession which has made this country the greatest maritime Power in the world. If education can make good sailors, and science can turn out good fighting ships,, the British-Navy of to-day ought to be more perfect than it ever was in our national history. The great naval victories which marked the close of the last century and the beginning of this, were won with the rawest possible material in the way of men. The press-gang, prowling late at night through the bye- ways of our seaport tewns, carried off to the man-of- war lying in the harbour the very refuse of the male population, who could not possibly have known any- thing of the duties of a sailor, and in action might have been deemed rather impediments than helps. Yet, at no time did our naval renown stand so high as then. Now the navy consists of men who have been for the most part carefully trained to their duties, and would be thoroughly competent to take any part which might be assigned to them. The days when the Coaching Club or the Four-in- Hand Club meet in Hyde Park bring together an enormous number of spectators. It is not uncommon for more than thirty vehicles to be brought up, drawn by the best blood which money can procure, either from our own studs or from those on the Continent. When the long procession of coaches has been formed, it moves off either to the Alexandra Palace, or to the Orleans Club at Twickenham; and if the Prince of Wales has no other engagement, he is generally to be seen upon the box of the foremost vehicle, acknow- ledging the salutations of those who are always so ready to recognize him. In all ages the people of every nation have delighted in the horse, and it is recorded that in olden times the inhabitants of Thessaly were excellent equestrians, and were probably first among the Greeks who broke in this noble animal for service in war. In the fourth chapter of the First Book of Kings we are told that Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen—quite an army in themselves. The slaying of the steed by the Angel of Death in the destruction of Sennacherib's army, when— The foam of his gasping lay white on the turf is the subject of a very striking passage in one of the shortest but best-known poems of Lord Byron. Those who take an interest in French affairs will BOW have an opportunity of studying them under highly favourable circumstances, so far as a promi- nent concentration of attention upon them is con- cerned. For the second time within seventeen months France is to have a general election, and the issue before the constituencies is confidence in Marshal MacMahon. In this country we find a disso- lution once in four or five years quite as much as most people care about, for it costs on an average two millions sterling, stagnates trade, and disarranges public business. The shortest Parliament of modern times in England was that which lasted from May, 1857, to April, 1859—only one year and eleven months —and the consequence was that there were compara- tively few new members in ifu .i.i — Parliament is allowed to grow, the greater the pro- portion of new members elected when it is dissolved. Many who have had seats in it have grown weary of legislative life, or have found that the late hours of the House of Commons tell upon their health. The labour is indeed at times excessive. A Minister is in his officejit ten o'clock in the morning; at twelve he takes his seat at a Select Committee, where he remains four hours; he then takes his place in the House, where business detains him perhaps until one or two the next morning. It is sometimes asked why Parlia- ment does not sit more than six months in the year, but it must be remembered that into these six months is concentrated the work of at least nine. The reception of General Grant in London has given much gratification on the other side of the Atlantic. No ex-President of the United States has ever before visited this country, for the ruler of that mighty Re- public has generally led a very quiet and retired life after he has left the White House at Washington. Obscurity seems to attend an ex-President also in death, for Andrew Johnson, who guided the destinies of thirty millions of people for four years, has no monu- ment over his grave in far-off Tennessee; his resting- place is marked onlyTjy a rude wooden shed. It tells as little as the rustic cross upon the plains of Cham- pigny, near Paris, conveys respecting those who lie buried in the mound which it surmounts. It was there that a terrible sortie was made from the French capital against the Germans, on the 1st of December 1870, but the cross and the mound are the only jndica tiona of the conflict. Andrew Johnson, General Grant's immediate predecessor, departed from the White House with his hair turned, and his health broken by the storms of his official career, and that wooden shed on a lonely hill-side in Tennessee seems truly enough to re-echo the sentiment of Edmund Burke, to which he gave such mournful expression upon the death of his only son—"What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue But General Grant has not been our only distinguished visitor of late. The Emperor and Empress of Brazil have been moving about London, leaving for a time their distant country to visit some of the scenes in the eastern hemisphere. They have not, much fear of the Monroe doctrine being carried out in their absence. That, as your readers are aware, was laid down by Mr. Monroe, a former President of the United States, who held that no rule but that of the Republic ought to exist throughout the whole of the vast territories of the Western hemisphere. From the Atlantic seaboard to the calmer waters of the Pacific main the people were to be governed by themselves. 'It was notoriously this doctrine which interfered with the establishment of an Empire in Mexico ten years ago; but if logically- carried out it would, of course, put an end to British rule in Canada as well as to the empire of Brazil. It is not a long time, and its flight is represented by the mere substitution of a single figure. Most of us can carry our memories back to the month of June, 1867, when there was a very illustrious gather- ing in the city of Paris. The Emperor Napoleon, al- though the starofhis success was already upon the wane, receive! as honoured guests the Czar of Russia, the Sultan of Turkey, the King of Prussia, and Count Bismarck. They visited the Exposition Universelle, one of. those collections of the products of peaceful industry in which) great cities have of late years delighted. The four sovereigns who gathered there repreellted four great European Powers—France and Prussia, Russia and Turkey. What suggestion or thought of war was there at that time. Everything seemed as bright as the sun which lighted up the streets and squares of Paris public events were appa- rently flowing as smoothly as the waters of the Seine past the now ruined Tuileries. A decade rolh awav and what has its history presented ? Every one of the four great Powers ha.3 been at war—France with Prussia, and Russia with Turkey. Two out of the four sovereigns were deposed from their thrones—the Emperor Napoleon ending his days as an exile in Eng- land and the Sultan dying by his own hands a few days after his dethronement. The present =odb of June has witnessed the Czar busily eng^jed ia. hurrying forward tho construction of pontoon bridjos over the Daoube in order to pour hia vast army iito the territories of the Turkish empire. The King of Prussia, who hid then attained his rOth year—the allotted of nua, has since lived to beat down France under his feet, and to revive the glories of the German Empire. In less than four years after he had been received in Paris as a gueat.te had entered the city as a conqueror. The great fire at St. John's, in Newfoundland is one of those terrible calamities to which we are happily not accustomed on this aide of the Atlantic. Wood is so plentiful in America that not only the houses but the pavements, or, as the people say over there, "Side- walks," are made of that saaterial; c^nseqa&ntly if the flames once obtain a hold upon a town, no power of man can stop their progress, and they burn them- selves out because nothing is left in their path to be destroyed. In an English town there can never be any approach to such visitations as those which have fallen upon Chicago, Boston, and St. John's, simply be- cause the same conditions do not exist. The most alarming fire with which the London Brigade has had to deal" was that of June 1861, when the glare from the burning houses in Tooley street lighted up the whole of the metropolis, and a stream of liquid flame poured out upon the surface of the river, threatening the shipping with imminent destruction. It was then that Mr. Braidwood, the predecessor of Capt. Shaw as the chief of the brigade, was killed. For at least a fortnight after Hospital Sunday in London, the amounts of the collections are being for- warded to the Mansion House, and there is always a great deal of speculation, as day after day passes on, whether the result will be equal to that of previous years. When the movement was first started during the mayoralty of Sir Sydney Waterlow in 1873, it was predicted that the result would be a sum of £40,000 for distribution—no excessive estimate when we con- sider the enormous size of London and its immense population. But nothing like this amount has yet been reached. It must not be assumed that all places of worship give in their adhesion to this appeal. Seme find the collections for their own purposes quite as much as their congregations can meet; others pre- fer to make local appeals for the particular hospital or dispensary in their own neighbourhood, and which they are practically prevented from doing if they give in their adhesion to the general fund. There can, however, be no question that the Hospital Sunday movement is a good one, and that it deserves to be a great success.




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.fc.I,■——'■■"1 THE PASSAGE…



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UUstcU.uuous Jntclligiiitt.

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