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OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. The Rumoured Matrimonial Alliance be. tween Italy and Spain. But a few days since our relations with Spain have been re-established before even all the diplomatic solemnities by which this restoration of our connection with that country is accompanied are complete, we see the idea of an alliance between the two Royal families of Italy and Spain put forward by the Spanish press. We do not know whether these rumours have any foundation. Naturally, wherever there are princes and princesses of a marriageable age the idea of an alliance arises. But this announcement of marriage is, if nothing else, a commentary on the political act just performed by Italy and Spain. The two peniesulas had so great reason to be in a passion with each: other, that no sooner is there a peace between them than there is a talk of a marriage.. It is a sign of the times, not to be overlooked; because it shows how the progress of ideas in Europe is modifying the conditions of that policy which formerly despotically governed and im- posed itself on all the diplomatic transactions of the various European Government?. When we think of the endless protests and reserves Spain made against the treaties of 1815 to secure the different branches ef the Bourbon family in Italy sovereignty, er a right of reversibility which in some way represented in her eyes the direct rule she had exercised in other times-when we think how, in fact, almost the half of Italy in 1859 was ruled by families of the Bourbon blood, we understand the unfriendly diplomatic relations between Italy and Spain, and these rumours of an alliance mark the abandonment of the old prejudices which formerly governed Cabinets and States.-L' Opinion (Florence paper). The Gloucester Festival. Few ssurcfs of pleasure are more pure than the i retrospect of difficulties successfully grappled with and overcome. The directors of the Musical Festival I at Gloucester must have fully realised these senti- I ments of satisfaction in the happy termination of their labours. In the face of the obstacles which at one time clouded their perspective arrangements, from the absence of the chief clerical authorities of the cathedral, and from the bold and prudent course adopted by their preparation committee in refusing to engage at exorbitant prices of remuneration the ser- vices of some of the more eminent'artis|es,'the Festival has passed off with every token of triumph and grati- fication. It has achieved a great success. The I triennial gathering just concluded has not fallen below any of its predecessors, either in the number or the quality of its visitors, or in the style or description of its performances, or in the amount of its contri- butions secured to the charities, on the plea of pro- moting which it was originally founded and is now I continued. These happy results are the more to be rejoiced in, as the compact adopted by the directors 't on this occasion is a matter of universal interest. They have done a public service in reading a lesson to our chief public singers which was much needed. They have earned to themselves a good reputation in being the firs^to protest against that system which by an over-payment of two or three favour^ leaders exhausts resources which, if more equally administered, would materially tend to the greater perfection of the whole performance. It is a matter of congratulation that their services have been so appreciated and re- warded by the favour and co-operation of the public. —The Press. The Times one of the Alarmists. The literature of leading articles becomes at this time of the year truly remarkable. One paper writes leaders in favour of eating poultry rather than beef. The leading journal begins a magnificent article witl the truly remarkable statement, The progress of truth is in all places and under all circumstances the same," and finds that truth concerning patents now progresses precisely as truth concerning Chris- tianity once did. A correspondent on Thursday, honoured with large type, announces a cure for the cholera. Nobody must be afraid of it, and they must be told not to be afraid in the Times, in which case of course fear will become impossible. Mental emotion," says the writer, rules the physical condi- tion. Faith is not only the victory that overcometh the world, but the inspiration also that defies the cholera. This is not empiricism; it is I not an infallible praventive, but it is force. These words spoken in pulpit, or en platform, ( or prinvea m a pamphlet, reach only a few. Appearing in the Times, they will be read wherever the cholera travels.. No doubt. And what a pity the cows cannot read the Times, for so general a prescription as this would surely do as well for ona disease as another. But as the recipe is not "infallible," only "frce," we conclude it would not apply to those who, if they cannot feel faith, also cannot feel fear.— Spectator. The Patent Laws. The maintenance of patent laws is a question of expediency. Patent rights are, in fact, bounties con- ferred by the State upon persons who can first register a discovery, and, like all other bounties, the more we exalrine them the more impolitic do they appear. They ruin inventors, they clog manufacturing industry, they impose a tax upon the community, and they benefit only patent agents and lawyers. This is the conviction which forced itself upon the minds of the mopfc eminent members of the late Patent Law Cozands-sioL.: It was not Lord Stanley alone, though thee opinion of so careful a thinker is entitled to much weight, but the very lawyers who make the greatest gains out of patent cases, who come to o the conclusion that the patent laws were more injurious than beneficial to the nation. Even the debaters at Birmingham were unanimous in condem- ning the operation of the presentlaw, but they thought it might be reformed, though they refrained from specifying the reforms which would work any good. They may dismiss this illusion from their minds. If a Patent Law be retained at all, it must be retained under the present form; no tribunal can determine beforehand what discoveries are useful, still less whether any assumed discovery is or is not nQ^V" Questions like these must be left to 1m» determined when there are persona the issue to light it out. Nor can the expense of fighting such questions be materially abated; they involve not merely the valuable privileges which the law gives a successful litigant, but the points at issue are in themselves the most intricate that can be brought before any tribunal. If Patent Laws aire to be retained, they must in the main be kept as they are but the more the subject is considered, the clearer will be the opinion in favour of their abolition.-The Times. 1

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