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SUMMARY OF PASSING EVENTS.…

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SUMMARY OF PASSING EVENTS. M. • !■■ EVERY mail from America. conflrms the intelli- gence that the people of the United States are quietly settling down to commercial pursuits, and that they are fast forgetting former feuds, and be- coming once more united. There are a few disaf- fected States, who grumble at entering the Union again, but they are very few and a proposition suggested by a committee of Southerners is likely to free the country of those who are unwilling to support the Constitution as it at present exists-c viz., to emigrate to Brazil, where there is a large extent of country very fertile and quite unculti- vated. The difficulties which were supposed to exist between England and America consequent upon the Alabama, &c., are fast dying out; and there is a Reeling springing up that in this pro- gressive age it should be the* noble aim of two great nations, like these old and new coxlntries, to kill war in revenge for its killing, so many. It has even been said that such an. idea may become a practical fact as soon as both countries can settle down quietly and practically to consider the question; and that a congress of all nations may yet be assembled to mark out a course by which disputes ean be arranged without resorting to war. A COMMERCIAL treaty between Austria nd England, long talked about, has now been ratified and published, and it is believed to be another great step in the union of nations, bringing us nearer to each other in friendly relations and commerce. By article No. 1, Great Britain secures to the subjects and commerce of Austria the same advantages as were given to the subjects and com- merce of France by the French treaty. By article No. 2, the commerce and subjects of Great Britain are, with a few specified exceptions, placed in the position of the most favoured nation in relation to Austria. The goods on which there was formerly almost a prohibitory duty, are not to be charged now-niore than 25 per cent. of the value, and after the year 1870 only 20 per cent. Other clauses, more or less technical, reducing import and export duties, follow; and, by a final protocol, the British plenipotentiary engages to recommend to Parlia- ment the abolition of the duties payable on the importation of wood and timber into the United Kingdom, and also reductions upon other articles not included in the treaty. Austria, so long put down amongst the most despotic of nations, is raising herself in the scale of civilisation. She has already partially acknowledged the rights of Hungary, and, by permitting the Hungarians to have a Parliament of their own, has treated these noble people, who have so long struggled for liberty, with a reward that will merit their grati- tude." As to Spain, few persons in England appear to care much about her. There has been a revolution. There appears to be two Richmonds in the field, each of whom is desirous of being Prime Minister of that country. In reference to the two person- ages, first Marshal O'Donnell, who is supposed to be of Irish origin, holds the reins of Government; he is said to be a man desirous of progress, and. of governing Spain on civilised principles, of pro- moting her commerce, and of giving more freedom to the people, with the hope that the vast natural productions of the country may be turned to her advantage. In this scheme he has been baffled by the bigoted and narrow-minded views of the Queen, who is said to be selfish in the extreme, and desirous of usurping a despotic sway over her people. Being thus opposed by his Sovereign, no wonder he should find opponents without—and thus has sprung up General Prim. He is supported by what are called the Spanish Progressistas, who are more tired of their Sovereign than the O'Donnell party, and would probably dethrone her were they in power, and would set all religion aside, and endeavour to make Spain a menacing Power to other nations, and usurp authority wher- ever possible. At the moment when this civil war is going on, the Chilians, who believe themselves to be oppressed by Spain, have gained their first victory in their conflict with the mother country. A Chilian war corvette has captured a Spanish gun-boat, and in consequence the blockade of the ports has been raised. The Peruvians have come to the aid of their persecuted neighbours, and it seems not improbable that Spain will have to eat humble pie." The sympathies of England are with the colonies, as there is a belief that both Chili and Peru have been oppressed by the mother country. THE Extradition Treaty [between England and France, which ceases in June, according to notice from the Emperor Napoleon, is likely to be re- newed upon a fresh footing. We never anticipated thattheFrenchEmperor intended that there should be no treaty existing between the twonations where- j by persons convicted of crime should be given up.. It is now suggested that the French Government j will propose a general code for eases of extradi- tion, which shall be framed by an international •' committee, composed of representatives of all tke Governments of Europe. THERE is little to say about politics. The style of invitation sent by the chiefs of political parties to their supporters, asking for their pre- sence in the House of Commons on the 6th of Fe- bruary, differs much in composition. That of the Conservatives is very earnest and anxious; that of the Ministers polite in the extreme. Mr. Glad- stone says that he hopes to see members present, if it will be consistent with their convenience to attend." An influential gathering of the Con- servatives of Devon took place at Newton Abbot, last week. There were present on the occasion the Earl of Devon, Lord Courtenay, Sir Stafford North cote, Sir Laurence Palk, Mr. Kekewich, and other leading men in the county; and the speeches delivered on the occasion advocated a firm" ad- herence to old principles, without, however, op- posing moderate measures. Again, Mr. Bovill, who was entertained at Guildford by his constituents, made a strong speech in advocacy of reform and the extension of the franchise. He said: He fearlessly asked which class was likely to send the best members to Parliament-the most intelligent and more educated, or the least intelligent and j less educated part of the community ? Judg- ing, by the experience of the great Reform Bill," says the Spectator, "we should say a union of the two." Lastly Mr. Hughes, the new member for Lam- beth, in a recent speech, said, The true test of a Liberal was whether he had or had not a thorough sympathy with the people." IN domestic matters, we should observe that the storms of wind, the fall of snow, and the floods which have occurred, have done considerable damage throughout Great Britain. One of the most serious accidents occurred at Yarmouth. A ship in distress was seen in the offing, and though the sea was mountains high, two lifeboats nobly put out to the assistance of the ship wrecked. One of them had her rudder unshipped while crossing the bar. At that moment a sea struck her; she was capsized, and her crew was turned underneath her. There were sixteen in number; four struggled out, but the other twelve were, un- happily, drowned. WITH the sanction, and under the encourage- ment of the Society of Friends, Mr. Harvey, of Leeds, and Mr. William Brewin, of Cirencest er are about to set out for Jamaica on a special mission for the purpose of finding out the whole truth concerning the recent slaughter in that colony, and of reporting it to their countrymen at home. About twenty years ago Mr. Harvey was the companion of Joseph Sturge on a somewhat similar visit to that island. It is thought, there- fore, that his report will be peculiarly valu- able, as he can compare the present state of the country with the past. AN important middle-class education movement has been set on foot in London. At a meeting held last week at the Mansion-house, it was deter- mined to raise X100,000 for the purpose of estab- lishing a good middle-class school at Finsbury, whereat from 800 to 1,000 children may be edu- cated at a rate of payment not exceeding X4 a year. It is believed that this large sum will soon be raised, as many of the City merchants have promised large subscriptions, some of them putting their names down for a thousand pounds. EVERY DAY we are more convinced of the neces- sity of having some control over railway directors and managers. A letter in the Times the other day stated that a night train, in which the writer travelled, left the London and North-Western Rail- way without lights in the carriage^, notwithstand- ing the remonstrances of himself and fellow- travellers; and that the porters and guards, instead of seeking to remedy this monstrous neglect, indulged themselves in the sport of somewhat broadly "chaffing" their victims. Now, if this be true-and we have no reason to disbelieve the statement, since it has not been contradicted—it is a stigma upon railway manage- ment, aad points more clearly than ever to the necessity of Government surveillance. A MAN named John. Scott was appointed on the staff of the Herts police, on approval, and ha is said to have hit upon the ingenious device of setting fire to stack-yards in order that he might, by being the first to raise an alarm, give indu- bitable proof of his vigilance in protection- of property. Three fires occurred and he wasaot suspected, but on the fourth occurring suspicion fell upon him, and he is now lodged in the county prison. Well, John, Scott will have a. fair trial, and wejiave no doubt, if he is found guilty, such a. sentence will be passed upon him us will (Jeter others from following his example.

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