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The Reform Question.


The Reform Question. It is true that Parliamentary Reform is a practical question, and no solution of it can ever be hoped for free from anomalies, but there is no reason why we should perpetuate anomalies which could easily be re- moved, still less why we should create anomalies un- necessarily. The supporters of the Government scheme urge that it can at all events be said of it that it may pass, and this is their strongest argument in its favour. It loses, however, the greater part, if not the whole, of its force when it is added that the bills, if they did pass, would serve only as a makeshift, and that it would soon be necessary to remodel afresh our re- presentative system. No one desires such a result, and it is manifestly the duty of Parliament to make the best possible settlement of Reform now that we have gone so far. If the session be too far advanced to recast the Government scheme, we ought frankly to acknowledge as much, and make up our minds to the consequences; but it would certainly not be too late even now if the good sense of all parties were brought to bear upon the subject. It would be necessary that the Opposition should exchange faction for patriotism, and that the Government should be ready to receive and profit by independent criticism, instead of warning off discussion by threatening to stand or fall" upon some pet combination. Whether it is too much to expect from Parliament such self- denial and patriotism will soon appear; never was there a fairer opportunity for their manifestation, and never would the country welcome more cordially a sincere attempt to settle by mutual concession and compromise this long-contested struggle.—The Times. The Church-rate Question. In England the tests abolition and the admission of Dissenters to the Universities are questions which all sensible Conservatives are glad to have removed out of the way; and the church-rate question is more im- portant still. Every sagacious Tory expectant of office knows full well that he must linger hopelessly in the cold shade of the Opposition benches whilst the constant grievance relating to church matters remains a stumbling block in his way to place or power. The Tories must, therefore, be really grateful to Mr. Glad- stone for his practical device for setting this trouble- some question at rest. Nothing can be more simple or workable than allowmg every man to select whether he will pay church-rates or not; and at the same time providing that only those who pay them shall have a voice in the management of the affairs of the Church. No reasonable Dissenter desires to meddle with Church affairs; he only desires to save his conscience from compulsory contribution; the Dissenters, therefore, Iare glad to accept the relief as it is proposed. The i Tories desire to have it out of the way, with the other questions of the same sort, so both sides are satisfied, and the bill of Mr. Gladstone will probably be passed, and added to the by no means barren results of the session of 1866.-0bserver. Stephens, the "Head Centre," in Paris. Native American sympathy with Mr. Stephens is out of the question. The Irishry of the cities regard him as a hero, and the less scrupulous demagogues of the democratic party may, perhaps, try to turn him and them to political account. But the American people feel towards him as the English people do. Mr. Stephens will receive only such attentions as are prompted by curiosity, and not such as are dictated by respect. The interest felt in him will be that which might be felt in a political Jack Sheppard and a politi- cal Barnum combined-in a clever prison-breaker and a clever charlatan. He has the gifts which impose on maid-servants and on ploughboys, and which seduce turnkeys and policemen from their duties. But these are not the qualities which sway a nation or its states- j men. But we must not be too hard even on Mr. Stephens. He himself is a result of misgovernment. The history of Ireland has made a conspirator of a man whom nature intended for a clever, bustling attorney, fertile in expedients, and not over scrupulous in employing them; who, with a more legitimate opening in life, might have been a respectable local notability, in due time, it may be, a borough magistrate, very hard upon offenders, and especially upon all promoters of privy conspiracy, sedition, and rebellion.-Daily News. The Proposed International Congress. There does not appear to be any chance for a solution of the European struggle by a Congress, and not very much, perhaps, of the assembling of the Con- gress itself. Yesterday week, before the Whitsun recess, Lord Clarendon said that" confidential com- munications-he could scarcely describe them as having the character of negotiations "-by the way, Mr. La-yard did so describe them the same evening in the Commons, but then Mr. Layard is not a very adequate representative of his chief—" were at the present moment going on, and he hoped they might terminate in a meeting of all the Powers con- oerned. He could not hold out any hope that these proceedings would terminate in peace." That is not very sanguine, certainly, and last Thursday Mr. Gladstone did not think there was anything of consequence to add to the short statement made in another place by my noble friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs." And certainly he did not add much. He spoke of England as acceding to the proposals made," so that at least we have not been the fussy originators of this probably useless talk. Mr. Gladstone was rather vague sa to the proposed subject of the Conference. Mr. Disraeli asked him whether it was to agree on territorial compensations which wouldooffer indemnities and satisfaction to the olaims of Prussia, Austria, and Italy." That was not exactly it, Mr. Gladstone said, and it would be "dangerous to say in precise terms" what it was. All which means, that a Conference to discuss a meteorological expedient for dispersing clouds is pro- posed as a remedy for an inevitable and very formid- able storm. -Spectator. Garibaldi on the War. General Garibaldi has written the following letter to General Pettinengo, Minister of War, in reply to the communication appointing him Commander of the Volunteers:— Caprera, May 11th, 1866. "SIGNOR MINISTER,—I accept with real gratitude the arrangements made by the Ministry and approved of by his Majesty in respect to the Volunteer Corps, appreciating the confidence reposed in me by entrust- ing the command to me. Please explain to his Majesty these my sentiments. I hope soon to be able to co-operate with the glorious national army in the completion of the national destinies. I thank you for the courtesy with which you have informed me of the fact.—Believe me, yours devotedly, "G. GARIBALDI." This is one of those documents which honour not an individual, not a party, but a whole nation. Gari- baldi, the leader of thousands, states he appreciates the confidence reposed in him by giving him the com- mand of the volunteers. Garibaldi, the liberator of a great part of Italy, expresses his hope of being able to help her glorious national army in completing the national destinies. Garibaldi, who was wounded at Aspromonte, accepts with real gratitude the arrange- ments made by the Ministry. Garibaldi, the hero of Monte Video; Garibaldi, the ex-republican, who still wishes for Italian unity by the side of Mazzini; this, Garibaldi begs of the minister of the King of Italy to explain to his Majesty his sentiments of real grati- tude." If there ever was a man in the Peninsula, or out of it, who had doubted for an instant the complete dis- interestedness and spirit of self-abnegation—in a word, of the true and incomparable greatness of Giuseppe Garibaldi, he ought now to bow his head, and ask pardon of his conscience, and join in the universal cry, Long live the Captain of the People."—L'Alleanza, Milan Paper.

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