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OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. -+-- War or Peace on the Continent. No, we shall not have war, in spite of the provoca- tions of some, and the distrust of others. The Emperor, we are convinced, will preserve peace, while still maintaining our national dignity. Already France, England, and Russia, are agreed for the convocation of a Conference, and as to the ques- tions which are to be treated in it. Letters of invita- tion have already been sent to Prussia, Austria, Italy, and the German Confederation. In a few days the Ministers for Foreign Affeirij of the principal Euro, pean Powers will assemble in Paris. The Congress can only end in a result favourable to European interests. Two alternatives are before us. Either by the exchange of ideas, the dissensions will disappear in the Congress, and the diplomatists will find means to con- ciliate the opposed claims, and, hence, to settle the pending auestions; or the agreement will not be unanimous, and then it will be the duty of the French Government to take a decisive attitude, and to make known to the Corps Legislatif all the efforts it has made to preserve peace, and to ask its help. If, then, the necessity of a great demonstration in favour of the most just cause became clear, France might still prevent a European collision by her in- fluence. It is well known that, owing to the organisation of the reserve, in four days France could put on foot 600,000 men disciplined and equipped. This imposing force, armed not to undertake conquests, but to bring about a prompt and efficaoious settlement, might in- crease the glory of the Empire, without making the country run the risks of gigantic struggles.—Le Patrie, a Hemi-official French paper. What a great and noble institution is diplomacy! What would humanity be without it ? Hardly has a quarrel arisen before diplomacy, with singular self- abnegation, intervenes and endeavours by every means to prevent nations from shedding their blood and wasting their wealth. The gratitude of nations to diplomacy ought to be unbounded. However, strange as it may be, nations look upon diplomacy as their enemy, and are more frightened at its pacific intervention than at the immense disasters that war brings with it. Now, while diplomacy with the most laudable in- tentions is endeavouring to prevent war by means of a Congress, we read in a Vienna journal:—" Fortunately, all the fears of a Congress have vanished." We, for our part, repeat every day, certain of say- ing something most agreeable to the country, the hopes of war are not lost, war is hoped for. Simply collating these words would be sufficient to characterise the situation. Yes, it is the Congress which seeps us in terrible anxiety and the country with us. The mere proposal of a Congress is a grave injury and the Congress, if it succeeded, would be fatal. For diplomacy not only is in the habit of always intervening when any pacifio agreement is impossible, and its interference is of no use but to aggravate the danger and retard the settlement, but also the expe- dients it proposes to cure the evil, instead of curing increases it, and, instead of removing the causes of war, sow fresh seeds of it.—II Dirtlto: a Klorence paper. The Money Market. The state of the money market this week is very Hjuch. more satisfactory. Though the Bank returns of Wednesday are even less favourable as regards the note reserve than they were seven days ago, and the bullion is almost stationary, we may say with cer- tainty that Lombard-street is far quieter and more firm, and this in the face of one event which, a week or two earlier, would have produced the wildest excitement. We refer, of course, to the extraordinary failure of the Consolidated Bank, a failure of very great moment In itself, since the amount of its "current, deposit, and other accounts" was shown in the supple- ment we issued a fortnight ago to be Ro less than £ 3,037,435, and its acceptances then amounted to £ 780,563—1and a failure still more calculated to inspire distrust and alatm from the extraordinary and almost revolutionary way m which it was brought about. It has been said, almost without exaggeration, in the City, that a certain number of the directors of the Consolidated Bank, in a fit of temporary insanity, committed com- mercial suicide last Sunday. That oertainly seems to us not very far from a true description of the step which they took without consulting their colleagues. And that it did not produce more excitement in the City than it did is a very remarkable proof of the great improvement in public feeling that a fortnight, and indeed a week, has produced. That the note reserve at the Bank of England has again decreased need excite no alarm. The failure of the Consolidated Bank was a fresh reason for all country bankers to keep their positions as safe as possible, and while they retain the large reserve3 they do in their tills it is obvious enough that the notes cannot come back to the Bank of England. Whenever the country bankers are re-assured we shall see the note reserve in the Bank of England returning to its usual proportions.- The Economist. The Peruvians' Victory over the Spanish Fleet. It is not easy to say what effect this disaster will have upon the policy of the Madrid Cabinet. It will probably not improve their temper or their willingness to consider terms of peace. They will desire to obli- terate the stain by a signal act of vengeance; but there is a party in their country which has no sym- pathy with those wild dreams of conquest that have intoxicated the imaginations of the O'Donnell school of politicians, and a reverse of this kind un- less, which is unlikely, it should be swiftly I followed by victory in some other quarter- cannot fail to embarrass the action of men whose hold of power depends upon the early success of their unscrupulous projects. But Spain is more seriously menaced in another direction. Already a quadruple alliance of the South American Republics has been formed against her; and the four S Sates of Chili, Peru, Bolivia, and Eouador are now endeavour- ing to win over Venezuela, not that this would give them any considerable accession of material strength, but because Venezuela, from the circumstances of her geographical position, would form an admirable base of operations for the invasion of Caba. This magnifi- cent island is the chief pride, as it is also the chief weakness, of Spain. If the allies could carry the war there they would light a flame which it would take many admirals and fleets to quench. There is a disaffected party in Cuba as there is in Spain. There is an eman- cipation party; and there is a large slave population with terrible wrongs to avenge. There is also in the Gulf of Mexico a great overshadowing Power, which has long marked Cuba for its own, and which, now that emancipation dominates in its councils, may well lend countenanoe, if not support to the scheme of the South American patriots. If these latter can see their way to an attack OR Cuba, they will, at all events, engage in the work with clean hands. They took the lead among the nations of America in abolishing human slavery. They are unstained by the crime which Spain continues to perpetrate in defiance of morality, and with reckless indifference to the signifi- -cant march ef events. When slavery died its hard death in the United States, everyone foresaw that the existence of that institution was doomed in Cuba; bat it was impossible to tell from what quarter Nemesis would some. If the blow should be struck by a gallant race whioh, after having once achieved its own freedom against terrible odds, is now again threatened with subjugation by the old tyrant, the retribution would be as juat a one as Heaven ever inflicted upon a per. verse and unteachable nation.-Morning Star.




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