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r.r 0 -W W TALK.


r.r 0 -W W TALK. BY OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. --+- Ow ftmdtrs will understand that we do m*. "hold owrselvts Tttpon tikltfor our ablt Correspondent's opinieva. THOUGH a change of Government brings with it many inc nveniences, and at the present time is much to be regretted, nevertheless, the accession of the Derbyites to power may lead to some unques- tionable advantages, so far as the literary class is concerned. The Whigs, for some reason or other which it is not easy to understand, have never been o liberal to those who make literature in its various forms their calling as have been the Tories. Of this, the opposition which the old Whig Govern- ment made to the opening of the State Paper Office to our historical students, and the readiness with which the Conservatives, when in power, adopted the opposite course, is ene example. Another was furnished recently when the Lord Chancellor and Lord Granville opposed a bill the object of which was to protect novelists from the literary pirates who, without permission and, without paying, dramatise their works. The one objected to the bill because it would lead to litigation, an argu- ment which, if good for anything, would lead to the abolition of many Acts of Parliament-the Patent Laws, for instance, which are always lead- ing to litigation. The other noble lord thought that turning an author's work into a drama or a farce against his will, and without any direct profit to him, was rather an advantage than otherwise, because it acted as an advertisement to his book and brought his name before the public. If such twaddle as this requires an answer (and com- ing, as it did, from the late Lord President of the Council, present Chancellor of the London University, &c. &c. &c., it may be supposed that it does), is it not self-evident that the product of a man's ingenuity in the shape of a novel is just as much his property aa the product of another man's ingenuity which takes the shape of a new invention is his ? Would the general use of his invention, without any profit to himself, be considered a sufficient reward by the inventor ? If not, why should the law give protection to that kind of invention and refuse it to another ? On these questions Lord Granville's speech throws no light, but it explains why nothing has been done with regard to concluding a copyright treaty be- tween the United States of America and Great Britain. The most eminent authors in both countries desire one, and the only opposition comes from pirate publishers. They, of course, are interested in maintaining the present system, and, from Lord Granville's point of view, suffi- ciently reward the authors whose works they "appropriate" by the wide circulation they give them. The new Government may, if it pleases, remedy this great evil, and thus earn the grati- tude of our writers while doing a simple act of justice. WHOM shall we hang?" was the title of a pamphlet which appeared during the excitement caused by the mismanagement of our authorities at the outset of the Crimean war. This question was asked by way of a goak," as Artemus Ward would say, but the "Jamaica Committee" have determined in all seriousness to have Mr. Eyre hanged, if they can manage it. They have resolved, if Government does not prosecute the late Governor of Jamaica for the "murder" of Gordon, to assist Mrs. Gordon in doing so; and this resolution has induced Mr. Charles Buxton, M.P., the chairman of the committee, to retire from that office. Mr. Buxton is sane enough to see that Mr. Eyre cannot really be classed with murderers," and confesses that he would shrink with horror from seeing him on the gallows. His common sense tells him, moreover, that the Jamaica Committee "could not possibly injure their own cause more than by such a prosecution," and that its "result would be to give a triumph to Mr. Eyre and his advo- cates." Cannot the committee, he asks, be satis- fied with what they have already achieved ? Has not Mr. Eyre been dismissed from his government with severe censure; and inadequate though that punishment may be, would they do away with its good effect by having him "tried and deliberately acquitted, or pardoned by the Queen amid th plaudits of the British people?" In short, a cording to Mr. Buxton, it would be worse than a crime, it would be a blunder, to prosecute Mr. Eyre for murder. Nevertheless, in spite of this powerful and pathetic remonstrance, the committee have resolved to be guilty of the blunder. THE fact that the House of Lords, though by the very small majority of one, has thrown out the Gas-light and Coke Company Bill, must be noted with satisfaction. The bill sanctioned the erection of gasworks near enough to Victoria-park to be a serious nuisance to those who visit it fof fresh air—persons who, as Earl Nelson said, were too poor to appear by counsel before a Parliamentary committee against the promoters of the bill. By rejecting the measure the Lords have on this, as on many other occasions, exhibited a more lively regard for the welfare of the poorer class than the I Commons, through whose House the bill had passei; and when the peers act in this way even I Radicals may join in old Cobbett's exclamation, Thank God, we have a House of Lords." OF the marriage of the Princess Helena with Prince Christian of Denmark I shall say nothing, as the daily papers will give my readers the plain facts concerning it, but the new husband of the princess appears to be powerful enough to have caused the interdict, "No smoking allowed," to be taken down from the interior walls of Windsor Castle; and, still more wonder- ful, that the architect at Balmoral has orders to build a smoking-room, to be attached to the High- land residence of the Queen. I remember in 1860, when lying nearly opposite to the Toomies, in the lower lake of Killarney, waiting for the stag to be driven into the water, that the barge of the Queen and Prince Consort, steered by the late Right Hon. H. A. Herbert, suddenly turned, and swooped down on the barge steered by the Prince of Wales, who had his brother Alfred along with him. Both princes were enjoying "a weed," but the moment they became aware that the Queen was bearing down upon them, their cigars were gently dropped into the water. And it is gene- rally known that the prohibition at Windsor to which I have alluded has not been submitted to with philosophical equanimity. The new brother- in-law must therefore be accepted as a man of might, if the story be true. Z.






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