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TOWH T-A-LIC. BY OUB SPBCIAX. CORRESPONDENT. 0Iw raiders will understand that we do not hold ourselves respon tielefor our able Correspondent's opinions. THE state of the navy, as bequeathed to us by I the late Ministry, continues to attract attention, and that it does so is not surprising, for we have been accustomed to regard the wooden walls of old England" as our principal security against the foreign invader, and when we find, so to speak, that our principal security is "no where" it is time to be up and stirring. The actual state of things, as ascertained by inspections at Ports- mouth, has been published in the Times, anct, I in brie?, it comss to this. There are two new powerful iron-clads quite ready for sea, with the rather important exception that they have not one single gun on board; there is an iron-clad turret ship not intended for service at sea; there are two wooden frigates, and two or three smaller vessels of a similar quality. There are like- wise eleven line of battle ships, eight heavy frigates., a floating battery, and a squadron of gunboats, all of which look very impressive, but as they happen to be without armour, and without guns which would make any impression on an armoured fleet, they simply amount to an impres- sive show, and are about as useful, in these days, as would be an equal number of painted ships upon a painted ocean. The above, and some others which are undergoing repair, and which are likewise waiting for their guns, constitute our naval reserve at the present moment. This being so, there is no disguising the fact that, as a naval Power, we are now inferior to the United States, which, in five years, at a cost of about eighty millions sterling (ten millions more than we have expended during the past seven years), has made itself the first naval Power in the world. Five years ago the American fleet consisted of sixty-eight vessels; at the present moment, in- cluding those under construction, it numbers 75 monitors, 400 screw or paddle steamers, and 112 sailing vessels, carrying in all 4,443 guns. This being the disgraceful state of our naval defences, the question, whether we are any better off as regards our land defences, is naturally asked by those who look ahead and who are anxious about the fature of England. Here, again, the prospect is the reverse of cheering. If we were suddenly plunged into a war, we should be unprepared at all points; and it must be borne in mind that the system of modern warfare has so changed, that what formerly took years to accomplish is now done in weeks. This is important for us to consider, because we generally begin by making a mess of it, and end well. But it is very doubtful whether, under the altered system, when a powerful mili- tary empire like Austria is "polished" off in a couple of weeks, we should be allowed time to re- cover from our first mistake, and to bring all our undoubted resources to bear. Modern warfare has become so fearfully destructive, and consequently its results are so rapidly brought about, that our reliance on possessing the longest purse would not assist us in such a contingency. The army of a great country like England ought to be kept in as efficient a state as the armies of the Continent, and this, it must be acknowledged, General Peel is doing his best to accomplish. With the view of increasing the efficiency of the volunteers and the militia, and make them as effective as men of the lina, a very good suggestion has been made by the Times. Instead of manoeuvring the regulars by themselves, occasionally assembling the volunteers at Brighton and Hyde-park, and calling out the militia for a certain number of days in each year, let the county regiment, the county volunteers, and the county militia, be regarded as members of one milibary family; let them be exercised together, and in this way organise a really efficient reserve force. IN regard to the decision of the Lord Chan- cellor, in the case of a shareholder of Overend, Gurney, and Co. (Limited), it now appears that his lordship's recent decision applies to the order of Vice-Chancellor Kindersley in the same matter. Although the Lord Chancellor confirmed the ruling of the Court below, as to a shareholder not being entitled to set off his calls against his deposit, he did not decide that the claim of a shareholder, also a creditor, must be postponed till all other creditors had been paid in fall. Onthe con- trary, from the full report of his judgment, which has been published, it appears he expressly stated that all creditors of a limited liability company are on the same footing, whether shareholders or not, with regard to their dividends. So that Mr. Grissell, whose case was brought before the Court, will have to pay his calls like any other shareholder, anr receive his dividends like ..any other creditor, which is a very different result from the great injustice the ruling of the Vice- Chaneellor would have inflicted had his ruling been upheld. A COKONEK'S inquest has disclosed a scene of such utter brutality on the part of a husband, re- lieved by such wonderful tenderness on the part of his wife, that I do not remember to have read its like for many a day. The evidence of the wife enables us to perceive with striking distinctness how thoroughly Mr. Buchanan has comprehended and expressed the feelings of the poor on this t point. As in that most touching of poems, "Liz," the poor dying coster girl exclaims- I don't complain a bit of Joe, dear lad, Joe never, never meant but well to me; Joe likes ma, never gave ma push or blow When sober; only he was wild in drink. But then we don't mind beating when a man Is'angry, if he likes us and keeps us straight, Works for his bread and does the best he can; 'Tis being left and slighted that we hate." So do we find the same spirit of tender forgiveness for fearful outrages breathed by the wife of this Whitechapel ruffiin:- He was the best of husbands when sober, but he used to quarrel with me when he was drunk, and he was then very violent. He has been drunk since Christmas; he has only been sober twice during that time. On Wednesday week he quarrelled with me, and ill-used me very much. He knocked me and kicked me. I ran upstairs to the bedroom and hid myself, and I heard him running up after me. Then I heard him fall, and he cried cut that his leg was broke. (Here the woman began to cry bitterly.) I ran out at once, and helped him up and got him put to bed, and I stayed up the whole night bathing his leg | with water. The next day he was carried to the hospital, where he died on the 12th inst. When drunk he was not in his right mind; he would cut me to pieces; but when he got sober he would be so sorry and say, Why don't you hurry away and not let me strike you so. MR. BAKES, has been made a Knight, and Captain Grant a Companion of the Bath, in acknowledg- ment of their having discovered the lake feeders, though not the river source of the Nile. MR. DICKENS, most people will be glad to hear, intends to give another series of readings from his | own works immediately after Christmas. | A jew weeks ago a volume of "Poems and Ballads," by Mr. Algernon Swinburne, was puo- lished by Messrs. Moxon and Co., and they were received with such unmistakable expressions of disgust by the press generally that it has been withdrawn from circulation. Such an insult to the public as the publication of such a book is the more to be regretted because Mr. S winburne's previous works had led to the expectation that he would in time become one of our great poets. He may yet, for he is young, and if he accepts the public verdict and turns his powers to good acco unt in future May win the wise who frowned before, To smile at last." MR. GLADSTONE, according to rumour, has selected Rome for his winter quarters. A pleasant party of political friends are enumerated as likely to be his associates-Lord and Lady Granville, Lord and Lady Stanley of Alderley, Sir Roundell and Lady Palmer. Mr. Whalley ought to probe this matter to the bottom, and find out what Jesuitic influence has been at work to attract such a distinguished party Homeward. Z.



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