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, POLITICAL GOSSIP.

THE ARTS, LITERATURE, &e.…

OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. .

THE AP),T-ISI'S' GE' -YERAL…

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OUR MISCELLANY. .

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OUR MISCELLANY. THE RAVEN AND THE Fox.- Master Raven, perched upon a tree, Held in his beak a savoury piece of cheese Its pleasant odour, borne upon the breeze, Allured Sir Reynard, with his flattery. Ha Master Raven, 'morrow to you, Sir; How black and glossy! now, upon my word, I never—beautiful! I do aver. If but your voice becomes your coat, no bird More fit to be the Phoenix of our wood- I hope, sir, I am understood 1" The Raven, flattered by the praise, Opened his spacious beak, to show his ways Of singing down the good cheese fell. Quick the Fox snapped it. My dear sir, 'tis well," He said. Know that a flatterer lives On him to whom his praise he gives And, my dear neighbour, an' you- please, This lesson's worth a slice of cheese." The Raven, vexed at his consenting, Flew off, too late in his repenting.' "Cassell's Illustrated Boole of Fables," translated from Im Fontaine. HAZLITT IN FKANCE.—I tired everybody out by inquiring my best mode of getting on to Paris next day and being slow to believe that my only way was to go back to Louviers, like a fool as I had come, a young Frenchman took compassion on my embarrass- ment, and offered to be my interpreter, as he spoke both languages." He said, "I must feel great pain in not being able to express myself." I said, "None, but in giving others the trouble to under- stand me." He shook his head; I spoke much too fast for him; he apologised for not being able to follow me, from want of habit, though he said, he belonged to a society of twelve at Paris, where they spoke English every evening generally." I said, we were well matched," and when this was explained to him, he repeated the word matched with a ludicrous air of distress, at finding there was an English phrase which was not familiarised to him in the society of twelve, where they spoke the English language generally every evening." We soon came to a dead stand, and he turned to my English companion in the cabriolet, on whom he bestowed, for the rest of the evening, the tediousness of any "society of twelve. "-Jfe),z oi),,s of William Ifaditt. By W. Carew Hazlitt. FLEET MARRIAGES.—A traffic was now carried on, the shamelessness of which is almost incredible. The taverns and other houses where matrimony had at first taken place, doubtless with some sort of privacy, became known and spoken of as regular marriage-shops. They displayed, suspended from their walls, the huge and elaborate signboards of the day, explaining the nature of the accommodation offered within. But information more precise than the clasped hands, tied knots, and other symbolical devices of these signboards were pro- vided. Notices were put over the doors offering immediate marriage in the plainest terms, and stating the cheapness with which the ceremony might be se- cured. Touters, such as those which now haunt the entrance of cheap photograph-shops, lounged about the marriage-houses, suggesting the parson" to passers-by and fluently urging the facility with which the reverend gentlemen's services might be secured. The better to ensure the zeal of these touters, they were generally allowed to participate in whatever gains they were in strumental in bringing to their employers. Thus stimu- lated, they occasionally carried their zeal to such an extreme as to attempt to drag people to matrimony, and to overcome reluctance by pure physical means. Respeet able churchgoers, passing Ludgate-hill to service, were not secure from the molestation of these men, who pur- sued their calling with as much vigour on Sundays as on other days. Sometimes the parsons themselves plied for customers on their own account; and it is said the more degraded of them would offer to perform the marriage service on terms as low as a pipeful of tobacco or a dram of spirits.—The Fleet Parsons and the Fleet Marriages, in the" Cornhill Magazine. GEORGE IV.'S VISIT TO IRELAND.—For the first time in the history of the connection between the two countries, the King of England came on a mission of peace and conciliation to his Irish subjects, and it certainly seemed as if all the loyalty and enthusiasm of a people that had for so many centuries been widowed to their sovereign was accumulated to be poured out on this occasion. From the moment that the king set his foot in Ireland till he left the shore, the ovation never ceased. Wherever the royal cortege proceeded, its course was lined for miles on either side by thousands of enthusiastic admirers. Loyal addresses "and hearty congratulations poured in from every town and county] Dublin, for the time, presented. a spectacle as rich and gay as the wealthiest cities of England or the Continent could boast; strangest wonder of all, the Orange Cor- poration of Dublin suggested to the Catholic Committee that they should sink their old feuds in the common cause of welcoming their sovereign, and this proposal was heartily accepted. During the whole period of the royal visit, the excitement and the triumph never flagged, and when the sovereign took his departure from Kingstown, O'Connell, on bended knees, presented his Majesty with a laurel crown. We who have read what had been the early history of the relations between George IV and the Irish people—who know what manner of a man he was that they delighted to honour, and how bitterly their bright hopes were disappointed—may well admire while we wonder at their wild loyalty and misplaced confidence; but the story of that solitary kingly visit is surely not without its moral. While George IV. was in Ireland lie showed the most marked courtesy to the leaders of the Liberal party. When the Catholic prelates waited upon him they were received in their ecclesiastical robes, with their golden crosses and chains—though their dignity as prelates had never before been recognised. To the Earl of Finga!, as head of the Catholic laity, the ribbon of the Order of St. Patrick was given at an installation at which the king himself presided he received and treated the rest of the Catholic laity precisely on the same footing as Pro- testants, and when he left Ireland desired Lord Sidmouth to write a royal letter, advising that all sectarian rancour should be laid aside; the letter went on to say, His Majesty trusts that not only the spirit of loyal union, which now so generally exists, will remain unabated and unimpaired, but that every cause of irritation will be avoided and discountenanced, and mutual forbearance and goodwill observed and encouraged." The Life Letters, and Speeches of Lord PhmkeCBjihis Grandson, the Hon. David Plunkct.

EXTRACTS FROM "PUNCH," "FUN,"…

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! THE COURT.