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OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. THE PENAL SERVICE OF THE ARMY. The estimate of military service implied in Clause 8 of the Militia Reserve Bill, enacts that a deserter shall be sentenced to 12 years' service in the army. It stands confessed that the British army is and has long been regarded as a convict colony, and that service in the ranks is considered equivalent to penal servitude. All wonder at the treatment of the soldier, all surprise at the difficulty of obtaining recruits must therefore cease. Discipline, it seems, instead of meaning a high form of physical and moral education, based on the fruitful principle of obedience, is simply a synonym for punishment. The fundamental idea of a real army is utterly misconceived by our authorities. That the system is practically better than the theory is due to the leaven of good officers. Still the theory is wrong, and should make way for what is right. Mr. Whit- bread's motion directs the Horse Guards to place the recruit in possession of full information and he should also be told that the service is regarded by his superiors as penal in its nature. Certainly the instructions will not be complete without that statement. -Daily Tele- graph. THE IRISH DEBATE. The debate on Thursday called forth a characteristic speech from Mr. Roebuck, who plays towards Fenianism the part which Mr. Whalley plays towards Catholicism, and promotes its interests by the grotesque extravagance of his antagonism. In answering him Mr. Bright took occasion to draw a distinction between the position of the Established Churches in England and Ireland, which from his position as a Dissenter of Dissenters," he was peculiarly fitted to do. To whatever general objections may be urged against the maintenance of Established Churches where there is no unity of belief in the State, both are of course equally obnoxious but between the two particular cases there is this vital difference In England the Established Church is indigenous in Ire- land it is alien. In the eyes of the great majority of Irishmen every parish church is virtually a garrison chapel; and, while this is so, the religious question in Ireland must necessarily remain a source of disaffection and danger.- Citronicle. DISRAELI WORSHIP. One thing the votaries of the new Disraeli-worship will undoubtedly succeed in. They will be able—it is already obvious indeed how able they are-to rid them- selves as completely as their divinity of the superstitions of old convictions and life-long faiths. Nothing could be more striking than the Disraelite self-control with which his Tory devotees only on Monday night refrained from betraying their not yet extinct sympathy with Mr. Lowe's Conservatism, which, expressed as it was in language of wonderful force and dignity, would, if be- livered last session, have been cheered to the echo. No doubt there was a visible flutter about their heart- strings, a twitching of their nerves, a yearning of the still unmastered instincts of the past to burst into a generous cheer as he sat down but there sat the pallid enigma of the new idolatry, with cold, impassive face, silently teaching the lesson of self-mastery to his fasci- nating followers, and the natural instinct was subduedin a moment, and died away with the last accent of this last appeal. Disraeli-worship will not give tact and. subtlety, and craft and counsel ta the brute votes of the House of Commons, but it will work that revolution of nature which is said to be due only to grace—or its opposite. It will make it easy to throw off the ties of conviction, amusing to desert the faith of a lifetime, pleasant to out- wit opponents by fairly outbidding them it will make political dishonesty seem a department of aesthetics, and political thimble-rig a polite study it will elevate the in- vention of political machinery for breaking the fall of consciences into a fine art, and make the successful use of such machinery a service of honour. And such is the idol which Parliament is every day adorning with a deeper awe, and for which it deserts Mr. Gladstone, the highest-minded statesmen of this generation, if not of any generation since the Restoration.-The Spectator. THE FEMALE FRANCHISE DEBATE. Like most logicians, Mr. Mill embraced frequent opportunities of contradicting himself. He complains that women have no political power, which they could exercise more wisely than men and then again declares that many women have already a great deal of political influence, and govern their male relations by sheer forC e of will-and very often mislead them. The satyr in the fable who declined intercourse with a person who could blow both hot and cold would be rather amazed by Mr. Mill's line of argument. Woman, he says, has a right to political power, which she would use with much tenderness of conscience woman has already indirect political power, and improperly influences her male relations. Which- of Mr. Mill's two statements are we to accept ? Of course the member for Westminster was not very seriously treated in the House last night. His proposal is too good a joke to be discussed without laughter. Mr. Karslake drew an amusing picture of luckless M.P.'s passing Sunday evenings in conversation with their wives about the compound householder and drew cries of Oh oh from the House-which is inclined to believe in anybody who is said to be a philosopher-by recommending Mr. Mill to bring a little common sense to such questions. Alas common sense is the very thing which no metaphysician can attain-for it destroys metaphysics. It is not worth while to insist on that portion of tie argument—unanswerable as it is-which shows that you cannot give women votes unless you are prepared to force them into all the channels of public life. Is Eng- land prepared for a female Prime Minister, or Com- mander-in-Chief, or Admiral of the Fleet, or Archbishop of Canterbury ? This is the logical result of a female franchise. Every argument used by Mr. Mill is as cogent in favour of allowing Miss Smith to lead the House of Commons as of allowing her to vote for little Pedlington. Are the philosophers and political econo- mists prepared for this ? If they are, the women are not.-The Globe. THE CATTLE PLAGUE. We must purge our foreign supplies of the infectious element, or we must cut off the supplies which bring the infection to us. The closing of our ports against infected countries, and the rigid inspection of all foreign cattle before they are allowed to proceed from the coast to the metropolis, may possibly deliver us from the scourge. But on this point there is doubt. We have suffered great losses, we have slaughtered nearly 60,000 healthy cattle in order to isolate the seeds of the disease, while more than 278,000 have actually been attacked by the scourge, and during the last few weeks the inspectors have been slaughtering the healthy and the diseased in the infected cow-sheds of London. When are we to get to the end of all this ? If fresh attacks of rinderpest mark the presence of foreign cattle, can we continue to receive the latter ? The idea of making meat dearer is certainly an alarming contingency, and it is this which causes the Privy Council to hesitate before requiring that all foreign cattle should be slaughtered at the port of debarkation. Yet, if the rinderpest is to be a constant visitor, even in London alone, it will be quite sufficient to render meat in- creasingly dear. Nor must one lose sight of the fact that meat is enhanced in price by the restrictions on the movement of cattle, which are rendered necessary so long as there is any trace of the plague either in London or the provinces. The question is therefore this-whether our meat supply would not be both safer and cheaper if we were to take such measures as should get rid of the rinderpest altogether, instead of trying to bring in a foreign supply which is proved to be perilous to our own stock, and embarrassing to our own resources.— Morning Herald. RESUSCITATION OF THE COMPOUND HOUSE- HOLDER. Once again we are launched upon a sea of troubles and involved in an atmosphere of mist and gloom. What evil genius is it that perpetually interposes thus between the courageous and forethoughtful Minister and the realisation of his bold and broad designs ? What warping influence is it that incessantly draws him aside from the way in which he would go, into bye- paths that lead only to quagmires or to "nowhere ?" On the 17th instant, when the Independent Liberals, by whose manly and disinterested aid the pending bill has been carried so far, called for the sweeping away of the rotten system of compound, Mr. Disraeli said "Yes;" on the 23rd instant, when asked if he were still of the same mind, he answers-" Yes" and No." On Friday week he undertook to adopt or to adapt the amendment of the member for Newark, which simply and honestly, intelligibly and unmistakably, would abolish the over- reaching and disfranchising practice that has grown up under various local and general statutes since 1819, but which previous to that evil day was un- known to the law. On the 23rd instant he lays upon the table the result of Cabinet cogitations and the suggestions of the half-hearted law officers and that result is a series of clauses which, if pressed, would inevitably lead to interminable debate and to the certain loss of the bill. By the two first he professes to redeem the promise of Friday week by the two latter he would re-enact virtually and substantially what he had before promised to set aside, and in some respects he would make matters even worse. As things now stand, the owner of small house property deals with it in the lump. He bargains with the parish to give him, an excessive I commission or drawback on the whole of the rates levi- able on his 10, 20, or 30 houses. He lets them rate free, and charges for each a rent that will cover the full rate on which his drawback or commission is calculated. Collection costs him nothing he has no separate ac- count for rates to keep with his tenants and the casual loss on empty houses is usually covered 10 times over by the profit he makes on the transaction. Every direct ratepayer in the parish is now cheated out of at least five-sixths of the difference between the full and abated rate on all such compounded property.—Examiner. DEATH OF THE COMPOUND HOUSEHOLDER. The Government may think itself well rid of that troublesome gentleman the Compound Householder, but Ministerial journalists have even better reason to rejoice over his disappearance. From first to last he has caused them nothing but trouble. It was impossible to know how he ought to be treated in public. One day he was saluted with warmth the next he was decidedly "cut." Just as he had been declared to be a most respectable person, not only tolerable but indispensable, it was found that the Government had resolved to execute him then, when it was thought prudent to rejoice over his extinction, he was suddenly discovered in his old place, apparently in all the insolent vigour of health. On Monday night Mr. Disraeli extinguished him, but it was only Monday morning that the Standard established his right to live in peace and honour. The good reasons for passing the Compounding Acts still exist, it was said, and with increased force, and Mr. Disraeli's propositions were necessary to make Mr. Hodgkinson's amendment prac- ticable. Well, we hope we have at length got to the end of all this. Mr. Disraeli has withdrawn that portion of his amendment which was objectionable to the Liberal Opposition. In fact-so he explains-he only introduced them in deference to the opinions of Mr. Childers and Mr. Gladstone. So the Standard has been battling, without knowing it, against Mr. Disraeli, for the views of two members of the late Government.— Daily News. -J


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