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(Prom the John Bull.)


(Prom the John Bull.) WHETHER at this moment England is at war or at peace, and if the latter, how long she is warranted in expecting to enjoy it, is impossible for any man to say. Not one of our precious Ministers, we will ven- ture to affirm, can speak but by guess on the point. They have evidently lived so long on what the day may bring, and trust so entirely to the drift of cir- cumstances, that we cannot even allow them to be capable of calculating the chances of the predicament in which they have plunged thair country. Since our last, important information has been received through the overland Indian mail from the East generally, and from the Levant in particu- lar. According to the intelligence thus convoyed, whether of a private or public nature, MKHEMET ALI seems resolved on braving the uttermost. When the ultimatum of the Four Powers was officially notified to him by RIFAT BEY, the envoy from the PORTE, the "serpent of old Nile" coolly returned for answer that his resolves had been long before expressed, but that he was ready to give them in writing. As the days of grace allowed by the terms of the Treaty of the 15th had then to run, his offer was declined and, on the expiration of the first delay granted to him, that is, on the 26th ult., ten days afterwards, when again waited upon by RIFAT BEY, in company with the Consuls of the Four Powers, his reply was sub- stantially the same. Neither the arrival off Alexan- dria of Admiral STOP FORD and his Squadron, nor the preparations for the blockade of the Syrian coast by Commodore NAPIER, had shaken his firmness, or been followed by any change in his determination. Another phase, however, in this more and more involved and intricate question, has been produced by a note sent to the PORTE by M. PONTOIS, the French Ambassador, in obedience to instructions forwarded by his Government. This communication was a formal protest against the employment of coercive means in case of recourse to which, on the part of the PORTE. France threatened to adopt the measures she might think most advisable, on her own respon- sibility, and independently of the other Powers. Now, a notification of this kind may mean anything or nothing. It may be merely a political quibble a salvo for national honour, and the preservation of ap- pearances. Or it may prove a solemn truth. What- ever the original intent of France, the alarming dis- affection to her present Government proved to exist by the recent occurrences in Paris, may have induced the CITIZEN-KING to hazard the peace of Europe as a safety-valve from a domestic explosion. The wisdom of the resource is another matter. Loth as we are to admit the probability of war, or to suppose it credible that France can play the cards into the hands of Russia, which she assuredly would do were she to precipitate hostilities on this question, yet we must confess it to be easier to hope the best than to deny the possibility of the worst. The fall of a tea-cup has ere now changed the destiny of Europe; and a state in Lord PALMERSTON'S hands is frailer than any porcelain. We cannot help enter- taining a distrust of the consequences even against the conviction of our sense and of our better judg- ment, when we find the Ministerial organs canvassing the doubts of the subject. Faint and distant hints are given that Russia may contravene the spirit of this new Quadruple Treaty, stultify the policy" of the high contracting Powers, and occupy Constantinople. Again, it is put forward with some anxiety that the French Government has concluded a contract for 20,000 horses at 850 francs a piece, which makes an immense outlay, utterly useless in case of peace." For this fact we are indebted to the Chronicle, which prefaces the statement by sagely announcing that "we must not shut our eyes to what is going on." Not exactly, it is to be presumed, if one require precise information but then its employers have long been in the habit of shutting their eyes-those among them who have eyes-and it is hardly decent and res- pectful of the Chronicle, to twit them with the fact.

(From the Globe.)


(Prom the John Bull.)