(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.) The Shuttleworth Coalition-Treaty, of which the Times has arranged the preliminaries by way of a little delassement from much sterner labours as blowing the British navy into the air by methods known to the Times., and which Monsieur Parolles will perhaps make known to the world likewise when he finds it convenient—the Shuttleworth Coalition-Treaty has shared the fate of the thousand mare's-nests, whose hatching has been announced at the same monster- prolific Eccaleobion. Dr. Shuttleworth is a Tory ergo, Ministers throw a sop to the Tories; ergo, Min- istersand the Tories may be expected to coalesce. Such was the somewhat less than Oxford logic of Printing House-square. It might, perhaps, have been sufficient to answer that one swallow does not make a sum nor one Bishop a coalition and that Tory alliance must indeed be cheap, if it is to be had on the terms announced by its morning oracle. From the Times,one would at least have expected a becoming disdain of paltry bribes. But our Oxford Correspondent made shorter work of its enthymeme. Dr. Shuttleworth is not a Tory; ergo, there is no sop to the Tories ergo, there is no coalition of Tories and Ministers. In the mean time, a somewhat curious reception was given by our Ultra-Tory Contemporaries to this Shut- tleworth lying legend. There is a rivalry in pro- digious births between Fleet-street and Bridge-street; and the Standard, having a family of his own to pro- vide for, would not cradle the misbegotten brat of its Morning Contemporary. Tales of coalition between Whigs and Tories were, according to the Standard, not less ridiculous than rumours of partnership between broken-down traders and the Barings or Rothschilds. They are the sort of stories which parties of doubtful solvency would be glad to have credited. We must suppose then of the parties who invent such stories, that their credit is low; and we give the Stand- ard the choice of concluding that its colleagues put such stories about to do themselves good, or to do their opponents harm, in the public opinion. Either sup- position is equally flattering to that party, for whom ther scribes invent coalitions with their opponents in power. There are several other remarkable views enounced by the Standard, with regard to the impossibility of any Whig and Tory coalition. One of these is, that amongst the great and manifold benefits of the Re- form Bill (we thank the Standard for that word, and we suppose Lord Grey's head is now safe from im- peachments of treason) the greatest is that the Go- vernment has been thrown open and rescued from the red-tapists. The Standard thinks it a benefit of the Reform Bill that it is henceforth impossible for the practical statesman" (sic in orig.) of its party to hold the Government. It believes it would be of no use for the practical statesmen" to coalesce with the Whigs, because they would draw no party after them it believes they never can lead the Tories (thanks to the Reform Bill,) and all it asks of them is to retire from public life, as they are rather noxious than otherwise to their own, and can be of no service to any party.
PEACE OR WAR. (From the Britannia.) The question of peace or war remains as it was. The French journals vary from hour to hour, and one day breathe flame and cannon-balls against En- gland, and in the next are disposed to think that she has been only foolish, and that she may be for- given upon due acknowledgement of her absurdity. Next week we shall probably have a new discovery, that the Tyrant of the Seas,"—for so the French spirit of old metaphor persists in calling a country which has scarcely a ship,—must be humbled for ever and then the national glory will be in every man's mouth, until the stock-jobbers have gained their point, and France is to suffer us to live. With such a na- tion it is impossible to live with any degree of secu- riay, except by showing that we are ready to make war a dangerous game to her. Are we in a situation to do this is the point; and if we are not, whose is the crime, and whose ought to be the punishment ? What is the state of things at this moment ? If not war, what was so ever near war ? MEHEMET Ar,r's army is on the northern frontier of Syria to the number of 170,000 men, ready to pour down into Asia Minor. Commodore NAPIER, with a British squadron, is on the coast blockading Beyrout, and threatening a bombardment, which threat IBRAHIM PACHA answers by declaring, that, on the first shot, he will set fire to the town, and repel a landing by urms. MKHEMET ALI has another army of 40,000 men in Alexandria, and declares he will resist a landing to the last drop of his blood. Admiral STOPFORD has a squadron blockading Alexandria and capturing its merchantmen. On the north, Russia has a force of a hundred thousand men on the borders of the Black Sea, ready to follow a fleet of twelve or fourteen sail of heavy line-of-battle ships to Constantinople in five days: and another army, at the head of the Black Sea, ready to pour down into Asia Minor at the tap of the drum. The Turks have 30,000 troops on their march for Constantinople, are fortifying the Bosphorus, and are sending off arms to the mountaineers of Lebanon. The French are still building hundred-gun ships crowding them with the naval conscription, and sending them up the Mediterranean as fast as they are built. If all this does not look like the prepara- tive for hostilities, it is impossible to think that any such thing as war ever existed. In England, it must be confessed, all seems sufficiently pacific. Ministers are gone, like the waverers and wanderers of holy writ, "some to their farm, some to their merchandize some to sketch tours for the publishing season, and some to recover their faded bloom, after the suppers and dances of the spring some to do nothing and all to be unheard-of, disregarded, and useless, as if they had never existed. We do not say that war must take place. There is no valid ground for it. Common sense, common humanity, and all the higher interests of mankind, are against it. The great BURKE said, long since, that war for national aggrandizement or commercial opulence was not more a crime than it was a folly that, as to territory, it purchases a province at the price which might have renovated an empire: and that, as to wealth, it buys ten thousand hogsheads of sugar at ten thousand times their price. We admit that if sovereigns, nations, and men were all high- principled, or even capable of exercising a sound judgment, or, still less, of obeying the common in- stincts of humanity, the name of war would be un- known. But what is the frenzy of sovereigns, the avarice of nations, and the insensibility of men, with fame, gold, or power before them P Europe would be mad to go to war but who shall answer for her being rational an hour?
TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION. (From the Times.) The new system of telegraphic communication is in course of organization, which, in commercial affairs especially, promises very important results. Its author is Mr. B. L. Watson, of Hull. Uuder this project es- tablishments have already been formed, and others are forming, which, being fixed on some point near to great shipping stations, may anticipate by some hours, perhaps, the notice of arrivals; enable vessels, where it is desired, not to enter the port, to pass on with new orders, to obtain pilots, a supply of provisions when wanted, assistance in case of distress, and other facili- ties which will naturally occur ito every man con- nected with shipping, when he is told that this com- munication may take place in fair weather, at a dis- tance of fifteen or twenty miles from shore. When a sufficient number of these stations is formed at proper intervals over the whole coast of England, for a small annual subscription, by which the charge of them is proposed to be defrayed, owners of vessels, consignees, underwriters, and mercantile associations will have daily reports sent up of the names of vessels that pass, and the information they bring. They may also transmit instructions to vessels which are expected t6 pass any of the stations, even to a change of the destination when necessary, or put it in their powtr to carry to the port to which they are bound any change which may have occurred in the value of articles of commerce after leaving the port of departure. All this, and much more, is to be accomplished by a code of signals, said to be extremely simple, and of which the commanders of all vessels which are to con- nect themselves hereafter will have to acquire the proper knowledge, and to provide themselves with a set of flags, by no means costly ones, which are to be employed in the communication. Such establishments as those described have existed, it seems, for some years past at Liverpool and Hull, and it is proposed that telegraphs shall now be erected on the following