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--SUMMARY OF PASSING EVENTS.

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SUMMARY OF PASSING EVENTS. MEXICAN affairs are by no means settled by the death of Maximilian. Juarez, the present President, is beset or threatened on all sides by native chiefs, who refuse to acknowledge his authority, and there are expeditions composed of members of the Church party," who de- clare that their purpose is to avenge the death of the late Emperor. Juarez has declined to take the voice of the nation for re-election to the office of President, but adheres to it as a right which he should hold per- manently. The country is in a sad demoralised condi- tion, and at present there seems no hope of it settling down into anything like a civilised form of Govern- ment. WE are sorry to say that there is an undefined and uneasy feeling both in this country and among continen- tal nations respecting the maintenance of the peace of Europe. This feeling does not go the length of antici- pating any immediate disturbance of that peace, but it cannot be denied that considerable fears are entertained as to a future which is not remote, and which is generally set down as next year." Such a feeling is highly pre- judicial to the interests of the whole of Europe, and, if unduly encouraged, may itself produce the event which is so much feared. Every indication of a supposed want of a proper understanding between France and Prussia is immediately seized upon, and forms the subject matter of various comments. The representations of the Em- peror Napoleon, whatever they may be, for they are not accurately known, with reference to Schleswig, are believed to be hostile to Prussia. The proposed visit of the Empress of the French to the Emperor and Empress of Austria, at Salzburg, is supposed to indicate a projected alliance between their respective countries, involving objects hostile to Prussia. The same hostility towards Prussia is said to have been evinced in the rela- tions between France and Italy and it is supposed, on good grounds, that France has employed her great influ- ence in that quarter to detach Italy from any alliance with Prussia in the event, which these various steps are supposed to provide against, of a misunderstanding occurring between France and the latter country. Even the visit of the Empress of the French to our Queen at Osborne has not altogether escaped comment of a similar tendency. The fears which are so generally entertained no doubt partly flow from the supposed necessity under which the Emperor Napoleon lies of setting right the position of France in Europe since the increase of territory and power which Prussia has attained. In our opinion, however, even if this neces- sity exists, it does not follow that it can only be met by an appeal to arms. It is not likely that Prussia will desire war she has many difficulties to contend with, and is surrounded by enemies. We trust, therefore, the fears which are entertained will turn out to be un- founded, although it would be dangerous to predict that no war will occur, considering that every nation is armed to the teeth and prepared for war at twenty-four hours' notice; but no greater danger to the peace of Europe may arise than that which was so happily got over in the case of the fortress of Luxemburg. Thus we have a precedent for believing that war may be averted by diplomacy. The improved temper of this country in foreign affairs, of which temper Lord Stanley is so thoroughly a representative man, affords consider- able security that we, at any rate, shall not be drawn into taking an active part in the disputes and jealousies of continental nations. It would, however, be a sad thing for Europe if war were to break out. Once the sword is brought into action, even we may be swayed by passion rather than by reason, and may, in spite of the best efforts of our diplomatists, be compelled to take part in it. THE country is becoming very weary of the Reform Bill, which, after all, is not quite settled. The Lords' amendments have surprised many people, and members of the House of Commons are commenting very strongly upon them. The Session will thus be prolonged far beyond the ordinary term, and gentlemen intent upon grouse shooting have been summoned from the moors, and those who were recreating themselves at the seaside have had to take their seats again in Parliament, to re- discuss the subject which had occupied all their time and attention for the last five months. Mr. Bright at one time threatened that he would move that the House be called," which means that every member should be summoned to take his place in Parliament—a proceeding almost obsolete, and one which has not been resorted to for many years. If the Commons refuse to accept the Lords' amendments, the next thing will be a conference composed of members of both Houses to make a compromise, or to get one House to accept the views of the other. If the bill does not proceed at a more rapid rate than it has latterly, there is a pro- bability of members being prevented from taking part in the first week's partridge shooting, as well as being debarred from grousing. There is one thing, however, to be said, that, generally speaking, the winged game have been much reduced by disease, and in many places there will be very little sport. THE Registrar of the Scotch Friendly and Co-operative Societies has just issued a report which is worthy of a passing consideration. He tells us, by way of showing 0 the usefulness of these societies, that in one instance the formation of a co-operative society has affected a complete change in the aspect of the neighbourhood; formerly the people in the district were much addicted to drunkenness, and now such a thing is scarcely known. The members agreed to purchase everything they con- sumed from the stores, and as no spirits were sold there, they could obtain none; the consequence was that men were enabled to provide for their families respectably, and were able to assist sick members. The registrar further says that he has received letters from several large landed proprietors, who, convinced of the happy working of these associations, are anxious to have them established in their neighbourhoods. The rules are framed with the direct view of encouraging morality prafane swearing is punished with a fine, and members are expelled for bad conduct. THE financial state of railways still exercises a depress- ing influence on the money market, and the conflicting decisions of committees of the Lords and Commons as to the means of extricating unfortunate and non-paying concerns from their difficulties, tend to increase the uncertainty which is felt as to the future of these under- takings. In the midst of all these mis' a 's, it it sur- prising to find how vigorously some of th railways in good repute are pushing on with their works. The Midland is rapidly advancing with its London Extension, the Metropolitan has nearly completed the widening and extension of its line, the South Eastern has all but finished its short cut to Tunbridge, and the East London is progressing in a satisfactory manner with its scheme for the conversion of the Thames Tunnel into a railway. The report just issued by the company states that an embankment has been carried within a few yards of the South London line, and that the works leading to the tunnel are progressing actively. The dividends which are announced are, on the whole, quite as good as were anticipated, and there are many indications that the depression in railway and com- mercial undertakings generally has reached its lowest point, and we may soon anticipate a change for the better in the general business of the country.

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