As our readers are aware, four Liverpool merchants, Messrs. Shaw, Mellor, Irving, and Blackwell, wrote to the Emperor Napoleon to in- quire whether his intentions to England were honourable. It is said they penned the letter in their cups, and were greatly surprised and somewhat dismayed to receive the following reply from M. 11locquard, the Emperor's mastery.
"Palace of the Tuileries, NON ember 30.
"To Messrs. Shaw, Mellor, Irving, and Blackwell, Merchants, at Liverpool.
"Gentlemen—You have addressed yourselves direct to the Emperor to know what were his intentions as regards England ? ' Great fear or great confidence alone can explain this step.
"On the one side, you are possessed with the imaginary trouble which appears to have seized your country with the rapidity of an epidemic ; and, on the other, you reckon on the loyalty of him from whom you desire a reply. It was, however, easy for you yourselves to give it, if you had calmly examined the true cause of your apprehensions. That cause you would have found only in all the rumours created among your fellow coun- trymen by the obstinate propagation of the most chimerical of alarms, be- cause there has not been up to the present time, under whatever circum- stance, a word or an act of the Emperor which could permit a doubt of his sentiments, and consequently of his intentions, towards your country. His conduct, invariably the same, has not ceased for one moment to show him as a faithful and irreproachable ally.
"That which he has been he wishes (I declare it to you in his name) to continue to be. Witness again today the approaching community of perils to be shared at a far distance by your soldiers and ours. "Thus, henceforth, fully reassured, oppose an error which is too preva- lent. Great nations should appreciate, not fear each other. "Receive, gentlemen, the expression of my distinguished sentiments. "The Secretary of the Emperor, Chef du Cabinet, (Signed) " Mom/nano." The Liverpool Law Society, a-propos of the letter of the four mer- chants to the French Emperor, have adopted this resolution-
" That the President be requested to inform her Majesty's Attorney- General that in ease it be the intention of her Majesty's Government to take any proceedings against the four Liverpool merchants who lately made a communication to the Emperor of the French, this committee will be happy to render the Attorney-General any assistance in its power."
Some appointments to the Order of the Bath have been made by her Majesty. Major Harry Burnett Lumsden, of the Bengal Army, lately employed on a mission to Candahar, and Major William Henry Rodes Green, of the Bombay Army, employed on special duties in Upper Seinde ; Mr. Robert Gilmour Colquhoun, Consul-General in Egypt ; Mr. Joseph Tucker Crawford, Consul-General at the Havana ; Mr. John Rice Crowe, Consul-General in the Kingdom of Norway ; Mr. John Ward, Consul-General in Saxony ; Sir Anthony Perrier, Kat., Consul at Brest; Mr. Harry Smith Parkes, Consul at Shanghai, are to be ordinary members of the civil division of the third class, or Companions of the Order of the Bath.
The elevation of Lord Ebrington to the peerage by the title of Baron Fortescue, of Castle Hill, county Devon, was formally announced on Tuesday.
It has been again stated that Baron Schleinitz will represent Prussia ; M. Mon Spain : Count Rechberg Austria; and Prince Gortsebakoff Rus- sia, as Plenipotentiaries in the approaching Congress.
At the meeting of the Royal Geographical Society on Monday, the following papers will be read-1. Kashmir, on the Physical Configura- tion of the Valley of; by W. H. Pruden, Esq., F.R.G.S., Executive Engineer, Punjab; communicated by Sir Charles Wood, India Office. 2. British Columbia, Journeys in the Districts bordering on the Thomp- son, Frazer, and Harrison Rivers ; by Lieutenants Mayne, R.N., and Palmer, R.R, and Chief Justice M. Begbie : communicated by the Duke of Newcastle, Colonial Office.
At the meeting of the Royal Institution on Monday, the Secretary announeed that the following lectures will be delivered before Easter 1860.
Six lectures on the Various Forces of Matter (adapted to a juvenile auditory), by Professor Faraday, D.C.L., F.R.S., 8ce., Fullerian Professor of Chemistry, R.I. To be delivered in the Christmas Vacation, 1859-1860.
Twelve lectures on Fossil Birds and Reptiles, by Professor Owen. Twelve lectures on Light, including its Higher Phenomena, by Professor Tyndall.
Ten lectures on the Relations of the Animal Kingdom to the Industry of Man, by Dr. Edwin Lankester, M.D., F.R.S.
The report of Mr. Mansfield, the Liverpool Magistrate, and of Captain Harris, nautical assessor to the Board of Trade, on the wreck of the Royal Charter, has been published. It describes the whole career of the ship from the beginning. She was built at Sandy Croft in the Dee in 1855. Going down that river she got fast and was injured. This led her owners to strengthen her ; and when she returned from her first voyage, they again took measures to increase her strength. The report states that a portion of the iron, recovered from the wreck, has been tested, and "it is decidedly above the average strength of iron- plating used for ship-building, and the average strength assigned by Mr. Fairbairn for good Staffordshire plate." The reporters think that her captain on entering the Channel did not make due preparation for stormy weather, and did not make "all snug aloft" as a line-of-battle ship would have done. When the tempest came the ship might have run for Holyhead, or have "kept the Irish Channel open." When the anchors were let go, it is their opinion that the masts should have been imme- diately cut away—that was the only chance of safety in such a gale. The life-boat people on the coast are exonerated from blame. Mr. Mans- field says- " The officers and crew to the last were indifferent to the preservation of their own lives and solely intent on their duty. Taking into account the unexampled fury of the gale, which entirely neutralized the powerful action of the screw propeller, so that the ship was no longer under command—a circumstance which Captain Taylor could not have anticipated; and con- sidering also the apprehension he may have entertained, while at anchor, that the masts would foul the screw if they were cut away, and possibly that the action of the screw to ease the cables could not be safely intermit- ted—I do not think that this is a case in which I could report that the ship was lost by the default of the master."
Captain Harris concurs in the whole of the report. The Marine Department of the Board have awarded Joseph Rogers, the Maltese seaman, who swam from the Royal Charter with a rope to the shore, the sum of 10/. and a silver medal, for his gallantry in saving life before the ill-fated ship broke up.
"Amiens" has contributed another valuable letter to the Times on "boat plates," a-propos of the result of the report of the inquiry into the fate of the Royal Charter. "We are told that the Royal Charter was fully equal in strength to the ships of her class. Am I, therefore, to believe that every iron ship which shall drift during a storm on to a rocky shore, or which shall sustain an equally severe shock by collision in mid-ocean with another ship, must of necessity tumble to pieces in the short time—the few awful minutes—which sufficed to hurry the Royal Charter's wretched passengers and ship's com- pany into eternity ? Am I to belive that there is no hope for the human freight of such a ship stranded within fifty yards of land, and with a hawser already sent on shore—that it is their inevitable fate to be engulfed by the angry waters, struggling and clinging together ? Are sea-voyagers to be told that of all the thousands of iron ships afloat the fate of every one is almost instantaneous and utter destruction, should she strike upon some hidden reef; Surely it is a more probable, a more charitable, and a more comfortable inference, that some hidden source of weakness in the materials or in the construction of the ill-fated ship itself was the cause of that sudden and terrible crash than that so many we love and so much that we value are now and always entrusted in fragile and unsafe ships. "There are not wanting many and pertinent examples of wrecks to iron ships which point to the very opposite conclusion, proving their strength and safety, and showing how tenaciously they will hold together under severe and lengthened strains. The Great Britain, it will be remembered, was left bumping upon the rocks in Dundrum Bay during a whole winter, and even in that exposed situation was thought so safe, and so far from destruction, that her crew remained on board. In the case of the Vanguard, wrecked on the west coast of Ireland, and exposed consequently to the full swell of the Atlantic, it appears she remained in a position in which, from midships to the stern, she was entirely unsupported, and yet was so little deranged that, in the words of one who went over to examine her, 'although beating hard upon the rocks for so many days, no part of her engines was deranged, and they were kept constantly at work.' Again, the Royal George, an iron steamer running between Liverpool and Glasgow, and a vessel of unusual length compared to her beam, got on a rock near Greenock at high water, and as the tide receded it was found she rested nearly on her centre, with both ends entirely unsupported. No vessel could have been subjected to a severer strain than this, and yet she also was hauled off at the next tide entirely uninjured I could adduce numerous other instances to prove my point that well-constructed iron ships are very safe—in fact, safer than any wooden ships can be made, because the iron ship is by the riveting and proportioning of the plates made into a firm continuous mass of uniform strength ; whereas a wooden ship is composed of innumerable pieoes, which at best can be only imperfectly joined together. But then greater circumspection is required in the selection of the material for the iron than for the wooden vessel. A shaky or rotten piece of oak, teak, or elm is easily detected ; and if a ship-builder use deal where oak should be placed, at least his dishonesty is readily discovered. But, ill may bepermitted the paradox;iron is not always iron. It is some- times rubbish, and in this category I would unhesitatingly place all 'boat plates.' It is not that even in these inferior plates pieces may not be found which shall come up to and even surpass Mr. Fairbairn's standard of the average tenacity of good Staffordshire plate ; but, being made chiefly from cinder iron, it is their inequality and uncertainty which is most to be dreaded. The strength of the whole is that of the weakest part, and when I tell you that out of the same boat plate,' or iron of that quality, two pieces have been taken, one of which sustained twenty-two tons to the square inch of section, while the other failed at five tons. I have said enough to show why this dangerous material should be at once discarded in building ships, and the price of best plates' be paid to ensure the ex- elusion of cinder iron from their manufacture. Boat plates are shams They are got up to deceive by appearances. Smooth and well-looking on the surface, the source of mischief lies hidden underneath—rotten at the core, like the grub-eaten fruit whose tempting skin conceals the tiny hole by which the insect has entered. But this iron is a curse as well as a de- ception, for while you may be angered at the Yankee who has sold you wooden nutmegs, or the grocer who sands his sugar, or the petty .win dler who sells you 100 yards of sewing cotton warranted' WO, I know no words strong enough to condemn the practice of makers and buyers alike, who, in structures where the safety of life and limb is at stake, will wil- lingly and knowingly, and for gain's sake alone, imperil the existence of their fellow-creatures."
Mr. Ernest Jones has taken the field in the Times as an opponent of Mr. Bright's taxation scheme. He regards it as a "decoy to draw the people off the right political scent." Agreeing that "the rich impose taxes to suit themselves, and spend them to subserve their own interests," Mr. Jones argues that plenty of work, high wages, and cheap food would not flow from cheap government.
"Labour, like everything else in this country, up to the very soul of man (as witness the sale of livings and patronage), is an article of barter. If taxation decreases in amount, prices fall in amount ; and if prices fall in amount, wages do not remain stationary—they fall in proportion. Inva- riable experience has proved this. Nay, the presumption from such ex- perience is, that they fall disproportionately. Of what avail to the working classes is, then, low taxation and cheap government, unless the demand for labour be increased, or the supply of labour diminished ? Not the slightest."
If a country, he says, existed solely by its home trade, it would not make any difference to the working classes whether taxation were high or low.
"If cheap government were to accompany direct taxation, that is, if, in other words, the amount of taxation were to be reduced, the British manu- facturer would, without a doubt, be able to compete more easily with the foreign manufacturer. If, in such a case, he (the British employer) re- duced the price of his goods, the working man would gain nothing (subject to a reservation I shall make below) ; for with the reduced prices the em- ployer would not be in a better position to pay higher wages than at pre- sent. If, on the other hand, the employer did not reduce the price of his goods, his profits would be increased, although his market would not be ex- tended, and, as his market would not be extended, there would be no in- creased demand for labour at home. The labour surplus would therefore remain the same, and it is the labour surplus, not the master's profit, that regulates the price of labour. But I will suppose that the employer lowers the price of his goods. In that case he would certainly either increase his market or, at least, prevent its decrease through foreign competition as rapidly as would otherwise occur. This brings me to the reservation I have alluded to above. The point reserved is, that, according to a superficial view, although there might be no rise in wages, there might yet be an in- crease of employment, or, at least, a diminution of employment might be prevented for a time. This I readily admit is possible, but the benefit would be of the most transitory kind, since foreign competition would rapidly overtake' the advantage, if I may use such an expression, and the increased development of machine power would neutralize the demand for labour. The benefit accruing to the working classes would be therefore of the most infinitesimal kind and of the most transitory nature. . . . The entire scheme is in the interest of the employing classes only ; and this dis- advantage would attend its success, that they, having accomplished what they desired for themselves, would say not another word about the en- franchisement of the masses of the people."
Mr. Thomas Bazley, Member for Manchester, has, in a reply to an invitation to join the Volunteer movement, done his best to throw cold water on the whole thing, and preferring to hire defenders, he suggests that Manchester should subscribe a fund and give the Government a bat- tery of ten guns. These, with 100 men, he says, would be more effective than 10,000 volunteers. He offers 100/.
Mrs. Yelverton, the wife of Major Yelverton, of the Artillery, has failed to sustain a petition for the restitution of conjugal rights. The Judge held that as neither of the parties have an English domicile the Court has no jurisdiction. The Divorce Court was a court for England, and not for the United Kingdom ; and Major Yelverton must therefore be considered for the purposes of this suit as much a foreigner as if he had been a Spaniard or a Frenchman.
An Irish Rifle "Volunteer Brigade is to be formed in London. One of the earliest recruits was Lord Paltnerston.
Messrs. Truman, lianbury, Buxton, and Co. have agreed to pay the ex- penses of a rifle corps formed in their establishment, the number to be at first limited to 100.
A corps has been formed at the Working Men's College, Mr. Thomas Hughes, "Tom Brown," is to be their leader.
The newspapers continue to record the spontaneous exertions of cities, towns, and hamlets to raise rifle corps, and where common sense presides over the movement, it is sure to succeed.
Mr. Edward Stephen Dendy, Rouge Dragon Pursuivant of Arms, has been appointed to the office of Chester Herald, vacated by the promotion of Mr. Mount.
Advices from Nice state that the Empress Dowager of Russia having ex- pressed a desire to see Garibaldi during his late visit there, the General at once repaired to the Imperial residence, and had a lengthened interview with her Majesty.
Signor Mortara, the father of "the little Mortars," made famous by the Pope and Edmond About, has arrived in London. He and his friends hope to influence the Congress of Paris to work in favour of the Jews.
The Princess Anna Sapieha, mother-in-law of Prince Adam Czartoryski, daughter of Andrew Zamoyski, Grand Chancellor of Poland in 1767. She was renowned for her charities. She was eighty-seven years of age.
A seat on the bench is now vacant by the death of Sir Richard Budden Crowder. For a year he had been afflicted with ague, but he appeared in good health on Saturday. On Sunday, ague attacked him with such se- verity that he died before Dr. Elliotson, his medical attendant, could reach him. He was a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas, and has died in his sixty-fourth year.
Mr. John Fincham formerly master shipwright of Portsmouth Dockyard, much engaged in introducing the screw propeller into our Navy, and him-
self the builder of the Arrogant, died at his house near Portsmouth, on Wednesday, at the age of seventy-five. Ile was the author of several works on naval architecture.
Lord Palmerston and the Earl of Elgin have accepted invitations to a grand banquet about to be given by the Southampton Chamber of Com- merce, to celebrate the selection of the port of Southampton for the Great Eastern steamship.
There is a proposal on foot to form a Government dockyard and arsenal at Birkenhead. It originates with Mr. John Laird, and is warmly sup- ported by the Dock Commissioners.
The Geographical Society of Paris has just proposed a prize of 6000 franca to the first traveller who shall perform the journey from Algeria to Senegal, or vice versa, passing by Timbuctu.
The Memorial de la Loire states that the French Government has named a commission of engineers to examine the coal of the mines of St. Etienne, the department of the Loire, and of Rive de Gier, in order to ascertain whether they can be used for steam navigation. A commission has already been appointed to visit the coallields in the north of France for the same purpose.
The first train, consisting of an engine and single carriage, passed over the Victoria Bridge at Montreal on the 24th of November.
The private business in Parliament for the ensuing session is an increase over last year 320 notices for private bills, consisting of railway and canal and miscellaneous bills, have been deposited, and 232 plans lodged, being an increase of 30 over the last session of Parliament.
An amusing report comes from St. Petersburg. It is stated that a courier arrived there on the 1st of December, "in forty-two days front the Amoor, with great news. The Emperor of China has given the Russians notice to quit, as he had never authorized the cession of territory, and had only just heard of the settlement ! Meanwhile the Russian Embassy at Pekin is sealed up' in its palace."
The Corriere Mercantile of Genoa publishes two documents found in the archives of Bologna, and referring to acts of the Government before the war in Italy. In the first Cardinal Bernetti gives orders that the political prisoners shall be removed to distant and unhealthy localities ; and in the second, Cardinal Spinola directs that the bastinado shall be employed as a means of correction for children sent to prison on the charge of vagrancy.
The Ballarat Star reports the arrival of a donkey in that district. The incident seems to have created much excitement among the population.
The great race for the championship of the Australian colonies was run on the 1st October, before a concourse of 40,000 persona—the largest multi- tude ever assembled in Australia. The winner (Flying Buck) is a Victorian horse, and was scarcely named in the betting.
A subscription has been opened in Bristol to aid the Jews who have been obliged to leave Morocco in consequence of the war.
The total number of deaths registered in London in the week that ended last Saturday was 1304, being nearly the same as that returned for the pre- ceding week. In the ten years 1849-58 the average number of deaths in the weeks corresponding with last week was 1233; but as the deaths in- cluded in the present return occurred in a population that has increased, they should be compared with the average raised in proportion to the in- crease—namely, with 1356. The result is that the deaths of last week were less by 52 than the number that would have occurred if the average rate of mortality for the end of November had ruled.--Begierrar-Generars Return, The Mayor of Douai, in a circular to the communal schoolmasters, ex- presses his determination to put down the precocious habit of smoking which he learns, by the reports of the police, prevails to a deplorable extent among the boys of that city. He therefore desires the schoolmasters, not only to mark down for punishment all children whom they may see smoking in the streets, but to search the pockets and portfolios of the scholars from time to time, and to take away all cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and tobacco which may be found. He authorizes the most severe punishments, and will sanction any measure which the schoolmasters may devise to check the growing evil.
Some weeks ago a pitman, residing at Hetton-le-hole, who was an earnest student of astronomy, was in great want of a good telescope to facilitate his i
studies. Not being n a position to procure the necessary instrument, and being at the same time a most persevering and devoted admirer of Sir Isaac Newton, he came to the determination to petition her Majesty, in the hope that his case might be taken into her gracious consideration, and ac- cordingly laid his humble prayer at her feet. It is understood that he had previously heard of a similar application being made and granted for a mu- sical instrument. Armed with this precedent, and the confiding faith' of a loyal subject, the poor pitman placed his petition before his beloved Sove- reign. After the lapse of a short time, the telescope found its way to the Hetton-le-hole reading-room, where it is now being used by the miner in question' and the rest of the members of the institution. It is a beautifully finished brass instrument,. and is shortly to receive a fitting ovation by an inaugural mechanics' soiree.
The Canadian steamer Indian, bound for Portland, was totally wrecked on the Mary and Joseph Rocks, off Guisborough, Nova Scotia, on the morning of the 21st November. The weather was thick, and the Indian was going under full steam and canvas at the time she struck. Three out of seven boats were capsized after being launched, and a fourth stove by the rollers breaking on the ledge. It is said that twenty-seven persons were drowned.
An earthquake has destroyed one-half the town of Copiapo, and killed great numbers of people.
The Toulouse journals announce that Marshal Niel and his wife had left for Paris. The Marshal is to preside over the committee established at the Ministry of War for the defence of the coasts of France.
The Duchies of Saxe-Coburg and of Saxe Meiningen have just concluded a convention, by which they engage to reciprocally treat the manufacturers and traders of their respective States on an equal footing.
Little Toussoun Pasha, the heir-apparent to the 'Viceroy of Egypt, is now about seven years of age. He has acquired from his English nurse, and through his frequent visits to England, a perfect knowledge of our language, which indeed he speaks more fluently than his own mother tongue. He has just now been placed under the charge of an English tutor, and, provided only that he can be kept sufficiently apart from the mischievous influence of the Harem there is a fair prospect that he will grow up with enlightened and practical ideas' the good effects of which may yet become widely manifest, should he one day succeed to the inheritance of his family.—Letter from Alexandria. The Postmaster General gives the public a notice touching letters to Norway. "Information having been received that the packet communica- tion between Denmark and Norway has ceased for the winter, the mails for Norway will be forwarded through Sweden until further notice. During the period of the conveyance of these mails -via Sweden, the rate of postage upon letters addressed to Norway will be Lt. 5d. the half-ounce, and so on, according to the scale for charging inland letters. This rate comprises both the British and foreign postage on letters addressed to Norway, and consti- tutes the whole charge to the place of their destination, and it may be either paid in advance or the letters may be forwarded unpaid at the option of the sender ; except, however, in the case of registered letters, the postage upon which, as well as the registration fee, must be paid in advance.