NEWS OF THE WEEK.
THURSDAY was a white day for the French Empire. On that day a despatch was received from M. de liontholon, Consul-General at New York, announcing the fall of Puebla on the 17th of May, and the surrender of General Ortega with 18,000 men. The French Commander-in-Chief instantly pushed a division on towards the capital. This intelligence still requires details, but it is believed by the French Govern- ment, which has ordered salutes to be fired, and received con- gratulatory telegrams from Vienna and Berlin. The success does not terminate the war, but, once in the capital, Napoleon can retire, and the prospect soothes France, which was be- coming alarmingly irritated at the expense and bloodshed of the invasion.
The British Government is almost at war with Japan. On the 6th of April Colonel Neale forwarded to Miako a British ultimatum demanding the execution of the murderers of Captain Richardson, an indemnity for that offence, and a liberal compensation to the sufferers or their surviving rela- tives. The time granted is twenty days, after which Colonel Neale will adopt measures "proportioned to the degree of ill-advised obstinacy or resistance which the Japanese Govern- ment may assume." A powerful fleet of ten men-of-war and three gunboats is in the harbour of Yokohama, ready to enforce the demand, and a native official suggests that the British should punish the principal murderer, the Prince of Satsuma, by seizing the Loochoo Islands, which are his, and which yield him 50,0001. a year. It is improbable that the Japanese will yield, as the blow would destroy the power of the great aristocracy, which is now in the ascendant.
The entertainment at the Guildhall to the Prince and Princess of Wales on Monday last displayed a magnificence that recalled the splendour, without the beauty, of the "Arabian Nights." The cost of the gigantic and gorgeous tickets of invitation alone is said to have been near 2,0001., and the additional insurances, as we mentioned last week, were for 50,0001. The Princess was in more than usual radiance, and her manner, so English in other respects, so Tan-Englishly cordial, is rapidly making her the pet of the coun- try. Her expression, kind, cordial, delicate, and innocent, was touched with a twilight archness that seemed to depre- cate the formality, while it heartily accepted the enjoyments, of these festivities. No wonder the worthy aldermen flapped themselves about in an agony of delight, and basked in her smile like their own turtles in the sun. They had even risen into the sublimity of a sentiment. On the way from the Robing-room to the Hall lay a transparency representing the home of the Princess's youth,—which was the pearl of aldermanic deli- cacy. Her Royal Highness dances well, and though her evident want of familiarity with the "Lancers" threw her back on the counsels of her husband, this did but add a new grace to the many graces of her manner. The feelings of the City Corporation were not soothed by the presence of any of their recently vanquished political foes, for Mr. Disraeli was the only statesman present, and very sleepy and lionlike he looked, as he towered on the dais above Prince and people. The peeresses were in good force, and might be described as the Royal British Life Guards of the regal beauty, so well and largely did they enchase the little gem of Denmark.
The statue of the Prince Consort erected in the Horti- cultural Gardens as a Memorial of the Exhibition of 1862 was unveiled on Wednesday. The ceremonial is not Eng- lish, and was not interesting, but it was attended by an immense concourse of the Upper Ten Thousand.
In the final debate in the Lords on the payment of Catholic chaplains for services in prisons, Lord Derby quitted his friends. 11-"`e defended the measure strongly on its merits as one dictated by simple justice. The Catholic criminal had a right to the services of his priest as much as the Protestant, and the priest had, therefore, a claim to be paid for rendering them. This spaecila, doubtless, expresses Lord Derby's thought, but it was not uttered the less readily because it will conciliate the Ultramontahes. The Irish -Conservatives, on the other hand, are annoyed to the last degree,. and declare that Lord Derby has forfeited the leadership of his party. These very gentlemen would insist that a Mussulman had a right to the consolation of his own faith, and think a Protestant in Spain horribly used because he is forbidden to propagate his belief.
A remarkable scene occurred in Boston, Massachussetts, on 28th May. The 54th Massachussetts, the first coloured regiment regularly officered and organized by a State, was publicly welcomed by the Governor and the citizens on its way to the war. The reception from all classes was enthusi- astic, and the list of officers has been filled from the best and oldest families of the State. It is noticed us a strange instance of the poetical justice which sometimes recurs in history, that the coloured regiment, splendidly drilled and equipped, marclietj singing John Brown's hymn over the spot where Burns was seized, the first slave arrested in Massachussetts under the fugi; tive slave law. The officers at Hilton Head report most favour- ably of their African troops, the want of education being fully supplied by their superior docility and affection. Mr. Stanton asserts that he shall soon have 200,000 black troops, which is rhodomontade ; but if he has a tenth of that number they will change the character of the war. They are as obedient as regulars, and men who fight with a halter round their necks do not straggle. What is now wanted is an order breaking any white officer who refuses to accept a negro's challenge on the ground of colour. Insult will then cease at once.
The alarm of the French Ministry at the result of the elec- tions seems only to increase as they study the returns. Num- bers of the official candidates were only accepted because they were friendly to reform,—M. de Taucourt, for instance, 011ie-Pot' the Cabinet of the Minister of the Interior, telling the electors of the Seine-et-Marne that he was inspired by the ideas of 1789. The defeated candidates too frequently polled large votes, Lille, for instance, giving the Opposition 13,000 votes to 18,000; Valenciennes, 12,000 to 13,000; Nivit, 10,419 to 10,672; Grenoble, 16,000 to 19,000; Mulhouse, 11,507 to 12,147 ; Metz, 11,000 to 17,000, and districts in equal proportion. In all cases the towns gave a heavy majority for the Opposition, who were only defeated by the peasant votes included in the circumscription. It is still rumoured that the Emperor will accept the lesson he has received.
The debate of Tuesday night on Mr. Charles Buxton's pro- posal to relax the conditiohs of subscription to the Articles and Prayer Book of the Church was one of the best of the session. The speech in which the case was opened was lucid, temperate, and penetrated with the desire to reconcile the influence of the Church with the intellectual freedom of her ministers. Mr. Buxton, of course, drew attention to the great diminution in the candidates for orders from the Universities. Within twenty years they had sunk from 242 to 120 at Oxford, from 270 to 178 at Cambridge, and he ascribed this to the growing dislike to intellectual slavery. In the greatest age of the Church it had not been so, and no one had opposed the imposition of those " orders to the Church " with which subscription began, more earnestly than the great ancestor of one of their warmest advocates (Lord Robert Cecil), namely, Cecil, Lord Burleigh. The greatest age of the Church had, therefore, not found subscription necessary for its unity. To this Mr. Gladstone subsequently replied that subscription had not been found necessary in that age, only because stronger remedies had been used, and he sup- posed no one would now advocate the return to those "warm applications" which were the favourite remedy of Queen Mary, or those "sharp instruments" which were preferred by the Star Chamber in the time of her successor. The debate was marked by two speeches of much promise from young Oxford men—Mr. Walter Morrison, the member for Plymouth, and Mr. Butler-Johnstone, the member for Canterbury, both of them warmly on the Liberal side, though the latter was delivered from the Conservative benches. For the rest, Mr. Monekton Manes offered a well-intended but mistaken amendment—to dispense with subscription to the Prayer Book, but to retain the subscription to the Articles. Mr. Henley expressed his preference for pious divines without intellectual scruples and culture, and Mr. Disraeli laboured oratorically, like a ship pitching in a head sea, to convince himself and his audience that scepticism is merely an epidemic of the centuries, which raged much more fiercely in the seventeenth century than it now does, and no more needs a special remedy than the cholera or the plague, which become fainter and fainter on every return.
In the course of the same debate Mr. Grant Duff made some severe comments on Lord Palmerston's episcopal appoint- ments as one cause of the recent troubles. They were, he said, sadly wanting in two great requisites for the episcopal office—learning and temper ; but what could be expected from a Minister who had so rapidly developed " by the process familiar to all who had studied the history of Christianity in Southern Europe," from the powerful, but light and airy divinity of classical mythology, who " Semper ardentes acuit sagittas Cote cruenta," into the " man of God " of late years ? It is not the first time Lord Palmerston has been associated in the House with that " unprincipled and self-willed boy," but the shaft was aimed this time less at the Minister than at the cloud of epis- copal lawn which seems to flutter over and protect him. The " translation" of Cupid to the higher dignity of patronizing evangelical bishops, provoked a smile at the development of the divinity, but a laugh at his clerical favourites.
The bill for flogging garotters has passed its second read- ing in the House of Lords, and will, therefore, become law, to the great annoyance of the criminal class, who have counted securely on philanthropic opposition. With nothing but bread to er.t, and nothing but water to drink, and an im- prisonment commenced by three floggings, highway assaults will not be the exciting amusements they have been.
A new incident has occurred in the Prussian dispute. Just before the issue of the Press ordinance, the Crown Prince had started on a military tour of inspection, and the towns resolved to mark their sense of the King's conduct by refusing his son a reception. At Dantzic the neglect was most marked, and the Prince took advantage of the inci- dent to say :—" I deplore that I have come hither at a time in which a quarrel has arisen between Government and people, which I have been in the highest degree surprised to learn. I know nothing of the ordinances which led to it. I was absent. I took no part in the deliberations which led to it." He added a formal expression of his belief that Prussia would advance under his father to the greatness appointed for it, but the words struck consternation into the hearts of the reactionaries. It is said that the Ministry repaired to the King to demand his protection, and menaces are for the first time heard that a free regime may condemn Herr von Bismark as a traitor to Prussia. Mean while,,he Press has formally repudiated the ordinance, and sixteu journals, six of them metropolitan, have agreed to appeal to the judges.
The final agreements between Greece, Denmark, and the three protecting Powers, as to the election of King George have been published, and are not altogether satisfactory. The Danish family drove as hard a bargain as if they were confer- ring, instead of accepting, a favour. The cession of the Ionian Islands is made a condition of acceptance, a grant of 10,000/.. a year secured on the islands, and another of 12,0001. a year given by the Three Powers, making 22,0001. a year, in addi- tion to the Civil List to be voted by Greece. From the use of the words "Prince William," instead of King George, used in all other clauses, the 12,0001. a year seems to be indepen- dent of the Crown—a personal appanage, as it were, to increase the King's independence. In the final interviews with the deputation the new King expressed himself determined to= abide by constitutional principles ; but on the main question, the Regent, who is to reorganize the local administration, nothing whatever was said. The French papers report that he will be an Englishman.
Little or no news has been received from Poland this week, the Russian Government having apparently succeeded in suppressing all telegrams, and that little is net very satis- factory. It is stated, apparently on good authority, that the Secret Government has executed seven or eight persons accused of treason to the nation. The people having accepted this government, it has, of course, the position which would be occupied by a legal dictator, but power of life and death does not imply a right to dispense with the moral law. These men, whatever their crimes,—and the Committee strikes usually at the right person,—are condemned unheard, and their executions are, therefore, neither more nor less than assassi- nations, most disgraceful to the cause they are perpetrated to defend. The secret sentences passed by the Russian Govern- ment seem to have demoralized even the patriots, who forget that assassination is the one crime which in history has never been successful. We trust the foreign allies of the revolt will make the discontinuance of this practice the price of their continued support.
The three Courts of France, England, and Austria, have, it is stated, agreed on the proposal to be submitted to Russia on behalf of the Poles. This is the " specific proposal" re- quested by Prince Gortschakoff, and includes six points—a complete amnesty ; a representative assembly, with power over the budget ; Polish administrators ; complete liberty of conscience ; a just law of conscription ; and an armistice. The Powers can hardly hope that Russia will honestly concede representation, which would immediately be demanded in Russia Proper, more especially as Earl Russell on Tuesday carefully explained that he did not intend to sanction armed intervention.
The Duke de Chartres, the second son of the Duchess d'Orleans, and next in the succession of Louis Philippe's family to the Comte de Paris, was married on Thursday to his cousin, the Princess Frangoise d'Orleans, daughter of Prince de Joinville. The ceremony was very simply per- formed at Kingston, but it was attended by all the Princes of the House, and the ambassadors of the Powers connected with it, and the Prince .and Princess of Wales subsequently offered their congratulations. The bridegroom is described as a lad, the bride as looking like a Brazilian rather than a Frenchwoman. Neither have since childhood seen France. The Royal family appears to have conciliated general regard in the neighbourhood.
Mr. Grant Duff on Thursday called attention to one of the greatest practical abuses left unredressed—the state of the endowed charities. He estimated their annual income at 1,500,0001., of which three-fifths was either thrown away or applied injuriously. There were six kinds of these charities —for schools, loans, doles, apprenticeships, almshouses, and objects impossible oiexecution, and of these probably only the schools and the almshouses could be defended. In the former there were great abuses, Christ's Hospital, for example, spend- ing 5,1401. per annum in dressing absurdly boys whose parents could dress them respectably. There was one charity for the relief of insolvent debtors which had a property of 100,0001., and nothing to do with it. Thousands of pounds were squandered in management, and the commission appointed in 1861 to inquire thought that nearly the whole amount might '13,e b;(4r... :ficially applied to national education. He trusted tuaYrecommen.dations of that commission would yet be carried but.
A meeting was held on Saturday at the Mansion Rouse, Lord Stanley in the chair, to form an association for the erec- tion of better dwellings for the working classes. The object is to build structures, which can be let at a maximum of 5s. a week, but which will pay six per cent., and 14,0001. were subscribed in the room. It was stated that out of 82,5661. collected in rent by the Metropolitan Association from working men, not 4001. had been lost in bad debts, and Lord Stanley thought that if the building were mortgaged the return to the shareholders might be as high as 8 per cent. Alderman Waterlow also stated that ho was so satisfied with his experiment that he had just signed contracts for three blocks more. The accounts published are most minute, though oddly enough the report does not mention the cost of the site. Philanthropy cannot re-house London, but profit can very speedily. The movement is thoroughly healthy, and all the more so for the close attention paid to returns.
We have to correct a slight inaccuracy in our statement with regard to the discussion on Mr. Kingsley's honorary degree in the Hebdomadal Board. The opposition offered by Dr. Mansel to Mr. Kingsley's D.C.L., which we attributed last week to the odium theologicum, was, in fact, of the slightest and most technical character, and not advanced on moral or religious grounds. As Mr. Kingsley's name has been with- drawn by the exercise, perhaps of a wise discretion on the part Of the Prince of Wales, we trust that all the bitter feel- ings which might otherwise have manifested themselves in the approaching Commemoration may be laid aside in honour of the occasion. There will be other and more seasonable opportunities for the pitched battles which bigotry too often forces on reasonable men.
The ballast-heavers of the port of Landon have volunteered a testimonial to the goodness of the late Prince Consort, which may not outlive the gratitude of the country, but at least deserves to be remembered long. They state, " Before He came to our aid we could only get work through a body of river- side publicans and middlemen, who made us drink before they would give us a job, made us drink while at it, and kept us waiting for our wages, and drinking after we had done our work, so that we could take only half our wages home to our families, and that half too often reached them through a drunkard's hands." They could get no help till they appealed to the Prince Consort. He got a clause inserted in the Merchant Shipping Act which put them under the control of the Corporation of the Trinity House, passed rules for their employment, got their wages paid in money, gave them a house to wait in for their work, supplied it with papers and books, and encouraged them to form a sick and benefit society. No wonder they ask for an engraving of their benefactor to hang in that room. These are the traits which betray the true nobility of the Prince we have lost.
The libel action brought by Lord Cardigan against Colonel Calthorpe ended on Wednesday for the defendant. The Chief Justice refused the rule, principally on the grounds that the Earl had not come first of all to the Court, but had striven to obtain redress from other quarters ; that great delay had occurred ; and that Colonel Calthorpe had destroyed the re- maining copies of the edition complained of. Lord Cardigan, however, though he has lost his case, has gained his end, which was to have the facts of his conduct in the Balaclava charge stated by witnesses upon oath. They were so stated, and there cannot be a doubt that he gallopped at the head of his men up to the battery, and through the battery, and did not return till his presence was visibly useless. Why he did not take the same step before, instead of scolding Colonel Calthorpe from his place in the Lords, it is not easy to under- stand.
It is a curious fact that out of the eight essays sent in at Oxford for the Chancellor's prize for the best Latin essay on the present American struggle—the subject proposed by Lord Derby—all of them of more than average excellence,—seven are on the Northern side. Moreover, several of the writers had begun their labours as true Southerners, but had been con- verted by the pure force of the considerations which a thorough study of the subject brought before them.
On Monday, Mr. Gregory moved, on going into Committee a Supply, that the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh
should be open to the public after the hours of divine service on Sunday. The motion would have been carried—the division showed 107 for and 123 against the motion—but for the course taken by Lord Palmerston. The particular issue, no doubt, was very trivial, as the gardens are small, and the neigh- bourhood of Edinburgh is rich in noble scenery ; but the principle was important, and even more important as Lord Palmerston raised it than it would otherwise have been. He said that the majority of the people of Scotland were opposed to the opening of the gardens, which is true, and added, in effect, that if the majority of a people wish not only to abstain themselves—which they are at liberty to do—but to cut off a minority from any particular form of innocent amusement, the Government ought to become the instrument of effecting that tyrannical purpose. Is Lord Palmerston a convert to the so-called American principle of the will of the majority? Carried to its legitimate issues it would not only sanction the Maine Liquor Law, but the fullest tyranny of democratic caprice.
We publish to-day a letter from our American correspon- dent on Mr. Vallandigham's arrest—a curious specimen of the extreme bitterness of Northern feeling and the radical fairness of the Northern judgment. Almost hating Mr. Vallandigham, the writer still condemns his illegal arrest.
Mr. W. E. Forster laid bare on Thursday night an important evil in the present administration of the Education Depart- ment. He stated, what Mr. Lowe rather justified than denied, that by virtue of a minute written two or three years ago, but never published, the inspectors of schools are not to have their reports published unless they be free from desultory or objectionable matter, the latter apparently including all obser- vations hostile to the existing regime at the Education Office. If the reports be deemed in this way superfluous, they are sent back to the Inspector for revision, and if he declines to revise them, or does not leave out what is objected to, they are then withheld from Parliament. Mr. Lowe argued that it is impossible to saddle the country with the expense of printing mere desultory essays, and also that it is inconsistent with the " discipline of the department" to allow subordinate officers to impugn the policy of their chief Of course, the right and wise course would be for the inspectors to report carefully all the facts, whether bearing favourably or unfavour- ably on their chief's system, but to leave the inferences to him. In the meantime, it is much more important that Par- liament should know all the facts of the case than that Mr. Lowe's feelings should be respected.
The news of the fall of Vicksburg, confidently expected this week, has not yet arrived, and General Grant's success is still by no means certain. Up to 27th May ho was still attacking the city by land, and though all supplies had been cut off, it was thought in the South that General Pemberton might hold out. On the other hand, General Johnstone, with a force variously estimated at 15,C00 and 25,000 men, was at Jack- son, preparing to fall on General Grant's rear. His impedi- ment seems to be want of supplies. The next mail ought to bring us intelligence either of the fall of the city and the capitulation of the garrison, or of the destruction of Grant's army by an attack in rear, supported by a sally from the works. The tone of the South in the matter is slightly dispirited.
The Lord Chancellor of Ireland has given a preliminary judgment in the ease of "Egmont v. Tierney," described in our columns at length a few years ago. His Lordship hit upon a point scarcely alluded to in the discussion. The defendant was plaintiff's attorney, and having concealed certain facts to the advantage of his client, could not possibly be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong. Consequently, the right of the Earl to contest the will, as based on representations which the defendant had in his special position no right to make, is incontestable.
The latest prices quoted are as follows :—Consols are 911 92 for Money, and 921 921 for the Account. The New 3 per Cents. and the Reduced Annuities are 94 91i. Bank Stock is 2331 234 ; and Exchequer Bills have advanced to par and 4s. Fem. Indian 5 per Cents. are marked 107/ 108. Turkish 6 per Cents., 1862, are 711 711 ; ditto, Consolides, 501 50/. Mexican, 361 36/. Greek, 371 371 ; ditto, Coupons, 181 1. Spanish Passive, 331 341 ; ditto, Certificates, 12 121. Italian, 721 72k. Russian, 921 921. Peruvian, 90 90i. The Confederate Loan, 2f to lf dis. ; and the New Venezuela Loan, to 1 prem.