13 SEPTEMBER 1873, Page 1

There are one or two curious rumours from France this

week,- that-the Government have given up all hope of a fusion, and intend to prolong Marshal MacMahon's reign for five years, if the Assembly can legally do it, which is very doubtful ; again, that the Clericals utterly repudiate such a policy, and declare that Henri V. must be placed on the Throne by the existing Assembly ;—but the only thing certain is that the Government go on postponing the elec- tions for the vacant seats, fearing defeat in spite of all their exertions, and not relishing the prospect. The Permanent Com- mittee have disavowed the attacks of the Bishops' pastorals on Italy, saying that the Government have declared their friendly feeling and good understanding with all the Powers, and that they are in no way responsible for episcopal remarks. On the whole, the policy of the Government is evidently vacillating. As M. Veuillot expresses it, with his accustomed neatness, the Due de Broglie appears to wish for the Catholic Church without a Pope, and for the Monarchy without a King. The Due de Broglie is not alone in the experience that it would often be very convenient to get all that hearty support that is given only to a significant institution, without any of the embarrassment involved in accommodating yourself to the principle which makes it significant.