Considering that the Four Powers at least, if not all
Christen- dom, are bent upon preserving " the peace of Europe," that peace seems to stand in remarkable jeopardy. Not a month passes with- out some unaccountable movement on the part of one or other of the peace-preservers, and instant suspicion on the part of all the rest. At Highland feasts, each guest used to stick his dagger before him in the board, to assure all that none would make a secret and sudden use of his weapon. The powers of the civilized world sit in equal mistrust of each other, but without so generous a candour. France just now has attracted the eyes of doubt to her actions. She is busy pushing her ships about here and there, amassing a "naval army," and displaying the utmost activity in the preparation for war. Why ? is it not a time of profound peace ? have not all causes of dispute been removed ? is France only playing with the deadly toys which she has no pretence for using ; or does she seek a pretence, and intend some sudden onset on those who are unpre- pared ? These are questions which pass from mouth to mouth in other lands. Some say that France is preparing to watch a new revolt in Syria, and to be ready for its " eventualities." But is Syria in more than the ordinary state of revolt ? Others guess that France anticipates a movement in Spain, and is making ready to act with decision. But again, what can France have to do in Spain, apart from other powers who concur with her in maintaining a protective neutrality, and in advance of their cooperation ? Time will solve the riddle : perhaps it only means, that the French Government wishes to get up a wonderment for the amusement of its people, as a diversion in favour of the tax-surveyors.