The following customary circular has been sent to all the supporters of Sir Robert Peel's Government-
" Whitehall, 4th January 1843.
" Sir—I take the liberty of informing you, that the meeting of Parliament having been fixed for Thursday the 2d February, public business of importance wil I be brought forward without delay. " I beg to express an earnest hope that it may be consistent with your con- venience to be in attendance at the opening of the session. " I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient and faithful servant,
" ROBERT PEEL."
Tuesday's Gazette contained the official despatches which form part of the materials on which our narrative of events in India is founded. '
The Manchester Guardian of Wednesday last has the following letter; addressed by Sir Robert Peel to Mr. William Barlow, the manufacturer who had sent him a specimen of printed velveteen with a sprig of corn and the word " Free " on it- " Drayton Manor, 7th January 1843. " Sir—I was not aware until today that the specimen of manufacture which you requested me to accept bore any allusion to matters that are the subject of public controversy. No mention whatever was made of this in the letter you addressed to me ; and I thought it would be ungracious to reject what appeared to be a pure act of civility on your part. I must beg leave to return to you that which I accepted under an erroneous impression. " I am, Sir, your obedient servant, ROBERT PEEL." In a reply, Mr. Barlow expresses his regret for an act of inadvertence, and adds-
" When I took the liberty of sending you the printed velveteen, I did so without the slightest intention of connecting your acceptance of the gift with any subject of public controversy; and I now most unequivocally disclaim any such intention. I am not attached to any political party here ; and the para- graph which appeared in the Manchester Guardian was inserted at my request, solely with a desire to call the attention of the public to what I conceived to be a new and interesting manufacture, and at the same time to exhibit an act oTkind consideration on your part."
k And, in order to remove any erroneous impression created by Sir Ro- bert's acceptance of the velveteen, Mr. Barlow volunteers to send the correspondence to the Manchester Guardian.
Mr. M. Lindsay, of the Dundee Union Bank in Montrose, addressed &letter to Mr. John Gladstone of Fasque, in which he alluded to the prospect of permanently lower prices for agricultural produce, with a hint that landlords ought to lower rents. Mr. Gladstone, in reply, ex- presses an opinion that the depressed state of the corn and cattle-mar- kets has nothing to do with the existing Corn-laws or the Tariff- duties, but that it is to be attributed to diminished consumption, caused by the " strike" in the manufacturing districts and consequent three months' suspension of labour ; and also in part to the late abundant harvest. He volunteers some information— "'1 believe they may be assured that no alteration is contemplated, or will be cede, in the existing Corn-laws, either as to the principle or rates on duties on foreign corn, as has been stated by those whose object is no doubt to benefit by such rumours: those laws have so far worked well for all parties ; and having abundance of our own growths at moderate prices, the importation of foreign corn is now completely at a stand, whilst some of what was imported has been again exported to other countries."
He does not countenance the idea of reduced rents, but proposes something else instead- " I think before 1843 expires, we shall see considerable improvement in the value of both corn and cattle : therefore, in my opinion, the landlords will justly require to have more experience before they enter seriously on the con- sideration of the permanent reduction of rents under existing leases : but let me humbly advise and recommend to them forbearance in pressing for pay- ment, whilst depression continues; and, on the other hand, let me exhort all farmers who study their own interest, to devote their attention to improve their cultivation.'
A fact has transpired, or rather has been called to recollection in the City, which is highly satisfactory in explaining the large deficiency found on comparing the item of Excise in the revenue-return of the present quarter with that item in the corresponding retarn in 1842. It will be remembered, that an alteration was made some time ago in the period for which the bills had to run, in which the payments to the revenue had been made. The effect of this altera- tion, which shortened the period from thirty to ten days, was completely felt in the quarter terminating in January 1842 ; and the result was, that a quantity of payments, which under the old system would not have been made till the following quarter, fell into that quarter, and thus the item of Excise was swelled to an undue extent. With an item thus unnaturally increased, the item for the present quarter has been com- pared, end the difference may be assigned to Od excess in 1842 instead of a deficiency in 1843. The comparisonbOveen the next quarter and the corresponding quarter last year 'Ogled a legitimate result, for the new system had by that time come steadily into operation.— Times, Jan. 9 ; City article. [The Chronicle, 'remarks, that there was; a falling-off in the quarter ending 5th January 1842, as compared with the cor- responding quarter of the precious year, of 277,096/. ; a deficiency which would have appeared much greater but for the unacknowledged sin- crease in the mode mentioned.]
In accordance with one of the new lights, Mr. W. C. Fonnereau, of Ipswich, has led a crusade against pews in the churches of Suffolk, with signal success. He urges the parishioners not only to throw open the pews, but to abolish them. Mr. Fonnereau has received the concur- rence of the Bishop of Norwich, thus expressed in a letter to him-
" Agreeing with you, as I entirely do, upon the injustice and evil tendency of pews, by which the benefits of our church-services are, comparatively speak- ing, confined to the higher and wealthier classes to the exclusion of the poor, I sincerely hope your appeal to the inhabitants of Ipswich may be successful, and that they may be among the first to express, as a collective body, their dis- approbation of a system so adverse, in my opinion, to the true interests of our National Church, which professes to have so much at heart the spiritual wel- fare of the poorer and humbler classes of our population. I am persuaded, in- deed, that one of the prominent causes of Dissent, as well as utter disregard and indifference to religion, manifested by too many of these classes, is attribu- table in a great degree to that exclusive system of pews which has for so many years prevailed."
Lord Melbourne having quite recovered from his late indisposition, entertained a large party at Brockett Hall, last week ; including Lord and Lady Normanby, the Dutchess of Sutherland and Lady Elizabeth Leveson Gower, Lord and Lady Clarendon, Lord and Lady Cowper, the Honourable Mrs. Cowper, Lord and Lady Beauvale, and the Hon- ourable Mrs. George Lambe.
We learn that the Marquis of Normanby has left town for Italy, having been recommended to pass the next few months in the South of Europe for the reestablishment of his health ; but it is understood to be his intention to return shortly after Easter, and resume his place in the House of' Lords for the remainder of the session.—Morning Chronicle.
Colonel Malcolm left Paris on Friday evening for China, carrying with him the Anglo-Chinese treaty. He is accompanied by Mr. F. Hale, son of the Reverend Dr. Hale ; who, on their arrival, will assume the duties of Government Surgeon at Hong-kong.
The Morning Post, Morning Chronicle, and Dublin Evening Packet contradict the report that Lord Eliot is going out as Governor of Ca- nada. The Hampshire Telegraph says, that " Sir Charles Metcalfe is to proceed forthwith to Canada, as Governor-General of that province."
Louis Philippe opened the session of the French Chambers in person, on Monday. The ceremony attracted a less crowd than usual out of doors. However, every precaution was taken to prevent " any ac- cident" on the line of march from the Tuileries : it was lined by troops and National Guards ; the seven Royal carriages which bore the Monarch and his suite were preceded by a strong detachment of dragoons, surrounded by a numerous and brilliant staff, and, followed by detach- ments of cavalry. Within the Chamber of Deputies, the front-seats were filled with the ladies for whom they had been reserved. The Corps
Diplomatique arrived at a quarter to one, all in grand uniform, with stars and orders ; the Queen, Mademoiselle Adelaide, and the Princess Clementine, with their suite, arrived soon after one ; the Ministers next, all in official costume ; and the King arrived a few minutes later. He took his seat on tha throne, the Duke de Nemours and the Duke de Montpensier sitting on either side. The King wore the uniform of n Colonel of National -Guard, the Duke de Nemours a Lieutenant- General's uniform, and the other Prince that of an officer of artillery. It is remarked of all the Royal Family that they looked well ; and the reception of the King and Queen was most cordial.
Having desired the Chambers to be seated, the King read the fol- lowing speech-
" Gentlemen, Peers, and Deputies—The affection and the sympathy of the French nation have sustained my courage. With the heart ever suffering from grief, but full of confidence in your devotedness, in calling you myself together to resume the course of your labours, I wished to conclude today what my grief had compelled me to leave incomplete at the opening of your session- You have already achieved much for the security and future prosperity of France ; I thank you in her name. Whatever may be our trials, I and in family will devote to her service whatever strength and life the Almighty shalt grant US.
"Thanks to the maintenance of public order and peace, the national pros- perity, attested by the rapid increase in the public revenue, manifests itself beyond our most sanguine hopes. The solid empire of the laws is the best security for the wellbeing of all, as it is for the power of the state; and the conviction everywhere established that the laws will be religiously executed, renders less frequent the enforcement of their penalties. I congratulate my- self on our having obtained these happy results. " I feel confident that our prosperity will pursue its course without either interruption or obstacle. My relations with Foreign Powers continue to be pacific and amicable. " The good harmony prevailing among the Powers has strengthened the repose of the East, and procured in Syria for the Christian population the esta- blishment of an Administration conformable to their religious faith and their wishes.
" I deplore the disturbances which have recently agitated Spain. In my re- lations with the Spanish Monarchy, my sole object has been to protect our legitimate interests, to preserve for Queen Isabella the Second a faithful amity, and to testify for the rights of humanity that respect and protection rthich honour the name of France.
" By the occupation of the Marquesas Islands, I have secured to our TAM.. gators in those distant seas a protection and refuge of which the necessity had been long felt.
" Thanks to the persevering efforts of our brave army, our dominion in Al- geria becomes everywhere stable and respected. The vigilance and regularity of the administration will complete the work so gloriously prosecuted by the courage of our soldiers. " I have opened with several states negotiations which will have the effect of imparting to our agriculture, our commerce, and manufactures, more active de- velopment, and to procure for our national interests additional facilities. "Laws of finance and various bills intended to introduce into our legislation and administration important improvements shall be immediately presented to you.
" Gentlemen, the world is at peace. France is free, active, and happy. My object has been, and ever -shall be until my last breath, to secure those bless- ings for my country. It is with your constant and loyal cooperation that I have succeeded. You will aid me in maintaining and in consummating the work which we have commenced in common. This will be for all the most worthy recompense, and fur me the only consolation that I can hereafter hope for."
M. Martin (du Nord) having declared the session opened, the King and others of the Royal Family retired. The spirit of the sitting is thus described- " If this sitting was distinguished for less marked enthusiasm than the last, it equalled it in cordiality. There was something about the King's reception totally unlike the usual demonstrations of courtly ceremony ; and the duds- guishing characteristic of the day's proceeding may, perhaps, be said to be its honest sincerity."
The Ministry triumphed over all opposition, on Wednesday, in the formation of the Bureaux and the Commission on the address in reply to the speech : of the nine members of the Commission, only one, IC Odillon Barrot, belonged to the Opposition. The Finance Minister's statement of the budget of receipts and ex- penses for 1844, on Tuesday, offered some contradiction to the King's favourable report of the finances- " The supplies demanded of you," said the Minister in summing up, "for the ordinary service of the year, amount to 1,281,013,710 francs, (51,240,550L sterling.) The revenue is estimated at 1,247,228,366 francs; leaving a deficit (in the ordinary service) of 33,785,344 francs, (or nearly 1,342,0001. sterling.) In adding to the revenue, the 80,000,000 francs still due on the loan, and on the contrary, to the outlay, the 43,500,000 francs which will be required during the year for the construction of railroads, we arrive at a general total of 1,404,513,710 francs for expenditure, and of 1,327,228,366 francs for the revenue ; whence it is apparent 77,285,344 francs remains to be made up." It is supposed that Ministers will require about 40,000,000 francs more to indemnify the beet-sugar-growers for the abolition of their trade. Some troubles have arisen at Nantes, in consequence of the rise in the price of provisions. The National Guard was under arms ; patrols were numerous and watchful ; and the first excitement having subsided, there appears no sign of a renewed disorder.
The Globe makes the following statement ; which is given with little variation by the Sun- " A commercial treaty between England and France has just been pre- sented, signed, to the latter Cabinet. It will reduce very considerably the im- port duties on wines, brandies, and silks, and will afford England fair grounds for demanding reductions on articles of English produce and manufactures in return. It will be published in about eight or ten days." The Presse denies the existence of a note attributed to Lord Aber- deen by the Standard, insisting on the observance of the Slave-trade treaties of 1831 and 1833- " We never did believe," says the Presse, "that our Ambassador could have recognized the absolute right of England to require the maintenance of the treaties of 1831 and 1833. We have no doubt, if the question were properly laid before the English Government, it would perceive that it had nothing to expect from this affair, either by negotiation, threats, or violence, because right, common sense, and sound policy are against England. A new conven- tion on the basis of the treaty concluded between Great Britain and the United States can alone settle this question. Let us only be firm, like the United
States, since we have right and public opinion with us, and, like them, we shall succeed."
The Morning Chronicle, on the authority of its Paris express, says that the Spanish Charge d'Affaires in Paris has demanded the recall of M. Lesseps, the French Consul at Barcelona. M. Guizot required the demand to be put in writing ; but instead of doing so, the Chargé d'Affaires went to Lord Cowley, who took upon himself to write to Madrid to settle matters. Meanwhile, the Duke of Glucksberg, the French Chargé d'Affaires at Madrid, demanded reparation for what bad appeared against M. Lesseps in the Madrid Gazette. He also was required to put the demand in writing ; a requisition which he construed to be a refusal of satisfaction ; and he reported to his Government accordingly.
Captain Bruat, Governor of the new French colony of the Mar- quesas Islands, is to have a salary of 60,000 francs a year, according to the Moats.
The Moaitcur confirms the report that the French left at the Mar- quesas Islands had sustained a sanguinary assault-
" A report of Captain Vrignaud, commander of the Boussole, stationed off the Marquesas Islands, contains the account of a melancholy event which occurred there on the 18th September last. Captain Halley, Governor of the island of Christine, wished to compel the chief of the Natives to quit the bay adjoining the fort. On the refusal of Joutati, M. Halley and Lieutenant de Ladebat, having gone out to meet him, were mortally wounded by two shots, Seed by Natives lying in ambuscade on their passage. The Captain of the Bncephale had assumed the command of the island, and was able to repel all further aggression."
Intelligence has been received from Madrid to the 4th instant, Es- partero made his entry into that city, on his return from Barcelona, on the 1st. He looked thinner, and rather careworn. He proceeded, without alighting at his palace of Buena Vista, to that of the Queen, followed by the National Militia of all arms ; who subsequently filed in review before the palace-gate, while the Queen and her sister, attended by the Regent and the principal officers of his suite, appeared in the balcony and acknowledged the cheers of the soldiers.
In the Gazette of the 4th appeared the following decree ; which created some sensation—
"As Regent of the kingdom during the minority of Queen Isabella the Second, and in her royal name, and with the advice of the Ministers, and in virtue of the prerogative granted to me by the 26th article of the Constitution, I have decreed the following- " Art. 1. The Chamber of Deputies is dissolved. "Art. 2. Agreeably to the 19th article of the Constitution, one-third of the members of the Senate shall be renewed.
" Art. 3. The new ordinary Cortes are convoked at Madrid, for the 3d o April of the present year.
Madrid, 3d January 1843. DONE OF VICTORY.
" To the Marquis de Rodil, President of the Council of Ministers."
The editors of "the independent press" had met, and, as an organ of national sentiment, had issued a formal protest against the conclusion of a treaty with Great Britain, which they say menaced the manufac- tures of Spain with ruin.
By the packet-ship Westminster, intelligence has been received from the United States to the 20th December. There was little change either in the political or the commercial world ; and incomparably the most striking piece of news is the statement that Mr. Spencer, a youth of nineteen, the son of the Secretary at War and himself a Midship- man in the American Navy, had been hanged for a mutinous and piratical conspiracy on board the United States brig Somers, which had recently returned from Africa. This account of the affair appears in the New York Journal of Commerce-
" The Somers is a very fine sailer ; has ten guns, and a crew of about twenty able men, and forty apprentice-boys, making with the officers some seventy- five persons on board. Shortly before the brig arrived at St. Thomas, where she put into water, it came to the knowledge of Lieutenant Commandant Mackenzie that a mutiny was in preparation on board, headed by Midshipman Spencer, son of the Honourable Secretary of War. Spencer was thereupon arrested ; and papers were found upon him, signed by each a number of the crew as would have been able to carry out their plan by a surprise. The obli- gations they had entered into were of the most desperate kind. They had sworn that they were not afraid of blood ; that after the brig had been watered and was prepared for a cruise, they would rise, take possession of her, and kill every officer except the Surgeon, who might be necessary for them ; they would then proceed off the Hook of New York harbour, and capture the homeward- bound packets, which they expected would contain large sums of specie. Of the people on board the captured vessels they swore that no one should be left to tell tales. After these horrible disclosures, a court-martial was held upon Spencer and those most prominently connected with him. It was impossible to know how far the contamination had spread, though it had evidently spread to a moat dangerous extent. To crush it at all hazards was indispensable. The court-martial determined that nothing short of the prompt execution of the ringleaders would insure the safety of the ship. Spencer and two petty officers were thereupon ordered to be hung on the yard-arm ; which was done forth- with, and such other measures taken as entirely frustrated the diabolical plan. The brig now lies at the Navy-yard, with all hands on board, all intercourse with the shore being forbidden." The Courier and Inquirer adds some more revolting particulars; from which it appears that the agreement of the conspirators, drawn up by Spencer himself, comprised arrangements for the slaughter of passen- gers, the allotment of females, and so on. The plan was disclosed by the Purser's Steward, whom Spencer had tried to draw into the con- federacy. The Courier says of Spencer—" It is well known that he was a bad fellow, and that when he joined the Somers he had been sent home from the Brazil squadron by Commodore Morris. under a solemn promise that he would resign and leave the Navy, to avoid being brought before a court-martial."
Papers have been received from Cape Town to the 5th November. They contain some curious intelligence respecting the Anglo-Dutch colonists on the frontier and at Natal. They had made a new en- croachment: the Graham's Town Journal of 20th October says-
" We are informed that an express from Colesberg reached the Lieutenant- Governor on Saturday last ; and that private letters from Colesberg, dated Fri- day and Saturday, came into Graham's Town on Monday, stating that the Boers on the Orange river and beyond were fixing their boundary stones and parcelling out that territory among themselves, irrespective of Native claims; and that an immediate attack was to be made upon Marocco at Thaba Unchu, and upon Moshesh living along the Caledon river. It is also stated that they have declared their intention of resisting any interference with their proceed- ings on the part of the British Government." A week later, the Cape Frontier Times adds-
" Mr. Justice Menzies, who happened to he at Colesberg when information of these doings reached that place, postponed the holding of the Circuit Court at Beaufort in consequence, and immediately proceeded over the boundary, accompanied by the Civil Commissioner of Colesberg, for the purpose of remon- strating with the Dutch on the folly of the course they were pursuing, and it is stated, of proclaiming, if necessary, the whole of that country British ter- ritory."
He did proclaim it ; but the Governor-General no sooner heard of the fact than he issued another proclamation, disavowing that by Mr. Menzies ; declaring that it did not alter the relations between the Bri- tish and the Native tribes ; that Government would discountenance ag- gressions on their territories ; and intimating that the Anglo-Dutch would be held to their allegiance, not as occupants of a territory thus taken into possession, but as British subjects, who cannot shake off their allegiance by emigration. Another proclamation was issued by Sir George Napier, promising protection to the Native tribes against inva- sion of their rights. Some letters, apparently on this subject, stating that the Natives were jealous of the encroachments of the Boers, and that they were anxious to secure the protection of the British Government, were written by the Reverend J. Allison, at Natal, to the Reverend J. Giddy, the Resident Missionary of Thaba Unchn, but then on a visit at Colesberg: the letters were intercepted, and fell into the hands of the Council at Natal, and by them they were sent to the Read at Pietermanritzberg. The sequel is told by the Frontier Times of 27th August- " The letters of the Wesleyan Missionaries intercepted by the Boers were placed in the bands of Veldcornet Moka ; who professed to see in them proofs of a conspiracy on the part of the Natives incited by the Missionaries, to rise against the Boers on the 30th August. Accordingly, he called the Boers together ; and they formed camps with their wagons, surrounded by ditches and embankments on the Modder river, and fixed to attack Thaba Unchu (the residence of Marocco) on the 1st September. Means hile, Van der Walt and Joubert, agents of the Colonial Government, arrived to tender the oaths of allegiance, &c. to the Boers on the Modder river. But their mission was un- successful; not one signed, though many near the colony had done so, but all disclaimed allegiance to the British Government, saying, that the Natal Boers had granted to Colonel Cloete, at his request, a truce for six months; after which, if their independence were not acknowledged, they would recommence hostilities. Joubert, finding how much the Boers were, or professed to be, alarmed on account of the supposed conspiracy, wrote to Mr. Allison, request- ing him to meet him and two or three Boers at the house of William Pretorius- This was acceded to • and Mr. Allison, accompanied by his wife and Marocco, (invited by Moka the Veldcornet,) went to the place appointed: they were re- quested to remain till next morning, which they did. The Boers arrived in great numbers, armed, and in a state of great excitement; surrounded the house; placed men with loaded guns at each window, and confined Mr. Allison in one room and Marocco in another. Then a court was formed, of which Dedirikse, a schoolmaster, was president, and before which Mr. Allison and Marocco were tried for treason. Marocco was terrified into a sort of equivocation, which seemed to satisfy the Boers, and he was declared guiltless; but Mr. Allison, acknowledging his letter, and asserting the truth of his statement, which the Boers did not affect to deny, they declared they could not acquit him, but must bring the matter before the Read at Pietermauritzburg: he was then allowed to depart ; but as he and Mrs. Allison were riding off, several shots were fired after them, some of the balls ploughing the ground before their horses, and one went very near his head."
Spohr's new oratorio, The Fall of Babylon, has been performed at Manchester, under the direction of Professor Taylor, with the greatest success. The solos were sung by Miss Birch, Mrs. Winterbottom, Messrs. Hobbs, Walton, Cooper, Grimshaw, Sheldrick, Weiss, and Phillip& A good band was led by Mr. Seymour ; Mr. W. Lindley, principal violoncello ; and organ, Mr. Wilkinson ; with an effective chorus of seventy voices. How is it that the great German master's- composition has not been heard in London P—Morning Post. Recent letters from Madrid mention, that at the urgent invitation of the Duke of °sauna, Rubini has determined to revisit the Spanish capi- tal. A young prima donna of distinguished talent has been engaged to' sing with him. The Duke of Ossuna has, with great liberality, gua- ranteed to the manager of the Circo Theatre the sum of 6,000 piasters to assist in defraying the expense of the thirty performances proposed to be given.— Times.
An opera huffa has been produced at the Italiens in Paris, the com- sition of the " indefatigable ' Donizetti ; for whatever difference of opi- nion may exist as to his possession of musical genius, there can be none as to his extraordinary industry. The subject of Don Pasquale (so the opera is called) is a pleasant one, and it is admirably executed through- out ; the principal weight, however, falling upon Lablache and Madame Grisi. This opera contains several pretty melodies, but nothing that will materially raise the composer in the estimation of musical judges.— Morning Chronicle.