14 MARCH 1857, Page 15


A PARAGRAPH in the papers tells us, on the authority of "a letter from St. Petersburg," that the Count de Willy, who is quite domesticated in the country of his Russian bride, is now engaged with Prince Gortschakoff m remodelling a treaty of commerce, and he will not return to France until that has been completed. The Count de Moray is reputed to be one of the richest men in France but we do not suppose that the commercial republic represented by Dunkirk, Lyons, Marseilles, or even Paris, would recognize lum as the type of the commercial man or even of the commercial statesman. We find the Count de Moray named among those who have been officers of the great shareholding associations in Paris; and although he is asserted not to have had any connexion with the scheme of raising forty or forty-four millions sterling for Russian railways, we have great difficulty in believing the negative. It would not be the first time that the Count de Moray has been engaged in railway enterprise : we find him at the head of the administrators of the Grand Central of France not two years ago ; and he may be so still for anything that we know, just as he is registered among the administrators of the Credit Mobilier. Now the Crklit Mobilier is a large shareholder in the Russian railway scheme ; so that the Grand Central of France and its administrator de Moray are brought into connexion with the Russian railway, at least through the relationship of the Credit Mobilier. These railway schemes which connect distant places, bring individuals also into striking connexion. The Great Northern of France brings together the universally operating family of Pereire • placing in one partnership the author of the socialism of capitals with that family of princes in matters monetary whose wedding festivities assembled the great of this country last week. Perhaps the wedding-present of a million of money is less remarkable than the union of leading statesmen from the most opposite parties to grace the bridal rejoicings of the Rothschild& It is an arch director in this network of railways and speculation that is now planning, with Prince Gortschakoff, our opponent in the late conflict, the commercial treaty between France and Russia. Another kind of commercial treaty proposes to bring France into connexion with all the coMmercial capitals; it is the deed of provisional agreement for the members of the International Company of Commercial Credit. This projeoted company is a cosmopolitan Credit Mobilier of larger dimensions and wider operations, but our present purpose is the personal connexion which the company will bring into one partnership : M. Donon' the French banker ; Mr. William Gladstone, of the firm of Thomson, Donon, and Co.' of London and St. Petersburg ; Mr. Weguelin, Governor of the Bank of England; and perhaps we may trace a connexion even with America in the house of Morison, Dillon, and Co. This company will have partners in Berlin, Hamburg, and Leipzig.

H i How constantly n looking over lists of direetorates the same names turn up I Be Horny, Pereire, Rothschild, Gladstone, Benoist d'Azy, Hottinguer, Stiegler, Rothschild, Pereire, de Moray— the same round always. They have already formed their business connexions, and now constitute themselves a partnership to transact all the business and banking of all the capitals. It looks like a monopoly of Europe under the rose. In vain do statesmen meet in conference in Paris, when there are these influences that practically settle questions. When the one guest invited by Louis Blanc to return as a free citizen to the French Republic suddenly seized the position of supreme power, the statesman who is at the present moment most eminent among ourselves is said to have exclaimed, "Clever fellow, clever fellow ! "—so paramount in England, as well as France, is the admiration of cleverness ! They are the ambassadors, ministers and financiers, the "clever fellows," who are forming these partnerships, these credits " mobiliers," " fonciers," and " internationaux," with a cleverness most comprehensive and most successful. And the number of names that recur in this manner, the Bartholonys, the D'Azys, Pereires, Rothschilds, Hottinguers, and De Mornys, is so small, that we doubt whether the men would do more than fill the seats round a good-sized dining-table. It looks as if Europe were practically contracted for, and governed by a few "goats," directors in a great joint-stock sodete anonym°. Under such arrangements representative institutions become a joke ; and we can enter into the amusement of our own "clever fellow," when, adapting himself to a British instead of a Parisian meridian, he is inducing the English public to vote "Yes" or "No" on the personal question.