15 DECEMBER 1855, Page 1


TEE Peace reports which were current last week are still the chief topic of discussion. It is not that any fact in advance has been explicitly stated, but there is a certain degree of ferment, which would imply that there is an increased movement upon the sub- ject. Whatever may be the-vague and .equivocal expressions used in print, reports are current among those easily-deluded people the " well-informed," whiCh give some shape to the reports. General Staokelberg, the military attaché of Russia at Vienna, after being recalled to the Rtissian capital, has been on his way back to the seat of his duties: and he. is understood to be the bearer, either of the Russian official duplicate of the Austrian suggestione, or of some intimations on the part`of the Czar which go even flirther. It would seem as if Austria had iromised, on the part of Russia, something more than the surrender of ." the four points "—some- thing more specific than the abatement of the naval power of Rus- sia in the Black Sea—a withdrawal of Russia from the shores of the Euxine, and the withdrawal of the garrison which at present guards the lower Danube, leaving that river to be placed under a strictly neutral control. But we have no distinct evidence that now terms have been transmitted. Something seems to be going forward, but we still want that authenticated statement of the fact without which it is impossible to discriminate between the rumour based on truth and genuine fiction.

Another hint has been thrown out in this season of rumours. A Liberal weekly journal, hitherto a decided supporter of the war and of the Ministry, had an article last Saturday the moral of which is, that we, being a slow people, were not the first to enter into war, and may not be the first to rush into peace ; that differ- ences of opinion may arise ; that where two ride upon one horse, he who sits foremost holds the reins and must dictate the course ; and that if France were to turn lukewarm and pacific, England must abandon the war. The conclusion is guarded by an "if." The preparations made by our own Government are a guarantee for the official sincerity on this side ; and it is stoutly averred on the part of the French Government that the warlike preparations on that side are equal in vigour and in scale.