15 DECEMBER 1855, Page 30

Itttrant ituuttigo.

THE Russiair Damara OF Loma Sn'exnnsa.—English statesmen do not awake now for the first time, within my own recollection, to the neces- sity of offering a cheek to Russian designs. Twice, since the peace of 1814, have we been on the verge of an armed combination for that purpose. The first of these occasions was when Russia, at the Congress of Vienna, carried things with so high a hand, that England, Austria, and France, represented by Lord Castlereagh, Prince Metternich, and Talleyrand, entered into a secret treaty against her. I believe it originated with Prince Metternich ; but Lord Castlereagh was so sensible of the urgency of the case, that, with- out instructions from his Government—there were no telegraphs in those days—he, at an hour's notice, drew and signed that treaty. It was con- sidered one of the most audacious assumptions of responsibility on record ; (it took away Lord Liverpool's breath when he heard of it) ; but Lord Castle- reagh was a man of daring courage, physical and moral. The return of Na- poleon from Elba prevented the explosion which would have ensued; but the Emperor Alexander long remembered and resented the transaction, of which Napoleon, who found the draft of the treaty at the Foreign Office on his arrival at Paris, took good care to inform him.—Lord Ellestnere's War in the Crimea.

A HINT AT LORD RAGLAN'S DIFFICITLTIES..—The time is not arrived when anything likejustice can be done to the history of his late command. The friend who undertakes that task should have before him Lord Raglan's correspondence with the Governinent at home, and every record of his com- munications with his successive French colleagues in command. These ma- terials would be absolutely indispensable for arriving at any conclusion as to any question of the skill and judgment with which he from time to time met the various and growing exigencies of one of the greatest military under- takings it ever fell to the lot of man to direct. * Let no man forget, meanwhile, that he went forth to exercise a divided command ; a circumstance which immensely increased the difficulties of his position. It was one which in itself afforded an additional reason for his se- lection for thepost. No man was better fitted to meet its special difficulties. The serenity of his temper, the nobility of his nature, that loyalty of cha- racter which M. St. Arnaud so soon detected and recognized, his discretion and forbearance, were guarantees for that good understanding which he maintained to the last with his gallant French colleagues. Still, division of command is a great hazard and a great evil.—Lord Ellesmere's War in the Crimea.

A DEPOSED PRINCE.—Amongst other persons whom I saw at Benares, was the deposed Rajah of Curg, of whose atrocities and cruelties to British sub- jects, as well as to his own, I heard such accounts whilst in his country some veers ago; but here the man appears well-disposed, perfectly quiet ; and he drives about the station with a high-trotting horse in his buggy, and appears much liked in the English society. He gets 5000 rupees a-month, and dresses one of his two daughters in the English style, and is anxious to send ber home as a present to the Queen.—Sir _Erskine Perry's Bird's-Eye View of India.

STABILITY or WATER.—We cannot any longer sustain the ancient faith in the stability of the " terra firma," as contrasted with the ever-changing nature of the sea. Recent discoveries have proved, on the contrary, that the land changes and the waters are stable. The ocean maintains always the same level ; but, as on the great continents, table-lands rise and prairies sink, so does the bottom of the sea rise and fall. In the South Sea this takes place alternately, at stated times. To such sinking portions of our earth be- longs, among others, New Holland. So far from being a new young land, it is, on the contrary, with its strange flora, so unlike that of the rest of the world, and its odd and marvellous animals, an aged dying island, which the ocean is slowly burying inch by inch.—Stray Leaves from the Book of Nature.

INSTABILITY OF THE EARTH.—Not far from Naples, near Puzzuoli, there are putts of an anoient temple of the Egyptian god Serapis still standing ; three beautiful columns especially speak of its former splendour. At a con- siderable height they present the curious sight of being worm-eaten; and recent careful researches leave no doubt that the waters of the Mediterranean once covered them so high as to bring these their upper parts within reach of the sea-worms. Since then, the land has risen high ; but, stranger still, they are, by a mysterious force, once more to be submerged : already the floor of the temple is again covered with water ; and a century hence new generations of molluscs may dwell in the same abandoned homes of their fathers, which are now beyond the reach of the highest waves. An old Ca- puchin monk, who lives near by, is fond of telling visitors how he himself, in his youth, had gathered grapes in the vineyards of his convent, over which now fisher-boats pass in deep water. Venice also, the venerable city of the Doges, sinks, year after year, deeper into the arms of her betrothed bride, as if to hide her shame and her disgrace in the bosom of the Adriatic. Already in 1722, when the pavement of the beautiful place of S. Marco was taken up, the workmen found, at a considerable depth below, an ancient pavement, which was then far below water-mark : now the Adriatic has again encroached upon the twice-raised square ; at high-water, magazines and churches are flooded ; and if proper measures are not taken in time, serious injury must inevitably follow.—Stray Leaves from the Book of Nature.

HINDV RELIGION.—What a beneficent religion this Hindu is for those who profess it, and even those who laugh at it often profit greatly by its or- dinances. To the poorest Hindu in every. village there is an hotel, in the shape of a temple, where he will find lodgings, good company, water, and, no doubt, if he is in actual want, food. The religion, entering as it does into every institution of life, is a perpetual source of amusement to its vo- taries in their different festivals and processions; (and where happiness can be produced on easy and innocent terms, it is difficult to witness it with regret !) and the morality it inculcates covers the country with wells and tanks.—Sir Erskine Perry's Bird's-Eye View of India.

NATURE WILL HAVE HER WAY.—It seems at first sight inconsistent with the rational mode of relief by abstinence, to find practically that stimu- lants will also give relief, not only to the nervous depression which follows excess, but also to the gastric symptoms. "A hair of the dog that bit him " is as comforting to the stomach of a debauchee as it is steadying to his trembling hand. The explanation probably is, that these agents deaden the morbid sensibility of the nerves of the part, and perhaps resuscitate the mo- tion of the peristaltic muscles. They postpone the concentration of the whole of the natural reaction of the system on the period immediately fol- lowing that which originated it ; they dilute the punishment for the offence over many hours, instead of letting it be endured during a few in its full intensity. This doubtless is a relief to a weak-minded man, who is intoler- ant of the consequences of his indulgence ; but it is probable that the whole evil effects are in the end greater when thus spun out than when they take a natural course.—Digestion and its Derangements.