15 SEPTEMBER 1866, Page 2

The Election Commissions are getting stupid, and the reiterated "

laughter " of the Commissioners,—we hope they don't laugh quite so much as the reporters give them credit for,—irritating. If they sang comic songs, which- no 'doubt are dismal things, or took laughing gas, they could scarcely laugh more. Itis clear they think the unlawful and immoral annexation of money in itself a ridiculous and humorous transaction. Now and then no doubt there is a cynical candour in the witnesses which is really wonderful. For instance, at Great Yarmouth, ThomaiWooden, a mast and block- maker, says, "I split-my vote because it-struck my fancy. I was offered money; and I took it. ' If it had been as much more I should have taken it, because it did me good. I should be glad if some one would give me some money now." Thomas -Wooden evidently feels no shame about his devotion to - money. It is avowed, and seemingly religious ; he glories, in it. But it does not strike us as peculiarly laughable. There is something far grander in it than in the half-devotion of Joseph Shattock, retired shoemaker, of the same place, who explained his intention to keep the bribe if he could not have his name taken off the list of bribees, but was willing to, give up his 20/. to be clear of the charge. He evidently did not think it wrong, but did think it disreputable to take bribes, and was willing to buy reputation. That was a wishy-washy state of mind, but at that also the Commissioners laughed. For ourselves, we believe the dirty work has rendered them hysterical. At everymtir of the slick in the nasty fluid there is " much laughter."