Ministers have acquired a reputation for making good appointments. Another, which promises well, has just been made. Sir .1013n Briggs, who has served for fifty-seven years as Accountant-General of the Navy, retires, and has been succeeded by a younger man Mr. Bromley, recently Secretary to the Audit Board. This is not the first time that Mr. Brom- ley has dealt with naval matters. He was formerly employed in the Dockyards ; from which he was withdrawn to assist Sir John Burgoyne during the famine, in Ireland. For his services he received the thanks of the Government and a service of plate from the inspecting officers. While in the Audit Office, he has been engaged in inquiries into the Dockyards, the public offices of England, the contract packet service, the Irish Board of Works, and of the Poor-law. Mr. Bromley enjoys the reputation of being an able and indefatigable workman ; and he has been chosen to fill the office of Naval Accountant-General solely on account of his efficiency.
As we are embarking in war, Mr. Guthrie, the eminent military sur- geon' appropriately draws attention to the medical service of the Army, by a letter in the Times. The great experience of the veteran surgeon adds additional weight to his recommendations. Mr. Guthrie shows that during the last war, from Mica to Waterloo, the medical service was deplorably defective in ability, number, and organization. The only exception was in 1814 when the Army was in the South of France. Mr. Guthrie recounts the efforts he has made since that time to procure amendment, but without success. The chiefs of departments, he thinks, are willing enough to promote improvement; but the "small secondary authorities of the different offices of the four or five departments" through which each measure has to go are the cbstructives. Lord Hill found himself frustrated by the "gentlemen at the Treasury who do the business of the doc- tors," when he wanted to introduce, at a cost of 500/., efficient carriages for the use of the woun ded. After the great battles on the Sutlej, where so many of the wounded were sacrificed, Mr. Guthrie made a representation and proposed a plan for an effective medical staff for the Indian Army. The Duke of Wellington approved of it; it was sent to the East India Com- pany, referred by them to authorities in India, and shelved. His private efforts having failed, he thinks the public may not improperly be applied to ; and if they are willing to declare that the treatment of the wounded soldier on the field of battle and afterwards should be as effective as pea- Bible, he will endeavour to show how that may be accomplished.
The Himalaya made thapasaage from Malta to Alexandria in sixty-one hours; the shortest time, by eight hours, in which the voyage has ever been performed.'
At the departure of the Great Britain, an electric telegraph had been esta- blished from Melbourne to Williamstown;; the 'railway from Hobson's Bay was progressing ; and it RISS proposed to cut a ship-canal to communicate - between Melbourne and the Sea.
The telegraphic coteinunicatiou between Piedmont and Lombardy, Trieste, Venice, and all the other countries forming part of the Austro-Germanic line, was opened on the 9th. • Odessa did Snore business last year than in any preceding year. In 1847, which was considered a very prosperous time, 1662 vessels entered the port ; but in 1853 no fewer than 2246 ships arrived; mostly, of course, to take in cargoes of wheat.
France participates in the general fall in the price of food. At Paris flour has fallen two franca a seek, and the stock in the hands of the factors is larger than for some time past. This change has resulted from the immense importations.
The great Brazilian diamond recently received in this country has been exhibited to the Queen by the consignees. It is likely, when polished, to exceed in size and brilliancy the Koh-i-noor.
M. Dumas has announced to the Paris Academy of Sciences that M. Saint- Clair Deville has obtained from clay a metal as white and brilliant as silver, as malleable as gold, as light as glass, and fusible at a moderate temperature. Air and damp do not affect it. Specimens were exhibited, and a sufficient sum was voted by the Academy to enable M. Deville to make experiments on &large scale.
The curious in such affairs are full of a new anagram which has just been discovered by the President of one of the Committees of the arrondissement Of Valenciennes. It consists of a transposition of the letters of the following Eentence—" A sa Majeate Imperiale le Tzar Nicholas, Souverain et Autocrat° de toutes lea Hussies" ; and the result is—" Ta vanite sera is perte ; elle mole la Russie ; tea successeurs te maudiront i jamais." It is asked, Which of our Loudon Aldermen would have distinguished himself by such an effort of genius ?"
In Sweden a new religious sect has sprung up, called the Contemplators, because they believe that in mediating incessantly on the essence and quali- ties of God, which they call contemplating God, they attain the perfection of saints. They are more intolerant than the other sects in Sweden, as they think that everybody who does not join them will certainly be damned. A short time back, a peasant named John Olsson, of the village of Otteslaett, in the district of Teguely, province of Gothenburg, cut the throats of his two Children, one aged a year and the other eighteen months, to preserve them, mho said, from eternal condemnation.
The GreatBritain steamer has brought to Liverpool Australian gold valued at 657,800/. There were four political dinners on Saturday. Sir William Molesworth received the Earl of Aberdeen soda distinguished party ; the Marquis of lansdowne was the guest of Viscount Carlini% ; Viscountess Palmersten entertained the Sardinian Miuister ; and Earl-Derby gave his usual "Par- liamentary dinner." The Speaker held his first banquet of the session on the same evening : among the guests were Lord John Russell and Viscount Palmerston.' 0 •• ,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer entertained his colleaoues of the Cabi- net net at dinner on WedrieSday: Tamea Robinson Planche has been appointed to the office of Rouge- Croix Pursuivant of Arms, vacant by the prometion of Mr. William Court- hope to be Somerset Herald.
Sir R. Armstrong, late Commander-in-chief at Madras, embarked for Eng- land on the 29th December:.
Lord Dudley Shiart arrived in town on Tuesday, and placed himee. If un-.. mediately in communication with Ministers.
The King of the Belgians has- copferred the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold upon Prince Napoleon, and infelior grades of the same order upon the officers who accompanied the Prince to Brussels.
The Regent of Portugal and his son the young King are shortly expected in Belgium. A marriage between the King of Portugal and the_Piancess Charlotte, daughter of King Leopold, is talked of. The Duchess of Genoa gave birth to a prince on the 6th instant. He has been christened Thomas Albert Victor.
Sir Charles Grey is still in Jamaica. Having inhabited the Tropics so long, he is unwilling to return. to England during the winter.
It is now stated on authority that there is not the slightest foundation for the story which has gone the round of the newspapers respecting the dona- tion of plate recently. made to the- chapel at Hamilton by the-Duchess of Hamilton and its resumption by the Duke.
A duel with small swords has been fought in the Bois de Boulogne be- tween the Prince Roger de Beaufremont and the Count de Ludree. The Count was severely wounded in the chest, but his life is not in danger. "
The Prefect of the Seine has given a grand banquet at the Hotel de Ville to Prince Napoleon. Among the guests were the artists recently engaged in redecorating the building ; they were introduced to the Prince.
The deputation from the Society of Friends had arrived at St. Petersburg on the 7th February ; they had an interview with Count Nesselrode, and were to be introduced to the Czar.
Mr. John Martin, the painter, is suffering from a recent attack of paralysis, and it is feared that his career as an artist is closed.
Admiral Poulett, second son of John fourth Earl Poulett, while out hunt- ing with Colonel Wyndham on the South Downs at West Maiden, was seen to fall from his horse, and he was dead—of apoplexy—before. the nearest person could reach him. He was in his sixty-eighth year.
A Cabinet Council, attended by all the Ministers sat for three hours and it half at the Foreign Office on Saturday.
Her Majesty's Commissioners for Building New Churches have ap- proved of the plans for a new church fot tbn ecclesiaStical district of St. Mark, in the parish of St. Margaret, Westnlineter. They have also made conditional grants towards the erection of °hutches in eleven suburban parishes. Some of these churches have been commenced, and incum- bents have been appointed to the districts'avhich have been assigned to them. , • .
The health of London last week was muuh improved. The number of deaths, 1178, was 24 less than the calculated average, 1.202. For the last month the temperature has been singularly, uniform, and, the mortality has varied as little. There was one case of cholera.
A magnificent stained glass window has been erected in Worcester Cathe- dral in memory of the late Queen Adelaide.
A hundred bucks and does from Criciclewood Forest have been conveyed to Windsor, where they will be placed in the Great Park.
The number of pupil-teachers in England and Wales who have completed their term of apprenticeship under the minutes of the Committee of Council is 1371; of whom 942 are males, and 429 females.
A return has been published of the legal expenses of burgh elections in Scotland. The Edinburgh election, which was contested, cost, for hustings, clerks, and other legal expenses, 3611. 12s.; Glasgow, which was not con- tested, cost 92/. 88. ; Dundee, uncontested, is the cheapest of all-3/. 28.
The cleaning. of some old portraits in'the Bristol Council House has ended in two discoveries : in one case, a poor hub of a picture was washed off and a finer one disclosed beneath, supposed to be by C. Van Steen, worth 400 guineas; in the other case, a portrait of Charles the Second disappeared, and one of James the First assumed its place.
Cohen, a Jew miser, died recently in Dublin. He was a pencil-maker : of very penurious habits, he accumulated a large fortune—sonic 60,0001., it is supposed. With the exception of trifling annuities to two poor relatives in England, and another, of 100/. a year to the Jewish congregation in Dub- lin, the whole of the property is demised to the Hebrew charitable institu- tions of London.
Three men belonging to the British war-ship Virago have been killed by the Darien Indians, and a fourth has been captured. They were left in charge of a provision-depot by Commander Prevost, who conducted a party on an exploring expedition into the Cordillera. He had nearly reached the Atlantic when he was compelled to return, and it was then that he found the murdered bodies of his crew.
The Parliament Houseand buildings at Quebec were destroyed by fire on the let of February, together with a great part of the valuable library of the House. Only part of the records were saved. The buildings were insured for 30,0001., the provincial library for 6000/. The extent of the fire was owing to a lack of water.
The last advices from the United States report the burning at sea of the steamer Georgia, of Mobile with the loss of upwards of sixty lives. The vessel and cargo were valued 108,000 dollars; but that does not represent all the "property" lost, for most of the sixty unfortunates who perished were slaves.
It has become quite a fashion in America to sue surgeons for damages if the operations they perform are not successful. Dr. Crosby, a surgeon of Manchester, recently refused to attempt the reduction c1 a fracture unless the patient engaged in writing not to prosecute him in case of non-success.
A frightful catastrophe has occurred at Ravenswood, on Long Island, off New York. A small wooden building used as a cartridge-manufactory was shivered to atoms by an explosion, and nearly all the workpeople perished— fifteen or twenty, mostly boys orfemales. Some of the sufferers were literally torn to pieces, and the mangled fragments hurled to a great distance : the particulars given in the New York papers are sickening. This deplorable calamity arose from the negligent way in which the manufacture was carried on, in a too confined building, without proper superintendence, and with small precautions with regard to fires .'„and lights—the. explosion began from the flame of a spirit-lamp.
A few days since, a woman named Saunders, the wife of a watchman in the employ of the Eastern Counties Railway Company, living on the Barrack Ground, Romford, gave birth to three children, two of whom are quite per- fect; the other is minus a leg and an arm. They are all healthy children, and, with the mother, are doing "as well as can be expected."—Chelmsford Chronicle.* -
A case is reported this week showing how ships are exposed to destruction by the appointment of unworthy masters. The bark George left Sunder- land with a cargo of coke and cinders for Malaga; the crew oonsisted of a master, mate, and eleven men and boys; the ship was seventy-six years old. The master was not sober when he left port ; four hours after he went below, drank deeply, and from that time was constantly intoxicated. Off the South Foreland, the mate telegraphed for aid ; a boat came to him, and the bark was anchored in Dover Roads. But an American ship having got foul of the George in bad weather, it was necessary to run to the Downs, and the ship was eventually tugged into Ramsgate harbour. The master all the time was in bed mad drunk. When a Ramsgate doctor saw him he ordered that he should be conveyed to the infirmary.