1 JANUARY 1876, Page 10

A correspondent of Thursday's Times, who gives a very inter-

esting account of the Confederate manufacture of " coal torpe- does "—torpedoes coated with anthracite so as precisely to resemble an ordinary lump of coal—during the Civil War, and of some of the results achieved by them, declares that " it was proposed by a Committee of a Fenian Congress assembled in New York in 1867 to distribute a number of these torpedoes to the cellars- of her Majesty's Ministers and of prominent public men in London, with a view of striking terror into the English people; the proposal, however, was rejected, it is said, on the ground that " many kitchens in London would have Irish maids connected with the scullery department." Let us hope that, if that was the avowed objection, the real one was horror of a deed so treacherous and wicked. Where would be the end of the political passion excited by such wholesale assassination as that? A political Thomassen, if not so utterly base as one who committed his crime to make a little money, is worse in this,—that politics is a nobler world, a world appealing more constantly to generous and disinterested motives than commerce, and that therefore a political assassin, if not so base, is more debased, than a mercenary assassin.