There was a meeting at Stafford on Monday, convened by the Mayor, to pass resolutions on the Eastern question. The gist of the resolves was a strong condemnation of the present process for managing the intercourse of nations, especially by means of permanent embassies and secret diplo- macy; and the suggestion of a return to the legal practice of the consti- tution, so as to prevent intercourse between the servant of the Crown and the representative of a foreign state save under special warrant of the Great Seal. Mr. David Urquhart was the principal orator; and his theme was the designs of Russia, as aided by secret and tortuous diplomacy. The meeting was a very full one, and its tone spirited.
It appears that M. Kossuth was invited to take a part in this meeting, but that he declined ; for the reasons, explained in a long letter, that he should have been compelled to show the intimate connexion between the Turkish question and the cause of Hungary ; and that his speech would have stimulated the English Government to press "affairs to issue, such as the friends of justice, freedom, and humanity, must deplore." "By analyzing the conduct of the English Government," he says, "during the present crisis, it is impossible not to come to the conclusion that it is not so much either by fear from or by a particular predilection for Russia, that the English Government has until now rather served than checked Russia's ambitious designs; but that it is rather for fear lest, by encouraging Turkey to legitimate resistance, an opportunity might be offered to some successful popular rising in other quarters. "I have, indeed, no hesitation to say, that the policy of England has long since been Russian in its results, though not Russian in its motives : it has been worse—it has been Anti-Liberal in principle. "In 1848, Russia interfered against the popular movement in Moldo- Wallachia by armed invasion, and thus prepared the way for the subsea uent i intervention n Hungary, as well as for the present occupation of the Prin- cipalities. England did not oppose it. "Soon after, Russia interfered by arms in Hungary, and gained by it an awful preponderance throughout the Continent of Europe. The Government of England had nothing to object to it. "This Russian intervention being carried on from Turkish territory, was in itself the grossest violation of its independence. Turkey was made an in- strument for Russian ambition and for Austrian oppression. It was per- mitted that the resources of Turkish provinces, provisions, money, means of transport, should be made use of by Russia in her attack on Hungary. The ' Austrians, beaten, twice found refuge and means of attack in the same Turk- ish provinces ; which was neither more nor less than a virtual resignation of the independence of Turkey. And. the Government of England allowed all this to be done—nay, checked Turkey in opposing it, by advising her 'not to come into hostile collision with her stronger neighbours '—as the Foreign Secretary of England had the ridiculous politeness to style that Austria, which we had defeated so often that she was no longer able to resist us with- out the aid of Russia, who, in her turn, had to strain every nerve to effect it. "Now, Sir, has the English Government done all this, because it liked Russia's striding preponderance ? No; it did it because it hated the popu- lar triumph of what they call the revolutionary principle.' "And now once more, the Danubian Principalities are occupied, and their resources made subservient to Russia in her hostility against the legitimate suzerain of those provinces; and again the English Government is guilty, before God and the world, of having permitted such piracy to be perpetrated without resistance. Was this done because England approved the seizure of Moldo-Wallachia by the Czar? No; but it was not opposed, because the English Government feared lest any resistance to Russian aggression, might lead some of the oppressed nations to renew their efforts for freedom. "That is the real clue to that policy, against which the citizens of Staf- ford are about to record their protest. The fatal incubus which weighs heavily on the foreign policy of year Government, is not so much love for the Czar as fear and hatred of Democracy. It would be vain to dissimulate, Sir, that Aristocracy and Plutocracy, as leading elements, will always less fear the despot than popular liberty." The rest of the letter is devoted to showing that Austria never was a barrier which kept Russia from Turkey ; that the policy of the English Government is therefore wrong in the endeavour to save Austria from her well-merited fate "; and that the abstinence of the people of England from almost all share in the direction of foreign policy is a matter of sur- prise to M. Kossuth.
The season of the annual meetings of the Agricultural Societies has come round again and several have occurred recently ; but the general cry of prosperity has diminished their oratorical importance, and the barest reports do justice to their proceedings.
The Carlisle Patriot of Saturday contained an account of the annual show of the East Cumberland Agricultural Society. The attendance in the yard was unusually large ; and the show is described as surpassing anything previously achieved by this highly reputed society. About a hundred gentlemen dined together at the Bush Hotel. Mr. Philip How- ard of Corby Castle was the chairman, and the principal speaker : the other magnates were Sir John Heron Maxwell, Mr. W. Marshall M.P., the Honourable Arthur Petro, and Mr. Thomas Salkeld of Holme Hill, the vice-chairman. In a gallery above were Mrs. Howard of Corby Castle, Lady Petro, the sister of the chairman, Mies Dykes, and Miss Susan Dykes of Dovenby Hall, Mies Aglionby of the Nunnery, and other ladies. In criticizing the show-yard, Mr. Howard referred to the short stock of sheep and the capital display of horses. The harvest, it appears, has been good in Cumberland. On a prominent topic Mr. Howard spoke to this effect—
"There is a subject which it is difficult to handle with any degree of deli- cacy, but which at an agricultural meeting should not be overlooked. There is an old proverb that muck is the mother of meal.' (Laughtcr.) Now, an able statesman, Lord Palmerston, has said elsewhere, that dirt is only something in a wrong place.' I trust we shall be able to increase the pro- ductive character of the soil by turning to account that great quantity of animal refuse which accumulates in towns—that the sewerage of towns may be made available to fertilize the country : and here chemistry comes in, and by means of its art deprives this source of production of much of its noisome character. By means of. disiufecting fluids, as has been shown by the able books and pamphlets of statistical writers, we may render that source available, divested of all its present apparent offensiveness. And I trust that, though my friend Mr. Rome may have been criticized for resort- ing to Carlisle to increase the value of his farm, he and others will not be deterred from laying every available source under contribution. At the same time, it is only fair to the passer-by, that those who derive their ma- nures from such a source should also call the resources of chemistry into operation." It is not impossible but that the Royal Agricultural Society will hold their show at Carlisle in 1855; next year, we believe, it will be at Lin- coln.
The meeting of the Herefordshire Society was held at Ledbury, on Thursday week. The chief political lights were the two County Members, Mr. Booker and Mr. King King. The speaking was on the prosperity topic. Both Mr. King and Mr. Booker admitted that agriculture was flourishing ; and the orators exhorted the assembly, great and small, to "indulge in their prosperity in a becoming manner "—to live and let live ; landlords being considerate towards tenants, and tenants towards labourers.
At the annual general meeting of the Salisbury Society for the Propa- gation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, held in that city last week, Mr. Sidney Herbert made a speech telling strongly in favour not only of missions among the heathen, but among the emigrant Englishmen who have settled down in strange lands.
At a crowded meeting in the Birmingham Town-hall, on Tuesday, a strong resolution was passed against the recent system of cruelty pursued in the gaol. It was also resolved that the Justices had entirely forfeited the confidence of the people of Birmingham ; and a solemn protest was entered against their participation in the appointment of Governor and other prison officers. The last resolution called for the appointment of a Stipendiary Magistrate, to facilitate the proper, orderly, and impartial discharge of the magisterial business.
Strikes are still the order of the day in the manufacturing districts. A large mill at Bury is closed, and 700 people are thrown idle, by the strike of the spinners for an advance which the masters said resolutely they would not give. Two firms at Wigan have resisted the demands of the workmen, and have closed their factories. Around Burslem the colliers have turned out for an increase of sixpence a day. The Birmingham tin- plate workers are idle—the masters have refused an adyance of from 20 to 25 per cent.
There is no prospect of an amicable adjustment of the dispute at Pres- ton. At the end of last week the number of hands out had increased to 2000. It is reckoned that the 25,000 workers—men, women, and chil- dren—in the Preston mills, receive from 12,000/. to 13,000/. a week in wages: if all the mills close, the extent of aid promised to the workpeoplc from other places is estimated at from 2000/. to 3000/. a week ; if this should be realized, there will still be a weekly deficit of 10,000/. The workers had an open-air meeting on Saturday afternoon ; at which divers delegates urged them to be firm in their demands, and promised large support. A resolution was passed by which the power-loom weavers pledged themselves " never" to resume work till their employers com- ply with their "just demands."
The seamen and pitmen of the Tyne and Wear have held a great meet. ing at South Shields. The seamen, to uphold a number of new regula- tions respecting wages and the quota of hands to ships of certain tonnage which they propose to compel owners to agree to. The colliers agitated for an advance of wages. Seamen and colliers seem to think that a union between them would be advantageous.
The carpenters and joiners of Bristol have held a meeting to check the prevalence of " over-time " work. They declare that it tasks some men too heavily, and keeps others without employment : to mitigate the evil, they resolved that no man should work more than two hours for a "quarter of a day" over-time, and then only in cases of emergency.
The shoemakers of Plymouth and Devonport have been successful in their strike : the largest employer gave in, and others were obliged to follow. The manufacturers had no other alternative without losing large orders for the Australian market.
Brutality to women is a commonplace of the day ; but sometimes an ex- treme case occurs. Michael Reynolds, a hawker, killed his wife at Leeds. She was far advanced in pregnancy ; the miscreant struck her at a public- house ; arrived at home, he beat her again, and flung her down and kicked her shamefully, ruptunng blood-vessels, so that she rapidly bled to death. A Coroner's Jury has pronounced this murder a "Manslaughter." Reynolds tied from justice. Some burglars have entered Knowsley Hall during the night, and carried off a number of seals, silver fittings, and other articles, the propel ty of the Earl of Derby. An extraordinary conspiracy to defraud has been detected at Huddersfield. George Booth and T. Booth are cloth-manufacturers near Holinfirth. The other day, George Booth received at Huddersfield, on accouut of the firm, two checks for 609/. 8.s. 6d. Some little time after, he told a creditor that he had lost these checks ; he was advised to stop their payment immediately ; then he went to the Huddersfield Bank and announced what had occurred—too late, for the checks had been paid. A young man had presented them ; he had counted the cash in a most bungling manner, took up a large space of the counter, and was very slow in his movements : it was supposed that this youth had found the pocket-book containing the cheeks. But it subse- quently turned out, that the bungling young man was William Booth, eon of George. The cheeks had not been lost, but a scheme had been concocted to obtain possession of the 609/. at the expense of the creditors of the firm and of the other partner. From the quantity of clothing found at George Booth's house, it seemed probable that he intended to emigrate. The plan
had been deeply laid. The young..man was sent to Manchester to his aunt, Esther Booth; he set off by, rail IA the morning for Huddersfield, met his father, received the pocket-book, got the cash, flung the book into a canal, and returned to Manchester ; and his aunt hid the money in the coal-hole. Next morning the ingenuous youth started for the Isle of Man, and re- mained away several days. All this was contrived to make it appear that young Booth was not near his home at the time the checks were lost. The three culprits have all confessed ; and the Magistrates have committed them for trial for conspiracy. When George Booth announced the pretended loss of the 6091., he and his partner declared their insolvency as a consequence. It appears that the liabilities of the firm are 30001.' there will be sixteen shillings in the pound for the creditors, irrespective of the 6091. The credit of the partners had been excellent, and all their dealings had been with first-class houses.
What is called a "singular gun accident" is reported at Sheffield—unfor- tunately, such occurrences are not "singular." Mr. Prest was returning from a shooting excursion ; he was riding in a cab from the railway-station; a young gentleman of his acquaintance, Mr. Nanson, who was on horseback, inquired of Mr. Prest what sport he had had ; Mr. !rest thought he would have a "little pleasantry" with his young friend. He put a percussion- cap on the nipple of his gun, and snapped it through the window : the gun went off, the charge lodged in the horse's head, and it was subsequently found necessary to kill him. Of course Mr. Prest had imagined the gun was not loaded: he had told a gamekeeper to draw the last charge inserted, and had not himself ascertained whether his orders had been obeyed. Young Mr. Nanson had a narrow escape.
Winkett, a labourer on the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Rail- way, found a hare on the rails which had been killed by a train ; he sold it, and got drunk with the proceeds. At night he was found to have shared poor puss's fate—a train had severed his head from the body : it is supposed he had fallen on the rails while helplessly intoxicated.
Two miners have perished near St. Just, in Cornwall, from foul air. Some men were drawing water from an old shaft; the bucket stuck below ; a man went down; when shouted to he made no reply; a second man descended, with a like result. The cause of their silence was guessed by the other miners, and no more descended till the place was purified. The two men who went down were quite dead.