20 FEBRUARY 1875, Page 1

Prince Gortschakoff has, it is said, answered Lord Derby's de-

spatch, declining to take any part in the new Conference on the laws of war, in a conciliatory spirit ; but the Czar is said to be much hurt at a refusal which, after the recent alliance between the two reigning Houses, he had not expected. He thought the Ministry sure to yield on pressure from the Court. The Russian journals, aware of this feeling, declare that England is sel- fish, or excited about incidents in Central Asia and Constan- tinople, and threaten that the three Empires will take their own way. Telegrams are also arriving almost every day from Vienna and Berlin, which represent the Czar as deeply offended by the refusal, and are apparently intended to alarm public opinion in this country. Their authors, we think, gravely mistake the condition of English feeling. There is not the slightest desire here to affront the Czar, or to refuse reasonable requests as a protest against Russian policy in general, but there is a clear de- termination not to alter the laws of war so as to increase the efficacy of great battalions. If the Czar really believed that any marriage whatever would affect English policy, his mistake is greatly to be regretted ; but the good-feeling he desires will not be secured by a tone of menace which, if the people knew anything about the matter, would produce nothing but resentment. If the articles and telegrams from Moscow, Brussels, Berlin, and Vienna are uninspired, they are meaningless ; and if they are inspired, they can only increase the disposition to watch closely every step that Russia is taking in the East.