26 NOVEMBER 1887, Page 2

In spite of the Czar's placable manner in Berlin, his

leading officers seem to believe that war is not far distant. It is stated that General Gourko, Governor-General of Poland, who is to be the next Commander-in-Chief, and is already one of the most important personages in the Russian Empire, proposed on the 20th inst. a toast to the officers of the Lithuanian Guard. In introducing it, he said :—" I am sure that I shall soon again lead you into the field, as I did ten years ago. A very short term of life must have been allotted to me by the Almighty if I do not live for this event." Great Russian officers exhibit constantly a certain recklessness of speech, in strange contrast with the severe restraint under which they live ; but General Gourko may only have been risking a prophecy. He was, however, recently in consultation with the Czar, and it was understood that the object of his summons was to advise his master as to the possibility of invading Austria. The Austrians, at all events, think so, and have spent millions in countervailing preparations.