,Fortin an eolonial.
FaANCE.—The debates in the Chamber of Deputies on the Marine Estimates closed on Monday. On Saturday, a great disputation was raised by M. Lacrosse, who complained of the inefficient state of the Navy, and moved for inquiry. After some sharp discussion, the motion was put in the following shape—" At the a •Ong of the session of 1846, a special and detailed account shall be distri- buted to the Chambers of the state of the inscription maritime,' of the situation of the crews of the line, the ships of the fleet, the stores in the arsenals, and the naval constructions." In this motion Ministers acquiesced, and it was carried almost unanimously.
SwrrzEnt,asni.—Dr. Steiger, one of the invaders of Lucerne, whose sentence of death had caused such dismay in Switzerland, and much embarrassment to the authorities of the offended Canton, has escaped from prison; not, it is suspected, without the connivance of the authorities. The affair is thus related, in a letter written at Zurich on Friday last. " Dr. Steiger has, with the concurrence of three gendarmes who guarded him, made his escape from prison at Lucerne; and the whole party, accompanied by many friends, arrived here at half-past eight o'clock this morning. It appears, he was provided with a uniform of the gen- darmerie, and in this costume passed, in company of the others, out of the town, entered a carriage in waiting, and pa..4.1 the frontier. He remained in Zurich till three o'clock; whence he took his departure, it is supposed, for Frauenfeld in Tnrgovia. I hear the plan for escape had been arranged several weeks since; but no favourable opportunity offered until last night at twelve o'clock, when it was effected in the manner above described."
SrAtic—A Madrid paper, generally believed to be in the confidence of the pre- sent Government of Spain, strongly advises the early selection of a husband for Queen Isabella. From circumstances that have recently come to our knowledge, we are induced to join very earnestly in this recommendation. We are led to be- lieve that, for reasons of a very peculiar nature, it would be exceedingly desirdble that a husband should be forthwith provided for her Majesty.—Morning Post. A great sensation was created in Madrid, on the 16th instant, by a report that Cabrera, the Carlist leader, had been captured near Perpignan, by the French authorities: but subsequently, it turned out that the formidable partisan was still in the neighbourhood of Moulins, at the chateau of a French Legitimist Ex- Deputy. Two persons actually arrested near Perpignan were Carlist officers of no consequence. Nevertheless, forebodings of a Carlist insurrection are rife; and it is understood that the Queen would hasten back to Madrid in fear of it.
Svnta.—The Echo de l'Orient has accounts from Beyrout of the 24th May, at which time peace had not been completely restored in the mountainous districts. Some further engagements had taken place between the Druses and the Maronites at Der el Kamer and its neighbourhood; but the hostilities were diminishing.
Nolan AstsuucA.—The packet-ship Cambridge, which left New York on the 3d instant, arrived at Liverpool on Tuesday. The only news of political interest is a rumour that the negotiations between Texas and Mexico were completed. The terms are said to be, that Mexico acknowledges the independence of Texas, guaranteed by France and England, provided Texas rejects annexation with the United States or any other country.
An appalling fire had destroyed great part of the lower town of Quebec; which is described in a letter written on the 29th of May. "About half-past eleven o'clock yesterday morning, the alarm of fire was given; when the tannery in St. Valliere Street, owned and worked by Mr. Richardson, was discovered to be in flames; originating, as we heard, in some way from the bursting of a boiler. The day was remarkably warm; and the heat and dryness of the few days previous had rendered the roofs of the buildings in the neighbourhood, and those more re- mote,. highly susceptible of ignition. The adjoining and opposite dwellings were soon involved; and, in an inconceivably short space of time, the burning flakes, carried afar by the then rising wind, had ignited some buildings in the neigh- bourhood of the St. Roch's Church, a considerable distance from the outbreak of the fire. The wind gradually freshened from the West, with a coming storm; and it was soon evident, that all human endeavours to arrest the progress of the fire in a locale studded for the most part with wooden build- ings, alone would be useless—an impression but too fatally verified. Onward swept the flames; street after street tell before them. A species of whirlwind seemed to aid its fatal advances; for, in advance, in the rear, on every side, the raging element developed itself with momentarily-increasing fury: spots that to a shrieking and affrighted refugee were now apparently safe, in a few minutes subsequent were wrapped in a vast sheet of flames. From eleven in the morning till midnight did this dreadful fire hold uninterrupted sway; until its career was arrested in St. Charles Street, [by pulling down some deal piles and blowing up two houses,] nearly one mile from the place of its outbreak 1 At the broadest point, the breadth of the burnt district is about one-third of a mile.
" Between 1,500 and 2,000 houses are supposed to have been consumed ; and it is calculated that 12,000 persons (one-third of the population) are this day honselesa. Most of these people have lost their all; the rapid advance, and sud- den capricious direction taken by the flames, not only rendering it impossible to save any portion of the _property in the dwellings, but in a vast number of in- stances barely allowing the inmates sufficient time to escape. " Various rumours are afloat as to the number of lives lost. We have seen. seven crisped and mutilated remains. Of these, two were mothers, with their in- fants clasped to their bosoms. It is feared that many victims, as yet unknown, will be soon discovered.
" In the Upper Town, several houses were on fire. The Artillery-barrack was three times in danger, as also several private dwellings.
" One *dui incident was the destruction of the Hospital; to which, as being considered entirely out of the reach of the conflagration, numbers of sick persons of all classes were carried; when, melancholy to relate, the building became ig- nited by the flakes of fire carried from the distance by the wind: the unfortunate inmates, unable to help themselves, perished miserably.
" A meeting was convened yesterday evening, and the bakers ordered to com- mence the supply necessary for the relief of those distressed. This day, relief was extended to about 3,000 persons. At an adjourned meeting of that of last night, we are informed that the extremely handsome sum of upwards of 28,000 dollars was subscribed; the list being still open. We also learn that the Roman Catholic Bishop of the diocese has issued circulars to his clergy directing them to collect donations of every description in aid of the sufferers."
The total loss is variously estimated:at 400,0001. to 1,000,000L; of which pro- bably not more than 60,0001. was covered by insurance.
The New York papers also contain particulars of a destructive fire in that city, by which upwards of one hundred houses were totally consumed, and four hun- dred families were deprived of their homes. This fire seems to have been in a quarter where property is not so valuable as in many districts of the city, and the houses were small. It is said to have been the work of an incendiary.