The Portuguese Government is presuming, as usual, upon its weakness.
The contractors for an extension of the rail- way from Delagoa Bay to the Transvaal having, on the plea of physical impossibility, exceeded the time allowed them, the Portuguese authorities have declared the whole line forfeit, and intend to sell it to the Transvaal Government. The British concessionaires consider this violent injustice, and their employes have fortified themselves in the depot at Delagoa, daring the Portuguese to seize the property. As the consequent struggle may result in a massacre of English- men, a British gunboat has been sent to see something like fair play. We may, therefore, have important news in a few days. Fortunately, half the concessionaires are Americans, and the Americans are not bound by the fear of " complica- tions" which ties English hands. If the Portuguese slaughter American citizens on the strength of a claim so doubtful that the Foreign Office at Lisbon refuses to submit it to arbitra- tion, it is conceivable that there will be trouble in the Tagus.