NEWS OF THE WEEK.
TIIE French Elections came off on Sunday in perfect quiet, but there were trifling riots in some places on the following day, the mobs singing the Marseillaise. The total result, according to a report from the Minister of the Interior, is a majority of twothirds for the Government. Out of 292 representatives, 196 are Imperialists, more or less pronounced, and 26 belong to the Republican, or rather the Red Opposition. Ten of these are elected for two places, and the vacancies will doubtless be filled by men of the same opinions, giving a certain total of 36 Reds. There remain 58 places where a second ballot is necessary, the Imperialist not having secured half the votes given, that is, having been beaten by the aggregate votes of the divided Opposition. It is calculated, that owing to the bitterness of French parties, none of these votes will on Sunday week be given to official candidates, and many intelligent observers calculate on the whole of them for the Liberals. There remain the two seats for Corsica, where the elections have not taken place.
The total result, should the second ballot justify Liberal hopes, is an increase of the Opposition from about twenty-five to ninetyfour, or nearly a third of the Corps L6gislatif ; and this Opposition will be much more virulent than before. The Orleanist party is extinct. It is doubtful whether M. Thiers himself will be elected. He was beaten in five places, and the correspondent of the Telegraph, which on French politics is demi-official, gives the following list of banished °demists :—" De Remusat (HauteGaronne), Casimir Perier (Aube), De Broglie (Eure), D'Audiffret-Pasquier (Orne), Due Decazes (Gironde), Baucher (Calvados), Lacave-Laplagne (Gem), De Calmon (Lot), Pr6vostParadol (Loire-Inferieure), Louis Passy (Eure), Lambrecht (Nord), Cornelius de Witt (Calvados), Comte Joubert." The Legitimists are also extinct, even De Falloux being beaten in La Vendee, and the new Opposition may be described broadly as Red to the last degree, so Red that Imperialists affect to believe themselves pleased with a result which leaves them only enemies to combat. It is to be observed, however, that the official candidates have been much more liberal than usual, and that according to a calculation made in Paris, the total vote throughout the country shows only four Imperialists to three Liberals.
In the great cities the result is worse than this. Paris, Marseilles, and Lyons have elected none but Reds of the most extreme kind, with the possible exception of M. Thiers, who may come in, and M. Jules Favre, who, it is feared, will be thrown out by Rochefort. Moreover, it is shown that in Paris, where the voters attended the polls in unusual numbers, and where M. Rouher himself gave his vote, the Empire secured less than a sixth of the suffrages given, or, if Emile 011ivier is considered an Imperialist, a bare fifth. The numbers are 210,000 for the Opposition, 43,000 for the Empire, and 12,000 for Emile 011ivier, a result which, in a city governed like Paris, is almost astounding.
We have argued elsewhere that these Elections increase the chance of war, and must add that the demi-official papers are again attacking Belgium. The Patric began it, and then the Pays,
—edited by a " Mameluke of the Empire," as he designates himself,—published a statement that the French refugees in Belgium were organizing bands in the mining districts in order to march on Paris and proclaim a Social Republic. The Independance Beige denied this, and the paper containing the denial was stopped upon the frontier. Thereupon the Pays describes Belgium as "a cavern of villains," ruled by an impotent government, and calla upon France, careless as she is of conquest, to annex Belgium, and purge the land of its " filth." Of course, the Imperial Government is not responsible for this violence ; but the stoppage of the Independence is an official act, and suggests that the Home Office approves calumnies upon Belgium.
Mr. Sumner's speech has, after all, done good. The able correspondent of the Daily News writes now in a very different strain, indeed, of its relation to the view of leading men in America from that which his letters took after its first delivery. He is evidently not himself aware of his own great change of tone. it is true, he warned us that the Secretary of State, Mr. Fish, was probably opposed to Mr. Sumner's view ; but he told us at first what was much more to the point, that it doubtless represented the President's own view, that General Grant talked of a year's war expenses as about the right fine for England to pay ; and ho told us, too, that Mr. Sumner's speech precisely represented almost all the current American opinion. Now that America has had the advantage of hearing our views on the subject expressed with some emphasis, the feeling over the water has a good deal changed. " During the past ten days," he writes, " the disposition to throw the speech overboard has been more and more marked on the part of the press, and I do not see a single paper of influence which talks of it as a fair exposition of the claims of this country, and a great many treat it with ridicule." So much the better. But it is the attitude of England that has wrought the change.
The Derby was run on Wednesday, as usual, and was won by Pretender, a horse belonging to Mr. J. Johnstone. The public had a fancy for Belladrum, and laid heavily on him, but he came in last. The day was fine, and the crowd greater than ever ; but it is noted that it seemed in worse spirits than usual, that the " fun " was less, though the drinking was as great as ever. The explanation seems to be that the mob wanted Belladrum to win, and ho didn't, and so they were discontented.
The Spanish Cortes have finally decided for Monarchy by a vote of 214 to 71, or one more than three to one. Nevertheless, they have not a monarch, and intend to proclaim Serrano Regent on behalf of monarchy in the abstract, with Prim as Mayor of the Palace. In the interim, S. Ayala, Minister of the Colonies, has been forced to resign, for having asserted that the people did not make the Revolution ; that they preferred bull-fights to politics ; and that if left to themselves they would recall Isabella. It was expected that Serrano would be proclaimed immediately after the vote abolishing monarchy ; but this was taken on Sunday, and up to Friday night no such telegram had been received.
Two very able letters from New Zealand appear in the English papers this week, of which one, from the Native Minister of New Zealand, Mr. J. C. Richmond, appeared in the Times of Wednesday ; and the other, from Major Atkinson, formerly the Defence Minister of the colony, appears to-day in our own columns. The very few Englishmen who really care to know the true position of the colony will do well to master both these letters. We deeply regret to believe that our Government has really made up its mind that, in the midst of these difficulties, the colony deserves no fraction of the only effectual help we can give Now Zealand, pecuniary help to organize an efficient protective system. What is certain is, that up to a very recent date the native policy was not the policy of the colonists, and not a sound policy at all, but a very unsound policy, dictated by the Imperial Government, whence all their evils ;—that up to a still more recent date the military policy was also imposed on the colony from home, and was still more helpless and incompetent than the Maori policy ; that the Southern Island, which is also far the richer island, and which shares none of the Maori troubles, is beginning to argue that if England considers Lewitt' irresponsible for the Maori difficulties. of the Northern island, tho Scattier/4114nd, may think itself still. more so.
Lord Granville's despatch on New Zealand, published in yesterday evening's paper, is a remarkably " strong " one on the wrong side, and will cause very keen regret and give very deep and, we think, needless offence in the colony. Lord Granville maintains that not only has New Zealand no pecuniary claim on the Imperial Government, but that the Imperial Government has, if it chooses to urge it, a great pecuniary claim on New Zealand for the expenses England has incurred in wars with the Maoris, which were in fact wars to gain for the settlers an extended power of colonization. This despatch almost appears to regard the English colonists as in a less practical sense British subjects than the Maoris themselves. Does Lord Granville really mean to say that wars forced on the colonists by the Maoris who wished to withdraw, or to make their countrymen withdraw, from land contracts which had been fairly and openly made, are " the price paid by this country for the territories which have been recently and, as I think, unwisely appropriated by them "? They were in reality the price paid for colonizing at all in a savage country, where it was equally impossible not to buy wild land from willing natives, and not to defend it, when so bought, from those who were unwilling to allow the contract. As to the question of reciprocal claims, New Zealand has never been so silly as to urge a legal claim for money on Great Britain. But she has said, and very justly, as we think, that wars which, though in great measure paid for by Great Britain, were always mismanaged, and always mismanaged without paying much attention to Colonial advice on the ground of the duty of the British Government to the Maori, do give some claim on the mother country, when she suddenly withdraws and leaves the colonists to their fate.
Mr. Lowe's budget propositions passed through Committee on Thursday without any serious attempt at a contest, but several Liberals of great weight in financial affairs, notably Mr. Crawford, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mr. W. Fowler, ALP. for Cambridge, and others, joined the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Ward Hunt, in reiterating the criticisms on the provisions for concentrating all the payments of direct taxes in one quarter of the year which we passed on the first announcement of Mr. Lowe's plans. As regards the disposal of the surplus, the budget has proved very deservedly popular, and the great inconvenience of the arrangements made for the house, land, and income tax and the assessed taxes, will be more likely to be felt by the nation after they have been tried, than they are now. Mr. Lowe, besides again quizzing the Money Market,— a personage who as little understands and as bitterly resents that kind of treatment as a bishop,— amused his audience by maintaining that we always pay five quarter's income-tax within the year,—meaning within a year and a day,—a mode of reckoning which would prove that we always have two birthdays within the year. Mr. Crawford very naturally asked how many quarters' income-tax, then, we pay in two years, to which Mr. Lowe replied," Nine by the same rule" (meaning, of course, within two years and a day), whereupon Mr. Crawford objected that twice five oughtthen to make nine. Mr. Lowe, however, was only quibbling, nor was Mr. Crawford on this point very much iu earnest. It does not really matter,—this payment of an extra quarter's income-tax, for one year, for a sufficient purpose ; but anyhow, it is an extra quarter's income-tax for one year, as Mr. Lowe knows perfectly well,—unless, indeed, he could manage " by the same rule " to give us a fifth quarter to earn it in.
Mr. Justice Blackburn has declared the Members for North Norfolk duly elected ; and Yarmouth seems to have come off with all the honours, as a highly disinterested and pure political locality. After all, there is nothing truer than the maxim about burnt ohildren.
A desperate protest was got up in Birmingham on Wednesday against the Irish Church Bill, meant to induce the Lords to reject it on the second reading,—but this even the Standard objects to, and the Birmingham forlorn hope will probably lose their breath. Lord Harrowby and Mr. Newdegate were the special orators, but after mastering their speeches, one experiences very vividly that disposition to remain silent with which the Tory papers taunt the Liberal orators so unkindly. The Standard says that this is because we have nothing to say in reply, and the Standard is quite right. But then arguments may be unanswerable for two different ressens, becausethey are full of force, ascii because they ara absolutely devoid of it. Lord Harrowbr coif Mr. Newdegate said nothing that stirs the mind to even thwfaintest activity. Whew Lard likettoseby says " Roman Catholicism. and liberty are incompatibles" we can only feel a languid disposition to ask him why, then, he does not advocate putting down Roman Catholicism, instead of paying Protestantism? and when Mr. Nawdegate says that " every country in Europe resists Papal aggressionv:cept England," we can only ask which country in Europe gains more by its resistance than England gains by its non-resistance ? Or are we to call Mr. Newdegate's statement, that the minority in the House of Commons represents, on the Irish Church question, " a vast majority of Englishmen," an argument? It is only a delusion of Mr. Newdegate's, and, as he tells us, of "Mr. Robert Baxter's." But why should any one ever wish to answer delusions of Mr. Newdegate's and Mr. Robert Baxter's ?
The Standard thinks that the Lords will paw the Irish Church Bill, insisting, however, on three amendments, which look a good deal like amendments to save their own dignity. One amendment is that " the scheme of compensation " for the life interests of the clergy, " must be general, and not particular. The sums to which the disestablished clergy are entitled must be capitalized, and handed over, subject to the life interests, to the Church body,"— but this may already be done with the consent of the individual clergy so entitled ; and certainly, if the clergy, as a whole, prefer it, there can be no possible reason why it should not be done en masse. The second condition is wholly inadmissible, at least as to its first provision, that " the glebes of Ulster should be left to the Church, and the glebe houses given" without demanding repayment of the buildingfund debts. To justify exceptionally the Ulster confiscations of land made to support the Protestant Church would be the most cynical and deliberate of insults to the Irish Catholics. As to releasing the repayment of the building funds, possibly the House of Commons might concede that to the Lords, though as an act of grace, not of justice. Finally, says the Standard, "the Church ought to enjoy the same unlimited right of holding land which the Irish law gives to the Roman Catholic community,"— but certainly not while the Roman Catholic communities are not corporate bodies and the Protestant Church is. However, if the Lords' amendments have really dwindled down to these, the Lords have thrown up the game. They would do better to resolve formally to what majority they think it wise to defer, than to withdraw their opposition in this particular case without explaining what they mean. They would be unwise to resist ; but they should lay down some general rule as to where their liberty of action is supposed to cease.
The Magistrates of Westmeath, alarmed at the murders so frequent in the county, unanimously recommend Government to extend the law which provides compensation for malicious injury to property to malicious injury to the person ; to levy this compensation from the district ; to organize a detective force; to levy an extra police-rate on a disturbed district ; and to suspend the Habeas Corpus for the county. We fear these measures, the suspension of the Habeas Corpus excepted, would have little effect, and that suspension for any length of time is too clear an admission that liberty cannot exist in Ireland. Landlords would be shot at a distance, and the wrong people taxed. We are inclined to believe that a law authorizing the cross-examination of the accused, or strongly suspected, would do more to elicit evidence than all these recommendations.
It seems probable that the German Federal Parliament will refuse to vote the new taxes required to fill up the deficit, amounting to about a million and a quarter annually. The Government demands that the new taxes should be voted in perpetuity, and the Liberals say they will only vote them year by year, extorting liberal concessions for each vote. Count von Bismarck says this would greatly increase the power of the Deputies, and he is not prepared to do that without mature consideration. He would do it if the House sat all the year round, and were insensible to eloquence ; but sitting as it does, and liable as it is to be moved by " improvisation," he thinks the business of the State would not be efficiently conducted. He seems to regard a Parliament as a sort of poet who, in a transport, might be expected to do anything We in England know that there is just one thing no Member, however great an orator, can do, and that is, cut down the Estimates.
Mr. Washburne, Minister of the United States at Paris, was received by the Emperor on Thursday. Mr. Washburne said that " at no former period had the people and Government of America desired more than at present to cultivate and perpetuate the traditional friendship between the two countries." And the Emperor replied that good relations had existed between France and America for a century, and he hoped this amicable understanding would be maintained. That is very pleasant, particularly as France invaded Mexico, and proposed to recognize the independence of the South ; while Great Britain, which withdrew from the invasion and prevented the recognition, is told that unless she apologizes she is to be deprived of Canada. All courtesy is for the courteous enemy, all demands for the discourteous friend.
Vice-Chancellor Sir W. M. James has been called upon to fix the legal limits of Plagiarism. Dr. Thomas Nicholas published a book called The Pedigree of the English People, the drift of which is that the British people is not Saxon, but mainly of the old Celtic stock, adducing among other evidence certain calculations as to the -colours of face, hair, and eyes predominant in London crowds. The book was sent for review to Mr. L. W. Pike, a barrister, who discovered that its main thesis, its arrangement, and these calculations had been taken from a work previously published by him, and called The English and their Origin. The Vice-Chancellor decided that this was piracy, and that "no one has a right to take with or without acknowledgment a material and substantial portion " of another man's work to improve a rival publication. He therefore ordered Dr. T. Nicholas to cancel his book and to pay Mr. Pike for every copy sold as if it had been a copy of Mr. Pike's book, and sold on his his account. If we could apply that decision to every country paper which makes up its leaders out of these paragraphs, our income-tax would affect the budget.
Mr. Christopher Nevill writes to the Times from Newark to say he has built capital double cottages for £170 per pair, and gets 5 per cent. interest for his money. His plan is to build the pair, with two living rooms, and two sculleries, and five bedrooms. One of these bedrooms communicates with both cottages, and may be let with either as the occupants desire, an arrangement by which Mr. Nevill saves space without -crowding families. That may be true, but Mr. Nevill still wants 2s. a week to give him his interest on each cottage ; and how is a Dorsetshire labourer on 9s. to pay that? What is wanted is a good cottage that can be built for £50, and it certainly cannot be done in brick. Mr. Nevill says he lets half an acre of land with each cottage, and no doubt his tenants can pay; but this is just what farmers will not do. They do not want dismissed labourers on their farms, for they could not turn family men out of their houses because they had no work for them.
The Times calls attention to a rather serious defect in Banking arrangements. It has always been believed that bankers were responsible for securities deposited with them, but the Privy Council have recently decided that they are only required to exercise reasonable care. That is, if a porter, say, steals the boxes, the Bankers are not responsible. As the decision alarmed the public, the Banks intended to make some new agreement among themselves, but they have not done it. Why not charge a small weekly fee for custody, roughly proportioned to atealable value, and make a common insurance fund out of that? The convenience to the public is very great, and it would willingly pay.
It is stated, apparently on good authority, that Russia is now importing corn largely into her northern provinces, which she did not do before emancipation. Consequently it is argued that emancipation has made the serfs idle. That is, on the face of the facts, an inaccurate deduction. If the peasants do not grow corn, they must buy it, and pay for it. Consequently, they must be earning money somehow, and the chances are they know what kind of labour pays beat. A man is not lazy because he turns a cornfield into, say, a hopfield, though he cannot eat hops.
The Public Examiners at Oxford have taken a very retrograde step this year. Instead of following the custom of a considerable number of years, and giving an alternative to their Greek and Latin verse papers in the shape of papers of translation from some author whose works the candidate is not expected to have read, they have this year not given any alternative for the verse papers at all, so that all the students who had not attempted verses and who were trusting to the alternative,—an alternative really testing far better their knowledge of the language,--have been obliged to leave the schools without touching either of these papers. We hear that if a man knows his books very well, bad verses or no verses are not likely to tell very much against him. But it must certainly tell more against him than if he had had the chance of showing his command of the languages in another way. It is a great mistake to leave so much discretion in the hands of individual examiners, as this. The policy of years, even though not prescribed by University statute, ought not to be liable to be thus arbitrarily reversed. Greek and Latin verses are really of the nature of fancy work, which should be compulsory on no one. You might just as well insist on a mathematician extracting a cube root to twenty places of decimals in his head, and call that a teat of his mathematical power.
There is a rumour at Oxford that next year the candidates for Moderations will have to pass a quite different kind of examination from what they have hitherto passed. Hitherto it has been purely an examination on the language of the authors taken up,—the text and style. It is said that next year it will also be an examination on the literature and substance of the books taken up. No doubt it would be far better even to diminish the number of books and make the examination complete,—an examination both on the literature and the language,—than to leave it what it is. But of course a long notice will be given of this change,—it should be a two years' notice,—so that no candidate who has begun preparing on one method should be examined on another. It is not wise, said President Lincoln, to swap horses while crossiug the stream. He might have added that it is not fair to the horses.
The result of the first examination for women in the University of London has recently been announced. As Lord Granville mentioned in his public address a fortnight ago, there were precisely nine candidates,—classical and suggestive number, remarked his Lordship,—though there had been very little notice of the examination, and though a sound elementary knowledge of Latin and two other languages, arithmetic and geometry, natural philosophy, and either chemistry or botany, was required from the candidates, as well as English history and physical geography,—the standard of the examination being generally that of the matriculation examination,—i. e., one adapted to test a good school education. The result was rather curious. Of the nine muses who presented themselves, three, we regret to say, were not accepted by the University ; but of the other six, all pasaed in the honours' division. That is, two-thirds passed in the honours' division, and one-third was rejected. With the young men, the average rule is that only some fifteen per cent., or so, pass in the honours' division, perhaps thirty per cent. in the first division, and that somewhere about half are rejected. Probably, these pioneers of learning amongst the girls were picked specimens. If not, the lads must look to their laurels.
The Geographical Society had a feast on Monday, at which the Prince of Wales appeared in the capacity of a traveller, and ventured the remark that " You cannot form so full or favourable an idea of the countries described by reading of them in books as you can by visiting them yourselves." We suppose his Royal Highness meant to say, that you get a good deal from the eye which you can never get from books, whether favourable or the reverse. Our own impression is, that there are many features of foreign countries of which you would form a much more favourable, because less vivid, idea at a distance than in close contact ; —and as to the fullness, we fancy books usually give a very much fuller idea than the actual visit, though fullness (of statistics, for instance), is not always what we most desire.
Professor Owen made a speech at the same dinner, in which he was very learned about the formation of the strata of Egypt ; but only mentioned one fact of much popular interest, that steam and the rifle have driven the crocodile back above the Cataracts, to the great advantage of the fishes, which have multiplied exceedingly since this banishment of the enemy,—and, as a consequence, of all the fishing birds, herons, flamingoes, spoonbills,—" very interesting evidence," remarked Professor Owen very justly, " of the effect of disturbing a natural balance in the conflict for existence." Professor Owen did, however, say something that would bo interesting if we could understand it, about the Choreutica agilis, a race of females of a low order of life, of which be did. not observe any males, though he doubted their propagating " parthenogetically." But when he tells us that their most characteristic vital property is the " tenacity of their myonicity," we give up. Professor Owen praised incidentally time style of Robin,son Crusoe, which he seemed to think would be even better for facia than for fiction. He didn't really suppose he was emulating it ?