2 OCTOBER 1852, Page 9



The position of Belgium engages the attention of the limes this morn- ing, in a statesmanlike paper, pointing out the critical posture of affairs, and the necessity of maintaining the neutrality of Belgium as the out- post of constitutional peace in Europe. A military commission, appointed last autumn, has just reported on the fortifications of the kingdom. The commissioners advise the demolition of certain fortifications, namely, Ypres, Philippeville, Marienbourg, and Bouillon ; the preservation of Mons, and the placing of the fortifications on the lines of the Scheldt and the Meuse in a state of efficiency. A fortified retreat for the Govern- ment is considered, and Antwerp is recommended ; and the commissioners urge immediate works to render it stronger,—bomb-proof buildings in the citadel to be terminated, citadel of Diest to be completed, and a line con- necting Antwerp with Liege and the Dutch fortress of Maestricht ; also, fortification of the pass of Aerschot, and defence of Mechlin by field-works.

Letters from the French frontier next Belgium state that the miners of Mons showed a disposition to commit depredations in France. The mili- tary were ordered to repel them ; and the garrison of Lille was on Wed- nesday kept in barrack to act if necessary.

Unofficial reports speak of the reception at Toulon as " Veritas " spoke of that at Marseilles,—no enthusiasm; no spontaneous cries ; only the hired applause of the fleet. M. Bonaparte left Toulon on the morning of the 29th, for Aix and Nimes, first steaming back to Marseilles, in the famous screw war-steamer Napoleon.

Saved by the suspicious vigilance of his Police from the " infernal ma- chine" at Marseilles, President Bonaparte has incurred a real danger at Toulon. The musket of a soldier, we are told, "went off" as "the Prince was passing in front of the ;mops." The man was seized, impri- soned, and interrogated. The authorities put forward this explanation- " At Toulon the troops mount guard with their muskets loaded, as in time of war : • the soldier in question had just been on guard, and in his preci- pitation in preparing for the review he forgot to draw the charge from his musket". So the whole thing is held to be an " accident " : yet one can- not help contrasting the machine that did not go off with the musket that did.