TOPICS OF THE DAY.
Asmara has been from the beginning of time the season of sports and jollity. Even its toils, among a simple people, have something pleasant in them. When the husbandman sows, his mind rests on the long and anxious interval during which an inclement season, or the devastations of beasts and birds, or a thousand accidents, may intervene to blast his prospects. But the reaper already touches the reward of all his cares and toils ; the rustling grain into which he puts his sickle is already in imagination garnered up; he is on that ecstatic border-land where anticipation and reality fade into each other like the tints of the rainbow. Autumn is also, in such a society, the season when the labours of hus- bandry, requiring method and forethought, are about to give way to the chase, and other occupations, which from their varying plans and unexpected incidents have quite as much of' pleasure as of business in them. And lastly, autumn is to them the season of abundance, when the garner is filled, and the wine-press or the mash-tub runs over, and the owner's heart expands with his wealth, and welcomes all corners to taste of his first-fruits. Hence, in all climates, of all festivals the autumnal is the most jolly.
Our Three Estates are now celebrating their harvest-home. They have been toiling in the common field since the season when the husbandman puts his share into the earth "loosened from the frost," and are now betaking themselves to their homes, or to the merry-makings of their neighbours, with the fruits they have har- vested. No towering heavy wains are theirs, it must be confessed. With reverence be it spoken, they have more the air of a band of luckless gleaners than of jolly farmers and reapers. Plain JOHN CAMPBELL carries one mutilated ear of wheat ; Ministers carry a few oaten straws, with the chaff out of which the grain has been picked or thrashed; Lord BROUGHAM, a few shrivelled stalks, which have never come to head ; and by far the greater part are empty-handed—if they are even gleaners, there must have been cleverer hands in the field before them, say the loiterers by the way-side as they pass by. Our Sovereign Lady VICTORIA is the only one of the party who shows a goodly store—she has literally, thanks to the Appropriation-clause, reaped a golden harvest. All this troubles not the minds of the Senators. Their autumnal jollities are not a whit damped by the reflection that their legis:a- tive harvest is typified by one of Pharoah's blighted ears. They disperse with as much glee in search of autumn's pleasures as if the result of their labours had entitled them to enjoy themselves.
The Queen's party sets off' with the most note and imposing circumstance. It is apparently swelled in number by many who walk as near it as they dare, in the hope that on some chance occa- sion they may be thought to belong to it. The Queen's marine excursion has swelled amazingly the number of fresh-water sailors on the Southern coast, and relieved the moors of a multitude of bad walkers and worse shots. Yachting is decidedly on the in- crease, as will be seen before the end of the year, by the cor- responding increase in the number of drowned puppies and can- didates for the Gazette—for yachting is no cheap amusement. The apes of aristocratic pursuits will keep awkwardly tacking about, getting thwart the bows of the Royal steamer, and, if not run down, boasting for the rest of their lives that they were hailed by Captain FITZCLARENCE—to tell them to get out of the way. Few of them, however, will enjoy the good luck of the friends of the Directors of the Southampton Railway, whose special reporter in the Morning Chronicle has recorded them in print as an appendage of the Queen's party, on the strength of their having been stuck into the extra carriages of the train.
Waving these intruders, who will settle down where they are not wanted like flies upon sugar at the breakfast-table, it is a pas- time fit for a Queen of England to which her Majesty has betaken herself. She may paddle along the English shores of the Channel noting each bay and river-mouth from which the vessels of the gentry and nobility of England issued as the Armada approached their shores. She may stand across to the coast of France, where the rocks of Calvados still bear the name of one of that proud fleet, impaled upon them. Along the English coast, some of Prrr's Martello towers may still be seen ; which, though a silly enough device in themselves, will serve, in the absence of more comely monuments, to remind her how within the memory of men still living the threat of invasion awakened as resolute and unani- mous an enthusiasm as did the approach of the Armada. And it is said that she does intend to be the first English Sovereign who has paid a friendly visit to a Sovereign of France since the days of bluff HARRY. She goes with less of cumbrous state, but with elegant and costly luxuries, ministered to by mechanical inventions, guarded by gallant war-vessels, which the Monarchs and Princes assembled at the Field of the Cloth of Gold could not have pur- chased by their joint means though they had melted down into rose-nobles all the gold about them. A Channel-voyage may be supposed to he suggestive of stories of England's splendour and greatness to the mind of a Queen,—though our cartoon-makers appear to be ignorant of them. It could be wished, indeed, that fitter chroniclers of a royal pro- gress were to be had than the newspaper volunteers in whose hands it is left. In their well-meant but awkward endeavours to paint their Sovereign in the most winning light, they are apt uninten- tionally to caricature her. An anecdote, for example, they have made or travestied, about the Queen's attention to the comforts of the Duke of WELLINGTON: her Majesty, according to the story- teller, having learned that the Duke "has a great aversion to rail- way travelling since the melancholy death of his much-esteemed friend Mr. Huswisson, on the occasion of opening the Liverpool and Manchester line," became "most anxious that his Grace should accompany her other Ministers on the occasion of her in- tended embarkation," and on learning that "the Duke's objection had been waived by his Grace," "forwarded an especial command that a carriage should be prepared expressly for the noble Duke, containing every convenience with safety and ease in travelling. Were this well-meant but gauche fiction true, the mind would be tempted to dwell more on the cruelty of forcing the Duke to do a thing so disagreeable to him for no useful end, than upon the care taken for his comfort. And if, unluckily, the Duke should catch his death of cold from the thorough wetting be got in attending her Majesty to the pier-head, peeple might say, as was said when Lord ANSON caught a cold accompanying the brother of the new Queen of Geoane the Third on a visit of ceremony to Portsmouth, that it is wrong to throw away the heroes of a kingdom in service which might as well be discharged by any master of ceremonies.
The rest of the Three Estates are this year celebrating their autumnal jubilee with "little din." Sir ROBERT PEEL, having missed the grouse, has gone down to Drayton to take his revenge on the partridges. Mr. COBDEN has announced a suspension of his labours till the close of the harvest, when he will again take the field alternately against the foxes and the landlords. Lord MEI, BOURNE is whiling away the time at Brockett Hall, with his favourite LARDNER. Lord BROUGHAM is in Westmoreland, planning Philip- pics against the Melbournites, or, like SULLY, dictating his own memoirs to his secretaries, and calling them the history of his times. The Duke of WELLINGTON is at Widmer Castle, nursing the cold he caught on Monday. Mr. Hums is studying a new system of mental arithmetic ; and Mr. LANE Fox is immersed in the prophecies. All our legislators, in short, are, like true-born Englishmen, as old FROISSART said of their ancestors, amusing themselves sadly, (" ils s'amusent tristement,") after the fashion of their country. Lord STANLEY alone is denied a holyday, and kept hard at work in Downing Street. One Secretary of State there must always be in London, and it appears to be STANLEY'S turn to mount guard. So there he sits, like the housemaid whose Sunday it is to keep at home while the cook goes to church or to see her friends, or like the baker's apprentice on the same day, who must stay and attend to the baked meats of the neighbouring artisans: and his Lordship, it is whispered, is so roasted by tbe importunate Colonials, that he is turning as crusty as that baker's pies.