3 MARCH 1866, Page 1


THE incident of the week has been a freak of the Times. That journal, for reasons best known to itself, dislikes the Adminis- tration and detests Mr. Gladstone, and on Wednesday it thought fit to treat "as if it were well founded" a rumour that Earl Russell had resigned. To add the necessary " circumstance " to the fiction, it stated that Earl Russell had recommended Her Majesty to send for the Duke of Somerset, and suggested that there might be refusals to serve under him which would leave the alternatives of a Tory regime or a coalition,—the Stanley-Lowe Government so often whispered about. As no one believed that a journal of the calibre of the Times would write' such an article in order to damage the Ministry, it was for the moment believed, the funds fell I per cent., the City gripped its money, and Liberals felt uncomfortable, till at three o'clock the whole statement was pro- nounced a pure invention. The Times next day retracted, all the more readily because the country did not take its feeler very well, and the hopes of the malcontents—among whom it is not fair as yet to clam the Duke of Somerset—fell perceptibly. It is a bold game that is going on, but the Lowite party, sure to be called the "Low" party, has still to be formed.