4 FEBRUARY 1865, Page 1


THE air has been full all the week of rumours of coming peace. Most of them, however, are but rumours, which may have something in them, but also may not. Mr. Blair, for example, has visited Richmond, and of course he may have gone there as a confidential agent of the Washington Government, but he also may have gone, as be tells his friends, on important private busi- ness. Mr. Orr, again, member of the Confederate Congress, admits that resolutions have been passed tending to negotiation, but then he adds that he hopes by negotiation to secure independence and slavery. Georgia also is in a great rage, and inclined to make agreements, but then it is not clear whether her notion of agree- ment is practicable, whether she will disobey Mr. Davis's order to abstain from negotiating except through him, or whether she is not simply giving vent to the ill-humour caused by Sherman's recent success. On the other hand, the Richmond papers advise every plan except submission. A negro levy of some kind is being made, and General Lee shows no signs of believing the situation desperate. On the whole, the only thing certain appears to be that the South, for the first time, openly recognizes the probability of ultimate defeat.