5 APRIL 1873, Page 3

The dinner of the Institute of Civil Engineers, on Saturday,

was diversified by mutual censure as well as mutual praise, and for liveliness the mutual censure very naturally had the best of it. The chairman of the evening was Mr. Ilawksley, and he ventured to say that England keeps up too small an army and too unready a navy, and that if we had only been in a posi- tion to interfere in 1864 on behalf of Denmark, neither the victory of Saelowa nor that of Sedan would have taken place, and thrown Europe into chaos. Hereupon the Duke of Cambridge met the President of the Institute of Civil Engineers half-way, expressed pleasure at his sentiments, and said how delighted he should be if the Chancellor of the Exchequer would take Mr. Hawksley's views to heart, and give him, who as Commander-in- Chief is a mere subordinate, the financial means of improving the Army in the manner suggested. Mr. Lowe hoped that the Engi- neers would net fall in love with "the bloody Leurele " that their President held out to crown them with ; and he did not cease to gird at this gentleman of the "decidedly military turn of mind" throughout his speech. By way of setting an opposite example, Mr. Lowe praised Civil Engineering proper with all his force ; and Lord Derby followed him, when he came to propose the toast of the evening, " Prosperity to the Institute of Civil Engineers." Both speakers made the key of their eloge a little too high, and perhaps, after all, Mr. Hawksley, in advising the peacemakers to keep a good reserve of strength to back up their equity, may have been the best friend of civilisation present. Engineers may bring people into "relationship," but they can't make that rela- tionship a blessing, or prevent it from being a curse. Strife and wrong travel by express train now-a-days, as well as peaee and righteousness.