5 SEPTEMBER 1885, Page 3

Mr. Phelps, the new American Minister, is treading very close

on the heels of his able predecessor. His speeches are popu- lar, short, and sagacious ; and though they have not the literary stamp of Mr. Lowell's, they are always interesting. His best this week was delivered on the occasion of opening a working-men's club at Clifton, near Rugby, on Wednes- day. When referring to the depression of trade, both here and across the Atlantic, he remarked that " It is not the custom of Americans, any more than it is the custom of Englishmen, to lie down in a furrow under dis- couraging circumstances ;" and added that" there is no country that is good enough for an idle and worthless man, that has yet been discovered in the geography of this world." His remarks, too, on the conditional character of the good which the exten- sion of the suffrage will bring, were admirable. It would do no good, he said, to those who would not try to understand political questions so far as they could, and to judge honestly and independently of them. Nor would it be likely to do good to those who do not understand that all classes in a country suffer if one suffers ; and that no class can ultimately gain by dragging down another class into misfortune. Without touching on party politics, Mr. Phelps made one of the wisest political speeches that we have read for many months back.