The air is loaded with rumours about Belgium. Our deductions
from them all—from Mr. Gladstone's speech, from Lord Granville's speech, from the military preparations, and from the attitude of the Belgian Government—is that the British Cabinet has resolved to protect the independence of Belgium if necessary by force, that this resolve has been communicated to both belligerents, and that assurances tolerably satisfactory in character have been obtained. What those assurances are will be explained to Parliament before the Session ends, an event said to be fixed for next Saturday. Nevertheless, the Government, being quite in earnest, on Tuesday demanded £2,000,000 and 20,000 additional men, and obtained them, only seven members, of the crotchetiest and Peace-Societiest kind, voting in the negative. The recruiting offices are already thronged, the arsenals are at work, the Artillery, which has been discreditably starved in the matter of horses, is to be brought up to its full strength, and the ironclads in reserve are to be commis- sioned. All this is well, even if we have not to fire a shot ; but, as we have explained elsewhere, we could wish to see a little more consciousness of the magnitude of his task in Mr. Cardwell. If Lord Lawrence could only speak, what a War Minister he would make !