7 SEPTEMBER 1951, Page 11

"Vie &spectator," epeptember 6tb, 1851

Tim work of reaction in the larger half of Europe is complete. Or rather, the ebb of the spring-tide of Liberalism of 1848 leaves exposed to view a greater extent of shoals and sand- banks of Absolutism than were visible before. The Imperial rescripts, declaring the future constitution and mode of action of the Austrian Cabinet and Council of State, published at Vienna on August 26th, go far beyond Metternich ; they speak the plain language of Russian autocracy. Henceforth, throughout all the dominions of the Austrian Crown, there is to be but one will, one source of law—the Emperor. The highest Ministers of State are to swear " unconditional fidelity " to ,him, and engage to fulfil " all Imperial ordinances and resolutions." In these rescripts, even the recognition of a supreme Divine power, with which the Holy Alliance sought to cloak its arrogance, is omitted ; the man, the Emperor, is declared to be all in all. In the Austrian, as in the Russian Empire, there is only one man ; all the rest are his puppets.

A " sea-serpent " has been caught at last. While an angler was fishing the Ouse at Bedford he hooked an enormous fish ; he was all excitement ; but he succeeded in safely landing—a stuffed boa-constrictor! A worthless worm-eaten specimen, no doubt thrown away by an itinerant showman.