9 MAY 1885, Page 3

The Royal Academy Banquet was held as usual on Saturday,

but the speeches were not remarkable. The President made several of his little addresses, but they were only as happy and as ornate as usual, and no one said, anything striking, unless it were the Prince of Wales, who said that his visit to Ireland "it a labour at all was a labour of love," which was felicitous. Lord Northbrook, in a speech not without a trace of bitterness, forgave the critics of the Admiralty ; and Lord Granville, who had the good-luck to be able to make the important announcement of peace, told a pleasant story or two, the best being one describing his disgust at finding that the speech he had prepared for the dinner of 1884 was precisely the one he had delivered at the dinner of 1883. He betrayed a Cabinet secret, too, most adroitly. There was a dispute in the Cabinet over the purchase of the Blenheim pictures, and it was curious to see the conflict in Mr. Gladstone's mind, the economist fighting with the connoisseur. Professor Jebb told the audience that now, as in Greece, "it has never been better with Art, and never better with literature, than when each has been willing to receive the highest teachings of the other,"—a truth nowhere more wanted than in England, where the defect of art is want of imaginative aim, and the defect of literature want of finished form.