24 NOVEMBER 1855, Page 5


A soiree in honour of the Allies in the Crimea, got up for the "middle and working classes" of Glasgow, who could not attend the "high-priced demonstration" over which the Duke of Hamilton presided, took place on Thursday, in the City Hall. Dr. Nichol, Professor of Astronomy in the University of Glasgow, presided, and was one of the chief speakers. Among the others were, Professor Blackie, of the University of Edinburgh, the Reverend Mr. Crosskey, Mr. Buchanan, and Mr. W. Forbes. Professor Nichol referred to the late banquet, representing every con- ceivable party in Glasgow, but needing this one to supplement it.

"Gentlemen, there was one occurrence at that meeting which struck me much. When replying to compliments worthily paid to our Municipality, the Lord Provost modestly, but very firmly, said that, although, from the character of this city, such disturbances of commercial relations as are in- separable from a state of war must seriously affect the welfare and position of multitudes within it, he did not believe there was any opposition of feeling in Glasgow on the grave topic now engrossing so much of all our thoughts— any doubt as to the justice of this war, or hesitation as to the necessity of its vigorous prosecution. (Loud applause.) Knowing, as I do, gentlemen, how greatly men's opinions as to politics, and much else, are modified by their personal and immediate interests, I listened to that declaration with un- mingled pride. I wish it to be read over all England—I wish it especially to be known in Manchester—and I trust that the famous St. Petersburg newspaper, the Invalids Busse, will append the significant fact to the next edition it publishes of the speeches of M. Cobden, Mr. George Thompson, or any other member of any impossible Coalition Cabinet. It is, gentlemen, our intention tonight to supplement the demonstration of the important meeting I have referred to. Representing more particularly the masses of our peo- ple, we are here, I understand, to say emphatically—under already sharp experience of many of the privations of war, and under the most solemn sense of our responsibilities at such a crisis—that with us there is not, and shall not be, any form or manner of flinching ; and that we sympathize most heartily with what we know as the determination of the masses of the whole empire to refuse our moral support to every Minister who, through infirmity of will or impurity of purpose, shall show himself inadequate to the oc- casion—an occasion that in unworthy hands must lead to the worst dis- asters, but which, if duly treated—and may God and His good Providence direct us—must issue in results that will recall the grand days of the Ar- mada, and be, like them, wherewithal to nourish the devotion and self- sacrifice of our children's children." He denied that the results of the war thus far have been unimportant. They have checked the pro- gress of Russia Southward, and have rebuked her power on all spies, "Successes like these, gentlemen, are in my opinion so important—such achievements are so satisfactory—that although my convictions are profound that there are other and more serious accounts the settlement of which will be forced on us by this Muscovite, I cannot but find it in my heart to blame excessively any over-sanguine statesman who might state that, as our prime object in undertaking this war is virtually accomplished, the time is not remote at which we may expect peace with Russia. Certainly a very vain expectation ! On terms such as we can alone accept, Russia at this stage may make a truce with Europe, but depend upon it she will never make a peace. Mr. Gladstone never uttered a truer word than his former expres- sion, that the taking of Sebastopol rather complicated than mended affairs. It affronted Russia, and in the mean time stopped her ; but it is worse than folly to imagine that it has lessened by pne iota either Russia's power or ambition, or enfeebled her resolve to strive for universal dominion. Will any one tell me how the capture of Sebastopol, or Russia's flight beyond the Caucasus, shall affect her authority in the Baltic ? How can it mitigate the oppressive weight now resting on Germany ? How will it emancipate Denmark from the terrors of that fatal treaty of London, or restore a true national independence to Sweden ? No- thing, I confess, has amazed me more, in all our discussions concerning these grave affairs, than the forwardness of statesmen and other dis- tinguished men, to place it on record that we do not desire what they are pleased to call the dismemberment of Russia. Dismemberment ! have these noble lords and honourable gentlemen ever read history ? And will they be good enough to point to me one solitary instance in which guarantees were ever taken against an encroaching and dangerous state sinless by the very thing that they call dismemberment ? Are they ashamed of the great times of our Eliza- beth? Was Spain not dismembered ? Or of the times of William the Third and Marlborough ? Was Louis the Fourteenth at that time not dis- membered? And still of briefer memory, who hesitated to check the grand Napoleon by doing the very thing that all policy calla on us at present to respect—by erecting an independent barrier state ? They say there are dif- ficulties. Would gallant Poland, if revived, not be as strong as Belgium ? Or is it not rather that we are too apt to grant to the wolf what we would refuse to the lion ? The erection of that barrier state, gentlemen, so far from being difficuli, so far from being visionary, would, I believe, be hailed by every European statesman and country beyond the frontiers of Muscovy, as the true and perfect solution of existing embroilments, and our perfect safeguard. Would Sweden, think you hesitate to accept Finland again and the Aland Isles, and so to unite herself with the West, if she knew that an independent Poland would rest on her flank ? And Germany, stricken now by no unnatural fear—inasmuch as her oppressive master is within a few days of unobstructed march on either of her capitals—is it possible to imagine that she who, through effect of that terror, not only dares not join the Allies, but has been so reduced that she could see her own great river, the Danube, torn from her, in the face of distinctive treaties, almost without a remonstrance,—is it conceivable, I ask, that Germany should remain in- sensible to the truth of Lord Palmerston's statement, that, most of all, the restoration of Poland is a question of security for Germany ?"

Professor Blaekie reported his experience of the "blighting influence" of Russia in Germany. "I have studied in Germany, I have revisited it since, and have spent three months in it lately, where I had opportunities of studying Russia through its influence upon Germany." He proceeded to say, that although Germany was so split up into small states, that Russian influence could be employed so as to overbear the sentiments of the people and keep them in continual dread, yet the heart of the German people generally is with the Western Powers. The Germans are an unfortunate and oppressed people, much more to be pitied than blamed. The Germans are panting for an opportunity to show the Western Powers that they are the true friends of liberty ; but Russia lin like an incubus upon her spirit.

A memorial to the Queen has been got up at Leith for a commutation of the sentence on Mr. Philip, on the grounds of its undue severity and his ad- vanced age.

The "Governor's House" in Stirling Castle—a very ancient structure, and containing "the Douglas's room," where King James the Second stabbed the Earl Douglas who visited him under a safe-conduct—has been entirely destroyed by fire. It contained a good deal of property belonging to officers of the Stirluigshire Militia. The cause of the fire is not known.