30 OCTOBER 1880, Page 2

H. Floquet, who is intimate with H. Gambetta, and is

by many supposed to speak under his inspiration, delivered an address last Sunday at Valence, which was very hostile to the present French Government and predicted its speedy collapse. It was not only that the present Government vacillates,—as any decently Liberal Govern- ment, we venture to think, would,—concerning the religi- ous Orders. Besides that, it hesitates at many other re- forms which are absolutely necessary, in M. Floquet's opinion, especially a law finally enfranchising the Press, and enfran- chising all associations, except, we suppose, religions associations; and a law finally imposing "compulsory, lay, and gratuitous public instruction." If M. Floquet speaks under M. Gam- betta's influence,—and of that no one can be sure,—M. Ferry seems likely to follow M. de Freycinet into the limbo of dis- missed Prime Ministers. But this is not the worst. We sup- pose "compulsory and lay" education means compulsory edu- cation under teachers approved by sceptics, even though disapproved by parents ; and that the only liberty refused to Frenchmen is to be the liberty of putting their children under such religions instruction as they prefer. The liberty of the Press, though important enough, is trivial, in the comparison.