Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

11 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

LONDON CORRESPONDENCE.'

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Dyfynnu
Rhannu

LONDON CORRESPONDENCE.' UP to laat week—with the exception of the rival open-air demonstrations of Turcophils and Russophils in Trafalgar-square a short time ago—things had gone on pretty smoothly in London notwithstanding the wide divergence of opinion subsisting between the advocates of war and the friends of peace. But the Cannon-s ree Hotel meeting, called by the Cby Neutrality Com- mittee to protest against the vote of six millions for war purposes, and the meetings held at Peckham, Hampstead, and other parts of the metropolis afforded the occasion for scenes of tumult which indicated the extremely heated state of the political atmosphere. Indeed the disturbances at Cannon-street were came the length of a aerious riot, as heads were broken andoonaiderable damage dona to the internal of the hotel. It was not the ordinary class of rowdies who indulged in these playful freaks hut enthusiastic and respectable City men "as they were pronounced to be by Mr. W. A. Plunkett of Gutter-lane, Cheapside. The con- veners of meetings, which were turned into noisy tumults, should derive some benefit from these unpleasant experiences. It is Dot advisable, as common sense might teach, to hold meetings in hotels, town halls, or school- rooms at the very time when the question in dis- pute is being debated at length in the House of Commons. Parliament is all the better of being able to learn beforehand, through the medium of public meetings, what aide of any controversy is best supported by the opinion of the country; but it is certainly a mistake to add fuel to the mme of prevailing excitement when a great debate is in progress within the walls of St. The liveliest debates in Parliament are those when the succeeding speakers seem to reply to each other on the spur of the moment. But this can hardly be said, except in the case of some of the older and more experienced members of the House to have formed a prominent characteristic of the debate on the war vote. It may be re- membered that Lerd Granville, in the debate on the Address in the House of Lords, complained of tha Earl of Beaconsfield replying to observations of his which had never fallen from his lips-a circumstance which made it evident enough that the Premier, imagining what the leader of the Opposition was likely to say on the occasion, had prepared in advance a full outline of the points he intended to make in order to toe spared on the spot the excitement of extem- pore speech-making. The example of the Premier in this respect seems to have been largely fol- lowed in the course of the debate which began on the last day of January, and the remark just made applies to both sides of the House. One of the most eloquent of the spaeches delivered—that of Mr. P. J. Smyth-smelt strongly of the mid- night oil through its superabundance of fine phraseg. By the way, notwithstanding the trams of elaboration it bore, there was one sen- tence in this member's speech which be- trayed a remarkable confusion of metaphor. Was the Empire of India," he asked, a struoture so frail, a glittering pagoda without a pillar to support it, that a blast of liberating war from the Danube could send a tremor through every fibre ?" The" fibre of a pagoda has the advantage at all events of being a new oratorioal flight. These studied speeches, of which Mr. Smyth's is a specimen, may be regarded as indica- ting a falling-off in readiness and immediateness of debating power. The frequency with which references were made to the press in the war-vote debate may suggest a consideration whether It has not now attained an importance that entitles it to be reckoned as the Third, not the Fourth, Estate of the realm. The great enterprise shown by the proprietors of the leading metropolitan newspapers, in making use of the telegraph wires, irrespective ef expense, enables them to furnish early infor- mation which gives enlightenment to the members of the Cabinet as well as the members of both Houses of Parliament. The correspondents, who are specially employed for the purpose, show greater activity in picking up and transmitting important pieces of intelligence than either ambassadors or consuls. In Parliament it is not unfrequently a cause of complaint that such and such a thing has appeared in the news- papers, although Government has not condescended to supply any Information on the subject. It is( a great pity that, just at the time when the in- fluence and power of the press shew unmistakable signs of being on the increase, there should be found any connected with it so far left to them- selves that they permit their partisanship to obscure or pervert palpable facts. George Cruikshank, who died the other day at his residence in the Hampstead road, was the Hogarth of the nineteenth century. In 1863, when a "Crulkshank Gallery" was opened in Exeter Hall, there was exhibited a selection from his works extending over a period of sixty years, and as he may be said to have continued in harness ever since,he ought to be regarded, in more senses than one, as a worthy successor of the prinoipal limner who depioted, with characteristic touches, suggestive scenes in the contrasted careers of the idle and industrious apprentices. Hogarth's print of the execution of the Idle Apprentice at Tyburn was reflected, in a sense, in Cruikshank's etching of the hanging of bank-note forgers on the gibbet at N ewgate-, which etching had such a wonderful effect on the public mind thai the bodies of forgers were never again seen dangling in the air in the Old Bailey. Cruikshank had a most pro- lific pencil, and a full list of the illustrations he produced-whioh went through all gamuts of quality-would fill a portentous catalogue. Like David Wilkie he began his artistic life at a very early age; he might be said in fact to have been born with a pencil in his fingers, though not with a silver spoon in his mouth, and he continued at work up almost to the last. Sharp controversies he had in his time, owing to some defeats of character and disposition; but thia may well be forgotten now in the retrospect of his long, use- ful, and industrious oareer. An establishment for the preparation and sale of horse-flesh as an article of food is about to be opened In the metropolis. Two Rheima tradesmen, connected with a society which was founded in Paris in 1864, have come over for the purpose, and they first took the pre- caution of asking the permission of the Lord Mayor. His lordship, in replying, wished the experiment a fair trial and the sucoees it deserves, stating at the same time that no authority was needed to open a business in the hippophagio line. There appears to be an idea that, though the English population may feel repugnance to the idea of consuming horseflesh, there are foreigners enough in London, notably French men, to ensure the success of the new venture. The two Rheims purveyors, if they are well advised, should start their establishment in Leicester- square, where Frenchmen and foreigners most do congregate. The habitues of the Alhambra would thereby have an opportunity of being supplied with steaming horse-steaks for sapper, even at the risk of their dreaming afterwards of running away with the harrows. Frenchmen being fond of frogs, there is no earthly reason why they should not devour harse-flash with gusto when cooked to perfection by one of their own countrymen. But there are national repugnances to certain kinds of food which it is impossible to overcome; and there is reason to fear that native-born Londoners will shudder at horse-steaks just as much as the Scotch do at eel-pies. D. G.

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