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12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

X' 0 W N TALK.


X' 0 W N TALK. BY OTJB LONDON CGRRESPOyDEST. 9M> readers toils understand that we do not. sMowsekw 'I responsible forow able correspondent's opinions. ———————— THE Exhibition has closed at last, and it is difficult to say whether people are more sorry or relieved by the finis. Thousands, like myself, who have been continually, will feel that, after all, they did not half exhaust its treasures; and yet one ungratefully grew tired of the daily doing the Exhibition with country friends. It must be owned that, except for lovers and couples in the honeymoon, the only way to enjoy and study the Exhibition was aloner On the last day hundreds rushed about determined to buy something, and yet very much puzzled to reconcile their purses and the divergent tastes of man, wife, daughter, and mother, son-in-law, and mother-in-law. The sales have been enormous in articles of fancy, but there seemed stilltreater bargains to be had in fur- niture and solid realities. It was wisely arranged that there should be no closing ceremony in a building which is peculiarly unfitted for a pro- cession or a presentation. At the last hour the great nave was crowded with well-dressed people, looking very much in manner like the exhausted visitors of a great fancy fair. The ladies had most of them secured something, and the gentlemen had most of them paid something. God save the Queen," commenced by the Choral Society in the gallery, and taken up by thousands of voices below until it was carried to every corner of the building, went off so well, that there was a unanimous cry for a repetition. Then some polite people called for the Napoleonic Partant pour la Syrie," and I was in hopes that after that we should have had the whole round of national airs, down to the Greek Hymn of Liberty." But I suppose the Choral Society's collection is limited, and so they finished up with Rule Bri- tannia," which was more effective than polite; and I suppose we shall hear something of this musical affront in the French papers. From music, the people fell into cheering and applaud- ing, just to relieve their excitement, or perhaps to applaud some noble and illustrious personages almost lost in the crowd. This went on until a little girl, who had for an hour been tormenting her jaded mother with questions, such as only children can ask, cried half a dozen times, What are they clapping for, mamma?" "Because they axe all so glad it is over," was her cross answer, loud enough to set a circle round her laughing. It is satisfactory to find that the guarantors, some of whom could ill afford any payment beyond their usual weekly and Christmas bills, will not have to pay anything. On the other hand, it does not seem as if either architect or contractors are to get any knighthoods or C.B.- ships. The museums of the country will be enriched by several invaluable collections of raw and manufactured specimens. The model of a picture-gallery has been tried, proved, and found successful. The shilling-paying public have been famously amused, and a few people have made a good deal of money. Some cheap articles of beauty, use, and luxury, have been introduced to British customers, and some conceited manufacturers of all countries have had the conceit taken out of them. But there has been no extraordinary inventions pro- duced, and no remarkable genius rewarded at the Exhibition. Perhaps the greatest triumphs have been the Reading Girl" which is a very natural representation of a girl in her night-dress, really, intently reading, and the magnificent ideal statue of Shakespeare's 11 Cleopatra." .The question is whether the building shall come down or not. There is a very strong party for total destruction, supported by the owners of the adjoining houses—they are utterly disgusted by such a hideosity. The authorities of the South Kensington Museum will make a stout fight for a slice of the picture- galleries, and, it must be confessed, they have. a strong case. The museum has grown greatly in favour this year. The French Government think so highly of its effects in improving British taste that they are about to imitate it. The South Kensington is, for popular purposes, the best selected museum in Europe. The great artist, and the studious cabinet-maker, or lock- smith, or potter, can each and all find something beautiful and useful to study. Lord Palmerston has been giving one more ex • ample of his wonderful readiness for everything. The great men of Southampton—who wisely learned from clever, slovenly, eloquent, hospitable Dick Andrews how much a seaport could gain by judicious dinners — were entertaining the other day an Austrian statesman, Thierry, at a heavy champagne luncheon, when, as the mayor lookel out of the window, who should he see but Lord Palmerston riding by. Without more ado, like a man equal to the situation, he first ballooed to. the Premier, and then ran down and brought him in. Happy Mr. Perkins! to catch in one day an Austrian Baron and an English Prime Minister. As nothing comes amiss to Lord Palmerston, he made no fuss, came in, drank a glass of wine, and made a speech—a speech which wa3 a lecture to the Austrian noble- man on the virtues of free trade—a speech which would have been very awkward at a set dinner, but in this impromptu style could offend nobody, especially as it ended with the announce- ment that he had been to the Baron's hotel to ask him to dine at Broadlands. Then the evergreen and elastic Nestor, Ulysses, and Agamemnon combined, mounted his horse, and galloped away at his usual rattling pace. What would I not give to hear Baron Thierry describe this scene to the exclusive cream of Austrian nobility, or to diplomatists who never believe anything anyone says. On the continent there will be political sages ready to swear that the scene was planned between the Premier and Mr. Stebbing. Mr. Cobden continues to astonish many of his I friends. In his last speech, with America pursuing the most bloody war of modern times before his eyes, he says that an extension of the suffrage would check war expenditure. He forgets that the multitude cried out against the peace at the end of the Crimean war, and that if the public had had its way, the Trent business would have been answered by a declaration of war. Democracy may be admirable, but in France, in Germany, in Italy, in America, it is intensely warlike. Z. Z.



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