NEWS OF THE WEEK.
(From the Spectator, March 30.)
PARLIAMENT has gone, for its Easter holy- day, not so ill-earned as usual. Of things done— the budget has already been produced ; duty has been taken off bricks; Sir John Romilly has made progress
with some useful law reforms within Eng- land and Ireland ; with a larger franchise for Ireland, an advance of money, and a new Party Processions Act : and Lord Brougham— too often depreciated as "un- practical," and most recently as "volatile," stands steady to his text as a law reformer — once more exemplified in his effort this week to lop off the abuses in Chancery. Ascertained is it, that there is a surplus of revenue — wondrous fact ! Ascertained, that Lord Palmerston has got England into hot water at Athens, but not how he is to get out of it. Ascertained, the relations and value of party forces in Parliament. The Protectionists have had a fair trial Parliamentary, and it clearly proves that they do not amount to much. Beaten in the Lords on the first night of the session, they had not gained ground even in that their ancient stronghold, when Lord Stanley did duty for his friend and congener, the Irish Orange Master, Lord Roden, by raking up the Dolly's Brae quarrel. The debate exhibited Lord Roden without a case, Lord Stanley without a statesman-like purpose, and Lord Clarendon with the very statesman-like purpose "of making the law in Ireland a reality." And if Mr. Disraeli, emulous of Peel, has made his minority grow from the 192 that voted on the Address to the 273 that voted on his Local Burdens motion, he is equally without a policy— except a policy for Disraeli and his advan- cement in political life. The wise men of the Protectionist party have their several notions, and can scarcely patch up a sem- blance of unity ; Mr. Disraeli, with his dramatic turn, manages best, and we see the fruits ; but he can get no further than perplexing the Whigs with fear or change. The Financial Reformers have had their muster, on Mr. Cobden's motion for retrenchment; also the Parliamentary Reformers, on Mr. Hume's motion to enact his Lesser Charter ; but although the gist of these two movements is almost "the People's Charter," and that very popular purpose reduced taxes, somehow they are put forward either so much as abatements of genuine popular demands, or as mechanical pretexts for agitation, that they have elicited no genuine popular adhesion. The joint party in its bifid capacity can raise a twofold, debate in Parliament and there it ends. Are Ministers better off? Lord John Russell began the session with vast colonial ; promise ; but it proves to end in Downing latreet performance, and to this day Minis ters are contending with the imperfections and impracticabilities of Mr. Hawe's Aus tralian 'Bill, just as they -were last session, before Lord John propounded the grand i colonial philosophy. Their disingenious mess was clearly exposed' by speakers on every side in the amendments of Mr. Mo watt, Mr.; Walpole, and Sir William Molesworth.But something more was proved iby those debates, as well as by the success ful efforts employed to defeat Mr. Hutt off the African -squadron— a ? motion that in-, duced, among Ministers themselves, a Mi-1 inisteirial crisis. The Whigs entertained i^ Ifear, somewhat gratuitously as the public* Ithougnt; that, their position was in danger ? Ibut the comparatively moderate ' triumph' which all their exertions obtained on Mr.
Hutt's motion * proved :that their fears had been keen-sighted. ' Their exertion was not surplusage.; it has, however, sacertained something that must be satisfactory to them. — that there is still a considerable section of soi-distant ' Liberals' in a. very docile condition. In. the colonial matter; Minis ters pro/ess to desire that thecolonies should have local affairs in their own hands ; it firoves, however, that Ministers still retain the appointment of nomineesin the single Legis lative chamber granted to the Australian colo nies, and truly liberal members ought to have resented that device. But they dare 'not. Ministerialists have encouraged a dread, that if they be turned out the Protectionists will come in ; and veteran .' Reformers' deign to return to the' old delusion of vo ting, not according to reason and conviction: but solely, to 'keep out the Tories.' We saw to what miserable conduct of public affairs that old Whig pandering led ; we seem to be just upon the eve of a similar epoch. Luckily the delusion cannot cheat ? bo many, or last so long.
Trial op Dr. Langley.- — The trial of Dr. Langley for the murder of his wife ter minated on the 23rd inatant, at the Nenagh, assizes, in the acquittal of the prisoner. The prisoner was a physician, practising in the town of Nenagh for several years. He had been married for fifteen or sixteen years to his wife, the daughter of a respect able clergyman, and was charged with mur dering her by confining her while sick' and diseased to an unwholesome room, and by refusing to allow her to provide proper food for herself. One of the remarkable circumstances connected with the case was the fact of the prisoner having abstained from food for forty days in the prison, tak ing nothing during that time but water, and also refusing to have his beard removed.— Atlas. . Horses to India.— Sixty-nine lioises have been shipped to Calcutta in the Trow ' badour, and are announced to be the finest lot ever exported from Van Diemen's Land. From eight to ten stallions, including Mr. Rose's celebrated horses ' Tasso' and "Sir Robert" have been sent to India by this vessel. The horses are not placed between decks, but they occupy the entire hold, and stand on a good bottom of shingle ballast. Only one horse stands on deck, and that is Mr. Carpenter's "Match'em." Breeders have availed themselves of an opportunity which rarely occurs to ship their stock, for it is Beldom a vessel offering such advantages as the Troubadour can be secured : and it is satisfactory to know that in this shipment of horses may be found some of the best blood in these colonies. May every success attend the speculation. — Launceston Examiner. The Floating Railway across the Forth.— It is with great satisfaction we have to notice the completion of an undertaking, which will not only bo of great public advantage, but must add very materially to the prosperity of the Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee Railway Company. We allude to the large moveable slips that have been erected by this company at Granton and Burnt- island, by means of which they will, in connection, with their large floating railway steamer Leviathan be enabled to give great facilities in the transmission of their traffic. Goods, minerals, and live stock will now be conveyed across the ferry without removal from the trucks. The first experimental trial took place on Wednesday, Feb- ruary 6, in the presence of the directors, and was eminently successful. We may mention that the spacious deck of the steamer is capable of holding a train of from 30 to 40 loaded trucks, and on Wednesday, 12 trucks, laden with coals and general merchandise, were taken on board at Burntisland in less than seven minutes. The time occupied by the steamer in crossing was 25 minutes, and the trucks were safely run on shore at Granton in the course of three minutes afterwards amidst the hearty cheers of a large concourse of spectators who had assembled to witness the in teresting proceedings. The following is a descrip tion of the apparatus : — Alongside the piers at Burntisland and Granton is an incline or slip con structed of masonry, upon which are laid two lines - of rails, the same guage as the main line. Upon the incline is placed a heavy moveable platform, 61 feet in length by 21 in breadth, framed of timber and resting upon 16 wheels. To the front of the platform are attached, by means of universal joints four malleable iron girders, 35 feet long, con- structed of boiler plates, spanning the requisite distance from the platform to the vessel, and afford ing sufficient depth of water for the keel of the vessel to clear the surface of the slip. These girdere are raised and lowered on the arrival and . s departure of the vessel by means of' a, winch, on* each side of the staging 1 8 feet high.'erectod across the platform. The whole platform wjUh.-tho. ~ girders i3 raised and lowered to rsnit-th'6 .several heights of the tide by means of a small stationary, steam engine, which is also employed 'in ^ moving' ? ? the trucks off and on board the vessel. Tlie drrvroa - ' ' ,and gearing irr connection therewitS are'-so'afciY'VA' ? .ranged .13 to work the platform, or load and dis^v^v51'-' charge ths'vessel, with the greatest facility.- jEhev'T''-* -,« ilarge vessel or floating railway ,(Xeviathan)(-p]y^ , ; - ^ 'ing in connection with the slips, is li5 feet ltfngv ?-'£. \ by 54 over all, propelled by two powerful engines'- -7 ? of peculiar construction „ with paddlo*sKafts uncon-- ?L'-~'= nected. Upon lier.dteelss, -arc -laid three jljnescof* 'railway for standage \it tracks; - ,,Thjs .vessel, with. . ' [§11 her machinery, rtras built by Mr. Robed! ~V Napier, of ^Glasgotv.-WSf ot smari. * ' '' '--'?' ,'.