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of the boys of the original society were stated to be
10s. per week, even at this, the most unfavourable
season of the year; and by their healthy and cheerful
appearance, it might be judged how well they were
cared for and instructed. Several hymns were sung in
chorus, accompanied by the organ, and after addresses
from one or two friends of the institution had been
listened to, a testimonial, in the shape of a handsome
silver-topped cane, was presented by the boys of the red
brigade to their superintendent. The shoeblacks,
preceded by their banners, and loudly cheering, then
marched off to their dormitories, and the meeting
dispersed, every one being greatly pleased with the good
behaviour of the boys, and the evidence thus afforded
of the results of religious and moral training when
combined with active industry.

The Belfast Mercury gives a hopeful view of the
Progress of Ireland. There is a decidedly increasing
energy among the farmers, which it attributes to the
infusion of skill and capital from Scotland and England,
and to the habits of industry induced by the absence of
political agitation: "During the last three years," it
continues, "the sale of farm stock in Tipperary and
Galway has arisen from £1,440,000 to about £2,000,000
in the one case, and from £1,380,000 to about £1,900,000
in the other. Cattle of the finest descriptions are now
to be seen in each of these localities. In three different
periods the number of cattle and sheep owned by Ireland's
agriculturalists stood as follows:—1841, 1,863,116
cattle; 2,102,183 sheep.—1851, 2,967,471 cattle;
2,122,121 sheep.—1853, 3,383,309 cattle; 3,142,656 sheep.
Not less satisfactory is the decrease of pauperism and
the almost total absence of agrarian outrage."

At the opening of the Birmingham Borough Sessions,
last week, Mr. M. D. Hill, the Recorder, took for the
subject of his charge to the Grand Jury, the Influence
of Intemperance upon the Nation; and sought a
remedy in such a measure as the Maine Liquor Law.
But he did not advocate the immediate and arbitrary
prohibition of intoxicating liquors. On the contrary,
he showed from the course of history, that prohibitions,
in the teeth of public opinion, are inoperative and
vicious in their effects; and he arrived at these
conclusions—"That laws affecting the daily habits of life
can never be enforced unless they have the hearty
consent of the people at large, as evinced by the opinions
of a majority vastly preponderating in numbers and in
every other element of power over the dissentients. . .
We have made the discovery, or rather the truth has
been forced upon our attention, that the traffic in
alcoholic drinks obeys that great law of political
economy which regulates all other commerce, namely,
that any interference with the free action of manufacturer,
importer, or purchaser, diminishes consumption.
Whether the restriction has revenue for its object, as in
the imposition of duties, or whether it has morals and
good order for its purpose, as in regulations respecting
the number of vendors or the hours during which they
may exercise their vocation, still the effect is found to
be the samediminution of the quantity consumed.
But the restrictions must not only be imposed by the
Legislature, they must be carried into effect by the
ministers of the law; and that they should be effective,
they must not be opposed by a dominant public opinion."
Mr. Hill pointed out that the Maine Liquor Law has
been adopted in six States of the American Union; that
in its operation it has diminished pauperism and
emptied prisons; and that no State where it has
been once adopted has abandoned the measure. But he
also pointed out, that it was imposed and enforced by
public opinion alone. In England, (he observed) not
less than fifty millions sterling, if not more, is annually
expended upon intoxicating drinks; while only five
millions are spent on literature, including newspapers!

An interesting Report on the Cholera Epidemic of
1854, in so far as it affected the City of London, has
been laid before the City Court of Sewers by Mr.
Simon, the medical officer of health. From this document
it appears that the cholera of the last year was less
fatal in the metropolis, and greatly less in the city, than
the visitation of 1849. In 1849, there died in the city
728 persons; in 1854, only 211, or 16 in 10,000, a
reduction of 71 per cent on the previous mortality.
Throughout the metropolis the deaths in the present
year were at the rate of 45 in 10,000; in i849 the rate
was 60 in 10,000. The following passage in Mr. Simon's
report will show its object:—"It has been my principal
aim in this report briefly to set before you the
coincidence of two facts1. That you have suffered from
cholera below your former mortality in the proportion
of 211 to 728, below the metropolitan mortality in the
proportion of 16 to 45, and even below the lighter
mortality on the north side of the Thames (from
Hampstead to the river) in the proportion of 16 to 26:
2. That for many months before the outbreak of cholera
there had been extensively prosecuted through the
entire city such attainable sanitary measures as you
deemed the best protection against disease. Beyond
this collation of facts it is hitherto most difficult to
argue. The laws of epidemic visitation are very
imperfectly known to us. Partly we have learnt the
conditions which augment their local spoil, but nothing
of what evokes their slumbering power, nothing of
what governs their world-wide spread, nothing of what
determines their eventual decline, nothing of what
permits their fitful mildness. In this domain of unknown,
perhaps unconjectured influences, science would
count it irreverence and temerity to dogmatise on
single instances of correlation, or to speak of the impure
impulses of that wandering plague as though they were
the strokes of some machine subject to the guidance of
one's human will." But although cholera is called
capricious, because many populations, despite great
filthiness, have suffered little retribution, yet Mr. Simon
believes that in the great harmonies of nature there is
no place for accident or caprice; and that scientific
insight, the fruit of larger observation, will ultimately
enable us to arrive at some conclusion.

The annual festival in aid of the funds of the
Commercial Travellers' School, took place on the 30th ult,
at the London Tavern. Mr. Charles Dickens presided,
and was supported by several other literary gentlemen,
including Mr. Peter Cunningham, Mr. Horace Mayhew,
and Mr. Albert Smith. The presence of these gentlemen
appeared to have been a great attraction to the
commercial friends of the institution, for nearly 240 guests
double the anticipated numbersat down to dinner.
After dinner, the usual loyal toasts having been drunk,
the chairman proposed "Prosperity to the Commercial
Travellers' Schools," in an excellent speech. Mr. Moore,
the treasurer, whose exertions on behalf of the institution
were specially alluded to by the chairman, gave an
account of the funds. He stated that the building fund
already reached £16,500, and £5,000 more would
complete it. To obtain that sum he invited the generous
co-operation of all present. The children at present in
the school, 152 in number, were then introduced, and
their healthy and contented appearance bore testimony
to the attention paid to their personal comforts. The
results of the evening's subscription were announced by
the secretary to amount to about £800.


THE QUEEN has addressed the following letter to Mr.
Sidney Herbert, and through him to Mrs. Herbert, to
whom it was transmitted to Miss Nightingale: "Windsor
Castle, Dec. 6, 1854. Would you tell Mrs. Herbert
that I begged she would let me see frequently the
accounts she receives from Miss Nightingale or Mrs.
Bracebridge, as I hear no details of the wounded, though
I see so many from officers, &c, about the battle-field,
and naturally the former must interest me more than
any one. Let Mrs. Herbert also know that I wish Miss
Nightingale and the ladies would tell these poor noble
wounded and sick men that NO ONE takes a warmer
interest, or feels more for their sufferings, or admires
their courage and heroism MORE, than their Queen.
Day and night she thinks of her beloved troops.  So
does the Prince. Beg Mrs. Herbert to communicate
these my words to those ladies, as I know that our
sympathy is much valued by these noble fellows.—

General Sir De Lacy Evans has received a congratulatory
address, accompanied with a sword valued at 150