28 JULY 1855, Page 15


2d July 1855.

Six—I have just returned from a very long journey of business through France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Fruaeia, &c., where affaus brought me into contact with all sorts of people. I am not going to tell you anything wonderful about them, but just to mention one circumstance which excites the wonder of all about us.

Wherever I have been, people have asked me, " Who is Lord Dun- donald ? is he mad, or a blagueur ? " Of course I have answered, that, as far as I knew, be was neither one nor the other, but a very brave and skil- ful sea-captain and a highly scientific man. Then, cried one and all, why does the English Government not accept his propositions ?

I shall probably soon return to the Continent, and, as I perceive that Lord Dundonald has just assured the Times that " a dozen and a half " of our most distinguished savants have indorsed his plan as feasible, I should feel extremely obliged if you would tell me what answer I ought to return when I am again pestered with the eternal question, " Why does not the English Government let him do that which he says he can do so quickly and for so little money ? Why do they not let him finish the war this summer by destroying Cronetadt and Sebastopol, as he promises to do ?" Is Lord Dundonald a boaster and a humbug ? Is it not true that his schemes have been favourably pronounced upon by the " dozen and a half" of whom he writes ? Or is it, as he hints, that he has a black mark against his name at the Admiralty. ? Or are the Government folks stupid, or jea- lous, or apathetic ? Do tell me something about this strange story ; or the worry of having no answer to this everlastingly recurring question will soon be the death of,