29 JULY 1905, Page 1

We never remember an incident, obviously important, the true meaning

of which has been so obscure. The meeting was either resolved upon at a moment's notice, or it was designedly prepared in profound secrecy. The Czar evidently kept the project from M. Witte, who denied any knowledge of it to M. Bouvier, and Prince Billow has not been able as usual to tune his Press. The curiosity expressed every- where has been boundless, and in France it has been flavoured with a sort of defiant apprehension, the French fearing that the real object of the meeting was to break, or at all events to weaken, the Franco-Russian Affiance. The Russians, to judge by the language of their Press, are at once perplexed and suspicious, and we shall also probably find both feelings manifested in telegrams from Tokio and Washington. We cannot answer for the statesmen, but the popular feeling in this country has been one of half-amused suspicion. It is the custom to believe that the Kaiser is always devising annoy- ances for King Edward, the Anglo-French entente being greatly in his way ; but no one can imagine why he should consult Russia on such a policy. The broad result of the incident therefore, as yet, is to deepen the feeling that with Kings so powerful. and States so jealous the equilibrium of Europe is ill-assured.

A desperate attempt was made on Friday, the 21st inst., to assassinate the Sultan. His Majesty, in accordance with his