Extracts from Northern journals.We publish below some interesting items of Northern news obtained from the columns of late papers which our neighbors of the Enquirer were fortunate enough to obtain in time for their issue of yesterday. [Special Washington Dispatch to the New York Herald dated Dec. 7.]
Secretary Seward are confident that the remark made by him in his speech on Tuesday evening, in response to a serenade, that the country would, within ten days, be electrified by more welcome news than they have yet heard, referred to the probability that within that time the entire acquiescence of the British Government in the taking of Mason and Slidell would be received. It is believed that Lord Lyons has intimated to Mr. Seward that his Government will assure him that they mean neutrality on board their vessels and every where else.
Probable exchange of prisoners.It having transpired that the treatment of numbers of the prisoners in the hands of the Confederates in most atrocious, the Government is beginning to consider seriously the propriety of an exchange. The details of the sufferings of some Union officers, recently made known, are absolutely loathsome: and, as no principle would be sacrificed, some step seems necessary for their relief. When the rebellion has been crushed out it will be easy to arrest and punish the ringleaders. including those who have been imprisoned. As there are instances on record of our having exchanged prisoners even with the Algerine pirates, why should it not be done for the advantage of brave and loyal men, who are guilty of no other crime than that of faith fully defending their country.
Secretary Welles on naval Precedents.
Copt. Chas. Wilkes, Commanding the U. S. Steamer San Jacinto: Sir:
Your obedient servant,
Trade with the South.Upon the strength of permits issued, or at least-promised by Government some time since, certain parties in the North, among them Senator Simmons, fitted out vessels to trade with the South, exchanging articles with the loyal men on the seaboard required for cotton and rice. Government, however, has since had the matter under advisement, and now refuses to give any permits, and the vessels, some of which have reached Fortress Monroe, were a day or two since brought to Baltimore, and there disposed of their cargoes.
Present for Seward.Prince Napoleon has selected, at the Imperial Manufactory, an elegant service of Sevreschina, as a present to the Secretary of State, in acknowledgment of the attentions which the Prince received here.
The recent release.Messrs. Gwin, Berham, and Brent, arrived this evening. Their release upon parole is not final, but their case is to be recommended here by the President.
The secession Court.Although Mrs. Jefferson Davis has not as yet been able to hold her promised reception at the White House, Mrs. John C. Breckinridge is said to be at Baltimore reciting the homage of the fair yet treasonable secessionists of that nearly humbled city. Some of the few female traitors here went over a few days since to attend a party given in honor of the wife of the recreant Kentuckian, at which all the ladies wore neck bows of red and white ribbon, and the cake was frosted with those revolutionary colors.
Funeral Gratian — slavery to be abolished--
We learn that next Wednesday is fixed for announcing the death of Senator Baker, and Tuesday of Mr. Bingham, in the Senate.
Senator Sumner is expected to deliver the funeral oration.
He to- day expressed the opinion that the present Congress would take such action as would abolish slavery in the Southern States, and it cannot then live in the Border States any length of time.
To verify the predictions of distinguished officials, we will, before another week, have some starling and glorious news.
Your readers will not have to look long in vain.
Startling ones Predicted.
Instructions to M'Clellan respecting Fugitive slaves.
Washington, Dec. 4, 1861.
To Major-General George B. McClellan, Washington City: General:
Wm. H. Seward.