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Late Northern News.
Lord Lyons not satisfied with the action of Seward.
preparations for war still going on in England.
&c., &c., &c.,

Northern dates to the 1st instant have been received at Norfolk by flag of truce from Fortress Monroe. We present our readers this morning with a few brief extracts of the most important news, our limited space interdicting a more copious selection:

The surrender of Mason and Slidell--Lord Lyons does not agree to Seward's terms of the in release,&c.

In addition to what is furnished below, the Norfolk Day Book learns from verbal sources that Seward and Lyons have had a consultation on the release of Mason and Slidell.Seward has surrendered these gentlemen, but the terms of the surrender does not come up to the demands of the ultimatum. A part of the Yankee's bargain is that Wilkes is not to be censured, no way. This part of the bargain, however, does nor suit the British demand, and consequently the matter is not entirely satisfactory. The mere giving up of Mason and Slidell does not settle the matter, though it appears they have been sent off. Our friends at the North are in ecstasies at the promising condition of affairs for our cause, whilst the Northerners are very much down at the month.

The New York Tribune of the 1st inst., says that ‘"although it is not expected that Great Britain will directly, or by the implication of silence, assent to all the positions of Secretary Seward in his dispatches to Earl Russell, there is little doubt that its conclusion will be accepted as satisfactory."’

A Washington correspondent thus comments upon the surrender and the probabilities of England making further demands upon the Lincoln Government:

‘"It now remains to be seen whether John Bull really desires to cultivate friendly relations with Columbia, and, will accept her frank ask pardon for having stepped on his gouty toes in the Trent, or whether he will pocket this tendered disavowal of a determination to offend, and make other demands, which cannot be granted."’

The time of departure and mode of Conveyance of the Confederate Commissioners.

A telegraphic dispatch, dated Boston, December 30, says:

‘ By instructions from Lord Lyons, the British mail steamer Niagara will leave here direct for Liverpool to-morrow, taking out the rebels Mason and Slidell. The steamer Persia, now in the St. Lawrence, will take the place of the Niagara, which was announced to sail hence on the 8th of January.

Important from France--the Emperor Urges England to break the blockade — the blockade to be broken.

We have important information from France — such as scarcely admits of a doubt that the Lincoln blockade (which is but a miserable abortion) will be speedily broken up. A Yankee correspondent, writing from that great pandemonium, the Federal capital, says:

‘ Our Government is undoubtedly in possession of information from Paris, rendering it certain that if there is a contest between Great Britain and the United States, France will studiously stand aloof, preserving a strict impartiality. But it is also stated that the Emperor has already urged the British Government to break the blockade of the Southern ports, and that if a declaration of war by Queen Victoria is followed by another royal proclamation, recognizing the independence of the Confederate States, Louis Napoleon will follow suit.

It must be remembered that France (after the arguments of General Cass, when he was the United States Minister at Paris,) has sided with our Government, and opposed that of England on the right of search question. She consequently regards the act of Captain Wilkes as unwarranted by international law, but does not, of course, officially express her opinion.

France, like England, is too ready to regard the present war for the Union as a commercial struggle between the tariff men of the North and the Southern free traders; and now, the sufferings at Lyons and Manchester combine in urging the execution of the ‘"higher law of necessity,"’ to open Southern ports.

’ A Paris letter of the 9th of December to the New York Tribune, says:

‘ "Your correspondent must guess that, in the supposed case of an Anglo-American war, France would begin with, and hold as long as she could with polite advantage, the position of an armed neutral, ready to act as mediator. As mediator between England and the United States in the first instance. And then with England, perhaps, as mediator between the U. S. A. and the C. S. A.

"It is worse than falsehood to deny, what I know it is worse than patriotic to admit, but what it is the disagreeable duty of a reporter to state, this passionately disputed, but reasonably indisputable fact, that the recognition of the C. S. A. as an existing nation by England and France is rapidly approaching diplomatic record."

Serious illness of Gen. M'Clellan.

The illness of McClellan has already become a matter of speculative interest at the North. It will be seen from the following, that the Yankees are already casting about them for his successor, thus evincing their indifference, if not a desire, to get rid of him as their leader:

Gen. McClellan is worse to-day, quite worse. The danger of a typhoid fever is now unconcealed. This case excites a very general interest — exaggerated, perhaps, from its importance and its untimeliness, but so thorough as to provide speculatively even for his successor. Ben Ward, of Ohio, is the popular preference.

Gen. McClellan was better this morning, but too much attention to business caused a slight change for the worse toward evening. It is hoped, however, that notwithstanding the efforts of the brass band, which had the lolly to give him to-night the only serenade which he has had since he fell ill, he will soon be out. Gen. Marcy's health has greatly improved.

Latest from Key West--forcible Seizure of a New Orleans merchant.

The Key West correspondence of the New York Express, dated December 21, says:

‘ The U. S. steamship Santiago de Cuba, Capt. Ridgley, arrived at this port on the 12th, from a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. She has captured the British schooner Victoria, from Metamora, bound to Havana, with a cargo of wool and placing a prize crew on board, sent her to this port, where she has safely arrived.

The Santiago also boarded a schooner in the Gulf bound from Havana to Brazos, and took off seven passengers, among whom was Jas. W. Zacharie, a wealthy and prominent citizen of New Orleans, who has been of late materially assisting Jeff. Davis in prosecuting the war of the Confederacy. Mr. Zacharie was placed, on the arrival of the Santiago de Cuba, in the hands of Major Hill, commander of Fort Taylor who has carefully guarded him until to-day, when he transferred him to the steamship Baltic for transportation to New York.

The U. S. Marshal has taken possession of the British schooner Victoria, and will hold her until the return of the U. S. District Judge.

The sloop-of-war Ethan Allan, Captain Eaton, on the 25th November fell in with the Confederate schooner Fashion. Captain Roberts, and took her in charge, placing a prize crew on board, and sending her to this place. She is now in the bands of the U. S. Marshal, and will await the arrival of the Court for adjudication.

The United States Marshal, on the 14th, sold the schooner Beauregard at auction.--She not bringing half her value, that officer brought her in for the United States for the sum of $1,810.

The British schooner Adelaide and cargo was sold on the 10th, by the United States Marshal, for the sum of $4,060.

The U. S. steamer Richmond, Capt. Ellison, in leaving the harbor on the 15th, on a cruise, broke her shaft and was obliged to return. Orders to-day arrived from the Commodore for her to repair without delay to New York. She sails to-night.

Hon. Alfred Ely.

A Baltimore journal, in announcing the arrival in that city of the Hon. Alfred Ely. who was recently released from imprisonment in this city in exchange for Hon, C. J. Faulkner, says:

‘ This gentleman was in high spirits, and shortly after reaching here proceeded to Washington for the purpose of attending to some professional business. He states that he was recently visited by the Hon. Charles Faulkner, for whom he was exchanged, and had a very pleasant interview. He had not been as closely confined as was represented by the Northern papers, but allowed pretty liberal bounds, and with all was as liberty to have the best quality fare at his own expense. Rations of the army regulations were supplied daily, but he would not accept them when he could easily get daintier food.

Arrival of the Adriatic and Pergia — the Stone Fleet blockade — England Repudiates it, &c.

Halifax, Dec. 24.
--The steamships Adriatic and Persia have arrived at Halifax with troops. Passengers by the Asia report a rumor that the blockading up of Charleston Harbor with stone is likely to lead to a difficulty with European Powers.

It is further rumored that England's war like preparations will continue, in view thereof, and that the surrender of Messrs. Mason and Slidell are not the whole of England's demands.

The London Post (Palmerston organ), says the harbor of Charleston belongs to the world, and cannot be given up a sacrifice to an inefficient blockade. England will therefore have a reckoning in this matter of the Stone Fleet.

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