In England the consumption of Claret is increasing and there is a great demand for the good wines of 1864 which we shall begin to ship this autumn - There has been a great deal of excitement on account of the stoppage of some of the large Joint Stock Banks, but this is to be attributed to overtrading and I believe that the general legitimate trade has suffered little and that things will soon be right again.
The consequences of the present war [Austro-Prussian] are however incalculable as little by little the the present neutral powers may be drawn into the conflict.
We can only hope that they will be wise enough not to interfere, as a general war in Europe would make an awful mess, and I do not see what England or France could gain by it. In Australia fortunately you have no armed neighbour with the exception of of some Bushrangers and Savages who will disappear as population spreads and I congratulate you on having no chance of coming in for a grande guerre.
Allow me en finisant to say that personally and in the name of my Firm we shall always be happy to be of any use to you in this old world that l'occasion [se?] presente and believe me to remain always, my Dear Sir William
Your's most sincerely