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Family Notices




THE WORLD'S GOSSIP. if There is only one Queen in Europe who pre- serves the national costume of her country in her own toilet. This is the Queen of Italy, who wears the red petticoat, sleeveless corsage, white muslin chemisette, coming up high in the neck, and the short black jacket with which the pictures of Italian peasantry have familiarised the world. Only in her headgear does her Ma j estv deviate from the national rule of dress. Instead of the handkerchief knotted about the head, she wears an ordinary veil. She appears in this pretty costume on all occasions during her holiday season in the Italian Alps, and on Sundays she may be seen in it kneel- ing on the floor of the little church at Gressoney, hardly distinguishable from her humbler sisters, It is curious how many of the reigning monarchs of the world are,in more senses than one, strong men. The Czar heads the list. Alexander of all the Russians is literally a Royal Samson. His Imperial Majesty's favourite feat is to bend a silver coin in Mis fingers but he has been known to lift one of the Imperial Guard, over six feet in height, and fully accoutred with metal helmet and brass plate, with one hand, without any difficulty. The King of Italy is also possessed of a fair share of muscle: and in his younger days the King of Greece was very fond of displaying his skill in the peformance of feats of strength. The Kaiser is said to have sent a formal request to the Queen, through his mother, the Empress Frederick, to stand god-mother to his little daughter. He has also expressed a strong desire that his grandmother should pay a visit to Berlin in order to be able to stand sponsor to the little one. Leo XIII. who will celebrate his episcopal jubilee this month, has made a very excellent successor to Pius IX. He has satisfied Catholics of all grades by his uncompromising attitude towards the Italian Government, while he has very wisely allowed the much debated question of the personal infallibility of the Pope to drop into oblivion. He has always shown the utmost interest in the branch of the Roman Church in England, and has exhibited the utmost care for the ancient rights in connection with the Papacy. The Pope is, per- haps, the most frugal eater and simple liver among the potentates of Europe. Although £ 20,000 a year is devoted to the payment of his household expenses, including his table, private servants, and other personal and domestic matters, the actual cost of his living never exceeds £ 2 10s. per week. At this rate two or three of the Imperial banquets on which the temporal sovereigns of Europe are wont to indulge would last His Holiness about five years. The Lord Mayor elect, Alderman Stuart Knill, was born at Camber'.veil sixty-eight years ago, and was educated first at Blackheath Proprietary was educated first at Blackheath Proprietary School, and afterwards at the University of Bonn, where he graduated. He is now head of the firm of Messrs. John Knill and Co., wharfingers and warehouse-keepers. Alderman Stuart Knill is, all the world now knows, a Roman Catholic. In politics he is a conservative. He is a member of several of the City companies, and, despite the scheming and plotting which there has been to de- prive him of the chief civic honour, he has always been held in the highest respect among his fellow- citizens. Intellectually he is superior to many of the City Fathers, and he will bring to the duties of the office to which he succeeds in November qualities which have not always distinguished his predecessors. Alderman Knill is a large employer of riverside labour. The clever volume, Gossip of the Century." contains the true account of the one woman who was ever admitted into the secret-s of Freemasonry. The lady in question was the only daughter of Lord Doneraile, and she herself told the tale to her grandson, Colonel Alcock Stoweil, so that this version may be regarded as authentic. Hitherto the place of her concealment has been given as either a clock case or an organ loft. As a matter of fact, it was neither, for she found herself—by accident—shut in a small inner room divided only by a door (which happened to be open) from the apartment in her father's castle where the lodge was being held. In endeavouring to. make her escape unnoticed she was captured by a mysterious person called a "tiler." and brought before the Lodge for judgment. It was at her father's sug- gestion, and to save complications, that she was initiated into further mysteries, and sworn. Probably many people have often wondered what becomes of the numerous presents of which Mr. Gladstone has been the rcceipicnt in his sixty years of public life. A glance around the walls of the entrance hall at Ha warden Castle will, to a certain extent, give the information required. Mr. Gladstone's favourite recreation of felling trees is responsible for the array of presentation axes which line the wall on either side. There you see them, big axes and little ones, of all shapes And kins, quite sufficient to stock a fair-sized iron- monger's establishment. A number of caskets of various woods, containing addresses and parch- ments representing the freedoms of the cities and towns which have been conferred upon him are place in a long row upon a shelf. One is put to a useful purpose, as a hall letter-box. The most imposing casket of all was presented to him by his American admirers. It is of silver, and stands two feet high. On the top is a bust of Mr. Gladstone himself, with a laurel wreath round his 'neck. and on the balle is a figure of Erin, clad in a star-spangled mantle.






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