Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

6 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

h JhItban Csrraptitni


h JhItban Csrraptitni It right to state that we de not at aH timu SiOKjsy OOTtelves with oui Correspondent's opinions.] No communication, dated from the metropolis just now, would be complete without a reference to the Shah of Persia. His movements throw the proceedings of Parliament quite into the shade, and it will not have escaped attention that the length to which the Tich borne trial is reported, has within the past few days undergone a material abatement. The interest taken in the Persian Sovereign is really extraordinary, and some persons find it difficult to account for it. One reason unquestionably is that for the first time in the history of the world, a Ruler of Persia has left his own dominions for Europe unaccompanied by a n army Persian monarchs have come to Europe before, but at the head of vast hordes of soldiers, and with the intention of carrying war and desolation in their train. Sometimes they have succeeded, although only for while ;at others, such as at the Battle of Marathon, where 10,000 Greeks met and defeated 120,000 Persians, their undisciplined masses have been easily routed by a small and compact body of determined men. In some respects Persia has advanced but little since the days of sacred story when King Ahasuerus (believed to have been Xerxes) ruled over that Land of the Sun. No roads, no irrigation, little or no cultivation of a naturally rich soil-sueb are some of the characteristics of the Persia of to-day. The Romans of two thousand years ago were further ad ranced in the arts of civilization, for their roads and their aqueducts especially were masterpieces of mechanical construction. Well, the Shah of Persia suddenly shakes off the traditions of centuries, and leaves for a time the classic, dreamy, historic East for the prosaic, bustling, enterprising West. He has seen the gigantic armies upon the Continent; he has crossed the English Channel amid the thunder of the heaviest naval guns ever forged in the world's history. The Shah and his suite have in- deed anticipated with more interest to their visit to England than to any other European State. Coming so soon after the military spectacles in St. Petersburg, similar displays at Berlin, although on an equally grand and splendid scale, became rather monotonous. But no sooner had they left Ostend, and were fairly out to sea than the scene changes, and at the first sight of the convoy of ironclads the members of the suite could not repress their ex- clamations of astonishment. They had heard in their far-off clime of the war-ships of Great Britain, and however extravagant might have been their expecta- tions, the sight of the Devastation must have amply repaid them. Vague stories, too, had reached them of the vast size and the immense wealth of London, and they eagerly looked forward to an opportunity of judg- ing for themselves as to the truth of the reports con- cerning the giant city. The progamme of arrange- menta Is certainly calculated to give them a very fair idea of the might and the power of this country and no one doubts that they will return to their sunlit akies favourably impressed by their hospitable re- ception, and by the industry, the energy, and the activity of the never-resting Western World. Of all the spectacles which have been presented to the Shah since his arrival in England, the naval review at Spit- head on Monday was the most imposing and the most suggestive. We cannot vie with either the Germans or the Russians in the magnitude of our armies, but we are naturally proud of Britain's Navy, although the ships are by no means the graceful-looking structures of even twenty years ago. Forty-four iron-clad vessels of different sizes, some of them carrying guns more powerful than any ordnance ever before afloat, made up such a fleet as had never gathered at a single anchorage before, and there can be no question that the Persians will carry home with them a very adequate Idea of the unsurpassed naval strength of the British nation. The announcement made at the Royal Geographical Society's meeting on Monday evening will give general satisfaction throughout the country. No one will have forgotten the long-continued suspense which sur. rounded the fate of Dr. Livingstone, nor the relief felt by all classes at the intelligence that the intrepid traveller had been discovered by Mr. Henry Stanley, a correspondent of the New York Herald. Mr. Glad- stone's secretary has now stated to the Geographical Society that the Government has granted a pension of JE300 a year to Dr. Livingstone, to date from July last -a graceful act which will be appreciated by all who take an interest in the triumph of discovery, and in the progress of civilization. On these warm summer days some notion may be obtained of the toilsome nature of the duties dis- charged by the more hard-working members of the House of Commons. Take a week's labour of either of the heads of great departments. He is usually at his office by ten in the morning, and on Monday after- noons the House of Commons meets at four, and, ai a rule, sits nine or ten hours without interruption. On Tuesday afternoon the House assembles at two, sits until seven, meets again at nine, and generally sits until one or two on Wednesday morning. At twelve o'clock at noon of the same day the Speaker is again in the chair, and business is carried on until six in the evening. If the Minister is present at none of the receptions which are given on this night, he goes to his office on the next morning, comparatively invigorated. After six hours of work there he is off to the House of Commons, and perhaps is compelled to remain there until two on the following morning. By two o'clock on Friday afternoon the House is again at business, works until seven, re- assembles at nine, and should there not be a count out, goes on to an early hour on Saturday morning. Later in the session, when every hour is of importance, mid- day sittings takes place on Saturday as well, and after such a week one can well imagine how the wearied legislator welcomes the rest which Sunday bringsi The routine I have here sketched is the same every year, from the beginning of June until the proroga- tion-a date which is never postponed longer than is absolutely necessary for the transaction of the public business. The question of the fish supply of London is one which will command attention in proportion to the high price of meat. Formerly, when all the fish for the people of the metropolis came by way of the river. the situation of Billingsgate market was admirably adapted for its purpose but now that it is brought by rail into King's-croas and Euston-tquare from the north, Shoreditch from the east, and Paddington from the west, the inconvenience of sending it to Billings- gate, which is approached by narrow and tortuous ways hard by London Bridge, is greatly felt. The ex- pense of cartage to and from such a distance adds con- siderably to the cost of the fish, and so the poor cannot always afford the price asked by the costermongers hat which ought to be good and wholesome food is too often allowed to decay and spoil. Those who are anxious to see an improvement in this direction con- tend for the establishment of a great fish market in the neighbourhood of each of the principal railway termini. Look, for instance, at the immense benefit which such a plan would confer upon the vast town which has sprung up within the past few years round the Great Western terminus at Paddington. At J present, when the fish arrive At the station from the 1 far west of Cornwall, it has to be hurried off miles ] away to the other end of London, there to be disposed t of, and probably brought back again to the residents of Bayswater and Kensington for Bale several hours i afterwards. Similar illustrations might be drawn from 1 King's-cross, St. Pancras, and Enston-square, each of J which is the centre o f a numerous and hard-working ) population, chiefly belonging to the middle classes. The success of the Food Department in the Inter- national Exhibition proves that the English people are not so much behind their neighboars across the Channel as popular report might have led many to suppose. It has become so much the practice to decry our own systems of preparing the food ot the people, that it is somewhat refreshing to learn that in some respe ts we show an undoubted superiority. It appears from an authoritative document which has just been issued, that while the French still retain the pre-eminence in the preservation of apricots, figs, and oranges, the English carry the palm fir preservin cherries, green- gages, and strawberries. We not only excel in the quality, but in the cheapness of production. It also appears that of 82,000 tons of raisins and currants êx- ported from the isles of Greece last year to supply the wants of the whole world, 45.000 tons were consumed in this country, 12,000 tons having been absorbed by the London market alone. Fig's and dates are another class of popular dried fruits, and the latter are imported to the metropolis by thousands of tons annually. It has often been a matter for adverse comment that the cab service of London is not equal to that of many a provincial town. Many efforts bave been made to improve it, but with very indifferent success, Some time ago, however, the Society of Arts took up the subject, and offered substantial prizes for the best descript on of vehicle that could be produced suitable to the purpose. As a result many specimens of cabs have been sent in and shown at the Exhibition, and a few days ago the judges met there in order to award the prizes. After an inspection of the vehicles, the judges agreed that the cabs should be tried in competi- tion in the west annexe of the Exhibition. On a future day, after this trial, the cabs will go in proces- sion to the city and back. They will then be shown in Palace Yard, and evidence of their merits and defects is to be afterwards taken publicly before the Society of Arts. Thefte arrangements are sufficiently complete to ensure a practical test of the experiment, and as the question is now being dealt with so earnestly, no doubt that before long London will have a better class of caba than it has hitherto posseased. With respect to the cabman himself, who is so often the victim of indignant expostulation or of unmerited abuse, "ome allowance might well be made at times. Let us take into consideration his long hour, hia exposure to all weathers, the uncertain and precarious nature of his earnings, and the absence cf domestic comfort in his case, and ask ourselves whether under similar circumstances we should invariably be patterns of amiability. See him asleep on his box in the middle of the night, with the treacherous dew enveloping his garments, and contrast such sna ches of slumber with the rest which is taken by the humblest labourer in the poorest of our conn- ties. There are, of course, queer specimens of cabmen as of other workers in the hive of industry, but as a body I do not think they deserve the censure which is so frequently passed upon them. When they are accused of systematic imposition, it should not be for- gotten that the provocation they receive is often great, for there are many with whom" dishing a cabby is a feat not only to be practiced, but made a matter for con gr atulation. The Directors of the Alexandra Palace Company showed truly British pluck in deciding at once to re- construct the building, and we have not had long to wait for the ways and means of doing so. The present capital of the undertaking is a million sterling, and it is propoied to authorise an immediate issue of JE150,000 Six Per Cent, First Preference Shares at JE10 each. No time is to be lost in commenoing the work, and it is anticipated that the new building will be completed within twelve months. There is undoubtedly room for such an institution at the northern aide of London, and the popular favour bestowed upon the late Palace during its brief existence showed that it was likely to hold its own against any competitor. The Directors of the Crystal Palace at Sydenhamhave given a benefit in aid of the fund for relieving the sufferers who lost so much in the late fire at Muswell-hill. Some time ago I made an estimate in your columns of the probable length of the Tichborne trial, and put the prosecution down as being likely to finish early in July. This will be very near the mark, and as the three judges who are engaged upon it are not to take any of the summer circuits, we may now look forward to seeing this great case go on without interruption to the end. For a time there appears to be a lull in the excitement which was so strongly manifested in the early days of the proceedings, for the crowds who assemble daily in Westminster Hall are of much smaller dimensions than they were two months ago. With the opening of the defence, however, there is very little question that the public interest in the progress of this remarkable trial will be sensibly aug- mented.


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