#ur fsmiwm Comsptbettf. f W e deem it right to state that r:e do not at all times Identify "Ucsfclvee vrtth our correspondent's opinions.) I hear it confidently stated that her Majesty will open Parliament in person, but as I cannot ascertain any ground for such a rumour beyond-the wish being father k> the thought, I can only add my wish to that of those who can confidently predict what they would like to transpire. Certainly, there is now no it-aeon why the Queen should not open Parliament in thai way which would give universal delight. V, is said that the Duke of Newcastle, finding his health inadequate to the discharge of his duties, has }.•! • "-I his resignation in the hands of her Majesty, tv.'i> the understanding that it is not to be publicly announced till a successor is appointed. The names of ord Clarendon, Lord Wodehouse, and of Lord Stimloy of A'dcrley are mentioned a3 successors, but farther than this I can say nothing. The post of Colnuia) Secretary is an arduous one, and it can scarcely be better filled than it has been by the Duke of Newcastle. The Merchandise Marks Act," or whatever is the exact title, is beginning to be put into practice, with great good to legitimate trade and to the public generally..The wrong description of goods, the fahe labds, the wilful mis-description of quantity (for in?tKnce,inreelsof cotton), all this was a cryingevil, and a r ational disgrace. As an instance, I had for years in 111 j possession a pianoforte with Broadwood's name un it; on selling it (let mo relieve myself by adding, selling it for a better), I found that for years I had been harbouring an impostor. My pianoforte was no mor-: made by Broadwood than it was made by the Kir, of Dahomey. How great an injustice this is to Messrs. Broadwood, I need not say. The same thing goes on largely with almost everything when a name has Wn acquired. The great bottled-beer brewers suffor largely in this way, and I am delighted to see tb >.L they are making cheats pay the penalty. There is in this Trade Marks Act tho same defect that there a^e ill many others, there is no public prosecutor, but, fortunately for the interests of inventors, and merchants, and tradesmen with a famous name, they can themselves prosecute and recover penalties, and this has already been done. So close are the imita- tionu of the genuine article Bometimes, that detection and conviction are very difficult; but the very fact of impostors being liable to prosecution will, in many caeca, prevent any attempt at imposition, while the heavy penalties will, it is to be hoped, strike terror into the hearts of deceivers and adulterators. I have a luggesUon, however, to make on this subject. We have Trade Protection Societies, and societies for the p- t^ecution of felons. Why not have an Anti-Adulte- ration and Falsification Society, which should make it th<>ir business toprosecnte those who falsely labelgoods, or who adulterate commodities. The society would be H public boon, and—it would pay. I have the vanity to think the hint is worth something. There hai been so much said lately about the relative powers of her Majesty, the Secretary of State, and the judges with respect to reprieving a criminal, that T hall not dwell on the subject; but I just note that U the questions involved were to have come before f-Jtv: House of Commons on a motion of inquiry, to 1).: brought forward by Lord Henry Lennox, but who has since died. There are mamy difficulties and anomalies in the matter, and the sooner these arc cleared away the better. There can be no doubt, however, that the terrible character of the penalty of death tends in itself to create anomalies, which, in my opinion, will never be removed so long as the Draconian law of death remains on the statute T>x,k. I cannot learn that the public generally take much interest in the Shakspeare Celebration. We are all lovers and admirers of Shakspeare, no doubt (even 'those of us who never read ten lines of his plays); 1-J!1t, still, somehow or other, we, as a people, scarcely liko Shikspeare being thus thrust down our throats on a particular day. We might take more kindly to the proposed celebration of them, were anything in it that would be of permanent value, such as Shaks- peare scholarships, a Shakspeare Retreat for decayed authors, artists, and actors, or anything of that sort; but the programme of the committee—I mean the London, or Cockney committee—is by no means at- tractive, and at present public enthusiasm certainly does not exist. On the other hand, it may be said that tho fussy proceedings of this committee please them- selves, and do not hurt any one'else. Certainly, there J i as been a great deal of quarrelling and self-glorifica- tion, but at present there is a lull in the storm. How many more squabbles we are to have before the mo- mentous 23rd of April (when we are all expected to become monomaniacally Shakspearian for the day), remains to be seen. Stme surprise has been expressed at the Times, in its curious desire for exclusive news or gossip, an nouncing that the infant Prince, whose arrival has created such a to-do, had been weighed, and that he was 01b. It now turns out that the little fellow was neveiweighed at all, and that, had he been subjected to this totally unnecessary and improbable operation, he would have been found nearer 61b. than 91b. A number of other curious statements have been, and are being made, which I do not think it well to repeat. The fact is, that our exuberant attachment to royalty induces newspaper gossip and false statement which is very much out of place. As to his being a fine child, and very like his father, of course he is; or he would be declared so if he were not, which is much the same thing, as far as the public is concerned. By the way, I have not yet heard that the little Newcome has been gazetted a K.G., that he has been appointed to a colonelcy, or thathe has been requested to become • a F.R.S., or a truBteeofthe British Museum but I am somewhat surprised that I have not. Perhaps I have overlooked these interesting and reliable an- nouncements. At the time I write, the Paris conspiracy is still un- explained. I shall not, therefore, venture to explain it In fact, I should like some one to explain it to me. The confession of some of the conspirators, and their implication of Mazzini, on the one hand, and the straightforward, and (as the French say) categorical denial by Mazzini on the other the counter-charges against the Paris police of having got up thiø con- spiracy for effect, and the utter improbability of any four sane men lending themselves to the Government for such a silly melodrama—all render the affair diffi- cult of solution. The r>- -t is, that.we must await the trial with patience; bul* I, for one, await it with far more excited anxiety than patience. Depend on it that some greatname is behind those four puppets who have been seized, while those who pulled the strings made their escape—for the present. We have, most of us, read with pleasure and pride the account of the triumph which Charles Mathews, an Englishman, gained on the French stage. That very agreeable rattle, it seems, pattered off French in the most rapid style, as though he were rattling away in Pattur versus Clatter." It is possible that Mr. Mathews's visit to the French capital has given our pleasure-loving neighbours a taste for English per- formances in their native language for I hear that Mr. Webster and an entire English company are going over to Paris to play in English. Mr. Mathews, too, is about to visit Paris a second time to play in French. (l fancy I hear some reader here saying mentally, Well, there's nothing woilderful in that," to which I reply, "Try it.") Apropos of French and English, I see that Paris is to have another English newspaper, to compete with Galignani, which travellers on the Continent always seize on with such pleasure. The new is to be cheaper than the old paper, but the sub- ject is worth mentioning, if only to point out the re- markable contrast between France and England. We hove not in the latter country one newspaper in French that is worthy the name—nay, nor one German jour- nal worthy of Germany or England. This is a strange overaight, I think. The news from Germany and Denmark, with respect to the question at issue, is, I regret to say, of a serious character. Austria and Prussia have sent Denmark an ultimatum, which the Dagbladet says, the latter cannot, and will not, accept. The only alternative is roof. When we consider what horrors are contained in that little word, we may well shudder at the non- acceptance of the alternative and the fears of antici- pation are but increased, when we bear in mind that ■England will have far more difficulty in keeping out of tliis war than in the case of America. Under these circumstances, it is gratifying, in one respect, to find that the war between Russia and Poland is appa. rently dying out. I say in one respect, because in this co-mtry, rightly or wrongly, the Poles have the sym- pathy of the people. But, at all events, the insurrection is dying out. Whether from the dying embers of the revolution the flames of war may again break out, remains to be seen.
CHAROJB AGAINST A CONGREGATION.—On Sun- day last the mmisterof a large congregation in Dundee w W interrupted in the course of his forenoon sermon oy the repeated coughing of his auditors. Pausing in midst of his observations, headdreased his con- crogation to the following effect:— You 30 about the streets at the New YeM time-yon act c ank. and get cold, then you come here and cough like & ot artillery, i think I must give you a vacation of m- weeks, that job may have time to get sober and to re- r TOur health agaia, t i' thereafter went on with his discourse, which was < eluded amid much greater quiet than it had been • • >111; but just as the congregation were dismissing, indignant seatholder in the gallery rose up and ■ dly declared that the remarks of the pastor were thin? less than an insult to the whole congregation..
COMMERCIAL FRAUDS AT SUNDER. LAND. It is our painful duty to record the facts connected with one of the most extraordinary frauds ever known in the commercial history of Sunderland, perpetrated by one who up to the day of his death was widely respected as a merchant and as an apparently sincere and devout Christian (says the Newcastle. Chronicle), and thus continues the narrative :— Qn New Year's Day, Mr. Thomas Kay, merchant and sliipbfoker, dropped down dead in his own house, in John- street, Bishopwearmouth, within two hours after he had left the devotional services of" watch-night" at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. Deceased was the principal member of the well-known Arm of Riches, Kay, and Marshall, ship- brokers and coal exporters. He was also a prominent member of the Wesleyan Methodist body, and a regular at- tender at the chapel of that denomination in Fawcett-street. His venerable appearance, blandness of manner, and the sanctimonious air he assumed had their intended cffect, for lIr: Kay was not only generally respected, but his partners had the most implicit faith in his integrity. They allowed him to keep without question all the important documents of the firm, the book", the key of the safe, and to manage the banking account, and even when they were wishful to ascertain the state of their affairs they allowed him to plead illness as an excuse for putting off the evil day of accounts to a more convenientseason, without having their suspicion aroused in any way whatever. The news of the man's pain- fully sudden death even was received with astonishment and sincere sorrow, and his remains were interred with every taken of affectionate regret. It was not until they turned to the necessary settlement of partnership and business affairs that his partners and friends made the startling dis- covery that the deceased had been carrying on a fraudulent system of obtaining cash to an unknown amount by means of fraudulent bills, in which the signatures of persons dealing with the firm were used as acceptances without their know- ledge or consent. The way ill which deceased efIected the fraud was this:— It is well known that ship captains are in the habit of drawing advances from the merchants or brokers who freight their vessels, in order to pay bills and port charges, and of receiving various gratuities. As the firm of Riches, Kay, and Marshall did a pretty extensive chartering business, such advances and pay- ments were often made, and almost invariably by the deceased. The person to whom he paid an account was sure to be entertained with an interesting conver- sa.tion on religious or other topics, according to taate, the ingenious merchant in the meantime folding and turning about a piece of blue paper, with an apparently careless air. Oh the paper were pencilled a few words of receipt for the amount advanced, and having a pen handed him at some stage of the proceedings, the unsus- pecting captain readily "put his name down," as re- quested. The deluded recipient of the advance having taken his departure, the wily merchant was then at liberty to unfold his paper, which assumed the form of a bill stamp, and the pencilled receipt being duly obliterated, the paper could be filled up to any amount, the signature of the person who had received the advance appearing across the paper in the form of an acceptance. Such was the repute of the firm, that this sort of paper would be discounted to any amount by the banks, and as fast as the bills became due they could be easily replaced by negotiable acceptances of the same charac- ter. Thus it is not known what amount of bills of this kind may be running, for, on the opening of the safe, after Mr. Kay's death, there were found no fewer than 150 blank bill stamps bearing the names of various parties who had signed them innocently in the way we have already indicated. The stamps were prin- cipally of Is. and 2s. each, and they were no doubt in- tended t. be filled up and passed off as genuine billit, so that deceased would have been able to obtain al- most any amount of money from the discounters. It is impossible to say to what extent this system might have been carried but for its interruption by the death of the perpetrator, but as the "steps in crime" are said to be gradual, but to follow fast, a longer conti- nuance of the fraud might have produced ultimately a commercial catastrophe of great magnitude. The painful revelations we have described fell like a bombshell amon" the commercial public and those who knew Mr. Kay, and^ besides the partners, many of deceased's intimate friends and relative", it is said, will be heavy sufferers by his conduct. It is reported that one gentleman who owned vessels along with the deceased received a dishonoured bill on New Yeai's Day, and on hurrying to the office to ascertain the cause of its non-payment, was astonished to find Mr. Kay was dead, and still more astonished, no doubt, to find afterwards that deceased had been guilty of such fraudulent transactions. There is another story, to the effect that Mr. Kay got a well. known and experienced solicitor to make a will, dis- posing of a large amount of property with much form and pomposity, and on the strength of that easily in- duced the solicitor to lend him 2,000J„ or some similar amount. Fortunately, however, the legal gentleman in question obtained back nearly the whole of the amount. A rumour has been current (continues the paper from which we have quoted the above) that deceased must have committed suicide owing to the state of his affairs, and the probability of a. speedy exhumation is talked of. We believe, however, that the coroner acted on the doctor's certificate, which was quite satisfactory and conclusive as to the cause of death, and therefore it is not likely that the inquest will be reopened. It is generally supposed that the realisation of deceased's I estate will cover all claims against the firm that may arise through the deceased's course of conduct.
THE ROYAL BIRTH. Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales and the infant Prince continue to progress as favourably as could be desired. It is said the Princess of Wales, with her infant Prince, will not be moved from Frog- more for a period of six weeks; meanwhile Parliament will have met, and a very busy London "season" in- augurated. References to the happy event will be made in both Houses at an early date. It is-said that the infant Prince presents already a striking likeness to his Royal father, his features being unusually well marked. The infant Prince is to be brought up by a wet nurse, Mrs. Connor, a married woman of irreproachable character, good health, and antecedents, and possess- ing the requisite physical qualities. The little Prince feeds well, and is in excellent health. Unless the infant son of the Prince of Wales receive some special title by creation, it appears un- certain what he will be called. For the nearest pre- cedent we must go back about 125 years, when there were a sovereign, a Prince of Wales, and an eldest son of the Prince of Wales, all living. That eldest son, afterwards George III., was then called Duke of Edinburgh, that being one of the inferior titles borne by his father, Frederick Prince of Wales. If this pre- cedent be followed in the present instance, the infant Prince will be called Earl of Dublin, that being the only inferior title of the present Prince of Wales which is not inalienably attached to him as eldest son of the reigning Sovereign. In default of this or some title by creation, it would seem he would be called Prince A. of Wales. Some persons assert that it will be Prince Albert Edward of Wales, whilst others think that he will receive some such designation as Duke of Cornwall or Dnke of Gloucester. No doubt, however, exists that his juvenile Royal Highness, wiu, like his father, be named Albert Edward; but it is, perhaps, not so universally known that the name by which the Prince of Wales will ascend the throne (may the day be far distant !) will be King Edward the Seventh. It is said that this was the express wish of the late Prince Consort. The Lancet contains some gossip about the latest addition to the Royal Family which will be interest* ing to our fair readers. The young Prince has not been weighed at all, and, guessing at his weight, six pounds would probably be nearer the mark, and leave nothing to regret." The change of names at- tached to the medical bulletins is accounted for by the factthat Mr. Brown, a general practitioner in Windsor, was called in on the emergency. He had the honour of bringing the infant Prince into the world," and immediately after made way for the physicians be- longing to the Royal household.
INTERESTING EXTRACTS FROM "MANHATTAN'S" LETTERS. The following are the most interesting extracts which are to be found in the last letter forwarded from America by the eccentric Manhattan":— Secretary Seward has sent special instructions to Mr. Adams, our Minister, by this steamer. He is ordered to ascertain the name of the editor of the London Spectator. The following soft-soap in that sheet caught the eye of Mr. Lincoln:— Few men of average abilities ever managed to inspire a more profound trust in their integrity and firmness than Mr. Lincoln has contrived to implant in both his friends and foes, and certainly there is no man in his Cabinet, not even Mr. Chase, whom the world would trust as well. The President has sent enclosed in Mr. Seward's letter a commission in the American army (North) as briga. dier-general, to be filled up by Mr. Adams. Chase has sent a separate letter, enclosing ten million dollars (in greenbacks) for the part relating to himself. London editors who wish to make something can catch. the idea. Papers containing puffs of the President should be sent under cover to the dour-keeper of the White House, and then they will be sure to reach him, and be acknowledged through Mr. Adams. There is great financial news in Wall-street to-day. An immense and entirely new silver region has been discovered in the Argentine Republic, at the foot of the Andes. The ore tract extends 40 miles one way, and through the Andes on the other. It is also re- ported that rich silver deposits have been discovered 10 the British colony of Victoria. WeU, there is one satisfaction, if the whole earth turns to producing gold and silver, it can never buy up the greenbacks of our country and the United States' treasury.
We had nine murders on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. One man was shot dead in Chatham-street. The murderer escaped. Hughson, who lived in West Broadway, was killed in Lisperand-street, and his body pitched into the middle of the street. Miss Bell shot a rowdy in her saloon m Broadway. Two men were killed in a free fleht in a dancing house, 165, Mercer-street, and four others badly wounded. Is not this enough to Bhow we are getting on Robbers, burglars, pickpockets, crowd the city, and are reaping rich harvests. I think It likely that if we keep on we shall reach the point Havannah had reached in 1837* when I was there. About 25 murders were committed every night. Old Tacon reformed the city, and by-and-bye we shall need a Tacon. We havelately discovered a Confederate mint in this city; 600 millions, handsomely engraved, and ready to be shipped to Halifax, were discovered and taken possession of by Marshal Murray. This large amount was manufactured by w. c. Hilton, who will be punished unless he has enough greenbacks to buy himself clear. If this cold weather continues, there will be terrible suffer- ing among the poor of this city. Nearly a dozen persons were frozen to death on Saturday last, and several on Sunday. The new railroads that cross and run around the'eity will break up business. Merchants cannot get their goods into their warehouses, and they will have to change in some way. The cartmen are outrageous. Their business is re- tarded by one-half. The streets now get jammed every hour at least half the time. Many persons refuse to walk in Broadway on account of the melancholy sights connected with horses. At all times you can count them down by dozens, and several die every day on the great street. Golden weddings are the order of the day. Yesterday Commodore Vanderbilt celebrated the 50th anniversary of his wedding. When it came off he was 19 and his wife 17. He was a jolly Whitehall boatman, without 50 cents in the world, unless he earned it daily. Now he is estimated at 20 millions of dollars, besides several steamers. He has 12 grown up children to divide this large property when the commodore steps out. The immigration to this city in 1863 was from Ireland 92,681, and from Germany 28,236, The Irish incomers beat the Dutch. Next yea* it will more. A society has been formed in Boston to encourage Irish t migration it has a million capita], and will send agents to every town in Ire- land, so as to scour that country and get every one that will come for money or love ihe males will Increase our army, and the rest will emigrate South to the new homes, on lands purchased by speculators.
The following items are taken from a previous com- munication by the same correspondent of the London Standard This is New Year's Day, and all good New Yorkers make it a point to do no business on this day, but devote it to plea- sure. Were I to follow the example, yoa would get no letter from me by this steamer. Last night, though it rained in torrents, though the rain formed ice as soon as it fell, so that the streets atld side walks were one sheet of ice, yet it did not deter any one from going out to the stores to make purchases, or to the churches to see the old year retire and the new one come in. The Methodists are famous for doing this. Every Metliodbt church in this city was crowded last night until long after midnight to perform this sacred devotion. noms were blowing all night, making most distressing noises. The Calthumpiau Band did not do as much mischief as usual. This band has existed for 50 years. It travels on New Year's Eve, and its members displace signs, upset carts, wrench off bell-knobs, and do as much mischief as it is possible to do. Ot hte years, since we have had an effective police, the CaHhumpians have not been able to make much trouble. There is an implacable feeling existing in Wall-street in refers nee to the seizure of the Chesapeake in British waters, and the subsequent events. Oreat Britain, when she hears of all the circumstances, may regard the Chesapeake as having been legally captured by persons in the Confederate service, and refuse to give up to the Federal demands either the vessel or the persons we designate as pirates. The journals try to persuade us that this will not be the case, that England will regard the affair as piracy, and the men as pirates and they say that if she does not so regard it, that then we would be perfectly justified in protecting any man who would capture a Canard steamer, or any other Brit- ish vessel, and bring her into this port. There is one plain fact, or rather information, that we get without it costing us anything, and that is, that the people in the British possession on this continent, love us as the devil is said to love holy water. I do not think the people in the West India Islands love us any better and this is strange, con- sidaring how kind and coaxing we have Men to them. I do not think we shall have any trouble with England, unless she should dec'are war suddenly, or before Mr. Seward has time to back out, apo!ogising or explaining things. Lord Lyons has become a hero, and he will receive a cane, silver-mounted, ahorse, or a reception in New York. All the papers eulogise him. His popularity arises from the following fact:—lie has written a letter to Lord Russell, under date of December 1, stating that the civil war will be over before three months. He has private information to that effect. It is perfectly reliable. The news sent gold down in Wall-street. Merchants cheered in the streets for Lord Lyons. Seriously, as Lord Lyons gets his ideas of American affairs from Mr. H. Seward, it is pretty well known that his information is generally wrong. One month of the three has elapsed, and only two more have to be passed over. This will fix the conquest and subjugation of the South before the first day of February, 1864. Probably Lord Lyons may have private letters from General Lee, or General Johnstone, stating that these two renowned generals will surrender their veteran armies without a fight. Lord Lyons will feel particularly foolish about the first of February. I really do not see any more chance of con- quering the South now than there was two years ago. The Union will be preserved, and eventually there will be a com- promise, but not just yet. That event is more likely to occur in 1870 than now. Passing up Carmine-street yesterday I met with large posters — Coloured gentlemen are requested to be at Cooper's Institute on New Year's evening." Coloured gentlemen are all the rage. I notice Utat coloured gentle- men are admitted into the State Convention of Louisiana. I was in the Sixth Avenue yesterday, and I wish old Abe Lincoln had been with me. in order that he might have seen what a little kindness will do with a stubborn soul. A stage horse refused to go. He put down his fore feet in earnest, and was as stubborn as a mule. The driver beat him cruelly, but the horsa looked "no go." Finally, a respectable person, a passer-by, picked up a handful of hay and put it before the horse. He ate it, while the new friend patted him on the shoulder. Inside of two minutes the horse started off willingly. So much for a little kindness. No matter how this war may end, it seems to me astonish- ing that any one is so blind as not to see the end of the greenbacks. We read that in the South one gold dollar will buy 30 paper dollars—in other words, a paper dollar is worth 3I copper cents. Sooner or later this must be our fate. It cannot be avoided. Now the interest on mortgage and the principal can be paid in greenbacks. How long will it con- tinue so after greenbacks get so that one gold dollar will buy five paper ones ? Every man in this city is anxious for notoriety. Here is one who has inserted this in every newspaper in New York, free:— SPKOIAL INVITATION.—The patriotic brave veteran", re- turm d o ( furlough to recruit their health, are invited to call on John W. Faimer, 47, Ludlow Street, near Grand, on New Year's Day, or any other day during their stay in this city. "JOHN W. FARMER." I believe he keeps an eating shop up near Essex Market. Charles A. Dana, who used to be editor of the Tribune. but left it to go into the United States'service (as have 12 other editors and reporters of that paper;, is here from Tennessee to collect money and food for the suffering loyalists in East Tennessee. He represents them in a terrible situation, and thinks that they will die off by thousands unless they get relief. This war is a horrible concern for all parties. An Englishman named Henry Jones lectures to-night on Thomas Carlyle. He reads a letter, dated, The Grange, Alresford," in which Carlyle hopes he will make a hundred thousand' dollars by these lectures. Many think it is Carlyle himself who is lecturing under the uncommon name of Jones. He has sold tickets for 400 dollars for to-night. President Lincoln presented an old shirt or something else to the lady managers of a fair out West. They had agreed to give a gold watch to the heaviest contributpr. Lincoln proved to be the man, and they sent him the watch. He replied as follows:— "Executive Mansion, Washington, Dec. 17. "My t)earSir,—I have received from the Sanitary Com- mission of Chicago the watch you placed at their disposal, and I take the liberty of conveying to you my high apprecia- tion of your humanity and generosity, of which I have unexpectedly become the beneficiary.—I am, &c., < "A. LINCOLN. James H, Hoes, Esq." I wish you a happy New Year.
The SHAKSPEARE COMMEMORATION. A meeting of the Shakspeare Memorial Committee was held in London, on Monday, the Archbishop of Dublin in the chair, when the committee appointed to prepare an address to the public reported that in tbeir opinion it was premature to issue any address till the objects of the committee had taken more shape. They approved, however, of the erection of a monu- ment to which room would be afforded for the talents of the sculptor, the painter, and the architect; and that the anniversary of the poet's birthday should, as far as possible, be a holiday over the kingdom. The report was adopted, as also was a recommendation by some members of the committee in their individual capacity, that subscriptions might be opened for the erection of a theatre and the providing a management that would admit of Shakspeare's plat's being. acted, as it was notorious none of the present London theatres were adapted for the purpose. It was agreed, though not without a sharp struggle, that the sum of 30,0007. should be the sum aimed at as sufficient for the proposed monument. The minority were against naming any sum, and thought 30,000k too small. The committee afterwards adjourned for a month.
A contemporary further says The Shakspeare Memorial Committee appears to be fast nearing shipwreck. Some members—not the least inflnential-on the General Committee havepub- licly declared their secession and the reason. From the firet they appear to have had no confidence in the Executive, and the decision of the General Committee on Monday that the public should be asked to sub- scribe 30,000?., though nobody knows what the memo- rial is to be, or where it is to be placed, appears to them to be fatal They, therefore, retire from all con- nection with the concern.
The following in a measure relates to the same subject :— SHAKSPEARE IN GERMANY. Dr. Franz Dingelstedt, the indefatigable General Intendant of the Grand Dueal Theatre, Weimar, hae issued a circular, stating that the first four plays of the announced cyclus of Shakspeare's historical dramas (viz., "Richard the Second," "Henry the Fourth, both parts, and "Henry the Fifth") will be repre. sented on the Weimar stage in the coitrsB of this month. The whole of the intended cyclus (embracing, besides the above-mentioned plays, "Henry the Sixth, both parts, and Richard the Third") will be acted, night after night, in the week following Easter, thus introducing to Germany, in a grand style, the jubilee of the English poet. Much is expected from these repre. sentations on a etage which not only boasts of its old classical traditions, but may well be proud, too, of its present energetic and truly artistic management.
To the above we may attach the following from Once a Week, recording— A SHAKSPEARE JUBILEE A CENTURY AGO. the festival proper commenced with breakfast at the Town Hall at nine o'clock, the while a fife and drum band played favourite marches outside; the morning having been ushered in, according to EosWbll, with a "pleasing serenade by the best musicians from London, in disguise." At eleven, an oratorio called Judith," the words by Bickerstaff and the music by Dr. Arne, was performed in the church, and met with universal applause. Boswell wishes that prayers had been read and a short sermon preached. The proces- sion from the church was led by Garrick. An elegant dinner was served at four o'clock, not in the most precise order," says our correspondent. He appears to have been satisfied upon the whole, however. "The ordinary, with wine (of which I drank claret and ma- deira, both good), 10s. 6d." After dinner Lord Gros- venor, who seems to have been the chairman, proposed a bumper to the steward, Mr. Garrick ("whose be- haviour exhibited the greatest politeness with the truest liveliness and hilarity"). The next toast was to the memory of the Bard, "to which was subjoined three cheers, at the instance of your bumble servant, most heartily." (Our correspondent seems to have distinguished himself here.) Then the performers in the orchestra gave catches and glees, which proved to be so inspiring, that the whole audience joined in chorus; the whole closing with "God save the King," every voice being exerted. At seven o'clock the com- pany withdrew to prepare for the ball, which opened at nine and closed about three "remarkable chiefly for the most elegant minuet that I ever saw or shall see, by Mrs. Garrick and Mr. Mrs. Garrick, it may be remembered, bad been formerly celebrated as Mademoiselle Violetti, a dancer at the Italian Opera House in the Haymarket. No wonder she performed her minuet well. As to "Mr. —— I can give no information. Could he have been Mr. Boswell ?
HOW the INSURRECTION in POLAND ORIGINATED! The following account of the way in which three men avenged themselves, and its result, is given on thttauthority of the correspondent of the Daily News .— There is residing in Posen a widow who has an only son. A glance at this family history will give the key to the phenomenon, Polish insurrection. The husband of this lady was a considerable landed proprietor, possessing estates in the Grand Duchy of Posen as well as in Russian Poland. Having been implicated in the insurrection of 1831, his property in the Russian dominions was confiscated, and having also got into hot water with the Prussian government, he took refuge in England with what he had saved from the wreck of his fortune. Being of an active turn of mind, and finding doing nothing the hardest work of all, he cast about him for some employment. Being known as a man of fortune and position in his own country, he was naturally sought out by the poorer emigres in his retreat in London. It at last occurred to him that he might employ himself and some of his countrymen usefully in a bank- ing and commission business, in which he sank his whole fortune. He reckoned chiefly for success on his connection with the great landowners in the corn- producing districts of Southern Russia. Nor was he disappointed, for the Branicki, and other proprietors who supply the London market, con- signed all their goods to his house for sale. In this manner the newly-established business turned out a success, and the enterprising proprietor was enabled to give employment to a number of his countrymen, who would otherwise have been driven to the greatest straits to get bread to eat. However, this hopeful state of things was not des- tined to go on for long. By some means the Emperor Nicholas got wind of the concern, and recognising the name of the proprietor, sent strict orders to Odessa that no ship was to be allowed to leave the port with a cargo consigned to the house in question. The in- evitable result of this order was that the house failed, and the unfortunate proprietor had ruin staring him in the face a seond time. He did not long survive the tecond wreck of his fortunes, and left it as a le- gacy to his son to avenge him on his enemy. In the meantime, Nicholas having died also, the plot descended on both sides to actors in the second gene- ration. To wreak vengeance on the Russians naturally became the object in life of the young Pole, and being a young man of great talent and firm character, he exercised much influence over bis associates. To facili- tate the accomplishment of his designs he accepted an appointment at Warsaw, where alone he felt that he had any chance of success. The nature of his em- ployment throwing him into contact with an immense number of persons, he devoted every spare moment to preparing the field for the present insurrection, and was in fact a member of that as yet unorganised body, which was later known as the Central Committee, before it assumed the name of the National Govern- ment.
CARDINAL WISEMAN'S PASTORAL. The following is the Pastoral Letter of H. E. the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, 1864. Nicholas, by the Divine Mercy, of the Holy Roman Church, of the title of St. Pudentiana Cardinal Priest, and Arch. bishop of Westminster. To our dearly beloved brethren and children in Christ, the clergy secular and regular, and the faithful of the said diocese. Health and benediction in the Lord. Dearly beloved In Christ,—It has pleased Divine Pro- vidence to anticipate our prayers and desires, by the birth, almost unexpected, of a child, granted to the Heir Apparent of the Crown and so destined, in the order of nature, to occupy, we hope at a yet distant period, the throne of this realm. An interval of anxious suspense has been thus cut short; while the assurance, from day to day, that nothing has occurred to lessen the first joy, this event has completed the happy inauguration of the new year. To the continuance of heavenly favour which has hitherto pro- tected them, we fervently commend both mother and child. And we earnestly pray that He who, at this season, would receive his birthday offerings, however regal, only from the hands of the wise, will infuse into the heart of the Royal infant that truest wisdom which Solomon "preferred before kingdoms and thrones," together with which all good things," as well as innumerable riches," came into his possession. (Wisd. vii. 9) But we feel sure that, while praying for the speedy and complete re- storation to health of the Princess mother, that she may be as a fruitful vine on the sides of the Royal hotife" (Ps. exxvii. 3),yoawtll turn your thoughts and sympathies towards one still more august, who, after her, has here a larger claim than any one else to maternal joys, and who, after a long period of faithful mourning, may perhaps ex- clam. as did Lamech on the birth of Noe This child shall comfort ns" (Gen. v. 22). Although so soon as these happy tidings of God's merciful dealings with the nation reached us, we ordered that thanksgivings should be publicly offered up in our pro-cathedral, which was done on Sunday last, we feel this to be an occasion for a more general expression of gratitude, and therefore hereby enjoin that the Tc Deum, with its versicles and prayers, be sung in every public church and chapel under our jurisdiction, after high mass, and at benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, on Sunday next, the feast of the holy name of Jesus. Given in Westminster, on the octave day of the Epiphany, MDCCCLXIV. and ordered to be read at each mass on the said Sunday.—N. CARD. WISEMAN. F. CANNON SKARLK, Secretary. T
A CURIOUS CASE DECIDED. In the Vice-Chancellors' Court, ill London, the cause of Atchleyc. Spngg" has been heard. The question'in the case was whether John Bridgcr Oakman Palmer, otherwise Cole, was or was not Jeguiaiate:— It appeared that John Cole was"married to Hannah Oakman in. 1815, and they continued to live together until 1824, when, haying had no children, they sepa- rated, the causp being variously alleged, and never lived together again, John Cole dying in 1836., It ap- peared that after they had separated Hannah Cole lived with a man named White, and they kept a wine- shop; that subsequently she cohabited with John Bridger Palmer, with whom she lived, when it became known as a fact she was pregnant; and that the child was privately christened John Bridger Oakman, and always went by the iiame of Palmer until a recent period. Hannah Cole was entitled to certain pro- perty under the will of her father, consisting of houses 10 Kentish-town, for life, with, remainder to her chil- dren, and it did not appear to have been known to the claimant that she was otherwise than absolutely en- titled. He now made this claim as the child of John and Hannah Cole. It appeared that only on two occa- aions was John Cole k no wit to be in the neighbourhood of his wife—once on a Sunday morning, when he came to the house and demanded admittance, which was refused him, as he appeared to be intoxicated, and the police persuaded him to leave and once when he was seen from the window of the room where his wife was, coming iu-tbedirection of the house; and she knew him, and said, "Ah that's him or words to that effect, but retired into the back part. of the room. When on what turned out to be his deathbed at the Middlesex Hospital in London, he sent to Hannah Cole and requested to see her, but she declined to go, and did not go, being then living with Palmer, whom she married a month after. Hannah Palmer was now dead, and the case-came on upon the claim of her child in chambers, such claim being opposed by those entitled in the event of her dying without children under the will. The claim first came on upon the affidavits of parties connected with the family; but it was considered necessary that those who could attend should be also examined viva vocc in court, which was accordingly done, and Palmer, the reputed father, his sister, the plaintiffs, and Mr. and Mrs. Sprigg were cross-examined. The case was most ably and strenuously argued on behalf of the claimant, and his honour, in giving judg- ment, said that the case of the claimant must fail, the conviction of the illegitimacy having strengthened in his honour's mind as the case proceeded, so as at last to exclude all doubt. The certificate must, therefore, be that there was no child of Hannah Cole living at her decease.
AWFUL EXPLOSION AT LIVERPOOL. An appalling noise, accompanied by a shock which made the houses tremble, was heard at Liverpool on Friday evening last, at 7.20, and caused general alarm. It was not the roar of artillery, itwas a Convulsion more like the combination of an earthquake and. a distant thunder-clap, At least, so it appeared to residents in the upper part of the town. Lower down and near the Exchange the detonation and convulsion were most alarming. A few seconds after the shock, frightened people could be seen at every door en- deavouring to ascertain the cause of it; the gas in the streets had been mtinguLhed* and every corner had its knot of dismayed people inquiring what had happened. A person residing in Huskisson-street states that on going out he met a boy who calmly told him he supposed a ship which had been on fire in the river had blown up. Next he was informed that the house of the "British Merchant" in Bedford- strfefet had bfebh destroy by a gas explosion. Encountering an oysterman, he asked him, and was told that there had been an awful flash of lightning and clap of thunder, and that the electric fluid had played round the rim 01 his basket and frightened him very much. He then came to a ptllicerliiUi, siittouhdHd by a eager for information, but he was as ignorant as the inquirers. Proceeding towards town. he found the streets crowded with people. Passing St. Luke's Church, a gust of air smelling of gunpowder persuaded him that his first informant was cor- rect. Bold-street was thronged. Opposite Messrs. Urqu- hart's, whose plate-glaes windows had besn blown ID) was an anxious crowd, illl uhdbt the belief that an explosion of gtts had occurred. Again, at Gillham's (the bottom of Lord- street) the same scene was witnessed. Every person was asking his or her neighbour for information; but few, it any, seemed to have a correct idea of what had occurred. Every- where the arround was covered with fragments pf glass. The shofts by this time Were being again iighted Up, but the streets were in partial darkness, and it was somewhat diffi- cult to tread your way through the concourse of people. But now persons coming up from the landing-stage spread the news that the bark Lottie Sleigh, Captain Webber, had blown up in the river. This vessel, which belongs to Messrs. Hatton and Cookson, and bound for Africa, was taking in powder from the magasind boats off Tranmere, and had alffeady stowed away eleveh töns; when, about six p.m., as the steward was engaged in the cabin trimming the lamps with petroleum oil (and not paraffin, as it has been stated), some of it exploded and ignited the captain's bed curtains. Prompt measures were taken to suppress the flames, but they had already attained the mastery. The knowledge that so much gunpowder was on board, doubtless, to some extent, paralysed the exertions of the crew. At length. despairing of success, they gathered together whatever they could lay their hands on, ahd Wert! taken off by the passing Rock ferry-boat Wasp, and landed at the small stage. The magazine boat also cleared off. A dog was left on board, which howled dismally. By this time the flames had spread aH over the vessel, and the news was circulated on the pier heads that the vessel would soon blow up. Hundreds of persons awaited the event, not, however, without much trepidation. When the explosion did come off, the spectators were panic-stricken, and rushed frantically ott the stage and pier- heads. And yet the Lottie Sleigh was at least a mile distant. The night being dark, the explosion was all the more brilliant, the flames rising to a greatheight. In the glare could be seen the spars and fragments of the vessel upheaved. Suddenly darkness settled upon the scene, and nothing more could be observed from the shore. The force of the explosion may be imagined when we mention that bolts and fragments of the ship were hurled into Tran- mere; and it is even said that one of her knees was driven through the moulding-room of Mr. Clayton, shipbuilder. It is, however, a remarkable fact that at Bromborough and Estham, on the Cheshire side. ahd nearer the vessel, the ex- plosion was unnoticed. At Rock Ferry the shock was com- paratively slight. The residents at Fulwood-park, on the Lancashire side, nearly opposite Tranmere, remained igno- rant of what had happened. At Birkenhead the damage to glass was immense. Liverpool and its outskirts will afford work for many hundreds of glaziers for weeks to come. Perhaps Birkenhead suffered more severely from the ex- plosion than any other place. The houses in Hamilton-square had a great part of their windows blown in. At Gough's Hotel a great number of panes were broken. The windows of Mr. Rigby, wine and spirit merchant, nearly opposite, were blown out, along with the stock which was displayed in them. An iron bolt from the ship fell through the roof of a house in Sydney-street, and three children narrowly escaped injury. In North-street a long bar of iron also fell through a roof, occasioning some damage. Other fragments fell on the landing-stage and piers. The cabin windows of the Woodside ferry-steamer Cheshire were all broken. The glass roof to the landing- stage bridges was much injured. The windows of the Monks Ferry Hotel suffered very much. Tranmere, opposite which place the Lottie Sleigh was lying, did not suffer as much as might have been anticipated, although the destruction of glass was very considerable. A piece of the anchor-stock of the vessel is said to have fallen on board the Tranmere ferry- boat Birkenhead, doing very slight damage. At Seacombe, Egremont, and along the Cheshire shore to the mouth of the river many windows were broken. On the Lancashire side perhaps Messrs. Urquhart's pre- mises, in Bold-street, suffered most. Four large plate-glass panes, valued at 601, fell into the street, wounding, it is said, a woman who was passing. Messrs. Shellard and Hodg- son's large windows also suffered, as did those of Messrs. Anderson. In Lord-street, Messrs. Livingston had their windows shattered, as had Messrs. Gillham, and Mr. Wood, hatter. Mr. Dempster's shop, in Castle-street, had three' large panes smashed. Mf. George Eastee, in the Crescent, had his shop front entirely demolished. Some of the large plate-glass-windows in the&changc news-rooms were blown in, one piece of glass falling into the room. In Berry- street and Great George-street the shock was severely felt, and much damage done. The Custom-house had all the glass in the south front broken. It would, however, re- quire several columns to particularise the premises which suffered from the explosion. The altar window of St. George's Church was cracked. From the north, south, east, and west portions of the town accounts have been received of serious damage. Fortunately, few, if any, cases of per- sonal injury were sustained. At the Southern hospital, which was crowded with pa- tients, the panic was excessive: even men with broken legs rushed into the street. A man, who was stabbed on Christ- mas-day by a Malay, and whose comrade died from a- similar injury, rushed out and failed to reappear, He was recovering from two severe wounds in the back. Fortunately his room was of more use than his company, as a man with a shattered leg, who otherwise would have had to be refused admittance, was placed in the vacant bed. At the Northern hospital, so intense was the excitement, that a number of the patients, some of whom had not been out of bed for weeks previously, suddenly got up and left the wards to ascertain what was the cause of the concussion. It is seated that the insurance offices are not liable for the damage to property under the terms of their policies. On Saturday, however, the directors of the Royal Insurance Company came to the determination of making good the loss suffered by their insurers. It was reported on Saturday, but very probably the re- port is incorrect, that a solicitor in Liverpool had been instructed by some of the sufferers by the explosion to proceed agamsttheowners of the vessel. Soon after the explosion had occurred, numerous vehicles from the suburbs came into town, occupied by country residents, anxious to know what had occurred, so that the streets were thronged up to-a late hour with sensation hunters. So far as is known, the only living thing, sacrificed by the explosion was the dog belonging to the Lotty Sleigh. The tail and hind legs of the dog were found on Monday at Monk's Ferry. The total amount of damage is estimated to be from ten to twenty thousand pounds. A gentleman, writing from Blockloy, Worcester- shire, says:— The explosion at Liverpool was distinctly heard at this place, which is 100 miles distant. Persona in their houses heard the doors, fire-irons, and crockery rattle. The ringers heard and felt the tower shake. Persons out of doors heard a dull, heavy, distant report, some say thrice repeated rapidly. The time, according to our country clocks, was 7.30 p.m. An unusually dark morning followed, with every appearance of a heavy downfall of rain.
WHAT IT IS COMING TO. (An extract from the Police Reports of 1865.) William Smasher was yesterday charged with dashing a large stone through the plate-glas* window of Messrs. Rose and Tablecut, jewellers, destroying property to the amount of 15f" and stealing a hand- ful of rings, value 150f. The case having been clearly proved, Dr. Cranky Cracker, the eminent mad doctor, was called, and said that the prisoner was suffering under hallucination. His third cousin had gone out to the gold diggings and failed, and this misfortune had given such a shock to his mind that he had con- ceived an insane dislike of shops where gold was exhibited. The magistrate said that the prisoner must of course be discharged.
Octavius Shanny was charged with having gone to the Exhibition of the Roval Academy, and naving stabbed and cut to pieces Mr. Millais' noble picture of "Aaron and Hur holding up the hands of Muses." Being asked what he had to say, the prisoner made faces at the magistrate. Medic il evidence was adduced to show that the prisoner, about eighteen years before, had bought a coat of Moses and Son, with which he had been for some reason displeased, and that the name of Moses had since been enough to excite him to the wildest acts. The magistrate regretted, that under the circumstances, the police had tax en the poor fellow into custody, and ordered his immediate discharge.
Larry M'Twolter, an Irish lad, was charged with dashing large handfuls of mud into the carriages of ladies who were going to the Queen's Drawing Room. The prisoner showed the lamentable condition of his mind by taking a sight at the worthy magistrate, who said he need not trouble a medical gentleman ready in attendance, and humanely added, "Go away, poor boy but don't do it again if you can help it." The prisoner took another sight of gratitude, and retired.
Janet Drabber, a domestic servant, was charged with beating the infant children of her mistress, and with frightening one of them intents with a hideous mask, because the child, who was in bed, cried, and disturbed a friendly little supper in the kitchen. The prisoner pleaded guilty, but said she couldn't abear children, they were such tiresome little wretches, always wanting something or other." A medical man said that the prisoner's mind had been warped in her youth, by her mother's taking away from her a doll which she had stolen, and returning it to the shop, and from that time she had always hated babies and chil- dren. The magistrate said that for a poor creature not to like eliilclr^ puuishiuent enougu, discharged -the prisoner, and-hoped her mistress would take her back into her service.
Georyc Flmhinyton, a clerk in a bank, was charged with embezzlement. His defalcations amounted to about 1,50M. There was no defence to the case, but Dr. Sneaker Weasel, a practitioner of two years' stand- ing, unhesitatingly declared that the prisoner was not responsible for his actions. The attorney for the prosecution asked whether Dr. Weasel had received or expected a douceur for giving such evidence. The magistrate, with some warmth, desired the witness not to answer, and said that the attorney himself would probably not have attended unless he expected to be paid. Dr. Weasel said that the prisoner had lost heavily by the breaking down of Birch Broom in the Derby, and that the witness knew this, ha\ ing been at the races with him. Coming home, the prisoner said it was enough to drive a fellow wild. The magistrate said the evidence was perfectly conclusive, and dis- charged the prisoner.
Louisa Matilda Fit z mo u ntcharUngtoii, ayoung lady of good connections, was charged with stealing a diamond brooch from the toilette table of another lady who was staying at the same hotel. A chambermaid deposed to having seen the prisoner enter the room stealthily, secrete the article, and glide out. It was discovered in her trunk, which was carefully locked, and had to be forced open, the prisoner refusing to give up the key. Two eminent physicians attended, and certified that they had talked to her, and had no doubt of her being irresponsible. She had no idea as to the consti- tution of Switzerland, believed that diamonds were discovered in a polished state, had never heard of an Artesian well, or of Savonarola, or of the differential calculus, and thought that it was unlucky to begin things on a Friday, or to see the new moon, for the first time, through glass. The magistrate said that it was extremely harsh to bring such a person into a police-court, and ordered her to be let out by the pri- vate entrance.
Jeremiah Grumph, labourer, was charged with setting fire to a stack, whereby the entire farm-build- ings of his employer were burned to the ground, and the lives of several persons lost. Being asked for his defence, the prisoner began, in a rich Somersetshire dialect, to sing— „ What a pity such a vine young veller should go to Bot'ny Bay. The magistrate, with much kindnea?, assured him that there was no fear of that, and asked him how he came to burn the stack. The prisoner was apparently at out to make a rational answer, when a wink from his attorney, Mr. Mephibosheth, recalled him to his proper line of defence, and he shouted— I did it afore his sight, lor, how the chap did stare, For it's my delight on a shining night to make the hay-riclr flare. Medical evidence was about to be called to prove, as we understood, that the prisoner's mind had been fearfully excited about fires ever since an itinerant lecturer had recited in his presence Lord Macaulays poem on the kindling of the Armada beacons; but the magistrate said he should expect and deserve to be mobbed as he went home if he detained such a man, and ordered his immediate discharge. The prisoner asked, very quietly, for money to take him back to the place where he had been in service, and this was. at once given him out of the poor-box. Punch.
HINTS ABOUT AUSTRALIAN EMIGRATION. A meeting of the General Committee of the Victoria (Australia) Emigrants' Assistance Society was held at their office, Bucklersbury, London, on the 15th of January, to re- CeiVfc a report from the sub-committee on the subject of the future operations øf the society. It appears that this society was formed in the month of March, 1863, to assist eligible labourers and opera- tives in emigrating to Victoria (Australia), and gene- rally to stimulate emigration to that cclony; and especially, in the first instance, to supplement a grant of 3,000k mada by tie Victoria Government to relieve the then existing distress in the cotton districts of the United Kingdom by means of emigration to Mel- bourne.. During the past nine months, subscriptions have been received amounting to 9,025/. 5s. 10d. (exclusive of the 5000f. from the government expended under the supervision of Mr. Knight, hon. secretary of the society), and 720 persons have been assisted to emigrate from Lancashire, Scotland, and Ireland. By letters received from the hon. secretary of the Melbourne Immigration Committee, it appears that under the care of the department of the Trade and Customs, the great majority of the-immigrants have been advantageously placed -in employment." It is confidently believed that emigrants judiciously selected will always be able to obtain good situations and; fair wages. The society has expended about 4,500l. in sending, cut the above emigrants, so that the treasurer has in hand at the present time a sum of money which will enable the committee to assist more than 800 persons to emigrate to Victoria. On the 1st of January a new code of rules and re- gulations for introducing emigrants into the colony came into operation, full particulars of which can be obtained at the Emigration-office in Bucklersbury. By these rules, single women between the ages of 18 and 35, qualified for domestic service, will be sent out at the rate of 150 per month on payment of ll. per head, which is to defray the cost of "mess utensils" for the voyage. This class of emigrants are to be sent out by Her Majesty's Emigration Commissioners, 8, Park-street, Westminster. The Colonial Government having thus provided for the emigration of single women, the committee of the Victoria Society have resolved on offering "assisted passages" to married couples and single men, in the following manner — For emigrants from Lancashire and Cheshire. 140 families (with not more than two children each); the society would pay one-half of the passage-money (the cost of passage per adult being about 13l. 14s. 6d). 150 single men; the society would pay 5/. per head towards the passage-money, leaving the emigrant to pay 81. 14s. tkL— For emigrants from other parts of the United Kingdom. Fifty families (with not more than two children each); the society would advance one-half the passage money, the emigrant being re- quired to pay the difference, which will be 6/. 17s. 3d. per head per adult. In ali cases ehildren under twelve will only pay half fares. Satisfactory arrange- ments have been made for the reception of the families at Melbourne. In submitting thu plan to the public, the committee earnestly hope that the various relief committees in Lancashire, and philanthropic and benevolent persons, will aid them in carrying out this proposal. All ape plications for passages, information, or the immigra- tion rules and regulations, should be made in the first instance to F. J. Sargood, Esq., hon. treasurer, 54, Moorgate-street-buildings, E.C. J. G. Knight, Esq., hon. secretary; or to Mr. R. R. Alexander, secretary, Victoria (Australia) Emigrants' Assistance Society, 27A, Bucklersbury, London, E.C.
ALAS FOR POLAND Whatever else there may be of interest in this country, I Would defy the most enthusiastic friehd of Poland to find anything attractive in an ordinary Polish landscape on a dull winter's day (writes the correspondent of the Daily News). I feel it, however, necessary to add, that I say this without prejudice to exceptional districts, such as the neighbourhood of Cracow, where highly picturesque scenery is to be met with. Let the traveller, however, judge of Polish scenery by the aspect presented by the country around Posen in the winter, and he will not carry away a very favourable impression. If he will take the trouble to mount the belfry tower attached to the Town-hall, and look around him, he will be satisfied that, as far as attractive scenery is concerned, at any rate, this por- tion of the grand duchy of Posen has not much to offer. He will see a great expanse of plain, and woodland, dotted, it is true, by numerous villages, but of a most hopelessly unpicturesque character. With difficulty, in some cases, will he distinguish the cottages, with their mud walls and brown roofs, from the ploughed fields which surround them. As a near-sighted sportsman is apt to mistake a cluster of clods of earth for a covey of partridges, so he might take a Polish village, with its brown, round-backed cottages, for a herd of un- known animals grazing. No one cottage, or building of any sort, stands out from the rest, to speak of gra- dation in the social scale of tie inhabitants, or to break the oppressive sensation of monotony conveyed to the mind of the spectator. In vain you look for that air of harmonious variety lent to an English village by the blending of manor-house, rectory, farmhouse, and labourer's cottage into one community. In the vil- lages in the neighbourhood of Posen you 6nd neither C1 urch nor resident minister, -the result of which is that those of the villagers who are unequal to the walk of, in some cases, twelve or fourteen miles there and back to their parish church in Posen, have no op- portunity of religious worship from one year's end to the other, while those who accomplish the distance rarely content themselves with attendance at mass, but in most cases finish the day in the taverns of the city. The more moderate drinkers return home in a cheerful state of intoxication at four or five o'clock, affording infinite entertainment to the chance pedes- trian on any of the roads leading out of Posen. The inveterate topers, on the other hand, who think nothing of swallowing upwards of a quart of raw brandy at a sitting, remain till 9 or 10 in the evening, and how they ever get home at all is a mystery not so easily solved. Nor must it be supposed that the wo- men form any exception to this rule. As they share the field labour of the men, so they think themselves entitled to share their potations, and thus the distress- ing scenes which too often disgrace cottage-life in England, where the drunken husband beats his indus- trious and sober wife on his return home, are obviated by the husband and wife together both drunk alike.
DEATH of the DUKE of ATHOLE, K.T. After an illness of the most painful character, ex- tending over several months, his Grace the Duke of Athole, Knight of the Thistle, and Grand Master Mason of Scotland, expired at Blair Athol on Satur- day. His grace's distressing sufferings from one of the saddest forms of physical infirmity—cancer at the back of the neck, we believe — have attracted the sympathy of all classes, not only in his native county, where he was universally beloved, but in England, where he was little known, his grace having taken no part whatever in political affairs. This sympathy has in the most marked manner been shown lately by her Majesty the Queen, who had been long on friendly terms with the Ducbe?s of Athole. On her last visit to Balmoral the Queen, through womanly sympathy, went out of her route to pay a visit to the suffering duke. With the loyalty of a gallant Scotchman, his grace, to the astonishment of the tenantry and even of hi" own wife, in spite of his sad condition, wel- comed his Sovereign, and received from Royal bps assurances of respect and condolence and knowing that his end was drawing nigh, he bade farewell to his gracious mistress on her leaving the gates of Blair Athol—a chivalrous conclusion of a noble and useful life prematurely brought to a close. He was born in 1814, and the "first gentleman in Europe," George IV., was his godfather. His grace is succeeded by his only child, John James Hugh Henry, Marquis of Tullibardinc, bo- August 7. 1840. educated at Eton, a.qd an omoer In the Guards, who was married a few weeks ago to the daughter of Sir Thomas and Lady Louisa Mon- crieffe.
A TALE FOR THE SUPERSTITIOUS! In the early part of last year the ship Usk was brought back by her captain to Cardiff, the port from which they had sailed, after a six months' voyage without having reached her destination. She was in good seaworthy condition, and the captain told the owners that the reason he had returned was that when he had got as far as Cape Horn he saw a vision on the ocean, which warned him not to proceed any further on the voyage, and that in the event of his persisting both he and the ship would be sent to perdition. A Board of Trade inquiry was instituted into the captain's conduct. The crew were examined, and they spoke of him as a very careful and sober master, al- though somewhat eccentric in his manner and when they found that he had put the ship back without any reason for so doing, the chief mate remonstrated with him, and endeavoured Ito take charge, which the captain resisted by placing him in irons. The captain was examined, and be solemnly declared that, after what had appeared to him, he could not go on. It was the vision of the Lord, and he was bid not to go on. The result of the inquiry was that his certificate was cancelled. A new master was appointed to the ship, and she sailed a second time on the voyage, On Saturday a despatch was received from the British Consul at Coquimbo by the Secretary of the Board of Trade, announcing the destruction of the Usk by fire, while on a voyage from Swansea for Huasco. The ship arrived in lat. 33 S., long. 74° 10, on the 16th of November, on the" morning of which day smoke was observed issuing from the hatches. Four tons of blasting powder were speedily, removed from the hold and thrown overboard, but at 3 p.m. an ex- plosion took place, when the boats were got out and means taken for leaving her. By 7 o'clock she was full of smoke fore and aft, and her head was turned to. wards the mainland, the vessel being got under easy saiL The crew then left her, and on the following morning they saw flames issuing from the after hatch- way and, there being no hope of saving her, the sea- men pulled towards the land. The mate, six of the crew, and a passenger arrived at Coquimbo on the 21st of November, having been picked up by a schooner; and the master and re- mainder of the crew reached Ca'dera on the 24th of the same month. The fire is supposed to have been t. caused by spontaneous combustion.
A LESSON TO REPORTERS AND OTHERS! Under the euphonious title of "Slobbering Loyalty," the Spectator makes, amongst others, the following remarks on the phraseology employed to announce the birth of the Prince of Wales:- On the present occasion, everybody, from the doctors down to the sellers of the broad sheets—except, we are most happy to say, the Prince of Wales him- self—descended into the abysses of fustian. The bul- letin writers of the telegraph may be excused, but the bulletin-writing doctors might know better than to write nonsense about the princess being happily de- livered of a prince," as if the word meant something epicene, or a new species of being. We thought Thackeray had put down this form of imbecility when he sang the ballad of the Duke and Prince Arthurs- Then Mrs. Lily, the nuas, Towards them steps with joy Says the brave old Duke, "Com". tell to us Is it a gal or a boy ?" Says Mrs. L. to the Duke, "Your grace, it is a prince." Anti at that nuss's bold rebuke lie did both laugh and wince. The Prince of Wales himself rebuked this nauseous rubbish by announcing officially to the Mayor of Windsor that the Princess had been safely delivered of a fine boy, and both were doing well He Mt, we doubt not, what flunkeys cannot be made to see, that in great events homeliness is dignity, that when the fate of Germany hung on the birth of a son to the Emperor Frederic, the mode in which Maria Theresa announced the event was more stately than any verbal flourish. She rushed into her box at the theatre, ex- claiming to the audience, "Fritz has a boy and the whole assembly acknowledged, by one burst of emo- tion, their sympathy with her genuineness. Custom deadens the sense of absurdity but change the form just a little, and it will b3 perceived. Imagine the announcement that the Princess "had just been de- livered of a royal highness," or a queen of a being ready equipped with all the titles belonging to a Prince of Wales 1 We do not belong to those who think that tbe ceremonial of the monarchy is unimportant, still less with those who agree with a well-known corres- pondent of Le Temps, that the marriage of the heir to the throne is merely "the wedding of ayoung man to a young woman;" but the child of an emperor at the moment of birth is boy or girl, and no more. To dis- sociate etiquette from nature and common sense is to ensure its ultimate destruction. It _is bad enough to see in the papers the lady of Blank Smith, Esq., of a son," but even the English middle class, except when writing of royalty, do not stultify themselves by the "lady ofBlank Smith, Esq, of a young gentle- man." Yet that is not more ridiculous than the use of prince for boy when the simple object is to mark sex and we do trust reporters in future will take a lesson from the highly-placed gentlemen they think it their duty to beslobber. The Examiner also has an article on the subject, in which it says:— Most cordially do we join in the chorus of congratulation which is still resounding through the country on the late addition to the Royal Family, and, we trust, to the comfort and happiness of the Qneen. But with equal heartiness do we enter our protest against the had language in which this auspicious event has been promulgated. The first announce. ment, indeed which we read in the Times, told us very be- comingly tliatTthe Princess had been delivered" of a fine boy. But to this was subjoined a bulletin, signed by an M D and a surgeon, acquainting us that her Royal Highness was confined of a Prince." Did ever mortal Englishman, educated or uneducated, hear of such an expression 2 We would defy Mrs. Slipslop herself to beat it; and sure we are that the famous Dr. Slop, who ushered Mr. Shandy's son and heir into the world, would have been heartily ashamed of it. Was the word delivered" repudiated as not sufficiently re- flued for these gentlemen ? And yet what expression can be more appropriate, suggestive at once of safety, and of the thankfulness due for the escape from danger ? We always ask ourselves, when reading the fantastic details of the Court movements, what must foreigners think of us ? And in the present instance we blush to imagine the comments on the English reading public who tolerate such trash which must be made by the m: hr strangers to our soil who yet are critically conversant with the Sn^lish tongue. Common sense, grammar, and the real signinedtiaii P* words are all set at nought in the wretched attempt to appear ftbots using the ordinary decent phraseology of our own itill !!n;1 forcible language. Then, again, all subsequent notices of the subject are beaded "Accouchement of the Princess." This is the old story, on which we have heretofore com- mented, of affecting to consider the event too indelicate to be mentioned Itt English, and therefore taking refuge in a foreign tongue, as if, adnUUiog atij Intlelicr.cy to exist, ex- cept in the prurient mind of the woiila-dS 'j'tpiifernist. tji* v idea could be purified and refined by clothing it r!i It is sickening.
WESLEYAN MISSIONARY JUBILEE. On Sunday the Wesleyans of the London district commeiiced the celebration of the jubilee of their Foreign Missionary Society. Largfe Coofrrfesrations sembled in the metropolitan chapels belonging tb ihe Connection, where special sermons were preached by some of the most able and popular ministers of the Wesleyan Methodist denomination. 1 he sermon at the City-road Chapel (the "metropolitan" of the entire Connection) was preached by the Rev. Charles Preet, secretary of the Home Mission and Contingent Fund of the society, and was founded on the 14th and 15th verses of the 31st Psalm :— I said, Thou art my God, and my times are In thlhe hand. The rev. gentleman eloquently and powerfully argutd in favour of a particular Providence, and educed therefrom a strong source of consolation to the Christian believer. The series of jubilee services would continue throughout the present week, and is to consist of sermons, lovefeasts addressed by returned missionaries, &c. The sum! already given or promised to the jubilee fund up to the present time, according to a document distributed at the Wesleyan chapel a on Sunday, have reached the noble sum of 105,0001., and the General Missionary Committee are confident that not less an amount than 150,0001. will be realised when the whole of the jubilee services throughout the king- dom are concluded. Several objects connected with the missionary work will be aided out of the jubilee fund, such as the provision of an institution for the special training and preparation of candidates for the missionary ministry, the colleges of Richmond and Didsbury having become insufficient to accommodate them, as well as the many who are preparing for the work of the ministry at home. It is aleo proposed to appropriate a portion of the fund to the training and employment of a considerable number of native agents in Africa, the difficulties of the African languages having hitherto formed a barrier to the free labour of English missionaries in that continent, and the climate of large portions thereof being very unfavourable to European health and life to the commencement of institutions fortraining candidates in theological/ind biblical knowledge 1U Germany, France, and Italy t to the building of a chapel to the memory of the late Mr. Wesley's coadjutor, the Rev. John Fletcher, at his native town of Lausanne to the sending of 50 addi- tional missionaries to India and China, chiefly in the Mysore territory and the valley of the River Yang- tze, and to provide more fully for disabled missionaries and missionaries' widows and orphans. Great interest is evinced by the Methodist public in the promotion of these important objects, and there is but little doubt that the most sanguine expectations of its promoters will be abundantly realised.
SKATING AT PARIS. *• The Paris correspondent of the Morning Post in writing of the amusements of the French Court, says:— Skating is becoming a courtly amusement beyond the ice-bound regions of the north. While Royal Highnesses are skating in England, Imperial High- nesses are skating in France. It will henceforward be necessary that persons, from chamberlains down to powdered footmen, should know how to dance attend- ance not merely in withdrawing and reception halls, but on the slippery frozen floors of lakes and ponds. On Sunday a new set of courtiers and house- hold servants surrounded their Imperial Majesties, who again honoured the small lake of the Bois de Boulogne. The weather was pleasantly cold. In addi- tion to the usual park company assembled on such occa- sions, the waters were surrounded by a number of the fashionable world, who evidently expected the Imperial party, the Court circle arriving about 3 o'clock. Alreaidy the skaters had mustered pretty strongly. There were German, English, American, and one or two French ladies gliding about with men companions, aDd there were sledges driven swiftly onwards by cavaliers of the iee, containing those of the fair s.-x who were born in days when the ladies of France did nothing gymnastic but dance. How shall I describe the skating modes of Paris ? Most of the fair creatures wear a pretty round hat, with a red or white wing, or feathers, and a veil which invites the curiosity of youthful imagination. Any gay. coloured jacket, of any cut, «W»«ted with any d.åpC>ion of fur, is allowed and very pretty it is to observe the animated patchesofred, violet, blue, white, and black dartingaboutamidthegloomy greatcoats and uglyhats and caps of the men. But to continue my des- cription of the ladies' costume. Nowcomeathe difficulty —to describe the toilette, costume, dress, robes, modes —how ought it to be called?—of what comes below the jackets, the casaques, polonaises, paletots—how ought such things also to be called? Well, that portion of female covering which begins after the waist, and in our day assumes awful proportions before ithides the feet,isin the ice modes of Paris drawn up in festoons by unseen mysterious mechanical aid, leaving (and here again I feel a difficulty) very visible nearlya whole pair of stockings, which may be red or black, or—if I dare use the word in such a place— fancy." Then come the Polish boots, and then the silver skates. My limited descriptive powers are happily no longer required; but if such enchanting toilettes do not lead to holy matrimony, men's hearts are frozen as well as the waters of the Bois de Boulogne. Skating, it should be observed, in the Parisian polite world is only beginning to be fashionable. The Emperor no doubt learned to skate in Switzerland and England; but where did the Empress learn to glide over the ice so gracefully ? Dressed in a pretty black costume, and appearing delighted with the sport, Her Majesty several times, accompanied by two gen- tlemen, not in waiting, but in going, skated among the moving multitude, while the little Imperial Prince and heir to the throne was showing the crowd of spectators on shore that he had already become familiar with this slippery world and its accidents. I
DEATHS OF CENTENARIANS! 1 Among the many deaths of old persons which have occurred during tbe recent very severe weather may be mentioned that of Mrs. Sarah Lee, an inhabi- tant of Alton, who was bomat Lasham, in Hampshire, on the 3rd of May, 1759, and was consequently in the 105th year of her age. This extraordinary woman, whose maiden name was Trimmer, married in 1779 a gardener named Peter Lee, of Bentwortb, who died about 30 years ago, leaving her with three daughters, of whom one died some months since in the Isle of Wight, being upwards of 80, and the other two a few years previously. After her husband's death Mrs. Lee resided at the Wheatsheaf Inn. Alton, with her grand- son, Mr. Pointer, the landlord. Up to the period of her death Mrs. Lee retained possession of her mental „ faculties, and had suffered but little from illness of any kind. She was accustomed to do her own shopping, and when walking out never required the aid of a stick. Her sight was remarkably good, so that she was able to dispense with the use of spectacles, and it was only a short time before her death, which took place on the 4th inst., that her powers of vision began to diminish. On her attaining the a<re of 100 years a supper was given in celebration of the event, and this custom has been continued on each succeeding birthday. The family to which Mrs. Lee belonged appears to be re- markable for longevity, her grandmother having reached the age of 102, her brother 96, and a nephew is now living at Andover who appears likely to rival his deceaseaaunt, being 94 years of age, and of vigorous h ibifc. Mrs. Penn diedatherresidence at Innerleithen in her 107th year, on Thursday evening (says the Scotsman). Deceased was in several respects a remarkable person, and has long been widely known, not only in this locality, but throughout a considerable part of the south of Scotland. She was born at Port Glasgow on the 31st of December, 1757, but when quite young she accompanied her family to Edinburgh, where she re- sided about 60 years, staying first with her father, Mr. M'George, a baker, who presided as Master of St. Stephen's Lodge of Freemasons, Edinburgh, on the occasion of Burns being installed as its poet-laureate. She afterwards opened a shop for ladies wares in the Royal Exchange, which she kept for a number of years. She declined all offers of marriage till she was upwards of 60 years of age, when she gave her hand to Mr. Penn, builder, Edinburgh, whom she has survived 18 years. Shortly after her marriage Mrs. Penn removed with her husband to Innerleithen, where she has since resided. Dating her birth from the reign of George II., she wM personally cognisant of many events which are known to those of the present day only as matters of history and she was wont to tell numberless stories of the Edinburgh worthies of the olden time. She saw the ships of the notorious John Paul Jones retire from the Forth in 1779, and was present at Kirkcaldy when the celebrated Mr. Shirra offered up his now historic prayer for tempestuous winds to defeat the object of that pirate's mission. She witnessed the burning of the Roman Catholic bishop's dwelling-house, and other buildings in Edinburo-h, by the populace in 1780 and for a time <- she keptas relics some trifles which she picked up from among the ruin=!. When a girl she walked once or twice from Glasgow to Paisley to hear the famous George Whitefield; and she afterwards made the acquaintance in Edinburgh of his contemporary, the still more famous John Wesley. Throughout the whole of her long life she never had a professional visit from a doctor, having stoutly refused to accept of medical attendance to the last. She was able to walk in her garden till the approach of the present winter. when her health began to give way. Her mental faculties, which were naturally good and had been well cultivated, remained unimpaired till tne end, except that during the last few weeks her mind occa- sionally wandered a little.
To the above we may add the following account of "A Centenarian Heroine," from a New York paper :— Mrs. Catherine Shepherd has just died at Hudson, New Jersey, upwards of 100 years of age. Her father was Jacob Van Winkle, a descendant of one of the original Dutch set- tlers there. Her husband was a soldier From a steeple at South Bergen she saw the Bntish fleet take Dossession of New York, and the British army march- ing to Philadelphia. The British soldiers hung her father because he would not give them up his money, and after leaving him for dead, she cut him down and restored him to life. She risked her life in carrying a message to the American commander at Belleville to warn him 01 a night attack from the British forces, by which she saved the American troops from destruction.
A JACOBITE RHYME REVIVED. BY A MUDDLED STUDENT OF THE NEWSPAPERS. Bless Holstein's rightful King, the State's defender, Bless,—there's no harm in blessing the Pretender. Which the Pretender is, and which the King, Blest if I know; that's quite another thing.-Puncft. I