Our jumkn ComspoitDmt. [We deem it right to state that we do not at all tfvmz "ilentlIy ourselves with our Correspondent's optniona.J Like a thunderbolt from a summer sky the news of the defeat and resignation of Mr. Gladstone's Ministry fell upon the country. The Government, with such a mighty majority only five years ago, has been broken to pieces like a potter's vessel. The Liberal absentees, whose votes would have saved the Administra- tion, have been taken to task for not having been at Westminster on the night of a critical division but the truth seems to be that the case is an illustration of the fable of The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf." One vote of censure after another had in the course of three months been beaten off—one by the narrow majority of only 14; still, there it was. So between fifty and sixty Liberals remained away, feeling that the Government was perfectly safe. An adverse majority of 12 was a rude re-awakening, and we have the singular spectacle of a change of Ministrv within a few weeks of the death of a Parliament which will be prorogued only to be dissolved. Under these circumstances the coming general election will be regarded with greater interest than ever. Will the country decide to give the Conservatives a fair trial, or will it again give place and power to the Liberal party ? It will be borne in mind that each of the last three general elections has reversed the verdict of its predecessor. On this reasoning there would be a Conservative triumph. But the great constituencies have been so cut up into divisions that it is impossible to say how local influences will affect the result in the Parliamen- tary elections. Again, two millions of new voters have been added to the registers, and no mortal man can predict with safety how they will exercise the franchise. All is uncertainty, which can only be ended by the verdict of the people. The Ministerial crisis has spoilt the Queen's holiday, but her Majesty has too much sense of her public duties to hesitate as to the course to be pursued. Her Majesty would have preferred not to come to Windsor till after the Ascot week, which is late this year just as the Derby was late. But the Queen's Government must be carried on, and the Sovereign, therefore decided to return to Windsor as early as was practicable, to receive the resignations of the outgoing Ministry, and to hand the seals of office over to the new one. Only once before during her long reign has the Queen been at Balmoral in a Ministerial crisis, and that was in 1866, when Earl Russell's Government was de- feated on a point of detail in connection with the Reform Bill. Then, as now, Mr. Gladstone announced to the House of Commons the resigna- tion of Ministers. If history were made out of the lines on the placards of the London evening papers, the com- pilation would be a remarkable one. A few weeks ago" Declaration of War" appeared in immense type, while" expected" was printed very small. The same with Great Fire," in such letters as to suggest the Houses of Parlia- ment. A confiding speculator, on purchasing the journal, discovers that there has been a con- flagration in New York, the intelligence of which has been conveyed in a three-line telegram. But "The Inventions Exhibition in Flames" is the latest specimen of ingenuity and exaggeration. There was a fire at the Indian Museum, which for the time created considerable alarm, but the Inventions Exhibitions was practically unin- 1 jured. The Royal road to learning was well illustrated on the night when, in the presence of a dis- tinguished assembly, Prince Albert Victor was called to the bar and bench of the Middle Temple. The young Prince, like his father, is popular, and no one should grudge him such dis- tinctions if he cares to have them. The splendid hall of the Middle Temple is historically famous from the fact that it was there Queen Elizabeth was accustomed to hear Shakespeare read his plays. The Middle and Inner Temple Halls are well worth seeing and so are the gardens just now. The Benchers have thror/n these open from six to nine o'clock in the evening, and they are the resort of hundreds of poor children from the immediate neighbourhood, to whom it is the only open space of grass land to be seen. The benchers of Lincoln's-inn have been often memorialised to throw open for a limited num- ber of hours daily the vast square known as Lincoln-inn's-fields, but thus far these efforts are without success. The line weather, coming so soon after the heavy rains, has been very welcome to cricketers, and the condition of the ground is now splendid. The struggle for the county championship this 19 year will be a keen one. Surrey commenced the season very well, and up to the present they have lost only one match. This was against Gloucestershire, whose victory is all the more creditable when it is considered that they were unable to play their strongest team. Notting- ham, last year's champion shire, have so far been beaten in one engagement, but last year their record was all victories. They have lately defeated an all England eleven by an innings and forty-six runs, but the latter was by no means a represen- tative team. Two of the most prominent absentees were Mr. W. G. Grace and Mr. W. W. Read, who were unable to be present as they had to play for their respective sides at the Oval. At the end of this, or the beginning of next month, Oxford and Cambridge and Eton and Harrow will meet at Lord's, and decide two of the greatest and most fashionable events of the season. Hospital Sunday in London is always the second or third Sunday in June, when the town is full and the season may be called at its best. This year appeals were made to 1600 congregations, p "I and the sum expected to result is about :£48,000. This is of course a considerable sum, but no more than might reasonably be anticipated from the vast population of the metropolis. The work of the committee of appropriation is often a thankless one. Some of these great institutions of the capital get nothing from this fund at all simply because they do not want it—Guy's and St. Bartholomew's for instance. Others which are not endowed, and depend on voluntary con- tributions, would like much more than can be allotted to them. On the whole however the work is performed to the satisfaction cl- all. G. R.
A LETTER FROM THE MARDI. News from Cairo, dated June 15, says A letter has been received here from the Mahdi in answer to the communication which Lord Wolseley addressed to him offering to exchange the relations of the Mus- sulman leader, who are now imprisoned at Wady Haifa, for the Europeans whom the Mahdi captured and has since held in durance. The Mahdi addresses Lord W olseley in the following manner: "I advise you, and your Staff, and your troops to become Mussulman, and to abandon your expedition, else you must meet the fate of Hicks and of Gordon. The Europeans who have become Mussulmen are happy. I love them mere than I do my brothers. I will never exchange, even if you cut me in pieces." The Mahdi encloses in his letter another letter bearing the signatures of ninety-six Europeans and European Mahommedans, stating that they are perfectly happy. Among the signatures figure the names of Lupton Bey and Slaten Bey. It is believed that the Mahdi himself dictated the letter, which arrived at Dongola yesterday. Its contents were wired here. The mes- senger who brought the letter states that the Mahdi is still at Orndurman.
An impatient Welshman calLd to his wife, Come, come, isn't breakfast ready ? I've had nothing since yesterday, and to-morrow will be the third day!" This is equal to the stirring housewife, who aroused her maid at four o'clock with Come, Bridget, get up Here, 'tis Monday morning, to-morrow is Tues- day, the next day's Wednesday-half the week gone and nothing done yet!
THE MINISTERIAL CRISIS. The disastrous division on the Customs duties which last week brought about the resignation of Mr. Gladstone, was attributed in some quarters to the laxity of the Government Whips, with the result that Lord Grosvenor published the following defence of himself: There appears to be an impression that only ordinary efforts were made by me to give sufficient notice to our supporters in the House of Commons that their attendance in the House would be urgently required on Monday evening. The public will be able to judge from the following statement of facts what grounds there are for this impression. By Friday's evening post a special four-line whip, of which the following (1) is a copy, was sent to the country address of every M.P. who was not in town on that day, with the exception of two or three members, who according to expectation would not support the Government in their Budget proposals. A similar whip was sent to the town address of every M.P. who was in London. This was received by them in due course by the first post on Saturday morning. On Saturday morning I telegraphed (A) to every absent member whose whip could not reach him in sufficient time by post to enable him to return in time for Monday evening. On Monday morning a four-line whip (2), of which a copy is enclosed, was issued in the usual manner, and on the same morning before noon I telegraphed to, every member who was still absent from town, and who could by any possibility return in time, in the following terms Pray be up this evening without fail; ten o'clock will do.' The whips were printed on the ordinary-sized note-paper, the larger size being only used when there are either two subjects to be mentioned or the smaller size will not contain the necessary information." No. 1. MOST IMPORTANT. Your attendance is most particularly requested in the House of Commons on Monday next, June 8, when Sir M. Hicks-Beach will move his amendment to the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill. June 5, 1885. R. GROSVENOR. (A) TELEGRAM DISPATCHED SATURDAY MORNING. Please be here without fail on Monday evening. Most important division on Hicks-Beach's amend- ment on Budget Bill. No. 2. MOST IMPORTANT DIVISION. Your attendance is most earnestly and particularly requested in the House of Commons on Monday, June 8, on Sir M. Hicks-Beach's amendment on the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill. R. GROSVENOR. LORD SALISBURY UNDERTAKES TO FORM A CABINET. The resignation of Mr. Gladstone having been accepted by the Queen, Lord Salisbury was sum- moned to Balmoral. His lordship left London on Friday night. The Queen's messenger arrived in London from Balmoral on Saturday morning, and drove at once to Downing-street with her Majesty's despatches, which were, without delay, placed before the Prime Minister. At Balmoral on Saturday Lord Salisbury accepted, at the hands of the Queen, the task of forming a Con- servative Cabinet, in which he will hold the office of Prime Minister. The acceptance took place without conditions, and Lord Salisbury, who alighted at Hat- field on Sunday morning, came to London on Monday for the purpose of conferring with Sir Stafford North- cote in the first instance, and afterwards with other leading colleagues. Sunday's Court circular contains the subjoined: "The Marquis of Salisbury had an audience of the Queen previous to leaving Balmoral, and has accepted office." The correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, describ- ing his lordship's return journey, states Lord I p Salisbury left Balmoral Castle about two o'clock on Saturday afternoon in one of her Majesty's carriages for Ballater, where he joined the Queen's Messenger special train, and arrived at Aberdeen at half-past four. There a considerable crowd had assembled. His lordship, when he alighted on the platform, was met by Sheriff Irvine, of Drum, convener of the county, and Colonel Innes, of Learney. There was a hearty cheer raised as he passed along the platform to join the south-going mail train, which left at 4.40 p.m., and reached Perth at 7.15. Here another crowd had gathered, and his lordship, in passing to the refreshment-room, was enthusiastically cheered. Having dined, he departed by the East Coast train, being again loudly cheered. At Grahamstone Sta- tion, near Falkirk, there was a similar demon- stration. A stoppage of five minutes was made, during which calls were made for A speech," but the noble marquis simply bowed his acknow- ledgments, and the train moved on amid renewed cheers and slight hooting, mingled with some cries of Gladstone for ever." His lordship reached the Waverley Station, Edinburgh, at about a quarter-past ten o'clock. There also a crowd had assembled in expectation of his arrival, and upon the train drawing up he was enthusiastically cheered. He was met by Mr. J. H. A. Macdonald, Dean of Faculty, and former Conservative Solicitor-General. His lordship, on leaving the railway carriage, walked arm-in-arm with Mr. Macdonald to the east refreshment-room, followed by the crowd, who cheered and waved their hats. The throng hastened into the refreshment- room, which was soon filled, and there were cries for A speech," but the marquis retreated into a side- room, where he had tea. When he left the refresh- ment-room his lordship was again cheered, and fol- lowed to his carriage, where the crowd remained till the train left for the South at 10.40. The recep- tion was most enthusiastic throughout. Again at Berwick there was cheering, and calls for Salis- bury," but his lordship made no appearance. The remainder of the journey was without incident until the train arrived at Hatfield, where it was specially stopped in order to allow his lordship to alight. He at once proceeded to Hatfield House in a carriage which was awaiting him. The arrival being quite un- expected, except by the railway officials, scarcely any persons were on the platform when the train drew up. A hearty cheer was, however, raised by those pas- sengers who recognised the noble Marquis as he left the station. In anticipation, doubtless, of his return Lady Salisbury and family went down to Hatfield from London about midday on Saturday,while Mr-Beresford- Hope,M,P.,whoisrelatedto the noble marquis by mar- riage, also proceeded there in the course of the even- ing. Mr. A. J. Balfour, M.P., Lord Salisbury's nephew, and formerly his private secretary, who bad also been communicated with by telegram from the north, travelled to Hatfield by the train leaving Iiing's-cross at five minutes after midnight on Satur- day. During Sunday communications with leading members of the Conservative party passed between London and Hatfield through the medium of special messengers. In the course of the morning Mr. Henry I Manners (son of Lord Joha Manners), who is Lord Salisbury's private secretary, arrived at Hatfield, and, after a prolonged interview with the noble marquis, returned to town by the 2.35 p.m. train. He imme- diately proceeded to Sir Stafford Northcote's hcuse in St. James's-pluce, and subsequently Mr. Rowland Winn, the Conservative whip, bad an interview with Sir Stafford, as bad also the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, Lord Rowton, Mr. E. Stanhope, and other well-known Conservative leaders. On Saturday afternoon Mr. Gladstone, accom- panied by Mrs. Gladstone, drove to the residence of a friend at Coombe, near Kingston, whence he re- turned on Monday. Other members of the late Government were at their various offices on Saturday, but were chiefly engaged in making ready for the advent of their successors. With regard to the « amount of support which the new Administration j may expect to receive from their predecessors in | office, it is stated that two prominent members of Mr. Gladstone's Government have declared that Conservative Members will obtain no guarantees from them, but must be prepared to face the diffi- culties which they have brought upon themselves. According to the Press Association considerable difference of opinion prevails amongst the Radical party upon this point. Somo independent Radicals do not conceal their intention to criticise very closely in Parliament the doings of any Conservative Govern- ment which may be formed. The more general dis- position, however, among the rank and file of the Radical members is to use their influence in favour of giving fair play to any statesmen who may be called upon to conduct public affairs during the short interval which will precede the general election. CONFERENCE OF CONSERVATIVE LEADERS. The Marquis of Salisbury arrived at his town residence in Arlington-street shortly before noon on Monday from Hatfield. Mr. A. J. Balfour, M.P., who had left by an earlier train, met Lord Salisbury at King's-cross and accompanied him from the station to his residence. Shortly after their arrival Sir Stafford Northcote and Mr. Rowland Winn, the senior Conservative whip, called at Lord Salisbury's house, and were followed in quick suc- cession by the Earl of Carnarvon, the Earl of Harrowby, Sir R. Cross, Viscount Cranbrook, Lord John Manners, Mr. W. H. Smith, Sir Michael Hicks Beach, the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, and Lord George Hamilton. The meeting, at which it is understood the Conserva- tive leader explained to his colleagues the nature of the communications he had had with her Majesty, and discussed with them the conditions upon which he could carry Gut the Queen's commands to form an Administration, lasted nearly two hours. Lord Salis- bury subsequently communicated with her Majesty by telegraph. Mr. Gladstone arrived at Downing-street on Monday morning from Coombe Warren, and had an interview with Sir Henry Ponsonby, who was stated to have been the bearer of a further communication from her Majesty. Contrary to expectation, Lord Salisbury was un- able to be in his place in the House of Lords at the brief sitting which took place prior to their lordships adjourning until Friday next. There was no unusually large attendance when the House met. The front Oppo- sition bench was occupied by;the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, the Duke of Northumberland, Viscount Cran- brook, the Earl of Harrowby, Earl Beauchamp, and Viscount Bury. On the Ministerial bench were Earl Granville, the Earl of Derby, Earl Sidney, the Earl of Rosebery, and Lord Monson, while among the other peers present were the DukesofDevonshire and Somer- set, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishops of Winchester and Carlisle. Apparently there was some hesitation as to what the course of procedure should be, and Lord Monson crossed the floor of the House and conferred with Lord Cranbrook. When he had returned to the Government bench Lord Cran- brook rose and moved the adjournment of the House until Friday, on which day he observed Lord Salis- bury hoped to make a statement. Lord Granville briefly assented, and a few minutes later the House rose. DIFFERENCES SETTLED. The Press Association states that both in the metropolis and throughout the country the fact that Ministerial affairs continue in a perplexing state of suspense has rather quickened than diminished public interest in the political situation. The suspense has been somewhat relieved by reports which encourage the expectation that Lord Salisbury will be able to form a Government. The internal difficulties which were known to have arisen are now said to be in a I fair way for settlement; but it is admitted that there remain others of a lese personal nature which have yet to be surmounted. It is believed that thes e will eventually be overcome, but at present no definite and final announcement can be made on the subject. LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL AND LORD SALISBURY, In view of Monday night's division in the House of Commons—when the Fourth Party and Sir Michael Hicks-Beach led a minority against Sir Stafford Northcote—special significance is attached to the fact that Lord Randolph Churchill was the first visitor at Arlington-street on Tuesday forenoon. His lordship (who is said to have been requested to call), drove up in his brougham at eleven o'clock, and remained rather more than an hour in consultation with the Marquis of Salisbury, whom he left at a quarter-past twelve o'clock, driving direct to the Carlton Club in Pall Mall. It was somewhat hastily and unreasonably assumed says the Central News, that Lord Randolph Churchill went to Arlington House in the spirit of a penitent, and prepared to do penance for his absence from Tue3day's conference, and for his Parliamentary misbehaviour on Monday night. This, however, was very far from being the case. Lord Churchill has throughout the crisis had a strong belief in the soundness of the views which he has consistently pressed upon the attention of his leader and colleagues. His confidence has been greatly strengthened within the past few days by the numerous communications which he has received from Conservative associations throughout the country, as- suring him of the support of provincial party organisa- tions. A well-known politician, known to enjoy the confidence of the member for Woodstock, declared with considerable emphasis to a representative of the Central News who waited upon him on Tuesday morn- ing, that Lord Churchill was quite strong enough to make terms even with Lord Salisbury, and that he would not accept office in a Conservative Cabinet under present circumstances except upon conditions which he considered to be indispensable to the well- being of the party. The Central News was informed later on upon the same authority that the interview between Lord Salisbury and Lord Randolph Churchill was of a fairly satisfactory character, that each party manifested a give and take disposition, and that in consequence all serious obstacles in the way of the formation of a Conservative Ministry have been, or will be, very speedily removed. THE QUEEN'S RETURN TO WINDSOR. The Queen, accompanied by the Princess Beatrice, left Balmoral Castle at two o'clock on Tuesday after- noon, driviag to Ballater Station in an open carriage. When the Royal party reached Ballater there was a considerable crowd both inside and outside the rail- way station, And the Queen was received with a hearty cheer as she passed along the platform to the London and North-Western Company's saloon carriage which had been specially provided for the through journey to Windsor. Her Majesty was accompanied in the saloon by the Princess Beatrice. A second saloon car- riage placed in front was occupied by the Princess Leiningenand anotherjn the rear by the children of the Duke of Connaught, with some members of the suite. The train left Ballater at ten minutes to three o'clock, and ran over the Deeside line without stoppage. Ferry Hill Junction, near Aberdeen, which was the first stopping-place in the journey, was reached at 4.21, or a minute before time. Fine weather prevailed, and at Ferry-hill a large crowd had assembled. After a stay of five minutes, during which the care of the Royal travellers 'vas transferred from the Great North of Scotland Railway to the Caledonian Rail- way and the London and North-Western Railway officials, the train moved off southwards, passing through Perth early in the evening. On previous occasions when travelling south her Majesty has made a stay of one hour in order to partake of dinner, but last night the train was timed to stay only five minutes at Perth, and dinner was served in the saloon carriages. The train was, however, delayed some time, and did not leave until 7.17 p.m., owing to her Majesty having to answer several telegrams which were handed her at Perth. A basket of roses and another of lilies of the valley from Sir James Richardson, of Pitfour Castle, were placed in the Royal carriage. A great many people were inside the station, and her Majesty repeatedly bowed to the crowd as the train left. The train reached Windsor on Wednesday morning. A PEERAGE FOR SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE. It was reported on Tuesday night that the original reluctance of Sir Stafford Northcote to occupy a seat in the House of Lords has been overruled, and that the right hon. baronet has been prevailed upon to ac cept a peerage. The post in the new Administration which he will occupy has not yet been settled, but it is said to be practically decided that he will not be Foreign Secretary, as bad been fore-shadowed. More probably he will be offered either the Lord Presidency of the Council or the Privy Seal. Of the elevation of Sir Stafford to the Upper House, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach will become Leader in the Commons. The Central News says speculation was busy during Tuesday evening with the probabilities of the creation of a number of Conservative peers. Several pames have been mentioned with more or less confidence. It has already been decided that Sir Stafford Northcote, Mr. W. H. Smith, and Sir Richard Cross will go to the Upper House. REFUSAL OF A PEERAGE BY MR. GLADSTONE. It is authoritatively stated that the Queen has graciously intimated to Mr. Gladstone her wish to offer him an Earldom, in recognition of his services to his Sovereign and his country; but that, while gratefully appreciating her Majesty's gracious inten tion, the right hon. gentleman has asked to be allowed to forego the high honour which her Majesty was ready to confer upon him.
What does this mean ?'' asked a scholar, who had been scanning some lines written by a friend. Oh," said another, it doesn't mean anything. It is poetry."
THE CHOLERA IN SPAIN. } FLIGHT FROM INFECTED DISTRICTS. A Reuter's telegram, dated Madrid, June 15, evening, says five fresh cases resembling cholera and one death occurred in Madrid to-day. Telegrams from Valencia state that during the last 24 hours only two cases of cholera have been registered in the capital, but there were 48 cases and 27 deaths in other towns of the province. Intelligence from Murcia reports 40 fresh cases and seven deaths in the city, and 12 cases and four deaths in the neigh- bouring towns. The returns from other places in the province are incomplete. Another telegram, dated June 16, says: In the province of Castellon yesterday, there were 80 cases of cholera and 60 deaths. Later reports from Murcia announce 64 fresh cases. There had been 39 deaths in that city, and in the province 50 cases, of which 16 proved fatal. It is calculated that over 30,000 persons have fled from Murcia in order to escape the t cholera. The Official Gazette of Madrid publishes a declaration confirming the existence of cholera in Valencia, Castellon, Murcia, and Madrid, and stating that official bulletins are to be issued daily during the prevalence 0; the epidemic. The Opposition news- papers regard the above declaration as not justified in so far as concerns Madrid, and maintains that the number of suspicious cases has been too few to estab- lish the prevalence of cholera in the capital. Tele- graphic communication with Madrid has been delayed by heavy rains.
GREAT FIRE AT WHITELEY'S. A fire broke out a few minutes before six o'clock on Wednesday morning at Westbourne-grove, Bays- water, London, upon the well-known premises of Mr. William Whiteley, and although a score of the engines of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, under the imme- diate direction of Captain Shaw and his chief officers, were quickly called up and worked most assiduously for five hours, the outbreak could not be subdued until three large buildings, each of five floors, had been completely gutted, and three others very seriously damaged by fire, heat, and water. The first alarm was raised at ten minutes before six o'clock, when it was discovered by a policeman that there was a strong fire raging in the lower part of the block in Westbourne-grove proper, comprised in the shops numbered 37, 39, and 41. These shops formed part of the extensive linendrapery and millinery branch of Mr. Whiteley's business, and contained property of the most valuable description. The firemen who are kept on and outside the premises were soon on the spot, and without the least delay got the hose attached to two or three of the private hydrants on the building, and were soon engaged in pouring water upon the (lames. It was quickly seen by them, however, that the fire with which they had to deal threatened to prove of as destructive a character as the three which have preceded it on the same spot in the last three years, and messengers were accordingly despatched to the Paddington Station, at Paddington- green, and to ring the fire alarm call in Queen's-road. The alarming call which the Paddington firemen re- ceived for Whiteley's shops alight in Westbourne- grove was immediately transmitted by Mr. Penfold, the engineer, to the superintendent of the district, Mr. Palmer, at the district depot in Westminster, and was forwarded thence by telephone to Winchester House, Southwark Bridge-road. Thus three of the chief authorities of the brigade were made acquainted with the serious character of the outbreak in a space of time to be measured by seconds, and the experience which had been gained by the preceding outbreaks at Whiteley's, as to their serious nature, induced Cap- tain Shaw at once to order on all possible aid to the scene. As it was, Superintendent Palmer had turned out the steamers from Westminster, Fulham, Brompton, Chelsea, Hammersmith, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Notting-hill, North Kensington, St. John's-wood, and Hampstead, as well as Regent- street and Portland-road, and these engines arrived on the spot in rapid succession. It was found by the time that three standpipes were pouring water on the flames, in addition to the four hydrants, that the whole of the three shops were thoroughly ablaze, and that the flames were rapidly attacking the upper floors of the building. The flames bad burst through the front of No. 41, where the clock outside has stopped at 6.2. The chief officer, therefore, turned out three more steamet's from each of the outlying districts, ordered on the steamer from headquarters, as well as the American and Extension ladders, and proceeded himself in the hose van to the fire. So rapidly did the flames spread among the dry and inflammable stock that at half- past six o'clock not only had the whole of the three buildings become ablaze from top to bottom, but the show rooms, extending some 60ft. in the rear of the main buildings on the ground floor, and the contents had also become involved, and the flames were curling towards the buildings on either side. The iron doors that have been placed in the buildings since the last fire seem to have had little effect in checking the progress of the fire. Captain Shaw got the steamers to work in Westbourne-grove and the adjoining thoroughfares, and 18 steamers were at one time throwing water on the fire. The fierceness of the flames was remarkable, and the efforts of the brigade seemed for a long while to have little or no effect. In fact, there was every appearance of the conflagration assuming still more enormous pro- portions. The immense crowd of people who had by this time gathered were kept away from the scene of operation by a large staff of police, under Mr. Howard, the district superintendent, Superintendent Foinett, and Chief Inspector Giles. The firemen worked with great energy, and from every possible standpoint-from the adjoining roofs in Westbourne- terrace, to which the hose was carried up, from Kensington-gardens-square, in the rear, and from Douglas-place, as well as from the front. At about half-past seven o'clock, when it was reported to the chief officer that the Jtire had run to the premises in Douglas-place, and had there caught the upper floor of a building of three floors, the most serious appre- hensions were entertained. The sparks were flying in myriads, and the heat from the burning mass was intense. By dint, however, of remarkable energy and carefulness on the part of the firemen, and the continuous working of the large force on the spot, it was found, by eight o'clock, that the fire was in hand, and in three-quarters of an hour from that time it was completely subdued. The damage done by this time was enormous. The block which had first caught fire was gutted, and the adjoining premises had sustained very great damage. Mr. Whiteley, who arrived on the spot from Finchley while the fire was at its height, on being questioned, stated that the stock on the premises which had been burnt was altogether uninsured, but that the buildings were covered by policies in several offices. He can- not ascertain any particulars as to the origin of the outbreak, and he estimates his loss at considerably over £ 100,000. As soon as the fire was subdued the officials of the Fire Brigade were engaged in drawing up an estimate of the damage, and at midday the following official report was issued by Captain Shaw, C.B.: Called at 5.50 a.m. to Nos. 31 to 55, Westbourne- grove, Bayswater; premises owned and occupied by William Whiteley, universal provider; cause of fire unknown; contents and buildings insured in the Westminster, Lloyd's, Equitable -of Paris, Sun, and others. Damage-Nos. 37, 39, and 41, buildings of five floors each, and contents, and showrooms, extend- ing on ground floor, and contents severely damaged by fire and heat, rest of buildings and contents damaged by smoke and water (all adjoining and com- municating) Douglas-place, ditto, a building of three floors, about 85ft. by 25ft., upper floor ana contents burnt out and roof off, rest of building and contents damaged by fire, heat, and water."
A SPORTING CAPTAIN'S BANKRUPTCY. The case of Captain N. N. Winter was before the Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday, when a meeting was held for public examination, the bankrupt being described as of Duke-street and Junior Army and Navy Club, St. James's. He states that his debts were returned at £155H, and assets nil; also that his only income consists in his pay of 7s. per diem, and that he has been also dependent upon his relatives and friends. He attributes his difficulties to losses on the turf, and to the heavy amount of interest charged by the petitioning creditor. He pre- viously filed a petition for liquidation in 1880, under which he paid a composition of 2s. 6d. in the pound. Mr. Aldridge appeared for the official receiver; Mr. Brough for the petitioning creditor; and Mr. Nash for the bankrupt. Upon examination the bankrupt stated that his only occupation had been that of betting on horse races. He had been the manager of a betting syndicate in Albemarle-street, which consisted of himself and two others. He retired from the syndicate about October last, after losing his money, and the business was now beiag carried on by the other two members. His Sonoir allowed the bankrupt to pass his examination. J
A RUSSIAN SQUADRON THREATEN- ING A BRITISH SQUADRON. Advices received at Plymouth on Monday from Yokohama state that when the mail left great excite- ment prevailed there in consequence of the action of Admiral Crowan, commander of the Russian Squadron in Japanese waters, on May 9th. As three ships of the British-China Squadron-the Agamemnon, Sap- phire, and Swift—were entering the port Admiral Crowan ordered to beat to quarters to bring his guns to bear and have torpedoes in readiness for an engage- ment. There was no collision, but the sensation produced induced the senior captain of the English Squadron to demand an explanation. It was then stated that the Russian admiral suspected that from the persistency with which his squadron had been followed sinister intentions were entertained. The facts have been communicated in detail to the Home Government.
EXTRAORDINARY STORY BY A "GENTLEMAN" HAWKER. On Tuesday, at the Marylebone Police-court, William R. Carr, 29, of gentlemanly appearance, giving the address of 33, Regent-square, Gray's-inn- road, was accused of hawking pictures from house to house in the Grove-end-road, St. John's-wood, with- out a license, and attempting to obtain monev of Mr. William Yeames, of 4, Grove-end-road, of Mr. David Wynfield, 14, Grove-end-road, and of Mr. Philip Calderon, R.A., of 16, Grove-end-road, bv producing letters purporting to come from Princess Louise, Lord Derby, and others, to enable him to leave the country. Mr. W. F. Yeames, 4, Grove end- road, said he was an artist. The prisoner called on him on that morning and showed him several letters, which he asked him to read. He also said he had the reproduction of a picture by an old master for sale. He was in great distress. He had been in an asylum, but. had recovered, and his friends had advised him to make an effort to collect some money to enable him to emigrate to Aus- tralia. The prisoner then produced several other letters which he told him bad come from the Princess Louise, Lord Derby, and others. Witness told him he was sorry for him, but he never gave assistance in such cases unless he received a letter from a personal friend recommending the case, and the defendant left the house.—Cross-examined, the witness said the prisoner did not ask him for money he only asked him to purchase a picture.—Mr. Philip Calderon, artist, of 16, Grove-end-road, said his ser- vant came to him that morning and said that a gentleman from Mr. Norman Shaw, the architect, had called and wanted to see him. On entering a sittir.g-room he found the prisoner, who in the course of conversation said that he had been in an asylum for two years, and that in consequence of that he found it difficult to get a livelihood. His friends, he said, had advised him to go to Australia, and with the object of raising funds for that purpose he was selling some pictures. He pro- duced a letter which contained the names of many professional gentlemen known to witness, who represented to have purchased pictures of him, and added that Mr. Yeames bad that morning bought of him a photograph. The prisoner did not ask him for money, and he did not purchase anything of him. The prisoner, addressing the magis- trate, said this was an attempt to mak" a catspaw of the police, so as to interfere with a peacable and struggling citizen bent on earning a honest living. For the last two years he had been suffering from the effect of the loose state of the lunacy laws. The fact was he was kidnapped. Under the pretence that he was entitled to some property he was asked to meet two solicitors at the house of a well-known member of Parliament. These solicitors, who turned out to be doctors, just signed some papers, and then he was told that it was necessary that they should all go to an estate office to settle the business. They got into a coach and pair, and when he reached an establish- ment at Peckham he was told that it was a private asylum, and he must remain there. Owing to com- munications he made to persons outside he was removed to Stratford, where he was for two years. During that period he made his escape twice, and when taken back the last time the authorities, in order to make him mad, put him into a place occupied by the worst of lunatics. But he kept his mind engaged, and so escaped the baneful influence. Knowing that he would be sure to escape again, they got him away at three o'clock one morning, and took him to Liverpool, with the object of smuggling him over to America. But they made a mistake by getting him on to the wrong vessel, and on coming ashore again he was rescued, for the White Star Line Company declined to convey him—they refused to lend themselves to any such proceedings. He managed to secure his liberty, and since then he had had the greatest pos- sible difficulty in getting a living to the best of his ability. The sale of these pictures was one of his honest endeavours. Her Majesty the Queen—God bless her—had bought five of his pictures, and so had other great personages. It was his only means of getting a living. Mr. De Rutzen remanded the accused for a week, and offered to admit him to bail in two sureties of X5 each, or one surety in £10. The prisoner said be bad four guineas with him, which he was prepared to deposit, if the magistrate would allow him out on his own recognisances. He would be sure to appear next week. The application was refused, and the prisoner removed.
SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT ON THE NEW MINISTRY. Sir William Harcourt addressed, on Tuesday evening, a crowded meeting of Liberals of London and the neighbouring counties at St. James's Hall. He ridiculed the idea that the Liberal Government fell by its own act, declaring that there was not a word of truth in the statement. Referring to the representation that it fell by Irish whisky, he said he was not sorry that issue had been joined between the two great parties in the State. The Tories were em- barrassed by the mischievous rubbish they had been talking, and he condemned the language of Lord Ran- dolph Churchill and Lord Salisbury with reference to Russian advances, contrasting it with the words in which Mr. Disraeli spoke on the same subject. A Tory Government in a minority could do little or nothing, and could be easily kept in the right path, and he promised the future Government that if they laboured for peace as their predecessors had done they should have his cordial support. The Tories might squabble about their leaders, but the Liberals had no dissensions about theirs. Their flag was still flying at the main, they were mobilising their forces for the great campaign, and they would fight it for the old cause and for the old man." Under that flag and in that name they would appeal to an enfranchised nation, and would go forth conquering and to conquer, and they would yet place on the honoured head which the Tories bad defamed, insulted, and reviled the worthy crown of a final victory. The right hon. gentleman, in resuming his seat, was loudly cheered, the entire audience rising and waving hats and handerchiefs.
HUsccSlmtwras IntcIKgttttf. HOME- FOREIGN, AND COLONIAL. A NEW BIRD.-An American naturalist, At. E. M Bringham, has announced the discovery of a four-footed bird on the Anabiju river, in the Island of Marajo, at the mouth of the Amazon. Curiously enough the bird (Opisthecma cristata) is four-footed only in early life, and after a few days one pair develop into wings. The bird resembles a pheasant, and frequents the beds of I- aninga," a semi-aquatic aroid with large leaves, which grows in dense masses in the low, flat, muddy margins cf the island. The cigana," or gipsy, as it is called by the natives, builds its nest in the anicga, and rarely flies from its peculiar haunt. THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS.—The additions to th Zoological Gardens during the past week include a squirrel monkey, from Demerara, presented by Mr. T. C. Edwards-Moss; a common badger, from Derbyshire, presented by his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, K.G., F.Z.S.; a common badger, from North Wales, presented by Mr. T. W. Proger; two common hedgehogs, a common viper, from Norfolk, presented by Mr. T. E. Gunn a chattering lory, from Moluccas, presented by Mr. H. D. Astley, F.Z.R.; a red-crested cardinal, from South America, presented by Miss Hyrzan; a white- tailed eagle, from Perthshire, presented by Mr. H. Tennent; a Manx shearwater, a puffin (British), pre- sented by Mr W. Graham, F.Z.S.; an Egyptian moni- tor, from West Africa, presented by Mr. H. Denny; an African lepidosiren, from African rivers, presented by Mr. Cornelius Alfred Malony, C.M.G.; two slow- worms (British) presented by Mr. F. J. Guy a sharp- nosed crocodile, from Jamaica, deposited; a collared fruit bat, an axis deer, a hybrid Luhdorf's deer, a Burrhel wild sheep, two triangular-spotted pigeons, a variegated sheldrake, a herring gull, twenty spotted salamanders, thirty plurodele newts, bred in the Gardens.! •*> -=:! PAPER FROM SEAWEED.—A Japanese inventor has discovered a means of making paper from seaweed. It is thick in texture, and from its transparency can be substituted for glass in windows, and when coloured makes an excellent imitation of stained glass. CORN AVERAGEs.-The following are the average prices of British corn for last week, as received from the inspectors and officers of Excise: Wheat, 33s. 8d.; barley, 30s. 2d.; oats, 22s. Id. per imperial qr. Corre- sponding week last year: Wheat, 37s. 4d.; barley, 28s. 3d.; oats, 21s. 5d. ROYAL BOTANIC SOCIETy,-At a meeting of this society, held on Saturday, Lord Aveland, vice-presi- dent, in the chair, the following candidates were balloted for and elected Fellows Mrs. W. F. Ball, Mrs. Brodie, Mrs. Byas, Mrs. Cur wen, Mr. Philip Phillips, F.Z.S. Miss E. W. Hatch, and Mrs. R. Holmes White. POISONING BY A CARPET,-Such an event is a rare occurrence, yet a New York lady recently had an un- pleasant experience of this kind. She bought a green carpet, and whilst making it to fit the room was seized with most violent illness, declared at once by the doctor to be severe metallic poisoning. The carpet has been sent to a Government chemist for analysation. A NEW ALPINE Four.—The French Government, acting upon the repeated and strong representations of their military counsellors, have determined to erect a new fort upon the Alpine frontier. It will be to the south-east of St. Michel de Maurienne, and will be built on the well-known telegraph mountain," which is about 5370ft. above the level of the sea, and will completely command the Val des Valloires. The work will be taken in hand at once, and a vote of 1,000,009 francs has been taken for the first expenses. INTERNATIONAL INVENTIONS EXHIBITION.—Among the recent additions to the historic loan collection is Queen Elizabeth's lute (lent by Lord Tollemache of Helmingham), which was left by the Queen in 1584 at Helmingham Hall, Suffolk, where it has been preserved until the present day. The lute is in an exceptionally fine condition, and bears the maker's name, JoanneS Rosa Londini fecit. In Bridewell, the 27th of Julý, 1580." The number of visitors to this exhibition for the week ending June 13th was 140,909- Total since the opening, 785,216. A NOVEL POSTAL AGENT.-Last autumn a bookseller named Meyer, of Ronneburg, tied a water-proof label under the wing of a swallow which had occupied a nest at his house, and had become comparatively familiar- On it he wrote a query in German, to the effect that he wished to knew where the swallow would pass the winter. The bird returned to its former nest bearing an exchange label similarly fastened saying, in GerioaB also, in Florence, at Oastellari's house, and I bear manv salutations." LAST WEEK'S WRECKS.—Eleven British vessels (in- eluding two steamers with a total tonsaageof 3653 tons)' were reported as actual shipwrecks last week, the- foreign vessels numbering thirteen. Six British and » small foreign vessel sank off the British Isles, including two (British) by collision. An American sailer sank- by collision off Japan two British vessels abandoned at sea. Four (two British) reported with all hands- Total wrecks for year 518. GENERAL GRANT.—The condition of General Grant is unchanged, excepting that of late he complains of sleeplessness-chiefly caused by the mental strain r0* sulting from several hours' daily labour upon his book This work is finished, save that the final proofs have still to be corrected. His family is arranging for tbe sending of his gifts and relics to Washington, and tb« Secretary for War has sent an officer to New York to, receive there. KOMAROFE'S SWORD—The sword of honour whic»j the Emperor of Russia has presented to Genera* Komaroff is described as being a magnificent Its shape is that of an old French sword: the blade iS made of Damascene steel; the scabbard as well as the hilt is of gold between the chased ornaments on both sides of the scabbard there are rows of jewels, and a the upper end of the sword there are clusters of six of seven large diamonds. At the lower part of the scabbard are engraved the words," For valour," 8110 surrounded by precious stones. Further ornaments io the shape of roses formed of jewels are set in differen places. VICTOR HUGO.—The following is an anecdote Victor Hugo, as told by his secretary, M. Lesclide: £ charitable lady, Madame Paul Meurice, used, during siege of Paris, to distribute the poet's alms, many gifts of her own, to the necessitous during tha. trying time. She came one day to tell Vic*? Dg Hugo of a poor woman whom she had found. 1 the most wretched state of destitution, and mediately received from him a hundred francs for the alleviation of her needy protegee. A hundred franc; even with siege prices, could be made by care to g° long way, and the poet was accordingly somewhat S<ir prised when next day Madame Meurice told him Louise was as badly off as ever." What about tl* handred francs of yesterday ?" Ah, tha francs. She has given them away to poor mothers?*; little children starving of hunger and cold." "GcOQtbl here is another hundred francs upon the tion she keeps them for herself." Is it only on tjjjv condition he gives them?" said Louise on hearing message. "Exactly." "Then you may take back. Thank Victor Hugo for his good intentions, which I am grateful." Mdme. Meurice was eva& rassed. She dared not take the money back to Vw Hugo, and so handed it unconditionally to the' stinate Louise." The obstinate Louise was no other tD Louise Michel. NEW BANK-NOTE.—An entirely new kind of note, printed in colours instead of the black and w »of of the Bank of England notes, is being prepared issue by the Bank cf Scotland. The promise to paf. 3 the body of the note is surrounded on two of its si<* by a broad ornamental band, and or the other two by a border in which the value of the note is printed great number of times. On one border the seal # counter seal of King William II. of Scotland printed in brown on a yellow ground, and between ~L( are the Royal arms on a blue ground. On the 11 P.P^ border are the arms of the bank in brown on a Je- ground, with the date of the establishment of the b» 1695. The chief novelty of the new note is ,B colours, which will of course make reproduction photograph^ impossible, and it is believed will forgery. The paper on which the new note is PrIiLg« is made by the same firm as produces the Bank of land note paper.—" Printers' Register." .tjg PUBLIC RECORDS.—Ths 45th annual report of j Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, drawn up the direction of the Master of the Rolls, and preseD^ to Parliament, contains a mass of curious informal t as to the proceedings in the Public Record Office, the year 1883. Among other things an account is of the progress made during the year in making similes of national manuscripts and other docum^g by the process of photozincography, and calendars. The volumes of calendars published in were the seventh volume of the Calendar of ry and Papers, foreign and domestic, of the reign of Be,u& VIII., for the year 1534; the 10th volume of Calendar of Domestic State Papers during the Com110 wealth, the fifth volume of the Calendar of Papers, and the second part of the fourth volume of Calendar of Letters, Despatches, and State Papers iP, lating to the negotiations between England and Spa of including the years 1531-3. Six additional the series of Chronicles and Memorials of Great and Ireland during the Middle Ages were Pu^Hlct1' during the year. The researches made in foreign ments and the investigation of the Canadian ar are also referred to, as well as the amount of bugJ done in the Search Office, and other matters. jjj AN EXPLORER'S TRAVELS.—An Indian explorer? the employ of ihe Indian survey, has returned I j four years'journey in Thibet, during which he eVe 'of year in Lhasa, the capital of Thibet, and the R0130 Buddhism. Before this traveller only four in this century have visited Lhasa. Hue and the French missionaries, were driven from the forty years ago, after living there a few ir,0lltjer Moorcroft was killed after he left the city, and aD^ayg' traveller was permitted to remain there only a feW He says the city is crowded with temples, and Vatican in the monastery at Patola, where the V 0 £ Lama lives, who is regarded as the incarnati° Buddha. The building is surmounted by fiv'e cupolas, which, when sparkling in the sunlight, T'r a dazzling spectacle. It contains numerous jjj one of which is 70 feet high. During the the middle of February the Thibetans gather at from all over the country to pay homage to all the and goddesses who are supposed to be present.$ eeremonies last about a month, at the end of wh'c, f0( the citizens are considered to have become pur another year. e \t NATIVE LITERARY PRODUCTIONS IN INDIA.—FIOJ}0' a steady increase year by year in theEe pro d;nC *>oS! he last annual report shows oecided progress in ijjjg departments of literature, and gives some uiterCgpC information respecting the popular taste in Presidencies. Thus the Madrassees are of a Vs9 turn, and prefer such subjects as gardening, crerIjrl(3ed' &c.; while the Bengalese are more and produce various works on music and PalI'f more particularly a collection of the opinionsjgba/ tinguished European writers on Hindoo irusic. also chooses music and agriculture, provides na of Socrates. Shakespeare, and Garibaldi, and Guzerati work, The Attainment of Happi'9sS J autobiography of an Englishman who abstalne othef eating meat and drinking spirituous liquors. 03P rova curiosities of literature are a Tamil effort to i of t the native feminine condition—an accoun 0ud> gradual progress of women from their primhlV jvjjjged tion in savage life to their elevated state h1 0* society," a quaint Drdit periodical, The No rjjnd0? Coquetry," full of poetic extiacts, and a joV.e, o* pamphlet, a description of the sentiment j*1 ,Qei •<* the six seasons and of a woman from top to poem to commemorate the brilliant succes p British Army in Egypt, The victorious flagkaStiC. tory," sounds somewhat as if it was wrote sa