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Ulrfrojiolitiw gossip.


Ulrfrojiolitiw gossip. BY OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. (The remarks under this head are to be regarded as the ex- Dre-sion of independent opinion, from the pen of a gentleman mora we have ths greatest confidence, but for which we 1..vortheiesa do not hold ourselves responsible.] There is no such thing in August as politics," said Mr. Disraeli the other day, addressing a party of excursionists at Alton Towers, and most people will feel inclined to agree with him. And per- haps it is just as well that it is so. We have had quite enough politics during the session that has just closed, and party spirit has not run so high for years. It is a relief to turn from great public questions and pay attention to the minor social problems of the day, which are perhaps of even more importance to our happiness than those great questions which come within the domain of politics. Certainly to that ubiquitous individual "the general reader," newspapers now become far more interesting than they are during the season. The world does not stand still because Peers and Commoners take holidays. Still the strangely similar and yet ever varied tale of human life and death goes on. Accidents and offences, crimes and casualties, facts and rumours, peDny-a-line mysteries and sober narratives, assaults and roboeries, burglaries and murders-these never stop and, with all the vast machinery of our well-regulated press, perhaps they are not half recorded. For myself I know no more interesting reading than a well edited newspaper during the so-called dull season, and I doubt whether this opinion is a singular one. The statement that both Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Lowe intend to visit Ireland before Parliament again meets has not been contradicted, that I am aware of. Be the fact as it may, it would be desirable if our statesmen generally would make themselves better ac- quainted with Ireland in the country itself. The Times has been reminding us that a Land Bill for that coun- try has long been promised as the measure which the ministry will put foremost next session, and that the promise will have to be redeemed. The leading jour- nal has begun to call particular attention to the sub- ject by sending a special commissioner to that coun- try to inquire into the land question. It is remarkable that, in connection with these articles, The Times deals with the subject in such a way as to make its difficulties almost appalling. Great as they are, how- ever, it is believed that Ministers will endeavour to grapple with them, and we may look forward to stormy discussions. Meanwhile it is said that some members of Parliament—Mr. Mill, Mr. Fawcett, Mr. Jacob Bright, Sir H. Hoare, and Sir C. W. Dilke among them—have formed, or are forming a society to col- lect information and disseminate opinion on the land question generally. Altogether the subject bids fair to become a very prominent one. The best wishes of the country go with Prince Arthur on his trip to Canada, where he is to join the Rifle Brigade. The visit will tend to increase the oyalty of the already loyal Canadians, and he will be received none the less heartily for their reading that just before leaving us he joined in a game at cricket at Osborne, in the presence of the Queen and several members of the royal famils. True, his Royal High- ness only scored two runs in his two innings, but it is refreshing to see royalty, for all that, jJining in a national sport, on equal terms, with ordinary .mortals. People who take a keen interest in politics will pro- bably look forward with anticipations of pleasure to the publication of Sir Henry Bulwer's "Life of Lord Paimerston." The private diary of the late eminent statesman has been discovered. "All his great con- temporaries figure in it, and they are said to be drawn by a bold and masterly hand." If this be so it is an additional proof of the wenderful industry of the de- ceased nqjjleman, and bears out the statement made I during his lifetime that almost as a rule he would be occupied for hours after the rest of his establishment had gone to rest in writing in his private room. Whatever may be thought of the advisability of having genuine working men as members of Parlia- ment, no objection can be urged to the steps which a new association, the Labour Representation League, is taking to lea l to that result. A council consisting of thirty-two "leading" working men, has been formed, and it is now proposed to form branches of the league throughout the country, and thus acting upon public opinion. This is legitimate enough. The new society will probably find that their greatest difficulty will be the pecuniary question. While there is such a dearth of female employment in the mother country, it would be well if domestic servants would turn their attention to Canada, the United States, and Australia. It has frequently been shown of late that in Canada girls who have been sent out by Miss Rye or some emigrantion society, have been engaged as servants at good wages immediately on their arrival. In the States there is still a great de- mand for "helps," and they have a much easier time of it generally than domestic servants in our own country The Melbourne Argas tells us that in Aus- tralia female emigrants do not remain long out of employment, and that thirty single young women being offered for domestic service at the Emigration Depdt, were engaged within half-an-hour at from were engaged within half-an-hour at from jSI5 to £;30 a year. Add to all this the greater chances —in fact almost the certainty—of young women getting hurbands if they wish and it is suprising that our philanthropists and social reformers at home do not make greater efforts to promote the emigration of unemployed young women. Indirectly, and from considerations that will at once present themselves to the thoughtful reader, the subject is of great im- portance. Some of the journals, enlarging on the statements of correspondents, are dealing severely with the would-be practical jokers who make fun of people who arrive at our ports in a state of sea-sickness from crossing the channel. We are told, for instance, that crowds as- semble -1 the Boulogne boat is seen to approach the toast, and when the gangway is thrown across, and the procession of tottering washed-out ladies and pallid gentlemen defile feebly from the vessel, the joy of the assembly in the jubilant spectacle becomes exuberant, and finds vent in audible remarks, ironical addresses, and hilarious bursts of laughter;" and a great deal more of the same sort. There is some exaggeration in all this, but no little truth. It is not now for the first time that the subject is mentioned indeed it crops up annually about this time of the year. I have crossed tie channel scores of times, and have never noticed anything deserving such strong language as that I have quoted, though milder reproof would certainly be applicable. The visitors to watering-places make a Kabit 0f going to nee t.he. boat come in," and amongst them are occasionally some who act in the way des- cribed, or nearly as bad but these people are the ex- ception. You may also observe the same thing in Boulogne and Dieppe, but—it is the English visitors, and not the inhabitants, who indulge their stupid and unfeeling merriment. This is not gratifying to our actional vanity, but it is the simple truth. Reference to this fUfttter reminds me how strangely the channel service is maiWJed in regard to the size and accommo- dation of the steamers. They are all pitiably small in regard to the demands made upon them, and the steamers between Folkestone and Boulogne are posi- tively disgraceful. If the steamers were larger and more commodious there would not be so much sea-sickness. As no remedy for this distressing malady has yet been dis- covered (unless ice applied to the spine be regarded as one, and no one has the courage to try that) it would be a great boon if there were accommodation for lying own on deck. To lie down is universally admitted to be a palliative, and sometimes a preventive, but the wretched little cabins are so stuffy and hot that the "air is enough to make one sick. I believe there is no practical difficulty in the way of larger steamers, and as the Channel traffic increases every year it is a great pity the experiment is not made. A high-class musical periodical, the Choir, urges the advisability of Government taking the necessary steps t<j afford musical education to all classes, and asks whether it would not be possible to do this by inaugu- rating the national grant to the Royal Academy of Music, and enlarging its scope so as to make it a really national school. Considering the way in which the nation's money is squandered on comparatively useless objects, the suggestion is a good one but on the other hand it can scarcely be said that the want of such an institution as the Paris Conservatoire or the Leipzig Conservatorium is much felt in our own country, where facilities for musical education abound. At a time when the accounts of the Napoleonic fetes in France are being read with interest, a re- markable statement in the Daily News is worth referring to. Sunday last has been spoken of throughout France as the centenary of the birth of the first Napoleon, and, alluding to this, the journal mentioned says, that when he rose to power he post-dated his own birth by two years, in order to make it appear that he had been born since Corsica had become a French possession. This fundamental fable, which makes Napoleon the Firct a coeval in yars with Wellington, and fixes riis birth in August 1769, when in fact it took place in 1767," &c. The question thus raised is worth solution, but it would require more time for research than I have at command. Haydn's Dictionary of Dates ought to be an authority, and in that repository of facts I find this entry "Napoleon Bonaparte, born at Ajaccio, in Corsica, Aug. 15, 1769." Heweston's Life of Napoleon gays, "Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the 15th of August, 1769, at Ajaccio," &c. Russell's History of Modern Europe records that Napoleon Bonaparte was born at Ajaccio, in Corsica, on the 5th of February, 1768;" and in a note it is added, "This is one of the many historical events of which the correct date is not given, even in works enjoying the highest reputation. Napoleon's object in stating that he was born in 1769 was because at the actual period of his birth, Corsica had not been incorporated with the French monarchy, and he was not therefore a French citizen." All this is rather puzzling. The critics should set to work to decide when the first Napoleon really was born. Great progress is being made with the Tower Sub- way. Two-thirds of this new Thames tunnel are finished, work is being done at the rate of about nine feet a day, and it is expected that the tunnel will be opened for traffic before the year dies out. This is in marvellous contrast with the Thames Tunnel (now closed) in the construction of which eighteen years were spent, and it shows how much we have progressed in engineering during the last quarter of a century. The new subway will be a great boon to the immense population on either side of the river, as an omnibus tramway will form part of the arrangements. The report of the select committee on salmon fisheries has just been published. It states that the committee, having been unable to complete their inquiry, agree to recommend their own re-appoint- ment for next session." That is rather cooL



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