SOME FOLK, There are people so cross grained that they wouldn't like things even if they suited them exactly. A RAIN OF WORMS.—The St. Petersburg Gazette tells us that no little commotion was lately occasioned in some of the southern portions of Finland by a report that large quantities of gray and brown worms were being found in the fields and meadows, and especially on knolls slightly raised above the surrounding snow and ice. This was the case especially in the districts of Pukis, Pemar, and Kimito, and it was said that the masses of worms were so great that the peasants collected them into heaps, and burnt them. They believed them to be ghostly enemies of the husband- man, which had descended in the rain to injure the tillage. A scientific examination of several examples that were sent to the University laboratory at Helsingfors showed that they were not worms at all, but larva; of insects. The brown masses were larvae of the running beetle (carabicider), and the more abundant gray masses of the larva; of the tipula, both useful insects that make war on others which are injurious to the young shoots. These larvae do not fall with the rain from the clouds, but come out of the ground, particularly when the winter has not brought much snow, and creep about, clinging together in clusters, when the frost is moderating. It is reported that similar appearances were noticed in Aland about the end of January, when the weather was very mild.
ESCAPE OF ELEPHANTS AT A RAILWAY STATION. In London, on Sunday afternoon, the usually quiet neighbourhood of Kentish Town was the scene of extraordinary excitement. The well-known establish- ment of Messrs. Sanger and Sons had been advertised to give performances at Agincourt-park, leading out of the Mansfield-road, which unites Gospel Oak village with Lower Hampstead. A special train conveying the troupe of artistes, a portion of the large equestrian establishment, and four of the five performing elephants arrived at the Kentish Town Station of the Midland Railway at 1.4;") p.m. The artistes having left the train at the passenger platform, the trucks containing the horses and elephants were drawn round to the cattle platform. These trucks were ranged alongside the plat- form but it being necessary for the elephants to be taken out at the end of trucks, some sleepers were laid down between the end of the carriage and the yard, over which the two elephants, known by the names of Jim and Rose, which were in the nearest truck, safely walked, and were quietly ranged in the station yard, getting a welcome supply of water after their journey. The sleepers were then removed to form a passage- way between the first and second trucks, so that the two elephants in the latter (known as Palm and Ida) could cross over and be landed as the first were. They had reached the front carriage, and preparations were being made for their disembarkation by removing the sleepers that had been placed between the trucks to the end of the first carriage, as before. Whilst this was being done one of the sleepers was accidentally thrown, and the noise of the fall so frightened the two elephants that were waiting that they leapt over the intervening space — some four feet — rushed through the open gateway in the yard to the front fates, which were closed, in their headlong flight nocking down one of the keepers, named Charles Miles, whose collar-bone was dislocated. These front gates aro very massive and heavily framed, but as Ida, followed y Palm, charged the gates these gave way instantaneously, and broke off from the solid hinges as if made of matchwood. As soon as they reached the open they started along the Highgate- road, knocking over an unfortunate pedestrian who had not time to get out of the way. Happily lie was more frightened than hurt, as ho was seen to get up and run away, leaving his hat behind him. Pursuing their course along the Highgate-road, they presently left the main thoroughfare, turning to the right by the Vine public-house, which is close to College-lane. Here there was a knot of people, and in their hot haste to get out of the way, one of the party was knocked down and trampled on, not by the elephants, but by his friends, with the result of a broken collar-bone, it is said. The lane which the elephants had strangely selected for their route is very narrow, and terminates at the Highgate road Baptist Chapel in Carroll-road. Here Palm and Ida attempted to get over the chapel boundary wall. In this they were foiled, and, rushing along the com- mencement of Carroll-road, they turned to the right into Twisden-road, knocking down a child, who is re- ported not to have been seriously hurt. Coming out from Twisden-road, they proceeded up Chetwynd- road, and when they reached the top which leads into Dartmouth-park-hill they crossed over to a fence, which encloses a private road, Cathcart-hill. This fence they soon cleared, and at the bottom of Cathcart- hill proceeded along Junction-road, until they arrived just opposite the tramway stables, when they turned down Francis-terrace. This is a cul-de-sac. At the bottom, however, there is a closed passage which leads into Pemberton-terrace, between Nos. 29 and 31. The boarding of this passsge, in width about 6ft., was got over, and on their arrival at the other end they continued their course until they reached a flight of steps, which gave way under their weight, precipi- tating first Ida and then Palm into the cellar. Here they were stuck fast, and a large crowd, as may be supposed, soon assembled. The other two elephants —Jim and Rose-were sent for to draw them from their place of confinement, and in the meantime, after about one hour's working, the pavement was removed, and an incline made from the cellar. When this was completed, the keepers had provided themselves with a supply of bread, which they broke up and gave to the elephants, who quietly walked up the incline and allowed themselves to be coupled by the chains which they wore. They were then led to the camping- ground at Agincourt-park.
BICYCLES AND TRICYCLES. In London, the other evening, Mr. Vernon Boys, of the Royal School of Mines, lectured at the Royal Institution on Bicycles and Tricyles in Theory and in Practice." After speaking of the rapidly-increasing interest taken in cycling from health, scientific, and touring points of view, lie proceeded to point out that the principle of wheels of cycles is different from that of ordinary wheels. The toy known as the gyro- scope was used to illustrate rigidity caused by rota- tion. When the disc of the gyroscope is rotating rapidly the ring supporting it is so rigid in position that it cannot be thrust aside by the finger. A thin steel ring that can be bent when at rest cannot be bent with the same force when in rotation. A cycle wheel in rapid movement can bear almost any amount of pressure in its own plane, whilst a lateral thrust will readily destroy it. Three rows of spokes have been introduced to meet this, the two outer being at rather wide angles to bear such strain. Spiral spokes are for strength, taking the place of rigid ones. In tricycles the difficulty always has been in going round curves. By models it was shown that in no relative position can the wheels get round a curve if the two drivers are parallel. Hence the need of the two driving wheels being free and independent, and the many devices that have been invented to effect this. To obviate friction on axles small balls are introduced in the bearings, and experience shows, contrary to ex- pectation, that these wear away to such small extent that they are practically indestructible. Many new forms of cycles were alluded to, and the lecturer spoke of the amount of accurate study now being given to a subject by many thought trivial, while the rapid progress already achieved makes it impossible to guess what the future of cycling may be.
SOLILOQUY BY A TOPER.-The public always notice when you have been drinking, and never when you are., thirsty.
LORD HARTINGTON'S MILITARY POLICY. The Broad Arrow says that a reactionary policy is not always susceptible of condemnation, and a reactionary Minister must at least receive the credit of his courage. Lord Harrington's military policy has been in a conspicuons degree reactionary but there is this to be said in favour of both policy and Minister, that the one was felt to have become necessary, and the other to have acted in no spirit of antagonism to his immediate predecessor. The Broad Arrow made this clearat the time whilst disposing of the flimsy and absurd superstructure which supported the reports of dis- agreements at the War Office. Lord Harrington met Parliament at a time most critical for the British Army. Recruiting was stagnant. Men were passing into the Reserve. Battalions were practically disap- pearing melting out of sight. By a stroke of the pen the Secretary for War last Session abolished short service, thus reducing the outward flow into the Reserve; he relaxed theagelimitat which recruits might enter the army, he reduced the physical qualifications of stature and chest measurement, and he improvised a bounty to induce re-enlistment into the Foot Guards. Events have happily justified this policy on the part of the chief of the War Office. We took occasion just before the close of the Recess to predict that when the recruiting year terminated it would be found that Lord Harrington's changes would be justified by the result. This prediction has been confirmed. The army, so to speak, has been stiffened." The report of the Inspector-General of Recruiting for 1883 shows that by the close of the year General Bulwer will have to provide no fewer than 38,327 recruits of all arms. To accomplish this there must be a weekly average of 737 men enlisted. So far, the recruiting has been satisfactory, inasmuch as the number of recruits enlisted since the commencement of the year has been a weekly average of over 800.
THE WAR IN THE SOUDAN. In a telegram dated Souakim, Sunday, the special correspondent of the Daily Nevjs says:— Osman Digna is at Harroy, near Tamanhid, with small contingents of from 50 to 400 fighting men each, representing nine different tribes. The latest reports confirm the earlier ones that only two thou- sand to two thousand five hundred follow Osman Digna, and that the demoralization among the clans continues. However, none of the tribes have re- sponded to General Graham's proclamation, in which he has promised pardon and enjoined them to sepa- rate themselves from Osman. The Sheikh Mahomed Ali says that the Maharah tribe is certain to make submission. Osman has written to the Sheikh El Morgliani a letter, in which he accuses the latter of being more Christian than Mohamedan. A report from Trinkitat brought in yesterday states 11 y that a battle had taken place round Kassala, in which a considerable number were killed on both sides, but it is uncertain whether the story refers to the later or earlier phases of the rebellion in the Kassala district. One of Tewlik's soldiers, who has just arrived, says that the rebels tore to pieces Tewlik's body, and in accordance with a superstitious notion, devoured his liver. The same man, who passed near Osman's camp, asserts that Digna has four guns and upwards of a thousand Remingtons, with a large quantity of ammunition. Osman Ligna, in his dispatch to Morgliani, writes that the latter, if he were loyal and wise, should rather endeavour to convert his English frielldsto the Mohammedan faith that lie and his followers hope to drink the blood of the Egyptians and their aiders and abettors; and that the present, being a time of great depression in religious faith throughout Islam, is the very time in which the Mahdi is destined to appear. The letter is signed by fifteen sheiks, besides Osman Digna. Under date Khartoum, March 7, the correspondent the Times writes:— On learning that an emissary of the Mahdi was at Shendy attempting to stir up the people there to revolt, I asked General Gordon to kindly give me his views on the situation. He answered There is nothing further to be hoped for in the way of quieting the people than has already been ae- complished, and there is a certainty that as time ad- vances the emissaries of the Mahdi will succeed in raising the tribes between this and Berber. This is not owing to disaffection, but to fear caused by the pronounced policy of the abandonment of the Soudan, which policy has been published by sending down the widows and orphans, and the Cairo employes from Khar- toum. We cannot blame them for risingwhenno definite sign is shown of establishing a permanent Government here. Except by means of emissaries the Mahdihas no power outside of El Obeid, where he distrusts the people and also the Bedouins around. He is a non- entity as to any advance on Khartoum, but all-power- ful through his emissaries when backed with the pro- nounced policy of abandonment without establishing a permanent Government. General Graham's victory is a glorious one, and if followed up by an advance of about two squadrons to Berber would settle the question as to this place, for the people between there and Khartoum would not think of rising. Zebehr Pasha should be sent to succeed me. With these squadrons and Wood's Invincibles should advance a regiment, or it should go to Dongola, while 100 British troops might make a Nile trip to Wady Haifa and stay there for two months. This would settle the question, for when the Nile rose, with the Berber black troops and those of Khartoum, which I would bring up, I could deal with the rebels on the Blue Nile and open up the road to Sennaar. Then I would take out the Cairo employe s, and Zebehr Pasha would put his own men there. I would evacuate the equatorial Bahr Gazelle pro- vinces, and hand over the troops to Zebehr Pasha, who would before the end of the year finish off the Madhi. "As for Zebehr Pasha's blood-feud with me it is absurd, if a subsidy be granted him for three years dependent on' my safety. As for Zebehr's slave- dealing offences they are bad, but not worse thap those of Ismail and other Turks, for the thief is no worse than the receiver. Be sure of one thing. If her Majesty's Govern- ment do not act promptly Genera. Graham's victory will go for nought, and with the useless expenditure of blood the effect of it will evaporate. I do not believe we shall send any more telegrams, for it is no longer a question of days, but of hours. I am dead against the sending of any British expedition to reconquer the Soudan. It is unnecessary. I would not have a jingle life lost. It is my firm con- viction that none WUltl I be lost by the plan I pro- pose, and our honour d be saved. I like the people in rebellion a^ ch as those who are nOl; and I thank God that far as I am concerned no man has gone before h aker prematurely through me." These remarks of t io General I elicited when I perceived his great an iety as to the state of affairs here—an anxiety not for himself but for those whose safety is dependent on his action in this matter.
ATTEMPTED DYNAMITE OUTRAGES IN FRANCE. On Saturday an infernal machine intended for the Count de Paris was discovered at Lyons. The cir- cumstances of the case are reported as follows: On Friday evening a small box, twenty-five centimetres long, eleven centimetres wide, and five ce: 'metres high, was brought by a commissionaire to a receiving office of the Paris, Lyons, and Mediterranean Rail- way for despatch to Paris. It bore the address, Monsiegneur le Comte de Paris, at his residence, 57, Rue de Varennes, Paris." The name of the sender was given as M. Becker, Rue des Feuillants, Lyon," and the contents were described as a ease of silk, hardware, and samples." Some- thing in the writing of the address having aroused the suspicion of the clerk, the box was opened. It was not nailed down, but closed with a sliding lid. Within it was found a metallic cartridge, surrounded with various projectiles, and connected by gun cotton with a clock apparatus. From a sudden opening of the box it is asserted that a violent explo- sion must have resulted. The commissionaire having been found, gave a description of the person who had engaged him to take the box to the office. He describes his employer as of gentlemanly manner, well dressed, and wearing an eyeglass. The inquiry is proceeding, and the machine is being carefully examined at the arsenal. The sender, of course, cannot be traced, and the address given is unknown in Lyons. According to a despatch received by the Soleil, a dynamite cartridge also exploded on Saturday at the barracks connected with the Custom House, mortally wounding a non-commissioned officer and inflicting injuries less severe upon another officer. On several occasions of late explosive machines have been dis- covered in different parts of Lyons.
BUsfcHanfous nttlligtntt HOME, FOREIGN, AND. COLONIAL. SALMON FISHING.—The salmon net fishings in the Tweed have improved slightly, although the price per pound is still high. Very fair catches both of salmon and trout have been experienced. The prices on Saturday were: Salmon Is. 9d., and trout Is. 9d. per lb. In the corresponding week of last year the prices were: Salmon, Is 7d.; trout, Is. 5d. per lb. The net fishings on all the stations in the Coldstream district have improved recently, the takes being considerably over those of the previous week. There were no- boxes of salmon sent to Billingsgate Market from Berwick for the week ending the 23rd of February this- year, whereas there were twenty at the corresponding period last year. DEBTS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES.—The Statist" draws attention to the fact that the outstanding debts of local authorities have increased 50 per cent. in five years. They now amount to £ 151,704,640. Urban sanitary authorities owe £ 70,000,000,, and School Boards E12,000,000. Birmingham has a debt of £ 7,000i,000, Manchester of £ 7,250,000; and even Bolton, with a population of 108,090 owes nearly £2,000,000, or 128 9s. 2d. for every man, woman, and child within the borough boundaries:. Still Bolton has spent 1161,000 on its municipal buildings, and the inhabitants are happy. A METEORITE IN SWEDEN.—A scientific journal states that on a summer night of 1882, a woman in Hogsby parish, in Sweden, saw a shining object fall from the sky, disappearing behind a stable. Search was made for the meteorite, according to the state- ments of the woman, but without success*. Last autumn it was, however, accidentally discovered near the spot indicated, and has now been forwarded; to proper quarters in the town of Oskarshamn.. The sur- face of the meteorite appears as if it had been welded from various substances; it is about the- size of a bfllyeock hat, very thick, and weighs a little over 141b. FODDER FOR Cows--One of the most successful dairymen in Illinois keeps 100 cows on 300 acres of land, and has not raised a pound of hay for years. The corn is sowed in drills 3J feet apart, and about the time it blossoms it is cut with a self-raking reaper, cutting one row at a time, the machine throwing it off in gariels. When sufficiently wilted iis is bound and set in large stacks and allowed to cure standing on the ground until winter sets, in when it is hauled to the barn.. He secures a yield of about seven tons of cured fodder to the acre, worth as much as the best hay. AN "EMPTY HOUSE.On Friday evening in last week for upwards of a quarter of an hour the House of Commons presented literally a scene of empty benches. The Speaker had retired for his usual interval about half-past eight, and every member present, including even the member for Bridport, followed his example. The result was that the only evidence of the House being in Session for the next twenty minutes was the presence of the mace on the table, and the crowded state of the Stranger's and Reporter's Galleries. It was the first time during his long connection with the House that Mr. Gossett, the Serjeant-at-Arms, had witnessed such an occurrence. THL, FALL OF A TuNNEL.-The inquest on the body of Rowland Evans, navvy, Amlwch, employed by Messrs. Nelson,, contractors, cutting the Bangor and Bethesda Railway, has been concluded. It was stated that about five tons of the heading of the tunnel fell upon five men, killing the deceased and injuring four other men, one seriously. It is supposed that the overhanging rocks had been loosened by the rain. A verdict of Accidental -deatb was returned. RAILWAY ACCIDENTS IN BELGIUM.—Two railway accidents, both resulting from the foggy weather pre- vailing, occurred on Saturday on the Belgian lines. A passenger train ran into a goods train near Marchiennes Station, not far from Charleroi, considerable damage being done to the line and rolling stock. There was no loss of life, but a guard was injured, though not seriously. The second accident, which was of much the same character, occurred at Jumet, in the province of Hennegan, to the north of Charleroi. AVERAGE PRICES OF BRITISH Coiti.-The following are the average prices of British corn for last week, as received from the inspectors and officers of Excise: Wheat, 37s. 7d.; barley, 31s. 5d.; oats, 19s. lid. per imperial quarter. Corresponding week last year: Wheat, 42s. 6d.; barley, 33s. 7d.; oats, 22s. 3d. THE JKANNETTE EXPEDITION.—The remains of Jerome Collins, one of the victims of the Jeannette Arctic Expedition, were interred in Cork on Sunday, and were accorded the honour of a public funeral. The remains arrived on the previous Thursday in the Inman steamer City of Chicago, and until Sunday morning lay in the Queenstown Cathedral. They were conveyed by river to Cork, where the trades assembled in large force, and followed the remains to the grave. Two brothers of the deceased, who accompanied the remains from New York, where the chief mourners; while the Messrs. Redmond, M.P., Harrington, M.P., and Mr. Davitt also attended as representatives of the National League. The Mayor and High Sheriff, with many members of the Corporation and other local bodies, also joined the cortege. SERIOUS FOOTBALL ACCIDENTS.-There were two serious illustrations of the dangers of football playing at Sheffield on Saturday. In the semi-final tie for Lord lvharneliff e's Cup between the Heeley and Pye- bank teams, one of the Heeley players named Bradbury, was kicked accidentally, but with such force that his leg was broken. The same afternoon, in the match between the Caledonian Club and the Grimesthorpe teams one of the players, named Wood, had his leg fractured above the ankle, the bone protruding. Both men were removed to the hospital. ELECTRIC LIGHTING IN FLOUR MILLS.—A firm of millers, who have tested the relative cost of gas and electricity in their flour mills, give the results of their experience. The use of gas for three thousand hours cost them JE150. The cost of fitting up the plant for the electric light was JE130, but after that, the expense of lighting, including interest on outlay, for a similar number of hours, was 143. This result was gained by by utilising the existing motive power, and driving the dynamo from the mill-engine. Of course extra coals would be necessary, hut the millers consider that a large proportion of the balance of £ 107 would be left after meeting this expenditure. In addition to this there are the advantages of no heat, no smell and security against fire. A CARD-PLAYING INCIDENT.—An unpleasant incident which has given rise to some official communications between the Bulgarian and Austrian Governments, occurred recently at a public hall given at Varna for the benefit of the Greek schools-. Some card-playing, in which the Greek Consul was a participant, was going on in one of the rooms when the Bulgarian Prefect of Police entered and ordered the game to be stopped, as both the national law and the police regulations forbade the playing of games of chance in public places. A disagreeable altercation ensued. The Austrian Acting Vice-Consul, a native of Varna, who had not been play- ing cards, joined in the dispute, and, it is alleged, insulted the Prefect of Police. The Bulgarian Govern- ment has addressed a communication to Vienna asking for due satisfaction for the affront offered to the repre- sentative of the local authorities at Varna, and has on its part expressed regret at the incident, promising that the Prefect of Police shall be punished if it is found that he exceeded his powers. FOUNDERING OF A VESSEL AT SEA.—The English steamer Morenzo, which arrived at Boston on the 22nd ult., reported having encountered icefields which, as far as the eye could reach, seemed interminable. The vessel left Hull on the 30th January, and had heavy weather almost the whole of the voyage, so much so, that between the 9th and the 16th no way could be made in consequence of the prevalence of hurricanes and heavy seas. On the 16th immense masses of ice were encountered studded by numerous icebergs. The Morenzo had to steam for several hours in a southerly direction in order to get into clear water. On the 21st, when within one day's steaming of her destination, the Morenzo sighted a pilot boat standing by another vessel, which had a very heavy list to port. The pilot boarded the Morenzo, and informed the captain that vessel was the barque Ester, of Portland, and that her cargo had shifted. The steamer took all the crew with the exception of the captain and the mate, who re- mained on the pilot boat, and in an hour after the Ester was seen to founder, disappearing head fore- most. She was a vessel of 512 tons register and had a cargo of coal.
0:7 iir foitJon Corrtsponknt. (We deem it ripht to stfite that we do not at all times identify ourselves with our Correspondent's opinions.] It is understood that her Majesty's visit to Ger- many will be on the most unostentatious scale com- patible with the dignity of the Sovereign of England. Princess Beatrice will accompany her Royal mother, and their place of sojourn will be a little palace he- longing to the Grand Duke of Hesse, quietly em- bosomed in the woods about three miles from Darm- stadt. No one will grudge her Majesty the occasional change of air and scene which every two or three years is obtained either in Italy, or upon the shores of the Mediterranean, or somewhere in the vast Father- land, which is so near to her by the closest of family ties. From thence have come her husband, three sors-in-law-tlie Crown Prince of Germany, Prince Christian, and the Grand Duke of Hesse; and two daughters-in-law, the Duchesses of Connaught and Albany. The devotion of the Princess Beatrice to the Queen has been borne testimony to by her Majesty on more than one occasion. Her Royal Highness will complete her twenty-seventh year on the 14th of next month. Here it may be incidentally remarked that her eldest sister, the Princess Royal, was married at seventeen and two months, Princess Alice at nineteen and two months, Princess Helena at twenty and two months, and Princess Louise at twenty-three and three days. Princess Beatrice has therefore remained at home much longer than any of her sisters. The celebration of the twenty-first anniversary of the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales on Monday, the 10th instant, brings us face to face with thecertain though imperceptible flight of time since the day when her Majesty, dressed in the deepest mourning, looked down from her little closet in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, upon the wedding cere- mony. Those who that night attempted to make their way through the principal streets of London have not yet forgotten the experience. Anything like the crowds, in which several persons were crushed to death, has not since been witnessed, not even on Thanksgiving Day, 1872. If the newspaper-reading public fail to receive enlightenment on the affairs of Egypt, it will not be the fault of either the Lords or the Commons. Ever since Parliament assembled, on the 5th February, Egypt has been the question of the hour. Vast num- bers who had never heard of the Soudan, have now a most intimate acquaintance with its geography; and the False Prophet, who had hitherto been one of the historical characters of Scripture, is now found to be a substantial and exceedingly disagreeable reality. Meanwhile, it will have been observed, that thus far nothing has been heard of the survivors, who, it was hoped, might have escaped the fate which befel the army of General Hicks early in November. More than four months have elapsed, and no graphic narrative comes from the pen of Edmond O'Donovan, no pictorial illustration from the pencil of Frank Vizetelly. A man must value his own life but little to accompany such an expedition on its perilous march. As to O'Donovan, whom I knew well, I never met a man who cared less for death. He seemed to court danger as a bride, and was perfectly indifferent to any risk to life so long as lie secured success in his profession. The new Speaker of the House, of Commons is a taller man than his predecessor in the chair and so far as physical stature is concerned, comes up to the ideal of those who regard height and presence as being essential attributes to be possessed by one who has to preside over such an intermittently uproarious assembly as the House of Commons. The Speaker of modern times who best answered to this descrip- tion was Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, who held office from 1839 to 1857, and, as Viscount Eversley, is now in his 91st year, and in the enjoyment of his well- earned pension. His commanding figure and readiness of resource when appealed to on points of order made him the ideal Speaker of the past half century. It might be pointed out that for- merly it was the practice to confer upon the retiring Speaker a pension of X41)00 a year for two lives. In modern times this has, however, been departed from. Mr. Shaw-Lefevre's pension was granted for life; his successor, Mr. Denison, declined to take any and in the bill which has now passed through Parliament voting a retiring allowance to Viscount Hampden, the phraseology is that of 1857—for life. Nothing is said about the life of a successor. An unsound principle has thus been got rid of. The dynamite outrages in London seem to have attracted considerable attention both upon the Continent and in the United States. We are face to face with Nihilism in the British capital, but it differs from that of St. Petersburg or Moscow in one essential particular. The Nihilism of Russia is a plant of native growth, and flourishes by both soil and climate in Russia. In England there are no grievances to be redressed demanding such desperate measures as those recently resorted to in the metro- polis. The miscreants who set those infernal machines to kill and maim unoffending persons are foreigners who remain in this country sufficiently long to carry out their diabolical plans, and then leave the shores upon which they have but just arrived. The Govern- ment hesitates to initiate more drastic legislation so soon after the passing of the Act of last year, which went thrcug'i both Houses of Parliament in a single night; frequent legislation in a panic is not dignified in a great nation, and it was therefore resolved at first to try the effect of a large reward. It must be ad- mitted that one of jE2000 is of a. substantial character. The circumstances attending the introduction of the Reform Bill carry the memories of many of us back thirty years. Then, as now, foreign affairs ab- sorbed the attention of Parliament and the country. The Whig Ministry brought in a Reform Bill, the provisions of which were explained by Lord John Russell; but it was generally felt that a time when the nation was engaged in a great European war which demanded all our energies in that one direc- tion, was inopportune for electoral changes, and the Reform Bill was accordingly withdrawn- We are not now involved in war in Europe but our troops are engaged on a serious expedition costing the loss of- valuable lives, on another continent; and the Reform demonstrations, which were so familiar in 1866, are now unknown. So far as London is con- cerned the new bill would have a very limited opera- tion it is in the agricultural districts where it will chiefly act in adding large numbers of voters to the register. The Sportsman's Exhibition at the Agricultural Hall is one of the most interesting which has been brought together in a building with a history wherein records of shows of all descriptions abound. This vast structure in the High-street, Islington, is, indeed, seldom without an exhibition of some kind. We have the Horse Show in June, and the Cattle Show in December, and any number of exhibitions illustrative of the progress in various departments of industry to fill in the intermediate times between midsummer and midwinter. The Sportman's Exhi- bition was one devoted specially to the pastimes more particularly of modern English life, and, remaining open more than a week, was visited by large numbers cf persons who believe in the pursuit of recreation and amusement as a genial and agreeable diversion from the absorbing attention which some are com- pelled to give to the world's affairs. C!1 One of the points of interest in connection with the heavy suit of the London Financial Association against I Messrs. Kelk and Lucas, the well-known contractors, was the amazing age of the learned judge who tried the case. Vice-Chancellor Sir James Bacon was born two years before the close of the last century, and is consequently 86 years of age. Notwithstanding this weight of years, he listened for twenty-nine days to the arguments of forty members of the bar, including eighteen Queen's counsel. At the conclusion of the hearing his lordship intimated that lie should deliver judgment some time before the Long Vacation but he has given his decision some months previously to the arrival of that time, obviously having no difficulty in arriving at a conclusion. Until lately Sir James Bacon held in addition to the office of Vice-Chancellor that of Chief Judge in Bankruptcy.
THE CREW OF THE NISERO. Captain Woodhouse, the master of the steamer Nisero, has recently given some particulars concern- ing the capture and detention of 23 of the crew of that vessel by the Rajah of Tenom, in Sumatra. Captain Woodhouse states that about four months ago the steamship Nisero, of Sunderland, after ex- periencing very severe weather, which made it im- possible for the captain to take observations, got out of its course and was cast ashore on the coast of Acheen, in the island of Sumatra. The captain and crew went on land as soon as the state of the sea would permit, and were at once confronted by a horde of natives, headed by the Rajah of Tenom, who con- ducted them to a neighbouring village of huts made of bamboo with mat covering and open sides. The whole of the crew, 25 in number, were there put under guard and allowed a meagre supply of raw rice night and morning as their only food. From the sufferings imposed upon the captive sailors and the threatening attitude of their captors it appeared that the Rajah's people ought to make this an opportunity of extorting some considerable ransom from the Dutch, with whom they had long been on terms of resentment. After some delay the captain obtained permission to go on board the vessel, which at this time could perhaps with some management have been got off the rocks, but no sooner did he go on board than his guard and the other natives who accompanied him set about pillaging the ship. They took everything movable out of the saloon, besides bringing all the clothing, stores, and a large portion of the cargo ashore in their boats. A distribution of this plunder was at once made among the Rajah's followers, and then, on account of the spreading of an alarm that the Dutch were attempting a ressue, the unfortunate captain and crew were marched into the interior of the island single file through jungle, often crossing rivers up to their necks in water. The procession was headed by the Rajah himself, and the vanguard was commanded by his chief fighting men. After marching about twenty miles, the party arrived at a place where rude huts were at once erected, consisting of the usual bamboo-stockade formation. Confined within a narrow space, the prisoners were closely watched, the Rajah himself taking a share in the patrol duty to guard them. Through the effects of the abominable climate, anxiety of mind, and want of proper food, the sufferings of the crew now became aggravated, and several of them were seriously ill, including the mate, whose reason became affected by excessive hardship. As it appeared to the Dutch that pressure was necessary in order to bring the Rajah to his senses an expedition was organised. Several Dutch war-vessels landed a body of troops on the coast, where a fight took place with the natives, who were armed with spears, short native swords, and a few muskets. After making a bold stand the natives retreated to the bush, pursued by the Dutch soldiers, who eventually came to the place where the prisoners had been confined, but the hut enampment was now vacated, the Rajah having gone off with his prisoners to the mountains. Finding further pursuit hopeless the Dutch returned to their vessels, and since then no forcible step has been taken to effect the rescue of the British captives. Captain Woodhouse con- trived with difficulty to preserve his ship's papers by binding them round his body underneath his clothing. He also succeeded in keeping his watch, but other members of the crew were not so fortunate. One of the stolen watches was appropriated with great pride by the Rajah, who is described as a man of imposing appearance, splendid physique, and muscular powers, but without much pretension to regal grandeur. He is never without two revolvers, and carries also a magnificent scimitar with jewelled hilt, hanging from the sash tied round his waist. In his own hut was spread a carpet, and all who approached are compelled to take off their shoes in his presence. On his head the Rajah wears a turban entwined with silver ornaments, but his habitation is little better than that of his subjects, and he has none of the ordinary appliances of civilised life. In the march ttlready described he was accompanied by five dusky wives. At Acheen the Dutch have a kind of garrison, but no strangers dare venture more than a mile or two beyond the fort. It is stated that on one occasion a friendly Rajah, professing to fear an attack from his neighbour, asked for the help of a small Dutch force. An officer and a guard of a few men were sent in compliance with this request, but no sooner did they go than they were at once massacred, and the body of the unfortunate officer was sent back frightfully mutilated.
CUTTINGS FROM AMERICAN PAPERS. Mark Twain looked up at the moon and delivered this soliloquy: How melancholy the moon must feel when it has enjoyed the fulness of prosperity, and has, as now I see it, got reduced to its last quarter." The Western grasshoppers are very regular in their habits, eating only one meal a day. This they begin at four o'clock in the morning, and continue it until the corresponding hour on the following day. A Minnesota legislator is actively advocating a bill requiring the name of the physician who attended the deceased to be engraved on the tombstone. The con- sternation this causes in medical circles may be imagined, but never, no never described. A New York jury, after the usual amount of due deliberation, recently found that a marriage without ceremonies of any kind, either civil or ecclesiastical, was valid and binding on both parties. If this holds good all over the land, it will knock off the license and ministers' fees, and leave the young couple three or four dollars to begin housekeeping with. It is now announced, on the authority of an eminent physician," that it is not considered healthy to rise before eight o'clock in the morning. This applies to men only. "Wives can rise at seven and light the fire as heretofore. At an hotel dinner in America an English arrival observed a person who sat opposite use a toothpick which had just done the same service to his neighbour. "Wishing to apprise him of his mistake, he said, I beg your pardon, sir, but you are üIL that gentleman's toothpick." I know I am, sir," wa" the quiet response; do you think that I am not going to return it? You must have a very poor opinion of the Americans." We understand that respectable washerwomen in Denver now decline to work for persons who are mean enough to mark their linen, and thus not only show a want of confidence, but give the trouble of sorting the things. An able discussion is going on between the Chicago and Detroit newspapers about the size of women's feet. Chicago," says one champion, may talk about the homely women of Detroit, but there is one redeeming power. When one of them gets mired they don't have to dig up half the street to get her foot out."
QUEER FISHES. The climbing perch of the Indian region, which gained its name from having been een by its dis- coverer on the stem of a Palmyru palm, five feet above the ground, where it was apparently struggling, by means of the spines on its scales and gill-covers, to get higher. As that happened nearly a hundred years ago, and there is no authentic instance of the fish having since been detected climbing trees, the occurrence may fairly be regarded as incidental rather than habitual. There is no doubt, however, that it travels long and far by land, generally in the morning when the dew waters its path, although on one occasion Mr. E. L. Layard met a number of them journeying along a dusty road under a mid-day sun. They are said to form a favourite food of the boatmen on the Ganges, who have been known to keep them alive for five or six days without water, and to find them at the end of that time as lively as when first caught. The typical fish cannot breathe out of the water; but the climbing perch can, because above its gills, and in the same cavity with them, lies an organ, composed of a complicated system of thin bony plates, which acts as a lung. The fish was until lately supposed to fill this cavity with water, and to make use of the latter from time to time in wetting its gills, just as the camel in the desert draws upon its internal reservoir of water in order to quench its thirst. This theory, however, has not been able to survive the fact that those who have sought the water in this labyrintine organ have never yet found it. Many fishes occur in the fresh waters of the Amazon basin which are thus truly amphibious. They all have gills by which they can breathe, like other fishes, in water but they have also special con- trivances for enabling them to respire atmospheric air as well. In some of these it is the intestinal tube that plays the part of lung; in others it is the air- bladder, the efficiency of the latter in this capacit being seen in the fact that it is only necessary to close the passage which connects it with the atmos- phere in order to suffocate the fish. One of those amphibious fishes of South America is in the habit of travelling by night in great droves, moving as fast as a man can walk, its only locomotive organs being the spiny ray of its pectoral tins and its tail. Another, inhabiting the swamps of Carolina, travels by leaps, and always, it has been observed, in the direction of the nearest water. Most of these fishes live in ponds and marshes which are liable to disappear in the dry season, and it is in search of fresh waters that they undertake those migrations. There are many parts of the world, however, in which at such seasons tnis search would be hopeless, and in those cases the pond-fisl-iesestivate, that is, bury themselves in the mud at the bottom of the pools, and there lie torpid till the advent of the rainy season sets them free. In Ceylon the natives, according to Tennent, are in the habit of digging for them, and a friend who bad been present at one of those fish diggings informed him that the clay was firm but moist, and as the man flung out lumps of it with a spade, it fell to pieces, disclosing fish from nine to twelve inches long, which were full grown and healthy, and jumped on the bank when exposed to the sunlight."—Longman's Magazine.
A REMARKABLE FINANCIAL SUIT. On Saturday in the Chancery Division of the High j Court of Justice judgment was given by Vice-Chan- cellor Sir James Bacon in the remarkable financial suit The London Financial Association ll. Kelk." The arguments in the case lasted twenty-nine days, and there were forty counsel engaged in it, amongst them being eighteen silk gownsmen. The Vice-Chancellor, in giving his judgment, said lie had never had to deal with so remarkable a case as that which formed the subject of the present action, nor, so far a3 lie knew, had any similar case occurred before. The case was very remarkable in its nature and in all its characteristics, and it was of the greatest importance to the public, so far as it concerned Joint- stock Companies. To the parties themselves, to the defendants at least, it was of the most momentous importance, for a sum, said to amount to X400,000, was claimed against them. The transactions com- plained of extended over many years, and the claim imputed misconduct to the directors who were alive, and claimed to be entitled as against the estates of those who were dead, but it alleged no fact in which the personal character or moral conduct of any one oj them could be said to be impeached. There was ro fact of importance in dispute, and the principp t if not the only, question for him to decide was orxe of law, which might, lie thought, have been decided without any great expenditure of time. The case, however, had engaged the attention of the most eminent and learned counsel, and it had occupied in the argument more than a lunar month. It became necessary for him to consider the terms of the articles of association, and in doing this he must say that plain words must have their plain meanings attached to them. The memorandum of association was incorporated with and formed part of the articles, and he must consider them together. The learned judge then proceeded to read and analyse the paragraphs of the articles and memorandum of asociation relied upon by the plaintiffs in the limiting of the powers of the directors for investing the money of the Association. The case of the plaintiff, he said, was founded upon a strict and liberal examination of the words of the memorandum, and it had been argued on their behalf that, inasmuch as the objects for which the company was established were therein stated to be to carry on the business of discounters and lenders of money, these were the only trades or business which the Corporation was allowed to carry on, and that all the words which en- sued in the articles were merely auxiliary, and were at the most a development and expansion of the trade or business of lenders of money. He was unable to adopt that argument. He was of opinion that there had been no violation by the directors of the powers of the company, expressed as they were on the part- nership contract entered into by them with Messrs. Kelk and Lucas for the acquisition of the Musweil- hill Estate, regard being had to the memorandum of association and the articles. One of the charges pressed on behalf of the plaintiffs was that the direc- tors, prior to the agreement of August, 1865, for the acquisition of the Muswell-hill Estate, had committed the association to a partnership with Mr. Rodo- canachi and Messrs. Kelk and Lucas, and that they had in that respect violated and exceeded the terms of the memorandum, and exposed the assets of the business in dealings of a partnership. It did not ap- pear to him, however, that either in law or in fact any partnership had been created. Another charge against the directors was that, being trustees for the Association, they had committed breaches of trust In advancing the moneys of the Company as they had done. What sort of trustees were they ? They were really the managing partners of a large joint i5Qck company, dealing with a subscribed capital, with tii view to profit or gain. They acted under such advice as they had, and according to their own experience and knowledge. They dealt with the interests con- fided to them in the same manner as with their own, and, indeed, their own interests and their own society were identical and inseparable, for if a loss was in- curred they had to bear their share of it. There was no case whatever against the defendants Radonache or Messrs. Kelk and Lucas. In fact, the plaintiffs had wholly failed in making out their case, and he therefore directed that judgment be entered for the defendants with costs. He also allowed the costs of the full shorthand notes. The judgment took one hour and twenty-five minutes in delivery.
ATTEMPTS TO WRECK TRAINS. At a quarter past twelve o'clock on Saturday night an attempt to wreck an excursion train was made on the loop line of the North Staffordshire Railway, near to Hanley Station. Police-constable Betts was on duty in North-road, Cobridge, at the time named, and saw two men mysteriously engaged on the railway line, which here runs on a high embankment. His suspicions being aroused, he climbed the embank- ment, and then saw that the men had placed a platelayer's trolly crosswise on the metals, and in such a manner that it was firmly fixed. Before the constable could get near they ran away. In follow- ing them down the embankment he unfortunately fell, and injured himself too much to make his chase suc- cessful. He went immediately to Cobridge Station, and with assistance removed the obstruction. A few minutes afterwards an excursion train which had been run from the Potteries to Manchester passed. Shortly after two p.m. on Saturday the driver of a train on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway from Manchester to Oldham hadjjust passed the tunnel on the loop line at 'Newton Heath when he saw an obstruction, consisting of two iron chairs, some stones, and other impediments, lying on the metals of the up line, along which an express train from Yorkshire was due in a few minutes. The driver stopped his train and removed the obstacles.
A MURDER TRIAL IN FRANCE. TVritiaj on the 8th inst., the Paris correspondent of the Daily Telegraph says: The case of the murder of a bank messenger at Marseilles was conclnded yesterday by a verdict of guilty against the accused, who was sentenced to death. The facts display such premeditation, and the cas. has caused so much excitement in Marseilles -the utmost sympathy having been evinced for the victim, whose funeral was attended by no less than 50.0(A) people—that President Grevy's objection to the punishment of death will not in this instance, it is anticipated, prevent the sentence being carried out. The circumstances under which the murder was com- mitted were as follows: On Nov. 30 last a messenger of the Credit Lyonnais, at Marseilles, was found strangled in an apartment in the Rue Paradis. He had 40,000f. in his possession at the time the murder was committed, about midday. The apartment had been let ten days previously to a man calling himself Blin, who said he was a potter at Aubagne, and wanted a small apart- ment when business called him to Marseilles. The Credit Lyonnais found, on examining its books, that the unfortunate messenger had a bill to collect, accepted by Blin, at the house where the body was found. The concoction of this bill was the ruse to entice the man into the house, the assassin or assassins calculating upon his having a large sum in his por- session on the day in question, it being the last day of tile month. A reward of 10,000f. was offered by the Credit Lyonnais for the detection of the culprits. About ten days after the murder was com- mitted a man named Guichard called at a trunkmaker's in Marseilles to purchase a port- manteau, and in paying for it produced a p*jcket-book full of bank-notes. The trunkmaker's s uapicions were aroused, as every one in the town was the qui vice about the murder, and lie took the Tecaution of communicating with the police, who ollowed the man to an hotel, and on arresting him Aand nearly all the notes which had been stolen AOlll the murdered man in his possession. He was immediately arrested, and pretended lie had found the money; but on being further questioned became embarrassed, and ended by confessing his participa- tion in the crime, accusing an accomplice named Gontestin, alias Blin, as the actual murderer. Guichard, in company with Contestin, escaped into Spain after the murder was committed, and Guichard returned to Marseilles alone in possession of the whole of the money. No trace of Contestin could, however, be discovered. The jury found Guichard guilty without extenuating circumstances.
11"" WO—■—■IMIIMIHIIUBBIM—MMNGUMU^ I EXECUTION AT LIVERPOOL. The young man, Micliael Maclean, who, with -Jatriek Duggan, was at the Liverpool Assizes con- victed of the mustier of a Spanish sailor near the victed of the murder of a Spanish sailor near the Liverpool Docks on, the 5th of January last, was executed on Monday at Kirk dale Prison, near Liver- pool. Three other young men charged with Maclean and Duggan were acquitted, and the death sen- tence in Duggan's case was commuted. Maclean, who was only eighteen years of age, had been resigned to his fate for several days, but all along pro- tested thut he did not inflict the fatal wound, and on the scaffold, though lie appeared penitent, he protested his innocence of the crime for which he was to suffer. Binns, the executioner, arrived at the gaol on Saturday, and subsequently Heath, who assisted at the previous execution, was telegraphed for by the under sheriff, and arrived on Sunday. Heath did not take any part in the execution, Binns doing the work himself, and displaying much expedition in getting tiie culprit ready. He gave Maclean, who was short and light, a drop of over ten feet, death being apparently instantaneous.