@ur onbolt CorrtspciiiJenf. [We deem it right to state that we do not at all timea Identify ourselves with our Correspondent's opinions.] The election of a Speaker of the House of Commons is an event which does not often occur, and when it takes place it is surrounded with every element of interest. A Speaker generally fills the chair many years, so that such an event as the choice of a new one is of comparatively rare occurrence. Mr. Manners Sutton and Mr. Shaw Lefevre each pre- sided over the deliberations of the House eighteen years, Mr. Denison fifteen, and Sir H. Brand twelve. The shortest Speakership in modem experience was that of Mr. Abercromby, created on his retirement Baron Dunfermline, and he held the chair only from 1835 to 1839. He was, however, a man of mature years when elected, and the labours of the chair are, as Sir Henry Brand de- scribed them in his retiring speech, severe. They were not so exacting half a century ago as they are now; but at any time they were certain to tell upon a man of advanced age. The post is one of great historical importance and of high and dignified responsibility, and it is not held under the Crown. Thegentleman appointed to it does not seek re-election at the hands of his constituents. The House of Commons provides for its presiding officer a sumptuous residence within the Palace of Westminster, a salary of £ 5000 a year, and a pension of X4000 per annum on his retirement. It elects him to preserve order and decorum in its ranks, and no matter what the calibre of the member may be, from the Prime Minister to the representative of the obscurest borough, he must bow to the ruling of the Speaker. The Speaker is generally selected from the party in power, but when once in the chair he is expected to show the strictest impartiality. He is not dispossessed of his office unless under very strong reasons. A remarkable illustration of this occurred in the case of Mr. Manners-Sutton. He was elected in 1817, when the rule of the Tory party, which had then lasted half a century, seemed likely enough to continue. In 1830 came the French Revolution, followed by the Reform agitation in this country, which led to the passing of the Act of 1832, and the election of a Parliament in which the Tories of that day were in a hopeless minority. The Radicals wished to have a Speaker in accord with the dominant spirit of the new House of Commons, but the Whigs decided to re-elect Mr. Manners-Sutton, because, although a Tory, it was held to be advisable that a man of experience should be in the chair in a Parlia- ment composed of such heterogeneous and turbulent elements. But in the course of that Parliament the Whig Ministers fancied they detected partiality in the conduct of Mr. Manners-Sutton, and at the beginning of the next they elected Mr. Abercromby in his stead. The truth is that a Speaker of the House of Com- mons, if he wishes to maintain his position, cannot afford to have the slightest suspicion of par- tiality associated with the discharge of his duties. The short speech delivered by the Prince of Wales in the House of Lords on the dwellings of the poor has created a very good impression. The fact that the Heir-Apparent is to be a member of the Royal Com- mission to inquire into this subject shows the hold which it has obtained upon the attention of all classes. As Mr. Bright said of the visits of the Angel of Death during the Crimean War, this question has attracted notice not only in the cottage of the humble, but in the castle of the noble and the mansion of the wealthy. The Heir-Apparent has lately, in order to satisfy himself by personal inspection, gone into some of the worst dens of St. Pancras and Holborn. He has made himself acquainted with phases of life strongly contrasting with those to which he has been accustomed for more than forty years, and which suggest very different pictures from those to be wit- nessed in the immediate neighbourhood of the palaces of Buckingham and St. James's. Mr. John Hullah, who died last week at his residence in Grosvonor Mansions, Pimlico, suggests by the mention of his name a resurrection of a controversy now more than forty years old. Mr. Hullah introduced in 1841 a new method of teaching singing, which being made the subject of a great deal of criticism, was described by those who did not like it as Hullaballoo." But Mr. Hullah persevered, and with such success in his efforts to make music a customary part of school instruction, that this was recognised by the Education Act of 1870. Under its provisions Mr. Hullah was appointed Inspector of Elementary Schools, a position which he filled to a period not long anterior to the time of his lamented death. Mr. Hullah was 72 years of age when he died, and his loss is regretted by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, as that of an amiable and accomplished man, as modest and unobtrusive as he was able in his pro- fession, and whose originality of intellect will leave its results for many a year to come. Since Parliament assembled there has been a rush of bye-elections, the result of which is thus far to leave parties exactly where they were. No doubt the most interesting contest of the whole is that at Brighton, where Mr. Marriott, who was returned at the general election as a Liberal, now appeals to his old constituents as a Conservative. This experience is not a frequent one. The present generation does not remember Sir Francis Burdett, for many years Radical member for Westminster, who in his maturer years became a Tory, and as such suc- cessfully appealed to the electors of his con- stituency. That was in May, 1837; but at the general election two months later the hon. baronet described in the House of Commons by Daniel O'Connell as "an old renegade," migrated to North Wilts, which he represented as a Conservative during the remainder of his political career. Anothar instance of a changing faith was in the case of Mr. Milner Gibson, returned for Ipswich at the general election of 1837 as a Conservative, but two years later he appealed to his constituents as a Radical, being however unsuccessful. The right hon. gentleman afterwards represented Manchester and Ashton-under- Lyne in the advanced Liberal interest. Prior to the great University Boat Race, which is to be rowed on the Thames on the 5th April, an event of considerable importance in the aquatic world, will be brought to an issue on the 10th of March. This is the great sculling match between Wallace Ross, the Canadian, and George Bubear, of Barnes, the former conceding the Thames man 10 seconds start. There is no doubt that Bubear has improved wonderfully of late friends and foes both admit that fact. In August last he beat John Largan, who was then regarded as the only sculler in England, fit to compete with him. But he was not destined to rest on his laurels, for William Elliott, who hails from the coaly Tyne, and was once Cham- pion of England, returned from America, and of course became anxious to measure blades with the southerner. A match was made between them for £ 400, and the race was rowed from Putney to Mortlake a few weeks ago. The result of that contest is of course now known all over the world, and it suffices here to say that Bubear paddled in an easy winner by about six lengths. Thus Bubear has fought his way up from comparative obscurity to the position of a first-class sculler. The race that is coming off next month will be very interesting-firstly, because the contestants have not met before, and, secondly, there will be an international feeling about it. Ross has a very hard task before him in giving such an opponent ten seconds start, and if all goes well Bubear should win, It is very likely if he does that there will be a level race, the result of which would be watched very eagerly. Bubear is considered by some to be the coming man, the one who is to bring back to our shores the reputation of English professional rowing. Whether he is to be matched with Hanlan, the wonderful sculler, who has defeated all our own, and Australia's best men as well, remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that if this ever comes to pass, he will do his best to sustain the repu- tation of the Thames. Another new theatre is to be opened in Leicester- square on Easter Monday, to be named the Empire, following swiftly the addition to the Metropolitan Temples of Thespis in the Prince's, in Coventry-street, opened on the 18th January. The Alhambra also in Leicester-square, was re-opened in December, after the destructive fire of twelve months previouslv. The existing theatres such as the Adelphi, the Lyceum, and the Savoy are nightly crammed. London may complain of the dulness of trade as much as it pleases, but this is certainly not perceptible at the atten- dance commanded by the ever-increasing number of its places of dramatic entertainment.
GOSSIP ON DRESS. THE season is not at present sufficiently advanced to allow us to pronounce with any degree of certainty the actual fashions of the coming months. We may, however, quote from the Queen the following autho- ritative hints as to the choice of colour in millinery and costumes prepared for early spring wear Every shade of fawn, from the palest biscuit to deep pain brule, will be much in vogue, as also an uncommon mushroom brown—dark chocolate blended with red-and a new tint of bright warm green, named after the colour of the Kentish hops, which may, however, be placed in the same category as the in- numerable artistic or aesthetic greens with which we are so familiar. Gowxs for visiting and afternoon wear will be made of biscuit cashmere or fine-ribbed ottoman cloth, another new material, combined with shot silk, velvet, or ottoman broche, in various shades of colour, the most popular being crimson, chaudron, sapphire- blue, or rich myrtle-green. A stylish toilette had a skirt of ribbed ottoman cloth falling in long straight folds to the feet, over a petticoat of claret velvet, which it entirely concealed in front. This over-skirt was edged at the bottom and up each side with a band of pointed velvet turned over the material, bound with silk cord to match. The short drapery at the back was fully puffed, and was covered with an applique pattern of single leaves of shaded claret velvet. The velvet petticoat was round and plain, with a narrow ruching of claret satin placed at the extreme edge. The bodice was tight-fitting, with short round basque bound with pointed velvet, like the trimming on the skirt, and this trimming was carried up each side of the simulated jacket front. Above the waistcoat of claret velvet was a loose chemisette of biscuit cashmere, below which was a fringe of small silk tassels, arranged in alternate colours. The cuffs were of pointed velvet, deepening outwards to the elbow, and furnished with a cluster of similar tassels. A COSTUME of very pale fawn-coloured cashmere was trimmed with sapphire velvet and blue silk shot with fawn. The skirt was of silk, striped with blue velvet and bordered by a narrow box-plaited flounce of velvet, lined with shot silk the back breadths of the petticoat were of plain sapphire velvet. The polonaise, of cashmere, had a bag front of shot silk with blue velvet coat lappels, and the drapery, fes- tooned at the sides and long at the back, appeared to be lined with velvet, and was caught up at the lower edge and fastened under a large ornament of fawn passementerie placed below the waist at the back of the skirt. The effect was novel, and was decidedly pretty. ON the subject of millinery, the same authority says that hats and bonnets are also to be seen of fawn-coloured velvet or soft twilled silk. A bonnet with folded coronet front and short plain crown of velvet was powdered all over with small gold beads, and on the left side was a golden dragon fly, beauti- fully modelled, with transparent wings, resting on a cluster of fawn-coloured feathers. A sir- Ie tip, w a second dragon fly, was placed on the Telvet strings, made in a large bow, immediately beneath the chin. Insects of all kinds and bright-coloured butterflies are frequently seen decorating the crowns of the newest bonnets, displayed against a background of neutral tinted feathers, or poised on a bouquet of small field flowers, in marvellous imitation of nature. The brims of the fashionable hats are more curved than for- merly, and turned up at the sides close to the taper- ing crown. The boat-shaped American hat is much in favour, and is becoming to most faces, while the back view of the head, when thus arrayed, is far prettier than the severe lines of the Hen'ri II. hat, especially when the hair is taken from the neck and coiled on the top In the universally prevalent style. VERY uncommon was a hat of scarlet velvet, edged with a row of cut brown beads, the crown almost veiled by a scarf of brown silk blonde most artistically twined about it. Rather far back on the right side of the crown, was a rosette of dark brown velvet with a scarlet wing, curving towards the front of the turned- up brim. A toque of biscuit velvet was powdered with tiny stars of blue and crimson beads, with capital effect. At the side were two stiff wings, one of crimson one of blue, and a bristling aigrette of fawn colour. We also saw a straw bonnet in this new shade; the crown was worked with small stars of electric-blue beads, and the curved brim, pointed over the centre of the forehead, was outlined by a cord of silk thickly worked with similar beads. Beneath the brim was a close wreath of yellow flowers, and outside was a bouquet surmounted by two humming birds of beautiful blue-green plumage. The strings were of fawn colour lined with blue. THE subjoined miscellaneous hints on dress topics which the Queen offers to its readers will be found of interest: As is usual at this season, yellow and violet, as clearly indicative of spring, are the principal colours observable in feathers, flowers, and other fancy millinery. Little bows for the hair of narrow yellow velvet, gracefully arranged with an aigrette of yellow bristles, and fastened by a butterfly or other insect made of metallic feathers, are, with the addi- tion of a cluster of loops worn on the bodies of the dress, striking points of colour on a toilette of black or dark coloured silk. Small ostrich tips, in yellow, mauve, crimson, blue, and grey are all fashionably worn, placed singly among the curls on the top of the head and fixed to a pin with a head of brilliant stones. Military stand-up collars of bright-coloured velvet, with hanging loops of different leiigths arranged as a cravat in front, are also exceedingly pretty and smart-looking. Others, rather deeper, of the Masher variety, are of black velvet; the points turned back, showing a coloured lining of satin. These are perhaps newer, and the velvet is sometimes replaced by net, thickly embroidered with jet beads, the pattern showing up well on the vivid background of yellow or crimson, as the case may be. Two long scarves of French piece lace, blonde, or figured gauze, edged with gathered lace, can be very effectively utilised as a full waistcoat and festooned paniers; on tight-fitting jackets of black, green, or crimson velvet, and thus arranged, make a dressy toilette for the concert-room or theatre, over skirts of figured grena- dine on flounces of black French lace. They are closely gathered at the neck, carried down the front of the jacket, and gradually widened in fully draped festoons over the hips, and finished with a bow and ends of coloured ribbon at the back of the pointed basque. THE Daily News the other day gave a special article on Children's Dress," from which we extract the fol- lowing paragraphs: To Miss Kate Greenaway our English children owe an enormous debt. To her charming designs may be attributed much of the trim neatness of the present fashion in skirts, as well as the large protectiveness of the bonnets now worn by little girls. If mothers will only take heed that these large bonnets shall nut be unduly heavy, they will prove to be the very best form of head-gear that could be de- vised for the use of children. An occasional difficulty with the wind, to which the bonnet in question offers so much surface, is of too trifling a nature seriously to interfere with the numerous advantages it affords- covering the ears, shielding the neck, and protecting the front of the head. THE introduction of the jersey has also been of im- mense benefit to children. Clinging closely to the small frame, yet yielding its knitted meshes to every movement, it at once serves to retain the heat of the body and favours the most perfect freedom. The jersey is also to be recommended on the score of eco- nomy, its initial cost being trifling, and its durability great. Knitting may, indeed, be said to play a very important part in the clothing of our children. Under- garments of the rational Princess or Gabrielle shape -i. e., made all in one piece-are knitted; the skirt on large wooden needles, and the bodice on steel ones. The best and most enduring socks and gaiters ar^pro- duced by the same process. Jerseys and hoocls' are also knitted, besides the numerous forms of cape and jacket devised for babies and larger children. NOT long ago it was the custom to make children's dresses with the bodices quite separate from the skirt. Curious things these looked, with a jerky little basque at the back resembling a bird's tail, and smaller ones at the sides, which were always turning up and show- ing the lining. One effect of this separation between bodice and skirt was that the latter were contiiyially shifting round in consequence of the children's endless running and jumping. This was inconvenient no doubt, but what was worse, the whole weight of the skirts was thrown upon the children's hips.. The present mode remedies all that, and, in addition, supplies to little girls, as well as to their parents, materials which admirably combine warmth and light- ness—a combination in which our worthy grand- mothers would have refused to believe. All these changes tend to the simplification of children's dress —a consummation devoutly to be wished. TheF small garments can scarcely be too simple, too free from trimming. Serge in winter, holland in summed, give almost choice enough and some sensible parents con- fine themselves entirely to the first-named material, which is made in so many graduated stages of thick- ness and substance as to be suitable to all our 'varied degrees of temperature.
THE RECENT DISASTER IN AMi ";ICA. The United States have been visited by two not unparalleled but exceptionally fearful natural cala- mities. The floods of the Ohio have destroyed an enormous amount of property, have cost scores of lives, ruined thousands of people and rendered tens of thousands homeless, and almost ere these had subsided a hurricane or tornado of peculiar severity, sweeping from the western border of Alabama almost to the Atlantic coast, has destroyed hundreds of lives and thousands of dwellings. Noticing these calami- ties in a leader, the Morning Post says National and natural misfortunes are rarely single, but save the exceptional character of the winter it is difficult to suggest any common or connected causes for the devastating floods that have swept the course of the Ohio, and the atmospheric torrent that has wasted a great belt along the north of Alabama and Georgia and the centre of the Carolinas. Geographical con- ditions, the atmospheric circulation, and especially the Gulf Stream, render winter floods in Western Europe no extraordinary or inexplicable phenomenon. The enormous supplies raised by an equatorial sun are flung upon a region chilled by the neighbourhood of gigantic masses of Arctic ice; and the mischief sometimes caused by a wet winter or a sudden thaw is not surprising. The climatic conditions of North- Eastern America are almost the opposite of ours. Instead of a warm current rising in tropical seas, its shores are washed by a cold stream descending from the Arctic Ocean, laving the ice-bound coasts and car- rying with it the slowly melting icebergs of Labrador and Baffin's Bay. To the westward, the Atlantic States and the Mississippi Valley have not a moisture- giving ocean, but a vast arid, almost barren, plateau. The area of the Pacific is indeed vaster, though much less tempestuous, than the Atlantic, but the line of the Rocky Mountains, runing close to the coast for thousands of miles and rising into the cold regions of the upper atmosphere, arrests almost the whole of the eastward rolling cloud masses raised from the western ocean. The laboratory of North American weather, the cradle of the varying seasons, is the so-called Central Desert on the east of this range. Europe lias seas to north, south, and west; the in- habited United States have a vast dry land surface to westward and to northward. Beyond the St. Lawrence Valley lies, instead of frozen and half- frozen seas, an enormous land surface, heated as water can never be heated by the rays of summer, covered for six winter months by an unbroken sheet of ice and snow, swept by winds incomparably drier and colder than those which sweep over Europe from- the icy seas that surround the Northern Pole mb climatic consequences are twofold.' The at- m A he States, except those bordering on the Gulf, is far drier than that of Europe west of the Vistula. The extremes of temperature are far greater. Even in our own latitude the short summer is somewhat hotter than our own, the winter is almost arctic in length and severity. In the latitude of Spain and Southern Italy, the sum- mer is almost as warm as theirs, the winter longer and severer than that of England or Holland, as severe in the inland region as that of Northern Germany. But when once the snows of the later autumn have fallen and been hardened by the first frosts of winter until the thaws of a late spring, the air is clear, bright, and dry for weeks together as in the few brightest days of our hardest winter. Floods, therefore, are the cha- racteristic of spring or autumn, especially the former. Floods in the first half of February are so strange as to be almost unknown. But that when floods come they should partake of that gigantic character which belongs to so many, American phenomena is by no means surprising. The great rivers of the United States drain an extent of country so vast, draw their supplies from sources so remote, that the forces brought to bear upon the comparatively limited territory along their lower course are more terrific and irresistible than those supplied by the sudden melting of Alpine or Hima- layan snow. Historic conditions, the late growth of railroads and the absence of highways, have given peculiar importance to the water-carriage of the States. Nearly all their great cities lie on the great rivers; and the richest, choicest lands, those that first attract the farmer and planter, are the alluvial bottoms formed, and liable at any time to be flooded, by the streams whose neighbourhood has given them value. The consequence is that American floods are doubly destructive. They are unsurpassed, almost unequalled in force and extent; and an exceptional proportion of the population of the manufacturing, commercial, and agricultural wealth of the country, lies at their mercy. Such floods as those of the last fortnight, about the highest ever known, would at any time have wrought terrific havoc, have produced an enormous amount of human misery. Their occur- rence in mid-winter, and the fact that they were fol- lowed by a sharp frost, has greatly aggravated the suffering of a population numbered by tens of thou- sands. The tornados generated in the Central Desert-in the enormous bodies of dry air heated by a vast expanse of naked soil and rock, drained by water- courses hundreds of feet below the surface-strike the inhabited regions as a rule in the neighbourhood of the Mississippi, a little to west or east as the case may be. They are always of irresistible violence, sweep the country as with a fire or a giant scythe, uprooting trees, carrying off haystacks, destroying crops, crushing houses, levelling everything along their whole track. But that track is for the most part limited and narrow, from a hundred yards to a very few miles in breadth, and often but a few leagues in length. That which, running nearly parallel to the course of the floods but in the opposite direction, has swept a belt of country south of the mountain border of the Ohio Valley, has been almost unparalleled in extent and destructive force. It has swept from the western border of Alabama through that State, across the north of Georgia and South Carolina, and, it would seem, far into North Carolina, a length of some four hundred miles. It must have laid waste some thousands of square miles, fortunately, for the most part, but thinly peopled and partially cultivated. The length of the track is extraordinary. Its breadth must have been considerable, but is not apparent from the facts as yet telegraphed. In Georgia alone it is said to have damaged 3000 dwellings, and destroyed 100 lives. Its ravages in Alabama have been at least as fearful. Men, women, and children have been killed by falling houses and flying fragments, or snatched up by the wind and dashed to death, their corpses found mangled and crushed. Villages and towns have been wrecked wholesale. In one small place no fewer than twenty-three persons have been killed out- right, and many of the injured can hardly recover. An estimate, which places the loss of life at 300 or 400, and the destruction of property at 181,000,000, must seemingly fall short of the truth. The material ruin and physical suffering, the pain, terror, and misery inflicted by so fearful a visitation, no statistics can bring home to the reason or the fancy of those who have never witnessed the like. Two such gigantic disasters in such rapid succession cannot but app>al the most resolute, courageous, and practical of nations; and the winter of 1883-64 will long remain a marked and terrible epoch in the memory of the American people.
INDIA RUBBER GATHERERS. The Globe says that the report of Consu .'Jessel on the trade and commerce of Nicaragua, indicates the probability that the world will have to pay higher and higher prices for india rubber, even if it has not to manage without that useful article in the course of a few years. Commenting upon the fact that the exportation of rubber from Nicaragua grows less and less, he says that the cause is to be found, both there and in other rubber-producing countries, in the wholesale destruction of trees by the gatherers." Along the banks of the river San Juan, which used to afford a splendid yield, scarcely a tree survives, and the gatherers are compelled to search in the depths of the primeval forests. This not only in- volves great waste of time, but considerable danger, as the forests abound with animals and reptiles which have little regard for the sanctity of human life. The result is that the industry has diminished in popularity among the natives, who prefer to earn a living on the coffee plantations. In the biennial period 1877-78, 3,.698,8001b. of rubber were exported, but in 1881-82 the quantity was only 2,931,5001b., and the decrease seems to have been continuous every year. The same process of exliaus- tion is going on, we believe, in all rubber-producing localities all over the world, and, unless the natives can be prevented from destroying the trees, only one result can attend this Gladstonian activity. We believe there is a method by which the juice can be extracted without doing any injury to the tree; but, as it involves more trouble, and does not yield so much, the gatherers prefer to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
A BIG DIAMOND. An American paper says that the cutting of a diamond believed to be the largest ever cut in America has just been completed in Boston, the process having occupied something more than three months. The stone was found in South Africa. Its weight in the rough was nearly 125 carats. The work of cutting it was begun on September 29th, and from that day until the 11th inst., the stone was con- stantly on the wheel, excepting on Sundays and holidays. The gem as perfected is very brilliant and beautiful, though it is not perfect in colour, having a al marked yellowish tint. In the quality of clear- ness, however, the stone is almost perfect, the only blemish being so slight as to be perceived with difficulty by the naked eye. As cut it weighs seventy-seven carats. It is cut in a rounded cushion shape, with fifty-six facets, its size being nearly a full inch across and its depth a little more than five-eighths of an inch. The cutting is mathematically correct, each facet being a perfect figure, while all the angles are so nicely related to each other as to secure a most brilliant effect. The table and culet are perfect octagons. In artificial light the stone is extremely brilliant, and the play of prismatic colour is beautiful. The yellowish tinge disappears in artificial light. The value of this stone, which is about two-thirds as large as the celebrated Kohinoor diamond, the weight of which is 102..1 carats, cannot be stated, diamonds of such unusual size, having no absolute value. As a speculator in precious stones says, "A big diamond is worth just what the seller will sell for and the buyer is willing to pay."
DAMAGES FOR AN ASSAULT. An action of assault which attracted much interest has been tried at Dublin in the Queen's Bench Division. The plaintiff Lord Richard Brown, brother of Lord Sligo, claimed £ 1000 damages from Mr. Houston, a tenant of his lordship, for an assault, committed under peculiar circumstances. On the 12th of May, 1883, Lord Sligo leased a tract of land near West-port, in the county Mayo, comprising 40,000 acres, reserving the right of shooting. In August last, the plaintiff having received Lord Sligo's permission, went to shoot over the lands. Mr. Houston objected to Lord Sligo, but no attention was paid to the notice of objection. On the 11th of September, Lord Richard Brown and his son were shooting over the lands, when the defendant accosted him, and asked him if he intended to persist in shoot- ing. Plaintiff replied, Most certainly," whereupon a signal was given by defendant, and a party of men, numbering sixteen, came up, surrounded him, took his gun from him, and forced him and his son to leave the ground. Witnesses having been examined, it was urged on behalf of the defendant that by the terms of the lease the right of shooting was reserved to the tenant. The Lord Chief Justice said lie was of opinion that the terms of the lease clearly gave the right of shooting to Lord Sligo, and he would so direct the jury, and also whether Mr. Houston had taken the proper course to assert his right. Verdict for plaintiff, with S300 damages and costs.
FRANCE AND CHINA. A telegram from Hong Kong says: Notwithstand- ing the difficulties hinted in Admiral Courbet's last despatch to the French Government with regard to the results of an attack on Bac Ninh, orders, it is stated, were transmitted from Paris to lose no time in pushing on operations. The Chinese are erecting im- portant works of defence, and are animated by great enthusiasm. Torpedoes have been successfully laid as far as five miles from the forts." A telegram received from Tonquin states that the French gun-boats are taking up positions in the rivers of the Delta, in order to support the action of the expeditionary force. A telegram from Haiphong states that according to advices received there from Hanoi on the 18th inst., it had been positively ascertained that the Viceroy of Quang-Si was in command of the forces in Bac Ninh. It was added that the French General intended to send him an ultimatum. Intelligence from Sontay, dated the 17th inst., reported that the Chinese had burned a village on the left bank of the Red River, opposite Sontay,
The sudden death is announced of M. Auguste Bonheur, brother of Rosa Bonheur, himself a very eminent animal painter. He died from heart dis- ease in a railway train near Bellevue, aged 60. Direct telephonic communication has been success- fully established between the Carlton Club and the House of Oommons.
THE SURRENDER OF TOKAR. A Timd telegram, dated Souakim, Feb. 22, says :— Tokar has surrendered to the rebels. Five soldiers have come in, who state that the rebels kept up a heavy fire from Krupp guns and rifles for several days, and many of the soldiers in the town were killed. At last, being unable to defend the works any longer, the Governor sent emissaries on Tuesday to con- fer with the rebels and to make terms for a surrender. On Wednesday Adjutant-Major Jacomb Effendi went out, accompanied by Macaur Bey, the Governor of the town. On their return they announced that the soldiers must give up their arms. There was a great commotion among the men, many of whom refused to abandon all hope of further resistance. Finally, how- ever, the surrender was arranged on the terms de- manded by the rebels. During the night many of the soldiers escaped, passing through the rebel lines. Thesefive men are the first who have arrived, but they report that others are straggling on the road thither. Tokar was finally given up yesterday. A further telegram of the same date says:— From a further conversation with the five fugitive soldiers and the two Hadendowa spies who were in the rebel camp at the time when 150 soldiers visited it, I gather the following details:— On Tuesday Said Khameesa, a merchant of Tokar, who had been imprisoned by the authorities was released, and went to the rebel camp. He was well received there, returned, and made overtures to the garrison, bringing an invitation to the officers to feast with the rebels next day. On Wednesday the officers went out to the besiegers, became excellent friends with them, re- ceived many presents, and returned from the camp accompanied by 100 of the rebels, thus showing that the surrender was quite decided upon. There were three Greeks in Tokar-one a woman-and these became Moslems. At one time there had been five, but two had been killed in the sortie made at the time of the battle of El Teb. One officer only wanted to fight, and tried to gather the soldiers round him, but was overruled by his seniors, who, mostly former adherents of Arabi, pre- ferred ceding the town to Moslem rebels to being suc- coured by Christians. During the night the soldiers who were still staunch escaped, journeying by night and hiding by daytime, without water, and finally arrived here. The town was to be surrendered on Thursday by Sheikh Said Abu Bekr, formerly an inhabitant of Souakim. There was no valid reason for the sur- render, there being an abundance of provisions, with 45,000 rounds of rifle ammunition. The artillery am- munition was short, only 22 rounds per gun. The gar- rison numbered 300. The authorities knew that the English were coming; they had answered our two last letters, and had heard the Carysfort fire. It is true that the rebels had shelled the town with six guns for five days, and had kept up a heavy rifle fire day and night, but only two men of the garrison had been killed and 12 wounded in consequence.
In a telegram dated Souakim, Saturday, the special correspondent of the Daily News says:— Two soldiers who arrived this morning from Tokar confirm the accounts already telegraphed respecting the surrender. They say, however, that the ammuni- tion in the garrison was not so abundant as reported by the previous refugees, but much more plentiful than alleged by the officers of the garrison. Both state that the townspeople first advised submission. The latter were terrified by the firing of the Krupp guns, which the victors at El Teb captured and turned upon the town. Some of the besiegers found their way into the town in company with the deputation sent to treat with the rebels, and these did their best to persuade the people and the soldiery to surrender. The soldiers, however, being told that they must yield their weapons were alarmed, and at first refused to give them up, on the ground that they feared a massacre. The soldiers wore asked to decide by the morning whether they would lay down their arms, and in the night these two escaped. Both are well known here, and are recognised by the inhabitants. Before they fled the soldiers generally agreed to surrender. Both made for Trinkitat, but finding the way blocked by the rebels, turned in the other direc- tion. They estimate the number of the rebels at 5000 to 7000, all assembled near the scene of the last battle, and all eager for fighting. Previous to the battle they say the soldiers and tribesmen showed no signs of organization and were scattered over the district, and though inspired by one purpose, did not act together but Baker Pasha's defeat convinced the Arabs throughout the country that the Mahdi and Osman Digna conquered by miraculous power, and are in- vincible. Consequently also the groups and tribes are now united into something like a compact body.
Ulistfllancous fitMItgetrrt HOME, FOREIGN, AND COLONIAL. RE-ARRANGEMENT OF THE CIRCUITS OF TIIE JUDGES. The Lord Chancellor is at present engaged upon a scheme whereby the existing circuit towns are to be re-arranged and grouped, so as to obviate the waste of time which is now so frequently occasioned by the judges finding no business to dispose of on their arrival at some of the smaller assize towns. It is stated that an Order in Council embodying these new rules will very speedily be obtained, and that these new arrangements will come into operation at the Summer Assizes, which will be held in July next. THE DUCHY or LANCASTER.—A Parliamentary paper just published contains an account of the receipts and disbursements of the Duchy of Lancaster in the year ended December 21, 1883, and also a separate account of the capital of the Duchy to the same date. The receipts in the year amounted to £ 87,408; the arrears on December 21, 1883, were £ '8655. Under the head of disbursements are the following items: Payments made for her Majesty's use to the keeper of her Majesty's Privy Purse, £ 44,000; repairs and improvements on the estate, X4282; superannuation allowances and annuities, donations, and charities, X4484. The total disbursements in the year amounted to S87,408. ALLEGED MURDER OF A CONSTABLE. Sergeant William Smith, of the Durham County Constabulary, stationed at Woodlands, near Staindrop, on Saturday night visited a public-house to see that all was right. On passing a pit heap lie was assailed by a shower of stones and felled to the ground. News of the affray reached Woodlands, when Dr. Middleton proceeded to the scene. He was also attacked and struck in the chest by a brick, which knocked him down. The sergeant was afterwards found in the gutter dead. Sergeant Daly, of Staindrop, apprehended three miners named Joseph Lawson, William Liddle, and Joseph Hodgson, and lodged them in the police- station at Staindrop. The deceased had been sixteen years in the force, and leaves a wife and family. One side of the sergeant's head was found to have been beaten in. ORGANISATION AND EQUIPMENT OF THE VOLUNTEER FORCE.—Lieutenant-General Higginson, C.B., com- manding the Home District, presided the other after- noon, at the Levee-room, Horse Guards, over a meet- ing of commanding officers of corps in the district, to take into consideration the organisation, equip- ment, and other questions in connection with the volunteer force." General Higginson invited a free expression of opinion on the various points submitted for consideration, in order that they should be brought under the consideration of the authorities. A long discussion ensued. With regard to arms, it was the unanimous opinion of the meeting that the time had now arrived when the Martini-Henry rifle should be substituted for the Snider; and respecting camps of instruction, the suggestion that the complete number of men who applied should attend, and not, as at present, a limited number, was favourably re- ceived, as also was the proposal for an increase of the capitation grant for camp and marching. A sug- gestion that the camp allowance should also be granted for corps going into forts or barracks for stated periods was fully discussed. The question of equipment was gone into at length, and one point particularly dwelt upon was to the effect that, at any rate, greatcoats should be furnished from Government stores whenever they were required. On the question of an increase of the capitation grant, there were various opinions, some of the commanding officers being of opinion that payment should be made in proportion to results attained under various de- tailed heads, while others favoured the proposal of an increase to cover all expenses. The dearth of officers was also seriously discussed, and before the meeting closed General Higginson said he would report in detail the result of the proceedings to the authorities, and acquaint the commanding officers at gome future period of the decision arrived at. CANAL BOATS ACT (1877) AMENDMENT BIIL.-The main provisions of this bill, which is backed by mem- bers on both sides of the House, are that the registra-- tionof canal boats shall be annual, that boats with sleep- ing or cooking accommodation are to be deemed dwellings, and that no child under the ago of 13 who has not passed the third education standard shall be em- ployed in a canal boat. Other clauses provide special means for the enforcement of these provisions. THE DRAMA IN AMERICA.—Never again (says the* St. Louis Spectator), will a ranting star and a lot of sticks pass for a dramatic company. Never again. can a cheap-john American manager make our people take John McCullough, or Booth, or Barrett, or Tom. Keene, supported by a gang of knock-kneed supers in- tin helmets, and female boarding-house keepers in ten cent, cambrics, as a substitute for a full-grown, evenly- balanced theatrical performance. Irving has opened the eyes of the New World to the fact that it had never seen a really first-class rendering of a Shakes- pearean play until he came. He has shown them that proper mounting, correct costuming, fine scenery, and all the accessories and effects of music, and light and darkness, are full half the drama, and capable, well- drilled support in all the parts is full three-fourths of the other half. The strolling gangs of barn stormersr with one boss ranter as the main "attraction" must go THE ROYAL SCHOOL OF ART NEEDLEWORK.—A. furniture exhibition of an exceptionally interesting character has just been opened at South Kensington; but apart, from its own special interest, which has. already been recognised, it possesses the additional merit of calling renewed attention to the institution. in which it is hold-that of the Royal School of Art Needlework. This school was established here, under Royal patronage, some nine years ago, with the two- fold object of supplying suitable employment for gentlewomen in straitened circumstances, and restor- ing ornamental needlework to the high place it once held among the decorative arts. It was started without capital; but, like the majority of honest enterprises, it has achieved such success that it is now self-supporting. At the present moment over one hundred ladies are employed in the parent school at South Kensington, affiliated with which are branches in Edinburgh and Glasgow; whilst agencies have been opened throughout the provinces, Canada, and the United States. The principle of admission is that no worker is accepted for whom it is not certified that she seeks work not as a pastime, but in order to support herself in honourable independence. The hours of attendance are from half-past nine in the morning until five in the afternoon a luncheon, consisting of soup, joint, and vegetables, being pro- vided for the lady workers at fivepencc per head. Lady patrons may well take a pleasure in visiting the school, not only to inspect the work itself, but to witness the rare skill with which it is manipulated.— Evening Standard. FRIGHTFUL TRAGEDY IN TRANSYLVANIA. —In a tele- gram, dated Feb. 22, the Vienna correspondent of the Times says: News of a fourfold murder con- nected with robbery has been telegraphed from Her- mannstadt in Transylvania. Last night, shortly before ten o'clock, an alarm of fire was raised, and some neighbours saw that the house of a retired' army-surgeon, Dr. Friedenwangen, was in flames. When the fire brigade broke open the door they found the doctor, his wife and child, and the servant maid with their throats cut, and otherwise mutilated. After murdering them their assailants had lit fires under the beds whereon the victims were lying, locked the door, and escaped. No clue h1.3 yet been found to the identity of the criminals NOTE CIRCULATION IN THE UNITED STATES.— According to the latest returns, the number of United States notes outstanding at the close of the fiscal year was 65,980,654, an increase of 2,903,607 over the number outstanding last year. The increase was largely in one and five dollar notes, but there was also- an increase of no less than 1,993,000 dols. in notes of one thousand dollars. The amount of one and two dollar notes outstanding has increased 16.958,217 dols. in the past four years. The number of United States notes redeemed during the year was 20,339,164, representing a face value of 77,764,714 dols. There were received during the year in payment of duties on imports United States notes to the amount of 27,937,216 dols., the aggregate of such receipts from the resumption of specific payments to September 30, 1883, being 210,405,404 dols MANUFACTURES n; THE UNITED STATES.—From the most recent statistics it appears that there are 253,852 manufacturing establishments in the United States, with a capital of S2,790,272,606. employing 2,019,035 men, 531,639 women, and 181.921 boys and firls. Tho total amount, paid in wages was 947,933,795, while tho product was$5.309,579,191. There has been no increase in the number of factories since the year 1870, but a considerable increase in the number of operatives. Yet during the decade from 1870 to 1880 the average wages of the employes were reduced from S379 to J50 per annum. It is pointed out, however, that during the ten years named the purchasing power of money improved greatly from the inflated period of 1870, 80 that the workman who now receives S29 per month fares really better than when he got $:31t 13 years ago. It is stated that there are being manufactured at Spring- field for the harvest of 1884 no fewer than 73,000 reapers and mowers valued at$10,220,000. AVERAGE PRICES OF BRITISH CoR-f.Tlic, following: are the average prices of British corn for last week, as received from the inspectors and officers of Excise: Wheat, 36s. lid.; barley, 31s. lOd.; oats, 19s. 5d. per imperial quarter. Corresponding week last year: Wheat, 41s. 9d.; barley, 33s. 5d.; oats, 21s. 7d. PARTICULAR TO A SHADE.—A Philadelphia paper says that a consumptive man, knowing that his life was rapidly drawing to a close, called his wife to him and said: Madeline, you know that I am about to die shall you ever think of me when I am gone ?" Oh, yes, darling," sobbed his wife. I never can forget you, and 1 will ever see that your grave is kept green." "Yes, my dear, I know you will; but I have one last request." "What is it, darling "Do not keep it that vulgar, low-down, common green, like Simpson's grave, which is so distasteful to the eye Keep it a rich delicate olive green." A CROW HUNT.—The people living on Pumpkin- vine Creek, as well as our town people, are much exercised over the millions of crows that roost every night just across the river. The like was never seen by the older inhabitants, and grave fears are enter- tained by the more suspicious. The small grain crops have suffered. Much uneasiness is felt that they will entirely destroy our promising small grain crops. From one who has visited the roost at night we learn that the scene is indescribable. Limbs are actually broken off from the weight of the cunning rascals, while the noise they make is deafening. By banging a gun into a tree five or six crows generally fall dead at. your feet. About sunset every evening they can be seen for miles making for the roost. We watched their roostward flight the other evening for two hours, and there was an incessant stream during the entire time. They fly away to the fields early in morning, devastating the crops for miles round. The question now presents itself, what, is to be done to get rid of the pesky things ? The nights being dark at present not much could be done by shooting them, but in the event we have bright evenings soon, a large crowd, well armed, will visit the roost on a mission of destruction. There will now doubt be lots of fun to be hid.I)etroil Free Press. INTERESTING DoCU-IfrNTS.-Tlle London correspon- dent of the Manchester Guardian writes: In the Kings library at the British Museum are now ex- hibited a few but highly interesting documents acquired last year from Lord Ashburnham. These were acquired in 1804 of Thomas Astlc. keeper of the records in the Tower, who by his will directed that they should be offered to the Marquis of Bucking- ham. In the event of his refusal the British Museum would have the option of purchase. In April, 1849, they were offered to the nation, but the negotiations for the purchase failed, and the collection was eventually sold to the late Earl of Ashburnham. In 1879 the present earl offered the whole of his library to the trustees, and early in 1882, it will be remem- bered, negotiations for the purchase of his collection of manuscripts were reopened. The selection which is exhibited comprises some of the most interesting charters, volumes, and historical and literary docu- ments and autographs. In table-case 1 is a grant from Uightred, King of Kent, to the church of Liming, of land of four ploughs called wieghelmestun.. In screen A there are several historical letters and scarce autographs—viz., a letter of Queen Elizabeth, dated Greenwich, March 30, 1574, addressed to George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, Earl Marshal, in answer to his complaints of reports made to his dis- credit by Corkar, his chaplain. Another letter, from Oliver-Cromwell to Richard Maijan, in reference to- the execution of deeds, dated April 28, 1649, and another from John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, dated Louvain, May 25, 1706, to George Louis, Elector of Hanover, and many other documents.
GENERAL GORDON ON SLAVERY IN THE SOUDAN. The Times correspondent at Cairo says that the following remarks have been made by General Gordon, in reply to inquiries on the subject of his slavery pro- clamation I answer you thus:—Her Majesty's Government, with the full consent of the Khedive, has decided to separate the Soudan from Egypt; and both Govern- ,,y ments have sent me to carry out the evacuation of the Soudan and to restore native government. I ask you what your answer would have been to the people of the Soudan, when they asked me whether her Majesty's Government was to hold by the treaty, which I have read, that the slaves can be liberated in 1889. I answered that the treaty would not hold good so far as I was concerned and that I should not in- terfere with slave-holding. As to the exact words of the proclamation, when translated from the Arabic, I cannot speak, for I dictated merely the sense of it. This I shall have to say and I would ask you if, taking your view of the dangers of a retirement to in Cairo into account, and the peril to Khartoum, &c., I was not justified in telling the people what was self- evident to them—namely, that the separation of the Soudan from Egypt abrogated all the treaties made between Cairo and foreign Governments. "I would add that I have ever considered the libe- ration of the slaves, without compensation, or without some gradual registration system, as robbery; and I am supported in this view by the action of Parliament in 1833, when it granted < £ '20,000,000 to liberate the West Indian slaves. Further, I say you will never carry out the treaty of 1877 in Egypt, by which the slaves are to be libe- rated in 1884. Had I said that I would allow slave-hunting, then you might have complained. What I stated was in rc slave-holding. As for slave-hunting, rest assured that I have not forgotten it; and, God willing, I will take such measures as will prevent it. I wonder if you are aware of the fact that when I was Governor-General here I never interfered with slave-holding; and that, in fact, till 1889, no one could do so even under the old regime. All my work was against slave-hunting. So much did I regard the existing slaves as property that I have often bought cl individuals myself and given them their liberty."