OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT. The wonderfully fine weather which accom- panied the commencement of June had the im- mediate and, indeed, inevitable effect of turn- ing the thoughts of tens of thousands to the seaside, and the thoughts, in a great number of cases, was speedily translated into action. The London railway stations which connoct most directly with the sea promptly showed signs of the rush, and now, week by week, these signs will multiply until, by the end of July and the beginning of August, they will be overwhelm- ing. It is a subject, however, for lament among a large proportion of that class whom John Leech used to label" Paterfamilias," and concerning whom he cracked many a good natured joke, that the schools in these days are mainly worked by terms," and not by the old-fashioned quar- ters," with the consequence that they separate all of a crowd at the end of July. The -neces- sary result is that the head of a household, who wishes to enjoy the holiday with his family, has to do it within the same few weeks as a score of thousands of others in his own condition of life, and, therefore, at a period when lodgings are at once most crowded and 11 Z, most dear; and this is a point which schoolmasters might do well to consider, instead of adhering to an iron-bound rule which creates much inconvenience and additional ex- pense. Holidays and fruit are almost naturally associated in one's mind, and, therefore, the question of what sort of a fruit season are we going to have comes readily to the mind early in June. The observant visitor to Covent- garden is already finding some evidence upon which to base a calculation, and he is aided in this by the opinions of experts. There appears, when all these are collated, to be no doubt that the season will be a fair one all round, unless the drought is too long continued, it being apparent that, save for the unusual dryness of the spring, the crops in general would have been heavier. It will strike those who know little about horticulture as singular that the tomato-which is not a fruit, of course, but which, as a vegetable, comes very near it-is the one crop that has specially flourished because of the drought, for, juicy as it is, it is not a moisture-loving plant. What is of further interest is that the English yield and especially, it would seem, around London--is this year likely to be enormous, and it will effectively meet the heavy competition from the Channel Islands and abroad. The reception given at various gatherings in the capital during the past ten days to Maitre Labori, the celebrated French advocate, have testified in a very striking fashion to the solidarity of the bar all the world over. Our own gentlemen of the long robe," to employ the phrase Parliament was accustomed formally to use when alluding to barristers-have shown this on more than one occasion, and notably in the banquet of nearly forty years since to M. Berryer, another great French lawyer, and in that to Mr. Benjamin, eighteen years ago, at the conclusion of his forensic career. The earlier event has often been referred to as the occasion upon which the then Lord Chief Justice of England (Sir Alexander Cockburn) defined the true function of the advocate. But the latter also is worthy of memory, for it was a striking honour paid to one who had been the Attorney- General of the American Confederacy, and who, when that cause was lost on the battlefield, settled in England, became a Queen's Counsel, and ultimately, by the sheer force of his genius, placed himself in the very front rank of our bar. There is always room in the very front rank of every profession, but complaint is more and more to be heard that the middle ranks are becoming more and more crowded. This is just now especially the case as to the bar, and that is little to be wondered at when the results of the recent legal examinations can be quoted as proving that the Bar is maintain- ing its popularity among young men of ability and ambition. The percentage of failures, it appears, was unusually low, and the increased percentage of successes is declared not to have been due to any lowering of the standard of knowledge. But, as proving the thesis first laid down, the honours lists were very small. Only two names appeared in the First Class in the final examina- tion, three in Roman Law, and one in Evidence Procedure and Criminal Law, while in Con- stitutional Law and Legal History there was no First Class at all—a fact which surely should give some pause. Now that the shareholders of the Metropolitan District Railway Company have definitely de- cided to adopt electric traction on their line, the question is being eagerly asked, and in various quarters as to whether—and, if so, when-the Metropolitan Railway Company intends to do the like. It is obvious that, if the reply is in the negative, there is bound to be confusion, for, although the two systems are colloqually lumped together by the public as The Underground," they are separate and yet connected as running jointly the Inner Circle service. As at present arranged, the trains on one set of rails belong to the Metropolitan, and those on the t other to the District; but that plan will not work if the Metropolitan continue to use steam and the District electricity. The problem is obviously not an easy one to solve, but it presents a difficulty that will ultimately have to be met, and most probably it will be settled in favour of the more modern motor. The decision of the Royal Agricultural Society to raise a fund for the purchase of a site of one hundred acres of land between Willesden and Eating, "for the purposes of the future permanent showyard of the society, has been promptly endorsed by the King, whose interest in all that concerns this body has long been known. His Majesty has Tnot un- naturally reminded the society that, owing to his new and heavy engagements as occupant of the Throne, he is no longer able to take the active part in its management he has hitherto done, having four times been Presi- dent and for twenty-two years a Trustee; but his assurance that he will never cease to take the greatest interest in its welfare, coupled with the tangible evidence of his giving two hundred and fifty guineas towards th^ special fund of £ "30,000 now being raised, will be received in all agricultural quarters with warm satisfaction. Willesden has for the last score of years been a name of scarcely pleasant- sound to many friends of the Royal Agricultural Society, who recall how its London meeting, held near there in 1879, was a failure but that was entirely because of an abnormal period of rain; and, when the permanent showyard is placed in that district, as at no distant date it will be, all remembrance of that failure should of a surety be blotted out. The people of London will need to look noi- some centuries to find a parallel for 'i]b.' spectacle presented a few evenings since of 1 Primate ¡ r All England preaching in ti < miclst from an opon-air pulpit. Yet, this ,> tacle was witnessed in Spitaifields, when v Archbishop of Canterbury dedicated the open- air pulpit, which has been erected in the p, churchyard as a Memorial to the Bishop < Bedford (Dr. Billing), who was rector and nlL1,] dean of Spitalfields from 1878 to 1888. SUM open-air deliverances on the part of a cli i guished churchman takes one back in thov to the preachings that used to take put at St. Paul's Cross, in front of St. Paul's Cathedral, and it is redolent of such memories as those of Hugh Latimer. In the present case, the effect was rendered the more striking because of the twilight in which much of the proceedings took place and it seems possible that if the experiment succeed—though, as has been indicated, it is but the revival of a very old idea-the erection of open-air pulpits will be proceeded with in other parts of the crowded capital. R.
NEWS NOTES. is- MRS. LOUIS BOTHA-about whose comings and goings Dame Rumour has been so busy— is here in Europe. She landed at Southampton on Saturday, with the view of proceeding to confer with Kruger, so it is said. Her object, 9 1 the story goes, is to compass peace but we ques- tion whether she can accomplish any real good, however well-intentioned her desiring Oom Paul's potentiality is probably nil no w, or thereabout; and even were he induced to conquer his incorrigible stupidity sufficiently to offer the fullest submission imaginable to Britain at this belated time of day it is moro than doubtful whether any considerable quan- tity of his brothers Boers would be swayed by the action of such a repentant runaway. There seems only one practical issue of the war, that is the thorough subjugation of the recalcitrants, and men like Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Milner, and Lord Kitchener. are scarcely likely to attach any importance to the alleged missions of Mrs. Botha, though she did get a hearing a while ago, in the vain hope that she might have the will and the power to bring certain of the chief troublers of the Transvaal to recognise the inevitable. MATTERS move slowly and unsatisfactorily in China, but it is perhaps as well that the bulk of the troops of the Allied Powers are being withdrawn, since there is little to gain from their remaining in occupation at Pekin and elsewhere now that the Empress-Dowager and her evil advisers have been taught their lesson. The Emperor will return, they say, to the capital about three months hence; and outstand- ing questions regarding the indemnity payment are-it is proposed-to be submitted to arbitra- tion at The Hague. The suggestion will suit "John Chinaman mightily, for any thing that gives him time appeals to his cherished ideal of masterly inactivity. THE Royal tour has proceeded propitiously up to the New Zealand stage, and in the island colony the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York are meeting with a welcome as hearty as that accorded to them in Federated Australia. We look one day—and that not a distant one —to find New Zealand in the great Antipodean Commonwealth, and we are full sure that this Royal progress will expedite a consummation so devoutly to be desired. COLONIAL legislators are assembling for the Imperial Court of Appeal conference, the sittings of which will commence in London this month end. At present the House of Lords and the Privy Council are the Supreme Courts of Appeal for the whole of the British Empire. A Colonial law-suit, if taken to the highest court, must come to London. This, it is urged, is manifestly opposed to the fundamental prin- ciples on which the Empire is conducted. The object of the conference is to de- vise an Imperial tribunal for appeal cases which shall by its composition be as fit to decide a Colonial lawsuit as a British one. All the Colonies and India will be repre- sented. A representative of a contemporary has had a brief interview with Mr. Justice Hodges, of the Supreme Court of Victoria, who is to represent the Australian Commonwealth. He said: The dissatisfaction in the Colonies over the present system is keen and of long standing. It has been felt that in certain cases the Privy Council has been too strong and in others too weak. True, the Colonies are represented on the Privy Council-but not in the precise way we consider they ought to be. The Colonies feel that the whole legal system of the Empire should be brought into line. The question is a a very great one. It affects the Empire from its remotest confines to its very heart. It is impossible to say how long the Conference will last, but it should not take long to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion." All well-wishers of the principle of Imperial unity must ardently hope that such will be the case. IT is disconcerting to find, from the prelimi- nary census return, that Ireland's population has dropped a further quarter of a million during the last decade. Something thoroughly serious ought to be attempted to the end of stopping this ruinous leakage of the inhabitants of Erin something quite outside of, and above, the warring din of political partisanship. Surely the Green Isle is worth saving. ONE does not like to hear a heavy drop in such an important manufacture as that of British steel, especially when the plaint comes, and comes justifiably, from Sheffield. But the latest Board of Trade Returns show a big fall- ing off in the steel export, and most of this material is from the great Yorkshire centre. The total was 20,000 tons, against 35,000, the most serious decrease being in the trade done with Germany, Russia, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. Other countries have a decrease of fully one half. The average money value of the steel exported has dropped by about 20s. a ton. The decreases of steel imported from England by Holland have been so considerable now for many months past that some traders are discussing the possi- bility of the Dutch systematically boycotting this country on account of the war. In May last year Holland took 3132 tons of British steel; last month the quantity had shrunk to 404 tons. South Yorkshire collieries are faring badly in the export trade this season. Although the shipment of coal up to the end of May showed an increase taking the country through there was a decrease of 270,000 tons from South Yorkshire, last month's decline being 40,000 tons. The foreign cutlery trade appears to be just holding its own. THERE is a true Oriental deliberation about the officialdom of Turkey, especially where money paying is concerned. Thus we learn that Rrrangements have only just been concluded as- suring the payment of indemnities amounting to I-C63,000 to British subjects for losses suffered by them during the Armenian massacres of 1896. The sufferers may even yet have to wait no inconsiderable time before they handle their due.
DECLARATIONS OF HEADS OF STATES. ,A Parliamentary paper has been issued contain- ing a return of the various oaths or declarations touching religion which are made on their acces- sion to power by the heads of the following States Great Britain and Ireland, the German Empire, the United States, Franee, and Austria-Hungary,, There is no provision in the constitution on the Empire for an oath regarding the constitution oa the part of the German Emperor. In the oath or affirmation taken by the President of the United States there is no reference to religion. The President of the French Republic takes no oath on his assumption of office. Austria had no con- stitution when the present Emperor ascended the Throne, and his Majesty took no accession oath of any kind. In the oath which his Majesty took as King of Hungary there is an engagement to main- tain the churches of God. but tltese are mentioned in the plural and without any specification of creed.
SOUTH AFRICA. I THE SITUATION IN THE TRANSVAAL. I I have been able (said the Times correspondent at Middelburg, wiring on the 7th inst.) to learn the opinions of several prominent Dutchmen in Pretoria with regard to the present conduct of the war. These men, who are old inhabitants of the Transvaal, have no inherent love for us, but for their own sakes and their country's are anxious for the termination of hostilities. They agree that the only chance of bringing the war to a speedy end is to proclaim that after a certain date the farms of men still on commando will be confiscated. This would bring about the surrender of a large number of commandants, though it would not affect the foreigners or Boer leaders such as Botha and others who have no property. Delarey, they believe, will fight to the end. The opinion enter- tained of Botha by those who know him well is not favourable. Fifteen more waggon-loads of Boers, with their families, have been brought in here by General Bullock's column from outlying farms in the Ermelo district. The column was sniped at in the usual way on its march. Dr. Everard, a Beer doctor, who was brought in with the others, states that the burghers are heartily tired of fighting, and would surrender to a man if their leaders would permit them to do so. General Tobias Smuts and Mr. De Wet, General Botha's secretary, are still at Standerton, waiting, it is presumed, for an answer from Mr. Kruger. THE REPORTED DEFEAT OF GENERAL BEYERS'S COMMANDO. Lord Kitchener, in reply to a telegram from the Secretary of State for War respecting the alleged surprise of General Beyers's commando, states that the report is without foundation. I RAILWAY ACCIDENT NEAR PRETORIA. A serious railway accident occurred on the 7th inst. in the vicinity of Pretoria on the Pietersburg line. A train full of troops was run into by a train coming from the opposite direction. The latter, travelling at some speed, was rounding a curve at the time, and it dashed into the troop train with great force. A number of trucks were smashed and nine soldiers were killed and several others injured. CAPTURE OF BOERS AND SUPPLIES. News was received at headquarters at Middel- burg (Cape Colony), on the 7th inst., of two gratifying successes in different parts of the colony. On the night of the 6th inst. Lieutenant- Colonel Scobell, having with him Lukin's Cape Mounted Rifles, besides a detachment of the 9th Lancers and other troops, made a night march and surprised a laager at Diepfontein, to the north-west of Barldy East. Lukin's men charged impetuously, and the enemy fled, panic- stricken, making but little attempt at fighting. The British captured 20 prisoners, 166 horses, 13,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition, and 25 rifles, besides a quantity of clothing, 196 saddles, and 200 blankets. They also recaptured a con- siderable portion of the loot taken by the Boers from Jamestown. Colonel Scobell estimated the force of the enemy at 300. Kruitzinger was in command. This was evidently only a part of Kruitzihger's force, however, as he is known to have 800 men with him. Our casualties were one trooper of the Cape Mounted Rifles slightly wounded. The second success occurred south-east of Steynsburg. Colonel Wyndham, of the 17th Lancers, after a vigorous night march, covering over 40 miles, attacked Van Reenen at Ruigte Vlei. The enemy, who in this case again were com- pletely taken by surprise, made but a feeble re- sistance. Twenty-two prisoners were captured, and 2000 rounds of ammunition and a number of horses, saddles, and rifles were taken. We had three slight casualties. A farmer reports that three Boers were killed and several wounded. General French is in command of the active operations in the whole of Cape Colony, while Colonel Haig continues to control them, as before, in the Midland and Eastern Provinces. RAILWAYMEN AND THE WAR. The work which has been done throughout the war by the engine-drivers, stokers, and other employes of the Cape railways has excited the greatest admiration throughout the army. In- stances of individual pluck have been innumerable, and several cases have been personally noticed by the Commander-in-Chief. The loss suffered by the railway employes have been severe. Recent returns show that 24 have been killed or have died of wounds and that 38 have been wounded. MRS. BOTHA IN ENGLAND. I Among the passengers on board the Union Castle mail steamship Dunvegan Castle, which arrived at Southampton from South Africa on Saturday morning, was Mrs. Louis Botha, wife of the Boer General, who is reported to have come to Europe on a peace mission. The statements on this subject are of a most contradictory character. While on one hand it has been said that Mrs. Botha has come to Europe in the interests of peace, it has also been declared thafc her visit is purely for reasons of health, Mrs. Botha, who is accompanied by Mr. H. G. R. Fischer, son of the former State Secretary of the Orange Free State, and her son, has through- out refused to say anything about the object of her journey. She is not in good health, and kept her- self aloof from the other passengers. She de- clined to see any journalists on her arrival, and sent word by Mr. Fischer to that effect. Reuter's representative, however, had a conversation with Mr. Fischer, who said that Mrs. Botha and himself were going straight to London, and would then lea-ve for Holland and Belgium, but the date ol their departure for the Continent had not been fixed. With regard to the objects of Mrs. Botha's journey, Mr. Fischer said: I cannot confirm or deny the statement that Mrs. Botha has come to Europe in the interests of peace. She has resolutely refused to give any information, and is now the more determined to maintain silence, owing to the fictitious statements telegraphed from South Africa. Besides," he added, what- ever we say, the papers will put in something else. You ask me to say whether Mrs. Botha has come on a peace mission or not. All I would ask in reply is this: Is it likely that Lord Kitchener would employ a woman ?'" Mr. Fischer, however, admitted that he had been released on parole to .come to Europe with Mrs. Botha, and also to visit 1 his father, Mr. Abram Fischer, at Brussels. CAPTURES FROM THE ENEMY. I Lord Kitchener, in a telegram of Monday, says that during May the number of Boers who were killed, taken prisoners, or surrendered was 264.0. Down to the 9th of the present month 26 Boers have been killed, four wounded, 409 taken pri- soners, and 33 have surrendered, while there have been captured 651 rifles, 115,550 rounds of ammu- nition, 120 waggons, and 4000 horses. THE JAMESTOWN BAIT. J The Times special correspondent at Cape Town says that Jamestown was intended as a bait for Kruitzinger's force. It was a well-designed piece of strategy, and though it failed, the subsequent successes by Lukin's and Wyndham's columns have been some compensotion for the failure. BOER LEADERS CONFERRING. The Standard special correspondent at Durban, telegraphing on Monday, says important com- munications are proceeding between the Boer leaders and Mr. Kruger. Lord Kitchener has granted facilities to the Netherlands Council for an interview with General Tobias Smuts and Mr. De Wet, the Private Secretary of Commandant Louis Botha, and the telegraph has been placed at their disposal in order that they may communicate freely with the ex-President. The Boer leaders are now at Standerton awaiting a. reply from Mr. Kruger to their messages. DE WET'S POSITION. General De Wet is reported to have occupied a position on the Gatsrancl Hill, South of Krugers- dorp-Potchefstroom Railway. His force numbers about a thousand. I SURSENDER OF COMMANDANT VAN RENSBURG AND ALL HIS FORCE The War Office publishes the following: J Lord Kitehener to Secretary of State for War: I PRETORIA, Jxme 11, 7.30 p.m. Commandant Van Ilensburg and his commando have surrendered at, One hundred armed men have come in. There are others following.
CHINA. I THE IMPERIAL COURT.—COUNT I WALDERSEE'S RETURN. An edict has been published announcing that, owing to the hot weather and the advanced age of the Dowager-Empress, the return of the Court to Pekin has been postponed until September 1. Count von Waldersee arrived at Kobe, Japan, on Saturday, and left on Sunday morning for Tokio. ANOTHER CHINESE RUSE. I The Times Shanghai correspondent says it is believed that the recent edict respecting the return of the Court to Pekin is merely intended to hoodwink the Powers in order to secure evacua- tion. The Times Berlin correspondent states that the strength of the German troops which will remain in China is officially given at 3600, of whom 800 are intended to garrison Shanghai. THE INDEMNITY.—IMPORTANCE OF SHANGHAI. The Foreign Ministers held a meeting at Pekin oia Tuesday. The majority were in favour of accepting China's offer to pay 450,000,000 taels, but there was considerable discussion as to how the four per cent. could be collected. Mr. Rock- hill will submit at the next meeting the American proposal to refer the question of indemnity to the Hague Arbitration Court. Admiral Sir E. Sey- mour, who is relinquishing the command of the British Squadron, at a dinner of the China Asso- ciation, dwelt on the importance of Shanghai and the necessity for its defence in order to preserve the prestige of foreign nations in the eyes of the Chinese.
THE LAST NEW CRAZE. HOW GAMBLING HAS INCREASED AMONG WOMEN. I That Society nowadays suffers from a perpetual craving for excitement has become a positive plati- tude, says the World, and, for some time past it has been obvious that, as one result, gambling has not only increased, but is ever increasing, and, what is more, has spread chiefly among women. Hitherto it has been one of the privileges of Woman to beguile the other sex from the whirl- pool into which the gamester is traditionally drawn. Now we have altered all this. Time was when at race meetings and sports the girl of the period had a box of gloves or so on this or that event and was satisfied. Now she openly makes her book," and deals in hard cash. Nowhere is this gambling craze which has possessed women to such an extent of late more marked than in Society. Everyone is bent on beg- garing his or her neighbour; and as it is the op- portunity that makes the thief, so it is the smart hostess and the hostess eager to be accounted smart who, regardless of all considerations of hos- pitality and friendship, offers facilities for the cul- tivation of the gambling spirit in others, and un- hesitatingly invites guests to her house for the express purpose of winning their money if pos- sible. Everywhere, and in most unexpected places, is the gambling woman at work, for her sacilities nowadays are great. Women have more freedom, and are to be found rushing in where aforetime even men feared to tread. Moreover, they have their clubs and their tea-shops, and, to a far greater extent than can be possibly realised, both these resorts are now utilised for gaming pur- poses. There are crazes which are caught like contagious diseases, it has been said, and without doubt gambling is one of them. Different people take it in different forms; and it is not always the woman who plunges in stocks who gives her guests plainly to understand that they are asked to her house to pay for a price. Nor does she who risks all at Bridge, and cannot even play Ping-Pong except for stakes, necessarily back horses. But the fact re- mains that gambling, one way or another, has become the pet indulgence of the smart woman of to-day. Perhaps it is because she likes to possess at, least one masculine vice, or because it is agreeable to get money—when it is to be got— without trouble, or because speculation produces on her an exhilarating effect. But however it may be, she finds it well-nigh necessary to existence nowadays, and with the usual thoroughness and enthusiasm of her sex she shirks no means to the gambling end.
SAD LIST OF TRAGEDIES. I At Kirkstall, near Leeds on Monday evening, a coroner's jury found that Edith Worth, 'only 15 years of age, had, in a fit of temporary insanity, drowned herself in the river Aire. The coroner said it appeared to be a girl's "tiff," which was not at all uncommon. The deceased, according to the evidence, wanted a white blouse washed in readiness for the Bramley .Carnival on Saturday, and, vexed that it could not be done, she ended her life. Whilst playing in a hayfield, at Hornchurch, near Romford, on Saturday, a three-year old boy, named Frank Swan, was killed by the cart passing over him. The child's father was helping to load the cart. A sad double fatality occurred at Astley-bridge, near Bolton, on Monday afternoon, Frederick Greenhagh and George Grundy, schoolboys, aged about twelve, were playing with a number of com- panions in the ruins of an old mill, when a wall suddenly collapsed, burying the two lads in its debris. One was dead when extricated, and the other expired almost immediately afterwards. Mr. Franklin Fenn, aged 23, son of the Rev. Anthony C. Fenn, Rector of Wrabness, Essex, was drowned in the River Stour on Sunday while bathing with three companions. A Radley College boy named William Brown, aged 15, was drowned while bathing at the college bathing-place, Sandford-on-Thames, on Saturday. A deep hole had been recently dredged, and deceased, who could not swim, was unaware of it. He got into this and sank before assistance could be rendered. The body was shortly afterwards recovered. A party of young lady assistants from Messrs. White's, Aldershot, were out for a cycle ride, and on descending Windsor-hill just before reaching Shackleford, near Godalming, one of them, Miss Florence Emma Lewthwaite, aged 22, of Balham, collided with her friend who was riding imme- diately in front and both fell. Miss Lewthwaite was picked up unconscious, and died a few hours later.
THE present King of Spain is the only instance of a child being born a King. oJ THE cost of fuel on steam railways is about 10 per cent. of operating expenses. All the employes on La Fronde, a Paris paper, are females. IT makes a Lady mad to find her Blankets and Furs ruined by moths. She ought, when placing away, to see they are plentifully sprinkled with KEATING'S POWDER. This is unrivalled in killing Moths, Fleas, Beetles, Lice in Children's Heads, whilst harmless to everything but insects. Tins, 3d., 6d., Is. New Filled Bellows, 9d. A MARRIAGE has been arranged between the Hon. Charles Harris, brother of the Earl of Malmesbury, and Lady Muriel Fox Strangways, only daughter of the Earl and Countess of Ilchester. SIR GEORGE WHITE, the Governor of Gibraltar, on Saturday inspected the battalion of the new Garrison Regiment which recently arrived there for service. The force mustered 22 officers and 737 men. The steadiness of the men on parade was specially noticed. A MARRIAGE has been arranged, and will take place in July at San Paolo, between Lillian, second daughter of Mr. Herbert Lees, J.P., of Lynton, Prestwich-park, Manchester, and A. E. Grenfeh Knight, eldest son of the late Mr. E. J. Knight, of Tyroes, Peneoed, Bridgend, South Wales. AN arrangement has been concluded, says a telegram from Constantinople, assuring the pay- ment of indemnities, amounting to £ 63,000, to British subjects for losses suffered by them during the Armenian massacres cf 1896.
I THE ROYAL TOUR. I ARRIVAL AT AUCKLAND. The Ophir and her escort arrived at Auckland. New Zealand, on Monday at noon, one day before the appointed time. All are well. The voyage of the Royal squadron from Sydney to Auckland was agreeable, if uneventful. The weather was favourable for the season of the year. During the first 24 hours the sea was somewhat rough, but the wind afterwards fell and the next two days were warm and sunny. On Saturday night and ltgain on Sunday night the ships were delayed by a slight fog. The squadron slowed down to ten knots and changed its formation to single column line ahead. Rain was falling in a steady down- pour when the Ophir and her escort entered the harbour. I THE RECEPTION AT AUCKLAND. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York on Tuesday landed at Auckland, and had a most enthusiastic reception. Replying to an address presented by the Premier on behalf of the people of New Zealand, His Royal Highness said the readiness and promptitude with which the Govern- ment and people of the country sprang to the assistance of the Mother Land in the struggle which was unhappily proceeding in South Africa would ever be remembered with gratitude by the King and the people of the United Kingdom. Their action in that matter had proved to the world that their appreciation of the benefits they enjoyed as citizens of the British Empire would, whenever occasion arose, be shown by deeds, not words.
NEW DEAN OF SALISBURY. The King has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Right Reverend Bishop Webb, D.D., to the Deanery of Salisbury. Dr. Allan Becher Webb is well known at Oxford. He was a scholar of Corpus Christi College, where lie took very high degrees, and afterwards Fellow and Tutor of University College, Oxford. After a term of office as Vice-Principal of Cuddesdon Theo- logical College, he spent some years in a country parish, and then went out to South Africa as Bishop of Bloemfontein. He held that See from 1870 to 1883, and was then translated to the Bishopric of Grahamstown, which he retained until 1898. Last year, on the death of the Bishop of Bloemfontein, Dr. Webb volunteered to resume the duties of the See temporarily, and lie has only recently returned to this country.
ESCAPE AND CAPTURE OF CONVICTS. On Monday afternoon great excitement was occasioned at Parkhurst Convict Prison, Isle of Wight, by the escape of two convicts, both of whom were undergoing sentence of five years' penal servitude. It appears that just after three o'clock, while a party of 30 convicts, in charge of a warder, were engaged in field labour, two of them dashed off in the direction of a 7ft. wooden fence, the only barrier between them and freedom. Before the warder realised what had happened the men had scaled the fence and got clear away. A hue and cry was im- mediately raised, bells being rung and whistles blown. Although the men had less than a couple of minutes start from their pursuers they were speedily lost in the Parkhurst Forest, which adjoins the convict establishment. A party of upwards of 20 warders, a force of military from Parkhurst Barracks, several members of the Isle of Wight police, and some volunteers, who were at rifle practice in the neighbourhood, took up the pursuit. The men-Samuel Walton Kay, an ex- clergyman, and William Walker, an ex-naval stoker —were, of course, in the convict garb. Two hundred men of the Northumberland Fusi- liers, under Major Isaacs, searched the forest for hours on Monday evening without discovering any trace of the convicts. It is stated that several shots were fired at the men almost as soon as they commenced their flight. The coastguard authorities were informed of the incident, and a sharp look-out was kept, with the result that the runaways were, at 11 o'clock on Monday night, cap- tured between Gurnard and Newtown, hiding in a brickyard. The men made no secret of their in- tention to get a boat, and, if possible, escape to the mainland. Their capture was effected by two coastguardsmen, and they made no resistance when approached.
HUGE SAILING SHIP LOST. I News of the abandonment of the huge ship France in the South Atlantic has caused a great sensation on the Tyne, which she left on March 14 for Valparaiso. Tugs from Monte Video were sent to search for her, but without success, and there is every reason to believe'she has foundered. Fears were entertained that her crew of 45 had perished, but a telegram, received by the South Shields agents from Messrs. Bordes, the owners, states that the crew has been safely landed at Valparaiso. The France was one of the biggest sailing vessels afloat, but not the largest. This honour belongs to the Potosi, a German built and owned ship, which registers 4027 tons gross, as against the France's 3800 tons.
THE ROYAL UNITED SERVICE INSTITUTION. GIFTS FROM THE KING. The King has once more shown the close inte- rest he takes in the Navy and Army by presenting to the Royal United Service Institution several relics of priceless value. His Majesty has always regarded this Institution as one of the most de- serving connected with the forces of the Crown. He laid the foundation-stone of the theatre and the buildings which adjoin the old banqueting room of Whitehall Palace, a structure associated with so much that is both tragic and glorious in the history of the British Crown. His Majesty's latest gifts to the Institu- tion ought to attract many visitors to the museum. The principal one is Chantrey's bust of Lord Nelson, which has hitherto been secluded in Windsor Castle. This is a work of art which must take precedence of any likeness of the great admiral, whether in stone or on canvas. It is mounted on a portion of the mainmast of the Victory, pitted with bullet marks, and the two make a magnificent memorial of a great sailor and a great sea fight. The King has also sent two smaller pieces of the masts of the Victory, a double-headed shot fired from the Santissima Trinidada, two old cannon, and an anchor fished out of the sea at Slaines Castle, two 841b. solid shot, and a fac-simile of a shot fired from the Victory. His Majesty has also lent two Russian muskets and two guns from Zuiuland. The latter are very curious, inasmuch as they were originally flintlock, and had been converted by the natives for use with percussion caps. The Institution must have gained immensely by these presents from the King. Many as are the Nelson relics in various collections, nowhere now is there so complete, so extensive, and so interesting a gathering of relics of the nation's great naval hero as in the ancient Palace of Whitehall. The value of the collection is im- mensely increased by the appropriate surround- ings, from the battle flags, torn and tattered, which hang from the galleries, to the skeleton of Marengo, Napoleon's famous charger, and other mementoes of our thousand and one wars, down to our latest fights in South Africa—a war only made possible by that command of the sea which Nelson secured for us.
I DR. LAVERAN, the French surgeon who first investigated the peculiar micro-organisms in the red blood of corpuscles of malaria patients, has been made a member of the Aeaddmie des Sciences, Paris. AFTER the launch of a series of notable legal works such as the "Encyclopaedia of English Law," Ruling Cases," and others, there followed a I ull in this special branch of the publishing trade, but another big undertaking has now been pro- jected, an "Eiicyclopoodia of Forms and Prece- dents," which should prove of great use to the practitioner, although, of course, it will appeal to a very limited extent to anyone outside the profes- sion. This Encyclopaedia, which is to be issued by Messrs. Butterworth, will be under the general editorship of Mr. Arthur Underhiil, one of the Readers for the Council of LegaJ Education.
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THE WHIST CRAZE. The present furore for bridge wnich exists in fashionable circles is a singular repetition of the similar craze for whist which attended the first publication of Hoyle's famous treatise in 1743. Hoyle introduced the game into the highest circles of London society, fully deserving Byron's well- known line, Troy owes to Homer what whist owes to Hoyle." In an amusing skit published on the work of the now classic author the following passage occurs: "I have joined 12 companies in the Malt this morning, and 11 of them are talking of whist. It's the subject of all conversations, and has had the honour to be introduced into the Cabinet. Why, thou'lt be laughed at intolerably unless you can tell how many hundred and odd it is for or against one that your partner has or has not such a card or such a card!"
1900 RECORD CLARET YEAR. The Bordeaux vintage for 1900, according to the Consular report of Mr. I-leirn, just issued, was by far the largest of the century. It totalled 278,492,710 gallons, beating the celebrated vintage of 1893 by 37,319,184 gallons. The vintage continued as late as the end of October, owing to the enormous quantity of fruit and the difficulty of finding vats and barrels wherein to put the wine. The quantity of wine made was unsurpassed, and the quality should also be good.
CONGO RUBBER TRADE. It is often argued ,that the enormous quantities of rubber which are shipped home from the Congo constitute a positive proof of the commercial prosperity of the State. But it should be remem- bered that the largest proportion of the rubber shipped home is from the private domain of the State. In this domain, which comprises four- fifths of the Congo Free State territory, only the State is allowed 1;.I trade or to purchase rubber from the natives.
His GRACE OF NORFOLK has the reputation in Sheffield, where he is so well known and much beloved, of being one of the most unpretentious men that ever lived. A few weeks ago, at a small Roman Catholic church in one of the streets off the Strand, where many notable people are seen from time to time, a collection was taken at the door after the midday Mass. A gentleman pass- ing out dropped some coins on the plate as he went. To the astonishment of the plateholder they were sovereigns. A look at the quiet, plainly- dressed donor convinced the collector that there was a mistake, so he hurried rapidly after the gentleman to explain. The gentleman smiled courteously as he replied, We'll let the mistake pass this time." The astonishment of the plate- holder was greater than ever when, on relating his "wonderful experience," he was told that the quiet, unassuming gentleman was the Duke of Norfolk. II. "r">t.t,
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SHOPKEEPER (to importunate commercial tra- veller) Simkins, call the porter to kick this fellow out." Undaunted Commercial Traveller: Now, while we're waiting for the porter I'll show you an entirely new line-best thing you ever laid eyes on." Yes," sighed Smith; I have just got a note from the landlady." What does she say ?" She says that I must pay my back board at once, or her daughter will sue me for breach of promise. I'm thinking what I'd better do." DOESN'T Isabel use a good deal of face powder ?" Face powder! She ought to belong to the Plasterers' Union." UNLESS some very marked change comes soon in the position of affairs artists will (the Globe thinks) have cause to remember the present season as one of the worst on record. Not for many years have the sales at the art galleries been so disappointing, and the attendances so unsatisfactory. What is the cause of the depression it is a little difficult to say. probably a combination of adverse influences is responsible for the absence of effective interest in the doings of living painters. But the fact remains that the falling off in the sales of modern works which has been for many seasons past ap- parent in the art market has been accentuated rather than diminished this year, and the wail of the unappreciated is louder/and more persistent than it has ever been before. NEARLY a hundred and fifty water-colour draw- ings of the Holy Land and Egypt, by the late H. A. Harper, are now to be seen in one of the rooms of the Fine Art Society. They are for the most part results of his first, journey to the East, works which during his life he refused to part with be- cause they represented places in the desert of Sinai, which he did net expect to, be able to re- visit. Some are slight sketches, expressive in method and delightful in*their suggestions of local colour and atmospheric effect, others are important renderings of impressive subjects carefully de- tailed and full of qualities of design and handling. They show well the variety nncf strength of his method, and the acateness of his observation.