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THE OPENING OF THE YEAR 1877.NoLbiDg :ould be more gloomy than the prospects of 1877 on ;he opening day of that year. Russia was committed So a policy of aggression; Turkey was committed to 1 policy of defiance England had gone far in a policy )f equivocation and menace, which was helping on the lesigns of the Czar; and the other Powers were await- ing the turn of events, with an air of languor which In some was impotence, and in some was mischief. The fourth plenary meeting of the Conference took place )n the 1st of January, when Lord Salisbury expressed tiis regret that the Turkish Plenipotentiaries had together rejected the essential principles of the proposals brought forward by the Powers. He urged bem to consider the danger of the position in which purkey was placed, and stated that the Ambassadors Hrere prepared to discuss the bases which they had re- •ommended for acceptance. All the other foreign rcpreseniatives adhered to these views; but the Furkish Plenipotentiaries replied that they were not empowered even to discuss the nine following points I -viz., the Commission of Supervision; the employ- ment of a foreign gendarmerie; the cantonment )f the troops in the fortresses and chief towns the mode of nominating the Valis; the admini- strative divisions of the provinces; the encour- agement to be given to the Circassians to emigrate So Asia; the judicial arrangements; the financial irraogements; and the rectification of the Monte- iegrin and Servian frontiers. The Conference there- ipon adjourned to the 4th inst., and Lord Salisbury ihen called on the Grand Vizier, that he might re- present, to him the extreme danger of the course on which the Turkish Government had entered. The weapon of intimidation was to be employed with great urgency, and the fears of the Porte were to be aroused Dy the most powerful stimulant that it was within the opacity of the Indian Secretary to apply.—Cassell's History of the Russo- Turkish War. A THBBIBLE NIGHT AT A THEATRE. — Onee when I was a callow, bashful cub, I took a plain, un- ;entimental country girl to a comedy one night. I had known her a day; she seemed divine; I wore my new boots. At the end of ,the ilrst half hour she said, Why do you fidget with your feet so ? I said, Did I ? "—then I put my attention there and kept still. At the end of another half hour she said, Why do you say,' Yes, oh yes I and Ha, ha, oh eertainly: very true!' to everything I say, when half the time those are entirely irrelevant answers ? I blushed, and explained that I had been a little absent- minded. At the end of another half-hour she said, Please why do you grin so steadfastly at vacancy, and yet look so sad?" I explained that I always did that when I was reflecting. An hour passed, and then she turned and contemplated me with her earnest eyes and said, "Why do you cry all the time ?" I explained that very funny comedies always made me cry. At last human nature sur- rendered, and I secretly slipped my boots off. This was a mistake. I was not able to get them on any more. It was a rainy night; there were no omnibuses going our way: and as I walked "home, burning up with shame, with the girl on one arm and my boots under the other, I was an object worthy of some com- passion, especially in those moments of martyrdom when I had to pass through the glare that fell upon the pavement from street lamps. Finally, this child of the forest said, "Where are your boots?" and being taken unprepared, I put a fitting finish to the follies of the evening with the stupid remark, The higher classes do not wear them to the theatre. -Mark Twam's Random Notes. THE INDIA OF THE PRESENT DAY.—Great indeed has been the progress of that country between the days of Warren Hastings and our own time. The inborn recklessness of human life peculiar to the Hindoo in so many forms has been well-nigh crushed out by kindness, and the highest-class education has been placed within the reazh of all the wealth j. New channels for industry are constantly being opened up, and the people are learning to. make articles for European employers in European style, and to drive bargains as hard as any in the We6tern world. In counting-rooms and banks the clerks are nearly all natives, and in many of the printing-offices the compositors are Hindoos. When railways were introduced, it was long doubted whether natives would use them. They asserted that they would not. A holy Brahmin was to stand before a train and forbid it to move but as the engine ad- vanced, the Brahmin thought it prudent to leap out of the way, saying the Fire-horse was the Horse of Fate. In the trains every carriage is crowded by natives now, the people standing up as closely as they can be wedged together, heedless of caste. But the carriages are no better than cattle pens, and are eften a disgrace to the companies, who urge the extreme lowness of the fares, and the native tradesmen,earning little more than fourteen shillings per month, cannot afford to pay much.-Caesell's Illustrated flistory of India.




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