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LONDON CORRESPONDENCE. BAD as were so ue of the extraordinary soenes which took place in the Home of Com- mons last session, they seem to have been quite eolip'ed by what occurred at the private sitting on Friday night after "strarigers" — which includes Parliamentary reporters as well as the general publio-were cleared out by Colonel Forrester and his subordinates. But it is a most egregious mistake to suppose that the exolu- sion of the representatives of the press must neoessarily guarantee the secrecy of the proceedings, as there are always members reILdy and wiiling to give an account of the ohief tbiDgs that were said and done on such occasions. In this way the metropolitan papers were enabled to supplement their own reports, and their columns suinequeatly contained the substance of wi at was spoken, a1: the secret sitting, by the Irish incorri. gib es atd their opponents. Souie of the incidents of the evening certainly appear to have been of a very remarkable, as well as diagraoMfut, character. The Marquis of Hurt- is gton, Mr. Gladstone, and Mr. Lowe, were greeted with hoots and howls when they voted with the minority 011 the exclusion of the preaj, and this conduct Wall described by the first-named, on returning to the House, as gomtthing un- paralleled in the annals of Parliament. Sir Patrick O'Brien also stated that he bad been in the House of Commons twenty-Bix years, and had never seen en A an example of bad tiste—uvinjr the mildest words •(•oaib'.e—as had been exhibited by Messrs. O'Donnell and Parnell. From all this the infer, nce to be drawn is that there is assuredly no advantage in the House of Cammoas seeking to indulge in private sittings. Ia households of a certain order, the members of which do not live on terms or amity, it is a common practice to look the door when a ahindy Is impending, or when boisterous language is to be freely oted. Similarly the motion to exolude strangers was carried by a majority in the House of Commons when it was feared that language might be bandied to and fro calculated to outrage the Parliamentary proprieties. But, notwithstanding thw precaution, the echoes of the expressions em- ployed have travelled beyond the walls of St. Stephen's. All the country now knows that Dr. Ward, referring to the accusatory remarks made by the members for Duagarvan and Meath about the late Lord Leitrim, described these hon. gentlemen as simply anxious toacquire for themaelvea a notoriety which in this case looked very like infamy; and that Mr. O'Donnell, in retorting, characterised what had been spoken in the hearing of the House as an "infamous lie." The objectionable phrase was, of course, withdrawn, on the attention of the Speaker being drawn to it; but no apology can adequately atone for the use of tnch words in such a place. Sir William Haroourt accused Messrs. O'Donnell and Parnell of having used "monstrous lan- guage," and Mr. David Plunket .thought that it could only be tolerated by the foal rabble which had hooted the corpse of the late Earl in Dublin the other day. The sitting, it is thus apparent, was one whioh, however lively, could redound little to the credit of the House of Commons, or rather to those members of it who seem to take delight in dragging it into the mire. The University boat-race day might almost be considered as the first of the Easter holi- days. There was only aa interval of five days be- tween it and Good Friday. The race took place under the most favourable auspices as regard weather, and the usml eagir crowds lined both banks of the river notwith- standing the early start. People who had to row all the way from below bridge to some select spot between Putney or Mirtlake, or to travel overland any considerable distance, required to be up betimes and to swallow a hasty breakfast. A noticeable circumstance was that, although the betting, from the first appearance of tIle two erews on thel river, had been almost universally in favour of Oxford, the great majority of the speotitorsof both eexea aported the colours of the light blue. Perhaps the fact that, previous to this year's contest, Oxford had only onne been the olear winner over a space of seven year?, had something to do with this popular predileo- tion. Likings, however, are unaccountable things, and there are plenty who could not have given a satisfactory answer if asked why they preferred the Cambridge to the Oxford oolours. I War has the effect of increasing our geogra- phical knowledge, and a similar distinction, so far as points and places on the Middlesex and Surrey sides of the Thames are concerned, may be alaimed for the world-famous boat-race. The Distillery, the Soap Works, the Lead Mills, the Oil Mill?,and Griffen'a Brewery that adjoin the Putney and Mortlake nouree, have become, through a length of years, so closely associated with what Lord Coleridge calls the annual Nautr.acira," that their posiii jn is pr tty accurately knovn to thousandis who ntver saw the Thames except in maps and their names have quite as familiar and pleasant a sound to the ear aa Craven Cottage, Rose Cottage, Chiawick Church, the Crab Tree, and the White Hart. If the race took place on a river which had no distinguishing points like those on its banks the sporting reporters would experience some difficulty in making it known how far one or the other crew had the advantage at various distances along the course from the wtturting spot to the winning-post. Londoners who are desirous this Eastertide ot putting a long distance between them and the scene of their daily labours and cares are afforded ample opportunities of doing so both by railway and steamboat cjmpantea. The London, Brighton, and South Coast; the South-Western; the South Eastern; the Great Western; the Noxth- Western; and the London Chatham, and Dover Unel-theae have all announoed extended time for return tickets, and numerous cheap fast trains to all points of the compass. For those who prefer sea voyaging to land travelling, cheao excursions to Hamburg, Ant- werp, Ostend, Havre, Boulogne, Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Hull, have been provided by the General Steam Navigation Company, although it is quite soon enough in the season yet for landamen, who want to combine enjoyment wish relaxation, to commit themselves, even on board ship, to the tender mercies of the treaeherous sea. The holiday-makers who are not fond Of venturing too far afield would be glad to learn that through the exertions of the Kew Gardens Public Rights Defence Association, the First Commissioner of Works had consented to open these de- lightful gardena at ten o'clock in the morning on all Bank Holidays, whioh of coune includes Easter Monday. It may now be confidently hoped that the boon, tiros partially granted, will loon be extended to visitors on ordinary days during the summer and autumn, when the gardens are in all the glory of flowerage and foliage. The newspaper which made the announcement the other day that the old Playhouse of Alleyne, the founder of Dulwioh College, situated in Play- house-yard, Whttecross-street, would be pulled down in the oourse of a few weeks, appeals to have been labouring under a considerable mistake, as it has since been pointed out that, in Maitlaimd's "History of London," published in the year 1772, the Playhouse referred to was, at that time, described as being a ruin. Six years ago a Refuge, which had been erected on the Bite of Alleyoe's Theatre, was also removed in turn, on aooouot of its dilapidated state, in order to make room for a three-storey factory, the entrance to which is now being rebuilt Playhouse, Refuge, Factory—-such^is the changeful history of one London site since the Elizabethan-Stuart days when lived Alleyae, actor and philanthropist. D. G. =====

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