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AN dtor IWhra Corrtspoubeni.

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AN dtor IWhra Corrtspoubeni. fWe deem i" right to state that we do not at all times identify ourselves with our Correspondent's opinions. It will have been noted for several years past that the Queen spends four or five weeks at Balmoral from about the middle of May until towards the close of June, and her Majesty has told ua how much she enjoys the quietude of the Highlands and the pure mountain air. About this time London is at its brightest and its gayest, and her Majesty's sons and daughters- in -law are so acoustomed to the discharge of State duties that no inconvenience is caused by the absence of the Sovereign, who in the earlier part of her reign, and before her children were 80 well able to take her place, was unremitting in her attention to the functions which devolve upon one holding so high and responsible a station, Kow, however, if there i a State Ball to be held at Buckingham Palace, '-he Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are there to receive the guests. Other duties have been performed by the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and the Duke and Duchess of Albany, as well as by the Princess Louise and Princess Chris- tian. Prinoess Beatrice, whom the Queen described some weeks ago as her constant and devoted com- panion, is seldom away fiom home except with her Majesty, and is now with her royal mother at Bal- moral, together with two Princesses of Hesse, daughters of the late Prineess Alite. The Australians have come to London in the very fioodtide of the season, which may be said to culmi- nate with Ascot, and to have seen the best of its days with the week at Goodwood. The splendid play made by this team of cricketers has commanded universal attention amongst those who take an interest in this truly English game. Many surmises have been hazarded an to the reason why these colonists should attain such a high degree of proficiency. They are, of course, picked men; but there is little doubt that the climate of Australia, by permitting practice well nigh all the year round, contributes very materially to that standard of excellence which the Australians have shown. In England, during the autumn and winter months, all ericket is in abeyance but all this time, so fine is the weather at the Antipodes that, while the English cricketer in, as it were, resting on his oars, the Australian is endeavouring to perfect himself in his profession, so far as the attainment of perfection is possible in anything relating to mundane affairs. One thing in connection with cricket cannot fcavo faHd to striki those who follow the scores, and thai L, the fluctuations in the fortunes of the various English counties. At one time it is Hampshire, at another Kent, then Gloucester, and then Lancashire which possesses the best team of players. For some time past the establishment of a School of Dramatic Art in this country has been under the con- sideration of those who believe that the study of the legitimate drama tends to an expansion of the mind. The matter has been of sufficient interest to be the subject of a public meeting in London, at which Lord Wharncliffe took the chair. Several literary men, musicians, and members of the dramatic profession were present; and an unanimous opinion was ex- pressed in favour of such a school. Time was when our most eminent actors repudiated the idea of a school for the development of dramatic art, main- taining that the actor's art was a gift, and could not be acquired by any amount of instruction. It is now, however, seen that a school of dramatic art, properly conducted, might be good not only for the stage, but for the people. Meeting a want which is now recog- nised, it would have the opportunity of exercising a beneficial influence, and there are many outside the ranks of the dramatic profession who would watch its working with interest. The comet discoveied some time ago by Mr. Wells, the astronomer, can now be seen on a clear night with a good glass. It is described as gradually making its way through a group of telescopic stars, not far, com- paratively speaking, from the Pole Star its tail is about two degrees in length can easily be seen with a binocular, and presents a very beautiful sight. It will continue to approach the earth until the middle of June, when some very hot weather has been predicted. The Midsummer Ti .jhts are so short that a great part of the im. pressiveness of sach a spectacle is likely to be lost. There is, in fact, no real n'ght just then. Some clear dark nights, such as those which, in October, 18i8, enabled awe-struck crowds to gaze upon Donati's comet, as it spread its long-sweeping tail from the zenith even to the horizon, would materially add to the effect produced by the presence in our skies of one of those erratic visitors; but these are not to be had in the middle of Jane. During recent seasons there has been a remarkable revival of what is termed the English Renaissance, and nowhere is this more perceptible than of an afternoon just now in Pall Mall and Bond-street. It is not too much to say that the art galleries in these thorough- fares may now be numbered by the score. Fifty is a moderate estimate, and amid all this competition for the public favour, there are plenty of devotees of art, who passing from one gallery to another, fill the whole of them in succession, and form their estimates of the different degrees of progress represented. With the im- provement in trade which has been perceptible during the past two years, better prices are now obtaimed for pictures, and this was well illustrated a few days ago at a sale which took place at the rooms of Messrs. Christie, when Mr. Long's famous painting, The Babylonian Marriage Market," went for 6,000 guineas, and the proceeds of one day's sale of the pictures belonging to the late Mr. Hermon, M.P., amounted to £ 37,000. The granting of a baronetcy to the Lord Mayor of London is a graceful recognition of the public spirit manifested by the Corporation in preserving Epping Forest to the people for all time. A vast deal of adverse criticism is bestowed upon the civic Parlia- ment of London but there can be no doubt that in many ways that body has displayed an enterprise which might well be remembered. It is not so many years ago that the Corporation bridged Holborn Valley at an enormous coat, cut off two dangerous bills, and constructed a massive Viaduct which has now become a handsome thoroughfare. Simul- taneously with this gigantic work, Blackfriars Bridge was built, and the old broken-backed dangerous structure, which had lasted a century was taken away. The Corporation were the first public body in London to apply the electric light to the illumination of the streets, and their latest act is to secure to the people for the purposes of recreation a splendid open space which can never be touched for those of building. Acts like these merit recognition, and the fact that the Lord Mayor has received a baronetcy is regarded not so much a personal com- pliment as one to the important body of which he is the official head. The possession of facilities of communication has always been regarded all a test of a people's civiliza- tion. The beaten tracks of the North American Indians would, for instance, compare very unfavour- ably with the broad gauge of the Great Western Railway. Visitors to Paris will not have failed to note the number of bridges across the Seine; and when these structures in London were to some extent toll-bridges, the contrast was even more unfavourable than it is now. But those who know anything of the British capital are well aware that if they come down the Thames, beginning say at Kew, they pass under bridge after bridge of varying degrees of stateliness and beauty until they come to London Bridge, and there those structures cease. North and south of the river, for seven miles beyond that point towards the sea, lives a population which amounts to a third of the whole of London, and these have been complaining for years of the impossibility of getting from bank to bank except in a small boat that has to run the gauntlet of the enormous river traffic. Another meeting has been held at the Mansion House, with the Lord Mayor in the chair, to impress this subject upon public attention. Thus far the Corporation and the Board of Works, after separately considering the question, have arrived at no decision upon it. The May meetings have now mostly come to an end and Lord Shaftesbury, with the weight of eighty years upon his shoulders, may look back once more upon another course of duties thoroughly discharged and days well spent. The princely sums which have been announced will during the next twelve months not only help to send civilization and the Gospel abroad, but do much useful work at home. The names of the institutions whose claims have been advocated during the last month or five weeks is legion. Take for example the Society for benefiting the condition of a most useful and indeed indis- pensable class—domestic servants. The advance of education deee not dispense with the necessity for the employment of those who, in some degree, answer to the Biblical description of hewers of wood and drawers of water;" and it is satisfactory to know that an important branch of philanthropic work has been growing in the past few years which not only looks to the present social condition of the domestic servant, but impresses upon this class to make some provisions for a future day, when through sickness or old age misfortune comes upon them, and they are no longer abla to earn for themselves. The suggestion that the Parliamentary holidays at Whitsuntide should this year be in abeyance, so that the Legislature might push on with the mass of work that lies before it, is one which perhaps may be adopted at some future time. There can be little doubt that the Whitsuntide recess follows too speedily that at Easter for the convenience of many. The CtMWM no noner settle down to work than they again disperse; and so long as human nature is con- stituted as it is, after every holiday it takes a little time to brace up the mind for work when a relaxation has taken place. Nor does the great body of the people appreciate to its full extent a holiday which succeeds so quickly its predecessor. At present the division of the Bank Holidays is unequal. This year we shall have had one in April and another in May, while there will be none between the beginning of August and the end of December. While it is not easy to see how this is to be remedied, the fact is fairly open to remark and as the matter stards the holiday with the long days is too near Easter to be made the best possible use of by those who ought thoroughly to enjoy it. am

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