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EPITOME OF NEWS. I BRITISH AND FOREIGN The Allan Royal Mail Steamship Caspian, from Halifax and St. John's, reports that the chief engineer, John Browne, was missed from the steamer at noon on the 28th ult., the day after their departure from St. John's, and was not seen afterwards. It is supposed that he committed suicide. The Cleveland Ironmasters' Association issued their monthly return on Wednesday, from the office at Middlesboro', which shows that during May there were 98 blast furnaces in operation, and 58 idle. The total make of pit;-iron was 213,599 tons, which is an increase of 90,008 tons on April. The stocks have increased 9897 tons, and the shipments have fallen off 4575 tons in the month. On Wednesday, at Leek, a man namel William Sales, described as a silk picker, was charged with a murderous assault upon his stepdaughter, aged 18 years. Several days ago the young woman interfered in a domestic quarrel, whereupon the a cused attacked her, and inflicted such severe injuries that her depositions were taken, in view of a possible fatal termination. The accused was remanded for fourteen days, bail being refused. The body of Mr. David Pearce, reporter for the Kent Messenger," was found in the Thames on Wed- nesday evening, off the Ship and Lobster Tavern, about a mile below Gravesend. The deceased, who was 46 years of age, was chairman of the Borough Radical Association, but was obliged to retire on account of ill- health. He had been an inmate of the Barming Heath Asylum, but left in April apparently cured. He left home on Wednesday morning, evidently suffering from depression, and nothing more was seen of him until his body was fouad. A newly-formed trades council met in Darlington on Wednesday night, representing coachmakers, com- positors, blacksmiths, ironworkers, railway servants, and joiners. Resolutions were passed condemning the House of Lords for the alteration in the Registration Bill in respect to recipients of gratuitous medical relief, and favouring the payment of members out of the national exchequer. The Australia, transport, arrived at Portsmouth on Wednesday afternoon from Granton with the 3rd Brigade Scottish Artillery Militia. The regiment, which was under the command of Colonel Dickson, and num- bered 13 officers and 600 non- commissioned officers and men, will go under canvas at Fort Monckton for their summer drill. The wives of the 20th Hussars, who left Aldershot on Tuesday last, are being cared for by the Aldershot and Farnborough Ladies' Committee, presided over by Lady Archibald Alison, and of which Lieutenant-Colonel Walker is the treasurer. This committee works in har- mony with the Imperial War Fund, and provides the necessary means for rendering suitable assistance in each deserving case. M. Goblet, the Minister of the Interior in France, has replied to the protest of the Archbishop of Paris against the secularisation of the Pantheon. M. Goblet considers that the Archbishop has exceeded hispowers in making the protest, and that he has no right to discuss the acts of the Government or its general policy. His attitude, the Minister says, is not calculated to improve the rela- tions between Church and State. A banquet to the judges was given on Wednesday evening at the Mansion House, the Lord Mayor in the chair. The principal speaker was Mr. Phelps, the United States Minister, who dwelt on the cordial rela- tions between the two countries. The Medical Commission sent to Valencia has re- ported that the disease of a suspicious character which has broken out in several towns of that province is cholera. The authorities are taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the malady. On Wednesday Mr. Chamberlain had an intreview with a deputation representing the West Birmingham Divisional Liberal Council, who requested him to be- come their candidate at the ensuing general eleci ion. In consenting to stand Mr. Chamberlain delivered a long speech, in the course of which he charged mem- bers of the Opposition with subjecting Mr. Gladstone to vulgar affronts and lying accusations. He argued strongly in favour of local government for Ireland, and said that in the coming Parliament the responsibilities of the community to its poorer members would demand the serious attention of thinking men of all parties. An old woman named Frost was sentenced, at Marylebone Police-court on Tuesday, to six weeks' hard labour for pretending to tell fortunes. It was stated that her house had been watched, and large numbers of young women had been seen to visit the prisoner to have their fortunes told. Information has been received by the Admiralty officials at Queenstown that the Mutton Lighthouse, on the west coast of Ireland, has been partially destroyed by fire The revenue received from April 1 to the 30th ult. amounted to JE14,743,696, or JE685,156 more than the £14,058,540 received in the corresponding period end- ing May 31,1884. The expenditure up to the 30th ult. was £14,222,859, being £3,114,847 more than the ex- penditure of 1884-5. The balances on the 30th ult. amounted to £5,643,834, and on May 31, 1884, were £ 7,795,6.34. A general military order, dated May 23, decrees the disappearance of the lance from the weapons of the Austrian army. The Lancers will be transformed into different kinds of light cavalry. On Wednesday evening the annual dinner of the Tower Hamlets Conservative Association and Club took place at the Bow and Bromley Institute, Lord R. Churchill, M.P., presiding. In proposing success to the Conservative cause in the East-end of London, he analysed what he set forth as the ten Ministerial policies in Ireland, eighteen in Egypt, and nine in Afghanistan. With regard to the renewal of the Crimes Act, be expressed no opinion cf his own, but described the position of the Government as illogical and ludicrous, and named a number of respects in which if the Tory party came into power they might be ex- pected to have a distinct policy. They were the real party of peace, retrenchment, and reform, whereas the Liberals were shams, impostors, and humbugs. The Farmer's Review of Chicago estimates the yield of winter wheat crop at two hundred million bushels, and that of spring wheat at one hundred and thirty million bushels. An authority at Milwaukee estimates the winter crop at two hundred and thirty- one million bushels, and places spring wheat at the same figure as the Farmers' Review." On the night of the 30th May an armed band of Arnauts made an incursion into Servia and endeavoured to seize the tax coffers at Buoce. The population rose, and with the help of gendarmes drove off the robbers. The Servian Government has made a remonstrance to the Turkish Envoy at Balgrade, and sent a note to Con- stantinople requesting the Porte to take better measures for guarding the frontier. In accordance with an address of the House of Lords, a return just issued, in the form of a Parliamentary paper, of the titles of the various Acts of Parliament by which the army is governed, together with lists of Orders in Council, of Royal Warrants, of Regulations issued by the Secretary of State for War, and of reports of Royal Commissions and Special Committees on army matters presented to Parliament since 1872. The paper also contains details connected with the terms of en- listment, discharge, extension of service, transfer to the Reserve, re-engagement, pensions, and other matters that were in force at the time of Lord Airsy's Committee in 1879. There was a large congregation at Bicester parish church on Sunday afternoon, when the rural dean (the Rev. J. C. Bloomfield) dedicated to the memory of the late General Gordon a handsome stained glass window, which has just been erected in the choir chapel. It is a very artistic piece of work, representing three Scrip- tural subjects, and underneath is the inscription," To the dauntless Christian Hero of Khartoum," and re- cording that the window was raised by subscriptions from the vicar, churchwardens, choir, and Bible class. In addition to this window, over ;E30has been raised in Bicester towards the Gordon National Memorial Fund. On Tuesday, at the Auction Mart, Messrs. Fare- brother, Elhs, Clark, and Co., offered for sale a number of freehold estates in the neighbourhood of Maiden- head, Great Marlow, and Henley. The property was submitted in 14 lots. The first and second lots, con- taining 145 acres, were offered together, and sold for £ 5100. On the third lot being submitted, a farm, com- prising 123 acres, situated on the London and Reading high road, Sir J. W. Ellis, who conducted the sale, observed that he was well acquainted with the farm, which was in a high state of cultivation. Not long since there would have been no difficulty whatever in disposing of it for X100 an acre, but he was sorry to know that in the present depressed state of agriculture he must now be content with a much less sum. The highest sum offered was £ 5350, on which the property was withdrawn. A wooded estate, containing 165 acres, was next sold for £1500, whilst another farm close to Henley, containing 164 acres, was sold for £7200. Frog Mill Farm, three miles from Henley, con- taining 277 acres, was withdrawn at Bll,900, and the biddings being considered unsatisfactory, the whole of the other lots were withdrawn An article in the North German Gazette declares that Germany has no designs against the independence of the Sultan of Zanzibar. He has, however, it states, laid claim to territory that has been acquired by the German East African Company, and has even ordered his troops to enter that territory. Moreover," con- tinues the North. German Gazette," the Sultan of Zanzibar is taking measures against the Sultan Vitu, who since 1867 has been in friendly relations with Germany." It hopes therefore that British influence will be used to induce him to desist from the course of provocation which he is pursuing." A telegram from Zanzibar states that the German representative has called upon the Sultan to suspend hostilities against the rebel chief Simba, with whom Germany has con- cluded a treaty of alliance. The German Emperor's state of health no longer causes anxiety to his family and people. General de Courcy has arrived at Hanoi to take over the command of the French force in Tonkin from General de L'Isle. The Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen expired at ten o'clock on Tuesday morning. Sir Stafford Northcote spoke at a market ordinary at Bideford on Tuesday afternoon, and afterwards delivered a political speech at Appledore, in which he called upon the people of England to rise and make a change in the spirit of their Government. Mr. Trevelyan, M.P., addressing his constituents at Selkirk, appealed to the electors to return the Liberal party to power by a large majority, so as not to place the country at the mercy of an alliance between Con- servatives and Parnellites. He predicted that the I general election would show that the policy of swagger and defiance in reference to foreign nations had not the approval of the nation. I After having been in a small boat for six days and nights, the crew of the barque Themis, abandoned among the ice in the Atlantic, were picked up by the steamer Missouri. The captain's wife and two children were also saved. Two persons, named Hopkins, husband and wife, were charged at the Surrey Sessions on Tuesday with fraud. A police-sergeant stated that there were hundreds of cases against them, money having been obtained from many distinguished people. The obtained from many distinguished people. The I husband, pleading guilty, was sentenced to fifteen months' imprisonment with hard laboar, the woman was acquitted. A young woman named Smyth was, at Bow-street Police-court on Tuesday, committed for trial for steal- ing a diamond ring in a shop in the Strand. The shopkeeper said he believed she swallowed it. A telegram from Askabad reports the arrival of the first caravan of cotton from Merv for the merchant Kanshin. The quality of the product of the local as well as of the Orleans seed distributed on trial last year is said to be excellent. A souvenir of Victor Hugo is about to be issued in Paris, with the consent of his family, in the shape of a selection of striking passages illustrative of all his principal works, including his odes and ballads. The profits of the work will be devoted to the fund for erecting a national monument of the poet in Paris. Arrangements are being made for the simultaneous issue of the volume in this country. Sixty cases of cholera occurred on Friday in a village near Valencia, and several in that city, the increase of the disease being attributed to the unusual heat which has prevailed in that part of Spain during the past fort- night. The Government Commission has arrived in the district and commenced its investigations, and Dr. Feran has been authorised to conduct his inoculation experiments in the presence of the Commissioners. Lord Brabourne presided at the Criterion on Satur- day evening at a dinner given to Mr. Edmund Yates, and in proposing his health said he would refrain from casting any slight upon the majesty of the law, the sole object of those now assembled being to express sym- pathy and undiminished friendship for Mr. Yates in the misfortune which, without a shadow of moral tur- pitude on his part, had fallen upon him. In responding, Mr. Yates characterised all the circumstances connected with his sojourn in northern latitudes" as a series of regrettable incidents," and expressed the pride which he felt in retaining the regard and esteem of his friends. As a rule popular hymn tunes have not been success- fully introduced into plays. The public has set its face against them, and Lotta last year got into hot water with her patrons for unwittingly offending them in this respect by the introduction of a nigger melody which had before been appropriated by Moody and Sankey. Mr. Irving has dared, however, to introduce a very well- known hymn tune into" Olivia," and, apparently, with favour. When Dr. Primrose gathers his family together to tell them of the trouble that has overtaken him, the bells of the church chime out the melody that is sung to the words "Sun of my soul," the orchestra playing pianissimo the harmonies. The effect is very good, though by the straightlaced will possibly by voted im- proper. Early on Sunday morning a fire broke out at Mr. Spencer's (carver and gilder) shop, Castle-hill, Windsor, opposite Henry VIII.'s Gateway. The local Fire Brigade, the Castle Brigade, the Eton Brigade, and Seaforth High'anders from Victoria Barracks were soon on the spot, but before the flames could be subdued the shop and the station wheie the tickets for the State Apartments are issued were gutted, and several adjoin- ing houses seriously damaged. The Castle Guard turned out and did good service. The property is insured. The origin of the fire is not known. On Saturday the directorate of the Agricultural Hall, London, received the completed returns as to the entries for the forthcoming horse show. They exceed 400, as nearly as possible the same number as last year, and every available stall and space which the hall can provide will be occupied. It has been intimated that, if in town, the Prince and Princess of Wales will visit the show, probably on the opening day, Saturday, June 6th. The results of the Society of Arts' Examinations have just been published. There was a satisfactory increase in the number of candidates, 1208 having presented themselves at 44 centres whereas last year there were 991 candidates and 38 centres. Of these 1208 candi- dates, 953 passed and 255 failed. The number of papers worked was 1321; cf these 145 took first-class certificates, 410 second class, and 474 third-class, while to 292 papers no certificate was awarded. Eleven of the 13 subjects set down for examination were taken up. In two no examination was held, as the requisite number of candidates (25) did not present themselves. The largest number of papers worked (336) was in book- keeping. Other favourite subjects were-Arithmetic, 171; English (including composition and correspond- ence and precis writing), 118; shorthand, 253; theory of music, 243. In French there were 96 candidates, in German only 28. Under the presidency of the Duke of Norfolk, E.M. (who for a second time has accepted that office for the society), the forty-second annual congress of the British Archaeological Association has been fixed to take place at Brighton on the 17th of August next and following days to the 24th, inclusive. By the kindness of the Mayor and Corporation of Brighton, some of the principal municipal rooms of the Pavilion have been placed at the disposal of the association during the week's proceedings, and excursions will be made to Arundel, Chichester, Goodwocd, Cowdray, Bognor, Boxgrove, Worthing, Bosham, Wiston, Steyning, Bramber Castle, Amberley Castle, HolliDgbury Oopse, and other places of interest in South Sussex. There will be the usual extra days arranged for the following week, and which will probably include excursions to Lewes (which the association visited during the Hast- ings congress in 1866), Seaford, Eastbourne, for Hurst- monceaux Castle, Pevensey Castle, and Hastings; a visit, it is also expected, will be made from Newhaven to Dieppe, under the auspices of the Leland Club, thus forming the second excursion to France of that newly- formed antiquarian body. The last report of the Director of Public Relief in Paris states that the total number of persons in re- ceipt of public charity at the end of last year was 123,324, and that, though the figures do not show an increase over those of the last triennial census, the number of persons in receipt of relief was only 90,287 20 years ago, and that the subsequent increase has been greater in proportion than that of the population itself. These 123,324 paupers comprised 47,627 families (menages), of whom only 10,796 were Parisians by birth, 33,644 coming from the country and 3187 from abroad. The number of foreigners relieved is pro- portionately very large, especially among the Belgians and the Germans. The Germans, though not forming 20 per cent. of the total foreign population, number more than 40 per cent. of the foreign paupers, and in one of the districts of Paris out of 1425 German resi- dents, 569 were in receipt of public relief. Every pro- fession contributed its contingent to the total of paupers, the majority of whom, however, were day labourers, shoemakers, carpenters, concierges, uphol- sterers, masons, and tailors upon the male side, and charwomen, dressmakers, seamstresses, washerwomen, concierges, and ragpickers on the female side. In view of the early introduction by the Archbishop of Canterbury of a bill dealing with Church patronage, a large number of advowsons will be submitted to public auction during the next fortnight. Among the better known may be mentioned the advowsons of Walkington, Marchwood, Ryarsh, Addington, and Cransley. At the inquest on the body of Mr. Foss-Smith, a solicitor, who shot himself in a cab, it was shown that he had been suffering from mental depression for some time. The bullet he had fired passed right through the head, notwithstanding which he lived for two hours after inflicting the.wound. The jury returned a. verdict of Temporary insanity." A boy belonging to a barge lying off Whitstable rowed ashore on Saturday to the Coastguard station, and re- ported that the captain, William Usher, had attempted to throw him overboard, and, failing in this, jumped overboard himself, but got back again. An officer of the Coastguard put off to the barge, and on boarding it ound the captain pacing the deck as though raving mad. With assistance the poor fellow was secured and brought ashore, and upon the certificate of a county magistrate he has been removed to a lunatic asylum. The American Secretary of War has ordered the release of the two lieutenants of Riel, who has been apprehended by General Terry. Mr. Gladstone was en Saturday presented with an address from the Littleborough Reform Club on the lawn in front of Hawarden Castle. The Premier, who has been interdicted by his physician from speaking in public, assured the deputation that he would address them if he could, but hewr s totally unable to do 8f). The tight reao the in Hawarden Church on Sunday morning, but his voice was weak. Lord Hatingtcn has quite recovered from his reoint illness. The Greenock Steamboat Quay Extension Works, which have cost £ 60,000, have been completed and formally opened. The Nottingham Corporation has decided, at a cost of £141,000, to purchase a number of small unhealthy tenements in the centre of the town, and to erect upon the spot a hospital at a further expenditure of £ 26,000. A return issued of proceedings under "The Land Law (IrBland) Act, 1881," shows that down to March, this year, there were 115,528 cases of fair rent settled in court, and 82,130 settled out of court. The Dublin Corporation has passed a resolution in favour of desiring to chsnge the names of the borough and Parliamentary divisions, substituting St. Lawrence for Harbour, and St. Stephens for Donnybrook. A telegram from Alexandria says that several friendly tribes are about to join Osman Digna. It is stated that the Mahdi has sent him ten guns, and that he expects a supply of arms and ammunition shortly. Mr. H. H. Fowler, M.P. for Wolverhampton, has been entertained at a banquet by the Mayor, town coun- cillors, and other leading gentlemen of the town. He was presented with a beautifully framed address recog- nising his services to the town and regretting his retire- ment from the council. The fcur-masted steamer, Falls of Earn, which ar- rived in the Clyde on Monday from New York, after a passage of 20 days, had a stormy voyage. A heavy sea swept the deck and injured three seamen, disabling them from work during the remainder of the passage, and the chief mate had a narrow escape from being washed overboard. The ship was considerablj damaged at the bows. At Salisburv a man has been committed for trial for wilful damage. He had entered into the occupation of a house and shortly afterwards proceeded to demolish it by removing the front door, the windows, and the flooring, breaking through the ceihng of one of the rooms, tearing down the lath and plastering, and pulling off a portion of the roof. It was at first thought he was insane, but medical evidence was offered to the contrary. At a meeting of the cable chain makers belonging to South Staffordshire and East Worcestershire districts, held at Rowley on Monday, it was resolved to come out on strike in consequence of the employers refusing to concede an advance of 6d. per cwt. It is contended that the employers have enforced several reductions with the view of improving trade. As the demand is no better, the operatives claim the original prices. The dispute is of great importance to the shipping trade. Lord Randolph Churchill presided at the annual general meeting of the Beaconsfiela Club, when it was determined that, in order to bring the club into closer connectionlVith the Primrose League, members of the League living out of town should be eligible for elec- tion as country members 01 the club. Intelligence has been received in Kirkwall of the death, in Foula, of James Paterson, a crofter cragsman, while engaged in the hazardous task of bird-nesting. His mangled body was found floating in a stream. His fall wa.s over 1500 feet. The first meet of the Coaching Club took place in Hyde-park on Saturday, when twenty-two coaches assembled. A fire broke out on Monday morning in the shop of a tobacconist, in London-read, Manchester. Stevens, the occupier, jumped from a window, and was so injured that he only lived a few minutes. Two firemen i procured a ladder, and, ascending to the third storey, rescued Mrs. Stevens in safety. y A man named Sumner was charged at the Wands- worth Police-court on Monday with fraud. Accom- panied by two other men he had induced a furniture dealer in Battersea to buy from him a bracelet and a necklet, which the prisoner represented to be gold. It was afterwards found that the articles were of mystery gold and comparatively valueless. The prisoner was committed for trial. On Monday a married woman named Thompson, who lives in Rochester-row, was charged at the Westminster Police-court with causing the death of a labourer's wife named Milbank. The deceased lodged with the pri- soner, and a fortnight ago they quarrelled. In the altercation which ensued Mrs. Thompson knocked Mrs. c Milbank down and threw a zinc pail at he", which caused injuries from which the woman died. The pri- soner was committed for trial for manslaughter. The magisterial inquiry info charges preferred against several army contractors and Mr. Aaderson Banks, late quartelmaster, 5th Dragoon Guards, for conspiring to defraud, by not delivering forage and meat at the York Cavalry Barracks, pursuant to con- tract, was opened on Monday. Evidence was produced showing a deficient supply of forage, and a letter was also produced from one of the defendants to Banks, saying, Is it not a fact that you have settled £400 to £ -500 during your stay here ?" The, Mayor or Stratford-on-Avon, presiding at. the police-court at that place on Monday, said that an attempt had been made by the defendant who was then before the court to bribe him. The defendant had written offering to present him with a valuable oil painting which he had in his possession if he would look over a prosecution for selling drink without a license. The defendant having been convicted of the offence, the Mayor said he would consider whether the defendant had not forfeited his license by his attempt to bribe a magistrate. An influential meeting was held at Glasgow on Mon- day—the Provost presiding—at which resolutions were adopted declaring the absolute necessity for defending the estuary of the Clyde, suggesting the erection of land forts, and protection by gunboats, torpedo boats, and men-of-war, and asking the Government to give capitation grants to meet the expenses of volunteer naval and artillery brigades while on service. Admiral Hamilton supported the movement, and satisfaction was expressed at the fact that the Government had already taken initiatory steps for the defence of the Clyde. At Whitehaven on Monday, a gipsy, calling herself Selina Grey, was charged under the Vagrancy Act with having obtained £ 105 17s. 6d. by fortune telling. The prisoner went to the farm of Mr. Iredale, Moor-row, near Whitehaven, twelve months ago, and ingratiated herself with the housekeeper, a single woman cf nearly ( sixty years of age. She offered to rule the planets," t' so that the woman should have, in a short time, an offer of marriage from a young a.nd wealthy gentle- man." At various periods the prisoner called at the house and received sums varying from 7s. to 138. She was to have received her last claim of £ 30 last Friday night, but on entering Mr. Iredale's house she was arrested.—The magistrates now sentenced her to three months' hard labour.