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©ur Jankn Cwregraktit


Jankn Cwregraktit [We d-em It right to stats that we do not at all times Identify ouissites with oiir Cotreapon&eafc'a opinions.] The House of Commons, on reassembling after a recess, resembles a school returned from a holi- day. The mind cannot all at once be braced together from the previous relaxation, and it is very difficult to settle down to business. This has been the case more especially with respect to the recent vacation. In the first place the Par- liament is growing old, and in a few months will be dissolved. Many of those who were returned to it will in that event know it no more. The interest which they take in its proceedings is now small, and when the House is in Committee of Supply, as it always is on the first night after a recess, they absent t hemselves altogether. Again there is no doubt that many members resented what they regarded as a too brief holiday at what they regarded as a too brief holiday at Whitsuntide, remembering the very short one at Easter. Had Thursday and Friday been thrown into the recess it would have included three clear Sundays, whereas by meeting on Thursday the week—one of splendid summer weather—was broken up. The natural conse- quences followed. No business of public importance was transacted on Thursday, and on Friday it was found impossible to keep 40 members together. There was a count-out at eight o'clock, and nothing whatever was done. It would have been much better to give the House the clear fortnight than to have had valuable time wasted in this way. When the proposal to grant an annuity of JE6000 was placed before Parliament it was noticed that not a word was said about the dowry of £ 30,000, which under similar circum- stances had been granted to Princesses Alice, Helena, and Louise. Mr. Gladstone, in moving the annuity, confined himself to that subject, and left the dowry alone. Those who recollected the precedents could not understand this, as there was no apparent reason why Princess Beatrice should fare worse than her sisters.. The sum of £ 30,000 is a very substantial one, and if it can be hadfor the asking, there are not many who would be inclined to forego the application. At length the notice appeared quietly on the paper of Committee of Supply-" The Chancellor of the Exchequer to move that the sum of £ 30,000 be granted to her Majesty as a marriage portion for her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice." It came upon many members with surprise but fourteen years had elapsed since such an applica- tion was made, and the usual course had been forgotten. So far as London was concerned, the official celebration of the Queen's birthday was greatly marred by the weather. Last year the ceremonv of what is called trooping the colours was not permitted, in consequence of the recent death of the Duke of Albany while on Saturday the heavy rain considerably interfered with the success of the spectacle. In the evening, which was as dull and dismal as any in November, the usual dinners were given by the Ministers and great officers of State, the Prince of Wales and his eldest son dining with Mr. Gladstone. Large numbers of persons proceeded to the West-end thoroughfares to witness the illuminations, which, as a rule, are well worth seeing, more especially in the streets of Regent and St. James's. Princess Louise has returned from Balmoral in time to take part in the numerous engage- ments which will fill up the time between now and the prorogation of Parliament, and where the presence of Royalty is so much appreciated. The next few weeks are always busy, and if the presence of a Princess can be procured for the opening of a bazaar, the distribution of prizes, the opening of the new wing of a hospital, or, indeed, any work of benevolence or charity, so much the better. The Princess of Wales, the Queen's daughters, and the Duchess of Teck, who has just returned from Florence, are very obliging in this way, and in the season they have their hands full of engagements. Princess Beatrice has as yet taken no active part in such work, and having always lived with her Majesty, either at Windsor, Osborne, or Balmoral, has had no experience of London life. We shall be anxious to see whether her marriage relaxes this exclu- siveness. The enthusiastic greeting given to Sir Peter Lumsden on his arrival at Charing-cross on Satur- day evening showed the appreciation felt by the public for the services of a gallant officer, per- formed in the face of considerable difficulties. The privations of a life on the Afghan frontier have been revealed to us lately in glimpses, and in some of the expeditions which Sir Peter Lumsden had to undertake, the number of his followers diminished with the progress of the marches through hardships of the severest character. The fact that three field-marshals of the British army were amongst the distinguished crowd on the platform at Charing-cross is a sufficient testimony to the highest professional opinion as to how Sir Peter Lumsden has dis- charged his military functions. The Epsom Summer meeting of 1885 is one that will be remembered for the splendid weather that favoured it. This had a great deal to do with the attendance on the famous Surrey downs, which on Derby Day were a marvellous sight. The road of course is not so extensively patronised as it used to be, owing to the increased railway accommodation; but still, the number of different conveyances certainly showed an increase on previous years. Lord Hastings can now say with pride that he won his first Derby this makes up for his disappoint- ment a year or two ago with Beau Brummel. The race will always be remembered for the close finish, one of the finest displays of horsemanship witnessed for many a long day. Archer is cer- tainly a wonderful jockey, and is now riding better than ever he did. It is quite likely that Melton would have had to put up with place honours if he had had any other pilot than Archer on his back. on his back. The sudden death of Sir Julius Benedict, at the advanced age of 81, did not surprise those who remembered how seriously ill he was not long ago. The preparations for his benefit concert were going on up to the time of his decease. It is not long ago that we lost Sir Michael Costa, another eminent musical com- poser and conductor, so that the removal of Sir Julius Benedict will be sensibly felt. G. R.


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