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vur Janban Corrtspoubcni.


vur Janban Corrtspoubcni. fWe deem it right to state that we do not at all times tSentify ourselves with oar Correspondent's opinions.] Cast not a clout till May be oat,' is one of those traditional relics c f the wisdom of our ancestors which is worth bearing in mind even in these scientific days. The ancient distich has certainly received striking confirmation of its truth during the May of the present year of grace. When we had left April behind, and had got rid, as we thought, of the chill rains and the easterly winds which had been so common in that month, the sunshine of some of the early days of May came as a most welcome change, and it may be said to have been greeted with something like enthusiasm. But the sunshine lasted only long enough to be tantalising, and in the third week of May we were called upon once more to put on our overcoats and winter wraps, and to read accounts from all parts of the United Kingdom of violent storms and even of falls of snow. But although snow in May is not unprecedented, it is, to say the least, unusual, and it is an ex- perience which the generality of us would not care to see frequently repeated. The heavy falls of hail also have had a disastrous effect upon our fruit-trees and gardens and so many promising trees have been stripped of their load of blossom, that the fruit-crop this year is not likely to be as heavy as had been expected. Wintry weather at winter time is quite sufficient discomfort to many of us without our wishing it to be repeated during months which should rightfully belong to "balmy spring." These are days in which there is a revival of many an old fashion. In a great number of cases this is simply on aesthetic grounds, but occasionally it is for more practical motives. The latter must assuredly be said of the experi- mental trip which has been made within the past few days by some of the head officials of the postal service, who, starting from the General Post Office, at St. Martin's-le-Grand, drove by coach to Brighton, by way of Croydon, Redhill, Crawley, and Cuckfield. The object of the journey was to assist the depart- ment in arriving at a decision as to reviving mail coaches in connection with the parcels post, as it is believed that in certain districts that work could be done more cheaply by coaches travelling on the Queen's highway than by rail. Whether the result will be to satisfy the Postmaster-General j that mail coaches can be revived with profit to the State has yet to be seen, but the mere ex- periment is interesting, as showing that we may not always be right in discarding the methods of our fathers, and that, at the least, it may be open to question whether all that is modern is an im- provement upon all that is old. The mere talk of mail coaches comes upon us as a whiff from former times. The thought recurs to guards j with blunderbusses, passengers trembling from apprehension, and crape-masked highwaymen stopping the mail. Even if mail coaches are revived, we are not likely to see these accompani- ments again, and what many regard as romantic accessories will be found to have disappeared. This is fortunate, for the romance would speedily fade away if highwaymen were revived in reality. An intimation has been published that much interest has been excited in legal circles in Berlin by Dr. Aschrott's new book on the Penal System and Prisons in England." The work embodies the results of the author's careful local studies of the subject, and is the first exhaustive treatise on the English penal system that has appeared in Germany. Prisons are not pleasant places, and are not meant to be so, but England has no reason to be ashamed of the fullest infor- mation being published concerning her gaols. It was not always thus, as those who have read the accounts of our prisons published by John Howard a century since, or by James Neild :}O or 40 years later will be able to testify. Those who have not read them can scarcely imagine the sum of accumulated horrors which then marked the English prison system, and it is to the credit of our countrymen that when once a full exposure was made, comparatively little time was lost in providing a remedy. As in all cases of reform of abuses, the tendency for a period was to go to the other extreme, and criminals, from being neglected and allowed to lie in squalor and wretchedness, were treated with a consideration which was beyond their deserts. Now, however, we appear to have settled down into a normal method of treatment which is preventive without being cruel, and which, though punitive, affords opportunities for re- clamation. For these reasons England has no occasion to be ashamed of the fullest investiga- tion any foreigner may make of her prison system; and although perfection has not been attained, there are Continental countries which are so far behind us that the present state of our gaols can furnish excellent lessons to them. For a time it seemed as if, although the Queen had chosen June 21st to be the Jubilee Day, various localities would think for themselves on the matter, and select the day about that period which suited them best. But now that an official proclamation has appeared in the London J Gazette appointing that day as a Bank Holiday, it may be taken for granted that it will be observed throughout the country. For, as the experience of the Bank Holidays Act proved, little business can be done when the banks are shut, and, if there were no other reason for a general holiday on June 21st, this point would weigh with traders. But one day's holiday will scarcely suffice for a great number of the lieges, for it is impossible that all the Jubilee celebra- tions can be packed into one day. In London they certainly will not be, for in addition to the official jubilation on the 21st, 2;"),000 children are to be entertained at tea in Hyde Park on the 22nd, and this latter festivity is certain to attract an enormous number of on- lookers. It is one of the happiest ideas in con- nection with the celebration of the Jubilee which has yet been put forward. The Queen so highly approves of it that she will herself give away the first cup of tea; and as every child present will be allowed to carry away the special mug from which he or she has drunk, the memory of the festivity will not die away with the day. The Board of Trade has just issued a paper which is of direct interest to all classes in this country. It is a return of the immigration of foreigners into the United Kingdom, from which it appears that during the ten years from 1871 to 1881, the number of foreigners resident in our land rose from 113,000 to 135,000, and theincrease has become more marked within the past few years. The labour correspondent" of the Board of Trade adds an appendix respecting foreign im- migration into the East-end of London, and this is of peculiar importance to the metropolis; for it shows that in some trades, and baking is the most noteworthy of them, the influx of Germans into London has been so great that Englishmen are being gradually forced out; and when it is mentioned that of 4000 master bakers in the metropolis one-half are Germans, who employ nearly all German workmen, it will at once be seen how significant these figures are to English working-men. And it is not only Germans who abound in the East-end; for in some of the streets of that district the whole of the shops and stalls are in the hands of foreign Jews. The presence of many of these latter among us may be accounted for the anti-Semitic agitations which have been going on for some years in Germany, Roumania, and Russia; but, whatever may be the reason for their presence, it can scarcely be wondered at that it is not particularly liked by their English com- « £ .fi'fnrs The question, in fact, is becoming a burning one, and will soon be forced upon the attention of our leading politicians. Of TVTaro-aret's, Westminster, has for centuries church of the Parliament," | but it was several years ago that it witnessed such a scene as on last Sunday, when the House j of Commons in its corporate capacity worshipped j under its venerable roof. The occasion was in celebration of the jubilee, and the Speaker, accompanied by the leaders of both parties and some hundreds of their followers, proceeded from the House to the sacred fane. Centuries ago this was not so unusual a circumstance as it is to day, for in Puritan times the Commons frequently attended St. Margaret's, on some occasions as early as seven in the morning, and the sermon preached before them was often con- sidered to be so good that it was ordered to be printed at the nation's expense. If these were delivered in the same form as they were pub- lished, the patience of the Puritan members must have been great indeed, for they would certainly take three hours in delivery, and, in the view of these times, that was two and a half hours too long. But, whatever the length, they were highly appreciated, and St. Margaret's has been the scene of many an important gather- ing of members, Nestling as it does under the very shadow of the venerable abbey of West- minster, it has been held, by the comparative smallness of its size, to show off the more dis- tinguished building to greater advantage, and when a proposal was made some few years ago to remove it, this was one of the reasons urged for its retention. But there were other reasons, and on9 of them which appealed with peculiar force to the student of history was that it was so bound up with the annals of Parliament. It is always the custom when the Sovereign enters the City of London for the Lord Mayor to receive a baronetcy and the two sheriffs to be knighted. This has been followed in the cases of Sir Reginald Hanson and Alderman Isaacs and Mr. Kirby, respectively, in connection with the Queen's visit to the East-end; but upon the present occasion an additional honour has been conferred upon the City by the conferring of a baronetcy upon Sir Robert Carden, the senior member of the Court of Aldermen. When the Queen went to the Mansion House she singled out the venerable alderman from his fellows, and, shaking hands with him, expressed her pleasure that he was looking so well. A whisper im- mediately ran around the assembly that a baronetcy would surely follow such a special mark of Royal favour, and the murmured prophecy proved to be true. Sir Robert Carden, who became an alderman as far back as 1849, and who was Lord Mayor as many as thirty years ago, has the unique distinction of being the only living mem- ber of the Court who has sat for two wards, he having been alderman for Dowgate from 1840 to 1*71, and since then having represented Bridge Without, which, curiously enough, has no con- stituency. He is a well-known figure in London, not only in City but in business circles, and in younger years he was a frequent participator in Parliamentary contests. The honour he has now gained is appreciated by his brethren as a com- pliment to the whole Court, and it has placed the completing touch to the pleasure derived from the Queen's most successful visit. A. F. R.


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