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THE COURT. --

POLITICAL GOSSIP. ---ø.--

THE ARTS, LITERATURE, &c.…

SPORTS AND PASTIMES. --+-

How Damp Grain may be Harvested.

Flower Garden and Shrubberies.

Hardy Fruit and Kitchen Garden.

TOPICS OF THE WEEK. i

OUR MISCELLANY. --

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OUR MISCELLANY. Twelve Feet High.-The wit deservedly won his bet who, in a company when every one was bragging of his tall relations, wagered that he himself had a brother twelve feet high. He had, he said, two half brothers, each measuring six feet. Deuce and Knave.—"You have played the deuce with my heart," said a gentleman to a young lady who was his partner in a game of whist. Well," replied the lady, with an arch smile, "it was because you played the knave." No Accounting for Taste.-An Irishman being asked, as he lay sunning himself on the grass, what was the height of his ambition, replied, To marry a rich widow with a bad cough." An Old Lover.-A correspondent of a Melbourne paper says that a Mr. Dorwin, lately from England, eloped last week with the daughter of Dr. Hotchkiss, of Glenallen, in the county of Wellington. The gay Lothario is aged about ninety, and the young lady seventeen. She has since returned to the paternal fireside, after passing through the Toronto police- court. Birmingham Wit.-At a recent meeting of the Birmingham Town Council a resolution was passed for erecting a cemetery chapel for the exclusive accom- modation of the Roman Catholics of that borough. A facetious burgess, on hearing the decision, remarked that he was not at all surprised at the result, inasmuch as the members of the corporation had betrayed their leaning towards Romanist observances even as far back as the election of the present mayor, when they resolved to have Sturgeon all the year round. Eccentrics and their Hobbies. — There is no accounting for the tastes displayed by various people (says a Parisian paper), thus one is supposed to feel no surprise at hearing that the Due de Dino has a weakness for waistcoats. The number he possesses is asserted to be one thousand, the value of them amounting to 20,000f.: they cannot, however, be very gorgeous ones, as at that rate they are worth but 20f. a-piece. His canes are said to exceed in number his waistcoats. The Duke of Brunswick also has a failing for walking sticks, whips, and riding-whips. His col- lection is very great, though their value is not more than 10,000f. Three spacious rooms, it is said, would prove incapable of holding the Princess de Buttera's wardrobe. The travelling carriage of the Marquis d'Aligre cost upwards of 15,000f. Count and Viscount Aguado have in their stables thirty carriages and sixty horses. The Population of the Earth.-A professor of the University of Berlin has recently published the result of his researches as to the population of the earth, according to which Europe contains 272 millions; Asia, 720 millions; Africa, 89 millions; America, 200 millions and Polynesia, 2 millions-making a grand total of 1,283 millions of inhabitants. As in places where deaths are accurately registered the annual mortality is at least 1 in 40, the number of deaths must be about 32 millions every year, which gives 87,761 per day, 3,653 per hour, and 61 per minute, so that every second witnesses the extinction of one human life. Another calculator states that the number of persons who have lived on the earth since the creation is 36,627,843,275,075,855! i-Galignani. The Russian Lady and her Bag.-A letter from Berne of the 14th relates the following curious story" The Russian Embassy in this city has lodged a complaint with the authorities respecting an affair which has nothing to do with politics. A few days since a Russian lady, while on board a steamer which plies on the Lake of Thun, having mislaid her travelling bag, thought proper to take possession of that of another passenger, fend refused to give it up until her own was restored, and on her landing she was arrested and lodged in prison. Having obtained permission to send a note to. the Russian Ambassador and to other members of the diplomatic body, they interfered, and proved that she had no intention of stealing the bag-, and she was set at liberty after having been for some hours in confinement. The lady, thinking tha.t she had not been treated in a manner suitable to her rank, has made a complaint to the Federal authority, and her application is said to be supported by the Russian Ambassador." Dr. Hook on "Bad Copy.The chairman of the Slaughani harvest-home dinner said that Dean Hook had preached a magnificent sermon to them, and he (the chairman) was very sorry he was not now present, but he was compelled to leave a short time ago in order to catch an early train. Before the dean went he asked him whether, if they wished it, he woul(I print the sermon. The answer the dean made was- that he should not say "No," but should leave it to them, upon which he (the chairman) at once said, Yes." He told the dean he thought they could sell one hundred, and he believed they would print it. With respect to the copy of the sermon, he offered to the dean to get it written out plain for the printers. The dean made answer, and said that would never do, he would write it out badly himself. Upon his asking" the dean why, lie explained that if the copy was plain it would be put in the hands of the worst compositors, whereas if it was written badly, the best hands would get it, and the work would be better done. Half-time Education.—Where the balance be- tween mind and body, brain and muscle, is established by education, the chances of life, health, and pros- perity are improved beyond all computation." Mr. Chadwick tells us that in half-time industrial schools the mortality is reduced to one third of what it is at the same time of life in the general population of England and Wales. With this weightiest of facts I conclude our contemplation of the lot of the fortunate children who have come in for the first share of the benefits of half-time schooling. They have the ad- vantage of the sons and daughters of nobles, and gentry, and tradesmen for the old-established schccl- hours are still the rule in upper and middle-class edu- cation and the physical education of children—of girls especially—has still to be introduced into practice, while it is having a fair trial among not only young- peasants and operatives, but paupers, foundlings, and City Arabs.-Once a TYeck. A Word oil Swans.—At a very early date it was' a very high privilege, granted only by the sovereign to different companies and individuals, to keep and pre- serve swans on the different rivers and lakes through- out England. Many different swan marks were adopted by the proprietors, that each might know their own'birds. This privilege only being granted under certain conditions and to certain persons, shows the degree of value and importance attached to the possession of these birds in old times, as well as the authorised power to protect them. For example, in the 22nd year of the reign of Edward IV., 1483, it waeo ordered that no person who did not possess a freehold of a clear yearly value of five marks should be per- mitted to keep any swans; and in the 11th year of Henry VII., 1496. it was ordained that any one steal- ing or taking a swan's egg should have one year's im- prisonment, and make payment of a fine at the king's will." And stealing or setting snares for, or driving- grey or white swans, was punished still more severely. Even at the present time it is felony "to steal, or injure in any way, a young swan."—Once a lVeek. Our Antipodes- Know ye the land where the spey oak and gum trees In shapeless deformity darken the wold- Where the blasts of the north, where the chill of the sea breeze, Now scorches to fever, now pierces with cold? Know ye the land contrariety sways, ■' Perverting the laws common nature obeys, Where black swans, and magpies in whitened array, And water-rats, duck-billed, come forth to the day; Where the trees shed their barks as the serpents their skin, And the stones of the cherries are outside, not in; Where the crOwing of cocks at the midnight is heard, And beasts breed their young in a manner absurd; Where enjoyment a fiction is, comfort a myth, And the heart of all esculent hardens to pith; Where a wooden pear offers the toughest of fruit, And the laugh of the bush jackass never is mute; Where the dust of the earth and the glare of the sky Are a plague to the breath, to the skin, and the eye; Where waters are brackish, and rivers are dry; Where the loadstar of life is the gold in the mine, And the spirit supreme is the spirit of wine ? —Melbourne Punch. A Spanish Bacchanalian.— In the days of the reign of King Philip of Spain, u When corpulent monks ruled the roast, The stoutest of all, Brother Francis of Gaul, In sherry the whole world would toast.. Now this Franciscan friar had a wond'rous desire To tipple the best he could find; Reclined in his chair, before daintiest fare, He cast all his cares to the wind. •- w, In the cellars so cold of the monastery old < The bright wine of Xerez was stored 'J' And the cellarer gray, who tippled all day, At vespers melodiously snored. One cold winter's night Francis had a sad fright, As he dozed in his old oaken chair The lights they burned blue-he had flagons twice two— And a gent with a tail came the banquet to share. Jolly Francis the Friar, in dismay the most dire, Told his beads as fast as he might; But the gent with the horns he punished his corns, While his hair stood on end with affright. Ha ha! Francis, my boy, I am loth to annoy, But no more olla or sherry for thee; You've enjoyed your last glass, and your time must now pass In the kingdom of sulphur with me." Rosy Francis declares he then seized his few hairs, And battered his nose on the noor The room full of smoke, he felt fit to choke, As he shuffled to grope for the door. At the dawn of the morn, the Abbot, shaven and shorn, Found rosy Francis asleep on the floor; But Francis declares he was saying his prayers When his holiness opened the door. „ „ But the cellarer grey, who tipples all day, Winks, and saith 'tis fustian outright. Francis fell on his nose when his sherry-warmed toes Refused to preserve him upright. \:y iv The moral we learn into rhyme I will turn- f Quantum suff. is as good as a feast One flagon of wine is enough when you dine- Twice two made poor Francis a beast. The Sun's D'stance from the Earth.—Mr. Hind, the astronomer, has published a long letter, discussing this subject, and enumerating the reasons for amending the hitherto received reckoning based on the observations of the transits of Venus across the sun's disc in 1761 and 1769. The second transit is always more favourable than the first, and. the contradictory results derived from ob- servations of 1761 led to great preparations in 1769. The entrance of the planet, utson the sun's disc was seen at nearly all the European obser- vatories, and its departure therefrom at several points in Eastern Asia, at Manilla, Batavia, &c.; while the entire duration was watched at Wardhus, at different places in Lapland, at Tahiti, St. Joseph in California, and elsewhere. Unfortunately clouds interrupted the northern observations, except at Wardhus, where, however, the carelessness or fraud of the observer marred the work, and his observations, kept back for some months and never relied on, were in 1834 proved to be forgeries. The calculation made—95,360,000 miles-has been disputed since 1854, the earth's mean distance being calculated at 91,328,600 miles. The new calculations are based on experiments as to the velocity of light, the lunar equation in the theory of the earth as investigated by Leverrier, and similar reasons. The next transits of Venus will take place on 9th December, 1874, and 6th December, 1882; after which no other opportunity will occur till 2004. Mr. Hind therefore suggests an extensive system of obser- vations to verify the recent calculations. Among other favourable positions he names in 1882, is the place where an Antartic continent was laid down some years since by Admiral Wilkes, but upon the existence of which geographers are not agreed. No part of the transit of 1874 can be witnessed in this country, but that of 1882 will be visible-the first external