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Sittings and Comments.


Sittings and Comments. Sir Humphrey Davey, the inventor of Jthe safety lamp, died 63 years ago last Saturday. It is an interesting fact that special silver four- pence?, twopence?, and pence are still coined at the Mint for Maundy purposes. In the beautiful village of Shere, Surrey, in shrubberies adjacent to the fields and woods beyond, a dozen nightingales have been singing agaiust one another ail the week. A divorce has been pronounced between Mr. and Mdme. Lippmann. Mdme. Lippmann is the daughter of Alexandre Duma3, and the pair were married only a few months ago. An agricultural authority avers that throughout extensive districts in the North and West of England the farmers sell their fresh butter as low is 7d. and 8d. per lb. England is a country where, during nine months }f the year, says Mr. Andrew Lang, men are killed' by the east wind, and during three months by mixed drinks. Sarah Bernhardt is said to be the only one ictresa who can command an audience in every capital of the world, from Monte Video to Moscow. An ingenious experiment to protect pigeons igainst hawks has just been made. A small whistle is iastened under the wing of the bird, and the sound preserves the bird from attack. It has 50 far proved very successful. It has been resolved to give up the State administration of the Court Theatres of Cassel Wiesbaden and Hanover, it being declared that, as the Royal Princes are fast growing up, it is neces- sary to cut down all unneceesay expenses. In the parish of St. Pancraa, where the electric supply of the district is in the bands of the vestry, it has been decided to supply electricity at 3d. per Board of Trade unit, which is equivalent to gas at 2s. 6d. to 2*. 9d. per 1,000 cubic feet. Sir A rthurSuUivan, looking very pale and thin, was an interested listener to the beautiful music of the band of the Garde Republicaine at the Horticultural Exhibition on Saturday. He wa wheeled into the grounds in a bath chair. A wealthy old bachelor in Indiana, named James Rboda, has just advertised that for the next 30 days he is open to sealed proposals of marriage from eligible candidates. Ladies inclined to dis- turbing domestic traits or extravagant tastes are warned not to compete. The English language has to thank Smithneld for an elegant addition to its vocabulary. It appears that a croaker is the market term for an animal killed to save its life "—in order that it may not die a natural death and therefore be un- saleable for human food. A curious piece of news is reported from Hanover. Verdi's "Rigoletto" has just been produced for the first time at the Court Theatre in that town. Forty years ago it was announced for per- formance, but the attitude of the public was so hostile that the manager had to ring down the curtain long before the end of the opera was reached. The cosmopolitan character of the work of the Mint is astonishing. In addition to the ordinary coins well known ia the United Kingdom, the Mint produces silver and bronze pieces in cents for Canada, piastres and half-piastrss for Cyprus,; cent pieces for Hong Kong, nickel pence and farthings for Jamaica, and cant pieces for the Straits Sstttements. Hatchlacda, near Guildford,where Mr. Gladstone is staying, is the Surrey residence of Mr. Stuart Rende). It stands on the northern slope of the North Downs, is large and roomy, is beautifully decorated, and is lighted by the electric light. It was originally built by Admiral Boscawen, to whom the estate was given by the natioa. The property joius on one side that of the lord-lieu- tenant of the county, the Earl of Loveiace, and on the other that of Lord Onslow, now returning from New Zealand. The Christian members of the population of the districts of Pargn and Paramthia, in Turkish Epirua, have for some time past been terrorised by a band of brigands, whose nefarious adventures were of a most daring and impudent character. Recently they went so far as to attempt the capture of a rich Greek bishop. The prelate, how- ever, managed to outwit the robbers, and the gen- darmes called to hi* aid succeeded in killing six of the Mohammedan brigands. Their heads were afterwards exposed in the market place of Janina as ^warning to fellow robbers. One of the oldest cabbies in this country is George Haygarth, of Glasgow. He was born in 1812, and gained his first coaching and cabbing experience in Manchester and Edinburgh. When in 1840, the magistrates of Glasgow offered a premium to any person who would start cabs for public hire, Haygarth introduced two from Eain, burgh to the western city. He also drove the first hansom cab put on the streets of Glasgow for hire when that class of vehicle was introduced in the beginning of 1852. A public subscription is now being raised for the veteran. ;:A cbance remark on the value of athletics has led to a challenge by the mayor of Godalming and Alderman Rea to a tennis tournament. This is probably a unique event. Godalming has the honour of being the first English town to adopt the electric light in its streets. Now it may gain fresh laurels (says the Pall Mall Gazette) by nitiadng an athletic movement in its corporation which should have many imitators. Instead of vestrymen offering to pull each other's noses, for instance, why should they not engage in a tennis tournament or a boat race, or even attempt to climb & greasy pole ? No Corrupt Practices Act retarded generosity in the old days. Lord Brabourne tells us, in an article in Blackwood, that at the end of last century the cost of one election in Kent was £ 30,000, divided between the two winning candi- dates. In the same county another gentleman went through a contest at an expenditure of close upon £ 20,000, and an opponent complained of another that he had sold a paterna.) estate for £ 18,000, for the sole purpose of spending the money on an election. This is not startling. The first Sir James Drummond once spent £ 80,000 in contesting Carmarthenshire. Mr. Robert C. Nichols, weli-knoWn in Parliamen- tary circles as the printer of the Votes and Pro- ceedings of the House of Commons, has died at his residence in Sutsax-place. The firm of which Mr. Nichols was head has printed the Votes and Proceedings of the Commons uninterruptedly since 1796. The oldest Vote extant of the House of Commons ia dated 23rd March, 1681. This was printed by one Gabriel Kunbolt—.or, rather it was printed for him by Leo Lichfield—at Ox- ford. Gabriel Kunholt was bookbinder to Prince Rupert, and the Vote io question was published at the Widow Beckford's in Cat-street. A man who was a schoolboy when Waterloo was fought, who has seen King George 111., and talked with Queen Charlotte, and may even have heard his nurses babble to him of Nelson and Trafalgar, must recollect much. Sir Harry Vemey, the veter-in Buckinghamshire baronet, is nine years older tban Mr. Gladstone, and in Saturday's Spectator he looks back through his long life, and weighs the gain and the loss of the times. On the whole, he decides that the world of his old age is a better world than the world of his younger days. We are a milder people, a gentlier people, a more human people; also we have got more "instilu- tions," and improve ourselvos, and each other, with more readiness. The good old times, accord- ing to this fine old gentlp.man, were rough old times, compared to our own. Mr. Gladstone's later style tends strongly to reminiscence. This is more marked in priva-te conversation, though it is quite discernible in his public speeches. An instance came (says our Lon- don correspondent) under my notice the other day. It was at tea. As he dropped the lumps of sugar into his cup, Gladstone remarked that people throw sugar about and wasted a great deal of it now. This habit of extravagance, he went on to eay, dated from the time when the sugar duties were abolished. Then he dropped the sub- ject of sugar, and m a delightful man ner began tc expatiate on the superior comfort of the old House of Commons to. the present chfunber, and the greater ease with which speeches were heard in the »1<1 chamber. This is a subject on which Mr. Gladstone is an authority, for he has sat in both Houses. He is ever full of reminiscences of thi9 port.


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