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Zlic Cambrian.



NOTES & NOTIONS. A meeting of the committee of the Swansea Providant Dispensary was recently held (un- der the presidency of Mr. Rd. Glascodine) for the purpose of electing a medical officer to Ml the vacancy created by the decease of the late Dr. Davidson.There were three can- didates and Dr. D. D. Edwards, Gorse-lane, was appointed. The other candidates were Dr. Daniel Evans and Dr. McManus Soden. w w The proposal to employ bloodhounds in the pursuit of the escaped Borstall convicts, re- calls a notable case in which the bloodhound proved himself useful as a detective. A little girl had been missed, and portions of a child's body were found in a field at Black- burn. The town was excited, and several persons were suspected. But thsro was no real clue, and it occured to the police to try a bloodhound. The dog was taken to the field in which the body had been found, but this led to no result, and it was then resolv- ed to lead it to the houses of two men sus- pected of tho crime. In the first of these the animal betrayed no excitement, but in the second it led the police to the fireplace of an upper room, and there, concealed in the chimney, the officers discovered the head of a child, a bundle of clothes, and several bones. The tenant, a barber named Fish, was arrested, und was hung after confessing his guilt. # • • There seems to be soce recr idescence of the Century controversy as the disputed date draws near. For ourselves, wo confess to little difficulty we cherish the conviction that the twentieth century of the Christian Era will commence with the first day of next month. There are still some who toubt, and a few who, with no doubts at all, maintain that the new Contury began last January. Reams of argument have been written oil both sides of the question, which as a "hardy centennial" will dcubtloss be revived in aboat ninety-eight years' time. The sub- ject is of recurring interest to those whose lives arc not confined to one historic century. But, we repeat, we cannot really quite under- stand where the difficulty comes in. The matter is simply one of arithmetic, and bears an exact analogy to centuries in cricket. The contrary position is based on fallacy, and attempted to be maintained by reasons which are excellent examples of the art of puzzlement. They were all met by the writer of an article in the "Contemporary Review" a year ago. Suffice it here to mention that the true tho&ry that every century must com- mence with "one," has the authority, among others, of the Astronomer-Royal, the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's—who are arrang- ing a special service for tho occasion—the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Pope, the last-named of whem is the traditional custodian of Chronos. w < Mr. J. Aird, M.P., is having some trouble with his workmen on the banks of the Nile, where he is doing much to make the desert blossom as the rose. Mr. Aird has fourteen thousand men working for him day and night in Egypt, building a new reservoir which will be one of the engineering marvels of the age when it is finished. The two great dams at Assouan aLd Assiout are wonderful things to think of one of them is more than a mile long and 76ft. above the river bed. Just over two years have passed since Mr. Aird signed the contract with the Egyptian Gov- ernment, and he has undertaken to have the work completed during the summer of 1903. The reservoir will hold eighty thousand mil- lion gallons of wa.ter, weighing nearly four hundred million tons. The strike among the Italian workmen, if it proves serious, may interfere with the progress of the work, but Sir Benjamin Baker, who is superintending the operations, may be trusted to see that this miracle of engineering is ready for all to see by 1903. One of these days we may see it from a railway train. This year Christmas comes with peculiar sadness to very many homes. Many homes have to mourn young men dead before their day in the war many others have to lament the absence of their sons. One prayer at least will be universal in England—that this war, with its death and suffering, may soon be at an end. The war has also deeply af- fected a matter which is always prominent at this season. The appeals for charity which are sent broadcast over the country are likely to meet with a response less gene- rous than in other years. For one thing the country has been paying a heavy price in money as well as in lives, and for another a very great many people, whose means only allow of their giving moderate amounts away, have already given those amounts to the various funds in connection with the war. It is quite natural that these people should decide to draw in their purse-strings now. It is quite natural, but, except in oases where the utmost has really been given, the decision is both regretable and illogicil. The wa.r demanded a special effort frota the charitable. If they merely transferred to its funda money which they would otherwise have given to hospitals or other institutions they can take no credit to themselves. Tn that case they have made no special effort at > all. I A From the point of view of the interests of chaiity it was even bad policy, remarks the i St, J«.Il'(\S'S Gajette." Certain institutions, absolutely vital to our civilisation and ab- solutely necessary to the common instincts of humanity, are left to private charity. Whether or not it would be well if these in- stitutions were a public burden en the coun- try and were paid for by the State is a ques- tion which can be ai-gttotl. ^Icantime^ they are not so paid for, and if private tltttity fails they fail too. But if the private charity h&d not come forward to give aid to the suf- ferers hem the war the State would have been absolutely compelled, in the interest.; of the Aimy only, to give such aid from the public chest. Well, private charity did come forward-the country rose nobly to the occa- sion. But if as a consequence our hospitals and the care generally of the poor are to be neglected it will be a very grave evil. We trust that this consequence will net be. We trust that those who by an effort can spare but little will spare that little. And we trust, further, that those who are not merely prosperous but wealthy—which number in this country is very large—will remember that by cienjing themselves some superfluity of comfort which thousands of their fellow- countrymen, as gently nutured and as Ie- fined as they, never have the chance of en- joying, they may relieve much suffering and much anxiety.

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