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------.,-------"THE DliEADFUL…




'----b..--THE MANCHESiKli…







----__--------DEATH OF POLICE…





NOTES ON CURRENT TOPICS. By London Correspondents. A WELL-PAID JOURNALIST. Mr Gladstone, I believe, receives a very fair price for his occasional articles ia the" Nine- teenth Century," but it does not approach the fee he commands for similar work from American publishers. A little more than a year ago I happened to act as inter- mediator between the editor of an American weekiy paper and Mr Gladstone in the matter of securing the right hon. gentleman as a contributor. I was autoorised to i~fffir,for an article not exceed- ing 1,500 words, £ 100. This is pretty well for prose. Mr Gladstuu» lias become an occasional contributor to this journal, for which he is writing the article on Mr Motley mentioned yesterday. It is not probable that the rate of remuneration has been cut down. I MERCANTILE MARINE EXAMINATIONS. Toe Board of Trade have issued a modest little returu, which, nevertheless, covers a matter of profound public interest. It is the report of the departmental committee that has been engaged examining officers of the mercantile marine in the matter of colour blindness. The system of examination, began twelve years ago, and since then of the number submitting them- selves for examination only something like four hundred have been rejected on the ground of colour-blindness. It would, nevertheless, be diffi- cult to exaggerate the amount of saved life and property which these four hundred cases represent. It is the opinion of some—like Dr Bickertou, of Liverpool—who have devoted atten- tion to this matter that many of the disasters at sea of which we read, and gome of the disappear- ances of ships the grim record of which is posted up at Liverpool, is due to unsuspected colour- blindness on the part of an < tfieer or a look-out man. It is curious to note th", visual vagaries of the rejected men. Thirty-two shown a red card declared it was green—a blunder that goes to the very root of the system of night signalling in the mercantile navy. A look out man who, seeiug a red light flash on an advancing ship, and, thlDk- in it was green, steered his vessel accordingly, would come to inevitable grief. One hundred and twenty-four of tbe men examined thought- pink was green. But the greatest unanimity of error was shown in respect of the cards coloured drab. Not less than 203 protested the colour was green. White is the colour, or. to be more exact, the absence of colour, which is recognised with widest accuracy. Of all examined, only two shown a white card, miscalled it. One thought it was pink, another swore it was green. As I stated some time ago, Dr Farquharson, the member for West Aberdeenshire, has under- taken next session to bring the matter under the notice of the House of Commons, with the object of extending the system of examination, and making it compulsory both in the navy and the mercantile marine. In this endeavour he will have the valuable assistance of Dr B ckerton. THE PERILS OF ELECTRIC LIGHTING. London is some way behind the great American cities in the matter of the adoptiou of the electric light. But the delay is not without its compensa- tions. Observation of tbe working of the system in other parts of the world has taught electric engineers a better way. In America the electric wires are, almost without exception, overhead, involving manifold dangers. At first tbe par- ticular objection held was that the wires were apt to fall, endangering the life of foot passengers and horses. Of late a new and even greater terror is added to the electric wire. A few weeks ago one breaking in New York fell across i. telephone wire exposed on the ground beneath. A horse touching the entang-led wires instantly became a seething mass of electric fire. Some passers-by were seriously hurt. A still greater disaster has bef.dlen Boston, where nearly two acres of the city has been destroyed, at a loss of a million sterling. The fire, it is now clear, arose from the contact between tbe electric light and the telegraph wires in London. We have too many over-bead wires, Out as far as the electric lighting is concerned the wires are compulsorily laid underground for some weeks past. All the West End of London has been nearly impassable by the work of laying tbe electric light. A QUKTTA TRAGEDY. Lord Connemara ilas just completed his tenth tour through India, which led him through Cal- cutta, Darjeeling, Allahabad, Simla, Quetta, Kurrachee, Bombay, and so home to Madras. He seuds me a copy of the diary written by bis secretary, and printed for private circulation. Like the preceding chapters, it is full of graphic touches, bringing into bright light the oddities and pictureKJueuess of native life in remote parts of India. The diary contains full particular" of a tragedy that took place close by Quetta, on the frontier of Afghanistan, and snarply illustrates the condition or affairs that still reigns there. A few days before the arrival of the Governor of Madras, a Pathan bad called at New Chaman, in the Kieojak Pass, to see one of the contractors of th*? rauway works, from whom he claimed paymentof 30 rupees for some work he said hadbedone. A yearuetore the contractor referred him to the local authority. Knowing nothing of and caring nothing for lhe tocal aulhoriy. the man went away disappointed, and shortly after- wards met a mule driver, belonging to the works, riding one mule aud leading Huother. It entered into his head that he would take this mule in satistactiou of his debt so be tired his revolver at the muleteer) who fell off, the robber riding off on one of the muies. The muleteer g&va tbe alarm in camp, and the frontier police were about to start in pursuit, when Captain Harris, commanding Royal Engineers, called out to Lieutenant Rooke, of the Bombay Lancers, Let us go and ses the fun." So these two young officers rode off, and, outstripping the mounted ponce, soon came up with the Patban. Captain Harris pointing a pistol at him, tbe Pathan fired two barrels of his five chambered revolver, missing with both. Captain Harris aud Lieutenant Rooke fired at him, and both missed. Then he tired again, and shot Captain Harris through the heart. The captain fell off his horse, exclaiming I am bit," and died. The robber turned and fired at Lieut. Rooke. The ball caught Rooke on the shoulder-blade, and glanced off to his throat and be, too, fell. The Pathau thereon picked uu the revolver ot Captain Harris, who lay dead on the sand, and made off with the mute. Soon afterwards the police cam up. and shot him in two places, and he was brougiit into camp to be tried. He said he had killeu two Englishmen in the war that these two sahibs pointed pistols at him that be made as good a fight as be could for his life, and would leave the rest in the bands of God. Soon after he died of his wounds. RELIEVING MRS PARNELL. A letter has been received in Dublin from Mrs Parnell stating that money has been found to meet the taxes and pay off the mortgage on her bouse at Bordentowu. The first cheque she received came from the proprietor of one of tbe New York theatres. Immediately on reading in the newspapers that Mrs Parnell was in distress, be telegraphed to her, offering to give her a benefit if she would accept it. Mrs Parneil at once closed with the offer, aud tbe theatre proprietor, estimat- ing the probable proceeds of the benefit, at once sent her a cheque tor £120, and forthwith pro- ceeded to advertise the benefit performance. CLAIMANTS FOR A MILLION OF MONET. Two gentlemeu of Dutch lineage have just arrived in London upon an errand with an exceedingly pleasing prospect in view. They claim to be the lineal descendants cf Hermann von Hake, a Dutchman, who, having settled in this country eariy in this century, died intestate 50 years ago, leaving a very large property. The property, now estimated at over a million sterling, went in the natural course of events to the Crown, but tbe newly-arrived Dutchman are armed with documentary evidence that they are the rightful heirs. When Hermann died he had a nephew living in Holland, who died in ignorance of the good fortune that had attended his uncle ( n England. Two sons of this nephew emigrated to America, where they also lived and died in ignorance of their heirship of tbe estate in England. They left four sons, who now want tbe:r great-great-uncle's money, with compound interest, and they have secured the services of a firm of London solicitors, who are prepared to urge their demand. It would be a sad thing for Mr Goschen if he found his cheering prospects for the coming Budget dashed by a Dutch disaster. A GREAT SPKECH. Mr Gladstone's speech at Manchester on Monday is of the very primest importance. In tbe first place, it displays bim apparently in a condition of bounding health aud strength. I hear from one who was preseut that rarely has he been seen in such high spirits, playing more humorously at the weak points of tbe adversary, or displaying fuller confidence in the issues of the future. Beyond tbis personal question, to which circum- stances lent an unusual measure of interest, Mr Gladstone has formally adopted all the principal ¡ planks of the advanced programme of the Liberal party. For tbe first time in his hfe, he has abandoned tbe cautious and reticent attitude towards the disestablishment question. At Manchester to- day be categorically declared that tbe time has now come wben Parliament may be asked to decide on the question of disestablishment in Scotland and in Wales. I am told that, with the exception of the remarkable scenes of enthusiasm which welled up trom the assembly when Mr Gladstone mentioned his approaching 80th birthday, this declaration elicited tbe loudest and most enthusiastic applause from the crowded representative assembly. OMNIBUS COMPANIES' REVENUES. It is generally understood that the loss to cmni- bus companies through peculation is enormous. Mr Church, manager of tbe London General | Omnibus Company, has not hesitated publicly to refer to the matter. At a recent meeting of tbe shareholdera be alluded to the loss as enormous, cynically adding that it must be regarded as a matter of course. All kinds of systems have been tried by the .London companies to check the con- ductors, hitherto without perfect success. A de- vice has now been bit upon from which great things are expected. It is an improvement upon the bell punch, already in use on some of the tramways, and on one of tbe principal omnibus lines. The tickets are printed in various colours, accord- I ing as the fare is a penny, twopence, or three- pence, thus making one ticket serve, and doing away with the series now in use. The ticket is punched according to the fare paid, rtnd an ingenious contrivance in the machine collects and assorts tbe varied fragments, which, being counted, infallibly represent tbe aggregate sum received during the day by tbe conductor The North Metropolitan Tramway Company" bave practically decided to bave Ibe new system, and tho London Road Car Company directors have it under their favourable consideration. If it fulfils j the promise, it is likely to lave an influence UDOD. j bns and tram revenues. A BRAVE WOMAN. i Tbe Painful circumstances attending tbe death HlM £ Rlchard A' Prooto1 will not be forgotten. Mc Proctor WAS at New York, on his way to London, where tie was engaged to deliver a series t of lectures. In the very morning p.tpers which ad- vertised bis coming and his iecturei appeared a telegram announcing hIs death. He bad brought with him the seeds of yellow fever, then rag;ng in Florida, and be died on the morning of the day he should have sailed for England, He left Mr^ Proctor in somewhat straitened circumstances, I which she is meeting with characteristic energy and courage. A private letter from her describes how she has taken up her husband's work, and I has arranged to deliver a series of bis lectures with all their paraphernalia of illustration. If, as is most. possible, the enterprise proves success- ful, Mrs Proctor may be expected to read the lectures in this country, where her husband had many friends. OUTRAGING ROYALT?. I have heard from a well-informed quarter and gentlemen well read the fact, with deep regret, that Marlborough House is daily assailed with anonymous letters of the most outrageous cha- racter, bearing upon the West End scandals. Not only the Prince ot Wales, but the Princess is directly addressed in communications of a monstrous character. The affair is in other high quarters continuing to give infinite trouble and vexation, with the common effect of strengthen- ing the determination to withdraw from thw attitude at first unhappily assumed in certain ministerial quarters, and insist upon a full and open investigation into the whole unwholesome matter. HISTORICAL DELIVERANCES. The profouud political importance of Mr Gladstone's speech at Manchester, is recog- nised in both political camps, where it is the one topic of conversation, Mr Gladstone, as an irate Conservative said to-day, has "gone the whole hog on the Radical programme." It is true that he prefaced his adhesion by a passage in which be pathetically referred to his four score years as an absolute bar to bis personal and active participation in the work-sufficient for theremain- mg portion of bis daywill be the carrying of the Home Rule Bill. But the importance of his ad- herence to tbe programme cannot be over esti- mated. It lifts it out of tbe position it hitherto held, making it now the authorised programme of the great party, whose complete and absolute unanimity is Mr Gladstone's proudest boast. First of all, Home Rule will be won for Ireland, and then, under whatever leadership the Liberal party may march, tbe comprehensive scheme of social legislation winch be yesterday marked out will be carried our. in its entirety.