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f^UN, FACTS, AND ANCIES. £ INTERESTING FACTS. Milan Cathedral can seat 3,700 people. Rats in the Bermudas often build their nests in trees. It takes 3,000 silkworms to spin sufficient silk to make a lady's dress. Horseshoes made from sheep's horn are said to be much safer than iron ones. It is estimated that the thinnest part of a soap-bubble is only 1-156,000th of an inch in thickness. There is a lighthouse to every 14 miles of coast in England, to every 34 miles in Ireland, and to every 39 miles in Scotland. A curious Chinese custom consists in throwing thousands of small pieces of paper, each in- scribed with a prayer, into the ocean, when a friend is about to sail. The cold of Siberia, is so great in winter that many kinds of provisions are kept by simple freezing. In the markets are to be seen frozen chicken, partridge, and other game thrown to- gether in heaps. Butchers' meat defies the knife, and some of the salesmen place their animals in fantastic positions before freezing them. East Frisia can certainly boast of the smallest railway in the world. Its entire, length is only railway in the world. Its entirelength is only five miles, and the breadth only two and a half feet. It employs the huge staff of one guard, one engine driver, one fireman, and only one platelayer. The vast amount of J34 10s. is paid in wages every week. It has two engines, three carriages, four trucks, and a couple of vans. The engine and tender together only weigh seven tons. The fares are in proportion to the size of the company, and average threepence-half. penny all the way." ♦ DONE FOR A PENNY. U Do you know where Johnny Locke lives, my little boy ?" asked a gentle-voiced old lady. U He ain't home, but if you give me a penny I'll find him for you right off," replied the lad. a All right: you're a nice little boy. Now, where is he?" Thanks—I'm him." ♦ BILL INSIDE. William Kean, who keeps a shop in a certain town in the south of Ireland, is always known as Bill to his immediate friends. Last sum- mer he went to Dublin to order a stock of goods. The goods were sent on immediately, and reached home before he did. When the boxes were de- livered at his shop by the carter his wife hap- pened to look at the largest. She uttered a loud cry, and called for a hammer. A neighbour, hearing the screams, rushed to her assistance, and asked what was the matter. The wife, pale and faint, pointed to an in- scription on the box, which read as follows:— Bill inside." THE DOG IN MANCHURIA. Everywhere is the dog the friend of man, but in Manchuria he is more strictly the friend of woman. There the dowry of a young woman does not consist of hard cash, as in Europe, but in a certain number f sleek dogs with thick fur or silken hair. The girl's status may almost be guessed by her wedding portion of dogs. If she receives six she is poor; if a dozen her parents are in easy circumstances; and if 12 dozen it may be take i that she comes from a rich family. They are carefully fattened for their savoury flesh, and their skins after death become coverlets, pelisses, vests for hunters, or bedside carpets, which scarcely ever wear out. Even to its fur the devotion of the dog is warm and lasting. *■ A VALUABLE CARPET. A small carpet in the San Francisco Mint is worth more than its weight in gold. nsd is to be burned in order that the precious metal filings that have been sprinkling it for several years may be recovered. The carpet is in the adjusting room, where files are used to trim sur- plus gold from coins after they are stamped. It frequell f' happens that a piece of overweight falls to the floor and becomes embedded in the grain of the carpet, and it is nothing unusual for the Government to get five thousand dollars' worth of gold dust out of the ashes resulting from the burning of one of the floor coverings. The floor sweepings are treasured with the utmost care, as they furnish enough money to pay the salary of the janitor several times over. 0 PEACE ON EARTH. The shivering carol singers had just selected a pitch beneath a lamp in a back street, when a small boy emerged from a house opposite and beckoned mysteriously to their leader. Mother says you're to sing something loud, he whispered. "That bit about r Peace on earth will do fine! She don't want no others. Ju=t you go on hollering 'Peace on earth. For ten minutes the willing minstrels yelled their loudest. Then a little woman, armed with a copper saucepan, appeared upon the scene. Thanks!" she said, handing the collector sixpence. Thit Peace on earth 'as done it beautiful! My ol' man went to fetch the turkey 'e won in a raffle to-night, an' comin' 'ome made one or two calls an' lorst it; so I've jest been a-teachin' 'im to be more careful, and didn't want none o' the neighbours to interfere when 'e 'ollered f Murder!' • -♦ EQUAL TO THE OCCASION. Private Podger was new to sentry duty, and felt out of his element in such an unfamiliar role. Soon he became both hungry and tired, and a sympathetic comrade handed him a sand- wich, which Podger at once began to eat. The major came upon the sentry while he was regaling himself, but, as the officer was in mufti, Podger did not recognise him. What's that?" demanded the officer. a A sandwich," replied Podger. "Won't you have a bit?" The major at once saw the humorous possi- bilities of the situation. "Do you know whom I am?" he proceeded good-naturedly. Don't know you from Adam. Perhaps you're the major's 'coachey'?" No, I'm not." His groom, perhaps?" Try again." "Perhaps the old chap himself?" Right this time." Oh, goodness!" exclaimed the sentry. "Hold this sandwich while I present arms ♦ STAGE SOUNDS. Of all sounds behind the stage, wind is the easiest to produce. The wind-machine is the most reliable of all the complicated theatre machinery." In small theatres there are generally no wind-machines at all. The stage- manager simply goes behind and works on the back of the curtain with a big bamboo cane. The result is a sound which fairly well repre-- sents wind. Closely allied to wind, and as com- monly in demand, is the sound of rain. In many theatres the rain-machine takes the form of a long, narrow box, within which little ledges are nailed. Peas are placed inside the box. If this apparatus be lifted slant wise the peas roll slowly over the ledge, and a rattling sound not unlike falling rain, is produced. The roar of the sea is usually a combination of the wind and rain machines. For the thunderclap which follows a flash of lightning, an arrangement called a U thunder-plate" is used. This consists of a long, slender plate which hangs loose on a string, and is set working at the lower end. For rolling, distant thunder, there is a gigantic, kettledrum covered with an ass's skin, and worked with two beaters. WILLING TO OBLIGE. It was the occasion of the annual smoker, and one of the company was repeatedly requested to ting. In vain he protested, but the ywouldn't take no. So he got on his feet at last and ;aid: Well, I will sing yer a song, but I dinna knaw the beginning, I dinna knaw the end, and I've forgot the tune, but I'll talk the words."






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