"NEXT-OF-KIN." Mr. Edward Preston, 1, Great College-street, Westminster, in a letter to The Times, remarks that Advertisements for missing friends or next-of-kin' are sometimes of a very ex- traordinary charaeter, having for many people more than a transitory value," and he gives a summary of those which have appeared in the columns of T/te Times during the past year The number of such notices (omitting repeats) was, in round numbers, 700; the number of persons named therein some 3,000. The Treasury Solicitor adver- tised for the next-of-kin of 26 persona who seem to have disappeared from this busy world of ours sans rela- tions the amount of money reverting to the Crown by reason of these intestacies is seldom stated, but in one notable case (Mrs. Helen Blake's) the sum was no less than 2140,000. Large rewards were offered for bap- tismal, marriage, or burial certificates; a gentleman in distressed circumstances seeks the representatives of a firm who carried on business in Calcutta in 1816; the next-of-kin are sought of several persons who have left our shores and settled in the Colonies, the United States, or India; the representatives of de- ceased shareholders are inquired for respecting un- claimed dividends; numerous notices were issued by the Bank of England with reference to a re-transfer of unclaimed stock or dividends from the Commis- sioners for the Reduction of the National Debt a reward ofi 2250 is offered for a (due to a marriage settlement by the relatives of a testator who, on his death-bed, could only utter the words" Lincoln's- inn-fields.' Chancery suits are still of long standing -Hjhe representatives of a baronet who died in 1724,. and the descendants of a couple who were married in 1708, are only now inquired for. A person who went to sea in 1854, and has not since been heard of, is entitled to certain residuary estate; and another who went to sea in 1859 is wanted for something greatly to his advantage; the descendants of one family are wanted to claim 212,000 those of another who, in 1798 were living in Bloomsbury, are anxiously sought; tidings of a person reported to have been drowned in 1830 on the Merriman River will be liberally paid for; the next-of-kin of the secretary of the late Lord Exmouth are unknown; and the heirs of a person who emigrated to America as long ago as are wanted to claim the enviable fortune of 2,000,000 dols. A father affectionately inquires for his daughter who ran away from home—' She will learn with regret,' so runs the sad notice, that her mother died recently;' a son who left his home in 1850 is in- formed that something very greatly to his advantage awaits him (this advertisement was repeated at least 20 times); claimants for lands in Canada, and the relatives of two brothers who were drowned at Montreal are also sought; inquiry is made as to the investments or property of one person, and an ex- pectant legatee is willing to pay handsomely for a clue to some funds supposed to have been deposited in a bank a labourer is entitled to a legacy; and divers charitable institutions (including the Irmporary Home 'II for Lost or Starving Dogs) are invited to claim a share of a benevolent testator's residuary estate. The rela- tives of a captain, who died suddenly, are requested to communicate with the clergyman of the parish £ 1,000 Consols are going begging in one case, and £ 7,000 in another; the locale of a sunt of £ 200 is unknown to disappointed -relatives: the next-of-kin of the author of 'Sam 8lièk) will hear of aome- thing peculiarly interesting to them on applying to —— several domestic servants are entitled to lega- cies a sister will hear of something to her advantage if she will make herself known to her brother: a gunner, who deserted Her Majesty's service in 1862, or, if dead, his next-of-kin, are interested in an Irish probate case the heir-at-law of several persons of :iJ1- sound mind are inquired for under the Lunacy Regula- tion Act. A lady, who seems to have enjoyed the luxury of being married four times, is entitled to a legacy left by her sister the heirs of a Spanish lady, an aged spinster of 82, are inquired for by a Spanish Court—" all those who may think they have a right to the inheritance are invited to apply. The representa- tives of another lady who died in 1809, aged 94, are inquired for by order of the High Court of Justice. The unknown nephews and nieces are wanted of a gentleman, who died at Lisbon; a person, last heard of in Queensland, is entitled to the residuary estate of his brother; two sons are wanted to claim an estate left them by their father; and the father of a child left under the guardianship of a nurse, is Úl- formed that his daughter died suddenly, to the great grief of the nurse. A person who left Wales in 1857 is entitled to one-third of two farms a surplus awaits division among the owners of slaughter-houses, shambles, &c., in the neighbourhood of old Newgate Market. Unexpected assets of very large amount await the representatives of the creditors of a gentle- man who died in 1740, and the next-of-kin of persons who held shares in the West New Jersey Society in 1692-3 are entitled to funds. Any lady having a ser- vant with the initials B. B. in her employ will confer a great blessing by sending the news to her sister a student is implored to communicate with his parents; to J. B. the joyful intelligence is conveyed that he has been adjudged bankrupt and may return home without fear of molestation. Mr. Preston concludes his letter by appropriately re- marking that he hopes a perusal of the foregoing jot- tings will prove the interesting nature of Next-of-Kin advertisements, and that a novelist need never need be at a loss for a subject if he daily "cons" the agony columns of The Times.
An unparalleled feat on the bicycle was accom- plished on Thursday ana Friday in last week by Mr. T. H. Wilkinson, who engaged to ride 200 miles in 24 hours. The course lay between Horley and Crawley, in Sussex, starting from Horley. The length of the double journey is a little under ten miles, and the space was covered 20i The ground is nearly level, and as the course had to be traversed each way no advantage could be obtained from the wind. Mr. Wilkinson is under 19 years of age, 5ft. 8in. in height, and weighs 9st. 81b. e started at 12.16 on Thursday and the distance was completed at 11.35 on Friday, thus winning the race with 41 mmutes to spare. The machine used was a 62-1I. John-o'-Groat's. The Earl of Ranfurly and Mr. Laang acted as umpires. -==--
THE DESTRUCTION OF A TURKISH MAN-OF-WAR. The Engineer has the following particulars from an eye- witness of the loss of the Turkish ironclad, Lutfii Djelil, on the Danube :— On Sunday, the 6th inst., a Turkish ironclad with two turrets paid a ^sit to Braila, and threw some fifteen 9 in. shells right over the town to the railway station, just as the Grand Duke Nicolas arrived by train from Galatz._ I he vessel did not remain long, and on the following Friday the 11th inst., she re- turned about 3 p.m., and dropped anchor, with the object apparently of shelling the town. She several times shifted her position slightly, in order to bring her guas to bear more conveniently. A Kussiun bat- tery at once opened^ fire on her with bronze rifled howitzers of about 6 in. calibre, the range being 5,000 yards. A second battery, armed with 25-pounder siege guns, also opened on the Turkish ship, and the cannonade lasted for about forty-five minutes. The Russians fired in all about twenty rounds the result of each shot was carefully watched for by our corres- pondent on shore, from a point 50ft. to 60ft. above the level of the river. Suddenly, a small puff of white smoke or steam rose from the ironclad, followed by huge flames, which ascended to a height of some 20ft. These were carried away by the wind at a slight angle, and were succeeded by a cloud of dark smoke or steam rising high into the air, and surrounded by black objects. A dull report was heard, and when the smoke cleared away the ironclad .1 4-- I,- was gone. Nothing was to De seen of her but the mizen-mast standing far out of the water and still flying the Turkish flag, which, curiously enough, the Turkish boats pulling to the rescue of the drowning sailors, did not attempt to secure. These boats came from a second Turkish ironclad lying at the time a little further up the stream. Whether they succeeded in rescuing any of the crew is not known. But the cook of the ship was subsequently picked up by the Russians, who also carried off the Turkish flag as a trophy. The man was much hurt, but he was quite able to give the explanation of the occurrence which has been so much wanted. It seems that the com- mander of the Lutfii had gone ashore at Matchin, about four or five miles farther up the Danube, and had given instructions to his second in command to get the ship into position, but not to open fire until he returned on board; and, as a fact, the Turkish ship did not reply by a single gun to the Russians. His object wa going to Matchin was to arrange with four other gun vessels for a concerted attack on Braila, which, as we know, never came off. Numerous explanations of the cause of the sinking of the Lutfii Djelil have been given, and a great deal has been said about vertical fire and unarmoured decks. According to the survivor, however, all these theories are wide of the mark. A shell entered the side or base of the funnel, and exploding in the up-take the boilers at once followed suit. Farther than this the cook knows nothing until he was picked up but it is probable that a hole was blown in the bottom of the ship sufficiently large to admit water enough to sink her at once. Our correspondent states definitely that there is no reason to think the magazine ex- ploded. There was no sufficient uprush of flame and smoke, and the noise made was not great. He de- scribes the flame as being like that of a burning tar barrel, acoompained by black smoke. All this is quite consistent with the explosion of the boilers. It was not possible safely to make any examination on the spot after the ship went down, even if such ex- amination could have had any results, for a body of Circassians, posted among some willows on the river bank, were very busy with their rifles. The crew consisted of 182 men, 2 officers, and three pilots, all of whom were Turks. The vessel, whioh is not the most powerful Turkish war ship on the river, had only three weeks previously passed quite close to the'Rou- manian shore as she proceeded up the main stream. She then caused quite a sensation in Braila by her size and hostile appearance. She did not, however, return by the main stream, but by the old arm of the Danube, entering a little below Hirsova. Two of the Russian officers who laid the howitzers have been decorated. It will be seen that vertical fire had little or nothing to do with the destruction ef the ship, the range being 5,000 yards, and the batteries not far above the water's edge.
POISONOUS MUSHROOMS. The mushroom has peculiar charmø for the French- man's palate, and in one shape or another figures daily on his dinner table (remarks the Standard). Unlike the aristocratic truffle the champignon is accessible to the working man also, who buys recklessly of the street vendors huge measures of the delectable fungus (or what is sold as such), indifferent as to the quality provided he gets quantity for liis money. The result of this universal mushroom eat- ing is that, despite oft-repeated warnings concerning the poisonous impostor which simulates the exterior of the innocuous mushroom to lure the unwary to death, and despite the means, so often indicated for testing the wholesomeness of the fungus, persons are continually being poisoned by mistaking the one for the other. A sad illustration of the truth of the above is just reported from the commune of Arx. A family, comprising eight persons, par- took of a dish of mushrooms at their evening meal. A few hours after, the mistress of the house and,four, of her children were seized with sudden illness, which increasing in gravity, the servant was despatched for a medical man. Unfortunately the nearest doctor lived six miles off, and before his arrival five members of the household were dead, whilat the three remaining breathed their last half an hour after- wards. The post-mortem proved beyond a doubt that death had resulted from eating a poisonous fungus of the mushroom tribe. It is to be hoped that the un- timely end of the family at Arx may at least serve as a warning to others, and induce persons to use more caution when indulging in their favourite dish.
Jottkit Comsjonitnt fife deem it right to state that we do not at all tuuet iddatify ourselves with ou": Correspondent's opinionsj There is one word which is, perhaps, more often used in connection with the scenes of the Eastern War than any other. Dardanelles And what a history is theirs! These two castles, Sestos and Abydos by name, were built by the Sultan Mahomet IV. in 1659, commanding the entrance of the Strait of Gallipoli. They were given their present name from Dardanus, a contiguous town. The passage of the strait, a very perilo-as operation in the face of an enemy, was achieved by the British squadron under Sir John Duckworth on the 19th February, 1807. He however, repassed them with great loss on the 2ud March following, both castles hurling down stones of many tons weight upon the British ships. The next time our fleet appeared in those waters it had a different reception, for in October 1853, at the request of the Sultan of Turkey, the allied English and French navies passed the Dardanelles for the protec- tion of the Ottoman Empire. In ancient times this famous strait was called the Hellespont, from Helle, daughter of Atliamas, King of Thebes, who was drowned here. Separating the two great con- tinents of Europe and Asia, it is yet only four miles wide, so that when Xer. es set out from Pereia to invade Greece more than twenty centuries ago, his eugineers found it easy enough to construct a bridge of boats over this piece of water, and across it the Persian sovereign poured his mighty army into Europe. Mighty it was in the sense of numbers, for including servants, retinue, and camp followers, it numbered 5,300,000 souls. Herodotus, the Greek his- torian, states that the fleet which accompanied the land forces, consisted of 3,000 sail. This was defeated at Artemisium and Salaruis, and as to the multitudin- ous army, after having been stopped at Thermopylae by the valour of 300 Spartans, it was met and defeated at Platsea. Xerxes returned to Persia defeated and discomfited, only to perish by the hand of one of his own subjects. But the traditions of the Hellespont have not always been those of war. It is celebrated for the story of the loves of Hero of Sestos and Leander of Abydos. There was no bridge of boats by which they could communicate, but Leander was accustomed to swim the four miles every night in order to see his lady love. One dark and tempestuous night, however, when the waves seemed driven in foaming walls of water from the Black Sea, Leander was drowned, and the lady, in despair, threw herself into the Hellespont, and shared the same fate. Lord Byron was a great admirer of Leander, and emulated his exploit of swimming across the Straits. But he did not attempt this more than once, and certainly not on a wild and stormy night. The month of May has, of late years. been so as- sociated with cold and cheerleasness, that it has be. come the terror of invalids because of the east winds, and has lost that reputation for being a merry time which it formerly possessed. The regularity with which cold winds sweep over the land in May has at- tracted the serious attention of meteorologists, who have endeavoured to account for it by the break-up of the ice in the northern seas, and the drifting of vast masses of that material into our own waters. An iceberg not only affects the temperature of the water in which it floats, but for many a mile around it exerts a very considerable influence upon the temperature of the air as well, so that with this combination the weather which we regularly look for in May is not to be wondered at. The North Atlantic has of late been crowded with icebergs, rendering the navigation ex- tremely difficult and dangerous. And it is a remark- able fact that while in the British islands the last winter was exceptionally mild, in the north of Russia it was more than ordinarily severe. In St. Petersburg the mercury fell forty de- grees below zero, and the frost struck into the ground to the depth of six feet. The ice on the Ladoga and in the Gulf of Finland had not been so thick for years, and up to the middle of May a quantity of it was still floating down the Neva. The more severe the winter in those northern climes the later comes the break up of the ice, and the colder is our summer. The struggle between the sun and the north wind can, however, have but one result. We all kuow how it ended in the fable, and how the traveller, who had wrapped his cloak more closely round him when attacked by the chilling blast, was •-•ompelled to 'brow it off when the sunbeams were poured down upon him. And so, in the physical world, as the days grow longer, and the sun obtains more power, the cold wind is driven away at last,; its more power, the cold wind is driven away at last,; its loud moaning ceases over the land, and the grate- ful warmth of summer renders glad alike the busy city :ind the peaceful plain. The most popular resort of the upper classes in London just now is the Orleans Club, which has its quarters at Orleans House, Twickenham, so lo/iL" the residence of the Duke of Aumale during his residence in this country. Tired of the uproar <it Piccadilly, no longer caring for the excitement of P-ill Mall, the more select members of the aristocratic world betake themselves to Twioken- ham, where the Thames is a very different looking stream from the aspect which it presents either at Westminster or at Blackfriars. It was to Orleans House that the members of the Coaching Club repaired from their first meet in Hyde Park; and the fact of the Prince of Wales having joined the new club is a guarantee of the excJusiveness of the society which will be found there. Meanwhile the Prince has given up his residence at Chiswick, a charming place lower down the river, and where in the season many a grand garden party has been given. At these assemblages, which have sometimes been attended by the Queen herself, the Prince's guests, many hundreds in number, have invariably been chosen with the greatest impartiality; and pro- menading the walks, which run down to the very edge of the river, ecclesiastics and politicians without distinction have freely mingled. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer has often testified to the value and importance of the numerous friendly societies which have gradually grown up into a great organisation. The Freemasons and the Odd Fellows, the Foresters and the Druids, the Shepherds and the Good Templars, with all the rest of them, re- present an enormous amount of industry and thrift, chiefly amongst the working classes. Most of these names are of modern origin,—Freemasonry being of course excluded, for writers upon this subject affirm that it has had a being "ever since symmetry began, and harmony displayed her charms." It is traced by some to the building of Solomon's Temple; its intro- duction into Britain has been fixed at the year 674, and many of our Gothic cathedrals are ascribed to masonic architects. But friendly societies generally have sprung up within the past hundred years. They originated in the clubs of the industrious classes about 1793, when the French workmen were busy over the Revolution. Those who first conceived the idea were friends of the people in every sense of the word, and statesmen are now only too glad to acknowledge its value in exercising a beneficial influence over such a large proportion of the wage-receiving population. When Parliament re-assembles after the Whitsun- tide recess, noble lords and honourable gentlemen know full well that there is a straight run of work before them to the prorogation. Two-thirds of the session have now gone, and into the remaining third a great deal of labour must inevitably be crowded. No more holidays now, no Easter or Whitsuntide recesses, no Ash Wednesday partial vacation for the Commons, no adjournment over Ascension Day for the Lords —all will have passed and gone. As the Session goes on the Commons meet under high pressure, and -it great strain. By degrees the Government annexes the time hitherto devoted to the theories of private members. For instance, to begin a Parlia- mentary week at the end of July or the beginning of August. Monday is always a Government night under any circumstances, and Tuesday is enjoyed by private members. Ordinarily the House meets at four o'clock in the afternoon, but now are introduced what arecalled morning sittings; that is to say, on the Tues- day the House assembles at two for Government work, sits straight up until seven, adjourns until nine, and meets again when private members are at liberty-to bring forward their motions. But the five hours' work from two until seven, haa taken the spirit out of honourable gentlemen, and when the House gets to- gether again at nine very few are present, and if forty cannot be mustered, there is a count out and a consequent adjournment. Wednesday is a private members' day, but when up close to the pro- rogation this also is annexed by the Ministers. Thursday, like Monday, is a Government night and Friday resembles Tuesday, Ministers taking a morning sitting as on that day in order to push on their Bills. Thus all five days in the week are then occupied with Ministerial work, and at last even Saturday is pressed into the service. Private members who have had on the notice paper for months motions to call attention to this, that, and the other subject, now find their opportunities completely gone, and are often disposed to complain that they have lad no chance of bringing forward matters of great interest to their constituents. But necessity knows no law, and if the estimates happen to be in arrear, it is pi" £ tty generally recog- nised that the money must be voted, and that every- thing else must give way to this object. The relations between Germany and France have once more become so strained that some interest has lately been concentrated upon the French frontier defences, which it may be well imagined would in case of renewed hostilities be in a very different state of preparation from that in which they were found in the summer of 1870. Then the German army were enabled to pour through the passeB of the VoSgfeB mountains like an irresistible torrent, making its way towards Metz and Verdun practically unchecked, and at last investing the capital itself. Now, however, upon these ranges entrenchments are being made to cover the town of Epinal, which may be regarded as the basis of operations in the chain of the Yosges, and this may be expected to prove a much more for- midable obstacle than hitherto. One remarkable circumstance in connection with the Treaty of Peace signed at Versailles in February, 1871, was the retention of the fortress of Belfort, a very strong frontier town in Alsace, by France. Prince Bismarck and M. Thiers had more than one argument over the possession of Belfort, the former contending that France must surrender the whole of Alsace, and M. Thiers resolutely refusing to sign the Treaty unless Belfort were spared. At last Bismarck gave way, and while Strasburg and the entire province passed into the possestfiou of Germany, Belfort was permitted to 1 remain a part of France—a piece of friendly soil in the heart of an enemy's country. In case of a war it might give the Germans some trouble but whether or not, the inhabitants of this garrison town are grateful enough to M. Thiers for enabling them to retain their French nationality, and gave the veteran statesman a warm reception when he visited them some little time ago. Ladies passing through the great th-orouglifares at the west end of London, often pause and admire the sealtikin jackets displayed in the shop windows, these being generally marked at a very high price. Yet the American seal fishing appears to have been a great success this year, the number of seals which have fallen victims to their pursuers being unusually large. According to advices from Newfoundland, the vast number of 300,000 seals have already been taken this season, and the fishers expect to return home with half a million. One Newfoundland steamer alone secured 48,000. After this, ladies will watch the quotations for sealskin jackets with much interest. Satisfactory as the enormous take of seals may appear from a commercial point of view, it may be remarked that no created thing is more harmless than this animal, which, we have been told by naturalists pos- sesses all the five senses in unusual perfection. The forthcoming meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society at Liverpool, which is to be held from the 11th to the 16th of July, promises to be one of the most successful of the many which have been organized by that important body. As a rule it meets in some great centre of population, and last year it was at Birmingham. Now it migrates from the Midlands to the banks of the Mersey, with its eight miles of docks and its immense commercial interests. Upwards f 26,000 is this year offered in prizes, and the show-yard is to cover nearly seventy acres of land. The peripa- tetic system adopted by these societies is of the greatest value in disseminating an interest in agri- culture throughout the various districts which they visit.
THE VOLUNTEERS IN WAR. On Monday Colonel H. C. Fletcher, C.M.G., of the Scots Guards, lectured before a large audience at the Royal United Service Institution, London, upon the subject of A Volunteer Force, British and Colonial, in the event of War." General Sir William Codrington, G.C.B., presided, and among those present were Lord Elcho, M.P., General Cole, General McMurdo, General Sir James Alexander, General Sir Frederick Goldsmid, Sir John Rose, Sir Thomas G. P. Logan, General Alcock, Colonel Crossman, Colonel Holland, Colonel Childers, R.A., Colonel S. Mackenzie, Colonel Crawley, Colonel Clive, Colonel Radcliffe, Colonel am Bushby, Captain Coloml), Captain Bridge, R.X., Captain Scrivener, Captain Styan, as well as many other well-known officers. The Volunteers were largely represented, and gentlemen connected with the Colonies were present. Colonel Fletcher, in his introductory remarks, said that the scheme which he proposed to bring under notice was one for subsidizing an expeditionary force of Regular troops, supposing such a force should ever be necessary, by representative bodies from Volun- teers, drawn not only from the mother country, but from her great colonies. In case of war all means would be tried to swell the ranks of the Army and Navy but there could be no competition with the net of conscription unless we utilized the middle classes, availed ourselves of at least a small portion °r x> Vast organiza,tion which had placed so many of them under arms. The liking for display had given place among the Volunteers to a sense of the reality of the work, and the more this was brought home to them the greater would be their zeal and the higher their standard of efficiency. He urged that it was desirable to give them opportunities of facing danger, and said that this feeling existed among the middle ola<»e> was evinced by. the increased impetus which even a vagus prospect oi .service gave to the re- cruiting of Volunteer Corps, and the additional and self-imposed work which many of the officers and men undertook, when war on the Continent showed even a slight chance of military employment. What was termed the -,lied to even a small port' to increase the the Volunteers tor this would create traditions of ..on, and would stamp on the.. which subsiqiK-nt years of peace would fail to effa.ee. (Cheers.j In tLe du- tails of his scheme he said that two per cent. of the 165,000 Volunteers would give a force of 3,500, or nearly a brigade, and this might be prepared by forming in each corps a roll of the members who would be wiHing to nerve abroad in case of war. In the second part of his paper—that dealing with the military forces of the Colonies-he spoke in full appreciation of the loyalty of the colonists, and, speaking specially of the North American Colonies, dwelt upon the high spirit shown by the Canadians when tried by the Fenians. He urged that the Canadians, if offering to supply a body of troops for the Imperial service, ought to be treated on an equality, and, if sufficiently advanced, the new Mili- tary School at Kingston should be utilized to furnish at least a portion of the necessary staff. The Colony, he insisted,. should be encouraged to organize, equip, and officer its own troops. The Australasians were too far removed to subsidize our Army for European war, but an Australian fleet in the Pacific, or Australian troops in some of our important garrisons, would re- lieve our ships and soldiers from distant duty and per- mit of their utilization nearer home. Colonel Fletcher resumed his seat amid warm applause. General M'Murdo said that if Colonel Fletcher's scheme would only work out as well as the new move- ments through which Colonel Fletcher put the Gray Brigade of Volunteers a Saturday or two before, it would indeed be perfect. Colonel Fletcher showed his confidence in the Volunteers when he put them to the test of trying them in a new movement, and his paper still further evidenoed this but when it was proposed that they should take foreign service it was time to fall back upon the first principles of the force and remind Colonel Fletcher that those principles were "For Defence of Home and not for Defiance." General M'Murdo would not desire to see the Volun- teers leave the shores of this country, and as to those who were better than their comrades, they should be kept to officer the increased corps which would arise in case of threatened danger. He urged that atten- tion should now be turned to the proper equipment of the Volunteers. General Sir James Alexander, speaking of the feel- ings of the Canadians, mentioned that in the time of the Crimean War the services of 2,000 sober and strong lumbermen were offered to the Government and re- fused. The spirit of their fathers, he said, was in these people still. Lord Elcho, M.P., who was warmly received, said the balance of opinion was certainly in favour of Colonel Fletcher's proposal to have a portion of the force ready for service; but, first of all, before the Volunteers were thus called for, it would be neces- sary thoroughly to organize the military system for at present that system existed only on paper. He dwelt upon the fact that the consti- tutional way of raising the Militia—by ballot—was kept in abeyance, and other points which, he urged, needed amendment in our system in order to make the foundation secure. He pointed to the position which Russia was now occupying, with one foot on the Himalayan Mountains, and the other on the shores of the North Pacific, and he urged that this fact showed the necessity for England to consolidate her Rower and this was desirable for the security of our country and in the interests of the world. After several other speeches, the proceedings closed with votes of thanks to Colonel Fletcher and General Codrington.
QUEENS OF VIRTUE. With the approach of what ought to be the summer returns the French season for crowning rosi&res and endowing them with marriage portions. Last Sunday the commune of Nanterre rewarded virtue in the person of Mdlle. Marie Louise Vanier, a young person of seventeen, described as a joumaliire des champs, an appellation for we have happily no equivalent in English, but which means, of course, a female farm-labourer engaged by the day; the gentler sex being set to rough work in the land which especially boasts its gallantry. Mddle. Vanier is described as an indefatigable workwoman, always at her task from the dawn of day, in spite of wind or rain or cold. She is, moreover, an orphan and has been the stay and support of an aged grandmother. The immediate price of such excellent conduct is a sum of 220 in cash, paid down, and the floral crown publicly placed on her brows. There were four candidates for the distinction; but we are assured that the eighteen jurors gave a unanimous vote for Mdlle. Vanier. Some 10,000 persons came down t8 Nanterre by rail on the day of the coronation. Next Sunday it is the turn of the rosifere of Suresnee. The custom of electing queens of virtue dates from the reign of Louis XIII., but most of the founda- tions are of much later date. Napoleon I. had the intention of giving an extraordinary development to the system—indeed, the founder of the French Empire rarely did anything on a small scale. By decree of March 25, 1810, he announced that in honour of his marriage with Marie Louise he meant to marry 6,000 portionless girls to 6,000 soldiers on the reserve list. Each girl was to be selected for her virtue, and to receive a dowry from the Emperor; each soldier was to have served at least one campaign. No time seems to have been lost in carrying the project into execution for the t,000 imperial-made marriages were celebrated on the 23rd of April following. The last of "the rosières of 1810, as they were called, is be- lieved to have died in 1869, at Straeburg.-Pall Mall Gazette.
On Saturday about 5,000 miners engaged at the Fife and Clackmannan Collieries were "locked out" iu con- sequence of a refusal to submit to a reduction of wages. Sir Robert Anstruther offered to act as arbitrator between the parties, but his offer has not been entertained. It is anti- cipated that the lock-out will be of some duration, as the employers declare that the unremuneratlve state of trade generally necessitates tte reduction-
WAR NEWS. SINKING OF A TURKISH MONITOR. The Russians have succeeded in destroying another Turkish monitor in the Danube by means of torpedoes.—The Special Correspondent of The Times, in a telegram from Bucharest, under date May 27, gives the following account of the exploit:— One of the most daring deeds ever recorded in the history of warfare was performed on the Lower Danube, near Ibraila, on Saturday morning last. A small detachment of Russian soldiers, commanded by Lieutenant Dubascheff, accompanied by the commander of the Roiananian flotilla, Major llurgescu, left the northern shore ef the Danube in a number of small boats, and proceeded towards the point Petra Fetei, below Matchin, and opposite Ibraila, at which point there was stationed a large Turkish monitor. The night was very dark, and they managed to surround the monitor before being discovered by the Turkish look-outs. When finally observed by the sentries on board they were challenged, and "Who goes there-1 rang out on the night air. Major Murgescu replied in Turkish, Friends." The Turks, evidently not satistied, commenced tiring in the direction of Matehin, uot knowing where these boats came from. The shots tiew wide of their mark, and did no damage to the daring uien in the boats.. During the firing several or the Russian soldiers, under the direction of Lieutenant Dubascheff, plunged into the water, swam silently to the hull of the ironclad vessel, and placed the deadly torpedo in close contact with the bottom of the monitor. After the destructive machine had been securely fastened and the wires of an electric battery accurately adjusted, the men Retired to the neighbouring shore of the river, and at half- past three in the morning the monitor was blown into the air, with all the officers and crew. The explosion was terrific, and as nothing is said of the crew being saved, it is supposed that all on board perished with the vessel. The cool determination with which this fearful enterprise was successfully carried out speaks for itself in the result, and the fate of the second Turkish monitor already sent to the bottom of the Danube with all on board shows how futile was the expectation that gunboats can maintain the mastery of a river lined with hostile batteries filled with enemies as resolute as the men whose deeds are recorded above. The Roumanian Major Murgescu, who took part in the attack upon the monitor, is an officer of distinction, who was educated In France, and has travelled over the whole civilised world. The Turks are notorious for the wretched character of their outposts and night service, and it is doubtless owing to their defects in these respects that the desperate undertaking near Ibraila was so successful.
A correspondent of the Manchester Courier with the Rus- sian army telegraphs from Ploesti "The destruction of the second Turkish vessel happened as follows:-Four boats carrying torpedoes were sent from Ibraila towards Matchin, where the doomed vessel lay, and the cloudy sky, and what will not easily be believed, the voice of the frogs, enabled them to approach her unperceived. The Czarewitch, one of the attacking craft, then drew up towards her bows, and the divers having placed the torpedo fired it underneath her. The monitor began to fill and sink slowly. The officer, not satisfied, ordered another torpedo to be ap- plied, but the Turks were now alert, and fired, though some- what at random. The second boat attacked the monitor amidships, and the explosion was so effective that she sank rapidly, the gunners, as if unconscious of a calamity, or as if resolved to die bravely, firing to the last. Fifty-two lives were saved, and one hundred were lost. None of the Russians were injured. The approaching day prevented further operations. The officer Dubascheff was here yt ster- day, and was feted and decorated by the Grand Duke."
A Reuter's telegram fsom St. Petersburg says The account given at Bucharest of the recent blowing up of a Turkish monitor on the Danube contains some inaccuracies. The facts are as follows The Russian officers conducted a torpedo in open daylight to the monitor under fire from the latter and blew her up. One Russian sloop was almost sub- merged by the explosion, and the other was struck by shot. No one was wounded on the Russian side."
A Lloyd's telegram says the name of the vessel blown up was the Dar Matoin.
A Naval correspondent of the The Times, writing from Pera says :—The Black Sea Fleet is distributed in various parts, some blockading Odessa, and others supposed to be keeping a sharp look-out on the Eastern shores of the Black • 'T„' V, large ironclad which is to be the flagship in the Black Sea is still lying here in the Bosphorus. She is really a maginificent ship of her class-a thoroughly safe and sound seagoing ironclad, qualities she will find useful if she is caught in another gale such as our Fleet experienced in Balaklava and on the Crimean coast generally in the Winter of 1854. Her name is the Masoodie. She is 5,300 tons burden and 1,200-horse power Her guns are six of a side, 450-pounder Armstrong, and fitted with all the latest appliances for firing with electricity and so forth. Her armour-plating varies from 9in. to 12in., with armour bulk-heads for the protection of the battery of Sin Her captain, Haireh Bey, is an excellent officer, brought up in the English Navy, and may be trusted to give a good account of his ship if he can only succeed in drawing the Popotf out of Odessa, where at present that ship seems to think it more prudent to remain. There appears to be a most humane desire on the part of the Turks not necessarily to inflict damage on the peaceful inhabitants of seaboard towns, for there is nothing in the world to prevent their bombarding the whole of the Russian coast.
The Correspondent of the The Times, writing from Bel- grade, says The declaration of independence by Roumania. created great sensation here. In diplomatic circles this step is said to be regarded as a crafty stroke of 11, Russian diplomacy, it being thought that this proclamation is of far greater importance, and bears no comparison with the unofficial nature of General Tehernayeff's declaration of the Servian Monarchy, which was done merely to animate the Servians to longer and more energetic resistance against the Turks, while Roumanian independence has been pro- claimed under the Mgiz of the Russian Army occupying the country. It is also thought that the act is intended to pio voke Austria to abandon her reserved attitude in face of the danger supposed to threaten her Eastern provinces border- ing on Roumania, where the population is mostly of Rou- manian nationality, as in South Hungary, Bukovina, and Transylvania." The Vienna Correspondent oi the Standard aays "Since
the Czar returned to St. Petersburg from his visi\ Kisoheneff, he has exhibited so much excitement and easiness as to have created great fears for his health, whtch was previously impaired by his irritability of temper. The constantly expresses his dissatisfaction at the meagre- ness of the telegraphic reports, and insists unceasingly upon th« most minute details and the most accurate statements of facts being transmitted. He deplores that his absence is the reason of the progress made being so slow. This state of things has induced his physicians to recommend his return to the -at any rate until some decisive victories have I been obtained. The question of the Czar undertaking the supreme command has not yet been decided; the physicians oppose this idea." A correspondent of the Standard says According to reliable information from the seat of war in Asia Minor, the condition of the Turkish forces is almost desperate, and if diplomatic or military assistance is not soon forthcoming Armenia will be lost ere many weeks pass away." "We understand that Sir Arnold Kembail, in the reports last received from him, gives a most deplorable account of the Turkish armies in Asia Minor, which he represents as lacking everthing an army should have, except courage and patience. Sir Arnold appears to anticipate that, as things were and still are, the Russian armies will not find any serious military resistance at all in Asia, and that the only real difficulties they will have to encounter are those of the country and the climate, Vanity Fair. An enormous train, with provisions and munitions of war v>°r 9auca*ian army, is delayed in the interior of Russia f ivl/j hnpassable state of the roads, owing to,the number or bridges that have been broken by the repeated inunda- tions. A J16. Persian Ambassador has handed the Porte a Note declaring that Persia will maintain the friendly relations uniting the two great Mahomedan peoples. Three trains of 20 waggons each, laden with articles for uniting the two great Mahomedan peoples. Three trains of 20 waggons each, laden with articles for the wounded, will start from Berlin for Roumania in the middle of June, at the expense of the Central Society for Relieving the Wounded. Berlin firms are said to be pressing Roumania for the pay- ment of *200,000 francs due for artillery material. The well-to-do inhabitants of Eupatoria hawe removed to the interior of the Crimea, and the shops are closed, the harbour deserted, while provisions are also getting scarce. A fur cap which belonged to the late Scha-yl lii being car- ried about in the Caucasus to incite the mountaineers to rebellion. According to the priests accompanying the sacred head-gear, it dropped down from the sky. A complete understanding is stated to have been arrived at between the Empires of Russia, Germany, and Austria as to the scope of the present war, this having been one of the objects of the mission of Count Schouvaloff to Prince Bis- marck. The Hungarian journals regret that the Cabinet of Vienna has not arranged an alliance with England, and they demand that Austro-Hungary should furnish England with all the guarantees she might desire as the condition of entering into an alliance which is dictated by the community of interests of the two countries. The Pope has ordered prayers to be offered up in Bosnian Romish churches for the success of the Turkish arms against schismatic Russia. The Russian inhabitants of the Crimean coast towns are greatly alarmed at the prospect of bombardment by the Turkish fleet. The report is confirmed that the important town of Eupatoria is almost evacuated. Two of the Turkish monitors nave oomsarded Karabia, a small town on the Roumanian shore, west of the Aluta. A Times' telegram from Belgrade says that Russian di. plomacy is playing a double r6le regarding Servia. The Russian papers assert that Servian neutrality will be re- spected, and that Servian independence is only a question of time, suhject to the approval of the European Powers. Meanwhile, considerable sums of money are arriving in Belgrade from Russia. The Correspondent of The Times at Buoharest, telegraph- ing on Monday night, sayii: The peace rumours mentioned yesterday are becoming more clearly defined, and it is as- s erted that negotiations are actually going on in Berlin with a view to a cessation of hostilities. Russian officers at Bucharest have been heard discussing the subject, and it certainly will be singular if all these reports turn out to be entirely unfounded. Some of them have actually emanated from official quarters at Bucharest. The war movements however, are being pressed forward as fast as the weather will permit, and there is not much confidence felt that peace will be made until after a Turkish defeat on the Danube, even if the Berlin negotiations are really going on." A Council of War, sitting at Constantinople for the con- sideration 01 questions of strategy, having demanded of Kukhtar Pasha what his plans were, is said to have received a reply from that general to the effect that he has a certain scheme in process of execution which will ensure success, and begs to be left alone.
GREAT MEETING OF BICYCLE RIDERS. There was a great gathering of bicyclists on Saturday at Hampton Court, the occasion being Hie third annual meet of the clubs of the Home Circuit. There were 1,300 machines on the ground, the number last year being 607. The busi- ness of the day was a procession in double file of the various clubs, which took place in the presence of a large body of spectators.-The Times gives the following particulars of the meeting:- On their bicycles, closely packed and stationary, the riders extended for a mile and a quarter on the Kingston-road, and- numbered between 1,500 and 2,000. It is about ten years since thte first wooden bicycle was made in England, and only seven years since the iron machines with rubber tyre, spider wheels, and an improved felly, were first made by the Coventry Machinists Company. On Saturday, how- ever, all the machines tfplayed were of this type, and made of iron or steel, with perhaps a single exception. That was a wooden bicycle ridden by a bicyclist un- attached, which was received with astonishment and laughter. In the six or seven years during which the new bicycles have been made it is estimated that 30,000 of them have passed into the possession of the public in England. Many have been exported to the colonies. The one Coventry company already men- tioned turn out 130 machines a week, and in the town of Coventry alone £2,000 a week are paid in wages to operatives skilled in the manufacture. This new industry has in Coventry taken the place of the decay- ing trades in watches and ribands. Bicycles for ordinary wear and tear are of hollow iron with spokes made of iron wire drawn through a charcoal fire. A lighter and more brittle Bort are manufactured of steel. Great speed is obtained with the new machine. Of 26 riders who travelled recently from Bath to London the first came in a little more than eight hours. At Wolverhampton on Wednesday in last week, Mr. Keen in a ride of five miles travelled one of his miles in 2min. 44sec. In a country with good roads like our own the bicycle-rjderf travelling very swiftly and with perfect silence, might be very useful in war as a scout and dispatch bearer. Post- men have already used the machine and it might be useful to the police. It is the silence of the bicycle that constitutes its chief danger to pedestrians and horsemen in time of peace, and the expediency of obliging each bicycle to bear a bell, like the small bells which tinkle in the harness of horses m many foreign countries has been seriously considered. On Saturday representatives oflJ10 bicycle clubs (41 of which are in the Metropolitan district) were present in serviceable uniforms of grey, fawn, buff, Oxford blue, Kifle green, or black, over 1,000 in number. The London Club, which has its office in Pall-mall, had the most numerous attendance, 116 members; the Kent (Blackheatli) Club came next with 115. One member represented Edinburgh, one Darlington, one Stroud. Returns of about 1,100 men were made by the captains of the clubs; but there were half as many again of riders unattached. The Pickwick Club took the lead by right of priority* of foundation. It dates from 1870. Between 1870 and 1S76 only five club, were founded. But in 1876 bicycle riding suddenly assumed an immense development, as is shown by the numbers attending this annual meet. In 1875 it was attended by 204, in 1876 by 607, this year by nearly 2,000. After assembling between the Lion Gates at Hampton Court and Kingston-bridge, the riders made their way past the Green, through Hampton, New Hampton, and South-road, Teddington, so as to complete the outside circuit of the western side of Bushey Park. They then entered the Chestnut Avenue byTeddington- gate, passidg through great crowds of people on foot and in carriages, and came to the Diana fountain. Hitherto the procession had been in double file, now the men parted, and took in single file the right and left sides of the fountain, joining hands as they met after completing the circuit, and finishing at the "Greyhound." It was intended to part again here, some going to the Green and some to Moulsey to dis- mount. But the block of carriages three rows deep was so great that progress was impossible. The circuit was about five miles in length, and was not without its adventures. At one spot a policeman's horse knocked down a machine, and obliged a mile and a half of riders to stop and dismount. The police, though very willing, were not numerous enough to keep the road clear. A hansom cab destroyed one bicycle, and at another time a carriage drew across the course and stopped.the whole procession. Owing to these incidents the bicyclers occupied nearly an hour in passing a given point in the latter part of their journey. GoOd humour, however, generally prevailed, and the riders had a charming day for practising, under the shade of green chestnut trees laden with blossom, their novel and apparently easy method of locomotion. Mr. K. M. Yeoman (Pickwick Club) was in command and Mr. L. Yeoman was secretary. Messrs. Fox, Etherington, Kearley, Coppin, and Lacey were the marshals. Orders were given by Cavalry signals with the bugle.
The following are extracts from an interesting descriptive account of the meeting given by the Standard: When the first muster of the metallic cavalry was held in same place two years previously 204 riders put in an ap- pearance, and the gathenng was considered something wonderful. A twelvemonth ago the number was tripled to within a trifle, 607—the exact war strength of a British regi- ment of horse, and singularly enough of the British brigade that charged at Balaclava, haying turned up on the trysting ground. But on this last occasion the assemblage wa^a positive surprise to the uninitiated; it fairly exceeded anj^|ng of the kind that has ever before been witnessed, or that" could have entered into the dreams of the wildest en- thusiast seven brief years ago, when the first club was formed. Each club was distinguished by its uniform, and very pretty as well as serviceable some of those uniforms were. Polo caps, Norfolk jackets, knickerbockers and stockings were the usual wear, and dark blue and grey the prevailing colours, but tnere were fawns, and browns, and dark greens, and combinations of two shades to add to the animating variety oi the scene. One club was conspieuous in a sort of hunting costume, with buckskin breeches the North Surreys wore silver badges, brown leather belts, and white gloves ■others were gay with braid, or ribbons, or gold trimming but the old Pickwicks, who led the van, and the Londons, who mustered 116 all told, did not suffer by comparison with any, either in neatness of attire or skill in performance, it was no easy job to bring 60 many together and devise a plan for controlling them when they were congregated but the thing was done-and well done, so far as the leaders oi the bicyclists were con- cerned. Nothing but praise can be recorded of the behaviour of this immense band of sprigntiy young Englishmen they were decorous and subordinate, ana were anxious while enjoy- ing themselves to contribute to tne enjoyment of others. The Greyhound was appropriated as head-quarters, and there the committee sat in busy consultation. Each club had orders to send on an orderly to take instructions from the committee, and on the approach of the club to which he belonged this orderly had for duty to conduct it to the lettered block marked out as its station. Arrived there, the word was "dismount, stack machines in pairs facing Hampton, dismiss." Then came greetings to brother athletes, adjournments for reireshments and criticisms on the various specimens of the steel horse to be noticed. These were of various breeds, A rIels, Tangents, Swiftsures, Spiders, and sundry others. Most had the new leg rests, and the driving wheel almost universally in favour was from 60in. to 52in. in diameter. As each machine costs an average oi £ 14, it was calculated that a money value of over 418.000 in the new staple Coventry manu- iacture was visible on the ground. The time-honoured bone-shalrer" was nowhere t.) be seen. As the how for the start approached a compact crowd massed itself on both sides of the thoroughfare, and the police had some lIifficulty in keeping a fall, for the bicyclists. Thefc windows and balconies were packed with friends of the club men and spwtators, and three rows of vehicles were drawn up on the .side of the street in waiting for the spectacle. Shortly aft^r tlve o'clock a bugle sounded the I I assembly," when tin, -jitters fell in, unpiled their machines, and stood by them.. A Paradtt Aste was collected from the various ri.pij-ii- il "<? ww "r.ither bufle note, this time a pro- longed G, iRilch waji the signal to p/spare to mount, and then, as line advai:ee "-I(Ientical with that used in our light infaitry corps-rang out the riders propelled their machines cond hopped on to them in succession of pairs; three yawls distance between each pair of riders. The interval between each club was fixed at twenty yards. These intervals were fairly preserved, and the dressing and dis- tance of ime of the clubs were kept with such precision as to elicit the admiration of several troopers of the Blues who were lookn g on. There must have been long-continued drill before sone of the crack teams could ride so level and follow so straightly in the track of those before them. The site was unique and remarkably picturesque as the couples, perched aloft, shot ghost-like by; their passage, so swift and noiseless, recalled that of flitting shadows. Of course, all did not travel with equal ease where there were over a thousand some mistakes were to be expected, especially as the avenue was too narrow, and one fall inevit- ably involved many; hut on the whole the accidents were exceptionally few, and fortunately not serious. As different favourites ran past the applause of the spectators was freely bestowed; cries burst of "Bravo, Pickwick," "Well done, Wanderers," and the like,.but the richest meed of approval was lavished on two wee lads, aged respectively seven and nine, mounted on two diminutive machines. The monster meet of Saturday will be memorable in the annals of those who ride the" steel horse," and proves that hicyoling is more than a passing fancy like roller-skating. It will go on and prosper, and it is well that it should, for it is a healthful, manly, and invigorating pastime, and does for the muscles of the lej?8. ^nat rowing does for the arms. There is a prejudice against the poor man's steed—as it is questionably called, seeing the high prices for the making and repair of bicycles-on the ground that the mettlesome quadruped is apt to be scared by it but time will mend this, and the horse will take as Uttle notice of it in the long run as of the puffing steam-engme.
It is said that a Moscow merchant, Mr. Tulioff, has sent the governor of that city the sum of 1,000 roubles, begging him to have it given to the man who pointed the cannon causing the destruction of the Lutfi-Djelil. According to the Im aiide Musse, the two shots pro- ceeded from battery No. 4 at Ibcaieleff, one being thrown from a 6-inch mortar and the other fired from a 24-pounder gun. The men who pointed the pieces were two Finns, Roman Davidak and John Pompor by name, each of whom will receive a reward equiva- lent to 4:60.
THE SEA-LIONS' DREAM. The Brighton Aquarium's in arms! The foreign-bred Lady Sea-Lion Has just brought into the world a genuine British-born scion. And, true to his kin and his kind, the baby has ta'en his first header, And come up with his eyes all the brighter, although, it may be, all the redder. His father and mother are planning a gloirfous future for baby- Though their dream of high-reaching ambition is clouded as yet with a may-be. Is it true that the old British Lion is turned, as some say, a land-lubber, To the grief of Britannia's heart? Why not go, tell her no more to blubber, And, phocine for feline propose as her natural guardian to send her This British-born whelp-a Sea-Lion, in place of the dry-land pretender f—Punch.
KENSINGTON-HOUSE AND GROUNDS DESCRIBED. (From The Tisms). m Messrs. Driver have now announced in our adver- tising columns the sale, in Tokenhouse-yard, on July 6, of the enormous and costly mansion which Mr. Albert Grant built for himself over against Kensing- ton Palace. It has never yet been inhabited. The house and grounds are believed to have cost P,300,000, and they occupy seven acres of land. To clear the site two ancient residences, with gardens, old Kensington-house, and Sir Thomas Colby's mansion were demolished, and a collection of small tenements called Jenning's-buildings, containing a population of 1,200 in 70 houses, was also pulled down. Permission was obtained to replace the dead wall of Kensington gardens opposite by a light iron railing erected at Mr. Albert Grant's expense, and the boundary of the new estate was set back some 8ft. from the road to make the lines true. A fine lime- tree is thus left in the public footpath. The new house is of stone, and is constituted by a central block and two wings. It was erected accord- ing to the designs of Mr. F. T. Knowles. The brown and giled iron screen is pierced by gates at each side, and a carriage drive leads up to the house. The CUUANCE portico IS supporteu. uy "WlJ GXEAU PUIUM oi red Aberdeen marble, each in one piece. This portico gives admission into a very light and lofty central hall, with fluted white marble columns and stone Caryatids to support its roof. The view is bounded on each side by the staircase windows in stained-glass, representing fruit and flowers. The stairs on each side are marble here, as are the guests' stairs, as opposed to those of the servants throughout the building. The floor of the central hall is a tesse- lated pavement. It gives up a marble-paved con- servatory, roofed by a high glass dome. A few palms and ferns placed in this conservatory at present show how it may hereafter be decorated. Right and left of it are two drawing-rooms, the Blue and the Yellow, their ceilings painted, as are those of f °^er principal rooms, by Mr. Frederick Sang. Along the whole south front of the house runs a marble terrace descending by steps into the gardens; and the visitor on his first entrance into the hall looks, at present, through the conservatory upon the lawns and shrubberies, and the green banks which have been built up to bound the view at the extremity of the estate. If, however, before entering the con- ser fatory he turns to the right or left, he will find on one side a great dining-hall, divided in two by doors which rise at will with the roof, and having its ceiling painted with designs relating to the chase. On the same side is a library and a billiard-room. The authors whose busts are figured on the ceiling of the library are Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Bacon. The other wing of the mansion is occupied by the long picture gallery which was meant to receive the collection now dispersed, and by the finest apartment in the house, a music salon-or ballroom in white and gold, with painted medallions of female faces on its walls, and painted ceiling. Fluted shafts of white marble are placed in sets at two points, so as to suggest a division of the hall into three. There is a similar suggestion in the picture gallery. There is a light morn- ing-room in the front of tne house on each side. Above are three floors, with suites of state bedrooms and baths. Below is a large kitchen fitted by Herring and Son, and cellarage and servants' apartments extensive enough to recall the interminable passages under the Houses of Parliament. The house is warmed throughout by hot water-pipes passing under brazen gratings. The skirtings in the passages are of marble in the rooms of wood. The floors of the principal rooms are of parqueterie in oak, and in the others of pitch pine. The oak panelling of the dining-room walls is particularly good. The stair balustrades are of iron, painted in white and gold and euraounted by a hand-rail of maple. The sei-rioe stairs are of atone. Walnut-weod is largely used in the doors. In the grounds in front of the house there is a remark- able triple elm, three trees rising from one stock, and in the south gardens there are ancient mulberries, apple trees, and other fruit trees. Laurels, lilacs, laurustinus, and other shrubs have been planted within the last four years but are now well-grown, and thrushes have already built among them. Waterfowl are kept upon the lake, where there is also a minia- ture boat-house. Hot-houses, an American bowling- alley, an orangery, a Swiss chdlet, the stables sur- mounted by their dock, and having 16 stalls and four loose boxes, complete the out-door buildings. Gigantic lattice work has been erected on which ivy is being trained to prevent the gardens from being overlooked by neighbouring houses and to obviate the accretion of inconvenient rights to light and air.
Uttstfllattmts fnltlligtm HOME, FOREIGN, AND COLONIAL. THE WANE OF GLORY, AND THE WAX OF FAME." —Madame Tussaud (or Toosore," as the Million call her) has added to her Gallery in Baker-street like- nesses of the Czar and the Sultan, Mukhtar Pasha and General Ignatieff, in belligerent attitudes, ready to come to blows-at least in wax. It is to be hoped none of them will run in the hot weather; or, if they do, that it will be to melt in each other's arms—as a happy omen of peace in prospect.-Punch. THE CLERGY AND FUNERAL REFORM.-The North- ampton Ruri-Deeanal Chapter have passed the follow- ing resolutions with regard to funeral reform :—1. That the members of this chapter pledge themselves to use every effort by precept and example to promote the decent and economical conduct of funerals." 2. That as a means to the above this chapter agrees to do all in its power to get the interval shortened between the death and burial of their parishioners, on sanitary as well as economical grounds." 3. That this chapter would discourage the use of brick graves and leaden coffins, and advocates the introduction every- where of a parish pall or bier." 4. That this chapter recommends the formation of parochial associations to make arrangements for the reverent interment of the dead." 5. That this chapter deprecates the giving of scarves and hatbands to the clergy." THE VERT THING FOB THEm.-Steps have already been taken for the removal from its bed of Cleopatra's needle, which will arrive on the embankment in August. Once lifted from the place where it has laid so many centuries, it will be handy for clever people to take that stitch in Time they are always talking about.—Judii. A STORY FRuM RUSSIA.-Tlie St. Petersburg Gazette and other Russian papers state that the people of London are in a fever of excitement over the following remarkable wager:—"An Englishman of Liverpool, immensely rich, and spleenique' to the highest degree, has made a bet of 250,000 sterling that he will perform the following journey on foot in the space of six years from the time of starting. He proposes com- mencing at Calais, and will walk through France, Germany, North Russia, Siberia, and China, keeping along the whole length of the great wall, and return- ing rid India, Persia, South Russia, Constantinople, Greece, Italy, aud France. This imitator of Living- stone, Cameron, and Weston (?) will leave London on the first of July next and return to his native to-"n on the same day, 1883." ADVICE TO TOO MANY PEOPLE.—HOW to make Ilome -happy -Leave it,-Petneh. NOT TO BE BEATEN Uiider its Parisian on dits the Court Jowrud tells the following: Madanie de X feeling rather poorly last Saturday morning, sent for her doctor, a homceopathist, and asked him to give her a potion which might make her able to go the same evening to a ball. The Æsculapian" wrote his prescription, and the servant was at once sent to the c%;imst. On I,dê" return, .as_.ht> met MomJfrur de X- he gave him the potion. That gentleman, whose father was an allopathic doctor, dislikes Hahnema nn's pupils, and thought it a rare opportunity of correcting for ever his wife's mania for the prin- ciple of SimUia similibm curant ur." He threw away all that was in the bottle, and filled it with fresh water. Madame de X- drank with confidence the contents of the bottle, felt herself much better (or at least thought so, for c'est la foi qui sauve) a few hours after- wards, and finally went the same evening with her husband to the ball for which she had been longin so much for some time. The homoeopathic doctor had been also invited. As soon as he saw M. de X- he took him aside and told him—"Now, awful unbeliever, will you dare any more in future to deny the prodigious effects of our medicines?" M. de X-, began to laugh so loud that all the persons present asked him the reason of his hilarity. As, although the two gentleman differ on medical matters they are, however, on very good terms M. de x- thought the best was to relate his fraud. The homceopathist, without being disturbed in the least, answered "My dear sir, you must have shaken the bottle; one drop was left very likely, and it was quite enough to operate the cure. A MOUNTAIN PARSONAGE.—The Bishop of Carlisle writes as follows to the Carlisle Journal The living of Marfcndale has for some little time been in my hands by lapse and I have not hitherto been able to find a suitable incumbent. The position of the parish in a secluded mountain glen is so peculiar that it is not every clergyman that is suited to it. The difficulty is enhanced by the smallness of the stipend and the bad condition of the parsonage. Nevertheless, I am convinced that there are men to whom Martindale would be a pleasant home and a useful sphere of work; and I take the unusual step of men- tioning my difficulty in your columns, because I think it possible that some of your readers may be able to help me by putting a suitable name before me. AVERAGE PRICES OF BRITISH CORN.—The follow- ing are the average prices of British corn for the week ending May 26, as received from the inspectors and officers of Excise :—Wheat, 68s. 6d.; barley, 37s. 9d.; oats, 28s. Id. per imperial qr. Corresponding week last year :—Wheat, 45s. 3d.; barley, 32s. lOd.; oats, 26s. Id. EXPERIENCE IN TORPEDOES.—The Daily Telegraph Naval Correspondent with the Black Sea Fleet, writing from Batoum under date May 9, says On the subject of torpedoes I ought to say a word, as we are getting some experience with these things. A few nights ago a futile attempt was made to blow up the Turkish Aviso, which was lying just off here. A fast Russian steam-launch ran out from Poti in the fog, and got very near the ship. In a few minutes she would have launched the torpedo, for her men were getting the machine ready, when the fog cleared up and we gave her a warm reception. So she scuttled off as quickly as she could, and we saw no more of her. How- ever, the incident has put us all on the alert, for it seems very certain that attempts will frequently be made by little boats against our large ships. At present no better means of protecting vessels has been found than watchfulness; but we are endeavouring to discover some way of dealing with the difficulty, and hope to succeed. As to fixed torpedoes, we have not much fear. Our Lazis dive for them, cut their chains, and bring them up easily. We have entered the Danube, Poti, and Soukum Kaleh without experiencing any difficulty, and no doubt could do the same at Odessa if we tried But with the little torpedo boats we should have much more trouble; for a very small boat might sink a very large ship, and it is to this point we are now directing our attention. I have no doubt a similar question is agitating the minds of naval men in England. The naval battles of the future may, in all probability, be decided by torpedoes and rams; and, as this is likely, it would be well if the greatest mechanical nation in the world set about doing something to ensure her pre-eminence in such a conflict. THE VAGARIES OF FASHION. — It has become the rage in Paris to have a monogram of the owner's initials in the centre of the windew curtains. The next fashionable thing will naturally be, to have the name painted in full on the shutters. The French aris- tocracy really seem to be running the shopkeepers very hard.—Judy. SPRING SUNDAY IN NEW YORK.-In a recent issue of the New York Herald there appeared a glowing description of "Spring Sunday," as observed in that city. Unfavourable weather prevailing on Easter Sunday, the day specially set apart for the exhibition of new spring toilettes, it was not until a week later that fashionable New York could take its walk abroad. We read that "all the churches were well filled, and as there is no place a lady has greater preference for than a church when she knows she is well dressed. Everybody has plenty of time to look at her and appre- ciate the graceful elegance of her toilet. There was not, perhaps, the general display of dazzling female toilets seen in more prosperous times, but still there is enough to denote that New York ladies still intend to maintain their reputation for being the most extrava- gantly dressed women in the world." We are told that there was a decided fancy for the eel-skin style." THE PATRON SAINT OF OSTLERS.-St. Titus Oates. -Punch. THE LATB MARSHAL CABRERA.—Marshal Ramon Cabrera, Count de Morella, the Carlist general, died on the 24th mst., atWentworth, near Staines, in his 67th year. On the breaking out of the civil war in Spam in 1833 Cabrera put himself at the head of a body of guerillas in the service of Don Carlos, and became one. of the most distinguished and vindictive of the Carlist leaders. After his capture of the for- tress of Morella, in 1838, he was created by Don Carlos Count of Morella, and appointed as lieutenant- general and governor-general of the provinces of Aragon, Valencia, and Murcia. Cabrera continued the war on behalf of the Carlist cause long after all its other leaders had been subdued, but he was finally routed by general Espartero in July, 1840, when he took refuge in France. He subsequently made two attempts to effect a rising in Spain-one in 1846, and another after the French Revolution of 1848. In January, 1849, however, he was defeated and badly wounded at Pasteral, and again fled into France. He afterwards came to England, and married a rich English lady, Miss Richards. In the Carlist wars of recent years Marshal Cabrera took no part, although many rumours were published from time to time about his supposed intentions. -Pall MaU Gazette, THE IMPORTATION OF MEAT.—A parliamentary return has been issued of the quantities and value of dead meat imported into the United Kingdom in the three months ended March 31, 1877. The return shows that the total quantity imported was 477,598 tons, of the value of £ 1,273,232. In January, 136,396 tons were imported; in Fe ruary, 154,989 tons ? and in March, 186,213 tons. The meat is classified as fol- lows :—Salted beef, 63,121 tons; fresh or slightly salted beef, 131,249 tons salted pork, 108,804 tons; fresh pork, 6,876 tons salted or fresh meat, not other- wise enumerated, principally fresh mutton, 42,659 tons preserved meat, 124,889 tons. The quantity of meat imported from the United States was 363,685 tons, of which 123,850 tons was fresh or slightly salted beef. From Australia the imports amounted to 47,527 tons, almost wholly of preserved meat; from Holland, 25,555 tons, chiefly fresh mutton; from Denmark, 12,025 tons, chiefly salted pork; from France, 8,439 tons; from Belgium, 6,467 tons,chiefly fresh pork; from Canada, 6,025 tons, of which 3,730 tons was fresh or slightly salted beef from Germany, 4,804 tons; from Uruguay, 2,009 tons of preserved meat; and from other countries, 1,062 tons. Of the total quantity of 4,77,598 tons imported, 204,868 tons were landed at Liverpool; 128,544 tons at London; 105,640 tons at Glasgow, and 21,371 tons at Harwich. GARDENING AS AN INDUSTRY.—It is strange that fruit and vegetable gardening should not receive among us that attention as an industry which it deserves. We pay 26,000,000 sterling every year for imported fruits alone. France, Jersey, Holland, Spain, and Portugal sends us grapes, melons, and figs we receive enormous quantities of apples from France all America, pears from France and the Channel Islands. So satisfactory to fruit growers are the prices now realized in our markets, that news reaches us from th& Continent of fruit culture being rapidly extended in many districts. For some kinds of fruit our growers have but a. poor chance of competing with their Con: tinental rivals, but for others the British grower has many advantages, and might develops a very profi. able industry. We import, for example, apples, and other hardy fruits at a yearly cost of nearly 22,000,000, and all the time we have thousands of acres of culti- vated land devoted to a far less remunerative purpose timber growing-besides thousands of acres lying waste. As it is, the demand for fruit and vegetables exceeds the supply, and this demand, it is worth observing, arises in a great measure from a growing taste for these articles of food among the more intelli- gent of our labouring population, who, after all, influence the sale of food commodities far more than the wealthier clames.-Gardtn. A LITERARY ENCYCLOPAEDIA.—The Trustees of the British Museum are in treaty for the purchase of a copy of the largest book in the world. Towards the close of the 17th century the reigning Emperor of China appointed an Imperial Commission to teprint in one vast collection all native works of interest and importance in every branch of literature. In the be- ginning of the following century the Commissioners completed their labours, and were able to lay before the Emperor a very palpable proof of their diligence in the shape of a compilation consisting of 6,109 volumes, entitled Kin ting koo kin too shoo tseih ching," or "An Illustrated Imperial Collection of Ancient and Modern Literature." Only a small edition was printed off in the first instance, and before long the greater part of the copper types which had been cast for the undertaking were purloined by un- trustworthy officials, and the remainder were melted down and coined into cash. Accidents by fire and by violence have considerably reduced the number of copies of the imperial edition originally printed, and it is believed that only a comparatively few now re- main extant. The Trustees of the British Museum having become aware that one such copy has lately been offered for sale at Pekin, have entered into nego- tiations for its purchase, and it is much to be hoped that they may succeed in adding this rare and in- teresting collection to the nationallibrary.-Athenmum. SUCCESSFUL SEAL-FISHING.- The American semil-fish- ing appears to have been a great success this year, the number of seals that have fallen victims to their pursuers being unusually large (says the PaU Mall Gazette). A letter published in one of the Scotch papers, dated April 24, received in Banff from Nova Scotia, mentions that, according to advices from New. foundland, the sealing vessels have been so far unprece- dently fortunate, having taken already more than 300,000 seals. There is in consequence great excite- ment at St. John's, and an odour of seals and seal oil exceedingly grateful to Newfoundlanders, but objectionable to uninterested people." The fishers expect to take more than half a million seals. One of the Dundee steamers has it is stated, been very successful. One Newfoundland steamer obtained 48,000 seals, and was chokeful of fat." This is very satisfactory from a commercial point of view; still no living thing is more harmless than the seal, who, moreover, possesses all the five senses in unusual perfection. BANK OF ENGLAND NOTES.—Few of the persons who handle Bank of England notes ever think of the amount of labour and ingenuity that is expended on their production (says the City Press). Tnese notes are made from pure white linen cuttings only, never from rags that, have been worn. They have Ken manufactured for nearly 200 years at the same spot- Laver^toke, in Hampshire, and by the &ame family— the Portals, who are descended from some French Pro- testant refugees. So carefully is th'? paper prepared that even the number of dips into the pulp made by each workman is registered on a dial by machinery, I and the sheets are carefully counted and booked to each person through whose hands they pass. The printing is done by a niuKt carious proems in Mr. Coe's department within the Bank building. There is an elsiijoritte arrangement for scouring that no note shall be exactly like any other in existence. Consequently there never was? a duplicate of a Bank of England note except by forgery. It has been stated that the stock of paid notes for seven years is about 94,000,000 in number, and they fill 18,000 boxes, which, if placed side by side, would reach three miles. The notes, placed in a pile, would be eight miles high or. if joined end to end, would form a ribbon 15,000 miles long; their superficial extent is more than that of Hyde Park; their.original value was over £ 3,000,000,000 and their weight over 112 tons. FIVE GENERATIONS.—" Clericus "writes to The Times: —" The following must, I should think, be a very un- common case in my experience It is an unparalleled one :-There is now living in the Fens, near Downham Market, Norfolk, Mrs. AnD Bennett, aged 85. This "would not be considered very old in the Fens, where centenarians are not so rare as in other parts aCr*A Minntry; But her daughter, Sarah Southwell, ff ,a^d her granddaughter, Eliza Bacon Southwell), aged 48, and her great granddaughter, Naomi May (daughter of Eliza Bacon), aged 20, and her great great grandson, a fine boy (son of Naomi May), a few weeks old, are all at the present time alive and well." THE LATE MR. DAVID URQUHART.—A remarkable man, possibly a man of genius, though some may pro- bably think him subject to strange delusions, died at Nice the week before last (says the Spectator). Every one knows how for nearly 50 years Mr. David Urquhart has carried on constant war in the region of opinion against the designs of Russia, and how devoted a following-including some very able men-he had gained for himself, not merely here, but in France, Italy, and the East. It is remarkable that his death should have occurred at a time when his great enemy was entering on her new career, and when Turkey was fighting against her single-handed—a crisis which he always regarded as the signal of Turkish regeneration. It is, perhaps, still more remarkable that his death has occurred at a moment when his ideas appear to have transfused themselves into some powerful organs of English opinion, so that in listening to the Pall Mall Gazette and the Morning Post we often seem to be hearing the very utterances of Mr. Urquhart. Whatever may be thought of his political idtes fixes, i conferred one great boon upon Eng- if u 1 v introduction among us of the Turkish bath, the one Turkish institution which it is certainly desirable to adopt. A RUSSIAN LOAN.-The Paris Correspondent of the Economist writes under date May 24 The Semaine Financiere states that the contract for the advance of a sum of 60 millions of marks to the Russian Govern- ment by a syndicate of bankers, was ratified last week, and has now become definitive. At the same time the Russian Government has adopted other measures for securingresources to meet its payments abroad. Taking advantage of a large movement of exports, whjch had rendered paper on London rather abundant on the market, it has been able to purchase bills for a sum of five millions sterling, and which, added to the funds to be attained from the syndicate, constitutes a pro- vision for the service of the foreign debt for some time hence, independently of the further sum of 30 millions of marks tha syndicate has a right to advance. Ac- cording to information from other sources, the security given consisted of five per cent. stock at the rate of 52, and the payments are to be made-30 millions of marks in the first fortnight of the month of June, 15 millions in July, and 15 millions in August." A PROBABLE PROPHECY.—" C. F. D." writes to The Standard It must be evident to any one who attentively follows the course of events in the East that, unless Turkey is thoroughly cowed by Russia and sues for peace at any price on her own account, we shall, however unwillingly, be drawn into the contest. In Asia the Russians are already near Erzerouw, and that city taken, the rest of their advance into Asii Minor will be a mere military promenade. The resistance that the Turks will offer in Bulgaria has been long since discounted by Russia, who will infallibly reach Adrianople with her armies. When that time arrives we shall commence to rub our eyes in this country. Ships will be commissioned with scratch crews, and some of the militia may be embodied, but long before we have sufficiently roused ourselves Austria, and perhaps Italy and Prussia, will be dividing the spoils with Russia, and we shall discover when too late, that we are cut out from the settlement of the Eastern question Instead of Mr. Gladstone reviling the Turks at Birmingham, and the government sedulously con- tradicting every report that might imply any naval or military preparations. we should be putting forth our united strength as a nation to preserve the immense influence that we still have in the East, and to protect those "interests" that arelso much decried by the pro-Russian party in this country. THE PLAGUE OF LocusTs.-An American farmer gives his experiences of the plague of locusts during a visitation of these pests in 1865 (says the Globe), Jle attests their extraordinary vitality. Being anxious tP discover the best method of destroying them, he first attempted to drown them. After having beep im? mersed for twelve hours, when placed in the sunshine they soon began to show signs of life, and in a few minutes commenced to move. He then tried freezing them, and came to the conclusion that they might be frozen up any time but that the sun would revive them. In 1874 he tried what effect animal poisons would have on them, and put poison on some celery, the vegetable locusts prefer, when he found that "they would eat their weight" of any animal poison without any iq effect to them. In 1875, when they hatched out," AA took a can of coal oil and a pan, to prepare a. faj jot to burn some that had just begun to eat nis wheat!" The oil was poured into the pan, and in moving it about two or three leapt into it. They changed colour and to all appearances died instantly. This time no sunshiny revived them. Our experimenter found that turpep. tine, acohol, alkali, and croton oil were equally efil- cacious, and the conclusion he has drawn from his ex- perience is that anything that will If ill vegetable lifa will destroy locust life under the like conditions;. H# also describes them as endowed with extraordinary cunning. In short, the war between farmer and locust is a war a V outrance, in which the former has to ploy considerable strategy.