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FROM CITY, CORRESPONDENTS Ax excellent charky has established convales- ces homes at Ilcplc Bay for the reception of poor women and of mothers withr'infants under the age of two years. The eligible age ranges from 16 to 65, and the movement is strictly un- denominational, though the Bishop of London- is president. Patients are admitted on the recorn- mendation of subscribers, or by payment, or part payment. There is a provident section which en- .coarages-those earning-~&oad sto lay by for the benefit of themselves and their families. IN Massachusetts there is a Folk-lore Society, And the scopfe'of Its operations is far from being merely local. The latest enterprise attributed to it is to make a collection of the street noises of London .and the principal Continental cities, and to preserve them by the agency of the phonograph. The relation between folk-lore and London street noises cannot be appreciated at first sight; but the people of Massachusetts are doubtless gifted with an average share of American originality, and we must assume that they have satisfactorily settled the points. Nevertheless the commission seems a rather im posing one, for if the idea is to be carried 5 out with anything approaching to thoroughness London itself will constitute a vast field for operations It could be made very interesting from one point of view. The quaint old street cries of the metropolis are fast disappearing, and if any are to be preserved the utilisation of the phonograph must not be long delayed. In view of the fact that electric cars are shortly to be used on an important section of the Leeds tramway service—the Roundhay route—it is interesting to see 4vhat other large towns are doing in the same direction. The South Stafford- ahire Tramway Company have in hand a scheme for superseding steam propulsion by electricity, rfad the municipal bodies of Walsall. Darlaston, and"*Wednesbury have signified their approval of the prqsposed change.* Parliamentary powers will be sought by the North Metropolitan Tramway Company in London to introduce an electric ser- vice on the accumulator system, and the Glasgow Corporation intend placing on their lines one hun- dred accumulator cars. This impetus to elec- tricity as-a propelling agent is'as significant as it is sudden. By the way it is interesting to note that in Birmingham electricity, jeteam, horse- powe?Jtand cable exist side by side. The former, whi was only introduced last year, is an un- doubted success. < JACOBS, the Frenchma^who undertook to fast f<fe £ ftykd«ys at the Royal Aquarium, has, writes a London Correspondent, accomplished Stis self- imposed task. Perhaps the best proof that the fekt waarhot so wonderful, aH, was the meal which, Jaofyies- partook of Immediately on being releafcd hfajrond. A man wtto can under Bttchicircuiprtancps sit down to a pl&te Qf chicken tapth, a sole, a mutton cutfat with ttomatoea, a fcaXf bottle of Burgundy, grapes, coffee, and a 1ù¡a. of cognac, mu^thay^ had a-fair amount of sustenance of kriae spvt during jJIe long period ctf. fugpt^eti. fating. Jacques, it isXair to ,say, does not pr&Ebnd that he .pan exist on air. He h9 a m>wder -of marvellous vi^ue, and if one were irate sure that he Ate nothing efte Jhiring'the last fitty days, it would be of the first importance tp know the composition of this .powder. So far our knowledge on the subject is eatremely meagre. The feat appear to\ have Veen fairly and honestly accomplished. Duly appointed witnesses wefe never abgent^from his side, and they make no seruple to attest that from the last day of July Stil the close of the' stipulated period no food jsed his lips—<>nly water and "pinches of the mysterious specific. The main object of the fast, Indrfed, seems] to have been to demonstrate and advertise the virtues of the latter article, for which he doubtless wishes to command a good price. He has made various effects to dispose of the secret on profitable terms, but so far nobody ^een responsive, and he declares that, as his mission in life is not a philanthropic one, nothing but money—and a good deal of it too—will induW him to divulge the composition of the sustaining powder The net physical result of the perform- ancin. a loss of thirty-two pounds in weight, a slightly increased stature, and a rather bad attack of gout. He is very lucky te get off so well, con. sidwring the altogetherwnwawtMillilff "atftf dfoelish Way in which he has tempted Providence. =:: :L1:Z %:Jt:e he is now panted. This the Robben Island pnake—Corondla phseanm. The snake has a close -aily, which is brown instead of black but the brown variety lives on the mainland, aud the Wack is confined tf the -pm*U uUcidv motioned; ^fcich lies thi lape «f #ood toX Tha liackening of tkelepttie is Verjp inte^sm^as an WtMnple of what the environment" may do in the way of changing the colour of an animal. There are numbers of instances (for example, Simony's lizard, also to be seen in the reptile house) of mimals living upon islands, which have got <3ttTk«r .in colour apparently by rekson of the moisture in the atmosphere, and not in the least bectwlses. there was any particular use in their changing their colour. Even the leopard can change his spots and become of a uniform black, though in that particular instance there is no ex- planation of the phenomenon. An awful tale of wretchedness and suffering has Just come to light at the London Sessions. A man named West and his wife were indicted for wil- fully negle^tjag their children, and it was elicited that West held been a dock labourer, but was un- able to procure work after the great strike. The family were turned out of house and home, and two of the children, after various vicissi- tudes, were lost on the streets. They tramped about without either shelter or food, and were picked up one night by a policeman on a door- step, where they were sleeping. Both were in a shocking state of filth, and veritably starving. Meanwhile, the mother also fell into the hands of the police, being discovered wandering about with a child in her arms and another walking at her side. 'The wretched woman was miserably clad and broken down in health. The jury on learning the facts of the case, returned a verdict of not guilty," and it was stated that West had handed in documents which proved him to be a hard- working honest man. Could a moie heartrending case be imagined 1 Doubtless measures will now, have been taken for the relief of the unfortunate sufferers, but it is horrible to thiak that misfortune should, in the midst of a wealthy community, go so far unperceived and unrelieved. Thebe are aeveral unsatisfactory provisions in the Pawnbrokers Act, but the most remarkable is that.which was brought to light the other day, 1vhea a claim was made for the value of » cloak which had been pledged by a poor woman for 2s. 6d. This cloak had been destroyed in on the pawnbroker's premises, and it would n. rurally be supposed, as the contents of such premises would be insured, that the tenant would be com- pelled to recoup the owner of the article pledged on a value calculated upon aecale by multiplying the sum of money which lUll Leell advanced on the pledge; for of course the plc ge is always worth a great deal than the money lent on it. Strange to say, the words of the Act require only that twenty-five per ceiit. of the loan granted and the interest shaH be retun e 1 to the owner of the article destroyed. In the in question, the cloak originally cost !«s., and it valued by its owner at 12s., but- the pawn-br"?-er was legally required only to hand the wonvui 7y}- by way of remunerating her for her loss T > this amount, however, he gratuitously a.uic l i's. ûd. when the case was decided in his fav< ur.






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