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EPITOME OF NEWS.

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AGRICULTURE.I

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AGRICULTURE. AT Whitford, in Devonshire, enormous mushrooms have sprung up, some measuring fifteen inches in diameter. SOME one has proposed a large exhibition of vege- tables from all quarters of the world. The idea is not a bad one, and would, perhaps, be more productive of useful results than most fancy exhibitions are. M. LOUVFL'S method of preserving corn, flour, and biscuit, by securely enclosing them in large iron cylinders and then exhausting the air, has been tried with success on the Imperial farm. The weevil, the most difficult of all the corn parasites to subdue, has been completely destroyed in the rarified air, and during six months none have been developed. The apparatus, therefore, may be rendered available for the prolonged conservation of grain under most un- favourable circumstances. THE blue horse which is about to be exhibited in the country, was shown at Marlborough house last week to the Prince of Wales. It is an extraordinary looking creature, fully bearing out the report about it, a piebald of a blue and dirty yellowish white, with no hair on it, and feeling remarkably soft and like a lady's face. It is a great curiosity. A NEW railway, the Alexander," is about to be constructed in Russia, which will bring the fertile corn districts on the borders of the Black Sea. into com- munication with all parts of Europe. By this line Berlin will be brought within forty-eight hours of Odessa, and an Englishman may travel from London to the Black Sea in eighty-four hours. The line will be made under a concession for ninety-nine years, the Government having the right to purchase it at the and of twenty years. It will pass through a large portion of Poland, and a country rich in minerals as well as agricultural produce. In Poland the works will be constructed by the soldiers. The first part of the line will, it is hoped, be ready in five years. PREPARATIONS are making at the Agricultural- hall, Islington, for the erection of the stalls, stabling, construction of hippodrome, &c., for the forthcoming Great Metropolitan Horse Show, appointed to take, place there on the 7th July next and following days. The directors have resolved, with a view to the ample accommodation and comfort of the animals, as well as the public, to limit the number to 320, and the compe- tition for preference was exceedingly great. The show will consist of twelve classes, and the aggregate value of the prizes reaches considerably over 41,000. In consequence of the liberality of the prizes in the thoroughbred and hunter classes, the number of entries in those classes are exceedingly numerous, and comprise some of the most noted and valu- able racehorses in the kingdom. In the thorough bred classes, in addition to the Agricultural Hall Cap, of the value of 50 guineas, the fir8t prize is .£100, the second £ 50, the third .£40, as well as prizes of .£25, X20, and other lesser sums. For hunters the first prize is .£60, with other prizes of .£30, .£25, X20, and smaller amounts. With regard to the hunters, the judges are this year to have the power to select the weight-carriers, and also to require any of the horses to be jumped before awarding the prizes. The other classes which have had proportionate prizes awarded, consist of weight-carrying cobs, not exceeding 14 hands 2 inches; carriage horses, not under 15 hands 3 inches, in match pairs; light phseton horses, not ex- ceeding 15 hands 1 inch, in match pairs; ponies, not exceeding 13t hands, in match pairs for double harness; ponies, of same size, for saddle or harness; ponies, not exceeding 12 hands, for saddle or harness; and an extra class, for which .£50 is set apart, at the discretion of the judges, for any entries of extraordinary merit not included in the preceding classes. The whole of these arrange- ments are being carried out under the direction of Mr. Sidney, the Secretary of the Agricultural-hall Com- pany and the same feature which excited so much interest on the first occasion last year-viz., that of exhibiting the prize horses at given intervals in the hippodrome, jumping the hunters over hurdles, &c.- will form a prominent incident in the ensuing show. The galleries will be fitted up for the exhibition and sale of carriages, saddlery, stable fittings, &c.; and the Islington-gr.en avenue for articles of a useful and lighter character, and most of the available spaces for this purpose have been taken.

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