DREADFUL COLLIBBY ACCIDENT. On Friday an accident of almost lamentable character occurred at the Court-house Pits, Kingswinford, about three miles from the town of Stourbridge, and the property of Mr. Benjamin Gibbons. It appears from inquiries made upon tha spot that during the whole of Thursday the engine was engaged in pump- ing the water out of the suusph" or well, at the bot- tom of the shaft, in which the water from the work- inga ia collected. While the work of the pit i? going on the "Bomph" ia covered with strong planks. It was the duty ol James isrooks and Thomas Mars a to take the planks down to cover the sumph in the pit in question; and about a quarter to six they proceeded to do' so. They stepped on the cage, and the baiaksman gave the word to the engine tender to lower the two men. The j engine had made but one revolution whan a jerk was heard, followed immediately by the dreadful sound of the cage, planks, and men crashing down the shaft. The jerk that was heard proved to be the parting of the hook by which the cage waA attached to the pit chain. The depth of the pit is 150 yards, and, as may readily be believed, the bodies of the un. fortunate men were found in a fearfully mangled con- dition. It is no exaggeration to say they were literally dashed to pieces; the fragments had to be collected in bags. Brooks's body was much the worst, he being a heavy man. His skull was fractured; one of hIS feet hung only by a piece of skin, his legs were broken, and the viscera of the abdomen were found in the sumph." Both men have left wives and families, I but the family of Brooks who was 52 years of age, are I mostly grown up. Marsh, was only 27, and his three children are all young.
MYSTERIOUS BEATS FROM ALLEGED POISONING. Mr. William Payne, the City coroner, held an inves- tigation on Tuesday evening, at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, touching the death of Mrs. Ann Edwards, aged 42 years, who expired under very strange eir. cumstances. From the evidence, it appeared that the deceased was the wife of James Ed wards, She lived at No. 4, Printer-street, Bla'ckfriars. On last Christmas Eve, she complained of a pais under her heart. On the following Wednesday, two doctors were called in to see her, and she was removed to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where she died on Friday morning. Her husband and she lived very comfortably together. A short time before Christmael, she had been making fancy paper chairs to decorate the room, and it was suggested that she may have inhaled some of the arsenic of the green paper. The papers were fastened together with gum. She drank gin. She had drunk a glass of medicine that her husband gave her. Her husband got the medicine from Dr. Blenkarn. Her husband took the medicine bottle back to the doctor. Mr. John Moody, 19, Bennett's-hi-H, a surgeon, said that he saw the deceased woman on Wednesday even- ing at nine o'clock. He ordered mustard poultices and calomel and opium pills. On the Thuriiday morn- ing he again saw her. She had got out of bed and was seated on the floor. She looked anxious and excited. Witness persuaded her to get into her bed. She was then seized with a sort of convulsive fit, and witness told her husband to so for Dr. Blenkarn, as he under. stood that she had been under his care. Witness in. formed that doctor ef her state, and he (witness) said that she seemed to have the symptoms of hydrophobia from her aversion to water. There was nothing in the prescription (produced) given by Dr. Blfenkara that would be injurious. < Dr. Bldak&a said the medicine he sent her was harmless. When witness was sent for, he saw the deceased in violent spasms. He never saw spasms so violent except in cases ef hydrophobia. When she 81W tbte wrter, she got into contortions. The husband I was very anxious about his wife. Mr. John W. Henborough, house-surgeon of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, made a post-mortem examina- tion of d'eoea&e'd, and came to the conclusion that she died from the effects of some poison. Drs. Blenkarn and Moody thought that the signs might have been caused by excessive d-tiakmg. The husband of the deceased, a porter, said that his Wife first complained of illness at four o'clock on San. day afternoon. Shè said she had got a, stitch in her side. She had drunk a bottle of gin in two days. He gave her gin and beer. He also gave her medicine. When she took the first dose, she vomited. She got worse after the second dose, and she would not take amy more. The jury, after a long coiaenltation, said that they wished for an adjournment of the case in order that an analysis might be made of the deceased's stomach. The court was accordingly adjourned.
CHORAL MUSIC. If we glance at the progress made in musical taste by this OGIVE try since the time when Handel first pro- duced his sublime oratorios for the pleasure and grati- fication of a chosen few, we shall find much that is both instructive and encouraging. When the Messiah was in rehearsal, previous to ita maiden performance in public, great difficulty was experienced in ob- taining a sufficient number of properly trained voices for the various choruses, rmd recourse was had to the services of professional singers, thus adding con- siderably to the cost of the entertainment, and not unfreqaently placing it beyond the reach of all ex- eept the wesiltiay. At first it seemed as if the great com- poser's attempts to popularise music a-mongst us would end in failure, as did the effort to render ua an opera- loving people. But this- ws not to be. The pro- duction of tfee Messiah, and other Brasses! master- pieces of Handel, gave a powerful impetus to the national inherent love of ohotal music—a passion- the existence of which had long been demonstra,t,ed by the large number of native plees and madrigals forming part of the popular music of the people. The various singers who took part in the performances of the different orator, ca subsequently became, in not a few instances, the nucleus or amatellr ohoral societies, thus forming the basis of many of our existing provincial choral associations. The members of these societies carried their knowledge of the ohoral art into the household circle, and in this manner successfully fostered a widely-spread taste in favour of the simpler forme of ohoral music- Of late years the labours of Hullab, Martin, and others, have assisted greatly in developing the taste thus formed, the result being a Urger and constantly increasing demand for choral music of the highest class. To some extent this haa been met by the various collec- tions of glees and part songs, which have been published from time to time; but now Mr. Henry Leslie, whose reputation, bsth as a composer and a teacher, is so widely spread, has entered the field as the editor of a new serial, which, under the name of Cassell's Choral Music," is to consist of carefully selected and marked part mueic, with occasional new part eongs by the most eminent cc)m pokers of the day, published at ssch a price as will place it within the reach of every individual member of every choral society throughout the kingdom. This is a most important undertaking, the more so that the extreme lownees of prico-on.3 halfpenny per page, large size—will necessitate an immense circulation be. fore the work can prove remunerative to its projectors; but there <?»n be no doubt, of the success of a work which will- include the most celebrated compositions of the English glee and madrigal schools, motetts by the great Italian and German masters; especially when, in addition to this, the publishers have secured the op-operation of Messrs. Benedict, Hatton, Henry Leslie* G. A. Macfarrep, Pinsuti, and Henry Smart, who have undertaken to contribute origival part songs, oomposed expressly for this work; which will gam include the copyright marks of expression of Mr. Henry Leslie, the fame of whose choir sufficient? attest the valne of the expressional marks by which such marvellous choral results have been obtained. Messrs. Cassell, Petter, and Galpin have done well to invite the co-eperation and support of all ohoral societies and musicians throughout the country on behalf of this new serial. It promises to supply a. want largely felt, and to impart a fresh zest to-thwpraooticeof an art at oysoe elevating and refining, and which is capable of yielding the maximum of pleasure at & minimum of cost. The first number is announced ofr January 9th.
The Bank Robbery.—At the Essex quarter Sea&ions pa Saturday, Isaac Dent, George Howard, George Wicker, and Alfred Bragg were indicted for stealing a box containing £200, or tboreaboutl;, the moatys of the Louden and County Banking Company, at Haliatead, on the Sfch nit. The facta of the ease woe- rogmtl-.v, reported. The guilty, and each of the-m was sentenced to 12 mouthie imprisonment
PROFEBSOE BLACKIE ON DEMOCRACY. On Thursday evening Professor Blackie, by a lecture in the Music-hall, Edinburgh, opened the discussion arranged between himself and Mr. Ernest Jones, on the subject of democracy. The professor was accom- panied to the platform by the President of the Working Men's Institute, Mr. Ernest Jones, Professors Frazer, Masson, &c. Professor Blackie was greeted with laud applause, and three cheers were also given for Mr. Ernest Jones, in which the professor heartily joined. The chairman having opened the business, I Professor Blackie iose, and in an able address stated, under the five heads of Freedom, Equality, Self-Government, Representation, and the Vote of the Majority, the leading prinoiples of the advocates of democracy. He quoted from ancient Greek and also from eminent modern writers their expressions of the opinion that a just mixture of aristocratic and democratic forces was the best form of constitution. The Athenian, Spartan, and Roman Republics were splendid failures; the Florentine, the Dutch, the Swiss, and the French Republics showed the failures of unmixed democracies. The American Republic was not superior to the other democracies, or free from any ef the vices which stained the most corrupt democracy of ancient Rome or of mediaeval Florence, where the originalain of all democracies—the assumed right of the majority to over-rule the minority—de- veloped itself in the most gigantic form. In America there prevailed intrigue, bribery, parliamentary jugele, and swindle of all sorts. In England election agents bribe the lowest classes of the populace. In America honourable members are openly paid for their^votes, as was shown in Spencer's "American, Union." The damnable exposure of the American system presented in an influential American quarterly, which durst not have made the eta tementif it werenot true, showed that the management of affairs in the great city of New York has fallen into the hands, literally, of a gang of thieves, and that the StBte Government in Albany is not much better. The 24 councillors, who are handsomely paid for the privilege of stealing from the public purse, are composed principally of young men under 30, belonging to what in New York is called the "ruling class," consisting of "butchers boys who have taken a leading part in primary ward meetings, and young fellows who hang about engine-houses and billiard-rooms." It was because the recently-proposed reform bills were purely democratic in their tendencies that he. from the L-eginning, decidedly opposed them, not because they proposed to largely increase the electoral power of the working classes, many of whom were intelligent and trustworthy, but because the principle on which it was proposed was that of repre- senting numbers alone, and of deciding all public ques- tions by the votes of the majority. Rather than make a single movement to disturb the balance of our mixed constitution by proceeding on a principle so utterly false, which could not be limited within any beunds short of manhood suffrage, he would be con- tent to have no reform at all. Looking on the matter as a man and a citizen, it showed like madness from the beginning to talk of a-aotherrbforih bill at all so closely on the back of the sweeping measure of 1832 To some people, indeed, that Reform Bill, which Bad been in the main salutary, formed the principal argument in favour of another dose of the same Whig medicine. Bat, though a dose of six drops of strong medicine per day might benefit a. patient, it might kill him to take a bottleful. In Scotland there were people who having made themselves comfortable by taking a tumbler of toddy, made beasts of themselves by taking six. The whole course of legislation riince the Reform Bill, whether in the hands of Whigs or Tories, has been by the people, and for the people, and no class is more rapidly rising in the social scale by the change in the value of money than the working classes. The three points to be kept before the eye ef a statesman in pre- paring a Reform Bill for the year 1867 should he-I. The securing of an adequate representation of the work- ing classes. 2. A special representation for the civic, moral, and intellectual aristocracy of the people. 3. The provision of t uch a variety of entrances to the House of Commons as shaH remove the country from the one- sided, one-idea'd assembly of councillors elected under the influence of aa impassioned majority. In fulfilling the conditions cf this problem he would start from the great Reform Bill of 1832 as an accomplished fa.ot. He would next provide for the working classes either by lowering the franchise, as the Whig Government proposed, to 47, or by creating for them a special franchise analogous to that possessed by the English and Irish Universities. This might be done by divid- ing the country into districts, and enacting that all the working classes within each district who paid certain taxes aDd a certain low house rent should elect their own member, over and above the present representation of counties and boroughs. In the third place he would balance this democratic force by the creation of a special representation for what he had called the natural, moral, and intellectual aris- tooraey of the community and he would take these just aa he foaBd them in publicly recognised corpora- t tions, sueh as tha Universities, the Faculty of Advo- cates and Writers to the Signet, the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, the Royal Academy of Paint- ing, Sculptnre, and Architecture, the Royal Society, and such like. By euch a scheme as this a sound ing, Sculpture, and Architecture, the Royal Society, and such like. By euch a scheme as this a sound reform might be effected, and not such a reform as would overthrow the British Constitution. The learned professor concluded by sayingIt should be remembered that one false step in this direction can never ba retraced. The same complexity of par- ties, the same compliance with clamour, the same cowardly compromise with absurdity which may lead to the triumph of the present movement, will, in the course of another thirty years, lead to sjiothar instalment of American liberty; and then cornea, according to Mr. Bright—Paradise, ac- cording to New York precedents—Pandemonium. Before a. House of Commons, nominated by trades unions and overawed by fervid demagogues, the Con- stitution of this country would not last a year. The House of Lords, that wonderful incarnation of all that is stable, graceful, and chivalrous in tooiety, would be voted an incumbrance; the Crown denounced as an expensive toy; and the multitude and Mammon—the mechanical forces and the materia^ interests—would enter into the undisputed heirship of the world- renowned British Constitution. May God long pre- serve ps from such a consummation! The lecture occupied nearly three hours. Mr. Ernest Jones on Friday night delivered in the Music-hall, to a crowded and weil-s'atisfied audience, his reply to Professor Blackie's arguments on the previous eveRing. Starting from the ground that democracy does not mean the rule of a class but of a nation—embraces all, and tempers one class with another," Mr. Jon6s contended that former failures were no good argument against democratic institutions; and proceeded at great length to show, from the highest historical authorities, that in Greece, Rome, France, Australia, and America, I democracy had been the founder and the saviour of the peopled greatness." He vindicated the formation and defended the operation of trades unions; traced to the influence of the people all the great humane and liberal measures of the last forty years; demanded to know on what ground "this noble people was shut out from the constituencies; and charged Professor Blackie with having "invented a new crime—the crime of numbers." He went on to maintain that mautiood suffrage met the very ob- jections of the opponents of democracy, for it win- nowed the chaff from the corn better than any other mode of qualification, and, above all, made sure of the good. He cited the purity of large constituencies like Birmingham and the Tower Hamlets in vin- dication of this view urged that immediate re- form was needed to save the country from the fate of Rome and medissval France; and quoted the writings of Sb. Paul and of the Evangelists, against PUto and Aristotle, in support of his principle of the equality of all men in respect of political power. A vote of thanks to Mr. Jones was moved by Mr. Duncan M'Laren, M.P., who seized the occasion to say the only nasty thing that has been said during the con- troversy—winding up his speech by the gratuitously ungracious assertion that, Mr, Jones had completely refuted" his opponent. —— —1
Explosion of a Kitchen Boiler.-Oti Fri- day an inquest was held at Preston on the body ftf a woman named Shaw. The deceased lived in Back Sidney,!atree,,ti and on the previous, day she went to clean the collar kitchen of an unoccupied house in Stanley-place. She set a. fire ia the grate, and some time afterwaids the kitoben boiler exploded with a loud noise. She was badly scalded, and had one of her legs broken. A police officer and others conveyed her to the House of Recovery, where a,bedied in a: few hours. The boiler which exploded was constructed on thelaelf..faeding principle, and Ms»ia supposed that thei pipes had got closed up through the frost- A verdist of Accidental death" was returned, <-
ATTEMPTING TO DEFRAUD. At the Central Criminal Court, on Monday, Frascis William Stevens was indicted for attempting to defraud Mesars. Leaf and Co., of the Old Change, by presenting to their cashier a false invoice. Mr. Montague Williams appeared for the prosecu- tion; Mr. Ribton for the defence. The prisoner was in the habit of supplying Messrs. Leaf with cap springs, and the practice was, on goods being supplied, for the receiving oletk to initial the invoice, which was then at once presented to the cashier and paid. On the 29th of November last he supplied 100 gross of cap springs at Is., and on having the invoice initialled, altered it to 100 gross at 2a. per gross. The alteration was so clumsily done as to excite the suspicion of the cashier, who made in- quiries, and so detected the attempted fraud. After pleading not guilty, and after tne case had been opened for the prosecution, the prisoner, by the advice of his counsel, pleaded guilty, and a verdict was taken to that effect. It was stated that the prisoner had, during the past twelvemonths, defrauded Messrs. Leaf by the same means, to the extent of nearly M 1,000. He was sentenced to six years' penal servitude.
MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF A DRUNKARD. Dr. Lankester held an atfjourasd inquest on Wed- nesday on the body of a journeyman named Worrall, who had evidently bled to deaMa from wounds inflicted by a kniife. The principal witness was a woman with whom he lived as his wife. Her story is that he was a great drunkard, and came home on Christmas-eve intoxicated. He had been quarrelling with somebody, and talked of revenge. There were some knives on the table, and he took up one and came to her bedside with it. She thought he was going to murder her and pushed him away. He fell down, and then told her he was bleeding. She arose and called in the neighbours and police, and he died on Saturday. The medical evidence was that the wound had pene- trated the pericardium, and it was surprising he had lived so long. Deceased told the surgeon and the police that he inflicted the wound himself; but that was impossible, although a fall with the knife in his hand might have done it. The brother of deceased and another witness said that the dying man told them that Emma Weston had stabbfd him, but that nothing Was to be said about it. The jury, takisg into consideration the many elements of doubt sur- rounding the case, returned an open verdict. -=.
SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST A PARISH DOCTOR. AR inquest was held on Monday in Bethnal-green, on the body of a married woman, named Ann Ferry, 36 years of age, who died under very distressing cir- cumstances, in the house where she resided, "Green- street, Bethnal-green, after she had given birth to a child on the previous Wednesday. She was the wife of a dock labourer, and lived with her husband. Her confinement being imminent, she procured an order for admission to the Lying-in Hospital in the City- road. On Wednesday, the 2nd inst., she felt very ill, and asked to be removed to the hospital; but the ¡ snow lay so deep upon the ground that when a cab was procured the cabman refused to convey her unless he had a fare of five shillings. The need to go got more and more urgent, her friends aboit contrived to raise the sum amongst them; whereupon the cabman declared be must have seven shillings before he would go. This was beyond their means, and the cabman drove away. Directly after this the poor woman fell down and the child was born. Her sister ran off to the relieving officer, who gave an order on Mr. Maseipgham, the parish doctor, to whom she bore the missive, begging him to come. This was at half-past six o'clock in the evening. She told Mr. Msesingham that her sister was without any midwife or doctor, and described her condition. But the parish doctor said he could not come till rsexf; morning. On the woman repre. senting to him bow her sister was in pain, he gave her a bottle of medicine for the patient, but would not go to her himself. At half-past ten o'clock the sister came again, and found the parish doctor sitting in his room reading a newspaper. Åflain she told of the pain and the want, imploring him because her sister was dying. He said he could not help that; he would not come till his usual time next day. At half-past eight o'clock on the Thursday morning another woman went to him, but some one called upon him just as the messenger was urging her re- quest, and he said he could not attend to her for half an hour; so the woman went back unsuccessful. At half-past ten o'clock that morning, two hours after the last, messenger, came to the parish doctor Anne Ferry, a girl fifteen years old; she, too, like her aunt the eight before, found Mr. Massingham sitting in hip room reading a, newspaper. 'The girl exclaimed, Mother is dying' anti received for reply, "Fiddle de dee Nonsense. If your mother was put to bed yesterday, it can't be said that she will die to-day;" whereupon the girl crying, bevoexferated "It! a nor-go your crying. It's no use your kicking up that noise here it won't bring her back again." This last messenger went back, toot" crying all the wsy;" the mother died that day at half-past twelve o'clock; the parish doctor came to the corpse some time after. Dr. Harris, who made a post-mor- tern examination, gave evidence that in his opinlen the case demanded very active treatment; and even with medical treatment it might have terminated fatally. Mr. Massingham was not present at the inquest. The jury returned the following special verdict: "That the deceased expired from the mortal effects of inflammation of tbo lungs and effusion into the pericardium, with shock to the system, from childbirth; and the jurors farther say that the con- duct of the parish doctor was inhuman, in not at- tending the deceased when the parish order was given to him, there appearing to be nothing to prevent his doing so; and the jurors also say that he is urfib to be continued as the parish doctor, and should be required to resign such appointment." A subscription was then raised for the family of the deceased.
ACCIDENT TO THE HOLYHEAD MAIL TRsIN. The fearful storm of wind and snow which prevailed over the district of North Wales, and was a prelude to the break up of the frost, committed great destruc- tion in the neighbourhood of Bangor, and led to an accident on the Chester and Holyhead a a complete stoppage of the traffic for over 20 hours, i.e., from nine o'clock on Saturday night to four o'clock on Sunday evening. Travellers on this lice are, that between Con- way and Bangor the liue runs almost continuously close on the edge of the ;ee&, with high mountains towering over it. Not the fall of snow in the middle of the week, as there had been but little drifting the traffic was not much delayed. Oa Satur- day night, however, the snow began to fall again, and was accompanied by a heavy gals from S.E. The result was that the snow drifted froni the mountains in blinding masses, and accumulated in the railway outtiags, blocking them up, eo that although the rail- way aathorities had placed 50 or 60 men along the line to endeavour to keep it clear, the work beat them, and the traffic, was stopped on Saturday night. An attempt, however, was made to get the mail train, which leaves Holyhead at 8.20 p.m., through the drift, and she was seat on. The train had passed Bangor, and had got about half-way between that place and the next station (Aber) when on pass- ipg along an embankment the violence of the wind, (which came down the valleys between the mountains as from a spout) was so great that, although the tra.in was going at full speed, and with two engines, in the hope of driving through the snow drift, it com- pletely turned over the post-oiffce van, throwing it on the side of the embankment. The couplings at the same moment broke, and the engines ran on until they gptstnok in the snow drift. The carriages alaoleit the rails, but did not turn over. Of course, all the passengers (there were very few) and the post- office clerks were much shaken and braised, but happily not seriously injured. The guard had to run back to Bangor, for the telegraphic com- munication was completely out off, some two or three miles of wires and posts being broken or blown dfcma. Mr. Lee, the engineer of this section of the line (BiDgor), and Mr. Binger, the superintendent, were soon on the spot, and relays of men were put on to clear the line bat, although they worked through the bitter night, it was not until four o'clock on Sunday evening thatolue line, could be cleared, and up to two o'clock on Monday the traffic had to be carr-ried on on a single line between Basgor and Aiber. The storm of Saturday night is the mostfearfal. on record ,.w this exposed district At Aber gale drifted the snow in masses, blinding everybody ex- posed to it, and the railway officials were frequently thrown down by the violence of the wind as it came down through the valleys, while at the same time in the streets of Bangor it was comparatively calm. Signal lights could not be seen 20 yards off, and this led to some slight collisions. At Aber, while a train was standing at the station with signals up, another coming up, and the signals being invisible, ran into it, severely shaking and bruising the passengers, some of whom had cut faces, but we have heard of EO broken limbs. The thaw set in on Sunday morning, and rain following, it cleared the snow away, except in places where the drifts were many feet deep. At one time there were eight or nine trains all stopped between Aber and Bangor.
MINERAL TRAFFIC ON RAILWAYS. In the year 1865 the Caledonian Railway carried 5,226,275 tons of coal and minerals as compared with 5,125,757 tons in 1864; the Great Eastern, 885,400 tons against 776,818 tons in 1864; the Great Northern, 2,254,218 tons against 1,934,662 tons in 1864; the Great Western,4,832,415 tins against 4,574,829 tons in 1864; the Lancashire and Yorkshire, 3,888,487 tons as com- pared with 3,507,889 tons in 1864; the London and North-Western, 9,039,650 tons against 8,095,164 tons in 1864; the London and South-Western, 481,282 tons as compared with 440,560 tons in 1864; the London, Brighton, and South Coast, 511,194 tons against 399,840 tons in 1864; the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire, 2,146,514 tons as compared with 1,769,414 tons in 1864; the Midland, 5,852,299 tons against 5,357,004 tons in 1864; the North Eastern, 15,309,991 tons as compared with 15,398,276 tons in 1864 and the South Eastern, 208,361 tons against 198,132 tons in 1864. The receipts during the year 1865 from coal and mineral traffic on the 12 systems indicated were as follows: Caledonian, £ 429,097; Great Eastern, < £ 134,878; Great Northern, £ 429,811; Great Western, £ 501,537; Lancashire and Yorkshire, 4189,186; London and North Western, £ 891,818; London and South Western, X41,390 London, Brighton, and South Coast, £ 48,584; Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire, £ 164,596; Midland, 4593,841; North Eastern, CI,300,809 aud South Eastern, £ 31,865.
VICTOR HUGO'S CHRISTMAS FETE. Its now ten years since a protest published against a violation of the sacred right of asylum was made a pretext to drive from the island of Jersey the Frenchmen who had sought refuge there after the ooup d'etat of December, 1851. To that act of expul- sion the sister island of Guernsey owes to-day the immense honour of sheltering one of the master minds of Europe—Victor Hugo. In this beautiful little isle of the Norman Archi- pelago the latest works of his imagination have been written, and it is to Guernsey, as the rock of hospi- tality and of liberty," that he has dedicated the last of his books, the "Toilers of the Sea." But it is not only in wreathing round her rooks the flowers of his genius that Victor Hugo tenders to his asylum thanks for her hospitality.. Guernsey gives to the exiled poet a refuge, the poet, gives to the poor of Guernsey a tender and generous assistance, and his name is as well known amongst the destitute children of Porte St. Pierre, whom he makes the sharers of his bounty, as his fame is familiar to the thinking portion of mankind, who know him through his genius. "Poor children are, perhaps, the most affecting objects on the earth; to them we owe benevolence and succour." These were his words, and they have not been the mere expression of useless sympathy, for once every week some twenty-two poor children assemble to a substantial dinner in his house, and at the end of December takes place the annual feast, and distribution of clothing, which may be called the Christmas number of the preat writer's charitable works. There is no selection amongst these children on account of creed or country. Channel islanders, English, French, and Irish (the last are not the fewest), are all welcome, and the sole claim to hospitality is to want it. It is now fiveears since this little institution of a fortnightly dinner was first established by M. Hugo, and each year he has had the satisfaction of seeing his example more widely followed in different parts of Europe by many who wish to benefit their suffering fellow-creatures. On Thursday last, the 27th December, the annual Christum fere took place at Hauteville-house, in Guernsey. There were assembled some 42 poor children, varying in age from-thre8 to twelve years; all looked happy and joyous, and seemed perfectly at home in the honse, and in the presence of their host. The fete was divided into three parts, an excellent lunch, a distribution of clothing, and a Christmas- tree. Previous to the distribution Viator Hugo ad. dressed his guests and visitors in the following words:— Ladies and Gentlemen,— You are aware of the object of this little meeting. It is what, for want of a better term, I call the festival of poor little children. I desire to speak of it in the humblest terms, and with thiB feeling I would barrow the simplicity of one of those little ones who now hear me. To do gaodto poor children, as far ,as I am able, is the object that I have in view. Believe me there is no merit in the act, and what 1 say I sincerely mean. There is no merit in. doing for the poor what we can, for what we can do it is a duty to do. Do you know anything more sad than the sufferings of children? When we Puffer--we who are men—we suffer justly, we endure nothing but what we deserve, but children are inno- cent, and saffenng innooence—■ is it not the saddest thing in nature ? Here Providence entrusts as with a portion of its own functions. God says to man-I eonfide to thee the child. And he does not confide to us our own children alone—for it is simply natural that we should have care for them—and the brute obeys this law of nature, better sometimes than man himself. God entrusts us with all the children that suffer. To be the father—-the mother of poor children —tfejs is our highest mission. To have towards them the parental feeling is to have a fraternal feeling towards humanity." M. Hugo tbea explained the idea which first led him to establish this fortnightly dinner, an idea, he said, which had its origin in a report upon the diet of poor children made 18 years ago by the Medical Academy of Pa/fig. "But," coEtiuuod M. Hugo, "engrossed, when ia France, by the business of public life, I had no time for establishing dinners for poor children. Profiting, however, by the leisure which exile has given me in Guernsey, I have carried the idea into execution. Believing that if a good dinner once a month could do so much good, agood dinner once a fortnight would do still more, I have fed 42 children, 21 of whom como to me every week. Moreover, when the end of the year arrives I wish to give them the little pleasure which the children of the rich find in their own homes; I wish that they also may have their Christmas. This little fete is composed of three parta-a luncheon, a distribution of clothing, and a distribution of toys, for-joy i« an element of chil- dren's health. Therefore it is that I dedicate to them annually a Christmas tree. This is the fifth celebra- tion of the fete. And now why do I say all this ? The only merit in a good action (if there be a good action) is to say nothing about it. I should, in fact, be silent if I thought only of myself. But my object is not merely to do good to 40 children. My abject, above all, is to set a useful example. This is my sole excuse." „ „ In support of the beneficial effects attending the adoption of this system in other countries, M, Hugo read extracts from two n-ewspapers-the Petit Journal and the Times. The-treasurer of the Ragged Children's Dinner Fund, writing to the last-named paper, had stated that during the late epidemic in London not one death from cholera had taken place among two hundred poor children who had thus been nourished. Upon this faet the speaker laid great importance, and, after expressing a hope that the" mournful. and de- plorable word 'ragged "would soon disappear from the noble English langaage, he thus concluded: This, ladies and gentlemen, this is my excuse for describing to you what takes place here. This is what justifies the publicity given to the dinner to the 40 children. It is that from this humble origin there arises a oonaiderable amelioration in the condition of suffering. innocence. To relieve e&ildren-to train them into men-rneh is our duty. I will add but one word more. There are two ways ef building oharehes. They may be built of Storm-they. may be built.of 1 flesh and bonei The poor whom you have "SUOOOured are a church that you have bailt from wheace prayer • and gratitude ascend to God." Many know the marvels oi Victor Hugo s pen; few are acquainted with the magic of his voice, and, only,I those who have heard lam apeak in public can realise to its full extent an utterance wfcfoh vibrates ih singnlar nnison with every thought which it expresses. singnlar nnison with every thought which it expresses. In Hauteville-house, on Thursday last, all stood upon the same level of equality, no invitations were issued, the doors were open to whoever thought fit to enter, and the only reserved places were for the poor. It seemed a place where class distinctions were for a time at leaett forgotten, and all met together, without sar; prise or embarrassment, on the neutral ground of a great man's humanity.
FENIANISM IN IRELAND. On Saturday a general court-martial assembled at the Royal Barracks, Dublin, for the trial of three soldiers on charges connected with Fenianism. Col. J. R. Stuart, C.B., presided. The first ease proceeded with was that of Private O'Brien, 8th Regiment, alias Thomas Simpson, 85th Regiment, who was arraigned on the following charges,-I. For having deserted from the dep6t of the 1 it battalion of the 8th Regiment, while stationed at Newry, on or about the 19th of June, 1866. 2. For having, while a deserter from the 8th Regiment, enlisted in the 85th Regiment under the name of Thomas Simpson, and for having by this enlistment fraudulently obtained a second bounty and free kit. 3. For having come to the knowledge of an intended mutiny in her Majesty's forces in Ireland, in aid of t seditious conspiracy termed the Fenian Brotherhood, and not given information of same to his commanding officer. The prisoner pleaded guilty to the first two charges, and not guilty to the third. From the state- ment of the prosecutor, Colonel Fielding, of the Cold- stream Guards, it appeared that the prisoner is a person of considerable education, having been edu- cated for the medical profession, and that he had entered the army, deserting from one regiment and enlisting in another as charged, for the delibe- rate purpose of spreading Fenianism amongst the soldiers. After some evidence had been heard the trial was adjourned. Thomas Kavairagh, occupier of the cottage in West- road, in the suburbs of Dublin, in which a large number of pikes, rifles, and bayonets end 1,300 rounds of ball cartridges were recently seized, was fully com" mitted for trial on Saturday at the Commission Court. The frost, which set in a few days ago with great severity, continued up to Friday afternoon, when the air became milder, and indications of a. coming thaW were visible. An explosion, supposed to be of Greek fire, took place on Sunday morning in Essex-street, Dublin. A. man last week took lodgings at No. 8, and went away, leaving a small box. As he did not return, the land- lord opened the box and took out two bottles. lIe was in the act of examining farther contents when an explosion took place. The ceiling was broken, the wall between No. 8 and adjoining house forced in, and the windows of both houses blown into the street. The landlord was seriously injured and taken to .1;t hospital, and is net expected to live. S(l\ma,baJI ('"vG-. ridges were found on the floor. jf
J f DEATH FROM STARVATION. Mr. W. Payne, the deputy-coroner for the City of London, held an investigation on Friday evening, at the Langbourn Ward School-rooms, Lime-street, City, respecting the death, from starvation, of James Brooks, aged 45 years. John Standing deposed that he was a labourer, out of employment, and that he had walked up from Brighton in search of work. On last Wednesday he met the deceased at the corner of Northumberland" alley, in Fanchchuroh-street. Witness said to him, "Are you out of work ?" and he replied, Yes; I are going down here to try and get a bit of bread." Witness then accompanied the deceased to the relieving officer in Northumberland-alley. The deceased went in first, and witness stood outside. When he came out. he had about six ounces of bread in his hand. It was a bit about the size of the fourth part of a half-quarten loaf. It was not as large as a penny roll. That was all that he had got. Witness then went in to the.reliev.ing office, and he saw an old gen- tleman and a woman these. The old gentleman said, Where do you live ? and witness told him that he bad come from Croydon, and thaji he was going to Hampstead. The old gentleman wrote that down in a book, and he was then given about six ounces of bread. He got nothing else. Witness gave the name, of Edwards. They were complaining at the time of a- mad woman that was in the relieving office. The woman cut the bread and handed it to witness, and before she did so the old man said, "You must out it smaller." Before that was said the woman had given a man a bit rather larger. The old gentleman- then said, You will have to cut it rather smaller than that, or else there will not be enough for them." There were twenty people waiting at the time. When witness came out he saw the deceased standing near the'office. He said that he was then going to try and .get work on the underground railway. It was than two o'clock, and he said that he had had nothing to eat or drink that day. He also stated that.he was a Devonshire man, and that he had no lodgings. They then went under an archwa y near a warehouse at Crutchedfriars, and they stood there to eat their bread before they went to the railway to look for work. After eating the bread the deceased walked about a dozen yards, and he then leant forward and pressed his chest against apost in the street, and said, I have got a pain in my chest; it's the wind." He appeared to be short o breath. He then walked on until he got to the crossing at the corner of Lsadenhall-street, when he reeled backward, and he would have fallen, only that a gentleman caught hold ef him by the arm, and he was placed lying on the pavement. The day was very cold, the snow being on the ground. The deceased was so odd that when he was eating the bread he could hardly hold it in his hande. A gentleman went for, the police, and a doctor was brought. The deceased was then carried into a surgery, where he died. Witness had ealled at the relieving office at twelve o'clock in the day, and he had heard a man say, I'll give you relief when I got rid of this mad woman." Witness then remained away until two o'clock. He bad walked up from Croydon that morning. It had taken him three hours to walk the 10 miles in the snow. On his way up from Brighten he had tried to get work. Police-constable Buzzard, 701, City force, said that he was called to the deceased on Wednesday last. He he had tried to get work. Police-constable Buzzard, 701, City force, said that he was called to the deceased on Wednesday last. He was insensible, and witness, assisted by another constable and a gentleman, carried him to Dr. Crosby's, in Fenchuroh-street. The doctor examined him and asked him whether he had a home. He shook his head and said he haa none. He died in the shop. A pair of spectacles, a piece of soap, two parchments, and a police notice were found in his pockets. The docu- ments proved that in 1864 he was sentenced at Exeter ( to three years' penal servitude for stealing fixtures. In October last he was liberated from Portland prison under a ticket-of-leave signed by the Right Hon. S. H. Walpole. He then came under the care of the Prisoners' Aid Society. Thomas Mosre Crosby, Fenchtrroh.street, said ij that the deceased was brought to his surgery ia a state of collapse. Witness laid him down before a J fire and pressed his chest. The whole body was cold. state of collapse. Witness laid him down before a fire and pressed his chest. The whole body was cold. j His eyes were sunken and half closed. The pupils 1 were wildly dilated. When his mouth and lips were I moistened with bra-ndy, he gasped, and witness I thought he was going to rally. He then said 1 that he had no home. While a cab was being 'sent for to take him to the workhouse he ( vomited and died. He was suffering from faint- 1 ness and cold. He was as oold as ioe. He died from want of food and the very low tem- perature then prevailing. If he had been given a baain of hot sonp he would have been alive now. in witness's opinion. He was cold and froaen, There was no other cause for death but acute starva- tion. It was a death from syncope, from failure of the heart's action. He only wanted warm nourishment*. Witness's impression was that he would have raliiad if he had had a warm meal. The jury, after some deliberation, returned the following verdict" That the deceased died from want of food, and that MB death was aooeierated by cold, and the jury recommend that some warm nourish- ment^Ehould be given to the destitute during the, oold. weather* aad they wisk the guardians to take the matter into their consideration immediately."
Great Snowstorm. — A correspondent, writing from Mailtoa on New Year's Eve, says :-—Last night the u 6-Peen Christmas" and suntmer, flbwers gave way to, a hasd frost, the wind going round to N;N.El, from which quarter ainoe 7130 this morning a heavy snowstorm has set in. The moors and wolds have only been white over once before this season, and that for a few hours only. At Malton to three p.m. quite eight inches of snow have fdlten, and reports from Eirby, Helmstey, and the moors speak ef a. heavier downfall. There is every prospect of oomtfrmanae, and thenew -Year seems likefy to have an unexpectedly seasonable birth.