LETTER FROM ONE OF THE ABYSSINIAN PRISONERS. The following is a letter from Dr. Blanc, one of Mr. Jtassam's companions in the unfortunate mission for the release of Consul Cameron to a friend who is an officer in one of the regiments now serving in India. The letter (observes the Bombay Gazette, in which the document is printed.1 is very freely written to come from a prisoner, but the allusions to the Emperor Theodore are very carefully guarded. It will he observed that Dr. Blanc, expressing no doubt the common wish of all the Emperor Theodore's captives, is himself anxious that their sufferings should be brought to an end, one way or the other, by the advance of a British army into Abyssinia:- Magdala, March 31, 1867.-My dear ,I pro- mised you in my note sent from here some fifteen days ago, that I would on the first occasion give you a longer account of our unfortunate expedition how- ever, the very thought of it disgusts me, and if it was not for old friendship's sake, I would throw down the pen in despair. We left Massowah on the 15th of October, 1865, crossed the Soudan, not a very agree- able trip, the hot sun and want of water making it a very trying journey for Europeans, reached Metemma, the frontier town of Abyssinia in that direction, on the 21.% t of November we stayed at that place until the 27th of January, 1866. Metemma, as in geographical books it will be described some day, is the capital of Galabat, a province inhabited by Takruries, a race ori- ginally from Darfour, who on their way to the coast, finding the country pleasant, became settlers. All I can say is, that if these negroes found an earthly paradise in the unhealthy lowland of Gala- bat, Darfour must be a wretched place. I hope that you will never have any idea of exploring its torrid zone. These Takruries are a very noisy set; three or four times a week they would bawl all night, singing I believe they call it, and dance or rather jump to the monotonous tone of a single note extracted for hours out of a kind of kettledrum. Some, having served amongst the Egyptian troops, returned to their adopted land full of ideas of disciplined armies, and at last prevailed on their countrymen to adopt drill as a weekly recreation. Some women would be seen on Fridays going through a series of evolutions amazing to behold a bad representation of some great battle at Astley's can, perhaps, give you a faint idea of the military genius of Sheik Jainus, the reigning sovereign of Gralabat. The drill does not seem, however, to have raised the spirit of the tribe, as they prefer paying tribute both to Egypt and Abyssinia rather than fight with one of them. As I have already told you, on the 27th January we started for the highland of Abyssinia, crossed the pro- vinces of Tschetga, Darbea, Tukassa, and finally, after a month's travelling, generally through an unculti- vated country, amongst ruins of burnt villages, we reached the imperial camp close on the confines of Gaffat. Our reception was above our most sanguine expectations we had all the show and dazzle of Oriental Courts usually brought forward on similar oc- casions the Emperor was good enough to receive her Majesty's letter, and in order to show his friendship he ordered at once the prisoners to be set free and sent to us. After spending some eight days with the King, we started for Kourata, a town on the western shores of the Tana Sea, to await the arrival of the liberated captives. On the 12th of March they joined us, and having nothing more to do in the country we were all anxious to leave. At last we obtained the royal con- sent, and the 13th of April was fixed upon as the day we would have the honour of bidding good hye to the hospitable monarch, whilst the former offenders, whose sight would be painful to the good King, after all he had suffered at their hands, were allowed to proceed by another route, the wftole party to rendezvous at a village at the north-east extremity of the lake. You know the rest; how we were seized, stripped, our property searched, made prisoners, tried, and acquitted. The other party shared the same fate, and were brought to us in chains. We all remained at 35age for seme six weeks, Mr. Flad having been sent for presents and workmen. In the meanwhile our im- prisonment was light; we could go out riding under the protection of a "guard of honour our kit was returned to us, when it was found that nothing suited, the -money alone being kept back, probably by mis- take. Cholera, typhus, and small-pox forced his Majesty to leave the Lake Country for the Table-land. We accompanied him, and arrived at Gaffat on the 1Mh of.J une. The rainy season was beginning accord- ingly his Majesty gave us some huts in the neighbour- hood of Gaffat, so that all the Europeans should spend the dull season in the enjoyment of one another's company. Pleasant or not, after ten days his Majesty put a stop to our intercourse with the Europeans of Gaffat, by shutting us up in a black tent all huddled together, pitched in his own enclosure. A few days later this was even too good on the 3rd July we were made to try the effects of a dark room as a solace to the mind; and lastly, on the 5th. we started with his Majesty, all guessed, but no one k lew for certain, where, until the morning of the 9th, when an escort came from his Majesty to our tents to convey us to the royal residency at Magdala. On the 12th we arrived, on the 16th we were chained, and though his Majesty has been kind enough to send us his compli- ments on several occasions, with the exception of a few lean cows sent on great fair days, we have been supposed by our kind friend to have lived on the pure air and limpid water of the fairy mountain. My dear fellow, you have it all now cut and dry, since eight and a half months we are in chains, on bad grub, and with very ugly shadows in the future. My only wish is that, before even this reaches you, the brave King's Own will be on their way, for who could better teach niggers the practical lesson between humbug and reality?
We publish the following letter, which Mrs, Stern has received from her husband, one of the captives in Abys- sinia :— Magdala, May 1, 1867. My dear Charlotte,—Another month has passed since I last wrote to you, a month like all the rest in this miserable prison life, full of anxious care and wearisome inactivity. Sometimes I squat down and try to beguile the tedious hours by writing sketches of sermons, and when my thoughts become confused I divert my mind—and a sad diversion it is-by diffusing on closeiy written pages the varied incidents of our painful captivity. I would occasionally furnish you with my pen's melancholy effusions were it not impru- dent to keep anything of so compromising a character around me. It is astonishing to think that in the wiJds of Africa the greatest caution should be requisite in the expression of one's ideas. The very notion of such a" thing makes one smile, and yet it is no less strange than true that a single sentence, and that, too, couched in a foreign language, may by the evil disposed be perverted into the most wilful, selfish, and mischievous purpose. I once thought that human nature, notwithstanding its fall, still re- tained something of its original noble stamp but bitter experience has dispelled the pleasing illusion, and convinced me that the heart of man is the most deceptive, mobilious, and dangerous thing in creation. In our immediate neighbourhood matters have not much mended since my last. The King is still pur- suing his work of devastation in the provinces that are subject to his doubtful sway. The rebels, too, with the disaffected peasantry for their allies, are doing their utmost to resent the cruelties of their lately owned ruler and acknowledged chief. It is, however, evident that affairs must come to a crisis and an early solution. The ruthless ferocity of the King has ex- hausted the patience of the most timid and servile, and all appear now to be animated by one deep and ardent passion-viz., the overthrow of the tyrant. The army he once had at his behest is scattered in bands of rebels all over the country; and as he can never recruit again his incredibly diminished hordes, he will either be forced to make this Amba his last asylum, a-tid tomb, or, followed by a few faithful adherents, and the most valuable captives, seek a home in the marshy jungles and entangled feverish villages of the lowlands. Whatever the issue of the contest may be, our prospects, humanly speaking, are anything but bright. God, certainly, can de- liver us, and if we continue to trust in Him everything may be overruled in mercy and compas- sionate wisdom for our good. We have friends near and around us, but in this land cupidity and avarice dissolve every bond, even the most tender and sacred and, after all that has transpired, the pettiest and most contemptible chieftain, if he gets us into his power, may think that by retaining in his clutches a few defenceless Europeans he will make his fortune. Should the Metropolitan survive the evergrowing con- fusion, we shall have an honest and_ disinterested friend but this, like everything else, is still proble- matical. About a fortnight ago all the European employes, with the exception of two old men, were, together with their wives and children and their pro- perty, with Mrs. Rosenthal and lVlrs. Had, seized. The motives which prompted His Majesty to adopt such measures of severity towards individuals who have always been most subservient and obsequious to his whims is still a mystery. The King brought various trumpery charges against them, which they repelled with energy. Their property has been partially restored to them, but they are confined in Debra Tabor, where they are guarded, but not chained. It is said that the report of Mr. Flad's return- ing without the artisans, &c., furnished the ostensible cause for their imprisonment. This outburst of un- provoked resentment augurs nothing auspicious for us, and probably our position, as the majority of us ex- pected, will not be enhanced by Mr. Flad's return. Negotiations and delays might have averted the storm, but now as it seems looming nearer and nearer we will say, "Thy will be done." You and all in- terested in our liberation, notwitstanding all that has been written from hence, must have been grievously deceived about the character of the King. Presents with another man might have effected our deliverance, but King Theodorus, though not loth to accept the one, wants the hostages as well-a security, as he imagines, for ever-increasing concessions. I am quite prepared for every emergency, and therefor e do not trouble myself about the future. We have a God who is not confined to space or locality, and if we faithf ullv confide in him, He may in the hour of the greatest extremity discomfit the wicked and preserve His own. May 2. I just add a line to my letter of yesterday, as it is doubtful whether the opportunity for writing will not before many days have elapsed become exceedingly difficult, if not utterly impossible. The return of Mr. Flad, the disappointment of the King in not obtaining the requested accession to his white victims, and the consciousness that neither intrigue nor cunning will avail him to extort fresh concessions from the British Government, or the generosity of British Christians, all, I believe, combine to bring before long our melan- choly and doleful history to a crisis. Every day, nay, every hour, we expect to be transferred to the common prison, and to get hand chains again. Only a week ago upwards of 200 prisoners, among whom are many per; ons of high rank, were ordered to be executed. This indiscriminate massacre, which has probably been prompted by the want of guards to protect them, in- dicates no improvement in the tyrant's temper. We fear that wilful, wicked misrepresentations, and cruel, unpardonable selfishness, united in concealing the true state of our position and the well-known designs of the King. God, in His infinite mercy, may interpose and deliver us and if not, our separation will only be for a short period, and our re-union in glory for e, er and ever. God bless you and the darling children, and that we may both receive strength according to our need is the fervent prayer of your ever affectionate husband, HENRY A. STERN.
THE AMERICAN CROPS. On the subject of the crops in America, the Philadelphia correspondent of The Times writes the following:- The reports from all the great agricultural sections of the country are highly satisfactory. A most boun- tiful yield, especially of wheat, is anticipated, and the indications of heavy crops are so plentiful that the high prices ruling in the wheat market a few weeks ago are no longer obtained, and farmers and specula- tors who formerly hoarded last year's crop are trying their best to get rid of it. In Pennsylvania the wheat and grass are luxuriant, and nothing but unfavourable weather can prevent a profitable harvest. Indian corn and oats in Pennsyl- vania, as elsewhere throughout the country, are yet backward, owing to the late and wet spring. In New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland the wheat is also in fine condition, and a large harvest is expected. In central New York the wheat is also reported as looking well, but the Indian corn, having been planted late, will depend for a favourable yield upon the wea- ther between this and the fall harvest. In Ohio everything is said to be encouraging, the wheat, rye, oats, and barley being so far advanced as to be safe from accident, and Indian corn, with a largely increased amount of land planted, is doing handsomely. On these accounts a much better state of feeling exists in western business circles. In Indiana the growing wheat and other grains are claimed to be the best for many years and from Illinois the wheat harvest will, it is reported, give a greater yield than ever before. Michigan and Wisconsin also promise a bountiful yield of wheat, the breadth of land sown being 33 per cent greater than last year. Oats and Indian corn are reported backward. Similar reports with regard to wheat come from Minnesota and Nebraska, but the Indian corn in these states is not looking so well. From Iowa and Kansas we have no reports of crop prospects. In Missouri wheat and oats are said to be in excel- lent condition, and the breadth of ground covered by them much greater than usual. Throughout the West the indications point to the largest crop of wheat ever grown in the United States. The peculiar condition of the South makes the sub- ject of a promising harvest in that section a very interesting one, and it is gratifying to know that the reports are quite favourable. The Southern people appear to have planted to the utmost extent of their ability, and from Virginia to Alabama the reports of the wheat crop are encouraging. Of Virginia it is said the oats, Indian corn, and tobacco will be equal to the average. In Georgia the wheat promises finely, but of other crops the accounts are variable, good yields being indicated in some sections, and but poor crops else- where. In Alabama the Indian corn is especially flourishing, with a great breadth of land planted, and wheat promises a generous yield. In Mississippi the cotton crop along the rivers is reported badly damaged by the "worm," and the farmers are turning their attention towards planting the same land with Indian corn. Elsewhere the reports of cotton are favourable, the planters devoting every energy to raising it, and a crop from one-third to one-half more than last year is anticipated. The Tennessee wheat is reported to be one of the finest growing crops ever seen in that state, the num- ber of acres planted being almost unprecedented. In Kentucky, the wheat is fine, but tobacco, it is feared, will be a failure.
THE STORY OF AN AFRICAN KING. Papers ju&t laid before Parliament tell the story of King Aggery, who, after a reign of twenty-two months over Cape Coast and its dependencies, again finds himself plain "Mr John Aggery; "— It appears that under our protectorate of the Gold Coast a chief has been from time to time elected by the people of Cape Coast, who, on being approved by the Governor of Cape Coast Castle, has borne the title King of Cape Coast. In 1856 the then king was de- posed by Colonel Ord, her Majesty's Commissioner, in compliance with the wish of his people, and for the next nine years there was no king at all! but in 1865 Governor Pine permitted and ratified the election of Aggery as king. He is a native Christian, educated by the missionaries, and is said to be not a bad man, but he became the tool of half-educated adventurers, and especially of one person, who is described as "a sort of Fenian." By some mishap the usual oath of allegiance was not administered to King Aggery at what he terms his coronation "—an omission which he does not forget. After the return of two commis- sioners whom he sent to England to attend the com- mittee of the House of Commons on West Africa, reports were circulated that the desire of England is that the Africans should be trained for "elf- government, and should relieve this country of the protectorate it has undertaken; and King Aggery seems to have been advised that the time for it was come. Conflicts and collisions arose between the British court of justice and a court estab- lished by him, without leave, as an independent tri- bunal and discussions sprang up, in which he wrote to the Governor what Mr. Cardwell gently called very unsuitable letters." The hundred other kings and chiefs of the protectorate do not appear to be dissatisfied with their position, or unconscious of the improvement in the condition of their people, but the Blue-book" of the committee, which of course has found its way to them, has been ill understood, and an uneasy feeling was likely to be created by King Aggery's proceedings. A year a.go he supported the most important chief of the protectorate, King Ortabil, of Gomwab, who came down to Cape Coast, with 500 armed men, in pursuit of King Hammah, and brought with him three murderers, whom the Lieutenant- Governor immediately demanded, in order that they might be tried. Ortabil swore "by the great Sir Charles M'Carthy's oath, Wednesday, by three coffins, by her Majesty's red jacket, and by his own .99 wounds," that he would not give up the men, A grave crisis was imminent. Lieutenant-Governor Conran put on his uniform and sword, and taking 12 constables, and followed to the outskirts of the crowd by 100 men of the 3d West India Regi- ment, walked into the middle of the meeting, drew his sword, and in the name of her Majesty de- manded King Ortabil as a prisoner. He surrendered immediately, and was marched into the castle, the people flying in all directions. After three days' con- finement he was brought out before the people, publicly craved pardon, promised allegiance in future, and paid a fine of 1801. But King Aggery went on at his game of sedition. He appealed to Governor Blackall, at Sierra Leone, claiming to be consulted in the making of laws, and to have a portion of the public revenue to pay the national debt, the said national debt consisting of 3001. or 4001. borrowed at enormous interest of a commissariat clerk to pay the ex- pense of sending his commissioners to England, to attend the House of Commons' Committee. He avowed his intention to form a native police corps for the defence of his country. In reference to the justice of his rule we may note that he was last year convicted before the Supreme Court of cruelty to some of his people, who, being prisoners for debt or on charges not generally punished as crimes, were found chained to logs in dungeons underneath his house-a punish- ment interdicted throughout the protectorate, the sufferers being almost unable to move, living in their own filth, and dependent upon the kindness of friends for food. He was let off with a warning—a better fate than that of others, for he himself remarks in one of his letters that in Governor Maclean's time kings were not unfrequently found in the dock, were fined and imprisoned, and were even flogged. King Aggery's final offence, and the proximate cause of his fall, was that on the 6th of December last, after holding a meeting of 2,500 of his followers, he ad- dressed a letter to the Lieutenant-Governor, stating that he should make one more appeal to the Colonial- office, and, if unsuccessful, it would be time for him to adopt measures which would insure for him and his people something unlike the slavery which the Lieutenant-Governor was endeavouring to place them in;" he added significantly that the Governor's object was to incite him and his people to enact more of those fearful things that took place in Jamaica." On receipt of this letter Lieutenant-Governor Conran sent King Aggery to Sierra Leone under charge of Lieu- tenant Harrison, and issued a proclamation declaring Aggery no longer king, and closing his native courts. Arrived at Sierra Leone he was permitted to be at large on parole, and allowed 5s. a day by Governor Blackall. Eventually the sanction of the Secretary of State was given to an offer of a pension of 1001. a year during good behaviour and on con- dition of his not returning to Cape Coast without leave. Governor Blackall expresses his conviction that Colonel Conran has honestly and conscientiously per- formed his duties as Lieutenant-Governor and Ad- ministrator. The Governor adds that Aggery knows very little English, and could hardly be made to under- stand what an insulting and threatening letter he had sent. His letters were written for him by some native who had learnt to read and write, or some petty native lawyer, a class of men who cling like leeches to the skirts of their ignorant chiefs and kings," making tools of them. Aggery paid 501. for getting one of his letters prepared and written. If any successor to him is elected he will bear the title, really appropriate, of "Headman," under the control of the Queen's repre- sentative. Governor Blackall regrets to have to say that our presence at the Gold Coast has not yet done much towards civilizing the natives he feels convinced that nothing but a firm enforcement of British law over the chiefs on our border will prevent an almost imme- diate return among these Fantee tribes to the abomina- tions of slavery and torture.
THE LATE KING OF THE BELGIANS. Shortly after the death of the late King of the Belgians, her Majesty the Queen gave instructions for the erection of a suitable monument to the memory of the illustrious deceased monarch in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The position assigned to the intended memorial was the recess beneath the painted window representing the Adoration of the lagi," on the north side, and at the west end of the nave of the cathedral. The site, in fact, adjoins that occupied by the cenotaph erected to the memory of the Princess Charlotte, and a more suitable position in the whole of the cathedral could scarcely have been found. The designing and modelling of the tomb was intrusted to Miss Durant. It is of a whitish description of marble, the total length being upwards of seven feet, and the height a little over eight feet. The effigy of the de- ceased monarch is sculptured in a recumbent position upon the top of the tomb. The King is represented as attired in a military uniform, and wearing his decorations. His head reposes on the Belgian lion. Ben: ath the figure, and on the front of the monument, 10 are two white marble panels, with inscriptions in old English letters, coloured red. The first of these is as follows I Leopold, Prince of Saxe Coburg and Gotha, elected first King of the Belgians. Married, first, the Princess Charlotte of Wales; 2ndly, the Princess Louise d'Orleans, by whose side he lies buried at Laken, in Belgium. Born December 16, 1790; died December 16, 1865, after a prosperous reign of 34 years. The other inscription states that- This monument was erected by Queen Victoria in memory of the uncle who held a father's place in her affections. The various portions of the monument have been forwarded to Windsor, the work of erecting the monu- ment having been intrusted to the Messrs. Toole, cathedral masons, of Westminster. When finished, the monument will not be uncovered till her Majesty has first seen it. It will probably be completed before the visit of the Belgians to Windsor.
FRENCH ORPHEONISTS -FROM FAR AND NEAR. The Paris correspondent of The Times gives the following graphic account of the assemblage of French Orpheonists at the French Exhibition :— It had been announced for a long time past that there would be a grand concert of the Orpheons of France in the Palace of Industry last Friday that these Orpheons would number 8,000 voices, and that they would be accompanied by the hand of the Guard of Paris. A similar concert was also announced for Sunday. I went to this last concert, but found that instead of 8,000 choristers there were present no more than 2,000, and these were all men. About the per- formance of these 2,000 there is not much to be said, at least, not much that will interest you who have listened to larger and more complete choruses in the Palace at Sydenham. They sang a number of French compositions with a precision and with a feeling which drew loud applause from a rather numerous audience. The most novel characteristic of the concert appealed to the sense, not of hearing, but of sight. It was very curious to see these orpheonists, and to speculate upon their history. Here were hundreds of men who had come up from all parts of France, and who seemed to represent every grade in the middle and lower classes of society, down almost to the lowest. They stood up in their places in their common working dresses,—some in their blue smock-frocks, with rough brown hands, great mops of hair, and faces in which one could read a tale of much hardness of labour, much sweating of the brows, and much patient endurance under a fierce sun. Here were hundreds upon hundreds of men attuned to music. They have a fine sense of melody mixing with their lives and yet, when we look upon them, what do we see ? Here is a poor old man with a shrunken copper-coloured face; the struggle for existence marked in every wrinkle of it; here are the youthful scamps of some distant village—young fellows who in an English town would show no sign of ambition or of taste beyond that of carving a cherrystone, or of teaching a terrier to kill rats; here are small narrow-looking men— perhaps they are village magnates-but their lives are spent in a little round of paltry cares and mean aspirations here is a hard-looking tradesman of low degree; here is a dull-looking farmer's lad who seems as if he had not wit enough to scare away the crows, or to tend a flock of turkeys. Of course, there were faces full of intelligence and refine- ment in this great crowd of choristers. But I could not help being struck with the number I saw which seemed to have sprung out of a dull and painful existence to be barren of thought and affluent only of the signs of poverty to be connected with the weari- ''fI- iJ.u_- some routine of contracted lives. They had come from far and near. Some belonged to the valley of the Seme and lived in Paris or near it; but many came long journeys from the south, west, north, and east-from the high Pyrenees, from Vosges, from Savoy, even from Algeria. And with all their un- couthness of aspect they had music in them. If they had no other kind of liberal education, they were at least taught harmony. They seemed to have few graces, but they cultivated the supreme graceful- lies- of song and succeeded in it. One's thoughts could not but travel homewards. We, too, have our choral unions; but are they recruited from such a broad surface as are the choral unions here ? Here we are in a country where, in one form or another, an educa- tion in art seems to be universal. However we may instruct our Gileses and our Hodges at home, we don't expect to instruct him in any fine art. Here Giles and Hodge are artists in their way. Like our hard- working peasants, they may look stupid and awkward, but they can sing. The whole of France is organized into choral unions or Orpheons. They take all sorts of i: antes—sometimes they are Orpheons—sometimes choral unions-sometimes a cercle or club-sometimes amateurs—sometimes friends. One set call them- selves sons of Apello another the children of St. Denis; others again the H .pe of Paris, the Lyre of Roubaix, the St. Cecilia of some other place. I should fill more than a column of your smallest type if I gave you a list of the choral societies of h ranee. These dear Enfants, as they love to call themselves, have been going through their trials to-day, and will have to go through further trials on Monday. The only English Society that has come to contend with them is the Tonic-Sol-Fa Association. It is rather a serious business to adjudicate upon the claims of more than 200 choral unions, which are to be represented in Paris by 8,000 voices, all claiming the prize. The plan is to break them up into batches, and to hand each batch over to a separate jury. The first musical competition of the kind was held at Troyes in 1851, when nine choral unions took part in the contest. There was a similar competition in 1859, when 61 Orpheons contended. In 1864 there was a contest at Lyons in which 200 choral unions entered the lists. At Boulogne-sur-Seine in 1866 there was a contest of similar magnitude and now we have this enormous one in Paris. It is interesting as showing the musical activity of the people. Time was when the Orpheons attempted no more than to sing the simple choruses of the Wilhem School. Now they can attack any composition of any school-the most elaborate works of the greatest masters. As a matter of fact, what they chiefly attack are the compositions of French masters-Halevy, Adolphe Adam, Ambroise Thomas, Gounod, Felicien David, and Laurent de Rille. -==:-
THE FATE OF DR. LIVINGSTONE. The Bombay Government (says the Times of India) has received despatches from Dr. Seward, the British Consul at Zanzibar, dated the 28th of April, in which the writer expresses hopes of Dr. Livingstone's safety. These despatches, copies of which have also been forwarded to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, have been placed at the disposal of the press. The news is of a month later date than had been previously received by Government, and although only of a negative character, is sufficient to revive the hope that the great traveller may still be alive. Writing under date of Zanzibar, April 28, Dr. Seward says:— I promised to send details of the conference held with the Fyassa traders at Keelwa Kivinja, concerning the alleged murder of Dr. Livingstone by the Mafiti in the Lake districts. I have witheld details perhaps too long, in the hope that some intelligence confir- matory of the confident unbelief expressed by the traders in the explorer's death might reach Keelwa and Zanzibar by the caravan which was then soon expected to reach the coast. The Governor of Keelwa had addressed a letter to the Sultan, in which he expresses himself confident that Dr. Livingstone is not dead, and ask his High- ness whether further inquiry in the interior is neces- sary. The following is a translation :—" The following will be grateful and pleasant to our Lord the great Majid Bin Saeed concerning the inquiry about the honoured English doctor who was said to have been murdered. That statement was not true we have news that he is alive, and that he some time since left the country of Makhsoona intending to go to Beesa. We were told this by the principal of those traders who have come down from those regions. This man, upon whose word and good faith I can rely, learned this from the chief of Makhsoona himself. Our in- formant left Makhsoona at the end of El Rajib (8th December, 1866). You intended us to send people into the interfor to get at the truth of the matter. Are we still to act upon those instructions? This intelligence goes to show that in or about the very district in which Dr. Livingstone's grave should be found, the man who of all men-Makhsoona him- self-should be the best informed of events, did not credit Dr. Livingstone's death, but believed him on the road to M'Beesa, and this down to the beginning of December, long after the Johanna men had reached the sea coast. The news of the explorer's arrival at Oompoonda flew through the Makhsoona district, and reached traders at widely divided and distant stations. News of his murder would have as surely spread, and either confirmation or disproof of the rumour would as surely have been obtained by the chief in those parts in the interval between the time of the alleged event and the first or second week in December.
AN EXCUSE FOR THE GLASS. There are probably few observant medical men who have failed to notice a habit which has been on the in- crease for some years past, and which seriously threatens the moral and physical integrity of society (remarks the Lancet). The growing tendency of those even whose lives are gentle, and whose minds are educated, to indulge in alcoholic stimulation, is a fact which the profession would do well to recognize and protest against. The vice is not the vice of our grand- fathers the bottle or two of port which often laid them under the dinner-table and always sent them reeling into the drawing room. The sin of our days is less obtrusive and even more disastrous. It takes the form of an occasional glass at odd times during the day, an extra dose at lunch, a glass of sherry or two more or less frequently in the course of the after- noon, another from the table when the cloth is laid for dinner. Not uncommonly a flask of sherry accom- panies the blue-book in the carriage. And it is worth noting that this kind of tippling is not done in secret. So far, indeed, from this, it is rather a matter of boasting, on the part of those who indulge in it, and they press others, often warmly, to follow their ex- ample. Sometime, it is true, a mild kind of excuse is offered. The dose is taken just to keep one up, you know," or as a "whet before dinner." Just as often, when soda or seltzer water suggests itself as a refresh- ment, the question arises whether its accompaniment shall be brandy, sherry, or liqueur. The idea of taking it alone is not entertained. It is described as "weakening," "too cold for the stomach," and so on. Not so frequently, it is to be hoped, but still often enough to be of serious moment, these odd glasses of sherry, brandy-and-soda, clry curacoa, &c., are taken in the morning between breakfast and lunch, some- times even before breakfast. In course of time the results of these indulgences do not fail to present them- selves in the nausea and retching which accompany the morning toilet, the husky forenoon voice, the want of appetite for breakfast, the vague dyspeptic symp- toms which lurk about during the day. More remotely it is for a shattered nervous system that the patient- or person "—seeks relief from the physician. Society is on its knees just now confessing, always in a polite and "respectable" way, its sins of omission or com- mission in regard of dress-luxury, paint, and the demi- monde. It behoves the medical profession to see that the vice described is included in the list.
THE WHITE NILE SLAVE TRADE. The Viceroy of Egypt has received a deputation in Paris from the French Committee of Emancipation and the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, who presented an address calling his attention to the White Nile slave trade. His Ex- cellency Nubar Pasha, Minister for Foreign Affairs, intro- duced the deputation, and translated his Highness's reply which was to the following effect :— The Viceroy felt gratified to receive the deputation, and much pleased this step had been taken, for he was most anxious to put down the slave trade. He had adopted the strongest measures for that purpose, but although he could act against his own people, he was defeated when he sought to do so against Europeans, who were the chief delinquents. They carried on a trade in ivory, but this was mere pretext, their real article of merchandise being slaves, who were conveyed .l' 1\ r down the river in boats. If these boats had sailed under Egyptian colours they were liable to be over- hauled and if slaves were found on board, boat and cargo were confiscated and the traders punished. Within the last six months he had caused to be shot a commandant and a colonel who had disobeyed his orders and favoured the slave-traders. But the slave- trading boats generally hoist European colours of some sort, because their owners are Europeans and if any question respecting the cargo arises, the answer is that the men are part of the crew, the women their wives or concubines, and the young persons their children. The Egyptian authorities could not do any- thing under these circumstances, as they were debarred from the right of search. Within the last thirty year European influence had transformed Egypt, and if h were free to act against European slave-traders, tho !1 slave trade should soon disappear. The European Powers should give him the necessary authority to ex- ercise the right of search as regards boats sailing under European colours. The extinction of slavery was another and a distinct question. Slavery had existed in the country for 1,283 years, and was mixed up with its religion. It was a horrible in- stitution, and he desired to see it extinguished, but it was not to be done in a day. He considered that the civilization and progress of Egypt depended upon its abolition, and were the slave trade stopped slavery would disappear in fifteen or twenty years, or very few traces of it would remain, because it would not be recruited from without. Of the actual slave population many would die in that time, a certain number would be manumitted, and others adopted into families. He held the opinion-contrary to the V^ews ^le memoriahsts—that the slave trade was the root of slavery in his country, and must be extin- guished before slavery could cease. The abolition of the British (kmsulate at Khartoum had certainly en- abled him to act more efficiently against the slave- traders, but the only really effective mode of dealing with the traffic was to arm him with power to prevent Europeans from prosecuting it. The deputation then withdrew.
THE OAKS COLLIERY EXPLOSION. During last week active operations were carried on in clearing the No. 1 shaft, and up to Friday upwards of 50 yards were got out, leaving about 120 more to be removed before the bottom is reached, so that in about three or four weeks it is expected the more serious work relating to the recovery of the bodies will be commenced. Much, however, will depend on the state in which the workings may be found. At the cupola shaft the water which covered the puddle at the top was found to have sunk about 40 yards. This some- what singular circumstance has been found to have been caused by the water having found its way into an old shaft which gave way some twenty years ago, and was filled up with loose rubbish. As the water will find its way into the workings, it may be of benefit in the event of there being any fire remaining, which is by no means likely, everything so far leading to the contrary opinion. The temperature of the mine, which is taken every hour, shows it to be much lower than that on the surface, never exceeding sixty degrees, so that everything is so far satisfactory, and leads to the belief that the work now in progress will not be interrupted until the clearing of the colliery-a very serious work-and the recovery of the bodies are ac- complished.
The BOYS on BOARD the "CHICHESTER." The following is from an article in All the Fear Round, entitled The Good Ship Chichester" Recognition is all but impossible. Twelve months of decent life, of regular hours, wholesome living and instruction, have not merely humanised expressions, but altered features. Most of us have suffered so much and so severely from the photographer, that the comparison of living smiling faces with the vicious sullen parodies in our hands is not conclusive in itself. Even in public life, who cantiot quote men of esta- blished goodness, and piety whose lineaments as photographed would justify their conviction at the Old Bailey, while in the portraits of Mr. Calcraft, and in one of the most atrocious murderers he executed, we seem to see mild benignity and staid benevolence incarnate. But, on board the Chichester I recognise boys whom I saw in the flesh—but mu -h less of it- soon after they were caught, and the change is marvellous. There is fully as much difference be- tween some of these as they appear now, and as I saw them last, as between the worst of photographs and its original; and I know no more forcible mode of expressing disresemblance. Frames have filled out, scowls have disappeared, premature lines and wrinkles have been smoothed away, but, above all, the furtive sneaking "hunted" -lance ivliieh was so painful to see, is supplanted by an open honest gaze which meets yours unfalteringly, and which speaks volumes for its owner's honesty. Nothing, however, would make them handsome boys. Degeneracy of race is marked in their low foreheads, heavy jowls, and sunken eyes, It is marked, too, in their tendency to strumous affections, and in their deplorably low habit of body. An abrasion of the skin, a mere scratch that on a healthy person would heal as soon as formed, becomes a serious sore on such patients as have only recently left the streets. Gallons and and gallons of tonics," we hear, had to be administered before this half-starved ship's crew reached an average of healthiness and though, thanks to the con- stant care uhey nave received, cases of sickness are rare among them now, the doctor continues his daily visit, and some hammocks were occupied when we went our rounds. The light and cheerful sick bay is only just finished and not fit for tenants yet, so the two or three lads under the doctor's care are swinging in their regular hammocks on the main deck. When we in- quire into the conduct of the ship's crew, the rapidity and success with which they have been converted from open savagery to a higher civilisation than is common among school-lads seem truly magical. In honour, honesty, truthfulness, and good feeling," said Captain Alston, R.N., under whose care they are, and whose hearty personal interest in his charge was not the least pleasing experience of the day, I would back my lads against those of Eton or Rugby, or of any public school in the kingdom." So strongly is this felt, that on a grave offence being committed the other day, it was decided to let the culprits be tried and sentenced by their peers. Every Friday afternoon, when fine, the boys go ashore in a body, and play cricket or football in the pretty private park you see through the trees yonder. The owner of this park allows them to use a portion of it as their own play-ground, and to and from this they march from their landing-place and in procession singing merrily. On a recent afternoon, when the word was passed to fall in for the return home, four boys were missing. Run away passed from mouth to mouth, and their schoolmates emphatically pro- nouncing it a, shame, proceeded, uninstructed, to band themselves into parties of four for the search. They were unsuccessful, and the truancs were even- tually brought back by the local police. But the indignation of the whole school had been so marked that it was determined to utilise it for purposes of dis- cipline. A court was formed by selecting the leading boy from each of the ten ship's messes, and constituting him a member. The runaways were formally charged with their offence, and the whole proceedings invested with full judicial solemnity. After a grave inquiry, the court found the prisoners guilty of the crime of running away "without excuse," and sentenced them to the following punishment for a month each boy to be kept on prison diet of bread and water, to pick a pound of oakum after his regular day's work, and to be sent to Coventry in play-hours by the rest of the crew. _„„
A NEW FORM OF LOTTERY.—A singular, and we believe novel, form of lottery has been resorted to by a tobacco dealer in this city (says the New York Na- tion). He puts a hundred-dollar bill in one of the many hundred tinfoil packages of chewing tobacco which he sends out every day, so that every pur- chaser gets not only a package of tobacco, but a chance of one hundred dollars. The scheme has been so suc- cessful that rival dealers have been entirely driven out of the field. This plan of pushing sales is applicable to many other kinds of business. It might, for in. stance, be adopted by publishers of popular periodicals. Why not, instead of loading every half-dozen sub- scribers with a sewmg-machine, or a tea service, slip a fifty-dollar bill into one of every thousand or ten thousand copies put up in wrappers ? Think of the joy of the mother and children when on cutting the leaves to get at the poetry, or that repertory of wis- dom, The Family Column," a new fresh greenback dropped out. How the anecdotes and the moral para- graphs would be seasoned by such a windfall!