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na-, CfljR LONDON CORRESPONDENT.…

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na CfljR LONDON CORRESPONDENT. Among the greater institutions of the capital whiph are preparing for a busy winter season is the Imperial Institute at South Kensington, and, if it does not flourish, it will certainly not be due to any lack of zeal on the part of its officials. The Fellows, among whom ladies are included, have no reason to complain of the varied fare which is intended to be put before them. On the evening of Wednesday, Novem- ber 7, the season will be inaugurated by a ladies' concert, when the programme will include selections by a small amateur orchestra; and on the next afternoon Mr. C. P. Ilbert will read a paper, entitled A Comparative Record of British and American Legislation," before a gathering of Fellows, over which the Lord Chancellor, as chairman of the Engineering z, Body of the Institute, will preside. There follow, before Christmas, house dinners,'evening illustrated lectures, smoking concerts, ladies' concerts, and afternoon papers; and it is evident that the musical side of the programme will be specially cared for, seeing that already there have been formed an Imperial Institute choir and an Imperial Institute orchestra. On the Music Committee sit such distinguished autho- rities as Mr. Frederic Cowen, Sir George Grove, Dr. Mackenzie, Sir Walter Parratt, and Sir John Stainer, while Sir Richard Webster, the late Attorney-General, may be taken to repre- sent amateur vocalism, and Sir Frederic Leigh- ton, the President of the Royal Academy, stands well for the sister art of painting. There has been held in London this week a conference of school managers upon a subject that has not always received the attention it deserves. The authorities of Toynbee Hall-a u University Settlement which is doing much work in the East-end—have organised an ex- hibition of pictures suitable for hanging on school walls, and this collection has been sub- mitted to the judgment of a conference of managers. It included pictures lent by the Manchester Art Museum, the Fitzroy Picture Society, the Art for Schools Associa- tion, Messrs. Cassell and Company, and the Religious Tract Society and it may, therefore, be considered as fairly representative. Our grandfathers would probably have rubbed their eyes if they had been asked to consider the idea of supplying pictures to elementary schools— the elementary schools themselves, indeed, were scarcely supplied in their day. But it is now recognisod that there is a distinct value in decorating the walls of schoolrooms rather than leaving them in their pristine state of bare whitewashed ugliness. It is further recog- nised that a love for the beautiful can best be cultivated by accustoming the eyes of children to that which is good instead of that which is garish; and it may be taken as certain that, when they have once become accustomed, they I will never so far waste their money as to purchase I some of the hideous efforts which now are ofton sold, and which strike upon the artistic eye with all the force of a blow. One of the troubles with which our volunteer force is constantly burdened is the deficiency in the number of officers, and great efforts are continually being put forth to bring up the total of combatant officers to the proper establishment. The volunteer year has not yet quite ended, but returns made up to tho beginning of last month give an idea of the true state of things, and these show that there is still a very serious deficiency all over tho kingdom in the groat majority of corps. Some, it is true, show an excess over their comple- ment, but naturally this does not in any way help those regiments which have not enough and, although matters are somewhat better in the artillery than they are in the infantry, this is not saying as much as one would like to state. Yli There are various reasons, of course, and some of them very palpable, for this deficiency. It is no light matter in point of expense for an other- wise eligible person to become a volunteer officer, while in these days there can be no ques- tion of hurrying through the curriculum, and thus scamping his work. The examinations are stiff and the work is constant; and, unless some greater encouragement is given by the War Office than is now forthcoming, it may be taken that the present deficiency is not likely soon, if ever, to be seriously lessened. The death of Lord Grey has served as a reminder that he received the Order of tho Garter during the Premiership of Lord Palmer- ston over thirty years ago, while three other peers-Lord Fitzwil liam, Lord Spencer, and Lord Cowper-also had the distinction from that Prime Minister, Lord Fitzwilliam, indeed, being tho senior knight not of royal blood. The senior knight of all is the Duke of Cambridge, he having been invested by William IV. close upon sixty years since, when he was only sixteen; and he is also the senior Knight of St. Patrick, having been invested in 18ol. Lord Mansfield, however, is the senior Knight of the Thistle, he having re- ceived his green riband from Sir Robert Peel; and this venerable peer has the further dis- tinction of being one of the last six remaining members of the House of Commons as it was constituted before the Reform Act of 1832. The senior Grand Cross of the Bath is the Grand I Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who dates from 1847, while the next are the Duke of Cambridgo and Marshal Canrobert, who were given tho distinction at the time of the Crimean War. Considerable interest has attached not only among engineers but the travelling public to tho cable system of working the tram-cars which ply between Kennington and Streatham-hill. The license of the Board of Trade was origi- nally granted for only twelve months, in order that it might be thoroughly tested in actual use and as it is the longest wire cable in the world, and it was difficult in advance to calcu- late the precise stiain that would be thrown upon it, the precaution was obviously desirable. But it has lived through its probationary period with success, and its license has been renewed after full official inquiry. The only folks who now seem to have the slightest objection to it are such bicyclists as use the old type of machine as employed before the introduction of pneumatic tyres. They complain that their wheels are apt to catch in the narrow slot through which the car communicates with the cable but this is not a serious matter, espe- cially now that they are used to it. What may without exaggeration be called I the usual grumbling is to be heard in the City I just now among some of those who participated in the British Section at the Antwerp Exhi- bition, concerning the manner in which the awards were made. No worse system of appointing juries was ever devised, it is roundly declared by certain of them, but one seems to remember that of the Chicago « Exposition" last year even worse things were said. The fact, of course, is that unsuccessful competitors, whether at cat shows or international exhi- bitions, seldom are satisfied with the judging, and Antwerp has to take its turn with the rest. There were various disappointments in connection with it, as was almost 1 inevitable but the chief mistake seems to have been to hold it only half-a-dozen years after the similar show at Brussels. Bel- gium, as a country, is not large enough to have two international exhibitions within its borders in six years; it may be doubted whether any country is; and France sets a good example to Belgium in allowing an interval of eleven. One thousand nine hundred is fixed for the next in Paris; and already the boulevardiers are wondering whether the German Emperor will come, and discussing how to receive him if he does-which seems a very superfluity of caution. Manchester having now got its water from Thirlmere, like Liverpool from the Vyrnwy, Londoners are once more asking J.w lone it will be be Tore they will have to go to the moun- tains for their supply. The Royal Commission which reported on the subject not long ago declared that we could still get enough from the Thames and the Lea; but there is an obvious limit to the capacity of those streams, and those who dwell upon their banks below the intakes of the great companies aro apt to bitterly complain that so much of the water is being taken for the uses of London that sometimes there is scarcely sufficient left | to flush the river-bed. It is, obvious, indeed, that the capital will at some time have to face the problem of going far afield for water; and Birmingham having obtained powers nearly three years ago to travel to Wales for her supply, it looks as if London also will have to i "peg out claims for futurity" in the same district. The recent alarms at Leicester show | the danger of relying upon a supply which ia not always and absolutely adequate. R.

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