borne, in January, 1S96, at a fever contracted there. In May, 1886, the Queen opened th9 Colonial and Indian Exhibition at South Kensington, As the first exhibition that she had opened sprang from her husband s idea, BO, in a measure, did this one; and their son, the Prince of Wales, had spared no pains concerning it. in the Jubilee year, 1887, the Queen took her place as centre of the celebration, which called torth the most e. 4usiastic expressions of loyalty, not surpassed by that. which is being displayed now, ten later. The nation returned to the Queen and her family the sympathy which she has ever given it. when, in January, the Duke of Clarence and Asondale, eldest son of tha Prince and Princess of a!es, died after- a short illness. In July, 18J3, their only surviving son, the Duke of York, was married to Princess ic- toria Mary of Teck, English on her mother a side, as well as by birth and education. In the luilovv- in June their first child, a son, was bom to them, who received the names of the patron saints of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Tho Queen's second son, the Duke of Edinburgh, became Duke of Saxe-Coburg on the death of his uncle in 1893. THE QUEEN'S IHMPATHY- Her Majesty has always been the first to practi- cally sympathise with all her subjects, high and lowly, in the hour of calamity and grief, as is wit- nessed at the present moment by her interest in the sufferers from famine and plague in India, and by her expressed desire that the people's celebra- tion of her unexampled sway should take the form of assistance to those compelled to seek hospital relief, Countless touching incidents in illustra- tion of her good heart might be adduced, but these are not needed here, for the Queen's ever-ready benevolence is well kroTvn from one end of the world to the other. The little ones have eier received her specially warm and loving regard One typical case may he recalled. It occurred during her Majesty's visit to the London Hospital in i&76, when a little sick giil in the children < ward cried to the nurse, Please do let me see the Queen I shall be quite better if 1 see the Queen.1 This request was communicated to the Hev. Mi* Kowseli, her Majesty's Chaplain, who told the Queen. In diately her Majesty did that which pleased her people not a little when the tale was told. She asked to be taken to the bedside of the child, and there spoke loving words of tenderness and sympathy, which were doubtless far mure really" healing in their effect than the Royal touchwhich her ancestors used to dispense in a auperstitious age. EMPRESS OF 151)1 A, Should her Majesty ever reveal to us what publio events in her life have afforded her most gratifica- tion, it is probable (says Woman) she would pla e her proclamation as Empress of India first of all. The title appealed in the fullest sen e to her love of the picturesrJue, and its adoption was urged upon her with all the eloquence of which M Disraeli (Lord Eeaconstield) v, as master. The Prime Minister was at that time not only her Majesty's principal adviser, but one of her most intimate friends, and his opinion, as was natural, had great weight wi;h her, It was apparent from the first, we are told, that her Majesty was delighted, one may venture to sav dazzled, with the daring as well as the bril- liancy of the idea. For some time, however, she hesitated to entertain it. It was so un-Kngiish," she declared. An Empress in the small island in the West-in the quiet Court at Windsor—one would almost say that the suggestion was incon- gruous. However, her objections were neer very deep-seated nor very definite, and even when she told her Minister that she must have time to consider the matter in all its bearings, in private, it is probable she had an innate conviction that her own approval, as well as ready assent, would not be wanting hen she next gave the statesman an audience. The grand proclamation took place at Delhi, January 1,1877,iust20 years a,g while minor ceremonies made this matter public immediately afterwards in every part of the vast Empire. Could the inhabitants of Mars, concerning whom we have heard so much of late, have embraced this portion of our earth's surface in one coup d'ail at that time, they would have formed a high opinion of its gorgeousness and splendour. India literally set herself on fire in honour of the event. }: 0 country can light up so well when it sees a fitting occasion, and the charm and variety of the effect it produces with the simple means usually at its disposal is astonishing. For this it depends mainly on tiny bowls of glass- bowls of every hue in the rainbow and out of it. In each of these is a little light, and the lamps are strung in their millions up and down ery pillar of every Govern- ment building, round the statues in every publio square, across the terraces and balustrades of every palace, and along the verandahs and door- ways of every English and native residence alike. VICKY." The Empress Frederick was welcomed with all the old love and cordiality by her Queen-Mother and the English people on her recent visit to our country, says a writer in The Woman at Home. There was a time—many years ago—when it was supposed that the Queen and her daughter w ere at variance in opinion on matters domestic and Eolitical. But the years that have pasbed have rought changes with them. The Queen's views on many subjects have become wider, and those of the Empress—I will not say more narrow, but modified. When the old Emperor William died, and the Empress Frederick succeeded with her beloved husband to the throne of Germany, the Queen, I remember, sent her this telegram, merely the words, Mother—sister." They were marvellously eloquent, I thought. Since those days only the most tender love and sympathy have existed between the two sorrowing women. Of all his children, the Frincess Royal was dearest in the affection of the Prince C onsort. Vicky," he once wrote to a friend, has the brain of a man with the heart of a child." Even to-day, this loving father could describe his daughter in the same apt terms. The heart of a child is still hers and the man's biain. When she comes to England, the Emp ess thoroughly enjoys herself; discussing with her mother all sorts of very inti- mate and personal matt-errand visitingthe various charitable, scientific, and artistic homes, in which ehe takes so deep an interest. At Windsor Castle she is often to be found in the library, search- ing for first this and then that important book of reference; or turning over some portfolio full of water-colour drawings, the work of the Queen and Prince Albert in the early days of their mar- riage, or reviewing once again the wonderful col- lections of prints and photographs of Raffaelle's paintings, put together by Prince Albert. The Queen, alas once such a frequent visitor to the library, is never seen there now, as, owing to the of her knees, she is unable to ascend the steps, and pass through the passages which lead there from her own apartments. It is one of the most interesting rooms in the kingdom. There among hundreds of other books is the precious volume of Spenser's "Faerie Queen," which our Virgin Queen Elizabeth had pored over many a time and oft. Would not something of a thrill pasa through you at the mere olasp of such a book? A ROYAL HO.V1B Despite its comparatively unpretentious exterior Marlborough House, the London home of the Prince of Wales, is one of the most perfect man- sions in the country, Ihe foundation stone was laid by Sarah, the first Duchess of Marlborough. on May 24, 1709 (old style), The ground, leased to the duchess by Queen Anne, was at that time a portion of the pheasantry of St. James's Palace, and of the garden of Mr. Secretary Boyle, all having originally been part of the famous friary of St. James, where Katherine of Braganza lodged her Portuguese monks. Hed brick was the build- ing material, a lot of it being sent by the duke from Holland, and by Midsummer, 1711, the house was completed under Sir Christopher Wren's direction, and the Marlboroughs took possession of the plain one-storeyed building, only half jts present height. There was a tine entrance hall, but no portico, and Sir Robert Wal- pole frustrated the duchess's intention of improving the entrance to the courtyard by Purchasing the houses in Pall Mall she desired to acquire for the purnose. In 1817 Marlborough purchased by the Crov/n for the rrtncess Charlotte and Prince Leopold, the uncle or yueen Victoria, and it was the Prince's town use until just prior to his accession to the throne of Belgium. On the death of William IV. Aa onager Queen Adelaide had it for her resi- ^C\herPers°™l effects being here disposed of ■offtlj er ^ecease« Id 1850 the mansion was an fi,-o U??n. t?ie of Wales for his residence mM attaining his 18th birthday, and ia the use was raade of 'lt by the exhibition in Painting rooai8 ,0' the Vernon Collection of the UDDSF removed to South Kensington in 1850; de*th W ^ad been added after the DeDartm*r?Ui^89 Sarah» being granted to the lib arv mnL Pra„ctitial Art. This body had a and a ■ manufaotures, lecture rooms, casta Design^ which produced ornamental Duke'of Won* the modelling of the hX £ rte, !ngton 8. funeral car in 1852, the car i_ r a 'lme exhibited in a temporary build- ing of the courtyard of .Marlborough House, before addition^If ?v,Crypt of St- Paul "■ B<?y°nd the Hrti™ ,anl her s,torey and the fourth duke's bormffrhCH ere 6 now are, Marl- o^uf.h H°u.se practically unaltered when in in !bbm Prince of Wales became its occupant. Ip/fninff iam- y' however, soon called for more accommodation, and in 1670 the u el' portion wall entirely re-modelled extra «.+ s being added on two sides, and a schoolroom^ equernes' quarters being built on the north front* Other additions were made in 1875, when a Rpeciai sitting room for the Prince of Wales was erected e «o°r facinS the quadrangle, an apart- ment of similar size being built on the east sitie for 'he sake of uniformity. The garden of Mar; borough Hc'UBe is practically a ^rcat tree • shatfetl lawti edged found yi*h terraces and ribbon borders. "Through a glass ,structure, called the conservatory but used as a lounge and smoking-room, entrance is made -d', i-ect from the ga' den to the great drawing-room. This apartment is decorated in white and gold, the furniture being upholstered in crimson silk two :magnificeut pianos are conspicuous in this room, as a' e several antique cabinets and objects of art. Another fine apartment is the "Indian Room' with glittering treasures of jewelled arms end oriental caskets, Then there is the "Tapsstry Boom," covered vith a carpet of Chinese si.Iii, and having Scriptural scenes in silk tapestry upon its •walls, while at intervals dwarf book-oases are arranged containing the Mitchell library, which was bequeathed to the Princess of fales, and i3 valued at £ 10,000. The finest apartment in Marlborough House is, however, the tialoon-formerly the old entrance hall, which is some 40ft. lon by 30ft. wide. and two storeys in height. On the upper part of the walls, on three sides, ate Lagiierre*s greaj pictures of Blenheim, and other victories of the famous duke, which were discovered, during the alterations, boarded up and covered w ith whitewash. Louis Quatorze tapestry drapes We lower portion of the hall, R.E.H. rua raises or walis. scenes from Don Quixote being depicted; while the centre of the principal side carries a magnifi- cent piece of Gobelin tapestry, representing the Destruction of the Mamelukes. The furniture is or the period of Louis XVI. Eighty guests can sit down in the great dining-room, where the furni- ture is mahogany and gold upholstered in scarlet Russia leather; the boudoir of the Princess of Wales decoiated in white and gold, and the other family apartments are on the first floor, the ground floor being devoted to the rooms of State, while the servants are accommodated in a third storey on the east and western wings, erected in 1885, Ihe total number of rooms in this truly princely residence is 111. SANDRINGHAM, Sandringham. the Norfolk estate of the Prince of Wales, is exactly the opposite of Marlborough House, in London, inasmuch as it excels in its grounds and gardens, while the hall has been fur- nished with a view to perfect comfort rather than luxurious appearance, It is, in fact, the one place in which the Prince has put it upon record that he 11 feeli completely at home." The estate embraces the parishes of Sandringham, Batingley, Wolfer- ton, Appleton, West Newton, and the greater portion of Dersingham, being in all some seven thousand acres. The Ilon. Spencer Cowper, whose property it was, sold it in 1801 to the Prince of Wales for £ 220,000. It is a place of remarkable and varied beauty, with the wildness and breezi- uess of the Highlands, combined with rich, well- cultnated lands. Sandringham Heights, near Wolferton station, which is about two miles fiom the house, command a view of hill and dale, moor and meadow, extensive TOWN RESIDENCE OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN. woods, and the wide waters of the Wash, that make up a delightful picture. A little to the right of the house erected for Sir William Knollys, near the east entrance to the park, lies Sandringham Church, embosomed in foliage, in whose quiet churchyard rests, under a plain white cross, the body of the baby son of the Prince and Princess, Alexander John Charles Albert, who, on the tth of April, 1871, terminated his brief life of one day." Sandringham House is approached by the magnificent wrought iron gates, presented in 1884 to the Prince of V\ ales by the county of Norfolk. Their main design is an exquisite tracery of Cowers and foliage, "hile on the supporting pillars are emblazoned in colours all the coats of arms the 1', ince is entitled to carry. The building is an example of the best type of old English country houses, being of red brick with Ketton stone dressings, the style being modified Elizabethan, the place covering three sides of a square. The reception-rooms are on the ground floor, the more private apartments above. The staircases are of carved oak, the larger rooms also being furnished in Elizabethan oak, the drawing-rooms and boudoirs in French stylo. The chief beauty of Sandringham is its great garden and pleasure park. Upon the grass sloped terrace under the west front stand two granite lions from Japan, and in a pagoda is a monstrous Chinese Joss of costly metal presented to the Prince by Admiral Keppei. Similar curiosities meet the eye at every turn, There are elegant parterres, broad terraces, shaded walks, a picturesque lake with a great rockery, cave, and cascade, and last, but not least, a magnificent Alpine garden. To the east of the house, screened by plantations, lie tbe vast stables with their appurtenances; the kitchen garden covers 1.5 acres, and there are several acres OUCUESSOFTOM. of glass, beneath which all kinds or plants and fruits are made to flourish. Sandringham is, in fact. a dream of peaceful beauty, and who can wonder that the Prince loves his Norfolk home beyond all other places ? He is never so happy as when on his estate looking after its affairs, for he is a model landlord, fully deserving the encomium passed !peD him by an old farmer to whom a visitor remaiked upon the lovely home the Prince possessed: Yes," said the old man, it ia fina Burely, But Prince do desarva it, and more—he's a eoo 2 -in, and naught's too good for hs. CHAXJES OF THE REIGN. Many changes has Queen Victoria seen during her long and illustrious reign. She has witnessed the British Empire expanding (wrote Mr. Justin McCarthy, M.P., the accomplished author of "The History of Our Own Times," in an interesting survey published in the Daily News) in every nVw i°°' atl^ espanding in many regions without J f,iau' pf blood along its paths. The vast g ovi,a or the population of the United States bids fair tj0 mahe the 1 nglish language, before long,the cnist tne-dium of dpsreeb aud interohange wf ideas throughout civilisation, Burke was laughed at when he drew his glowing picture of the future of free America, and yet his" prophetic fury," which is said to have "admonished nations," fell far Ehort of the reality. The growth of our colonies in Canada and Australasia is a fact to be noti ed with absolutely unmingled pride and gratification. The Queen has seen the fall of a monarchy in France, and the setting up of a Republic, and then the fall of the Republic itself and the enthronement of another Napoleon. The Second Empire had its 20 years of show and splendour, and then collapsed amid the crash of war. A new Kepi.blie is set up under happier auspices we may hope than either of its forerunners and the feel- ings of the English people towa, ds the French, and of the French towards the English, are those of cordial friendship and goodwill. The Queen has seen the realisation of that German unity which had so long been the dream of poets and patriotic young soldiers. In the later years of her reign came about that complete revul- sion in publio opinion against the policy of the Crimean War which promises to have an important and a beneficent effect on tbe prospects of European peace. Perhaps even at this very moment thoughts and words are being interchanged whi h may bring England and Russia side by side in the movement towards a more perfect civilisation. The world has been brought nearer together by many inventions and discoveries of modern science, and we are as familiar with China and Japan as our forefathers were with Austria and with Italy. During the Queen's reign the duelling system, still alive and murderous throughout the European Continent, has absolutely ceased in these islands. The Queen may well feel a certain personal pride in this fact, for there can be no doubt whatever that the abolition of the duelling system in Great Britain and Ireland was almost entirely, if not quite entirely, the work of the late Prince Con- sort. The spread of political and social reform has been broadest during Queen Victoria's reign, and it is broadening still. At the period of the Queen's accession no one could have looked forward to the changes that have occurred, and anyone prognosticating such a future as has now become the past, would have been regarded as at best a dreamer, the harmless character of whoso delusions would alone have saved him from incarceration in a lunatic asylum. Railways were then only in their infancy, and magnates still travelled from the metropolis to their country seats in their own carriages. Ocean steamships, such as have now placed every part of the habitable world within easy reach, were unknown, and the daily communication between Europe and America was pronounced to be an im- possibility by practical men. The semaphore, or post with moveable signalling arms, still stood on the roof of the Admiralty at Whitehall, and in those days when the weather was propitious, communi- cated with Greenwich, and so on by stations to Eheerness and Dover; for the electric telegraph was unknown, and the instantaneous inter-coui- uiunication of news from one part of the world to another was no more b. lieved to be possible than the boast of Shakespeare's fairy that he could put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes." The now forgotten Thames Tunnel was regarded as one of the wonders of the world, and foreigners visiting London rarely failed to pay their shillings to see this, then unfinished, monu- ment of Brunei's skill. which has been dwarfed into obscurity by the greater achievements in the same direction. In the application of machinery to daily life the progress has been immense. The sewing machinehasrevolutionised needlework, gas engines have introduced a new motive power into thousands of establishments cycles have conveyed hundreds of thousands of riders into districts that would have remained to them comparatively unknown; the homes, even of the poorest, have been brightened by the use of mineral oils, and are now better illu- minated than the dwellings of the rich ones at the commencement of her Majesty's reign. Tlieelectrio light and the X rays were then undreamt of and dynamos unknown. In political and social prog' ess the world has progressed as favourably during the sixty years of her Majesty's reign as in physical Bcience. The appointment of members of the Legislature at that time, mainly in the hands of the richer classes, has now become a household suffrage. The education of the people, formerly voluntary, is now compulsory. The right of women to control of their own property has but recently been acquired. Free trade has revolu- tionised agriculture and greatly affected com- merce. The repeal of what was formerly termed the taxes on knowledge, such as the newspaper stamp, the Is. 6d. duty on advertisements, Ac., have tended to foster journals to an extent that could not have been previously imagined. Every town, however small, has its paper or papers, every shade of opinion ita organ, and every trade its Journal. CONTEMPORARY SOVEREIGNS. While the lapse of years has only served to make Queen Victoria's regal seat securer, of European Sovereigns contemporary with her Majesty two, Alexander II. of Kussia and Abdul Aziz, Sultan of Turkey, have been assassinated; six, Louis Philippe of France, Francis II. of Naples, Otho of Greece, Queen Isabella of Spain, the Emperor Napoleon III., and King George of Hanover, have been deposed; and nve, the Emperor Ferdinand of Austria, Charles Albert of Sardinia, Frederick William IV. of Prussia, Amadeus of Spain, Milan of Serda, and Alexander ef Bulgaria, have abdicated. PARLIAMENTARY AND SOCIAL MUTATIONS. When her Majesty came to the throne there seemed to be, authoritatively writes Mr. Justin McCarthy, M.P., a sort of dolorous conviction among many observers of passing events that the age of great Parliamentary oratory had closed for England. Anyone who takes the trouble to glance back at the histoiies and the biographies of Queen Victoria's early years will find that this impression held fast hold of the minds of many old-fashioned people. Canning was gone, and he was believed to have finished up the era which began with the elder Pitt, and which enclosed the younger Pitt and the younger Fox and Burke and Sheridan. Yet the reign of Queen Victoria made a great school of Parlia- mentary eloquence belonging to itself and its own concerns. One cannot properly count Brougham, for his greatest triumphs were won in a former reign, and even the elder among us can only recall to memory some occasional flashes of his earlier eloquence. But during the Queen's rule there have been such men as Lord Stanley, afterwards Lord Derby the Rupert of debate," and Daniel O Connell and Sheil, and Lord John Russell, and Disraeli, and Cobden and Bright, and Gladstone not to speak of such other statesmen as Salisbury and Chamberlain and many more deserving of note. It may well be doubted whether in any former reign, at the period of Bolingbroke or at the period of Fox, a robler school of eloquence ever flourished th- that which came up to illuminate the Parliament of Queen Victoria. The whole growth of what we now know as sanitary science may be said to belong to Queen Victoria's time. The principle of decentralisation in civil and munici- pal Government belongs to the same period. There have been as many changes in fashion of dress since 1837 as there were in the long leign of George the Third. We have not indeed had dandies and dandi-ettes; and man, at least, has grown singularly unassertive in his way of dressing himself during late years. But our women bor- rowed crinoline from the French Empire, and since then we have seen reaction to eelskin dresses, and we saw sage-green eosthetic costumes at one time, and now fashion seems swinging back to the style of the era of the bloomer and the knickerbocker," TAXATION, In the year of the Queen's accession, what with Customs and Excise, everything may be said (re- marks a statistical writer) to have been taxed, even to the light of heaven, and bachelors. For fear of misconception, and as a tax upon bachelors is even now sometimes advocated, it will be well to explain at crce that the tax on these unfortu- nate members of society only applied to those wealthy enough to keep a man-servant, and who were charged 2Cs. a year more than those whose f;ood fortune it was to be married. The tax upon ight was called window duty, every house having eight windows paying IGs. fcld. nine, 218.; ten,. 2<-s.; ev J additional window being taxed from hs to rs. The assessed taxes were not only oppres- sive, but vexatious from the mode in which they were levied. The tax upon carts varied with the diameter of the w heels; of a horse with its height, and ot the two together with the number owned by one person. If the careful housekeeper will com- pare the present price of articles in daily use with the taxes upon these articles in ISJï, she must certainly come to the conclusion that the good old times were not, after all, the best times. The duty on tea was then 2s. Id. per lb. (the retail price of the cheapest was 1:8,) the lowest duty on sugar was 2¿d. per lb., and that only from our own colonies; the duty on sugar from foreign countries was 7d. per lb., and as our colonies could not supply the quantity required, that was the price paid by the consumer in addition to the intrinsic value of the sugar; tallow candles, the principal illuminant of that day, were charged with a duty of 10s. per cwt. wax candles, 4d. per lb. soap paid 2d. per lb.; rice, lid. per offee, from 6d. to Is. 3d per l. i lemon-peel paid Ed., orange-peel f d per lb. Spices were still more heavily taxed-cinnamon Is., cloves Cd" mace 2s Hd., nutmegs 3s. Pd., and pepper 6d. per lb.; oranges paid a duty of 7J per cent. of their value, 9* ijfu-per 1000, OUR IRON ROADS. Railways were in their infancy when tha Queen came to the throne, and had by no means super- seded the stage coach and ha post-chaise, or banished the travelling waggon of the humbler classes. Tme, the Stockton and DariicgUifn Paii. tfa?: tb» first 0n Trhich sveam loosti'aiiVs war?zi was employed, was inaugurated in 1825, and the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was opened in 1830. The London and Birmingham, now forming a Tery small part of the London and North- Western Railway Company, with a capital of was only open as far asTring; the Great Western had only reached Slough, and on the south of the Thames the line from Tooley street to Deptford was alone open. Ihe Eas ern Counties Railways, now the Great las ern, was pushing i s way to London, instead of from it, but the Gieat Northern and Midland had not been thought of. Although Parliament in 1837 had authorised the construction of railways involving an expenditure of not more than half that amount had been expended, and no line had been constructed or even contem- plated in any other pa; t of the British Empii e. At the close of 1805 (the latest official figures a\ailab!e) the total amount of capital paid up was upwards of £ 1,000,000,000; the number of pas- sengers, exclusive of season-ticket holders, 930,000,000 the total receipts, £ 80,000,000 and the number of miles of railway open for trafflo was 21,174. IJOSTAL DEVELOPMENTS, Until 1840, when Rowland Hill's plan of the uniform penny inland post was adopted and com- menced, the postage of a letter conveyed for any distance less than 15 m les was 4d.; five miles further it cost I d. under 30 miles, Cd.; 50 miles, d. and so by easy stages to 400 miles, when the charge was Is. Id. But this was not all-the rates given above wre for what were termed single THE TOWN RESIDENCE OF THE PRINCE ANDj PRINCESS Off WALES. letters, t.e., a letter consisting of a single sheeo oil paper; a letter containing two sheets was charged z, double rates, three sheets treble, and packets of one ounce quadruple; so that a letter which we can now send to any part of the United Kingdom for one penny would, at a time within the memory of many thousands now living, have cost, say for conveyance between London and Edinburgh, four shillings and four pence. But these charges and the difficulties of calculating the rates for doubtful distances were not sufficient for the genius of the authorities. There were in addition special packet rates for letters passing between England and Ireland. If the letter waa conveyed from Milford Haven or lIolyhead to any port (not any part) in Ireland, the extra charge was 2d.; between Portpatriek and Donaghadee, 4d. Liverpool and Dublin, 8d.; with the addi- tional charges for double, treble and quadruple weights. Still the genius for creating extra charges was not exhausted: an additional penny was charged if a letter was conveyed across the Menai or Conway bridges, and one halfpenny for the bridges between Milford and Waterford. The Foreign and Colonial rates were: to BritishAmerica and West Indies, from Falmouth, Is. 3d., with the addition of the inland postage; letters for Malta, Greeco, Egypt, and the East Indies, via Fal- mouth, paid a uniform rate of 2s. 6d. single, fJs. double, 7s. Cd. treble, and lUs. per ounce. Money orders were issued for sums not exceeding five pounds at a commission of one shilling in the pound sterling, but this was a private speculation of some of the officials, who divided the profits. The general increase in tho variety of the work of the Post Office since 1837, when it was practically confined to the collection and delivery of letters, is shown by the report of the Postmaster-General for 1896. The number of letters delivered was 1,884,000,000, as compared with 80,()00,000 in 1837; of these, 85 per cent. were delivered in England and Wales (29 per cent. being delivered in the London Postal District alone), nine per cent. in Scotland, and six per cent. in Ireland. In addition to letters, the work of the Post-Office included the delivery of 312,800,000 post-cards, 614,000,000 book-packets and circulars, 157,800,000 newspapers, and 57,1410,000 parcels. Money orders were issued to the number of 10,6-33,206 and to the amount of £ 28,923,127, and postal orders to the number of 60,681,078 and an amount of £ 22,759,282. The telegraphs were transferred to the State on February 5, 1870; in 1895 the British postal telegraphs had 33,062 miles of telegraph line and 193,095 miles of wire; there were besides, 27,880 miles of private wire. The to'al number of telegraphic messages in the year was 71,589,064. VICTORIAN MEDICINE. In dealing with the marvellous progress of pre- fenth e medicine during the Victorian era in a lecture before the Epidemiological Society, the President, Dr. Thorne Thorne, expressed the opinion that there was but few phases in the great progress which had marked the Victorian era that had had a greater effect for good than that which had been concerned with improvements affecting public health, and that intelligent action in this direction had been largely based on the development of preventive medicine and epidemi- ology. Up to the date of the Queen's accession the first requisite to the proper understanding of the etiology of disease—namely, the registration of the causes of death—was wanting, and to this was largely due the fact that, while epidemics wrought widespread havoo, men in their helpless ignorance could not associate their causation with tellurio and mete- oric influences and the like. With 1836 came the civil registration of deaths, and at once some insight was acquired as to the influence of disease on age, sex, condition of life, and locality. At the close of 1839 it was found that 30,819 had died of smallpox during- the preceding 18 months; THE RESIDENCE OF THE DrKf AND DCCHESS Off YORK, between 1838 and 1840 the scarlet fever deaths rose from 5802 to 19,816, and this was immediately followed by a terrible death roll due to fever," a generic term including all our continued fevers. Examination of the incidence of these diseases taught some first lessons as to their causes, and it was soon found that in English towns and cities the general mortality was greater by 44 per cent. than in country districts, and that this excess was largely capable of remedy. Tracing the history of certain preventable diseases as typical of the pro- gress made, smallpox was first discussed. In 1836 it had been noticed that the distribution of that disease was disturbed both by the protection which some derived from resort to Jenner's great dis. covtry of the previous century and by the arti- ficial diffusion of the malady which accompanied the then practice of inoculation. Study of these influences led to the adoption in 1840 of the system of public vaccination, by which "all persons" corld claim to bo vaccinated at the public cost, and lfÎ, was reserved to this era to extend and elaborate th system under the Vaccination Acts pa8-rodi>fifcwe"n 1853 and 1871. Tho effect of these various statutes was discussed, and it, was shown that whereas in tha quinquennium 183S-42 the 8maIl-pox mortality of England was 57-2 per 100,000 living, it steadily feil to" 14'4, during the lSSS-'t#! be achfevemenS riLhout parallel in the history of sanitary medicine. But a severs shock was received by the sudden rise during the period 1870-74 to a rate of 42*7, and it became clear that in the face of the potent infection iin. ported during the Franco-German war the people had not obtained the full protective value of vaceinat on. Discussing the various causes of this fatal epidemic, Dr. Thorne Thorne alluded to the immunity to attack from infection which is believed to be inherited by tho offspring of those who have themselves suffered from certain infectious feveis, and he t: ought it possible that, just as the Fiji Islanders were decimated by measles, against which they had acquired no sort of protection by heredity, so the people of this country lacked, in the face of a, poison of exceptional virulence, and by reason of their ancest. y being vaccinated, that partial pro- tection against smallpox which they might other- wise have inherited. But the most important out- come of that epidemic has been the researches of Dr. Buchanan, who had abundantly proved that the potency of a comparatively recent vaccination C:11 hardly be exaggerated, and who had clearly indicated how the protection can be mostefticiently obtained. With improved practice in this respect the smallpox death-rate has again continuously decreased, until in the five years 1880-84 it stood at G'5 per 100,000, a far smaller rate than any attained since records of this fatal disease were commenced. FIGHTING FEVER. In dealing with typhus fever in the historic leo- ture quoted above, its wide diffusions in our large tonins and cities duiing the earlier portion of her Majesty's reign were re- cal cd, and it was explained how the story of its association with the crowding together of houses on area and of people in dwel- lings was gradually learnt, these conditions being invariably associated with a state of destitution, and leading to that fouling of air breathed which results from the concentration of the emanations from human bodies. Turning to London, Mr. (later Sir John) Simon s graphic descriptions of the city courts and alleys were referred to, there being at that time dense populations living in an atmosphere hardly respirable for its closeness, and Surrounded by an influence so degrading that to children bo;n under its curse it must have been a very baptism into infamy." In such places typhus was found to be a habitual pestilence, and from their midst our fever wards were filled. Gradually the fact was recognised that the great enemy to typhus was free movement of air, and, the principle being established, great efforts were made to give effect to it. Then came the wholesale destruction of unhealthy property, the carrying of great thoroughfares through the densest aggregations of houses, and the opening up of breatlii tig- spaces- a task to which the Metro- politan Board of Works have already devoted over 14 millions sterling. And as the typhus haunts and unhealthy dwellings were demolished, some millions have been spent by official and unofficial bodies in erecting wholesome homes for artisans and labourers. Until 18G9 typhus was not separ- ated from the deaths due to the continued fevers generally, but before that date a substantial reduc- tion of death from lever had already been effected, and whereas in that year the typhus death rate for England was 1'9 per 10,000 it had now fallen to 0*1. A quarter of a century ago over 2000 typhus cases were annually taken in London hospitals; now the number at the outside amounted to a few dozen. In much the same way the story of Liver- pool typhus was discussed, but with all its pro- gress that city had never recovered the terrible immigration into it during the Irish famine of a starving and fever stricken people, and its houses densely built together, back-to back and overcrowded, still formed the principal centre for typhus in England. Coming next to typhoid fever, special prominence was given to the great results which followed on the final differentiation of this disease from typhus by Sir William Jenner, Then, for the first time, the different causes of the two diseases were fully understood, and then it was that, the needed remedy could be applied intelligently. It was also soon recognised that the typhoid was due to a specific infection which found its nidus in coii. ditions brought about by failure to deal properly with the solid and liquid refuse of population. And, later on, the operation of the infection was traced to channels obscure and hitherto unsus- pec ed, but it always operated through the agency of filth, which it became necessary, in the interests of health, always to regard as potentially poisonous to man. Then came Dr. Ballard s discovery of the communication of typhoid through the age r, ey of a milk supply frozen creams and ices were found to act as vehicles of the infection; intermittent water-services led to its distribution; and the potency of the infection was found to be such that, even when present in potable wa'el' in quantities that were infinitesimal and altogether beyond the reach of discovery by chemistry or physic, it could, as in the Caterham epidemic, lead to wide- spread disaster. On the lines indicated by these various discoveries action was widely taken, and at the present mome-it the expenditure of this country on sanitary work aimed essentially at the removal of conditions favourable to this and allied diseases reaches a sum of over per annum. Steadily with this expenditure have the deaths from this typhoid fever diminished, and in a similar way the progress of our know- ledge in the prevention of scarlet fever, diph- theria, phthisis, and cholera was considered, and especial prominence was given to Mr. Power's researches as to the connection which existed between scarlet fever in man, and a correspond- ing disease in milch cows. There was much reason to believe that we were on the verge of important discoveries as to the dependence of disease in man on affeotions of the lower animals; and that these might clear up many points of obscurity attaching to the origin of infection. In scarlet fever Dr. Klein had dis- covered a definite micro organism common to man and the cow. Diphtheria was known to have certain relations to an allied animal disease, and many observers believed that phthisis in man had concern with the use as food of the flesh and milk of tuberculous animals of the bovine tribe. The story of the past 60 years was one in which the principles of preventive medicine had step by step been unravelled and applied to the saving of human life, The actual sources of disease had been laid bare, and in the case of many communicable affections their cause had been traced to organisms, definite in character, always breeding true, and having known habitats. The results were shown by the significant lessening of the general mortality and the marked reduction in the death rates of the more preventable diseases; results which in- volved as a natural consequence an improved vitality among the living. The work of disease- prevention during the Victorian era had proceeded on a, scale that it would be difficult to define, but it can be in part measured by the influence it has had in sweeping away much of that misery which is the harder to bear because its cause is prevent- able in elevating the condition of our fellow men, and in bringing health with its attendant happi- ness and prosperity to an untold number of British homes. TIlE CONDITION OF THE MASSES. Sir Edwin Arnold, in the course of an eloquent presidential address at the Midland Institute in Birmingham, asked what magician of fairy tales ever owned so many slaves to bring him treasures and pleasures at a wish as the working man of our day does't" Sir Edwin continued Observe his dinner board Without being luxurious, the whole globe has played him and his family the part of serving-man in order to spread it. Russia gave the hemp, or India or South Carolina the cotton, for that cloth which his wife lays upon it. The Eastern Islands placed there those condi- ments and spices which were once the secret relishes of the wealthy. Australian Downs send him frozen mutton or canned beef the prairies of America meal for his biscuit and pudding and, if he will eat fruit, the orchards of Tasmania and the palm woods of tho West indies proffer uncostly and delicious gilts while the orange groves of Florida and of the Hesperides cheapen for his use those golden apples which classic dragons used to guard. Bis coffee comes from where jewelled humming birds bang in the bowers of Brazil, or purple butterflies flutter amid the Javan mangroves. Creat clipper ships, racing by night and day under clouds of canvas, convey to him his tea from China or Assam, or from the green Cingalese Hills. The sugar which sweetens it was crushed from canes that waved by the Nile or the Orinoco and the plating of the spoon with which he stirs it was dug for him from Mexican or Nevadan mines, The currants in his dumpling aro a tribute from Greece, and his tinned salmon or kippered herring a token from the seas and rivers of Canada or Norway. He may partake, if he will, of rice that ripened under the hot skies of Patna or liangoon; or of cocoa, that' food of the gods,' plucked under the burning blue of the Equator. For his rasher of bacon the hog-express runs daily with ten thousand grunting victims into Chicago Dutch or Brittany hens have laid him his eggs, and Danish cows grazed the daisies of FJsinoie to pro- duce his cheese and butter. If he drinks beer it is odds that Belgium'and Bavaria have contributed to it the barley and the hops and, when he ha3 finished eating, it will be the Mississippi flats or the gardens of the Antilles that fill for him his pipe with the comforting tobacco, lie has fared. I say, at home as no Heligobalus or Lucullus ever fared; and then, for a trifle, his daily newspapcr puts at his command information from the whole globe, the freshness and fr.iness of which make the antique news-bearers of Augustus Cfiesnr, thronging hourly into Lome, ridiculous. Afc work, machinery of wonderful invention redeems his toil from servitude and SESSSTtt to an art. I. ho f.nfl of t There are free libraries open to him, full of in- tellectual and imaginative wealth. Is he artistic ? Galleries rich with beautiful vainciiiaii and statues are prepared for him. Hai; lie children I They can be excellently educated for next to nothing. Would he communicate with absent friends? His messengers pass in the Queen's livery, faithfully bearing his letters everywhere by sea and land; or, in hour of urgency, the Ariel of electricity will flash for him a message to the ends of the kingdom at the price of a quart of small beer. Steam sliill LP-ify him wherever he would go for a halfpenny a mile: and, when he is ill, the charitable institutions ho has too often forgotten in health render him such succour as sick goddesses never got from -Esculapiue, nor I-lysses at the white hands of Queen Helen. Does he eneount accident ? For him, as for all others, the benignant science of our time, with the hypo- dermic syringe or a waft of chloroform, has abolished agony; while, for dignity of citizenship, he mav help, when election time comes, by his vote, to sustain or to shake down the J noblest Empire ever bmit by genius and valour, MJSW.SPAI'ERS OF HiE UJEIGN, In 1837 the number of newspapers and other journals published in the I nited Kingdom, and liable to the stamp duty, was 475; of those, 102 W.R.U. TUB FaiHCKSS OF WALHh were published in London, only 30 of which still exist; and as the paper on which they were printed paid a duty of Hd. per pound, each copy issued a stamp duty of Id., and each advert isementa tax of ] s. Cd., the pi ices were necessarily high, and the circulation—as compared with the newspapers of to-day- swaIl. With the abolition of the "taxes on Imowledge," the improvements in the. machin- ery, stereotyping, and the facilities for obtaining and distributing news, the increase in the number and circulation of newspapers has become enor- mous. In London we have 4t3 the Provinces, 1357; Wales, 100; Scotland, 226; Ireland, 109; and in the British Isles, 20 a grand total of 2355 and in addition, magazines and periodicals to the number of 2097, of which more than 500 are of a decidedly religious character. VICTORIAN ELEJlEIil'ARY EDUCATION. The progress made in the diffusion of elemen- tary education during the" Sixty Years is shown by the percentage of persons who signed by mark in the marriage register. In 1843, of every hundred males married 32 7 per cent., and of females 49'0 per cent., were unab'o to write in 1893 the percentage of males had fallen as low as 5 0 per cent., and of females 5 7 per cent. In the early part of this century elementary educa- tion in England was left almost entirely to the care of clergy of the church of England. The first Parliamentary grant in aid, was made in 1833, and in 1839 a Committee of Council on GRAM) STAIRCASE, BUCKINGHAM PALACE. TOWN RESIDENCE OF HER MAJESTY THE QTJEES, Education was appointed to watch over the dis- tribution of the subvention. The Elementary Education Act was passed in 1*70, and since the inauguration as a State institution of lr. Forster's great measure, the Board School by dint of sub- sequent legislation, has furnished absolutely free elementary education to all children whose guardians choose to send them there. THE (JEOWIfl OF EMPIRE. In 1837 the British Colonies and dependencies (as we gather from an excellent statistical sum- mary, entitled Sixty Years of a Glorious Reign") co\ered nearly eight millions of square miles, but with the exception of India and the West India Islands the population was small in comparison with the extent of the territory. In America the population was only about 1,500,000 in all Australia the inhabitants numbered only 200,000. In Africa our possessions consisted only of the Cape Colony, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Gold Coast Colony, St. Helena and the Seychelles. During the reign of Victoria we have acquired in Asia: Hong Kong, Labuan, North Borneo, Sarawak and Cyprus, and have added to the Empire of India, Sind, Oudh, the Punjab and j Upper Burma. In North America, British Columbia and the vast territories in the north-west have been settled; in Austral- asia, New Zealand, Fiji and a great part of New Guinea have been annexed in Africa, Natal, British Bechuanaland, Basutoland and Zululand, Lagos, and the greater portion of the Go d Coast. During 1SUO enormous additions were made to the empire as a result of the arrange ments with Franua. Germany and Portugal for DtJU OF rOKE. the delimitation of their respective spheres of in- fluence in Africa, and this country now actually possesses nearly 2,500,000 square miles out of the 11,700,000 square miles in that Continent. Thus in 60 years we have added upwards of 3.000,000 square miles to our territory, and about 230,000,000 to the number of the Queen a subjects, and now, in 1897, she reigns over an empire containing 400,000,000 of inhabitants, with an area. of 11,000,CKX) square miles. Stupendous figures these, thowing at a glance the greatness of the Empire which the. strong Yi< torian rule has done so much to expand. SRBAT MEN OF THE REIGN. The intellectual lustre of her Majesty's Age, together WILnthe positively interminable roll of to rplenclid and worthy names which have dis- tinguished it, demand and deserve far more space "can be commanded here. In 1837 Words- worth, Southev, Moore, Campbell, and lvogera were all still living, although, as singers, silent; awaiting the succession of ano: her school of poetry -afterwards represented by Tennyson, Browning, and others. In fIcLioij as Sir Edwia Arnold r'v,- calls) the great names of Dickens, Charles Keade, and Thackeray head the long roll of those who have created a whole library of imaginative litera- ture for the epoch. Before or beside these Bulwer, Catlyle, Maoaulay, and Buskin belong distinctly to the Victorian galaxy. The last- mentioned holds beyond dispute tho place of the most accomplished master of English prose pro- duced in this reig-ri and by his works v.e might easily and naturally pass to a survey of the pro- gress of the fino arts during the 00 years. But. alluring as it would prove to trace the course of English painting from 1S37, when Turner was growing elumly and Landsc-er, Ilillais, I-eiglital. and llolinan Hunt were young beginneis, to survey English sculpture from Lhantrey to Gilbert; to observe what has been done in British architecture fiom Pugiu and Barry to Norman Shaw and Sir Arthur Blow;.e.id and to watch the incursion of photography upon illustrative ait, all this must be left to the professional chronicler. lo him. also. niusL be abandoned the task of considering the interesting record of the English stage through- out this period, which has seen the "sock and buskin i aiscd to new dignities and better social estimation and on him, too, devolves the duty of ad judging crowns for musical excellence in a reign which has had many glories, but not, alas I another Purcell or Bishop, let alone a Handel or a Beet- hoven.' That the English people have learned to love music more and more is touchingly demon- strated by the endless popularity of good bands and concerts, and by the signiiicant fact that 50,000 pianos arc annually manufactured in London alone. Dr. Johnson tells us, in what Lord Maeaulay calls that line but gloomy paper, Hambler Xo, 50, thatHo who would pass the latter part of life with honour and decency must, when he is young, consider that 110 shall one JaV be old. and remember when he is old that he has once been young." There is in her Majesty's later days nothing more beautiful than the sym- pathetic interest which she always takes in the young, by whom she loves to be surrounded. This is the only prescription which never fails to lighten the cares and afford consolation for the disabilities of old age. and to it tho Queen is reported, by tliuse who know her beet, lung to have had recourse with the happiest results. The terrors with which Juvenal invests old age-- terrors more appalling even than those which darken the last of Shakespeare a "seven stages"— are pow erless to depress those who lr e again, not only in their own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, bd also in constant com- panionship with young hearts and with the gaiety to which they naturally give rise. Nor can it be denied that the remembrance of great Rnd good men and women now gone to their rest sheds a halo over survivors who still cherish them with unabated love and undying interest. Who can have forgotten the story told by Lord Chancellor Campbell of one night when he was present at Buckingham Palace when the great Duke of Wellington was also among her Majesty's invited guests ? At that tin e —it was about eight years before the Iron Dukes death in el o of Waterloo was subject to epileptic tits, which, as is well known, have a most weakening and depressing effect upon those who suffer from them. The Duke was sitting on a sofa by the Queen's side, while some famous pianist was playing at the other end of the room. The performance on the piano was rather long, and before it had ended the Duke s white head bent forward and he fell into a sound sleep. A member of the Royal family upproached the Queen hurriedly to make some remark, but was instantly checked and silenced by her Majesty's tinger genUy laid upon her lips, and with her other hand she pointed to the sleeping Duke. What a world of similar memories must ciowd a brain from which nothing important that has hap- pened for the last GO or 70 years is said to have escaped In Southey's beautiful lines upon i ha Scholar," which were lovingly recited by the late Lord Iddesleigh in his "Lecture upon Desultory Reading," delivered to the students of Edinburgh University, we are told: My days among the dead are past; Around me I behold, Where er these casual eyes are cast, The mighty minds of old; My never-failing friends are thev With whom I converse day by day." Where, amidst the countless inhabitants of the British Empire at home and abroad, is there any- one now living who can have known, seen, aild conversed with Eo many of her greatest and most illustrious contemporaries as our good aud gracious Queen ? In politics, in art and science, in peace and war, in Church and State, in litera- ture ^nd poetry, in invention and engineei ing. in music and song, in the wide Held of social success, of charm in conversation, of personal beauty and linguistic attainments, hardly a man or a woman has won fame and distinction without having been honoured by the Queen with one or more inter- views. Were we to attempt to recall the vast army of the dei artcd hat she has known anil holds in her faithful memory this column might easily be swollen into a volume. Here, for in- stance. are some of those "familiar people death has made them doar," of whom Crabbe spoke in lines which Sir NN-allc-r Scott could never read without a tear. People who, like the spec ies ap- pearing to Ei-itut-iart in Merlin's magic glass. must, from time to time, flash before her Majesty's j retrospective eyes and fill her mind with a gentle, pleasing melancholy which "resembles sorrow only As the mist rel,-inibles the rain," COMMERCE AND WEALTH. The imports of merchandise from foreign countries and our colonies in 1~37 amounted, sc*- cording to the Customs House Returns, to £ 54,702,000, but as they are based upon a scale of prices fb d in 1094 they are nolndieation oi the actual value. It was not. until 1854 that the returns were made up according to the actual yalue, d in that year the) imports amounted'n and in 1890 'hey had increased t,) £ 441,807,000. Iho exports in 1837 amounted to £ 42,069,000, and in ii-Ud tu £:2!J15,:),S,IJ¡¡U. The excess in the value of imports over exports has led many to the conclusion tha, we are living not upon our profits but upon our capital. Eu:, as during the last 30 years (lit)7 to 1890) our imports have exceeded th.) exports by 2944 millions sterling, an amount so enormous as to place it beyond the power of the ordinary man to grasp its full significance, and there t- e at present no signs of national bankruptcy, we may reason- ably consider that the opinion is not ))a 3ed upon fact. Ihere have been many attempts made to estimate the amount of capital, or of accu mulated wealth, of the country, and the rate at which it is increasing. In 18-jo"it was estimated to amount to 4100 millions sterling in leCO to 0000 bullions, in 1875 to 8548 millions, and in 1^85 to 10, )37 mil- lions. Sir E. Giffen, our greatest authorit y on the subject, has treated the eubiect more meth odicallv than any other writer. He has taken the o i;ierenf incomes according to the inccir.e-tax returns, added to them the incomes exempted from the tax and capitalised tha whole, though he is somewhat doubtful as to the rate at which the capitalisation should be made. At the present time Sir R. Giffen's method gives a result of about 10,400 to 10,800 millions sterling as the capitalised wealth Of the nation, exclusive of the value of the publio funds. Differences may well arise between experts as tothe proper basis for estimating the capital value of a yearly income, but the con- stantly increasing returns from the income-tax confirm substantially the accuracy of Sir H. Giffen's figures, y C0^LC.;1U v. Our space will not permit us to dwell in greater detail than has already been indicated upon the immense improvements and vast reforms which Queen Victoria has seen, approved, and aided during her splendid reign; but it cannot be doubted that her Majesty has, especially in these later years, proven herself better able, both by inherited aptitude and acquired knowledge, to shape the destinies of the Empire than even the wisest and most experienced of her counsellors. She has known the innermost secrets of all the Courts of Europe. She has enjoyed the friendship: as she has won the unstinted admiration, of all the illustrious men of her day, whether they were distinguished in I olities, literature, science, er art. V\ hat wonder. t herefore, that her Majesty should have become net only the front of tila highest statesmanship in her own countrv, but the most helpful friend and most trusted adviser of her fellow rule s in the civilised world To have attained to such a position, not by virtue of Ihe might of her people or the special w isdom of her counsellors, but by the single force of her own blameless and exalted life, is an absolutely unique episode in the history of rulers. Is it, then, surprising that in tho land over which she has reigned so long and so beneficently hrr Ma est v iihould be regarded with unexampled love and veneration? The Queen has ever been something more than a monarch to her people. In her horn* of joy she has appealed to them as the pattern wil., and mother; in her days of sorrow sho has eoni« to them for the loving sympathy which was never denied. And she has rejoiced with them when they rejoiced, and g> ieved with them when cala- mity darkened and desolated their homes. And that is why pH the millions of her subjects the wide world over have given N ic-toria the Ciood a high place in their heart of hearts such as earthly Sovereign iie.er held before. Heaver preserve Our Queen to her people for rr.any years yet to come. %%hat wonder that an enthu>iasm altogether unexampled in the pages of history has been called forth from end to end of the Empire as regards tho great commemoration in cele- bration of the completion if her Majesty's 00 years of gracious and glorious sove"ill,ntv over these realms ? "'hr* imposing yet simple servie« arranged for the outsuioofSt. Paul's Cathe-lral, has had itit precedents, it is tr ie but nothing, at once, so significant and so sinocre in the way ot- royal thanksgiving pageant has over transpired on the historio spot.