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A FIDDLE WITH A HISTORY. Waldemar Meyer, the well-known violin virtuoso, has recently become possessor of one of the most valuable fiddles in the world, but for which he had to pay £ 1250. According to the documents re- specting it this fiddle was made by Stradivaiius in 1716 for George the First of England, ani it is very nearly the largest "Strad" ever constructed. Down to the beginning of the present century it remained in possession of the English Royal Family, and then it passed into the hands of a Scotch nobleman who was in the English army, and who valued it so much that he always carried it with him in his baggage—indeed, he even had it with him at Waterloo. At his death his family closely hold the instrument but the violini.st Molique, who lived in London from 1850 to 1866, often visited their house, took a fancy to the Strad and it was ultimately presented to him. In 1866, when Molique returned to Bavaria to pass the evening of his life, he transferred it to his friend and pupil Baron Von Dreifuss, of Munich. He possessed the violin for thirty years, till he was too crushed by the weight of age, and rendered incapable by an injury to his arm, of longer enjoying the wonderful tones of his much-prized instrument. He sold it a few days ago to the great violin collector of Berlin, Herr Riechers, for A:1,000, who in turn has sold it to Waldemar Meyer, netting £150 over the transaction. A SCENE AT AN EISTEDDFOD. THB ADJUDICATOR REFUSES TO SPBAK IN ENGLISH. According to the Mongomeryshire Express a re- markable scene occurred at a ctmir eisteddfod at Towyn. The chief choral contest was for a priie of £ 10 and carved oak chair for the conductor, for the best rendering of"Mor IWYDol ydyw'r nos" (Emlyn Evans). On ascending the platform to give his adjudication Dr. Parry- was requested to speak in English, but this he declined to do, re- marking that the composition was a Welsh piece sung at a Welsh town, and it would be inconsistent on his part to give bis adjudication in other than the native language. He then delivered a lengthy adjudication in Welsh, awarding the prize to the Aberdovey Choir. On its completion the reporters present applied to Dr. Parry for a summary in English of his adjudication. His only response was to tear up his notes, and remark that he could not take the trouble to do so. This pro. ceeding elicited some rather strong remarks. A MOTHER'S EXTRAORDINARY CURE FOR LYING. At Clerkenwell Police Court, Elizabeth Landon, thirty-eight, a married woman, of 11 Denmark Grove, Islington, was charged with cruelly ill- treating her son Vincent, aged seven, by placing a hot poker in his mouth. Mrs Bishop, a lodger in the same house as the prisoner, stated that on Saturday afternoon Mrs Landon sent her boy on an errand to a baker's shop, and that the child re- turned and said that he had lost the money—3d. Shortly afterwards the prisoner went out, and on her return she told witness that she did not believe her son's story, and that she had gone to see the woman at the baker's shop, who told her that the best way of curing a child of telling falsehoods was to burn its tongue with hot curling-irons. The prisoner added that she had not the irons, but she would use a poker, and then went upstairs to her rooms. Witness did not believe that Mrs Landon would do such a thing, but soon afterwards she heard the boy screaming, and running upstairs to the prisoner's sitting room she saw a small poker in the fire. The prisoner admitted that she had used the poker in the way she had threatened to do and witness, on examining the child, found that his tongue and the side of his mouth were burnt. She was amazed at the cruel conduct of the mother, and communicated with the police. The prisoner was taken into custody soon afterwards. A doctor who had examined the child, said the front of his tongue was burnt, though not very seriously, and also the side of the mouth. Mr Haden Corser said it seemed to him that the prisoner had been the victim of an absurd superstition in this matter, and and that she had not intended to hurt the boy much. It was a difficult case to deal with, for, whatever her intention was, she had burned the boy's tongue, and had caused him pain. The husband then, at the Magistrate's suggestion, consented to be bound over in the sum of £ 10 to bring his wife up for judgment if called upon. LITTLE FISHERS SWEPT AWAY IN A FRESHET. An exciting scene was witnessed at Barnard Castle last week. A heavy flood of water carae down the river through the rainfall, while two boys were fishing in midstream near Egliston Abbey. One boy, named Barry, about twelve years old, who came, it was stated, from London last week to stay a time was carried away and drowned. By the aid of a rope, a passing carriage driver, who was taking a pleasure party out to Rokeby, and with the help of a horse from the farm near at hand, succeeded in rescuing the other boy, who lives in Barnard Castle. There was much excitement while the efforts at rescue were proceeding, the horse falling into the stream, and the driver losing his hat. The rescue was eftected with great difficulty. For some time the lad was up to his waist in water, holding on by his fishing-rod stitH a ropeconld beobtained, and the driver with the horse could be got to attempt a rescue. The body of the drowned lad was not recovered. A STORY OF J. L. SULLIVAN'S STRENGTH. The habitnes of the Laclede Hotel; St Louis, have a lively recollectiotof (te visit which John L. Sullivan paid to that hostelry some four years ago. He was there for several days, and daring his stay was the obsenedof all observers. A number of gentleman did their best to induce him to give an exhibition of his wonderful strength. This he he declined to do, but at length yielded to their solicitations, and performed a feat which none who witnessed it will ever forget. Stepping to the bar, which is of hard mahogany, be laid a silver dollar on the counter. He then raised his right hand and brought his fist down upon the coin with tremend- ous force. Upon raising his hand it was seen that the coin was stamped deep into the bar and could with difficulty be extracted. Every letter and line of the device was reproduced in the hard wood, and remained plainly legible for two years, in spite of the frequent scrubbings to. which it was subjected. A FROG CATCHES A CHICKEN. Mr Fred Barfield of Unadilla, in Dooly County heard a chicken squalling in his yard and went out to see what was the matter. He found a large toad frog attached to the wing of the chieken, and was trying to swallow an object twice as large as himself. He had to kill the frog to get him loose. BLONDIN'S LATEST. Blondin-of tight rope celebrity and Niagara fame-has been offered and has accepted a wager of A4,000 to walk on a cable from Eiffel's Tower to the Central Dome of the Exhibition in less than five minutes. The name of the person who has offered the bet is withheld, and Blondin is only awaiting the permission of the Exhibition authorities to begin operations. MR. EDISON'S VERY LATEST INVENTION Mr Edison writes very confidently about a new invention which he has in hand (says the London correspondent of the Sheffield Independent.) It is a machine for separating ore, and, if it realises the the expectations formed of it, it is likely to revolu- tioniso the mining of iron ore. The machine, by a very dimple process, separates the ore from the earth, and leaves it ready for the furnace. A LADY BURIED ALIVE. A lady residing at Dorbiscb, near Kolin, in Bohemia, where she owned considerable properity, was buried last week, after a brief illness, in the family vault at the local cemetery. Four days afterwards her granddaughter was interred in the same place, but as the stone slab covering the aperture was raised the bystanders were horrified to see that the lid of the coffin below had been raised and that the arm of the corpse was protrud- ing. It was ascertained eventually that the un- fortunate lady, who was supposed to have died of heart disease, had been buried alive. She had evidently recovered consciousness for a few minutes, and found strength enough to burst open her coffin. The authorities aie bent on taking measures of the utmost severity against those responsible. AN INFANT SHOT BY A CHILD OF FIVE. I Two children named Styles, residing at 27, Hart- lane, Bethnal green, were the other day playing with a loaded revolver. One of them, iged five, shot the other, aged nine months. The infant died soon after admission to the London Hospital, having received two bullets in the abdomen. I DEATH FROM SWALLOWING A POKER. I An inqpest was held at Ashton-under-Lyne on the body of a young man named William Connolly, who was employed as a grinder in a cotton mill, but who was apparently in the habit of visiting public-houses and of performing various tricks. On Thursday week he was in a beer-house in the town, and attempted^ to perform what a witness called the poker trick." This consisted in ramming a common poker of somewhat large size down his throat. He succeeded in putting down the greater portion of the poker, but on withdrawing it com- plained of feeling sick. A doctor was called in next day, but death occurred during the Friday night from internal injuries, the result, it was believed, of the insertion of the poker into the gullet. The jury returned a verdict of "accidental death." THE BIRCH. Archdeacon Denison writes :—I am glad to see a sign of revival of common sense amongst us, as indicated by the advertisement annexed common sense in place of sentimental nonsense Birch Rods.—These useful articles, for which there is an increasing demand, may be had from the Depot. Of different sizes. Mrs Clapp, St. JohnVroad, Clifton." It would be well for us if there were signs of revival of common sense in the department of what is called by courtesy "education but which has lost, in this century of our history, all true claim to the name, undei a blast of self-oongrato. latory trumpeting, by the extinction of its primary element, and the introduction of the cramming procese-a thing so bad throughout that I will not attempt to pursuj it in all its manifold rais- chief in the compass of a letter. If anybody wishes to be informed of the structure of a rod birch as it ought to be, I can supply them with the account of what an Eton rod was in the days and hands of Keate—the only rod I have ever seen worthy of the name—by personal experience. I am told that this, and indeed any rod, iI become at Eton a memory only. Common sense is at a disconnt in the famous old place. THE MAN DESTINED TO LONG LIFE. From a forgotten but interesting and scientifically clever book. entitled "The Art of Prolonging Life," written by an eminent German physician named Hufeland, at the end of the last century, we extract the following happy and apparently very truthful description of a man who, if be steer clear of accidents, is absolutely certain to attain a great age He has a proper and well- proportioned stature, without, however, being too tall. He is rather of the middle size, and some- what thick-set. His complexion is not too florid- at any rate, too much ruddiness in youth is seldom a sigh of longevity. His hair approaches rather to the fair than the black; his skin. is strong, but not rough. His head is not too big; he has large veins at the extremities, and his shoulders are rather round than flat. His abdomen does not pro- ject, and hi3 hands are large but not too deeply cleft. His foot is rather thick than long, and his leg3 are firm and round. He has alto a broad arched chest, a strong voice, and the faculty of re- taining his breath for a long time without difficulty. In general there is a complete harmony in all bis parts. His senses are good, but not too deliedte; his pulse is slow and regular, his stomach is excel- lent, his appetite good, and his digestion easy The joys of the table are to him of importance they tune his mind to serenity, and his soul partakes in the pleasure which they communicite. He does not eat merely for the sake of eating but each meal is an hour of festivity, a kind of delight attended with this advantage with regard to others that it does not make him poorer but richer He eats slowly and has not too much thirst. Too great thirst is always a sign of rapid self-consump- tion. In general, he is serene, loquacious, active, susceptible of love, joy, and hope; but insensible to the lasting impressions of hatred, anger, and avarice. His passions never become too violent or destructive. If he ever gives way to anger, he experiences rather a useful glow of warmth, an artificial and gentle fever, without an overflowing of the bile. He in fond also of employment, and particularly of calm meditation and agreeable speculation, is an optimist, a friend to nature and domestic felicity, has no thirst after honours or riches, and banishes all thoughts of to-morrow." PAINFUL ACCIDENT AT A MENAGERIE. A serious accident occurred the other evening at the Neuilly Menagerie, Paris. The wild beast tamer, Buskoff, has been in the habit of creating a sensation at the daily representation by leading a bear through the audience. It appears, says a Paris correspondent, that the animal has been rather savage of late, this being probably due to the hot weather, and on the evening in question, in spite of cord and muzzle, he managed to inflict a cruel injury upon the eight-year-old daughter of M. Fabre, juge-de-paiz of Saint Cernin. The little girl was seated behind her father in one of the foremost rows, and, as the bear passed, childlike she held out her hands playfully towards the brute, with no thought of danger. Suddenly the bear turned, stretched out one of its paws, seized the curly head in its claws, and tore away a mass of golden h»ir still attached to the bleeding scalp. The condition of little Jeanne is very grave, although the doctors hope to save her, Meantime M. Buskoff has been directed to see that this bear has no further opportunity to gratify his surly proclivities. II SAMSON." A VISIT TO "THB STRONGEST MAN ON EARTH. There are many Delilahs but only one Samson and he is performing at the Royal Aquarium at present, where his feats of strength are certainly of an original and marvellous character. The specta. tor as he watches feels that it is better to be friendly with such a man; with a blow of his fist he breaks an iron chain that will bear a pressure of 3,000 lbs. With his two hands grasping a short chain, of 2,500 lbs. ascertained pressure, he makes a momentary effort and pulls the iron chain to bits and in what seems the most beautiful teat-namely, fastening two tight iron chain bracelets or armlets round bis biceps—the spectator may view the pro- cess from beginning to end. One hears the strong man take a long breath, sees the muscles of his arm growing bigger and bigger, the cords of his neck swelling with sustained effort, his face crim- softing, and then, in tie silence, those nearest the stage can hear a curious little sundering snap; it is the double chain armlet that hai broken, and that the next second falls ringing to the floor. When Samoa's fist is clenched and he is ready to strike, the measurement of his upper arm round biceps and triceps is 19! in., which, we may casually remark, is considered a tolerable waist for a young lady. Among some of his minor feats-if such displays can be called minor—Samson took a penny piece from one of the audience, and at one trial bent it with his fingers as one may bend a railway ticket, held it up to view for a second, and then deliberately broke it in half and returned the pieces to the owner. A very little practice will convince amateurs of the hopelessness of breaking pennies with finger and thumb. The strong man next bent a four-foot iron gaspipe round his neck and cheer- fully straigtened it again by repeated blows on his left arm, such arm being for the nonce a species of anvil. Fourteen men came upon the stage, by invitation, to pull against him but Samson, not deeming them enough, or sizing up their athletic capabilities with a professional eye, expressed a wish for four more. These men he divided into nine a-side, the two sides nearly the width of a man's stretch apart, and each side being provided with and grasping a strong and lengthy iron rod. Before placing himself between them, Samson stimulated their ardour by promising.8100 to them if he failed to move them, and apparently there was a grateful determination on the men's faces to win the pour-boire. Then there was a short sharp struggle the men held their ground for a brief space, were pulled together, and the next moment thrust apart, and finally, swaying as they went, were carried away by the intensity of one straining man in their midst. Samson is a man of thirty-one, of French origin, a native of Alsace-Lorraine. He comes to us from America, and this is his first appearance in England. At fifteen years of age he entered the Circus Ranz as an athlete, and pulled against horses and elephants; at eighteen be commenced to wrestle; and from that time till the present he has left untried no means whereby he can maintain, j train, and develop his extraordinary strength.


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