RIVER POLLUTION. It is difficult to say anything that is new on the question of the pollution of our rivers. The question has been so fully discussed of late years, so much has been said, so much more written, and so very little done, that the matter is almost becoming a bye-word. It is true that the Local Government Board occasionally rake up the old inquiries, which usually have the etfect of allowing Corporations to borrow large sums of money to carry out what are called sewage works, which, in plain English, only means collecting all the sewage that used to be discharged at various points into the river, and sending it in at one, thus creating a worse aniaantrf than ever, and often landing the un- fortunate ratepayers into legal proceedings to stop the nuisance they paid so largely to create. If,-however, the Local Government Board adopt the views put forward by the Yorkshire Fishery Board and Lord Wenlock, at an enquiry into the disposal of theYork sewage,held at York week before last, a new departure of very great importance, from a fishery point of view, will have been made. York, it appears, is one of the numerous towns that, in spite of the Rivers' Pollution Prevention Act, 1876, continues to pour its sewage into the river and, so far as that Act was concerned, it might have gone on pouring in sewage until the end of the time bnt in 1884, York went to Parliament to enlarge its boundaries, and Parlia- ment, as a condition of granting the extension, compelled the Corporation, within two years, to submit to the Local Government Board a plan for purifying its sewage. The Corporation seems to have taken a very long two years, but at last they have prepared a scheme, and the Lecal Government Board has sent down an inspector to inquire into its merits. The scheme proposes to intercept all the existing sewage from the river, bring it to a pumping station about a mile below the city, and then pump it to a place about two milea lower down the river, where it will be treated on the continuous system, with lime and alum, and, after passing through tanks, the effluent will be discharged into the river, about a mile above the Nalm Dam, which is situated at the head of the tideway. The result will be that the sewage of York, which is now discharged by various small drains over a space of about ten miles, will be all discharged at one spot, a little way above a weir. The Yorkshire Fishery Board and the fishery owners, such as Lord Wenlock, Mr Palmer, and others, naturally feel disquieted at the proposed state of things, and they appeared at the inquiry by counsel to place their views before the Local Government Board. Of the three modern ways of treating sewage, all or any could be tried at York, and, curiously enough, at about the same cost, except the cost of the land. From the proposed pump- ing station the sewage could be easily pumped, and land very suitable for sewage furnished. The sewage could be treated and the effluent passed through land before it is dis- charged into the river or the sewage could be treated and the effluent discharged direct into the river. The Corporation of York adopted the last course, not because it was the best, for it was admittedly not so, but because it was the cheapest, and, as they contended, all that was required. Having regard to the volume of water passing down the Ouse, and the volume of the sewage, the proportion, they allege, would never be less than fifty to one. The Fishery Board, however, were afraid that, however well this might look on paper, in practice it would not be so satisfactory, as, although the volume might be small, unless the works were properly managed the effluent would become highly poisonous and, looking at the fact that the Ouse at the point where it was proposed to discharge the water was almost stagnant, it was, in effect, discharging the deleterious matter into a pond. Up to this point iha case did not differ from most sewage cases, but the counsel for Lord Wenlock and the Fishery Board, Mr Willis Bund, here took another line. He elicited, in cross-examination, from the engineer, Mr Mansurgh, whose know- ledge of sewage works is most extensive, that he, the engineer, did not know of any sewage works on a salmon river, or what was the effect of sew- age on Salmonidce, especially migrating Salmonidce. Like most engineers, Mr Mansurgh Stated that fish could be seen feeding at the mouths of drains and sewers, and that it was therefore clear that crude sewage did not hurt them; but, in cross-examination, Mr Mansurgh was compelled to admit that the fish usually seen at the mouths of sewage drains are roach and dace—not Salmonidce—and he was unable to say if migrating Salmonidce were ever found at the mouths of drains. Mr Mansurgh also admitted that the effluent from the York sewage at the pro- posed new works could be made much purer if it iWfrhltered through land before it was discharged into the river, that there was no reason it should not be, except the small additional cost it would cause. Professor Denan, who also gave evidence, admitted he did not know of any case of treated sewage on a salmon river, although some of the dye works at Galashields were treated, and also some of the manufacturing refuse at Perth. It was then contended on behalf of the Fishery Board that as it was admitted that the question of purity of the effluent was a mere matter of cost, and as the Local Government Board allowed different degrees of purity for the effluent, according to the places where it was discharged, that on all rivers in which any migrating SdlmonicUe are found a higher standard of purity should be required than elsewhere. At Sheffield, where fish life and all other life has been long extinct, all that is required is that the effluent should be unobjectionable, so far as appearances went, and the same rule was applied to Manchester. At Aylesbury and Hertford a higher standard was insisted upon, and also at Kingston-on-the-Thames. That while it was more than probable the Sheffield effluent would kill all fish, the Kingston did not do 80" as far as roach & dace were concerned, and that now, for the first time, salmon rivers were being dealt with, the Fishery Board were entitled to ask for the purest possible effluent at a reason- able cost. It was also urged by Mr Bund that the question was not whether the effluent in a salmon river was absolutely poisonous to fish life or not that it might well be that fish would live near where the effluent came in the question was whether, having regard to the proposed purity of the effluent, and to the whole of the sewage being concentrated at the one spot, salmon would run past it. Would they not,-when they first felt it, drop back and either hang about the sewage outfall and the weir or return over the weir, spawn in unsuitable places above, and the whole of the spawn be thereby lost ?—a state of things that would in a very few years put an end to the Ouse as a salmon river. What the views of the Inspector on these arguments may be we shall not know until he makes his report, even if we do then but meanwhile we are desirous of bringing the question before the Fishery Boards and the fishing public generally, and ask if they are not prepared to take their stand on some such ground as this-to endeavour to get the Local Government Board to follow out the pre- sent practice, and state that the quality of the emuent shall depend in all cases on the water of the river into which it flows. If no fish live in it, if it is a stream like the Aire, or the Calder, or the Irwell, then let the Sanitary Authority be content with an effluent that is clear and not offensive. If fish life exists, then let the effluent be adapted so that the fish will not be injured. The suggestion is ingenious, that Salmonidce, 09 require a greater degree of purity than any other fish, and migratory SalmonuLe the purest form of all, and we regret that Mr Bund, instead of ap- pearing as counsel and suggesting what we believe is a new departure, was not called as a witness, and the facts elicited 011 cross-examina- tion which he relies to prove it. The facts must be derived from observation, and careful obser- vation, of the habits of fish, and if the Severn Fishery Board, who, we are aware, are engaged in making a variety of observations on the habits j of fish, have any facts to establish the point, we trust they will give them to the public, for it will be a clear gain to the fishing interests if this sliding scale of Mr Bund's can be recognised and established. The argument about; fish being seen at the mouths of rivers has always been a favourite one in the mouths of those who pollute t our streams and it has always seemed to us one that it is difficult to get over. But if the view that the C'yprinida will live where Salmonida; will not, that migrating Salmonida; will not swim by a source of pollution that is strong enough to kill I them, is correct, we are certainly justified in insisting that the test of purity shall be, not what kills fish, but what deters fish not what affects roach and dace, but what causes salmon to turn aside from their upward path. There may obviously be two very different qualities of affluent, andwe think that all fishermen should mind that in salmon rivers the purest possible effluent should be required. At York it is said to be only a question of cost. Probably £ 3,000 or £ 4,000 extra outlay would be all that is required. All our scientists now say that they can purify the sewage effluent to any standard that is required. Parliament should, therefore, insist that the standard should be proportionate to the requirements of the river. If the Local Govern- ment Board instruct their Inspector to insist on this sewage scheme, and if in future extensions ■ 1 a:. „ ot the limits ot towns rarnameni itinkra itilo a condition of the sewage scheme, we believe a great step in advance will have been made. At any rate, all our fishery boards are deeply in- debted to Lord Wenlock and the Yorkshire Fishery Board for raising this important point.— Land and Water.
INTELLECTUAL POSITION OF WOMEN IN TURKEY. In the present day, more than in any other, and more than in most countries, the woman in Turkey becomes for life the companion of her husband. If he belongs to the educated class, so must she be capable of passing with him the many hours spent in the home. On the husband reaching home, he remains there until he leaves in the morning. There is no untrue answer to callers of Not at home but a far stronger answer that he is at home, and consequently cannot be seen. The female prerogative is supreme the husband belongs to his wife, and so does the house. Unless he is a very great official, or living in a Government palace, he has only a small room in his house for the reception of male guests. The lady has the society of her own kinsmen in her house and in theirs, and of her own kins- women, and of the kinsmen of her husband if she chromes. In the daytime the houses are free for lady visiting, and for fashionable parties, &c. The consequence is, that husband and wife are brought together every evening at home, and the solid foundation is laid on their alliance for life for, notwithstanding legal facility of divorce, husband and wife remain attached till death by the strong bonds of affection. It was truly stated in The Queen that plurality of wives is practically rare, but not for the reasons there stated. It has nothing to do either with Professor Vambery's evidence of ladies wearing .French shoes, nor with their occasionally using a thin veil or yashmak. The cause of the change in social relations is the effect of the reforms of the great Sultan Mahmood. Those reforms were intended to be for the political benefit of the community, but in their davelopment they have particularly affected women for their good. In olden days the common end of the Pasha, some- times a former Circassian slave, was the sudden death by the bowstring, the plunder of his palace, and the dispersion of his family. The short or long career was one of recklessness, luxury, and indulgence. Mahmood made life safe, and the conditions of society are changed. The son of a Pasha is married to the daughter of another functionary after full negotiations. It may be a marriage for political interest, as elsewhere, or it may be a love match but the young lady must be able to be the wife of her husband, and to take her place in society. Thus the supposed ignorant doll has small chance in the process of selection. Education, intelligence, and accomplishments are as keenly canvassed as elsewhere. When married, she will be brought into communion of ideas with a political class as well trained and as able as any in Europe. She will associate with women similarly influenced, some who have travelled much in the empire, who are conversant with its political necessities, its perils, and its hopes. It is the women of Turkey who have greatly upheld it in recent trials. They have to train their sons and daughters in the paths of virtue, of patriotism, and of self. sacrifice. What are the intellectual influences manifested in such a society is an interesting subject of con- templation. It is difficult for the stranger to comprehend. An English lady, having vague and incorrect notions as to the country and its people, visits Constantinople. To gratify her curiosity, she goes with a native acquaintance to see a Turkish lady, who may be a personage of rank, but is only known to the introducer as a trade customer. The Englishwoman is civilly received her own position, if she has one, is not appreciated by the introducer, and hostess and guest see strange things in each other. Neither leaves with an enhanced estimate of the other, their intercourse having taken place through the medium of a person equally remote from English and Turkish society. The English lady, perhaps, has her county associations the Turkish may be a member of some ancient family of a dereh-bey or feudal prince or baron, or have some other topic of association. To arrive at some understanding of the social relations of Turkish families is also readily within compass. Let us take the family of H. H. the late Fuad Pasha, for many years Grand Vizier. He was a man of brilliant endowments, well appreciated in Constantinople and Paris, and who as a young man had been a favourite at the Embassy in London. He was able to hold his own among the statesmen and scholars of Europe and the East. Of his own family was his aunt, the famous poetess, Leila Khanum. Hit wife was one of the three sisters of the well- known Kiamil Bey, all women of mark, and who exercised a great influence on the fashionable society of the new era. One of these ladies was the chief of the French party, and her daughters before marriage were to be seen dancing at the balls of the Ambassadors. Such, however, was no evidence of culture. They spoke French, but that holds a lower standard with them than with us, for Persian still remains a high literary language, in which ladies, too, compose poems. Arabic is not only a sacred and literary language, but is the speech of the south of the empire. With regard to Turkish literature, though now there are many printed books, we must modify our conceptions, or rather, we must go back to the literature of England and France in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when the book was less esteemed than the manuscript com- positions. Now in Stamboul, as in such days, ths productions of the choicest wits pass from hand to hand in the polished epigram of a few lines, and the longer ellsay or poem. The book only comes later for the common reader, after society has long enjoyed the freshness of the original. Four lines by Fuad or Aali, a compliment, a satire, an inscription for a public monument, were eagerly sought for and devoured. Each word, each phrase was scanned, criticised and enjoyed. Even state papers are received as literary efforts. The lady has access to the choice library of her husband, for of such there are many on which treasure is lavished but the volumes have smaller charm for one who is in touch with the thoughts of the greatest minds and choicest spirits of the day. The newspaper, a new and thriving institution, has not yet competed among ladies with the fresh intelligence of the husbands arrived from the Porte, or the social gossip which my lady has brought from the party at the bath or some great centre for the communication of scandal. The newspaper has not there made home less natural. Poetry has a special charm for the women of Turkey, not necessarily in books, for the love tale, the story of adventure, is there alive, not taken from dead leaves, but heard and repeated from the earliest times of childhood. Repeated, too, in the versious of the many races that in- habit the country and make it rich in folklore. It is such recitals which supply the place of the drama, and, as among ourselves, afford associated enjoyment and the charm of a common sympathy. Novel reading, often solitary, is an absorbing pursuit, but the recitation of the taleteller, amateur or professional, is not the less so when the excitement is enhanced by companionship and by the comments of a varied and appreciative audience.-The Queen.
During a thunderstorm on Tuesday night the Eiffel Tower was struck by a thunderbolt. No one was injured, and the tower sustained no damage.
THE IMAGINATION IN MEDICINE. The pleasant plea for the imagination as a hygienic agent which Sir James Crichton-Browne put before the British Medical Association on Friday night must have formed a welcome inter- lude to the graver matters with which the doctors liav3 been occupying themselves all the week. The specialists have been advocating this treat- ment and that drug, but now the Lord Chan- cellor's Visitor in Lunacy begs his hearers to., accompany him in to airier heights, to toss to the dogs the crude physic drawn from trees and herbs," and see whether the dulness of life might not be assuaged, or the pangs of pain mitigated, by a dose of poetry or a course of fairy tales. It is true that he is unable to demonstrate the hygienic virtues of Waverley," or the prophy- lactic merits of Pickwick." But it is undeniable that, though many of the so-called cures oy taitn- healers have been simple frauds, it is equally beyond cavil that people with no organic disease have in a marvellous manner recovered the use of their limbs by the reaction of mind upon body. How this is accomplished the psychologist does not profess to explain. Nor, until the nature of thought is fully understood, is he ever likely to say for certain when or in whom this action of the brain is likely to be successful. The materialist insists that the mind and the brain are simply interchangeable terms that thought is "cerebration;" that imagination constitutes the exhalation, as it were, of the grey matter within the skull. This, Sir James and the metaphysicians with whom he sides regard as an error, though, without brain, there is no imagi- nation, and it is tolerably certain that mental power bears, in most cases, a direct ratio to the size of the organ which, in some manner, evolves it. The physiologist may have good reason for scouting the smug conclusions of the phrenologist, who maps out the skull into regions, each one of which has under it that bit of the brain which concerns itself with a particular emotion. Yet the latest researches go far to show that there are functional purposes served by particular parts of the delicate contents of the cranium. At the same time, it is doubted whether any one of them is quite so specialised as the phrenologist teaches. All of them react upon all the others, with the result that, if the simplest mental act or bodily function ordered by it could be photo- graphed, the picture would present an amazing network of cerebrations, aided, exchanged, or intercrossed. Still, as Sir James says, we are far from understanding what mind is. It may bear to nervous action the relation of the sub- jective and the objective aspects of the same thing. But it by no means follows that the two are relative. Hence materialism is simply a logical error, springing out of a lack of capacity to discriminate between the objective and the subjective, and mind an impenetrable mystery. There is one function, or faculty, or cerebra- tion that even the phrenologist has not ventured to localise. This is imagination. It Is a some- thing per se. Its images, in which are brought into harmonious blending things new and old, are not reached by elaborate composition, but by a flash of intuitive perception. Imagination, aceording to Sir James Browne, is the pioneer which opens up new paths in the brain, in order that its different territories may inter-communi- cate. Thus a brain without imagination is like a country without roads, and in which locomotion is slow and difficult, while the man richly endowed with it finds a swift and easy means of communicating with all those outlying districts where thought is manufactured. Faith is simply imagination in another form, and though the Peculiar People have not yet managed to cure psoriasis by its exercise, or to woo the oltarus scabei from its burrow without the aid of brim- stone," they now and then so manage to stimu- late the imagination as to react favourably on those nervous maladies which defy physic. In itself, imagination may be a disease yet, con- trary to the general opinion, lunatics are usually barren in that faculty. The most brilliant of modern discoveries have been little more than provisional guesses to begin with. Without imagination, Newton could never have invented fluxions, nor Davy decomposed the earths and the alkalies. Faraday's discoveries originated out of the amazing fertility of his imagination. Through imagination Harvey beheld the circula- tion of the blood, and Darwin the hypothesis which has for a time revolutionised biology. Sir James Browne claims for imagination a place in every man's education, and a leading part in the physician's extra-professional employments. Some of the most famous of poets and novelists have been doctors. Akenside was the sweet singer who celebrated the pleasures of imagination, while Garth, and Blackmore, and Goldsmith, and Smollett, and Armstrong, and Erasmus Darwin, and Delta Moir, and Crabbe, were all either practitioners or educated for the pro- fession of medicine. John Brown, who wrote what is perhaps the most exquisite prc-se idyll of the age, was an Edinburgh Doctor, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, the most genial of humorists, was, for the best years of his life, Professor of Anatomy in Harvard College. Keats began life as a surgeon's assistant, and Dante, the greatest of all, was enrolled in the Florentine Guild of Leeches. Sydenham read Don Quixote" to the last, and recommended it to his professional brethren. Charles Darwin was-as Professor Huxley still is-a voracious novel reader, and the late Professor Baird, the American Naturalist, sought no more elaborate rest for his busy brain than the gentle stimulus imparted by what is known in the New World as the Dime Novel while Dr. Connolly, to whom the insane are indebted for their present humane treatment, was so convinced of imagination being the best of physicians, that late in life he returned with boyish zest to Gulliver's Travels." In Great Britain at the present moment there are nearly one hundred and twelve thousand lunatics under treatment, while there are thousands more who, if not actually mad, are not quite sane. Indeed, it was the avowed opinion of a celebrated pyschologist that no man and few women are quite compos mentis. Their brains are blemished in some little place, their minds frayed in some unsuspected spot. Yet it is not known that one in ten thousand of these un- happy people are the victims of imagination run wild. Men like Jerome Carden or Hartley Coleridge may, no doubt, so indulge in day dreams that their fancies grow into phantoms and haunt them. But it is as idle to judge these exceptional cases by the ordinary standard as to point to exploded boilers as an argument against the use of steam. Nor is it fair to recall the cases in which disordered intellects, dwelling on terrible tragedies like the suicide of the Austrian Crown Prince, have been led to emulate them, or boys, inflamed by the pictures in the Penny Dreadfuls," have taken to burglary and longed to become pirates. These cases should rather point to the wisdom of training the imagination in the right fields, of choosing the books for children with great care, and of exercising the most jealous control over the company they keep or the talk they hear. For the impressions of ycuth are indelible, if they are not always so vivid as those of the gentleman of seventy who passed dreadful nights dreaming that he was on the eve of being flogged by Dr. Keate. On a feeble mind any evil thought acts like poison, while a course of wholesome fiction might strengthen and refine it. In the great libraries the greatest run is always on works of fiction, and of all entertain- ments, the theatre is the most popular. It is also curious to find that the eagerness for imagi- native literature is strongest in youth, and among youth most marked in Spring, when the "fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." In the Birmingham lending libraries the highest number of romances, dramas, and poems are issued in March, the fewest in Autumn, though possibly this may be explained by the fact that August and September are the holiday months, when the fancy turns to other pursuits than read- ing. Still, it is cheerful to know that castles in the air have the approval of the Faculty, and a great many people, besides authors and pub- lishers, will be pleased to learn that the three volumes which they have hitherto regarded as something less than physic, are regarded by the doctors as of distinctly hygienic value.-Eveiting Standard.
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WRITING TO THE PAPERS. When an indignant Briton has exhausted every Dther means of displaying his wrath, he generally winds up by threatening to write to the papers. No matter what may be the cause of his trouble, he instinctively turns to the newspapers for his redress, and is disgusted in no small de- gree when he finds, as he does nine times out of ten, that it is one thing to write to the papers, and quite another to get his writing printed. Naturally, his thoughts are centred on his own particular complaint or hobby, and he cannot apparently for one moment conceive that what may be intensely important to him is a matter of no moment whatever to the rest of mankind. Hence, when his much-laboured effusion has been duly written, and despatched to the editorial office, he leans back in his chair with a smile of supreme satisfaction, and chuckles to think how surprised his friends Brown and Jones will be when they see his name in print. It never seems to enter his head that shoals of other grumbling Britons are equally anxious to pester the public with the little tales they have to tell, or that there is any limit to the size of a news- paper. He calmly takes it for granted that the one he honours with his contribution Is published, amongst other reasons, for the special purpose of enabling him to give to a sympathetic public the exact number of cats that disturb his rest at night, or a full description of the villainous countenance of the butcher who sold him those doubtful pork chops. His chagrin when, the next day, he finds no notice taken of his letter is great, but it does not cure him of his love of writing to the papers. He invents a hundred ex- cuses why this particular communication has been excluded, and he feels truly sorry for the editor who has been obliged, much against his will, to reject it. His mortification at being for the moment unread soon vanishes, and he eagerly seizes the very next opportunity that presents it- self of taking the public into his confidence. Profound in his belief that the Press is the Fourth Estate, of which Mr Carlyle used to say, 41 Let the other three hold it if they can," what so natural and so easy as to invoke its aid on any and every conceivable occasion. As a means of getting his wrongs righted, it is cheaper than going to law, and much safer than having re- course to physical force, with the additional advantage that the unknown Smith will for twenty-four hours, at least, make acquaintance with thousands and tens of thousands of readers, who will more probably curse him for his in- trusion than sympathise with his subject; but that is a thought which troubleth him not. That he forms a most exaggerated idea of the power of the Press, especially as it relates to the particular matter he may have in hand, goes with- out saying. It is sufficient for him, if by g*od luck his letter is printed, that instead of convey- ing his ideas of the world in general, and the Maybrick case in particular, to his next door neighbour or his vis-a-vis in the train,, he has contrived to bore an indefinite number of strangers with the outcome of the process he calls thinking. A very fair specimen of the average news- paper letter-writer, especially one of the class that would be ranged under the head of bores, is given by one who evidently had an intimate acquaintance with them. He fondly believes, says the writer, that his letters are a favour to the paper to which they are addressed and no matter what the theme, he usually begins by claiming, as a kind of right, a space for the dis- cussion of a subject of deep-he might say, the deepest-social importance, such as secondary punishments, or reformatory schools. He pro- ceeds to dilate upon the text of prevention being better than cure, and tells a moving tale of a reformed boy who was taken in hand by a philan- thropic friend of his, who helped him to emigrate to Canada, whence he wrote to say he had saved 6s 6d in chimney sweeping, and sent Is Gd to the Sunday school of his native village. With this he contrasts the miserable end of the unreformed boy, whom the police will never let alone, and who, when sentenced to penal servitude for burglary, told the chaplain that it was all along of the coppers a-taking away his character when he looked out for work;" and then comes the moral, which is about as fresh and invigorating as the story of "Old Mother Hubbard." The thing has been told many times and in many ways, but every day brings its own batch of letters on the subject, and each writer believes devoutly that his view of the question is the most novel and original with which the public has ever been regaled. Then we have the posses- sors of real though minor troubles of every possible description. They are recounted day after day and year after year in the Press, but but still there they remain, unredressed, and are likely to flourish till the end of time, unless it should so happen that the grievance is one in which the public, as a body, takes a deep interest, and then, mayhap, the ball set rolling by the newspaper correspondent is the means of bring- ing about a much-needed reform. But, on the other hand, who can remember the day when first the extortionate charges of hotel keepers, the misdeeds of railway companies, the insolence of cabmen, and the villanies practised at mock auctions were laid bare by indignant writers 1 And yet all these evils are as vigorous and flourishing as ever. They are as much stock subjects on which to write to the papers as the story of the first cuckoo or the last swallow, and they crop up just as regularly. They do no harm, and, we fear, but little good. They are doubtless a solace to the aggrieved—a kind of safety valve, which prevents the grumblings for which Englishmen are proverbial acquiring a dangerous volume which, if suppressed, might end in an ugly storm. But they are no more. However much the writer may fancy that his particular thunderbolt has brought about destruc- tion and dismay in the desired quarter, he is but but nursing a pretty conceit which has no real existence. The case with which a newspaper controversy can be got up on every imaginable subject, and the vast amount of twaddle that will be printed when once the question is opened, afterwards to be designated as public opinion, is one of the wonders of the age in which we live. So con- tinuous is the stream, that an enterprising pub- lisher has talked of printing a paper which should contain nothing but letters, trusting to the universal love of writing to the papers, not only for the necessary copy, but for the success of his proposed undertaking. It is by no means certain that the enterprise would have failed, but had it succeeded it would not have lightened the load of the Press waste-paper basket by a single ounce. In the early days of newspapers, when reading and writing were difficult accomplish- ments, acquired only by a few, the corre- spondence column was a very light affair, save when some great public event stirred the mind of the people, and even then lines sufficed where columns are requisitioned now. Editors in those days had such an easy time of it that they were continually announcing hew pleased they would be personally to assist apprentices in getting masters and servants places. They even amused themselves by shopkeeping. In a paper published in 1682, edited by one John Houghton, F.R.S., the invisible We informs his readers, In my first number I published my own selling of chocolate, and have sold in small quantities ever since. I have now two sorts, both made of the best nuts, without spice or perfume the one 5s., and the other 6s. the pound and I'll answer for their goodness. If I shall think fit to sell any other sorts, I'll give notice." Well, it is possible that even in these days editors, if they had their choice, would rather sell half a dozen sorts of chocolate than wade through the weary waste of letters which daily load their tables. To separate the wheat from the chaff alone must be a task that might well try the strength of a modern Hercules. To give just expression to public opinion on the innumerable subjects on which people now write to the papers, and yet not to weary their readers, is beyond human power. Putting aside purely public questions, there.iis the letter writer, and his name is legion, who imagines that the world is out of gear if he has a grievance the selfish man, who, as has been truly said, feels that he, M the heir of all the ages in the foremost files of time, should be uncomfortable, strikes him not so much in the I light of a personal wrong as in that of a blot on the face of creation." Add to him the hobby- rider, the British Matron, and the Constant Reader, with a few thousand observers of Nature in all her various freaks, and we can form some slight conception of what writing to the papers means.—Evening Standard.
INTERESTING DETAILS CONCERNING THE CUCKOO. At the end of last month, in Suffolk, 1 was informed by the servants that a strange bird, like a hawk," had been seen at the pantry window, and that it took raw meat chopped up small. I watched for the bird and found a full- grown young cuckoo, the chief object of its visit being a bosh of Pyracantfms Japonita which was loyered with the larvue of Orgyia antiqua, the common vapourer moth. In 'a day or two the bird had completely cleared the bush and then shifted its quarters to another blish, similarly infested, on the other side of the house. After clearing this it took up its abode in the front garden, where it perched on the lawn-tennis stop- nets which are hung up round the lawn, and it occurred to me that I might induce it to feed there, so I procured some lob-worms and threw them on the crass. The bird instantly took them, and now has become quite tame and will eome within a yard or two of me, and, so far, has given no sign of migrating. I have watched carefully, but have never seen any-bird attempt to feed it, except, in one instance, a wagtail but, as the pair 0: these are accompanied by six young ones, they have not much time to devote to the stranger, who, to a large extent, has shifted for itself. Since I have fed it with worms it seems to have got fat, and if a worm moves near the surface when the dew is on, it goes down and digs it out like a thrush. Its favourite position is a pole which I have put up for it, and sitting on this it much resembles a hawk, and is mobbed sometimes by swallows, which it snaps its beak at when they come too close. Several naturalists of repute-including my brother and Mr Frank Norgate—have witnessed these inter- esting facts; and we all agree that this is a somewhat new phase in the life-habits of a very mysterious bird, and worthy of record in your column, W. H. TUCK, in Land and Water.
IMITATION OF WOOD CARVINGS. Old oak or other carvings in low relief, It is said, may be very effectively and easily imitated, almost in facsimile, by the following process Procure some basil" leather and wet it thoroughly in warm water in which a small quantity of size or glue has been mixed wipe it as dry as possible with a cloth, then cut a piece sufficiently large to cover the carving and allow a small margin lay it upon the carving and press with the fingers all over, in order that the leather may take the shape of the carving as much as possible. Next, with a imooth pointed tool made of bone-say the handle of a tooth brush, filed down till it assumes a blunt knife shape-go over the surface carefully, pressing the leather into all the interstices of the design, and smooth- ing the larger or bolder portions until you hare succeeded in bringing out all details. Of course, this process can only be applied to carvings, etc., which are not undercut. If the superfluous moisture has been removed froin the leather in the first instance, it may now be easily taken from the, carving without interfer- ing with its shape, but if not, it must be left until partially dry. When taken off, the leather should be placed in a warm place to dry thoroughly, when it will be found to be quite stiff, and may be coated thickly at the back with a layer of guttapercha, or with the following mixture: pitch, resin, plaster of paris, equal parts'; melt the pitch and resin together, and then stir in the plaster of paris. If a small quantity of wax candle be added to the mixture, it will be rendered tougher. The imitation may now be applied to the use for which it was intended, and if treated with dark distemper oak stain and oiled, will look wonderfully like genuine carved oak.
THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO WALES. The Manchester Umpire thus notices the disloyal action of Mr Gee in connection with the visit of her Majesty to North Wales, and, under the head of What People are Saying," says that that gentleman ought at once to resign his position of chairman of the Denbigh County Council :— GEE, WHOA Goad Mr Gee, of Denbighshire (He's Weleh, you know; qnite Welsh, you know), Refoses ever to bow low To Sovereign, Prince, or Peer. He hopes" the Queen will welcomed be (la Wales, you know in Wttlet-, you know), But why the Taffies they should go— Except to hoot-he cannot see. He reads his Bible every day (He's meek, you know; quite meek, you know), But tithes do raise his dander so, That for the Queen he cannot pray. And then the Prince of Wales oh, dear! To race to go, to race to go, While Cymric bards are yelling Oh A Welsh Republic's very near. Accept Free Lince's" tip, dear Gee (It's straight,you know; quite straightyou know); Leave traitor wile to foreign foe, "The Welsh heart's loyal, though it's free."
The fees received in the House of Lords show a tendency to decrease. In some years nearly £ 40,000 has been paid into the Exchequer, and the House of Lords became nearly self-support- ing. It might have lived upon its fees had the increase continued, sayti a London correspondent. But last year the fees amounted to only £20,000, and the expenditure was more than £ 44,000. It is said that the Queen has decided to retrench as largely as possible the expenditure under the different heads of the Civil List, so that the annual savings may be considerably larger than has hitherto been the case. For this purpose her Majesty has appointed two or three noblemen and gentlemen in whom she has confi- dence to examine carefully the details of the expenditure. It is probable also that she will open a correspondence with the Prime Minister with the view of reducing the number of officials in the Royal Household who are members of the I Government. It will probably be difficult for the Prime Minister to sanction the abolition of offices which are now held by members of this Government, but in any event at the accession of the next Government there will be a large dimi- nution in the number of Court offices which are held by members of the Government. A curious exploration has now been undertaken in a vast region of Scandinavia, which has practically run wild for nearly a hundred years. I Towards the latter end of the last century an I epidemic—locally called "the plague" broke out in this region, and whole villages, as well as homesteads and farms, were deserted. At the present time their names live only in tradition, the old roads are covered with brushwood and vegetation, and the country is given up to game and wild animals. Recently the tract has been bought by a London syndicate for sporting, and it may be ultimately mining, purposes. They have commissioned Sir Henrry Pottinger, who was one of the pioneers of Norwegian travel, and Mr John Sargent, the well-known Oxford coach" of Hertford, to visit and report upon this almost forgotten territory. An interesting account of their travels may therefore be ex- pected before the winter. It is commonly supposed that Mr Gladstone is quite incapable of telling a good story, but he can sometimes cap a tale with the best of them. On one occasion at a dinner party there was some talk of the Duke of Cambridge's rather powerful vocabulary. "Yes," said Mr Gladstone, the Duke is strong, but he is nothing to his uncles. There was the Duke of Cumberland, for instance, who used to take away people's characters in the most original and alarming way. He was asked to request the Archbishop of Canterbury to move the rejection of the first bill for the abolition of church rates. Off he went with the commission, and returned much excited. Being rather deaf, he habitually spoke at the top of his voice, so he cried out to a company of grave and reverend members of the House of Lords, "The Arch- bishop says he will be devoted to everlasting fire, but he'll move the rejection of the bill. I need scarcely, add that the original language which his grace of Cumberland professed to quote from his grace of Canterbury had been a little softened.
CARMARTHEN BOARD OF GUARDIANS. The usual fortnightly meeting of the Carmar- then Board of Guardians was held at the Union Workhouse on Saturday, Mr J. Hughes (chair- man) presiding. 0 THE ATTACK UPON A MEDICAL OFFICES. MR. W. L. HUGHBS' RHPLY. The following letter was read by the clerk from Mr W. L. Hughes, Medical Officer of Health for the Carmarthen District, in reply to the charge brought against him by Mr N. Thomas, Maesy- prior, in a letter sent to the Board, and veeetved at the previous meeting 10, Spilman-strset, Carmarthen, August 0th, 1S89. To the Chairman of the Carmarthen Board «f Guardians. Sir.-In answer to the letter sent me by your clerk, on the 4tb August, re Daviel Jones, Da By- bank, Llangain. I bejf to state that I was requested "by order" by the Kelieting Officer, on the 31st January, to attend the aforesaid Doiri4 Jones on behalf of the Carmarthen Union. I did so on the same day, and found his leg put up in two spliats. His daughter informed me that he was run over a week previously, and she had sent for Mr Piiee, surgeon, who told her that the leg was brokeir. and that the Lone had come through the.skin." I did not disturb the leg, as it would be a dangerous thing to do in a compound fracture, there being at the time no symptoms of fever. In a few days the patient complained of great pain in his leg. I nndid the dressings and found the upper fragment of the fracture protruding through the skin to the extent of quarter of an inch. With some difficulty I reduced the displacement., and put the leg up in my own splint*. I attended him regularly for over three months, as you can see by my fortnightly returns. I cannot see how Mr N. Thomas, or any one else, can. say that I received this fee allowed by the Local Government Board for work dene by Mr Price, seeing that I had to reset the limb and attend the case regularly for over three months. I might also point out to you that no one can claim to have successfully treated a compound fracture of the leg in 18 days, as stated by Mr N. Thomas' letter. I am, yours faithfully, W. Lawire HUGHES. The Chairman said the charge made that day fortnight against Mr Hughes was of having charged JE5 for setting a leg and attending to the patient when Dr. Price had previously done the work. They now had Mr Hughes' reply, that if he did not set the leg on the first instance, he had to reset it when sent for, and when he found it required it. Possibly, if some statement ef this had been made of the circumstances of the case when Mr Hughes' claim was sent in, this bother would haTe been avoided. The Clerk asked for definite instructions an to what he was to do about Mr Thomas' letter. The Chairman said he must reply to him. A Guardian asked if that Board had to pay Mr Price ? The Chairman said that no such application had been made. Rev W. Lewis, Llangunnock, said that Mr Thomas could not have known the facta of the ease when he wrote his letter. The Chairman said he thought he did. Mr W. L. Hughes said he had no alternative but to do what he did. The Chairman—That ia what we say. Rev. W. Lewis thought Mr Hughes' explana- tion was satisfactory, and proposed that it he accepted. Mr J. LI. Thomas, Llangain, seconded. The Chairman-I don't know that that is necessary. The question is whether we shall answer Mr Thomas. Rev. W. Lewia- Well answer that the Board is satisfied with Mr Hughes' explanation. Mr W. L. Hughes-l would like to know that it is, for this is a serious charge against me-it io one of obtaining money by false pretences. Rev. W. Lewis' motion was carried unani- mously. The Clerk-Am I to reply to Mr Thomas? The Cbairman- Yes, send him a copy of Mr Hughes' letter and of the resolution. Rev. W. Thomas-The letter will be in the papers. The Chairman-We have nothing to do with the papers. Let us be complete.
A CLAIM FROM MR. ELLIS EDWARDS. A letter was read from Mr J. Ellis Edwards asking for the payment of a fee which, he statede was distinctly laid down in their book of refer- ence. The Chairman stated that Mr Edwards charged a fee for setting a leg, and an objection being raised that only the fibula had been broken, <te (the clerk) was instructed to write to the Local Government Board asking them whether such a charge came within their regulations. No answer had yet been received, and the Board were unable to pay the claim until it came. The proceedings then terminated. a
After the dinner given to Dr. Grace at Canter- bury a flood of anecdote and myth about W. G. was let loose; but, amusing as many of the stories were, there was none funnier than that told of the match at Marlborongh College, when, as will happen sometimes to the finest cricketer, he was, to the dismay of the spectators, dismissed for a tiny figure in both innings. In chapel at night the boys sang with as much gusto aa devotion the words in the hymn for the evening —" The scanty triumphs Grace hath won." The deaths in Madras last year were altogether 1,642, being an increase of 151 over 1887. The increase was, however, entirely due to snake- ■ bites, as there was a decrease of forty-one in the number killed by wild animals. There was also a large increase in the number of cattle killed.. the total number being 10,096. Tigers cause most loss of life among human beings, but the panthers and leopards caused much the most destruction among animals On the other hand, there was a large decrease in the number of wild animals killed, with the exception of tigers and leopards, while there was an increase in the sums- paid as rewards. This is accounted for by the fact that full, instead of half, rates were paid for cubs, and by certain special rates sanctioned for. tigers in the Vizagapatam district. The question of allowing a Sunday band to play on the pier at Ventnor has just been decided by the vote of the ratepayers. Voting papers were issued last week, under the system of one man one vote, with the following result :—Against the Sunday band, 313; for the Sunday band, 243; majority against, 70; 136 rate-payers abstained from voting. The first consignment of girls sent out to Australia under the charge of a matron by the Church of England Emigration Society has arrived all safe, and was -rery speedily absorbed. The matron told a reporter that the scheme would work exceedingly well, and that the society would shortly extend its operations, The passage money to Adelaide, Melbourne, or Sydney is only J20. There is a great demand in the colonies just now for domestic servants who > understand cookery and laundry work,] house- maids, trained nurses, milliners, and dress- makers. SNATCHED FROM THE JAWS OF DEATH" is a phrase often heard, especially in reference to the extraordinary cures wrought by the miraculous specifics of the Alofas Compamy. These are safe herbal specialities which apply to altiost every ailment of everyday life, and their effect has be. come one of the wonders of the hour. Consumption, that most fell disease which can afflict man, is found to yield to the powers of Alofas Tincture in a greater degree than any other medicine, and Alofas is a perfect charm in cases of Bronchitis and Throat diseases. For Brain weariness it is, in the form of a powder, invigorating and refreshing, and promotes sound sleep. The Alofas Stomachic is a veritable foe to Indigestion, Flatulence, Kidney and Heart Complaints while the Alofas Pilla are the most reliable in the world for the Liver, that source of so much misery. The Alofas Specifics for outward application are a perfect medicine chest and portable surgeon rolled into one, as they are equally effective for Spraind, Rheumatism, or Ulcers. The Alofas Company, whose establishment of 20, Oxford Street, London, id rapidly becoming world-famons, pride themselves in the fact that their Specifics are Pure, Exotic and English Herbal productions, and contain none of the deadly mineral poisons which send so many persons to the grave, instead of curing them. The prices are is. lid., 2s. 9d., and 4s. 6d. Can be obtained from all Chemists, or post free from the Alofas Company.'