ARRIVAL OF WESTON IN LONDON. With a view of reaching London before dusk on Saturday. Weston started from Brighton on his 94th stagp at three o'clock a.m. Although he had had only about a couple of hours' sleep he appeared won- derfully fresh and well, and at once got into a regular gait, and over Clayton-hill and by Hassock's-gate he arrived at St. Johns-common just as day was break- ing. Soon after seven o'clock he reached Cuckfleld (14 miles), and there partook of some refreshment, which had been prepared for him by the Rev. F. J. Mount. Having announced his intention of covering the whole journey without a break Weston pushed on through Crawley, where there was a large number of spec- tators. Along the rest of the route crowds were in waiting in every village, and at noon Reigate was skirted, the American and his following bearing off to the right along the Merstham-road. About four miles from Croydon some mounted policemen rode up, and on reaching the town a body of constables formed on either side, and escorted the pedestrian through an immense concourse. There, too, a long string of vehicles and a number of equestrians joined the cavalcade, which increased in length as the metropolis was neared. A heavy shower of rain thinned the crowd somewhat between Croyden and Streatham.andrain also descended heavily while passing Brixton-hill. At Kennington the throng received fresh additions, but the police managed admirably, and the pedestrian, by way of Kennington-road and Oakley-street, arrived at the Victoria Coffee Palace a few minutes before six o'clock. He had thus covered a distance of 53 miles on the road without a rest, a marvellous effort considering the exertions lie has undergone. As he entered the building he was enthu- siastically cheered. Inside the theatre, after a very brief interval, Weston delivered his address, under the pre- sidency of Dr. Alfred Carpenter, supported by Dr. Norman Kerr, Dr. B. W. Richardson, and other gentle- men.
-h THE MILK IN THE COCOA-NUT. The cocoa-nut is a subject well deserving of the most sympathetic treatment at the gentle hands of grateful humanity. No other plant is useful to us in so many diverse and remarkable manners. The solid part of the nut supplies food almost alone to thousands of people daily, and the milk serves them for drink, thus acting as an efficient filter to the water absorbed by the roots in the most polluted or malarious regions. If you tap the flower stalk you get a sweet juice, which can be boiled down into the peculiar sugar called (in the charming dialect of commerce) jaggery; or it can be fermented into a very nasty spirit known as palm-wine, toddy, or arrack; or it can be mixed with bitter herbs and roots to make that delectable compound native beer." Even as things stand at the present day Englishmen from morning to night never leave off being indebted to it. We wash with it as old brown Windsor or glycerine soap the moment we leave our beds. We walk across our passages on the mats made from its fibre. We sweep our rooms with its brushes, and wipe our feet on it as we enter our doors. As rope, it ties up our trunks and packages in the hands of the housemaid it scrubs our floors, or else, woven into coarse cloth, it acts as a covering for bales and furniture sent by rail or steamboat. We anoint our chapped hands with one of its preparations after washing; and grease the wheels of our carriages with another to make them run smoothly. Finally we use the oil to burn in our reading lamps, and light ourselves at last to bed with sterine candles. Altogether an amateur census of a single small English cottage results in the startling discovery that, it contains twenty-seven distinct articles which owe their origin in one way or another to the cocoa-nut paliii.- Corn 71 ill ilfagaziiie.
UNDERGROUND TELEGRAPH WIRES. Whatever may be said as to the expense of putting the telegraph lines of this country underground, to that complexion we shall come at last (remarks the Echo). Both in France and Germany, the main lines, at least, have been put underground, and in France more than 11,000 miles are in daily use, and such little difficulties as are incidental to their posi- tion have been overcome by invention. The wires are, of course, perfectly free from damage by wind- storms and experience has proved that in the case of electric storms, powerful earth-currents, &c., there is less disturbance than with aerial lines. The main lines in France are, as a rule, laid in trenches four feet deep, with inspection stations at intervals of about a third of a mile, and it is found that for lengths of 250 miles the speed of transmission is quite equal to that of aerial lines. By the use of relays" at suitable intervals it is found that the length of line is practically unlimited, and the Telegraph Department can afford to laugh at storms which upset the posts of systems dependent on the aerial method of carrying wires. Both France and Germany have a special reason for putting their telegraph wires underground, but the Americans have also arrived at the same determination from very different reasons, and a bill has been introduced into the New York Senate, which provides that in all cities of half a million inhabitants telegraph and other wires shall be put underground before the end of 1885. The simple fact is, that the arrangement of the telegraph wires in this country is crude in the extreme, and is not consonant with present knowledge or requirements. Business men and newspaper men —the latter of whom are both the servants and the representatives of the public-cannot any longer accept the excuse that the wind has blown down the telegraph poles. They must have a telegraph service which is not liable to be disorganised by every wind that blows with a little extra force.
PROFITABLE POULTRY KEEPING. The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News says that a favourable place for keeping poultry is in a good-sized run near the house in the suburbs of large towns. In those cases all the waste from the house, such as pieces of bread, meat, potato paring, and vegetable of all kinds, may be boiled or cut up and given to the fowls. This waste, which in most house- holds is thrown away, might be profitably utilised in the way suggested. All pot liquor in which meat or fish has been cooked should be used for mixing with barley meal or some of the prepared poultry foods. This the first meal in the morning consisting of meal, should be given steaming hot, and it is surprising what an excellent effect it has upon the supply of eggs, espe- cially during the winter months. At mid-day any scraps from the table may be given, then about four in the afternoon a feed of either barley or wheat, which will last them through the night. The cost for food for each bird varies from Id. to 2d. per week, the amount depending upon what the birds are able to pick up themselves, or the waste from the house which other- wise would be thrown away. From this it will be seen that poultry can only be made to pay when they are carefully looked after, and all the stories and figures that have been published demonstrating that a single hen can be made to'return a profit of 10s., 15s., or £1 a year, are mere flights of imagination of their authors, or made with the hope of selling their mis- leading works. There is, however, one matter that must not be entirely overlooked in poultry keeping- the pleasure and satisfaction of being able to pro- duce eggs for our own breakfast table, possibly in the very depth of winter, when our neighbours cannot get a fresh egg for love or money. In addition to this there is the fact that by using that which is now wasted and turning this into delicious meat and eggs at a comparatively small cost, we are helping 0 to retain at home some of the money which is now paid to other countries. We are told that he-who makes two blades of grass grow where formerly only one grew, is a benefactor to his race. Then how much more is the man to be commended who is the means of producing, say 500 or 600 eggs, even for his own use, at a small cost, where fowls were never kept before ?
MATCHES.—The people of the United States, so some genius figures out, use 280,000,000 matches per day. This is about five matches each for every man, woman, and child. AN AMERICAN OIL WELL.-The deepest well in the world is the Buchanan well near Wheeling, Va. It is down 4300 feet, and it is expected to lower it about 500 feet more. It is expected paying oil will be struck at that depth. POURED IT OUT OF His BOOTS.-Cliorus of excited boys: "Then the lightning struck you?" Skipper indifferently): Oh, yes, I was leanin' agin the main- mast when it struck it." Excited boys Didn't it kill you?" Skipper (more indifferently): Wal, no; I it all ran down my back." Excited tqys: And what did you do then ?" Skipper (most indifferently) I had to haul off my boots and pour the lightning out on the deck."
"THE CHILTERN HUNDREDS." Replying to the question, What is meant by the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds ?" the Daily Telegraph, in a leader, says It is a nominal office, in the gift of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, enabling z;1 a member of the House of Commons, by a constitu- tional fiction, to resign his seat. Membership of the Third Estate of the Realm, once obtained, is assumed to run an uninterrupted course from the date of the return to the general election next ensuing, and a member, not in any other manner disqualified, can only give up his trust in one way, that is by accepting an employment of profit under the Crown, in which case he ceases to be a member until the constituency from whom he derived his re- presentative position are pleased to re-elect him. It sometimes happens that members are anxious to withdraw, though only temporarily, in order to obtain a fresh mandate from their constitu- ents or it may be that some elect of a county or borough desires to retire altogether from the Parlia- mentary arena. The modus operandi is always the same. A formal application is made to the Minister for the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough, and Bodenham, in Buckinghamshire, or of the manors of Poynings, East Hendred, and North- stead, or the Eseheatorship of Munster, all assumed to be offices of emolument; and, if the Minister see no reason to the contrary, the application is forthwith granted. As a matter of fact, these stewardships are not places of profit, but sine- cures without salary, and the persons to whom they are given hold them by what may be called a tenure of grace. Bohn's Cyclopaedia of Political, Consti- tutional, Statistical, and Forensic Knowledge" says that as soon as the Stewardship—of the Chiltern Hundreds-" is obtained, it is resigned, that it may serve the same purpose again." Certain specified Government appointments, frequently held by Mem- bers of Parliament—being conferred by heads of departments, and not directly by the Crown- are exempt from the category of employments which demand resignation with a view to re- election such are the Under-Secretaries of State and the Surveyor General of the Ordnance. Since the year 18G7, a member already in office, accepting another post, does not thereby vacate his seat. Some writers doubt the strict legality of the form, on the ground that the stewardship fails to embrace the full meaning of a place of honour and profit under the Crown," and strictly speaking that is so but, like Mercutio's wound, 'twill serve." The practice dates back about 130 years, at which period the original object for which the post was created had long ceased to exist. Chiltern is a ridge or series of chalky hills extending across the county of Bucks, not far south of the centre, reaching from Tring in Hertfordshire to Henley in Oxford, a district anciently covered wilh dense beechen wood, the resort of daring and desperate robbers, bold outlaws of the Robin Hood type, who led a more or less merry life under the green- wood tree," at the expense of the peaceable farmers and villagers of the upland. Inasmuch as it became necessary to clear the country of these banditti by bringing them to the rough-and-ready justice of those far-off days, the Crown appointed an officer called the Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, whose duty it was to pursue and arrest the brigands, and provide them with a short shrift and a convenient halter. In course of time Chiltern became as free from footpads as the precincts of the Royal Palaces, so that the active duties of the Stewardship fell into desuetude, and the salary ceased to be paid. Yet the honorific office remained, a shell minus a kernel, and some time about 1750 a Minister of State applied it to its present purpose.
THE FORTHCOMING MEETING OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. The preparations for the meeting of the British As- sociation next August in Montreal are already prac- tically complete. In noticing the projected visit of the association to Canada, the Times in a leader says When the proposal was first made to hold the 1884 meeting in Canada, considerable doubt was expressed as to the propriety of the step, which seemed to some to derogate from the dignity of a body charged with so exalted a mission as the advancement of science. It is a mistake, however, to take people more seriously than they take themselves, and reflection has probably shown most of the objectors that the work of the as- sociation could be quite as effectually done on the Congo as on the Thames. The British Association has discharged two great functions. It has dispelled the notion that Western science demands from its votaries that profound abstraction from vulgar enjoyments by which a Hindoo adept attains to mastery of nature, and it has helped to fill the void annually created in the public mind of this country by the drying up of the fountain of intel- lectual refreshment at Westminster. We have learned from it that knowledge is "not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose," and we have also gained from it an easy and agreeable transition from the intense mental activity of the session to the commonplace relaxations of the recess. By holding its next meeting at Montreal it will confer inestimable blessings upon another continent, yet without detract- ing in any degree from the advantages it annually confers upon ourselves. The telegraph will enable us all to follow its movements and sympathise with its innocent enjoyments, while we may hope for the simultaneous publication at home of the profound speculations with which the presidents of the dif- ferent sections will dazzle and delight the Canadians. At the same time the mere extension given to this great yearly picnic must bring home to us all with redoubled force the strength of the ties that link the thinker with the common man. There is much that is admirable about American life, but it is decidedly monotonous. Comparing small things with great, we may dimly apprehend the boundless delight that will be caused by such a novel and splendid apparition as the British Association for the Advancement of Science. It offers at once a feast of lectures and an unparalleled show of highly interesting personages. It will discuss everything in heaven and earth with ease and confident fluency, and will fill thousands of thirsty souls with the delicious sensation of encyclopaidic knowledge. To men oppressed with the terrible American extension of plane sur- faces it will be inexpressibly refreshing to plunge into the lucid explanations of manifold dimensions which will doubtless be given by Section A. The rehabili- tation of primitive men in Section H will add new interest to the Indian problem, and Professor Ball's demonstration that the sun is cooling down into a cinder will gain a new and subtle charm in the pros- pect of a Canadian winter. With these and endless other attractions before them it is no wonder that the Canadians have made immense preparations for their distinguished guests. The great ocean lines are showing their appreciation of science by reducing their charges by ten per cent., and the Canadian Parliament has displayed a lavish hospitality. Fifty officials are so well provided for that they need not spend a penny from the time they leave England until they return, while fourteen thousand dollars are set aside to provide "assisted emigration" for ordinary members. The Canadian Pacific Railway is profuse in its offers of free passes to all who choose to ask for them, while it has further organized a grand free excursion for the whole body of visitors to the Rocky Mountains. This brings them dangerously near the American category of "dead heads." but lest thev should incur the additional reproach of being free lunchers they will be allowed to pay a sum not exceeding two shillings for a square meal." A host of miscel- laneous trips and excursions have also been arranged, and even the American lines offer tickets at less than half price, so that visitors who choose to go by New York may have a cheap preliminary canter over the Northern States. Local committees will be organised everywhere to take the excursionists by the hand and enable them to lay out their time and their money to the best advantage, while the telegraph companies have generously abolished their tax upon knowledge," and will transmit messages to all parts of Canada and the United States free of charge. With a forethought which is really touching, provision has been made to avert all possible domestic unpleasant- ness from intending visitors. They will be allowed to take with them not only their wives, but also two other near relatives, so that the sacred relations of home will not for an instant be interrupted. It would be wonderful were these extremely agreeable condi- tions not to attract a great many professors of the important science of economical pleasure-seeking. Precautions have therefore been taken to exclude mere "trippers," and to make sure that all this bounteous hospitality shall be enjoyed only by the votaries of some sterner study. The Council, we are told, are determined to make the meeting one of real work, and if they succeed in showing any notable advancement of science the result will speak volumes for their skill in maintaining discipline in face of over- whelming temptations.
WILLS AND BEQUESTS. (From the Illustrated London News.) The will (dated July 7, 1882), with a codicil (dated Sept. 15, 1883), of Miss Mary Barkworth, late of Braffords, Tunbridge Wells, who died on Jan. 14 last, was proved on the 14th ult. by Henry Barkworth, the nephew, the sole executor, the value of the personal estate amounting to upwards of £ 109,000. The testatrix bequeaths £ 10,000 each to her nephews, John Boulderson Barkworth, Henry Barkworth, Harold Barkworth, and Thomas Barkworth SIO,O(K), upon trust, for her nephew Shadwell Morley Barkworth, for life, and then for his son, Walter £10,000, upon trust, for her great-nephew, Henry Smith Barkworth. for life, and then for his children, as he shall appoint; and legacies to nieces and other relatives, servants, and others. She also bequeaths S300 each to the Church Missionary Society, the Pastoral Aid Society, the Vernacular Education Society, the Army Scrip- ture-Readers' Society, the National Lifeboat Institu- tion, and the Ragged Church and Chapel Union; and £100 to the Society for the Home Teaching of the Blind. The residue of her property she gives to her said nephews Henry and Harold. The will (dated Oct. 23, 1883) of the Venerable Archdeacon Anthony Huxtable, late of Sutton Waldron, Dorset, who died on Dec. 12 last, at St. Leonards, was proved on the 5th ult. by Mrs. Susannah Maria Huxtable, the widow, the Rev. Samuel Penrose Downing, and Henry McLauchlan Backler, the executors, the value of the personal estate amounting to upwards of X88,000. The testator bequeaths £ 4000 to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts; £ 3000 to St. Augus- tine's College, Canterbury; XIOOO eacl, to the Salisbury Infirmary, the Dorset County Hospital, the West- minster Cottage Hospital (Shaftesbury), the Sarum Diocesan Poor Benefices Augmentation Fund, for an organ or choir fund for the parish church of S utton Waldron, and to the Society for the Benefit of Widows and Orphans of the Clergy of the county of Dorset. He leaves to his wife EIO,000, his house in Warrior- square, St. Leonards, and all his plate, pictures, furni- ture, and household effects; to his nephew Edgar Huxtable, £ 3000, and a further sum of £ 2000 on the death of his wife; to his nephew Thomas Anthony Huxtable, £2000, and an additional sum of X2000 on the death of his wife; and considerable legacies to his brother, niece, wife's relatives, servants, and others, some of which, however, are not payable until his wife's death. The residue of his property he gives to his wife. The will (dated Oct. 29, 1878), of Mrs. Anne Tredwell, late of St. John's-lodge, Lower Norwood, who died on Nov. 5 last, was proved on the 1st ult. by Joseph Liddell and George Woolcott, the execu- tors, the value of the personal estate amounting to over £ 62,000. The testatrix bequeaths X300 each to the Railway Benevolent Institution, the Royal Asylum of St. Anne's, Streatham, and the Asylum for Idiots, Earlswood S5000, upon trust, for the widow of her deceased brother, Charles Payne, for life, or during widowhood, and then for her said brother's children, and she also gives the children a further sum of £ 1500; and legacies to other relatives, executors, godchildren, doctors, servants, and others. There are specific bequests of jewellery, plate, pictures, and furniture to daughters and godchildren; and she appoints a sum of £10,000 in settlement, between her three daughters, Mrs. Louisa Jackson, Mrs. Alice Mary Sargent, and Mrs. Emily Augusta Matthews. Her children being already provided for by her late husband, she leaves the residue of her real and per- sonal estate between the children of her said three daughters. The will and codicil of the Rev. Edward Thurlow, late of No. 29, Clarges-street, Piccadilly, who died on Dec. 14 last, were proved on Jan. 30 by Major Edward Hovell Thurlow and Captain Ernest Hovell Thurlow, the nephews, the executors, the value of the per- sonal estate amounting to over £ 47,000. The testator bequeaths E500 each to the Church Missionary Society and the Society for Pro- moting Christian Knowledge; £ 2000 each to his nephews, Charles Lethbridge Thurlow, Ernest Hovell Thurlow, Hugh Hovell Thurlow, and Reginald Heber Thurlow, and to his niece, Evelyne du Corney; and there are some specific bequests. All the residue of his estate and effects is to be divided between such charitable institutions (except the Church Missionary Society and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge) as his executors in their uncontrolled dis- cretion shall select. The will (dated Nov. 5,1881) of Mr. Thomas Man Bridge, formerly of Layton House, Putney, but late of Shakespeare Lodge, Folkestone, who died on Dec. 1 last, has been proved by Miss Frances Hannah Bridge, the sister, and Henry Elland Norton, the executors, the value of the personal estate exceeding £ 35,000. The testator leaves S3500 sterling and £ 3500 Reduced Stock, upon trust, for his said sister for life, and then for Alexander Bassett and Robert Goodenough Bassett; and he also leaves to these two gentlemen his interest in a house in Motcombe-street, Belgrave-square. There are bequests to cousins, god- children, friends, nurse, and others; and the residue of the personalty he gives to his said sister. The will (dated Oct. 10, 1882), with a codicil (dated Nov. 30, 1883), of Mrs. Martha Beckingham, formerly of No. 168, Southgate-road, Islington, but late of No. 30, Mildmay-park, Highbury, who died on Dec. 13 last, has been proved by William George Wilcox and Bernard Joseph Burgess, the executors, the value of the personal estate exceeding E21,000. The testatrix bequeaths X500 to the German Hospital, Dalston; £50 to the Home for Women, Soho-square and legacies to her own and her late husband's rela- tives, and others. The residue of her property she leaves to her sisters, nephews, and nieces.
GROSS CRUELTY TO CATS. In London, on Saturday, at the Marylebone Police- court, three young men, named respectively Cotterill, Roome, and Seddon, described as army students, re- siding at Notting-hill, were charged with being con- cerned together in cruelly ill-treating two cats, by beating them to death with sticks in Prince's-square, Bayswater.—Police-constable Hill, 221 X, said that at about half-past eleven o'clock on the previous night he saw the three prisoners, and two other young men not in custody, beating a cat with their sticks. As soon as they caught sight of him they made off, and he then saw a cat lying dead upon the pavement. He went after the prisoners round the square, and saw Cotterill knock another cat out of a doorway on to the pavement, and the other young men joined in beating the animal to death. They made off into Westbourne- grove, and there, with the assistance of some brother constables, the prisoners were taken into custody. Both cats were killed. The prisoner Cotterill: There was only one cat touched. Inspector Attwool, X division, deposed that he took the charge at the station, when all three prisoners admitted beating one cat to death, which they said they did for sport. He went to Prince's-square, and there saw on the ground spots of what seemed to be blood; but the bodies of the cats had then been removed by some one. The sticks carried by the prisoners were formidable weapons, each big and heavy enough to kill a cat. In conse- quence of the systematic annoyance and damage done by young gentlemen in the position of the prisoners it had been necessary to place plain-clothes constables on duty all over the neighbourhood. Complaints were constantly being made at the station of gardens being robbed, and vases and other ornaments being knocked down and broken. Chief Inspector Giles had also received a considerable number of letters on the subject. In reply to the magistrate's formal question as to whether they had anything to say in their defence, or witnesses to call, the prisoners curtly answered "No." Mr. Cooke, addressing the pri- soners, said that they had been guilty of very cruel and cowardly behaviour. They had 'beaten cats to death out of sheer and wanton cruelty. They would each have to pay a fine of X3, or be imprisoned for twenty-one days with hard labour.
THE HATS OUR FATHERS WoRE. The fashion in head gear for men and boys has undergone a great change during the last thirty years (says a contempo- rary). Now caps of cloth are rarely seen except on men in uniform or on foreign arrivals, and the silk hat is affected only by staid citizens of middle or mature age. The felt hat has usurped the place of both these head coverings for young and old, except when some state occasion demands the traditional stove-pipe; and there are fewwearers of these who knew their composition. Once, when the" beaver" hat was actually a beaver skin fashioned into a hat. the name was appropriate. Subsequent improvements reduced the price of beavers by changing the material, which became beaver fur—sometimes cheaper fur- attached by a glue or cement to a hat body of felt. Still later the fur was replaced by a silk plush, glued on to a felt form or body. But of late years even the felt body has been discarded for one of coarse muslin or canvas, steeped in the same stiffening liquor used on the felt body-shellac dissolved in alcohol—and receiving the outer covering of silk plush by the melt- ing of the lac glue by means of a hot iron.
THE ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. In London, on Wednesday, a meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society of England was held at its rooms in Hanover-square-Sir Brandreth Gibbs, president, in the chair. Eighty-three new members were elected, and the exceptionally large number of 287 candidates nominated. With reference to a recent suggestion by Major Craigiethat the society should make an in- vestigation into the amount of meat annually pro- duced by the live stock of the United Kingdom—a sub-committee was appointed with instructions to report what steps they proposed to take, and to produce an estimate of the probable expenses to be incurred. After the ordinary business had been disposed of, a deputation from Chester, headed by the Duke of Westminster, had an interview with the council on the subject of the invitation to hold the show of 1885 in that city. His grace expressed very great regret that in consequence of the action of the race-course committee the authorities were obliged to withdraw their invitation, and he could only hope that at some future time the society would have another opportu- nity of considering the claims of Chester. Subsequently a numerous deputation of noblemen and gentlemen were introduced by the Duke of Devonshire and the Earl of Lathom in support of the invitation of the corporation of Preston to hold the show of 1885 in that town. The Earl of Sefton and Lord Winmarleigh briefly advocated the claims of Preston, as did also the mayor (Mr. Forshaw), who replied to a series of questions addressed to him by the president as to the carrying out of necessary preparations. Representa- tives of the London and North-Western Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway were also in attendance, and gave assurances that the requisite railway facilities would be provided. The deputation having retired, it was moved by the Duke of Richmond, seconded by Mr. Dent, and carried unanimously, "That the country meeting of the society for 1885 be held at Preston," and the deputation were then apprised of the decision, and thanked for their attendance.
THE SUBMISSION OF MERV. The following account of the events immediately preceding the submission of Merv is published in the Russian paper Stiet, by the editor, whose brother, General Komaroff, commands at Askhabad In November the Persians, exasperated by the depredrations committed by the Merv Tekkes, appealed for Russian protection. In consequence, at the be- ginning of December, a detachment, consisting of several companies of infantry and two hundred and fifty Cossacks, with artillery, left Askhabad, with orders to halt on the Merv frontier, one hundred and fifty versts from that town. The Tekkes thought this detachment the advance guard of an army, and that the days of the independence of the oasis were numbered. When the alarm was at its height Cap- tain Abkhanoff suddenly appeared at Merv, with an escort of twenty-five Cossacks and a letter for one of the Khans. It was this officer who visited the Turkoman stronghold in disguise with the Konshing Caravan in the summer of 1882, and afterwards described his adventurous journey in a series of letters to the Moscow Gazette. He was graciously received by the Khan, to whom he recom- mended that he should propose to the other chiefs to petition for annexation to Russia. General Komaroff answered that in order to obtain this honour it would be necessary to renounce slavery, to set free all slaves, and to restore the booty taken from the Persians. These conditions were accepted, the prisoners were liberated, and Afghans and Persians returned to their respective countries. Of thirty-seven Russian subjects twenty went directly home, and seventeen to Askha- bad. The cattle which had been taken from the Persians were sent to Khorassan. On the arrival of the liberated Russians at Askhabad some touching scenes occurred. They were received by the authori- ties, and all wept for joy. The released captives were photographed by a Swiss traveller who happened to be at Askhabad. On January 25 four Khans and sixty notables arrived at Askhabad, and the result is already known." The St. Petersburg correspondent of the Standard says: This remarkable revelation, of the authenticity of which there cannot be a doubt, throws an entirely new light on the submission of Merv, and the manner in which it was brought about. Captain Abkhanoff, who is mentioned above, is to-day officially restored to the rank of major, from which he was reduced in 1879, when he was sent as a private soldier with Lomakin's expedition. I can absolutely confirm the intelligence that all the tribes between Merv and Okus have followed the example of offering submission to Russia, and there is no reason to doubt that the result will be the ex- tension of the Russian dominion along the northern boundary of Afghanistan to the Bokharan frontier.
GARDENING FOR THE WEEK. CONSERVATORY AND GREENHOUSE. Conservatory must be kept as much as possible without fire heat, as the natural temperature will now be high enough for most of the forced flowers, such as Cinerarias, Cytisus, Deutzia, &c., and they will last longer than with heat. But as frosts often occur at this season, with cutting east winds, a fire may be occasionally needful, in which case get it up without delay, for many of the subjects in bloom now are of a delicate nature, and climbers growing on pillars and rafters will suffer much if chilled. To keep the con- servatory gay put Roses, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and early Pelargoniums into a moderate warmth to bring them into bloom. Greenhouse must be freely ventilated as the weather will periiil t. Give plenty of water and liquid manure to plants coming into bloom, especially Azaleas, Camellias, Pelargoniums, and Acacias. Plants done blooming should be tended with care to secure a healthy growth of new wood, and be cut in if re- quired, before they spend their strength at the ends of flowering shoots. Give plenty of air, and increase the heat in all plant houses. Use the syringe freely to keep a clean foliage repot any plants that want more root room see to the training of greenhouse and conservatory climbers before they get into too free a growth to be handled conveniently.
FLOWER GARDEN AND PLEASURE GROUNDS. Auriculas will require frequent watering and plenty of air, but must be sheltered from cutting winds. Weak liquid manure will strengthen the trusses. Green-fly must be promptly met by means of tobacco smoke. Carnations and Picolees.-Clean up the plants, and make ready for potting in the second week of the month, and search the compost well for vermin. Pansies to be pegged out in the style of verbenas, so as to display their blooms over a large surface, and root if they please at every joint. Sow now to bloom during the summer. Hollyhocks from seed and otherwise not yet planted out must be hardened and planted without delay, and stakes placed for them at once, as driving the stake down hereafter will do injury to the roots.
CHINESE SPIRIT CO.NI.IIUNICiTIONq.The -Vorili, China Daily JSews reports that some excitement has been occasioned at Pekin by supposed spiritual communi- cations from the Emperor's ancestors. Just outside the wall of the Imperial palace is the temple where the mortal remains of His Celestial Majesty's ances- tors are deposited, and along the walls of this temple are tablets commemorating the virtues of the several departed sovereigns. For some time past the sounds of weeping and lamentation have been nightly heard at this temple, followed by a rushing and violent crashes, as if all the tablets had been flung to the ground. But a morning inspection shows them all fixed in their places. Mourning and weeping are also heard frequently by night at the burying-places, where the sovereigns of the earlier dynasties rest. All this is regarded by the lower orders as a most mournful omen, full of menace for the reigning dynasty,
i THE AMERICAN TARIFF. The Philadelphia, correspondent of the Time writes Mr. Morrison's Democratic Tariff Reduction Bill,. which has been agreed to by the Ways and Means. Committee, on a party vote of seven to five, provides that on July 1 the duties shall be as follows On all articles mentioned in schedule 'I,' which includes all cotton and cotton goods; in schedule J,' jute, and flax goods; in schedule K,' wool and woollens in schedule 'C,' metals; in schedule 'M,' books, papers, and articles of this character; in schedule E,' sugar, molasses and articles of like character; in schedule 'F,' tobicco, in schedule 'D,' wood and wooden ware, except as otherwise provided in schedule G,' provisions; in schedule M,' sundries other than precious stones, salt, coal, linseed, flax- seed and in schedule II,' chemical products-85 per cent. of the duties now imposed. The bill provides, however, that none of the articles included in schedule I," shall pay a higher rate of duty than 40 per cent.; in schedule K," a higher rate than 60 per cent.; and in schedule C a higher rate than 50 per cent. It is enacted that the rate of duty on cut, polished, and plate glass, unsilvered, exceeding 24in. by 60in. square, on green and coloured glass bottles, vials, demijohns, carboys, covered and uncovered, pickle or r, preserve jars, and other plain, moulded, or pressed green and coloured bottle-glass not cut, engraved, or painted, and not specially provided for, and on all articles subject to an ad valorem duty in schedule B," which includes earthenware and glass-ware, shall be 80 per cent. of the duties now imposed. It is provided that nothing in this Act shall operate to reduce the duty above imposed on any article below the rate at which the said article was dutiable under the tariff of 1861, commonly called the Morrice tariff; and that when, under the existing law, any of the said articles are grouped together and made dutiable at one rate, then nothing shall operate to reduce the duty below the highest rate at which any article in such group was dutiable under the Act of 1861. The bill further provides that after July 1 the rate paid on all unpolished cylinder, crown, common and window glass, on iron or steel sheets, or plates, or taggers, iron coated with tin, or lead, or with a mix- ture of which either of these metals is a compound part, by dipping or any other process, and commer- cially known as tin plates, tern-plates, and taggers, tin, and linseed or flax-seed, shall be eighty per cent. of the duties now imposed. The bill adds the following articles to the present free-list: Salt in bags, sacks, barrels, or other pack- ages in bulk, coal-slack, or culm-coal, bituminous or shale, timber, hewn and sawn, timber use for spars and building wharves, timber squared or sided, not specially provided for in this Act, sawn boards, plank- deals, other lumber of hemlock, whitowood, sycamore, and basswood, and all other articles, of blocks, waggon-blocks, oar-blocks, gun-blocks, heading-blocks, all blocks or sticks, rough-hewn or sawn only, staves of wood of all kinds, pickets, pailing-laths, shingles, pine clap-boards, spruce clap-boards, and wood manufactured, not specially provided for.
THE MANUFACTURE OF TAPESTRY On the above subject the Daily News has the following article: The Duke of Albany has been calling the attention of certain Town Councils to the merits of tapestry as a link between painting and manufacture. The Windsor tapestry looms deserve encouragement, and, as the Duke points out, not only can new tapestry be made. but, old tapestry can be repaired at Windsor.. The Queen has purchased a panel of tapestry, the first, it is said, worked entirely by Englishmen, repre- senting Balmoral Castle. The Duke of Albany thinks that. tapestry is a peculiarly appropriate and effective decoration for the large halls which belong to corpora- tions, and this is perhaps the best field for the modern work. Ordinary householders are content with paper, which does not harbour dust so much as tapestry-a great, consideration in London. In times past not only the halls of barons but the parlours of the rich bourgeoisie were hung with arras. We know from the inventory of his effects, drawn up after his death, that a large piece of tapestry, the design illustrating a pastoral story, was part of the furniture of Moliere. If tapestry came in again novelists would enjoy one of the advantages of the old dramatists. To make a person overhear a conversation which was not meant for him is a favourite and useful situation in all fiction. For want of tapestry on the stage Moliere hid Tartuffo beneath a table, while Mr. R. L. Stevenson has to conceal the hero of Treasure Island in an apple barrel. If we had tapestry back in place of paper the novelist could follow Shakespeare's lead, and have his private Polonious behind the arras. This would be more plausible than the situation in a once-admired and popular engraving, where a jealously- stricken maiden finds her lover discoursing to another fair on the further side of a brick wall. But we can hardly expect tapestry to become popular in private life for purely extraneous reasons like these, and pro- bably householders will remember that, judging from Hamlet's exclamation, the arras was wont to shelter rats. The use of tapestry in public halls would be beautiful, not uncomfortable, and would provide a new form of manufacture in which the hand can take pleasure, or a new form of art within the reach of mill hands. That a man's work should be some- thing in which he can take joy and pride is, of all things, the most desirable in an industrial society. We have few trades which thus pleasantly border on art. There may be more artistic pleasure than out- siders guess in making grey shirtings, tweeds, and cheviots, but certainly the art of tapestry has an obvious and intelligible charm. The word, or some- thing as like the word as a Greek term can be to an English one, occurs in Homer. His heroes used rugs, which (except that they were free from aniline dyes) probably in no respect differed from the rugs of modern Persia. In the East these arts are soon brought to great perfection in taste, colour, and design, while the mechanical means remain of the simplest, and there is no division of labour. Ladies and goddesses in Homer work large pieces of tapestry on the loom, and Helen designed the incidents of the Trojan siege, just as Queen Matilda and her maidens commemo- rated the Norman conquest on the tapestry of Bayeux. That famous tapestry is a regular piece of picture writing, a historical document of much accuracy and value, as Mr. Freeman has shown. In company with the most crabbed and childlike art went a strong- desire to represent each event and all costumes and weapons with exactness. The modern worker has the pleasant task of copying paintings with coloured threads or worsteds introduced by aid of a shuttle, while the mechanism is worked by treadles. Good tapestry lasts practically for ever, a circumstance which tends to check the demand, for once provided you need no more for centuries.
NEW PORTRAIT OF THE QUEEN. The Times says that a lifelike portrait of the Queen has been added to the National Portrait Gallery, and pllaced in the open part of the long gallery on the ground floor, in close proximity to the full-length picture of the Prince Consort by Winterhalter, which was presented by her Majesty to the gallery in 1867. This portrait of the Queen is a copy in water- colours, the size of life, from the original portrait taken at Windsor Castle in 1875 by Professor H. von Angeli. It, has been painted and presented to the Gallery, with her Majesty's special permission, by Lady Abercromby, and was completed and accepted by the trustees in November last. This picture is the first exemplification of a solitary excep- tion made by the trustees to their rule estab- lished at the foundation of the Gallery in 1856 namely, that, "no portrait of any person still living, except only of the reigning Sovereign and of his or her consort, shall be admitted." The Queen is represented standing, facing the spectator, in a black satin dress, with a plain white cap and veil falling behind. The figure is seen nearly at full length. Tho hands are joined and covered with rings, the right holding a white handkerchief. Besides the riband and star of the Garter, a white bow, with the badge of the Order of Victoria and Albert, is attached to the left shoulder, and a double row of large pearls encircles the neck. The likeness is well preserved, and the clear blue eyes are fixed steadily upon the spectator. Light is admitted from the right hand side, and the shadows, although strongly massed, do not interfere with the clearness of the complexion. The picture is entirely painted in water- colours, but it has all the force and brilliancy of oils. It is placed on a screen apart from the rest of the portraits, and, as a strong light falls upon it, is seen to great advantage,
MASSOWAH DESCRIBED. The special correspondent of the Daily News describes a recent visit to Massowah in a letter, from which we make the following extract: Massowah is the prettiest spot on the west coast of the Red Sea. It is an enlarged and vastly improved Souakim. Instead of one island, as in the latter locality, Massowah has two—the inner of which is connected with the mainland by a long causeway guarded, at the island end, by a strong fort mounted with Krupp guns. A shorter causeway joins this inner island, on which the palace and an Arab village are situated, to the outer one, which contains the trading establishments, French and Italian Con- sulates, and other public buildings. At Souakim a wide plain intervenes between the sea and the hills; at Massowah the background of mountains upsprings close at hand, in forms not seldom of grandeur or of beauty. The island of Souakim is in great part a heap of stones and rubbish, and its labyrinthine streets are badly swept and smell worse. But for an African town Massowah is a pattern of order and cleanliness. The population of Massowah does not exceed half that of Souakim but with good administration and security on the trade routes it must increase. Masso- wah has a future. For the present the most enter- prising of its inhabitants are the fifty or sixty mer- chants from Guzerat in British India, all British subjects. It was a pleasant surprise to come upon this little colony of red-turbaned, white-robbed Mahrattas, and to hear them talk in the bazaar Hindu- stani of Western India. In manners, personal appear- .ance, and intelligence they offer a refreshing contrast to the rude semi-barbarians of this part of the Eastern Soudan, and to the Greeks and Levan- tines who keep the small cafes and drinking-shops. In the town of Massowah there are not more than a hundred Abyssinians, the bulk of the popu- lation being Soudani Arabs and Blacks, with a sprinkling of Gallas, the people from whom the comelier class of female slaves is taken for the market in Holy Mecca. Judging from the specimens one saw about the town, all the prettiest must have long since been exported. An artist and brother corre- spondent has been vainly searching for a model worthy of his pencil. A few minutes since, while strolling about on the beach, he discovered one romping among a crowd of other children. He pro- duced his pocket-book, fixed his searching eye upon her, and sketched. Mademoiselle took fright, pro- bably thinking the giagour a pnagican, and she fled. The magican, equal to the occasion, bribed the small boy with a handful of piastres to go in pursuit. This they did; the whole Arab quarter seemed to join in the hue and cry-so, I think, did the artist himself— and in the end mademoiselle was captured. At every glance of the magican's eye, at every stroke of his pencil, she shrieked and screamed. Had it been Shaitan with his horns and tail she could not have appeared more bewildered and terrified. The sketching of mademoiselle will exercise the Massowah gossips for the next six months. The men are generally tall and fairly well-developed, but of uninviting aspect, and redolent of bad oil and other rancid stuffs. A re- spectable Soudani carries as much grease in his vast shock of curly coal black hair as would suffice to keep his family in candle-light for a week. As the grease adheres to the hair, in round white globules, it must, I fancy, be mixed with some substance in order that it may not melt in the sun, the heat of which, even in this so-called" winter" season, is sometimes terrific. Hair, falling in two wedge-shaped masses, one over each shoulder, collected into a third on the crown of the head, bespattered in the manner above men- tioned, and run through with a wooden skewer or two for purposes of scratching; and a piece of yellowish cotton cloth scantily covering the back, chest, and loins-such is the costume and toilette of the Mas- sowah man-about town. If he aspires to Mashership and the reputation of a lady-killer he adds an extra daub or two of white fat to his shiny locks and an additional skewer
STOVE AND ORCIIID HOUSE. Orchids will now be coming into growth, hut must not for that, reason be stimulated too suddenly by any undue rise of temperature. There are very few that will require more than a temperature of 65 deg. as a maximum, and 55 deg. minimum, and the amateur cultivator is advised to keep to this moderate range, as much safer than a higher temperature at this time of the year; but as the month advances the mid-day temperature may be allowed to rise to 70 deg. Growing plants will require increased supplies of water. Those that want a shift to have it as soon as they show signs of being really on the move. Stove Plants must be repotted as required. Those with variegated leaves usually do best in fresh com- post of a rather poor nature; stimulating substances, such as rotten dung, frequently drive out the variega- tion, and restore the plant to a normal condition. When variegated plants require extra nourishment, it is best accomplished by potting in turfy loam and good leaf-mould.
FORCING AXD ORCHARD HOUSES. Melons should soon be bedded out for the summer crop, for it is well to be early, so as to derive the fullest possible advantage from sun-heat. To do them well requires a constant heat, and if from fer- menting materials all the better in fact, there is nothing to equal dung-beds for melons and cu- cumbers. This is not said to disparage hot water, for that is safe and certain: but where manure is plentiful, and there is sufficient skill and labour to manage dung beds well, cucumbers and melons are sure to be well grown. One of the first essentials in making up a bed is to have plenty of material; small quantities are of no use at all. A strong, steady, but quite sweet heat is needed, and this can only be ob- tained by working the manure sufficiently, and no more than sufficient, and making it up at last with a sufficient degree of moisture to maintain the fermen- tation. As for soil, a good, strong maiden loam full of grass fibre is the best. Peach and Nectarine Trees will require attention in the way of disbudding, thinning, and training in; all these operations should be carried on in a systematic manner, and the trees should have daily attention. Pines swelling fruit must have abundance of mois- ture, and a day temperature of 75 deg. to 85 deg. night (iO deg. Young plants recently potted must be encouraged to make new roots.
FRUIT GARDEN AND ORCHARD. Mulch raspberries with three or four inches of half- rotten dung. Trees newly planted to be securely staked, and in dry soils it will be as well to mulch their roots. Finish pruning and nailing, have ready calico, netting, or whatever else is used for protecting wall trees. Lay down plenty of rotten dung between strawberries if it can be spared. All kinds of fruit trees and fruit bushes may yet be planted, but it is time planting operations were completed.
KITCHEN GARDEN. Cauliflowers will be growing as soon as the weather is milder. Give air by tilting the lights, and let them have warm showers, but cover up at night in case of frost. Manure the plots to be sown or planted this month and next, and dig the ground over deeply, and leave the surface rough. Level down the ridges of ground prepared last month, so as to be ready to sow and plant as soon as weather permits. Potatoes are best planted in trenches, and covered loosely with soil; dibbling is apt to cause rotting by the holes getting filled with water. Horseradish may be planted in any spare corner, but the ground should be dug deeply, and the roots will become finer if the subsoil is well manured. The crowns should be planted fifteen inches deep, and six inches apart every way, and the holes filled with fine coal ashes, or the sets put in as the trenching proceeds. Any part of the root will do as well as the crowns, if cut into inch pieces. Sow Turnip, Long Radish, mam crop of Parsnips, Horn Carrot, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Savoys, Broccoli, main crop of Onions, Peas for succession, Lettuce of all kinds, Round Spinach, Parsley, and Small Salads. THE HOUSE. Hyacinths, tulips and other spring flowering bulbs are now coming freely into flower, and those who take a special interest in the embellishment of indoor apartments with flowers, may be well reminded of the charming combinations they are capable of producing. Most of the bulbs, particularly the hyacinths and tulips, can have the whole of the soil removed from about the roots, and be arranged in ornamental receptacles without suffering to an appreciable extent, and be made to present a much more attractive appearance then when in the pots in which they are grown. They can be arranged in any of the ornamental vases or stands usually employed for holding plants placed in apartments, but the best effects can perhaps be produced in wicker baskets of the description so frequently seen in Covent-garden in tho spring season. These baskets are about six inches in depth, range from ten to fifteen inches in diameter, and are stained of a rich brown colour. In filling them the bottom and sides have to be lined with moss or some other loose material that will prevent the soil filtering through the wicker work, and the soil for packing about the roots must be friable, and the refuse from the potting bench will do equally as well as the best possible compost. The arrangement of the flowers must be left to individual taste but two or three ferns should have a place in each basket. The best ferns for this purpose are the ever-popular Adiantum cuneatum and the common but elegant Pteris serrulata, and thrifty examples in small sixties are the most suitable for associating with the bulbs. Where indoor decorations are in request a stock of these two ferns should be grown specially in small pots, as they can be employed to great advantage in many arrangements other than those of spring bulbs. The soil must be pressed firm, and when it becomes dry the baskets should be dipped in a vessel of water. — Ga rdeners' Magazine.