THE EARNINGS OF THE WORKING CLASSES. But let us take a few specimens of the total earn- ings of classes of labourers. The domestic servants number about 2,355,000, of whom 309,000 are males and 2,04G,UOO females. Assume an average of £1: per annum each in money wages, and add £ 2.") per annum for board and lodging, the total is in money only, and £87.000,UOO including board, lodging, and perquisites. Domestic servants are em- ployed all the year round, and as a class they are exceedingly wdl off. In agriculture there are em- ployed as many as 2,346,000, and agricultural wages have risen considerably of late years, especially in counties contiguous to mineral and other centres of labour. Taking only 13s. per week for the whole number in money wages, and 2s. 6d. more in other advantages, such as an allotment of land, wood, some articles of food, and a cottage at lower rent than it is worth, and calculating only on 48 weeks' earning in the year, we have an annual amount of £31 a year in money --wages, or £37, including other advantages, giving a total of or £ 87,006,000 respectively. *In the textile fabrics there are about 1,000,000 of per- sons engaged, earning not less than 17s. a week, man arid woman alike. Assuming only forty-five weeks' labour for these, we have an annual income of .£38. oratorio: £ 38,000,0(10. There are no other per- quisites giren in this industry. Of common labourers there were in all about 700,000, and their wages may betakpn all round at 20s. per week, but for not more thar weeks in the year, or £ 40 a year, making a f. £ 28,000,000. Here we have in ihese four • la!-Hirers a total of about6,400,000 persons, together^—4 nion-y income of about food; WUring, &c., 2nrr- JL V are £ 6,000,000 more at w.)rk in the United Kingdom.•including nearly all the skilled industries. Probably some D.tHXM » men are thus employed, at wages averaging 20s. a week, but whose employment cannot be taken at more than forty-eight weeks in the year; and 1,000,000 women and chiHren, in the receipt of probably 10s. a week for forty-eight weeks, or S24 a year, giving a total of per annum. We have thus the total income of the labouring classes, amounting to £ 460.000,000 in money wages, or including board, lodging, and other perquisites. The number of earners thus estimated is about 1,400.000, which, to 25,000,00*3 persons belonging to the artisan and labouring class, give one earner for every two persons, or about two earners for every family of four and a half, the average being £ 84 per family in money wages only. or £ 98 including all other* allowances. Is this a sufficient income for the wants of oar working classes ? It must be noted that the average does not tep-^sent the real proportion in which the total income is divided. Here we see a common labourer earning, when at work, only 20s. a week. with half It dozen infants to support. There is a family whose head is incapacitated by illness from earning a farthing: and there, again, we find a number of families suffering from a strike or a turn-out. The best earners, moreover, among our working men are not always the most frugal; nor are the facilities for earning equal in every part of the kingdom, or in every district.—Professor Leoni Levi in the Leisure Hour. v
MORTALITY IN THE MERCHANT SERVICE. The rate of mortality in the British Mercantile Marine is a subject which has especial interest at the present time. Attention has been called to the un- satisfactory nature of the materials which now exist for the calculation of such a death-rate. The Par- liamentary return annually furnished by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen is made up from a return of accounts of wages and effects of seamen (exclusive of masters) dying before the termination of the voyage, received by the Board of Trade." The return includes the deaths of most sea- men who die ashore in foreign countries after bein<i' discharged from their ships, but does not include the deaths occurring in the United Kingdom after diacltargc. The causes of death, more- over, which are in the Parliamentary return classed under thirty-nine headings, are for the most part assigned by the masters of the vessels; their value for statistical purposes could not, therefore, be easily underrated.. As regards the death-rate from all causes, calculated upon a strength which varied during the four years, 187.9-82 between 192,903 and 195,937, it was 190 per 1000 in 1879, and has since increased to 21'2 in 1880, 23'1 in 1881, and 23'8 in 1882. From the nature of the service, which necessitates a certain selection of men at the commencement of each voyage, and which loses sight of those whose health will not allow of re- engagement. it is patent that no materials exist for the calculation of a death-rate that can be com- pared with the death-rate of landsmen. With regard to the mortality from violence, including drowning and other forms of accidental deaths, the facts given are probably more trustworthy. The return alluded to shows that 3453, or nearly 75 per cent. of the 4659 deaths from all causes in 1882 were the result of violence: the deaths from violent causes were 2945 in 1880 and 3178 in 1881, showing a steady inscrease during these three years. These deaths included 2654 from drowning in 1880, 2905 in 1881, and 31<77 in 1.882. From the Board of Trade statistical abstract it appears that in 1878 one seaman in 150 was lost by wreck or otherwise from vessels belonging to the United Kingdom this ratio of loss increased to one in 134 in 1879, one in 98 in 1880, and further to one in 66 in 1881, and one in 61 in 1882. That this steady increase of the loss of life by drowning in the merchant service calls for investigation, few will venture to deny, and most will agree with the Social Science Associa- tion that the unsatisfactory returns of the causes of death at sea afford dangerous facility for the concealment of gross negligence or worse, which had it occurred on land would almost inevitably be the 1 subject of inquiry before aeoroner. It is not so easy to provide a remedy for the present evil. The satis- factory medical registration of causes of death at sea in the absence both of the body and of any medical evidence, appears to suggest almost insuperable diffi- culties. There does not, however, appear to be the same difficulty in the way of an inquiry into the cir- cumstances attending all deaths occurring during a voyage, to be held before the crew is paid off. There can be no question that some such form of inquiry should be devised with a view to diminish the present high rate of mortality in the British mercantile marine.- Laizeet.
A GEORGIA SNAKE. So many snake stories have been published by the Southern press that every Northerner who crosses the Ohio River begins to look for serpents. A Michigan man, who was taking a brief trip last fall åOWIl into sunland, reached Rome, Ga., without having seen a snake, and he felt so glad over it that he couldn't keep his feelings to himself. At the hotel were several guests who determined on a joke at his expense. A darkey in town, who had several samples of stuffed snakes, was interviewed to the extent of half-a-dollar, and a plan was perfected to give the Michigander a terrible scare. Snakes had been talked .Gf for a day or two, to get the man's feelings pro- perly worked up, and one evening he was invited to rfcake a seat on the verandah for a smoke. His chair was so placed that a boy could creep up and deposit the specimen under it, and when this had been done some one began to talk about the way snakes some- times crept into liotises. One evening last summer as a lot of us sat out here;" observed ons of the crowd, "a rattler about seven feet long crept up that post over there, dropped down on the floor, and stch a time you never saw Evecy man bent over te look under his chair, as if suspecting the presence of a snake. The Wolverine caught sight of the serpent under his, and he slowly rose up, pulled the chair -3way, kicked the reptile clear .over the railing of the verandah into the street and sat down with the remark; "Well, I s'pose I'd get used t-) it after living here awhile, tmt just now the sight CR a snake makes me rather nervous. Who tells tt. J next story? Detroit Free Pres..
"After all," said the bxker, as 1.1 walked home from an astronomical lecure, after >JJ, the world is only a big turnover." Yes, mamma, I took three lumps of augar out of the cupboard," say-s the little girl, contritely. "That's very naughty, indeed; but as you have confessed it, I shall forgive you. Go, and sin no more." Then give me the other lump—I only took two." How do you manage him? This Ls a question that we heard asked of one of the" dearest and best" wives, who was conspicuously happy in her domestic relations. Ah! she said, with a merry twinkle in her soft eyes. the best way to manage a husband is iaot to manage him."
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS IN THE FRANCHISE BILL, Upon going into Committee on the Representation of the People Bill, Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Raikes, Mr. Thomas Collins, Mr. Robert Fowler, Mr. Newdegate, and Lord Claud Hamilton have each given notices of motion. Mr. Chaplin's motion, which is first on the paper, is—"That this House considers that to largely increase the electoral privileges of the Irish people, at a time when vast numbers of the population are bitterly opposed to the English connection when the object of their leaders and representatives in Parlia- ment, openly avowed, is to sever that connection and establish the National Independence of Ireland and when the Government dare not even trust them with the full enjoyment of their ordinary civil rights, is in- expedient and dangerous to the welfare of the State,and cannot fail, with the present proportion and distribution of seats to give strength and encouragement, in the pro- secution of their aims, to the Separatist Party in Ireland." Mr. Raikes moves an instruction to the committee to make provision for the redistribution of seats and for the representation of urban sanitary districts containing more than 10,000 inhabitants, by the transfer to them of scats from the less populous borough constituencies. Mr. Collins moves an in- struction for the enlargement of the scope of the bill by the inclusion of redistribution in the United Kingdom. Mr. Robert Fowler and Mr. Newdegate, that the bill be committed on "this day six months"; and Lord Claud Hamilton a resolution to the effect— That, in the opinion of this House, any reduction of the Parliamentary franchise in Ireland under the existing circumstances of that country is impolitic, and would be fraught with danger to the State.' In committee on the bill, Lord Claud Hamilton has given notice of thirty-two amendments which are mainly directed towards the exclusion of Ireland from the bill. Mr. Coleridge Kennard and Mr. Stewart Macliver have amendments for the purpose of remov- ing the disability attached to the constabulary force. Mr. MacLaren proposes a sub-section to Clause four, restricting a voter from being registered in more than one county, or borough, but leaving him the option of selecting where he will prefer to vote. Mr. Woodall moves a clause extending the suffrage to women, and Mr. Brett one to exclude voters who obtain their privilege from a degree conferred by a University. Mr. M'Laren, on this point, has also an amendment restricting the University voters to those who live in or within a radius of seven miles of the borough or city in which the University is situ- ated. In addition to the above two important amend- ments are proposed, one by Colonel Stanley and another by Mr. Albert Grey, having for their motive the suspension for a certain time of the operation of the bill. Mr. Grey moves the following new clause Notwithstanding anything in this Act contained, in the event of a vacancy in the representation of any constituency or of a dissolution of Parliament taking place, and a writ or writs being issued before the 1st day of January, 1887, for the election of members to serve in the present or any new Parliament, each election shall, unless Parlia- ment shall otherwise determine, take place in the same manner in all respects as if no alteration had been made by this Act in the franchises of electors." Colonel Stanley proposes as an amendment to Clause 2 that the Act shall not come into force until after the passing of an Act for amending the Acts which settle and describe the divisions of counties and the -,e I I limits of cities and boroughs of the United Kingdom for the purpose of the election of members to serve in Parliament."
GREAT LIBRARIES. The National Library may indeed be called the great brain bottle of the American people (says an American writer). But the bottle is already too full. The library was made to accommodate 300,000 volumes, and there are already 513,441 books piled in it one above another, and over 170,000 pamphlets are stored away in the crypt. After the work on the new building is commenced, says Architect Smitlnnyer, it will require five years to complete it, and in that time, at the present rate of increase, our National Library will have approximated a million of volumes. Aided ns it is by the copyright tax it will always be the largest and best library in the United States, and it will soon compete with those of Europe. There are now five bigger libraries in the world-viz., the National Library of France, with 2,300.000 volumes; the library of the British Museum at London, 1,500,000; the Royal Public Library at St. Peters- burg, 1,000,000; the Royal Library at Munich, 900,000, and the Royal Library at Berlin, 750,000. The first library in the United States was the Har- vard College library started in 1038, while that of Yale College was started in A. D. 1700. Thirty-one years Liter Ben Franklin, having walked from New York to Philadelphia and started a printing office there, originated the first subscription library of America, and in 1800, when our Capitol was removed to Washington, the Library of Congress or our National Library was founded. When the British came here in 1814, they burned it and Congress bought Jefferson's library of 7000 volumes as a second beginning. By 1851 the library had increased to 55,00(3 volumes, when it was again destroyed by fire, only 20,000 volumes being saved. Since that time the library has steadily grown, having nearly doubled in size within the past ten years. In 1870 there were estimated to be 50,000,000 books in the libraries of the United States and 20,000,000 of these were in public libraries. This gives an average of over one book per person, as there were 38,000,000 people in the United States by the same census. The German nations have the most books in their libraries, and there are over a thousand public libraries in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, twenty of which contain over 100,00(3 volumes. Great Britain has only nine libraries containing over 100,000 volumes, but the British Museum pays out 80,000 dols. annually to improve its collection. France has six libraries of over 100,000 books outside of the National Library, which is the largest in the world, and Spain has, all told, thirty public libraries, contain- ing in all 700,000 volumes, of which 220,000 are in the library at Madrid.
COLD AND HEAT NEAR THE POLES We are accustomed to associate this geographical position with extreme cold (remarks the Duke of Argyll in the April number of Good Words). But the rocks of Greenland tell us that, although this is the case now, it was not the case in some former ages, and consequently that there is no necessary connection between an extremely low temperature and a position near the Pole. They tell us, in short, that this association is purely temporary and acci- dental. It is striking and curious enough to find, in the bleak headlands of the Isle of Mull, on our own coasts, the leaves of an abundant forest vegetation —the large leaves of the plane-tree, the ever-green needles of the taxodium, of the yew, and of the pine, and mixed with these the frond-like leaves of the tree called by botanists Salisburia," which is now an in- habitant of Japan. But the curiosity of this contrast between the present and the past, as regards climatal conditions, is nothing to the still greater con- trast in this matter which is presented by finding the same fossil flora in the rocks of Greenland—rocks whose surfaces are now almost wholly bare of vegeta- tion, and all the higher elevations of which are covered with eternal ice and snow. And yet even this contrsst is not the contrast highest in degree which the rocks of Greenland present. The Miocene flora, to which those leaf beds belong, is a very 'old flora now, but there was another flora much older, which we have never seen in life, and which, from its nearest living analogies, we are accustomed to think must have been associated with almost a tepid and steaniy atmosphere. This is the flora of the coal measures.et this flora, too, in long ages before the Miocene, has certainly flourished on the area which is now occupied bv Green- land. It is needless to point out what curious questions these facts raise.
THE FISHERMAN IN INDIA. We have received from the India Office Dr. Day's complete catalogue of the exhibits in the Indian section of the late Fisheries Exhibition (says the Field). Dr. Day's general scientific knowledge of all branches of fish culture has been long and widely recognised his special qualifications for the editor- ship of this bulky pamphlet were gained while he filled the post of Inspector-General of Fisheries in India. About the years 1872-3 he instituted a laborious inquiry with the object of ascertaining for the Government whether the native fishermen made any claim to the fisheries of the Bombay Presidency. We gather from his introduction to the reports re- ceived from the presidencies of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay (including Sind), that the sources of food supply in the fresh waters are of great consequence to the teeming populations. The Brahmans and rural population in some places, on account of caste prejudices or religious feelings, reject a fish diet; but in the Punjab compara- tively few of the inhabitants are prohibited. In the North-West Provinces more than half the population are permitted by their religion to consume fish. The majority are free to do so in Oudh; in Sind nearly all but the Brahmans. In Bombay, South Canara, Madras, Orissa, Bengal proper, Assam, and Chitta- gong, more than half, and in most instances more than three-fourths of the people are unrestricted. With a seaboard (India and Burmah) of about 4611 miles; with waters more abundantly stocked with fish than the seas with which we are familiar in Europe and witha.n almost unlimited inland market, the depressed condition of the Indian fisheries could only be ex- plained by the excessive cost of salt, and the prohibi- tion of untaxed salt-earth. The Indian Government.. recognising this, has been for some time trying t' lessen the burden, and as a result, along the Madri coast, the last returns showed an increase of .100 tv. of fish cured. The fresh-water fisherman, to whom our remarks will be confined, are of two classes--tliose who solely upon the occupation for a livelihood, and those who engage in it as an intermittent calling. In' Bengal fish are caught by a variety of nets by reed mats, by traps made of finely split bamboos, and by rod and line. In all operations the invaluable bamboo largely enters. The rod, of course, is made of a single stem, and we know of no better imple- ment for all descriptions of angling, except fly-fishing, than a supple shapely growth of the black bamboo iri a single piece. The Bengalee angler, amongst other implements, wields a 14ft. bamboo (Banibusa bal- coola), nearly two inches in diameter at the butt, and tapering to as near a point as it can be got. A por- tion of the cotton line, coloured and hardened, is wound round the upper part, and only one hook—of native manufacture—is used. There is no reel, as a rule, but occasionally brass and wood winches, and floats made from peacock's feathers, are employed. Smaller rods are used for prawns and fish fry. The Calcutta anglers, in lieu of creel, carry an iron box, with five compartments, for bait, tackle, food, ancf the somewhat elaborate apparatus for keeping the hookha in free puff during the day. The Hindoo angler understands the art of ground- baiting perhaps better than the Lea or Thames roach fishermen. One of the devices is certainly ingenious. A paste, made of aromatic substances, is tied about six inches from the butt end of a bamboo about ten feet in length, the finely tapered point of which is adorned with a white feather. The bamboo is taken out into the tank or pond and planted, the feathered end showing, of course, above water. If fishes are attracted by the aromatic ground-bait, the vibration of the feather indicates that they are nibbling at it. and forthwith out goes the angler's baited hook into their midst. A still better plan perhaps is a short length of bamboo split near the middle into thirteen strips,$nd left intact at both ends. The interstices are filled with ground-bait, which is well protected from the fish by the thirteen bulging bars formed by the split material. A slender wand is socketed into this short length of bamboo, and the whole is then thrust into the bottom, the sensitive upper end remaining as before to give notice of the arrival of fish. For tank a.nd pond fishing more groundbait also is used, namely the bark of cinnainomuin; cotteh, and other seeds; oil cake, rice paste dried and broken into fragments, and a plastic clay. The seeds are parched first, then pounded and mixed with clay and water into a pungent and aromatic paste. Ir ^li kinds of angling tho natives bait the hook with *e of flour and ghee, decayed cheese and clay, or 41 otvu and fresh cheese. The fish thus caught, as may be readily guessed, are chiefly varieties of Cyprillidue. The pupæ of the large silkworm moth is consideres"ia good bait for all fish. Earthworms are not neglected. The merits of a live frog are recognised. Small prawns also arc used. For such customers as the predaceous Silurida; (as, for example, the fish called by the natives boalli ") cockroaches are fancied, not impaled, but tied on immediately above the hook, and dipped a few inches under water.
THE SHIPBUILDING TRADE. The condition of the shipbuilding trade continues to grow more and more unpromising and unsatisfac- tory every month, and for some considerable time to come masters and men must undergo a period of trial. It is an unfortunate yet an inevitable incident of every great industry that it is liable to s-cli spasmodic and violent fluctuations. In shipbuilding these extreme movements have asserted themselves strongly, but the period of stagnation which now paralyses the trade cannot be described as unexpected or unlooked for. It has been foreseen by everybody. At this moment the minor firms are practically unemployed, and the larger firms are merely working off their old contracts. No new orders are to be had. The launch of every vessel now is to many men a notice to quit. More than one yard on the Clyde in which months ago the constant clanging of hammers was heard from morn to night, and in which large hulls were reared and fashioned, is to-day noiseless and lifeless. In others the din diminishes daily, as each successive batch of men is ordered from activity to idleness. It is all very sad, but we can scarcely hope that it is only temporary. For some years to come, at the least, we are likely to retaut'our shipbuilding supremacy—we must supply our own ships and the greater number of the vessels required for the world at large. On the Continent of Europe, it is true, shipbuilding has gained an impetus. In the United States, too, it is being developed in a way which leads some people to predict that at no distant day our cousins will be our keenest compe- titors in shipbuilding, as they are already in many other, things. But in order to do this they must get plant equal to ours, and they must have the command of cheaper labour, and in the meantime foreign ship- owners are as badly off as our own. In 1881, 1882, and especially in 1883, wages have undoubtedly ruled high—a not unnatural result of the pressure of the demand for men. Still, nobody will deny that the men have acted, on the whole, with moderation—the Clyde strike notwithstanding. The rates for piece- work have certainly been heavy, and this, we are told, arises from the fact that former prices per cwt. or per plate have not been widely departed from, not- withstanding that improved machinery and ap- pliances enable the workmen to get through twice or thriee the output of former years. The long continuance of good wages, therefore, should, if thrift has been exercised, enable the workmen to surmount their difficulties. As to the masters, although more than one firm had succumbed, there is no reason to believe they will not, as a body similarly override the dull times which have over-, taken them. Some few circumstances point to the hope that this trial will be of brief duration. For one thing, the price of iron is low, and the Bank rate is low-and that is a unique coincidence with depression in the shipbuilding trade. Since 1875 the iron trade has been in anything but a prosperous condition, and there is a belief that before long good times will overtake it. The cause of the stagnation :n shipbuilding is, of course, the fact that there has been an enormous over-production of tonnage. There is scarcely a steamer trading-except on old con- tracts-that has a chance of doing more than pay her expenses, while 100,000 tons are laid up in the Tyne. Many of these unemployed boats are heavily in debt, too, and the better the harvest all over the world, the less the carrying trade. When the existing tounage is 25 per cent. in excess of the world's re- quirements it is idle, and, indeed, undesirable, to expect any immediate renewal of shipbuilding.— British Trade Journal.
A disobedient little girl being told by her mother that it was necessary that she should be whipped, said, "Well, 'ma, then I suppose I must; but won't you give me chloroform first ? The milk-maid is not the same everywhere," says a moral philosopher; to which an item man responds, That's so. The milk made in the city is quite differ- ent from the milk made in the country."
CHINESE CHEAP LABOUR. On leaving London for China (writes a corre- spondent of the Pull Mall Gazette) I was surprised to find that all the firemen on board the ship were Chinese. The vessel was one of a large line of steamers (Glen Line) trading to China, and I learned that this particular steamer was one of the last to adopt Chinese firemen, the chief engineer being un- willing to employ Asiatics while there were English- men wanting bread. He found, however, that he could not help himself. English firemen, British fire- men rather, were so troublesome and so given to being drunk when they got a chance, that with all his pre- ference for his own countrymen, the chief was obliged to give in at last and take Chinamen. Before giving in I think t hat on one occasion he had to have the ship anchored till the firemen got sober, and on another occasion to go down the Channel with the engineers acting as stokers. Then, much against his will, lie had to take to the objectionable Chinaman. On asking how the Chinese did, I was told they did first-class, gave no trouble, were always there when wanted, were steady and sober, and in every way competent. It did not appear that very much was saved in wages by employing Chinamen, but the gain was in the abso- lute regularity with which they performed their work. It is in this way the Chinese are going to conquer, by sober plodding industry. There will be no armed parade, no great military movements, no chanting of warriors with garments rolled iu blood but where labour is wanted they will supply it, and be steady at their work. Some time ago there was a talk of a company importing some thousands of Chinese to London. They will come without a com- pany and without ostentation, they will come only where and when they are wanted; but the alarming consideration in the contest of races is that they can "ender themselves profitable, and even necessary, to those who arc reluctant to use them. If Britain can be made sober she may hold her own, for the Chinaman labours under many disadvantages but if the steady, quiet, law-abiding Chinaman has as his competitor a man liable at any time to be off work for a day or two through drink, it is not difficult to see who will win. Against in- dustrious perseverance no protective laws can save a country whose working population is given to the interruptions of drinking and sprees." At pre- sent Britain has got the start, and for years, perhaps decades, China may be unable to cope with us in manufactures, but no length of start can keep us permanently ahead of unwearying perseverance. China is learning, slowly, it is true, but still learning, Western arts and when once she has learned thoroughly her lesson, her industrious sober popula- tion, if prohibited from working in Britain and the colo ies, will produce in her own possessions manu- factures which will be lower in price than ours. For some time our name and prestige will save us, but this cannot last for ever, and I am deeply conscious that in the long run no nation which cripples its energies and wastes its income on drink, as Britain now does, will be able to compete successfully with China.
TRIMMING THE FEET OF ELEPHANTS. The feet of elephants kept for show purposes are trimmed two or three times a year (says Chambers's Journal). The sole of an elephant's foot is heavily covered with a thick horny substance of material similar to the three toe-nails on each foot; and. as it grows thicker and thicker, it tends to contract and crack, often laming the animal. Barnum, the American showman, recently subjected his elephants to the trimming process at one of the towns where he was exhibiting. With a knife about two feet long, great pieces of horn, six inches by four, and a quarter of an inch thick, were shaved off. Often 'pieces of glass, wire, nails, and other things aie found imbedded in the foot, which haye been picked up during street parades. Sometimes these irritating morsels work up into the leg, and produce a festering sore. A large nail was found imbedded in the foot of one of the elephants, which had to be ex- tracted with a pair of pincers, and the wound syringed with warm water. During the operation the huge creature appeared to suffer great pain, but seemed to know that it would afterwards obtain relief, and therefore bore it patiently, and trumpeted its pleasure at the close. Three times around an elephant's front- hoof is said to be his exact height. r
—— AN AID TO LONGEVITY. The Evening Standard says: We have heard of lemons and long life coupled together, and believe it has been asserted that a man who began eating lemons daily at the age of forty, increasing the number as his years increased, might go on living so long, that if he had any heirs or any property to bequeath, ex- pectant relations would have their patience sorely tried. Can it be that the lemon system for prolong- ing life has met with a rival in cayenne pepper ? We find it stated in an American paper that one Pierre Cottee, the oldest man in Indiana, has just gone from this world to another at the ripe age of a hundred. and fifteen. This extremely long liver ascribed his prolonged existence mainly to the constant use of cayenne pepper. He must have been a rather eccentric individual, for it is narrated of him that he took it as snuff, and was in the habit of swallowing it by the spoonful to quench his thirst. He had scarcely had a week's illness in the course of his life, and up to the time of his death was quite able to do any ordinary man's work. A day came, however, when even cayenne pepper lost its power. The old man, who had been born on the farm where he died, and who had seen the town around it spring into existence, asked for his snuff- box, took his pinch of pepper, expressed a desire to look once more from the window on the familiar scene, looked, and fell to the floor, dead.
THE NEW FRENCH SETTLEMENT. Obokh, the new French settlement in the Gulf of Aden, is thus described in the Times of India of March 21: Obokh is situated on the African coast, about fifty miles south of Perim, and about midway between that island and Zeyla. It is described as a very poor place indeed. Captain Malcolm tells us that a French fleet could be shelled out of it, and that in summer no ships could lie there, as it is exposed to the fury of the winds, which blow right in to its ex- posed road. There is, says General Coghlan, no port properly deserving the name. The place has no capa- bilities as a settlement, no neighbourhood, it produces nothing, leads nowhere, and is inconveniently far from the track of the Red Sea steamers. Moreover, the fine plain to the westward of it is uninhabit- able by reason of a pestilential marsh. In fact, the only advantage it possesses, according to this authority, is that it has an abundant supply of water. Two or three years ago there appeared in a French publication, Lo Portefeuille,' an account of Obokh, in which it was stated that at a short distance in the interior coal is to be found. A year ago the French Obokh Company was said to be in liquidation, and when our correspondent was there only two not very genial Frenchmen were resident in the settlement. They were supposed to be interested in the importa- tion of ostrich feathers, ivory, and hides from the interior of Abyssinia; but from what our corres- pondent saw he came to the conclusion that their raison d'être was the exportation of slaves to the Arabian coast. If the French Government does not directly encourage the slave trade, it does not, apparently, do anything to prevent the inhuman traffic being carried on. The facts which have from time to time come under the notice of our political agent at Aden cannot, we should suppose, be alto- gether unknown at Paris."
SPORT IN THE CANADIAN NORTH- WEST. Under the above heading the Fidd publishes a descriptive article by a correspondent, from which we extract the following: One morning in the early part of the week I deter- minect to pay a visit to those ponds on which I had seen the large quantity of duck, and have another day of mixed shooting. After rising, I went to take my usual plunge in the lake close by my tent, and, having a Winchester carbine with me for the benefit of some wolves that had been of late prowling about, I took a pot shot at a teal that, with a number of others, was sitting on the water, and, more by a nuke than any- thing else, the ball struck the bird full, leaving a great hole in the body. After an early breakfast, taking my gun, I went to see my two ponies, and, having picketed them afresh, took the lake on my wav back to the tent. This was a long, narrow, irregular sheet of water, the south side of which was covered with a dense growth of poplar and willow brush, while that to the north was a succession of little inlets, for the most part fringed with tall bulrushes. These same inlets were a favourite haunt of the teal, and hundreds of them, princi- pally of the blue-wing variety could be found there at almost any hour. Being but seldom disturbed, they were, comparatively speaking, tame, and rarely flew far after being fired at. Mallard and grey duck also fre- quented the water, and numbers of snipe were to be found along the edge. Where I began was little more than two hundred paces from the house I board at, but before I returned I bagged seven blue-wing teal, a couple of grey duck, and a couple and a half of snipe, and could have got more of the latter had I cared. I was absent scarcely half an hour, and men- tion this to show how numerous and tame the birds were. Leaving my bag at the house, I had to go rather more than two miles across the prairie, in order to get a dog which the proprietor of a store had offered me. On the way I picked up a brace of grey duck, two of teal, a snipe, and a bittern that rose from some small ponds and sloughs which lay in my path. Those birds I gave to the storekeeper, minus the bittern, which lie would not have at any price, and, taking the dog a cross between a setter and retriever I set out in earnest for a good day's tramp. I began operations in an oaten stubble which had been cut during the latter part of the preceding week. Previous to this field being cut,, I had frequently seen three or four strong coveys of chicken on the out- skirts, and judged that some should now be feeding on the stubble. Nor did I make a mistake, though my borrowed dog did. Despite all my efforts he ran on, and, quartering the field before I had well entered it, flushed a covey of twelve very strong birds, which scattering somewhat, went off to the west. I marked two down in a small patch of willow; but the re- mainder, going over a rise in the surface was lost to view. This was bad enough, but the next moment my brute of a dog, tearing like a lunatic through the field, flushed a second covey. These came rather my way, and, stooping low, I got one bird by a very long shot. Fortunately, I marked the lot, down in a clump of willow, and knew I was in for some fun now. The two birds previously marked were to my right front, and, as they could be taken when on my way to the duck ponds, I tied up the dog, who rejoiced in the name of Sport, and went after the full covey. When within a few paces of the clump the old cock and two youngsters rose, the former making over the trees south, the chicks taking the open to the left. At the discharge a cloud of feathers went fl, ing. and the gay cock came tumbling down turning quickly, I was successful in stopping one chick, and marked the other to a patch of weeds which grew luxuriantly over a badger's hole. Diving into the poplars three birds rose. I got one,, but missed the second, mainly owing to the thick foliage, which almost hid it from my view. I walked the clump, which had thick covert only at the outside but, with the exception of one bird, which I heard but failed to see, I could induce none of the others to stir, and in the end was forced to call in the aid of Sport. Prior to untying, I gave him a slight taste of the stick, just to see if it would inspire him with some little respect, for my commands. The dog went in witlr his usual dash, and as usual, too, alas sprung a chicken, which went off without giving a chance. A second licking this time more severe—and I could see that Master Sport was beginning to understand that 1 declined to allow him to have all the fun, and, working more soberly, he put up a bird, which I I y stopped, and in a. tangled mass of weeds he grabbed one which lay skulking there. Eleven out of fifteen were now accounted for so, electing to leave in peace the bird marked down in the weeds, I struck out westwards, stopping (,d route to look after the birds I had first marked. One had stuck to the willow patch, which I got the second, on hearing the fire, must have, with commendable prudence, taken his de- parture. What land now lay between this place and the ponds was densely covered with poplar and willow brush, with many small opens scattered between,. and the numerous runs through the grass told plainly that rabbits were there. Judg- ing that a run would have a beneficial effect on Sport's spirits, I sent him in, and soon heard him crashing through the undergrowth. Sport, though fairly useful for finding birds, rarely stood to them, but for retrieving duck no one need wish for better; and, being the only dog in the locality with any pre- tentions to being a bird dog," he was much talked and thought of by his owner and the neighbouring sporting fraternity in general, and the loss of this cur' would, I am convinced, be regarded in the light of a national calamity, for without him the habitants would be forced to retrieve their own ducks. Sport was a dog of liberal tastes. So long as you had a gun he attached himself to you, it being, seemingly, a matter of perfect indifference to him whether he had ever known you before or not. After passing through about a mile of this brush land, I emerged on to the open close to the ponds. Not firing at a few duck which here and there got up, I made for one slough or pond, which was partially covered with withered willow scrub, and as nearly as possible in the centre of the duck district. This pond was literally alive with duck when riding past tc Moosimin on the before-mentioned occasion. Sport was now more amenable to reason; but, to make matters doubly sure, I tied him to my belt, and got unseen close to the edge of the pond. It was a lovely- morning, the sun was shining brightly from above,. and the unconscious ducks were making the most of its rays. Numbers were asleep, some were feeding and swimming about, while others were, of course, perched on the almost inevit- able musk rat house. The duck certainly should be thankful to those little architects for a very favourite resting-place of theirs. Few teal were on this pond, the occupants being for the most part mallard (the transatlantic name for the common large wild duck, which is applied equally to the male and female) and grey duck. Setting loose the cart- ridges in my vest, and placing, as is my almost in- variable custom in a hot-looking corner, two in my mouth, I stepped from my concealment, and then the row began. Up rose the mallard at once, but the next instant, to the discharge of my barrels, four of their number returned to the water. Reloading immediately, I let drive again, and several birds came tumbling down from a vast cloud of duck which almost shut out the sky. It looks like firing into the brown; but to separate a single bird from the quantity which was on the wing, and extended far away on all sides, would be a difficult matter in- deed. The air was simply thick with them. The mallards and other large duck made off at once; but the teal and other smaller varieties kept fooling around. Now it was a large flock, now two or three, again a single bird. The blue-wing teal were there in hundreds, and, going by with their lightning-like sweep, afforded the prettiest of all duck shooting. For some time matters were uncommonly lively for both myself and the dog, and the latter had a little more than lie could do. My barrels were, too, getting uncomfortably warm; but the hottest part of the performance was over, and by degrees the flight grew slacker, until, frightened by the constant firing, even the teal soon ceased to go by. Sport was really working in a way that entitled him to absolution for his former misdeeds, so, forgiving and forgetting the past, I went to his assistance, and soon there was a goodly pile of birds landed—mallards, pintails, grey and black duck, shovellers, and teal. The latter wee in the majority, and all chiefly of the blue-wing variety. Any amount of crippled birds must have escaped, as the dog had quite enough to do attending to the dead and dying. Tying these birds together, I hung them on a tree close to a sec- tion post, and, after wiping out my gun. started to beat the sloughs for any loitering duck and snipe. I found numbers, principally teal, and had now by far the pleasantest shooting, occasionally picking up a snipe or two, and after about an hour's facing to- wards Mossimin, I went for the snipe. These were both numerous and lay well, and all that was neces- sary to flush them was to walk along the soft eiges of the ponds and through the half dried sloughs until I judged it time to face homewards.
The hardest thing in the world for a young woman to do is to look unconcerned the first time she comes out in a handsome engagement-ring. EGGS AND EGO-COLLBCTIXO.. Egg-collecting in these days of refinement, is often pronounced cruel; and it undoubtedly is so as pursued by some thought- less people, who will take all the eggs out of a nest without the slightest knowledge of their state of incu- bation. But a very good collection may be made without doing any harm to the feathered" fraternity; for instance taking one egg out of four, when the bird is laying, does not fÚ; all interfere with her bringing forth her brood. There is an old superaifeion that no bird can count t j more than three. Whether this be true or not, a bird with four eggs very oftea forsakes her nest after two have been taken away, while this very rarely occurs if tiireo rejftftin.—IfamilM Wild IHrd$ for April.
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION IN AUSTRIA. An interesting report issued by the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture gives full particulars as to the education in agriculture and forestry which is pro- vided in that country. The two hang together, for the forests are such a. fruitful source of wealth, that the theory and practice of forestry is studied as care- fully as that of agriculture itself. The system of education is threefold first coming the higher schools, then the secondary schools, and lastly the primary schools while, in addition to these, there are the permanent schools and lectures on the cultivation of flowers, fruit, and vines, upon brewing, upon distilling, and upon dairy work. Then, again, there are profes- sors of agriculture at several of the universities, veteri- nary colleges, schools at which the horseshoeing is taught, and others in which young girls are trained for housekeeping. There are professors of agriculture at the University of Vienna, and at the higher schools of technical education in Vienna, Prague, Gratz, and Lemberg. There are normal schools for men training as agricultural teachers at Horn, Marburg, and one or two other places. During the past year the laying down and the main- tenance of grass land has been the subject specially taught at several of the agricultural colleges, while at others the cultivation of fruit trees and vineyards, the making of butter and cheese, &c., have been given the first place. The two chief veterinary colleges are at Vienna, and Lemberg, with branch schools for teaching horse-shoeing at Gratz, Brunn, and Olmutz, the two last being for the training of smiths for the army. There are thirty-eight professors and assistants at the Higher School of Agriculture in Vienna, the number of students who followed the lectures last year being 508, half of whom were learning farming, and half forestry. There is no use in giving a list of the other schools and of the number of students but it may be added that the Ministry of Agriculture disposes of a sum of £ 8.300 every year for providing scholarships to students who cannot pay the regular college and school fees. Altogether, there weie in the different schools last year 2821 students as com- pared to 2721, and the total number of professors and other teachers was 329. The official report goes on to point out that the drawback to the system is, that the number of farmers and small landowners' sons who benefit by this education is very small, com- pared to that of young men who are preparing to enter the service of the Government, or of large landowners as stewards and bailiffs. It is the wish of the Minister of Agriculture that the education given in these colleges and schools should reach a lower level, the main object being to improve the cul- tivation of the smaller farms, which are the most in need of improvement; but the report, while p ointing out the defect, does not indicate how it is to be remedied.
MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN GERMANY. The Morning Post has a leader on the above sub- ject, from which we make the following extract: The unanimous decision of the Imperial Federal Council of Germany to oppose and prevent the establishment of Ministerial responsibility in the par- liamentary sense in connection with the management of the Empire is certain to be widely criticised and is equally certain to be largely misinterpreted. What- ever may be the advantages of ministerial responsi- bility and party Government in a highly centralised country like England and under the parliamentary constitution of England, we should be on our guard against hastily transporting our habits of thought, to different political systems, and it would be fruitful of misconceptions if the ideas of ordinary parliamen- tarianism were to be applied to such a com- munity as the Federal Empire of Germany. From before the date of the abortive Frank- fort Parliament which sprang out of the democratic dreams of 1848, there have been two dis- tinctly marked and divergent tendencies in German politics. The Liberals and Radicals have demanded a single Legislature, and often a single Chamber, the majority of whose members would have complete power over the entire Legislation of Germany consi- dered as a single nation. The Conservatives, however their views might be affected by passing exigencies, have endeavoured to preserve local institutions and, as far as possible, local government, and even under the tremendous pressure in the direction of unification resulting from the triumphs of the Franco-German war, have successfully maintained that local Legis- latures not only of Bavaria, Saxony, and similar States, but of the kingdom of Prussia. itself. It was very good to have an Imperial Parliament for general and common affairs, but even the Prussian statesmen, who had done most towards the formation of the German Empire, declined to see the advantage of having the domestic affairs of Prussia submitted without reserve to the decisions of a Central Assembly in which the vote of the majority might be made up of elements utterly disassociated from the local interests of the Prussian population. Broadly speak- ing, it was resolved to build up the German Empire somewhat on the model of the constitution of the United States of America adapted to monarchical institutions. There were to be State Legislatures as well as a Reichstag or Central Congress, and there. was to be a Senate under the name of a Federal Council representative not of constituencies, but of Sovereign States, so many for Prussia, so many for Bavaria, so many for Saxony, and so forth. How can Ministerial responsibility' in the regular parlia- mentary sense find room in the Congress or Reichstag of such a system ? The foundation of the Federal Empire consists in the mutual treaties by which the German States have agreed to come together upon certain conditions for general purposes, but to remain individually distinct for local purposes and objects. But a Ministry in the Reichstag, responsible to the Reichstag, might in reality be supported by a body of votes representing only a portion of the Sovereign States which form the Empire. A programme might be placed in the hands of a Ministry under pressure of a majority of the Reichstag which might involve the abolition of the most treasured treaty rights of Bavaria, or Saxony, or Wurtemberg. Such an alteration of the Federal system would, in fact, imply tho destruction of the Federal system and the sub- stitution of centralised and unified Monarchy. The treaty rights of States would disappear before the passing caprices of the electoral constituencies. There would no longer be a separate Prussia or Bavaria. A responsible Imperial Ministry would have to carry out the programme of its majority. The change might or might, not be useful. At any rate it would imply the overthrow of the Constitution esta- blished in 1871, and the Federal Council, representing all the component Kingdoms and States of the Em- pire, have unanimously declared against so vast a revolution. It was clearly established in 1807, when the first gathering of independent German States under the leadership of Prussia took place on the morrow of Sadowa .that federalism, not absolute unity, was the selected type of the new political organisation. In spite of t he annexation of Hanover, the old principles of local in- dependence which permeate the eiitirecourse of German history were too strong for would-be innovators. The inclusion of such an important State as Bavaria after 1880 made the tendency towards preserving as much as possible of the old State system still more power- ful. Though the peoples and rulers of Germany have accepted accomplished facts with earnestness and sin- cerity, and though the advantages of Imperial co- operation are universally recognised, still there is no disposition to place the interests of the South unre- servedly at the mercy of a majority of North Germans, and it is quite conceivable that a majority of South Germans, Separatists, Socialists, and Ultramontanes might make itself very disagreeable to sound Prussian policy and North German requirements. As in America the Senate, so in the German Empire the Federal Council is the guardian of State rights and the guarantee against electoral caprices. 'a, One thing may be freely conceded to the angry critics of the votes of the Bundesrath. The refusal to tolerate a parliamentary Ministry for the United Empire is distinctly anti-Democratic. But, to resume our comparison with the institutions of America, it is singular to observe that a similar precaution has been taken in the constitution of the United States. There is no responsible Ministry at Washington. The American Cabinet depends not on the Congress, but upon the President. In the German Empire the Cabinet is responsible not to the Reichstag but to the Sovereign. If in a country so avowedly Democratic as the United States such marked distrust of the caprice of Congress is felt as to make it still un- advisable to establish Ministerialist responsibility to Parliament, there is lesa reason even for Liberals and Radicals to feel surprised when the German Sove- reigns decline to allow a new creation like the Reich- stag to substitute itself in their place as the master of their Ministers. Prince Bismarck and the whole body of the German statesmen of the Conservative school make no concealment of their profound distrust of modern Democracy, with its specious cosmopolitanism, its neglect of patriotic interests, and its spirit of class hatred and its incorrigible inclination to civil dissension. Popular wishes must indeed be taken into consideration by every wise Government, and it can- not be alleged that the election of the Reichstag by universal suffrage is a slight or unimportant conces- sion to popular sentiment. Every passion of the moment, every passing caprice of the vast electorate of manhood suffrage can find expression in the German Reichstag. It does not follow, however, that the same momentary caprices should have abso- lute power to change and alter at the whim of the instant the administration and government of the country. There must be a reserved force somewhere in favour of established institutions, and Prince Bismarck does not intend to surrender it as yet.
The interchangeable family ulster supplies a want long felt. In the possession of a young married couple it can be worn by either party.