k- (ALI. RIGHTS RF.sER VED.] WHO WINS MISS BURTON"? A Tale of the London Season. BY MRS. C. M. HAWKSFORD. Author oj "Julin's Wife." CHAPTER II.— Continued. When Dr. Lynn came in, Agatha felt at once that she should like him. He was tall and slight, ivith a clever, benevolent face, and his manner was especially winning. His dress, like Mrs- Lynn's, bad not changed with the changing times his Coat was ornamented with gilt buttons, and his Shirt front was adorned with frills of spotless white. All Denboroogh united in their love and respect for Dr. Lynn, and the good he did none knew until he had gone himself to a land where his works would follow him. He was as cordial as Mrs. Lynn had been in his welcome to Agatha, and then they sat down to tea- a real, old- fashioned, substantial tea, with a hissing urn, and plenty to eat and drink lay spread out before them down the long table. Mrs. Vernor glanced at a Yacant chair. '• Oh said Mrs, Lynn, I have a pleasant sur- prise for vou--my son is at home; he only came this morning, quite unexpectedly, and he has been detained with a gentleman on business, but he Will be here in a few minuies." This intelligence caused quite a little flutter of Surprise, and Agatha found herself listening with something like impatience to long discussions amongst the three friends on Mrs. Lynn's past and future, a conversation that was only interrupted by the entrance of the young man himself. He Shook hands very warmly witn Mrs. Vernor, bowed to Agatha, and took the vacant chair just opposite to where she was sitting. Agatha felt somehow that she was agreeably surprised; she had always believed it impossible that a voung man in a Country town could be so bearable, but Mr. Lynn was unquestionably a gentleman. He looked about twenty-five, was tall and well-made, with a broad chest and shoulders; he had his mother's wide forehead, and grey eyes, and a certain firmness about the mouth and chin that belonged to his father, but the rest of his face was unlike either. His hair was of a light shade of brown, with a Strong tendency to curl, and his expression was So bright at times that you were hardly prepared for the sudden change. When anything vexed him, a stern, mournful look seemed to alter its whole character, and fascinated you with a thousand speculal ions, so that long before tea was over he bad interested Agatha, that first most dangerous stage. Agatha was a true woman, with all a woman's love of power, and she made up her mind that Mr. Lynn should like her. That the game might in any way be equal she never realised he was to like her, whilst she was to remain indifferent, and he would make a charming addition to the little society at the cottage of St. Helens. As soon as tea was over, Mrs. Lynn proposed that Agatha should see the garden, and Mr. Lynn offered to lionize its beauties. The Doctor went to his particular room combining study and surgery, and Mra. Lynn and Mrs. Vernor prepared for a chat; so Agatha accepted the invitation, put her lace shawl over her shoulders, and went out at the open window. The garden was one of those that you often see at the back of town houses, long and rather formal; but in consequence of a good deal of care having been bestowed upon it, it was a very pleasant spot, with shady trees and narrow winding paths. They walked on in silence, Agatha and Mr. Lynn, till they reached the end of the garden, and then they paused, as Agatha expressed her surprise at finding that it overlooked the edge of the river. I like it so much," she said leaning against a mossy bank, at the side of which some steps were cut down to the water's edge, where a little boat was moored. I am very fond of it also," replied Mr. Lynn M but I fancied that it was because all my early life had been associated with it." Agatha looked down on the dark river swiftly flowing by them on to the wooden bridge, and above that, standing out high and clear against the evening sky, the old Denborough Church. Of course you may like it from knowing it, fcut even strangers must think it beautiful." It was a much more important place once," he said; that old wall belong to the monastery, and they say the church then called itself Cathedral, but not in my time." Agatha laughed. You have lived here all your life i" I- Yes," he said, and am likely to continue doing so." As a doctor ?" Agatha asked, but rather timidly; for there was something about Mr. Lynn that awed her. "No," he replied. "My father wanted me to follow his profession, but I have no taste for sur- gery, so I have been studying the law and ulti- mately I hope to get sufficient practice in Denborough to enable me to remain here." Agatha looked at her companion, and secretly wondered that living in Denborough could be the height of his ambition. How different he was to the London men she had been in the habit of meeting he had none of their indolent polish, but a look of almost hard work about his face and figure; still it did not deteriorate from his attrac- tions, and she found herself listening to his account of his early life, spent more or less alone in that oid garden and on that dark river, with immense interest. Agatha was quite a new element in Mr. Lynn's life if she had fallen from the clouds he could not have been more surprised. She seemed a being of another world as she sat on the bank in her white dress, with her large dark eyes looking intently up at him. Of course there were young ladies in Denborough, but how different to Agatha! Her style of beauty distinguished her at once from all the women he had hitherto met. If Mr. Lynn had been a painter he would have liked to paint her then and there, and to have immor- talised on canvas the beautiful Grecian features of his new Divinity but as it was, they only sat and chatted on indifferent subjects till the moon came out from the back of the old church, and bright stars found their reflection in the dark water of the river. Then Agatha got up and pro- posed going in doors, so they went slowly back by the winding paths and in again at the open window. The Doctor and his wife kept early hours, so that the rest of the evening was soon over. A supper-tray was the finale, after which they put on their cloaks and prepared for the walk home. Mr. Lynn offered to escort them, and the offer was accepted. As the way was all down-hill, their walk was soon over, and Mr. Lynn wished them good- bye at the garden gate, with a promise to bring Mrs. Vernor some flower-roots so soon as he could find spare time to do so. Somehow or another Mr. Lynn found the spare time very quickly, and he brought so many plants that he and Agatha had quite a long afternoon's work in planting them so of course he stayed to tea, and then they all walked on the sands until the church clock had chimed the quarter to ten. Of course so remarkably handsome a girl as Agatha Burton, with her simple but elegant London toilette, and her patrician air, did not fail to create quite a sensation when she went into the old Denborough church. There was only one person in the whole congregation that Agatha cared in the least to attract, and that was Mr. Lynn; but although Mr. Lynn came constantly to the cottage, and sought her society on all occa- sions, Agatha felt very uncertain of success. Mr. Lynn did not pay her the kind of devotion she had hitherto received, and the wish that he should like her became greater in proportion as the doubt in- creased until at length Agatha ended as so many have done before her-in trying to make Mr. 9 Lynn fall in love with her, she fell in love with him herself. Not that Agatha was by any means aware of this, and it was almost insensibly that she deferred to his opinions, read the books he recommended, and felt a humiliating dependence upon his approbation, upon whether he came or stayed away, and a thousand other trifles that make up the sum of love. CHAPTER III. FivE or six weeks glided on, and Agatha hae become quite at home in High-street. She would sit on a low stool at Mrs. Lynn's feet and pick up lost stitches in the square of knitting that was destined for a counterpane for the spare room bed. Even the Doctor's sanctum was open for her to come and go as she liked, and often after tea Mr. Lynn would take her out in the little boat on the river, and point out the different spots where as a boy he had spent hours with his fishing rod or books. Agatha enjoyed these evenings im- mensely but everything has an end, and generally the most unpleasant things come most unex- pectedly. It had been a very hot August day, and Mrs. Vernor was conflned to her bed by a bad nervous headache. Agatha was sitting under the only tree in the garden, on a rustic wooden bench, which Mr. Lynn had taken great pains to erect a few days before. She was hoping he himself might come, when the gate opened and he walked in. I am so glad to see you," said Agatha I was getting positively dull in spite of the new book." Mr. Lynn held up a tiny note. My mother has sent me with this." Agatha put out her hand to take it, but he raised it out of her reach. Tt is for Mrs. Vernor, but I can tell you its contents." 1 can guess," said Agatha; it is to go to tea and I accept." Mr. Lynn sat down. And Mrs. Vernor ?" "I forgot," exclaimed Agitlia. "Mis Vernor will not, I fear, be well enough to go she has one of her bad nervous heada hes." "But she will be better I dare say by to- morrow." Oh said Agatha, in a tone that had a shade of disappointment in it, I thought it was for to- night." To-night I could not have been at home, and I had the vanity to flatter myself that I might be missed." Agatha looked up Mr. Lynn was looking at her, and something in his expression and the low tones of his voice made the colour come to her cheeks. Neither of them spoke for some time, then Agatha proposed that he should read to her, as he generally did whenever he came to the cottage. Mr. Lynn acquiesced at once, but sug- gested an adjournment to the shady sand-bank which was by the sea shore so there they went, and Agatha took out her work, and Mr. Lynn read, in a rich deep voice, Tennyson's "Locksley Hall." Perhaps Agatha had never felt so happy as she did that afternoon. We all of us are more or less the victims of circumstances, and he loved her before he discovered a flaw in his idol; and even afterwards, when he saw her as she really was, under the influence of the world's verdict, he loved her still. How little they thought that August afternoon how long it would be before they were destined again to see the sun sink over that calm broad sea, or watch the little fishing boats dotted far and wide against the horizon how little Agatha expected to see her brother, when, looking up quite suddenly, Captain Valentine Burton was standing before her. "You are surprised to see me, Agatha," he said, in the same tone that he would have used had they only parted that morning. Agatha was sur- prised, but she made a desperate effort not to look embarrassed, and after returning his salutation, introduced Mr. Lynn. The two young men bowed, and then Captain Burton continued, I found that Mrs. Vernor was in bed, so that, being debarred from the pleasure of seeing her, I came in search of you." Agatha tried to appear glad to see him, but she really felt that the constraint was painful; so she got up, took her brother's offered arm, and suggested their return to the house. At the gate Mr. Lynn wished them good-bye. Agatha longed to say something about the invitation, or send some message to his mother, but Captain Valen- tine was looking on so she only gave her hand and asked him if he would not come in. Mr. Lynn declined, and then she followed her brother into the house. After Captain Burton had satisfied his inner man ,with some needful refreshment, Agatha proposed that they should go out of doors, the evening being intensely hot, and the room small. Captain Burton readily acquiescing they strolled into the garden, and sat down on the wooden bench under the tree-the tree that had seemed so different to Agatha a few hours ago. Captain Valentine took out a cigar-case, lit a cigar, and said in a tone of voice that lingered on the borders of a sneer- Might I venture to inquire who is the new victim on whom you are now exercising your Vere de Vere talents ?" An angry light flashed from Agatha's eyes, but she said coldly, If it is any gratification to you, you may—he is a friend of Mrs. Vernor." "I should have said of yours," replied Captain Burton, with an intonation that annoyed Agatha, more than she cared to own even to herself. Yes, he is a friend of mine also his father is a doctor in Denborough." She tried to say it in- differently, but she felt vexed by conjecturing what her brother would think. I must congratulate you, Agatha, on having such distinguished friends." What you choose to think or say of my friends must always be a matter of perfect indifference to me," said Agatha. '• It may be," replied her brother, removing his cigar, and lightly knocking off the ashes trom the end with his little finger, "but how about the Earl ?" The hot blood rushed into Agatha's cheeks. I should be obliged to you never to mention his name to me again." I am afraid that your request is impossible, as it is entirely on Lord Dunmore's account that I am now sitting beside my fair sister on this very un- comfortable bench." On Lord Dunmore's account?" Yes, Lord Dunmore is at Brightor." I cannot see," said Agatha, how Lord Dun- more's movements can in any way affect mine." My mother has sent me to fetch you home." Agatha looked up amazed. Back to Brighton ?" Yes, back to Brighton." "I shan't go," said Agatha, decisively. "Nonsense, Agatha," replied her brother, in a tone that was half conciliating; the Earl has been asking for you, and my mother said she was ex- pecting your return in two or three days at the latest, and so he is remaining on purpose. to see you." I thought," she said, he had gone abroad." And so he had, but he has somehow managed to elude his lady mother, and if you ever had a chance of securing the prize, you have it now." "Oh, Val," said Agatha, passionately, "if you only knew how hateful all this is to me, you would spare me; you would help me to escape the humiliation of trying to marry a man 1 never could love, in exchange for the doubtful happiness of securing a grand worldly position." But Captain Valentino Burton was not in the least persuaded into countenancing what he thought a romantic absurdity; besides which he was really anxious for Agatha's marriage with Lord Dunmore, as being likely to advance a little affair of his own. Captain Burton was not in love, but he was in debt, and this made him extremely anxious to secure the hand and fortune of a cer- tain beautiful Miss Chatterton, who he had met in Dublin and he believed that a powerful brother- in-law would promote his interests with her friends, when he might otherwise fail. So he told Agatha that it was a case in which he could not interfere, but that having been sent for her all the way into Lancashire, he should really be afraid of the consequences if she refused to return with him so after a good deal more persuasion, Agatha was obliged to consent, as there seemed no chance of escape, and it was arranged that they should leave St. Helens in a couple of days, Captain Valentine congratulating himself on having obtained a victory, which at the commencement seemed likely to give him some trouble. The next morning at breakfast, much to Agatha's relief, Captain Burton announced his intention of going out for the day, as he had some friends in the neighbourhood whom he had pro- mised to visit should he ever come into that part of the world. Mrs. Vernor tried to persuade him to join them at Dr. Lynn's in the evening, but this he declined, saying that he should be home too late, and to Agatha that, however she might reconcile herself to drink tea in the middle of the day with old women and doctors in a poky country town he certainly had hitherto failed to cultivate his tastes in so exalted a direction. Agatha never knew how that last evening went; she knew that she expected Mr. Lynn all day, and that he never came, and just after their arrival in High-street it began to rain in torrents, so that going out into the garden was impossible, and the conversation was general. The greatest surprise and sorrow was expressed at Agatha's sudden and unexpected departure by the Doctor and his wife, whilst Mr. Lynn was gloomy, silent, and abstracted. It was not until they were going awav that he and Agatha had even a moment's opportunity of speaking to each other in private. She had hoped all the evening that the rain would cease, and that they might walk home, but this turned out to be impossible so a fly was ordered, and it was arranged that they should drive. Mr. Lynn had followed Agatha into the hall to find her cloak and hat, which she had left upon the table. What he said Agatha could never clearly recall, but she went to bed that night with a dreamy Implession that he loved her, and that he had asked her to remem- ber and to trust him; that he had said some passionate words about the future that his last look at her had been one of unutterable tender- ness and that the lingering pressure of his hand had been unreproved by her and she felt as she closed her eyes that she could bear the future better now that she knew HE cared for her. She thought it was only her vanity that was grati- fied, and not until she saw Mr. Lynn again, did she realise how much those who love suffer in comparison with those who do not. On Agatha's arrival in Brighton, Mrs. Burton was charmed with her improved personal appearance.. Keally, Agatha," she said, going to St Helens was quite the best thing you could have done, and, after all, you have not lost much of Lord Dunmore's society. He came this morning to ask when 1 expected you, and we are to meet him on the Parade this evening; but only guess who else is heiv." Agatha shook her head. "Lady Alice Wendover, and her aunt, Lady Monckton, is trying all she can to secure the Earl. I consider it," said Mrs. Burton, with rising in- dignation, forward to a degree, the Wf,y those people run after that man. and I'm sure Lady Alice came here on purpose." Is Lord Dunmore making any long stay ?" said Agatha. I fancy, Agatha," said her mother playfully, that will depend very much upon you, and how you play your cards. He has left his mother in Paris, and is supposed to be gone to the Highlands for shooting." Agatha felt a far greater antipathy for J ,ord Dunmore now than she had ever done in London, but she also felt at the same time that any remon- strance on her part would be useless: so she only shook her head, and hinted that Lady Alice had been as great, if not a greater, favourite than her- self. Mrs. Burton would not for a moment admit this, and insisted on going over with Agatha their plans for the ensuing week; so the end of it all was that in a few days Agatha was plunged into such a round of gaiety, that the better influence pay, almost the remembrance, of peaceful, happ) St. Helens was lost to her. (To be continued.)
THE DUBLIN CASTLE OF TO-DAY. A writer in the World, in describing the official re- sidence of Lord Cadogan, remarks that Dublin Castio, which was built as well to curb the city as to defend it," wears very little of those martial characteristics which marked its creation. The curtains, towers, portcullises, and fortified gates have passed away, and the visitor now sees a grotesque galimatias of Greek, Gothic, Plantagenet, and Queen Anne architectural styles, while he wonders how it can have served so many purposes in the early centuries of its existence, when it was a fortress, a mint, a Parliament bouse, a State prison, a place forte d'armes, an ecclesiastical court, a bar- rack, a forum, a magazine, a Star-chamber, an area for gladiatorial contests, and a home for Viceregal hospitalities on a grand scale. The castle is divided I into two courts; the lower one measures 280ft. by 130ft., and is practically the Home Office and Record Office of Ireland, and the home of the Viceroy, his family, and his retinue during the few weeks which constitute the Dublin Court season. But, unimposing as the upper court of the castle may be externally, with its campanile and Ionic columns, the interior has a great deal of stately splendour, and the reception-rooms, including St. Patrick's Hall, of which the ceiling was painted by Angelica Kauff- mann, may compare not unfavourably with most others in the kingdom. In the Throne Room is the sword of State, symbolic of the executive power for the punishment of wickedness and vice and the picture gallery has the presentments on canvas of some 40 or 50 of the more modern Viceroys. The courts of the castle are now well kept, but an old indenture informs us that ]6d. a day was formerly allowed for this service, including the regulation and repairs of the clock THEN AND NOW. In feudal days the Viceroys or Lords Deputy had, besides the castle, "lodgings" in the Episcopal Palace at St. Sepulchre's, at St. Mary's Abbey, at St. Thomas's Court, and at Kilmainham Hospital. An English nobleman is not often by choice a dweller in a populous city, save for a short time, and the Vice- regal Lodge is his usual home. It is in Phoenix-park, and is surrounded by a park and grounds of over 200 acres, with a cricket ground and racquet court; while his secretaries have their trilateral of lodges. Sir Hugh de Lacy, the castle builder, occupied the castle as the first prorex, and till the Tudor times some hundred Viceroys held sway there, among whom were several scions of royalty and future kings. The revenue of this high office was then £ 580 per annum; in 1558 the stipend was raised from £ 1000 to E1500 per annum, and Elizabeth's representatives for the most part did their work well. During the Viceroyalty of the Duke of Northumberland the income was E30,000 a year, but he voluntarily re- duced it to E20,000, at which figure it has stood ever since; but more than double that amount is some- times spent without [ostentatious or unnecessary parade. If Dublin Castle has been much modernised and metamorphosed, it is still remi- niscent of a rough and bellicose past; yet its upper "yard" is eminently modern, and devoted to the social side of the Irish question. Here are the quar- ters of the State steward, the chamberlain, the comp- troller, the gentlemen ushers, and that little legion of functionaries whose duty it is to dress" the social line and superintend the musters, whether for feasting or knightly ceremonial. It is in this court," too, that the representative of the Crown has his public and private apartments (including the Privy Council chamber) for by the unwritten code of office he is bound to the castle for its season. The best proof that his functions are at this time regarded as rather social than political or administrative is seen in the disparity of size and equipment between his study" and the study and reception-room of his chief secretary; for the former is comparatively small, whereas the latter is of palatial proportions— almost papered by maps, and having a well-stocked library attached to it. LORD CADOGAN'S REGIME. For nearly two months out of the 12 the Lord- Lieutenant of Ireland is the great entertainer, though of course affairs of State and patronage have all to pass through his Excellency's mind and hands during this term of carnival, and important Cabinet Councils cannot be neglected. How splendidly Lord and Lady Cadogan have got through the social side of their functions, how courtly they have made the castle pageants, and how they have redeemed them from the slur of section and narrowness, the public of Ireland are ready to attest; while courtiers maintain that their entertainments are quite worthy of the best traditions of Dublin Castle, and of the stately examples set by the Duke of Aber- corn, Lord Eglinton, Lord Spencer, and Lord Lon- donderry. In the first year of their reign the castle season was splendidly inaugurated, but its pageants were prematurely curtailed by a sad death in the Royal family. In the season that closed last March, Lord and Lady Cadogan arranged to add an extra week to the festive period—a new departure-bv throwing open the castle earlier than usual, for the anniver- sary of St. Patrick seems by some imperious neces- sity to mark its close. Moreover, it may be re- marked that Lord Cadogan has the distinction of having, as it were, struck the first note in the jubilant diapason with which a loyal nation marked its sense of their Queen's 60 years of sovereign sway, for he gave a banquet in St. Patrick's Hall to some 250 of the high estates" of Ireland, ending with the splendid spectacle (and sound) of a military torch- light tattoo a few months ago.
ENGLISH DOCTORS ABROAD. Native doctors in France and Switzerland have for a long time looked with greedy eyes at the incomes supposed to be earned in those countries by English- men for medical attendance upon their own country- men and countrywomen, and that they have (the Hospital tells us) now played a bold stroke for the purpose of securing these incomes fcr themselves. They say, in effect, to the English invalid, You shall not have our baths, or our springs, or our climates, unless you also have us." In this country doctors have managed their political affairs badly, and have failed to secure the influence which they have sue- ceeded in securing abroad. The result is that foreign politicians are mindful of the prosperity of foreign doctors, while English politicians are compara- tively indifferent to the prosperity of English ones. At the present time, if her Majesty were to return to Cimiez with an English doctor in her suite, that doctor would incur legal penalties if he were to prescribe for his illustrious patient. That such penalties would probably not be enforced does not alter the question; and it is a fact that an English doctor travelling in Switzerland has lately been threatened with punishment for attending his own mother in the hotel at which he was staying with her. The case seems to be one, if ever there was one, in which reprisals would be legitimate; and the home Government, if it attached proper importance to the protection of English subjects, would pass an Act to forbid medical practice in Great Britain by foreigners holding only foreign qualifications, but reserving power to the Privy Council to except the natives of any colonies or countries which, within their own bound- aries, granted reciprocal privileges to Englishmen. Our corporations should at the same time abandon their present custom of rendering the examinations of a duly qualified foreigner for an English diploma a matter almost of form, and should insist upon an entire curriculum and upon a rigid standard of acquirement.
FROM FERNANDO PO. The steamer Niger, which has arrived at Liverpool, left Fernando Po, a Spanish island, on July 19. The Cuban and Phillippine insurgents, who had been exiled to Fernando Po, were said to be still dying very rapidly. It was reported that so many were dying that the authorities could not make coffins for all, so they had made two coffins with hinges. These could be readily opened at the grave in order that the body might be deposited in the earth, and the coffins were then available for the next burial.
A VERY ardent amateur photographer is the Duke (If Newcastle, who is fond of going on photographic tours with a caravan in the remote parts of England. On one occasion, while taking a holiday in the New Forest, a party of excursionists mistook him for a pro- fessional, and asked him to take their portraits. This the duke readily did, and great was the surprise of the excursionists whou no charge was made for the "BSUlt.
THOSE DUPPIES." AN AMERICAN LADY DOCTOR'S STORY. I had finished my medical education, and was spending the winter in Jamaica with a former school- mate, preparatory to commencing practice as a physician. My friend, Julia Latham, had married a coffee planter, and it was during my sojourn on the planta- tion that I met with the adventure I am about to relate. We were driving, one glorious afternoon, through a lane that went zigzag fashion up a high mountain. I could not help admiring the picturesqueness of the tiny, flower-decked. cabins which dotted the hill- side here and there, and noting that on every verandah sat, or reclined, groups of laughing negroes, I said to my friend I feel inclined to envy these black people when I see how lightly the troubles of life seem to touch tbem, and to ask myself if, after all, they, and not we, are the favoured children of nature. I think, Julia, I should like to be a negress just for one week, in order to experience what it is to revel in unlimited sunshine, and drink in the delight of mere living." My practical friend smiled at this outburst of sentiment. If Providence were to grant your wish, you would return to civilisation a sadder and a wiser woman. During your transformation you would become entangled in the trammels of such a horribly grotesque superstition that it is a question if you could ever afterwards entirely shake it off." To what do you allude ?" "To the negroes' belief in duppies." In what ?" Duppies." Pray what are they ?I A duppy is the shadow of a dead person-the shadow, mind you, of the body, not of the soul, this having fled to bliss or woe, as the case may be. The duppy is brainless it is transparent and animated with silly malice toward living people. For some un- accountable reason it does not appear till the third day after death. Then, at the hour when the death took place, it strives to enter its former home, and it has to be frightened off by the waving of a white sheet at the doors and windows of the cabin. A crowd assembles for this purpose, and some members of it are sure to see the duppy. There it is!' they cry. Keep it out Keep it out and then there is a vigorous flapping of cotton cloth, and the most awful groans you ever heard. If once the thing enters the house the little but becomes uninhabit- able, hence the many vacant shanties one comes across in Jamaica. Just how long the shadow haunts the earth after the body has returned to its original dust I never could ascertain. Is it not. terrible to think that in this Christian land such a belief can be so firmly rooted in the native mind ?" It is a most ridiculous superstition," I answered, I never heard of quite such a nonsensical one." It does not seem funny to me at all," answered Julia Latham with a very grave face, but simply horrible. And there is something about it even worse than what I have told you, for negroes with unbalanced minds sometimes think they have swal- lowed duppies, and endure the most excruciating tortures under the excitement of this idea." Here I laughed aloud. Oh, Julia," I exclaimed, "why do you so impose on the credulity of your poor friend as to tell me this very tall story ?" I assure you I am speaking the truth," she re- joined. These darkies think the duppies are not only transparent but compressible, and under the form of some small insect or reptile can glide down a person's throat. But since I perceive you are still incredulous, I will take you to see a girl who fancies she swallowed two of these evil shadows. Here, Themist- tocles," cried she to a small ebony figure that wail wandering aimlessly about under a palm tree, come and hold my horse while I visit your mother." The boy came forward, grinning, and swaying him- self from the hips with that curious appearance of dislocation with which a pure negro walks. Half breeds lose this sinuosity of motion in a great measure, but a negro of pure blood walks as if the upper part of his body were allied only in a very perfunctory manner to the lower part. The little ebonite was clothed in an exceedingly diminutive shirt; it had once been white, but was now of a non- descript hue. It was his only garment. We advanced up the narrow garden walk to the porch of the whitewashed shanty with its bright green shutters. Seated in a rocking-chair was a portly woman with a yellow turban wound round her head. She greeted us without rising, being too indo- lent to make the necessary effort. How are you, Dinah ?" asked Mrs. Latham. Quite well, thank you, ma'am," she answered, without stopping the rocking. "How is Berenice?" Very bad, ma'am she is walking up and down inside there," indicating, with a jerk of her thumb over her shoulder, a room in the cottage, cause Julius Cassar and George Smith is a fighting so, they will allow her no peace." We opened the door of the room indicated, and when our eyes had become accustomed to the dark- ness, we saw a young woman tramping slowly and majestically up and down, like a wild beast in a cage. Berenice I" said Mrs. Latham, and the great, tall, finely developed girl halted before her, and gazed mournfully down on her with large, troubled eyes. Berenice, I have brought a lady doctor to see you." To this information the girl answered with am in- different intonation: I suppose, ma'am, she will be like all the others, and not believe a word I say, so what's the use of troubling her ?" On the contrary, I believe in you fully, Berenice," I said. The girl turned quickly towards me, and putting her two shapely hands on my shoulders, looked me in the face with her dog-like eyes. She seemed en- deavouring to discover whether I was in jest or in earnest. It was quite a time before she spoke; at length she said: Do you believe in Julius Caesar and George Smith, missee ?" I am sure I shall do so when I know who they are," I answered. They are my duppies." "Oh!" "Do you want to know hew I came to swallow them ?" Why, of course." Let us go out on the porch and hear the story," said Mrs. Latham. This room is stifling." We went out and watched the blazing sun go down in a tropicai splendour of red and gold behind the blue hill in front of us, as we listened to Berenice's tale. At first she was too agitated to commence it. She walked up and down in front of us. declaring that Julius Caesar and George Smith objected to her sit- ting. I drew out of a little satchel that I carried with me a certrin grey powder and placed it on her tongue. This had the effect of steadying her nerves, and she began talking in quite a rational manner. Julius Cseatar was the baby son of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, that lived in the cabin at the foot of the hill. He died six months ago, and on the third day after his death a lot of us boys and girls went to keep the duppy out. of the house. At midnight we were very tired. We had flapped the sheet for an hour without seeing anything. It was now agreed that each of us in turn should act as watcher. We drew lots, and the lot fell on me. Soon I was the only one awake in the whole crowd. The room was very warm, and I sat by the window. There was a tree close to it, and I noticed a movement in the branch nearest me. I fixed my eyes on the branch and saw a little grey owl that kept hopping nearer and nearer to the window. Its eyes were fiery, and kind of glued themselves on to mine, and still it hopped nearer and nearer. Presently it got between the moon and me, and I saw right through it. The moon was shining through the little grey owl! Then I knew what it was, and opened my mouth to scream, but before I could do so it flew right in, and was down my throat in a jiffy!" She paused in such agitation that it was impossible to laugh at her story, absurd though it was. George Smith died soon after, and I swallowed him in the form of a cat," she went on presently. They fought right away, and I have dreadful times, Oh, missee"—here the poor girl wiped her eyes with the corner of her apron—"1 do have dreadful times! And if I don't get up and walk about directly they begin fighting, I have a fit and stay in it till they are tired out. Do you think you can cure me ?" Yes," said I, with a confidence I did not alto- gether feel, whereupon the poor girl humbly kissed the hem of my dress in token of her gratitude. Berenice, despite her hue, was very beautiful. She resembled an ebony statue of Hebe- It was dreadful to think that so perfectly formed a body should be cumbered with such a ludicrously-diseased mind. Whether rightly or not, I diagnosed the case as one of acute dyspepsia, and determined to treat it as such. Berenice," said I, it will take some time to cure you, as Julius Caesar and George Smith will no doubt obstinately contest my efforts to dislodge them, but in the end I think I shall succeed." A rapturous look of joy overspread her counte- nance, and she commenced to slowly revolve, in a kind of rhythmic dance, down the narrow garden path. It was a weird sight to see her graceful, statuesque figure swaying in the moonlight. Her mother began to sob hysterically, whether for joy at her daughter's prospective release, or grief at her present eccentric conduct, I could not tell. Probably she did not know herself, for these black peeplo are so emotional that they are stirred by every breath of feeling, as the bosom of the sea is ruffled by the slightest breeze. "Come, let us go borne," cried Julia, suddenly. There is something hypnotic in Berenice's move- ments my brain begins to reel; if I stay here much longer, I believe I shall be compelled to join in the dance!" It took me several months to effect the cure of Berenice, and even when she was convalescent she re- fused to believe in the fact until she had ocular demonstration that the uncanny creatures which tor- mented her had been evicted. Therefore Julia and I constructed two images, in the form of an owl and a cat, out of a pair of gloves, and filled them with cotton batting soaked in kerosene oil. I give Bere- nice a sleeping powder, and had her carried into the kitchen of Julia's house. A bright fire was kindled in the fireplace, and I then awoke the girl. See I cried, holding up the images. Here are the mischief makers She at firot shrank back in terror then wanted to handle them, but to this I objected. No, Berenice, it would not be safe. Maybe they are not really dead but only shamming. See, I will put an end to them once for all." And I threw them dramatically into the fire. As they went in a blaze up the chimney, Berenice uttered a cry of joy. She was now perfectly restored to sanity and good health, and in her gratitude was ready to become my slave for life. But this I would not permit. I left the island soon after, and nover saw my patient again but Julia assures me, however, that she has not relapsed into her former condition, and her cure teems complete.
SIR ROBERT GIFFEN. Sir Robert Giffen is about to retire from the dis- tinguished position in the department of the Board of Trade which he has occupied for many years to the great advantage of the public service. The with- drawal of so eminent an authority on public economy and statistics from the direct service of the State must in any case (remarks The Times) be a matter for sincere regret. But in Sir Robert Giffen's case this reeret is tempered by the consideration that be retires at a time of life and in circumstances which will enable him, we trust for many years to come, still to employ his great powers of analysis and ex- position for the benefit and instruction of his countrymen, though not in an official capacity. Sir Robert Giffen has reached the age at which retirement from the Civil Service is permissive but not compulsory. It has been his privilege to occupy at the Board of Trade a position peculiarly congenial to the native bent of his mind and to the studies in economy, statistics, and finance in which he has gained such high distinction. But his important and varied achievements in an in- dependent and unofficial career suffice to show that in entering the service of the Board of Trade he gave up to a public office not a little that was really meant for mankind. In the full maturity of powers still unimpaired, though perhaps requiring greater leisure than heretofore for their exercise, he now re- sumes a position of greater freedom-we can hardly add of less responsibility for a publicist of his eminence cannot but foel that he owes a responsibility to the tribunal of sound thinking and right reason quite as great, though not exactly the same, as that which wns imposed on him by the restraints of a public office. In such circumstances, though the public service may lose, the public at large will gain. The Department over which Sir Robert Giffen has presided at the Board of Trade will still in a large measure be guided by his methods and example. But his vigorous and incisive pen will henceforth be available for the unfettered discussion of the many topics of which he is an acknowledged master. Few of his contemporaries can speak with an authority greater than his on the larger issues involved in those economical and financial problems which lesser men are so ready to solve by the too facile nostrum of the moment. A pupil of Bagehot's and imbued with the broad catholic and judicial temper of his master, Sir Robert Giffen is at once a fearless thinker, a formidable critic, and a large minded exponent of sound economical doctrine. We have not always found ourselves able to agree with him on all points, and, in particular, we have dissented strongly from his treatment of the financial aspects of the Irish question. But, just as Carlyle spoke of himself and Mill as "except in opinion not disagreeing," so we may say of Sir Robert Giffen's treatment of public questions in their economical and financial aspects that, though we may not always share his opinions or accept his conclusions, we cordially welcome the prospect afforded by his retirement of his alliance in the de- fence of many causes which we hold not less dear than he does.
STRANGE DEATH. To die by evaporation is a rather queer way of getting rid of all the ills which flesh is heir to, one would imagine. Yet there was the poet Philetas, who had reduced himself to such a pitch of tenuity by reflection and study that he was compelled to wear leaden soles to his boots to keep himself from being blown away, or perhaps ascending, like a balloon, to the realms above. Athenaeny assures us, however, that he positively evaporated. This, too, may have been the end of Everard Festhius, who mysteriously disappeared one fine day. He was a famous German scholar of the 17th century. He went one day into the house of a respectable citizen of Rochelle, in France, where he had taken up his resi- dence, and was never heard of afterwards. It was clear that he was not murdered, for his case was most thoroughly sifted. There was a young man who was known to glorious John Dryden, the poet, who went off in the same singular manner for He disappeared, was rarefied. For 'tis improper speech to say he died He was exalted his great Creator drew His spirit, as the sun the morning dew. The earliest record that we have of a death by hydrophobia is that of Ubaldus Baldus, one of the most profound lawyers who ever lived. He bad a little dog which he used to fondle in his study, and for whom he had a very great affection. One day, however, the animal bit him slightly on the lip. No notice was taken of it by Baldus at the time, but a few months afterwards the disease manifested itself in all its malignity.
A COSTLY WHIM. Humouring a child's caprices may not only tend to spoil him, fcut put others to great inconvenience and loss, as in an incident related by Lady Brassey. A bridge which the Sultan had ordered to be con- structed in Constantinople was to have been finished by a particular day, bnt the contractor found that this would be impossible with Turkish workmen, unless he worked day and night. This he obtained leave to do, and the necessary lights and torches were supplied at the Sultan's expense. All went well for a time, till the unfortunate contractor was told that he must open the bridge to let a ship from the dockyard pass through some time before the bridge was finished. He said it was impossible, as he would have to pull everything down, and it would take two or three months to replace the scaffolding and pile-driving machines. But the Ministers of Marine and Finance said: If the Sultan says it must be done, it must, or we shall lose our places, if not our heads." So the ship came out at a cost of a little over £ 100,000, and a delay of three months in the completion of the bridge, all be- cause the Sultan found his small son crying in the harem one day, the child's grief being that, though he had been promised to be made an admiral, he could not see his flag hoisted on his particular ship from the nursery windows. So a large ironclad was brought out from the dockyard and moored in front of Dol- mabagtcheh to gratify his infant mind, thus causing enormous inconvenience to the town for months, to say nothing of the waste of money, of which the Sultan paid very little, and for the loss of which, I imagine, he cared still less.
LUCKY NON-JURYMEN. You will not be called upon to serve on a jury if you are a peer or an M.P., or a judge, or a clergyman of the Established or of any Nonconformist Church. Neither will you ever be summoned if you are a barrister or a solicitor, or a solicitor's managing clerk, or an official in the courts of law. You will be excused from this thankless duty if you are a coroner, or a magistrate, or a magistrate's clerk, usher, door- keeper, or messenger; or if you are a policeman in London or in the provinces, or a bheriff's officer, or a gaoler; or if you serve in any capacity in one of her Majesty's prisons. You will also be exempt if yon are a registered physician in any part of the kingdom, or if you are an apothecary, chemist, or officer on full pay in the army or navy. You will likewise escape if you are employed in the Post-office, the Customs or Inland Revenue Departments, or the House of Lords. And lastly, you will never be called upon to bring anyone in "Guilty" or "Not Guilty while you are a servant in her Majesty's household.
QUBEN HESRIETTE OF Hblowh, by birth an Austrian archduchess, continues, in spite of her enow-white hair and rank as a grandmother, to occupy her time with circus riding. A year ago she gave, in t,he riding-school of the Royal Palace at Brussels, a semi-public performance, in which she and her daughter Clementine put their horses through all kinds of fancy paces and trick-riding with the skill of professionals. They leaped their horses through burning hoops and over flaming hedges, and her Majesty jumped a pet horse over a dinner-table cohered with flowers and lighted candelabra. Then she drove a team of twenty-in-hand herself, mounted tn a favourite man.
NEWS NOTES. SOMERSET'S defeat of Surrey disposed of the latter's chances of capturing the championship of the first-class cricketing counties for the season, leaving Lancashire with the lead. Excepting by the partisans of the south metro- politan team the resultant will be popular, for Lancashire is a game eleven, and they have had none the best of the luck, latterly. More- over it is a long time since they achieved pride ui place now; and even Surrey cannot begrudge the shire of the Red Rose the honour they have worthily won, on the system of computing merit proclaimed by the ruling authorities of our great summer sport, which is-alnek and alack !—virtually all over now until May next. "If "-and there is virtue in an "if "Tom Hay- ward, Surrey's all-round stalwart, had escaped injury at Taunton, it might have been other- wise with the head of the championship table; but then "if" Frank Sugg, the snjiter, had not been rendered hors de combat when lie was doing so well at the Oval a few days earlier, Surrey might very well have received their quietus then. Cricket's uncertainties are still among the charms of the game but one would like to see less accidents on the field. Proportionately these have in- creased since the increase of fast bowl- ing, which always has its dangers on the treacherous wickets that usually prevail in an ending season. No one wants cricket safe- guarded into a sport for milksops to play, but at the same time it is a great pity to have so many good and experienced batsmen getting their fingers badly smashed by lightning-paced balls which rise unseen from the broken pitches. Really, if the perils of cricket are not in some way lessened we shall have your willow-wielder putting on the whole armour of the base-baller. The padless player of the fearlessly slogging Charles Thornton calibre would not get through many overs of bowling from men of the Richardson, Kortright, or Mold type on a normal end of August wicket nowadays without affording subject for the exploitation of surgical skill. But many knocks cannot quench oricket enthu- siasm. MWANGA of Uganda has probably now come to the end of his tether. That troublesome potentate got away into German territory, after secretly organising a rising in the Budda district. The King's forces were signally defeated, and, surrendering to the Germans, he was detained." It is expected the result of this upset will be that the Protectorate autho- rities will place Mwanga's infant son on the throne, with a Regency. THE Orakzai mountaineers have taken up the parable of their Afridi neighbours, and are threatening the outposts on the Samana range which abuts upon our Indian north-west; and the turbulent tribesmen will no doubt cause further mischief before a sufficient force can be moved into effective position against them. But the ultimate end of it all is sure, and the lesson plain. Order will ere long be restored with some loss, doubtless, and at some cost; and we must render the situation at the mouth of the frontier passes permanently stronger and solider. It is the height of unwisdom to put too much trust in Pathan protestations. DFBLIN in particular, and Ireland in general, has been delighted with the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York, and the Duke and Duchess have been equally delighted with their enthusiastic reception from all sections of Hibernian society. MR. JACKSON, of the Jackson-Harmsworth Expedition, has returned to Britain from the frozen North, and reports having accomplished some very good exploration work since the de- parture of Nansen twelve months since. Mr. Jackson has been able to define with precision on the maps the whole northern and western coasts of Franz Joseph Land; and has dis- covered also numerous hitherto unknown islets, headlands, and channels, which are all now christened with British names. The full report of the expedition will be awaited with interest. THE wail from those on the way to Klondyke has began. An ex-customs collector of Washington has written to his wife from Skaguay, stating that at that place there are now no less than 5000 men, with a total of 15 horses only between them all. The men are forlorn, ragged, and wretched; the handful of horses almost skeletons. Half of the ill-advised adventurers have almost given up every idea reaching the golden city of their dreams, and curse the day when they first set forth. The way is proving, as was prophesied,impracticable already, and the worst of the weather is only now beginning to be felt. What will the tale of horror be presently ? A GREAT work will shortly be put in hand at Capetown in the construction of an immense dock-system, capable of giving shelter when necessary to the largest ironclads afloat. The co-uperation of the Cape Government and the Admiralty will render the dock available for naval defence purposes at any time when such shelter is requisite. The importance of such a provision will be apparent to all strategists.
A GOOD WORD FOR TRICYCLES. The bicycle girl is (says the Hospital) as con- spicuous as ever, and even though the fashionable world may give up its craze for the flying wheel, it is safe to say that cycling will remain with us not merely as a pastime but also as a means of locomo- tion. So much the better; but, unfortunately, bicycling benefits only those of the female sex who are sure to take exercise enough already-who would play tennis or golf, or walk, or row, if wheeling had never been invented. Far more necessary is some form of exercise for the matron of forty or more, who after her household work is done inclines to sit down with a book or a piece of needlework, and drop into a doze from sheer ennui. Her doctor tells her to take exercise, but she gets tired of walking the mile or two round her own door, which is the utmost she can manage; and a carriage, even if she possesses one, may give her air, but hardly exercise. Some even of these ladies have learned the bicycle, but there are others who fear the effort of learning, and doubt if they could ever balance the wheel. Why, then, do they not take to the tricycle ? The tricycle is less graceful than the bike," it is less swift, and it does not give the fascina- tion of performing a seemingly impossible feat; but it has its merits. It requires no learning it can be arranged to carry any reasonable quantity of luggage, which makes it an ideal vehicle for country shoppers, who are sure to have endless little errands when they go to their market town and, not least, if you get tired you have only to sit still until you recover breath, instead of coming off and having to support your belplegs steed. Altogether, a tricycle is a very fonvenient machine.
PROFESSIONAL FINDERS. There are, it is said, rightly or wrongly, men in London and other large cities who make a living by finding things. They get up about three o'clock in the morning, and from that time until the streets begin to be thronged with people they walk slowly along, keeping their eyes on the pavements and gutters, and an article must be pretty well hidden that escapes heir keen eyes. Everything is fish in their nets— coins, jewellery, articles of clothing, purses, dogs, and children. These finders are honest enough, and will return valuables if a reward is offered, but not one of four people who lose money or other valu- able articles advertise their loss.
= IT is announced that the endowment fund of a ttew York city parish, known far and wide for its good works, has gone beyond the 100,000dols. mark. That noble provision for Christian helpfulness began in a striking way. Twelve shop-girls gave a gold dollar each, and on that suggestive basis rests the guper»-trncture which is to endure through the generations. They did what they could, as did the Ionian in tho Gospels. A NOVEL industry is pursued by the negroes of pass Christian, Missouri. A railway-bridge spans the bay near that place, and when the train is crossing the bridge, the negroes, in boats below, fire off their pistols, the people in the train stick out their heads to ,ee what is the matter, and the wind carries a harvest of hats to the watchers. Seven hats a day per man is called a good haul. TRAVELLERS who have explored all over the world will tell you that what first strikes them about an African forest is its cleanliness, a sort of look as if the whole ground was daily cleaned and dusted by invisible elves. Not a fallen branch is to be seen, hardly a dead leaf. No more striking contrast could be imagined than this, an com oared to a foreat in the great weat of Amerioa.
GARDENING GOSSIP. l (From Gardening Illustra fed.") CONSERVATORY. Tuberoses which have been grown coo! win make charming groups now mixed with Ferns. For flower* iug at this season the bulbs are potted in Gin. pots, three bulbs in a pot, and may be started in f) ™ld pit, to be moved to the conservatory when the Lowering spikes run ùp. Give liquid-manure to increase the size of the blossoms. After flowering the bulbs are thrown out. Good, sound bulbs are very cheap, especially when bought by the thousand. Lihum lancifohum (white and red) are useful now, and stronc bushes of Hydrangea P'>!1ICII I. gr»rnw;Jora, which have been grown cool, are very elective. To make t'ood specimens they sbon 1rl he prlln" hrd back, The early-struck plants of Ii, rl r'l P n 1' "tica and the white variety Dr. Hn. shuulii n> ■ >v t. in 5iu. pots and outside ripening grmviu. ljr. ii<>gg is not quite so free a grower as the type. but when well grown it makes a fine specimen, and the llovvers ars useful for wreath-making, as they may be cut up, if the trusses are large, and mounted on wire. Hydrangeas in oin. pots, carrying one large truss of bloom, are very useful; but for the conservatory larger plants which have been cut back are more effective. Everybody with a conservatory to keep gay in summer should grow all of these Hydrangeas. Paniculata grandiflora is hardy nearly everywhere, but the others are not quite hardy, though they form huge bushes in the West of England, and flower profusely. Zonal Pelargoniums which have become leggy may now be cut down and the cuttings put in. Where the old plants break shake them out and repot in good loam and a little leaf-mould and sand. To obtain Heliotrope flowers in winter the plants, if in pots, must be pinched during summer to encourage a bushy habit but if the Heliotropes are planted in the conservatory border, as they frequently are, prune back freely now to induce autumn growth to come away that will flower freely in autumn and winter if there is warmth enough. There will not be many flowers in winter unless a night temperature of i>0deg. to oodeg. can be maintained. Abutilons treated in the same way will flower freely in winter. FERNS UNDER GLASS. This is a good time to sow Fern-spores. Those- who grow a collection of Ferns will find plenty of ripe spores on the backs of the fronds, and these can be gathered, and sown at once in pans of good loam or peat, made very firm. Set the pans of spores in a shady comer and cover with glass. Keep the soil in an equable condition as regards moisture. If the soil is allowed to become dry after germmn oi begins the little plants will die. The best way to water will be to dip the pans nearly up to the rim in a pail or tank, and keep them there till all the soil is moistened. Any young Ferns which require more pot room should have it at once. In small houses the difficulty usually is to keep the plants in small enough pots. If all the plants were grown intospecimens a fewer number would haveto be grown. Filmy Ferns, Todeas, and others are interesting, but are not so generally useful as others, as they cannot be made available for furnishing the rooms. A frame can be arranged in a shady corner for them it may even be excavated a couple of feet in the ground. A few Palms may be grown with the Ferns. But the same difficulty occurs with Palms as with Ferns; the plants are continually getting too large, especially if such rapid, coarse growers as Seaforthias and Latanias are kept. Kentias in variety are the best Palms for an amateur to grow. They are com- paratively slow in growth, and will stand the dry atmosphere of the room better than most. Any which require larger pots should have it now. Weak stimulants may be given to those plants which are not repotted. STRAWBERRIES FOR FORCING. All plants intended for early forcing will now be in the fruiting-pota, which should not be less than Gin. in diameter. Pot very firmly and keep the crowns above the soil. Only one crown should be left on each plant. Stand on coal-ash beds, or on an im- pervious bottom, allowing each plant room enough to develop its foliage. Keep the plants free from runners and give water when necessary. A little frost will not hurt them, but sharp frost will break the pots; therefore the pots should be plunged, before worse weather sets in, in cold frames, from whence they can be taken in batches as required to the forcing-house. VINERIES. Early Grapes which have been hanging some time may be cut and bottled if there is a Grape-room. They will keep fresher and retain their black colour longer in a dark room. As soon as the Grapes are cut the surplus wood can be taken out, and full venti- lation given but the inside borders must not be per- mitted to get dust dry. Late Tines, where the Grapea are colouring, must not be permitted to develop too much lateral growth. A little during the colouring is very well, but too much will disorganise root action and rob the Grapes. FRUIT GARDEN. Late Grapes are, or should be, colouring now. It not ripened by the end of September the quality will not be so good, and they will not keep so well. They ripen best when not hurried and freely ventilated during day, and enough night air left on to maintain a free circulation. Moisture should not be withheld till the berries are pretty well finished. If the Giapes are expected to keep long, mulch the borders inside with long litter to check evaporation and keep down dust. Young pot-Vines intended for forcing next year will now have finished growth, and wood getting brown. When the wood is thoroughly firm, take outside and nail to wall in a sunny position. The warmth of the wall will complete the ripening of the wood. Do not let the roots suffer for want of water. The summer pruning will now for the most part be finished. The weather has been too dry for much growth to be made. Where the Pears have not been thinned or the trees watered the fruit will be small. There are heavy crops of Pears about, but Plums and Apples are, with a few exceptions, thin. Young trees of Victoria, Rivers' Prolific, and Monarch Plums are in some gardens doing well, showing the wisdom cf working on young trees, in Plums espe- cially. THE CULTURE OF ASPARAGUS. More mistakes are probably made in th6 culture ot this highly-esteemed vegetable than in the growing of any other. There is no necessity whatever to grow it in raised beds in the old-fashioned way—in fact, it does better on the level, except where the ground is very damp, and then it should be drained. Secondly, the plants are usually sadly overcrowded, and cannot, in consequence, become properly deve- loped while, lastly, whatever may be said in favour of the planting system, much the best beds are ob- tained by sowing the seed directly therein, and never disturbing the plants at all—scarcely any other sub- ject resents any disturbance at the root so much all this does. The ground for Asparagus ought to be deeply trenched, worked to the depth of two, or pre- ferably, three spades, and a heavy dressing of manure should be worked in, the rougher parts below and the finer nearer the surface. If very heavy, a quantity of the soil may be burnt with great advan- tage, throwing the hard, rough lumps into the bottom of the trenches, and using the fine siftings on the surface. The top spit must be worked up to a fine tilth, and rendered free and rich by adding leaf- mould, road-sand, old potting soil, burnt earth, &c. It is best to trench up the ground in the autumn, and finish the surface off in the spring, after it has been mellowed by the frosts of winter. Supposing that one or two-year-old roots or plants (the former are much safer and better than older ones) are to be em- ployed, they should be carefully planted, spreading out the roots well on little mounds or ridges, at not less than 18in. apart, with a like distance between the rows; or these may be 2ft. or even 3ft. apart in good ground, with advantage. The best time to plant is just when the plants are beginning to feather" in April, or even as late, in cold soils, as the first week in May. The crown of each plant should be 3in. or 4in. below the surface. Make the loil just firm, and water in well, giving more at in- tervals as required, if the weather is dry, until the plants are established. The less time the roots are out of the ground the better, the beet plan being to grow them at home. This is done by sowing the seed in shallow drills, a foot apart, in March, for the next year's requirements. No beads must be cut from planted beds before the second year, or from town, until the third, and then the fewer the better. A good way to make the most of th e ground is to plant, or sow, at half the proper distance, and as soon as possible begin cutting from the alternate plants or rows only; cut hard for a time, and when exhausted dig these up, and let the others occupy the whole of the space. When sowing a bed to remain proceed as before, the ground having been prepared as for planting, and if the seedlings do well thin them oat moderately the first year, and more the second, leaving the best plants at not less than 1ft. or 18in. apart. Let them get well established and strong before commencing to cut. In the autumn the beds should be cleaned, removing all weeds and stray seedlings, and cutting away the dead stems. The trimmings from the alleys, or a little fresh sweet soil may be thrown on the beds, but do not lay on a thick coat of manure as some advise, especially where the soil is stiff or clayey. This is best applied in the spring, and Asparagus being a maritime plant, a good sprinkling of salt may be given in March with benefit, or nitrate of soda will do quite as well. Cut with a sharp knife just below the surface, preferably towards evening, as a precaution against night frosts, or cover the rising shoots with small inverted flower-pots. Do not cover the bed with leaf-mould or anything of the kind in order to blanch the shoots—this is tbeei folly, the blanched portion being uneatable 0114 wasted.