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LITERARY EXTRACTS.

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LITERARY EXTRACTS. ISOME STORIES OF GAMBLING ASD GAMBLERS.—In tfcnnection with the largo profits made by jockeys, 4he story is told of three men who were natives of tile same parish. The first two were gentlemen's IOns; and of these one eventually earned £ 400 a par at the Bar and by literature, while the other became a hard working city clergyman on Y-327 a Jear. The third was the son of a groom and house- maid who had been servants to the parents of the first and second, and he made E2000a year as a jockey. A man is said to have started for Kempton Park in 'the May of 1890, with only £ 10 notes in his pocket. In the course of the morning ho was unexpectedly npaid an old debt, in the form of a £ 1000 note. Before the start for the Jubilee Stakes, wishing to back Arnphion, who started at It), to one, he gave, • fts he thought one of his £ 10 notes to a bookmaker, Baying, I want you to lay me the odds against &mphion, to this note in ready money." His surprise diay be imagmed when, on going to be paid after the -t'ace, the bookmaker, instead of giving him, as he expected, E130, gave him his own bank note for £1000 and a cheque for CI2,000, with an apology for not ,baving the full amount in ready cash to hand over. Davis, the bookmaker, who used to make a £100,000 book on the Derby, began life as a carpenter; and Barry Hill, who made a £10,000 book regularly "On every big racing event of the year, was at one time boots at a small hotel. The last-named gentle- ,man then took to thimble-rigging, and after that to Welshing. Once, when almost "cleaned out" at Doncaster races, being reduced to his own legs as a Conveyance, he went into a cottage to ask his way, and saw a E20 Bank of England note pasted over the øpace left by a broken pane in the window. This he p urehased for one shilling—he afterwards p&id its I full value—and it became the foundation of his for- tunes. In 1853 he thought he had squared" the jockey who was to ride in an important race but that jockey was compelled to win, and Hill dropped £ 20,000. Soon afterwards he lost, £ 40,000 among, as he said himself, the blacklegs of the Stock Ex- ohange." The illustrious Ur. Crockford, the pro- prietor of the famous London gambling-rooms, was at one time a ftshmonger; but between his gaming- rooms and his betting-book he had amassed a fortune of half a million before his death. The event is said to have taken place on the evening before The Princess won the Oaks in 1844. On behalf of himself and a party of friends he had backed the filly for a large sum CD his own name, and his confederates were horrified at the idea of all those bets being rendered void by his death. To provide against such a catastrophe in case of victory-in case of defeat the truth would iiave been told readily enough—Crockford's death -was kept a profound secret, and as soon as a carrier pigeon reached his house after the race bearing the word Princess," his body was dressed up in his clothes and propped up in a chair in the window in which he was accustomed to sit. Many people on their return from Epsom, as tbev drove past to their clubs, saw the old man looking," as they said "rather lively." By this means all the bets which in Consequence of his death had lapsed were duly ob- tained, each of the confederates getting the amount for which he had respectively stood in." One night, in Crockford's gaming rooms in London, Scrope Davies, a well-known gambler of the wnrly years of the century, was introduced to a Mr. H——, a young man who had inherited a large fortune, and was to "be married within a month. After talking for a time the two men began to play hazard, and Davies won all 'before him. By the morning the youth had lost everything he had in the world; and, throwing him- self on the sofa, he covered his face with his hands and cried like a child. "Listen to me," said Scrope Davies, touching him upon the shoulder. I will forego everything I have won to-night on one condi- tion, and that is, that you will take a solemn oath never to touch cards or dice again." The conditions were accepted and faithfully observed on both sides. Some years afterwards Scrope Davies, who continued ioganible ,lost everything he possessed, and in his dire necessity he wrote to Mr. II who had married ,the girl he loved, and waxed richer and richer, to the following effect: You begged me, should I ever Want a friend to come to you, as you considered all that you possessed belonged as much to me as to yourself. Without taking such exaggerated view of your obligations, I now ask you for some assistance to enable me to weather the storm." In reply he re- ceived a formal note to the effect that Mr. H-- regretted that he was unable to offer Mr. Scrope Davies any assistance."—Saturday Review. A ROYAL POACHER.—The hunting districts of Italy abound in stories of Victor Emmanuel. He was 8D indefatigable sportsman, and hunted down his game, says a writer in the Daily News, with the per- sistence and sagacity of a good hound, often leaving far behfnd him invited guests, equerries, beaters and keepers. On one such occasion, finding himself on entirely unknown ground, he descended the moun- tain side to ask the name of the surrounding peaks and to get a, drink of goat's inilk. To the old dame who made him welcome and gave him both drink and information, he said Can I do anything for you, good woman ?" Yes, indeed," she answered. You have a gun; maybe you could rid me of the polecat that eats my chickens and has even killed my Cat." And nothing else ?" asked the king. I see no one about the house. Are you quite alone here ?" ".There was a ^grandson," she replied, sadly, the only one left to me, and the king took even him away. AU the young fellows are taken for soldiers now. Some tell me 'tis not the fault of the king, and that he is forced to do it. But it is sorely hard on lone folk like me." What is his regiment ?"the king asked. "Oh, that I can't tell yoai," she t-aid, "but I have a letter from him in my pocket. The schoolmaster will read it for me next Sunday when I go to mass. Perhaps, now, you could even make out the regiment from it." The king conned the letter to some pur- pose, for he soon after gave all requisite particulars to one of his officers, with orders that the recruit, when found, should be sent back with his discharge to the old grandmother and the mountain farm. Moreover, before leaving that day lie shot the faina that had killed cat. and poultry, and the good woman gave him threepence-halfpenny for his trouble,, besides many thanks and blessings. A year later the king passed that way, and was again alone. A yoyth and the grandmother were at work in their potatoe patch, and the lad, in great astonishment, saluted, crying: "It is the king, granny It is the king You goose." returned the grandmother, laughing heartily, "It's only the old vagabond I gave my halfpence to for killing the polecat. It is that cacciatore—sportsman, or poacher,—that I was telling you about. Are you crazy, lad?" for the conscript continued to strike his temple with his earthy hand. Laughing, the king looked across the fence of loose stones till the crone began roughly to shake her boy by the shoulder, and to call him hard Xtames. Then, in mercy, the king volunteered an explanation. The grandmother was a trifle abashed for a moment, but when she brought out a jug of j milk the trio made merry together. SOLDIERS ON SKATES.—The Norwegian army has organised a corps of infantry which can cover a dis- tance of 80 miles in a day's march. This extraordi- nary record, which equals the performances of the best trained cavalry in Europe, is only possible be- cause every man ,in the corps is a highly skilful ekater, and when in marching trim is provided with a specially constructed pair of skates. The 'corps can be manoeuvred with extraordinary rapidity. The heels of the skates are so shaped as to enable the men to spin round, as if on a pivot, at the word of command. As a matter of Jfact, they can perform the right about fac quickly than any crack regi- ment of infantry. The evolutions of the corps are naturally fbnfined to he great fiords which indent the coast of Ifprway, gpd which, during the long winter season, a frozen solidly over. For patrol and scout duty these^solc^er skaters will be of the greatest ser- vice. Th^,men are the pick of a skating nation, and heir comtjfianfler was once the champion skater of this country. THE MATINEE GIRL.—Being much more composite than the ffiiglish public, the American public is also more cathftlic in its tastes. It has, moreover, a Curious iinnocence, or lack of moral discrimination, which is now and then very disconcerting. 3?eople tell you—and in a certain sense it it true- that the stage is dominated by "the matinee girl, the half-educated young woman, shop assistant, typewriter, telephone girl, or what not, who, if she have not a young man to relieve her of the ex- pense, devotes a considerable portion of her weekly earnings to theatre-going. The tastes of this fair Critic are naturally all for romance, sentiment, and cheap idealism. It is she who makes the popularity cf Drury-lane melodrama, and keeps Miss Ad*. Rptan (Tor example) enslaved to The Great Ruby." But ahe will also accept without blenching the crudest, tawdriest French realism and humour of the most questionable quality. In alluding to the plait of the American that he can obtain no hearing in his own country, Mr. Archer asks whetp lies the fault ? With Mr. Charles Frohman, some people tell me. But I -venture to differ. It is essentially the matinee girl that wills it so. Mr. Frohman is above all things a man without prejudices. French, German, English, American, all is grist that comes to his mill. He .merely gives people what they want, and he is quite willing to give them the best they will accept. It is the public which will not discriminate between native and foreign work, or, if it docs so at all, dis- criminates against the native work. Foreign jplays Come to it ready judged and ready "boomed an -American play has its reputation to make. in the face of a criticism which tends to be exacting, lest it should appear provincial. But the true provincialism Is that which is content to leave America a province of France, and iNew. Yorka jul^urb of laris.— William Archer, in the Pall mall Magazine,' THE BUOYS.— I Grey breaks the dawn over bluff Dundee, Grey hangs the mist on the plain, Gorman and Dillon, Fitzpatrick, Magoe, Brady, O'Brien, and Kane. Will the world doubt of what stock ye are bred ? 'Tis ye are the lads for the work— Wait till they hear how the fight has sped, Gilligan, Kelly, and Burke! Thunder of guns Stout gunner, well done But Patrick is waiting below: A run choose your cover! a climb and a run! Up, Dolan lip Carey, ye go o fierce was the shriek of the shell overhead, o fiercer the shrimmering steel! Ah. Pat, when they hear how the fight has sped, They'll guess how the Dutchmen feel. But what of the fallen ? Ay, brave and true, Who doubts of what breed are ye ? Ye have done the good work that was yours to do, Work of the years to be Better the grave 'neath your hard-won hill, With the love of them that mourn, Than the life of the Mocker, mocking still, 'Mid wrangle, hate, and scorn. So Gorman and Dillon, Fitzpatrick, Magee, 'Tis ye were the lads for the work God give us others as loyal as ye, Gilligan, Kelly, and Burke —R. Cornah, in The Outlook. LUCREZIA BORGIA'S DEADLY POJON RING.—Every one who has read any of the old romances will be fairly familiar with the history of the poisoned ring by which Lucrezia Borgia used to rid herself of in- convenient people, but modern science has been in- clined to smile indulgently at the story as a myth. The ring, however, was no myth, for one of the deadly ornameds has been discovered and its mechanism examinsd. The ring is a large and heavy cameo, beautifuliy carved with a figure of a cupid. The heavy setting looks as if it was solid, but it is not. There is a cavitv beneath the stone, in which was placed the deadly poison intended to be used upon anyone whom the owner of the ring objected to. Just bv the side, of the cameo is a small and almost invisible 9pike, fine as the smallest needle, and yet hollow throughout its length. By a spring in the set- ting this little spike could be protruded at will. In doing so a. drop of the poison hidden beneath the stone would be ejected from the point of the needle. When Lucrezia Borgia, or anyone else who possessed the ring, desired to use it, all that had to be done was to cause the spike to protrude and then shake hands with the objectionable person. There would be in- flicted upon such a one a tiny prick which might be hardly perceived at the time. The puncture meant death, however. Modern toxicology knows of many powerful poisons, but not even the science of to-day has been able to duplicate the poison with which the ring was charged. It is said of it that the person wounded by the ring perceived nothing wrong for 12 hours, at the expiration of which time he died sud- denly. The deadly properties of the poison took nearly a day to kill, remaining latent meanwhile. Whether this attribute of the poison is a myth or not is not known.—New York Journal. HONOURING HER SON.—Perhaps the first person to believe in the genius of Robert Louis Stevenson was his mother. She was devotedly attached to him throughout, his life, and realised his value to the world long before the world gave him a hearing. It was her lot to live to mourn his death, but she was comforted in her trouble by the sympathy of two nations. Some time after his death a great memorial meeting was held in Edinburgh. For his mother, says the author of Stevenson's Edinburgh Days," it was a gala day. She started for the Music Hall not too early, feeling sure of a seat with a "reserved ticket" in her hand. She had declined to sit on the platform, and preferred to be a simple unit in the audience. The crowd was beyond expectations. Mrs. Stevenson arrived to find every passage blocked, and a surging mass at the main entrance clamouring for admittance. She feared that she, with them. would be turned away but as a forlorn hope she appealed to a policeman. "It's nae use, it's fu' he said;' reserve seats were ta'en an hour agao by folks that had nae tickets, Ilnd they would na gang out." "I must get in!" cried Mrs. Stevenson, roused out of her usual calm. I've a right to get in. I am Robert Louis Stevenson's mother." "Aye, you've the best right," the policeman replied, and, turning to the crowd, he cried Mak' way, there. She maun get in. Slv/s Roabert Louis's mither." People who had thought themselves packed too tightly to move, some- how packed closer to let Mrs. Stevenson squeeze past. Breathless, hustled, and for once with her mantle j.n i bonnet a little awry, much against her will the crowd pushed her to the platform. There she hastened to take a back seat, and a few minutes later she heard the orator of the day, Lord Rosebery, say with an emphasis which the audience understood well, His mother is here." THE GAY GORDONS (Dargai, October 20, 1897.)— The following spirited poem is specially interesting, just now in these warlike times when the gallant re- giment whoses praises are here sung has again been distinguishin itself in the Transvaal. The verses are taken from a collection of stirring patriotic pieces and ballads entitled The] sland Race," by Henry Newbolt, dedicated to his friend, Mr. Robert Bridges, and published recently by Mr. Elkin Mathews: Who's for the Gathering, who's for the Fair ? (Gay goes the Gordon to a fight) The bravest of the brave are at deadlock there, Highlanders! march! by the right!) There are bullets by the hundred buzzing the air, The are bonny lads lying on the hillside bare But the Gordons know what Gordons dare When they hear the pipers playing The happiest English heart to-day (Gay goes the Gordon to a fight) Is the heart of the Colonel, hide it as he may. (Steady there steady on the right!) He sees his work and he sees his way, He knows his time and the word to say, And he's thinking of the tune that the Gordons play When he sets the pipers playing! Rising, roaring, rushing like the tide, (Gay goes the Gordon to a fight) They're up through the fire-zone, not to be denied; (Bayonets! and charge! by the right!) Thirty bullets straight where the rest went wide, And thirty lads are lying on the bare hillside; But they passed in the hour of the Gordons' pride, Torthe skirl of the pipers' playing A GOOD DEED CHARMINGLY DONE.—A small act of kindness sometimes thrills the heart of the beholder, especially if the act is performed without thought of observation and quite without the hope that it will be known and applauded. A physician of Minnea- polis sends to the Youth's Oompailion-" not for pub- lication," ho says, but simply that you may know it" —the story of a very touching deed of humanity, which it surely will do nothing but good to tell of. In front of the Masonic Temple in Minneapolis, in which building the physician has his office, a little cripple is accustomed to sell newspapers. He is a sufferer from infantile paralysis of a cerebral type, and also has a harelip. He seems at a sad disadvan- tage in this eager and bustling world. The other day a horse attached to an ash-cart was standing on the stret, opposite where the crippled boy stood on his crutch selling papers..Somehow the boy discovered that; the horse had a galled shoulder. As the doctor watched him from his window, the boy cast about for something with which to relieve the poor horse. Finding nothing else, he ripped Off from the top of i his crutch the cloth stuffed with felt which eased the > crutch to his own arhipit, and tied it with two strings i to the horse's collar, so that it would cover the place where the collar bore upon the raw shoulder. I < had just time," the doctor says, to see him finish the work and hobble away on his depleted crunch with a haste that made me think he feared the owner might catch him at it." J TUB BOER REPUBLIC OF NATALIA.—It is more than a matter of historical interest to recollect that Natal, the present theatre of warlike operations, was pro- i claimed a Boer Republic in 1839. It had been occupied by the Dutch farmers who trekked" from the Cape Colony in 1834, and, under Retief, entered the garden Colony in 1837. As the Cape Govern- ment had not sanctioned their departure, Retief and his party were claimed as British subjects by Sir George Napier, Governor of the Cape Colony; but in 1839 the Imperial forces under Captain Jervis quitted Natal by order of Sir George, and the colours of the I Boer Republic of Natalia were hoisted at Durban at the British troops sailed out of the harbour. In 1841 Sir George Napier announced the intention of her Majesty s Government to resume military oc- cupation of Natal, and the 27th Regiment and Royal Artillery proceeded to Durban in 1842. After a heroic resistance against an- overwhelming force of I Boerp, Captain Smith was relieved through the in- strumentality of a Natal farmer, Dick King, who rode through the enemy's country, a distance of 600 miles, to Grahamstown, in the Cape Colony, and thereby secured the despatch of reinforcements. The South. ampton flagship on the Cape station arrived shortly afterwards at Durban with the 25th Regiment on 1 board, and effected the surrender of, the Boers in June of 1842. The Republic of Natalia was finally abolished on May 10,1843, and on that day Natal became a British colony. -=

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IART AND LITERATURE.

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