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EPITOME OF NEWS. takings of London theatres and mosic-halfe exceed £1,500,000 a year. THE British Army is now stronger in point of numbers than it has been at any time in the last 21 years, for it comprises some 2-30,000 men. IT is estimated that 18,000,000 tons of coal are infr* ported into London every year, of which amount 7,288,000 foos come by sea. LONHON is 12 milesbroad one way and 17 the other,, and every year sees about. 20 miles of new streets added to it. QUEES VICTORIA never reads any documents or letters, except from her immediate family, until they have first been looked over by her secretary, who- charge of the Royal correspondence. THAT the Japanese consider salted whale-meat a delicacy would appear by the quantities purchased. The whales are caught off the coast of ,"Korea, the flesh and blubber cat up, salted, and sent to Japan for sale as food. Over 2,000,000ib. of the whale-meat was imported into Nagasaki alone last year. THE Island of Luson, in the Philippines, contains one of the recognised races of dwarf men, the Aetas, whose average height is only 4ft. Sin. or 4ft. 9in. They dwell among the mountains in the interior of the island, and are allied to the Andamanese, in- habiting islands in the Bay of Bengal. It is remarked by a recent writer that all of the dwarf races survive only in the most inaccessible parts of the coatinente or islands to which they belong. THE air-ship of Count Zeppelin, a lieutenant- general in the German army, now on trial besido the Bodeneee in Wurtemberg. is a veritable aerial steamer. It consists of a lattice framework of aluminium 420ft. long, and divided into partitions, each holding a gas-bag. The whole is covered with waterproof silk, and makes a cylinder 37ft. in diameter, with ogivale ends like a conical bullet. A. gallery and two cars of aluminium beneath add stiff- ness to the machine. It is housed in a floating shed on the Bodensee. THE Czarma has a shawl which she values very highly. It was sent her by the ladies of Orenburg, a town in South-Eastern Russia. It reached her in a wooden box with silver hooks and hinges, the outside being embellished with designs of spears, turbans, whips, &c., on a ground of blue enamel, that being the colour of the Cossack uniform. The shawl ia about 10yds. square, but it is so exquisitely flnethafe it be passed through a ring, and when folded makes a small parcel of a few inches only. COUNTERFEIT coins have been conspicuous recently in the collections taken at the church of the Rev. E. D. Shaw, vicar of High Wycoinbe. The vicar at a service pilloried the sham contributors. Holding one of the base coins between thumb and finder, he. remarked that that particular mock contribution waa given in aid of the sick and suffering on Hospital Sunday. It was a terrible mockery in the sight of God, and he hoped the practice would be discon- tinued. MR. HUNT, a Pretoria barber, who has been writing about the Boers in a hairdressers' journal, looks (saya the Chronicle) at the Transvaalers. naturally enough, from the standpoint of his own profession. "Kruger," he says, "like the rest of the Boers is very careless about his toilet. He has never yet visited a hair- dresser he sets his own razor, and shaves himself, and Mrs. Kruger cuts his hair. The trade in Pretoria was kept very busy for about 10 days giving the burghers a commando hair cut. AT a meeting of the Little Hulton District CoonciT recently it was stated that the South Lancashire Tramways Company are now depositing their plans 4 with various municipal and urban authorities. The proposed tramways of the company will commence at St. Helens, and passing through a score of indus- trial towns and districts, will loin the Manchester system. The length of the new lines will be over 80 mites, including branches, and the cost will probably run into seven figures. THE Emperor of Japan has conferred the Imperial Order of the Hising Sun upon Mr. T. R. Shervinton i}--recognition of his services in connection with the Government Railways. Bv order of the Paris Prefect of Police the commie- saries have been instructed to seize a song, entitled The Disembarkation of the Engtish." Miss CIIADWKK, the sisier superintendent of the Princess of Wates's hospital ship, has been engaged in nursing for 17 years. She received her first training under her uncle, Mr. W. Knight Treves, F.B.C.S., at, Margate, doing surgical work for him. Later she bad charge of the operation theatre at the Evelina Hospital for Children, and next served. year at Guy's Hospital, receiving her cerLincate at the end of that term. Sister Chadwick has since de- voted herseif entirely to military nursing successively at Netley, Woolwich, and the Guards' Hospital. IT has been seriously asserted by many people that we are naturally lighter after a meal, and they have even gone the .length of explaining this by the amount of gas thit is developed from the food. Average observations, however, show that we lose 31b. 6oz. between night a.nd morning that we gain lib. 1 2oz. by breakfast: that we again lose about 14oz. before lunch that lunch puts on an average of lib.; that we again lose during the afternoon an average of lOoz.; but that an ordinary dinner to healthy persons adds 21b. 2oz. to their weight. AT the great patriotic concert in Albert Hall in London last week, which was organised by Miss Ellaline Terriss and Mr. C. P. Little, over £400() was realised. Nothing is more remarkable in con- nection with English charities—and by no means only those which are concerned with the war—than the way in which public entertainers give the very best of their work, and the very generous readiness they invariably show, when they can assist any worthy cause. It is not, we think, always realised what great personal sacrifices this often entails. LoRD ARMSTRONG, who has just entered upon his 90th year, is not the oldest member of the House of Lords. As a matter of fact, two peers are older, Lord Tankerville having been born on January 10, 1810, and Lord Gwydyr on April 27, 1810; Lord Arm* strong was born on November 26 in the same year. THE report of the new Panama Canal Commission says negotiationsi have been commenced with the view to the prolongation of the time liimit for the completion of the undertaking, as it is impossible for the canal to be opened by the date agreed upon. The work, however, ma,y be com- pleted in ten years at a cost of 512, 000,000f. The average number of men to be employed is estimated at 12,000. MR. NEVINBOH, the war correspondent of the Daily Chronicle, whose account of the fight at the Modder River was so interesting, is a promising writer. He is a scholar as well as a journalist, and bis contri- butions to the, literary side of his journal have been often excellent. IT is interesting to notice that Mr. Matthew White Ridley, son of the Home Secretary, is coming out soon as a politician. Among Cabinet and ex-Cabinet Ministers whose sons are coming on are Lord Salisbury, Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Asquith, and Mr. Goschen. LADY Vmcmrr, mother of Sir Howard and Sir Edgar Vincent, whose death has very recently occurred, was a universal favourite—one of the kindest and best of old ladies. Her sons all declare that they owe their success in life to her exertions and unceasing encouragement. It is the mother, after all, who makes the Englishman what he is. ACCORDING to the London correspondent of the Birmingham Post, there is excellent authority for stating that the particulars of at least three bonds which were issued by Dr. Leyds in payment of war material for the Transvaal, and which have within the past few days been dishonoured have come into the hands of Foreign Office authorities. Thens seems to be no reason to doubt that these bondB, u indeed, all the bonds which Dr. Leyds has issnea during recent months for a similar purpose, will form an interesting subject for discussion in connec- tion with the future settlement of the position ia South Africa. THE Courtsat Stettin have just condemned a riph landed proprietor for a simple word uttered concwnn- ing the Army. He own. land which traverses a il- way leading to field in which manasuvres take place: Recently he wrote to the Minister of War complainmgof the damage done to his property by the soldiery," and claimed damages. The military authorities considered the complaint and the wording of it jrere injurious to the 8tettin garrison. The lan^jfr owner was summoned, and was condemned in a fine of 500 marti, although he protested that he had no malevolent intention in employing the word soldiery." J A coRMSPowDBirrJof the "American Paper for the American People" wrote complainingly that'the United States were dropping behind the nations of the Old World in the matter of art, literature, and inventive genius. The editorial reply was typical of. the paper. It ran; Our inventors are already sup- plying the world with valuable devices. Maxim him- self ie an American. Holland, of submarine boat f&me, is an American. Europe has no such an in- ventor as Edison. The teleraph and telephone are American inventions. In short, European manufao?' tories are supplied with mechanical inventions front, this country. Don't worry about art and literature. We have no time for them yet. IT is estimated by competent engineers that there are at least £300,000 worth of railway carriagee and waggons at present building in the Midland Counties for South Africa. These include a large number of bogie waggons, carrying about 20 tons each, and of 3ft. Gin. gauge, for delivery at Southampton for Bechuanaland. They are the same patterns as those used in the Egyptian war. Another company is building railway carriages for Rhodesia. Large steel armour-plated hospital vans are building at a third works for the Cape Government Railway.