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GREATER BRITAIN.

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GREATER BRITAIN. THS extent of the mortality in Sind among cattle, to the famine, may be judged from the fact that One trading firm alone has already purchased three million hides for shipment. Up to the present the tattle [have suffered more acutely than the people. This is partly doe to the promptness with which re- lief works have been opened, and partly to the npidity with, which grain has been poured in from MIler provinces by the actual operation of the laws of supply and demand. In this connection it is in- teresting to notice the comparative smallness of the rise in grain prices which has taken place in Bengal. this is clear indication that great as must have been the withdrawals of grain already, the stocks have been too large to be appreciably affected by the drain. THAT India, at least a fvery considerable portion of it, is again face to face with the horrors and calamities of a severe famine a letter from Dohad, dated October 27tb, bears painfully convincing testi- mony. I proceeded," says the writer, in Tonga to report my arrival at Kavia. I noticed men and women, even girls and boys, hanging on the trees collecting leaves. They were eating the soft leaves, Meerving the old leaves for the cattle. All the treei •n the public roads are without a single leaf, and even the tender branches are cut off by the poor jfamme-stricken people, who are selling their cattle at ifrom four to eight annas a head. All the fields an dry and without grass. I saw some people who art living skeletons waiting for death. This is the present rtate of this place, and I do not know what will hap- pen afterwards, i am afraid that plague and cholera Will break out." WRITISQ on the picturesqueness of Sydney Har- bour, a Sydney correspondent says: It is a sight well worth a sea voyage of several thousand miles tc Jjehold, the harbour with its magnificent lakelike ex- panse of water, stretching away eight or 10 miles in- land, forming one of the natural beauties of the world. As the eye wanders along the vista, a succes- sion of picturesque and beautiful landscapes come Wilder review. The irregularity of the shores, the luxuriant verdure with which the hills are clothed the innumerable villa residences nestling cosily on the slopes of the cliffs, which form the general out- lint of the bays, surrounded with exquisitely laid out gardens filled with plants and fruits Irom almost every clime, form a panorama of singu- lar beauty. The waters of the port are 01 a. depth sufficient the largest ship afloat to manoeuvre in; vessels drawing 27ft. can enter the Heads at dead low water with perfect safety while. OS regards its capacity, it is not surpassed by any Other haven. It is surrounded by a hundred or more fcays, inlets, and creeks, the scenery around each feeing of amost charming character. Many of these fcays form, of themselves, capacious harbours some of them extending inland for miles. The main Waters are dotted over with glittering islets, which Odd to the exquisite grandeur of this noble estuary, while they form no impediment to navigation. io The entrance to the harbour is about a mile in -width. On either side the rocks rise up to a great lieight, forming a natural gateway. So completely it the harbour shut in, that until an entrance is fairly effected its capacity and aafety cannot even be con- jectured. The North Head rises with singular 8bruptness to a height of about 300ft. The outer South Head, immediately under the Macquarie Light- house, rises to an elevation of upwards of 350ft. twit the rocks dip towards the northt until. at the inner entrance to the bay, where a fixed Coloured light stands, the elevation is not more than eo or 90ft. Immediately opposite, the entrance ( fttnnds a bold, rocky promontory, Middle Heed, which, when viewed from a distance at sea, gives tc the harbour an appearance of comparatively Omall dimensions, a mere indentation of the coast which deceived even the experienced eye of Captain Cook. At the further end of the harbour are the entrances to the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers, the former being that on which the leading Aus- tralian rowing and sculling contests take place. Both Otreams pass through scenery of the loveliest descrip- tion, the Lane Cove river being famous for its pro- vision of ferns and beautiful native flowers. On one oide of Middle Head is an inlet, extending a winding Course of several miles, between lofty, precipitous attopea covered with primeval forest, and from the ridges of which may be seen the blue waters of the acífic Ocean stresitching away until they appear to Wend with tte sunlit sky on the distant horizon. Tin arrival of the New Zealand Shipping Com- pany's steamship Waikato. in tow of the British Steamer Asloun, at Fremantle, Western Australia, Concludes the story of another of the many exciting iSpisodes which lhave occurred in Australian waters during the last two or three years. The Waikato left (London on May 4, and had a good run to the Cape of Good Hope, but after leaving the South African Coast her troubles began. Early during the morning of June 5 all hands were alarmed by the terrific Vibratory motion in the ship. It was then discovered that the tail-end of the propeller shaft had broken at O point in the stern tube where it could not be reached. Waikato at this time was about 180 miles off Cape Agulhas. All possible sail was set, bat in the absence of steering apparatus the vessel remained at the mercy of the winds, drifting hither and thither and Crossing and re-crossing the beaten track several times. For nearly a couple of months the vessel remained alone in that part of the ocean, despite the anxious look-out maintained night and day, but on July 28 the barquentine Tukora hove in sight. The Captain very readily promised to do what he could, and it was arranged that he should endeavour to take the Waikato in tow, but the attempt failed, the first hawser breaking, and the second having to be cut, to mitigate the effects of a collision, which fortunately, did little damage to either vesseL After the Tukora had taken her departure, three or four days elapsed when a Danish brig, the Aal- fcuy, hove in sight, but the captain could do nothing save take charge of some letters and send a quantity of spare biscuits on board, to assist in relieving the monotony of the diet, which consisted of tinned berrings at every meal, no provision ^having been made for such an emergency as that in which both Captain and crew found themselves. The Waikato was subsequently sighted by another sailing ship, the Banca, bound to Brisbane, but only an inter- change of intelligence could be effected. Meanwhile all the vessels on the Cape route kept a Vigilant watch for the missing steamer, and an un- successful search was made by H.M.S. Melpomme, despatched by the Admiralty from Mauritius for that purpose. Yet, strangely enough, the Waikato was generally within a day's steaming of almost every vessel on the look-out. her erractic courae being the sole cause of tire difficulty. The average rate of drift was about a mile per hour, certainly not more than 30 miles per day. At last, after remaining a helpless floating mass on the waters of the Pacific, Waikato's crew beheld the smoke of a steamer on the distant horizon. They could scarcely believe their eye sight, but directly it was ascertained that the stranger was approaching in their direction, urgent signals of distress were hoisted. The steamers proved to be the steamship Asloun, 2828 tons burden, from London to Western Australia. The captain, Mr. P. K. Barnet, was asked to take the drifting vessel in tow, but hesitated, it being double the size of his own. At last he con- sented to see. what could be done, and when his re- solve became known the crew of the Waikato gave three ringing cheers, and in a delirium of joy danced about like madmen. But the task was a formidable one. The bottom of the Waikato was very foul, and they were 2600 miles from Fremantle, the nearest port. Moreover, the route to be traversed was over a part of the ocean unfrequented by regular steamers. But where there's a will there's a way, and the two captains and their crew set together in true British style, to accomplish the work of rescue. This waa on September 15. The first difficulty to be over- come was the shortness of the Asloun 8 coal supply, bat after the Waikato had been taken in tow a course was steered for Amsterdam Island, which was reached on September 20. j!l Here, under the lee of the island, a mere speck on the ocean, and dose to ita steep, almost inaccessible cliffs, a considerable quantity of coal—100 tons— was transferred, by means of boat, from the Waikato to the Asloun. Had the weather not have been fine, this could not have been done. At one time the five boats engaged in this record perform- ance broke adrift, and got out to sea, but were happily recovered. Then the work of towage com- menced. Every precaution was taken, for if any- thing had happened to the Asloun, such as getting the tow-rope round the propeller, both ships would have been rendered helpless, and might have drifted about for months before assist- ance arrived. As the two steamews entered Australian waters, they were sighted by a vessel, bound for a New South Wales port, and soon the news of the Waikato was known throughout AasttaiMia. Aa rescued and rescuer appeared off the of Pre- mantle, the whole population turned out and greeted them with tremendous cheering and waving or 1tand- kerchiefs. It was a scene to be long remembered. Ample supplies of fresh food were sent on board by the townsmen, the luscious oranges being regarded as the richest of luxuries by men who had subsisted for nearly three months on tinned provisions. Both jirews are described as furnishing fine examples of the British mercantile marine, and the two captains describe the conduct of the men as most exemplary, as worthy of the British Aag under which they sailed. the Waikato is being provided with a new shaft, and will shortly leave for her original destination, while the Asloun will remain in port to discharge cargo, the captain and crew rejoicing in the prospect of a ?*afe of the salvage money, which will probably be ^out £ 20,000. f'

RETRO SPECT OF THE YEAR 1899.

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SCIENCE NOTES.

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