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LITERARY ITEMS. Mr A. C. MacLaren has been interviewed by a contributor to the Strand Magazine," and we make the fol.owing extracts from the report: "Who are the best amateur batsmen ?" he queried, in part repiy to a question. I should say Mr W. G. Grace, Mr A. E. Stoddart-, Mr K. S. Ranjitsiuhji, Mt L C. H. Palairet, and Mr F. S. Jackson amongst the amateurs. The professionals ? Oh, Abel and vV ard. Both are blessed with the necessary patience, and their defence is very strong. I have, however, a great opinion of J. T. Brown as a batsman on any wicket, and his inability to add to his reputation last season I put down to his want of rest. Brock- well, too, is sure to come to the front again. Gunn I should leave out of my list, also Shrewsbury. The former, although by no means done with, I reckon as having passed his prime, and the latter has pract- o»Pv finished his first class cricket. Hay ward, however, should not be overlooked. He has played mnaett iutu quite the front rank. Bowlers ? Mr C. L. Townsend and Mr F. S. Jackson I consider te be the two best of the amateurs. The former is very tricky and can disguise his break, and I have always thought, the Yorkshire amateur a much better bowler than most people imagine. Mr C. J. Kort-right, too, appears to be more reliable than Mr S. M.J. Woods, although he. does not get exactly the same class of bats-nen to contend against. Then tJere is Captain Hedley. He is very difficult, to play upon a sticky wicket. Of the professionals, I look upon Richardson as little short of a marvel. For t ogged determination he is not to be beaten. I should say Peel comes next to the Surrey man. He has lost Lone of his old cunning, and upon a nasty wicket there is not a bowler who can make I better use of it or find out the batsman's weak points quicker than he does. Briggs on a soft wicket is as clever as ever, but if he h*s a fault- it is displayed in a tendency to feed the batsman too is displayed in a tendency to feed the batsman too much. On a hard wicket Mold is one of our finest bowlers; Pougher is quit.e in the front rank Hirst has improved considerably, and Davidson is most j persevering. Lohmann I thought was just as difficult when I played against him last August, aud ] have the highest opinion of Mead. Who should I class as the hardest hitters ? Mr E. Smith and Mr H. T. Hewett. and F. H Sugg and Bean. Baker also possesses a fine free style. An All England eleven f Well, that is a difficult thiDg to suggest, but on last season's form I should take Mr W. G. Grace, Mr A. E. Stoddart, Sir F. S. Jackson, Mr K. S. Ranjitsinhji, Mr C. L. Townsend, with Ward, Abel Lilley, Richardson, Peel. and Rougher. Mead has perhaps a better claim than the latter, but Pougher has al ways proved very successful against the A ustra- lians. Cricket of late years has greatly improved. Indeed, there appears to be more fine cricketers to- day than there ever was before. University cricket, however, appears to have deteriorated some- what lately, judging from the small number of Un- iversity men who play cricket in the vacation. County cricket., however, is very different to playing almost the whole of your matches upon your own ground and amongst your own friends." We have received a copy of Part. 1. of the "People's Edition" of «(1¡:elr. Natural Hhir>ry. This publication, which is edited by Professor P. Martin Duncan, M.B., F.R.S., &c., treats of Apes and Monkeys (bv the Editor), Lemnrs (bv J. Murie, M.D., LL.D., F.L.S., F.G.S., Arc.), Chiroptera (by W. S. Dallas, F.L.S.), Insectivora (bv W. S. Dallas. F.L.S.) We should advise all Students of natural hibtory to take.iu the whole edition, which, we may say, is to be completed I in 26 weekly parts (each containing about 90 pages) with about 2,000 illustrations. I A iresh risir.g of the Matabele in a district en- ¡

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