NOTES ON NEWS. 1 NOTES NEWS. 1 It was a happy thought of the Controller and Mr. Clyues to send re- assuring messages to the FoOD OoN- troops at the Front about TROLLEB. AND the food situation at THE TROOPS, home. There is reason tc believe that many letters from home during the last tew weeks have been none too cheerful. Food difficulties have been exaggerated, and men in the fighting line have had added to their other burdens worry caused by melancholy ac- counts of wives and children standing for hours in butter queues and meat queues, and going short of this, that or the other thing. Of course, this has been hard on a good many people, but, after all, what we at home have had to bear hitherto has been only inconvenience and annoyance, not privation. It is natural enough that wives should write to their husbands about these things, but it is much to be wished that they would make the best and not the worst of things, remembering that the men at the Front need all the cheering up we can give them. The messages from the Ministry of Food officials should do something to set the matter right. Lord Rhondda tells the men that he hopes queues will disappear under the new rationing scheme, and Mr. Clynes, whilst asking them not to be misled by false re- ports of the starvation of dear ones at home, states that fair distribution is guaranteed, and that if famine is to finish the war it ;g the enemy and not Britain that will first go down. So many astonishing things have been done by this country since it became a great military power THE ARMY that even Mr. Macpher- IN FIGURES. son's story of what the War Office has accom- plished in one year-last year—seems almost in the natural order of things. To get the full meaning of the figures lie gave we must get ourselves back if we can to the position of four years ago. Then we shall see the full measure of the miracle. During 1917 no less than 7,000,000 men were conveyed to the various fronts. To such proportions has the Army grown from that little Expeditionary Force which crossed the Channel in August, 191-1. That was the most interesting figure in Mr. Macpherson's account, but there were others hardly less interesting—500,000 animals, 200,000 vehicles, 90,000,000 tons of stores! They are stupendous. And looking through the items which go to make up that last figure, noting the quan- tities of tea, sugar, condensed milk, meat, and so on which these millions of men have, consumed, it is easy to see that a certain amount of shortage at home is in- evitable, and to feel a profound respect for the organisation which has made all these and many more wonderful things possible. aThe boy in the aeroplane," to quote Maj8r Baird, the Under-Secretary for the Air Ministry, has been WORK OF doing magnificent work THE AIRMEN, at the Front. The ac- count of the work given in the House of Commons by Major Baird showed that in the month of September last in France alone 139 enemy machines were destroyed by our airmen, and 122 were slrot down out of control. But our airmen fight not only airmen. Here is the tale of one day's work of another kind: Thanks to the spotting by our airmen, 127 enemy batteries were "successfully en- gaged to destruction," 28 gun-pits were destroyed, 80 damaged, and 60 explosions of ammunition caused. As showing to what extent the airmen have become the eyes of the Army, the statement should be noted that in September 15,837 photo- graphs were taken. People at home are now beginning to learn how important it ia 111 modern' war to secure the command of the air. It gives to the general who has it an enormous advantage, and the general who loses it fights thenceforth in the dark both as to the dispositions of his opponent and the effect of his own guns. That our airmen are well. on the way to secure such command is clear enough from the recent dispatches of Sir Douglas Haig, and for the last few weeks the figures of our air successes make even those quoted by Major Baird look small. Summer Time" will begin on March 24, and end on September 29. This will give us an extra five "SUMMER weeks as compared with TIME" last year. In deciding to COMING. extend the period the Homo Secretary has taken into consideration the exceptional circumstances of the present year. The shortage of food makes it a matter of the first importance to increase as much as possible the production of food on allot- ments. Great efforts arc being made to extend the acreage under cultivation, and the Food Production Department's repre- sentations in favour of earlier "summer time" were backed up by many associa- tions of allotments-holders, whose mem- bers wanted all the daylight they could get for work 011 their gardens in the early spring months. The Coal Controller also put in a word, having in view the neces- sity for economy in fuel and difficulties of transport. Apart from these considera- tions, which make "summer time" a prac- tical necessity, the great majority of the public heartily approve it for its own sake. Surely there can never have been so bene- ficent a reform so easily effected. How long should we have had to wait for it if War conditions had not opened our eyes to its value? Now that a start has been made with compulsory rationing, and we are all, Jt is to be hoped, doing our RATIONS IN utmost to bear cheer- GERMANY. fully whatever incon- venience the system may bring, it may help us to compare our lot with that of the German people. The "Weminsterr Gazette," which has been studying the German papers, says: "In Berlin the weekly average bread ration in December was 4-Ilb., to which was added about half an ounce of hulled barley and farinaceous foods. The Berliner could count on about nine ounces of fresh meat a week, and one egg a month. He re- ceived on the average a fraction over an ounce of butter and nearly two ounces of margarine. He could obtain nearly nine pounds of potatoes a week, about six ounces of sugar, and two ounces of arti- ficial honey, which, to judgo from the fre- quent complaints about it. is very in- ferior stuff." His ration is completed by a little over four ounce ■ of jam per week, and "a horrid nlixt. known as coffee substitute," but he < Id also buy a certain amount of ycgda 1 's and per- haps a little cheese." On whole, it will be seen that we may congratulate our- selves. We are better off all round very considerably, and at present have only found it necessary to ration meat, fats, und sugar, while we are spared artificial honey and coffee substitute.
I MONEY TO BURN. I A man who once used to light his pipe with banknotes died in poverty at Col- chester. He was Mr. George A. Coulson, the son of a prosperous farmer, and early in life inherited considerable property from his wife's uncle. He celebrated his legacy in festivities which lasted several months, and frequently threw handfuls of sovereigns among the crowd. It did not, at this rate, take him long to run through his fortune, and eventually he became an ostler at a Colchester hotel, where he worked hard., and often declared that if he had his for- tune over again he would spend it in the tiame manner.
JERICHO CAPTURED. —— —— AUSTRALIAN CAVALRY ON BANKS OF JORDAN. War Office, Friday, February 22. After an uneventful night our forces 1 operating east of Jerusalem resumed their advance towards Jericho yesterday morning. Little opposition was encountered, and at 8.20 a.m. Australian mounted troops en- tered the village, subsequently establishing themeelyes on the line of the Jordan and the Wadi Auja. The weather continues bad, 1 with mist and heavy Tain. Our casualties in the fighting of Wednes- day were again slight. Forty-six Turkish prisoners were taken between Tuesday and Thursday. North and north-west of Jerusalem our advanced positions wv* slightly extended and secured. TURKS ACROSS THE JORDAN. War Office, Saturday. The enemy dislodged from the Jericho Area have retired north of the Wadi Auja, on the left (northern) bank of which they have left posts on the high ground; 'and eastwards across the Jordan, on which they hold a bridgehead at El Ghoraniye. Otherwise there is nothing of special in- terest to report.
COLONEL AND EDITOR FINED £ 100 EACH At Bow-street Police-court, Mr. H. A. Gwynne, the editor of the "Morning Post," and Colonel Repington, the military corres- pondent, were each fined CIV.) for having "unlawfully and without authority pub- lished information in respect of the plans, or supposed plans, and conduct of military operations on the Western Front." Mr. Gwynne was also ordered to pay fifty guineas cost and Colonel Repington forty guineas costs. Mr. Tindal Atkinson, for the defence, said -that the Censor could not prohibit the pub- lication of an article, and a newspaper need not submit an article to the Censor unless it oontravened the statute. The questions raised by Colonel Reping- ton concerned everybody in the country. The article dealt with report p heard by the writer of the Versailles War Council, and those reports might be true or false. The article criticised the policy of divid- ing the command of the reserves. It did not disclose plans of what was to be done with the Army on a particular occasion. Yet, said counsel, because the "Morning Post" criticised a decision which was now world widely known, it was being prose- cuted. Mr. Atkinson read articles from German newspapers which showed that the Entente's intention to form an army of reserve was known in the enemy countries. The Ger- mans even named the general who would probably command that army. It was strange to Fay that Colonel Reping- iton's article disclosed information when the enemy, all the time, knew a great deal more than the colonel, or, at any rate, more than he thought fit to publish. Sir John Dickinson held that the regu- lations had been contravened. It was not for private citizens to say "We do not mind your regulations and we refuse to obey them.
FACTS ABOUT FATHERS. A North Country farmer has qualified as a father at the ripe age of eighty-two—while his eldest son, a man of sixty, is a grand- father. But even his remarkable record of paternity has been eclipsed by many of his predecessors. In the "Edinburgh Courant" of May 3, 1766, for example, we read: "On Wednesday last the lady of Sir William Nicholson was safely delivered of a daugh- ter. What is very singular, Sir William ii at present nibety-two years of age, and has a daughter alive of his first marriage, aged sixty-six. He married his present wife when he was eighty-two, and now has six chil- dren by her." But even Sir William must yield the palm to Sir Stamen Fox, who actually lived to nurse his last-born infant when he was within sight of his hundredth birthday! This amazing mail, who had for frandson the famous statesman Charles J ames F<? made his first trip to the altar in 1654 at the age of twenty-seven; and a year later was father of a daughter who died in infancy. Marrying again in his old age, his last child, also a daughter, was cradled in 1727, when her father was just completing his century of years. This child survived to the year 1828, and was able to say before she died, "I had a sister who was buried 173 years ago!" When William Prest, of Ripon, was laid to rest in April, 1789, at the age of one hundred and eight, he was followed to the grave by two sons, one of whom had passed his eighty-eighth birthday, while the younger, aged sixteen, had first opened his eyes when his father had reached his ninety-third year.
BIRDS WHO BRING LUCK. Herons are supposed to bring good luck if you see them in their natural marshy environment the first month of the New Year. Late swallows are said to bring luck if they build their nests in the drain-pipe or roof-gutters of any house. Sand swallows, which chiefly live at the seaside, wheTe there are sand-cliffs, are also said to bring good fortune if they are in the habit of flying round a house near their nest in the cliffs. But a swallow flitting round a ship at sea is reg-arded with superstitious dread by sailors, and if it happens to alight on the boat the old mariners firmly believe that disaster must happen on the voyage. Hedge-spar- rows are said to be the bearers of ill or good luck. If one enters through the bedroom window it is said to mean that the occupant of the room will be taken ill with some slight indisposition; but if the same breed of bird continually visits the house for crumbs when snow is on the ground, an old superstition declares that the inmates of that house will hear of some great good for- tune that year.
BUY WAR BONDS. "I have once again, on behalf of the Government, to ask the people of this coun- try to paœ their ifnancial resources at the disposal" of the State," writes Mr. Bonar Law in a circular letter. "At this moment it is more than ever jm- perative that we at home should do our part in support of the great cause for which those dear to us are fighting and suffering."
FACTS ABOUT CALENDARS. There are some curious facts about our calendar. October always begins on thE same day of the week as January, April af July, September as Deoember. February March, and November begin on the samf days. May, June, and August always begir I on different days from each other, and every other month in the year. The first 2rc last days of the year are always the same These do not apply to Leap-year.
AEROPLANE FALLS IN KENT. Lord French inspected over 4,000 Kent Volunteers and a detachment of Sussex Volunteers at Ashford on Sunday. While the inspection w-as ill progress an aeroplane was seen to fall and crash in an adjoining 1, field. The airmen escaped with slight injuriett..
Rev. E. Dale Roberts, for forty years as- sociated with the parish of St. Paul's, Laz- ells, Birmingham, and present vicar, has re- signed to accept charge of the parish of Hill, Sutton Coldfield. "Death by misadventure" was the ver- dict on Sadie Gilbert, Canonbury-road, Highbury, an eighteen-months-old child who died through swallowing her mother's tab- lets containing strychnine.
| HUMOUR OF THE WEEK. j I -0- I I THEY DO. "Pigs do pay," asserts the "Daily Mail" with no little warmth. They do. Food hogs pay any price for a plethoric meal! I LOST HIS STRIPES. I overheard an amusing conversation be- tween two ladies the other day (BaYs a "Daily Express" contributor). "You know, my dear," said the elder, "my Jack is a ser- geant in the D.C.M.s. Poor boy! he was always in trouble at home losing things. In one of his letters he sa,id he had lost his stripes, so I wrote back and told him I would send him the ones from his old tunic. In his next letter he asked me not to play the giddy goat. I wonder why?" I THE COMPLETE OUTFIT. I "Defendant was driving a motor-cycle and side-car, with a young lady attached," said a polioe witness at Willesden. I HOW HE KNEW. ) A lieutenant was instructing his platoon in visual training. Said he to the first man. "Now tell me, how many men are there in that trench-digging party over there?" "Thirty men and one officer," came the answer. "Quite right," said the lieutenant after a pause, "but how do you know one is an officer at this distance?" "'Cos he's the only one not working, sir." I APPROPRIATE MUSIC. When a German Navy film was shown at an internment camp in Germany the pianist was ill and a British prisoner of war was called in, said Sir Hedley Le Bas at the Aldwych Club. But as the Kaiser in his yncht was thrown on the screen the British prisoner played "Rule, Britannia." I ON CONDITION. It appears that one conscientious objector last week declared that he was willing to roill the Army on condition that he did not have to leave the country except in time of invasion. I NOTHING MORE. Mr. Meane: "I have nothing but praise for the new minister." Deacon: Yes, I noticed that when the plate went round." I A PAIR OF PIANOS. I In the evidence before the faeleet Com- mittee on Premium Bonds, Mr. Robert Pea- sock, Chief Constable of Manchester, told of a working man with a muffler round his neck who entered a Manchester shop and asked to be shown a piano. The shopman began with the cheapest and worked up to the best, the price of which was £ S0. The man paid the money down. A week later he came back, said he was highly pleased with the piano, which just fitted the recess by the chimney. He wanted another one for the other corner, and put down another £ 80. I ANOTHER QUEUE. A new official order regarding the sale of Rheep is designed, we read, "to bring these animals into line with, other cattle." Thus (says Cassell's Saturday Journal") the queue system keeps spreading! I SMART LAD. "I say," said the office boy to the cashier, "I think the guv'nor ought to give me a dollar extra this week, but I suppose he won't. "What for?" asked the cashier. "For overtime. I wuz dreamin' about my work last night."—"Boston Transcript." I FAIR WARNING. Husband: HEr--didn't come home to supper last night! Well—er—your suppers are unattractive. I—er—had a delightful little vegetarian supper at the club last night." Wife (with emphasis): "Mark me, Edwin —come in at half-past twelve to-night, and I'" give you beans!" —— o ——- I QUIPS FROM "LONDON OPINION." The man who used to tell you he had caught a 41b. fish now brags that his wait in the queue secured him 4oz. of real butter. Complaints are made of a lack of "chivalry in tube-trains. The present is, in fact, much more the age of "shovelry." One prim old maid is not going to exer- cise her right to vote. She declares that nothing would induce her to give any man a X. To the eatless, wheatless and meatless, Canada has added a heatless day. The list will be complete when Germany has a fleet- less one. A County Councillor says there are forty million rats in Northumberland. Nor, having regard to the innocuousness of Gov- ernment beer, is this likely to be a mere hallucination. A well-known actor has invented a new cigarette-holder. Trust an actor for know- ing the best way of obtaining puffs. Before making optimistic speeches, states- men are advised to "touch wood," or at least agree in their prophecies. Could not both purposes be served if they put their heads together? —— PICKINGS FROM "PUNCH." According to a German periodical, the Crown Prince recently presented the captain of a particularly successful U-boat with a gold watch and chain. The report does not say whose. At a recent dance in a Sussex village a young lady appeared as "Margarine." Nothing more has been heard of the young man who disappeared as a One-and-nine- penny Rabbit." According to Professor Arthur Keith, eating alters the human face. For our- selves, we do not expect to undergo any facial change for some time. There was an apparent food-hoarder, Who was charged with infringing the Order But on searching his store They found greens—nothing more; He was just an herbaceous border. SECRET DIPLOMACY. Wife. "George. there are two strange men digging up the garden." George: "It's all right, dear. A brainy idea of mine to get the garden dug up. l wrote an anonymous letter to the Food Controller and told him there was a large box of food buried there." Wife: "Heavens! but there is!" WHAT WE ARE COMING TO. Menu at an East-End restaurant: "Special —Stewed teak and potatoes."
KNOWN AS JACOB'S LADDER." Among the staircases the world over, none, it is .safe to say, is so long or difficnlt of ascent as "Jacob's Ladder." This remark- able flight contains more than 700 steps,"all rising with the same lift in the same direc- tion. The st )A ri, at an angle of exactly 45deg. "Jacob's Ladder" ascends a par- ticularly steep hill at St. Helena. The steps are, naturally, the most direct route to the summit of the hill, and, despite their great length, are traversed daily by way- wayfarers.
Tiger Lily.—One could wish that this old favourite was more often seen. Lilium tigrinum thrives quite well in the ordinary soil in which hardy border flowers flourish. Once planted, however, tEe bulbs should not be disturbed for some few years, as each succeeding season the clumps improve in beauty. Now is the time to purchase bulbs from the florist, planting in groups of five or six bulbs. Cover with some 4in. of soil. Herbaceous Lobelia.—It is time to get the clumps of this autumn flower from the win- ter store. Each tuft can be readily divided into several pieces, the larger making half a dozen new plants. The pieces may be potted singly in 4in.-wide pot¡;, or set out 3in. to 4in. apart in wooden boxes about 31n. to 4in. Mix leaf mould freely in the 4in. dee p sandy soil to encourage young roots. The popular sorts are Queen Victoria and Fire- fly; others worth purchasing from the florist now include Glory of St. Anne's and Sam Barlow. Planting Ranunculus.—As early as pos- sible these curious-shape d little tubers should be planted. They are ideal for beds or borders. Other recommendations are the rich colouring of the flowers, their lasting qualities and utility for cut purposes, to say nothing of the adaptability of ranunculus to il inclined to heaviness. Prepare the beds by deeply digging and enriching with old manure. Planting should be done in lines Sin. apart, inserting the bulbs a similar dis- tance apart, claws downward, and about 2in. deep. Both the French and Persian are to be recommended. < Pruning Clematis.—-Now is the time to prune the clematis which flower during the summer and autumn. Lack of success with some of the clenuftis is due to reluctance to prune the growths. The best example of this is the popular Jackmanii. This sort blooms on the young wood, and naturally the harder it is pruned within reason the more vigorous are the young growths, which will flower freely in late summer and autumn. Belle of Woking, Duchees of Edin- burgh, and others of the florida group do not require much pruning as they blossom early. The patens group, which includes Nellie Moser, may have the thin, weak wood cut out. Henryi, Beauty of Worcester, La France, and others of the lanuginœa type should have the growths shortened to at least haJf their present length. The viti- cella section, of which Kermesina, Gipsy Queen, and Star of India are examples, can be cut freely. Do not prune the popular C. montana until after flowering. < Manures for Gooseberries. Farmyard manure is by far the best for these fruits, but it is often almost unprocurable. When such is the case we must do the best we can with other things. Bonemeal given at the rate of four ounces per square yard will be found of benefit to the trees if applied at once. Fish manure has also proved of value for gooseberries if given at the same strength as the bone-meal. Spread a.11 your .spare ashes from rubbish fires over the roots of the bushes, and hoe or rake them into the soil when dry. < Protecting Peas.—In some localities birds and mice are extremely troublesome in gar- dens, playing havoc especially with newly- sown peas. To counteract them it is well to roa-t the seed with red lead previous to sow- ing. Procure an old cake or other tin, pierce one or more holes in the bottom, • empty the seed therein, and sprinkle lightly with water; the surplus will run out through the holes. Then sprinkle a little red lead over the peas, and shake round and round till all are" equally coated. Stand in sun to dry. Oil is preferable to water as it adheres to the seed longer. Another j method is to soak a cloth in paraffin, lay the peas thereon, double over and well roll; this is better than immersion. "Horticol," as advertised, is excellent for the purpose; it is a decided deterrent to various pests. The Week's Work.—For various reasons flower lovers who dwell in town and subur- ban houses find it desirable to winter most of the border carnations in a cold frame. As soon as convenient, the ground where they are to be planted in March should be "dug over. In order to induce flowering cacti to give of their best they are kept during the winter rather on the dry side, but by no means parched up. Now, under the influence of a greater amount of sun- shine, they will need increased supplies of water. Care, however, must be taken not to over-water. A sowinfr of melons should .jpow be raised without difficulty in an or- dinary frame placed on a bed of manure and leaves. The seeds may be sown singly in small pots or in the soil of the bed. Linings or renewals of the manure and leaves may be needed from time to time, though this in a great measure depends on 'the weather. If strawberries are ripening, special attention must be paid to ventila- tion, or there will be little flavour in the 'berries at this season. Plants that are swell- ing their crops ought to have liquid manure twice a week; if they are healthy the pots will be full of roots, and unless these are r-ailply fed the berries are sure to be small and disappointing. If a new rhubarb bed is to be made this spring, get the intended ground well manured and deeply dug before the close of the present month. It is a mis- take to suppose that good results will follow 'if planting is done in any but rich soil. It is usual to prepare the onion bed some time in advance of the date of sowing. If this is not done much treading will be necessary to ensure that firmness without which bulbs of good keeping quality rarely follow. If no yard manure can be had, use a little bone- meal or superphosphate. If winter lettuce have stood the winter unharmed, advantage should be taken of the first spell of mild weather to get the ground between the rows well stirred with the hoe. If this is done and a light sprinkling of one of the adver- tised manures given, it will stimulate growth and greatly add to the table quality of the lettuce. < Tomatoes in Pots.—These give remarkably good crops when grown in gin. or 10in. pots in a greenhouse. Seed should now be sown if fruit is expected in June. Sowing in single pots has much to commend it to the small grower, as this enables re-potting to be done without any check, and in the event of the sower being badly pressed for time, plants in single pots are not likely to be ruined through over-crowding to the same extent as others growing thickly in boxes.
Lieutenant Brcbne.r, D.S.O., Medical Officer of Health for Chiswick, on active ser- vice with the R.A.M.C., has been called to the Bar. An offer of the Red Triangle Farm Colony at Kinson, Dorset, as a training ground for discharged soldiers has been accepted by the Pensions Minister. Ramsgate announces tha-t its rateable value has dropped £ 86,000 during the war; the East Coast conference's grant of £9,000 to IIlt the deficiency is entirely inade- quate.
TEA TABLE TALK. Queen Alexandra has a collection of tiny Animals, birds, and insects, cut out of pre- vious stones. They are necesarily very small, and some are extremely beautiful. The col- lection is unique, and the items have come from all part,, of the world. Many of these most valuable and daintv treasures are cut from turquoise and jade. The King's sons have given Princess Mary a new nickname. They call her "The Swarf.' The strange-sounding sobriquet dates from a visit she paid to a certain big munitions fac- tory some time back. "My, ain't she a swarf! exclaimed one of the work girls in tones of obvious admiration. The remark, needless to say, was not meant for the ears of the Princess, but as it happened she over- heard it, and made inquiries as to its mean- ing. She then learnt that a girl with curly hair is invariably dubbed" tt swarf" by the munitionettes, this being the technical term for the steel shavings from the shells as they are turned on the lathes, end which come oil in long kinky strips like curls. The Prin- cess smiled when this was explained to her, for she is exceedingly proud of her hair, which is golden as to colour, and naturally curly. • » Madame Patti declares that she owes her freedom from colds to her persistant refusal to muffle herself up in winter. She mals a point of spending three hours every Say, whatever the weather, in the open air, walk- ing, or driving in an open carriage. She never wears furs or wrappers if she can pos- sibly avoid doing so. » Miss Julia Neilson tells the following very funny story: "We were rehearsing the death-scene in The Heel of Achilles,' she HJtys, and a member of our company came in from the street and asked the call-boy how far the rehearsal had gone. Mr. Terry's just dying,' replied the boy. 'Good; I've time to smoke a cigarette before my en- trance.' Presently the actor returned, and repeated the question. Still dying," an- swered the boy. Oh, I'll go and have another cigarette, then.' Back he came, but only got the same reply from the call-boy. Finally, after smoking five cigarettes, he asked, a little wearily, how far the rehearsal '? answered the call- had gone. Still dying,' answered the call- boy. Great heavens 1 a-gped the actor, he must be immortal • • • Lady Agnes Durham is a tall woman, with dark hair. She is Lord Townshend's only sister. A famous swimmer, she once swam round St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall, when staying with her uncle and aunt, the late Lord and Lady St. Levan. She married the only son of the late Rev. W. Durham, of Ladbroke, Warwickshire. • ♦ Lady Sybil Grant, Lord Rosebery's brilliant daughter, is a familiar figure in Fleet-street, known popularly as the "Street of Ink." She is a clever journalist. Her husband, Major Charles Grant, of the Cold- stream Guards, won his D.S.O. in 1915. Un- like most of her "set," Lady Sybil never had a nickname: but for some time she was called the "Wonderful Production," in allu- sion to the naive description of her as a baby given by Professor Blackie, who wrote: "I was left alone with the baby, Sybil, a wonderful production with large blue eyes and a serene temper." • • Lady Violet Astor is a sister of Lord Minto, and was the widow of Lord Charles Mercer-Nairne (younger son of Lord and Lady Lansdowne) when she was remarried to Captain John Astor, younger son of Lord Astor. Speaking of her American experiences, Mrs. Langtry remarked that what struck her most was the independence, almost; amounting to indifference, shown by the boys and girls over there towards their parents. "I hope though," continued the famous actress, Hthat the story a New York broker told me is exaggerated. Where have you been lately, Mary he once said to a voung lady of eighteen or thereabouts whom he had not seen for some little time. I have been to Rochester to see my father and mother,' the girl replied. By Jove! the broker exclaimed. And how did vou tind them? Oh,' said the girl, I knew where they lived.' » Fraiilein Elsie von Hinderburg, the Ger- man Marshal's daughter, is a nice little girl. This, says the "Daily Express" New York correspondent is the Christmas greet- ing she sent to a member of the Friends of German Democracy, a political society in New York: Christ Jesus gave His life for me, From every debt I am now free. He to the bayonet thrust gives vigour, The joy to aim, to pull the trigger. My nid is Jesus, that I know- On to the Foe. on to the Foe 1 Elsie wrote the "hymn herself. # st Miss Stella Jesse, the actress, and sister of Miss Fryn Tennyson Jesse, the novelist, takes a keen interest in the work of the life- boats. particularly on the Cornish coasts. As a child she read a great deal on the subject because of her enthusiasm for the exploit of her grandfather, Captain Richard Jesse, R.N., who took out a lifeboat and saved the entire crew of the schooner Alexandre. In recognition of his gallantry he was decorated by Napoleon III. Miss Jesse tells of an amusing conversation which she overheard while standing in the neighbourhood of a food queue. "If we can't get any mar- garine," said one food-hunter, "let's get some jam. It's a good substitute." "Not me." replied her companion. "What do you think my old man would sav, with a bit o' ras'bery jam on 'is 'addock?" • The Baroness Orczy regards herself as rather a late starter for fame. Art was her hobby and business, and many a maga- zine and weekly paper has produced black- and-white drawings by the famous authoress of the "Scarlet Pimpernel." She was mar- ried and settled down when she suddenly blossomed into world notice with this fine novel, and it is no secret that nearly a score of publishers refused it. < The Marchioness of Crewe, one of the most popular women in Society, has a charming voice, and in another sphere might have made headway as a singer. One reason for her popularity is that she has inherited the noted sense of humour of her father, Lord Roseberv. On one occasion, he himself turned the tables rather neatly on her. It was a birthday fete, in the days when she was Lady Peggy Primrose. She had vied with her sister in the providing of the hand- somest gift. With an amused smile towards her, Lord Roseberv remarked, "My daugh- ters are very generous in the matter of pre- sents to me, but I, unfortunately, have to foot the bills." • it » Miss Madge Lessing once received the following love letter:—"Dear Mage" it ran, "I adore you. I hope you don-t ttak it presumptuous, my addressing you. But 1 spend all my money in seeing you. I am no swanker,' ?li"t just I'a plain, honest fellow, and would make vou a happy woman. P.:S.- Remember, I am "no slogging chap." "That postcript," remarks Miss Leasing, "I regard as a gem in its way. It is easy to fathom what was in the writer's mind when Le penned it. Of course you know the old story of the coster girl who asked her boy if he loved her, and on being answered in the affirmative, retorted with, Then why don't ycr start knockin' me
ORIGIN OF CURIOUS SAYINGS. I N o man is a hero to his valet" has been paraphrased by scores. from Madame du Cornuel, a witty Freuchwomn of the seventeenth century, to Dr. Johnson and Napoleon. The first record of it, however, is found in Plutarch, who states that when Hermodotus address.ed a. poem to Antigonus I. Kingf of Sparta, hailing him as son of the sun and a god, the monarch replied, "My brxlyservant sings me no such song." It was Diogenes, the cynic, who declared that "habit is second nature." The phrase "cir- cumstances over which he has no control" was used by the Duke of Wellington in a letter concerning some affairs in which his son was mixed up and with which he de- clined to interfere. Dickens also ueed the expression a few years later when he had Micawber write to David Copperfield, "Cir- cumstances beyond by individual oontroI-- etc.
I BOOKS AND MAGAZINES. t SELF-CONVICTED. Once a city mall. of convivial habits got into difficulty in a small town. Indeed, he found himself haled before the local magistrate. "The oonst-able," observed the city man fA the magistrate, "seems wonderfully certain about the details of my ca.-< How is it he doesn't call his fellow-oilicer to corroborate what he says?" "There's only one constable in this town, sir." explained the magistrate. "But I saw two last nightindignantly re. torted the accused. "Exactly," said the magistrate, smiling: broadly, "that's just the charge against you New Magazine." I THE UNDYING STORY. In "Collier's Weekly," Mr. GouvoneuU Morris tells the splendid story of Yexdun On one of the forts sixty thousand shells fell during the German attack. That fort, he says, is about one-quarter the size of a New York City block. Yet in its bowels Frenchmen managed t6 exist. A casemate or two, so deeply buried as to be beyond the reach of anv concussion yet invented bv man, remained intact. In these the garrison of the fort kept alive. For days they were without food often they were without water. But their bellies were always full of fight. At times the garrison was buried alive. But always it managed to dig a new way out so as to meet the massed infantry of the boche with rifle fire, with grenades, with bayonets. The long, secret passage through which the fort received its food, its ammuni- tion, and its reinforcements caved in. The passage which gave the garrison access to a subterranean well of sweet water caved ia-- Yet in the defence of the fort ten times the number of its original garrison perished, and not one man died of hunger or thirst. Men went out into tho hell of flying lead and iron. With saws and axes they made well- squared timbers from the ruined trees. Those who survived carried them back into the fort. With them they raised and shored up the broken backs of the essential passages! Some- times they wrote letters to their mothers and sweethearts, sometimes it all seemed so ter- ribly long that they got terribly bored. You may now explore the ruins of that fort in comparative safety.- The Germans have again been driven back beyond the farthest of the hills. Shells of their sending still come over the ruin of the world. The GeSjnan is still there—somewhere—a great force of evil let loose upon the world. You do not see him. Onlv the far-off flashing and concussions and the high-flying Tockets tell you that he is still there. He hardly seems to matter now, be- cause the day of his punishment is as sure as it is indefinite. I TROUSERS FOR BISHOPS. If the Church of England is to et-ep into the new age with fully liberated vigour, I beg and supplicate that the bishops be Mipplied with trousers (writes J. J. Pigg, in the "Common- wealth") A pair of gaiters (surmounted, be it alwayf remembered, by that attenuated piece of cassock vulgarly called an apron) is in itself nothing1 but a pair of gaiters. But only the dull of understanding will stop there. Gaiters are gaiters, but thev arc more; they are a sign, a mark, a symbol, of something that is cot comely, namely, prelacy and all that prelacy connotes. In no way better can bishops emancipate themselves from the dead hand of the past and stand upon their own legs th-an by get- ting those legs clad in trousers, "casting to the moles and to the bats" their disabling1 nether garb. Thus will the taunts and gibes of the man- in-the-street miss their mark and finally cease. The bishops will be accepted for what they often, not always, are—the best and ablest of the clerical estate. They will merge in our democratic life not undistinguished* but with a. distinction that needs no adventi- tious buttress. Not least will "the inf-erior clergy" welcome the change, for they will pm in the bishop, what gtlitRE now fatally obscure, a man and a brother. In the interests of Christianity, in the in- terests of the Church, the bishops must get into trousers. I THE MEN OF THE NAVY. An eloquent tribute is paid to the men of the Navy, and especially to the engineers, in the "Cornhill Magazine," by Mr. Bennet Cop- plestone, who puts the words into the mouth of one of a group of naval officers who were discussing the Jutland battle: One has lived with the professional Navy so long that one comes to take its superb quali- ties for granted; one need? to see the English Navy in action to be aroused to its merits. On May 31 very few of those in Evan-Thomas's or Jellicoe's squadrons had been under firc,- Beatty's men had, of course, more than once. If they showed any defect in was due to some slight over-eagerness. But this soon passed. In a big ship action not one man in a hundred has any opportunity of personal distinction- which is an uncommonly good thing for the Navy. We have no use for pot-hunters and advertisers. We want every man to do his little bit, devotedly, perfectly, without any thought of attracting attention. Ours is team work. If men are saturated through and through with this spirit of common devotion to duty thev sacrifice themselves as a matter of course when the call comes. More than once fire penetrated to the magazines of ships. The men who instantly rolled up(- the blaring bags of cordite, and extinguished the flames with their bodies, did not wait for orders nor did they expect to be mentioned in despatches. It was just their job. But what I did like was Jellicoe's special mention of his engineers. These men, upon whose faithful efficiency everything depends, who, buried in the bowels of ships, carry us into action and maintain us there, who are the first to die when a ship sinks :;vd the last to be remembered in Honours lists, these men are of more real ac- count than almost all those others of us who prance in our decorations upon the public sta £ -e. If the conning tower is the brain of a ship, the engine room is its heart. When JeHicoe was speeding up to join Beatty and Evar.-Thomas his whole fleet maintained a sixcd in excess of the trial speeds of some of I the older vessels. Think what skilful devotion this simple fact reveals, what minute atten- tion day in day out for months and years, so th-it in the hour of need no mechanical gadget might fail of its duty. And as with Jellicoe 9 Fleet so all through the war. Whenever the engine rooms have been tested up to breaking strain thev have always, always, stood up to the test. I think less of the splendid work done by destroyer flotillas, by combatant officers and men in the big chips, by all those who have manned and directed the light cruisers. Their work was done within sight; that. of the engine rooms was hidden. "I wi.-h that the big public could hear you, I said. GERMANY'S BIG SUBMARINES. The headquarters of submarine Germany, so to spealc. is Kiel. Here finished submarine commanders and crews are being turned out in quantity. The broad harbour expanse be- fore Kiel is always alive with exercising sub- mcrsibles, diving and emerging, and carrying out all manner of manoeuvres and attacks by s- y of preparing commanders and recruits for the terrors of an anti-German ocean. There are many types of submarines, rang- ing all the way from the frail oockle-shells, with which Germany began the naval war against England, to powerful tborough-goiug cruisers that dive aa well as 6Wim. The smallest submersibles, 500 tone and under, are no longer employed in the desperate adven- tures of the North Sea. They are now doing -ei\ice merely as coast-defenoe units of sup- porting value. Mr. A. Curtis Roth, formerly U.S. Consul at Planen, Saxony, writing in "Cassell's Magazine," says that the largest submersbiles, the. pride and the hope of Ger- many, are of 5.000 tons, and have an un- canny radius of action. There have, further, been reports of 6,000-ton boats in prospect, but it is unlikely that boats of such tonnage have yet reached the iiring line. There are two types of submersibles now bearing the burdens of Germany's frantic i attillpt to blockade Great Britain, France, Italy, the Suez Canal, and the Allied force at Salonica. These boats are of 2,400 and of 5.000 tons. It is not likely that many boats of the larger type have yet reached the firing line.
Fer stealing soldiers' tobacco, shirts, ete., from an Australian transport., Henry Wood- ward, a stevedore, was at West Ham Police- court sentenced to three m oaths' hardi