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OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT.…

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OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT. The review of metropolitan vokinfeSrs in Hyde park by the Prince of Wales willpro ve an event of unusual interest. Nominally it will be the centenary of a similar function held by George III.; but actually it will be one further recog- nition on the part of the Royal house of the great services which our citizen soldiers have rendered and are rendering to the country. Hyde-park is especially fitted for the holding ot such a review, not only because of its size and accessibility, but because it was therein that the Queen witnessed her first volunteer review dose upon forty years ago, soon after the 'formation of the present force. The volunteers of old days, such as those whom George III. reviewed, had faded into nothingnesslduring the protracted period of peace which followed the long French war: but they were more than replaced by those who sprang into being at the time that Tennyson's Riflemen, formT' resounded through the land. Not ^ven the most sanguine supporter of the new system, however, imagined that it pos- sessed all the vitality it has proved to have, for now after four decades it is stronger than ever and, although it requires 7 t, no stimulus other than patriotic feeling, to make it still powerful, this new proof of interest by the Prince of Wales will be welcome to every volunteer. Mention of Hyde-park reminds one of a grumble which is just now to be heard in fashionable London as to the condition of its paths. These are roundly declared in some quarters to be entirely neglected, to be never rolled and rarely watered. That is a complaint which teaches our country friends as well as dwellers in town, for a stroll in Hyde-park is very fre- quently a portion of the visitors' pro- gramme while staying in town, and the more especially as it interferes with the success of what every reader of the "society papers knows as the Church parade." It is averred that during several Sundays of the present summer, the fashionable folk who then take their stroll in the park have been well-nigh suffocated with dust, which also covers the seats to such an extent that light dresses coming into contact with them are spoiled. Thus had begins, but worse remains behind, for it is further solemnly stated that it is owing to the condition of the Hyde-park paths at this present that walking there has ceased to be fashionable, for the simple but sufficient reason that well-dressed women find their thin summer shoes cut to pieces by the sharp gravel. After so 'serious a complaint as this, the Duke of Cambridge, as Ranger of Hyde-park, will assuredly take measures to reform its ways. So essentially national an institution is the great library of the British Museum that what- ever concerns it has its interest for every edu- cated person, and, therefore, there will be a very general approval of the testimonial, which, mamly in the form of his own portrait, has been presented to Dr. Richard Garnett, upon his retirement from the position of Keeper of the Printed Books. Dr. Garnett's long services to literature by the assistance he gave to students at the British Museum, could not have been more happily recognised. It was always suffi- cient for him that an inquirer was a genuine student, and he was always ready and even eager to assist him from the stress of his vast knowledge of the world of books. That know- ledge seemed, indeed, well-nigh phenomenal: and there seems a humorous touch, to those who are acquainted with Dr. Garrett, about the fact that a portion of the testimonial was a set of forty-seven works of reference, relating chiefly to classical literature, which he had selected—as if he did not know all such works by heart. The old saying that one has to go abroad to learn news about home is never more strikingly illustrated than in the case of foreign observers who profess to describe what they have seen in England. The ludicrous exaggerations of the French have often been exposed, but not a Jess singular one than any of the boulevards has just been made public in a leading New York paper. A lady who has just returned to the United States* from a visit to us gravely informs her compatriots who have not travelled to Europe that in London theatres billiard-rooms are regularly attached, to which visitors flock between the acts. The absurdity of this, of course, is apparent to all who know the case: but, even if the narrator is to be ex- cused on the ground that she may have recorded only what she had heard, there can be no excuse for her further statement that it is the custom for young men, when they leave their places in the stalls, to return by climbing over all the intervening seats. The General Council of the Bar is once more trying its hand at the reform of the ancient and much-abused circuit system and it is likely to have the more support from the public, because it gives no countenance to the old idea of grouping a number of the smaller counties together, so as to save the time of the judges and the Bar, and waste the substance of the litigants or the prisoners. The new idea is to have local courts established on the model of the Central Criminal Court, presided over by special commissioners, at which cases could be tried, and there would thus be avoided the scandal which, under the present system, only too frequently is to be witnessed of unbailed prisoners remaining in gaol several months before being tried. As every man in this country is presumed to be innocent until he is proved to be guilty, this is a point never to be lost sight of, and the General Council of the Bar is to be commended for not forgetting it. Once more the voice of the Antarctic ex- plorer is heard in the land, for all who are tnterested in this particular matter are greatly cheered by the virtual promise of the Govern- ment to materially assist them. The ordinary outsider has no idea of what a very large and expensive enterprise is such an Antarctic Expedition as that which is just now contemplated. An official estimate of the cost of sending out a scientific party in one ship puts it at not far short of one hundred and ten thousand pounds; and even that vast sum would scarcely be found to suffice if the expedi- tion were not admirably commanded. This point of the commander, indeed, is almost as difficult to sett'e as the money has been hard to secure; but there appears to be no disposition in geographical circles in London to credit a rumour that Dr. Nansen may be asked to take the charge. We have men among us who have already done splendid work in the Arctic regions, and who require the chance to show that they can do equally well in the Antarctic; and, when we are fitting out a national expedition for the purpose of penetrating the ice-bound mysteries of the uttermost South, it is naturally to Englishmen that we look to lead the way. The holding of huge bazaars as a means of raising money for our hospitals has long been a favourite expedient in London, but within the last two years it has been earried to a point never before reached. A year ago the Press Bazaar, organised by working journalists in aid of the London Hospital, realised zCI3,000 in its two days' existence, that being the largest sum ever realised up to that time in any such fashion; but this record has been beaten by the bazaar of a few., days since at the Albert Hall in aid of, Charing Cross Hospital, at which no less tharr £13,300 was taken. The average man may not love this particular form of assailing his pockets in the cause of charity, but he has to smile atjid bear it when bazaars are made as attractives at present. In the -ll'test instance, literature^rt, and music were called m to aid the total result } and the manafer in which the call was responded to proved how thoroughly the public heart is in the right place when the hospitals are con- cerned. — R.

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