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OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT.…

NEWS NOTES.

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NEWS NOTES. THE QUEEN, on her public appearances since her return from Scotland to Windsor, has given the impression of being remarkably well. Her Majesty enjoys most, excellent health for one of her years, and gets through the work attendant upon her many engagements in a way which would be difficult for many much her junior. And the Queen is always most gracious and tactful in the performance of the varied functions which engage her energies, whether 9 it be a visit to a rose show or the more formal reviewing of a vast body of troops at Alder- shot. WEST KENSINGTON was quite astir on Satur- day, for the foundation-stone laying of the new headquarters of the Post Office Savings Bank. The Duke of Norfolk aptly expounded the virtues of this particular Department of the great State institution which he at present con- trols; and the Prince of Wales, having "well and truly placed the memorial stone in posi- tion, expressed felicitously the Queen's plea- sure that the scheme of Savings Bank had proven such a splendid stimulus to national thrift. SIR THOMAS LIPTON'S new yacht, the Sham- rock, has been privately launched at Millwall, after careful inspection by the Prince of Wales, and has gone to Southampton to be finished, in order eventually to do battle for England in a great international race. It is generally thought that if any craft can capture the trophy from America, this beautiful and remarkable yacht will do it. The Shamrock is to undergo a series of trials with the Prince of Wales's famous racer, the Britannia. THE tall talk between Boer and Uitlander enthusiasts can scarcely be said yet to have quite come to an end; but the steadier diplo- matic heads of both the British and Transvaal Governmental heads have been able to steer matters out of the critical channel. There is prospect now of calmer negotiations, which one may hope will end in an amicable settlement; but it would have been far otherwise had cer- tain interested firebrands had all their own way. FRANCE'S selection, after very considerable trouble, of a strangely composite Cabinet- united, however, on the point of goodwill to Dreyfus-leaves room for much political specu- lation as to what the future may have in store. It is not safe to prophecy as to coming hap- penings in France but if the Waldeck-Rous- seau Government can only manage to dispose of the Dreyfus scandal judicially, it will indeed have wrought France lasting good. THE Newfoundland fisheries still continue to furnish a bone of contention between Britain, France, and the United States. The latest de- velopment is the enforcement by Commodore Giffard, of our navy, of the American rights to take bait along the French shore; and the Washington Government have demanded an immediate cessation from interference on the part of the French authorities. It is high time that the matters between the nations at issue regarding these fisheries should be finally arranged on a satisfactory basis. Surely the diplomacy of the three great countries con- cerned is equal to the task THE Khalifa remains in evidence in the Soudan. In quest of supplies in the Khorbnda district he is reported to be surrounded by hostile tribes and we may shortly hear of his capture. But the Khalifa manifests so much alacrity in escaping from perilous positions that we shall have difficulty in believing him to be done with until he gets into the safe keeping of the Sirdar, and that is not yet." THE Federation ideal in Australasia makes distinct advancement by the substantial majority recorded in its favour in New South Wales. Those who long to see the bonds of our great Empire drawn closer as glad to note the hopeful trend of events. A VERY interesting ceremonial was the un- veiling of a striking statue on Saturday at Rugby to Judge Hughes, the genial creator of immortal Tom Brown." The famous school has done well to honour the memory of one who has cast such world-wide lustre upon, and exercised an abiding influence for good upon, successive generation s. We have many selections of best books nowadays, but any English library without "Tom Brown's Schooldays" would be lamentably lacking and unrepresentative indeed. Hughes, in his own way, was a dis- tinctly great man, and, better than that, he was a good man. Our land will do well to cherish for dly his pleasant precepts. THE way of transgressors is hard. The lady who thought to get a large quantity of jewellery and lingerie into New York harbour and land it on American soil without paying proper Customs duty, has subjected herself to heavy inconvenience, and her troubles are not yet over. There is reason to believe that a good many well-to-do fair ones are not above attempting audacities in the smuggling way but every now and again they get found out," and then comes the reckon- ing. One wonders why these fair sinners care to run the risk of getting into a tight place; for the chance of saving money momed women as well as monied men will adventure much. WE gather from a Home Office blue book just issued that our trade in explosives is growing considerably, as many as seven new factories having been started last year. This does not look quite like the ultimate triumph of pacific principles.

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AMID BONES AND SKULLS.