I THE OMINOUS ROYAL PILLOW. Woman's Weekly says that the Queen has devoted not a little time for months past to the making of comforts for her sick and wounded soldiers, and she has infected her ladies-in-waiting with the craze. The royal pillows, the idea of which originated at Sandringham, commended themselves to her Majesty, who made several with her own hands. These are marked with a special embroidered V.R., and it is needless to say that they are much prized in the various hospitals which have received them. Much as the pillows in general are appreciated, the pillow made by the Sovereign is in each case the grand one but Tommy has begun to observe that the honour of rfeceiving the Queen's pillow, is accorded to the most serious cases, and it is looked upon as an evil omen to get it. A week or two ago, while a nurse was smoothing the bedclothes of a restless soldier, she chanced to give a straightening touch to the pillows. The poor fellow awoke, and before he had fully regained his scattered senses, said Oh for Heaven's sake, do anything you like with me, but don't give me the pillow!"
THE FIRST ROYAL-RENTED RESI- DENCE IN IRELAND. Castleblaney Castle is the first Irish residence ever rented by a member of the Royal family (says the Liverpool Post.) It has always been a favourite place for picnic parties, and the county Monaghan people are speculating as to whether or not the Duke will still throw the grounds open to the public. The demesne contains 1100 acres, and is magnificently watered and wooded. There is also excellent shoot- ing and fishing. Miss May Yohe (Lady Hope) has spent much of her time at the Castle, and by her kindness to the poor has won her way into their hearts. The Duke of Connaught is not a stranger to county Monaghan. Some years ago he visited Lord Rossmore, whose park is not far from Castleblaney.
I THE STATE OF THE NAVY. The Navy League has issued a circular to the Ser- vice Committee of the House of Commons, in which it is stated that "in three successive years, viz., in 1898, 1899, and 1900, the First Lord of the Admiralty has announced, in introducing the Navy Estimates, that the sum voted at his request for naval construction during the previous twelve months had now been expended, and this though he had himself declared its expenditure to be the lowest compatible with national safety." It is added that Mr. Goschen's "allegation is that the resources of the United Kingdom are insufficient to carry out its own programme." The Navy League, however, maintains that the country can accomplish the requirements of the Admiralty, and the League urges members of the Service Committee to use every "means open to them under the forms of the House of Commons to draw public attention to the whole matter.
MRS. BOWERS "I shall select a necktie for you when I am iu town to-day, John." Mr. Bowers: Before you select it, will you have the clerk blind- fold you." Mrs. Bowers Blindfold me ? Are you crazy ?" Mr. Bowers: No By being blindfolded there is a chance that you may strike one that I could wear!"
OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT. London has this week had opened for it a new treasure-house, which may be considered the splendid and valuable gift of the kind ever conferred upon the nation by a private individual. This is what is known as the Wallace Collection, at Hertford House, be- queathed to the country by Lady Wallace, and kept in the place where it was first gathered. The mere money value of the col- lection runs into figures so large as to be abso- lutely startling, for it is worth five millions at a moderate calculation, and there are those who confidently place it at eight or ten millions. But the art value is well-nigh incalculable, for the collection includes specimens of some of the most beautiful jewelled work in the world, while its pictures are almost unrivalled. It has been desired, in arranging the collection for the view of the public, that it should not be- come a mechanical museum, but that the mansion in which it is housed should retain its style, and this has been excellently accom- plished, while allowing every gem to be clearly seen. Hertford House, it may be explained to visitors to London-none of whom should return home this summer without seeing it-ii situated in Manchester-square, close to Oxford- street, and not far from the Marble Arch, and is easily accessible both by omnibus and by the new Central London Railway, speedily to be opened. The inauguration of that system, by the way, will be the herald of others which promise to considerably assist intercommunication in the Metropolis. Not the least important of these is the Waterloo, Baker-street, and Padding- ton Electric Railway, which is just now in rapid process of construction, one visible sign of which is to be wit- nessed on the Thames at Charing-cross. From the general point of view, the most inte- resting fact concerning this line is that it will render necessary the construction of a tempo- rary carriage way across Trafalgar-square, because the new station will be beneath the existing roadway; and, when the work is com pleted, subways will be found to afford the means of entrance to the station from some of the street corners in the neighbourhood. This line, starting from Waterloo, will cross under the Thames, and proceed to Baker-street by way of Northumberland-avenue, Trafalgar- square, the Haymarket, Piccadilly-circus, Regent-street, and Portland-place, crossing the Central London Railway at Oxford-circus, where there will be an interchanging station that cannot fail to be a great convenience. One of the accustomed sights of London is constantly receiving fresh attractions, that being the Zoological Gardens, which have always more than justified their existence. Among the most recent additions to the collec- tion are ten specimens of the African walking fish, a strange creature, which has the faculty of jerking itself along the damp sand. This curiosity of nature may be said to take the place in the exhibition of the climbing perch which were there, but which recently expired. Death, in fact, is the constant enemy of such a collection as this, for, apart from the natural affiuxion of life, many denizens of the Zoo never become thoroughly acclimatised, and they die early. It is curious to think that the first such collection in this country was situate in the Tower of London, and that even in the days of our grandsires a visit to "the lions; in the Tower" was accustomed to be numbered among the sights every visitor to town was supposed to witness. Not less curious is it to remember that the Royal standard bears its own perpetual record of this collec- tion, for the three lions, twice repeated, of England—or three leopards rather—tradi- tionally represent a present once made by a foreign monarch to an English King, and kept for a time in the Tower. IliConsiderable interest has attached to the holding in London this week of the fourth Congress of Chambers of Commerce of the Empire, assembled at the invitation of the London Chamber. Important proposals have been considered affecting the commercial rela- tions between the United Kingdom and our colonies and dependencies, as well as questions of national defence and although, of course, the Congress was a purely deliberative body having no power, its decisions cannot but carry weight both with politicians and business men. The mere assembly in the capital of so many representatives of commerce from every portion of our vast Empire, is, of itself, a good thing as bringing together a number of men thoroughly skilled in that which has done much to make that Empire firmly established. "The thing which is nearest the heart of the nation is trade, and all that belongs to it," once wrote Charles II. to his sister at the Court of France: and the nation of shopkeepers," as the great political economist, Adam Smith, called it long before the days of Napoleon Bonaparte, to whom the phrase is customarily attributed, has reason to be proud of its com- merce still. It is unusual to hear at Midsummer grum- blings at the high price of coal, but this is the 9 time when the prudent householder is apt to store his cellars at "lowest summer prices," and this year he finclj to his dismay that these are considerably higher than usual and are quite as high indeed, as is often the case in the middle of winter. The cause for this ha3 been somewhat rashly assumed in various quarters to be that convenient excuse for all commercial troubles, "the war;" but the true reason is the striking industrial prosperity of the country at this moment which has created an abnormal demand by manufacturers for coal of all kinds. The only people who will really profit are the great coal owners, into who pockets these abnormal prices will place millions, while all other interests will be somewhat seriously affected. The householder grumbles no more than the railway director, some of our greatest companies having ha.d to place their contracts for the supply of next year's locomotive coal at the highest price ever paid under contract. Matters at Mount Pleasant have been shaking down in some degree this week, but the complailits which have rent the skies from com- mercial men ever since the change in the despatch of the provincial mails from St. Martin's-le-Grand to this new office are still to be heard. The officials have com- placently assured a long suffering public that the trouble and loss to which letter-writers have been exposed are really much less than might have been anticipated, an announce- ment which is scarcely calculated to soothe those who are aware that that trouble and loss might have been practically avoided by some exercise of forecast, coupled with a certain expenditure of money, by the heads of the department. Naturally, as the members of the staff have shaken themselves into their places, there has been less con- fusion in the new arrangement: but some of the most expert postal officials are agreed that the division into two sections, situate a mile apart, of the sorting for the metropolis and the provinces will never work with perfect satis- faction to the public, errors from "mis-sorting,' which would be remedied with comparative ease when all the work is done under one roof, being certain to have considerable delay and inconvenience when the sorting is divided, as' now it is to be. AltholÎcrh there is no overwhelming rush of English visitors to the Paris Exhibition, and that for reasons which are somewhat obvious, a number of our countrymen are crossing the Channel just now to have a look at the most wonderful show of the kind the world has ever seen. cMany of them, however. well, knowing the rapacity of the Paris hotel- keepers at such a season, are circumventing it by -making some French seaside resort their main staying-place during the trip abroad, and simply returning to the capital for the few days sufficient to enable them to see the Exhibition. Meanwhile, the number of Trans- atlantic visitors to Europe is at this moment exceedingly great; and one imniense "liner" brought to our shores only a few days ago no fewer than 1600 passengers, which is stated to be a record total for a single ship. London far more than Paris is now made the American holiday centre in Europe, which is a most Drofitable circumstance for its tradesmen. R.
NEWS NOTES. THE eyes of all the world are turned ,n the turbulent Empire in the Far East, from whence day by day vague rumourings and but little definite intelligence have emanated. The Great Powers are uniting in an endeavour to evolve order from chaos, but the task is likely to prove a heavy one. A vast seething agitation amongst China's multi-millions appears-out of hatred of foreign interference and unscrupulously cor- rupt plotting for ascendancy in the State—to have literahy compassed red ruin and the breaking up of laws." Now it is the accepted mission and the bounden duty of the Caucasian to set straight the crooked Mongolian path, for the sake of the peace of the world. Loyal con- cert in the councils of the interveners, and un- flinching determination to see the thing through will be requisite if John Chinaman is to be delivered once and for all from the murderous peril within his wide-spreading domain. THE evidence to hand points to the conclu- sion that a true patriot of probity and states- manly skill is not within sight at present on Chinese soil and, in consequence of this absence of a trustworthy native potentate, it would be well for the Powers to set up and support temporarily a ruling authority, pending the founding of a new dynasty on a sound basis. China cannot govern itself, therefore it must be administered from outside, for a while at any rate, for its own and the general good. What could not a Gordon, properly backed up by all the nations, accomplish now ? A great opportunity for coalescing statesmanship has undoubtedly arisen; and we fervently hope that modern diplomacy may be found equal to the demand made upon it. ONE does not quite know whether the veteran Li Hung Chang is to be implicitly trusted, for the Chinaman is quite an inscrut- able personage, educated or illiterate. But Li knows the wider world as well as the Orient, and is :highly intelligent. His counsel might be taken; to be adopted or otherwise as seemed good to the carefully constituted con- clave of all countries to whom we should like to see China's future provisionally entrusted. ARMED force will be requisite wherewith to render the interim international docrees effec- tive, and the finding of this in sufficiency should present no difficulty to the Powers if only they ire in earnest and thoroughly agreed. Disci- plined troops with up-to-date equipment would speedily wipe out the rebellion, for the Boxers" and their sympathisers are but rabble hordes that could not make any sort of stand against trained regular troops represen- tative of authority, and wielding weapons of precision and suitability. Without the whole- sale and energetic action here advocated, there is no saying what dreadful sequel is to come. I COUNT MURAVIEFF'S sudden death in St. Petersburg is probably, as is indeed suggested, due in a great measure to the difficulties which the Russian Foreign Office has to encounter- as China's nearest neighbour—concerning the crisis. The count was a "peace man," and may have had his troubles with the Muscovite military; and being subject to cardiac ailments, he succumbed to an attack induced by excite- ment. But the count was hardly more than a figure head in the councils of the Czar, and there is hope that his removal from the political arena will lead to no complications. THE illness of the young Khedive of Egypt just as he was about to land in Britain as our country's honoured guest came as a most un- fortunate occurrence. His Highness's throat malady threatened last week-end to prove rather serious, but prompt treatment from skilful medicos soon put a more satisfactory aspect on the case. The Khedive has ex- pressed feelingly his gratitude to her Majesty and all those of her subjects who have minis- tered to him in his untimely visitation. The incident goes to illustrate the old truism that monarchs and rulers are but mortal after all, subject to like maladies with men of meaner clay. LORD ROBERTS has had to work out to the full his strategical plans for the subjugation of the Boer forces; their stubbornness evidently rendering them quite incapable of at all anticipating the inevitable. The hope is that the outcome of this, the giving of the most influential of the Hollander-Afrikanders a personal acquaintance with Britain's power, may be a facilitation of the abiding establish- ment of firm rule in the war arena under the guarantee of the English flag. "Things seen are mightier than things heard," and with the Boer there is evidently no believing without seeing. Once convinced, however, he is hard indeed to move-as witness the current campaign. The burgher is finding out how the Krugers and the Steyns have sold him, and his wrath against them will be terrible; yet we anticipate that he will surely, if slowly, settle down into a good cltizen under the new regime which will render his holding sure and treat him and his with even-handed Justice. THE attention of administrative authorities throughout the country is called by the Local Government Board to the powers given under the Workmen's Dwelling Act and the Public Health Acts with respect to insanitary hous- ing of the toilers and their families. It will be well if these legislative provisions are carried out efficiently in all our most densely-popu- lated districts. There need be no unnecessarily irritating meddling; and yet there should be a continuous manifestation of general and all- round vigilance by the proper urban officials. THERE is such a thing as robbing Peter to pay Paul." We have, as a nation, after much vociferous expression of war engendered patriotism, subscribed generously to the various funds started in behalf of those affected personally by the South African campaign. To this there is no objec- tion t' for the cause is worthy of Charity's fullest and freest flow. But our giving of largesse to Tommy Atkins" wounded, and to the widows and weans of the soldier-slain should not lead us to neglect the claims of the many admirable old-established orphanages, infirmaries, and other benevolent institutions which have to rely for their sup- port largely upon voluntary subscriptions. There are many treasurers making their moan just now over diminished lists and deplemshed exchequers, we are, however, regretful to learn. This is not as it should be. It is poor heart gratitude which deigns to satisfy an impulse in itself laudable at the expense of taking away the due of long recognised dependents. Our charity should be broader, deeper, and further reaching than that.
THE TRAGEDY OF OLIVER ANSON. Oliver Anson, supremely happy (he had just, inherited one hundred thousand pounds) sat and beamed upon the little party gathered round his fireside. Now, Geoffrey," he said, "we will have your love story—before the lamps are brought in. No one will see your blushes in this ruddy firelight. Come I insist." Geoffrey Anscn fidgeted and fumed. Three years of hard life in the Klondike goldfields bad not helped him to remember that he was once at his ease in well-bred society. Geoffrey was cousin to Oliver, but the uncle who had left the latter so handsome a legacy had been by no means so generons with regard to the less favoured Geoffrey. Still, Oliver had said that his health would never permit him to marry, it was known that his cousin was his greatest friend, and people said that on the whole Geoffrey's outlook was a brilliant one. "But the yarn is nothing—not worth telling," said Geoffrey Anson in response to the earnest solicitations of the company. Claire will be in London within two months, when we are to be married. It will pay you to hear the story from her own lips. You won't wait ? Very well, I'll do my best to tell you the yarn-such as it is. Claire," he continued, addressing Oliver, is the daughter of a gentleman." (Oliver nodded.) "His name is Henry Willis-a wealthy fellow. He came to Klondike just to watch the game-came like a prince, and brought Claire with him. He employed a number of men at fabulous prices, and they built him a cottage. Whether he grew tired of the idle life, or whether the sight of so much gold about gave him a desire to add to his riches, I do not know, but presently he bought a share in a claim, took off his coat, and set to work-just like one of ourselves. He was lucky, too cuch beggars always are. Claire entered into the spirit of the thing. Her beauty and pretty ways made many a poor fellow's heart ache. And that brings me to the unpleasant incident which you dignify with the name of story. Giles Wingfield was a handsome enough fellow- tall, dark, clean-shaven, and a Englishman. He fell madly in love with Claire; and although two men situated as we were do not generally love each other over-mnch, yet such was the jealousy of that man that he hated me with an intensity which was quite pre- posterous. On the day that Claire refused him he came round to my tent. I shall not easily forget his face it was white with passion." The speaker paused and knocked the ashes from his pipe. "I hope I shall never be so near to killing a fellow-creature as I was then," he continued. A merciful Providence averted my bullet so that it cut through his hair instead of his brains. Let me show you how it was." Geoffrey took from:his pocket a small revolver, say- ing I don't know why I keep this toy about me Custom, I suppose, and—sometimes I think thai Wingfield has not finished with me yet. Mind, gentlemen, I do not fear him still, it is well to be cautious. One, two, three, four, five; you see, I have extracted every cartridge-the revolver has but live chambers. Now, cousin Oliver, you are going tc represent my enemy in order to illustrate the little scene between us in my tent." Geoffrey put the emptied revolver and the cartridges together into a side pocket of his loosely-fitting coat and continued his narration: As I said, Wingfield came to me in a black fury I need not repeat his precise words; you know the kind of rot that men like that talk, but not satisfied with reproaches, he added insult to insult, thrusting his face close to mine, that at last I could endure it no more. I didn't stoop to argument, but I ordered him out of my tent. He refused, but I got him oul by a couple of left-handers and a kick." Exclamations of Did you though ?" Served him right!" and "Dangerous business!" came from Geoffrey's audience. He gathered himself up," went on the speaker, and, snarling like a tiger, ran in again, whipped out a pistol and shot me here—through the shoulder In my hurry to get at him I stumbled over a stool and fell. The cur fired at me three times as I lay upon the ground, but his excitement spoilt his aim. When I got on my feet I was cool enough-too cool- horribly cool, and I think my appearance scared him, for he wanted to back out. He was standing at about the same distance from me as you are, Oliver, and I covered him iust as I am covering you—don't shrink, you know the thing isn't loaded, j I let him look into the barrel for a good minute. It was cold-blooded, I admit, but when fairly roused, I am very much afraid that I'm capable of anything, You're a villain, Wingfield,' said I, a coward, and a very bad shot. I can't cure your villainy or your cowardice but I can teach you to shoot straight—so Merciful heavens! What have I done ?" A stsnning report rang through the room, and a flash of flame threw light upon the scared faces of the speaker's audience. Oliver Anson rose to his feet, holding both hands over his eyes. "Oh, Geoffrey I" he cried, "you have killed me I" He pitched forward—dead—shot through the brain. That Geoffrey Anson was a doomed man and s guilty one was palpable to all the world. A verj clever rogue "—so ran the general opinion-" and ar admirable conjurer to slip in one of those loose cart- ridges without being seen. Poor Oliver Anson was 11 fool to recall him from Klondike. He ought to have known that an adventurer of that sort would not have rested while a single life stood between him and a hundred thousand pounds. And all this grief is, of course, assumed but it will not deceive an unsentimental British jury Well, to-morrow will decide his fate. He will be con- demned to death, and a just sentence, too. Shot his cousin like a dog!" Dudley Carshalton listened to the footfall of hit lady visitor as she hurried across the quiet square. A pretty girl. Her iiame again, is-Miss Clare Willis. H'm it is easy to see what kind of interest she takes in him." The young barrister went upstairs to his solitary room, poked the fire to a comforting blaze, ensconced himself in an armchair, and gathered together some recently-made notes. He was working late that night. and with a depressing presentiment that all the labour would prove futile. How could he pluck this man from the burning? how avert the terrible verdict of wilful murder hanging over his client's head ? Half-an-hour ago Dudley Carshalton had answered these questions with a frown and a motion of des- pair. Since then he bad seen Claire, who had arrived in London on the preceding day, and she had told him something that was of an exceedingly improbable nature; had given him what was verily but the shadow of a clue. He now glanced at the notes he had made upon her statements. H'm! Says she caught a passing glimpse of some- body who looked like somebody else. It is most un- likely that the somebody should be the somebody else, but it is true that the somebody was a witness of the deed, was present at the tragic occasioa. But even granted that the somebody she saw is the somebody else, how are we to prove it in so short a time? while to charge him with the deed is palpably absurd: there is not a scrap of evidence." Having given utterance to these vague mutterings, he lit two more candles, drank a cup of black coffee, tied a wet towel about his head, and sat down to think, The trial was drawing to a close. The last witness was in the box, and he had but the same story to tell. He had he said, with his own eyes seen the prisoner withdraw every cartridge from the revolver, and he swore to the fact. The deed, therefore, could not possibly have been the result of an accident! the weapon must have been wilfully re-charged. And I understand that before that night you were quite unacquainted with the prisoner ?" Quite." Geoffrey Anson turned weariedlv to look at the man who answered so emphatically, and saw a tall, well-dressed man with a greyish beard. No. apart from that fatal night, Geoffrey did not remember to have seen him. He wondered why his cornsel should have put the question. "At the time of the tragedy the prisoner was re- citing an episode in his history. Was that episode known to you t' "Certainly not," the witness answered in a sur- prised tone. And the Miss Claire Willis of the story—do you know her?" This has no bearing on the case, Of course I do not." So I supposed. And it naturally follows that Mr. Giles Wingfield is not known to you ?" You are quite right." Dudley Carshalton, counsel for the prisoner, gathered his papers together, looked at the jury, folded his arms andfixed hisgaze upon the witness, from whose face he never allowed his eyes to wander even for an instant. Now it has occurred to me," he went on, that if this Mr. Giles Wingfield, of Klondike, were to come to Englaud with malicious intent towards the prisoner (by no means an improbable assumption) he would leave not a stone unturned until he had dis- covered him." This remark, not being in the nature of a question, witness did not answer. And having found him, he would take care to keep near his man. Why, it is even possible that he was present on the night of the tragedy." Jt, was strange that this remark, which bad ap- parently no bearing upon the case, should have made the witness turn so deadly pale. "And who knows," continued the counsel, his voice clear and ringing, but that that enemy, taking advantage of the darkness of the room, did not draw the revolver from the prisoner's poeket and slip back one of the cartridges ? Would not that have been a good revenge—a master-stroke ? Why, sir, you are ill! What is the matter ?" I am not," said the witness hoarsely. What folly is this ? Ele would have been recognised." Oh, but he would have disguised himself. A grey beard for instance- It is a lie I" --would have altered him very considerably A lie, I say I" though not so effectually as to deceive the woman who refused him-Miss Willis-if she were to meet him. And she has met him My lord, Giles Wingfield is in London he is now in the witness- box; and if ever a man's face was stamped with guilt, that man's is now I" Giles Wingfield, taken suddenly and unawares, glared round him with the terrified eyes of a self- convicted man. He cursed loudly and turned to run. Two officers closed in upon him. There was an in- stant of dreadful hesitation then women screamed as the sudden report rang out. Before Giles Wingfield died of the wound his own hand had inflicted, he confessed that he alone was responsible for Oliver Anson's tragic end. Geoffrey eventually married Claire Willis, and in the love of his wife the cloud that overshadows his happiness is gradually passing.
A lnGHT IN AN AMBULANCE. The Havana Post of June 2 relates the following; Two Cuban labourers were set to pull down an arch forming part of an old wall. They were directed to begin from the top and work downwards; instead of which they began to pick away the supports of the arch from each side, the result being that arch and wall came down with a crash. Groans and an ambulance cry came from the debris. The men were extricated and sent off to the hospital with a man to look after them. After a time Lopez raised his head, and saying that he should never leave the hospital alive, charged Gonzalez with being the cause of the accident. Gonzalez replied that Lopez had murdered him, since he was the cause himself. The fact that they were equally responsible did not seem to strike either of them. Each contended that the crime was due to the other, and the point was so hotly contended that a tussle ensued. Notwithstanding that each asserted that he was killed, they made a very good fight; as the assis- tant, trying to separate them, was drawn into the fray. The driver of the ambulance then joined in the scrim- mage. In this way they reached the hospital, when it was found that external bruises and blows were the extent of the damage.
THE TENANT OF MARSDEN ROCK. Lovers of the scenery of the North-Eastern Counties will remember Marsden Rock, one of the most picturesque objects on the Durham coast. This rock was once the abode of the late Mi. Peter Allen, who conceived jthe bold idea of scooping out for himself a habitation in it. In this he succeeded, and resided in his wild retreat for many years, con- tinually adding to his accommodations, until at length he possessed 15 apartments, all hewn out of the living rock, and fitted up as a public-house. He possessed a variety of quadruped and feathered animals, which he had tamed and domesticated. The Dean and Chapter of Durham, however, instituted proceedings against him for an encroachment, on their property, and at the Durham Assizes in July, 1849, it was arranged that he should take a lease for 21 years, at an annual rent of £ 10. On August 31 following Mr. Allen died after a brief illness, aged 57.
TIIE Transvaal winter can have no terrors for the Canadian contingent now operating in that region. Major Jarvis, an officer of Strathcona's Horse, has served for 20 years in the North-West Mounted Police. He once made a tiip of some thousands of miles along the Peace River with dogs as his com- panions and the temperature 40deg. below zero. Night aftar night he slept in a hole in the snow with a log fire in front of him. He was stationed in the Klondike country immediately before volunteering for South Africa. MR. J. STIRLING, who holds the position of Govern- ment Geologist in Victoria, has just come over from Melbourne on a special mission in the interest of his Colony. Mr. Stirling has had a good deal of sound practical experience in his profession, and will there- fore be able to make good use of his eyes and ears while travelling abroad for the benefit of the depart- ment in which he takes such a pride. He will pro- bably pay a visit to the United States and Canada on his way back to the Ant,ioodes.
I FIELD AND FARM. I (From the Agrioultural Gazette.") MIXED OCCUPATIONS AND STOCK BKEEDINS. The plough has long been reputed (writes Mr. Gilbert Murray) as the first and chief creditor of the State. Viewed from the present standpoint, the im- provement of the different breeds of the live stock of the farm, their early development, and their superior milking qualities should be the aim of the British farmer. The cheap and rapid system of transit, is having the effect of increasing the demand for pure bred sires of all breeds for the purpose of grading up the native races, whilst more attention is being directed to the importation of animals of both sexes for the establishment and cultivation of herds, studs, and flocks of pure breeds. In order to successfully carry out this view, wherever the soil and climate are suitable, a considerable area of the farm must be under arable culture. By this means more stock can be kept, more manure produced, and a better price realised for the cereal produce than where the whole is sold direct off the land. The gist of the whole matter is whether food of equal value and quantity can be more economically purchased than it can be raised on the land. In the use of auxiliary foods, whether purchased or grown on the farm, there is often considerable waste, chiefly from the want of a suit- able blending of the different varieties. What we long to see is, as far as practicable, our farms self- supporting both in the matter of stock and of food. Breeding should not only be carried on more exten- sively and more carefully than is generally the case in the recognised breeds still open to improvement, but be ameliorated by the careful selection and use of the best and purest specimens of the different breeds, and all inferior animals drafted out from time to time. Where eligible, every calf should be entered in the Herd Book. In addition to this a private herd book should be kept, recording not only the date of birth, but the pedigree as far as known, and the weekly yield of milk. By this means, if carefully carried out, the stock would gradually in- crease in value. The parent herd should be young, and the animals regular breeders. With suitable land and sufficient accommodation, the males should be fed off at an early age and the females stinted to the bull at the age of fifteen or sixteen months. Those intended for early commercial purposes are frequently crossed by a bull of a different breed, and the dam and progeny are both fed off together. Where the land is more exposed and of inferior quality the calves are allowed to run with the dam for six or seven months and then weaned, the dam meantime being stinted to the bull, and the heifer having made good progress is passed on to the dairy farmer or milkman as a down-calver. On sheep grazings or secondary land, when successful, the sys- tem is fairly profitable until the general herd has become established and eligible for Herd Book entry, or gained a reputation for dairy properties of a high order. The drafts should be stinted to the bull in the usual way and sold as springers or down calvers, Cows with weak and imperfect milk vessels are un- suited for this purpose, and should be fattened off. For purely dairy purposes a first cross between two pure breeds is frequently most successful. The Ayr- shire. the Jersey, the Guernsey, and the Welsh crossed by a Shorthorn from a good milking strain have produced some of the best dairy cows I have ever known. A cross of the Shorthorn bull on West Highland heifers on rough, exposed hill pasture pro- duces a class of animals well adapted to the general tastes of the day when placed on moderate grasa land. When two years old they fatten quickly, and the meat is of fine quality. So long as the practice of slaughtering the calves at a few days old con- tinued, far too little attention was paid to the selec- tion of suitable males. Under the changing condi- tions and increasing importation of young animals from Ireland the demand for a superior class of young bulls is rapidly increasing. Great numbers of Irish heifers are due to produce their first calf at the age of two to two and a-half vears, and the dams are kept on for a second calf. If this system be success- fully carried out the stock of the country will pro- bably be kept up. REARING GUINEA FOWLS. The number of Guinea fowls kept in this country (writes Mr. Edward Brown) is comparatively small, though here and there we find a farmer's wife who always likes to have a flock of Guinea fowls for sale in the early part of the year. It is undoubtedly a very ornamental variety of domestic poultry, and a good flock of Guinea fowls looks well en any farm, but the Gaflina, as it is called, has the reputation of being amongst the most ill-tempered of all poultry, and there is consequently great difficulty in keeping it where other birds are met with. It is quite possible that a flock of Guinea fowls among ordinary poultry may mean a considerable loss in the latter, as they are worried by the presence of these bad companions. This statement has been denied in some cases, but is pretty generally admitted, and hence it is a mistake to keep Guinea fowls and ordinary poultry in the same house, whilst only those who have abundance of room should maintain a flock of these birds. Provided that they have a sufficient amount of room for them to wander over and a separate house, they are ornamental and bring in money just at a time when the other birds are going off. The best mothers for Guinea eggs are Bantams, and a good hen should cover about nine. She is light in body and yet makes a splendid sitter, whilst her activity is desirable in the direction of seeking for food or of indicating where it is to be found. The period of hatching is, as a rule, 28 days, and as the shell of the eggs is rather thick, it is well to see that the earth below the nest is kept properly moist, and three days before the eggs are due to hatch to dip them in warm water so as to help soften the shell. When the birds first come out they are undoubtedly tender and require a fair amount of care. They should be placed in as sunny a position as possible, and the food during the first few days should consist of the usual hard-boiled egg mixed with bread-crumbs, and moistened with milk. After this as much variety as possible should be given- chicken meal, oatmeal, rice boiled with milk, are all valuable, but must be thoroughly cooked. In addi- tion, it is well to give a little meat food. The meat meals which are now sold are excellent for this purpose, but too much should not be given. The great point is to be guided by the weather. In a dry season they would require rather more meat than when it is droppy weather, for in the latter case there is much more in the way of grub and insect life ob- tainable. When they are three to four weeks old they may have any good grain, such as buckwheat, dari, or broken wheat. The following particulars were published fifty years ago, written by the Rev. E. S. Dixon, M.A., and will show the plan recommended by him for the treatment of the young birds When the young Guinea fowl are about the size of thrushes, or perhaps a little larger (unless the summer be very fine). their mother Bantam (which we suppose to be a tame, quiet, matronly creature) may be suffered to range loose in the orchard and shrubbery, and no longer permitted to enter the garden, lest her family should acquire a habit of visiting it at a time when their presence would be less welcome than formerly. They must still, however, receive a bountiful and frequent supply of food they are not to be considered safe till the horn on their heads is fairly grown. Oatmeal (i.e., groat%), as a great treat, cooked potatoes, boiled rice, anything in short that is eatable, may be thrown down to them. They will pick the bones left after dinner with great satisfaction, and no doubt benefit to themselves. The tamer they can be made the less troublesome wil' those birds be which you retain for stock the more kindly they are treated, the more they are petted and pampered, the fatter and better conditioned will those others become which you design for your own table, or as presents to your friends, and the better price will you get if you send them to market."
IT IS proposed to raise £ 10,000 by subscription to fouud a Chair of English Poetry at University Col- lege, London, in honour or the Rev. Stopford Brocke, M.A. THE representatives of Imperial Yeomen who die in the Service are requested to apply direct to the Under-Secretary of State, at the War Office, for the jE5 gratuity granted to such persons. SIR HENRY MORTIMER DURAND, who has been home for some little time now, and who was promoted to G.C.B. rank on the Queen's birthday, is busily en- gaged in making preparations for the hard work that lies in front of him in connection with the Shah's visit to London. Sir Henry has now been British Minister at Teheren for six years. IN accordance with the Emperor William's re- quest, Count Pourtales, the German Ambassador to Tho Hague, deposited a costly wreath at the foot, ot the monument of the celebrated Dutch painter. Franz Hals, which has just been unveiled at Haar- lem. The Queen of Holland, who was present, ex- oressed her cordial thanks to the Count.
I GARDENING GOSSIP. I (From. Gardening Illustrated") CONSERVATORY. As the early-flowering Pelargoniums are now past their best, place the plants outside in the sunshine to ripen previous to being cut down these have made the house very bright for several weeks, and will now (says Mr. E. Hobday) give place to other things coming on. Gladiolus The Bride is now pretty well over; this, also, should be placed outside to ripen as fast as the flowers fade or cut for vases. All tha sections:of Gladioli willpower well in pots. I havelhad the early-flowering section in bloom in April by very moderate forcing. The corms were potted in December and plunged overhead in a bed of leaves in a pit where there was just a little warmth here they started slowly and strongly, and, as scon as the growth was above the pots, they were taken to a warm greenhouse. Celosia plumosa when well grown is useful and gives a welcome change for the summer and autumn. The seeds should be sown in February in a warm frame, potted off when ready, and shifted on when strong enough by degrees into 6in. pots, still being kept in warmth during growth till the end of May, when the pots were getting full of roots and more ventilation will be an advantage. It is scarcely possible to give too much ventilation to the conservatory now when the air outside is mild and still. When I had large houses to deal with I have generally managed to get enough shade from the overhanging growth of creepers, and one house I had charge of many years ago was glazed with rough plate glass. The plants did well under it in summer; but I would rather have clear glass for winter, when plants want all the light they can get, especially in a lofty house. Many things now will benefit from applications of liquid- manure; it is quite possible to overdo this, but there is less danger of this now than at any other season. Fuchsias, Balsams, and any other plants in bloom or advancing to a flowering stage, may have weak liquid-manure twice a week. The drainings from a farmyard are good and cheap; soot makes a eervica- able liquid-manure, and gives a dark green colour to the foliage. WORK AMONG VINES. When Grapes are colouring a free circulation of air must be kept up. It is well, if it can be done, to cover the floor of the house with clean litter; this keeps in the moisture and prevents dust settling on the bunches. The lateral growth will not give much trouble in early houses now, as the weight of crop is usually a sufficient check upon growth. In later houses the growth must be kept down, and this means a look round once a week or so. It is sometimes necessary to take a few more berries out of the mid- season Grapes, especially if they have to hang till Christmas or later. Black Hamburg, in a good house, with Vines in good condition, will keep very well till Christmas or later. If well ripened the berries will keep in the Grape room till Christmas in good con- dition. Grape thinning requires judgment and skill, as some berries will swell to a larger size than others, and these are the berries to be retained and allowed room enough to swell to their full size. Then, again, the size of the berries is in some measure a question of management of the roots. When Grape-Vines are in bad condition it is wonderful how a top-dressing of guano to the border and a bed of warm leaves on the surface bring the roots up and give strength to the foliage and size to the berries and bunches. The dressing of guano should not be repeated something else should be tried the following year. I have never found guano have the same effect two years in suc- cession unless the quantity is increased. WORK AMONG CUCUMBERS. It is not a bad plan to raise young plants now, and if there are any signs of exhaustion among the early planted houses, to drop a young plant in between the others and cut away gradually the old plants this is a more speedy way of renovating a house than pull- ing up the plants and starting afresh, and there is no break in the production. Frequent top-dressings of rich compost are important, more so, in fact, than giving artificial stimulants. The moisture in the house must be abundant. WINDOW GARDENING. Ferns such as the Pteris family and Maiden-hairs, will do in cool, shady rooms. They must not be ex- posed to hot sunshine, and must be kept moist at the root, but water should not be permitted to stand in the saucers or vases. Some of the hardy Ferns are interesting, and are more easily kept in condition than the tender kinds. The Shield Ferns, especially Polystichum angnlare and its varieties, and the Hart's- tongue in some of its forms, crested and otherwise are charming ball plants. OUTDOOR GARDEN. Evergreen hedges should be trimmed towards the end of this month. Yew makes a splendid division line, but is not adapted for a boundary fence in con- sequence of its poisonous nature. Give liquid-manure to Sweet Peas, and mulch with good manure to get fine flowers. Put in cuttings or pipings of the laced Pints under handlights in a shady position. The old florists used to excavate the soil about 9in. deep, place a Rhubarb leaf in the bottom, and fill in with good soil, dibbling or thrusting in the cuttings or pipings about 2in. apart. It was rare to lose a cut- ting, but Pinks strike easily enough in any way. Lift Tulips of the florist section as soon as the foliage is ripe, dry the bulbs, and store them away. Prick off seedling Wallflowers 6in. apart; other hardy plants sown early should be pricked off in nursery rows as soon as large enough to handle. Sow Forget-me-nots soon in a cool border. Those who love their Roses will give a daily look round with a keen eye for in- sects and suckers but if insects have been kept down up to the present the insect trouble will be fairly well over. Mildew will then have to be watched for, and the first white spot dusted with sulphur. No cure has yet been discovered for Orange fungus except stamping it out. FRUIT GARDEN. Those who have much Strawberry forcing to do "will be making every effort to secure a stock of early runners. Keen's Seedling seems to have disapdeared from most gardens; it had a great reputation for forcing years ago, but it required severe thinning. Royal Sovereign is much grown now for early work, but I have heard complaints of want of flavour. Sir J. Paxton and President are good varieties either for forcing or growing outside. Sir Charles Napier, when well done, is a heavy cropper of good colonr and travels well; it is useful for late forcing. Where British Queen can be grown outside, runners for forcing will be secured, not perhaps for the earliest crop, but for late work, and it travels well and always fetches a good price. No one will discard this variety where the soil is suitable for it. It is I best to layer the runners into small pots for early work, as the plants when shifted on receive no check. I have sometimes pegged the plants into mounds of good soil placed between the rows for the purpose, but prefer the small pots. Shorten back the breast- wood of Plums, Apricots, and Cherries, reserving as many shoots for laying in as there is room for. The thinning of the young wood of Peaches will now be nearly finished, and any shoots that were pinohed back and left to shelter the young fruit may now be removed. There is still too much crowding of the young wood on Peaches, and this is one of the causes of failure. Young trees must be carefully trained, and the strong growths pinched to induce'shoots to break out lower down to fill up the wall. VEGETABLE GARDEN. Brussells Sprouts should be planted freely, as un- doubtedly this is the best and hardiest winter green. Broccoli and autumn Cauliflowers should be got out also. There is some advantage in planting these in different aspects where it can be conveniently done. The small sowings are most appreciated by those who wish for quality. Sow second early Peas in quantity now. Keep the pods picked close on other Peas. Unless one has a sort which is very scarce it is use- less saving seeds. Those who make a speciality of seed growing can do it better than the private gardener, who usually has his hands full. Mulch such crops as Peas, Cauliflowers, Lettuces, Celery, Marrows, etc., as freely as means will permit, and if Bt mulch cannot be obtained use the hoe freely, so as to have an inch or so of loose earth over the roots to keep the moisture in the ground. Watering is not in unmixed Rood, but some things must have water when first set out, but afterwards I would rather aither mulch or hoe—it is easier work—and if the land is in good heart and deeply worked there is not the same need for watering.