OUII LONDON CORRESPONDENT. I One perennial topic of interest at West- minster whenever July is reached is the prob- able dute of the prorogation. The public gene- rally cannot be expected to be as keenly in- terested in the matter of our legislators them- selves. for to these latter it indicates the com- mencement of an always welcome holiday. Seldom will it have proved more welcome than this year, for the Session which is now drawing to a close has been unusually dull, and the shadow of a dissolution at no distant date has been hanging over it from the beginning. The spring and energy always to be een at the com- moncmlent of a Parliament have consequently been conspicuously lacking: and, even if another Session of the present House of Commons be held, we may take it for granted that very few fresh features will be seen until a new o ae has been elected. As to the probable date of the dissolution, there has been an abundance of surmise, but much of it from those who by no possibility could know the inner workings of the Ministerial mind on such a subject. There remains an idea in well-informed political quarters that, if a dissolution take place in November, the present Session may be merely adjourned until October, in order that affairs may be wound up as far as possible before a General Election; but the Cabinet's resolve upon this point cannot as yet be considered to have been taken. The Queen has determined to make an effort to brighten the closing days of the London season by giving a garden party next Wednes- day at Buckingham Palace, for which several thousand invitations have been issued by the Lord Chamberlain. Her Majesty will be officially represented by the Prince and Princess of Wales; but it is thought to be possible that she may herself come up from Windsor for an hour or two, while all the members of the Royal family who are in town will be present. As the last garden party at Buckingham Palace took place about three years ago, much interest will attach to the function, the invita- tions for which are from four o'clock until seven. Orly such as have been privileged to attend on an occasion of the kind have any idea of the varied beauty and great extent of the private grounds at Buckingham Palace. They are so large, indeed, that the Queen is able to take a considerable drive in them when she visits London; and there, is only one other residence in town which has any grounds at all comparable with them, that being Devon- shire House, the property of the present Lord President of the Council, these latter for a garden party being well-nigh ideal. In another way, the Queen is just now show- ing her alertness of idea, for, after impressing, as it is said, the Khedive of Egypt during his visit to Windsor last week, with her motherli- ness, her.wonderful memory, and her grasp of Egyptian affairs, she brightened the Court by arranging for a performance at the castle by the Covent Garden Opera Company. This, which consisted of a special selection from Bizet's Carmen" and Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana," with Madame Calve as the prima donna, was held in the Waterloo Chamber. This, as is customary on such occasions, was converted for the nonce into a charming bijou theatre, and was attended by her Majesty with the Royal household and guests, some ninety in number, the Royal dais being at the base of the auditorium, and facing the stage. After the performance, which was obviously enjoyed by all, the orchestra, 6horus, and staff were entertained in the audience and presence chambers, where supper was provided, they then returning by special train to London; but with graceful courtesy, the Queen requested Madame Calve to remain at the Castle for the night as her guest. Representatives of local bodies all over the metropolis have been meeting, under the auspices of the London County Council, to con- sider the burning question of regulations in connection with streets and street traffic. There will be general agreement with the posi- tion taken up that the London street traffic difficulty was becoming of vast importance, as the central portion of the metropolis is abso- lutely congested at certain times in the year. It is easy, of course, to suggest that much may be done to alleviate this by widening the thoroughfares most crowded but how many among us have any clear idea as to the enormous cost of such a work. The widening of Ludgate-hill has been at the rate of two millions sterling per mile, that of Fleet-street three millions, and that of the Strand no less than six millions. As every penny of this has to be paid by the already burdened ratepayer, he may fairly be forgiven for pausing when further gigantic schemes of the kind are proposed for his consideration. Among the most agreeable society functions that take place during the London season are the respective meets of the Coaching Club and the Four-in-Hand Club. The second of the former institution for the present year was held in St. James's-park last Saturday; and although the weather was neither as bright nor as warm as might have been expected on the closing day of June, the threatened rain fortunately held off, and there was a fairly large gathering of spectators on the parade-ground. There waa not, however, anything like the usual number of coaches, for no more than nineteen were mustered, as compared with thirty-three last year and twenty-nine in 1898, though it may be noted that there were three more than at the first meet of the season in Hyde-park five weeks ago. It was specially interest- ing to note on this occasion that the Khedive and his suite witnessed the picturesque procession from the windows of Buckingham Palace, which it passed on the wfty *to Ranelagh; but it is not recorded whether the pleasing spectacle inspired in the breast of Abbas Pasha any wish to himself to become a weilder of "the ribbons." It is understood that before another year, the trustees of the British Museum will make another and even more strenuous endeavour to persuade the authorities of the Treasury to present them with one hundred thousand pounds in order to carry out certain much- needed extensions at Bloomsbury. They already have in hand something like forty-four thousand pounds, the proceeds of a bequest made by Mr. Vincent Stuckey Lean for the special purpose of improving the "accommodation at the Great Central Museum of tlfe Empire and those who realise the im- mense value of the work which is done at Bloomsbury will earnestly hope that, even in these times of war and stress, the Treasury may soften its heart sufficiently to part with the necessary funds. It has lately been thought in various quarters that the sole diffi- culty of the Trustees has been in regard to the accommodation for newspapers and books; but, in point of fact, the question of storage in that particular direction has been only one of their difficulties. Happily, the land for the required extensions is already the property of the nation, having, by an unusually excellent display of official forethought, been secured some years ago and it would be a thousand pities if it were allowed to remain idle and the Museum to continue cramped for want of the necessary funds. There is no more popular institution in London-and assuredly none that more de. serves to be popular—than the Metropolitan Fire Brigade; and its annual review on Clap- ham-common a few days since afforded an excellent opportunity for attesting the fact. Many thousands of people came from all parts of the capital to witness the display, in which a large section of the men attached to the Brigade, with six fire-engines, six horse escapes, ancTfour hose vans participated. The Brigade has now been in existence for some thirty-four years, and it is gratifying to know that, despite the great growth of the metropolis within that period, the number of really serious and sensa- tional fires is only about two-thirds of the old total, a result which may be attributed not only to the perfection of modern fire-fighting appli- ances but to the splendid efficiency of this excellent body of men, who are ready to brave 1 I any danger at the call of duty. R. I
NEWS NOTES. WAR cannot be carried on in kid gloves, we know if you tear away the glory" from a battle scene, horrors remain. In the very nature of things—when nations enter into hostile conflict, equipped with modern muni- tions, and availing themselves of the knowledge of all the ages there must be a vast amount of poignant suffering following ever in grim War's dreadful train, no matter how humane personally the leaders and the organisers of battle may be. WE were prepared to see a dark side to Britain's triumphs out in South Africa when the tale was told of the nobly fallen, of the flower of our soldier chivalry smitten with wounds or down with dire disease. All this was inevitable; but we were not expectant of such saddening allega- tions regarding the neglect of the injured and tlu sick at the front as have been made through the medium of the Press, and which have very properly formed the subject of debate in Par- liament. Mr. B urdett-Coutts, the member for Westminster—a gentleman who has interested himself in the condition of the wounded in battle on previous occasions-is the plaintiff in the matter. His good faith is in no way impugned by the defenders of responsible authority though he is charged with deducing almost appalling generalities from the material fur- nished by isolated, and it is alleged, unrepre- sentative instances. Mr. Burdett Coutts claims, however, to have spoken only of the things he saw on personal inspec- tion, and the case he makes out is in points reminiscent of sad Crimean memories. The Government's answer to the indictment is virtually an echoing of the reply of Southey's Old Kaspar to his grandson's inquisitiveness concerning the skulls the battle of Blenheim left in adjacent fields "Things like these, you know, must be In every famous victory." OTHERS who have visited our hospitals, stationary and in the field, in South Africa, tell a different tale from Mr. Burdett-Coutts, and especial stress must be laid upon the testi- mony for the case as against the member for Westminster, given by Sir William MacCormac, Mr. Treves, and Sir William Foster, the emi- nent surgeons who went to the front voluntarily to give the benefit of their expert eminence to the assistance of the medical staff. As to the specific counts of Mr. Burdett-Coutts's indictment, however, nothing has been disprovon, and he stated his case in the Commons in a most careful, if laboured, way. THERE is to be an inquiry into the whole serious matter, which may effect much good. There need be no strenuous seeking after the fixing of blame on particular officials, military or civil, high or low in station: but there should eventuate a set of well-weighed arrangements securing that all that is humanly possible shall in the future be done to obviate avoidable suf- fering to the wounded in our wars, and its harrowing sequel. Mr. Burdett-Coutts ought not to be regarded with odium, but should rather be thanked for temporately taking in hand a painful task. The military and the medicoes who resent his action, it seems to many calmer observers, mistake the attitude of the member of Westminster. AFFAIRS in China have grown graver as the news from Pekin has slowly flltered out to the Western world; and it is more than ever evident that the forces of the outside Powers must be used with unfaltering and harmonious solidity to put a speedy stop to the terrible condition of outrage and slaughter going on within the Celestial Empire, and directed chiefly against foreigners legitimately domi- ciled on Chinese soil. If the Boxers be to blame for the slaughter an'd the de- struction, the reports of which have so shocked everyone, and the Chinese authori- ties cannot restrain the Boxers," then the Powers must without hesitancy take over the control until order can be placed on a firm footing. But if some in high places have connived at and encouraged the murderous excesses of the swarming rabble such disturbers of the peace will have to be swept without compunction away. The various European Governments and the ruling authorities of Japan and the United States have here common cause; and the necessity for their concerted action ought to do much in the direction of consolidating universal concord. AMERICA is proverbially the land of superla- tive products and big happenings, and the latest news from the States sadly supports the tradition. The appalling wharf fire at Hoboken last Saturday makes horrifying reading matter in all its tragic detail. The loss of life was tremendous, and the particulars of the destruc- tion are beyond all description shockingly sensational. One can only marvel that such usually wideawake people as New York possesses should permit the storing in bulk of such com- modities as cotton, notoriously liable to spon- taneous combustion, alongside of highly in- flamable spirit—for this seems to have occasioned the dire conflagration Let us see to it that our own wharves are kept free from this deadly peril. THE end of the war in South Africa approaches tardily, and we are fain to hope that Lord Roberts is playing the game of con- quest slowly and surely. Delay is all on our side now; we are wearing out the opposing remnant, and may compass complete submis- sion by undemonstrative strategy without appreciable additional bloodshed. Such an up- shot is eminently desirable; and yet the great bulk of the people would rejoice exceedingly to know that Mr. Kruger had been taken captive. His recent show has been inglorious enough but conclusiveness is now the general desideratum. Save for this issue the absorbing interest of the South African campaign may be said to have" fizzled out."
ARE DREAMS INHERITED? I Dr. Gianelli, an Italian scientist, claims that many of men's dreams are inherited from ancestors. Every person has a dream which he dreams over and over again-a favourite dream, as it were. This dream and some others that are frequent, according to the doctor, are inherited. lie observed, for instance, that, a child of six years, after an attack of typhoid fever, saw in its slumber a figure clad in black, which advanced to the foot of the bed and fired upon him its shining eyes. It was found that the father of the child frequently had dreamed that dream, although he had never mentioned it to his child. The grand- father dreamed the same dream, although he had told no one about it.
iMR English language—according to a German statistician who has made a study of the compara- of latiptiages-heal,.3 the list with the enormous vocabulary of 260,000 words. German next., with 80,000 words; then Italian, with I/-™' French, with 30.000,; Turkish, with I..
I A DEATH-BED CONFESSION. The sailors who lived about Martello Bay, as it was called from a Martello tower being in near proxi- mity to it, all thought Martin Randell as lucky a man as had ever served in the Navy. There was no reason why the bay should have been so specially named, for Martello towers were all along the coast, where they had been erected at the begin- ning of the century to defend us from the invasions y of the "Ogre of Corsica." But the little village I which had established itself about the bay lost its name of St. Questin, and was commonly spoken of as the Martello Village, and thus the bay got to be called Martello Bay. Martm Randell had, some years before, come into about two hundred pounds a year and a cottage in St. Questin,which his cousin had left him, and had more recently brought his motherless daughter Amy to live in the village. It is to be supposed that Martin would not have chosen such a place as IVfartello Village for his resi- dence bad it not been for the inducement held out to him by the :cottage and three acres of ground which were part of his cousin's legacy. When he first took possession of his little estate he led a pretty solitary life, as there were really no neighbours except the boatmen and fishermen who were the inhabitants of St. Questin, Amy being at boarding school. Six months after Martin had settled in his cottage, however, Captain Reynell, who as it appeared had been a messmate of the former's, returned to his house, nearly the only one in St. Questin deserving the name, and soon renewed the acquaintanceship of past years. When Amy came home from school she found Captain Reynell a daily visitor at her father's cottage. Father," asked Amy one day of her remaining parent, have you known Captain Reynell long ?" I have known him more than twenty-five years," answered Randell. We were in the same ship together. I left the Navy twenty years ago, just before you were born, and I have not met Reynell since until I came here. I was a lieutenant when I quitted the service and he was above me in rank. Why do vou ask?" He comes here nearly every day," answered Amy, and never takes bite or sup in the cottage." Why should he, when he is so close home ?" To enable you to conform to the customs of hos- pitality," replied Amy. "Besides, he never shakes hands with you when he comes." It is not very important since he has seen me yesterday." And neither does he take your hand when he leaves you," she added. "Why should he when he will see me to-morrow ?,. urged Martin. Were you intimate when you were on board ship together ?" asked Amy. Shipmates can't easily be otherwise," he said. And friendly?" Oh, yes, until- he stopped for a moment, then he continued, until I left the Navy. You know I had not seen him for fifteen years when he re- turned home five years ago." Amy was answered but not satisfied. Although Captain Reynell was about the only educated person in St. Qnestin, with the exception of the parson and his family, she would have preferred to be free from the officer's company and to have limited her own and father's acquaintance to the simple sailors of the village, who had a wondrous reverence for a gentleman who had been a lieutenant on board a man-o'-war. But a change came o'er Miss Amy's expressions and sentiments when Captain Reynell s son returned home from the Mediterranean in her Majesty's ship Daisy, which went into dock for repairs, her crew being paid off. Algernon Reynell certainly gave a great deal mtore life to the village than it had displayed without his assistance. At any rate, Randell's daughter found the little cottage considerably more lively than it had been before. Indeed Algernon not only shook hands with Randell and his daughter, both coming and going, but he had a way of pressing the latter's fingers in a manner that suggested that the action was something more than common courtesy. One day he would propose a sail, the next he would sug- gest a walk or a drive, and the third would be de- voted to fishing. Amy and he found the life equally agreeable, and they mutually slid into love with the same uncon sciousness and the same unrestraint, and all the time Captain Reynell, persistent in his daily visits, was as blind to their fate as they were to their own. I did not know that your father had been in the Navy," said Algernon, until one of the boatmen told me." I'm surprisedJCaptain Reynell didn't mention it," replied Amy. My father and he were in the same ship." He has been even less fortunate than my father," remarked Algernon. Father had to retire when he was only post-captain. I suppose Mr. Randell had not attained that rank." My father gave up the service before I was born," said Amy. I don't think he was very well off for some years; I believe there was some family dispute atfany rate, my grandfather did not leave him more than he was compelled to do. Then a cousin died, and his legacy nearly doubled our income." Heaven bless that cousin for doing something to add to the enjoyments of your life," ejaculated Algernon. I think he considered that my father had been badly used," said Amy. By your grandfather ?" asked Algernon. Yes, and by other people. I don't know much about it, as it all took place before I was born, or while I was a child." "Poor Mr. trandell," sighed Algernon, pressing that worthy's hand by deputy. He is just the sort of easy-going man who would get imposed upon. Amy, if ever you catch people trying to take a mean advantage of your father, let me know." He had never called her Amy before, but his sympathy. with her father seemed to her to fully warrant him in doing so. It is very kind of you," she said. "Kind of me?" he exclaimed. "Are you sur- prised at my feeling any interest in the father who must be so dear to you ? Have you not suspected how dear you are to me? Amy," he added, as she re- mained silent, "the happiness of my life depends upon my being blest by your love." My love will not be a greater blessing to you than yours will be to me," she said, as she hid her glow- ing face against his breast, to which he had drawn her. Algernon put his strong, manly arms round her and told her well, they were lovers, and thn vocabulary of love is always the same. My dear Algernon," said Captain Reynell, the thing is impossible. I blame myself for not having cautioned you. I never thought of your falling in love with Randell's daughter." I have not only fallen in love with her but I will marry her," replied Algernon, whatever may be the result." I tell you that Randell was tried by court-martial, more.than twenty years ago, upon the charge of having traitorously handed to Russia a volume of our con- fidential code of Navy Signals," said Reynell. But you tell me that he was acquitted," answered Algernon. Because in this country we do not forge evidence to convict the man whom we suspect," said Reynell. But you should rather say that Randell was not found guilty than he was acquitted. Even that was owing to the championship of our commander, Captain O'Brien, and immediately after the trial pressure was put upon Randell to leave the service." "A manifest injustice exclaimed Algernon. The injustice was in not finding him guilty," re- plied Reynell. Since chance made him my neigh- bour I have renewed our old acquaintance, that in daily conversation with him I may at last find him betraying himself." "And have you done so?" Not yet. But, notwithstanding his escape, there is a black mark against his name, the authorities are morally convinced of his guilt, and the officer who marries his daughter will surely be tainted with the suspicion that disgraces the father. If you make Amy Randell your wife, you will have to leave the Navy." Then I'll leave it," said Algernon, as he walked away to close further discussion. Reynell sat in his cabin, as he styled the smoking snugeery that was the favourite room in his house. What a fool I have been," he thought, not to have seen that Algernon was bound to fall in love with such a pretty girl as Amy, especially when she is the only one here of his class, and yet s'rch a union means absolute ruin to his prospects." Then he put on his hat and went out. When, Algernon aaw Acny the iiext mora' ag he was convinced that his father had been talking to her. Her love was as apparent as ever, but there was a sadness in it which tinged it with regret. Amy," he said, what has changed you ?" "Nothing has changed me, Algernon," she said, but my happy life of yesterday has gone for ever. I had a longer conversation yesterday with your father than I ever had before, and it was the saddest. I learnt for the first time that my father left the Navy under the cloud of suspicion, and I now know that to ally yourself to him through me would be most damaging to your chances in the service.' "Well, then, I can leave the Navy and try some other career," he said. Perhaps to fail," she answered, and thus add to my present sorrow by making me know that I bad marred your life in letting you share it with mine." But, Amy," he cried, without you my life wil be blighted." No, Algernon," she replied, smiling pitifullyi enough, men get over their love sooner than women. Besides, I have now a duty of which yesterday I was ignorant. It is to comfort my father for his inany years of unmerited humiliation, for I am sure that he was innocent." In vain he held her to his breast and whispered words which were charged with the eloquence of his love. She saw what was the duty of her life, and, though it took from it the happiness that seemed so assured a few hours before, she resolved to face her trouble and to act according to her conscience. She would console her father for the many years of dis- grace he had borne all unknown to her, and she would not yield to Algernon's wishes and her own and thus ruin her lover's professional prospects. When the young officer returned home, wretched enough as may be imagined, he found that his father had suddenly taken his departure upon the receipt of a telegram. Six days had passed since Captain Reynell had left Martello. The early autumn day was declining as he entered Randell's cottage. "How are you, Martin?" he said as he extended his hand to him. Whether, in the gloom ef the evening, he failed to notice the action, or whether from habit he would not expect it, Randell did not grasp the proffered palm. For more than twenty years I have been unjust to you," said Reynell, and I have been waiting and watching for you to say something that might con- firm the judgment which, I now admit, was errone- ous." I don't understand you," said Randell. Four days ago I was at Captain O'Brien's death bed." continued Raynell. He handed me a letter which I was to open after his decease. It was the confession that he was the traitor who sold to Russia the volume or JNavy signals. 1 nave nanded the letter to the Admiralty. It is not considered ex- pedient to revive the matter, the more so as you were acquitted, but, to mark their sympathy for you and their assurance of your innocence, the Lords of the Admiralty will give you the first naval appoint- ment ashore which shall te at their disposal." Martin had been too long used to the suspicion of his friends to value much the tardy reparation of the authorities. He merely asked, What did O'Brien do it for ?" To retire a forged acceptance of his son's one villain makes another. The crime was between you two, and, alas! we fixed on the wrong man." If the revelation came late for Randell, it was in time for the happiness of Amy and Algernon, who were married four months afterwards.
GOVERNMENT MATRIMONIAL AGENT. One of the largest matrimonial agents in the world at the present time is Sir Horace Tozer, the Agent- General for Queensland, who is sending large drafts of single women to the colony. The last census of Queensland showed 57,000 more single men than single women, and the efforts of the Colonial Govern- ment in the way of emigratian are now mainly devoted to making up the deficiency. The objection entertained by the working men of Australia to free or assisted emigration does not extend to the class exported by Sir Horace Tozer, so long as he is care- ful to select them young and tolerably good-looking. In this (says the Chronicle) he seems to be successful, as it is stated that about 50 per cent. of the female emigrants marry within two years of their arrival in Queensland.
CURIOUS KRUGER STORY. One of the most fascinating stories with which the name of President Kruger has been connected has been told in the Lobby of the House of Commons. It was to the effect that a telegram had been received from Cape Town alleging that Oom Paul had suc- ceeded in escaping from South Africa in disguise, and that he was already on his way to Europe. It was further alleged that the person occupying the present capital of the Transvaal-the railway saloon in which Kruger is supposed to confer with his ad- visers, to manufacture paper money, and to grant occasional interviews to enterprising newspaper cor- respondents—is not the real Kruger, but a fraudu- lent substitute. In other words, it is suggested that Oom Paul has succeeded in playing off upon us one of the slimmest" tricks that the war has produced.
THE BROUGHTON CHEST AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM. The British Museum, at least in its manuscript department, appears (says a correspondent of the St. James's Gazette) to be understaffed. In addition to the Douce box, of which everyone has heard, there was another chest recently opened-that of Lord Broughton. It is stated by the museum authorities that the papers left in this latter chest will not be ready for public inspection for some twelve months. This seems a needlessly long time to wait. On in- quiry at the British Museum it was stated that cer- tain papers of the Broughton collection, as in many other similar cases, will almost certainly be kept, not only from the public view, but from the researches of the student, the historian, or the journalist. Questioned on this point, the secretary of the museum, Mr. J. F. Tavlor, said that letters, in certain cases, were kept from the public for reasons of public policy and for several other reasons which he could not exactly state. But cannot the student get access to these papers if he gives a guarantee that what he reads will not be used publicly by him until the necessary permis- sion is given ? I should like* to inspect Lord Broughton's collection to see if there is anything bearing on the Byron controversy." There are no Byron letters in the Broughton chest, and if there were, and it was decided to hold them back, no student would be permitted to see them." The state- ment that there are no Byron letters in the chest must be accepted, but it is confidently believed that Lord Broughton did write a reply to Lady Byron's letter, and this is exactly what we should expect to find in the chest. It will be noticed also that only "Byron letters" are cited as being absent from the collection. Nothing is said of any ether Byron documents or any matter incidentally allud- ing to Byron. Considering that Lord Broughton was on terms of great personal intimacy with Byron, and accompanied the poet on his travels, the assump- tion is that there must in his literary remains be some reference to the writer of "Childe Harold." In any case facilities for examining such documents as are withheld from the public should be given to those literary students or historians who can furnish a suitable guarantee. The withholding of such per- mission gives rise to the contention sometimes urged that certain literary favourites of the museum authorities have first call upon such documents before it has been decided that the public may safely see them.
SUBSCRIBERS coming in at the rate of 20 a day," wrote the editor of a country weekly; and the rival journal explained that they were coming in to order their paper to be discontinued. FERDY In prehistoric days, guide, there were birds two hundred feet long!" Guide: "Ah! If them birds wuz only as broad as they wuz long, sonny, them was the daJ" you orter gone shooting TEACHER: "Willie, please give me a sentence in which the verbs to set and to sit' are used cor- rectly." Willie (after a brief deliberation): Great Britain is a country on which the sun never sets, and on which no other country ever sits." SPORTSMAN (to Snobson. who hasn't brought down a single bird all day): Do you know Lord Peck- ham ?" Snobson Oh, dear, yes; I've often shot at his house." Sportsman: Ever hit it?" SYMPATHETIC SMALL GIRL: "Oh, you poor Jack, have you been fighting ?" Gory and Begrimed Small Boy: "No; I've been fought." As a rille. men who mind their own business hava mind enough to make good business men.
ART AND LITERATURE. THE old question of how to check the undeniable tendency towards ugliness in the architecture of our towns and cities has just been raised again by Mr. W. Emerson, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in a paper read at one of the meet- ings of the Architectural Congress. The remedy he suggested was the establishment of a Committee of Control in every district with power to supervise all building schemes and to veto anything that was not in accord with strict can0n,9 of good taste; while for London a Ministry of Fine Arts should be created. It can haiiily be doubted (remarks the Globe) that such organised supervision would be most important, and would have an excellent chance of showing good results, if only the right type of men would be found to do the difficult work of adjudicating. But in many parts of the country really infallible judges would not be easy to gather together, and local considerations would probably hamper seriously the efforts of even the best inten- tioned committee. THE new arrangement of the Babylonian and Assyrian Room at the British Museum is now com- pleted, and the excellent illustrated catalogue will enable visitors to appreciate the treasures of this col- lection. Mr. Budge is now turning his attention to the reconstruction of the remainder of the Egyptian rooms, and it is intended to prepare a new catalogue in addition to those of the first and second Egyptian rooms already published. A CORRESPONDENT, who was writing an article about Mr. George Meredith some four years ago, wrote to the great novelist for biographical particulars, and received the following charming reply: Dear Sir,- I have to plead illnesg- for not having replied to your letter immediately. Believe me to be very sensible of the compliment you pay me in deigning to notice my works. I cannot refer you to any published account of the personal me. Our books contain the best of us. I hold that the public has little to do with what is outside the printed matter, beyond hear- ing that the writer is reputedly a good citizen. Pardon the brevity of this answer, and accept my hearty thanks for the trouble you impose on your- se,lf.-I am, yours faithfully, GEORGE MEREDITH." Could any letter be more characteristic of its writer or more exquisitely expressed? The style is as per- fect as that of Mr. Meredith's books. LIVERPOOL is to have a memento of the late Mr. W. Edwards Tirebtick,,a novelist of considerable promise, whose premature death a few months ago was the cause of much grief to a large circle of friends and admirers in his native city. The memento takes the form of a portrait, which has been painted by Miss Eleanor Wood, of Manchester, and is destined for exhibition in the Walker Gallery. IT is stated that Lieut.-General Baden-Powell has decided not to produce a book about the defence of Mafeking or the war in South Africa. Those who have read his lively account of" The Downfall of Prempeh will much regret this decision, for when knowledge of facts, a graphic style, and a strong sense of humour are in combination the literary re- sult is invariably excellent. But it is believed that Generel Baden-Powell's :intention to abstain from authorship on this momentous occasion in his career is partly due to his generous wish not to interfere with the work of Major Baillie, whose diary of the siege, contributed to the Morning Post, is about to be reprinted, with additional matter, in book form. THE exnToition of the works of Jean Francois Millet that is now open at the Hanover Gallery, in London, has the merit of showing many sides of the capacity of a great artist who worked with admirable success in many mediums. He was a student of certain aspects of Nature, but he knew well how to adapt the facts that he derived from her to pictorial purposes of his own devising. His romanticism was based upon strict reality, but it was in expression a reflection of his own personality. How much his intellectual view affected his art can be well seen in this exhibition by comparing his purely matter-of- fact studies with the pictures that he built up out of them; and by appreciating the wealth of sentiment and devout conviction with which he surrounded a subject chosen from the life of the people among whom he lived. TAKE him for all in all (says the Morning Post) Mr. George Moore would seem to be one of the most untiring, conscientious, and painstaking of living novelists. It seems that" Sister Teresa," the book on which he is now engaged, is not, as was sup- posed by many of those who had heard it spoken of, a sequel to Evelyn Innes," but is actually part of one vast novel, of which the already published story of the errant Evelyn is the corresponding first, halt'. When the two are ultimately brought out together, as they probably will be, the story will contain about 300,000 words. Shades of Richardsen and Dumas, you may well tremble for the positions which your Clarissas and Monte Cristos have procured for you. When Mr. Moore has finished with Sister Teresa he intends to rewrite the record of his heroine's worldly life as Evelyn Innes." AN interesting little exhibition of works by different artists was recently' opened in the galleries of the Fine Art Society. The most notable things are about a score of pastels and oil paintings by Mr. T. Austen Brown, which have technical merits of an exceptional kind. They are strongly and decisively handled, and are full of dignity and sincerity. In the same collec- tion are some cleverly handled miniatures of dogs by Mrs. Gertrude Massey, and a series of etchings and pastel sketches by Mr. Edgar Chahine. IN his Literary Letter in the Sphere C. K. S. prints some charming verses by Mr. George Cable, called The New Arrival," which have been buried in a newspaper for a quarter of a century. They were written on the birth of the author's eldest child. We give the first and last of the three stanzas: There came to port last Sunday night The queerest little craft, Without an inch of rigging on, I looked, and looked, and laughed I It seemed so curious that she Should cross the unknown water, And moor herself right in my room— My daughter! 0 my daughter! 4 Ring out wild bells, and tame ones too. Ring out the lovers' moon, Ring in the little worsted socks, Ring in the bib and spoon. Ring out the muse, ring in the nurse, Ring in the milk and water Away with paper, pen and ink- My daughter! 0 my daughter! A FIND has been made at the Hirsel, Berwickshire, which, in view of the approaching bi-centenary of the poet Thomson, is of some interest. It is a packet of papers and relics, and among them is a genealogy of the poet which had been confirmed at the Heraldry Office, Edinburgh. It seems that Thomson, through his mother, Beatrix Trotter, of Fogo, as connected with the Homes and other great families in the Lothians. It was apparently through the influence of the Homes and the. cognate family of the Humes, represented by Lady Grizel Baillie, that Thomson made his entrance into the literary world, when he went up to London a runaway from the study of Scottish Divinity in 1725. IN the Pall Mall Magazine, Mr. Alfred Austin has a lucid article on Anglo-American Literary Copy- right. He shows very clearly, and with Mr. Herbert Spencer on his side, that the effect of the present American law of copyright is to discourage serious literature. For the simultaneous publication of a book in America, which alone secures copyright to its English author, means a double manufacture and a double expense. If this expense is shirked, the American copyright is lost. for ever; whereas in France, Germany, and Russia it is automatically secured by the initial publication in England. An almost comic result occurs where a book published only in England begins to be inquired for in America. In that case the English publisher sup- plies copies to the American booksellers, but he dare not seek to stimulate the American sale by adver- tisements. To do so would be to reveal to American publishers the fact that there is money in the book, and to encourage them to print it for themselves. '—
MR. GREATMAN: I wish you'd stop printing my portrait every time any little thing happens to me, or else get a new one. You've had that old plate in seventeen times." Editor: All right, my dear sir. Anything to oblige." Assistant Foreman (a week later): "I can't find that picture of Sam the thief anywhere." Foreman: "Well, dump in that old picture of Mr. Greatman. It ain't going to be used for him any more." TOPER What shall I take, doctor, to remove the redness of my nose?" Doctor: "Take nothing for three months."
) RUSSIANISING PORT ARTHUR. H.M. Commercial Agent in Russia, in a report to the Foreign Office, says that the Novi Kraj thus described Port Arthur on the occasion of its third birthday. Unsightly, dirty Chinese quarters have, as by a magician's wand, been either entirely re- fashioned or rebuilt in European guise. Barracks, fitted up as well as any in the capital, have replaced the former impani.' A church, small indeed, but of Russian style, two popular schools, two clubs, one military and one naval, a reading library, three print- ing establishments, a bookshop, and a larger theatre than either Haborovsk or Vladivostock, have all sprung up to help to Russianise the town. A regular newspaper organ, the Novi Ifrai (new country), enables the inhabitants to study the possibilities and needs of the Far East. The railway starting from Port Arthur into the heart of Manchuria is already awakening the population from its centuries of lethargy, while, since the occupation by Russia, an ice-free anchorage for her Pacific squadron has been transformed into a strong outpost in the Far East, with an improved dry dock, port works, depots, &c.
I AERONAUTS' EXCITING TIME. All Paris is talking of an adventurous ballooning expedition from which Count Henry de la Vaulx has just returned. He started from Vincennes in the altitude con- test," lately held, with M. Joseph Vallot, the Director of the Mont Blanc Observatory, The tw. aeronauts' intention was to remain, if possible, stationary in mid-air, at a low level, until dawn, and to take advantage of the expanding action of the sun's rays to reach, during the morning, a higher altitude than could be attained at night. At the outset the plan worked well, and soon after daybreak the aeronauts found themselves ascending rapidly, with some 5001b. of available ballast on board. As luck would have it, however, the balloon, while crossing over the fens of Holland, came into a thick mass of cloud, which condensed into snow at a certain height and into rain lower down. The snow, collecting on the balloon weighed it down, and the aeronauts were by degrees forced to throw out all their ballast. Barely an hour later the aun came out, and the baiioon rose with extreme rapidity. The position of the aeronauts, soaring above 12,000ft., with no ballast on board, was becoming precarious. A first pull at the valve, 6y dislodging a quantity of snow collected under the balloon, and relievirg it of this weight, increased instead of re- ducing the speed of the ascent. All went well eventually, however, and the two aeronauts' exciting expedition ended, safoly and soundly, at Emden, in Hanover.
NOTED BUT NOT NOTICED. The other week an Imperial High Commissioner, named Li Ping-heng, went on what he announced was a tour of inspection through the province of Hupeh in China. In reality, says a correspondent of the North China Herald, he simply bent his energies to quietly noting down the number 01 foreigners in each city or town he visited, how much landed property they had in their possession, and, again, how many troops there are quartered in each place, and whether they appeared to be of any use or not in an emergency. these facts were duly com- mented upon in the Anglo-Clttinese Press on May 16. and yet some authorities at home even now pretend that there is little danger that the Boxer troubles will spread over any wide area
NATAL AND THE DOMESTIC PROBLEM. Kaffir kitchen boys and girls, it seems, are just aa troublesome as the menials of the Motherland. Coloured though they are, "they have to be humoured nowadays to an extent that was never before thought of," observes the Natal Witness. They have to have their evenings off during the week to attend the school as well as the Sunday evenings for their devotions. Then, again, visitors must not be treated 'off-handish,' else there is cause for offence. To neglect or wilfully ignore any of these little matters brings only one result—and that is that one Hne morning the unenlightened native has cleared away."
FIVE GENERATIONS IN A HOUSE Away in Tokyo there has just been discovered a home where five generations live under the same roof in perfect harmony. The family is that of Mr. Kin- yemon Arai of Matsunoki, Uneme-mura, Gumma prefecture, who has just entered his 93rd year,and is still hale and hearty. So is his wife Naka, who is of the same venerable age. Equally healthy and pro- sperous, says the Kobe Chronicle, are their eldest son, Kakunosuke, and his spouse, who are respectively 68 and 67. Then comes their grandson, Kennosuke, 46 years old, and his wife, Asa, younger by two years. Twenty-six and 24 are the ages of their great-grand- son, Isematsu, and his life's partner, ]Toki, respec- tively, from whose union have sprung a healthy, growing boy of four and a baby girl.
ELECTRICITY AND WATCHES. Visitors to the Exhibition (says the Paris Figaro) will do well to pay attention to their watches in going through the Electricity Section. It is not that pickpockets have more particularly chosen this part of the exhibition for their exploits; the danger is from electricity itself. When brought near the machines in motion, the watch movements become charged with the electricity, and their regularity is interfered with. Electricians, who are well acquainted with this phenomenon, are careful in replacing their watches in the fob to turn, not the glass side to the body, but the case.
GERMAN ENTERPRISE. Germany is adding rapidly to her facilities of in. ternal water carriage, which have long been more ex- tensive than such as we possess in the United King- dom. The Elbe and the Trane Canal, which the Emperor opened a week ago, is a junction loop forty- one miles long between two natural systems, and has cost one and a quarter millions sterling. Nearly eight millions were spent a few years ago upon the new connection between the Baltic and North Sea, and other great waterways presently to be made will join the Elbe with the Danube, and the Danube with the Maldam. The Germans do not debate with reference to schemes of this kind whether or not they are likely to be profitable. States and towns con- tribute to the cost as a recognised piece of public policy.
THE NEW CURE AT THE LONDON HOSPITAL. An interesting department has been opened at the London Hospital for the treatment of lupus and some other diseases of the skin by Professor Sinsen's method of Phototherapy, or light treatment." This work is being carried on in connection with the Department for Diseases of the Skin, and is superin- tended by the physicians in charge thereof and under the immediate care of the special dermatological, clinical assistant. The introduction of this method of treatment at the London Hospital, the first in Great Britain to adopt it, is due to Her Royal High- ness the Princess of Wales, who has taken the greatest interestin it since she first saw it carried out in Copen- hagen. Her Royal Highness presented the necessary and expensive apparatus required, being roost anxious that its benefits should be extended to the poor of London. The treatment consists in the ap- plication of the chemical rays of light either by sun- light or by the electric light by means of carefully- arranged appliances. The arrangement has now been in operation for upwards of three weeks up to the present; four patients only have been treated free of expense in the mornings, but it is intended to de- vote the afternoons to the treatment of those who can afford to pay. Nurses have been specially trained for the work at Copenhagen.
CASHIER "I cannot possibly live on the salary you are paying me?" Employer: "H'm! just as I thought I You must give me a bond to-morrow for five thousand dollars." DEBTORS in Siam, when three months in arrears, can be seized by the creditors and compelled to work out their indebtedness. Should a debtor run away his father, his wife, or his children may be held in slavery until the debt is cancelled. ADMIRAL SIR HARRY RAWSON has made a minute examination of the Belleiale, which was fired upon by the Majestic. The gallant officer does not alto- gether feel satisfied with the result of the èxperl naents.