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TOWN TOPICS. ) (From Our London Corresponded.) I The citizens of the capital have be&n basking in the sunshine of the King's presence during the past week. Last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday his Majesty fulfilled three striking public engagements, on the first day making the Royal Progress through the City and South London, which had been postponed since last June; on Sunday attending a special thanks- giving service at St. Paul's to render thanks to Almighty God for his recovery from his recent serious illness; and on Monday review- ing the six battalions of Foot Guards which had fought in the war. Varying emotions have been stirred by each of these functions, but perhaps the most noticeable feature throughout was the striking demonstration of loyalty and affection for the person of the Sovereign, who has undoubtedly been brought nearer to the hearts of his people by the ordeal through which he, under Providence, safely passed in the summer. The popularity of the Queen was again evidenced, and the reception which has been accorded the Royal pair by the populace here proved, as we are officially informed, highly gratifying to their Majesties. The Honourable Artillery Company of London, which furnished the Guard of Honour at the Guildhall for last Saturday's great function, is one of the most interesting volun- teer organisations of the kingdom, dating back to the reign of Henry VIII., who in 1537 granted a charter to the Fraternity or Guylde of St. • George; maisters and rulars of the science of Artillery for longbowes, cross-bowes, and Hand Grenades." This ancient corps eventually developed into the Honourable Artillery Com- pany, and it is interesting to note that among its members during the Civil War was no less a personage than John Milton, the regiment being at that period a centre of instruction for the City Trained Bands, whose officers, indeed, were required by statute to be also members of the Company. One of the early Puritan settlers in Massachusetts, who had been associated while at home with the corps, founded in 1638 the Honourable Artillery Company of Boston, after its London prototype; and the connec- tion between the two organisations has never been forgotten. Six years ago a large body of the Boston Company visited this country as the guests of the London corps, and a represen- tative detachment of the latter will return the visit some time next year. I hear that success is likely to attend the final effort now being made on behalf of the Women's Memorial to her late Majesty in con- nection with the Queen Victoria Jubilee Insti- tute for Nurses. The institute was founded by the late Sovereign with the gift of seventy thousand pounds from the women of the country in celebration of her first Jubilee, and it is desired to raise a similar amount in order to perpetuate the memory of her Majesty, whose kindly and gracious interest in the welfare of her suffering subjects of the poorer classes was one of the most womanly attributes in her character. Up to the present time over sixty thousand pounds has been subscribed to the Memorial Fund, this total including nearly six thousand pounds received within the last few days from the Irish Committee; and as the Scotch Fund is still open and several of the English counties have not yet finished collecting, there is little fear but that the figure aimed at will be reached if not exceeded by the end of the year. The National Memorial to Queen Victoria has relatively by no means made such satisfactory progress. Only a little over two hundred thousand pounds has been sent to the London Mansion House Fund towards the half- million or so which it has been stated will be required for the memorial work outside Buck- ingham Palace and in the Mall; and the inflow of donations has latterly been almost stationary. Undoubtedly the reason for the slackening of public interest in the scheme was the mistake made by the committee in severely restricting the competition for designs for the memorial, instead of throwing it open to the whole of the Empire. However, the Colonial Premiers, during their stay here for the Coronation, pro- mised substantial aid to the movement from their respective Parliaments; and in the last resort, of course, an appeal could be made to the House of Commons, as was done in the case of the Albert Memorial in Hyde-park, though when the fund was originally launched an inti- mation was given that no such step would be taken. But a contribution from the national purse, though giving the matter something of an official character, and rather spoiling the idea of a spontaneous tribute of affection and respect from all classes of her people, would certainly be preferable to any modification from economical motives in the memorial designs. The Public House Trust movement which has sprung into existence during the past two or three years under very distinguished auspices, is the most up-to-date factor in the promotion of general temperance, as distinct from total abstinence. The main object of the movement is to eliminate private profit in the sale of intoxicants, and at the same time to supply a very high standard of quality. Thus the manager of a Trust public-house obtains a commission only on the non-intoxicants and food sold; and is consequently relieved of the temptation to push the sale of alcoholic bever- ages. Moreover, it is recognised that the grant of a license to a public-house is a distinct gift on the part of the community, which the community might well derive some benefit from and accordingly the surplus profits from the Trust companies, after paying interest on the capital employed—the maximum divided being never, I believe, more than five per cent.—are devoted to public purposes. Some very satisfactory reports of the first year's working of several of the Trust Com- panies are now being received at the central offices here; and in one case, that of Glasgow and District, out of a total profit of one hun- dred and seventy-six pounds, only fifty-one pounds was absorbed by a four per cent. divi- dend on the capital of a few hundred pounds, leaving some one hundred and twenty pounds to be expended on public objects. The growth Of the movement in England and Scotland during the past twelvemonth has been very striking. There is hardly a county in England in which a Public-house Trust is not either pro- jected or in active operation while public- houses on the same principles have been opened in nearly a dozen Scotch counties. Altogether, nearly seventy such houses are now in exist- ence, representing a combined issue of capital of about half a million; and this number is expected to be considerably added to in the next few months, as nine additional county and district companies will be registered before the end of the year' So much has been heard of late regarding the preservation of the beautiful panoramic view from Richmond-hill that it is gratifying to note that the private bill passed this Session to carry into effect an arrangement between Lord Dysart and the Commons Preservation Society has just re- ceived the Royal assent. Lord Dysart as the Lord of the Manor obtains from the public the abandonment of some rather shadowy rights over the lammas land at Ham, which he will now be able to enclose and will presumably develop as a residential building estate. This particular tract of land, however, does not come within the scope of the famous view, so that any build- ings erected there will not spoil the picture. What the public receive in return for their concession is valuable and in one feature especially interesting; while the general effect of the bill is to substantially protect the won- derfully fine view of the winding river obtained from Richmond-hill. Petersham meadows, which lie immediately at the foot of the hill, are preserved inviolate from building; Ham and Petersham commons become vested in the local authorities, and in addition Lord Dysart makes over a long strip of land bordering the Thames for a distance of two miles, and extending from Richmond to Kingston on the Surrey side. The last men- tioned concession will enable the'Surrey County Council and the Richmond Corporation to lay out a pretty riverside park for the enjoyment of the public in perpetuity and, as in the work of beautifying the banks of our rivers, we are distinctly behind our American cousins. The novel scheme now rendered possible at Richmond may be an incentive to similar pro- vision elsewhere in this country. R. I


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