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NEWS NOTES. I k I

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NEWS NOTES. I k I OUlt KING has been privileged to see the beautiful city of Lisbon at its best; and the showering of his Majesty with rose-leaves in the hall of the museum of the Geographical Society proved to be not the least pretty of the func- tions of a pleasant visit. Lisbon's ancient Phoenician name H Alig Ubbo means literally delicious bay." The Portuguese capital is built upon a range of high hills occupying the north bank of the Tagus. Lisbon was conquered by the Moors in the twelfth cen- tury, and was almost entirely destroyed by a great earthquake in 1755. The old parts of the city that still remain are round the castle and the cathedral. Amongst these old buildings are several conventual ones, noted for the richness of their decorative carvings, which in the fine atmosphere remain almost as fresh as when they were done centuries ago. The city possesses engineering, naval, military, agricul- tural, industrial, and medical colleges, which are among the most famous educational centres of the world; but some of these institutions are not nowadays as well off in the way of endow- ment as those concerned would like them to be AN APRIL EASTERTIDE follows upon the promise of fine spring weather this season, and if the hopes of the lieges are fulfilled we ought to get enjoyable surroundings for the first out- door holiday of the year. So mote it be! The railway and other passenger-carrying concerns have laid their extensive plans for profiting from and facilitating the pleasure of the million. We trust the sequel will be satisfactory. A seasonable writer is reminded of Leigh Hunt's dictum that April is truly the spring and youthfnlness of the year. March was like an honest, blustering servant, bringing home buds and flowers for his young mistress. April is she herself, issuing forth adorned with them." Many of the vernal sights and sylvan sounds of April are with us. The "brushwood sheath" of the elm tree bole is even now in tiny leaf. The ash, oak, and elm are coming into flower; the sticky brown buds of the chestnut that look as if they had been dipped in treacle are expanding and bursting. In orchards and gardens cherry and pear and plum are making a brave show of blossom, and the pinky-white apple-blossoms will soon be out, if the weather continues genial. The living green of the hedgerows and copses grows daily prettier and more pronounced, and isolated trees that looked black and bare but yesterday, are showing flecks of colour. Numerous varieties of the primrose tribe, wild and cultivated, are in bloom. Blue- bells, violets, and anemones, are to be seen in sheltered copses, and daffodils are still flowering. Already daisies and buttercups adorn the" gay mead," and soon it will be gayer still with lady smocks all silver white," and cowslips, marsh marigolds, and meadow orchids. Gardens are grov glorious with hyacinths and tulips, wallflow auriculas, and the variant narcissus. Eastertide, meteorologic- ally auspicious, is the sweet of all the year." As TO OUTDOOR APRIL WEATHER, it is note- worthy that with the rapidly-increasing length of the day and the swelling potentiality of the sun's rays the temperature in the month fre- quently approximates in these isles to summer readings. On April 27, 1865, it was 82deg. (record highest), and on April 17, 1847, it was 23deg. (record lowest). The average mean is 48deg., and in 1902 this was just reached. The mean is 6deg. warmer in the south of England than in Scotland. With a clear sky the ther- mometer in the shade often touches 70deg., the average day reading being then 51deg., whilst with a cloudy sky it is only 46deg. We are not likely to be allowed to forget the April showers that are proverbially expected to make way for an unending abundance of May flowers. Rainfall at this period of the year-as the British Almanac warns us to bear always ki mind—is usually fitful, the average is l'58in. which falls on 13 days. In 1902 it was 0'48 in 9 days, or much below the average. Yet the sun only shone in the corresponding month of last year for 125 hours, instead of 131 hours, the average. There was but little difference of barometrical readings over the country, and the winds were consequently mostly light and vari- able. South winds are, on an average, about 7deg. warmer than north winds. The average "barometer in April is 29-93; in 1902 it was 29-97. The highest recorded reading was 30'72, on April 17, 1887, and lowest 28-88, on April 14, 1899. You can never be quite sure of things -o,ut-Qi doors in I- fielile April." LONDON CIVIC WEDDING is at once a rare and interesting occurrence. That of Lord Mayor Samuel's daughter this week was par- ticularly notable for the number of valuable presents to the bride. Among these were a set of silver entree dishes, the gift of the Alder. men of the City, bearing the inscription Pre- sented to Miss Nellie Samuel by her father's colleagues in the Court of Aldermen on her marriage with Mr. Walter H. Levy, at the Mansion House, on April 7, 1903." Another gift was a charming reduced reproduction in I silver gilt, presented by the high officers of the City of London Corporation, of the famous ] Warwick vase, which was found in 1770 in the lake at Hadrian's villa, near Tivoli, by Sir William Hamilton, from whom it was purchased by the second Earl of Warwick. The original vase, supposed to be the work of the Greek sculptor Lysippus, is of white marble, and stands over five feet in height. It is now in the greenhouse at Warwick castle, and will be particularly remembered by many visitors to the picturesque and stately demesne because of its aged custodian's pathetically solemn assur- ance to all and sundry that it "is the oldest vase in the world." The veteran may not ever have been very learned in many things, but he was always at least confident of the authenticity of the priceless charge he absolutely venerated THE DOYEN OF EUROPEAN Sovereigns de- serves every congratulation upon the fact that when, walking in Copenhagen streets the other day, he saw two children of tender age in immi- nent danger of being run over, his Majesty was able to pluck them almost from under the wheels of a tramcar which was proceeding at high speed. King Christian's presence of mind and quickness to act for one who is eighty-five years old is marvellous. Our Queen, who is visiting the Danish capital, is pardonably proud of her aged father's conspicuous bravery. The little ones saved were girls of four and five re- spectively, and those dear to them are naturally deeply grateful. IN THE NAVAL MANOEUVRES of the coming summer we are going, it is stated, to have a mobilisation of men as well as of ships. We have had experience in calling up the Coast- guard, the Fleet Reserve, and the mercantile Royal Naval Reserve, so far as the last-named force applies to bluejackets; but we have no experimental knowledge as to what reliance is to be placed on the reserve firemen. The great shipping companies have re- cently been approached by the Admir- alty with the view of discovering the I number of men that would be available for a month's course of training in the manoeuvres, and for a six months' or a twelve months' course in the ordinary Fleet evolutions. The Mobilisa- tion Committee, month by month, keeps the Admiralty informed as to the number and class of ships that can be instantly commissioned and manned by active service ratings, but we I are without any reliable information a* to our capacity to increase the number of I ships by a sudden calling up of the Royal Naval Reserve. It is proposed this year to put our speculative knowledge to the test, and to discover, if possible, the measure of the trust we can place in this more or less elastic force. Nobody quite knows whether the Royal Naval Rfserve is a mere paper strength or not, but if the test about to be applied succeeds, it neces- sarily follows that the manoeuvres this year will be on a scale of considerable magnitude, as, owing to the number of men, every available ship will be put in commission. Lord Charles Beresford will be admiral of one fleet in the Manoeuvres, it is understood, and Sir A. K. Wilson of the other.

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