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BRITAIN'S SHARE. I

NEW FIELD GUNS. I

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EPITOMt OF NEWS.

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EPITOMt OF NEWS. In the British Isles E5,000,000 is spent yearly on funerals. Sweden's biggest export is timber. She sells £ 5,500,000 worth a year. The Rev. Dr. Clifford has been elected an honorary member of the National Liberal Club. The Government of the United States gives seeds away to farmers c J" year to the value of £ 32,000. The Legislature of New York State has passed a Bill increasing the cost of liquor licenses in c the State by 50 per cent. The agricultural labourer gets, on an average, 16s. KkL a week in England, 18s. Id. in Scotland, and only 10s. Id. in Ireland. An anonymous donor placed a £100 note in the plate at the Filey Parish Church during a col- lection for church renovation. Pledges to attend divine service every Sun- day for twelve months are being taken by mem- bers of a church in Keighley. 11 The German Fishery Union is about to make experiments with petroleum motors for driving auxiliary screws on fishing smacks. There are now on view at the British Museum the native ornaments collected by the Prince and Princess of Wales on their Colonial tour. The Bishop of London has arranged to visit several of the foreign chaplaincies which remain under the jurisdiction of the See of jondo^i. A locomotive twenty tons heavier than any British engine has been placed on the Caledonian Railway. Its tender carries five tons of coal. An epidemic of small-pox has broken out at Bergamo, in Lombardy. It has already attacked eight communes, and fifty cases are reported. The Czar of Russia is the largest individual landowner in the world. The area of his posses- sions is greater than that of the Republic of France. Dr. Crum, the newly-appointed coloured Col- lector of Customs at Charleston, South Carolina, has assumed office. There was no disturbance of order. Because a Berlin hotelkeeper knew how to pre- pare Prince Chun a dish of "chow," the Chinese Order of the Two-Headed Dragon has been bestowed on him. By means of storing the motive power in the wheels of the mono-rail electric car, an Italian engineer claims to be able to attain a speed of 125 miles an hour. The latest bicycle sensation, which comes from America, consists in an imitation of the move- ments of a squirrel in a cage, and is said to re- quire considerable nerve. Disasters have been unusually frequent this season among the German steam trawlers en- gaged in the herring fishery in Icelandic waters. Seven vessels have been lost. The boxes bearing the number 13 in the Opera House and the Burg Theatre in Vienna have been renumbered, on account of the difficulty ex- perienced in disposing of them. Ladies are largely employed in London in rent- collecting, earning commissions of 4 and 5 per cent. One lady is responsible for rentals amount- ing to about £ 27,000 per annum. A bootblack at Rochester, New York, who re- fused to clean the boots of a negro, was com- pelled by the State Court to pay a fine of £ 20 and clean the boots into the bargain. A competition to settle the question of how much beefsteak a man could eat at one sitting was recently held in America. Although seven of the greatest steak eaters of the New World were present the record was not beaten, but, nevertheless, the competitors proved themselves valiant trenchermen. The first of the competi- tors to fall out of the race acknowledged himself beaten after he had eaten four pounds, the second after five pounds, and the third during the sixth pound, but the last had eaten seven and a quarter pounds before he gave in. The record so far is ten pounds of steak, but the holder of this record died not long ago. It need hardly be said that he did not live to a very great age. The flower medium case, which has been amus- ing Berlin, is a very old tale retold. The trick has been exposed again and again in this country and in France. It is sleight of hand and the assistance of a confederate, and nothing more. When the house in London, for a long time occu- pied by the notorious medium Home, came again into the hands of its landlord, he determined to make a good many internal alterations. The surveyor, in going over the house, discovered that it had several artfully concealed traps in the floors of the sitting-rooms, and as many sliding panels as a manor house in comic opera. With sliding panels and trap doors it is not diffi- cult during a dark seance to produce ghostly manifestations. Lord Wenlock, who was the Prince of Wales's chief of staff on the occasion of his historic tour of the Colonies, was a schoolfellow and chum of Lord Rosebery when both were boys at Eton. One of their escapades was to spend a runaway afternoon together at Ascot. The plot was skil- fully concocted. At a lonely spot a vehicle was to wait for them and the driver was to provicje false whiskers and moustaches. Unfortunately the whiskers and the vehicle did not arrive, and the runaways were compelled to abandon the dis- guise. They went, however, running the eight miles almost without stopping on the hottest of June afternoons. After seeing one race they had to scamper back, and managed to reach their rooms without being found out. It is Miss Eva Moore who tells a very pretty story illustrative of the kindness of heart of Mr. J. L. Toole, the veteran actor, who recently en- tered on his seventy-fourth year. She was tour- ing in the great actor's company, and had the misfortune to have her week's salary—it was only £stolen. "During the next week," says Miss Moore, "I received a letter with postal orders for C2. It wa.s signed A Flyman.' The writer said that the recollection of my face and its misery at the loss of the money had so come home to him that he could not rest until he had made restitution. He sent R,2, and added that the next week he would send the other FI. The next week the other Yl did come to hand, but it was several weeks before I learned that the fly- man was a myth, and that it was Mr. Toole him- self who had sent me the money." Dr. Edgar Sheppard, Sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal, St. James's, is perhaps the only clergyman in London who composes the greater part of his sermon in Hyde Park. Go any morning between half-past nine and half-past ten to the neigh- bourhood of the Serpentine, and you will most likely meet Dr. Sheppard, a somewhat portly figure, walking abstractedly across the green- sward in the direction of St. James's Palace. He is making his daily journey from his house to his little office adjoining the King's Chapel, and as he strides on he mentally notes down the "heads" and "points" of the following Sunday's discourse. When he reaches his destination, he will jot down a phrase, a simile, or a quotation; and could you see the notes you would be reading some- thing that probably formed part of a sermon to be preached before Royalty. Every cricketer knows that Lord Hawke is a splendid captain and a real good fellow, with- out an ounce of "side," who, if he insists upon others "playing the game," is always careful to play it himself. But only those who have en- joyed his hospitality, of the true Yorkshire type, at Wighill Park, know something of his devotion to his mother. This breezy athlete, the type of a robust and manly Englishman, whose careless- ness of speech might suggest lack of strong feel- ing, is the gentlest and most affectionate of sons, who does not permit even his passion for cricket to come before his regard for Lady Hawke. Anxious as he was to accompany his team to Australia, and eagerly as he reads the latest in- telligence of their successes or failures, he un- hesitatingly, at the last moment, abandoned the trip because of his mother's illness. There is no present likelihood that she will be superseded by her son's wife, though the Yorkshire captain cannot yet be considered by any means a con- firmed bachelor. Rhosllanerchrugog Male Choir has been chosen zzl to sing at Wrexham next month before the Prince: of Wales. » To a girl of sixteen at Sunderland a separation order has been granted against her husband, aged eighteen. Of the sixteen persons now on the Leeds black list nine are women, one of them being but nineteen years of age. While the choir boys of St. Anne's, Moseley, were at singing practice, all their overcoats, hats, and umbrellas were stolen. One giave source of the propagation of con- C, sumption lies in the church communion cup, declares a Scottish medical officer. After being struck on the head whilst fencing with sticks, a young County Down farmer named Weir has died a raving madman. The Llanfyllin guardians have decided to give a shilling to every tramp who will submit to vaccination. The Dolgelly guardians are giving half-a-crown. Since losing his sight, Mr. Ira Sankey, the- Evangelist, has received many generous offers. His son now announces that though not rich, Mr. Sankey is in no need. A game of baccarat which was begun in one of the Paris clubs at five o'clock on a recent Monday afternoon, was kept up without intermission until seven o'clock on Tuesday evening. The rise in the rateable value of the City of London is steady and continuous. To-day, says the "City Press," the gross value is £ 5,992,938; as against £ 5,890,020; and the rateable value zC4,970,911, compared with £ 4,888,378. The Admiralty has definitely decided to adopt the French grey colour as the official war painfj for all the vessels in the navy. This decision has been arrived at after prolonged experiments with various tints, but French grey is the colour which renders a vessel the least conspicuous and renders it a difficult target to hit. Every year thousands of drawn money orders are not paid. Those to whom they are made payable for some reason fail to present them- selves at the paying office, and the money reverts to the Government after one year has elapsed.. Last year the department realised nearly, F.100,000 from this source. Civil uniforms are, in some instances, highlg expensive. The Prime Minister's full-dress embroidered coat costs £76 10s.—quite enough: for a garment that is so seldom worn. Thef embroidered tunic of a lord-lieutenant of a county costs -218 9s. 3d., a City lieutenant's uniforIIl coming to a little over that sum. The male students of the Syracuse High School have struck against the diet supplied them., They assert that "chocolate eclairs and cream! puffs are not the food for athletic students to liva upon." Carrying buckets and banners, anct headed by a band, they have paraded the town! ind demonstrated in the quadrangle of their, school. A remarkable instance of how a collier was- saved by a rat is reported from a North Wales colliery. The collier was boring under somef coal, and was startled by seeing a rat scuttling away. Somewhat frightened he walked away, and directly afterwards a large fall of coal occurred just over the spot where the man had? been working. The town of Ham, in France, possesses an old lady of seventy who has just learned to read and write. Ashamed at her advanced age of her; complete ignorance, she went to the villagei schoolmaster and asked him to teach her. A few? weeks enabled her to master the drudgery, and she can now read the newspapers and write an1 ordinary letter. { Amongst the curiosities of the history of tha licensing laws of this country is an entry in one of Southey's commonplace books under date 1835:—"The parsonage house in Langdale," haf writes, "was licensed as an ale-house, because it was so poor a living that the curate could not otherwise have supported himself. Owen Lloyd,. who now holds the curacy, told me this." There is a story told of a Boston clergyman' who once gave his congregation something like a start. He arrived at the church one Sunday morning when there was a couple to be married! after the service. The minister made the announcement in this way "The parties that are to be joined in matrimony will present themselves immediately after the singing of the hymn, Mis- taken Souls that Dream of Heaven. < Ex-President Kruger spends his days chiefly in sleeping, smoking, and reading the Bible. He gets up at. five a.m., and at half-past eight p.m.- goes to bed and sleeps until eleven, when he has a cup of coffee. At one he is again roused and eats some fruit. He is not allowed by his doctors to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time, and, except for his cup of coffee, they permit him to drink nothing but milk. The Post Office Telegraphic Department have been experimenting for some time between Glasgow and London with a typewriter, an electrical instrument which, attached at the- receiving end of the wire, delivers messages transmitted by the Wheatstone system at a rate of upwards of 160 words per minute, typewritten in ordinary fashion on folio sheets. The experi- ments are said to have been attended by com- plete success. A district police captain in New York raided a progressive euchre party, where over 200 women were playing. The proceeds were to be devoted to a charitable entertainment, but the officer was relentless, and, in spite of the chorus of screams, arrested every woman on the premises. He gave as the reason for his action the opinion that "these euchre parties are really poker games in sheep's clothing." One of the most prominent of Glasgow's citizens is Lord Overtoun, the millionaire philan- thropist and evangelist. For some tniriy-four years now he has carried on a Bible-class at which some 500 young men attend regularly each Sunday. As a preacher and evangelist he is much in demand, and frequently takes the chair at Exeter Hall meetings, especially in con- nection with Y.M.C.A. gatherings. Brooklyn police have been looking out for- weeks for two burglars who have committed numerous robberies. They were taken red- handed in the act of abstracting silver-plate from a house, and turned out to bo two boys', aged ten and seven respectively. They proved to be adepts in the cracksman's art, and their, very diminutiveness enabled them to break into houses which a full-sized man could not attempt. They are said to be part of a gang under the tutelage of a "Fagin." There has been a rumour at Berlin that the Grand Duchess of Hesse may very likeiy marry a German Prince of the highest rank and of very large fortune. The Grand Duchess is so hand- some and clever and lively—such "good com- pany"—that she is regarded as certain to marry again before long. The Duchess Marie was strongly opposed to her daughter's marriage with the Grand Duke Ernest, because they are first cousins, but Queen Victoria was most zealous for the match, and Duke Alfred also favoured it. It is conceivable that a sermon may have a legitimate commercial value of its own, and Queen Alexandra has lately sent out cheques for £ 15 each to two charitable institutions, the money being the product of a year's sales of a sermon preached before her Majesty at Sandring- ham. The sermon was preached ten years ago, and was printed by command of the Queen for the benefit of the Gordon Boys' Home and the British Home for Incurables, which have received from this source altogether more than £ 1,500. The woman of to-day is by no means content to smooth the pillow or the aching brow of the sufferer in the wards of our great hospitals.. She plays a much more important role. Two of our London hospitals, Charing Cross and the Royal Free, have princesses as presidents of their courts of governors. The Royal Free Hospital is, indeed, "mannedmainly by women, if the paradoxical expression may be allowed. Besides its Royal lady president, it has appointed women as resident and visiting physicians, its wards have long been recognised as the chief clinical school for women medical students in London, and a lady medical electrician has been placed in charge of its lately installed Rontgen ray- apparatus.

-FIELD AND FARM. _1

IGARDEN GOSSIP, I

OUR SHORT STORY.

LADY GARDENERS. I