FIELD AND FARM, SOWING UNDER DIFFICULTIES. Although sowing has been carried on with 0 little or no interruption in the early districts for nearly three weeks, the work has (observea the "Agricultural Gazette") been so exception- ally arduous that the progress made is compara- tively small. In too many cases double the usual amount of cultivation has failed to pro- duce satisfactory seed-beds for barley or oats, and where patience has not been fully exercised crops have been put in under conditions afford- ing very little chance of good results. Occa- sional night frosts have rendered the surface of the soil somewhat more friable than it was a fortnight ago but they have not been severa enough to penetrate more than two or three inches, so that the lower soil remains as tough as ever. Our farm reports show that spring wheat has been sown to quite an uncommon extent in many parts of the country, and for that crop the tillage has been more satisfactory than for barley or oats, as wheat loves a solid bottom. POTATO PLANTING. A good deal of land is being prepared for potatoes, and the planting of the main crop will be carried on to a considerable extent this week if the weather proves dry. Land ploughed since the rainy weather needed more frost than it has had but plenty of cultivation has got it to pieces fairly, though there are more clods than are desirable. Growers are in no great hurry to plant, as April is a more generally favoured time for the work than March is, and the conditions will probably improve hereafter. THE SEASON. Judging from my own locality (savs Prof. John Wnghtson in the "Agricultural Gazette ") the season is undoubtedly late, so far as farm work is concerned. There is nothing now abnormal in the weather, as it is dry, cool, ai'id seasonable. Land works well, and sowing pro- ceeds rapidly. Still, at the close of the month there will be less sown by a great deal than usual, and an unusually large area will be sown in April or even in May. Attention has been so exclusively given to preparing land for spring corn that but little has been accomplished in the way of root land cultivation. The weedy con- dition of stubbles produced by last year's^cains, and the impossibility of employing steam, culti- vators after harvest to clean them, are resulting in foul fallows for the coming root crops, and an amount of work which will probably be be- yond the power of most farmers to cope with. One of the baneful effects of the year 1903 will be a survival of couch where it ought to nave been eradicated by autumn cultivation. Spria-T cleaning has an ominous sound to most of us^ and is associated with discomfort in the house fcut it is almost equally unwelcome in its appli- cation to field work. It takes so much time to clean land for roots that the season slips away and we find our hopes of heavy crops frustrated by late drilling. SPRING CLEANING OF LAND. Anyone who has troubled to read agriculture as she is written in books must be aware of the evils of spring cleaning. In the first place, spring ploughing, which 'eems almost necessary in the case of foul land, buries the fine surface produced by frost and exposes a hard untract- able lurrow slice only too liable to be caught by tne drought and turned to brick. This is not undesirable for a summer fallow, but it is highly eo for root crops whicn require as fine a tilth ■as can be obtained. It is, therefore, probable that the bare fallow may be forced upon us in many cases in which it was our intention to sow root crops. That an unusual amount of land will have to undergo this ordeal is in every ,way likely, and, if so, it may prove the means of increasing the area of wheat for 1905, which .wul be a desirable result as the area in wheat: during the present year is likely to be unpre- cedentedly small. There does not seem to be any serious objection to decreasing the root area in favour of well-worked fallows lying ready for wheat in September. The cost of roou cultivation is so heavy, the risk so con- siderate. and the return so uncertain, that a leisurely-made bare fallow will commend itself to many as one way out of the difficulty. Circumstances differ so enormously in. farming that it is impossible to write for all, but on strong iana whicn nas run wild and is still in much the same foul condition as it was last September, root cultivation must almost necessarily be restricted and carried out tentatively as opportunities oc- cur. inere is no need to make cast-iron plans for the luture, but it is highly probable that the summer will find a large area of the fallow breadth still unready for turnips. CULTIVATORS. It is certain that most writers favour the use -of the cultivator in preference to the plough for •the reason already given. They teach that the cultivator preserves the fine tilth on the surface, and is, on the whole, better able to draw string of couch out of the land than the plough. Allow- ing the advantages of the cultivator, whether spring-tooth or otherwise, I am strongly of opinion that no implement has yet been contrived which equals the plough for thoroughness. It must precede the cultivator, and the latter must -be regarded as a finishing or at least progressive instrument. Forty years ago there was an effort made to discredit the plough and to boom the cultivator for spring work, and the Ipsson still remains, although it has been qualified by ex- perience. What should be guarded against is over-ploughing or repeated ploughing in late ,spring. Winter ploughing is only second to autumn ploughing, and early spring is still a good time for ploughing land "intended for roots. Tne cultivator does best in land loosened by the plough. If land is ploughed when actual drilling 11 -is still distant, it may be cultivated, rolled, drttgged, harrowed, etc., and the couch cleared 0 off. Nay, it may be desirable to repeat the ploughing and take off a second coat of couch, but this ought to be sufficient. A few weeks be- tween ploughing and drilling will allow the mois- ture to rise from the sub-soil and permeate the seed-bed, and, certainly, this season there will be an abundance of water in the sub-soil to rise into the soH by capillary attraction. Over-ploughing ought, to be avoided, on both light and heavy lands. In the one case it produces a. rough sur- face for drilling, and in the other it promotes evaporation, and thus injures the coming root crop. There is a great contrast in the object in. view between a summer fallow and a preparation for Toots. In bare-fallowing a harsh, baked, roasted clod is exactly what is, wanted to ensure death to every green thing and promote an arid condi- tion of soil which will kill even couch itself. Such a frizzled or roasted condition of soil in July is the best, precursor of a tilth suitable for wheat- sowing in September, and is always insisted upon in dissertations upon bare-fallowing. In preparing land for roots the" object is to secure conditions favourable to growth at the -very time that the clods, of the bare fallow ought to be roasting in the midsummer's sun. Conser- vation of moisture and mould are the objects1, and these seem inconsistent with late spring ploughing or over-cultivation with a view to cleaning land. One of the most successful root cultivators I ever met with informed me that he ploughed his stubbles after harvest and never touched them again until the day before he drilled his swedes. He then ploughed as much in one day as he could raise and split the next, and drilled by night. This was in East Lothian, and the cultivation was conducted upon the raised ridge system, as is usual there. If roots are drilled upon the flat, the same general principle may be followed, al- ways provided that the land is clean. It is this fearful foulness in land which makes farming un- profitable, and root crops uncertain. Could we but plough and sow, how much easier would farming be and it could be sc. don« in most cases, if only the land were clean. Plough, dress, and drill would then be all, and half the horses would become superfluous, and half the labourers would lose their places! T suppose, from the point of view of employing labour, even weeds are a blessing to some, if a curse to others.
ÐOF't abuse the poor miser. He accumulates "wealth for others to spend.
GARDEN GOCSIP. The blackbird (writes Mr. Thomas Daws, of Ewhurst, Sussex, in "Gardening Illustrated") is always with us, and if there is a fruit of any sort ripe, look out, for it will eat it or begin it if not covered up. The thrush is also always present, and does very little harm, as a rule. The missel thrush is as bad as the blackbird where cherries are grown. The wood-pigeon comes in the winter for the Ivy berries, and also clears off all the green stuff, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. The hawfinch, shy bird as it is, in a single morning will destroy a row of peas. The greenfinch, if the small seeds are not protected, or covered with red lead, pulls them up. The grey linnet takes toll of the ripening seeds. The hedge-sparrow does no harm at any time. The house-sparrow is always a rogue, and also drives the martins from their nests for his own use. The great titmouse in the autumn, together with the blue titmouse., starts on all the best fruit at the stem end. The long-tailed titmouse does no harm at all. The starling picks up the grubs, also pulls up the smaller bedding plants and shallots and makes the garden untidy with the material which it drops about in making its nest. It is also as bad as the blackbirds for cherries. The green woodpecker, with its merry laugh, does no harm. I fancy !t eats the ants. The pheasant walks round my garden, and I cannot see it has done any harm, or ar covey of par- tridges at times on the lawn only eats the grass. The tree-creeper climbs round the trees for in- sects alone. The goldfinch always builds in my garden, and takes no toll but lettuce-seed. The pied fly-catcher also always builds in the walls, lives on insects, but eats the live bees from the hives. The wren lives entirely on in- sects, also the golden-crested wren builds here and lives in the same way. The pied wagtail, called here the dishwater, also lives on insects alone. The nightingale comes every year punctually. The eve jar, or goatsucker, flies round in the summer evenings, as also does the barn-owl. Neither of these do any harm. The cuckoo is quite at home here when the time comes and helps clear off the caterpillars. The rook never comes into the garden except for mischief; as also does the jackdow. These carry off the young chickens, and at times a sparrow-hawk is very troublesome, coming time after time for the young chickens in the coops the best way is to let the old hen out and she will bravely attack and often beat off the hawk. The kestrel at times flies over, but never comes down in my garden. There are several visits in this way but never settle. Among these are the seagulls, the heron, the magpie, the lapwing, the skylark, and the swift. The Kingfisher I have seen at the bottom of the meadow over the stream. The wryneck always gives its spring note in my garden just before the cuckoo comes. The whitetliroat and lesser whitethroat frequent the gardens for insects, also help themselves to red currants and raspberries, going through the wire netting. The red-backed shrike comes here every year. The robin stops here for good, and is a dire enemy to wire-worm, but likes to get into the greenhouse for insects, but begins with the bunches of grapes on the top. The nuthatch, with his merry note, is often about. The moorhen walks across the garden at times, and does no harm. The jay comes for peas and black currants, and is shy. The dove is here all the summer, and feeds quite tamely with my fowls. One of the worst culprits is the buH- finch, which leaves nothing alone that has fruit buds on it. A wild duck was in my orchard pond last week, and sonfe teal came a few years since, but have not returned. The swallow and the martin are here all the summer, and do no- thing but good. This makes, I believe, about fifty kinds of birds that I have known frequent my garden. I can grow nothing in the way of soft fruit without covering up in a wire cage or with fish netting. The coloured primroses just coming out are plucked off clean. The buds are cleaned off. I tie up the gooseberry- bushes in the winter to protect them. I seldom disturb the birds, exeept when they much pro- voke me by their mischief, but I am quite satis- fied that there is much more harm done by them than good and there are nests about, I might say, almost as thick as blackberries. I am overrun with birds when the cherries are ripe- it is nothing unusual for twenty birds to be killed before breakfast. This keeps on day by day, but the birds keep coming. Everyone (observes D. B. Crane) who plants Pansies, Tufted or otherwise, freely, naturally desires the display from the plants to begin as early as possible. For an early spring display autumn planting is the better system to adopt, but as this is not now possible for the ensuing season, the most should be made of an early spring planting. Supposing the ground to be ready for planting by the end of February or the earliest days of March, and the weather at that time nice and open, this work may proceed without let or hindrance. With a March plant- ing there is considerably less risk, and so long as the plants are well hardened off, there is little to fear from the weather. We advocate the rais- ing of Pansies from cuttings inserted in prepared beds in the open in a warm aspect of the garden. The cuttings are inserted in the autumn, gener- ally in September and October, and, as a rule, are nicely rooted before any really hard weather sets in. They can then take care of themselves until the spring, at which season they can be safely transferred to their flowering quarters. Such plants may not be so attractive as tho^e lifted from the frames, in which so many growers raise them, but it is only necessary to compare the roots of those grown in the open with those of others grown in cold frames to be convinced of the greater value of plants raised under the hardier conditions. The former are represented by mats of roots, with numerous young shoots and others in an embryo stage, and plants of this kind may be transferred to their flowering quarters at almost any time in the early months of the year. The shoots in embryo simply need a few days' warmer weather to develop, and in a short time a delightful tuft is produced. Cone-flowers are great favourites: with growers of hardy flowers, their cone-like discs adding much to the favour in which they are held by all who appreciate the yellow compsites of late summer and autumn. Only a comparatively small number of the numerous species are culti- vated in gardens but, so far as we know from the best authorities on the genus Rudbeckia, we appear to possess the best of the known species. Almost every lover of hardy flowers knows the fine R. speciosa, stitl frequently called R. Neu- mani, or Newmani; while such taller species as R. californica and R. pinnata are noble ornaments for a large flower border. Not so many are ac- quainted with the beautiful and bright-flowered R. hirta-the Hairy Cone-flower-a species which is not so long-lived, it may be, but which is so easily raised from seeds, that it is easy to keep up a stock to replace any which die after flower- ing. It is practically only a biennial, although I have occasionally had plants which survived more than the one season after flowering. This was in a dry and sunny situation. It is a very beau- tiful and brilliant species, varying a little in shade of colour from seeds, but all the plants have flowers of a brilliant orange-yellow with a dark centre, which is not so cone-like in its form as some of the other Rudbeokias. It grows from a foot-and-a-half to two-and-a-half feet or so in height, and when in flower is very beautiful. It grows readily from seeds, which may be sown in the open in May or June, or under glass earlier for blooming the next season. Its flowering periods extends from June to September. The Salpigl°ssis, notwithstanding the fact that it is an extremely showy annual, grown either in pots for indoor decoration or massed together in beds, is far from being popular. No one who has once grown it can deny that it is beautiful, and if planted in a sunny position, can fail to ac- knowledge that it deserves attention. Strange as it may seem, one sometimes comes across people, who, whilst eulogising the Petunia, ha^e nothing to say in praise of the Salpiglossis. If, however, you are desirous of having a bed of the showy blossomg in the coming summer, or wish to in- troduce variety into your greenhouse, then the present is the proper time to get seed sown under glass, treating it precisely as you would any other [ half-hardy annual.
OUR SHORT STOIIY. I DOCTOR DUNCAN'S DECEPTION. I "But Miss Carr, what is it ? You are not well ?" I—I am all right, doctor, thank you. You mistake—I Blanche Carr stopped speaking and gazed in a terrified way at the kindly face of Dr. Duncan, whom she had met just outside the town that evening, and the doctor imagined for a moment that she was going to say something further; but then as she was silent he only gravely shook his head and fell into step by her side, occasionally giving the girl a sideways glance, thinking how beautiful she was, and wondering why the locality should have dubbed him old, for, as a matter of fact, he was young in the thought of life and in admiration for her. "You are suffering," he said slowly, "from the malady of the day. We are not often deceived. Nerves, nerves. Everybody gets worried to death now." No, no," she said again; I am quite well." Ah! Quite well! And your hand trembles. Let me carry that basket. There, that's better." And then, as they walked em along the road, ha proceeded in a less assured way, losing the calm manner of the medical man. Miss Blanche, I wish so much to ask She looked at him wonderingly. Yes," he said haltingly you see, now that I have known you for a long time, ever since you came here, and I have thought of you always—you and your mother. You have made life so very pleasant." I am glad we have been useful, doctor." "Useful!" he exclaimed. Useful! That is not the word. Miss Carr—Blanche—may I ask it? I am rather a humdrum doctor, that is .all. and this quiet place does not make at all a large world —not a world good enough for you-but there is nothing that I would not do for you." But, doctor-" "There is one thing more," he interrupted hastily. Whether you refuse me, consider me audacious or badly advised, I should always beg one favour—to remain your friend." You ask me to marry you?" she said, and her voice shook. No, no, it is impossible." It is true." But—oh, it is madness If you but knew." "I only know one thing: that I love you and I am sorry." He was about to leave her, turning away across the fields, but ere he had taken half-a-dozen steps the girl was at his aide. Don't leave me like that!" she cried implor- ingly, and she leaned forward and gazed into his studiously averted eyes. You ask me for some- thing which I cannot give, but-but- He turned almost fiercely. Your words," he cried, are an enigma. You are Blanche Carr. Is there, then, some past ?" Yes, yes." r;¡" But you live here alone with your mother. We have but this life that we know of clearly, and the past—the past-what does it signify. Let us live tor the future." I can't!" she moaned. I can't!" You will tell me ?" No, no." Then—it must be good-bye." "You are my friend," she exclaimed, and she clung to him and you said that you would do anything for me." "As I truly will," he said huskily, "as I am a living man." Then," she went on wildly, if I held you to your promise—if I came some time-in the night, and begged you to serve me, would you do so at Z, all risks, at no matter what cost ? Would you do this—for me, because of what I might have been to you if—if He gazed at her spellbound for a second without replying. And the old mad dream was returning because of the touch of her supple hand, the im- passioned look in her eyes. What could she have \0 ask of him ? You would do it ?" she repeated. Yes," he answered, I would." 4f Mk He watched her walk away into the evening glow, past the white cottages with their hill-side gardens ablaze with flowers. 1, What," he thought, can she have to ask of me? Is life worth it-a quiet career, perhaps a little esteem, and—nothing mora ? All one's dreams shattered, and the only thing to look forward to death and peace-and peace!" It was such thoughts that came that night when his landlady, Mrs. Brooks, had cleared away the dinner, and he sat down by the fire, for the April night was chilly, and lit a cigar, thinking-thinking about that one doorway of the world which was closed to him. The rain began to patter against the diamond-paned window, and there came, too, the far-away murmur of the sea. He rose at last and took a turn up and down the room, feeling that feverish misery and impatience which brought up a dream notion of the tableau of the world, all grey and sad, with the hope of spring, of youth, of happiness, blotted out. -1 I will sell my practice and travel. I But what was that ?" He turned sharply to the door, feeling positive that there had been a stealthy knock. Yes there it was again, and he quickly opened the door of the room and listened intently. Yes, once more. He walked into the passage, and hesitated. Tap, tap, tap. Imbued somehow with the secrecy which seemed to be the motive of the person who was without, he softly drew the bolts, then turned the key and opened the door. All was black at first, but indistinctly against a lighter patch of sky he made out the form of a woman. "Blanche!" Yes," came in a low tone but hush hush And she turned to someone who was standing in the shadow behind her. Come," she said," come. He is our friend." The doctor drew back, and the two figures entered, the girl silently fastening the door. Dear friend she said hysterically, and Duncan felt her, hand seize his and press it. "I have come to ask you to keep your word. Are you alone ? "Yes," he answered mechanically, "quite alone; quite safe. The housekeeper will have gone to bed." But to make certain of the accuracy of his words he went to the end of the corridor and peered into the darkened kitchen. Then come," she said to her companion; come," and she drew him into the room, Duncan following them, to start back, amazed at what he saw. A convict!" Yes," said the girl; "a man "whom the world regards as a convict, but who Yes. sir," exclaimed the stranger, trying to control the tremor in his voice, while he wrapped more closely round him a big overcoat which but half concealed the hideous stamped yellow garb. Yes, sir," he said hoarsely; a convict, an innocent man, one who will sell his liberty dear." Duncan wiped his forehead. I do not understand," he said coldly. The girl seemed suddenly struck with terror. Listen!" she cried passionately. "You will help us; you will serve him ? You said that you would serve me-serve me now Ah! They are coming. Jack, what shall I do?" L Never fear," said the stranger, and his hand went to his pocket. "They will not take me alive." The doctor seemed like a man in a trance, but as the girl turned to him appealingly once more, the agony she felt being evidenced in her voice, for there was the sound of footsteps without, he mastered that sense of stupor. 11 What is this man to you! he said quickly. My husband." "Your husband! You married! And I thought Yes, he is my husband, but you will save him." How can I save him ? By meeting those who are coming. By putting them on the wrong track. Everything else is prepared the journey to Greenock by a coasting boat, thence by a cargo steamer to America. The doctor looked hard at the young man, and all the while an inner voice was saying to him, Let him die—by his own hand and then maybe in time to come you will be happy yet. But then he looked at her. I will do my best," he said huskily. Go that way, sir. You will find clothes there in that room. And you, too, must hide," turning to the girl. The latter gave him a look of gratitude and advanced towards him, but he drew back sharply. How good you are! "Quick!" he said. Quick Waste no words," for at that minute there was a summons at the door. Duncan left alone in the room, glanced at his haggard features in a glass, then touched his face with his handkerchief and turned the lamp lower before hastily lighting a cigar, taking a book from the case and laying it open on the table under the lamp. That will do," he said to himself, survey- ing the scene, and he proceeded thoughtfully to the door. Outside there was a glint of a light on the silver buttons of a uniform, and the doctor noted two warders and a representative of the local police. "Evening, doctor," said the sergeant. "Good evening!" And Duncan made way for the officer to enter. "What's wrong with you? Somebody want nic, ? Escape from prison this afternoon, sir." Ah said the doctor. Goal-bird taken wing. Well, what can I do ? Nothing, sir; nothing. But we're just warning people. I don't suppose that he will trouble the town—made away for the country, no doubt." Dangerous character, eh ? But come in, come in. Hunting of that sort must be arduous work. You will take something before you go on ? And as the three men entered the apartment Dun- can busied himself with a spirit decanter and glasses. The sergeant saluted. "Thank you, sir," he said; "thank you," and he tossed off his glass. s We had better not waste time, lads." A minute later the doctor was again alone and going to an inner room, called, being joined directly by the girl, a,nd a second afterwards by the man whose safety he had been called upon to secure. Duncan scrutinised the latter keenly. They would never recognise you," he said at length, as he noted the complete metamorphosis his unexpected visitor had undergone. "Now, you had better take something before you leave. You are pale enough." First let me thank you." "No, no; I don't want thanks. None are needed here, and-but-- No, you must brave it out." he went on quickly. They are coming back, but they can't suspect. Only you, Miss Carr, go into that room." At that minute the outer door was flung open, and the sergeant re-appeared. Sorry, doctor, but I left my lantern here, and- He stopped short and gazed at the cloaked figure of the stranger standing in the half light. Duncan stepped forward. "You see, Tom, that we do get some excitement in this countryside," he exclaimed. "All right, officer," he went on, here it is. You never saw my brother, I think ? You must drop in some evening when he is here. Good night to you." Night, sir," said the sergeant gruffly, and the man went out again. There was a minute's pause, and as Duncan Stood thinking he heard a rustle behind him. "Brother!" whispered the girl softly, as she caught the doctor's hand, clinging to it and raising it to her lips. "You are my dear, dear brother, for whom I shall always pray." And the doctor felt a hot tear fall. He drew back stiffly. And Duncan mused on those words long after he had seen his two guests slip out into the night, en route for the security which was gained, for the authorities never re-captured their victim. Her brother-perhaps life was worth it, after all."
SOCIAL SERVICE. A proposal is on foot to form a British Institute of Social Service, the main objects of which will be to collect, register, and disseminate in- formation relating to all forms of social service and industrial betterment, and to make such in- formation available to all concerned in the im- provement of our natiqnal life. A meeting has been held in order to form the institute, and it was decided to appoint a committee, who will make inquiries as to the support that the move- ment is likely to receive. Lord Lytton, who pre- sided, pointed out that great efforts were being made in various countries in the direction of .socialreforill, but very little was being done with the idea of co-ordinating those efforts, and of so enabling people in one country to know what was taking place in another. The proposed in- stitute would bring together facts as to social ex- periments made all over the world, and would put those facts in such .shape that they could be easily understood by people applying for infor- mation. Having collected their facts, the insti- tute would assist in deciding which experments were worthy of consideration in this country. The institute would also spread information by means of lectures.
A FAMOUS PBOPHECY. Once the late Master of Balliol looked out of the window (says the "Bystander") and observed a youth of stately mien taking his way across the quadrangle. It is declared that Dr. Jowett then said to a companion, "There goes a man who is as sure to be Foreign Secretary in due time, whichever party he chooses, as to-morrow's sun is to rise." The youth was Henry Charles Keith Petcy-Fitzmaurice, who had already become fifth Marquess of Lansdowne.
A KACE OF FORGEJIS. A Boston bank official has made the discovery that the new perpendicular handwriting taught in the schools is breeding a race of forgers. The greater the individuality shown in the signature the more difficult is the forger's task, while the increasing uniformity of style, as indicated by school teaching of to-day, is rendering his nefari- ous tricks more difficult of detection.
The death is announced from Paris of the niece by marriage of the Empress Eugenie, called by the French the Duchesse d'Albe. She was really the Dowager Duquessa de Alba, or Alva, a great Spanish title. A marriage has been arranged, and will take place this summer between Captain John Hamil- ton Lambert, R.M.L.I., eldest son of Mr. Robert C. Lambert, J.P., of Kingsclere, Eastbourne, and Eva, third daughter of the late Mr. George Meares, J.P., D.L., of ThePlas, Llanstephan, Carmarthen- shire, and of Mrs. Meares, Alverstoke, Hants. A marriage has been arranged between Thomas Frederic, third son of the late General Thomas Thompson, of the Remount Depot, Oossoor, Madras Presidency, and Annette May, younger daughter of the late Captain John Grant Malcolmson, V.C., M.V.O., of his Majesty's Royal Body Guard. A diplomatic question has arisen between Italy and France regarding the erection of an inter- national station" at Breil, on the road between Nice and Cuneo, sanction for which is refused by the French Government, as Breil lies within gun range of the Italian frontier fortifications. The Girls of the Coventry Industrial School now play hockey. Empire Day (May 24) is to be celebrated in a number of industrial schools and reformatories this year. Printing the answers to Parliamentary questions costs from £ 1800 to £ 1900 for an ordinary full session. According to the present programme, Germany proposes to lay down two battleships during the current financial year. According to the brokers in Mark-lane, people eat 20 per cent. more bread when the weather is cold than when it is mild. More steal is used in the manufacture of pens than in all the sword and gun factories in the world. The rate at which Zulus can travel in an emer- gency is astonishing. Some will cover as much as fifty miles in six hours. Eight miles an hour is an ordinary pace. Alexander Machline, of Burgrandt, in Bohemia, who made a fortune of many millions of marks by buying and selling rotten eggs for student festivals," is dead. A Parisian barber, to win a wager, entered a cage containing a lion and a man, and composedly shaved the man whilst the lion interestedly viewed the operation. The latest American institution is the Four Hours' Sleep Club." Its member's bind themselves not to spend more than four hours out of the twenty-four in slnmher-
TALES OF RED JACK." Far from least memorable of the often ad- venturous life-stories of old railway employees is that of John Waterworth, of Preston, who, at the age of. eighty-four, claims to be the oldest driver of passenger engines in the world. "Red Jack," as he was always called by his fellows up and down the line, has just been giving to a "Telegraph" reporter some of his many interesting reminiscences. He began engine-cleaning on the Manchester and Liverpool Railway at 10s. a week when he was fourteen, and in 1839 ran the first passenger train from Preston to Lancaster. By 1846 he was running from Preston to Carlisle (via Crewe) and back, 280 miles a day, five days a week. "Tell ye some stories, eh?" said the old man. "Well, do you knoir that at one time when passengers were taken through tunnels they were called upon to pay a toll of sixpence each, which went to the upkeep of the struc- ture ? If they wouldn't pay, tney had to get out before the train entered the tunnel." The old man shook his head when asked to inter- pret in mileage the distance he had covered. It might have been a million and possibly more, but this he did know, that with one engine alone he covered 198,000 miles, and got Y.10 for his care in driving it. One of the curious things connected with the old-time railway was the announcement displayed at every station: "On Sundays the trains cease running from ten three-quarters till one, being the hours of Divine service." Once in the fifties the eccentric Mar- quis of Waterford took two first-class tickets at Preston for himself and a pet white bear. The station-master said the bear (which entered a carriage with its master) must go in the dog- box. "Put it there, then," said the Marquis but, nobody daring to do so, the Marquis volun- tarily alighted. Goisg out into the town, he engaged a sweep's boy with a, bag of soot to come back with him. As he was putting this fellow into the first-class carriage, the station- master said, "Ah, marquis, I see your game now!" "Well," asked the marquis, "shall it be black or white?"—and the white bear, rather than the black sweep, was allowed to travel with his lordship. "I have seen some curious things," the old man wound up, "but of one thing I am proud. I was never in an accident, and I have never been called upon to give evidence in a coroner's court." A unique re- cord, truly, for one who has spent thirty-seven years on an express foot-plate.
TRANSVAAL LABOUR. WHITE AND BLACK. In the report of the Transvaal Government Mining Engineer for the year ending June 30, 1903, there, is mucTi striking evidence as to the condition of the labour market and as to the extent to which Europeans are being employed. The "Times" gives an extract from the report, in which the ,engineer says — "The increase in the proportion of European to native employees on the mines mentioned in my previous reports has been maintained during the past year. The employment of European labour on work which previous to the war was generally performed by natives is more notice- able with regard to the surface than to the un- derground employees. "In the majority of the crushing mills the native has been entirely replaced by the Euro- pean, the tendency being to employ the former in the mine on such work as drilling, shovelling, and tramming, in the carrying out of which work it is considered the employment of the native is more economical than the European." Speaking of the work of the discharged sol- diers who were given employment on the mines, the Report states: "On the whole the employment of these un- skilled labourers proved unsatisfactory, partly perhaps because a large majority simply took this work in order to obtain their discharge from military service in this Colony. Where, however, such men have remained at work on the mines sufficiently long to become efficient, excellent results have been obtained, notably in rapid shaft sinking e.g., on the Wolhuter Gold Mine in the month of October, 1902, 204ft. were sunk entirely by white labour, and a total of 952ft. were sunk during the half-year July- December. 1902. "As a result of the employment at the be- ginning of the year, of these unskilled whites, the ratio of white to coloured employees on the gold mines of the Transvaal, which on an average previous to 1899 was as 1: 7.56, dropped to 1: 4.93 in June 1902, and is now-June 1903 —as 1: 5.03." Comparing the work of the native with that of the white man, the Report declares: "The consensus of opinion of the mine mana- gers on these fields with regard to the relative amount of work performed by the European as against the native unskilled labourer is that the native, whose net cost to his employer is about one-third to one-fourth of that of the European labourer, is capable of performing nearly an equal amount of unskilled work where mere strength is required. Therefore, it is probable that for some time to come the European will be more especially employed on work requiring a greater amount of intelligence than the aver- age native possesses and that the number of Europeans employed by the industry will largely depend upon the number of coloured workers available and upon the extent to which labour- saving appliances requiring intelligent super- vision are introduced."
I CENSUS OF PHYSIQUE. I A scheme for obtaining details as to the I height, weight, and physical condition of the people of the British Isles is said to be in preparation. The proposal will come from the committee at present investigating the alleged decline of the national physique; and it is understood that already a schedule based upon measurements and tests prepared by Dr. Cun- ningham, of the Edinburgh University, is now being drawn up by a section of the British Association. A copy of this schedule, it is sug- gested, should be sent to every householder with a request that he state therein the age, height, weight, chest measurement, and other facts re- specting the physical condition of himself and each member of his family. Furthermore, it is proposed to establish in every important centre of population a bureau where men and women of all .ages will be encouraged to present them- selves for measurement by male and female enumerators. No great difficulty is appre- hended in registering the height and weight of pupils in the elementary schools, the recruits for the Navy and Army, members of the Civil Service and Government employees of all classes. Medical officers retained by private companies employing large numbers of men are understood to be desirous of assisting the com- mittee by measuring the workmen under their care. The same duty would be performed by the doctors who periodically visit the factories and other works in manufacturing centres. One difficulty which has presented itself to the com- mittee has reference to obtaining the measure- ments of girls in a higher social sphere than those employed in mills or shops, but the hope has not been abandoned that in the interests of science and the public. well-being they would supply privately the required information. An- thropologists are anxious that the measurements should include those of the skull. They argue that as the population of these islands has be- come so cosmopolitan an effort should be made to determine the native counties of its con- stituent members. Skilled anthropologists can tell from the conformation of a man's head not only of what nationality he is but in the case of an Englishman what county gave him birth.
The Cantonal Council of Basle has proposed an ordinf'ce making cantonal voting compulsory. Fame never played a, fanfare or delivered a wreath for good intentions. Lady Visitor (to old family servant): "Well, Bridget, did Master Arthur shoot any tigers in India?" Bridget: "Of coorse he did. Shure we have the horns of the craytures hung in the "He isn't so much of a fighter as he used to be." "No. You see, he was always looking for someone who could thrash him—at least, that's what he said." "Well? "Well, he found him." #
WOMAN'S WORLD. TAILOR MADES. For practical purposes the tailor- made gown shows a tendency to become more severe, and in many of the new models the pouched front has made way for a close coatee with litraight front over a tight-fitting vest-a fashion which will be welcomed by many women. The stoles are less pronounced, but the cape-collar almost universal. Some of the smartest French models are absolutely out of place for walking, although they may be in keeping with Riviera promenades and such-like resorts. Certain it is that the rage for flounces and tucks continues unabated, the latest idea being to head the flounces with bands of gauzing. Many of the Paris gowns are flounced right up nearly to the waist, while wide tucks appear on many of the stouter materials, for winter textures do not lend themselves to gauging like more diaphanous substances. COFFEE JACKET. One of the modes of the moment is an old friend with a new face, the" coffee-jacket," which is being restored to a spell of popular favour and lends itself to many modifica- tions in style and trimming. Made in black and white chiffon, over a silk foundation, a very dainty garb for wearing with an evening skirt can be evolved, and coffee-jackets are more grace- ful and, at the same time, smarter, than a demi-toilette blouse. The big collars and full hanging sleeves, which are their distinguish- ing features, eanbe admirably carried out in white or black lace, and women who are clever with their needle and ready of imagination, can easily design these luxuries for themselves. For theatre wear the coffee jacket is well adapted, as it is a charm- ing compromise between the decollete evening bodice and the quite high neck which fashion votes as frumpish." BUSINESS WOMEN. There aro thousands of women in this country with business capabilities, who, from lack of opportunity, are living out their lives in straitened circumstances and inferior positions. There is no tide, it would seem, in their affairs leading on to fortune, or, if it has come, it has been unrecognised, and all the voyage of their life is apparently to be found in shallows and in miseries. To these women little comfort can be given, unless it be to point them to others of their sex who, notwithstanding straitened circum- stances and inferior positions, have fought man- fully (or womanfully) until, through sheer dogged- ness and perseverance, they are the successful business women of to-day. The woman who brings herself to the head of the dressmaking department of a West-end establishment is a fortunate worker, and for the encouragement of those who ply the needle from early morning till late night, with little remuneration and hope, but with much ill-health and de- pression of spirit, let them read of one woman who, in a remote Scotch village, began to make dresses for dolls in childhood, and who through a weary apprenticeship in a northern town was initiated into the mysteries of her craft. Now these years of toil and poverty are being re- warded, and in an exclusive establishment this per- severing Scotswoman directs a large number of girls and women, drawing a substanial salary and enjoying a well-earned evening leisure. In another part of the metropolis works a lady dentist. When first she suggested studying dentistry her friends were horrified, and all possible obstacles were put in her way. She could study in this country up to a certain point, but England would not give her a degree. To America, therefore, she had to travel, study there, take her degree, and return to practise in Britain. Many ups and downs this brave woman had, but now her patients are almost too numerous, and she has difficulty in keeping her appointments. WEDDED FOR ETERNITY. With regard to the Mormon case" before the Senate Com- mittee of the United States, the legal issue of which is whether Apostle Reed Smoot shall take his seat in the Senate, it is not objected that Smoot himself is guilty of polygamy, but the objectors to his election are producing evidence to prove that his Church holds practically the same view regarding marriage as Brigham Young. Summed up, the evidence comes to this, and there is a great deal more polygamy in Utah than anybody outside the State ever dared to suspect. To use a vulgarism, it is winked at by the Mor- mon Church. The Mormon belief in mar- riage, as explained by the sect, is a complicated one. There are (says the "Tele- graphs New York correspondent) three kinds- marriage for time, for eternity, and for both time and eternity. The commonest form of wedlock is that for time and eternity. By this a man and woman are sealed for their lives on this earth and in the world to come. A civil marriage applies only to this earth. By being sealed according to the Mormon faith, a woman will take her place with the other wives by the side of her spouse in Heaven. However, ceremonies are performed either for this world or for the other, For example If a woman becomes awidow, having once married for time and eternity, shomay enter into wedlock again, but this must be for time only. She may live with her new husband on this earth, and bear him children, but on the other side of the River of Death she must leave him and join her first hus- band. Should she be his only wife in this world, in She future the second husband would be bereft. There is another fojiq qf wedlock, called celestial marriage. This curious ceremony aseals a man and woman together only for the life to come. The woman may be the wife of one man for time, and of another for eternity, making the exchange of spouses upon her deimise. :1 RUSSIAN LOYE CHAEMS. Russian girls frequently amuse themselves during the holiday season by attempting to discover what sort of a husband will eventually lead them to the altar. A favourite manner of doing this is by so-called divination. The amorous female who is tired of a celibate life sits, in the mystic hours of the night, between two large mirrors. On each side she places a candle, and then eagerly watches until she can see 12 reflected lights. If the Fates are propitious she ought also to discern the husband she desires portrayed in the glass before her. Another method of divination is to have supper laid for two. If the young lady is in luck, the apparition of the future husband will come and sit down beside her; but 'in order to secure success, the girl must not divulge to anyone her intention of thus attempting to dive into futurity. There is a story told in Russia, to the effect that the daughter of a rich farmer was in love with a young lieutenant, and he, suspecting that she would probably have supper laid for two, climbed the wall of the garden, and, sitting down by her side, partook of the prepared banquet; the girl being under the impression that it was his apparition, and not the real Simon Pure. On leaving the room, the officer forgot his sword, which he had unbuckled before he sat down to supper. The girl, finding the weapon after his departure, hid it in the cupboard as a memento of the visitor. Later on she married another suitor, and he, fancying that there was some rival who supplanted him in his wife's affection, and one day discovering the sword, was confirmed in his suspicions, and killed her in a fit of passion. Sometimes the inquisitive husband-seeker will take a candle, and, melting the wax, pour it on the snow, after which she strives to discern in the hardened substance the likeness of him she seeks; whilst a very favourite amusement at this season of the year, and when several girls are congregated under the same roof, is to divine by the aid of a cock. Each girl, taking some corn, makes a small heap on the floor, and there conceals a ring. The chanticleer is then introduced, and is let loose beside the corn. Pre- sently he begins to peck at the heaps of grain. At last one of the rings is exposed to view, when its owner, according to the popular belief, will outstrip her companions in the race for matrimony.
Six enormous hotels are to be built inNewJYork. They will accommodate 4000 people, and are estimated to cost £ 6,000,000. The working classes of this country, according to the Bishop of Chester, lose £ 3,000,000 in wage through illness in the course of a year.