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EPITOME OF NEWS. I A Paris burglar, in trying to escape from a flhop, fell into a barrel of lard, in which he sank up to the neck. Married couples in Norway are privileged to travel on railways at a fare and a half. All return railway tickets ia Prussia are good for at least forty-five days. No person under sixteen years of age is per- mitted to enter a theatre or tavern m Heligo- land. The Pope is anxious to be represented at the second Peace Congress which President Roose- velt is promoting. Madrid is the most elevated city in Europe. It is built on a mountain plain or plateau 2,Ul)Uit. above the level of the sea. Norway's coast line-1,70 sniles in a straight line-becomes 12,000 miles if followed round me fjords. In these fjords are over 150,000 islands. The Earl and Countess of March have left Gordon Castle, Fochabers, where they have spent two months, and are now visiting the Duke and Duchess of Buccksuch at Drumianrig Castle. According to the monks of the hospice of St. Bernard, tneir famous dogs save on an average twenty lives every year on the mountain. Proceedings have been instituted by the Ger- man Public Prosecutor against Herr Kulerski, a member of the Reichstag and publisher of a Polish journal, for an article entitled "Will Poland iriise Again?" In the Arctic regions there are 762 kinds of flowers, fifty of which are peculiar to the Arctic regions. Tney are all either white or yellow. A labourer who has been fined at Menai-bridgs 0 said that he only knew sufficient of the English language to call for beer. 0 The commander of a torpedo-boat, two army officers, seven sailors, and a lady have been bitten at Oran by a mad dog and conveyed to the Pasteur Institute at Algiers. Germany exported 34,717 tons of toys, valued at sterling, in 1903, says the "Board of Trade Journal." The Prince of Wales has sent a donation of zL26 to the funds of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. In every 1,000 marriages in this country twenty-one are solemnised oetween first cousins. Among tne nobility the rate is mucn higner, amounting to forty-five in 1,000. Cats are taxed in Dresden and other German towns. When the tax was first imposed thous- ands of the animals were destroyed by owners desirous to avoid payment. It is the custom in the Belgian Parliament, when a member is making a long speech, for him 0 to be supplied with refreshment at the expense of the Government. A chicken with four legs was hatched the othei day at Brooklyn. An huur later, in spite of its additional leg's, the bird leil out of its nest and died. The Duke of Portland, who presented a mayoral chain to the borough of Mansfield to commemorate the Coronation, has now oifered to extend the number of links so that the names of future mayors may foe included. Egypt is the only country in the world where there are more men than women. The male sex in the dominions of the Khedive exceeds the female by 160,000. In Holland, when there is any infectious disease in a house, it is the custom to notify in- tending visitors or the fact by tying a piece of white cloth over the bell-hanuie. Cyclists in France must not only carry a bell and a lamp, but must have a name-plate some- where affixed to the machine bearing their full name and address. Some people suppose that Gretna Green is no longer in existence. It has simply changed its latitude and longitude. Its name is now Wind- sor, and it is a Canadian town in the province of Ontario, close to the United States border. It was recently stated in the Provincial Legislature of Ontario that no fewer than 800 marriages were celebrated in Windsor during the past year. The great majority of the happy couples had hastily crossed tne border from the adjoining Republic. Archbishop Croke made a great impression on the Maoris of New Zealand by his athletic prowess. He was Bishop of Auckland, a diocese that contains most of the Maori tribes, before he became Archbishop of Cashel. The Protestant missionaries used to say they were heavily handi- capped by Dr. Croke's jumping feats. He thought nothing of jumping five-railed fences, and his fame as a runner was widespread. The new War Office building in Whitehall, London, which will cover three and three-quarter acres and will cost Z650,000, will be ready in about two years, the work having already been in progress two and a half years. The general style of the elevation is that of the Italian Re- naissance. Nine miles of chimney flues, 26,500,000 bricks, and 26,000 tons of Portland stone will go to the making of seven floors and the provision of 670 rooms. Some idea of the vast quantities of discarded war material thrown upon the general market by the successive changes in armament adopted by the various Great Powers may be gathered from the lists of arms now offered for sale from this cause by the Italian Government. The list in- cludes 600,000 rifles, adopted so recently as 1887, with 48,000,000 cartridges 1,200 9-pounders and 500 7-pounder guns, with 200,000 shells and 170 7-pounder mountain guns, with 17,000 shells. The traveller in India is surprised to see that men wear combs in their hair much more than women do. A Cingalese gentleman wears what we know as a circular comb and a very orna- mental back comb of tortoiseshell to gather his curly locks together. He wears a full beard also, but his servant must trim his own, and is only allowed to wear the circular comb. Switzerland contemplates a curious object- lesson in municipal socialism. The city of Zurich is making an experiment in the commu- nising of the medical services of the town. The conditions of the experiment are that each in- habitant pays a yearly tax of 3s. 7-id., and that the product of £ 20,000 is divided in salaries of £ 500 a year among forty medical men, who will tend the inhabitants gratuitously. To write stenographically at the rate of 150 words a minute involves hearing on an average 750 distinct sounds—consonants and vowels—in the course of every minute, and managing to re- present or indicate 12l of them every second. Writing at 200 words per minute means hearing about 1,000 sounds in sixty seconds, and repre- senting or indicating rather more than sixteen of ,them in every single second. Twenty thousand miles, or nearly the circum- ference of the earth at the Equator, is the dis- tance the average 'busman drives lin the course of a year. The pay is 6s. 6d. a day. Each driver pays 2d. a day and the conductors Id. to a com- pensation fund, out of which is paid the damage a 'bus inflicts on other vehicles or lamp-posts, the breakage of the latter being assessed at £ 5. The earnings of a 'bus range from £ 2 10s. to £4 a day. The only European monarch who can boast bf having a woman's regiment raised in his honour is the German EmjJeror. Some years ago, when the Kaiser was hunting in Prussia, 800 Lithu- lanian girls, tall and strong, formed themselves into a mounted bodyguard and oifered their ser- into a mounted bodyguard and offered their ser- vices as his escort. Their offer was accepted,,but the number of the escort was reduced to 200. The uniform of the regiment was of navy-blue cloth trimmed with gold, and the effect was de- cidedly picturesque. One of the handsomest Royalties in Europe is Prince Nicholas of Montenegro, who was born sixty-three years ago, and' has lived to see his daughters make remarkable matrimonial alli- ances. They are almost the only dark-complex- ioned Royalties in Europe. The Prince of Montenegro leads an ideal existence, and is to be seen walking in the streets of his tiny capital every day. His responsibility is not great, for his whole population is under 250,000. In tho little town of Forlimpopoli, neat Bologna, a memorial tablet is about to be un- veiled in the Municipal Theatre to the memory of a famous robber chieftain named Passat ore. The reason why the theatre is chosen for the home of his memorial is that in it was performed his most famous exploit. In September, 1854, while one of Rossini's operas was being per- formed in the presence of all the local beauty and fashion, Passatore and his band "held up" the audience and robbed them of all their valuables to the last penny. The total number of all known varieties of pos- tage-stamps issued hy all the Govenrments of the world up to the present time is 19,242. Of this number 205 have been issued in Great Britain and 5,711 in the various British Colonies and Protectorates, leaving 13,326 for the rest of the world. Dividing the totals amongst the con- tinents, Europe issued 4,089, Asia 3,628, Africa 4,005, America, including the West Indies, 6,095, and Oceania 1,425. Salvador has issued more varieties of postage-stamps than any other country, the number being 450. Floors Castle, originally called Fleurs, the residence at Broxmouth of the Dowager-Duchess of Boxburghe, which has had so narrow an escaue from fire, was designed by Sir John Van- brugh in 1718. It is a magnificent pile, and com- bines, as Sir Walter Scott put it, "the ideas of ancient grandeur with those of modern taste." Although it stands a mile from Kelso, the old gardens run right down to the town, and one of the main streets had to be demolished to allow room for their expansion. The Duke of Sutherland has left Stafford House, St. James's, for Lilleshall, his Shrop- shire seat. Lilleshall is a stately Tudor house with fine terraced gardens overlooking the ruins of the Augustinian Abbey which was granted to a Leveson by Henry VIII. at the Dissolution. Rich coalfields extend under almost every part of the estate, which is the oldest possession of the ducal house, having been brought into the Gower family in the seventeenth century by the marriage of Sir Thomas Gower to the daughter and heiress of Sir John Leveson. The Japanese women have certain methods of arranging their hair whereby a person can tell at once whether any woman whom he sees is a maiden who desires to get married, or a widow who is inconsolable or one who is willing to be consoled if the proper suitor presents himself. Young girls arrange the hair in front in the form of a fan or butteriiy, and adorn it with silver or coloured ornaments. Widows who are looking for second husbands fasten their hair at the back of the head by means of tortoiseshell pins, and widows who are resolved to remain for ever faithful to their departed spouses cut their hair short and wear no ornaments in it. The topsy-turvy methods of China are curi- ously illustrated in the case of the Pekin barber, who, instead of waiting for customer, goes out to seek them. He carries his shaving apparatus and a stool with him, and, like an English muffin man, rings a bell to attract the attention of likely customers. The man who wishes to be shaved hails the barber, who places his stool on the ground for the customer's use, puts a bowl of water on the little stove he carries, and having lathered his brush sets to work. The charge is not high. For a sum equivalent to a halfpenny he shaves the customer's head and smooths out his eyebrows. A good story is being told concerning Mr. Beerbohm Tree. He had just descended the steps of the Garriek Club when two men—well dressed, but rather vulgar-looking—were seen to whisper hastily to one another and laugh heartily. Immediately after the younger of the two stepped up to Mr. Tree, and taking off his hat with an air he put to him Theodore Hook's old joking question:—"Pray, sir, are you some- body of importance?" Mr. Tree looked at the man with a cynical smile, and replied :—"I don't think I can be, or I should hardly be seen talking to you." The Earl of Harewood'-s mansion in Yorkshire is in keeping with the greatness of e Lascelles family through several centuries. Erected during the reign of King George III., it boasts some of the finest ceilings in England, and more than, seventy wonderful mahogany doors, made from wood grown on the Earl's estates in the West Indies. Harewood House also contains an al- most unrivalled collection of china, surpassed probably only by that at Windsor. The present peer's father once refused £ 12,000 for three vases from his collection. It is not by any means widely known that the Chesapeake, famous for her historic encounter with the British ship Shannon in 1813, is in exis- tence to-day, but is used in the somewhat in- glorious capacity of a flour-mill, and is making money for a Hampshire miller in the little parish of Wickham. After her capture by Sir Philip B. V. Broke, she was taken to England in 1814, and in 1820 her timbers were sold to Mr. John Prior, miller, of Wickham, Hants. Mr. Prior pulled down his old mill at Wickham and erected a new one from the Chesapeake timbers, which he found admirably adapted for the purpose. Many of these timbers still have the marks of the Shannon's grape-shot, and in some places the shot are to be seen deeply embedded in the pitch- pine. The Hon. Charles Parsons, to whom we owa the steam turbine, as not the only member of his family skilled in science and dowered with inven- tive genius. His brother, the Earl of Rosse (who has lately received the degree of Doctor of Science from the University cf Leeds), is, like himself, an F.R.S., and, besides being a consider- able astronomer, is a brilliant electrician. Lord Rosse is the inventor of several useful mechani- cal contrivances which are in working order at Birr Castle, his seat in King's County, and both his sons-Lord Oxmantown, who is in the Irish Guards, 'and the Hon. Geoffrey Parsons—took honours in the science school at Oxford. Indeed, the latter is his uncle's right-hand man at the works near Newcastle-on.-Tyne where the tur- bines are manufactured. There is an excellent story of the German Em- peror's brother, Henry. The French professor of the Prince read to him the following exercise for translation:—"Sovereign ladies have not merely an air of majesty, but a gracious deport- ment peculiar to them." Prince Henry laid down his pen and raised his head. "Have you any remark to make?" asked his tutor. "Only this," said the young Prince. "I have known sovereign ladies all my life, and I have never noticed any particular majesty or grace of de- portment. Ought we not, therefore, to omit tho phrase you have just read?" The professor ac- knowledged that he respected the scruples of his pupil, but the exercise book had been carefully inspected, and possibly the young Prince migF.t, in later life, see majesty and grace where at that time he saw none. Prince Henry took up his pen again and wrote out the phrase in French but he sighed and said "It's an awful sham,3 to foist such books on us." There are few romances of the peerage more touching than that Which is recalled by the denial of Anne Countess of Seafield—who has just joined the Auxiliary League of the Salva- tion Army—that her late husband, the tentli earl, was at one time a bailiff in New Zealand. F atic-is William Ogilvie-Grant followed many callings in the course of a career full of pathetic straggles, but he was certainly never a bailiff. Borii in the year 1847, he went to seek fortune in Nmv Zea- land at a period when there was exceedingly re- mote probability of his ever succeeding to tha title. The eighth Earl of Seafield died unmar- ried, and thus his uncle, the third son of the sixth earl, came unexpectedly into the title, and the toiler of Oamaru—then, as times were hard, working as a navvy—became Viscount Reid- haven. In 1888 his father died, antf Francis, still no better off than before, became ellth earl, and six months later he was dead. Thie present Lord Seafield is eight-and-twenty, and fs married to the daughter of a prominent and popular New Zealand doctor. It is reported of a German Rhodes scholar at Oxford that on being told to back water and in- structed that it meant using his oar in the op- posite way, he carefully lifted that instrument from the rowlock and inserted the handle in the water. The "Manchester Guardian" 4tlso gives the tale of the American who brought for the inspection of the head of his college, a fastidious and delicate scholar, a single testimonial. It I was from his trainer, and stated that the bearer had "for the past three years undergone la course of body culture under my direction."