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* -I MR. ARNOLD-FOHSTER AT…

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ENGLISH AH THE JAP SPEAKS…

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TOWN TOPICS.

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TOWN TOPICS. (From Our London Correspondent.) The weather in London continues to be very Trinterly, with local falls of snow, sharp frost, and fog. It is many years since winter came to us so soon, and it has greatly aggravated the distress which prevails in the East-end, as it has put a stop to building operations and other outdoor work. The rise in the price of bread and of sugar also presses hardly upon the poor. Still, it must be said that London at the present moment is wonderfully healthy. At the time of writing the metropolis is absolutely free from smallpox. Not even a single convalescent is at present under the care of the Metropolitan Asylums Board. Not since the severe epidemic of some four years ago has it been possible to record a clean sheet until the present time. The forthcoming Cattle Show at Islington- the one hundred and sixth which the Smith- field Club has organised—promises to be one of unusual interest. Prince Christian of Schleswig- Holstein is the president for the year, and his Majesty the King is expected to be present on the opening day. The entries are good in every department, and comprise 276 head of cattle, 168 pens of sheep, and 106 pens of pigs, in the ordinary classes; and for tho carcase competition 32 cattle, 59 sheep, and 35 pigs, with 203 entries in the table poultry section. Prizes are offered for the South Devon breed of cattle, and for Ryeland sheep, for the first time, and there is an additional class for small cross- bred cattle. The prizes are on the usual generous scale at this show, and amount to £4094. The report of the Beck Commission has, so far, given satisfaction, but the question which everyone is asking is What steps will the Government take in the matter ?" People want to know if the officials at the Home Office and the Recorder of London, on whose shoulders the blame must rest, are to be censured or otherwise punished. Will the defects in our system of legal procedure be amended, so that such a shocking miscarriage of justice may be impossible in the future ? Moreover, there is an uneasy feeling that many innocent men may at the present moment be suffering for the crimes of others, and that many cases call for a searching investigation. When a man is put under lock and key, and has neither money nor friends to help him, it is the hardest thing in the world for him to prove his innocence against the evidence which the prosecution have prepared against him, or to escape from the net which the police have woven around him. Not every one has a publicist like Mr. George R. Sims to take up his case for him, and Adolph Beck would probably have been now serving his second unjust sentence had he not had this powerful friend to aid him. It cannot be said of the City Guilds to-day that they are entirely dissociated from tho trades whose names they bear. There are now but few of them which do not take an active part in promoting the prosperity of the par- ticular industry which each represents. One of the most active Guilds in this respect is the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, and a well-deserved compliment was paid last week to the respected clerk of the Company, Colonel T. Davies Sewell, by a large number of the Fellows, Freemen, and Liverymen of the Com- pany. The appreciation of the colonel's labours in the interests of the guild took a very substan- tial and tangible form, the gifts presented in- cluding a handsome overmantel, a pair of London-made field-glasses, and an album, con- taining the names of some 400 subscribers. In addition, Miss Daisy Sewell, his daughter, was the recipient of a beautiful pair of opera glasselè. The presentation took place in the Pillar Hall at the Cannon-street Hotel, Mr. G. E. Ellis, C.C., the chairman of the Presentation Com- mittee, presiding. Turbine steamers are rapidly coming to the fore, and the universal adoption of this system of propulsion seems to be only a question of time. The Belgian Government has resolved to put on their Dover-Ostend mail service a triple-screw steamer driven by Parson's Marine Steam Turbines. The speed stipulated for is 28 knots an hour, and there will be three turbines with threi-) independent driving shafts, one for steaming ahead and the others for going either ahead or astern. On the promenade decks there will be twenty private cabins, a luxurious private suite, a smoking room, and a ladies' boudoir; while on the main deck is the first-class restau- rant, approached by a vestibule and grand staircase, where more than a hundred guests can be served simultaneously. AU these rooms will be richly decorated, and the vessel will bo a veritable floating palace. England alone among European nations has no national State-subsidised theatre or opera house. Many schemes for securing one have from time to time been formulated, but have fallen through. It was felt impossible to ask Parliament to sanction the expenditure of a sufficiently large sum to erect a building worthy of the nation. It is now stated that a wealthy newspaper proprietor, whose name has lately been much before the public, has intimated his intention of devoting the sum of L250,000 to the building of a suitable national theatre. The King has made no secret of his personal view that the millionaire who supplies this want will confer a great benefit upon his country. The title of this year's pantomime at Drury Lane is "The White Cat," the story bein w founded upon an old fairy tale by the Countess D'Aunoy, which has been considerably varied by Messrs. J. Hickory Wood and Arthur Collins. As produced at the Drury Lane it will be in fourteen scenes, and the same number of principals will be required to work out the plot. The legend as given by the present adapter starts with two separate stories, the actors in which do not meet until several scenes have been gone through. As at present arranged Harry Randall will be Asbestos, a fairy retired from business, and Johnny DanVers King Ivory. His son, Prince Peerless, who wins the fair Princess, will be played by Miss Queenie Leighton, and the two other sons will be Fred Eastman as Prince Plump and James Welch as Prince Patter. Mr. Hugh J. Ward, who made such a success last year as the Scarecrow, will this year impersonate Simeon, the missing-link, a wonderful study of a progressive monkey, and the Fairy Princess, afterwards the White Cat, will be Miss Jeannie Macdonald, a newcomer to Drury Lane. Miss Ruth Lytton, the second boy, will be Aristo, the head of the nobles, and that old favourite Miss Marie George will be Cupid. The successful run of The Earl and tho Girl," which commenced last autumn at the Adelphi and has been continued at the Lyric, will terminate on December 17, and immediately after Christmas the new piece written by Mr. Seymour Hicks, and set by Messrs. E. Haines and Evelyn Baker, will be produced. With one or two exceptions, including Miss Louie Pounds, who takes up Miss Zena Dare's part in The Catch of the Season," all the members of the present Lyric company will appear in the new piece, while notable additions are Miss Maude Darrell, who is now appearing in "Veronique," and Miss Sydney Fairbrother. Mr. Walter Pass- more should find an admirable medium for his drolleries in the part of a broker's man with which the authors have provided him. T. I

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I ITHE WAR

INEEDED NEW BLOOD. I

A HYPOCRITE'S FRAUDS. I

THE KING. I

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lOUR ROYAL VISITORS.

COUGHS AND BRONCHITIS.

I RUSSIA AND BRITAIN.I

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EATJL AND LADIES' CHURCH "…

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