OUR LONDON LETTER. It is understood that we do not necessarily identify ourselves with our correspondent's opinions, One has always to go from home to hear news, and one of the latest reports, which comes by Way of America, is that the state of the health f the Prince of Wales is anything but reassur- lng- He has, it is said "—but who says it, and ^hat their authority is, we are not told—bene- fited somewhat from the trip to India, but not Dearly as much as was expected, and "it is very hkely that he may make another Australian Voyage, leaving England in September or October, feturnieg by way of Japan and Canada, and ■ Probably visiting the United States, as his father oid." This report is supposed to have its origin *0 London, but considering that the Prince and Princess have been away for some months, and that they will be almost directly going to Spain for King Alfonso's wedding with Princess Ena, 6 and then on to Norway for the coronation of King Haakon and Queen Maud, it is not at all 6 hkely that anything of the kind will happen. People in England had all thought that the tour of the Prince and Princess had been very successful, but according to this same report it Was not a great" political success." Then it goes on to say that the hauteur of the Princess «id more harm than good. She assumed such airs' that the friendly sentiments of more than One of the native princes, whose lineage goes Centuries beyond the Great Mogul, were chilled, and generally she made little attempt to con- ciliate the people. The Prince did his best to be pleasant, but he has lost the sailor-like bluffness of his younger days. He is not robust, like his father. Indeed, none of the King's sons or daughters are physically strong. t, We shall soon be in the thick of the London season, but amongst all the parties and dances aild dinners which will be given it is doubtful iff any will come up to the one given by Lady Wimborne to meet the Prime Minister," which Will rank as one of the leading fixtures, both social and political of the year. No fewer than j 65 guests dined at five separate tables arranged 111 the three magnificent rooms which overlook the Green Park. The Red Room at Wimborne House is one of the finest apartments in London, and was built specially in the Italian style to harmonise with a superb gilded and painted ceiling brought from Rome 100 years ago. It Was in this room that the Prime Minister dined seated on the right of Lady Wimborne. The central feature of the table was a huge golden cup, the gift of 6000 workmen of the Dowlais Iron Company to Mr. Ivor Guest when he came of age, and the floral decorations was a wonder- ful arrangement of blooms entwined with the beautiful new species of foliage, the Co cos Meddelliana. For the reception which followed the dinner no fewer than 1400 invitations had been sent out. The guests entered by way of the con- servatory, where banks of yellow azaleas, helio- trope, anj hydrangea scented the air and shaded hundreds of lights, while in the corridor, which Is famous for its frescoes and contains many cabinets of exquisite china, with statues of ancestors of the family, were huge palms and jjpfisses of flowers, the whole presenting a scene like a picture from fairyland. It was in the conservatory that Wurms' famous band per- formed, and from the roof hung the most costly flowers in baskets which had been specially designed at a cost of L20 each. The new Victoria Station of the London and Brighton Company is rapidly approaching com- pletion, after being in the builders' hands for th-ree years, and will be opened for traffic on June 1. Grosvenor-road Station, which, as all travellers on both the Chatham and Brighton lines from Victoria well know, is built on the bridge over the Thames, has also been widened, and the bridge is now the widest railway bridge in the world. In the new Victoria, which has been more than doubled in size, there will be about two and a quarter miles of plat- form and nearly four miles of rails, all practi- cally under one roof. The longest platform is considerably over a quarter of a mile, and the glass roof covers an area of 400,000 square feet. A novel method of dealing with trains without the shunting delay has been invented by Mr. E. L. Morgan, chief engineer. Between every two platforms there will be three sets of rails instead of two, so that when trains arrive they will be able to move ahead into the depar- ture platforms, where they can load up afresh and leave the station by the centre road. Housekeepers will be glad to learn that it is the opinion of the Rev. Theodore Wood, the Well-known writer on natural history, that the common house-flies, which are a source of dangerous summer illnesses among children, Will be unusually scarce this year. The reason is the mild winter. Insects do not mind cold Weather. They sleep through it, and insec- tivorous birds cannot get at their victims, but ill a mild winter insects perish by millions, while the cold weather which we have been I experiencing retard the development of the survivors. Doctors are preaching a crusade against flies, which are greatly attracted by i-ailk, and it is the bacteria which they convey to it which produces so much infantile sickness. A point worth remembering is that for every fly killed now you reduce the number later by scores. The coming jubilee of Mr. Santley, the famous singer-who, by the way, spoke upon the Education Bill at the Roman Catholic demonstration at the Albert Hall—recalls the history of the famous song," Father O'Flynn," which, but for him, might never have been known. It was written by Mr. Alfred Percival Graves, son of the Bishop of Limerick, who one fine morning, walking to the Home Office from Bayswater, by way of Hyde-park, Green-park, and St. James's, found himself humming an old Irish tune, The Top of Cork Road," and at the same time thinking of Father Walsh, a genial old Kerry priest with whom he used to romp as a boy. The two remembrances proved so inspiring that when Mr. Graves got to the Home Office he was able to write down the song straight away. Nevertheless, it was several years before u Father O'Flynn became world-famous. The song was included in a little collection of Irish melodies which Mr. Graves prepared with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, and there was some doubt as to whether it should be included at all. After a while, however, Mr. Stanley happened to glance through this collection before a concert in search of an appropriate song. The title "Father O'Flynn caught his eye. "Ah," said he, there is my song!" He sung it; it was encored five times, and has ever since lived upon the lips of men. s. J.
I 11 DEMON OF DULNESS » At the conference of the Congregational Uni.. in the City Temple, the Rev. R. H. Sewell declared that the great thing the country churches had to fight against was the demon of dulness; the public-house ought not to be the brightest spot in a country village. He thought that the greatest stumbling-block in the way of country church work was the prevalence of priestly ideas about the sanctity of bricks and mortar. Till these were got rid of no real pro- gress could be made. For what better purpose could the church be used than for the physical j development of the young?
I ROSE FROM THE RANKS. At a court-martial at Cork Barracks, Major Thomas Lacey, R.G.A., Berehaven, was charged with neglecting to keep the accounts of the regimental canteen at Bere Island properly, with the result that the canteen suffered a loss of £257. Accused pleaded guilty, but appealed to the Court to take into account that by long service and good conduct he rose from the ranks. He had had 36 years' service, had served in Burmah and Afghanistan, for which he wore medals, and possessed the long service and good conduct medal* Judgment was not disclosed.
VETERAN'S DIAMOND WEDDING. I All Hayward's Heath took an interest in the diamond wedding of old George Willett, a Crimean veteran, and his wife. George is 88, and has just been nursed through a severe attack of bronchitis by his devoted wife, who is 84, but though he is almost blind he keeps a stout heart, and is very cheerful. When he was 18 years of age, Willett joined the Coldstream Guards, and he can show with pride his Crimean and Turkish medals. He was in the i army for 22 years, and his old regiment bears him in mind every Christ- was.
I MARKYATE MOTOR FATALITY. I The hearing of the charge of manslaughter against Albert E. Carter, chauffeur of the car in which Mr. C. Preston was riding when it ran into a haycart at Marltyate, Mr. Preston being killed, was resumed at Hemel Hempstead and again ad- journed. The Rev. Franklin Preston, Vicar of St. Mary's, Ellel, Lancaster, said that Mr. Preston, who was his brother, was not able to drive a motor-car. He left Ellel for London on Sunday with Carter in the motor-car. Defendant had driven witness about, and he appeared to be a very careful driver. John Allen, a tailor, of High-street, Markyate, said he saw the car pass, and thought it was going faster than motor-cars usually travelled. Police- sergeant Boarder said the danger signal was 75 yards from the cross-roads. He saw no marks to indicate that the brakes of the car had been applied. His opinion was that the vehicle was going at 25 miles an hour.
I M.P. TAKEN ILL IN THE HOUSE. I On Tuesday night Mr. Cremer, M.P., who earlier in the evening had shown some symptoms of illness, became so weak and faint in the Lobby of the House of Commons that he had to be conveyed in an ambulance to Westminster Hospital. The honj member did not lose consciousness, and it is hoped his indisposition may not prove serious. He is suffering from acute pains in the legs, and the doctors do not anticipate that it will be necessary, to detain him very long.
——— I PRINCE ARTHUR'S TOUR. I -,Prince Arthur had excellent sport in Gatineat Valey, Quebec, on Saturday, the afternoon's catch for the whole party consisting of seventy-eight trout, weighing 1251b. Sunday was spent quietly, and on Monday morning, at day-break, the Prince breakfasted and resumed the sport. When the party came in for luncheon they had taken 116 trcut, of which a fair share fell to Prince Arthur. During the afternoon a return was made to Low, and the Prince dined in his private car on the Canadian Pacific Railway.
I THE EDUCATION BILL. Mr. Balfour, speaking at Cambridge on Satur- day night, said the Education Bill aimed a blow out of jealousy at the Church of England. It was directed against one denomination, and one alone, and was condemned by all who knew what public interest and fair play meant. Although the Church of England had to suffer for the good work it had done, he was sufficiently public spirited to look on that side of the question with relative in- difference if he could think education would be furthered but the Government only wished to crush the Church with which they did not agree. That was not the way to conduct legislation, and it would not be endorsed by the people. A great Roman Catholic demonstration against the bill was held on Saturday night in the Albert Hall. The Archbishop of Westminster presided, and among the speakers were the Hon. C. Russell and Mr. C. Santley. Resolutions condemning the bill as fundamentally unjust, and pledging those present to resist it to the utmost, were unanimously adopted.
I DOCTOR LOSES AN EYE. Dr. Richards, of Abereave, a mining village near Craig-y-nos, Mme. Patti's Welsh home, has met with an extraordinary accident. He was extracting a child's tooth a few days ago when a small portion of the tooth splintered off and flew into Dr. Richard's eye. In the evening the eye became inflamed, and it was then found that the cornea had been pierced by the splinter, which, being decayed, had induced septic poisoning. So serious is the injury that the eye will be re- moved.
ELECTION ANOMALIES. — — Some extraordinary electorial anomalies are given in the report of the Proportional Represen- tation Society. At the last general election the Liberal and Labour parties received in Great Britain 3,044,346 votes, and secured 428 represen- tatives, while the Unionist party with 2,407,928 votes, obtained only 139 representatives. Each Liberal member speaks on an average for 7113 citizens, while a Unionist member has to da duty for 17,323 citizens. The voters were very nearly in the proportion of five to four, but the seats secured were in the proportion of three to one.
SHOP ASSISTANTS' PROTEST. I About 500 shop assistants protested in Trafalgar- square against being excluded from the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. Mr. J. O'Grady, M.P., said the assistants' present position was due to snobbishness. They had hitherto regarded themselves as superior to the engineer, the cabinet-maker, and mechanics gene- rally, and the result was that Parliament had neglected them. Hitherto you have wanted to be regarded as something else than workpeople, although you did not know what," said Mr. John Turner, the general organiser. Some of the shop assistants arrayed themselves in frock coats and. silk hats, and carried sandwich boards calling attention to the demonstration.
AMERICAN BRIDES. Mr. Waldorf Astor, eldest son of Mr. William Waldorf Astor, of Cliveden and Carlton House- terrace, was married on Thursday to Mrs. Nannie Langhorne Shaw, daughter of Mr. Chis- well Dabney Langhorne, of Albemarle, Virginia, U.S.A. The wedding, which was solemnised at All Souls', Langham-place, was a quiet one on account of the illness of both Mr. W. W. Astor and Mr. Langhorne. Among those present at the ceremony were Mrs. Charles Dana Gibson, Mrs. Brooks, and Mrs. Perkins, sisters of the bride. All four sisters are famous for their beauty, and Mr. Gibson drew his inspiration f<)r his drawings from them. He was present at the wedding, and gave the bride away. Mrs. Astor was first married when she was I eighteen years old to Mr. Robert Gould Shaw, jun., of Boston. This was in 1897. Five years later Mrs. Shaw obtained a divorce, with the custody of her son. Another American wedding in London was that of Mr. Henry Fletcher Godfrey to Mrs. Marie Havemeyer Tiffany, both of New York. The bride, who is a member of a wealthy family in New York's fashionable society, was married to Mr. Perry Tiffany in 1893. It was one of the sensational weddings of the year, the presents in jewels alone being valued at JZ60 000. A few years ago Mrs. Tiffany obtained a divorce, with the custody of her two children.
« INCORRIGIBLE." This man is incorrigible," said the Official Receiver at the London Bankruptcy-court, in concluding the examination of William Middle- ton, financial agent, who admitted five previous failures, the liabilities totalling £ 100,000. The present examination showed liabilities of £604, with no assets. The bankruptcy was attributed to losses on horse-racing and failure of a business in Turkey.
TO BUILD ABROAD. I Messrs. J. and P. Coats, Limited, the well- known thread manufacturers of Paisley, who already have large Works in America, Russia, Germany, etc., have decided to cancel extensions at foome oil account of local intereference be- tween them and their female employees, and to build abroad instead. Excavations had already been started at" Paisley for a new mill to cost about a quarter of a million, but this work has been stopped. Consternation has been caused in the town by the firm's attitude.
Mr. John D. Rockefeller has bought for £ 62,500 the property known as Carmelita, at Pasadena, California, and it is believed he intends to settle there for the rest of his life. Owing to the discovery that the steel shaft brackets and rudder frames were twisted, the launch of the new cruiser Shannon was post- poned.. Mr. T. Gibson Bowles, it is reported, is en. gaged on a volume of Recollections in Parlia- ment.
DEALINGS IN DOGS. At the Old Bailey, Louis Clements, a French. man. of Maeclesfield-stnaet, Solio, was. found guilty of misappropriating to hie own use a number of Bums of money. The case for the prosecution was that Clements answered adver- tisements of persons wanting doge, He obtained cheques, but never sent the dogs, making various excuses, while in other cases he obtained dogs on approval, and sold them, the owners never obtaining the money. Detective-sergeant Clarke said the police had received numerous complaints against prisoner during the last 14 years. At one time he was kennel editor of the Field, but on account of complaints of fraudulent dealings was asked to resign. Afterwards he was on the staff of the* "Shooting Times," but that position he also lost on; account of fraudulent practices. On searching prisoner's office, witness found 186 letters from persons complaining that they had not received the dogs, and of these 133 referred to sums of money amounting to £ 385. Prisoner had also dealt in game eggs. The editor of "Our Dogs" had informed the police that he had received more than. 200 complaints against prisoner, while hundreds from abroad had also been received by the police. Prisoner who in 1901 at Cardiganshire Assizes,was charged with fraud in respect of dog dealing, but was then acquitted, was now sentenced to three years' penal servitude.
MOTHER AND CHILD POISONED. A sad domestic tragedy occurred at Black- burn, where Mrs. Sarah Houghton, the wife of a commerical traveller, who had been, it is stated, strange in her manner, administered oxalic acid to her boy, aged four years, and herself with fatal results. The eldest child, a girl, was the first to give information of what had occurred. She rushed into her grand- parents' house, and brought her grandmother, who was horrified to find the mother om the floor, and the boy on. the sofa gasping for breath. Both died shortly afterwards.
DEATHS OF BOAT CHILDREN. The Wolverhampton coroner has frequently had occasion to complain of the mortality among boatmen's children. A short time ago he in- quired into the death of a boatman's child which was the last of a family of fourteen, all of whom were dead, while at a previous inquest it was shown that of a family of eight children all were in their graves. In a case before him recently only six chil- dren were alive out of fifteen. The coroner said he saw no reason why children should be sacrificed as they so often were on boats, and he suggested that the authorities should take action.
DOG FOLLOWS A TRAIN. As a train started from St. Ives for Godman- chester two men and a dog rushed on to the platform. The men managed to jump into a carriage, but the dog was left outside. The animal followed the train down the line, and as it was pulled up at a level-crossing about 400 yards away the animal overtook it, and, at- tracting attention by his vigorous barking, was lifted inside before the train moved off.
THE "PRIME MINISTER." In the House of Commons Mr. Herbert Paul complained that interrogations he had put to the Premier had been altered by the clerks at the table to "First Lord of the Treasury," and he asked the Speaker to rule whether, seeing that the King had been pleased to confer the style and title of Prime Minister on the head of the Government, that should nob be his proper title in the House of Commons. "I should say," held, the Speaker, 'Prime Minister' is the proper designation." The hon. member will find," said Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman ely'fy, that a rose by either name would make the same answer." The Premier's mixed metaphor greatly amused the House.
STATESMEN GOING CHEAP. I At the sale by auction of the only waxworks in Glasgow, several hundred figures, represent- ing all the celebrities of the past and present century, came under the hammer. Mr. Glad- stone and Mr. Chamberlain fetched only half a crown apiece, but double that sum was paid for Lord Rosebery, while other statesmen "were unsaleable." Among Royalty, Henry VIII. and his wives went for eight shillings each, and the late Prince Consort brought half a sove- reign. Criminals were fairly cheap.
KILLED AT GARDEN CITY. A verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest on the body of Joseph Welsh (38), of Essex-street, Islington, who was killed by a 'all of earth while excavating for a new rail- way siding at Garden City, Letchworth. W elsh was one of a batch of men sent down from Lon- don by the committee of the Mansion House Un- employed Fund.
I SEA TRAGEDY SEQUEL. The hearing of the charge of attempted mirder on the high seas against Arthur Barnes, boatswain's mate of the barque Dunfermline, was continued at Belfast. Captain Bailie, who took command after the captain of the ship had been washed overboard, charged Barnes with having shot at him during a. dispute with the crew, but he failed to get any of crew, which consisted of men of all nationalities, to give evidence. The consequence was that the charge was withdrawn, and Barnes was dis- charged.
I MARCHED BACK. I A convict made a daring escape from Borstal Prison, but his liberty was only short-lived. He eluded the warders7 visited the prison stores, dressed himself in a suit of civiliamelothes, climbed a ladder, and escaped over the wall. Then he went across country to Snodland Ferry, and was about to take a boat across the Medway when a policeman, who was suspicious of his appearance, arrested him, and marched him back to the prison.
11 .I,, .i I THE QUEEN'S HOLIDAY. Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria $.1- rivoo 17JJ Florence from Leghorn unexpectedly on Monday and drove unobserved to the! Hotei' de la Ville, Their arrival at the hotel caused a great flutter of excitement among British visitors there. After a short rest- I-he Royal party took lunch. The Queen and Princess spent the day in visiting tha- various public- galleries, sometimes walking and sometimem driving. The longest stay was made at the Uffizi Gallery. The Royal visitors greatly ad- mired! the Boboli Gardens, and snowed^ much interest in the' shops on the Ponte Veechio. The Queen is travelling incognito as the Countess of Chester. Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria, after a two days' stay in Florence, during which they went about the city even more freely than in Rome, left almost unnoticed for Venice en Tuesday morning. Preparations were made for lunch to be served in the train. Some incon- venience was felt during the visit owing to a strike of private coachmen, which compeUedl the Royal party to take cabs in going from cao part of the city to another. =I The Queen spent Monday evening quietly en. the balcony of the hotel, listening to a sere- nade. A number of people had assembled below, and heartily cheered her Majesty. The Queen and Princess, with their suite, arrived at three o'clock in the afternoon. The British Consul was in attendance at the station. The Royal visitors proceeded in a. gondola, to th." Grand Hotel. It is understood that her Majesty and the Princess will make a short ctav in Vienice.
I THE KING'S RETURN. King Edward left Paris at a quarter-past eleven on Monday morning. Accompanied by Sir Francis Bertie, His Majesty drove in a motor car to the railway station, where representatives of M. Fallieres and the Government were wait- ing to bid him farewell. A crowd which had gathered round the station greeted His Majesty respectfully. The King, who was wearing a round felt hat and black morning coat, with the rosette of the Legion of Honour and the military medal, appeared in excellent spirits. His Majesty took great interest in the Yarrow Napier motor boat, which crossed to Calais, and re- turned in company with the Invicta. The pas- sage on the Invicta occupied fifty-two minutes. The voyage from Calais to Dover was made under splendid conditions, the sun shining gloriously and there being scarcely a ripple on the sea. His Majesty spent the whole of the voyage on the deck of the turbine steamer In- victa, conversing with the commander, Captain Hancock, for a portion of the time. The King discussed turbine propulsion, and expressed him- self much pleased with the ship. His Majesty was loudly cheered by thousands of spectators who had assembled on Dover Pier. Hats and handkerchiefs were waved, and the King, who was standing in full view under the captain's bridge, acknowledged the salutations. It was arranged to run the Royal special by which His Majesty travelled to the departure platform at Victoria, in order to render the waiting-room at the Wilton-road exit available. Upon this platform, part of which was carpeted, His Majesty was awaited by Sir H. Campbell- Bannerman, Mr. Herbert Gladstone, M. Metaxas (Greek Minister), Mr. Henry (Chief Commis- sioner of Police), Admiral Sir John Fisher, Major Parsons (Metropolitan Police), General Sir Lawrence Oliphant, the Chevalier de Mar tino, Mr. J. Green, Mr. Cosmo Bonsor, and various representatives of the railway company. The train arrived at four minutes past SIX o'clock. The King shook hands cordially with the Prime Minister, and his first words were to express the hope that Sir Henry had quite re- covered from his recent illness. As His Majesty drove away the crowd outside cheered him lustily, and the demonstration was kept up all along the route to the Palace. It is probable that the King will be in town Until the 15th, and will then go to Newmarket for tOO Second Spring Meeting.
Two Russian Anarchists were blown up by a bomb in their possession in the Bois de Vin- cennes, outside Paris. One of the men was killed, and the other terribly injured. An inquest was begun on an Army officer, who had been treated by Christian Scientists, and who, it was alleged, died from neglect. The famous Besses-o'-th'-Barn Band will sail from Liverpool for a tour in the United States. Mr. Paul Kester, the American playwright, has sold Angill Castle, Westmorland, to Dr. Abercrombie, of London. Viscount Aoki, the first Japanese Ambassador to the United States, arrived in Washington carrying a black cat in his arms. J
ROYAL WEDDING FESTIVITIES. The following is the complete programme of the official festi vities which will mark the wedding of King Alfon so and Princess Ena May 29: Arrival and reception of the foreign princes, and performance in the Theatre of the Palace of El Prado. May SO: Ceremony of be- trothal in the Palace of El Prado. May 31: Mar- riage ceremony in the Church of San J eronimo at I I a.m. June 1: Gala banquet in the Royal Palace of Madrid. June 2: Battle of flowers in the park of El Retiro, and gala performance in the Opera House. June 3: Official service in the Royal Chapel. In the evening a gala ball. June 4: Royal bull-fight. June 5: Excursion to Aranjuez. In the evening a military tattoo. Departure of the foreign princes. June 6: Banquet in the Royal Palace to local authorities. June 7: Diplomatic banquet. June 8: Reception in Royal Palace and ball in Opera House, organised by the Mayor. I
I DEATH OF A DEAN. I The death occurred on Tuesday of the Very Rev. Dr. E. C. Maclue, the Dean of Manchester. The Dean was a brother of the late Sir J. W. Maclure, M.P., and was born in 1833. He was a Lancastrian by birth, and almost all his life was spent in that county. Educated at Manchester Grammar School, he held livings at Burnley and Rochdale, and was appointed to the Deanery of Manchester in 1890. Amongst other offices, he twice acted as chair- man of the late Manchester School Board, and was governor of Owens College, the Grammar School, and of Hulme's Trust and Chetham's Hospital, besides holding other public offices. He was chair- man of the School Boards Association of England and Wales, and was prominent in all educational matters. He married the eldest daughter of John- son Gcdge, of Bury St. Edmunds.
I TO HELP COUNTY POLICE. The Home Secretary has brought to the notice of the chief officers of county and borough police forces the arrangements made by the Home Office, by which detectives of special skill and experience, who would ordinarily be employed in the metro- politan police district, may be lent to local police authorities for temporary service in the investigation of difficult and obscure cases of murder or other serious crime. Mr. Gladstone has in mind crimes of violence I committed in railway trains. He therefore suggests that in a case of this kind, where the criminal has disappeared, immediate application should be made to the Home Office for assistance, and in this, and other serious cases, such as are specially contem- plated in the circular, no charge will be made for the services of the officers lent. In other cases a charge will be made for the expenses, pay, and allowances of such officers. But in all cases it must be understood that the London officers go as experts, and are not in rivalry with the local police.
AGED CLERGYMAN'S DEATH. At Bournemouth an inquest was held on the Rev. Charles Carey, aged 90 years, formerly rector of Kingweston, Somerset. Mr. Carey's son said he was called by one of the servants, who had noticed a strong smell of gas in the house. He traced the escape to his father's room, and going in he found a gas tap turned on. His father lay in bed, apparently peacefully sleeping, but it was found that he was dead. Medical evidence showed that death was due to asphyxiation by gas, and a verdict of Accidental death was returned. I
WHAT THEY MIGHT HAVE SAID. I At the annual dinner of the London Sketch Club, Mr. Walter Emanuel read the following amusing imaginary telegrams of regret: "Shall try to get away.—BAMBATA." "May your dinner be a success. Don't you wish you had some of my Sublime Port?—ABDUL HAMID." Cannot possibly come—in rags.—OFFICERS 1ST BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS." Thanks for invi- tation. Am trying to get permission of Labour party. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN." Fear if I came I might tax your patience.—CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUER."
FIRE BENEATH A HOSPITAL. I A remarkable discovery has been made by the authorities of the North Staffordshire Infectious Diseases Hospital, atBueknall. Under the boiler-house and a ward containing a hundred patients a serious subsidence recently occurred, causing the walls to crack, and work- men made the astounding discovery that beneath the foundations of the boiler-house a seam of coal was on fire, dangerously near the surface. Men are now engaged in excavating and remov- ing the seam of coal, both burnt and unburnt, to a depth of 16ft., and a foundation of blue bricks will be put to prevent further outbreak. It was not known that a seam of coal ran under the founda- tions. ——— —
SHOOTING AT GHOSTS. In view of the recent shooting at Windsor Chstle of an ornamental elephant, which was mistaken for a ghost by a sentry of the 2n 1 Coldstream Guards, the Army Council proposes to stop the issue of loose ammunition to all ssn tries on guards with the exception of the Hyd- park magazine guard. In future the ammuni- tion will be taken charge of by the commander of the guard, who will issue it to sentries in case of urgent necessity.
"DISQUIETING SIGNS." Speaking at the annual meeting of the Church Pastoral Aid Society at Exeter Hall, the Bishon of Manchester said that to his mind there were disquieting signs. He wanted to say this, and with no disrespect to either of the great political parties, that the whole country felt in all direc- tions that there was a lack of political leader- ship-a lack of any distinctive and definite schemes and desires for a real advance and im- provement. He might be mistaken, but that was his impression. By far the most disquiet- ing sign of the times was the arrest of the growth of population, and he knew of nothing that spoke so clearly and convincingly of national despair as that.
Examining witnesses before the House ol Commons Committee on the London County Council Electric. Supply Bill, Mr. Balfour Browne, K.C., said he thought he could show that the London County Council had never known- anything about the busiiueee into which they proposed to enter, and knew nothing about it now. For the second year a robin has built its ne-st in an old tin- bettle quite close to a. cottage door at Rippingale, near Bourne. 1. Motor speed mania should be treated when recognised as a dangerous form of lunacy," says the British Medical Journal." In the mean- time, it says, the best prophylactic is a series of heavy fines, endorsement of certificates, and ex- pulsion from clubs which have tne motor in- dustry at heart. The creditors of John Perkins, who traded in Northampton under the title of John Perkins and Co., and became bankrupt in 1901. have just received full payment of their claims, the debtor having received a legacy of £ 1-000. Mr. Perkins had previously paid only 7 5-8d. in the pound.
I NOTES ON NEWS. The first bye-election in London has been caused in the Dulwich Division by the resigna- tion of Dr. Rutherfoord Harris, who was in Japan at the time of the General Election, but was elected in his absence by a majority of 357 over Mr. David Williamson. It was rumoured at the time that he would not long retain the seat, and the" official denial" which was given now serves to show that the rumour was true. Both parties have already chosen candi- dates, and while Mr. Bonar Law, who was beaten at the General Election, will do duty for the Tories, Mr. David Williamson has again consented to stand for the Liberals. The fight will be a very sharp one, and it will also be short, for it is expected that polling will take place on Wednesday, May 16. Mr. Williamson lives in the constituency, and Mr. Law will reside thare during the time the fight is pro- ceeding. Favoured with the brightest of spring weather, the opening of the Earl's Court exhibi- tion on Saturday was an imposing function. The Lord Mayor and Sheriffs attended in State, and the company which assembled was of a more distinguished character than usually gathers for the function, the company including many of the Ambas- sadors and Ministers of foreign countries, while the Reception Committee comprised most of the prominent Austrian and German residents of London, and the Mayors of many of the metropolitan boroughs. The grounds presented a charming scene, and as the Lord Mayor remarked, he hardly knew whether he was in England or Austria when walking through the grounds. The whole of the receipts are to be given to Austrian charities in London, and the Prince and Princess of Wales have pro- mised to visit the exhibition as soon as they can. Some remarkable figures are given in a return issued by the Home Office as to the religion of convicts in prisons outside Ireland. Twenty-six prisoners stated they had no religion at all, that of one could not be ascertained, while there is one Spiritualist, one Quaker, one Plymouth Brethren, one Christian Brother, and one Waldensian. The Church of England heads the list with 16,089, and next come Roman Catholics, numbering 4397. These are much above any others, Wesleyans numbering only 352, Jews 257, and Baptists 132. In Scot- land Presbyterians head the list, followed by Roman Catholics, while there were one Lutheran and five Jews. Following the opening of the Royal Academy the customary banquet was held on Saturday at Burlington House, but a noticeable feature was that the Prince of Wales was absent, his Royal Highness not having arrived at home in time to attend, although it was stated a short time ago he would. The Duke of Connaught, however, was present, and, mentioning that he met the Prince and Princess at Aden, added that he had the pleasure of very nearly being sunk by them." The Premier, in his speech, asked what they were to do with the House of Commons, in which they wanted more accommodation. The members were anxious to do the work which they had been sent there to do, and Sir Henry intimated that some arrangement for their con- venience must be one of the first things to be attended to, for he believed that the House of Commons was the only assembly of the kind in the world that could not sit down under its own roof. The motor bicycle is said to have gone out of fashion, but there is apparently no means of finding out what is the immediate cause of the slump. A few years ago the motor cycle was very popular, but all at once it seems to have fallen into disgrace, and manufacturers cannot say why. The only reason that can be advanced is that the introduction of the low priced motor car is responsible in a large decree, and that the number of accidents due to the motor bicycle have also detracted from its popularity, while others say that the intricacy of cycle motors and their aptitude for going wrong" at critical moments have been responsible for the slump. But, whatever the reason, the fact remains that the number of motor cycles is decreasing, and perhaps before long we shall be as surprised at seeing one, as we should at one of the old "bone shakers" making its appearance in the street. t, A great many women go to "Fashionable Folkestone," so it is probable that some of them heard the remarks which the Rev. E. Husband (rather a suitable name) made about them at St. Michael's Church on Sunday afternoon in bis address on "True Womanhood and the "jwnward grade in the present day." Golf the rev. gentleman considers as a game only suit- able for men, cycling he thinks unfit for women, and smoking by women on railways he strongly C?nC^ rr1118" "^ie scene hi the Ladies' Gallery of the House of Commons recently was only another instance that matters were going from bad to worse. True womanhood was one of the most beautiful creations of God, said Mr. Husband, and we looked to the home for it. One wonders what the leaders of the Advance Woman party will have to say in reply,
At the invitation of the french tioviemmeut, Mr. H. Cunynghame, Assistant Under-Secre- tary cf the Home Office, and Mr. Atkinson, ins-ector of Mines, will attend the inquiry into the Courrieres mine disaster as the nepresenta* tives of Great Britain. Ex-Cabinet Ministers in re.ooipt of pensions, -it was announced in the House of Commons, are Viscount Cross, £ 3,000; Lord George Hamil- ton £ L,000 and Mr. Chaplin, Sir John Gorst, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, and Mr. Gerald Balfour, £ 1,200 each. Mr. Kemp, formerly divisional inspector of the Great Northern Railway at Leeds, has assumed his new duties as station master at King's Cross. "vVhoen I am prodded in one direction," sa-io: Mr. Herbert Gladstone (Home Secretary) at Caxton Hall, "it involves a cessation of WCIJ: in another direction. New Zealand's proposal for universal penny .7 postage has been rejected by the International Postal Congress at Rome, Egypt and the Unit-ed I States alone supporting the motion.
SCENE AT A GRAVESIDE. Attired in mourning, a tall, pretty woman named Helen Sheen, of China-walk, Lambeth, was re-, manded by the local magistrate under very singular circumstances. The magistrate was informed that Miss Sheen met Charles Sten, spice merchant, or China-walk, Lambeth, and he took her to his house and introduced her to his sister as a friend. When he awoke next morning he discovered tha" his safe was empty, money and jewellery to the; value of E200 having disappeared. So had Misr Sheen. The police, informed of the matter, went tc Kensal-green Cemetery, a,nd found Miss Sheen, in deep mourning, kneeling at a graveside in an atti tude of prayer. When the detectives informed her of their mission she asked them what they meant by disturbing her at her "dear father's; grave." "There must be some mistake," replied one detective. The tombstone is that of a lady. They then arrested her. The funeral of a, sister of the prisoner was tc take place shortly after, and accused said If yon will only let me see my pocr sister put under the. ground I will tell you all about it. The money i: spent, but you might get the jewellery back. I am not going to put up with all of it myself; there were others in it." The detectives guarded tha prisoner during the 'funeral and then took her to Kennington-lane. On the way she told them tha*: they had acted as gentlemen, and had done all that sne could have expected them to do. After she war. charged she adopted a different tone, and declined to give any information.
I SATISFIED WITH NOTHING Sir Edward Eigar, after tb& performance ci his "Apostles." at the Cincinnati festival, wae aeked if 11 was pleased with its reception. "Why," asked Sir Edward, somewhat irritated, "why ruin the dignity of the performance by applause between the episodes ?" "But aren you satisfied with Cincinnati's enthusiastic greeting ?" rejoin-ed the questioner. "I knew nothing about it," replied the composer. "I walk to the desk, take up my baton, and set about my work. I am merely an artist, and as an artiist I'm satisfied with nothing CB eaa-th
SERIOUS FACTORY FRAUDS. Frauds. which are computed to amount w R-30,000 are stated to have been discovered in connection with. tthe sewing machine factory ci Messrs. Singer and Co., at Clydebank, Glasgow. It is ,stat.ed that factory liandis in various departments have "for years been pilfering cer- tain machine parts made, for dispatch 4to tho English Midlands, to be put 'together there anct soldi. The Scotch police are investigating th9 matter, and have already made several arrests. As -the firm employ 9000 hands, the discovery has cre.ated a, sensation.
CLOUD BURST IN CHESHIRE. There was a, cloud-burst at Hyde, Cheshire on Tuesday. Roads were blocked up, tramwav: and railw.ay traffic was interrupted; houses were f flooded, to a depth of six feet, and hundreds oS people left their houses and belongings in fear. A portion of a leather works was destroyed, a roof collapsed at a hat works, and part of tho machine-room at a calico print works was wa.shed away. The total damage is estimated! at over £ 10,000.
The Manchester and Salford Savings Bank has inaugurated a system of home safes," which are lent to depositors in the bank. The bank retains the key, and when the money-boxen are emptied their contents are added to the de- positors' bank account.