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PERSONAL. Mies E. Stafford-Miller (Sister Eleanor) has arrived in Melbourne from America, where she holds an important position in the Moody liible Institute, Chicago. After a breakdown in health the management of the institute insisted on Miss Adller taking a 12 months' rest. She will visit Pei th Ehortly to stay with her sister, Mrs. lIar man, Malcolm-street. A telegram from Melbourne last evening stated that after a brilliant career in many spheres of activity the Rev. Samuel Gil fillan McLaren, M.A., of Kew, died on Sun day, aged 74 years. Mr. Frederick Butler. son of Cr. J. P. Butler, of Boulder, has returned to that town after a course of two years' study for the priesthood, in Manly College. Sydney. He has been selected by the principal of that institution to proceed to Rome, where he will enter upon a four years' study in the Propaganda College. He will leave the State in the R.M.S. Otway on October 6. Three artists who have been seen in Australia figure in the cast of Louis Par ker's version of "David Copperfield," due this month for production in London by Sir Herbert Tree. Miss Agnes Thomas is to play Betsy Trotwood, Miss Sydney Fairbrother will figure as Mrs. Micawber, and Ham Peggotty will be in the hands of Frederick Ross. Robert Crawford, of Edinburgh, who died recently, was the possessor of a Stradivarius violin which cost him £2,000. The instrument has a romantic history. It was bought about 1827 by an eccentric named Tarisio,, who gave. up his trade as a carpenter and started searching every nook and corner of Italy for Cremona violins. He lived alone in a wretched attic in Milan, where, one day in 1854, he was found dead among a confused heap of fiddles. There were 250 of them, the re sult of a 30-years' hunt. A noted Paris dealer, bearing of the wonderful collection, set off for Milan post haste, and purchased the 250 instruments for the nominal sum of £3,166. Among them hb found one specially magnificent "Strad"-the instru ment which Mr. Crawford bought in 1890 for £2,000. The Paris dealer kept it till his death, in 1875, and so anxious was he for its safety that during the Franco German war he buried it, case and all, in a damp-proof, air-tight box, and did not unearth it till peace was proclaimed. Before the war Mr. Martin Harvey was preparing to present in London, on an elaborate scale, several productions ar ranged by Max Reinhardt, the celebrated German producer. "Everyman" was to have been the first piece staged. Whether the scheme will now be proceeded with is doubtful. Lieutenant-Col. H. G. Chauvel is called the luckiest man in the Australian Army (observes a Melboutue contemporary). He has left for Europe, to act there as the Commonwealth representative on the Im perial General Staff, and he is likely to have his first work in Central Europe. The late General Road used to lament the ex treme politeness of the Japanese, who would not let him go to the front when he was with them as the Australian attache. They were quite kind, and quite polite, and quite firm; and the General who had travelled to see .the wars, not to he beset by tantalising politenes-com plained that he was always, kept twelve miles away from the fighting. Chauvel may have better luck. A prominent figure in theatrical circles, Mr. William McLean, has passed away in New Zealand. After the destruction of the first Opera House in Wellington, Mr. McLean was appointed secretary of the company, a position which he held until his death He was 69 years of age, and arrived in New Zealand from Scotland in 1863, and for a time tried his luck on the Otago goldfields. Mr. McLean represented Wellington in the House of Representa tives, having been elected in 1892. Sir Frederick Cowen is at work on a comedy opera in collaboration with Mr. Dion Clayton Calthrop, the subject being a fantastic one. He has already composea the -music of the frst act, and the whole work, it is hoped, will be completed shortly. In serious vein at least four operas from this composer's pen have seen the light. The first wife of the Sultan of Turkey, accompanied by two princesses and several ladies-in-waiting, was present recently at the distribution of prizes in connection with the milit?ry nurses' training schools in Constantinople. This is the first occasion on which the wife of the Sultan and Iadies from the palace have. attended a public ceremony. Miss A. L. Christiansen, who is the first L.M.S. missionary who has gone from here, and whom Victoria has undertaken to sup port entirely, left Melbourne last week for China, where she will take up work as the matron of the Union Medical Hospital in Peking, under the London Missionary Society (writes a Melbourne correspondent on September 9). Miss Christiansen hashad considerable experienco as a trained nurse and in missionary work. As a vocalist she has given her services freely to charit able entertainments. Dr. E. J. Stuckey. with his wife, is tiravelling with Miss Christiansen to Peking. He is in charge of the Union Medical Hospital there, and has been on furlough for a considerable time in Melbourne. Brotherly devotion and family pride were expressed finely in the will of Gene ral Sir Dighton Probyn's brother, William Probyn. "In admiration," runs the will, "of the splendid services which my brc ther, Sir Dighton Macnaghton Probyn, has rendered to the State, in both a military and a civil capacity, and the honour which he has added to the name of Probyn, : hereby bequeath to him a legacy of £1,000.' The recipient of this remarkable tribtte is over 80 years of age, and for over 53 years was the friend and cenfidant ot Queen Alexandra and the late King Ed ward. Sir Dighton prolably knows as much as anyone about ,hs mnn lif" at C ~ct while no one, with tie pos?ib'e tc ce'pti'n f Lord Knollys, has en,,y-l -he cosc'cuce oc mermbers of th' R ya! Faiyv

to anything like the same extent as he has. Ani his s~'raes to the Sta"e, to ib ch -.s brother refers, are indeed worth remember ing. Very few soldiers have won more hcnours on the battlefield than Sir Digh ton. For his gallantry in the Indian Mu tiny he was mentioned in despatches no fewer than seven times, and he was thanked by the Government. After the Mutiny he saw a great deal of active ser vice, in token of which his chest is covered with medals, decorations, and orders. Among them is the coveted V.C., won at Agra in the year of the Mutiny. Michael Reddatz, assistant keeper of the Zoological Gardens in Toledo, Ohio (U.S.A.) was killed by an elephant. A year ago Raddatz gave the animal indvertently some soapy water to drink, and it is believed that the elephant nursed its grievance. A former minister of Wallaroo (S.A.), the Rev. W. Thomson, M.A., B.D., passed away in his fifty-third year in Glasgow. He had a distinguished career in the Aber- deen University in mathematics and phy sics, and it was felt that as a mathemati cian he would have risen to great eminence. But he chose the work of the ministry, and devoted himself to that as heartily as strength would allow. After some ex perience of church work in Scotland he went to Wallaroo in 1889, but after four years he had to resign because of poor health. He went to Glasgow for special medical advice, and died there away from home. A miscellany of good things by famous writers has been got together by Mr. E. V. Lucas. for "Ietlhuen's Annual," edited by him. Tney include some hitherto unprinted letters by Browning. Ruskin, and Stevenson. Browning's--called "A Castigation"-was addressed to an unnamed "officious and hasty literary man." who incensed the poet by getting possession of some of Mrs. Browning's correspndcnce, and propoing to write her biography. Ruskin's letter was to Browning-a singularly frank criti cism of a poem, in which, like many other readers, he found "the most amazing conun drnuns." Boys and their parents are never at a loss for an excuse for non-attendance at school. One of the most original excuses ever tade appeared recently in the "Yellow Dragon," the magazine of the Queen's Col lege, Hong-Kong. It ran as follows:-"Dear Sir.-1 bcg to report that my nephew. Fund Yuen-Li, of Class 4 B, has been kidnapped for ransom by robbers, at my village, on the 6th inst. His whereabouts is not yet known. I hope you will kindly grant hin !cave of absence from school.-Yours obed iently. Fung Yat.-Sun." Leave of absence was granted. Young Fuug was kept by the brigands for 40 days, and then ran comed for 1,200 dollars. ''ho Mayor of Eastbourne, England, en tertained recently at luncheon Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly and the officers of the First Battle Squadron of the British Fleet. The fleet was anchored off the town, and thou sands of tars went ashore. Prince Albert, who is a midshipman on the Collingwood, enjoyed on the previous day a game of cricket, and played golf on the links of the tEastbourne Downs Club