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The Adbertiser THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23. 1886.

The annual public assemblage of the University for the conferring of de-<*> grees took place with proper academic pomp yesterday. The library, which

for want of a larger hall has to do duty as a theatre, was crowded to excess. Bi? Excellency tiie Governor and several membera of the Ministiy, in addition to the graduates in their gorgeous robes, were among the assembled company. The pro ceedings paaaed off with befitting dignity, which the youthful exuberance of the undergraduates enlivened bat did not disturb. The nnmber of degrees conferred was smaller than that last year, bat the ceremony of ccnfeiring them was marked especially by the appearance of tiie first resolta of the law teaching of the University. Con spicuous among the candidates for degrees wbb Sir. Charlea Todd, who was admitted aa a Master into the University of Cam bridge on the occasion of his recent visit to England, and who was received as a graduate ad enndcm into our University. The privilege of admitting graduates of other universities has only been availed of by a few universities, but, where it has obtained, no distinction has ever been drawn between those who have wrought for their degrees and those who hare been honored by a degree conferred <*??.s? hou'oix. If the University of Cambridge saw fit to confer its academic hall-mark on so noted a scientist as Mr. Todd when a mere visitor in England, and felt itself honored by his accepting the distinction, the University of Adelaide may congratulate itself that it has been enabled, in accor dance with its rules, to admit into its senate one who has won his renown by his public services in this colony as a citizen of Adelaide. After the degrees had been conferred an address was delivered by the Chancellor, in which he reviewed the work of the University during the year, and this in turn was followed by tbe annual oration, delivered on thia occasion by Professor Tate. Tbe Chan cellor referred especially tc the changes in the legislation of the University which have marked the paat year. Ai the colony has grown the University has grown with it, and it baa been found cecessaiy to codify and rearrange the statutes and regulations. The new aud old regulations in their present form hare received the Governor's aasent, and there fore have their full force. The meaning and the usefulness of these altered statutes will Be made more mani fest as time advances. The full bearing of them ia at present only understood by thoae who have given ao much time and attention to framing them, and we renture to think that even tbey bave hardly measured the importance and the far reaching effects of the so-called " higher public examination," which opens wide tbe door of academic distinction to those who are not able to become ordinary students. We have already expressed our high approval of this most important and popular change. Tbe University ought to afford the beat tuition tn the colony on ail subjects, but we do not ace wby it ahould have tbe monopoly in teaching. If thoee who study by them selves, or have efficient private tuition, are able to pass the examinations for degrees there is no reason why tbey should not be allowed to graduate. The ide;J university of this century is one which cornea midway between the older form, which is that of a mere teaching institution, and the form adopted by the London University, which gives degree* but affords no teaching whatever. Among the notable incidents of the j ear to which tlie Chancellor referred a prominent place must be assigned to the completion of the medical curri culum. The course of instruction for a medical man in any university extends over four or five years. The first two years are those which entail the mist expense on the managers of any medical school. The teaching of physiology and anatomy must be entrusted to professors whose time is almost entirely given to tutorial worl.. For tbese subjects special buildings and special appliances are re quired and mutt be provided. To provide for the remaining years of the M.B. course demands no increase in buildings or lecture rooms, and the severa, subjects ma}', fittingly aud with profit, be entrusted to those who hare the advantage of tlie <i_ily practice of their profession to assist them. This was the plan adopted hythe council, and the Chancellor informed the pablic yesterday that the moderate sum required for the smaller salaries of the medical lecturers has been met, partly by the (.? overnment and partly by tliat generous friend to the I Diversity. Sir Thomas Elder. The < lovel-nment have been accustomed to devote £200 a year for four years as a travelling scholarship. This scholar ship has hitherto been the highest prize which any young man could obtain, and tbe oolony has no reason to be ashamed of those wbo bave attained to the coveted distinction of being ''South Australian Scholars." With the altered circumstances of the oolony the need for this scholarship has. however, paaaed away. The educational advantages now furnished by the Univer sity were not obtainable in the colony a dozen yeara ago. Seeing this to be the case the Government did no. deem it a profitable use of public money t.i spend £800 per annum in tempting our four cleverest youths to settle in other countries, and decided to abilish tliis scholarship after the award of it in 188 C. This will effect after next year an increasing saving of £200 per annum to the country during the succeeding four years. The council with a very wise forethought cast righteously covetous eyes on this amall saving. It seemed to afford a way out of their difiiculty with regard to the medical aehool. The council ac cordingly suggested that tbe income pre viously granted to the scholarship ahould be transferred to the medical school, and the suggestion was adopted by the Ministry and by Parliament. The amount required was, however, more than this ' timely promise wonld provide. The scholarships do not fall in for some time, end money waa wanted for immediate action. Sir Thomas Elder qgain appeared, as on

previous occasions, as the dettse madiiua.. He generously offered £500 for two years in succession, not towards endowment, but to provide an income out of which the lecturers might be paid. The University is now almost complete in its arrangemente. As Professor Tate pointed out. it might at some future time add some special teaching in two important and scientific pursuits of this colony, mining and agriculture, but for the present the machinery is finished. It is to be hoped that the University will now enter upon a new era of progress and useful ness. The number of undergraduates is, we believe, considerably larger this year than in previous years; we hope iv the course of a few yeara to see these students come up for tbeir degrees. The candi dates for the now defunct junior and matriculation examinations were more numerous in 1886 than on any previous occasion. The number who have passed the first and second years of their degrees is greater than we have noticed in the announcements of the results of tlie examinations in other years. The exact figures will, we presume, be found in the report, which t"e Chancellor said would be presented to the Governo** during next month. The list of undergraduates, we know, exceeds 100, and there are nearly as many non-graduating students. Such numbers and such results present a pic ture of work and enterprise and laudable ambition of which no South Australian need be otherwise than proud The Uni versity has done well, and what it has done in the past is an earnest of greater and better thing? in time to come.

The statement we publish from the Hon. R. C. Baker in another column, respect ing his ahare in the negotiations for the establishment of a federal ocean mail service, serves to correct some grave mis apprehensions and misstatements of fact which, in ill-informed circles, have tended to obscure the real value of his services. Air. Baker has, to aome extent, been put on his defence by the attacks made upon him in the Melbourne Argus, a journal which hw systematically sneered at tiie attempt to secure for the Australian colonies an ocean mail service on more advantageous terms than those of tiie existing contract. By the Argus ao much has been made of the fact that the two companies tendering for the new service have more or less ignored the cardinal features of the scheme elaborated by Mr. Baker—pay ment for postages by weight, a reduced term of contract, and the increased speed of mail steamers—that attention has been diverted from advantages that have actually been gained. Among these are the simplification of the system of accounts now kept between the colonies and the Imperial authorities; the agreement of Great Britain to pay a fairer share than she has hitherto done towards the cost of the ocean service ; and the partial concession already made by France and Italy in the reduction of the Continental transit rates. In respect of these and other matters there is a real gain to the Australian oolonies, of which under no possible circumstances will they be deprived. Tlie chaige laid against Mr. Baker of endeavoring to set ap a fancy service, which can only be obtained by payment of a fancy mice, is in short entirely due to want of knowledge, whidi is exposed with sufficient clearness and severity in tiie statement we publish from that gentieman. Of course, it cannot but be regretted that the steamship com panies have not taken co kindly to the Baker arrangement as it waa hoped that they would do; but tiie Postal Conference recently he.d in Melbourne have determined upon auch measures as will at any rate —there is good ground for hoping—lead to a much better and more economical service than the existing one. It w"ll be seen by a London telegram that the English Post-Office anthoritiea have invited the Agents General to a con ference regarding the proposJa recently agreed to at Melbourne. As it is intended to call for freeh tenders unless the P. & O. and Orient Companies can be induced to aooept one of three proposals, the details of which have not been revealed, there is certainly no room for delay in opening up negotiations. The present mail contracts terminate on January 3L, 1888, and it is therefore highly desirable that the questions now in dispute should be settled without waste of time. One point in Mr. Baker's communication to us cannot be overlooked. It appears that tbat gentle man was quite ready and willing to furnish to the Government a report of the results of his mission to England, but for some reason or other was told that he need not do ao. Surely it would have been an sd vantage to the Postal Conference had such a report been available for reference. Mr. Baker's personal attendance and advice on the occasion would, however, have been better still. From what has been permitted to transpire of the pro ceedings of the conference it is evident that on at least une point- -the nature of the arrangement with Great Britain as to payment for mail matter sent by rail fr'-tn Adelaide to the other Australian capitals—there was a good deal of doubt ai.d misapprehension in the minds of several of the delegates. It seems that Mr. Baker c?uld have put this matter in a perfectly clear light, and uuder the cir cumstances it was a mistake that his attendance, or, at all events, a report fiom him, was not obtained for the assist ance uf the conference.

It Professor Custance could only see him self as others see him he would assuredly perceive that he lias placed himself in a wry ridiculous position iudeed, and would be anxious with as good grace as possible to get out of it. We have always recognised hia ability and acknowledged the great servioe that his connection with the Agricultural College was likely to render to the cause of agriculture in the colony, and we have no reason whatever to alter the conclusions we have arrived at on these points. But Professor . distance has resigned his position, and notwithstanding our opiniuu as to his ability we cannot aay that any comae but the acceptance of his resignation would be wise, unless, indeed, he himself withdraws from the false posi tion into which he has got. The affair is simple enough; and the cause of all the trouble is in itself totally insufficient to justify the extremes to which the matter has Veen pressed, lt appears that the Commissioner of Crown Lands arranged with Mr. Custauce that two gentlemen ahould be selected to assist in the exami nation of the students early in the pre sent month. Several gentlemen were asked, but one only consented to act. As the time for the examination was ap proaching, and aa aakward hitch seemed imminent, the Commissioner wrote to two other gentlemen thinking that he would probably obtain the aervioea of one or other of them. However, they both con sented to act, and the veiy natural course waa taken of having three instead of two examiners. Mr. Howe was unable to be present at tbe examination, but his secre tary represented him. It seems that Mr. distance had not previously been in formed of tiie alteration of the number of the examiners, and he refused to re cognise one of them, though the secre tary of the Commissioner of Crown Lands explained that he had been duly appointed. The examination was got through some how in spite of Mr. distance's protest, and, according to hb account of the facts of tiie case, the Commissioner of Crown Lands subsequently characterised the conduct of Mr. Custance as insulting to him (tlie Commissioner). It would really be difficult to know how else to describe

it. The insult sras not so much to the gentleman whom Mr. distance refused to recognise as to the Commissioner who appointed him. Mr. distance, in fact, set the Commissioner's authority at de fiance, and acted in a manner that muat have been exceedingly annoying to a gentieman who had assumed the position of examiner at the invitation of Mr. Howe. Mr. Custance declares he "will not accept the position of a cadet in the Crown Lands Office, nor allow anyone who may chance to visit the college to interfere in the management." Well, no one dreamed of a .king him to do either of the two things, and his " therefore, my connection with the college will cease" is a bombastic non seqititm*. If his connection with the col lege ceases it will not be because he would not be a cadet, nor because he would not allow any one who " chanced" to visit the college to interfere with the management, but simply because Mr. Custance made a mountain of a molehill, and had not the good sense to perceive what was due to tbe head of the department and the courtesy to act with consideration to a gentleman who had consented to render a aervice to the college Any public officer who haa no more self-con trol than to act as Mr. distance has acted, invents for himself the alternative of apologising or withdrawing from the ser vice. No one but himself can determine which course he will prefer.

The Zoological and Acclimatisation Society is, in the words of hia Excellency the Governor, a "teal live society." Under vigorous management the Zoo has rapidly become one of the moat popular places of resort in the city. The institution is hardly yet oat of its infancy, but its success hae been established be yond a donbt, and it is constantly increas ing in attractiveness. Last year, through the visit of the director to India and other eastern countries, the society was enabled to make considerable additions to ita collection of animals and birds. From other sources valuable gifts were re ceived, and by establishing closer rela tions with similar bodies in foreign countries the society is continually en larging its means of obtaining new attractions for the gardens. Financially the institution is better off than it was last year. It of course receives sub stantial State assistance, but Uiis can hardly be grudged unless by veiy severe economists -who may have no teste for zoology themselves. That the Z_o is growing in public favor is proved by tihe gratifying increase in the receipts from visitors. There was a gocd deal of talk in Parliament last session as to throwing open the gardens free to the public at au times. A free Zoo is a luxury which few cities, if any, enjoy, and it was not made clear why Adelaide should leave the beaten track; but at any rate there seems no lesson for making such an expensive experiment as waa proposed when it ia found that the people pay so cheerfully for tbeir enjoyment. To guarantee ihe uninterrupted success of the institution it will be needful to make the most of all opportunities for extending the natural history collection, beautifying the grounds, and providing conveniences for visitors. Shady cooks, with abundance of Beats, will tempt many into a garden who would otherwise stay outside, while an occasional open-air concert will be found a valuable means of gaining ?J?liri?n?l patronage. The sodety, however, may be touted not to lose sight of such matters as these. In respect to its work of introducing and acclimatising foreign birds, much care ahonld be exorcised. Many pf tha wont pests of the colony aa?~ naturalised aliens, which, at the time of their introduction here, were believed to possess an irreproachable character. According to Sir K. D Boss the Engliah blackbird promises soon to join the ranks of "vermin." Not only has this bird apparently forgotten its tuneful note, which was the tale reason of lis importa tion, but its tribe is Increasing fast, and it is likely before long to prove as tronbleaome as the sparrows now are. South Australian experience of acdirnati eatinn experiments in the past has in so many instances been unfortunate that great caution in the future will be recognised as an obvious necessity.

The latest telegrams regarding the Euro pean situation are interesting and im portant. The Bulgarian delegate-, who have been visiting the European Courts to explain the position of affiurs most by this time have abandoned hope of tbe success of their mission The sympathies . of the great military monarchies of the Continent are not to be easily moved where the question at issue ia merely as to whether a patriotic but feeble nation is to be supported in its resistance to iniqui tous interference and oppression. . The r. ply < f the Austrian minister who re ceived the delegates waa, to begin with, discouraging. Count Kalnoky simply referred to his former utterances whidi, so far as concerns Bulgaria, -were not rrgaided as being veiy frank and explicit, for they simply amounted to an expression of unwillingness to " take up a throaten ii-g attitude without the most po-itive necessity.'' The circumstances which would demand the adoption of audi an attitude were not defined, and ths Bul garians could hardly have gathered com fort from the advice of Count Kalnoky to '* take a moderate course of action." The reception accorded to the delegates at Berlin was, as they might hare ex pected, even more discouraging. Prince Bismarck was significantly absent when they waited upon the Government, and the duty of entertaining them devolved upon Count Herbert Bismarck, who ciuld only c utisel them to come to terms with Russia. The report that he advised the acceptance of the Prince of MuurreSia is, it trill be observed, denied The Bulgarians have other reasons for objecting to this personage than the fact that he is a Bussian nominee. It appears that he is without any social standing whatever, having risen from the rank of a derk in some public office. He is, according tb Colonel Stewart, who hss written to the 1 tines in strong terms on the subject," only one of a number of Mingrelian princes, whose titles are utterly mislead ing. They are descendants of Persian clans, and have migrated to the Trans-Caucasus province of Russia, where tbey are ready to take any official pori tion. As to the attitude of the Powers on this question there is no evidence that they are supporting the Russian nomina tion, nor, indeed, are they in sufficient harmony on any point to afield an idea as to the course of events. The Bulgarian Sobranje propose to re-elect Prince Alexander, but the consent of Germany would certainly be a prerequisite to Wb return. Of course ihe question at issue is as to how far the nterests of Germany and Austria are i ompat-ble with the toleration of Russian ntrigues in Bulgaria The -military activity of Austria seems to be regarded aa a menace by Turkey, where the opinion evidently prevails that a hostile move ment towards Salonica is contemplated. If events ahould confirm this - view the only question that will remain ia whether such action would disdose ass agreement with Bussia for the mutual partition of South-Eastern Europe on the plan ao often talked about, or whether the extension of Austria downwards would be prompted by -an intention to counteract a corresponding move on the part of Russia. The fint edition of the Christmas number of the CftronicZe wi-lbe oa aale to-day. Orders have already been reodved for over 21,000 oopiee, and early applii-ati1 *1 * wQI therefore be steoes - ary by those who bave not taken the precau tion to order tiie paper. Wishing to take advantage of the probable presence in town on Monday next of many old colonists, his EsToeUency the Governor wHihold a reception of old colonists on tiiat day from 3.30 to &30 paa. Some misuaderrtanding appears to hays arisen in connection srith tbe diplomas that were to have been distributed to tha aaecestf ul

etudsafa at tiw Boseworthy Agricultural College on Wednesday morning. Professor Custance explained their non-presentation to the fact that they bad been returned to him unsigned. The Commissioner of Crown lianda informs us that the only diplomas tfaat were ever in his office were several wfaich Pro fessor Custance had brought tbere as speci mens. Tbey were neither filled in, nor did the Commissioner receive any intimation tiiat they were intended for distribution, and thinking the professor had forgotten them he simply forwarded them to him. He expected as usual to receive tte proper forms filled in ready for signature. The Commissioner also referred to another reason of the professor's for sending in his resignation. On writing to several gentlemen asking them to act as examiners, only one accepted, aad as the time was drawing to a dose the Commissioner wrote to two otfaers, on tbe understanding that if both accepted there should bs three examiners instead of tsro as requested by the professor. It was, however, important to avoid a hitch, and rccerdingly, to be on tfae safe tide, these two gentlemen were communicated with and agreed to art, and that accounted for there being three examiners. This was explained to Professor Custance on the day of the examina tion. The professor's account of tte proceed ings appears in another column. At tbe meeting of the Central Board of Health on Tuesday tte president (Dr. WbittelfL in referring to the cause of Mr. Vipont Howgate's death, and the sanitary con dition of tiw pretrisas of the Bank of South Australia, stated that tte Hydraulic Engineer had called on him to explain that tiie depart ment wsb in no way responsible for the defects that had been met with in the drahuge of tiie Bank of South Australia. Mr. Meetayer aaid that thia bank was one of tte earliest buildings connected witb tiie sewere, and tiiat every possible obstacle had been put in the way of tiie department by the architect or builders, wfao were more careful about tbe appearance of tte bank thau its sanitary condition. The department bad, however, insisted on the more imp3rtant requirements being attended to, but on examination it was now found that since the work was passed alterations, of whidi he would not have approved, had been made without his consent. The lavatory and bath waterpipes bad been altered, and connected with the soil pipes from the closet. It was intended to prosecute the persons who had made the alterations so soon aa their names oould be ?discovered. The Hon. J. Martin returned to Adelaide from Sydney and Mdbourne on Wednesday evening after an absence of about a month, during tbe first part of which time fae was en gaged as a member of the Stores Commission in prosecuting enquiries into tte control and j manacement ofthe Victorian Government stores. As Boon as the business of the com mission was disposed of Mr. Martin, accom- I panied try aome of the other members of tiie | c_m___-fl?ion,-__d Mr.T. Harry (secretary), went onto Sydney, and from thenoetothe Blue Moun tains, where ttey spent a few days very plea santly. On returning to Melbourne the original party broke up and returned to Ade laide, only Messrs Martin and Harry bdng left. These gentlemen went down to Gipps land. and inspected oome of the oountry re cently opened up round Warragul, whidi is now the leading township in that part of ths colony. Tbey describe the land as being of very extraordinary fertility, though heavily timbered. The timber round Warra gul is a land of white gum, poor in quality, and practically worthless for commercial purposes, but easily cleared. The proaess of -clearing ta very aimpln. Hie trees are ringed, and within a year or two tiiey rot and fall away, and are tten dragged off to form material foe a kind of rude fence, for which purpose tbey are ranged in horizontal lines. Aa soon aa tbs timber .ia cleared off grass grows witt wonderful freedom and richness, and in ..some casea potatoes or fruit trees planted witt tich result*. After leaving Ms-bourne a visit was paid to BaUacat, where the Band aod Albion Mine and tiw Phoenix Foundry ware inspected. Mr. Sergeant, the legal manager of tiw Band and Albion, was most courteous, affording tiie visitors a great deal at valuable information on tbe subject of goldmininggeueially and taking Mr. Harry to tiw bottom of the workings, a depth of abont 1,200 feet. The mine is looking very well, and is paying a handsome return to tiw enterprising proprietors. At the Pfccenix Foundry Messrs. Martin and Harry bad an opportuniiy of seeing all the ap pliances m use tn connection with the locomotive industry—a branch of business whidi tiw policy ot the Victorian Govern ment haa done much to faster, with great advantage to the oolony. On the day when tbey were at Ballarat the newa arrived ttat tte Phoenix Coanpaay bad been tbe successful t-?)erea for 30 autre engines. At Dimboola tbe hooae of Mesasa..Molar Broa_, tiw wdl taown contracture, was placed at tiw disposal of the Bot__h Huetrilian uaton, wfao were most hnaptaMy entertained by Mra. Powis, tbe housekeeper to Miasm. M___sc The whole journey, a distance of abont 3,000 miles by rail, was acoosnpEsbed without any mi_hsy, except thaton the return trip from tfae Blae Mountains an unfortunate maa, who waa standing on a bridge aear Homebash, was caught by the feedffer-bar of an engine, aad knocked into tte ?reek bdow, a distance of aome 30 feet. Tha train was stopped, and the yoong fdlov picked -cp unccmsdoiu. He was conveyed into the van, and died a few minutes later. Dr. Toll repmta that everything ia connec tion with the passengers ia quarantine is pro ceeding satisfactorily. A nurse bas been en gaged for tha two patients suffering from ?dysentery. * A sample of oats has been brought to this office, aome of tte plants being over 7 feet high, wtth stalks iiiiosiiiiufl mora than an mdi in ?circumference. Tbs sample wm taken from a -crop grown by Mr. John Stuart, of Little barnpt-S-. A lad named James Wilson, aged 14, was admitted to the hospital oa Toeaday evening suffering fram a depressed fracture ofthe skull. Wilson was sitting on a wall which surrounds the circus ia Wakefidd stied, wfaen he waa struck by a stone thrown by a circus employ^ sained John PoweU, The injury was so severe aa to require an operation, part of the skull beingremoved. PoweU will be brought before the Police Oourt this morning. A fire whicb totally destroyed a small shed used in connection with bee-fanning ooenrred -on tte premises of Mr.O.G. Gurr.of Follarton. at aoout 1 o'dock on Wednesday morning; The abed waa discovered to be on fire by Mr. ?Gurr, who,- witt tte assistanoe of aeveral neighbor*, made every effort to extinguish the flames, but without success. Tbe shod, to gether with four hives of bees, and the u_ual requisites for bee culture, were destroyed. The damage amounted to £12, and is not covered br ineurance. The coroner lias been informed of the occurence. London Truth ot Kovember 17 baa the following :—Tbe story of the Prince of Wales's letter to Cork about the Qaeen's Jubilee Fund, and its reception by tbe corporation, is very funny. "Bebd Cork" wishes to be civil, but does not know exactly arfaat to do with the document. One alderman moves that it be "marked as read." Another has doubts, but, on the whole, does not think ttat this will be " a courteous mode" of treating "an autograph letter from tte heir apparent." At length it is agreed that tbe best way of disposing of tte document without giving offence win be to "refer it to tiw law and finance oommittee." I imagine that tiw committee will report tiiat inasmuch as it is only upon tfae coin of the realm that fork ever has an opportunity of seeing her Majesty's gracious features, it would be in no sense conducive to Cork loyalty to part with a single effigy of their bdoved sovereign. The following news from tbe Diamantina, dated Deoember 6, appean in tiw Port Augusta Dispatcli .-—" We were blessed witt a nice fall of rain on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday last, the total registered being about 2} inches. The rein seemed to be confined to the country between BirdsviUe and Goyder's Lagoon; but so authentic information ia to hand yet as to ita limits. The beat today is intense; and a further downpour is hopefully looked for. Last week a man named Thomas Ward, lately in tiw employment of Mr. Armstrong, at Alton Downs, a* cook, was found in a perish ing condition about 18 miles from Kyratunka. Ha had been aeveral days without water wben found, aad waa in such an exhausted atate ttat all efforts to revive bim failed, and be died within an hour. Large mobs of fat cattle for the Adelaide ma-At*. atill continue to pass, notwitb*t*_nding the trying atate of the weather." Tbe n-cetiag of the committee of the In dustrial Schod for the Blind, beld on Tuesday last, was of more than ordinary interest. Mr. tfae business manager, who faad been abtent on lrave for a tew weeks, kindly placed himself in the hands of tiw eossmittee to con tinue or otherwise aa tfaey might wtymAtf. best for tbe benefit of tfae institution. It sraa fdt tbat as through tiw hearty energy of Mr. Hendry, himself partially blind, who acts as collector of subscriptions and orders, the work bad been carried on with fair efficiency, tfae ?cost of extra supervision migfat bs saved, and it waa resdved to give tiw prsaunt aystema further trial of three months, when, if need be, tte former plan migfat be rs oumed. Mr. Hendry has an able lieute nant in Miss Liddell, who has developed con siderable hnaJnes? ability in conducting sales on the prs-nises. Thanks were given to Mr. Stephana for bis unselfish consideration of the cuenmataaaea of tiw concern, and he was added to tte committee. Tbe long-pro vised piano has at length marhod a resting place ia tiw recreation-room of tfae institution, aadbearty thanks were accorded to tbe donor, Mr. Vizard, for it aod a mnsic atooL wfaich frill be boom to tfaa blind inmates ia tiw way of amusement and the acquiremss-t of.anotfaer iad-isliy—piano tuning." Far gifts af fiorsshair and aupply of eggs fbr Christmas aad other ar ticles thanks srere given to Mr. J. H_ Angas,

Mr. Lucas, and Mr. Neinhaber. A very pleasing feature of the meeting sras the receipt of a letter from the blind workers, conveying their Christmas compliments, together with hearty thanks for the interest shotra and efforts made on their behalf, as they felt tiiat their lives had been made brighter and their interests quickened in consequence of having something to do and the prospect of bdng able to maintain themselves. A letter was also received from the superintendent of the Brighton institution, epeaking in praise of Mr. Hendry's zealousefforts, and complimenting the committee on the improvement effected by the alteration of the dormitory. The financial matters of the institution ara in fair condition, though contributions are still needed. A female applicant was accepted subject to ap proval by tiie medical officer. Some little Christmas festivity was arranged for, the instructors volunteering to take a week's holi day without pay. The members of the Fire Brigade Board and a number of insurance agents, representing the principal insurance offices in Adelaide^ met on ' Wednesday afternoon at Messrs. Wilkinson asd Mason's office, King William-street, to make a presentation to Mr. H: C. Salter, the Superintendent of Fire Biigades, on the eve of his marriage. Mr. W. Cavenagh, the chairman of the Fire Brigade Board, in proposing the health of Mr. Salter and presenting him with a handsome marble dock, a silver tea and coffee servioe, and four sflver breakfast cruets, referred ta the very efficient manner _in which he had performed his official duties, and tiie high esteem in which he was hdd by all those who were brought in contact with him. Mr. C. __*. Meyer, as one of tiie oldest members of the Fire Brigade Board, endorsed the remarks of Mr. Cavenagh, and gave a short sketch of the reorganisation of tbe brigade after the arrival of Mr. Salter in Addaide, and its subsequent operations, pointing out how efficient it had become nnder his vety able superintendence. Mr. F. S. C. Driffield, rfiairmim of the Fire Insurers Association, and Mr. W. B. Wilkinson, secretary of the Fire Brigade Board, also spoke in complimentary terms of 'blr. Baiter, who in responding to tiie toast said be bad always done and would continue to do hia best in perfectuiK the brigade. The health of Messrs. Wilkinson and Mason was also honored. Ths following communication from the con vener of the colonial committee of the Free Church of Scotland has been received by the Bey. Dr. Nish, as Moderator of the Presby terian Federal Assembly, held iv Sydney last July:—"Edinburgh, October, 1866. To the Bey. Dr. Nish, Moderator of late Federal Assembly of tbe Presbyterian Churches of Australia and Tasmania. Bey. Dear Sir— The colonial committee of the Free Church of Scotland watched with interest the courae of the preliminary negotiations among tfae Aus tralasian churches, whidi had their issue in the meeting at Sydney in July laat of the first Federal Assembly. A perusal of your open ing address as moderator and of the minutes of Assembly has left upon our minds a deep impression of the important results which are likdy to follow from the creation of such a court—results bearing most intimately on the welfare of the churches concerned, espe cially as affecting tte questions of discipline, home and foreign missionary effort, tiie train ing of the ministry, and finance. It is of no little consequence that the churches, separated geographically from each other by such distances, should be brought together for conference as to their different modes of procedure in fulfilling their functions as Christian institutions m new lands, destined to a great fntore. From the records of the recent meeting it is possible to see that con siderable gain must have oome from a com parison of schemes and agencies, each in its j turn being subjected to wholesome examina tion and criticism. In course of time doubt less this new court will assume a piwtion involving duties of a graver and more responsible kino. Such a development of its function.! will, however, be probably of slow growth. Meanwhile, as a court of arbit ration and advice it cannot fail to knit the churches together, to give and impulse to Christian work of all descriptions, to elevate the standard of ministerial efficiency, and generally to promote thoee ends whidi every Church ot Christ animated by tbe spirit of its Lord and Master has in view pre-eminently and constantly. The committee congratulate the churches of Australia and Tasmania on this tbeir first meeting in assembly, and they trust that aoon it will embrace all the Presby terian Churches of those great colonies. They express the fervent hope aod prayer that each annual gathering of tbe churches may ful fil tiie objects in view by its founders, and may alao be an era in the history of re igion ia that vast portion of oor colonial empire, through the presence of the great bead of the church, aad the rich outpouring of the spirit from on high.—ln name of the colonial oommitt-w, bdieve me, faithfully yours, Jam is C. Bcbns. convener." In tbe late Mr. Andrew 6. Johnston, whose remains were interred at the Invrrbradrie esmetaiy on Tuesday afternoon, the district of Onkaparinga has lost aa old and much iwpeUed resident. Hie deceased waa the youngest member of a family of five brothers and one sister, of whom ooly three now sur vive, namely, Mr. James Johnston, of Oak bank, Mr. John Johnston, of Adelaide, and Mia. Robert Smitb, of O'Halloren Hill. Tbe late Mr. Andrew Johnston was a native of CampbeDtown, in Scotland, which place he left for Soott Anstralia with hia parents aod theother membenof tfiefaan'lyin tbeyearlKSS wbeuquite a lad, and though coming to tbe oolony wben ao much rough work had to be done, and com forts and oooveniences ware acaree and dear, he yet reoeived what waa considered a very bur education. Aa aoon aa tte family began to be established hei c be went into bosuiass as a draperVi assistant in tte little Adelaide of those days, aad in that line of doty served a 10 yeara* apprenticeship. He tben started in hnsinesn on bis own amonnt a? storekeeper at Reedy Creek, where be continued to occupy himself untO tbe discovery of tbe Victorian goldfields in tbe early fifties, when with a party of friends he went over the border to try his lock at grid-seeking. Being fairly successful, on toa return he entered into partnership with his brother James as a miller near Bridgewater, : but the venture did aot prove a suoosss. Hs next directed his attention to brearing, and the I buaineea at Oakbank, already started by Mr. ! Johnson, sen., waa extended, and before long indications of a lanre and profitable business began to appear. This business partnership witb bis brother remained uninterrupted until tbe time of his death. Mr. Johnston was emphatically a "district man," aod with whatever waa calculated to promote tbe thrift and well-being of tte neighborhood he at once identified himself. To the last he took considerable interest in legitimate gdd-mining, and was a member of nearly every company and syndicate, large or small, within miles of Oakbank. All arho came in contact witfa him in such undertakings caa bear testimony to his sound judgment and disposition for fair dealing. _ Few men in the colony have scattered their earnings over a wider surface than he. But not being an obtrusive man it is only those intimately ac quainted with him who can have any idea of how much he attempted to do. In the whole district it is generally allowed that there was no more generous heart or ready hand than his. That he was a general favorite is not to be wondered at. Id his home life he was fortunate in a partner whose disposition accorded srith bis o?m. Only two members of their family survive—a daughter and son, who, with tbeir widowed mother, had learned the value ot a kind father and good husband. During a long residence in the district tfae deoeased was a devoted member and regular attendant of the Scots' Church at Inverbradrie and Woodside. One of the largest and most representative gatherings ever seen in Onkaparinga fallowed the remains of the deceased gentleman to their last resting place, ministers of religion, members of both bran dies of the Legislature, and the represen tatives of eveiy profession from far and near being in attendance. Hie immediate cause of death is said to faave been cancer in the throat. Tfae pupils of Franklin-street Seminary, be fore dispersing for their Christmas holidays on Tuesday, made a presentation to ths Misses Tilney of a pretty gipey table, witt majolica fruit bowl, flower vases, 4c, for which tiie recipients returned their cordial thanks. The Art and Industrial Krbibition held in the Congregational lecture haU, Hindmarsh, was brought to a dose on Wednesday evening. Tbere was a good attendance, and a brisk businets was carried on. The proceedings were inter-petsed with a definition bee and musical selection*. Herbert A Fitzgerald's Circus formed tbe centre of attraction to many persons on Wed nesday, the mid-day performance being specially pleasing to the juveniles, and the evenings entertainment affording genuine amusement to tho_ c of older growth, who filled the large tent in every section. The pro gramme will be repeated to-night. At tiie meeting of Court Hyde Park, A.0.F.. on Wednesday P.C B. J. C. Bailey was tbe redpient of an address from the court expressing appreciation of and thanks few tte services be bad rendered to it in his capacity as chief ruler, from whidi he waa about to retire. The address bad been neatly designed by Mr. G. Bobartson and appropriately framed. The final rehearsal of "The Messiah," to be performed in tbe V.M.C.A. HaU on Christmas nieht, took plaoe in the ball on Wednesday evening, wfaen the soloists, band, and chorus to the nnmber of about ISO were nrenont, and nnder the baton of Mr. O. J. Stevens tfae rehearsal pused off in tiie most satisfactory manner. We are informed that by the seats which are already taken a full honse is guaranteed for Christmas night. On Wednesday afternoon the dty coroner made enquiries respecting the origin ot the fire which occurred in ooe of the front bedrooms of the Sossea Hotd, Pott Adelaide, on the pre

-pious evening. He fame to the condusion that an inquest was unnecessary, the fire having been caused by a little boy (son of the landlord) playing with matches. Xhe damage done amounted to between £30 and £35. The furniture was not insured. The little girls engaged in newspaper voiding in the city were entertained at tea in the Young Women's Christian Association Rooms on Tuesday by Mrs. Colton, the president of tte association. After enjoying tte good things provided the childrenhad come games and other presents from a well-laden Christmas tree, given by some members of the association. The little company dispersed at an early hour after expressing their thanks for tte pleasant evening tfaey had spent. At Gamer's Booms this evening in addition to the performance by the Oscar Smith troupe there will be an exhibition of athletics in the form of a wrestling match for £50 between John Thomas (the champion of Australia) and Jack Graham (the middle-weight champion of tbe colonies). Ked Blackburn (an ex-Lnglish champion),DaveGreen,P. B. Roachock, andG. Douglas will also assist in the display of Indian dub exercises and other athletic bnsine??, so that the performance on the whole should command a full house. The monthly social in connection with the V.M.C.A took place in the hall on Tuesday evening. Various games were indulged in by the large number of members and their friends who were present. Not the least enjoyable portion of the entertainment were the glees, 4c, contributed by the Addaide English Glee Sodety, under Mr. Evans, of P.A College. Refreshments were handed round at 9 p.m., and an address was given by the acting-secre tary (Mr. J. J. Virgo). A large collection of plants, kindly lent for tte occasion by Mr. A. S. Devenisb, were on view in tiie halL At the meeting of the Loyal Glen Osmond lodge, LO 0.F., M.U., on Tuesday, P.G. Bro. Mark Goldeack was presented with a handsome tea and coffee service in recognition of valuable services rendered by hue as chair man of trustees during about 14 years. There was a large attendance of members and visitors from various lodges, induding the district officers. Bro. Goldeack, in suitable terms, thanked tbe lodge for their present. Songs and recitations by brothers added to the plea sure of the meeting. A successful conceit was given at the Church of England Mission Schoolroom, Islington, on Tuesday. The programme was well carried out by amateur pei formers, assisted by tbe Bowden Church choir. The Bey. T. Field presided, and whilst congratulating those who had originated the entertainment on tte success of tbeir efforts added that the pleasure of the evening had been increased by the fact that so many had by their presence testified tbeir deep sympathy with Mr. Joy and his family, to whose assistance the proceeds srere to be devoted. A vote of thanks was pasaed to all who had given their assistance. There was a full attendance of members of the Philharmonic Sodety at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening, when tbe final rehearsal of "The Messiah" took place, and passed off moet satisfactorily. Amongst those present was Mr. Frank Morton, tte bass soloist, who arrived in Adelaide by the Franklin on Wed nesday morning. Mr. Morton, who is an Englishman, made a name for himself in Md bourne recently by an excellent rendering of solos in Doorak's "Spectre's Bride," per formed in the Town Hall during the Cup week. Sir. Mortem, who has been studying under Mr. Gordon Gooch, AR. A M., for some time, recdved favorable press notices in the Victorian metropolis. On Tuesday evening an organ recital wa* given in tbe Gawler Congregational Church by Mr. C. A. Davies, the organist of the church. Tbere was a good attendance, and the audience listened with deep attention throughout. The recital oousi* ted of selections from the worian ol Viviani, Badi, Mozart, Meyerbeer, Handel, Mendelssohn, and Costa. During the after noon and evening a sale of gifts and a Christ mas tree waa proceeding in the schoolroom, and resulted profitably, time being a large at tendance. Tbe stalls were managed by Mesdames Deland, Jones, Cox, Wehrstedt, Bine, and Wise, and tte Misses Wehrstedt, -Bilfers, A. Hilfer., and Turner, and Mr. Campbell Deland. Tbere was also a prome nade conoert, at which several amateurs as sisted. We bave received from the Wesleyan Book Depot a copy of "Queen Victoria; Her Life and Reign. The author is T. F. Bdl, and the publishers are Messrs. Partridge tt. Co. The book is descriptive of tte chid scenes and incidents in the life of the Qaeen, and is de gig&id to commemorate tbe jab-Ire of faer Majesty's reign. The author says—"Owing to the seclusion in which tbe Queen bas mostly lived for aome years paat many of tiw preseat generation bave never asm her, and have no vety vivid idea of her as a real penno." This little volume certainly ought to do somethinK towards enabling its isadeis to form a correct idea of the Queen's character and daily life, and to bring her nearer to them. It goes over ground that is tolerably f ?-*.????? to tiw reading public; but, being written in a simple aad easy style, it will aoarcdy fail to prove of inte rest to tte many young people to whom the early years of Queen Viotoria seem a long way eff in the past. Among tbe chapters most likdy to attract attention perhaps are those on the coronation, home life, royal babies, aad " all nations" in Hyde Park. George Stephen son said that be bad aeen all sorts of people— princes, and peasants, and all between them— and bad "come to the conclusion that tbey were very much alike—especially when stripped." The remark eminently appli.? to babiea —but probably many a reader wiD turn to this chapter on "Royal Babies," expecting to discover that they are something quite out of the ordinary. Let him sre. Tbe book is emphatically one for the times, and no doubt will secure au extensive sale. It contains a large number of iUtutra tiotw, including portraits of all the members of the nnd family, and some of these are excep tionally good. A Cliristmaa entertainment in aid of the funds of St. Bede's Church, Semaphore, was given in tbe Semaphore Institute on Wednesday even ing. Tbere was a crowded attendance, and the Drogramme which was uf a highly interesting nature was carried out without a hitch. Those who took part were for the most part children of ages ranging from sto 14, and the precision with whidi they obeyed tte prompter and the t xcellent time kept by them in the vocal selec tions were much admired by tte audience. The first part of the programme oonsisted of songs, carols, Ac., suitable for this season of the year, and the oomplete manner in wbiob tiw various pieces were mounted, con eiderirg that the performance had only been decided upon during tbe previous fortnight, formed the subject for much admiration. Fol lowing the old Knglish custom a prelude wat given ny Mr. H. P. Macklin, and then a well chosen orchestra, under tte conductorship of Mr. Wylde, played the quadrille, " Nursery Bb} mes" (Farmer), very s sreetly. The curtain rose on a somewhat animated picture. A com pany of young people wa_ represented aesemUed on the village ereen for a dance, and thoee wbo took part in tbe quadrille certainlr appeared to have ad vanced in tiie art of Terpsi chore. As tte dance proceeded several nursery character., including "Jack Homer," " Jack and JiU," "Boy Blue," "Little Miss Muffett, "Banbury Cross," and "Mary, Quite Gon- I traiy," were flitting about tbe stage, and mad np a very pleasingiscene. Eight children, with Mr. Macklin, then rendered A. S. Gatty's I song, "We'll all go a sailing," to the amuse ment of the audience, and then an original piece, composed by tiw Bey. W. Ward, and entitled " Frogs at school," was presented. Upwards of 20 little boys were dressed to represent fr^g?. and as they careered round a I stage they had a ve**y grotesque appearance. The song, *' Haymaking," (Catty) followed, in whicb the children were represented at work in a hayfield. Tbe Rev. W. Ward sang "Children" to his oam accompaniment with taste, and had to respond to an encore, after which tbe amusing dialogue "Sarah Gamp and Befoy Prig" waa given by the Misses Kate Boord and Smith, and provoked roars of laughter. Mr. Macklin again assisted a num bel ef little boys in singing " What are th?y made for" (Gatty), after wfaich blr. Ward sang "Grumbling Joe." The carol, "King Wencedas'' (traditional), in which Mr. E. J. Lamb and Master Bailey took part, wat given before a pleasing background representing asnowstorm. "Wassail song, "anothercarol, was sweetly given by the young folks in an imitative snowatoim. The second part of tte pro gramme consisted of "Snowwfaite, or who is the queen of beauty," from Grimm's well known story. The characters were represented as follows:—King, Miss lallie Oldham; piince, Miss Florrie Cmmpton; huntsman. Miss Susy Smith; queen, Miss Lizzie Lamb; snowwhite. Miss Nelson; waiting woman. Miss Kate Boord ; and a talking and singing looking-glass. Miss Lamb, Tbe scenery used for tte pieces had been specially painted for tbe occasion by Messrs. W. P. Stokes, E. Magraitb, and F. Crampton. Mr. Stokes officiated as stage manager, and air. Macklin as chorus master. The [lerformanca srill be repeated this evening. A concert in aid of the Blind Band -vill be given at tbe Botunda tius evening. A Christmas carol service will take place this even ing at St Peter's Csi_*ed___. To-day is speech-day ia connection with the Prince Alfred CoUege. The demonstration will take place in the Town Ball, and his Excellency the Governor wilt preside. * The bon. treasurer ot the Boys' Brigade has re ceived the following additional subscriptions :—Ur. W. L. Ware, £1 la.Tkr. 0. O. Kinestan. ILP., £S2s.; Hr. IL Goode. 10b. 6d; Schoolboy. Bs.; A Friend (harmonium (und), 10s. Cndar efts., £13s. Sd. Ia another oofmnn the Orient Steam navigation Company notify that the tares on their boate for secood-oas? pssseogtn have been reduced to £30 and i__7, according to position of cabins. U Inroto* B—diagt, OTISbmIs. and tCuuo. Corns, ta f? ruling aod tastefully {Hissed, at tbs Aorsaiusa