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  • doug.butler 11 Nov 2011 at 09:02
    E. Cook typo for E. (Ebenezer) Cooke

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Every year is now affording convincing proof that the establishment of sericiculture as a profitable and important Australian industry is only a question of time. In our

own colony the rearing of silkworms has this season been attempted, in one instance upon a scale far exceeding any previous effort, and with entirely satis factory results. Unfortunately we bear nothing of the South Australian Silk-growing Association, and so must conclude that that organization has practically ceased to exist, but the satisfactory circumstance remains that although its collapse may have prevented any large additions to the ranks of silkworm growers, it has not diminished the energy of those who had already taken the industry in hand. The success which has been attained in the late ' education,' more particularly at the Unley magnanarie, is certainly calculated - to do much towards popularizing serici* culture, and inducing many, who Rave hitherto doubted the possibility of its being more than a child's pastime, to enter upon it as a remunerative business. While what has been done here demon strates the capability of Australia for pro ducing cocoons and grain of a high-class; quality which will command a ready sale In; Europe, similar results, but surpassing ours in extent, have been attained in the neigh, bouring colonies. Both in Victoria and New South Wales sericiculture has made decided progress, more especially as regards the number of persons who have been led to turn practical attention to it. To popularize any new industry is always a tedious process, and many circumstances combine to render this especially true of silk growing. Before operations can be commenced which will yield a profit a great deal of preliminary labour must be undertaken in planting mul berry trees to secure the necessary supply of food. The cultivation of silk is also to the large majority of colonists essentially a foreign industry. The method of going to work is absolutely strange to them, and must be learned by experiments, in the course of which it is inevitable that many mistakes should be made that have a hinder.

ing even if they have not a disheartening effect. Bat despite these drawbacks a steady increase is taking place in the number of persons who are laying themselves ont for silkgrowing that promises veil for lie future. This is more particu larly the case in Victoria, where 'The Ladies* Sericicultural Company,' which, it will be remembered, wa3 founded through the exertions of Mrs. Sladen Neill, has exercised a widespread influence in favour of the new pursuit. Recently the shareholders in that Company held their third half-yearly meeting, upon which occasion the Directors were able to present a decidedly satisfactory report. One interesting circumstance to which reference was made was that the efforts of the aaso ciated ladieB had attracted attention in England and called forth an application from a friend of sericiculture there for twenty-five shares. Daring the six months a large amount cf workhad been carried out, which willform a valuable basis for the more directly remu nerative operations which the Society hope to cot duct in the future. The transplanting of the mulberry trees and cuttings from tleir temporary bed at the Government Domain to the permanent farm at Mount Alexander had been successfully accom plished. A magnanarie large enough to allow ten. ounces of grain to be reared at a time \ had been erected there, besides the neces Jsary buildings for the accommodation of the Superintendent and servants. The Company could, moreover, be congratulated upon their financial position, for although their expen diture had reached the sum of £816, the credit-balance stood at £239, which shortly after the balance-sheet was made un was increased by an additional amount of £135. Tin one cloud upon their horizon was the comparative failure of the spring education. This was commenced with 5 ozs. of Brady's grain, which, under favourable circumstances, w«»uld yield a return of 700 ounces, but owing to the inclemency of the season and the consequent insufficient supply of leaves, the hatching turned out anything but suc cessful. It may, however, be safely assumed from the steady resolution with which the Company are pursuing their object that this disappointment only postpones its complete realization for a short period. In New South Wales an interesting report ha3 been published of the sericicultural operations that are being carried on at the Bandwick Asylum, under the management of Mr. May. The institution is devoted to the relief of destitute children, and for several years silkworm-rearing has received more or less attention there as a means of providing agreeable occupation for the youthful inmates and directing their labor in a profitable direction. As far back as 1S62 a collection of silk and cocoons produced at Bandwick was exhibited at the London Exhibition and obtained two prize medals. At present there are between 700 and 800 trees planted in the grounds, and although they yield well they afforded but an insufficient supply of f jod for the worms reared this season. Only a third of an ounce of grain was educated, from which 13,000 silkworms were obtained, which produced 36 lbs. of cocoons. Had it been desirable to cultivate only for seed it is estimated that 50 ounces would have been realized, which at £1 an ounce would have Afforded very fair pay for the 50 days' attention the education involved As it was the cocoons were superior in size and quality to any previously grown at tthe place, and the Superintendent is encouraged to urge that to provide for ex tended operations three acres of land should, be immediately got in readiness to be planted next winter with mulberries, at the rate of 4,000 tree3 to the acre. As a proof of the profitableness of silkgrowing, Mr. May refers to tie extraordinary progress the business has made in California. The first worms were raised there in 1860, and did not exceed 500, while ten years later the number reared was J 25,000,000. The Americans are proverbial for not taking up a thing unless it pays, and as a sample of the rate of profit usually made the eash accounts are given of a Mr. Hoag's farm, containing three and a half acres of mulberry. For the season of I860 the receipts from sale of grain and other sources are set down at £783 18s., and the expendi ture in labour, &&, at £94 8s., leaving the respectable sum of £689 10s. aa the balance of profit. It must of course be remembered that in tf'» account no notice is taken of the cost of plant, and that no details are given as to the amount of assistance hired, ard whether it was Chinese or European. But after making a fair deduction for tiece things, it is allowable to regard the figures cited as an illustration of the ample remune [ ration lukworm culture might be made io yield in these colonies. Fast Adelaide.— In the usual place Mr. J. TJ. Bray notifies his intention to offer himself for re-election as a member for the eastern division' of the city. Encototkb Bat.— A meeting of electors in the District of Encounter Bay was held at the Crown Hotel on the evening of the 11th inst. to consider who should be invited to come forward as candidates to represent the district m the coming Parliament. About 50 persons were present, and several gentlemen were named for the position, but nothing definite waa done. The gathering waa considered rather premature, and was adjourned. Bepbesentationop Woorooba.— We under stand that a deputation waited upon Mr. J. J. Duncan, M.P., on Tuesday morning, the 12th instant, and presented a numerously signed requisition, asking that gentleman to allow him self to be nominated for the representation of the new District of Wooroora, Mr. Duncan promised to give his decision through the medium of the Pres3 on Thursday. East Tohbqtb.— A meeting of the electors of East Torrens has been called for this evening in the Payteham Institute, where candidates are invited to attend. White's Room.— On Tuesday evening Madame Cora repeated her magical illusions before a crowded house. The musical portion of the entertainment went off so much to the satisfac tion of the audience that several encores were demanded. Gifts, ranging in value from a tin of sardines to an electro tea-service, were as usual distiibut3d. The performance closed with ** The Couch of the Angala,' which continual to form an interesting and charming tableau.

The Electorate of Flinders.—Mr. E. Cook,   Manager of the English and Australian Copper Company, having offered himself as a represen- tative for the wide-spreading district of Flinders, and being unable to visit its scattered towns and hamlets, has in our daily and weekly, issues published a lengthy address stating his views. He bases his claims for support chiefly upon his being a stanch supporter of the long mooted railway project to open up the mineral country north of Port Augusta, but he embraced in his programme a large number of other topics. The East End Mabket. — A meeting of market gardeners was held at the East End Market on Tuesday morning, January 12— Mr. T. Playford in the chair— to take into considera tion matters connected with the future of the market. The Chairman explained that Mr. K. . Yaughan, the holder of the Bast End Market, proposed to dispose of his property to a joint stock company, and stated that he thought apart from the question of profit — while he believed that such an investment would pay a good interest on tho money — market gardeners should take as large an interest as possible, so as to have control in the framing of regulations and other matters in which they were largely interested. He pointed out the great saving it would bo to them to have a market under their own control rather than be at the mercy of the Corporation, in the elections of which market gardeners bad no voice. Mr. Vaughan stated that for fifteen years he had a hard struggle to establish a market, asd that he had now succeeded in establishing one which was the largest in the colony. When he took the matter in hand he had always intended to hand the market over to the market gardeners. The property was now bringing in 8 per cent, upon the outlay, and wi*h judicious manage ment be was sure that that might be largely in creased. If the Company was formed £9,000 would be available for improvements. A prospectus which had been prepared was read by the Chairman. Mr. Vaughan added that his only reason for letting the market out of his own hands was the fact of his advanced age. In addition to what was mentioned in the prospectus, there was 64,000 feet of land fit to be used for market purposes, which had beea granted by the Government, and all the pro perty was held under the Real Property Act. To show the rise of the market he quoted the following figures: — In the first year of the operations, the re ceipts were £57 5s. Id., and expenditure £36 19?. 5d. In the next year receipts amounted to £63 19s. 3d., and expenditure to £55 33. 7d. The income in the year following was £67, of of which he spent £57 7s. 6d. The figures, taken quarterly after that, had increased till the income was now £70 a week. After some discussioa about Mr. Vanghan's rights under the Market Act, Mr. McSbane moved that this meeting approves of Mr. Vaughan's present arrangements in regard to this marketj and that they will pledge themE elves to use their best endeavours to secure for themselves and families an interest in this valuable property. Mr. H. Kempson seconded the motion, which was carried. The meeting then concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair. The prospectus referred to appears to day in our business columns. Bathixg Company.— The oft-suggested start ing of a public Bathing Company has now been undertaken by a number of residents and other persons interested in Glenelg. The prospectus which we publish to-day proposes to Ieas9 from the local Corporation portions of the sea-beach indicated in an Act passed by Parliament last session. The necessary enclosures and buildings will subsequently be erected. Arrangements, it is probable, will be made with the Directors of the Railway Company for the issue of bathing tickets entitling the holders to a trip and dip. The capital is fixed at £5,000 in £1 shares at first, with power to double the funds. The Association will be formed if within a month 3,000 shares are allotted. Cer tainly there ought to be no difficulty in raising the required cash, for apart from the benefits likely to accrue to the public generally the prospect of securing dividends is far better than in many schemes which colonists have entered upon readily. Similar institutions in old coun tries and new have been of great advantage to watering-places, have promoted the health of the people, and have been pecuniary successes. Aquatics at Glenelq.— We are informed that at a preliminary meeting held at the Parade Hotel, Glenelg, on Monday evening, the 11th instent, it was resolved to hold another regatta in the Bay, the sports to include sailing matches by fisherman's boats, a dingey sailing race, and pulling matches, sufficient money for prizes hating been collected. Particulars will shortly be advertised. Busking Ships.— One of those catastrophes which of late have been more than usually frequent cime under the notice of the master of the Palmas, just arrived here, during his voyage from Newport. On November 26, in a position southward of Martin Vas Bock, in 26* 5' south, lat. 25° 26' west long., a great light on the horizon showed that a vessel was burning. The Palmas reached the conflagration late at night, just in time to notice that a whaling barque was hove to near the scene of disaster, apparently takiog away the crew. The Palmas shaped a course so as to pass close to the wreck, indeed as she rounded to under the lee the smoke was quite suffocating. It was then per ceived that she was a large iron vessel, com puted to be about 1,200 tons. The fore and mizen masts had gone over board, and the heel of the jibboom was just igniting. In a deckhouse forwards was a donkey* engine, and the lower portion of the ship was evidently one dense mass of coal in a high state of combustion. The heel of the mainmast was oonsumed, but the mainyard had acted as a derrick somehow and the mast was still on end, but inclined at an asgle of 45°. The head-gear euch as jibs and stays were hanging under tho bows in a confused mass. Tho vessel was as carefully scrutinized as possible to ascertain whether there was any one on board, and the efforts of the barque before alluded to having rescued the master and crew the magnificent spectacle was left in its melancholy solitude. The master of the Conquest furnishes another account of a burning vessel which he passed at sea. On the 23rd October, in 5° 24' N., 24° W., a large Amorican brigantine was seen on fire. She was to windward of the Conquest, or the master would have borne down to offer assistance. He was close enough to perceive that another craft had, however, pro ceeded to the disabled vessel, lowered a boat, and taken off the crew. Before parting com pany th« masts were seen to fall over the side, but there were no means of ascertaining her name. Lost asd Found.— The Manaro Times states that a child of the tender age of five years, the Eon of a shepherd named Alexander, in the employ of Mr. McKearchie, of Mount Cooper, was lost from the Jettiba Station on Thursday, the 17th December. It seems the little fellow followed his father to cut some broomstuff. The father did a bundle up and told tho child to take it home, being at the time in sight of the house. The little fellow by some means got artray, and when the father returned home to his surprise and dismay he found his little son had not returned. Search was at once made, but without effect, and a laree party of horpf men, headed by Captain McKeachie. ^ero ?ot together without delay, and. after four days' search the poor little fellow was found on Monday evening, about 11 mile* from his home, at Bats Valley, near Somers, by a man n-xmed Bails, with the broomstuff still in his possession, and appeared very little the worse for the long time he had been astray; in fact, he said he was not hungry. Fortunately there was plenty of water in the neighbourhood in which the child was lost, which no doubt saved his life. Mil T. P. Hill.— We have been desired to mention that the entertainment to be given by Mr. and Mr?. Hill will not be % concert, but the programme is to include a lecture, with recitals and brain printing teats. The Port Lighthouse.— Nearly the whole of the costly and beautiful apparatus for the Port Light has been safely landed on the platform without injury, and artificers are now getting it in form for active service. Thb Hums Tragedy.— A. telsgram from Bourke, published in the Sydney Morning Herald, state* that the body of O'flea, one of Hume's companions on his exploring expedition, bai been found by the blacks, not far from where Hume's remains were discovered, and buried by Mr! Tilbury, the manager of Nocatouga Station,

The Paramatta Accident.— We repret to say that Greig who was hurt last week by the explosion of a hole charged with Kthofracteur in the Paramatta Mine has been obliged to have his right arm amputated. The operation was per formed by Dr. Gosp, assisted by Drs. Herbert, Gejer, and Archer, the severance being made a few inches above the wrist. The top of the forefinger of the other hand has also been taken off. Hopes aie held out that the remainder of the band may be saved, though from the severe injuries indicted on the arm it is questionable if the member will ever again be ef much service. The poor fellow's mate, Nichoils, vras seriously hurt in the eye by the explosion, and it was at first feared that he would lose the sight of it; but we are glad to learn that such a misfortune will in all probability be averted. The particulars of the accident appear to be these:— A hole charged with lithofracteur and blasting powder bad missed fire; and with reference to this method of charging holes instead of using the lithofrac teur with the ordinary primer, it may be pre mised that many of the miners are of the opinion that by placing powder on the top of the litho fracteur, and igniting with fuse, a more effec tive explosion is obtained. The hole was then picked out as far as the lithofracteur, but as the hole was very wet, the men decided to put in a portion of clay in order to form a dry bottom for the reception of more powder. It was whilst this ciay was being tamped— Greig holding the tamp ing bar and Nichoils striking— that the explo sion occurred, the compressed air probably igniting the explosive, which was discharged from the hole like a shot from a gun, the sur rounding rock being unaffected by the shock. Had the charge, in mining phraseology, 'tore its burden,' cr shattered the rock, one or both of the men could hardly have escaped being killed on the spot. To pick out a hole that has missed fire before several hours have elapsed, is we believe against the rules of the mine, but the dangerous operation is often practised to save time. Grei? has a wife and five children, the eldest of whom we are informed is not more than seven years old. — Y. P. Advertiser. Fibe IN Clare.— On Saturday forenoon, the 9th inst., Mr. J. Work, Clare, narrowly escaped a loss byfire. The local Argus states that ' 11 r8. Work, while busy with her household duties, was induced by the smell of burning clothes to examine the various rooms of the house, when she perceived on opening the door of a back apartment that the place was on fire. A quantity of clothes were consumed and others partly destroyed, and also some piecos of fur niture. Help being at hand it was soon extin guished; but bad it been unobserved for a few minutes longer the place in all probability would have been burnt down. On the same day a* wooden stable on the premises occupied by Miss Steele was observed to be en fire. Water was immediately procured and the flames were got under. The structure was of very inflammable material, and a considerable portion of it was destroyed.' Lecture.— On Monday evening, January 11, the Brighton Town Hall was well filled, and Mr. W. Mair, M.P., presided at a lecture given by the Bev. S. Green on the ' Adventures of Hugh Gessagne.' The point of the address, which was of a humorous character, and was much enjoyed, was the construction that could be put on the nnme. When asked who he was, the hero replied, 'You — guess — again,' and gene rally succeeded in mystifying those who accosted him. Vocal and instrumental selections were introduced by Misses King and Brown, also Messrs. Luxmoore and Cnzier, with good effect, and the proceeds will no doubt contribute a fair amount towards the funds of the Institute. Pocket Dangeb Signal.— We have been shown by Mr. C. Knicjht an invention of his prepared with dynamite and called the pocket danger signal. The explosive is contained in a small, coated, round cardboard box, and in the top is inserted a fuse wrapped in guttapercha, and ending in a copper cap holding detonating powder, which communicates with the contents, and when lighted causes an explosion louder than that of an ordinary ship gun. Wo are assured by the inventor that the articles are imperviou3 to wet and damp, can be carried in the pocket with safety, and are very effective. They can be used as danger signals on board ship or wherever required, and were tried with success at Port Adelaide on the occasion of the recent regatta. Discovert of Sulfhub.— Not far from San Martino, near Palermo, says Les Maudes, a mine of liquid sulphur has been discovered— that is, sulphur has been obtained flowing from some fissures in the rocks at the rate of 400 cwt. or 500 cwt. per day. This sulphur comes from a burning mine inside the mountain. It is often necessary to close those fissures from which this Eoft sulphur flows in order to give it time to rise up and grow cool. Then those fissures which have been a Bhort time closed up are reopened. But at the ecd of July last on opening one of these fissures no sulphur was found. The idea struck the workmen of making a hole as on outlet for the mine, and thus re-establishing a communication with the internal furnace; but the pressure had become so strong during the obstruction that on making the hele, the expan sion of the gas produced a terrible explosion which blew the men out of the mine and about fifty yards into tho air. Five were killed on the spot, four were very badly injured, and two are still buried in the mine, no further search being possible on account of the asphyxia produced by the escaping gas. Not one of the eleyen men at work escaped unhurt. A Strange Statistical Fact.— 'A very curious fact,' the Spectator observes, 'comes out in the Judicial Statistics of 1873. It is well known that Ireland, apart from its perennial agrarian difficulties, some drunkenness, and great laxity in punishing murder, is singularly free from crime. The Irish in England and Wales, however, are not free. Out of our 22,712,000 inhabitants 566,000 are of Irish birth, and instead of furnishing 4,000 convicts in the prisons, they furnish 22,100, five times their proper proportion. The women are espe cially bad, forming one-fifth of the whole prison population. It is suggested that Ireland exports her criminal class, but we take it that the fairer explanation is that the Irishman, like the Englishman, suffers on exportation from the I absence of the social atmosphere to which he has been accustomed. The pressure of the only opinion he values is withdrawn, and in England, { as in America, he becomes indefinitely less self restrained. The Irish in Liverpool are like Englishmen in the South Seas, or the less orderly parts of Ada, and betray precisely the same impatience of control.' Mnre Stills.— The local paper states:— 'The quantity of water which the two Moonta stills can produce daily for solo is considerably over a hundred hogsheads, which is more than is - required to supply the existing demand for the i article. Only those who are absolutely compelled | to drink distilled mine water will do so, for a well founded dislike to it is entertained by all classes of the community. Those who have tank water will use it before resorting to the stills, the edicts of the Health Board notwithstanding. The distilling apparatus in connection with the j Paramatta Mine engine is capable of producing i about 24 hogsheads of water per day, which it ! more than sufficient at the present time to meet the wants of the Mine employe's.' A Deluded YkO. Dub.— Rather a pitiful tale « ^d by the Geelong Advertiier. A widew residing at Newtonhill had become intimate with a happy Bwain, who proposed marriage and was ! accepted. Everything wu arranged, and among other preliminaries the intended husband was allowed to prepare a new abode for his bride, and for this purpose obtained possession of the whole of the furniture the inherited from her deceased husband. A day or two ago they were to be married by the Begutnr, but the f aithlees swain— who in the meantime had sold and, it is believed, swallowed the furniture— declined the obligation. Archer - street CHURCH. — On Tuesday ereiing, January 12, the Bev. J. T.8impsou delivered hii lecture on 'Old-fashioned Gate ways' at this Wealeyan place of worship in Nerth Adelaide. Mr. Theodore Hack presided, and the attendance was large. Mr. Simpson's address, which hat teen previously reported, was very interettingt After a brief reference to ancient gateway! and their importance in the system of protection adopted by the ancients, the lecturer dwelt upon the five tenses as gate ways to the human mind, adopting the curious title* given to them by Banyan, and dMcribing in a striking style their functions. Selections, under the conduct of Mr. F. J. Posh, war* con tributed by MetdamM Jas. Patcoe, Matters, and Lillywhite, Mown. T. Jottop, T, Matthews, and C.W.Prieft,

Inquest at Grace Plaiss. — An inquest was held on Saturday, the 9th inst, at Grace Plains, by Mr. R. Butler, J P., with Mr. M. Adams as foreman, regarding an accident which had resulted in the death of John Paxton, aged 11 years and eight months. Benjamin Paxton, father of deceased, deposed — Last Monday morning, about 10 o'clock, while I was at work with a reaping-machine, some noise caused by a breakage made the four horses suddenly start, throwing the boy frcm the leader, on which he was riding, and pitching him under the horses. Looked round to see where the noise came from, and on glancing back saw my son between the steering ; wheel and the horses' heels. Turned the wheel j to prevent it running over him, and used my i best endeavours to stop the horses. They went about a chain and a half before I could make the team stand, I having no reins upon the leaders. As soon as I had stopped the horses I turned back to the lad, who was on the ground. Asked him if he was much hurt, and he said only a little, where the horses trod on bis belly. Dr. Doseau attended on Wednesday, but said he could do nothing for him. He was conscious up to the last. 1 had reins on the hind horses. My son was accustomed to be among horses, but bod never driven a team like it before. The horses were perfectly quiet ; Lid never known them to bolt before. Edward Ward stated— About 10 o'clock I was working in the same paddock with Mr. Paxton when my attention was called to tho horses being stopped. Looked across, and he waved his hat for me to come. Immediately went to his assistance, and he said the horses had bolted. Examined the machine and found the beaters broken. Do not know what caused the beaters to break. The bar was broken, and two bolts flew to the back door of the machine. Was working about six chains away at tho time. Left the boy under the machine while the father went for a cart to take him home. The lad asked for a drink ; I could not, however, give ore; but I put him on my machine and drove into the heap. He was in great pain. Thomas Stephea Tuohy, police-trooper, deposed —Yesterday, at about 4 p.m., Mr. Robert Marshman reported at the Station, Two Wells, the death of John Paxton. Proceeded to that place at once, examined the body, found bruise3 on the abdomen, back, and loins. Consider the injuries quite sufficient to cause death. The Jury, after a few minutes' deliberation, returned a verdict of accidental death. Proposed New Norther* Colonies.— The separation question is gaining new advocacy in the North, stimulated evidently by the renewal of the agitation in the Richmond and Clarence districts of New South Wales. It now comes before us (says the Argus Queensland correspon dent) in the shape of a proposal for two new colonies, embracing the central and northern districts of Queensland, with Bockhampton and Bowen as their respective capitals. To reconcile the southern districts, whose capital is Brisbane, to this partition, our fellow-colonists over the Border and the Imperial authorities are to be moved to pray for and to grant annexation of the Richmond and Clarence districts to this colony. Our Southern friends, though described as favourable to territorial and governmental change, yet advocate the erection of their fertile and varied land into a separate colony under the designation of New Cornwall (influenco of the tin mines). But they are without a safe and com modious harbour on the whole line of their coast. Nabbow Escape.— The Warrnamhool Standard reports that an accident, which might easily Lave involved the loss of two young lives, occurred at the jetty on Sunday week. Two little girls, aged respectively 13 and 11 years, visitors to Warrnamlool, the former from Mel bourne and the latter from Terang, proceeded to the beach on the day named for a walk, ac companied by the mother of the elder girl, who, it appear?, cautioned her charges against descending the landing stairs. Unmindful of this, however, the children managed to get out of sight for a moment, and went to the landing stage for the purpose of washing some seaweed they had gathered on the beach. While thus engaged the elder girl lost her balance and fell in, whereupon her companion exclaimed, 'Don't be frightened, I'll save you,' at the same time extending her hand with a view of doing so. The drowning child seized the other's arm, but so great was the undulation of the receding water that the would-be rescuer was dragged from the platform, and both found themselves struggling in the sea. Luckily the affair, which was the work of a moment, was seen by some one walking on the jetty, who, hastily descend ing the stairs and outstretching hb hand, lifted the children, who had tightly clasped each other, to the stage in safety. One of the sufferers was greatly exhausted, but the other appeared to regard the matter as a joke, re marking that ' it wat only a ducking.' Bingo a Man's Nose Off.— In a fight between some Haflon at Williamstown, late on Tuesday night, says the Age of January 7, one bit another's nose off. The crew of the ship John O'Gaunt, just arrived, and several men of tho Cambridgeshire, ready for sea, were drinkinsr at the Cerberus Hotel in the evening. They had some quarrelling on their way down to the pier, and two of the men come to blows. Daring tho fight Francis Williams, of the Joha O'Gaunt, bit Thomas Scopes, of the Cambridgeshire, so severely as to gnaw a portion of the man's nose completely away. The unfortunate fellow bled very profusely, but Dr. Figg was sent for, and dressed tho wound. Williams was lodged in the lock-up, and next morning wan sent to gaol for three months by Mr. Mason, J.P., on a charge of common assault. Had Scopes not been going away to sea, and considerable inconvenience attended bis detention here, it is probable the prisoner would have been committed for trial on a graver charge. Iron Mnrara in Tasmania.— The CornieaU Chronicle of the 4th inst. records the complete success of the Tamar Hermatite Iron Company in the manufacture of pig iron from the ore, and adds:— 'This is the best news it has ever been our privilege to record. It denotes the com mencement of a new en in Tasmania's pros perity. The Tamar Hematite Company is at present a limited proprietary. Their operations up to the present point have been to a great extent experimental, but this success will urge them to further effort, and the number of their furnaces will be at once increased. To the managing engineer, Mr. A. H. Swifte, great credit is due. He has exhibited both skill and foresight, and to him undoubtedly belongs the honour of having first made pig iron in payable quantity from Tasmanian iron ore. The Tas maaian Charcoal Iron Company run the metal, eo did the Ilfracombe Company, and more recently the Derwent Iron Company in Hobart Town; but these have been merely fancy ex periments, and with the first few pigt operations were suspended. Mr. Swifte has produced tke iron in a practical manner, and we have no reason to doubt that his furnace will continue producing it for many a long day.' A Meteor.— On Thursday week, writes the Ararat Advertiser, a little before noon, a remark- able meteor passed over the town, from west to east, disappearing at an altitude of about thirty five degrees from the horizon. The sun was shining at the time, but the meteor was dis- tinctly seen notwithstanding. It is described as presenting an oval shape of white heat colour, slightly tending to pink along the rim. In size it looked nearly as large as the moon. It was followed by what had all the appearance of flame, about seven or eight times the length of the main body. There was no noise, and from the time it was first observed to its disap- pearance was a little under two seconds. Alarm of Fibs.— Considerable excitement, bits the Brisbane Conner of December 31, web created at the Queenslaad Theatre last night during the performance of the pantomine by an alarm of fire. The burlesque bid been brought to a close, and the transformation of characters was in progress, when one of the children engaged in the scene incautiously ran across the stage at the back; and bis clothes coming in contact with some of the lights caught fire, and communicated with one of the adjacent pinnacles of scenic material A number of women at the back of the stage thereupon commenced to scream, and the alarm was quickly communi cated to the audieace, afaouti of fire being raited in ev*y direction. Several ladies fainted with great promptitude, and a ruth was made for the doors. Luckily, the houae was not very full, or I some tenons Injuries might have resulted from i the crushing which ensued. At it wat, however, wehtvehaardof Dooasotltiat. Thsflamstwere i beat out almost at toon at the toeoary aught j fire, and we undtntafid that tho child twaptd 1 eriouaaurj.

SiLK-cULTUBB in Queensland.— Mr. William Coote, the most advanced ' sericiculturist' (as he phrases it) In Queensland, says the local corre spondent of the Argus, takes up the cudgels on behalf of the fitness of the colony for the new industry, and of himself as the initiator of the silk grain trade. During the last session of Par liament he was a petitioner for recognition and reward, in consideration of hit efforts in esta blishing silk culture; and, after Select Commit tees of both Houses had reported in his favour, the Assembly fell into a misunderstanding as to the nature of his claim?, ' politically and hypo theticolly.' Mr. Coote being a pressman and a politician, found friends and enemies both, who taunted one another with fear to vote because of the sharpness or venom of his pen, which taunts evoked threats of per sonal chastisement. Of course he got nothing. His mulberry plantation and worm-feeding sheds are, however, substantial realities, and are amongst the objects worthy to be seen by the traveller between Brisbane and Ipswich. On the 17th inst Mr. Coote shipped 17 boxes of silkworm grain for Europe, 'via Sydney, this being part of the produce of the present season, and the third parcel exported since he com menced operations at Salisbury. In a letter to the Courier, he wrote a f«w days ago:— 'By this Suez mail I have received advices from my Italian correspondent that the grain sent to him last year has realized a fraction over 17s. per ounce, and he is pressing for this year's supply (shipped the other day), saying * We are in hopes of being able to do better for you next year.' I think this fact is worth a whole host of surmises and assumptions, for it is accompanied by another. Our Queens land groin sold in spite of the flooding of tho market with the Japanese article and the con sequent depreciation. 1 have no doubt that as the trees get more matured, and the worm more acclimatized, we shall be able to take the lead in grain in our first crop, and in silk for the second, for which this season I am now preparing. We have the largest, and indeed the only con siderable and mature plantation in Australia, and it is not likely we shall lose the start we have got.' The Victorian Government Departments. —The Government of Victoria ore taking steps for the better security of some of the deport ments in the case of fire. The Argus says: — 'Recently upon the recommendation of Mr. Head, the Superintendent of Fire Brigades, an electric wire was stretched from the Lands Office to the Fire Brigade Station, so that in the event of a fire breaking out an instantaneous alarm con be given by the ringing of a bell. Mr. Head has also recommended that a wire should be stretched to Parliament House, which will be done; and it is probable also as the same line will serve that communication will be made with the Treasury, Government Printing Office, and the Education Department. There have been ordered for the Lands Office several of Sullivan's respirators, so that anyone on the spot may proceed through the densest smoke, and extinguish the fire, if it be not too late to do so, and remove any valuable books or documents to a place of security.' A Fortified House.— The Paris house of the mac Duke of Brunswick, in the Avenue Fried land, is now in course of demolition. It was a most extraordinary residence, as any one found who endeavoured to enter. At the front goto was a metal button, and a viator would have to press this. It instantly set a lumber of bells ringing in violent commotion. Admitted into the garden you still found yourself excluded from the house. Another button had to be touched, and, that done, you find yourself in an unfurnished hall. There was no staircase com municating with the upper rooms where the Duke slept. More buttons had to be pressed, and at last you found yourself sitting in an arm-chair and raised by a .hydraulic lift appa rently to the living rooms which the Duke used to occupy. The walls of the bedroom were armour-clad. By an ingenious mechanism a panel in the wall was removed and entrance pained. The strong box nearly killed the work men who endeavoured to open it, for it sent «ff a sudden and mitrailleuse-like discharge. The Due de Treviso bought the house, and stipulated that all treasure found in it shall belong to him. Nothing has been found thus far, but the pur chaser has not given up hope, for after tho mad Duke had some of his diamonds stolen he stowed away his valuables in all kinds of strange places. Cockebell's Potato ? Diggbb.— Mr. Samuel Bell, of near Warrnambool, has written thus to the Border Watch regarding Mr. Robert Cockerell'8 patent potato-digger and combined plough and harrow: — ' I purchased one of them last April, having a small paddock to dig of four and a half acres. The paddock was very much overgrown with a weed well known as fat hen, so much so that I could not get any men to dig it The above was no drawback to the machine; it turned the potatoes up as clean as hand-labour ceuld have done it and I saved at least 10 per cent in cut or damaged potatoes. Exclusive of this I saved £9 2s. I could not have got my patch dug under £2 10s. an acre, and found, which would have cost me £14 in all; whereas my total cost by the machine was £4 18s. I have tested the machine in six and a half acres of wheat, on which I sowed barely a bushel to the acre, which is now almost too thick, and appears to be unsurpassed in the district. Two acres of this was a mat of sorrel and ferns. I watched particularly when I rolled my wheat, and all of these weeds that I could find was three sprouts of sorrel and five of the ferns. I can safely say the machine is a good one, and a great labour saver. The amount of ground which can be dug per day is three acres with ease, taking from eight to nine pickers a day.' Ministers in the Eighteenth Century.— There are well-known and oft-quoted paauges in Swift, Macaulay, Thackeray, and many other authors about the position of clergymen in England a hundred yeaxs ago. A curious illus tration (says the Pall Mall Gazette) occurs in one of the Winchilsea papers recently acquired by the British Museum, but not yet calendered or bound. A letter dated the 3rd November, 1729, from Mr. John Wilkinson to ? noble duke, or possibly to the Archbishop, but the name does not come out, contain* the following passage: — ' However some people may sink beneath their Characters by reporting things entirely false and groundless I cannot Bay; but, my Lord, I cou'd not be easy until I bad solemnly assured your Grace that the lute Earl of Winchilsea gave me the Preeentaons, in every respect truly great and noble; and that a Wife was never whispered to me till the day after my Lord's Death: then indeed my Lady Herself told me that Her maid Morffe waa always intended to go along with the livings, and that if I desired to make Her Ladysp. my Friend, I must not refuse the Offer; I own, my Lord, I was at first unable to give a direct answer, but recovering tue surprise, I gave Her Ladysp. an absolute denial, upon which She in Passion ordered me to withdraw, and I have never teen Her Ladyro. since.' Fat Caitlb.— The local paper 'hears that Mr. N. Macintosh has started a mob of 180 fat cattle collected at Mount Gombier for the Ade laide market It is hoped this speculation will prove remunerative and lead to further business in this line. Fatal BOAt AcciDSST.— The Brisoane Courier of December 30 learnt 'by telegram that the Australian Steam Navigation Company's steam launch Clio went off from Mackay with passengers for the moil steamer at 5 o'clock on the afternoon of Christmas Day, and anchored under Flat-top Island, near Mackay. The master of the Clio, with five passengers, left the Clio in a dingy for the island, when the boat got uptet and three of the passengers were drowned. Their names were William Duncan, William Bamford, and — Hogan. It is stated that the accident occurred through overcrowding the boat, and although every effort has been made thb bodies have not yet been recovered.' Habd on thb Doctors— 'Patients had a little peace in Melbourne last night' (says the Daily lelegraph of the 7th), 'for ail the doctors were at their annual dinner. Very nearly 100 medical gentlemen were assembled, and a goodly and sleek and comfortable array they pretentod, giving the idea of a jovial body who threw physic to the dogs.' Our contem porary does not aay when the undertaken' picnic will be held.