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ll-r Ufldoa Uttir

(For tJ»;:'P««".*a«_'.'H«T»W.'')

LONDON. December 21,' . 1813. A ï"K!KSi D IN - DISGUISE; '

In the itorists' shop here you will1 often * lind ' bunches 01 a uower which grows in clusters . pf sweet-scented yellow bells, and if you, recognising in the sight end perfume -, ot an old. friend and fellow. countryman, -joy- fully acclaim it as "Wattle," you will be corrected by the «hop girl and told that that dower is * Mim- osa. This is bad enough, but the "Daiiy Mail" has gone one better, or rather worse." The "Mail" pub- lishes an edition in Paris every day, and this Continental edition has lately . blossomed forth with- a "Riveira. Supplement." It ia produc- ed at Nice, to which office the * 'Daily Mail' ' has ; extended its ;' priv^ ate telegraph wire"- to Paris,. and the supplement is-issued gratis to' all; subscribers of the Paris edition. Now

the "Mail" has been announcing that this - Riviera Supplement is . . printed on; paper , the color of the Mimosa flower, and it calmly" informs us that this color has been selected, as the Mimosa is the native and own special flower of the Riviera. :This would be rough enough if the Mim- osa or Wattle had'been an old ' ab? original inhabitant ot ~ the " Riviera'

as well as of Australia, but as a matter of fact I believe it was first imported from - Australia, and bas simply thriven well and . become common-throughout the French, and Italian Riviera, because the climate there is somewhat similar to , the Australian. Usually there is plenty of Mimosa to be. obtained here im- ported from the South of France, but just at present it appears to be scarce and hard to come across here. I tried to get some' last week, but everywhere I asked for-it I was told there was none in stock, but that it "come in any day." They ought to trv to hurry it up, as flowers of

anv sort are scarce and dear here

just now. A bunch of about a ! dozen white chrysanthemums of ra- ther weak and skimpy appearance is priced at anything from 9d to 1/-. and colored ones of the same size and description 6d to 9d. This

is in spite of, or perhaps because- j I don't know, as I'm no. ' botanist j

or florist-some extra mild weather j we've had. But as there have been ' little, snaps of bitter cold ¿nd Irosty.

nights sandwiched into the warm ; weather, perhaps that would reduce the flower population by tempting the buds out, and then slaying them off. It's a poor year for holly, and mittletoe, too, which is fjuite a matter of importance here, as every household goes in for more or less decoration with holly:.' leaves and ¡berries for Christmas time. The few

scraps on sale are so dear that the artificial flower maker people have seized their opportunity, and are rnjfcine-ioinvs hoUr with,.- the . -Bea ible green leaves. Ol TLWÎÎSWO * almost a religion to have a small bunch in the house, at Christinas, and the result is that it is selling at any sort of price. I've seen « small spring no bigger than your hand tsold for 6d, and that was days ago now ; .by Christmas Eve it is almost impossible to get any^ at any price.

A REAL LIFE ROMANCE.

;.. There." ought: to" be themaltings, oz a good novel in » brief, announce- ment rerently made that by s th« will of Mr.. "William Stevens, of -51 Dove Park Villas,- Brighton,-adver-" tisementa for his two sons, John Thomas" and William, who havel not been heard of for some veers, are directed to be inserted in New Z'?a

land and Australian papers for three years. If nothing is heard ot the isohs of their " "children within, ?hat. time, a third share of the es I tate pf over £10,000,: which has been

left' to each, is to go to their , -jiv

! ter, Alice Louisa, Maynard, and her children. I'm . carefully giving }ou the full names, in case some of y.,-j have ever -run across John Thom ..s

or William Stevens., If you have please hurry "up and drop me ' .t line,- care ; of ,the editor, and we'll go whacks in the champagne supper

and other.' rewards that friends John Thomas and William are fairly safe to stand us. ' '

AN ECHO OF THE TICHBORNE

TRIAL. ,

'Apparently some of the descend- ants of the Tichborne claimant are not yet satisfied that their ^'claims

are deaders.- At the Old Bailey 'here last week an application was made regarding Theresa Alexander, des- cribing "herself aa a (daughter of the claimant. " . She had ..been convicted at the previous sessions of firing oil all sorts of threats at Sir Joseph Tichborne, sentenced to six months in the second division, and ordered to find sureties in £100 for a twelva months' behavior. Application wis

granted for the acceptance of Ther- esa's sister as " surety. I suppose with most of us nowadays the fam- ous Tichborne Trial is lonly a hear- say memory, but there are still probably plenty- of people who re- member all the excitement, and ar- gument there was in Australia orer the claims of the butcher from Wagga Wagga.

WALLABIES^ WANTED.

I' The Rugby Union here recmtly held a trial match between England and. the North to select a team for the international match. A pro- minent official of the Union reports a somewhat disappointing match, and an increasing difficulty _ in selecting a really good team. The backs are all right, he says, but the forwards leave a lot to be desired. "We learn- ed a lot from the visits of the New Zealand and Australian teams, and the North still retain the ser- vices,'of some of these, who were in- duced to stay in" this country. But the fillip that the Wallabies and JV.11 Blades gave toJ the game here seems

to be dying out, and many Rugger enthusiasts would -be glad to hear of an arrangement being made for the visit of some 'more of the over- seas teams.

THE RIGHT TO MARRY.

The West Australian law for pun

! ¿shj^^emnloyers^who prohibit their

I am afraid is likely to ^"give ""a wrong impression . that there ia no room in Australie for married" men or women. You see people here are apt to lump Australia together, and a law of West Australia or a con- dition of employment in Queensland ls simply taken .aa being "Austra-

lian," ' and affecting the whole; con- .

traent. The "Daily Mail," certainly the paper with the largest circula- tion here, had a leading article on the subject which rather . confirmed this impression.* and I ; was., glad to see that Mr. Raymond, the Assist- ant Superintendent ,'. ot. Immigration for Victoria and New South Wales, promptly took steps to correct this erroneous view, and has pointed out in the "Mail" and elsewhere that in many "cases farmers and pastoralists r.re 'glad to gèt married men and their wives.on their farms, and to provide homes for them. He em- phasises the fact that there are

plenty of openings for married men ot the right class with' families of a working ace, and that the circum- stances where a married man would he wrongly advised to go to Aus- tralia are when he has a large fam- ily of young1 children, and little or tno money. "The true facts," he

.jays, in conclusion, "are, that while the conditions of employment are no' doubt susceptible of improvement

ui some--instances, they are, gen«» ally sp pairing. 1 much- - superior to those existing in older countries."

.THE 'DEMAND FOR FMUIT.

-There is'a-steady and growiag dc-, mend- for fruit, and this - Christmas ; unfortunately the supplies at Pop-

ular prices fall short of the demand. Several and widespread causes have cut down the usual amounts avail- able at this season, and it wouhi have been a..great chance for Aus- tralian fruit to.have obtained a strangle-hold OD the market 'il the goods had been. here. There ia a shortage of apples, for instance, and unfortunately the supplies of Tas-

manian: end other Australian apples have been even less than is usual at Christmas. The fruit people say that it has been a bad year. all. round. The cherry crop both here and in France was a complete failure, and Kent, "The Garden of England," for various reasons has made a poor show in all the usual fruits she

grows. There, is an absolute scarcity^

of bananas just now, and the enor- mous Continental demand is saidto

be the cause of this. California has ¡

been the ' saving of the fruit mer- ] chants this year, and huge quantii- '

ies of fruit from there have been

(rot rid of. lt is expected. that prices will not drop ss usual after the Christmas demand is over, ns the

'-"rtase is likely to continue for

some tim« in all. fruit«. . i

EARLY POSTING.

I am posting this letter early to you this week for several good rea

sons. Thia is : Wednesday' night, and toa Australian niall does not. clona

sere until -jb'riday. Hut : the i'bst Ut lice has beea imploring e»eryone to post early, to unsure , Ueiv.ery. in. Limf{: iuja 1 juust lollow suit in casa ny letter gets snowed under a, pile of Christmas greetings, and is dug out in time to miss tue jaei1* The Post Ollice here don't as a rute make thc general puMic - do liieir sorting for them by placing a string of about a dozen or twenty lettir ooxes for diflereni postal partB ct the world as some of thc Australian cities dp, and at most of the uja trict offices in London there are only two or. three letter-boxes, for "London and Abroad/* and ."Coun- try," or even ono ' for "Letters and Post-cards," and another for "News- papers and rackets."

Moreover, this is Christmas Eve, I and the office cleaner is hovering an- xiously on tho horizon waiting for me to finish up and let the office be cleared up and closed until Monday morning. Most of the offices and many of tho shops and warehouse« are adopting this "long-leave" holl

j day. Christmas and Boxing Days are

statutory holidays here, of course, so that by leaving of! the business of Saturday morning four clear days are ensured. Tho streets are crowd- ed with shoppers, and gay with blazing lights, fluttering flags, and festoons of holly, and I must go and see the fun and tell you all about it next week.

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