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They are the abstract and Brief chronicles of the time.

FFrom ourSnecial CorresrmnrlentT

LONDON, April 11. .Thn Pnpnnn Hah ?

The municipal authorities of the City of Westminster are freetraders, who are pre pared to buy in the cheapest market. The tender for carryinfi out their elaborate

scneme ot decorations, to cost about £i,000, for the coronation, has been given to, ..Messrs. Fantappie, of Florence. These decorators undertook the memorial decora tions in honour of the late Queen Vic toria in Florence, and of the late Jiing Humbert in Rome, and they have also executed work in Berlin in honour of the Kaiser. The decision has aroused adverse comment, which has grown since a British iirm .state that they could do the work 5 per cent, cheaper than the Italian. An in dividual has offered to erect an arch at his own expense if he be allowed to include therein boxes for himself, his wife, and iriends, but the offer was not entertained. The Duke of Connaught will be in supreme command of the troops taking part in the coronation. Arrangements will be made for the suitable reception of ships of war of any foreign state which may desire to be represented. Japan intends to do full honour to the King of her ally, and will expend £50,000 in sending ships. —Death of Lord Kimberley.— Lord Kimberley had been ill for a con siderable time before his deatb, and it was therefore not unexpected. A man of cool and quiet demeanour, excellent judgment, and firm resolution, his qualities were often tried during his long political career, but perhaps never more severely than when he acted as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and had to deal with the- problem of Fenianism, which was at its height during ? bis administration. It was a period of grave anxiety, but Lord Wbdehouse emerged from 1 he trial satisfactorily, and his ser vices were rewarded with the Earldom of Kimberley. The Liberal Peer was stanch as a rock— a decision once made, he held his ground. This quality of staying power was one of his most conspicuous attributes, ond to it was due his certain inclusion in the various Liberal Cabinets. He ?was the only statesman wbo sat in all five of the - Governments formed by Mr. Gladstone, and he also held office in the last Liberal Admi nistration under Lord Rosebery, with whom he was pleased to serve, though he was- a member of the House of Lords before his young Chief was born. Lord Kimberley was a good amateur naturafet, and de lighted to talk about the habits of ani mals. . He spent a good deal of his leisure in observing birds. The Kimberley estate has been in possession of the family for 500 years, and (Jueen Elizabeth stayed there in 1578. -The Education Bill.— The Nonconformists are vigorously pro testing against the Education Bill, the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes, Dr. Joseph Parker, Dr. Robertson Nicoll, and Dr. Guinness Rogers being among the leaders. Dr. Parker de clares that the Nonconformists conscien tiously object to pay a rate for the mainte nance of sectarian schools, and he/is strong ly supported. There is a proposal to pas sively resist payment, allowing property to be sold in default, but refusing to hand it orer. A vast deal of correspondence is appearing on the subject, and various de nominational organs are discussing the po Btionat great length. —Compulsory Training for Defence.— ilr. Rudyard Kipling's sentiments in The Islanders are partially shared by many people. There is some sympathy -with his views among the promoters of the new as sociation for promulgating ideas and con sidering matters connected with national defence, ?which has been formed nnder the name of the National Service League, with the Duke of Wellington as President, joined with, as the executive committee, Sir .John Wolfe Barry, K.C.B., Mr. Henry Birchenough, Mr. Clinton Dawkins, C.B., Col. Viscount Hardinge, Lord Newton, JMjr. Seely. M.P., Admiral Sir N. Bowden Smith, K.C.B., Mr. Arthur Walter, Mr. JS. P. Warren, and Mr. Yerburgh, M.P. Its manifesto declares that the tin\e has come ?when the youth of the whole nation must be trained to arms. In a word, the objects of the league is to urge compulsory naval and military training. Membership is open to all on payment of a shilling. — 'Mr. Judas Chamberlain.' — Report from a daily paper:— 'At a meet in? of the Castlebar branch of the United Irish League yesterday, Mr. J. J. Collins mwed the following resolution:— That we heartily congratulate Mr. John Dillon, M.P., on his courage and patriotism in call ing Judas Chamberlain 'a damned liar.' 'V\ e thoroughly endorse Mr. Dillon's expres sion against this king of traitors and hypo crites, and we sincerely trust that Mr. Judas Chamberlain may be spared to Jing land until she meets the doom that must inevitably follow this war of piracy.' Mr. P. O'Brien seconded the resolution, whiqh Jiyas passed amid tremendous applause.' —A Bit of a 'Scrap.'— On Monday evening Mr. G. R. Sims's enmic opera 'The Dandy Fifth' was the cause of a small riot at Cork. The audi ence received its patriotic sentiments with hissing and other demonstrations of disap proval, and when somebody produced a Boer flag the boys got inflammation. The play was stopped, and the gallery occupants fored into marching line behind the flag, and sallied out into the street, where they met some loyalists and fell to. The police eventually restored order, and all sought emollients who could remember an apothe cary. — Blneecat School Dress — The well-known dress of the Bluecoat School boys will be altered. Breeches will probably be substituted for the loose gown, boots for shoes, and a particular design of cap will cover the hitherto bare and con spicuously hairy scalp. —Throwing Taxpayers' Money Away.— What with horse and meat contracts the British taxpayer is Retting wild at the way his money is squandered. Here is another little fact which illustrates government of the people's cash:— The Greenwich Board ?of Guardians decline to use the new work house which has been built to their order, under compulsion from the Local Govern ment Board. The latter declared that the existing accommodation was not sufficient, and threatened to . withdraw the customary, ' grant unless a new workhouse was built. This was done at a cost of £200,000, and now that it is finished tiie Guardians don't require it; therefore it is untenanted. —An Old Custom Stopped.— In the town of Hungerford there is an old custom— so old, in fact, as to be pre historic—that allows the ''tutty-men' who collected the tithes to exact a kiss from the maids and matrons on the day of Hocktide in each year; These 'tutty-men' are elec ted by the commoners at the hostelry of the Three Swans, and they sally forth each carrying a staff crowned with flowers.' The custom was productive of amusement, but probably also of annoyance, as objection was raised to it by some of the townsfolk, with the result tliat its observance was ? omitted this year for the first time on re cord. Some regret and disappointment are alleged, thouglTby which sex is not stated. — Smallpox. — Smallpox is on the wane, and the num ber of patients under treatment is reduced to 1.4S0. There have been over 6,000 cases since August, and nearly 1,000 deaths have pecurred. A sufferer from the disease lately disappeared from one of the hospital ihips^and has not been traced. He must Vave got through a window, climbed a wall, jnd'swum ashore or have lost his life by lrowning. — CJnderground Electric Railways.— Mr. Yerkes has completed his arrange jnents for raising £15.000.000 for carrying

nut his scheme of underground electric rail ways in London, Messrs. Speyer Brothers, of London, Speyer & Co., of New York, and The Old Colony Trust Company, of Boston, having accepted the responsibility of the financial part ot the undertaking. Five lines have been bought by Mr. Yerkes -the Baker street and Waterloo, the Great Northern and Strand, the Brompton and Piccadilly, the Charing Cross and Hampstead, and the District Railway. Each of the schemes was begun' by a British company, and it has fallen to American enterprise to carry them out. The. first to be finished will be the District; and, 'as its permanent way is al ready in existence, all necessary alterations Eor its electrification should be complete within two years. The- Baker street and Waterloo line m half way towards comple :ion, and that will be ready shortly. after- ivards. The whoic scheme of intercommuni :ation is expected' to-be working in three fears. Electric locomotives will be discard ed, and each tram will be 'fitted with two inotors, to overcome vibration. Seven car riages, each to seat 4S passengers, will go to each train. A great relief from1 the pre sent congestion ot London streets will re sult from this complete system of under jround electric railways, and there is little ioubc that thesecurities-rrwhich are to be put on the market qs the work progresses— sviil be readily taken up. — Goudie's Alleged Accomplices. — Two men, named John Aiiken and John Roberts,, were charged at Liverpool in con nection with the Goudie caie, as accessories ifter the fact; but in order to secure a con action Goudie's evidence would have been nccessiry, and he resolutely refused to- say 1 word or to assist the police in the slightest degree. The only way ro deal witb the pri soners— according to the prosecution— would bave been to go over. the whole matter de noyo and again prove Goudie guilty, and, as this was inadvisable, the prosecution was withdrawn. The defending solicitor stated that both the accused were quite innocent, ind remarked that the prosecution had act id in a shabby manner by withdrawing. —A Bishop. Favours Sunday Cricket.— The Bishop of Ipswich does not like the depressing solemnity of the British Sab jath. At the Norwich Diocssan Conference he told his fellow-clergymen that it was about time they tackled the. question of Sunday recreation with a view to reverting to the old method of spending the hours be tween the Sunday services in pleasant pas time. He sees no reason why people shiuld not be happy on Sunday— no man would say his prayers with less earnestness for having made a nice drive to the off before roming into church. The idea sounds ra ther progressive, and it jis remark ed that -no other speakers were quite so far advanced in iljeir views, l'he bare mention of Sunday cricket is jnough to shock many persons, and those ''flannelled fools' who so desecrate the day ire apt to be looked upon by the strict Sab batarian as beyond the pale of redemption. If ony were beginning' to doubt the righ teousness of practising the (Sunday leg screw or late cut — and there be some even in your city of churches who thus recupe rate on the day of rest — they will now Feel encouraged in their evil doing, for if a bishop condemns them not, how will the layman remonstrator fare? . , —A Labour Champion and Labour-saving Machinery.-ji That well-known labour cftainpion. Mr. W. Abraham, M.I'., who is. widely known under the Dame of 'Mabon,' has. just re turned from a visit to America, thoroughly cured of his prejudice against labour-saving machinery. He gave an address the other evening in Wales, in which he admitted his conversion, and declared that if England was to cope with, other countries, she must work on the American plan of non interference with differential and proper re ward to efficiency and the survival of the fittest, and he pledged himself, if capital ists would lay down the necessary machi nery, to do all in his power to dispel pre judice from the minds of working men. —Damages for Boycotting — Interesting points in connection with a labour union case were settled this week. The labourer who brought an action against his trade union for maliciously conspiring to keep him out of employment because of his failure to refund certain moneys hi ac cordance with his promise, got a verdict against the general secretary, with dama ges £100, but is. waa held that the union was not liable, as the secretary aforesaid exceeded his authority. The district secre tary also was hejd to be free of liability. —Forged Banknotes.— The forged banknote case was this week again before the court, when William Sam mes, a jeweller of llford, told how he had helped to get' the prisoners into the toils of the police. His manner of/ giving his evidence contrasted with that of Fry, who for three days stood in the witness box and recounted the facts entirely from me mory, without a note of any kind. Sam raes referred continually to memorabilia. His evidence was substantially a repetition of Fry's. —Unlicensed 'Liquor Selling.— Mr. Plowden gave a decision this week which is of interest from two points of view. The Inland Revenue Department charged an Italian restaurant keeper with selling wine and spirits without a licence, and based the charge on the fact that the restaurateur charged a profit on the li quors, which he obtained from a neighbour ing publican. The magistrate held that the element of profit clearly made the transaction a sale, and imposed a fine, with' consent to state a case. The practice of charging more for liquor than it costs is common among eating-house keepers, who send out for it, and to some of them the decision will come as a reminder. The large profit charged by this man was the other point. He bought wine for 2/ from the publican, for which he charged his cus tomer 6/6, and spirits for ' 5d. which brought him 1/. —The Glass Trade.— There is a labour difficulty in the glas3 trade. The manufacturers aver that the conditions imposed by me men's society make it impossible to carry on business, and Messrs. Webb, of Stourbridge, have brought matters to a climax as far as they are concerned by issuing their ultimatum, which, the men have declined to accept, and work is suspended. The precise point upon which the trouble has come to a head is regarding the right (rf the employers to promote capable men over the heads cf older operatives. They object to be bound to employ men sent by the Union when they have, men in their service fully ca pable and exactly suitable. The employers declare that this interference of the Union with their choice of workmen is' driving the glass trade to the Continent;, and they state that during the last 20 years it has been on the decline in Epgkml from this cause. The lookout was quietly brought about, and masters and men parted amicably, Messrs. Webb giving each, man a substantial cash present. Ihe men speak highly of this firm, and declare that they would prefer to fight any other manufacturer in the trade. Webbs have for two years givea bonuses in addition to wages; last year the men voluntarily proposed to forego the bonus as the year had been s- bad, but before they were locked out each man was repaid the sum be had renounced. — Airship for tbe War Office.— - The usually dilatory. War Office has or dered Dr. Barton, of Beckenham, who for the past 20 years has been experimenting, to build an airship for His Majesty's ser vice. The model is well spoken of by ex perts. The ship is to carry from five to seven men. .. '..-.? —A Long Sleep.— A woman in France went to sleep in 1883, and has not since awoke. Many different theories are given to account for her condition, and most scientific men incline to the belief that she had under gone some violent emotion prior to losing

consciousness. This. week tbe idea, is sug gested that she may have been magnetiBM. —Check on Bank Clerks.— . * It was expected that the revelations in the Goudie case would cause bank managers to overhaul the working of their ' various institutions, and it isnot surprising to learn that in many banks the clerks have been given fresh duties, and a system of inter change with each other has been introduc ed. There is an exaggerated report, to the effect that manager's are unduly curious re garding the employment of clerks' time af ter bank hours; but, while any suggestion of undue interference may be discredited, it is probable that tb::y will for the future evince a certain degree of interest in their officers' way of spending their leisure; and their surplus cash, if any. —Mixed With Molasses.— Many are the afflictions and difficulties of the cyclist, but those wheelmen who met with, a spill near Clapham a few /lays ago surely had a unique experience. A carter Avaa carrying a cask of treacle in his dray, and by some means it fell out, and. the gol den syrup spread over the roadway in a sticky stream. A touring company of wheelmen, coining along shortly afterwards, ran into the midst of the glutinous mass, and several of them suffered sdesl.pj. When they arose some felt so uncomfort able »hat they were disposed, to express dis content in words : not necessarily, for pub lication. ? —Floating Buoys of Fire.— A novel mode was adopted of showing up the invading boats which sought to enter Portsmouth during some naval evolutions. The intention was to repeat previous suc cesses by getting close . to the harbour under cover of darkness, but the attacking destroyers found during last week's exer cises tnat the defenders had moored barrels of inflammables 'at the entrance. The glare from these enabled the shore batteries to discover the exact position of the destroy ers, and to concentrate their fire upon them. —Not What They Seem — Detectives soon become known to the criminal class, and they resort to some strange disguises to outwit the watchful breakers of law. Every day there are stories of the resource aud cleverness of the London police in the detection of crime. Thieves and burglars never know whether an apparently thick-headed lumper is one of the keenest of their enemies; the man who shovels up refuse along the roadside may be' taking a turn at that kind of work in order to get upon the tracks of his prey. Thk week two dirty chimney sweepers, who were among some working men, surprised a couple of street -bookmakers; and a lazy looking lout of a cheese-porter en the wharf (whose 'cousin is foreman on the job, and lets him do a little quiet loafing, you know, boys') turned out to be a smart detective officer, who duly secured his man. —Razors in the Air.— It is not often that such a strange case comes betore the court as that heard when Miss Julia Brown, a boardinghouse-keeper, charged an old gentleman named Marsh with damaging her household property. Marsh was staying in complainant's dwell ing as a lodger. One day slie noticed a cut in the tablecloth besides other damage, and later the gardener, who had been sleeping in the house, told her the blind had been cut during the interval of a few minutes when he was absent. Miss -Brown was mys tified, and began to think of evil spirits. She made a careful room-to-room examina tion, and found that somebody had been armed with a sharp knife or razor doing wanton mischief. Carpets, blinds, curtain?, quilts, dresses, and other things had been slashed and ruined. Suspicion fell upon th;s respectable old gentleman of 66, and he was hailed before the magistrate. The defending lawyer said Marsh knew nothing whatever about the matter. If he was tbe secret de stroyer, he must have done the damage in his sleep. As he was willing to pay any sum fixed by an independent valuer, the charge was withdrawn. —An Official Report.— A new postmistress complained of the 'bad smells' in her office, and the authori ties of St. Martin's-le-Grand sent an offi cial, who found the drainage slightly defec tive. The lady was asked to report further, and (according to the last number of the department's magazine) she wrote:— 'The Surveyor— Since Mr. ? left 1 have de tected no unpleasantness.— Sarah Condie, postmistress.' - —Walking on Water— Capt. Grossman, the Austrian, who has done considerable walking on water in boots of his own invention, has now im proved upon his original idea by adopting two sealed tubes with eight valves, which run along the length of the boots, and open on touching the water, after the manner of a bird's web focc. The captain has walked upon some of the Swiss lakes. —Badges for Stock Exchange Clerks.— The unauthorized Stock Exchange clerks —those who must noit'transact business on behalf of their employers as the authorized may— have lately been agitated by the proposal to make them wear a distinguish ing badge. It is said that they loiter in the exchange,, and thus occupy space to the detriment of Business, and it is further sug gested that some of^them have broken the rules by doing business for their employ ers. The clerks in question are strongly opposed to what they consider an indig nity, and it ha6 been urged on their behalf that many of them are gentlemen of birth and. education equal to that of aiy of the members, though this hardly affects the point. The badge question has caused some excitement and considerable amuse ment in Throgmorton street. —Gipsy Fortune-tellers.— Though fortune-telling; is illegal, it is still practised more or less openly by gip sies. On Easter Monday several attract ed the attention of the police, and were brought before the magistrate, when -the de fending counsel explained that there ivas a regular scale of' charges— for 1/ a woman would be told that she would have 34 children, and go over the sea: for 2/6 she would have five children only, and the prophetess would promise her plenty of money. The higher the fee paid the rosier the prediction. Although the gipsies had been telling fortunes in the same locality it wan near Hove— for nearly 50 years, the bench thought no right had a-jcrued, and lulheied a line. —Salt that Became Wine — A French brig went on the rocks at the Isle of Wight, and the captain reported that he had .1 cargo of salt, which for some days they were engaged in salving, getting over 50 barrels ashore. But inquisitive island er found a fragrant bunghole or two, and soon the news got round that wines and spirits were to be bad free. In a few hours many of the quiet and contented coast dwellers became more quiet and con tented still, being 'spread out loose on the sand'' in a condition of helpless and uncon scious intoxication; others fought and ar gued. The coastguard came and took pos session of tbe full casks, emptying the broached ones on the beach, to be trodden under foot as so much salt that had lost its savour. —Barmaids.— The endeavour to legislate for the aboli tion of the barmaid, which was a few years ago a fruitful topic in South Australia, has been brought to a successful issue in Cal cutta, where EngKsh female service in hotel bars has been ifprbidden since the beginning of tbe present month. Glasgow is now mak ing an. effort in. the game direction, and the city magistrates are calling upon hotel keepers to dismiss tho barmaids employed, which dictation is strongly resented as ultra vires, and a fight between the sides is immi nent. The barmaids are boiling with in dipation. Though the magistrates have no legal power to bar the barmaid, they can require 'structural alterations,' which term is wide enough, as a magistrate pointed out, to sweep away the bars altogether.

It is said, however, on the authority of the police, that there are only about 100 bar maids all told in Glasgow. The drunken ness in the second city of the United King dom is proverbial, but if the numbers given represent the whole of the female vendors of what the ex-Adelaide abolitionist used to call 'stagger-juice,' it is doubtful whether tlray are accountable for much of the evil. Edinburgh is looking on in amusement. —Fond of Home.— Nearly 400 years ago a cook in Hercules road, Lambeth, poisoned several persons, and as a punishment was gently boiled to death in oil. It is said that his wra,:th, still lingers near the spot, and this week the story is again a topic for the news papers. —No Epicurean.— Mr. Jasper Tully, M.P., was sentenced to a month's imprisonment in Ireland for in citing to disturbance, and on appeal this week the term was reduced to a fortnight. But Mr. Tuliy was a first-class misdemean ant, and he objected to luxuries. He did not' want to go to gaol on chicken and champagne— he preferred to live as an ordi nary prisoner on 'skilly and whack.' liie obdurate Judge refused to alter his de cision. ' —Handwriting Experts.— Experts in handwriting are as liable as other people occasionally to arrive at a wrong conclusion, but it is not often that their skill is discredited in the mannerthat Mr. Gurrin experienced. Mrs. Watson was «ued for £350 under a guarantee alleged to have been signed by her in favour of her eon who was .serving a term of imprison-; ment for forgery. The expert compared' the signature on the document with an acknow ledged one by Mrs. Watson, and declared that both were signed by the iady, but the son was brought from gaol to declare that he forged his mother's signature .to the guarantee. 'The jury -considered ,foi ? _2o minutes, and then gave. a. verdict m Mrs. Watson's favour.