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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1870.

The voice oí the legislator is hushed amid the din of arms, and while our

ears aro stunned with the distant crash,

of falling empires, we are hardly able to collect our thoughts sufficiently for the pacific business of life. Yoi we are bound to remember that very serious and pressing matters ought now to en- gage our attention. Parliament will re- assemble to-morrow for its final session. Happy, indeed, it is for us that our an- nals aro now so uneventful. Happy it is for us that the approaching session of Parliament creates little anxiety and ox cites little interest. Our own ' affairs are, upon the whole, so satisfactory-or, at all events, the influences that tem- porarily depress thom are so little sub- ject to legislative remedy-that we can afford to give our whole attention to the frightful conflictwhichconvulses Europe. Still business must not be neglected, and although it is not likely that we shall have much Important legislation in the present Parliament, there remains for it a good deal that it may profitably

do.

Tlio first object of the approaching session is to malee provision for the financial wants of the country until the meeting of the now Parliament. The present House does not expire until March, and it has therefore under its immediate charge the first three months of the next year. It ought also to take care that ample funds are legally available for a period sufficient to cover the time of the general elections, and the first few weeks of the reign of its suc- cessor. Beyond this limit it obviously ought not to go. It will then have done its own workj and it will havo handed

over to its successor without inter- ruption tho administration of the public purse. Next to this question of sup- plies, and directly connected with it, comes the alteration of the financial year. We havo repeatedly urged the importance o£ this change, and the ex

perience of the last few years has re- moved any doubt that might have existed upon the subject. It is intole- rable that for six weeks before Parlia- ment meets, not a farthing of public money should be legally available for the ordinary expenses of the country. The notion of a spring session, though excellent in theory, has hitherto never been successfully carried into effect. The time also at which the Appropriation Bill is passed prevents the money from becoming available at the season of the year that is most convenient for under- taking public works. For these, and other reasons, it is apparent that the financial year and the civil year cannot be made conveniently to coincide, and that wo ought to follow the English practice in separating them. , The pre- sent time is peculiarly convenient for the purpose, and Sir JAMES M'CULLOCB: undertook last session to consider the most appropriate moans for accom- plishing this object. His determination will materially affect the question of the period for which supplies ought now to be granted. If it be considered and this seemed last session to be the .prevalent opinion-that the financial year should begin on the 1st of July, the supplies ought of course to be now granted for six months. If, on the other hand, it be desired to follow the English practice, and to commence that year upon the 1st of April, the supplies need be granted for three months only ; and the Parliament should then be dis- solved a little earlier than its natural period of dissolution, so that the elec- tions should be finished in March, and that the new House should meet imme-

diately after the Easter holidays. To us the April date seemed to present several advantages, and we do not think that there would be any practical in- convenience in giving to this arrange-

ment immediate effect in the manner that we have described. All difficulty would probably be removed if a grant for supplies for four months were taken, with the understanding that the new Parliament should meet, as we have said, in the middle of April.

This is the practical business which now has to be done, and to which all others should be subordinate. It is hardly reasonable to expect much legis- lative activity from a moribund As- sembly, and there is little use in pro- posing large measures, which are not likely to receive serious attention. If, indeed, the Parliament should be in a working humour, and should deal with some of those important non political measures which have for so long a time been waiting their turn, we shall bo both agreeably surprised and very glad. There is much to be done in the way of law reform ; there are the Insolvency Law and the Com- panies Statute, to be amended in con- formity with recent English legislation ; there is the Mining Companies Act, which still more urgently needs con- sideration. It would be easy to increase this list; and in addition to theso matters, there are all the sub- jects upon which Koyal commissions are still inquiring, and all the disputed questions that have been for years before the country. We have, however, little expectation that the present Parliament will deal with these matters. It will, in our judgment, act more wisely if it confines its attention to the needful pre- parations for the general election, and to the revision of its former work. It is now a good many years since the

schedule to the Electoral Act was settled, and the course of time has necessarily produced m_iy changes in the distribution of population. This is tho proper opportunity to review that schedule, and without attempt- ing to introduce any organic change in our representation, to remove any glaring anomalies and inequalities that it may be found to present. This also is one of the matters to which the Chief Secretary promised the attention of the Government, and of which we hope that he has not lost sight.

Again, there are always omissions

or defects in recent acts which ex-

perience brings to light, and which, require correction. A difficulty of this kind seems to have arisen in the Land Act. It was the intention of that act to havo condoned all Mr.

GRANT'S illegalities, and to have given a good title to his selectors under the 42nd section. But the exuberance of Mr. GRANT'S disregard for tho re- strictions of the law appears to have bafiled the ingenuity of Parliament. Ile not only gave more land than he ought, and created interests that had no other sanction than his own will, but ho ?established a system of transfer for his

licences which at law ought to havo been strictly personal. The act, while it cures the defective titles of the original licen- sees, has done nothing for the trans- ferees. We do not think that this was the intention of the Legislature, and we are sure that it is not good policy. This, then, is a matter which might well be brought, in the present session, under the notice of Parliament. There is also the great question of the dofences, which will arise almost necessarily upon the Estimates. Although the-im- mediate danger may not be so immi- nent as we recently supposed, the Euro- pean news by the present mail is far from reassuring. If this Parliament can place the national defences upon some tolerable footing, if it can revise its own legislation, if it can correct tho obvious inequalities of our electoral system, if it can change the commence- ment of the financial year, and if it can pass estimates to a sufficient extent to keep us afloat until its successor as- sembles, we shall think that, even if it does not pass another act, it will havo dono good work, and shall be glad that we can part on friendly terms with a House in whose antecedents there was. so little to admire.

When the hon. the Chief Secretary refused, some weeks ago, to reward the gratuitous services of the country fire- men with free railway passes and land, we commended him for the firmness of his conduct, and expressed a hope that subsequent demands upon the Govern- ment of an equally unreasonable charac- ter would be met in a similar spirit. Since then some other improper de 1 monds have been preferred, and it ia

gratifying to know that they also have been resisted. Had the deputation system been encountered in the same manner when it first commenced, it would never have grown to the dimensions that it has assumed in recent years, and a great deal of public money would have -been saved, It is' oven

probable that the administration of our public affairs would never have become so lax as it is, if begging deputa- tions had been snubbed a dozen years since as they are being snubbed now. Scores of shire and borough councillors cannot enjoy Melbourne life for a time at the cost of the'public, in order that they may wrest from the Government something which should not be granted them, without becoming more or less demoralised ; and impecunious members of Parliament cannot keep their company while in town, and share in their amuse- ments, without being the worse for it. The free expenditure of shire or borough rates which deputationing involves, and the obtaining of public money by means of urgent solicitation, not altogether unaccompanied with " proper reprcsen " talions," tends to dull the perceptions of the persons engaged in such transac- tions, and to blur their sense of public right and wrong. It is therefore matter for congratulation that the deputation system is now being checked, just as it îs matter for infinite regret that through

the weakness of successive Adniiuistra

tions it was permitted to grow and flourish during so many years.

The most important of the deputa- tions that have been rebuffed was that

consisting of delegates from borough and shire councils, that waited on the Chief Secretary and the Treasurer on the 7th of the present month, for the purpose of asking money to repair the injuries sustained by roads and bridges through the then recent floods. This -was a most formidable de-

putation, and consisted of some 70 or SO representatives of local governing bodies. To resist its demands, and that within a few months of a general election, was therefore a somewhat serious matter, but they-were resisted nevertheless, aud in such an un- compromising manner as should tend to deter local bodies from attempting similar attacks on the Treasury in the future. Another signally unsuccessful deputation was that which visited the Commissioner of Public Works on Mon- day, to present a petition from about 1G0 working men of Williamstown, protesting against the employment of prisoners on certain defence works now being constructed at that place. In reply to this protest Mr. BATES enun- ciated an opinion by which his own conduct and that of his immediate po- litical associates have not always been guided, namely-that " the Government " has a clear" right to carry on the " business of the country as private " individuals would." To do so within certain limits is not only the clear right, foutthebounden duty, of Government. In every transaction which does not involve "higher tuan economic considerations, the Ministry should be guided by commercial principles, and should take care to obtain ¡the best value for the public money ex- pended by them that the state of the market will permit. In regard to the profit- able employment of prisoners other than commercial considerations are involved, but these also fully justify their employ- ment. It is better for the prisoners themselves that they should be kept at work during the period of their deten- tion, since labour will mitigate the suffering which their confinement in- flicts, while it will prevent their entire demoralisation, and so give them a chance to come out of gaol with some capacity for usefulness still remaining in them. And the results of their labour, of which a small proportion is reserved for their own use when set at liberty, greatly improves their chance of being able to regain a place among the respectable portion of the community. In this way the public are great gaiuors by the em- ployment of prison labour. It lessens the percentage of lapses into crime, and so saves the cost of police and ponai services, and gives greater security to Sife and property.

Viewing the question as an eco- nomical one, the argument in favour of employing prison labour is vory simple and conclusive. If prisoners do not earn their own living, they must "be supported by the state, and thus be- come a burden upon the honest and industrious men from whom the public revenue is collected. It cannot even be shown that any section in the com- munity, or any individual, is injured by the employment of prison labour. The stonebreakers think they are, but this is quite a mistake. If our ports were closed against immigrant ßtone "breakcrs, and no men not now engaged in that occupation were to be permitted to enter upon it, these would enjoy a monopoly on which prison stonebreaking would bo an encroachment.' But these conditions can never exist, and conse- quently they suffer no wrong under the existing system. The matter is so plain that it would be idle to explain it fur- ther, but we may congratulate the Com aniasioner of Public Works, who so promptly refused the unreasonable de- mand of the Williamstown workmen, on his conversion from certain errors which he held rather strongly in the days of his political youth. He did not always tell his audiences that the busi- ness of a country should bo managed like the business of private indivi-

duals.

Tho R.M.S.S. Avoca arrived in Hobson's Bay at half-past 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Elsewhere wo give our correspondent's letters, which aro more than usually interesting, and also a complete diary of the war, which will ho found of considerable service in giving a clear and concise account of the ordor of events. There will also be found some fuller details of tho late nows, taken from the telegrams of the Indian papers.

His Excellency the Governor and Vis countoss Canterbury entertained a solocfc party at Toorak last evening at 'a soirée muai' o«le, Mrs. Cutter and Mr. and Mrs. Allen wcro tho artists engaged, and porfortnod seve- ral pieces greatly to the satisfaction of the company. His Eoyal Highness the Duke o£ "Kdinhurgh, in whose honour the party was* given, was present. .

M'e understand that His Royal Highness the Dake of Edinburgh has given his patrón ase to Mr. G. B. Allen's ballad ebneort, to

tulse place at the new Town-ball on Wednes- day next.

Although the meeting of Parliament ia so near, there ia very little excitement in poli- tical ciruloB. It appeurs to be the general opinion that tho principal fight of the session will be on the question of whotber supplies

for tho first six months of 1871 shall or shalll not be voted before tho close of 1870, or by the prcsont Parliament. Wc understand that there will bo little or no objection in the Legislative Council to tho election of Mr, Mitchell as president, and Dr, Hope as chair-

man of committees.

Wo aro informed that the Jtoyal Com- mission to inquire into ¡the noxious manu- factures now being earned on in the city and the isubnrbs have agreed to a progress report, which was forwarded to tho Chief Secretary yesterday.

Our own correspondent, writing from London on the 9th September, says that tho greater portion of the British-Indian Exten- sion Telegraph Company's cabio, for sub- mersion between Madras and Penang, was despatched from the Thames on tho 21st August, and that it was anticipated that complete elcctiical communication botween England and Australia and China would bo effected by the summer of next year.

A private letter from Galle contains the fol- lowing :-"Coptain Gilmoic's services on bo half of your Government aronot likely to bere quired, as you will seo that thoie is at present no piobability of England becoming oin broiled in tho war. "Wo aie all now expecting a speedy pence, unless tho Parisians prove foolhardy or desperate. Tho first bomb in the Ruo Hivoli or tho Tuileries may be ex- pected to decido matters. Tho siego of Paris and the siege of Homo were telegraphed on tho samo day. A curious phase of tho world's history."

Tho news to hand by the mail enables us to correct an item of our telegram in advance. The passage stating that the Isabella had arrived at Colombo was an error. It should have taken thus, "Tho schooner David and Jessie, of Melbourne, was stranded

Colombo harbour when nearly loaded. Foars arc entertained for the safety of the Isabella,

out with bonedust."

The Cerberus, at the commencement of September last, was not quito ready for start- ing. " Anglo-Australian" in the European Mail says-"I learn that some delay has been interposed in respect to tho date of her leav- ing, consequent on the undecided ideas of tho Admiralty as to how sho shall go out, whothor as a man-of-war, an ordinary vessel, or otheiwise. Oh ! Mr. Childers, did not Vic- toria with her young energy and contempt for the old worn sentiment of anliqms vias stare teach you better things. Has prosperity coriuptea you, good fortuno made you moro wavering than formerly? It is to be feared that high office has a somewhat de- generate influence on tho genius of self-im- portant men. But then Mr. Childers is not a self-important man, is he? Let his ftiends answer, and his enemies holdsilonce. Lieut. Panter, tho commander of tho Cerberus, is superintending her prcpaiations for soa, and an abler officer than ho, in the opinion of those who have come in contact with him, it would bo difficult to find,"

The Times of 10th September, in a loading article regretting Captain Cowper Coles' de- cease at the moment of his triumph, says that a great genius has perished, and that the foundering of the vessol in a squall is no evidence of the falsity of the system upon which tho Captain was constructed. Other vessels on other principios have foundered before. Tho construction of another vossel on the same principio is advocated. The Monarch and Captain aie pronounced to bo by far the best vcssols ever built for tho British uavy, especially tho latter.

A congress of ministers of religion and lay- men was held at the Assembly-hall (late St. Enoch's Church) yesterday, in connexion with tho Society for the Promotion of Morality, The Bishop of Molbourno presided. About CO gontlemon wero present. At the morning sitting, the chairman read a paper setting forth the duties of Christian patents in the bringing up of their children; and tho discussion upon it was followed by a discussion on the establishment of reform- atories for fallon women, a subject intro- duced by tho Rov. Ii. B. Dickinson, who took tho place of another member of tho society who was to have prepared a paper, but did not got notice in time. A refuge, which would be, in every sense of the word, a home for the inmates, was the kind of reformatory recommended, and a hope was expressed that by|tho liberality of Christian men and women we should soon see something of the kind esta- blished wherever required. In the afternoon, the Rev. James Maitin road a paper on " Popular Amusements," pointing to tho sup- pression of some of the amusements which the people had to put up with at present, and recommending in their places others of a simpler and much less harmful kind. The paper was well received ; so, also, was ono by the Dean of Melbourne on " Licentiousness," advising that early marriages should be on couraged, as an effectual check on one of the worst forms of licentiousness. Tho Rev. J. J. ITalloy, of Ballarat, who had not notice to preparo tho paper that was expected from him, oponed a discussion on "Intem- pérance." The various speakers appeared to bo of ono mind in advocating restrictions in the present licensing system, the prevention of Sunday trading, and tho establishment of a permissive system. Tho sittings of the con- gress then came to a closo In the evening, a public mooting was held in the same placo ; the Bishop of Melbourne in the chair. It was pretty well attended. The Rev. Dr, Cairns delivered an addross on "Tho Dese- cration .of the Sabbath ;" the Rev. G. 0. Vance an'address on "Religion tho Basis of Morality ;" the Rev. G. Machio, an address on "Intemperance;" and the Rov. W.R. Fletcher an address on "Gambling." Towards tho close a report from the committco of tho socioty was read by Mr. J. S. Greig, hon. secretary. It spoke of the amount of work which tho society had beon able to do during its first year 'as satisfactory. Tho report was adopted, on the motion of Mr. Cutts, se- conded by the Rev. J. Bickford. Office- bearers wero appointed for tho ensuing year, and the proceedings woro then brought to an

end.

Tho committeo of the Alfred Hospital Opon, ing Ball had a meeting yestorday, at which it was decided to appoint Mr. Smythe» and Mr. R. JJ. Millor caterers for tho supply of wines and viands. The committee appear to be doing everything in their power to mako tho

ball a success.

A local land board, consisting of tho Presi- dent of the Board of Land and Works, and the assistant Commissioner of lands and sur- vey, was hold yesterday, at the Lands office, to consider an application for an extension of the Axcdalo and Eppstock United Farmers Common. The secretary of the Huntly Shiro Council appeared to object, on the ground that an application was about to be mado for the annexation of the land now applied for to the adjoining Farmors Common in tho Huntly Shiro, tho land being within the bounds of that shiie. It was decided to post- pone the consideration of the matter until the two applications could be heard togethor.

Tho Mayor of Footscray (Mr. H. Sims) and Councillors Smith and Cross waited as a de. putation upon the Commissioner of Roads and Railways yesterday, to request his sanction to a proposal to borrow tho sum of £7,000 on tho joint Footscray and Braybrook toll, in order to mako roads in tho district. Mr. Ritchie, a member, and Mr. Pullar, the secretary of the Braybrook Road Board, attended for the ' purpose of objecting to the proposal. They suggestod, on behalf of tho body they represented, that if the Footscray Boiougk wero joined to tho Braybrook road district, and the united territory proolaimod as

a sliire, the increased íevenuo which would bo received, together with the Government sub- sidy, would provide forall that was necessary in the way of roads. As this proposition was not favourably regarded by the Footscray Council, Mr. "Wilson suggested that the two bodies should have a conference on tho subject, and then come before him with some plan upon which they could mutually agroo. Before tho deputation retired, Mr. Wilson, referring to a request made some time ago by the Footscray people for a new bridge across the railway, stated that he had written to the Footscray Council, tho Shire Council of "Wyndham, aud the Braybrook Road Board, informing them that if they each furnished their proportion of o sum of £2,000, the Government would pTovido tho additional £2,000 required for the erection of the bridge.

The oft-mooted question of the reduction of the rent in mining leases was re-oponcd yesterday by a deputation from Eldorado which waited on the Minister of Mines They urged the usual arguments in favour of reducing tho rent, pointing, out how very hardly the payment of £1 per acre pressed on the proprietors of progressive mines. Mr. Mackay replied that the Government wero anxious to solve the difficulty which no doubt existed, and awaited some expression of opinion from the gold-fields' population as a whole before they could venture on any new legislation upon this subject, The principal argument which had any weight was, ho said, in favour of allowing those who wero practically piospcctors such a remission of their rent as would encourage them to go on with their work, but a general reduction would not meet that case. Ho hinted that if the wages men felt the pressure of this rent, by a reduction in the price of labour, they would naturally join in tho request now made, but at present public opinion was in many places strongly in favour of a high rent, which prevented monopoly. One member of the députa, tion mentioned that in one instance that of a company which only paid a dividend equal to 10 por cent.-the wuges men con- tended as a reason against tho reduction of their wages that a profit of 10 per cent, was sufficient. After much discussion pro and con, Mr. Mackay said it would bo impossible for the Government to introduce a bill to amend the law relating to the gold-fields during the next session, but they would gladly attend to the opinions on this subject which might find proper expression in the forthcoming general

election.

Progress at the Victoria Barracks has been necessarily slow, and we havo scarcely any. thing to add to the details already given. The permanent garrison corps is now nearly com- plete, save in respect to tho force of skilled artillerymen. It is announced that the men will do duty at the opening of Parliament, both as a guard of honour and in firing the usual salute. The men of tho police candi- date force will on this occasion make their first appeaiance in public, but, as may bo supposed, their drill is not complete, but simple parade duty is all that will be required

of them.

The Hon.0 Exposition is not to be post- poned (unless the weather he absolutelyunfitat the last moment), notwithstanding the Spring Race Meeting being put off for a week. The original plan of dovetailing the affair with thoTuif Club gathering would have insured success to tho promoters, and many of Messrs. Goyder, M'Caughey, and Co.'s friends havo advised them to defer their exhibition. But they have determined not to disappoint the public, if possible, although tho absonce of the expected up-country visitors to the races must be a drawback to their success. H.R.H. Prince Alfred has signified his interest in tho affair, and would regret that tho necessity of his departure on the 7th prox should pi event his witnessing this firsb Australian imitation of tho great Islington show. The entries made yestorday were satis- factorily numerous.

At the Criminal Sessions yesterday, tho whole day was spent in tho trial of a vory painful case. A young man, named Edward Marwood Elton, who is said to be highly con- nected at home and to be woll educated, was arraigned for the wilful murder of Thomas Henry Darbyshire, his stepson, a child of two and a half years of age. The facts of the murder aro, no doubt, still remembered. Tbo prisoner was married somo soven or oight months ago to a Mrs. Darbyshire, whoso ille- gitimate son the murdered child was. Ho seems to have been much attachod to the boy, and to havo been in the habit of making him littlo presonts very frequently. On the afternoon of September 5, on the pretonco of taking him out for a walk, ho led tbo child to a lonely spot in the Sand- ridge Bend, and there cut his throat. He had no sooner committed this fearful deed than ho hastened .to inform his wife of what he had done, and led her to the spot where her dead child lay. It was shown that for several years the prisonor had suffered from a diseaso which was calculated to dis- order his intellect, and tlio medical evidence adduced by the Crown pointed conclusively to his insanity. Dr. M'Croa, tho chief medical officor of tho colony, and Mr. Taley, the in-

spector of lunatic asylums, two of tho mom

bers of tho commission appointed to inquire into tho state of the prisoner's mind, whilo

stating positively thoir beliof in his in- sanity, yet considered that he was perfectly conscious whon he killed the child that ho was violating the law. Tho third member of tho commission, Mr. Ilarcourt, M.L.A., tho proprietor of the Richmond Asylum, whilo concurring in tho prisoner's insanity, believed ho was not conscious that he was committing a breach of the law when he killed the child. The jury, aftor delibe- rating for about an hour, found the prisoner guilty, but recommended him to mercy on account of the disease from which he suffered. On being asked what ho had to urge why sentence of death should not be passed on him, the prisoner made a most violent speedy in which ho expressed himself quite willing to pay the penalty for his crime, and bitterly cursed the jury for their mistaken kindness in recommending him to morey. His Honour Mr. Justico Williams promised to forward the recommendation to tho proper quarter, and then sontonced the prisoner to death. During tho whole of the proceedings the prisoner maintained a cool and collected do. meanbur. Ho was exceedingly palo, but did not otherwise evinco symptoms of anxiety or emotion at his position, and therefore his out- burst of passion at tho conclusion of the trial took every one by surprise Great interest was manifested in the proceedings, and the court was crowded all day. The wifo of the prisoner, a respectable-looking young woman, Waited in the precincts of the Court through- out the day, and great sympathy was expressed for her unfortunate position.

Wo understand that the Attornoy-Genoral has determined that the trial of Supplo for wounding Mr. G. P. Smith shall be proceeded with on Thursday.

There was ono case in tho list of the Equity Court yesterday-Turnbull v. Shiels-but owing to the indisposition of Mr. Holroydi ono of tho counsel engagod, it was post- poned, and the Court adjourned till Thurs- day.

Tho hoard > appointed to investigate tho charges mado against Detective Christie sat again yestorday, and aftor taking evidence for tho defence, adjourned till noon to-day, for the production of Dotectivo Mackay, a wit- ness who was unablo to attend. It is under- stood that tho charges havo totally fallon to the ground, it having been shown that Christie had never lived with or known anything about the wifo of tho felon Levi Walker ; that tho persons who gave the information to Christio on which Moore waa arrested, wore totally dis- tinct from Walker (which disposes of the

charge of his having concocted with the latter the case against Moore); and that, so far from his having unjustly condemned the character of the Sandhurst Hotel, kept by Coyle (who was tho means of Detective Christie being brought under suspicion), it is a custom amongst the detectives to visit that placo when on tho look-out for offenders. Not very long ago Coyle went surety for a noto- rious criminal named Brewer, and the firät act of the latter was to commit a burglary at his benefactor's hotel. As the board exer- cises judicial as well as investigating func- tions, its decision will probably bo given to- day.

The Collingwood Gas Company yesterday sued Mr. A. K. Smith, civil engineer, for £68 10s. 11d., the balance of an account which they alleged to be due to them for goods sup- plied to him during the time he was carrying out the contract for the erection of their new gasometer. The case had been tried pre- viously, and Mr. Smith then obtained a verdict, because he cleaily stated in court that there had been a dispute between himself and the company on the final settlement respecting tho gasometer contract, and he had taken betwean £300 or £400 less than he considered himself entitled to, in order that he might remit the money due to him to Great Britain, and that the whole matters between himself and the company should be settled. Some of the goods for which the amount was sued for by the company had, however, been supplied by them to defendant before the settlement referred to, and they consi- dered they were entitled to be paid for them. At the former trial, Judge Pohlman, in charging the jury, stated that although Mr. Smith might have been under the impression he had made a complete settlement with the company, they were entitled to charge him for, at all events, certain portions of the account. The jury, however, held differ- ently, and returned a verdict for defendant. The judge afterwards granted a new trial, on the ground that the verdict was against evi- dence. The case came up again yesterday, and the verdict of the jury was the same as on the previous occasion, namely, for the

defendant.

The usual weekly meeting of the com- mittee of the Melbourne Hospital was held yesterday afternoon in the boardroom. There were present—Mr. Hart (in the chair), Messrs. Gillbee, Gibbs, Fenton, Phillips, Knaggs, and Aarons. The secretary reported that the number of patients in the Hospital was 335. There had been five deaths during tho week, and 48 discharges. The number of in. patients admitted was 54 ; 219 new cases (out- patients) had been treated, and 190 casual- ties, making a total for the week of 463. A letter was received from Mr. J. F. O'Ryan, medical student, soliciting the appointment of resident dresser to two or more of the honorary surgeons, with a view to obtaining a more intimate knowledgo of surgical practice. The application was re- ferred to the honorary staff. A communica- tion was received from Mr. J. Davis, ac. knowledging, in the absenco from town of Mr. Balfour, the secretary's letter intimating that he (Mr. Balfour) had beon elected a member of tho Hospital Committee, and ox. pressing a fear that Mr. Balfour's many public engagements would probably prevent him accepting the responsibility. It was agreod, on the motion of Mr. Knaggs, so. conded by Mr. Aarons, "That the com- mittee of management havo learned with much regret that rule 7 has been very much neglected, so much so that when a consulta- tion is called there is seldom a sufficient re. sponse to that call, whereby very much injury accrues to the patients and to the hospital. As tho committee cannot 'possibly sanction such a state of things, thoy would impress upon tho honorary staff tho absolute necessity of a stiict adherence to the rulo, so that there shall be no absentees in future consultations, unless under unavoidable circumstances." It was also resolved, on tho motion of Mr. Aarons, that a return of the attendance of the honorary medical staff for tho last six months should he laid on the tablo.

A meeting of the council of tho Old Colonists' Association was held yesterday at tho office, C4 Queen-street. Present-Mr. J. B. Were (in tho chair), Messrs. T. Moubray, and J. A. Marsden. Tho following gentle- men were oleetod members of the association : -Messrs. Robt. Knox, James II. Irving, Andrew H. Knight, James Blair, and John Coldham. One gentleman was proposed for membership.

A boy named Lewis Johnston was run over by a cab last night, at about half-past 8, and died from tho effects of tho injuries, which were internal, a few minutes aftor his ad- mission to tho Hospital. Two mon woro arrested and locked up in the city watch house, charged with careless driving, thero being a curious muddle as to which was tho driver of tho cab. One of tho men, who said his name was Joseph Hugh Mundy, took the dying boy to the Hospital, and stated that as he was driving in Elizaboth-stroot, tho boy ran out from a number of othors, and, getting in tho way of the cab, was run over boforo thoro was time to pull up. Two passengers corroborated this, and said that thoy wero the only persons in tho vehiclo oxcopc the driver. Constablo Walsh was sent for, and, finding that the boy was dead, took tho driver to the watchhouso. On tho way ho asked leave to call at the Bull and Mouth Hotel, Bourke street, in order to get somo one to take caro of his cab. This request was acceded to, and he went into the skittle-alloy and pointed out a man who ho now alleged was tho driver. The man carno forward, and did not deny that ho was tho driver, saying that his name was Mundy, while the first man now said his name was William Fairburn. Tho second noan also said ho was driving just before. The passengers now became doubtful which was driving, or whether thero wore two Jehus, and both mon woro accordingly locked up.

A man named Alfred White, who had lately arrived from New Zealand, was found dead in his bed yosteiday morning, at the Beehive Hotel, corner of Russell and Lons- dale streets. He had been in tho habit of taking chloroform to cute a toothache, and had bought somo on tho previous day. Tho bottle was found empty by his bedside. Tho jury found, that he died from inadvertently inhaling chloroform, tho modical ovidonco pointing to that conclusion.

The nuisance case in which Joseph Higgins, proprietor of a closot-disinfecting patent, was charged beforo the St. Kilda Bondi with de- positing dung upon a pieco of land at Caul- field, so as to cause a nuisauco, carno boforo tho City Court yesterday. Mr. Woolcott, for the defence, urged that as tho St, Kilda magis- trates had dismissed the case, it could not bo taken beforo the City Court, as that would bo making the lattor a court of appeal from a court of equal jurisdiction. Mr. F. Stephon, on the other hand, said that the St. Kilda J.P.'s, boing imperfectly acquainted with the law, had dismissed it, in cousoquonco of a mistaken idea that thoy had no jurisdiction to hear an indictable offence at common law. It was thereforo no appeal against their de- cision to biing a caso whiuh had uover boon heard on ita merits beforo tho Melbourne police magistrate, who had jurisdiction over the wholo colony. Mr. Sturt, P.M., said that ho would postpono tho case till to-day, in ordor that inquiries might bo mado as to tho nearest court to Caulfield having jurisdiction in the matter.'

"The vory proper courso," saya tho Mount Alexander Mail, "of asking Mr. Everard to place Mr. Baillio's resignation in the hands of tho Speaker will at onco bo adopted. A letter to Mr. Everard, requesting him to do so, is

now being signed."

The ballot for the 'oloction of directors of the Mutual Assurance Society of Victoria took placo yostorduy, at Scott's Hotol. Consi-

derable interest was manifested in the result j of tho election, . and almost ovory subscriber I

vott d, cither personally or by proxy. There weie l8 candidates. The voting rosulted in the election of the following gentlemen in the order named, viz. ¡-Messrs. Gcorgo Martin, G. U. F. Webb, Jas. Lorimer, IT. Selwyn Smith, Robt. M'Dougal, and Dr. A. R. Mac-

donald.

The members of the Williamstown Me- chanics' Institute held their half-yearly meet- ing last evening, in the reading-room of their building. Mr. H. R. Reid (president) occu- pied the chair, and tho secrotary read tho reports and balance-sheet, which wero adopted. On tho general fund thcro was a balance in hand of £14 "Gs. 5d., in addition to which £03 4s. Gd. was due to the committeo as subscriptions and biro of hall. Tho liabilities on the building fund were £450, represented by debentures payable within tho next four years. Interest and principal to tho amount of £0S would bo duo in December next. Tho total cost of the hidings was set down as £2,G72, so that, deducting the amount rocoived hy the salo of debentures, no less than £2,222 had been subscribed towards the building fund. The library contained 2,3S1 volumes. Although the committee had only been able to devote £20 during the half-year for the purchaso of new books, it contained many valuablo works, and it was anticipated that a largo number recently issued from tho press would be purchased during the next six months. The school of design established by this instituto was also in a prosperous con- dition. At tho ond of the last quarter there were 125 pupils on the roll, the averago attendance for tho quarter boing 8;3 oach night. In connexion with this department tho committeo held a balanco of £-1 3s. Sd., exclusive of tho Government grant, amount- ing to £10 7s. Gd. Messrs. Ilerry, Ferguson, Goss, Elder, Power, Meiklo, and Woodroffe were appointed committeemen in place of the retiring members,

A sacred concert, consisting of selections on a liberal scalofrom tho "Messiah," was given last night at the Prahran Independent Church, Commercial-road, in aid of the choir

fund. The chorus numbered about 50 voices, comprising the mouibors of the choir and a number of Mr. Horsley's con- cert chorus, who volunteered their services. Mr. Horsley himself was a porformer, tho accompaniments being played by him on the organ, which, however, was not a vory satisfactory instrument for the purpose. Mr. H. J. King acted as conductor, aud the prin- cipal vocalists wore Miss Lambort, Miss Watson, and Messrs. Brown and Hallam. Some of tho choruses wero fairly rendered, but the number of singers was scarcely suffi- cient to do justice to Handel's great work. Before the close of the concort, the Rev. W. Moss proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Horsley and his associates for their services, which was carried by acclamation,

Tho Geelong Gaol, which for some twelvo months back has been used as au industrial school, is shortly about to bo re-converted to tho purposes for which it was built, and tho children now in the school thoro will, it is 8tated,-bo removed to Sunbury.

Tlie ensuing fishing season promises to be a most successful one for anglers in tho neighbourhood of Geelong, as all tho favourito creeks near town aro now full of fish of good sizo. Several fishing parties latoly havo re- turned with basketsful of fino broam.

At the Geelong Police Court yesterday, one of the seamon of the ship Southern Empiro was charged with assaulting tho mate of tho vessol. Tho evidence, however, showed that the assault had been commenced by the mate, and the Bench discharged the prisoner, who had been confined in the watchhouso all night.

An old man named William Lancaster was arrested at Chilwell, near Geelong, on Tues- day afternoon, on a warrant charging him with an attempt to commit suicide last weok in Melbourne, whoro the warrant was issuod. Bail was found, and the prisoner will be brought beforo tho Geelong Bench this morn- ing.

The Obsei~uer, under covor of an allusion to tho purchaso of horses in England by the agents of Franco and Prussia, makes tho following amusing attack on the London cab horse, the cabs, and tho drivors :-" Wo hope these agents will como back to London and mako a bid for our-cab-horses, who are well worth their attention. These valuablo animals aro quite as much athomo on threologs as on four, so that in the event of a limb boing blown off the body of any ono of thom on the field of battle no inconvonionco will ariso. As for putting thom to flight, the idea is simply ridiculous ; fire at thom with chasse pots, mitrailleuses, or any weapon, however formidable, tho British cab-horso would dis- dain to retreat at any pace loss dignified than a crawl. If France or Prussia would like to buy our cabs also, wo aro prepared to enter into negotiations. They aro admirably adapted for carrying troops to or from a hostile country. They havo iron platos like men-of-war, and will bear any amount of inspection -in fact, that is what they require Thoy have beon accustomed to carry Hogs. They do jolt a little, wo admit ; but thoy havo carried so many fever patients to tho hospitals that thoy would

bo invaluablo to nations undor the influonco of war fever. It may be as well to add that many of our cabs havo had considerable ex- perience in killing people. Of course wo can- not spare our cabdrivers ; otherwise, if the French army got inside our cabs, driven by thtso London drivers, and by a (lank move-' nient suddenly carno round tho corner on to tho Prussians at tho corner of tho Rhino, tho havoc would bo frightful, Our cabmen givo no warning to their victims ; stealthily, like the wild Indian, thoy creep round the corners ; thero is a crash, a scream, a few awful imprecations levelled at tho mauglod mass of humanity, and all is ovor. Wo do not think the report of cannon would terrify them. Our , own registrar-general's reports havo been very loud and strong, but the British cabman spares neither ago nor sox whon duty compels him to sacrifice a pedestrian at the shrino of ' stroet accidents.' "

" Much Ado About Nothing" will be playod this evening at the Theatro Royal, with Miss Colville as Beatrice and Mr. Hoskins as Bono dick.

Thero was a good attendance) at the Princess Theatre last evening, and tho performances of the Gregory troupe wero recoived with con- siderable favour.

The bazaar in aid of tho Convent of tho Good Shephord, Abbotsford, which was to have been opened at St. Georgo's-hall to-day, will bo held instead at tho New Town-hall, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. An- nouncements to this effect appear in our advertising columns.

Wo aro informed that the schoonor Mar- garet Chessell, which latoly left hero for Fiji, was in no way connected with tho Polynesian Company. Sho is owned by Mr. Warburton, of Bourkc-streot, and was loaded and de- spatched by him.

We notice that tho annual dinnor of the Medical Society of Victoria is advertised to take place this ovening, at Scott's Hotol.

Sorao " Rcmatks on Cultivation of tho Soil and tho Establishment of au Industrial Farm as a Solf-supportingSchool of Agriculture and a Means to Promote Colonial Industry," havo been published in pamphlet form by Mr. D. Nichol, of Sydney. Tho principle advocated is set out in tho following briof oxtract : " Recognising tho acknowledged fact that any able-bodied man who can apply his.labour to the soil will raiso moro food from it than ho can consume, on industrial farm should bo on such a footing as to afford employment to overy willing workman in tho colony, to form a temporary homo and school for immigrants, and to bo nearly if not entirely Solf-support ing In oxchango for labour, maintenance and special instruction should bo given ; the establishment would bo in fact a practical school of agriculture. If a man could uso his toolB, thero was work for him-if not, ho would bo taught to do so, and the principles of agriculture! bu < rendered! familiar to all through practice and lectures."

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