IN TOWN AND COUNTRY.
At a recent meeting n a New South, Wales country council was. thrown into a wild state of indignation by the following telegram: "Kindly ask Mayor —— to deliver me 15,000 cocks' eggs instanter. Banquet, at my hotel. No bad onse
necessary- F. E. Welby, Metropolitan Hotel.' Opinions as to the meaning of the message were many and diverse and although attempts were made to treat the affair as merely a foolish joke these were not successful, and by a majority, it was resolved that ''some action must be taken." One alderman pointed out the fact that, on the face of it, the telegram cculd not be taken seri- ously, seeing "that, cocks do not lay eggs." The Mayor begged for the .support of the, council in this momentous crisis, adding that he had al- ready obtained legal advice on the matter, and was prepared to ''take action." Eventually, after after much discussion, it'was resolved to write and ask the sender what he meant. It may not however, be so easy to discover him. The less notice taken of stupid jokes of the kind, the less satisfaction is afforded to their originators. As it is, the funny man who got this special one off at the expense of divers good citizens is doubtless chuckling gleefully at the storm he has raised.
An English-newspaper, saws- that, "while'th« relief of - Mafeking ^as being celebrated' at ... £ village-near Colchester, in'Essex, the wife of a fisherman gave birth to three boys. The triplets were at once, and ' amid inteuae, enthusiasm, named respectively, Redvers Alexander;"'Robert's Methuen, and Badénr Powell. The boy..bearing the name of the last-menticned soldier " was born with "two well-developed'teeth.'* . f; .- * ?' m KI :-^."';'.'fifi
As showing the scare excited -by the :-;"^BreC-; longs," a correspondent writes ' to". a country newspaper: " "The district is in terror about the blacks, arid if à traveller wants to call at at'tiome stead after dusk, he is challenged by about half a dozen" dogs and a few loaded rifles, before-being allowed to come within a hundred.'yards, so ter ror-stricken are some' Of the. residents. :If . a great deal of care is not taken someone will be shot at. I hear one of our champion..wallaby shooters very nearly shot one of the station blacks a few days ago." "
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A country land board had recently before it evidence- which disclosed some peculiarly sad features connected with a certain homestead se lection. . Early in 1896 a-young; fellow, won a block of 364 acres at a ballot. Two years af ter he died. The law relating to residence on ' these äroas states that in such a case the land' board has the' power to approve of some other member of deceased's family fulfilling the conditions pre sented by law. Action was taken in the direc tion, and, accordingly, in October, 1898, the dead selector's brcther set about fulfilling the neces sary residence. After a lengthy illness he also died. It became, therefore, once more necessary to And somebody else to fulfil the, conditions of the act, and a week or so ago another brother ap peared before the board and expressed his wil lingness to make the attempt. His offer was accepted, and the district hopes that he will have better luck than hip unfortunate brothers,
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Coolamon (N.S.W-) tried tb hold-a iplo.ughing match t he other day,, but the ; weather was against it. Says the-reportr "One could scarcely imagine a more miserable day . %oxsuch"an occasion". . With the exception' of two tarpaulin' bcoths; ' there Was no shelter upon the ground, excepting under the. trees; and; they -were \rather dangerous. -And the Coolamon- people,had.looked -forward to even ai larger attendance than last- year,; when; there were 11,500 present;',howeverit was a source'bf great surprise that,/ under\ the: rcircum'stancesft about 700 put in ari' appearance." \..*'A- ,í>ig /drop even for such'weather! -::fi-;'V:.'. ?'?;':..':
Mount Boppy, a mining township in the Cobar district of New .South Wales, is evidently badly in want of a policeman. Writes a correspondent from that out-of-the-way corner of the colony:
"Police protection is badly wanted here. Satur- day night and Sunday morning last took the cake for filthy language and disgraceful conduct. To think that a gang of young men should take possession of our main street, and use the lan- guage they did, and break the windows of Coop- er's Royal Hotel, is a disgrace to the Inspector- General of Police. A number of people have a set on me for trying to get the police here; but when speaking the truth, as I do in this case, I fear no foe." Although Mount Boppy seems to be situated about a hundred miles from nowhere, the
Inspector-General might do worse, than make a note of its position, if only to provide a little pro- tection in time to save the person of the writer -who fears no foe- from those who will pro- ceed to "deal it out" to him.
According to the, "Beira Post" of June 7, the Imperial Bushies had some high-class visitors in their camp in the person of the Portuguese Go vernor and his Twlfe .and daughter. Says the report: "On the occasion of the visit the lines had been decoràted .with greenery: and designs in parterre. Mottoes and designs' .worked out: in berries and rice we're very ëffcctlve, and the emu, opossum, and kangaroo were in sufficient evi dence.",/ Our squadron sported its white cocka too above the motto, "Useful; Not Ornamental." But, says the local, scribe, the great attraction was -when: \"At very, great request. Captain Ryrie
very k\ndly, gave, an exhibition of; 'boomerang' , throwing; a. revelation to 'most , of the visitors,
which, proved ;most entertaining and interesting.*. Some amateur efforts afterwards, by the "vlsi tbrs," nearly became dangerous." Since that time-the "LBs," ..according to latest accounts, have -.been : receiving entertainments from the Boers; and'giy-! irig them surprise, parties in return; and in every way fulfiling their parting prediction of the "Beira Tost" man,: who says: that he hadn't'- the slightest doubt that Colonel Mackay and his merry men would prove themselves every bit as good fighters as they were hosts.
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It will be remembered that a celebrated sur- geon alluded lately to the "plague of women" in South Africa-society women, who in the guise of nurses went out to attend on the sick, but made
of themselves an intolerable nuisance. This rush of the eternal feminine greatly puzzled observers at the time, inasmuch, as nothing like it had ever happened before. The reason has,
it is said, at last come, to light. Strange to say, it was the death of a Frenchman. He lived in Mayfair, was a clever chemist, and made a for-
tune by enamelling the faces of many of the best known society women. This death caused the utmost consternation among his clients, for the
secret of his rare preparation died with him. Then, to some of them came the bright idea of Journeying to S. Africa as nurses. Said they "The climate and the hardships will account for the loss of our lovely complexions, besides en- titling us to much kudos and sympathy when we return." So they went; and, as all the world knows, did their level best to mess things up having in some instances to be put out of the
hospitals by force. By the way, to such, an ex-
tent is the art. of "beautifying" now carried on by followers of the luckless Mme. Rachel- no- torious in the later sixties with, her "beautiful
for ever" complexions that it is quite common to see ini.the English newspapers advertisements
offering a recipe for. a new complexion, on the re- ceipt per post of a description of your present
features, a lock of your hair and a fee. The story of' the old French'chemist of Mayfair may or.; may not-be. true as regards-the female Hegira
to; S. Africa;-,but there is little doubt that the
general public cannot at all realise the extent to which, in .society-" art is called; upon to assist
The newly-created diocese of Carpentaria, whose bishop was recently in Sydney with his brethren, embraces the whole of Cape York Peninsula, stretching, in .addition over a vast territory in the extreme 'north of South Aus-
tralia. The whole area is 1200 miles long, and averages from 400 to 500 miles in width, with an .extremely scattered population. . There are min- ing centres, such as those of Croydon, George Town, and the new rush at the Coen River, at
which all sorts and conditions of white and col-
ored humanity loaf and work. There are huge areas occupied by pastoralists; sugar-growers have taken up the river flats; but over the grea- ter portion of the Northern Territory the bulk of the population is aboriginal-and primitive abori- ginal-at that;Port Darwin is included in the diocese; s0 is. Thursday Island, where, probably, will bo established 1 the Bishop's headquarters.
It seems a big.order-for one man to tackle, see-
ing that if he were to attempt to visit a half .of.
it, he would have to be travelling pretty con stantly all the year round.
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Tho,inhabitants of the White cliffs district of.
New South Wales seem, owing to tho (ignorance or carelessness of the Government, to be in rather a curious fix. Owing to a Timber Exemption Act passed some time ago, it appears that anybody .foun'd cutting or removing either dead or fallen Umber, other than belar, render themselves liable . to police prosecution. Recently a White 'Cliffs
-baker offered a wood-carter £5 to go out and bring him In a'.load of mulga. The car ter prudently took police advice first, and was bold that even for, drawing' a load of dry mulga- he would be prosecuted. Now dry mulga ls good for noth ing else but firewood, and as most of the. country in question- is »imply strewn with fallen .'timber of all descriptions, which it would be a benefit to . have cleared away; the absurdity of the -exenip
tion is. very «vident. The act . was evidently in-.
"tended to protect certain classes, of growing fod-' - der trees, such as mulga, leopard;' wilga, etc.; all valuable for sustaining 'stock in a drought, and
all quite useless for any other purpose.' In place : of this, the. effect of this.misplaced legislabión>has. been to reserve for all time grown timber flt only . for firewood and rough building purposes. "'?.'>' Ï ', '?:*? *. .?:'.*.'. .* ' . . . * *
Long ago an English King died from over gorging* himself with lampreys; now comes
news that, an Australian potentate, King-Um-. brella, has met his end through a surfeit of por cupines. Poor Umbrella caught three of the ani
mais, and determined to have a square feed if he died for it. And, sure enough, die he did; but of the three porcupines, he left no scrap behind. And over his loss there was probably more lamen tation made than over that of King John, inas
much as we are told that the denizens of the' Queensland township, near-which the sad .event took: place," were kept awake all nights by >the: hi deous watlings of the gins;, and thevpolice; think ing a massacre was in1 progress,- visited' the camp.
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. One hears of grading ífruit^road-métal.v and other, similar substances;Í-but'liowriis -the prp cess carried out in such/a case;as the;following? Reports a contemporary iw^.The pilot'Steamer Cap tain Cook came up frdmV Watson's* Bay yesterdáy, and berthed at Circular Quay, ito.enable-the Pub^v
lie Service Board to carry out the necessary grad^
' ing of the officers attached to the vessel. 'She re
turned to her station duringa the day/0 cAppar- \
-ently it was absolutely necessary for the board v
to have ship and officers on hand, bef ore the oper ation could be satisfactorily effected' .Will other institutions, say, for instance;.the,Sobraon, when their time for being."graded"'arrives, be-in simi
lar fashion, brought ¿s close to the o¿lcers of the P.S. Board, as it is possible tb getythe'm?
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An English newspaper, condoles; with the French on the failure of their great exhibition» .and more ,-? cspecially on that of the- numerous . private en
terprises included. Certified ¡capital; outside of '/.'vthese, was £2,500,000..The "rolling»platform,"
of which the "Evening-News'' correspondent re cently related such , a moving account;- in her . Paris letter, got .its money '¡on;, the" assumption
that at least 40 per cent, of1 thé .visitors would make use of it. To-day, their* shares are very far. below par. Grand'Roue .shares* may be had for a song; the Hippodrome is a financial failure ; "Columbia" is closed.; "Paris' in 1400" is as dead aS a door-nail; No- less than 51 bankruptcies have already been declared-¿with- half as many more in view. Never in the world's'history of r exhibitions nas there been "a more -magnificent
show-or a more appalling, failure'.: ..: -Those' con cerned, it is said, are'still,hoping that'the; Prince
of Wales may visit the. exhibition,:and,'-'that his -,
presence may- do something towards 'retrieving, the impending ruin: , The Prince, .however, most people imagine, has had, for the present;.enough : of the Continent to last him'some considerable
time. Folk of his'sort would,: under* present
circums tances,; be safer ' with 'Roberts* at the front in South Africa. . ., - .
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The L»yne reception -committee' at Dubbo are. lo
ba. congratulated. Their \ total expenses ' were £110 7s 10d/ ouit of which there remains a sur plus bf no less than £3 4s 8d; The supper cost £ 64 10s, and the wines; £ 33-^flgures which seem to guarantee"-that - the thing was 'dons well, in . spite of the surplus. . As showing how generally,
on such occasions, a deficit is invariably expected, . one-gentleman ait least came to the meeting,-pre
paréd to put his hand in his >. pocket to assist- in making it good. "He said he specially came to the meeting because he thought, there was sure to be a deficit to be made-up, but he waa- agreeably surprised to find that there was a- surplus, and thought the Mayor and the secretaries deserving of great praise for-the mannpr in which they had carried out the whole affair." The £3 4s fd Í3 to be spent in the purchase of a s'lvar spa<3e, which will be presented lo the Premier as a me mento of his Dubbo vi3it. There are, not many such surplus souvenirs eo obtainsd in these co-'o
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An American, millionaire recently^ made up hi3 mind to have the most beautiful bedroom in the world. It is just .finished, and; it cost Hm £193,740. The room is 72ft long by 22ft wHe. The panellings cost £12,800, and the hangings up on them £2170; .. Ceiling'. decorations J ran i ito £3870. The-carpet waa £6 6s prr yard, and cost . in all £3450. The bedstead stands in ,the bi 1 at
£38,000.. The wardrobe to match it cost £29,000; and the entire? suit-cost £93,000.- ? The American ; newspapers give long, descriptions of thi3 wonder
ful room and its decorations; and the whole busi ness is rather.; a ' striking example of the art! of spending money;. and as showing the ease with which, a millionaire, if he-wquldionly start out to furnish a whole house : in the. same fashion, woa'd soon become like ' unto ?.".:; the. ^proverbial church
mouse. ' - '*
The British , housewife is: bewailing ? the ever increasing scarcity '.of . ¡"generals; " .. meanwhile the Government agents , of-Queensland: are ship ping off young ,women -tb their; colony in thou sands. . On, one day alone , last','month there were dispatched ..no less-than '430 persons to the depot in Brisbane; and ¿ out. of, these 215 were healthy young, domestic servants., Ant English news paper; commenting on the subject, says: "lt is the common belief of the.: intending emigrant and the notion. - is "carefully fostered by the hustling agent-that once in Cooktown, Mackay, Bowen, or Cair'qs she will speedily capture the susceptible squatter, marry him, and pass in a month from the. lean-to kitchen into the best room of the home station." Altogether, putting "aside the fact that in the neighborhood of the
seaports mentioned, which, by the way our Eng lish contemporary calls V;Vout-;back," . there are no, sçuatters' as .we Use i the ¿term, it is rather difficult . to imagine . the. demand*for wives keeping pace with such a' supply -as seems to be pouring into the northern colony. - .-For every man or woman secured by the energetic agents who are ? beating up the United Kingdom 10s 6d is paid;
for each child 5s 3d. ' Somebody 'has interviewed one of tho officials attached'-to the Queensland Agent-General's Office, and elicited ,that-"Busi ness is brisk in/ women , emigrants. ' In March we got away> 200,. and the.average ls about 20 a fortnight for "the year. We get them mostly - from "the country, and if. they'are satisfactory in
respect of health.and good.caharcter,;we charge them ,£1 for ship-kit and 'send them out free ?to.; Brisbane, where, they are'-snapped up at the hiring: depot, (OE: domestic,:helps, v; While no healthy plain girl would be refused, we certainly give preference to the good-looking applicants,
who are, of'course, more likely to get husbands % and settle permanently in the country." The official also added that "the single young farm ers in the colony are always on the lookout for nice English girls; therefore we are supplying the demand as fast as we caa!"