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Melbourne.

[FROM OUIl OWN CORRESPONDENT.]

April 19.

A banquet was givon yesterday evening in honor of the Minister for Works, Mr. Woods. JLn returning his acknowledgments for the toast of his health, the bon. gentleman Eaid he took credit to himself for the way in which his de- partment had been conducted since his accession to office. He justified tho numerous dismissals from the Government service on Black Wednes- day, asserting that they were a part of the policy of the Ministry, who were anxious to rid the service of incompetent men.

Several important modifications are to be made in Sir William Jervois' scheme of defonco for this city. Among other alterations, shore forts will bo substituted for those which were to have heen erected in the bay. Sir William Jervois has rocommended the 10-iu. breach-loading Arm- strong gun as a splendid weapon.

Although the weather was anything but favor- able the circus was largely attended on Satur- day, both at the afternoon and evening perform- ances. Several new features were introduced in the programme, and each performance gave un- bounded satisfaction to the spectators. Tho feats on the horizontal bar were remarkably good, while M. Loyal showed himself au exceedingly clever horseman. Benhamo, as a olowu, could scarcely be surpassed ; his antics and witty speech kopt the " house " in a continuous state of mirth during the whole of the time he was in the ring. The management announce that they will give two more performances in Brisbane, to-morrow .vening positively closing their season here.

The death of the Rev. Hugh M'Neilo, lately Dean of Ripon, recalls to the memory of some people (says "^Egles" in the Australasian) his splendid pulpit oratory in his church in Prince's park, near Liverpool. His " presence " as a preacher has, probably, never been surpassed. Erect in figure, his pulpit was cut low, so that he Btood as much out of it as in it. His boldi ?clear-cut face, olive in complexion, was crowned by Bnowy locks, which suggested a halo. I shall not readily forget one-of many sermons-I heard him preach on the Sunday after England rang with the glorious tidings of the battle of the Alma, Nor was his platform speaking inferior. He was a thorough-paced politician! And at many a crowded meeting held in the old Amphitheatre the brilliant canon swayed his audience with ti power which stamped him as a fearless leader of men. He was a gracoful horse- man, perfect in seat and dress, and constantly rode a dark-brown hackney, which might have cosi

three hundred at Tattersall's.

.The weather, as shown by the official reports, was generally fine throughout the southern por- tion of the colony during the twenty-four hours ended at 9 o'clock on Saturday morning ; but there were light showers at several of the sta. tions in the vicinity of the coast, including Bris- bane, Ipswich, and Maryborough. From Dalby and Warwick westward, the weather was in- variably fine. In the Central division, as Bhown by reports from Clermont, Springsure, and Aramac, the weather was fine. It was showery at Ravenswood and Dalrymple, but at Junction Creek, Georgetown, and Normanton, fine weather prevailed. On the coast also the weather was generally fine, but there was rain at Bundaberg and Mackay. The reporta for the twenty-four hours ended at 9 o'clock yesterday morning show the weather generally showery in the neighbor- hood of Moreton Bay, as well as in the West Moreton, Wide Bay, and Burnett districts ; but in the interior, both in the Southern and Central divisions, the weather continued fine. On the coast, showers were experienced as far north as Mackay, while at Bowen and Cooktown the weather was fine, as it was also at Creen Creek, Georgetown, Normanton, and other stations in

the vicinity.

We (Queensland Times) have been informed that another accident occurred on the railway line on Thursday night last. On this occasion the mishap took place near Highfields. Happily no one was injured. It appears that the down goods train ran into the up goods train, the col- usiĆ³n smashing the iron-work of one of the ?oraks vans, and injuring in some shape or form nearly all the trucks of one of the trains. The ?toowoomba station-master, the locomotive fore Tan, and about a dozen men immediately pro- ceeded to the scene of the accident for the pur- pose of bringing uo the disabled trucks.

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