The San Francisco Mail.— The Fuglish mail via San Francisco may be expected in Ashburton by the express tomorrow morning.
Death op an ex-Ohief Justice.— News was received by the mail of the death of Sir William Martin, late Chief Justice of New Zealand.
Amateur Dramatic Club. —A general meeting of the members of the Amateur Dramatic Club is to be held in the Town Hall side-room on Wednesday evening to consider important business.
RaM Fair —The annual Ram Fair in connection with the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association has i>een fixed for the 24th and 25th March , in Christchurch.
Trotting. —7 In the trotting myteh which took place at Winslow on Saturday, Mr. Baring’s hiare, Dolly, won easily, doing the distance—four miles—ir, 51 minutes ; so we have been told by., those who took the time. There was consi lerable interest taken in the match. Doily’s opponent was Mr. Grice’s Donald. Apprehension. 'Yesterday a man named Patrick Douolly was apprehended in a tent in the river bed by one of our constables here. Donolly is accused,of having obtained the sum of Ll2O odd by false pretences from the Christchurch firm of Bruce ; and Co., and he was to-day sent to Christchurch to answer to the charge. Protection. —ln Protectionist Victoria tho duties levied on tools, implements, machines for the farm, outweigh all the advantages which the imposts on imported prodiico yield, and "there still remain the heavy sums each farmer has to pay for articles which-must bo considered necessary, Through the fact that he is, a dweller in a land in which a Protective policy is in force.
Skinless Oats.— There were to-day displayed at Messrs. Sealy Bros’.- window : a few heads of skinless oats grown by Mr. James Brake, of Tai Tapu. Mr. Brake procured (he seed from Australia with a view to experimenting, and has found the oats a success. Sparrows are a great nuisance, however, in tho Tai Tapu, and he had to cut the oats somewhat green to save them from those pests, and this too early cutting prevented the oats from filling out as they certainly otherwise wduld have done. As it is the oats are a Very fair sample, and ought to make excellent jneal. There is a total absence of husk iu the sample shown by Messrs, Sealy, and when the head has been threshed the kernel of the oat is obtained without any skin whatever! We should fancy that the skinless cats would be an excellent sort to grow in this colony for export.'
The Native Minister. Saturday night’s Post says : various rumors which have found currency concerning Mr. Bryce’s resignation, and its probable sequel, we have the best authority for stating that the vacancy in the Cabinet will not be filled up until the majority of Ministers have re-assembled in Wellington. For the different guesses hazarded as to the new Native Minister there is no foundation whatever, and the matter has not yet come even indirectly under the consideration of the Government. Indeed it will probably be safe to assume that nothing will be done in the affair before the close of the current month. Mr. Bryce retains charge of the department until the acceptance of his resignation has been notified, which is not expected to be earlier than the middle of next: week! Mr. Rolleston then relieves him and takes temporary charge.
Christchurch Corn Exchange.—A committee meeting was held at the rooms. Cashel street, on Saturday at two o’clock. Present—Messrs. Bruce (in the chair), Peryman, Leadley, Bailey, Gammack, Henderson, Woodman, King, Mcßeth, Higgins, Herrick, Mathias, Banks, and Patterson. Mr. Bruce said the business of the meeting was to elect a chairman, vice-chairman, and to appoint a secretary. Mr. Peryman proposed, and Mr. Headerson seconded, that Mr. Bruce be elected chairman for the ensuing year. Carried unanimously. On the motion of Mr. Henderson, seconded by Mr. King, Mr. Peryman was elected vice-chairman. Mr. Banks proposed, and Mr. Peryman seconded —“That this meeting is of opinion that the constitution of the Corn Exchange should be re-modelled, particularly in the direction of inviting the more active co-operation of all persons interested in the production and disposal of grain and produce.” Carried. It was resolved—“ That a subcommittee, consisting of the chairman, vice-chairman, Messrs. King, Banks, Gammack, Bailey, Higgins, and Henderson, with power to add to their number, be requested to consider the whole subject of the foregoing resolution, and report to the general meeting of directors, to be called by the chairman for Saturday, the 22nd inst., at 2 o'clock.” The election of the secretary was postponed. The chairman, with Mr. Banks, were authorised to tender the use of the Corn Exchange rooms to the Waimakariri Board of Conservators, and the business of the meeting then terminated. Rakaia Sunday School Annual Treat. —Saturday last was a red letter day at Rakaia, in connection with St. Mark’s Sunday School. The children assembled at the church at 3 p.m., where they were received by the Rov. W. H. Elton, Mr. R. Davies, and Mr. Cox. The children were formed in procession and marched from the church through Mackie street, Rolleston street, Railway terrace, and Cridland street to the parsonage. The procession was headed by a. large ’ banner bearing the words'- “ St. Mark’s Sunday School, Rakaia,” which was carried by two of the biggest boys of the school. The banner was the work of one of ’ the ladies of the district, and was very much admired. Two smaller banners, bearing one a St. Andrew’s Cross, and the other a St. George’s Cross, were carried by two of the biggest girls. A number a smaller flags were carried by the smaller children, and altogether they presented a very pleasing appearance. Arrived at the parsonage,, refreshments and sports were freely indulged in till the arrival of the express from the south, when a procession was. again, formed—which proceeded to meet the Bishop bn his way from the railway station. The Bishop, accompanied by the Rev. W. Harris, was, on am /al at the parsonage, received by the Rev. Mr. Westbrooke, Presbyterian minister, Messrs. V. Pyke, J. Mann, R. Davies, and B. Winter. About dusk the children were assembled in the lawn in front of the house, where they sung Hymn 331, of Hymns'Ancient and Modern “ Wearebut little Children weak.” Cheers were then given for the Sunday School teachers Mrs. Cox, who .made the flags ; the visitors ; the Bishop, and Mr. Harris ; the. ladies who had sent provisions; the Queen; ourselves ; and the Rev. Mr. Elton and Mrs. Elton. The Sunday, School prizes were distributed by Mr. Harris, 1 who accompanied the distribution with suitable remarks. A: number of pa rents and friends of the children were present, and: contributed mnoh totfie success of the ’bbfcasion.*••'vqio-M ■
1.0. G T. —The Degree Temple meets on Tuesday evening at eight o’clock.
Government Land Sale. —The Commissioner of Crown Lands announces a sale of Government sections 1 in Rakaia, Ashburton, and elsewhere, which ;is to take place at Messrs. Davies and Winter’s Salerooms, Rakaia, on Tuesday, Bth Feb. next. Particulars are given in our advertising columns, and sale-lists may be'sein at the Rakaia and Ashburton Railway Stations.
A Live Parcel. —An American paper says that a child eleven years old .was recently sent as a parcel by rail from Kansas, where her parents live, to Philadelphia, a distance of over 1,900 miles, and arrived quite safely at her destination. She had a ticket hung round her neck, and the railway authorities took and gave a receipt for her just as if she had been an ordinary express parcel.
Locally-made Twine. — A fact, shewing the saving that will he effected by the farmers who use locally-made twine-for their machines, has been reported to us, as follows :—A farmer at Tai Tapu, whose wheat crops averaged fifty bushels to the acre, used over 41bs. of imported twine, at a cost to him of Is. 3d. per lb. ; when the same amount of work can be done by locally-made twine, which can be supplied at 8d? per lb., and still leave a satisfactory profit for both theowner and the manufacturer. — Times.
A Broad Church. —According to the Newcastle Chronicle a new church has lately been established at Sunderland called the Frye-Association Church, and every molrib’er is 5 free to form his own creed. :l Indeed, the motto of .the society is this; : ‘ Free thought, free speech, free discussion and criticism, free determination and judgment, in all matters pertaining to life and conduct.’ Churchmen, Baptists, Methodists, Secularists, Nondescript—all unite to discuss religious questions" and participate in religious exercises.”
Terrible Affair. —A Now York, telegram says :—Three weeks .ago Mrs. Mary Mayer, of 462, First street, .Teri'dy'City, died of typhoid fever; find Wnß ;i -ouried. The bodyappeared lifelike; andthffcheeks after death were; highly coloredvr “This preyed upon the mind of a daughter of the deceased to such a degree that she'catised the remains to be exhumed. It was ; then diacoverd that the woman had turned on her face in the coffin, ..and that in her struggles she had torn one ear almoat-off, :
Foreign Bounties.-— A large and en-thusiastic-meeting-, to protest •against any further acquiescence by the British Government in.the system of foreign, bounties, either‘Upon" sugar, shipbuilding, or ship carrying, toot place at Liverpool on October 13. Several resolutions were passed calling for strong and organised re : sistance to the continuance of the fqrqign bounty system, and urging her Majesty’s Government to give, effect to the recommendations of the recent Parliamentary Select Committee on the British sugar industries. :.
An Opinion Worth a Plum. —Among the lawyers whem Mr Ashmead Bartlett has consulted on the nationality question is Sir Travers Twiss. Sir Travers "is the greatest international lawyer of. our day. On most matters his opinion would be conclusive. On the question? r-ofdMr. Ashmead-Bartiett’s nationality his opinion is clear and decisive.. His. grandfather having been an Englishman, and be himself having never accepted the position of an alien, his father’s naturalisation in America does not in the slightest affect the son’s position-as a citizen by original right of England. He need not have'become naturalised ; his deed of naturalisation was so much waste paper. He may become the husband of Baroness BurdettOoutts without her losing any money.
A Swarm of Bees.— The South Canterbury Times is responsible for the following :—“ A son of Mr. W. G. Allen, of this town, was engaged the other day in the juvenile pastime of kite flying, when he was rather astonished at a sudden change in the appearance of the tail of his kite, the appendage becoming visibly enlarged and of a densely black color. The youthful genius had read of Benjamin Franklin drawing lightning from the clouds, and, elated at the prospect of some wonderful scientific discovery, he proceeded to explore the phenomenon by drawing in his flyer. His amazement, if not disappointment, may be imagined when, on reaching the ground, ho found that a young hive of fugitive bees were clustered to the, apparatus. Bees, when swarming, select curious sites at times, but this is the first itfstance, so far as we are aware, of a hive swarming on the tail,of a kite in mid-air.”
A Facetious General. —lt is not commonly known that General Burrows, the Commander at Kushki-nakud, is , a humorist, but the Simla correspondent' of the Englishman tells the following story about his joking propensities :—“ You must know that in order to * intelligence ’ and ‘ survey ’ the country accurately, several cariiel loads of pencils and paper were sent up with. Burrows to the Helmund. One day, on the retirement of the force for want of supplies, there were no rations at all for the troops ; so the General recognised the extreme gravity of the situation, assembled them, made a speech, and then ordered each man to ■be supplied with a lead pencil and a sheet of paper. Ho said that, as General Primrose had disappointed him in sending up the provisions he had weeks before ordered for the troops, the pencils and paper were intended to enable them to draw their rations as usual.”
A Curious Funeral.—Tlie other day a funeral procession going through Mitcham, en route for the Lambeth Cemetery, consisted of a hearse and feathers drawn by four plumed horses, the corpse and coffin being borne on men’s shoulders immediately behind, with flowers plentifully strewn on the coffin lid, two mourning coaches followed by a long string of vehicles of every conceivable description, from double chaises to donkey barrows, and every kind of truck and cart in use among the costermongers’ fraternity. The funeral was that of an old woman’named Hilliard, who kept a small fruit stall in Mitcham. The deceased had seen better times, and had hit upon a fancy to depart from this world in some grandeur. To accomplish her purpose she had joined several burial clubs, and hence the display. Some rare old china, which the deceased feared her relatives would quarrel over, was buried with her, and a curious observance of throwing the fruits of the earth after her into the grave in the form of apples, walnuts, &c., terminated the proceedings.
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