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* (FROM OUR OWN OORRISFONDXKI.) ' , What a ohapter of accidents was published m the papers which made their appearance on the morning following Boxing Day I Eight cases of death by drowning recorded under one heading, a firpattha Alfred Hospital from whloh a number of the Inmates were only rescued with some "difficulty, a premeditated murder at" Osmberwell where a man deliberately shot his wife dead, and fired at and wounded his brother-in-law, and whole oolumns taken, up with aoooanta of destructive conflagrations m the city, and devastating fires In the country. In many families the present Obrlstmas will not be looked back upon as at all a merry one. Speaking as a warm lover— though not an ardent student— of mosio, lam ln> c'ined to agree with those who hold that the concerts given In the Exhibition building under the baton of pur dls tincntshed Importation, Mr Frederlo H. Oowen are not m toooh with the popular taste It is all very well to talk of the elevating and edcoatiooal value of classical music, but It mast be borne In mind that the members of the general public do not always orave for edooatlon In their distraotlons. Shakespeare Is said, In theatrical parlance, «'to spell ruin." The reason of this Is not far to seek. The average olt'san, oomlng from bis ob ambers, office, or shop, aad wearied with tbe labors of the day, goe; to the theatre essentially with a view of finding amuse' ment. Tno suras thing holds good with those who frequ mt tho concert hall. The talU In the Exhibition building- is, lam prepared to grant, usually well filled, especially on Tbured«y nights, when the oratorios are given. ''My personal observation, however, distinctly shows me that it Is the same persons who go time after time, and that the puhlio at large Id finitely prefer Arthur Sullivan's tuneful though light nomposltlons, snob as the Mihado or lolanthe to his haavlor woak, as for example The Golden Legend, whilst Mr Galilee's Dorothy is far more popular than •he mist involved production of Wagner, Mendelssohn, Handel, Beethoven and Mcgvt are, to be qure,gro«t meters, and 4n oooisional peleotioa them is cordially we]oomed. It is, however, but an In6iilte»iroaf proportion of the public who are capable of sitting out with any real degree of pleasure or satisfaction the whole of one of their great works. I have received from the publishers, (Centennial Printing anJ Publishing Oo ) five new books issued simultaneously from their establishment— viz At the Wicket^, by H. W. Hedley ; Gags, a Christmas dramatic annual edited by Frank Cates ; Head over HeeU x a book of fun and fancy, by Garnet Waleh ; Afy Weird Wooing, by David Fowler ; and Melbourne to Melrote, by James Smith. The volumes are each and all admirably printed, and reflect tbj'grpateßt credit on the firm m question Mr Hedley's book is devoted to a review* of all the intercolonial orioket "matohes^played between New South Wales and Victoria, and oontains suoh a quantity of Btatistical information concerning batting and bowling averages that It must make the book popular with the crioketing community. It ie appropriately dedioated to th.9 fnmous batsmen, Mr W. L. Murdoch. Gags consists of a number of interesting contributions from several well known journalists and members of the dramatic profession, whi'at m Mead over Ssek we have a compilation of Garnet Walch's delightfully constructed verse. My Weird Woeing is a very

dramatic little Btory, whilst Melbourne to Melrost is a oheaper and more popular edition of a work previously published by the same firm for Mr James Smith. It is written m t c author's well known grace fal style, and contains much intereeting matter of observation and* travel. The works are published &t popular prices,. The proceedings *t the hfclf- yearly meeting of shareholders m the various publio companies, are just now beiDg watohed with considerable interest, Many are being held about this time, and since it is m several instances the Brat oocanion upon whioh the directors have met the shareholders after the collapse of the land boom, a great deal of public cariosity is evinced as to what th« reports and balance-sheets will disclose, especially m the onsen of those companies involved m land transactions. These periodical gatherings have m the main been purely formal, particularly when a satisfactory dividend is declared, but now they are protraoted. there is a numerous atteudanoe of shareholders and chairman and direotors are uußparingfy catechised as to their past proceedings. In one notable instance it was elicited that a speculator purchased a quantity of land at £1 per acre, and resold it to a company at £1000 per acre. The vendor, however, so it was stated, refunded £15,000 of the purchase money. I think that % branch of the English Sunday* Sooiety might, with advantage, be established m this colony— or a kindred association formed for the same objects. Toe Bogllsb Society is, I believe the only organisation devoted to the good work Qf obtaining the opening of libraries, muaeum*, and art galleries on Sundays, and It has to ■ oontend agalnßt numertiu? Sabbatarian Societies far wealthier »nc more powerful, It <• just now mak'ng a preiaing appeal for foods to carry on its work. I hope some of my readers wh share my detestation of museums apd libraries not being allowed to compete with pot-houses jon Sunday, may be induced to express their sentiment! jn the ihiptof ■iQhfwipUon,

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Bibliographic details

MELBOURNE TOWN TALK., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2032, 9 January 1889

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MELBOURNE TOWN TALK. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2032, 9 January 1889