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La grigpe h_as made its appearance at Samoa. -.-... Says the , Manawatu " Times ":—The Messrs Whibley cut a pumpkin.'the 1 other day that weighed 1191bs. There, are three others on the same root, not so large, but still big. - . : ; ; , ■ •;

. During the current month (May) there is to be an exhibition in London, in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the postage stamp. It will only be open for a week or ten days, and will contain a complete collection of all the postage stamps ever issued.

The present winter has become one of the mo3t remarkable known in Russia for many yeara. The capital has experienced such mild weather that it is difficult to believe ifc is a Russian winter. The ice on the canals has melted, and it has been as warm in St. Petersburg as in London or Paris.

Another great engineering work has been projected. This is to throw a bridge of a single span across the Bosphorus, at a point where it narrows to a width of 251G feet. A French company is prepared to undertake the work, and has demonstrate t its feasibility.

The Monowai, the latest addition to the splendid fleet of the Union Steamship Company of Now Zealand was (writes a London correspondent under date April 4) tried on the mile recently, and attained, as a mean of four runs, a speed of somewhat over 14f Jui<;i.u > .buiiig mure lhu,u one kuub over whn,o--'was guaranteed. It is telegraphed from Invercapgill that it is reported by a gentleman that he saw a large number of fish which he took to be salmon, as they were unlike trout, ha the Aparima River last week, near Fairfax. This place is within a few miles of the sea, and far below the streams in wliioh salmon were, liberated,

The Danevirke paper says:—Mr W. J. Harker'a " confidence " must have received a severe shock. That" sound liberal" stood for the representation of Taradale in the County Council and came in last'in the contest. The tally was Rymer 163; Beatson Gl j Harker 55. Harker has a big show of collaring Captain Russel'o seat, to which he aspires. At the r-eoent matriculation examination of the London University, out of 175 women who were candidates only forty-seven were successful. The previous year- there were eighty graduates from a much smaller number of candidates. While there was an exceptionally large number of failures 'among students of both sexes, the most marked ones were furnished by the females.

Since the year 1816 the various Governments in France have been obliged to negotiate loans amounting in the aggregate to nearly seven hundred million pounds" sterling. At the beginning of the present century the National Debt was only twentyeight millions sterling. At the present time it exceeds a thousand millions, and the annual interest is upwards of thirty-five millions sterling. A curious instance of discovering a dead body by a dream has occured at the village of Werrington, Northamptonshire. An old woman named Hardstaff had been missing for a week, and streams and ponds had been dragged. A neighbour, however, dreamed several times in succession that the body was at the bottom of a certain well. On communicating this to a man named Spridgeon he went down the well and found the body. The woman had no doubt committed suicide

A pair of soldier's boots found in a cupboard of an ancient building in Bagshot Park, Surrey, about 1839, are described as weighing about lOlbs each, being made of the thickest hide lined and padded, with very thick soles and large rowelled spurs, attached by steel chains. Charles XII of Sweden wore boots of this kind. The footgear of the reign of William 111 was remarnably solid and heavy.

The Rink de Paris was re-opened on Saturday evening last. The attendance was good, especially of skaters, who did not seem as though they had lost any of their skill in the art of rinking during the interval since last season. There is no doubt that the Band is a great improvement, and we understand that it will play selections every Tuesday and Saturday evening when the Rink is open.

There is now to be seen in the shop window of Messrs J. Scaly and Co., East street, a collection of apples showing some of the sorts grown at the nurseries, Riverbank, that will repay inspection by any one who contemplates planting fruit plants. There are upwards of fifty different kinds shown, all valuable, long keeping sorts. Eor size, color, and general excellence they are by far the finest that have been shown in Ashburton this season.—(Advt.)

Rosa Bonhcur, at the age of 67, is working as hard as ever at her easel, surrounded by a whole menagerie of animals, including lions, bears, gazelles, an elk, and numerous domesticated animals. She rises early in the morning, paints for several hours, and then takes plenty of exercise in the open air in the midst of the beautiful scenery which surrounds her estate on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau. Her life is one of great simplicity; her enthusiasm for art keeps her perennially young, and she does not look more than 50.

Speaking a Peterborough the Bishop of the diocese denounced the system of child insurance as one of the greatest social evils of the day. He knew of medical men who absolutely refused to undertake the medical care of children whose lives were insured. The crimes resulting were appalling. The parent who, by a sudden and swift ■ stroke, ' destroyed a child was a paragon of mercy I compared with the parent who could slowly"! do a child to death and see it daily pine ! and waste away until its little life of misery , was ended by an untimely but too longdelayed, deatji,

. George" London, Secretary of the local branch of the Railway Servants' Society, contests the Hutt seat at the general election, and it is rumored that Dr-Newman will also be a candidate.

Mr. Buxton, M. H. R., addresses the electors on Friday, at 8 p.m., at the Templar Hall. The "Napier Telegraph" of the 20fchinst., says:—Mr rW. Edwards, who ia trainer for the Hon. Captain Russell,, this morning brought into town a live eel about twenty,» inches long, that had come up an artesian * well at Flaxmere 170 ft. in depth. The eel was first seen some days ago in a closed box, which contained a hydraulic ram, but before he could be captured he {took a header down the pipe and disappeared. ' The other day, however, he again made his appearance, and this time he was captured, and' Has been taken to Mr Hamilton.

A horrible story comes from Morocco. A large box was recently brought from the interior to the port of Magazan for shipment, and when opened a ghastly sight was revealed. In the box, packed closely together, was the bodies of sixteen young women, one man, and a, negress. All the victims had been decapitated, and. their heads were missing.. Their bodies were embalmed, and had evidently been in the condition in which they were found for a long time. The slaughter had been, to all appearances, the work of some pasha, who thus visited vengeance on his harem for unfaithfulness.

A good dairy product is evidently an excellent advertisement for the^ district in which it is produced. It will be remembered that, at the Dunedin Exhibition, a Taranaki Chinaman took first prize for butter exhibits against all comers. Southern farmers on the look-oufc for land thought that the excellence of the butter must necessarily be primarily due to the peculiarities of the nature of the land and the water of the district, and a gentleman who has just returned from Taranaki, tells our Rangitikei contemporary that they literally swarmed up after the Exhibition] was over to endeavor to secure farms in the vicinity of the Celestial dairyist

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LOCAL AND GENERAL, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2434, 26 May 1890

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LOCAL AND GENERAL Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2434, 26 May 1890

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