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The troops in the hill stations of India are Buffering severely from influenza. English brewers are substituting American corn for barley in the manufacture of beer. Beetroot sugar in England costs about 2d per lb ; in Germany, where it is made, it costs 5d per lb. The temperance party at Christchurch have issued a penny fortnightly paper advocating Prohibition. Charles Lamb remarked to one of his critics : " The more I think of him the less I blank of him." It ia only one person among 1000 who becomes a centenarian, and hardly six among ICOO who attain 75 years of age. The Union Steam Ship Company have decided to give the name of Poerua— the name of one of the lakes of Westland—to the moist recent addition that has been made at Home to their fleet. Whether the Victorian railway service is looked Upon us the paradise of colonists it might be unsafe to wt,y, but recently there were (343 vacancies, and for these there were 11,170 applicants. The Rev. J. G. Rogers, a prominent English Congrcgationalist, has proposed a congress of the free churches of (ircat Britain for " consult?ve and fraternal intercourse," and the idea has been favorably received. The health of the Pope is pretty good, but the paleness of his transparently thin face aud form make him look more like an ivory statue than a man. The resident physician to his Holiness follows him about almost like his shadow. Wilkie Collins is-said to have remarked shortly before his death : "'After more Ilwn thirty' years' study of the art I consider Walter Scott to be the greatest of all novelists, and 'The Antiquary' is, as I think, the most perfect of all novels." ""Tfricnd of Miss yon Fiukelstoin informs the London correspondent of the " Birmingham Post" that that well-known lecturer on Palestine and the Holy Land was recently married at Delhi to an Anglo-Indian gentleman. Miss yon Finkclstein proceeded to India on finithing her successful tour through the Australian colonies. Mrs Mountford, us she is now called, does not contemplate abandoning the platform. A North Island contemporary says : There is a law against vagrancy, which is applied with more or less severity to the class known as spielers. If Clatnpetfc, or Sullivan, or whatever the blackguard's name may be, is not a ' .spieler' of the very worst stamp, then the common acceptation of the term .'is signifying swindler, enemy to society, and common ""rogue, is altogether wrong. A month for vagrancy should be Olampett'a lot when he arrives in Christchurch.

A British clergyman of note estimates that the Protestants have increased the last 100 years nearly fourfold, the Roman Catholics and the Greek Church each twofold. Arthur Wood, the Australian swimmer, has arrived at New York. He states that he intends to swim Niagara, and during the attempt to wear nothing hut a pair of ordinary swimming drawers, and expresses himself confident of success. In order to avoid the police, Wood will probably start from the Canadian side. It will be remembered that when in the United States, J three or four years ogo, Wood performed the feat of diving from Brooklyn bridge. TheMerivalc Estate in the Waiau district (which is at present the subject of an important law suit in England) was sold at j auction at Dunedin on Tuesday. The property, which consists of 25,030 acres of land, together with dwelling house, hut, woolshe.l, barns, stables, etc., was knocked down to Mr John Chute Ellis at £42,000 over and above the amount of the first mortgage. This is a much lower figure than it was sold for five years ago. The Burwood Estate has been bought by the former owners, Messrs Robert Campbell and Sons, for £1300, A Government Bill has been introduced into the Hungarian Diet making it obligatory on each of the 12,000 "communities" in Hungary to have a kindergarten, and on parents to send to it all children between three and six years old, if not otherwise properly taken care of. The measure, being compulsory, is a new departure, and is explained by the great mortality among children in Hungary, owing to their being left alone when the parents go to work. The number of kindergartens already existing do not exceed 600. The Committee of the Salvation Army Free Labor Bureau in Melbourne within a few days of commencing operations provided over 800 meals, besides clothing and lodging for a number of persons. Two funds have been established, the unemployed loan fund and the unemployed fund. Sir F. T. Sargood started the former with a donation of £100. The object is to make advances to persons out of employment whose goods arc in danger of being lost by any debt, such as rent. The Committee is taking steps to ascertain whether there is work to be obtained in the country districts, and have already obtained employment for fifty men. The Duke of Norfolk has written from the Holy Land to inform her Majesty of an interesting and unique incident in connection [ with the visit of the English pilgrims to 'Palestine. On St. George's Day, for the first time since the age oi: the Crusades, Pontifical High Mass was sung at the silver altar in front of the Holy Sepulchre by an English Prelate, the Hon and Right Rev William Clifford, Bishop of CUfton, who also preached ; after which the anthen " Domine Salvam fac Reginam Nostram"-— in other words " God save the Queen " —was sung by the pilgrims. This was the first instance that the Queen or any other British sovereign had been publicly prayed for in that place, probably, since the time of RichardCceur de Lion,and certainly the first since the Reformation. About fifteen employers met in the Arcade last 'evening to discuss the question of the weekly half-holiday. Mr A. Orr, who was voted to the chair, explained that it had been considered best for the employers to meet in that way, in preference to canvassing the town by those in favor of the movement. Mr S. W. Alcorn moved, and Mr H. H. Stephens seconded, a resolution to the effect that the half-holiday be granted in Ashburton, to commence again on the first Wednesday in August. Both gentlemen spoke to the motion, contending that there was no loss to any employer's business in granting the half-holiday, and that the employees were entitled to it when shops were kept open so late on Saturdays. Mr Cambridge thought the meeting should be adjourned. Several employers were not present who should be consulted before any decision was come to. This proving to bo the opinion of the meeting, an adjournment took place to Wednesday'at same time and j place. The Victorian Legislative Assembly I recently passed in less than half an hour a bill consolidating the whole of the ex is ling statute laws of Victoria. There arc 450 statutes in force in the colony, which it is proposed to consolidate into 107 acts, containing altogether 3000 pages of printed matter. This great work has been accomplished gratuitously by the Chief Justice, Mr Higmbotham, whom the AttorneyGeneral described as the father of consolidation in Victoria. The Chief Justice has been engaged upon the work tor a number of years, and the result of his \'nst and patient labour is embodied in two bulky volumes, which Mr Wrixon laid on the table of the House, explaining that there was no new law incorporated iv these volumes, and that no change had been introduced, the Chief Justice having simply put all the existing laws together that were scattered over a, number of amending acts, so that the law upon any subject may be read in a single act instead of having to search for it through the 450 acts which now encumber the statute book. Ali existing statute law will be repealed by the Consolidation Bill, and it is proposed that it shall come into operation on the Ist August. Mr Wrixon added that as it would be impossible for the House to attempt a detail examination of a bill of such magnitude. Parliament would have to accept on trust the great work carried out by the Chief Justice, and approved of by a select committee. Some idea of the magnitude of the bill will be obtained from the fact that the Government had to impoit a special fount of type, at a cost of £7000, before the bill could be printed. Mr Goschen, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, meets with insuperable difficulties in his attempts to satisfy all the classes of society in the reductions of taxation which the necessities of a large surplus have imposed upon him. In addition to the criticism which his proposals excite in Parliament and in the Presa, he receives numerous anonymous epistles from discontented persons, which are often more forcible than polite. Among the lists of 'articles upon which duty has been remitted are tea and currantsf and one gentleman expressed his dissent from the great financier's proposals by the simple but emphatic " Damn your tea and currants !" Another anonymous correspondent wrote: "I never drink tea, I do not live in a house, and my brother has just come back from Australia, and so I don't benefit by the reduced postage, and I consequently don't see what benefit * at all lam to derive from the Budget." Another, from a lady, breathed a more responsive spirit. She says :" Here in Devonshire we eit a good many cakes and drink a good deal of tea. I live in a house that will benefit from the reduction of the house-tax. I can assure you that I look upon this as the kindest and truest Budget that has ever been proposed for the benefit of hard-work-ing people." The letter was signed "A mother of eight." A Budget man's reward is made up very largely of blessing and cursing—especially cursing. I

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LOCAL AND GENERAL, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2461, 8 July 1890

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LOCAL AND GENERAL Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2461, 8 July 1890

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