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The farmers of Akaroa arc forming a union. Krcmler, who was executed by electricity m New York, wa» sentenced to death m May last year, Queen Victoria is seeking to find a remedy for the evils resulting from too early marriages on slender incomes. The " Republique Francaise " understands that a mass meeting cf Jews of all nations will shortly be held m Paris to discuss the anti-Semitic question. Ministers hare decided to refer Sir Julius Vogel's claim against the colony-to the Public Accounts Committee, who wiJJ be requested to report upon it. The blast; furnace at the Onehunga Ironworks continues m full and successful operation. During the month since it was started it has produced 350 tons of pig iron. Prince Charles of Sweden and Norway wns recently summoned to a court m St«ckluqlm to serve as a juryman m a criminal case. Isu£ the judge decided that on account of family wxjfM^tjo/is he was ineligible. Two specimens of tli« giwjnstone tiki, recently on view m Christclmrcii, V7,re obtained m the Poverty Bay district, and he- j longed to the liapu of the Ngatitara. One j of tbftttt i* said to be over 300 years old. A Dunedii* fy*,jjwjrcsser advertises m a local paper for " -lour yowjg ladies to learn shaving and Jwirdresshig." fliis $ a ton- j sorial innovation likely to prove fatal to the cultivation of flowing beards. Messrs Whitcombc and Tombs have telegraphed to ftfjp Millar, Secretary of the Maritime Council, 4ii&fc the action of the Council m calling out the carpenters em- | ployed on the Jinn's Dunedin siio]}, {«i:ecludes them giving further consideration to the Council's proposals. A private letter horn Sydney states that Ml- Whitely King, late ,pf Wellington, has been appointed secretary to the union formed by ti?.e pastoralists to fight the labor unions. The sat^y attached ,to the oflice is £400 a year, and there were 150 applicants for the post. Th-G new French Labour Law, the enactment oi which is regarded as probable, lias been drawn to favour the trades unions, and requires all employers, under heavy penalties, to deal with their workmen, collectively -^-that is througk union committees, whenever tbe workmen demand it. Sir Morell Mackenzie goes to America on a lecturing tour imdw ,t))e management of Manager Pond, and receives the highest fee yet paid to any lecturer. He wifJL get £2000 for iifteen lectures. Cannon Farrar, who is considered f.O he very successful on the platform, receives only £40 a lecture. The valuations made \mihr the Selectors' Land Revaluation Act of last year up to the 31sjtul|;, .have resulted m a loss to the colony of £91,067 on the capital value of 741 deferredpayment propemes, £965 m the annual rental of 237 perpetual cental leases, or a total loss to date of £92,033. Besides this, , there is m endowment lands a reduction of £10,317 m capital value of forty-two deferred payment sections, and £91 on the annual value of niuoteen perpetual rental leases;, ' '

The Rink will be open to-morrow night nstead of this evening. A man named James McOane, arrested at Auckland for drunkenness, died on the way to the lock-up on Monday night. A false alarm of fire was given to-day. It appears that a chimney, giving out smoke more dense than usual, was supposed to be on fire, and somebody rang the fire bell. The engines, however, did not turn out. In the balance-sheet of the Ashburton Hospital Board, published last evening, the item "Government subsidies" should read £521 5s 2d, and not £54 5s 2d as misprinted. A petition is being prepared at Christchurch for presentation to the House of Representatives m favor of the Labor Bills. Steps are being taken to get up similar petitions m Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, and other towns. The storekeepers of Temuka have unanimously agreed to adopt the Thursday halfholiday movement, and have also decided to close their business places at 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and at 10 p.m. on Saturday. The new regulation comes into force on the Ist September. While 550 delegates are arriving at Petersburg to confer on the questions of prison regime, it has become known that Mdme. Tchibrikova, m reply to her letter to the Czar, has been exiled to a distant point of Siberia, without telegraph, almost beyond the frontiers of civilisation. The laborers at Rangiora are agitating for increased pay at threshing machine work. A Union is to be formed to give effect to the men's views. The farmers urge that the men are already well paid, receiving 3d per bushel on everything going through the mill. When prices are low farmers cannot afford to give more. During the ancient days of Welsh royalty, among the 24 ranks that attended at court was one called "the king's footbearer." This was a young gentleman whose duty it was to sit upon the floor with his back towards the fire, and hold the king's feet m his bosom all the time he sat at table, to keep them warm and comfortable. * At Dantsic, m the neighbourhood of the Elbing, the manufactories where steam power is employed have been at a standstill. It is stated that the pipes used to convey the water into the factories have become so choked with fish that the necessary flow is impeded. The inhabitants fear their health will suffer by the effluvium arising from the dead fish, and the immediate localities are undergoing a process of disinfection. i A telegram from the Bluff to a con. temporary states that Arthur Clatnpett went aboard the Rotomahana without a ticket and without means. On arrival at Hobart he was handed over to the police by the steamer's agents. He finally found a publican to pay his fare, and remained at Hobart. He stated that he was drugged and sent to Australia instead of to Christchurch, where he desired to return. The small boy is not notably proficient m sacred lore, but when his sister referred to him the query: " Where was Solomon's Temple?" he indignantly resented the supposed impeachment of his stock of information and retorted: " Don't you think I know anything ?" She assured him she did not doubt that he knew, but urged him to state for her benefit. Though not crediting her sincerity, he finally exclaimed with exasperation: "On the side of his head of course, where other folks are ! You suppose I'm a fool V The modern form of a tobacco pipe is now 500 years old. Up to the year 1(590 the only medium through which tlio soothing fumes of the precious herb con Id be enjoyed was a cylindrical instrument rudely fashioned from the clay, and clearly indicating by \U strung argillaceous odour its earthly origin. Tho inventor of the present combination of bowl, tube ami mouthpiece was Dr Johnanu Franz Jacob Valerius, who practiced as a physician m Vienna during the latter half <"«f the 17th century. In the year of the invention (I(>00) the first tobacco-pipe manufactory was started m Vienna by some smoking friends of the ingenious doctor. A Christchurch lady m about, to proceed against a Dunedin gentleman for breach of promise of marriage. The proceeding.", the "Star "says, are th" result of her visit to Dunedin during the Exhibition perio.l. It appears that she resided with a relation who was married to defendant's uncle, and m whose house the young man also stayed. He acted as her escort for a short period, -and ultimately proposed and was accepted, she subsequently returning to Christchurch. In her absence his affection appeared to cool, and he asked to be released from his promise, but this was refused by his fiancee. The defendant thereupon intimated that he did not intend to adhere to his promise, and tho result is that the lady now seeks to recover £500 damages. An Enoch Ardcn case m the sensation m America. Agents have arrived m England to trace the movements of a Mr Stewart, formerly a wealthy merchant m New York. In 1862 Mr Stewart's clothes and money were discovered near the sea. A body washed ashore close to the spot was identified by the supposed widow, who thought her husband had hcen drowned while bathing. She had the body buried, and erected a suitable monument over the grave. Mr Stewart's property, including his life insurance, was divided between the widow and three children. Three years later Mrs •Stewart married again, and has now five other children. Recently the supposed husband tnrned up, claiming the wife and the property, and, stating that he had reasons for deluding them into tho belief that he was drowned twenty-eight years ago. The particulars of the arrangements with regard to the San Francisco mail contract, which appear to have been made the subject of some disparaging remarks by Judge Windeyer of Sydney, are that when New South Wales wj.tb.drew, under the clause giving it that powpr, New Zealand agreed to permit the mails to be carried, and the Steamers to go on to Sydney, for £7000 a year. This sum went m reduction of New Zealand's subsidy, Tho Pacific Mail Company applied for half, and were offered £2500, which they refused. In a pamphlet issued by the Company m 1886, they threw all odium of the loss they had incurred on New South Wales, which made the Judge's remarks all the more unexpected. There has just arrived m England a collection of most valuable inscribed cunieform tablets from anciant Babylonia. These documents are at present of very great value, as it is doubtful if, under the present attitude of the Porte, any further consignments will be allowed to come to this country. The collection consists of documents or a cQiTiinercial and legal, as well as fiscal, character, varying, from about B.C. 2300 down to about two centuries before the Christian era. Many of these inscriptions are of the curious envelope class—that is, one copy of the deed was written and enclosed m a clay envelope, upon which a second copy is written. One pair of tablets, dating about v.o. '2200, reveal the curious fact that there were m Babylon at that time a class of men employed as agents to obtain children to be adopted by wealthy citizens who had no families. These men received a regular commission both from the parents and from those who adopted the infant.

A singulary beautiful mirage is reported by the "Mail" to have been observed at Oaniaru on Saturday morning. The whole coastline, right back to the ranges, was outlined with marvellous fidelity out to sea for upwards of half an hour, the effect only passing away with the dispersal of the mist as the sun grew stronger. The mountain regions of Nevada have a climatic phenomenon called the "Pogonip," [t is a sort of frozen fog that fills the air at times m winter. It often appears on the clearest and brightest days, coming suddenly from no one knows whence. In an instant the air is filled with floating needles of ice. To breathe the pognip is death to the lungs. When it comes people rush to cover. Everywhere m the natural, no less than m he moral world, light is the great lifebringer. Without it, there is no permanent and deep-lying beauty. Well may all nations, m all ages, have called wisdom by the name of light, error and ignorance by the name of darkness, and transferred the names of light and brightness to whatever is happy and holy.—Leo H. Grindon. Men give me some credit (says Alex. Hamilton) for genius. AH the genius I have lies m this :—When I hare a subject m hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. I explore it m all its bearings. My mind becomes pervaded with it. The efforts I make the people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It i 3 the fruit of labor and thought. The Jubilee of hoisting the British flag at Akaroa was celebrated yesterday. Many congratulatory telegrams had been received, including one from the Governor. A procession went to Green's Point, where the Union Jack was hoisted on the site where the flag was hoisted fifty years ago. A picnic was held m the Domain, and a dance at night. The Lyttelton Navals, N Battery, and a detachment of the Scottish Rifles took part; otherwise the celebration was local. The Mayors of Christchurch and Lyttelton proclaimed a holiday. Some offices m Port were closed. Messrs Lotnas and Newton, the delegates appointed by the Amalgamated Miners' and LaDorers' Union of New Zealand to endeavor to bring about a settlement of the difficulty between the Grey Valley Coal Company and their miners, have arrived m Wellington, and had a lengthened interview yesterday morning with the Hon. G. McLean, Chairman of the Union S.S. Company, which is largely connected with the Brunnerton Mines, and with Mr Martin Kennedy, Managing Director of the Grey Valley Company. They are also anxious to interview the Premier, and it is probable that they will wait upon that gentleman to-day. A pupil of Pasteur, Dr Bardoch, having been employed by the Government functionaries of Odessa to carry out the vaccination ordered by the Government against the Siberian cattle plague, two wealthy brothers, owners of a valuable estate, sent for him to vaccinate the animals on their farm. The j doctor unfortunately employed a wrong virus, and thus killed 3552 sheep, 1200 horned cattle, and several horses. The brothers consequently sued the magistrates of Odessa for damages; but the court not only non-suited them, but imposed on them a fine of 117 roubles for their impertinence m suing them, and costs. The formal legal arrangements connected with the settlement of the estate of the late Mr Samuel Morley (says a Home paper) are not yet complete, but it is stated upon what appears to be excellent authority that its total value will be nearer seven than five millions of money. This estimate is largely m excess of what had been expected; and the delay m arriving at a result is attributable to the variety and extent of the investments which had been made, and which have proved to bo of the enormous value already indicated. There have been few larger fortunes made m business of late years, and, it may be added, few more wisely and generously used. A .Sydney paper says :—" It would seem as if another exodus of New Zealanders to Victoria is sotting m, and this m the face of the fact that wo are being constantly reminded from across the water that the Britain of the South has turned the corner, ami prosperity is becoming manifest all round. The improved financial condition of t'.ic colony vrould certainly warrant this belief, but it appears that the finances do not afford the most reliable data to go upon, By the Union steamer Mouowat, which arrived, recently, there were 270 passengers from nil ports, the majority of them being men m search of something to do." And yet the present incapable Government are allowed to remain m office a single day.

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LOCAL AND GENERAL, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2489, 12 August 1890

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LOCAL AND GENERAL Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2489, 12 August 1890

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