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The birth rate m England anil Wales has been decreasing ever since 1876. The people of the United States use 1,500,000 po3tal-ca'rds every day. France practically gets all Northwestern Africa under the new agreement. King Otto, of Hav.iria, has tits of <]oiiient:» m which he imagines he is a lion. A genuine portrait of Columbus, painted by Lotto m ISO I, hvn boon discovered. An immeiKt forest area has been destroyed m Bavaria by caterpillar ravages. Seven years ago 83 per cent, of British vessels were iron. Now 02 per cent, 'arc steel. An exhibition of fitting* and articles for use m prisons will be opened shortly at St. Petersburg. Italy has ordered the study of English to be added to the curriculum of all Italian universities. The Railway Department announce that after sth October the ordinary time-table will be resumed. It is said that good manners and good morals are henceforth to, be taught m the public schools of Boston; - About 3000 tons of lmlelon froinKr>ken Hill are lying at port Piric, and cannot be shipped owing to the strike. A book fiend m Melbourne has received a I sentence of two years for having committed perjury m swearing that an order for a book was signed by the peraoiv he had sued. I The business x>eople of Nasbcy have agreed to close the business places at nine o'clock on Saturday and six o'clock every other evening duriiitf the week, ami also to observe •a half-holiday every Wednesday. The proceedings of the Japanese Parliament arc reported verbatim by means of a stenograph^ system original to Japan. The characters arc written m perpendicular rows from right to left. The 'Methodist (Ecumenical Conference, which is tv meet m America m September of next year, will be composed o£ 400 members clouted from all the recognised bodies of Methodists throughout the world. Australiaji MethoJiamis entitled t" send 10 dele' gates, ■

h. resolution has been carried by a masting J at working men at Bioamond, Victoria! J agninat any alteration of tho S<ibb ith law. < More rain fell m London during .JViiu and the first half of July than hafj fallen during the same period *for eighty-soven years. The divorce law of Victoria is now surely sufficiently elastic. In the latest chsc before the courts a wife has been granted a divorce from a husband who has been a habitual drunkard for three year*. Suppose that you "wished, to walk through all the streets and lanes and alleys of Lonnon, and,were able to arrange your trip so that you never traversed Die came one twice, you Would have to walk tcu mile 3 every day tor-nine yuara before your journey would be completed. Atij Oatiiaru exchange says that Mr Samuel Holmes, of Hiklcrlhorpe, h W sold a pig to Messrs Davidson and Co., which, though only ]G weeks and two days old, weighed 161 lbs when dressed. The animal was bred and reared on Mr Holmes' farm, and the feed was corn and milk. The National. Association of British and Irish Millers report a decided increaed m wheat productions m Russia, Romnania, Austria, and Hungary. They think that America is approaching the time when she must considerably increase her wheat acreage or cease to be a whf»t-exportnig country, such will be the home demand. ■ There has been no small excitement over ' an alleged discovery of platinum at Colac, m Victoria. Expensive smelling . apparatus was constructed, and the company's mining engineer, a Mr Pounds, showed large yields I- of what lie declared to be platinum from the [ ore treated. Tho Government geologist and analytical chemist, however^ have .declared conclusively that not a trace of platinum is to be found. Mr Pounds is now ill with brain fever, and a number of uharehoMßrs arc lamenting their losses. " By an imfortunate accident that happened last evening a large plate glass window m Mr Henry Zander's shop was smashed, ami several valuable services of china aiid other ware destroyed. It appears that a horse belonging to a customer, was being held opposite the door, but becoming restive managed to back the vehicle he was harnessed to over the footpath into the window. The damage done i 3 estimated at over £"0. An extraordinary privilege of certain Guards' officers was brought to my notice the other day, says the editor of "London Truth." There is a special allowance, it appears, of £4000 a year for the me«s expenses of the officers of the Queen's Gun ml at St James' Palace, and another of £800 a year for those ..on guard at Dublin Castle. There are never more than three officers or on duty at St. .James' on one dfvy, I should imagine, and the allowance of nearly £11 a. day tp feed them is simply preposterous. A meeting of those interested m the South Rakaia Sports and R-icea was held m the Library on Tuesday evening. The attendance was moderate, and Mr Oxley waa voted to the chair. The minutes of the last meeting were read, a number of alterations to the suggested programme were made, and the minutes as amended were confirmed. The alterations were—Weights to be lOstfo'r three year olds, Hat for four year olds, and 11st 71b for five, six, and aged. The distances altered were—Fly ing Stakes, '£ mile ; Ladies' Purse, 1$ mile; and fanners' Plate, 1£ mileA Committee meeting of the Ashburton Cricket Club was held last evening. It was decided that the se-vson be opened next Wednesday* the 8tl», with a niateli an eleven of the Club vtf»vx All-comers, play to commence at two o'clock m the afternoon. Messrs Mainwarjng, ME<ckcig, Mackn,y, and G. W. Andrews were i .ppointed a Ground Committee. A match has been arranged with the Methven Club on the 15th instant. The following were elec ted new members of the Club :-— Messrs C ox, Ros->, Temple, Moss; Murray, E. Davis , AY". Davis, We3ton; Kemp tho rue, and Rollit;. We ("Reefton Guardian") understand that the Associated Un'oiis have under con-? sideration a scheme for hampering the resources of the capifcwlisfc parties to the present strike. Rightly or wrongly they f*re of opinion .that the'Uni on Company is bcinji supported by the Bank of New Zealand, and that the State ia rend'sring assistance to the; Company by interested interfcrones. It ia the intention, therefor 2, of the Executive of the Unions to act apart a particular day when a general run w ill be made upon the coffers of the Bank of Xew Zealand by the. Unionists. It is esti listed that m Christchurch anil Dunedin alone on the "day so set apart, payment m gold will be demanded upon notes of the Bank to the value of £200,00:). A sad accident occured at Mmzzo on tho 4th August. A Bailing vessel from Genoa; entered the port m the morning, and the crew proceeded to empty the barrels of sea water which formed the ballast. The first sailor who de3cei»'Vd. into t,he hold to take th« bungs out of th« barrel* wasove-come I y. the gas wiiicli iasuod, and fell suffocatou, .As he did not reappear, a second, a third, and a fourth sailor followed and met, one after the other, wiih the same fate. Meanwhile, the fetid water waj running out of the barrels, and the corpses were soon covered with it. At last,the captain, sur- , prised at the long absence of me sailors, went below and approached the hatchway, when, the gases having arisen m greater qiiantity, he was aIBO suffocated. The boy the only member of the crow now alive, became aware of the horrid event, and, crying to the people on shore, there soon arrived a crowd with some doctors. The bodies were dr.igged up, and every means employed to restore animation, but without effect Last Sunday the P».ev •). Boothroyd, of the Ashburton Primitive Methodist Church, preached his farewell sermons at Newlands m the morning, and at Ashburton m the evening. The rev gentleman is retiring from the ministry and purposes going into business m South? Canterbury. A tea meeting, to say farewell to Mr and Mrs Boothroyd, was given last evening m the ♦Salvation Army Barracks, at which there was a large attendance, and Mr and Airs W. C. Davis Avon golden opinions from all sorts of people by the admirable manner m .which the duties of " pro/rklore " were discharged. At the after meeting the service hall of the barracks was well filled—Mr W. Allen being Chairman. Addresses were delivered by the Revs J. N, Buttle, Sawle, and the pastor, m which kind things were aaid of the waygoing friends, and good wishes expressed for their future welfare. An excellent choir, inlder Mr J. H. Jones's conductorahip, and with Mrs Davis at the organ, sang several sacred part 3ongs with good effect, and Mr Brooking, whose voice was m even better fettle than usual, rendered the " Lost Chord ' with much feeling. Miss Wildsinith sang the old favorite music wedded to Pope's immortal verse " Vital Spark," with sweetness, blended with power. Mr Jones sang the solo part of a choir song, the chorus ofwhich was cleverly taken up by the choir,, and Mr Leitch, whose abilities as a cornet player are well known, gave a solo made up of a few gems from Ira D. Saukey's music, and won the good opinions, of the audience, having to repeat his quotations. The choir was assisted by several friends from other choir/?, and all were gratefully acknowledged m the vote of thanks, as well as Mr Marsden, who gave a paean on the bells, and a solo on the flageolet. A c»ffee •upper followed m the refectory, which was well attended.

During th« progress o! a om« of obscene language hoard m tho Dunedin Police Court Mr Hanlon.anonßod'n oquii«ol, m his pleading, Haiti m extenuation th&fc he had heard M.H.R.S M-ho framed tlu> laws standing at street corners making use of disgiASting and filthy langutigo; but no notico wa» taken because they had decent coats on their backs I and wore belltoppcrs. | On Wednesday morning a young mr.n named Daniel Moore, fanner, Vvaitolu ! Downs,, was killed by being struck by the I rail of a stockyard ou his father's farm. He was Jetting Rome young horsc3 out of the yard, on'd one of them rushed through tho slip rails before the unfortunate young m:in could get clear, one end of a> nul striking him ou the he id, and causing fatal injuries. .Mr J. Evans Brown, a former resilient of 'Qhristcliiirch, now hi the United States, m a letter" jumt received, refers to the Lincoln Agricultural College m the following terms : —" is a thousand times more efficient than nny I know here. Potter has graduated at the Pennsylvania College, which ia by far the best I know of; and he docs not know a quarter as much os Vance learned at .Lincoln ; and I am quite willing for him to return to New Zealand and have at least ft year at Lincoln, provided, of <;oui'3e, he will oe admitted to the college. You can hardly conceive of the pleasure it affords Vance and self m showing these people how far they are behind New Zealand m agricultural schools." j£ We regret to record a most distressing accident that happened on Tuesday last at Methven, by which the little eighteen-month old daughter (Jessie) of Mr J. H. Stone lost her life. The little.girl was missed by her mother for only a quarter of an hour, and I when the latter.went to seek the child she ' found her body m the adjacent water-race. Every, possible effort to restore'animation was made, but unsuccessfully. An inquest was ijucld on Wednesday when a verdict m accordance with the above facts was returned. Much sympathy is .felt for Mr Stone, who, it will be remembered, had the misfortune, eight or ten xlays ago, to suffer the loss by fire of his business premises and stock. The quarterly summoned meetiug of the Loyal Tinwald Lodge, 1.0.6. F., M.U., w«s held m the Temperance Hall, Tinwald, on Monday last, a fair number of officers and. members being^ present. The N.G. Bro F. Schneider presided. After the initiation of one new member, the auditors' report and balance-sheet for the half year was received and adopted. The balance-sheet showed •that the sick and-burial funds wcro worth £240 11» 6d; also acred t balance m the management fund of £12 5s lOd, which was considered very satisfactory. A hearty vc te of tlvuikd was passed to the auditors. The question of celebrating the anniversary of the Lodge next came on for discussion, and ultimately it was resolved to hold a ball oil Friday October 31 , (Ashburtou Show night). An influential committee was appointed to carry outallarrangementa therewith. After the proposition of one person for membership, arid transacting a large amount of business, the Lodge was duly closed* The receipts for the evening was £14 03 lld ; expenditure £2 los.

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LOCAL AND GENERAL, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2533, 2 October 1890

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LOCAL AND GENERAL Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2533, 2 October 1890

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