TBe ex-Empress Eugenic has, from tin c to time, received presents of enormous value. For instance, on the occasion of one visit that she paid to Constantinople, it is said the gifts represented over one hundred thousand pounds in value. The Sultan gave her everything she admired, without even her expressing any wish to possess it. A new life-saving apparatus is being constructed at Toulon. It consists of a small vessel with a rudder aad a clockwork n ovenient, and is intended to carry from the shore to a ship in distress, a line by which may be drawn on a cable or o Jier instrument for saving life. In the Wellington divorce case, Snelgrove v. Snelgrove and Ewart, husband's ; petition, a decree nisi was granted. The respondent deserted her husband twentytwo years ago, and counsel explained that until now the petitioner was unable to raise sufficent money to file his petition The Victorian Government steamer Lady Loch has returned to Melbourne from her search among the islands of Bass' Straits for the missing barquentine May Newton, and Captain Livingstone reports that no sign of the vessel or crew could be found. The barquentine started on a voyage from Tasmania to Queensland some months ago, and has not been heard of since. The search by the Lady Loch was instituted in order to ascertain whether the vessel had been wrecked in the Straits, and her crew had effected a landing on one of the islands. A telegram in a Wairarapa paper from Wellington says: — Alfred Hill, son of Chas. Hill, hatter, of Lambton-quay, s^ice his return from Leipsic last year, has been engaged composing an opera lounded on Maori ancient lore, which he has nearly completed. ■■ The libretto will probably be written by Mr E. D. Hoben of the Evening Post literary staff. Mr Hill owns Richmond, Melbourne, as his birthplace, while Mr Hoben is a New Zealand native. Judge E. T. Lane, presiding judge of Cass County, Mo., United States, who with his associates Judges Wray and George have been prisoners in Jackson County Jail for several months, has been nominated for the legislature by an overwhelming majority over two opposition candidates. He, with the other Judges, was sent to prison by United States Judge Phillips for refusing to obey an order of his court directing a tax levy to pay bonds voted by Caas County years ago for the construction of a railroad which has never been built. The three prisoners are the most popular men among the farmers of that seotion to-day» The Wellington correspondent of the Wairarapa Star says:— -"The case of the Hon. John Rigg, lately appointed M. L. C. j is especially a hard onej as the Act state's uninistakeably that no new member can dlaiin honorariiim till he takes his seat, and as this will not be tiJ! at least the middle of June, and Mr Rigg had to resign his billet in the Government Printing Office upon his elevation to the Legislative Council, the honour thrust upon him is much in substance as the gift of a white elephant. Meanwhile poor Rigg has to support himself and family as best he may. A small boy, carrying a canvas bag, went into a post office and demanded 10 shillings' worth of stamps. They were handed down, and, in return, he emptied the canvas bag on the counter. It contained one hundred and twenty pennies. "Come, now," said the clerk, "we can't take this. Ten shillings' worth of coppers isn't a legal tender. Pass those stamps back." The boy passed them back, and returned the coppers to the bag. u ls one penny a legal tender?" he asked. "Of course," said the clerk. Then give me one penny stampplease." The boy tookthe stamp and put down a penny. "Now I'll have another stamp," he said, and put down another penny. Once more the bargain was completed. "And now," the boy went on, with the light of triumph in his eye, "I'll trouble you for another stamp," offering a third penny. By this time the clerk had begun to realise the perfect beauty and simplicity of the boy's little game. He sighed the sigh of the broken-hearted, and decided to sink the question of legal tender. On the 13th September, a man named Thomas Mitchell, residing at Drysdale, Victoria, was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment for theft of apuise containing £9. Jas Watton, a reformatory boy, licensed out, has since confessed to the robbery. He had returned a £5 -note to the owner immediately the loss was discovered, stating that he had seen Mitchell about the place, and had picked the money up. The strange part of the stoiy is that Mitchell pleaded guilty on the circumstantial evidence brought against him, it is supposed on account of bis having been previously convicted of another offence, and by doing so avoided being sent to trial, and was punished by the magistrate summarily. In consequence of the confession the Minister of Justice has applied to the Governor to release Mitchell from gaoL Herman Merrivale has "caugh on" to the origin of the word "masher" He tells us that in the old Romany tongue "masha" means the fascination of the eye. Specimens of the knitting, embroidery, and painting done by i^ueen Victoria when she was a girl will be sent to the Chicago Fair; also embroidery and needlework wrought by the Princesses Beatrice, Louise, and Christian. If there is one article of food that the Czar of Russia prefers to all others it is mushrooms, especially when he picks them himself. It is when staying with his father-in-law at Copenhagen that he is able to indulge in this taste to his heart's content The famous Jennens case, on which Dickens founded the even better known cause celehre of Jaindyce v. Jarndyce, is about to be re-opened. A wealthy bai- 1 rister, who has been tor some years devoting both time and money to un- 1 ravelling the strange eventful history of the Jennens family, thinks he can at last \ prove the rights of one individual iridis- J pntably. The mass of documentary evid- j ence, which includes hundreds of cer- j tificates of births, marriages and deaths is reported tosubstantiatean unbroken line of t descent. That the property should be fiercely fought for seems natural enough, c The estates comprise quite half the land on £ which Birmingham is built, and 30 years t ago were valued at over seven millions, y The claimant has just reached years of r discretion. n
Public fountains of hot water are be- 1 ing established in Paris on the automatic system. By petting a halfpenny in the dot anyone can obtain nearly 2gallons of thoroughly hot water, heated by the public gas service. The first fountain put up as an experiment proved a great success, as in summer few housewives in the poorer quarters care to keep a fire. Balm should have a place in every garden. It grows easily from seed; the scent is delicious, and the qualities of the plant strengtheniDg. purifying, and invigorating. Balm-tea should be dlank freely. It may be made of either fresh or dried leaves, and is equally efficacious hofc or cold. With a little lemon peel or juice, and sugar, it is a most refresh "ug summer dr?nk, and a few balm leaves placed in the tea-pot, with China or Ceylon tea, w 111 j mpro ve the flavour and wholesomeness of the decoction. The ostrich-feather is characterised by having the quill exactly in the centre of the feather, while in other birds it is a little on one side, causing the fringe on either side to.be of unequal with. The elegance of the feathers, arising doubtless from their beautifully tapering shafts and delicate gossamer webs, has led to their being valued highly as article 3of ornament in all ages. The Egyptians are supposed to have venerated them as a symbol of justice the webs being equally balan- 3d on both sides of the shaft. . There are numerous complaints of pickpockets plying their nefarious trade in Auckland. One gentleman was relieved of the sum of £2 5s at the Parnell Tennis Lawn one afternoon last week. The New Zealand Time 3 says: — "Several bad coins were k'.ven at the collection made at the Opera House, Wellington, in aid of the sufferers by the Queensland floods. It is stated the fly which is such a nuisance to sheep owners at home by breeding maggots in wool, has made its appearance in Hawke's Bay. Mr. F. G. Wright, M.H E., was fined 10s and costs at Christchurch for hav'ig assaulted a fellow-passenger, who called him a silly old man. Queen Victoria, when a girl, was passionately fond of climbing walls and trees. One day at Malvern she climed a tall apple-tree, and was unable to get down. A young man named Davis, a gardener, was attracted by her ories' got a ladder, and brought her down in safety. Deeply grateful, she opened her purse and presented him with a guinea. Davis nicely framed it, and ever since has been proud to tell the tale, and show the piece of gold that the Queen gave him so many years ago. There is a little story of Professor Huxley, During a walking tour he onoe Uliased his way owing to the darkness of the night. He walked on for some distance, and meeting no other person of whom he could make inquiries} he suddenly stopped, took tip a handMl of earth from the road* lit a match, and said, triumphantly, "tfxbridge!" The Duke of Buccleuch, who is just sisty-one, is almost as agreeable a person to Her Majesty as is the Duchess. The Duke has the twofold distinction of being the wealthiest man in the kingdom whose wealth comes not from ground-rents or breweries, or stockjobbing, and also of possessing more titles than any other living British subject. In him are centred two dukedoms, Buccleuch and Queensberry; one maiquisate, Dumfriesshire; four earldoms, one viscounty, and four baronies — altogether > twelve different dignities. He is possessed of estates . valued at over £200,000 a year. ■: . ~ The South Australian Commissioner o* Police has for id that the scheme for mounting some of the members of the force on bicycles works admirably. So far two orderlies attached to the Chief Secretary 's Department havebeen provided with safety maclr ies, as well as two other constables at suburban stations. A movement is on foot at Hastings to take advantage of the space left by the fire to widen the streets in that portion of the town. The street at this point, which is the most important part of the town, is the regulation width of one chain. It is proposed to widen it by ten feet, five feet on either side. At the present time there are eight theological students studying at the Gisborne seminary to qualify themselves for mission work amongst Maoris. We hear that a great many of the houses in Brisbane are built in a pecu^ar manner. The white ant is very troublesome and very destructive to timber, and it is the customary with many builders, we understand, to drive piles for a foundation and cover the top of the piles with zinc or tin, with overhanging edges, to prevent the ants working to the super-structure. On this the buildings are rested, with no fastening in many case 3 but their own weight, any puncture of the metal-cov-ering being avoided in' order to minimise the chances of the auts ascending. In such cases the flood waters would no doubt very soon lift the birldings. At showing the intensity of the grass and forest fires in New South Wales, at a fire which occurred near St. Arnaud, a man who was ploughing around his crop to keep off the flames had to run for his life, leaving his horses in the plough. They were all so badly burned that they had to be shot. The fire destroyed 800 bags of wheat and 7 miles of fencing. Lord Rayleigh, the eminent scientist, hos opened a dozen shops in London for j the sale of milk. He claims that adulterated milk does as much harm to the poor classes as bad liquor and insufficient I food. The following ingenious method for keeping butter in summer is adopted by the farmers in New South Wales; You take a large deep plate, place in it an inverted saucer, pour in cold water until the saucer is nearly covered, and on the saucer set a plate containing the butter. Take a common unglazed flower pot, wash it thoroughly clean and dry it, soak it in clean cold water, then place it over the butter so that the edges of the pot may come down into the water. Set the whole thing were it will be in a current of air. The evaporation of the water from the flower pot keeps the butter hard and cold. It is a very simple thing to try. The farmers use the same principal effectively in niUk cans by fitting over them blanket jackets, and pouring cold water on the jackets unt : l they are thoroughy wet. The 'Trial of the Pyx?' recently took place at the Mint— the formal trial by weight and assay of the gold and silver coin for the year before its regular issue. Sample soverigns and half-sovereigns to the amount of £4,297 were tested, together frith £420 worth of silver, the whole representing a total coinage of over five Millions «terling.