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[Fkom Ouk Own Coiuiesponuent.l MIiLBOI'RNK, July 31. THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL. Miss Colbourne-Baber has been engaged by Mr John Solomon, of Sydney, for a. season of English and grand opera, to follow immediately on the present tcasou at tho Opera-house, Sydney. The first works presented will bo ' Carmen' and ' Mignon,' in which Miss Colbourne-Baber will sustain the name parts. After these, it is probable that a new opera will be produced. Madame Louisa Lablache and Signor Dimitresco, wiio arrived in Melbourne last October under engagement to M. Simonsen, and who have since been singing in Sydney, left Australia by the Rome, in order to (ill an engagement with the Carl Rosa Opera Company. Mr Charles Santley sang at St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, last Sunday week, and, although no public intimation had been made of his appearance, the church was crowded with an attendance of 4,000 people. Gounod's ' St. Cecilia,' better known as the ' Messo Solonelle,' was given, with Mr Charles Santley as the bass, Madame Rosalie Herz as the soprauo, and Mr P. J. Barnetfc as tenor. Mr J. A. Delany conducted and Mr Neville Brrnett acted as organist. Madame Christian alto sang the 'Pieta Signore,'

Mr Charles Warner commences a New Zealand tour in Septemher. Tho opening concert of the Victorian National Orchestra is to be held next week. Tho orchestra has been organised for some time, and is rehearsing daily under the conductorship of Mr Hamilton Clarke. Miss Emma Chambers, who goes with a dramatic company to South Africa shortly, took a benefit at the Theatre Royal on Saturday afternoon. There was a large audience, and the leading members of the various theatrical companies in Melbourne took part in the programme. The Melbourne theatres are being very well patronised at the present time. ' The Grasshopper' has succeeded 'Jo' at the Princess's, and 'East Lynne' is now the draw at the Alexandra, Miss Lily Dampler appearing as Lady Isabel; but ' The Bells of Haslemerc" still holds its own at the Theatre Royal. The Silbon Stirk Company is appearing at the Opera-house, Mr Harry llickards's company at St. George's Hall, and Messrs Clark and Hicks's Minstrels at the Victoria Hall.

Misß H. E. Randell, a New Zealand soprano, made a successful debut in Melbourne on Saturday evening at the entertainment given by the Lynch Family Bellringers at the Athcmcum Hall. All the principal theatres of Sydney have been doing a splendid business during the past week. The ' Yeoman of the Guard' has entered upon the last week of a highly successful run, while at Her Majesty's the comedy ' Confusion' now occupies the stage. At the Criterion Messrs Brough and Boucicault's Comedy Company aro playing 'Joseph's Sweetheart* to full houses, and « Maritana' still successfully holds the stage at the Opera-house. The Supreme Court of Victoria has given its decision in reference to the application for a mandamus to compel the Central Board of Health to consider and approve in writing of the plans for the proposed Bijou Theatre. The Judges who heaid the application were the Chief Justice, Mr Justice Williams, and Mr Justice a'Beckett. The Court was unanimously of opinion that the application for a mandamus must be refused, as it appeared that the Board had considered the plans, and the Court bad no power to compel that body to approve of them. The statement is now made that it s intended to'ercct a new theatre in Collins street east, on land between Russell street and Exhibition street, owned by the Professional Chambers Company. The building is to be designed to accommodate about 1,800 persons, and will be devoted principally to the representation of polite comedy. Messrs Brough and Bouoicault are said to have arranged to lease it for a long term of years. Mr Nahum Barnet is to be the architect, and the plans are shortly to be submitted to the Central Board of Health for approval.

GENERAL, The Library Committee of the Victorian Parliament have recommended that the services of four additional reporters should be obtained in order to facilitate the publication of' Hansard.' It is unlikely, however, that the proposal will be agreed to. The present staff consists of only four men, and it is not likely that Parliament will sanction the doubling of the staff at a cost of 1.2,000 simply to ha ve the official record of the week's doings of Parliament published on Friday instead of the following Tuesday. The daily ' Hansard' project is still supported by several members, but in view of the miserable/asco that has attended the daily publication of' Hansard' in Queensland, it is extremely improbable it will bo carried out.

The members of the Parliamentary staffs of the Melbourne dailies la3t week took their leave of Mr T. R. Hadley, who has retired from the position of lesder of ' Hansard.' Mr Hadley's health was proposed by Mr Howard Willoughby, "Timotheus" of the 'Argus,' who stated that for the past thirty years that gentleman had been known to Victorian pressmen. Prior to his appointment to' Hansard' ho had occupied the position of leader of the ' Argus' staff. In those days he had found that, though there were men of exceptional ability among the Melbourne journalists, they were on the whole a scratch team. Petty jealousies and rivalries prevailed, but through the influence exerted by Mr Hadley, a harmonious feeliDg had been established, which had been sustaiued to the present. Mr Hadley had been the founder of ' Hansard,' and as its chief had done much to give it that high reputation which it had gained for accuracy. In responding to the toast, Mr Hadley mentioned that it would be thirty years in January next since he had entered upon his career as a Victorian pressman. For six years he had acted upon the ' Argus' staff, and then in conjunction with Mr Howard Willoughby and Mr W. V. Robinson, the clerk assistant of the Legislative Assembly, he had assisted in tho formation of ' Hansard.' Only three of the members who were in the House at that time were in it now, and ho had seen every other member come and go. A deplorable accident occurred in Melbourne last week, in connection with the viaduct which is being erected between the Spencer street and tho Flinders street railway stations. A man named Thomas Kendall, who was employed on the works aa a stonemason, was working at a long stone, which was to be used in one of the pillais. Whilo the stone was being moved by a crano to facilitate hi 3 work, it suddenly swerved round and crushed him against another block. Tho stone was raised as quickly as possible and the mm was released. Life wa3, however, quite extinct, the head having literally been crushed to nieces.

Burglaries are still rite in Sydney. Several are reported as having been effected or attempted on Saturday and Sunday nights. On the former evening a Frenchman named Charles Liporte discovered, hidden in a cupboard in hia residence, a man named Edward Chisholm, with some jewellery and other property belonging to the occupants of the house in his possession. On Sunday night another supposed burglar was found on private premiecs, and captured after an exciting chase. Numerous robberies, the perpetrators of which have so far escaped detection, are reported. Messrs David and George Proudfoot, the well-known contractors, have commenced an action in the Supreme Court o? New South Wales against the English, Scottish, and Australian Chartered Bank for LIO.OOO damages for breach of agreement in connection with some banking transactions arising out of a settlement of partnership affairs relating to the construction of the Illawarra Railway. A verdict of wilful murder was returned against William Hunter at the inquest on the victim of the recent tragedy at Glebe, New South Wales. The evidence showed that Huuter, who had previously been a kind father, had, while suffering from the effects of driiik, killed his daughter, seriously wounded his son, and brutally illused his wife. On being interrupted in his murderous work by the neighbors he attempted to tike his own life by cutting his, but only slightly wounded himself. A shocking accident occurred early last Saturday morning in a lift at the rear of the Palace Hotel in Melbourne, resulting in tho death of two men named John Laurence Murphy and George Watson. 'When the butcher who supplies tho hotel arrived at seven o'clock in the morning he observed that something wa3 wrong with the lift, and oaw that it contained two men, who had br.en crushed to death. On the arrival of Coiistablo Davidson, the coroner's orderly, who was immediately sent for, it was seen that the heads of both men had become jammed between the floor of the lift and the top of the embrasure of the kitchen window. The features of Watson were crushed out of all recognition, while Murphy presented the appearance of having been strangled. Both men were in poor circumstances. Either through some defect in tho machinery, or for some unexplained reason, the lift gradually began to move upwards, and the men we're killed as described,

An appeal lias been made to the Victorian Government to place a sum of money upon tho Estimatas to provide an annuity for Dr Wills, the father of the late Mr W. J. Wills, the famous explorer, who perished with Baurko in the Australian bush while endeavoring to cross the Continent. The Government of 1862 placed a sum of 1/2,000 on the Estimates for the purchase of debentures, the interest on which was paid over to Mrs Wills, while a separate sum of LSOO was voted to each of tlio two Misses Wills. The family of tho explorer resided in England, where Dr Wills earned a livelihood by practising medicine Mrs Wills died in 18S0, when the annuity terminated, and the Treasurer refused to continue the payment of the interest to the family, who are now stated to be in the most straightened circumstances, Dr Wills being over ninety years of age and quite unable to practise his profession. Tho Premier has promised to see what can be done in the matter.

Edward Brown Holt, formerly a manager of tho Bank of New Zealand, has been discharged! from Darlinghurst Gaol, Sydney, after serving two years and ten months of the sentence r.f four years' imprisonment passed upon himforombezzleir.eatontr* 2nd Juno, 1310. None of his friends were present to meet him, as during the last week or so he refused to see anyone, and the exact date of his release was not generally known.

An action in which Susan Solomon claimed L 2.000 damages from Maurice Frank Gerson, a commission agent, for the seduction of her daughter, Leah Victoria Solomon, aged years, has been heard in Sydney. The plaintiff is a widow, and resides with her two sons and only daughter at Surrey Hills. The defendant was on intimato terms with the sons, and often visited the house, and it was, according to plaintiff, during one of these visits in September last that the seduction took place. The jury found L 250 damages for the plaintiff.

An extraordinary case has been reported from North Williamstown. In the early part of last week the infant child of a man named Irons was believed to have died of bronchitis, from which it had been suffering. A doctor had been attending the child, and without any hesitation pronounced life to be extinct. Tho funeral was arranged to take place, but a female neighbor having positively stated that she saw the lips of the supposed corpse move, the interment was postponed, the father of the child holding to the hope that his offspring still lived. The child has not been buried yet, and although over a week has elapsed since the supposed death of the child, the body is quite limp and free from the stiffened appearance of the dead. The father appears to be in a dilemma as to whether his child is alive or not, although the doctor continues positive in his opinion that it has been dead for over a week.

A strange instance of inhumanity towards an injured woman has been reported to the police. A woman named Esther Borthwick, aged fifty-four years, was walking along one of the streets of St. Kilda, Melbourne, when two dogs on a leash, and in charge of a well-dressed man, ran against her and knocked her down. On the woman saying that one of her legs was broken, the owner of the dogs merely placed her against a fence and left her. The injured woman was found by the police and removed to the hospital.

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7981, 9 August 1889

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Issue 7981, 9 August 1889

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