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! [From Oub Owx Cokrkspondkn-t | Melb t;rxe, August 14. ANOTHER ABSCONDER. A warrant has been iuaued for the arrest of a young man named James Alan Mathieaon, on a charge of embezzling L4fio, the property of the Discount Company of Australasia. Mathieson acted aa accountant to the company. Its financial year ended on the 31st nit., and two days before that Mr C. Andrews, the manager of the company, instructed the accountant to get all his papers ready, as the auditors were to attend at the office on the Ist insr. Mathieson stated that his books were not ready for the auditors, but Mr Andrews declined to alter the day appointed for the work. On the Ist inst. Mathieson failed to put in an appearance at the office, and lie has not been seen since. An examination of his books showed that on the 29th ult. he had received different sums of money, amounting in all to nearly L4OO, which ho had entered in his cash book as having been paid in to the credit of the company at the bank, but which had really never been lodged there at nil. Some small dividend cheques which he had in his custody on the day before he absconded had also disappeared, and it has since been aacertained that he had cashed them at the bank. Mathieson is a single man, of about thirty years of age. He was steady in his habits, but is believed to have indulged somewhat extensively iu betting on horse racing. MUSICAL AND THEATBICAL, The principal musical event of the past week has been the first appearance of the Victorian Orchestra, under the conductorship of Mr Hamilton Clarke. The orchestra made a very successful debut, the two concerts which have been given in the Town Hall being well patronised. The orchestra is constituted as follows :—Ten first violins, 8 second violins, 4 violas, 4 violoncellos, 4 double basses, 2 flutes, 1 piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarionets, 2 bassoons, 4 French horns, 2 cornets, 3 trombone?, tuba, harp, tympani, drum and cymbals, side-drum and triangle. There are thus fifty-three performers of acknowledged ability, and if, under the able direction of a leading conductor from the Cld Country, they are not able "to soothe the savage breasts" of Victorians, and lure them to some extent from the allabsorbing sports of football and racing, then all hope of our becoming a thoroughly musical people may be given up. The programme for the opening concert was as follows:—Overture, 'Rny Bias' (Mendelssohn) ; orchestral suite, ' L'Arlesienne' (Bizet); entr'acte, •LaColombe' (Gounod); ' Pastoral symphony ' (Beethoven) ; overture, ' Der Fliegende Hollander ' (Wagner); orchestral suite, 'Lilian' (HamiltonClarke); overture, ' Mirella' (Gounod). The following pieces were played at tho second conoert:— Overture, 'Der Freischuta' (Weber); ballet music, 'La Reine de Saba' (Gounod); symphony in E flat (Mosnrt) ; 'Slavis3he tanze ' No. 1 (Dvorak); gavotte, for strings (Hamilton Clarke); overture to ' Tannhauser' (Wagner). The ' Silver King' has taken the place of ' The Bells ' of Haselmere ' at the Theatre Royal, the most remarkable feature of the performance being the masterly impersonation of the gentlemanly burglar known as " the Spider "by Mr Sisee. Although the representation of this most successful of j modern emotional dramas is on the whole such as to excite favorable comment, it does not come up to the standard achieved on the occasion of its first presentation in Melbourne, when Mr Titheradgc took the leading part, and was supported by such artists as Miss Maggie Knight, Mr Garner, the late Mr Harry Taylor, and Mr Phil Day (now also dead). A party was given at this theatre on Monday evening in honor of the visit of General Edwards by Sir James Lorimer (Minister of Defence). The wholo of the theatre was engaged, and most of the guests, who numbered 3,000, appeared in uniform, so that the auditorium presented a brilliant appearance. In the intervals between the acts tho occupants of tho gallery and upper circle sang spirited marching songs to the music of the military band?, which were stationed in the stalls, and played through the " waits." Owing to indisposition Miss Jennie Lee could not appear in ' The Grasshopper' at the Princess's Theatre last night, and her place was taken by Miss Florence Hastings. As Miss Lee will be unable to continue her engagement with the triumvirate for the present, Mr Charles SVarner is going to appoar at the Princess's on Saturday in the drama ' Captain Swift.' The Choral Harmonic Society (conductor, Mr 0. Linden) gave their fifth concert at the Melbourne Athenieum Hall last evening. The principal wotk performed was Hoffmann's cantata ' Die Scheme Melusino.' The society intend giving Bach's celebrated Christmas Oratorio in December next.

The Metropolitan Liedertafel gave one of their interesting concerts at the Town Hall on Monday evening, being assisted by Signorina Rebottaro, Signori Coy and De Alba (solo vocalists), and M. De Beaupuis (solo pianist). The part songs given were 'Sailor's eong ' (Hatton), 'Warrior's prayer' (Lachner), 'Wanderer's song' (Kuntze), 'Fair Rohtrant' (Veit), ♦ Hymn to night' (Beethoven), ' The retreat' (De Rille), * Three men of Gotham' (Plumpton), 'At sunset' (Billeter), and 'Forsaken' (Koschat).

Mr D. Christie Murray, the well-known litterateur, has arrived in Melbourne on a brief lecturing tour. He proposes next year to work right across to America, from Boston to San Francisco, and then come to Australia by way of New Zealand. Mr G. H. Snazelle, late of the Carl Rosa Opera Company, opens in Melbourne in a monologue musical entertainment shortly. It will be of a novel description. Among the accessories which ho uses is an apparatus by means of which an arc of light 40ft in diameter illaminates all the subjects which he introducos to the audience. The light used is gas stored in steel bottles that have a resisting capacity of 2,0001b to the square inch. Mr Snazslle's especial attraction is that he describes the songs with scenic effect. Thus, in the ' Village Blacksmith,' he shows the smithy in the Kentish village, the blacksmith at work, and the children watchiDg the village church, and the choir singing. Iu 'Rocked in the cradle of the deep,' a storm effect is given, with a ship in motion. In Gounod's ' Nazareth,' seven scenes are shown, representing Biblical incidents. Mr Snazelle illustrates his recitations with musical accompaniments, as well as by pictorial effect, and can chaDge his programme twenty times in twenty weeks.

Mr James M'Mahon, one of the managers of the Opera-house, Melbourne, had some disagreement with Mr Cornelius Silbon, a member of the Silbon-Stirk organisation, which ended in Mr Silbon assaulting Mr M'Mahon while the latter was walking in Parliament place last Saturday afternoon. Since then Mr M'Mahon has been confined to his room under the care of Dr Fisher. The outcome of the affair will be that Mr M'Mahon will institute legal proceedings against Mr Silbon, while that gentleman threatens to bring an action against one of the Melbourne newspapers. A prominent Sydney citizen has promised to get others to join with him in guaranteeing a few hundred pounds to enable Signor Hazon to organise a good orchestra for the purpose of giving a seiies cf high-class orchestral concerts. GENERAL. The importation of frozen fish and game from New Zealand has been carried on very successfully by the Colonial Fish Company of Melbourne, and there is every prospect j of a lucrative trade being established in this line. The company has made arrangements to open branches in the suburbs of Melbourne with a view to largely extending its business. The largest shipments come by the s.s. Mararoa, and the last consignment comprised flounders, soles, schnapper, red and blue cod, salmon, garfish, eels, groper, and frostfish, as well as pheasants, pigeons, and other descriptions of native and acclimatised game-fowl. An action as to the ownership of a "petrified man" which is on exhibition in Melbourne has been occupying the attention of the Supreme Court here. There have been two sets of claimants for it, and the proceedings have resulted in it being handed over to two men who stated they had bought it iri Sydney some time ago for LSOO. The article in question is a most skilful specimen of marble sculpture, and so resembles a petrified human being that for some

I time it baflled even tho scientific men of j Sydney, and the owner succeeded in passing if off as an example of petrifaction. j The Melbourne Harbor Trust ba9 > been i guilty of .in act of carelessness the like of which could never be attributed to the Otago Harbor notwithstanding all its faults. It appears that tenders were recently invited for the construction of six barges, and the Works Committee afterwards decided to let the work in two contracts of three barges each. Instructions were accordingly given that the lowest tenderers (Messrs Cowan and Co. and Mr A. Phillips) should be written to, and asked whether they would agree to accept contracts for three barges each, Messrs Cowan and Co. replied intimating their unwillingness to take less than six barges. Mr Phillips did not reply, and the whole work was given to Messrs Cowan and Co. Tho very next day, however, Mr Phillips waited on the chairman and showed him a letter he had received from the Trust definitely accepting his tender for three barges, and he stated that he had made arrangements to proceed with the work. As the time within which a contractor was required to complete his tender had not then expired, the Committee saw no other way out of the difficulty than to accept both tenders, making nine barges in all, instead of six, and the Trust was called upon to confirm this action. The action of tiio Committee was confirmed, but an inquiry is to be held into the matter.

A fire occurred in Itobb's buildings, Collins street, Melbourne, which has been the means of inflicting considerable loss upon the Railway Department, by which a number of the damaged and destroyed rooms were rented. A large number of the plans aud specifications of lines proposed to be inserted in the schedule of the new Railway Bill have been damaged by water, but these can be easily reproduced. Many plans, however, have been totally destroyed, and their reproduction will involve considerable labor and time. The eugineers' and surveyors' data, from which the plans, etc., had been prepared, were stored in the strong room at Spencer street, and in one of the vaults at the North Melbourne station. Had this data been iu the draughtsmen's offices it is probable that the valuable labor of many years would have been lost. A good deal of indignation was aroused recently by a statement attributed to Dr Higgins, the auxiliary Roman Catholic Bishop of Sydney, to the effect'that licentiousness and infidelity were being taught in the State schools. Dr Higgins, speaking at Parrarnatta last Sunday, said he did not intend to charge the public schools of the colony with teaching licentiousness and infidelity. He did, however, intend to say that he regarded them as part of a, system of public instruction established at the present clay ia many centreßby men whose principles were opposed to the teaching of the Church of Rome, that such a system was fraught with danger to the faith and innocence of Catholic children who avail themselves of it, aud that a father who exposed his child to these dangers was failing in the first duty of a Catholic parent. Such was the opinion he must always hold of every system which praotically excluded from its programme the God of the Christian man and law-abiding member of society.

A shocking affair occurred at a land sale at Bellatnbi (N.S. W) on Saturday. Among those present were a settler named Critcher and his wife. The pair had not lived on comfortable terms for some time, and Critcher had been drinking heavily for several days past. Mrs Critcher commenced scolding her husband at the sale, and after some wrangling Critcher drew a large pocket knife, stabbed his wife in the abdomen, and then inflicted a somewhat similar wound on himself. Mrs Critchei's wound is very serious, and is almost certain to retult fatally; but there is some chance of Catcher's recovery. The couple have a family of ten children, the youngest being an infant in arms.

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7992, 22 August 1889

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Issue 7992, 22 August 1889

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