HERE AND THERE.
Concerning the Aberdonian section of the Scottish colony in London, the following good story-has been going the rounds:— " Not content with grabbing for themselves the best that was going, they conceived the magnificent.; idea of making a league in ■order to secure for their friends the places they themselves had not "the leisure to fill. So they started an association called 'The Bon Accord Society.' After a time this corporation decided on a dinner at Richmond for thefurther advancementof their fell schemes. They made preliminary arrangements with the landlord beat his price down and arranged that terms should be strictly inclusive —no extras. The dinner took place, and the guests showed such a hearty appetite that the landlord went bankrupt. That hotel is now a ruin, moss-grown probably, but of the informant was not quite sure. She told the story to an eminent Aberdonian—to Professor Masson. He shed no tears, but, after a pause, meditatively observed : ' I shouldlike to have been at that dinner."'
In an article; on " The Passing of the Fijian" the 'Sydney Morning Herald' states that when Cook visited Hawaii there was a population there reckoned at 300,000. In 1884 the number of Natives was returned at 40,000,' but it is interesting to note that last year that number had apparently increased to 75.000, which suggests matter for reflection. The Tahiti group in Cook's time was supposed to hold 240,000 people, while by 1888 the number had decreased to less than 10,000. And so on in the other_groupa. Jib; as the Maoris are gradually thinning out in New Zealand, as the aboriginal has entirely disappeared from Tasmania, and as he is rapidly becoming extinct in the ol ler colonies of the mainland, in the same way as the races that once inhabited Mexico and Peru, like the Red Indian of North America disappeared before the advance of the white man, so we find the Fijians fading out today. The population has dwindled, from 150,000 at the date of the annexation to 100,000 to-day.
The British Consul in Warsaw reports the opening by a Belgian company of a new faotory for the enamelling of iron household goods, and the establishment of eleotrical, chemical, and' cotton works in the Warsaw district by Belgian and German capitalists. Paring the last six years 200 million francs of Belgian capital have bsen invested in Russia, where "Belgians, French, and Germans have almost a monopoly of commercial enterprise." Russia has entered upon a new era of industrial development, and_ she is welcoming foreign capital to utilise her enormous resources. Where is British interest in this promising business ? As the Warsaw Consul remarks, foreigners were once obliged to take our goods and capital on our own terms, but now they can get better terms elsewhere we allow their industries to slip through our fingers because our capitalists and traders will not condescend to adapt themselves to new conditions. It is a tiresome, and worse than tiresome, old story.
One of the moat remarkable of the many extraordinary cases that have been tried in ; the law courts of San Francisco during the last decade waß that of Mrs Craven against the executors of Fair, the Comstock millionaire, and partner of John W. Mackay, the financial magnate, eretwhile of San Francisco. The tidy little sum of £350,000 is all that is involved. Mrs Craven was an elderly schoolmistress with no particular claim or interest in the hard and business-like millionaire, and how she came by deeds, written in pencil, to his property mystifies everybody, unless, indeed, they are forgeries, as the defence claims. The weight of expert testimony is that way. The ablest members of the Californian Bar have been engaged on the one side or the other. It has been a hard-fought battle (says the «News Letter'), in which the plaintiff has had the weight of public opinion against her all the time. Many remarkable facts have occurred during the proceedings, not the least of which wa3 the stealing of the dead man's undoubtedly genuine will from the county clerk's vaults almost as Boon as it was filed away there. The case had not concluded when the mail left.
Surely the picture is overdrawn ? At Carterton the other day Mr Coleman Phillips is reported to have said : "It appears to be the current opinion in Wellington that juvenile depravity only exists in the great towns of the colony. My opinion is that juvenile immorality is as bad in our villages and country districts. lam appalled at the filthy and disgusting letters that are beiDg sent by young men to young girls, and from girl to girl—so disgusting that in one of our townships respectable and virtuous young women are almost being driven from the place. The illegitimate birth rate is also increasing enormously of late years, and mere boyß and girlß are becoming depraved."
. For the past seven years the compulsory clause of the Vaccination Act has been in abeyance in Tasmania, the consequence being (the 'Australasian Medical Gazette' says) that not 2 per cent, of the children born are now being vaccinated. Tasmania is thus becoming rapidly an unvaccinated community.
Some time ago Mr A. Wellwood Rattray, A.R.S.A., of Glasgow, obtained a decree of divorce against his wife. The principal evidence was furnished by a letter which Mre Rattray had written to the co-respon-dent, Mr Derby Anderson, a stockbroker in Glasgow. Suspecting his wife, the artist taxed her, but she gave an indignant denial, and asseverated that she was' not in correspondence with the stockbroker. But the blotting-pad bore the impress of the latter's name in the wife's handwriting. To confirm his suspicions, the artist proceeded to the post office of Skipneks, in Argyllshire, where they were spending a holiday, and induced the subpostmistress to search the box, and show and give him the letter which had been posted by bis wife, This was, without a doubt, a gross breach of the post office regulations, and Mr Rattray had to answer for it before the sheriff at Campbeltown, Argyllshire, on a charge of theft. In the case the main point was whether the artist took the letter with the consent of the postmistress, or stole it without such consent. The Act under which' the prosecution was instituted does not admit of a fine being imposed. The juiy convicted him of theft, but recommended him to the leniency of the Court. The sheriff; recognising the exceptional circumstances of the case, madeihe sentence j onq of a week's imprisonment "only, lo
effect, he said, a man may hold he is. justified in aotingas Mr Rattray, had. done,*but vine public confidence in the integrity of the poßt office must be preserved. ;-.; * "
A ghastly experiment wsb made at Chicago the other day. A criminal trial of;great importance is that of a wealthy German sausage - maker named L3utgert, who is charged with wife-murder. ..- The; wife; dis-, appeared most mysteriously, and the only article by which the remnants of a human body found on Leutgert's premises were identified as hera was,a wedding ring which bore her initials and was recognised as having been worn by her when last seen alive. The theory of the State attorneys is that the prisoner disposed of- his wife by means of a fluid composition of potash, and under legal direotion a.test was made to disoover. if. a. body could. be dissolved by such means. /Professors S. Haines and Mark Delafontaine, of Rush Medical College, madelhe test, and in twohours and twenty-five minutes nothing was left but half a dozen pieoes of bone. Crude potash, suoh as Luetgert purchased in ; suoh singularly' large quantities, dissolved in water and heated to the boiling point, had utterly destroyed every vestige 'of flesh, membrane, and tissue. Even the fragments of bone, less than a handful altogether, were reduced to a brittle, chalky, easily-crumbled substance, from which all the animal matter and nearly all the. mineral had been separated. The ghastly test was, made in order to meet the assertion of the defence that a body could not be dissolved in such a rapid time by the process, and the results fully support the contention of the prosecution, proving to demonstration that a human body can, under certain circumstances, be thoroughly and quickly destroyed. A new chapter has been added to medical jurisprudence.
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HERE AND THERE., Evening Star, Issue 10446, 16 October 1897, Supplement