Oar cable messages to-day stats tint O'Brien, the Nationalist leader, addreeeed 5 large meeting at Toronto, where it had been feared rioting would take place, should he persist in his intention of holding a meeting These apprehensions, however, appear ta have proved groundless. The in. eting listened to his harangue, and at iti close passed a resolution condemning the views he had expressed. English consols have reached highwater-mark, being quoted at 103|, a price which they never stood it before. A telegram from Melbourne states that a rumour prevails there that the Hawaiian Government intend to annex Samoa. From the same place we learn that the New Zealand Government have decided to contribute £1000 per annum for ten yean co the Imperial Institute.
Early this morning the s.s. Janet Niwll arrived from her usnal Island trip, bringing a full cargo of fruit, etc., and several passengers. Amongst the latter we notica Mr. C, A. P. Talbot, the British Consul at Tahiti, who comes on a visit to New Zealand. There is also Captain Costel, a Tahitian merchant, and Herr Rommel, a traveller from Germany, who is "doing "the Australasian Group and the South Sea Islands. Matters at the various islands touched at by the Janet Nicoll were extremely qaiet, and the weather generally had been exceedingly fine.
The annual meeting of the Northern Steam' ship Company was held yesterday, and the report presented was as satisfactory as could be anticipated, considering the great depression in trade which has existed daring the past year. The debit balance of the previous year had been very materially reduced, and the company bad been singularly free from shipping mishaps. The chairman's address, in moving the adoption of the report and balance-sheet, gives a concise account oi I the present position and future prospects of the company, and in dealing with the latter | he spoke very hopefully. A full report of the proceedings will be found in another column. The duty under the new tariff to be charged on cerated and mineral waters, and twines of all kinds, ad valorem, should read 15 per cent., and not 5 per cent, as telegraphed on Tuesday last. This brings the duty on twines up to the old tariff, a point that should prove satisfactory to our bindertwine manufacturers. The regular meeting of the Parnell Borough Council was held last night, at which a considerable amount of detail business wu transacted. At the close, the formal estimate of receipts and expenditure as prescribed if the Act was submitted, and the Mayor g»w notice to move at next meeting that a general rate of one shilling in the £ be struck, payable on the Ist of July next iD oae sum. The ostriches which were recently brought to the Kaipara from Capetown are to b« brought round to this side of the island, and placed, we understand, on Messrs. L. «• Nathan and Co.'a farm at Turanga Creek For the purpose of bringing this valuable I shipment to Auckland the s, s. Gleneig ha 3 j been chartered, and she leaves here for tfie ! Kaipara this evening. ! Some amusement was caused at the Folic* Court yesterday by the manner in which tij! two counsel engaged in an assault case hew an argument about the absence of Dr. Leg" Erson, who was a witness in the case, as tw doctor did not appear when called on. airO'Meagher asked that the case be sdjoarne for an hour until he should arrive, » s ® was of opinion that he was detained o urgent professional' business. Mrcontended that this was mere conjecture, suggested that the Bench should a«e the us remedy when a witness was subpoenaedl a, failed to attend. Just then Mr. O'Meag e clerk came in and informed that genti[em that Dr. Erson had telephoned that he called away to an accident. Mr. OMesg at once told the Bench this fact, but ■ • Napier objected, saying' "That is D ?, >/ r _ dence, it is only what some lad has to ' O'Meagher." Mr. O'Meagher sharpy . joined, "That lad is my clerk, and be quite as manly an appearance as my ' esl , friend," which caused much supp r amusement in the Court. An advertisement in another cl)ttmD8 !?!o. that Mrs. Dudley Ward will give an e: Lavatory address in the City Hall on 1 . next, in reference to the Kindergarten u. which she is endeavouring to esta Auckland. We have no doubt there !( a large attendance, and that MM. . got efforts will be successful in Be«t»>g t er, an institution of somewhat nove the coinbut which will be of much use to uw mUnity ' . ,- fln <. T Cr. Kidd has given notice of motion it the Domain gardener be requested^ . ont a plan and estimate of the cost o i*> an d and planting the reserve in Alien BU pply , that the engineer be requested to F rough plan, with the estimate o snJ respectively of a small. conc ■ trith iron fencing, or a wooden picket ie gates, &0." „In«in2 of We are informed that since the pp y the nominations for the all aged j|Jjt coursing matches to be held ou the - baV a at Plumpton Park several dae been received which were • wbw» tar d»J time, but had not come to hand on e night.
A meeting was held last night in the Drill-shed of the old volunteers and soldiers of Auckland, to oonsider the question of accepting tho cash upset value of the land „ranted to them by Government, in lieu of the land itself. Mr. Walter Miller was called to the chair, and read the advertisement convening the meeting. Several members spoke urging the acceptance of £30 cash an more beneficial than 60 aores of poor land at a value of 10s per acre, and it was proposed subsequently by Mr. O'Brien, fl nd seconded, by Mr. Miles, "That Messrs. Miller, Eady, and Heighway be appointed a committee to draft a petition urging upon the Government that all tho9e whose claims had been recommended should receive the cash equivalent for the land granted to them, the expenses of such petition to bo defrayed by those present." Mr. Leas proposed as an amendment, " That this meeting , vr: to the Auckland members of tho House of Representatives, particularly Mr. J. A. Tole, and ask thorn to ace for the claimants in the matter." After some disoussion it was agreed to embody the motion and amendment into ono resolution, which was carried without (UssQot. It \vr>,B then agreed that the petition bo got in hand at once, and left fur- signature at Mr. H. Payne's, jeweller, Qtteen.-street, durir.g to-day and in the eveiilflg at the Workingmeu'a Club for the Cpuvenieuco of those who may not bo ablo &g Sign during the cifly.
Aa expedition across the island of Now Guinoa, 13 proposed, ftud Mr. Kerry, a member of the Age expedition to that country, has offered to take the position of leader.
No clue has yet been obtained as to the Y'.gtu of the attempted burning of Mr. iiii l!> flourmill at .Freeman's Bay on SaturJtio'-- X 5. Mr. Smith, it would appear, left 'Ah> hmie at four o'clock. as previously ji« son remaining on tho premise.). '•-£», Jan., was engaged in removing Sor; .i> j, the mill to the ?tore near by, and be that during Ills absenae at tho store the iuocndlary must have got in by a door in the passage behind the mill, and thou lighted the tire, which ho found burning when going the rounds previous to dosing at half-past four o'clock. A number of potty thefts have taken place at the mill during the past sir months, persons entering the building during the abssnco of the proprietor and taking whatever they could conveniently carry away with them.
Information was received at the police station yesterday afternoon, by telephone from Waikomiti, that a serious accident had occurred in that district to an old man named Joseph Marr. It appears that Marr has been living for some years near Henderson, and, presumably for want of a better abode, it is statsd that he had burrowed a sort of cave into a small cliff near the Gratia Creek, with a screen of teatree scrub in front as his sole protection from the weather. Inside a dirty blanket and some old sacks formed a rude sort of bed, and in this primitive abode he had lived for some time. Yesterday, however, a bullock happened to stray on to the top of the bank, and its weight proved too great for the strength of the roof of Marr's cave, which gave way, precipitating both the animal and a large mass of earth upon the old hermit, who happened to be lying down inside at the time, breaking his thigh, and bruising him Bevesely all over. He was sent down by train to Auckland, and taken to the Hospital, where his injuries were at once attended to, Marr denied that he was living in the manner described, but the residents Id the neighbourhood confirm the statement sent to the police. He gave his age as 45, but, by his appearance, seems to be over 60. When the unfortunate man was found he had a small sum of money in his pockets.
The opening of the session of the Auckland Athecseum will be celebrated this evening by a musical soiree at the Museum Building, As some misunderstanding has arisen as regards the necessity of those attending being in evenins; dress, we are requested to state that this is perfectly optional. A number of well-known lady and gentlemen vocalists have promised their services, and Mr. Button is to deliver an address upon "The Relation of Art and Science to a Young Colony." Last evening the entries were received fo.i the Handicap Yacht Race, which is to take place on the 24th inst., under the auspices of the Auckland Yacht Club. The following yachts were entered :—Mr, F, Cramond's Maratea, tons, bine, white, and red ; Mr. J. Wisemans Tawera, 6£ tons, bine, white star; Mr. T. Henderson's Rita, 13 tons, blue, white cross; Mr. A. Gibbs* Spray, 6g tons, blue and yellow ; Mr. W. Fhiilipson'a Winona, 15 tons, blue, white, blue ; Mr. W. Bindon's Maritana, 12 tons, blue; Mr. J. Carlow's Matangi, 13 tons, white, red star. The course fixed up is from the Queen-street wharf round boat off Lake Takapuna, thence round Clara Hargreaves and up round boat off sugar works, finishing at the Queen-street wharf. Twice round. Captain J. Fisher was appointed starter and umpire, but declined to act, being interested, The appointment of a starter and umpire was therefore left to the secretary. The race is to start at ten o'clock a.m.
The young "gentlemen" larrikins who reared the barricade on the St. John's College Koad on Wednesday night last, thereby causing a serious accident to Captain Her» rold and his friends, are likely, notwithstanding their attempt to smooth the matter over by a letter of apology, to pay rather dearly for their ill-timed frolic. Although a disposition to hush the business up by those concerned has been spoken of, the police ore determined to put down such occurrences with a Btrong hand, and the perpetrators will moat likely find themselves called on to answer for their escapade in the Police Court. A temperance lecture wfll be delivered to-night in the Oddfellows' Hall, Ponfionby, by Mr. A. G. Daniells. The subject of the lecture is to be " The Pernicious Effects of Alcohol on the Human System," and Mr. Paniells will illustrate his remarks by the celebrated charts of Dr. Kellogg. As the lecturer's abilities are well known to be above the average the discourse will no doubt attract a large audience, who will have a further treat ir two stirring temperance solos, which aro to be rendered during the evening by Miss Gribble. Information was received yesterday by the police authorities that a gumdigger named Richardson, at Poroti, a small settlement about twenty miles from Whangarei, had died there suddenly. He was a " remittance" man, and his relatives at home are well known to Rev. Mr. Tebbs, who has forwarded instructions to WhaDgarei to arrange for his suitable interment. Up to a late hour last evening no marked change had taken place in tho condition of Mr. Badger, of Eden Terrace, the victim of the mysterious affair on Thursday last. He, however, during yesterday made some slight improvement, and spoke a few words, but is still too feeble to be questioned as to the events which caused the attack from which ho is suffering.
By telephone last night we learn that the man who was stricken with what appeared to be epilepsy, or a similar disease, in the Globe Hotel on Friday last, has made marked progress towards recovery, and waa able yesterday afternoon to converse rationally, but his attendants did not think it wise in his weak condition to trouble him with any inquiries regarding his identity. The Ponsonby Rifle Corps seems to be in rather an unhappy state lately, as in addition to tho recent enquiry in which their officers figured, one of the non-commissioned officer* was examined last night on a charge of insubordination, which, being conducted privately, the particulars have not yet transpired. Lieutenant Palmer has also imported a fresh phate into the recent squabble, as he laid an information against a volunteer in the company yesterday afternoon for slander, alleged to be made in a letter sent by the person charged to Major-General Whitmore. In regard to the recent inquiry conducted by Colonel Lyon into the charges preferred gainst Lieut.-Colonel Mahon, Captain McDonald and his officers intend to demand that a Board of Enquiry be appointed wo investigate the matter, as was done in the case against them, and from telegrams received the Deleuoe Minister seems inclined to grant the request', The inaugural meeting of the Pitt«streefc «}utual Improvement Sooiety was held last Bight. There was a good attendance, over SO being present. The President (Rev. H. •Bull) delivered the Presidential address, in which he referred to the objects of the society, md the usefulness of such societies for instruction and improvement. An appropriate address wa» also delivered by Mr. G. H. Douglass, and an excellent programme was goue through, including readings by Messrs. Junes Buttle and J. W. Shackelford, songs by Miss Blackburn and Mr. John Rosser, a duet by Misses Marbrook, and a harmonium solo by Professor Lambert. The *jitt-street String Band were also in atten)tlce, and rendered a couple, of choice flections during the course of tho evening.
Shortly after midnight, the policeman on night duty on the wharf was informed by Mr. Peter McKellar, engineer of the Oamaru, that a man had fallen over the wharf, and had been fished out by two seamen of the Oamaru named Adam Merles and John Russell., Constables Cotter and Donovan at once proceeded to the place where the accident occurred and found the man, who appeared about 45 years of age, on the Northcote tee, and at first thought him little the worse for his ducking. As they assisted him up the wharf, however, he grew perceptibly weaker, and they decided to put him into & cab, and Constable Cotter accompauiod him to the Hospital. He was then in so feeble a state that ho was unablo to answer any inquires, but from a bank book found on his person, the constable learned thathewas James Griffiths, bushman, of Henderson. The accident was first observed by the watchman on board the Oamaru, who noticed a man walking steadily along the western "tee, and then suddenly heard a splash. Running to the spot where the sound came from, he saw a man struggle in the water, and his mates Merles and Russell, who had followed him, threw a rope to him, which he failed to catch, but they succeeded in getting it over his body, and dragged him out. It was supposed that from the failure of the to grasp the rope, and his subsequent weakness, that he received some se!f\Q\is injury in his fall, but the examination $t the Hospital revealed only a few flight brumes.
The lvemuera Social Union gavo ono of their popular entertainments at the Remuera Hall yfistevdny evening, whoa the comedy " Jack and the Beanstalk" was performed to a laign ai'.dienu*, including a numbor of visitors from Pencil and Auckland. Tho brilliant production, replete with local allusions —was written by Mr. A, H.iUyer, who assisted'in its performance yesj tenbvy evening l , taking tho character of Jack. j The ether leading role, that of Bogo, was ! admirably sustained by Mr. E. P. Hudson. The remainder of the cast was as follows : — Ulnar maidens. Misses Jervis, Tonks, J«okHPn (2), I'ritfc. and Stevenson; Lunar King, Mr. T. M. Jackson, who also acted the part of Jack's mother in the first act. Mr. Hillyor's song, "Ain't I a Backward Boy," waa rendered with excellent effect, Mr. Hudson being also very happy in his singing of "We aro a Merry Family." Miss Jervis quite hit tho popular taste in her rendering of " Prince Tiptoe," the music being light and rippling, whilst the effect was heightened by a Cocoanut Chorus performed by Masters Atkin ('2), Jackson (2), Claud (2), and Buckland, tins song taking the house by storm. Mr. Jackson had to respond to an encore of his song, " When the Quiet Moon is Beaming." Tho whole of the arrangements were under the direction of Mr. Hillyer, to whom a meed of praise is due. The scenes were excellently staged, the balloon scene being particularly good.
'By the 11.30 Waikato train last night Constable Moroney, of Rotorua, brought into town two Maori prisoners named 'l'uri and Te Rehntai, who have been committed for trial by the local bench at Ohiuemutu The charge against the former is endeavouring to obtain money by false representations from Mr. Li. D. Johnson, the Government agent, and Te Rehutai has also to answer to a similar charge, and in addition the more serious one of setting fire to the Government offices at Rotorua, which were lately burned down*
The French frigate Duquesne, hence, arrived at Tahiti on the 23rd April, having met with very bad weather throughout the passage, and in consequence was obliged to heave-to for three days. The Admiral on his arrival at the port named openly expressed his extreme gratification at the very courteous manner in which be and his officers had been received in Auckland, There was a fair attendance at the Circus last night, considering the weather. In consequence of a slight mishap the cannon performance was omitted from the programme, but will be given this evening. There will be a midday performance to-morrow, to which the proprietors have invited the inmates of the various charitable institutions.
The Lynch Family of B«llnngera were agaiu Successful in drawing a large attendance to their entertainment at Abbott's Opera House. The programme was admirably gone through, and was received with every sign of satisfaction. As will be seen from an advertisement in another column, a new and interesting programme is announced for to-night. It includes some of the most attractive items in Messrs. Lynchs' repertoire. Mr. T. M. Jackson will sell to-day a large and choice selection of fancy chinavrare, rustic ware, etc. The inmates of the Old Men's Refuge will have their monthly entertainment this evening. It will be presided over by the follow* ing ladies Misses Willis, Burke, Jenkinson, and friends. The half-yearly general meeting of the Loader Newspaper Company will be held this evening at Robaon's Rooms.