We' mentionsd some time since that Mr John Reid before leaving Home procured a number of samples of wheat in Mark Lane market, and that, with a view of affording information to those interested, the samples would be placed on exhibition. The samples have now been received, and are on view at Mi George Sumpter's office. In alt thero are 17 samples including five varieties of Calcutta wh'at, two Bombay, two Russian, two American (spring and winter), one each of Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, Persian, Egyptian, and one of damaged New Zealand grain. The collection is one that should prove of very great interest to all engaged in grain-growing and grain-dealing, and should be attractive to those who are not in|any way connected with tha trade, because it is capable of imparting a very great amount of information as to the many varie'ies of wheat that are grown throughout the world. Of course the collection is not perfect, for there are many varieties of wheat that are pot represented, and, for example, there is not a solitary sample of English wheat. Bat the c Election does not aim at being perfect, and is only representative of the wheat offering in the London market upon a particular day. Still it is, as we have seen, very varied, and introduces to colonists many samples of wheat that are unknown here. The case containing the collection was opened this morning, and during the day many farmers and others have inspected the collection more or less critically. The general opinion is that the pride of place must be given to a sample of Bombay club wheat, and that the solitary sample of Auitralian must be placed second, with New Zealand's average sample third. Then in close competition come the samples of hard wheat from Calcutta' and Canada. The American samples are some.what disappointing, being alike small and unequa'. The Russian wheat, though ve-y nice flavored, is not very attraetiv> .looking; nor do the samples from Egypt and Persia appear to possess much merit. But the worst sample of the lot is that of damaged] New Zealand wheat. We sincerely hope that it is in no wise representative of tfffi oolong although we have Mr
Beid's assurance that largo quantities of wheat sent from New Zealand last season reached Home in aS infinitely worse state, The sample we have referred to was p obably included in the collection with the object of affording colonists evidence of the manner in which the grain-growing reputation of the colony is lightly prejudiced by farmers and shippers iu the colony, and its inclusion amongst the representative samples may therefore have a useful purpose. It is capable of teaching growers the unwisdom of threshing their grain from the stook before - it has become thoroughly ripened—a policy that is being followed agaiu this season by many farmers — a policy by which a few shillings may be saved at the risk of losing many pounds—a policy that many of those who pursue it may yet this season have reason to bitterly regret. But. to return to our subject, we may say that one thing that must strike the most casual observer is that in point of c'eanness and completeness of dressing none of the samples can compare with those from Australia and New Zealand, even the American being inferior in this as in other respects. The Kastern samples are particularly dirty, barley and oats being mixed very freely with the wheat, which also seems to contain an almost endless variety of foreign substances.
A special meeting of the Municipal Council will be held on Tuesday next, at 10 a.m., Business —To examine the agreement with Mr John Anderson, of Christchurch, re pipe contract.
It is announced that a gentleman who is known as "Ivo," a secularist from the North, will deliver a lecture on "Jesus, the promises, prophecies, and prophets," tomorrow evening iu St. Andrew's Hall, Thames-street.
Two young men named Bichard C; A insworth and George Duval were arrest" d this morning by Detective O'Brien on a charge of stealing overcoats wholesale from the lobby of the Star and Garter Hotel. The first-mentioned is a remittance man from "Victoria.
Mr Archibald Weir, the only candidate nominated for the seat vacant in the Borough Council of Hampden, has been declared duly e'ected.
The Commissioners, Messrs H. W. Robinson, R.M., and W. Moody, J.P., held a sitting at the schoolhouse, Duntroon, yester-. day, to classify the land in the Duncroon- j Hakateramea railway district for the purposes of taxation to provide for interest upon the cost of the construction of the railway Messrs O'Meagher, Hislop, and Newton were engaged as counsel for various handowners in the district, and there was a very large gathering of persons directly and indirectly interested in the land subject to taxation. The business was of a very formal character. Mr Kobinson, in opening the Court, said the Commissioners were simply there to listen to the landowners as to their iieas of the value of the land, and afterwards to classify the. 1.-»nd. They had nothing to do with fixing the rate to be levied. A' number of owners were then heard with reference to the nature of their land. . .
The meeting which was called for last night at the Awamoko schoolhouse rc the bag question was not held. The attendance was so small, in consequence of the badness of the weather, that, is was deemed wise to postpone the meeting, which will be held on Wednesday evening next, at S o'clock. Mr W. Crombie, who has been appointed to succeed Mr Pilkington as station-master at Oamaru, was yesterday presented with a purse of sovereigns by a number of Dunedin merchants and friends. Mr G. Denniston made the presentation, and in the course ofhis remarks, a=i reported in the Herald, said that Mr Crombie, was, in pursuance of his" duties, (occasionally brought into loggerhead with some of the public; but he always performed his difficult work in a satisfactory manner. He (the speaker) hoped with Mr Turubull that the removal of Mr Crombie t> the position of railway goods agent meant promotion. Oamaru was fast growing a very important place, and, no doubt, the Government meant the transference as a promotion. At all events he had very great pleasure in handing to Mr Crombie the present testimonial as an expression of the feelings of friendship of all with whom he had been brought in contact in Dunedin; and at the same time he would heartily wish him health and happiness in his new sphere of labor. Mr Crombie, in replying, said : Mr Chairman and Gentlemen —I rise with very deep feelings indeed to return my most hearty and sincere thanks for the very flattering way in which you have referred to me in the speech you have just made. I think you have given me really more credit than what was due. I can only say that I have endeavored to do my duty honestly and- straightforwardly to my employers. I am not very happy at my departure, as my position in Oamaru is no better than the one I held in Dunedin, but owing to the exigencies of the department I believe it could not have been well avoided; At any rate, I feel highly gratified to think that I have discharged my duties in such a manner as, to have given satisfaction, if not to the mercantile community as a whole, yet to the most of. them ; and I hope I Bhall be equally successful in the place 1 am going to. I again thank you heartily, and will neve? forget you kindness to me. A curious bit of history comes from Manitoba, to the effect that, owing to the j mortality among hor;es, many of the farmers have had to resort to oxen for rea- ing their corn, and with very gratifying results. Their behaviour in the sslf-binder, says the report, ' has far surpassed expectations.' Although c-xen have been used from prehistoric times in ploughing, this is the first time we have heard of oxen in a modern reaper. The Piako correspondent of the Aroha News wr:tes " Rumor, busy here as elsewhere, states tha l ; negotiations are : at present being carried on for the disposal of Messrs Morrin and Studholme's large and valuable estate (consisting of some 25,000 acres, more or less, and containing some of the best land in this part of. the colony) to some (fi'nglish and other) capitalists, and it is further asserted that should the purchasers intend cutting up the property into suitable farms. Cirtaiu it is that several large and well-known capitalists have lately visited thh district, • and they spent several days carefully looking over the property referred to. A move of this character would certainly be beneficial, by bringing a number of settlers of a good cla-s into the district, and, as a result, we might expect to see much increased employmeut of labor, and the whole district much benefited." This land is ;a porti n of the celebrated Piako block, which was acquired by Messrs Bussell, Whitaker, Morrin, and Co., through the machinations of the party now in power, for a few shillings an acre. It will be remembered that Sir George Grey and party strongly protested agaiust the dishonest manner in which the colony bad been deprived of this enormous block of fertile land, and that they were ridiculed for their pin 3. We were told, apologetically, that the Jand was useless, and that those who had purchased had made a bad bargain, of which they would gladly rid themselves. Now, it appea s that it is everything that could be desired for the purposes of cultivation, and it is to be disposed of at such prices that 1 Messrs Whitaker and Co. will' make an enormous profit out of it. Agriculture in Japan is in a very primitive condition, in spite of the efforts made by the Government of the country to provide agricultural education. A Correspondent of the Dai'y Times says that in a journey of nearly 259 miles he did not see a single plough, although subsequently he saw " two miserable little things which a man could easily lift, drawn by an under-sized ox." In almost universal use is a spade with a na-row blade about three feet long, which is thrust into the soil and then turned over on one side, making a furrow something Bimilar to that made by the plough. The stripping of rice, too,' is carried on in a very primitive Btyle, while the thrashing of it is by a flail, precisely of the same make as that in use in the thrashing floor of Nachon, what time Uzza put iorth his hand to steady the Ark of God that David was bringing up from Kirjath Jearim.
The London writer of Anglo-Colonial Notes in the Auckland Star, sent the following items to that paper in his last budget of Home news :—The New Zealand Shipping Company's Tongariro was at Rio on January 21, and is expected at Plymouth'early next week, Sbe leaves again for Christohurch and Otago on February 21, As yet not many passengers are booked, bat fjom the number of inquiries it is anticipated she will be quite full.—lf Professor Buskin's health keeps fa rly t?ocd, it is on the cards that he may sp nd the winter of 18S4-5 at the Antipodes, which he is particularly anxious to yisit before he dies. In that case he will te
accompanied by his niece and her husband the well-known artist, Mr Arthur Severn.— The affairs of Mr Alexander Brogden seem, after all, pretty desperato. The meeting of creditors the other day was strictly private ; in fact, the reporters could obtain no absolutely authentic data whatever. A solicitor who was present, however, vouchsafed the following statements as "about right": Debts fully secured, Ll7 IGS ; debts partly secured, 1G57,009 ; the value of the rccurities being L144,C72, leaving -a deficiency of L 542,000 odd; debts unsecured, L27.4G2, making a total unsecured indebtedness of 1569,53 D against assets L3S3O. — V gentleman recently arrived from Wellington, who seems to know all the ins and outs of colonial politics, has startled us with the news that Sir F. D. Bell will very shortly be superseded by Mr W. Johußton.—[We may add that the Mr Johnston hero referred to is the person who was lately Minister for Public Works, and who has signified his intention to leave the colony for Great Britain at the close of next session. Thero certainly seems to bo tome truth in the report that he will succeed Sir F. D. Bell. For some timo past there has been a rumor that the present Agent-General intended to vacate his position. Whether ho was to do this voluntarily or not, nobody appeared to know ; but, it seems only reasonable to suppose that, as Mr Johnston wants to take a trip Home, ho would have n:> objection to be placed in such a position as would oonbo him to shine in the distinguiihed social circles of the world's metropolis. He has bsen a faithful friend of the ruling faction, whatever he may havo been of the colony, and it is the duty of the leaders of that, faction to reward him in such a way, provided they will not bo personally out of pocket by it.—F.d. O.M.] The story of Hendly, the Otngo bowler, aad the Hon. Ivo Bligh, recalls to m'ud(says a contemporary) a similar anecdote of a onoe famous cricketer who, when quite an old man, though still a very fine bowler, was engaged to look after and a 1 tend one of tho crack • nglish grounds. While engaged in work one afternoon, a gentleman came on to the grouad and asked the old care-taker to oblige him with a few bowls. Always obliging, the old fellow complied, an 1 good humordly sent in a few " soft" ones. Presently, however, he took the batsman's wickets. " That's very good," said tho batsman ; "I'll tell you what, I'll give youhalf-a-erown every time you get the bails off again." The next ten minutoß was filled in by the gentlemanly batsman replacing the bails which were bowled off as fast as he could put them on. Finally, having lost several pounds, he concluded that he might as well discontinue such costly fun. Walking up to the boiler, he said, "You don't bowl a bad ball, old fellow; what's your name?" "My name, Bir," sad the old gentleman as he pocketed the money, "is Li lywi'ite. I thall be happy to oblige yon with a little practice at auy time."