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News Of the week.

We understand that there is no truth whatever in the rumour that Mr Alison Smith, the locomotive engineer for the Middle Island Railways, has either been suspended or dismissed from the public service. The Dunedin Presbytery met at the North Dunedin Presbyterian Church on the 22nd to moderate in a call for that congregation. There were present— The Rev. L. Mackie (moderator), Revs. Dr Stuart, Waddell, R. R. M. Sutherland, and Finlayson (clerk of Presbytery), and Mr R. Mackay (elder). The congregation was also fully represented. The Moderator having preached, a form of call was produced ana read. Mr John Reid moved, and Mr John Anderson seconded, a motion that the name of the Rev. Mr Cairns be inserted in the call. No other motion being proposed, the name of the Rev. Mr Cairns was placed in the call, which was signed by 48 members, while 10 adherents gave their concurrence to the call, but nine members and two adherents dissented from it on the ground that they had not had sufficient opportunity of hearing the Rev. Mr Cairns. The " call " and the "dissent" were then left in the hands of the Kirk Session, to be brought up for consideration at the next ordinary meeting of Presbytery, which will be held on the 4th of January. Captain Elles has resigned his position on the Bluff Harbour Board, as a protest against the appointment of Captain Smith as chief pilot there. A set of four racing sculls has been made by Mr H. Green, of Dunedin, to the order of the crewfabout to proceed to Lyttelton for the purpose of taking part in the regatta. They are made from the best spruce, and having been tested, are pronounced quite equal to the imported article. The following fire brigades have up to date intimated their intention of sending delegates to the United Fire Brigades' Association conference to be held in Timaru on the 20th [ February :— Ashburton, 2 delegates ; Christ- 1 ' church, 3 ; Invercargill, 2 ; Kaiapoi, 1 ; Lyttelton, 1 ; Napier, 1 ; Naseby, 1 ; Rangiora, 1 ; Spit (Napier), 2 ; Waimate, 1. Amongst the quantity of fire-hose which recently arrived to the order of the Dunedin Corporation is a specimen length of the kind of hose now used by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade of London. # It) is of oakbark-tanned canvas, lined with indiarubber, and is much stronger, and will bear greater pressure than the ordinary leather article. The presentation of a valuable clock and ornaments en suite were made by W. Arthur, Esq., chief surveyor, on behalf of the officers of the Survey Department on the 22nd to Mr John Douglas, who is leaving the service to settle in Auckland. Mr Douglas, in accepting the present so kindly made by his fellow officers, referred very feelingly to his intended severance from the department, and said he would always remember their kindly appreciation of his past efforts to work in unity with thorn. Messrs Shand, Mason, and Co., of London, the well-known fire-engine manufacturers, have just forwarded to Mr R. Robertson, secretary of the Fire Brigades Association in Dunedin, a couple of handsome prizes intended to be competed for at any competition of fire brigades which may be held. These are a silver-plated helmet and a well finished axe, with belt and sheath. They will certainly be worth winning. The Christchurch papers state that at a meeting of the direeli I^. of the Union Fire and Marino Insurance C^pany a dividend was declared at the rate of 10 per cent, per annum, which will be payable on and after January 3rd, 1882. ,

The annual meeting" of the Dunedin Free*thought Association was held in the OddFellows' Hall, Rattray street, on the 22nd.. A very flattering report by the secretary' was read, showing that 70 additional members had joined during the year, that, there was a balance in hand of £28, andi that the debt at the beginning of the year(of £48) had been paid off. There was also* a balance in hand of the building fund; and though there were heavy liabilities to be met, the Committee believed that \rith tha generous aid from a distance the Hal would be free from debt in a year or two. The following office-bearers were elected for tie ensuing year :— President, Mr Stout; vice-presi-dents, Messrs Braithwaite and Low ; treasurer Mr Malcolm; secretary, Mr Selby; general committee— Messrs Bolt, Thomson, Stevenson, Beverly, Dickson, Smith, and Ritaon; musical committee— Messrs Parker, Marshall* Cairns, and Wood. The Cromwell Argus reports that two> inquests were held at Bannockburn before Mr J. A. Preshaw, J.P. The first inquiry was as to the death of an old Nevis resident named George Stratford, who, according to evidence' was found on Thursday last by James L&rkina lying dead on a track leading from his hut to. that of a neighbour. The medical testimony showed that deceased died from failure of tha j heart's action, and a verdict was returned aci cordingly. Deceased had been for some times recently a patient in the Cromwell Hospital* suffering from consumption.— The second %- quisition was touching the death of a Chinai man named Ah Nam, aged 28 years, who died! in a tunnel at Bannockburn, whence he bad been removed at his own request from a store, where he had been sick for a length of time. The post-mortem showed that the man 'died from the bursting of an abscess on the spine. It has been decided by the Victorian-Com-missioner of Railways to have Flinders street station illuminated by the electric light, at a cost of £900 per annum. It is expected that the apparatus for the purpose will be ready for use in February next. The department has also decided to have the workshops at WUliamstown illuminated in the same manner-, as the machinery for generating the electricity is already on the premises. The number of declarations of insolvency filed in the Supreme Courts of the Colony during the year 1880 was 777, the assets in which, as shown by lists and statements filed* amounted in the aggregate to £600,525 17s lid, and the liabilities to £689,428 16s 2d, the deficiency being £88,902 19s Id. A man named Patrick M'Donald waa brought up at the City Police Court on Friday* on warrant, charged with assaulting one Elizabeth Guy at Gladfield, North Taieri, on the 14th inst. He was remanded to Outram, and was allowed bail in a surety of his own recog* nisance for £10, and another for £5. A sad case of ignorance, on the part of a boy named James Duncan, was brought to light at the inquest on Friday. Althougn 16 years of age, he admitted that he could neither read nor write, that he was unaware of the existence of such a book as the Bible, and that he had never been taught a prayer. The Coroner decided that under the circumstances he could not take the boy's statement on oath, and expressed his. surprise that such a shocking case of ignorance could occur in a city like Dunedin. The ladhad a remarkably intelligent face, and Dr Hocken tried to impress upon him the desirability of himself using endeavours, if hia parents would not, to obtain a little education by means of a night-school. We understand that Mr R. Stout and Mr John Duncan (of Cherry Farm) have been offered by the Government the vacant seats on the Land Board. Our Wellington correspondent telegraphs aa follows : — "Great interest was excited on Friday by the trial of the cases under the Gaming and Lotteries and Corrupt Practices Prevention Acts. In the latter case the Hon. C. J. Pharazyn, M.L. C, was charged with personation by voting in both booths at the Thornton election on the 9th inst. The accused, who is over 80 years old, behaved with great eccentricity. He flatly refused the assistance of counsel, and insisted on conducting his own case. He also disdainfully rejected the offer of a chair on the floor of the Court, and persisted in standing in the prisoners' dock like a common "drunk, 1 * declining even a seat in the dock. He made a rambling statement in defence, and wound up with an irrelevant attack on the Press generally, apropos of nothing at all. He created great amusement by reciting imaginary articles and telegrams, which he declared would appear in the New Zealand papers setting forth and commenting on his delinquencies." An inquest held at the Auld Scotland Hotel on Friday as to the cause of death of a female infant resulted in a verdict of manslaughter being brought against the mother (Mary Anne Weston), and her committal for trial. It appeared from the evidence that death was due to suffocation through overlying on the part of the mother, and the fact that at the ime of the occurrence she was in a state of intoxication was held to be sufficient proof of want of care. In his summing up to the jury Dr Hocken, the coroner, referred to the extreme danger there was of a mother overlying her infant when both occupied the same bed. He strongly urged the necessity of a separate cot being provided for yroung children, instead of the common practice being followed of allowing young childrwi to sleep with their parents. At a meeting called by the Otago Trades and Labour Council at the Princess Theatre on Friday evening, it was decided to urge the Government to delay re-leasing the runs. An announcement was made from the chair that Messrs Joyce, Feldwick, De Lautour, and Macandrew, M.H.R's., had signified their concurrence with the resolutions carried at the recent meeting of M.H.R's. in reference to the land question. The Tablet learns from letters received from Rome via Suez that in all probability Bishop Moran would be prepared to leave Italy for New Zealand via Brindisi by the mail that left this month, so as to arrive in Dunedin in January. Mr James Petrie's shorthorn cow which took first prize this season at Clutha, Tokomairiro, and Matau Shows, has been purchased at a long figure by Mr James M'Donald, of the lime-kiln, Waihola. The Lyttelton Times says:— "Mr M'Lean is certainly fit to be a Legislative Councillor. He has knowledge of public affairs ; he has had Ministerial experience of public business ; he is sure to be a working member. As he has always deserved and enjoyed the respect of his fellow colonists, no one can object for a moment to his appointment." i The following appears in the Waimate I Times of 21st iust.:—" After the Calcdoniar Society's meeting on Saturday night, Mr F Gaitt.'who was voted to the chair, addressee those present on the subject of the proposei statue to Burns, to be erected in Dunedir | Mr Ga.itt, who has been appointed to act i

Waimate for the' Burns Statue Committee, sooke on the proposal with enthusiasm, and Epheron was 'elected secretary to the WaSeOommittee. -Subscription-lists were handed round, one of -which Mr Gaitt headed vith £3 3s, and it' was decided to forJJfii to a number of gentlemen outside the tow*. " We iear,..upon good authority (says the Matauri Ensign) that the N.Z.A. Company s WaiS, 'Station, with 5000 acres of land adioinirg the homestead, has been purchased try-Mr G.,M. Bell, the' previous owner, for £50,000, Mr 'Bell 'will receive a hearty welcome to 1 his former and beautiful home. A stfcrv reaches the Mataura Ensign from the Wsimea Plains which will bear repeating. A " ne*v chum " settler having been advised to plant rart of his farm with turnips this year, fndtqsowgorse seed along the top of a sod fence; proceeded, as he thought, to do so. The gr6un<f wasaccordingly prepared and the seed fown but- to his astonishment he now finds Stkwill reap a rich harvest^ gorse .from his 'fields, while the sod fence is producing a first-rate turnip crop. The Palmerston and Waikouaiti Time* heai that the electors of the Waikouaiti constitfency intend to testify their appreciation Sly George M'Lean's political service by Renting him with some suitab c gift as a Smento of his connection with the district. Subscriptions have already been received reaching 50 sovereigns. A curious case was dealt with at theAlbury PoUce Court on November 25th. A young wrnan named Eveline Matthews, was brought up charged with stealing a marriage certificate andsomeother articles, the property of a man named O Sullivan. The evidence went to show that prisoner had altered the date of the certificate and substituted her own name and that of a man named Matthews for the names originally entered on the certificate, apparently with a view to show that she was a married woman. 'On being • arrested prisoner refused to give up the certificate, and said she would Booner eat it." The prisoner was sentenced to two months' imprisonment. ■ >Ye are glad to hear (says the New Zealand Times) that proceedings in connection with establishing a sanatorium and township at Rotoruaare progressing in a most satisfactory manner. On Sunday last Dr .Hector returned from Rotorua, where he had gone to select a site for a sanatorium, and did so without the alightest difficulty. As for the township and suburban land, one proclamation under the Thermal Springs Act has already been gazetted, and matters are so forward that the Govern ment propose to hold a first land sale m March next. Too much importance cannot be attached to the the extension of settlement in the Hot Springs district.' Once the place is made thoroughly inhabitable for invalids, with, of course, indispensable and efficient medical attendance and supervision, 1 the inflow of visitors from all parts- will be very considerable and increasing. Three thousand-visitors per annum is a moderate- estimate,- and that each, on an average,- ,'will spend £20 in the district is an equally moderate assumption. Thus the expenditure of £60,000 per annum by visitors may be confidently calculated on— much of it Australian- gold.-'' 'Who dare Say that the Government venture in connection with Rotoru& does not promise to prove' exceedingly profitable? Next to the settlement of the Native difficulty,- we regard the utilisation of Rotorua's resources by the Government in the interests of humanity as likely to be most beneficial in its effects upon the welfare of the North Island. the bffertpriesi at St. Paul's and St. Matthew's' Episcopalian Churches on Sunday went in aid of the Beneyolent Institution. The amount at St. Paul's during the day was £31 5s 3d, and at St. Matthew's £25 165. The United Bazaar'in' aid' of the Caversham Presbyterian Church, held in the Garrison Hall, closed on Saturday. The Revs. Dr Stuart and Mr Fraser returned thanks at its close to the public/ for their liberal patronage, and 'to the ladiea who had so generously provided the goods. < The total takings were, we 'believe, £550. 5 The weight of the express train from Christchuch on Satiirday evening was so great that the brake's of the guard's van,were on fire, and burned nearly through by the time the tram arrived in Dunedin. , In several of the city churches on Sunday it was intimated that on the night of Saturday next, being the last day of the year, midnight services''beginning'at 11 o'clock, will be held. Dunedin streets have not looked so busy and j fullpf life for many a long day, if indeed they ever did, as on Saturday ntght. The footpaths in the principal streets were densely thronged the whole evening. Thousands of people promenaded the length of Princes and George streets, and in the dusk of the evening it was a lively sight to look backwards and forwards from the Cutting— the whole line of view being a moving mass along the footpaths. From a trade point of view, it is pleasing to be able to ■chronicle that things were entirely satisfactory. The shops ,were crowded with buyers, and many tradesmen must on Saturday have netted the, largest takings within their experience on a*sin«e day.' Of fruit alone, we should lmaginejthe total sales could be reckoned by the ton almost. The dates for the English cricket match are ttow fixed. They are January 12, 13, and 14. The Otago team will number 18. The following is from Saturday's Southland 'Times:— "A man named John Fowler was found dead on the deck of the s.s. Arawata, at 7 yesterday morning, on her passage from Port Chalmers to the Bluff. He was a passenger from Oamaru to Melbourne, and was apparently in good health when on board the steamer on leaving Port Chalmers. It is understood he was a carpenter by) trade, and had resided for somo time at Oamaru. On his person he had cash and securities for about £1700." We think it will astonish the majority of people to learn that the grapes now being sold by our fruiterers (says the Oamaru Mail) are the product of the South of France. They were conveyed to Melbourne in the Orient, and thence to New Zealand by the Albion. The manner in which they are packed is quite novel. They are surrounded by cork scraps and ensconced in a barrel. This system of packing seems, by the aid of the freezingchamber, to act as a most perfect preservative, as a sample of the fruit which was brought to our office to-day, and under the exhilarating influence of which we have penned this paragraph, showed that not only is the shipment of which we are speaking quite sound, but the grapes have not even lost their bloom. They are, moreover, o£ excellent flavour, and much finer than' grapes of the same kind imported from AdeMde, although the principal cause 'of the insipidity and unsoundness of the latter i% that they are packed in sawdust.

The Gimmerburn block, near Naseby, was eight months ago a wilderness. Now (saysthe Mount Ida Chronicle) most of the sections taken up are completely fenced, and there are no less than 11 dwellings already erected, some of them very creditable and comfortable structures, and there are several nice patches of grain. The 1 deferred-payment system is responsible for the change. A correspondent writes :— " Your pleasantlypungent contributor 'Oivis' is a little astray in deriving 'Noel' from the modern Trench nmvelles (news). Its origin is from the Latin natalis. Holly comes from the Saxon holegn, and probably is quite unconnected with the Saxon ImU{J, holy. Again, the holly is not the Christ-thorn of Germany, where it is known as the wood-thistle. Probably, as with the mistletoe, its use at the Scandinavian feast, or yule, long, preceded Christianity. Similarity of sound is a fallacious guide in derivation, and misleads amazingly, as ' Civis' may see."- ( , Captain M'Dearmid, of the barque Fairlie (from ■ Sydney), now lying at Rattray street Wharf, died suddenly on board his vessel on Saturday afternoon, shortly after 2 o'clock. He first complained of feeling unwell on the , evening of the Thursday preceding, and medioal advice was procured, the steward sitting up with him during the night. On Friday he appeared in perfectly good health, and on Saturday partook of a most nearty dinner; but shortly 1 afterwards sank down on his knees and asked a friend to pour water on his head. This was done and the steward called to secure medical attendance. Dr Martin arrived 'in ' a few minutes and found life extinct, the cause of death being apoplexy. Deceased was 40 years of age, and had been trading between Now Zealand and the Australian Colonies 'for 11 years past. He leaves a widow and one child. A cable message was received by Mr J. L. Gillies, the secretary of the Harbour Board, on Monday morning, announcing that the Board s new dredge had just left Batavia for Port Chalmers. The twentieth agricultural show under the auspices of the Taieri Agricultural Society took place at Mosgiel on Tuesday, and, despite the rather unsettled state of the weather, was a decided success, the attendance being large, and the entries up to the usual standard. The annual seamen's' tea meeting, was held in the Bonded Store at Port Chalmers on Monday evening, when the seamen of the several vessels in port, together with a large number of visitors, were entertained. The upper floor of the bond was tastefully decorated with flags, ©n which were fastened large cards containing exhortations from the Scriptures. Fourteen large tables were placed across the room, and were laden, with edibles. Fully 500 persons were present. After justice had been done to the good things provided, Mr. Andrew Thom- • son took the chair. During the evening several prominent gentlemen addressed those present, and in the intervals between the speeches a I number of hymns were sung, by Mr Brunton's choir of 40 voices. The meeting was closed by 'prayer at 9.30 p.m., and the Dunedin visitors ■ returned to town by train. . ■ . The Melbourne " go-as-you-pleaso " tourna- : ment resulted in'a victory for' Edwards, whose Record was ,431 miles; Swan being a good [second,' with 421 miles; Bakerthird,- with 416 >miles 7 laps'; and Harris fourth, with 4oo miles 2 laps. ( The following telegram appears in the Age of the 19th inst. :— " A priest, of the Catholic i Church has been directed by his ecclesiastical •superiors to read the burial service over the of the late Maurice Fitzpatrick on next." f On Saturday the City Guards held their jfinal competition for Mr Speight's prize, with *the result that it now becomes the absolute (property of Volunteer Coventry, who made a Scores of 49 points, Sergeant Melville being Second, and Corporal J. Webster third, with 143l 43 each. * The Wakatipu on her last trip took l two Chinese from this Colony to New South f Wales. They had to pay LlO each on landing* f About 16,000 passengers travelled on the itramways on Monday. ; The Very Rev. Prior Butler, of the Order of (Carmelites, recently preached in St. Patrick's j (Cathedral, Melbourne, to a crowded . congrega- ! tion. Evidently having recent events inSydney in hisj eye, the Prior said during his address': "The Roman Catholic Church is accused of ■tyranny and intolerance by those who do not .understand her Divine mission on earth. Her mission is to denounce and condemn vice and wickedness in every quarter, and in the fulfilment of that Divine commission she' is no •respecter of persons. She did not fear to denounce vicious emperors and kings in former days, and to-day her, attitude is pre cisely the same. With her there is no change or shadow of alteration. The wearers of purple and fine linen, the dwellers in legislative halls, the bearers of temporal titles and decorations are no more to her than the poorest member, of her communion. Their social position will not protect them when, by a sinful course of life, they incur her immemorial censures. Yes, my brethren, she lost a nation once because she refused to sanction the gross immoralities of the lascivious Henry the Eighth, and, I say it fearlessly, she is prepared to lose another nation to-morrow, rather than abandon her Divine mission by condoning vice and wickedness in high places." These remarks were delivered with great vehemence and feeling. An instance of a boy being nearly eaten alive by ants is given in a telegram to the Sydney Evening News:— "A boy, named Spann, residing near Ipswich, was sent out to bring in some cows, and not returning, the neighbours searched the country for 40 miles round. In the evening the boy's mother heard a faint scream in the paddock near the house, and on going to the spot found her boy with his left arm broken, his spine injured, and his face, arms, and hands eaten raw by ants, which were found carrying away small particles of skin and flesh. The boy is getting on pretty favourably." There appears (says the Melbourne Age) to be a possibility of an early trial being made of lighting our streets with ' the electric light. A letter was read at the meeting of the City Council, from Mr H. Byron Moore, manager of the Australian Electric Company, stating that powerful engines were now completed for street-lighting purposes, and offerins if the Council" would provide tall lampposts at the intersection of the principal streets, to furnish electric lamps for six weeks free of charge,^ so that the question of cost and practicability might be decided The proposal seemed to commend itself to the Council, and the letter was referred to the Public Works Committee of the Council to deal with. The Oamaru Times states that at the request of a number of men out of employment, Mr T. Y. Duncan, M.H.R. for Waitaki, placed himself in communication with the authorities ,

of the Public Works Department on Saturday. In reply to Mr Duncan's message, Mr W. N. Blair., engineer in charge of the Middle Island Railways, telegraphed as follows :— It is proposed to call for tenders for some work on the Livingstone line in ten days or a fortnight. This is so far satisfactory, and it is to be hoped the department will delay as little as possible j['i the mat,ter.| "The LytteitoTTiines'" Wellington correspondent writes:— "ln making a necessarily hurried and imperfect synopsis of the number of votes polled at the late general election, 1 put it at about 00,000. I have since ascertained that the exact number is 73,155— viz., 69,001 for European members, and 4094 for Maori members. Of the European votes, 37,53 8 were polled by successful candidates, and 35,617' by unsuccessful ones. Successful Maori candidates polled 2396 votes ; unsuccessful, 1691. Ihe successful candidate who polled the largest number was Mr Levin, Wellington, 772 ; the lowest Mr J. E. Brown, St. Albans, 218. The unsuccessful candidate who polled highest was Mr F. Gumness, Greymouth, 653. Tho Western Maori electorate presents the anomaly of being represented by a member who polled 900 votes, while 1855 were recorded in favour of the other, candidates. The only candidate whose successful poll is represented by one figure is Mr Seymour Thome George,' Rodney, 4 ; repeated thrice, 444. Mr Young, Coromandel, scored a duck's egg, and several candidates obtained one, two, or three votes only." Says "iEgles" in the Australasian :— "lt always has been a puzzle to many what senior wrangler meant in connection with a university: Since reading of certain proceedings at the Melbourne University they begin to understand it." The Pall Mall Gazette says :— " The rumours which have prevailed give Salzburg as the place at which the Pope proposes to settle himself ; and there is no question that it is only at some place in the dominions of the Austrian Emperor that he can find comfort and the honour which he asserts to be denied to him in his own country." A six days' go-as-you-please tournament has been begun in Melbourne, for which Swan, Edwards, and others have entered. Swan is the first favourite, and £200 to £100 has been taken against his winning the 1 event. He completed the first 50 miles in nine hours, and 60 miles in 10 hours 55 minutes, the quiokest time on record in Australia for a six days' contest. A Christchurch correspondent of the Cromwell Argus, writing of Mr Holmes, solicitor, who has been returned for Christchurch South, saya : _« Holmes has been freely 'chaffed' about a rather egotistical speech of his made before the contest, in which, comparing himself with his opponent, who is no, orator, and ;at the same time expanding and stroking his chest complacently, he said, ' Gentlemen, I am an intellectual athletq.' The latter appelation is likely to stick to him for some time. : He is,. however, though revolutionary in his views, a clevor man and fluent speaker, and has smelt politics in the ViotoriarU?arliament, ■ where he was at one. time offered the Attorneygeneralship by Mr Berry. You may look forward to his making an immediate mark in : the Hoiiße." ; Newmarket has had an exciting race between three famous horses, as Bend Or, the •winner of last year's Derby ; the American Troquois, the winner of the blue ribbon tip year ; and Scobell, who was expected by many to carry it off, entered in the Champion 'Stakes, in which last year Bend Or received his :third defeat from the remarkable horse Robert the DevUi The race now was looked upon as a match between Bend Or and Iroquois, but the 'result showed that the struggle was really between the former and Scobell. Bend Or, which is the property of the Duke of Westminster, without being seriously called upon, \von by three-quarters of a length, while Iroquois, which finished third, was four lengths behind Scobell. . On Wednesday, October 26th, the reign of ■Queen Victoria attained a limit— 44 years 128 days— which surpasses that of every English monarch, including Queen Elizabeth, with the exception of Henry 111, Edward 111, and George 111. A correspondent of one of the newspapers, drawing attention to the prophecy contained in Cowper's poem of "Boadicea,' points out that the name of the British warriorqueen and of her present gracious Majesty ■means the same thing. At this moment the umour, which has often been afloat before, hat her Majesty is engaged upon a complete autobiography which is destined sooner or later to see the light, is revived. Should such a work ever appear, it 'will be, notwithstanding its many inevitable reticences, the most absorbing, interesting production which this century has witnessed. ■ The triumph of Foxhall in the Cambridgeshire (says the Home News) crowns the victories of American horses won during the racing season, which is now almost at an end. .Foxhall and Iroquois have between them won the Derby and Grand Prix, the Prince of Wales and St. James.P alace Stakes at Ascot, the St. Leger, the Grand Duke Michael's Stakes, the Cesarewitch, and the Cambridgeshire. On the whole Foxhall has shown himself the best horse at present on the English turf. He has beaten Bend Or, his former successful rival, who not long ago signally defeated Iroquois, and has won for himself much the same place in turf history as that once filled by Gladiator and Blair Athol. • There are now as many as 1,100,000 printed books in the library of the British Museum alone and the BibliotMque Nationak of Paris contains more than 3,000,000 volumes. It is further estimated that 25,000 new books appear annually. After all, perhaps, tho burning of the 700,000 manuscripts at Alexandria, of the 200,000 at Pergamus, and of the 60,000 at Constantinople, were, not such unmitigated calamities as we are generally accustomed to regard them, for the field of letters is even now so extensive as to strike the student with dismay. Just think of the fact that one city library in England contains 13,094 volumes on history alone, 7339 on politics, and 10,458 on literature and polygraphy ! As the writer of a recent essay well observes, " the intellectual resources of the race tend to increase in a greater ratio than its power to make use of them." A little feathered waif in the form of a carrier pigeon (says the Southland Times) flew into the yard of the Toi-Tois Hotel on Saturday last. It had evidently lost itself, and was both hungry and wing-sore. When first seen it was eagerly feeding with the poultry ; but unfortunately a maternal hen fearing for her brood pounced upon it, and before it could be rescued from her clutches; she had fractured its skull. On picking it up. it was found to have something tied round itSj leg, which proved to be a pigeongram of the. first day's racing at Invercargill The message and dead courier are both.in the possession of the worthy hostess of ,the hotel. She 1 is going to send the bird to a taxidermist, and ; will preserve it as an interesting memento of; the race meeting, 1881,,

! The Sydney correspondent of the Argus telegraphs that "a movement has been initiated amongst members of Parliament for placing a monument over the remains of the late Mr Fitepatrick, as a counter demonstration to the Roman Catholic clergy, and to show the general respect entertained for the deceased gentleman. The proposal has been received with much favour, and a fund has been started. A reporter waited on the authorities of St. Maixs Cathedral yesterday, but they declined to explain why orders were given to refuse the rites of Christian burial to the remains of Mr Fitzpatrick. The outspoken speeches of Sir Henry Parkes and Mr John Dillon in the Assembly yesterday are generally approved of by men of all creeds. The prevailing opinion is that the ecclesiastics have made a great mistake by their exhibition of intolerance: 1 " The Bishop of Manchester lias, in reply to a letter from Mrs Besant, assorted on the authority not only of the clergy, but of laymen who mix among the working classes, and know their thoughts, that the .sanctities *of domestic life are not valued *by men who adopt the atheistic arid secularist hypothesis." He adds : "I say distinctly and firmly, that if men's faith in a God and righteousness is destroyed, and they are taught that there is no hereafter and no account to be given of their lives here, those doctrines and their natural and necessary^ outcome will destroy the moral health of life^ at its root and make? purity an impossible* virtue. I feel bound to lift up my voice against these' terrible issues, wherever I have the opportunity. The sn/eading canker of impurity in all classeß of, so6rcty, of which medical men sadly assure irief'is the one thing that alarms me for the futufe of England." Now that the same Government stamps (says a Home paper) are applicable to so many purposes, their use for remittance purposes must also be expected to grow. In some sense the stamp is a kind of national bank-note, payable by the issuing departments, not in cash, but in services. If we are not greatly mistaken, Mr Fawcett's reforms in the Postoffice will in time, if extended as they promise to be, cause his name to be remembered as the founder of a new system of government small currency. So long as stamps and postal notes are not freely paid and received where coin would otherwise have passed, those instruments will hardly drive coin out of circulation, and at present it is most unusual for either stamps or the new notes 1 to be used for other purposes than remittance from a distance ; but Mr Fawcett's steps are in the direction of substituting paper emblems for coin, and the drift of these things will have to be watched. Messrs Joubert and Twopeny's Perth Exhibition is not an unqualified success. The Argus' correspondent says : — " Since the opening, the attendance has not averaged more than between 300 and 400 a day, though I hope it will increase before long, when harvest is over and the country people begin to come down. It cannot be denied that the Exhibition, as a whole, is very disappointing. Except what is exhibited by local firms, there is scarcely any' machinery— always the chief attraction at such shows,— and there is no attempt whatever at any general representation of the industries .and resources of the various countries which fliave sent so-called 'commissioners.' Ira is nothing but a collection of little shops, though many of them representing, no doubt, important firms. Our own 'court' is the only one 'worth calling by the name." A proposal has been made in South Austral lia by Mr Goyder, the Surveyor-general of the * Colony, to carry out a systematic course of treeplanting, by reserving a block of 200,000 acres, and spending on it £14,000 during the first year, and £10,500 duringeach of thefollowingll, thus making the expenditure £130,000 by the time that the whole 200,000 acres were properly fenced in and planted. During the first five years there would net be any revenue, but in succeeding ones the returns from periodical thinnings might be estimated at £35,000 per annum until the end of the twenty-first year, .when the Colony would be in possession of 200,000 acres, or 310 square miles of forest. This scheme may probably be modified more successfully by having smaller areas and more of them, dispersed in different localities, which would exert a more beneficial influence on the climate and rainfall of the interior. An amusing story is going the rounds with ;respect to the MS. of the article contributed 'to an American magazine by the late Dean Stanley, and which had to be returned to !one of the Dean's friends in England to 'decipher, as no printer in the United States could make it out. The figure of a fly .walking over a sheet of paper after its legs 'had been dipped in an ink-bottle presented ■but a faint image of the Dean's usual cali'graphy. On the occasion of the unveiling of the Bunyan Statue at Bedford one of the; London reporters congratulated himself on securing the MS. of the address which the '•Dean delivered on that occasion. With this in his pocket he gave no heed to the subsequent proceedings, beyond partaking with great heartiness of the dinner, and returned to town in a very comfortable frame of mind, only dropping into Fleet street for a few 'minutes in order to deposit the Dean's, precious paper with the printer. Then he; hied home to the bosom of his famity in' Brixton, feeling at peace with mankind. He had not been in bed, however, above half ■an hour when a P.D. arrived in hot haste, summoning him back to the office. The printers were not able to make out one word in 20 and the editor was imperative that 'they must have the Dean's address. So oys* awakened reporter had to sit down and extend his notes in hot haste, and with a disgust which may be imagined.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18811231.2.17

Bibliographic details

News Of the week., Otago Witness, Issue 1572, 31 December 1881

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6,301

News Of the week. Otago Witness, Issue 1572, 31 December 1881

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