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PERSONAL NOTES.

The Ho.n. Francis Law Latham, Advocategeneral of Bombay, has purchased Gad's Hill Place, famous as the home of Charles Dickens. An excellent portrait of Sir Henry Keppel has just been placed in one of the panels of the royal yacht Osborne, by the wish of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Sir Howard Grubb, of Dublin, is engaged upon a very line lens for one of the telescopes at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. It is expected to be completed shortly, and will be the largest of its kind in Europe. Koscoe Conkling once said of Senator Vest that he was the only man he ever knew who could set his mottth talking and go away for an hour or two and find it going just the samd when he came back. The gross value of the pfersorlal estate of the late Mr Robert Cooper Lee Bevan, J.P., of Trent Park, Herts, and of the firm of Barclay, Bevan, Ransom, Bourerie, & Co , bankers, has been sworn at £953,175 17s lid, and the net value at £951,886 12s Bd, the probate stamp being for £28,541. The personalty of the late Magheramorne ( Sir James Macnagbten M'Garel Hogg), who died on June 27 last, aged 67 years, and was for nearly 20 years chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works, has been sworn of the gross value of £196,274 13s 103, and of the net value of £159,718 Us 7d. Sir James Mackenzie was known as " the Benefactor" at the Marlbcrough Club for many years ; but after a candidate whom he had proposed had been rejected he withdrew his capital from the concern, selling his interest to Lord Cowley ; whereupon he was styled " the Malefactor." Sir James Maokenze rendered valuable aid to the Marlborough during a serious financial crisis in the history of the club. The coming of age of the niuth Earl of Shaftesbury was celebrated at Belfast Castle with great festivities on Septembar 2. The Countess of Shaftesbury, the young peer's mother, gave an "At home," over 600 invitations being issued to the Mayor and Corporation of Belfast, the officers of the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade and Black Watch and others. Bonfires were at night lighted on Carehill and the adjacent mountains. Miss Tait, daughter of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the heroines of English society, devotes her whole life to the poor of London. Though possessing a comfortable independence, she has chosen to make her home in one of the poor streets in the vicinity of the old ecclesiastical palace at Lambeth which used to be the official residence of her distinguished father. There is no work which she regards as too menial for her bands to do provided it lifts a little the burden from the poor, sick, and aged.

Much fuss was recently raised about the sale of a pulpit from which it was alleged that Dr Livingstone, of African fame, preached his first sermon at Blantyre, in Lanarkshire. The pulpit, having been put up the other day as a genuine relic of Livingstone, was actually sold to some simpleton for £46, the intrinsic value being about as many pence. It now appears that the story of Livingstone having preached from the pulpit is a fiction ; and his family denounce it as "glaringly untrue." It is rash in these days to purchase " relics " of celebrities^ without thoroughly investigating their history.

The Dean of St. Asaph has just given the Nonconformists of Wales a hard nut to crack. He says that he is not appealing for sympathy and jnstice, or advocating the church's interests, but he wants to know how, if the Badical view that tithe is national property is correct, it can belong to the farmers. If it does not, he fails to see the propriety of the anti-tithe agitation, which, in the sacred name of religion, practically holds out a bribe for setting plain moral dictates at defiance. In the midst of a logical argument, in which his opponents Will not be able to detect a flaw, he says, •with considerable naivete, "In South Wales a Radical layman of the most spotless principles has found himself obliged to distrain for tithes."

Her Majesty has appointed one of Lord Strathallan's sons to be a page of honour. The post is tenable for about six years, and the annual salary is £150. Formerly a page of honour invariably received a commission in the Guards on quitting the household, which, in the old purchase days, was equivalent to a gift of several thousand pounds. There are four pages of honour, and two are nominally in-waiting every month, but now the only duty is to attend the Queen at drawing rooms, when the pages wear a remarkably picturesque uniform, so that, unless one of these functions take place during a month when a page is in-wj iting — on paper— he never goes to court in the course of a year. These posts are in the gift of the M;ister of the Horse, but the Queen invariably appoints to them herself, and relatives of past or present members of the household aie usually selected.

M. Millot and M. Baruti, two lieutenants of a regiment quartered at Belfort, France, f night a duel with swords, in consequence of a dispute about regimental matters. The foi cuer received a slash on the arm which fwered all the large blood vessels. It is sukl that the bleeding was stopped with the inmost difficulty, auc, two hours were spent in stitching up_ the arm." The wounded rllicer is in a serious condition, though it is ]. renounced an even chance that he will i. -cover. M. de Freycinet, the Minister of is opposed to duelling altogether, and lv a decision of his only a few clays old i' is rendered optional . M. Paul de Cas.•i^nac, who is celebrated for his duels, wrole the other day a strong article against the practice. A man who has lived so long amongst

literary people that he may almost be called an author himself, although he is an artist, is George dv Maurier, the famous Punch artist. He knows all the literary men and women of London, and he probably declines more invitations to dine out than even the Prince of Wales, for he is socially much in demand, and is one of the most agreeable and charming gentlemen that you could wish to meet. He likes to go to theatres, and is usually accompanied by one of his charming daughters, who serve also as models for the graceful girls he draws in his famous Punch pictures. He lives up in Hampstead, above " the smoke and stir of the dim spot that men call London." He occupies an independent position on Punch, and is well paid for his work there. He is also asked to illustrate more books than he could possibly do if he had a dogen sets of bands. His bank account is large.

A FAMOUS INVENTOR.

Edison is at once a millionaire and the most famous inventor in the world. His present wealth, which amounts to £3,000,000, is as nothing compared to what it will be in the next few years ; but he still works away in his laboratory, and comes forward to greet you in just such a suit of cloSb.es as he wore 20 years ago. As compared with Bdison's dingy little shop of that period, in which he used to eat his bread and cheese seated on an old packing box talking over the work in hand with his two 1 or three workmen, the present surrotindings ate fabulously luxurious. Everything shows unbounded means, which rriay be the case when we remember that his famous laboratory costs £-10,000 a year to maintain. Bat the master mind is still the same. When he works it means work for his men.

In the old days it was no uncommon thing for him to remain at the bench for 48 hours at a stretch, sending one of the boys for bread and cheese when he felt hungry, and not giving up until bis assistants had actually fallen asleep standing up. To-day he is just as interested.

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PERSONAL NOTES. Otago Witness, Issue 1921, 11 December 1890

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