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Local and General.

Magisterial. — Afc the ChristehurchMagisstrhte'e Court this morning, May Cunningham, for having been drunk and illegally on premises,- wa3 sentenced to three months' imprisonment, with hard labour; and Jack Roberts, charged on the 13th inst. with drunkenness, but remanded to Lyttelton for medical treatment, was dismissed with a caution. C. C. Bowcn, Esq., presided on the bench.

S. John's Chuhch. — A service for children will be held to-morrow, at 3.30 p.m., the subject being — " Which is best ?" Geological — Dr Haast is now on a visit to the Ashburton, in connection with the geological survey for the General Government, and will probably be absent about six weeks.

Weslkyan. — To-morrow morning, fche Rev. J. Maxwell, Congregational minister of Port Chalmers, will preach in the Wesleyan Chapel, Durham street, and, in the evening, the Rev T. Roseby, Dunedin, will officiate in a similar manner.

The Interphovincial Boat Race. — Yesterday, Mr Thomas, Hon. Secretary to the Heathcote Regatta Committee, received the first entries for the iuterprovincinl race. They were, the Auckland, by tlie Auckland Rowing Club ; and the Otugb, by the Dunedin Rowing Club. Opeba Troupe. — Messrs Cagli and Pompei's opera troupe were to have commenced their season in Duucdin last night, tho opera selected for their debut being " H Trovatore." We are informed that before leaving Christchurch, Signor Cagli was offered £2000 clear for the first eighteen nights, aud that he refused the offer.

The Observatory. — We are officially informed that the Superintendent has received a telegram from His Excellency the Governor, stating that the Secretary of State has been written to in favour of the Christchurch Observatory, and that His Excellency will write again by the outgoing mail, forwarding communications which he has received from Mr Rolleaton relative to the Observatory. TTifl Excellency adds that his earnest support may be relied on to so important and interesting an object. CONGREGATIONAL CHUHCH. — The eighth anniversary of the Manchester street Congregational Church (Rev. "W. J. Habens), will be celebrated to-morrow. Special servicos will bo conducted as follows : — ln the rnonvng, at 11 o'clock, by the Rev. T. Roseby, Congregational minister at Dunedin ; and in the evening, at 6.30, by the Rev. J. Maxwell, Congregational minister at Port Chalmei'3. A service for children will be held at 3 o'clock. The annual tea meeting will be held in the grounds attached to Mr Gree's Commercial Academj', on Tuesday evening, at 6 o'clock, adjourning to the church at 7.30. A special prayer-meet-iug was held last evening, and another will be held ou Monday evening, at 7.30. j jv^m* _

The Stabbing Case.— The man Whittington.who stabbed Mr Parish, has been admitted to bail — himself in £200, and two responsible sureties of £100 each.

St. Ai/BAXs Choib-. — On Thursday afternoon, tho members of the St Albans Wesleyan choir held a very successful pic-nic. The site selected was Sunnier, which, was far more agreeable as regards weather, &c., than Christchurch. After various amusements, the party sat down to a capital repast, for which all were well prepared by the bracing sea air. After spending a very pleasant day, the party returned home, starting about dusk.

Lecture. — The lecture intended to have been given by Dr Powell at the High School yesterday, as the first of a weekly series, to be given during the present year, on Natural History, was unavoidably postponed, on account of the unfinished state of the schoolroom. The two large rooms are being thrown into one, and the wholo of the school is being re-painted and papered, but it is anticipated that all will bo sufficiently completed before next Friday to permit of the lectures being commenced on that day. The lectures, we should say, are open to the public as well as to scholars.

St. Axdbew's. — The weekly meeting of St. Andrew's congregation was held in the Church on Thursday evening. There was a large attendance, and the opening services were conducted by the Rev. J. Campbell. The Rev. C. Eraser read an interesting account of the proceedings of the Presbyterian Church Extension Association, and afterwards some extracts from the Life of the Late Duchess of Gordon, regarding some of those remarkable religious meetings held at the old Castle of Huntley. Both contributions were attentively listened to and were evidently well appreciated.

St. Michael's. — The new church for St. Michael's parish is progressing very rapidly, and a very good idea may now be formed of what the building will be when completed. All the wall timbers are now in position, and the skeleton of the roof is also nearly completed. It will be necessary in about a fortnight to remove the eastern end of the south aisle of the old church in order to permit of the erection of the porch at the western end of tho now edifice. Special permission has, been obtained from the Bishop, and those of the congregation who will thus be deprived of their seats will have accommodation provided in another portion of tho church. i

Gbass Fire. — We are glad to say that the fire which occurred on Wednesday afternoon has burnt itself out. It commenced at Camp Bay, and was caused by sparks flying from a fire. It then extended to Rhodes Bay, at Purau, and several sheep fell victims. Mr Rhodes' house had a very narrow escape, the fire coming within 200 yards of the premises. By strenuous efforts the fire was checked in that direction, when it took a course up the bush, and destroyed the greater portion of it. It also extended towards the Pilot Station, and the residents there had a narrow escape. Rain fortunately fell on Thursday evening, and put out the fire. From Port Cooper to Purau, there is not a blade of grass left. A large grass fire began yesterday afternoon at the Heathcote Valley, and at one time it assumed a most serious aspect. Fortunately it was got under before any very great damage was done, but at one time it was feared that it would extend over the hills to Lyttelton. Lincoln Sabbath School. — Yesterday week the annual treat was given to the children attending the Presbyterian Church school at Lincoln, and in the evening a public meeting was held in the church. There was a very large attendance, and the Rev. C. Fraser presided. Mr Pannett read a statement of the number of children attending the school, and the financial proceedings during the past year. Both were very satisfactory, showing an increase both in the scholars and in the contributions. The Rev. W. Hogg then delivered an interesting address on the principles and history of the Presbyterian Church. One peculiar feature of the meeting was the delivery of a number of carefully prepared recitations by the scholars. They were entirely of a religious character, and were given with great care and judgment. A vote of thanks was accorded to Mr Pannett for his supervision of the school, and to the teachers who had so ably supported him. The meeting was then closed with praise and prayer.

The Weathek and Gbops. — The Timarv, Herald of yesterday reports — The continuous spell of hot weather will hasten on harvest operations rapidly, and there are even now many wheat fields in which the reaper is busy at work. In some parts of the district an average yield is expected, in others — in the Waimate, for instance — it is to be feared that blight has been sadly destructive. .Yesterday, a gentleman who came in from the Kakahu, informed us that he saw some oats, which were not cut, being threshed out by the wind, and falling thick on the ground. The Timaru and Gladstone Gazette of the same date contains the following from it 3 Temuka correspondent : — The weather for the last few days lias been most unsatisfactory to the farmers ; all crops are ripening far too quickly, and the sample in this district will be only of a moderate character. Of course there are exceptions, but they are few and far between. Mr M'Bratney, of the Arowhenua Plain, was one of the first to commence harvest operations, but judging from the large amount of reapers that have been outside the respective blacksmiths' shops the past week for repair, it is reasonable to suppose that the cutting has fairly commenced. The new machines by Nicholson seem to attract attention, and will undoubtedly prove a boon to the neighbourhood. During the recent dry weather, grass fires have been very prevalent, and in some instances considerable damage has been done. On Saturday last the grass on the "edge of the Temuka river caught fire, and approached rapidly, burning down the wool store of Mr Collins. Luckily the wool had been removed to the brewery store a few. days previously, otherwise the loss would have been very severe.

Chbistchttbch Total Abstinence Society. — A meeting of the committee of the Christchurch Total Abstinence Society was held last evening, in the Temperance Hall, Gloucester street, Mr Exall, Vice-president, iv the chair. The treasurer's account was received and referred to the auditors. It was resolved that the annual festival be celebrated by an excursion to Sumner, on Thursday fortnight. A sub-committee was appointed to make the necessary arrangements for the excursion. Messrs J. Gr. Bakev, W. H. De la Mare, Gilling, and E. Ford were appointed as the Band of Hope committee, with power to add to their number. The committee then adjourned.

Preserved Meat. — "Laud and Water," in dealing with the subject of preserved meat from Australia, says — " There is food in abundance; here are consumers in thousands ; and the difficulty of bringing the two together is being rapidly solved." The Graphic says : — " We are glad to hear again and again that the cooked meats now introduced are becoming daily more used. . . That the trade will grow is certain, for two reasons of importance : the taste is easily educated to like the food ; it is economical, and young children trained to its use prefer it ; and in hospitals, "workhouses, and prisons it is the basis of cheap aud nutritious diet."

AaAiNST Time.— The Chief Justice of New South Wales, Sir Alfred Stephen, now aged seventy years, has asked to be allowed to resign on his full salary — £2600 a-year. The retiring pension allowed by law is £1400 a year ; but upon this Sir Alfred states he cannot lire, and unless he is allowed his full salary he will hold the office as long as he lives. Ho lias threatened never to repeat his application, and the Government have refused to accede to his request. The people of Sydney are now interesting themselves with the question. How long will Sir Alfred choose to remain in office ? Should he live to be 100 years of age is he to be permitted to occupy the Bench merely because he cannot compress his private expenses within the limits of his pension ? Excepting in a few extraordinary cases the intellectual faculties of men begin to decline at Sir Alfred's age, and it is not reasonable to suppose that he will form an exception to the rule. But whether or not, there he is, and there he says he will remain until he gets his £2600 a-year as retiring allowance. He has deliberately matched himself against time, and somewhere about the beginning of the next century the contest will begin tq be a very interesting one, not only for Australia but for the world at large.

The Polynesian Islands. — The Alta California inf oi'ms us that a number of prominent citizens of San Francisco have associated themselves together for the purpose of incorporating under the laws of California, a company with the title of the Central Polynesia Land and Commercial Company. Its object is the purchase and acquisition of lands on the beautiful Navigator Island, and the cultivation, sale, or lease of the same. The formation there of a coaling station for the steamers of the United States, New Zealand and Australian Mail Lino is also proposed, as also the establishment of a Central Polynesian depot for • commercial purposes which would serve the whole group of Islands. The capital stock of the corporation is to be 100,000 dollars, in 1000 shares, of 100 dollars each. Five trustees will be appointed. For the first three months the following gentlemen, until their successors are appointed, will act in that capacity : J. W. Stow, J. B. M. Stewart, James Makee (of Honolulu, one of the largest plantation owners of the Saiulwich Islands), N. B. Stone, and F. A. Bee. Thus are the beautiful and fruitful islands of the Pacific gradually, and by no means slowly, receiving the attention they deserve, and we are glad to note this evidence of the interest felt in them by leading business men of San Francisco.

Preserved Meats. — Tho following letter by Mr Edward Wilson, late of Victoria, appeared in the Times of Nov. 2 : — The other day I aent to one of your contemporaries the results of a little experiment I had made in a matter of considerable domesl ie interest ; and from the comments made to mo xipon the calculation therein contained I feel sure that benefit might accrue in many households if you would allow me to bring the figures under the notice of your readers as well. In a comparison between the cost of butchers' meat purchased at tho shops and preserved meat imported from Australia, your contemporary had quoted the difference at about a third of the English price. My little experiment seemed to skow that the difference was more neaiiy twice that amount. Wishing to know exactly what was the loss in cooking and what the proportion of bone in an ordinary joint, I had a leg of mutton weighed as it came from the butcher's, weighed again when roasted fit for the table, and I then had tho meat accurately pared off, and it and the bone weighed separately, with, the following results : Leg of mutton before roasting, 91b 10oz; do after roasting, 61b 12oz; weight of cooked meat, 4lb 13oz; bones, lib 15oz ; gravy, lOoz. By this calculation wo find, what probably our thrifty housekeepers know, but very many of us do not know, that if we pay the butcher 9£d per lb for a leg of mutton, the cooked slice of mutton on our plate costs us about 19d per lb ; and that we must compare English meat at that rate with Australian meat, cooked and without bone, at 16d or 17d, to judge justly between thdih. It is delightful to reflect that your journal enters thousands of establishments in which it is a matter of indifference whether meat is eaten at 19d per lb, but it enters thousands of other houses where such a consideration as this is of very scriou's importance, and it is- in the hope of doing a little good there that I take the liberty of addressing you. on the subject. It may prevent mis- j apprehension to mention that while I am a farmer . in England with, some hundreds of sheep and cattle, . I have neither horn nor hoof in Australia, nor shares in any meat-, preserving company.

-•• Litebary. — Under the somewhat fanciful but not altogether inappropriate title " Old' Tales of a New Country," Mr Marcus Clarke better known as the " Peripatetic Philosopher" of the Australasian, has compiled and published a number of stories, illustrating the early history of settlement in the Australian colonies and Tasmania. The compilation has been made from old and rare pamphlets, official documents, and newspapers, and the tales are very readable indeed. To old colonists, they will be especially interesting. Mr Clarke has done his work very well indeed, and it is to be lioped that ho will weave together many more " yams " of the same sort ; or, better still, write a connected narrative of early colonisation. Such a work would be valuable in many respects, and he has shown that he -possesses the necessary ability. .

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Local and General., Star, Issue 1221, 20 January 1872

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Local and General. Star, Issue 1221, 20 January 1872

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