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LOCAL AND GENERAL.

Spoeting. — We direct the attention of sporting men to an advertisement in another column, from which it which it will be learned that the weights for the New Zealand Grand National Handicap have been raised. Pastoe\i Rents. — The sum of £11,980 6s lid was paid into the Waste Lands Board yesterday for pastoral rents. f^~3.SHBUBTON County Steeplechases. — [This meeting takes place on May 29 at Ashburton. The committee have been very successful in obtaining subscriptions, and stakes to a very fair amount will be given for each event. The jumps are pretty stiff, and the precaution has been taken to clear the wire out of all the fences across the run, to prevent accidents happening through this cause. The course is through the paddocks of Messrs Smith, Hunt, and Jones, who have kindly given them for that purpose. There are five events in all, and acceptances close on the evening of Saturday, May 25. Antigua steeet. — Considerable improvements are in progress in Lumb's lane and Baker's lane, Antigua street, the work including formation, channelling, and shingling. Its completion should exercise a very beneficial effect upon the health of the neighbourhood, that is if it were not effectually neutralised by that essence of nuisances, the famous Antigua street drain. This stench channel has undergone a process which by courtesy or custom is termed " cleaning out," and the mud and decaying vegetable matter has been carefully deposited on the edges of the drain, or in auy convenient hollows along its banks, presumably in order thafc the process of rotting and fermenting may proc.ed with greater rapidity. The same egregious rule has been followed in clearing a portion of the south drain. Surely if such work is worth doing at all it is worth doing effectually, and no good purpose can be served by simply taking a nuisance from beneath the surface of the water and depositing it upon the bank in the open air. Theatbe Rotali. — Last evening Mrs Arthur Toke made her first appearance as an aspirant for the favour of the public, the character chosen for her debut being that of Constance Honeyton, in "The Happy Pair." A very large audience had assembled, and an evidently appreciative one, of whose applause Mrs Toke will doubtless entertain kindly remembrances. As Constance Honeyton tlie debutante had to endure the trying ordeal of a lengthened soliloquy at the very outset, and the nervousness which then took possession of her did not leave her during the performance. Her voice, which naturally is of an agreeable quality, was greatly affected thereby, and so to a large extent was her gesture. She gave, notwithstanding, abundant proof that her part had been carefully and intelligently studied, and promise that in future performances she will be heard to greater advantage. In many portions of the comedy, as, for example, where her husband feels that "the grey mare lias got loose," and where on finding that he has fooled her by a mock reconciliation she is indeed angered, Mrs Toko evinced considerable dramatic force. So much so indeed, that the applause following the question " have wo your favour?" fully warranted the reply of the text; "the verdict's plain." That tho success of the comedy was largely due to Mr Hoskins' admirable impersonation of Ferdinand, need i scarcely be said, and tho happy manner in which he compared himself to a fly in the ' matrimonial honey pot, and complained that tho endearments lavished upon him were a9 absurd as would be an attempt to provision ' : the Russian army with Everton Toffee, created roars of laughter. At the close, the per- i formers had repeatedly to bow their acknow- ■ ledgments. Tho afterpiece was the burlesque, • " 111-treated H Trovatore." i i

mmmmmmmm ~~^~—m*mmMmmmmmmm~mmmmmßn^am^mMammmmm [ The Dog Show Committee. — An adjourned meeting of the Dog Show Committee 1 was held at Morton's last evening. Accounts < were passed, and the Committee adjourned ' till Thursday, when the final meeting will \ take place. , San Fbancisco Mail. — The mail arrived j at Auckland yesterday, and the southern bags ( were despatched by the Taranaki the same afternoon. A summary of news is published ■ in another column, the greater portion of which did not reach here till a late hour. \ /"""Ovebwobked Seamstresses. — It is stated ' that in at least one of the Christchurch ■ drapery establishments, a number of the work-room employees have been compelled to work a number of extra hours, this being \ especially the case on Saturdays, when the work-rooms are supposed to be vacated at two o'elock. SanitAet. — In compliance with the desire expressed by the City Council of Wellington, a samplo of the new sanitary pan which is being brought into use by direction of the Christchurch City Council is to be forwarded to Wellington, where similar measures to those which are being carried out here will piobably be adopted. i Teout in the Oeabi. — The trout which were placed in the Orari some 12 months ago by Mr Edward Cooper have thriven remarkably well, and have grown so rapidly that one which was found dead a few days since weighed nearly a pound and a half. There is therefore every prospect that in a few years the Orari will have become a well stocked trout stream. j"T£ebo3ene Explosions. — Within a week a fgirl has been burned to death and a hotel to 'the ground, in each instance through the explosion of a kerosene lamp. Combined with the warning of Dr Hector, which we published in our telegrams yesterday, these occurrences should make people who were inclined to pass over the first accident as only a casual occurrence extremely cautious for the future. City Peopeety toe Tendee. — By an advertisement which has appeared in our columns, it will be seen that Mr Charles Clark has been instructed to offer for tender the lease for 30 years of the valuable block of land at the east corner of Colombo street and Cathedral square, upon which there are at present eight shops. Possession is offered upon Jan. 1 next, and it is apparent that the successful tenderer will have to replace the present buildings with others of a more permanent character within a given time. !"Rijmoub of Wae.— A rumour got about 'the city yesterday that war had been declared between England and Russia. In a short time the excitement became intense, tho report going from mouth to mouth, people congregating in knots in different parts of the streets, others rushing about in every direction, and the newspaper offices were besieged with eager enquirers. The origin of the rumour has not, so far as we could learn, been traced, but with talk of war on everyone's lips it is easy to understand how misapprehension or mischievous waggery would start a false report. Me Henex Hill. — We learn that Mr Henry Hill, of the Gloucester street schools, is about to .leave Christchurch, having been appointed secretary to the Hawke's Bay Board of Education, and Inspector of Schools for that district. The* salary is £400 per annum, with an allowance of £150 for travelling expenses, and Mr Hill's new duties are to commence early in June. During his stay in Christchurch, both in connection with the Bingsland and Gloucester street schools, Mr Hill has won golden opinions by the untiring energy and devotion to his work which he has displayed, and not least will he be missed by the teachers and scholars of the S. John's Ohurch Sunday School, where his services as superintendent have been highly appreciated. All who know Mr Hill, and they are by no means few, will wish him prosperity in his new sphere of labour. Cathedbal Squabe. — Yesterday morning the Works Committee of tho City Council gave formal instructions for carrying out the proposed plan in connection with the vacant ground in Cathedral square. In accordance with the design agreed upon, a certain area round the Godley statue is to be kept above the general level and to be laid down in grass. At some distance to the rear of this there is to be a drinking fountain for horses, and the rest of the ground will be utilised as roadway, affording accommodation for cabstands, &c, a provision which will be very necessary when the new public buildings are brought into use. The crossings on either side of the Godley statue, which will be of considerable length, are to be asphalted, and in the centre of each a substantial pedestal lamp is to be erected. This is an excellent idea, as without some such arrangement the long crossings would, after dark, undoubtedly prove very dangerous for pedestrians. It is to be hoped that the work as decided upon may be proceeded with at once, the present appearance of the square being most deplorable. A New Public Paex.— During the past few days a scheme has been inaugurated by a few of the leading citizens, for the purpose of securing to Christchurch a public park, upon a novel principle. It will be remembered that the Linwood Estate, the property of Mr E. Brittan, including some 50 acres of land, lj in g just beyond the Stanmore road, and distant a little more than a mile from the centre of the City, has been advertised for sale by Messrs H. Matson & Co. It is proposed to form a company which shall buy this block, and endeavour to secure a further area from the Church property trustees. The land so acquired would be laid out as an estate, in which a large central park would be surrounded with building sections of not less than half an acre each, and steps would be taken to ensure the erection of a suitable class of houses. There can be but little doubt that if the project is carried into effect it will amply repay the promoters, since the building sections will, by the adoption of such anarrangement, be immediately enhanced in value, and will be eagerly competed for. A more suitable nucleus for such a scheme could scarcely be desired, since the Linwood Estate is healthily situated, and commands extensive views of the surrounding country. THE VoLUNTEEB StEENOTH OP CANTEBBUBY. — The disquieting nature of the English telegrams which have recently been received, has awakened in the public a keen .interest in military matters, and a strong desire that some decisive action should be taken ' to place the Colony, as far as possible, in a J state of defence. As might naturally be anticipated, those who have already borne arms are specially alive to the importance of the measures which may speedily have to be adopted, and we are given to understand that a meeting of old volunteers is shortly to be convened in Christchurch. In the meantime, the readers of the Lyttelton Times may be interested to learn the particulars of tlie existing volunteer force, so far as can be ascertained by careful inquiries. The following is an unofficial list of the various bodies, showing then* numbers, arms, «&c. : — Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry, 113 men ; arms, 100 cavalry Snider carbines, with swords. Timaru Artillery, 50 men; arms, 42 Snider artillery carbines, with swords. Christchurch Artillery, 45 men ; arms, 50 Snider artillery carbines, with swords. Engineers, 52 men ; arms, 40 long Snider rifles, with bayonet3. No. 1 Company, Temuka, 41 men ; arms, 20 long Snider rifles, with bayonets. No. 5 Company, Kaiapoi, 37 men ; arms, 37 long Snider rifles, with bayonets. City Guards, 50 men ; arms, 46 long Snider rifles, with bayonets. Timaru Artillery Cadets, : 42 men; arms, 40 muzzle-loading carbines. High School Cadets, 48 men; arms, 27 muzzle-loading carbines, and 10 Lancasters. The heavy guns available aro : Timaru Artillery, 1 howitzer, throwing a 241b shell. . Christchurch Artillery, 1 howitzer, throwing i a 241b shell, and 1 Armstrong gun, throwing a ( 121bshot. Fromtheforegoinghstitwill be seen . that the total number of volunteers in Canterbury is 478, and that the total amount of arms i 394, including the old muzzle-loaders and Lancasters, is considerably less. Of ammunition i for the heavy guns tho supply is about as ( limited as it can well be. If there is any in £ the possession of the local corps, it consists only of a few rounds, not expended in the T . last year's practice, and the same remarks will > apply to the supply of cartridges. The volun- i teer year commences on April 1, upon wliich ] date the men are entitled to the new supply, j but this is not generally served out until e August or September, in readiness or the j summer practice r s

Colonial Insueanoe Company.—-A local board of directors has been appointed for Christchurch. They are — The Hon. E. Richardson, and Messrs H. W. Lee (Ward and Co.), W. Saunders (Saunders and Henderson), and C. W. Turner. We understand that it is in contemplation to appoint local advisers m the country districts. Sheep in Hawke's Bay.— A return published m the Gazette oi sheep in Hawke's Bay for the past year shows an increase of 102,489 over those of tlie previous year. The returns comprise 713,600 ewes, 648,246 wethers, and 14,311 rams ; being a total of 1,375,157 sheep, over six months old, in the Provincial District nl^y**'* Bay ' on Ma F J » 1877 > as a^inst 671,416 ewes, 588,546 wethers, and 13 701 rams, or a total of 1,273,668 in May, 1876 ; and the inspector expects the returns thia year will show one and ajialf million of sheep in this district at the present time. The Zealandia Minstbels.— By an advertisement which has appeared in our columns, it will have been seen tbat an amateur company is about to solicit the support of the public. Its membera, who style j themselves the Zealandia Minstrels, purpose ! to give a series of Christy minstrel entertainments, and to devote the proceeds to henevo- j lent purposes. They have for some time past been actively engaged in the work of preparation, in which they havo had the advantage of the very able assistance of Messrs Towle and Marshall. Their first entertainment is to he given in the Oddfellows' Hall on Thursday evening, and although they are so utterly unknown to fame, the fact that the proceeds of their first effort are to be given in aid of the recreation fund of the Sunnyside Lunatic Asylum should be abundantly sufficient to ensure them a crowded house.

Death op Julius C^isab.— This wellknown cricketer, who was in the first English team that visited New Zealand, is dead. His age was 48. Me Smythies Again.— The New Zealander hears that that veteran petitioner, Mr Smythies, has demanded of the Government an inquiry into the conduct of the Judges in relation to a perjury case lately heard at Dunedin. The Government are said to have replied that Mr Smythies' proper course, if he has a grievance against the Judges, is to petition Parliament. One op the English Eleven in Tbouble. — From an English paper we observe that Selby, the English professional cricketer, was fined a few months ago for assaulting a man near Nottingham. They are a rough and ready lot, these English profession? ls. Pooley's ease is still fresh in the remembrance of Christchurch people ; Armitage was " run in" at Melbourne for creating a disturbance ; and this same Selby, though it is not generally known, was extremely near figuring in the Dunedin Court for connection with a most disreputable row, of which he was the principal cause. It was only by great exertions that the matter was hushed up. FOBTNIGHTLY MAIL SeeVICE BETWEEN England and Austealia. — We hear through a gentleman who has recently arrived from England that it was reported in commercial circles in London at the time he left that the directors of the P. and O. Steam Navigation Company had it in contemplation to offer, on the expiry of their present contract for the conveyance of the Australian mails, to enter into a contract for a fortnightly service with a line of steamers of 4000 tons burden, and to abandon King George's Sound as a coaling station, so as to expedite the passage.— From the Sonth Australian Register, April 17.

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LOCAL AND GENERAL., Star, Issue 3146, 8 May 1878

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LOCAL AND GENERAL. Star, Issue 3146, 8 May 1878

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