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have seen him pay an excellent carpenter 6s. per day. By advertisement he can get numbers of clerks at Li and 255. per week and nothing provided. An insurance agent there also had between 40 and 50 letters for a vacancy as canvasser at 225. 6d. per week. As regards the agricultural districts, no character is required, only work done, and that there is plenty of. Carpenters are paid readily 10s. per day. Labourers, for felling the timber and general work connected with conditional selections, get foom 75. to 125. per day. On a squatter's run a man gets from Eu per week and all provided to £i per day. But best of all is for a man to go to a sugar-cane growing district and take up a conditional selection. This costs to clear about £12 or £14 per acre. This includes timber felled and burnt off and cane planted. The returns are £ 20 per acre per annum or eighteen months. But he must be ready to carry his things on his back, at nightfall pitch his tent, make a fire, and boil his billy,' and often shoot something to make a meal of, and not see a white man for weeks. Still, if he is willing to work and endure a rough life, then Australia is a grand country, and a fortune is to be made there, especially in the north of New South Wales and in Queensland. Take the first job that offers and only leave it for a better. It may be hard for some time both for heart and hands, but he will soon say Advance Australia.''

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college evidently amazed, and told me that some pupils had applied to him to interfere in the following circumstances. A cat had been poisoned “ for scientific purposes ” before one of the classes. I asked him whether a repetition of this could not be prevented. He said, “ Certainly ; it must not happen again. It was too bad. I shall speak to another professor on the medical side, and he will see to it.” Accordingly he spoke to who satisfied him somehow that the thing would not recur. He had little notion that the professor appealed to was and had been performing experiments before his pupils on living dogs and cats. These were of so cruel a nature that I will not describe them. They were detailed to me by a highly respectable surgeon, who had been a student of the class referred to.-Life of Professor De Morgan.

Bankruptcy Law Reform.-Lord Derby, in a recent speech, gave a painfully true statement of affairs under the later bankruptcy law, and showed the need for speedy and effectual reform. “They all knew how matters were arranged, and that practically creditors had no control over them. They had to open their mouth and shut their eyes and také whatever the dishonest debtor, assignee, accountant, solicitor, or manager of estate offered to them. It was really too much to expect that the Government or the House of Commons could accept a bill which left these great scandals absolutely untouched, as a satisfactory solution or settlement of the bankruptcy law. The objects they should keep in view in bankruptcy reform were twofold. In the first place they wanted no doubt that dividends on bankruptcy estates should be as large as possible, and that distribution of assets should be honestly and satisfactorily conducted. But there was another object, which was much more important, and that was that there should be fewer bankruptcies. For, aster all, in bankruptcies nothing they could do would make them satisfactory. Bankruptcies should not be the easy, convenient, agreeable, and profitable processes which they were at present. He was not at all surprised that a learned judge should have sarcastically observed that, as long as the law remained as at present, no man with any proper regard to the interests of his family would think of paying 20s. in the pound. He proposed in every case of insolvency, that there should be an inquiry into the cause of the insolvency. He wanted to treat an insolvency very much as we now treated the loss of a ship. If, after a careful examination of the circumstances which led to a man's insolvency, it was found that he was an honest trader who had been overtaken by misfortune, then he, of all persons, ought to rejoice that his innocence had been made clear, and he would leave the court without a stain on his character, he would obtain his discharge, and be able to go into business again; but if, on the contrary, he was found to have been guilty of negligence, then the court might suspend his discharge, or grant it subject to any con. ditions which it liked to impose, and if, after examination, he was found to have been guilty of fraud, then there was ample provision in the bill for his prosecution and punishment. That was an absolutely essential condition to any satisfactory reform of the Bankruptcy Law.”

Southport Foreshore.—The Chancellor of the Duchy co Lancashire, who was but recently changed from the Locai Government Board, has met with severe remarks as to his sale to private persons of the foreshore of the town of Southport. The foreshore question is a familiar one in Brighton, and until it was brought to a final settlement a dozen years ago by the purchase of it from the lords of the manor it often gave rise to difficulty. It may be comprehended, therefore, that the authorities of Southport, a town of 45,000 inhabitants, are exceedingly annoyed at having been passed by after having been in negotiation up to February, 1882, for 4,000 acres of the foreshore fronting the town.

The correspondence was discontinued, apparently owing to the Corporation not having bid high enough ; but as the last letter of the town clerk declared the possession of it to be of vital consequence to the town, the inference must be that there was no intention to withdraw altogether. That, however, was the view officialdom took of the correspondence, and has since agreed with the lords of the manor to sell the foreshore to them over the head of the town of Southport. In this instance Mr. Dodson has to bear the brunt of an assault, apparently for concurring, (when fresh in his new office) with what was submitted to him as a convenient mode of getting out of a somewhat troublesome business.—Brighton Guardian,

[It is said that the terms offered by the Southport Corporation are a payment of £15,000 for the unrestricted right in fee simple of what is represented as not more than one-half of the foreshore purchased by the landowners from the Duchy of Lancaster.]

Collision of Comet with the Earth.-Laplace, after having reasoned on the probability of a comet in the course of ages interfering with our earth, thus pictures the effects of the col. lision : "It is easy to represent the effect of such a shock upon the earth--the axis and motion of rotation changed, the waters abandoning their ancient position to precipitate themselves towards the new equator, ihe greater part of men and animals drowned in a universal deluge, or destroyed by the violence of a shock given to the terrestrial globe, whole species destroyed, all the monuments of human industry removed, -such are the effects which the shock of a comet might produce. The transference of the polar axis by a few degrees would suffice for all these effects.'

Edacation on “ Specific_Snbjects.”—“Under the pretentious title of ‘Domestic Economy,' cookery is chiefly supposed to be taught, but only theoretically and scientifically, as kitchens can seldom be attached to schools. Future kitchen-maids are taught to distinguish warmıh-giving from flesh-forming foods respectively, as carbonaceous and nitrogenous. They can enumerate the ingredients of starch, fat, and sugar in the former as farinaceous, oleaginous, and saccharine matter ; and of white of egg, fibre, curds, etc., in the latter as halbumen,' fibrine, casein, gluten, etc. These terms, which belong to necessary classifications of much wider studies, will, no doubt, soon cease to burden their memories; but the time spent in so temporarily confusing their ideas can hardly be called advanced elementary instruction, and is lost to real elementary school-work. Teachers, nevertheless, receive public money for the operation, as if it were real instruction. In some large towns school boards have a salaried officer called a demonstrator of science,' who not only uses, but composes, special text-books for their schools, some of which extend the scope of scientific subjects,' making, for instance, domestic economy to include hygiene and all other science bearing on the healthiness and comfort of home, but invariably in scientific terminology, which alone justifies the distinction of the study as specific, and its public re

Australian Emigration.-Acorrespondent of “The Times” gives his opinion and advice to intending emigrants :-“A man going out to Australia must be prepared to rough it, and to do any work—that is, if he would get the most money, and, if a stranger, had best not stay about the great cities, as Melbourne and Sydney. For instance, in Melbourne, a brewer can get men at ios. to 61 per week, he providing their meals, these men working about ten hours per day. I

ward. By 'Animal Physiology' is meant a study of anatomical diagrams so far as to get by heart the Latin names of every feature, enabling a child to call the back of his head ‘hocci. put,' and his shoulder 'umerus.' Botany, which might be admirably used as a subject for the practice of reading, full of the most salutary interest, and giving pleasant exercise of consecutive thought, is presented to many children in a form of stiffest nomenclature, classifying flowers as monocotyleda or dicotyleda, and trees as gymnospermous conifers, or cycads."— Lord Norton in Nineteenth Century."

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Sir F. Pollock as Senior Wrangler.-During my first year I was not a "readingman (so called); I had no expectation of honours or a fellowship, and I attended all the lectures on all subjects—Harwood's anatomical, Woollaston's chemical, and Farish's mechanical lectures—but the examination at the end of the first year revealed to me my powers. I was not only the first class, but it was generally understood I was first in the first class ; neither I nor any one for me expected I should get in at all. Now, as I had taken no pains to prepare (taking, however, marvellous pains while the examination was going on), I knew better than any one else the value of my examination qualities (great rapidity and perfect accuracy); and I said to myself, “If you're not an ass, you'll be Senior Wrangler," and I took to " reading accordingly. A curious circumstance occurred when the Brackets came out in the Senate-house declaring the result of the examination : I saw at the top the name of Walter bracketed alone (as he was); in the bracket below were Fiott, Hustler, Jephson. I looked down and could not find my own name till I got to Bolland, when my pride took fire, and I said, “I must have beaten that man, so I will look up again ;” and on looking up carefully I found the nail had been passed through my name, and I was at the top bracketed alone, even above Walter. You may judge what my feelings were at this discovery; it is the only instance of iwo such brackets, and it made my fortune--ihat is, made me independent, and gave me an immense college reputation. It was said I was more than half of the examination before any one else. - Letter to Professor De Morgan.

centre of the river would bifurcate into two branches of a V shape, the ends of which on both sides would be joined by opening swing bridges revolving on their centres, and forming two passages for ships to pass through. On a ship passing through either from above or below, the swing bridge on one side would be opened, while the traffic of the bridge would be diverted by a simple arrangement along the other swing bridge, and when that bridge was opened to allow of the ship passing through, the other swing bridge would by this time be closed, and the traffic of the roadway passing

The traffic along the bridge would, therefore, be unin. terrupted.”

Reading in Schools.—The testimony of the inspectors of our national schools is that while literature and science are advertised in their programmes, and grants of public money awarded to such studies, there is but little that can be called intelligent reading to be heard in the highest standards of our best schools. “ Really good reading," says one, “is very uncommon; the reading is seldom characterised by intelligence and expression." Another says, Reading is seldom good, often fluent enough, but at the expense of distinct articulation and intelligent expression.” A third says, “The schools in which I hear really good expression in the reading of any class might be counted on the fingers.” A fourth says, "Until reading, the most important branch of elementary instruction, is better taught, the results of our whole system must be fallacious.”

“ There is little good reading in my district s indistinctness of utterance, inaccuracy about easy words, inattention to stops, a sing-song tone, an entire absence of any sign of intelligence, characterise the ordinary reading.”

Å fifth says,

Rag-picking in New York.—The rag-picking industry, which not long ago was wholly almost unknown, has recently grown to large dimensions in New York. The only variety now im. ported is cotton rags, upon which no duty is charged. These are worth from two to six cents per pound. All varieties of paper are made from cotton rags, and manufacturers complain of the supplies being inadequate. According to one authority there are no fewer than 2,000 Italian rag-pickers in New York, who average each about 35 cents per day, and collect about $750,000 worth of rags annually together. The hand-cart men's business is estimated at $3,000,000 annually—an enormous sum when we remember the population of New York. Last year cotton rags were imported to the value of $10,000,000, and the total business in cotton rags is reported to have amounted to $22,000,000. Woollen rags are used for making shoddies, and are gathered in the Eastern and Western States. The business done in them is said to amount to $9,000,000 annually. None are imported, the tariff amounting to 12 cents per pound, while the rags are worth but from 3 to 35 cents per pound. In New York alone there are about 800 .dealers in rags, as distinct from purchasers from housewives, and the Italians. The trade is entirely the growth of the last quarter of a century.

My Lords and Peacocks.--One of the earliest indications of the approaching mental aberration of George II was his declared intention of beginning his speech from the throne with, “My Lords and peacocks." Against all remonstrance, he persisted in his purpose, but the crisis came before the day of opening Parliament. No one could understand the phrase till Professor De Morgan, long after, gave a happy conjecture in a letter to Sir John Herschel, who had heard of the story at the time. The old king knew Shakespeare well. In “Hamlet” there are several places in which Hamlet seems on the very point either of disclosing his step-father's villainy or giving him some reproach, but breaks off and substitutes something. In one case, where “ass” is clearly coming, he makes it “ peacock”:

“For thou dost know, O Damon, dear,

This realm dismantled was
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here

A very, very (ass) peacock. Now George i had old-score recollections of the House of Commons. I suspect that when his mind was in his wanderings he determined to be revenged, and to say, "My Lords and Asses,” and he remembered and imitated Hamlet's substitute.

Solitude of a Great City.--I recollect my first night in London. I looked out of the window of the little inn in which I was staying at the surging crowd which passed and repassed beneath me, and I could have screamed for some one who knew him, or knew somebody I knew, or something about which I could talk to them. This feeling of isolation in the midst of a vast crowd is absolutely painful.-Bishop Wilberforce.

The Thames Bridges.—With regard to the question of communication between the banks of the Thames east of London Bridge, Messrs. Bell, Miller, and Bell have read a report to the committee formed with the object of arriving at some conclusion on the matter. They pronounce against a tunnel, a high-level bridge, and a low-level bridge, but put forward their views as to a plan known as the “Duplex Bridge." They say: “This is a low-level bridge, and at its soffit would be of the same height as London Bridge. It would be carried on iron cylinders, so as to give the least interruption to the waterways, so that the barges, ordinary river steamers, and other small craft traffic would not be interrupted. The bridge is proposed to cross the Thames from Tower Hill to Horselydown, and would start from each side in a straight line, but when approaching towards the

Mrs. Carlyle's Sympathy.-Mr. Carlyle felt the death of his mother deeply, and his devoted wife was ready with her sympathy. Following a pathetic note of Carlyle's on the melancholy event-he had reached Scotsbrig in time to be present at her deathbed—is the letter of condolence written by his wife from Chelsea :—“Oh, my dear, never does one feel oneself so utterly helpless as in trying to speak comfort for great bereavement. I will not try it. Time is the only comforter for the loss of a mother. One does not believe in time while the grief is quite new; one feels as if it could never, never be less. And yet all griess, when there is no bitterness in them, are soothed down by time, and your grief for your mother must be altogether sweet and soft. You must feel that you have always been a good son to her ; that you have always appreciated her as she deserved, and that she knew this, and loved you to the last moment. How thankful you may be that you went when you did, in time to hear the assurance of her love surviving all bodily weakness, made doubly sure to you by her last look and words. Oh, what would I have given for last words, to keep in my inner. most heart all the rest of my life ; but the words that awaited me were, Your mother is dead !' And I deserved it should so end. I was not the dutiful child to my mother that you have been to yours.”—Letters of Mr. Carlyle.

Protoplasm and Life.-In reviewing a new book on Evolution, by Andrew Wilson, F.R.S.E., the Athenæum says, “ This mysterious life,' which no one has successfully defined, simply represents the sum total of the physical, chemical, and other properties of protoplasm. It is admitted that this view is essentially materialistic, but it is held to be the logical outcome of the facts. • Life is a property of pro. toplasın-such is the latest product of scientific thought and research ;' and this is what the reader has to content himself with by way of solution of his difficulties. It is true that all these facts and conclusions have to be considered 'apart from the phenomena of consciousness,' neither do they afford any explanation of the remarkable differences of behaviour of living and dead protoplasm, which, nevertheless, have the same chemical and physical properties ; but any attempt to grapple with such diinculties would evidently be out of place in a popular exposition of some of the evidences of evolution."

Aurora Borealis.-In reading your “Varieties ” in the January “Leisure Hour” on the Aurora Borealis, I am reminded of seeing a display of this glory of the sky in Cumberland Straits in the company of Captain Kenny, who went in search of Sir John Franklin. It was unlike anything I have ever seen elsewhere or read of. We went sailing up and down that notable inlet in latitude 76 deg. in the prosecution of the whale fishing, and one evening about eighi o'clock I was enjoying a walk on deck, when I was arrested by some beautiful pillars of coloured light in the north. They fitted about for some fifteen minutes, and then, as they disappeared, a faint streak of yellow spread along the horizon north and west. This broadened into a band of yellow, that spread until, in about half an hour, it covered the half of the sky with an immense veil of yellow colour. It continued in this condition for two hours and then gradually faded away. After this auroral display we had a three days' storm.JAMES BRAIK.

Tarisio clasped his bass tight and trembled. It was a terrible gale, and for one whole day they were in real danger. Tarisio spoke of it to me with a shudder. I will give you his real words, for they struck me at the time, and I have often thought of them since : “Ah ! my poor Mr. Reade, the bass of Spain was all but lost.” Was not this a true connoisseur ? a genuine enthusiast ? Observe ! there was also an ephemeral insect called Luigi Tarisio, who would have gone down with the bass, but that made no impression on his mind. De minimis non curat Ludovicus. He got it safe to Paris. A certain high-priest in these mysteries called l’uillaume, with the help of a sacred vessel called the glue-pot, soon rewedded the back and sides to the belly, and the bass, being now just what it was when the ruffian Ortega put his finger in the pie, was sold for 20,000 fr. (800l.). I saw the Spanish bass in Paris many years ago.

Volcanic Action.-Humboldt's definition expresses the whole philosophy of the subject—"the reaction of the interior upon the exterior of a cooling globe.". It is a stage in the progress from a molten fluid mass, as the sun still is, to a solid cinder, as the moon appears to be. In earlier epochs of the earth's existence we can therefore well suppose paroxysms of intenser action than are now ever witnessed, notwithstanding the twaddle about “uniformity” of action and of force. On a vastly larger scale the fierce outbursts on the sun's surface, and the tempestuous uprush of heated matter apparent at times in the sun's photosphere, are in prin. ciple the same as our volcanic action. Our earth annually loses heat enough, according to Sir William Thomson's estimate, to melt 777 cubic miles of ice, or to raise an equal bulk of water from 69° of Fahrenheit to the boiling-point. At this rate of cooling, if the earth does not meet with some other earlier doom, it would ultimately cool into a lifeless world like the moon.


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Umbrellas in France. In the course of fifty years the umbrella trade has made remarkable progress in France, and especially in Paris. In the year 1830 there were about 115 umbrella makers in the capital, with a business amounting to about £180,000 a year, while the trade throughout the whole of the country did not exceed £280,000 a year. Seventeen years later the number of makers in France had increased to 303, their business yielding £400,000 per annum ; but_last year the number of umbrella and sunshade makers in Paris alone had risen to 408, and there were employed 1,508 work. men, making £520,000 worth of umbrellas. Including also the manufacture of umbrellas in other towns, such as Lyons and Bordeaux, the total value of the articles made in France last year amounted to nearly £1,200,000. From this total, £120,000 represented the quantity of umbrellas-163,231 of silk, 23,217 of alpaca, and 585,395 of cotton—which were exported to different countries, Turkey being by far the best customer.

London Hostelries.-Referring to the demolition of the old Cock Tavern in Fleet Street, a writer in the “ Daily Telegraph says : “The abolition of the tavern coffee-room, with its home-like air, its courtesy, and its conversation, its warmth and sociability, marked a great change in our social

This, however, is an age of glitter and glass. The restaurant has superseded the coffee-house and the tavern. People sit now in gorgeous rooms adorned with painted glass, and gaze at frescoed walls and coloured tiles, when before they used to take their dinner in an oaken box or a pew of polished mahogany, gazing at the fire on which steamed a cheery and confidential kettle. Those were the days of curious and comforting mixtures to keep out the cold before the long walk home, and when the head waiter and his attendants gave the regular customer' as warm a welcome as a traveller could find at any well-conducted inn in the good old times. We get more cleanliness and luxury out of the new fashion, but it is an open question if the young Government clerk or barrister of to-day can obtain on the whole a more wholesome or cosey meal than he could have found twenty years or more ago, when outside it was bitter cold and cheerless, but warm and homely enough in the neat little boxes where an honest, wholesome meal. was discussed, and friendly conversation followed. Customs change, but there will be many regrets at the departure of old chophouses, of which the Cock in Fleet Street is the very truest representative."

Fruit in Manitoba.-Hitherto it has been generally supposed that little or no fruit would grow in Manitoba and the North-West Territory; but an official statement declares that this notion is gradually being dispelled. The report of the Department of Agriculture of Manitoba contains some very important matter upon this subject. It known for an absolute certainty that the prairies were once covered with forests, and there cannot be much doubt that trees will gru again so soon as the march of civilisation prevents the occurrence of the prairie fires; but it is the fruit question that is more particularly treated of in the report. It appears that the North-West has rather a long list of indigenous fruitswild plum or prune (two varieties), black frost grape, service, berry, red cherry, choke cherry, blueberry, gooseberry (two varieties, one quite large), red raspberry, strawberry, eyeberry. blackberry, west of mountains ; cranberry, marsh, high bush and sand; moosberry, swampberry or orangeberry, elder

Fiddle Dealers.-Charles Reade tells a tale of the romance of fiddle-dealing. There was a certain precious violoncello at Madrid. It was a genuine Stradiuarius. The local maker, one Ortega, had put in a new belly and sold it, keeping the old belly in his shop. M. Chanot, “the best judge of violins left now Tarisio is gone,” lighted upon the old belly and bought it. Tarisio then discovered it, and pestered Chanot till he sold it for a thousand francs, and told him where the remainder of the fiddle was to be found. The owner was persuaded to part with it for four thousand francs, and Tarisio started exultant for Paris with the Spanish bass in a case.

He never let it out of his sight. The pair were caught by a storm in the Bay of Biscay. The ship rolled ;

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side of unions, and without interfering with apprenticeships, or chapels, or guilds, and other trade arrangements, there is plenty of scope for a man handy with tools other than the steel pen, is steady and intelligent, to make a better living, and be more respected at home or in the colonies, than nineteen-twentieths of our poor clerks and other abject candi. dates for “ respectable employment."

berry, currants (red and black), and bloodberry. It may be doubted whether red and black currants are indigenous in Manitoba, but they certainly grow easily and yield gener. ously. As to apples, the prevailing opinion seems to be that Manitoba will have to content itself with crabs; a greater mistake could not be made, according to the report. The same idea has prevailed more or less with respect to every new State, territory, or province brought under cultivation on the continent of America. Just as Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario, once thought to be condemned to a perpetual appleless state, are now exporting the fruit by the million barrels, so will hardy varieties be found for the North-West up to at least the latitude corresponding with the northern limit of the apple in Europe. What is wanted in the NorthWest is for every farmer to experiment in a small way in the raising of seedlings of apples, pears, strawberries, plums, and all other fruits.

The Indian Jester and the Thieves.-Tennelram was a famous buffoon of the Court of a great prince in the East. One evening, while conversing with his wife in the parlour, he found out that thieves were lurking about the house. He told his wife in a loud voice, “My dear, I am afraid that thieves are prowling in this neighbourhood ; it is better we put all our wealth in our great wooden box and drop it into our garden well.” So saying, he filled a box with heavy stones and rubbish, and, securing it with locks, dropped it into the well. The thieves, imagining that Tennelram had given them a very fair opportunity of walking away with his riches, began to drain the well with the object of taking out the box. Tennelram, in the dark, set in order the garden channels which had long been neglected, and the water flowed into the beds. The night had far advanced, and yet no box appeared, as the well was very deep ; and when the dawn broke out the thieves gave up the hopeless task and slowly crept out of the garden. Tennelram, who had just then finished the very agreeable task of irrigating his garden, exclaimed, “I am very thankful to you for having taken the trouble of watering my garden! Should you feel inclined, you may come some other day and drain the well and take the box, for I assure you it will remain where you have left it at present.

Violin Playing.-When Jardine, the famous French violinist, was asked what time it would require to attain perfection on his instrument, he answered, “ Twelve hours a day for twenty years." Paganini remarked to De Beriot, that were they to study the violin for a whole life, its capabilities might be understood, but then another lifetime would be requisite to achieve its mastership. After hearing Paganini play, Mori offered to sell his fiddle and bow for five shillings.

Brains and Hats. Among the educated and intelligent classes the number of big brains is greater than with uneducated and less intelligent people. Among the latter, the proportion of brain-weights above 55 oz. has been ascertained to be only from four to six per cent., while the proportion among men who have been distinguished for great intellectual acquirement is at least 23 per cent. The brain-weights of only twenty-three such men are accurately known, and it is from these that the above proportion has been obtained. With few exceptions, these were all above the average capa. city of 49 oz. First in this respect comes the celebrated naturalist Cuvier, with a brain-weight of 64 oz., followed by the famous Scottish physician, Abercromby, and the poet Schiller, each with 63. Goodsir, the anatomist, follows at a considerable distance with 57), Sir James Simpson with 54, and Chalmers with 53. That such men as Gladstone, Bright, etc., possess more than average brain-weight may be inferred from a statement lately made public of the size of hat worn by these and a number of other living or recently deceased statesmen and litterateurs. Premising that what is known to the trade as size 7 is that of the average head, with presumably 49 oz. of brain, and that 7is a size so large as only to be made when specially ordered, it appears that out of fourteen persons whose hat-sizes are given, two (Lord Chelmsford and Dean Stanley) were below, while other two (Lord Beaconsfield and the Prince of Wales) were exactly up to the average.

Of the others, Dickens, Selborne, and Bright required 75, Earl Russell, 73 ; Lord Macaulay, Gladstone, and Thackeray, 73; Louis Philippe, 7*; and the Archbishop of York, 8 full! Of the twenty-three distinguished men already referred to whose actual brain-weights are known, four, including the late Professor Hughes Bennet, and Hermann, the philologist, were distinctly below the average, showing, as Dr. Bastian points out in a recent work, that a "well-constituted brain of small dimensions may be capable of doing much better work than many a larger organ whose internal constitution is, from one cause or other, defective." When there is no such defect, however, the big brain, there is every reason to believe, confers an undoubted advantage on its owner. Such being the case, it is not sur. prising that the assertion recently made, that a sensible diminution had taken place of late years in the size of the heads of the male population of those islands, and consequently of the brains-for in health the brain always fills the skull-should have attracted attention. The data upon which this startling statement is founded have been supplied by the most persistent, if not the most scientific, class of head measurers—the hatters, whose evidence on the point is of the most circumstantial kind. One merchant, of large experience, states that of the six sizes of hats beginning at 21 inches, and increasing by one-half inch to 231 inches, he was in the habit, five-and-thirty years ago, of buying for his retail trade in the following ratio, beginning at 21 inches-viz., 0, 1, 2, 4, 3, 1, while at the present time he is selling hats in the following ratio-viz., 3, 4, 3, 1, 1, 0. In other words, where only one hat was required, thirty-five years ago, at or under 213 inches, he now requires seven ; and where formerly four of the two largest sizes were required, he now needs only one. From numerous letters which have appeared in “ Nature," the experience in this instance would appear to be that of the trade generally. One manufacturer writes : “I should say

that heads generally are two sizes less than at the time (thirty to forty years ago) you refer to ; a head of more than 24 inches circumference is now quite a rarity, whilst we make thousands of hats for heads with a circumference of about 21 inches.” The decrease, according to another manufacturer, is so general “ that we do not make big-sized hats for stock, but only as ordered, and very few then.” That a similar diminution has taken place in Scotland is the experience of one of the principal hatters in Glasgow. There can be no reasonable doubt, therefore, that our hats are, on the whole, smaller than they were a generation ago ; do smaller hats, however, in this case imply diminished head: ? It has been

New Source of Sugar Production. It seems that the successful application of the processes for making sugar from sorghum, discovered by Professors Scoville and Weber, of the Illinois State Industrial University, has caused great excitement all over the State. Farmers are eagerly preparing to go into the sorghum sugar business, which will give them a larger profit io the acre than any other product. On 250 acres, the company who have been using the new processes have produced no less than 125,000lb. of sugar and 22,500 gallons of molasses, valued at 19,000 dollars, or an average of 76 dollars to the acre.

Clerkly Employment.-A gentleman advertised for a “clerk and book-keeper," at a weekly salary of £3, replies to be sent to the office of the “Daily Telegraph.” In answer to this one advertisement upwards of 1,950 applications were received, and the number would probably be over 2,000 when the notice reached more distant places. We have often referred to this subject in the “Leisure Hour,” pointing out the absurdity of so many young men regarding the pen as a more respectable tool for gaining a livelihood than other tools equally useful, and much more profitable. In carpentry, bookbinding, metal work of many kinds, and other handicrafts, there is ample room for skilled as well as ordinary and always well-paid labour. On one occasion, after such a statement, we received an abusive and threatening letter from the president or secretary of a trade union, protesting against inviting competitors for the work represented by him. Out

more plentiful ; trade is becoming a factor ; the sense of free. dom among the people is growing; the power to read and the demand for books are increasing ; and the process of raising is surely going on.

pointed out that the undoubted diminution is probably to be explained by a reference to change of fashion in the mode of wearing both hat and hair. Thirty years ago it was customary, as the prints of the time show, to wear the hat drawn well down over the head ; how far over may be judged from the fact that it was customary, in England at least, to attach a picce of cloth to the under side of the brim at the back in order to take the friction off the coat-collar. On the other hand, the hair was worn thick and long, the present style of close-cropped hair being in those days associated with soldiers and prisoners. These two causes together seem fairly adequate to explain such decrease in the size of hats as has been noticed.--The Scotsman,

Sir Isaac Newton on Matter.-It seems probable to me that God in the beginning formed matter in solid, impene. trable, and moveable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportions to space, as most conduced to the end for which He formed them. All material things seem to have been composed of the hard and solid particles above mentioned, variously associated in the first creation by the counsels of an intelligent agent. For it became Him who created them to set them in order ; and if He did so, it is unphilosophical to seek for any other origin of this world, or to pretend that it might rise out of a chaos by the mere laws of nature; though, being once formed, it may continue by those laws for many ages." —Sir Isaac New. ton's Optics,” Book iii.


Population in Germany and in the United States.-In Germany there are 205 inhabitants to the square mile, and in the United States 17.29. When the density of popu. lation is equal to that of Germany, the United States will have 595,534,840 inhabitants, not including the Indian terri. tory and some tracts now unoccupied.

Fillibustering in Bechwanaland.--A lawless band of Euro. peans has lately taken advantage of the disorganised state of Bechwanaland, and has robbed the people of their cattle, and indeed carried on war in that territory. They were able to do this with the greater success that they have obtained at all times refuge for themselves and their stolen stock in the Transvaal, whilst the Government of that State had no quarrel whatever with the Bechwana chiefs. Thus a people beg for our help in the establishment of a good Government; they agree to submit to us and to pay the necessary taxes; and they befriend our people in a time of trouble. We govern them for a time, and then leave them ; turning a deaf ear to them, when we see them shot down by irresponsible fillibusters, whose base of operation is a country of which we have the suzerainty !- The Rev. J. Mackenzie, in Nineteenth Century."

An American Traveller in Russia.--The Rev. Dr. John Hall, who travelled in Russia last summer, has been describing his impressions of the country to an audience in New York. The following are extracts from his address :-"One of the first lessons that I learned in Russia was humility. I confess to have been guilty often of boasting of the magnitude of the United States; but when we think of the extent of Russia, we have to drop our swagger and boasting and become meek and moderate. From east to west Russia is 6,000 miles across, and from north to south 3,000 miles, or, in round numbers, Russia has double the extent of territory possessed by the United States. In the matter of unoccupied land, too, Russia is our superior. In some parts the population is only two persons to the square mile, and the average for the entire country is only ten to the square mile. The physical surroundings in Russia are not dissimilar to those in New Jersey. The land is only partly cultivated ; it is mostly fat, in many places marshy and in others covered with a growth of inferior wood. Imagine New Jersey magnified by 10,000, and you can form a picture of Russia. The temperature in July and August is very like that experienced by The people of New Jersey in May or June. I have hope for Russia.' We have known how slowly 5,000,000 of freed men have risen, surrounded as they have been by every favourable circumstance. The process is necessarily slow. Men in masses go down easily, but it is not so easy to lift them up. We must remember that it was oniy in 1860 that 40,000,000 of Russian serfs were set free. But schools have become

The Ministry.—Some of our readers may be interested in the following facts relating to the Ministry. The average age of the fourteen members of the present Cabinet is between fifty-six and fifty-seven. The first in years, as in position, is Mr. Gladstone, who was seventy-three on December 29. The youngest is Sir Charles Dilke, who has not yet com. pleted his fortieth year. Seven are peers, one is heir-apparent to a dukedom, another is a baronet, another in the succession to a baronetcy ; yet another is a bishop's son-inlaw. Lords Spencer, Carlingford, Granville, Derby, Hart. ington, and Kimberley, and Sir William Harcourt, belong to families which, according to Mr. Bateman, have held land in the same county in unbroken male succession since the days of Henry VII. The united rent-rolls of Mr. Gladstone, Lords Spencer, Carlingsord, Derby, Kimberley, and Northbrook, and Mr. Dodson, are reckoned in the modern Domesday Book at {289,330, and represent the ownership of 140,416

Lord Hartington's father is proprietor of 198,665 acres, yielding a rental of £180,990. Lord Carlingford, it may be mentioned, is also heir-presumptive to his brother, Lord Clermont, who owns 21,027 acres, from which he draws an income of £15,784. Again, all the Cabinet Ministers, with the exception of Mr. Chamberlain, are university men. Seven have been at Oxford, and six at Christchurch; six at Cambridge, and five at Trinity. Sir Charles Dilke's college was Trinity Hall. Six are public school men—the Premier, the Indian Secretary, and the new Chancellor of the Duchy being Etonians, and the President of the Council a Harrovian. The Chancellor was educated both at Rugby and Winchester, the Colonial Secretary at Eton and Rugby.

American Coloured Freedmen.—No people ever entered the portals of freedom under circumstances more unpropitious ihan the American freedmen. They were flung overboard on an unknown sea in the midst of a storm, without planks, ropes, oars, or life-preservers, and told they must swim or perish. They were without money, without friends, without shelter, and without bread. The land which they had watered with their tears, enriched with their blood, tilled by their hard hands, was owned by their enemies. They were told to leave their old quarters and seek food and shelter elsewhere. In view of this condition of things, the marvel is not so much that they have made little progress, but that they are not exterminated. I regret to observe that even coloured men are heard to deny that any improvement has taken place in their condition during tiie last twenty years. How they can do this i am utterly unable to see. Twenty years ago there was perhaps not a single schoolhouse for coloured children in the Southern States. Now there are two hundred thousand coloured children regularly attending school in those States. That fact, which does not stand alone, is sufficient to refute all the gloomy stories of croakers as to the progress of the coloured freedmen of the South. The trouble with these croakers is that they do not consider the point of the freedmen's departure. They know the heights which they have still to reach, but do not measure the depths from which they have come.

For one, I can say that nothing has occurred within these twenty years which has dimmed my hopes or caused me to doubt that the emancipated people of this country will avail themselves of their opportunities, and by enterprise, industry, invention, discovery, and manly character, vindicate the confidence of their friends, and put to silence and to shame the gloomy predictions of all their enemies. --Frederick Douglas.

Trees on Roads.--Statistics have been published by the French Department of Public Works relative to the planting of trees along the high roads of the country. The totai length of the Routes Nationales is 39,938, 126 mètres, of which 23,731,928 mètres may be bordered with trees. or this distance, 14,335,311 mètres are planted, while 9,396,617 mètres remain to be done. The number of trees used to form the welcome avenues is 2,691,698.-Architect. [In the “ Leisure Hour" for August, 1879, an account was given, from official sources, of the trees of Paris and the depariment of the Seine.)

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