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commander-in-chief, who communicated with the officer, desiring to know the truth of the statements. The cornet was obliged to admit the fact, and was, in consequence, removed by her Majesty from the regiment, and the value he paid for his commission was forfeited to the Crown.
6. A correspondent of one of the London papers thus described the sufferings of the wounded soldiers from the battle-field of Magenta* in the summer of 1859 :—"The Milanese, immediately after the Austrian evacuation, sent up trains to fetch the wounded. The trains consisted of nothing but third-class carriages and goods waggons, partly covered, partly open. Those who were only slightly wounded, and could walk, were put into the carriages; while the others were laid in the goods waggons, which had been made as soft as the circumstances admitted, by putting straw and hay at the bottom. To these the unfortunate wretches were carried, in agonies of pain caused by the movement. A large barrel of cooling drink, made of water and syrup, was near, as well as another filled with wine, with which to assuage the fiery thirst caused by their wounds. Boughs were cut to make an awning over the open goods trucks, so as to protect their miserable inmates from the rays of a real Italian
This station, and the railway train itself, were certainly the most shocking scenes of misery which one can possibly conceive. It was the darker side of a brilliant victory-looking behind the scenes by daylight; wounded in all stages of agony and pain, only half clad, torn, dusty, and muddy in their own blood. The priests walking about, all prepared to administer the last sacrament to the dying; the glazed eye of death in some, showing that they had ceased to suffer ; the working eyes of others, and the kneeling priest before them, showing that they were on the point of sighing their last ; near them were others, whom you would have thought dead, had it not been for the imperceptible movement of the eye, or a convulsive twist of the limb. You became involuntarily silent when you entered, and took off your cap at the sight of so much misery. Even the lively French soldiers, who ministered to the wants of these defaced specimens of humanity, became grave; and this dead silence was only broken from time to time by the solemn words of the priest, a faint sob, a frantic shriek of pain, or a weak sigh. You forgot almost that there was a victory to redeem this dark scene.”
7. Among the hazards to which miners are exposed, is that arising not merely from the use, but from the custody, of gunpowder. An accident illustrative of this lately occurred. It appears that in certain collieries the “butty colliers" are expected to take charge of certain quantities of powder, to keep the material somewhere in store, and to serve out as much to the men in the pit from day to day
* The first great battle in the Italian campaign, in which France and Sardinia fought against Austria.
as the operations immediately in hand are likely to require. In pursuance of this arrangement, a butty collier had received his quartercask of powder, containing 25lb., and had placed it for safe keeping in the kitchen of his own house. Before proceeding to his work in the morning, he went to the powder-barrel to take out the day's allowance for the use of the pit. His wife at that moment was getting the breakfast ready, and as it happened, blowing the fire. A spark flew across the narrow room and fell upon the cask. In an instant the house was shivered almost to atoms, and the poor man himself shockingly injured.
8. A pleasant mot* is running the round of our social circles. Amongst the cases of insolvents recently heard before a certain facetious commissioner, was one of a person who was proved to have defrauded his mother and sister, under circumstances of flagrant heartlessness. Upon this part of the case the commissioner made some severe remarks, when the insolvent interrupted him, declaring that he had borne an unblemished character all his life, and that the commissioner should not judge of him by isolated transactions, but by the whole tenor of his conduct. You should consult my antecedents,” exclaimed the insolvent. “I would rather consult your relatives," replied the commissioner.
9. Some of the leading members of the government have what is called an official residence, though the ministers themselves seldom reside in them. It came to pass, however, that a young gentleman of more than ordinary shrewdness got appointed to a confidential post about a cabinet minister, and having, therefore, the run of the official residence, it occurred to him that there was a vast amount of comfort and convenience going to waste. Filled with this idea, he, having first obtained the permission of his chief, proceeded in the most quiet and methodical manner possible to appropriate to himself a suite of most comfortable apartments, and to arrange a most effective bachelor's establishment. Everything was just completed; the rooms were charmingly fitted up; the private lodgings, hitherto so contentedly occupied, were thrown up, and possession was just about to be taken, when, lo! the astounding information was received that the ministry were out! It was too true; the cabinet had resigned; and this pleasant arrangement, so well planned and so well carried into effect, was, with all the other advantages of office, handed over intact, for the special enjoyment of a political opponent, and one who thoroughly enjoys the comforts so unwittingly provided for him by his predecessor.
10. A number of very interesting facts are contained in the seconci annual report of the Acclimatisation Society.t. In the class of
* Mot (pron, mā), saying.
+ Society for introducing species of animals and plants which are natives of other climates.
mammals* there are three species to which the attention of the society is now being devoted. The first of these is the Chinese sheep. We are assured that before twelve months are over, the “ permanent and extensive establishment of the Chinese sheep in England ” will, in all probability, be “an accomplished fact.” The society hopes that important results may be obtained from the “ hybridisation" of the deer tribe, in which some advance has already been made. The third animal which the report takes notice of is the eland; but the objection to it appears to be that it is a long time in coming to maturity, and that therefore the meat would always be expensive. In birds the society hopes to do great things. Turkeys appear to possess extraordinary capabilities, and we seem to know as little about them at present as we should of apples if our only specimen were a codling. There are most excellent Turkeys in Australia and Central America, closely allied, in one instance, to the bustard, but said to be delicious in flavor. “Guans” and “curassows,” too, are fowls with a plumage exceedingly ornamental, and a flavor“ well spoken of.” Then there are numerous varieties of grouse, Canadian, American, and Chinese, all more or less eligible. A new duck has already been produced by hybridisation,t of which the qualities are not a little remarkable. We have it on the authority of Lord Craven, corroborated by the ex nce of Mr. Grantley Berkeley, that the “ ntailed cross” has the charming faculty of always remaining tender. However old he may be, he is never tough, but “
be killed all the year round as excellent for the table, never acquiring the hardness to which the meat of the tame duck is liable when grown to maturity.” Yet even this most convenient fowl would be surpassed in merit by the
Wonga” of Australia, rightly designated the queen of the pigeon tribe.” Imagine our dove-cotes full of these birds, selling, let us hope, at ls. or ls. 2d. a couple, and “combining in the most delicate proportion the flavour of the pheasant and the grouse!” Consignments of the Wonga pigeon have been bespoken, and it is to be hoped that they may find nothing uncongenial in the climate of these isles. The “Murray cod,” and a new species of perch, are the only new fish which the society appears to have in view, and there is little immediate chance of success with either. In vegetables, attention seems to be concentrated on the Chinese yam, but there are material differences of opinion as to the real merits of the root. Several authori. ties, including members of the society itself, pronounce against it.
11. The experiment of establishing kitchen gardens for the soldiers has completely succeeded in France. The space cultivated at Châlons is five acres for each regiment, which is found to be quite sufficient, and the saving effected in the victualling of the troops during four months was 1500f. for each corps. That sum is far from represent
* Mammals, animals that give suck.
+ Hybridisation, mixture of two species, of which the mule is an example.
ing the real benefit which might be derived from the plan. The engineers who were charged with the distribution of the seed gave out this year 60,000 cabbage plants. These were sufficient for 24,000 men, counting 100 cabbages each day to each regiment. The cost of seed and labor hardly reached 50f. for each regiment.
12. A “smart.” fellow in New York advertised lately on Joseph Ady's plan : that any person who would send him one dollar should have positive information to avoid the conscription. He received above six hundred applicatious, enclosing the dollar, in one day. The information was duly forwarded : " Enlist.” The transaction was considered quite legal, and the police could do nothing.
13. It appears surprising to be told that during the last ten years we have coined more than twice as many sovereigns as we have coined shillings; that we have coined nearly as many half-sovereigns as florins; and that among our small silver coinage we may reckon not only sixpences, fourpences, and threepences, but even groats, twopences, and pence, in the same material.
14. It turns out that the recent inquiry into the constitution and management of the diplomatic service has not led to any important changes. A series of new resolutions respecting the service has lately been published under the authority of Earl Russell. The novelties introduced are very few and very minute. The mode of examining attachés on their first entering the service, and subsequently on their receiving higher appointments, is slightly changed. The pay of the young gentlemen is put upon a definite footing. At the end of four years
of gratuitous labor they are to receive the magnificent salary of £150 a year. Paid attachés are no longer to be called attachés, but are to rejoice in the higher style of second and third secretaries. The basis of the present system, however, is left untouched. The diplomatic service is still to be filled by the class of young gentlemen who have interest enough to obtain a nomination from the Foreign Minister, and who can afford to pass four years in looking forward to the happy day when they can proudly say they earn £150 a year.
15. A wealthy citizen of Berlin is periodically attacked with a desire to knock off hats, for which diversion he cheerfully pays at the rate of three dollars a hat. In the past year he has been obliged to make good the loss of 267 hats. At a recent musical festival, 53 hats were sacrificed to this curious frenzy, and for the evening's entertainment he paid 159 thalers.
16. The indefatigable registrar-general, who appears to take actual pleasure in his work, and is continually giving us something “ novel or strange” in the way of vital statistics, has just issued a table of the deaths in every sub-district in England in the ten years 1850-60, the accounts furnished not being susceptible of further subdivision. From this curious statement it appears that, in the entire district of the Isle of Wight in ten years, the deaths averaged no more than 17:1 to every thousand living; in the sub-district of Godshill, comprising that tropical little nook, Ventnor, the death-rate was only 15.4. At the delightful watering-place of Torquay it was 17:1; at Broadwater, Worthing, and Lancing, not quite 17:2; at Eastbourne and Seaford, 17•3; at Clifton, about 17:6; at Hastings and St. Leonard's, nearly 18-3; at Tunbridge Wells, 18:7; at Ramsgate and Broadstairs, 19; the same at Cheltenham ; in the sub-district of Weymouth, 20. At Bath, at Brighton, and at Scarborough, the mortality was 22; at Whitby, 22:1 ; and at Margate, 22:3.
17. Corsica now occupies a regular place in the circuit of autumnal touring, and we learn from recent letters that the vast monolith of granite now lying in the quarries of Algajola is one of the lions. It is said to be the largest perfect mass of granite in the world, and is intended for the gigantic pedestal on which the statues of Napoleon I. and his brothers are to be erected at Ajaccio, their birth-place.
18. A curious announcement lately appeared in the Dublin journals. It professes to come from an officer of the Indian army, at present resident in England, who is desirous of obtaining the agency of an Irish estate. He is of business habits, and has the highest testimonials from general and other officers with whom he has served; but these are not the grounds upon which he rests his fitness for the office. He coolly winds up the list of his qualifications by stating that he "does not mind being shot at!”
19. Blondin is a humorist, as everybody who has witnessed his comical feints on the high rope may have observed. The most characteristic instance we have heard of his humor and coolness, is an anecdote of one of his exploits at Niagara. He was carrying a nervous man on his back over the Falls, and the man showed so much uneasiness that Blondin said to him very calmly, “I must request you to sit quiet, or I shall have to put you down." Here was a horriblo joke. Conceive being put down on a rope over Niagara, by way of relieving one's nerves !
20. A writer in the last number of Frazer's Magazine gives us the following striking picture of the home of Charlotte Bronté * in the West Riding of Yorkshire :-“A melancholy home, in truth, for a spirit like Charlotte Bronté's, must have been that dreary Haworth parsonage; no trees sheltering or shrouding it, and yet all pleasant
* A noted authoress.