SUMMARY OF PASSING EVENTS.
The statement recently made by a labourer named HERBERT, at a meeting held in Newport, Isle of Wight, that he had been discharged from the Queen's estate at Osborne, because he had asked for higher wages, could not be accepted with implicit credence as it was first made public, and there is nothing surprising accordingly in the circumstances that fuller facts put a very different face on the affair. Throughout her illustrious reign nothing has redounded more to the credit of her Majesty than the kindness and considerateness she has invariably shown to people of humble degree.
Faithful servants, whatever their origin may have been, enjoy her confidence and respect. When residing at Balmoral she does not deem it beneath her queenly dignity to enter the cottages in the vicinity, converse with the inmates, and show, by substantial tokens, that she takes a kindly interest in their welfare.
It was therefore very far from probable that the Queen would order a labourer to be discharged for merely asking for a rise of wages. Of course it is pretty well known that the business of the estate at Osborne as at Balmoral, is conducted through the agency of a steward, and that men may be discharged or engaged without her Majesty knowing anything whatever about the matter.
But, as regards the special case of HERBERT, it appears that though he could only be employed in making faggots, he received from 14s. to 22s. a week for this trifling kind of work, and his assertion that the wages were stopped after a week or two's illness is stated to be totally contrary to fact. In connection with this case, the information is supplied on what seems to be good and reliable authority, that while the Queen desires to avoid unfairness by paying a higher rate of wages than is generally paid in the island, her Majesty at the same time does all she can for her labourers by building excellent cottages with gardens attached, by providing good education for their children, furnishing them with the best medical attendance, free of charge, when sick, and giving constant employment, with pensions, to old, worn-out labourers or their widows.
In fact the kindly treatment of the labouring population on the Queen's Isle of Wight estate is such that no worker, who conducts himself properly, has ever had occasion to go to the parish for relief.
TEA-MEETINGS are frequently got up in this country for no other purpose than that people may enjoy the novelty of sipping the "Cup that cheers but not inebriates" in a public hall, and listening to smart speeches instead of the local scandal which too often accompanies the clatter of saucers and rattle of teaspoons. But our meetings of this kind must pale their feeble, ineffectual fires before the great tea centennial anniversary which has been celebrated at Boston in the United States.
We cannot fail to remember that the Independence of America originated in the attempted imposition of a tea-tax by the British Government. It was on the 16th of December, 1773, that "a party of seventeen men, disguised as Mohawk Indians, and accompanied by many friends and a following of nearly 100 men and boys from the streets, made a dash for the three East Indiamen ... The Dartmouth, CAPTAIN JAMES HALL; The Eleanor, CAPTAIN JAMES BRUCE; and the Beaver, CAPTAIN HEZEKIAH COFFIN ... overpowered the crews and threw all the tea (342 chests) into the harbour."
On the occasion of Boston, last month, celebrating the centenary of this memorable historical event, the tea at the great gatherings in Fareuil Hall and Tremont Temple was "served by pretty young women dressed in the costume of a hundred years ago; and at the Tremont Temple, a military feature was furnished by the light infantry in full uniform, and a small souvenir tea chest, filled with real Bohea tea, was given to each person present by the young men in "ye olden costume' and Young Mohawks in the dress of the native tribe."
In connection with this remarkable celebration, it is noticed as a curious circumstance by the ' New York Daily Bulletin ' that the representatives of Massachusetts at Washington are, at the present time urging the re-imposition of the duty or tax on tea.
PEOPLE who are in the habit of travelling much by railway, must often have wondered why it is that the purchase of tickets for the trains is made such a tedious and annoying process.
Why is it that the windows of booking-offices are kept religiously closed until a few minutes before the time advertised for trains starting on the various lines ? What beneficial purpose is served by causing passengers to crush each other, tread on each other's toes, and by subjecting ladies in especial to a great deal of inconvenience and annoyance ?
Things are managed in a much more business-like way in America. In the chief towns, railway tickets can be purchased at the railway stations at all hours, and they are also to be had at the principal hotels. In Scotland there has been a partial introduction of the same system, since tickets for certain stations on the North British Railway can be purchased at shops and offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
If this practice were to become universal ... if tickets could be bought at shops, offices, hotels, and at railway stations at all hours, the benefit to the public would be very great indeed. It would do away with those crushes in front of booking-office windows which are so annoying, and it would promote the punctuality of trains in starting from stations.
We believe the real reason why booking-office windows are not always kept open is that the railway companies employ too few clerks, and these unfortunate gentlemen cannot, at one and the same time, serve the travelling public and make up their books.
SUMMARY OF PASSING EVENTS.