The Earl of Elgin has accepted the office of Plenipotentiary to the Court of relit', and will proceed on his arduous mission as soon as he has been made sufficiently acquainted with the views of her Majesty's Government. It would not be easy to name a more unexceptionable man for the office, or even one with so many positive recommendations.— Titnes, March 14.
When the regiments arrive from England, there will be a force of 10,000 men at Hongkong. Four regiments go from England—those next in rotation for service in India. The command of the force is vested in Major-General the Honourable T. Ashburnham, C.B., who was in the first Sutlej campaign. Major-Generals Garrett and Straubenzec are to have commend of Brigades, and Colonels Pakenham and Wetherell respectively fill the offices of Assistant Adjutant and Assistant Quartermaster-General.— United Service Gazette.
The Commissioners sent abroad to examine the military institutions of the Continental nations have now made their report. The Commission consisted of an Engineer officer, an Artillery officer, and a civil ian practically conversant with education. In carrying out work intrusted to them, they first examined our own establishments at Woolwich and Chatham, and then visited all the great military schools on the Continent except those of Russia. The result of their labours forms a very valuable addition to the history of military education.
The deaths registered in London, which in the first week of February rose to 1368, have continuously decreased since that time, and in the week that ended last Saturday were 1175. In the ten years 1847-'56 the average number of deaths in the weeks corresponding with last week was 1160. For the purpose of comparison this average must be raised proportionally to increase ofpopulation in which case it will become 1276, and it will appear that the public health is at present so far good that the deaths last week were less by 100 than the number that would have occurred if the average rate of mortality had ruled. Six persons are returned who had attamcd the age of ninety or more years ; and in this number is a pensioner in the Royal Hospital at Chelsea, whose ago is stated to have been a hundred ycars.—ltoJlstra,-Generur8 Report.
The Duchess and Princess Mary of Cambridge dined with the Duchess of Inverness, at Kensington Palace, on Wednesday evening.
The Duke of Cambridge dined with the Marquis and Marchioness of Clanriearde on Saturday.
The Speaker entertained a number of Members belonging to the Liberal party on Saturday ; and afterwards held a levee.
Lord Puhnerston had his usual dinner-party on Saturday ; followed by Lady Pahnerstou's assembly.
The Countess of Derby held an assembly on Wednesday.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave a Cabinet dinner on Wednesday.
There were 126 candidates for the secretaryship of the Reform Club : Mr. George W. Harris, formerly Stipendiary Magistrate of Grenada, was selected.
Ames Duff, Earl of Fife, died on Wednesday night, at Duff House, aged H eighty-one. e had served with distinction as a volunteer in the Spanish army during the Peninsular war, and was twice wounded. He was a Knight of the Thistle, and had won many foreign decorations. Ile filled at his death the offices of Lord-Lieutenant of Banffshire, and President of the Antiquarian Society of Scotland. Mr. James Duff, Member for Banffshire, succeeds to the earldom and estates of the family.
The story of the death in a Vienna hospital of Madame Heinefetter, the singer, which lately went the round of the French and English papers, is contradicted : it is now stated that she is living in easy circumstances in a villa near Baden-Baden.
The General Hospital of Sculls (Oise) has just lost one of its most interesting inmates, in the person of a widow named Lhotellier, who was born on the 15th September 1752, and on the day of her death (the 236 February) had attained the age of 104 years 6 months and 8 days. She retained all her faculties, with the exception of hearing, up to the age of 102. She was remarkably lively in temper ; and she found it the greatest deprivation when compelled only a very few years ago to give up dancing, in which exercise she used to exhibit her agility to her numerous visitors.
In an article in the Paris Conetitutionnel, M. de Cessna has outdone the usual blunders of Frenchmen in diecoursing on English matters: he itiforms his readers that the " West Riding" is the Partie Oriental° do Londres" ! —the "East end of London."
To relieve the suffering of the Queen of Naples immediately previous to. her confinement, two important aids were brought from Naples,—Signor de Renzis, an accoucheur extraordinary, and—the relies of San Gennaro ! The new-born Prince was named " Gennaro Maria Iminacolata."
It is rumoured that M. de Morny intends to settle in Russia : that he has bought estates there ; that it would not be convenient to himself to return to France just scow; and that the Emperor of the French is not pleased with him.
The Sultan, who had already made a present to the Emperor Napoleon. of the Church of the Nativity at Jerusalem, has, in order to render the gift complete, also given him the old palace of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, which is annexed to St. Peter's Prison. The Greeks had long solicited the same building. These ruins have been surrendered to France, on the ground of her considering herself as the representative of Catholic interests in the East.
During the recent Greek carnival at Constantinople, many of the Turkslaid aside their gravity and joined in the amusements of the hour ; especially they danced with great spirit at Pera, where a ball was given, under the English Ambassador's patronage, to relieve the distress of the poor of the city : 3000/. was netted.
The Commissioners of Customs have authorized the formation of a mutual guarantee fund for such officers of that establishment as may be disposed to avail themselves of it, in lieu of providing by other means the personal security required from them. It is to be constituted by a payment from each officer of 1 per cent on the amount of security taken. No further payments will be called for, except in ease of necessity, to prevent the fund from falling below 3.5001.
Captain Boxer, Royal Artillery, Superintendent of the Laboratory at Woolwich Arsenal, has been granted by Government the sum of 5000/. as a reward for his invention and improvement of fuzes and shells which were used at the siege of Sebastopol, and which have been adopted in the service.
The Law Times expresses an apprehension of a great public calamity. "If the scheme for registration of titles to be produced next session is anything like that which has been described by the newspapers, half the solicitors in the country must prepare to shut up their offices. Three-fourths of the business of the profession in the provinces—all of it, indeed, that is worth having—conies from conveyancing. The operation of the proposed scheme will be to destroy that branch of a country attorney's practice, caving him only that in which he shares his profits, assail as they are, with his agent in London."
An extraordinary feat has been performed by Mr. W. Purves, of Linton Burnfoot, in Sunlaws water, on the river Teviot. Mr. Purves went out in the early part of the day, and after fishing for three hours killed eight doh weighing 120 pounds. What is most remarkable is, that this large " creelful " was captured with seven minnows ! The average weight of the fiat killed was 15 pounds.
The children's " balloons " or balls now sold about the streets of London are inflated with hydrogen gas,—which is, as everybody knows, an Unhurtmable and in some cases an explosive fluid, The dangerous nature of such playthings must be obvious.
Dr. Charles Sumner, of Rochester in the United States, has published an account of the extraction of hundreds of needles and pins from the tin& of a young woman,• who must have thrust them in herself while labouring under some hallucination. A similar case occurred id this country, at Faringdon, some twenty years ago.
In the last year, the wrecks on the coasts of the United Kingdom were 1153, with a tonnage of 229,936. The total of wrecks was rather smaller than in 1855; there was a great increase in collisions.
At the date of the last advises from Victoria, it was believed in Melbourne that the Government intended to propose a public bank of issue.
On the 16th December, Melbourne, Geelong, and Ballarat, were united by an electric telegraph. The line to Bendigo was expected to be opened before Christmas.
Messrs. Foster last Saturday sold a collection of tracts relating to the Civil War of the seventeenth century. The volumes brought high prices : 77 lots realized no less than 6701.