20 MARCH 1852, Page 10


The Earl of Malmesbnry has narrowly escaped a living interment in his new office—by stucco. The Austrian Minister was to have met him at three o'clock in a certain room at the Foreign Office • as the Secretary was unexpectedly engaged, Count Buol was requested to call again in an hour; in the interval, the whole of the ceiling of the room where the meeting was to have been held fell to the floor. It is reported that the Government offices on the South side of Downing Street are in "a very insecure condition "._ and we believe it.

The small screw-steamer fitted up by Captain Beatson to go in search of Sir John Franklin has been declared ready for sailing. Captain Beat. son will explore the seas East of the meridian of Behring's Straits.

Sir Robert Peel calculated the grain produce of the United Kingdom at about 26,000,000 quarters ; Mr. M`Culloch estimates the produce at 17,775,000 quarters—England 15,266,000, Scotland 1,225,000, and Ireland 1,350,000; Mr. Caird, the Agricultural Commissioner of the Times, estimates the pro. dues at 16,000,000 quarters—England 12,000,000, Scotland 1,500,000, Ire- land 2,500,000. The last estimate seems to be that most relied on by the corn-trade.

A young man has died in St. Bartholomew's Hospital from inhaling chlo- roform. He had an aneurism or tumour behind the ear ; this was operated upon under the influence of chloroform ; on a second attempt some days after, the chloroform caused a cessation of pulsation in the heart ; twice sen- sation was restored by stimulants, a bath, and galvanism, but the patient died in a short time.

A curious trial has taken place before the Tribunal of Correctional Police at Chartres. A young girl, daughter of a diligence-driver living near Dreux, concocted a scheme to secure a husband above her own station. She pro- duced letters purporting to be written by the Bishop of Chartres, promising to marry her to a young man of good family, allow her parents a goodly in- come, and give her a fortune of 100,000 francs. These letters deceived the girl's father and mother; they talked about their daughter's fine prospects; a wealthy farmer's son- thought he should like the young lady for a wife. After a time, the Bishop wrote that the husband he had intended for Leonia had proved unworthy of her ; but the good pastor now promised a fortune of 400,000 francs. Leonie's father gave up his post of diligence-driver, and took increased delight in talking of his daughter's prospects. The rich farmer's son now thought there was a chance for him : he was accepted, the marriage-contract drawn up, the wedding-dresses purchased. It happened that the Bishop's letters were written in a very strange style for such a functionary, and he did not spell quite correctly : this was explained away for a time by the father, who sagely remarked that a bishop of eighty might be allowed these little indulgences. As the marriage drew nigh, however, the old farmer took the letters to a lawyer, and then it was discovered that the whole affair was a fraud. As Mademoiselle Ldonie had obtained goods on credit upon the strength of the forgeries, she and her mother were tried for swindling : the father was evidently a dupe ; and during the trial the mother appeared in the same light, and she was acquitted. The girl was sent to prison for eighteen months.