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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

[miscellaneous paragraphs]

The following conversation is said to have been heard in a Police Court in New South Wales:— « This evidence is not sufficient, » said his Worship warmly. « I'm not going to take this man's ipse dicksy. » « Ipse dixit, your Worship, » whispered the clerk. « You wait till you're asked, sir, » responded the Bench in a dignified manner, « I know what I'm talking about; the final 't' is never pronounced in French!»

« A poem, » is modern American slang for anything supposed to be particularly fine. A certain printing machine is advertised as « a poem in steel. » A New York dramatic paper neatly satirizes the term thus: « Mrs Langtry says that 'a woman of the deadest white skin, with blue eyes and blonde hair, becomes a poem when she dons a yellow gown,' and the man who pays for it becomes a tragedy in three acts when he sees the bill. »

The Dunedin Workman—which fiercely attacked the Crown Solicitor at Wellington, Mr H. D. Bell, together with the Premier and others—has been called to account, Mr Bell having instituted criminal proceedings. The proprietor, Mr Lister, offered to make an ample apology, to be advertised in such papers as Mr Bell might name; but the prosecutor refused to accept any apology unless the name of the writer were given up. Mr Lister has been committed for trial; and was liberated on bail, himself in £150, and two sureties of £75 each.

One of the functions of an English Court appears to be that of a tribunal of final appeal in cases of disputed questions in lexicography. Mr Justice Kekewich lately had to decide the meaning of the expression « an unmarried man. » The counsel on the one side declared that unmarried meant never having been married. The Judge, however, agreed with the opposing counsel that « to die unmarried » means to depart this life without leaving a husband or wife surviving. This was a grave question; but rather a funny one lately arose in Victoria. A Melbourne newspaper having charged a shire councillor with having « tiddly-winked the shire funds, » litigation ensued, and the matter was carried on appeal to the highest tribunal in the colony. Some fifty English dictionaries were brought into court to enable the judges to ascertain what was the real meaning of the word; but « tiddlywinking » was not discoverable in any of them. So they accepted the definition of a witness, that the phrase conveyed to his mind the idea of « using little dodges to obtain one's own ends. » An imputation of that sort, the Court decided, was not necessarily libellous.

The decision of the Supreme Court in the appeal case Jones v. Atack, noted elsewhere, will meet with general approval.

Mr Child, proprietor of the Philadelphia Ledger, has telegraphed an offer to Mr Sack-ville for the purchase of the ground on which the Shakspeare memorial stands. If the offer is accepted he will present the ground to the town of Stratford-on-Avon.

It may not be generally known that the first institution of the eight-hours' system was in New Zealand fifty years ago, and that its founder, Mr Samuel Duncan Parnell, is still living in Wellington. The Evening Press of the 20th inst. published a lithographed portrait and very interesting biography of the old reformer.

The witty editor of the Fielding Star gives his defaulting subscribers the following considerate and courteous reminder:— « 'The Sun, and what we owe to it' was the subject of a lecture delivered in Wellington last week. 'The Star, and what we owe to it,' will be the subject of a lecture in Fielding by one of the leading citizens next week. »

A Wellington clergyman (the same who lately announced that the jubilee was invented by the Church of Borne) has made another equally interesting discovery. He stated in a sermon that the present labor troubles were « a direct judgment of God upon a people whose Parliament legalized gambling and passed the Deceased Wife's Sister Act, and the Divorce Act. » There are about a thousand pages of rubbish in the official reports of the session; but, with the exception of one profane expression, for which the member had to apologize, nothing quite so bad as this was uttered by any member of the House.

« Civis, » in the Otago Witness, writes of the Complete Boycot: — « The trigger was pulled, the shot fired, and—the gun has kicked! So far as can be judged by an outsider the U.S.S. Co. is going on its wicked way much as before, while the Maritime Conncil, on the other hand, is—shall I say on its back? Not exactly that, perhaps. I never exaggerate. But at any rate it has been knocked pretty well hors de combat. The new, patent, scientific, quick-firing gun, the possession of which enabled Mr Millar to go to war with a light heart, has unexpectedly turned out to be a double-action weapon, which does more execution at the butt than at the muzzle. I don't gloat over this fact, observe; I merely chronicle it for the admonition of anybody else who may be tempted to experiment with the same treacherous weapon. »

I do not know (says « Aulus » in the Australasian) whether the following witticism of a well-known witty northern legislator has received publicity so far south before. The Estimates were being discussed, and a good deal of dissatisfaction had been expressed about the costs paid to Messrs Little and Brown, who acted as solicitors for the Crown. After the Estimates, the next business was a Game Protection Bill. Some one objected that amongst the birds to be protected there was no mention of the lawyer-bird. « Never heard of it. What is a lawyer-bird? » asked the Minister in charge of the Bill, who was rather in a fog. « I can tell you, » promptly replied the wit. « It's little and brown, and has a remarkably long bill. You need not trouble to include it—it can protect itself. »