Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 5
Several reviews of type specimens, American and foreign, have again to stand over.
A very creditable performance (says a contemporary) was accomplished in connexion with the recent Indian census in the town of Revilgunge, in the Chuprah district. This municipality has a leader in Tara Pershad Mookerjee, Rai Bahadur, pleader and zemindar, who does not allow the grass to grow under his feet. So excellent were this gentleman's arrangements that he had all his figures totalled and worked out during the night, and the report for a population of 13,400 souls in the collector's hand at six o'clock next morning. Whatever records may come to light elsewhere, this, taking into consideration the subtleties of the Indian mind, and the scattered nature of provincial Indian towns, is one that at any rate cannot be beaten.
At a recent examination of English schoolboys, for scholarships amounting to £200, one of the papers was framed for the purpose of ascertaining the general knowledge of candidates, and the reading of some of the answers to the questions which had been set by the inspector caused much amusement. « Liberal » was described as « A great many people trying to have Home Rule for Ireland. » Another wrote: « Liberal and Conservative means that English people elect their members by colors—blue and red. Blue means Liberal; red, Conservative. » Miss Florence Nightingale was described as « a lovely singer »; another said that she was « one of the most beautiful singers in the world, and was called the Swedish Nightingale; she died not long ago. » The School Board was described as « a union of schools, and people had to pay so much in the pound to keep it up. » Strikes were explained as « men trying to rule their masters. » The Prime Minister of to-day was written as « Gladstone, » and the leader of the Opposition as « Mr Parnell. » Of Lord Wolseley one wrote: « He was a Cardinal. He is now dead »; and another said: « He fought in the battle of Trafalgar. »
Sometimes the natural products of a country have an altogether unsuspected value, and a humble New Zealand lady-bird, discovered a year or two ago in Hawke's Bay, is a case in point. It is quite an article of export, having been conveyed with care even to the United States, as it is the only known agent that can cope successfully with the abominable and destructive scale-blight, the Icerya Purchasii. This lady-bird, the Vedalia cardinalis, deposits its eggs under the ovisac of the Icerya. The eggs hatch out, and the young Vedalia devours the eggs and unexcluded larvæ of the blight. As the ladybird produces in a year fifteen broods of thirty each, a naturalist has calculated the year's (unchecked) increase of a single pair, allowing one-half males, at 697,621,882,323,218,750—or more than half a trillion! Some idea of the economic value of the Vedalia may be formed from the fact that in a few months it cleared the orchards of California of the Icerya, which for some years previously had inflicted on fruit-growers of that state an annual loss estimated at $3,000,000. The only remedy had been the complete destruction of the infected trees, and the fruit industry seemed in danger of extinction. The Agricultural Department at Washington is now preserving the New Zealand insect with great solicitude in specially constructed breeding-houses, and has found it necessary to protect—also in confinement— the obnoxious scale parasite, for the support of its natural enemy.