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ASTRONOMICAL OCCURRENCES. THE MOON is near Saturn during the nights common to the 11th and 12th, the distance between the planet and the Moon decreasing as the night advances. She is near Jupiter during the whole of the next night, and near Mars during the night of the 15th. She will be near Venus during the morning of the 20th, and Mercury during the morning of the 25th. Her phases or times of change are:
First Quarter on the 1st at 2 minutes after 2h. in the afternoon. Full Moon
VENUS is a morning star, rising on the 8th at 1h. 47m. a.m, or 3h. 37m. before sunrise; on the 18th at 2h. 11m. a.m., or 3h. 29m. before the Sun; and on the 28th at 2h. 39m. a.m., or 3h. 18m. before the Sun. She is in her ascending node on the 13th, and near the Moon on the 20th.
MARS rises on the 7th at 10h. 3m. p.m.; on the 17th at 9h. 44m. p.m., and on the 27th at 9h. 24m. p.m. He is due south on the 1st at 6h. 24m. a.m.; in the middle of the month at 6h. 3m. a.m.; and on the last day of the month at 5h. 26m. a.m. He is near the Moon on the 15th, in quadrature with the Sun on the 21st, and in his ascending node on the 27th.
JUPITER rises on the 7th at 8h. 46m. p.m., or 2h. 15m. after sunset; on the 17th at 8h. 7m. p.m., or 1h. 58m. after sunset; and on the 27th at
She is nearest the Earth on the 6th, and most distant from it on the 18th 7h. 28m., or 1h. 41m. after sunset. He is due south on the 1st at 4h. 5im. at midnight.
MERCURY is an evening star, setting on the 3rd at 6h. 56m. p.m., or 14m. after sunset, which interval slowly increases to 21m. on the 8th, to 23m. on the 13th, to 2im. on the 18th, the planet setting on this day at 6h. 31m. p.m. On the 23rd he sets at 6h. 20m. p.m., or 24 minutes after sunset; and on the 28th at 6h. 10m. p.m., or 25 minutes after sunset. He is in his descending node on the 19th, near the Moon on the 25th, and at his greatest distance from the Sun on the 29th.
a.m.; on the 15th at 4h. Om. a.m.; and on the last day at 2h. 59m. a m. He is near the Moon on the 13th, and stationary among the stars on the 14th.
SATUAN rises on the 7th at 8h. 22m. p.m., or 1h. 50m. after sunset; on the 17th at 7h. 42m. p.m, or 1h. 33m. after sunset; and on the 27th at 7h. 1m. p.m, or 1h. 14m. after sunset. He is due south on the 1st at 4h. 1m. a m., on the 15th at 3h. 5m. a.m., and on the last day at 2h. 3m. a.m. He is near the Moon on the 12th.
THE METROPOLITAN BOARD OF WORKS.
(Office, Spring-gardens.-Hours 9 to 4; Saturdays, 9 to 2.) The Metropolitan Board of Works was constituted by the Metropolis Management Act of 1855. Under this and subsequent Acts it has carried out several special works, such as the Main Drainage of London, the construction of the Victoria, Albert, and Chelsea Embankments on the Thames, the formation of Queen Victoria-street, Northumberland-avenue, &c. It has opened up or widened other thoroughfares, such as Garrick-street, Southwark-street, Burdett-road, Holborn (Middle-row), Park-lane, Shoreditch, Great Eastern-street, Harrow-road, the improved thoroughfare from Hart-street, Bloomsbury, to Shoreditch, &c.; formed Finsbury and Southwark Parks; and preserved open spaces, such as Hampstead-heath, Blackheath, Shepherd's-bush, Clapham-common, &c. Among the works now proceeding are the widening of Coventry-street, Tooley-street, &c., making a new street from Piccadilly to Hart-street, Bloomsbury, and the clearance of sites for Artisans' Dwellings. It has purchased the tolls of all the Bridges that cross the Thames in the Metropolitan area. Its principal general duties comprise the control over the formation of streets and the line of buildings therein, the testing of gas and of gas-meters, the maintenance of the Fire Brigade (a force of upwards of 400), the maintenance of the Main Drainage System, and of parks and commons. It is the "Metropolitan Authority," under the Water, Tramways, Petroleum, Artisans' Dwellings, Contagious Diseases (Animals), Slaughter-houses, Explosive Substances, and other Acts. It raises money (in Metropolitan Consolidated Stock) not only for its own works, but for advances to the Managers of the Metropolitan Asylums District, the School Board for London, the Vestries, the District Boards, the Metropolitan Boards of Guardians, and other corporations within the Metropolis. Members of the Board are elected by the respective Vestries and District Boards in the Metropolis. The Corporation of the City of London elects three members.
Lieut.-Col. Sir James M. M'Garel Hogg, Bart., K.C.B., M.P. MEMBERS OF THE BOARD.
St. Giles District-Adams, B. H., 51, Bedford-square, W.C.
St. Luke, Middlesex-F. Ingoldby, 11, Finsbury-square.
St. Martin-in-the-Fields-Dalton, W. H., 30, Coleherne-road, S.W.
St. Marylebone-Edwards, George, Canterbury Villa, 119, Maida Vale. W.
St. Matthew, Bethnal Green-Ewin, A., Norlington House, Leytonstone.
Fulham District-Lammin, W. H., 18, Buckingham-street, Adelphi, W.C.
St. George, Hanover-sq.-Leslie, J., Caledonian Hotel, Adelphi-terrace, W.C.
Wandsworth District-Meaden, G. P., High-street, Clapham, S.W.
Camberwell-Rogers, E. Dresser, Hanover-park, Peckham, S.E.
Engineer, Sir Joseph Wm. Bazalgette, C.B.
Clerk of the Board, J. E. Wakefield, Esq.
1750 1200 1000 1000 1150
Chief of Fire Brigade, Captain E. M. Shaw, C.B. The Act of last Session, 43 and 44, c. 25, empowers the Metropolitan Board of Works to expend money and borrow to a large amount for Metropolitan purposes. The Board may up to Dec. 31, 1881, expend £10,000 on the Fire Brigade, and £30,000 on parks, commons, and open spaces. From Jan. 31 to Dec. 31 next the Board may expend £3,766,579 58. 11d. Among the amounts which may be expended are £42,028 38. 5d. under the Street Improvements Act, 1872; £25,000 for parks, commons, and open spaces; £25,000 for the Thames Embankments and other places, including the Northumberland-avenue; £7000 on the obelisk on the Victoria Embankment; £112,551 2s. 6d. on the toll bridges; and £1,500,000 under the Improvement Act of 1877, and £500,000 for artisans' and labourers' dwellings, besides other sums set forth in the schedule annexed to the Act, in addition to advances to public bodies. The borrowing powers amount to £455,372 28. 10d., and for loans to other bodies £368,100, making £853,472 28. 10d. The Board may issue "Metropolitan Bills" and make arrangements with banks as to the issue of the same securities. There are twenty-seven sections in the Act, and two schedules to carry the Act into
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD.
The treasurer's account, published in abstract, gives the valuation of England and Wales for county rates at Lady Day, 1879, at £114,994,217, an increase of £2,200,000 upon the previous year. The valuation for police rates, £74,541,997, an increase of rather less than one million. The amount raised by county rates was £914,025, the average amount of the rate being 1 15-16d. in the pound; this amount was less by £207,279 than the preceding year. Police rates were about the same each year-namely, £567,355, the amount of the rate being 1 13-16d. in the pound. The total of local and imperial taxation was £2,046,818, which was £234,465 below the previous year. The expenditure upon the police was £1,060,293; upon prosecutions and conveyance of prisoners, £130,090; upon prisons, £120,114; lunatic asylums, £351,997; salaries of county officials, £269,998; loans repaid with interest, £397,261; and all other expenses came to £364,591; the total expenditure being £2,694,344, or £174,955 below that of 1878. The loans outstanding against the county authorities at the close of the year amounted to £2,963,014.
THE METROPOLITAN GAS SUPPLY. Towards the close of the Session 1880, an instructive Report was issued, containing the accounts of the gas companies of the metropolis for the previous year. The total capital and borrowed money of the companies is no less than £12,681,818, divided as follows:-Chartered, £9,096,771; Commercial £690,00); Phoenix, 1,208,000; South Metropolitan, £826,688; London, £860,359; making a total of £12,681,818. The accounts of the South Metropolitan Company include a half-year's independent working of the late Surrey Cousumers' Company, January to June, 1879. The total income of the Chartered Company was £2,577,335; of the Commercial, £300,460; of the London, £312,000; of the Phoenix, £380,994; and of the South Metropolitan, £355,970, giving a total income of all the companies, from all sources, of £3,926,769. All the companies showed an increase in their income as compared with 1878-the Chartered, £158,587; the Commercial, £16,731; the London, £30,836; the Phoenix, £15,468; and the South Metropolitan, £25,640; or a total increase of £247,261. The gross profit of the Chartered showed an increase over 1878 of £55,800, the Commercial an increase of £2000, the London a decrease of £1569, the Phoenix an increase of £4286, and the South Metropolitan an increase of £5155. The gross profit of the Chartered Company was £787,495, of the Commercial £83,348, of the London £73,111, of the Phoenix £111,707, and of the South Metropolitan £107,414, giving a total gross profit of £1,163,077. The Chartered Company realised on capital and borrowed money a gross profit of £8 133. 2d. per cent, and on gas rental a gross profit of £38 14s. 3d. per cent; the Commercial, £12 18. 7d. per cent and £35 15s. 1d, per cent; the London, £8 9s. 11d. per cent and £30 18s. 11d. per cent; the Phoenix, £9 48. 11d. per cent and £37 16s. 1d. per cent; and the South Metropolitan, £12 19s. 10d. per cent and £40 168. 4d. per cent, giving an average of £9 3s. 5d. per cent on the capital and borrowed money of all the companies, and of £37 193. 8d. per cent on the gas rental.