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MELBOURNE GOSSIP

(From our own Covrhsfondbnt.) The race for the cup was a remarkablj exciting one, and the finish good. Twenty-eight horses faced Mr Watson, the starter, and were sent off to a splendid start. But for the rest, the familiar incidents of any race might be shaken up to serve as a reflex of thip. A straight run of half a mile brought the field interlocked together past the grandstand. A turn to thp loft took them obliquely by the Yerra, tstill close together, but with a tail gradually forming. Then racing by the back of the course, another curve took them into tbe straight. There it was that Mentor first showed up prominently. The maroon and silver of the Yeoman, the black and blue of Tradition's jock, the maroon of Cyclops, ahd the black, white and red of Mentor seemed to be inextricably mingled m the van. Then fifty yards from the judge's box Mentor drew slightly ahead, took ground again, made a final effort, and sailed m well ahead of his rivals. A hoarse roar rent the air, one universal cry of " Mentor 1 Mentor I " greeted the finish — and the Oup race of '88 was won and lost. But not without its casualties. Just as the horses first passed the judge's box, I, who was standing just near, heard a report like the crack of a pistol shot, and a big bay mare (Spade Guinea, I afterwards learnt) swerved towards the fence and ran clean into it. She had broken her shoulder, and had to be shot. Then within a hundred yards of the finish, the beautiful Ensign — winner of the Derby wheeled to the inner fence m the same way, with a shattered fetlock. Poor Ensign I On the Saturday previous he bore " his blushing honors thick npon him." On Tuesday, the third day came a frost, a killing frost "—he also had to be shot. But that did not close the list, for Dick Swiveller also broke down, and met his fate m the shape of a pistol bullet. As far as I know, such a treble catastrophe m a flat race has no parallel m the annals of horse racing. I mentioned something a week or two ago (before these wretched races overrode everything) about the frauds m the Registrar-General's office, m connection with the man Butler. Well, the more that comes out the more disgracefully things shape themselves. There is a Board sitting now, which I believe is known humorously m the department as the "Deal Board," m consequence of an expression used on all occasions by one of the officials, who is m the habit of continually affirming that he " feels a deal bored — really." It seems, however, to be getting at the bottom of things, and a disgraceful showing up the department is getting. There appears to have been a ring of four or five public servants, who, with Butler as the central figure, carried on a game of financing by means of accommodation cheques, which passed thousands through each man's bank account, whilst bis salary only amounted to hundreds. They took tbe country's money, and when they couldn't do it quite undetected left a quid pro quo m the shape of 1.0. U.V and valueless personal cheques. Tbe whole affair is simply scandalous, and seems to have been developed from the utter neglect and carelessness of the RegistrarGeneral, Mr Gibbs, who appears to have allowed things to " slide" with the most culpable and criminal negligence. It is now intended to remodel the whole system ; but there is a proverb about •hutting the stable door when the horse is gone. I onlj hope the arch-robbers may be well punished, and everyone m the department dismissed. But perhaps the most lively and general topic of all during the week haß been the Queensland Governor imbroglio and as my readers may imagine, Melbourne to a man is with feir Thomas McHwraith m his sturdy protestation The matter was mentioned m the Houss last week by Davie Gaunson, a red-hot Radical, who advanced the proposition that '/ every British colony under responsible government possesses the right to a voice m the choice of its Governor," There was a good deal of talk over the matter, but nothing else ; though it is certain that when Sir Henry Loch's time transpires, we shall also want to have our little say m the election of his successor. It is interesting to know that our Governor strongly holds the opinion that each colony should have a voice m the election of its vice-regal head. He is not backward m saying that he considers it only just and right —and I take it that it is very liberalminded of him to so express himself. Of course, he can m reality say it with a free conscience, for it is not likely to affect his interest m any way. I believe it is bis and Lady Loch's intention, on the expiry of Sir Henry's term of Office here, to retire into what Cowper calls, " the calm seclusion of retiriag lives " Thej both like Melbourne immensely, but the climate of Victoria does not suit her ladyship as well as it might, and then she is like all English women ; she believes there is no educa ■ tion for children like a sound English one, and is anxious to settle at Home m order to give her rising olive branches the utmost advantages possible. I suppose most of my readers have already heard the bad news that Essie Jenyns— our own Australian Essie, the only girl we have who can act Shake-sphere—-is retiring from the stage for good and all. I make no apology however, for repeating the evil tidings, for Essie's name is a household word almost throughout Australia. As for myself, I know her well and intimately, and the only consolation for me is the knowledge that she marries well and happily. Her future husband is a certain Mr Fred Wood, a rich Newcastle brewer. He is a tall fine fellow, with plenty of money ; and so truly he ought to be a happy man, having, m addition to all this, our Essie. Of course she retires from the stage, and with it will close the public life of one who promised to be one of the most celebrated Australians of tbe day. BW apropos ol {ius I am reminded of another " passing away," this time funereally and nol joyfully, jisst week m Melbourne died a certain police sergeant, unknown tc fame as James Dalton, but justly repojfned as being the inventor, coiner an;l discoverer of the word "larrikin.' It is needless to fay he ' was ai Irishman, and about twenty years ag< m giving evidence, he stated that th< prisoner before tbe court was "larrikin,' m other words 'Marking.'* Sojnebo? Delton's Doric found favor, and b< coined a new word m the Englisl language. I'M I June been writing on otbo

J subjects and I meant to say something about the Exhibition as it is sometimi since I wrote anything about it. How eTer, I will reserve what I have to sa^ • 1 until next week, when I will make mj . letter a regular " Exhibition " one, anc f deal with nothing else. Before I con i elude, however, 1 should like to tell yor. > a good 6tory — a real " Cup " yarn — • which it would be hard to beat, and which was related to me as true m everj ► particular. My informant, who is t » , lady of the fashionable world here, has s ■ maid — and thereby hangs the story » Just before the Cup was run Mrg . Fashionable came face to face, on the . lawn, with the damsel m question, i walking* arm m arm with a very gor- •' geous-lookirfg young man. Now it ) seems that the maid had strict mii junctions not to leave* the house, and the , mistress, angrily accosting her, desired , an explanation. The girl jerked aside . her train with a grand bow, and, firing t up with true Australian independence, exclaimed loftily, " Madim I never talk on sich subjecks out of business 'ours." What can we say of young feminine Australia after that ?

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881130.2.22

Bibliographic details

MELBOURNE GOSSIP, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2001, 30 November 1888

Word Count
1,365

MELBOURNE GOSSIP Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2001, 30 November 1888

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