Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

O UR LONDON FLANE UR.

Social, Theatrical, and Interary

Gossip,

Summer at Last—Colonials in- the RoW— The Queen's Health-Tub Royal TemperDerby Day in London—Affairs Theatri-cal-About Books—New 2s. Novels—The New Series of the " Cornhill Magazine • —Bret Harte's New Story-More Cheap ; Editions, &c, &c.

London, June Ist After, a lone, dreary winter, and cold, cheerless spring, summer has at length burst upon us in full glory, and London is now quite at its brightest aud best. . I don't think, however, there are nearly as many colonial and American folk in town this season as there were last. The Park in the evening seems, if anything, fuller than ever, and the crowd of resplendent equipages—from majestic four-in-hands down to ueat little "victorias" grows, as u.iual, densely impassable about five. The carriages of wealthy Australians are, however, few and far between, though those of Sir Sarauol Wilson, Mr W. A, l-ong, Sir Chas. Clifford, and Sir Saul Samuel may occasionally b» seen there. The Queen's health continues rather alarming. Her Majesty will not allow that she is ill, but those residing in the Ca>tlu have nevertheless the Dest po-slble reasons for holding to the idea. The royal temper Was never specially remarkable for its placidity, but of late it has become - well, what in other persons would be called abominable. I have not seen in print a true statement of the original cause of Her Majesty's seizure with nervous disorder, and the narrative about the fall in the corridor and the injury to the knee is best described a» an innocent allegory, containing, but not revealing to careless observers, the real state of things, which Sir William Jenner and the other doctors are bound not to let the public know ; and their daily statements that the Queen is so much better are only the records of hops and not of reality. Change of air, however, especially if judiciously taken, will, I have no doubt, work wonders. Darby Day was delightfully fine, and tbe afternoon tea parties in Grosvenor Place to watch the four-ln-hands coming back from Epsom more numerous than ever. Lady Alington made her appearance about five, wearing her husband's colours, and much delighted at St, Blaise's success. The Prince of Wales was the first to greet the winner returning to scale He had accompanisd the owners to Kingsclerc the previous week to see St. Blaise tried, and consequently felt specially pleased at witnessing the colt's triumph. The " World " says Lord Alington won £6,600 over the race ; his confederate, Sir F. Johnstone, £7,000, and the Prince of Wales, £5,000. There was a great Fancy Ball at Kensington Hall the other night, which attracted " tout Londrcs." The dresses were exceptionally novel and effective—one of the very pettiest (which all the " sociely " papers notice) being Lady Constance Howard's " Qu&en of the Kentish Hop-Pickers." "Truth" describes it tbui : —"A lovely gown of red and grey, the dress hung on a pale tint of the latter colour and trimmed with trellis-work, fringe* of hops and several rtd butterflies, a silt basket, filled with hops and butterflies, hung by the side, and the bouquet consisted of exquisitely shaded clove carnation." The principal event of the latter end of the season promises to be the day and night fete of the Savage Club at the Koyal Albert Hall, on July 11th. This leviathan business has been inaugurated at the request of the Prince of Wales in aid of the Royal College of Music. The afternoon entertainments will consist of a fancy fair, to which actors, artists, musicians vocalists, and journalists will alike contribute special features, whilst in the evening there is to be a very select costume ball, patronised by tbe Prince and .Princess of W rales and all royalties then in town, The latest distraction cf our leunesee. doree is cab owning. The youthfnl Karl Marshal of England {Lord Shrewsbury), having exhausted the excitement to be derived from running away with an intimate friend's wife, has commenced business as a handsom cab proprietor, and may be seen in Trafalear Square any morning about norn reviewing the line of vehicles of which he is lessee. Joking apart, the truth is, Lord Shrewsbury, Mr Lowther, and others were not satiifiod with the description of bands*.ms at preaont on the streets, and so, r-y way of impoving them, they havd had a numoer ot gorgeously " fixed up" cars specially manufactured, which they horse with really fine animals, and let out to responsible drivers. Lord Shrewsbury's cabs are drawn by hog-maned chestnuts, and may ba recognised by his cypher and coronet on tbe aids. I hailed one tbe otheT day, and, with much inward satisfaction, was driven to the city. My pleasure, however, received a rude check when the liyeried "jurvie" demanded double fare. To trundle about London in a cab owned by a real live lord is no doubt delightful, but I fear even 'Arry himself may not care about paying twice over for the privilege. Who do yon think is going to be married to a Manchester manufacturer? Why, the very lady whom I told you some months ago would shortlywed Colonel Wellesley and emigrate to New Zealand—Miss Kate Vaughan. It seems the Duke ot Wellington s persuasions were not wholly without effect on the pretty danseuse. Who " paid tbe piper," and how much the said "piper" cost, nobody knows, but the lovelorn colonel has been jilted, and Kate's marriage has been publicly announced. She will not leave the stage, but secedes from tbe Gaiety Company for a time. The .Rational Dress Exhibition, initiated by that extraordinary person, Lady Harberton, was a great joice. I went one afternoon with two gentlemen friends, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The socalled " divided skirts " are merely trousers under another name, and the effect they produce is anything but becoming. Walking about the room (presumably as an awful example) was a stout, elderly te male, wearing one of these garments. "Doyou think she is quite dressed ? " I heard a lady whioper to ncr husband; and really the " get up " does give one very much that sort of impression. Men dresß infinitely better nowadays than they did a few years ago. Shirts of light or darK gey dittoes are principally worn in London, the coats and waistcoats being cat the same as if they were black V.E., like "Pagets," with four buttons and very little tie shown. When a black coat is worn, fancy waistcoats of very dark blue or brown, ornamented with white spots, are allowable, but the pattern ou the trousers should always be stripes. Sack coats, [i.e., loose jackets) have guile gone out, and so have turned-down collars and bright or light coloured silk ties. The best sort of stand-up collars are "Dent's Improved Military," or " Welch Margetson's WoLeley." The latter have patent side clips, which hold the tie down, and make pins unnecessary. Londoners never wear either scaives or sailors' knots,lbut made-op ties J with a neat pearl or plain gold scarf pin. | The acme of snobbery is a sailors' knot with

a scarf-pin in it. As to colours, black and tbe dark slate blue or birda'-eye are most fashionable. Trousers seem to be tighter than ever, and the brims of top-hats curlier. Amongst the "mashing" fraternity, silk underclothing ia de rigueur. There can be no doubt it is far the mo»t comfortable, especially in summer, but one has. to be a millionaire to afford such luxuries.

Affairs theatrical continue dull. Next week the snai oa of French plays commences at_ the Gaiety, and those who feel inclined will be able to compare tho performance of Sarah Bernhardt and Mrs Bernard Beere in " Fedora." Sardon's play, I may mention, ia quite the hit of the summer. The Haymarket stalls s-ll at all sorts of price*, and if yon want redly good seats voa must book them weeks beforehand. The unfortunate Novelty Theatre (now called the Folics Dramaiiques) re-opened the .other day With an opera-bouffe said to be by .»"hann Stranss, and called " Prince Methu-alem." Notwithstanding latest mounting and sumptuous drosses, it proved a dead failure, principally because tho vocalists were hopelessly incompetent. A London first-night audience is very particular nowadays. Mere diaplay does not go down as it used. The people require good acting and capable singing, or else they hiss. I couldn't help feeling a little »orry for the miserable manager of the Novelty. He had ob»icn»ly spent a mint of money ci fine scenery, gorgeous costumes, and pretty ball«ts, and not long ago " frinco Methusaiem" would have bien pronounced "a very go-.d sort of show, don't yer know." Now, however, we are undergoing a temporary spasm of morale. Splendour falls upon us, and fine legs have no longer the a'tractions they once had. Consequently, the manager of the >ovelty suffers. The career of '• Cymbia" came to an end at the Strand a fortnight ago, and Mr John G. Clarke is now playing a >hort engagement in the laughter • moving " widow Hunt." He leaves town next week, and the Strand will then revert to burlesque with the dramatic version of tho celebrated " Vice-Versa" as a first piece. "Impulse," "Kip Van Winkle," and "lolanthe" continue to draw immense houses, though they have been played now for nearly two hundred nights. It is an open secret that the lone-promised " Princess" is the opera which Gilbert and Sullivan are now engaged upon. The present Savoy Company are not to play in it, but will be sent on a tour through America, and possibly Australia.

Mr Toole has taken advantage of the furore about "Fedora "to get Mr Burnand, of " Punch," to do him a burlesque upon Sardon's play. It Is called " Stage-Dora, or Who Killed Coek-Kobia!" and wag produced at Toole's Theatre last Saturday with apparent success. I doubt, however, whether the little piece will ever reach Australia 01 New Zealand. It is a mere ephemeral extravagance, and of no real value.

Tuesday next will be a.big night at the Royal Italian Opera. Covent Garden. For some weeks past Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" has been on rehearsal, and on r»esday this mnch-dincnssed work is to be produced, a new prima donna, Madame Maria Durana, playing the title i6le. If the musical papers are to be relied on, the opera season ao far has not been wholly successful artistically. Ths standard at Covent Garden is, of c*ur*e, a very high one, but well it may, considering tne prices asked for seats. A great crowd of connoisseurs assembled the other night to hear Madame Albani in Borto's " Mefiatofele." This mork draws well now, but I fanoy its success is due rather to the splendid mise en scene than the music. The management have also mounted "Carmen" grandly. Next time I want to show a colonial friend Covent Garden, I shall take him to see either Bizet's masterpiece or "Aida." The processions in the lastnamed are gorgeous, and when Patti is the heroine a Campanini Iladames, the performance is one to be remembered for a lifetime.

The runs of "Youth" at Drury Lane, " Storm-Bsaten " at the Adelpi, " Rachel" at the Olympic, and " The Rivals " at the Vaudeville, are drawing to au end. . Most of these houses will close for the hot weeks of July and August; in fact, " The Queeu'e Favourite," an historical piece, to follow " Rachel" at the Olympic, is the ooly novelty announced.

I scarcely know what to say to you about books this mail. A new novel, entitled "Dr. Claudius," by the author of the curioßß "Mr Isaacs," lies before me on the table, fresh from Mudie's, but I have not had time to look through it yet, and the same remark applie* to Mrs Campbell Praed's new story of life in Queensland, "Moloch." Both, however, seem to be favourably reviewed. A couple of capital additions to the two shilling series are "Matrimony," by W. E. Norris, whose "No Mew Thing " I had recently occasion to praise, and "An Innocent Sinner," by Mabel Collins. The latter I have not read, but if the story at all resembles tbe author's other works, it should be good.

The prospectus of the " Cornhill Magazine's" new departure hus been ieeued, and sounds promising. Its publication under fresh conditions will commence on June 26th, its price will be sixpence, and it will be freely illustrated. The new series, whilst maintaining the high standard of literature of its predecessor, will be on more popular lines, Mr Anstey, of "Vice Versa"j fame, contributes a serial story, which is to be entitled the *' Giant's Kobe," and there will also be at least three complete tales in every number. "Longman's Magazine" commenced this time last year with a very similar flourish of trumpets, but the standard of the first few issues was not kept up, and tho circulation has now dwindled to nothing. As a matter of fact, it will take a very good venture indeed to depose "Cassell's Magazine" from its position at the head of the sixpenny monthlies. Once upon a time "Chambers's" was the favourite of the middle classes, but the character of the serial stories published is very different to What it was under James Payn's regime. The latter edits the " Cornhill" now, and will doubtless contribute a novel thereto so soon as "Thicker than Water" has been brought to a successful termination in "Longman's." This magazine, I see, announces a new story by Bret Harte, entitled "In the Carquinez Woods." By the way, last mail 1 reviewed Mrs Oliphant's ''Ladies' Lindores" rather unfavourably. It is only fair to say theprincipal critics do not hold similar opinions. The " Saturday Review " considers the book one of the best of the author's more recent tales, and both the "Athenrjoum" and "Academy" were most complimentary. Miss Praed, of "Rose Garden" fame, has ochieved an. other striking success with "Contradictions." This lady is one of our most promising novelists, and it Is a feature of her stories that they can be read with pleasure alike by young girls and blase men of the world. When mentioning the cheap edition of, " Matrimony," I should bave advised the purchase of Mr Norrls's " Mdlie, de Mersac," which, with "Phyllis" and "Molly Bawn," may also be got now in 2s form. The last two are written in the flippant style adopted by Rhoda Broughton. i

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS18830721.2.25.14

Bibliographic details

OUR LONDON FLANEUR., Auckland Star, Volume XX, Issue 4058, 21 July 1883, Supplement

Word Count
2,378

OUR LONDON FLANEUR. Auckland Star, Volume XX, Issue 4058, 21 July 1883, Supplement

Working