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A BOGUS LITERARY SOCIETY., Evening Post, Volume XLV, Issue 132, 7 June 1893
A BOGUS LITERARY SOCIETY.
SF.EKIXfi CDLONTAL DVPFH. A few (in--, bai-lt Mi V. Ti<-gpn\ n-ceiyeil Prom l.oii'lfnj i nont -il?or inp<»al purporting lo ho from '"Thp Society of Spspwp, LcttPTf, >m] Art." Aci'omj/.iiij'mjf it »b" t)n-> mono raiuiinn — Siil Uj nj'\ V*. Gooi.n. BdiL. ProsMent of (he Society of Soiencc, Letters, and Art, of London, Addison House, ICO, Holland-road, Kensington, London, W. 21st March, 1593. fOPY OF RESOLUTION. " That the Sooiety award Mr. Edwor J Tregear, F R.G.S., F.B. Hist. Sop., &c, the Medal for hia work, ' 1 he Maori Polynesian Comparative Dictionary.' " There was also an excerpt from the " Journal " of tlio Society, giving a list of " Fellows, 4c." the list iuciudine, amongst " Honorary Follotre," many veryjvell known iiameß, together with a mass of others not so well known. Attached to the list is a portion of the rules, signed by " Henry Valentine Goold, Bart. " (whose name, by the way, is everywhere displayed in capitals). Kule|l4is Bignifnant— '"That members be desired to *ond a list of tho names mid nrldre-Bpa of RPi'lleinon and laclic-, al Tlonio and r-bread, tiiej consider elijriljlo aLd dn.-ii.il.le If follow ~hip nnd Memhprihip po tint (!u> Society's papers may be fo warded totlieui." Shortly af tor, Mr. Trefrcar received a proßpectua of the Society, with two names marked — that of Sir Walter Bullor, X.C M (!., among the Vice - Presidents, an'l that of "Charles Rous-Marten, Esq., F.R.G.5.," in the list of "Ordinary Fellows." A list of Hon. Patrons is also given, which begins with the Dnkc of Teck, includes Sir Walter Duller, and ends with " M. Ferdinand de LeEseps." Below this again, under the name of tho Hon. President, Sir Henry Valentine Goold, Bart." (once more in caps.) nre set forth the objects of the Society, showing that persons "eminent or engaged in science, literature, or art are eligible ns ' Fellows ' at an annual subscription of two gu : ne.is or a life subscription of ten guineas ; " th.it ' gentlemen and ladies intevcsled in science, literature, art, or music. &o. (delightfully comprehensive, this) are eligible as Members— entrance fee half a guinea, animal subscription one guinea, life subscriution five gu'neag ; " and that "Foundation Fellows and Foundat : on Members pay on>- guinea yearly or five guineas for life." All these guineas are to go to Dr. E. Albort Stnrman, M.4., 1-0, Holland Eoad, Kensington, London, W., and elaborate directions aro given as to cheques and Post Office orders. Now, Mr. Tregear had in no way solicited these honours, nor had he sent any of the numerous guineas. His achievements in philology, nnthology, and other branchps of icscircb, wore such as any genuine Buuiety for tho encouragement of Ecicr.ce and lileraturo might bo expected to honour, but when we announcp.d the* honour" conferred npon tho author of the MaoriPolynesian Dictionary ■» c were strnck by the familiar smack of the much "capped" Baronet and llio M A., and recollection ltd us to look up onr files of Truth. There, aa we "xpectea, wo found, in tho issue of 21st April, ]592, Mr. Labouchcre's oxpos£ of Stnrman and Gcold, and their precious society. In exposing the swindling operations of Morgan and To'.mie, and their associate and bait. Sir Gilbert Campbell, in connection with the '• International Society of Literature, Science and Art," for which they were subsequently tried and impriboncd, Mr. Labouchcre had his suspicions aroused as to tho operations of the " Society of Science, Letters, and Art." Dr. Sturman, M.A., F.E.S.L., sought an interview with the Editor of Trnth in order to see that his Society wa3 not confounded with Morgan's swindle. It was a report of this interview which Trnth published on the 21st April of last year. The first discovery wjs that the " M.A." was an honorary degree, which Sturmnn taid was preaentod him by the University of Washington. The F.K.S L. " was Follow of tho Koyal Society of Literature." Sturman said his Society had been started by about " 300 of 113" ten years previously, but when cross-examined tho founder could only remember one of the other 299— Sir Henry Goold, Bart , thongh finally the names of a Miss Button (dead), and a ltev. Mr. Inine Cofitos (alive) were dragged ont of him. 'I he Society, ho explained, consisted of " 1500 men and women interested in learning and education," who wore expected to pay a guinea annually, but tuoy nerd not all up to time with their subscr'ptions, and Dr Sturman observod as to tho collection of the guineas that the Secretary eoS "'as many as wo can get out of them." Sir Henry Goold, Bart , was described as an irhsh barortt of 87 years of age, without property. < f the fato of all the guineas Dr. Sturmon could give no satisfactory explauation. He was, he said, " supposed" lo get .£3OO a year a3 Secretary, and tho lent of hi-. cstablsi-L-men j i'l Holh*nd-ro:ul. 'J ho convenient baronpt v. as lot "tuprosed" to cet anyllrng '' loyally," l»ut he nevertheless got sundry (uinuas for '■ attendances " The Society *'exuniii.ed," according to the Sccrofciry, tome 50 eohools a year, charging a fae of from 2s Cil to 7s Gd por head fcr each pupil, but sometimes quoting wholesale rates, nnd giving "certificates." What the mcomo nas from this he could not really remember, as he said, in a burst of ooniidence, ''To tell >ou the truth we began without any capital, and we have been in a muddle ever since. We simply don't know how wo stand." There were monthly meetings of " tho Society " at tho kturuian home, where a Key. Dr. Lobnrn discoursed on " The Evils o f Dancing," and went through " The World, the Fleah, and the Devil " Ont of tho 150U members and "Honorary Fellows" and 11 Ordinary Fellows," tho enterprising Secretary could only remember two as having been at those meetings apart from bis wife, who was " supposed " to get .£'so a year as Lady Secretary, and a Mr. Willis, who was also '* supposed " to get a guinea, a night as " leidor "to the other " fellows " One of the tvvo was tho Key Mr. Coates aforpmentioned. 'lho '" Follows " wero provided with a hood and gown, which the Secretary himself invented, and that gentleman explained that the "• Socictj' " Used principally on the fees from the school examinations — and he lived on tho " Society " and was the '"Society." The "examinations" were condncti-d solely by printed papers sent to the schools. > o one " as sent down to examine the pup.H Tho Secretary bold " di|>lomas " at so much per diploma, and shared the proceeds with Goold. He admitted that tho Society was run for his benefit and to provide him with money. 1 lie ■'examinations" wore a farce, did even Stnrman was constrained to admit they n rre "a little bit wrong." Mr. Tolmie, of tho swindling " International, " before his incarceration, had written to Sturmnn assuring him of his friendly feeling, and adding " there is plenty of room for bo' h of us, and althou; h we work on somewhat similar lines they need not be «ppo3ing ones." TM3, Truth opine?, defines the position adminbly, and it concludes that " tho ' Society ' consists of all the fools who can be induced to pay Sturman a- guinea to call themselves ' Motnberß,' or Iwo guineas to call themselves 'Follows.' Tlio object in view is to support Sturman and bis family." Mr. Labouchora concludes — " It seems to mo that the eamo result might be obtained much more economically if the ' Follows ' of all these concerns would keep their guineas in their pockets, and write themselves down ' A.S.S.' without permission of anybody." We havo gone at length into the exposure of this thing because it is evident from recent developments that Sturman and Goold, with thpir European market destroyed by Truth's exposuro, have determined to exploit the colonies, and by picking ont a. genuine case, like that of Mr. Tregcar, hope to allure the multitude. This view is confirmed by what wo have jußt fouud in Truth of 20th Apiil lost, justa year after tho first exposuro. It is this : — •' Having f-.uml business a little, dull in Fngland since his exposure, Sturman appears to have devoted himself to propagating his swindlo in the colonie3." After quoting some instances in South Africa, Mr Labouchore proceeds :—" I can only say that onr co'onial kinsfolk must be egregious flatß. Apparently the untutored colonial has an insatiable craving for the privilege of inscribing capital letters after his name." In the same issue, Mr. Labonchere tells how he had just soen a certificate of tho " Society," given to a ertrl of eleven, signed by "Sir Henry Valentine Goold, Bart.," and testifying that she hod passed " with honours " an examination in anatomy and physiology ! For this the parents were asked to pay one guinea.
A BOGUS LITERARY SOCIETY., Evening Post, Volume XLV, Issue 132, 7 June 1893
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