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A LADY'S LETTER FROM LONDON.

[By Elise.]

London, March 7

The Anglo-colonial presentations at the drawing room on Tuesday week were very few, owing partly to Lady Knutaford's absence in the Mediterranean, and partly to the fact that Australian ladies prefer, when they can, to wait for the fashionable May function. The most interesting colonial debut on Tuesday was that of Miss Angus, daughter of the Hon, Mr Angus, of Adelaide, who was presented, in the absence of tho Colonial Secretary's wife, by Her Urace the Duohets of Buccleuch and Queensberry. The Duchess, who is in mourning, wore an elegant gown of black striped silk and crope, trimmed with jetandfeathers; atrainof handsome friao velvet brocade, lined with faille ; ornaments jat. Miss Angus's toilette was what tho 'Court Journal' calls "exceptionally pretty and unique." The court train and corsage were rich goblin bluo and silver broeho lined with white satin ugrail'ed with silk de perse, with spruya of ferns over jupe of royale white armure and silver embroidery. Head-dress, plume, and veil. Ornaments, diamonds and pearls, the latter very beautiful. Miss Angus's bouquet was one of the rarest and most exquisite at the drawing room, It consisted outirely of Lycaste, Sk'mntri orchids, arranged as a posy and tied with palo blue ribbous to match the train, and was immensely admired. The MarchioueßS of Blandford, who appeared at Court for the first tine since sho divorced the prosent Duke of Marlborough, wore a lovely dress entirely of grey and silver, with a tiara and necklace of diamonds and a posy of white lilac. Her daughter, Lady Frances Spencer Churchill, was in tho simplest possible presentation dress of white, with pretty pearl ornaments, and a bouquet of lilies. The most beautiful bouquet (except, perhaps, Miss Angus's) seems to have been Lady Morell Mackenzie's superb posy of gre>n orchids, which must have literally cost a fortune. Baroness Do Worms, with a train of black velvet trimmed with exquisitely matched sable tails, and blazing with diamonds tho size of largo peas, wus a conspiouous figuro in the reception rooms, though seemingly almost unknown, and Mrs Gerald Talbot's marvellously embroidered palm leaves on a train of silver-grey and priceless lace excited plonty of envy, Tho Marchioness of Granby came in the old gold brocade on a crtam ground, and heliotrope velvet train, which her ancestor (the last Lady Granby) wore on tho occasion of her presentation to Georgo 111. in 1775. Sho was subsequently known as " the beautiful Duchess of Rutland," but I doubt, had they been contemporaries, if she would have outshone the present Lord GruDby's charming wife. The diamonds of the Countess of Rosobery (nee Hannah Rothschild) are, of course, famous. On Tuesday week she wore several rimerts of enormous stones, and a beautiful pendant in the ccntro of brignolets. Her necklace consisted of three rows, aud her diadem was all diamonds. ENGAGED AT LAST. The Duke of Portland (greatest of all matrimonial catches) is engaged at last. Moreover his fiancit is neither an heiress nor titled nor an American, but simply "a fair young English girl," the daughter of a plain country gentleman—Mr Dallas Yorke, of Walmsgate, Lincolnshire. I saw Miss Yorke, with hor mother and His Grace at the horse show on Wednesday. She struck me as a very handsome girl, and the young Duke (his Dutch caution thrown to the winds) is obviously head over ears in love. Mias Winifred ("winsome Winifred') has a pedigrco loneer far than His Grace's own, .■did will make a stately and patrician Duchess. Her dowry won't bo large, but the Duko has enough for the pair of thorn to

begin life on faiily comfortably. The wedding takes place in May or June (probably the latter, as His Grace will want to wait to spe Donovan win the Derby) aud be the function of the scasou.

Tln;y say "Lucky in lovo, unlucky at eardn and gambling generally." la Unit case it should bo good policy to what you men call " lay against" Donovan for his coming races.

Tom says there is wailing and gnashing of teeth at the Gaiety Theatre over 'Mummy's'' engagement. No longer will the fair Miss Jennie M'Nulty occupy the box sc.it of the " dear old boy's" drag tit Epsom and Sandown, and it ib to be feared the little suppers at the Lyriu and (very occasionally) in Großvenor piace are for ever at an end. The Duke has never from all accounts been the least " fast" or a fool, but enjoyed life bachelor fashion thoroughly. As a married man " Jummy " will probably be a " dragon of virtue." A SMART WiSDMSG. As members of both the Nevill and Biaesay families are well known in Australia, yon may like to hear something of the Hon. Tom Brassoy's marriage to Lady Idina Nevill last Thursday. It took placo at E-ridge Church, elose to Eridge Castle, Lord Abergavenny's lovely place on Southdowns, and was a very smart affair. Triumphal arches were erected over the lodge gates at Ihe Park, and the little church was beautifully decorated with palms, lilies of the valley, and camellias. The bridesmaids (tia is now the fashion, when possible) were all children, younger sisters of the bride and bridegioom. They wore kilted skirts of very fine cream serge, with loose shirts of China silk and Zouaves of serge ; white straw sailor hats and bronze shoes and stockings. Each displayed a diamond duck pin, the gift of the bridegroom, and carried a loose bouquet of pink carnations and green orchids tied with pit*k ribbons. The effect was perfect. Tho bride's dress (also exqnisitely fcimple) was of the richest white faille Franeaise, with a very long, plain train, the petticoat being festooned at tho bottom with rare old lace and mousseline de soie, which was crossed ou the front of tho bodice and tied on tho left side, fell to the feet. A coronet of orange blossom surmounted the small, patrician head, with a long veil of tulle fastened by a diamond star. The solo ornament the bride wore was a superb Malteso cross of diamonds, the gift of the bridegroom, The wedding presents nambered over 600, and, judging from one of the lists published, included enough salt cellars, cigarette boxes, button hooks, and penoil cases to stock a jeweller's shop. The Hon. Tom and Lady Idina Brassey have gone to Naples, where they expect to meet Lord Richard Nevill and his bride. The four turtle doves will then go for a short cruise in the Sunbeam, which has been placed at their disposal and now lies in the bay. Lady Idina is the third daughter of the Marquis and Marchioness of Abergavenny, j A GOOD BOOK ABOUT IRELAND. The cheap edition (2a) of Mr Hurlbert's mnch-canvassed 'lreland Under Coercion' is a book everyone who cares two pins about Ireland and the Irish question ought to read. I said this when the work first came out six months ago, but it was expensive then. Now to buy or borrow a copy will be easy, and you should all do one or the other. Mr Hurlbert's c mclusions are those of a liberal, open-minded, and, above all, moderate man ; and, oh ! what a blessing it is to find a man who can talk or write moderately on the Irish question. • BELLA-DEMONIA.' Poor Selina Dolaro's ' Bella-Demonia' is a clover and dramatic, if rather over-sensa-tioual, novelette of the 'Barnes of New York' school. This, perhaps you may remember, is tho book which the luckless opera bouffe prima donna wrote after losing her voice in the zenith of her career. She tried a play first, but it failed (mainly through the incompetence of the performers), and later caused some stir by publibhing a selection from her love letters (names of the writers, etc., suppressed, of course). But " Dolly'a" —all her friends called her " Dolly," just as they call Mrß Bernard-Beere " Bernie " "Dolly's" magnum opvs was ' BellaDemonia,' over which she spent many weary months when sick and ailing. At last, however, it wbb complete and accepted by the New York ' World.' You have read what followed. A malignant fiend stole the MS. from the editor's drawer and destroyed it. No copy existed, and the poor woman had to laboriously recall and rewrite every line. Six months later an abbreviated semblancc of ' Bella !>!.;.'■'. ■ v\' v:im for tho time finished :md purchased by ' Lippiuootts.' The effort, however, proved too much for Madame Dolaro's enfeebled consti-

tution, and she died before the etory could be published. Madame Dokro, whose real name was Belasco, was the daughtei of an old fellow called Simmons, now a, violinist at the Trocadero Music- Hall in London. I have often spoken to him ahout the littlo lady during the eidr' actes and of the bright days early in the seventies, when all " masherdorn" was at Selina Dolaro's feet. She married at fifteen a Jew named Belasco, and had two daughters by him, one of whom has achieved some success as an actress.

A HATCH 01'' ".SHOCKKKS."

'Tho Ugly Story of Miss Woiherby,' by Richard t'ryco (one shilling in tho "NovoCiistrian" series), relates how Mr Sloane Wetherby, an effeminate young man of the "tame cat"specie 3, learning that wealthy Mi-h Brace has heart disease aud is amenable to mesmeric influences, resolves to possess himself of her money. He disguises himself as a woman, becomes the old companion, and in time persuades her, whilst in a mesmeric trance-, to make a will in " Miss Wethcrby'a " favor. This will is duly witnessed, und Miss Wetherby only waiting for heart disease to cany off the victim, when Nemesis descends upon her in tho shape of a lover. Mr George Walford falls suddenly victim to Miss Wetherby's somewhat amplo charms, aud yet experiences a strange sense of physical repulsion when conversing with her. These complex feelings culminate one afternoon in Wulford's iirst asking Miss Wetherby on his knees to be his wife; and secondly, knocking Mrs Brace's companion down. Exposure and expulsion bring a very ugly and singularly unpleasant talo to an end. ' The Mystery of Bclgrave Square' will he no mystery to those experienced in the methods of imitators of Boisgobey, Directly we find that both Sir Keith and Lady Denham have excellent prima facie reasons for wishing to bo rid of the young man who is found stabbed to tho heart in their conservatory one fine bill night, we know neither of them is tho murderer. We must look elsewhere ; and when Lady Denham'a French maid, a purring, catlike damsel with green eyes, slides unobtrusively.into tho story, we at once murmur "that's her." ' Body aud Soul' is grandiloquently called by the author " a romance in transcendental pathology." Personally, I should prefer to term it merely a marron deguisd (or old story re-hatched). One's certainly read something very like it once or twice before. Professor Kerr, the hero, io a Scotch medical specialist, who has discovurtd a method of resuscitating the dead. ITis son-in-law expiring rather unexpectedly, the Professor resolveß to operate on him, and does so with complete success. Mr Leonard Vernercjtt's body is indeed restored to lifo, but what, he asks presently, has become of his soul ? That haß not returned, and tho fact is soon unpleasantly apparent. The new Leonard Vernercott behaves like a brute—oats, drinks, and swears to excess, and can be influenced only by his wife, whose gre.it love enables her by degrees to instil somo of her soul into his. Tho book rominda one of Mr Delisle Hay's ' Blood,' which was, however, an even grimmer story. Tho cover of ' Body and Soul' is admirable, aud will excite scores into buyirg it. Tllbl BATTENBEBG MESALLIANCE. There have been what my vulgar husband calls " ructions " at Royal Windsor over since the news of Prince Alexander of Batteuberg's mesalliance, with Mdlle. Loisinger reached our gracious Sovereign's cars. At first neither the Queen nor the Empress Frederick could believe tho news. Only a few months, remember, have elapsed since the latter fought Prince Alexander's battles with Prince Bismarck, and with difficulty secured her son's and Prince Bismarck's reluctant assent to tho engagement of the Princess Augusta with young Battenberg. The Kaiser was the first to hear of Alexander's " goings on," and he sent an imperative epistle to Windsor notifying bis mother of tho shocking circumstances, and breaking off his sister's engagement. • Her Majesty in a fury Rent for "Bee's husband," and ordered that unhappy young man to write to his brother at once and order him to break off the disgraceful intrigue iiifctanter on pain of his Royal relative's eternal displeasure. Prince Alexander never even vouchsafed a reply to this mandate, but calmly espoused his inamorata morganatically. When this news reached Windsor the Queen suffered from an attack of nerves, which so seriously inconvenienced poor Prince Henry of Battenberg that he confided to hi 3 friends enigmatically that "a fellow might do worse things than marry an actress." Amongst other discomforts, " Bee's husbaud" found his pipe stopped, for when the Queen's temper is short her nose becomes preternaturally keen, and tho loothos the smell of tobacco. Tho Prince found that whenever ho entered the room Her Majesty first sniffed aud then ordered all the windows to be thrown open. This at last became so irritating that the Princo with a sick heart temporarily gave I up smoking.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890511.2.39.3

Bibliographic details

A LADY'S LETTER FROM LONDON., Issue 7904, 11 May 1889, Supplement

Word Count
2,218

A LADY'S LETTER FROM LONDON. Issue 7904, 11 May 1889, Supplement

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