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OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 7930, 11 June 1889
OUR LONDON LETTER.
ANGLO-COLONIAL NOTES. London, April 26,
Four out of the last six days having been either holy-days or holidays there is naturally not much of a budget of Anglocolonial nows to chronicle. Still I have got a few bits of gossip to tell you. I was witness on Wednesday afternoon of an amusing scene, in which two notorieties (one can scarcely call them notables) who are thoroughly well-known all over the Antipodes, unexpectedly played a leading part. The occasion was the reception of cc brave General Boulanger in London, that blatant personage having, as you will have learnt by cable, allowed himself to be somewhat ignominiously scared away from Paris. Happening to be in the neighborhood of Charing Cross at the time the General’s train was timed to arrive, I thought I might as well look in and see what was going on. The authorities evidently expected there would be a large crowd of smart folk_ to welcome the General, and the arrival platform was carefully barred off for their accommodation and that of the Press. As luck would have it, a dense black fog suddenly fell upon London at this moment (a most unusual circumstance in the afternoon), enveloping everything in its folds, and turning bright daylight into darkest night. The station lamps were lit, and I then made out through the gloom that though the Press were in great force on the platform, neither English nor American “ personages ” had thought it worth while to attend. A dozen or so of French emigres (shabby and out -at - elbows), and a few English folk who were evidently there only out of curiosity, made un_ “the thousands of cheering enthusiastic Britons,” who, according to Wednesday s 1 Presse ’ (the chief Boulangist organ in Paris), welcomed ce brave general to London. That the general expected » great reception was apparent dirictly the train ran alongside, forassoon as the carriage door was opened he stood in the framework bowing graciously right and left. Owing to the fog the poor man could only see very indistinctly indeed, but he evidently felt certain the teeming thousands must be there. As some Frenchmen stepped forward, however, and an irreverent reporter laughed, the truth began slowly to dawn on the great man, and Ids brow grew black as night. In vain he looked about for the famous statesmen and soldiers whom his infatuated followers had assured him would be there. Not a familiar face appeared, and yet it was surely to the highest degree appropriate that the two “famous Englishmen” to welcome General Boulanger to London should have been —who do you think ? why General MTver, the hero of New Guinea and a thousand Munchausen adventures, and Mr Stuart Cumberland. Mr Cumberland was in immense form. Seeing there really were, as he would say, “no smart folk about,” he proceeded with true showman-like instinct to make the most of the occasion. Mrs Cumberland snd Miss Cumberland wore brought up, and gracefully handed 5s bouquets to the unhappy General, who tried in vain to grin complaisantly though ho was white as a sheet and boiling with anger and chagrin. Mr Cumberland has been aumieux with the Boulangists ever since with conspicuous tact he prophesied a great future for the General and read his thoughts so appropriately ! During the recent crisis he obtained more than once exclusive bits of news, which he disposed of to some purpose. Stuart Cumberland holds a very quaint position in London. His thought-reading tricks make him a welcome guest almost anywhere, and yet his social position is painfully undefined. People can’t help feeling that, despite his cleverness, a suspicion of charlatanism hangs about the man. His name is believed to be a pseudonym, and his antecedents up to ten or twelve years ago are wrapped in mystery. Most of us know a little about him ; none of us know much. Clubs glad to welcome him as a guest fight shy of him as a member, and so on, And yet Mr Cumberland seems fairly popular. ‘Jo ’ is played out in England, and audiences here don’t seem to take to Miss Lee in any other part, so she means to tempt fortune again in the colonies, and sails for Adelaide in about three weeks, returning by New Zealand and America. Mr Barnett accompanies his wife, and so do their two children, John and Joan. Canon Liddon’s attack on Mr Froude in his sermon at St. Paul’s on Palm Sunday has led to a lot of talk in ecclesiastical circles. Dr Liddon chose for his subject ‘ Judas Iscariot,’ but he quickly passed from that personage into a scathing denunciation of the “ religious traitors ” of our own time. Amongst others, he referred pointedly to Mr Froude as a man who in early life was closely associated with the Oxford movement, which led to the greatest revival of church life, and who subsequently treacherously and humorously attacked his old associates, NEW ZEALAND AT THE PARIS EXHIBITION.
A gentlemen officially connected with the Paris Exhibition, writing of the New Zealand section, says :—“ The colonial Government were too slow in applying for space. The present court is ridiculously small. It will be a very poor show as far as New Zealand is concerned, and immeasurably inferior to what it was at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, 1886.” Count Joudroy d’Abbaus, the French Consul-General, has arrived in London, where he is spending a week en route for Paris, It seems doubtful whether he will return to the colony, promotion in the service being looked for by his friends. The Count has called on Sir Francis Bell and Mr Kennaway, and assured them of his readiness to do anything in his power to promote the success of the Now Zealand court at the Exhibition, The British section will make a magnificent display, and I am informed that it ia more forward than any other part of the Exhibitiou. It is managed by the Lord Mayor’s Committee, which was called into existence at the instance of the Prince of Wales, and is a powerful uud representative
body of about a hundred members. This General Committee has elected an Executive Council of about fifteen, in whom the supreme control is invested. Sir F. 1). Bell and Sir W. Buller have been elected members of tho Executive, and will therefore have a large share in the management of tho British section, alongside of which the colonial courts will, I fear, cut a very sorry figure. As might have been expected, the French Government have made arrangements for the representation on a very scale of all their colonial possessions. This section will be presided over by Commissioners specially selected by the Government, preference being given to men of colonial experience. THK MAORI FOOTBALLERS. I understand that Mr Rowland Hill justifies the lack of courtesy and hospitality of the Rugby Union towards the New Zealand footballers on the ground that they (the Union) were “ taken in ” by Mr Scott and his friends. The Union arranged tho tour and threw its tegis over the team under the belief that they were strictly amateurs, coming over purely to advance the honor and glory of New Zealand, and that Scott and Co. merely meant to recoup themselves for expenses out of pocket. Instead, however, of a football enthusiast, Mr Hill found Mr Scott a shrewd business speculator, who thought far more of the gate than tho game —in fact only thought of the latter at all as a means of making money. Tho Union thereupon felt righteously wroth, and when Mr Scott wanted to have the AllEngland match at tho Oval in order to get a good gate, sharp words passed. That the subject of tho discourtesy shown the Now Zealanders is still discussed the following par from tho ‘ Referee ’ shows ; “Correspondents will insist on repeating tho inquiry why I let tho right opportunity slip for putting in a word against the Southern Counties Rugby footballers, who, according to said friendly writers, showed had form in declining to meet the New Zealanders in their winding-up match. I had half forgotten tho wind-up and its attendant circumstances, but out of consideration for tho gentlemen who have written I allude to their communication. That will to a degree serve their purpose as showing that there are sportsmen who disapprove of the sensible course adopted, as well as Mr Scott, who ran tho New Zealand contingent, and delivered himself to the same effect under interviewer’s pressure. The said Scott thought that, the Rugby Union having extorted apology for the gross misbehaviour of Maori, or socalled Maori, folk in playing roughly and blackguarding their (tho R.U.’s) officials, there ought to have been an end of the matter, and not only should the offence be condoned, but all recollection of tho unpleasantness wiped out—in short, forgive and forget be the Rugby Unionists’ motto for the occasion. From a commonsenso point of view, I fail to see where tho practical philosophy of forgiving and forgetting comes in. To accept the apology and clear off old scores was all right enough; that was forgiving ; but why forget ? Supposing that I happen to pass through a field, am chased by a bull, and evade that rampagioua creature. When I am clear I forgive him, because it is his nature to go for me. But if I forget the base assault, and again put myself in the way of getting gored, ripped up, and generally demolished, 1 should class myself an ass. Forgive, I gay, by all means; but don’t go and give yourself away after you have been illtreated once. I am afraid this is not exactly the sort of word my correspondents desired; but, as I have spoken to please them, they must excuse my saying what pleases me,” PERSONAL AM) GENERAL. I observe that, at the invitation of tho president of tho Royal Society, Sir M. Buller, F.R.S., has written the obituary notice and biographical sketch of the late Sir Julius Von Haast, for record in the proceedings of that learned body. There was an appropriate allusion to the savant s death in the last anniversary address of the president. Sir Francis 8011, Sir Julius Vogel, Sir Walter Buller, Mr Gisborne, and Mr W. M. Montgomery have, at the invitation of the president, consented to form the Commission in London for the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, 1889 90. The Hon. Randall Johnson, late of Wellington, has taken a house at Exeter and settled down permanently in this country. But he retains his property in New Zealand and his scat in the Legislative Council, because he intends to make periodical visits to the colony. l)r Grace has not as yet returned from Rome, but expects to be in Paris at the opening of the Exhibition. In this jealous little world of ours it is not always that scientific workers get full recognition from those able to judge of the value of their labors. But this is what the eminent scientist, Professor Owen, writes of Sir Walter Puller’s recently completed work : “ ‘ The Birds of New Zealand’ is a type of ornithological excellence. I feci carried to the land and to the waters of their homes through the perfection of the feathered portraits. The text is equally perfect, and together they make a book unique in Natural History. One feels proud that its author is a countryman.” In this connection I may mention that the fulio work on 'The Birds of New Guinea,’ commenced by tho late John Gould and continued by Mr Sharpe, of the British Museum, has just been finished. I understand that the publishers Henry Sothcran and Co.) intend to exhibit it at the forthcoming New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, in tho hope of securing subscribers.
A company has been formed with the object of acquiring the premises and business of Butter worth Bros., soft goods merchants and warehousemen, of Dunedin, with the stock-in-trade, goodwill, and assets of such business, and certain real estate used in connection with the same. The capital is L 33.300 in LIOO shares. Amongst the initial subscribers are Miss Butterworth (1) and Miss M, Butterworth (1) ordinary shares, J, L. Butterworth (1) and C. P. Butterworth (1) def. shares. The numher of managing directors to bo not less than one nor more than throe. The first are J. L. and C. P. Butterworth—Qualification, LSOO stock. Remuneration : J. L. Butterworth LSOO, and C. P. Butterworth L 250 per annum. At its annual meeting on Thursday jast a powerful North Country confederation of butchers, comprising delegates from Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Wakefield, etc., passed resolutions which have attracted considerable attention, and may not improbably lead to immediate legislation. In the first place serious complaints were made against butchers who soil Australian, New Zealand, and other frozen dressed meats as English. A Mr MTntyre suggested that all such meats should be very carefully inspected and classed by skilled exports, and that retail vendors should then bo obliged to label them like “ margarine ” in the grocers’ and provisiondealers’ shops. This suggestion met with general approval, and will, without doubt, be shortly submitted to Parliament. Should the requirement become law, it would of course be a grand thing for exporters of firstclass qualities of frozen meats, such as the Canterbury (N.Z.) folk. Their mutton would for the first time have to bo sold under its right name, instead of as “ prime Scotch, 1 ’ as at present, and the effect would be immediate. In a few weeks there would be little to choose between the wholesale prices of the best English and the best New Zealand mutton. I purchased some New Zealand lamb, mutton, and kidneys from Fitters in Leadenhall market the other day, in a careless sort of way, just to see what befell the casual purchaser. The kidneys were hard and not nice generally, but the mutton, at 7sd, was preferable to what I pay our South Kensington man Is a lb for. I meant to ask how long it had been hung after being thawed, as I fancy that has a good deal to do with it.
OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 7930, 11 June 1889
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