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OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 7940, 22 June 1889, Supplement
OUR LONDON LETTER.
Los don, May 2,
Calling at Victoria street on Tuesday I found Mr Kennaway (always most kindly and courteous to the Press) rejoicing over the price of New Zealand " fours," which are at 106 now, and which he vows and declares will rise to 110. He also remarked that people were constantly complaining anent the colony not having a proper seal or coatofarms. Theoneatprosentusedconsists of a Maori rampant (to use heraldic phraseology), dexter, a missionary (land grabbing), with an altar between. Now this, though appropriate in its way, is scarcely ornamental or dignified for a colony of New Zealand's size. The Agent-General Bhould apply to the Herald's College for a suitable design. The ' Star' and the ' Illustrated London News' acknowledge the courtesy of Mr Henry Brett, of Auckland, in kindly forwarding some most interesting photos of Apia after the hurricane, and also a graphic account of the Vandalia's experiences, by one of the officers. Mr Brett and his family are now in America, travelling slowly westward. They should be in London in about a fortnight, and will stay, in the first instance, with Captain and Mrs Ash by, in Regent Park. The last appearance of Mr W. L. Rees in England was in the role of " duly accredited representative" of King Malietoa. In this capacity duty urged him to seek out Mr Stead, of the • Pall Mall Gazette,' and to unbosom himself at length to that worthy, with the results you see (article attached). Mr Rees and his family sail today for New Zealand. He leaves England reluctantly indeed; nothing would have induced him to abandon " our great scheme" save what he gracefully describes as the " apathetic disinclination of English people to assist financially." Rees did not ask much. So long as some—well—enthusiast would have put his hand in his pocket to find his living expenses he would have gone on " spouting" (as his erstwhile admirer Cracknell says) till doomsday. The truth, of course, about Rees is that he deceives no one but himself; if, indeed, he does deceive himself. He creates a superficially favorable impression at first'; but the more you probe the man tho more impossible you find it to trust to him. So at least those who have seen most of Rees say. How he will account for his stewardship to the syndicate who, I'm told, sent him Home and found the necessary funds, I shall be amused to learn. It is, of course, the purest delusion that Rees had enemies over here, or that any person of influence threw cold water on his scheme. He himself was his own worst enemy. A practical, coherent plan for the settlement of a few crofters at Napier might —I said from the first—have " caught on," the fact of the lands offered being heavily burdened with mortgages notwithstanding. But Mr Rees began with notions so vast, visionary, and vague, he scared plain business men. What sums Mr Rees has squandered in printers' ink I shouldn't dare to guess. Leaflets and pamphlets were showered on poor humanity by thousands, and, not even content with them, the energetic man produced that ponderous tome ' Poverty and Wealth' (or some such title). Poor Rees! his superabundant energy suroly ought to find some sane vent in New Zealand. As an agent or ambassador I should judge him a somewhat expensive luxury. The late Mr Crawford's colleagues, after carefully discussing the }»' OS and cons of the matter, have taken the advice_ of their solicitors and abandoned the floating of the Caledonian Company. In all probability the owners will promote it afresh next i year. 1 Hon. Randall Johnson bag finally resolved
not to return to New Zealand till October or November. . Dr Grace is expected to arrive in Pans on Monday. Litigation in a severe form has set in between MrG. B. Williamson and the agent of the owners of that glorious property, the Champion copper mine. Mr Schlandere, the agent aforesaid, claims that Mr Williamson has forfeited the LSOO and 2,000 shares in the New Zealand Antimony Company which he deposited as a guarantee that lie would float the Champion Copper Mine Company. Williamson, on the other hand, avers that the company failed to float because of certain action taken by the owners of the mine, and claims _ heavy damages from them. Cross suits will soon be in full blast. Already an njunc. tion to restrain Schlanders registering the Antimony shares has been applied for and temporarily granted pending inquiries into his locus standi as agent. The general impression seems to be that Williamson will lose his case and a good deal of money to boot. Lee enterprising Antipodeans who seek to palm off properties of doubtful value on the guileless British public take warning by his sad fate. The Queen Charlotte Sounds Gold Mining Company was registered yesterday—capital L 200.000. Of this, however, the public are really only asked to subscribe L 75.000 (L 25.000 of which will be working capital), as the shareholders of the New Zealand Antimony Company absorb L 125.000. The amount required has already been fully underwritten, so the floating of the venture is assured. Shares in the Antimony are naturally on the rise. The private views at the big picture shows are each year patronised by a larger number of smart Australians and Anglo-Australians, who buy freely and (but few of them pretending to "views" or "culchaw") make capital art patrons. On Tuesday, at the Grosvenor, Sir Samuel Wilson was in great form ; indeed, gossips credited him with having purchased Buton Riviere's 'Prometheus ' and a charming seascape by Napier Henry. Anyhow, he drew the attention of all his friends to the pictures. Mortimer Menpes, the übiquitous, was, of course, there, but exhibited no pictures. His wife looked well in a charming blend of Liberty silks, biscuit brown and pale yellow. Sir Edwin Smith and Lady Smith came, escorted by Lady Knutsford, and Miss Cornwell found quite a number of old friends waiting to say "How do you do?" when she dropped in rather late with Phil Robinson. One of the most conspicuous amongst the many conspicuous persona in the room was a tall, masculine-looking lady, with portentous black eyebrows, who was tastefully clad in pea-green. I asked in vain who she was, till Mr Marriott-Watßon (who brought clever little Mr Barrie, of the 'St. James's Gazette') said: "Oh! that's Miss Whitman, sister of Watt Whitman, the poet. She's correspondent, I believe, for some South Australian paper." Mr G. P. Slade (of Sydney) was to be seen promenading the galleries in the afternoon, and a gentleman described to me as Mr Cooper, '' of Australia," bought two pictures. Altogether, 'twasa case of " Advance Australia!" I must not, by the way, forget to mention two Misses White, of Melbourne, who wore startling brown dirccloire costumes, with lemon cuffs, collar, and facings. ' Longman's' for May contains an interesting article on Father Damien's life's work amongst the unhappy lepers at Molokai, which will, I hope, be read and copied all over the Australian colonies. Though the state of affairs has greatly improved at the settlement during this last two years—thanks chiefly to the money collected in England by the Protestant Vicar of Camberwell- much remains to be done before the place can be called wholesome and the patients civilised. Surely Australians ought to help iu the good work. The name of Mr F. Marriott-Watson's new novel will be either 'Lady Faint Heart' or 'Fair Lady Faint Heart.' At the instance of Mr George Meredith the young Antipodean is re-writing certain portions of his story, so that it will not be published till October next. The complimentary notices elicited by Mr Watson's short tale of ' Bush Life in New Zealand,' published in Mr Philip Mennell's ' In Australian Wilds,' has induced him to seriously consider the propriety of trying to write a purely New Zealand novel —laying the scene partly "down town" and partly "up-country." He will probably resolve to do so, as he has had several good offers for such a work from substantial quarters. Mennell's little book, I may mention, has proved a financial suect~;. Of poor Vogel's, alas ! the less said the better.
Canon Curteis's ' Bishop Selwyn of New Zealand' has been splendidly reviewed, and is already in its second edition. Mr VVestgarth's ' Half a Century of Australasian Progress' was to be published this week, but I have not seen it yet.
Mr Philip Newbury, described in my programme as the "new Australian tenor," i/cbuted with fair success at Miss Moredyth Elliott's concert at St. James's Hall on Wednesday evening. Mr William Terriss and Miss Millward leave England for America in September, and open in New York in October. Whether they go on to Australia and New Zealand will depend on the Messrs Gattis's arrange* menta at the Adelphi. Should a successful melodrama be running there in 1890, Mr Terriss and his little company would not be recalled, and in that case spend six months touring through the Antipodes. The Kendals are to be banquetted before they start on their tour round the world. With Patti in South America, and Lucca, Nillson, and Minnie Hauck on the retired list, there is a grand opening for a new prma, donna assoluta at the Italian Opera this season. The cognoscenti vow this position will be filled by Madame Toni Schlager, who comes from Vienna with a great reputation; whilst provincials who have seen her prophesy a furore over lovely Marguerite Macintyre. Augustus Harris, however, remains faithful to the Australian cantatrice Madame Melba, who nevertheless disappointed him sorely last summer. Since then, however, she has studied (not merely singiDg but acting) hard, and achieved some notable successes at the Brussels Opera. Jean de Reske will be the leading tenor, and if this handsome silver-voiced idol of the Parisian public, with his exquisite and impassioned acting, does not rouse the fair Australian to transcendent efforts I shall be much surprised. Miss Lilian Scccombe sailed for Australia per Liguria on Friday under a twelve months' engagement to Williamson and Co., and Miss Clara Merivale has signed for & similar period, and sails May 10. Miss Merivale undertakes prima donna parts only. Augustus Harris has engaged Miss Louise Lablache, now on her way home from Australia, as one of his leading contraltos for the comma; Italian opera season. One of poor Carl Rosa's principal projects for the immediate future was a tour through Australia and New Zealand with his superb English Opera Company, the finest and completest which ever travelled the English provinces. I understand he had even gone so far as to enter into negotiation 3 with the Orient Company for the carriage of the troupe backwards and forwards. Miss Lingard was at the Grosvenor private view on Tuesday, very quietly dressed, and somewhat heavily veiled. She has grown stout, but otherwise retains much of her good looks. The failure of« Wealth,' at the Haymarket, will, I learn, probably lead to a revival of the ' Merry Wives,' with Miss Lingard as Mrs Ford, pending rehearsals of Mr C. Haddon Chambers's new piece, which will now be wanted much earlier than was anticipated. Great sympathy is expressed at the Green Room Club, the Gaiety bar, and similar resorts of the profession, for the severe loss which Brough and Boucicault are understood to have experienced through the burning of the Bijou Theatre, Melbourne.
Four octogenarians met at Warrington in their official capacity as trustees of the Grammar School of that town—namely, Lord Winmarleigh, 86 years of age; Mr William Beaumont, 91 ; Canon George Heron, 84; and Sir Gilbert Greenall, 83. Their total years amounted to 344, or an average of just 86 years. These venerable gentlemen were all well and hearty, and they spent fully two hoars in the discussion of most important business. The heart Bends nearly ten pounds of blood through the veins and arteries each beat, and makes four beats while we breathe once,
OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 7940, 22 June 1889, Supplement
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