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TABLE TALK., Issue 7946, 29 June 1889, Supplement
SOCIAL, THEATRICAL, AND sroimvii.
|Fkom Ouji SriiciAr, ComiKsi'OMiKNT.J
The cycle of private views—Profits of tiie gaming tables—Removals to the Lords —'The Times's ' scapegoat— Irving at Sandringham—Cost of the performance Why Irving isn't Sir Henry A threatened infliction —The Queen's wishes—Her Majesty and Miss Terry—- ' Wealth '— A complete failure —Mr Pinero—- An old horse piece under new auspices—Mr Hare—Gossip—Mr James Smith—The Goldseeker calamity—A small commission executed—The Tvo Thousand surprise—How Djnovau was defeated.
London, May 3,
The cycle of smart private views to the picture shows of the Eeason, which commenced on Tuesday, at the Grosvonor Gallery, and was continued on Wednesday at the new or " Halli-carnassus," will close this afternoon at the Royal Academy, when society, the Arts, and tho better part of Bohemia meet for once en ?nawe at Burlington House. The plain'btown tickets for the R. A, Private View beooms more difficult to obtain every anniversary; in fact, are worth their weight in gold. It is a fact that last year, as Lidy L) G was going up the steps to Burlington House with her little girl she was stopped by an American acquaintance, who implored her not to waste a ticket on the child, adding : "I will give you anything you like for one. Mrs 1.5- (naming an academician's wife) promised to sell me hers for two guineas, but Mr B wouldu't let her." This much was positively overheard iu the vestibule,
Though tho Casino at Monte Carlo has had by no means a fortunate season, Captain Carleton Blythanda wealthy Russian having on several occasions "broken the bank," the profits of the tables, so a calculatingcroupier told a travelling correspondent, will exceed L 500,000. Not bad business this for six months. Political flaneurs declare a whole batch of honors are on the verge of announcement. The Premier will on dit present himself with the inevitable dukedom, which was bouud to come some time. Mr W. H. Smith will go to the House of Lords as the Earl of Greenlands or Surb.iton, and Mr Balfour will also be promoted to a higher sphere as Baron Bxlfour of Somewhere—Mitchelstown would be appropriate. Lord Hartingtou would also get a peerage but for the great age of his father, the Duke of Devonshire, who was eighty two the other day, which makes it fairly certain His Lordship will not be forced much longer to occupy his present anomalous and uncomfortable position in the Commons.
When I prophesied that Mr Mac Donald would he ' The Times's ' scapegoat for tho Pigott blunders I was (vulgarly speaking) "on the spot." The "retirement" of the old man who has for forty years served the Walters faithfully and well was announced yesterday, Mr Alfred Walter (who is a shrewd, business-like youngster) taking his place. It is characteristic of "my old friend Walter" that having, through his perverse obstinacy, got 'The Times' into a tight place, he should make tho worst of the situation. Mr Buckle believes that the " Parnellism and Crime" Jianco, beyond bitting 'The Times' hard financially, will do little harm. He is only anxious to get rid of the tiresome subject aud revert to the safe and legitimate policy of ' Xhe Timss,' which is (or was)': "Be just a few hours or days in advance of public opinion." Old Mr John Walter, on the otherhand.cannntbear to have to confess himself bcateD, and still praya mournfully for somo providential revelation of Parnellite villainy which shall again revolutionise public opinion and justify ' The Times.' liHAMATIC. It was Punchinello's secret at the Clubs on Friday afternoon that Her Majesty meant to knight Irving at the conolu'sion of the performance at Saudi ingham that evening, and great wa3 the surpiisc of the ilancura on opening their papers next morning to find that the great event hadn't come off. The fact, 1 believe, was two people objected to the proposed innovation, viz., Lord Salisbury and Irving himself. The Premier has no opinion of " play-acting folk," and distrusts altogether the movement which has of late years raised certain mummers so materially in the social scale. Irving himself considers a leading actor has just as good a right to knighthood as a great artist, engineer, or architect, but thinks the honor should be reserved till the actor's professional career closes and ho is about to retire. It would, he opines, be neither convenient nor convcnable to have a number of " Sirs " and "Ladies" strutting the boards. Ten years hence, when Henry Irving bids tho stage farewell, and (like the Bancrofts) takes his ease in society, he will be glad—as recognition of his life's work—to accept the accolade from the Queen's plump hand. I am awfully sorry, by the way, to notice that Irving has given over himself and his reminiscences to Joe Hatton, and is going to allow that fat fiend to make a book out of him. Why, oh why ! doesn't "our only tragedian " postpone his autobiography, like the knighthood, till he retires, and give us something worth reading. Irving can write if he chooses, aud the plain unadorned Btory of his life, autobiographically told, would be far preferable to the olla podriila of interviews, newspaper scraps, stale "chestnuts," and forced conversations, which made up poor Toole'3 short-lived ' Reminiscences,'
The cost of the Sandringham performance to Irving was, I understand, about L7OO, or, together with the loss of Friday evening's performance (say L 300), LI.OOO. Loveday, the Lyceum manager, aud a staff of men were iu Norfolk preparing a week beforehand. Hawes Craven painted a set of entirely new scenery aud a replica, of tho Lyceum drop to fit tho small atage, and special trains conveyed the entire company backwards and forwards. H.R.H. sent the actor-manager a cheque for L 250, and the Queen gave him a pair of sleeve links worth perhaps LSO. Altogether, a "Royal command," though gratifying, seems a somewhat expensive luxury. One can imagine, too, what poor Irving and Co. felt on Tuesday morning when a telegram came from Sir Dighton Probyn, asking whether it would be possible to reconstruct the entire programme, as the Queen would very much like to witness scenes from ' Richelieu,' • Macbeth,' and ' Louis Xl.' Fortunately the Prince intervened here and explained tho difficulties in the way to Her Majesty, who at last gave way. The Queen was very cordial to Miss Terry, and has evidently quite forgotten that young lady's matrimonial difficulties. One is glad to notice Her Majesty seems much less hard now on poor human nature than sho used to be. Why it is not so many years since she refused to " command " the Lyceum folks to Windsor or visit the theatre, because Miss Terry was acting there and Irving lived separate from his wife.
Mr Henry Arthur Jones had never much of a reputation as a dramatist, but he will now have less than ever. 'Wealth,' produced at the Haymarket on Saturday evening, proved a complete failure, aud was, despite the frantic efforts of a well-packed stalls, dress circle, and gallery, roundly and soundly damned. Here is the plot. Mr Beerbohm-Tree acts an elderly speculator, who has followed the pursuit of money until ho has grown, as the masher in the next stall to mine said, "dotty." Act i., "dotty"; act ii., "dottier"; act iii., "dottiest"; activ., dying. It is all Tree, lovjours Beerbohm-Tree. No one else has a chance. In the third act, where Mr Tree (or Matthew Ruddock) thinks himself bankrupt, and tears down the curtains and piles up his securities on the floor, I couldn't help feeling "I've seen this before." "Shiel Barry"in ' Les Cloches de Corneville,' " said my neighbor ; and so it was. But why waste time writing about ' Wealth'? The piece will never reach your part of the world.
I remember Mr Pinero when people knew him only as "the long-nosed beggar who plays small parts in Irving's company, don't you know." He is now the most popular and consistently successful of living playwrights, earning out of fees for his pieces running in London, America, and the provinces not far short of LSOO a week. A successful play pays better than ten successful novels, says George B. Sims, and of all men he ought to know, aa he has " struck ib " both wtys.
The (savages rolled up in force to the Grand Theatre, Islington, on Saturday to too Geoffreys Thorn's long-talkcd-of burlesque on ' Dandy Dick Turpiu' or 'The Mashing Highwayman,' facetiously described on the bills "an old horse piece under new auspices," and applauded manfully at all available opportunities. I fear, however, the piece is too old-fashioned and llenry-J.-Byroncsquo for modern tastes, ft was written for Lydia Thompson yearn ago, whon that lady's "blondes" were tho sensation of the hour in the States.
'Macbeth' and 'That Dr Cupid' have now been played 100 times each in London, and so has ' Paul Jones,' whilst the ' Yeoman cf the Guard' on Saturday celebrated its 200 th repetition, and 'Sweet Lavender ' on Tuesday completed its fourth centenary. The last-named looks like running on well through the year. Mr John Hare, whose real name is Fairs, and who has a number of relatives resident in Auckland (N.Z.) must now be a wealthy man. Before joining the Kendals at the St. James's, he had made quite a small " pile " out of the old Court Theatre, which he and they leased for several seasons. There his great successes were ' New Men and Old Acres,' iu which Ellen Terry, at that time in her premiere jewieine, took the town by storm, and which yielded the management a clear profit of L 12.000; and 'Olivia,' which Flare made 1,9,000 by. Tho Royalty Theatre opens tomorrow with a new comic opera by Oswald Brand and Henry Parker, entitled ' Mignonette,' the scene of which is laid in the Tyrol. Both author and composer are now to London, aud the only member of the cast whose name I recognise is Mr J. G. Robertcon, tho good-looking tenor who acted Ralph Rackstraw in the Savoy revival of 'Piuafore.' •
TUIfF TALK. Mr James Smith, who i 3 the manipulator of Goldseeker, was the first man to carry off the double event of Cesarewitch and Cambridgeshire with one horse (Roseberry), and the recollection of the blow he then dealt the Ring still makes Steele and one or two others shudder. Smith erred in the matter of the City and Suburban through not remembering Gold3eeker's near relationship to Hermit, whose stock have proved time out of number that they run best when a little big. On the few gallops Goldseeker had taken before tho race a son of Robert tho Devil could not possibly have stayed the distance. In the paddock, too, before the start Mr Lcybourne'a horse behaved like a veritable demou. Mr Smith is not the man to do things by halves. "Shall we send a small commission, say, to back Goldseeker for LSOO, starting price up to town ?" his brother asked him. "Do as you like. I don't care for any of it," replied Mr Smith, and on his return to the ring refused 1,000 to 30. Mr E. Smith, however, sent a L2OO commission up to the Victoria Club, which must have mitigated his aflliction materially, as the starting price was returned 50 to 1. Two of Mr J. A. Craven's horses, which had been badly beaten in their home trials, won the priucipal races at Saudown on Thursday and Friday unbacked for sixpence. In one of these events—the Walton Two-year-old Stakes, of 1,000 sovs—matters were aggravated by the stable followers to a man being on Tom Cannon's Cross Roads, whom their Charlottesville (by Fitz-James—Miss Pool) cleverly defeated in the last few strides by a neck. Porlock, the hero of tho Princess's Cup, of 1,000 fovs, is a good-looking three-year-old by Wenlock, and will certainly be heard of again, as he beat a big field.
Melanion being a little off color, the Duke of Portland had no option but to start Donovan for the Two Thousand Guineas, which seemed to be such a certainty for him that there was no betting worth the name on the race beforehand. Eight horses faced the starter, but of these three alone—Mr Aldington's Pioneer, Prince SaltykofT's Gold, aud Mr Baird's Enthusiast—seemed to have a remote chance of lowering the lucky Duke's colors. Donovan looked his best, and after seeing him in the paddock the ring wanted S.j to 20 ; in fact, iu many instances plungers laid sto 1 on the crack. Pioneer was second in demand at ICO to 8 ; 100 to (i being offered against Gold, 25 to 1 Enthusiast, aud 100 to 1 any other. An outsider led to the distance, where the favorite came out apparently full of running, aud most people closed their glasses, remarking the race was over. This, however, it certainly was not. Pioneer and Enthusiast challenged simultaneously right and left, and in a moment or so it became obvious they were holding Donovan. A scene of the wildest excitement ensued. Pioneer was beaten opposite Tattersall's Ring, but Enthusiast ran on with the utmost gameness, and he and Donovan passed the post locked together. An awful moment of breathless silence followed, similar to that which ensued when Crafton all but beat Paradox for the Guineas of 'B6. This time, however, luck was against the punters, for Enthusiast's number went up, tho outsider having (so the judge said) won by a head.
TABLE TALK., Issue 7946, 29 June 1889, Supplement
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