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OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 7961, 17 July 1889
OUR LONDON LETTER.
ANGLO-COLONIAL NOTES. London, May 31. Sir William Jervois has taken 23 Prince’s Gardens for tluee months, after which tie family will go to Torquay for some weeks. It is, I hear, very unlikely Sir William will be employed again as Colonial Viceroy. He is (the authorities say) too valuable a military engineer to waste. . Sir Francis Bell returns from Pans for a day or so on Tuesday, but goes back immediately, taking Sir Walter and Miss Buffer with him. Mr Montgomery seems to be stiff “doing” the Exhibition. Mias Grace is reported out of dunger, but Dr Grace and the family will not be able to leave Florence for some weeks. The Waterhouses are going abroad at once, probably to Vichy. Mr Gisborne is in sad trouble owing to the hopeless illness of his sister, Lady Evans. Mr Peacock, M.H.R., and family have arrived iu London, and are staying at one of the small private hotels off the Strand. Mr Brett has taken the rooms at Bedford place, Russell square, which Judge Gillies occupied when in London. He visited St. Leonards on Sunday, and was taken round tho London and Tilbury Docks yesterday by Captain A biography of the late Mr Alfred Domett is in preparation, . , ~ „ .. Sir Robert Herbert has lent Ins collection of New Zealand birds to the Paris Exhibition, and Sir W. Jervois is sending a duplicate of the water-color of Rotomahana which was so admired at the “ Colindies. The ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ for June contains an amusing account by Mr J. Lawson of his and a chum’s abortive attempt at farming in Kaipara bush. The Aorangi, which arrived from New Zealand yesterday, has, thirty-one cases of apples on board. If properly packed and sound, the consignment should prove remunerative, as Australian apples are selling freely in London just now at threepence apiece. In the little brochure on New Zealand which he is just about publishing Captain Ashby dwells at length on the amount of money which might be made exSorting apples and pears to England during lay, June, and July. Captain Ashby has received letters patent for the collision apron invented by James Holmes, of Auckland, and the documents go forward to-day per Tongariro. It will doubtless bo noticed that the Maybrick poisoning case bears a strong family likeness to the Hall tragedy at Timaru. . , ... The San Francisco mail, delivered this morning, was five days late, a most unusual and (at this time of the year) inexplicable circumstance. At the Birthday banquet on Saturday evening at the Colonial Office Lord Knutsfordhad Prince George of Wales (grown into a very fine-looking “ jack tar,” and “ English—quite English, you know”), on his right; and that venerable relic, Lord Normanby, on his left. Then came (right and left) the saponaceous Bowen, and burly, handsome Sir Hercules Robinson ; Sir Daniel Cooper and Sir Charles Tupper (ever bland and smiling); the two recently returned prodigals (I mean prodigies), Jervois and Loch; the Agents-General tn manse (bar Dillon Bell, stiff in Paris); Sir E. T. Smith, but not Sir Thomas Elder, though he was in town ; Sir J. F. Dickson, the new Bishop of Tasmania (already christened the “masher” prelate); Captain Villiers, Mr T. Archer, Dr Crane, Sir Robert Herbert, and the usual gang of Colonial Office clerks and officials. Significant omissions from the Hat of guests wore Sir T. Elder, Sir W. Buffer, the Hon. W. 11. Montgomery, and Mr George Beetham. It is much to be hoped that Mr Christie Murray’s lecturing tour will not bo prejudiced by any of the—well—eccentricities of Phil Robinson during his Australian run round. Mr Murray belongs to a very different genus to the erratic Phil, and is not in the least likely to emulate that too vivacious creature’s humors.
The long promised and eagerly expected cheap edition of ‘Robbery Under Arms’ his been published this week by Macmillans at 3s 6d, Go and buy it at once. Miss Janet Achuroh has been engaged by Williamson for an Australasian tour, and goes out next month. There was a little scene in the House of Commons on Monday, in which Mr Hen-niker-Heaton played a prominent and, it is to be feared, somewhat ignominious part. For many months past, as I have told you, the member for Canterbury has been in the habit of wasting the time of the House and aggravating the Postmaster - General by putting commonplace questions about trivial matters which could equally well and far more easily he answered by the department itself. Mr Raikes has again and again begged the hon. member to take his queries to St. Martin’sle-Grand, and once or twice even gone the length of introducing small sneers into his replies. Unfortunately for the Postmaster-General “ our ’Enniker ” is phenomenally pachydermatous. “If,”once observed a brother Tory at the St. Stephen’s Club, “ you were to kick the beggar downstairs, he’d simply pick himself up, anoint the portions of his person exacerbated, and reasoending resume the interrupted argument.”
On Monday Postmaster-General Raikes, who has been persecuted past endurance by Mr Heaton’s questions of late, did let out at him, and on this occasion the snub was too patent even for the redoubtable Henniker to ignore:—“ Mr Raikes informed Mr Heaton, who suggested that the Post Office might derive a considerable revenue from granting the privilege of advertising on the backs of postage stamps and telegraph forms, that suggestions had been repeatedly made on the subject, and that some were before the department at the present time. If it should be decided to entertain the proposal, an effort would be made to ascertain the value of the revenue to be derived from the concession. He was not able to state what revenue was derived in Queensland from this source. With reference to the last part of the hon. gentleman’s question as to whether advertising agents had been consulted, it did not appear to be so much a matter for advertising agents as for advertising politicians.” The loud laughter and cheers from all parts of the Chamber which greeted this sally showed how accurately Heaton has been ganged by his fellows, and must have been galling to a degree. Later in the evening the nnfortnnate man rose again, and, with what effrontery he could muster, tried to turn the tables on the Postmaster-General and get him rebuked, by asking the Speaker whether it was for the dignity of the House that such an expression as “advertising politicians ” should be used. But the Speaker was not to be trapped into giving the tiresome member for Canterbury the least countenance. Speaking very coldly, indeed, he said “ be was not in the cha’r on the other occasion to which the hon. member had alluded. With respect to the question put that day, a little irritation was sometimes infused into a question, and sometimes It was infused into the answer—(laughter) but if it did not seem to him to overstep the bounds of order he should not think itnecessary to interfere. So the bumptious Australian was sat on all round, and betook himself disconsolately to the smoking room to “grizzle.” Phil Robinson’s divorce suit came on again at the Law Courts on Tuesday, when Mrs Robinson, as before, conducted her own case. A good many curious persons put in «n appearance in the gallery this time, amongst others a thickly-veiled lady, commonly (but, 1 should imagine, incorrectly) believed to be Phil’s friend and patroness, Miss Cornwell. Judge Butt advised Mrs Robinson to secure legal aid if she were anxions to. get a decree nisi, but the lady said No; all she wanted was a judicial separation and the custody of the children. The first the Judge made no bones about granting, after the steward and stewardess of the s.s, Drummond Castle had proved a little amour of the festive Phil’s on board that vessel two years back. Mr Porter (who appeared for Phil) opposed, however, Mrs Robinson’s having the custody of the children. He read extracts from a document which stated that Mrs Robinson was a person of homicidal and suicidal tendencies. She had been under medical care for burning her clothes and mutilating her hand. “Is this true?” asked the Judge. “Yes,” said the woman dramatically. “He sent me mad with 1
morphia, and it lias taken me five years to recover and work it off." The Judge finally decided that Mrs Robinson could not have custody of the children (who, it transpired, are at school in France), but ordered that she should have free and reasonable access to thorn. I believe I told you in my last that the action of the New Zealand Government in appointing Mr Robinson an honorary commissioner at Paris Exhibition has been caustically criticised iu many quarters. Lord Carnarvon, who has been very ill and is only partially recovered, made a great effort to be present at the meeting of the Federation League on Thursday last. He could not, however, stand the stuffy atmosphere, and after making his own speech (which some consider better than Rosebery s) withdrew. I don’t know whether any of your readers will remember a “Major” “Captain Carter who lived for some time in Auckland several years back. He had (unless I’m mixing up things) an allowance from Home, and talked largely of expectations, I met him in London one night last winter. He had gone hopelessly downhill, and was in the last stage of dirty, seedy shabbiness, with trembling hands and a mouth thirsty beyond description. We adjourned to the Criterion, and, as Mr Carter gracefully put it, “gargled” together. I then supplied him with the wherewithal to purchase “gargle” for some time to come, and departed. On Saturday we met again. This time it was in a crowd, aud a very smart crowd to boot, viz,, at Hyde just after the meet of the four-in-hand. The sun shone brightly, revealing with startling clearness the inconsistencies and deficiencies of Mr Carter’s costume, the bulbousness of his nose, and the unmistakeable fact that he had been gargling “ not wisely, but too well.” The unfortunate man said that he had had no for days, and implored me to supply him with enough to purchase a meal. I did so; whereupon, without even so much as “thanks, - ’ he shot across the street, making a bee-line (as was clearly apparent to everyone) for the nearest public-house. Lady Stafford describes her New Zealand experiences with great felicity in a little book of travel, ‘How I Spent my Twentieth Year,’ just issued by Blackwood. In a work called ‘Kaleidoscope,’by afemale “globe-trotter” named Katherine Bates, the Australian colonies are written-down in a most unprincipled manner, New Zealand being coolly described as in a “ bankrupt condition.”
Dr Haines, whom I saw on Sunday for a short time, does not intend to remain in London beyond two months, or three at most. He goes shortly to Birmingham to spend some weeks with the world famous surgeon whose operations on the stomach and other portions of the body, tiff recently supposed to be untouchable, have been attended with such wonderful success.
Captain Ashby’s book or brochure on his Australian and New Zealand tour will be out next week.
Dr Daldy, a nephew of old Captain Daldy, leaves England for Auckland (where he intends to practice) by an early steamer. He is an M.D. of London, FR.C.S., and all the rest of it.
Mr Walter Paton’a report for the Emigrants’ Information Office of his visit to the Australasian colonies does not attempt to conceal that there is nothing to be done in your part of the world now without capital. Some highly sensational stories arc afloat anent the gold robbery on the Iberia (which I mentioned to you last week), and it is probable before next Friday several unexpected arrests will be made. The persons understood to be implicated are well known to you. The Anderson banquet at the Hotel Metropole last Friday evening was, as might be expected, a very smart affair. Mr Sutherland, who occupied the chair, explained that the founder of the feast (himself an old P. and 0. director), looking forward to a period of hard times and lean dividends, had considerately left a sum of money wherewithal to quinquenially banquet the disconsolate Board. All the great magnates of the Anglo-colonial social and commercial world were present, and the tone of the few speeches made was jocular. The chairman, for example, ventured to prophesy that when Macaulay’s New Zealander came home to fulfil his destiny and depict the ruins of St. Paul’s, he would travel by a P. and 0. boat. Sir George Bowen was also elephantinely facetious, and Lord Brnssey absolutely perpetrated a pun. Sir Arthur Blyth did not speak. Mr M. 0. Hurst, the bicyclist, who is now at the Oxford Music Hall, in London, fulfilling a most successful engagement, is about to take bis departure for Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand, The tour has been booked for him by Didcott, the wellknown agent. The degree of D D. was conferred on the new Bishop of Tasmania at Cambridge cn Friday. It may not bo generally known, by the way, that Mr Montgomery is a nephew of Archdeacon Farrar. He was educated at Harrow' and Cambridge, and is to my mind too much of a polished metropolitan churchman for a colonial See. Mrs Moorhouse (wife of the late Bishop of Melbourne and present Bishop of Manchester) boasts, I see, of having opened more bazaars in a twelvemonth than the wife of any other English prelate. She says she looks upon them as “necessary evils.” Often there is no other way of raising money for a good cause. William Horace Lingard is coming out in a new light—that of amateur cricketer. At Kirkstall, the other day, playing with his Opera Company Eleven against a local team, Lingard made 30 runs. Miss Jenny Watt-Tanner scored a conspicuous success in a little play called ‘ Tecalco ’ at Terry’s Theatre on Saturday. The ‘ Daily News ’ says “If we had only more theatres, where bold work and forcible playing were wanted. Miss Watt-Tanner, from Australia, would be in constant requisition.” A good many people in the Australian colonies must have read with regret and concern the news of the wreck of the Cotopaxi—full particulars of which I send separately. She was—as of course you know one of the F.S.N. Company’s boats chartered by the Orient Company, and in the early days of the line, more particularly, enjoyed special popularity. She made a goodly number of voyages backwards and forwards, and was always crowded with passengers. By the way, it may interest your readers to know that the most consistently popular boat nowadays on the Orient line is the renovated Cuzco. Passengers invariably tell the same story viz., that the “good old tub ” (though why “ tab ” I don’t know, as she can now steam sixteen knots an hour) is far drier and more comfortable in really rough weather than the newer and smarter ship. Second-cabin accommodation on the Cuzoo is said to be exceptionally good, as, indeed, it is on most of the Orient line.
Mr Simpson Newland tells me that a great drawback to the Messageries steamers, from a saloon point of view, is that the second and third-class passengers are allowed to swarm over portions of the deck usually reserved for the first. Lord Rosebery’s suggestion that a party of representative working men from all parts of the United Kingdom should make a tour of Canada, Australia, and India has “caught on ” in certain quarters, and will, I should like to wager, bo an accomplished fact before two years are out. It might be useful to specially invite such a party to inspect yonr colony. Mr C. Seaward (of Jacomb, Son, and Co.) has been entrusted with the arrangement of the wool exhibits in the New Zealand Court at Paris.
OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 7961, 17 July 1889
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