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TOPICS OF THE DAY., Issue 7962, 18 July 1889
TOPICS OF THE DAY.
[From Our Special Correspondent.] London, May 31. Magnificent summer weather signalised the celebration of the Queen's Birthday on Saturday last, and very smart crowds turned out early to witness the "trooping of the colors" at the Horse Guards and the meet of the Four-in-Hand Club in Hyde Park. This last is one of the many pretty sights whnh Londoners of all sorts and conditions can witness in perfect comfort "free, gratis, for nothing." The hour of the meet (one o'clock) precludes the possibility of many working men being present; but what Cook calls " carriage folk " invariably turn out in strong force, while the middle-classes bring their families and come in tens of thousands. On Saturday the reunion was specially brilliant and successful, as no fewer than twenty-two drags (ont of a possible thirty odd) put in an appearance, and the ladies were all in their freshest summer finery. Shortly before one the Prince and Princess, followed by " the two boys and their sisters'.' in anotherJVictoria, drove swiftly down the drive, and almost immediately after Lord Willoughby D'Eresby, tooling four splendid blaoks, led off the long line of coaches. Lord Charles Beresford, driving greys, as usual, had the beautiful Duchess of Leinster beside him, but Boulanger passed wholly unrecognisedon Lord Londesborough's box seat. Sir Saville Crossleys drove a team of superb bays, which were greatly admired, as were Captain Victor Ferguson's dark browns, Captain Whitmore's iron greys, and Captain Spicer's " slicwbsilcLs Both the Prince and Princesß of Wales have capital nerve. It was an awkward moment last Saturday afternoon, when the small body of police on duty at Whitehall failed altogether to make way for the Royal party through the dense mob of _ Eastenders, packed tight as sardines, in the Horse Guards Parade, and hundreds of 'Arrys and 'Arrietts swarmed close round their Royal Highnesses, cheering, jeering, hissing, and cat-calling. The unpleasant feature of the contretemps was that the hissing and hooting well-nigh drowned the cheering, the Socialists evidently being present in large numbers. The Prince and Princess, after one glance of dismay at one another, smiled as serenely at the crowd as though surrounded by a regiment of soldiers. Prince George of Wales and his sisters absolutely enjoyed the novel situation—in fact, the young sailor genially shook bands with several of the folk near him. Very different was it with the Duke of Cambridge, who was walking, and who dived into the crowd after his royal relatives with greater courage than discretion. In about two seconds the Commander-in-chief, supported by a solitary police inspector, found himself engaged in a free fight. Right valiantly did the old man lay about him with his famous " gamp," and right loudly did the inspector yell " Room for 'is Royal 'lghness—make room for the Dook of Cambridge." It was no good; the crowd laughed and jibed, but no way could be made. I see a 'Sun' reporter who took part in this metee, and whose eye the angry Duke incontinently blacked, has applied for a summons againat the Queen's cousin. The Magistrate suggested "civil process," but the reporter said he preferred "criminal."
Mrs E. M. Langworthy, who is the " pet" of a "Gentile" suburban clique, came into contact with her recalcitrant spouse, under somewhat dramatic circumstances, at tho Four-in-liaml Meet on Saturday. Both parties were on horseback, Mr Langworthy being accompanied by a trim little Frenchwoman, ami Mr;: Langworthy by a lady friend. Mrs had (so my informant assures rue, and as he's a friend of the Steals leiuyht to know) ridden twice tip and down the Row, when she espied, as she thought, a friend (Colonel Sussex Lennox) a little iu front with his wife and another gentleman whose back seemed (as indeed it was) familiar to her. Sho said to her friend " Why, there's Colonel Lennox !" and rode up alongside the party. Mrs Langworthy addressed a few commonplaces to tho gallant officer, when something in his manner attracted her attention, and for the first liinelookiug round she recognised her husband. He at the same moment saw her, and for a few seconds the unhappy pair stared mechanically at one another. Then, without a word, Mrs Langworthy reined in her horse, and simply signing " turn " to her friend, rode sharply off in the direction of the Marble Arch. Tho nnronlre was noted by a uumber of people, some of whom have grossly exaggerated the circumstance?. Mr Langworthy has not, I am told, improved in appearance of late. It is, however, untrue that he brought about Saturday's meetiug purposely, or that he persisted in introducing his companion to Mrs Langworthy as his wife. Neither these nor other " embroideries " have a semblance of foundation. Sir Charles Russell is lesß confident than he has been as to the date when tho Parnell Commission inquiry will close. One thing, however, seems certain, no report can be laid before Parliament this session. Public interest in the Commission has long dwindled to nothing. The newspaper reports, which used to cover columns, and are now (save, of course, in ' The Times ') reduced to brief summaries, conclusively prove this. It is, indeed, principally as a show to which to take country cousins and colonial visitors that people now use the Commission. Messrs O'Brien and Co. were, no doubt, amusing in the witness-box to spectators, but few outsiders cared to hear, much less to read, what they'd Baid. The one person whom the interminable and (now) usebss inquiry never seems to tire is Mrs Gladstone. During the last three or four months she has generally managed to be present two or three times a week, and she always takes copious notes, presumably for tho G.O.M.'s edification. By the way, that veteran statesman got bowled over by a hansom cab in Piccadilly last Thursday night, or rather Friday morning. It was a "starry night for a ramble," and Mr Gladstone, after dining out with some friends, resolved to walk home. Crossing Piccadilly, wrapt in thought (the cabman says), or on the alert (Mr Gladstone says), the ex-Premier collided with the shaft of a hansom, one of a long line of carriages, which upset his equilibrium. Beyond a slight bruise, he was mo3t fortunately unhurt. The cabby has not been summoned. Mr Maybrick, the Liverpool merchant ■who has (so the Crown alleges) been deliberately and most treacherously poisoned by hia young wife, was a brother of Maybrick ("Stephen Adams"), the well-known ba i« tone vocalist and song writer. The deceased seems to have lived on good terms with his wife, who was nearly twenty years his junior, till the spring of the present year, when his jealousy was excited by her " goings on" with a young man named Brierley. He reproved and threatened her several times in marital fashion, but with the sole apparent effect of rousing the woman's bitter enmity, She seems, indeed (judging by the compromising letters discovered), to have fallen rapidly in love with Brierley, who on his aide appears only to have very moderately reciprocated her passion and to have dreaded a scandal. He, in fact, proposed not long ago to leave Liverpool, and the prosecution infer it was this threat resolved Mrs Maybrick to the extreme step of murder. MrMaybrick's illness from the first was nearly as puzzling as Mrs Maybrick's behaviour. The latter allowed no one into the sick room, and insisted that everything the patient ate or drank should pass through her hands. The cook deposes that, almo3t forcing her way into Mr Maybrick's room one evening, she found him sick and pjnting, He said : "Humphries, make me some lemonade as you would for a man dying of thirst/' Mrs M., however, intervened with "No dear, yon know you musn't have it." The sick man seemed much disappointed. Shortly before thistime Mrs May brickjwßS discovered Boaking largo quantities of arsenical flypapers in her basin for some purpose. The servants were not suspicious at the time, but after Mr Maybrick's death recalled many odd circumstances. The cruelty, vindictiveness, and treachery of the woman, if she really is guilty of the crime imputed to her, almost pass belief. For days she must have calmly stood by her husband's bedside Blowly poisoning him, and watching him suffer torments. During this period she wrote a note to B:ierle/ which was intercepted. It announced that her husband was "sick unto death," and implored Brierley not to leave Liverpool, as Mr Maybrick (even should he recover) "knew nothing." In appearance Mrs Maybrick is the reverse of the ideal empoisonntuse, looking a feeble, characterless sort of person. BrierJe/, too, could not, by any stretch of feminine imagination, be considered an Adonis. He attended the inquest, sitting at the solicitors' table, and seeming apparently quite unconcerned. Mrs Maybrick has been too ill since the shock of her arrest to appear personally, but the doctor at Kirkdale Gaol (where she is confined) intimated that he would be able to produce her next Tuesday. The Maybricks, I may mention, though residing in a nice house at Aigburth, did not belong to the smart Wellington Rooms "set." The baronetcy conferred on Boehm, the sculptor, is quite a new departure, knighthood having hitherto been considered sufficient recognition of exceptional artistic merit. The general feeling now favors Sir F. Leighton being tendered a similar compliment. The " tattlers" of society are much conearned as to what motive induced the Baroness Burdett - Coutts (ordinarily a model hostess) to ask a most eccentricallyarranged dinner party to meet General Boulanger. The Duke and Duchess of Cleveland, the Duchess of St. Albans, and Lord and Lady Cadogan (all intensely proud and particular people) were not too well pleased at finding themselves required to second fiddle to a mere "political adventurer," m they Btyled "ce brave r/eneral." Still less, however, could they understand or tolerate the presence of Mr Knowles (of the 'NineteenthCentury'), Mr Greenwood, Mr Fred Harrison, and Mr Broadley (of the ' World'). The Duchess (who is Du Maurier's Duchess in ' Punch') affixed her golden pince-nez on her eagle beak, and surveying the " writing persons " with withering disdain, observed that she feared it would not do to dine with the dear Baroness in future unless she supplied beforehand the names of her probable guests. Mr Knowles was immensely amused, and (rather injudiciously, perhaps) chaffed Her Grace unmercifully. General Boulanger looked mystified, but discoursed politely enough to his hostess and Broadley Pasha I fancy the " writing men " themselves were most puzzled how they came to get dans cette galere. Generally the Baroness's parties are so congenially and admirably arranged. 'Tis now said that Sir George Chetwynd is the person responsible for the unaccountable and unsatisfactory delay in the great arbitration case. Both be and Lord Durham have sent in their resignations to the Jockey Club. On dit the Prince of Wales obliged them to do this, and, moreover, intimated that he could meet neither socially till the affair was settled. Poor Charles Head, who died last Sunday, was the wit of the Ring and a general favorite. He made bis first great coup when Lozenge won the Cambridgeshire after a dead heat with Woleey. The horse started at a longish price, and Head pocketed a big stake. Before the dead heat was run off friends begged him to hedge some of his money, but he declined, replying briefly: "Not a penny." In the final tussle Adams, on Lozenge, forced the pace; but Kenyon, on Wolsey, stuck to him like Srim Death every yard of the way. At the istance both horses were beaten, and it was only by the supremest effort Sammy
Adams squeezed the son of Sweetmeat home first by a neck. Head bought the Philharmonic Theatre at Islington with his winnings, and the success there of Julia Matthews first, and later of Soldene Clara Vesey, and Selina Dolaro soon made him a comparatively rich man. He had an immense fund of animal spirits, and but small respect for persons chaffing stable-lad or lord with equal indifference. Unlike most wouldbe funny bookmakers, however, ho never swore or used coarse language. Mr Couch, better known us "Q." (the author of' Dead Man's Rock'), hasacharaotoriatic little story called ' The Affair of the Bleakirk-on-Sands' in 'Longman's' for June, which should not be missed. I can't appreciate Scotch humor myself, but those who can tell me that J. M. Barrio's new book, • A Window in Thrums,' is, if anything, superior to his ' Auld Licht Idylls,' which two years ago achieved such a big success in the ttorth. To Englishmen Mr Barrie is best known by that admirable jpAtx d'tsprit 'Better Dead,' and by the "articles (full of delicate fancy) which ho contributes to the 'St. James's Gazette.' Few, I imagine, know how many really good men are attached to the ' St. James's.' The news portion of the paper is so bad that Londoners won't take it. For those, however, who care more fcr the current thoughts of such literary leaders as Lang, Stevenson, Barrie, Greenwood, etc., than for the latest titbits of gossip concerning the most recent scandal, the 'St. James's Budget' more especially often viokls capital reading, The first number of ' The New Review,' hsued to-day at sixpence, contains two capital articles on ' General Boulanger,' by Alfred Naquet (a friend) and Camille Pellelan (an enemy); ' English Muscle,' by Lord Charles Beresford ; ' The Religion of Selfrespect,'by MrsLynn Linton; 'The Unionist in Ireland, by Mr T. W. Russell, M.P. ; and ' A Month in Russia,' by Lady Randolph Churchill, whose debut as a literary lady this will bo.
TOPICS OF THE DAY., Issue 7962, 18 July 1889
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