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OUR LONDON LETTER.

ANGLO - COLONIAL NOTES. [From Our Special Correspondent] London, June 14. The David Christie Murray valedictory banquet at the Criterion last Friday evening proved on the wholo a success. The opening day of the Whitsuntide holidays was naturally the reverse of a propitious date for such a function, but nevertheless upwards of 200 gentlemen of light and leading in the world of art and letters stayed in town to do honor to the popular novelist and bid him god-speed. Edmund Yates, burly and genial as usual, made a capital chairmau, speaking in almost every instance briefly, wittily, and to the point. Particularly apt was the manner in which he dismissed certain conventional toasts usually drunk at big dinners. "At such a gathering as this (he said) there was surely no necessity for showing any great degree of vinous enthusiasm about ■ the army, the navy, and the reserved forces,' nor did he think we need waste time over 'the clergy of all denominations,' for whose grace, wisdom, and understanding we so frequently, and, apparently, ineffectually prayed." A good many of the guests would, I fancy, also have gladly dispensed with two or three of the toasts which were duly, or, rather, unduly honored, and which prevented ua enjoying some capital music and recitations. Sir G-. Elliott (said to be the original of Du Maurier's ' Sir Georgius Midaa') made a sad hash of replying for the "House of Commons," and Mr David Anderson was garrulously dull to a degree on the subject of " Literature." After the latter's prosy

platitudes and vapid generalities it was indeed such a profound relief to hear a few "snappy," well-turned sentences that one almost forgot the utterer was Phil Robinson, and that, with certain unsavory revelations fresh in the public mind, it would have shown better taste on that erratic journalist's part had he elected to keep in the background. The chief sinner as regards speechifying, however, on Friday evening proved to bo Edward Jenkins ('Ginx'a Baby'), to whom was entrusted the toast of " The Australian Colonies." Jenkins, you may have heard, contemplates lecturing himself in Australia a few months hence, and it had evidently occurred to him that here was an opportunity which should be made much of. He knows, as he frankly enough admitted, little or nothing about the colonies personally, so he indulged, by way of being apropos, in a turgid rhapsody anent Australia's present and future greatness, and the vastness of the Empire generally. Very little of this sort of thing J goes a long way; and after six or Beven minutes of unmitigated boredom the audience grew restive. It was not, however, until with lamentable taste ' Ginx's Baby' lugged in some political references that he was actively interrupted and resumed his seat amidst derisive hand-clapping, Archer, the Queensland Agent-General, then replied briefly, promising Christie Murray a warm welcome at the Antipodes. I now come to the good speeches of the evening, viz., Yates's eulogy of your coming visitor and his reply. Mr Yates said that it was a great pleasure to him to find himself on that occasion the mouthpiece of so many members of the craft to which he had been affiliated for more than five and thirty years—the mouthpiece of their sentiments of admiration, respect, and affection for their distinguished guest. And he was the more proud to be in that position because he knew on the best authority that he waa there a great deal by the wish of Mr Christie Murray himself, who probably thought it well ia the fitness of things that the raw recruit, full of pride and bravery, who almost fifteen years ago enlisted in a then scarcely formed regiment, should now listen to the commander of that regiment, now fully established, and hear from him words of compliment and congratulation on the distinguished position he had attained in the great army of letters. To drop metaphor, nearly fifteen years ago, when he (Mr Yates) was engaged in the task of creating 'The World' journal, he had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Mr Murray through his tried and trusted friend, who he had hoped would be there that night—Mr Archibald Forbes. Mr Murray then enlisted in his regiment, and at once gave him his confidence and collaboration. Something of the editorial mantle of his old friend, Mr J. R. Robinson, under whom he had served, must have fallen on him when he detected in tho new recruit promise of the comprehensive sympathy, keenness of observation, and terse and telling expression of which he had shown such signs since, Mr Murray at once proved that a new and brilliant constellation had come out in the literary firmament. Since then his course had been always progressive. As graphic essayist, special reporter, and war correspondent, he had always moved in advance. But those who had been through the mill knew that their great aim and effort was to get a little popularity as novelists, and to those ! who knew Mr Murray's peculiar gifts it was evident that if he only possessed the narrative power he would take a very high position among the novelists of the day. He made the attempt, and everybody knew the result. Imbued with much of tho talent and with a great deal of the loveablo nature and charming sympathy which ran through all the novels of Charles Dickens, Mr Christie Murray had made his works known in all places where the English language was spoken. It was natural that their colonial brethren should wish to see the face and grasp the hand of the man who had given them so much unmixed pleasure, and no one could doubt the warmth of his welcome, or the delight which he would give in return. But when he walked "by the long wash of Australasian seas " his memory would often bring back to him that great gathering cf affectionate friends who now bade him a hearty and hopeful God-speed. Mr Murray, in reply, said he should bo paying a poor tribute to their sincerity if he were to suppose that the kind things which had been said of him were so much empty compliment, and he accepted them with not immodest pride, only reserving to himself some points of self-knowledge, which ho supposed every sensible man to carry about with him. To their chairman he owed more than he could express for having given him congenial employment, and, more than that, for that friendly, unreserved, and open approbation which was the best tonic for a young, enthusiastic, shy, and sensitive follower of any art. A dozen years ago, under the same presidency, they said farewell to his dear old friend, William Senior, who waa then going away for seven years. He (Mr Murray) was going away for only so many months, but he remembered that Mr Francillon then let fall a notable phrase. He said: "Our friend Senior is going to a land where the very stars will be strange to him, and where he will yet meet men of his own blood and kin." He (Mr Murray) was going to meet the same great young people, and though charged with no political message he should venture to say that England was bound to her colonies by no ties of red tape which might be broken in a moment by the mere wave of a free people's hand; by no mere paper convention which might be shrivelled into nothing by the fierce heat of a passing controversy; but by the bands of a common language, a common faith, a universal hope. Amongst the Australian and Anglo - Australian journalists present were Messrs Chris Bennett (Sydney 'News'), Henry Brett (Auckland ' Star'), C.Lett, Philip Mennell (Melbourne 'Age'), T. Marriott Watson ('Otago Daily Times'), Dr Mannington Caffyn, C. Haddou Chambers, A. S. Rathbone (Dunedin Stab), and W. E Robinson ('S.A. Advertiser.') After the function was over we migrated en masse to the Savage Club, where a "sing-song " was kept up till all hours. By the way, Phil Robinson in his speech blathered a good bit anent the respect in whioh the Savage Club is held in Australia. He had found, he declared, the fact of being a Savage was a recommendation wherever he went—and Christie Murray would find so too. Both Sir F. D. Bell and Mr Kennaway spent Whitsuntide in Paris. The former returned on Thursday, leaving the latter in charge of New Zealand interests at the Exhibition. Sir Walter Buller has been there for the greater part of the week, superintending the erection and arrangement of the model Maori group, which, when complete, will be quite the most effective feature of the New Zealand court. Even now there is such a crowd round about it that the gendarmes have to be coutinually moving people on. The figures are life-size and in full costume. Bar this group, the New Zfialand court has few attractions, as the exhibits are principally cases of minerals and kauri gum. The Prince of Wales, who is in Paris, visited the Australian section of the Exhibition on Tuesday. He was received by your AgentGeneral and Sir W. Buller, and paid the latter a well-merited compliment anent the effectiveness of the Native group. H.R.H. also visited the Australian wine pavilion in the grounds and sampled some Reisling, I which he pronounced excellent. Mr Montgomery, ex-M.H.R. for Akaron, i returned to London on Friday, feeling much chagrined at the way in which he and j the rank and file of the colonial Commissioners to the Paris Exhibition have been ignored by the French authorities. He professes to consider it a slight to the colony he represents. Mr Montgomery was in Paris for two months, and was not invited to any sort of function, or even permitted to take part in the opening ceremony. Sir Francjs Bell's explanation of this is that there are over 300 Commissioners from foreign "arts, and that it was a question of inviting all or none. The authorities therefore resolved to confine their invitations strictly to the Executive Council, which of itself numbers some 500 gentlemen. The only New Zealanders thereon are Bell and Buller. The la'est addition to the list of New Zealand Comissioners is Mr Pat Comiskey, of Auckland. There are now a greater number of " Commissioners " attached to the wee bit of a cupboard dignified by the name of the New Zealand section than there are to the vast American Co art.

To outsiders or even to Anglo-colonists, New Zealand does seem to have a queer way

of doing things. What can one feel but contempt for a Government which flatly refuses to exploit the colony's resources by means of a first-rate court at a mammoth cosmopolitan show like this Paris one, yet sends Home a dozen or more self-important '' Commissioners " to swagger and to demand this, that, and the other on the strength of being attached to the New Zealand section. Mr C. E. Haughton, of Dunedin, is in Paris en route for London, which he expects to reach at the end of the month. He spent some time in Rome, on his way from Brindisi, and did all the sights thoroughly, including the Pope, who gave the enterprising New Zealander a special audience, Mr H. B. Morton, of Auckland, arrived in England last week, and Mr John Milne and Mrs Holdship, of the same city, were landed by the P. and 0. s.s. Victoria on Monday. Mr Thomas Peacock, M.L.C., and wife have taken rooms at 23 Bedford place, Russell square, where Mr Henry Brett and family are also stopping. I regret to say that Mr Henry Brett has been laid up with a bad cough and cold during the week, and was consequently unable to spend Whitsuntide at St. Leonards as he had intended. He managed, however, to be present with Mrs Brett and MrsAshby at the meet of the Coaching Club on Saturday week, and Mr Harry Brett went to tho Derby last Wednesday. In the list of recipients of mathematical honors at Cambridge this yew I notice the name of Mr Bloomfield, of Clare College, who, it is suggested to me, hails from Auckland. His place is amongst the Junior Optimes, bracketed eighty-eighth (on the whole list), with four others. Sir William Jervois is said to be anxious to go to the Cape as High Commissioner, as the climate would suit Lady Jervois. The ' Spectator' of Saturday last contains the first really eulogistic review of Sir J. Vogel's ' A.D. 2000' I have seen. It ssys: " We do not know whether this is Sir Julius Vogel's first effort in the purely literary line, wo hope it will not be his last. With all fts shortcomings—partly incidental to the subject, and partly to the way the [ subject is worked out—he has done that I which is the sovereign test of merit: he has produced a readable book. Indeed, when one compares Sir Julius's effort with certain recent terrible attempts on the Bame subject—the result of woman's rights and modern scientific developments—by wellknown authors of novels, one cannot but admit the infinite superiority of the professed politician to the professing litterateur"

•Australian Progress in Australian Art' is the title of a monograph which Mr Chevalier is busy preparing. Charlie Chambers's many friends in Australia will be glad to learn that he read his new play to Beorbohm Tree on Tuesday, and that the manager of the Haymarket was much pleased therewith. It is an awful pity this clever and versatile young Antipodean does not do more work. His short stories are nearly all models of what magazine tales should be. This week the company which has been touring with ' Captain Smith' in the provinces is playing at the Grand Theatre, Islington, in the ' Worth of London.' Chambers's new piece will not be produced till November.

The Kendals' valedictory banquet, prior to their tour of the world, will take place at the Metropolitan next month. Sir Albert Rollit is the prime promoter. The profession are not enthusiastic.

The ' Star' is responsible for a story to the effect that Mr Dillon has followed Mr J. E. Redmond's example and picked up a wife at the Antipodes. Our papers contradict one another flatly as to the nature of the reception of the Home Rulers in Australia. The ' Star' and * Daily News' describe a triumphant progress, whereas ' The Times' and 'Post' quote a "par" from the 'Argus' stating that no notice has been taken of the delegates save by "rowdy Irish." The •Morning Post' remarks:—"The Australian newspapers which have recently reached this country afford abundant proof that Mr John Dillon's misbion to the colonies will not be allowed to pass without stringent criticism. If we may judge from the tone of the leading papers in Melbourne Mr Dillon will find considerable difficulty in making converts among the people of Victoria. Austrelia is far away, but it is evident from the papers before us that the people there have followed the course of the Irish agitation with intelligent care, and that they possess a knowledge of the facts of the case which is likely to hamper the careless rhetoric of the Irish delegates." On Monday last, at the invitation of the London and Tilbury Lighterage Company, a party of gentlemen, including the representatives of the New Zealand Shipping Company, Shaw, Savill and Albion Company, New Zealand Steamship Company, Orient, and Henderson Bros., inspected the company's "insulated bargeß" and refrigerating machinery, specially constructed for the transport of frozen meat on the Thames. A great difficulty (which tho company contends their system will overcome) has hitherto been the effecting of the transport of carcasses from the cold rooms of the ships in the dock to the London stores without subjecting the meat to a change of climateobviously a most important consideration to both shipper and importer. It is imperative that the meat be landed in an undeteriorated condition in London. This the company guarantee to do. The barges are cooled down to a temperature sometimes lower than that of the ships' cold chambers by a process of which Messrs Williams and Pupletts are the patentees, and are then loaded, closed up tight, and tugged up to the London stores. Each barge has a capacity for 2,000 carcasses, or fifty tons. The barges are roofed in and insulated with charcoal placed between double thicknesses of wood lining with felt and Willesden paper intervening, and especially arranged air spaces are provided at the sides and bottom. The cooling is performed by the circulation of brine at a temperature below zero through coils of pipe placed under the roofs of the barges and supplied from a separate barge fitted up with the refrigerating machinery. One barge oan be cooled to ?odeg Fahi\ in two hour?, and several barges oan be cooled simultaneously. The whole is operated by two men, and the consumption of ooal does not exceed 841bs per hour of actual working time. "Advance Australia," said one of Mrs Campbell Praed's guests, reading the motto on her programme last Sunday evening. " Well, I must say these Australians do go ahead. Private theatricals on the Sabbath is advanced, distinctly advanced even for London." Sentiments of this sort were, I fancy, pretty general amongst Mrs Praed'a guests. Not that the theatricals amounted to muoh. Mr Nutcombe Gould and two young ladies acted a little comedietta written by Justin Huntly M'Carthy, called 'The White Carnation," in the drawing room, after which various people recited. Naturally numerous Australians were amongst tho company, which included Mr Pritchard Morgan, M.P., the Kendals, Mrs Lynn Linton, Charlie Chambers, Mr and Mrs Prank Hill, Broughton, R.A., Mr and Mrs Joplin-Rowe, and many others. The Pacific Steam Navigation Company have just added two new steamers of 6,000 tons gross to their fleet—viz., theOruba and the Oratava. They are improved versions of the Orizaba, and grandly fitted in all respects. The Oruba on her trial trip went from fifteen to eighteen knots an hour under unfavorable circumstances. Both boats will, in all probability, be chartered by the Orient Company. Yet another edition of Philip Mennell'a •In Australian Wilds' has been published, and 6,000 more copies are also on order for Australia. I hear, too, that though Sir Julius Vogel's «A.D. 200Q'- {ell flat in England, it sold well in the colonies.

There will be a gold mining exhibition at the Alexandra Palace next month, under the presidency of Sir Hercules Robinson and Sir Walter Buller. The ' Financial News ' observes that "Sir Hercules Robinson, having lived for some years ia South Africa, of course knows all about gold mines, and Sir Walter Buller, as chairman of the Blue Spur and Gabriel Gully Gold Mining Company, ought to. It is to be hoped that the Blue Spur will contribute more gold to the exhibition than it has so far contributed to its shareholders.

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OUR LONDON LETTER., Evening Star, Issue 7968, 25 July 1889

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OUR LONDON LETTER. Evening Star, Issue 7968, 25 July 1889

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