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A LADY’S LETTER FROM LONDON., Issue 7976, 3 August 1889, Supplement
A LADY’S LETTER FROM LONDON.
[By Elisk,] London, Juno 14. The good luck of that modern Fortunatus “ Jummy,” or, to be more polite, of the Duke of Portland, culminated ou Tuesday with his marriage at St. Peter’s, Eatou square, to Miss Winifred Dallas Yorke. It was naturally a very smart wedding, and only the crime de la crime of London society were invited to be present, Tho bride looked lovely. She was dressed in white satin point d’Alencon trimmed with lustrous pearls, and wore a superb necklace of pearls, long ago tho property of Mary, Queen of 1 Scots. Her sole other ornament was a diamond thistle brooch, presented by the employes ou His Grace’s Ayrshire estates. She had, of course, on the usual tulle veil, andcarriedabouquet of stephanotis and other white blossoms. The bridesmaids were very simply dressed in white, their most conspicuous ornaments being the bangle watch bracelets, sot in diamonds, presented by the bridegroom. The list of presents fills three pages of tho ‘ Court Journal,’ and includes every conceivable article of bijouterie under heaven. What on earth, one wonders, can the Duke do with sixteen silver cigarette boxes, fourteen silver cigarette cases, ten carriage clocks, twenty-one scent bottles, eight card eases, twenty inkstands, seven fusee cases, and other odds and ends in proportion. The Prince and Princess of Wales sent a beautiful silver cup for holding flowers, but the Queen’s Indian shawl was conspicuously non cM. For some reason or another Her Majesty has nevir taken very kindly to the Duke of Portland. There were “ructions” at Windsor two years ago when His Grace was suspected of “intentions” with regard to pretty Princess Victoria of Teck. The Queen wouldn’t hear of the match, though everyone else thought it most suitable. Now that Miss Violet Lane-Fox is engaged to Lord we shall, it is to bo hoped, hoar no more of the Rowden esdandre , and the sooner tho miserable man is set at liberty and allowed to clear out to Australia the better. Lord Burgersh stands 6ft odd in his socks, and may be safely trusted to take every care of his fiancee. He is the eldest son or Lord Westmoreland, and therefore by no means well off. Fortunately, however, Miss Lane-Fox recently became a great heiress. Mrs Mona Caird, who has been much run after by lion-hunters since ‘ The Wing of Azrael’ raised a storm of discussion, presided at a new departure called tho “literary ladies’ dinner” last Tuesday. Noue of the male sex were admitted, even the attendants being waitresses. The conversation is understood to have been of the most sparkling and brilliant description, and the speeches far above the level of masculine post-prandial eloquence. Mrs Lynn Lytton excused herself from attending in a characteristically caustic effusion, which was read amidst much laughter and not a few blushes; and Mrs Oliphant, Mrs Humphrey Ward, aud Miss Olive Schreiner also found themselves somehow unfortunately unable to bo present. Tho dinner was, however, graced by Mias Alice Corkran (of the ‘ Queen ’), Mrs T. P. O’Connor (a lady with an appreciative palate for Pommery ’BO, aud a practised platform orator), Miss Friedrichs (“ Miss Mantalini,” of the ‘Pall Mall Gazette’), aud Mrs Humphreys (of the ‘ Daily News’ and ‘Truth’). Massive Miss Harriet Jay (gorgeously arrayed in pink liberty silk) replied to the toast of the drama, and little Miss Amy Levy’s name was coupled with that of “ Literature.” Tho author of ‘ Reuben Sachs ’ is a charming brunette, as full of life and sparkle as she can be and a brilliant conversationalist. She kept those around her iu a constant ripple of laughter, aud made tho beat speech of the evening, not even excepting Mrs O’Connor. Miss Levy’s particular bile noir appears to be Andrew Lang, whom she accuses of log-rolling of a most unprincipled kind. Lady Colin Campbell will preside at the next ladies’ dinner. A good story is going the rounds of clubland anent a little incident which occurred at Lady Salisbury’s big crush on Saturday week. Persons of all shades of political opinion were of course asked, and amongst them Sir William Ilarcourt. Now, Sir William has a reputation for saying smart things to nice women, and, being an admirer of Lady Salisbury’s, he bethought himself as he crushed slowly up the stairs of a little speech at once pretty and apropos. “ I congratulate you, dear Lady Salisbury,” quoth he, shaking hands effusively. “ You really are the only Tory who a ska anybody.” “Excuse me, Sir William,” replied tho Marchioness sweetly, “ I ask everybody," The Dowager Duchess of Montrose (“ Mr Manton ”) has aged very fast in the last few months, and shows signs of turning serious. Her entire stud of horses in training are, it is said, on offer at L 300.000. Baron llirsch offered L‘250,000, but this was refused. Mr Alfred Brierjey, who figures with such unpleasant prominence in connection with tho heroine of the Liverpool poisoning case, is tho senior partner in an old established firm (cotton brokers), and must be very comfortably off. He has hitherto borne an unblemished reputation, and his numerous friends rebut with soorn aud anger the imputation that Mrs Maybrick was not the first young married woman whoso head he had turned. Brierley, I bear, declares that throughout the intrigue with Mrs Maybrick ho was little more than passive. At first when she made violent love to him at Southport under her irate husband’s eyes ho responded as most men would have done, quite without arriere pensce. Later, however, when things grew serious, ho tried again aud again to drop the connection. Mrs Maybrick wouldn’t let him. It was she who (with characteristic disregard for consequences) arranged the London escapade. When Brierley went to call on her at the hotel he had no notion of passing as Maybrick, or of remaining there in the character of her husband. The episode in fact frightened him to death, and resolved him to cut short the intrigue as soon as possible by leaving England. He took a passage for Madeira a few days before Maybrick’s death, and even after Mrs Mayhnck's arrest determined to proceed on bis journey. The police, however, first requested, and finally commanded, Brierley’a presence at the inquest, intimating that they should have to take him into custody as an accomplice before the fact if ho persisted in going. The great question now, of course, is where did the box of arsenic (containing enough poison to kill a regiment) come from. No chemist would sell a woman such a quantity. _ Mrs Maybrick continues on dit in capital spirits, and is full of for her defence. She attributes her shocking position wholly to the malice of her erstwhile lady friend, Mrs Brigg’s ; and in this, of course, to some extent, she is right. Certainly, but for Mrs Briggs’s curiosity being aroused by the peculiarity of her friend’s sick-room arrangements, Mr Maybrick might have died and been buried without remark. Mrs Briggs, I hear, says she was first of all struck with tho intense and altogether disproportionate excitement which Mrs Maybrick displayed on finding her in Mr Mayhrick’s room. Hitherto, in Mr Maybrick’s little illnesses she had always been in the habit of going up to see him, and it was certainly the natural thing to do then. A few queries elicited that the servants were also kept out of the sick room. Why was it? Mrs Briggs felt carious, and quietly cross-questioned each of the domestics in turn. They told her, amongst other things,“about the fly-papers, aud remembering tho Flannagan case Mrs Briggs began to feel uncomfortably suspicions. She wont into town and saw Edwin Maybrick, and telegraphed for Michael. Both ridiculed the ghastly idea of there being any connection between the fly-papers and James Maybrick’a illness. Not so, however, Dr Humphries and Dr Carter, to whom every puzzling feature of the case at once became clear as daylight. Unfortunately the clue came too late to save the patient’s life. The reconciliation which ensued between Lord and Lady Ailesbury subsequent to her ladyship’s trip to Paris with Messrs Baird and Riley has not, as might have been expected, proved permanent. To the annoy-
ance of the neighborhood of Taplow (where they reside) violent quarrels recently broke out again between the eccentric couple, and on Monday last there was a public scandal at Grange Park races. It seems some weeks Lord Aileabury has suspected his wife of having broken her promise and reopened communications with Mr Riley, the fascinating “bookie,” under whose protection she resided in Paris after deserting wealthy “Abington Baird.” He resolved to dissemble, and on Friday last, when they were stopping at Portsmouth, played the old, old trick of pretending to go away for a day or so. The result only too painfully justified the means and the Marquis’s apprehensions. On Monday morning Riley arrived from Paris, and, hiring a smart trap at the hotel, drove her ladyship coolly off to Grange Park races. The Marquis breathing blood and slaughter followed. He came up with Riley solus in the paddock, and there and then administered “salutary personal chastisement.” fiiicy is no coward, but fighting with a “ bruiser ” of the Marquis’s weight and experience he soon found to be poor fun ; indeed, before the police interfered the miserable man had been pretty badly mauled. Having thrashed “ thac beast, Riley,” the noble Marquis sought out “ the missus,” and, addressing her publicly as “ You slut,” ordered a four-wheeled cab. By this time he was quite in a good temper again, and whilst waiting for the cab remarked cheerfully to the racecourse stewards that they ought to thank him for dragging their “dog-hole of a meeting ’’into prominence. A few minutes later husband and wife drove off together, apparently quite amicably. Indeed they seemed to be on excellent terms at the Portsmouth Theatre that same evening. I hear that Prince Albert Victor, who has been in love with his pretty cousin the Princess Mary of Teck ever since he was a hoy, vows solemnly that if he can’t marry her he won’t marry anyone. Both “ father ” and “ grandmamma ” oppose the match on many grounds, but if “Eddy’s” heart “remains true to Poll” (to quote a popular song) he will probably get his way in the cud. The Queen has not so much to say against the marriage as the Empress of Germany, who has daughters of her own, and would gladly (first cousinship notwithstanding) have bestowed one on her nephew. Unfortunately, they are fat, podgy girls, and looked plain even beside the young Princesses of Wales. Princess May, of course, is simply lovely. Eor a long time she hoped to marry the luck “.lummy,’’and His Grace on dit fancied the idea. The Queen, however, imperatively forbade it. The royalties ami noblemen who have been “ commanded ” to entertain that dusky potentate Nasr-ed-diu during his stay in England are by no means enchanted by the prospect. The truth is, the Shah’s ways are eccentric. In appearance he leaves little to be desired, especially in his best clothes ; but His Majesty’s personal habits are said to bear startling affinity to those of that useful but malodorous domestic animal, the pig. This peculiarity seems to have been painfully borne in upon the young Emperor of Germany the other day. Ceremony would not permit of his shortening by one half second the embrace of welcome the convenances obliged him to bestow on the wily Persian ; but alter heroically kissing His Majesty on both cheeks he could not suppress the muttered groan : “ Lithe Jlimmd! er stinlct.” I remember that when the Shah was here in 1873 the fact of his smelling strong caused considerable inconvenience. Only Orientals with cast-iron noses could indeed be long in His Majesty’s presence without suffering nausea. Ladies, as a rule, found one whiti of the royal Persian a sure emetic. According to report he has in no way become Europeanised during the last sixteen years. The Queen wanted to get out of lending the Shah and his suite Buckingham Palace, and to billet them at Claridge’s; but Lord Salisbury intimated that to the palace they must go, even though the Queen has (~a in 1873) to clean, relit, and refurnish every chamber N;isr ed-din occupies. The late Grenville Murray’s memoirs, which were partially in type when his widow died last year, will, I fear, never see light now. The work teemed with interest and anecdote, but was also, I arn told, chock full of libels. Mrs Murray took the keenest interest in her husband’s numerous quarrels, and in his memoirs she fought them over again with much greater zeal than discretion. The piquant stories of that startling work ‘ Side Lights of English Society ’ were, the publishers found when they got Mrs Murray’s MSS., repeated with additional and even more scandalous details in the “Memoirs.” The widow gave tco full particulars of her husband’d “ bar sinister,” proving by letters from the second Duke of Buckingham himself that Grenville Murray was indubitably his eldest sou by an irregular French marriage. The publishers iniormed Mrs Murray that she must alter the memoirs materially before they printed them. She obstinately refused to modify a line or a sentence. Matters remained in stain quo for six months, when she herself fell ill and died. Grenville Murray’s son is mo’e reasonable, but even he adheres to tho necessity of publishing some very strong statements about Lord Derby and other persons with whom his father came into conflict. The issue of the work has consequently been postponed sine die. Augustus Moore suggests the MS. should be submitted to Edmund Yates for revision. This idea is certainly a good one, as Yates knew more of poor Murray than almost anyone. ‘ Mosquito,’ an unpretentious “ tale of wild life on the Mexican frontier,” by Mr Francis Francis, is worth a dozen of the purely imaginative works of adventure of Haggard, Mac Coll, Westall, and Co. One realises directly («.«., within the first dozen pages) that this author, at any rate, is writing of existing places, existing persons, and actual experiences. He bus passed through similar sceneslhimself, and, what is more, knows how to describe them thoroughly. The result is a delightfully fresh and readable story of New Mexico, with a charming central figure. Send for ‘ Mosquito ’ to your booksellers, It is not published in expensive form. ‘ The Poor Gentleman,’ by Mrs Oliphant, which ran serially through tho ‘ Leisure Hour ’ two years ago, is at last to he published, in three volumes. It is the weakest of the author’s many works, and might well have been left to die between magazine covers.
Thu original MS. of ‘Maud’ and first editions of other of Tennyson’s works—with interlineations aud alterations in the poet’s own hand—sold at Sotheby’s this week, were given by him to intimate personal friends, and bis disgust and anger at tbeir coming ou tho market are said to be intense. The great fear of the old poet’s existence now is that some irresponsible scribbler will make him the subject of a “ Life ”or “ Memoirs.” He keeps no diary, and tears up all letters. “ When lam dead,” he said to a friend the other day, “ I’ll take care they shan’t rip me up like a pig.” Mias Rosa Nouchette Carey’s new novel ‘ Tho Search for Basil Lyndhurst’ was published yesterday by Bentley.
A LADY’S LETTER FROM LONDON., Issue 7976, 3 August 1889, Supplement
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