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TABLE TALK.

[From Oni SrECiAi, CoiotEsroNDKNT,] Londok, July 12. Sir Charles Russell has after all been persuaded to undertake the defence of Mrs May brick. His brief is marked LI,OOO, but money alone would not have persuaded the great advocate to visit Liverpool on such a mission. What more probably moved him was the desire to outvie Sir Ed want Clarke's great achievements in the Bartletb case. Tho anti-Pasteur meeting at .Vt. James's Hall was not very successful, only about 100 Dersons attending. The superintendent of the Home for Lost Dogs said that " though : 200,000 dogs had passed through his hands j he had never seen a mad dog. He considered muz/.1e3 the chief cause of hydrophobia. Dogs always tried to get out of people's way when they went mad, yet that was the very time when they were pursued and tormented." If this be true, and I suppose it is coming from such an authority, the fact is well worth remembering. At the Crystal Palace on Saturday the Shah wa3 attracted by some trees of hothouse peaches on which the fruit lay tempting in color, but deadly in unripeness. After fingering several His_ Majesty picked one, and was on the poiufc of consuming it when the Prince of Wales (who has nob been christened "Turn-Turn' for nothing) noticed his operations. In an instant an expression of the liveliest concern flitted over 11. K. ll.'a features, and turning to the nearest interpreter he said: "Hi! stop him eating that, it will make hi in* (and here his hand strayed to the portion of the person likely to be aillicted) dreadfully ill. I've suffered so myself." The interpreter interpreted, and the Slmh did not eat; otherwise there might have been a change on I ho programme, due to that democratic complaint the colic, which doubles up alil;o tho just and the unjust, and corrugates with equal freedom the Imperial intestines of the monarch and the contemptible alimentary canal of a navvy. It is a solemn fact that the Shah created a sensation amongst the Royal circle on the night of the private performance at the Empire by signalling Prince Albert Victor and asking him audibly in his bad French whether the. ladies on the stage (some 300 ballet girls) were his host's (Sir Albert Sasson's) harem. The Prince smiled, but it was in rather a sickly manner, as Sir Albert (i venerable Hebrew) was within earshot. At Lord Cadogan's the previous evening, too, dismay was created fifteen minutes before dinner by the arrival of an equerry from Buckingham Palace with a message to the effect that the Shall was tired of seeing the same great ladies' faces at the various functions in his honor, and would be obliged by Lady Cadogan providing afresh lot for the coming meal. This was taken to mean that His Majesty found continual association with the Princess aud her daughters rather % bore. Fortunately they were not dining at Chelsea House that evening, and, sitting between the stately Countess of Cadogan aud the beautiful Duchess of Portland, the "Centre of the Universe" was as happy as a S r ' „ , „ ~ ~ A "faith healer," who cabs himself " Birou " C. Andreas, and claims to have cured as many diseases as the twelve apostles, requests the editor of tne ' Christian Commonwealtli' to produce "a wellauthenticated case of leprosy," in order that he may " by simple child-like prayer, accompanied by the laying on of bauds and anointing with oil," make him whole again. Will it be believed that, instead of rebuking this dangerous lunatic or advertising imI odor (whichever he is), the editor accepted his implied challenge, aud named tho Prince of Wales's leper, Edward Yoxall, now in the hospital, to "Baron" Andreas. Of course the doctors at St. George's are not the least likely to lot the worthy "faith-healer" play at miracles with the poor afflicted leper. Tho very idea of anything of the sort revolts one. The surprising thing is that the editor of a religious journal should for a moment have entertained such a cruel proposal. "Dagonct" has been giving a dig to the fat and growy "Marquee" De L<;uville, whose absurd songs (devoid alike of rhyme and metre) sprawl down the advertising columns of our dailies just now. This sort of thing, you know : THE BYGONE SHIVER. My ppirt II mted ono mooulight night Over the fir Samoa, And 1 ha im;rei':s \vinj,'3 were clear and straight Above in the starry roar. And that nisjht, from the far forever, I arose in a passionate pain, As the ghost ot a bygone ehi.er Whispered my darlitig's name. Thnii, out of (ha sea-swept heaven, There wandered a silont sol), And it n i;n this song unahriven, Aiid the price in a couple cf bah. Tlureare all sorts of tales afloat about the Shah's conversations with our notabili ties. It is said, for example, that he puzzled Lord Wolseley by asking him seriously what his policy in the Soudan was, and took a rise out of Balfour by affecting to believe him an enthusiastic Irish Home Ruler. Presented to one of the Governors of our colonial dependencies, he embarrassed the poor man by asking him why he wasn't at his post, while some of his compliments to the noble ladies he met are said to have been nearly as full-flavored as Nasr-ed-din himself. Fortunately, the interpreters were men of discretion, and translated His Majesty's speeches suitably. Lord Portman, who owns the greater p?rb of North-west London, and is rich beyond dreams of avarice, is going to erect for himself a copy of Hampton Court Palace. _ Mr Norman Shaw has been appointed architect, and will select the site. There are to be no restrictions as to cost. < Vizetelly, the publisher, who is suffering imprisonment as a first-class misdemeanant for persisting in selling ' Zola' and other French garbage, occupies his timo chiefly writing. Ho has for some months been engaged on a volume of reminiscences of his experiences as a literary man and publisher, aud also intends giving some accouut of his forced residence at Holloway Castle. The furniture, pictures, and effects of Battlecreaso House, Aigburtb, the residence of the unfortunate James Maybrick, were sold by auction on Monday last, and realised a substantial sum towards defraying the expenses of Mrß Maybrick's defence. Public feeling in Liverpool does not now run so strongly against the accused as it did._ At the Salpetrierc Hospital in Paris just now there is a gooddooking young girl of fifteen who has fits of hysteria, in the course of which she fancies herself a eat, and behaves just like one. When the attack comes on the patient moves about on all fours with extraordinary agility, purring or hissing. If a hospital student throws a ball of paper at her she will piny with it on all fours, running and jumping at it in the manner peculiar to a cat, arching her back, licking her hand as if it were a paw, and passing it over her I head to smooth the supposed fur. Each of these strango fits lasts twenty minutes, and are, of course, most painful to witness. The patient herself seems absolutely unconscious of what has happened. Beerbohm Tree means to produce Shakespeare's ' King John ' at the Haytnarket in September. His summer season ends tonight. The Avenue, Vaudeville, and Toolo'a Theatres closed on Saturday last for the recess, and this evening tho Kendals bring their stay at the Court to an end. Tomorrow Mrs John Wood and Co. reopen this house with a comedy called ' Aunt Jack/ of which great things are expected ; and 'Pink Dominoß' will bo revived at the Criterion, when Wyndham goes to Amerio. The Garrick continues to do such tremendous business with 'The Profligate* (the hot weather notwithstanding) that Hare will only bo able to give his company a brief holiday in August; and 'The Yeomen of the Guard' looks like running right through the summer at the Savoy. An American actress named Kate Forsyth has failed to do any good with an impossible play called ' The Tigress/ at tho Comedy Theatre; and the revival of ' Jim the Penman' at the Shaftesbury did not " catch on." Business at' Doris' and ' Paul Jones' seems only so-so. flow inferior even the best of the Italian local companies are to the cosmopolitan collection of great artists at Covent Garden one has only to go to the Lyceum just now to realise. Here we have 'Otello,' with the great Tamagno, Maurel, and the original cast, chorus, and orchestra from La Scala, the most famous opera-house in Italy, and yet—for the truth must be told a Covent Garden audience would not tolerate such an ensemble for a

moment. Tamagno, of course, is Tamagno, a grand tenor and a great actor, and Maurel's lago has been eulogised everywhere. Rut the prima donna! Never have I heard a worse vocalist in a big part. She could neitber sing nor aob, and the minor parts are filled anyhow. The choruß is good in a small way, and so is the orchestra, but the general effect seems shabby somehow and second rate. No man in his senses will, I am'Viure, pay a guinea twice for a stall at the" Lyceum, when for the samo sum he can see such ortistes as Mesdames Albani and Sealchi, the two De Reske3, Montariol, Winogradow, and Ciampi playing together in a grand opera magnificently staged, for tho samo sum The cost of the flowers used for decorating Coveut Garden on the occasion of the Shah's visit exceeded LI,OOO. Sir Albert Sassoon, ob dil, spent even more over the Empire, which was pimply smothered in roses, huge banks being piled in every available comer. Tho exact charge made by the directorate for theprivate performance at the Empire was LSOO, but whatthesupper(every delicacy conceivable for over 2,000 persons) and the wines (the champagnes served were all 18S0 vintage) camo to one can only vaguely conjecture. It was incomparably the most sumptuous and magnificent private entertainment given in honor of the Shah of Shahs. The farewell benefit of old Mrs Stephens (the original Mrs Willoughby in 'The Ticketof-Leavo Man') at the Shaftesbury Theatre on Tuesday afternoon was a great success. Save perhaps Mrs Stirling and Mrs Chippendale, no old lady in the profession is more popular. All the smart actors and actresses in London (from the Kendals and the Criterion, Gaiety, and Adelphi Companies downwards) helped, aud Miss Maude Milletfc, Miss Jessie Bmd, Miss Blanche lfarlcck, and other feminine divinities sold programmes. The "begabit" in fact realised enough to keep the dear old lady in comfort for some time to come. The Duke of Portland's wonderful luck continues unbroken. At Stockbridge last week Semolina won two more well-dowered stakes; and at Kempton Park on Saturday the big event of the meeting—the Princess of Wales's Status, of 2,000 sovs-fell to His Grace by aid of the shifty Johnny Morgan (4 yrs, 7.9), who beat Thunderstorm, Martiey, and fifteen others rather easily. The Ascot Hunt Cup failure Danbydale was favorite, and ran well for five furlongs, but failed to stay, and old Shimmer, who was also a great "pot," never showed prominently at any period of the race. The proceedings at the meeting of the jockey club on Saturday were of a most matter-of-fact description, and entirely belied expectation. Mr Lowther read an admirably-expressed letter from Sir George Chot.vynd, resigning hia seat as a member of the jockey elub, and a resolution moving that this resignation be accepted was carried without discussion. Instead of the stewards' conduct as arbitrators being called in question it was warmly commended, and the Duke of Westminster moved a vote thanking them for their trouble. The Duke of Portland elicited from Mr Lowther that tho various cats which came out of the bag during the trial (including Mr Hammond's LI,OOO present to Wood after Florence's Cambridgeshire) would presently be thoroughly investigated. Mr Hammond's blood must have run cold as he read this. He is a professional backer, and to be warned off the turf would mean financial extinction. Yet methinks that strange prcEcnt will require a good deal of explanation. The circumstances of the gift were, to put it mildly, peculiar. Wood had won the Cesarcwitch on St. Gatien for Mr Hammond , and in ordinary course would have been put nji on Florence for the Cambridgeshire. Mr Hammond, however, ungratefully preferred Webb should ride his mare in the latter race, and this left Wood free to accept a mount on the then first favorite Sandiway for the Duke of Westminster. Curiously enough, Sandiway did not go very well in the betting towards the last, whereas Florence became a red hot (i to 1 chance. How the hitter won, after a tremendous race with Bendigo, all the world knows. Sandiway ran fifth, and, in the opinion of her backers, Wood rode execrably. Mr Hammond, however, did not apparently think so, for it was presently whispered that he had given Wood LI,OOO out of the Florence winnings. Rumors were just becoming ugly when Sir Georgo Chetwynd wrote to the papers for Wood, stating that there was not a word of truth in the story. Now, however, we know Wood did receive a large present from Hammond. At the sale of the Queen's yearlings, the top price of 3,000 guineas was given by Colonel North for a magnificent looking colt by Hampton out of Land's End, whole brother to the shifty St. Micb«el. Sir John Willoughby, who has a yearling book on next year's Derby, is in the pleasing position of having laid (last summer, of course) LIO.OOO to LIOO against Surefoot, about whose chance, even now, tho Ring decline to offer more than 4to 1. At Kempton ou Saturday Mr Merry would have taken L 5.000 to LI ,000 or even L 9.000 to L 2,000, but no one would deal. Those who read that remarkable sketch ' Aut Diabolus aut Nihil in a recent 'Blackwood' will probably turn (as I did) with a good deal of expectation to the author's first attempt in novel writing, ' Little Hand and Muckle Gold.' I warn them they will be disappointed. The author is a cynic, and, I should fancy, an Atheist too. His characters are, almost without exception, objectionable. There is not what ladies would call one "really nice" person in the book. On the other hand, there are some appalling scenes described, and described with a dreadful power that grips one's imagination ■and brings them back again and again. I have never come across anything in fiction more horrifying than the author's narrative of his young and beautiful heroine's death from hydrophobia in lingering tortures, such as one had, till reading this, only faintly and remotely imagined. Almost equally dreadful, and pictured with painful fidelity, is the death of the villain par excellence of the book, Laurence Farquhar. Lying on a rock on the seashore at Boulogne, in a drunken absinthe ecstasy, Farquhar comes to the conclusion that life is no longer worth living, and that he will let the moonlit waves ripple up and drown him. Ho falls asleep, and only wakes to find the tide swiftly submerging him. Then his one thought is of escape. Ho remembers rejoicingly that he can swim, and tries to strike out. Horror of horrors, the poor wretch cannot move ! The fate the doctors foretold (if ho would persist in taking absinthe) has overtaken him. Every I part of Farquhar's body but his head has been completely paralysed. Within a few yards of succor he dies in agonising mental tortures. Tennyson's new volume of poems will be I published in October. It consists mostly of fugitive pieces. A 'Life of Father Damien,' by Mr Clifford, who recently visited Molokai, and whose lectures and articles first attracted attention to the deceased martyr's work, is published thij week at 2s 6d by Macmillan. Mrs C. L. Pirkis's new story, 'At the Moment of Victory,' is a great falling off! from 'Lady Lovelace.' It scarcely rises above the ' Family Horald' level, and is in no way worth describing. Miss Ellen Bailey (Edna Lyall) has been out of health for some months past, and is doing no literary work. Another invalid hdy and author, known to tho world as " Maxwell Gray," is also very ill; in fact, not expected to recover. She was slowly progressing with a new story (as yet unnamed), when a complication of her spinal complaint supervened. Augustine Birrell, the popular essayist, and author of * Obiter Dicta,' has been triumphantly returned as Gladstonian member for West Fife. Lady Stafford's chatty and unaffectedly writton diary of her tour round the world, •How I spent my Twentieth Year,' has already run into a second edition. It is emphatically a book for family reading. 1 Memory's Harkback ' is the quaint title tho Rev. Dr Gretton has given to a volume of reminiscences to be published immediately by Bentleys.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890831.2.33.6

Bibliographic details

TABLE TALK., Issue 8000, 31 August 1889, Supplement

Word Count
2,822

TABLE TALK. Issue 8000, 31 August 1889, Supplement

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