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OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 8008, 10 September 1889
OUR LONDON LETTER.
[From Oor London Correspondent.]
r *oNDON, July 25, It is Punchinello’s secret that Lord Lome is bitteily chagrined at being unable to accept the Governorship of Victoria. Ho wanted the work; he wanted the salary ; and he likes the unconventional character of the best class of Australians, and thought he would be a success amongst them. Unfortunately the Princess Louise could not be persuaded to fancy the idea. Woman-like, as soon as one objection was overcome she started another, and finally fell back on that impregnable feminine bulwark —illhealth. Lord Lome succeeded so far as to persuade H.R.H. to confer with Lady Bowen and Lady Robinson, and after hearing what they had to say about colonial society and a Governor’s wife’s duties in Australia, the Princess seemed half inclined to yield. Unluckily at this crisis the Queen put in her Oar and settled the question. She never likes any of her children to go far away, and it was only with great reluctance the old lady consented to Lord Knutsford offering the post to Lord Lome, When she found Princess Louise against living in Melbourne Her Majesty promptly told her son-in-law he must refuse the appointment. Lord Hopetoun, to whom the Governorship was (by the Queen’s request) then offered, and who has accepted it, is, like Lord Kintorc and Lord Onslow, persona grata at Court. He has not the administrative experience of the latter, nor the natural ability as a speaker of the former, but he is richer than either. In public life, so far, Lord Hopetoun has (if one excepts the fact of his being a Lord-in-Waiting) taken but little part. He speaks occasionally in the Lords on Scotch and church questions, and is a good sound Tory. Amongst their tenantry both the Earl and his wife are almost as popular as the Kintores ; and it would be difficult to say more. The Countess, who is only twentytwo years of age, and a very charming woman, is a daughter of Lord Ventry, an Irish peer of whom one hears little, and has eight brothers and sisters. Her eldest sister married the Marquis of Conyngham, and another is the wife of Captain Alexander Fuller-Acton-Hood, of the Guards. Lord Hopetoun’s respect for “ the bawbees ’’ is less marked than that of most Northern noblemen, as may be gathered from the fact that he was the only Scotch peer residing within reach of Edinburgh who would consent to go to the trouble and expense of receiving H.I.M. the Shah. In all essential resp'ects Lord Hopetoun seems indeed an ideal Governor for a colony like Victoria, though Australians, as a rule, would doubtless have preferred Lord Lome. Sir Graham Berry is in Paris, so I have not been able to ascertain what he thinks about the appointment; but Sir A. Blyth appears much pleased. From the fact that the Agents-General are invited to a meeting of the Committee of the Imperial Federation League at Lord Rosebery’s house on Friday afternoon (fancy fixing on such a time as two o’clock on mail day !) it is conjectured that the Government have declined to entertain Sir Charles Tupper’s notable proposition for an Imperial and Colonial Congress to discuss the possibilities of Federation and ways and means for strengthening “ the bonds which conjoin this great Empire,” THE BLUE SPUE CONSOLIDATED. So far as one can gather by talking amongst the luckless shareholders in the Blue Spur Company (whose acquaintance, for information’s sake, I assiduously cultivate), confidence is being partially restored. "At least,” say they, "things are better than fiey were. We now know where we are." The pressing difficulty, of course, is bow to procure working capital for the development of the mine. The shareholders can seemingly only hope that under the new management its prospects will improve, and the balance of shares unsold become marketable.
Friday being mail day I was not able to attend the last meeting of the company personally. I learn, however, that amongst the correspondence read was a communication from Sir Robert Stout challenging the right of the shareholders to criticise his conduct, protesting against the attack made upon him by Dr Cameron at the emergency meeting of the company, and declining to be made the subject of newspaper comment ; wherefore he tendered his resignation as solicitor to the company, and requested the chairman to communicate his letter at the general meeting to the shareholders. The letter does not contain one word of acknowledgment of the chivalrous manner in which the chairman (Sir Walter Duller) defended his absent colleague at the meeting in question; nor is there the slightest recognition of the fact that a solicitor in Sir Robert Stout’s position, who had voluntarily become joined with Mr J. C. Brown in the power of attorney, had thereby made himself directly accountable to the shareholders in this country. I understand that the directors promptly accepted Sir R. Stout’s resignation, and, on receipt of telegraphic advice from the general manager, passed a resolution appointing Mr Crookc, of Lawrence, in his stead. How Sir Walter Duller and his colleagues on the Board regard the action of Sir R. Stout I do not pretend to know, but I do know the feeling which it has occasioned among the principal shareholders, and it is this—that a man in Sir B. Stout’s position, acting not only as solicitor to the company, but as the trusted adviser and representative of the shareholders in this country, holding their power of attorney, left to act very much at his own discretion, and championed on all occasions by the directors—that ho should have been the very last to resent any unfavorable comment by resigning his post and leaving the company at the very time that his services were likely to be most needed. Such action on the part of a barrister of Sir Robert’s high standing—one who has occupied the pest of Attorney-General—seems quite inc* mprehensible to many people.
PERSONAL AND GENERAL.
When Sir W, Duller has got the affairs of the Blue Spur Company and the New Zealand Antimony Company into satisfactory trim, he proposes to resign the chairmanship of both and return to New Zealand, where urgent private affairs require his early attention. What these private affairs are I haven’t a notion, but it would not greatly surprise me to learn that he meditated entering public life in the colony 1 Unquestionably, however, ho has received some communication by a recent mail from New Zealand which has induced him to entirely revise his plans. The chairmanship of the Blue Spur will in all probability devolve on the new director, Mr J. T. Haughton (no relation to Mr C. E. Haughton, of your town), who is one of the largest London shareholders. Sir Walter will be accompanied to New Zealand by Lady and Miss Duller, but his sons remain in England. Whilst on the Continent at Vienna and Duda-Pesth, this last few weeks, Sir Walter has been busy financing the Queen Charlotte Sound Gold Mining Company. He found time, however, on his way Home to attend the Anthropological Congress at Berlin, and also obliged the German Ethnological Museum folks by arranging their New Zealand exhibits for them, which are of great value and date back to Cook’s time.
News from the colony, to the effect that a large consignment of the new edition of ‘Bailer’s Birds of New Zealand,’ destined for North Island subscribers, had gone down in the Maitai, off Mercury Island, has already driven up the price of remaining copies from two to three guineas. It may interest some of your readers to learn that Count Jonffroy D’Abbans, late French Consul-General at Wellington, and now bolding a similar position at Zurich, pines for his old Antipodean billet, which, he says, he much preferred to Switzerland. The Count’s little court in the “ French Colonies” department at the Paris Exhibition bristles with New Zealand exhibits of various kinds. I may specially mention Mrs Mair’s capital oil paintings of Maoris, which attract considerable attention. One of the best—that of ‘ A Native Fisher Boy ’—is on sale for LI 20.
Mr A. Eeischek, the well-known New
Zealand naturalist, has arrived in Vienna with the whole of his collections. They have been offered for sale to the Imperial Museum authorities there, but declined, and will now in all probability be auctioned at Stevens’s rooms in London.' Sir W, and Lady Jervois have returned to town for the fag end of the season.The atmosphere of the London brand) of the Bank of New Zealand appears to be somewhat deleterious to health. Mr Murray has gone to Scotland unwell, and now I hear Mr Stewart (Mr Larkworthy’s successor) is in such a bad way that he has been ordered off for rest and quiet to the Swiss lakes.
Mr C. E. Haughton leaves this afternoon for Portsmouth in order to attend the naval review to-morrow.
Mr Brett and family, with Mr and Mrs Peacock, Mr Murray, and Mr David Hean, are still in Scotland, and, I hope,-enjoying fine weather.
The many friends ,of B. A, Proctor in Australia and New Zealand will learn with regret that his widow has not been able to keep his splendid astronomical and general library from the auctioneer. Mrs Proctor, who is herself an extraordinarily clever and' capable woman, means to follow in her husband’s footsteps and give public lectures. She will commehcS in America; and, cessful, make a tour of the world, visiting all the places Where R. A. Proctor lectured. THE ISLAND BLOCK COMPANY. The ‘ Australian Trading World ’ of Saturday last contained the following about the Island Block Gold Mining Company “ This company was floated at the end of last year with a capital of L 60,000, L 35,000 of which was the purchase money. The object was to acquire the rights of the vendors to work the Island Block of the Glutha River, in the province of Otago, New Zealand. The company is a small one, of the “happy family’ description. Mr Jeremiah Lyon, of 4 Lombard Court, is a director ; Mr C. C. Colley, of the same office, 4 Lombard Court, is a director; Mr A. G. Lyon is a director; and so is Mr R. C. Rawlins. The two first-named gentlemen joined the Board after allotment. Mr C. C. Rawlins is consulting engineer. Well, the canny Scots of Otago have parted with the Island Block. Let us hope that the directors above-named will make it pay the shareholders. But whether they do or not they will certainly cause a great deal of wholesome amusement to those engaged in colonial trade, real, good, laughable, fun. On the 2nd July the company obtained an interview with Sir F. Dillon Bell, the AgentGeneral for New Zealand, for the express purpose of obtaining an alteration of the Customs laws of Now Zealand, and Mr Jeremiah Lyon made a speech on water pipes that must have come to him as a legacy from the weeping prophet, in spirit, if not in fact. Mr Jeremiah Lyon wanted the water pipes for the company’s use to be admitted into the colony duty free. Probably it never occurred to Mr Jeremiah Lyon and his codirectors that if the Island Block had been worked by a colonial company, the colonial company would have calculated that the pipes were liable to duty according to the tariff of the colony. The Agent-General said he would 'mention the case to his Government.’ Ob, the sweet sympathy that follows tears—in pipes. This mining company—we should rather say washing company—has no lack of water; we hope the gold will come. But goodness gracious, what a wealth of sympathetic tenderness, of tearful consolation, there will be when Mr Jeremiah Lyon meets the shareholders in public meeting. Oh, what will it be to be there! ’’ YOUR EXHIBITION COMMISSIONER. I learn that the extraordinary rudeness of Mr P. L. Simmonds to Sir Francis Bell and the New Zealand gentlemen who courteously proposed (at the suggestion of tbo Dunedin Committee) to assist bim in procuring exhibits for the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition was the result of an old pique. Mr Simmonds is the same venerable exhibition agent who acted as secretary or under-secretary to the New Zealand court at the “Colindies.” He is a very choleric person, and he either has some grievance or imagines he has some grievance against Sir Francis Bell. The consequence is he will have no “ truck ” with your Agent-General, and availed himself of tho letter about the Dunedin Exhibition togive back snubfor snub. His communication was not written by himself, but by his assistant, and horded in what was evidently intended to be a conspicuously offensive manner. Now, I don’t know what the merits of Mr Simmonds’s case against the Agent-General may be. Sir Francis is an odd man at times, and may have given cause for bitter feeling ; but whether he has or whether he hasn’t, Mr Simmonds had no right to let private pique influence him in a public matter, and has given his New Zealand employers just cause of complaint.
THE AGENT-GENERAL. Sir F. D. Bell is back in London, and will not return to Paris till the close of the Exhibition. He has issued a neat little descriptive catalogue of the exhibits in the New Zealand Court. Mr Walker, the Victorian Commissioner (whose wife's weekly receptions at the Kiosk have formed a delightful rendezvous for Australians and New Zealanders in Paris), has gone for a holiday, and been replaced by Sir Graham Berry. “ YOl’R OWN ” AND THE NATIVE FOOTBALLERS. In a recent issue of the Eunedin Star I noticed a letter from Messrs Scott, Warbrick, M'Causland, and Ellison, protesting against some observations of mine about Messrs Keogb, Barlow, and Madigan, which appeared in the paper of May 10- As they do not state what the criticisms or statements complained of were, and as I have not the Dunedin Star of the 10th at hand, I don’t know precisely how to answer the charge. One thing, however, I will say, and none know it better than the four gentlemen above ■ mentioned viz., that throughout the tour we took pains to do the fullest justice to the team. If anything, indeed, we (by which I mean myself and the gentleman who assisted me in reporting the matches) were over partial to the New Zealanders. I am inclined to think now this was a mistake, and that a word or two of candid criticism in the early days of the tour anent the un-English childishness of squirming under defeat and girding at the injustice of umpires and referees might have prevented much subsequent mischief, and led to the New Zealanders leaving behind them a more savory reputation. I can’t imagine what we can have said to offend Barlow Madigan, a quiet, good-natured giant, and (when he was well) a capital player. Pat Keogh is a different matter. We let him down lightly at the time, but the plain truth is that his language in the pavilion after the All England match was simply abominable, and a disgrace to his comrades. We heard it ourselves in common with M'Causeland (who tried to stop him), Ellison, and fifty others, so there can be no question of accuracy. Moreover, it was (setting aside one or two of the full-blooded Maoris) mainly Keogh’s rough manners and (too often) coarse language which led to so many Englishmen unjustly condemning the New Zealand footballers, as a whole, as cads. Now the tour ia over it may suit the smarter and quieter members of the team to forget the fact, but times and again one or another has complained to us that Keogh’s behaviour compromised them. He is a magnificent player, and scored more tries than anyone else. Nevertheless he cost the New Zealand footballers dear indeed, and I am inclined to think that his behaviour and Warbriok’s regretable misstatements in Melbourne have between them effectually cooked the prospect of any future New Zealand team visiting this country. Since writing the foregoing we have discovered that the strictures in the Dunedin Stab of May 10, to which Messrs Scott, M'Causland, Warbrick, and Ellison object, have reference to a childish display of temper on the part of Keogh and Madigan at one ot the Manchester matches. All I can say is that the memories of Messrs Scott and Co. must be curiously defective if they’ve forgotten the circumstance. They werefull enough of it and angry enough about it at the time. I think, too, they ought to know whether we were misinformed or not, since it was certainly through one of them we acquired the facts. I could, indeed (if I would), produce a letter in the handwriting of a member of the team in which the circumstances are detailed in almost precisely tin language I gave, ©f course one understands that Scott and Co.’s letter was
written with the friendly intention off whitewashing the two' offenders before they got home, but I can’t allow that to be done at the cost of my reputation for veracity. And here I may as well again strongly advise Scott, M'Ca'ieland, and Ellison (if they ever intend revisiting England) to disown participation in Warbrick’s unfortunate sentiments and statements to the Melbourne inierviewer. You Can have no notion what an amount of ill-feeling the publication of that interview in England has aroused. Every sporting: journalist in the country has had a say on th». subject since the ‘ Referee ’ opened the ball* A VISITOR VBO M DUNEDIN. Mr R. Hudson, of Dunedin, called on moon Tuesday. He bad been in-England about a week, and was on the point of leaving for Paris, where he proposes to make a stay of some months “ doing ” the Exhibition and studying Socialism. I promised when hj» returns to London in November to introduce him to William Morris, Belford Dax, and some of the London Socialists. Curiously enough; a namesake of his (the proprietor of the much advertised “ Hudson’s soap”) is on enthusiastic social Dtemoerat. The ‘ ‘ soapy " Hudson has, however* no personal resemblance to the sturdy Dunedin Hudson. H» is a slim, pale-faced aithete, wearing long hair, a liberty silk tie, and a velvet coat. Diiring his stay in Paris your Mr Hudson will buy a quantity of new machinery for his works in Dunedin, which he proposes in time to make equal to the largest olfooolatn and cocoa factories on the Continent, Mb HUME AND HIS The author of 1 The Mystery of a Hanson* Cab ’ has split with Trischler, and I much regret to learn (I sincerely hope it is not true) that a little jokelet of mine is a osmae of the difference. The fact is one day, some months ago, I accidentally meta friend of|Mr Hume’s and asked hint what the pride erf New Zealand was doing.- He said: “Oh f. Fergus is staying with that energetic little Trischler, who has locked him up in hi* room and swears he won’t let bim out till he has finished the ‘shocker’ be hj writing; for him." We giggled a little, likewise gargled (as the Americans say), and! boKeved was sufficiently amosed with the aforesaid remark as to repeat it in a modified form|in one of my, letters. You will scarcely credit the truth when 1 state that Mr Hume, on seeing it, absolutely went furiously to Mr Trischler and asked him what the something something he meant by inventing such scandalous yarns about him. Poor -Triscfaler—taken completely aback—replied he didn’t; believe he ever had made the remark in question. Surely, however, Mr Hume could see it was merely meant chsffioglyBut Hume appears to have felt aggrieved, and declined to be appeased. At any rate, 1 notice his new work—a shocker—called ‘ The Piccadilly Puzzle,’ is pnUished by F. V, White and Co. benzol’s little book. I interviewed little Trischler yesterday aneat Benzon’s book, and tried to arrangeterms for an advance copy, but his notion* of the Value of the work are so excessive, not to say exorbitant, that we failed to come i to terms. He says the ‘ Pall Mall Gazette * i is paying him fifty guineas for the privilege i of getting a copy of the book, and being i allowed to make a two-column prieis before . any of its contemporaries. Benzon devotes three chapters to bis Australian trip, which i cost, hedeclares, LBff.OOO- Therearealsochap- ; ters on “My Minority,” “ Coming of Age,’* ■ “Racing Experiences,” “My Mentors, ’* ■ “Bookmakers,” “Gambling Experiences," i “ Money Lenders,” “Monte Carlo,” “Pigeon . Shooting” (including full particulars of the famous “ramp" at Brighton), “London Tradesmen,” and “ Retrospect.” Trischler . says the book brims with interest. One j chapter alone on the Bond street tradesmen will, he declares, let light on a number of r strange customs. Of course the little man 1 denies that the writing part of the work was > practically done by Vero Shaw, bat as a | matter of fact I know such was the case. Benzon is very good at “ jabber,” but he | cannot put half a dozen words together on ’ paper in decent English, ! WESTERN AUSTRALIA. At the meeting of the Cabinet on Satur- . day it was finally resolved not to force the Western Australia Constitution Bill through the Commons this session. On Monday , evening Mr W. H. Smith admitted this in answer to a question, remarking that thengb the Government would like to affirm the . principle of the Bill by having it read a ! second time, they did not propose to carry . the measure farther this session. The op- ! position to the Bill has enormously increased | since the * Daily News ’ analysed the return | of land grants to individuals in Western j Australia. [ AN AUSTRALIAN CANTATEICE. t Madame Melba’s friends will regret to r learn that owing to a slight growth on her vocal cord, which (if ignored) might seriously injure her voice, she has bad to throw up valuable, engagements in Berlin I and elsewhere, and will not be able to sing > again till the autumn. Madame’s last ap- ) pearance at Covent Garden was on Satnr- > day in ‘Faust,” when for the first time in > England the fair Australian sang Marguerite ’ to Jean de Resk6’s ‘ Faust ’ and his brother’s ■ Mephisto. The tout ensemble (choruses, 1 processions, military bands, and ballet) of i- this opera at Covent Garden is now simply > magnificent, and Melba proved the best Marguerite (not even excepting Albani) heard this season. Madame’s next appearance will be at the Grand Opera at Paris in ; November. , THE KENDALS. i The Kendals have postponed their Ausi tralian tour because (so the gossips say) they did not wish to compete with Toole, - who would have been out at the same time . as themselves had they adhered to their i original arrangements. , “MV LORD AND LADY ” DUNLO. - Viscount Dunlo and his “guide, philosopher, and friend” (not tutor, if you ' please) sailed for Australia by the Orient i liner Lusitania last Friday, and will be - with you almost as soon as this letter. Curiously enough, about the same hour as • his lordship was indulging in a farewell i “gargle” with numerous “old chappies” ■ of his acquaintance on board ship, her ladyship was “cracking a bottle” with Mr Isidore Wertheimer, who arrived unexpectedly but most appositely from San ' Francisco, which he bad left hurriedly eleven days previously ou learning of Miss Bilton’s i marriage. Mr Wertheimer (you may or may not remember) was the gentleman > under whose protection the fair but 1 fickle Belle professed to be living when she i was sued for money which she had borrowed in order to defend the “ Marquis De 1 Loanda,” another of her devoted admirers. The Marquis, alias Alden Weston, was passionately fond of Mias Bilton, and it is feared that when he emerges from the seclusion of Fentonville Prison on Monday next, and hears the news, that his congratulations may not be as sincere as those of Mr Wertheimer, who escorted the bride and Mias Florence Bilton to Sandown last Saturday afternoon. The party seemed on most 1 amicable terms, and did not appear in the least to mind being stared at. Belle Bilton was always ambitious, and swore long ago to become a “lydie” in spite of circumstances which threatened to make the feat impossible. Whilst still a chorus girl the future Viscountess was wont to observe that she would never marry anything bat a title.
OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 8008, 10 September 1889
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