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GLADSTONE’S GOLDEN WEDDING.

THE COMMEMORATIVE ALBUM. (FrO.'U Or It S RECTA I, CORRESPONDENT. J London, July 26. All Jay yesterday the the Grand Old Man and his Grand Old Wife were kept busy receiving presents, messages, and congratulatory visits anent the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, or golden wedding, The ‘ Daily News ’ says :

Almost the first of the messages received at the house in James street was a telegram from the Queen, in which Her Majesty congratulated Mr and Mrs Gladstone upon the jubilee of their marriage. The Queen made reference to the jubilee of her reign, which was celebrated two years ago, and also expressed wishes for the continued happiness of the ox-Premier and his wife. As might be expected on such an occasion, the number of letters received was unusually large. Mr Gladstone, always an early riser, was up and preparing to attend early morning service when the postman delivered his first congratulatory load. Amongst the letters was one couched in the most kindly terms from the Prince of Wales, offering the most hearty congratulations on behalf of himself and the Princess. There was also a letter from the King of the Belgians expressing his good wishes on the happy occasion. All through the day came a succession of letters and telegrams, each conveying the expression of hopes for the continued welfare of Mr and Mrs Gladstone. Shortly before eight o’clock Mr Gladstone went out to early morning prayers. After the Benediction had been pronounced he hurried home to preside at the anniversary wedding breakfast, at which only members of his own family were present. The right hon, gentleman appeared to be in the best of health and in great spirits. As he ascended the stairs his stop was sprightly, and ho received with smiles of pleasure the good wishes of tho members of his household. The first to greet him as he came from church was Mrs Gladstone, who was looking remarkably well, and with her were grouped all tho members of her family, with two exceptions—Mrs Drew and Mr W. H. Gladstone, the eldest son. Tho latter, who is just recovering from a rather severe illness, remains in Devonshire by the advice of his medical attendants, and had to be content with communicating his congratulations through the medium of the post. Before breakfast was over many carriages drove up to tho house and a small group of people collected round them with the view of ascertaining the reason for such an unusual number of calls. Sir William Hareourt was tho first of the ex-Cabinet Ministers who have worked with Mr Gladstone to pay a visit. With him he brought an offering of flowers which Mr Gladstone accepted with a cordial shake of the hand. Next came tlie Karl and Countess of Aberdeen, bringing with them a wedding present in the shape of a breakfast service in white and gold, arranged on a gold and white cloth, and decorated with a beautiful palm in a gilded basket. Tho Earl and Countess hoped to have been in time for the present to have been used at the wedding breakfast, hut in this they were disappointed. They insisted, however, upon arranging the cloth and the service in another room for use on a future occasion. Sir F. Kuollys, the Prineo of Wales’s private secretary, shortly afterwards arrived, and made most kindly inquiries on behalf of the Prince and Princess, at the conclusion of which ho returned to Marlborough House to report that Mr and Mrs Gladstone were in excellent health, aud had received the Prince’s congratulations with the siucorest thanks. Mr Osborne Morgan, Lord aud Lady Rosebery, the Hon. A. Lyttelton, Lady Stepney, and a large number of other visitors, many of whom had been members of Mr Gladstone’s Administrations, also paid early visits, while telegrams from absent friends arrived at e,very minute, among them being a long message from the Marquis of Dufi'orin.

To-night there will be “high jinks” in honor of the occasion at the National Liberal Club, which is being decorated and hung with roses by the artist who got up the Empire Theatre so smartly for the Shali’s visit. The commemorative album which is to be presented to Mr and Mrs Gladstone as a gift from the members, in celebration of their golden wedding, is a unique type of that form of testimonial. The artists who have combined in its production, virtually as a labor of love, are Mr Marcus Stone, R.A., Mr J, M’Whirtcr, A.E.A., Mr A. Parsons, R. 1., Mr Arthur Severn, R. 1., Mr H. Holiday, Mr Walter Crane, and Mr Lewis F. Day. The covers, which are 22in by Klin, are of golden brown crushed morocco, tooled in gold with emblematic device by Mr Lewis Day, and it bears on tho top the words “William Ewart and Catherine Gladstone, A.D. 1839 ” ; and at the bottom “A.D. 1889. National Liberal Club.” The congratulatory address is brief, and in it controversial politics are almost entirely avoided; it is distributed over five pages, the bulk of the space on each being taken up by the work of the artists above named. Tho frontispiece is a beautiful half figure by Mr Marcus Stone, typifying freedom ; and it may here bo stated that all the pictorial contributions are water-colors, and that the ornamental designs throughout are upon a gold background. The first page, by Mr Lewis Day, is a general rehearsal, by the medium of a scroll taking the form of a capital G, of the works in which Mr Gladstone, as the foremost statesman of the age, has taken part. Wreaths around the parent stem give the names of all the children of the distinguished couple for whom this work of art lias been made ready. On the mid-rib of the leaves of the scroll will he found reminders of the Income Tax Budget and Succession Duties Act, and at Freetrade that particular branch stops. Another, however, tends in a different direction, arriving at the Oxford University Act (with the arms of Oxford), the French Treaty (with tho lion and eagle), the abolition of the paper duties (symbolised hy the People’s Edition of Walter Scott—-Mr Gladstone’s favorite author), the Ballot Act, Abolition of Purchase, Alabama Arbitration (with a ship symbolical of that notorious ocean incendiary), Educational, Agricultural Holdings, Employers’ Liability, Corrupt Practices (introducing the famous axe), and Franchise Acts. Home Rule is accentuated by the Irish harp, crowned with the cap of liberty. This symbolic scroll starts with tho tender green of youth, and proceeds upwards through a gradation of colors to tho rich russet of autumn. This is the page which contains the commencement of the address, and the initial 0 for “On behalf ” is foliated, and bears the names of the constituencies represented by Mr Gladstone, with the dates. On the next page Mr A, Parsons presents a fine drawing of Hawarden Castle, with a good deal of young bracken in the foreground. Below, there are two oblong landscapes in grisaile, of more ornamental character. The subjects arc the old castlo of Hawarden, with the Gladstone shield underneath; and Hawarden Church, with wild rose and foliage balancing the coat of arms on the opposite side of the page. Mr Holiday takes possession of the third page, indicating hy delightful allegory the debt laid upon Mr Gladstone by the study of Homer and Dante, and the manner in which some portion of the debt has been paid by his exertions on behalf of modern Greece and Italy, The emblematic figures include Poetry, Art, etc., and Homer and Dante are conspicuous on either side, surrounded by a vast amount of miniature detail that makes one think of an old Italian missal. We have the lily too for Italy, and the acanthus for Greece, and in an upper corner the following lines are emblazoned : Kea-fdrt Britannia! by thy silver streak Rude clangorous war is barred, while peace benign Unhindered floats with brotherhood divine, Brimring to thee such wealth as true men seek, Hellas and Italy with incense rare The ages perfumed, and to t*iv blest shore Of priceless gifts have sent a bounteous store. I Hast thou essayed with these thy wealth to share ? Thy chiefest good, by brave sons earned and watched, I Is liberty, which Turk and Bourbon snatohh’d

From children of those lands of deathless song. To succor those has been tho work of one To whom their song is dear, thy greatest son— The friend of the oppressed, the foe of wrong. A grand view of Edinburgh, as seen through the gloaming, from St. Anthony’s Chapel, has been painted by Mr M'Whirter on page 4 ; and below it is a smaller drawing by Mr A. Severn, of the Houses of Parliament, as we used to see them from the spot upon which the National Liberal Club now stands before there was an embankment, and when the boats used to lie on a muddy foreshore. Both artists have, as it happened, invested their sketches with striking evening effects. On page 5Mr Walter Crane pourtrays the last phase of Mr Gladstone’s public life in a series of sketches illustrating the distresses of Ireland. In the upper part of the design is a figure of the right hen. gentleman as St. George, fighting the ugly dragon of oppression with the axe of Home Rule. Every coil of the reptile’s body reveals a fact Tyranny, Rack-rents, Evictions, Batter-ing-rams, Bayonets, Castle Government, Coercion, Police Brutality, Prosecutions, Prisons. la border characters there are, however, promises of “ Justice for Ireland ” and “ Home Rule ” ; and there are two shield, marked respectively “ Church, Land, Education, 18G8-74” : and “Land, Arrears, Laborers, 1880-85; Government and Land Purchase Bills, 1886.” But in the grip of the dragon, Erin, green robed, writhes in her agony, stretching out her arms in supplication to her defender. Right and left of the page, figures Jof Irish peasants support shields recording tho dates of beneficent measures passed by Gladstone Governments; and at the bottom a graceful prophecy is embodied in the figures of England and Ireland, clasping hands of friendship, with a red-capped god of love making the union of hands a union also of hearts. This superb album is being bound by Riviere and Co., of Heddon street, and the writing was done by Mr K. Cowtan.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890914.2.31.11

Bibliographic details

GLADSTONE’S GOLDEN WEDDING., Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement

Word Count
1,719

GLADSTONE’S GOLDEN WEDDING. Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement

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