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TABLE TALK.

[Fhom Ode Special Correspondent.]

? The cost of tho strike—To shippers—To the men—M rs Maybrickremoved to Woking ■ —A scene at Lime street Station—Lord ' J):i;i gan engaged—Viscount H'" ton again 1 —Tlio Drury Lane novelty—The ' Dead Heart'—Toole's brother dead—Death of E. L. Blanchard—His career—The end of a famous conjurer—Poor Frikell— Suicide—The Gaiety company back—- ' The Middleman'—A great success— The plot Chitabo'b wins Literary notea Magazine programmes Dora Russell's lass—'Roland Oliver'—Now stories by Stevenson and Q.—'People I've smiled with'—Specimen yarns—'ldle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow'—A book to read—Etc, etc. London, September 0. The strike, which has already cost London a million and a-half of money, still continues, and at the time of writing there seems small prospect of a satisfactory issue. This (Friday) morning's 'Telegraph'devotes a gloomy article to calculating the price which the dockers' "tanner" has cost tho various parties concerned. It says :—" Roughly speaking, the loss in wages alone in the East End, the South-east district, and along the banks of the river during the three weeks which the strike has lasted may be put at L 200,000. Men who were formerly able to take that aggregate to their homes have for twenty-one days taken nothing, relying for their subsistence upon the contributions of trade organisations and the offerings of charitable sympathisers. Landlords have been unable to get their rents. The Bmall shopkeepers with whom the laborers deal suffer equally from the absence of coin, and at the same time are compelled to keep on supplying small quantities of goods in order to retain their customers when work is resumed. The dock companies are, naturally enough, averse to make known what tho strike has really cost them: but, between the loss of revenue from dock dues leviable from their regular customers, the expenses they have been put to in getting a few men into the docks and keeping them there, and the permanent charges of salaries with no revenue coming in, their dead loss cannot be much less than LIOO,OOO all round, while the prospective detriment caused by the shifting of trade, which has already begun, cmnot be even estimated. The loss to the shipowners and merchants is even larger. How it will ultimately be apportioned nobody knows, but the amount actually incurred at this moment is likely to be largely increased by legal costs, either before Her Majesty's Judges or in presence of special arbitrator?. The dock companies, by a clause in their agreements, repudiate all responsibility for loss or damage caused by strikes, and it remains for tho owners of vessels, and those who have chartered them for delivery of goods, to fight out the question between them, In the case of large steamship companies, like the Peninsular and Oriental, the British India Company, the Orient Line, Donald Currio and Co., the New Zealand Shipping Company, and Shaw, Savill, and Co., who load their own steamers for their own account, all the Io3S caused by the delay falls upon them direct. Many of their vessels have been lying idle for weeks, and only by the greatest and most expensive exertions have they been able to get ready tho steamers which it was absolutely necessary should be despatched. To them the inconvenience of the strike is becoming unbearable, as they cannot get their ships now in dock unloaded. Cargoes are waiting to be sent abroad, but they cannot ho put on board. The 3hips are lying as unprofitable as toys, each costing us proprietors at the rate of L4or L 5 per hour. In other eases, where the vessels are chartered by second and third parties, the loss, I presume, will not fall upon tho owners, but upon the charterer?. This is the question which will have to be fought. I heard of one gentleman owning a ship which has been lying in tho docks since the strike commenced, who declared he did not care how long the strike continued, as ho was all right. His vessel was chartered at the rate of L2OO a day, and that sum went on as long as the cargo remained on board. Whether he will manage to get it I should not like to say. The fact remains that a tremendous dead loss is daily inflicted upon ship-owners and ship-hirers by the simple fact that thousands upon thousands of tons of shipping are lying idle instead of earning a profit. There are at present distributed among the various docks East India, West India, Tilbury, London, St. Katharine, Royal Victoria and Albert, Millwall, tho Surrey Commercial, and the Regent's Canal—no leis than 400 vessels, ranging from tiny craft of fifty-three tons to huge steamers like the Ormuz of 6,185." The Lord Mayor returns to-day to the Mansion, and it is hoped he may be able to effect terms.

The few bystanders at Lime street Station last Friday morning who caught a glimpse of a brisk, alert-looking woman in prison dress, who looked curiously around as she walked from the waiting room to the train between two female warders, found it difficult to believe that this could be the " mentally and physically broken" Mrs Maybrick'. Oddly enough, one of the prisoner's former friends happened to be going to town by the same train. She instantly recognised him with a bow and a smile, and, when the unfortuuate man stood rooted to the spot with surprise and dismay (not knowing what to do), tried hard to catch his eye again. The warders, however, objected to this, and the instant the trio entered a second class carriage the blinds were drawn. A week ago the Baroness Von Roque solemnly vowed she would never le.ivo England till her Florrie was free. Nevertheless, with characteristic inconsequence, she departed for Paris yesterday. Mrs Briggs lias had to leave Liverpool, and the three servants at Battlecrease House for a long time found it impossible to obtain situations. At last, a philanthropic lady engaged Yapp, and places were found for the cook and housemaid in Manchester. Mr Michael Maybrick has placed his brother's children in safe and suitable hands away from Liverpool, and will (for good and sufficient reasons ifc is unnecessary to enter into) decline to hand them over to the Baronesß Von Roque, unless compelled by law to do so.

The announcement of the engagement of Lord Dingau to Lady Violet Ncvill (the youngest of the beautiful Abergavenay twins) explains why Lord Cowley's heir threw over Miss Phyllis Broughton, and also why the family paid that injured lady L 3,000 rather than* let her breach of promise ease come to Court. The bride-elect is, like her sister Lady Rose Leigh, very lovely, and as Lord Dangan has a fair shar- of good looks they'll make a very handsome couple.

The soi-dkant Viscount Hinton, who has been earning a comfortable livelihood playing a piano organ (on which his name is scored in giant letters) for the last two years, was summoned and fined 40s for heing a nuisance one day last week. He looks more disreputable than ever, and is accompanied on his peregrinations by a frowsy drab, upon whom he has temporarily conferred the title of Viscountess.

The new romantic and semi-historic drama, which Augustus Harris produces at Drnry Lane on the 21 st inst. will be called «The Royal Oak,' and divided into four acts. Irving has returned from his annual holiday, and * The Dead Heart' is now in full rehearsal at the Lyceum. The mise en scene will be one of the heaviest ever known even at this house, and as usual the management are taking extraordinary pains to have details accurate. No date has yet been fixed for the production. The Haymarliet version of c Roger le Honto' haR been rather feebly christened • A Man's Shadow.' * BosomJFriends' would have been much better. Domestic affliction seems to have marked the most genial of our low comedians for her own. Poor J. L. Toole's beloved son, beautiful daughter, and adored wife all died within a comparatively short time of one another ; and now his elder brother, Frank Toole, to whom he was warmly attached, has gone aloft too. Frank Toole was educated at the City of London School, and succeeded his father as City Toastmaster. He was a very quiet little man, but, like his brother, loved a joke, and never failed to put in an appearance on " first nights " at King William street. [ The death is also announced of Edward Laman Blancbard, who for thirty-five years

wrote, the pantomime or annual (as he preferred to call it) ior the Theatre Royal, Drurv lane. Blanchard. was a member of the • Telegraph' staff for twenty-four years, and an ont-arid-but Bohemian of the best and brightest; achool. He could remember Edmund Keafi and Charles Kemble, to say nothing of Mrs Orger, Mrs Glover, and Madame Vestris, and knew intimately all our leading actors and actresses from Charles Kean, Macready, and William Farren the elder down to Henry Irving and Mary Anderson. He could talk charmingly cf the past, and was till comparatively recently a prized guest at the Green Room and Savage Clubs. Blanchard died of sheer Old age, though but in his seventieth year. But then he lived twice as fust as the modern masher journalist. Didn't Blanchard write-

Many a man, both younp and old, Has srone to his sarcciihtijrHp Through pouting water icy cold Aiiowu his own oesophagus.

Frikell, the once renowned conjuror afid prestidigitateur, died, or rather put an end to his life, at Scarborough last week in sad want and suffering. Iu his prime Frikell had the genuine gift of s!e T ght-of-hand (as distinguished from the illusion which depends on apparatus), and was known all over the worid as one of the cleverest and most popular magicians. Heller alone (of contemporary entertainers) surpassed him. Frikell made pots of mouey during his career, but like most of his class he failed to save. Consequently, when old age robbed his hand of its cunning, and othor and abler conjurors such as Maskelyne, Bertram, and Co. opposed him, Frikell could not retire from work, but had to slave on, sinking gradually lower and lower. The last cruel stroke of fortune seems to have come at the brilliant Yorkshire wateringplace where the poor old man had been performing for a few nights. Three shillings and some coppers were found on him. With this money wad a pathetic scrap of paper, on which the deceased told how he had struggled with adversity, laboring in vain to secure engagements, and complained particularly of a swindling agent who had defrauded hirn. The writer had reckoned (he added) on the Scarborough engagement to " procure the necessaries of life," and now his manager had decamped without paying him. On the whole, the worn-out conjuror thought he had better play his last trick, and, swallowing a littie of that magic potion, laudanum, pass silently in sleep to w here beyond these voices there is peace. R.I.P.

All " the chappies " and " dear boys " who have given the Gaiety Theatre its unique reputation will make a point of beiDg in town next Saturday week, when Nellie Farrcu, Fred Leslie, Letty Lind, Marion Hood, and Co. will make their reappearance on the fan;'liar boards for the first time since their \ i« t to " the land of the golden fleece." It is sure to be a great, nay, an historic, occasion, more especially as the programme will consist of the volatile Leslie's new burlesque, ' Ruy Bias, or the BlastS RoueY' a punning title that almost sets one's teeth on edge.

In 'The Middleman' Mr Henry Arthur Jones has at last justified the reputation which his friends have always claimed for him, and produced a thoroughly good all round play. Whether it will prove as effective as it is at the Shaftesbury Theatre when played by a moderate provincial or colonial company I shouldn't like to determine. One can hardly fancy Willard's part in other hands. Suffice it to say the London performance of ' The Middleman' has proved a striking and deserved success, and will fill Mr John Lart's handsome house for a good year to come. The story comes particularly apropos at this present time of strikes, and on the first night many of Jones's admirable (if somewhat copybooky) sentiments anent the mutual responsibilities of capital and labor were cheered to the echo.

Here is a brief sketch of the plot by "Carados":—" Willard, let me tell you, represents an old pottering potter, one Cyrus Blenkarn, in the employ of Joseph Chandler, Esq., who, about the time the curtain rises on the play, is addressiug the free aud independent electors of Tatlow, whose voteß he wants to send him to Parliament, reminding them that, no matter what might happen to the British " Constitooshun," they will find plenty of refreshments in the tent he has put up in the back garden. The pottery town of Tatlow and Joseph Chandler, Esq., have flourished chiefly through the inventive genius of Cyrus Blenkarn, who, in his enthusiastic devotion to his art, has neglected his own interests and has been the victim of the brain-suckers. He toils night and day for the realisation of his grand idea—the production of a peculiar glaze which shall enable him to rival some ancient ware, which is so rare as to be almost priceless. While he is toiling and dreaming, his favorite daughter, Mary, is seduced by his employer's son, Captain Julian Chandler, and the discovery of the terrible truth gives him a new incentive to work. The artist has labored for love of his art. Now he will labor for money that he may have the means to work out his revenge upon those who have done him grievous wrong. Julian, it should be said, is quite ready to make reparation to the girl he has betrayed, and would make her his wife but for the determined opposition of his father, who desires an alliance with the family of a poor baronet, whose support he would secure in the coming election. This opposition leads Julian to resort to triokery. He pretends to assent to his father's wishes; but, being ordered abroad to join his regiment, writes from Paris for Mary to meet him there and become his wife. The letter is intercepted and burnt by Chandler pare, and poor Mary, who will ere long become a mother, thinking herself deserted as well as betrayed, leaves her homo to hide her shame, and is soon afterwards reported dead. Meanwhile Cyrus Blenkarn toils on, piles on the coals while his stock lasts, and when it gives out makes fuel of the chairs and tables. He means to have that secret out of his furnace, aud jast as he is smashing the crockery that has brought him only disappointment and is thinking of beginning all over again, he catches sight of a teapot or something of the sort he has hooked out of the fire. His face brightens; his heart leaps for joy ; he utters a cry of triumph. Eureka! Victory has come at last; he has done the trick ; fortune is within his grasp; revenge is at hand. Blenkarn's new teapot quickly knocks all other teapots out of the market. Rapidly he grows rich. As rapidly Joseph Chandler grows poor, and of his old servant whose brains he has used for his own aggrandisement he has to ask employment to provide his family with bread. More coals. " Coals of fire " Cyrus Blenkarn uses to work out his revenge. He gets something of satisfaction out of these, and his virtue presently brings its own reward, for Captain Chandler returns from foreign service covered with glory for brave deeds done, and bringing with him a wife in the person of pretty "Mary Blenkarn. The old potter's cup of bitterness is turned into one of joy full to the brim and flowing over, and the curtain falls as he takes to his arms the beloved daughter for whose loss he has so long and so bitterly grieved." The consummate ease with which Chitabob won the Great Yorkshire Stakes on Thursday has brought about a revolution in the Leger betting. Supporters of the favorite are now asked to lay only a very small shade of odds, and should I'Anson's crack keep well, it is quite possible that next Wednesday even money may be forthcoming on the field. There look like being from eight to ten runners for the great event, but the general impression is that the issue will lie between Donovan and Chitabob. A few fancy Mr Lowther's Workington and the flukey Two Thousand winner Enthusiast, but the bulk of the public is on the two favorites. Ominous tumors ate afto&t that Donovan has turned " roarer," but the Ring scarcely field or if this were the ease.

A fine field of fifteen contested the Champion Breeders' Foal Stakes at Derby on Tuesday, which fell to Lord Calthorpe's beautiful filly Heresy (by Hermit out of Controversy's dam) after a fine race with Mr De la Rue's Dearest and Mr Houldworth's Alloway. The latter started favorite at 7 to 4, whilst 100 to 8 was on offer against the winner. In the Peveril of the Peak Stakes, of 1,000 60vs, over one mile, the unlucky Helmsley (4 yrs, 7st), a colt that has been the medium of countless unfortunate plunges, at last managed to get home first in front of Woodland, Cheroot, and seven others. It was not favorite, but Sherrard's followers had a bit on at 7 to 1.. The Portland Plate, of five furlongs, also fell to a 7

to 1 chance in Mr Whittaker's Franciscan (by Hermft-Villafranoa) which beat Parga and seven others. UTBEABY. The new serial in the' English Illustrated * will be by no lesser person than the Earl of Lytton, and is entitled 'The Ring of Amasis.' If I remember rightly "Owen Meredith " once before essayed a novel, and it was not successful. 'His Other Self/ the new " shocker " byMr E. 3. Goodman (author of ' Too Curious * and * Paid in His Own Coin'), is anr ingenious tale of a magic mirror and a selfish man, on similar lines to several of F. Anstey's whimsical stories. Unfortunately Mr Goodman has not Mr Anstey's lightness of touch, and in consequence the narrative drags somewhat. It is, however, a readable shilling's worth. ....... Tillotsons, I understand, find that the novelist who really goes down best withithe average reader of newspaper fiction 1.1 .Miss ! Dora Russell. She has written I don't know how many stories—over a dozen certainly"— for the syndicate, and (like Charlotte Braemff and the 'Family Herald') time does not seem to wither nor custom stale her infinite popularity. Miss Russell's latest serial bears the pleasing title of 'Jezebel's Friends,' and tells the old old story of an immaculately unselfish heroine sacrificing her love and marrying a man she hates u» order to save an utterly worthless sisters good name/ There is not a new idea nor a novel suggestion in the whole book. If there was, this sort of fiction might not be as much read. I fancy devourers of such stuff as 'Jezebel's Friends' like to be pretty well able to guess what's coming. «Roland Oliver,' the short tale by Justin M'Carthv, just published by Spencer Blackett'at a shilling, is quite unworthy the author of 'Camiola' and 'Dear Lady Disdain,' and must, I should think, bean early attempt resurrected from some forgotten drawer. It is the story of a weak, selfish, and generally unworthy husband married to a noble and beautiful wife. For some time the .latter adores her objectionable spouse, and shuts her eyes strenuously to his many vanities and weaknesses, but a fit of mad and senseless jealousy finally reveals the truth. The little book is qaite readable, only not np to Justin M'Cartby b ordinary level. Cassells will publish Stevenson's 'Master of Ballantrae' in November, and have also in preparation a new story by Q. (Mr Coucb)< entitled 'The Splendid Spur: being Memories of the Adventures of Mr John Marvel, a servant of King Charles L, which, it is to be hoped, will be some improvement on that melancholy piece of humor, 'Troy Town.' Talking of humor, by the way, reminds me of Marshall F. Wilder's ' People I've Smiled With.' One, not unnaturally perhaps, expected great things from this book. The merry little deformity who wrote it has again and again made us shout with laughter. This last season, indeed, he was to be found everywhere. His Royal Highness smiled, and Marshall P. Wilder became the fashion. I fully anticipated his book would teem with good stories. It does nothing of the sort. A balder, more uninteresting narrative I have seldom come across; The few samples of his yarns Wilder does give us are the most depressing "chestnuts." Here are two of the best: An old darkey who was fishing had a little piccaniny standing beside him. The small chap somehow managed to stumble, and fell into the foaming tide. The old darkey instantly dived after him, brought the child to land, squeezed him out, and stood him well in the sun to dry. A clergyman who witnessed the occurrence then came up. " God bless you, noble fellow," quoth he, " you saved that boy's life." " Well," said the venerable nigger, " I didn't do dat to sabe his life, he had my bait in his pocket." The following is said to be one of _ Lionel Brought yarns:—A man was advised by his doctor to take great care of himself. "You must," said the medico, "get to bed early, eat more roast beef, eschew stimulants, go to the seaside, and smoke just one cigar a day, or you won't live." A month later patient returns, looking better. ''Yes, doc," he said, " I followed your advice to the letter. I went to bed early, ate lumps of roast beef, eschewed liquor, lived at the seaside, and took great care of myself; but that one cigar a day nearly killed me, for I never smoked before !" Wilder attributes the following " Irishman's toast to an Englishman" toFarjeon. It runs thuß: "Here's to you as good as you are, and here's to me as bad as I am; but as good as you are and as bad as I am, I'm as good as you are, bad as I am."

In proposing the health of the Hod. Edward Everett (a cultured Bostonian) at the Beef Steak Club some days ago, the artist Story exclaimed: "Here's to learning, wherever it grows." Upon which Everett interrupted: "I amend. Here's to learning; whenever it rises' it grows, but never above one Story." Really neat, wasn't it ? If you have not already got it, send at once to the nearest bookseller's for Jerome R. Jerome's 'ldle Thoughts of an Idle Bellow.' The book is not a new one; in fact, the legend "thirty-fifth edition" on the copy before me shows that it must have quietly obtained ' conspicuous success. I confess to having constantly seen it on the bookstalls, but till the same author's 'Stageland ' set us all off laughing, I somehow felt curious about 'ldle Thoughts.' Once one does dip into this delightful book, what treasure trove one finds. The beßt paper of all, I think, is 'On Being in Love,' though those 'On Memory,' «On Being Shy,' •On Being Hard Up.'and 'On Being in the Blues,' are also admirable in their way. At times Mr Jerome's writing reaches a very high level indeed. What, for instanee, can be better than the following passage on the subject of melancholy:—" George Eliot speaks somewhere of ' the sadness of a summer's evening.' How wonderfully true the observation is. Who has not felt the sorrowful enchantment of those lingering sunsets ? The world belongs to melancholy, then—a thoughtful, deep-eyed maiden who loves not the glare of day. It is not till 'light thickens, and the crow wings to the rocky wood,' that she steals forth from her groves. Her palace is in twilight land. It is there she meets us. It is there she takes our hand in hers, and walks beside us through her mystic realm. We see no form, but seem to hear the rushing of her wings. Even in the toiling humdrum city, her spirit comes to us. There is a sombre presence in each long, dull street; and the dark river creeps ghost-like under the black arches, as if bearing some hidden secret beneath its muddy waveß. In the silent country, when the trees and hedges loom dim and blurred against the rising night, and the bat's wing flutters in our face, and the landrail's cry Bounds drearily across the fields, and the spell sinks deeper in our hearts, we seem in that hour to be standing by some unseen deathbed, aud in the swaying of the elms we hear the sigh of dying day. A great peace is around us. In its light our cares of the'working day grow small and trivial, and bread and cheese—aye, and even kisses—do not seem the only things worth striving for. Thoughts we cannot speak, but only listen to, flood in upon us, and, standing in the stillness under earth's darkening dome, we feel that we are greater than our petty lives. Hung round with those dusky curtains, the world is no longer t, mere dingy workshop, but a stately temple, wherein man may worship, and where, at times, in the dimness his groping hands touch God's."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891019.2.38.4

Bibliographic details

TABLE TALK., Issue 8042, 19 October 1889, Supplement

Word Count
4,239

TABLE TALK. Issue 8042, 19 October 1889, Supplement

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