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OUR NEW YORK LETTER., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXII, Issue 12, 16 January 1888
OUR NEW YORK LETTER.
(From oar own Correspondent.) I Amusements -in NbwYork. • In the rout and turmoil. of an election, with its. -fighting . factions, its roaring meetings, its bands and its processions, November swoops down upon us, and undismayed by -the political fight, announces the formal opening of the amusement season. An Englishman dropped down from a balloon in New York, might well imagine himself in London if he attended any of our theatres. In every one he would strike faces that he met at the Criterion, the Haymarket, or the Princess. In fact, we have the entire Princess's company, with Henry Irving at their head', Mrs Langtry's company is made up largely of English, and with few exceptions the same may be said of all the leading~companies in New York. Not in my memory have the amusement ataotions been so numerous and so good. At v Niblo's,Dennian Thompson crowds the house night after night, with his great domestic drama of " The Old Homestead," and what a piece it is I The vast crowds that throng to see it night after night forget they are in a theatre, and that Denman Thompson is an aotor. They see nothing but that plain old New England home, quaint and truthful, and the heartbroken but brave old farmer fighting against fate — and by sheer New • England grit and honesty winning the battle at last. This last triumph of Mr Thompson's has for ever shelved the old time stage Yankee, with striped pants just reach fng the top of his boots with straps to keep them down, his long tailed coat, his bell crowned hat, and the pine stick which be eternally whittled. This was the Yankee with whioh Yankee' Hill and Josh Silsby amuaed our English cousin b over a generation ago. /la the Old Homestead they are living men and women such as you migbt meet every day in any village ia New England. The sweet old EODga and the plain homely dialogue follow you to your home with a delightful sense of having seen something that you would like to see again. Notwithstanding its tremendous run last season, it seems again (o ba • cap.urad the town. It is olean and sweet; just such a pieoe as the father and mother could enjoy when surrounded by their children. As it looks now ie will run to the end of the seaeon if the theatre cat^ie secured. But while Den to an Thompson delights one class of the theatre-goers, another class is mad on Lily Langtry and Mrs James Brown Potter, Tha Lily .Langtry of to-day is not the Lily L*hgtry of three years ago; then Bho could not aot— now she oan. Mrs Jame* Brown Potter bsgius where Mrs Langtry did, and in time may succeed professionally as well, besides erijoying a degree ' of Bocial consideration whioh has nevei been aocorded ta the Jersey Lily. This, however, does'not appear to trouble Mrs Langtry, she does not seem to care about rooial consideration any more. She wants money and Bhe is making it very fast, aod ns fast as she makes n ehe invests it where it will pay good interest. While an acknowledged beauty, she is a practical business woman capable of managing her own affairs, and of looking on j for number one. The rash of the first night to see Mrs Potter was tremendous. Everybody was there. Days in advance of her first performance not a ticket could be had for love or money, The boxes had been secured at the start by the speculators as well as the whole lower part of the house, and they reaped a rich reward in the fabulous prices realised, one box which was sold at first for fifty dollars, bringing on the second sale four hundred dollars. It is said that the good Bishop, her husband's uncle, looks on her - theatrical success as a misfortune and disgrace ; certain it is, that none of the Bishop's family have called on her, but in the language of Macbeth she says, " They have tied me to the stake, and I must c'en fight the course." As compared with dozens of professional celebrities Mrs Potter cannot act. There is a vast difference between reciting Ostler Joe and acting in a society drama. She may grow into it in time — practice and the ambition to succeed may do much for her, but whether she succeeds or fails, Mr Minor will have to pay her one hundred thousand dollars, and that is no bad plum to take these hard times. Jim the Penman still crowds the Madison Square, and George S. Knight fills the 14th Street with Baron Rudolph, which is his latest success. Herr Junklema£ has taken our German fellow citizens by storm, and the walls of the Old Bowery fairly shake with the , roars of laughter that burst from the crowds which throng the theatre nightly. Once more we have the German Opera at the Metropolitan Opera House with Herr Seidel as I predicted at the baton. I knew when Herr Seidel left us, that, onoa having bad a taste of our American Bock Beer and Yankee Frankfurters— not to mention Weiner, Sohnetzel, and double distilled Saur KrautBismarck and Von Moltke could never hold him in Berlin. He had not been back there a week when he began to sigh for the flesh pots of Egypt ; bo here he is, and we«re all very glad to have him back. The company is substantially the same as it was last year, . and that is good enough. Wagner, of course, is on top, and Die Meistersinger was the opening piece. That it was a success goes without saying, for the house was packed from pit to dome. WBEBE DO THEY COME FROM? . And now you ask where do all these thousands come from who crowd the theatres sightly. We have a floating population whioh changes every day of fifty or sixty thousand ; then we have over two millions of people in New York and Brooklyn. All the theatres and public halls will not hold the people who come to this oity from day to-day to see tbe eight©. Men go to the theatres here, and enjoy them hugely, who would not have it known at home for a thousand dollars. Country ministers, deacons and church trustees, rarely fail of a ohance to go to the •theatre, and jwith' the amusement lovers of oar own population, we have enough of people to fill them all to overflowing. BENEATH THE SURFACE. But in the midst of all this revelry there is a feverish under-current, ominous with disaster. The departure of Mr Gould for England in November, has something more in it than merely search of health. The fact is the man is breaking down under the terrible strain of constant dread of assassination, which walks behind him like a spectre night and day. Since the strike on the Missouri Pacific, Mr Gould has been in terror night and day. Hundreds of desper- . ate men were ruined by that strike", and they have brooded on their misery* of which they conceived Jay Gould to be the cause. That terrible dynamite bomb, that swept the Emperor of Russia, surrounded by his legions out of existence, and which strewed the Haymarket with the dying and the dead, is ever before him, and he knows that Nemesis is on his track. In. all the millions of this republic, no man so thoroughly hated. What a fate, what a price to pay for riches ! That we have desperate men here is evidenced by the outrages of the last three weeks. A gentleman's carriage stopped by highwaymen bn one of our most public streets, who only escaped robbery and murder by making a desperate fight. At eleven o'clock in the morning a carriage in Union Square, guarded by a coachman and footman, was robbed of a camel's hair shawl worth a thousand dollars. In Brooklyn', a rich merchant named Wechsler, the proprietor of one of the most magnificent stores in the country, was sent an infernal machine for the purpose of killing him ; instead of which ifc nearly killed his wife, her father and his child. The appalling deviltry of such a crime has filled the city with horror, and if the people could have laid their hands on the miscreant they would have given him a short shrift. THE ELECTION. The election has of course absorbed the Erincipal attention of the week. The contest as been one of the most bitter and acrimonious that we have had for many years. All parties have exerted themselves to the utmost, and now that the battle is Over, let us hope that they will all once more settle down to business, pick their flints and prepare for tbe great battle of 1888, Election day. was one of the loveliest of the season, and all things considered, one of the quietest elections we have bad for many years. Every nerve was strained by all the parties in the field ; the judgment which gave the fifth inspector to the United Labor party, adding. materially to the bitterness of the contest. The collapse of Mr George's vote in the city was not unexpected by those who understood the elements of his first viotbry. The beating of gongs and the blowing of horns deceived nobody but his follower, and
the support accorded to him by Doctor MoGlynn, had anything but a favorable effect on his oanyass. The notice had gone forth I silently ibut surely that a vote for George was an iaßult to the Gatholio church ; the consequence was that in districto where a year ago Mr George ran like a racehorse, he hardly got a vote. The fight made by the World for De Lancey Nicoll shows the utter futility of third parties in New York. The ring is too powerful for the people Maurioe Power and Coroner Oroker with a limitless bank account and an army of well trained henohmen, defined Pulitzer and his powerful paper, and gave him notice by the vote of Tuesday, that the New "Sork Democracy was entirely competent to manage its own affairs, and under no circumstances would it suffer diotation from outsiders. Coneidering the hundreds of thousands engaged in the fight, and the tremendous character of the stake, whioh may possibly decide the next Presidental election, it is a matter of national pride, that in a city containing some of the most turbulent elements in the world the election passed off almost as quietly as a Sabbath. It is fashionable now to pitch into the police, and abuse them for every little infraotion of power ; but to them is due the honor of having given us one of the quietest and fairest eleotions in the history of the republic THB STBIKES. The strikes whioh have bean such a disturbing element in our business are broken, and in most instances the men have returned to work. The approach of winter and a sharp frost or two, have been most wholesome arbiters. Still the losses to the men have been serious, and will oause considerable suffering before the winter is over. THE ABTS. The magnificent collection of pictures at the Metropolitan Art Museum is now the great centre of attraction, and marks an epoch in art whioh will long be remembered with gratitude. On the splendid roll of contributors whose names should be emblazoned in letters of gold are : Catherine N. Wolfe, Mr Yanderbilt, William Schaus, Judge Hilton, George I. Seney and many others, whose contributions have made the collection the most magnificent public gallery in the United States. Since the opening on Monday over sixty thousand people have visited the museum which is not only a delightful place to go to, but is one of the most powerful educators in the land. When the building now projected is completed, and the collection is enriched by future munificent gits, while it may take us some time to rival the glory of the British Museum, we will nevertheless, have a temple, to whose shrine millions of pilgrims will come to worship the true and the beautiful art,
OUR NEW YORK LETTER., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXII, Issue 12, 16 January 1888
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