All Sports of People
MRS. Loie F. Prior's spiritualistic tests from the public platform are the talk of the town since she came to Wellington. She goes into no trance, but delivers her "spirit messages" opeiireyedl from the platfotim, and' if the persons for whom they are intended aie too shy to respond she makes no bones about bteppuig off the stage and going straight to her mark. At her first meeting one message was sand to come from a young man who had died siuddeaily from a broken neck. The medium wa^ not sure whether he was thrown from a horse otr had fallen from a height. It turned out that the broken neck was a true boll, and that he had been crushed by a tree. A lady admitted the correctness 1 of a number of facts communicated to her, but she drew the line at a white rosebud which she was told the spirit had fastened on her breast to demote a baby that had passed out of this life. Otherwise, the facts detailed by the "medium" were admitted to be correct. • * * At the third meeting, the "tests" were numerous. A well-known professional lady received a message from her father, which evidently impressed her. In one instance Mtb. Prior took up a bouquet of flowers which had been placed on the table, and said the donors were two ladies whom she described. They had hurried their tea so as not to be late for the performance, and had been disappointed at missing their tram-car. These ladies were in the body of the audience, and 1 adfmitted! all these small details arid others were quite correct. The spirits of two twin children, accompanied by a sister of mercy, were identified by their aunt; her brother had received fatal inrjuiries through machinery, and had died in a Catholic hospital. The spirit of a lady who had passed- away under morphine was "located," also tnat of a blind 1 old lady with a pet dog, a "whistling spirit," and numerous others. • * * Finally, Mrs. Prior offered to give a test to unbelievers. She only required) from them the name of a deceased friend, and she would place it. Three gentlemen rsponded One of them was Mr. Wahren, the well-known barber, of Lambton Quay. He gave the name of a Swiss friend. Mrs. Prior at once described him, and explained that he had been shot while travelling through a desert or wilderness, facts which were admitted to be correct. As an outcome of the lady's visit you may expect to hear of many "circles" being formed in WellinHion for private inves Itisration. Already some of the very fashionable set nave taken the thing up and at afternoon tea now a good deal of the talk one hears relates to spiritualism. • • • Bert Rovle and Ms love for his deceased bull-bitch. "Florodora," are still food fo>" obituary notices over on the other side. This from "Newsletter" — The blow was hard, we're slomrc sad The ih>g is dead, but oh bwad He's "<me where erood dog 9 so no doubt, 800-hoo, boo-hee' So cheer tip. Bert we'd lost a pun And when alii friends 1 had clruoked us up We wheeled a barrow all about, For oomnanee.
. When Lord Ranfurly, our late revered Governor, stood on a dripping platform, and mournfully declared he would never forget us, people thought that it may have been his lordiship's kindness and politeness prompting him to say so. His promises to "help us at Home" are being kept, however. Although U enter John Mark is not a brilliant litterateur, his matter is at least oomplimeintary to us. He gets into the "Cosmopolitan Magazine" with the article, ' The World's Most Advanced Government," meaning Mr. Seddon's Government, and he liketwise saye> this is "the little country that leads the world." Surely, Lord Ranfurly is coming back? * * * "■fie winds up his article' with a characteristic peroiation. — "I know that New Zealand's Premier and the people of the colony mostly seem to consider these islands, and talk of them, as 'God's own country.' Certainly they are a pleasant land, inhabited by pleasant people; still, a land! but partial'y developed, with mineral resources so far little touched, and I believe there lies a great future before this colony, and that New Zealand will be able to hold he.r own among the rising nations of the world, and will ever be, as she is. now, a splendid example of Bntislh enterprise and British colonization." Commonplace sentiments enough, but sufficient to tell that His ex-Excellency has a warm corner in his heart for us. » ♦ • General Sir Owen Tudor Thorpe, when he remarked at an Imperial Industries Club dinner, in London, that as long as Britain had India she didn't want to be bothered with the colonies, quite forgot that the little man with the curly hair and the diamond stud, who was watching him closely, was "World's Entertamei" Witheford, M.H.R. The president (Sir Hayter Chubb) noticed that Mr. Witheford was choking down some large pieces of emotion, and! dramatically exclaimed : — "Mr. Witheford, member in the New Zealand House of Representatives for the city of Auckland, will reply." He made a ringing speech, in v which it was abundantly apparent to everyone present that if they were ever stuck for a crust, and were to come along to Auckland, they could get their nosebags filled! at the M.H.R. 's house. * * * Mr. Witheford told 1 them, that New Zealand had sent thousands of pounds to the Indian famine fund, and how he had entertained the Indian troops at Auckland, and had given them one hundred boxes of fruit out of his own orchard, and how New Zealand had taken the duty off Indian tea, and made the gallant General tremble behind his medals like anything. The M.H.R. astonished the gathering by replying with much effect, and without a single note. The distinguished persons present laughed heartily at the poor Geaieial, and the president, who led' the tremendous salvo of hand-claps, asked him if he would be willing to speak again at another time. We would reply "Can a calf eat hay?" Mr. Witheford said he knew nothing about Mr. Seddon and the High Commissionership, and that he would be on the spot when William Leei Baron Plunket rolled back the Parliamentary portal. * * * Great British papers are keen admners of New Zealand, and desire to become humble imitators of our institutions. _ The "Westminster Gazette" pathetically a&ks — "If Mr. Seddbn is at one and. the same time Prime Minister, Colonial Treasurer, Minister of Defence, Minister of Labour, Minister of Education, and Minister of Immigration, why should not Lord Salisbury be Lord Privy Seal, First Lord of the Admiralty and! Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries? When you are sacrificing yourself there is nothing like going the whole hog."
\JKr. S. Thompson has cropped up at Newman by to contest the honour awarded by the ' .New Zealand Times" to the late S. Crounibie Brown and burly Geo. Humphries, of the Press Association, of being the only "press" correspondents at Parihaka on Fireworks l>ay, November sth, 1881. ' Thompson wa& there as Government native interpreter, and says he was "the thi ec-star" leporter of that historical event. The Hawera "star" was then owned and lun by 'Mr. GaJvin (now editor of the Government "Mines Record," m Wedhngton), and Mr. J. B. lanes, bookseller, of Willis-street, and Galvrni appointed Thompson "special correspondent at the front" for his paper, and! he also acted for the Dunedm "Star" and Auckland "Star." There were fourteen special correspondents collected about Pungarehu waiting for Native Minister John Bryce to lead his army into the native stronghold. / * * * says he did not was± for Biyoe and his troops, but got into Parihaka the night before, and, with the exception of that late good fellow, Mr. Chas. Messenger (brother of Colonel Messenger, and also a native interpreter), was the only pale-face ra. the heart of the enemy. "We therefore saw the preparations of the natives, .heard the admonitions of the chiefs, viewed the assembling of the alarmed but resigned women and children to await the slaughter, in family groups, and witaaessedl the orderly and cautious advance, in open order, of the troops, marching for all they knew on hidden musket-lined trenches — though there was nothing of the kind. I think that is a fair statement of the situation. I saw tlhe arrival, with a guide (a gentleman surveyor), of Messrs. Oroumbie Brown and kindly-disposed Mr. George Humphries. In the course of the morning, the late Mr. Vesey Hamilton, a prince of good fellows and a rising journalist, who died all too yoump- came and communicated with us through the openings between the pungas, and 1 took the 'stuff' to the wire." ~S. Oroumbie Brown — by the way, no relation of "Snyder" Brown, of Auckland and Gisborne — was born of Scotch parents in St. Petersburg. He represented the Edinburgh "Daily Review" i the American civil war, and 1 the Fenian invasion of Canada.. He represented the Lyttelton "Times" during; the Maori troubles of 1881, and was well-known on the New Zealand and Australian press. His widow has been left' penniless, and the "Bulletin" is receiving subscriptions on her behalf. * * • "Mighty Atom" Jimmy McMahon, who has lived a long life in pursuit of dramatic enterprises, is still with us, and has recovered sufficiently from his blood-poisoning to tell a yarn. He says it's a true yarn, and a new yarn. Judge ye. Mick Magee, the licensee of the "Barrackers' Arms," in Sydiney, was the most loyal Irishman who ever broke a skull on "the seventeenth for ould o lreland, begob," and he reared shamrocks with excessive care, loving pride, and at gieat expense. He wanted, d'ye see, to present wan to each of his friends on glorious St. Pat's Day. * • • He gathered them with care on the morning of the seventeenth, and placed them, all dewy and dripping, on the bar counter, for the edification of his friends. Eleven o J clock came, amid' the counter-lunchers came with it. Mick was pullinpt beer with vim. He didn't hear one of the lunchers ask his mate if he'd have some water-cress, neither did he see the other seize the shamrocks, help himself to bread and! cheese;, and eat the lot. He turned from the beerpump just as the last half-crown's worth were disappearing. Further enquiries as to the fate of the counter-lunchier may be heard from the relatives of the deceased.
°Mi\ W. F. Elkington, the ver?atile comedian and musician, who, at No. 2 Savage Olub korero, replied to the toast of the visatoisby patter from "Mrs Bungemup," the vaudeville washerwoman, is one of those keep ohaps who, if things are not bright in tihe stage industry, would carry mortar for a Irving. He and Joe Chamberlain were bonn at Birmingham, but at different tunes. Chamberlain went to learn sarew-mak-mg, and Elkington oame out to Palmerston North. He farmed there for eleven years, but a man with the true oomednan face couldn't keep away from the footlights, so McMinn's Minstrels were the result. j^^ * * * VBut he threw down the tambourine to take up the bandolier, for after the South Arraoan war had been going <xa. for some time he went out and joined tihe £>uke of Edinburgh's Eifle Volunteer Regiment, which was later in the war madie a mounted infantry corps. He tells us he became "staff veterinary sergeant." This title was evidently of the regiment's own manufacture, for there are no people of that rank in the Army. He tells a story about being in charge of three Boer prisoners, who heard, en route to the barb-wire compound, that them- guard was a New Zealander. "Allemachtigl" said one of the Boers, "Had it not been for the verdommed New Sealanders this war would have ended differently. Yah! Sohi!" Thumbs up! Jzfr. Elkington runs a choice little show of himself and two ladies, who don't mind being three people or fifteen according to the necessities of the cast. Probably they will perform here. Of oourse, he has 1 done Australia with his company, and at Bega (New South Wales) he engaged the local band to play outside the theatre. "How many are m the band?" he asked when the conductor asked l for free, -passes to the show. "Fourteen." Well, the band played. Mr. Elkington looked out, and counted twenty-five. Afterwards they filed in. After about twenty-eight had l filed in, the actormanager got tired. A burly peraon breasted the door. "Band!" he sang out. "What d'you play?" asked Mr. Elkington. "Oh, I beats the big drum when Bill Jones is sick !" He was the drum understudy, in fact. * * ♦ t/Mr. W. A. Thomson, the wide-awake local land agent, partner to "Neversleep" Sid. Brown, doesn't get any slenderer as the sovereigns tinkle into the till. Viewing Mr. Thomson's exuberant rotundity, you will smile when you hear that at no remote time he belonged to the South African "Light" Horse. Seeing that Mr. Thomson is 15st 81b, he couldn't get into any regiment of light horse now. Mr. Thomson hasi been pushing to the front since he left it in Africa, and his waistcoat buttons are in danger. He is but half-a-lap behind Mr. Seddon now. and' is still going strong. # about half laps, 'the expansive auctioneer was, and is, a bike rider. He doesn't ride races now. He tells us, with all due modesty, that he held tlnrtv-three world's records, but only holds thirty-two now. In 1897 he rode from Wellington, to Napier in world's record time. To-day he puffs walking ud the steps of a car. He quote* Shakespeare as his authority for the fact tihat the best men are thte fat men, and the way td eet fat is to live a Thomson life — that is, a life of truth, honesty, and good-nature. In 1897. he rode down ninety-five steps in Nelson on a bicycle. The press oalledl him a madman. But he is very much alive today. We know six columns more about Mr. Thomson, but will merely remark that Mr. Brown, his partner, is not fat. The reason given is that, both working in one office, Mr. Thomson absorbs all the fattening elements from the atmosphere.
Thomas. Michael Slatleiy, once Minister of Juwtioe in New South Wales is now a common criminal in Darlinghurst Gaol, Sydney, undei going a sentence ol three a,nd a-half yeais, for fraudulently converting to hi^. own use £b958 belonging to a client, Mrs. Ellen Scanlon. It is the deepest fall of a public man these colonies have ever known. In Irs speech from the dock, the prisoner summed up his own career — "I held in this. country when quite a young man the office of prothonotary of the Supieme Court for four years, and w as* the trusted and confidential officer of such distinguished judge* as Syr Alfred Stephen and Sir James Martin * * * "I have been for twenty-five years m the political life of the country. I made myself poorer by attending to pubho affairs, because for ten or eleven yeans before there was. payment of members I served the people honestly and conscientiously, and I fougnt hard for what I thought was right. I spent thousands ot pounds in election expenses, and never asked a man to nay a 3d towards, them. I won about ten contested elections. On three occasions I was Minister for Justice, at another time I was Minister for Mines, again chairman of committees in the Legislative Assembly and Acting Speaker for about six months during the absence of Sir Edmund Barton." • * * And yet, in face of his dearly exposed guilt, he seemed to think he was hardly u<*ed. 'What difference does, it make to me," he said, "that a lady worth £100,000, who came from wretched poverty, and who should not ha,ve missed the money out of her banking account, should consign me to Darlnnghuist Gaol?" He also took credit to himself because he did not appeal to the jury oni behalf of his wife and children. "They are the innocent people," he said, "who will hare to suffer because I was unlucky." Even when the game was up, ex-Minaster Slattery was hypocritical and melo-dramatic. It was an ignoble fall. He protested, l that he had never been a gambler. "I am probably the worst card-player in the State, and know of only one game, called "Nap." * * * But, Mi. Justice 1 Prmg wasn't a bit impressed by bte bathos and cheap theatricals. He declared it was one of the cleaiest cases he had ever tried. And then His Honor proceeded in these pregnant words,. — "You axe not like borne poor insignificant man who lapses into crime, but whiObe lapse does not affect the rest of the community . What wonder if young men go astray with your example before them? I am quate content to take your word' that your fall is not attributable to gambling. But it is attributable to horse-racing and betting, which are responsible for moie crime than any other vice I know of. I hope that one of the results of this case will be to send such a shock throughout the community that this vice will die out. If it does not Ido not know what will happen to Australia." Slattery's fall preaches a lesson that none may misunderstand. ♦ • • The Torrey-Alexander combine find Cadbury's cocoa and Oadbury'e daughters "grateful and comfortimg." We pointed out how Charles Alexander, who had never done anything but be good, and who took no thought for the morrow, took Miss Helen Oadbury to wife. The piospect of highly virtuous poverty and a shabby coat recedes for Mass Helen is enormously rich. But now Dr. Bradley, who is connected with the American Torrey-Alexandler evangelists, who also took no thought for the morrow, has followed the example of the junior partner in the firm, and has married Miss Margaret Cadbury. • • • Missj Margaret Cadbury has a comfortable Little portion; — about as much as all the eligible girls in Wellington put together. Di. Bradley had been threatening to go massionising in China, so probably Miss Margaret hated to see so much good man go to waste on Mongolians. He isn't going anywhere now. As Mr. Alexander used to say • "Neow then, ef you kain't sing, yell! Grab your hymn-book in one hand and your quajter-dallar in the othei '" But, always grab the "quarter," friends. Glory! / t/Word comes from America of the American commercial traveller, C. W. McMuaran, who got £200 from the New Zealand Government for writing a book on this colony that Mr. C. 0. Montrose had to be paid to revise and edit. It seems that MoMurran is a member of the Press Club of New York, and it also seems that persons other than those of a literary tendency are admitted' to membership. Of special interest to us is the fact thiat Mr. T. E. Donne, of the Tourist Department, was a guest at the club's annual dinner in New York. Isn't it about time we gave McMurraai another job? There are lots of New Zealand pressmen who want one.
Mr. Henry Ludlow, the handsome business, manager ot the Van i3i.eue Oornpany, who plays the role ot the liusfcaan Generad, is the son or Rev. Charles W inter , ot the tSoinenset Winters. His mother's lLame was Ludlow, hence his wfcage appellation. Mr. Ludlow was recruited' irom the ranks of amateur pilayers, hist showing ability in college classical plays, at Cambridge. He was educated at the famous Rugby, and "Chiritot'b," at Cambridge. He was a famous thiee-quai-ter with the college senior football team, and has some reputation as a golfer. He has had a bit of a nutter between the sticks since coming to New Zealand, and is too young to be included among the "has beens" yet awhile. ♦ * * It would have been a distinct loss to the profession if Mr. Ludlow had done as he originally intended — entered the Church. The debonair actor toured Africa, Ameinca, and England with the Jessie Maynard Company, and the formei interesting country tripped him up, *nd laid him by in the ihospita'l with enteric. Then, he went uito business an has own, and took some of the fine, crusted, old comedies through the provinces. He has been in Australia before, but not in New Zealand. He thinksi this colony "charming." Curious how easily New Zealandersi agiee with him. ♦ * * Mr. Ludlow will be heard of shortly in Australia, whither he intends taking a Shakespearian Repertoire Company of his own, and where he can indulge his consuming passion for riding horses. But, his real leaning is towards musical comedy, and he has a valuable asset in a line vodce. Peculiarly, the modern actor is a "smart" fellow. Only the old-timers wear long, snaky ringlets and impossible clothes. The best men (in the theatrical line) we have seen in New Zealand for the past few years have been indistinguishable from, the average well-dressed, close-cropped, neat, and natty city man. The up-to-date actor is quite a new type. Mr. Ludlow's own company ie touring England at present with Arthur Shirley's drama, "The London Fireman." ♦ • • Dan Frawley : — "The good Australian looks on London merely as a coaling station." The other day Governor Talbot, of Victoria, publicly objected
to Australians calling themselves by that name. He said they ought to all call themselves English, whioh shows Sir Reggy to be a most irwiiscrxniinai> ing pe;son.