PERSONAL NOTES FROM LONDON.
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London, January 18. Mrs. W. H. Reynolds, of Dunedin, and her daughters, are wintering in the Riviera. They are at present staying at the Hotel et Pension des Orangers, Cannes.
It is announced that Sir Henry Irving has decided to produce in America during the coining autumn a new play, written by Mr. Fergus Hume, formerly of Dunedin.
Mr. Walter Kennaway, permanent secretary of the New Zealand Agency-General, has", I am glad to learn, recovered from his recent indisposition, and is now back at his office in Victoria-street.
Mr. " Jack" Dixon, late of Auckland, but now of the Canadian Contingent; is still in England, being attached to the Shorncliffe camp. He expects to leave for the Dominion in about ten days' time.
Newspaper contents' bills this afternoon are full of the exploits of the New Zealanders at the front. This is based on the following notice issued by the War Office : — Lord Kitchener reports: New Zealanders totally defeated 800 Boers, eight miles west of Veiitersburg."
Mr. Williamson, " the Queen's sculptor," has now so far advanced with the cast for the bust of the late Sir George Grey, which is to be placed in the Auckland Art Gallery, that Mr. Reeves will visit Mr. Williamson's studio at Esher within the next few days, for the purpose of inspecting it.
A charming little story, entitled. " Told on the Staircase," by Mrs. (" Alien") Baker, appears in the current number of the Lady's Realm. The scene is laid in Melbourne, and an actress who takes part in Ibsen's play, " The Doll's House," is the heroine, while a distinguished, but unnamed colonial statesman is the hero. It will probably be read with interest.
I see that the death is announced of a celebrity whose birthplace was Dunedin, New Zealand, namely, William E. Jackson, better known as "Major Mite." He was 24 years of age, 2ft 9in in height, and weighed* only 261b. I understand that his parents and the rest of the family were of ! the usual size. " Major Mite," who once ! had the honour of appearing before the ; Prince of Wales, died in a New York hos- ; pital on New Year's Eve.
I A rather curious question has been raised ! in connection with the recent valedictory ! dinner to Lord Hopetoun. "An Old Subi scriber"' writes to a London paper thus: ; "Is it true that Mr. Cooper, who acted as ! honorary secretary at Lord Hopetoun's dini ner. charged a fee of 150 guineas, and was ' paid it?'' The editorial comment is as folI lows :—" In reply to 'An Old Subscriber' i we are not aware that Mr. Astlej Cooper I ' charged' anything for his services in con- ; nection with the Hopetoun banquet. Our ! information is, however, that the surplus i which remained over, after payment of ex- ! penses, was voted to him: but in what cirl cumstances we are unable to say."
' Among the members of the New Zealand contingents recently arrived from the front is Saddler-Sergeant W. Harris, of Wellington, of the First Contingent, who has come Home on furlough. He was one of the Boer prisoners of war taken at Sanna's Post, and when asked what kind of treatment he received when in the enemy's hands, he said they " could not grumble." adding that one did not expect much when a prisoner of war. There was not," he said, " a surplus of food," but the Boers did not interfere with them very much. He spoke regretfully of poor Ross, of the Third Contingent, whom he described as "a grand chap." Of Major Robin, he said there was not a better officer in South Africa.
To-day the Shaw, Savill. and Albion Com- ■ pany's steamer Kumara left London for New i Zealand, via the Cape and Hobart. Her ' passengers from London are:—Mr. and Mrs. N. MacKinlay, Mr. and Mrs. R. Mcßoberts, , Mr. and Mrs. T. Newell, Mrs. Auty, Mrs. Hosking, Mrs. Rook, Mrs. Walker, Mrs. R. Waters, Misses A. Baker, Barnes, M. Fenton, Hedges. Jannrey. E. Keeling, E. Lyles, Xewell (3), E. Nicholson, Smith, J. Stowe-Hall, Messrs. J. Alexander. W. Banister, J. Barnes, G. Bennett, T. Bulpin, A. Cordey, G. Davis, N. Fortes, S. Fraser, G. Greig, J. Hammond, H. Harris, C. Harrison, S. Heineman, C. Hunter, D. Mcßeath, G. McGregor, W. Manning. J. Mannins, R. Mantell, E. Matthews. H. Matthews, J. Nichols, J. Ross, H. Stansfield, J. Swinburne, E. Taylor, W. Tonkin, G. Walker, J. Whitehead, D. Whitten, R. Whitten, and i W. Whitten.
Mr. Macgregor, the defendant in the re-
cent extraordinary action for breach of proi mise, brought by Mrs. Brodie, a former . I resident in New Zealand, and tried in Edini burgh, has appealed to the higher Court , | against the verdict of the jury. It will , i be remembered that a verdict was awarded | to Mrs. Brodie, with damages of £5000, ■ I instead of £50,000. which she claimed. Mr. I Macgregor bases his appeal on the ground , ! of the alleged improper exclusion by the ; Lord Justice-Clerk, of evidence regarding j certain alleged improprieties between the i plaintiff, Mrs. Brodie, and two New Zeai land gentlemen, whose names were given, . A second ground of appeal is the refusal of I the Judfje to delay the case for the evidence j of Mr. Neilson in respect of whom and Mrs. 1 Brodie some extraordinary allegations had I been made. Lord Kingsburgh's rulings are '. I generally rather formidable things to chal- | lenge, but in this case they certainly excited | some little surprise. One of the recipients of the Victoria Cross j announced this week is Lieutenant Alexis | Charles Doxat, a son of Mr. E. T. Doxat, , the chairman and managing director of • I Messrs. Dalgety and Co. The story ■ | of the deed which earned the coveted distinc- | tion is published in the London Gazette, | thus:—"Lieutenant A. C. Doxat, 3rd Bat- | talion Imperial Yeomanry.—On October 20, j 1900, near Zeerust, Lieutenant Doxat pro- | ceeded with a party of mounted infantry to j reconnoitre a position held by 100 Boers on j a ridge of kopjes. When within 300 yards j of the position the enemy opened a heavy | fire on Lieutenant Doxat's party, which then retired, leaving one of their number who had lost his horse. Lieutenant Doxat, seeing the dangerous position in which the man was placed, galloped back under a very heavy fire and brought him on his horse to I a place of safety." Mr. Doxat, jun., is a J member of the London Stock Exchange, j where he is very popular, and the news has ; given the greatest pleasure to all with whom I he was associated in business before he dis- ; carded " bulls" and '" bears" for Boers. One I city paper states that " One member of the i Stock Exchange, whose classical recollec- ; tion extends to the fact that ' doxa' is the : Greek for glory, was heard to remark that j the lieutenant's name was very appropriate ! for a recipient of the V.C. ; but members generally were so pleased by the news of a colleague's decoration that the incorrigible ; punstei was suffered to live." i ! Mr. W. P. Reeves, writing to the Daily News, draws attention to the remarkable i prophecy of New Zealand's present military i aid to the Mother Country, which was made j by Mr. C. C. Bowen as" long ago as 1856. J It is to be found in Mr. Bowen's poem on I the Crimean War. The verse runs as foi- ! lows: — i Where her warriors are fighting, as the ; bravest only dare, | Then New Zealand shall be there, i In the van. ! Young New Zealand shall be there— Her rifles from the mountain and her horsemen from the plain. When the foeman's ranks are reeling o'er the i slain. I Few in number, stout of heart, They will come to take their part . In the dangers and the glories of the brave. I Reference is also made by Mr. Reeves to ! a sonnet written 47 years ago by Dean ' Jacobs, which, he says, "so precisely anticipates the spirit of that more pacific variety of Imperialism which its votaries are wont to call ' sane,' " that he quotes the following four lines: — "'Tis Greece, where Greeks do dwell!" go spake and thought That ancient race. The isle-embroidered sea Was sprinkled with their towns; lo! spreading free. One Greece in many lands. May we be taught ' By them . . . Mr. Reeves adds the following comment: — " The lesson which the poet would have us learn from the Greeks is that, "Tis England where the English spirit dwells.' "
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