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EDITOR'S WALLET., Otago Witness, Issue 2331, 3 November 1898
EDITOR'S WALL ET .
How a Prime Minister « Stole " the Silver Plate. The following incident has been communicated to us by Mr 3 Hessey, o£ Basing Vicar- ; ago, whose father, the Rev. N. Dodson, the j late vicar of Abingdon, was the Earl of Liver- j pool's travelling companion when .the silver ! plate waa carried off. This is the first time the incident has ever been published. Mrs ! Hessey writes : — "The Earl of Liverpool, who was^ Premier early in this century, was travelling incognito with my father. They had posted, in hi 9 lordship's carriage from Sussex to London, where they put up at one of the large hotels of that day, in Oxford street. " The next morning, after breakfast, they set to work writing as hard as they_ could, without waiting for the breakfast things to be removed, and continued hard at work trying to deal with the voluminous correspondence that falls to the lot of Ministers of State, Lord Liverpool being at that time Prime Minister. "They had left Sussex rather in a hurry, and Lord Liverpool had brought with him in lieu of his regular valet a country lad whom he had only lately taken into his service. When the business was concluded, Lord Liverpool suggested that they should go out for a walk together, as he had people to see before they left the town. Then, ringing for his servant, he ordered him to clear the table and put everything carefully away in his portmanteau, and havo the carriage at the door veady to start directly he returned. " They came back to find everything ready as he had ordered; and, having settled the account, they got at once into the carriage and drove off. But they liad not gone far befora there was a cry raised of ' Stop, thief!' On they drove, however, taking no notice, and nerer imagining for a moment that the uproar could refer to them, until quite a crowd surrounded the carriage and stopped the horses; and Lord Liverpool, putting his head out of the window, saw the landlord of the hotel and his people gesticulating furiously, while the yells of 'Stop thief!' continued. "His lordship was of rather a choleric nature, inquired what in the world they meant by insulting him in that way. " ' But you have stolen all my plate — the teapot, the coffee pot, the cream jug, and all Wiqi teilvor (spoons — everything. It's all very well for you to call yourself Lord Liverpool, but you are a regular set of rascally thieves, and I have caught you just in time; so come out of that carriage at once.' " Lord Liverpool, utterly bewildered, shouted to his servant to know what it all meant. "The lad, frightened out of his wits, came blubbering to the carriage door with, ' Yes, my lord. You know it's not my fault, my lord. You told me yourself that I was to clear everything off the table and put it all into your portmanteau." " 'You stupid fool,' screamed Lord Liverpool. 'Of course, I meant my papers ' (with tremendous emphasis) — ' all my papers.' " ' But you did say " everything" my lord, indeed you did.' "Meanwhile the landlord had hauled down the box, seized the keys from the lad, and opened it, and there, in the middle of Oxford street, before a gaping crowd, the Premier of all England had to disgorge his stolen goods, and make his peace with the landlord as best he could . i " My father told me he often tried afterwards to bring the incident up, and get Lord Liverpool to laugh at it; but his lordship was far too sore on the subject. He was always so afraid of the story getting into the newspapers that he would never be tempted to talk or even smile at it, or allow it to be mentioned in his presence. How he succeeded in keeping it out of print I cannot imagine, when it would have been such 'nuts ' to the Opposition to have got hold of it. " Lord Liverpool's life was published a few years ago, and I looked anxiously to see if this anecdote was mentioned. But it was not. The secret had been too well kept."
The Fortune of War.
"WHERE THE BULLETS STRIKE THE SOLDIERS. In these days of war and rumours of war, some facts about bullets and their billets will not bo without interest. A remarkable thing in connection with warfare is that the ratio of casualties is constantly decreasing, the only exception being the American Civil war. The following table gives the names and dates of some of the principal battles, together with the style of weapon used, and the number of killed to every 1000 of the combatants: — ■ Cannae (b.c. 216) j swords and battle-axes; 500. Hastings (a.d. 106G); swords and battle-axes; 170. Eannockburn (a.D. 1314); swords and arrows; 300. Crecy (a.d. 1346) ; swordg and arrows; 330. Italian troubles (a.d. 1859); muzzle-loading riflos; 90. American Civil War; muzzle and breech-load-ing rifles; 70. Franco-Prussian (a.d. 1870-71); breech-loading rifles; 50. British-South African (ad. J879); breoch-load-ang rifles; 61. British-Egyptian (a.d. 1B35); brcccli-loodmg riflos; 1. In the Crimean war tho British fired 15,000,000 shots and killed 21,000 Russians, or one man to every 700 ghat*, lTh& ITrAnnb. forcjaa i» the
same war fired 29,000,000 shots and killed 51,000 Russians, or one man to every 590 shots fired. The Russians, on tho other hand, fired 45,000,000 shots at both English and. French, and sucoeeded in killing 48,000, or one soldier to every 910 shota which they fired. War, after all, is nob so dangerous a game as the majority of people imagine. The bullets of one army hit the enemy in safe places 80 times out of every 103. Of every 103 shots whioh strike some soldier, 43 will lodge in the legs (from the hips down, to the feet) ; 33 shots will lodge in the arms (from the shoulders to the tips of the fingere) ; the abdomen receives 11 bullets, the chest and back 11, the neck 1 bullet, and 11 shots strike some other part of the soldiers' heads. It is further proved by official figures that when a soldier has been wounded, even seriously, his chances of ultimate recovery are very high. On the basis of a table compiled by the German War Department, out of every 116 American soldiers wounded in Cuba or Porto Rico, 99 will eventually get entirely well. Of the remaining 17 out of the 116 wounded soldiers, 9 are found to die of their injuries on the ground before they can be removed, and an average only of 11 die after reaching the hospital. So that the chances of tha American soldier returning home alive were 99 out of 116. — London Mail.
Hints Toward Pronunciation: Vowel Sound.
f "I must say," declared an American lady t on her return from, a visit to England, "they ! have some curious ways of pronouncing over ■ there. Why, there's a family, for instance, which spells its name C-h-o-l-m-o-n-d-e-l-y, I ! and pronounces it Maroh-banks ! " A reader in tho other hemisphere desires to know- how I pronounce my name. Well. I pronounce it " Cooch." It signifies "red," I believe ; and hence (since we are on personal topics) the- colour of my hair. With the austere Wordsworth I am not One who much or oft delight To season my fireside with personal talk — or, for that matter, any other person's fireside; so perhaps this slight concession to Transatlantic curiosity may be forgiven. My | correspondent further inquires about the pronunciation o! Pall Mall Magazine. It should be "Pell Mell." And, to crown tho absurdity, the editor, Lord Frederio Haroil- j ton, pronounces bis Christian name just as if he spelt it with a " k " at the end. , But my own case is the worst; for though I never invented the pronunciation I can only prevail on a few friends (outside of CornI wall) to believe in it. The poet Cowper had j the same difficulty with the same vowel sound. i I understand that he called himself "Cooper." | Popular pronunciation, like George Stephon- | son's locomotive, makes it bad for the "coo. i Quillor Couch, in the Pall Mall Magazine.
Worried About the Queen*
"About five years ago," said an asylum doctor lately, "a small Midland chemist lost his reason completely through trying to invent a perfume which would reduce the weight of anyone who regularly inhaled it. His idea was that the Queen waa becoming too embonpoint to be healthy, and he meant to prevail upon those around her to use his perfume for the purpose of reducing her weight. "Another man so much deplored the depressing effect produced on her Majesty by ! the loss of so many of her relatives and j friends, that he conceived the idea of mes- , marising her and rendering her permanently ' forgetful of her sorrows. For two years ho i watched and waited for an opportunity to carry this design into effect, and finally his mind gave way altogether. ! " Several inmates of asylums firmly believe that the Queen is being kept a prisoner by her soldiers, and that this is why she never walks about the streets of London like other people. In two or three cases their removal to madhouses was the direct result of their efforts to set her Majesty free, and the ingenuity of some of their schemes to this end ] would simply astonish you."
I ! Try Our " 98' Curzons ! " j
: A FEW*FASHION HINTS FOR MEN. i When a man becomes famous he is sure to have something named after him. Brougham had a carriage, Gladstone a bag ; everyone nowadays who has attained any celebrity may be sure his name is being carried round the necks of the multitude, printed on the inside 1 of unnumbered collars. In the article which appeared in Answers a couple of weeks ago on the subject of straw hats there were a good many varieties depicted and described. But these are as nothing compared with the vagaries of the collar trade. There are never less than 600 to | 700 different styles on | j the market. This as- ! tonishing statement j was made by Mr RichI ard Davies, of Wood j street, who, if anyone, ! ought to know what lie was talking about. j "Collars," my infori mant went ( on, "are growing higher and higher. A few years ago a 2|in collar was considered lofty ; 2^in and 3in are quite common nowadays. Lately we had a large order for 3iin, and, if you'll believe me, I made several dozen recently 4in in height. 'Of course your readers will want to know
[ what are the fashionable shapes. For ordinary town or wear the high stand-up, with points turned down at will, is still in vogue. It should not quite meet in front, and the points should not bo too much pulled over. This shape we call the 'Curzon,' but other manufacturers have different names for it. That, by the by, is the worst of the collar trade, from a purchaser's point of view. He asks for a collar by the name he -is accustomed to, and very I likely his draper i doea not know it by' the same name at all. Some of tho papers have been insisting that tho square turn is coming in. But this is not so. The 'Curzon' shape is undoubtedly the fashion. "Many still stiok to the 'H.R.R.'. * I shape — the shape that people expressively call tho stand-up turn-down. You may not be aware that it was actually the Prince himself who introduced this shape. He got them originally about eight years ago from a manufacturer oalled Charvet, in Paris. They are convenient in some ways, but purely must .Make the neck very warm. C "When you think a collar is made "of no less than four thicknesses of linen, this doubled is an appalling amount of | stuff to wear in hot weather. If you have ever dissected a collar you will have noticed the two inner layers are of coarse cotton - linen. This is to hold the starch. These 'H.R.H.' collars are merely modifications of the old ' Polo ' collar, the old-fashioned turn-down collar which boys wear at school before promoted to 'taila' and 'stick-ups,' and which is still used in India. "It was Lord Rosebery who popularised the square turn-down. At one time he always wore it, only he always had them made with the points rounded instead of square. Mr Gladatone is said to have once chaffed him on the very youthful appearance these collars gave him. Of course, tka collar worn by tho former lamented statesman wag unique, and, , 1 fancy, was hardly over worn by anyone else. . "The military collar is much of a favourite with others besides army men. It is the stand-up shape that doubles over in front, and has tha buttonholes cut right into it, not on projecting tabs. It, ii, as a rule, cut low, 2in at the outside. Officers generally wear them about ljjin. "It may be of interest to know that Mr Curzon wears ' the collar named after him. "Taking it all in all, in spite of the vast number of different shapes on the market, only four or five are ever really smart in one season. We Brits' ishers are !a conservative lot in this w a y. Americans go in for all sorts of weird and outbut these don't of-the-way shapes, catch on here. "It's a curious thing to notice how nearly the ladies follow men's styles in collars. And they are wearing them two and a-quarter inches t high now, even in the 'H.R.H.' shape." — A nswers.
As She Read It.
The possibilities of complications arising from the "sight" method of teaching children to read was amusingly illustrated a few days ago. A little girl who had acquired the art of reading in an incalculably brief period by this system of recognising words without dissecting them was reading aloud to her delighted father rer favourite fairy tele. i All went well till the maid announced, with ! the dramatic intensity proper to the thrilling I finale, "And tho King put the hand of the Princess into that of the Prince, saying ' Take her ; for sho is tlin.' " I | " What ! " gasped the father, overcome by ; i this unlooked-for denouement. "It can't be ] ! possible. Let me see the book." ! " You see," insisted the child : " there it j f is," pointing to the sentence. " 4 Take her ; j | for she is thin.' " j Looking over his daughter's shoulder, tie I father iead, " Take her; for sho is thine."
Delane's Great Beat.
Mr Delane, who for seven-and-tlnrty years was editor of The Times, possessed the various qualities needful to make a good journalist in combination, and all of them to a very unusual degree. With what sagacity he conducted that journal is known, though I may remark not fully known, to the outside world. There is perhaps nothing about which the outside world is more curious than the ineide of a great newspaper office, and nothing about which the outsider knows less. There is an anecdote of Delane which shows him in full possession of this intuitive gift; or as we should say in New England shows what a good guesser he we**
Lord Maj^o, Viceroy of India, had been assassinated in 1872. The situation was critical, and there was extreme interest to know who was to be Lord Mayo's successor. Mr Gladstone was then Prime Minister, and it was never easy to conjecture what Mr Gladstone might do, especially where a personal question had to be taken into account — judgment of men not being Mr Gladstone's strong point. Mr Delane was .a great diner-out. He met at dinner Sir William Gull. There was a discussion at table upon tho effect of olimate on constitutions. "By tho way," said Sir William, " Lord Northbrook was asking me to-day whether I thought tho climaxe of India would suit him." Tho subject dropped— no more was said. Mr Delane drove straight to The Times office, and The Times next morning announced that Lord Northbrook had been appointed Viceroy of India. His sole authority was this casual remark at dinner. Lord Northbrook, who was then Under-secretary j for War, had not been mentioned as a can- < didate for the post. To name him was something more than a splendid guess — it waa an aut of courage which success justified. — Harper's.
Conversation was brisk, and various subjects were being warmly discussed. At last someone inquiringly said: "I often hear of what is known as the magic number. What number is it? " " Oh," exclaimed one of the wise men in the room, "nine, of course. There are nine Muses, you know, and you talk of a nine days' wonder. Then you bowl at ninepins, and a oat has nino lives." " Nonsense-." interrupted another. "Seven is iho magic number. Seventh heaven, don't you kuow, and all thst. Seven colours in the rainbow ; seven days in the week ; seventh son of a seventh son is always a great fellow ; and " "Pooh, pooh," remarked a third. "Five must be t.he number you mean. A man has five fingers on his hand and five toes on his foot, and he baa five senses ; and " " Oh, but three is undoubtedly the magic number," assented another, " because people give three cheers, and Jonah was inside a whale three days and three nights, and if at first you don't suoceed try, try again— three times, you see." This was received with, perhaps, a little contempt by the company, and a soulful, sentimental youth gushed out : " Two, oh, tvo is the magic number. One's self and one other—the adored one. Just tvo and no more." A hard-featured individual, who had been listening to the conversation hitherto unmoved, here remarked in a harsh voice : "In this world the magic number is No. 1, and if you want to succeed, never forget it." Then the company changed the topic.
Hard to Convince.
The fondness of dyspeptics for eating any food which particularly disagrees with them i 3 well known. Mr Wilson, a highly-esteemed resident of a certain, town, is a dyspeptic, and his wife's trials are varied and many. "I don't think that Mr Wilson will continue to eat cucumbers now," she said with a sigh in answer to the question of a sympathetic neighbour. "I'm sure when he gets over this attack he will be convinced that thoy really don't agree with him." " I thought he'd had three attacks lately from eating them," said the neighbour bluntly. "That is the way it appears to outsiders, I know," said Mrs Wilson, "but this is the way he explains it. His first attack came ■after eating cucumber salad — in spite of my warnings — at hia Cousin Mary'o when we took dinner with them. " .But when he recovered he said it might have been something else that made him ill ; so he insisted on having the salad made at home, and eating a great deal of it. Then after he recovered from that attack, he said he didn't feel sure the trouble was caused by the cucumbers — it might have been the dressing. "So as soon as he was able he ate half a large cucumber, sliced, just with the vinegar. This has been the worst attack of the three, and I think he is satisfied." Just then Mr Wilson, the picture of forlornness, entered the room. "Maria." he said, looking at his wife with a gleam of fresh hope in his eyes, "I believe it was the vinegar that upset me, and not the cucumber at all ! I'll try sugar next time !" Mrs Wilson groaned, an dthe sympathising neighbour left the room without a word.
Humble Mimics of Royalty.
An extraordinary feature of a certain class of London's poor is its weakness for trying to emulate the little fads and fancies indulged in by Royalty. For instance, there is a retired coster who, in imitation of the Prince of Wales, has for years never smoked anything cheaper than a half-crown cigar. Naturally, at such a price he can only allow himself the pleasure of a weed on very rare occasions; but even the most pressing temptation has never induced him to injure his reputation of smoking the same brand of cigar as the Prince. _ An East End publican, on hearing that the Prince of Wales wears a new pair of gloves every time he goes out, actually bought up a whole bankrupt stock of these useful articles of apparel, and has never since worn the same pair twice. This is scarcely as queer — and, at the same time, pathetic— as the fad of an old laundry woman, which is to imitate the Princess of Wales's fancy for ivory-collecting;. She Bponds half her earnings buying up old piano keys, ami similar doubtful specimens of ivory, priding herself that she indulges in the same hobby as H.R.H. Another East End woman has an ambition to look like 'the Queen. Her hankering is helped by a very slight resemblance to her Majesty, and this encourages her to mock the Queen's old-fashioned bonnet and walking stick with the most faithful care.
That Was the Question.
Sandy Me , a Forfarshire farmer, had been spending an hour or two in the evening with a friend a couple of miles away. It was a moonlight night, and Sandy, after partaking freely of his friend's hospitality, was riding quietly home across the sheep pastures on his " quid auld mare," when they came to an open diLch which hia mare refused to cross. "Hoot avva', Maggio," said the rider, " this winna dae. Ye maun jist gang ower." He turned back about a hundred yards, wheeled round and gave the mare a touch of his whip. On she went at a brisk canter; but just as they reached the edge of the ditch she stopped dead, and shot Sandy clean over to the other side. Gathering himself up Sandy looked his mere I A^aichii in the face and saidj,
I "Vera weel pitched, indeed, ma las 3, Bu| [ hoo are ye gaun tae get ower yersel', eh?"- « Fooled Again I " The old master had known all about " crib* bing" as a schoolboy, and had never forgotten the little tricks and dodges. One day during an examination the keen-< eyed teacher observed one of his pupils take out his watch every minute or two. The pedagogue grew suspicious. Finally he strode slowly clown the aisle and stopped in front o£ Willies desk. " Let me see your watch," he commanded. " Yes, sir," was the meek reply. The teacher opened the front of the case. He looked somewhat sheepish when he read th« single word, " Fooled 1" But he was a shrewd man. He was not to be thrown off the scent so easily. He opened the back of the case. Then he was satisfied* There he read : "Fooled again!"
He'd Learn all About It.
A boy was returning from taking his father's breakfast in a breakfast can when another, boy came up to him and gave the can a kick. " Do you care about me kicking the can?''' ..- said the newcomer. t " No, I don't," replied the other boy. "Do you now?" said the former, giving the can another kick. " No, I don't" answered the latter. "Do you now?" cried the infuriated bully, giving the can such a kick that it knocked the bottom out. " No, I don't," again replied tho boy with' the can; "my mother borrowed it from your mother this morning, and you'll know all about it when ye gets home."
Blue Eyes for Bull's Eyes.
" I can always tell by a man's eyes whether or not he will make a good rifle shot," said the winner of many prizes at Bisley to the writer. "If you take the first 100 in the Queen's any year, or the Queen's prizemen since the beginning, you would find that three out of every four have blue or blue-grey eyes; and, roughly, the ratio is observed among the winning marksmen in all the competitions. " Why it should be so, I really cannot say, but men with brown eyes are very rarely good shots ; and if you were to pit a team of blue-eyed men against a team of brown eyes, it would be something like 20 to 1 that the blue eyes would win."
EDITOR'S WALLET., Otago Witness, Issue 2331, 3 November 1898
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