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TOPICS OF THE DAY. (From Our Special Correspondent. )

Precis. I A Case of Mistaken- Identity— Tub Wrong Pkw— " Aloks. Six Francs !"-Tiie Murdeb Scare— Escape ok tin? Gkntle Jackson— Four Brand-new Murderers at Laruk- j Persecution ok Miss Violet Lane boxROWDEX AGAIN IN CIIAHGK-Tviß SAME OLD Game-Ali. about it-Thb Rising GenkraTION — "ABSCESS ON THE JAW — TIIREK Promising Sons ok Famous Fathers— An Exi'knsive Fkkak-Mdmk. Patti in a New Light -She Kuins an 010 Friend-Ok-kknded Vanity — Pt.ays and Players — Some Succkssks — "Pull Plays at the Lyceum— The Derby-Manchester Cur— The £5,000 Whitsuntide Plvtk—A Tame Derby Day-Tiik Favouri-ie's Victor y— Crowbekry Badly Ridden— The Grand PKlZr— AUTOBIOGRAPHIES — IllK CKY 10, Still They Come"— IIObUNGSHE vr>. Payn and Meredith— New Books— Miss UrvdDON'S LArEST-"BUKGLAR BILL," 1«TC M ETC. London, June 1. A story, which if nob true- is distinctly ben trovato, lias been going the round of the clubs this week about thoauthor of "H.M.S. Pinafore." Mr Gilbert had been bo a big reception at the Groovcnor, and was wait* ng in tiie hall for his wife to gob ready, when j\'r Benzoncamc running downstairs^ and aistaking him for a waiter, drawled, "Cat me a tour-wheclcv." Mr Gilbeit screved his erlass in his c) c, and looking the plunger full in the face observed," You area, four-wheeler." " What the blank blank dc you mean ?" said Benzon. "1 believe you a-ked :ne to call you a four-wheeler," implied Gilbert, placidly. " Well, I hnvo ione so. 1 really couldn't call you hansom (handsome) you know." Another cuirent yar i relates how the Hon. MissX., a young old-maid, stia^ed by mistake into Boulogne Protestant Church on a "churching" Sunday for women. Certain pews are &et apart on these occasions for the matv.ns wishing to return thanks, and into one of them ill-fated Miss X. walked. Presently, round came the sacristan for the fees, " Cinq francs, madame '' *' Mais, mais, je ne suis pas marriai," declared the blushing lady, upon whom the situation was beginning to daw n. But the abominable sacristan did not go away. On the contrary, dirugging his shoulders with intense significance, he observed, " Alcrs, six francs, Mad'moiselle !" Tableau. The Whitsuntide holidays were splendidly tine, and people have returned to town looking worlds better for their trips to the seaside or into the country.

A Murder Scare. It looks very much as though wu shall shortly have a murder scare. Undoubtedly there is some excuse for one. At the present moment there are no fewer than four brand-new murderers out and about taking their pleasure, and the police, with "an organisation worthy of the Jesuits, and infinitely more costly {vide "P.M.G.") seem* helpless. The case of the desperate criminal Jackson, who after brutally killing a prison warder managed to break out of Manchester Gaol, and has been careering about the country ever since, burgling food and clothes at one place, and money at another, and calmly defying capture, reads quite like a "'Jack Sheppard " romance of the last century. When the man's escape v.'Psannounced thepolice boastfully guaranteed to have him under lock and keyagain in 24 hours. That was more than a week ago, and Jackson is still at laige. Xor have the Metropolitan detective 5 ! been more successful in tracing the two assassins who, without any apparent motive, murdered poor old Mrs Wright, of Canonbury (North London) ; nor the young man who brained another in broad daylight in Regent's Park. Moreover, a newspaper reporter, with an inquiring mind, has discoverrd that though 23 mysterious crimes were committed in and about London during the last three years, only 9 of them were successfully sifted and the murderers brought to book This does not say much for our Criminal Investigation Department, and the public confidence in detective astuteness, begotten by the frustration of the dynamibard plot, is on the wane. Altogether, as I have said, 1 shouldn't wonder if we had a genuine murder scare.

The Persecution of Miss Lane-Fox. It seems altogether incredible that heavy fines combined with two long terms of imprisonment should not have convinced Mr Edward Rowden of the danger of continuing to persecute Miss Violet Lane-Fox. But the man's malignancy seems unquenchable, and so long as he respects certain conventionalities, the law cannot help the young lady. Where, then, people will ask, are Miss Fox's male relations or friends ? The answer is — Ready, only too ready, to thrash Rowden. The cur would, in fact, have been reduced to jelly long ago if Miss Fox had not implored her friends not to mix up her name in another esdandre. For the same reason the poor girl has for the last six months elected to fight Rowden single-handed and gilently. The man came out of prison in January, and at once recommenced following Miss Fox everywhere like an unwholesome shadow. At concerts, at theatres, in the Park, and often in private houses where ne had no right, Rowden was perpetually en evidence. He correctly guessed that so long as he kept within the strict letter of the law, Miss Fox would say nothing. She and her mother absolutely endured this d readfui ordeal for three months. Then the girl's nerves broke down, and she declared she could yo out no more. A meeting in the Park at which Rowden spoke to her, and when she refused to see his hand plucked at her dress, may have intensified her horror ; anyhow, Lady Conyers's house was blockaded, for Rowden could always be f-een walking up and down patiently waiting. Fortunately, at this time the fellow committed himself again by writing a grossly libellous letter, and Lady Conyers reluctantly determined to once more appeal to the law for help. Unfortunately, very little could be done, The offence per se was not serious, and as Rowden (through his coun&el) apologised, the magistrate could only bind him over to find two sureties of £500 each that he would be of good behaviour for six months. As the sureties were not forthcoming, Rowden has accepted the Queen's hospitality for that period. When he comes out I understand a vigilance committee of young " bloods " is to be formed to protect Miss Lane Fox, unless, as seems probable, a husband claims the privilege. The origin of Bowden's infatuation is wrapped in mystery, as neither Miss Violet Lane Fox nor her sister (now Lady Yarborough), whom he also persecuted for a time, ever addressed a friendly word to him. I fancy, though, that now Rowden has got fairly to the end of his tether. In low life, said the Magistrate, duch persecution would have soon ended or rather been ended, but in high life 'tis decreed that nothing worse can happen to a girl than to be talked about. It is on this knowledge cowardly scoundrels of Rowden'B type trade. Lord Conyers (Miss Fox's father-in-law) is a great invalid, and their are no young men in the family. Se /eral gentlemen friends have at various times interviewed Rowden, pledged not to create a scandal. On such occasions he has always seemed strictly reasonable,

and promised all that has been asked. Mr Vaughan (the Magistrate) moro than hinted that) a madhouse would be his eventual destination, but Rowden only smiled. Before Parliament ros>e for Whitsuntide it was suggested that some special law should bo framed in order to onablo the Magistrates to deal adequately with nuisances of the .Rowden type.

The Rising Generation. The pretty colours of Lord Randolph Churchill have been to the fore several times htoly on the While Lily, colt (just christened St. Serge), and L'Abbesso do Jouarro, or "Abscess on the Jaw," as the bonkioseall her. The latter will probably win a nice stake at Ascot, tor which she is now in reserve. Lord Randolph bet^ moderately only, and po docs young Loid Dudley, who has not so far had many streaks of luck. He comes of age to-morrow, but the usual festivities will" not take place till autumn. His lordship lias resolved to resettle the estates, which were entailed sixty years ago by the celebrated Lord Dudley. Witley alone i» worth C 900,000. Three promising sons of famous fathers will in all probability enter political life next year— Mr "Zulu" Harcourt, Mr Coning&by Disiaeli, and Mr Austin Chamberlain. The former has already made a name as a lining speaker at the Oxford Union, where ho is very popular, and report also speaks well of young Disraeli. Young Chamberlain I know nothing about.

Au Expensive Fi-eak Some facts have transpired in connection with poor old Colonel Mapleson's. bankruptcy which do not reveal the adored and (let us still hope) the adorable Madame Patti in a very angelic light. Mapleson, you will most of you know, i&, or rather was, the great operatic impresario, and inaugurated the much-abused "star"' system. It is, to a great extent, owing to Lib mistaken efforts, that Madame Patti and other great singers can now command the preposterous sums they do. In Court the other day tho Colonel swore to having paid Madame Patti alone £300,000 in a few years. His system, j however, killed Italian opera and has I brought him to bankruptcy. Last year, after a bad season at Her Majesty's, Mapleson engaged Patti to sing twice— once in the "Traviata" and once in "Faust." I was there on the Hist occasion, and can lcmember 1 thought tho house was full, but not crowded. The prima donna, however, it seems con sidered the "house" insultingly empty, and refused (even to save her old friend and impresario from ruin) to fulh'l her contract and sing again. Tho Colonel had, with srreat difficulty, scraped together the t'1,500 La Diva demanded for the performance, and lodged it to her credit at the bank. She knew this, and understood perfectly that by refuting to sing she would bi ing about the final colUpj-e of the enterprise, yet f-he heartlessly persisted in her resolve. Such, at any rate, is Colonel Mapleson's story. Things* fell out much as he expected they would, under the circumstance*, and the poor man i^ now struggling through bankruptcy. I hear, however, that a numbei of ci editors who are vocali&ts, and have received much kindness and large ;r-alaried from the broken-down impresario, are clubbing together to set him on his legs again presently.

Plays and Players, The '"Pirates of Penzance " -how& biyns of giving out at the Savoy Theatre, and "The Mikado" has in consequence been put in rehearsal. Mr Robertson will replace Mr Durward Lely, and Miss Geraldine Ulmar, Miss Leonora Braham. Otherwise, the cast m ill be the same as during the original nin. Mi W. S. Gilbert has been so busy lehear&ing his new phenomenon, Julia Neil&on, in •'Pygmalion and Galatea"' and "Broken Heart-..'" that tho new piece for the Savoy has hung tire. Mi&s INeilson improves on acquaintance, but the general impression is that she will never rite much above la belle Fortescue's level. Wilson Barrett has, as I expected, scored a great artistic success with " Ben-my-Chree " (Girl of my Heart). I have not seen the piece yet, ©o I won't say more than that for once the critics are unanimous. The success of the play ha», of course, led to people asking for the novel on which it is founded, and piles of " The Deemster " are now on every bookstall. A very strong triumvirate will open the new Court Theatre in September. Mr John Hax*e has joined Mrs John Wood and Mr Arthur Cecil whilst his own theatre is building, and will play Coquelin's part in the English version of " Les Surprises deb Divorces," which Sydney Grundy is preparing. Anywhei'e save at the Lyceum neither "The Amber Heart" nor "Robert Macaire" would draw, but Irving and Ellen Terry seem exempt from the tests applied to other performers. If a muchbored individual ventures to pronounce the play dull (as the " Amber Heart " undoubtedly is) or out of date (like " Robert Macaire"), he is made to feel that there is something lacking in himself (probably "culchaw"), and not in the plays. "If you can't appreciate the Lyceum I'm sorry for you," says Mrs Grundy, severely, and you feel " kerushed."

The Derby. This is the great horsey week of the year. We are nothing if not horsey between Ep&om and Ascot. The Derby was run on Wednesday, and to-day all the world and his wife are having a little " flutter " over " the Ladies' Race, 'as turfites denominate the Oaks. Before, however, proceeding to telJ you how the Blue Riband of the Turf \vt 3 lobt and won, just a few lines about labt week at Manchester, where, by the "way, the general sport was of a far higher character than it has so far proved at Epsom. The least fancied of the seven animals really well backed for the Manchester Cup of 2,ooosovs, over a mile and three-quarters, has proved successful. This was Lord Bradford's Merry Andrew (3yrs, 6st lib), a nice colt, by Chippendale out of Jubilant, that beat old Selby (6yrs, 7st 41 b) by a neck, tho much-fanced Scottish King running a bad thhd. The favourites Reve dOr and Johnny Morgan cut up wretchedly, the latter compounding altogether after going a mile. Tissaphernes was off colour and will &cc a bettor day, j and so will Lady Muncaster, who started at 50 to 1. Merry Andrew's price was 7 to 1 to win, and 11 to 10 for a place, for which he was very backed. The ring, however, had plenty to pay up with. In the Whitsuntide Plate for two year-olds of 5,00050v5., which was till this year the richest race of its kind, the Duke of Porbland's splendid colt Donovan failed to concede 141b to Mr I'Anson's Chitabob (by Robert the Devil, out of Jenny Howlet) a colt which had been so highly tried that defeat was considered out of the question. There was a big field, and several youngsters were stoutly befriended. General Owen Williams's L'Avare, especially,wound up a hot favourite at 9to 4 ; Chitabob, however, won very easily, finishing 4 lengths in front of Donovan, with Bryony third. There did not seem to me to be nearly aa many people at Epsom as usual on Wednesday, when Ayrshire hand&omely follow ed up his Two Thousand win by securing the Derby. The day was fairly fine, and the course presented its usual features, but there was a deadly tameness about the proceedings which contrasted unfavourably

with Jubilee Stakes day at Kempton. The steady opposition to tho favourite wore off when ho was seen, and the plunging fratornity "froing" for the redoubtable "Jummy's" colb, that animal finished up "red-hot" at odds of 1 1 to 10 on. The great B. P. can't afford to lay odds on, and had consequently declared for either Orbit or Crowberry, a fact which probably explains why the victor was not greeted with any great enthusiasm. ".lummy'' (as His Grace of Portland's friends call him) looked ladianbas he led Ayi - ehiro back to the paddock, but Crowberry 's backers wero tho rovcivc of satisfied, in fact any other jockey save Jno. Osborne would have been hooted. The truth is, old Jno. got »\\x\b in, and when at last he came with a wet sail it) was too late. Barrett, how- j ever, had to shako up Ayrshire to win, and what would have happened had the race been a mile and threc-quai lens instead of a mile and a-half it is impossible to say. \ an Diomen's Land (a gi'cab " sharps" tip) , fairly raced Orbit out ot the third place for \ which the public supported him heavily, and (Jaloie failed to .--lay. In the paddock Orbit made most friends and finished up second favourite. Tho stakes were only worth aboub €3,500 (rather difiei cut to the £7,000 of Loul Lyon's year), and no largo uinncjs are leported yesterday. Mcny Andrew, the Manchester Cup winner, defeated a urooj. field comprising 1 Neapolis, Johnny Morgan, Toscano, and Scene Shifter, f.>r the Epsom Grand Prize, now \\ oi th nearly as much as tho Derby. The victory was only seemed by a short head fiom Neapolih, Scene Shiltor third.

'Autobiographies. '' The cry is, still they come " Toolc and "friend living" wo ha\o long known intended Lo follow the Bancrofts' example, but 'tis news to learn that John Hollingshcad means to give us a history of his management at the Gaiety Theatre and to enlighten us as to the innermost recesses ofthosacied lamp of burlesque. It ought to be a very racy chronicle, especially if " Honest John " furnishes biographies of his loading "starts'' and can manage to recollect certain famous green-room " chestnuts.' 1 Wilkie Collins, too, is on the warpath, and will contribute an autobiographical article to the June " Universal Review/ James Payn has had a volume of reminiscences in hand for some time past, bub tho date of its publication is unccitain, and the .-amc obseivation applies to Sala'-s memoirs. George Meredith's diaries, etc.. will not bo published till after his death, but o omoonc who has been pormitted to dip therein prophecies great things for his autobiography when it appears. Yates's,Fri(hs's and the Bancrofts would have been more readable if they had not been &o desperately careful to eliminate every trace of acidity. Moredith is not like that. A man of strong feelings, he expresses, then truly, without animus, but alto without humbug.

New Books. The young lady who writes as "Hugh Erioll," and who achieved considerable success with "An Ugly Duckling," has jus.t finifhed her second novel, " Tho Acadomician." As the name implies, it is a story of artist life, and tho sorb of book gir-s { like. People " pish '' and " pshaw "at the ' " Family licrold," bub it " An Ugly Duckling " is not just the class of tale that that peuod'cal habitually prints, I'm much mistaken. Theic's a lot of humbug in reading, as in e\eiything else. Your fashionable young lady, who revels in Mrs Aigles's (the Duchess's) tales when in 3 vols. of Mudie's, would scorn to be seen with tho ''Family Herald " in her hand, and yet most of Mrs A.'s tales run through it serially in the first instance. The Sheffield " Weekly Telegraph " is now the largest and best selected pennyworth of miscellaneous reading in the woild. Tho Messrs Long have spared no expense to bring this about, and have now the satisfaction of seeing their paper circulate, nob merely through all the Midland and Northern counties, but in London itself. Colonists and others who live abroad and order this paper and bhe " Pall Mall Budget" will be kept well au couraut with the world's doings for 6d a week, postage included.

Miss Braddon's Latest Miss Braddon's new story (her 43rd) is called " The Fatal Three," and will be published forthwith by Simpkin Marshall, to whom the copyrights of the Braddon novels have just been sold for £30,000. Miss Braddon has also a tale in hand called "The Day Will Come," which, like " The Fatal Three,' will run serially through bhe " Weekly Telegraph " and its tributaries. If it i 3i 3 true that Ward and Downey gave Miss Warden £2,000 for "A Woman's Face " (which ran through •' Bow Bells " as " Pysche''), I can only say they paid a big price for a particularly rubbishy story. From first to las' bhe person is wrapped in a mystery, which the author leads up to elaborately, but which somehow strikes the reader as abortive. Bereft of mystery, the plot runs thus: — Lord Downshire's agent, a young man of strong passions and deplorable morals, loves his employer's wife. Lady Downshire does not love the agent, bub she encourages him, in order to obtain his help and money. Her ladyship, sad to say, is an out-and-out rambler, such an out-and-outer that once a month she doses her lord with laudanum at bedtime, and, flying to the adjacent city of Liverpool chaperoned by the age"nt, spends several hours placing baccarat in a gambling hell. To make those excursions perfectly safe, the infatuated agent mesmerises his own wife, tho beautiful Pysche, and forces her whilst entranced to occupy Lady Downshire's apartment during the latter's absence. It is the vision of Pysche strolling homewards in her nightgown at 4 a.m., and appaiently last asleep, that first arouses suspicion against the confederate?. How the hero, a youngdocbor, who of course loves tho ill-used Pysche, solves tho mystery of his darling's midnight walks, follows Lady Downshire to Liverpool, and confronts her with her betrayed husband, you can, I daresay, guess. It is all very nonsensical, and London Journalish, quite unworthy, ab any rate, of the clever hand that gave us "Scheherazade" and " The House on the Marsh."

Burglar Bill. j This reprint of the really capital [parodies which appeared in "Punch." under the heading of " Tho Guido to Young lieciters." "Burglar Bill," which is of course a take-off of Mrs Burnetts " Editba's Bm-glar," makes a first-rate comic recitation in capable hands. Mr Chamberlain's secretary gave it at a concert on board the Etruria, when they were returning irom America a few weeks back, with immense effect, When bhe verses, &c, appeared in " Punch " they were generally attributed to Mr Burnand, whose style Mr Ansbey has copied. By the way, Laurence Oliphant's "Seien titic Religion "—published yesterday by Blackwood's —is expected to cause a rare sensation. A clover reviewer tells me it is one of the most daring and remarkable books he has read for years.

New Serials. A new story by Rider Haggard, entitled "Colonel Quaritch, V.C.," is announced for serial publication in " England." Messrs Tillotson also offer a tempting array of fact and fiction to newspaper proprietors, for the coming season. Their list includes.

" Guilderoy," by Ouida ; a translation of a new and guaranteed exceptionally proper novel by Emile Zola, • which is to be run simultaneously in " England " and "Franco;" a f>erie& of " Sketches of Maritime Life," by W. Clark Russell ; " Twice Tried," a goody-goody tale by Miss Swan, author of " Aldersyde," etc.; and a republication of "Detective' Meiklejohn'p Experiences."

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Bibliographic details

TOPICS OF THE DAY. (From Our Special Correspondent.), Te Aroha News, Volume VI, Issue 284, 25 July 1888

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3,659

TOPICS OF THE DAY. (From Our Special Correspondent.) Te Aroha News, Volume VI, Issue 284, 25 July 1888

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