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FROM THE PAPERS. ......-v-........,..""""""..

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FROM LONDON LETTERS. Her Majesty has sent to her private friends a little pamphlet containing a kind of memorial biography of the Princess Alice. It is signed T. M. so I suppose it is the work of Mr. Theodore Martin. There is just one hint in this memorial which is valuable, and it is one which I should like to have seen developed, but, of course, for obvious reasons, it was not possible to do so. Mr. Martin says that the Princess strove to keep abreast with all the best thinking of her time in science and philosophy. It is believed that it was just this which made her so interesting, and she was brought thereby into collision with the Conservative party, more especially in religion. If Mr. Martin would have given us a few of her opinions upon men and things he would really have done some service but I suppose it was on the whole more pru- dent to be silent. There is, however, one point in the biography in which it is really distinguished from most panegyrics of the dead. It is entirely free from cant, and is thoroughly human from end to end.—Birmingham, Post. Is it true that Mr. Burnand is to succeed Mr. Tom Taylor as editor of Punch? If so, we may expect rather a change in the tone of that periodical. From its estab- lishment until the present hour it has always been fiercely "Protestant." So Protestant was it at one time that Doyle had to withdraw from it because he was a Roman Catholic. So Protestant is it still that it wages weekly war on the Ritualists. Mr. Burnand is a clever comic writer-a comic writer, not'a satirist-with none of the earnestness of Thackeray or Jerrold, but skilled in the whipping up of the lightest fun. He is, in fact, a writer of burlesques, and the cleverest after his kind that we have ever had. But he is a Romanist, and one can hardly fancy Punch in favour of his old butt the Pope.-Liverpool Mercury. The Registrar of Friendly Societies, in his report just published, says there are only 58 with an age of 100 years and over. The oldest is the Defoe Friendly Benefit, which was established in 1687. Then comes the Nor- man Society, London, founded in 1703; the Society of Lintot, founded in 1708; the Ovington, founded in 1711 the Goldsmiths, in 1712; the Mutual Brothers, in 1717; and the Friendly Society at the Hope Tavern, Pol- lard's-row, founded in 1720. Imagine our still having a Lintot Club! Was this Lintot really the immortal Lintot of the Dunciad, Curl's competitor the never-to-be- forgotten race of the great second book? Amid that area wide they took their stand, Where the tall Maypole once o'erlooked the Strand, But now (so tune and piety ordain) A church collects the saints of Drury-lane. But lofty Lintot in the circle rose, '• This prize is mine, who tempt it are my foes; With me begun this genius and shall end." He spoke, and who with Lintot shall contend t We do not remember the accident to Curl and his victory, notwithstanding his disastrous fall in the unmentionable filth which in those days was deposited in the streets.— Birmingham Post. The Times and its correspondents have spent a good deal of wrath upon what they please to call the caucus system, and the motives of their dislike to it are too obvious to need any notification of them. Why is not a little indignation reserved for the caucuses consisting of two or three persons who manage the representation of entire counties? Whilst reading the Times article the case of Bedfordshire occurred to me. There has been no contest in that county since 1859, and from 1832 to 1851 there had been none worth the name,ithe great Duke and the smaller Tory proprietors having agreed to divide the representation between them. In 1857 there was a fight, the Duke thinking he could re- turn two members. He was mistaken. Mr. Hastings Russell, the present duke, was at the top of the poll, and Colonel Gilpin, the Tory, was second, although with a very narrow majority of 31 votes only. In 1859 the struggle was renewed, but this time the result was in a measure re- versed, Colonel Gilpin being at the top of the poll, and Mr. Hastings Russell second, the third Liberal being at the bottom. Both parties now thought they had had enough of fighting, and consequently they agreed to a com- promise. The Duke was henceforth to nominate a mem- ber as before, and the Tory landlords were to nominate one. This arrangement is still in force, and is likely to be for some time. The electors of the county have really no more to do with the choice of their representatives than I have. What caucus was ever closer or more despotic than this? And yet,although the same kind of thing exists now in scores of constituencies in England, the Times has no word of condemnation for it. It is a great mis- take, too, to suppose that it was confined, or is confined to counties. When I was living in Marylebone, had I, or had the vast bulk of Liberal electors, any control over the selection of Mr. Edwin James, Lord Fermoy, or Mr. Harvey Lewis ? Absolutely not an atom. I cared not a straw for any one of these nonentities, nor did anybody whom I knew care a straw for them. They were put before roe by somebody in the dark, and I was told that if I did not vote for them the Tory would be returned.— Birmingham Post. Mr. B. M. Ward's sudden illness is now explained. On Friday last the historic painter, in a fit of exhaustion and depression, attempted suicide. This is a sad end to a. career of hard work. For Mr. Ward gained his position almost wholly by work. He had what is called talent and great power of laboiir, and great patience, so that at times they seemed to amount to genius. Some of his pictures are known by everybody. Such is, for example, his "Last Sleep of Argyll;" such, also, is his "South Sea Bubble." Such, again, his "Queen of Prussia and Napoleon." These pictures brought home to the popular imagination, and made familiar without vulgarising, scenes of historic impor- tance. They fell short only of a display of real artistic genius. It is rather disheartening to think that even what was best of his will not last long beyond our own day. His "Last Sleep of Argyll" and "Alice Lisle'" in the cor- ridors of St. Stephen's Palace, are done in the "water glass" method of producing fresco, and, like the very stone of that badly-managed building, are crumbling away.— Liverpool Ilercuvi.


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