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. TOVTN rr A. T-i I-C


TOVTN rr A. T-i I-C BY OTJB SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. Out readers win understand that we do not hold oyrsehies respon- sible for our able Correspondent's opinions. BUSINESS and pleasure alike are being hurried through in order that the dissolution of Parlia- ment may not come before all is prepared for a start into the country. No one can wonder at this. It is not because London is hot, and country houses and shady lanes offer superior at- tractions to Pall-mall, although they can boast of a "sweet shady side;" but every day's delay increases the expense, and adds to the uneasiness of candidates for election. Still, neither business nor pleasure is neglected. And it is not such easy work for a candidate for a London borough as it is for an aspirant to a country one. Thus his work is more or less centralised; he can get all the electors together, and feels that he is always among them. Here he has to rush off from one committee-room to another, address a meeting at the Lamb and Flag in one street, and show himself at the Red Lion in another, never dreaming of weariness, but always looking pleasant, and answering questions and putting electors in a good humour. This is a good time, too, for discussing social questions. The more speeches a candidate can get into print, the better adver- tisement it is for the candidate. Talking about social questions reminds me that I have got a word to say about the Working Men's Club and Institute Union." I was lucky enough to have an invitation to one of these the other evening, and am bound to say enjoyed my visit immensely. In the principal room of the institu- tion I found a very pleasant circle of working men, all of them scrupulously clean, and most of them enjoying their pipes, and carrying on vigorous conversations and discussions in a very intelligent tone. The club I visited was entirely a self- governed institution, passing its own laws and rules, and only casually depending on the Union for assistance. There was an admirable library- in which, of course, no smoking is allowed, and there were many deeply intent on the best periodi- cals, magazines, and newspapers of the day. The great objection which is urged against these clubs is that the working man is gradually led to forget the love of home, which should be so strong in his heart. The secretary of the Union, in a little pamphlet, seems to have grappled with this point in a masterly manner. The following paragraph is worth reading :— "Happy they whose home is their chief delight and best recreation, when it ministers to the true and highest welfare of all who dwell in it. But it must never be forgotten how very different, in point of ac. commodation, means of amusement, and of inviting friends, or in opportunities of quiet, and of refreshing conversation, a working man's home at present too often is, compared with those of the middle and upper classes, and how little we ought to wonder if a man is impelled to break his resolution, to return to the society of the tap-room, and to such amusement as it affords, from sheer want of some other society and amusement to which he can resort. There was much truth, however trite, in Sydney Smith's remark, fifty years ago, in the Edinburgh Review,' The true way to attaek vice is by setting up something against it.' The year 1865 will be remembered as the date of another great Handel Festival. The festival of 1862 was great enough. It was a triumph this year. No words can describe the effect of the singing of those sublime choruses by 3,500 pitched voices in such a building as the Crystal Palace, which was this year arranged so that for acoustic purposes it was almost perfect. Mdlle. Patti was, perhaps, a poor substitute in the solos for Mdlle. Titiens, who quite electrified the audience in 1862 But what was to be done ? The'price at which .p Mr. Mapleson estimated the value of the services of this great artiste for the week over which the festival extended, was not less than a thousand pounds. It has been the fashion for some time to abuse our street architecture, and to institute invidious comparisons between London and other great cities of Europe. This may be in the main cor- rect, but there is a little corner at the bottom of Parliament-street from which a view of the new Westminster-bridge and the Houses of Parliament is obtained. This peep may safely stand on its own merits, particularly now that the old rickety houses on one side of Palace-yard have been pulled down. The idea of building Palace-yard on the side of Bridge-street has now been given up. A row of trees is to be planted instead; and the end of the Clock Tower, which was left bare and ugly for the intended new wing, will now be made pretty again. Great fears are, however, enter- tained that before new stones are laid the old ones will have to be patched up. Most of the stone- work of the river front is crumbling away, and dainty carved work is beginning to look very dis- reputable. The first stone of the new Houses of Parliament was laid only twenty-five years ago, and decay is already setting in. The grand old Abbey on the other side of the street has stood for hundreds of years, and is as good as new." Look on this picture, and on that." Something must surely be done to arrest decay. While on the subject of architecture, I may mention, perhaps, another very fine hotel which has been built in Salisbury-square, out of Fleet- street, which offers unusual attractions for country visitors, as it has been started nominally for the accommodation of members of the Farmers' Club. The old club premises got too small for them, and so they built the Salisbury Hotel, which is partly occupied by the members, the greater portion of the building being devoted to ordinary hotel visitors. The building is, as buildings go, wonder- fully cheap. It was built for about half the cost of the most expensive ones which have lately been erected in London. Be that as it may, everything both inside and out looks solid and good, a remark which applies more particularly to the furniture and internal decorations, which are uniform and in perfect taste. There have always been great complaints' that there is no really good hotel in I the City. This want seems now to have been 1 supplied. Every one must remember the gossip that got about not long since, in which the names of the popular Princess Mary of Cambridge and Lord Hood were mixed up. Some said they were sincerely attached to one another and only wanted consent, others declared that they had been secretly united. Now, however, that the canard has dropped through, it is stated that Viscount Hood is to unite his destinies with those of a Miss Ward. The great success of that mysterious journal the Owl, has induced some spirited people to start a rival semi-facetious, semi-political journal called the Bat. In shape, style, and price it exactly resembles itp nightly companion; but its politics are strictly Conservative. I rather doubt its success. There may be room for an Owl, but an Owl and a Bat are, perhaps, too much of a good thing. The last new evening penny paper, the Glow- worm-another animal, by the way, and a nightly one—depends chiefly upon the extraordinary number of editions that are published. Directly anything exciting occurs out comes another edi- tion of the Glowworm. The other evening there was a great fire close by Charing-cross, which broke out about six o'clock. Before seven, queer little boys, in a fantastic dress of bright yellow and scarlet were shrieking out, Latest edition of the Glowworm I Awful fire in Northumber- land-wharf From the room in which I sat I could see the fire still raging, and was of course tormented by the shrill voices of the yellow boys. There is to be no Ministerial dinner at Green- wich this year. The cares of the State must be heavy, indeed, to tempt the Premier and his fol- lowers from the luxuries of u plain" and devilled 'bait. Z.







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