Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

12 articles on this Page

llktajpoliian gossip.

News
Cite
Share

llktajpoliian gossip. BY OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. [The remarks under this head are to be regarded as the expression of independent opinion, from the pen of a gentle- man in whom we have the greatest confidence, but for which We nevertheless do not hold ourselves responsible.] London is at length approaching the height of the season. During the dull weather of late winter and early spring, the upper ten thousand have been going to content themselves with the meetings of the scientific societies, with charity bazaars and concerts, and with Mr. So-and-so's soiree, Lady Such-an-one's at home," or the Duchess of Broadacre's ball. But as the year goes on and the bright days have come, we have other and more coveted amusements for the crowds of pleasure-seekers. There are the flower shows, and the morning concerts, and recitals, but above all there are the Royal drawing-rooms and the state concerts and balls. And it is to this phase of the season that we have come. Parliamentary business has been pretty well pushed through, senators of both Houses are looking forward to the dissolution and mentally anathemizing the horribly unpromising state of the moors, and after a few more farewell routs, there will be a closing up of rooms, or brown-papering and yellow-hollanding of windows, and a universal rush to the coast, the country, and the Continent. Before this occurs, however, the Court steps in and brings the fashionable year to a fitting conclusion. Duringthepast week we bave had a Drawing Room and a State Concert, both being presided over by the Princess Alice in the absence of her Majesty and the Princess of Wales. These of course were well attended, and the usual crowd of cockneys and strangers waited for hours to see the equipages arrive with their gay and good-look- ing loads. The Princess Alice is naturally not quite such a great star as her sister-in-law, who has hitherto represented her Majesty at the Court of St. James's, but she is personally beloved, and her affectionate tenderness and kindly consideration at the time of the death of the Prince Consort has endeared her to the British people. The State displays of 1867 seem, to judge by the two just given, likely to be equal in attendance and brilliance to their predecessors. By telegraph we are told that the judiciary com- mittee appointed to consider the case of President Johnson have come to the conclusion that he has done nothing worthy of impeachment, but that he has committed offences which deserve the censure of the Senate and the nation. Uncle Sam has, therefore, after all his blustering and "tall talk," taken a sensible view of the matter. It is quite enough to have had a rebel pres dent on his hands for so long without knowing what to do with him, and so our American Cousin has resolved to confine his reprobations to words. Mr. Johnson will, therefore, be allowed to complete his term of office in peace, and will leave to his successor the thankless task of soothing the war of parties which at present prevails. A lengthy discussion has been going on in the papers upon the somewhat curious subject of veal. It has been asserted by dozens of persons initiated in the mysteries of the butchering trade that veal is whitened 'by the perpetration of horrible tortures upon the .calves, the least of which seems to be bleeding them slowly to death while they are suspended head down- wards from a beam. The butchers, in turn, indig- nantly deny this, and some of them, from the gushing tenderness with which they write, seem to have a sort of fellow feeling for their calf victims. Certainly, the denouncers of the cruelty seem to have proved their point, and as they seek to persuade people to renounce veal until this barbarity is done away with, have succeeded in so far that it would be impossible for any person of ordinary susceptibility, after reading these phillipics, to partake of the daintiest dish of meat "commodity that ever was cooked. I It is rumoured that we have been not a little shabby to our old enemy the Emperor of Russia. People say that he would very gladly have visited England had anybody asked him to come. As it is, the invitation was never issued, and so the British people have lost a chance of seeing the Czar of all the Rusaias, and of showing him by kindly treatment how much they re- spected the brave Muscovites who withstood so long before the walls of SebastopoL He has left Paris on his homeward journey, and very glad the Parisians were to get rid of him. Ever since the attempt of the infatuated Beregowski they have been in a state of chronic terror lest their capital should be disgraced by a regicide. King William of Prussia and Count Bis- marck have also gone home, and at present the biggest man in Paris is the Viceroy of Egypt. It is scarcely to be supposed that the Emperor will treat him as a great monarch. The successor to the Pharaohs, however, takes the best way to be respected by thinking a great deal of himself, and for a time refused to come, when he was requested to arrange his visit so that it should not not be contemporaneous with that of the Sultan, when of course it would have been im- possible to have treated him otherwise than as a vassal. He has thought better of his scruples and is now in Paris, and his master Abdul-Aziz is coming after he goes away. The Emperor and Empress of Austria are looked for early in July, and the Queen of Spain about the middle of September. Indeed, so many Sovereigns either have visited or are about to visit the French capital, that several hopeful Frenchmen have announced the probable arrival of the Pope, President Johnson, and Secretary Seward. It is very much to be questioned whether any of their dignities will be allowed to the banks of the Seine this summer. The military and naval reviews which are to be held in honour of the Sultan next month are likely to be the great events of the season. The Woolwich artillery, seven regiments of cavalry, and a large force of infantry are expected to take part in the military review, and a handsome pavilion will be erected for the Queen and Sultan. The old cry against the Queen's seclusion and retire- ment has again been raised, but this time the reason assigned for her return to public life is somewhat different from that given on previous occasions. It used to be stated that the private manner in which her Majesty chose to live was something very like an insult to the nation now the great plea is that the Queen must return to the full performance of regal duties, because English society needs purifying and regeneration. The folks who make this startling assertion point us in proof of it to the crowds which Burround the bands in the parks, which crowds are neither so select nor so well-mannered as they should be; to the boldness with which vice exhibits itself in our West End streets; to the common practice of smoking in the streets in day-light, and to the fact that the Prince of Wales is received in his club with nods, where the presence of royalty was wont to be acknow- ledged with uncovered head and low obeisance. It may or may not be that these things are evils. The poor and the rude may enjoy the bands as well as the former more select and prime audiences. If vice is more brazened than before, it is perhaps, better that the evil should be known, that it may be shunned; smoking in the streets is undoubtedly rude, but it is becoming a habit, and must be borne with and the Prince of Wales may have found out that the best thing a future king can do is to make himself as much as possible the friend of the people. But granting that these are all unmitigated evils, it is difficult to see how her Majesty's resumption of royal duties would mend them. Would the musicians be surrounded with a more polite crowd because the court was at St. James's? Would the demi-monde flaunt it less gaily and impudently in Regent-street and the Haymarket because there was a Queen in London? Would there be a cigar the fewer smoked because the smokers had been presented to the Queen instead of to the heir apparent ? Or would the Prince of Wales be treated with greater respect when he had fewer royal duties to perform? I think not. We shall all be glad when the Queen comes amongst us once more, but we would not seek to break in upon her retirement. We all love her, but to tell the truth, we jog along very well and very much the same whether she is at Buckingham, or Windsor, or Balmoral. The constitutional machine is a good one, and works well And if English gentlemen are deteriorating and fast becoming like the rakes m the time of the Georges, as the croakers say, they have not the excuse that they copy the Court, and the presence of their pure Queen among them would not for a moment stay their down- ward course. The Lyons Medical Journal has just made public a project which was originated in Bombay, and which was published some years a-o-a project which is serio-comic in theory, but which, if the world would consent to put it into practice, would be grim enough. A French chemist, of the strongest utilitarian ten- dencies, has discovered that at present corpses are wasted whereas they might be made to serve a useful purDose. He says, Coal being exhausted, and since the human carcase is capable of supplying a gas of good illuminating power, why should it not be em- ployed to this end ? By a process of combustion in retorts a corpse of common dimensions may be made to yield twenty-five cubic metres of illuminating gas which, at a cost of twenty-five centimes per cubic metre, would give a value. of about eight francs for a body of ordinary size." Most folks believe that if coal really became exhausted, a substi- tute would be discovered, but few would have thought of corpses as that substitute. The Bombay folks will confer both a sanitary and ill minating benefit on their city if they light the streets with the bodies of the Hindoos, which at present pollute the atmosphere. When the new system of lighting comes in, all burial services will require to be changed, and must perforca contain some allusion to the gas work, and many people who never shgne in their lives will be lights in the world after death. Folks will then have a choice between the dissecting-room and the gasometer, and stout country gentlemen will have the satisfaction of knowing, that their robust frames will, by a process of combustion in retorts," illumine for a time the feasts of their heirs. But why pursue the grim subject further ? It is as well perhaps for the world that there is a little coal gas remaining, and that more susceptible inventors abound. Of the naval review at Spithead no programme has as yet been issued, but it is understood that it will ex- tend over three days; that on the first an imaginary enemy will be driven off; on the second a sham battle will take place between the old wooden ships and the iron-clads; and on the third the fleet will bombard the forts on shore. Preparations are already being made for the reception of an enormous crowd of visitors. The yachting community are also getting their trim little craft in order, so that the accessories bid fair to be almost as attractive as the review itself. The War Office seems to have got into a mess about the new instructions for volunteers. Sir John Pakington was questioned about them on Monday night and does not seem to understand them, although he is Secretary for War. If the head of the depart- ment from which they are issued does not comprehend them, how are those to whom they apply to obey them ? It is evident that the subject will require full discus- sion. The act which forbids volunteers to assemble under arms except for military drill, or duty, without the authority of the Secretary of State, and yet the new regulations submit them to the bidding of any petty magistrate. Doubtless the affair will be intelli- gibly arranged at last, but it does not reflect much credit on the Chiefs of Departments that no matter what party they belong to they should continually be making egregrious mistakes. Of late years the long-worded style of writing has gone out, and the generally-intelligible style has come into fashion. A writer in one of the leading dailies reverted last week to the old style, and told us in rather a grandiloquent article that the eyes of a cer- tain lady were hemected with tears. How many ordinary readers know the meaning of that big word ? The dictionary says—hemect—to wet, to moisten.

A MONSTER IN A HUMAN FORM!

THE COMMISSARIAT OF THE HOUSE…

AN INVOLUNTARY PROSELYTE.

A SAD OCCURRENCE.

THE EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN.

THE SHEFFIELD TRADES' UNION…

! THE LATE ATTEMPT ON THE…

[No title]

A NEGRO PREACHER DESCRIBEDI

A SKILFUL THIEF! •

[No title]