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LONDON LETTER. I i - a i

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LONDON LETTER. I a ^SPECIALLY WIRED. J I [V OTP. 'JAT.T.E,(}mF.sPo:s'D¡;;N'r.l Loxnox, Sunday Night. TLI- imp romftous weather rendered the fiiiier-,tt a clieerte- core- I heavy with rain, was borne aC.i)s:1 Fulham Churchyard as the last :nt><> ol respect was heing paid to the memory of tUo deceased prelate. Notwith- standing tho unfavourable atmospheric con- ditions, however, a numerous assemblage (,-auierod at the ^rave sides, including the i I i),.i of Manchester, Lichfield, and Uinoii, and several colonial pre- lates. The burial service was con- ducted by t h, A fehbishop of Canterbury and the bishop uf Bedford, who is really tne smiVa^'an Bishop for East London, to whom J 'r..);ukson assigned a great part of the routine episcopal work in that populous part of the capital. Fulham Palace, the late bishop's residence, adjoins the church- yard, so that, the mournful procession was a v.-allnng one. Happily for the comfort of those who had come to witness the obsequies, t he service was not unduly prolonged, and they were not called upon to protract their siay on the saturated earth, in the face of a bitterly cold wind. One of the members to disappear from the House of Commons at the closing of the present Parliament will be Alderman Sir Iloberi. Carden, who is eighty-three. Barn- staple, which returned the venerable city kni ght, is to cease to have an independent political existence, and Sir Robert's Liberal colleague. Lord Lymington, contest the South.. Molton division of Davo:i. The Earl of Portsmouth, his lord-hip's father, is one of the most popular noblemen in that pleasant shire, and has been far more stedfast to his political prin- ciples than the noble owner of Ca3tle Hill, Earl Fortescue, the Ibclical Lord Ebrington of a generation ago, and the very attenuated Liberal of to-day. -<- Mr Charles Pclham Villiers is a fortunate man. Ho has had a statue erected to him in his rifetSfie, and has witnessed the com- pletion of the 50th year of his representa tion of the same constituency. Mr Dis- raeli once described his membership for the county of Buckingham as having extended over a period marked by the passing away of a generation of men, while Mr Villiers has beaten this by twenty years. The subject mentioned by Sir Edmund Hay Currie in the letter which he sent yes- terday to Mr Nathan Robinson, who, like himself, is a member of the Metropolitan Asylums Board, will occupy the attention of that body at its next meeting. The alleged ill-treatment of small-pox patients at the' convalescent camp at Darenth has been denied, or, at all events, the statements have been explained away, and Sir Edmund Currie now objects to Mr Robinson as a member of the Darenth Committee, making public as a vestryman charges against a board of which he is a member, and which, if they existed, would render him liable to public censure. With such matters as this, however, the public have nothing to do, but there is little doubt that a much more searching inquiry will yet be made. On Tuesday, according to present arrange- ments, the technical point raised on behalf of Mr Edmund Yates will come on for hear- ing. It will be remembered that some months ago, in the case of Lonsdale versus the TVfJiM, Mr Yates was convicted of libel, I and in a very savage speech sentenced by Lord Coleridge to four months' imprison- ment. The conviction was at once chal- lenged upon a point of law. In the News- paper Libel Act the good work of Mr Hutchinson, late member for Halifax, it was stipulated that no action of the kind levelled against Mr Yates could be taken, unless the assent of the Attorney General were first obtain' This was obviously designed to frustr.vp those fussy and malicious actions with which newspapers are constantly pestered. The i act was overlooked by Lord Lonsdale's ad- visers, and the necessary consent was not obtained prior to the action being heard. It seems an extraordinary thing that with a dictum thus peremptorily laid down within narrow lines, the case could, in the circumstances, have been heard at all. But everybody, including the judges, seems to have forgotten it. Now that it has been recalled, there appears no alternative but that the conviction should be quashed. It is said that of the five judges two are distinctly in favour of taking that course, and the other three are doubt- less open to conviction. The sentence and the speech in which it was conveyed were regarded at the time as not altogether free from vindictiveness, and every one will be glad if the whole busings falls through. Miss Fortescue has confirmed the estimate formed of her character by all that was made known in court in the breach of pro- mise case. She might have retired from the stage on the £ 10,000 awarded her by the jury, but she preferred to earn her living as before. Of her fortune she settled f,6,000 upon her mother, and went back to the stage. After her provincial tour she will return to London, acting here during z, the season. In September she sails for the United States, intending to remain there playing in all the principal cities over a term of six or eight months. One singular result of the Winter Exhibi- tion of the old masters is that it very fre- quently prepares great surprises for the owners of pictures. Most of the old col- lections were made a hundred or a hundred and fifty years ago. Neither art nor artists were then fashionable. Noblemen laid in pictures just as they laid in wine, only they were pretty good judges of what filled their cellars, but they filled their galleries with less certainty. The portraits were always genuine, but most Venuseswere by Titian and most white horses were by Wouvermans. The canvases hung undisturbed upon the walls, and when ampler knowledge came, it was neither good taste nor good policy to be wiser than one's ancestors. But the modern art critic is very learned indeed, and has his doubts upon most things, except his own capability. He has seen galleries, read books, and is not to be imposed upon. The result s that many poor picture owners have got rude surprises. On critics' day the critics have it all their own way in the gallery. They hold inquests on certain of the pic- tures, hear the evidence of one another, and come out then with wonderfully unani- mous verdicts. There is no one to con- tradict them, and once a thing appears in print there is no one who can contradict them. The Lippi is certainly a Botticelli, the Vinci a Luino, the Luino a Cesede da Sesto, and the general tendency of the critics is to reduce rents."

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