Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

11 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

rr 0 W W TALK.


rr 0 W W TALK. BY OVB SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. -+-- Ofcr rsailers will understand that we do not hold-ourselves respot, *iWe for out able Correspondent's opinions. --+-- I SINCERELY hope that the dangerous fever of sen- sation is not gradually infecting journalism. Cheap literature is one of the greatest blessings we enjoy, but there are things to be carefully avoided, in spreading cheap literature which must be apparent to all. A healthy tone, and faithful and un- exaggerated reports ought of themselves to be recommendations for a newspaper sufficiently strong without foolish puffing and sensational paragraphs. These remarks are suggested by a dangerous trick which has come into vogue lately in London, for selling a quantity of evening newspapers. It seems requisite to have a thrilling placard. The public mind has lately been a good deal agitated, and justly alarmed, by the prevalence of railway catastrophes. This being the case, the announcement of a railway accident would naturally be greedily caught at, as proved to be the case the other evening. I saw a crowd of people around the usual evening placard of a widely circulated newspaper. After a little patience I edged my way in, and saw, in letters about three inches long, the words, Frightful Rail- 9 i!1 way Accident. That was all. No railway was mentioned, no locality was hinted at. How many in that crowd might have' had near and dear relatives or intimate friends travelling .by some line or other on that very day, how maty might I be almost trembling to read the report! The newspaper purchased, the report was almost as vague as the announcement. We were told the line of railway, but received no particulars further than that the carnage was awful." The next morning came, and with it the welcome news that a train of empty carriages had run off the line into the road, and that the officials in charge of it were slightly injured. It was cheering intelligence so far, but the omission of the sensation line at- tached to the evening newspapers might have spared many a sleepless night, and suspense, which spared many a sleepless night, and suspense, which is worse than pain and there would have been less danger of the public ever becoming apathetic through false alarms, in refeieace to a danger which appears to be daily increasing. That was a terrible fire at Messrs. Sotheby and Wilkinson's, the great book auctioneers, and I am afraid the loss incurred by the old established firm will be almost irreparable. Two extremely valu- able biblical libraries had been stored by their owners previous to the fire, co-ntaining books which'can r; ever be replaced, and the loss of which will greatly increase the value of the duplicate copies which also exist in some cases. The library of Gilbert a Beckett, the contributor to Punch, and to whom we are indebted for a great deal of highly amusing comic literature, was also stored, and was to have attracted a large crowd on the occasion of its sale a few days afterwards. And how did it all occur ? A workman in an ad- joining carpenter's shop had left off work for the night, thinking all was safe. But a treacherous glue-po-, lately taken off the fire, had carelessly been left among aheap of shavings, which ignited, and the fire raged so furiously that it could not be extinguished until fatal damage had been done. The cottagers' flower-shows, several of which have taken place lately in London,, deserve uni- versal support. How many poor people have we not amorg us who never see the green fields, or the blossoms on the hedges, or hay-fields, or the changing corn! Still they are contented, and boldly acknowledge that "The view they behold on a sunshiny day Is grand through the chimney-pots over the way." And in hot, confined courts they coax flowers to bloom, and train creepers up their window-sills, and revel in the sight of a bit of green." To such sensible people as these prizes are offered, and the results, as shown by the Bloomsbury Flower Show and Miss Burdett Coutts' Show at Hollv-lodge, are laudable m the extreme. Talking about flowers almost makes me forget that I am in London myself, and that I must remain a prisoner there although the summer sun is shining, and reminds me to tell you that I lately made a discovery. From a certain point in Piccadilly I distinctly saw, with the naked eye, the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, and the outline of the Surrey Hills; so our London atmosphere is sometimes clear enough. Let me further state that it was in the middle of the day. The young men of London, and more particu- larly those who have an interest in a very admir- able society called the Early Closing Association, have petitioned Parliament in favour of opening the National Gallery and British Museum, from seven to ten, during three evenings of the week, to 1 9 enable those employed in shops and warehouses to take advantage of the inestimable benefits offered by these institutions. This seems a very reason- able, but it takes a long time to get a nod of assent from the House of Commons. Those hard-worked civil servants who are invariably laughed at and told that, like the fountains in Trafalgar-square, they play from ten to four, have been trying all the summer to obtain leave to run away from their official desks about two o'clock on Saturdays. Two clear hours, now, on the river, or at cricket in Battersea-park, or, putting the matter in a different light still, the power of getting off by an earlier train to enjoy the much- loved Saturday to Monday, would of course be a priceless boon; and perhaps they will get it— when the leaves are falling, and cosy fires are enjoyed again. The time-honoured fashion of sitting under the trees in Hyde-park on Sunday and seeing the fine folks in their summer dresses and newest bonnets has suddenly been snubbed by the fashionable world. The best people now repair to the Zoolo- gical-gardens and watch the monkeys at play, and lounge about in greater privacy. It is only possible to get into the gardens by an order from one of the Fellows, and these are now eagerly sought for. I always have wondered who leads the fashion in these little matters. Some seasons it used to be the correct thing to walk on one path in the park, the next year, perhaps, it would be changed to another, and now the park is abandoned altogether. I can hardly wonder at this, for reasons of a delicate and social nature, which are, perhaps, best not expressed. We can all remember the lament of the Belgravian mother, which appeared in the Times not so very long ao-o. The Belgravian mother seems determined to do all in her power to put an end to a state of things which should never have been tolerated at any time. Perhaps it is not too late. Apropos of literature, let me state that the advertisement which simply announces "The Wandering Christians," is supposed to refer to Mr. Dickens' always welcome Christmas number and that a firm of well known publishers in Paternoster-row is said to have found matter for an action against the Athenmum, that journal having, it is said, unjustly criticised a book ema- nating from their establishment, and said that the author of the work ought to be flogged! But the Athenseum is always getting into hot water. I don't often make any allusion to matters musical or theatrical, but the name of Giuglini must be so well known all over England that I am tempted to say a few words about an un- fortunate artiste. The poor fellow is hopelessly insane, and I fear will never delight us again with his golden voice." An extraordinary cure was attempted with him lately. He was taken to the very house in which he has so often delighted us, to hear an opera in which he invariably won laurels. He was seen to smile once or twice, but further than that the spectacle did not appear to make the slightest impression on him. Z.



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