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OUR LONDON LETTER. I

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OUR LONDON LETTER. I [From Our Special Correspondent.] I London. From time to time a little impatience hnv I been shown bv some sections of the com. munity in awaiting- the Government's an. nouncement of the details of their Recon- I struction schemes. As a matter of fact only experts understand the huge volume of ■wor k that has to be undertaken in the pre- paration of some of these schemes. Dr. Addison, for instance, has been engaged for quite twelve months on the details of the pbll for setting up a Ministry of Health. Now thut the Bill is in print, one sees how widely spread are its ramifications. Matters concerned with health have been hitherto within the scope of the Local Government Board, the War Otlice, the Admiralty, the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Education, and several other depart- ments. A host ci powers have to be trans- ferred, and in the course of process the Local Government Board and the National Health Commission will disappear. As Health Minister, Dr. Addison will have to deal with the most varied assortment of problems and people—with $demics and defective school children, with impure milk and lunatics, with sanitation and disabled soldiers, with slums and expectant mothers. He has already drafted a housing Bill, with proposals for acquiring the ftind thus needed, and he arranged some time ago with the Ministry of Munitions to make the material for the houses. He is a very busy man, but he is going to be busier, for this is r. real thing-thl. beginning of Recon- struction. COAX I Never has the report of any Commission in these islands been awaited with more interest and anxiety than that of Mr. Jus- tice Sankey's Coal Commission. At one time, it will be remembered, the crisis in connection with the miners' demands was so acute that it appeared unlikely that any steps taken by the Government or the House of Commons could save the country from a lamentable conflict and a terrible coal famine. Then, in the nick of time, the faithful way in which the Prime Minister depicted the gravity of the situation, com- bined with some patriotic advice from a few of the prominent men in the ranks of labour, served to bring about an armisticc. during which negotiations for peace couJd be discussed under the Coal Commission s auspices. Will satisfactory peoce terms emerge from*" this discussion? The question is occupying the minds of all of us. The favourable signs are the known qualities of some of the Commissioners; the spirit, of geaerou.% concession which is believed to be possessed by more than. one of the em- ,pk>y«rs'representatives, .while the names of Air. Sidney Webb and Mr. Smillie suggest that reasonableness and a genuine watch after a. just settlement are not absent from the efforts put forward on the men's side. THE LIKUTEXANT DISAPPEARS. It has been a matter of discussion with many people as to what was going to happen to the title of Lieutenant when its owner returned from the Army to civil life. If its retention were going to become the practice, its hourly employment in offices, business houses, or even shops would sound at first strange and, later, ridiculous. It was called to mind that in the days before the war. which cound now so far off, the old Army did not recognise the rank of Lieu- tenant. He was always Mr., and his visit- ing card bore "Mr." with the name' of his regiment following his own name. When the "loots" of the new Army began to marry and beget children, the subsequent notice in the papers invariably gave their rank un- less the people had service connections and knew the custom. If I am not mistaken, the old custom is going to be reverted to, a course dictated by the commonsense of the "Loots" themselves. Chancing to be at a reception the other evening when a number of them were present, I noticed that one and all gave their names to the Master of the Ceremonies for announcement as Mr. So- and-So. THE IMMORTAL ONE. At seventy-one venrs of age Ellen Terrv, the immortal of the English stage, is to reappear on the boards in the part of the nurse in "Romeo and Juliet." What memories of the spacious davs of Irving and the Lyceum does not her name evoke? Sure, J there never was, on our stage "a4s*-4east, an actress who possCosed a voice more tuneful. To-dav when one spea ks of Ellen Terry. Chelsea inevitably jumps to the mind, for it is there that she lives—Chelsea, which resembles no other part of London, as no other part of London resembles Chelsea. Here the ar.ist-man and woman--still reigns supreme and lives the artist life. Here he has his own restaurants, which are like no other restaurants in London-, modest and Bohemian to a degree. The owners know their patrons, and the patrons know each other. If the latter have money tfif" pay; if they have no money it goes Oil the slate. They perambulate the street., without hit. and can be met carrying- to their studios the modest necessaries ior a supper. On the crowded pavements of the busv King's-road one may meet them in twos and threes, and one experiences a foLock to tind that the artist of the long hair, the velvet coat, and the butterfly tie still exists in the flesh. It is in one of these modest and homely restaurants, which I have attempted to describe, that the "Fair Ellen." to give her Ahe name by which she •was known behind the footlights, may often be found at dinner. The stranger, who may be a guest, will start with surprise to see in such humble surroundings one who is s:) world-famous. But he will know her at once. Age cannot dim EHOH Terry. That she should prefer to dine thus is but an evidence of how deeply the Bohemian spirit is implanted in the artistic nature. Be- tween art and artificialitv there can be no affinity. L NCESORED CELEBRITIKS. One of the most striking books cf the season is "Uricensored Celebrities," by E T. Raymond. Who he is no one seems to know, and efforts to discover his identity are unavailing. That he is a master of the pen stands confessed by his work; that his reading, both in history and the classics, is wide, Is attested by his ready and apposite quotations. His original work appeared in a weekly magazine called "Everyman." Mr. Raymond handles his "CÆlcbrities." I who arc on both sides of politics, with se* eritv. He is frankness personified, and attLlough one cannot agree with all his esti- J mates yet one must admit he is a pleasant and witty writer. The book is reminiscent of another similar work, "Eminent Vic- torians," by Lytton Strachey, a kiusman of the editor of the "Spectator.' But it lacks the depth-it does not aspire to it, indeed- of the wonderful "kdehed that Mr. Strachey gives us. Mr. Strachey may have shotk?i some of us by his portrayal of CarAinal blnmg aLd (?-n?ral Gordon, but one can- not deny that he interested us. His article on Florence Nightingale, moreover, came as a shock to many who learned for the first time how little t-hev really knew of a sub- ject on which they had hitherto rather prided themselves. The only regrettable feature of the book is its title. Everyone to-day professes to despise the Victorians. and all their works. To be invited to read about four eminent men of that contemned period is felt by many to be needlessly try- ing. This feeling, it is to feared, must have prevented many from reoeiving great plea- sure as well as knowledge, j

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