An Evening Newspaper and Review.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1888.
"Paid in His Own Coin." By E. J. Goodman. Three Vols. (Richard Bentley and Son.) At the present moment, when the horrors of the East End have whetted the taste for, and the interest in, mysterious murders, the present story ought to prove attractive. A young medical man is accused of having caused the death of his father-in-law by administering some strange narcotic, unknown to the medical world, and two drops of which cause a deep sleep, ending in death. The story opens on the scene in the law courts at the end of the trial of Dr. Wynd for murder. He is acquitted for want of evidence, but the uncharitable public declines to believe in his innocence. A gaunt, red-haired fellow who day after day has watched the case with keenest interest - his one interest in life being the study of cases of "scientific" murder - dogs the footsteps of the accused man, and eventually discovers that the latter is indeed the perpetrator of the crime, and is paid in his own coin by being killed in his turn. So far, so well; and if the outline of a plot could make a tale successful there is no reason why the author should not have written a readable book. But after it has been said that the plot is not bad, there remains absolutely nothing more to be said in praise of the novel. Among the puppets who are dragged before the public to represent the "characters" there is not a single one which can boast of possessing an average quantity of common sense or intelligence; and never for a moment is it possible for a reader to have a fellow-feeling for any of the imbecile creatures crawling along towards the final denouement with all its sensational absurdities.
A correspondent writes to point out a curious little passage in the report of the Parnell Commission which effectually disposes, he thinks, of "the Hyde-Jekyll pretence that would make of Sir Richard Webster two persons though one substance." Here is the passage in question:-
Sir C. Russell. - Then there can be no objection to my application to inspect and take copies of all the letters read by the counsel for the Times in the course of the trial?
Mr. Graham. - But I do not know that we have got them all.
The President. - That cannot be helped. The order will be for the inspection of all the documents produced, or, I suppose, not actually produced but read by the Attorney-General in the action of O'Donnell v. Walter.
As a matter of fact, we suppose that the distinction noted by the italics above was merely an accidental use of two alternative titles. But accidents are often significant, and Sir James Hannen's correction of Sir Charles Russell serves to expose the quibble that Sir Richard Facing-both-ways in acting for the Times is an entirely different person from Her Majesty's Attorney-General.
THE WHITECHAPEL MURDER.
No more futile arrests in connection with the latest Whitechapel murder have yet been made. It has been ascertained by the police that the German, named Charles Ludwig, alias Wetzel, who was charged at the Thames police-court on Tuesday with attempting to stab a man with a penknife, could not have been concerned in the recent murders.
A meeting of the newly-formed vigilance committee took place yesterday for the purpose of receiving the reports of their honorary officers in the matter. From the statements of Mr. Aarons, Mr. B. Harris, Mr. Cohen, and Mr. Lusk, the president, there appeared to be some thousands of the better classes at the East-end who believe that a substantial Government reward would bring about the apprehension of the murderer, and all donors or non-donors to the reward fund, now steadily increasing, were loud in denunciation of the police authorities and the Home Office for declining to offer the reward. The Home Secretary in his letter had said that the practice of offering rewards for the discovery of criminals was discontinued some years ago, and that there is nothing in the circumstances of the Whitechapel murders to justify a departure from the rule.
(Sole Lessee, Mr. HENRY IRVING.)
TO-NIGHT, at 9,
Mr. RICHARD MANSFIELD in
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE.
Preceded at 8 by LESBIA, Classical Comedy in One Act, by Mr. RICHARD DAVEY. Lesbia, Miss Beatrice Cameron.
MORNING PERFORMANCE SATURDAY NEXT, at 2.
MONDAY, Oct. 1, A PARISIAN ROMANCE. Mr. MANSFIELD as the BARON CHEVRIAL.
Box-office (Mr. J. Hurst) open daily from 10 to 5.