Largest Circulation of Any Evening Paper in the Kingdom.
LONDON. THURSDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER, 1888.
DURING the Reign of Terror, death became so familiar to the Parisians that the inmates of the prisons amused themselves with farcical rehearsals of the scenes on the scaffold. They played at guillotining much as Mr. Mould's infants played at "berryin's." We shall soon be in much the same condition in this country. The Whitechapel murders, though quite as horrible as the celebrated Ratcliff Highway murders which drove St. George's-in-the-East almost wild with excitement and terror, have positively fallen flat. We are becoming blasé, like Macbeth: "Direness, familiar to our slaughterous thoughts, cannot once fright us." Men can no longer attract notice by mere murder and suicide. They despatch their wives with rifles, and make the slumbers of their children eternal with a saw, only to be arrested by one bored policeman and put off with four lines in the newspapers headed simply "Another Murder." A lady has cut a child's feet off, and a gentleman has gouged out his eyes; but we do not seem to mind. It is not midsummer madness; for there has been no summer. It is not the ugliness of London; for London was just as ugly last year. It is not "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"; for America has not caught the infection, though it has read the novel. Whatever it is, it is not one of the successes of nineteenth century civilisation. Perhaps the British Association will devote a sitting to a discussion of the causes of the growth of despair in England.
For a delightful, albeit gruesome, exemplar of the genus trade newspaper, commend us to the New York Shroud, "the official organ of the United States Funeral Directors' (Anglicé Undertakers) Association." This cheerfully-named journal bears the enlivening motto of "The Hour Cometh," and its title page is embellished with cuts of a broken tombstone, and of a hearse entering a cemetery.
The Shroud contains portraits and biographies of "celebrated undertakers," and specimens of the latest style in coffins, while, by a sort of grim irony, the members of the staff (are they mutes, we wonder) contribute several pages of humorous matter. Whatever circulation the Shroud may boast, it should certainly be a pleasant paper to read when alone on a stormy winter's night.
Attempted Murder in Pimlico.
Mrs. Allison, a shirt maker at the Army and Navy Stores, Ranelagh-road, Pimlico, was attacked by her husband with an axe this morning, and severely injured. She was conveyed to the hospital and the man arrested.
The National Vigilance Association have instituted criminal proceedings against the Temple Publishing Company for publishing an English translation of Boccaccio's "Decameron." The agent of the association, Mr. Edwards, is prosecuting, and Mr. Thompson, representing the company, is the defendant. Last Tuesday the hearing was adjourned to enable the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Forrest Fulton, who is in the country, to attend, the association paying £10 into court for costs. Mr. Thompson is a journalist of 17 years experience, having spent eight of them in America. He was engaged on Reynolds's Newspaper, and was for some time editor of Bow Bells. While holding the latter post he found time to make the translation in question. As every student of the "Decameron" knows there are some passages in the book that, judged in the light of our day, are positively indecent. Mr. Thompson has rendered these in French. In some editions the more objectionable pages remain in the original Italian, and in these two languages their meaning doubtless is lost to the general reader. The Vigilance Association particularly object to the wide circulation the comparative cheapness of the edition - the price being 10d. or 1s. - ensures. The Temple Publishing Company have subpaned Alderman Waterlow, of the firm of Waterlow and Sons, who published Captain Burton's literal translation of the "Arabian Nights."
The opening meeting of the autumn session of the British Phrenological Association was held at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon-street, on Tuesday evening, when a paper was read by the honorary secretary on "The Present Position and Future Prospects of Phrenology."
The writer of the paper said phrenology was making rapid progress among the masses. It was gradually taking the place of vague and abstract philosophies. The only opponents of phrenology were scientific men, who, whenever they referred to the subject, showed that they had not taken the trouble to make themselves even moderately acquainted with its teachings. The lecturer further went on to say that the German anatomists were coming more and more on to phrenological ground, and one of the foremost of them all (Buchner) affirmed in his most recent work that they would have to reconsider Gall. In the discussion which followed it was asserted that while English investigators were content to look in the brain for centres of motion German investigators were looking for centres of ideation, which was coming nearer and nearer to the "organs" of the phrenologist.
More About His Career - His Latest Movements - In the Borough.
The sense of fear which the murder of the unfortunate woman Nicholls has thrown over the neighborhood, and especially over her companions, shows no sign of decreasing. A number of the street wanderers are in nightly terror of "Leather-Apron."
One of our reporters visited one of the single women's lodging-houses last night. It is in Thrawl-street, one of the darkest and most terrible-looking spots in Whitechapel. The house keeps open till one o'clock in the morning, and reopens again at five. In the house nightly are 66 women, who get their bed for 4d. The proprietor of the place, who is also owner of several other houses of a similar character in the neighborhood, told some gruesome stories of the man who has now come to be regarded as the terror of the East-end. Night after night, he said, had women come in in a fainting condition after being knocked about by "Leather-Apron." He himself would never be out in the neighborhood after twelve o'clock at night except with a loaded revolver. The "terror," he said, would go to a public-house or coffee-room, and peep in through the window to see if a particular woman was there. He would then vanish, lying in wait for his victim at some convenient corner, hidden from the view of everybody.
The police are making efforts to arrest him, but he constantly changes his quarters. Some of the unfortunate women state that he is now in one of the low slums in the Borough. One of them said she saw him crossing London-bridge as stealthily as usual, with head bent, his skimpy coat turned up about his ears, and looking as if he were in a desperate hurry.
The hunt for "Leather Apron" began in earnest last evening. Constables 43 and 173, J Division, into whose hands "Leather-Apron" fell on Sunday afternoon, were detailed to accompany Detective Ewright, of the J Division, in a search through all the quarters where the crazy Jew was likely to be. They began at half-past ten in Church-street, in Shoreditch, rumor having located the suspected man there. They went through lodging-houses, into "pubs," down side streets, threw their bull's-eyes into every shadow, and searched the quarter thoroughly, but without result.
later down in the Brick-lane neighborhood, Florendene-lane being "Leather Apron's" preferred lodging place lately. He was not found here, however, and the search, which then took the direction of the London Hospital, resulted in nothing. It is the general belief that the man has left the district.
The clue furnished by the woman who denounced the man on Sunday is a very unfortunate one. Her offer to prove by two women that "Leather Apron" was seen walking with the murdered woman in Baker's-row at two o'clock last Friday morning, is the most direct bit of evidence that yet has appeared. The belief in "Leather Apron's" guilt, whether it be well or ill founded, is general, and the instant he is recognised by any one he is sure to be reported and arrested. His conduct on Sunday was as usual. He never answers a question when it is put to him, and only speaks under strong compulsion. Mike --- , the grocer in George's-yard, dwelt a long time last evening on this peculiarity. He knows "Leather Apron" very well, and has known him for six years. He says that
and that anybody who met him face to face would know it. That his eyes are never still, but are always shifting uneasily, and he never looks anybody in the eye. "Leather Apron" used to live in the lodging-house around the corner from the grocery, and was turned out of there some months ago with an order not to return. The lodging-house is a few doors below the "model" doorway in which the Turner woman was found with 39 stabs.
Great activity prevails among the police all through Whitechapel. All are sharply on the look-out for "Leather Apron," though many of them, strangely enough, do not know him by sight, and have only his description to go by.
Meanwhile other clues are not neglected. Inspector Hellson has the case in his charge, and is aided by the full division force, by Detective Abberlene, and others from Scotland-yard who are familiar with East-end work. Quite a number of men are necessary, for several parties are under constant supervision. "Leather Apron" is not the only possibility, but he is the only one suspected whom the police cannot lay their hands on at a moment's notice.
The funeral arrangements were carried out with secrecy. The police knew nothing whatever of the burial; while the old man at the mortuary must have been guilty of at least a score of fibs in order to prevent the annoying inquiries of the morbid crowd. "Has the body been taken away yet?" asked one of our reporters yesterday. "Didn't I tell you it was taken away three nights ago," was the gruff reply. As a matter of fact the body lay all the time at the mortuary. On Saturday it was removed from the dead-house shell into a neat plain coffin supplied by Mr. Smith, of Hanbury-street, and paid for by the friends of the deceased. The father, the husband, and the unfortunate woman's son all came to see that she got a decent burial.