LYCEUM THEATRE. - Sole Lessee, Mr. Henry Irving.
MR. RICHARD MANSFIELD.
TO-NIGHT, at 9, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE. Preceded at 7.45 by ALWAYS INTENDED.
MONDAY EVENING at 8.45, PRINCE KARL. Preceded at 7.45 by ALWAYS INTENDED.
Box-office (Mr. J. Hurst) open daily from 10 till 5.
When a critic is confronted with a subject that he cannot at once bring into one of his ready-made categories or, in the colloquial phrase, cannot quite make head or tail of, his usual course is to take refuge in such vague, non-committing epithets as "eccentric," "nondescript," "bizarre." We feel sorely tempted to tack one of these adjectives on to "Prince Karl," the piece Mr. Richard Mansfield introduced to Londoners last night at his benefit performance in aid of the Bishop of Bedford's East-end Refuge Fund. Is it a comedy? No; for it makes an attempt from first to last to keep within the bounds of probability. It postulates too much. Let it be granted that a man who, for reasons, has induced the world to suppose him dead, can present himself undisguised, as a servant in the house of his former fiancée, yet not be recognised, and the rest of the piece flows freely to the final Q.E.D.; but it cannot be granted. Is it a farce? Perhaps, though farces in four acts are something of a novelty to the British playgoer. Is it a variety entertainment? Well, perhaps it is a little of that, too, as it seems designed to provide all the performers with constant opportunities for irrelevant "business," and one of them with a chance of showing how well he can patter German dialogue and
Mr. Mansfield himself shirks this difficulty of classification by calling "Prince Karl" an "improbable story," with the fell intent doubtless of taking the wind out of the critic's sails. Better call it a fantasy - a word as comfortable as "Mesopotamia" to journalists at a loss for a label - and have done with it. Prince Karl von Arnheim is driven by debt to seek the hand and fortune of a widow supposed to be wealthy, a certain Mrs. Daphne Lowell from Boston, whom he meets as she is touring on the Rhine. On the eve of the wedding, however, his courage fails him; he recognises in Mrs. Daphne's niece a girl to whom some time before he had lost his heart, and to escape his engagement he feigns madness, jumps into the Rhine, and lets it be supposed that he is drowned. Reappearing in the widow's household as a courier, he finds, what he had hitherto doubted, that the niece really loved Prince Karl, and, after many quaint adventures, he declares his identity, and all ends happily to the good old tune of wedding bells. But the story of the piece is its least important feature. The point of the production consists in its
its queer mixture of Teutonic romance and New England manners, of jest and earnest, of actuality and that sort of No-Man's-Land atmosphere which Leigh Hunt and Lamb said was the native air of the Drama of the Restoration. All this is, perhaps, a little bewildering to matter-of-fact playgoers; an English audience likes to know exactly what sort of article it is invited to deal with, and though the players met last night with a very favorable reception, there were not wanting signs that the house on the whole was more puzzled than dazzled. Mr. Mansfield's dryly droll mock-heroics made the German Prince turned courier a very diverting personage; Miss Beatrice Cameron and Miss Emma Sheridan were a pretty pair of frisky American girls; and that excellent actress of the sound old school, Miss Carlotta Leclercq, provoked hearty laughter as an elderly, amorous widow. On the whole it was a pleasant experiment of Mr. Mansfield's,
from the sombre tone of his previous performances; but whether "Price Karl" has enough substance in it to stand the wear-and-tear of a continuous run is open to doubt. Four-act farces - for, after all, the piece had better be called a farce, if a name has to be definitely given it - are not popular in England. Even in Paris, all the skill of Meilhac and Halévy failed to reconcile the French to five-act farces. And Mr. Archibald Gunter, the author of "Prince Karl," is neither a Meilhac nor an Halévy. Did he get the idea of his piece from a German original? There is a certain Teutonic heaviness here and there in its humor which lends countenance to the conjecture.
With regard to the alleged "body snatching" at the Finchley Cemetery, the St. Pancras Guardian says: - The Inquiry Committee are well aware that they can find no record in the office to establish the truth of the assertion that the bodies were disinterred for the purposes of a coroner's inquisition. We repeat again and again that bodies have been removed illegally; and we defy the Committee to prove otherwise.
The Jewish Working Men's Clubs are justly celebrated for their entertainments. The second annual costume swimming fête will be held next Wednesday, when there will be an aquatic sketch and duck hunt, beside the usual races. There is a ladies' race, and ladies are specially invited as spectators. Mr. Samuel Montagu, M.P., will distribute the prizes.
The Stepney Liberal and Radical Association will hold a meeting on Monday evening to consider the Police Question, School Board and County Council Elections, and the Outlook in Ireland, at Stepney Meeting Hall, Garden-street, Stepney-green. Mr. B. T. L. Thompson, the candidate for Stepney, Mr. E. H. Pickersgill, M.P., and Mr. R. C. Lehmann, Liberal candidate for East Hull, and others will speak.
Under the heading of "Heterobiography," the Saturday Review this morning says: - It is rather more than a year since it seemed worth while to point out in these pages that the Saturday Review was not going to be "run" by a syndicate, headed by Mr. Arthur Balfour. In the course of the last twelve months assertions, of which the following is a carefully selected, but at the same time strictly authentic, list - assertions generally positive, always solemn, have been made in other newspapers about the Saturday Review: -
1. Its proprietors, who are plural, are gravely dissatisfied with its management. 2. They are about to sell it for so much. 3. They are not about to sell it for so much, but for so much else. 4. Its circulation has fallen so many thousands. 5. The editor is going to be instantly turned off, and his place supplied by Mr. - 6. The editor is going to the States to lecture, because there is nothing to do here. 7. The editor is not going to the States to lecture, because it is not safe to leave the Saturday Review to its own or anybody else's guidance in its present alarming condition. 8. Certain persons on the staff receive so much money, scandalously too much in some cases and too little in others. 9. Certain contributors write so many articles a week, and are paid so much for them. 10. It is more amusing and clever than ever it was, but is going down. 11. It is duller than ever, but is going down. 12. It is going to be completely changed in character.
And a great deal more which we either forget or which is not worth mentioning. Now, if it interests anybody to know the facts, we can here declare, on our honor and conscience, that every one of the above statements is categorically false, and that the majority of them bear evidence on their face of having been concocted by writers who know absolutely nothing about the facts and the persons about whom they are good enough to busy themselves.
about matters which quite recently were not talked of at all in the pages of any decent journal (though 50 or 60 years ago the traffic in them, if somewhat different in special kind, was active in degree) is a very curious feature of the time. In the best London papers, morning and evening, weekly and daily, it is still almost entirely frowned upon and excluded. In one or two notorious metropolitan prints it is made a principal, if not the principal, attraction. But its mainstay and general market is the "London Correspondent's" article of the country newspapers. Very few, hardly any it may be, of the country and London readers of such matter know how absolutely at the mercy of the most "Cockney" order of "Cockney" journalism those who depend on the "London" column are. The persons who make the whole or a part of their living by supplying this intelligence are, no doubt, of widely different class in society, but have a strong family likeness, which is particularly evident in their productions, to any person who, not being a gutter journalist himself, has had some experience of
As a general rule, the actual "London Correspondent" or the personal editor of the few shady London sheets that admit this kind of matter is only very indirectly responsible for the greater part of the matter he prints. As a rule, these paragraphs are simply more or less ingenious embroideries (prompted by the desire to earn half-a-crown) on some previous statement. The person responsible for filling the column takes out of a less or a larger mass of material, supplied in small quantities by his jackals, as much as will serve his turn, and he pays the jackals accordingly. Imaginative or sensitive persons often believe that there is a dead set made at themselves or their works. It may be so; it certainly is so sometimes. But by far the commoner case is that the gutter journalist, having seen some one else's paragraph, finds it easier to keep the ball rolling and stick to the same subject than to invent. The most astonishing thing about these paragraphs is that there should be found persons, not utter fools nor utterly without knowledge of the world, who attach more or less credence to them.
As Saturday and Sunday - the days which the Whitechapel murderer has hitherto chosen for his work - come round week by week, special precautions are taken by the police as well as by the self-constituted vigilance committee. Last night the last letter sent by "Jack the Ripper" was read over to the night police before starting to their beats. It was pointed out that the writer intimated his intention of committing further murders last night, and the necessity for special vigilance was impressed on the police.
As a motive for the disgusting hoax of the kidney, it is suggested that the person who sent it to its recipient desired to keep up the excitement about the crimes. We are now informed that the information of the receipt of the parcel was sold at a high figure, so that the hoax does not appear so stupid as it seemed at first.
The Bradford police this morning apprehended a young woman named Maria Coroner on the charge of sending letters signed "Jack the Ripper" to the local press and the chief constable. The girl is good-looking, respectably dressed, and in regular work at one of the leading drapery establishments in Bradford. Several written references to Jackson, the Manchester murderer, and a card of Berry, the hangman, carefully wrapped in silk paper, were found in her possession. She was remanded on a charge of inciting to a breach of the peace.
A Bradford correspondent adds:- She says she wanted to make a sensation. In her boxes at her lodgings were found exact copies of the two letters which she wrote, as well as others which were apparently intended to be issued.
The scare produced by the assault upon a young woman in Aberdeen on Thursday night has caused considerable excitement, and numerous instances have been reported of women having been interfered with after dusk by men said to have borne a resemblance to the published description of the Whitechapel murderer. While there is no doubt that an assault at common law was committed upon the young woman Watt, there seems to be a consensus of opinion that what was done was the act rather of a person who desired to have a Mitre-square lark than of one who had any intention of causing serious injury. The young woman is still in a serious condition, and too much excited to give an accurate account of the outrage. The medical men say the injury to the abdomen was caused by some sharp-edged weapon.
A lad named Tomlinson found a parcel in Summer-road, Peckham, containing bones on Thursday evening. Dr. Phelps has examined them, and the conclusion was arrived at, says a correspondent, that the bones were those of a woman's arm. Mr. Woodman, the coroner's officer was communicated with, and then the bones were removed to the Camberwell Mortuary. Mr. Wyatt, the coroner, has been informed of the discovery. The bones have either been boiled or are decaying.
The authorities appear to hold the belief that the present "find" is due to a senseless freak on the part of a medical student.
To-day (Saturday) Prince Albert Victor of Wales opens Birch Fields Recreation Grounds and lays a memorial stone of a new wing of Ancoats Hospital. H.R.H. arrived at Victoria Station, Manchester, at five o'clock last (Friday) night. Manchester, except the main street, was little disturbed. The traffic at No. 6 platform of the railway was a little interfered with while Albert Victor was escorted from the train which brought him from his military quarters at York to the carriages outside. The people in the streets through which he drove were more curious to see the Queen's grandson than to exhibit their loyalty. Outside the station some shrill cheering was heard from some youths who for the first time saw the Mayor in a colored cloak.
Charles Mason, a picture-frame maker, of 3, Hall-street, Mile-end, says he cannot get any sleep because of his sins, and because his soul is lost, and yet he longs for death. - The Thames magistrate declined to certify that the man was insane, and ordered him to be detained in the infirmary for 14 days.
If all the model dwellings in London were put together, in streets and squares of the ordinary size, they would make up a first-class town. The population of this town would be as large as that of a great provincial capital, about 150,000 souls. As an architectural display it would be something distinct, something entirely new. It would certainly be impressive, in the favorable sense, not in that which the fastidious criticism of the superior person might attach to the name. The reason why the model dwellings have not already sufficiently impressed the eye - why their architectural significance has not been fully realised - is that they are too diffusely scattered over the vast area of London. But supposing, as we have said, these model houses were grouped by themselves. "How very easily they could be watched," would be one of the very first reflections to suggest itself to an observer with some horrible tale of slum vice and crime in his memory. No dark alleys among them, no isolated back yards, no holes and corner wherein the human wild beast might lurk for his prey.
As for living in them? From their being called artisans' model dwellings it is generally imagined that their tenants are recruited almost exclusively from the highest grades of the working-classes. This is a mistake. Among the population of these model buildings are multitudes of the poorer classes, such as crowd the
of Hanbury-street and Buck's-row, in the dismal East-end - dock laborers, charwomen, carmen, cabmen, &c. In one set of statistics which lies before us, we find that porters and laborers constitute the two most numerous sections of tenants in 18 groups of model dwellings. If it be only a question of rent, the model tenement is cheaper than the 4d. bed in a "doss-house." This may surprise the reader; but it is a fact.
per night means 2s. 4d. per week. Very well. We have made inquiries at the offices of the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company and elsewhere, and we find that the average rent for a model tenement of one room ranges from 2s. to 2s. 2d. per week, including rates and taxes. Now these model dwellings are a good speculation, and though some of the oldest, and therefore, worst built, do not readily let, there is a great run upon the vast majority of them. It follows from this that it would "pay" in the end to sweep away the hideous rookeries of London, and replace them by huge palaces (as, indeed, they are in comparison with the old) of the kind in which, as stated above, one thirtieth portion of the population of the Metropolis is already housed. And be it remembered that this rent can be immensely reduced as soon as the ground landlord is got rid of.
Next, as regards the bearing of this new architecture on public health, public morals, and the education of beauty. The inhabitants of these model dwellings have migrated from slums where the mortality reached 40 per thousand, and their death-rate in their new abodes is about
That is the figure in the newest and best specimens of model dwellings. The difference is enormous. "I can tell you," said Sir Robert Rawlinson, speaking last year at the opening of the Stalbridge group of model buildings," "I can tell you of mortalities running up to 150 per thousand in the slums of Liverpool, and all the other great towns of this England of ours." Of course that was a point upon which the Chief Engineering Inspector to the Local Government Board could speak with exceptional authority. Such facts tell their own story. They are social history in a nutshell. The rancid, squalid, soul-depressing brick box of the slums drives its inmates to seek relief and oblivion, however temporary, in the gin-shop.
The best sort of model dwelling has a sufficient attraction of its own. The brick box of the slums is the fruitful nursery of chest diseases and of contagious maladies. The greatest enemies of both are the fresh air, the light, the space, the scrupulously careful sanitary precautions which one finds in the new kind of improved dwellings.
It is not only a sanitary question, this pressing, tremendous question of the housing of the poor (and even of the less poor). It is moral and educational in the very highest sense. "Nothing," says John Stuart Mill, "contributes more to nourish elevation of sentiment in a people, than the large and free character of their habitations. The middle-aged architecture and its spacious and lofty rooms, so unlike the mean and cramped externals of English middle-class life, gave the sentiment of a larger and freer existence, and were a sort of poetic cultivation." A
just like a noble book, or a noble picture. It is a very suggestive fact that the great age of English architecture, the fourteenth-century, was also the age of re-awakening in the whole sphere of the intellectual and moral life. The tentative, aspiring Radical spirit of our own time is finding expression through the architect as well as through the man of letters and the statesman. All three are formula swallowers. The new school of English builders are caring less for outward effect, for "style," than for inward fitness for the prime requisites of light, air, space, cleanliness, domesticity, health. But of course the artistic quality is not lost sight of. The question never is or can be absent from the mind of an architect worthy of the name, how to realise the above conditions in the most becoming manner. Good examples of this combination of utility with taste may be found in the Douglas block buildings, Marshalsea-road, Southwark; in the Hanover-buildings, Tooley-street, a really fine group, and in several localities between Tottenham-court-road and the Marble-arch. It is not necessarily asserted that the new kind of industrial dwelling solves the question of housing the London masses. But it certainly shows that the reconstruction of slum London is
It would be easy in the hands of a real Parliament of London, a Parliament composed of the only aristocracy possible in a genuine democracy - the aristocracy of character, capability, and intellect.