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had braved all opposition for generations should have yielded to the first attack of an upstart cousin, which has been aptly described as no better than dummy with frills. Perhaps bridge affords a little more scope for gambling than its venerable relative, and that is of some moment in an age when many women as well as most men try their luck on the Stock Exchange, or on the turf, or at the card-table. No doubt the world will grow weary of bridge, and there will come a glorious restoration. Meanwhile consternation prevails in the camp of the remnant of loyal whist-players. There is said to be serious talk of revising the rules, which were last fixed in 1864 or thereabouts. There is a precedent for alteration in the case of the rules of golf, which have been tinkered more than once without substantial benefit or

injury to the game. May

the recension of the whist code prove equally innocuous, and may the draftsmanship of the reformers prove superior to that of the St Andrews' committee! One surmises that among the innovations will be found a reduction of at least fifty per cent in the value of honours, and nobody but a born and inveterate gambler will grumble at such a proposal. The present preponderance of honours is a legacy from long whist which there is little reason, from any point of view, to be proud of.

It being, then, practically impossible to get a rubber, the Rustic will probably wend his way to the Park in order to

gaze upon his fellow-creatures. It is a brave spectacle, this well-dressed mob, and there is something highly exhilarating in the sight of it. Lord Salisbury, the other day, took occasion to denounce the ordinary garb of the modern male. The painter or the sculptor may very likely not find his account in it, but the eye soon acquiesces in a predominant fashion, and finds it very good. The particular shape of each season's tall hat, for example, is always the best-not, it may be, the best in the abstract, but the best relatively, here and now. So is it also with ties and waistcoats, which are worn (particularly the latter) of blue and buff, and all manner of conspicuous and singular tints. As for the other sex, their attire becomes steadily more gaudy from year to year. The bright colours are cheerful, and the wonderfully trimmed hats lend gaiety to the scene. The faces beneath them are not seldom pretty, and as fresh as paint, which is very natural (or very artificial, if you will have it so), for, alas! it is that very commodity, and none other, which, upon a closer scrutiny, turns out to be responsible for the majority of the complexions. Everybody in the Park, of course, is not well-dressed and pretty. There is a contingent of frumps and dowds, and the cut of skirt in vogue, however well it may be adapted to an absolutely perfect figure, is rather trying to the abnormally stout or the abnormally lean. I know that in to-morrow's 'Daily Peepshow' I shall read how the Hon. Mrs Jim So

and-so was to be seen yesterday near Stanhope Gate smartly gowned in a grey foulard, and how Lady Seraphina Slyboots, in a feather boa, was talking to the Marquis of Carabas, with many other entrancing items of a like nature. But I also know that at "Church-Parade," socalled, the company may have consisted principally of Countesses from Clapham, Baronesses from Brixton, and Duchesses from Denmark Hill, but assuredly included no real, “pukka," peeresses. I know, too, that if an anti-Semite had been given a free hand and been let loose among the crowd, its numbers would have suffered a quite appreciable diminution.



test. "What?" he will exclaim with admirably assumed indignation, "Is the busy professional man or the city clerk to be deprived of much-needed exercise and recreation the one day of the week on which he is able to indulge in them? By no means; let the hard-worked man of business please himself in the spending of his one free day. But let it be plainly understood that a large majority of those who play billiards, or cards, or golf, on Sunday, can get quite as much of those amusements as is good for them on the other days of the week. Why any sane human being should want to read a daily paper, or listen to a band, on Sunday, it is difficult to conjecture. Even if six daily papers in the week had not been enough, there were already plenty of Sunday sheets to gratify the most voracious appetite without the officious intervention of two magnates of the week-day press. No doubt a great deal of cant has been talked upon this question, but the cant has not, by any means, been confined to one side, and surely that is a sound instinct which prompts the opposition to seven-day newspapers. It is all very well for their proprietors to explain with great elaboration that the production of the Sunday edition involves next to no labour, and in fact is rather a pleasure than a toil-a sort of little holiday for all concerned. The sound common-sense of the English people will not swallow such sophistries. It realises that much more is at stake than the interests of a handful of

Nothing could be more unfashionable than to be a "Sabbatarian," not even to be a "Protestant." Yet at the risk of incurring this fatal reproach, it is impossible to help regretting that so much Sunday work should apparently be indispensable in London. The good old theory of "not giving the servants too much to do" on the first day of the week is dying out. Club servants, at all events, are not embraced within its scope; and waiters, who, after all, are human beings, are considered to deserve no consideration. The worst point about the secularisation (if one may make bold to employ so antiquated a phrase) of Sunday is that it adds to the labours of that very class of the community which is least able to protect itself-the class which earns its livelihood by ministering to the luxuries of the rich. Here the "liberal-minded" man will doubtless step in and pro

journalists and newspaper compositors. It foresees that the mischief will spread far beyond Fleet Street and Whitefriars. Legislation, indeed, can do nothing to remedy the evil. The steady pressure of public opinion can alone be effectual, and already it has achieved a signal victory. It will be a bad day for the working classes, for all who have to make a living by their own exertions, for the country at large, when the principle of a seven-days' workingweek becomes so familiar as to be accepted without protest.

If, oddly enough, you happen to prefer going to church to reading the stale scandal and tittle-tattle of the past week in an up-to-date journal of mammoth proportions, there are preachers of all sorts and sizes, services of all manners and degrees, to tempt you. Should you be lucky enough to find Canon Gore in the pulpit of the Abbey, you will unquestionably hear something to your advantage, and carry home a good deal to think about. If the Bishop of Stepney is your man, you will get manly, straightforward, plain - sailing oratory; and if you are for a little sensational tub-thumping, why, there are a dozen dissenting chapels ready to supply you, and to throw in a strong infusion of politics as well. But the wise man, who hates the "falsehood of extremes,' who detests all aping of Rome on the one hand and all thumping of the drum schismatic on the other, will not trouble to go farther afield than the Temple Church. There he is sure of an admirable discourse


from a divine of ripe learning, refined taste, and true piety. The music is beyond criticism; the order of the book of Common Prayer is duly observed; and there are no freaks, antics, or eccentricities. A visit farther east to St Paul's is not to be recommended in the meantime, for the echoes of a highly animated troversy seem to ring round the dome. Besides, though the worshipper has disciplined his mind into a frame of devotion, he cannot well help seeing the stencilling and the lettering; and the sight is not conducive to calmness and composure of spirit. One may not be prepared to join in the strong language with which the Dean and Chapter have been assailed for their scheme of decoration. But a certain three - column letter in the 'Times' makes one gravely question whether the choice of the responsible body has fallen upon the right decorator. There is an undercurrent of depreciation of Sir Christopher in that portentous epistle which makes one suspiciousa suggestion of lofty and supercilious patronage, as who should say that this same Wren, poor fellow, did his best, one must allow, but what can you expect from an Englishman who had the bad taste to flourish after the Reformation? Now it is a fact that of all the architects of whom in modern times this country has had reason to boast, Wren is incomparably the greatest. His London churches, so many of which have been ruthlessly pulled down, ought to be the pride of every true Londoner,

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and St Paul's is the finest of them all. Nobody who holds these simple propositions to be true can think with equanimity of Wren's chef-d'œuvre being delivered over to an artist who, be his skill and taste in other matters beyond reproach, would obviously prefer St Paul's to be an Egyptian temple or a Gothic fane-something, in short, quite different from what it is. It is some consolation to reflect that no Dean and Chapter will ever venture to cut and carve upon the outside of the splendid pile. For many generations to come, let us hope, cockney and countryman alike will be able to gaze from the end of Fleet Street up Ludgate Hill, and

note how

kind of art, or (2) experts, i.e., persons who do. If they are amateurs, the publication of their unfavourable opinion is a piece of unwarrantable impertinence, for, ex hypothesi, they know nothing about the matter. If, on the other hand, they are experts, the publication of their unfavourable opinion is a gross breach of "professional etiquette." The great beauty of this theory lies in its universal applicability. Nothing lies outside its scope-not even chairs and tables. Either you are a carpenter or you are not a carpenter. If you are not, you can know nothing whatever of the construction of chairs and tables. If you are, you are bound by the inexorable laws of professional etiquette to hold

"the high majesty of Paul's

Uplifts a voice of living light and your tongue. It clearly follows that no one dare pronounce a chair or table to be badly made. Sir William is a welcome addition to the supporters of the most vicious and most tenaciously cherished of trade-union principles: the right of every Englishman to do bad work and insist upon getting good pay for it. When the Academicians go on strike (though a lock-out by their employers seems a likelier contingency) we hope to hear Sir William haranguing a velvet-coated gathering in Trafalgar Square, and to see him busy picketing Sir Edward Poynter's studio.

It is with great diffidence that, being only a humble playgoer and not a playwright, one ventures to breathe a word about the drama. The staples of the stage in London at the present time may, roughly speaking, be said to be ro

callsCalls to his millions to behold and see How goodly this his London Town can be !"

Not the least interesting feature in Sir William Richmond's letter was his frank enunciation of a theory of criticism which, though probably latent in the minds of many artists, authors, and actors, rarely meets with perfectly candid expression. The theory is, indeed, less simple than Dean Gregory's, which measured a man's right to criticise the decoration of St Paul's by the amount of money he had subscribed towards that object, but it may, nevertheless, be very shortly stated. The critics of a work of art, so it runs, are necessarily either (1) amateurs, i.e., persons who do not habitually practise that particular

mantic or historical drama, extravagant farce (English, which means diluted French, or American, which means adapted German), and "musical comedy" (again English or American). Ten minutes of Yvette Guilbert in a song of Aristide Bruant's, or even in "A leetle beet of str-r-r-ing," is worth a week of Musketeers, Belles of New York, and What Happened to Smith's. But the one play in everybody's mouth is "The Gay Lord Quex." The house is crammed every night, and you are lucky if you can get a seat within the next month. It is plain that "Lord Quex" is an immense success. But the success has been won to a great extent upon false pretences. So much is plain from the demeanour of the audience. Recruited chiefly from the suburbs (the mainstay of theatrical enterprise in London), they care nothing for the drama quá drama. They have come to see a play reputed to be "improper," and they are resolved upon having their money's worth. This applies to the stalls as much as to the pit, to the dress-circle as much as to the gallery. People who have paid half-a-guinea or seven-and-sixpence are determined that no phrase or incident susceptible of a foul meaning shall escape the emphasis of their inane laughter. And here is the pity of it-Mr Pinero has deliberately played down to this class of person. He has interjected some business" and a few speeches which are utterly irrelevant, which afford no assistance whatever to the development of plot or

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character, and of which only a schoolboy of sixteen could deem the significance momentous. By so doing he has deliberately invited his audience not to take the play seriously; he has run the risk of pitching his work in a totally wrong key. Mr Pinero is supposed to pride himself, like one of his predecessors in the English drama, on having never blotted a line. Our answer is, Would he had blotted a thousand! Expunge the words and incidents we have alluded to, and "The Gay Lord Quex" would remain an infinitely more satisfactory and artistic work. As it is, the third act is intensely interesting and dramatic, albeit the fourth is indescribably lame and unconvincing. Superbly acted throughout by Miss Irene Vanbrugh, who here scales heights to which she never before aspired, the part of Sophy Fullgarney is one of the most original and one of the most powerful in latter-day drama. That, perhaps, is not very high praise, but at least it is not intended for disparagement. Mr Pinero is by so much the ablest, as he is the most ambitious, of contemporary British playwrights, that one is jealous of his reputation. "The Princess and the Butterfly" was a vast advance on that very much overrated play, "The Second Mrs Tanqueray." "The Gay Lord Quex," with all its weaknesses, is no less marked an advance on "The Princess and the Butterfly." But if Mr Pinero will only be true to his best instincts, and eschew the wretched trifles which put the public on a wrong and rather nasty scent,

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