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LONDON LIFE.

A COMMENTARY. (By Harrison Owen). Loudon. April 2ft.

W hen, after an interval- of many year.s without anything of the kind )iappcn injf.-two children of the Kinpr of Eng- land an* married in a little more than a

year, one ciinnoi. ignore the possibility of the sreoud eyrnt. lacking tjhe novelty of ttic first, failini; strongly to stir pub- lic imagination. Anol'hcr reason for an- ticipating, not. of course, apathy, but r.-ifhi'i- modified ehthu?i:-..*in, in connec- tion with the. marriage of t-he. Duke of Vork and Lady Elisabeth Bowes-Lyon, was t-hat (.he public still clings to the view ilia t an even more important Royal marriage cannot, long be delayed,: and, with twss prospect in view. Micro was the possibility rhat London might decide to 'save up its enthusiasm,' so/to speak, for the. presumably, not -long-distant day when tlie 'Prince., of Wales will lead a bride to . the altar. Of course, all the uo. ;;1 loves a iov'cr, and loves a pair of lovers even more, whole most of the EngKsh- speaking world is ready, to love a Itoyai pprson.igc. so there was no- question but that tiicre would be a great deal of public iuterc.m in the Duke of York's uwldiug. AH Die same, I am i'ic-1-incd lo think llwt in official quar- ters not ijiuitc so much enthusiasm as ?was shown to-day was anticipated. I think I (i in justified in saying that tlhe iiDiioiuiceincnt of the Duke of York's engagement three, months ago came as somefhin-; oV an anti-climax. For some time .'previously a spction of tie Press hud been busily engaged supplying hints, nods, winks, and whispers of a'1 kind which caused a'-.very. large , nuinbar of pfoi-l(« to draw the -inference 'that the engagement of rhe Prince of Wales was shortly to be niinounced. This. iV fact, was the inference which the newspapers that had boon circulating these h-iuts in ionded -should be drawn, but tdie 'ex- clusive' and 'reliable' information that .had readied them had been very much at fault, .-o tiiar. instead of tlie betrothal of the heir to the throne, all that a loyal s- ud rouiamica'iy-iuciinoil populace was offered was the engagement of' bis younger brother to n young lady of whose existence tiie. vn.^t 'mxjortty.of the people of EngJaiK] was not even aware. The 1 i-!«in truth is- that -a faint sense of dis- appointment was mingled with, the plea- sure felt b.v many. But it is an equally plain truth that within a few weeks of t'he announcement of the en7 gagemeht, this- ''recently unknown young. woman Iiad firmly established her- self in' the infections of the King's sub- jects, wil'h' the result that very real en Miusiasni was shown by the crowds which, to-day witnessed' the pageant, as- sociated with'-lier -marriage. '

The-,Brid»'s Day. I suppose it may -be--taken for grant- ed that rhe leading ! figure ' in any ordin- ary wedding is' the i'bridc;*but this is not necessarily bhe case when- the bride -grobrii ihtfppens to be the son of a King, and the lady .of his choice merely the daughter, of a peer, and not a- peer well known to the public at that. Biit the impression I Jiave just brought home wittj me from Uie crowded streets is that the .{M-l 'who is now Duehtiss of York was itiie person in -whom the thousands who lined the. route from Buckingham Palace to- Westminster 'Abbey were most inter- ested.'. This 'is np/'refle.ction'upon cither rue'' popularity or tlie personanty^of ilic Duke 'of' YorX. who. notwithstanding the fact that -he, lias ' /.been somewhat oversliauov/ed by;, his elder brother, occupies . a very high / jiositiion in public ? i esteem.'. ? i . But to-day one felt that the. Duke was quite na .turally and almost unconsciously taking a back seat. He was so obviously iu the . seventh, heaven , of delight himself and was so palpably proud of' bis bride that in some subtle way he conveyed the impression that he was perfectly certain ?that the crowds in tlie street) could not be nearly as interested in him as they were in the 'radiants-young lady at his side. I do not say- that' this was ac- tually the case, but I honestly believe that it was the Duke's view of the mat ten Am] it is. just what a modest young bridegroom might have been expected to think,, for it really 'would be difficult to imagine a'.', daintier or more charming bride than Lady Elisabeth Bowes-Lyon. Do. not mistake this for the conventional language of adulation reserved for such ocasions, for* the, fact of the matter is that -the.. bride'- to-day,, had. London and her husband at .her. feet. The Duke of .York's).? manner' plainly'shpwed-: that he 'considered.' himself a tremendously lucky fellow, and .the: behaviour of the crowd indicated that- it shared his .opinion. Lady. .Elisabeth (it is not easy five hours' after her marriage to write of her as.theDuchess of York) in the last few months --liati . accomplitihcd somethinz very remarkable. . Seemingly without trying,' .without' forcing herself forward in any way, .she has: become a legend — n legend beautiful,' so to speak. She has not charmed the- crowd b.v the methods sometimes 'adopted- by, well-trained prin- cesses, great beautiesy-'-famous actresses, and others; apparently she has just done it because she couldn't help it; her ab- solute: naturalness, her rendincss to'ob -lige everybody, from the. /ubiquitous Press photographer upward; haver wou all hearts.; Although the blood of the proudest Scottish families' runs. 'in her veins, she has lived a simple life -on her father's '.estate, and the. -fierce light that beats upon '?? everybody who moves within the mafic circle surrounding a throne 'is something; new to . her. She seemed to enjoy the-; pageantry of. to- day in much the same manner as. an un- spoilt girl might -enjoy-' ''her first ball; she -was not; the-, least 'bit overwhelmed, but took a lively inter.cst/in ^everything. Viscount Lascelles . was.;;* somewhat solemn bridegroom, who seemed rather weighed down b.v the important part he was playing im the ceremony which- took place a year ago, but the puke of York was so obviously delighted with the girl he was ma king his wife that he carried off- the 'star'' part to-day as though he were unconscious of the fact that he was a 'star.' He seemed -well content to' be the leading man 'supporting' the young lady who is iiiucji.'.'iiipre entitled to be described, as „ 'London's Sweet- heart' than is the -film performer who, I understand, claims to stand in that re- lationship to the entire/world.

The Oxford Manner. The general public has lately become acquainted' with a new 'Oxford man- ner' and that is the manner iu which the town i.s governed by. Dr. Farncll, the Vice-Chaucellor ot the University. Dr. Farai-11'.s reign sis Vice-Chancellor,' which is shortly .coming, to.. an end, has been notablu for the comprehensive man- ner in which he. has -availed himself ofthe privileges ami excrciued the ancient prerogatives jissnciated with his office, some of which had .been either overlooked or deliberately, and. perhaps, wisely, dis- regarded by previous twentieth century wearers «f the robes. Various august decrees promulgated by Dr. Farnell' last year drew public attention to the scope of his powers, his most unpopular action being the banning of performances of Grand Gnignol plays by a company which had at its heail Miss Sybil Thorndikc, nowadays generally acknowledged to be the finest trujtic actress on the British si-age. Precisely How wide aro the powers, granted Uv mediaeval limes, pos tfpssod b.v the Viep-ChanceUor i.s still a subject of discussion, but. within a mile mul ;i half i-f fho i-cjilro of Ihp city, which is the limit of University residence ho can, if. he chooses, exercise rights which, one might imagine, belong nowa- days only to musical comedy potentates like Uie llajah of Bbong. He can put shops out of bounds, bless or bun lodg- ing-house keepers ' and conduct in his own court civil or criminal trials in which members of the University aro de- fendants. So far we have not been privileged to read of Dr. Farnell con- ducting a trial for murder and sentenc- ing an undergraduate to be hanged b.v the* not'k. hut in certain other directions he has exercised the ancient rights of liis office to the fall, notably his rights as a theatrical censor. His latest, and iu some ways his most amazing, action has taken the form of a refusal to grant licences for -the performance of some of the best known modern playes (plays sirch as in Australia would be done b.v a repertory theatre organisation) by a company directed,, by Mr. J. B. Fagan. who. iu addition to being well-known as a dramatist and producer, is a graduate of the University. Au appeal for sup- port of Mr. Fagan's venture had been signed by some of the best-known liter- ary ami public men in England, includ- ing Thomas Hardy, Bernard Shaw, Maselield, Sir Arthur Pinero, the Poet Laureate and. 'last but not least, the Marquis Curzon, who- is Chancellor of tho University. However, this dazzling array of names, combined with the fact that a licence for the theatre was read- ily granted b.v the local magistrates, did not apparently impress Dr. ljarnell, and so Mr. Fagan has had to abandon his venjure. To realise the anomalous position in which the city is placed so long as the Vicft-Chancollor coutinues to possess liis nicdiacr.-iS 'powers it is only necessary to mention that the population o£ Oxford is upward of BO.OOO aaU the

addition ;i- it-.audc.'h.yVtn'e-'prcscnre. .of undergraduates, during, about six months of theyear \s only a bout 4.000. Of course Oxford i is.-' ami probably! always' will be, primarily :r University town, but that the desires or. conveniences . of ;its citizen's should b- ; subordina ted Jto .- what one offi- cial 'gentleman mny conceive to. be: the spiritual welfare', of .a comparatively small number of undergraduates is rapidly coming to be ? regarded as intolerable. Many scathing things have been said and written of Dr. Farnell during the ' past week.. but. as is so -often Hie case \vhoir official pomposity or 'absurdity requires-: to be pricked. 'the neatest comment upon the. situation has come from Mr.'- Bernard Shaw. . 'The theatre.' says Mr: Shaw, ?'is' rather apt to regard Vice-Chancel- lors- as figures of comedy, an attitude* fatal to the reverence required froni.un-: dergraduates. , So the Vice-Chancellor's; action is at once a proof of his prudence andt'of the essential ? Tightness . of the theatre's- attitude toward Vice-Chaucel-; lors.-',- ..-?' ;?...-. :-.' ? : , . ' ;:-.. ?? \ The London 'Group.' ; i'.The' ordinary, public which is not. i greatly -interested in art or has only. a. superficial ; knowledge, of those 'new movement s' .which mean so much to their disciple's; generally. : prepares to.' enjoy. Itself like; a. 'thoroughly: good Philistine %hen -whaf.'.is' known as,. the London '.Grbup\rof painters, holds': an;, exhibition — ^or, ? as ,the' facetious 'have it,' 'makes, art exhibition. of itself.' Last year's ex hibitiqn/of the London Group made us acquainted -with some . particularly .start- ling ?paintings,1 and.' by.- comparison, -the ' display which .fh'e group is now' holding '.at,, the i 'Mansard/ Gallery, .seems ?almost.1 'conventional, though 'possibly this is, be: in.use we have;.' become' more accustomed to:'.the : unconventional ; '??' conventions' .to which these ^painters.' -subscribe; -...* Ladies, and gendemen- whose' faces .revciil. (the. .biies of a ?well-behaved rainbow;?. land- scapes'- viewed' through- chromatic '.tern-. 'perament^Vj and 'efforts ,' at impressionism ' 'which?-: make:. ?imp're3siouisin'. look. old-, fashioned are/ amongVthe, 'artistic .wares' in1 'which these- revolutionary, wielders ,6f ;? thevbrush specialise.';: As- usual,;, news-- paper '?'. humourists, are ?' enjoying ; Mhem-V seLvvs; attempting: to .find v.whatr; they consider 'appropriate ^descriptions, for. the; pictures ' exhibited. ,' One 'effort ;is- pigeon-, holed ias':'.'Porirait:Lof.; an,: old; gentleman ? who/jhas apparently ^fallen, into, a; pailiof green f paint/' ..^hile ihnpther-.is Aneatiyr described . as \ ;'Portraif .:'df -,-a.! snub ^niose; ?with- a\ laidyfattaelied.' ;;;WhileVtlie'; huK niourists '? are /.entitled ? to.: make; merry., it is,:;silly ' tp ;prctend 'that' the-; manner.; of painting ^:practi8cd:- by ;th-!; [London Group is a subject iit only; for. jest. Like mostXinno'yatorsy'somerrof it's .members', go'. '??to' -extreme ?'lengths'7 in ?'.- expounding ; their- gbspel,-but; painters like Mr. \\ al-: ter? Slekert;.,,twho . is' responsible for the a f brehicn tiorie&i , snub-nosed : lady ),. and ' SlrV-nbge'r.i' Fry ; have something- to say;; in { puittf. and,ntheir method of saying .ir. though. far rempyed/from academic tra- ? dition; is at lcast.as deserving of seriou*. consideration's; are those of .the : best; writers of vers,libre..and va'ribtis., others ilitertryi artistic, and '.?'-' musicar-V-;. icotfor,' clastk It is. notable that.: while, manyv popular newspapers send ; their stipen-;. diary; humourists to exhibitions by rthe; London Group; the 'Times' entrusts tup work of.; reviewing these pictures,; to 'its art; critic: Mr! A. Clutton Brock^-a gen-, tleman of wide .culture and keen artistic insight— and Mrk Clutten Brock;, isjby no,: means disposed', to .treat .the,: beit Mo^ut?t.s,?Qf:?l^lfi??'Group^?as..a.?Jokci^r..;:.?,:|?:?;l

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