December 29, 1883
Vol. XXVIII, No. 26
F. J. M.
The Fortunate Investments of a French-German Noblewoman
Pittsburg, Pa., Nov. 28, 1883
It is stated on excellent authority here that Marie Clementina, of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, a duchy whose Duke was the brother of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria of England, has been speculating in this country. Some years ago this lady, who is a widow, very wealthy and resides in Vienna, began operating in American stocks and bonds through a London firm of bankers and a couple of English capitalists who are members of two famous families — the Dudleys and Ruthven-Pyms. Her operations included securities of various kinds, but were chiefly stocks and bonds of railroads. The Duchess was no ordinary dabbler and did not purchase hundred share lots at a time, but dealt in thousands of shares. Whether she has been successful or not in the long run is not known, but a gentleman who is well informed in regard to some of her transactions says she has made money in every venture she has undertaken of which he has knowledge. She has advisers who are well posted, and their buying is in every case most opportune. As an instance of this, several thousands of shares of the stock of a Pittsburg railroad were bought by the Princess two or three years ago which were sold very recently at a profit of $5 or $6 a share, besides the handsome dividends she received while holding them. In the transfer papers of this stock the Princess is styled by the notary "Marie Clementina of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, of the Calaisburg, Vienna, widow." A power of attorney which accompanies the papers, and which was made before the American Consul at Vienna, is signed in a neat, fine, running hand "Clementina d'Orleans, Princess Auguste de Saxe-Coburg Gotha," and beside the name is a plain little red seal without armorial bearings or crest. Gustave de Trebenje, Chef de Chancellerie Ducale, and August D. Wladory, Cussier Ducale, were witnesses of the signature. The Duchy of Saxe-Coburg is part of the German Empire, and is prosperous and wealthy. The husband of the Princess became Duke after the ducal line of Gotha became extinct in, in [sic] 1825, when the duchy was given to the House of Coburg-Saalfeld. The Princess herself is a member of the House of Orleans.
It was midnight.
The great clock had struck, and was still echoing through every porch and gallery in the quarter of St. Mark, when a young citizen, wrapped in his cloak, was hastening home from an interview with his young mistress.
His step was very light, for his heart was so.
Her parents had just consented to their marriage. The very day was named.
"Lovely Giulietta!" he cried, "and shall I, then, call thee mine at last! Who was ever so blest as thy Marcolini?"
But as he spoke he stopped; for something glittered on the pavement before him.
It was a scabbard of rich workmanship; and the discovery, what was it but an earnest of good fortune?
"Rest thou there!" he cried, thrusting it gayly into his belt. "If another claims thee not thou has changed masters!"
And on he went as before, humming the burden of a song which he and his Giulietta had been singing together.
But little we know what the next minute will bring forth.
He turned by the Church of St. Geminiano, and in three steps met the watch.
A terrible murder had just been committed.
The Senator Renaldi had been found dead at his door, the dagger left in his heart.
The unfortunate Marcolini was dragged away for examination.
The place, the time, everything served to excite, to justify suspicion.
And no sooner had he entered the guardhouse than a damning witness appeared against him.
The bravo in his fight had thrown away his scabbard.
And smeared with blood — with blood not yet dry — it was now in the belt of Marcolini.
Its patrican ornaments struck every eye.
When the fatal dagger was produced and compared with it not a doubt of his guilt remained.
Still there is in the innocent an energy, a composure — an energy when they speak, a composure when they are silent — to which none can be altogether insensible; and the judge delayed for some time to pronounce the sentence, though he was a near relation of the dead.
At length, however, it came, and Marcolini lost his life and Giulietta her reason.
Not many years afterward the truth revealed itself, the real criminal in his last moments confessed the crime; and hence the custom in Venice, a custom that long prevailed, for a crier to cry out in the court before a sentence was passed, "Remember poor Marcolini!"
"Sir!" replied the shabby-genteel, who had been asked to deposit fifty cents with the cashier before sitting down to table in a restaurant, "wheat is way down to nothing in price, and on the 1st of the month there were 30,000,000 bushels heaped up awaiting a market."
"Potatoes are a full crop, and the price is low."
"Potatoes are a full crop, and the price is low."
"Buckwheat is a shade firmer, but there is no panic. Corn was nipped, but the supply is all we need."
"While butter, beef, and poultry can be had at lower prices than have ruled for years. Suppose I should beat you out of a meal? The loss would be a mere trifle."
"My dear sir," replied the other, "you are gravely mistaken. It isn't the provisions you would consume, but it is the fact that paper napkins have advanced 10 cents per thousand. Please secure us in advance."
There is a fruit and poultry dealer in town who owns a talking parrot and the quaint, philosophic utterances of the wise-looking creature furnish much amusement to passers-by. The parrot talks incessantly and the owner some months ago refused a large price offered for the bird by a married man, who said he wanted it as a sort of stand off for his wife. The poultry dealer positively refused to sell, however, but confidentially remarked to the other, "Fact is, that's what I keep the parrot for myself. When anybody starts in scolding, you observe, that bird always get furious and takes the first hand in the jawing match. Nobody else can get in a word edgeways, and if you swear at her, why you'd think you'd woke up half a dozen angry bull-whackers. No, sir," he added, looking sympathetically at the other married man, "I won't part with that bird for any price, but I'll set up the beer for you."
An oviparous story is told concerning the parrot, the burden of which falls, as a matter of course, upon an Irishman. He had never seen a bird of the kind before, and had been listening for half an hour to its wise sayings with the keenest interest, not unmixed with awe.
"It's a quare, wondherful burd, entirely. Do she lay anny eggs?" he asked of the market-man.
"Oh, yes; once in a while," replied the owner, who saw a chance to amuse himself.
"Could you sell me an egg from that burd?"
"Yes; if you come here in a day or two I'll have one for you," said the poultry-dealer, and the inquirer went away highly pleased. He was back again on the second day and asked for the promised egg. The dealer had forgotten the circumstance till now, but to carry out his joke walked to the back part of his store, and picking up an egg out of the nearest boxes, wrapped it up in paper and handed it to Paddy, who cheerfully paid the ten cents demanded and departed with a smile of satisfaction.
Two or three weeks passed before the poultry dealer saw his egg customer again, and then he noticed him one morning standing on the sidewalk and gazing at the parrot with a half sorrowful, half-reproachful air. Presently he stepped up to the dealer and whispered:
"Luk here, misther, does that bird o' yours run around much o' nights!"
"Well, I don't know exactly," replied the dealer, with difficulty repressing a grin, as a suspicion of what was coming floated across his mind; "perhaps she may hop out into the back yard sometimes."
"Lemme give yez a pinter on that burd," said the Irishman in a sepulchral whisper — "there's a duck been laiding her asthray."
THE minuet is again in full favor in high life, and it is true the style in which it is now danced so proficiently, exactly, and gracefully entitles it to this lasting favor. The costumes of the time of Louis XV. are at many houses de rigeur and not objected to, as it adds grace to grace.
THERE is a suggestion that Portland place ought to be planted with trees on each side of the road. It would add a trifle to its rurality, perhaps, but scarcely to its beauty, and the trees dripping with rain are not pleasant in busy thoroughfares, and such skeleton growths as London can produce scarcely ever give shelter.
MISS THACKERAY might have added to her personal sketch of the poet Laureate the following little incident which reaches us from Copenhagen. When asked to dine at the Palace, Mr. Tennyson was unable to accept the invitation for the characteristic but sufficient reason that he had no dress coat with him.
ONE of the fruits of Lord Coleridge's visit to this country has appeared in the plan to form a system of district courts throughout England after the model of the district courts of the United States. So favorably has the suggestion been received that a bill for this purpose has been prepared by Coleridge and accepted by the cabinet.
LORD SALISBURY has found it necessary to remove some misapprehension about his London property. He says it must not be supposed that streets which bear his family names necessarily belong to him. They once belonged to his family; but his ancestors were so thriftless that most of the property was sold, and the Salisbury estate in the metropolis is now very small; moreover, it is not in any of the overcrowded districts.
THE Borgia Museum, at the Propaganda, Rome, founded by Cardinal Borgia at the commencement of this century, and including very rich numismatical, geographical, ethnographical and palæographical collections, has been recently much enlarged by the addition of several spacious halls on the second story of the Propaganda. The museum is continually enriched by the contributions of missionaries from all parts of the world.
THE Cour des Tuileries was turned to the base use of trying experiments the other day in rendering the scenery of the opera-house incombustible. The flames which arose (from the portion not treated with the solution) alarmed the whole neighborhood, and to most recalled the memory of the bad old times. The experiment was a success with the scenery, which had been steeped in the solution; nothing would induce it to burn.
THE late little ferment about sherry and sandwiches in the vestries has set people's tongues wagging, and they assure us that good wine, and plenty of it, is not rare in city churches. Yea, verily, they have their cellars like unto other good houses; the lords thereof being even as are laymen in their likings, and, truly, more favored still, for they can obtain what they like without paying for it. Some church vestry cellars are said to contain much more than £50 worth of wine at a time.
THE fashion for envelopes has decided on something exceptional, which is grand and elegant. They are made of vellum of the purest white, and are bound round, north, south, east and west, with ribbon of any color by fancy cherished, which is tied into a knot and sealed with wax of the same hue as the ribbon. This operation takes place before the address is written that it may all be legible. Haut allure has decreed that the words monsieur and madame are henceforth to be left out before titles, and it will be proper to write Baron de V----, Marquis de B----, and so on.
A MORE extended sphere of usefulness has been discovered for the tricycle. The proprietors of one of the London daily papers have started a machine provided with a capacious square basket, covered with waterproof material, and of the startling red color affected by the Post Office Department for mail carts and pillar boxes, as an adjunct of their delivery service in the metropolitan district. The basket being in front of the rider, the contents are well under observation. Here is a good idea for the Postmaster-General in connection with the provincial Parcels Post.
THE Romans object to the electric light — they have a religious dislike to it rather than a practical one, and the people who love darkness are actually tuning up in hymns alleluas [sic] against electricity in Rome. The Romans have yet, it is clear, to advance, but were we not also bigoted? Did not the inventor of gas suffer contempt and menace at our hand? Franklin searched for light in fear and trembling, and Stephenson had a very hot time of it. The electric people will not be put down, but will insist in lighting up Rome in some parts. The king is benevolent to the idea.
THE question of the bestowal of a pension on the widow of the late Commander Moncrieff, who fell fighting against the Arabs at Suakim, has been warmly discussed between the Admiralty and the Foreign Office, neither of which authorities choose to take the responsibility of the gallant officer's action in his unfortunate sortie. As usual when there is the least doubt in a question of generosity, our authorities are always disposed to follow the advice of the old philosophers, "Dans le doute absts [sic] enttoi," and thus the grant of a pension has been refused. The late Lord Beaconsfield would not have hesitated an instant in his decision concerning the matter.
A CURIOUS event occurred last week, namely, the interment of a journalist, who had directed that his remains should be proceded [sic] by an Italian organ-grinder. How contrary to the hatred that the more nervous British man of letters has always shown towards this most charming purveyor of melody! Life was a joke with the Frenchman; he made lots of money, and spent it freely on amusing himself, which he did to the utmost. As a proof of his friendship to the craft to which he belonged he sent invitations from the dead (prepared before his death) to a large number of journalists to dine after his funeral at a first-rate hotel. The cost was to be defrayed out of his funds by his executors, and the request was made that nothing was to be spared at the repast. This is the way to have one's memory respected.
IN your very spirited article, M. de Rosaury, will you be good enough to inform us if you are lancing small pillets of jokes at mighty Russia? Or are you microscopic by nature, and draw, therefore, your inferences from "littleness," because you exclaim, "Blessed be Russia, her influence on us is all for good, while that of Germany is the reverse of satisfactory. The latter steals our trade, and starves our workmen by fabricating imitative articles of Paris, whereas Russia sends us meals and petroleum, splendid oak, and the celebrated powder for curing nervous disorders—the extract for turning grey hair into black or brown; the plaister that cures corns; the renowned liquor curing indigestion," and so on. What will Messieurs the Grand Dukes say to this? They will enjoy the joke, for they know one when they see it. Does M. the writer know one when he writes one?
IT is all the volcanoes. Our sunsets are due to volcanic eruptions. That beautiful crimson glow which has made the sky look like a fire, and rendered all our architecture in London ghostly, came from Java. It was, according to one authority, the home [sic] of the house, due to volcanic dust in the region much above the highest clouds. "The vesicular nature of pumice, each particle consisting of a small bubble of glass, would allow it, after being shot up by the eruption to an enormaus [sic] height, to be carried without precipitation to all quarters of the globe, and at the altitude attained it would be far removed from the action of vapour and weather. Nothing like this diffused atmospheric glow after dark and one or two hours before sunrise has been observed before, and a singular effect must have its origin in a singular cause. On two evenings the glass, which was of an amber color, did not come bright until about an hour after sunset, and was partially obscured by clouds." We might surely get our clouds from some place nearer than Java.
AT a recent dinner given in one of the old English country houses, the table ornaments and appointments were unique. The centre was covered with a large mirror stand surrounded by a silver Louis XIV., gallery, mounted on low silver stags' feet, so that it was a little raised above the cloth. The mirror was strewn with cut flowers and foliage, and on this bed were placed groups of figures in Dresden china, half screened by bowers and gladiolas and other tall plants. A wreath of odorless flowers surrounded the plate of each guest, and a very tiny one encircled each champagne glass. Miniature gardeners in silver pushed before them, little barrows, containing salt and pepper, and gilded shovels took the place of spoons. The menu was written on a sheet of ivory in red Gothic characters, a red coral seal depending from each by a ribbon. A cut glass scent bottle, matching the wine glasses, was filled with perfume and placed before each lady guest, for those who disliked the smell of game.
HOW TO GET SICK—Expose yourself day and night, eat too much without exercise, work too hard without rest, doctor all the time, take all the vile nostrums advertised, and then you will want to know
HOW TO GET WELL—Which is answered in three words—Take Hop Bitters!