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But that “cask of fine old sherry" deserves a new paragraph. I know not how many times I have been assured that there was no doubt about that curious fact—and a curious fact it certainly would be. Mr. Tom Taylor will perhaps forgive me for mentioning that his name has been cited among the names of those whose eyes have rested on the curious entry in the old ledger of the City wine merchant, who, we were told, happened to be a neighbour of that highly respectable gentleman at "Lavender Sweep." Now what did that cask of fine old sherry mean? "Judge for yourself,” our informants were accustomed to say, “when you know that Mrs. Orton in her maiden days was a servant in Sir James Tichborne's house." There is no need to finish the scandalous and ridiculous romance; but for the credit of poor old Mrs. Orton, now dead and gone, I will just call attention to one or two facts and dates. Mrs. Orton never was a servant in anybody's family; but a butcher's daughter who lived in Wapping all her life. When Arthur was born, Sir James—then plain Mr. Tichbornewas living in Paris, and had been for many years, while Mrs. Orton was a middle-aged butcher's wife with a dozen children. Though this idle tale has been flourishing for some time it would be hardly worth this passing notice but for a delusion which evidently gives rise to it-on which it may be well to add a few words. There
I know, many persons who, while they are perfectly satisfied that the convicted pretender to the Tichborne baronetcy and estates is an impudent impostor, are nevertheless much puzzled to imagine how an illiterate slaughterman in Wagga-Wagga could have conceived, and, having conceived, could have ventured to carry out, a scheme for personating Lieutenant Tichborne of the Carabineers, of whom he presumptively knew nothing. As there never was, I believe, a great case of personation before in which the impostor had not had some connection with the man he pretended to be—some access to papers or other tokens of identity—the difficulty is not altogether imaginary. But it vanishes at once if we look into the evidence as to the origin of the fraud. Lady Tichborne, it must be remembered, in those foolish advertisements which she put forth so perseveringly, not only offered a handsome reward for tidings of her son, but gave many particulars that would be useful to an impostor. She told his name, his parentage, the name of the ship in which he sailed from South America, and the date of sailing. She described his height, the colour of his hair and his eyes. She mentioned his father's name, and the estates to which he would be entitled if alive ; and, finally, she said-on no authority but the idle stories of the mendicant sailors who used to impose upon the wretched mother—that he was believed
Vol. XII., N.S. 1874.
to have been picked up after the shipwreck and carried to Melbourne. For three years at least that mischievous advertisement had been circulating up and down the world, until at last it found—as in the end it was certain to do--the man who would be likely to respond to it. Any one who has had the advantage of reading the Chilian and Australian depositions must know perfectly well the kind of person which Arthur Orton alias Tom Castro, of Wagga-Wagga,
From his boyhood he had been a liar and a braggart. In Melipilla he assured the Castros and Dona Hayley that his father was a nobleman, and that he himself had played with the Queen's children. In Australia witness after witness told of his wild romances. To this one he said that he had been cast away on the coast of South America, and had there been sheltered by a Spaniard with two lovely daughters; to another he described imaginary adventures of his at the Cape of Good Hope ; to another he said, as every one knows, that he was the identical young man who squandered £1,500 at cards at the Brighton races. There are at least a dozen such stories belonging to various periods to be found in the Australian evidence. After the Claimant arrived here he wrote that famous letter to Don Tomas Castro in which he reminded his “old and esteemed friend” of “those magnificent lands I used to tell you of.” It is very doubtful whether the stories of his association with Morgan the bushranger, to which he pleaded guilty in the witness-box, were not mere fictions—invented to satisfy only that craving for vulgar romance which was in the very grain of the man. Now let those who think there was anything wonderful in this rascal's fraud consider the effect of the Dowager's advertisement on a mind like his. Here was a romance ready made, and, what was more, a romance which fitted—or, at least, appeared to fit-his own history in a wonderful way. The crazy old mother was wrong in the age of her son by five or six years ; but, strangely enough, the age she gave was about Arthur Orton's age. She was wrong again in the colour of the hair and eyes; but, strangely again, the colour she mentioned exactly described Arthur Orton's hair and eyes. Again, Roger Tichborne, it appeared, had travelled in South America ; so had Arthur Orton. He had come (or was stated to have come, which was the same thing) thence to Australia. Exactly Arthur Orton's
Even the dates corresponded near enough; for Roger Tichborne disappeared in 1854, and Arthur Orton had not been heard of by his friends since the close of 1853. Here at least was sufficient ground for those nods and hints which took in poor Mr. Gibbes. But even then the fraud was for a long
time merely tentative. Not Orton, but Gibbes and Cubitt, at first carried on the correspondence. For a whole year the Dowager wrote long letters, giving numberless items of information, and revealing to her Australian plunderers all the silly credulity and weakness of her singular character. When she sent money; declared that she believed the man, who had not then even revealed himself to her, was her son, “ though (she added) his statements, differ from mine"; and, finally, when she told Gibbes that she thought the photographic portraits were like her son Roger, making allowances for time”; what marvel that Arthur Orton, alias Tom Castro, finally determined to start for Paris (taking care to go with Bogle to Tichborne first) and see how far the old lady's craze would carry her ? He had already raised some hundreds on the strength of his pretensions, and at the worst he could come back again. From that point all the world knows the history of the Great Imposture, which, wonderful as it is, can at least be accounted for without any assistance from that “cask of fine old sherry."
Starting from such omen's cheer,
All the realms of east and west :
Pet delights and loving jest.
Or a honeymoon so fair ?
R. D. B.
LOCOMOTION IN LONDON.
BY GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA.
MONG other curious observances prevailing during Passion Week, in the City of Mexico, is one which strictly prohibits the appearance in the streets on Holy
Thursday of any kind of wheeled equipages. “Jueves Santo” is recognised as a day of thorough and unreserved humiliation; pomp must for the nonce take physic, and authority put, for twenty-four hours at least, its pride in its pocket. All the Mexican world goes to church a dozen times a day to the various“functions,” —from poor men's feet-washing to “tenebræ"; and everybody, high and low, from the “Fin Flor de la Caballerosidad” to the lowest “lepero," must go to church on foot. The custom is a wholesome one, and might be followed, perhaps, with advantage in countries other than Mexican. Did you ever live opposite a Ritualistic church, and listen for the four-wheeled cabs driving furiously up to the sacred portals on Sunday mornings, and hear the pious fares wrangle with the cabmen ?
In modern London Maundy Thursday passes almost wholly unregarded, save in very select religious circles, and at the Chapel Royal, where the Queen's Almoner, with the assistance of a squad of Beefeaters, distributes Her Majesty's Paschal charities to a number of ancient men and women, who to outward appearance seem to be blameless but decayed pew-openers, and trade-fallen under-butlers who have led virtuous lives. On Good Friday again, I regret to state, there are vast numbers of Londoners who do not go to church, but who, on the contrary, turn the fast into a festival—thronging the railway stations, overloading the omnibuses, and driving furiously in and out in gigs, chaise-carts, and other conveyances dear to the shopkeeping class. Good Friday, indeed, which poor John Leech used to qualify as “a Sunday without Bell's Life," is growing noisier and more worldly every year; and as for the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, but for the fact that a certain number of poor theatrical people are still deprived of their salaries through the closing of the theatres on the day when their neighbours are not mourning in dust and ashes, this once rigorously kept fast might be considered as irrevocably fallen “ into the portion of weeds and outworn faces.” On the whole, the congested traffic of London experiences but a very