Brooklyn Life from Brooklyn, New York on June 29, 1901 · Page 18
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Brooklyn Life from Brooklyn, New York · Page 18

Brooklyn, New York
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 29, 1901
Page 18
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i6 BROOKLYN LIFE. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. THERE is place for irony in writing to America of the reception Paris has accorded the ex-Queen Ranavalo, of Madagascar, this month, for her presence has brought about no secession in the scathing criticism by the French press of our policy in the Philippines, criticisms which are amusing from a nation whose own colonial policy is one of notorious aggrandizement and extortion, and whose administration of colonial affairs is of most undignified incompetency. The surest proof of the immense advance the United States has made, commercially and as a Power, during the last three years, is the sudden interest the European papers have taken in our affairs, after years of profound ignorance and indifference, and the vast amount (and inaccuracy) of information regarding us and our manners and customs which appears from day to day. Comparatively, there is as much petty gossip of American millionaires and their doings in the Parisian papers as in the New York yellow journals. Unfortunately, at the same time, the dislike and envy that the French have long lavished upon the Britisher is being spread out without growing perceptibly thinner to cover his Anglo-Saxon cousin across the water. "You are English, Monsieur?" "No, American." "Ah, it is the same thing," is a little conversation which is almost inevitable upon making a new French acquaintance. The ex-Queen Ranavalo has been the unofficial star visitor of the week. The populace has been most interested in this dusky but not unlovely woman, who wears her dainty French frocks and dresses her thick, wavy, dark hair with some suggestion of chic. It was odd to see her at the Fete des Fleurs, in the Bois, the other afternoon, amidst the beauties and the fashionables of Paris, accepting as her due - the attentions of the crowd. The royal party were in an ordinary fiacre, the French gentleman who acts as the Queen's guide sitting beside her, while her aunt, a buxom lady in a pink mousseline frock, sat with some dignity on the little seat that lets down opposite. The Princess Ramasindrazana is darker than the Queen, and her teeth flashed white with the breadth of her smiles as she gayly flung and received showers of blossoms. Ranavalo has shown her complete femininity as much since her dethronement and exile, by her keen desire to come to the "city of couturiers," as when, on her throne, she left affairs of state to her uncle and was content to be the exponent of French fashions and Western coquetries to the women of her court. They say, on the night of her banishment, four years ago, when the French troops conveyed her secretly in a sort of native sedan-chair, from Tamatave to the coast, that her out-of-date but still cherished Paris wardrobe filled trunks that needed four hundred men to carry. With such tastes and a patriotism staunch but unheroic, it is small wonder that after the first dreary months of her exile in Algiers, the Queen desired most of all things to see Paris, even though it was the capital of the oppressors and conquerors of her family and her people. It seemed useless, to say the least, after the curt refusal of the French Government to allow her to come to the Exposition last summer. Did they think she would seize such chance that might be given for intrigue, or did they fear those of her people who were in the Madagascar colony at the Trocadero would too openly, at the sight of their queen, bemoan their former freedom? But the attitude of the Government, now she has been allowed to come, is pompous, indeed. Given but an ordinary little apartment in a side street for herself and her suite, and denied all official recognition, she is hampered at every step lest she run upon the President of the Republic, and thus complicate matters of etiquette beyond possibility of righting them. She desired very much to go to the grand steeplechase at Auteuil last Sunday the biggest day at that racecourse of all the sporting year. She was advised, however, that she must stay away, as President Loubet was to be there, and the Protocol has not yet decided in what way a conquered and dethroned queen could be received. Ranavalo consoles herself by spending whole mornings at the big department shops, and in receiving at her apartment streams of tryers-on from the milliners and tailors of the Rue de la Paix. All the same, this head, which rests easier under a tulle capote than under the Madagascan crown, takes a proper amount of interest in museums and galleries, and has been received with some social cordiality by those French people who held diplomatic positions at her court in her prosperous days. The recently discovered tragedy of Blanche Monnier, of Poitiers, which is agitating all France, has had a development that will make the trial and final possible, but not probable, punishment of one of the guilty ones almost an anticlimax. The story reads like a page from the middle ages the discovery of the secret of this old and wealthy family of Poitiers, of the infamy of an old lady of eighty, apparently pious and very much looked up to, and her son, a man of affairs, a holder of official positions, a member of the church, "pillars of society" in every sense. Concealed in a tiny room, without light, air, furniture other than a bare bed and a ragged cover, covered with filth and vermin, naked, starved, crippled from lack of exercise, just barely alive after twenty-five years of imprisonment in her own home, there was found the other day the daughter who had once wished to marry a man, poor and undesired by her family. She had been styled "mad," had been apparently sent away from home, never heard of, and speedily forgotten by the world. The woman's body was a mere skeleton, weighing perhaps forty pounds; her nails were three inches long; her hair was matted into the semblance of a bar of iron. One can hardly find words to express the horror of her condition, one can hardly believe that a human body could suffer so much and yet live live and be not mad. For the doctors say Blanche Monnier, though simple as a child, is in good mental condition. The hypocrite of a brother has spent his days in prison, awaiting trial, by saying his prayers. The old mother, although a millionaire, worked constantly to earn nine cents daily cracking nuts for the firm that thus employs prison labor, after a few days of which she succumbed to old age on her prison pallet. Her funeral cortege, sent out secretly at six in the morning, was yet not early enough to escape the crowd of her fellow townspeople, who were only too eager to accompany the wretched torturer to her grave with their cries of hate and rage. When before, in this country, where reverence for a funeral procession is half-unconscious and often perfunctory, has a hearse passed through the streets without one woman of all the town crossing herself, without one man lifting his hat! E. M. Mielziner. SPORTS OF THE AMATEUR THERE was never a stronger probability in championship golfing than that Miss Hecker, who surprised the talent last year by winning the first woman's metropolitan championship at Morristown, would succeed in defending the title at the Nassau Country Club last week. Of course, there is nothing more uncertain than golf, but it Fair Oolfers at seemed very clear before the meet that the fair Nassau. ex-Wee Burn but now Essex County player was well in advance of her metropolitan sisters. The surprise came in the unexpected strength revealed by Mrs. H. B. Ashmore, of Baltusrol, who, in the semi-final, came within an ace of beating the champion by virtue of sterling good play. Indeed, the luck, if any, was on Miss Hecker's side, for she won the last hole by a remarkable putt for a three when Mrs. Ashmore was on the rim of the cup in the like. The putt showed splendid nerve at a critical juncture, but it would have been none the less creditable had the ball stopped a trifle short or run a little over. That Mrs. Ashmore, in spite of spending n strokes on the second hole, which her opponent made in 6, went out in 52 and finished the round in 99, against Miss Hecker's 94, indicates the strength of her play. In the U. S. G. A. ladies' championship, next autumn, Mrs. Ashmore is calculated to be an important factor; but Miss Gladys Robinson, of Wee Burn, who but for lack of judgment and a modicum of bad luck, would have beaten Mrs. Ashmore, is even more promising. She, like Miss Hecker and C. II. Seeley, is one of George Strath's pupils, and her faults are those of youth. These two constituted the discoveries of the W. M. G. A. competition this year. Except in the semi-final against Mrs. Ashmore, Miss Hecker won out in hollow style, and did not have to exert herself in the final against Miss Ruth Underhill. Miss Marion Oliver bade fair to make a good finish, but after scoring 91, a new woman's record for the course, in her match against Mrs. N. P. Rogers, she collapsed. Miss Wetmore was unexpectedly weak. Miss Hecker's play was remarkable for its consistency. If she had finished out some of her rounds she would have beaten Miss Oliver's 91. As it was, she scored 92 and was always under 100. IN addition to the chief honor, Miss Hecker won the driving competition, and, with Miss Goffe, the club foursome, scoring 92. The long driving was between boundaries one hundred yards apart, and a strong cross-wind blowing militated against distance as well as accuracy. The average of three tries gave Miss Hecker a trifle over 134 MinorW. M.o. A.yards, her longest being 156 yards. Miss Honors. Ruth Badgeley was second, with an average ' of 132 yards. Under the circumstances, these : figures compared favorably with the scores in the national event at Shinnecock, last autumn, when Mrs. Howard F.Whitney, then Miss Louise Maxwell, drove nearly 190 yards, thanks to a long roll on hard, sloping ground. It was in the .

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