Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 105, October 14th 1893 by Various
Ernest Schaal, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
[Illustration: DIVERSE AIMS.
_The Curate_. "YES, IT'S A LOVELY MORNING, TRENCHERMAN; JUST THE SORT TO GIVE ONE AN APPETITE FOR BREAKFAST."
_Farmer Trencherman_. "AH! A HAPPITITE FOR YER BREAKFAST, SIR. NOW THERE'S THE DIFFERENCE, YER SEE. I BE COME OUT FUR TO GET A BREAKFAST FOR MY HAPPITITE!"]
* * * * *
_A Trip round "the Island," and back to P'm'th_.
_Happy Thought (on board crowded steamboat)_.--"Obstinacy is the best policy." The obstinate man won't move, and won't speak, except in monosyllables; he won't budge one inch for anybody; he puts everybody in a worse temper than everybody was before, and, in the end, he wins. To the credit of the obstinate man be it said that "he knows how to keep his place," and does keep it too.
A kind of second-rate sporting bookmaker, with sandy whiskers and dirty hands, who has secured a corner seat near me, smokes like a chimney, and the chimney, his pipe, ought to have been swept and cleaned out long ago. Also he seems quite unable to take five whiffs without prolific expectoration. From experience I believe he will be visited by the steward, and told not to smoke. I am awaiting this with malicious anticipation of pleasure. I am disappointed. A junior steward, of whom I make the inquiry in heating of the objectionable fumigator, replies that "Smoking _is_ allowed here, but not abaft." Thanks, very much. The sandy-whiskered man won't go "abaft," wherever that is. Perhaps he will presently. After a time, when it becomes a bit rougher, he disappears. No doubt he has gone "abaft." Let him stay there.
"_The Needles_."--Why needles? There's no more point in the name than there is to the rocks.
Opposite Freshwater it very naturally commences to be a bit freshish; some people in the forepart are getting very wet; there is a stampede; it is still fresher and rougher; but I have every confidence in the Captain, who, as I observe, is negligently standing on the bridge, deliberately cracking specimens of that great delicacy the early filbert, or it may be the still earlier walnut.
_Happy Thought_.--There can be no danger when the Captain is engaged in cracking nuts as if they were so many jokes.
Splashing and ducking have commenced freely. The waves do the splashing, and the people on board do the ducking.
There are those who look ill and keep well; and others who look well at first, but who turn all sorts of colours within a quarter of an hour, struggle gallantly, and succumb; children lively, but gradually collapsing, lying about doubled up helplessly; comfortable, comely matrons who came on board neat and tidy, now horridly uncomfortable, and quite reckless of appearance. Here, too, is the uncertain sailor, who considers it safer to remain seated, and who, at the end of the voyage, is surprised to find himself in perfect health.
_Sighting Ventnor_.--The man "who knows everything" informs us that this is Bonchurch, which information a man with a book has of course felt himself bound to correct. The latter tells us that it is a place called Undercliff (which nobody for one moment believes), and both informants are put right by a mariner with a map, who points out all the places correctly, and confides to us in a husky voice that "that ere place among the trees is Ventnor."
More shower-bathing; the fore-part of the vessel quite cleared by the attacking waves.
However, "it soon dries off," says a jolly middle-aged gentleman in a summer suit, drenched from tip of collar to toe of boot.
Being well out at sea (how many are never "_well_ out at sea"!), we catch sight of Bonchurch and the landslip. Of course we gay nautical dogs pity the poor lubbers ashore who "live at home at ease," and who are probably suffering from intense---- (Here my remarks, made to a jovial companion on a camp-stool, are interrupted by a blob in the eye from a wave. On recovery I forget what I was going to say, but fancy "the missing word" is "heat.")
Passing Sandown. Of course the well-informed person says, "This is where the races are," and equally of course he is immediately contradicted by a reduced chorus of bystanders, who pity his deplorable ignorance. Total discomfiture of well-informed person. He disappears. "Gone below," like a Demon in a pantomime at the appearance of the Good Fairy.
Nice place Sandown apparently, where, it being 1.30, the happy Wight-islanders are probably sitting down in comfort to a nice hot lunch, while we, the jovial mariners--well, no matter. I shall wait till I can lunch ashore.
Our arrangements are to land at Southsea, where (so we were given to understand) we ought to be at 2 P.M. But already it is 2 P.M., and I dive into my provision-pocket for a broken biscuit. ... An interior voice whispers that the broken biscuit was a mistake. I tremble. False alarm. Southsea!! Saved!! But we are forty minutes late, and our time for refreshment is considerably curtailed.
We crowd off through a sort of black-hole passage. Debarking and re-embarking might be very easily managed on a much more comfortable plan. We pay one penny for the pier-toll, and we make for the hotel at the entrance to the pier. Any port in a storm. Cold luncheon is ready for those who can take it, that is, one in six.
_Back again_.--Past Cowes and Ryde. Weather lovely; sea calm.
There are some persons of whom I would make short work were I a Captain on board, with power to order into irons anyone whose presence was objectionable. And these persons are, Firstly, stout greasy women, with damp, dirty little children. Secondly, fat old men and women (more or less dirty) eating green, juicy pears with pocket knives. Thirdly, smokers of strong pipes. Fourthly, smokers of cigars. Fifthly (imprisonment with torture), for smokers of bad cigars. Sixthly, people who will persist in attempting to walk about and who, in order to preserve their perpendicular, are perpetually making grabs at everything and everybody. Seventhly, aimless wanderers, who seem unable to remain in one place for five minutes at a time.
5.45. Old England once more. We land on P'm'th Pier.
* * * * *
"'LUX' AGAINST HIM."--At the Church Congress last week the gentleman known as "Father IGNATIUS," who evidently considers an Ecclesiastical Congress at Birmingham a mere "Brummagam affair," became uncommonly excited. It cannot be said that his violence took the form of demanding the blood of any antagonist, as he distinctly objected to the presence of _Gore_. But Mr. GORE, author of _Lux Mundi_, won the toss, stood his ground, and spoke; his speech being very favourably received. "Yet," as the President remarked (probably to himself, as it was not reported), "we must draw the line somewhere, and it is only a pity the LYNE has been 'drawn' here." Subsequently the LYNE shook hands with the police, peace was restored, and the LYNE lay down with the lamb. "See how these Christians love one another!"
* * *
Why is an utterly selfish man always a most presentable person in the very best society?--_Ans_. Because never for one minute does he forget himself.
* * * * *
[Illustration: MR. PUNCH'S APPEAL--TO COAL-OWNERS, MINERS, AND ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.]
_War!_ Is it still to be war, wild war in the heart of the land? Are we children of England, busied in tearing our mother's breast? And is there no ruling counsel, and is there no warning hand To bring this folly to reason, and still this fury to rest? _War!_ And the boons of Nature are wasted in stubborn strife, And women, children, non-combatants, suffer and starve and stand by; And idle hands are lifted in vain for the means of life; And _why_?
Ye will not list to each other, then listen to me and to _these_, Whose mute appeal I must voice, and whose pitiful cause I must plead! You of the hardened hearts playing autocrat much at your ease, And you of the hardened hands who the _end_ of the way little heed; Listen and look and consider! The blows that you blindly strike Like shafts that are shot at a venture, fall not alone upon foes. The arrow shot o'er the house may a brother hurt, belike-- Who knows?
 _Hamlet_, Act V., Sc. 2.
Who _cares_? Not you, it would seem. For you stand with stubborn front, And backs in hatred averted, and ears to all counsels closed; While ten thousand innocent lives of _your_ quarrel are bearing the brunt, And a myriad hands hang idle because _you_ are fiercely opposed. Look at them! Gathered hungry about an empty grate. Whilst the coal they crave lies idle within the unpeopled mine, And Wealth and Work, at odds, when invited to arbitrate-- Decline!
Capital sets its face, and cocks a contemptuous nose, And Labour, lounging sullenly, snaps its jaws like a spring; And the land must stand at gaze whilst they fight it out as foes! How long must we wait the issue, how long must we "keep the ring"? Are there no rights save yours, no claims save your warring wills? Sense has a word to say, Justice a thing to do. Are we to wait and wait while the land with suffering thrills, For _you_?
Sympathy? Ay, good friends! But sympathy's not like wrath, One-eyed, one-sided, partial. Sympathy's due to all Who fall, fate-tripped and bruised, in your quarrel's Juggernaut path. We think of the wives and children--Charity heeds their call; Does she not proffer her dole "without prejudice"?--Yes, but they Are not sole sufferers now from the Coal War's venomous strife. Thousands of unknown hearts are pleading for Peace to-day-- And _Life_!
Strong men "out of work," weak women as "out of heart," Factory gates unopened, and Workhouse gates fast shut. Traffic hampered, arrested, piled trains unable to start. Famine in homes and hearths, trade dead-lock and market-glut! The coal lies there in the mine, untouched of hammer and pick, While yon pale widow-woman must haggle in vain for enough To charge her tiny grate! Faith! the heart that turns not sick Is tough!
Tough, my lords of Capital! Hard as the coal-seam black Your Cyclops-drudges dig at--when you will allow them to dig. Say, on your conscience now, _is_ your purse so slender and slack That you _cannot_ bend a little to those who have made you big? The wealth the sunlight stored men hew for you in the dark, From the black and poisonous caverns which once were forests free, 'Tis yours--till certain questions are asked and answered! Hark To me!
Men will not _always_ stand, while Monopoly wages war, Mute, unquestioning, suffering. Greed, and starvation wage, The crowd of want-urged captives shackled to Mammon's car, Show not the welcomest things to this curious, questioning age. To-day the appeal's to Pity. To-morrow--well, never mind!-- Look on the sorrowful picture that _Punch_ commends to your view! Man many a time has found there is wisdom in being kind. Will _you_?
And you poor thralls of the pit, remember that you and yours Are not sole sufferers now from this fratricidal strife. Yes, a starving garrison--_fights_; sharp ills demand sharp cures; But when in your stubborn wrath you swear it is "war to the knife," Remember that knife's at the throat of others than those who'd gain By a victory for you in this fiercest of labour fights. And these, too, who _must_ lose, yet have--shall they not maintain?-- _Their_ rights!
* * * * *
[Illustration: "AND _SHE_ OUGHT TO KNOW!"
"THAT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A PORTOGRAPH OF LADY SOLSBURY. BUT, BLESS YER, IT AIN'T LIKE HER A BIT IN PRIVATE!"]
* * * * *
(_A Song of the Modern Masher_.)
Oh! other centuries have had their blades, their bucks, their dandies, Who had redeeming qualities, but what no man can stand is The up-to-date variety, that miserable nonny, The self-conceited jackanapes who calls himself a "Johnny." He hasn't got the brawn or brains to go in for excesses, His faults are feeble--like himself,--he dawdles, dines, and dresses, His words, his hair, his silly speech to sheer negation clippin', And when he wants to praise a thing, his only word is "Rippin'."
Oh! he's rippin', rippin'! A tailor's block set skippin', He's all bad debts and cigarettes and bets and kümmel-nippin', His head's without a grain of sense, his hand he's got no grip in, He drags his walk and tags his talk with "Rippin', rippin', rippin'"!
His faultless dress is the result of unremitting study, He's quite the perfect "Johnny," never messed and never muddy, His coat is always baggy and his hat is always shiny, His boots are always varnished to their pointed toes so tiny. His shirts, his ties, his walking-sticks are marvels to remember, And with the seasons change from January to December. He always wears a "buttonhole," and in a huge carnation Of hideous hue 'twixt green and blue finds special delectation.
He has a language of his own which he elects to talk in; He cuts his final g's and speaks of shootin', huntin', walkin'; With slipshod phrase and hybrid slang his speeches fairly bristle, And vulgarisms "smart" he loves as donkeys love a thistle. He'll lay "a hun_derd_ poun_d_," or say "he ain't," quite uncompunctive; He systematically spurns the use of the subjunctive. He knows "how the best people talk," and quite ignores the clamour Of any "dash'd low nonsense," such as euphony and grammar.
He's great upon the music-halls, can tell you what befalls there; He drops in at the Gaiety, and ornaments the stalls there; He knows each vapid joke by heart, and wishes that he knew more; They quite conform in quality to _his_ idea of humour. He skims the sportin' papers, and devours the shillin' thriller; He counts the bard of comic songs a cut above a SCHILLER-- In fact, they scoff at poets in his very wide-awake sphere, And in his secret soul he has a fine contempt for SHAKSPEARE.
He dawdles dully through his day in quite the latest fashion-- A round of folly minus wit, and vice without its passion. At five he walks "the Burlington," in which esteemed Arcade he Meets various of his chosen chums--the silly and the shady; Then to the Berkeley or Savoy at eight o'clock or later, Much over-dressed, to over-dine, and over-tip the waiter. The theatre next, and last his club (the which he takes delight in), To prove his pluck by "lookin' on at other Johnnies fightin'."
His conversation's all made up of stable and of scandal, And tales of "chaps he knows"--whose names have mostly got a "handle." He "don't go in" for ladies much, their style of charm is _not_ his, Which follows on the model of the "Lotties" and the "Totties." He doesn't sing, he doesn't dance, he has no recreation That doesn't sap his scanty brains or sear his reputation, In short,--for him, his antics and his never-ceasin' "rippin'," There's just one cure would answer, and that's whippin', whippin', whippin'.
Oh! Whippin', whippin', I'd like to set him skippin', To end his bets and cigarettes and stop his kümmel-nippin', With cure in kind his flabby mind to put a little grip in, To brisk his walk and sense his talk with whippin', whippin', whippin'!
* * * * *
UNDER THE ROSE.
(_A Story in Scenes_.)
SCENE VIII.--_A prettily-furnished Drawing-room at the_ MERRIDEWS' _House in Hans Place_. TIME--_About 5.30 on Saturday afternoon_. Mrs. MERRIDEW _has a small tea-table in front of her_. ALTHEA _is sitting on a couch close by_. _Both ladies are wearing their hats, having just returned from a drive_. Mrs. MERRIDEW _is young and attractive, and her frock is in the latest fashion_; ALTHEA _is more simply dressed, though her hair and toilette have evidently been supervised by an experienced maid_.
_Mrs. Merridew_. I don't think I've ever known the Park so full before Easter as it was to-day. Try one of those hot cakes, THEA, or a jam sandwich--we don't dine till late, you know. It's been so nice having you, I do wish you hadn't to go on Monday--_must_ you?
_Althea_. I'm afraid I must, CISSIE; it has been the most delightful week; only--Clapham will seem dreadfully flat after all this. _She sighs_.
_Mrs. M_. Notwithstanding the excitement of Mr. CURPHEW'S conversation?
_Alth_. Mr. CURPHEW, CISSIE?
_Mrs. M_. Now don't pretend ignorance, dear. You have quoted Mr. CURPHEW and his opinions often enough to show that you see and think a good deal of him. And, really, if you colour like that at the mere mention----
_Alth_. Am I colouring? That last cup was so strong. And I don't see Mr. CURPHEW at all often. He is more Mamma's friend than mine--she has a very high opinion of him.
_Mrs. M_. I daresay he deserves it. He's a fearfully learned and superior person, isn't he?
_Alth_. I--I don't know. He writes for the paper.
_Mrs. M_. That's vague, dear. What sort of paper? Political, Scientific, Sporting, Society--or what?
_Alth_. I never asked; but I should think--well, he's rather _serious_, you know, CISSIE.
_Mrs. M_. Then it's a comic paper, my dear, depend upon it!
_Alth_. Oh, CISSIE, I'm _sure_ it isn't. And he's very hardworking. He's not like most men of his age, he doesn't care in the least for amusements.
_Mrs. M_. He must be a very lively person. But tell me--you used to tell me everything, THEA--does this immaculate paragon show any signs of----?
_Alth_. (_in a low voice_). I'm not sure----Perhaps--but I may be mistaken.
_Mrs. M_. And if--don't think me horribly impertinent--but if you're _not_ mistaken, have you made up your mind what answer to give him?
_Alth_. (_imploringly_). Don't tease me, CISSIE. I thought once--but now I really don't know. I wish he wasn't so strict and severe. I wish he understood that one can't always be solemn--that one must have a little enjoyment in one's life, when one is young!
_Mrs. M_. And yet I seem to remember a girl who had serious searchings of heart, not so very long ago, as to whether it wasn't sinful to go and see SHAKSPEARE at the Lyceum!
_Alth_. I know; it was silly of me--but I didn't know what a theatre was like. I'd never been to see a play--not even at the Crystal Palace. But now I've been, I'd like to go to one every week; they're lovely, and I don't believe anything that makes you cry and laugh like that _can_ be wicked!
_Mrs. M_. Ah, you were no more meant to be a little Puritan than I was myself, dear. Heavens! When I think what an abominable prig I must have been at Miss PRUINS'.
_Alth_. You weren't in the least a prig, CISSIE. But you _were_ different. You used to say you intended to devote yourself entirely to Humanity.
_Mrs. M_. Yes; but I didn't realise then what a lot there were of them. And when I met FRANK I thought it would be less ambitious to begin with _him_. Now I find there's humanity enough in FRANK to occupy the devotion of a lifetime. But are you sure, THEA, that this journalist admirer of yours is quite the man to----He sounds dull, dear; admirable and all that--but, oh, so deadly dull!
[Illustration: "Yes; but I didn't realise then what a lot there were of them."]
_Alth_. If he was brilliant and fond of excitement _we_ shouldn't have known him; for we're deadly dull ourselves, CISSIE. I never knew _how_ dull till--till I came to stay with you!
_Mrs. M_. You're not dull, you're a darling; and if you think I'm going to let you throw yourself away on some humdrum plodder who will expect you to find your sole amusement in hearing him prose, you're mistaken; because I shan't. THEA, whatever you do, don't be talked into marrying a Dryasdust; you'll only be miserable if you do!
_Alth_. But Mr. CURPHEW isn't as bad as that, CISSIE. And--and he hasn't asked me yet, and when he finds out how frivolous I've become, very likely he never will; so we needn't talk about it any more, need we?
_Mrs. M_. Now I feel snubbed; but I don't care, it's all for your good, my dear, and I've said all I wanted to, so we'll change the subject for something more amusing. (Colonel MERRIDEW _comes in_.) Well, FRANK, have you actually condescended to come in for some tea? (_To_ ALTHEA.) Generally he says tea is all very well for women; and then goes off to his club and has at least two cups, and I daresay muffins.
_Col. M_. Why not say ham-sandwiches at once, CECILIA, my dear? pity to curb your imagination! (_Sitting down_.) If that tea's drinkable, I don't know that I won't have a cup; though it's not what I came for. I wanted to know if you'd settled to do anything this evening, because, if not, I've got a suggestion--struck me in the Row just after you'd passed, and I thought I'd come back and see how _you_ felt about it. (_He takes his tea_.) For me?--thanks.
_Mrs. M_. We feel curious about it at present. FRANK.
_Col. M_. Well, I thought that, as this is Miss TOOVEY'S last evening with us, it was a pity to waste it at home. Why shouldn't we have a little dinner at the Savoy, eh?--about eight--and drop in somewhere afterwards, if we feel inclined?
_Mrs. M_. Do you know that's quite a delightful idea of yours, FRANK. That is, unless THEA has had enough of gaiety, and would rather we had a quiet evening. Would you, dear? _To_ ALTHEA.
_Alth_. (_eagerly_). Oh, no, indeed, CISSIE, I'm not a bit tired!
_Mrs. M_. You're quite sure? But where could we go on afterwards, FRANK; shouldn't we be too late for any theatre?
_Col. M_. I rather thought we might look in at the Eldorado; you said you were very keen to hear WALTER WILDFIRE. (_He perceives that his wife is telegraphing displeasure_.) Eh? why, you _did_ want me to take you.
_Alth_. (_to herself_). WALTER WILDFIRE? why, it was WALTER WILDFIRE that CHARLES advised Mr. CURPHEW to go and hear. Mr. CURPHEW said it was the very last thing he was likely to do. But he's so prejudiced!
_Mrs. M_. (_trying to make her husband understand_). Some time--but I think, not to-night, FRANK.
_Col. M_. If it's not to-night you mayn't get another chance; they say he's going to give up singing very soon.
_Mrs. M_. Oh, I hope not! I remember now hearing he was going to retire, because his throat was weak, or else he was going into Parliament, or a Retreat, or something or other. But I'm sure, FRANK, ALTHEA wouldn't quite like to----
_Col. M_. Then of course there's no more to be said. I only thought she might be amused, you know.
_Alth_. But indeed I should, Colonel MERRIDEW, please let us go!
_Mrs. M_. But, THEA, dear, are you sure you quite understand what the Eldorado _is_?--it's a music-hall. Of course it's all right, and everyone goes nowadays; but, still, I shouldn't like to take you if there was any chance that your mother might disapprove. You might never be allowed to come to us again.
_Alth_. (_to herself_). They're both dying to go, I can see; it's too hateful to feel oneself such a kill-joy! And even Mr. CURPHEW admitted that a music-hall was no worse than a Penny Reading. (_Aloud_.) I don't think Mamma would disapprove, CISSIE; not more than she would of my going to theatres, and I've been to _them_, you know!
_Col. M_. We'd have a box, of course, and only just get there in time to hear WILDFIRE; we could go away directly afterwards, 'pon my word, CECILIA, I don't see any objection, if Miss TOOVEY would like to go. Never heard a word against WILDFIRE'S singing, and as for the rest, well, you admitted last time there was no real harm in the thing!
_Alth_. Do say yes, CISSIE. I do want to hear this WALTER WILDFIRE so!
_Mrs. M_. I'm not at all sure that I ought to say anything of the sort, but there--I'll take the responsibility.
_Col. M_. Then that's settled. We'll take great care of you, Miss TOOVEY. I'll just go down to the Rag, CECILIA, and send out to get a box. I'll see if I can find someone to make a fourth, and I daresay we shall manage to amuse ourselves. [_He goes out_.
_Mrs. M_. THEA. I really don't feel quite happy about this. I think I'll go after FRANK and tell him not to get that box after all; he won't have left the house yet. [_She attempts to rise_.
_Alth_. No, CISSIE, you mustn't, if it's on my account. I won't let you! [_She holds her back_.
_Mrs. M_. But, THEA, think. How would you like this Mr. CURPHEW to know that----?
_Alth_. (_releasing her suddenly_). Mr. CURPHEW! What does it matter to me what Mr. CURPHEW----? ... There, Colonel MERRIDEW has gone, CISSIE, I heard the door shut. It's too late--and I'm glad of it. We shall go to the Eldorado and hear WALTER WILDFIRE after all! [END OF SCENE VIII.
* * * * *
[Illustration: THAT BORE THE MAJOR!]
* * * * *
HYDE PARK AND KENSINGTON GARDENS. ONCE AGAIN!--M. ZOLA said "he would give forty Hyde Parks for one Bois de Boulogne." Bravo! So would all Londoners, especially equestrians, who year after year quietly put up with that one Rotten Row ride, and do not unite in their hundreds to petition "the authorities" (mysterious power!) for the opening of a ride through Kensington Gardens from south to north, and for a few "alleys" under the broad spreading trees, where now sometimes a few sheep, and sometimes a nursery maid and her charge, do stray. A "proposition" logically precedes a "rider;" in this case the proposition should come from the riders.
* * * * *
[Illustration: A LARGE ORDER.
"WHAT CAN WE GET FOR YOU, MADAM?" "WINGS!"]
* * * * *
["The terms of the Treaty give complete satisfaction to the claims of France."--_M. le Myre de Vilers on the Franco-Siamese Draft Treaty_.]
_John Bull, loquitur:_--
Settling it! Humph! And my Jingoes, no doubt, Would like me to shout "British Interests!" and "Robbery!!!" Well, of course, 'tis quite clear what those two are about, But _I_ do not feel called on to kick up a bobbery. Poor little Siam! It's rather a shame; But--at present--I shan't take a hand in the game.
Complete satisfaction? Well, _that's_ something gained! "The claims" I had fancied a trifle elastic; "The terms" looked ambiguous, made to be strained, To politic pressure prepared to be plastic. _Micawber_ craved time, and a chance of "turn-up;" And craft has its uses as well as a Krupp.
Sturdy assertion on one side that table, While scared acquiescence is seen on the other! Further development of the old fable. Wolf and the Lamb next, as brother with brother, Or new Franco-Siamese twins may appear; Well, I pity the Lamb, but I feel little fear.
It isn't smart Treaties alone secure Trade, And if I keep the Trade they may keep all their Treaties. 'Tis not by mere craft your true Trader is made. The Frank as a diplomat neat and complete is, As Colonist-Trader, at settlement--shipment-- Well, there's something seems wanting about his equipment.
Trade gravitates somehow, by natural law, To stickers and stayers, the firmest and fittest. A fig for mere parchment and diplomat jaw! Dear France, thou thy insular neighbour oft twittest As "Shopkeeper"! Well ma'am, _j'y suis_, and shall stop; For a Shopkeeper's one who--of course--_keeps the Shop_!
I've had some experience. Far Hindostan, And Canada, Africa, Egypt--ah! pardon! That's just a sore point, and I am not the man A rival of me and my ways to be hard on. No; at a neat "counter" a cur only blubbers; And they who play bowls must expect to have rubbers.
I may have a word to put in by and by; Young ROSEBERY, doubtless, will know how to put it. At present on matters I'll just keep an eye. The World's gate is Trade, and nobody can shut it So tight--by mere Treaties--skill can't turn the handle. One might as well bolt the back door with a candle.
'Tis all Swag and Swagger! I very much fear That's true of us cock-a-whoop "Civilised Races," Who hold that our "Influence" must find its "Sphere,"-- At the cost of the poor yellow-skins or black faces. We are so much alike, 'twere sheer cant to upbraid, So I mean to stand-by--and look after my Trade!
* * * * *
NAMES FOR OTHER NAMES.
The London County Council having considered the propriety of changing the name of Great George Street, Westminster, we append a list of localities that possibly may, later on, attract their attention. In each case we have appended a suggested new name, chosen in the customary arbitrary and (except in the last specimen) meaningless fashion:--
Trafalgar Square--Water-squirt Place. Piccadilly--Snooks' Avenue. Mayfair--Mews' Gardens. Eaton Square--Pimlico Enclosure. Haymarket--Picture-dealers' Row. Charing Cross--Araminta Place East. Covent Garden--Cabbage Buildings. The Strand--Western Central High Street. Buckingham Palace--Guelph House. Pall Mall--Pavement Promenade. Westminster Abbey--Members' Meeting House. St. Paul's Cathedral--Lord Mayor's Church. Temple Bar--Law Courts' Corner. Chancery Lane--Smith Street East. Fleet Street--Pedlington Place. Whitehall--Rosebery Row. and Spring Gardens--County Council Folly.
* * * * *
SERIOUS NEWS FROM ETON COLLEGE.--Strike of the _Minors_. The Dii Majores and the Maximi have come to terms, and the Minors have resumed fagging.
* * *
QUERY FOR AUTHOR AND MANAGER AT COMEDY THEATRE.--When you've been _Sowing the Wind_ is the result _A Stitch in the Side_?
* * * * *
[Illustration: "MASTERLY INACTIVITY."
JOHN BULL. "TREATY OR NO TREATY--I SHALL DO THE TRADE ALL THE SAME!"]
* * * * *
THE RULES OF THE RUDE.
1. The one object which all cyclists should keep steadily in view is to become "scorchers." There are three essentials before you can earn this proud title. First, you must totally disregard the convenience or safety of the public. Second, you must ride at a minimum rate of 15 miles an hour. Third, you must develop pronounced curvature of the spine as quickly as is compatible with your other engagements.
2. Races should always be held on the high roads, at a time of the day when traffic is busiest.
3. Should you be unfortunate enough to knock down a pedestrian, do not trouble to stop and apologise, or inquire if he's hurt. It is his business to get out of your way, and you should remind him of this obligation in the most forcible language at your disposal. This will tend to make the pastime exceedingly popular among non-cyclists.
4. If you notice an old gentleman; crossing the road, wait till you get quite close to him, then emit a wild war-whoop, blow your trumpet, and enjoy the roaring fun of seeing what a shock you have given him.
5. A still better plan, if a wayfarer happens to be walking in the middle of the road, and going in your own direction, is _not_ to signal your approach at all, but to startle him into fits by suddenly and silently gliding by him when he believes himself to be quite alone. The nearer you can shave his person the better the sport.
6. Of course the last plan is much improved if the wayfarer should be a market woman carrying milk or eggs, and if in her fright she drops her can or basket. Unfortunately few cyclists have the good fortune to witness this exquisite bit of rural comedy.
[_These Rules will now probably be thoroughly revised, as the "National Cyclists' Union" has issued a well-timed manifesto warning all wheelmen against "furious riding."_
* * * * *
"Well," observed the amiable Mrs. SHARPTON SNAPPIE, "there's only one person whom I rate very highly--and that's my husband." [So she did--and rated him--soundly.]
* * * * *
[Illustration: A NEW TARIFF.
"THIRD-CLASS SINGLE TO RUSWARP, PLEASE, AND A DOG-TICKET. HOW MUCH?"
"FOURPENCE-HALFPENNY--THREEPENCE FOR THE DOG, AND THREE-HALFPENCE FOR YOURSELF."
"AH! YOU RECKON BY _LEGS_ ON THIS LINE."]
* * * * *
NOT A FAIR EXCHANGE.
(_An Exercise to be Translated from English into any Foreign Language_.)
This is a thoroughly British home. I find chairs, sofas, curtains, and carpets. They all seem to be of British manufacture.
No, they are not of British manufacture. On the contrary, they are all made in Germany.
But surely this window is English? No, it is not English; it is put together in Sweden, and erected by Swiss workmen.
But are not these pictures, these fire-irons, these card-tables, of home growth? No, for the pictures come from France, the fire-irons from Belgium, and the card-tables from Austria.
The sofa, however, was surely bought in London? It may have been bought in London, but it was certainly made in Denmark.
But the brass nails mast have arrived from Sheffield? No, they are now received from parts of Portugal, Spain, and Northern Russia.
And the coal-scuttles, surely they are made in Lambeth, Manchester, and Liverpool? They were manufactured in those places for a while, when other branches of trade were lost to the country, but for a long time they have been imported from Constantinople.
It may be assumed that the coals come from Newcastle? Certainly not, considering that they have only just been received from New York.
Are the bread and butter, and the other ingredients of the tea-table, English? Oh dear no; the toast comes from Australia, the tea from Ceylon, the sugar from the South Pole, and the butter from Gibraltar.
It really would appear that there is nothing English about the house; nothing save the rent and taxes, which of course are of home growth? You are correct in your supposition; however, in exchange for these conveniences from abroad, we have made a present to the foreigner of something once held very dear in this country.
And what was that?
Our trade. English trade has left England, probably permanently, for the Continent.
* * * * *
"PICTURES PROM 'PUNCH.'"
["Let me draw the People's pictures, and whosoever will may preach their sermons."--_Maxims of Punchius_.]
"Pictures from _Punch_!" Good lack! How one's memories backward it carries. This artful collection of BRIGGSES, and TOMPKINSES, ROBERTS, and 'ARRIES! Forage of fifty years from Art--granaries fuller than Coptic! What first pleased our grandfather's eye may now brighten our grandchild's blue optic! Art that's humane never ages, and humour that's human's perennial. Turn to these pages and try! You'll perceive that impeccable TENNIEL Moved men to mirth in the Fifties that folks in the Nineties continue; Your midriff indeed must be numb if his Yeomanry Major won't win you; And such "Illustrations to Shakspeare," so finely drawn and so funnily, Might tickle Miss DELIA BACON, and knock sawdust out of "crank" DONNELLY. Why praise those plump, "pretty girls," with their cheeks round and rosy as peaches, And as full of fun as of beauty, well known to the world as JOHN LEECH'S? All the fan of the _Fair_! Still their arch eyes attractively flash on The British male creature, although he _may_ growl at the follies of Fashion. But e'en fashion cannot kill fun. If you'd enter the evergreen Smile-Lands, Turn over to page twenty-one and accompany BRIGGS to the Highlands! _Br-r-r-r_! There's a happy explosion in each individual picture! "Sport" such as BRIGGS'S escapes the most "humanitarian" stricture. KEANE--gentle CARLO! again! His braw feeshermen--even o' Sundays!-- Might soften a Scotch Sabbatarian. Even the grimmest of GRUNDIES _Must_ smile at his topers and tubthumpers, while, as for true English scenery, Where _is_ the magical touch that could so render gay breadths of greenery? Drawing-room humours, and dainty _technique_, do you favour? Fame's _laurier_, Everyone knows--as here proved--for all that falls on subtle DU MAURIER. "DICKY DOYLE'S" opulent fancy, quaint SAMBOURNE'S exhaustless invention-- But there, 'tis a "Humorous Art Gallery" by "Great Hands" too many to mention. When you have feasted on TENNIEL and KEANE, then of PARTRIDGE the turn is, And fed full on JOHN LEECH'S "fire," you will find lots of ditto in FURNISS. "Pictures from _Punch_!" That means pictures from full half a century's story; Humours, and fashions, and fads, English Mirth--English Girls--English Glory! VICTORIA'S reign set to laughter; a gay panorama of Beauty! Buy Britons, study, enjoy! 'Tis your interest, aye, and your duty! Here are "England--Home--Beauty" in one, and at sixpence a month. That's not much, man! If 'tis not your duty to "see that you get it," then _Punch_ is a Dutchman!
* * * * *
[Illustration: HIS OPPORTUNITY.
_Young Hawkins (finding young Mr. Merton, the model of his office, in an unexpected haunt)_. "HULLO, MERTON, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? HAVE A SHERRY AND BITTERS?"
_Young Merton_. "NO, THANK YOU, HAWKINS; I'M AFRAID IT WOULD GO TO MY HEAD."
_Hawkins_. "SO MUCH THE BETTER, OLD MAN. NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM. YOU KNOW."]
* * * * *
(_The kind of Novel Society likes_.)
"Sling me over a two-eyed steak, BILL," said BOBO.
BILL complied instantly, for he knew the lady's style of conversation; but Lord COKALEEK required to be told that his Marchioness was asking for one of the bloaters in the silver dish in front of his cousin, BILL SPLINTER.
Now, dear reader, I 'm not going to describe Cokaleek House, in the black country, or COKALEEK, or BOBO, or BILL. If you are in smart society you know all about them beforehand; and if you ain't you must puzzle them out the best way you can. The more I don't describe them the more vivid and alive they ought to seem to you. As for BOBO, I shall let her talk. That's enough. In the course of my two volumes--one thick and one thin--which is a new departure, and looks as if my publisher thought that BOBO would stretch to three volumes, and then found she wouldn't--you will be told, 1, that BOBO had brown eyes; 2, that she was five foot eight; and that is all you 'll ever know about the outside of BOBO. But you'll hear her talk, and you'll see her smoke; and if you can't evolve a fascinating personality out of cigarettes, and swears, and skittish conversation, you are not worthy to have known BOBO.
I am told that some people have taken "BOBO" for a vulgar caricature of a real personage. If they have, I can only say I feel flattered by the notion, as it may serve to differentiate me from the vulgar herd of novelists who draw on their imagination for their characters.
* * *
CHAPTER I. (_and others_).
BOBO began her bloater.
"Why the beast has a hard roe!" she cried. "COKALEEK, you shall have the roe;" and she dropped it into his tea before he could object. "You're not eating any breakfast. Put the mustard-spoon in his mouth, BILL, if he insists upon keeping it wide open while he stares at me. Ain't I fascinating this morning? Why the devil don't you notice the new feather in my hat? I always wear feathers when I'm going out clubbing, because I plume myself upon being smart. Here, somebody see if my spur's screwed on all right."
"I wish your head was screwed on half as well," said BILL, as BOBO planted her handsome Pinet boot, No. 31z, on the breakfast-table.
COKALEEK looked on and smiled, with his mouth still open. It was all he had to do in life. He had married her because she was BOBO; and the more she out-Bobo'd BOBO, the better she pleased him. He was a marquis, and a millionaire, but he had only one drawing-room at his country-seat; and the smoking-room was upstairs--obviously because there was no room for it on the ground-floor. And there was only one piano in the house, at which BOBO'S gifted young friend, SALLIE RENGAW, was engaged in the early morning, picking out an original funeral march with one finger, and throwing breakfast-eggs about in the fury of inspiration.
An _oeuf à la coque_ came flying across the passage at this moment, through the open door of the dining-room, and hit BILL SPLINTER on the nose. BILL was COKALEEK'S first-cousin, and heir-presumptive; in love, _pour le bon motif_, with BOBO.
"You should always give SALLIE poached eggs," he remonstrated, holding his nose; "they make a worse mess when she pitches them about, but they only hurt the furniture."
"Does she always chuck eggs?" asked COKALEEK, mildly.
It was BOBO'S first autumn at Cokaleek House, and the Marquis wasn't used to the ways of her gifted friends. She had another friend, besides the musical lady, a Miss MIRANDA SKEGGS, whose conversation was like a bad dream; and these two, with BILL SPLINTER, were the house-party. COKALEEK, waking suddenly from an after-dinner nap, used to think he was in Hanwell.
"She chucks anything," answered BOBO; "kidneys, chops, devilled bones. How can she help it? That's the divine afflatus."
"It _sounds_ like ta-ra-ra-boomdeay," said COKALEEK, who thought his wife meant the melody that SALLIE'S muscular forefinger was thumping out on the concert-grand.
"Come, come along, every manjack of you!" shrieked SALLIE, from the other side of the passage. "Ain't this glorious? Ain't it majestic? Don't it bang BEETHOVEN, and knock SULLIVAN into a cocked-hat? Hark at this! Ta-ra-ra! _largo_, for the hautboys and first fiddles. Boom! cornets and ophicleides. De----ay! bassoons, double-basses, and minute-guns on the big drum. There's a funeral march for you! With my learned orchestration it will be as good as SEBASTIAN BACH."
"Back? Why he's never been here in my time," faltered COKALEEK. "I don't know any feller called SEBASTIAN."
"Rippin'!" cried BOBO; "and now we'll have the funeral. Get all the cloaks and umbrellas off the stand, MIRANDA. BILL, bring me the coal-scuttle--that's for the coffin, doncherknow. COKALEEK, you and BILL are to be a pair of black horses; and me and MIRANDA 'll be the mourners. Play away, SALLIE, with all your might. We're doing the funeral."
Out flew BOBO into the garden, driving BILL and COKALEEK before her, scattering coals all over the gravel walk, and slashing at the two men with her pocket-handkerchief. She rushed all round the house, past the windows of the back parlour, kitchen, and scullery; and then she suddenly remembered the cub-hunting, and tore off to the stables, tally-ho-ing to COKALEEK and BILL to follow her. The next thing they all saw was a shower of baking-pears tumbling off the garden-wall, as BOBO took it on her favourite hunter. She had been essentially BOBO all that morning.
"BILL," said BOBO, one winter twilight, by the smoking-room fire, after her fourteenth cigarette, "I want you to run away with me."
"Rot," answered BILL.
"Yes, I do. I've ordered the carriage for half-past ten this evening. We shall catch the mail to Euston."
"You won't catch this male," said BILL. "No, BOBO, you're very good fun--in your own house, but I don't want you in mine. You are distinctly BOBO, but that's all. It isn't enough to live upon. It won't pay rent and taxes."
"You're a cur."
"No, I'm trying to be a gentleman. Besides, what's the matter with COKALEEK? Hasn't he millions, and a charming house in the heart of the collieries?"
"He's all that's delightful, only I happen to hate him. Directly I leave off chaffing him I begin to think of arsenic, and, brilliant as I am, I can't coruscate all day. It's very mean of you not to want to elope."
"I daresay; but I'm the only rational being in the book, and I want to sustain my character."
CHAPTER THE LAST.
BOBO stayed, and BILL went in the carriage that had been ordered for the elopement; and then there happened an incident so rare in the realms of fiction that it has stamped my novel at once and for ever as the work of an original mind.
COKALEEK, the noble, unappreciated husband, got himself killed in the hunting-field. He went out with BOBO one morning, and she came home, a little earlier than usual, without him, and smoked cigarettes by the fire, while he stayed out in the dusk and just meekly rolled over a hedge, with his horse uppermost. He wasn't like GUY LIVINGSTONE; he wasn't a bit like dozens of heroes of French novels, who have died the same kind of death. He was just as absolutely COKALEEK as his wife was BOBO.
And did BILL marry BOBO, or BOBO BILL?
Not she! Another woman might have done it--but not BOBO. She knew too well what the intelligent reader expected of her; so she jilted BILL, in a thoroughly cold-blooded and BOBO-ish manner, and got herself married to an Austrian Prince at half-an-hour's notice, by special licence from the A. of C.
* * * * *
[Illustration: FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF MR. GLADSTONE AND MR. GOSCHEN, MR. PUNCH VISITS EDINBURGH.]
* * * * *
LE PREUX CHEVALIER ENCORE!--After a little dinner at FRASCATI'S, which is still "going strong," we paid a visit to the Renovated and Enlarged Royal Music Hall, Holborn, and were soon convinced that the best things Mr. ALBERT CHEVALIER has yet done are the coster songs, not to be surpassed, including the "_Little Nipper_," in which is just the one touch of Nature that makes the whole audience sympathetically costermongerish. "_My Old Dutch_" was good, but lacking in dramatic power, and the latest one "_The Lullaby_," sung by a coster to his "biby" in the cradle, wouldn't be worth much if it weren't for Mr. CHEVALIER'S reputation as a genuine comedian. It is good, but not equal to the "_Little Nipper_." "Full to-night," I observed to Lord ARTHUR SWANBOROUGH, who is Generalissimo of the forces "in front" of the house. "Yes," replies his Lordship, casually, "it's like this every night. Highly respectable everywhere. Only got to have in a preacher, we'd supply the choristers, and you'd think it was a service--or something like it."
* * *
BY OUR OWN PHILOSOPHER.--Woe to him of whom all men speak well! And woe to that seaside or inland country place for which no one has anything but praise. It soon becomes the fashion; its natural beauties vanish; the artificial comes in. Nature abhors a vacuum; so does the builder. Yet Nature creates vacuums and refills them; so does the builder. Nature is all things to all men; but the builder has his price. Man, being a landed proprietor and a sportsman, preserves; but he also destroys, and the more he preserves so much the more does he destroy. Nature gives birth and destroys. Self-preservation is Nature's first law, and game preservation is the sporting landlord's first law.
* * *
PAIN IN PROSPECT.--Says AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS (_Advertiscus_), "_A Life of Pleasure_ will last until it is crowded out by the Christmas pantomime." Epigramatically, our DRURIOLANUS might have said, "_A Life of Pleasure_ will last till the first appearance of PAYNE."
* * *
"TAKE MY BEN'SON!"--"_Don't! Don't!_" a moral antidotal story as a sequel to "_Dodo_."
* * *
A VERY BAD "SCUTTLE POLICY."--The Coal Strike.
* * * * *
[Illustration: Allan à Daly, Robin Hood's Chief Forester.]
A DALY DREAM.
If it be true that "a thing of beauty is a joy for ever," then _The Foresters_ at Daly's Theatre ought to have a good run, instead of being limited to a certain number of representations. Rarely has a scene of more fairy-like beauty been placed on the stage than _Maid Marian's_ dream in Sherwood Forest. The peculiar light in which the fairies appear gives a marvellous elfinesque effect to the woodland surroundings. Sir ARTHUR SULLIVAN'S music, too, may be reckoned as among some of his happiest efforts, and the gay Savoyard (who has only one rival, and he is at the Savoy) is fortunate in such principals as the _First Fairy_, Miss GASTON MURRAY, and Miss HASWELL as _Titania_. The Fairy Chorus and the Forester Chorus are remarkably efficient. Mr. LLOYD DAUBIGNY as _Young Scarlet_ the Outlaw, is bright both as tenor and actor. Mr. BOURCHIER is an easy-going representative of the EARL OF HUNTINGDON, with just enough suggestion of "divilment" in his face to account for his so readily and naturally taking to robbery as a profession.
As _Maid Marian_, Miss ADA REHAN is at once dignified yet playful, and as Tennysonianly captivating in her boy's clothes (there were ready-made tailors to hand in the days of ISAAC of York), which is of course "_a suit of male_," as she is when, as _Rosalind_, she delights us in her doublet and hose. Fortunate is Tailor-_Maid Marian_ to obtain a situation in the country where so many "followers are allowed"! _Little John_, _Will Scarlet_, _Old Much_ who does little, but that little well, with many others, make up the aforesaid "followers," who are of course very fond of chasing every little dear they see among the greenwood trees. Miss CATHERINE LEWIS as _Kate_, with a song, one of Sir ARTHUR'S extra good ones, about a Bee (is it in the key of "B," for Sir ARTHUR dearly loves a merrie jest?), obtained a hearty encore on the first night. Not only her singing of the bee song is good, but her stage-buzzyness is excellent.
Mr. HANN'S ('ARRY thinks there's a "lady scene-painter 'ere, and her name is HANN") and Mr. RYAN'S scenery is first-rate; and if the business of the fighting were more realistic, if the three Friars were a trifle less pantomimic, and the three grotesquely-got-up beggars (worthy of CALLOT'S pencil) would aim at being less actively funny, with one or two other "ifs," including _Friar Tuck's_ general make-up which might be vastly improved, and if the last Act were shortened, and the Abbot and the Sheriff and the Justiciary were compressed into one, or abolished,--any of which alterations may have been effected by now, seeing the piece was produced just a week ago,--then the attractions of _Maid Marian_ and the fairy scene and the music are of themselves sufficient to draw all lovers of the poetic musical drama to Daly's for some weeks to come, unless Mr. DALY clips the run with the scissors of managerial fate,
"For be it understood It would have lived much longer if it could,"
and so banishes his own outlaws from the elegant and commodious theatre in Leicester Square.
[Illustration: The Villain of the Piece.]
* * *
NEW NOVEL.--"_The Mackerel of the Dean_," by the author of "_The Soul of the Bishop_."
* * * * *
Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.
Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.
Throughout the document, the oe ligature was replaced with "oe".
Throughout the dialogues, there were words used to mimic accents of the speakers. Those words were retained as-is.
Errors in punctuations and inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected unless otherwise noted.
On page 178, "cubbing" was replaced with "clubbing".