Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 108, March 9th 1895 by Various
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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI
Volume 108. MARCH 9th, 1895.
_edited by Sir Francis Burnand_
TALL TALES OF SPORT AND ADVENTURE.
I.--THE PINK HIPPOPOTAMUS. (CONTINUED.)
Far below lay the globe like a huge ball of glowing light, patched here and there with dark tracts, and intersected with lines brighter than the surrounding brightness. That was my goal. But here I was still swiftly soaring from it. Oh, if I could but change my direction; for such was the still unexhausted force of the momentum acquired by the explosion that I knew I should not drop down for many a long day. If I could only manage to speed diagonally down towards the earth, I calculated that I could take advantage of the waves of the air to move in a kind of switchback fashion towards the earth, and possibly, as I neared the ground, I might either hook myself on to some tall tree or plunge into a river or an ocean and save myself by my unequalled powers of swimming. And here a sudden thought struck me. In life I had respected the Ayah, but now she was dead and was far beyond the possibility of feeling. I do not say of resenting, a discourteous action. Time was slipping away; the earth was visibly diminishing; the moment for action had come. Slowly and with determination I drew up my right leg, and letting it out backwards with the force of a Nasmyth hammer, delivered my foot full against the body of the Ayah. Everything happened as I had anticipated. There was a dull and melancholy thud as the lifeless body went off at its involuntary tangent, while I flew sidelong and in a downward direction, my whole course being changed by the impetus of the kick.
How long I flew like this I know not. At such a crisis moments are centuries. After a time I re-opened my eyes and looked about me. Where was I? Could it be? Yes--no--and yes again. All that I saw was familiar. The towers, the cupolas, the domes, the minarets, the battlements--all these I had seen before. Scarcely two hundred yards below me lay the Diamond City from which I had that very night ascended.
[Illustration: "With a rush and a swoop I was upon him."]
I ought to explain that, as I had expected, partly owing to the well-known laws of gravitation, partly owing to the celebrated air-wave theory, first propounded by my friend, Dr. HASEWITZ, Regius Professor of Phlebotomy in the University of Bermuda, I was now proceeding in a series of gigantic serpentine curves through the air. At the moment of which I am speaking I was at the top of one of these curves, and I calculated that, with luck, I should just be able, on my downward course, to clear the western gate of the city, and then, having come to within a few feet of the ground, I should speed upward again and onward heaven knows whither. In a flash it occurred to me that if GANDERDOWN was ready at his appointed post beyond the gate, I might in passing be able to seize him and bear him with me in my wild flight. I pulled out my watch. The hands pointed to five minutes past twelve, and as we had fixed midnight for our meeting, I knew that my henchman, the very soul of punctuality, would be at the rendezvous. Yes, there was the faithful old fellow, armed and provisioned to the teeth, standing stolidly as was his custom, apparently paying but little attention to anything that was going on around and about him. With a rush and a swoop I was upon him. I stretched out my hand, and, as I passed, took a full and powerful grip of the collar of his coat, wrenched him from the ground, and thus accompanied went serpentining onwards into the unknown.
I am bound to say that when his first surprise was over the old warrior took it uncommonly well. His was never an inquisitive mind. Like all who were brought into contact with me, he had an unswerving faith in my genius. "If WILBRAHAM says so, it must be so, and there's an end of the matter," was one of his commonest sayings, never more justified than on the occasion of which I am now speaking.
"Have you the pemmican?" I asked him.--"I have."
"And the solidified beef-tea?"--"In my left pocket."
"And the combined boiler and cooking range?"
"Slung on my back."
"And the patent portable mule-cart with adjustable tram-lines?"
"Attached to my belt."--"And the----?"
What I was going to say I cannot remember, for at this moment there was a crash of glass, we both struck violently against some hard surface, rebounded, fell, and lay perfectly still. In a minute or two I recovered from the shock, and looked about me. _We were lying in the manger of the Pink Hippopotamus!_
(_To be contd._)
* * * * *
SIR ROBERT BALL, recently delivering a lecture (by request) under the above title, admitted that he did not quite know what it meant, as he did not suppose Irish astronomy was different from that of other nations. Isn't it be jabers? Judging by parity of reasoning, we can imagine that Irish astronomy may be as _sui generis_ as are Irish politics. It is probably unusually nebulous, and characterised by the revolution of suns round their satellites, and the prevalence of excentric comets and shooting stars. Had ADDISON had it in mind, he would probably have written his celebrated hymn somewhat as follows:--
The spaycious firmament on hoigh, And all the green Hibernian skoy, And wrangling hivens a foighting frame, The reign of chaos do proclaim. What though the "stars" do shoine--and squall, And on each other's orbits fall! What though no order, stable, sound, Amidst those jarring sphayres be found! Onraison there doth loud rejoice, At hearing echoed her own voice; For iver shouting as they shoine, Our hiven's a Donnybrook divoine!
* * * * *
THE ARCHITECT TO HIS WIFE.
I poetise seldom or never, As a rule I am not such an ass; I handle a metre scarce ever, Unless it's connected with gas. But once I was tempted to stray, dear, In the realms of the Muses above, And in somewhat professional way, dear, To sing the delights of my love.
I thought of you, sweet my DRUSILLA, As the daintiest lot in the land, The prettiest fairy-like villa That ever an architect planned. You offered attractions unnumbered, Your aspect was sunny and bright, And my fancies ran wild, when I slumbered, Depicting the charms of your site.
I think I shall never forget, love, How I called with an order to view; You were empty, and still "To be Let," love, And I was untenanted too. I stocked you; I saw that we stood, love, On mutually suitable spots, And I swore I would do what I could, love, To try to unite the two lots.
I cautiously mooted the question, And great was my rapture to find That my timidly-ventured suggestion Was not quite averse to your mind. I therefore grew bold and took heart, love, The business was promptly despatched, We no longer stood coldly apart, love, For lo, we were closely attached.
'Tis long since this happened, and now, love, Folk see us so happily matched, They are ready to promise and vow, love, We never were semi-detached. Two beings were never so blended, They say we could never be twain-- Well, so let it be, till life's ended, And one let us ever remain!
* * * * *
[Illustration: "ANIMAL SPIRITS."
NO. VI.--THE GREAT CRICKET MATCH. "ENGLAND _V._ AUSTRALIA." UMPIRES, THE TWO WOMBATS.]
* * * * *
THE SECOND MOUNT;
OR, THE NEW "GALLOPING SQUIRE" AND THE IRISH GROOM.
_Galloping Squire_ (_of the St. Stephen's Hunt_) S-R W. H-RC-RT. _Irish Groom_ J-HN M-RL-Y. _Welsh Horse_ D-S-ST-BL-SHM-NT. _Irish Horse_ L-ND B-LL.
[Illustration: THE SECOND MOUNT.
_J-hn M-rl-y_ (_the Groom, to the Noble Sportsman, Sir W. V. H-rc-rt_). "YOU'VE HAD A BIT OF A SPIN ON THE WELSHMAN, SIR, AND I THINK YOU'LL FIND THE IRISHMAN PRETTY FIT!"]
_Galloping Squire_ (_pounding along_). Pouf! Pretty heavy going! This country doesn't seem to be what it was when I was younger, and rayther a lighter weight, in old Huntsman BILLY'S days. _Laudator temporis acti?_ Well, perhaps so--perhaps so. Still, neither meets nor mounts strike me as being quite up to the old form. Some of our new men have the manners of a cheeky young chawbacon on a gate. That hard rider from the Midlands, for instance! Most of our new mounts lack the blood and pace of the horses of old times. This weedy Welsh crock for example! "Kim up, ye hugly brute!" as JOHN LEECH'S huntsman put it. Ah! when Old WILL took us across the Stone-Wall Country in '69 and '70, hunting _was_ hunting, horses _were_ horses--yes, and gentlemen of the hunt _were_ gentlemen! Now, what with mixed fields, cocktail crocks, and false scents, the sport's no longer a sport for--persons of Plantagenet descent and patrician instincts.
However, _Taffy_ answers gamely enough to spur and whipcord. Considering my weight and--well, other difficulties, the weedy-looking nag, is going fairly well. Fancy he'll hold out to the crest of the hill yonder, where I think I see JACK MORLEY with my second mount. Kim up! Yes, there's JACK, with the Irish horse he thinks so much of, and takes such pains with. Humph! Bit tired of Irish mounts myself, though mustn't mention it to JACK. 'Twas Irish horses brought Old BILLY his biggest croppers after all, though _he_, too, was wondrous sweet on 'em. Prefer a mount from the stable of the Predominant Partner, myself, if I _might_ have my choice--which I mustn't--worse luck! Good old _Budget_ strain _my_ fancy! Not over fast, perhaps, but first-rate weight-carriers, and always in at the death--or the Death Duties, as I might say, if on a Derby platform instead of a Welsh pigskin. Ha! ha! ha!
Yes, _Taffy_ will hold on to the top of the hill--(First Reading Point)--and then for a "quick-change" to the Irish horse. If I don't lose time, and have ordinary luck, the two will carry me through, ridden alternately.
_Irish Groom_ (_meditating_). Ah, here comes the Guv'nor, pounding away on _Taffy_. Glad to catch sight o' me and _Paddy_, I'll warrant. He's taken about the last ounce out o' the Welsh'un, if I'm any judge. Rides a bit lumpy, the Guv'nor does, nowadays, though his pluck's as good as ever, I must say. Well, we're ready for him, the Irish horse and me, fit as a fiddle, and groomed to a hair, though I say it as shouldn't, p'raps. Come along, my new incarnation of good old WHYTE-MELVILLE'S "Galloping Squire."
The Galloping Squire to the saddle has got, That saddle a heavier weight has ne'er borne; From his stable he's drafted the pick of his lot, (Two nags by his enemies held in foul scorn,) One Welsh, t'other Irish; both likely to tire. I must trust to these two! says our Galloping Squire.
He takes the Welsh horse by the head, and he sails O'er this crossest o' countries, all ear and all eye. He takes as they come high banks, fences, and rails; The cramped ones he'll creep, and the fair ones he'll fly. It's a _mighty_ queer place that will put in the mire That artful old horseman, our Galloping Squire.
A fast forty minutes of run and of race, And he's glad of a change, as indeed are we all. The two he must ride are not gluttons for pace, Still, the slow _need_ not stop, and the weak _may_ not fall, His second mount's here. He may puff and perspire, But he's game to go on, is our Galloping Squire!
_Galloping Squire_ (_coming up and preparing to change mounts_). Pouf! Oh! here you are, JACK! Sharp's the word! Quick change, and on we go again! The Welsh horse has carried me better than I expected, though I've had to bustle him along, and he's a bit blown.
[_Changes mounts smartly._
_Irish Groom._ That's right, Squire. The Welsh 'un hasn't done so badly, but I think you'll find the Irish 'un fit as a fiddle. These Irish horses----Ah! _he_'s off. (_Looking after him, as he takes the bridle of Taffy._) Well, he'll do _his_ best, beaten or not, blowed if he won't! Goes well, too, he does, for an old 'un! Hope _Paddy_'ll pull him through to the end o' the run. (_Sings._)
"And long may it be ere he's forced to retire, For we breed very few like our Galloping Squire!"
[_Leads off "The Welsh 'un"--for the present._
* * * * *
NO CROPS THIS YEAR!!--A startling announcement, founded upon the new rule of the Kennel Club, to the effect that after March no crop-eared dog can win one of the K. C. prizes. "Hooray!" quoth the dogs. "Full ears and no crops!"
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Editor of Libellous Rag_ (_who has just received a terrific but well-deserved kick_). "DUD YOU MANE THOT?"
_Colonel McMurder._ "YIS, OI _DUD_, YOU THUNDERIN' VILLAIN!"
_Editor._ "OH, VERY WELL, THOT'S ALL _ROIGHT_. OI T'OUGHT IT MOIGHT AV BEEN WAN O' THIM PRAC-TA-CLE JOKES!"]
* * * * *
THE INTERVIEWER'S VADE MECUM.
_Question._ What is the object of an interviewer?
_Answer._ To show the merit of his work at the expense of the interviewed.
_Q._ Is there any choice in selecting a subject?
_A._ Very little, all that is necessary is that the name at the head of the article shall be fairly familiar to the general reader.
_Q._ Need the interviewer record the history of the interviewed?
_A._ No; unless matter grows short and the exploits of the hero are required for padding.
_Q._ But have not those exploits made the hero famous?
_A._ Yes, and consequently they have become "old matter." To be interesting, details, if frivolous, must be up to date.
_Q._ Which would be the better copy--an account of the subject's most successful campaign, or a description of his wardrobe?
_A._ Undoubtedly the latter. The exploits will certainly have been described a score of times, but a list of coats, hats and neckties will probably have the charm of novelty.
_Q._ Then you would not value your subject's diary?
_A._ Not if it merely recorded his public life. In such a case it would be distinctly less interesting than his butcher's book.
_Q._ Are the surroundings of a hero of moment?
_A._ Certainly, if they are little known. The back yard of the greatest poet becomes a spot full of interest if it has hitherto escaped description.
_Q._ Then a poet's staircase is more memorable than his stanzas?
_A._ Certainly; and the warrior's umbrella-stand than the record of his battles--a philosopher's overcoat than the tale of his scientific discoveries.
_Q._ If the interviewed has a dog or a cat, is it advisable to refer to the fact?
_A._ Assuredly, and such a reference should run to the length of half a dozen pages, and possibly a couple of illustrations.
_Q._ But surely the interviewed must sacrifice a fair amount of time to the interviewer?
_A._ Quite so; but the obligation is mutual.
_Q._ And yet it is only the interviewer gets a reward?
_A._ In money. But then the interviewed has his advertisement.
_Q._ Is such an advertisement very valuable?
_A._ If the account is published at the commencement of the season it may convert the subject into a Society lion.
_Q._ And what are the advantages enjoyed by such a creature?
_A._ Invitations to dinners, dances, and at homes, from all-but-perfect strangers--for a while.
_Q._ And what follow?
_A._ Reaction and forgetfulness.
_Q._ It seems that to be interviewed is not permanently beneficial to the subject?
_A._ Of course not; but that is a matter of small importance to the interviewer.
_Q._ Then what advantage does the latter obtain at the cost of the former?
_A._ That is a question that can best be answered by reference to the ledgers of the publishers.
_Q._ Why should not the interviewed turn the tables upon their visitors and become the interviewers?
_A._ Because an interviewer is seldom of sufficient importance to undergo the operation.
_Q._ Is there any other reason?
_A._ Certainly; and a most important one. If the interviewer became the interviewed, from the latter's point of view it wouldn't pay.
* * * * *
_MARTIIS quid agam Kalendis?_ First thing the broken pipes to mend is. The leek upon St. David's day FLUELLEN'S doughty kin display, But England, fraught with cans and pails, This March is all at one with Wales. While plumbers play their hide-and-seek We all must grin and bear the leak.
* * * * *
Since it first lifted its tall head, "like a bully," as POPE rudely put it, the London Monument has been much looked at. If it is not to be superseded amid the sights of London, it is time it began to look out for itself. A rival has been creeping up year after year in the bulky volume known as _Burdett's Official Intelligence_. The volume just out bears the record Fourteenth Year--a mere child in point of age, but a prodigy of colossal size and almost, supernatural knowledge. It is perhaps quite an accident that the pages run up to 1899. But the fact is fresh testimony to the _fin de siècle_ character of the work. Persons about to marry would, my Baronite says, find it a nice start in the way of furnishing a library. In emergency, it would serve as a dining-table, a footstool, a four-post bedstead, or (if the pages were cut out and distributed as tracts in the City) the binding might be rebuilt to form a spare bedroom. Just the book to take down with you to Brighton, or up the river on some of those sunny days we hope are coming. Crammed full of information from cover to cover. What _Burdett's Intelligence_ does not know about financial affairs and Stock Exchange business would make a very small book.
THE BARON DE B.-W.
* * * * *
"THE NIGER COMPANY."--Christy Minstrels.
* * * * *
THE PLEASURES OF TRAVEL.
(_By Ane that has kent them._)
'Tis a great thing, the Traivel! I'll thank ye tae find Its equal for openin' the poors o' the mind. It mak's a man polished, an' gies him, ye ken, Sic a graun' cosmypollitan knowledge o' men!
I ne'er was a stay-at-hame callant ava, I aye must be rantin' an' roamin' awa', An' far hae I wandered an' muckle hae seen O' the ways o' the warl' wi' ma vara ain een.
I've been tae Kingskettle wi' WULLIE an' JEAMES, I've veesited Anster an' Elie an' Wemyss, I've walked tae Kirkca'dy an' Cupar an' Crail, An' I aince was awa' tae Dundee wi' the rail.
Losh me, Sir! The wunnerfu' things that I saw! The kirks wi' their steeples, sae bonny an' braw, An' publics whauriver ye turned wi' yer ee-- 'Tis jist a complete eddication, Dundee!
Theer's streets--be the hunner! An' shops be the score! Theer's bakers an' grocers an' fleshers galore! An' milliners' winders a' flauntin' awa' Wi' the last o' the fashions frae Lunnon an' a'.
An' eh, sic a thrang, Sir! I saw in a minnit Mair folk than the toun o' Kinghorn will hae in it! I wadna hae thocht that the hail o' creation Could boast at ae time sic a vast population!
Ma word, Sir! It gars ye clap haun' tae yer broo An' wunner what's Providence after the noo That he lets sic a swarm o' they cratur's be born Wham naebody kens aboot here in Kinghorn.
What?--Leeberal minded?--Ye canna but be When ye've had sic a graun' eddication as me. For oh, theer is naethin' like traivel, ye ken, For growin' acquent wi' the natur' o' men.
* * * * *
_To the Editor of "Punch."_
SIR,--We think it our duty to call your attention to the appearance of a book that otherwise would have possibly entirely escaped your attention. It is called _A Neglected Incident in a Company's Career_. It is written by a gentleman with a name of historical importance, and contains, amongst other inviting matter, several letters from the author to his illustrious ancestor. It is full of the most interesting stories, although its accuracy is scarcely unimpeachable. As some of the tales are not entirely laudatory of the Company with which we had the honour once to be connected, we beg to lay our case before you.
We have approached the writer of the book, and asked him to withdraw it. We have not obtained a satisfactory answer. We have also appealed to the publisher of the book (whose name we would give in full if we did not think that you might editorially suppress it, as there is a column set apart in another portion of your issue for book advertisements), and he, too, has not seen his way to rendering us any assistance. He has referred us to the author, who still leaves us without a remedy.
However, the publisher (with whom we cannot absolutely agree) makes a suggestion which seems to us in every way admirable. As it is our wish to cause _A Neglected Incident in a Company's Career_ to be as little circulated as possible, he proposes that we should write a joint letter to all the leading London papers, setting forth the highly interesting character of its contents. This we are now doing, as you will see from this communication.
Yours truly, (_Signed_) BENJAMIN BROWN. } Late of the JOHN JONES. } Company. RALPH ROBINSON. }
P.S.--It is unnecessary to state, after the above ingenious explanation and gratuitous advertisement, that it is highly probable that _A Neglected Incident in a Company's Career_, once possibly little read, may now be obtained at every respectable circulating library in town or the country.
* * * * *
[Illustration: "IS IT POSSIBLE?"
_Mr. Gooldenheim of London_ (_to Mr. Beauchamp S. Potts of New York_). "NOW YOU TINK THAT YOU CAN ALVAYS ALSO TELL AN ENGLISHMAN IN AMERICA. I TELL YOU DAT IS A GREAD MISTAKE. I VASS DREE MONTS IN THE UNIDED STADES, AND DERE VASN'T ONE MAN DAT GUESSED I VAS AN ENGLISHMAN!"]
* * * * *
A HOPELESS CASE.
Of literary pleasures, my first and chief delight, Was to read the thrilling serials our deft romancers write, To follow up each hero to the altar from his teens, By reading each instalment in the monthly magazines.
The system answered splendidly while magazines were few, But journal follows journal now, review succeeds review; And when the monthly parcel I have carefully perused, Alas, I find the characters are woefully confused!
They follow me about by day, at night they haunt me still, A hero out from _Longman's_ weds a lady from _Cornhill_; A villain from _Belgravia_, who a burglary has planned, Is suddenly arrested by detectives from the _Strand_.
I hear a stalwart warrior from one of WEYMAN'S plots Engaged in Dolly dialogues with MARY Queen of Scots; And persons in the _Argosy_ for gold in _Harper's_ toil, Or interview physicians brought to light by CONAN DOYLE.
Not only in the fiction, too, I find my fancy trip, The Idlers' Club are gathered at the Sign that bears a Ship, While _Blackwood's_ sober chronicler in quite a flippant way Discusses "Without Prejudice" the topics of the day.
And so, although my intellect is reasonably strong, It will not bear the strain of this bewilderment for long; Please carve upon my tombstone when I quit terrestrial scenes, "Here lies a man who perished from too many magazines!"
* * * * *
[Illustration: KNOWING WHERE TO STOP.
_He._ "YES, IT WAS VERY CONFUSING."
_She._ "IT MUST HAVE BEEN! HAD I BEEN YOU, I SHOULD HAVE BLUSHED TO THE ROOTS OF MY--ER--EYEBROWS!"]
* * * * *
["The (Turkish) soldiers then came and promised the protection of the Imperial troops to all who should lay down arms, and seek refuge in the Turkish camp. This offer was accepted by an Armenian clergyman on behalf of 360 persons of all ages and both sexes. The Turkish colonel ordered them to be provided with supper along with the soldiers, and then at night had them escorted to a distance from camp, where they were despatched and thrown into a large pit, dead and dying together."--_Report, from Moush, of Daily Telegraph's Special Correspondent, on the Armenian Atrocities._]
["The hyæna's aspect is repulsive. Malign, inexorable, and untameably savage, its eyes shine like lucifers in the dark night; its stealthy, dusky form surprises us. It fears the light of day, and strangles what is weak and straying from the path. It mocks its prey with a laugh."--_The Book of Nature and of Man._]
Unchanged, unchangeable! A scourge Attila-like from age to age; What plea can Charity now urge For such immitigable rage? No rest from ravin, no surcease Of carnage? Vain it seems to ply Earth's butcher, foe of love, home, peace With pleadings of humanity.
Since words avail not, any more Than SAMPSON'S withy-bands, to bind This worse than Erymanthian boar, This fell, fierce foe of humankind; What use in wasting words? The hand Of Hercules to cleanse and slay The monster scourges of the land Is needful in a newer day.
Malign, inexorable, untamed, This hoar hyæna of the East Our skill has scorned, our wisdom shamed. Must the implacable, fierce beast Have room and verge for ravage still, Unmenaced by the hunter's spear; Blast the beginnings of goodwill, Fill the fresh-budding waste with fear?
'Tis time, 'tis time! Incarnate crime, Embodied cruelty and lust, Trampler in slaughter-sanguined slime, Mocker of loyalty and trust; Derider of the human bond, Befouler of barbaric faith, Are there fanatics _now_ so fond As to protest against thy scath?
Seeing thine old defenders turn, Sickened at that dread Death-Pit's sight, And with just indignation burn, Sure the horizon bears a light, A blade-like beam of menace clear, Typing the brand of Nemesis. E'en Power's panders well might fear To palliate such a scene as this.
The treacherous pact, the stabber's snare, The butcher-orgie, that grim grave, From which fire would not purge the air, That was not hidden by the wave; The stealthy trick, the crawling lie,-- These stain the record. Can the Turk, For all his age-learnt subtlety, Blot out the count of such black work.
Justice will heed the faintest plea Even from blood-stained lips, if truth Linger upon them; but must flee All maundering and maudlin ruth, If this red record 'stablished stand. The stealthy prowler loves the night, But crouches at the threatening hand It glimpses in the breaking light.
_Disturbed!_ Those shining furtive eyes Glance angrily askance--in fear! The women's shrieks, the children's cries, Which we in fancy still can hear, Left that hyæna-heart unmoved; But now a voice upon the air,-- The same stern voice which CAIN reproved,-- Frightens the ghoul in his dark lair!
["It is absolutely revolting to read how the great batch of Armenian prisoners were beguiled into the Turkish camp, and after having received those rites of hospitality which in the East are supposed to consecrate and protect a guest, were taken away, brutally massacred, and hurled pell-mell into a vast pit, where it was intended no avenging eye should see what was left of them.... It is more than ever necessary that the investigation of the European Delegates shall be genuine and searching, and that the Turkish Government, to establish proof of its own sincerity, shall assist it openly, and act upon its conclusions in a manner unmistakably honest, earnest and exemplary."--_Daily Telegraph, February 27, 1895._]]
* * * * *
We've got no work to do-o-o! Our homes are cold as the wintry air. Our stomachs are empty, booho-o-o! booho-o-o! And like Mother Hubbard our cupboards are bare. We're frozen out! Though our hearts are stout, And we're full of industry, zeal and thrift; There is not the chance of a job about, Through the hardened earth and the chilling drift. We do not howl as we prowl the street, With ruddy faces and bodies plump; Our voices though dulled by the cold are sweet, But the snow-spread lawn, and the frozen pump, The ice-bound pond, and the highway hard, Are all our foes. And no Union door, No Refuge warm is for _us_ unbarred; We, we are the helpless deserving poor: So Christians thoughtful, gentle and good, Warm by fire-side or snug in bed, Be sure your bounty, of broken food, For us on pathways and lawns is spread; For we're poor, and hungry, and frozen out. We may not thank you in eloquent words; But litter your welcome largess about, And though cockney carols we cannot shout We'll gather on branch and on gutter-spout, And chirrup our thanks, _we poor London Birds_!!!
* * * * *
THE FARMING OF THE FUTURE;
_Or, What British Agriculture is coming to_.
SCENE--_A Car on an Electric Light-railway._
TIME--_The Twentieth Century._
_First Farmer_ (_recognising Second Farmer_). Why, 'tis Muster FRETWAIL, surelie! didn't see it was you afore. And how be things gettin' along with _you_, Sir, eh?
_Farmer Fretwail_ (_lugubriously_). 'Mong the middlin's, Muster LACKADAY; 'mong the middlin's! Nothen doin' just now--nothen 't all!
_Third Farmer_ (_enviously_). Well, _you_ hevn't no call fur to cry out, neighbour! I see you've got a likely lot o' noo 'oardins comin' up all along your part o' the line. I wish mine wur arf as furrard, I know thet!
_F. Fretwail._ Ah, them "Keep yer 'air on"'s, _you_ mean, RYEMOUTH. I don't deny as they was lookin' tidy enough a week back. But just as I was makin' ready fur to paint up "Try it on a Billiard Ball," blamed if this yere frost didn't set in, and now theer's everything at a standstill wi' the brushes froze 'ard in the pots!
_F. Ryemouth._ 'Tis the same down with me. Theer's a acre o' "Bunyan's Easy Boots" as must hev a noo coat, and I cann't get nothen done to 'en till th' weather's a bit more hopen like. Don' keer _'ow_ soon we hev a change, myself, I don't!
_F. Lackaday._ Nor yet me, so long as we don't 'ave no gales with it. Theer was my height-acre pasture as I planted only las' Candlemas wi' "Roopy's Lung Tonics"--wunnerful fine and tall they was, too--and ivery one on 'en blowed down the next week!
_F. Fretwail._ Well, I 'ope theer wun't be no rain, neither, come to that. I know I 'ad all the P's of my "Piffler's Persuasive Pillules" fresh gold-leaved at Michaelmas, and it come on wet directly arter I done it, and reg'lar washed the gilt out o' sight an' knowledge, it did. Theer ain't no standin' up agen rain!
_F. Ryemouth._ I dunno as I wouldn't as lief hev rain as sun. My "Hanti-Freckle Salves" all blistered up and peeled afoor the summer was 'ardly begun a'most.
_F. Lackaday._ 'Tis a turr'ble 'ard climate to make 'ead against, is ourn. I've 'eard tell as some farmers are takin' to they enamelled hiron affairs, same as they used to hev when I wur a lad. I mind theer wur a crop o' "Read Comic Cagmag" as lingered on years arter the paper itself. Not as I hold with enamelling, myself--'tain't what I call 'igh farmin'--takes too much outer the land in _my_ 'pinion.
_F. Fretwail._ Aye, aye. "Rotation o' boards." Say, "Spooner's Sulphur Syrup" fur a spring crop, follered with some kind o' soap or candles, and p'raps cough lozengers, or hembrocation, or bakin' powder, if the soil will bear it, arterwards--that's the system _I_ wur reared on, and theer ain't no better, 'pend upon it!
_F. Ryemouth._ I tell 'ee what 'tis; it's time we 'ad some protection agen these yere furrin advartisements. I was travellin' along the Great Northern tother day, and I see theer was two or three o' them French boards nigh in ivery field, a downright shame an' disgrace I call it, disfigurin' the look o' the country and makin' it that ontidy--let alone drivin' honest British boards off the land. Goverment ought to put a stop to it; that's what _I_ say!
_F. Lackaday._ They Parliment chaps don't keer _what_ becomes of us poor farmers, they don't. Look at last General Election time. They might ha' given our boards a turn; but not they. Most o' they candidates did all their 'tisin' with rubbishy flags and balloons--made in Japan, Sir, every blamed one o' them! And they wonder British Agriculture don't prosper more!
_F. Ryemouth._ Speakin' o' queer ways o' hadvertisin', hev any on ye set eyes on that farm o' young FULLACRANK'S? Danged if iver _I_ see sech tomfool notions as he's took up with in all _my_ born days!
_F. Fretwail._ Why, what hev he bin up to _now_, eh?
_F. Ryemouth._ Well, I thought I shud ha' bust myself larfin' when I see it fust. Theer ain't not a board nor a sky sign; no, nor yet a 'oarding, on the 'ole of his land!
_F. Lackaday._ Then how do he expect to get a profit out of it?--that's what _I_ want to year.
_F. Ryemouth._ You'll 'ardly credit it, neighbours, but he's been buryin' some o' they furrin grains, hoats and barley, an' I dunno what not, in little 'oles about his fields, so as to make the words, "Use FADDLER'S Non-farinaceous Food"--and the best on it is the darned young fool expecks as 'ow it'll all sprout come next Aperl--he do indeed, friends!
_F. Fretwail._ Flyin' in the face o' Providence, I calls it. He must ha' gone clean out of his senses!
_F. Lackaday._ Stark starin' mad. I never heerd tell o' such extravagance. Why, as likely as not, 'twill all die off o' the land afore the year's out--and wheer wull he be _then?_
_F. Ryemouth._ Azackly what I said to 'en myself. "You tek my word for it," I sez, "'twun't niver come to no good. The nateral crop for these yere British Hisles," I told 'en, "is good honest Henglish hoak an' canvas," I sez, "and 'tain't the action of no sensible man, nor yet no Christian," sez I, "to go a drillin' 'oles and a-droppin' in houtlandish seeds from Canada an' Roosha, which the sile wasn't never intended to bear!"
_Farmers Fretwell and Lackaday._ Rightly spoke, neighbour RYEMOUTH, 'twas a true word! But theer'll be a jedgement on sech new-fangled doin's, and, what's moor, you and I will live fur to see it afore we're very much older!
[_They all shake their heads solemnly as scene closes in._
* * * * *
"PISTOLS BILL."--SIR, I am not much of a newspaper reader, but I flatter myself on being a fair Shakspearian student. Judge my delight, then, Sir, on seeing that "Pistols Bill" was recently the subject of parliamentary discussion. I "read no more that day," but, satisfied with the heading, at once write to you to know if "Falstaff's Bill" (with the small item of "bread" in it) will next come under discussion? I am, indeed, rejoiced to find that our British Parliament has now before it a subject worthy of consideration.
Yours, A WORSHIPPER OF THE BARD.
* * * * *
SPORTING QUERY.--Why is it pretty certain that Captain GRATWICKE, of the National Rifle Association, will not run a horse, or if he does he will not employ the jockey he had originally intended, for this year's Derby? Because at a meeting of the N. R. A. it was announced that "Captain GRATWICKE withdrew his proposed rider."
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[Illustration: 'ARRY ON 'ORSEBACK.
_'Arry_ (_in extremities_). "WELL, GI' _ME_ A '_BIKE_'!"]
* * * * *
"LITERATURE AND ART."
[The Table of Contents of the _Yellow Book_ has two sub-titles, "Literature" and "Art."]
No possibility of doubt Can stop us now in finding out What "literature" should be; No longer dazed by rival claims, We read a row of deathless names, Not yet renowned, but would-be.
Not "letterpress," or other word As modest, that would be absurd, Contemptuous and slighting; But "literature," which for long, It may be right, it may be wrong, Has meant the best of writing.
Those duller minds which once essayed To ply the literary trade, Poor SHAKSPEARE, DANTE, HOMER, Did not describe their feebler work As "literature." GIBBON, BURKE Avoided this misnomer.
The art of writing now we learn. Should POE or WYCHERLY return They would not be neglected. The corpses, tombs and worms of one, The other's plain, outspoken fun, Would never be rejected.
But anyone may marvel why Sane persons read, and even buy, A page, a word, a letter Of this new school, yet hardly know The works of WYCHERLY or POE, So infinitely better.
Still literature is but a part; These pages also teach us "art," Surpassing TINTORETTO. _Allegro_, not in MILTON'S way, But, with the modern meaning, "gay"; Not too gay, _allegretto_.
VELASQUEZ, you were but an ass, Like REMBRANDT, TITIAN, alas! All despicable duffers. And ROMNEY, REYNOLDS (poor old fool!) And GAINSBOROUGH, a simple school Of blundering old buffers.
At last we know what art should be. A subject which we cannot see, In spite of all our trying; The portraits not like anyone, The landscapes, though not "well begun," "Half done" there's no denying.
And BEARDSLEY shows us now the nude; It would not shock the primmest prude, Or rouse the legislature. An unclothed woman, ten feet high, Could not make anyone feel shy; She's "art," she is not nature.
* * * * *
(_By the Birmingham Oracle._)
The "units" or "areas" of London, However you turn 'em or twist 'em, Must be ranged--or the Capital's _un_done-- On the (Birmingham) Decimal System, For London's just ten times as big As the Midland's Miraculous Model. For the L. C. C. care not a fig, Their "Unification" is twaddle: Lord! what can such novices know Of the right size for Municipalities? Sir JOHN should take council with JOE, Who is old, and has dealt with realities. Great PLATO might prate about "types," Which were stored in some limbo ideal. His eye modern Brummagem wipes, 'Tis the standard for all, and 'tis real. No. London's "divides" must be Ten! 'Tis no matter what you'll be terming 'em, But surely 'tis clear to all men That _they mustn't be bigger than Birmingham_!
* * * * *
_Young Mr. Softly._ "ER--MISS ETHEL, THERE IS SOMETHING I--ER--PARTICULARLY WANT TO SAY TO YOU. ER--WHEN COULD I HAVE A MINUTE WITH YOU ALONE?"
_Miss Ethel._ "OH, THAT'S ALL RIGHT! SOMETHING FROM WAGNER, PLEASE, LUCY! NOW, MR. SOFTLY!"]
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
_House of Commons, Monday Night, February 25._--Glasgae setting its house in order. Local authorities have drafted Bill regulating domestic institutions. One of a class that come regularly to Westminster. House knows nothing of particulars, but is final arbiter. This Bill, like many others of same kind, would have passed without notice, if lynx eye of JEMMY LOWTHER had not chanced to fall upon it. Horrified to discover its many infringements of personal liberty. Glasgae bailies well known for what ASQUITH would call their "almost convulsive" purity. Only the other day they sternly repressed artistic enterprise whose development was unaccompanied by what they regard as adequacy of clothing. In this Bill they leave nothing untouched.
Happily, whustling on the Sabbath is a crime long ago stamped out on the banks of the Clyde. But there are other habits indigenous to headlong youth which Glasgae is determined to put down. Boys have been known, for example, unlawfully to run behind a tramcar, following up the vehicle with felonious intent of obtaining a free ride, probably in the opposite way they were going when they met the conveyance, and were attracted by the opportunity furnished by the conductor collecting fares on the roof. They would be well advised, after the Glasgae Corporation Police Bill is passed, to forego that delirious delight. As CROSS, apologetically presenting himself as Glasgae citizen and Glasgae Member, put it, if the Bill passed, no cat could catch a mouse, no dog might worry a rat in Glasgae, without being subject to a penalty of forty shillings. A similar fine awaits a man upon conviction of having exposed to public view a leg of mutton, unless it be decently draped.
Effect of Bill upon CALDWELL a little painful to Members sitting near him. Lashed himself into appalling fury. Desiring, with national economic instinct, to make one effort simultaneously serve two purposes, he pitched his voice in a key upon which, whilst ostensibly addressed to SPEAKER in Chair, it might be heard in Glasgae. Something weird-looking about CALDWELL when he thus from his seat in House of Commons whispers in ear of constituents in far-off Lanark. The startled stranger crossing Palace Yard and hearing the voice grow more thundrous as he advances, pictures to himself a man in a towering rage. Reaching House he will find upright behind Treasury Bench a man decently dressed in black, without the slightest flash of expression on his face, roaring with volume of sound that would cause to blush any stray bull of Bashan meditatively making its way down Sauciehall Street, pricking up its ears at the reverberation brought northward across the timorous Tweed.
As CAWMEL-BANNERMAN, suffering on the bench below, observed, "It really doesn't seem fair that a man should, with perfectly placid face and mien, continuously roar in this fashion. If he were in Glasgae under this Police Bill, he would immediately be wrapped up in a decent cloth and fined forty shillings."
_Business done._--ASQUITH moves for leave to bring in Welsh Disestablishment Bill. "Sheer political cant of the most nauseous kind," was HICKS-BEACH'S genial description of HOME SECRETARY'S argument.
_Tuesday._--"The world," said CHESNEY, speaking just now in debate on EVERETT'S motion, "is divided into two classes, people who understand the subject, and people who do not. The former are all bimetallist, the latter are gradually going over."
I fancy I must be going over; certainly I don't understand the subject. Thankful, therefore, for opportunity to hear EVERETT discourse on it. A tall, grave-looking man, with a touch of sadness suggestive of long brooding over bimetallic theories. In fullness of design to instruct House, went back all the way to JULIUS CÆSAR. Finally arrived in Garden of Eden; recalled fact that originally, in time of primeval peace and prosperity, two people walked in it. This principle of duality ran through everything. "There are, for example," said EVERETT, swinging his pince-nez between finger and thumb in convincing manner, "white corn and red corn, white grapes and black grapes." ("White sand and grey sand," hummed WILFRID LAWSON, waking up out of sleep.) "Nature has given to each of us two eyes for the common purpose of sight, two ears to hear withal, two hands and two legs." ("What about the Isle of Man?" asked ROCHFORT MAGUIRE. "Understand they have three legs there.")
"We are created in two sexes," EVERETT continued, half closing his eyes and paying no attention to the voice of the scorner; "whose highest purpose is fulfilled only when they are married."
Here he opened his eyes and glanced significantly at MAGUIRE. ROCHFORT blushed. Wished he hadn't interfered.
These arguments, new in controversy of long standing, proved surprisingly conclusive. SQUIRE OF MALWOOD spoke for hour and a half, vehemently declaring that he would have nothing to do with bimetallism, would not touch it with a pair of tongs.
"Sorry to interrupt the right hon. gentleman," said EVERETT; "but he has just alluded to another instance of the infinitude of the principle of duality. Did any hon. Member ever see a tong? No, always a pair. _Toujours_ two, as the French say."
SQUIRE finished up by announcing he would accept EVERETT's amendment, though most careful to protest that it really meant nothing, least of all approval of the heresy of bimetallism.
"You may say what you please," said COURTNEY; "so long as you take our resolution."
Then the bimetallists jubilantly went home arm in arm.
"Arm in arm, of course," said EVERETT, driving off in a pair-wheeled hansom. "Still another illustration of the irresistible, illimitable principle of duality. Wish, by the way, I'd mentioned when on the subject that the result of marriage is occasionally twins. One of those things--or should I say two of those things?--a fellow always thinks of on the staircase."
_Business done._--SQUIRE OF MALWOOD, swearing he would ne'er consent to bimetallism, consented to adopt resolution put forward by bimetallists.
_Friday_, 2 A.M.--Few people know, even suspect, what takes place here when we have a "nicht wi' Burns," or rather an early morning. Not known, because few Southerners remain to witness orgie: no English paper reports it. According to beneficent Standing Order, ordinary debate stands adjourned at midnight. Members go home, whether work in hand accomplished or not. One curious exception to rule. Scotch Members, accustomed to get a little more for their money than other sections of community, managed to carry amendment whereby matters relating to educational affairs North of the Tweed may be discussed all night if necessary. Accordingly, from time to time, when ordinary business of sitting wound up, Scotch Members clan together and make a night of it.
Happened just now. At midnight Welsh Disestablishment Bill brought in; Members troop off leaving what JOKIM irreverently calls "a Pict selection of Scots." Business on hand related to Universities (Scotland) Act, 1889. So it appears on Order. First business actually is to bring in the haggis. MACFARLANE told off for this duty, because he's only member who, being resident in London, has his kilt handy. Also there is a subtle, inexpressed feeling that his flowing beard (when it can be kept out of the haggis-dish) gives a bardic appearance to ceremony. Dr. FARQUHARSON preceeds him with bagpipes, which seemed to-night to have just a slight touch of influenza. CALDWELL brews a peck o' maut; "Cald without" they call it, in spite of the rising steam and the stirred-up sugar. But a Scotchman, as DONALD CURRIE admits, is not to be done out of a joke on account of a few awkward details in the way of matters of fact. No pipes are allowed except those in FARQUHARSON'S hands, but they manage to face deprivation, and have, on the whole, a merry evening. Joining hands round table, on which lay the astonished Mace, we sang "_Auld Lang Syne_" just now, and so home to bed.
Don't quite know what became of the Universities (Scotland) Act, 1889. Fancy we repealed it. _Business done_ (_earlier in sitting_).--Welsh Disestablishment Bill brought in.
_Friday, Midnight._--Best day's work since Session opened. At morning sitting ASQUITH moved for leave to bring in two important measures, and got it. If things go on at this rate HOME SECRETARY will soon be known as ASK-WITH-SUCCESS. At night useful discussion on Post Office contract with Telephone Company. When SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE interposed everybody thought he was going to show that all the evil dilated upon came from having PREMIER in the House of Lords. Didn't even mention ROSEBERY, unless he meant to include him in condemnation of "financiers and other disreputable persons."
_Business done._--Bills brought in to Amend Factories and Workshop Act and Truck Acts.
* * * * *
[Illustration: QUITE CORRECT.
_Lady Visitor_ (_looking out on playground_). "AH, THERE ARE ALL THE GIRLS, AND MY LITTLE GIRL AMONG THEM! WHAT ARE THEY DOING?"
_Schoolmistress._ "THEY'RE MAKING A SNOW-WOMAN."
_Lady Visitor._ "A SNOW WHAT?"
_Schoolmistress._ "_MY_ YOUNG LADIES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE A SNOW-MAN!"]
* * * * *
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE COLD-TUBBER.
He had read of the frigid fanatics who tub In a pool in the Park through the ice, So he took a rough towel his body to scrub, He sped to the Park,--quite avoiding the Pub,-- He stripped in a blizzard, Which pierced to his gizzard. And shrivelled his skin till he looked like a lizard, Plunged, shuddered, shrank, stammered, "_How_ n-n-n-n-ice!" But when through the laurels I happened to glance, I found he was--doing the Serpentine Dance, With a stiff frozen towel, ten paralysed toes, And an unripe tomato in place of a nose!
* * * * *
PURE BEVERAGES.--What is cocoa? I write to ask because our grocer says it has just been legally decided that a mixture containing eighty per cent. of flour and sago, and the rest genuine nibs, deserves to be called by that name. Is this really the law? He also tells me that in the Navy our sailors quite enjoy a cocoa that is half composed of "foreign fats." If so, is our Admiralty justified in getting its fat from abroad instead of supporting home industries? And when Jack Tar asks for cocoa, ought not he to get it? At all events, I have decided to pay my grocer's next bill with eighty per cent. of French pennies, and see how he likes _that!_--SOUL OF HONOUR.
* * * * *
AN ADDITIONAL "LABOUR OF HERCULES."--To fill, for the second time, the post of Governor of the Cape and High Commissioner of South Africa, to which Sir HERCULES ROBINSON is appointed.
* * * * *
"ALONE! ALONE!"--Very like a wail. It has a sad sound, but not a bad look when written as "A Loan in London." Specially if it be the American.
* * * * *