Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
March 21, 1891.
She is not fair to outward view
As many maidens be;
(And into _such_ a rage she flew
On learning this from me;)
And yet she's lovely, nay divine,
Judged by her own peculiar line.
She's deeply read. She knows as much
As average sixth-form boys;
But not the greatest sage could touch
The high, aggressive joys
That imp her wing, like bird of prey,
When in my dates I go astray.
Not only learning's pure serene
Her soaring mind can charm;
The tradesman, shrinking from a scene,
Regards her with alarm,
And many a 'bus conductor owns
The pow'r of her metallic tones.
Contentiously content, she takes
Her strident way through life,
And goodness only knows what makes
Her choose to be my wife.
Courage, poor heart! Thy yearnings stifle.
She's not a girl with whom to trifle.
* * * * *
Instead of the Sub-Kensington Gardens Railway scheme as proposed,
why not a Sub-Serpentine Line? Start it from the South Kensington
Station, District-cum-Metropolitan system, run it with one station
well-underground in the middle of Exhibition Road, whence an easy
ascent to the Imperial Exhibition, when passengers would come up to
"carp the vital airs," then right away again, branching off left
and right, thus bringing the mild Southerners into rapid, easy
communication, at all reasonable hours, and at reasonable prices,
with the rugged denizens of the Northern districts, East and West.
If Kensington Gardens are to be touched at all--and, not being sacred
groves, there is no reason why they should not be, _faute de mieux_--a
transverse tunnelling from Kensington High Street to Queen's Road
would do the trick. We will be happy to render any assistance in our
power, and are,--Yours truly,
WILL HONEYCOMB, MOLE, FERRET & CO.,
O sir,--Pleese don't let us ave no nasty railwaies and tunels in
Kinsinton Gardins, were we now are so skludid, and the childern
can play about, an no danger from nothink sep dogs, wich is mosley
musseled, or led with a string, an we ain't trubbled about them, an
can ave a word to say to a frend, or a cuzzin, you unnerstan, unner
the treeses, so nice an quite, wich it wold not be wen disterbd by
ingins, an smoke, skreeges, an steem-wizzels. O, _Mr. P._, don't let
um do it.
Yours obeegentlee, SARA JANE, (_Unner Nursrymade_.)
Sir,--The Railway underneath Kensington Gardens won't be noticed
if only taken down deep enough below the surface. No blow-holes, of
course. No disfigurement. Take it under the centre path, _where there
are no trees_, then turn to the left outside the gate and burrow away
to S. Kensington Station. I can then get across the park in three
minutes for a penny; and now I have to walk, for which I haven't the
time, or take a cab, for which I haven't the money.
Yours, A PRACTICAL PAUPER.
Sir,--I take this opportunity of pointing out that if anything at
all is to be done with Kensington Gardens, _why not make a real good
Rotten Row there?_ That would he a blessing and a convenience. We're
all so sick and tired of that squirrel-in-a-cage ride, round and round
Hyde Park, and that half-and-half affair in St. James's Park. No, Sir;
now's the time, and now's the hour. There's plenty of space for all
equestrian wants, without interfering with the sylvan delights of
nurserymaids, children, lovers of nature, and all sorts of lovers too.
For my part, if this is not put forward as an alternative scheme, I
shall vote for tunnelling under the Gardens out of simple cussedness.
If the reply, authoritatively given, be that the two schemes can go
and must go together, then I will vote for both, only let's have the
equestrian arrangement first.
Yours, JOLTIN TROTT,
_Mount, Street, W, Captain 1st Lights and Liver Brigade_.
* * * * *
THE TRIUMPH OF BLACK AND WHITE.
"After all, the best of KEENE's life-work is to be found in the
innumerable cuts which he contributed to _Punch_ during a period of
nearly forty years; and still more in the originals of these, the
masterly pen-and-ink drawings which are now for the first time shown
in a collected form to the Public."
So says Mr. CLAUDE PHILLIPS, in his "Prefatory Note," to the
"Catalogue of a Collection of Drawings of the late CHARLES KEENE," now
on view at the Rooms of the Fine Arts Society, 148, New Bond Street.
If the British Public possess that "taste for Art" and that "sense of
humour" which some claim for and others deny to it, it (the B.P.) will
throng the comfortable and well-lighted Gallery in New Bond Street,
where hang some hundreds of specimens of the later work of the most
unaffected humorist, and most masterly "Black-and-White" artist of
his time. Walk up, Ladies and Gentlemen, and see--such miracles of
delineation, such witcheries of effect, as were never before put on
paper by simple pen-and-ink!
It is difficult to realise sometimes that it _is_ pen and ink, and
that only--all the delightful display of fresh English landscape and
unsophisticated British humanity, teeming with effects of distance,
hints of atmosphere, and suggestions of colour. Many a much-belauded
brush is but a fumbling and ineffective tool, compared with
the ink-charged crowquill handled by CHARLES KEENE. Look at
"_Grandiloquence_!" (No. 220) There's composition! There's effect!
Stretch of sea, schooner, PAT's petty craft, grandiloquent PAT
himself, a nautical Colossus astride on his own cock-boat, with stable
sea-legs firmly dispread, the swirl of the sea, the swish of the
waves, the very whiff of the wind so vividly suggested!--and all in
some few square inches of "Black-and-White!"
Look, again, at the breadth of treatment, the power of humorous
characterisation, the strong charm of _technique_, the colour, the
action, the marvellous ease and accuracy of street perspective in No.
16 ("_The Penny Toy!_"). Action? Why, you can _see_ the old lady jump,
let alone the frog! Fix your eye on the frightened dame's foot, and
you'll swear it jerks in time to the leap of the "horrid reptile."
Or at that vivid bit of London "hoarding," and London low life, and
London street-distance in "_'Andicapped!_" (No. 25.) Good as is the
"gaol-bird," is not the wonderfully real "hoarding" almost better?
Who now can draw--or, for that matter, _paint_--such a shopkeeper,
_such_ a shop, _such_ a child customer as those in "_All Alive!_" (No.
41), where the _Little Girl_ a-tip-toe with a wedge of cheap "Cheddar"
at the counter, comes down upon him of the apron with the crusher,
"Oh, mother's sent back this piece o' cheese, 'cause father says if
he wants any bait when he's goin' a fishin', he can dig 'em up in our
Are _you_ a fisherman, reader? Then will you feel your angling as well
as your artistic heart warmed by No. 75 ("_The Old Adam_") and No.
6 ("_Wet and Dry_"), the former especially! What water, what Scotch
boys, _what_ a "prencipled" (but piscatorial) "Meenister"! Don't _you_
feel your elbow twitch? Don't _you_ want to snatch the rod from SANDY
McDOUGAL's hand, and land that "fush" yourself, Sawbath or no Sawbath?
But, bless us, one wants to describe, and praise, and _purchase_
them all! A KEENE drawing, almost _any_ KEENE drawing, is "a thing of
beauty and a joy for ever" to everyone who has an eye for admirable
art and adorable drollery. And good as is the _fun_ of these drawings,
the graphic force, and breadth, and delicacy, and freshness,
and buoyancy, and breeziness, and masterly ease, and miraculous
open-airiness, and general delightfulness of them, are yet more marked
and marvellous. Time would fail to tell a tithe of their merits. An
essay might be penned on any one of them--but fate forbid it _should_
be, unless a sort of artistic CHARLES LAMB could take the task in
hand. Better far go again to New Bond Street and pass another happy
hour or two with the ruddy rustics and 'cute cockneys, the Scotch
elders and Anglican curates, the stodgy "Old Gents" and broad-backed,
bunchy middle-class matrons, the paunchy port-swigging-buffers,
and hungry but alert street-boys, the stertorous cabbies, and
chatty 'bus-drivers, the "festive" diners-out and wary waiters, the
Volunteers and _vauriens_, the Artists and 'Arries, the policemen
and sportsmen, amidst the incomparable street scenes, and the equally
inimitable lanes, coppices, turnip-fields and stubbles, green glades
and snowbound country roads of wonderful, ever-delightful, and--for
his comrades and the Public alike--all-too-soon-departed CHARLES
Nothing really worthy of his astonishing life-work, of even that part
of it exhibited here, _could_ be written within brief compass, even
by the most appreciative, admiring, and art-loving of his sorrowing
friends or colleagues. Let the British Public go to New Bond Street,
and see for itself, in the very hand-work of this great artist, what
he made manifest during so many years in the pages of _Punch_, namely,
the supreme triumph of "Black-and-White" in the achievements of its
* * * * *
[Illustration: KING STORK AND KING LOG.
AN OLD FABLE REVERSED.]
The Frogs, who lived a free and easy life
(As in the ancient fable)
Though not quite clear from internecine strife,
Fancied they were well able
To do _without_ a King. Batrachian wisdom
Disdains the rule of fogeydom and quizdom,
And Frogs as soon would take to bibs and corals,
As ask a "King who might inspect their morals"
From Jupiter. Then 'twas _Juventus Mundi_;
The true King-maker now is--Mrs. GRUNDY,
And _she_ insisted that our modern Frogs
Should have a King--the woodenest of King Logs.
At first this terrified our Frogs exceedingly,
And, sometimes passionately, sometimes pleadingly,
They grumbled and protested;
But finding soon how placidly Log rested
Prone in the pool with mighty little motion,
Of danger they abandoned the wild notion,
Finding it easy for a Frog to jog
On with a kind King Log.
But in the fulness of the time, there came
A would-be monarch--Legion his fit name;
A Plebs-appointed Autocrat, Stork-throated,
A poking, peering, pompous, petty creature,
A Bumble-King, with beak for its chief feature.
This new King Stork,
With a fierce, fussy appetite for work;
Not satisfied with fixing like a vice
Authority on Town and Country Mice,
Tried to extend his sway to pools and bogs,
And rule the Frogs!
But modern Frogdom, which had champions able,
Had read old-AEsop's fable,
And of King Stork's appearance far from amorous,
Croaked forth a chorus clamorous
Of resonant rebellion. These, upreared
On angry legs, waved arms that nothing feared;
King Log defending. Great CRAUGASIDES,
Among batrachian heroes first with ease,
With ventriloquial vehemence defied
The long-beaked base usurper. At his side
His fond companion, PHYSIGNATHUS swelled
Cheeks humorously defiant;
The ruddy giant
CRAMBOPHAGUS, as tall as is a Tree,
Flouted King Stork with gestures fierce and free,
Sleek CALAMINTHIUS, aper deft of eld,
Against the foe a pungent dart impelled;
(Most Terryble to view),
Fared to the front, whilst smaller, yet as brave
Tiny batrachian brethren, dusk of hue,
PRASSOPHAGUS, PRASSOEUS, staunch and true,
Webbed hands did wildly wave
With the frog-host against the beaky bird--
"_He_ be our King?" they loudly cried.
Not Mercury, nor Jupiter _we_ beg
For a devouring despot, lank of leg,
Of prying eye, and frog-transfixing beak;
Though singly we seem weak,
United we are strong to smite or scoff.
Off, would-be tyrant, off!!!"
* * * * *
CHURCH AND STAGE.--Let no rabid Churchmen, of any school of thought,
ever again take exception to the irreligious character of playhouse
entertainments. Let them read the advertisement of the Lyceum Theatre
in _The Times_ for March 13:--"During Holy Week this theatre will be
closed, re-opening on Saturday, March 28, with _The Bells_, which
will also be played on Easter Monday night." Could any arrangement
be more thoroughly in harmony with general ecclesiastical practice?
Any liturgical student knows that the bells are played once on Holy
Saturday, and that they should be played on Easter Monday is a matter
* * * * *
TRACKS FOR THE TIMES.
[A Magistrate has just decided that the Police have a right
to interfere with the growing practice of using the public
roads of the Metropolis at night-time as running-grounds for
I come from haunts of smoke and grime,
I start in some blind alley,
And race each night against Old Time
I dodge past frightened City gents,
And sometimes send them flying,
Which makes them cherish sentiments
Not wholly edifying.
I wind about, and in and out,
Along the crowded pavement,
While here and there the mockers flout
My costume and behavement.
I slip, I slide, I flash, I flee
Amid the teeming traffic,
And drivers often use to me
Idioms extremely graphic.
I murmur when a Lawyer's view
Absurdly tries to hinder
My turning public roads into
A private path of cinder.
Yet still to "spurt," agile, alert,
Shall be my one endeavour;
For Cits may stare, and Jehus swear,
But I run on for ever!
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE BLIZZARD.
MRS. SELDOM-FESTIVE "AT HOME" (AND THE BEST PLACE TOO!), MARCH 9,
(_10 to 1 Nobody turns up._)]
* * * * *
A DIARY OF DOVER.
_March, 1891_.--Fearful storm in the Channel, when the _Victoria_
is all but lost. Proposals in all the newspapers for the immediate
commencement of an adequate harbour.
_April, 1892_.--Hurricane in the Channel, when seventeen ships are
lost, and the Club Train Boat (without passengers) is carried, high
and dry, as far as Amiens, by the force of the weather. Renewed
suggestions for the immediate building of an adequate harbour.
_May, 1893_.--Cyclone in the Channel, in which the British Fleet
disappears. The newspapers once more urge the immediate commencement
of the proposed adequate harbour.
_June, 1894_.--Disaster in the Channel. Every single vessel swamped,
owing to the terrific weather. Again the Press invites commencement of
an adequate harbour.
_July, 1895_.--Members of both Houses of Parliament, invited to take
part in a State function at Calais, having been put to considerable
inconvenience, immediate orders are given for the prompt commencement
of the much-needed adequate harbour at Dover.
_August, 19--_.--Proposed adequate harbour having employed the hands,
night and day, of thousands of workmen, at enormous expense (owing to
urgent pressure), is at length opened to the public, amidst universal
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S POCKET IBSEN.
(_CONDENSED AND REVISED VERSION BY MR. P.'S OWN HARMLESS IBSENITE._)
_Sitting-room at Rosmershoelm, with a stove, flower-stand,
windows, ancient and modern ancestors, doors, and everything
handsome about it, REBECCA WEST is sitting knitting a large
antimacassar which is nearly finished. Now and then she looks
out of a window, and smiles and nods expectantly to someone
outside. Madam HELSETH is laying the table for supper._
_Rebecca_ (_folding up her work slowly_). But tell me precisely, what
about this White Horse? [_Smiling quietly._
_Madam Helseth_. Lord forgive you, Miss!--(_fetching cruet-stand, and
placing it on table_)--but you're making fun of me!
_Rebecca_ (_gravely_). No, indeed. Nobody makes fun at Rosmershoelm.
Mr. ROSMER would not understand it. (_Shutting window._) Ah, here is
Rector KROLL. (_Opening door_.) You will stay to supper, will you not,
Rector, and I will tell them to give us some little extra dish.
_Kroll_ (_hanging up his hat in the hall_). Many thanks. (_Wipes his
boots._) May I come in? (_Comes in, puts down his stick, sits down,
and looks about him._) And how do you and ROSMER get on together, eh?
_Reb._ Ever since your sister, BEATA, went mad and jumped into the
mill-race, we have been as happy as two little birds together. (_After
a pause, sitting down in arm-chair._) So you don't really mind my
living here all alone with ROSMER? We were afraid you might, perhaps.
_Kroll_. Why, how on earth--on the contrary, I shouldn't object at all
if you--(_looks at her meaningly_)--h'm!
_Reb._ (_interrupting, gravely_). For shame, Rector; how can you make
_Kroll_ (_as if surprised_). Jokes? We do not joke in these parts--but
here is ROSMER.
[Illustration: "Taking off his gloves meaningly."]
[_Enter ROSMER, gently and softly._
_Rosmer_. So, my dear old friend, you have come again, after a year's
absence. (_Sits down._) We almost thought that--
_Kroll_ (_nods_). So Miss WEST was saying--but you are quite mistaken.
I merely thought I might remind you, if I came, of our poor BEATA's
suicide, so I kept away. We Norwegians are not without our simple
_Rosmer_. It was considerate--but unnecessary. REB--I _mean_, Miss
WEST and I often allude to the incident, do we not?
_Reb._ (_strikes Taendstickor_). Oh, yes, indeed. (_Lighting lamp_.)
Whenever we feel a little more cheerful than usual.
_Kroll_. You dear good people! (_Wanders up the room._) I came because
the Spirit of Revolt has crept into my School. A Secret Society
has existed for weeks in the Lower Third! To-day it has come to my
knowledge that a booby-trap was prepared for me by the hand of my own
son, LAURITS, and I then discovered that a hair has been inserted in
my cane by my daughter HILDA! The only way in which a right-minded
Schoolmaster can combat this anarchic and subversive spirit is to
start a newspaper, and I thought that you, as a weak, credulous,
inexperienced and impressionable kind of man, were the very person to
be the Editor.
[_REB. laughs softly, as if to herself. ROSMER jumps up and
sits down again._
_Reb._ (_with a look at Rosmer_). Tell him now!
_Rosmer_ (_returning the look_). I can't--some other evening. Well,
perhaps-- (_To KROLL._) I can't be your Editor--because (_in a low
voice_) I--I am on the side of LAURITS and HILDA!
_Kroll_ (_looks from one to the other, gloomily_). H'm!
_Rosmer_. Yes. Since we last met, I have changed my views. I am going
to create a new democracy, and awaken it to its true task of making
all the people of this country noblemen, by freeing their wills, and
purifying their minds!
_Kroll_. What _do_ you mean? [_Takes up his hat._
_Rosmer_ (_bowing his head_). I don't quite know, my dear friend; it
was REB--I should say. Miss WEST's scheme.
_Kroll_. H'm! (_A suspicion appears in his face._) Now I begin to
believe that what BEATA said about schemes--no matter. But, under the
circumstances, I will _not_ stay to supper.
[_Takes up his stick, and walks out._
_Rosmer_. I _told_ you he would be annoyed, I shall go to bed now. I
don't want any supper. [_He lights a candle, and goes out; presently
his footsteps are heard overhead, as he undresses. REBECCA pulls a
_Reb._ (_to Madam HELSETH, who enters with dishes_). No, Mr. ROSMER
will not have supper to-night. (_In a lighter tone._) Perhaps he is
afraid of the nightmare. There are so many sorts of White Horses in
_Mad. H._ (_shaking_). Lord! lord! that Miss WEST--the things she does
say! [_REB. goes out through door, knitting antimacassar thoughtfully,
as Curtain falls._
ROSMER's _study. Doors and windows, bookshelves, a
writing-table. Door, with curtain, leading to ROSMER's
bedroom. ROSMER discovered in a smoking-jacket cutting
a pamphlet with a paper-knife. There is a knock at the
door. ROSMER says, "Come in." REBECCA enters in a morning
wrapper and curl-papers. She sits on a chair close to ROSMER,
and looks over his shoulder as he cuts the leaves. Rector
KROLL is shown up._
_Kroll_ (_lays his hat on the table and looks at REB. from head to
foot_). I am really afraid that I am in the way.
_Reb._ (_surprised_). Because I am in my morning wrapper and
curl-papers? You forget that I am _emancipated_, Rector KROLL.
[_She leaves them and listens behind curtain in ROSMER's
_Rosmer_. Yes, Miss WEST and I have worked our way forward in faithful
_Kroll_ (_shakes his head at him slowly_). So I perceive. Miss WEST
is naturally inclined to be forward. But, I say, _really_ you know--
However, I came to tell you that poor BEATA was not so mad as she
looked, though flowers _did_ bewilder her so. (_Taking off his gloves
meaningly._) She jumped into the mill-race because she had an idea
that you ought to marry Miss WEST!
_Rosmer_ (_jumps half up from his chair_). I? Marry--Miss WEST!
my good gracious, KROLL! I don't _understand_, it is _most_
incomprehensible. (_Looks fixedly before him_.) How _can_ people--
(_looks at him for a moment, then rises._) Will you get out? (_Still
quiet and self-restrained._) But first tell me why you never mentioned
_Kroll_. Why? Because I thought you were both orthodox, which made all
the difference. Now I know that you side with LAURITS and HILDA, and
mean to make the democracy into noblemen, and accordingly I intend to
make it hot for you in my paper. _Good_ morning! [_He slams the door
with spite as_ REBECCA _enters from bed-room._
_Rosmer_ (_as if surprised_). You--in my bedroom! You have been
listening, dear? But you _are_ so emancipated. Ah, well! so our pure
and beautiful friendship has been misinterpreted, bespattered! Just
because you wear a morning wrapper, and have lived here alone for
a year, people with coarse souls and ignoble eyes make unpleasant
remarks! But what really _did_ drive BEATA mad? _Why_ did she jump
into the mill-race? I'm sure we did everything we could to spare her!
I made it the business of my life to keep her in ignorance of all our
interests--_didn't_ I, now?
_Reb._ You did--but why brood over it? What _does_ it matter? Get on
with your great, beautiful task, dear, (_approaching him cautiously
from behind_), winning over minds and wills, and creating noblemen,
you know--_joyful_ noblemen!
_Rosmer_ (_walking about, restlessly, as if in thought_). Yes, I
know. I have never laughed in the whole course of my life--we ROSMERS
don't--and so I felt that spreading gladness and light, and making
the democracy joyful, was properly my mission. But _now_--I feel too
upset to go on, REBECCA, unless-- (_Shakes his head heavily._) Yes, an
idea has just occurred to me--(_looks at her, and then runs his hands
through his hair_)--oh, my goodness, no--I _can't_.
[_He leans his elbows on table._
_Reb._ Be a free man to the full, ROSMER--tell me your idea.
_Rosmer_ (_gloomily_). I don't know what you'll say to it. It's this.
Our platonic comradeship was all very well while I was peaceful and
happy. Now that I'm bothered and badgered, I feel--_why_, I can't
exactly explain, but I _do_ feel that I must oppose a new and living
reality to the gnawing memories of the past. I should, perhaps,
explain that this is equivalent to an Ibsenian proposal.
_Reb._ (_catches at the chairback with joy_). How? at _last_--a rise
at last! (_Recollects herself._) But what am I about? Am I not an
emancipated enigma? (_Puts her hands over her ears as if in terror._)
What are you saying? You mustn't. I can't _think_ what you mean. Go
_Rosmer_ (_softly_). Be the new and living reality. It is the only way
to put BEATA out of the Saga. Shall we try it?
_Reb._ Never! Do not--_do_ not ask me why--for I haven't a notion--but
never! (_Nods slowly to him and rises._) White Horses would not induce
me! (_With her hand on door-handle._) Now you _know_! [_She goes out._
_Rosmer_ (_sits up, stares thunderstruck at the stove, and says to
himself_). Well--I--_am_-- [_Quick Curtain._
[The remaining two Acts of this subtle psychological study
unavoidably held over.]
* * * * *
"KEEP YOUR HARE ON!"
[Illustration: Hare's Theatre.]
In not following the advice given in the headline to this article,
clever Mr. PINERO has made a mistake. _Lady Bountiful_ with only a
very little HARE is a disappointment. The majority of those who go to
"Hare's Theatre" (they don't speak of it as "The Garrick") go to see
the Lessee and Manager in a new part: and they go to see a lot of him:
they don't ask merely for a small piece of HARE, if you please, though
they might be satisfied with HARE in a small piece. Everyone goes
expecting to see him in a good part in a good Comedy, his good part
being equal to the better part of the whole entertainment; and if they
don't so see him, they are disappointed. Why was Mr. GRUNDY's happy
translation of _Les Oiseaux_ peculiarly successful? because it was
a light, fresh, and pretty piece, wherein the occasional phrase in
a minor key was so artistically introduced as to be a relish to our
enjoyment of the humour of the characters and of the situations; but
all this would have gone for comparatively little had it not been
for the excellence of Mr. HARE's rendering of the first-rate part
of _Goldfinch_, which did not consist of occasional flashes, only to
collapse and disappear in the penultimate Act, but continued right
through to the end, dominating everything and everybody. This is not
so with _Lady Bountiful_. The appearance of _Roderick Heron_, who is
no creation of the Author's, as he admits, but merely _Mr. Skimpole_
under another name, raises hopes at the commencement, which are
blighted long before the finish. The part gutters out, as does Mr.
CHARLES GROVE's _John Veale_, another "promise of spring." Young Mr.
GILBERT HARE makes a most creditable first appearance as _Sir Lucian
Brent, Bart_. He is easy and natural.
For the greater part of the educated audience, it might have been
more useful if _Sir Richard Philliter, Q.C._, had gone about with an
old Eton Latin Grammar in his pocket, instead of a _Horace_; and if
Miss KATE RORKE had divided with him the quotation, "_Nemo mortalium
omnibus horis sapit._" He, being rejected, might have commenced,
"_Nemo mortalium_," and she might have continued, "_omnibus horis_;"
then, both together, "_sapit_." Or when she had snubbed him, he
might have made some telling remark about "_Verbum personale_," and
so forth. The introduction of a quotation from _Horace_ is likely
rather to be resented than appreciated by the victims of a superior
education. What a bad quarter of an hour or so Paterfamilias will have
when Materfamilias asks him for the translation of these lines from
_Horace_! Poor Pater will pretend not to have "quite caught them;" or
"not been attending;" but to himself he will own how entirely he has
forgotten his Latin, and perhaps he will make a good resolution to
himself to "look up his _Horace_ again." Then the learned young lady
will be asked by her Mamma, or by her sharp young bothering sister,
"what that Latin means," and though she might be able to construe
it when she sees it, to translate it offhand at one hearing is a
difficulty, and she will evade the question by saying, "Please, don't
talk! I want to listen to the piece."
The youth in the Stalls, fresh from college or school, will be about
as much equal to the translation offhand as is young _Sir Lucian
Brent_ when asked by Mr. CATHCART to give the meaning of the Latin on
the ancient brasses in the old church, and they won't thank you for
bringing school studies into playtime. On the whole, nothing is gained
by this Dr. Panglossian introduction of Latin quotation; it doesn't
help the action, nor emphasise a character, nor does it strengthen a
situation, to bring in even the most appropriate lines which are not
"in a language understanded of the people." _Sir Richard Philliter,
Q.C._, might be known in private life to his friends as Sir HORACE
DAVUS (_Non Oedipus_). Mr. CATHCART's _Pedgrift_, parish clerk and
sexton, is an excellent little character-sketch, as is also that of
_Mrs. Hornutt_, the pew-opener.
As for Mr. FORBES ROBERTSON and Miss KATE RORKE, they seemed to me to
be what the author had made them--i.e., stagey. Miss DOLORES DRUMMOND,
as _Mrs. Veale_, is very good, and Miss MARIE LINDEN, except in one
stagey bit in the Third Act, plays with great care and judgment.
The interior of the old country church (Act III.) is a masterpiece
of scenic art and stage arrangement,--a perfect picture by Mr.
W. HARFORD. I wish I could say the same of the _denoument_ of the
interrupted marriage, which strongly reminded me of a pictorial
heading to some exciting chapter in a penny novelette or _The London
Journal_. It is a very weak finish, and not strengthened or improved
in any way by the line _Sir Richard Philliter, Q.C._, has to say,
on which the Curtain descends. And what does everybody exclaim
afterwards? Simply, "Why there's nothing for HARE to do in it. We
thought we should see him again, and that he would come out all
right at last." That's the feeling. They can't bear the idea of their
favourite first-class Comedian being a sordid, swindling old villain,
unless the character be exceptionally amusing. _Lady Bountiful_ might
be termed "A bald piece," because it has so little HARE.
* * * * *
THE BOAT-RACE TEN YEARS HENCE!
(_WHEN NO DOUBT IT WILL BE CONDUCTED ON STRICTLY SCIENTIFIC
The crews were met together on the day fixed for the event in the
Council Room of the Combined Universities Barge moored at Putney.
Fifteen of the athletes wore the usual training _mufti_, which
contrasted strongly with the garb of the sixteenth--a complete suit
of flannels. "To quote our ancestors--'Why this thusness?'" asked the
Camford Stroke, as he recognised one of his own men in this strange
"Why not?" replied the other; "surely we are not going to pull in
"We are not going to pull at all," explained the leader of the
Oxbridge Eight, courteously; "I think we can manage the matter in a
more satisfactory fashion. It was all very well in the Nineties to
race in real earnest, but now that we have reached the Twentieth
Century our civilisation teaches something better."
"Certainly!" returned the Camford Stroke; "and I think we had
better get at once to business. Who has the sworn information of our
"I have," replied the Hon. Solicitor to the rival Boating Clubs; "and,
if you will allow me, I will produce them--or rather _it_, for the
coaches have affirmed jointly."
All present bowing acquiescence, the man of law, putting on his
spectacles, and opening a brief-bag, produced a document, and read as
"It is our opinion that Oxbridge, as the heavier crew, has an
advantage over Camford, which is only lessened, and certainly not
entirely removed, by the better training of the latter. Moreover,
the steering of the Oxbridge coxwain is infinitely preferable to the
steering of his rival. The times of the various trials, too, have in
every instance given a distinct advantage to Oxbridge. Again, they
have a better boat. So, given fine weather, the result is a foregone
conclusion. Oxbridge must win, although no doubt Camford would make a
good fight for it, and come in a respectable second."
"I suppose we may add, 'barring accidents'?" suggested the Camford
Stroke, with rather a forced laugh.
"Sir!" exclaimed the Hon. Solicitor, with some severity. "In a company
of gentlemen like those present, accidents always _are_ barred!"
"Quite so," admitted the Camford champion, "and I suppose our
committee of the latest Senior Wrangler and the youngest Double First
have considered what I may call the atmospheric conditions under which
the race would have taken place?"
"Yes, Sir, we have, and those conditions are all unfavourable to the
success of Camford," was the ready reply.
"Then I think we have but one more thing to do--to give three hearty
cheers for our opponents." said the Oxbridge Stroke, and a minute
later the rafters rang with loud applause.
"But why shouldn't we have rowed it out?" asked the gentleman in
flannels--he was a Freshman--a little later. "Surely that would have
been more satisfactory."
"Not at all," was the reply. "The plan is merely a survival of the
fittest!" and his answer afforded general satisfaction.
* * * * *
Most rhyming men
Are cradled into poetry by fashion,
And learn as formula what they print as passion.
* * * * *
_The Development of Africa_, by A.S. WHITE, is advertised. This
is White on Black, and no player in hand. It should be immediately
followed by _Black on White, or Who takes the Pool?_ Exciting match,
with one life each.
* * * * *
[Illustration: CONFUSION WORSE CONFOUNDED.
_Jones_. "CON-FOUND IT ALL! SOMEBODY'S TAKEN _MY_ HAT, AND LEFT THIS
FILTHY, BEASTLY, SHABBY OLD THING INSTEAD!"
_Brown_. "A--I BEG YOUR PARDON, BUT _THAT_ HAPPENS TO BE _MY_ HAT!"]
* * * * *
KEPT IN THE STABLE.
_HEAD GROOM B-LF-R LOQ._:--
Kept in! Yes, by thunder! Be 't prudence or blunder,
Gov's fondness for _Tithe_, or bad weather, or what,
You're kept in the stable, though fit, ay, and able
To lead the whole field and to win by a lot.
A hunter I never bestrode half as clever!
_Tithe_? Pooh! _He_'s not in it, my beauty, with you.
You've breed, style, and mettle, and look in rare fettle.
If _I_ had to settle, you know what _I_'d do!
These gentlemen-riders deem all are outsiders
Save them: as if gent ever made A 1 jock!
Ah! ADAM L. GORDON, poor chap, had a word on
Such matters. I'll warrant _he_ sat like a rock,
And went like a blizzard. Yes, beauty, it _is_ hard
To eat off your head in the stable like this.
Too long you have idled; but wait till you're bridled!
_The_ hunt of the season I swear you won't miss,
It has been hard weather, although, beauty, whether
'Tis that altogether your chance that postponed,
Or whether Boss SOLLY committed a folly--
No matter! A comelier crack he ne'er owned,
Although 'tis I say it who shouldn't. The way it
Has snowed and has frozen may be his excuse;
But when you're once started, deer-limbed, lion-hearted,
I warrant, my beauty, you'll go like the deuce.
"A lean head and fiery, strong quarters, and wiry,
A loin rather light, but a shoulder superb,"
That's GORDON's description of _Iseult_. (All whip shun
When riding such rattlers, and trust to the curb.)
That mare was your sort, lad. I guess there'll be sport, lad,
When _you_ make strong running, and near the last jump.
And you, when extended, look "bloodlike and splendid."
Ah! poor LINDSAY GORDON was sportsman and trump.
I see your sleek muzzle in front! It will puzzle
Your critics, my boy, to pick holes in you then:
There's howling "HISTORICUS,"--he's but a sorry cuss!
WEG, too, that grandest of all grand old men;
He's ridden some races; of chances and paces,
Of crocks _versus_ cracks he did ought to be judge.
He sees you are speedy; when MORLEY sneers "Weedy,"
Or LAB doubts your staying, WEG knows it's all fudge!
We're biding our time, lad. Your fettle is prime, lad;
Though we're frost-bound now, open weather must come,
At least after Easter; and, beauty, _when_ we stir.
And forge to the front, lad, we'll just make things hum.
In spite of much ruction concerning Obstruction,
I wish--_in a whisper_--we'd started before,
And, forcing the running, discarding all cunning,
Romped in--_as we will_--'midst a general roar!
[Footnote 1: ADAM LINDSAY GORDON, the ardent, horse-loving Australian
* * * * *
_Ghosts_ at the Royalty. "Alas, poor Ghosts!" A shady piece. "No money
taken at the doors" on this occasion, which is making a virtue of
necessity. This being the case, _Ghosts_ was, and if played again
will, be witnessed by an audience mainly composed of "Deadheads."
Lively this. The Critics have spoken out strongly, and those
interested in this Ibsenity should read the criticisms presumably by
Mr. CLEMENT SCOTT in _The Telegraph_ and Mr. MOY THOMAS in _The Daily
News_. Stingers; but as outspoken as they are true, and just in all
their dealings with this Ibsenian craze.
* * * * *
"Les Oiseaux."--Mrs. RAM says she pities any unfortunate man whose
wife has a fearful temper. She knows one such husband who quite quails
before his wife, "and I'm not surprised," adds Mrs. R., "for I know
her, and she's a regular ptarmigan."
* * * * *
The Coming Census.--CARLYLE said, "The population of the British
Empire is composed of so many millions, mostly fools." Will the Census
be taken on the First of April?
* * * * *
[Illustration: KEPT IN THE STABLE.
HEAD GROOM. "AH, MY BEAUTY!--YOU HAVEN'T HAD MUCH CHANCE YET--BUT WE
SHALL HAVE SOME OPEN WEATHER _AFTER EASTER_!"]
* * * * *
The Baron can highly recommend _The Wages of Sin_, by LUCAS MALET. "I
am informed," says the B. DE B.-W., "that this is the _nom de plume_
of an Authoress. This MALET should be Femalet." Be this as it may, the
Baron, who is discretion itself, will not attempt to penetrate beyond
the veil. Some of the writing is a bit tall; but thank heaven, my old
aesthetic friend, "O-the-pity-of-it" occurs only once; and O the pity
of it when he does so, and gives a "MAUDLE and POSTLETHWAITE" tone to
the passage in question. What does "huffle" mean? (Vol. III., p. 82.)
Genius has a right to create words; and when Genius does so, the very
sound of the word conveys its meaning with and frequently without the
context. "But I'm huffled," says the Baron, "if I understand it here."
Still "huffled" is a good-substitute for strong language, when you're
ruffled. Don't let the light-hearted reader be deterred by the slow
pace of Volume One; but stick to it, and avoid skipping. A selfish
mean cuss is the "hero," so to style him; and personally, the Baron
would consider him in Society as a first-class artistic bore. The
character is drawn with great skill, as are they all. The description
of _Mrs. Crookendon's_ after-dinner party is as life-like as if it
were a well-staged scene in a well-written and well-cast Drama.
"I have been dipping into _Country House Sketches_, by C.C. RHYS,"
says the Baron, "and have come to the conclusion that if the author,
youthful I fancy, would give himself time, and have the patience to
'follow my LEVER,' the result would be a _Jack Hinton Junior_, with
a smack of _Soapey Sponge_ in it." The short stories are all, more or
less, good, and would be still better but for a certain cocksureness
about them which savours of the man in a country house who will insist
on telling you a series of good stories about himself, one after the
other, until the guests in the smoking-room, in sheer despair of ever
getting their turn of talking about themselves, or of turning on
the tap of their own good stories, light their candles, yawn, and go
pensively to bed.
My "Faithful Co." informs me that he has been reading some very
excellent _Sketches of England_, by a "Foreign Artist," and a "Foreign
Author." The latter is no less a person than the genial representative
of the _Journal des Debats_ in London, Mons. P. VILLARS. My "Co."
says that, take it all round, this is one of the best books upon _La
Perfide Albion_ he has ever read. Both scribe and illustrator are
evidently fond of the "Foreigners" they find in the British Isles.
Mons. VILLARS, however, makes one startling assertion, which has taken
my "Co," by surprise. The "Foreign Author" declares that "laughter
never struck his ears." Now our Monsieur is an admirable _raconteur_,
and if he ever told one of his capital stories to an Englishman of
average intelligence, he _must_ have heard laughter. He has also read
a rather strange work called, _What will Mrs. Grundy say?_ My "Co."
declares that, considering its subject, the book, which is not without
merit, might be recommended as a disciplinary exercise during Lent.
Says "Co. Junior," to the Baron, "Sir, I've just come across AUSTIN
DOBSON and his _Four Frenchwomen_." "Hold!" cries the Baron, frowning.
"No scandal." "Nay, Sir," quoth "Co. Junior," nervously. "'tis but
the title of a book." "That is another thing," says the Baron, waving
his hand, "proceed!" "It is about Mlle. DE CORDAY, Madame ROLAND,
the Princesse DE LAMBALLE, and Madame DE GENLIS. I recommend it,
Sir. _Tolle, Lege!_ "And with a bow "Co. Junior," withdraws from the
Quoth the Baron, "I was looking again into _Saint Monica_, just to see
if I might like it any better than I did on the first occasion--which,
"with me hand upon me hearrt," as Doctor O'Q. says, I cannot say
I do,--when I came upon the following misprint,--"_This woman,
nevertheless, worshipped him as the god of her idoltary._" It's a
beautiful word, "idoltary," and so much better than the ordinary way
of spelling it. So, after all, there is more in _Saint Monica_ than
I had expected. In fact, its chief fault is that it is too much spun
out; and, just at this time, _Saint Monica_ mustn't be associated in
any sort of way with the House at Cambridge where they spin.
THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
TO A DEBUTANTE.
Fair Maiden of unclouded brow
Who, gaily, 'mid the gay the gayest,
To England, Home, and Duty now
Gay seeming,--if the milliner's
Can cheer, the florist's homage sightly;
And yet, unless my fancy errs,
Thou shudderest slightly.
Is it a sigh for childhood's bliss,
A dread of what is coming, come what
May matrimonially--or is
It draughty somewhat?
St. James's corridors are long
As Art, as Life thy raiment brief is
(Except the train, of course)--and strong
Mamma's relief is.
In vulgar phrase, "Your mother knows
You're _out_," at length. Such triumphs too dear
Are sometimes purchased. I suppose
She fidgets you, dear.
"The Countess!--bow, child, to the Earl!--
Those terrible HYDE PARKES! Their posies
Look quite too vulgar; cut them, girl.
How red your nose is!
"Quick! take the powder-puff, my love--
Not on your bouquet or your hair now!--
Don't bungle so; you'll drop that glove--
Please take more care now.
"You stoop like any _bourgeoise_ chit.
Who'd think you educated highly?
No, not so stiff. Do blush a bit,
And simper shyly."
Ah! Maiden fair of cloudless air.
This kind of thing is hardly pleasant.
Indeed, I'm thankful not to wear
Thy shoes at present!
* * * * *
"THE FLOWERS THAT BLOOM, TRA-LA!"
In the _Times_ for March 12th appeared a notice of The Spring Flower
Show, wherein it was stated that a silver medal was awarded to Mr.
BARR for his "_pretty collections, which included the spurius Henry
Irving_." There's an "o" omitted, of course, but it's the same word.
Who is the "spurious HENRY IRVING"? Where does this flower of the
Drama flourish, away from the Lyceum Theatre? What and where does
HENRICUS SPURIUS play? Does he appear in the Hare-Bells? Is he to
bloom in Covent Garden? or is it, after all, only a plant? There is
only one HENRICUS IRVINGUS, and he's not "_spurius_."
* * * * *
HEALTH.--I am not an invalid, but I suffer from giddiness, a feeling
of suffocation, with excruciating pains, and apparent cessation of
the heart's action. I am also so nervous, that, whenever the door is
opened, I begin to scream loudly. My mental feebleness finds vent in
puns that have alienated my oldest friends. Could some Correspondent
explain these symptoms? I do not believe in Doctors, but am taking
"Soft-sawder's Emulgent Balsam of Aconitine." It does not seem to have
done me much good yet, but that is probably due to my not having tried
it long enough.--RATHER ANXIOUS.
* * * * *
A DANCING-ON-NOTHING GIRL.--Talk of _The Dancing Girl_ at the
Haymarket--of course people _will_ talk--why she's nothing to
the girls who dance to M. JACOBI's inimitable ballet-music at the
Alhambra. Here they have a magic show, which "puzzles the Quaker;"
and I don't mind admitting that I was the quaker when I saw a fair and
comely young lady up in the air standing still and dancing on nothing
at all! Certainly "Aerolithe" is as good as any of her marvellous
predecessors, the Vanishing Girl included. As a conjuror, Mr. CARL
HERTZ, who I take to be the inventor of the above illusion, is
also uncommonly neat, and this "Ten o'Clock," to all lovers of the
marvellous, can be recommended by
THE FACULTY FOR AMUSEMENT.
* * * * *
[Illustration: RANDOM ALADDIN.
HIS ADVENTURES IN MASHONALAND. AN ARABIAN NIGHT'S DREAM. SNOOZE NO.
* * * * *
"OH, NO, WE NEVER MENTION HIM!"
[HER MAJESTY in the evening witnessed the performance of _The
Gondoliers_, a Comic Opera, composed by Sir ARTHUR SULLIVAN,
in the Waterloo Chamber, by the Savoy Theatre Company, under
the management of MR. R. D'OYLY CARTE.--_From the Times Court
Circular, Monday, March 9._]
"A comic Opera, composed by Sir ARTHUR SULLIVAN." Quite so. But where
does W.S. GILBERT come in? Let us see. After giving the programme, and
after giving all the characters and the supers, the words "_Dramatis
Personae_" occur as an after-thought, and underneath are the names
of the Musical Director, Stage Manager, Wig Provider, &c., &c.
Well, "W.S.G." doesn't come in here. After the highly successful
performance, R. D'OYLY CARTE, says the _Times_ C.C., "had the honour
of being presented to HER MAJESTY, who expressed her warm appreciation
of the manner in which the performance was conducted." Did R. D'OYLY
think of mentioning that "the words" were by W.S.G.? And then it
is told how D'OYLY refused to take any payment for the performance.
Noble, generous-hearted, large-minded, and liberal D'OYLY! Sir ARTHUR
COURTLY SULLIVAN's name was to the Bill, and so his consent to this
extra act of generosity may be taken for granted. But what said Sir
BRIAN DE BOIS GILBERT? By the merry-maskins, but an he be not pleased,
dub me knight Samingo! Will D'OYLY be dubbed Knight? And what sort of
a Knight? Well, remembering a certain amusing little episode in the
more recent history of the Savoy Theatre, why not a "Carpet Knight"?
* * * * *
A MERE SUGGESTION FOR NEXT TIME.--Last Tuesday, under the heading of
"To-day," the _Times_ announced that "at the Society of Arts Mr. J.
STARKIE GARDNER, as Cantor Lecturer, would discourse on 'Enamelling
and Damascening,' Professor H. HERKOMER being in the Chair." Our
excellent Bushian Professor was the right man in the right place,
being so interested in theatrical matters; but, at the same time,
wouldn't the lecture on "Damascening," or "How to Dam-a-scene," have
been more suitably given at the Playwreckers' Club, with Mr. JERUMKY
JERUM in the Chair?
* * * * *
SONG OF THE BELLS OF RICHMOND.--"Turn again, WHITTAKER, First Mayor of
* * * * *
[Illustration: A NEW SECT.
"AND IS THE NEW CURATE _MARRIED_, MRS. JENKINS?"
"OH NO, MA'AM. HE'S WHAT THEY CALL A _CHALYBEATE_!"]
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
_House of Commons, Monday Night, March 9_.--Naval Estimates on again.
Approach delayed by action of CAMERON; House been Counted Out on
Friday; necessary for Government to set up Supply again; formal Motion
made by JACKSON; CAMERON objects; deeply distressed to think that
Government should have fallen so low as to permit Count Out. "It's
really shocking," he said, "Here we are brought from our peaceful
homes to London at this inclement season, to do the work of the
nation. Assembled as usual on a Friday night; important business on;
Ministers and their friends go off to dinner; and, it being found
there are not Forty Members present, House is Counted Out at half-past
eight. Night absolutely lost; Sitting criminally chucked away."
"Ah!" I said, sympathetically; "must have been very hard upon you,
sternly attending to your duty whilst others gambolled in the shade.
And then to be suddenly Counted Out! How many of you were there when
the Count was made?"
[Illustration: "Count" Cameron]
"Well--er--you see, TOBY," said CAMERON, almost blushing; "the fact
is I wasn't there myself, though that, of course, does not deter
me from invoking censure on Ministers. Indeed I am not sure that
the circumstance doesn't place me in a more favourable position.
Outsiders, you know, see most of game. I was outside; had, in fact,
comfortably gone off to dinner, expecting other people would stop to
make House. But they didn't, and I feel I'm just the man to make it
hot for OLD MORALITY and his friends, who ought to have been here."
Other people didn't seem to see it in quite that light. Condemnatory
Motion negatived by 184 Votes against 42.
House thereupon took up Naval Estimates. Instantly Commodore HARCOURT
appeared in offing; landed on Front Opposition Bench, diffusing
unwonted smell of stale mussels and seaweed. Commodore looked very
imposing pacing down quarter-deck towards Mace, with telescope
under his arm, sou'wester pulled well over his ears, and unpolished
square-toed boots rising above his knees. A blizzard outside; snow
and wind; bitterly cold; but the Commodore soon made it hot all
round. Fell upon JOKIM spars and sails, stem and starn. "Regularly
claw-hammered him," as GEORGE HAMILTON said, drawing on naval
resources for adequate adjective. Accused him of making a speech that
would have become CHARLES THE FIRST. Talked about levying Ship Money;
threatened a revolution; hinted at HAMPDEN, and, unrebuked by the
SPEAKER, called unoffending Prince ARTHUR the "youthful STRAFFORD."
Splendid performance, only wanting an audience. But the storm inside
House burst as suddenly as the blizzard without. Nobody knew that the
Commodore was close-hauled, and meant business. Few present to witness
the perturbed scene on the Treasury Bench:--OLD MORALITY huddled up
against GEORGIE HAMILTON, who was nervously tearing sheet of paper
into measured strips; JOKIM shaking in every limb, and white to the
lips; Prince ARTHUR most successful of the group in maintaining
his self-possession, though evidently not liking the reference to
STRAFFORD. The Commodore, looking in his tarpaulins considerably more
than six foot high, stormed and raged what time the snow and sleet
beat a wild accompaniment on the melancholy windows.
_Business done_.--Commodore HARCOURT goes again on the rampage.
_Tuesday_.--HOWARD VINCENT rather staggered to-night. Favoured by
fortune and the ballot, had secured first place for Motion on Friendly
Societies. Useful thing for coming General Election to be remembered
as advocate of cause of Working Man. Bestowed much care on terms of
Resolution; invited Government to encourage more general voluntary
provision for sickness and old age. Then adroitly dragged in the axiom
that "Sound principles of provident Insurance should be included
in the subjects prescribed by the Education Code for instruction in
elementary schools." That meant to draw OLD MORALITY; succeeded _a
"TOBY, dear boy," he said to me, half closing his eyes, and folding
his arms, whilst a far-away look melted into newer softness his kindly
countenance, "that reminds me of old days. Many a time have I written
out in my copybook, 'Take care of your Neighbour's Pence, and your own
Pounds will Take Care of Themselves.' 'Borrow an Umbrella, and put it
away for a Rainy Day.' 'Half a Currant Bun is better than No Bread';
'A Bird in a Pigeon Pie is better than three in the Bush.' Got heaps
of copy-books filled with these and similar words of wisdom. HOWARD
VINCENT is quite right. If there was more of this in our elementary
schools, there would be, if I may say so, more men like me. You
remember what Who's-This said, 'Let me write their copy-book headings,
and I don't care who makes their laws.' HOWARD VINCENT is on the right
tack; think we shall accept his Resolution."
So it would have been, if that eminent strategist had foregone his
speech. If he had laid Resolution on the table, and said, "There you
are," Government would have accepted it, and he would have had a night
of triumph. But he would speak. Spoke for an hour, and utterly ruined
chances of the Resolution he recommended.
[Illustration: Herbert Maxwell Performed his task well. _Anon._]
HERBERT MAXWELL, put up from Treasury Bench to reply for Government,
did his work admirably. After fearful _fiasco_ with CHAPLIN last
Friday, OLD MORALITY checked disposition to give young Ministers
opportunity of distinguishing themselves. If MAXWELL made a mull of
this, following on Friday week's catastrophe with CHAPLIN, it would be
serious. MAXWELL won more than negative credit of not making mistake.
He delivered excellent speech, showing complete mastery of subject.
_Business done_.--House Counted Out again.
_Thursday_.--An Irish night at last, Quite a long time since we talked
of the distressful country. Wouldn't guess that Ireland was to the
fore by looking at the Irish quarter. Usual when Prince ARTHUR is
on his feet expounding and defending his policy for Irish camp to be
bristling with contradiction and contumely. To-night only five there,
including BRER RABBIT. BRER FOX promised to come, but hasn't turned
up. Understood to be engaged in composition of new Manifesto. Towards
midnight Prince ARTHUR, wearied of the quietude, observed that he
didn't believe there was a single Irish Member present. Whereupon
NOLAN, waking from sleep, under shadow of Gallery, indignantly shouted
out, "What?" TANNER, just come in, roared, "Oh!" "Ah!" said Prince
ARTHUR, and the conversation terminated.
[Illustration: Mr. Swift McNeill "prating."]
Explanation of singular abstention is, that business under discussion
is Vote on account of Relief of Distress in Ireland. Prince ARTHUR
asks for L55,000 for that purpose; wouldn't do for Irish Members to
obey their first instinct, and oppose Vote moved by Chief Secretary.
If they were there, they might be expected to say, "Thank you;"
so they stay away, one or two just looking in to contradict T.W.
RUSSELL--"Roaring" RUSSELL, SARK calls him--when he gave an account
of what he saw during a recent visit to Ireland.
_Business done_.--Relief voted for Irish Distress.
_Friday Night_.--Lo! a strange thing happened. Fell asleep just
now, amid deadly dulness, depth of which no one outside House can
comprehend. Woke up, hearing familiar voice. 'Twas the voice of Prince
ARTHUR, I heard him complain; something about Ground-rents in London.
Not, quite his subject; voice, too, didn't seem to come from Treasury
Bench. But no mistaking it; same tone; same inflection. Now I come to
think of it, more like way he used to talk before he came to govern
Ireland. Opened eyes; looked down; behold! it was brother GERALD,
opposing STUART's Motion on Land Tax. Very odd; think I'll go to sleep
* * * * *
THE SONG OF THE BACILLUS.
[Not a week passes without our hearing of a fresh agent to
destroy the Bacillus.]
Once I flourished unmolested, now my troubles never cease:
Man, investigating monster, will not let me rest in peace.
I am ta'en from friends and kindred, from my newly-wedded bride,
And exposed--it's really shameless--on a microscopic slide.
Sure some philbacillic person a Society should start
For Protection of Bacilli from the Doctor's baleful art.
KOCH the evil game first started, and his lymph came squirming in.
But, 'twixt you and me, Bacilli did not care a single pin.
We went elsewhere in the body, and it only made us roam,
But it's hard, you must admit it, to be worried from your home,
And methinks the hapless patient had much rather we had rest,
When he finds us wildly rushing up and down his tortured breast.
Then came BERNHEIM and his dodges; his specific is to flood
All the circulation freely with injections of goat's blood,
That is really rather soothing, and it doesn't seem to hurt,
Though they lacerate your feelings with an automatic squirt;
Time will show if it's effective, but 'twill be revenge most sweet
If the patients take to butting every single soul they meet.
Next fierce LIEBRIECH, quite a savage, has declared that we shall die
Shattered and exacerbated by attacks of Spanish fly.
We should like to ask the patient if he thinks he'll live at ease,
With his system impregnated with that vile cantharides?
We perchance may fall before it, waging an unequal strife,
But it's any odds the patient will be blistered out of life.
Therefore, O my friends, take heart, and these indignities endure,
Although every week brings news of an indubitable cure;
We have lived and flourished freely ever since the world began,
And our lineage is as ancient surely as is that of man;
While I'll venture the prediction, as a wind-up to my song,
That, despite these dreadful Doctors, we may haply live as long.
* * * * *
BLONDEL UP TO DATE.
(_A FRAGMENT FROM A HISTORY OF THE FUTURE._)
And so it happened that the King was taken and imprisoned, no one knew
whither. His followers, saving one, treated the matter very calmly.
The exception, who was supposed to be wanting in his wits (he played
on the barrel-organ), determined to do his best to rescue his Royal
Master; and an idea occurred to him. He had noticed that when he
performed on his musical instrument those who, perforce, were obliged
to listen to him acted strangely. Some of his audiences had frowned,
others had shaken their fists at him, and all had gone quickly away.
Only once had a loiterer stayed behind, smiling a sweet smile, as
if he were enjoying the music. To his regret, BLONDEL subsequently
ascertained that the apparently charmed listener was stone deaf. So he
argued that if his music had so great an effect upon the population
of his native village it would work marvels in the wide world without.
And thus, with a heart full of hope and courage, he started on his
He wandered, turning the handle of his organ, for many a weary mile.
He passed through towns, hamlets, and cities; the people put their
heads out of their windows, and urged him imperiously to be gone; and
as he hurried away he gazed at their faces, hoping to have seen the
King, his Master, but without avail. He felt, that were His Majesty to
hear his music, there would be a farther supply of language savouring
rather of the dicing-house than the cathedral. But, alas! his search
was in vain. At length, he reached London, and found it as silent
as the grave! There were no German bands, no Niggers, not even a
hurdy-gurdy! Greatly surprised, BLONDEL asked a policeman the meaning
of this strange, this unlooked-for quietude!
"Strike up that organ of yours," said the constable, surlily, "and I
will soon show you!"
BLONDEL turned his handle, and was immediately arrested.
"What for?" echoed the policeman; "why, for infringing the provisions
of the Jacobi Street Music Prohibition Act!"
And with this brief explanation BLONDEL was carried off to prison!
* * * * *
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