Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
November 8, 1890.
MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.
NO. V.--MIGNON'S MESS-ROOM.
(_BY_ TOM RUM SUMMER, _AUTHOR OF "MIGNON'S MA," "MIGNON'S HUB,"
"FOOTLE'S FATHER," "TOOTLE'S TOOTSIE," "UGLY TOM," "YOUR RICH
RICHARD," "A BABY IN BARRACKS," "STUCK," "HOOP-LORE," "WENT FOR THAT
PLEECEMAN," &C., &c., &c., &c., &c., &c., &c., &c._)
["This," writes the eminent Author, "is a _real, true_ story
of the life of soldiers and children. Soldiers are _grand,
noble_ fellows. They are so _manly_, and all smoke a great
deal of tobacco. My drawl is the only genuine one. I could do
a lot more of the same sort, but I charge extra for pathos.
I'm a man.--T.R.S."]
"Three blind mice--
See how they run."
The Officers of the Purple Dragoons were gathered together in their
ante-room. It was a way they had. They were all there. Grand fellows,
too, most of them--tall, broad-shouldered, and silky-haired, and as
good as gold. That gets tiresome after a time, but everything can be
set right with one downright rascally villain--a villain, mind you,
that poor, weak women, know nothing about. GAVOR was that kind of man.
Of course that was why he was to break his neck, and get smashed up
generally. But I am anticipating, and a man should never anticipate.
EMILY, for instance, never did. EMILY--Captain EMILY, of the Purple
Dragoons--was the biggest fool in the Service. Everybody told him so;
and EMILY, who had a trustful, loving nature, always believed what he
"I nev-ah twry," he used to say--it was a difficult word to pronounce,
but EMILY always stuck to it as only a soldier can. and got it out
somehow--"I nev-ah twry to wremember things the wwrong way wround."
A roar of laughter greeted this sally. They all knew he meant
"anticipate," but they all loved their EMILY far too well to set him
"'Pon my soul," he continued, "it's quite twrue. You fellows may
wroawr wiv laughtewr if you like, but it's twrue, and you know it's
There was another explosion of what EMILY would have called
"mewrwriment," at this, for it was well-known to be one of the
gallant dragoon's most humorous efforts. A somewhat protracted silence
followed. FOOTLES, however, took it in both hands, and broke it with
no greater emotion than he would have shown if he had been called
upon to charge a whole squadron of Leicestershire Bullfinches, or
to command a Lord Mayor's escort on the 9th of November. Dear old
FOOTLES! He wasn't clever, no Purple Dragoon could be, but he wasn't
the biggest fool in the Service, like EMILY, and all the rest of them.
Still he loved another's.
In fact, whenever a Purple Dragoon fell in love, the object of his
affections immediately pretended to love someone else. Hard lines, but
soldiers were born to suffer. It is so easy, so true, so usual to say,
"there's another day to-morrow," but that never helped even a Purple
Dragoon to worry through to-day any the quicker. Poor, brave, noble,
drawling, manly, pipe-smoking fellows! On this particular occasion
FOOTLES uttered only one word. It was short, and began with the
fourth letter of the alphabet. But he may be pardoned, for some of the
glowing embers from his magnificent briar-wood pipe had dropped on to
his regulation overalls. The result was painful--to FOOTLES. All the
others laughed as well as they could, with clays, meerschaums, briars,
and asbestos pipes in their mouths. And through the thick cloud of
scented smoke the mess-waiter came into the room, bearing in his hand
a large registered letter, and coughing violently.
"The mouse ran up the clock."
The waiter advanced slowly to FOOTLES, and handed him the letter.
FOOTLES took it meditatively, and turned it over in both hands. The
post-marks were illegible, and the envelope much crumpled. "Never
mind," thought FOOTLES, to himself, "it will dry straight--it will
dry straight." He always thought this twice, because it was one of his
favourite phrases. At last he decided to open it. As he broke the seal
a little cry was heard, and suddenly, before even EMILY had had time
to say "I nev-ah!" a charming and beautifully dressed girl, of about
fifteen summers, sprang lightly from the packet on to the mess-room
floor, and kissed her pretty little hand to the astonished Dragoons.
"You're FOOTLES," she said, skipping up to the thunder-stricken owner
of the name. "I know you very well. I'm going to be your daughter,
and you're going to marry my mother. Oh, it's all right," she
continued, as she observed FOOTLES press his right hand convulsively
to the precise spot on his gorgeous mess-waistcoat under which he
imagined his heart to be situated, "it's all right. Pa's going to
be comfortably killed, and put out of the way, and then you'll
marry darling Mamma. She'll be a thousand times more beautiful at
thirty-three than she was at twenty-two, and _ever_ so much more
lovely at fifty-five than at thirty-three. So it's a good bargain,
isn't it, EM?" This to EMILY, who appeared confused. She trotted up
to him, and laid her soft blooming cheek against his blooming hard
one. "Never mind, EM," she lisped, "everything is bound to come out
right. I've settled it all"--this with a triumphant look on her
baby-face--"with the author; such a splendid writer, none of your
twaddling women-scribblers, but a real man, and a great friend of
mine. I'm to marry you, EM. You don't know it, because you once loved
NAOMI, who 'mawrwried the Wrevewrend SOLOMON'"--at this point most
of the Purple Dragoons were rude enough to yawn openly. She paid no
attention to them--"and now you love OLIVE, but she loves PARKACK,
and he doesn't love her, so she has got to marry PARKOSS, whom she
doesn't love. Their initials are the same, and everybody knows their
caligraphy is exactly alike," she went on wearily, "so that's how the
mistake arose. It's a bit far-fetched, but," and her arch smile as she
said this would have melted a harder heart than Captain EMILY's, "we
mustn't be too particular in a soldier's tale, you know."
As she concluded her remarks the door opened, and Colonel PURSER
entered the room.
"Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker's man."
Colonel PURSER was a stout, plethoric man. He was five feet seven
inches high, forty-five inches round the chest, fifty inches round
the waist, and every inch of him was a soldier. He was, therefore, a
host in himself. He gasped, and turned red, but, like a real soldier,
at once grasped the situation. The Colonel was powerful, and the
situation, in spite of all my pains, was not a strong one. The
struggle was short.
"Pardon me," said the Colonel, when he had recovered his wind, "is
your name MIGNON?"
"Yes," she replied, as the tears brimmed over in her lovely eyes,
"it is. I am a simple soldier's child, but, oh, I can run so
beautifully--through ever so many volumes, and lots of editions. In
fact," she added, confidentially, "I don't see why I should stop at
all, do you? EMILY _must_ marry me. He can't marry OLIVE, because
Dame Nature put in _her_ eyes with a dirty finger. Ugh! I've got
"But," retorted the Colonel, quickly, "shall you never quarrel?"
"Oh yes," answered MIGNON, "there will come a rift in the hitherto
perfect lute of our friendship (the rift's name will be DARKEY), but
we shall manage to bridge it over--at least TOM RUM SUMMER says so."
Here EMILY broke in. He could stand it no longer. "Dash it, you know,
this is wewry extwraowrdinawry, wewry extwraowrdinawry indeed," he
observed; "You'wre a most wremawrkable young woman, you know."
A shout of laughter followed this remark, and in the fog of
tobacco-smoke Colonel PURSER could be dimly seen draining a magnum
"Hey diddle, diddle."
--_Songs and Romances_.
Everything fell out exactly as MIGNON prophesied. But if you think
that you've come to the end of MIGNON, I can only say you're very much
astray, or as EMILY, with his smooth silky voice, and his smoother
silkier manners, would have said, "You'wre wewry much astwray." See my
next dozen stories.
THE END. (_Pro tem._)
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE GRAND OLD STUMPER.
"WHAT IS FASHION? 'AFTER A FASHION HAS BEEN DISCARDED--IF YOU HAVE
ONLY PATIENCE TO WAIT LONG ENOUGH--YOU WILL FIND YOU WILL GET BACK TO
IT.' LOOK AT MY COLLARS!--AND UMBRELLA!!" [_See Mr. Gladstone's Speech
during the recent Midlothian Campaign._)]
AIR--"_WAIT A LITTLE LONGER._"
There's a good time coming, friends,
That flood is flowing stronger;
The reigning mode in failure ends,
Wait a little longer!
Fashion _is_ ever on the wing,
Arch-enemy of Beauty.
Now, when we get a first-rate thing,
To stick to it's our duty.
But no, the whirling wheel must whirl,
The zig-zag go zig-zagging;
The wig to-day must crisply curl,
That yesterday was bagging.
But good things _do_ come "bock agen."
For banishment but stronger
(With bonnets or with Grand Old Men),
Wait a little longer!
From Eighty unto Eighty-Five
These collars were the rage, friends;
Didn't we keep the game alive,
In spite of creeping age, friends?
But oh, that horrid Eighty-Six!
They deemed me fairly settled,
As though just ferried o'er the Styx,
But I was tougher mettled.
I knew the fashion would return
For just this size of collar.
(And that's a lesson they'll soon learn,
You bet your bottom dollar.)
Bless you, I'm "popping up again,"
For four years' fighting stronger.
Once more I'm here to fire the train--
Wait a little longer!
I've told you all about BALFOUR,
And his black Irish scandals;
(With side-lights upon days of yore,
My bachelor life, and candles.)
I've touched on Disestablishment
(I trust you'll not say _thinly_),
On Eight Hours Bills a speech I've spent,
And scarified M'KINLEY.
And now, to wind up, I'll explain
My favourite views on Fashion:
_Big Collars will come back again!!!_
'Twill raise the Tories' passion.
But, with these Collars, this Umbrella,
I'd face them, though thrice stronger!
Friends--trust once more your Grand Old Fella,
And--wait a _leetle_ longer!
* * * * *
A BOOTHIFUL IDEA!
Just finished my article on "Antediluvian Archaeology in its relation
to Genesis and the Iliad," and now all that remains to do is to
carry the rest of my books down to the new library, make catalogue,
consider subjects for five more speeches, write thirty-six letters and
postcards, and polish off the ten last clauses of the Home-Rule Bill.
This idleness is oppressive. Not used to it. What shall I do?
Piles of correspondence by morning post! What _can_ this be about?
Ah! I remember now! _Nineteenth Century_ just out, of course. Glad
I thought of starting "Society of Universal Beneficence." Will keep
me going after excitement of Midlothian. Wonder how many people
will "bind themselves to give away a fixed proportion of their
income,"--also what the proportion will be, if they do. Don't know if
I _should_ have thought of it, if it hadn't been for General BOOTH's
book. Remarkable person, the General. Perhaps he'd order his Army to
vote solid for Home Rule, if I offered him a place in my next Cabinet?
Must sound him on the subject. Salvationists quite a power now. Can't
cut Field-Marshal VON BOOTH _up_ in a Magazine, so must cut him _out_
Ha! Letter from LABOUCHERE, of all people. H--m! Says he's "glad to
see I've started Universal Beneficence Society. Thought of doing so
himself once." Congratulates me on turning my attention to "Social
Reform." Says he thinks it's an "Ecclesent idea,"--he must mean
"Inquirer"--(post-mark, Hatfield. Curious circumstance,
rather)--writes to ask for details of the Society. "Prefers at present
to remain anonymous," but an answer sent to "S., Hatfield House," will
always find him! Meanwhile, encloses postal order for one pound ten
shillings a "fixed proportion of his income," as he sees that I've
"offered to make myself the careful recipient of any assents," by
which he supposes that I mean cash. A little embarrassing!
Take stroll in Park to collect my thoughts. Find two leading Belfast
linen-merchants busily gathering up sawdust, &c, round tree I
felled yesterday. They explain that they've been "much interested
in my novel idea of converting chips of wood into best cambric
pocket-handkerchiefs," and think that it beats General BOOTH's notion
of making children's toys out of old sardine-tins hollow. I should
rather think it did! Still, have to confess that I'm _not_ ready
at present to "quote them my wholesale price for best oak-shavings
delivered free on rail."
Telegram from--CHAMBERLAIN! Says he sees the new Society's one
of "universal" beneficence, and supposes it includes him! Quite a
mistake! Sends cheque for three pounds, and hopes I'll "keep a strict
account of all sums received, and issue a report and balance-sheet
shortly." Really, very injudicious of me to use word "universal"!
Ought to have expressly excluded Liberal-Unionists (so-called), from
my plan. That's where General BOOTH has advantage of me. _He_ probably
doesn't exclude anybody that wants to send him money. Perhaps, after
all, he knows how to do this sort of thing better than I do.
Wire to him, and hand him over the money I've already received, also
ask him to start a "universally beneficent" branch of Salvation Army.
Receive reply, accepting my offer, in no time! General adds that he
has a staff appointment in his Army waiting for me, and that he would
like my good lady to become a Salvation Lass. Requires consideration
* * * * *
[Illustration: EASY FOR THE JUDGES.
_Geoffrey_ (_to rejected Candidate for honours at the Dog Show_).
"NEVER MIND, SMUT! WE'LL HAVE A DOG SHOW THAT SHALL BE ALL CATS EXCEPT
YOU, AND THEN YOU'LL HAVE IT ALL YOUR OWN WAY!"]
* * * * *
AT THE PASTEL EXHIBITION.
IN THE ANTE-ROOM.
_A Niece_. Just one moment, Auntie, dear; _do_ look and see what No.
_Her Aunt_ (_with a Catalogue--and a conscience_). Two hundred and
ninety-five! Before we have even seen No. 1? No, my dear, no. Let us
take things in their proper order--or not at all. (_Perambulates the
galleries for some minutes, refraining religiously from looking at
anything but the numbers._) Ah, _here_ it is--Number One! _Now_,
ETHEL, I'm ready to tell you anything you please!
_First Matter-of-Fact Person_. Ah, here's another of the funny ones!
[_Is suddenly seized with depression._
_Second M.-of-F.P._ Y-yes. (_Examines it gloomily._) What's it all
_First M.-of-F.P._ (_blankly_). Oh, well, it's a Pastel--I don't
suppose it's meant to be about anything in particular, you know.
_The Conscientious Aunt_ (_before No. 129_). "_The Sprigged Frock_"?
Yes, that must be the one. I suppose those _are_ meant for sprigs--but
I can't make out the pattern. She _might_ have made her hair a little
tidier--such a bush! and I never _do_ think blue and green go well
[_They come to a portrait of a charming lady in grey, by_ Mr.
_The Niece_ (_with a sense of being on firm ground at last_). Why,
it's ELLEN TERRY! See if it isn't, Auntie.
_The C.A._ (_referring to Catalogue_).
"The leaves of Memory seemed to
Make a mournful rustling."
--that's all it _says_ about it.
_The Niece_ (_finding a certain vagueness in this as a description_).
Oh! But there are _no_ leaves--unless it means the leaves in the book
she's reading. Still I think it _must_ be ELLEN TERRY; don't you?
_The C.A._ (_cautiously_.) Well, my dear, I always think it's as
well not to be too positive about a portrait till you know who it
was painted from.
[_The_ Matter-of-Fact Persons _have arrived at a Pastel
representing several green and yellow ladies seated undraped
around a fountain, with fiddles suspended to the branches
_Second M.-of-F.P._ "_Marigolds_," that's called. I don't _see_ any
though. [_With a sense of being imposed upon._
_First M.-of-F.P._ I think _I_ do--yes, those orange spots in the
green. They're meant for Marigolds, but there aren't very many of
them, are there? And why should they all be sitting on the grass
like that? Enough to give them their deaths of cold!
_Second M.-of-F.P._ I expect they've been bathing.
_First M.-of-F.P._ They couldn't _all_ bathe in that fountain, and
then what do you make of their bringing out their violins?
[_The other_ M.-of-F. Person _making nothing of it, they pass
_An Irritable Philistine_. Nonsense, Sir, you _can't_ admire them,
don't tell _me_! Do you mean to say _you_ ever saw all those blues,
and greens, and yellows, in Nature, Sir?
_His Companion_. I mean to say that that is how Nature appears to
an eye trained to see things in a true and not a merely conventional
_The I.P._. Then all _I_ can say is, that if things ever appeared to
_me_ as unconventionally as all that, I should go straight home and
take a couple of liver pills, Sir. I should!
_First Frivolous Old Lady_. Here's another of them, my dear. It's no
use, we've _got_ to admire it, this is the kind of thing you and I
must be educated up to in our old age!
_Second F.O.L._ It makes me feel as if I was on board a yacht, that's
all I know--just look at the perspective in that room, all slanted up!
_First F.O.L._ That's your ignorance, my dear, it's quite the right
perspective for a Pastel, it's our rooms that are all wrong--not these
clever young gentlemen.
[_They go about chuckling and poking old ladylike fun at all
the more eccentric Pastels, and continue to enjoy themselves
_First M.-of-F.P. (they have come to a Pastel depicting a young woman
seated on the Crescent Moon, nursing an infant_). H'm--very peculiar.
_I_ never saw Diana represented with a _baby_ before--did _you_?
_Second M.-of-F.P._ No--(_hopefully_)--but perhaps it's intended for
somebody else. But it's _not_ the place _I_ should choose to nurse an
infant in. It doesn't look safe, and it can't be very comfortable.
[_They go on into a smaller room, and come upon a sketch of a
small child, with an immense red mouth, and no visible nose,
eyes, or legs._
_First M.-of-F.P._ "_Little Girl in Black_"--what a very plain child,
to be sure!
_Second M.-of-F.P._ What there _is_ of it; but it looks to me as if
the artist had spent so much time over the black that he forgot to put
in the little girl--he's got her _mouth_, though.
_First M.-of-F.P._. Well, if it was _my_ child, I should insist upon
having the poor little thing more finished than that--even if I had to
pay extra for it.
[_A_ Superior Person _has entered the West Gallery,
accompanied by a_ Responsive Lady, _who has already grasped
the fact that a taste for Pastels is the sure sign of a
_The R.L._. Isn't that portrait quite wonderful! Wouldn't you take it
for an oil-painting?
_The S.P._. One might--without some experience--which is just where
it is so entirely wrong. A Pastel has no business to imitate the
_technique_ of any other medium.
_The R.L._ Oh, I think you are _so_ right. Because, after all, it _is_
only a Pastel, isn't it? and it oughtn't to pretend to be anything
else. (_She looks reproachfully at the too ambitious Pastel_.) And it
isn't as if it was _successful_, either--it won't bear being looked
into at all closely.
_The S.P._ You should never look at a Pastel closely; they are meant
to be seen from a distance.
_The R.L._ (_brightly_). Or else you miss the effect? I _quite_
see. Now, I like _this_--(_indicating a vague and streaky little
picture_)--don't you? That's what I call a _real_ Pastel.
_The S.P._ (_screwing up his eyes_). H'm! Yes. Perhaps. Clever-ish.
_The R.L._ (_shocked_). Oh, _do_ you think so? I don't see anything of
_that_ kind in it--at least, I don't think it can be _intentional_.
_The S.P._ The beauty of Art _is_ to suggest, to give work for the
_The R.L._ (_recovering herself_). I know so _exactly_ what you
mean--just as one makes all sorts of things out of the patches of damp
on an old ceiling?
_The S.P._ Hardly. I should define Damp as the product of Nature--not
_The R.L._ Oh, yes; if you put it in that way, of _course_! I only
meant it as an illustration--the two things are really as different
as possible. (_Changes the subject._) They don't seem to mind _what_
coloured paper they use for Pastels, do they?
_The S.P._ (_oracularly_). It is--er--always advisable in Pastels
to use a tone of paper to harmonise as nearly as possible with the
particular tone you--er--want. Because, you see, as the colour doesn't
always cover the _whole_ of the paper, if the paper which shows
through is different in tone, it--er--
_The R.L._ Won't match? I _see_. How clever! (_She arrives at a highly
eccentric composition, and ventures upon an independent opinion._) Now
I can't say I care for _that_--there's so very little done to it, and
what there is is so glaring and _crude_, don't you think? I call it
_The S.P._ I was just about to say that it is the cleverest thing in
the Exhibition--from an artistic point of view. No special interest in
it, but the scheme of colour very harmonious--and very decorative.
_The R.L._ Oh, _isn't_ it? That's _just_ the right word for it--it is
_so_ decorative! and I do like the scheme of colour. Yes, it's very
clever. I quite feel _that_ about it. (_With a gush_.) It is _so_ nice
looking at pictures with somebody who has exactly the same tastes as
oneself. And I always _was_ fond of pastilles!
_A Pavement Pastellist_ (_to a friend_). Well, JIM, I dunno what _you_
think, but I call it a shellin' clean chucked away, I do. I come in
yere,--hearin' as all the subjicks was done in chorks, same as I do my
own--I come in on the chance o' pickin' up a notion or two as might be
useful to me in my perfession. But, Lor, they ain't got a ideer among
'em, that they ain't! They ain't took the measure of the popilar taste
not by a nundred miles, they 'aven't. Why, I ain't seen a single
thing as I'd reckincile it to my conscience to perduce before _my_
public--there ain't 'ardly a droring in the 'ole bloomin' show as I'd
be seen settin' down beyind! Put down some of these 'ere Pastellers
to do a mouse a nibbling at a candle, or a battle in the Soudang, or a
rat snifin' at a smashed hegg, and you'd soon see _they_ was no good!
Precious few coppers 'ud fall into _their_ 'ats, I'll go bail! [_Exit
indignantly, as Scene closes._
* * * * *
In a recent trial for Breach of Promise, a letter was read from
Defendant saying that "he must now get a monkey;" whereupon the
"learned Under-Sheriff," as reported in the _Daily Telegraph_,
exclaimed, "A Monkey! What the goodness does he mean?" Now, isn't that
better than saying, "What the deuce?" Of course, no doubt the learned
Under-Sheriff is suficiently learned to remember the old rhyme--
"There was an old man of Domingo
Who'd a habit of swearing, 'By Jingo!'
But a friend having come
Who suggested 'By Gum!'
He preferred it at once to 'By Jingo!'"
The goodness of the learned Under-Sheriff is worthy of all praise, and
of general imitation.
* * * * *
SWEETS TO THE SWEET.--It is stated that one of the features of the
Lord Mayor's Show this year is to be a Detachment of the Survivors of
the Balaclava Charge. This is an excellent idea, that may be developed
to almost any extent. Could we not have the Hero who had read every
Novel that has been published during the last six months; the Brave
Man who has been to every Dramatic _Matinee_ since January; and the
Scorner of Death, who has existed during an entire season in the
odours (sweet, or otherwise) of Kensington and Tyburnia? The latter on
the present occasion might immediately precede the Lord MAYOR Elect,
for, by association of ideas, he would certainly serve as an excellent
foil to Mr. Alderman SAVORY!
* * * * *
_Monday_.--_Rentree_ of Miss MAGGIE MCINTYRE, appropriately enough as
_Margherita_. "She's Macintyrely first-rate," says our _blase_ young
man, on being caught napping after the Opera, and interviewed on the
spot, "but can't say much for the rest,"--except the rest he took
[Illustration: Our Reporter hoff to the Hopera.]
_Tuesday_.--Our _blase_ young man went to this, but as we only saw
him for a moment passing in a cab, when he looked out, and bade us a
"Good night," we can only suppose that it was "a good night" at the
Opera. He writes to say that the performance of _The Huguenots_ was
excellent, GIULIA RAVOGLI being specially good, but the draughts too
strong. _What draughts?_
[Illustration: Miss Damian as La Cieca feeling her way.]
_Wednesday_.--_La Gioconda_. A good performance all round. But the
night specially memorable as being the first appearance of Miss GRACE
DAMIAN on the stage of the Royal Italian Opera anywhere. It is a
good omen for her that she appeared in Signor PONCHIELLI's Opera,
the composer being a distant connection of the great ancient Italian
family of the PONCINELLI, of which _Mr. Punch_ is now the chief
universal representative. It is a remarkable fact, too, showing the
strong force of canine attachment, which centuries cannot obliterate,
that the _Libretto_ of _La Gioconda_, set to music by Signor
PONCHIELLI (the "h" came in when the genuine liquid "n" was dropped)
was written by TOBIA GORRIO. That an Opera, written by TOBIA, or
TOBY, and composed by PUNCINELLO, should possess all the elements of
success, goes without saying. We welcome Signor GALASSI (a sporting
title, reminding us of _Gay Lass_), with MARIA PERI (who must appear
in _Il Paradiso_), and GIULIA RAVOGLI. Her Grace of DAMIAN made a most
successful _debut_ as _La Cieca_, and was cheered to the echo. Thank
Heaven, there isn't an echo in Covent Garden--but, if there had been,
Echo would have repeated hospitably the "good cheer" a dozen times, as
she does somewhere about Killarney. Signor LAGO stars "HER MAJESTY
THE QUEEN" at the head of his bill, but it is only to say that
Her Gracious MAJESTY has been graciously pleased to honour him by
subscribing for the Royal Box during the present season, which is,
in effect, saying that he has _let the best box in the house for a
_Thursday Night_.--ALBANI as the unhappy _Traviata_. Big and
enthusiastic House. Signor PADILLA, as the Elder _Germont_, excellent,
and just contrived most gracefully to refuse the honour of an _encore_
for his "_Di Provenza_." Since RONCONI, it is difficult to call to
mind an artist equal histrionically to Signor PADILLA, who is so grave
and impressive as that utter bore, "the Elder _Germont_," so gay and
eccentric as _Figaro_, and so dashing and reckless as the unscrupulous
_Don Giovanni_. That milksop, _Germont_ Junior, known as _Alfredo_,
was adequately played by Signor GIANNINI, whose name, were it spelt
GIA-"NINNY," would partly describe the character he represented.
_Friday Night_.--Our _blase_ young man writes to say, "I am suffering
from effects of draughts at Opera. Think it must be some Operatic air
which has given me cold. It's a gruel case for yours truly."
_Saturday Night_.--Occasion described as "popular;" and, consequently,
_Il Trovatore_ announced. A little old-fashioned, but what of that?
VERDI just the composer "to keep your memory green." Alas! cold once
more to the front. The _blase_ one "still off duty, so no reliable
report to hand." No doubt everything passed off pleasantly. _Manrico_
obviously, when on the stage, more of a man than _Germont_ Junior.
The standing line has been, "large audience much pleased with the
entertainment." Altogether a successful week.'
* * * * *
MEM. FOR VISITORS TO LONDON.--Don't forget to look in at the
bird-pictures of STACEY MARKS, R.A. _Stay, see Marks!_ See Marks! They
are land-marks in the history of Modern Art.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.--NO. VI., "_Thrums on the Auld String_,"
* * * * *
TO ENGELBERG AND BACK.
_BEING A FEW NOTES TAKEN EN ROUTE IN SEARCH OF A PERFECT CURE._
"Give him another month here, and he'll be giving you all the slip,
and walking back to Calais on foot." Young JERRYMAN is commenting on
the wonderful restoration that has taken place in the condition of the
Dilapidated One, who has just been detected having a row on the lake,
all by himself. Not that this is a very prodigious aquatic feat,
seeing that three or four good strokes either way take you either
into the bank, or on to the heels or tails of a couple of very
ill-tempered, and irascible swans, who appear to think, and with some
reason, that there's not too much waterway as it is, and resent the
intrusion of the boat on their domain as a ridiculous superfluity.
However, the effort is one that the Dilapidated One would not have
ventured on at his arrival a month since, and as our time is up, and
we are starting on our return journey home in about half-an-hour's
time, we hail it as an indication that if he has not quite obtained
the Perfect Cure, that his medical man promised him, as the result of
a trip to this delightful spot, he is certainly not far off it.
But the best things must come to an end, and so we find ourselves at
length, with much regret, taking our farewell of that excellent and
capitally-conducted "Perfect Kurhaus" the Hotel Titlis. And this
reminds me, that in justice to that establishment, I ought to state
that some comments I made last week on German feeding in general, in
no way were meant to refer to the _table d'hote_ at the Hotel Titlis,
which, served in a lofty and well-ventilated _salon_, lighted by
electricity, to four hundred people daily, a capitally well-appointed
meal, is one of the notable features of the place. The smoke-stifled
children of the Fatherland, who shut every window they come across
when they get a chance, though they would dearly like to, cannot carry
their tricks on here. Sometimes, but not very often, they rally in
force, and render the "_Grosser Gesellschafts Saal_" a sort of Tophet
to the ordinary Briton; but the "_Speise Saal_", where smoking is
"_verboten_," is happily beyond their reach. But the hour of departure
has come, and quitting his comfortable establishment with much regret,
we bid good-bye to the courteous Herr CATTANI, and with a crack of the
whip we are off, dashing down the valley, and leaving Engelberg up on
its heights as a pleasant dream behind us.
[Illustration: Putting Up for the Winter]
And what is Engelberg? There is, first and foremost, _par excellence_,
the feature of the place--the Hotel Titlis; then the Monastery, with
the Brethren of the Bell-rope; and _the_ Street. This is unique. Set
out with a _Chalet_ here, a Swiss _Pension_ there, a Chapel perched up
on a little hill on one side, and a neatly new-made farmhouse stuck
up on the other, with cattle (not omitting their dinner-bells) dotted
about here and there in the bright green meadows that creep up to, and
melt into, the pine-woods stretching from the base of the grand rugged
snow-capped heights that tower in every direction above, you get
thoroughly impressed with the idea that the whole place is nothing but
a box of toys, set out for the season (probably by the Monks), who,
you feel convinced, are only waiting for the departure of the last
visitor, to get out the box, and carefully pack away _Chalet_, and
_Pension_, Chapel and peasant for the winter months, with a view to
keeping them fresh for production in the early summer of next year.
However, whatever its fate, Engelberg is left behind us, and we find
ourselves tearing down the Practical Joking Engineers' Road at a
break-neck pace, and hurrying on to Calais, once more to take our
places on our steady old friend, the _Calais-Douvres_, that helps to
deposit us finally at Charing Cross, where we are bound to admit that
the air, whatever it is, is emphatically _not_ the air of Engelberg.
But everybody who has seen him, says the Dilapidated One has come back
"twice the man he was". So we must take it that our journey has not
been in vain.
* * * * *
ADDITIONAL TITLE.--Sir EDWIN ARNOLD, after his brilliant letters in
the _D.T._, worthy of _The Light of the World_, will be remembered in
Japan as a "first-rate sort of Jap."
* * * * *
WELLS, GARDNER, DARTON & Co. publish a very good selection of tales
for young people. Among the best are _Tom's Opinion_, a boy whose ever
readily-expressed opinion is made to change pretty often; and _Halt_!
by the same author. The title is suggestive of military manoeuvres,
but it's only a term for obeying quickly, which is hard to do
sometimes. _Gregory of the Foretop_, _Abbot's Cleeve_, and _Going for
a Soldier_, are three books containing several stories suitable to
mere grown-up young people,--so the sooner they grow up the better for
the sale of the books. They are all edited by J. ERSKINE CLARKE, M.A.
FREDERICK WARNE & CO. give us _Young England's Nursery Tales_,
illustrated by CONSTANCE HASLEWOOD. _Noah's Ark_, by DARLBY DALE,
which is not the Ark of the nursery, but a story of the Norfolk
Broads. Perhaps "Norfolk Broads" would have suggested stories that
could _not_ be told in a drawing-room. As to _Bits about Horses for
Every Day_, selected and illustrated by S. TURNER,--well, what would
horses be without "bits?" These are not tit-bits. Might do for a
_The Love of a Lady_, by Miss ANNIE THOMAS, otherwise Mrs. PENDER
CUDLIP, like most of this authoress's novels, is full of interest. It
is in the regulation three volumes, but appears as if it had wished
to be in two, and would have been had not large type insisted upon
the addition of a third tome. The love of a lady is transferred,
during the course of the story, from an artist, who appears in the
last chapter "in threadbare clothes, with broken, patched boots on
his feet" (not on his Hands, _bien entendu_), to a "well-tailored"
novelist. As the lady to whom "the love" originally belonged was
"a popular illustrator," it was only natural that the question of
appearances should play an important part in determining its ultimate
Mr. W. OUTRAM TRISTRAM is never so much in his element as when he
revels in gore and guilt. In _Locusta_, in one bulky volume, he tells
of "the crime" and "the chastisement." The first is associated with "a
house with curtained windows," "an Italian swordsman," "entombed," and
"a maimed lion," and the second is developed in chapters headed, "The
Hunter lets fly a Poisoned Shaft," "The Silver Dish of Tarts," "The
First Victim Falls," "A Dreadful Accuser," and last, but not least,
"The Vengeance is Crowned." As the story begins in 1612, and ends with
the words, "HENRY, Prince of WALES, art thou not avenged?" it will
be seen, that Mr. W. OUTRAM TRISTRAM has seized this opportunity to
pleasantly illustrate an incident from English history.
My faithful "Co." has been revelling in the Land of Fancy. He
expresses delight at two books called respectively, _Dreams by
French Firesides_ and _English Fairy Tales_. The first is supposed
to have been written before Paris in 1870-71 by a German soldier
who had turned his thoughts to his home and children in the far-off
Fatherland. The second deals with British folk-lore, and is racy
of the soil. Both works are full of capital illustrations. He has,
moreover, read _He Went for a Soldier_, the WYNTER Annual of JOHN
STRANGE of that ilk. But what had the soldier done, that "he" should
"go for him"? The answer to this conundrum will be ascertained on
reading the book. _Nutshell Novels_, by J. ASHBY STERRY, is also a
volume that repays perusal. The Lazy Poet has turned his leisure to
good account--the stories he tells are excellent.
Had the delightfully original _Alice in Wonderland_, and _Through the
Looking-Glass_, never been written, I doubt much if we should ever
have seen _Maggie in Mythica_, by F.B. DOVETON, who announces it
apologetically, as "his first"--perhaps it maybe his "unique" fairy
story,--and he adds, that he has "kept out of the beaten track as far
as possible." "_As far as possible_" is good, for never was there
such an example of the "sincerest flattery" than in this undeniable
imitation of _Alice in Wonderland_. Some of the illustrations, by J.
HARRINGTON WILSON, are not quite as weak as the text, while the best
of them only serve to heighten our appreciation of "Our" Mr. TENNIEL's
pictures in _Alice_, and its companion volume. But the very title,
_Maggie in Mythica_, recalls at once _Alice in Wonderland_, but the
lovers of _Alice_, who being attracted by this title may purchase
this book under the impression that "it is the same concern," will
soon find out their mistake, though it may perhaps amuse a very much
younger generation who know not _Alice_, if such a generation exist,
which muchly we beg to doubt. BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & Co.
* * * * *
[Illustration: A MORNING CALL.
_The Vicar_. "AND WHAT'S _YOUR_ NAME, MY DEAR?"
_Child of the Period_. "WELL--_YOU_ OUGHT TO KNOW! YOU _KWISTENED_
* * * * *
THE REAL GRIEVANCE OFFICE.
(_BEFORE MR. COMMISSIONER PUNCH._)
_AN OFFICER OF VOLUNTEERS INTRODUCED._
_The Commissioner_. Well, what can I do for you, Captain?
_Officer of Volunteers_. Hush, Sir! If you were heard to give me my
military rank, you would be the cause of covering me with ridicule!
_The Com._ Ridicule! Are you _not_ a Captain?
_Off._ Certainly, Sir. I hold Her Majesty's Commission, and am
supposed to be one of the defenders of the country.
_The Com._ Then why should you not be credited with the rank to which
you are entitled?
_Off._ Because, Sir, I am only a Captain of Volunteers.
_The Com._ But surely the British Army is composed entirely of
_Off._ That is the national boast, Sir. But then, you see, I receive
_The Com._ Which does not prevent you from working?
_Off._ On the contrary, Sir, nearly all my leisure is devoted to the
study of what I may, perhaps, be permitted to call my supplementary
_The Com._ What are your duties?
_Off._ Almost too numerous to enumerate. Before I received my
Commission, I had to undertake to make myself proficient in everything
appertaining to the rank to which I was appointed. This entailed a
month's hard work (five or six hours a day in the barrack-square), at
one of the Schools of Instruction.
_The Com._ Well, let us suppose that you _have_ become duly qualified
to command a company--what next?
_Off._ Having reached this point, I find myself called upon to work
as hard as any Line officer on full pay. True, I have not (except
when the battalion is camping out, or taking part in manoeuvres), to
trouble myself with matters connected with the Commissariat, but in
every other respect my position is exactly analogous to my brother
officers in other branches of the QUEEN's Service. I have to attend
numerous drills, and perform the duties, at stated intervals, of the
Orderly Room. Besides this, I have to see that every parade is well
attended by the men of my company. This entails, as you may imagine,
time and trouble.
_The Com._ May I take it that it is less difficult to command
Volunteers than Regulars?
_Off._ That is a matter of opinion. If a Volunteer officer can bring
to bear his social position (for instance, should his men be his
tenants, or in his employment), he may find the task of command an
easy one. But should the battalion to which he belongs be composed of
that large class of persons who consider "one man as good as another,
and better," no little tact is required in keeping up discipline.
Besides this, he starts at a disadvantage. Every retirement from the
regiment means the loss of an earner of the capitation grant; and
as the maintenance of a Volunteer corps is an exceedingly expensive
matter, a "free and independent private" feels that if he withdraws,
or is forced to withdraw, his officers are practically the pecuniary
sufferers of the proceeding.
_The Com._ Am I to understand then that the cost of a battalion falls
upon the commissioned rank?
_Off._ Almost entirely. The officers have generally to pay a heavy
entrance fee, and subscription, and must, if they wish to be popular,
contribute largely to prize funds, entertainments, and the cost of
"marching out." Besides these charges they have to be particularly
hospitable or benevolent (either word will do) to the companies to
which they specially belong.
_The Com._ Well, certainly, it seems that an Officer of Volunteers has
many responsibilities--what are his privileges?
_Off._ Only one is officially recognised--the right to be snubbed!
_The Com._ And the result?
_Off._ That there is scarcely a corps in the kingdom without
vacancies. Men nowadays, fail to see the fun of all work and no pay,
play, or anything else. This very week a meeting is being held at
the Royal United Service Institution, to consider what can be done to
advance the interests of the officers--another word for the interests
of the whole force.
_The Com._ You have my sympathy, and if I can help you--
_Off._ Not another word, Sir. The good services of _Mr. Punch_ for
the last thirty years are appreciated by all of us, and we know we can
rely upon him as confidently in the future as we have done with good
reason in the past. [_The Witness then retired._
* * * * *
[Illustration: "SAME OLD GAME!"
OLD LADY OF THREADNEEDLE STREET. "YOU'VE GOT YOURSELVES INTO A NICE
MESS WITH YOUR PRECIOUS '_SPECULATION_!' WELL--I'LL HELP YOU OUT OF
IT,--_FOR THIS ONCE!!_"
* * * * *
[Illustration: FANCY SKETCH FOR NOVEMBER 5.
MAGISTRATE LETTING OFF A CRACKER WITH A LITTLE CAUTION.]
* * * * *
HOW IT'S DONE.
(_A HANDBOOK TO HONESTY._)
NO. IV.--THE GRAND OLD (JOBBING) GARDENER.
SCENE--_the Garden of a modest Suburban Villa. Present,
Simple Citizen, with budding horticultural ambitions, and
Jobbing Gardener, "highly recommended" for skill and low
charges. The latter is a grizzled personage, very bowed as to
back, and baggy as to breeches, but in his manner combining
oracular "knowingness" and deferential plausibility in a
_Simple Citizen_. You see SMUGGINS, things are a little bit in the
rough here, at present.
_Grand Old Gardener_. Ah, you may well say that, Sir! Bin allowed to
run to rack _and_ ruin, this here pooty bit o' garding has. Want a lot
o' clearing, scurryfunging, and topping and lopping, afore it'll look
anythink like. But it's got the making of a puffeck parrydise in it, a
puffeck parrydise it has--_with_ my adwice.
_S.C._ Glad to hear you say so, SMUGGINS. Now what I propose is--
_G.O.G._ (_laying a horny hand on S.C.'s coat-sleeve_). If you'll
ascuse me, Sir, I'll jest give yer _my_ ideas. It'll save time. (_Lays
down artfully the lines of a plan involving radical alteration of
paths, and lawns, and beds, shifting of shrubs, cutting down of trees,
rooting up of trailers, and what he calls "toppin' an' loppin'" to a
tremendous extent._) _Then_, Sir, you'll 'ave a bit o' garding as'll
be the pride o' yer eye, and a tidy bit o' profit into the bargain,
or I don't know my bizness. An' I _oughter_ too, seeing as I wos 'ed
gardener to the Dook of FITZ-FUZZ for close on twenty year, afore the
rheumaticks took me like wot you see. Hu-a-a-h!!!
_S.C._ Yes; but, SMUGGINS, all these alterations will run into time
and--expense, I'm afraid.
_G.O.G._ (_confidentially)._ You leave that to _me_, Sir! The fust
expense'll be the biggest, and a saving in the long run, take _my_
word. And then you _will_ 'ave a garding, _you_ will, one as that 'ere
muddled up bit o' greenery nex door won't be a patch on it, for all
he's so proud of it.(_Gets Simple Citizen into his clutches, and
works him to his will_.)
SCENE II.--_The Same, six months later in the Season._
_S.C._ (_returning from a fortnight's absence_). What, SMUGGINS, still
at it? And--eh--by Jove, what _have_ you been up to? Why I hardly know
the place again!
_G.O.G._ (_complacently_). I should 'ope not, Sir It _is_ a bit
different from when you last saw it, I flatter myself. Fact it is a
garding, now. _Then_ it wos a wildernidge!
_S.C._ Yes, but SMUGGINS, hang it all, you've cut almost every bit of
_G.O.G._ (_contemptuously_). Greenery!!! And who wants _greenery_?
Greenery ain't gardening, greenery ain't not by chorks. Any fool, even
that cove nex door, can grow _greenery_!
_S.C._ Yes, but SMUGGINS, I _don't_ like my limes to look like
gouty posts, my branchy elms to show as bare as broom-sticks, and my
fruit-trees to be trimmed into timber-screens!
_G.O.G._ (_persuasively_). No, Sir, cert'ny _not_. Fact is they'd bin
let grow wild so long that cutting on 'em freely back wos the only way
to save 'em. Jest wait till next year, Sir, and _you_'ll see.
_S.C._ (_doubtfully_). Humph! Looks beastly now, anyhow. And you've
altered all the paths, and nearly all the beds. I didn't tell you--
_G.O.G._ (_emphatically_). No, Sir, you didn't. You give me _cart
blarnch_, you did, and I've done my level best. The Dook 'ad the
same idees at first, but when he comes to know me, he says, says
he, SMUGGINS, you're always right, he says. If you wos to run a
reaping-machine through my horchids, or a traction-engine over my
turf, I should know as you wos a-doing of the right thing--_in_
the long run! Oh, you leave it to me, Sir, and you won't repent it.
And--ahem--here's my little haccount, Sir,--_hup_ to date.
[_Presents dirty piece of blue paper, giving scanty details,
and a spanking total. Simple Citizen pays, and tries to look
_The Same, six months later. Present, Simple Citizen, and a
_Sympathetic Friend_. Well, well, it _does_ look a waste, APPLEYARD.
_Simple Citizen_ (_purple_). A waste! I should think it _did_. indeed!
And to think of the pretty, green, bowery place it was when I took it!
Unprofitable, perhaps, but pleasant. Now it is neither pleasant _nor_
_S.F._ And all through that rascally ravaging SMUGGINS?
_S.C._ (_furiously_). The scoundrel!--the sleek, insinuating,
slaughtering scoundrel! He tore up my paths, he altered my beds, he
mutilated my lawns, he stripped my trailers, he hacked my trees into
bare hideousness, all to make work and money for himself and his
partner in iniquity, that nefarious "florist" friend of his. I was a
greenhorn, MUMPSON, a juggins, and I let them fool me to the top of
my bent. He cut up the shrubbery into those horrible flat beds, in
order that I might "grow my hown wegerbles," as he phrased it. He
got money from me for the best and most expensive "ashleaf kidneys"
and "Prooshian Blues," then planted cheap refuse from a small
greengrocer's. My "ashleaf kidneys" turned out waxy marbles; my
Prooshian Blues refused to pod; I spent--or rather he received--pounds
upon my vinery and cucumber frames. My grape-bunches went mouldy, and
I never got a cucumber more than six inches long. His "friend, the
florist," did, no doubt. He stole my shrubs overnight, and sold
'em back to me next morning. He bled my maidservants for "beer and
'baccy." In fact, it was the same all round; he had, in every way,
ruined my garden, run me up exorbitant bills, and then, when the day
of detection was imminent--disappeared. If ever I catch sight of that
mulberry nose of his, I shall be tempted to--
_S.F._ (_soothingly_). Ah, yes, just so. But let's hope that
you'll never come across this particular Grand Old Gardener--or his
like--again. (_Waggishly._) By Jove, APPLEYARD, no wonder the world
went wrong, seeing that "the first man" was--a Gardener!!!
* * * * *
LEARNED BY ART.--"Beasts in Bond Street!" "Sheep in the Salon!"
Messrs. DOWDESWELLS have taken the wind out of the sails of the
Agricultural Hall, and Mr. DENOVAN ADAM has given us the opportunity
of seeing a superb collection of Scottish Highland Cattle. Mountain,
meadow, moss and moor have all been laid under contribution. The
result is we can have the chance of studying these hornymental animals
without being tossed, and staring at them without being gored. In
the same gallery may be seen a series of pastels of Hampstead Heath,
by Mr. HENRY MUHRMAN--a merman ought to be a sea-painter by rights,
but no matter! The poet has told us that, "'Amsted am the place to
ruralise on a summer's day!" The artist convinces us it is the place
to "pastelise," and he seems to have pastelised to the tune of forty
pictures very successfully.
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE LORD MAYOR'S SHOW OF THE FUTURE.
[In consequence of AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS becoming Sheriff, it is
expected that additional lustre will be given to a future Mayoralty by
the leading Members of "THE Profession" taking to Civic Life.]
* * * * *
[Illustration: 'ARRY IN ST. PETERSBURGH.
HE TRIES TO MAKE A DROSKI-DRIVER UNDERSTAND THAT HE COULD HAVE GONE
THE SAME DISTANCE IN A HANSOM FOR LESS MONEY.]
* * * * *
PARS ABOUT PICTURES.
_PAR CI--PAR LA!_
"A good par here, and a bad par there; here a par, and there a par,
and everywhere a par!" Indeed, as an Irishman would say, it is
the Judgment of Pars. Let us look in at the Institute, and see the
Painters in Ile, and no doubt we shall be iley delighted. We go on the
pre-private view day. Not that we are parsimonious, but we prefer to
see the pictures without being scrouged.
[Illustration: "PLEASE TO REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER."
Hoisted with his own Petar--Guy Fawkes blown up.]
"_The Release_" is a puzzler. We have taken stock of Mr. STOCK's
picture, and fail to understand it. Is it LULU or ZAZEL? There seems
to have been an explosion, and one person, lightly attired, is blown
up; and another, more warmly clad, is blown down. They will both
probably catch cold. Nothing hazy about Mr. HAYES's pictures. On the
contrary, fresh and brilliant--notably, "_A Grey Sunset._" If you are
subject to _mal-de-mer_, his seas will make you onaisy. The President,
Sir JAMES LINTON, has only two small pictures, both cleverly painted,
but each may be described as a little LINTON; so let us give him a
little hint on the subject; like OLIVER TWIST, we ask for more. "_Too
Many Cooks_," by BURTON BARBER--a Barber who knows how to dress hair.
See the dogs' coats. Miss ETHEL WRIGHT is not very far wrong in her
picture of a fair _canoiste_, and Mr. W.L. WYLLIE is both artful and
wily in his rendering of a "_A Sou' Wester_." "_An Old Harbour in
Sussex_" gives distinct evidence that LEWIS (C.J.) has been moved to
the coast, and it seems to be a move in the right direction. In "_The
Red Canoe_," Mr. ALFRED PARSONS delivers an eloquent sermon on the
joys of life on the Thames.
The Royal Society of British Artists have fewer pictures than usual
at their new show. Quality better than common. Mr. F. BRANGWYN's
"_Funeral at Sea_" is excellent. Mr. R. MACHELL's "_Lakshmi_," not
easy to understand. It might be "Lakshmi, or the Lost Bathing-dress."
She might certainly say, "I lacks my _costume de bain_."
"_Durham_"--good landscape by Mr. YGLESIAS. Mr. NELSON DAWSON in his
"_Sunset Breeze_," gives us real sea and good seamanship. In "_Trying
it Over_," Mr. LOMAX has tried it over to some purpose, and has
produced a successful little picture of an enthusiastic flautist. Mr.
G.F. WATTS sends "_Lord Tennyson_." But why in ermine? The Laureate is
quite good enough for us without his Peer's robes. What did HARRY THE
EIGHTH say concerning HOLBEIN? Anything more to see? Of course there
is. But what is my text? "Pars about Pictures." And so I pass about.
_I_ mustn't linger, but remain
* * * * *
Sir Golf and Sir Tennis are fighting like mad--
Now Sir Tennis is blown, and Sir Golf's right above him,
And his face has a look that is weary and sad,
As he hastily turns to the ladies, who love him,
But the racket falls from him, he totters, and swirls,
As he hears them cry, "Golf is the game for the girls!"
* * * * *
The girls crave for freedom, they cannot endure
To be cramped up at Tennis in courts that are poky,
And they're all of them certainly, perfectly sure
That they'll never again touch "that horrible Croquet,"
Where it's quite on the cards that they play with Papa,
And where all that goes on is surveyed by Mamma.
To Golf on the downs for the whole of the day
Is "so awfully jolly," they keep on asserting,
With a good-looking fellow to teach you the way,
And to fill up the time with some innocent flirting,
And it may be the maiden is wooed and is won,
Ere the whole of the round is completed and done.
Henceforward, then, Golf is the game for the fair--
At home, and abroad, or in pastures Colonial,
And the shouts of the ladies will quite fill the air
For the Links that will turn into bonds Matrimonial,
And for husbands our daughters in future will seek
With the powerful aid of the putter and cleek!
* * * * *
CORRESPONDENCE SPECIAL.--KNOODEL, of Knoodel Court, writes to
us:--"Sir,--I have recently come across the name 'bacteriologist.'
Is it a new name for a person who writes ill of another behind his
back? If so, the best remedy for the mischief he causes is a criminal
action." [Our advice to KNOODEL is, "Consult a Solicitor."--ED.]
* * * * *
"CARMEN UP TO DATE AT THE GAIETY."--"Approbation of Miss ALMA STANLEY
is praise indeed." The correct quotation adapted _a la fin du Siecle_.
* * * * *
[Illustration: IN OUR GARDEN.]
_Tuesday Morning_.--Still in Edinburgh, but going home to-night. Just
received telegram from Member for SARK. "Come home at once," he says;
"the _Peronospora Schleideniana_ has got at the onions."
Rather a shock to have news like this flashed upon one with that
absence of deliberation that sometimes marks the telegraph service.
But I cannot say I am surprised. I had, indeed, before leaving, called
SARK's attention to what I recognised as the greyish mycelial threads
of the fungus spreading upon the pipes and budding seed-heads. If SARK
had steeped the seed in sulphate of copper before planting it, this
wouldn't have happened. It's a pity, for I rather thought we would
make something towards expenses out of that onion-bed. There's no more
profitable crop than your pickling onions if well farmed. I know a man
who made L150 an acre out of his onions. But then he wasn't hampered
in his arrangements with a fellow like SARK.
Called on Mr. G. to say good-bye. He was sympathetic about the onion
blight, but I could see that his mind was occupied with other and
perhaps equally saddening thoughts.
"I suppose you have been made aware of the intelligence that has
reached me through the usual sources?" he said. "I have had a pretty
good time here. I have belaboured the Government from all points
of attack. I think I managed pretty well with the Disestablishment
Question. You don't think, TOBY," he said, with a passing look of
deeper apprehension, "that I gave myself away at all on the matter?
The worst of these fellows is that they keep a record of every word
I say, a custom which seriously hampers one in his movements. What I
should like, if it were permitted, would be to come quite fresh to a
question year after year, and say upon it exactly what happened to be
convenient, without having before my eyes the certainty that somebody
would dig out what I said on the same subject last year, or five years
I assured him that I thought not much could be made out of his remarks
on Disestablishment Question. In fact it would be difficult to prove
that he had said anything at all. Brightened up at this; but cloud
again deepened over his mobile face.
"Yes, perhaps I've done pretty well," he said, with a sigh. "I have
steered through a very difficult position without running ashore;
I have had an immense popular reception; I have stirred up the
constituency, and have, if I may say so, supplied with fresh oil the
sacred lamp of Liberalism. Now, just when I was beginning in some
modest measure to felicitate myself, there comes news of a crushing
master-stroke devised by the Government. Though I do not disguise my
discomfiture, I would not withhold my tribute of admiration at the
brilliancy of the stroke, of the genius of its conception, and of the
completeness with which it has been dealt. I have been here more than
a week, and have delivered four speeches. The Government and their
friends on the platform and in the press affect to sneer at my efforts
and their influence. Still, they feel it is necessary to make a
counter-demonstration, and to effectually undo whatever work I may
have accomplished. What course do they adopt? Why, they send down
ASHMEAD-BARTLETT. He was at Dalkeith last night, and, in a single
speech, destroyed the effect of my great effort of Saturday. He will
go to West Calder; he will come here; he will follow me step by step
with relentless energy, tearing up, so to speak, the rails I have
laid, and which I had hoped would have safely conducted the Liberal
train into the Westminster station. _Sic vos non vobis_. It is cruel,
it is crushing. If I had only foreseen it, I would have remained at
Hawarden, and you might have averted the calamity that overshadows
Quite distressed to see my venerated friend broken down. Bad for him
to stop at home and brood over calamity. Best thing would be change of
scene and thought. He had made engagement to-day to go to Pumpherston
and inspect oil and candle works. Better keep it.
"No," said Mr. G., wearily, "oil comforts me not, nor candles either.
Now, if it were pork, it would be different. Few things so interesting
as pork. Not from a dietetic point of view, but regarded historically.
As I mentioned to a Correspondent the other day, in the course of
Homeric work I have examined into the use of pork by the ancients.
A very curious subject. I shall make some references to it in
the closing paper which I am writing for _Good Words_ on the Old
Testament. I am under the impression that the dangers which lurk
beneath the integument of a leg (or sirloin) of pork, are specially
connected with the heat of Southern climates."
Curious to see how rapidly his aspect changed as these thoughts
pressed upon his mind. When I came in, he had been sitting in an
arm-chair, with his head resting on his hand, and his brow painfully
wrinkled. He looked quite old--at least seventy. Now he was up,
walking about the room with springy stride, his mind actively engaged
in framing theories on the use of pork by HOMER's contemporaries.
If I could only keep him engaged, he would forget the blow that had
descended upon him, and would regain his usual equanimity. A question
as to whether he thought Achilles liked sage with his pork, cunningly
led him on to a long disquisition, till, in a quarter of an hour,
he was quite a changed man, and set out with great energy for
Fine enthusiasm along the route. Immense reception from the working
men. Splendid luncheon set out at one end of the shed where we were
assembled; bill of fare included crude oil, sulphate of ammonia,
various mineral oils, and candles made from paraffin. There was no
wine, but plenty of ammonia-water. Manager presented Mrs. G. with bust
in paraffin wax, which he said was Mr. G. Also handed her a packet
of dips cunningly carved in the likeness of HERBERT, the wick combed
out so as to represent a shock of hair. Mr. G. delighted; standing on
a barrel of paraffin, he addressed the company in a luminous speech,
tracing back the candle to the earliest times. That candles existed
in the Mosaic era, he reminded them, was shown by the question which
had puzzled succeeding ages--as to the precise locality in which the
great Law-giver stood when the medium of illumination provided for
his convenience was suddenly extinguished. This was a great hit;
enthusiasm knew no bounds. Hospitality of the Pumpherston people
really embarrassing; they filled our pockets with candles of all sizes
and descriptions, and insisted upon each of us taking away a quart
bottle of paraffin oil imperfectly corked.
Never shall I forget the radiant look of Mr. G. as he left the works
loaded with candles and congratulations, whilst Mrs. G., walking by
his side, carefully carried the bust in paraffin wax. He had evidently
forgotten all about ASHMEAD-BARTLETT.
* * * * *
DEATH-BALL; OR, A NEW NAME FOR IT.
Yesterday the celebrated Midland Spine-splitters met the Ribcracking
Rovers at the prepared Ambulance Grounds recently opened in
conjunction with the local County Hospital. A large staff of medical
men, supplied with all the necessary surgical appliances, were in
attendance. Play commenced effectively, the Rovers keeping the ball
well before them, with only a few broken arms, a dislocated thigh, and
a fractured jaw or two. Later, however, affairs moved more briskly,
one of the Spine-splitter forwards getting the ball well down to goal;
but, being met with "opposition," he was carried senseless from the
field. A lively scrimmage followed, amid a general cracking of ribs
and snapping of spines. The field now being covered with wounded, the
Police interfered, and the play terminated in a draw.
* * * * *
PIECE WITH HONOUR AT THE AVENUE.--The successful and pretty little
play just produced at Mr. GEORGE ALEXANDER's theatre may be described
as more "_Shadow_" than "_Sunlight_."
* * * * *
A SAFE COURSE.--A German physician, Dr. KOCH, hopes to benefit
humanity by his new cure for Consumption. At present he is reticent on
the subject, and he won't speak till he is KOCH sure.
* * * * *
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