Produced by Malcolm Farmer, Sandra Brown and the Online Distributed
PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
August 30, 1890.
"WHY NOT LIVE OUT OF LONDON?"
SIR,--Capital subject recently started _Daily Telegraph_, with
the above title. Just what I've been saying to my wife for
years past. "Why don't _you and the family_ live out of
London," I have asked. And she has invariably replied, "Oh,
yes, and what would _you_ be doing in London?" I impress upon
her that being the "bread-winner" (beautiful word, this!) my
duty is to be on the spot where the bread is won. I prove
to her, in figures, that it is much cheaper for her and the
family to live out of town, and for me to come down and
see them, occasionally. Isn't it cheaper for one to go to a
theatre than four? Well, this applies everywhere all round.
With my Club and a good room I could get on very well and very
reasonably in London, and in the country my wife and family
_would positively save enormously_ by my absence, _as only the
necessaries of life would be required_. Dressing would be next
to nothing, so to speak, and they'd be out of reach of the
temptations which London offers to those who love theatre
entertainments, lunches at pastrycooks', shows, and shopping.
Yes, emphatically, I repeat, "Why not live out of London?"
_But she won't._
ONE IN A THOUSAND.
SIR,--"Why not live out of London?" Of course. I _do_ live
"out of London," and make a precious good living too out of
London. My friends the Butcher, the Baker, the Greengrocer
(not a very green grocer either), the Tailor, the Shoemaker,
&c., &c., all say the same as
CHARLES CHEDDAR _(Cheesemonger)._
SIR,--I only wish everybody I don't want to see _in_ London
would live _out of it_. What a thrice blessed time August
would be then! Though indeed I infinitely appreciate small
mercies _now_. At all events, most people are away, my Club is
not closed, and I can enjoy myself pretty thoroughly.
_Elbow Room Club_.
SIR,--"Why not live out of London?" _Because one can't._ Out
of London there is only "existence." Is life worth living
anywhere except in London--and Paris; if you happen to be
there? No, no; those who like living "out of London," had
better not live at all.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.
"_Tisn't a part that I_ feel, _and I fear I shall make a failure;"
i.e.,_ "Easy as be blowed, but _I_'m thrown away upon it."
"_The Ching-Twangs Central China Tea Company's selected growth of
Early Green Leaf Spring Pickings;" i.e.,_ "A damaged cargo and last
year's rotten sweepings, mingled with chipped broom, dried cabbage,
and other equally suitable and inviting ingredients."
"_No more, indeed, really;" i.e.,_ "Had nothing to eat--but more of
_that_ stuff? No, thank you."
"_The Leaders to whom the Nation owes its recent period of
prosperity": i.e.,_ "Gentlemen who have unavoidably remained in Office
during the revival of Trade."
"_Having every personal respect for my opponent;" i.e.,_ "I now
proceed to blacken his political character."
IN THE SMOKING-ROOM.
"_You know I always hate long arguments;" i.e.,_ "Don't deprive me of
my pet diversion."
"_No; I don't exactly see what you mean;" i.e.,_ "_You_ don't; but the
admission on my part looks candid."
"_My dear fellow, ask_ anyone _who really knows anything;" i.e._ "You
appear to live among a half-educated set of local faddists."
* * * * *
'ARRY ON 'ARRISON AND THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH.
DEAR CHARLIE,--No Parry for me, mate, not this season leastways--wus
At the shop I'm employed in at present, the hands has all bloomin'
It's hupset all our 'olidays, CHARLIE, and as to my chance of a
Wot do _you_ think, old pal? I'm fair flummoxed, and singing, _Oh,
what a surprise!_
These Strikes is becoming rare noosances, dashed if they ain't,
dear old boy.
They're all over the shop, like Miss ZAEO, wot street-kids seems so
Mugs' game! They'll soon find as the Marsters ain't goin' to be
worried and welched,
And when they rob coves of their 'olidays, 'ang it, they ought to
'Owsomever, I'm mucked, that's a moral. This doosid dead-set
Is a sign o' the times as looks orkud, and bad for the national
There ain't nothink the nobs is fair nuts on but wot these 'ere
Wy, they're down upon Sport, now, a pelter. Perposterous, ain't it,
Bin a reading FRED 'ARRISON'S kibosh along o' "The Feast of
On the "Glorious Twelfth," as he calls it; wen swells is fair shut
of the 'Ouse,
Its Obstruction, and similar 'orrors, in course they hikes off to
Small blame to 'em, CHARLIE, small blame to 'em, spite of the prigs
and the boors!
Yet this 'ARRISON he sets _his_ back up. Dry smug as can't 'andle
I'll bet Marlboro' 'Ouse to a broomstick, and ain't got no notion
"Loves the Moors much too well for to carry one;" that's wot _he_
says, sour old sap
Bet my boots as he can't 'it a 'aystack at twenty yards rise--eh,
_Him_ sweet on the heather, my pippin, or partial to feather
So long as yer never _kills_ nothink? Sech tommy-rot gives me
Yah! Scenery's all very proper, but where is the genuine pot
Who'd pad the 'oof over the Moors, if it weren't for the things
to be shot?
"This swagger about killing birds is mere cant," sez this wobbling
From Arran he'd tramp to Dunrobin without the least chance of a bag!
"Peaceful hills," that's his patter, my pippin; no gillies, no
luncheons, no game!
Wy, he ought to be tossed in a blanket; it fills a true Briton
No Moors for yours truly, wus luck! It won't run to it, CHARLIE,
But give me my gun, and a chance, and I'll be in the swim, I'll
I did 'ave a turn some years back, though I only went out with
And I shot a bit wild, as was likely, fust off, though yer _may_n't
be a dunce.
My rig out was a picter they told me--deer-stalker and knickers
"BRIGGS, Junior," a lobsculler called me; I wasn't quite fly to
But BRIGGS or no BRIGGS I shaped spiffin, in mustard-and-mud-colour
Ah! them Moors is the spots for cold Irish, and gives yer the
primest of pecks.
Talk of sandwiges, CHARLIE, oh scissors, I'd soon ha' cleaned out
With St. Pancrust and Ludgit chucked in; fairly hopened the eye of
Him as rented the shootings, yer know, big dry-salter in Thames
Street, bit warm
In his langwige occasional, CHARLIE, but 'arty and reglar good form.
Swells will pal in most anywhere now on the chance of a gratis
And there _wos_ some Swells with hus, I tell yer, I felt on the
good gay galoot,
But I fancy I got jest a morsel screwdnoodleous late in the day,
For I peppered a bloke in the breeks; he swore bad, but 'twas
only his play.
Bagged a brace and a arf, I did, CHARLIE; not bad for a novice
Jest a bit blown about the fust two; wanted gathering up like,
A bird do look best with his 'ed on, dear boy, as a matter of taste;
And the gillies got jest a mite scoffy along of my natural 'aste.
Never arsked me no more, for some reason. But wot I would say is
'ARRY's bin in this boat in his time, as in every prime lark pooty
And when 'ARRISON talks blooming bunkum, with hadjectives spicy and
About Sport being stupid, and noisy, and vulgar; wy, 'ARRISON'S wrong!
_He_ would rather shoot broken-down cab-horses,--so the mug tells
Well, they're more in his line very likely; that means, in his own
He's more fit for a hammytoor knacker than for that great boast of
A true British Sportsman! Great Scott! It's a taste as I _carnt_
Fact is this here FRED is a Demmycrat, Positivist, and all that.
There's the nick o' the matter, the reason of all this un-English
He is down on the Aristos, CHARLIE, this 'ARRISON is. It's the Court
And the pick o' the Peerage Sport nobbles, and that's wy he sputters
All a part of the game, dear old pal, the dead-set at the noble and
"Smart people" are "Sports," mostly always, and 'ARRISON slates
them as sich.
'Ates killing of "beautiful creatures," and spiling "the Tummel
With "drives," champagne luncheons, and gillies? _That_'s not wot
sich slab-dabbers 'ate.
It's "Privileged Classes," my pippin, they loathes. Yer can't own a
Or even rent one like my dry-salter friend, if yer 'umble and poor.
Don't 'ARRISON never _eat_ grouse? Ah, you bet, much as ever he'll
There's "poz" for a Posit'vist, mate, there's 'ARRISON kiboshed
* * * * *
[Illustration: OUR YOTTING YORICK.
Oh dear! oh dear! What perils I have been through! You'll see me again
shortly; but there have been _momentums_ in my career when I said
to myself, "Shall I ever _aller_ out of this alive!" I escaped the
Petersburg police; they punched out your Cartoon, and all the lines
about the Czar and the Jews; that's why I was so persecuted, and why
I was watched. I wish to Heaven you wouldn't have Cartoons about Czars
and Jews just when I'm at Peterborough, I mean Petersburg; same name,
different place. But there, that's all over now, and _jamais_ will I
go and put myself within the clutches of the Russian Bear again. The
midnight sun must do without _me_ in future. I send you a sketch
I made of a gargle--I think that's the name--on a church-door in
Lapland. Isn't it really droll? You're always bothering me for
something droll, and _now you've got it_. Then, _Mr. Punch_, riding
a reindeer at half-a-crown an hour. Then here are the little Lapps
offering our sailors a lap of liquor; and I said to myself, "One touch
of Nature," which struck me as just the very motto for the picture. I
roared with laughter at it. "This'll do for 'em at home," I said, and
so here it is. And look at the "Lapps of Luxury"! You know that "Lap
of Luxury" is a proverbial phrase; and, as you told me to make some
comic sketches of the manners and customs of the country, why, I've
done so; and, if they ain't funny, I don't know what humour is.
But you really must not expect me to grimace and buffoon. You must
take me _seriatim_ or not at all. I can't stand on my head to sketch.
I can't do it. I nearly _did_ do it, though, for when I had my
sketching-book in my hand on board, the spanker-boom, or some such
thing, came over suddenly and hit me such a whack on the head, that
for two minutes I lay insensible, and thought I should never become
sensible again. Rightly is it called "spanker-boom,"--that is if it
_is_ called so, or some name very like it,--for I never got such a
whack on the head in all my life before. I hear the Booming still in
You can't expect a fellow to be funny, however funny he may _feel_
(and I _did_ feel uncommonly funny, you may take your oath!), under
such circumstances. However, as the song says, "Home once more,"
and many a yarn shall I have to tell when I gather myself round the
fireside, pipe all hands for grog, and sing you an old Norse song
with real humour in it--though I dare say _you'll_ say you don't see
it--and so no more _a present_ from yours seasickly (I am quite well,
but I mean I'm sick of the sea),
* * * * *
JOURNAL OF A ROLLING STONE.
Curious thing that to-day--after disappointment of failure for the
Bar--letter comes from President of my old College, asking me "if I
would accept a nice Tutorship for a time?" If so, "I had better come
down and talk to him about it."
Decided a little time ago not to try "Scholastic Profession"--thought
it would try _me_ too much. Feel tempted now. _Query_--am I losing my
old pluck? In consequence of my new "pluck,"--in the Bar Exam?
"Um!" remarks the President (I _have_ run down and got a vacant
bed-room in College). "Glad to see you. Oh, yes, about that tutorship.
Um, um! The family live in Somerset." He mentions the county
apologetically, as if he expected me to reply--"Oh, Somerset! Couldn't
dream of going _there_. Not very particular, but must have a place
within ten miles of Charing Cross." As I don't object to Somerset, at
least audibly, he goes on more cheerfully--
"Boy doesn't want to be taught much, so perhaps, it would suit
you."--(_Query_--is this insulting?)--"He wants a companion
more--somebody to keep him steady, have a good influence and all that,
and give him a little classics and so on for about an hour a day."
It did not sound as bad as I expected.
"Rich people--um--merchants at Bristol, I think. Not very cultivated,
though." Here President pauses again, and looks as if he would not be
at all astonished if I rose from my chair, put on my hat, and said,
"Not very cultivated! That won't suit _me_! You see how tremendously
cultivated _I_ am." But I don't, and he proceeds calmly to another
head of his discourse.
"They haven't mentioned terms, but I'm sure they will be
satisfactory--give you what you ask, in fact." (Rather a nice trait
in their character, this.)--"Now, will you--um--take it? They want
somebody at once."
"Yes," I reply; "I'll go and see how I fancy it. Have they got a
billiard-table, do you happen to know?"
The President says, "he doesn't know anything about _that_," and looks
a little surprised, as if I had proposed a game of skittles.
On way down (next day) I feel rather like a Governess going to her
first situation. Get to house late. Too dark to see what it's like.
Have to drive up in a village fly. _Query_--Oughtn't they to have sent
their carriage for me?
My reception is peculiar. A stout, masculine-looking female with a
strident voice, is presumably Mrs. BRISTOL MERCHANT.
Sends me up to my bed-room as if I were my own luggage. Evidently very
In my bed-room. Above are the sounds of a small pandemonium,
apparently. Stamping, falling, shouting, bumping, crying. What a lot
of them there must be!
There are! At supper--they appear to have early dinners, which I
detest--three boys and one girl present, as a sample. Eldest a youth
about ten, who puts out his tongue at me, when he thinks I'm not
looking, and kicks his brothers beneath the table to make them cry,
which they do. I begin to wonder when my real pupil will appear.
Governess talks to me as if I were a brother professional.
_Query--infra dig_. again?
Children, being forbidden to talk in anything but French at meals, say
nothing at all; at the end I am astounded at Materfamilias catching
hold of the boy of ten, and bringing him round to me, with the
"Perhaps you'd like to talk to ERNIE about lessons."
Heavens! This nursery fledgling to be my pupil! And I am to be his
"companion"! Fledgling, while standing in front of me for inspection,
has the audacity to stretch out his leg, and trip up a little sister
who is passing. Howls ensue.
A nicely-mannered youth!
"You will have to behave yourself with _me_, young man!" I warn him,
in a tone which ought to abash him, but doesn't in the least.
"Ah, but perhaps you won't stay here long," is his rather able
rejoinder. "Our Governesses never--"
"ERNIE!" shrieks his mother, threateningly. ERNIE stops; and I have
time to regret my folly in not inquiring of the President the precise
age of my promising disciple, very likely President didn't know
The other boys who were at supper are now presented to me. One is
about eight, the other not more than six.
"These are HERBIE and JACK," says their mother, who ought to know.
Thank Heaven, _they_ are not my pupils!
Mrs. BRISTOL MERCHANT horrifies me by saying--
"I thought it would be so nice, when you were teaching ERNIE, _if_
HERBIE _and_ JACK _could be taught too!_ And after lessons you will
be able to take them such nice long walks in the neighbourhood! It's
really very pretty country, Mr.--I forget your name."
Oh, certainly, the President was quite right. She _is_ very
uncultivated. That ever I was born to cultivate her--or her precious
offspring! But was I? Time must show.
[Illustration: SARTORIAL EUPHUISMS.
"MEASUREMENTS ABOUT THE SAME AS THEY USED TO BE, SNIPPE?"
"YES, SIR. CHEST A TRIFLE _LOWER DOWN_, SIR, THAT'S ALL!"]
* * * * *
AN ARGUMENTUM AD POCKETUM.
[The Rev. B. MEREDYTH-KITSON called the attention of the
London School Board to the action of Mr. MONTAGU WILLIAMS,
who, being appealed to by "a respectable-looking woman" for
the remission of a fine of five shillings imposed upon her
husband for neglecting to send their children to school, gave
her five shillings out of the poor-box to pay it, on finding
that she had nine children, the eldest fifteen years, the
youngest five months, a husband out of work, and "no boots
for her children to go to school in." The Rev. STEWART HEADLAM
said that in East London they suffered a good deal through
the decisions of Mr. MONTAGU WILLIAMS, who constantly paid the
fines from the poor-box, or out of his own pocket!]
Oh, MONTAGU, this conduct is nefarious!
_You_ are, indeed, a pretty Magistrate!
Better the judgments, generous, if precarious,
Of the old Cadi at an Eastern gate.
No wonder that you madden MEREDTTH-KITSON,
And stir the bitter bile of STEWART HEADLAM.
When Justice, School-Board ruling simply "sits on,"
School-Boards become a mere annexe of--Bedlam!
Nine children! Husband out of work! No boots!
And do you really think that _these_ are reasons
For fine-remission? This strikes at the roots
Of Law, which ought to rule us at all seasons.
Oh, how shall KITSON educate the "kids,"
Or how shall HEADLAM discipline the mothers,
If you, instead of doing what Law bids,
Pay the poor creatures' fines and raise up bothers?
Law, Sir, is Law, even to Magistrates,
Not a mere chopping-block for maudlin charity.
Fining the impecunious doubtless grates
On feelings such as yours; there's some disparity
'Twixt School-Board Draconism, and regard
For parents penniless, and children bootless;
But pedagogues--ask HEADLAM--must be hard,
Or pedagogy's purposes are fruitless.
Poor creatures? Humph! Compassion's mighty fine;
A gentle feeling, who would wish to shock it?
But husbands out of work with children nine,
Should pay their fines themselves--not from _your_ pocket.
* * * * *
KEPT IN TOWN.-A LAMENT.
The Season's ended; in the Park the vehicles are far and few,
And down the lately-crowded Row one horseman canters on a screw
By stacks of unperceptive chairs; the turf is burnt, the leaves are
brown, stagnant sultriness prevails--the very air's gone out of town!
Belgravia's drawn her blinds, and let her window-boxes run to seed;
Street-urchins play in porticoes--no powdered menial there to heed;
Now fainter grows the lumbering roll of luggage-cumbered omnibus:
Bayswater's children all are off upon their annual exodus.
On every hoarding posters flaunt the charms of peak, and loch, and sea,
To madden those unfortunates who have to stay in town--like me!
Gone are the inconsiderate friends who tell one airily, "They're off!"
And ask "what _you_ propose to do--yacht, shoot, or fish, or walk,
On many a door which opened wide in welcome but the other day,
The knocker basks in calm repose--conscious "the family's away."
I scan the windows--half in hope I may some friendly face detect--
To meet their blank brown-papered stare, depressing as the cut direct!
I pass the house where She is not, to feel an unfamiliar chill;
That door is disenchanted now, that number powerless to thrill!
'Twas there, in yonder balcony, that last July she used to stand;
Upon some balcony, more blest, she's leaning now, in Switzerland,
Her eyes upon rose-tinted peaks--but no, of sense I 'm quite bereft!
The hour is full early yet, and _table d hote_ she'll scarce have left.
Some happy neighbour's handing her the salad--But I'll move, I think;
I see a grim caretaker's eye regard me through the shutter's chink.
Yes, I'll away,--no longer be the sport of sentiment forlorn,
But scale the heights of Primrose Hill, pretending it's the Matterhorn;
Or hie me through the dusk to sit beside the shimmering Serpentine,
And, with a little make-believe, imagine I am up the Rhine.
Alas! the poor device, I know, my restlessness will ne'er assuage:
Still Fanny beats, with pinions clipped, the wires of its Cockney cage!
No inch of turf to prisoned larks can represent the boundless moor;
And neither Hyde nor Regent's Park suggests a Continental Tour!
* * * * *
IN AN OMNIBUS.
_The majority of the inside passengers, as usual, sit in solemn
silence, and gaze past their opposite neighbours into vacancy. A
couple of Matrons converse in wheezy whispers._
_First Matron._ Well, I must say a bus is pleasanter riding than what
they used to be not many years back, and then so much cheaper, too.
Why, you can go all the way right from here to Mile End Road for
_Second Matron._ What, all that way for threepence--(_with an impulse
of vague humanity_.) The _poor_ 'orses!
_First Matron._ Ah, well, my dear, it's Competition, you know,--it
don't do to think too much of it.
_Conductor (stopping the bus)._ Orchard Street, Lady.
_To_ Second Matron, _who had desired to be put down there._
_Second Matron (to_ Conductor). Just move on a few doors further,
opposite the boot-shop. (_To_ First Matron.) It will save us walking.
_Conductor._ Cert'inly, Mum, we'll drive in and wait while you 're
tryin' 'em on, if you like--_we_ ain't in no 'urry!
_The_ Matrons _get out, and their places are taken by two young girls,
who are in the middle of a conversation of thrilling interest._
_First Girl._ I never liked her myself--ever since the way she behaved
at his Mother's that Sunday.
_Second Girl._ How _did_ she behave?
_[A faint curiosity is discernible amongst the other passengers to
learn how she--whoever she is--behaved that Sunday.
First Girl._ Why, it was you _told_ me! _You_ remember. That night JOE
let out about her and the automatic scent fountain.
_Second Girl._ Oh, yes, I remember now. _(General disappointment. )_ I
couldn't help laughing myself. Joe didn't ought to have told--but she
needn't have got into such a state over it, _need_ she?
_First Girl,_ That was ELIZA all over. If GEORGE had been sensible,
he'd have broken it off then and there--but no, he wouldn't hear a
word against her, not at that time--it was the button-hook opened
_[The other passengers strive to dissemble a frantic desire to know
how and why this delicate operation was performed._ Second Girl
(mysteriously)_. And enough too! But what put GEORGE off most was her
keeping that bag so quiet.
_[The general imagination is once more stirred to its depths by this
_First Girl._ Yes, he did feel that, I know, he used to come and go
on about it to me by the hour together. "I shouldn't have minded so
much," he told me over and over again, with the tears standing in his
eyes,--"if it hadn't been that the bottles was all silver-mounted!"
_Second Girl._ Silver-mounted? I never heard of _that_ before--no
wonder he felt hurt!
_First Girl (impressively)._ Silver tops to everyone of them--and that
girl to turn round as she did, and her with an Uncle in the oil and
colour line, too--it nearly broke GEORGE'S 'art!
_Second Girl_. He's such a one to take on about things--but, as I said
to him, "GEORGE," I says, "You must remember it might have been worse.
Suppose you'd been married to that girl, and _then_ found out about
ALF and the Jubilee sixpence--how would _that_ have been?"
_First Girl (unconsciously acting as the mouth-piece of the other
passengers)._ And what did he say to _that?_
_Second Girl._ Oh, nothing--there was nothing he _could_ say, but
I could see he was struck. She behaved very mean to the last--she
wouldn't send back the German concertina.
_First Girl._ You don't say so! Well, I wouldn't have thought that of
her, bad as she is.
_Second Girl._ No, she stuck to it that it wasn't like a regular
present, being got through a grocer, and as she couldn't send him back
the tea, being drunk,--but did you hear how she treated EMMA over the
crinoline 'at she got for her?
_First Girl (to the immense relief of the rest)._ No, what was that?
_Second Girl._ Well, I had it from EMMA her own self. ELIZA wrote up
to her and says, in a postscript like,--Why, this is Tottenham Court
Road, I get out here. Good-bye, dear, I must tell you the rest another
_[Gets out, leaving the tantalised audience inconsolable, and longing
for courage to question her companion as to the precise details of_
ELIZA'S _heartless behaviour to_ GEORGE. _The companion, however,
relapses into a stony reserve. Enter a_ Chatty Old Gentleman _who has
no secrets from anybody, and of course selects as the first recipient
of his confidence the one person who hates to be talked to in an
_The Chatty O.G._ I've just been having a talk with the policeman at
the corner there--what do you think I said to him?
_His Opposite Neighbour._ I--I really don't know.
_The C.O.G._ Well, I told him he was a rich man compared to me. He
said, "I only get thirty shillings a week, Sir." "Ah," I said, "but
look at your expenses, compared to mine. What would _you_ do if you
had to spend eight hundred a year on your children's education? I
spend that--every penny of it, Sir.
_His Opp. N. (utterly uninterested)._ Do you indeed?--dear me!
_C.O.G._ Not that I grudge it--a good education is a fortune in
itself, and as I've always told my boys, they must make the best of
it, for it's all they'll get. They're good enough lads, but I've had
a deal of trouble with them one way and another--a _deal_ of trouble.
_(Pauses for some expression of sympathy--which does not come--and he
continues:)_ There are my two eldest sons--what must they do but fall
in love with the same lady--the same lady. Sir! _(No one seems to care
much for these domestic revelations--possibly because they are too
obviously addressed to the general ear.)_ And, to make matters worse,
she was a married woman--_(his principal hearer looks another way
uneasily)_--the wife of a godson of mine, which made it all the more
awkward, y'know. (His Opposite Neighbour _giving no sign, the_ C. O.
G. _tries one Passenger after another.)_ Well, I went to him--(here he
fixes an old Lady, who immediately passes up coppers out of her glove
to the_ Conductor)--went to him, and said--_(addressing a smartly
dressed young Lady with a parcel, who giggles)_--I said, "You're a man
of the world--so am I. Don't you take any notice," I told him--_(this
to a callow young man, who blushes)_--"they're a Couple of young
fools," I said, "but you tell your dear wife from me not to mind those
boys of mine--they'll soon get tired of it if they're only let alone."
And so they would have, long ago, it's my belief, if they'd met with
no encouragement--but what can _I_ do--it's a heavy trial to a father,
you know. Then there's my third son--he must needs go and marry--_(to
a Lady at his side with a reticule, who gasps faintly)_--some young
woman who dances at a Music-hall--nice daughter-in-law that for a man
in my position, eh? I've forbidden him the house of course, and
told his mother not to have any communication with him--but I know,
Sir,--_(violently, to a Man on his other side, who coughs in much
embarrassment)_--I _know_ she meets him once a week under the eagle
in Orme Square, and _I_ can't stop her! Then I'm worried about my
daughters--one of 'em gave me no peace till I let her have some
painting lessons--of course, I naturally thought the drawing-master
would be an elderly man--whereas, as things turned out,--
_A Quiet Man in a Corner._ I 'ope you told all this to the Policeman,
_The C.O.G. (flaming unexpectedly)._ No, Sir, I did _not_. I am not
in the habit--whatever _you_ may be--of discussing my private affairs
with strangers. I consider your remark highly impertinent, Sir.
[_Fumes in silence for the rest of the journey.
The Young Lady with the Parcel (to her friend--for the sake of
vindicating her gentility)._ Oh, my dear, I do feel so funny, carrying
a great brown-paper parcel, in a bus, too! Anyone would take me for a
_A Grim Old Lady opposite._ And I only hope, my dear, you'll never be
taken for anyone less respectable.
[_Collapse of_ Genteel Y. L.
_The Conductor_. Benk, benk! _(he means "Bank")_ 'Oborn, benk! 'Igher
up there, BILL, can't you?
_A Dingy Man smoking, in a Van._ Want to block up the ole o' the road,
eh? That's right!
_The Conductor (roused to personality)._ Go 'ome, Dirty DICK! syme
old soign, I see,--"Monkey an' Pipe!" _(To Coachman of smart brougham
which is pressing rather closely behind.)_ I say, old man, don't
you race after my bus like this--you'll only tire your 'orse. _[The
Coachman affects not to have heard._
_The Conductor (addressing the brougham horse, whose head is almost
through the door of the omnibus)._ 'Ere, '_ang_ it all!--step insoide,
if yer want to!
_[Brougham falls to rear_--_triumph of_ Conductor _as Scene closes_.
* * * * *
IN THE KNOW.
_(By Mr. Punch's Own Prophet.)_
Readers of this journal will be surprised to learn that I am penning
these lines from Blancheville, which as everybody, except the chief
of the chowder-heads, knows is the most important town of one of the
principal departments of France. Nothing but an overwhelming sense of
what is due to myself, to my readers, and to my country, would have
dragged me from the Metropolis at this season of the year. But a
distinction was offered to me, a distinction so unique and so dazzling
that I felt that it would not be fair to my fellow countrymen, of all
ages, and of every party, if I failed to take advantage of it,
and thus to present to the envious world the proud spectacle of an
Englishman honoured by the great French nation. I will narrate the
matter as briefly as is consistent with my respect for accuracy, and
with my contempt for the tapioca-brained nincompoops who snarl,
and chatter, and cackle at me in the organ of Mr. J. Last Friday I
received this telegram:--
The inhabitants of Blancheville, in public meeting assembled,
felicitate you on stupendous success of all your prophecies. Desiring
to honour you in the name of France, the mother of glorious heroes,
and the eldest daughter of Liberty, they have awarded to you the
Montyon prize for virtue, and have selected you as _Rosier en
perpetuite de Blancheville_, a new post never before held by a man.
Presentation on Sunday. Come at once.
CARAMEL, _Maire de Blancheville._
I started that evening. In the course of the following day I reached
Blancheville. The people, in their holiday attire, were gathered
in thousands at the railway station. M. CARAMEL, accompanied by the
_Prefet_ and the _Sous-Prefet,_ all in their tricolor sashes, was
the first to greet me. Saluting me on both cheeks, he called upon the
world to witness that this was indeed a great day for Blancheville. My
escort, under the command of General Count CROUTAUPOT, then formed
up. I mounted the gilded Car of Victory, specially provided for the
celebration, and, amidst the plaudits of the assembled millions, I was
drawn by a specially-selected band of _Enfants de la Patrie_ (a sort
of body-guard, composed entirely of the French aristocracy) to the
palace, which had been prepared for my reception. At the banquet, in
the Town Hall, the healths of the QUEEN and of M. CARNOT were followed
by a lengthy speech, in English, from my brother CARAMEL (we have
sworn fraternity), in which he declared that the centuries looked down
and redazed in this joice, and that it was a delight for him to
carry a toast to the illustrious visitor who had deigned to come
to Blancheville. On the following day the ceremony took place. I
transcribe and translate from _Le Petit Colporteur de Blancheville_,
the chief local journal, an account of what took place.
"On this day, so great and glorious for our France, it is not possible
to refrain from tears of joy and satisfaction. We have made him
_Rosier en perpetuite de Blancheville_, him the proudest and most
sympathetic writer who has dazzled Europe since the great and
illustrious PLUMEAU" (a local author of repute) "departed from us.
The history of this day must be written. Let us essay to do it as it
should be done. In the early morning twelve selected maidens, robed in
muslin and lilies, sang the _Tocsin de la Patrie_ outside the Palace
where our guest reposed. Soon afterwards he himself appeared in
flowing white garments, and showered blessings upon their heads. He
descended. He entered the four-in-hand-teams which the _Maire_ had,
as a compliment to England, made up with a _char-a-banc_ of the
neighbourhood. Thus he was drawn to the Market Place, where some of
our bravest veterans fired in his honour a thundering salute. The
beautiful and admirable Madame CARAMEL then advanced to him with a
wreath of roses in her hand. She crowned him with it, saying, 'Wear
this for Blancheville. Nobly hast thou earned it.' With difficulty the
illustrious author preserved his calm. A tear sparkled in his eye. He
bent low, and in a voice choked with emotion, thanked the citizens of
our town. Then mounting on a milk-white steed, and surrounded by the
young men of the district, he received from the _Prefet_ the Prix
Montyon for virtue."
The rest is too flattering. I am hastening home. The QUEEN has been
graciously pleased to permit me to wear the Prix Montyon at Court. Can
a man want more? Yours, in all humility,
LE ROSIER DE BLANCHEVILLE.
* * * * *
A PUFF AT WHITEHALL.
_(A piece of extravagance faintly suggestive of a Scene from "The
Lord GEORGE PUFF _and_ Sir JOHN BULL _discovered attending a rehearsal
of the Naval Estimates._
_Lord George._ And now I pray your particular attention, Sir JOHN, as
this is the best thing in my play--it is a spectacular effect called
the Summer Manoeuvres.
_Sir John._ And no doubt costly, Lord GEORGE?
_Lord George._ You are right, Sir JOHN, as you will have an
opportunity of finding out--hereafter. But to the argument. It is
supposed that the British Fleet is at war with, indeed, the British
_Sir John._ A very clever idea.
_Lord George._ I flatter myself it is, and novel too. It is true that
occasionally the ships comprising the British Fleet have run into one
another in the past just as if they had been at war, but then they
were avowedly at peace, and now they are undoubtedly the reverse. Do
you take my meaning?
_Sir John._ Well, not clearly. How do you show that the British Fleet
is at war with the British Fleet?
_Lord George._ Ah, there comes in my art, and I think you will confess
I have a very pretty wit. You see I divide the British Fleet into two
parts--one part represents the enemy and the other part represents
itself like the House of Commons, a most representative body. That is
clear, I hope?
_Sir John._ Certainly--one is the British Fleet, and the other is not
the British Fleet. But is there no bond of union?
_Lord George._ Most assuredly there is--you pay for both. But, pardon
me, I beg you will not further interrupt me. So, now that we have the
two Fleets face to face, or, I should say, bow to starn, we proceed
exactly as if there were a real quarrel between them. We spend money
on coal, we spend money on pay, we spend money on ammunition. Nay,
by my life, we spend money on everything--just as we should do if war
were really declared! That's simple enough.
_Sir John._ I confess your plan _does_ seem simple.
_Lord George._ And there is more behind. We are not satisfied with
merely spending money--we learn a lesson as well. Come, you must
confess _that_ surprises you?
_Sir John._ Well, I admit that generally, where there is any spending
of money, it is _I_ who learn the lesson.
_Lord George._ Good--distinctly good! But let us be serious. Well,
when we are carrying on a war by every means in our power, we fancy
that one Fleet is chasing the other. They both have equal speed, and
we give one Fleet twenty-four hours' start of the other, and will you
believe me that, although the first follows the second as fast as may
be from the beginning to the end of the manoeuvring, they never see
one another! On my life--never! They never see the British Fleet,
because it's not in sight!
_Sir John_. But could you not have learned all this without so great
an expenditure of money?
_Lord George._ Well, no, Sir JOHN--not at the Admiralty!
_Sir John._ And how do you end the farce?
_Lord George._ In the usual fashion, Sir JOHN _(ignites blue
_[The characters are lost in the fog customary to the occasion.
* * * * *
[Illustration: A SEVERE SABBATARIAN.
_Mr. Bung (Landlord of "Ye Pygge and Whistle")._ "SUNDAY LEAGUE,
INDEED! _I'D_ SUNDAY LEAGUE 'EM, IF I'D A CHANCE!--BREAKIN' THE
LORD'SD'Y, AND HINTERFERIN' WITH MY TRYDE!"]
* * * * *
Shadowed! Ay, even in the holiday season,
The Statesman, in his hard-earned hour of ease,
Is haunted by forebodings, and with reason.
What is that spectre the tired slumberer sees?
The foul familiar lineaments affright him;
Its pose of menace and its pointing hand
To caution urge, to providence invite him,
To foil this scourge of the Distressful Land.
Who does _not_ fear to speak of Forty-Seven,
When that same Shadow darkened all the isle?
Is _it_ abroad once more? Avert it, Heaven!
On Order's lips it chills the dawning smile;
Awakener of hushed fears and hatreds dying,
Blighter of more than Nature's genial growth,
Herald of hungering lips, of children crying,
To hold thee imminent all hearts are loth.
Vain holiday nepenthe, sport's unbending,
The Statesman's burdened brain may not forget.
His cares are ceaseless and his toils unending,
Memories embarrass and forebodings fret.
The gun, the golf-club, and the rod avail not
In his tired heart to make full holiday;
E'en amidst pastime he must watch, and fail not,
Approaching ills, the shadows on the way.
Shadowed! And not by common gloom, poor Minister!
The passing shades that chequer every course.
This spectral presence is as stern and sinister
As _atra cura_ on the rider's horse.
Before, the vision of the helpless peasant!
Behind, the famine phantom black and grim!
How should the holiday-hour, to all so pleasant,
Bring gladness true or genuine rest to him?
Wake! There is need for provident prevision,
For watchful eye, and for most wary hand.
In mellow Autumn's interlude Elysian
The old grim Shadow strikes across the land.
May Heaven arrest its course, avert its terror,
And keep the Statesman who this foe must fight
From careless blindness and from blundering error,
Such as of old lent aid to the Black Blight.
* * * * *
"JACK SHEPPARD REVERSED."
This is the title of an amusing article in last week's _Saturday
Review_. It is not the story of JACK SHEPPARD once more done into
rhyme. The title so happily selected is thoroughly justified by the
doings of an eccentric and original burglar, who, broke _into_ a
prison! This certainly was JACK SHEPPARD reversed with a vengeance!
The hero of the escapade is said to be a tinted native of
Barbadoes--his portrait should be published as a companion to the
"penny plain" of his prototype as "twopence coloured."
* * * * *
CARDINAL MANNING'S PRECEDENCE.
It does not need heraldic lore
The Cardinal's place to find.
Of course he'll always come before
The ones who are behind.
* * * * *
_(The Story of a Blood Feud.)_
[A microscopist has found an organism called the Phagocyte in
the blood, which pursues and devours the Bacilli.]
Strange the tale that Science tells.
Here are some devouring cells:
Ever watchful night and day,
They the vile Bacillus slay;
Wot we well he fears the bite
Of the guardian Phagocyte.
Hour by hour the fight goes on,
Till the silent battle's won;
Vainly do Bacilli shirk
When their deadly foe's at work;
Every microbe faints with fright
At the fearsome Phagocyte.
Should the Phagocyte not keep
Faithful ward, but go to sleep;
Then Bacillus, in high glee,
Works his will on you and me;
Danger would be ours to-night,
But for that same Phagocyte.
Such a tale of Science seems
Like the offspring of wild dreams;
Fiction surely, in good sooth,
Can invent no tale like truth.
Stranger story none could write
Than this of the Phagocyte.
The Astronomer descries
Worlds on worlds beyond our eyes;
'Neath the microscope weird things
Erst unseen whirl round in rings;
Hence it is that we indite
Stanzas to the Phagocyte.
* * * * *
* * * * *
[Illustration: A SPECULATIVE OFFER.
_Driver._ "NOW, TOM, WHEN WE ARRIVE AT THE TURN, I'LL SELL YOU THE
DOG-CART FOR A SOV!"]
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S SWIM ROUND THE WORLD.
_(From his own Prophetic Log-book.)_
_Herne Bay._--The weather being extremely favourable, I jumped off
the end of the new pier, and, getting the benefit of the flood
tide, passed the Nore and inspected Southend. Swimming quite easily,
assisted by one or two short rests.
_Margate._--Beached this popular seaside place a few hours later. Swam
out of sight of the sands to rid myself of a view of the excursion
riff-raff thereon congregated. Sea completely smooth, but cold. Took a
nip of ----'s English Cognac.
_Ramsgate._--Very pleased to find myself abreast of the Royal
Crescent, which seemed delightful. Cape Grisnez still bearing N.E. by
E. Munched one of ----'s excellent Birchrod Biscuits.
_Dover._--Just had a good long rest in front of Clarence Lawn, which
glistened in the sunlight. Greatly refreshed after a drink of ----'s
Essence of Gravy beef.
_Calais._--A shower of rain came on at this point. However, one of
----'s excellent umbrellas kept my head dry, and, being easy to hold,
did not prevent me from swimming and writing up my log.
_Gibraltar._--I felt very fatigued going through the Bay of Biscay,
but recovered much of my strength off the fortress by sucking one of
----'s capital Kill-cough Lozenges.
_Malta._--I have now been in the water six days and three nights
continuously, and yet am nearly as fresh as when I started. I
attribute this marvellous fact to my practice of sipping ----'s
Essence of Coffeetine.
_Aden._--Water extremely hot, but am still confident of success.
Went to sleep for an hour in the Red Sea, smoking one of ----'s
Anti-alligator cigarettes, which are a real preventive against
_Madras._--Am continuing my side-stroke but somewhat languidly. I
half regretted that I was unable to go on shore to see the Indian
curiosities. Much refreshed after partaking of the contents of ----'s
Patent Luncheon Basket.
_Singapore._--Have now been continually in the water for six weeks.
Regret that my log should be so "scrappy," but my time just now is
very much occupied by other things. Tired, but confident of success.
During the last fortnight have fed with great relish upon ----'s
_Puree de foies gras._ It is not only cheap, but excellent.
_New Hebrides._--Am now within measurable distance of the end of my
journey. Quite accustomed to the water. However, greatly fatigued, and
very pleased to eat some of ----'s Alimentary Condiment.
_Pitcairn Island._--Glad to be again in these latitudes. My strokes
are now very feeble. I should have to give in were it not for ----'s
Medicated Mutton Broth, which seems to be most nourishing.
_Cape Town._--In a fainting condition. Scarcely able to hold this pen.
Became better after eating ----'s Digestible Plum Puddings, sold in
tin canisters at 1s. 10d. per pound.
_Rio Janeiro._--Terribly hot and exhausted. I have now been three
months continuously in the water, which is certainly a long time. Much
amused with a toy called ----'s Mechanical Rabbit.
_Cape Verde Islands._--Almost unconscious from fatigue. However, I can
swim more easily after I have drunk a glass or two of ----'s Cabbage
Rose Temperance Non-Intoxicating Sherry. It is a most admirable
_Madeira._--I move with the greatest difficulty, and fear I must be
sinking. I obtain great strength from an occasional sip of ----'s
"Beef-fibre" (title registered) which seems to me worth twice its
weight in gold.
_Dublin._--Have now been in the water continuously for nearly half a
year. Too feeble to look at Dublin. I am evidently sinking, and can
only keep off a relapse by eating ----'s Patent Vegetable Substitute
for Roast Pork.
_Herne Bay._--Returned dead--quite dead! Restored to life by inhaling
----'s Vitality Producer.
N.B.--The above blanks will be filled up with real names. For
particulars apply at 85, Fleet Street Advertisement Department.
* * * * *
A BLACK BUSINESS.
As stated in the _Daily Telegraph_ of Thursday last, the Russian
Censor stamped out _Mr. Punch's_ Cartoon, "From Nile to Neva," and
obliterated the verses. The _St. James's Gazette_ suggested that the
Cartoon was thus reproduced in Whistlerian fashion. It certainly is a
study in black, without any relief whatever. A Black business indeed!
Who shall correct the Censor Incensed? Even _Mr. Punch_ himself
would be chary about visiting Petersburg, lest he should be "bound in
Russia,"--and sent to Siberia.
* * * * *
[Illustration: IMITATION THE SINCEREST FLATTERY.
_(Effects of a Long Session in the House.)_]
* * * * *
WHAT THE TAME RABBIT SAID TO THE GRAND OLD GARDENER.
_(Some way after "Alice in Wonderland.")_
"The work of Major MORANT is headed _Profitable Rabbit Farming.
(Laughter.)_ Yes, that is a subject for merriment, probably, on
account of its comparative novelty, but it is also a subject of
satisfaction, which is akin to merriment, because this rabbit-farming
appears to be a very good and promising description of pursuit....
That is the raising of tame rabbits."--_Mr. Gladstone at the Hawarden
Floral and Horticultural Society's Show._
_These were the verses the Tame Rabbit recited_:--
The Grand Old Man was on the stir;
MORANT named me to him;
He gave me a good character;
I thought his meaning dim.
He held me up; they thought it fun!
And laughed; he chid their glee.
If he should push this matter on,
What will become of Me?
He said I was a paying game,
Commending me as such.
That's the result of being tame,
And living in a hutch.
My notion is that it is vain
For you, you Grand Old Fella,
To rave of rabbits in the rain,
Beneath a big umbrella.
Don't let them know _we_ fatten best,
For this should ever be
A secret kept from all the rest,
Between yourself and me!
* * * * *
[Illustration: AMONG THE BUNNIES.]
* * * * *
LITERATURE AND LOTTERY.
_(By a Patron of the Popular Press.)_
Yes, I've "a literary taste,"
And patronise a weekly journal;
'Tis what is called _Scissors and Paste_,
The paper's poor, the print's infernal.
But what of that, when, week by week,
High at the sight of it hope rises?
What in my Magazine I seek
Is just--a medium for Prizes!
I can't be bothered to read much,
I like my literature in snippets.
My hope is, with good luck, to clutch
Villas, gold watches, sable tippets.
A coupon and some weekly pence
Give me a chance of an annuity.
Oh, the excitement is intense!
I read with ardent assiduity,
_Not_ what the poor ink-spillers say
In sparkling "par," or essay solemn;
No, what I read, with triumph gay
Or hope deferred, is--the Prize Column!
On prose my time I seldom waste,
And poetry is poor and pottery.
But oh! I have an ardent taste
For Literature when linked with Lottery!
* * * * *
ROBERT'S LITTLE HOLLERDAY.
My hollerday, or sum of it, was spent in Hopen Spaces. Hif anybody as
has got two eyes in his hed, and a hart in his buzzom, wants for to
see what can be done with about 40 hakers of land--witch the most
respecfool Gardiner told me was about the size of the Queen's Park at
Kilburn--let him go there on a fine Summer's Arternoon, and see jest
about five thowsen children a playing about there, all free, and
hindependent, and appy, with two fountings to drink when they're ot
and thirsty, and a nice littel Jim Nasyum to climb up and down. They
ain't allowed to play at Cricket coz there ain't not room enuf, but
I did see two bold littel chaps, about six a peace, a breaking of the
Law, and a playing at the forbidden game, with a jacket for the wicket
and a stick for a Bat, and the kind-arted Gardiner hadn't got hart
enuff to stop 'em.
He told me as how, when the Copperashun fust took possesshun of it,
it was nothink but a Baron Swomp, but that, what with the spending of
lots of money, and the souperintending genus of Major MAKENZIE, in
two years it was maid to blossom like a rose. I spent a werry plessant
arternoon there, and drove home in style on the Box Seat of a reel
Company's Bus. The nex day I went to Higate Wood, another of the grate
works of the good old Copperashun. And lawks, what a difference! No
swarms of children a playing about on the grass, but lots and lots
on 'em a racing about among the hundreds of trees, and their warious
fathers and mothers a looking on with smiling faces and prowd looks.
There is one place in the werry middle of the Wood where no less than
sewen parths meets, and there the Copperashun Committee has bilt up a
bewtifool Founting, and a long hinskripshun in praise of Water, tho
I shood dout if they speaks from werry much pussonal xperience. I was
told as how, when they fust hopened the Founting, the Chairman made a
bewtifool speech, and ended by saying, "Water, brite Water for me, and
Wine for the trembling Debborshee," and then they all went off to a
jolly good dinner.
With that artistick taste as so distinguishes 'em, they have crissened
the place where the seven roads meets, "The Seven Dials." There was
crowds of peeple there, all enjoying of themselves in a nice quiet
way, and altogether it was a werry werry nice site.
The werry next day I started in the warm sunshine for pretty West Ham
Park, and had a leetle adwenture as ushal, for jest as I got there who
shoud I meet but the rayther sillybrated Parson of the Parish--tho'
judgin by aperiences I shoud have took him for the Bishop of
ESSEX--and seeing me in my new Hat and my best black Coat, he werry
naterally took me for a inquiring Wisitor, and told me all about the
good deed of the Copperashun in saving the Park for the good of the
Peeple. There was some werry little chaps a playing Cricket as before
despite of the Law, and they had a reel bat too, and one on 'em,
seeing me a looking on apruvingly, gave the ball such a tremenjus blow
that he got a tooer, so I called out braywo!
There seemed a lot of washing going on jest outside the Park, the
white shirts and settera, flustering gaily in the breeze. But, as the
Poet says, "they're allus Washing somewheres in the World!" The common
peeple was orderd to walk on the footpaths, but a gardiner told me as
them orders was not ment for such as me. I had a most copious Lunch
for tuppense in the helegant Pawillion, and being in a jowial and
ginerus mood, I treated six of the jewwenile natives to a simmeler
Bankwet. Then there is the sillibrated Band as the Copperashun
perwides twice a week, on which occasions reserwed seats is charged
a penny each. The werry adwanced state of the musical taste of the
nayberhood may be judged by the fact, that at a Concert close by, a
"Ode to a Butterfly" was to be played on a base Trombone!
The Gardiner told me as there was such a crowd of children on larst
Bank Hollerday that there was hardly room to move about, tho' the Park
is 80 hakers big; but as I am told that such a space wood hold
about 80 thousand, quite cumferal, I thinks as he must have slitely
* * * * *
A STRIKING NURSERY RHYME.
_(With a Moral.)_
Tilbury, Tilbury Dock!
The men struck--on a rock;
For their U-ni-on
Said, "Wrong you have done!"
Tilbury, Tilbury Dock!
Tilbury, Tilbury scare!
This "Striking" seems in the air.
Should free the nation
From Tilbury, Tilbury scare!
* * * * *
THE PROFESSIONAL GUEST.
AT THE SEA-SIDE.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,--When I last wrote to you I was anticipatorily
revelling in the sea-bathing, tennis tournaments, pier band, and
evening promenades of Flatsands. Alas! that I must confess it,
but, after a fortnight's visit to that "salubrious spot" (_vide_
highly-coloured advertisements), I give it as my opinion that
Flatsands is a failure; and I think that, when you have listened to,
or rather perused, my tale of woe, you will agree with me that it is a
place to be avoided at all costs.
On the difficulties and length of my journey thither (I changed five
times, and spent nine hours in doing so), I will not dwell, neither
will I lay stress on the fact that, when I did at last reach my
destination, a prospect void of either Aunt, or conveyance of any
kind, met my view, or that a heavy sea-mist had gathered, and was
falling in the guise of penetrating, if fine, rain. After parleying
with the station-master for some time, I ascertained that the station
'bus never put in an appearance in wet weather, and that I could
not get a closed fly, because the Flatsands' conveyances were all
pony-traps, and therefore hoodless. He, however, directed me towards
Balmoral, which was my Aunt's address, and told me that ten minutes'
walk would take me, and that my luggage should be sent after me, on a
After some difficulty, for the sea-fog was very thick, I discovered
Balmoral, but not my Aunt. The truculent-looking proprietor of the
house, who answered the door, condescended to inform me that my
relative "was the difficultest lady he'd ever had to do for. And that
she'd left two days a-gone." But where she had betaken herself to,
he either would not or could not tell me. "You'd best try along this
row," he said, and then slammed the door in my face. Having nothing
better to do, I followed his advice, and "tried along the row." I rang
at Osborne, Sandringham, and Windsor. I knocked at Claremont (the bell
was broken there), and walked boldly into Marlborough House, for that
royal residence in particular was devoid of all ordinary means of
heralding one's approach. I was just giving up my quest in despair,
when through the rain, which was now falling heavily, I spied a small
stucco villa standing shrinkingly back behind a row of palings, which,
in spite of their green paint, looked more like domestic fire-sticks
than anything else. The somewhat suggestive name of Frogmore was
inscribed on the small gate, and I remembered that I quite shivered as
I walked up the sloppy path, with my usual inquiry ready to hand.
This time, though, I was right, and when, a few minutes later, I was
sitting before a roaring fire, imbibing hot tea, and listening to
my Aunt's account of her latest complaint (did I tell you she was
hypochondriacal?) I felt that really and at last I was in for a
The evening proved a short one, for Aunt retired at nine, for which I
was not sorry, as by that time the atmosphere of the sitting-room was
distinctly stuffy, and neither dinner, nor the fumes of the invalid's
hot-and-strong "night-cap" improved it. Next morning I sympathised
with her on the fact that, soon after she had gone to bed, the
young lady on the drawing-room floor (for two other families shared
Frogmore's roof with us) had begun to sing, and had continued her
performances till midnight; but I found my commiseration wasted, for
she said that it had soothed her, which was considerably more than
it had done me. After breakfast--which was late, on account of Aunt's
health--I proposed a stroll on the Promenade, or an inspection of the
tennis courts. "Bless my soul!" cried Auntie, "a person in my state
of health does not go to places all over promenades and tennis courts.
You won't find any such things at a nice quiet resort like Flatsands."
I felt a little dashed, but replied "that perhaps she was right,
and that it was a nice change to be without tennis; and that, as to
promenades, they were quite superfluous where there was a pier, and
a good band." "A pier, child!" she screamed. "You won't find any such
abominations as piers here, or German bands either. Do you think that
_I_ should come anywhere where there was a pier?" I felt the smile
on my face becoming fixed, but I mastered my feelings sufficiently to
murmur something about bathing before lunch.
"You can't bathe here," snapped Aunt--"they don't allow it. The shore
is too dangerous. But you can come out with me, if you like, to the
tradespeople--I see my bath-chair coming along the road."
And that, _Mr. Punch_, is how I spent my fortnight at Flatsands.
Walking by the side of my Aunt's chair, and giving orders to the
tradespeople in the morning; walking beside the same chair and blowing
up the tradespeople for not having carried out the orders, in the
afternoon; sitting in a hot room from five to nine o'clock, then lying
awake till midnight, listening to the drawing-room young lady singing
Italian and German songs out of tune, and with an English accent.
Three things only occurred to in any way vary the monotony of my
existence. The first was the arrival of the singing young lady's
brother. He was seventeen, and his lungs were as thick as his boots.
He tobogganed down-stairs on a tea-tray the first day he arrived; the
second day he passed me in the hall and asked, with a grin, "if I
was one of the mummies in this old mausoleum?" the third day he left,
saying that the place was "too jolly beastly slow" for him. The second
event was the sudden extraordinary mania that Aunt (did I tell you
she was rich?) took for the singing lady. I discovered, much to my
chagrin, I must say, that often, instead of going to bed at nine, as
I believed she did, she used to ensconce herself in the drawing-room,
and there sit and listen to indifferent music till all hours. It was
this second event which brought about the third excitement. For having
been a little imprudent one night, in the matter of "night-caps," or
careless as to draughts, my Aunt was taken seriously ill. At least she
chose to think herself so, though I now have vague suspicions that the
singing lady knew more about it all than she cared to tell. All I know
is that the doctor was sent for, and that, after a long confab in the
sick room, he came to me and ordered my immediate return home. "Your
poor Aunt requires perfect quiet," he said.
Having no choice in the matter, I packed my boxes; not exactly with
reluctance, but still with an uncomfortable feeling of being
wanted out of the way. Aunt's last words to me rather confirmed my
suspicions. "Ah! you are off, are you? Well, I may pull through this
time--I think I feel better already." Then, with a pecking kiss, and
an inaudible remark anent the ingratitude of relations, she dismissed
me. As I left the house I distinctly heard that singing creature run
up-stairs and into Aunt's room.
On the way back to town I decided that she (Aunt I mean) was
right--relations are _disgustingly_ ungrateful.
Yours, much hurt,
THE ODD GIRL OUT.
* * * * *
TO THE CHAMPION (CRICKET) COUNTY.
_"Skilful Surrey's sage commands."_
There is a cue from WALTER SCOTT!
(_Not_ Surrey's "WALTER.") _Punch_ claps hands,
And sings out, "Bravo, SHUTER'S Lot!"
* * * * *
New pieces by HENRY AUTHOR JONES, author of _Judah, The Deacon,
&c.:--The Archbishop; The Salvationist, or Boothiful for Ever! The
Rural Dean_ (a pastoral play); _The Chorister_, a stirring drama,
showing how a Chorister struggled with his conscience. Of course the
Rev. Mr. WILLARD will have the principal part in each piece. Then
there will be special nights for the Ministers of all denominations.
There will be a _Matinee_ of _Precedence_, to which Cardinal MANNING
and all his clergy will be invited. After the play is over, the Right
Reverend Dr. WILLARD will preach a sermon to the Cardinal, on his
As long as only the orthodox witness these performances all will go
well. But what a first night that will be when the Right Reverend Dr.
WILLARD and the Reverend HENRY AUTHOR JONES find that some play has
been produced in the presence of an audience composed entirely of
Dissenters! _Absit omen!_ This may never happen if only serious
persons in orders, or rather with orders, are admitted.
* * * * *
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