Produced by Malcolm Farmer, Sandra Brown and the Online Distributed
PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
June 13, 1891.
AT A MUSIC HALL.
SCENE--_The Auditorium of a Music Hall, the patrons of which
are respectable, but in no sense "smart." The occupants of the
higher-priced seats appear to have dropped in less for the purpose
of enjoying the entertainment than of discussing their private
affairs--though this does not prevent them from applauding everything
with generous impartiality._
_The Chairman_. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Celebrated
Character-Duettists and Variety Artistes, the Sisters SILVERTWANG,
will appear next!
[_They do; They have just sung a duet in praise of
Nature with an interspersed step-dance. "Oh, I love to 'ear the echo
on the Moun-ting!_" (_Tiddity-iddity-iddity-iddity-um!_) "_And to
listen to the tinkle of the Foun-ting!_" (_Tiddity, &c._)
_A White-capped Attendant_ (_taking advantage of a pause,
plaintively_). Sengwidges, too-pence!
_Voluble Lady in the Shilling Stalls_ (_telling her Male Companion an
interminable story with an evasive point_). No, but you 'ear what
I'm going to _tell_ you, because I'm coming to it presently. I can't
remember his name at this moment--something like BUDKIN, but it wasn't
that, somewhere near Bond Street, he is, or a street off there; a
Scotchman, but _that_ doesn't matter! (_Here she breaks off to hum
the Chorus of "Good Ole Mother-in-Law!" which is being sung on the
stage._) Well, let me see--what was I telling you? Wait a minute,
excuse _me_, oh, yes,--_well_, there was this picture,--mind you, it's
a lovely _painting_, but the frame simply nothing, not that I go by
frames, myself, o' course not, but I fetched it down to show him--oh,
I know what you'll say, but he must know _something_ about such
things; he knew my uncle, and I can tell you what he _is_--he's a
florist, and married nineteen years, and his wife's forty--years
older than me, but I've scarcely spoke to _her_, and no children, so
I fetched it to show him, and as soon as he set eyes on it,
he says--(_Female "Character-Comic" on Stage, lugubriously_.
"Ritolderiddle, ol de _ray_, ritolderiddle, olde-_ri-ido_!") I can't
tell you _how_ old it is, but 'undreds of years, and Chinese, I
shouldn't wonder, but we can't trace its 'istry--that's what _he_
said, and if _he_ don't know, _nobody_ does, for it stands to reason
he must be a judge, though nothing to me,--when I say nothing, I mean
all I know of him is that he used to be--(_Tenor Vocalist on Stage_.
"My Sweetheart when a Bo-oy!") I always like that song, don't you?
Well, and this is what I was _wanting_ to tell you, _she_ got to know
what I'd done--how is more'n _I_ can tell you, but she did, and she
come straight in to where I was, and I see in a minute she'd been
drinking, for drink she does, from morning to night, but I don't mind
_that_, and her bonnet all on the back of her head, and her voice that
'usky, she--(_Tenor_. "She sang a Song of Home Sweet Home--a song that
reached my heart!") And I couldn't be expected to put up with _that_,
you know, but I haven't 'alf told you yet--_well_, &c., &c.
IN THE RESERVED STALLS.
_First Professional Lady, "resting" to Second Ditto_ (_as_ Miss
FLORRIE FOLJAMBE _appears on Stage_). New dresses, to-night.
_Second Ditto_. Yes. (_Inspects_ Miss F.'s _costume_.) Something wrong
with that boy's dress in front, though, cut too low. Is that
silver bullion it's trimmed with? That silver stuff they put on my
pantomime-dress has turned quite yellow!
_First Ditto_. It will sometimes. Did you know any of the critics when
you were down at Slagtown for the Panto?
_Second Ditto_. I knew the _Grimeshire Mercury_, and he said most
awfully rude things about me in his paper. I was rather rude to him
at rehearsal, but we made it up afterwards. You know LILY'S married,
_First Ditto_. What--LILY? You don't mean it!
_Second Ditto_. Oh, yes, she _is_, though. She went out to Buenos
Ayres, and the other day she was taken in to dinner by the Bishop of
the Friendly Isands.
_First Ditto_. A Bishop? _Fancy!_ That _is_ getting on, isn't it?
_Miss Foljambe_ (_on Stage, acknowledging an encore_). Ladies and
Gentlemen, I am very much obliged for your kind reception this
evening, but having been lately laid up with a bad cold, and almost
entirely lost my vice, and being still a little 'orse, I feel
compelled to ask your kind acceptance of a few 'ornpipe steps, after
which I 'ope to remain, Ladies and Gentlemen, always your obedient
'umble servant to command--FLORRIE FOLIJAMBE!
[_Tumultuous applause and hornpipe._
_Chairman_. Professor BOODLER, the renowned Imitator of Birds, will
_The Professor_ (_on Stage_). Ladies and Gentlemen, I shall commence
by an attempt to give you an imitation of that popular and favourite
songster, the Thrush--better known to some of you, I daresay, as
the Throstle, or Mavis! (_He gives the Thrush--which somehow doesn't
"go._") I shall next endeavour to represent that celebrated and
tuneful singing-bird--the Sky-lark. (_He does it, but the Lark
doesn't quite come off._) I shall next try to give you those two sweet
singers, the Male and Female Canary--the gentleman in the stalls with
the yellow 'air will represent the female bird on this occasion, he
must not be offended, for it is a 'igh compliment I am paying him,
a harmless professional joke. (_The Canaries obtain but tepid
acknowledgments._) I shall now conclude my illustrations of bird-life
with my celebrated imitation of a waiter drawing the cork from a
bottle of gingerbeer, and drinking it afterwards.
[_Does so; rouses the audience to frantic enthusiasm, and retires
after triple re-call._
_The Voluble Lady in the Shilling Stalls_ (_during the performance
of a Thrilling Melodramatic Sketch_). I've nothing to say against her
'usban', a quiet, respectable man, and always treated _me_ as a lady,
with grey whiskers--but that's neither here nor there--and I speak of
parties as I find them--_well. That_ was a Thursday. On the _Saturday_
there came a knock at my door, and I answered it, and there was she,
saying, as cool as you please--(_Heroine on Stage_. "Ah, no, no--you
would not ruin me? You will not tell my husband?") So I told her. "I'm
very sorry," I says, "but I can't lend that frying-pan to nobody." So
I got up. Two hours _after_, as I was going down-stairs, she come out
of her room, and says,--"'Allo, ROSE, 'ow _are_ yer?" as if nothing
had 'appened. "Oh, jolly," I says, or somethink o' that sort--_I_
wasn't going to take no notice of _her_--and she says, "Going
out?" like that. I says. "Oh, yes; nothing to stay in for," I says,
careless-like; so Mrs. PIPER, _she_ never said nothing, and _I_ didn't
say nothing; and so it went on till Monday--_well_! Her 'usban' met me
in the passage; and he said to me--good-tempered and civil enough, I
_must_ say--he said--(_Villain on Stage_. "Curse you! I've had enough
of this fooling! Give me money, or I'll twist your neck, and fling
you into yonder mill-dam, to drown!") So o' course I'd no objection
to that; and all she wanted, in the way of eatables and drink, she
_'ad_--no, let me finish _my_ story first. Well, just fancy _'er_
now! She asked me to step in; and she says, "Ow are you?" and was
very nice, and I never said a word--not wishing to bring up the past,
and--I didn't tell you _this_--they'd a kind of old easy chair in the
room--and the only remark _I_ made, not meaning anythink, was--(_Hero
on Stage_. "You infernal, black-hearted scoundrel! this is _your_
work, is it?") Well, I couldn't ha' put it more pleasant than that,
_could_ I? and old Mr. FITKIN, as was settin' on it, he says to me, he
says--(_Hero_. "Courage, my darling! You shall not perish if my strong
arms can save you. Heaven help me to rescue the woman I love better
than my life!") but he's 'alf silly, so I took no partickler notice of
_'im_, when, what did that woman do, after stoopin' to me, as she
'as, times without number--but--Oh, is the play over? Well, as I was
saying--oh, _I'm_ ready to go if you are, and I can tell you the rest
[_Exit, having thoroughly enjoyed her evening._
* * * * *
TO ROSE NORREYS AS "NORA."
Dear ROSE, in your way, you're as brimful of Art
As a picture by REYNOLDS, a statue by GIBSON;
And we'll never cut _you_, though we don't like your part,
Pretty ROSE, in _A Doll's House_, as written by IBSEN,
Yet we crowd on your track, as the hounds on the quarry's,
And, though carping at _Nora_, delight in our NORREYS.
* * * * *
[Illustration: TROUBLE IN TOM TIDDLER'S GROUND.
_British Tom Tiddler_. "IF THIS GOES ON, HOW ABOUT MY GOLD AND
* * * * *
[Illustration: A DAY IN THE LAW COURTS.
(_A page from the Posthumous Diary of the late Mr. Pepys._)]
[MR. PUNCH'S "TABLEAU." SOCIETY IN COURT.]
Up betimes and to the Court at the New Palace of Justice hard by the
Strand, and near the sign of the Griffin which has taken the place of
Temple Bar, upon which did stand long ago the heads of traitors. There
did I see a crowd high and low trying to get in. But the custodians
and the police mighty haughty, but withal courteous, and no one to
be admitted without a ticket signed by the Lord Chief Justice. And
I thought it was a good job my wife was not with me. She had a great
longing to see a sensation action (as the journals have it), and she
being of a fiery disposition and not complacent when refused, might
have made an uproar, which would have vexed me to the heart. But in
truth I found no trouble. It did seem to me that they did not see me
as I entered in. And plenty of room and no crowding, at which I was
greatly contented, as I love not crushing. Pretty to see the crowd of
fine folks! And there were those who had opera-glasses. And when the
Bench was occupied by the Lord Chief Justice--a stately gentleman--and
the other persons of quality, how they did gaze! And the dresses of
the ladies very fine, and did make the place--which was splendid,
and they tell me the largest in the building--like a piece at the
play-house! And the Counsel, how they did talk! Mighty droll to
hear them contradict! One would have it that Black was White; which
convinced me I had fallen into error, until another had it that he who
had spoken was wrong, and White was Black! Good lack! who shall decide
when Counsel differ? and I was mightily content that I was not on the
jury, although one of these good people did have the honour of
asking a question of His Royal Highness. And it was answered most
courteously, at which I was greatly pleased and contented. Then did I
hear the witnesses. In a mighty dread that I might be called myself!
For that which did seem plain enough when he who was in the box was
asked by his Counsel, did appear all wrong when another questioned
him. And the Jury, looking wise, and making notes. And it is droll to
see how civil everyone is to the Jury, who, methinks, are no cleverer
than any of us? The Lord Chief Justice himself smiling upon them,
and mighty courteous! And met my friend, A. Briefless, Junior, who it
seems, is always in the Courts, and yet doeth no business. And he did
say that it was the strongest Bar in England. And he did tell me how
Sir Charles was eloquent, and Sir Edward was clever at fence, and how
young Master Gill was most promising. And I noticed how one fair Lady,
who was seated on the Bench, did seem to arrange everything. And many
beauties there, who I did gaze upon with satisfaction. To see them in
such gay attire was a pretty sight, and did put my heart in a flutter.
And I was pleased when the Court adjourned for luncheon; and it did
divert me much to see what appetites they all had! Some had brought
sandwiches, and, how they did eat them! But the Lord Chief Justice
soon back again, and more witnesses examined until four of the clock,
when the day was over. So home, and described to my wife what I had
seen, except the damsels.
* * * * *
LEAVES FROM A CANDIDATE'S DIARY.
_Billsbury, Sunday, May 25_.--CHORKLE'S dinner came off last night.
The dinner-hour was seven o'clock. CHORKLE'S house is in The Grove, a
sort of avenue of detached houses shaded by trees. The Colonel himself
was magnificent. He wore a most elaborately-frilled shirt-front,
with three massive jewelled studs. His waistcoat was beautifully
embroidered in black with a kind of vine-leaf pattern, the buttons
being of silver, with the regimental badge embossed upon them. His
handkerchief was a gorgeous one of blue silk. He wore it in his
waistcoat, carefully arranged, so as to show all round above the
opening. It looked something like the ribbon of some Order at a
distance. Mrs. CHORKLE is rather a pleasant woman, with a manner which
suggests that she is much trampled on by her domineering husband. How
on earth she ever induced herself to marry him I can't make out. The
chief guests were Sir CHARLES and Lady PENFOLD. Sir CHARLES'S father
was a large Billsbury contractor, who made no end of money, and
represented Billsbury in the House a good many years ago. He was
eventually made a Baronet for his services to the Party. The present
Sir CHARLES doesn't take much interest in politics, occupying himself
chiefly in hunting, &c., but they are people of great consideration in
Billsbury; in fact Lady PENFOLD is the leader of Society in Billsbury,
and not to know them is to argue yourself unknown. Sir CHARLES himself
is an Oxford man, and we had a good deal of talk about the old place.
"Yes," he said, "I was at the House more than thirty years ago, and
to tell you the truth, it's the only House (with a capital H), that I
ever wanted te be in."
The fact of the matter, so JERRAM told me, was that Sir CHARLES did
once want to stand for Parliament, but somehow or other the scheme
fell through, and since then he's always spoken rather bitterly of the
House of Commons. Their daughter, whom I took in to dinner, is a very
pretty girl of nineteen, with plenty to say for herself. She told
me they were going to be in London for about three weeks in June and
July, so I hope to see something of them. Besides the PENFOLDS there
were Mr. and Mrs. TOLLAND; Mrs. TOLLAND in a green silk dress with
more gold chains wound about various parts of her person than I ever
saw on any other woman. Two officers of CHORKLE'S Volunteers were
there with their wives, Major WORBOYS, an enormous, red-whiskered man
who doesn't think much, privately, of CHORKLE'S ability as a soldier,
and Captain YATMAN, a dapper little fellow, whose weakness it is to
pretend to know all about smart Society in London.
Altogether there were twenty guests. Precisely at seven o'clock a
bugle sounded on the landing outside the drawing-room to announce
dinner. Everything in the CHORKLE family is done by bugle-calls.
They have _reveille_ at 7 A.M., the sergeants' call for the servants'
dinner, and lights out at eleven o'clock every night. As soon as the
call was finished, CHORKLE went up to Lady PENFOLD. "Shall we march,
Lady PENFOLD?" he said. "Sir CHARLES will bring up the rear with Mrs.
C." And thus we went down-stairs.
The dinner was a most tremendous and wonderful entertainment, and must
have lasted two hours, at the very least. There were two soups, three
fishes, dozens of _entrees_, three or four joints--the mere memory of
it is indigestive. The talk was almost entirely about local matters,
the chief subject of discussion being the Mastership of the Foxhounds.
The present Master is not going to keep them on, as he is a very old
man, and everybody seems to want Sir CHARLES to take them, but he
hangs back. Difficulties about the subscription, I fancy.
In the middle of dinner there was a fiendish row outside. I saw poor
Mrs. CHORKLE turn pale, while the Colonel got purple with fury, and
upset his champagne as he turned to say something to the butler.
Discovered afterwards that the disturbance was caused by two of the
young CHORKLES, who had got out of their bedrooms, and were lying in
ambush for the dishes. HOBBES LEVIATHAN CHORKLE had carried off a dish
of sweetbreads, for which STRAFFORD THOROUGH CHORKLE had expressed a
liking. The result was, that HOBBES LEVIATHAN got his head punched by
STRAFFORD THOROUGH, who then rubbed his face with sweetbread.
After dinner there was music, but not a whiff of tobacco.
Mother comes to open the Bazaar on Wednesday.
* * * * *
[Illustration: ASSISTED EDUCATION BILL.]
* * * * *
_June 6th_.--Rather gratifying to find that my service to the
Church--I don't mean Church Services--have at length been recognised.
Just received intimation of my appointment to Bishopric of
Richborough. How wild it _will_ make my dear old friend, Canon
STARBOTTLE, to be sure! Well--I must accept it as a _call_, I suppose!
_July_.--Had no idea being made a Bishop was such an expensive
business. No end of officials connected with Cathedral, all of whom
demand their fee. After spending at least L500 in this way, found
there was an additional fee of a hundred guineas for "induction into
the temporalities." As there are _no_ temporalities nowadays, this
is simply extortion. Remarked so to the Dean, who replied (nastily, I
think), "Oh, it's for the interest of the Church not to have _paupers_
for Prelates." I retorted at once, rather ably, that "I could not
conceive a better plan for bringing Prelates to pauperism than
the exaction of extortionate fees at Installation." Dean replied,
sneeringly, "Oh, if you don't value the honour, I suppose there's
still time for you to resign." Resign, yes; but should I get back my
five or six hundred pounds?
_Next year_.--Strange, how I seem to be singled out for preferment.
Am to be "translated," it seems, to diocese of Minchester. Can't very
well refuse, but really am only just getting over drain on my purse
last year owing to my accepting Bishopric _here_. And on inquiry,
find that fees at Minchester much heavier than anywhere else! Is this
really a call? Certainly a call on my pocket. And my family cost such
a tremendous lot. And then I've had to do up the Palace, left by my
predecessor in a perfectly _shocking_ state of disrepair!
_Later_.--My worst apprehensions were realised! Fee for Consecration
_huge_! Fee for Installation, _monstrous_! Fee for Investiture,
a perfect _swindle_! Isn't there a song beginning "Promotion is
vexation, Translation is as had?" Translation is _worse_! Shall
really have to consider whether there would be anything unepiscopal in
negotiating a little loan, or effecting a mortgage on the Palace.
_Year Later_.--Have been offered vacant Archbishopric! No, thanks!
Late Archbishop almost swamped by the fees, and _he_ was a rich man.
I am a poor man--thanks to recent preferments--and can't afford it. An
Archbishop in the Bankruptcy Court would _not_ look well. "His
Grace attributed his position to expenses connected with the various
Installation ceremonies, and offered a composition of one-and-sixpence
in the pound, which was unanimously declined by the creditors." When
_will_ they do away with gate-money in the Church?
* * * * *
Some _savants_ were the other day puzzling their heads to find a
convenient and familiar word for the illumination produced by the
electric spark. Surely it is _Edisunlight_.
* * * * *
"Well," quoth the Baron DE BOOK-WORMS, as he sat down to dinner on a
Friday, a week ago, "I must say I have never, never been better in my
life! Why, dear me, it is quite a year since I was ill!"
"_Beroofen_!" exclaimed an Italian Countess of dazzling beauty, at
the same time rapping the table with one of the bejewelled forks which
form part of the Baron's second-best dinner-service.
"Why '_Beroofen_'?" asked the Baron.
"It is a spell against the consequences of boasting," the lady
explained. "My mother was a bit of a magician."
"And you, my dear Countess, are bewitching. Your health!" And,
pledging her, the Baron drank off a bumper of Pommery '80 _tres sec_,
and laughed joyously at the notion of his rapping the table--all
"table-rapping" being a past superstition, or supperstition when
not at dinner,--and murmuring, "_Beroofen_!" And so he didn't do
it. "_Beroofen_" never passed his lips: the champagne did; but not
* * * * *
"Ugh I--I feel so shivery-and-livery. Ugh!--so chilly. Here! Send for
Dr. ROBSON ROOSTEM PASHA!" cried the Baron, clapping his hands, and a
thousand ebon slaves bounded off to execute his commands. Had they not
done so, they themselves might have suffered the fate intended for the
commands, and have themselves been rapidly executed.
* * * * *
"You've got 'em," quoth Dr. ROBSON ROOSTEM PASHA.
"Not 'again'!" cried the Baron, surprised, never having had 'em
"No: the _phenomena_," said the Eminent Medico.
"Have I?" murmured the Baron, and sank down into his uneasy chair.
It was an awful thing to have the Phenomena. It might have been the
measles in Greek. Anything but that! Anything but _that_! But Dr.
ROOSTEM explained that "_phenomena_" is not Greek for measles, though
perhaps Phenomenon might be Greek for "one measle;" but this would be
singular, very singular.
"I must tap you," continued the friend-in-need. "No--no--don't be
alarmed. When I say 'tap,' I mean _sound_ you."
Then he began the woodpecking business. In the character of Dr.
Woodpecker he tapped at the hollow oak chest, sounded the Baron's
heart of oak, pronounced him true to the core, whacked him, smacked
him, insisted upon his calling out "Ninety-nine," in various tones,
so that it sounded like a duet to the old words, without much of the
the remainder of which the Baron had never heard, even in his earliest
So it was a quarter of an hour of inspiration, musical and poetic,
and, at its expiration, Dr. MARK TAPLEY, as the Baron declared he must
henceforth be called, announced that there was nothing for it but to
make the Baron a close prisoner in his own castle, where he would have
to live up to the mark, as if he were to be shown, a few months hence,
at a prize cattle-show, among other Barons of Beef.
"Champagne Charley is your name, so is Turtle soup, so is succulent
food, and plenty of it. Generally provision the fortress, and
withstand the assaults of the enemy. If a bacillus creeps in through a
loophole, knock him on the head with the best champagne at hand, and,
if you're not worse in a day or two, you'll be better in a week! _Au
revoir!_" _Exit_ Dr. MARK TAPLEY.
* * * * *
And so the Baron remained within, and sent for his books, and above
all _One of Our Conquerors_, by "The GEO. M.," who is the CARLYLE
of Novelists. The first volume was missing. In a few days it had
returned. The first chapters, however, seemed still wandering. But
the Baron was better, and could follow them slowly, though not without
effort, wondering whither he was being led. When he arrives at Chapter
VII., unless the novelist ceases to meander, the Baron will exclaim
with _Hamlet_, "Speak! I'll go no further!" Yet, 'tis marvellous
clever and entertaining withal.
* * * * *
Perhaps there will be a vacation after this attack of Miss Influenza
on the unfortunate Baron. Alas! for the present, it is _La Donna
Influenza_ who is "_One of Our Conquerors_!"
* * * * *
This morning, after a fortnight of it, the Baron was about to announce
that he was better, but at the outset he paused, corrected himself,
and, tapping the breakfast-table with his fork, he exclaimed,
_Moral._--Be quite sure you're out of the wood, though maybe you were
never in it, and _even then_ don't congratulate yourself. "Mumm"'s the
word (so's "Pommery" also by the way, not forgetting "Greno," all such
being excellent Fizzic for the Epidemic), as to your state of health,
and don't forget the charm--"_Beroofen_!"
* * * * *
(_SKETCHED, IN METRICAL SPASMS, BY A SUFFERER THEREFROM._)
Weak at birth;
Park a puddle.
Row a slough;
Eve a biter;
Voice a creaky
Noses (_and nothing else_) blowing,--
* * * * *
We're quite the gay Frenchmen now at the Italian Opera: _Faust_
in French, _Manon_ in French, _Romeo et Juliette_ in French, _Le
Prophete_ in French; American singers, and Dutch singers--for if Mr.
VAN DYCK isn't as much a Double Dutchman as VANDERDECKEN or any other
Van, except PICKFORD & CO.'s, then am I myself a Dutch native--and, by
the way, I'm always equal to a dozen of 'em any time during the right
and proper season. Not for many a long day and night has there been a
better show at Covent Garden. Miss EAMES, the Brothers DE RESZKE,
VAN DYCK, MELBA; the two RAVOGLI girls, specially GIULIA, as tuneful
contralto; MAUREL, the cultured artist; SIBYL SANDERSON, the simple
child of Nature; AGNES JANSON, with more sauce Hollandaise; marvellous
MRAVINA for the French Queen, "with a song;" and, above all, Madame
ALBANI, in tip-top voice, acting and singing better than ever.
_Tuesday_.--June 2 was a Diamond Night in front. H.R.H.'s present:
Diamond Queens and Princesses of Society all on view. DRURIOLANUS, in
his glory, beams on everyone.
_Wednesday_.--State Ball counter-attraction to Opera. Won't do to go
in rumpled silks and satins, and drooping feathers, like hens after
the rain, to a Court Ball. So Opera suffers; those present trying to
look as if they had been invited to State Ball, but didn't care
about going, or couldn't go, on account of recent family affliction.
However, as DRURIOLANUS is reported to have appeared in full fig
at State Ball, he couldn't expect others less interested in the
performance than himself to cut the Court and come to the Opera.
To-night, M. PLANCON as _Mephistopheles_, a thinner demon than Brother
NED DE RESZKE, but _un bon diable tout de meme_.
_Friday Night_.--Notable for excellent performance of _Rigoletto_, or
The Little Duke and The Big Duck respectively personified by Signor
RAVELLI and GIULIA RAVOGLI. Three "R"s in such a combination. Quite
"_R's Poetica_." Beg pardon.
"Tag" on the week,--if our friends in front are pleased as they appear
to be, then DRURIOLANUS and Council--not the County, but the Covent
Garden Council--are satisfied. _Curtain._
* * * * *
[Illustration: HONEY-MOONING IN ITALY.
_Fair American Bride_. "OH, JOHN! TO THINK THAT PERHAPS VIRGINIUS
STABBED HIS DAUGHTER ON THIS VERY SPOT, AND THAT JUST OVER THERE
TELLIA DROVE OVER HER POOR FATHER'S DEAD BODY!"
_John_. "AH--VERY SAD--VERY SAD, INDEED! BUT, SAY, MATILDA, I GUESS
WE'D BETTER LET BYGONES _BE_ BYGONES. AND NOW LET'S GO AND HAVE A LOOK
AT THE NEW POST-OFFICE."]
* * * * *
THE ALARMED AUTOCRAT!
"The Czar declared that he was determined to continue
resolutely to the end the policy upon which he had entered,
with a view to the solution of the Jewish difficulty, adding
that it was the Jews themselves who had forced that policy
upon him by their conduct.... 'Down to the present time' (His
Majesty remarked), 'there has never been a single Nihilistic
plot, in which Jews have not been concerned.'"--_The Times'
Correspondent at Moscow._
The Great White CZAR he has put down his foot;
On the neck of the Hebrew that foot he will plant.
Can fear strike a CAESAR--a Russian to boot?
Can a ROMANOFF stoop to mere cowardly cant?
Forbid it traditions of Muscovite pride!
An Autocrat's place is the Conqueror's car,
But he who that chariot in triumph would ride,
Must not earn a name as the White-livered CZAR!
No, no, scurril scribe, dip your pen in rose-pink,
Or the Censor's black blurr shall your slander efface
A CAESAR turn sophist, an Autocrat shrink?
Pusillanimous spite mark the ROMANOFF race?
Too wholly absurd! What _is_ this we have heard
Which on courtier spirits must painfully jar?
Who is he, this _mal a propos_ "little bird"
Who twitters such tales of the White-livered CZAR?
The Wolf and the Lamb? We all know that old tale.
But the Wolf, though a tyrant, was scarcely a cur.
He bullied and lied, but he didn't turn pale,
Or need poltroon terror as cruelty's spur.
But a big, irresponsible, "fatherly" Prince
Afeared--of a Jew? 'Tis too funny by far!
The coldest of King-scorning cynics might wince
At that comic conception, a White-livered CZAR!
No; Russia is heaven, the CZAR is a saint,
And the poor "Ebrew Jew" is a troublesome pest;
But _is_ he the thing to make CAESAR go faint,
Or disturb an Imperial Autocrat's rest?
The Jew's all to blame--as a matter of course;
The weak and the weary invariably are;
But weakness on power harsh tyranny force?
That's an argument worthy a White-livered CZAR.
An Israelite meshed in a 'Nihilist plot
Is a pitiful picture. Ungrateful indeed
Is the poor Russian Jew, not content with _his_ lot--
As a slave to the Slav. But expel the whole breed?
Apply that same rule to your subjects all round,
And one fancies you'll find it too sweeping by far.
The vast realm of Muscovy then might be found
A wilderness--save for the White-livered CZAR.
The pick of your people, the best of your blood,
Your purest of women, your bravest of men,
O CZAR, have they not, in despair's dusky mood,
Turned Nihilist, plotted, been banished? What then?
Best banish _them all_, as you'd banish the Jew;
'Twill sweep your dominions more clear than red war.
Picture Russia a waste with one resident--you,
Perched high--and alone--as the White-livered CZAR!
Maybe they malign you. It _cannot_ be sooth
That you talk like an angry illogical girl.
Yes, banish the Hebrews, as wholly as ruth.
Be cold in your wrath as the Neva's chill swirl,
Snub friendly remonstrance, blunt satire's keen blade.
With a blot of black ink! Will it carry you far?
A CAESAR must not be a fool or afraid;
There's no place in earth's round for a White-livered CZAR!
* * * * *
SAD FINISH.--We see advertised, "_George Meredith, A Study_. By HANNAH
LYNCH." Poor GEORGE! "Taken from life," of course. There's an end of
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE ALARMED AUTOCRAT!
CZAR OF ALL THE RUSSIAS. "TAKE HIM AWAY!--TAKE HIM AWAY! HE _FRIGHTENS
* * * * *
Messrs. R. Osgood & Co. in advertising Miss SARAH ORME JEWETT'S book,
_Strangers and Wayfarers_, quotes an extract from one of Mr. RUSSEL
LOWELL'S letters, which runs thus:--
"I remember once at a dinner of the Royal Academy, wishing there
might be a toast in honour of the Little Masters, such as TENNIEL, DU
MAURIER, and their fellows."
He "wished" it, but was the wish a silent one, or did it find
expression in a speech? No matter: there are the Old Masters and the
Young Masters, there are the Middle-Aged Masters; there are the Great
Masters; and, according to Mr. RUSSELL LOWELL, there are "the Little
Masters," without any middle term at all. "The Little Masters," like
children in the nursery of Art, not admitted to dinner, but who come
in afterwards for dessert. May they come in for their just deserts,
as no doubt they will some day. Well, according to this Lowelly
estimation of merit, these would be the Lesser Masters, and after them
the No Masters at all, except perhaps the Toast-Masters. But why
not follow a kind of public school classification which divides one
form--of course all the artists belong to the very best form, and,
like Sir FREDERICK the President, show the very best form--into
several compartments, so that we should have in one form say, the
Fifth, Upper Fifth, Middle Fifth, subdivided into Upper and Lower
Middle, then Lower Fifth, with a similar subdivision? Orders of merit
to be worn in the button-hole could then be distributed, and a new
Order of the "B.P.", not "British Public," but "Brush and Pencil,"
could be instituted, to be entitled fully, "_The Masters of the Black
and White Art_."
[Illustration: "(STAN)-HOPE TOLD A FLATTERING TALE."
_Mr. Punch_ (_to War Secretary_). "VERY WELL ON ACCOUNT; BUT WHEN
IS HE TO HAVE HIS REWARD IN FULL, LIKE HIS BROTHERS OF THE COMBATANT
In the _Fortnightly_, besides an article on the prevailing epidemic,
by Sir MORRELL MACKENZIE, M.D., which finishes with much the sort
of general advice that was given by _Mr. Justice Starleigh_ to _Sam
Weller_, to the effect that "You had better be careful, Sir," whoever
you are, who read this short, but generally interesting paper. There
is an anonymous paper on an imaginary election at the Royal Academy,
noticeable only for an excellent imitation of Mr. GEORGE MEREDITH'S
style. The Novelist is supposed to look in casually, and, finding an
election imminent, he offers sage words of counsel, and then begs to
be allowed to "float out of their orbit by a bowshot." It seems to me
that the paper was written for the sake of this one short paragraph,
which, as a close parody, is inimitable. _A Modern Idyll_, by the
Editor, Mr. FRANK HARRIS, is, as far as this deponent is concerned,
like the Rule of Three in the ancient Nursery Rhyme, for it "bothers
me," and, though written with considerable dramatic power, yet it
seems rather the foundation for a novel which the Author felt either
disinclined to continue, or unable to finish. ALTER HEGO (_in the
Office of the B. de B.-W._)
* * * * *
THE TYRANTS OF THE STRAND!
(_FRAGMENT FROM A ROMANCE, FOUNDED UPON A MODERN STRIKE._)
It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled, the rain pelted, and
the poor travellers were drenched to the skin. They shaded their eyes,
and peered forth into the blackness to see if succour was at hand.
Their strength was exhausted, and they felt they could go no further.
Oh! what would they not have given to be once more on board the tight
little craft they had abandoned! But no! it was not to be. They must
seek for help from another quarter! Suddenly there emerged from the
darkness a strange-looking structure, that with its lights seemed bent
upon running them down. They signalled for help, and the grotesque
vessel was hove to.
"What do you want?" asked a gruff voice, to their great delight, in
English. "What are you a haling us for?"
"We are shipwrecked travellers," explained the spokesman of the party;
"and we ask for conveyance to a place of safety."
"A place of safety--sounds like a cab-stand," muttered the other.
"Well, jump in." Thus invited, the shipwrecked travellers entered what
seemed to them to be a welcome harbour of refuge. But they had not
proceeded far when the man who had already spoken to them again
"Come--all of you--turn out--but first pay me," and then he mentioned
a considerable sum of money.
"Have you no mercy?" cried a fair-haired girl, pointing to the white
and rain-drenched locks of her ancient parents.
"Not a bit, Miss," returned the semi-savage, with a hideous grin.
"And who are you, rude man?" she asked, plucking up in her very
despair some spirit. "Are you the Captain?"
"Much the same thing--I am called the Conductor."
"And what is the name of this dreadful conveyance?" again questioned
the damsel, with a shuddering glance at what seemed to be a
"It is called," replied the man, defiantly, "the Pirate Bus!" On
hearing this, the entire party uttered a despairing cry, and fainted!
* * * * *
THE TRAVELLER'S FRIEND.
(_A HINT FOR THE COMING HOLIDAYS._)
DEAR MR. PUNCH,--As we are within measurable distance of the time when
everyone will be thinking of going abroad, perhaps you will allow me
to make a practical suggestion. No doubt you will have observed that,
according to the Correspondent of the _Times_, recounting the "recent
railway outrage in Turkey," the Brigands "chose five of the most
opulent-looking of their victims, and told them that they meant to
hold them to ransom." I am not surprised at this occurrence, for
something of the same sort once happened to me. I am very well to do,
and I am fond of what I believe is vulgarly called "globe-trotting." I
do not care to be encumbered with too much luggage, and if there is a
thorn to the rose of my sweet content it is the objection that my
wife makes to my personal appearance. She will have it that a suit of
thoroughly comfortable dittos is not the proper garb for a stroll on
the Boulevards des Italiens, or a lounge on the Piazza San Marco. As
for my wide-awake, she declares (and I can assure you that I have not
had it for more than ten years) it is absolutely disgraceful!
But to my story. I have said that I myself was once attacked by
Brigands. Our train was stopped in strictly regulation fashion. I
believe the customary number of engine-drivers, stokers, and guards
were shot, or otherwise accounted for. Then the passengers were
inspected. I was rather nervous, for, truth to tell, my pockets were
lined with untold gold and notes. The Chief of the Brigands--a most
gentlemanly person--glanced at my coat with a slight shudder of pain,
and then raised his eyes to my head-gear. That seemed to satisfy him.
"Set him free!" he cried to the two ruffians who guarded me, "and
never let him see me again!" I never did!
ONE WHO WAS SAVED BY HIS HAT,
_The Retreat, Old Closeborough._
* * * * *
[Illustration: A POLITICAL MILITARY TOURNAMENT.]
* * * * *
THE BUSMEN'S ALPHABET.
A is the Ache which the Drivers delay.
B is the Bus, which they're chained to all day.
C 's the poor Cad who is sick of his trade.
D is the Dividend that must be paid.
E 's the day's End, which finds him dead-beat.
F is the Food he has no time to eat.
G is his Good, for which nobody cares.
H is the Horse who so much better fares.
I 's the Increase in his pay that he waits,
J 's the fine Jump he'll soon take with his mates.
K is the Knife-board, which funds should provide.
L are the Ladies, who now go outside.
M is the Money that's earned every day.
N the New lines, that they start, and make pay.
O Opposition, they speedily chase.
P is the Public that fills every place.
Q is the Question, that hints at Reform.
R the Reply, that soon raises a storm.
S the Shareholder, blind in his greed.
T is the Tension which he'd better heed.
U 's the Upset he won't certainly like.
V 's the Vigorous Vengeance of strike.
W Wisdom that comes somewhat late.
X Express Action which may avert Fate!
Y, Yell triumphal, the men win the day.
Z--"Zounds!" which is all Directors can say.
* * * * *
[A Monument to BENDIGO, the famous prize-fighter, has been
lately erected at Nottingham.]
_Old Prize-fighter soliloquises_:--
If ever to the "Pelican" alone or with a friend I go,
I sigh for men of muscle who could fight a fight like BENDIGO.
He didn't fight in feather-beds, or spend his days in chattering,
But faced his man, and battered him, or took his foeman's battering.
He didn't deal in gas, or waste his time in mere retort at all;
But now the "pugs" are interviewed, and journalists report it all.
A man may call it what he will, brutality or bravery,
I'd rather have the prize-ring back than give a purse to knavery.
Knaves fight for points, the audience shouts and wrangles in allotting 'em;
I hate their fancy-work, I'm off to take the train to Nottingham.
I like a Man; though modern men and modern manners mend, I go
To drop a last regretful tear o'er poor departed BENDIGO.
* * * * *
[Illustration: GENTLE SARCASM.
"YESSIR; I GITS 'OME FROM MY LAST JOURNEY AT MIDNIGHT,--AN' THEN I 'AS
THE _REST_ OF THE HEVENIN' TO _MYSELF_!"]
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
_House of Commons, Monday, June 1._--House of Commons, as usual
at this time of Session, driven against wall in its struggles with
appointed work. With brief recesses, been at work since November last.
One thing everyone insists on is that Prorogation shall take place
at end of July. Difficult to see how even by most masterly management
that can be accomplished. Apart from Education Bill, enough work in
hand, if Supply be fairly dealt with, to carry us on to last week
in July. Every moment precious; every quarter of an hour lost an
Accordingly, to-day, meeting in the freshness and vigour of new week,
House takes up a local Bill dealing with pilotage in Bristol Channel.
Two or three Members talk about it for hour and a half. House neither
knowing nor caring anything on subject, empties; Division bell sounds
through all the rooms and corridors. How is a man to vote when the
question abruptly submitted is, "That the Pilotage Provisional Orders
No. 1 Bill be now read a Second Time?" Still, it's as well to vote, as
it runs up average attendance on Divisions, at which at election times
constituents sometimes glance. Fortunately, in this case, MICHAEL
BEACH, as one of Members for Bristol, took part in Debate and
Division. As useful this as sign-post to belated traveller at four
cross-roads. Conservatives and Liberals crowded at Bar keep their eye
on President of Board of Trade, watching which way he would go. He
led the way into the "Aye" lobby. Thither followed him all the
Conservatives, all the Liberals trooping into the "No" lobby. When
Noses were counted, it was found that 165 voted "Aye," 119 "No." And
thus it came to pass that the Pilotage Provisional Order No. 1 Bill
was read a Second Time.
One gathered from chance expressions, and especially from the interest
taken in the affair by Members for City of Bristol, that Bristol had
special interest in the Bill. In addition to MICHAEL BEACH'S support,
WESTON on Liberal side, HILL on Conservative Benches, supported Second
Reading. Sinking political differences, Member for East Bristol, and
Member for South Bristol, agreed upon plan of campaign.
"You, WESTON," said Colonel HILL who, having obtained his military
rank in the peaceful pursuits of commercial shipping, is a master of
strategy, "speak so low that they can't hear a word you say, whilst I,
concealing a miniature speaking-trumpet in my mouth, will roar at them
as if a stout North-Easter were blowing through the lanyards of our
first battalion, deployed in open order."
Tactics succeeded admirably. Sir JOSEPH WESTON, a mild, aldermanic
person, presented himself from quarter behind Front Opposition Bench,
and, to all appearances, delivered an admirable address. His lips
moved, his right hand marked the rhythm of his ordered speech; now
his eyes flashed in reprobation, and anon smiled approval. But not
a sound, save a soft murmur, as of distant dripping waterfall, was
heard. _L'Enfant Prodigue_ wasn't in it for successful pantomime.
When the movement stopped, and the Alderman was discovered to be
sitting down, the martial-nautical HILL sprang up from Bench on other
side, and the stillness was broken by a rasping voice, that woke DICKY
TEMPLE out of his early slumber. The strategy, cleverly conceived, was
admirably carried out, and Bristol, thanks to diversified talent of
its Members, got its Bill. Only it seemed a pity that an hour and
a half of precious public time should incidentally have been
_Business done_.--Irish Land Bill in report stage.
_Tuesday_.--House of Lords the scene of a thrilling performance
to-night. Usually meets for business at half-past four. On Tuesdays,
in order to give Noble Lords opportunity for preparing for exhaustive
labours, public business does not commence till half-past five.
Punctually at that hour, a solitary pedestrian might have been
observed walking up the floor of the historic Chamber. A flowing gown
hid, without entirely concealing, his graceful figure; a full-bottomed
wig crowned his stately head, as the everlasting snows veil the lofty
heights of the Himalayas. He looked neither to the right hand nor to
the left, but with swinging stride strode forward. At the end of
the Chamber stood the Throne of England, on which, in days gone
by, HARCOURT'S Plantagenet fathers sat, and in which some day--who
knows?--the portly frame of him who now proudly bears the humble
title, SQUIRE OF MALWOOD, may recline.
But that is another story. The gowned-and-wigged figure observed
walking up the floor of the House of Lords at half-past five on a June
evening, was not making for the Throne. Before that piece of furniture
stood a bench, in appearance something like the familiar ottoman
of the suburban drawing-room. It was the Woolsack, and the _svelte_
figure, swinging towards it with the easy stride of superlative grace
and comparative youth, was the LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR! Before him,
at respectful distance, went his Purse-bearer, ready to produce the
wherewithal should his Lordship desire a pick-me-up by the way. Behind
him came the Mace-bearer, and, a foot further in the rear, Black Rod.
[Illustration: "Accommodated with a Seat."]
Odsfakins! a stately procession, which ought to have been set in the
centre of an admiring multitude. But the LORD CHANCELLOR'S springy
footfall echoed through an almost empty chamber. DENMAN was faithful
at his post, ready to move that some Bill be read a Second Time on
that day nine months. Here and there, on widely severed benches,
perched a Peer, whilst from the Gallery, where he had been
accommodated with a seat, the smiling mobile face of Mr. Justice DAY
peered forth. He had just looked in on his way home from the Courts,
interested in a scene where some day he may take his place as Brother
BRAMWELL and Brother COLERIDGE have done.
The keen eyes of the great LORD CHANCELLOR flashed round the chilling
scene. Clerk at the table mumbled something about Provisional Orders.
"Those that are of that opinion say 'Content,'" observed the LORD
CHANCELLOR. "Contrary, 'Not Content;' the Contents have it. This House
will now adjourn."
Then uprose the LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR, and with the same stately
swinging step, moved towards the doorway, with the Purse-bearer, the
Mace-bearer, and Black Rod in his train. It was twenty-five minutes to
Six; full five minutes had elapsed since the House of Lords met. Now
House of Lords had adjourned, and the throbbing pulses of an Empire on
which the sun never sets beat with steadier motion, knowing that all
was well. _Business done._--House of Lords adjourned.
_Thursday_.--Rather a painful scene just now between PRINCE ARTHUR and
the SQUIRE of MALWOOD. T.W. RUSSELL proposed new Clause on Irish Land
Bill, which provided for reinstatement of evicted tenants; received
with general applause, and finally agreed to. In the midst of general
congratulations and shaking hands, the SQUIRE lounged in, and with
many back-handed slaps at the Government, added his approval to the
general chorus. The Ministry were hopelessly bad, but this clause,
though proposed by a supporter of theirs, was moderately good.
[Illustration: Balfour, Q.C.]
"Singular thing," said Prince ARTHUR, in meditative tone, as if he
were talking to himself, "that the Right Hon. Gentleman can never
interfere in debate, however far removed the subject may be from
the arena of Party Politics, without forthwith dragging it into the
"That," said BALFOUR, Q.C., who chanced to be on the Front Opposition
Bench, "is a striking example of the misapprehension under which acute
minds occasionally labour. I have known my Right Hon. friend for many
years; we have sat on this Bench together in Opposition, and have
worked in the same Ministry, and I confess it is a little shocking to
me to hear him accused of tendency to enter upon controversial topics.
I am myself a man of peace, and do not readily assume an attitude of
reproof; but, as Mr. HENRY ARTHUR WILSON said when he stood over the
improvised Baccarat-table with a piece of chalk in his hand, the line
must be drawn somewhere, and I am inclined to rule it at the place
where my friend HARCOURT is accused of wilfully and designedly
disturbing the Parliamentary peace." _Business done_.--Still on the
_Friday Night_.--Still grinding away at the report stage of Land Bill;
don't get any forrader; been at it a week, and to-night just as many
Amendments on the paper as there were on Monday. All night upon a
single new Clause. Everybody wearied to death. Even WINDBAG SEXTON a
little moody; not had such a good night as usual; the debate lasting
throughout sitting, and, there being only one Motion before the House,
SEXTON (with the SPEAKER in the Chair) could speak only once; that
he did, at considerable length. But a poor consolation for lost
Congratulated the suffering SPEAKER on this accident; pointed out to
him things were bad enough; but might be worse.
"I suppose, TOBY," he said, "you never read PRIOR? Haven't looked him
up for many years; but, sitting here through this week, there is one
couplet--from his _Solomon_, I think--ever running through my mind:--
'ABRA was ready ere I called her name;
And, though I call'd another, ABRA came.'
Just like SEXTON."
_Business done_.--One Clause added to Land Bill.
* * * * *
"GREY APES OF AGE."
"Grey hair is fashionable for the youthful,"
Says a Mode oracle acknowledged truthful.
Strange that Society should have a rage
For that anomaly--artificial Age!
Dust on their heads our pretty women toss,
Just to deprive it of its pristine gloss.
Make ashen-white your eyebrows, there, and lashes,
Precocious hags! The world's but dust and ashes.
Wrinkles and crowsfeet next must have their turn
(To limn them in let toilette artists learn),
Then make each _belle_ bald, scraggy-necked and toothless,
Grey hair alone won't make Society youthless.
Let _belles_ turn beldams if they find it jolly.
But they might be consistent in their folly!
* * * * *
MUSICAL, THEATRICAL, AND JUDICIAL.--The _Daily Telegraph_, quoting
from the _Middlesex County Times_, last Saturday, stated that, "_The_
LORD CHANCELLOR had added the name of Mr. W.S. GILBERT, _Poet
and Dramatist, to the Commission of the Peace for the County
of Middlesex._" So is it said that another "W.S.," one WILLIAM
SHAKSPEARE--who, by the way, also had a GILBERT in the family--was, in
his latter years, made a J.P." Mr. WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE GILBERT--if he
will kindly allow us so to style him, as uniting the qualities of poet
and dramatist--should receive a special and peculiar title. Let him,
then, be henceforth known as "The Poetic Justice of the Piece."
* * * * *
THE "HIRED PRIEST."
[Mr. GLADSTONE says, "If the priest is to live, he must beg,
earn, or steal."]
Now, here's a needy Vicar; who will hire him? He can preach,
Can confute a boat of infidels and crush them with a text.
If a Sunday school is started, he's the very man to teach,
If you snub him he may hate it, but he'll never show he's vexed.
He can spend his days in visiting the alleys and the slums,
And support his own existence, and his family's, on crumbs.
Come, come, Sir, you are generous. What! eighty pounds a year?
It's a fortune for a Vicar; I am sure he won't refuse.
Why it's sixteen hundred shillings, he will take it, never fear;
For though priests are scarcely beggars, yet they can't afford to choose.
He hasn't got a single vice; I'll guarantee him sound,
And he'll make a crown go farther than an ordinary pound.
And here we have a Bishop; we don't do things by halves;
He requires a roomy palace, he is sturdy, stout and tall.
You can have him as he stands, Sir, with his gaiters and his calves;
Five thousand hires the Bishop, apron, appetite and all.
What? You much prefer the Vicar with his collar and his tie?
And you'd rather pay him extra? Here's your health. Sir; so would I.
* * * * *
-->NOTICE.--Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS.,
Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no
case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed
Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.