Punch Vol 100 1891-06-06 by VariousOr, The London Charivari

Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI. VOL. 100. June 6, 1891. VOCES POPULI. BRICKS WITHOUT STRAW. SCENE–_A Village School-room. A Juvenile Treat is in progress, and a Magic Lantern, hired for the occasion, “with set of slides complete–to last one hour” is about to
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  • 06/06/1891
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Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.



VOL. 100.

June 6, 1891.



SCENE–_A Village School-room. A Juvenile Treat is in progress, and a Magic Lantern, hired for the occasion, “with set of slides complete–to last one hour” is about to be exhibited._


_The Vicar’s Daughter_ (_suddenly recognising the New Curate, who is blinking unsuspectingly in the lantern rays_). Oh, Mr. TOOTLER, you’ve just come in time to help us! The man with the lantern says he only manages the slides, and can’t do the talking part. And I’ve asked lots of people, and no one will volunteer. _Would_ you mind just explaining the pictures to the children? It’s only a little Nursery tale–_Valentine and Orson_–I chose that, because it’s less hackneyed, and has such an excellent _moral_, you know. I’m sure you’ll do it so _beautifully_!

_Mr. Tootler_ (_a shy man_). I–I’d do it with pleasure, I’m sure–only I really don’t know anything about _Valentine and Orson_!

_The V’s D._ Oh, what _does_ that matter? I can tell you the outline in two minutes. (_She tells him._) But it’s got to last an hour, so you must spin it out as much as ever you can.

[Illustration: The Young Heckler.]

_Mr. Tootler_ (_to himself_). Ought I to neglect such a golden opportunity of winning these young hearts? No. (_Aloud._) I will–er–do my best, and perhaps I had better begin at once, as they seem to be getting–er–rather unruly at the further end of the room. (_He clears his throat._) Children, you must be very quiet and attentive, and then we shall be able, as we purpose this evening, to show you some scenes illustrative of the–er–beautiful old story of _Valentine and Orson_, which I doubt not is familiar to you all. (_Rustic applause, conveyed by stamping and shrill cheers, after which a picture is thrown on the screen representing a Village Festival._) Here, children, we have a view of–er–(_with sudden inspiration_)–Valentine’s Native Village. It is–er–his birthday, and Valentine, being a young man who is universally beloved on account of his amiability and good conduct–(_To the Vicar’s D._ “Is that correct?” _The V.’s D._ “Quite, _quite_ correct!”)–good conduct, the villagers are celebrating the–er–auspicious event by general rejoicings. How true it is that if we are only _good_, we may, young as we are, count upon gaining the affection and esteem of all around us! (_A Youthful Rustic, with a tendency to heckle._ “Ef ‘ee plaze, Zur, which on ’em be Valentoine?”) Valentine, we may be very sure, would not be absent on such an occasion, although, owing to the crowd, we cannot distinguish him. But, wherever he is, however he may be occupied, he little thinks that, before long, he will have to encounter the terrible Orson, the Wild Man of the Woods! Ah, dear children, we all have our Wild Man of the Woods to fight. With _some_ of us it is–(_He improves the occasion._) Our next picture represents–(_To Assistant._) Sure this comes next? Oh, they’re all numbered, are they? Very well–represents a forest–er–the home of Orson. If we were permitted to peep behind one of those trunks, we should doubtless see Orson himself, crouching in readiness to spring upon the unsuspecting Valentine. So, often when we–&c., &c. The next scene we shall show you represents the–er–burning of Valentine’s ship. Valentine has gone on a voyage, with the object of–er–finding Orson. If the boat in the picture was only larger, we could no doubt identify Valentine, sitting there undismayed, calmly confident that, notwithstanding this–er–unfortunate interruption, he will be guided, sooner or later, to his–er–goal. Yes, dear children, if we only have patience, if we only have faith, &c., &c. Here we see–(_an enormous Bison is suddenly depicted on the screen_) eh? oh, yes–here we have a specimen of–er–Orson’s _pursuits_. He chases the bison. Some of you may not know what a bison is. It is a kind of hairy cow, and–(_He describes the habits of these creatures as fully as he is able._ _The Youthful Rustic_. “Theer baint nawone a-erntin’ of ‘un, Zur.”) What? Oh, but there _is_. Orson is pursuing him, only–er–the bison, being a very fleet animal, has outrun his pursuer for the moment. Sometimes we flatter ourselves that we have outrun _our_ pursuer–but, depend upon it, &c., &c. But now let us see what Valentine is about–(_Discovering, not without surprise, that the next picture is a Scene in the Arctic Regions._) Well, you see, he has succeeded in reaching the coast, and here he is–in a sledge drawn by a reindeer, with nothing to guide him but the Aurora Borealis, hastening towards the spot where he has been told he will find Orson. He doesn’t despair, doesn’t lose heart–he is sure that, if he only keeps on, if he–er–only continues, only perseveres–(_Aside._ What drivel I _am_ talking! _To Assistant_. I say, are there many _more_ of this sort? because we don’t seem to be getting on!)–Well, now we come to–(_a Moonlight Scene, with a Cottage in Winter, appears_)–to the–ah–home of Valentine’s _mother_. You will observe a light in the casement. By that light the good old woman is sitting, longing and praying for the return of her gallant boy. Ah, dear children, what a thing a good old mother is! (_To the Vicar’s Daughter_. “I really can _not_ keep on like this much longer. I’m positively certain these slides are out of order!”) _The V.’s D._ “Oh no; I’m sure it’s _all_ right. Do _please_ go on. They’re _so_ interested!” _The Young Heckler_. “‘Ow bout Valentoine, Zur?–wheer be ‘ee?” Ah, where is Valentine, indeed? (_To Ass._) Next slide–quick! (_Recognises with dismay a View of the Grand Canal._) No–but, I say–_really_ I _can’t_–Here we have Valentine at Venice. He has reached that beautiful city,–well called the Queen of the Adriatic,–at last! He contemplates it from his gondola, and yet he has no heart just now to take in all the beauty of the scene. He feels that he is still no nearer to finding Orson than before. (_The Young Heckler_. “Naw moor be we, Zur. We ain’t zeed _nayther_ on ’em zo fur!” _Tumult, and a general demand for the instant production of Orson or Valentine._) Now, children, children! this is very irregular. You must allow me to tell this story my own way. You will see them both in good time, if you only keep still! (_To Ass._) I can’t stand this any more. Valentine and Orson must be underneath the rest. Find them, and shove them in quick. Never mind the numbering! (_The screen remains blank while the Assistant fumbles._) Well, have you _got_ them?

_The Assistant_. No, Sir; I’m rather afraid they ain’t _here_. Fact is, they’ve sent me out with the wrong set o’ slides. This ain’t _Valentine and Orson–it’s a miscellaneous lot, Sir!_

[_Collapse of Curate as Scene closes in._

* * * * *



I bust suppose the Doctor dose,
(I do not bead a pud!)
What ails be; but that aidlbelt _grows!_ This Subber brigs _do_ sud.
Subtibes the east wids blow like bad, Subtibes code showers pour,
But daily cubs that doctor’s lad,– “The Bixture as Before!”

The Idfluedza I have got,
Or I ibadgid so;
Subtibes I’b cold, subtibes I’b hot, I cough, I sdeeze, I blow,
But GLADSTUD’s better, SBITH is well, _I_ do _dot_ bend. O lor!–
There’s that codfonded kitchid bell; “The Bixture as Before!”

I’ve had at least a budth of it,
Sidtz I was first struck dowd,
Yet here id slippered feet I sit!
By daily half-a-crowd–
For bedsud taxes by poor purse.
It is ad awfud bore.
This bedsud bakid be feel worse–
“The Bixture as Before!”

I’b odly a poor City clerk.
Quidide is bodstrous dear;
By doctor treats it as a lark,
Ad tries by bide to cheer.
But if by situashud goes,
I’b ruid–ad two score!
What cad avail the Doctor’s dose– “The Bixture as Before”?

It bay be Bicrobes, as they say,
This Idfluedza pest;
What batters? I bust cough–ad _pay_! The Doctor orders “Rest”!
Bicrobes be blowed, ad Rest go hag! I’ll stad this thig do bore!
BARY! was that the door-bell rag?
–“The Bixture as Before”!

* * * * *


“It is stated that the Pungwe route to Mashonaland has been again closed by the Portuguese Authorities.”–_Reuter, May 24_.

[Illustration: _Cecil Rhodes_, “YOU CLEAR OUT! SHE’S MY ‘MASH!'”]

Now then, young Obstructive, still playing the sentry, Where nobody wants you to watch or mount guard? Are _you_ to rule everyone’s exit and entry? Clear out, my young friend, or with you ’twill go hard. Yon Portuguese _Tappertit_, turn it up, _do_! D’ye think I’ll be stopped by a monkey like you?

_My_ Mash, that young woman! Will you bar our meeting? We’re sweethearts. Will you interfere with our tryst? You pert whippersnapper, my sable-skinned sweeting My masculine wooing’s too wise to resist. Shall RHODES be cut out by a small Portuguese, With a gun and a swagger? Pooh! Fiddle-de-dee!

We’ve put up too long with your pranks, my fine fellow, Because of your size, upon which you presume. Oh, it’s no use to twirl your moustache and look yellow! Mean having that gal, howsoever you fume. You’d better behave yourself, boy, or no doubt Before very long we shall clean you right out.

Look at home, keep your own ways a little bit clearer, And don’t go a-blocking up other folks’ roads. Eh? _You_ warn me off her? _I_ mustn’t come nearer? Ha, ha! My good-nature your impudence goads. Clear out, whilst you’re safe, you young shrimp! Don’t be rash! For I shan’t let _you_ come between me and my Mash!

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE VICTORY ROAD-CAR.


* * * * *


A LAST WORD ON THE WHAT-YOU-MAY-CAL-DERON PICTURE.–It isn’t often that one of “the inferior clergy,” represented by a Clarke in orders, is pitted against an “Abbott,” as recently happened in the discussion about Mr. CALDERON’s picture of “_St. Elizabeth’s Heroic Act of Renunciation_.” In this instance the Clarke got the better of the Abbott, and the others, including Professor HUXLEY, who is always ready to rush in and invite somebody to tread on the tail of his coat, were nowhere. The _Times_ issues its _fiat_, concluding the arguments on both sides–“The _Times_ has spoken, _causa finita est_”–and the picture will remain one of the chief attractions in the Royal Academy Exhibition until such time as it ascends to the undisturbed Oilysium of The Happily Immortals. In the meantime, being on the line, Mr. CALDERON will be perfectly satisfied if his picture be generally recognised as “_St. Elisabeth of Well-Hung-ary_.”

* * * * *



Take a handful of jokelets and beat them up small, In sophistical fudge, with no logic at all; Then pepper the mixture with snigger and jeer; Add insolent “sauce,” and a _soupcon_ of sneer; Shred stale sentiment fine, just as much as you want, And thicken with cynical clap-trap and cant, _Plus_ oil–of that species which “smells of the lamp”– Then lighten with squibs, which, of course, should be damp; Serve up, with the air of a true _Cordon Bleu_, And you’ll find a few geese to taste _it_ and praise _you_!

* * * * *


THEN. SCENE–_Dining-Room in MRS. GRUNDY’s House. The Misses GRUNDY and their Mother discovered at Luncheon._

_Eldest Miss G._ Oh, Mamma, do take us to see _Formosa_ at Drury Lane!

_Mrs. Grundy_. My dear! Why, it’s absolutely shocking! All the papers are ringing with the impropriety! Couldn’t _possibly_ go!

_Second Miss G._ But, Mamma dear, the Boat-Race Scene is _so_ excellent. We might sit at the back of the box, and put our fingers in our ears when you signalled to us.

_Mrs. Grundy_. Well, as you say, the Boat-Race Scene is excellent, and as for impropriety, we must ignore it.

[_Exeunt to get places for Drury Lane._

NOW. _Scene as before, Time and situation as before, Company as before_.

_Eldest Miss G._ Oh, Mother darling, do take us to see _Formosa_ at Drury Lane!

_Mrs. Grundy_. Certainly. I hear the Boat-Race Scene beats the record.

_Second Miss G._ It is simply magnificent, and the dialogue is so interesting. Twenty years ago they said it was improper! As IBSEN would observe, “Only fancy that!”

_Mrs. Grundy_. Did they? Well, as you say, the Boat-Race Scene is excellent; and as for the impropriety,–in these days of _Ghosts, Pillars of Society_, and _Dancing Girls_, we haven’t time to notice it!

[_Exeunt to get places for Drury Lane._

* * * * *


_Billsbury, Thursday, May 22_.–Came down here yesterday, to stay for a fortnight on end. Four meetings have been arranged in different wards, and a good deal of time is to be devoted to canvassing. Pleasant prospect! Begin to think that, on the whole, it was easier work to wear an occasional wig in the Law Courts, or to sit in Chambers, planning imaginary Law-books.

On Tuesday I lunched with the BELLAMYS, to say good-bye. Mrs. BELLAMY made herself very agreeable. Somebody, so she said, had told her that my chances at Billsbury were excellent, and she declared she had always admired young men who devoted themselves with a single-hearted purpose to the service of their country. So different from the crowd “Of shallow-pates, who scorn laborious days. And shun the rugged paths that lead to praise.” This is a familiar quotation from the works of “your grandfather, the poet.” Mrs. BELLAMY quotes him on all possible occasions. A long time ago she gave me a beautifully bound copy of his book, “_Per Ardua_, by HENRY GATTLETON, M.A.” I’ve got a notion she has a whole room-full of the unsold copies, somewhere at the top of the house.

After luncheon had a long talk with MARY, who really looked prettier than I’ve ever seen her. She said, “Now that you have got into what Mamma calls ‘the vortex of politics,’ I suppose you’ll despise all our simple little amusements, and begin to forget everybody except the Billsbury voters.” I asked her how she could say such a thing, told her I never could forget the happy hours I’d spent with her at Exhibitions and dances, and so forth, and assured her I loathed the Billsbury voters (which, by the way, I really think I do). I was just beginning to screw myself up to the pitch of asking her _the_ question, in fact, I had taken her hand, and was actually stuttering out something which made her look down at her feet (she’s got the smallest and prettiest foot I ever saw), when the footman opened the door and announced POMFRET. Of course POMFRET must have seen something was up. He’s a beast, but not a fool. But he chattered away volubly, just as if he were the most delightful and welcome person in the world. I got so angry after ten minutes of it, and my toes and fingers began to have such an almost irresistible longing to be at him, that I thought it best to go. But MARY gave me a look as I went away which simply went right through me, the kindest and most beautiful look any two eyes ever gave to an unhappy man. I shut my eyes constantly and bring the whole scene back, and in imagination I throw POMFRET out of the window, and carry MARY in triumph to the nearest church, while her mother quotes the late Mr. GATTLETON’s poetry over us in blessing. And then I open them again and find myself in this hole.

Dinner with the CHORKLES on Saturday.

_May 23_.–Started canvassing yesterday and continued to-day under the charge of Mr. DIKES, one of the Town Councillors. “Old DICKY DIKES,” the people here always call him. He’s supposed to be one of the most knowing cards in the whole county. A man of about sixty-four, with light brown hair, rather curly, a wig, say his detractors, but I can’t make my mind up about it yet, as I haven’t been able to study him closely with his hat off. His head is large, face a cross between J.L. TOOLE’s and DIZZY’s without the goatee. Always wears a frock-coat of best broadcloth, and an immense top-hat. Has one curiously protruding tooth which fascinates me, and makes my attention wander when he’s telling me his anecdotes. I keep wondering how it ever got into that strange position–a sort of dental rocking-stone, weird, solitary, inexplicable. Everybody knows him, as he represents the St. Mark’s Ward (which we are canvassing) in the Council. The flourish with which he always introduces me is wonderful. I might be an Emperor honouring the place with a visit. But the people take it all as a matter of course, and seem pleased to see us. They don’t care twopence about real political questions in the back-streets. They mostly say, “My father was a Blue and his father afore ‘im, and I’ve bin a Blue all my life, and I ain’t a goin’ to change my colour now. You’re all right, Sir; you’ve no call to bother about me. I wish you success.” They don’t mind being asked any amount of questions as to where they lived before, how long they’ve been in their present houses, and so on. It’s all a kind of entertainment to them. Here and there, of course, you come on a keen politician, who really understands. I hear CHORKLE’s dinner to-morrow is to be a grand affair.

* * * * *



(_Attire and Side on Girl_.)]

* * * * *



Need I say that I felt greatly gratified at finding myself attached to the Victorian Volunteers. I had been present with them in spirit at the banquets which had greeted their arrival to the Mother Country, and now I was to have the advantage of actually appearing bodily in their campaign at Islington. I knew the battle-field well. In years gone by I had seen many a Balaclava _melee_, many a slicing of the lemon, many a securing of the tent-peg. Nay, further, I had assisted many a time at “the combined display,” when, before a huge audience, a presentment of war was produced, as unlike the real thing as anything well could be. But, to return to the Victorians. As they appeared in their neat uniforms, which included slouch hats, the hearts of a noble people (represented by occupants of places from ten shillings downwards) went out to them, and they were greeted with a mighty shout. The English race recognised the service that was being done. The Mother thanked her Child. Over the stormy sea had come the soldiers of the Southern Cross to tell any Britons still remaining in played-out Europe how war should be waged; how battles should be won.

The numbers of our gallant little body were small; still, we had enough. Before our appearance “the country” had been arranged. In the distance, near the southern entrance, were bushes; then, a little nearer home, a second row; then, nearer still, a canvas erection representing a fallen tree; then more bushes; and last, the door from which we had emerged to receive the plaudits of the populace. First, two of our number (after some slight hesitation) galloped (taking, without much difficulty, the hedges on their way) towards the south. They fired. In the meanwhile the rest of our body had dismounted, and had buckled the forelegs of each horse so that it might not unduly wander. This clever idea was nearly crowned with success. Then tents were got out–without any hurry. They were pitched in a leisurely fashion. Then the fire was lighted, also without flurry. The two scouts now cantered back knocking over a bush on their way. Shots were heard in the distance, and our camp was leisurely, very leisurely, broken up. The tents were, with some difficulty, placed on the backs of the horses, and most of our troopers mounted without serious difficulty. One certainly was thrown, and another had to hold firmly to his horse. Then we advanced. We again dismounted. One of our body, after some negotiation, collected the reins of our horses. We fired, and again leisurely mounted. Then our troopers hurried off.

And when the magnificent display was over, I could not help thinking how good it was of these gallant Colonists to come so far that we might learn so much. True, we had seen something a little like the mounted infantry evolutions in the displays of our own light Hussars. Again, soldiers have been known before this to pitch and strike a tent. Still, it was deeply gratifying to find history repeating itself, inasmuch, as in the Victorian evolutions there was no difficulty in conjuring up the picture with the popular title, “The Grandson teaching the Grandmother–how to suck eggs!”

* * * * *



The Government makes no sign or move, though people who think are clamouring and asking “How long shall such things be?”

* * * * *


They were only a few poor Polish Jews, there might have been a hundred of them all told, beaten, scourged, driven by a brutal and merciless Government to “move on,” somewhere–anywhere,–it cared not, so long as they had no abiding home, no hope of peace, of comfort, or of even the common necessaries of existence, and stricken with despair and overcome with terror, they meet with their good angel.

* * * * *

The Middleman, the blessed agent, to them, of all good, tells them of the bright free land, where a golden harvest of profit is waiting them, if they will only realise their “all” and hand it over to him. With a shout of joy, in grateful paeans they sing the praises of their preserver,–and realising all their worldly wealth and making it over to him, they arrive, greedy, hunger-smitten and expectant, one damp May morning in Whitechapel.

* * * * *

They find a native population, struggling in terrible earnest with want, and taking, through the Sweater who commands the situation, starvation prices for the making of a coat, for the which, by working nineteen hours in the day, and reducing life to the slavery of a living death, they manage to earn two shillings and ninepence!

* * * * *

The happy and eager Polish Jews step in, and see their chance. Eldorado lies before them. They are asked if they will make the coat for two shillings and sevenpence. The poor starving foreigners eagerly clutch at any chance. Who can blame _them_? No one. It is a struggle for life. Fair but false promises have brought them to these shores, to swell the sum of misery, already, Heaven knows, high enough! But still they come, keeping up a steady flow of suffering, and the Government makes no sign or move, though people who think are loudly clamouring, and asking, “How long shall such things be?”

* * * * *



SCENE–_A Hall devoted to MR. EDISON’s latest inventions. A Lecturer acting as Showman to a crowd of possible Customers._

_Lecturer_. And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I must ask you quickly to make a selection. We have here wires from all parts of the world–make your selection. Those who wish to see the kinetograph at work will please go within. Operas with scenery always on hand. Here we have only telephones.

_Mild Young Lady_. Oh, if you please, a friend of mine was married three weeks ago, and she and her husband are staying at the Grand Hotel, Paris. Might I hear what they are saying. Here’s their name.

_Lect._ (_taking card_). Nothing easier. (_Speaking through telephone._) Put us on to Grand Hotel, Paris, Room 1564. (_To Customer_.) A shilling please, Madam. Thank you, and here you are.

_Mild Y.L._ (_taking receivers_). Oh, thank you. (_She places them to her ears and then drops them hurriedly._) Oh dear me! She has kept him waiting, and he is using _such_ bad language! You ought to have told me.

_Lect._ We can’t guarantee language. Why, would you believe it, Madam, that sometimes we have complaints of things said in Norway! Pray Ladies and Gentlemen, make your selection. (_To Intelligent-looking Stranger._) Can I tempt you. Sir? They are playing a new piece at Chicago. It is excellent, I am told–a domestic comedy. Next week, if it’s successful, we shall produce it with scenery and effects on the kinetograph. Try it, Sir?

_Intelligent Stranger_. I don’t mind if I do, (_Raising receivers._) Call this a domestic comedy? Why I can hear firing!

_Lect._ Very strange, Sir. Nothing in the plot to account for it,

_Intell. Stran._ Stay, you say it’s in Chicago! I know what the firing means! They don’t like the piece, and they are shooting the Author!

_Lect._ Of course, Sir! (_To Small Boy._) And now my little man, what do _you_ want?

_Small Boy_. Please, Sir, I have got a shilling to spend in hearing something from somewhere all the world over.

_Lect._ (_producing programme_). Here is a list of our stations. You see we have wires laid on to all parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and America. Next Tuesday we shall be in communication with Australia. And now, what will you have?

_Small Boy_. I don’t know. Something exciting, please.

_Lect._ Well, you can hear, by taking these, a number of Astronomers discussing in Committee the transit of Venus. Or, if you listen to these, you will hear a chat about the floating of the next Russian loan, held in one of the centres of speculation, to wit, the Bourse at Vienna. Most interesting, I can assure you. Which will you have?

_Small Boy_. Oh, please, I don’t care for astronomy, and am too young to understand finance.

_Lect._ Now, here’s a Bull Fight–you can distinctly hear the shouts–and here’s a Chinese execution.

_Small Boy_. Oh, _that_ will be nice. Which shall I have?

_Lect._ Can’t say–you pay your money, and you take your choice! And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am ready for your commands.

[_Attends to other Customers as the Scene closes in. Curtain._

* * * * *


[“The idea of transporting the Coliseum at Rome to the shores of Lake Michigan has been broached in all seriousness. The American Syndicate who desire to make the Coliseum an attractive feature of the Chicago Exhibition, rely for success on the financial necessities of the Italian Government.”–_Daily Paper_.]




A Chicago Syndicate has asked me to mention that they want your Coliseum. What price do you ask? They would be glad of it for the World-Fair, which will be about the biggest thing ever seen on this planet. No trouble to you. _We_ take all risks!


Cannot discuss Coliseum subject till you’ve settled New Orleans lynching business in conformity with International Law.


All right. Thought you’d say that. Chicago Syndicate willing to meet your views about New Orleans. Do you want leading members of Grand Jury shipped quietly over to Italy, or what? Syndicate will do anything to oblige. Says it _must_ have Coliseum, especially by moonlight. Intends starting realistic scenes with Gladiators, Lions, and Christian Martyrs.


On reflection, afraid people here wouldn’t like it. Sorry to have to decline your offer.


_You_ want ready cash. _We_ want Coliseum. Why not strike bargain? Syndicate offers five million dollars. Useful for your next Budget. You can remit no end of taxes. People sure to like _that_.


Couldn’t let it go so cheap. Have you thought of Parthenon? Greek Government might part with it as a loan, on reasonable terms.


Thanks for suggesting Parthenon. Chicago Syndicate thinks it’s not good enough. Couldn’t bring in the Lions and Martyrs very well. Also Parthenon by moonlight not such a safe draw as Coliseum.


Might think of it if you increased offer to _ten_ million dollars, and would promise to return it within two years, in good repair, fair wear and tear alone excepted.


Syndicate says if they have to pay so much for Coliseum, _and_ return it, they must have remains of Forum thrown in.


Don’t think we could spare ruins of Forum. Have you thought of Vatican? We could easily spare _that_. Why not approach the POPE on the subject?


No, thanks! Sorry to have troubled you for nothing, but Syndicate has now arranged to build a Coliseum of its own, double the size of yours, and to reproduce Forum, Parthenon, Capitol, Vatican, as well as Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey, out of old brown paper, compressed and hardened by a new process. Ta-ta for present! Hope you’ll get over next Budget all right.

* * * * *


(_In Mrs. Talbot de Vere Skynflynte’s Drawing-Room, after one of her grand Dinner-Parties where nobody gets enough to eat._)


* * * * *


[“The uncertainty as to the course of business, justifies, to a certain extent, the criticisms of Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT and Mr. LABOUCHERE, upon the proceedings of the Government.”–_The Times_.]

_B-lf-r_. Humph! Shifting ground again! I did think we were in for a quiet swim and good sport.

“Oh! the jolly angler’s life
Is the beat of any!”

Yes, that’s all very fine, IZAAK. But it depends upon your pitch–and your companions. I say, G-SCH-N, what _are_ you up to? Don’t let the punt swing round like that, man, I was nearly over, and my tackle’s fouled.

_G-sch-n_ (_struggling with pole_). All very well for you to sit coolly there and criticise me, ARTHUR! _Wh-o-o-of!_ Confound the punt, it’s all over the place, and the stream’s like a mill-race.

_B-lf-r_. Well, hold on to the pole, JOKIM, or we shall be all adrift. We’d better have kept to our first pitch; it _was_ quiet there, and we hooked one or two sizeable ones. (_Aside._) Fact is, you’re such a fidget, you lose your fish, and then want to change the pitch.

_G-sch-n_ (_aside_). That’s right, grumble, grumble! Dawdling duffer, he sprawls across the well in one of his infernal aesthetic attitudes, picks the best swim, and girds at us who have to handle the poles. Wonder SM-TH stands it.

_Sm-th_ (_aside_). Well, it’s a good job I’m back in the punt. G-SCH-N may be all very well at a right-away race in a wager-boat, when the money’s on, and I’ve seen him do a decent bit of bank-fishing in a pegged-down match; but he _doesn’t_ shine as a punter, though he fancies himself a second ABEL BEASLEY. (_Aloud._) Hitch on that chain, JOKIM!

_G-sch-n_ (_blowing_). Hang it, I can’t.

[_Punt oscillates dangerously, nearly tipping over B-LF-R’s chair, and making his rod wobble._

_B-lf-r_. For Heaven’s sake, G-SCH-N, mind what you’re up to! My hook’s foul in a snag, and you’ve nearly snapped my top-joint.

_G-sch-n._ Well, wind up, then!

_B-lf-r_ (_muttering, and wrestling with his rod_). All very well, man, but I’ve got to get clear first. Keep her still a minute, do.

[_G-SCH-N “holds on” till he gets red in the face, whilst B-LF-R tugs at his tackle._

_Sm-th_ (_shoving strenuously_). My duty–to my–pals and punt–must be done–at any cost; but if this is–“the contemplative man’s recreation,”–give me a hammock at Greenlands! (_Puffs and blows. Aloud._) Are you all right, there, G-SCH-N?

_G-sch-n_ (_petulantly_). All right be blowed! What are _you_ up to?

_Sm-th_ (_mildly_). Trying to keep you straight, of course, my dear boy?

_G-sch-n_. Oh! I like _that_!

_B-lf-r_ (_working away at his winch_). Humph! We’ve stirred up a quiet swim, wasted a lot of ground-bait, lost several fish, and–now where are we?

_Sm-th_. Look out, G-SCH-N! We shall be foul of that awkward snag if we’re not careful! Let’s settle down here.

_G-sch-n_ (_stabbing wildly with his pole_). All very well–but I can’t find bottom that will hold. Shove, SM-TH, and keep your end up!

_Sm-th_. Just what I’m trying to do. [_Pushes gallantly._

_B-lf-r_. Nice chance for hooking ’em after this infernal stir-up! Take me half an hour to get my tackle out of tangle, and then it’ll be close on to shutting-up time. One big ‘un and two or three little ones not much to return with. Look at those impudent young rascals chyiking us from the banks! Oh, for heaven’s sake, you fellows, get her fixed!

_Sm-th_. Hear the weir roaring, G-SCH-N? We’re getting too near “Danger,” dear boy. That’s right, you’ve got ground there. Now, then hold her up! hold her up!

_G-sch-n_ (_a tip-toe, and at an angle_). Dash it, how she drags! I was all but over! Come up! There, SM-TH, shove her up sharp, or I shall be off, or lose the pole!

_Sm-th_ (_shoving his hardest_). All right! Shove it is!! Hold on, G-SCH-N,–_I’m_ here!!!

_Rude Boys_ (_from the bank_). Yah–Boo! Better git out and walk, and let _hus_ pole that punt for yer?

* * * * *

[Illustration: ALL ADRIFT!


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Dearest LENA,–We are now back from Herne Bay, where, staying at Mrs. —-‘s[1] Boarding House, we met some of the smartest people. If ever you visit this delightful watering-place, mind you look Mrs. —- up. She is a most charming creature, and the _poulet roti au sauce pain_ at the _table d’hote_, is simply charming. Her terms, considering the company you meet, are very reasonable. Now, I know you want to learn all about my new gowns. Well, the Pater insisted that I should send to the —- Clothing Company, of —-, for patterns. He says (dear old boy!) that we should “patronise British Industry.” I got, amongst other delightful notions, the cleverest idea possible in stripes, and intending to be very economical, bought a paper pattern from —- in —- Street. Well, I turned out, all by myself, a most stylish frock, which ISABELLE says suits me to the ground. But the task exhausted both my intelligence and industry. The rest of the materials I took to Madame —- of —- Street, and she is simply making them lovely! I think I told you that Madame —- is supplying most of the dresses that will be worn at JESSIE JONES’ (you know, the daughter of Lady JONES) wedding. Lady SMITH will look simply superb in rhubarb-tart satin, and the Countess of COLHOLEBOROUGH has a wonderful gown made of squash-beetled coloured velvet slashed with green, that is sure to be the talk of the Row until the end of the Season!

Of course, we have been to all the Private Views. We miss the Grosvenor very much, for the New is scarcely a substitute. However, I saw several smart people at the latter place–some of them ladies of title, my dear. At the door I found standing one of —-‘s, of —- Street, victorias. They are very nice, and, as they can be bought on the three years’ hire system, most convenient. The pictures at the Academy struck me as rather dull this year. Of course, everybody is much struck with Mr. FILDES’ “_Doctor_.” By the way, if the poor little patient is suffering from influenza (as I fancy he is), he would have obtained immediate relief by taking —-‘s —-. But leaving medical subjects out of the question, there are other gloomy pictures–besides patients, heaps of prisoners, and lots of paupers. Fortunately, most of these last are “skied,” which is a blessing! I hear that the Academicians have bought Mr. CALDERON’s picture out of the Chantrey Bequest. So selfish to deprive the public of the chance! However, as the subject is a little _risque_, perhaps it is just as well that it _should_ be buried in the Diploma Gallery.

The usual gaiety last week. Mrs. PARAGRAPH PRESSCUTTERBY gave a magnificent Ball at —- Square. The whole of the garden was covered in by Messrs. —-, of —- Street, and the massed Bands of the Cavalry Brigade at —- supplied the Music. The supper (furnished by Messrs. —-, of —- Street), was served in the Lawn Cricket Saloon, and the gigantic apartment was crammed the whole evening. I know you like recipes. I extract the following from —-‘s _Guide to Grub_, a capital _brochure_ published at a shilling.

“Pick, wash (in plenty of water), and drain 2 lbs. of crab-shells without bruising them. Pare and core some well shaped apples. When these are well heated, add the spinach. Cut into neat slices a dish of lamb’s fry, and fry it a nice brown in the bacon liquor. Boil all together till the syrup is reduced to half the quantity, then lay the lemon peel on the apples, and pour the syrup over them.”

It is a Russian dish, and is called Boeoesh. You must tell me what you think of it. Ever your most loving friend, SYLLIE.

[Footnote 1: Names and addresses of tradespeople, &c., editorially suppressed until arrangements have been completed in the Advertisement Department.]

* * * * *

[Illustration: “PEACE.”


(_Out of the Academy._)]

* * * * *


By sum strange cohincidence as I ain’t the least abel to account for, the annual buthday of my much better half fell this year on the grate Darby Day! and so we both agreed as weed have one more jolly happy day together, ewen if so be as we never had another. So off I sets, and I takes two box seats houtside a homnibus and four spanking Bays, I think they calls ’em, coz they was such a butiful dark brown colour, and for which I paid no less than 12s. 6d. a peace, and with our pockets pretty well stuffed full of sanwiches, and jest a nice little flarsk of summut nice, never mind what, off we sets for the City at nine a clock, hay hem, and at nine forty by the church clock off we starts on our perrylus journey, reddy, as the Poet says, to dash through thick and thin.

As it appened it was fortunet as we was so prepared, for, strange to say, we hadn’t got so werry far from Lundon Bridge, when, by sum mistake of the Clark of the whether, as our jolly Coachman told us, it began for to rain, but he said as how as he knowd as much about the Darby wether as most men, as he’d driven there about twenty times in the larst duzzen years, and what we was a having was ony a parsing shower. How it was I coudnt quite undustand, for whether we druv fast or whether we druv slow, doose a bit coud we get away from that parsing shower. However, tho’ we did both get jolly wet, we had sum capital fun, for we seed no less than too coaches and four upset in the road, and to see the poor passengers all a standing in the mud, which it was about amost up to their nees, and a wundering what time they shood get to the Darby, was more than enuff to console us, and we all larfed artily and left ’em. Such is human Natur!

Before we both got quite wet through, I got my best beloved a seat inside, and, strange to say, although she was werry much scrowged, she axshally prefurrd it to setting out in the rain along of me. It may have bin thorts of her new Bonnet. Such agane is human Natur! Luckily, jest after she left me, one of our wheels sunk down in a werry deep ole, and all on us on my side had to get down into the fearful mud, and wait till our gallant steeds pulled it out again, and, unluckily, the one as pulled hardest, let his foot slip, and sent a reglar shower of whity-brown mud all over me from top to toe, or rayther, from At to Boots, and I was in that orful state that all our set, Coachman and all, acshally roared with larfter. Such again, I fears, is human Nature!

When we got to the Darby, in course our fust thort was lunch, but afore I coud get beyond laying the cloth, there came such a reglar buster of an ail storm that we was all drove hunder the homnibus for shelter, and when it leaved off, and I went on the roof, the table cloth was about three inches thick with round ale stones! Ah, that was a difficult lunch that was, and beat all my xperience in that line.

I didn’t see much of the race, I didn’t, for as it pored in torrents all the time, I had to seek for a shelter, and under a omnibus is not a werry favrabel place to get a good view of a horse-race, but ewery body seemed to speak of it as a werry common one, whatever that may mean. However we was hamply reckompensed by the most wunderful site as praps was hever seen in the shape of humberellers. Heverybody had one, and heverybody put it hup, so, as my better harf poetically expressed it, it was xacly like a most butiful field of henormous mushrooms a hopening out theirselves to the morning hair!

We was remarkably fortnate in cumming back, as it didn’t rain near so much as it did in the morning, and quite left off jest as we got home. My sweet darling didn’t grumbel a bit at me for giving her such a reglar damper for her birthday, but the werry larst thing as she did say that night was, “Thank you, ROBERT dear, for your little holliday, but I think that we won’t spend my next buthday at the Darby!”


* * * * *


(_If Delegates from everywhere are allowed to appear there, and air their grievances._)]

* * * * *



[“It is stated that a Syndicate of American Capitalists has been formed with the object of purchasing the remains of the Coliseum at Rome, and transporting them to Chicago.”]



Type of wolf-nurtured Rome! Rich reliquary Of splendour (and of slaughter) left to Time, By centuries of ante-Yankee pomp!
At length–at length–after so many days, Of ruined majesty, and rotting pride
(Pride which Chicago will transmute to dollars), There is a chance for you, a right smart chance, Of turning to some profitable end
Thy size, thine age, thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!


Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld! Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night! Where are ye now? POE said _he_ felt your strength, But POE was but a poet. Better far
Be turned to “bizness” in a dime Museum, Or trotted out, for cents, at the World’s Fair Than rot away beneath Rome’s ruddy stars!


Here a smart Syndicate shall set you up, Here, where we slaughter swine as Rome did slaves, (A sanguine carnival of sausage-meat),
Here, where Chicago belles their braided hair Pile in Greek knots,–to gaze on brawn and gristle! Here, where in gilded cars the pork-kings loll, Driven Mammon-like unto their marble homes, Lit by the wan light of the electric arc, Swift-wheeled and silent-tyred o’er wood or stone.


You’ll _pay_! These walls–these ivy-clad arcades– These mouldering plinths–these sad and blackened shafts– These vague entablatures–this wreck–this ruin– Are worth the carriage o’er the Atlantic foam, And the tall price that Italy will ask,– _If_ she should cell you to Porkopolis!


“No fear!”–Bourse Echoes answer me–“_no_ fear!” Italy is hard up, her bare Exchequer
Forebodes financial ruin to her realm. We many-dollared Syndicates rule all.
We rule the hearts of Ministers–we rule With a despotic sway ambitious minds;
We are omnipotent. Shall pallid stones Contend for power with us?–shall antique fame, Or mere word-wizardry of old renown,
Match the gold-magic that encircles _us_, “Rings,” “Corners,” “Syndicates”? Ridiculous! Not all the mysteries that hang upon
Old Edax Rerum like a wizard’s garment, May match that Master-Mage–the Almighty Dollar!!

* * * * *


You may remember that last week, just before the Derby, I furnished you with a prophecy. So that there might be no doubt about it, I named the absolute First, Second, and Third. Said I (page 255), “We may take it that the winner will be found out of the _Common_.” But this was not enough. That all should secure One, Two, and Three, I wrote, “Well might FRANCOIS PREMIER have observed (as I do), ‘Bravo, _Gouverneur_!'” implying that the French horse was certain of a place. But I went further still; I gave the Third. I carefully introduced in my short article the name of every probable starter, save _Martenhurst_, who consequently became “the Field.” And what did I say of the Field? Why, “This year’s Derby will be won by one of two. It will either fall to the Favourite or the Field.” Surely this was good enough to point out No. 3? Cheques from grateful backers may be sent to 85, Fleet Street, addressed to THE ODD MAN OUT.

* * * * *

SAM WELLER ON “THE MELINITE DISCLOSURES.”–“This here’s the bold Tur_pin_.”

* * * * *




* * * * *



_House of Commons, Monday Night, May 25_.–Members coming back in slightly increased numbers. HARCOURT returned from his wandering to and fro. AKERS-DOUGLAS back after his influenza experience; presently coming up to “tell” in a division, is welcomed by a cheer that rises as heartily from Opposition Benches as from Ministerial ranks. JACKSON also back out of the Shadowed Valley; GORST, in his place again, sprinkles fine pinches of sublimated cayenne pepper upon CRAWFORD and others who want to know about Manipur.

[Illustration: Back View of a Ruthless Tyrant.]

But though various benches filled up with familiar figures, Members look round in vain for one; finding it not, will not be comforted. Where is OLD MORALITY? Last time he was seen was on the Thursday preceding the holidays. He had come back newly elected for the Strand; took part in business of sitting; just before dinner Members had watched his lithe figure disappearing towards the doorway, and he had been seen no more. House had met again on the following night; had adjourned for the truncated holiday; had met again; and still OLD MORALITY’s seat was vacant, and there dwelt in the fond memory only that parting back view.

JOKIM occupying, but not filling, OLD MORALITY’s seat, wanted to talk about various things; but ever the conversation came back to the theme that filled all thoughts. HARCOURT wanted to know about fixing the day for debate on Manipur; HENRY FOWLER hankered after an understanding about the Factory and Workshops Bill. Everybody but JEMMY LOWTHER wanted to know about the Education Bill; TIM HEALY was curious to learn what course would be taken with respect to DE COBAIN. The answer was ever the same. “The House,” said JOKIM, nervously rubbing his hands, “must await the return of my Right Hon. friend, which we expect will be celebrated on Wednesday.”

“Well,” said HARCOURT, in one of his stage asides, “this is a revelation indeed. Always thought OLD MORALITY was an easy-going gentleman, deferential in manner, unassertive in action. It seems he’s a regular tyrant, a sort of unapproachable Padishah. In his bosom are looked all the secrets of State, all the purposes of the Ministry. He takes no one into his confidence, but broods over the destinies of the Empire in the haughty solitude of the watch-tower at Walmer. When he goes away for short holiday, public business entirely dislocated. No one can say or do anything except hoarsely whisper his name. JOKIM lives in a state of terror, and even the martial spirit of GEORGE HAMILTON cowers in recollecting his presence. Only shows how prone humanity is to error. We and the Public generally have created for ourselves an OLD MORALITY, a genial, beaming, modest, unobtrusive personality, always ready to oblige, desirous of meeting the views of Members in all parts of the House, anxious only to do his duty to his QUEEN and Country. Whereas it is clear he is a martinet of the severest type, a ruthless tyrant, a man who rules with a rod of iron, and keeps his followers in a condition of abject personal terror.”

_Business done._–Vote on Account taken. Incidentally, OLD MORALITY’s character brought out in its true light.

_Tuesday._–AMURATH to AMURATH succeeds. We had a Lord ELCHO, and, thank Heaven! we have one still–not exactly the same, but curiously reminiscent in voice and gesture. This succession of son to sire is one of the happiest arrangements of the British Constitution, one most promising for its maintenance and prosperity. If the House of Lords, peremptorily and selfishly, appropriated our ELCHOS and our GATHORNE HARDYS, turning them into Earl of WEMYSS, and Viscount CRANBROOK, leaving us no substitute or compensation, that long-threatened institution would be finally doomed. But, by beneficent arrangement, when ELCHO and GATHORNE HARDY fared forth, the one to become Earl of WEMYSS, and the other Lord CRANBROOK, behold! there step into their places other, and younger men, bearing the old name.

[Illustration: After the Adjournment.]

Thus is the wind tempered to the shorn lamb. The system works beneficently in two ways. Like the quality of mercy, it is not strained. It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes. The House of Lords is strengthened by the new recruits, and we still have our ELCHO to make jokes, and our HARDY to preach sermons.

Listening to ELCHO, jauntily moving adjournment over Derby Day, I say all this to the SAGE of QUEEN ANNE’S GATE, who shortly replies, “Fudge!” Remark does not seem consequential; not at all sure that it is Parliamentary.

Long debate on Budget Bill; HARCOURT discourses at large on JOKIM’s finance. JOKIM sits listening with amused air. Life is on the whole to him a serious thing. But there is one episode that suffuses it with a gleam of humour; that is to hear HARCOURT talking Finance. “One of the very few things,” JOKIM says, “of which he knows absolutely nothing.” Now J.A. PICTON, on the contrary, thinks a good deal of HARCOURT’s aptitude for finance, and when JOKIM had girded at him for the space of half an hour, the SQUIRE OF MILWOOD had the satisfaction of hearing JULIUS ‘ANNIBAL PICTON publicly describe his criticism as “a most formidable attack on the financial scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

_Business done._–House agrees to make holiday on the Derby Day.

_Thursday._–OLD MORALITY back to-night; everyone glad to see him; with trumpets also and shawms would we have greeted him, but SPEAKER ruled proposed demonstration out of order; so only cheered. With exception of slight Italian accent (particularly noticeable in his pronunciation of the word “Newfoundland”) he’s just the same. Before sitting far advanced, wished he had lingered for another twenty-four hours on the waters of the tideless sea.

Newfoundland Fishery Question on; the delegates to be heard at Bar. Members, eager as school-boys for new sensation, crowded the Benches, in expectation of half an hour’s amusement. OLD MORALITY, fresh from Cabinet Council, knew that hope would be disappointed. Government had decided to accept compromise proffered by Newfoundland Legislature; consequently Sir WILLIAM VALLANCE WHITEWAY, K.C.M.G., would not appear at the Bar.

It is Old MORALITY’s little way to put on appearance, in whatever startling development of affairs, as if what was happening was exactly what had been expected. To-night, at end of questions, he quite casually mentions settlement arrived at, and proposes that without debate Second Reading of Newfoundland Fisheries Bill shall be taken. “A mere form, you know,” he said, nodding in friendly fashion across the table at HARCOURT. “Everything is amicably settled; we certainly won’t mention Bill again for three weeks, and then only to withdraw it. Let us read it now a second time just for the fun of the thing.”

[Illustration: Gone Over to the Majority.]

Crowded House sat for a moment in gloomy disappointment, irresponsive to the cheerful presence of Old MORALITY, who succeeded in looking as if he had said something which, though of no serious importance, was calculated to be generally acceptable. Actual position was something akin to what used to happen in St. James’s Hall when Manager came forward to announce that, owing to sudden cold, Mr. SIMS REEVES would not be able to sing. Members glared round as if they were going to ask for their money back; increasingly aggravating to have OLD MORALITY still nodding and smiling on Treasury Bench. If he thought they were going to be put off in that way, should learn he was mistaken; so Debate raged over three hours, at end of which, OLD MORALITY, swearing he would ne’er consent to adjournment of Debate, consented.

Just now, AKERS-DOUGLAS moved Writ for New Election in the City, and for the moment Members turned from Newfoundland to think kindly of genial, hearty, honest “YAH! YAH!” gone over to the majority.

_Business done._–Newfoundland Fisheries Bill shelved.

_Friday._–JOKIM had another tumble. Came down with light heart at Morning Sitting, proposing to run Budget Bill through Committee. HENRY FOWLER, certainly not an obstructive party, objected, on constitutional ground, that CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUER was asking House to propose taxation for purposes not yet defined, “Give us your Education Bill first,” said FOWLER, “and then we’ll vote the Budget that provides ways and means. No Education Bill, no Budget.”

Argument irresistible. JOKIM meekly withdrew, and House took up other business.

This continuous blundering not cheerful for Ministers; wonderful how AKERS-DOUGLAS bears up; more than usually beaming to-night. Don’t understand till _Gazette_ comes out, when, looking down Birthday List, find they’ve made him a Privy Councillor.

“My Right Hon. friend, if I may call him so,” says the MEMBER for SARK, “richly deserves the honour. I’ve known a good many Whips in my time, but I never came across one who did equally effective work with less friction, than does the Right Hon. ARETAS AKERS-DOUGLAS.”

A.A. DOUGLAS is of course a mistake; his real initials are A1 DOUGLAS.

_Business done._–In Committee of Supply.

* * * * *


MY DEAR BARON,–Let me recommend to your favourable notice, and to that of your readers, “_Stories told at Twilight_,” by Mrs. CHANDLER MOULTON, the American poetess, who has demonstrated how deftly she can touch the lyre, and shows what a clever storyteller she can be. These are not ghost-stories as one might imagine, but tales for children, told with so much grace and feeling that they will also secure a large audience among children of a larger growth.

Also look at _Old Time Punishments_, by Mr. WILLIAM ANDREWS, who gives an exhaustive account of ancient punishments, copiously illustrated, and so graphically described, that he makes us congratulate ourselves in not having flourished in the olden times, or we might have become practical illustrations of the discipline of our forefathers. How are you getting along with GEORGE MEREDITH’s _One of Our Conquerors_?



_Reply from Baron de B.-W._–Mislaid “The GEO. M.’s” first volume of _One of Our Conquerors_ just when I had reached the middle of it, and the story was beginning. Most unfortunate. Must advertise for it.


* * * * *

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.