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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, April 29, 1893
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, April 29, 1893" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOLUME 104, APRIL 29TH 1893

edited by Sir Francis Burnand



[Illustration: WHAT OUR ARTIST (THE VERY SHY ONE) HAS TO PUT UP WITH.

_Affable Stranger._ "ULLO, MISTER, THERE YOU ARE! I SAY, THAT _WAS_ A
RACY BIT YOU GAVE US LAST WEEK, ABOUT THE 'CAT AND THE FIDDLE'! QUITE
IN YOUR OLD FORM, EH!"

[_Digs him in the ribs with his Umbrella._

_Our Artist._ "YOU'RE VERY KIND, BUT--A--I--A--I FEAR I HAVEN'T THE
PLEASURE OF YOUR ACQUAINTANCE--A----"

_Affable Stranger._ "HOITY-TOITY ME! HOW PROUD WE ARE THIS MORNING!"
[_Gives him another dig, and exit._]

       *       *       *       *       *

STRAY THOUGHTS ON PLAY-WRITING.

_From the Common-place Book of The O'Wilde._--The play? Oh, the play
be zephyr'd! The play is not the thing. In other words, the play is
nothing. Point is to prepare immense assortment of entirely irrelevant
epigrams. "Epigram, my dear Duke, is the refuge of the dullard, who
imagines that he obtains truth by inverting a truism." That sounds
well; must lay it by for use. Take "Virtue," for instance. "Virtue"
offers a fine field for paradox, brought strictly up to date. Must jot
down stray thoughts. (Good idea in the expression "Stray Thoughts."
Will think over it, and work it up either for impromptu or future
play.) Here are a few examples:--

(1) Be virtuous, and you will be a County Councillor.

(2) Nothing is so dull as a life of virtue--except a career of vice.

(3) "Virtue, my dear Lady CHILLINGHAM, is the weakness of the masses,
acting under the force of their circumstances."

(4) Virtue, no doubt, is a necessity; but, to be necessary, is the
first step to abolition.

(5) If you wish to become virtuous, you have only to be found out.

(6) There is nothing a man resents so much as the imputation of
virtue.

(7) Virtue, my dear HORACE, is a quality we inculcate upon our wives
mainly by a lack of example.

(8) I want to be rich merely in order to have the chance of overcoming
the difficulties in the way of being virtuous. Virtue on a pound a
week is so easy as to repel all but the indolent and worthless.

So much for Virtue. Repentance may be treated according to the same
formula.

(1) My dear boy, never repent. Repentance leads inevitably to
repetition.

(2) Repentance is like a secret. If you keep it to yourself it loses
all interest. Nobody can repent on a desert island.

(3) To repent is to have been unsuccessful.

(4) Not to be repentant is never to have enjoyed.

(5) Repentance in a man means nothing more than an intention to
change his methods; in a woman it is a last tribute to an expiring
reputation.

Having finished these examples, I will put down a few notions for
general use.

(1) Necessity knows no law, and therefore has to learn.

(2) Everything comes to the man who is waited upon.

(3) The later the bird the better for the worm.

(4) It is never too late to--dine.

There you have the whole secret. Be fearfully cynical, dreadfully
bold, delightfully wicked, and carefully unconventional; let paradox
and epigram flow in copious streams from your pen. Throw in a few
aristocrats with a plentiful flavouring of vices novelistically
associated with wicked Baronets. Add an occasional smoking-room--
(_Mem._ "Everything ends in smoke, my dear boy, except the cigars of
our host." Use this when host is a _parvenu_ unacquainted with the
mysteries of brands)--shred into the mixture a wronged woman, a dull
wife, and, if possible, one well tried and tested "situation," then
set the whole to simmer for three hours at the Haymarket. The result
will be---- But to predict a result is to prophesy, and to prophesy
is to know. (N.B.--Work up this rough material. It will come right,
and sound well when polished up.)

       *       *       *       *       *

BY GEORGE!

A Correspondent of the _Daily Telegraph_ suggests that, as the Scotch
keep up St. Andrew's Day, and the Irish St. Patrick's, the English
should also have a national _fête_ on St. George's Day, the 23rd of
April. Why not have the 23rd as St. George's Day, and the 24th as the
Dragon's Day? We ought to "Remember the Dragon"--say, by depositing
wreaths before the Temple Bar specimen. A Dragon's Day would be a
most useful National Institution. The object would not be to exalt
the beast, but to celebrate our own (and GEORGE'S) triumph over it.
Everybody has his own private Dragon, and some people have public ones
as well. For example, Sir WILFRED LAWSON, in laying down his wreath,
would be commemorating the introduction of the Veto Bill; Mr.
GLADSTONE would be slaying (in spirit) the Leader of the Opposition
in the House of Lords, who is evidently the "Dragon of the Prime
(Minister)" referred to by TENNYSON; Lord CRANBORNE would be Mr.
DAVITT'S Dragon, and so on. The fun would be that nobody would
be expected to say _what_ Dragon he meant. If a law were passed
establishing such a festivity, perhaps it would be denounced as "too
Dragonic"!

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

[Illustration: Going to the Booking-Office.]

Poet WILLIAM WATSON'S _Excursions in Criticism_ are cheap Excursions.
He himself describes them as "Prose Recreations of a Rhymer." "Prosy"
would have been the truer epithet. The meeting of an Interviewer
with Dr. JOHNSON is the best, and it is also the last. Poet WATSON'S
criticism of _Tess of the D'Urbevilles_, his Essay on IBSEN'S Plays,
and another on GEORGE MEREDITH, may have been recreations to the
writer, but, like most of the other papers in this volume, they will
never be so considered by the lightheaded and unbiassed reader. What
is recreation to WILLIAM WATSON is boredom to the Baron, and, as the
latter is inclined to think, to the majority of such of the public as
may attempt the perusal of W. W.'s recreations. Let W. W. make no
more cheap excursions in criticism,--excepting, of course, for his own
private amusement, with which no one has a right to interfere,--but
let him "thank the gods he is poetical," and so let him remain. His
second best Essay, is on _The Punishment of Genius_, in which he
advocates the post-mortem destruction of every scrap of composition,
which its author had never intended for the public eye.

       *       *       *       *       *

"We've had no rain to speak of for some weeks," observed Mrs. R.;
"and, if this goes on, I heard some scientific gentlemen say, the
other day, we ought to have the land irritated by hydras."

       *       *       *       *       *

MELANCHOLIA.

(_Modern French Version: After the celebrated Picture "Melencolia" by
Albert Dürer._)

[Illustration]

  An enigmatic picture! Yet, indeed,
  In current Gallic light not hard to read.
  Woman, with angel-wings, and mournful face,
  What are the plans those listless fingers trace?
  What are the visions those fixed eyes survey?
  The War-dog fierce lies couchant in your way.
  The instruments of Art are scattered round.
  Mistress of charm in form, in tint, in sound,
  Of engineering might, mechanic skill,
  That checks your genius, and what thwarts your will?
  Winged Wit is at your side, your cherished guest,
  Who quits you never on an alien quest.
  But what that mystic prism shadows forth
  Hath menace which auxiliar from the North
  May scarce avert. The scales of Justice tilt
  Something askew. The curse of high-placed guilt
  Is on you, if the warning tocsin's knell,
  Clanging forth fiercely, hath not force to tell
  The hearer that Fate's hourglass fast runs out.
  That spectral Comet flames, beset about
  With miasmatic mist, and lurid fume,
  Conquering Corruption threatens hideous doom.
  Yet, yet the Bow of Promise gleams above,
  Herald of Hope to her whom all men mark and love!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SOLE INHABITANT.

_Fishing Club Keeper (to New Member)._ "'XCUSE ME, SIR, BUT, BEIN' A
STRANGER, SO TO SPEAK; MAYHAP YER MAYN'T HA' NOTICED AS HOW THIS HERE
LITTLE BIT BE PRIVATE WATER."

_Mr. O'Bulligan (who has had bad sport)._ "SHURE PRIVATE IS IT YE SAY,
RODGERS? FAITH AN' I'M THINKIN' THE WHOLE STRAME'S PRETTY PRIVATE, FOR
DEVIL A FISH IS THERE IN IT AT ALL AT ALL, 'CEPT WAN, AN' HE'S IN MY
BASKET!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

CREDIT WITHOUT CASH.

The Hon. CROESUS CASH was greatly annoyed that so many people should
have been admitted to his library. He bitterly reproached his valet
for this dereliction of duty.

"Beg your pardon, Sir," said his servant, "but they _would_ come in.
They said they must see you--that their lives depended on it."

"What have I to do with their lives?" growled the Hon. CROESUS. And
then he added, as he entered his sanctum, "Now, Ladies and Gentlemen,
what do you want? My time's precious, and I can't waste it upon
strangers."

"My dear Sir, my very dear Sir," cried in trembling accents an old
parson in a thread-bare coat, "I have a wife and family, and we are
really starving."

"Ditto, Sir, ditto!" observed an elderly soldier who had evidently
been an officer.

"And I am a widow, and must bring my poor children home from school,
as I can no longer afford the expense of their education," so said an
elderly dame in shabby mourning.

"But how can I help you?" asked the Hon. CROESUS. "What has brought
you to this pass?"

"Why, you, Sir," returned the ex-officer. "You, Sir!"

"Come," said the Hon. CROESUS, waxing angry, "I advise you to be
careful of the provisions of the Libel and Slander Act. You accuse me
of bringing you to poverty! Why, I have never seen any of you in my
life--never even heard of you!"

"But we have heard of you," they cried. "Yes, we have."

"We are all shareholders in the Bubble Babble Syndicate, Limited,"
explained the parson, tearfully, "and we have consequently lost every
thing we had in the world."

"But what have I to do with it?" again asked the Hon. CROESUS. "Very
sorry to hear of your misfortunes, but I don't see how _I_ come in."

"Why you, Sir," exclaimed the ex-officer; "you, Sir, were one of the
officials!"

"Pardon me, Sir, I was nothing of the sort. I have nothing whatever to
do with the Syndicate. I was merely a Director."

And when the defrauded shareholders found out that he was only _that_,
they went away complaining, but convinced they would be afforded by
him no relief. And they were right, for the Hon. CROESUS (who was
old-fashioned in his ways) acted strictly according to precedent.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PRIVATE VIEW.

(_By a Visitor, Small but not Early._)

  Irony about this View
  Is, I fear, more true than new,
    Still the crowd's a great 'un;
  Heads and bodies hide from me
  Pictures that I wish to see;
    Smooth, fair maids by LEIGHTON;

  If I seek a work by WELLS,
  Can I see through _beaux_ and _belles?_
    I can but survey 'em.
  Hid the masterpiece of BROCK
  By some girl's wide-shouldered frock,
    So the bulls of GRAHAM.

  If my eyes seek breezy HOOKS,
  Hooks and eyes obstruct my looks;
    Pity me, dear reader!
  Cobalt Cornish seas by BRETT
  Hid by _chignons_ in a net,
    Likewise views by LEADER!

  See, instead of groups by CROWE,
  Coats, black like him, in a row;
    Also, quite as thick, see
  Backs, not sculptured ones by BATES,
  Hide the pretty pinkish pates
    Done to death by DICKSEE!

  If I strive to see a SANT,
  My large neighbours make me pant,
    For they push so coarsely;
  Or the evergreens of STONE,
  Then they nip my funnybone;
    And I lose what HORSLEY

  Drapes so decently--the MARKS
  Are on me; these tall young sparks
    Squeeze enough to kill a
  Little man, who sees no WATTS
  Past their lofty chimney-pots,
    Nor a single MILLAIS.

       *       *       *       *       *

GOOD START FOR THE ACADEMICAL YEAR.--Mr. STANHOPE FORBES, A.R.A., is
a clever Painter, as everyone knows, but he is cleverer than was
thought, as he has sold his Academy Picture to the Manchester
Corporation for 1,200 guineas. STANHOPE FORBES will change his name to
STAN'UP-FOR-YOUR-PRICE FORBES, A.R.A.

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM ONE OF THE WISE MEN IN THE EAST.--A traveller, doing a walking
tour in Egypt, from Cairo and back again, describes himself as a
"Cairopedist," and adds that it's just the place for Members of that
profession to prosper, as "Corn in Egypt" is proverbial.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PREMIER AT THE HAYMARKET LAST WEDNESDAY.--This does not mean that
Mr. GLADSTONE visited this theatre, but simply that Mr. TREE produced
a new piece, written by the O'WILDE. "Whatever be its merit or want of
merit," says JOSEPH MILLER, Q.C., "WILDE can't be tame."

       *       *       *       *       *

A LIEN ON THE LEA.

AIR--"_The Bells of Shandon._"

    ["Mr. PEMBER, Q.C., before the Committee of the County Council
    General Powers Bill, put in a claim, on behalf of the New
    River and other Companies, that the water of the River Lea is
    the absolute property of the Companies!"

    _Daily Chronicle._]

  _Is_ it, by thunder?
  With solemn wonder
  I'll often think of
    That sounding claim;
  And oft remember
  How Mister PEMBER
  (_He_'s a "hot member"!)
    Put in the same.

  On this I ponder:
  Where'er I wander,
  "From here to yonder,"
    I'm sure to see,
  Whate'er I stand on,
  Wealth lays its hand on,
  As on the water
    Of the River Lea.

  I've had _one_ mouthful.
  But, though of drouth full,
  I trust I'll never
    Another swallow.
  I've tried the tide
  Of Thames, Medway, Clyde,
  But unstrained Lea-water,
    It licks 'em hollow.

  I know that river
  Set me a-shiver,
  Upset my liver,
    And made me ill,
  When, on it punting,
  Some cads, sport-hunting,
  Driving into me,
    Gave me a spill.

  My memory, dwelling
  On that ill-smelling
  And muddy throatful
    Revolts. Ah me!
  That awful vision!
  That dread collision
  With the rowdy boatful
    On the River Lea!

  But, goodness gracious!
  If river spacious
  By Co.'s owdacious,
    Can thus be claimed,
  I have a notion
  The wide blue ocean
  As "absolute property"
    May soon be named.

  Who need be caring
  For the Sea of Behring?
  We shall have them sharing
    The broad Atlantic.
  Whilst the Bay of Biscay
  (Like a keg of whiskey)
  Will be shared and lotted
    By financiers frantic!

  O sublime monopolist,
  You're truly top o' list!
  Where _will_ you stop? Oh, list,
    One word from me!
  _Too_ big claims abandon.
  You may lay your hand on
  The unpleasant waters
    Of the muddy Lea,

  But in every quarter
  Of Earth, Air, Water,
  If _too_ strong you "come it"
    (As you seem inclined),
  There will be a shindy;
  And you'll find it--windy
  Upon "Proputty's" summit,
    If you do not mind.

  On that peak you'd plant 'em,
  Your claws, bold Bantam,
  But I spy a phantom
    Which you may not see,
  Which may scare you slightly,
  Should you grip _too_ tightly
  The unpleasant waters
    Of the River Lea!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _James._ "YOU'LL EXCUSE ME, SIR, BUT I WISHED TO HASK
YOU IF YOU COULD SPARE ME FOR A HOUR OR TWO TO-MORRER MORNIN'?"

_Employer._ "WHAT'S IT FOR, JAMES?"

_James._ "WELL, SIR, I WISH TO CONSULT A DENTIS', I 'AVE A 'OLLOW
TOOTH 'ERE, WHICH GIVES ME HAWFUL PAIN; AN' IT'S ONLY WITH GREAT
HEFFORT THAT I CAN MANAGE TO _DOMESTICATE_ MY FOOD!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

TOO BAD TO BE TRUE.

At a meeting of the London Diocesan Conference, a Reverend gentleman
is reported to have declared his belief that, "for one man drawn from
the Public-house by the opening of the Museums on Sunday, there
were ten persons drawn from their attendance at Church!" _Mr. Punch_
fancies these are rather supposititious statistics. Does the Reverend
gentleman quite see what his hasty statement involves? How slight
must be the attractions of Church--_his_ Church at least--to a large
proportion even of those who _do_ now attend? Rivalry between Museum
and Gin-palace one can contemplate hopefully. But if the real rivalry
is to be between Museum and Church, with such results as this rather
pessimistic parson predicts, the look-out seems rather dismal--for the
Church! Surely this is the highest compliment to secular attractions
ever paid by a cleric! _Mr. Punch_ hopes--and believes--it is as
ill-deserved as high.

       *       *       *       *       *

SPORTING ANSWERS.

POULTRY.

QUACK.--The game of Ducks and Drakes was played originally by
NOAH, after the subsidence of the Flood. We hear of it again in the
Chronicles of CORNELIUS LONGIBOVUS MENDAX, who relates that it solaced
the last hours of ARTAXERXES when he lay on his death-bed in the
desert of Sahara, and called in vain for his third wife, PSAMMETICA,
who was at that moment gathering mushrooms in the garden of the Royal
Palace at Persepolis.

CHAFF-CUTTER.--To make Dodo's eggs, take a solution of _ext. turp.
rutifolia_, and boil for two hours. Then simmer on a slow fire, add
two pinches of salt, and the hard part of a bullock's hide. Pass
through a common sieve, and hatch out under a tame Pterodactyl.

GARDEN.--VENDITUS ITERUM.--The bark of the dog-rose is naturally worse
than the Bight of Benin. The one you sent us had no dew-claws. Quite
right; it has had its day. So has Martin.

       *       *       *       *       *

"ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE."

[Illustration]

Under this heading the _Times_, some days ago, informed us that
a certain set of Oxford Dons had met together in order to make
arrangements for the establishment in the University of a couple of
first-class Evangelical Clergymen, possessing "special gifts," to
whom such Undergraduates as might be piously inclined could go for
instruction and good counsel. It was stated, in their sketch of a
prospectus of this scheme, that these two grave and reverend Gentlemen
are to be "accessible at all times." This is excellent. Also, "they
will be given to hospitality," which is still more excellent, and let
us hope that, in return, hospitality will be given to _them_. But it
is difficult to combine "accessibility at all times" with perpetual
festivities. For how would it suit either of these well-intentioned
Clergymen, after the hospitalities of an ordinary day, commencing
with University Breakfast, going on to University Lunch, thence
to University Tea, then dinner, wine, and, finally, supper, to be
accessible to anyone who chose to ring them up during the small
hours to ask for "counsel and advice so judicious and so sound"?
Very "special" indeed would have to be the "gifts" of the two
always-hospitable and ever-accessible Clergymen, who would undertake
the mission; and, among their most essential special qualifications,
would have to be, first, the capacity for taking any amount of
everything without being in the least the worse for it, and, secondly,
the capacity of perpetual wakefulness and clear-headedness, without
the extraneous and artificial application of wet towels round the
head. Men with such special gifts are, indeed, rare; nay, they are
demi-gods. But, if such men are to be found, no matter at what cost,
we sincerely wish they (the originators of this scheme) may get them.

       *       *       *       *       *

MIXED NOTIONS.

No. IX.--PARISH COUNCILS.

(_Scene and Persons as usual._)

_Inquirer_ (_to himself, as he reads his paper_). Well, I'm dashed!
What the blue blazes does all this stuff mean?

_First Well-informed Man_ (_to_ Second W. I. M., _in a tone of pitying
good-humour, mixed with conscious superiority_). He's got started on
his usual morning puzzle.

_Inquirer_ (_with asperity_). Oh, it's all very well for you two chaps
to sneer. You're both older than I am, and, as you've been about more,
you ought to know more. Anyhow, I like to find out about things, and,
when I don't know, I ask those who do.

_First W. I. M._ (_not unkindly_). Well, well, never mind all that.
You know I don't mind telling you anything. I really didn't mean to
sneer. What's your difficulty?

_Inquirer._ It's all about this Parish Councils Bill.

_First W. I. M._ What about it?

_Inquirer_ (_hopelessly_). What does it mean? What _is_ a Parish
Councils Bill?

_First W. I. M._ Oh, well, you know, a Parish Councils Bill
is----well, it's a Bill for giving Parish Councils.

_Inquirer._ Yes--but whom are they going to give them to?

_First W. I. M._ Why, to the Parishes, of course.

_Inquirer._ Ah! (_Continues reading. A puzzled frown settles on his
face._) But why can't the Parishes make their own Councils, without
all this fuss in Parliament? Couldn't every Parish simply say, "I'm
going to have a Council," and just start it straight away?

_First W. I. M._ My dear fellow, you know nothing can be done without
an Act of Parliament.

_Inquirer._ But they call this a Bill, not an Act.

_First W. I. M._ It's only another way of saying the same thing. A
Bill or an Act--it's all one.

_Second W. I. M._ No, it isn't.

_First W. I. M._ I'll lay you a couter it is.

_Second W. I. M._ Done!

_First W. I. M._ Well, what do _you_ (_withering emphasis_) say is the
difference?

_Second W. I. M._ When the House of Commons brings anything in, it's a
Bill, and when the House of Lords does it, it's an Act. Pay up!

_First W. I. M._ Not I. That's precisely what I meant, only you
wouldn't give me time to say it. Why, that's the A B C of politics.

_Second W. I. M._ Seems to take a lot of learning, anyway.

[_A pause._

_Inquirer_ (_returning to his point_). But look here. What have they
brought the Parish Councils Bill in for? I thought we'd all got County
Councils all over the place.

_First W. I. M._ (_slapping him warmly on the back_). My dear chap,
you've just hit the nail plumb on the right head. That's what I've
said all along. The whole country's being simply ruined with all these
blessed Councils. Every man will have to be his own Council before
long, if they go on making Councils at this rate.

_Second W. I. M._ Well, anyhow, your beautiful Conservative
Government, that you were so dashed proud of, started the business.

_First W. I. M._ (_indignantly_). I deny it.

_Second W. I. M._ Deny away. Perhaps you'll tell me that Lord
BEACONSFIELD didn't set the County Councils going?

_First W. I. M._ Ah, but those were quite different County Councils.
Why, they weren't even called Councils; they were called Boards.

_Second W. I. M._ They may _have_ been called Boards, but they're
called Councils now, and that's enough for me. Anyhow, don't you see
(_furtively consults newspaper and quotes_) that "Parish Councils
are the logical and necessary development of the scheme of County
Government left imperfect by the Conservatives"?

_First W. I. M._ No. I don't see it at all.

_Second W. I. M._ Well, then, how do you propose to root the
agricultural population in the soil? You must admit----

_First W. I. M._ I don't admit anything--at least, I won't until you
tell me how a Parish Council is going to root anybody, let alone an
agricultural labourer, in anything. There's too much mollycoddling of
these agricultural labourers, that's what I say.

_Second W. I. M._ (_doggedly_). You're always talking about
agricultural depression and hard times for those that live on the
land, and you won't lift a finger to help them when you get the
chance. If we give these chaps Parish Councils, they can all get
allotments, and then of course (_quotes again_) "we shall multiply the
productive power of the land tenfold."

_First W. I. M._ What have allotments got to do with Parish Councils?

_Second W. I. M._ Everything.

_First W. I. M._ (_triumphant_). Then how do you account for my
Uncle's coachman having an allotment at this very moment? He's had it
for years, long before anybody even heard of Parish Councils.

_Second W. I. M._ That exactly proves my point. It's just because he
_isn't_ an agricultural labourer that he's been able to get it. What
we want to do is to level up.

_Inquirer._ But there aren't any agricultural labourers in my parish;
at least, I never heard of any. How are they going to manage about
that?

_Second W. I. M._ They'll send you some from somewhere else. That's
what they call migration.

_Inquirer._ I thought birds did that.

[_Terminus._

       *       *       *       *       *

BEFORE THE PRIVATE VIEW.

(_A Modern Dialogue._)

[Illustration: Private View.]

SCENE--Lady HAY'S _Boudoir. Lady_ HAY _and_ Miss BEE _discovered
sipping five o'clock tea._

_Miss Bee_ (_sympathetically_). I am so sorry, dearest, that you have
sprained your ankle. And is it _quite_ out of the question to come on
Friday to Burlington House?

_Lady Hay._ Quite, dearest. Dr. KEELEY DODGE says I shall be laid up
the whole Season if I move a step before Monday. So you will tell me
all about the Royal Academy Private View, now won't you?

_Miss Bee._ Of course I will do my best; but you know my forte is not
description. What do you want to know?

_Lady Hay._ Why, of course, who were there, and what they said, and
(most important of all) what they wore. I hope, dear, you will notice
if they are wearing any of the new-fashioned bonnets, and if hats are
going out.

_Miss Bee._ You may rely upon me, darling.

_Lady Hay._ And mind you get at the last bit of scandal. There ought
to be plenty about, now that people have come back from the Riviera.
But, my dear, you know exactly what I should like, so it is useless to
prompt you. I leave everything to your discretion.

_Miss Bee._ Quite so, darling. (_After a pause._) I thought I had
forgotten something--how about the paintings?

_Lady Hay._ Oh, never mind them! They will keep until another
occasion!      [_And as they will, Scene closes in on the Pictures._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GROVES OF BLARNEY.

"AND IT'S A PERFECT MIRACLE THE SOUNDS YE MANAGE TO EXTRACT FROM THAT
OLD TIN KETTLE MISS CECILIA; SURE WE DON'T HEAR THE DUMB NOTES AT
ALL!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

LIBERTY LOQUITUR.

    ["I am persuaded that the true interests of the entire
    working-classes of this country are bound up with respect for
    individual freedom, and that to overlook it, or to bring
    the smallest interference in restriction of it, unless under
    absolute necessity, would be a sad mistake upon the part of
    the working-classes."--_Mr. Gladstone to the Deputation of
    Miners from Durham and Northumberland._]

  I stand between you--Capital and Labour,--
    And each of you invokes my "sacred name."
  Sacred! Were love of freedom and one's neighbour
    Coöperant, claim would not conflict with claim.
  But heed my words, outspoken yet meant kindly;
  _I_ suffer whilst ye stone each other blindly.

  Solicitous--in speech--of my intactness,
    Ye damage and deface me in your strife.
  Your aims, expressed with full and fair exactness.
    Mean fratricidal strife, war to the knife.
  Encounter hot, and fierce retaliation
  Must vainly prate about conciliation.

  Union is strength; but banded for oppression
    Toilers are tyrants, and employers--knaves.
  Plain speech! Monopolist wealth in high possession
    Treated its scattered thralls as serfs and slaves.
  And now the lesson of the scourge and fetter
  Emancipated toil would learn--and better.

  Divide and govern! That, beneath all glosing
    About Free Labour, is Wealth's motto still;
  Ingenious fudge on shallow wits imposing,
    On banded Labour to impose its will,
  Capital needs (and lauds) Labour _unbanded_.
  The Many-headed dreads the Many-handed!

  But set one half his hands against the other,
    And e'en Briareus may be safely tackled.
  Whilst "Unionist" is foiled by "Blackleg" brother,
    Labour fights Capital with limbs half shackled.
  Hence Federations chant, in sweet communion,
  Hymns to the blessed Liberty of _non_-Union!

  And Labour, which loves Liberty--of striking,
    Hates "Blackleg" freedom with a furious hate.
  "_Make_ all men do according to _my_ liking!"
    Seems now the cry all round us in the State.
  Monopolist, Miner, Temperance fanatic,
  All crave compulsion with a force emphatic.

  But Legal Eight Hours Day, or Local Veto,
    "Blackleg" suppression, Anti-Union law,
  Mean "make the others to myself say ditto!"
    "Restriction" is the newest ass's-jaw
  For slaying all our foes, from Wealth to Drink,
  Hailed with applause, save by the few who think.

  If from proved ill to legal prohibition
    Were step as plain and proper as some deem,
  To diagnose (and cure) the State's condition
    Were easy as some Socialistic dream.
  But Looking Backward--or e'en forward--'s found
  Poor substitute for wisdom's look all round.

  Labour, you would be free to fix your wages;
    Capital, you'd be free to pick your men:
  Love of free Union the one's tongue engages,
    Love of free "Knobsticks" fires the other's pen;
  But love of Freedom for her own fair self,--
  How much of it moves Poverty or Pelf?

  Eight hours in the dark coal-seam, good friend Labour,
    Humanity admits more than enough.
  But _fix it so_, whilst neighbour wars' with neighbour,
    And mine with mine about it? Task too tough,
  Too desperate dilemma, for a Statesman,
  Why you can't settle it with your own mates, man!

  Capital, _does_ your passion for Toil's Freedom
    Mean much more than desire to smash Toil's Union?
  He sells his birthright for the mess of Edom,
    The "Blackleg" ESAU selling Work's communion
  Into the bonds of Wealth, well knit and strong,
  His comrades say. Are they entirely wrong?

  Thus Individual Freedom suffers scath
    On all sides. Can you plead Necessity's fiat?
  For _me_ you boast your love, proclaim your faith,
    But, battered by the missiles you let fly at
  Each other, I with ROLAND, cry in shame,
  What tyrannous things are done in Freedom's name!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TAKING A "BREATHER."

GRAND OLD MINER. "DON'T KNOW HOW I SHOULD GET THROUGH WITH MY WORK, IF
I WERE TIED DOWN TO EIGHT HOURS A DAY!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FALBULOUS!

DR. FALB, of Vienna, knows when earthquakes and eruptions are going to
occur. Mr. MORLEY said, the other day, in the House of Commons, that
the best way of treating a prophet was not to believe him; but this
is rather difficult when the prophet happens to be right, as Dr. FALB
generally is. For example, he predicted the last terrible earthquake
at Zante, which only came one day before it was due. Dr. FALB has
been interviewed about how he does it,--or perhaps it would be
more appropriate to say, that he has been subjected to some mild
"Heckling"--and he appears to hold that it is the action of the Moon
on the tides which is responsible. In support of his theory it has
been noticed that it is quite a custom of the people at Zante, after
their houses have fallen in on their heads, to observe--"That was
a tidy shock!" These predictions should help them to tide over the
periods of danger.

       *       *       *       *       *

COURT OUT!

[Illustration: One of the Points of the Piece. The Queen of the
Amazons gets the Needle.]

What is an "Original Farcical Romance"? The immediate reply is that
_The Amazons_, by Mr. PINERO, is a specimen of the genus. To see _The
Amazons_ ought to supply the terms of the required definition. I have
seen it, and yet the definition does not satisfy me. "_Original_"!
Well--more or less; but to use old materials in a novel manner is
quite enough for originality. The girl brought up as a boy is not
absolutely new or original, _vide_ _Tom Noddy's Secret_, and multiply
the heroine of that farce by three. The three men hunting after the
three girls and obtaining access to them at school--substituting, in
this case, home for school, and a mother for a school-mistress--is not
absolutely new or original; but, again, what matters this to anyone,
so long as the new shape given to the old material is genuinely
amusing? So "farcical" goes with "original." But now, as to its being
a "Romance?" Would not the term "burlesque" be a better term than
"Farcical Romance?" The characters of the three adventurous lovers
are not less burlesque than were those of the three Knights in ALBERT
SMITH'S romantic Extravaganza, _The Alhambra_, played then by ALFRED
WIGAN, and Mr. and Mrs. KEELEY. So if I may take it that "Farcical
Romance" is only a way out of describing the piece as "burlesque,"
then I know how to class it, and what to expect. Now I must own that
my puzzlement is due to my own fault, for it so chanced that I did not
look at the author's description of his play until after leaving the
theatre. I thought I was seeing something that was intended to be as
broad a farce as _Bébé, alias Betsy_, but I soon found that, whatever
it might be, it wasn't this. It is capitally acted by all, but
especially, on "the Spear Side," by Mr. WEEDON GROSSMITH and F. KERR,
the former as an effeminate Earl, and the latter as a manly Viscount.
But, even from a burlesque point of view, Mr. ELLIOT overdoes the
Frenchman, a part which belongs to a stage-family of Frenchmen, of
which, in former times, ALFRED WIGAN was the best representative; and,
later, Mons. MARIUS, who, as the French sporting nobleman, in _Family
Ties_, in love with an English "Mees," and so proud of his English
slang, was simply the character to the life, without any more
exaggeration than was artistically necessary. On "the Spindle Side,"
Miss LILY HANBURY looks handsome, and is generally fairly well-suited;
Miss PATTIE BROWNE has the most difficult part of the three, and it is
not to be wondered at if she a bit out-tommies _Tommy_. Miss ELLALINE
TERRIS looks, acts, and sings charmingly as _Lady Wilhelmina_, and
Miss CALDWELL gives a good touch of low comedy to "the Sergeant."

The places where the fun comes in, as it does occasionally, and is
therefore the more precious, are chiefly with WEEDON GROSSMITH, and in
the scenes between Mr. F. KERR and Miss HANBURY. The piece is not up
to the former "screamers," such as _Dandy Dick_, _The Magistrate_, and
_My Aunt_, or whatever was the title of the farce in which Mr. WEEDON
GROSSMITH played the part of Mrs. JOHN WOOD'S solicitor. The scenery
by Mr. HALL is Hall good, specially the woodland scene in Overcote
Park.

[Illustration: "We loathe Music."]

       *       *       *       *       *

"MUCH ADO ABOUT _NIL_."--Were the Temporal Power in existence, the
LORD MAYOR, in proposing the toast of the POPE before that of the
QUEEN, would have been guilty of a blunder, and we all know, on
TALLEYRAND'S authority, how far worse is a blunder than a crime. But
the POPE, being no longer "two single gentlemen rolled into one," but
simply, as it might be set down in a Play-bill of _Dramatis Personæ_,
"First Bishop," and also by his own style and title, "_Servus
Servorum_," the health of His Holiness (which is uncommonly good)
might, in British Dominions, be introduced after that of the QUEEN and
Royal Family, and could be fitted into Church and State as neatly
as possible, that is, where such a toast is a necessity of the
entertainment. But the stupidity of the incident has been surpassed by
the idiocy of the notice taken of it, and, for the sake of the common
sense of the Common Council, it is to be hoped that a large majority
will be on the side of Alderman and Sheriff RENALS, and refuse to
toast the LORD MAYOR on the Gridiron of LAWRENCE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

DRURY LANE OPERA RECORD.--_Bohemian Girl_ going strong, _Cavalleria
Rusticana_ still the attraction. "Happy Thought" (_vide_ DRURIOLANUS'S
Diary)--"Revive _La Juive_." Done it! and done it well. GIANNINI, as
_Eleazaro_, excellent. _Rachele_ not up to RACHEL in acting (for those
who may remember that _tragédienne_), but Mlle. GHERLSEN, representing
the Jew's daughter, does what the great RACHEL could not do, that is,
sing. _La Juive_ will be given during the Covent Garden season; so
these performances may be considered as very superior rehearsals.
_Carmen_ on Thursday, instead of _Il Trovatore_.--the _Trovatore_
being _Il_, couldn't appear. With all due sympathy and respect for
_Trovatore_, _Carmen_ was gratefully received. Signor PIGNALOSA,
as the _Toréador_, very good, and obtained his _encore_; so _this_
_Toréador_ was "_contento_." Mlle. GUERCIA was a fascinating _Carmen_,
and what is any _Carmen_ if not fascinating?

       *       *       *       *       *

TAKEN IN, BUT NOT DONE FOR.

(_Overflow Letters, probably originally intended for a Contemporary._)

SIR,--No doubt you have seen in the papers recently a number of
letters, giving accounts of the stoppage of cabs by well-dressed young
men, who, after heartily greeting the occupants, have asked for the
loan of a sovereign. The other day something of the same sort
occurred to me. I got into an omnibus, when a man, purporting to be a
Conductor, asked me for my fare. I replied that I would pay him later
on. He then proceeded to mount to the roof, apparently to collect
other money, when I quickly descended. I firmly believe that, had
I not acted promptly, I should have been defrauded of three-pence.
Believe me, yours, &c.,


VIGILANT.

SIR,--I think you should know the last dodge. I was walking home from
a rather heavy dinner the other evening, when I came across a man
exactly like myself. He might have been my twin brother. He didn't say
anything, but put out his hand towards me as if asking for alms. Of
course I refused, as I could see that the man was drunk. A little
later I was escorted home by a policeman. The next morning, when I
got to the spot where I had been accosted by this silently-begging
stranger, I found a looking-glass. The police say they have the
matter in hand, but they do not see much prospect of finding the
original.--T. O'BACCUS.

SIR,--As a warning to the less wary, I beg to send you the following
particulars:--A short time ago I met at a Charity Banquet an Alderman
who was apparently a most excellent gentleman; and I lay a stress upon
this fact to show how deceptive are appearances. After the speeches,
my City friend said he would like to subscribe to the benefaction. He
asked me if I had change for a five-pound note. I replied I had only
four pounds. He said that that would do, and that I could forward
him the additional sovereign at my leisure. I then handed over the
quartette of golden coins in exchange for his bank-note. Immediately
afterwards I quitted the apartment to ascertain if the note was
genuine. I have not seen the Alderman since. I may add that although
I believe the draft a forgery, I have received its full alleged value
from the Bank of England.

CAUTION.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: (H)ART-TEACHING IN A NUTSHELL.

_Cockney Art-Teacher_ (_to ambitious Amateur, who rather fancies
himself, but has come for a few "Finishing" Lessons_). "NOW, YER KNOW,
WHAT I SAY IS, IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE A ARTIST, YER SHOULD TRY TO MIKE
IT _SOMETHING LIKE!_"]

       *       *       *       *       *


THE TWO HENRIES.--Congratulations to Sir HENRY ISAACS. The other Sir
HENRY, which his name is HAWKINS, the Judge, observed that he had "a
conviction that the case against Sir H. ISAACS ought not to go to a
jury." So one HENRY had a conviction, and the other hadn't.

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday, April 11._--LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN dropped in
to pass time of day with SPEAKER. Accompanied by a score of his merry
Councilmen, arrayed in scarlet cloaks trimmed with costly furs. Made
ordinary Members in black coats feel very small. T. D. SULLIVAN, the
Bard of Erin, long known at Westminster, is also Member of Dublin
Corporation. Brought over his scarlet robes; took his seat within
the Bar; other Members of Corporation, of course, kept outside sacred
precincts. Some little disturbance at door when LORD MAYOR arrived in
procession, preceded by Mace, and accompanied by Sword-Bearer. These
wanted to enter House, and support his Lordship as he stood at Bar in
alien assembly.

"You enter only across my body," said the Serjeant-at-Arms, lightly,
but firmly, touching the hilt of his terrible brand.

A moment's awful pause. The sword brought over from Ireland would,
in weight and cubic capacity, have made ten of the rapier to which
ERSKINE of Cardross had significantly called attention. When, later,
it peacefully rested behind doorkeeper's chair, its mighty hilt rose
above topmost height like the cross on a cathedral spire. Sword-Bearer
looked at LORD MAYOR; Mace-Bearer grasped with both hands shaft of
his ponderous weapon. Both warriors accustomed to public meetings in
Dublin; knew what was expected of them by way of argument. LORD MAYOR
happily in placable mood. Readjusting around his neck the collar of
gold (the very one "MALACHI won from the proud Invader"), he bowed his
head; Mace and Sword were deposited behind doorkeeper's chair, and his
Lordship strode in, escorted by the crimson-gowned, fur-betrimmed City
Fathers.

LORD MAYOR, supported on either side by a stately Alderman, stood at
Bar holding what at first sight looked like a shillelagh.

"What have you there, my LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN?" asked the SPEAKER, in
tones so stern they made the sword rattle in the scabbard on the other
side of the closed door.

Nothing escapes SPEAKER'S Eye when he pleases to bring it to bear on
a particular focus. Had seen the implement in LORD MAYOR'S hand;
insisted upon knowing all about it before proceedings went further.
Turned out to be nothing more dangerous than petition from Corporation
of Dublin in favour of Home-Rule Bill. SPEAKER, instantly mollified,
allowed it to be read; after which LORD MAYOR, bowing, retired; Mace
and Sword found all right, and possession resumed. As the thin red
streak filed out of doorway, T. D. S. still lingering in seat by
Cross Benches, said, as he looked admiringly upon the befurred crimson
robes. "Reminds me, TOBY, of a line from GOLDSMITH. You remember it in
_The Deserted Village?_

    'With blossom'd furze, unprofitably gay.'"

_Business done._--Eighth Night Debate on Home-Rule Bill.

_Tuesday._--Found VICARY GIBBS (well-known firm, SONS AND ANTONY
GIBBS, of the City and the Universe) rather in dumps to-night. Been a
burglar at family mansion in Regent's Park; the Firm at dinner;
SONS standing a little meal for ANTONY; burglar took opportunity of
entering by bedroom window, first observing precaution of screwing
up doors, and other entrances and exits, so that he might pursue
his vocation with that certainty of non-disturbance upon which all
well-bred burglars insist. Loot considerable, Providence blessing the
burglar with tea-pots and spoons to extent that would have excited
envy in heart of HANS BREITMANN.

"Well, cheer up," I said to young VICARY; "awkward, of course, to lose
this property; some of it, probably, heirlooms; at least, there was no
bloodshed. You should be thankful for that."

[Illustration: THE PARLIAMENTARY GOLF HANDICAP.]

"Not at all," said VICARY, the light of Ulster battle ditches flaming
in his eyes. "I should like to have shed some myself. But it isn't
that, nor is it the material jewels whose disappearance I lament. They
are things that are bought and sold; they may be replaced. Fact is,
old friend" (hate to see a strong young man sobbing), "there was more
than that."

"I didn't see anything else mentioned in the papers," I remarked.

"No; we resolved to bear our burden among ourselves. I don't mind
telling you, that beside the brooches, bracelets, chains, rings, and
other things of that sort, the fellows stole the notes I had made for
speech on Home-Rule Bill. Been here night after night since debate
opened, sitting patiently waiting to catch SPEAKER'S eye. Have given
up my dinner and other evening delights; night after night SPEAKER
has passed me over. I waited on; everything has its compensation;
the enforced delay proved invaluable, as supplying opportunity for
improving original draft of speech. As I sat and listened, great
thoughts surged through my mind; happy illustrations flashed upon me;
irresistible arguments were slowly moulded. Jotted 'em all down. Notes
getting, perhaps, a little long; couldn't have managed to work them
off in less than two hours; but House would, I know, have suffered
gladly for that time, or even longer. An audience that has survived
two hours of ASMEAD BARTLETT (Knight) is not disposed to mince
matters. Last night resolved to get it over: told PRINCE ARTHUR to
tell AKERS-DOUGLAS to arrange with SPEAKER to call me as near ten
o'clock as possible. Went home for slight repast; placed notes
of speech on dressing-table; thought with passing pleasure of the
policeman we have kept these thirty years perambulating St. Dunstan's
in view of possible burglar, and went to dinner. When I tripped
upstairs, meaning to go down to House, found notes gone, and,
incidentally, £2000 worth of jewellery. I won't disguise from you,
TOBY old man, my private conviction that the whole thing was a plant.
Mr. GLADSTONE'S _at the bottom of it!_"

_Business done._--Ninth Night Debate on Home-Rule Bill.

_Thursday._--SEXTON made five speeches to-night, each sufficient of
itself to lay foundation of parliamentary reputation. Had he spread
them over the Session, or even distributed them throughout a month,
would have scored great success. Unhappily worked them all off at
single sitting, without other interval than succession of long pauses,
arbitrarily introduced. Fancy he felt he must do something to maintain
ancient reputation. GRANDOLPH and JOHN MORLEY spoke for two hours
each, whilst few, having caught SPEAKER'S eye, let go under ninety
minutes. SEXTON must needs beat record; did it, talking for two hours
and half by Westminster clock! Had an hour and a half served, speech
would have been worthy to rank with those of ASQUITH, JOHN REDMOND,
and DAVITT. As it is, case one of oratorial suicide. CARSON followed;
quite moderate in comparison. Spoke for little over an hour. When he
sat down, it was after eight o'clock; more that one-half of possible
length of sitting exhausted; only two Members taken part in Debate.

"Debate d'ye call it," said LORD MORRIS, looking on from the Peer's
Gallery. "It's preaching rather--pragmatical prosing, the death of
useful Parliamentary discussion."

[Illustration: THE PARLIAMENTARY POLKA. "PAIRS PLEASE!"]

House left in almost comatose state. Someone faintly moved Count;
MARJORIEBANKS, who had not suffered the four hours' talk, and who, by
comparison with rest, seemed supernaturally active, managed to bring
in what was left of forty Members, and conversation drowsily proceeded
to appointed hour of closing. _Business done._--Eleventh Night.

_Scheherazade._ "And so, my Lord, he drew his scimitar, and was about
to---- But excuse me, Sultan, I observe, through the oriel window,
something that looks remarkably like the streak of dawn, and, if you
don't mind, I'll continue the story to-morrow night."

_Schahriah, Sultan of Persia._ "Thank you, no my dear, I have some dim
recollection that, in a former state, this sort of thing went on for
a Thousand and One Nights, ending in the most agreeable manner to the
principal personages concerned. But that, you will admit, was in other
circumstances. The world, and we, were younger then. Eleven nights of
this is enough for me, and, if you would be so good as to step into
the next room, I will give instructions for your being--excuse this
yawn--bowstrung."

(_Extracted from "The Newest Arabian Nights."_)

[Illustration: Demon-Trap for Reporters.]

_Saturday_, 1.15 A.M.--Members streaming back from Division Lobby;
Mr. G. down on stroke of One o'clock: splendid speech--a mental and
physical miracle; for little over an hour he entranced an audience
still suffering from two hours of HENRY JAMES, throughout which
the eminent jurist sank below lowest level hitherto known of his
Parliamentary capacity. PRINCE ARTHUR at his best; in brisk fighting
mood, hitting out right and left; stirring TIM HEALY'S soul with
surging desire to get up and reply. No opportunity so TIM snapped at
him across Gangway, PRINCE ARTHUR cutting back with ever-smiling face.
When, just now Mr. G. walked in from Division Lobby, Liberals and
Irish Members leaped to their feet, welcoming him with waving hats,
and strident cheers. A moving scene, introducing announcement that,
in House of 651 Members, every absentee accounted for, Ministerial
majority ran up to 43. _Business done._--Home-Rule Bill read Second
Time.





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