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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, February 18, 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, February 18, 1893" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

VOL. 104, FEBRUARY 18, 1893***


VOL. 104.

FEBRUARY 18, 1893.


_Picturing the Various Modes of Melodramatic Murder._ (_By Our
"Off-his"-Head Poet._)



  It may be this--that the Villain base
    Has insulted the hero's girl;
  It may be this--that he's brought disgrace
    On a wretchedly-acted Earl.
  I care not which it may chance to be,
    Only this do I chance to know--
  A cliff looks down at a canvas sea
    And some property rocks below!

  You say, perhaps, it is only there
    From a love of the picturesque--
  You hint, maybe, that it takes no share
    In the plot of this weird burlesque;
  But cliffs that tremble at every touch,
    And that flap in the dreadful draught,
  Have something better to do--ah, much!
    Than to criticise Nature's craft!

  The cliff is there, and the ocean too,
    And the property rocks below.
  (These last, as yet, don't appear to you,
    But they're somewhere behind, I know.)
  The cliff is there, and the sea besides
    (As I fancy I've said before),
  And yonder alone _the_ Villain hides
    Who is thirsting for someone's gore!

  And now there comes to the Villain bold
    The unfortunate Villain Two.
  He's here to ask for the promised gold
    For the deeds he has had to do.
  But words run high, and a struggle strong
    Sends the cliff rocking to and fro,
  And Villain Two topples off ere long
    To the property rocks below!

  The scene is changed. The revolving cliff
    Now exhibits its other side.
  The corpse is there, looking very stiff--
    Even more than before it died!
  The crime is traced to the hero JACK,
    Notwithstanding the stupids know
  Deceased was thrown by the Villain black
    To the property rocks below!

       *       *       *       *       *


  If the day's (as usual) pitchy,
  If you're feeling "quisby-snitchy,"
  Seek the fire--and read your RITCHIE!
  If your nerves are slack or twitchy,
  Quiet them with soothing RITCHIE.
  If you're dull as water ditchy,
  You'll be cheered by roseate RITCHIE.
  Be you achey, sore, chill, itchy,
  Rest you'll find in Mrs. RITCHIE!
  May her light ne'er shine with slacker ray,
  Gentle daughter of great THACKERAY!

       *       *       *       *       *

"WORDS! WORDS! WORDS!"--The decision in "the Missing Words (and money)
Competition" is, in effect, "No more words about it, but hand over the
£23,628 to the National Debt Commissioners." Advice this of STIRLING value.

       *       *       *       *       *

You Fall, Eiffel!

Are the Panama sentences rather hard?
  So Monsieur EIFFEL _pro tem._ disappears.
To walk round about a prison yard
  Is the _Tour d'Eiffel_ for a couple of years.

       *       *       *       *       *

EVIDENT.--The little song for Mr. HARRY LAWSON to sing on reading Mr.
CHARLES DARLING'S letter in the _Times_ of Thursday last--"_Charley is my

       *       *       *       *       *

rational grounds, of the great and much-muddled up "Sunday-Opening"

       *       *       *       *       *

CUE FOR THE CRITICS (_if the New Coinage does not seem an improvement upon
the Jubilee failures_).--Pepper Mint!

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


     ["Mr. HENRY BLACKBURN, lecturing at the London Institution, Finsbury
     Circus, said English people were not an artistic nation, and instead
     of getting better, they appeared to be rapidly getting worse. The
     author of the present day was losing the sincerity and the
     individuality which ought to characterise him.--_Daily Paper._"]

  Oh, gaily did we hasten to the London Institution,
    Expecting some amusement in our inartistic way,
  And little did we reckon on the awful retribution
    Which Mr. HENRY BLACKBURN had in store for us that day.

  We'd fondly looked towards him for an eulogistic blessing,
    But got instead a general and comprehensive curse,
  We are, as he informed us, with an emphasis distressing,
    By nature inartistic, and are daily getting worse.

  Thereafter he directed magisterial attention
    Upon the hapless authors who a fleeting fame had got;
  He drew no nice distinctions, nor selected some for mention,
    But, with superb simplicity, he just condemned the lot.

  Every man of them is sinning with an ignorance persistent,
    Poet, novelist and critic, or whatever be their sphere,
  Their "individuality" is almost non-existent,
    And only on occasions, if at all, are they "sincere."

  Well, what, then, is the remedy? Will Mr. BLACKBURN fix it?
    Must all our fiction travel from the cultured Continent?
  Or dares we snap our fingers at this haughty _ipse dixit_,
    And read our inartistic books in very great content?

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. PERKS, M.P., has undertaken to bring in a Bill for "the Abolition of
Registrars at Nonconformist Marriages." If successful, the Ministers will
lose their "Perks."

       *       *       *       *       *


In the _Field's_ Dog-for-sale column, there recently appeared, wedged in
between descriptions of vendible Beagles and Bloodhound Pups, the following
remarkable advertisement:--

     BLOODHOUND, 40-Tonner, for SALE; built by Fife of Fairlie; has all
     lead ballast, and very complete inventory.--For price, which is
     moderate, and particulars, apply, &c.

Most interesting canine specimen this. The Managers of the Zoological
Gardens should at once apply, if by this time they have not already done
so, and secured the "Forty-tonner Bloodhound," with complete inventory,
"built by FIFE of Fairlie."

       *       *       *       *       *

Nursery-Rhyme for the Neo-Crinolinists.

  GIRLS and Matrons, who wins the day,
  Now WINTER and JEUNE have had their say?
  Come with a hoop to concert or ball,
  Come with balloon-skirts, or come not at all!

       *       *       *       *       *

A Candid Friend.

     SCENE--_Brown's Study--the well-known "Brown's Study," of course._
     BROWN _is reading the fortieth chapter of his three-volume
     Autobiography to_ JONES.

_Brown_ (_pausing in his gigantic work_). Well, tell me, honestly, have you
any fault to find with it?

_Jones._ Well--hum!--_it wants finish_.

     [_Looks at his watch, rises hurriedly, and exits quickly._

       *       *       *       *       *

Why, on an Illustrated Paper, should the position of the reproducer of
Artists' black-and-white work be a higher one than that of the Artists
themselves? Because he undertakes "Graver" responsibilities.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Modern Agricultural Version._)


     [BURIDAN is said to have been the inventor of the dilemma of the ass
     between two absolutely equal bundles of hay, he maintaining that the
     ass's choice must be so equally balanced that he would starve, there
     being no motive for preference.]

  Long-patient Issachar, o'erladen muncher
    Of heaps of "vacant chaff well-meant for grain,"
  If, like the pious spouse of _Jerry Cruncher_,
    You "flop," and, camel-wise, won't rise again
  To bear big burdens that strength staggers under,
  On fodder most inadequate, what wonder?

  To wallop a poor "donkey wot won't go,"
    The good old song suggests is cruel folly.
  Give him some fragrant hay, _then_ cry "Gee-woa!"
    The lyrist hints, in diction quaintly jolly.
  From starving moke you'll get no progress steady;
  The well-fed ass responds to "Gee-up, Neddy!"

  Poor brute, between two piles of sapless chaff,
    While such big burdens weigh your weary shoulders,
  Your choice _is_ difficult! Cynics may laugh,
    But pity for your plight moves kind beholders.
  Cockneys cry, "Kim hup, Neddy!" or "Woa, Emma!"
  But _Punch_ compassionates your hard dilemma.

  What choice between the chaff of arid Rad
    And that of equally dry-and-dusty Tory?
  CHAPLIN would feed you on preposterous fad,
    And GARDNER on--postponement! The old story!
  While the grass grows the horse may starve. Poor ass!
  Party would bring you to a similar pass!

  "A certain Mister JESSE COLLINGS" poses
    As your particular friend and patron. Quite so!
  JOSEPH and he cock their pugnacious noses
    At their old Chief, venting their zeal (_and_ spite) so.
  CODLIN--no, COLLINGS--is the friend. "Lard bless 'ee,
  Turn WILLYUM oop, and try JOSEPH and JESSE!"

  "WILLYUM"--who wields a very pretty flail--
    Drubs them delightfully, 'midst general laughter.
  But oh, poor ass, aching from head to tail,
    Pray, what the better is _your_ state thereafter?
  BURIDAN'S Ass was surely your twin brother.
  There's such small difference 'twixt one and t'other!

       *       *       *       *       *


DEAR MR. PUNCH,--I notice that that eminent author, Mr. HENRY ARTHUR JONES,
has written a play called _The Bauble Shop_, in which he has introduced the
room of the Prime Minister in the House of Commons as one of his most
striking _tableaux_. I have not yet had the advantage of seeing what I feel
sure must be an admirable comedy, but in justice to myself I must ask you
to publish a portion of a piece of my own, which seems to me to bear some
resemblance to what I suppose I must call (as it has enjoyed priority of
production) the Criterion original. I call _my_ drama _The Walking
Gentleman, or the Young Premier_, and I beg to submit to you the last Scene
(a very short one) of the last Act. Here it is _in extenso_:--

     SCENE.--ANGELINA'S _Boudoir_. ANGELINA _discovered waiting for_ EDWIN.

_Angelina_ (_anxiously_). And, will he never come! Ah! that House--that
House! With its blazing beacon from the Clock Tower; it----(_With a cry of
joy._) Ah, he is here!

_Edwin_ (_entering hurriedly and taking_ ANGELINA _in his arms_). My own
one! Yes, I say it advisedly, my own one! Mine--Mine--for ever!

_Ang._ Nay, EDWIN; you forget the claims the Government--the country--have
upon your time!

_Edw._ No, darling, I do not. The Division has been taken; it is all over.
At the last moment I rose in my place in the House, and made purposely one
of the most injudicious orations ever heard within those respected walls. I
disgusted friends, alienated adherents, and in every possible manner
strengthened the hands of the Opposition; and, darling we are beaten--yes,
beaten--by a thumping majority.

_Ang._ (_in tears_). Oh, EDWIN, EDWIN! I am so sorry!

_Edw._ Nay, do not weep. For thy dear sake I accepted the sacrifice. I am
no longer leader of the House, I am no longer head of the Administration,
and now I shall have ample leisure. Yes, darling, smile once more. Now I
shall have time to be married. Now I can speak with hope of a honeymoon!


There, _Mr. Punch_! If that would not overwhelm the Stalls and Boxes with
painful emotion, and bring down the Pit and Gallery with thunders of
applause, I am a Dutchman!

Yours obediently,

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ON THE FREE LIST.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     ["That there is much to be said for crinoline on hygienic grounds, and
     on those of cleanliness, must be obvious to its most prejudiced
     opponents."--Lady JEUNE "_In Defence of Crinoline_."]

  DEAR POLLY,--This comes hooping--I mean hoping, as you're heard,
  As the QUEEN and the PRINCESS O' WALES declines to be absurd,
  And put their foot in it--dear me!--I mean to put it down
  Upon the coming Crinerline! A-arsting of the Crown
  To hinterfere with hus, dear,--wich I means the female sect,--
  In our Fashions, is fair himperence. But, wot _can_ yer expect
  From parties--wich they may be litterary, or may _not_--
  As carn't see any beauty in balloon-skirts? Reglar rot!
  I'm a-pinin' for it, POLLY, wich in course, my dear, I mean
  That convenient, cleanly cover-all, wot's called the Crinerline!
  _It hides so much_, my POLLY; wich I'm sure, my dear, you'll twig!
  As dear Lady JUNE informs hus, the too-little or too-big,
  The scraggy and the crummy ones, the lanky 'uns and the lumps,
  Will be grateful for a fashion as is kind to bones and 'umps.
  Eel-skin skirts may suit the swells, dear, and the straight, and slim,
            and tall,
  And--well, them whose wardrobe's plentiful; they don't suit _me_ at all;
  Wich I'm four-foot-ten and stoutish, as to you is well beknown;
  I'm a bit short in the legs like, my limbs do _not_ run to bone.
  Now my purse won't run to petticuts and cetrer _hevery_ week,
  As a pound a month won't do it. Ho! it's like their blessed cheek,
  Missis JOHN STRANGE WINTER'S Ammyzons as Lady JUNE remarks--
  To swear Crinerline is "ojus," dear, and 'idjous. 'Twill be larks
  To see _them_ a wearin 'ooped-skirts, as in course they're bound to do,
  When they fair become the fashion. Yus, for all their bubbaroo.
  The seving thousand Leaguers, and their Leader will cave in,
  And wear wot now they swear is jest a shame, dear, and a sin.
  I do not care a snap wot the opinion of the men is,
  Nor yet for the hesthetecks, nor the toffs as play at Tennis;
  I sez 'Ooped Skirts for hever! This STRANGE WINTER'S out o' tune,
  I prefers the Summer, POLLY, wich I mean dear Lady JUNE.
  Anti-Crinerline be jiggered! I've got one dear mother wore,
  Though the steels is a bit twisted, and the stuff a trifle tore,
  I can fake it up, when Fashion gives the watch-word, I've no doubt,
  And I ony wish 'twould come, dear, with my first fine Sunday hout.
  Drat these sniffy snapping Leaguers! Ho! they fancy they're high-tone,
  But I'll give 'em the straight griffin. Leave our petticuts alone!
  They may take it from me, POLLY, they'll soon drop their bloomin' banner,
  If all women show the sperrit of,

Yours trooly,

       *       *       *       *       *

CUE FOR KENNINGTON (_especially after the smart seconding of the Address in
the Lower House_).--"MARK--BEAUFOY!"

       *       *       *       *       *

AN EXAMPLE OF A "SUSPENSORY BILL" would be a small account from your
haberdasher's for a pair of braces.

       *       *       *       *       *



     SCENE VI.--_The Dining-room, as before._ Lord STRATHSPORRAN _is still
     endeavouring to grasp the situation_.

_Lord Strath._ (_to himself_). Don't want to make a fuss, but I suppose I
ought to do _something_. Good little chap, my host--didn't like to tell me
I'd made a mistake; but his wife's a downright vixen. Better make it right
with her. (_To_ Mrs. TID.). I--I'm afraid I ought to have found out long
before this what an intruder you must consider me; but your husband----.

_Mrs. Tid._ Pray say no more. Mr. TIDMARSH chose to act on his own
responsibility, and of course _I_ must put up with the consequences.

_Lord Strath._ (_to himself_). It's hard lines to have to leave MARJORY
like this; but this is more than I _can_----(_Aloud._) After that, of
course I can only offer to relieve you of my presence as soon as----

_Mrs. Tid._ (_horrified_). Not for _worlds_! I can't have my party broken
up _now_. I _insist_ on your staying. I--I have no complaint to make of
your conduct--_so far_!

_Lord Strath._ Very kind of you to say so. (_To himself._) Pleasant woman
this! But I don't care--I _will_ stay and see this out; it's too late to go
in to the CARTOUCHES now, and I won't leave MARJORY till----(_Aloud._)
Miss SEATON--MARJORY--I'm in a most awfully difficult position--_do_ let me
tell you about it!

_Miss Seaton_ (_penitently_). Oh, Douglas, I--I _know_--I heard.... I'm so
sorry--I mean, I'm so _glad_! Please forgive me for treating you as I did!

_Lord Strath._ You _did_ let me have it pretty straight, didn't you,
MARJORY? But, of course, you thought me am impudent cad for calmly coming
in to dinner uninvited like this--and no wonder!

_Miss Seaton_ (_to herself_). He doesn't know the _worst_--and he shan't,
if I can help it! (_Aloud._) It doesn't matter _what_ I thought--I--I don't
think it now. And--and--do tell me all you can about yourself!

     [_They converse with recovered confidence._

_Uncle Gab._ (_to himself_). For all the notice that stuck-up young swell
takes of me, I might be a block of wood! I'll _make_ him listen to me.
(_Aloud._) Ahem! My Lord, I've just been telling my niece here the latest
scandal in high-life. I daresay your Lordship has heard of that titled but
brainless young profligate, the Marquis of MANX?

_Lord Strath._ MANX? Oh, yes--know him well--sort of relation of mine.
Never heard a word _against_ him, though!

_Uncle Gab._ (_in confusion_). Oh, I--I beg your Lordship's pardon--I
wasn't aware. No doubt I got the name wrong.

[Illustration: "Let me advise you to be very _careful_."]

_Lord Strath._ Ah--or the facts. Great mistake to repeat these
things--don't you think? Generally lies.

     [_He resumes his conversation with_ Miss S.

_Uncle Gab._ (_nettled_). It's all very well for you to stand up for your
order, my Lord; but it's right I should tell you that the Country doesn't
mean to tolerate that den of thieves and land-grabbers--I need hardly say I
refer to the House of Lords--_much_ longer! We're determined to sweep them
from the face of the earth. I say so, as the--ah--mouthpiece of a large and
influential majority of earnest and enlightened Englishmen!

_Lord Strath._ (_to himself_). Fancy the mouthpiece has had quite enough
champagne! (_Aloud._) My dear Sir, you can begin sweeping to-morrow, so far
as I am concerned. I'm no politician.

_Uncle Gab._ (_warming_). No politician! And yet you sit in the Upper House
as one of our hereditary legislators, obstructing the will of the People!
Do you mean to tell me there's no incongruity in that!

     [_Consternation among the company._

_Lord Strath._ A good deal, I daresay, if I sat there--only I
don't--haven't had the honour of being elected at present.

_Mrs. Tid._ (_hastily_). He means he--he has other things to do,
Uncle--don't excite yourself so! (_To Lord S. in a whisper._) You're only
_exposing_ yourself by talking of what you know nothing about. Surely you
know that Peers _aren't_ elected!

_Lord Strath._ I was under the impression they were--in Scotland; but it's
not worth arguing about.

_Uncle Gab._ You're evading the point, my Lord. I'm trying to put plain

_Lord Strath._ (_wearily_). I know--but--er--_why_ try? Wouldn't plain
nonsense be rather more amusing--at dinner, don't you know?

_Uncle Gab._ (_stormily_). Don't think you're going to ride roughshod over
_me_, my Lord! If you think yourself above your company----

_Lord Strath._ I assure you I've no idea what I've said or done to offend
you, Sir. It was perfectly unintentional on my part.

_Uncle Gab._ (_relaxing_). In that case, my Lord, no further apology is
needed. I--ah--accept the olive-branch!

_Lord Strath._ By all means--if I may trouble you for the olives.

_Uncle Gab._ (_effusively_). With all the pleasure in life, my Lord. And,
without withdrawing in any sort or kind from any of my general opinions, I
think I express the sentiment of all present when I say how deeply we feel
the honour----

_Lord Strath._ (_to himself_). Good Lord--he's going to make a speech now!
(_Little_ GWENDOLEN _enters demurely and draws up a chair between his and
her mother's_.) Saved, by Jove! Child to the rescue? (_To her._) So you're
going to sit next to me, eh? That's right! Now what shall I get you--some
of those grapes?

_Gwen._ No, a baby orange with silver paper round it, please. What is it,
Miss SEATON? [_She rises and goes to Miss S._

_Miss Seaton_ (_whispering_). Now, darling, be careful--you know what I
told you--you mustn't tell tales or repeat things!

_Gwen._ Not even if I'm asked, Miss SEATON?... No?... Would _you_ be
displeased? Then I won't. (_Returning to her seat and addressing Lord S.
confidentially._) Do you know why I've come to sit next to _you_? Because I
want to see how you behave. You aren't just like one of our regular
dinner-party guests, _are_ you, you know?

_Lord Strath._ (_humbly_). I'm afraid not, my dear; but you'll be kind to
me for all that, won't you?

_Gwen._ (_primly_). Miss SEATON says we should never be unkind to anybody,
_whatever_ their position is. And _I_ think you're rather nice. I wish Papa
would have you to dine with us often, but perhaps you're expensive?

_Lord Strath._ (_laughing_). I don't know, Miss GWENNIE, I've been feeling
uncommonly cheap all the evening!

_Gwen._ (_reflectively_). Mamma always says everything's much cheaper at

_Mrs. Tid._ (_to_ Uncle GAB.). Growing _such_ a big girl, isn't she? and
getting on wonderfully with her lessons. I must get her to recite one of
her little pieces for you, Uncle, dear--she does it _so_ prettily!

_Uncle Gab._ Hey, GWEN--I'll bet you one of these sugar-biscuits you don't
know who it is you're chatting away so freely to!

_Gwen._ Oh yes, I _do_, Uncle; but I'm being very kind to him, so that he
mayn't feel any _different_, you know!

_Uncle Gab._ Upon my word--what will you get into that little noddle of
yours _next_, I wonder!

_Gwen._ (_after deliberation_). Preserved ginger, I _think_--I like ginger
better than biscuits. (_To_ Lord S.) You can reach it for me.

_Uncle Gab._ Come, come, young lady, where are your manners? _That's_ not
the way to speak to that Gentleman. You should say--"Will your Lordship be
so very kind as to pass the preserved ginger?"

_Lord Strath._ (_impatiently_). Please _don't_, GWENNIE! I like your own
style much the best! [_He helps her to the preserve._

_Uncle Gab._ You mustn't allow the child to take liberties, my Lord. Now,
GWEN, suppose you tell me and his Lordship here something you've been
learning lately--don't be shy, now!

_Mrs. Tid._ Yes, GWENNIE--tell Uncle a little tale--repeat something to
him, come, darling!

_Gwen._ No, I shan't, Mamma!

     [_She pegs away stolidly at the preserved ginger._

_Uncle Gab._ Hullo? 'Shan't' to your Mother? _This_ how you bring the child
up, MARIA?

_Mrs. Tid._ Not when Mother _asks_ you to, GWEN? And Uncle wanting to hear
it so! No? _Why_ won't you?

_Gwen._ Because Miss SEATON told me not to--and I won't, either.

_Uncle Gab._ Hah--Miss SEATON seems the supreme authority here,
evidently--better get _her_ permission, MARIA!

_Miss Seaton_ (_distressed_). Indeed. I--I never meant--GWENNIE didn't
understand me quite--that is all!

_Gwen._ Oh, Miss SEATON! when you said I wasn't to tell tales or repeat
things--you _did_ say so!

_Miss Seaton._ Yes, yes, but that was a different _kind_ of tale
altogether, GWENNIE,--you _may_ tell a _fairy_ tale!

_Gwen._ (_obstinately_). If I mayn't tell any kind of story I like, I
shan't tell any at all--so _there_!

_Uncle Gab._ Pretty behaviour, upon my word! Children didn't behave like
that in _my_ young days, MARIA! I should no more have dared to refuse to
tell my elders anything they--but it strikes me you leave her too much with
her governess--who, by the bye, has been going on with his Lordship in a
manner that well, really _I_ shouldn't have thought----!

_Mrs. Tid._ (_mortified and angry_). I am not at _all_ satisfied with Miss
SEATON in _many_ ways, Uncle--you can safely leave her to me!

     [_She gives the signal_; Lord STRATH. _opens the door_.

_Lord Strath._ (_to_ Miss SEATON, _as she passes, last but one_). I--I
suppose I shall get a word with you upstairs?

_Mrs. Tid._ (_overhearing--to herself_). I'll take good care he doesn't!
(_To_ Lord S., _waspishly_.) Let me advise you to be very _careful_!

     [Lord STRATH. _closes the door after her, with relief and amazement_.

SCENE VII.--_On the Stairs._

_Mrs. Tid._ (_detaining_ Miss SEATON). I hope you are satisfied with
yourself, Miss SEATON? You _ought_ to be, I'm sure--after encouraging my
own child to disobey me, and behaving as you did with that most ill-bred
and impertinent _impostor_!

_Miss S._ (_indignantly_). He is nothing of the sort! Mrs. TIDMARSH,
you--you don't understand! _Please_ let me tell you about him!

_Mrs. Tid._ I have no desire whatever to hear. I am only sorry I ever
permitted you to dine at all. It will be a lesson to me another time. And
you will be good enough to retire to your own room at once, and remain
there till I send for you! [_She passes on._

_Miss Seaton_ (_following_). But I _must_ tell you first what a mistake you
are making. _Indeed_ he is not----!

_Mrs. Tid._ I don't care _what_ he is. Another word, Miss SEATON,--and we
part! [_She sweeps into the Drawing-room._

_Miss Seaton_ (_outside_). I have done all _I_ can! If I could only hope
the worst was over! But it doesn't matter much _now_. I know I shall never
see DOUGLAS again!

     [_She goes sorrowfully up to her room._

(_End of Scene VII._)

       *       *       *       *       *


The Oxford University Dramatic Society, unlike the Cambridge A. D. C., is
compelled by the Authorities to walk only amidst the high peaks and
sometimes monotonous solitudes of the legitimate drama. _The Two Gentlemen
of Verona_, which was chosen for this term's performance, is, if the truth
must be told, an uninteresting stage-play. The story is of the slightest;
there is scarcely a genuinely dramatic incident from beginning to end. The
audience wearies of a succession of pretty pictures and sentimental
soliloquies or dialogues, mouths begin to gape, and the attention wanders.
Is this sacrilege? If it be, I must be content to be sacrilegious. But
there is scope for careful and graceful acting, and of this the O. U. D. S.
took full advantage.

[Illustration: Teaching him his A. D. C.]

Mr. WHITAKER'S _Valentine_ was a very pleasing performance. He spoke his
lines admirably, grouped himself (if the Hibernianism be permissible)
excellently, and showed himself in every sense a well-graced actor. Mr.
PONSONBY'S _Launce_, too, was capital, carefully thought out and
consistently rendered. One or two of the actors in tights seemed unduly
conscious of their hands and knees, but, on the whole, the acting was of
good average excellence. The Ladies here are real Ladies, not stuffed
imitations, as at Cambridge. Mrs. SIM, Mrs. MORRIS, and Miss FARMER, were
all good. But the one really brilliant performance was that of _Crab_, the
dog, by a wonderful Variety performer from the Theatre Royal, Dogs' Home,
Battersea. If this gorgeously ugly, splendidly intelligent, and
affectionately versatile animal is sent back at the conclusion of the run
of the piece to be asphyxiated at Battersea, I shall never believe in the
gratitude or humanity of the O. U. D. S.


       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: Timothy's Quest.]

In the arid life of the book-reviewer there is sometimes found the oasis of
opportunity to recommend to a (comparatively) less suffering community a
book worth reading. My Baronite has by chance come upon such an one in
_Timothy's Quest_, by KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN. The little volume is apparently
an importation, having been printed for the Riverside Press, Cambridge,
Mass. It is published in London by GAY AND BIRD, a firm whose name, though
it sounds lively, is as unfamiliar as the Author's. Probably from this
combination of circumstances, _Timothy's Quest_ has, as far as my
Baronite's quest goes, escaped the notice of the English Reviewer. That is
his personal loss. The book is an almost perfect idyl, full of humanity,
fragrant with the smell of flowers, and the manifold scent of meadows. It
tells how _Timothy_, waif and stray in the heart of a great city, escaped
from a baby-farm to whose tender cares he had been committed; how, in a
clothes-basket, mounted on four wooden wheels, cushioned with a dingy
shawl, he wheeled off another waif and stray, a prattling infant; and how,
accompanied by a mongrel dog named _Rags_, the party made its way to a
distant village, nestling in the lap of green hills with a real river
running through it. Here boy and baby--and _Rags_ too--find New England
friends, whom it is a privilege for _nous autres_ to know. _Samanthy Ann_
is a real live person, and so is _Jabe Slocum_--a long, loose,
knock-kneed, slack-twisted person, of whom Aunt _Hitty Tarbox_ (whom GEORGE
ELIOT might have sketched) remarked he would have been "longer yit if he
hedn't hed so much turned up fur feet." _Timothy's Quest_ is the best thing
of the kind that has reached us from America since _Little Lord Fauntleroy_
crossed the Atlantic.

(_Signed_) "_Nihil obstat_," BARON DE B.-W.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Q. E. D.



       *       *       *       *       *


At Burlington House.--Real treat. No. 6. Portrait of CHARLES DIBDIN, the
Nautical Poet and Songster. Painted by Sir WILLIAM BEECHEY, R.A.
Appropriate, a "_Beechey Head_."

No. 11. "_Girl Sketching._" By Sir JOSHUA REYNOLDS, P.R.A. Everybody knows
that the sun stood still for JOSHUA; here you may see how, for Sir JOSHUA,
the daughter stood still.

No. 36. Our old friend, "_A Chat round the Brasero_." By PHILLIP OF SPAIN,
_i.e._, JOHN PHILLIP, R.A. It ought to have been called "_A Good Story_."
No chatting is going on, but the worthy _padre_ has just told them a story
which, like the picture itself, is full of local colour. The _padre_ has
given a "Phillip" to the conversation.

No. 43. "_Portrait of an Actor._" By ZOFFANY, R.A. Who is the Actor? The
Painter we know; but the Actor--? "_Ars longa, vita brevis_"--and "then is
heard no more."

No. 48. Another Portrait of another Actor. By ZOFFANY. Name! Name! Did they
both appear for "one night only"--come "like shadows, so depart"?

No. 75. "_Portrait of a Lady_"--an old lady, but such an old lady! By
REMBRANDT. What a cap! What a frill! What a pocket-handkerchief! Delighted
to see such a specimen of "Old Dutch!" Homely old Dutchess!

No. 78. "_The Fishmonger._" By VAN OSTADE. The fish as fresh to-day as when
it was originally bought.

No. 109. Wonderful! VAN DYCK'S "_Burgomaster Triest_." As the eminent
critic and punster, JOSEPH VON MÜLLER, observed to VAN DYCK, "DYCK, my boy,
thou wilt never paint a better than this _Burgomaster of Triest_ if thou
Tri-est ever so!"

Then quoth my companion, "Come to the BLAKE Collection." Ahem! Into the
Black-and-White Room. Ugh!... "That way madness lies." No more to-day,
thank you.

       *       *       *       *       *

BEASTLY SUPERIORITY.--(_Konundrum by the "Boxing Kangaroo," on hearing of
the "Wrestling Lion."_)--What is tamer than a tame lion? Why, of course, a
Lion Tamer.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_An Apology accompanying a Purse._)

  Do you like it? I wonder! Or think you it's stupid
    To send such a commonplace gift as a Purse?
  Do you sigh for the tinsel, and gauze, and the Cupid,
    And the wonderful sentiments written in verse?
  Well, suppose I had sent them. You'd murmur, "How pretty!"
    Then not see them again as you put them away.
  Shall I candidly tell you I thought 'twere a pity
    Just to send you a gift that would last for a day?

  But consider the times and the seasons--how many!
    When a purse--something in it--will save you from fuss.
  When you're posting a letter (to me), or a penny
    You may want for a paper, a tram, or a 'bus.
  When you've done with the purse, as you carefully lock it,
    And look with all proper precaution to see
  That the gold is still there, as it goes in your pocket,
    Let a thought or two, sweetheart, come straying to me.

  I've explained as I could. Do you still go on sighing
    For the commoner Valentine--tinsel and gauze,
  With the pictures of wonderful cherubim flying
    In a reckless defiance of natural laws?
  If you do--well, forgive me. Don't think me unkind. You
    Know I'd not treat yourself in so heartless a style,
  And so let this gift, as you use it, remind you
    Of one whom you won, my dear, outright, with your smile.

       *       *       *       *       *

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT suggests that "Parish Councils will do everything for
the distressed Agriculturists." Sir WILLIAM should advertise the remedy out
of his Farmercopoeia--"Try Parish's Food for Agricultural Infants in

       *       *       *       *       *

A MEERY JEST.--Said the AMEER to an English friend, "Yes, I am uncertain of
my position. I _Am 'eer_ to-day and gone to-morrow."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


_BECKET_ has beaten the record. By the way, how the real original THOMAS À
BECKET would have beaten _The Record_, if the latter ecclesiastical journal
had existed in his time, and had given his Grace of Canterbury some nasty
ones in a leading article! But "that is another story." It is some time
since HENRY IRVING,--than whom no actor takes more thought, whether as to
his author's lines, or to his own lines when "making up,"--has achieved so
great and so genuine a success, and a success that will last in the memory
of playgoers for many years to come, as he has in placing TENNYSON'S
_Becket_ on the stage, and himself playing the part of the great
Archbishop. By the side of this ecclesiastic, his _Wolsley_ is, so to
speak, nowhere.

[Illustration: "Bene! Ego sum benedicta!"]

In SHAKSPEARE'S time _Becket_ would have been a difficult subject to
tackle; as indeed did KING HENRY find him,--an uncommonly difficult subject
to tackle. But fortunately for English history in dramatic form, it was
left for TENNYSON to treat the incidents of the story with a free hand,
poetic touch, and a liberal mind. Once, towards the close of the tragedy,
HENRY IRVING, austere, yet pitiful, going "to meet his King," brought to my
thoughts _Savonarola_. Grander far than _Savonarola_ was _Thomas Becket_,
soldier, priest, and martyr.

Then his tender compassion for the unfortunate _Rosamond_, a most difficult
character--nay, a characterless character--for any actress to play!
_Becket_ as archbishop and actor, seems to pity her for being so
colourless. TENNYSON couldn't do without her, yet he could do very little
with her.

Our ELLEN TERRY is a sweet loving gentle figure, clinging to her royal
lover with a sort of fond hope that one of these days things in general
would turn out all right; but in the meantime she is living always "in a
maze." The love-scene (taking place in a marvellously effective stage set)
between her and _Henry_ is charming. Poor _Henry_! With _Eleanor_ the Dark
and _Rosamond_ the Fair,--whom he was obliged to keep dark,--the life of
the monarch, like that of the policeman, was "not a happy one." _Eleanor_
the Queen, as a _divorcée_, was not _Henry's_ wife; but _Rosamond_, if, as
is supposed, the King had married her, was his wife and not his mistress.
It is just this point that ought to be emphasised, in order to give the
right clue to _Eleanor's_ character and conduct in regard to her treatment
of _Rosamond_. _Rosamond_ must be right and virtuous; _Eleanor_ wrong and
vicious; the King fond, weak, and capricious. To regard the whole story as
one of a mere _amour_ is to entirely miss the beauty of the gentle
_Rosamond's_ nature. She is at once "gentle and simple."

And herein seems to me to have been the puzzlement in the poet's mind; he
was in doubt whether to regard _Henry's_ attachment to _Rosamond_ as only a
_liaison_--to represent _Becket_ as so treating it, or to place _Eleanor_
manifestly in the wrong, as being herself _not_ the wife she pretends to
be. "Go to a nunnery, go!" is the end of it all. But at that nunnery, it
seems, _Fair Rosamond_ remained for some time _permissu superiorum_ as, I
suppose, a lady-boarder, not assuming the habit of even a postulant, much
less compelled, as a novice, to be shorn of her hair, and so to appear in
the final Transformation Scene as "The Fair One _without_ the golden
locks." This freedom of action on the part of _Rosamond_ shows what it is
to be a postulant in a convent of a Poetically Licensed Order.


The Scene of the Martyrdom, "Becket's crown," is thrillingly impressive.
The faithful Monks are well played by Messrs. HAVILAND and BISHOP--a real
Bishop on the Stage, among all these representatives of various sees--while
Mr. FRANK COOPER is a rough-and-ready _Fitzurse_ leader of the four
"King's-men," who, of course, are all Fellows of King's, Cambridge, and
probably, therefore, under the ancient statutes, Old Etonians. Master LEO
BYRNE, aged eleven or thereabouts, makes quite a big part of little
_Geoffrey_, whose affections are divided between Ma, Pa, and his nurse
_Margery_ ("with a song"), the latter capitally played and sung by Miss

Where all the scenery is good, it is difficult, perhaps to single out one
set for especial praise; but my advice is, on no account miss the Second
Scene of the Prologue, "on the Battlements of a Castle in Normandy,"
painted by W. TELBIN. "Rosamond's Bower," by HAWES CRAVEN, is equally
perfect in another and of course totally distinct line. To pronounce upon
Professor STANFORD'S music when "the play's the thing" is impossible. The
_entr'actes_ deserve such special attention as they are not likely to
command when the audience is relaxing and refreshing itself.

On the whole, I should be inclined to say that the Lyceum has not had so
big a success since _Faust_: a success due to the popularity of the subject
represented, and the perfection of its representation. At least so thinks.


       *       *       *       *       *

PHILOSOPHIC Sages have generally been careless of their personal
appearance. Soap and water has not been their strong point. The exception
is DIOGENES, who was seldom out of his tub.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *





_Emigrant._ "HWHAT! AND ME GO NAKUD?"]

       *       *       *       *       *



_House of Commons, Monday Night, February 6._--"Did you ever destroy your
offspring, TOBY?" Rather curious question to ask any fellow. To me
particularly startling. There are family traditions that, in accordance
with sort of Malthusian doctrine, some of my young relations, my
contemporaries in fact, were put out of the way even before their innocent
eyes had grown accustomed to the light of a beneficent heaven. Thought at
first GEORGE WYNDHAM meant something personal; was really thinking of his
own woes.

"That's my speech," he said, showing me with melancholy smile quite a
bundle of manuscript. "Worked at it all yesterday, instead of going to
church. Read every Blue Book about Uganda; studied the map, and could pass
an examination in the matter of its rivers and valleys, its hills and
lakes, its various tribes, who are always murdering each other. Prince
ARTHUR, you know, asked me to resume Debate at to-night's Sitting. Great
opportunity; meant to make most of it; then, when I'm in my place conning
my manuscript, Prince ARTHUR gives me up. Mr. G. reads text of PORTAL'S
instructions, and shows we've nothing to complain about or to criticise.
Rather hard on a young fellow not unduly given to speech-making. Tell you
what, TOBY, if you've got three-quarters of an hour to spare, and will come
with me into the Lobby, I'll read you my speech."

Much touched at this kindness. Unfortunately had an engagement which
prevented my availing myself of it.

KENNAWAY and Alphabet COUTTS in same box as WYNDHAM; get out of it in
different fashion. They, also, had prepared speeches, unknowing what turn
affairs would take. Weren't going to waste them, so delivered them at
length. They had everything but an audience. House could not prevent them
reeling off their speeches, but wouldn't stay to listen. Everybody happy
all round, and evening agreeably wasted.

_Business done._--More talk round Address.

_Tuesday._--Pretty to see DON'T-KEIR HARDIE just now escorted into House
arm-in-arm with CHARLES EDWARD HOWARD VINCENT, C.B., formerly of the Royal
Welsh Fusiliers, now Colonel of the Queen's Westminster Volunteers. Some
talk of the two Members temporarily changing coats whilst they addressed
the House. This was HOWARD VINCENT'S suggestion.

"I fancy, Brother HARDIE," he said, "it would picturesquely emphasise the
situation, don't you know, if we thus made community of at least our coats.
That's rather a remarkable garment you wear. If I put it on, and you wore
mine, then House would see how thoroughly one we are. Do you mind?"

"Well," said HARDIE, dubiously, "there's a good many things in the pockets,
and they might get loose if you went mauling round with the coat. So I
think, if you don't mind, we'll go in our own duds."

"Oh, as you please," said the Colonel, coldly, a little hurt at this
evidence of lack of confidence on part of his new pal.

So DON'T-KEIR HARDIE, moving Amendment to Address, orated in his own
clothes, whilst HOWARD VINCENT sat above Gangway near him, and punctuated
his speech with persistent cry of "Hear! hear!" A notable figure his friend
made. Evidently in the ranks of the Unemployed in the DON'T-KEIR HARDIE
household are the comb and brush. Through a mass of black hair, matted on
head and chin, DON'T-KEIR looked on House of Commons. The coat HOWARD
VINCENT hankered after was rather a jacket, cut short, so as to hide little
of the effulgence of his murky mustard-hued trowsers. Pockets alike of
trowsers and jacket were bulging with letters and papers. You could see
when he stood up to speak that he had just posted a letter to himself,
sticking it in his waistcoat pocket, which only half concealed its surface.

"I don't exactly know how it is," said GORST, curiously regarding
DON'T-KEIR HARDIE, and his eruption of correspondence, "but our friend, for
whom I shall certainly vote, somehow reminds me of _Mrs. Jellaby_. The same
earnestness of vague purpose, the same self-devotion to public questions,
and the same large correspondence. I wouldn't be surprised, if you had the
opportunity of examining our friend's hands, if you found them rather inked
than horny. Still, I shall vote for him, and say something, if not exactly
in his favour, at least a few words that will puzzle our fellows and rile
the Bench opposite."

_Business done._--DON'T-KEIR HARDIE moved Amendment to Address, calling
upon Parliament to provide for Unemployed; negatived by 276 votes against

_Wednesday._--"It was a good thing to win the Inverness Burghs," said the
SQUIRE OF MALWOOD just now, reflectively stroking his chin. "But it was not
all gain. FINLAY worth a good deal to us. In moments of profoundest
depression he acted upon Mr. G. with remarkable tonic effect. Often when we
sat on other side, things going bad, and Mr. G. has seemed a little dull,
he has accidentally turned round, and caught sight of FINLAY, sitting, as
you will remember he did, just behind us. In a moment our revered Chief was
another man. His eye flashed, colour came back to his face, every nerve
vibrated: Mr. G. was himself again. On the whole, I fancy FINLAY was worth
more to us than the two votes on a Division, for which we have bartered

Much in what the SQUIRE says. It turned out this afternoon he did not mourn
as one who has no hope, FINLAY gone, but JESSE COLLINGS remains. Has in
degree, the same physical and mental effect on Mr. G. that FINLAY had. This
afternoon Mr. G. sitting on Treasury Bench, apparently waiting for
Division. Debate on JESSE COLLINGS'S Amendment to Address flickering out.
HENRY FOWLER, in vigorous speech, had replied for Government. EDWARD
STANHOPE said a few words; nothing to be done but to take Division. Whilst
STANHOPE speaking, Mr. G. turned round to see how forces were mustered.
Accidentally his eye fell on benevolent visage of JESSE COLLINGS, just then
lit up with smile of genial satisfaction at compliment paid him by personal
reference in STANHOPE'S speech. In an instant Mr. G.'s visage and attitude
altered. The spell had worked, and to surprise of House he followed
STANHOPE, falling straightway upon the unsuspecting JESSE, treating him, as
GRANDOLPH, an amused and interested spectator of the scene, observed, "with
all the vigorous familiarity Pantaloon is accustomed to meet with at


_Business done._--Mr. G. "goes for" JESSE COLLINGS.

_Friday_, 2 A.M.--Long time since I saw Liberals in such fighting trim as
at this moment. Been at it all night discussing REDMOND'S motion for
release of Dynamitards. ASQUITH made speech that has confirmed and improved
his Parliamentary position. At quarter to one this morning Division taken,
giving thumping majority, 316, to Government. When figures announced,
Ulster Member moved Adjournment of Debate. Wants to talk about release of
Gweedore prisoners.

"Right you are," said SQUIRE OF MALWOOD; "Twelve o'Clock Rule suspended; we
can sit all night. Fire away!"

Prince ARTHUR, forgetful of many cheerful nights he has sat up hearing the
chimes in company with TIM HEALY, protested against this as tyrannical
proceeding. Irish Members massed below Gangway howled with delight. Their
turn come now. Long they groaned under Prince ARTHUR'S iron heel. Now
they've got _him_ down, and dance round him with shouts of exultation and
Homeric bursts of laughter. Hardly can his voice be heard above the din;
but he pegs along, finally turning his back on jubilant mob below Gangway;
addresses himself to SPEAKER, edging in a sentence amid comparative pauses
in uproar. PRINCE ARTHUR protests he will not yield to force; Liberals
opposite, cheered by news from Walsall, following fast on heels of triumph
at Halifax, laugh and scoff. Mr. G. safely packed off to bed; the SQUIRE
and his brother officers on Front Bench evidently ready to make a night of
it. TIM HEALY, radiant with this rare and rosy reflection of the good old
times, observes it is "an excellent hour of the evening to begin fresh

More hubbub; House divides, showing Government in possession of majority of
80. Renewed tumult when they come back from the Lobby. JESSE COLLINGS
rising, with intent to implore House to remember its dignity, is met with
such swift, sudden, rampant roar of "Rat! Rat!" that after ineffectual
contest, he subsides. Another Division; Government majority gone up one.
Fresh Motion made for Adjournment; Members tightening their belts for
all-night sitting, when SQUIRE OF MALWOOD unexpectedly gives in. "Go on! go
on!" excited Liberals cry.

"No," said the dignified Old Roman, throwing an imaginary toga over
substantial shoulder. "No? they have done enough to make their position
clear before the country. Let them go to bed." So at 2:20 A.M. they went.

_Business done._--Blowing great guns.

_Friday Night._--A flash in the pan at the opening of the Sitting, when
PRINCE ARTHUR, meaning to smite at the unoffending figure of the SQUIRE OF
MALWOOD, hit Mr. G. He explained, and apologised; thereafter, a long, dull

DAVITT took his seat, amid loud cheers from both sides. A curious episode
in his history, honourable both to him and House. A real good man DAVITT,
with all the modesty of sterling merit. Still, inclined to be
argumentative. Had scarcely taken his seat, when he came up to me, and
said, "It's very well for you, _Toby_, to be M.P. for Barks; but I'm M.P.
for Tenpence. Yes, that's the precise sum it cost me to win my seat."

New Members come, and old ones depart. Everybody sorry to hear of the death
of LOUIS JENNINGS, a fine-natured, high-souled man, of brilliant intellect
and wide culture. In later Sessions has been handicapped by the cruel
illness that carried him off whilst in his prime. But he made his mark at
Westminster as he had done in New York, India, and Printing House Square.

_Business done._--Still talking round Address.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE NEW DOCTOR.


       *       *       *       *       *



_Question._ What is the Stock Exchange?

_Answer._ The best English substitute for Monte Carlo.

_Q._ Has it any rivals?

_A._ Certainly; the Turf and the Card-room.

_Q._ In your opinion, is the Stock Exchange preferable to the alternatives
you have mentioned?

_A._ It is, as it is more business-like, and consequently more respectable.

_Q._ Has politics anything to do with speculation at Capel Court?

_A._ To a certain extent; but a good unscrupulous untruth is better than
the tottering of kingdoms.

_Q._ Is the dissemination of false news permissible?

_A._ Only by operators for the rise or fall.

_Q._ What is a flutter?

_A._ The performance of a financial operation with the assistance of a
tossed-up halfpenny.

_Q._ When is it advisable to indulge in a flutter?

_A._ At the moment when your credit is greater than your balance at the

_Q._ What is a balance?

_A._ An unknown quantity--to the impecunious.

_Q._ Is it necessary for the impecunious to suffer want?

_A._ Not if the lack of funds is concealed from the tradespeople.

_Q._ Ought not a (legal) infant to pay his debts?

_A._ Only at the instigation of a County-Court Judge, or if they happen to
be debts of honour.

_Q._ What is a debt of honour?

_A._ Usually the outcome of a discreditable transaction.

_Q._ Is the nonpayment of a tradesman dishonourable?

_A._ No, for such a payment is not a "necessary." Payment only becomes a
"necessary" when you bet with a man of your own order.

_Q._ Is it possible to do without money?

_A._ Yes, when you can live upon your acquaintances.

_Q._ From your last answers it would appear that money seems sometimes
capable of being treated with levity. Can you give me an instance when cash
is not a light subject?

_A._ Yes when it is under weight, and is, consequently, refused at your

_Q._ What is the best method of obtaining the full value of a light

_A._ By obtaining in return for it change in silver from a friend.

_Q._ Is silver of the same value as gold?

_A._ No, silver is a token; and in the instance to which I have referred,
it would be a token of confidence.

_Q._ Would this transaction be amusing?

_A._ Yes, to everyone but the friend.

       *       *       *       *       *

Time-Work versus Piece-Work!

(_By John Bull, Employer of Labour._)

  Payment of Members? Well, well, _I_ don't mind,
  If Members who're worthy of payment I find.
  But _then_ all this quarrelsome cackle must cease--
  If my M.P.'s I pay--like my Smiths--_by the piece_,
  I may yet get good work; but 'twere folly, nay, crime,
  To pay seven hundred praters for wasting my _time_!

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

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.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note--typographical errors fixed:

  exit changed to exits at the end of "A Candid Friend"
  corrected a misplaced quotation mark in "Mary-Anner"
  added a missing apostrophe in "Mary-Anner"
  added a missing period in "The Man from Blankley's"

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