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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 1, 1890
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. 98, February 1, 1890" ***

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

VOL. 98, FEBRUARY 1, 1890***


PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 98

FEBRUARY 1, 1890



    [Illustration]

UNTILED; OR, THE MODERN ASMODEUS.

    "Très volontiers," repartit le démon. "Vous aimez les
    tableaux changeans: je veux vous contenter."

    _Le Diable Boiteux._

XVIII.

  "'MRS. MÆCENAS!' So some would-be wit
  Dubbed the fair dame. The title may not fit
    With accurate completeness;
  It soars some shades too high, this modish _mot_,
  As 'Mrs. LYON-HUNTER' sinks too low;
    Both nick-names fail in neatness.

  "The '_acu tetigisti_,' tribute rare,
  Not oft is earned, in Fleet Street or Mayfair,
    In these hot days of hurry.
  _Salons_, Symposia, both have met their doom,
  And wit, in the Victorian drawing-room,
    Finds a fell foe in flurry."

  So spake the Shadow, with the covert sneer
  That struck so coldly on the listening ear.
    Soft was his speech, as muffled
  By some chill atmosphere surcharged with snow,
  In unemphatic accents, level, low,
    Unhasting and unruffled.

  "Mrs. MÆCENAS, then, no HORACE finds
  In all her muster of superior minds,
    Her host of instant heroes?
  That's hard!" I said. "She does not greatly care,"
  My guide rejoined. "Behold her seated there!
    Her court's as full as NERO'S.

  "SENECA stands beside her. He's a prim,
  Sententious sage. If she is bored by him,
    The lady doth not show it.
  But there's a furtive glancing of her eye
  Toward the entry. There comes MARX M'KAY,
    The Socialistic Poet.

  "His lyric theories mean utter smash
  To all his hostess cares for. Crude and rash,
    But musically 'precious.'
  His passionate philippics against Wealth
  Mammon's own daughters read, 'tis said, by stealth,
    And vote them 'quite delicious!'

  "All that makes life worth living to the throng
  Of worshippers who mob this Son of Song,
    Money, Monopoly, Merriment,
  He bans and blazes at in 'Diræ' dread;
  But then they know his Muse is merely Red
    In metrical experiment.

  "Well-dressed and well-to-do, the flaming Bard
  Finds life in theory only harsh and hard.
    His _chevelure_ looks shaggy,
  But his black broad-cloth's glossy and well-brushed,
  And he'd feel wretched if his tie were crushed,
    His trousers slightly baggy.

  "KARL MARX in metre or LASSALLE in verse,
  The vampire-horde of Capital he'll curse,
    And praise the Proletariat;
  But having thus delivered his bard-soul,
  He finds it, practically, nice to loll
    With DIVES in his chariot.

  "Lyrical Communism will not fright
  Those 'Molochs of the Mart' this Son of Light
    Keeps his poetic eye on.
  'Who takes a Singer _au grand sérieux_?'
  Mrs. MÆCENAS asks. So he's on view,
    Her Season's latest lion.

  "But not alone," I said. "If all this host
  Are right authentic Leos, she must boast
    As potent charm as CIRCE'S.
  What is her wand? Is't wit, or wealth, or both?"
  "Listen! That's MUMPS the mimic, nothing loth,
    Rolling out VAMPER'S verses!

  "VAMPER looks on and smiles with veiled delight.
  Boredom's best friends are fellows who recite.
    None like, not many listen,
  But all must make believe to stand about
  And watch a man gesticulate and shout,
    With eyes that glare and glisten.

  "'Tis hard indeed to hold in high esteem
  The man who mouths out _Eugene Aram's Dream_
    In guttural tones and raucous.
  All these have heard a hundred times before
  Young Vox, the vain and ventriloquial bore
    They'd fain despatch to Orcus.

  "So have they listened many and many a time
  To little JINKS, the jerky comic mime,
    And his facetious chatter.
  But ill would fare Town's guest if he refused
  For the five hundredth time to be 'amused'
    By gush, or cockney patter.

  "HORACE'S _Piso_ were a pleasant chum
  Compared with slangy laureates of the slum.
    Hist! There's a tenor twitter,
  A tremulous twangle of the minor strings.
  'Tis SERAPHIN, sleek Amateur, who sings,
    'Glide where the moonbeams glitter!'

  "'To puling girls that listen and adore
  Your love-lorn chants and woful wailings pour!'
    Sang HORACE to HERMOGENES.
  SERAPHIN'S a TIGELLIUS, and his style
  Would bring the bland Venusian's scornful smile
    The scowl of sour DIOGENES.

  "'Twere 'breaking butterflies upon the wheel'
  To let such fribbles feel the critic steel
    With scalpel-like severity?
  Granted! But will no pangs the victims urge
  To abate that plague of bores, which is the scourge
    Of social insincerity?

  "Wisdom is here, and Wit, Talent and Taste:
  The latest wanderer from the Tropic Waste,
    Sun-bronzed and care-lined, saunters
  In cheery chat with mild-faced MIRABEL,
  Who with Romance's wildest weirdest spell
    Has witched your Mudie-haunters.

  "Colossal BAYARD, _beau-sabreur_, whose blade
  A dozen desert spearmen faced and stayed,
    Stoops his high-shoulder'd stature
  To hear the twittering tones of Tiny TIM,
  A midget, but the soul of whit and whim,
    The genius of good-nature.

  "Boy-faced, but virile, vigorous, and a peer,
  Lord MOSSMORE talks with VIOLET DE VERE,
    The latest light of Fiction;
  Steadily-rising statesman, season's star!
  Calmly he hears, though Caste's keen instincts jar,
    Her strained self-conscious diction.

  "MELDRUM, the modish _medico_, laughs low
  At ruddy RASPER'S keenly-whispered _mot_--
    RASPER, a soul all strictures,
  Holds the great world a field for sketchy chaff.
  Many love not the man, but how they laugh
    At his swift, scathing pictures!

  "Wits of all grades, and Talents of all sorts,
  With rival beauties holding separate courts,
    Find here parade, employment.
  And yet, and yet, they all look cross, or tired;
  Your cultured city has not yet acquired
    The art of true enjoyment.

  "Strange! London's poor find pleasure far too dear,
  But here, with wealth, and wit, and charm, and cheer,
    All should go _so_ delightfully.
  Time gay as in the Golden Age should fleet,
  But the most brilliant stars in Babylon meet,
    And--bore each other frightfully."

(_To be continued._)

       *       *       *       *       *

IN THE NAME OF CHARITY--GO TO PRISON!

LAST week _Mr. Punch_ asked, "Oh, where, and oh where, is The Public
Prosecutor?" and he has received an answer. It appears that the official
has been recently engaged (his letter is dated the 30th of November) in
suppressing an "illegal scheme" to aid the funds of the North-West
London Hospital. It appears that, with a view to increasing the revenue
of that most deserving charity, it was arranged to treat some presents
that had been made to the Institution as "prizes," to be given to those
who sent donations to the hospital. There was to be a "drawing," which
was to be duly advertised in the daily papers. But this could not be
tolerated. Sir A. K. STEPHENSON, Solicitor to Her Majesty's Treasury,
after denouncing the scheme in the terms above set forth, informed the
Secretary of the Hospital, "that all persons concerned therein subjected
themselves to the penalties imposed by the Acts passed for the
suppression of illegal lotteries." Well, the law is the law, and it
would never do for _Mr. Punch_ to dispute the point with so learned a
gentleman as Sir A. K. STEPHENSON--the more especially as Sir A. K. S.
has just been patented a Q.C.--but if the Public Prosecutor can stop
"illegal schemes" for benefiting the sick, why can he not also deal with
the professional perjurers, suborners of witnesses, and fabricators of
false evidence? _Mr. Punch_ pauses for a reply, but is disinclined to
pause much longer!

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR TURN NOW.--An excited paragraph in the morning papers announces that
"two Doctors of Vienna have succeeded in discovering the Influenza
_bacillus_ after a series of experiments in the Chemical and
Physiological Laboratory of the University." This is capital. Hitherto
the Influenza _bacillus_ has discovered _us_. Now the tables are turned,
and the question is, What shall we do with our prize? A little
transaction in boiling lead might not be bad to begin with.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: AN OLD FABLE.

    _Frog._ "I MEAN TO BE AS BIG AS YOU, ONE DAY, AND
    SWALLOW YOU UP. BUST IF I DON'T!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A "FISH OUT OF WATER" AT GREENWICH.

In a not very wise speech delivered while presiding at the opening of a
new series of lectures in connection with the Greenwich Branch of the
Society for the Extension of University Teaching, Lord WOLSELEY modestly
admitted "that whatever information he had acquired in life had been
acquired from the ordinary penny newspaper which he had read day by
day." No doubt this rather humiliating fact accounts for the florid
style of the proclamations "Our Only General" used to publish in Egypt
and elsewhere--proclamations at the time recognised as having the tone
of Astley's in the good old days of the _Battle of Waterloo_ and other
military melodramas. However, if it pleases Lord WOLSELEY to give
materials for a future biography, that is no one's concern but his own.
Unfortunately he touched upon another matter, about which he knows
evidently very little, if anything at all. His Lordship spoke in very
disrespectful terms of what he called the "Shilling Dreadful," which, he
declared (in this instance accurately enough), was "prized by many
people." Certainly the novelette is more popular than _The Soldier's
Pocket-book_, although both _brochures_ are equally works of
imagination. So it should be, considering that amongst the authors who
have produced it have been WILKIE COLLINS, HUGH CONWAY, F. ANSTEY,
ROBERT BUCHANAN, GRANT ALLEN, WALTER BESANT, RHODA BROUGHTON, and others
equally well known to fame. He concluded by remarking, "that if men of
all politics were to be shaken up in a bag, he believed there would be
very little difference between them." Quite true, if the bag were shaken
sufficiently long to complete the transformation--but it would be rather
a brutal experiment!

       *       *       *       *       *

A PAGE FROM A DIARY.

(_Purely Imaginary._)

_First Week._--Now let me see what I have to do. I will leave out of
consideration my extra-parliamentary utterances--they will take care of
themselves. Shan't forget _them_. But other matters. Well, I have to
turn the works of my dear old friend ALF TENNYSON into Greek--of course,
omitting certain highly injudicious lines of a reactionary character.
Then I must read through the last edition of the _Encyclopædia
Britannica_. No skipping, but go through _every_ article thoroughly and
conscientiously. Then, of course, there is Grand Day at Gray's Inn. Must
_not_ forget that. Should like, above all things, to be present. Now let
me see that I have got the date all right. Yes, I remember. Grand Day,
Hilary Term. Falls on a Thursday. I shan't forget.

_Second Week._--Translation of TENNYSON into Greek going on famously.
Not had time to cut down any trees, so busy have I been. Got as far as
"Foghorn" in _Encyclopædia Britannica_. New edition a very good one.
Glad I made up my mind to read it. Let me see, anything else? Why, to be
sure, Grand Day at Gray's Inn! Rather cut off my hand or even my head,
than forget _that_! Treasurer particularly nice man. So are all the
Benchers. So are all the Barristers and the Students. Excellent fellows,
all of them--yes, excellent. So must not forget Grand Day at Gray's Inn.
To be sure. Falls on a Thursday.

_Third Week._--_A. T._ progressing nicely. Little difficulty about the
translation of the _Northern Farmer_. Rather awkward to give the proper
weight of a country dialect in Greek. However, it reads very well,
indeed! Think my dear old friend ALF will be pleased with it; he should
be, as it has given me a good deal of trouble. However, all's well that
ends well. _E. B._ also satisfactory. Got into the "D's." Article upon
the "Docks," scarcely exhaustive enough to please me, so have been
reading some other books upon the same subject. Forgotten nothing? No,
because I remember I have to dine at Gray's Inn. Yes, to be sure--23rd
of January. Grand Day. Hilary Term. Falls on a Thursday. Would not
forget it to save my election! Looking forward to the port. Excellent
port at Gray's Inn, I am told. Well, well, I shall be there! I don't
believe much in artificial memory, but to assist my recollection, I have
tied knots in all my pocket-handkerchiefs. Wouldn't forget the fixture
for a kingdom. Falls on a Thursday.

_Fourth Week._--Finished Greek translation of TENNYSON'S Poems. Very
pleased with the result. Must send a copy to dear old ALF. Perhaps it
might suggest to him that it would be a graceful compliment in return to
translate all my speeches into Latin verse. Dear old friend! There is
not another man to whom I would entrust such a task with equal
heartiness. He would do it _so_ well. Must look up my earlier orations.
If ALF does _any_ of it, he should do it _all_. I do not believe in half
measures. Nearly finished the _E. B._ Article upon "Music" very
interesting. "Pigs" not so good; however "Wheel-barrows" excellent and
exhaustive. Rather angry to find knots in my handkerchiefs, &c., until I
suddenly remembered they were to remind me of my engagement to dine at
Gray's Inn. To be sure. Grand Day, Hilary Term. Falls on a Thursday.
Sure to be a delightful evening. Several of my young Irish friends are
members of the Society. I am looking forward to it _so_ much. Useful
things, knots. Remembered it at once! Tie them again. Also put _grey_
wideawake hat over clock in my study. That will remind me of _Gray's_
Inn. Falls on a Thursday!

_Last Week._--There, now I can come to this book with a clear
conscience. Done everything. Greek translation of TENNYSON ready for
press. Finished letter "Z" last night, in final volume of the
_Encyclopædia Britannica_. Nothing omitted. Rather annoyed to find
someone has been tying knots in my handkerchief. Hate practical jokes!
Careless person, too, has been hanging my old grey wideawake on the
clock in my study. Rather a liberty! Don't like liberties. Always
courteous to _everybody_--consequently, expect _everybody_ to be
courteous to _me_! Still, can't help smiling. It _was_ a quaint idea to
hang my old wideawake on the clock in my study. I wonder what put such a
freak into the joker's head! Now let me look at the paper that has just
reached me from London. Dear me, "The Vacant Chair." That seems a good
title. And all about Gray's Inn! Now, I like Gray's Inn--a most
excellent place; everyone connected with it great friends of mine. And
writing of Gray's Inn, that reminds me--Good gracious! Why, last night
was Thursday, and I forgot to be there!!!

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: REFRESHMENTS IN VOGUE.

    "QUININE OR ANTIPYRINE, MY LADY?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

MENU-BETTING.

GENTLEMEN who bet on every event in life--who cut cards to decide
whether they shall go into the City by cab or by underground train, and
toss up to see whether they had better dine at home or at the Club, may
be interested to know of a new game of chance which can be played at
dinnertime, and in which ladies not only may but must take part.
"Betting on the _menu_" it is called; and it is done in this way. You
ask the lady next to you on the right--the one you have taken in to
dinner--permission to speculate as to what dishes she will choose from
among those inscribed on the _menu_; and you back your selection in a
series of bets either with the lady herself, or--if she happens not to
be what the French call "_sportive_"--with any gentleman who may be
willing to do business with you. Suppose the lady takes you? You make a
pencil-mark against each dish which, it seems to you, she will fancy;
and if you are right more often than you are wrong, you win--and the
lady does not pay you. In the contrary case you lose--and you pay the
lady. It need scarcely be said that you annotate your own copy of the
_menu_, and that the lady does not see it until the dinner is at an end.
The same principle is observed in betting with a gentleman in reference
to a lady's probable selection; but in this latter case neither of the
parties interested is at liberty to express any opinion, directly or
indirectly, as to the merits or demerits of the different dishes from
which the lady has to choose. Any member of the unfair sex may make sure
of winning from her antagonist--who will naturally have marked a certain
number of dishes--by simply abstaining from food throughout the dinner;
though the lady of the house might think this impolite. _Menu_-betting
is in any case an agreeable pastime for both sexes. It promotes
digestion; and any woman of moderate ability may make money by it.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MORE LIGHT!"--The British Museum is, it appears, presently to be opened
at night, its (Elgin) marble halls and others being illuminated with the
electric light. Concurrently with this happy event Mr. LOUIS FAGAN, of
the Departments of Prints and Drawings, announces a course of three
popular lectures on the Treasures of the Museum, to be delivered next
month at the Steinway Hall. No one knows more about the Museum than Mr.
FAGAN, and, with the assistance of 170 photographic reproductions,
exhibited by oxyhydrogen light, he will teach the public a thing or two
about its foundation, progress, and present contents.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: PHENOMENAL.

    NEAR-SIGHTED MAN IN CHURCH, INSPECTING SHAM INSECT ON
    LADY'S BONNET. HE IS SO EXCITED BY THE DISCOVERY, THAT
    HE HURRIES OUT OF CHURCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SERVICE,
    IN ORDER TO WRITE TO THE PAPERS TO ANNOUNCE THE SUDDEN
    APPEARANCE OF A MAGNIFICENT SPECIMEN OF THE LARGE
    TORTOISE-SHELL BUTTERFLY ON OUR SHORES IN MID-JANUARY,
    AS A PROOF OF THE MILDNESS OF THE CLIMATE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

AMONG THE AMATEURS.

No. IV.--RETROSPECT.

    SCENE--_A large Room, in which Guests are assembling
    previous to a Supper in honour of a Great Actor, who is
    about to leave for a tour to the United States. There
    has been a magnificent farewell performance, in which
    the Great Actor has surpassed himself. The public has
    shown unparalleled enthusiasm; the G. A. has appeared
    before the Curtain, and in a voice choked with emotion
    has assured his audience that the one thing that
    sustains him at this trying moment is the prospect of
    seeing them all again when he returns._

    TIME--11.45 P.M. _The Room is full of histrionic,
    literary, and artistic Celebrities, with a few stray
    Barristers and Doctors, who like to show publicly that
    in spite of the arduous labours of their professions,
    they can enjoy a mild dissipation as well as any man.
    Most of the leading lights of the "Thespian
    Perambulators,"_ BOLDERO, TIFFINGTON SPINKS, GUSHBY,
    ANDREW JARP, _and_ HALL, _have come to prove by their
    presence the sympathy of the Amateur Stage. On the last
    night but one they had concluded their series of
    performances at Blankbury. The Chairman of the Banquet
    is a middle-aged Peer, who is a regular attendant at
    first nights, and occupies a subordinate office in the
    Ministry. The Guest of the Evening has not yet arrived.
    A buzz of conversation fills the air. The Secretary of
    the Banquet, an actor, is anxiously hurrying about with
    a list, on which he ticks off names._

_The Secretary_ (_to_ BOLDERO). So glad all you fellows have been able
to come. I've put you pretty well together, as you wished. I wonder
where--oh! here he is at last.

    _Enter Great Actor. The Secretary rushes to him.
    Hand-shakings and congratulations all round. The G. A.
    moves up the room to where the Amateurs are standing._

_G. A._ (_shaking hands._) Ah! this is really friendly, TIFFINGTON,
really friendly. Were you in front to-night?

_Tiffington._ Of course we were. We wouldn't have missed it for a
thousand pounds. It went first class. I thought your idea of stabbing
ALPHONSO from behind instead of in front, was a genuine inspiration.

_G. A._ Approbation from Sir HUBERT. (_Bows and leaves quotation
unfinished_). But I've always played it like that, I think.

    [_Supper is announced. The Guests troop in to the
    supper-room._

_Tiffington_ (_to_ JARP, _as they walk in_). He's wrong there. Never did
it like that before; and, after all, I'm not sure it is such an
improvement. But if you don't praise these fellows they never forgive
you.

_Jarp._ Didn't he say anything about our show at Blankbury? I thought
you wrote to him about it.

_Tiffington._ So I did; wrote specially to tell him how well things had
gone off. But you might just as well try to pump wine out of a
pillar-box, as expect a word of sympathy or encouragement from a
professional. They're all the same.

    [_They take their seats,_ TIFFINGTON _and_ JARP _on one
    side of the table, the other three opposite them. The
    supper begins._

_Friend of the G. A._ (_on_ TIFFINGTON's _right_). Splendid performance,
was it not? I never saw him in finer form in my life. It's quite
impossible to imagine anything more dignified and pathetic than his
death-scene.

_Tiffington_ (_dubiously_). Hum! Yes. I'm not sure I should do it like
that quite. What do you say, GUSHBY?

_Gushby._ It's not my idea at all. He spins it out far too long. I
should like to see you act that, TIFF.

_Tiffington_ (_complacently_). Ah, well, so you might if things were
managed with common fairness. But (_bitterly_) you know well enough
there's a regular conspiracy against me. (_To Friend of G. A._) Now, of
course, you've read the notices of our performance of _Heads or Tails_?
Yes. I thought you had. Well, you _must_ have observed, that I don't get
more than two lines in any one of them, not a word more than two lines
upon my soul, and yet any fool knows that my part was the chief one. But
there you are. The beggars daren't abuse me. They know the public won't
stand that, so, just to spite me, they try to leave me out. But they're
very much mistaken if they think I care. Pooh! I snap my fingers at them
and their wretched conspiracy.

    [_Snaps them, and drinks moodily. The supper proceeds.
    Conversation everywhere ranges over all kinds of
    topics,--literature, art, the drama, the political
    situation, the last Divorce Case. The Amateurs continue
    to discuss themselves._

_Jarp_ (_to_ BOLDERO). Did you see that infamous notice in _The
Moonbeam_? Just like that rascal PENFOLD. He can't help showing his
jealousy, because we never asked him to join the Perambulators.

_Boldero._ Yes. There you have it in a nutshell. I tell you what it is,
we shall have to exclude all critics from our show in future.

_Tiffington._ Ah! that would punish them--and serve them right, too. Are
you going to sing to-night, HALL?

_Hall_ (_with a sigh of resignation_). I suppose I shall have to. I told
BATTERDOWN I should be ready, if wanted.

_Jarp._ Have you got anything new?

_Hall._ Rather. Something particularly neat, I think. I call it "_The
Super at Supper_." It goes like this:--

    [_Hums to his friends, who listen with rapt attention,
    occasionally interchanging glances expressive of
    enthusiastic admiration._

  I once knew a Super, a festive soul,
  Who quaffed champagne from a brimming bowl,
  And all night long as he quaffed he sang,
  "The Dukes may swing, and the Earls go hang,
  And the Duchesses, 'drat 'em, may go and be blowed;
  They've all been there, and they know the road--
  They're slaves, but the Super who sups is free--
  Oh! the Super's life is the life for me!

  _Chorus._

  With a hey-diddle-diddle and fiddle-di-dee,
  Oh! the supping Super's the man for me!"

_Spinks, Boldero, Gushby, Jarp_ (_with enthusiasm_). My dear
fellow, that's immense.

_Hill._ Yes, it's not bad. There are six verses, some of them even
better than that.

    [_The Chairman rises to propose the only toast of the
    evening, "Success to the Great Actor who is about to
    leave us for a short time." The usual
    speech--reminiscent, anecdotic, prophetic of tremendous
    triumphs, mildly humorous, pathetic._

_The Chairman_ (_concluding_). Therefore I bid you all charge your
glasses as full of wine as your hearts are full of sympathy, and join me
in wishing success to the Great Man, who is about to cull new laurels in
a foreign land.

    [_Roars of applause. Immense enthusiasm. The Great Actor
    responds. He is moved to tears. He assures his friends,
    that wherever he may go his heart will ever turn fondly
    to them. Great cheering._

_Tiffington_ (_puffing his cigar_). Not so bad. I always said he could
speak better than he could act.

    [_The supper concludes._ HALL _has not been asked to
    sing._

_Friend of Great Actor_ (_departing, to_ TIFFINGTON). It's been a
splendid evening, hasn't it?

_Tiffington_ (_putting on his coat_). Yes. Pretty fair. (_To_ HALL.)
Sorry for you, old chap. But the song will keep.

_Hall._ Keep? Oh, yes, it'll keep. I'll make it red-hot for the lot of
'em, and sing it at Blankbury next year. They won't like that, I rather
think.

_Jarp._ No, by Gad!

    [_Exeunt omnes._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SHREWING OF THE TAME.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,

MR. F. R. BENSON deserves commendation for a new idea. SHAKSPEARE has
been presented in many forms, but the notion of giving the Bard without
any acting to speak of is a novelty. And it is not quite certain that it
is a mistake. After all, a bad actor is an infliction, and it is better
to have gentlemen who have not spent centuries in mastering the
intricacies of their profession than a noisy personage who tears his
passions to atoms. The recent revivals of _A Midsummer Night's Dream_
and the _Taming of the Shrew_ at the Globe Theatre show how pleasing
Shakspearian representations may be made, even when their success
depends less upon elocution than scenic effect. The first of these plays
was simply delightful, with its fairy glades and "built-up" temples. The
last, too, is well off for "cloths," pleasingly representing Padua and
Verona. The performers (with the exception of Mr. STEPHEN PHILLIPS, who
speaks his lines with admirable effect) are not so noticeable. One of
the best-played parts in the piece is filled by an actor whose name does
not appear in the programme. He has nothing to do but to carry off
_Katherina_ (Mrs. F. R. BENSON), in Sc. 5., Act III., on his back. That
he looks like an ass while doing this goes without saying, but still he
is a valuable addition to the cast. From an announcement in the
programme, it appears that _Othello_, _Hamlet_, and the _Merchant of
Venice_ are shortly to be played. It seems at the first blush a
difficult task to pick out of Mr. BENSON'S present company a gentleman
quite suited to fill the title _rôles_ in the two first, and _Shylock_
in the last. But, no doubt, the Lessee and Manager thinks the playing of
the characters of the Prince of Denmark and the Moor a matter of minor
importance. And, if he does, it may be argued, from the cordial
reception that has been accorded to _A Midsummer Night's Dream_ and the
_Taming of the Shrew_, that he has an excellent reason for his opinion.

    Believe me, yours truly,
      ONE WHO IS EASILY PLEASED.

       *       *       *       *       *

HOW TO MEET IT.

SIR,--Having read all the letters that have appeared in the papers
suggesting a treatment for the prevailing epidemic, I have got, perhaps,
a little confused; but, on the whole, the following is the course, as
far as I can make out, that it would be prudent to pursue on finding
oneself threatened with any of the well-known symptoms. Immediately get
into a warm bath several degrees hotter than you can possibly bear it,
then get out again. Now go to bed, send for your family solicitor, and
make your will, meantime trying every half hour half a tumbler or so of
any patent medicine the advertisement of which occurs to you. Call in a
homoeopathic doctor, and give his system a turn for four-and-twenty
hours; then send for your own medical man. Take care that they do not
meet on the stairs. Take anything and everything he gives you for the
next eight-and-forty hours, interspersing his prescriptions with
frequent tumblers of hot and steaming ammoniated quinine-and-water,
getting down at the same time more beef tea, oysters, champagne,
muffins, mince-pies, oranges, nuts, and whiskey than, under ordinary
circumstances, you feel would be good for you. Continue the above
treatment for a couple of months. This is what I am going to try, if I
am down with it. As I said above, it is, if a little complicated, sure
to be all right, for I have got every item of it from a careful perusal
of those infallible guides and directors in all modern difficulties and
doubts,

    THE DAILY PAPERS.

       *       *       *       *       *

KICKED!

(_By the Foot of Clara Groomley._)

CHAPTER II.

I am still at Ryde, and it is still raining. On a day like this, a
little Ryde goes a great way. No Ryde without rain. _Telle est la vie._
The young girls at Plumfields sit writing themes indoors instead of
taking their exercise in the open air.

    [Illustration]

If this rain keeps on, I shall go to wild Assam again, or to the Goodwin
Sands. JAMES, the headwaiter, has told me thirteen different stories of
the haunted room of this hotel. None of them are amusing, or
interesting, or have anything to do with this tale. If I were writing a
shilling volume, I should put them in by way of padding. As it is, they
may go out. I too will go out.

***

I have seen Mlle. DONNERWETTER. She was racing along on the pier, and I
was pacing along in the rear. I saw her and caught her up. I hastily
pressed all the valuables that I had with me--four postage-stamps and an
unserviceable watch-key--into her hand, and entreated her to give me an
interview with Miss SMITH.

"Me muchee want to oblige English Sahib," she said, in her pulverised
English, "but ze Effendina--ze what you call 'ead-mistress, French lady
like myself--she no like it. She give me the _bottine_, if I let great
buckra massa talk to Fraulein SMEETS. But lookee--I give you straight
tip. Miss SMEETS is on ze pier now--you write note--slip it in her hand.
I wink ze eyebrow. I have a grand envy to oblige the English Signor. Ah!
Bismillah! _Quelle alouette!_"

She is French, very French, but she has a kind heart. I hurriedly wrote
a few impassioned words on my left cuff, and folded it into a
three-cornered note. I dropped it down Miss SMEET'S neck as I found her
leaning over the side of the pier, and then ran away. I heard her
murmur, "Someone's mistaken me for the post-office."

It is still raining, but I am quite happy. I have seen her again, and I
feel that she loves me. It was impossible to mistake the _tendresse_
with which she murmured, "post-office." In my little note I requested
her to send a reply to this hotel. I have asked her to tell me plainly
what her income is, and to state on what conditions she will forfeit it.
Of course, she has no income now, as she is a minor, but I would wait a
year or two for a certainty. Shall I write her some verses--lines to a
minor, or thoughts on the Southampton quay? Perhaps I had better wait
until I obtain the statistics. Ah, here is JAMES, bringing me a note. It
must be from my darling--no, it is from Mademoiselle.

    DEAR SIR,--Miss SMITH am going away to Londres. A
    telegram come for her, and I look over the shoulder. It
    say, 'Poor TOMMY'S kicked! Come at once,' Miss SMITH
    make the tears.

      Yours,
        LUCIA DONNERWETTER.

I must be off to London and get this matter traced. JAMES entreats me to
buy a new hat when I am away. He says it's bringing disgrace on the
hotel, and keeping away custom. What! Give up the hat which her dear
foot has kicked! Never! But, perhaps, I will have it ironed. The iron
has entered into my soul, and perhaps, it would be doing more good on my
hat. Yes, I will have it ironed. It does look a little limp. Ironed or
starched--what matter, when my darling is gone, and left me with no
information as to her income?

(_To be concluded in Two more Chapters._)

       *       *       *       *       *

"Venice Preserved" in The Haymarket.

No--not OTWAY'S tragedy, and not under Mr. BEERBOHM TREE'S management,
but at the Gallery next door to the Theatre, and under the
superintendence of Mr. MCLEAN, you will find not only Venice, but
Florence, Prague, Heidelberg, Capri, Augsburg, Nuremburg, Innsbrück, and
a good many other picturesque places, preserved in about a hundred
water-colour drawings, by Mr. EDWARD H. BEARNE. If there were not so
many rivers and lagoons in the exhibition, it might be called the
"Bearnese Oberland." These pictures are well painted, and, during the
gruesome weather, a tiny tour round this sunny gallery is mighty
refreshing.

       *       *       *       *       *

    STUDY FOR THE PELICAN CLUB.--The "Logic and Principles
    of Mill."

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: HAPPY THOUGHT.

    OUR ARTIST, FINDING HE CANNOT EXTERMINATE THE STREET
    MUSICIANS, AND UNWILLING TO BE EXTERMINATED BY THEM, HAS
    HIT UPON A PLAN FOR HARDENING HIMSELF--WITH THE HAPPIEST
    RESULTS. JUST ONE WEEK OF THE DISCIPLINE REPRESENTED
    ABOVE HAS MADE HIM ABSOLUTELY INVULNERABLE--HE THINKS,
    FOR LIFE!]

       *       *       *       *       *

"BRITONS NEVER WILL BE SLAVES!"

(_A Scene from a Domestic Comedy._)

MRS. BOB BULL was the wife of a British Workman, and she got up at four
o'clock in the morning.

"Must rise early," she said, "to see that my man has his breakfast."

So she lighted the fire, and put the kettle on to boil, and laid the
cloth, and swept out the rooms. Then down came BOB rather in a bad
humour, because he had been late over-night at the "Cock and Bottle,"
detained (as he explained to his wife) by a discussion about the rights
of labour.

"Of course," said Mrs. BULL; "and why shouldn't you, after a hard day's
work, enjoy yourself?"

But BOB contended that he had not enjoyed himself, although he had
undoubtedly expended two shillings and eight-pence upon refreshment.
What BOB wanted to know was, why there was a button off his coat, and
why his waistcoat had not been properly mended.

"Well, I was busy with the children's things," replied Mrs. BOB; "but I
will put all straight when you have gone to work."

"Gone to work, indeed!" grumbled BOB. "Yes, it's I that does all the
work, and worse luck to it!"

The moment BOB was out of the house, Mrs. BOB got the children up and
dressed them, and gave them their breakfasts and sent them off to
school. When they were gone, she "tidied up" and dressed the baby. Then
she did one of "the bits of washing," that came from a family in whose
service she had been before she married BOB, and that family's
connection. And this occupied her fully, what with soaking, and mangling
and ironing, until it was time to carry BOB his dinner. In the pauses of
her work she had been able to cook it, and it was quite ready to go with
her when she was prepared to take it. It was a long walk (in the rain)
to BOB'S place of work, and it seemed the longer because she could not
leave the baby. But both got there, and the dinner, without any
accident. And then Mrs. BOB hurried back to give the children, now home
from school, _their_ midday meal. And Mrs. BOB had plenty of work to do
afterwards. She had to mend, and to scrub, and to sweep, and to sew. She
was not off her legs for a moment, and had she been a weaker woman, she
would have been thoroughly done up. Then came the children's evening
toilette and the cooking of BOB'S supper. Her lord and master entered in
due course, and she helped him off with his coat, and (when he had
finished his food) lighted his pipe for him.

"Mended my clothes?" asked BOB.

"Of course I have."

"And washed my linen, and druv nails into my boots, and baked the bread,
and pickled the walnuts, and all the rest of it?"

"Yes, BOB, I have done them all--every one of them."

This put BOB into a better temper, and he took out an evening paper, and
began to read it.

"I say," said he; "what do you think! They have got white slaves in
Turkey!"

"You don't say so, BOB!" replied Mrs. BOB, lost in amazement. Then she
said as she paused tidying up the room, "Ah! they wouldn't allow
anything of _that_ sort in England!--would they, BOB?"

And BOB, smoking his pipe, and sprawling before the fire, agreed with
her!

       *       *       *       *       *

The Riviera in Bond Street.

Why take a long journey and spend a lot of money, when the Riviera is
within a shilling cab-fare? Why not apply at 148, New Bond Street, and
obtain one of the Fine Art Society's "excursion _coupons_," and get
yourself personally conducted by Mr. JOHN FULLEYLOVE to Nice, Monte
Carlo, Genoa, and all sorts of delightful places? Take _Mr. Punch's_
advice, and go there at once! And, when you have exhausted the Riviera,
you have another treat in a series of well-nigh seventy drawings of
Cambridge. These are skilfully limned, with scrupulous architectural
accuracy and charming pictorial effect, and will give great delight to
Cantabrians, old and young. They are worthy to take their place beside
the excellent series of pictures of Oxford which Mr. FULLEYLOVE
exhibited some time ago.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: THE FOREIGN FOX.

    (_With apologies to Æsop._)]

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration]

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

"Bring me my books!" said the Baron, not for the first time. But on this
occasion the Baron was a prisoner in bed, and likely to remain so for
many days. Consequently, he required amusement. He had heard of a book,
called _Three Men in a Boat_, by Mr. JEROME K. JEROME, some of whose
observations, in a collection of papers entitled _Stage-land_, had
caused him to laugh several times, and to smile frequently, for the
subject has not been so well touched since GILBERT ABBOTT À BECKETT
wrote his inimitable _Quizziology of the Drama_, which for genuine
drollery has never been surpassed. Anticipating, then, some
side-splitters from _Three Men in a Boat_, the Baron sent for the work.
He opened it with a chuckle, which, instead of developing itself into a
guffaw and then into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, gradually
subsided altogether, his smile vanished, and an expression of weariness
came over the Baron's face, as after heroically plodding through five
chapters he laid the book down, and sighed aloud, "Well, I'm hanged if I
see where the fun of this is." The Baron may be wrong, and the humour of
this book, which seems to him to consist in weak imitations of American
fun, and in conversations garnished with such phrases as "bally idiot,"
"bally tent," "doing a mouch," "boss the job," "put a pipe in his mouth,
and spread himself over a chair," "land him with a frying-pan,"
"fat-headed chunk," "who the thunder" and so forth--a style the Baron
believes to have been introduced from Yankee-land, and patented here by
the _Sporting Times_ and its imitators,--interspersed with plentiful
allusions to whiskey-drinking, may not be, as it is not, to his
particular taste; and yet, for all that, it may be marvellously funny.
So the Baron requested an admirer of this book to pick out the gems, and
read them aloud to him. But even the admirer was compelled to own that
the gems did not sparkle so brilliantly as he had at first thought.
"Yet," observed the admirer, "it has had a big sale." "_Three Men in a
Boat_ ought to have," quoth the Baron, cheerily, and then he called
aloud, "Bring me _Pickwick_!" He commenced at the Review, and the first
meeting of _Mr. Pickwick_ with the Wardle family. Within five minutes
the Baron was shaking with spasmodic laughter, and CHARLES DICKENS'S
drollery was as irresistible as ever. Of course the Baron does not for
one moment mean to be so unfair to the _Three Men in a Boat_ as to
institute a comparison between it and the immortal _Pickwick_, but he
has heard some young gentlemen, quite of the modern school, who profess
themselves intensely amused by such works as this, and as the two books
by the author of _Through Green Glasses_, and yet allow that they could
not find anything to laugh at in _Pickwick_. They did not object to
_Pickwick_, as ladies very often do, that there is so much eating and
drinking in it. "No," says the Baron, in bed, "Give me my _Pickwick_,
and, after him, for a soothing and pleasant companion, give me
WASHINGTON IRVING. When I'm in another sort of humour, bring me
THACKERAY. For rollicking Irish life, give me LEVER. But as to
youth-about-town life of the present day, I do not know of any
second-class humorist who approaches within measurable distance of the
author of _The Pottleton Legacy_, in the past." So far the Baron. And
now "The Co." speaks:--

_A Tour in a Phaëton_, by J. J. HISSEY, is an interesting account of a
driving trip through the Eastern Counties. It abounds in hisseytorical
research; we are taken to all kinds of out-of-the-way and picturesque
places, of which the Author gives us graphic pictures with pencil as
well as pen. A fresher title to the work might have been devised, as the
present one bears a striking likeness to Mr. BLACK'S _Adventures of a
Phaëton_,--who, by the way, was the first to render driving tours
popular. The volume abounds in poetical quotations. The authority,
however, is seldom given, and inverted commas are conspicuous by their
absence. It can hardly be imagined that all this poetry is by the writer
of the book. In one instance he quotes a well-known verse by
ASHBY-STERRY, without acknowledgment, in which, for some inscrutable
reason, he has introduced a rugged final line which effectually mars the
harmony of the original stanza.

Those who prefer Scotch broth well peppered to Butter-Scotch, should
read _Our Journey to the Hebrides_, by Mr. and Mrs. PENNELL. They seem
to have gone out of the beaten track in their tour, which is pleasant,
and their views of Scotland, though they may cause controversy, are
novel, and at the same time indescribably refreshing. As to the views of
Scotland chronicled by Mr. PENNELL'S clever and facile pencil, they are
full of thought, elaborate detail and wondrous originality. There are
some forty of these, all remarkable for their everlasting variety and
high artistic excellence.

_Dr. Hermione_ (_Blackwood_) is rather an idyl than a novel, and would
have done better still if it had been cast in the form of a comedy. The
still anonymous author who followed up _Zit and Zoë_ by _Lady Bluebeard_
possesses the gift, rare among novelists, of writing sparkling dialogue.
The quickly changing scenes in the last chapter of _Dr. Hermione_, with
its sprightly chatter would serve the poor player almost as it stands.
It is not too late to think about the comedy. In the meanwhile the novel
does very well, and if he had made his story a book for the play, we
should have missed many dainty descriptions of scenery. Nothing is so
good as his description of the Lake District in Autumn, unless it be his
pictures of the surroundings of the Nile as it

  Flows through hushed old Egypt and its sands,
  Like some grave mighty thought, threading a dream.

_Some Places of Note in England_ (DOWDESWELLS) have been deftly noted by
a notable artist, namely, BIRKET FOSTER. From the "places of note," he
has evolved some of the most delicate of harmonies. Whether he gives us
a Canterbury _cantata_, a Richmond _rondo_, a Stratford symphony, a
Lambeth _lied_, or a Tilbury _toccata_ we are equally delighted with his
choice of _motivo_ and his brilliancy of execution. In this volume we
have five-and-twenty pictures, admirably reproduced in the highest style
of lithography. Mr. BIRKET FOSTER has been before the public for many
years--he appeared, if we mistake not, in the early numbers of the
_Illustrated News_: his work has been constant, and his pictures
countless ever since, and yet, in the present volume, we find him better
than ever.

_Sporting Celebrities._ The first number of this new monthly contains
two excellent portraits by M. WALERY. One is of the Duke of BEAUFORT,
the other of Mr. CHOLMONDELEY PENNELL. They are accompanied by crisp
well-written biographical notices. The two portraits are well worth the
price charged for the Magazine. A couple of good photographs for a
shilling, cannot be considered dear. In addition to this, there are
twenty pages of letterpress--so altogether it is a splendid
shillingsworth. BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & CO.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

INSANITARY DUST-BINS.--That your servants should have thrown half a
lobster, several potted meat-tins, an uneatable rabbit-pie, and all the
vegetable refuse of your household, into your dust-bin, and that it
should not have been "attended to" for upwards of two months, is quite
sufficient to account for the intolerable odour of which you and all
your neighbours on that side of the street have had reason to complain;
but, as you seem to think nothing but an epidemic fever, caused by the
nuisance, will rouse the Authorities, you might, by throwing in a pound
or two of phosphate of lime, the same quantity of copper shavings, and a
gallon or so of nitric acid, as you suggest, create such an intolerable
stench, that something would have to be done, and that without delay, to
preserve your entire neighbourhood from a visitation of the plague. Try
it, by all means. In the meantime have a notice, as you propose, put in
your kitchen window, to the effect that a champagne luncheon, and
half-a-crown a head, will be provided for the dustmen if they will only
call. Failing this, you might take the steps you seriously contemplate,
with a view to marrying into the dust-contractor's family. This,
perhaps, coupled with a series of urgent letters to the _Times_, would
be your wisest course. But, in the present unsatisfactory state of the
law, it is difficult to know how to advise you for the best. Your idea,
if the worst comes to the worst, and you cannot get the Vestry to attend
to it, of blowing up your dust-bin yourself with gunpowder, you might
resort to as a last expedient; but, as you seem to think it might bring
down your portico, and possibly the whole front of your house as well,
we should advise you not to put it into execution till _quite_ assured
that your attempts to get your dust-bin emptied by some less violent
means have all hopelessly failed. Anyhow, try the copper shavings and
nitric acid first. We think you will find, if steadily persevered in,
that they will, coupled, possibly, with some legal proceedings, settle
the matter for you.

       *       *       *       *       *

MORE GLORY.--The fall of a fragment of a chandelier has shed an
additional lustre--or a portion of a lustre--on the _Brav' Général_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    QUITE THE FIRST BRIDGE.--The Forth Bridge.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: THE GRAND OLD UNDERGRAD.

    MR. GLADSTONE'S VISIT TO OXFORD.--It has been stated in
    several papers that Mr. GLADSTONE intends to reside at
    All Souls' College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary
    Fellow, from January 30, till the meeting of Parliament,
    on February 11. Mr. GLADSTONE, who, we believe, is going
    up for quiet study, will occupy a set of College rooms.]

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: "ANNALS OF A QUIET PARISH."

    _The Vicar's Wife_ (_to Country Tradesman_). "NOW,
    HOSKINS, AFTER SO MANY YEARS OF OUR LIBERAL PATRONAGE,
    IT WAS REALLY TOO BAD OF YOU TO SEND US SUCH A
    GLOBE--CRACKED FROM TOP TO BOTTOM----!"

    _Vicar_ (_calling from the Study-door at end of
    passage_). "MY DEAR, DID YOU RECOLLECT TO SEND FOR
    HOSKINS ABOUT THE GLOBE YOU HAD THE LITTLE ACCIDENT WITH
    LAST WEEK!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

AN UNSCIENTIFIC DIALOGUE.

(_On a highly Uninteresting Topic._)

_First Aspiring Political Economist_ (_picking his way cautiously_).
What the Bimetallists maintain is this: that by fixing an artificial
ratio between the relative values of gold and silver, you somehow (_a
little vaguely_) keep up prices; and so, at least,--so I fancy,--assist
the circulation of capital. At all events, that is what I take M. EMILE
DE LAVELEYE to mean. (_Tentatively._) You see that, don't you?

_Second Aspiring Political Economist._ Not a bit of it. Why, EMILE DE
LAVELEYE is an ass. (_Emphatically._) GIFFEN says so. And you can't have
a higher authority than GIFFEN (_clinching the matter_). Why, he's Hon.
Assistant Deputy Secretary to the Board of Commerce; (_with animation_)
in fact, he says that all Bimetallists are hopeless lunatics, and, in my
opinion, he's about right.

_Third Aspiring Political Economist._ I don't see that at all. But if
you are going to settle the matter by merely quoting names, what have
you got to say to FOXWELL, the London Professor? He's a Bimetallist, and
no mistake.

_Second Aspiring Political Economist._ "Got to say?" Why, ask LEVIN of
Cambridge what he thinks of him. LEVIN backs up GIFFEN in every word he
says, and I agree with both of them. How can you have two standards?
(_Explicitly._) The thing is preposterous.

_First Aspiring Political Economist._ It is all very well to lay down
the law in that fashion, but it will not dispose of facts. You may quote
GIFFEN, or LEVIN, or anyone you like, but they will not be able to do
away with the circumstance, that prices are regulated by the quantity of
money in circulation (_with a little hesitation_); at least, that is
what I understand the other side to maintain.

_Second Aspiring Political Economist._ Sheer nonsense. How does the
quantity of money you possess affect the price you pay for a commodity?
The fact of your having twenty sovereigns in your purse won't make your
butcher charge you an extra halfpenny a pound for a leg of mutton! That
must be clear to any fool!

_First Aspiring Political Economist._ But you don't understand. It's
numbers that do it. They mean, if thirty millions of people, each have
twenty sovereigns a-piece in their purses (_doubtfully_), _then_, I
suppose, the butchers would raise the price of their meat. At least,
that's what I fancy they imply when they talk of an "artificial
currency" raising prices (_with some vagueness_), or is it "artificial
prices" creating an increased currency. I couldn't _quite_ follow them
in this. But I am sure, whichever of the two views was expressed by M.
EMILE DE LAVELEYE, that one had, no doubt, a great deal of sound
argument to back it.

_Third Aspiring Political Economist._ I think you miss the point. Take
an illustration. Say you arrive at a cannibal island with ten thousand
complete sets of evening dress clothes, and that another ship, just
before the arrival of yours, has taken the last ten-pound-note off the
island, how, supposing there was to be a native rush to obtain one of
your suits, would the absence of any money to pay for them affect their
market value? I mayn't have got it quite correctly, but this, or
something like it, is one of the cases that GIFFEN brings forward to
prove his point. The matter, however, appears to me to be a little
complicated.

_Second Aspiring Political Economist._ Not in the least. It proves the
humbug of the Bimetallic position up to the hilt. Of course, you must
assume, that the cannibals desire to dress in evening clothes. I confess
that has to be considered, and then the question lies in a nutshell.
There can't be two opinions about it.

_First Aspiring Political Economist._ Well, to me, though, of course, I
am willing to admit there _may_ be something in it, I can't say that the
matter is, at first sight, convincingly clear. (_Candidly._) My chief
difficulty is, I confess, to arrive at any definite conclusion with
myself, as to what "Bimetallism" really means, and what it does not; and
I own I feel still vague as to the two questions of the influence of the
quantity of money on prices, or the price of a commodity on the value of
money respectively, and, though I carefully read all that appears in the
daily papers on the subject, I am compelled to own that I do not seem to
be nearer a solution of the perplexing difficulty. However, it is, no
doubt, a highly absorbing, if not a very useful, subject for
investigation.

    [_Left investigating it as Curtain falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration]

MR. PUNCH'S MORAL MUSIC-HALL DRAMAS.

No. IV.

Our present example is pure tragedy of the most ambitious kind, and is,
perhaps, a little in advance of the taste of a Music-hall audience of
the present day. When the fusion between the Theatres and the
Music-Halls is complete--when Miss BESSIE BELLWOOD sings "_What Cheer,
'Ria?_" at the Lyceum, and Mr. HENRY IRVING gives his compressed version
of _Hamlet_ at the Trocadero; when there is a general levelling-up of
culture, and removal of prejudice--then, and not till then, will this
powerful little play meet with the appreciation which is its due. The
main idea is suggested by the Misses TAYLOR'S well-known poem, _The
Pin_, though the dramatist has gone further than the poetess in working
out the notion of Nemesis.

THE FATAL PIN.--A TRAGEDY.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

_Emily Heedless._ By either Miss VESTA TILLEY or Mrs. BERNARD BEERE.

_Peter Paragon._ Mr. FORBES ROBERTSON or Mr. ARTHUR ROBERTS (only he
mustn't sing "_The Good Young Man who Died_").

_First and Second Bridesmaids._ Miss MAUDE MILLETT and Miss ANNIE
HUGHES.

    SCENE.--EMILY'S _Boudoir, sumptuously furnished with a
    screen and sofa,_ C. _Door,_ R., _leading to_ EMILY'S
    _Bed-chamber. Door,_ L. EMILY _discovered in loose
    wrapper, and reclining in uncomfortable position on
    sofa._

_Emily_ (_dreamily_). This day do I become the envied bride of PETER,
justly surnamed PARAGON; and much I wonder what in me he found (he, who
Perfection so personifies) that he could condescend an eye to cast on
faulty, feather-headed EMILY! How solemn is the stillness all around me!
(_A loud bang is heard behind screen._) Methought I heard the dropping
of a pin!--perhaps I should arise and search for it.... Yet why, on
second thoughts, disturb myself, since I am, by my settlements, to have
a handsome sum allowed for pin-money? Nay, since thou claim'st thy
freedom, little pin, I lack the heart to keep thee prisoner. Go, then,
and join the great majority of fallen, vagrant, unregarded pinhood--my
bliss is too supreme at such an hour to heed such infidelities as thine.

    [_Falls into a happy reverie._

    _Enter_ First and Second Bridesmaids.

_First and Second Bridesmaids._ What, how now, EMILY--not yet attired?
Nay, haste, for PETER will be here anon!

    [_They hurry her off by_ R. _door, just as_ PETER
    PARAGON _enters_ L. _in bridal array. N.B.--The
    exigences of the Drama are responsible for his making
    his appearance here, instead of waiting, as is more
    usual, at the church._

_Peter_ (_meditatively_). The golden sands of my celibacy are running
low--soon falls the final grain! Yet, even now, the glass I would not
turn. My EMILY is not without her faults--"_was_ not without them," I
should rather say, for during ten idyllic years of courtship, by precept
and example I have striven to mould her to a helpmate fit for me. Now,
thank the Gods, my labours are complete--she stands redeemed from all
her giddiness! (_Here he steps upon the pin, and utters an
exclamation_). Ha! what is this? I'm wounded ... agony! With what a
darting pain my foot's transfixed! I'll summon help (_with calm
courage_)--yet, stay, I would not dim this nuptial day by any sombre
cloud. I'll bear this stroke alone--and now to probe the full extent of
my calamity. (_Seats himself on sofa in such a position as to be
concealed by the screen from all but the audience, and proceeds to
remove his boot._) Ye powers of Perfidy, it is a pin! I must know more
of this--for it is meet such criminal neglect should be exposed. Severe
shall be that house-maid's punishment who's proved to be responsible for
this!--but soft, I hear a step.

    [_Enter_ First _and_ Second Bridesmaids, _who hunt
    diligently upon the carpet without observing_ PETER's
    _presence._

_Emily's Voice_ (_within_). Oh, search, I pray you. It _must_ be
there--my own ears heard it fall!

    [PETER _betrays growing uneasiness._

_The Bridesmaids._ Indeed, we fail to see it anywhere!

_Emily_ (_entering distractedly in bridal costume, with a large rent in
her train_). You have no eyes, I tell you, let me help. It must be
found, or I am all undone! In vain my cushion I have cut in two--'twas
void of all but stuffing.... Gracious Heavens, to think that all my
future bliss depends on the evasive malice of a pin!

    [PETER _behind screen, starts violently._

_Peter_ (_aside_). A pin! what dire misgivings wring my heart! (_Hops
forward with a cold dignity, holding one foot in his hand._) You seem in
some excitement, EMILY?

_Emily_ (_wildly_). _You_, PETER!... tell me--have you found a pin?

_Peter_ (_with deadly calm_). Unhappy girl--I _have_! (_To_
Bridesmaids.) Withdraw awhile, and when we need you, we will summon you.
(_Exeunt_ Bridesmaids; EMILY _and_ PETER _stand facing each other for
some moments in dead silence._) The pin is found--for I have trodden on
it, and may, for aught I know, be lamed for life. Speak, EMILY, what is
that maid's desert whose carelessness has led to this mishap?

_Emily_ (_in the desperate hope of shielding herself_). Why, should the
fault be traced to any maid, instant dismissal shall be her reward, with
a month's wages paid in lieu of notice!

_Peter_ (_with a passionless severity_). From your own lips I judge you,
EMILY. Did they not own just now that you had heard the falling of a
pin--yet heeded not? Behold the outcome of your negligence!

    [_Extends his injured foot._

_Emily._ Oh, let me kiss the place and make it well!

_Peter_ (_coldly withdrawing foot_). Keep your caresses till I ask for
them. My wound goes deeper than you wot of yet, and by that disregarded
pin is pricked the iridescent bubble of Illusion!

_Emily_ (_slowly_). Indeed, I do not wholly comprehend.

_Peter._ Have patience and I will be plainer yet. Mine is a complex
nature, EMILY; magnanimous, but still methodical. An injury I freely can
forgive, forget it--(_striking his chest_)--never! She who leaves about
pins on the floor to pierce a lover's foot, will surely plant a thorn
within the side of him whose fate it is to be her husband!

_Emily_ (_dragging herself towards him on her knees_). Have pity on me,
PETER; I was mad!

_Peter_ (_with emotion_). How can I choose but pity thee, poor soul,
who, for the sake of temporary ease, hast forfeited the bliss that had
been thine! You could not stoop to pick a pin up. Why? Because,
forsooth, 'twas but a paltry pin! Yet, duly husbanded, that self-same
pin had served you to secure your gaping train, your self-respect--and
Me.

_Emily_ (_wailing_). What have I done?

_Peter._ I will not now reproach you, EMILY, nor would I dwell upon my
wounded sole, the pain of which increases momently. I part from you in
friendship, and in proof, that fated instrument I leave with you
(_presenting her with the pin, which she accepts mechanically_) which
the frail link between us twain has severed. I can dispense with it, for
in my cuff (_shows her his coat-cuff, in which a row of pins'-heads is
perceptible_) I carry others 'gainst a time of need. My poor success in
life I trace to this--that never yet I passed a pin unheeded.

_Emily._ And is that all you have to say to me?

_Peter._ I think so--save that I shall wish you well, and pray that
henceforth you may bear in mind what vast importance lies in seeming
trifles.

_Emily_ (_with a pale smile_). PETER, your lesson is already learned,
for precious has this pin become for me, since by its aid I gain
oblivion--thus!

    [_Stabs herself._

_Peter_ (_coldly_). Nay, these are histrionics, EMILY.

    [_Assists her to sofa._

_Emily._ I'd skill enough to find a vital spot. Do not withdraw it
yet--my time is short, and I have much to say before I die. (_Faintly._)
Be gentle with my rabbits when I'm gone; give my canary chickweed
now and then.... I think there is no more--ah, one last
word--(_warmly_)--warn them they must not cut our wedding-cake, and then
the pastrycook may take it back!

_Peter_ (_deeply moved_). Would you had shown this thoughtfulness
before!

    [_Kneels by the sofa._

_Emily._ 'Tis now too late, and clearly do I see that I was never worthy
of you, PETER.

_Peter_ (_gently_). 'Tis not for me to contradict you now. You did your
best to be so, EMILY!

_Emily._ A blessing on you for those generous words! Now tell me, PETER,
how is your poor foot?

_Peter._ The agony decidedly abates, and I can bear a boot again.

_Emily._ Then I die happy!... Kiss me, PETER ... ah!

    [_Dies._

_Peter._ In peace she passed away. I'm glad of that, although that peace
was purchased by a lie. I shall not bear a boot for many days! Thus ends
our wedding morn, and she, poor child, has paid the penalty of
heedlessness!

    [_Curtain falls, whereupon, unless Mr. Punch is greatly
    mistaken, there will not be a dry eye in the house._

       *       *       *       *       *

    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.





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