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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, April 25, 1891
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, Volume 100, April 25, 1891" ***

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Team.



PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 100.



April 25th, 1891.



MR. PUNCH'S POCKET IBSEN.

(_Condensed and Revised Version by Mr P.'s Own Harmless Ibsenite._)

No. III.--HEDDA GABLER.

ACT I.

    SCENE--_A Sitting-room cheerfully decorated in dark colours. Broad
    doorway, hung with black crape, in the wall at back, leading to a back
    Drawing-room, in which, above a sofa in black horsehair, hangs a
    posthumous portrait of the late_ General GABLER. _On the piano is a
    handsome pall. Through the glass panes of the back Drawing-room window
    are seen a dead wall and a cemetery. Settees, sofas, chairs, &c.,
    handsomely upholstered in black bombazine, and studded with small round
    nails. Bouquets of immortelles and dead grasses are lying everywhere
    about._

_Enter_ Aunt JULIE (_a good-natured looking lady in a smart hat_).

_Aunt J._ Well, I declare, if I believe GEORGE or HEDDA are up yet!
(_Enter_ GEORGE TESMAN, _humming, stout, careless, spectacled._) Ah, my
dear boy, I have called before breakfast to inquire how you and HEDDA are
after returning late last night from your long honeymoon. Oh, dear me, yes;
am I not your old Aunt, and are not these attentions usual in Norway?

_George._ Good Lord, yes! My six months' honeymoon has been quite a little
travelling scholarship, eh? I have been examining archives. Think of
_that_! Look here, I'm going to write a book all about the domestic
interests of the Cave-dwellers during the Deluge. I'm a clever young
Norwegian man of letters, eh?

_Aunt J._ Fancy your knowing about that too! Now, dear me, thank Heaven!

_George._ Let me, as a dutiful Norwegian nephew, untie that smart, showy
hat of yours. (_Unties it, and pats her under the chin._) Well, to be sure,
you have got yourself really up,--fancy that!      [_He puts hat on chair
close to table._

_Aunt J._ (_giggling_). It was for HEDDA'S sake--to go out walking with her
in. (HEDDA _approaches from the back-room; she is pallid, with cold, open,
steel-grey eyes; her hair is not very thick, but what there is of it is an
agreeable medium brown._) Ah, dear HEDDA!      [_She attempts to cuddle
her._

_Hedda_ (_shrinking back_). Ugh, let me go, do! (_Looking at_ Aunt JULIE'S
_hat._) TESMAN, you must really tell the housemaid not to leave her old hat
about on the drawing-room chairs. Oh, is it _your_ hat? Sorry I spoke, I'm
sure!

_Aunt J._ (_annoyed_). Good gracious, little Mrs. HEDDA; my nice new hat
that I bought to go out walking with _you_ in!

_George_ (_patting her on the back_). Yes, HEDDA, she did, and the parasol
too! Fancy, Aunt JULIE always positively thinks of everything, eh?

_Hedda_ (_coldly_). You hold _your_ tongue. Catch me going out walking with
your aunt! One doesn't _do_ such things.

_George_ (_beaming_). Isn't she a charming woman? Such fascinating manners!
My goodness, eh? Fancy that!

_Aunt J._ Ah, dear GEORGE, you ought indeed to be happy--but (_brings out a
flat package wrapped in newspaper_) look _here_, my dear boy!

_George_ (_opens it_). What? my dear old morning shoes! my slippers!
(_Breaks down._) This is positively too touching, HEDDA, eh? Do you
remember how badly I wanted them all the honeymoon? Come and just have a
look at them--you _may_!

_Hedda._ Bother your old slippers and your old aunt too! (Aunt JULIE _goes
out annoyed, followed by_ GEORGE, _still thanking her warmly for the
slippers_; HEDDA _yawns_; GEORGE _comes back and places his old slippers
reverently on the table._) Why, here comes Mrs. ELVSTED--_another_ early
caller! She had irritating hair, and went about making a sensation with
it--an old flame of yours, I've heard.

_Enter Mrs._ ELVSTED; _she is pretty and gentle, with copious wavy
white-gold hair and round prominent eyes, and the manner of a frightened
rabbit._

_Mrs. E._ (_nervous_). Oh, please, I'm so perfectly in despair. EJLERT
LÖVBORG, you know, who was our Tutor; he's written such a large new book. I
inspired him. Oh, I know I don't look like it--but I did--he told me so.
And, good gracious, now he's in this dangerous wicked town all alone, and
he's a reformed character, and I'm _so_ frightened about him; so, as the
wife of a Sheriff twenty years older than me, I came up to look after Mr.
LÖVBORG. Do ask him here--then I can meet him. You will? How perfectly
lovely of you! My husband's _so_ fond of him!

_Hedda._ GEORGE, go and write an invitation at once; do you hear? (GEORGE
_looks around for his slippers, takes them up and goes out._) Now we can
talk, my little THEA. Do you remember how I used to pull your hair when we
met on the stairs, and say I would scorch it off? Seeing people with
copious hair always _does_ irritate me.

_Mrs. E._ Goodness, yes, you were always so playful and friendly, and I was
so afraid of you. I am still. And please, I've run away from my husband.
Everything around him was distasteful to me. And Mr. LÖVBORG and I were
comrades--he was dissipated, and I got a sort of power over him, and he
made a real person out of me--which I wasn't before, you know; but, oh, I
do hope I'm real now. He talked to me and taught me to think--chiefly of
him. So, when Mr. LÖVBORG came here, naturally I came too. There was
nothing else to do! And fancy, there is another woman whose shadow still
stands between him and me! She wanted to shoot him once, and so, of course,
he can never forget her. I wish I knew her name--perhaps it was that
red-haired opera-singer?

_Hedda_ (_with cold self-command_). Very likely--but nobody does that sort
of thing here. Hush! Run away now. Here comes TESMAN with Judge BRACK.
(Mrs. E. _goes out_; GEORGE _comes in with_ Judge BRACK, _who is a short
and elastic gentleman, with a round face, carefully brushed hair, and
distinguished profile._) How awfully funny you do look by daylight, Judge!

[Illustration: "I am a gay Norwegian dog."]

_Brack_ (_holding his hat and dropping his eye-glass_). Sincerest thanks.
Still the same graceful manners, dear little Mrs. HED--TESMAN! I came to
invite dear TESMAN to a little bachelor-party to celebrate his return from
his long honeymoon. It is customary in Scandinavian society. It will be a
lively affair, for I am a gay Norwegian dog.

_George._ Asked out--without my wife! Think of that! Eh? Oh, dear me, yes,
_I_'ll come!

_Brack._ By the way, LÖVBORG is here; he has written a wonderful book,
which has made a quite extraordinary sensation. Bless me, yes!

_George._ LÖVBORG--fancy! Well, I _am_--glad. Such marvellous gifts! And I
was so painfully certain he had gone to the bad. Fancy that, eh? But what
will become of him _now_, poor fellow, eh? I _am_ so anxious to know!

_Brack._ Well, he may possibly put up for the Professorship against you,
and, though you _are_ an uncommonly clever man of letters--for a
Norwegian--it's not wholly improbable that he may cut you out!

_George._ But, look here, good Lord, Judge BRACK!--(_gesticulating_)--that
would show an incredible want of consideration for me! I married on my
chance of _getting_ that Professorship. A man like LÖVBORG, too, who hasn't
even been respectable, eh? One doesn't do such things as that!

_Brack._ Really? You forget we are all realistic and unconventional persons
here, and do all kinds of odd things. But don't worry yourself!     [_He
goes out._

_George_ (_to Hedda_). Oh, I say, HEDDA, what's to become of our Fairyland
now, eh? We can't have a liveried servant, or give dinner-parties, or have
a horse for riding. Fancy that!

_Hedda_ (_slowly, and wearily_). No, we shall really have to set up as
Fairies in reduced circumstances, now.

_George_ (_cheering up_). Still, we shall see Aunt JULIE every day, and
_that_ will be something, and I've got back my old slippers. We shan't be
altogether without some amusements, eh?

_Hedda_ (_crosses the floor_). Not while I have _one_ thing to amuse myself
with, at all events.

_George_ (_beaming with joy_). Oh, Heaven be praised and thanked for that!
My goodness, so you have! And what may _that_ be, HEDDA, eh?

_Hedda_ (_at the doorway, with suppressed scorn_). Yes, GEORGE, you have
the old slippers of the attentive Aunt, and I have the horse-pistols of the
deceased General!

_George_ (_in an agony_). The pistols! Oh, my goodness! _what_ pistols?

_Hedda_ (_with cold eyes_). General GABLER'S pistols--same which I
shot--(_recollecting herself_)--no, that's THACKERAY, not IBSEN--a _very_
different person.     [_She goes through the back Drawing-room._

_George_ (_at doorway, shouting after her_). Dearest HEDDA, _not_ those
dangerous things, eh? Why, they have never once been known to shoot
straight yet! Don't! Have a catapult. For _my_ sake, have a catapult!
[_Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *

Bow-Wow!

  The RAIKES' teeth were bared--a most terrible sight!--
    At the Messenger Companies. Now all seems joy
    For the Public, the P.O., the Co., and the Boy!
  The Dog in the Manger JOHN BULL did affright,
  But--his bark is perhaps rather worse than his bite!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SONS OF BRITANNIA; OR, THE UNITED SERVICE.

[The Senior Admiral of the Fleet, SIR PROVO WILLIAM PARRY WALLIS, G.C.B.,
who was in the action between the British Frigate _Shannon_ and the
American Frigate _Chesapeake_ on June 1st, 1813 (taking command of the
_Shannon_ after the disabling of Captain BROKE), celebrated the hundredth
anniversary of his birthday on April 12th, 1891.

Lieutenant GRANT "displayed great bravery and judgment" (_Times_) in the
defence of Thobal against the Manipuris, April, 1891.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

SONS OF BRITANNIA.

1813--1891.

_Britannia loquitur_:--

  From Boston Bay to Thobal fort
    Is a far cry, but bravery bridges
  The centuries, and of space makes sport.
    The shot that swept the salt sea-ridges
  When VERE BROKE of the _Shannon_ smote
    The foe, and, struck, left WALLIS smiting,--
  Sends echoes down the years that float
    To Thobal o'er the sounds of fighting.
  Memories of greatness make men great!
    Brave centenarian, you with pleasure
  May greet the youth who guard our State.
    You, whose long memories can measure
  So wide a sweep of England's war,
    Must joy to see her served as boldly
  As in those sad mad days afar,
    When, gazing on her children coldly,
  She alienated kindred hearts,
    Which might till now have beaten loyal.
  At least you both played well _your_ parts,
    Though blunderers blind, official, royal,
  May then or now have marred the work
    Of arduous years, and gallant spirits,
  My sons at least no peril shirk,
    Valour from age to age inherits.
  The old tradition, duteous stands
    For the old Flag, wherever flying!
  Brave WALLIS, gallant GRANT, clasp hands!
    My sons! Unfaltering, undying,
  Beneath grey hairs, or youth's brown locks,
    The spirit proud of patriot valour!
  Not desperate odds in war's wild shocks
    Shall strike its flush to craven pallor.
  Mud-fort, or "mealey" bastion, deck
    Of shot-torn ship, or red "death-valley,"
  What odds? Of danger nought I reck,
    Whilst thus my sons to me can rally.
  Come what, come will! Whilst centuried age
    And youth in Spring strike hands before me,
  Let foemen band, let battle rage,
    You'll keep my Flag still flying o'er me!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "GENERAL IDEA"

HITTING ON A NOVEL PLAN FOR OUR COAST DEFENCES.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Yankee Oracle on the Three-Volume Novel.

  Our people will not stand it--no!
    Of Fiction, limp or strong,
  Yanks want but little here below,
    Nor want that little _long_!
  (But oh! our (Saxon) stars one thanks,
  Romance is _not_ (yet) ruled by Yanks!)

       *       *       *       *       *

SONGS OF THE UN-SENTIMENTALIST.

THE TAX-COLLECTOR'S HEART.

  I know his step, his ring, his knock,
    I hear him, too, explain,
  With emphasis my nerves that shock,
    That he "won't call again!"
  I know that bodes a coming storm--
    A summons looms a-head!
  I follow his retreating form,
    And note his stealthy tread!
  Some grace to beg, implore, beseech,
    'Twere vain! Let him depart!
  I know no human cry can reach
    That Tax-Collector's heart!

  He kept his word. To claim that rate
    He never called again.
  An outraged Vestry, loth to wait,
    Soon made their purpose plain.
  I know not how, I missed the day,--
    But that fell summons came.
  Two shillings costs it took to play
    That Tax-Collector's game.
  I own the outlay was not much!
    But, _that_ is not the smart:
  'Tis that no anguished shriek can touch
    That Tax-Collector's heart!

       *       *       *       *       *

"MORS ET VITA."--A fine performance, April 15, at Albert Hall, with ALBANI,
HILDA WILSON, Messrs. LLOYD, and WATKIN MILLS, and Dr. MACKENZIE, as
conductor or con-doctor. I should have given, writes our correspondent, a
full and enthusiastic account of it, but that I was bothered all the time
by two persons near me, who would talk and wouldn't listen. Thank goodness,
they didn't stay throughout the performance. In a theatre they'd have been
hushed down, but this is such a big place that a talking duet is heard only
in the immediate neighbourhood of the talkers; and then no one wants to
have a row during the performance of sacred music. It's like brawling in
church.

       *       *       *       *       *

QUEER QUERIES.

THE TITHES QUESTION.--I am the Vicar of a country Church in Wales; but
owing to the total failure of my last attempt to distrain on the stock of a
neighbouring farmer, on which occasion I was tossed over a hedge by an
infuriated cow, my family and myself are starving. I wish to know if I can
legally pawn the lectern, the ancient carved pulpit, and several rare old
sedilia in the Church? Or they would be exchanged for an immediate supply
of their value in groceries.--URGENT.

ANNOYANCE FROM NEIGHBOUR.--I live in a quiet street, and my next-door
neighbour has suddenly converted his house into a Fried Fish Shop. Some of
his boxes protrude into my front garden. Have I the right of seizing them,
and eating contents, supposing them to be fit for human consumption? My
house is perpetually filled with the aroma of questionable herrings, and
very pronounced haddocks. I have asked, politely, for compensation, and
received only bad language. What should be my next step?--PERPLEXED.

DEED OF GIFT.--Upon my eldest son's marriage I wish to make him a really
handsome money present. My idea is to hand over to him £100, on condition
that he repays me ten per cent, as long as I live, my age now being
forty-five. Then as to security. Had I better get a Bill of Sale on the
furniture, which he has just had given him by his wife's father for their
new house, or how can I most effectually bind him?--GENEROUS PARENT.

HOLIDAY TRIP.--Would one of your readers inform me of a locality where I
can take my next summer's holiday of a month, for £3 10_s._, fare included?
It must be near the sea and high mountains, with a genial though bracing
climate. Good boating and bathing. Strictly honest lodging-house keepers
and romantic surroundings indispensable.--EASY TO PLEASE.

       *       *       *       *       *

COMING DRESS.

(_Sweet Seventeen to the would-be Sumptuary Reformers at the Kensington
Town Hall._)

  Vainly on Fashion you make war,
  With querulous Book, and quaint Bazaar,
  Good Ladies of the Higher Light!
  A Turkish Tea-gown, loose or tight,
  Won't win us to the Rational Cult;
  Japanese skirts do but insult
  Our elder instincts, to which _Reason_
  Is nothing more nor less than treason.
  Your "muddy weather costume" moves us
  No more than satire, which reproves us
  _Ad nauseam_, and for whose rebuff
  We never care one pinch of snuff.
  No, Ladies HARBERTON and COFFIN.
  Your pleading, like the critics' "scoffin"
  Touches us not; have we not smiled,
  Mocking, at Mrs. OSCAR WILDE?
  And shall we welcome with delight
  Queer robes that make a girl "a fright?"
  Pooh-pooh! We're simply imperturbable,
  The Reign of Fashion's undisturbable.
  The "Coming Dress?"--that's all sheer humming,
  We only care for Dress _be_-Coming!

       *       *       *       *       *

MODERN TYPES.

(_By Mr. Punch's Own Type Writer._)

No. XXV.--THE ADULATED CLERGYMAN.

The Adulated Clergyman possesses many of the genuine qualities of the
domestic cat, in addition to a large stock of the characteristics which
tradition has erroneously assigned to that humble hut misunderstood animal.
Like a cat, he is generally sleek and has become an adept in the art of
ingratiating himself with those who wear skirts and dispense comforts. Like
a cat, too, he has an insinuating manner; he can purr quite admirably in
luxurious surroundings, and, on the whole, he prefers to attain his objects
by a circuitous method rather than by the bluff and uncompromising
directness which is employed by dogs and ordinary honest folk of the canine
sort. Moreover, he likes a home, but--here comes the difference--the homes
of others seem to attract and retain him more strongly than his own. And if
it were useful to set out the points of difference in greater detail, it
might be said that the genuine as opposed to the traditional cat often
shows true affection and quite a dignified resentment of snubs, is never
unduly familiar, and makes no pretence of being better than other cats
whose coats happen to be of a different colour. But it is better, perhaps,
at once to consider the Adulated Clergyman in his own person, and not in
his points of resemblance to or difference from other animals.

[Illustration]

He who afterwards becomes an Adulated Clergyman has probably been a mean
and grubby schoolboy, with a wretched but irresistible inclination to
sneak, and to defend himself for so doing on principle. It is of course
wrong to break rules at school, authority must be respected, masters must
be obeyed, but it is an honourable tradition amongst schoolboys that boys
who offend--since offences must come--should owe their consequent
punishment to the unassisted efforts of those who hold rule, rather than to
the calculating interference of another boy, who, though he may have shared
the offence, is unwilling to take his proportion of the result. A sneak,
therefore, has in all ages been invested with a badge of infamy, which no
amount of strictly scholastic success has ever availed to remove from him;
and his fellows, recognising that he has saved his own skin at the expense
of theirs, do their best to make up the difference to him in contempt and
abuse. Schoolboys are not distinguished for a fastidious reticence. If they
dislike, they never hesitate to say so, and they have a painfully downright
way of giving reasons for their behaviour, which is apt to jar on a
temperament so sensitive that its owner always and only treads the path of
high principle when self-interest points him in the same direction.

The school career of the future pastor was not, therefore, a very happy
one, for at school there are no feeble women to be captivated by
heartrending revelations of a noble nature at war with universal
wickedness, and all but shattered by the assaults of an unfeeling world.
Nor, strange to say, do schoolmasters, as a rule, value the boy who ranges
himself on their side in the eternal war between boys and masters. However,
he proceeded in due time to a University. There he let it be known that his
ultimate destination was the Church, but he had his own method of
qualifying for his profession. He was not afflicted with the possession of
great muscular strength, or of a very robust health. Neither the river nor
the football-field attracted him. Cricket was a bore, athletic sports were
a burden; the rough manners of the ordinary Undergraduates made him
shudder. However, since at College there are sets of all sorts and sizes,
he soon managed to fashion for himself a little world of effete and mincing
idlers, who adored themselves even more than they worshipped one another.
They drank deep from the well of modern French literature, and chattered
interminably of RICHEPIN, GUY DE MAUPASSANT, PAUL BOURGET, and the rest.
They themselves were their own favourite native writers; but their morbid
sonnets, their love-lorn elegies, their versified mixtures of passion and a
quasi-religious mysticism, were too sacred for print, though they were
sometimes adapted to thin and fluttering airs, and sung to sympathisers in
private. Most of these gentlemen were "ploughed" in their examination, but
the hero of this sketch secured his degree without honours, and departed to
read for the Church.

Soon afterwards he was ordained, was plunged ruthlessly into an East-End
parish, and disappeared for a time from view. He emerged, after an interval
of several years. The occasion was the inaugural meeting of a Guild for the
Conversion of Music-hall _Artistes_, which is to this day spoken of amongst
the irreverent as the Song and Sermon Society. The sensation of the meeting
was caused by the fervent speech of a clergyman, who announced that he
himself had been for some months a professional Variety Singer, attached to
more than one Music-hall, and that, having studied the life _de près_, he
knew all its temptations, and was therefore qualified to speak from
experience as to the best means of elevating those who pursued it. The
details of his story, as they fell from the mouth of the reverend speaker,
were highly spiced. His hearers were amused, interested, and stirred; and,
when a daily newspaper gave a headlined account of the speech, with a
portrait of the speaker, the professional fortune of the Adulated Clergyman
(for it was he) was assured.

Shortly afterwards his biography appeared in a series published in a weekly
periodical under the title of _Unconventional Clerics_, and he himself
wrote a touching letter on "The Plague Spots of Nova Zembla," in which an
eloquent appeal was made for subscriptions on behalf of the inhabitants of
that chill and neglected region. Ladies now began to say to one another:
"Have you heard Mr. So-and-So preach? Really, not? Oh, you should. He's so
wonderful, so convincing, so unlike all others. You must come with me next
Sunday," and thus gradually he gathered round him in his remote church a
band of faithful women, drawn from the West End by the fame of his
unconventional eloquence. A not too fastidious critic might, perhaps, have
been startled by a note of vulgarity in his references to sacred events, as
well as by the tone of easy and intimate familiarity with which he spoke of
those whose names are generally mentioned with bated breath, and printed
with capital letters; but the most refined women seemed to find in all this
an additional fascination. His sermons dealt in language which was at the
same time plain and highly-coloured. He denounced his congregation roundly
as the meanest of sinners. To the women he was particularly merciless. He
tore to rags their little vesture of self-respect, shattered their nerves
with emotional appeals, harrowed all their feelings, and belaboured them so
violently with prophecies of wrath, that they left church, after shedding
gallons of tears and emptying their expiatory purses into the
subscription-plate, in a state of pale but pious pulp. In the
drawing-rooms, however, to which he afterwards resorted, his manner
changed. His voice became soft; he poured oil into the wounds he had
inflicted. "How are you to-day?" he would say, in his caressing way. "Is
the neuralgia any better? And the dulness of spirits? has meditation
prevailed over it? Ah me! it is the lot of the good to suffer, and silence,
perhaps, were best." Whereupon he is treated as a Father Confessor of
domestic troubles, and persuades young married women that their husbands
misunderstand them.

It is unnecessary to add that his subscription-lists flourished, his
bazaars prospered, his missions and retreats overflowed with feminine
money, and his Church was overloaded with floral tributes. The brutal tribe
of men, however, sneered at him, and perversely suspected his motives; nor
were they reconciled to him when they saw him relieving the gloom of a
generally (so it was understood) ascetic existence by dining at a smart
restaurant with a galaxy of devoted women, whom he proposed to conduct in
person to a theatre. Such, then, is, or was, the Adulated Clergyman. It is
unnecessary to pursue his career further. Perhaps he quarrelled with his
Bishop, and unfrocked himself; possibly he found himself in a Court of Law,
where an unsympathetic jury recorded a painful verdict against him.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

My faithful "Co." says he has been reading the latest novel by "JOHN
STRANGE WYNTER," called, _The Other Man's Wife_, as the French would
observe, "without pleasure." As a rule he rather enjoys the works of the
Author of _Bootle's Baby_, and other stories of a semi-ladylike
semi-military character; but the newest tale is one too many for him. The
"man" is a mixture of snob and cad,--say "a snad,"--the "other man" a
combination of coward and bully, the "wife" a worthy mate to both of them.
The plot shows traces of hasty construction, otherwise it is difficult to
account for the "man's" intense astonishment at inheriting a title from his
cousin, and the farfetched clearing up of a sensational West-End murder. My
"Co." fancies that the peerage given to the "man," and the _vendetta_ of
the Polish Countess, both introduced rather late in Vol. II., must have
been after-thoughts. However, the end of the story is both novel and
entertaining. The feeble, fickle heroine is made to marry, as her second
husband, the man who (as an accessory after the fact) has been the murderer
of her first! And the best of the joke is--she does not know it! My "Co."
has also been much amused by a brightly-written Novel, in one volume,
called _A Bride from the Bush_. Mr. E. W. HORNUNG evidently knows his
subject well, and has caught the exact tone, or rather nasal twang of our
Australian cousins. My "Co." says that "the Bride" is a particularly
pleasant young person, thanks to her youth, good heart, and beauty.
However, it is questionable--taking her as a sample--whether her "people"
would "pan out" quite so satisfactorily. On the whole it would seem that
Australians who have "made their pile" by buying and selling land are
better at a distance--say as Aborigines!

It is also the opinion of my faithful "Co." that the Clarendon Press series
of _Rulers of India_, has never contained a better volume than the _Life of
Mayo_, a work recently contributed by the Editor, Sir WILLIAM WILSON
HUNTER. Admirably written, the book gives in the pleasantest form
imaginable, a most eventful chapter in the History of Hindostan. But more,
the pages have a pathetic personal interest, as the subject of the memoir
was for many years misunderstood, and consequently, misrepresented. Even
the _London Charivari_  was unfair to the great Earl, but as Sir WILLIAM
hastens to say, "at his death stood first in its generous acknowledgment of
his real dessert, as it had led the dropping fire of raillery three years
before." The author has, by publishing this most welcome addition to a
capitally edited series, added yet another item to the long list of
services he has rendered to our Empire in the distant East.

Since Miss FLORENCE WARDEN'S _House on the Marsh_, says the Baron, I have
not read a more exciting tale than the same authoress's _Pretty Miss
Smith_. It should be swallowed right off at a sitting, for if your interest
in it is allowed to cool during an interval, you may find it a little
difficult to get up the steam to the high-pressure point necessary for the
real enjoyment of a sensational story.

THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

SILENT SHAKSPEARE.

DEAR MR. EDITOR,

The great success that has attended the production of _L'Enfant Prodigue_
at the Prince of Wales's Theatre has encouraged me to make a suggestion in
the cause of English Art. Why not SHAKSPEARE in dumb show? The Bard himself
introduced it in "The Play Scene." Allow me to suggest it thus:--

    SCENE--_A more remote part of the Platform in Elsinore Castle. Enter_
    GHOST; _then_ HAMLET.

_Hamlet_ (_in dumb show_). "Where wilt thou lead me? Speak!" (_In dumb
show._) "I'll go no further."

_Ghost, by kissing his hand towards the horizon, shows that his hour is
almost come, when he is bound to render himself to sulphurous and
tormenting flames. The latter part of his description is composed of his
shrinking about the stage, as if suffering from intense heat._

_Hamlet buries his face in his hands, and sobs pitifully, expressing_
"Alas, poor Ghost!"

_Ghost repudiates compassion by turning up his nose, and throwing forward
his hands; and then, by pointing from his mouth to his ear, demands_
HAMLET'S _serious attention._

_Hamlet touches his own lips, points to_ GHOST, _slaps his heart, and bows,
intimating that the_ GHOST _is to_ "Speak!" _and he is_ "bound to hear."

_Ghost explains that he is his father's spirit by stroking_ HAMLET'S _face,
and then his own, and then shrinks about the stage to weird music,
descriptive of his prison-house. He concludes by appealing to_  HAMLET'S
_love for him by pressing his clasped hands to his own heart, and then
pointing towards the left-hand side of his son._

_Hamlet jerks his hands passionately upwards, as if saying_, "Oh Heaven!"

_Ghost then asks for revenge by touching his dagger, and pointing towards
the sky. He acts the murder in the garden, showing the serpent who stung
him by gliding about the stage on his chest, like the boneless man. He
shows his murderer to be of his own blood by walking up and down as
himself, and then in the same way, but with a slight limp, as if he were
his brother._

_Hamlet might here exhibit_ "_Zadkiel's Almanack" as_ "prophetic," _and
slap the sole of his shoe for_ "soul;" _for_ "my Uncle" _it would be
sufficient to produce a pawnbroker's ticket_:--"Oh my prophetic soul! Mine
Uncle!"

_Then the Ghost in great detail acts the murder in the orchard, imitating
the apples and the singing birds, the setting sun, &c., &c. He shows the
composition of the poison after its plucking from a bush, and its arrival
in the laboratory. He represents the actual pouring of the poison in his
ear. He hints too (by suggesting the action of the bell-ringer) that he was
never really mourned, and concludes a most spirited Ballet d'Action by a
rapid sketch of the paling of the ineffectual fires of the glow-worm. As he
leaves to the music of_ "Then you'll Remember Me," HAMLET _imitates
cockcrow, which brings the entertainment to an appropriate termination._

Surely this would be an improvement upon the conventional reading? In this
case where speech is silvern, silence would be golden.

Trusting some Manager will take the matter up,

I remain, always yours sincerely,

A DUMB WAITER.

       *       *       *       *       *

OPERATIC NOTES.

_Monday.--Faust_ and Foremost. Miss EAMES better even than she was last
week. NED DE RESZKÉ not so diabolical a _Mephistopheles_ as M. MAUREL.

  NEDDY RESZKÉ
  Not so goblineske,

and a stouter sort of demon, but of course a "_bon diable_."

[Illustration: Cards held by Druriolanus Operaticus.]

_Wednesday._--_Roméo et Julietta._ JACK and NED DE RESZKÉ _Roméo_ and _The
Friar_. Why the waltz alone, which ought to be on every organ besides Miss
EAMES'S, but which, strange to say, isn't thoroughly popular, should be
enough to make an Opera; but it's like the proportion of one swallow in the
composition of a summer, and, however well sung, it does not do everything.
It's a dull Opera.

_Thursday._--_Carmen_ again. House not immense. Persons "of note" chiefly
on the stage. JULIA same as before; therefore refer to previous notice. Cab
and carriage service after the theatres everywhere wants reforming
altogether. We may not be worse off than in any other capital of Europe,
but we ought to be far ahead of them.

Somebody or other complained of my writing "GLÜCK" instead of "GLUCK," He
didn't like the two dots; one too many for the poor chap, already in his
dotage, so to relieve him and soothe him, I'll write it "GLUCK," and then
he can go to the proprietor of "DAVIDSON'S Libretto Books" and ask him to
take the dotlets off the "Ü" in GLÜCK. I wonder if my strongly-spectacle'd
fault-finder writes the name of HANDEL correctly? I dare say so correct a
person never falls into any sort of error; or if he does, never admits it.
I like it done down to dots, as "HÄNDEL," myself; it looks so uncommonly
learned.

_Saturday._--_Tannhäuser._ Full and appreciative house to welcome the
_rentrée_ of Madame ALBANI, who was simply perfection and the perfection of
simplicity as the self-sacrificing heroine _Elizabeth_. From a certain
Wagnerian-moral point of view, no better impersonator,--dramatically at
least, if not operatically,--of the sensual Falstaffian Knight could be
found than Signer PEROTTI; and, from every point of view, no finer
representation of the Cyprian Venus than Mlle. SOFIA RAVOGLI. M. MAUREL was
admirable in every way as the moral _Wolframo_, and Signor ABRAMOFF the
gravest of Landgraves. The full title of this Opera should be _Tannhäuser;
or, The Story of a Bard who sang a questionable kind of Song in the highest
Society, and what came of it._

Fine effect at end of First Act, when prancing steeds, with secondhand
park-hack saddles, at quite half-a-crown an hour, are brought in, and, on a
striking tableau of bold but impecunious warriors refusing to mount, the
Curtain descends.

Then what pleasure to see _Albani-Elizabeth_ receiving the guests in Act
II., varying the courtesies with an affectionate embrace whenever a
particular friend among the ladies-of-the-court-chorus came in view. My
LORD CHAMBERLAIN, viewing the scene from his private box, must have picked
up many a hint for Court etiquette from studying this remarkable scene.
Then how familiar to us all is the arrangement of the bards all in a row,
like our old friends the Christy Minstrels, _Tannhäuser_ being the
Tambourine, and _Wolfram_ the Bones! Charming. Great success. Repeat it by
all means.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CHIVALRY AT THE BREAKFAST-TABLE.

"NOW, COOK, JUST YOU LOOK HERE! LOOK AT THAT PIECE OF BACON I'VE JUST GIVEN
YOUR MISTRESS! IT'S THE THICKEST AND WORST CUT I EVER SAW IN MY LIFE!--AND
THIS PIECE I'M JUST GOING TO TAKE MYSELF IS _ONLY A LITTLE BETTER!_"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"PLEASE GIVE ME A PENNY, SIR!"

A NEW SONG TO AN OLD TUNE.

_Poor Income-Tax Payer, loquitur_:--

  Please give me a Penny, Sir!
    My hope is almost dead;
  You hold the swag in that black bag,
    And high you lift your head.
  Some years I have been asking this,
    But no one heeds my plea.
  Will you not give me _something_ then,
    _This_ year, good Mister G.?
         Oh! please give me a Penny!

  Please give me a Penny, Sir!
    _You_ won't say "no" to me,
  Because I'm poor, and feel the pinch
    Of dreadful "Schedule D"!
  You're so high-dried, and so correct,
    So honest and austere!
  Remember the full "Tanner," Sir,
    I've stumped up year by year,
         And please give me a Penny!

  Please give me a Penny, Sir!
    My Income is but small,
  And the hard Tax laid on our backs
    I _should_ not pay at all.
  But I'm too feeble to resist,
    And do not like to lie;
  And Sixpence, under Schedule D,
    Torments me till I cry,
         Do please give me a Penny, Sir!

  Consols, or Dividends, or Rents
    Don't interest _me_ much;
  "Goschens," reduced or otherwise,
    Are things _I_ may not touch,
  Two hundred pounds per year, all told,
    Leaves little room for "exes;"
  And 'tisn't only _public_ men
    That "lack of pence" much vexes.
         So please give me a Penny, Sir!

  The mysteries of High Finance
    I don't presume to plumb;
  So year by year my back they shear,
    Sure that they'll find _me_ dumb.
  But the oft-trodden worm will turn;
    "Demand Notes" never slack;
  And "Schedule D" fast at twice three,
    Breaks the wage-earner's back.
         So please give me a Penny, Sir!

  The moneyed swells who make "returns,"
    Much at their own sweet will,
  Don't gauge the poor clerk's scanty purse,
    The small shopkeeper's till,
  How hard 'tis to make both ends meet,
    When hard times tightly nip;
  Or how small incomes sorely feel
    The annual sixpenny dip.
         So please give me a Penny, Sir!

  Please give me a Penny, Sir!
    'Tis heard on every side,
  Muttered by poverty's pinched lip,
    Silent so long--from pride.
  Ah! listen to their pleadings, Sir,
    And pity the true poor,
  Whose life is one long fight to keep
    The wolf from the house-door.
         Oh, please give me a Penny, Sir!

       *       *       *       *       *

"ROOSE IN URBE."--Dr. ROBSON ROOSE has returned to town after a trip to
Madeira.

       *       *       *       *       *

"SWEET STRIFE."

_By an Unionist M.P._

  When PARNELL's mocked by HEALY,
  In strident voice and squealy;
  When HEALY'S snubbed by PARNELL,
  In voice as from the charnel--
  I understand the windy
  Wild charm of WAGNER'S shindy.
  Discord _may_ be melodious,
  When Harmony sounds odious;
  Than _Israfel_ more dear is
  Old Erin's latest _Eris!_

       *       *       *       *       *

THE _IN_-KERRECT KERR.

IT was once said that Pianos may now be had on "MOORE and MOORE" easy terms
every day. Mrs. WALTER found that those "easy terms" involved such
pleasures as returning the instrument she had paid many instalments on,
getting an order from the masterful Mr. Commissioner KERR to pay costs as
well, and committal to prison for three weeks on the charge of "contempt of
Court"--for disobeying an order which Justices SMITH and GRANTHAM declare
the genial Commissioner had no sort of right to make!!!

If this is the "hire-purchase system," a piano-less life is infinitely
preferable to braving its manifold perils and penalties. Easy terms,
indeed? Yes,--about as "easy" as "easy shaving" with a serrated
oyster-knife! Mrs. WALTER'S fate should be a warning to would-be
piano-purchasers, and, _Mr. Punch_ would fain hope, to exacting
System-workers and arbitrary Commissioners.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "PLEASE GIVE ME A PENNY!"

NEEDY INCOME-TAX PAYER (loq.). "HOPE YOU WON'T FORGET ME _THIS TIME_,
SIR!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FOR BETTER OR WORSE!

(_Two Views of the Same Subject._)

POSSIBLE ROMANCE.

    SCENE--_A Dungeon beneath the Castle Moat. Wife chained to a post, with
    bread and water beside her. Enter Husband, with cat-o'-nine-tails._

_Husband._ And now, after ten days' seclusion, will you make over your
entire property to me, signing the deed with your life's blood?

_Wife_ (_in a feeble voice_). Never! You may kill me, but I will defy you
to the last!

_Husband._ Then die!      [_He is about to leave the dungeon, when he is
met by a Messenger from the Court of Appeal._

_Messenger._ In the name of the Law, release your prisoner!

_Husband._ Foiled!      [_Joy of_ Wife, _and tableau, as the Curtain
falls._

PROBABLE REALITY.

    SCENE--_The Church-door of a fashionable Church. Wife bidding adieu to
    Husband._

_Husband._ Surely, now that my name and fortune are yours, you will
reconsider your decision, and at least accompany me back to our wedding
breakfast?

_Wife_ (_in a firm voice_). Never! You may kill me, but I will defy you to
the last!

_Husband._ This is rank nonsense! You must take my arm.      [_He is about
to leave the Church-porch, when he is met by a Messenger from the Court of
Appeal._

_Messenger._ In the name of the Law, release your prisoner!

_Husband._ Sold!     [_Joy of Wife, and tableau, as the Curtain falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

"WHAT'S IN A NAME?"

  The "Cony" is feeble, the Bear's a rough bore.
  But CONYBEARE'S both, and perhaps a bit more!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SMART NEW BOY IN CLOAK-ROOM HAS NOTED GENTLEMEN SHUTTING UP
THEIR CRUSH HATS, AND PROMPTLY FLATTENS DE JONES'S BEST SILK TOPPER!]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

THE OTHER MAN.

  My health is good, I know no pain,
    I am not married to a wife;
  From all accounts I'm fairly sane,
    And yet I'm sick to death of life.

  The path that leads to wealth and fame
    Cannot be traversed in a day;
  I find it twice as hard a game,
    Because a spectre bars the way.

  It has no terrors such as his
    Away from which the children ran;
  It's not the Bogey, but it _is_
                  The Other Man.

  I met a girl, she seemed to be
    A kind of vision from above.
  She wasn't--but, alas! for me,
    I weakly went and fell in love.

  Her father was a _millionnaire_,
    Which didn't make me love her less.
  I thought her quite beyond compare,
    And gave long odds she'd answer "Yes."

  She thrilled me with each lovely look
    She gave me from behind her fan,
  She took my heart, and then she took--
                  The Other Man.

  Farewell to Love! I thought I'd try
    My level best to get a post;
  The salary was not too high,
    Two hundred pounds a-year at most.

  Committeemen in conclave sat,
    Their questions all were cut and dried:
  Oh, was I this? And did I that?
    And twenty thousand things beside--

  As did I smoke? and could I play
    At golf? or did I get the gout?
  And--most important--could I say
    My mother knew that I was out?

  Then two were chosen. Should I "do"?
    Perhaps!--and, just as I began
  To hope, of course they gave it to
                  The Other Man.

  All uselessly I've learnt to swear
    And use expressions that are vile;
  In vain, in vain I've torn my hair
    In quite the most artistic style.

  Yet one thing would I gladly learn--
    Yes, tell me quickly, if you can--
  Shall I be also, in my turn,
                  The Other Man?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE KEY TO A LOCK.

    ["A lock of ----'s hair, set in a small gold-rimmed case, and said to
    be an ancient family possession, was knocked down for forty pounds."]

  Take yonder lock of tangled hair,
    A silver seamed with sable,
  Dim harbinger from dreamland fair
    Of reverie and fable;

  Yes, grandson mine, the treasure take,
    A trinket loved, if little,
  And wear it, darling, for my sake,
    In yonder locket brittle;

  Small, as my banker's balance, small
    And faint--a touching token;
  My luck, the lock, the locket, all
    Seem, child, a trifle broken.

  Investments, boy, are looking glum;
    They flit and fade; in fine a
  Not inconsiderable sum
    Has gone to--Argentina.

  Nay, chide me not; one day, refilled
    By these, may shine your pocket,
  And Fortune's resurrection gild
    The lock within the locket.

  Because, you see, when strong and sage
    You grow, and all the serried
  Lights of the great Victorian age
    With me are quenched and buried;

  When other men in other days
    Walk paramount--then shall you
  Submit the thing to such as praise
    The Past, its relics value.

  The curl was worn, you'll tell your friends,
    By TENNYSON or BROWNING
  (The detail of the name depends
    On who is worth renowning).

  You'll vaunt that one who knew the grand
    Victorian Stars, and rather
  Deserved himself to join the band
    (In fact your father's father),

  Who, past expression, loved whate'er
    The market cottons _then_ to,
  Committed to your childish care
    This genuine memento.

  You'll catalogue it, as befalls
    Your choice, my little gran'son;
  You'll bear it to the deathless halls
    Of CHRISTIE, WOODS, AND MANSON.

  So, when the fateful hammer sounds,
    And you have cashed in rhino
  A cheque for, haply, forty pounds,
    You'll bless your grandsire, I know;

  Who, while his fortunes failed, and much
    Was life's horizon o'ercast,
  _Created_ souvenirs with such
    A keen, commercial forecast.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ALL-ROUND POLITICIANS--SIR WILLIAM VARIETY HARCOURT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

BACCHUS OUTWITTED; OR, THE TRIUMPH OF SOBRIETY.

(_Fragment from a Romance founded upon evidence given before the Select
Committee upon Dram-drinking._)

"I really think the experiment should be made," said the Professor. "Our
knowledge on the subject is so imperfect, that nothing definite can be
accurately pronounced."

"True enough," replied one of his friends; "but although the end to be
attained is excellent, may not the means be termed by the scrupulous
'questionable?'"

"By the over-scrupulous, perhaps," returned the Professor, with a smile.

"And the expense," observed a second of his intimates, "will be no small
consideration. If we put the matter to a thorough test, a large quantity--a
very large quantity of the necessary liquid will have to be purchased and
disposed of. Am I not right in hazarding this supposition?"

"Undoubtedly," responded the Professor, "and the cost will be enhanced by
the fact that the necessary liquids will have to be of the best possible
quality. As Dr. PAVEY observed before the Committee 'It is not the alcohol
in itself that is injurious, but the by-products.' Our aim must be to
eliminate the by-products."

"I think the idea first-rate," said the third friend; and then he paused
and added, seemingly as an after-thought, "Pass the bottle."

So the Professor and his three companions decided to make the investigation
in the cause of scientific research. It was resolved that after a week they
should meet again, and that in the meanwhile they should in their own
persons carry on the experiment continuously. When this had been arranged
the friends parted company.

At the appointed time the contemplated gathering became a concrete fact.
The Professor's friends were the first to appear at the rendezvous. They
were unsteady as to their gait, their neckties were in disorder and their
hair falling carelessly over their eyes, added a fresh impediment to an
eyesight that seemingly was temporarily defective. They sank into three
chairs regarding one another with a smile that gradually resolved itself
into a frown. Then they filled up the pause caused by the non-appearance of
the Professor by weeping silently. Their emotion was not of long duration,
as the originator of the experiment was soon in their midst. He seemed to
be in excellent health and spirits.

"My dear friend," he said, and it was noticeable that he was prone to clip
his words, and to use the singular, in lieu of the plural, when the latter
would have been more conventional, "My dear friend, glad see you all. Hope
you well."

His comrades received the well-meant greeting with a resentful frown, which
ended in further weeping.

"This very painful," continued the Professor, resting his hand somewhat
heavily on the back of a chair; "very painful indeed! Fact is, you been
taking wrong things!"

His friends sorrowfully shook their heads negatively.

"Yes you have! Sure of it! You, Sir--imbibed whiskey! No harm in good
whiskey--excellent thing, good whiskey! But injuriverius--should say,
injurious--if has too much flavour of malt! Your whiskey too much flavour
of malt! You took brandy--bad brandy--too much taste of grapes! You took
rum--bad rum--too much mo--mo--molasses! Now I took all three--whiskey,
brandy, rum, but pure--no by-products. No, not at all. Result! See! Sober
as judge!"

And, succumbing to a sudden desire for slumber, the Professor, at this
point of his discourse, joined his friends under the table!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CYCLING NOTES.

_He._ "DO YOU BELONG TO THE PSYCHICAL SOCIETY?"

_She._ "NO; BUT I SOMETIMES GO OUT ON MY BROTHER'S MACHINE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

LEAVES FROM A CANDIDATE'S DIARY.

_March 20. "George Hotel," Billsbury._--Arrived here yesterday afternoon.
Mother made up her mind to come with me, being very anxious, she said, to
hear one of my splendid speeches. She brought luggage enough to last for a
week, and insisted on taking her poodle _Carlo_, who was an awful nuisance,
in the train. He growled horribly at old TOLLAND and BLISSOP when they came
to see me at the Hotel before dinner. Very awkward. TOLLAND wanted to put
before me the state of the case with regard to registration expenses. The
upshot was that the Candidate is expected to subscribe £80 a year to the
Association for this purpose, which I eventually agreed to do. Found
fourteen letters waiting for me. No. 1 was from Miss POSER, the Secretary
of the Billsbury Women's Suffrage League, asking me to receive a small
deputation on the question, and to lay my views before them. No. 2 from the
Anti-Vaccination League, stating that a deputation had been appointed to
meet me, in order to learn my views, and requesting me to fix a date. No. 3
and No. 4, from two local lodges of Oddfellows, each declaring it to be of
the highest importance that I should become an Oddfellow and proposing
dates for my initiation. Nos. 5, 6 and 7 were from Secretaries of funds for
the restoration or building of Churches and Chapels, appealing for
subscriptions. Nos. 8, 9, and 10, from three more local Cricket Clubs, who
have elected me an Honorary Member, and want subscriptions. No. 11 from a
Children's Meat Tea Fund. No. 12 asked me to subscribe to a Bazaar, and to
attend its opening in June. No. 13, from the local Fire Brigade, and No. 14
from the Secretary of the Local Society for improving the Breed of
Bullfinches, recommending this "national object" to my favourable notice.
Shall have to keep a Secretary, likewise a book of accounts. Where is it
all going to end?

The Mass Meeting went off well enough. The Assembly Rooms were crammed.
(The _Meteor_ says, with its usual accuracy and _good taste_, "The
attendance was small, the proceedings were dull. A wonderful amount of
stale Jingoism was afterwards swept up by the caretakers from the floor.
Our Conservative friends are so wasteful.") I was adopted as Candidate
almost unanimously, only ten hands being held up against me. One or two
questions were asked--one about local option, which rather stumped me--but
I managed to express great sympathy with the Temperance party without, I
hope, offending publicans.

_Carlo_ somehow or other got out of the hotel and followed us to the
meeting without being noticed. Poodles are all as cunning as Old Nick. He
lay quite low in some corner or other, until Colonel CHORKLE was in the
middle of a tremendous appeal to "the stainless banner which 'as so often
been borne to triumph by Billsbury's embattled chivalry." The Colonel
thumped on the table very hard, and _Carlo_, I suppose, had his eye on him
and thought he was going to thump me. At any rate he sprang out and dashed
at the Colonel, barking furiously. I had to seize him and take him outside.
The Colonel turned quite pale. _The Meteor_ says: "The war-like ardour
which burns in the breast of Colonel CHORKLE was well-nigh extinguished by
an intelligent dog, whose interruptions provoked immense applause." I had
to apologise profusely to the Colonel afterwards. Mrs. CHORKLE looked
daggers at me. Mother was delighted with the meeting. She has written about
it to Aunt AMELIA.

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday Night, April 13._--So long since Lord STALBRIDGE
parted company from RICHARD GROSVENOR that he forgets manners and customs
of House of Commons. Not being satisfied with choice made by Committee of
Selection of certain Members on Committee dealing with Railway Rates and
Charges, STALBRIDGE writes peremptory letter to Chairman, giving him severe
wigging; correspondence gets into newspapers; House of Commons, naturally
enough, very angry. Not going to stand this sort of thing from a mere Peer,
even though he be Chairman of North-Western Railway. Talk of making it case
of privilege. Sort of thing expected to be taken up from Front Bench, or by
WHITBREAD, or some other Member of standing. Somehow, whilst thing being
thought over and talked about, SEXTON undertakes to see it through. As soon
as questions over to-night, rises from below Gangway, and in his comically
impressive manner, announces intention of putting certain questions to JOHN
MOWBRAY, Chairman of Committee of Selection. Ordinary man would have put
his questions and sat down. But this a great occasion for SEXTON. Domestic
difficulties in Irish Party kept him away from Westminster for many weeks.
No opportunity for Windbag to come into action; now is the time, as
champion of privileges of House of Commons. Position one of some
difficulty. Not intending to conclude with a Motion, he would be out of
order in making a speech. Could only ask question. Question couldn't
possibly extend over two minutes; two minutes, nothing: with the Windbag
full, bursting after compulsory quiescence since Parliament opened.

SEXTON managed admirably; kept one eye on SPEAKER, who from time to time
moved uneasily in chair. Whenever he looked like going to interrupt, SEXTON
lapsed into interrogatory, which put him in order; then went on again,
patronising JOHN MOWBRAY, posing as champion of privileges of House, and so
thoroughly enjoying himself, that only a particularly cantankerous person
could have complained. Still, it was a little long. "This isn't SEXTON'S
funeral, is it?" HARCOURT asked, in loud whisper.

[Illustration: A Cameron Man.]

"No," said CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN; "it was meant to be STALBRIDGE'S; but I
fancy SEXTON will save him from full inconvenience of the ceremony."

So it turned out; House tired of business long before Windbag SEXTON had
blown himself out. Poor JOHN MOWBRAY admittedly flabberghasted by the
interminable string of questions under which SEXTON had tried to disguise
his speech. STALBRIDGE got off without direct censure, and DONALD CAMERON
abruptly turned the conversation in the direction of Opium.

_Business done._--In Committee on Irish Land Bill.

_House of Lords, Tuesday._--Lords met to-night after Easter Recess; come
together with a feeling that since last they met a gap been made in their
ranks that can never be filled. The gentle GRANVILLE'S seat is occupied by
another. Never more will the Peers look upon his kindly face, or hear his
lisping voice uttering bright thoughts in exquisite phrase.

KIMBERLEY sits where he was wont to lounge. K. a good safe man; one of the
rare kind whose reputation stands highest with the innermost circle of
those who work and live with him. To the outside world, the man in the
street, KIMBERLEY is an expression; some not quite sure whether he isn't a
territory in South Africa. Known in the Lords, of course; listened to with
respect, much as HALLAM'S _Constitutional History of England_ is
occasionally read. But when to-night he rises from GRANVILLE'S seat and
makes a speech that, with readjustment of circumstance, GRANVILLE himself
would have made, an assembly not emotional feels with keen pang how much it
has lost.

The MARKISS should be here. Perhaps for himself it is as well he's away. To
him, more than anyone else in the House, the newly filled space on the
Bench opposite is of direful import. _The MARKISS has no peer now GRANVILLE
is gone; the two were in all characteristics and mental attitudes
absolutely opposed, and yet, like oil and vinegar, the mixing perfected the
salad of debate. The lumbering figure of the black-visaged Marquis at one
side of the table talking at large to the House, but with his eye fixed on
GRANVILLE; at the other, the dapper figure, with its indescribable air of
old-fashioned gentlemanhood, the light of his smile shed impartially on the
benches opposite, but his slight bow reserved for the MARKISS, as, leaning
across the table, he pinked him under the fifth rib with glittering
rapier--this is a sight that will never more gladden the eye in the House
of Lords. GRANVILLE was the complement of the MARKISS; the MARKISS was to
GRANVILLE an incentive to his bitter-sweetness. Never again will they meet
to touch shield with lance across the table in the Lords. LYCIDAS is dead,
not ere his prime, it is true;

  "But, O the heavy change, now thou art gone,
  Now thou art gone, and never must return!"

It seemed in stumbling inadequate phrase that CRANBROOK, KIMBERLEY, DERBY,
and SELBORNE strummed their lament. But, speaking from different points of
view, without pre-concert, they struck the same chord in recognising the
ever unruffled gentleness of the nature of LYCIDAS--a gentleness not born
of weakness, a sweetness of disposition that did not unwholesomely cloy.
Only Mr. G. could have fitly spoken the eulogy of GRANVILLE. After him, the
task belonged to the MARKISS, and it was a pity that circumstances
prevented his undertaking it. _Business done_,--Irish Land Bill in Commons.

_Wednesday._--Brer FOX turned up to-day, unexpectedly. So did MAURICE HEALY,
even more unexpectedly. Irish Sunday Closing Bill under discussion. Great
bulk of Irish Members in favour of it. First note of discord introduced by
Windbag SEXTON. Belfast Publicans, who find their business threatened,
insist that he shall oppose the Bill; does so accordingly, separating
himself from his party. Brer FOX quickly seized the opportunity; he, too,
on he side of the Publicans, who hold the purse, and, money (like some of
their customers) is tight. So PARNELL lavishly compliments Windbag SEXTON
on his "large and patriotic view"; hisses out his scorn for the Liberal
Party; declares that Ireland abhors the measure, which he calls a New
Coercion Bill.

[Illustration: "The mildest-mannered Man."]

Then, from bench below him, uprises a bent, slight figure, looking less
like a man of war than most things. A low, quiet voice, sounds clearly
through the House, and Mr. MAURICE HEALY is discovered denying Brer FOX'S
right to speak on this or any other public question for the constituency of
Cork.

"If he has any doubt on this subject," the mild-looking young man
continued, "let him keep the promise he made to me about contesting the
seat."

That was all; only two sentences; but the thundering cheers that rang
through House told how they had gone home.

_Business done._--Irish Sunday Closing Bill read Second Time.

[Illustration]

_Friday._--GRANDOLPH looked in for few minutes before dinner. A little
difficulty with doorkeeper. So disguised under beard, that failed to
recognise him; thought he was a stranger, bound for the Gallery. But when
GRANDOLPH turned, and glared on him, saw his mistake as in a flash of
lightning.

"Same eyes, anyhow," said Mr. JARRATT, getting back to the safety of his
chair with alacrity.

GRANDOLPH sat awhile in corner seat, stroking his beard, to the manifest
chagrin of his jilted moustache.

"Awfully dull," he said. "Glad I'm off to other climes; don't know whether
I shall come back at all. If Mashonaland wants a King, and insists upon my
accepting the Crown, not sure I shall refuse."

"GRANDOLPH seems hipped," said WARING, watching him as he swung through the
Lobby. "It's the beard. Never been the same man since he grew it.

  "There was a Young Man with a beard,
  Who said, 'It is just as I feared!
  Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
  Have all built their nests in my beard.'"

_Business done._--Committee on Irish Land Bill Dropping into Poetry, again.

       *       *       *       *       *

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