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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, May 2, 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, May 2, 1891" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 100.



May 2, 1891.



SONGS OF THE UN-SENTIMENTALIST.

A DUSTMAN'S SILENT TEAR.

  I know not how that Dustman stirred my ire:
    He may have failed to call when due: but he--
  My breast being charged with economic fire,--
    Was mulcted of his customary fee.
  I was informed, at first he did not seem
    To grasp the cruel sense of what he heard,
  But asked, "Wot's this 'ere game?" as if some dream
    Of evil portents all his pulses stirred;
  Then, muttering, he turned, and went his way
    Dejected, broken! I had stopped his beer!
  Ah! from that Dustman who, alas! can say
    I did not wring a sad and silent tear!

  I thought the matter o'er. I vowed no more,
    That I with grief would moisten any eye;
  Henceforth, whene'er that Dustman passed my door,
    Upon his beer he knew he could rely!
  Nay more! For never heeding if my bin
    Were full or empty, I that Dustman hailed;
  His grateful smile my one desire to win;
    I felt I could not help it if I failed.
  Twice every week he came,--his twopence drew:
    That Dustman seemed to brighten with his beer.
  And, if he wept, thank Heaven, at least I knew
    With joy, not grief, _he shed his silent tear!_

       *       *       *       *       *


LEAVES FROM A CANDIDATE'S DIARY.

[CONTINUED.]

_Thursday, April 16_.--On looking through my book I find that I am
now a member of ten Billsbury Cricket Clubs, to most of which I am a
Vice-President. Not bad, considering that my average in my last year
at school was four, and that I didn't play more than half-a-dozen
times at Oxford. TOLLAND says there are many more Foot-ball Clubs
than Cricket Clubs--a pleasant prospect for me in the Autumn. Have
also had to subscribe to six Missions of various kinds, four Easter
Monday _Fêtes_, six Friendly Societies, three Literary and Scientific
Institutes, five Temperance Associations, four Quoit Clubs, two
Swimming Clubs, seven Sunday Schools, five Church or Chapel Building
Funds, three Ornithological Societies, two Christian Young Men's
Associations, three Children's Free Dinner Funds, one Angling
Association, not to speak of Fire Brigade, Dispensaries, and Brass
Bands. Have also given a Prize to be shot for by Volunteers, as
CHUBSON gives one every year. What with £80 subscription to
the Registration Fund, things are beginning to mount up pretty
considerably.

[Illustration]

Have spoken at three meetings since the Mass Meeting. TOLLAND said,
"You needn't refer to Sir THOMAS CHUBSON yourself. Leave our people
to do that. They enjoy that kind of thing, and know how to do it."
They do, indeed. At our last meeting, HOLLEBONE, the Secretary of
the Junior Conservative Club, went on at him for twenty minutes in
proposing resolution of confidence in me. "Sir THOMAS," he said,
"talks of his pledges. The less Sir THOMAS says about them the
better. I can't walk out anywhere in Billsbury for two minutes without
tripping over the broken fragments of some of Sir THOMAS's pledges.
It's getting quite dangerous. Sir THOMAS, they say, made himself. It's
a pity he couldn't put in a little consistency when he was engaged on
the job. We don't want any purse-proud Radical knights to represent
us. We want a straightforward man, who says what he means; and you'll
agree with me, fellow-townsmen, that we've got one in our eloquent and
popular young Candidate."

This went down very well. Next day, however, the _Meteor_
"parallel-columned" Sir THOMAS CHUBSON's career and mine.
Mine occupied six lines; Sir THOMAS's "Life of honourable and
self-sacrificing industry" ran to nearly a column. "It will be
observed," said the _Meteor_, "that there is a good deal of blank
space in Mr. PATTLE's comparative career; but this no doubt recommends
him to his Conservative friends, who are quite equal to filling it
brilliantly with their imaginative rhetoric about his chances of
success."

Primrose Day, the day after to-morrow. We're going to have a great
demonstration at Billsbury. Mother is going down with me to-morrow.

_April 20th, "George Hotel," Billsbury_.--The Demonstration yesterday
was a splendid success. At ten o'clock in the morning the Conservative
Band marched up to the Hotel and played patriotic airs under the
window. Mother and I drove to the Beaconsfield Club in an open
carriage and pair, escorted by the band. Mother's bonnet was all
primroses, and she carried an immense bouquet of them. _Carlo_
came with us and sat on the back-seat. His collar was stuck full of
primroses, and small bunches were tied on to the tufts on his back
and at the end of his tail. I wore a buttonhole of primroses, and
carried a huge primrose wreath to be placed round the bust of LORD
BEACONSFIELD, which stands in the hall of the Club. The coachman and
horses too were all tricked out with bunches. TOLLAND and CHORKLE,
and all the leaders of the Party, met us at the entrance of the Club,
and the ceremony of depositing the flowers all round the bust began.
CHORKLE, who once shook hands with DIZZY in the lobby of the House,
made a great speech, mostly composed of personal reminiscences of our
great departed leader. (By the way CHORKLE has six children, five
of them being sons, whose names are BENJAMIN DISRAELI CHORKLE, CECIL
SALISBURY CHORKLE, STRAFFORD THOROUGH CHORKLE, HOBBES LEVIATHAN
CHORKLE, and RANDOLPH CHURCHILL CHORKLE.) The sixth, eighteen months
old, is a girl. Her name is WILLIAMINA HENRIETTA SMITH CHORKLE. They
were all present, covered with primroses. I added a few words about
the inspiring effect that the contemplation of LORD BEACONSFIELD's
career must have upon the youth of the country. Mother's bouquet kept
falling off the place she had put it on, and two or three enthusiasts
always dashed forward to pick it up, causing a good many collisions.
In the middle of my speech, _Carlo_ walked into the centre of the
hall, sat down and proceeded to gnaw off the primroses which had been
tied to his tail. He then ate them all solemnly, and after that rolled
over on his back with his paws stuck straight out, pretending he was
dead. I must tell Mother not to bring that dog again. There was a
great banquet in the evening. VULLIAMY came down for it and spoke very
kindly about me in his speech. Said he had followed my career with
profound interest and pleasure from my earliest years. I've only known
him a year.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTHING LIKE DISCIPLINE!

(_EXTRACT FROM THE DIARY OF_ PRIVATE ATKINS, _PRINCE'S COMPANY, 4TH
BATTALION, H.M.'S GUZZLEBEER GUARDS._)

_Monday_.--Joined the Regiment. Appeared on Parade, and was requested
to come to "attention," although the Sergeant _must_ have seen that I
was "standing at ease." Expressed a desire that the Commanding-officer
should rectify the mistake, when all ended amicably. Sergeant
apologised, and promised that it should not occur again. Satisfied.
Both Sergeant and Commanding-officer well up in their duties!

[Illustration]

_Tuesday_.--Bugle sounded too early for Assembly. Sent a message to
the Adjutant by his orderly (with my compliments) saying that I would
feel much obliged if the Parade were postponed an hour. Adjutant
returned _his_ compliments, with a request that I would give in
writing my reason for desiring a delay. Explained (by word of mouth)
that I wanted to read the newspapers. Parade consequently postponed as
requested. Obliging chap the Adjutant!

_Wednesday_.--Warned for Guard. Sent for the Major of my
half-battalion (don't like bothering the Commanding-officer about
every trifle), and explained that, although the Surgeon had seen me,
and reported me fit, I had a presentiment that the easterly winds
would play the very mischief with me if I went "Sentry Go." Major
thought, perhaps it would be better if I were struck off duty. Excused
Guard in consequence. Good sort Major of my half-battalion!

_Thursday_.--Sorry to find rations very unsatisfactory. Complained
to the Officer of the day, who reported the matter to the Captain.
Captain said he would have asked the entire company to dine with him
at his Club had he not been engaged. He then passed us on to his
Subs. The latter most obligingly gave us some food at a Restaurant.
_Châteaubriand_ excellent, _Sole à la Normande_ decent, but _Potage à
la bisque_ too rich. Mistake to order the latter, as one can never get
it _really_ good, except on the Continent. Wine tol-lol. Pol Royer of
'84. However, spent a very pleasant evening. Both Subs, when you know
them, not half bad fellows!

_Friday_.--Rather a head, and felt generally out of sorts. Warned for
Kit-inspection. Couldn't stand this, so called upon General Commanding
District. Not at home, but was asked would I see his _locum tenens_?
Replied in the negative, as I don't believe in go-betweens. Didn't
return to barracks, as I thought I might get a breath of sea-air at
Southend.

_Saturday_.--Arrested and conveyed to the Guard-room. Suppose I
shall be released with a caution. At any rate, for the present, diary
confiscated.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE GARDEN OF SLEEP;

OR, "PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT!"

_Miss India_. "EVICT ME? WITH PLEASURE, SAHIB. BUT HOW ABOUT
'COMPENSATION FOR DISTURBANCE?'"]

       *       *       *       *       *

  In the heart of fair Ind, which JOHN BULL hopes to keep,
  Trade planted a Garden--a Garden of Sleep;
  'Neath the hot Eastern sky--in the place of good corn--
  It is there that the baneful white Poppy is born,--
  Chinese Johnny's desire, lending dreams of delight,
  Which are his when the poppy-juice cometh in sight.
  Oh! the Mart hath no heart, and Trade laugheth to scorn
  The plea of friend PEASE, where the Poppies are born.

  In this Garden of Sleep, where white Poppies are spread,
  Fair INDIA plucketh the opiate head.
  JOHN BULL says. "My dear, PEASE's tales make me creep.
  He swears it, fills graves with 'pigtails,' who seek sleep!"
  Fair INDIA replies, "That may possibly be;
  But they Revenue bring, some Six Millions, you see!
  Turn me out if you will, smash the Trade if you must;
  But--you'll make up the money somehow, Sir, I trust!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WANTED--A LOCAL HABITATION.

(_Commended by Mr. Punch to the Patrons of British Art._)

_English Art_ (_to Sir James L-nt-n, Messrs. T-te and Agn-w_), "NOW,
GENTLEMEN, THE GOVERNMENT HAS GIVEN THE SITE FOR MY HOUSE,--IT ONLY
REMAINS FOR YOU TO BUILD IT."

[The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER announced that the Government had
assigned a site for the new Gallery of Modern Art, as he thought it
would be unwise to risk the failure of the gift of £80,000 which had
been offered to erect a building.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

SOMEBODY'S LUGGAGE.

In view of the intense public excitement aroused by the statement that
Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, in his expedition to Mashonaland, is only
going to take two books with him--SHAKSPEARE and MOLIÈRE--an Inquiring
Correspondent has recently written to several eminent persons on this
subject, and has received--so he says--the following replies:--

SIR,--You ask me what books I should take if I were contemplating
a visit to the Dark Continent, like Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL.
The question, in the abstract, and without reference to my own
personality, is an interesting one, and no doubt human fallibility
would, in the case you suppose, induce me to take several volumes of
my own _Gleanings_ with me,--not so much for their intrinsic merits,
as because perhaps they might form a new kind of literature for native
African potentates. HOMER, too, _of course_. At my time of life,
however, I must be excused from grappling with any new Continents,
dark or otherwise. I find that Ireland is quite dark enough for me
just now. Excuse a card. Yours, W.E. GL-DST-NE.

SIR,--As I am not "contemplating an expedition to the Dark Continent,"
and have no sympathy with Hottentots, there seems to be no sufficient
reason for my answering your questions, or for your asking them.
S-L-SB-RY.

SIR,--Your question is ridiculous. The only books worth taking to
Africa, or anywhere else, would be a bound copy of last year's
_Review of Reviews_, GENERAL BOOTH's epoch-making volume, and--this
is indispensable--SIR C. D-LKE's invaluable _Problems of Greater
Britain._ When I went to Rome, I naturally took with me the "hundred
best books in the world." They were a little heavy, but I thought
the POPE would like to see them. However, circumstances prevented my
presenting them to His Holiness. Yours, W.T. ST-D.

SIR,--I don't know much about books. I've just written rather a good
one on _Cricket_, and I think if I were going to Africa I should take
a supply. From all I've heard of TIPPOO TIB, I should think he would
enjoy the game; at any rate TIPPOO ought to be able to master tip and
run without much difficulty. W.G. GR-CE.

SIR,--Having consulted my relatives--also CAPTAIN M-L-SW-RTH--as
to whether there would be any impropriety in giving a reply to your
questions, I am happy to say that they seem to think there would be
none, but that on the contrary it might even assist the takings at the
Aquarium. I may therefore mention that if I were proceeding to Central
Africa there is _only one book_ I should dream of taking with me. That
would be a copy of the Proceedings of the London County Council, since
the joyful date of its advent on this planet. Yours obediently, Z-o.

SIR,--The one book I should take with me to Africa would be DR.
PETERS' recent valuable work--_More Light on Dark Africa_. I should
give it to the Dwarfs. It would make capital poisoned arrows. H.M.
ST-NL-Y.

SIR,--The only book worth thinking about for such an expedition as
you mention would be STANLEY's _In Darkest Africa_. Its Maps would be
invaluable,--as presents for a rival explorer, whom one might desire
to mislead as to his route. CARL P-T-RS.

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. HERKOMER AND MR. PENNELL.

PROFESSOR HERKOMER defends the use of Photography for the engraver's
purposes, and clearly thinks that what TENNYSON ought to have written,
in _Locksley Hall_, was--

"And the thoughts of men are widened by a Process of the Sun's."

He also comforts himself with the reflection that being called over
the coals in the _National Observer_, is one of the PENNELL-ties of
success.

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. PUNCH'S POCKET IBSEN.

(_CONDENSED AND REVISED VERSION BY MR. P.'S OWN HARMLESS IBSENITE_.)

NO. III.--HEDDA GABLER.

ACT II.

    SCENE--_The cheerful dark Drawing-room. It is afternoon.
    HEDDA stands loading a revolver in the back Drawing-room._

_Hedda_ (_looking out, and shouting_). How do you do, Judge? (_Aims at
him._) Mind yourself! [_She fires._

_Brack_ (_entering_). What the devil! Do you usually take pot-shots at
casual visitors? [_Annoyed._

_Hedda_. Invariably, when they come by the back-garden. It is my
unconventional way of intimating that I am at home. One does do these
things in realistic dramas, you know. And I was only aiming at the
blue sky.

_Brack_. Which accounts for the condition of my hat. (_Exhibiting
it._) Look here--_riddled_!

_Hedda_. Couldn't help myself. I am so horribly bored with TESMAN.
Everlastingly to be with a professional person!

_Brack_ (_sympathetically_). Our excellent TESMAN is certainly a bit
of a bore. (_Looks searchingly at her_.) What on earth made you marry
him?

_Hedda_. Tired of dancing, my dear, that's all. And then I used TESMAN
to take me home from parties; and we saw this villa; and I said I
liked it, and so did he; and so we found some common ground, and here
we are, do you see! And I loathe TESMAN, and I don't even like the
villa now; and I do feel the want of an entertaining companion so!

[Illustration: "I am a Norwegian literary man, and peculiar."]

_Brack_. Try me. Just the kind of three-cornered arrangement that
I like. Let me be the third person in the
compartment--(_confidentially_)--the tried friend, and, generally
speaking, cock of the walk!

_Hedda_ (_audibly drawing in her breath_). I cannot resist your
polished way of putting things. We will conclude a triple alliance.
But hush!--here comes TESMAN.

    [_Enter GEORGE, with a number of books under his arm._

_George_. Puff! I _am_ hot, HEDDA. I've been looking into LÖVBORG's
new book. Wonderfully thoughtful--confound him! But I must go and
dress for your party, Judge. [_He goes out._

_Hedda_. I wish I could get TESMAN to take to politics, Judge.
Couldn't he be a Cabinet Minister, or something?

_Brack_. H'm!

    [_A short pause; both look at one another, without speaking.
    Enter GEORGE, in evening dress, with gloves._

_George_. It is afternoon, and your party is at half-past seven--but I
like to dress early. Fancy that! And I am expecting LÖVBORG.

    [_EJLERT LÖVBORG comes in from the hall; he is worn and pale,
    with red patches on his cheek-bones, and wears an elegant
    perfectly new visiting-suit, and black gloves._

_George_. Welcome! (_Introduces him to BRACK._) Listen--I have got
your new book, but I haven't read it through yet.

_Lövborg_. You needn't--it's rubbish. (_Takes a packet of MSS. out._)
This _isn't_. It's in three parts; the first about the civilising
forces of the future, the second about the future of the civilising
forces, and the third about the forces of the future civilisation. I
thought I'd read you a little of it this evening?

_Brack and George_ (_hastily_). Awfully nice of you--but there's a
little party this evening--so sorry we can't stop! Won't you come too?

_Hedda_. No, he must stop and read it to me and Mrs. ELVSTED instead.

_George_. It would never have occurred to me to think of such clever
things! Are you going to oppose me for the Professorship, eh?

_Lövborg_ (_modestly_). No; I shall only triumph over you in the
popular judgment--that's all!

_George_. Oh, is that all? Fancy! Let us go into the back drawing-room
and drink cold punch.

_Lövborg_. Thanks--but I am a reformed character, and have renounced
cold punch--it is poison.

    [_GEORGE and BRACK go into the back-room and drink punch,
    whilst HEDDA shows LÖVBORG a photograph album in the front._

_Lövborg_ (_slowly, in a low tone_). HEDDA GABLER! how _could_ you
throw yourself away like this!--Oh, is _that_ the ORTLER Group?
Beautiful!--Have you forgotten how we used to sit on the settee
together behind an illustrated paper, and--yes, very picturesque
peaks--I told you all about how I had been on the loose?

_Hedda_. Now, none of that, here! These are the Dolomites.--Yes, I
remember; it was a beautiful fascinating Norwegian intimacy--but
it's over now. See, we spent a night in that little mountain village,
TESMAN and I!

_Lövborg_. Did you, indeed? Do you remember that delicious moment when
you threatened to shoot me down--(_tenderly_)--I do!

_Hedda_ (_carelessly_). Did I? I have done that to so many people. But
now all that is past, and you have found the loveliest consolation
in dear, good, little Mrs. ELVSTED--ah, here she is! (_Enter_ Mrs.
ELVSTED.) Now, THEA, sit down and drink up a good glass of cold punch.
Mr. LÖVBORG is going to have some. If you don't, Mr. LÖVBORG, GEORGE
and the Judge will think you are afraid of taking too much if you once
begin.

_Mrs. E._ Oh, please, HEDDA! When I've inspired Mr. LÖVBORG so--good
gracious! _don't_ make him drink cold punch!

_Hedda_. You see, Mr. LÖVBORG, our dear little friend can't _trust_
you!

_Lövborg_. So _that_ is my comrade's faith in me! (_Gloomily._) _I_'ll
show her if I am to be trusted or not. (_He drinks a glass of punch_.)
Now I'll go to the Judge's party. I'll have another glass first.
Your health, THEA! So you came up to spy on me, eh? I'll drink the
Sheriff's health--_everybody's_ health!

    [_He tries to get more punch._

_Hedda_ (_stopping him_). No more now. You are going to a party,
remember. [GEORGE _and_ TESMAN _come in from back-room._

_Lövborg._ Don't be angry, THEA. I was fallen for a moment. Now I'm up
again! (Mrs. E. _beams with delight_). Judge, I'll come to your party,
as you _are_ so pressing, and I'll read GEORGE my manuscript all the
evening. I'll do all in _my_ power to make that party go!

_George_. No? fancy! that _will_ be amusing!

_Hedda_. There, go away, you wild rollicking creatures! But Mr.
LÖVBORG must be back at ten, to take dear THEA home!

_Mrs. E._ Oh, goodness, yes! (_In concealed agony._) Mr. LÖVBORG, I
shan't go away till you do!

    [_The three men go out laughing merrily; the Act-drop is
    lowered for a minute; when it is raised, it is 7 A.M., and
    Mrs. ELVSTED and HEDDA are discovered sitting up, with rugs
    around them._

_Mrs. E._ (_wearily_). Seven in the morning, and Mr. LÖVBORG not here
to take me home _yet_! what _can_ he be doing?

_Hedda_ (_yawning_). Reading to TESMAN, with vine-leaves in his hair,
I suppose. Perhaps he has got to the third part.

_Mrs. E._ Oh, do you _really_ think so, HEDDA? Oh, if I could but hope
he was doing that!

_Hedda_. You silly little ninny! I should like to scorch your hair
off. Go to bed! [Mrs. E. _goes. Enter_ GEORGE.

_George_. I'm a little late, eh? But we made _such_ a night of it.
Fancy! It was most amusing. EJLERT read his book to me--think of that!
Astonishing book! Oh, we really had great fun! I wish _I'd_ written
it. Pity he's so irreclaimable.

_Hedda_. I suppose you mean he has more of the courage of life than
most people?

_George_. Good Lord! He had the courage to get more drunk than
most people. But, altogether, it was what you might almost call a
Bacchanalian orgy. We finished up by going to have early coffee with
some of these jolly chaps, and poor old LÖVBORG dropped his precious
manuscript in the mud, and I picked it up--and here it is! Fancy
if anything were to happen to it! He never could write it again.
_Wouldn't_ it be sad, eh? Don't tell anyone about it.

    [_He leaves the packet of MSS. on a chair, and rushes out;
    HEDDA hides the packet as BRACK enters._

_Brack_. _Another_ early call, you see! My party was such a singularly
animated _soirée_ that I haven't undressed all night. Oh, it was
the liveliest affair conceivable! And, like a true Norwegian host,
I tracked LÖVBORG home; and it is only my duty, as a friend of the
house, and cock of the walk, to take the first opportunity of telling
you that he finished up the evening by coming to mere loggerheads with
a red-haired opera-singer, and being taken off to the police-station!
You mustn't have him here any more. Remember our little triple
alliance!

_Hedda_ (_her smile fading away_). You are certainly a dangerous
person--but you must not get a hold over me!

_Brack_ (_ambiguously_). What an idea! But I might--I am an
insinuating dog. Good morning! [_Goes out._

_Lövborg_ (_bursting in, confused and excited_). I suppose you've
heard where _I've_ been?

_Hedda_ (_evasively_). I heard you had a very jolly party at Judge
BRACK's. [Mrs. ELVSTED _comes in._

_Lövborg_. It's all over. I don't mean to do any more work. I've no
use for a companion now, THEA. Go home to your Sheriff!

_Mrs. E._ (_agitated_). Never! I want to be with you when your book
comes out!

_Lövborg_. It won't _come_ out--I've torn it up! (_Mrs. E. rushes out,
wringing her hands_.) Mrs. TESMAN, I told her a lie--but no matter.
I haven't torn my book up--I've done worse! I've taken it about to
several parties, and it's been through a police-row with me--now I've
lost it. Even if I found it again, it wouldn't be the same--not to me!
I am a Norwegian literary man, and peculiar. So I must make an end of
it altogether!

_Hedda_. Quite so--but look here, you must do it beautifully. I
don't insist on your putting vine-leaves in your hair--but do it
beautifully. (_Fetches pistol._) See, here is one of General GABLER's
pistols--do it with _that_!

_Lövborg._ Thanks!

    [_He takes the pistol, and goes out through the hall-door;
    as soon as he has gone, HEDDA brings out the manuscript, and
    puts it on the fire, whispering to herself, as Curtain falls._

       *       *       *       *       *

CAN A MAN IMPRISON HIS WIFE?

(_AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION, BY AN EMINENT
LEGAL AUTHORITY._)

[Illustration: Summing Up.]

It may be remembered that (I trust) in deserved acknowledgment of
my professional pre-eminence, I received, some little while ago,
the appointment of a Deputy-Assistant-Revising-Barristership. In
performing the duties of this important office, I sometimes have to
incur bodily risk--the more especially when I have to distinguish
between the rival claims of the political parties that I am sorry
to say have made Lambville-cum-Minton the antithesis of heaven upon
earth. On the occasion to which I particularly wish to refer, I was
accompanied by my Wife, to my secret annoyance, as I am afraid the
Lady who does me the honour to share my name is unduly apprehensive of
my safety, and, besides this general plea, I had yet another special
reason for desiring her absence. To tell the truth, I had been greatly
moved by a decision given in the Court of Appeal, whereby it seemed to
me (and no doubt to many of my learned friends) the custody of a wife
by her husband had become an empty phrase, signifying nothing. I felt
that if, by any means, I could get this judgment set aside, I would
not only confer upon myself, as a married man, a signal benefit, but,
moreover, as a Counsel, obtain increased professional distinction.
However, I was embarrassed by the presence of my Wife, when I came
to consider the best mode in which marital authority might be
assumed to raise the question of the right of _habeas corpus_. I
had returned to my room before the opening of the Registration
Court at Lambville-cum-Minton, in rather a disturbed frame of mind.
Truth to tell, my Wife, having learned that political feeling
was rising so high in the town that it was possible that the
Deputy-Assistant-Revising-Barrister might be assaulted by either or
both of the rival factions, had done her best to dissuade me from
taking my customary seat.

"What shall I do, to say nothing of the darling children, if you are
brought home on a hurdle?" she sobbed out.

I assured her that there was a very remote risk of my succumbing to
such a fate, as the conveyance home on a hurdle raised the presumption
that the victim had been hunting, a sport in which I seldom, I may
say, never indulged. But this explanation did not reassure her,
and she left me in tears. Her emotion caused me much pain, the more
especially as my proposed task seemed to me, under the circumstances,
a species of domestic treason. However, I hardened my heart, and sat
down to consider the facts of the case. To allow the right of seizure
to be argued, it would be necessary to take my Wife out of the custody
of someone other than myself. Her mother, a most estimable old lady,
with whom I have had many a pleasant and exciting game of backgammon,
seemed a right and proper person to assist me in carrying out my
project. But the objection immediately occurred to me that it would
be an exceedingly difficult matter to induce her to hold my Wife from
me unless I desired her to take such a course. But if I made this
request, would not the proceeding savour of collusion? To meet this
obstacle I came to the conclusion that I might get my Wife to pay
a visit to her mother, and then, appropriately disguised, seize and
carry her off. By locking her in the conveyance and riding on the box,
I could preserve my incognito until reaching home, and then I might
confine her in her own room with assumed harshness, and possibly (of
this I had some doubt) get her to complain of her imprisonment. By
keeping my Wife's domicile a close secret, her mother would be induced
to visit me to ask my professional assistance in recovering her
daughter. Thus approached it would be possible to so advise the old
lady that in the result she would demand my Wife's presence in Court
under a writ of _habeas corpus_. Then would come my opportunity.
Of course I would produce my Wife, and having carefully prepared my
arguments, would deliver an oration that would fill columns of the
newspapers, and hand down my name to generations to come as _the_
authority on marital rights. I saw in the near future wealth and
restored domestic happiness. But the first thing to do was to lock
up my Wife. And at this point it occurred to me that it was time for
me to walk over to the Revision Court. I hastily gathered certain
necessary articles into my brief-bag, and putting on my hat, grasped
the handle of the door. To my surprise I found that I could obtain no
egress. I rang the bell--and instead of a servant my Wife answered the
summons. "The door is locked, dear," I observed, "and as the key seems
to be on the other side, will you kindly open it, as I am in a hurry
to be off."

"You will stay where you are," was the reply. "You are not going to
get killed by attending a nonsensical Revision Court."

"But I must go," I explained; and then assuming a tone of authority I
rarely adopt, I added, "and you will be good enough to open the door
at once."

"I shall do nothing of the sort," replied my Wife, calmly. "I locked
you in, and I shan't let you out."

"What, Madam," I exclaimed; "do you defy my authority?"

"Certainly!" was the immediate response, "You may say or think what
you like, but you don't leave this house to-day as sure as I am your
lawfully wedded Wife."

And as a matter of fact I didn't!

(_Signed._) A. BRIEFLESS, JUNIOR.

_Pump-handle Court._

       *       *       *       *       *

OPERATIC NOTES.

[Illustration]

_Monday_.--To see MADAME ALBANI as _Violetta_ the consumptive
heroine of "_La Traviata_." Charmingly sung and admirably, nay, most
touchingly, acted. MAUREL excellent as _Germont Senior_, and MONTARIOL
quite the weak-minded masher _Alfredo_. What a different turn the
story might have taken had it occurred to _Violetta_ to have a
flirtation with the handsome middle-aged _père noble_! At one time it
almost seemed as if there had been some change in motive of the Opera
since I last saw it, and that the above original idea was about to
be carried out. But no; in another second _Germont-Maurel_ as "Old
Maurelity" (by kind permission of TOBY, M.P.) had pulled himself
together, and _Albani-Violetta_ was in the depths of remorseful
sorrow. In that gay and festive supper scene, where a physician,
unostentatiously styled _Il Dottore_ (he would probably be _Ill_
Dottore the morning after) is present to look after the health of the
guests, and perhaps to "propose" it, I noticed with pleasure that,
on the tables, DRURIOLANUS ALDERMANICUS, mindful of civic feasts, had
placed bottles of real champagne, or at least real champagne-bottles.
This interested the audience muchly, and numerous were the glasses
turned in the direction of the bottles--of course 'tis opera-glasses
I mean, yer honour,--in order to ascertain what particular wanity was
_La Traviata's_ favourite; but the bottles were so placed that only
one unimportant word on the label was visible. Was it Pommery '80
_très sec_?--Or what was it? Impossible to see: it was not mentioned
in the dialogue, so "Mumm" might have been the word. But at all
events, if the wine is one which requires advertisement, the guests
should be told to be very careful to leave the bottles in the same
position as in the old prefatial stage-directions "the reader of the
play" is supposed to be; i.e., "_on the stage, facing the audience_."

_Wednesday._--_Rigoletto_. M. MAUREL as the Jester; acting good, voice
too loud. ALBANI, as _Gilda_, overwhelmed with encores. M. MONTARIOL's
_Il Duca_ is _Alfredo_ over again, only confirmed in a vicious career.
To obtain an encore for the great but now hackneyed song, "_La Donna
e mobile_," a wonderful rendering is absolutely essential, and somehow
something seems wanting to the success of _Rigoletto_ when this song
goes for nothing and is passed without a rapturous "_bis, bis!_" which
makes a Manager rub his hands and smilingly say to himself, "Good
bis-ness."

_Thursday._--_Lohengrin_ I believe, but wasn't there. Hope the Opera
went all right without me. Can't be in more places than one at the
same moment. Same remarks apply to Friday and Saturday.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO MISS ALICE ATHERTON AT THE STRAND THEATRE.

  To see her in _Our Daughters_! worth the money!
  She 'ATH ER "TON" so genuinely funny!
  Yes, ALICE, in such acting, dance, or song,
  We recognise thy talent _et ton_ "_ton_."

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the Modern Bill of Costs, the Ancient "Bill of the Play,"
SHAKSPEARE, and the present representative of the Ancient Mariner,
L.C.J. COLERIDGE, both observe, "Oh, reform it altogether!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WHAT OUR FIN-DE-SIÈCLISTS ARE GROWING TO.

"OH, OH, OH! CONFOUND IT!"

"WHAT _IS_ THE MATTER, ALGY?"

"I JUST LET MY FOOT OUT ON THE STIRRUP, AND THIS BEAST OF A PONY'S
TROD ON MY TOE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

HYMEN AND CUPID.

(_FIN-DE-SIÈCLE VERSION, SOME WAY AFTER MOORE._)

  HYMEN, late, his love-knots selling,
  Called at many a maiden's dwelling;
  But he found too well they knew him;
  None were prompter to pooh-pooh him.
    "Who'll buy my love-knots?
    Who'll buy my love-knots?"
  Soon as that old cry resounded.
  How his baskets were surrounded!

  Maidens mocked, with laughter dying,
  Those fool-knots of HYMEN's tying;
  Dames, who once with him had sided,
  Openly his wares derided.
    "Who'll buy my love-knots?
    Who'll buy my love-knots?"
  All at that old cry came flocking,
  Mocking in a style quite shocking.

  "Here are knots," said HYMEN, taking
  Some loose nooses of Law's making.
  "Pooh!" the nymphs cried. "Who can trust 'em?
  We have changed your queer old custom.
    Who'll buy your love-knots?
    Who'll buy your love-knots?
  Women they bind not, nor tie men.
  You're a helpless gaoler, HYMEN!

  "When the bargain is completed,
  We have but to cry, 'We're cheated!'
  And you'll find you're sold most sadly.
  Love-knots? Fools'-knots! They tie badly.
    Who'll buy _your_ love-knots?
    Who'll buy _your_ love-knots?
  Burdens you would lay our backs on--
  Our reply is--TOLSTOI! JACKSON!"

  HYMEN dropped his torch; its splutter
  Was extinguished in the gutter.
  "At my torch and crown of roses
  These young minxes cock their noses.
    Who'll buy my love-knots?
    Who'll buy my love-knots?"
  What's the use? 'Twixt Law and Passion,
  HYMEN's plainly out of fashion!

  LOVE, who saw the whole proceeding,
  Would have laughed but for good breeding.
  "Best join _me_," he cried, "Old Chappie!
  IBSEN read, be free, and happy!
    Who'll buy your love-knots?
    Who'll buy your love-knots?
  Have a spree--all shackles scorning,
  Come! We won't go home till morning!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

A BACONIAN THEORY;

OR, TRYING IT ON.

SOLOMON isn't in it with Judge BACON. The point was whether Mrs.
MANLEY had made Miss DOROTHY DENE's dresses to fit or not. "To fit or
not to fit, that was the question." The Judge gave his decision after
a fair trial of the two costumes--this might be remembered on both
sides as "the trying-on case,"--that, according to the evidence of
unimpeachable witnesses represented by the Judge's own common-sense
and artistic eye for effect, two of the dresses and a cloak didn't
fit, and that so far, the Defendant, Miss DOROTHY, must consider
herself, in a dress-making sense, "non-suited." Mrs. MANLEY had, of
course, undertaken to provide fits for her customers, and for having
partially failed, her customers determined to return the compliment,
by "giving _her_ fits" if possible. So the parties came before
Judge BACON, and appealed to His Honour. And the learned Judge
mindful of ancestral Baconian wisdom, "_Cast a severe eye upon the
example_"--that is, he examined the dresses most critically,--"_but
a merciful eye upon the person_,"--for the fair Plaintiff and fair
Defendant His Honour showed himself a most fair Judge, unwilling, as
BACON, "to give beans" to either party, and so dismissing them with
his beany-diction. But, _pauca verba_,--and may we always have nothing
but praise to bestow on _Bacon's Essays_.

       *       *       *       *       *

A DISCLAIMER.

(_BY AN UNIONIST._)

  _I_ "prefer PARNELL"? Oh dear, no!
  There is no man I've hated so.
  But, since he turned a fierce derider
  Of him he calls the "Grand Old Spider;"
  Since he has "blown" the Home-Rule "gaff,"
  And whelmed the Gladstone gang with chaff;
  Since he has almost wiped out PIGOTT,
  Half justified the Orange bigot;
  Proved part of the _Times_' charge at least,
  And won the "Hill-men," lost the Priest;--
  Since then--why, hang it, 'tis such fun,
  I half forgive him all he's done;
  I'll back him, bet on him, and grin;
  Give him my vote, and hope he'll win.
  But I _prefer_ him? Goodness gracious!
  Why _can't_ Gladstonians be veracious?

       *       *       *       *       *

SIR HENRY LOCH'S "STRAIGHT TIP" TO THE INTRUSIVE BOERS IN
MASHONALAND.--"Play us none of your 'treks'!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HYMEN, FIN DE SIÈCLE. "MAIDENS MOCKED, WITH LAUGHTER
DYING, THOSE FOOL-KNOTS OF HYMEN'S TYING."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MOLTKE in German-style script]

HELMUTH KARL BERNHARD VON MOLTKE.

_BORN, OCTOBER 26TH, 1803. DIED, APRIL 24TH_, 1891.

  Strong, silent Soldier, whom the unmarked years
    Shaped to such service of the Fatherland
    As seldom to one firm, unfailing hand,
  A State hath owed; to-day a People's tears
  Bedew the most illustrious of biers!
    The waning century hastening to its close
  Hath scarce a greater on its glory-roll,
    Hope of thy land, and terror of its foes;
  Of foresight keen, and long-enduring soul!
  War's greatness is not greatest; there are heights
    Of splendour pure mere warriors scarce may scale,
    But thou wert more than battle's scourge and flail,
  Calm-souled controller of such Titan fights
    As mould man's after-history. When thy star
  Shone clear at Koniggrätz, men gazed and knew
    The light that heralds the great Lords of War;
  And when o'er Sedan thy black Eagles flew
  And the bold Frank, betrayed and broken, drew
    One shuddering gasp of agony and sank,
    When thy long-mustered legions rank on rank
  Hemmed the fair, fated City of men's love,
  Then thy star culminated, shone above
    All but the few fixed beacon-lights, which owned
    A new compeer. Long steadfastly enthroned
  In German hearts, and all men's reverence,
  Suddenly, softly thou art summoned hence,
  To the great muster, full of years and fame!
  How thinks _he_, lord of a co-equal name,
    Thine ancient comrade in war's iron lists,
  Just left, and lone, of the Titanic Three
  Who led the Eagles on to victory?
    Calmest of Captains, first of Strategists.
  BISMARCK must bend o'er thy belaurelled bier
  With more than common grief in the unbidden tear!

       *       *       *       *       *

JOKIM AND JOHN.--The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER is following Mr. JOHN
HOLLINGSHEAD's example. The latter started "No fees" for Play-time,
and the former advocates "No fees" for School-time.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A PROP OF THE DRAMA.

"WHAT, BACK ALREADY, ARCHIE! WAS IT A DULL PIECE, THEN?"

"DON'T KNOW. DIDN'T STOP TO SEE. JUST LOOKED ROUND STALLS AND BOXES,
AND DIDN'T SEE A SOUL I KNEW!--SO I CAME AWAY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ROBERT AT THE CHILDREN'S FANCY BALL.

Well, I've said it afore, and now I says it agane, as I don't bleeve
as sich another both bewtifool and elligant site is to be seen in all
the world, as is to be seen at these anniwersary yearly festivals in
our nobel Egipshun All at the honoured Manshun House.

Of course I don't no what sort of intertainement was held there when
the aincient Egipshuns had it, or weather they ewer was there at
all--for I ain't much of a hantiquery; but, from what I've seen of
some on 'em at the British Mewseum, I should think as there werry
peculyar style of dress was not much sooted to such occashuns.

[Illustration]

I thinks, upon the hole, as the children's dresses on this speshal
ocashun "beat the record," as the runners and jumpers says, both for
illigance and wariety, and, shoud I atemt to describe 'em, where on
airth shoud I begin! But, as I must begin sumwheres, I hopes as I
shan't awake the biling jealousy of all the other mothers present
when I says as I gives the Parm Tree to the two rayther youthfool Beef
Eaters. As for the number of Angels and Fairys, with most lovly wings,
they was so numerus, and so bewtifool, that ewen I, a pore Hed Waiter,
coudn't help the thort, that they was a giving me my first glimpse
of Pairodice. Then again I noticed as the grashus and hansum LADY
MARESS--who I should ha liked to ha seen putting herself at the hed of
them all, and leading em all round the bewtifool All--had most kindly
inwited a few poor creetures, such as nusses, and charity Gals, and
plow boys, and setterer, just to let 'em see what they may sum day cum
to be, if so be as they is all good.

There was a lot of Hartists a going about makin skitches of the werry
prettiest dresses insted of the werry prettiest faces, as I shood most
suttenly have done. One of 'em wanted for to take my picter, but as
I coudn't bleeve it was for my bewty, and was quite sure it wasn't
for my full heavening dress, and coud therefore ony be for fun, I
respekfully declined.

It is roomered among us Hed Waiters, that the QUEEN's own Daughter,
which she's a Hempress, has told her son, which he's the HEMPEROR
of GERMANY, and is a comin here next July, that the werry loveliest
site as the Grand Old Copperashun can posserbly show him, will be a
reppytishun of the glorious seen as I seed with my own delited eyes on
Wensdy last.

ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

"Oh Willow! Willow!" Mr. GRACE's memories of Forty years of Cricket
are full of interest, of enthusiasm, and of good stories. "My Early
Cricket Days" will hugely interest young would-be Willow-wielders.
"Cricketers I have Met" is excellent reading, the Champion being as
generous in appreciation as keen in judgment. On the science of the
game he, of course, speaks as one having authority. THACKERAY said he
never saw a boy without wishing to give him a sovereign. The "Co." for
some time to come will not look on an athletic lad without longing
to give him a copy of "Cricket; by W.G. GRACE." He hopes that lots of
other "dasters" will feel the same yearning, and act upon it.

One of the "Co." reports that he has been reading a work on
_Decorative Electricity_, by Mrs. J.S.H. GORDON, and a very pretty
and original little book he found it, full of suggestions, ingenious,
fanciful, and practical, all at once--a rare combination. "Those
about to" instal--and most of us will find ourselves in that position,
sooner or later--will gain some invaluable hints and ideas from
this volume, which, in addition to its other merits, is charmingly
illustrated. Before very long we shall all be modern Aladdins,
and summon our Slave of the Lamp as a matter of course. But there
is plenty of scope for imagination in devising the form of his
appearance, notwithstanding, and Mrs. GORDON's book shows us how the
Genius may be compelled to present himself in a variety of pleasing
and fantastic shapes.

The Baron is of opinion that _The Seal of Fate_, by Lady POLLOCK and
W.H. POLLOCK, is an interesting but somewhat discursive novel. Will it
be followed by _The Fate of the Seal_, a tale of the Fishery Question?

BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & Co.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LORD RANDOLPH--PAST, PRESENT, AND TO COME-BACK.]

       *       *       *       *       *

UPON AFRIC'S SHORE;

OR, THE BATTLE OF THE HEROES.

(_NOT BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE BATTLE OF LIMERICK_.")

    Ye lovers of the nation,
    Who burn with indignation,
  And England's obfuscation perpetually deplore;
    Ye flouters of our factions,
    And partisan distractions,
  How like ye the transactions upon Afric's shore?

    Ye've all heard of the Lion
    Who a rival cast his eye on,
  (You'll find him in _Bombastes_) and thought the brute a bore.
    Such rival Leos flourish,
    And mutual hatred nourish,
  With a snapping almost currish, upon Afric's shore.

    Faith their manes are _always_ waving,
    And their claws for contest craving,
  And their forms are always rampant, and they're ever at full roar,
    And in book and morning paper,
    They still clapperclaw and caper,
  And they worry, snarl and vapour about Afric's shore.

    There was EMIN, sage pacific,
    The serene and scientific,
  Who a wondrous reputation in a hero-patriot bore,
    Until "rescued" by brave STANLEY,
    Who declared him weak, unmanly.
  Oh! 'tis strange how heroes _can_ lie about Afric's shore.

    Then BARTTELOT and TROUP,
    JEPHSON, JAMESON--a group
  Who each of each "made soup"--off each other tried to score;
    And in many a verjuiced "vollum"
    STANLEY's jovial "Rear Column"
  Was discussed in manner solemn, anent Afric's shore.

    Then the "foreign element"
    To it tooth and nail _they_ went,
  And the Battle of the Heroes it grew livelier than before.
    Now that man, and now this man,
    Now DE BRAZZA and now WISSMANN,
  Made it hot for poor Old England upon Afric's shore.

    Now comes PETERS! He has slanged
    STANLEY awfully, and banged
  The "Rescue" party badly. It is getting a big bore,
    When, with tempers hot as Indies,
    Heroes smash each other's windies,
  Pursuing of their shindies about Afric's shore.

    It is doubtless "moighty fine,"
    Being what _Titmarsh_ called "a line,"
  And it does Society's "sowl" good (no doubt) to hear him roar;
    But 'tis folly to suppose
    He _must_ rush upon his foes,
  And hit them on the nose, upon Afric's shore.

       *       *       *       *       *

EARLY CLOSING MOVEMENT.--When Mr. SMITH proposed shutting up shop
early on Tuesdays and Fridays, SIR ROBERT FOWLER was all for singing,
"We won't go home till morning (_three times_), Till daylight doth
appear." But, as _Falstaff_ asks, "What doth gravity out of bed after
midnight?" No, Sir ROBERT, doughty knight, take good advice, and
hie thee, armed _Night-cap-à-pie_, to thy couch. Don't get up till
morning, Till (long after) daylight doth appear!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IBSEN IN BRIXTON.

_Mrs. Harris_. "YES, WILLIAM, I'VE THOUGHT A DEAL ABOUT IT, AND I FIND
I'M NOTHING BUT YOUR DOLL AND DICKEY-BIRD, AND SO I'M GOING!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PARTY PETER BELL.

  A potterer, Sir, he was by trade,
    A Party Potterer, much respected,
  And every year, when Spring appeared,
  The yellow blooms, to bards endeared,
    In swarms by PETER were collected.

  He roved among the vales and streams,
    In the green wood and hollow dell,
  And, upon April's nineteenth day,
  Big buttonholers made display
    Upon the heart of PETER BELL.

  In vain through each succeeding year
    Did Nature mourn her lessening store.
  A Primrose on the river's brim
  A Party emblem was to him,
    And it was nothing more!

       *       *       *       *       *

DISINFECTING THE WIGS.--"_L'Enfant Prodigue_," which is filling
the Prince of Wales's Theatre day and night, has much in it that is
delightful. Perhaps there is nothing quite excels the subtle touch in
the programme where it is written: "The theatre is disinfected by the
Sanitas Company, Limited. _The Wigs by Clarkson_."

       *       *       *       *       *

CURIOUS, AND "MORE ANON!"--The _Evelyn_ v. _Hurlbert_ trial was as
full of literary interest as a sale of old books and manuscripts.
Specially valuable were copies of _Evelyn's Diary_; while, in spite
of the pressing demand, _Murray's Memoirs_ were uncommonly scarce.
Victorious Mr. HURLBERT! Yet for all his triumph, he will be, for some
time, a "very much Murray'd man."

       *       *       *       *       *

A SAVOY QUESTION.--The general idea of the forthcoming new Opera at
the Savoy appears to be "all Dance to SOLOMON's music." Is it to be
a pantomime-drama, like _L'Enfant Prodigue_, or simply a ballet? If
neither, where do song-words and dialogue come in?

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday, April 20_.--The other week T.C. BARING
was sitting among us, one of the Members for the City of London.
Now BARING is no more, and to-night HUCKS GIBBS comes in to take his
place. VICARY G. brought his father down; watched him take oath and
has undertaken generally to see him through. In fact, when GIBBS
_père_ hesitated about taking the proffered seat for the City, VICARY
undertook to fill it; finally, GIBBS _père_ being warmly pressed,
consented to sit, and VICARY stood aside. But he will come in
by-and-by, when he has given his father a turn.

[Illustration: Late Member for the City.]

"Age before honesty, is my motto," said VICARY, when I complimented
him upon the fine feeling he has shown throughout these negotiations.
"I always think that we young fellows lose nothing by giving our
elders a start. My father, you know, sometime ago wanted to change the
name of our firm. Suggested it should be called SONS & ANTONY GIBBS.
There's something in it; but on the whole, better leave things as they
are. ANTONY GIBBS & SONS known all over the world; always embarrassing
to change style of an old firm; so, for the present, at least, we
leave things alone. Come along, _Pater_; think I'll take you home now.
Never rush wildly into new engagements; you've had the excitement of
being sworn in, and signing the roll of Parliament. You hadn't been
in the place ten minutes before TIM HEALY gave you a chance of voting
on a London City Bill, and that's enough for one night. By-and-by you
shall stay all night and enjoy yourself in Committee on Irish Land
Bill."

So ANTONY GIBBS AND SON went off before dinner. Didn't miss much;
grinding away at Irish Land Bill; most soul-depressing experience of
modern life; no heart in it; no reality; SAGE of Queen Anne's Gate
brings up amendment after amendment, and makes successive speeches;
SEYMOUR KEAY does ditto; SHAW-LEFEVRE adds new terror to situation
by taking voluminous notes which promise illimitable succession of
orations; House empty; PRINCE ARTHUR has the full length of Treasury
Bench on which to lounge. Occasionally Division-bell rings; Members
troop in by the hundred; follow their leaders into Lobby right or
left, deciding question they haven't heard debated, and mere drift
of which two-thirds don't understand.

BRER FOX absent to-night, which precludes possibility of flare-up
in Irish Camp. TIM faithful to his post, but lacks inspiration of
contiguity to BRER FOX.

"PARNELL's played out," said TIM, referring in course of evening to
BRER FOX's reception in his latest run through Ireland. "He may ramp
and roar here, but his game's up in Ireland."

"And is he resigned to the situation?" I asked.

TIM looked at me, half winking his miraculously preserved right eye.

"Did you ever hear, TOBY, what the weeping widow said to the parson,
who asked, 'Was your husband resigned to die?' 'He had ter be,' she
said, choking a sob."

_Business done._--Very little in the Irish Land Bill.

_Tuesday._--Mr. G.'s presence at Morning Sitting gave only possible
fillip to interminable Debate on Land Purchase Bill. BRER FOX still
away, so comparative peace reigns in Irish Camp. TIM HEALY no one to
butt his head against; COLONEL NOLAN too busy deploying his army of
five men; showing them how to retreat in good order when Division-bell
rings, and how, when it is decided to vote, they shall pass out
through one door, march in at the other, cross the floor, and look
as much as possible as if they were ten instead of five. T.W.
RUSSELL--"Roaring" RUSSELL, as his old colleague in Temperance fights,
WILFRID LAWSON, calls him--frequently on his legs. At sound of
his voice, Mr. G. gets his back up; interposes interjections and
corrections; and presently, when he can stand it no longer, plunges
into a speech.

Another time SAUNDERSON draws him. "I am very sorry," said Mr. G.,
who has been itching to speak for last half-hour, "that the hon. and
gallant Gentleman has dragged me into debate by gross misstatements."

Being there, however, Mr. G. enjoys himself passably well, grinding
SAUNDERSON to powder, and hewing RUSSELL to pieces before the Lord
STRATHEDEN AND CAMPBELL, who are sleeping peacefully together in
the Gallery. "Like the Babes in the Wood," said PLUNKET, looking up
smilingly at the face in the Gallery, which looks twice as wise when
asleep as the ordinary man does in full possession of his senses.

[Illustration: "Roaring" Russell.]

"I know," Mr. G. continued, in measured accents of polite scorn, "that
the eloquence of the hon. and gallant Gentleman (meaning SAUNDERSON)
is as ungovernable as I am afraid it is sometimes unprofitable. In the
exercise of the understanding which the Almighty has given him, he has
represented me as being a supporter of this Bill."

Words cannot convey adequate impression of the subtlety of emotion
conveyed by this unwonted, perhaps unprecedented, invocation. An
unmistakeable, though unspoken, indication of mingled feeling--pity
for one so meagrely endowed, and marvel that, out of boundless stores,
the Deity could, even in this instance, have been so chary of gifts.

_Business done._--Still less in Committee on Irish Land Bill.

_Thursday._--Rival shows in both Houses to-night. Lords running the
Newfoundland Delegates at the Bar; in the Commons Budget on. On the
whole, Commons drew the fullest House, to which JOKIM descanted for
nearly three hours. If he'd taken two, the speech would have been a
third less long, and three times as successful. Still the Budget comes
but once a year, and CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER feels bound to make
the most of opportunity. Pretty plain sailing for first two hours.
Then JOKIM ran aground. It was General STAMPS that did it all.
Appeared unexpectedly in long list of details setting forth Estimates
for Revenue in coming year. Nobody ever heard before of the General;
thought, at least, he must belong to the Army Estimates. But JOKIM
would have him in, spurs and epaulettes, and all.

"General STAMPS," he said, regardless of grammar, "have fallen off."
JOKIM, in his loose way, omitted to say off what; presumed to be
his horse. House not sorry to hear it; had enough of the mysterious
warrior. But he was up again a few minutes' later. "General STAMPS,"
JOKIM continued, in his airy fashion, "apart from the Death Duties, I
reduce from £6,700,000 to £5,900,000."

"Better reduce him to the ranks at once," said Admiral FIELD, who is a
terrible martinet.

But JOKIM took no notice of the suggestion; floundered along, bungling
terribly. Committee tried to help him out; that didn't help matters
much. To have a Member in one part of the House filling up an awkward
pause by suggesting "dried fruit," another "coffee," a third "rum,"
and a fourth "probate duty," when after all, JOKIM was thinking of
the Income Tax or General STAMPS, evidently not designed to advance
matters.

"The Committee knows what I mean," JOKIM said, piteously, looking
round out of a morass a little deeper than he'd been in lately. But
that is exactly what the Committee didn't do.

"Then," said JOKIM, "you'll understand the figures when you read them
in the papers to-morrow." Something in that; House mollified; still
can't help thinking that if it is to wait till next morning to read
report of Chancellor's Budget Speech in order to understand his
statements, some preliminary time might be saved in the evening.

_Business done._--Budget brought in.

_Friday Night._--Missed OLD MORALITY from Treasury Bench; looked in
his room; found him in arm-chair, collapsed, by fire-place, with copy
of _Morning Advertiser_ in his hand.

"What's the matter?" I asked. "Surely you've not been reading JOKIM's
Budget Speech right through!" He certainly looked as if he had.

"No, TOBY," he said; "it's not that; it's the Leader. Haven't you seen
what the _Morning Advertiser_ says about me? 'For the first time in
our recollection he (that's me) bears on his political escutcheon a
deep smudge of dishonour': and that's all because JOKIM wouldn't take
a penny off a barrel of beer, and twopence off a gallon of spirits.
It's the injustice I feel most acutely. It doesn't seem fair that Mr.
BUNG should try to intimidate JOKIM by abusing me."

"It _is_ hard," I said; "but it's no use sitting moping here. Come
along into House; they're in Committee on the Land Bill; an hour or
two of that'll freshen you up." And it did.

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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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