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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, August 1, 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 101, August 1, 1891" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 101.



August 1, 1891.



THE PRINCE.

(_A LETTER FROM NICOLA PUNCIO MACHIAVELLI TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS
VITTORIO EMANUELE, SON OF UMBERTO, KING OF ITALY._)

I.

There never was, nor is at this day, any man in the world who is not
either a Prince or not a Prince. Seeing, therefore, that your Highness
appertains of right to the class of them that are Princes, and being
ambitious to present to your Highness that which should have the
chiefest value in your eyes, I could not (though pondering much) deem
anything more precious than the knowledge of men and of governments
which I have learned through a space of half a hundred years.
Forasmuch as your Highness hath travelled over stormy seas to the
island of the British folk, I do presume to present to your Highness,
as being one that seeketh wisdom, the ripe fruit of my knowledge, in
order that your Highness may suck thereout such advantage as those who
love your land chiefly desire both for yourself and for them to whose
government you shall in the future be called.

II.--_HOW A PRINCE IS TO GAIN REPUTATION._

To begin, then, I say it would be advantageous to be accounted both
liberal and of a like nature unto other men that are not Princes. For
although the majority of mankind be penurious and apt to hoard their
money, and although in their assembly the British make a show of
niggardliness, imputing it to themselves for a virtue, nevertheless,
if they discern in a Prince such inclinations as they praise in
themselves, no nation was ever quicker to blame or decry. For each
holds in private that while he himself is generous, the rest are
mean and covetous. Therefore, I counsel you let your conduct in the
bestowal both of snuff-boxes, which no man at this day uses, and of
scarf-pins, which are a delight to many, be so ordered that men may
think of you as one that with a true generosity performs such acts as
each of them, were he a Prince, would perform as well.

[Illustration]

Likewise if there be those who wish to read unto you addresses of
loyal welcome, it is not well to flout them publicly by showing signs
of sleep; since it is the fashion of municipalities and Mayors to
hold themselves to be of high importance, and a wise flattery of this
self-deception well becomes you. And in replying, let your speech
be both short and homely. The present German Emperor came lately
among this people, and, having spoken aloud of the kindness of his
Grandmamma, at once the hearts of all of them that are or hope to be
grandmammas, or have themselves possessed a grandmamma, were moved to
him so that he was accounted one of themselves from that time forth.

Again, how honourable it is for a Prince to be outspoken, candid, and
truthful, I suppose everybody understands. Nevertheless, experience
has shown in our times that those Princes who have not pinned
themselves up to that excess of truth-speaking, have not alone secured
the love of their subjects, but have been held up as patterns of a
royal wisdom and virtue. For in the assemblages of the great that
shall be gathered in your honour, and in the banquets and receptions
wherewith it is customary to overwhelm a Prince, there must often be
those surrounding him, and holding converse with him, whose absence
would cause him joy rather than sorrow, on account of their exceeding
pompous dulness. Yet it is well at such times for a Prince to conceal
his feelings, and, though he be flattened with tedious ceremony, to
keep both a cheerful countenance and a pleasant tongue, as of one to
whom life offers a succession of the proudest and happiest moments.
There is a Prince at this time in being (but his name I shall
conceal), who can often have nothing in his mind but sorrow and
depression, so many are his labours and so great is the number of the
foundation-stones he lays; and yet, had he revealed either the one or
the other by speech or gesture, they had robbed him before this of his
power and reputation.

III.--_OF THE WEARING OF UNIFORMS._

A Prince should have many uniforms, and wear them with much show and
glitter. For it is expected of Princes that before they be weaned they
should be Colonels, and should rank as Field-Marshals at a time when
other lads still trail themselves to school. It is not indeed related
of CÆSAR that he drilled a regiment at the age of six, nor of HANNIBAL
that being yet a boy he did aught but take an oath. Yet now the custom
of the world is otherwise, and a Prince who should never shine in the
array of a soldier might justly be held odious and contemptible. That
very German Emperor of whom I have spoken, won the applause of the
multitude by cuirass and helmet, and having donned a British Admiral's
uniform, was held of great account amongst a people apt for the rule
of the sea. This honour in truth falls not to all; but others, and
yourself among the number, may be made Post Captains, and wear a naval
dress both with comfort and approbation.

IV.--_OF ITALY._

Here in the land to which you have come you shall find all men lovers
of Italy. For there is not one of those that watched her long and
grievous struggles, that did not welcome with a heartfelt joy her
deliverance, both from foreign yoke and from native tyrants. Here too
they know that the example of your illustrious family, the wisdom
and moderation of your father not less than the unquenchable valour
and bodily strength of your grandfather, his contempt of danger,
his devotion to duty, shone forth as a star before the eyes of all
Italians, even in their darkest hours. Who is there that hath not the
liveliest hope that all prosperity may be confirmed to that beloved
country, that she may advance from greatness to greatness, that her
kings may be just, her people free and contented. Let your illustrious
family, then, still address itself to the work with courage and
confidence, that under them Italy may stand forth an example to the
nations of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

QUEER QUERIES.--QUOTATION WANTED.--Can anybody inform me where this
exquisite line occurs--

  "Heredity, thou mother of our race!"

I fancy it must be by Lord TENNYSON, but I cannot find it either in
_In Memoriam_ or the _Idylls of the King_. The line has been much
admired by competent critics. A beautiful little volume of verse,
recently published, is _The Fall of Cetewayo_. Possibly the line may
be in that book.--P.S.--Is not £76 10s. 6d. too high a price to charge
for bringing out an Epic Poem of 8000 lines, even if, as is asserted,
there have been "no sales"?--LAUREATE PRESUMPTIVE.

       *       *       *       *       *

MEREDITHOMANIA.--Miss HANNAH LYNCH (Author of _George Meredith--a
Study_) is almost incoherently angry with "the inexcusable and comical
consistency of stupidity" manifested by all those who are not, in the
fullest sense, "Meredith-men"--or women. She is, however, so dogmatic
and disdainful, that one suspects her of a tendency to substitute for
the judicial verdict of the critical judgment-seat, the arbitrary and
excessive punishment of "Lynch-law!"

       *       *       *       *       *

WISBECH WINE.--Liberal Supply. The BRAND of 1891 acknowledged to be
quite beyond competition.

       *       *       *       *       *

"OFF TO MASHERLAND.".--Nothing from "GRANDOLPH the Explorer" this
week. He's gone to the Diggings.

       *       *       *       *       *

RIDING THE PIG.

    [Mr. HEALY said he did not deny that after five years of
    liberal education the present Chief Secretary had greatly
    improved.... In reply to Mr. BALFOUR's inquiry, whether he
    could count upon Mr. HEALY's support in a Local Government
    Bill for Ireland, Mr. HEALY replied, "Certainly!"]

[Illustration]

  Ah! Spur, whip, and bridle are all very well,
    For a rider's equipment includes some "Coercion,"
  But Jehu may need an additional spell,
    Whether riding a race or for simple diversion.
  There are reasons for giving a racer his head,
  And some flocks are driven and others are led.

  Improved? Whillaloo! Fancy HEALY the hot
    Politely approving of "BALFOUR the Brutal"!
  How pleasant to picture the Pig at full trot,
    Without that "hard riding" some fancy must suit all!
  Too good to be true? That time only can show.
  'Tis something that Piggy should _promise_ to "go."

  Your Pig is a "gintleman,"--take him aright;
    Or so those maintain who best know the 'cute creature.
  If you make him "eat stick" in excess he'll show fight.
    The goad and the snout-ring we've tried. This new feature--
  A lure in advance--may be worth being tried.
  That Piggy _can_ go--and this rider _can_ ride!

       *       *       *       *       *

ENTHUSIASM À LA RUSSE!

    SCENE--_A Bureau de Police at St. Petersburg. Present,
    Russian Bigwig and Subordinate._

_Russian Bigwig_ (_reading letter_). "And they are to be received with
the greatest possible enthusiasm!" I can scarcely believe my eyes! The
Fleet of the French Republic!

_Subordinate_ (_using a Muscovite imprecation_). _Caviare droski!_

_Rus. Big._ (_severely_). Slave! (Sub. _cringes_.) Another word, and
I will have you knouted to death! It is the wish of our Little Father,
the Czar of the Universe.

    [_They both fall on their knees, remove their hats, and sing
    the National Hymn._

_Sub._ (_bowing to the ground_). And what are the Imperial wishes?

_Rus. Big._ That not only shall the "_Marseillaise_" be tolerated when
played by the French, but also be performed by our own bands. (_With a
burst of rage._) Oh, _Caviare droski!_

_Sub._ (_on his knees_). I would also add an oath, O Supreme
Protector-of-the-Spirit-of-my-dead-Grandmother, had you not forbidden
that extreme expression of opinion.

_Rus. Big._ You recall me to myself. O
Son-of-PETER-son-of-PETER-son-of-PETER-son-of-TOMMY. I was wrong. But
it makes my blood boil to think that our Master and his ancestors who
scorned LOUIS PHILIPPE and NAPOLEON III. should recognise a Republic!

_Sub._ (_aside_). Say you so--this to the CZAR--thou Nihilist!
(_Aloud._) My Lord-the-comforter-of-the-spirit-of-my-first-cousin-once-
removed-on-my-mother's-side, is indeed right! It is a painful sight!

_Rus. Big._ (_aside_). Say you so--this to the CZAR--thou Nihilist!
(_Aloud._) But perhaps we might improve matters. Supposing that the
"_Marseillaise_" were imperfectly performed?

_Sub._ (_with note-book_). Excellent, my Lord! excellent! It shall
be played out of tune on a score of regimental bands! Good, my Lord!
good!

_Rus. Big._ And could not a translation be furnished suggesting ideas
foreign to the original?

_Sub._ Again capital, my Lord. I will see that the troops have a
version that gives the old legend (stolen from us by the English)
of "The Song of Sixpence, or a pocketful of Rye-bread," as the real
translation.

_Rus. Big._ A happy thought! The moral is wholesome. The Monarchical
principle is advocated in the approved counting out of money and
consumption of bread and honey by their Majesties, and the right of
life and death is suggested by the pecking off of the nose of the
housemaid while employed in hanging out the clothes! And about the
troops--have they been warned that they might some day be expected to
give a hated alien an enthusiastic reception?

_Sub._ They have, my Lord. And in anticipation of such an occasion,
they have been taught for the last six months how to cheer in a
whisper.

_Rus. Big._ Good! And now to a pleasanter duty. Have you those hundred
thousand copies of _Punch_ that were yesterday seized at the frontier?

_Sub._ I have, my Lord!

_Rus. Big._ (_with fiendish glee_). To Siberia with them! Come, help
me to post them!

_Sub._ (_trembling_). But, my Lord, should _Punch_ be read by the
political prisoners who lie covered with chains in the secret mines
under the lowest mountain in the Czar's dominions? What then?

_Rus. Big._ (_in an awesome whisper_). Mark me well! In the present
pitiable state of the prisoners, such a feast of mirth-compelling
waggery would kill them--yes, _kill_ them--with laughter!

    [_Exeunt stealthily to put this craftily-conceived plot into
    guilty execution._

       *       *       *       *       *

A NEW LEADER.

    ["At present the followers are obliged to be amiable because
    the Leader is amiable. Under the Leader I suggest they would
    be less amiable, and would be at liberty to say stronger
    things."--Mr. ATKINSON, M.P., _in the House of Commons_.]

_CHORUS OF AMIABLE TORIES._

  Hear! hear! Mr. A. We are amiable too,
  For we follow our amiable Leader, like you;
  But when forced to say, "Bless you!" we choke with our spleen,
  And we add, _sotto voce_, "You know what I mean."
  While we sit spick and span as a picture by FRITH,
  And contend with our feelings, to please Mr. SMITH.

  Oh, we pule and we prate, we are nerveless and weak,
  And we swallow, like _Pistol_, the odorous leek.
  We palter with truth, and we flatter our foes,
  And we cringe, and we crawl, and are led by the nose.
  We are fools soft of speech, and without any pith,
  For we smother our feelings to suit Mr. SMITH.

  Time was when a Member who hated the Celt
  Might detest him aloud and declare what he felt.
  He might use the crisp words which, if lacking in length,
  Make up for their shortness by meaning and strength.
  But now we all fawn on the Celt and his kith,
  While we smother our feelings to suit Mr. SMITH.

  So, friends, we must choose a new Leader, and then,
  With a Man at our head we shall quit us like men:
  We shall always retort with a sting when we're stung,
  With the bees in our bonnet, the D's on our tongue.
  And the words that are honeyed shall fade like a myth,
  When an ATKINSON stands in the shoes of a SMITH.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GENUS IRRITABILE.

_First Bard._ "SEEN MY SONNETS IN THE _PACIFIC WEEKLY_?"

_Second Bard._ "YES."

_First Bard._ "LIKE THEM?"

_Second Bard._ "WELL,--A--_CANDIDLY_--I--"

_First Bard._ "OH, IF IT COMES TO THAT, _CANDIDLY_ I ALWAYS HATED YOUR
BEASTLY BALLADES AND RONDELS AND ROT IN THE _ERECHTHEUM_--BUT I HAD
THE DECENCY NOT TO _TELL_ YOU SO!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

TWO VIEWS OF THE NEXT INVASION.

THE OPTIMIST.

The British Fleet, by a sad mischance, had disappeared.

It was then that the Nation had to depend upon its second line of
defence--the Army.

The enemy flushed with victory, attempted to land, but were met with
such a withering fire from the Volunteer Artillery, that they had to
abandon the attempt in despair--at least for awhile. They retired
for the night, and on the following morning were in front of
Westgate-on-Sea. It was then found how wise the Committee of Home
Defence had been in their recommendation. Feeling sure that the forces
of the Crown would be ample to beat back any hostile attempt to seize
a town the centre of one of the best of charities (St. Michael's
Convalescent Home), the Committee had deprecated the suggestion of
erecting extensive fortifications. Practically Westgate was without
walls. But there was a better defence than brickwork. The Authorities
had not been idle during the night, having utilised the Pause in the
war to bring up two magnificent battalions of Militia--the 7th Rifle
Brigade and the 4th Cheshire Regiment. Thus when the enemy succeeded
in effecting a landing, they found themselves confronted by the very
flower of the British Army. In ten minutes the hostile host were
crumpled up like a sheet of paper, and disappeared in hot retreat.

During the following week the entire army of the foe was allowed to
land in England, and were speedily exterminated. The contract given
out by Government to an advertising undertaker was the means of making
that contractor's fortune. Within ten days England was absolutely free
from invasion.

"And are you surprised?" asked a journalist, addressing the greatest
tactician of the century.

"Surprised!" echoed the other. "Why it was what we all expected from
the first!"

THE PESSIMIST.

The British Fleet, by a carefully calculated plan, had disappeared.
It was then that the Nation had to depend upon its second line of
defence--the Army.

The enemy, although somewhat depressed at the losses they had
sustained, attempted to land, and of course were successful. The
picked batteries from Woolwich, consisting of the Royal Horse
Artillery, opened fire, but without the smallest effect. On the
following morning the main force of the enemy appeared in front of
Margate, the recently fortified port. It was then found how foolish
the Committee of Home Defence had been in their recommendation.
Feeling doubtful of the means the Government would have at their
command to defend an unprotected town, they had ordered every village
on the coast to be surrounded by the most intricate network of
bricks and earthworks. And now, in the hour of need, these elaborate
preparations were valueless. The troops of the enemy poured into
Margate almost without opposition. The forts were silenced in five
minutes, and although on the following morning the Household Brigade
came to the rescue, the assistance thus afforded was of no avail.

During the succeeding week the entire army of the foe was allowed to
land in England, and were immediately victorious. The contract for
finding them lodgings in London made somebody's fortune. Within a week
England was grovelling in the dust at the feet of her conquerors.

"And are you surprised?" asked a journalist, addressing the greatest
tactician of the century.

"Surprised!" he echoed--"why it was what we all expected from the
first!"

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW RIDDLE (WITH THE OLD ANSWER).--Where was ISAACS when the
Balance-Sheet went out?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.

NO. II.

    SCENE--_Courtyard of the "Grand Hôtel du Lion Belgique et
    d'Albion," at Brussels. It is just after Table d'hôte;
    PODBURY and CULCHARD are sitting on a covered terrace, with
    coffee._

_Podbury_ (_producing a pipe_). Not such a bad dinner! Expect they'll
rook us a lot for it, though. Rather fun, seeing the waiters all troop
in with a fresh course, when the proprietor rang his bell. Like a
ballet at the Empire--eh?

_Culchard_ (_selecting a cigarette_). I'm not in a position to say. I
don't affect those places of entertainment myself.

_Podb._ Oh! Where _do_ you turn in when you want to kick up your heels
a bit? Madame Tussaud's? I say, why on earth didn't you talk to that
old bloke next to you at dinner? He was trying all he knew to be
friendly.

_Culch._ Was he? I daresay. But I rather understood we came out with
the idea of keeping out of all that.

_Podb._ Of course. _I'm_ not keen about getting to know people. He had
no end of a pretty daughter, though. Mean to say you didn't spot her?

[Illustration: "Wanted to know if you were my Tutor!"]

_Culch._ If by "spotting" you mean--was I aware of the existence of a
very exuberant young person, with a most distressing American accent?
I can only say; that she made her presence sufficiently evident. I
confess she did not interest me to the point of speculating upon her
relationship to anybody else.

_Podb._ Well--if you come to that, I don't know that I--still, she was
uncommonly--(_Happens to glance round, and lowers his voice._) Jove!
she's in the Reading-room, just behind us. (_Hums, with elaborate
carelessness._) La di deedle-lumpty--loodle-oodle-loo--

_Culch._ (_who detests humming_). By the way, I wish you hadn't been
in such a hurry to come straight on. I particularly wanted to stop at
Bruges, and see the Memlings.

_Podb._ I do like that! For a fellow who wants to keep out of people's
way! They'd have wanted you to stay to lunch and dinner, most likely.

_Culch._ (_raising his eyebrows_). Hardly, my dear fellow--they're
pictures, as it happens.

_Podb._ (_unabashed_). Oh, are they? Any way, you've fetched up your
average here. Weren't there enough in the Museum for you?

_Culch._ (_pityingly_). You surely wouldn't call the collection here
exactly representative of the best period of Flemish Art?

_Podb._ If you ask me, I should call it a simply footling show--but
you were long enough over it. (CULCHARD _shudders slightly, and
presently pats his pockets_.) What's up now? Nothing gone wrong with
the works, eh?

_Culch._ (_with dignity_). No--I was merely feeling for my note-book.
I had a sudden idea for a sonnet, that's all.

_Podb._ Ah, you shouldn't have touched those mussels they gave us with
the sole. Have a nip of this cognac, and you'll soon be all right.

    [_CULCHARD scribbles in lofty abstraction; PODBURY hums;
    Mr. CYRUS K. TROTTER, and his daughter, MAUD S. TROTTER,
    come out by the glass door of the Salon de Lecture, and seat
    themselves at an adjoining table_.

_Miss Trotter_. Well, I guess it's gayer out here, anyway. That
Reading Saloon is just about as lively as a burying lot with all the
tombs unlet. I want the address of that man who said that Brussels was
a second Parrus.

_Mr. Trotter_. Maybe we ain't been long enough off the cars to
jedge yet. Do you feel like putting on your hat and sack, and sorter
smellin' round this capital?

_Miss T._ Not any. I expect the old city will have to curb its
impatience to see me till to-morrow. I'm tired some.

_Culch._ (_to himself_). Confound it, how can I--! (_Looks up, and
observes_ Miss T. _with a sudden attention_). That fellow PODBURY
has better taste than I gave him credit for. She _is_ pretty--in her
peculiar style--_quite_ pretty! Pity she speaks with that deplorable
accent.

    [_Writes--"Vermilion lips that sheathe a parrot tongue," and
    runs over all the possible rhymes to "tongue."_

_Podb._ (_observing that his pencil is idle_). Gas cut off again? Come
for a toddle. You don't mean to stick here all the evening, eh?

_Culch._ Well, we might take a turn later on, and see the effect of
St. Gudule in the moonlight.

_Podb._ Something _like_ a rollick that! But what do you say to
dropping in quietly at the Eden for an hour or so, eh? Variety show
and all that going on.

_Culch._ Thanks--variety shows are not much in my line; but don't mind
me if you want to go.

    [_PODBURY wanders off, leaving CULCHARD free to observe
    Miss TROTTER._

_Miss T._ CHARLEY writes he's having a lovely time in Germany going
round. I guess he isn't feeling so cheap as he did. I wish he'd come
along right here.

_Mr. T._ I presume he's put in all the time he had for Belgium--likely
we'll fetch up against him somewhere before he's through.

_Miss T._ Well, and I don't care how soon we do, either. CHARLEY's
a bright man, and real cultivated. I'm always telling him that he's
purrfectly splendid company, considering he's only a cousin.

_Mr. T._ That's so every time. I like CHARLEY VAN BOODELER first-rate
myself.

_Culch._ (_to himself_). If CHARLEY VAN BOODELER was _engaged_ to
her, I suppose he'd be here. Pshaw! What _does_ it matter? Somehow, I
rather wish now that I'd--but perhaps we shall get into conversation
presently. Hang it, here's that fellow PODBURY back again! Wish to
goodness he'd-- (_To PODBURY._) Hallo, so you haven't started yet?

_Podb._ Been having a talk with the porter. He says there's a big fair
over by the Station du Midi, and it's worth seeing. Are you game to
come along and sample it, eh?

_Culch._ (with an easy indifference intended for_ Miss T.'s _benefit_).
No, I think not, thanks. I'm very comfortable where I am.

    [_He resumes his writing._

_Podb._ Well, it's poor fun having to go alone!

    [_He is just going, when Mr. TROTTER rises and comes towards
    him._

_Mr. T._ You'll excuse me, Sir, but did I overhear you remark that
there was a festivity in progress in this city?

_Podb._ So I'm told; a fair, down in the new part. I could tell you
how to get to it, if you thought of going.

_Mr. T._ Well, I don't see how I should ever strike that fair for
myself, and I guess if there's anything to be seen we're bound to
_see_ it, so me and my darter--allow me to introduce my darter to
you--MAUD, this gentleman is Mr.--I don't think I've caught your name,
Sir--PODBURY?--Mr. PODBURY who's kindly volunteered to conduct us
round.

_Miss T._ _I_ should have thought you'd want to leave the gentleman
some say in the matter, Father--not to mention me!

_Podb._ (_eagerly_). But won't you come? Do. I shall be awfully glad
if you will!

_Miss T._ If it makes you so glad as all that, I believe I'll come.
Though what you could say different, after Father had put it up so
steep on you, _I_ don't know. I'll just go and fix myself first.

    [_She goes._

_Mr. T._ (_to PODBURY_). My only darter, Sir, and a real good girl. We
come over from the States, crossed a month ago to-day, and seen a
heap already. Been runnin' all over Scotland and England, and kind of
looked round Ireland and Wales, and now what _we've_ got to do is to
see as much as we can of Germany and Switzerland and It'ly, and get
some idea of France before we start home this fall. I guess we're
both of us gettin' pretty considerable homesick already. My darter was
sayin' to me on'y this evening at _table d'hôte_, "Father," she sez,
"the vurry first thing we'll do when we get home is to go and hev a
good square meal of creamed oysters and clams with buckwheat cakes
and maple syrup." Don't seem as if we _could_ git along without maple
syrup _much_ longer. (_Miss TROTTER returns._) You never mean going
out without your gums?

_Miss T._ I guess it's not damp here--any--(_To PODBURY._) Now you're
going to be _Mary_, and Father and I have got to be the little lambs
and follow you around.

    [_They go out, leaving CULCHARD annoyed with himself and
    everybody else, and utterly unable to settle down, to his
    sonnet again._

IN AN UPPER CORRIDOR, TWO HOURS LATER.

_Culch._ (_coming upon Podbury_). So you've got rid of your Americans
at last, eh?

_Podb._ _I_ was in no hurry, I can tell you. She's a ripping little
girl--tremendous fun. What do you think she asked me about _you_?

_Culch._ (_stiff, but flattered_). I wasn't aware she had honoured me
by her notice. What _was_ it?

_Podb._ Said you had a sort of schoolmaster look, and wanted to know
if you were my tutor. My tutor! [_He roars._

_Culch._ I hope you--ah--undeceived her?

_Podb._ Rather! Told her it was t'other way round, and I was looking
after _you_. Said you were suffering from melancholia, but were not
absolutely dangerous.

_Culch._ If that's your idea of a joke, all I can say is--

    [_He chokes with rage._

_Podb._ (_innocently_). Why, my dear chap, I thought you wanted 'em
kept out of your way!

    [_CULCHARD slams his bedroom door with temper, leaving
    PODBURY outside, still chuckling._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WRONG OF SEARCH.

(_A DREAM OF THE BRITISH INQUISITION._)

The unfortunate foreigner, travel-stained and suffering from the
after-glow of a stormy passage, crawled up the gangway and was once
more on land. He carried in his hand a portmanteau.

"Have you anything to declare?" asked an official, in a gold-peaked
cap and blue frock coat, gruffly.

"Only that your seas are terrible," was the reply.

The official made no answer, but merely pointed to some planks that
had been placed upon trestles. The foreigner glanced at the people
who were standing in front of these planks, and noticed that they were
pale with apprehension.

"Have you anything to declare?" was a second time uttered--now by a
person less gold-laced. Then the official continued, "Here, open it!"

In a moment the portmanteau was thrown with force on the planks, and
the foreigner protested.

"I understand you now. I have no cigars--I do not smoke. I have no
spirits--I am what you call a teatotaller. I have no lace--I am a
widower."

"Open it!" was once more the cry--this time with great vehemence.

"But I am innocent of concealing anything! Believe me, there is
nothing to declare! I have some photographic plates--to open them
is ruin! I prize my shirts--they are heirlooms--if they are roughly
handled I can never wear them again." And the foreigner wrung his
hands in his despair.

"If you will not open it," replied the official, unmoved by his
eloquent appeal, "we shall detain your luggage."

"But this is barbarous--cruel," continued the foreigner, answering
with excitement. "I have been to Constantinople with its mosques, and
the Turks have treated me with greater consideration. I have seen the
glories of Rome with its Forum, the splendours of Petersburg with its
fortress prison, the treasures of Madrid with its art gallery--and
everywhere--everywhere I have been treated with greater kindness,
greater charity than here! And yet you say this is the land of the
brave and the free!"

"We say nothing of the sort," retorted the official; "we say, open
it!"

The foreigner, whose pallor was fearful to see, with his teeth
clenched and his eyes starting from his head, put the key into the
portmanteau lock, turned it, and the contents of the box was revealed
to view.

In a moment the officials were upon it--thrusting their inquisitive
hands here, there, and everywhere. There was a salad of boots,
waistcoats, collars and brushes. At length they came to the
photographic plates--they were removed in a trice from their
receptacle, and held up to the light.

"Have you no hearts!" cried the foreigner, his face streaming
with tears. "In a moment you have undone the labour of years! That
plate--now destroyed for ever--when properly developed would have
revealed the smiling features of my wife's mother! It took me a
quarter of a century to catch her with such an expression! For when
she saw me she always frowned. But ah, my shirts, my heirlooms! In the
name of mercy, spare my shirts!"

But no, once more the appeal was disregarded. The small portmanteau
was turned inside out. This the official chalked.

"So this is one of the habits of the English," cried the foreigner,
bitterly.

"Not only the habits, Monsieur," observed a bystander, who trembling
with apprehension, was waiting his turn; "but the customs. Customs
that are out of date with the age. Customs that are contrary to the
spirit of the century. Customs that cost more than they yield, and
deserve to be cussed!"

"They do," cried the foreigner, excitedly. "May the Customs be--"

"You must not utter that word," interrupted the Revenue Officer, in a
tone of peremptory command.

"It is British; why not?"

But although the foreigner was baffled in his desire to use the
appropriate imprecation--he thought it!

       *       *       *       *       *

MOTH-EATEN.

[Illustration]

  It is a stifling night; I sit
    With windows open wide;
  And the fragrance of the rose is blown
    And also the musk outside,
  There's plenty of room for the moths out there
    In the cool and pleasant gloom;
  And yet these mad insectual beasts
    Will swarm into my room.

  I've thrown so many things at him,
    And thrown them all so hard;
  There goes the sofa-cushion; that
    Missed him by half a yard.
  My hot tears rain; my young heart breaks
    To see him dodging thus;
  It is not right for him to be
    So coy--so devious.

  As I sit by my duplex lamp,
    And write, and write, and write;
  They come and drown in the blue-black ink,
    Or fry themselves in the light.
  They pop, and drop, and flop, and hop,
    Like catherine-wheels at play;
  And die in pain down the back of my neck
    In a most repulsive way.

  There's a brown moth on the ceiling. He
    Makes slow and bumpy rounds;
  Then stops and sucks the whitewash off--
    He must have eaten pounds.
  He's only waiting for his chance
    To take me unaware,
  And then the brute will drop, and make
    His death-bed in my hair.

  Why do they do it? Why--ah! why?
    The dews of night are damp,
  But the place to dry one's self is not
    The chimney of a lamp.
  And sultriness engenders thirst,
    But the best, the blue-black ink,
  Cannot be satisfactory
    Regarded as a drink.

  They are so very many, and
    I am so very few--
  They are so hard to hit, and so
    Elusive to pursue--
  That in the garden I will wait
    Until the dawning light,
  Until the moths all go by day
    Where I wish they'd go by night.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SPEECHES TO BE LIVED DOWN--IF POSSIBLE!

_Sympathetic Lady Guest_. "DON'T BE UNHAPPY ABOUT THE RAIN, DEAR MRS.
BOUNDERSON--IT WILL SOON BE OVER, AND YOUR GARDEN WILL BE LOVELIER
THAN EVER!"

_Little Mrs. Goldmore Bounderson_ (_who is giving her first Garden
Party_). "YES; BUT I'M AFRAID IT WILL KEEP MY MOST DESIRABLE GUESTS
FROM COMING!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

ON THE BRIDGE!

(_A MUCH MODERNISED VERSION OF "THE VISION OF MIRZAH."_)

On the second day of the week, commonly called Saint Monday (which
according to the Customs of my Forefathers, I always keep as Holiday),
after having washed myself, and offered up my Morning Devotions at the
shrine of Nicotine, I turned over the pages of _Bradshaw_, with a view
to passing the rest of the day in some more or less Rural Retirement.

As I was here confusing myself with the multitudinous Complexities
of this recondite Tome, I fell into a profound Contemplation of the
Vanity of human Holiday-making; and, passing from one puzzling page
to another, Surely, said I, Man is but a Muddler and Life a Maze!

"Right you are!" sounded a mysterious voice in my ear.

The Sound of the voice was exceeding Sweet, and wrought into a
variety of inflections. It put me in mind of those heavenly Airs that
are played from the tops of closely-packed wheeled Vehicles, from
many-keyed Concertinas upon Bank-Holidays. My Heart melted away in
Secret Raptures. By which signs I--who had read my _Spectator_ at the
Free Library--knew well that I was in the company of a Genius! It is
only Genii who drop upon one suddenly and unannounced, with a more or
less pertinent commentary upon one's Inner Thoughts, in this fashion.
I felt at once that I was in for the true Addisonian Oriental Apologue
in all its hybrid incongruity.

I drew near with that Reverence which is due to a Superior--if
nondescript Nature; and as my Heart was entirely subdued by the
captivating Voice I had heard, I fell down at his Feet and wept. I
could hardly have explained why, but 'tis the sort of thing one always
does in an Eastern Apologue. The Genius smiled upon me with a Look of
Compassion and Affability that familiarised him to my Imagination, at
once dispelled all the Fears and Apprehensions with which I approached
him, and turned off my Tearfulness "at the main," as _Samuel Weller_
said, concerning the Mulberry One. He lifted me from the ground, and,
taking me by the hand, "MIRZAH," said he, "I have heard thee in thy
Soliloquies; follow me!"

Now, my name is _not_ MIRZAH, but MATTHEW. Yet, after all, it did not
much matter, and I felt it would be in questionable taste to correct a
Genius.

He then led me to the highest Pinnacle of a Rock, and, placing me on
the Top of it, "Cast thy Eyes yonder," said he, "and tell me what
thou seest." "I see," said I, "a huge Valley, and a prodigious Roadway
running through it." "The Valley that thou seest," said he, "is the
Vale of Travel, and the Roadway that thou beholdest is part of the
great Railway System." "What is the Reason," said I, "that the Roadway
I see rises out of a thick Mist at one End, and again loses itself
in a thick Mist at the other?" "Monopoly and Muddle freely engender
Mists," responded the Genius. "Examine now," said he, "the Roadway
that is bounded with Darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou
discoverest in it." "I see a Bridge," said I, "standing in the midst
of the Roadway." "Consider it attentively," said he.

Upon a more leisurely Survey of it--a Survey which, meseemed, it would
have been well had Others made with similar Attentiveness--I found
that the Arch thereof looked shaky and insecure; moreover, that a
Great and Irregular-shaped Cleft or Crack ran, after the fashion of a
Lightning-flash in a Painted Sea-scape, athwart the structure thereof
from Keystone to Coping. As I was regarding this unpleasing Portent,
the Genius told me that this Bridge was at first of sound and
scientific construction, but that the flight of Years, Wear and Tear,
vehement Molecular Vibration, and, above all, Negligent Supervision,
had resulted in its present Ruinous Condition.

"But tell me further," said he, "what thou discoverest on it."

"I see," said I, "if my eyes and the dark Mists and Shadows deceive me
not, a Figure couched upon the Parapet of the centre Arch thereof."
As I looked more attentively, I saw that this figure was of a Spectral
appearance, and Bony withal; albeit, its contours were to some
extent hidden by its clinging cerement-like garments, and the equally
clinging and charnel-like shades surrounding it.

[Illustration: ON THE BRIDGE!]

Only an Attent, and, as it were, complacently Anticipative Visage, of
an osseous and ogreish Aspect, gleamed lividly forth therefrom, as the
Apparition appeared to Look and Listen through the Mist at one end of
the Bridge for the welcome Sight of Disaster, the much desired Sound
of Doom. A shrill and sibilant Metallic Shriek seemed to cleave the
Shadows into which the Spectre gazed; a Violent Vibratory Pulsation,
as of thudding iron nails threshing upon a resonant steel floor,
seemed to heat the Roadway, shake the Bridge, and as it appeared to
me to widen the levin-like Cleft or Crack which disfigured the Arch
thereof.

Then did I quake inwardly and breathe short. "What, O Genius," I
cried, "signifieth the Spectre, who thus sitteth On the Bridge, what
forebodeth the Aspect of eager Anticipation, and for what doth he so
gloatingly and expectantly Wait?"

"This," responded the Genius, gravely, "is Insatiate Death waiting for
Inevitable Accident!"

I gazed with inexpressible melancholy upon the unhappy Scene. At
length said I, "Show me now, I beseech thee, the Secrets that lie hid
under those dark Mists which cover the regions to the right which you
suggest are the realms of Monopoly and Muddle." The Genius making me
no Answer, I turned about to address myself to him a Second time, but
I found that he had left me. I then turned again to the Vision, but
instead of the Roadway, the arched Bridge and the Attent Anatomy,
I saw nothing but my own parlour, and my wife MARY picking up the
_Bradshaw's Guide_ which had fallen from my sleep-relaxed hand.

       *       *       *       *       *

On that particular Saint Monday I took, not as I had intended, a
Railway Excursion to Rural Parts, but, telling MARY--to her manifest
concern--that I Had Altered my Mind as regarded our Holiday, I
betook myself to the "Blue Boar" at the corner, and passed the day in
Safety--and Solitary Smoking! Next morning, however, I read something
in the papers which led me to believe that Railwaydom Aroused meant
exorcising and evicting that Sinister Spectre, "regardless of Cost;"
and I shall look forward to my next Holiday Outing with a mind
Relieved and Reassured.

       *       *       *       *       *

BLACKFRIARS TO SLOANE SQUARE.

[Illustration]

  The man who got in at Blackfriars
  Was smoking the foulest of briars,
    But it went out all right--
    Could I give him a light?--
  Hadn't got one--well, all men are liars.

  I've frequently noticed the Temple
  Is a place there are not enough rhymes to;
    And that's why I've made
    This verse somewhat blank,
  And rather disregarded the metre.

  How _do_ you pronounce Charing Cross?
  It's a point where I'm quite at a loss.
    Some people, of course,
    Would rhyme it with "horse,"
  But I always rhyme it with "hoss."

  A woman at Westminster Bridge
  Had got just a speck on the ridge
    Of her Romanesque nose.
    "It's a black, I suppose,"
  She observed. Then it flew--'twas a midge.

  One man from the Park of St. James,
  Had really the loftiest aims;
    In the hat-rack he sat,
    Used my hair as a mat,
  And when I demurred called me names.

  I bought from the stall at Victoria
  A horrible sixpenny story, a
    Book of a kind
    It pained me to find
  For sale at our English emporia.

  I found when I got to Sloane Square
  That my ticket was gone; my despair
    Was awful to see,
    Till at last to my glee
  I looked in my hat--it was there!

       *       *       *       *       *

'ILL-LUMINANTS!

    ["Sir E. WATKIN is about to introduce the Electric Light on
    the summit of Snowdon."--_Daily Paper_.]

Just started up Snowdon by Sir E. WATKIN's combined Galvano-Electric
and Pneumatic Despatch Line, from Llanberis. Goes nearly to top. What
a blessing! Saved all the bother of the mount. Go in tennis-shoes, as
I'm told there's next to no climbing to be done.

Splendid day for view. Comfortable carriages. Hullo! what's this?
Find myself suddenly shot into a mountain tarn. A Yankee would call
it "tarnation cold." Get out dripping. Guard of train explains that
"battery must be rather too strong this morning." Train put on line
again. Up we go! Shivery. If I'd known this sort of thing went on, I'd
have brought towels.

At Terminus, three-quarters way up, in a bleak and exposed crag,
plastered with advertisements. Day not quite so glorious. Fog coming
on. Or is it "Scotch mist?" But what has a Scotch mist to do in Wales?
Ask engine-driver's opinion. He has none. "Then which is the way
up?" Doesn't know. "_His_ way is down." Must speak to Sir E.W. about
engine-driver.

Ascent continued. Leads down-hill. Curious. Sound of dashing waterfall
close by. _Must_ see it. Turn round a corner. No waterfall at all,
only the Electric-Light-generating station! Noise I heard was the
"machinery in motion." _Query_--does an iron shed with chimney pouring
out factory smoke, add to charms of wild scenery?

More surprises! Find an "Automatic Delivery" pillar! Curious sight
on a mountain. Put a penny in, and you get a small book--_Guide to
Snowdonia_. Thanks! But what I want is a guide to top. Fog worse than
ever. Believe I've missed my way.

_Five hours later_.--I _had_. Shoes utterly worn out. Awfully, tired.
Hit on top by mere accident. Resting in new hotel. Scrumptious, but
dear. Don't care! Electric Light. What system? Waiter says "Brush."
Must be 'air-brush up here, I fancy! Anyhow no good in a fog. Shall
suggest foghorn to Sir E. WATKIN for thick weather. Also guides
waiting at Crag Terminus. Bottle of beer. Divine! View? None, and
don't want any. More beer. Electric Light better than I thought.
Electricity is life. Electricity is also beer. More beer, please!
Waiter asks "if I sleep at top?" Beds only two guineas a night. Of
course I do! "Then shall he wake me for sunrise?" He'd better _not_.
Goo' night! Sowdn--mean Snowdn--great sksess.

       *       *       *       *       *

HER VIOLETS!

[Illustration]

  She gave them to me when the dance was done,
    Her eyes all lighted with the ecstasy
  Of triumph in the crushing contest won,
    Of all the joy of girlish victory.
  She gave them to me as we mounted up,
    With all the bold effrontery that dares
  To face the aged ones, who've come to sup,
    And sidles off to alcoves on the stairs.

  She gave them to me, but some sprays, I know,
    All dying then, as though life's task were laid
  To rest within that burning breast of snow;
    And there the last great debt of all were paid.
  She gave them to me, and my heart did beat,
    As o'er my hope a greater promise came,
  And up the narrow way with steps so fleet
    She went, though I remember'd not her name.

  She gave them to me, and I vow'd that they
    Should lie upon my heart till years had fled,
  Till, passing through life's narrow, thorny way,
    They'd rest with me when life's own leaves were dead.
  And thus I spoke, and then we wrote the deed,
    With fervid seal upon the heart's own slab--
  Alas! alas! how memory runs to seed!--
    I left her Violets in a beastly cab!

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

WATER SUPPLY.--Yes, we have read about the quantities of poisoned
fish floating in the river somewhere near the "intake" of the Water
Companies, and agree with you that under such circumstances the
pretence of supplying a drinkable fluid is somewhat of a "take-in."
But surely it is hardly necessary to adopt the extreme step you
contemplate, of stationing an expert Thames fisherman at the side of
your cistern night and day, in order to catch any fish that may come
through the pipes. The Companies' filtering system may not be worth
much, but it ought to be able to keep out something under the size of
a whale.

HOLIDAY TRAVELLING.--You say that recent disclosures about Railway
Bridges have made you nervous. The plan of personally inspecting
every bridge your train will pass over on your way to Scotland is
an excellent one, if you have time for it. Possibly also, a Railway
Manager might agree to put a specially light engine to your train.
As you say you are going to take a couple of tourist tickets, third
class, it would probably pay him well to make any little alteration of
that kind.

IMPECUNIOSITY.--We cannot help you. Reading the Riot Act and then
assaulting them with a poker is not the best way of getting the
Bailiffs out of a house. Try gentle persuasion. If you have recently
had a case of black typhus in the house, you might mention the fact to
them, and see what they say.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LADIES IN THE HOUSE. THE SUCCESS OF THE SEASON.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FANCY PORTRAIT.]

THE LAST KNIGHT OF THE SEASON.

SIR AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS COVENT-GARDENIUS HARRIS, C.C.C.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RULE OF THREE.

(A POSSIBLE SCENE OF THE FUTURE.)

    PLAN OF ACTION.--_Somewhere conveniently situated for
    all parties. The King, the Kaiser, and the Emperor,
    discovered discussing the Treaty that has now been in force
    for some years._

_Kaiser_ (_with assumed cheerfulness_). Well, my dear Brothers, it is
really time you should do something. It is not on my own account that
I am anxious, but on yours--purely on yours.

_King_ (_dryly_). Certainly!

_Emperor_ (_with a smile_). No doubt! Pray proceed.

_Kaiser_ (_addressing Italy_). Well, my dear friend, as I am afraid
we are on the eve of a contest with France, I must beg of you to place
three Army Corps upon your Alpine frontiers.

_King_ (_with assumed surprise_). Why should I do this? It will be
most inconvenient!

_Kaiser_. Why, to carry out the provisions of the Treaty.

_Emperor_ (_interposing_). Your pardon, that stipulation was
suppressed at King HUMBERT's request.

_Kaiser_ (_annoyed_). Oh, was it! Then, my friend, perhaps you will
be so good (as my relations with the CZAR are strained almost to
breaking), as to station troops on the Russian frontier beyond Cracow.

_Emperor_ (_with improvised astonishment_). Why should I do this? It
will be most inconvenient.

_Kaiser_. Why, to carry out the provisions of the Treaty.

_King_ (_interposing_). Your pardon; that stipulation was suppressed
at the request of the Emperor of AUSTRIA.

_Kaiser_. Oh, was it? (_Losing his temper._) Then I consider the whole
affair as gross a swindle as--

_Emperor_ (_interrupting_). Nay, Sire, remember your birth and
position! It is a passing annoyance, but it should not move you.
Remember, you are a Hohenzollern! Let me offer you a cigarette.

_Kaiser_ (_calming down_). Well, perhaps I had better be quiet. It is
more dignified.

_King_ (_helping himself to the Emperor's cigarette-case_). Let me
join you.

_Kaiser_. But I say, what use is the Treaty to either of us?

_Emperor_ (_with a smile_). Properly treated, it is of service to us
all. (_Lights it, and offers it to his two partners_). It will serve
as a spill for our cigarettes! [_Scene closes in upon the Treaty
ending in smoke._

       *       *       *       *       *

WELL DONE, DEAR!

  We've levelled farms, we've planted trees,
    And many mighty men of means
  Have shot at deer, and, if you please,
    A DEAR has shot and won the Queen's!

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday, July 20_.--"Man and boy I've sat in this
House for seven years," said WHITTAKER ELLIS, as he reposed behind
Ministers diffusing a sense of aldermanic respectability over an
appreciable area of space; "never have I seen Irish Estimates got
through in this style. LORD LIEUTENANT has his salary voted without
a word of comment, and CHIEF SECRETARY will, I believe, get his in a
couple of hours. Have known the time when it wasn't done in a couple
of nights."

[Illustration: Aldermanic Respectability.]

Strange indeed the scene; not thirty Members present whilst the
Woluminous WEBB goes all the way back to the Tipperary riots in search
of text for dreary observations; then fearsome speeches by FLYNN and
P.J. POWER. Some fillip to proceedings when JORDAN rolls in.

JORDAN is Member of Parliament for Clare, as he once or twice
incidentally remarked. Evidently much impressed by distinction.
House laughs at reiterated claim. The billows of Jordan rise; had
no personal objection to Prince ARTHUR, he said, but "as Member of
Parliament for Clare" had to complain of him in his official capacity.
What had he done? "He has given Clare such a resident Magistrate as
CECIL ROCHE, a low tyrannical man, who ordered a low policeman to
seize me--me, Member of Parliament for Clare."

JORDAN glared round on laughing House; quite incomprehensible what
they should be guffawing at. Marvel increased when he introduced
Father GILLIKAN on the scene,

[Illustration: "Member of Parliament for Clare."]

"What had happened to Father GILLIKAN?" JORDAN roared, fixing a
bloodshot eye on ASHMEAD-BARTLETT, who had just dropped in on Treasury
Bench. "Why, Father GILLIKAN had been sent to prison for a speech
delivered in the middle of the River Shannon."

House shouted with laughter; began again when JORDAN explained that
Father GILLIKAN, though he had been making a speech in the middle
of the River Shannon at the moment of his arrest, was primarily in a
boat. Even that didn't mend matters, and JORDAN, giving up attempt to
understand ill-timed hilarity of House, dried up.

Later, TIM HEALY turned up, TIM TRUCULENT no more. Where was the
excited crowd he was wont to address in Sessions of not very long
ago--the jeering Ministerialists, the applauding Liberals, the
enthusiastic band of united Irishmen, with PARNELL sitting placid in
their midst, he only quiet amid the turbulent throng? Now the House
more than half empty; the audience irresponsive; Prince ARTHUR sitting
solitary on Treasury Bench with head bowed to hide the blushes that
had mantled his cheek at hearing TIM extol his improvement since, in
1887, he tried his prentice hand as Chief Secretary. Prince ARTHUR,
when he rises, is careful not to introduce a discordant note. He has,
he says, listened with interest to the able speech of the Hon. and
learned Gentleman, the Member for North Longford. There must be a
division for decency's sake; but only 150 Members turn up, and no one
would have been greatly surprised if Prince ARTHUR and TIM HEALY had
walked off arm in arm into the same lobby.

[Illustration: Lalor's Lament.]

"Shade of me departed frind, JOSEPH GILLIS," said LALOR, wearily
rising to go forth to the division, "what d'ye think of us, suppose
this night you chance to be looking down from whatever answers with
you to the Strangers' Gallery, where you used to betake yourself after
being suspended?"

_Business done_.--Irish Votes in Committee of Supply.

_Tuesday_.--The alliance, offensive and defensive, established between
the two Houses of Legislature by Lord DENMAN and Mr. ATKINSON been
temporarily blighted by machinations of the enemy.

DENMAN, the other night, wanted to move for return showing how many
times he had been in attendance. House said it didn't particularly
care to know. DENMAN insisted; then the MARKISS, as usual, appeared on
the scene, and moved that DENMAN shouldn't be heard for remainder of
sitting. DENMAN, never at loss in Parliamentary strategy, wanted to
move that the MARKISS's motion should be put from Chair on that day
ten months. But LORD CHANCELLOR, well known to be in league with the
MARKISS, promptly put question. Before DESMAN knew where he was (a not
unfamiliar access of haziness) Motion put, declared to be carried, and
he condemned to sit silent for rest of evening.

Same tactics, slightly varied, carried on to effacement of other wing
of allied forces. ATKINSON wanted to put question to JOKIM about his
Coinage Bill. Took some pains in framing it; handed it in at
table; next day question appeared on paper shorn of its oratorical
excellencies.

"How is this?" says ATKINSON, addressing the SPEAKER.

"Question full of errors," SPEAKER explained.

"Will the Right Hon. Gentleman kindly state them?" said ATKINSON,
folding his arms, and looking triumphantly round the House. Had the
SPEAKER now. He would go into particulars. Sure to leave opening for
master of argumentative tactics; ATKINSON would dart in and pink him
amid applause of Senate. Public business might be delayed, but what of
that? House liked intellectual treat.

SPEAKER, however, not so unwary as he looked. Took no notice of
ATKINSON's inquiry; went on to next business. ATKINSON wrote to Clerks
for explanation. No reply; so to-day gives notice of Vote of Censure
on SPEAKER and Clerks.

"Sorry to be driven to this course, dear TOBY," he said, when I
ventured to remonstrate with him on his remorseless career; "have the
greatest respect for the SPEAKER; shrink from depriving the Clerks at
table of means of livelihood. But an example must be made. Effect not
confined to walls of this Chamber. My Motion of Censure on the SPEAKER
will strike terror to the House of Lords, and go long way to deliver
my noble friend DENMAN from thraldom under which a too sensitive
nature lies bound hand and foot. The House need apprehend no
inconvenience to the course of public business. Last night, in
response to a bait artfully thrown out by Mr. TIMOTHY HEALY, I felt it
my duty to rise in my place and announce that nothing would induce me
to take office under the Crown. But in the matter of the SPEAKER, I
shall recognise my personal responsibility, and when, in consequence
of my Motion of Censure, he withdraws into private life, _I_ will take
the Chair."

_Business done_.--In Committee of Supply.

_Thursday_.--Haven't seen SEYMOUR KEAY lately. Report in House is,
that he has been close and interested attendant on CATHCART case.
Rumour receives some confirmation from circumstance that to-day,
CATHCART case concluded, KEAY suddenly turns up full of spirits
and valuable information. Subject (Land Purchase Bill back from
Lords) particularly attractive to him, since it is bristling with
obscurities. Once, when a Lords Amendment submitted, TIM HEALY asked
what it meant. MADDEN sprang up with reassuring alacrity and said a
few words, apparently of explanation. Didn't clear up anything; TIM
insisted on wanting to know, you know; MADDEN nervously read and
reread Amendment, couldn't make head or tale of it, but wouldn't do
for ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND to say so. Accordingly smiled on TIM
with pitying air of superiority. "Couldn't understand what the Lords
meant by their Amendment? Well, well; surprised at such confession
from one of TIM's acuteness."

Prince ARTHUR all the while turning over Amendment; at length
interposed. "The Hon. and learned Gentleman opposite," he observed,
"asks for an explanation of this Amendment; I frankly tell him I
cannot give it. I don't understand it myself, and as it would be
undesirable to include in the Act a provision that might lead to
controversy, we will strike it out."

"And thus are our laws made!" said SHIRESS WILLS, throwing out his
hands in astonishment.

[Illustration: "Thus are our Laws made!"]

Certainly a narrow escape. It was after this that KEAY's
patent-leather boots glistened on the floor of House as he walked up
to take seat below Gangway. Determined to make up for lost time; led
astray in all directions; SPEAKER called him to order with increasing
sternness; HENNIKER HEATON asked if he might move that for rest of
Session he be no longer heard; SPEAKER evidently sorely tempted; here
was a short sure way out of the difficulty. Faltered a moment, then
rose heroically to sense of duty; put aside proposal, and KEAY went
on again for another half-hour. "A long rigmarole," JOKIM called the
speech. This not Parliamentary, but no one objected.

_Business done._--Land Purchase Bill got ready for Royal Assent.

_Friday._--Nothing can exceed MORTON's obliging disposition; talked
for half an hour just now on subject of fortune-telling. Members
can't prevent ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS from making speeches, but they needn't
listen; so kept up lively conversation whilst ALPHEUS talked to
CLEOPHAS. When he sat down, it appeared he had desired that his
remarks should reach ear of Home Secretary; concluded by asking
question; MATTHEWS unwarily protested, that, owing to noise in House,
he had not been able to catch the drift of the Hon. Gentleman's
remarks.

"Oh, very well," said ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS, "I'll repeat them."

"No! no!" MATTHEWS almost shrieked.

"No trouble at all," said ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS, and he set off again,
making his speech once more. _Business done._--Very little.

       *       *       *       *       *

FOR THE BENEFIT OF ZOILUS.

SHAKSPEARE speaks of "the maiden virtue of the Crown." And the word
"maiden" bears, in certain constructions, the meanings, "fresh, new,
youthful, &c." But when _Mr. Punch_, comparing generally "Fifty Years
Syne" with To-day, says:--

  "Then HER MAJESTY, a Maiden Queen, fresh graced the Throne,"

"A SEPTUAGENARIAN" acidly objects, and twits _Mr. Punch_ with
premature failure of memory. "Aha! I know that man!" says _Mr. P._
_Mr. Punch_, of course, merely meant that about fifty years ago HER
MAJESTY was a very youthful Sovereign. Moreover, the comparison made
between "Then and Now" was not intended to be confined rigorously to
"July 17, 1841," as is shown in the previous stanza, which says:--

  "Then TOM HOOD could sing that Song which moved a world to tears,"

meaning "_The Song of the Shirt_," which, as explained in a footnote,
was not published until 1843. Had _Mr. Punch_ written with the fear of
ZOILUS before his eyes, he might have appended _another_ foot-note, to
explain--for the benefit of ZOILUS--that he did _not_ mean to convey
the idea that HER MAJESTY was unmarried when _he_ first made his
appearance. Whereto the reply of the Public--all but ZOILUS--would
probably have been, "Whoever supposed you _did_?"

       *       *       *       *       *

"THEN YOU'LL REMEMBER ME!"--Among the names of those who, within the
last ten years, have done good work for _Mr. Punch_ ought to have
appeared that of Mr. SAVILE CLARKE, whose _cri du coeur_ from foreign
shores has reached _Mr. P.'s_ ears and touched _Mr. P.'s_ heart.

       *       *       *       *       *

L'ENTENTE CORDIALE.--A portion of the French Fleet is soon to be
entertained on English shores. The first of these vessels sighted as
it approaches will be sufficient evidence of their French ship towards
us.

       *       *       *       *       *

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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