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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, December 5, 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, December 5, 1891" ***

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VOL. 101.

December 5, 1891.



KING COLE, although described as a "merry old soul," was in reality
a tyrant. He had a number of subjects who used to work underground,
and their labour was to bring to the surface the black diamonds of
the earth. It was not altogether a pleasant occupation, but still,
the task had to be accomplished. His Majesty was fond of ferocious
practical jokes, and perchance this may have been the origin of
the jocular description attached to his name. One day, some of his
subjects complained that their hours of labour were too many.

"How long do you work?" asked the King.

"May it please you, Sire, sixteen," was the reply.

"Try what you can do with twelve," and they were about to depart
rejoicing, when the Monarch called them back and added, "But mind you,
I shall expect just as many black diamonds to be unearthed as before."

So the King's subjects worked only twelve hours, and strange to say,
quite as many black diamonds were produced as in the olden days. Then
the workmen began to grumble once more, and the King again interviewed

"Do you still work twelve hours?" he asked the deputation.

"Certainly, Your Majesty; but we think half would be quite enough,"
returned the spokesman.

"By all means--why not make it three hours?" and again his subjects
were departing, rejoicing, when once more he added, "But I shall
expect just the same output as before."

And he got it, for the men worked harder than ever. And then they
came yet again to him. Once more they considered the hours of labour
excessive. They thought sixty minutes plenty.

"So do I," replied the Monarch, "not only plenty, but too many. But
as it is scarcely worth while employing you only half an hour a day,
I shall make other arrangements."

And from that time forth he brought up his black diamonds from the
centre of the earth by machinery!

       *       *       *       *       *

NOT "HALF A CHAP."--A well-known Clergyman, who "does nothing by
halves." i.e., Dean HOLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHEN A MAN DOES NOT LOOK HIS BEST."--NO. 4.


       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: The Baron's Retainers, Mesdames Blythe and Gay, giving
him the results of their readings.]

In the Christmas Numbers of the numerous picture-papers it is at first
rather difficult to discover which is the genuine article illustrated,
and which the advertisement, likewise illustrated. In the outside
picture of the Christmas Number of _The Penny Illustrated Paper_,
which represents a couple dancing together, I am not yet quite sure
that the handsome Hebraic gentleman, dancing with a fair Anglo-Saxon
girl, is not assuring his frightened-looking partner that "Epps's
Cocoa is Grateful--Comforting," as stated in the paragraph immediately
beneath the aforesaid picture. On the next page is a sad illustration
entitled, "The Curse of Revenge. Lost to Human Aid." which turns out
to be not a Christmas story at all, but an advertisement for Fruit
Salt. Then opposite this commences a story by GEORGE R. SIMS; and at
the foot of this page some one replies, "Mr. DOOLAN! There's no one
of that name here now, Sir." Whereupon, being interested, the reader
turns over page 1 to find at the head of page 2, not the continuation
of the above interesting story in the shape of some remark on the part
of the inquirer, nor any account of what happened after this reply
had been given, but simply "Benson's Watches" followed by "Fry's
Chocolate," then a picture (not an advertisement) facing that, and
then on page 4 the remainder of the dialogue. It doesn't much matter
perhaps, as the excitement aroused by the story is not violent, and
the mistake of giving somebody else's card for your own does not occur
here for the first time as the motive of a plot. CUTHBERT BEDE's name
is to a "Christmas Carol," and Mr. JOHN LATEY's to a dramatically told
tale called "Mark Temple's Trial," in which the imaginary heroine
pays a visit to a very real person of the name of Madame KATTI
LANNER, whose pupils are represented as all assembled, with bouquets
and posies, to do honour to the birthday of their "well-loved
mistress," who is at the same time, "the acknowledged mistress of the
choreographic art." In this story, the author is to be complimented
on his invention of the name, "Lord Morgagemore" as an ancient looking
and highly aristocratic Irish title.

"Up to any game at Christmas, if it's not too high," says the Baron
of Hampershire, who detests all game that is lofty, but is glad to
welcome a Shakspearian Revival by MYERS & Co. in the shape of a _Nine
Men's Morris_, a title the Baron recommends to the notice of Mr.
WILLIAM MORRIS, yclept "BILLY," when he is making another bouquet of
poesies. By the way, BIM BROS.' Almanac Cards, one of the Baron's
Lady Helps describes as "decidedly dainty." Christmas is specially a
card-playing season, a time of _Pax_ to everybody.

From the _Gordon Stables_ of HUTCHINSON & Co. issues the nightmare
tale of _The Cruise in the Crystal Boat_; when finished, try their
_Family Difficulty_, by SARAH DOUDNEY. Send to the Deanery of DEAN AND
SON, ask for _Baby's Biography_ and _The Little One's Own Beehive_.
The Spindleside department of the Baron's Booking-Office recommends
both the above for the Tiny Trots; while the Spearside tells the
boys to go in for MANVILLE FENN's _Burr Junior_ and Mrs. R. LEE's
_Adventures in Australia_. Then for all-comers, procure BEATRICE
HARRADEN's _New Book of Fairies_, for, our "Co." thus puts it, "This
is all concerning those poor little Fairies, about whom no one takes
any trouble, and who are left out in the cold at Christmas time."
Thus for this week conclude the duties of Mesdames BLYTHE and GAY,
the Baron's Lady Assistant Perusers. "I trust my gentle Public will
benefit by their advice," quoth,

Theirs truly,


       *       *       *       *       *



    ["You will not find an alliance in which the weaker side has
    been so loyal, so straight, so single-hearted, so patriotic
    as the Liberal Unionists have been during the last five
    years.... Birmingham is the centre, the consecration of this
    alliance."--_Lord Salisbury at Birmingham._

    "Now I neither look for nor desire reunion" (with the
    Gladstonian Liberals.)--_Mr. Chamberlain at Birmingham._]



  Ye Gentlemen of England,
    Who follow SALIS-BU-RY,
  How little did you count upon
    Assistance from J.C.!
  Give ear unto his speeches old,
    And they will plainly show
  Once he'd scorn to be borne
    Where the Tory breezes blow,
      Where the Lilies and Primroses bloom,
      And the Tory zephyrs blow.

  If once he did oppose you,
    To-day he is at war
  With GLADSTONE and his Items.
    Faith, JOE has travelled far!
  The Primrose Dames shall teach him
    True patriot "form" to know.
  He is leal, and will kneel
    To the "Lilies" in fair row;
      To the pretty, winsome Primrose girls,
      Who buttonhole Brum JOE.

  Ye Gentlemen of England,
    Whom once he did deride,
  How safe ye are, and how serene,
    With JOSEPH on your side.
  He talks no more of "Ransom"
    ('Tis P-e-n-s-i-o-n rather now),
  Brum JOE will not go
    Where the Hawarden winds do blow;
      Where HARCOURT thunders loud and long,
      And Gladstonians blare and blow.

  The Orchid from his button
    JOE's willing to displace,
  To take the Primrose posy
    That's proffered by Her Grace.
  O gentle dame and dainty,
    What man could answer "No!"
  As you prest to his breast
    The most blessed flowers that blow,
      The blossoms loved by BEACONSFIELD
      The bravest blooms that blow?

  O (Brummagem) Tory Beauty,
    'Tis yours to consecrate
  The holiest Alliance
    Our land hath seen of late.
  Shall he reject its symbol,
    Or answer "Not for JOE!"?
  Nay, sweet girl, such a churl
    Were no "Gentleman" you know;
      And JOE is "quite the Gentleman,"
      Brum BRUMMEL in full blow!

  Then courage, all brave Unionists,
    And never be afraid
  Whilst Brummagem Republican
    Is witched by Primrose Maid.
  There is soft fascination
    In radiant rank, we know;
  And a posy, though primrosy,
    From soft hands makes soft hearts glow,
      Lilies--though they toil not nor spin
      Are beauteous--in full blow!

[Footnote 1: Mr. CHAMBERLAIN was once reported to have congratulated
himself upon his co-operation with "English Gentlemen."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Chappie_ (_after missing his fourth Stag, explains_).


       *       *       *       *       *


BORN NOV. 8, 1831. DIED NOV. 24, 1891.

  Were clever wise, were grandiose great,
  How many a servant of the State
    Had left a more enduring name.
  But all is not for all; 'tis far
  From flaming meteor to fixed star,
    From notoriety to fame.

  Picturesque son of brilliant sire,
  It wanted but the touch of fire
    Prometheus only knows to bring
  The flame divine in him to wake
  Who moved our plaudits when he spake,
    But stirred no passion when he'd sing.

  The Orient pageantry he loved,
  The histrio not the hero moved,
    The _dilettante_ not the sage.
  Hence in our England's East his hand
  Turned, in a story sternly grand,
    A motley mock-heroic page.

  He by the Seine found fitter place
  For courtly wit and modish grace,
    Than by the Indus. There right well
  His facile talent served his Chief;
  And England hears with genuine grief
    That sudden-sounding passing bell.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Who prizes Literature? All sorts and sizes
  Of literary wares now hang on "prizes."
  'Tis not prose fictionists or poem-spinners
  The public rush for; no, 'tis "all the winners!"
  Letters in lotteries find support most sure--
  Let us be frank, and call them _Lottery_ture!

       *       *       *       *       *




  How can I woo you in this ancient suit?
    You do not notice it, of course; I know it.
  My soul is burdened with a shapeless boot,
    Your heart is singing welcome to your poet.
  Here in the shadowy settle I can sit
    And sparkle with you, brightly confidential,
  But when into the lamp-bright zone you flit,
    I shrink into some corner penitential.
  A well-dressed crowd, their tailors all unpaid,
    Throng round you there, and cuffs and collars glisten;
  Of pity's blindness, as of scorn, afraid,
    I shun the merry fray, and darkling listen,
  For who could urge the timidest of suits,
    Conscious of such indifferent clothes and boots?

  You think me quite as good as other men;
    Nay, more, I think you think me vastly better;
  Your candid glances seem to ask me when
    I'll seek to bind you in a willing fetter.
  Is this presumption? Not from friend to friend,
    Whose souls unite like clasping hands of lovers;
  Yet can I breathe no word of love, to end
    The delicate doubt that o'er the unspoken hovers.
  If I were hopeless that you loved me not,
    My hopeless love, confess'd, myself would flatter,
  But should the blissful dream be true, I wot
    That love confess'd the joy of love would shatter.
  My Queen, indeed as king I'd love to lord it;
    I cannot tell you that I can't afford it.

       *       *       *       *       *

POSSIBLE EXPLANATION:--"For many months nothing has been heard of
Lieutenant IVANITCH," was the remark of our leading journal _à propos_
of Russian disappearances. Is it not probable that IVANITCH, unable to
find a post to suit him, has gone on tour with a "scratch company"?

       *       *       *       *       *



    SCENE--_Under the Colonnade of the Hôtel Grande Bretagne,
    Bellagio. CULCHARD is sitting by one of the pillars, engaged
    in constructing a sonnet. On a neighbouring seat a group of
    smart people are talking over their acquaintances, and near
    them is another visitor, a Mr. CRAWLEY STRUTT, who is
    watching his opportunity to strike into the conversation._

_Mrs. Hurlingham._ Well, she'll _be_ Lady CHESEPARE some day, when
anything happens to the old Earl. He was looking quite ghastly when we
were down at SKYMPINGS last. But they're frightfully badly off _now_,
poor dears! Lady DRIBLETT lets them have her house in Park Lane for
parties and that--but it's wonderful how they live at all!

[Illustration: "I don't know if you're acquainted with a paper called
the _Penny Patrician_?"]

_Colonel Sandown._ He looked pretty fit at the Rag the other day. Come
across the SENLACS anywhere? Thought Lady SENLAC was going abroad this

_Mr. Crawley Strutt._ Hem--I saw it mentioned in the _Penny Patrician_
that her Ladyship had--

_Mrs. Hurl._ (_without taking the slightest notice of him_). She's
just been marryin' her daughter, you know--rather a good match, too.
Not what I call pretty,--smart-lookin', that's all. But then her
_sister_ wasn't pretty till she married.

_Col. Sand._ Nice family she married into! Met her father-in-law, old
Lord BLETHERHAM, the other morning, at a chemist's in Piccadilly--he'd
dropped in there for a pick-me-up; and there he was, tellin' chemist
all the troubles he'd had with his other sons marryin' the way they
did, and that. Rum man to go and confide in his chemist, but he's like
that--fond of the vine!

_Mr. C.S._ Er--er--it's becoming a very serious thing, Sir, the way
our aristocracy is deteriorating, is it not?

_Col. S._ Is it? What have they been up to now, eh? Haven't seen a
paper for days.

_Mr. C.S._ I mean these mixed marriages, and, well, their general
goings on, I don't know if you're acquainted with a paper called the
_Penny Patrician_? I take it in regularly, and I assure _you_--loyal
supporter of our old hereditary institutions as I am--some of the
revelations I read about in high life make me blush--yes, downright
_blush_ for them! [_Mrs. HURLINGHAM retires._

_Col. S._ Do they, though? If I were you I should let 'em do their own
blushin', and save my pennies.

_Mr. C.S._ (_deferentially_). No doubt you're right, Sir, but I _like_
the _Patrician_ myself--it's very smartly written. Talking of that,
do you happen to know the ins and outs of that marriage of young Lord
GOSLINGTON's? Something very mysterious about the party he's going to
marry--who _are_ her people now?

_Col. S._ Can't say, I'm sure--no business of mine, you know.

_Mr. C.S._ There I venture to think you're wrong, Sir. It's the
business of everybody--the _duty_, I may say--to see that the best
blood of the nation is not--(_Col. S. turns into the hotel; Mr. C.S.
sits down near CULCH._)--Remarkably superior set of visitors staying
here, Sir! My chief objection to travel always is, that it brings
you in contact with parties you wouldn't think of associating with at
home. I was making that same remark to a very pleasant little fellow
I met on the steamer--er--Lord UPPERSOLE, I think it was--and he
entirely concurred. Your friend made us acquainted.--(_PODBURY comes
out of the hotel._)--Ah, here _is_ your friend.--(_To PODB._)--Seen
his Lordship about lately, Sir?--Lord UPPERSOLE, I _mean_, of course!

_Podb._ UPPERSOLE? No--he's over at Cadenabbia, I believe.

_Mr. C.S._ A highly agreeable spot to stay at. Indeed, I've some idea
myself of--Exceedingly pleasant person his Lordship--so affable, so
completely the gentleman!

_Podb._ Oh, he's affable enough--for a boot-maker. I always give him a
title when I see him, for the joke of the thing--he likes it.

_Mr. C.S._ He _may_, Sir. I consider a title is not a thing to be
treated in that light manner. It--it was an unpardonable liberty to
force me into the society of that class of person--unpardonable, Sir!

    [_He goes._

_Podb._ Didn't take much _forcing_, after he once heard me call him
"Lord UPPERSOLE"! Where are all the others, eh? Thought we were going
up to the Villa Serbelloni this afternoon.

_Culch._ I--er--have not been consulted. Are they--er--_all_ going?

    [_With a shade of anxiety._

_Podb._ I believe so. You needn't be afraid, you know. HYPATIA won't
have the chance of ragging you now--she and Miss TROTTER have had a
bit of a breeze.

_Culch._ I rather gathered as much. I think I could guess the--

_Podb._ Yes, HYPATIA's rather uneasy about poor old BOB; thinks Miss
TROTTER is--well, carrying on, you know. She is no end of a little
flirt--_you_ know that well enough!--(_C. disclaims impatiently._)
Here you all are, eh?--(_To Miss P., Miss T., and BOB._)--Well, who
knows the way up to the villa?

_Miss T._ It's through the town, and up some steps by the church--you
cann't miss it. But Mr. PRENDERGAST is going to show me a short cut up
behind the hotel--aren't you, Mr. PRENDERGAST?

_Miss P._ (_icily_). I really think, dear, it would be better if we
all kept together--for so _many_ reasons!

_Culch._ (_with alacrity_). I agree with Miss PRENDERGAST. A short cut
is invariably the most indirect route.

_Miss P._ (_with intention_). You hear what Mr. CULCHARD says, my dear
MAUD? He advocates direct ways, as best in the long run.

_Miss T._ It's only going to be a short run, my love. But I'm vurry
glad to observe that you and Mr. CULCHARD are so perfectly harmonious,
as I'm leaving him on your hands for a spell. Aren't you ever coming,

    [_She leads him off, a not unwilling captive._


_Podb._ (_considerately, to CULCHARD, who is following Miss
PRENDERGAST and him, in acute misery_). Look here, old fellow, Miss
PRENDERGAST would like to sit down, I know; so don't you bother about
keeping with us if you'd rather _not_, you know!

    [_CULCHARD murmurs an inarticulate protest._

_Miss P._ Surely, Mr. PODBURY, you are aware by this time that Mr.
CULCHARD has a perfect mania for self-sacrifice!

    [_CULCHARD drops behind, crushed._


_Culch._ (_who has managed to overtake Miss T. and her companion_).
Now _do_ oblige me by looking through that gap in the pines towards
Lecco. I particularly wish you to observe the effect of light on those
cliffs--it's well worth your while.

_Miss T._ Why, certainly, it's a view that does you infinite credit.
Oh, you _didn't_ take any hand in the arrangement? But ain't you
afraid if you go around patting the scenery on the head this way,
you'll have the lake overflow?

_Bob. P._ Ha-ha-ha! One in the eye for _you_, CULCHARD!

_Culch._ (_with dignity_). Surely one may express a natural enthusiasm
without laying oneself open--?

_Miss T._ Gracious, yes! I should hope you wouldn't want to show your
enthusiasm _that_ way--like a Japanese nobleman!

_Culch._ (_to himself_). Now that's coarse--_really_
coarse!--(_Aloud._)--I seem to be unable to open my mouth now without
some ridiculous distortion--

_Miss T._ My!--but that's a serious symptom--isn't it? You don't feel
like you were going to have lock-jaw, do you, Mr. CULCHARD?

    [_CULCHARD falls back to the rear once more. Later--Mr.
    VAN BOODELER has joined the party; HYPATIA has contrived
    to detach her brother, CULCHARD has sought refuge with

_Miss T._ (_to VAN B._). So that's what kept you? "Well, it sounds
just too enchanting. But I cann't answer for what Miss PRENDERGAST
will say to it. It mayn't suit her notions of propriety.

_Mr. Van B._ I expect she'll be superior to Britannic prejudices of
that kind. I consider your friend a highly cultivated and charming
lady, MAUD. She produces that impression upon me.

_Miss T._ I presume, from that, she has shown an intelligent interest
in the great American novel?

_Mr. Van B._ Why, yes; it enlists her literary sympathies--she sees
all its possibilities.

_Miss T._ And they're pretty numerous, too. But here she comes. You'd
better tell her your plan right now.

_Miss P._ (_in an earnest undertone to BOB, as they approach,
followed by CULCH. and BOB_). You _must_ try and be sensible about
it, BOB; if _you_ are too blind to see that she is only--

BOB (_sulkily_). All _right_! Haven't I _said_ I'd go? What's the good
of _jawing_ about it?

_Mr. V.B._ (_to Miss P._) I've been telling my cousin I've been
organising a little water-party for this evening--moonlight,
mandolins, Menaggio. If you find that alliteration has any
attractions, I hope you and your brother will do me the pleasure of--

_Miss P._ I'm afraid not, thanks. We have all our packing to do. We
find we shall have to leave early to-morrow.

    [_Van B.'s face falls; BOB listens gloomily to_ Miss T.'s
    rather perfunctory expressions of regret; PODBURY looks
    anxious and undecided; CULCHARD does his best to control an
    unseemly joy._

       *       *       *       *       *


Nobody, after visiting Terry's Theatre, can apply to Mr. PINERO's
piece the hackneyed phrase,--used apologetically by an unconscionable
reader after detaining the leading journal for three-quarters of an
hour,--"Oh, there's nothing in _The Times_," for, in Mr. PINERO's
piece there is plenty of amusement, if not of absorbing interest.


The story is that of a _parvenu_, whose sole object in life, to
be recognised by "Society," is thwarted by the marriage of his
good-for-nothing son with the daughter of an Irish lodging-house
keeper. The struggles of _Mr. and Mrs. Bompas_ to conceal this
_mésalliance_, and the assistance given them in their difficulties by
the _Hon. Montague Trimble_, constitute the motive of the play. But
the question that must occur to the critical mind is, "Did the author
mean this piece for high comedy, or farcical comedy?" If the former,
then Mr. TERRY is wrong in his conception of the part; if the latter,
everybody else is wrong in their conception of their parts.

It seems to me as if, in the course of rehearsal, the peculiarities
distinguishing the character of _Percy Egerton Bompas, M.P._, had
gradually become assimilated with the individualities of the actor,
Mr. EDWARD TERRY. If Mr. PINERO so meant it, if he so wrote it for Mr.
TERRY and for Mr. TERRY only, then there is nothing more to be said;
Mr. PINERO's ideal is realised. But if the author did _not_ intend Mr.
TERRY's impersonation, then he must be content to sacrifice the ideal
to the real, shrug his shoulders, and pocket his profits. Yet, as if
making an appeal to the public to judge between the auctorial abstract
and the representational concrete, Mr. PINERO not only publishes his
playbook, but sells it in the theatre. Visitors to TERRY's, who buy
the book, will judge the play by its stage interpretation that has had
the advantage of the author's personal supervision and direction. The
representation, therefore, is either more or less in accordance with
his teaching, or flatly contradicts it.

[Illustration: One of the Leaders in _The Times_.]

The publication of the book of a comedy in a theatre may be thankfully
received as a present help to the audience, and an aid to memory
afterwards, or it may be considered as a protest on the part of the
author who says, "Here's what I have written. See how they act it:
whether it be farce or comedy, judge for yourselves. You pay your
money, and you take your choice." Suffice it, then, to record that, on
the night of this deponent's visit, the piece played from eight till
past eleven, and that the audience from first to last was generally
amused, but, I should be inclined to say, particularly disappointed
at the collapse of Mr. TERRY's part in the last Act (the principal
portion of which he passes curled up on a sofa, with the top of
his forehead powdered white! Why?), and mystified by the sudden and
apparently unnecessary revelation, made by _Miss Cazalet_, to the
effect that _Lucy Tuck_ (a mentally and physically short-sighted girl)
is her illegitimate daughter; and these two last-named personages,
though essential to the plot, fail unfortunately in rousing any
sentiment of pity or of sympathy.

Mr. ELLIOT is excellent as the _Hon. Montague Trimble_; nothing
better, apart from Mr. HARE's eccentric characters, has been seen on
the stage for some considerable time. I hope the author is of the same
opinion. Mr. FRED THORNE is capital as the Irish Member; and as _Mrs.
Hooley_, an obtrusively Irish eccentricity of Thackerayan extraction,
Miss ALEXES LEIGHTON is very good, for the character, as drawn by
the author, _is_ obtrusive, and is so meant to be. The _Mrs. Egerton
Bompas_ of Miss FANNY BROUGH is _the_ woman to the life, and, in my
humble judgment, Miss BROUGH's impersonation is well-nigh faultless.
Whether, if the part of _Egerton Bompas_ were played as high comedy,
this would still improve Miss BROUGH's impersonation of _Mrs. Bompas_
or not, it is difficult to decide; but I am inclined to think this
would be the result. What does the author think? Most likely he will
continue to "think"; it is the wiser course. Mr. HENRY V. ESMOND makes
the lad, _Howard Bompas_, unnecessarily repulsive; but if, in doing
so, he is only exactly carrying out the author's idea, i.e., "Master's
orders," then he is no longer responsible for the overcharged
colouring. The probable fate of this unhappy pair, an impulsive
uneducated kind of Irish orange-girl married to a contemptible
young sot, is not a pleasant termination to the story, nor is the
anticipatory sadness felt for the future of this ill-assorted couple
in any way dissipated by the stereotyped and perfunctory offer of
marriage made by the young London Journal Nobleman to the daughter of
the utterly crushed snob just before the Curtain descends.

Why the piece is called _The Times_, remains a mystery. _To-day_
would have been better; that is, if by _The Times_ is only meant "The
Present Day." And if it doesn't mean this, what meaning has it? For
alliterative advertisement it may be useful; e.g., "Times at TERRY's."
The dialogue generally is easy, natural and telling.



       *       *       *       *       *


    ["Such characters as he should retire into fiction, they
    are too exaggerated for real life."--_"Times" on Mr. R.L.
    Stevenson's Sad Maron of Samou._]

  Oh, most excellent true! How I thank thee, great _Times_,
    For teaching that phrase! 'Tis delicious!
  Fiction! The haunt of mad follies, crass crimes,
    Fads futile, and tastes meretricious.
  Oh, joy, to transport to that Limbo of Fools,
    Upon trial and honest conviction,
  The plagues of our Parties, our Churches, our Schools,
    Who ought to "retire into Fiction."

  When WINDYWHAME, M.P., goes spouting about,
    His flatulent madness and malice;
  When SLUDGE, after years of dogmatical doubt,
    Finds Faith's Wonderland worthy of _Alice_;
  When POPINJAY airs his effeminate Art,
    And DOBBS sputters dirt in choice diction,
  Ye gods, there'd be joy in Church, Forum, and Mart,
    If the fools would "retire into Fiction."

  Pragmatical pietists, sceptics obtuse
    Who Progress impede with crude cackle,
  Predestinate duffers of prattle profuse,
    Who the biggest world-problems would tackle;
  State-quacks, shouting Emperors, queer School-Board cranks,
    We'll give you our best benediction,
  And speed you at parting with heartiest thanks,
    If you'll only--"retire into Fiction!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EMANCIPATION.

_Young Bride of Three Hours' standing_ (_just starting on her Wedding

       *       *       *       *       *



    [At the meeting (at Birmingham) of the National Union of
    Conservative and Constitutional Associations, a resolution in
    favour of "considering the claims of women to be admitted to
    the franchise when entitled by ownership or occupation," was
    carried "by an overwhelming majority, amid loud cheers."
    Mrs. FAWCETT afterwards said, "What new forces were they (the
    Conservative Party) prepared to bring against the anarchy,
    socialism and revolution which were arrayed against them?
    The granting of women's suffrage would be against the
    disintegrating power of the other side, as women were
    everywhere anti-revolutionary forces.... This would add
    about 800,000 to the electorate. They would be, she believed,
    middle-aged women of property, than whom she thought they
    could not assemble more anti-revolutionary forces."]

_Trojan Leader loquitur_:--

  To arm the Amazons against the Greeks,
  OVIDIUS hints, proud manhood galls and piques.
  No doubt; yet NASO did it in his day,
  And we, in ours, who, sorely-pressed, would stay
  The rising tide of Revolution, check
  Disintegration, of the claws who'd peck
  At our political sleeves and platform hearts
  Must not be frightened.
      "Rummiest of starts,"
  The ribald Cockney cries; to see at length,
  "The Tory seeking to recruit his strength
  Prom those he dubbed, in earlier, scornfuller mood
  The crowing hens, the shrieking sisterhood!"
  Shade of sardonic SMOLLETT, haunt no more
  St. Stephen's precincts; list not to the roar
  Of the mad Midland cheers, when FEILDING's plan
  Of levelling (moneyed) Woman up to Man
  Wins "Constitutional" support and votes
  From a "majority" of Tory throats!
  Mrs. LYNN LINTON, how this vote must vex,
  That caustic censor of her own sweet sex!
  Wild Women--_with_ the Suffrage! Fancy that,
  O fluent Lady, at tart nick-names pat!
  Girls of the Period? They were bad enough,
  But what a deal of skimble-skamble stuff
  Will Mrs. FAWCETT's Middle-aged Ones talk
  When these eight hundred thousand _hens_ o' the walk
  Cackle for Order, Purity, and Peace!!!

  Partlets _may_ save our Capitol, as geese
  Once did the Roman; nigh a million--JUNOS,
  Roll back the tide of Revolution. Who knows?
  Not PRIAM-SALISBURY. Does _he_ look askance
  At the new Amazonian Queen's advance?
  Does he hide apprehension with a smile?
  The Amazons are used to Grecian guile;
  ACHILLES-GLADSTONE sorely they mistrust.
  Which side will give them more than fain it must?
  To-day the Trojans show the friendlier front
  PENTHESILEA, whom the Greeks would shunt,
  Proffers her aid to Tory Troy, to keep
  High Ilium against the foes who creep
  Nearer and nearer to its sacred walls.
  ACHILLES o'er the trenches loudly calls,
  In menace fierce, thrasonic in his boast,
  His Myrmidons, a mad and motley host,
  Mean boundless mischief, the Palladium's gone
  If they are not repulsed. It _must_ be done,
  Come what, come will. PRIAM has trimmed his sails
  To popular winds until the pilot fails
  To know the old and carefully charted course.
  His wisdom, and brave ARTHUR-HECTOR's force,
  May yet prove vain if no auxiliar hand
  Help yon Anarchic legions to withstand.
  The Amazonian host? Aha! Well hit!
  Scruple to take she-helping? Not a bit
  Too late for proud punctilio. No, this Queen
  Is not so lovely, of such royal mien,
  As hers who witched ACHILLES e'en in death.
  An elderly Amazon of shortish breath,
  With gingham huge and gig-lamps, though she hold
  That "Property" buckler broad and bossed with gold
  Is scarce a Siren--of the ancient style;
  More of Minerva's frown than Venus' smile!
  But then, eight hundred thousand!!! There's the rub.
  Recruited from the Platform and the Tub,
  With Middle-aged and Propertied Amazons,
  Ilium may master e'en the Myrmidons.
  Come, anti-revolutionaries, come!
  Strike Anarchy dead, and Socialism dumb!
  Accept new arms, ye maiden cohorts! Take
  The weapon that shall make ACHILLES shake,
  And reinforce, against the wiles of Greece,
  The powers of Property, Privilege, and Peace!

       *       *       *       *       *


  "All's for the best," smirks fatuous DIVES. He
  _Means_, "I'm the best, and therefore all's for _me_."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ARMING THE AMAZONS.


       *       *       *       *       *


We understand that Mr. GLADSTONE has followed, with much interest, the
speeches delivered in the country last week, and was observed to be
visibly affected at the touching spectacle of the final reconciliation
of Lord SALISBURY and Mr. CHAMBERLAIN at Birmingham. "They toil
not, neither do they spin," he said, furtively wiping away a tear;
"nevertheless, they seem made for each other's company."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "A Fantasy of Disordered Imagination."]

The Right Hon. Gentleman will take his turn next week, and a report
is current in interested quarters, that he as gone into training under
the personal direction of Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT and Mr. JOHN MORLEY,
who assist to support him whilst he rehearses his speech. This is
a fantasy of disordered imagination. Mr. G. is in splendid form,
spoiling for a fight.

       *       *       *       *       *

A trustworthy Correspondent informs us that, owing to accidental
displacement of his notes, a telling point was omitted from Lord
SALISBURY's first speech at Birmingham. It was intended to come in
at the passage where the PREMIER boldly flouted apprehension, of
Ministerial disaster at the General Election. He had meant to cite Mr.
JACKSON's appointment as conclusive proof that the Government would
exist at least up to the year 1900.

"SHAKSPEARE," he should have said, "has written, 'a tanner will last
you nine year,' and of course the duration of the Government will
be co-incidental with the prolongation of the term of our Financial
Secretary to the Treasury, withdrawn from commercial pursuits at

       *       *       *       *       *

HERR VON DER BLOWITZOWN-TROMP has some interesting reminiscences of
the lamented Baron MAC HINERY. "When he was appointed Legate at the
Court of the Isle of Man," writes the great historian of our times,
"he dined with me in passing through Nanterre. It was the very day the
Marquis DE MOULIN had been elected Pompier. The other guests were,
His Excellency the CON OF CRIM TARTARY, Prince ALLEZ-VOUS-EN, His
VENICE, and the Baron MUNCHAUSEN, who was a kind of amateur partner of
mine, in whom I had much confidence--I always left him with my day's
correspondence ready to be committed to paper. In the course of the
dinner a stupid _garçon_, handing the ice round, dropped a small piece
down the back of the neck of the DOGE of VENICE. With great presence
of mind Baron MUNCHAUSEN seized the poker (which fortunately happened
to be in the fire), and, with inimitable dexterity, passed the red-hot
brand between the DOGE's shirt-collar and his neck, and, deftly
touching the piece of ice, melted it. It was an awkward moment. The
canned lobster was just served, but no one thought of eating it. The
CON of CRIM TARTARY turning to Baron MAC HINERY, said,--

"You, my Lord, who are disinterested in this matter, tell us what you
think of it."

"I think," replied the Baron, with admirable _sangfroid_, "his
Highness the DOGE would have felt better if the ice had been warmer,
and the poker cooler."

Everybody laughed. The DOGE and Baron MUNCHAUSEN shook hands, and the
dinner ended gaily.

       *       *       *       *       *

RYMOND, writing _lui-même_ with too infrequent pen, makes pathetic
reference to the death of "one of the largest and best known purveyors
of Rhine wine, with whom I have had business relations and personal
intercourse for nearly thirty years." There is, we need hardly say,
no basis for the insinuation thrown out by HENED that the business
relations referred to were of the commission order sometimes
established between purveyors of Rhine and other wines and gentlemen
who have a wide circle of friends.

       *       *       *       *       *


    SCENE--_Interior of a First-class Railway Carriage.
    Theoretical Passenger and Practical Passenger discussing the
    "Unreadiness of England."_

_Theoretical Passenger_ (_at the conclusion of a long account of the
national shortcomings_). Yes, my dear Sir, France has only to declare
war to-morrow, and we are completely ruined! We cease to exist as a

_Practical Passenger_ (_with a smile_). But hasn't this been said
about us--by ourselves--for any number of years?

_Theo. Pas._ Doubtless, but that does not make it the less true.

_Prac. Pas._ Possibly; still, it is encouraging to find that we _do_
exist in spite of the "temptation to belong to other nations."

_Theo. Pas._ (_annoyed_). Ah! you treat the matter with levity; but
I assure you it is a most serious thing! How would you like to be

_Prac. Pas._ Not at all. The more especially as it would be a great
expense to the enemy.

_Theo. Pas._ (_with dignified resentment_). I see you consider the
subject a proper topic for raillery! It is a very fine day!

_Prac. Pas._ (_in a conciliatory tone_). No, no, I can assure you I am
deeply interested. But how about our Fleet--surely that should protect

_Theo. Pas._ You must be very much behind the age to say so. Our Fleet
is practically valueless. It is perfectly easy to invade us at a
dozen places. If the French went to Ireland (as they did in the last
century), the conquest of England would be assured. They would (with
the assistance of a friendly peasantry), get their supplies and make
good their footing.

_Prac. Pas._ But how about our Army?

_Theo. Pas._ A farce! An expensive farce. We have no Regulars, the
Militia exists only on paper, and the Volunteers are valueless.

_Prac. Pas._ Then why not have a Conscription--that would bring up our
Army with a run?

_Theo. Pas._ A Conscription! My dear Sir, the nation wouldn't think of
such a thing! No, not for a single moment!

_Prac. Pas._ (_after a pause_). Well, what is to be done?

_Theo. Pas._ (_promptly_). Nothing, except to write to the papers and
submit to our fate.

_Prac. Pas._ Is there any objection to the construction of the Channel

_Theo. Pas._ (_carelessly_). None in the least--but why do you ask?

_Prac. Pas._ Because, if in the case of war, the entire French nation
pours into England;--as you say it will?

_Theo. Pas._ Certainly.

_Prac. Pas._ The best thing we can do is to utilise the Tunnel, pour
into France, and stay there! It will be only changing sides!

    [_Conversation interrupted by whistle, and consequent rattle
    and darkness._

       *       *       *       *       *



    [Sir JAMES CRICHTON-BROWNE thinks that "the reserve and
    suppression of emotional movement which is observed in
    English people" will probably result in all the women becoming
    sphinxes, and all the men sticks.]

  "Oh! do wag your head!" said the Sphinx to the Stick.
  "I _can't_," he replied, "or I would, darling, quick!
  If you'll only indulge in a shrug and some winks,
  You'll perhaps set _me_ off," said the Stick to the Sphinx.
  "Nay, long 'inhibition,'" the Sphinx made reply,
  "Has imparted rigidity, love, to my eye."
  "'Emotional movement' no longer is mine,"
  Sighed the Stick to the Sphinx; "though I greatly incline
  To a dig in your ribs, or a slap on your back
  (As a sign of my love), all my muscles are slack.
  My poor 'motor-centres' are all out of gear,
  And I can't even 'chuck' your soft chin, sweet, I fear.
  I'm sure such a stolid inflexible 'stick' you'll hate,
  But, though I adore you, I _cannot_ gesticulate--"
  "My case is as bad," sighed the Sphinx to the Stick,
  "For I cannot 'bridle'--no more than a brick."
  Said the Stick to the Sphinx, "Ah, we once knew what love meant!
  But, thanks to the loss of 'emotional movement,'
  We can't give it 'graceful and chastened expression,'
  And so it seems slipping fast out of possession.
  Heigho! we had far better die, darling, quick!
  Since you are a Sphinx, love, and I'm but a Stick!"

       *       *       *       *       *

VERY LIKELY--JUST NOW.--A place to spend a Quiet Sunday--Eastbourne.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



The _Savants_ were gathered together to consider the question of
Hypnotism. They had been appointed by a learned Association, and their
Hon. Secretary had distinguished himself by writing a letter, which if
eccentric in punctuation, was yet to the point.

"We must not forget, Gentlemen," said one of the learned persons,
"that we have been appointed to investigate the use of Hypnotism as
a therapeutic agent. It will be our duty to ascertain, if it is
possible, that operations can be performed under the shield of its

"You are indeed right," replied another, "and it is fortunate in one
sense that we have not had the advantage of greeting at our board,
Doctor OWEN COLEMAN of Dunedin, Surbiton."

"Why so?" asked a third.

"Because," returned _Savant_ No. 2, "that distinguished Member of the
Medical Profession can give instances of successful treatment under
the prescribed circumstances. For instance, JULES CLOQUET, as early
as 1845 was using Hypnotism in the cause of painless surgery. However,
our pleasant little gathering can do no harm."

"Perhaps not," acquiesced _Savant_ No. 3. "Although it is only right
to remark that had we had Dr. COLEMAN's knowledge, we should have
possibly considered it _qua_ Committee a trifle superfluous."

"Do you not think we ought to visit the Aquarium?" asked the first
speaker. "I am told that there is a Hypnotist who appears there twice
a-day, and whose exhibition, from a scientific point of view, should
be decidedly interesting."

After this there was a speedy departure, and for some hours the
Committee lounged about the Aquarium, They there saw a female acrobat
of great strength. Then they paid a visit to the Alhambra, where they
met a pleasant young lady, who, seemingly without any assistance,
lifted four or five bulky gentlemen seated on a chair. This she did
without any exertion and with a smiling countenance. On their return
to their private room, they seemed somewhat hostile to the pretensions
of the Hypnotist, whose feats they had just witnessed--they preferred
to his performances the feats of the Magnetic Lady.


"Quite a mistake," said one; "instead of taking off a leg, or showing
the strength of a billiard cue, he makes men believe that they are
swimming in a tank!"

"Very undignified," remarked another; "it would have been so much
better had he performed a surgical operation--say, setting a compound
fracture of the leg, like that performed by two medical men in 1845;
and more interesting to the vast majority of the audience."

"But the Alhambra was excellent," was the reply. "Suppose we send
to our Committee a Report of the 'Magnetic Lady' and ignore the

And so it was decided, and it was time to write their Report. Then
pens, ink, and paper were produced, and the _Savants_ prepared for
work. They had scarcely commenced, when a gentleman stood in their
midst, and glared at them. He gave them each a disc, and commanded
them to gaze upon its surface. Then, one by one, they fell over fast
asleep. He placed them back in their chairs.

"Now for your Report," he murmured. "And so you would ignore _my_
show and praise another! But you are in my power, and _shall_ obey
me! Write what I dictate!" And so they wrote. And, strange as it may
appear to non-believers in Hypnotism, the Report, when published,
was found to be an excellent advertisement for the Royal Westminster

       *       *       *       *       *





       *       *       *       *       *


_Orl Court, E.C.[2]_

I am preparing a big _coup_, and wish all my friends to be in it. My
friends are legion, it is true, but they may depend upon me to do the
best for all. Nothing on the gigantic scale I am now preparing has
been seen or heard of in the Financial World since the days of the
Flood, when NOAH's floating capital weathered the storm. What was
the stock worth when Father NOAH once again touched land? Expect the
biggest result ever known. I may be sanguine. I have the right to be


"PONY."--Yes. Buy A. and C.N.B.--Invest big cheque with yours truly.
The only safe and profitable investment.

"D.A.H."--Don't you do it, or you'll be H.A.D. Send cheques here.
Strict account kept, and gains delivered in cash by special messenger.

"A HESITATER."--Don't doubt for a moment. Sell everything right off,
and invest proceeds by cheque with your friend."

"A.S.S."--The Dividend days of the "_Ex-Nihilo-Fit Loan and Insurance
Company_ are April 1, up to mid-day, and September 31.

So much for some of the principal Correspondents who require an answer
in my weekly article. As for myself, I can only say that my motto is,
"_Confidentia Illimitata et Nulla Pecunia redditur_." Within the last
month the gross earnings of the office on behalf of my clients has
been £12,345,678,910 which compares favourably with the previous
month. Every penny of this, equal to 50 per cent. profit to every one
of my clients, will be distributed within a week with a handsome bonus
of twenty-five pounds to everyone sending in his coupon or cheque
for fifteen sovereigns by twelve o'clock next Tuesday, after which
hour it is impossible for any one, be he who he may, from Kaiser to
Chimney-sweeper, to participate in the enormous profit which will have
been honestly earned by

Yours truly,


[Footnote 2: N.B.--Note change of address.]

       *       *       *       *       *

SHORTLY TO APPEAR.--_A Morning without Boots_, by the Author of _A
Knight without Spurs_.

       *       *       *       *       *





  I went down to the Psychical Society one night,
  And heard them talk of Spooks and things that filled me with affright.
  The Psychical Society, as every member boasts,
  Was founded with the object of investigating Ghosts!
  Now Ghosts, the modern species, are of very various sorts,
  For like some plants, as botanists say, they seem to run to "sports."
  I used to think a spectre _was_ a spectre, but I find
  The "Psychical" can furnish Spooks of every class and kind.



  Some of the Ghosts are little, some of the Ghosts are big,
  Some come in the guise of a headless man, and some of a spectre pig.
  Some of them laugh "Ha! ha!" Some of them wail "Heigho!"
  And I felt that night in a doose of a fright before it was time to go.

  I had read _Phantasmagoria_ by that writer quaint but grand,
  Who penned _The Hunting of the Snark_ and _Alice in Wonderland_.
  And I thought I knew a thing or two, or might be even three,
  About a Ghoul, and a Fay or Troll, and a Brownie or Banshee.
  I knew that a Banshee always howled, whilst a Goblin might but yawn,
  I also knew that a Poltergeist was _not_ a Leprechaun,
  But the Psychicals, I'm bound to say, had me on "buttered toastes"
  With the wonderful changes which they rang on the good old Churchyard


  Some of their Ghosts were sages, some of them seemed sheer noddies;
  Some of the same like a "Wandering Flame," and others as "Astral
  Some of theirs croaked "Ha! ha!" some of them chuckled "Ho! ho!"
  And I got so sad, I was heartily glad when I found it was time to go.

  I dropped into the "Rose and Crown," a highly respectable tavern,
  For Ghosts are dry, and my thirst was high, my throat like a chalky
  I didn't have much, only four of cold Scotch, which is good to moisten
  The night was fine, it was twelve twenty-nine, so I thought I might
      just as well walk.
  But when I entered Trafalgar Square, I heard a mysterious sound;
  There was not even a Bobby in sight as I stole a glance around;
  But seated on NELSON's lions four, and perched on the neighbouring
  I saw, as we said in our Nursery Rhyme, a dozen or so of "Ghosteses"!


  Some of the Ghosts were short, some of the Ghosts were tall,
  Some of them had most preposterous noddles, and some of them none at all,
  They all gave a shrill "Ha! ha!" they all gave a hushed "Ho! ho!"
  I turned in a fright and I wished 'em good night--but they would not let
      me go!

  Then one of the Ghosts began to speak; down on my knees I sank,
  "I am a Nobleman's Ghost," said he, "and mine offence is Rank!
  I never cared for the Common Herd, the People I loved to crush;
  My only remark on the Poor was 'Pooh!' my retort to the Toilers 'Tush!'
  And if they dared to grumble, why, I used to raise my rents,
  For I always held that the Mob were made to keep up the Cent-per-cents,
  And now in this Square I hear BURNS's blare, see the Red Banner wave,
  And Society swished by the Socialist; so I cannot rest in my grave."


  Another Ghost commenced. He said: "I was a great R.A.
  (I remember the time when we used to meet in "the pepper-pots," over
      the way),
  My daubs were always hung on the line, for ourselves we used to judge,
  Our sole Ideal conventional cant, our _technique_ broad brown smudge.
  And now BURNE JONES's pictures _sell_!!!"--here he writhed with a
      spectral twist--
  "And our 'broad brown smudge' gives way to the fudge cranks call
  I've lost my head, as perhaps you mark--though I keep a ventriloquist
  What's the use of a head to an Artist Ghost, who has never a chance
      to be hung?"


  A Lawyer's Ghost wept on his post, and then began to state
  That the Revolution of Sixty-eight--he meant of Six-_and_-eight--
  For the abolition of needless fees, and the stopping of useless jaw,
  Had capped the murder of Privilege by the massacre of Law:
  Order, this Spook went on to state, was the prey of police--less prank,
  All the real jam of life was lost with the abolition of Rank.
  Here he wept! Ah! _can_ there be a sight a pitiful breast to thrill
  Like the Ghost of a Lawyer dropping a tear o'er the Ghost of a
      Lawyer's Bill?


  I woke. A pain possessed my head. The gathered Ghosts were gone,
  And I lay there in Trafalgar Square, on a cold stone alone.
  I seemed to hear a wailing cry, a whisper on the breeze,
  Which said, in accents I well knew, "_Now then, Time, Gentlemen,
  It may have been the warning to recall those vagrant Ghosts
  To ---- wheresoever they abide, poor pallid spectral hosts!
  What it all meant I cannot tell, but this at least I know,
  To that Psychical Society no more at night I'll go!


  Some of the Ghosts did goggle, some of the Spooks did stare,
  But there they sat in a spectral row round "the Squirts" in Trafalgar
  They all gave a loud "Ha! ha!" they all gave a loud "Ho! ho!"
  And I turned and fled, and got home to bed as the rooster began to crow!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NAKED TRUTH.--Our old friend, Mrs. RAMSBOTHAM, was reading, the
other day, a letter in the _Times_ about "Electrical Tramways," when
she came upon a line stating that "two naked conductors" would be
used. Much shocked, she was about to look at something else in the
paper when she noticed that "one of the conductors was to be carried
on poles," and another to be "laid rigid between the rails!" Horrified
at this apparent brutality, the worthy lady has been writing letters
(in draft) to the Commissioner of Police ever since!

       *       *       *       *       *


  Recrimination is vexation,
    Sedition is as bad;
  Home Rule the-o-ry much puzzles J.B.
    _Such_ practice proves _you_ mad!

       *       *       *       *       *

A TIMELY SUGGESTION.--Commenting upon the exceptionally bad
case of the Rev. Mr. CLUTTERBUCK last week, the _Times_ asks if
something cannot be done to put down betting by turf-agencies, and
stock-exchange gambling per "bucket-shops." We regret our inability to
suggest an immediate remedy, but, as a warning and a reminder, let the
last-named institutions be called "Clutterbucket-shops."

       *       *       *       *       *

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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