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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, July 18, 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, July 18, 1891" ***

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VOL. 101.

July 18, 1891.




I had not intended to annoy you with another letter. But since I
addressed you last week I have received one or two communications--not
from you, _bien entendu_, for you are too wary to dispute the accuracy
of what I have written; but from concrete human beings, who pretend to
speak on your behalf, and deny that I have "proved my case." I might
answer by saying that I never set out to prove a case--that I wished
merely to enjoy a friendly chat with you, and to appeal to your
clemency on behalf of the large class whom I ventured to represent by
the DABCHICKS. "But," says one of my detractors, in a letter now lying
before me, "you have only given one instance. You have talked grandly
about Queens, and Dukes, and actresses, and, in the end, you have
put us off with a wretched story about the _parvenu_ DABCHICK. For
my part, I refuse to admit your authority until you prove, in greater
detail, that you really know something of the subject on which you
presumed to write." "Sir," I reply, "you are brusque, and somewhat
offensive in the style you use towards me. For my part I do not admit
that you are entitled to an answer from me, and I have felt disposed
to pass you by in silence. But since there may be other weak vessels
of your sort, I will do violence to myself, and pen another letter."
And thus, my dear SOCIAL AMBITION, I once more take the liberty of
addressing you, not without an inward tremor lest you should pounce
upon me unawares, and cause me to expiate my rashness by driving me
from the calm seclusion in which I spend my days, to mingle with the
feverish throng who wrangle for place and precedence, myself the most
feverish wrangler of them all. But, on the principle that we are both,
in some sort, hawks, I think I may trust you to spare my eyes, while I
remind you of one or two incidents in which you bore a part.

And first BLENKINSOP knocks at the door of my memory. I bid him
enter, and I see a tall slim youth, not ill-favoured, wearing well-cut
clothes, and carrying a most beautiful, gold-topped Malacca cane
delicately in his hand. He is smoking a cigar, and complains to me
that his life is a succession of aimless days, and that he cannot find
any employment to turn his hand to. That very night, I remember, he
dined with me. We went to the play together, and afterwards looked in
at Lady ALICIA PARBOIL's dance. Dear Lady ALICIA, how plump she was,
and how good-natured, and how well she married her fiddle-headed
daughters. Her husband too, that clumsy, heavy-witted oaf, how
cunningly and how successfully withal she schemed for his advancement.
_Quid plura?_ you knew her well, she was devoted to you. I only speak
of her to remind you that it was in her hospitable rooms that GERVASE
BLENKINSOP met you--and his fate. He had danced for the second time
that evening with ELVIRA PARBOIL, and, having returned that blushing
virgin to her accustomed corner, was just about to depart when the
ample form of Lady ALICIA bore down upon him: "Oh, Mr. BLENKINSOP,"
her Ladyship began, "I really cannot allow you to go before I
introduce you to Mr. WILBRAHAM. I hear," she continued, "he has just
lost his Private Secretary, and who knows but that--" Here she paused,
and archly tapping her _protégé's_ cheek with her fan, she bore him
off to introduce him to the Cabinet Minister. I watched the ceremony.
Something whispered to me that BLENKINSOP was lost. Must I go through
the whole painful story? He became Private Secretary to his new Right
Honourable friend, and from that moment he was a changed man. His
cheery good-nature vanished. Instead of it he cultivated an air of
pompous importance. One by one he weeded out his useless friends, and
attached to himself dull but potentially useful big wigs who possessed
titles and influence. At one of our last speaking interviews (we
only nod distantly now when we meet), he hinted that in the next
distribution of honours his name might be expected. It appeared, but,
alas for gratitude, he had to satisfy himself with a paltry K.C.M.G.,
which his wife (I forgot to say that he married ELVIRA) despises.
He is now a disappointed man whom his friends, if he had any, would
pity. He is getting on in life; the affectations he so laboriously
cultivated no longer amuse. The witlings of his Clubs remark openly
upon his ridiculous desire to pose as an earth-shaking personage, and
when he goes home he has to listen to a series of bitter home-truths
from the acrid ELVIRA. Would it not, I ask, have been better for
Sir GERVASE BLENKINSOP, K.C.M.G., to have continued his ancient and
aimless existence, than to have had a fallacious greatness dangled
before his eyes to the end of his disappointed, but aspiring life?


One more instance, and I have done. Do you remember TOMMY TIPSTAFF at
Trinity? I do. He was, of course, a foolish youth, but he might have
had a pleasant life in the fat living for which his family intended
him. In his second year at the University, he met Sir JAMES SPOOF,
an undergraduate Baronet, of great wealth, and dissolute habits. Poor
TOMMY was dazzled by his new friend's specious glare and glitter, and
his slapdash manner of scattering his money. They became inseparable.
The same dealer supplied them with immense cigars, they went to
race meetings, and tried to break the ring. When Sir JAMES wished to
gamble, TOMMY was always ready to keep the bank. And all the time poor
Mrs. TIPSTAFF, in her country home, was overjoyed at her darling's
success in what she told me once was the most brilliant and remarkable
set at Cambridge.

Where is TOMMY now? The other day a ragged man shambled up to me,
with a request that I should buy a box of lights from him. There was
a familiar something about him. Could it be TOMMY? The question was
indirectly answered, for, before I could extract a penny, or say a
word, he looked hard at me, turned his head away, and made off as fast
as his rickety legs would carry him. Most men must have had a similar
experience, but few know, as I do, that you, my dear SOCIAL AMBITION,
urged the wretched TOMMY to his destruction.

On the whole, I dislike you. Those who obey you become the meanest of
God's creatures.

Pardon my candour, and believe me, Yours, without respect, DIOGENES

       *       *       *       *       *


LORD COLERIDGE's summing up to the Jury in the action taken by _Jones_
(author of burlesques) v. _Roberts_ (player of the same) was excellent
common sense, a quality much needed in the case. Mr. JONES,--not our
ENERY HAUTHOR, whose contempt for Burlesque generally is as well known
as he can make it,--wrote to Mr. ARTHUR ROBERTS, formerly of the
Music Halls and now of the legitimate Stage, styling him "Governor,"
and professed that he would "fit him to a T." _Poeta nascitur non
"fit_."--and the born burlesque-versifier was true to what would
probably be his comic version of the Latin proverb. But the inimitable
ARTHUR, who does so much for himself on the stage, hardly required any
extraneous help, and at last rejected the result of poor JONES's three
months' hard labour at the Joe-Millery mill. This, however, was no
joke to JONES, who straightway decided that this time he would give
the inimitable ARTHUR something quite new in the way of a jest; and
so, dropping the dialogue, he came to "the action," which, in this
instance, was an action-at-law. Whatever Mr. ROBERTS may have thought
of the words, he will hardly have considered the result of this case
as "good business" from his own private and peculiar point of view.
But all Dramatic Authors,--with the solitary exception of Mr. YARDLEY,
formerly famous in the field, but now better known in "The Lane," at
pantomime time, than to any Court where he has a legal right to appear
in wig and gown,--from the smallest, who write to please a "Governor,"
up to the biggest, who write to please themselves, should rejoice at
the decision in the case of _Jones_ v. _Roberts_.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN OMISSION AT THE GUILDHALL LUNCHEON.--On the occasion of the Civic
Banquet to the German EMPEROR, an Alderman, distinguished for his
courtesy to strangers, and his appreciation of good dishes, especially
of anything at all spicy, wished to know why, as a compliment to their
Imperial guest, they had omitted "pickelhaubes" from the bill of fare?
He had understood, from well-informed friends, that the EMPEROR seldom
went anywhere without some "pickelhaubes," whatever they might be,
as he himself, the worthy Alderman, had never had the opportunity of
tasting one.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


  The storm of rain comes swirling down,
    Our helpless flow'rets droop and die;
  The thunder crashes o'er the town--
            In wet July.

  Our cricket-match is spoilt, the stumps
    We draw beneath a drenching sky;
  Then homeward wend in doleful dumps--
            In wet July.

  The lawn's a lake, whereon there float
    The balls that erst would o'er it fly;
  We can't play tennis from a boat,
            In wet July.

  Our garden-party's ruined quite,
    Of invitations friends fight shy;
  They wisely shun the sloppy sight
            In wet July.

  Take that old aneroid away,
    A new barometer we'll try;
  With hope for haply one fine day--
            In wet July.

       *       *       *       *       *

BEATING THE RECORD.--Mrs. MALAPROP's "Cerberus, as three single
gentlemen rolled into one," was "not in it" last week with H.R.H. the
Prince of WALES, who, in the course of the Royal Entertainments given
to our Imperial Cousin-German, appeared as "a host of illustrious
personages." An admirable performance.

       *       *       *       *       *


  PARNELL put the KETTLE on,
    TIM HEALY came it rather strong,
  HAMMOND was the people's man,
          And he's now M.P.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Jones_ (_Blue Ribbon--to abstemious Lady he has taken in to dinner_).

       *       *       *       *       *


    _Alice_ ... The TH-ND-R-R. _White Queen_ ... H-RC-RT.
    _Red Queen_ ... CH-MB-RL-N.

"I'll tell you what it is, your Majesty," said ALICE in a severe tone
(she was always rather fond of scolding the White Queen), "it'll never
do to swagger about all over the place like that! Dignitaries have to
be dignified, you know!"

Everything was happening so oddly (since Thunderland had turned
against Blunderland) that she didn't feel a bit surprised at finding
the Red Queen and the White Queen sitting close to her, one on
each side. But she found it rather difficult to be quite civil to
them--especially the White Queen, who had once been rather a favourite
with her, but at whom she now never lost an opportunity of girding.

"Always speak the truth," said the Red Queen (cocking her nose at the
White)--"think before you speak--and _write it down afterwards_. It's
safest, if you're dealing with _some_ persons."

"That's just what I complain of," said the White Queen, loftily. "You
couldn't tell the truth--about that Table--if you tried with both

"I don't tell the truth with my _hands_," the Red Queen objected,

"Nobody said you did," said the White Queen. "Nobody said you told
it _anyhow_. I said you couldn't if you tried. And you _don't_ try
either. So _there_!"

"She's in that state of mind," said the Red Queen, "that she wants to
deny _something_--only she doesn't know what to deny!"

"A nasty vicious temper," the White Queen remarked; and then there was
an uncomfortable silence for a month or two.

The White Queen broke the silence by saying to the Red Queen, "I
invite you to ALICE's Party--which _used_ to be neutral ground--to
explain, if you _can_, that nondescript nonsense of yours about
National Councils as a substitute for Home Rule."

The Red Queen smiled sourly, and said, "And I invite _you_"

"I didn't know _I_ was to have a Party at all," said ALICE. "Parties
are things I don't hold with, as a rule; too great a tax and a tie. I
like my freedom, _I_ do. But, if I _am_ to have one, I think _I_ ought
to invite the guests."

"ALICE of Thunderland, you require some lessons in manners," the White
Queen remarked.

"Manners are not taught in lessons," said ALICE. "Lessons teach _some_
people to do sums, and things of that sort."

"Can you do addition?" the Red Queen asked scornfully of the White.
("Bah, she can't do sums a _bit_!" she added, aside.)

"She is doubtless better at _Division_," interposed ALICE,

"Divide a State by a Statutory Parliament," said the Red Queen, with a
derisive wink. "What's the right answer to that?"

"Much the same as dividing a Nation by an indefinite number of
Councils," retorted the White Queen, smartly. "Talk about _tu
quoques_, there's one for you!"

"Oh, as for that," rejoined the Red Queen, sniffing, "try another
subtraction sum! Take a Grand Old Leader from a 'Party' of discredited
'Items,' and what would remain?"

"Why, a Policy, of course," replied the White Queen. "And another
Leader," she added, _sotto voce_. "Here's another for _you_," she
pursued, aloud. "Take a Liberal-Unionist Tail from a Radical 'Rat,'
what would remain then?"

"I suppose _you_ think _nothing_ would remain," sneered the Red Queen.

"Wrong, as usual," said the White Queen; "the Rat's nasty temper would

"But I don't see how!"

"Why, look here," the White Queen cried; "the Rat would lose its
temper with its 'tail,' wouldn't it?"

"Perhaps it would," ALICE replied, cautiously.

"Then, if the 'Rat' went away from its 'Tail,' its temper would
remain," the White Queen exclaimed.

ALICE said, as gravely as she could. "They might go different
ways--the 'Rat,' the 'Tail,' and the 'Temper.'" But she couldn't help
thinking to herself, "What dreadful nonsense we _are_ talking!"

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ONLY ONE.--A ready-penning writer in his _Daily Graphic_ notice of
doings in the Houses of Parliament, winds up his description of giving
the Royal Assent to Bills in the Upper House with these words--"_So
ends the ceremony, which seems to take one away from the Nineteenth
Century_"--a little sum in subtraction--i.e., take one away from
the Nineteenth Century, and the Eighteenth Century remains; but to
continue--"_back to the days of the Edwards and the Henrys_." But why
go back to any other century than the "so-called Nineteenth"? Isn't it
only a very few years ago that _the_ EDWARDS, the singular HENRY with
plural surname of EDWARDS, sat for Weymouth? What other HENRYS or
EDWARDS could ever occur to any well-conditioned Parliamentary scribe?

       *       *       *       *       *



    SCENE--_An Evening Party; Miss FRESIA BLUDKINSON, a talented
    young Professional Reciter, has been engaged to entertain the
    company, and is about to deliver the favourite piece entitled,
    "The Lover of Lobelia Bangs, a Cowboy Idyl." There is the
    usual crush, and the guests outside the drawing-room, who can
    neither hear nor see what is going on, console themselves by
    conversing in distinctly audible tones. Jammed in a doorway,
    between the persons who are trying to get in, and the people
    who would be only too glad to get out, is an Unsophisticated
    Guest who doesn't know a soul, and is consequently reduced to
    listening to the Recitation. This is what he hears:--_

[Illustration: "I am only a Cowboy."]

_Miss Fresia Blud_. (_in a tone of lady-like apology_).

  I am only a Cowboy--

[_Several Ladies put up their glasses, and examine her critically, as
if they had rather expected this confession. Sudden burst of Society
Chatter from without._

_Society Chatter_. How d'ye do?... Oh, but her parties never _are_!...
How are you?... No, I left her at ... Yes, he's somewhere about ...
Saw you in the Row this mornin'.... Are you doing anything on ----?...
Oh, _what_ a shame!... No, but _doesn't_ she now?... No earthly use
trying to get in at present ... &c., &c.

_Miss Fresia B._ (_beginning again, with meek despair, a little

  I am only a Cowboy; reckless, rough, in an unconventional suit of clothes;
  I hain't, as a rule, got much to say, and my conversation is mostly oaths.

    [_Cries of "Ssh!" intended, however, for the people outside,
    who are chattering harder than ever._

  When the cackle of females strikes my ear--

_Society Chatter_ (_as before_). Oh, _much_ cooler here ... Yes,
delightful, wasn't it? Everybody one knows ... No, you don't
_really_?... Oh, POPSY's flourishing, thanks ... The new Butler turned
out a perfect demon ... but I said I wouldn't have his tail dooked
for anything ... so they've painted it _eau de Nil_, and it looks _so_

_Miss F.B._ (_pointedly_).

  When the cackle of females strikes my ear, I jest vamose, for they
      make me skeered,
  And I sorter suspicion I skeer them too, with my hulking form, and
      my bushy beard!

    [_Here, of course, she strokes a very round chin._

_Society Chatter_. Seems to be somethin' goin' on in there--singin',
actin', dancin', or somethin' ... Well, of course, only heard _her_
version of it as yet, y'know ... Have you seen him in ... white
bensaline with a Medici collar, and one of those ... nasty gouty
attacks he _will_ have are only rheumatism, &c., &c.

_Miss F.B._ (_when next heard_).

  I cleared my throat, and I tried to speak--but the words died

_A Feminine Voice outside_. So _long_ since we had a quiet talk
together! Do tell me all about, &c., &c.

_Miss F.B._                         --strangled by sheer alarm.

  For there in front--

    [_Here she points dramatically at a stout matron, who fans
    herself consciously._

              --was the slender form, and the sweet girl-face of our
      new "School Harm"!
  Say, boys! hev' ye heard an Æolian harp which a Zephyr's tremulous
      finger twangs?
  Wa'al, it kinder thrills ye the way I felt when I first beheld

_Soc. Chat._ Oh, you really _ought_ to go--so touching! DICK and I
both regularly howled all through the last Act ... Not in the _least_,
thanks. Well, if there _is_ a seat ... You're sure there _are_ any
ices? Then, strawberry, please--no, _nothing_ to drink!... _Will_ you
allow me?... Told she could dress hair perfectly, but I soon found she
was ... a Swedenborgian, my dear, or something horrid ... Haven't you?
_I've_ had it three times, and ... so many people have asked me for
cards that really I ... had the drains thoroughly looked to, and now
they're ... delicious, but rather overpowering in a _room_, I think!
&c., &c.

_Miss F.B._ (_with genuine feeling_).

  Who would imagine one meek-voiced girl could have held her own, in a
      deafening din!
  But LOBELIA's scholars discovered soon she'd a dead-sure notion of
  For her satin palm had a sting like steel, and the rowdiest rebel
      respected her,
  When she'd stretched out six of the hardest lots in the Bible-Class
      with a Derringer!

_Soc. Chat._ No, a very dull party, you could move about quite easily
in all the rooms, so we ... kicked the whole concern to shivers and
... came on here as soon as we could ... Capital dinner they _gave_
us, too ... &c., &c.

_Miss F.B._ (_with as much conviction as possible under the

  And the silence deepened; no creature stirred in the stagnant hush,
      and the only sound
  Was the far-off lumbering jolt, produced by the prairie rolling for
      leagues around!

_Soc. Chat._ (_crescendo_). Oh, an old aunt of mine has gone in for
step-dancing--she's had several lessons ... and cut her knees rather
badly, y'know, so I put her out to grass ... and now she can sit
up and hold a biscuit on her nose ... but she really ought to mix a
little grey in her wig!

    [_&c. &c., to the distraction of the Unsophisticated Guest,
    who is getting quite interested in LOBELIA BANGS whom he
    suddenly discovers, much to his surprise, on horseback._

_Miss F.B._

  And on we cantered, without a word, in the midday heat, on our swift
  I was only ignorant Cowboy CLEM--but I worshipped bright LOBELIA BANGS!

_Soc. Chat._ (_fortissimo_). Not for ages; but last time I met him he
was ... in a dreadful state, with the cook down with influenza ... and
so I suppose he's _married_ her by this time!

_Miss F.B._ (_excitedly_).

  But hark! in the distance a weird shrill cry, a kinder mournful,
      monotonous yelp--

(_Further irruption of Society Chatter_) ... is it jackal?--bison?--a
cry for help?

_Soc. Chat._ Such a complete _rest_, you know--so perfectly peaceful!
Not a soul to talk to. I _love_ it ... but, to really enjoy a tomato,
you must see it dressed ... in the _sweetest_ little sailor suit!

_Miss F.B._

  My horse was a speck on the pampas' verge, for I dropped the rein in
      my haste to stoop;
  Then I pressed my ear to the baking soil--and caught--ah, horror--the
      Indian whoop!

_Soc. Chat._ Some say it _isn't_ infectious, but one can't be too
careful, and, with children in the house, &c., &c.

_Miss F.B._

  I rose to my feet with quivering knees, and my face turned white as a
      fresh-washed towel;
  I had heard a war-cry I knew too well--'twas the murderous band of
      Blue-nosed Owl!

_Soc. Chat._ Nice fellow--I'm very fond of him--so fresh--capital
company--met him when I was over there, &c.

_Miss F.B._

  "What? leave you to face those fiends alone!" she cried, and slid from
      her horse's back;
  "Let me die with you--for I love you, CLEM!" Then she gave her steed a
      resounding smack,
  And he bounded off; "Now Heaven be praised that my school six-shooter
      I brought!" said she.
  "Four barrels I'll keep for the front-rank foes--and the next for
      you--and the last for me!"

_Soc. Chat._ Is it a _comic_ piece she's doing, do you know? Don't
think so, I can see somebody smiling. Sounds rather like SHAKSPEARE,
or DICKENS, or one of those fellahs ... Didn't catch what you said. No
Quite impossible to hear oneself speak, _isn't_ it?

_Miss F.B._

  And ever louder the demons yelled for their pale-faced prey--but I
      scorned death's pangs,
  For I deemed it a doom that was half delight to die by the hand of
  Then she whispered low in her dulcet tones, like the crooning coo of
      a cushat dove!
  (_At the top of her voice_). "Forgive me, CLEM, but I could not bear
      any squaw to torture my own true love!"
  And she raised the revolver--"crack-crack-crack!"

    [_To the infinite chagrin of the Unsophisticated Guest, who
    is intensely anxious to hear how Miss BANGS and her lover
    escaped from so unpleasant a dilemma--the remaining cracks
    of her revolver, together with the two next stanzas, are
    drowned in a fresh torrent of small-talk--after which he
    hears Miss F.B. conclude with repressed emotion_:

  But the ochre on Blue-nosed Owl was blurred, as his braves concluded
      their brief harangues;
  And he dropped a tear on the early bier of our Prairie belle, LOBELIA

    [_Which of course leaves him in a state of hopeless

_Soc. Chat._ Is that the _end_? Charming! Now we shall be able to
_talk_ again! &c., &c.

       *       *       *       *       *




[Illustration: Native Amusements--"A Poor House."]


Haven't time to send you much information this week, as We,--the firm
of Self and Corresponding Captain,--have had to write rather a heavy
packet for the Daily Graphic. I suppose you will have got Herr Von
GERMAN EMPEROR with you by the time you receive this from yours truly;
or His Imperialness may have quitted your,--that is, our, though
I'm here now,--hospitable shores. _À propos_ of Hospitable Shores,
remember me to the most hospitable of all Shores--Captain SHAW--of
the Fire-and-Water Brigade. My companions--"Jolly companions
everyone"--the Cautious Captain, or the Wily WILLIAMS, Doubting
Doctor, Energetic Engineer, all well. Wily WILLIAMS hard at his MS.,
giving an account of the "agricultural and mineral resources" of
the What-can-the-Matterbeland, "through the instrumentality of the
Chartered Company." He's great at this. Think I shall start new
Company--"The Chartered Libertine." If my memory doesn't fail me,
that's a Shakspearian title. But who was the "Chartered Libertine"? I
notice these South-African States are independent of Home Government.
'Pon my word, I fancy W.E.G. was right about Home Rule. On whose
shoulders can the G.O.M.'s mantle fall, without enveloping him in
entire obscurity, except on those of the Leader or the once united,
but now fractured _quartette_ party, "_quorum pars magna fui_?" I
still keep up my Latin, you see. I wasn't sent to Eton for nothing;
nor was any other boy that I've ever heard of.

[Illustration: Caperycornamental Hairdressing.]


No wonder we've had so many dancing parties at the Cape, when all the
inhabitants are Capers. I make this a present to my dear old DRUMMY;
he can bring it out in his new Persian _Joe Miller_. Cheeky little
street-boys give you Capers' sauce. They can lead you a pretty dance
if you chivy them.


To-day came across a Peep-Boer-Show. Seen it all before. Also a kind
of Punch-and-Judy performance going on, translated into South-African
dialect. There was not a paying public to witness it; and, with all
my desire and with every intention to encourage native talent, I was
compelled to turn away, "more in sorrow than in anger," (SHAKSPEARE
again--_Hamlet's Ghost_, I think,) when the pipe-and-drummer man came
to me for a contribution. Not a penny in my pocket. "I will reimburse
thee nobly," said I, "on my return from the Mine-land." He quoted some
line or other, which I did not catch, and gave the name of the writer,
one "WALKER," as his authority. WALKER is associated in my mind with
an English Dictionary, but, though it has been much added to in recent
years, I doubt whether the words the Showman used on this occasion
can be found in my pocket edition, or in any other edition of that
excellent and trustworthy compilation.

[Illustration: Native Masher from Masherland.]


Called at native barber's to-day. Gave him no instructions. Thought
of course he was going to cut it; and so fell asleep. I almost
always fall asleep when under the mesmeric influence of a capillary
administrator. I should like him to keep on doing it; cut and comb
again. So soothing! Woke up and found myself--like this. (_See Hair
Cut._) Herewith please receive portrait, and treasure it.


Must send you a sketch of some of our B.B.B.'s or the Bold Bobbies of
Basuto all armed. Ha! ha! as dear old WOLFFY would have said, "I was
quite _all-armed_ at seeing this!" Hope to be on the track of TOM
TIDDLER's ground very soon. But anyhow till I am _sur la tache_, "on
the spot," any one of these letters of mine (emphasis on the "mine")
of which all are genuine--"proofs before letters" you have in my
signed promise--is well worth a hundred pounds, and cheap at the
price. It's my note of hand in exchange for the cash,--for the "ready
ay ready!" as we say at sea. Away to the fields of gold!


N.B.--Rather think I am going to call on Queen ZAMBILI this afternoon.
Ahem! Do you remember the ballads of "_My heart is true to Poll_,"
and "_The King of the Owyhees_"? Again, ahem! "Black Queen to mate in
three moves." Of course, can't go in for this sort of thing myself,
but by deputy, eh? Representative Government and King PROXY THE FIRST,
with myself for Prime Minister. How's that Empire?

[Illustration: "Grandolph, the Explorer."]

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM OUR OWN BEN TROVATO.--Said an artistic collector to Mr. PARNELL,
"Now I'll show you a beautiful specimen of CARLO DOLCI." "I wish you
could have shown it me some days ago," replied the Ex-misleader of the
Irish Party, "when I was presented with a specimen of _Carlow_ without
the _Dolci_."

       *       *       *       *       *

COOK'S TOURIST PRIZE JUBILEE JOKE.--_Mem. for Travellers contemplating
a first visit to the Continent_.--Being raw to the business, get
Cook'd. Depend upon it, you won't be "done."

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE HUNDRED BEST BOOKS."--_Punch's_ Half-Yearly Volumes from the
commencement, i.e., July 17, 1841, to June 27, 1891.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SOCIAL AGONIES.

_Fair Visitor_ (_to Hostess_). "WHAT A DELIGHTFUL CONCERT YOU GAVE

[_Mrs. Jones's Aunt Tabitha (from whom she has great expectations)
hears of this delightful Concert for the first time!_]]

       *       *       *       *       *



  Adieu, adieu. Old Albion's shore!
    I leave, to bound the blue.
  My Yacht lies yonder! 'Tis a bore,
    But I _must_ part from you.
  I sniff the brine, I love the sea;
    Half Englishman am I.
  Farewell to England, and to thee,
    Dear Grandmamma--good-bye!

  I leave your isle, the truth to tell,
    With qualified regret.
  July in London would be well,
    But for the heavy wet.
  The soaking shower, the sudden squall,
    Spare not Imperial "tiles."
  May it be dry when next I call,
    Your slushiest of isles!

  Yet I've enjoyed my visit, much,
    In spite of wet and wind.
  I with JOHN BULL have been in touch;
    _You_ have been passing kind.
  My father and grandfather gone
    Once trod your city sad;
  Now I the daring deed have done,
    And--it is not half bad.

  That Opera Show was quite a sight;
    Your Sheriff HARRIS--well--
  AUGUSTUS, after Actium's fight,
    Was scarce a greater swell.
  The long parade, led by the Blues,
    Gave _me_ the blues again.
  Not that the citizen were screws,
    No, Grand'ma, 'twas that rain!

  I--ahem! _blessed_ it fervently,
    Emperors must not complain;
  But do, _do_ keep your Babylon dry,
    When I come back again.
  For Garden Parties, Shows, Reviews,
    And civic functions pale,
  When water soaks the stoutest shoes,
    And it blows half a gale.

  Your Lord MAYOR and his liveried lot,
    _They_ know a thing or two.
  Speeches of course are always rot,
    But then--the skies were blue!
  As for your Crystal Palace--ah!
    Your pride I would not shock,
  But you owe much, dear Grandmamma,
    To PAXTON and to BROCK.

  Your warriors are fine, if few;
    But still, if you ask _me_,
  You leave far too much power to
    A Railway Company.
  I would not let civilians snub
    My paladins--no fear!
  But then a Teuton--there's the rub!
    Is no mere Volunteer!

  And now I really must be gone
    Upon the wide, wide sea.
  Stiff state no more shall make me groan,
    Hurrah for liberty!
  I'm tired to death of functions fine,
    And ceremonial rot;
  Hurrah for ease! the breezy brine
    Tar-toggery, and my Yacht!

  With yonder bark I'll gladly brave
    The seas about your isle.
  Thanks, Grand'ma, for that kerchief wave,
    And that right royal smile!
  Welcome, ye billows, tumbling brisk
    Beneath a cloud-swept sky!
  Give your white kerchief one more whisk,
    Dear Grandmamma--Good-bye!

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["It is human nature, after all. When conscientiously I cannot
    praise actors or actresses, or authors, they turn their backs
    upon me. But when conscientiously I am able to draw attention
    to their great merits, they simply overflow."--Mr. CLEMENT
    SCOTT, in _The Illustrated London News_.]

  Unlucky Mr. CLEMENT SCOTT!
    Since those who act our plays or write them,
  Are so exacting that he's got
    The greatest trouble to delight them.
  When conscience tells him not to praise
    They "turn their backs" and will not know him,
  When their "great merits" make him raise
    His voice--they "simply overflow" him!

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE FOR AN IMPERIAL DIARY.--There were just a couple or so of real
good wet days for our Imperial and Royal Highnesses. Jupiter Pluvius
ladled it out to us unstintingly in Imperial buckets full. Our Cousin
German, so affectionately dutiful to "Grandmamma," won't forget _La
Rain d'Angleterre_ in a hurry. _Mem._ Next visit to London, bring
fewer uniforms and more waterproofs and umbrellas.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "GOOD-BYE, GRANDMAMMA!"]

       *       *       *       *       *



After considerable calculation as to re-imbursement for present outlay
by a consistent course of future economy, I took a six-guinea stall
for the EMPEROR's state visit to the Opera. "Court dress" being
"indispensable," I decided to summon to my aid the well-known amateur
theatrical costumier, DATHAN & Co. DATHAN sees at a glance what I
want. He measures me with his eye. "Co." in waiting is dispatched to
bring down two or three Court suits. In less than ten minutes I am
perfectly fitted, that is, in DATHAN's not entirely disinterested but
still highly artistic opinion, with which "Co." unhesitatingly agrees.
For my own part, as a mere lay-figure, I should have preferred the
continuations being a trifle less tight round the knee; also if the
coat were a little easier about the shoulders, and not quite so baggy
in the back I should breathe more freely; and, while we are on the
subject, the collar might be lower, as it is in close proximity
to the lobes of my ears and irritatingly tickles me. The white
waistcoat--"well," as "Co.," in the absence of DATHAN, rapturously
observes, "might ha' been made for yer!" "It might," true: but it
certainly wasn't, as it is somewhat long, and there's a little shyness
on the part of the last button but one in meeting the button-hole with
which it ought to be on the best possible terms. But sharp-eyed little
"Co." sees his way out of the difficulty; he hoists up the collar,
he adjusts pins in the back, and, in a second, button and hole are
in each other's embrace. The coat-collar can be taken in and done
for--"nothing easier," says the undaunted Co.--and the part across my
manly chest can be let out,--of course not a difficulty, as the whole
suit, will be "let out" for the evening.

I am generally satisfied with my appearance in the glass as a portrait
of a gentleman in repose, but I feel that any display of emotion, even
of irrepressible loyalty, would probably be disastrous to some portion
of my attire. The Court sword, too, is rather embarrassing, and,
though Co. has adroitly fixed it for me by some mysterious process
of invisible arrangement, yet, when I shall be left alone with the
sheathed weapon, and have to do all this buckling and hitching for
myself, I feel sure that that sword, which is only worn on the left to
defend the right, will give me no inconsiderable trouble. Fortunately
our washerwoman's husband, who comes late on a Wednesday for the
linen, is a retired sergeant, and knows how this sort of thing should
be done. He will assist in arming me for the operatic fray. _Tout va

_At Opera, Wednesday Night, July 8_.--Grand sight. Very grand;
not only that, but beautiful. Costumes, uniforms, military,
diplomatic,--all sorts, the real article and the Dathanic,--impossible
to tell one from the other, taking them as a lot; but still, I feel
that it is better to remain in my Stall, where only the upper part
of me is visible to the unclothed eye. The consciousness that I am
here, not as myself, but in disguise as somebody else, name unknown,
rather oppresses me; only at first, however, as very soon I recognise
a number of familiar faces and figures all in strange array. A
stockbroker or two, a few journalists, several ordinary people
belonging to various callings and professions, some others noble, some
gentle, some simple, but most of us eyeing each other furtively, and
wondering where the deuce the other fellow got his costume from, and
what right he has to wear it.

Every moment I expect some gaily attired person to come up and say to
me confidentially, "I know that suit; I wore it last so-and-so. Isn't
it a trifle tight about the shoulders? Beware! when I wore it, it
went a bit in the back." Man in gorgeous uniform makes his way to
the vacant Stall next to me. I am a bit flustered until he salutes me
heartily with--"How d'ye do? How are you?" Why, it's--well, no matter
who it is. I have met him everywhere for years; we are the best of
friends. I knew he is something; somewhere in the City, but not much
anywhere else, and at all events he is no more a military man than I
am a courtier, but when he confides to me that he was once upon a time
in the Dampshire Yeomanry, and that this uniform has served him for
years, and looks uncommonly well at night though it wouldn't bear the
light of day, I begin to comprehend the entire scene.

My friend--we will call him TOMMY TUCKER, (for I have frequently
encountered him at supper, and am aware of his capacity)--is full of
information. Some of our neighbours of an inquiring turn are asking
one another who _that_ is, and who _this_ is, and so forth; and when
the answers are incorrect, or even before the answers can be given,
TOMMY TUCKER has replied in a low voice, with a view to imparting
general information gratis, that So-and-So, in scarlet and silver, is
Mr. BLACKSTONE, of BLACKSTONE & SONS, head of the great Coal Merchant
Firm; that the man in blue and silver, supposed to be a Hungarian
_attaché_, is the junior partner in BUNNUMS & Co., the Big Cake
Purveyor; and that the warlike person, with a jingling sabre, is not
a Prussian officer, but is Deputy JONES, in the gorgeous uniform of
the Old Buckshire Yeomanry; and when he's in the City, where he began
in the usual way that millionnaires always do begin, by sweeping out
an office, he is simply JONES, of Messrs. BROWN, JONES, ROBINSON
& Co., Wharfingers. TOMMY TUCKER knows everybody, and everything
about everybody, too. Who is that lady with a splendid tiara of
diamonds?--that is the Duchess of BURLINGTON, "who"--and here, in a
semi-whisper, intended for everybody's information, he tells how those
brilliants come out for "one night only," and how they will be called
for to-morrow morning by a confidential agent from POPSHOPPER's
Establishment in the Great Loan Land. TOM TUCKER is full of these
stories. There isn't a person he doesn't know, until happening to
recognise here a one and there a one, I correct him of my own private
and personal knowledge, when he frankly admits that I am right;
and after casually explaining how he does occasionally mistake the
Countess of DUNNOYER for Lady ELIZABETH MARTIN, he goes off at a
tangent, and picks out several other distinguished-looking personages,
numbering them as "first to right," "second to left," and so forth, as
if in a collection of wax-works, giving to each one of them a name and
a history. His acquaintance with the private life of the aristocracy
and the plutocracy is so extensive that I can only wonder at his
knowledge, his or marvel at wondrous powers of ready invention.

[Illustration: Birds can sing, but wouldn't sing, and couldn't be made
to sing, at Covent Garden, Wednesday, July 8.]

So it goes on. Then enter the chief characters. All rise; the
orchestra plays the "_National Anthem_," in German, suppose, out
of compliment to our Imperial visitors; and afterwards in English
(translated, and, I fancy, "transposed"), in honour of H.R.H. the
Prince and Princess. All the wax-work figures form in a row, under the
direction of Lord Chamberlain LATHOM; the machinery is put in motion;
they all bow to the audience; glasses are riveted on them; everybody
is craning and straining to get a good view; the people in the gallery
and just over the Royal Box loyally enjoy the scene, being quite
unable to see any of the distinguished persons who are, in this
instance, "quite beneath their notice." And then Signor MANCINELLI
turns his back on everybody, and gets to business.

After this, I feel that a buckle, somewhere or other, has turned
traitor, and inventing an excuse with a readiness worthy of TOMMY
TUCKER himself, I suddenly, but cautiously, retire. I descend the
grand staircase between two rows of beefeaters reclining drowsily at
their ease. Fast asleep, some of 'em, after too much beef. Imagine
myself a prisoner, in disguise of course, escaping from the Tower
in the olden time. Then, fearing the collapse of another buckle
or button, or the sudden "giving" of a seam, I steal cautiously
past the Guards--then past serried ranks of soldiers under the
colonnade--then--once more in the street of Bow, and I am free! I
breathe again.

Hie thee home, my gallant steed (an eighteenpenny fare in a hansom),
and let me resume the costume of private life, trifle with a cutlet,
drain the goblet and smoke the mild havannah. _Sic transit gloria_

(_Signed._) (Mysteriously.) THE DUKE OF DIS GUISE.

P.S.--Although there was more money in the house than on any previous
occasion, yet never did I see so many persons who had "come in with
orders," which they displayed lavishly, wearing them upon their manly

       *       *       *       *       *


The Manager of Covent Garden is Sheriff HARRIS. Can all his operatic
officials all over the house be correctly termed "Sheriff's Officers"?

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


That they are not accustomed to ultra punctuality in the arrival of
steam-yachts at Port Victoria.

That some one ought to catch it for not looking after the water-pipes
in the State dining-room.

That it is rather trying to have to remain dignified with your boots
in three inches of water.

That the Eton Volunteers are just the sort of boys to follow the
tradition of the past, and win a second Waterloo.

That still it was a little awkward to have to review them in the
pauses of a thunderstorm.

That the wedding as a wedding was not bad, but a couple of hundred
thousand troops or so posted as a guard of honour, would have made it
more impressive.

That Buckingham Palace is rather _triste_, when it is populated on the
scale of one inhabitant to the square mile.

That Covent Garden Opera House, decorated with leagues of flower
wreaths, is the finest sight in the world.

That Sheriff AUGUSTUS GLOSSOP HARRIS deserves a dukedom, and, if he
were a German, should have it.

That one State Ball is like every other, but still it was very well
done on Friday.

That the visit to the City was an entire success (although I wish the
audience had made up their minds whether they would stand up or
sit while I was speaking), thanks no doubt to the influence of the

That Saturday's doings were delightful. I was absolutely deafened with
the cheering.

That it is very pleasant to be so well received, especially when,
three years ago, I was generally snubbed and treated as a nobody.

       *       *       *       *       *


    SCENE--_Within measurable distance of Waking. Enter Lounger
    and Marksman, R. and L.

_Lounger_ (_heartily_). Why, I _am_ glad to see you! And how are
things going on?

_Marksman_ (_cordially, but abruptly_). Capitally! Good-bye!

_Loung._ But I say, what a hurry you are in! Can't you stop a minute
for a chat?

_Marks._ Another time, but just now moments are precious.

_Loung._ But I say, you see I have found myself here--it doesn't take
much longer than getting down to Wimbledon.

_Marks._ Of course it doesn't--whoever said it did? But there, old
chap, I _must_ be off!

_Loung._ You _are_ in a hurry! Ah, we used to have pleasant days in
the old place?

_Marks._ Did we? I daresay we did.

_Loung._ Why, of course! Grand old days! Don't you remember what fun
it used to be decorating your tent; and then, when the ladies came
down--which they did nearly all the day long--what larks it was
getting them tea and claret-cup?

_Marks._ Very likely. But we don't have many ladies now, and a good
job too--they _are_ a bore.

_Loung._ Well, you _are_ a chap! Why, how can there be any fun without
your sisters, and your cousins, and your maiden aunts?

_Marks._ We don't want fun. But there, good-bye!

_Loung._ But I say, I have come all this way to look you up.

_Marks._ (_unbending_). Very kind of you, but, my dear fellow, you
have chosen rather an unfortunate time.

_Loung._ Why, at Wimbledon you had nothing to do!

_Marks._ Very likely. But then Bisley isn't Wimbledon.

_Loung._ (_dryly_). So it seems. Everyone said that, when they moved
the camp further away from home, they would ruin the meeting.

_Marks._ Then everyone was wrong. Why, we are going on swimmingly.

_Loung._ It must be beastly dull.

_Marks._ Not at all. Lovely country, good range, and, after it rains,
two minutes later it is dry as bone.

_Loung._ Yes, but it stands to reason that it _can't_ be as popular as

_Marks._ My dear fellow, figures are the best test of that. In all the
history of the Association we have never had more entries than this

_Loung._ That may be, but you don't have half the fun you had nearer

_Marks._ (_laughing_). Don't want to! Business, my dear fellow, not
pleasure! And now, old man, I really _must_ be off! Ta, ta! See you
later. [_Exit._

_Loung._ Well, whatever he may say, I prefer Wimbledon. And as there
doesn't seem much for _me_ to do down here, I shall return to town.
[_Does so. Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: Second Baron.]

_House of Commons. Monday, July 6_.--Don't know what the House of
Lords would do without WEMYSS. How the House of Commons gets along
without ELCHO is another story. Of course we are not absolutely
ELCHO-less. Amurath has succeeded to Amurath, and there is still
an ELCHO in the Commons. Perhaps in time he may reach the towering
height of his illustrious father. He does very well as it is; made
exceedingly smart speech the other afternoon on adjournment over Derby
Day. We try to bear up; make the best of things; but in our secret
hearts confess that this century has seen but one Lord ELCHO, and now
he's Earl of WEMYSS.

Was in fine old style to-night. DORCHESTER brought on question of
Volunteers. They are going to Wimbledon on Saturday to be reviewed
by that veteran the German EMPEROR. DORCHESTER, in modest, convincing
speech, pointed out how unfair it was that, in addition to, in many
cases, losing a day's pay, in all cases incurring a day's hard work,
that Volunteers should be required to pay expenses of their trip to
Wimbledon. DORCHESTER left nothing unsaid; put the whole case in
brief speech. But WEMYSS not going to be left out. Interposed in
fine patronising manner; made acknowledgment of DORCHESTER's good
intention; but, suggesting an absolutely imaginary case, took
exception to the presentation of the Volunteers in the light of asking
for a day's pay. That, he said, would spoil the whole case.

No one had suggested anything of the kind. WEMYSS had brought this
nine-pin in with him as if it were one of a set of baccarat counters,
had set it up, and was now knocking it down. Noble Lords sat and
stared in polite amazement. CRANBROOK, in his impetuous way, jumped
up and raised point of order. WEMYSS put him aside with sweep of
sword-arm, and went on to end of his speech, which showed who was the
true friend of the Volunteer forces.

"Ah," said young LAMINGTON, second Baron, regarding with pleased
interest the flush of satisfaction that mantled WEMYSS' brow when
he resumed his seat, "this House would have been nothing only for us
fellows coming in from the Commons. It's new blood that does it. I'll
make them a speech myself some day."

_Business done_.--Quite a lot in the Commons.

_Tuesday_.--FERGUSSON says life at Foreign Office would be endurable
only for LABBY. The Sage has got the Triple Alliance on the brain;
spends his mornings in drafting questions there anent. That FERGUSSON
wouldn't mind so much, only it involves his spending _his_ afternoons
in drafting answers that shall look coherent, and yet say nothing.
Answers often so admirably suited to their purpose, that doubts arise
as to whether a firmer hand than FERGUSSON's has not traced them on
paper. "A dull man," was the phrase in which, years ago, JOHN BRIGHT
dismissed from consideration the statesman then known as Sir CHARLES
ADDERLY. To House of Commons FERGUSSON is a dull man, incapable, as it
seems, of framing these subtle answers that look as if they meant so
much, and yet say so little.

[Illustration: Sage of Queen Anne's Gate.]

Whoever be the author, it must be said that FERGUSSON contributes
to success of answers by his manner of reading them. So portentous
is his gravity, so like a stone wall his imperturbability, that the
Sage dashes himself up against it with much the same effect as if he
were attacking one of the buttresses of Westminster Hall. It is a
fortuitous concatenation of circumstances, most happy in its result,
that when in the House of Commons an answer is to be given which shall
convey no information, the MARKISS should dictate it, and FERGUSSON
recite it. If, in reply to the Sage's question to-night, as to the
understanding between this country and Italy with respect to the
_status quo_ in Mediterranean, FERGUSSON had stood up and recited the
multiplication table up to twelve times twelve, the remarks would have
been just as relevant and informing as those he read from the paper.
Moreover, the gravity of his aspect and the solemn inflection of
his voice, would have compelled Members to listen to the end of the
recitation with a sort of dim consciousness that they were really
being informed as to the details of an understanding come to between
Her majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and the
Governments of Germany and Italy.

_Business done._--Education Bill through Report Stage.

_Thursday._--House having disposed of Land Purchase Bill and Education
Bill, is able to devote portion of sitting to consideration of its own
personal affairs. MORTON brings on subject of Bar in Lobby of House of
Commons. Nothing to do with the Bar that LOCKWOOD, ASQUITH, and REID
adorn; merely a counter, at which they sell what JEMMY LOWTHER alludes
to, with a bewitching air of distant acquaintance, as "alcoholic
liquors." MORTON, whose great ambition in life is to make people
thoroughly comfortable, wants to close the Bar. SYDNEY HERBERT, making
a rare appearance as spokesman for the Government on the Treasury
Bench, pleads as a set-off against alleged evil example, the large
consumption of "lemon squash," which he explains to the House is
"a non-intoxicant." CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN sends thrill of apprehension
through listening Senate by inquiring whether the House of Commons is
licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors?

No one every thought of that before. As far an anyone knows, place
isn't licensed; consequently, in very birthplace of legislation, the
law has for years been systematically defied. Worse this than what
happened at Temple the other day, when LORD CHANCELLOR and a score
of principal Members of Bar of England narrowly escaped indictment
for playing a drama in an unlicensed hall. Vision conjured up the
police making sudden descent on the House, walking off with SPEAKER,
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS, and possibly OLD MORALITY, to nearest station, there
to be locked up till released on bail.

[Illustration: Jemmy, J.P.]

JEMMY LOWTHER much struck by suggestion. His innate magisterial
instincts on the alert. We all know and like JEMMY, but few of us have
opportunity of seeing him at his very best. That happens when he sits
on the Magisterial Bench and dispenses justice. It is as JEMMY, J.P.,
he rises to the fullest height of his judicial manner. Still, pretty
well just now. A little embarrassed at the outset by consciousness
that his postal address at Leeds is "Swillington House." Afraid some
ribald person will remember this, and vulgarly connect it with the
discussion. Delightful to observe the way in which he reproved GEORGE
CAMPBELL for language unbecoming the precincts of the Court. CAMPBELL
had lightly spoken about "Members requiring a pick-me-up." "Persons
enjoying the privilege of obtaining alcoholic liquors," was the way
JEMMY put it, with a severe glance towards the abashed Knight of

_Business done._--Committee of Supply.

_Friday._--Turns out to-night that MORTON doesn't approve the Triple
Alliance. This would be awkward, in any circumstances. Peculiarly
embarrassing just now with one of the principal signatories our guest.
Emperor WILLIAM, was most anxious to come down to House; meant to
see everything whilst he was here, not knowing what may happen before
another opportunity presents itself.

"Always read your Diary, TOBY," he said to me, over a strawberry and
cream at Marlborough House yesterday; "gather from it the impression
that House of Commons is exceedingly interesting place; all its
Members eloquent, and all its Ministers virtuous. Must go and see it.
Look in on Friday."

Here's a go! Known beforehand that MORTON meant to state his views on
the MARKISS's foreign policy, with its evident leaning toward Germany.
Very awkward if EMPEROR came in just while MORTON was speaking.

"It would play the doose with the _ententy cordially_," said JULIUS
'ANNIBAL PICTON, who resents MORTON's interference in the field of
foreign policy.

Happily Emperor WILLIAM didn't get as far as Westminster; detained
at Guildhall; just got off in time to dine with the Great DOOK, and
afterwards to the ball at Buckingham Palace. So peace between to
great nations is maintained. But MORTON ran us pretty close. _Business
done._--Committee of Supply.

       *       *       *       *       *



    ["_Punch_ and the Elections were the only matters which
    occupied the public mind on July 17, 1841."--_Introduction to
    "Punch," Vol. I._]

  Fifty years ago, my Public, fifty years ago!
  Faith, the years fleet swiftly onward, though sad hours seem slow.
  Forty-One beheld my advent, Friend of Truth and Fun;
  From my _sanctum_ still I greet you now in Ninety-One.

  "_Punch_ and the Elections!" Truly a compendious text.
  With how many Burning Questions men to-day are vext!
  Then the Whigs perceived their tether pretty nearly run,
  And--they're watching Bye-Elections now in Ninety-One.

  Then Lord JOHN was on the Treasury Bench, though ill at ease,
  Thence to be soon torn--like Theseus;--PEEL, the Hercules.
  Now SMITH smiles a toothy smile in little JOHNNY's place,
  White the Grand Old Hercules sits watching grave of face.

  _He_ remembers Forty-One! Few, except _Punch_ and him,
  Linger from those brave old days, now distant grown and dim!
  He has reached his Jubilee, as _Punch_ this year hath done.
  Veterans both, we drink each other's health in Ninety-One!

  Forty-One was fierce and fiery. Young DISRAELI then
  Bravely buttered stout Sir ROBERT as the best of men.
  Pheugh! But in how short a time was BEN's envenomed steel
  Destined to find rankling lodgment in the breast of PEEL!

  Now? Well, there is jaunty JOSEPH poisoning his pint;
  Seeking in GRANDOLMAN's mail some penetrable joint!
  Heroes and ex-armour-bearers still keep up the fun;
  One-and-Forty saw it so, and so does Ninety-One!

  Mr. SHARMAN CRAWFORD (who was _he_? Let quidnuncs guess!)
  Moved Amendment relative to "Popular Distress."
  _Then_ his cure was Wider Suffrage. _Now_ what would it be?
  Land with little or no Rent, and Education Free?

  Then the Corn Laws cramped Free Trade; free Competition now
  Breeds the Sweater, harsh exploiter of the toiler's brow,
  When brave PEEL achieved Repeal some deemed the task was done,
  But Commissions upon Labour sit in Ninety-One.

  SIBTHORP then amused St. Stephen's; we have SEYMOUR KEAY,
  D'ORSAY then was wit and dandy, OSCAR WILDE have we.
  And if wild FEARGUS O'CONNOR fashioned Land Schemes then,
  BURNS and MORRIS well can match him now with tongue or pen.

  Then TOM HOOD could sing that Song[1] which moved a world to tears,
  London Laundrydom on Strike now in Hyde park appears.
  Ah! since Eighteen Forty-One much has been tried--and _done_,
  But _Punch_ finds no lack of labour e'en in Ninety-One!

  The HER MAJESTY, a Maiden Queen, fresh graced the Throne,
  Now her Royal Jubilee is full four years bygone.
  He who has illumed her reign with wisdom, wit, and fun,
  Greets her loyally to-day as then, in Forty-One.

  Madam, much since then has happened, much has been achieved;
  Marvels, commonplace to-day, few then would have believed.
  Science, Liberty, Pure Manners, order, Peace, Goodwill,
  _Punch_ for Fifty Years has championed, and will champion still.

  Then and now! The captious cynic at the contrast sneers,
  _Punch_ believes in, and would help, the Progress of the Years.
  When his Century's full course, fifty Years hence, has run,
  With good heart and glad may he look back on Ninety-One!

[Footnote 1: "_The Song of the Shirt_," which appeared on page 260
of Vol. V., 1843, in a supplementary number entitled, "_Punch's_
Triumphal Procession."]

       *       *       *       *       *


INFLUENZA.--I should feel really grateful to any reader who can tell
me whether I have Influenza or not. I think I must have it, as I have
tested my temperature with a thermometer attached to a weather-glass
hanging in the hall, which is only slightly cracked, and find that
it--my temperature, not the weather-glass--stays constantly at 120
degrees, which seems rather high. My headaches are _frightful_, and
the pills with forty grains of quinine in them, which I have been
recommended to take by a neighbouring chemist's assistant, do not
seem to do any good. Cough and chemist's bill both very heavy. Ought
I have to have a change? If so, whom should I try and take it out

       *       *       *       *       *

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