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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, November 21, 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, November 21, 1891" ***

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Team



PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 101.



November 21st, 1891.



[Illustration: CARS, IN HONOUR OF THE WELSH LORD MAYOR,

STRANGELY ENOUGH OMITTED FROM THE PROCESSION ON THE NINTH.]

       *       *       *       *       *

CANCEL, OR RECALL.

The _World_ last week sounded a note about the compulsory retirement, by
reason of age, from one of the large Revenue Departments, of a gentleman
who has the great honour to be the son of "the most distinguished Irishman
of this century." If this sentence has really been passed authoritatively,
which _Mr. Punch_ takes leave to doubt, then said "Authority" will do well
to recall it in favour of the son of the Liberator, which his name is also
"DAN." And, to give the well-known lines so often quoted,--

  "When DAN'L saw the writing on the wall,
  At first he couldn't make it out at all."

And the sooner the official writing on the wall--if it exists--be
obliterated, the better for the public service, as, when the public, like
the Captain in the ballad of "_Billy Taylor_," "Comes for to hear on't,"
the said British Public will "werry much applaud what has been done" in
suppressing, not issuing, reconsidering, or revoking the order. So says
"Mr. P.," and the "B.P." will agree with him.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ANCIENT MILLINER.

(_His Reminiscences of the Recent Gale._)

  PART I.

  It was the Ancient Milliner
    Stood by his open door;
  The tale he told was something like
    A tale I'd heard before.

       *       *       *       *       *

  I called forthwith a Hansom, and
    "Now, Cabman, drive!" I cried;
  "For I must get this bandbox home
    Before the eventide.

  "The bride a-pacing up the aisle
    Mad as a dog would be,
  Without this sweet confection of
    Silk and passementerie."

  Westward the good cab flew.  The horse
    Was kick-some, wild, and gay;
  He tossed his head from side to side
    In an offensive way.

  He tossed his head, he shook his mane,
    And he was big and black;
  He wore a little mackintosh
    Upon his monstrous back.

  I mused upon that mackintosh,
    All mournfully mused I;
  It was too small a thing to keep
    So large a beastie dry.

  And on we went up Oxford Street
    With a short, uneasy motion;
  What made the beast go sideways I
    Have not the faintest notion
  But we ran into an omnibus
    With a short, uneasy motion.

  All in a hot, improper way.
    The rude 'bus-driver said,
  That them what couldn't drive a horse
    Should try a moke instead.

  Never a word my cabman spoke--
    No audible reply--
  But, oh, a thousand scathing things
    He thought; and so did I.

  "What ails thee, Ancient Milliner?
    What means thy ashen hue?
  Why look'st thou so?"--I murmured, "Blow!"
    And at my word _it blew_.

  PART II.

  The storm-blast came down Edgware Road,
    Shrieking in furious glee,
  It struck the cab, and both its doors
    Leaped open, flying free.

  I shut those doors, and kept them close
    With all my might and main;
  The storm-blast snatched them from my hands,
    And forced them back again,

  It blew the cabman from his perch
    Towards the hornéd moon;
  I saw him dimly overhead
    Sail like a bad balloon.

  It blew the bandbox far away
    Across the angry sea;
  The English Channel's scattered with
    Silk and passementerie.

  The silly horse within the shaft
    One moment did remain;
  And then the harness snapped, and he
    Went flying through the rain;
  And fell, a four-legged meteor,
    Upon the coast of Spain.

          _First Voice._
    "What makes that cab move on so fast
    Wherein no horse I find?"

          _Second Voice._
    "The horse has cut away before;
    The cab's blown from behind."

  Then just against the Harrow Road
    I made one desperate bound--
  A leprous lamp-post and myself
    Lay mingled in a swound!

  And cables snapped, and all things snapped;
    When the next morn was grey,
  The _Telegraph_ appeared without
    Its "Paris Day by Day."

  PART III.

  Oh, cheapness is a pleasant thing,
    Beloved from pole to pole!
  To get a thing at one-and-four,
  For which your friend pays twopence more,
    Is balm unto the soul.

  And cheaper than that Hansom cab
    Whose tale I've told thee thus,
  Far cheaper it had been to take
    The stately omnibus!

  To take the stately omnibus
    Where all together sit;
  Each takes his ticket in his hands,
  Obeys the Company's commands,
    And pays his pence for it.

  And if you would not find yourself
    Wrecked in the Edgware Road,
  Do not be vulgar and declare
    You wish you may be blowed!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

THE "MASHER'S" ANSWER,

    [Dr. ARABELLA KENEALY, in the _Westminster Review_, is severe on the
    young men of the day for not dancing, and avoiding matrimony.]

  Bless me, Doctor ARABELLA,
    Hard a lady's hand can strike!
  Do you really mean a fella'
    Is to dance; just when you like?
  Why so savagely sarcastic,
    That we will not "take the floor"
  And account the "light fantastic"
    An unmitigated bore?

  You avow we're shy of marriage.
    Is not that too hard again?
  When a maiden wants a carriage,
    And a mansion in Park Lane,
  Diamonds, furs, and opera-boxes:
    Although ardently one loves,
  All the balance I've at Cox's
    Wouldn't keep a girl in gloves.

       *       *       *       *       *

"WILL YOU, WONT YOU?"

_(A Lay of the Lord Chancellor. Very latest Version, NOT from "Iolanthe."_)

[Illustration: _Lord Halsbury (to Bill Sikes)_. "IF YOU _DON'T_ SAY
ANYTHING, IT WILL GO AGAINST YOU; AND IF YOU _DO_, IT WILL BE ALL UP WITH
YOU!"]

    ["The Lord Chancellor declares himself the foe of any 'technical
    system' which excludes 'anybody who knows anything about the facts from
    the opportunity of stating what is the truth.' ... We may take it that
    very soon we shall see that which may appear strange to English
    lawyers, but really is most reasonable--the accused stepping out of the
    dock into the witness-box, and giving his evidence, subject to the
    ordeal of cross-examination. It may be a bad look-out for rogues, but
    for nobody else."--_Times_.]

  The Law _should_ be the embodiment
  Of everything that is excellent.
  But I fancy I've found one diminutive flaw
  In that else impeccable thing, the Law.
  As its constitutional guardian, I
  Must extract that mote from the legal eye.
  It seems a preposterous paradox
  To exclude the accused from the Witness's Box.
    To alter that is a duty for
    A very unprejudiced Chancellor.

  Here's the Box, my SIKES! With particular pride
  I invite you, WILLIAM, to--step inside,
  Some peculiar things, things rich and rare,
  I shall have to show you when you are there.
  "Will you walk into my par----" _dear_ me!
  What a curious matter is memory!
  What, _what_ has that old song to do
  With the little matter 'twixt me and you?
    I apologise for the irrelevance, for
    I _am_ such a logical Chancellor!

  If you step inside--as I trust you will--
  We shall worm out the Truth with forensic skill;
  And if you decline--as I hope you won't--
  We shall know there are reasons, friend, why you don't.
  So the Truth must benefit any way,
  My beloved BILL. _What_ is that you say?
  You don't care a cuss for the Truth? Oh, fie!
  Truth makes one a free man. _Step in and try!_
    The triumph of Truth is a triumph for
    A highly inquisitive Chancellor!

  'Twill be most instructive to Judge and Jury
  To hear you give evidence. Why this fury?
  We can judge, you see, by the way he'll behave,
  'Twixt a simpleton and a clever knave.
  The _Times_ says so. Eh! _Confound the Times?_
  Oh, _don't_ say _so_, BILL! A man of crimes
  Might funk the ordeal; but this is the plan
  To help the Law--and the Honest Man;
      And therefore the plan of all plans for
      A highly compassionate Chancellor!

       *       *       *       *       *

ROBERT ON THE LORD MARE'S SHO.

Well, I've had the grate good luck to have seen praps as menny Lord Mare's
Shos as most peeple, praps more--not so menny, in course, as that werry old
but slitely hexadgerating Lady, as bowsted as she had seen hunderds on
'em--but for sum things, speshally for Rain, and mud, and slush, the last
one beats 'em all holler! What poor little Whales could have done to put
the Clark of the Whether into sitch a temper, in course I don't know, but
if he'd have had a good rattling attack of the gout in both big Tos, like
some past Lord Mares as we has most on us heard on, he coudn't posserbly
have bin in a wuss one.

Praps them as most xcited my reel pitty was the LORD MARE'S six genelmen in
their luvly new State liverries, and their bewtifool pink silk stockings a
showing of their manly carves, all splashing along through the horful mud,
and made crewel fun of by the damp and thortless crowd. The fust reel
staggerer was the reel Firemen, about a thowsand on 'em, a marching along
as bold as their brass Helmets. What did they care for the rain and the
mud! and didn't they look as it they was a longing for a jolly grand Fire
to bust out, jest to show us how easy it was to put it out, tho' they had
lost their jolly Captin. Then there was the pretty Welch Milk Maids, in
their chimbley-pot Hats, and their funny-looking custooms, all a being
drawn by six horses, and having some Bards and Arpers to take care on 'em,
and lend 'em humberrellars to keep off the rain. Ah! won't they have sum
nice little stories to tell all their frends when they gits back to Whales,
inclewding their singing of wun of their hold Welch songs afore the LORD
MARE and all his nobel gests in the evening. No wonder that they was so
estonished and bewillderd that they quite forgot to take off their
chimbley-pot Hats wile they was a singing. But their LORD MARE and
countryman kindly forgave 'em all, and away they went rejoysing.

Upon the hole, I'm quite reddy to bear my testimoney to the fack that, if
we coud by any posserbility have left out the horful rain, and the mud, and
the pore soaked and dismal-looking mothers and children, it woud have been
about the werry finest looking Sho ewer seen. The Bankwet at nite was jest
as good as ushal, and indeed rayther better, and just to sho how thuroly
eweryboddy had recovered from his morning's drenshing, the compny acshally
larfed at the LORD CHANCELLOR'S Speach, and cheered the LORD MARE to the
Hekko!

ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A STAGGERER!

_Rector's Wife_ (_instructing an Aspiring Buttons, who has answered her
advertisement_). "YOU'LL HAVE TO OPEN THE SHUTTERS AND THE HALL-DOOR, SEE
TO THE STUDY FIRE, PUT THE THINGS READY IN THE BATH-ROOM, THEN CALL YOUR
MASTER PUNCTUALLY AT SIX, CLEAN HIS BOOTS AND BRUSH HIS CLOTHES, CLEAN ALL
THE CHILDREN'S BOOTS AND SHOES, AND BRUSH _THEIR_ CLOTHES, LAY THE
BREAKFAST PUNCTUALLY AT EIGHT, AFTER WHICH YOU'LL HAVE TO GET THE PONY AND
TRAP READY TO DRIVE THE CHILDREN TO SCHOOL, AND BE BACK IN GOOD TIME. AFTER
YOU'VE DRESSED THE PONY AND CLEANED YOUR KNIVES AND SILVER, YOU WILL MAKE
YOURSELF TIDY, AND THEN YOU'LL LAY THE LUNCH--"

_Aspiring Buttons_ (_gasping_). "PLEASE, 'M--BEG PARD'N--PLACE WON'T DO FOR
ME. WHY, I SHOULD WANT A NEW SUIT O' CLOTHES BEFORE YOU'VE FINISHED TELLING
ME WHAT I'VE GOT TO DO, AND THEN I SHOULDN'T FIND TIME TO BE MEASURED FOR
'EM! GOOD MORN'N."

[_Exit Aspirant._]

       *       *       *       *       *

RATHER VAGUE.--Sir EDWARD BRADFORD, Commissioner of Police, informs the
Public, through a paragraph in the _Times_, about a meeting at the
Marylebone Vestry, that whenever in the Metropolis a street is found to be
dangerously slippery, some one (probably a policeman) is to telegraph to
the "local authority" (who? what? which? where?) and inform him, her, them
(whatever represents the aforesaid "local authority"), of the fact. Well,
and what then? Who's to do what, and when is it to be done? And what is the
penalty for not doing whatever it is?

       *       *       *       *       *

SHORTLY TO APPEAR.--_Amiable Almonds_, by the Authoress of _Cross
Currents_. To be followed by _Rum Raisins, Delightful Dates, and Polly
Peach_. Also, _Dolt Care What Apples to Me!_ being the Story of "A Mal wil
a Cold id is Ed."

       *       *       *       *       *

BIGOTED.--An Anti-Ritualistic old Lady objected to paying her water-rate,
when she was informed that she would be patronising "a High Service."

       *       *       *       *       *

MEMORANDUM FOR MINOR POETS.--It is an elegant thing to write ballades and
_rondeaux_, but it is tyrannous to read them to your visitors.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.

No. XV.

SCENE--_The Table d Hôte at Lugano:_ CULCHARD _has not yet caught_ Miss
PRENDERGAST'S _eye._

_Culchard_ (_to_ Mr. BELLERBY). Have you--ah--been up Monte Generoso yet?

_Mr. B._ No. (_After reflecting_) No, I haven't. But I was greatly struck
by its remarkably bold outline from below. Indeed, I dashed off a rough
sketch of it on the back of one of my visiting cards. I ought to have it
somewhere about me now. (_Searching himself._) Ah, I thought so! (_Handing
a vague little scrawl to_ CULCHARD, _who examines it with the deepest
interest._) I knock off quite a number of these while I'm abroad like this.
Send 'em in letters to relatives at home--gives them a notion of the place.
They are--ar--kind enough to value them. (CULCHARD _makes a complimentary
mumble._) Yes, I'm a very rapid sketcher. Put me with regular artists, and
give us half an hour, and I--ar--venture to say I should be on terms with
them. Make it _three_ hours, and--well, I daresay I shouldn't be in it.

_Podbury_ (_who has dropped into the chair next to_ Miss PRENDERGAST _and
her brother_). BOB, old chap, I'll come in the middle, if you don't mind. I
say, this _is_ ripping--no idea of coming across you so soon as this.
(_Lowering his voice, to_ Miss P.) Still pegging away at my "penance," you
see!

_Miss Prend._ The pleasure is more than mutual; but do I understand that
Mr. ----? So _tiresome_, I left my glasses up in my room! [_She peers up
and down the line of faces on her own side of the table._

_Miss T._ (_to Culch._) I want you should notice that girl. I think she
looks just as nice as she can be, don't you?

_Culch._ (_carefully looking in every other direction_).
I--er--mumble--mumble--don't exactly-- [_Here a Waiter offers him a dish
containing layers of soles disguised under thick brown sauce;_ CULCHARD
_mangles it with an ineffectual spoon. The Waiter, with pitying contempt,
"Tut-tut-tut! Pesce Signore--feesh!"_ CULCH. _eventually lands a sole in a
very damaged condition._

_Podb._ (_to Miss P._) No--not this side--just opposite. (_Here_ CULCH.,
_in fingering a siphon which is remarkably stiff on the trigger, contrives
to send a spray across the table and sprinkle_ Miss PRENDERGAST, _her
brother, and_ PODBURY, _with impartial liberality_). _Now_ don't you see
him? As playful as ever, isn't he! Don't try to make out it was an
accident, old fellow. Miss PRENDERGAST knows you! [_Misery of_ CULCHARD.

_Miss P._ (_graciously_). Pray don't apologise, Mr. CULCHARD; not the least
harm done! You must forgive me for not recognising you before, but you know
of old how provokingly shortsighted I am, and I've forgotten my glasses.

_Culch._ (_indistinctly_). I--er--not at all ... most distressed, I assure
you ... really no notion--

_Miss T._ (_in an undertone_). Say, you _know_ her, then? And you never let
on!

_Culch._ Didn't I? Oh, surely! yes, I've--er--_met_ that lady. (_With
grateful deference to_ Mr. BELLERBY, _who has just addressed him._) You are
an Art-Collector? Indeed? And--er--have you--er--?

_Mr. B._ I've the three finest Bodgers in the kingdom, Sir, and there's a
Gubbins--a _Joe_ Gubbins, mind you, not _John_--that's hanging now in the
morning-room of my place in the country that I wouldn't take a thousand
pounds for! I go about using my eyes and pick 'em up cheap. Cheapest
picture _I_ ever bought was a Prout--thirty-two by twenty; got it for two
pound ten! Unfinished, of course, but it only wanted the colour being
brought up to the edge. _I_ did that. Took me half a day, and _now_--well,
any dealer would give me hundreds for it! But I shall leave it to the
nation, out of respect for PROUT'S memory.

_Bob Pr._ (_to_ PODBURY). Yes, came over by; the St. Gothard. Who is that
girl who was talking to CULCHARD just now? Do you know her? I say, I wish
you'd introduce me some time.

_Miss T._ (_to_ CULCHARD). You don't seem vurry bright this evening. I'd
like you to converse with your friend opposite, so I could get a chance to
chip in. I'm ever so interested in that girl!

_Culch._ Presently--presently, if I have an opportunity. (_Hastily, to_ Mr.
B.) I gather that you paint yourself, Sir?

_Mr. B._ Well, yes. I assure you I often go to a Gallery, see a picture
there that takes my fancy, go back to my office, and paint it in half an
hour from memory--so lake the original that, if it were framed, and hung up
alongside, it would puzzle the man who painted it to know t'other from
which! I have indeed! I paint original pictures, too. Most important thing
I ever did was--let me see now--three feet by two and three-quarters. I was
most successful in getting an effect of rose-coloured snow against the sky.
I sponged it up, and--well, it came right somehow. _Luck_, that was, not
skill, you know. I sent that picture to the Royal Academy, and they did me
the honour to--ar--reject it.

_Culch._ (_vaguely_). An--er--honour, indeed.--(_In despair, as_ Mr. B.
_rises._)--You--You're not _going_!

_Mr. B._ (_consolingly_). Only into the garden, for coffee. I observe you
are interested in Art. We will--ar--resume this conversation later.

[_Rises;_ Miss PRENDERGAST _rises too, and goes towards the garden._

_Culch._ (_as he follows, hastily_). I must get this business over--if I
can. But I wish I knew exactly _how_ much to tell her. It's really very
awkward--between the two of them. I'm afraid I've been a little too
precipitate.

_In the Garden; a few minutes later_.

_Miss Prend._ (_who has retired to fetch her glasses, with gracious
playfulness_). Well, Mr. CULCHARD, and how has my knight performed his
lady's behests?

_Culch._ May I ask _which_ knight you refer to?

_Miss P._ (_slightly changing countenance_). Which! Then--you know there is
another? Surely there is nothing in that circumstance to--to offend--or
hurt you?

_Culch._ Offended? (_Considers whether this would be a good line to take._)
Hardly _that_. Hurt? Well, I confess to being pained--very much pained, to
discover that I was unconsciously pitted--against PODBURY!

_Miss P._. But why? I have expressed no preference as yet. You can scarcely
have become so attached to him that you dread the result of a successful
rivalry!

_Culch._ (_to himself_). It's a loop-hole--I'll try it. (_Aloud._) You have
divined my feeling exactly. In--er--obeying your commands, I have learned
to know PODBURY better--to see in him a sterling nature, more worthy, in
some respects, than my own. And I know how deeply he has centred all his
hopes upon you, Miss PRENDERGAST. Knowing, seeing that as I--er--_do_, I
feel that--whatever it costs me--I cannot run the risk of wrecking
the--er--life's happiness of so good a fellow. So you must really allow me
to renounce vows accepted under--er--an imperfect comprehension of
the--er--facts! [_Wipes his brow._

_Miss P._ This is quite too Quixotic. Reflect, Mr. CULCHARD. Is such a
sacrifice demanded of you? I assure you I am perfectly neutral at present.
I _might_ prefer Mr. PODBURY. I _really_ don't know. And--and I don't
_like_ losing one of my suitors like this!

_Culch._ Don't tempt me! I--I mustn't listen, I cannot. No, I renounce. Be
kind to PODBURY--try to recognise the good in him ... he is so devoted to
you--make him happy, if you can!

_Miss P._ (_affected_). I--I really can't tell you how touched I am, Mr.
CULCHARD. I can guess what this renunciation must have cost you. It--it
gives me a better opinion of human nature ... it does, indeed!

_Culch._ (_loftily, as she rises to go in_). Ah, Miss PRENDERGAST, _don't_
lose your faith in human nature! Trust me, it is--er--full of surprises!
(_Alone._) Now am I an abominable humbug, or what? I swear I felt every
word I said, at the time. Curious psychological state to be in. But I'm out
of what might have been a very unpleasant mess at all events!

_Miss T. (coming upon him from round a corner)._ Well, I'm _sure_, Mr.
CULCHARD!

_Culch._ You are a young lady of naturally strong convictions, I am aware.
But what are you so sure of at the present moment?

_Miss T._ Well, I guess I'm not just as sure of _you_ as I should like to
be, anyway. Seems to me, considering you've been so vurry inconsolable away
from me, you'd a good deal to say to that young lady in the patent folders.
And I'd like an explanation--you're right down splendid at explaining most
things.

_Culch. (with virtuous indignation)._ So you actually suspect me of having
carried on a flirtation!

_Miss T._ I guess girls don't use their pocket-handkerchiefs that way over
the weather. Who _is_ she, anyway?

_Culch. (calmly)._ If you insist on knowing, she is the lady to whom Mr.
PODBURY has every prospect of being engaged. I hope your mind is at ease
_now_?

_Miss T._ Well, I expect my mind would have stood the strain as it was--so
it's Mr. PODBURY who's her admirer? See here, you're going to introduce me
to that girl right away. It's real romantic, and I'm perfectly dying to
make her acquaintance!

_Culch._ Hum--well. She is--er--_peculiar_, don't you know, and I rather
doubt whether you will have much in common.

_Miss T._ Well, if you don't introduce me, I shall introduce myself, that's
all.

_Culch._ By all means. (_To himself._) Not if _I_ can prevent it, though!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I knock off quite a number of these while I'm abroad like
this."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

ONLY FANCY!

We are in a position to give an emphatic contradiction to the rumour, put
forward with much assurance, that the King of SPAIN has entered upon
negotiations of a matrimonial character with reference to the grand-niece
of the Crown Prince of ROUMANIA. No one familiar with His Majesty's views
on the Triple Alliance, and his openly-expressed opinion with respect to
the occupation of Egypt, could for one moment give credence to a report so
intrinsically absurd.

       *       *       *       *       *

RYMUND has been imposed upon by one of his young men. Our friend, whose
susceptibility to the wiles of impostors, though an amiable weakness,
somewhat militates against his perfect success in life, has printed a
paragraph announcing that the QUEEN will leave Balmoral on Friday the 20th
inst. at half-past two in the afternoon, Her MAJESTY reaching Windsor at
nine o'clock on Saturday morning. _It is twenty-five minutes to three_ when
the Royal train will start, and Windsor will not be reached till five
minutes after the hour mentioned by RYMUND. It is crass inaccuracies like
these that lower the weekly press in the estimation of an observant public.

       *       *       *       *       *

HENED has been at it again. Two months ago we published the intelligence
that the Princess FREDERICA of Hanover would pass the winter months at
Biarritz, a well-known watering-place almost on the border-land between
Spain and France. This news was received with gratifying tokens of interest
at every Court of Europe, and has been noted in innumerable communications
passing privately between high personages. Then HENED comes upon the scene,
and pompously makes an identical announcement as a piece of news! Far be it
from us to take advantage of infirmity imposed upon a man by the idiocy of
his godfathers and godmothers at his baptism. But we are compelled to ask,
What can be expected from a man named HENED?

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir HENRY WOLFF still lingers in town, Bucharest, in the meantime, having
to get along as best it may without a British Minister. In private circles
likely to be well-informed, the delay is understood to arise directly out
of the fact that Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL is now "beyond the reach of
regular postal arrangements."

"I wrote to tell GRANDOLPH about ARTHUR BALFOUR stepping into his old shoes
as Leader of the House of Commons," says WOLFFY, showing his white teeth;
"and, begad, I shall not leave Pall Mall till I hear what he says on the
subject."

       *       *       *       *       *

What is this scandal we hear about the THINGUMMIES? The family are
naturally reticent on the subject, but WHOSETHIS has furnished us with some
particulars which we believe may be relied on. On Wednesday afternoon, at
five minutes to three (as nearly as we can fix the time), Mrs. THINGUMMY
was walking down Bond Street, when, just as she reached the point where, as
the Directory says, "Here is Bruton Street," who should pass her but
WHATSHISNAME. THINGUMMY, who, by a strange chance, happened to be passing
in a Hansom cab, was a witness to the _rencontre_, and following up the
clue, came upon particulars which WHATDYECALLIT informs us is likely to
make a stir. Mr. GEORGE LEWIS, being a friend of all parties concerned,
will not accept a retainer from either side.

       *       *       *       *       *

The _Daily News_, in its report of the opening of the Food and Cookery
Exhibition at the Agricultural Hall, remarks:--

    "It will not be the least attractive feature of the exhibition that
    samples may be tasted at nearly all the stalls. The exhibition includes
    samples of gas and asbestos stoves and kitchen ranges."

We have brought this announcement under the notice of a friend who knows
what's what when he's out to luncheon, and are disappointed at his lack of
enthusiasm. He says he doesn't care about taking his gas that way, and as
for asbestos stoves he knows nothing more indigestible, unless it be a
kitchen range.

       *       *       *       *       *

BALDER THE FAIR.

(_A Head-Piece._)

    [Eminent Physiologists assert that the most intellectual types of the
    future will be completely bald.]

  Do'st imagine all Poets by locks hyacinthine
    Distinguished from Lawyers, Physicians, and Aldermen,
  By capillary cataracts, thick as are thin thine?--
    Bald, sooth to say, few undeniably balder men
      Can be found, for the comfort of heads without hair,
      Than that exquisite troubadour, BALDER the Fair.

  Yes, the times are gone by when a SWINBURNE or BYRON
    Were loved for their love-locks and famed for their frizziness,
  When Olympian craniums, worthy of MYRON
    Or ANGELO, bowed to the hair-dresser's business,
      When Macassar's luxuriant essences fed
      At once metrical foot and symmetrical head.

  DULCINEA, who dotes on that pure, polished surface
    (Like ivory turned to the billiard-room's spherosid),
  BALDER'S occiput glassing bewitchingly _her_ face,
    The face of his Dear, _by herself in her hero eyed_--
        DULCINEA would deem it profanity, were
        It in nature to beg for a tress of his hair!

  So take warning, ye Minstrels whose locks are a feature,
    Be bald, e'en as bald as your verse peradventure is;
  To be bald is the crown of the civilised creature,
    And barbers are relics of barbarous centuries:
        Still, howe'er you may strive, you will never compare,
        For perfection of baldness, with BALDER the Fair.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

A WARNING.--After the recent gale, the papers reported "WHOLESALE
DESTRUCTION OF HOARDINGS." Very hard that hoardings couldn't be saved.
Still, after all, the fact must be taken as a providential warning to
Misers.

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM THE NOTE-BOOK OF A REFLECTIVE GOURMET.--"The only thing your friend
has a right to saddle you with is ... fine five-year old mutton."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THINGS ONE WOULD WISH TO HAVE EXPRESSED DIFFERENTLY.

_He._ "THE FACT IS, I NEVER GET ANY WILD FOWL SHOOTING--NEVER!"

_She._ "OH, THEN YOU OUGHT TO COME DOWN TO OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD IN THE WINTER.
IT WOULD JUST SUIT YOU, THERE ARE SUCH A LOT OF GEESE ABOUT--A--A--I MEAN
_WILD_ GEESE, OF COURSE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE "EGYPTIAN PET."

    ["We desire that Egypt should he strong enough of herself to repel all
    external attack, and to put down all internal disturbance."--_Lord
    Salisbury at the Guildhall._]

_Professor of the Noble Art of Self-Defence (the "Pet's" Trainer),
loquitur_:--

  Change in _my_ attitude? Nay, not a bit of it!
    Like JOAN'S true DARBY I'm "always the same."
  Parties may flout, but I can't see the wit of it;
    Surely they ought to be fly to my game.
  Such "disquisitions" are strangely unfortunate,
    Pain us extremely, delighting our foes;
  Worry one too, like a busy, importunate
                  Fly on one's nose.

  Don't know the play of our pugilist system, "Pet,"
    Parties abroad who give heed to such chat.
  Rival lot out of it; nobody's missed 'em, "Pet,"
    (Nobody ever knew what _they'd_ be at).
  Now, in position of much "greater freedom," "Pet,"
    Fancy they'll badger _me_ into a hole.
  One thing is certain, nobody will heed 'em, "Pet,"
                  _Poor little soul!_

  _They_ were nice trainers and backers for you, my lad.
    Pretty nigh muffed any small chance you'd got.
  Square up those shoulders a little bit, _do_, my lad!
    That form won't put in a slommocking shot.
  Their fumbling style and contemptible flabbiness
    Clings to you yet. Ah! thanks be, you've changed hands.
  They'd crab our swim, but the Old Scuttler's shabbiness
                  BULL understands.

  _We_ didn't bring you out, put you in training, "Pet,"
    Or crack you up as the Coming Young Copt.
  (Straighten up, boy! Such corkscrewing and craning, "Pet,"
    Never a rib-roasting wunner in-popt.)
  No, you 're a legacy! Would not deceive you, "Pet,"
    You are a stick, and have cost a good bit.
  Still we have charge of, and don't mean to leave you, "Pet,"
                  Till you are "fit."

  Biceps? Ah, verily, feeling your muscle, "Pet,"
    Isn't a job that brings SANDOW to mind.
  Where would you be in a real hard tussle, "Pet"?
    You're not a Pug of the wear-and-tear kind.
  Foes many menace you. Champions, boy, you know,
    Challenge all comers; they _have_ to--you bet.
  When you can do so, I'll leave you with joy, you know.
                  But--'tisn't yet!

  Thanks to our care, you're improving, my "Pet," a bit.
    Promising Novice, of that there's no doubt.
  But up to Champion form? No, not yet a bit.
    Just try that on, and you'll soon get knocked out.
  Can't say exactly how long we must bide with you,
    Help you develope grit, muscle, and pipe;
  But we must own you to-day--(though we side with you)--
                  _Not_ "Cherry Ripe!"

[_Left putting the "Pet" through his paces._

       *       *       *       *       *

VERY NEAR.--"The man who never makes a mistake, never makes anything," said
Mr. PHELPS, the American Minister, in the course of a farewell after-dinner
speech. Happening to be re-reading Mr. SURTEES' inimitable _Soapy Sponge_,
we find that _Mr. Bragg_, when applying for the situation of Huntsman to
_Mr. Puffington_, remarked, "He, Sir, who never makes an effort, Sir, never
risks a failure," which is just the premiss to Mr. PHELPS'S celebrated
conclusion.

       *       *       *       *       *

A NUPTIAL PENEDICTION.--"Pless you, my children!" as Sir CORNWALLIS WEST
will say in his best Principality-English to the happy Bride and Bridegroom
on December 8 next.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE "EGYPTIAN PET."

PROFESSOR OF THE NOBLE ART OF SELF-DEFENCE. "NOT UP TO IT YET, YOUNG 'UN."

"We desire that Egypt should be strong enough of herself to repel all
external attack, and to put down all internal disturbance."

_Lord Salisbury's Speech at the Guildhall, November 9th._]

       *       *       *       *       *

"BY JINGO!"

(_A Military Sketch according to precedent._)

[Illustration: A Call to Arms!]

SCENE--_Sanctum of the_ Coming General. _To him enter_ Intelligent
Foreigner.

_Intelligent Foreigner (politely)._ I trust you will forgive me for
intruding upon you, but the fact is I am very anxious to obtain a few
useful hints for the Government I have the honour to represent.

_Coming General (effusively)._ Oh, certainly. Only too glad to lay down any
work I may have in hand, to tell you everything. Of course you have been
over Woolwich Arsenal and the Dockyards, and no doubt you have--

_Int. For. (interrupting)._ Yes, thanks, I have seen everything, and had
everything explained to me. I do not believe that there is a single
official secret that has not been revealed to me in the kindest manner
possible.

_Com. Gen. (heartily)._ Come, that is as it should be! We like to tell the
whole world what we can do.

_In. For. (drily)._ Exactly, and teach your neighbours how to do it?

_Com. Gen. (gazing at his neglected work)._ But if you know everything, why
do you come to me?

_In. For._ Well, I thought if I got it first hand from the Commander of the
Future, it would strengthen the opinion I have already formed of the
unpreparedness of the British Empire. For I take it that the British Empire
_is_ unprepared?

_Com. Gen. (amused)._ Why, certainly! I thought everybody knew that! If war
were declared now, according to all the rules of the game, we ought to be
absolutely ruined.

_In. For._ Dear me! I am sorry to hear it! But surely your Fleet is fairly
strong?

_Com. Gen. (laughing)._ What a joke! Oh, I dare say, ship for ship and gun
for gun, we are more powerful than any other nation. But if hostilities
broke out, our Fleet would be valueless. We should want every vessel to
guard our island shores, and our commerce and colonies would have to shift
for themselves.

_In. For. (with concern)._ Dear me! This is very sad! But then you have an
Army?

_Com. Gen. (with another burst of laughter)._ What! Call our wretched force
an Army! Why, to quote a writer, whose letters have been published in our
leading journal, "Nobody could tell the Secretary of State for War how a
force of forty thousand men, if it had to be supplemented for defensive
purposes by Volunteers, could be supplied with ammunition for six weeks."
Call our force an Army! Why, my dear Sir, the notion is absolutely
ridiculous!

_In. For._ But does not such a state of things make you uneasy?

_Com. Gen._ Uneasy! Of course it does! Why, at a moment's notice, this
grand old country might disappear for ever! Why we all feel that we are on
the point of dissolution! We know that only a ninth-rate Power has to send
a fleet to invade us, and we should have to submit--that we should be
absolutely effaced, and be known in future as merely a geographical
expression!

_In. For._ But surely this is lamentable--demoralising?

_Com. Gen._ I should rather think it was!--awfully demoralising!--(_Sound
of telephone bell._)--But will you pardon me? Some one wishes to speak to
me from Head Quarters. I won't be a second.

_In. For._ Certainly. Pray see what it is.

_Com. Gen. (listening, and speaking through telephone)._ What! Not really?
Hurray!

_In. For._ Why, what is the news?

_Com. Gen. (excitedly)._ Splendid! The Great Powers of Europe have
simultaneously declared war against us! This will be grand!

_In. For. (in a tone of deep commiseration)._ My poor fellow, this means
ruin!

_Com. Gen._ Ruin! Rot! (_Through telephone._) All right, will start
to-night, and should be in Paris by Thursday, and at St. Petersburg at
latest by the end of week. We can take Vienna and Berlin on our way home! I
will be with the men at Portsmouth within an hour. Never mind our baggage;
send it on afterwards.

_In. For. (astounded)._ But what are you going to do?

_Com. Gen. (with determination)._ Going to do! Why give them another
thrashing! By-by, no time for talking! See you again soon!

[_Exit hurriedly to beat the foe, and, strange to say, the object is
subsequently attained--somehow!_

       *       *       *       *       *

AN ANTI-ONIONIST LIBERAL.--Mr. LEAKE lately made a radically plucky speech,
and is in future to be known in the North as Cocky Leakey.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR FINANCIAL COLUMN.

_Telegraphic Address.--"Croesus," Everywhere._

[Illustration]

Of course I knew perfectly well what would happen after I had put forth the
programme of my financial operations. I said at the time to my friend GUS
BRUMMAGEM, "Mark my words," I said, "I shall have all the Crowned Heads of
the world grovelling at my feet and imploring, actually imploring me to
allow them to hand over their money and their ancestral regalia to me for
investment. They're bound to do it. I know the beggars well, and a more
grasping lot you couldn't find within a day's march of Holloway Gaol." Dear
old GUS (Beau GUS he is always called on account of his singularly
attractive appearance) went so far as to pooh-pooh what I said. I don't
bear him any ill-will. Gus was always a bit of a courtier, and got his head
turned for good, when the Japanese Prince CHI IKAH invited him to stay a
week at his country house, and to act as godfather to the infant prince, KA
CHOOKAH, the necessary ceremony haying been postponed for six months in
order to allow GUS to get there in time. That, as I say, was the ruin of
GUS, and since that time he has had an offensive way of giving himself not
merely airs, but what I may call regular blasts in the company of men
better than himself. He ought to recollect that he owes his start in life
to the lucky chance that threw him in my way. If I hadn't appointed him
Chairman of the Turp, Pin and Bolt Company, and Managing Director of the
New Gatefringe Syndicate, Limited, he might still be engaged in sweeping
out the tenth-rate office which was formerly the scene of his labours. But
I never expect gratitude. I am content to do good to my fellow-creatures
without the least hope of merely temporal reward. On this particular
occasion I was right, as usual. Telegrams stamped with the coats-of-arms of
all the principal dynasties of the world have been inundating me. For
instance, H.R.H. the Hereditary Grand Duke of LEIBWEH has wired to me in
the following terms, of which I have caused an accurate translation to be
executed by my staff of paid short-hand clerks:--"Have on my faithful and
with-joy-inspired subjects a tax of ten _reichsgulden_ each after great on
the part of my ministers reluctance imposed. Invest proceeds for me in the
best to your wisdom known company, and without delay. Perfect confidence."
Now I can assure His Royal Highness, who will look in vain for any other
answer than this, that no power on earth, and least of all the cajoleries
or menaces of the great and highly-placed shall induce me to depart by one
jot or tittle from the course I have marked out for myself. And I take this
occasion to assure all other potentates that I do not propose by any effort
of mine to bring wealth to the foreigner. The welfare of the British people
is my only care. For them, _but for no others_, my investments are open; to
them alone I devote my unrivalled experience. And after this I trust I
shall be troubled with no further importunities from abroad.

I have to announce this week that I have formed The Croesus Club Company. I
have, at immense expense, secured a splendid site in the very heart of the
fashionable quarter of London. Building operations will begin immediately,
and within the next three weeks the members will be housed in a Club-house
unrivalled for comfort and luxury. Ten French _chefs_ will preside over the
kitchen, and house dinners at a minimum price of £5 a-head will be served
in the Ruby Hall to the strains of the Brass Potsdammer Buben Hussar Band,
specially retained for the exclusive service of the Club. The first list of
members will consist of 2000, and, in order to insure exclusiveness, the
subscription will be fixed at £500 without any entrance fee. A list of the
Provisional Committee, containing a Duke as Chairman and four Peers as
ordinary members, will be issued at once. I have the authority of the
Committee to receive subscriptions.

I may point with pride to the fact that all the investments recommended by
me have prospered, and the list of British millionnaires has been heavily
increased. Canadian Boodlers fairly firm, but with a tendency to cross the
border-line. No returns. I say, "Sell." M.T. Coffer Co. not very promising.
(294 stk.; lim. pref., 19; mortg. deb., 44.) Clear out, if possible. Tight
Rates Ry. Co. must be bought. But enough of this. All that is necessary is
that correspondents should send remittances. The rest may be left to me.

CROESUS.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE FLOODS. A FARMER'S DREAM.]

       *       *       *       *       *

QUITE A LIBEL'Y PROSPECT!

(_Or what may be expected after a recent Verdict._)

SCENE--_An Editor's Room._ Editor _and_ Chief Sub. _discovered in
conversation._

_Editor._ And I think you have asked the Solicitors who have threatened us
with proceedings to be in attendance?

_Chief Sub._ Yes, Sir. They are below--shall I send them up?

_Ed._ If you please. One by one; and kindly impress upon them the value of
my time.

_Chief Sub._ Certainly. But I think you will find they will get over their
business pretty speedily. After they have gone, no doubt you would like to
look at the Contents Bill, Sir?

_Ed._ Yes, please; and now send up the Lawyers.

[_Exit_ Chief Sub., _when the_ Editor _returns to his writing, until
interrupted by_ First Solicitor.

_First Solor._ Sorry to intrude upon you when you seem to be busy, but it
was your own idea that I should look you up.

_Ed._ Entirely. And now, Sir, perhaps you will kindly explain of what your
client has to complain.

_First Solor._ Certainly. You said of the senior member of the Bounding
Brothers of Bohemia, that, "although a very marvel of strength and grace,
he could scarcely, after fifty years service in the ring, be described as a
trapèze-practising acrobat."

_Ed._ Well, surely that is a most complimentary allusion to his
personality! What does he want more than to be "a marvel of grace and
strength"?

_First Solor._ You say he can scarcely be described as a
"trapèze-practising acrobat."

_Ed._ Well, can he? Does he ever practise on the trapèze?

_First Solor._ Well, no. But he might if he liked! You see his chief
business is to stand at the base of the pyramid, at the apex of which is
his smallest and lightest Bounding Brother. But he might use the trapèze, I
repeat, if he liked.

_Ed._ If what I hear is correct--it would have to be a strong one?

_First Solor._ Certainly--an extra strong one. We don't deny that our
client weighs over twenty stone. But there, as we can accept no
explanation, will you kindly tell me the name of your Solicitor?

_Editor._ Certainly.

[_Gives the requisite information, and returns to his work, until
interrupted by_ Second Solicitor, _who has taken the place of the First._

_Second Solor._ I am afraid this interview is absolutely useless. Our
client can accept no apology. You announced that you believed that JOHN
SNOOKS had ceased to be in the employment of the Universal Cab and Fly
Company.

_Editor._ Who is John SNOOKS?

_Second Solor._ He is a driver in the service of the organisation I have
just named--and we act for the organisation. We complain that you have
seriously injured us by telling the public that you believed we had lost
the services of one of our thousand drivers.

_Editor._ But if we _did_ believe it?

_Second Solor._ That is your business and not ours; and so, Sir, we shall
be glad of the names of your Solicitors.

[_The information is afforded, and the_ Editor _returns to his work, until
interrupted by_ Third Solicitor.

_Third Solor._ Sorry to disturb you, but you have been libelling one of our
clients. He objects to your putting his Christian name in the paper--says
that even with another surname it will injure him with his neighbours. He
doesn't want his Christian name to be figuring in the public prints.

_Ed._ And what is his Christian name?

_Third Solor._ ZOZIMUS.

_Ed._ Why, that is mine! I thought I was the only man in the world with
that name, with the solitary exception of my godfather!

_Third Solor._ Very likely you are--your godfather is our client.

_Ed._ Then mustn't I print my own name?

_Third Solor._ Certainly not without running the risk of an action for
libel. The address of your Solicitors, please?

[_The_ Editor _gives the desired information, and then sends up "the
Pleasure of Editing" to the Composing Room as a line for the Contents Bill
as the Scene closes in._

       *       *       *       *       *

An Elevating Exhibition.

At the Alhambra, the Little GEORGIA MAGNET ought to attract thousands.
Three heavy swells seated on a chair she can lift, chair and all, so that
the little lady's exhibition of power must have a wonderfully elevating
effect on all who come within the reach of her influence. At all events,
there can be no doubt that her magnetic force will give the Alhambra itself
a tremendous lift.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I can't write seasonable verses," replied Our Festive Poet, "until I've
had my Christmas dinner, and then _I'm mincepie-r'd_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EXCELSIOR!

_She._ "I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE A _MUSICIAN_; HERR MÜLLER."

_He._ "A MUSICIAN? ACH, NO--GOTT VORPIT! I AM A _WAGNERIAN_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

AN IMPERIAL STAGE-MANAGER.

[Illustration: Only in Play!]

"_GUILLAUME DEUX_," says the _Figaro_, "_prend très au sérieux sa tâche de
moralisateur._" He is his own Licenser of plays, and, it may be presumed,
collars the fees for doing the official Licenser's work; that is, if there
be a department of this nature in the Lord Chamberlain's Office. And His
Imperial Highhandedness not only is his own licenser, but is a
self-appointed Stage-Manager, for, continues the _Figaro_, "_Il a préscrit
que, dans une pièce moderne, LE NOUVEAU MAITRE, une scène un peu violente
ne fût pas jouée à l'avant-scène, mais au fond du théâtre._" If His
Imperial Majesty should permit some of IBSEN'S plays to be performed,
_Ghosts_ for example, or _Hedda Gabler_, no doubt most of the dialogue
would be given right at the back of the stage, out of ear-shot of the
audience. In ordinary dramas the Villain who may have to use strong
language, or in farce the Eccentric Comedian who frequently has to utter
more or less playfully a meaningless "big big D," would by Imperial command
be compelled to "retire up" to deliver himself of the expletive, and then
would have to "come down to the front" and continue the stage-business.
But, not satisfied with merely giving the above stage-directions, His
Imperial Majesty "_est allé samedi s'assurer en personne que ses ordres
étaient bien exécutés._" No dodging such an Emperor as this. How would Herr
Von IRVING and Herr TOOLE like this personal supervision? And how about
Herren JONES, PINERO, W.S. GILBERT and a few others, who would not
particularly enjoy having their stage-directions upset by even an Imperial
amateur. The next move of GUILLAUME DEUX will be to make himself honorary
prompter, and it may be to cast himself for the leading parts.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

"_DICKENSII nihil à me alienum puto_," quoth the Baron, taking up _A Week's
Tramp in Dickens-Land_. By W.K. HUGHES, F.L.S., with Illustrations by F.G.
KITTON, and Others, published by Messrs. CHAPMAN AND HALL. Ahem! The frisky
KITTON, having several tales to play with (probably some relation to the
Cat-'o-nine-tails, eh?), has done his work well; and the same may be said
for Others. The work can be recommended as a book of pictorial reference
for Dickensian students, but otherwise it is--ahem--superfluous. If this
kind of trading on the name of DICKENS continues, we shall probably become
HUGHES'd to seeing such announcements as, "Shortly to appear,--_The
Collected Bills of the Butcher and Baker of Charles Dickens_; _Upper
Storeys of Houses in whose Neighbourhood Charles Dickens resided_; _Some
Tradesmen's Accounts, Receipted and Returned with Thanks, Autographically,
to Charles Dickens_, &c., &c.

[Illustration: The Light that Failed; or, a Thief in the Candle.]

A sad story, picturesquely commenced, and powerfully ended, is RUDYARD
KIPLING'S _The Light that Failed_. But, between these two extremes, the
conversations have the deadly fault of being wearisome, and, as to the
manner of their conversation, were the Baron compelled to listen to much of
it, life would indeed not be worth living. The women-kind in it are all
detestable; there is none of them that doeth good in the novel, no, not
one. It becomes gradually gloomier and gloomier, and, indeed, it is well
styled _The Light that Failed_. Since DAUDET'S _Jack_, the Baron calls to
mind no book more pitiful, no characters more heartless, and no sadder
ending. Clever, of course; artistic, equally so; but--well, the Baron's
advice to his enemies is, Go in heavily for Christmas festivities, have an
orgy of plum-pudding, creams, sweets, and mince-pies, and, on the day after
Boxing Day, stay indoors, and read _The Light that Failed_.

In the Baron's office there are several departments, where SAM the Skipper
for novels, CHILD HAROLD for children's books, and PETER the Salt for tales
of the sea, are specially busy at Christmas time. To quote the ancient song
of the "_Mistletoe Bough_":--

  "The Baron's retainers were Blythe and Gay;"

and so are they now, as the Ladies BELINDA BLYTHE and GRISELDA GAY
undertake a considerable proportion of such seasonable reviewing as is more
or less expected from the BARON DE BOOK-WORMS about this season of the
year. But the Baron reviews the reviewers, and presents the public with
only the pick of the basket. Now, once for all, the Baron gives notice
hereby and herewith nevertheless and all to the contrary notwithstanding,
that neither he nor his retainers will take notice of Christmas puzzles,
such as, for example, the bilious-looking "Spots Puzzle," which ought to be
dedicated to _Little Red Riding Hood_, as it is brought out by "WOLF." The
Baron cannot listen to "the cry of WOLF." Let that he understood. Now, in
the way of Books, what is there for Christmas fare? There is friend
BLACKIE, who doesn't keep himself dark, but comes out with _Henty_ in
Plenty, whose _Dash for Khartoum_ will be appreciated even by those who
don't ordinarily care a dash for anything. Ask for HENTY, and see that you
get him. Mr. MANVILLE FENN ought long ago to have changed his name to
BOYVILLE FENN, as he is so associated with Books for Boys, and his
_Brownsmith's Boy_ is more boyant than ever. "A capital book" says the
Baron's chief adviser. Find out _The Rover's Secret_, by HARRY COLLINGWOOD;
it is worth knowing, and make friends with ANNIE ARMSTRONG'S _Three Bright
Girls_.

[Illustration: Blackie and Son introducing themselves to the Baron de
Book-Worms.]

_Angling Sketches_, by ANDREW LANG--_Andrew L'Angler_--are delightful
reading. The Baron pictures to himself the thoughtful and Balfour-like
ANDREW on a bank by the river, rod stuck into ground, pencil and note-book
in his hand. "What is he doing, my boy?" inquires the Baron, of the
hook-baiting boy. "He's ketching sumthink," whispers the urchin. Is it
Historical Notes on the _Diet of Wurms_? Is it necessary to show that the
fish have no consciousness of Pain? Or, is he composing _Lines to my Rod_?
Or is it a disquisition on "ingratitude," showing how the stream goes on
murmuring? And does he classically remind it how silent it ought to
be,--_Dumb defluit annis_? Or does the stream murmur because our ANDREW the
Fisherman has been "whipping" it? Should he betake himself to fly-fishing,
let his motto be "Strike and spare not!" and if he would be wise above his
fellows in the gentle art of catching fish, let him consult _The Incomplete
Angler_, says, disinterestedly,

THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

MEMS FROM MONKEY-LAND.

    (_Being a Report made to the "Royal Simian Society" by Professor Hairy
    Myas, F.R.S.S., with compliments to Professor Garnier, who continues
    his articles on "a Simian Language" in "The New Review" for this
    month._)

I have for some time past paid considerable attention to the sounds uttered
by the Human Beings who are permitted to observe our movements, in the wire
house which the Proprietor of these gardens has so obligingly placed at our
disposal, rent free. My object has been to discover whether the Human
Species, though belonging to a rather low form of animal life, can be said
to have anything corresponding to the language which is the recognised
means of communicating between Apes.

I have been much assisted in my investigations by the kind help afforded me
by the great Anubis Baboon, who has frequently abandoned the consumption of
nuts to come and make experiments on our human visitors; the elder members
of the Chimpanzee Family have also been most useful, and have often
restrained the young of their household from interrupting my inquiries by
ill-timed pleasantries. Only once in the whole course of these scientific
labours have I had seriously to complain of my tail being made use of as a
swing.

It was not long before I came to the conclusion that men do really mean
something by the extraordinary gibberings and chatterings in which they
indulge. My first experiment was on a female of the species, with a blue
feather in her bonnet. At a sign from me, a young Chimpanzee suddenly and
adroitly snatched the bonnet from her head. The sound she uttered was, as
nearly as I can put it, _wh-oo-w!_ ending in a shrill scream. I therefore
take the _oo_ sound to indicate alarm, or dissatisfaction. Exactly the same
vowels were used by the Male.

The mischievous young of the Human Species, we have discovered, also have
this _oo_ sound, and use it when they wish to frighten us.

The three conclusions which I have drawn from my inquiries are:--

1. That Human Beings understand the sounds they utter to each other, and
therefore possess a language, as we do.

2. That Human Beings have, in a very imperfect and rudimentary shape, the
faculty of reason.

3. _That Apes have descended from Men!_ In other words, that a Monkey is
only a highly-developed and more agile Man.

[Illustration]

These, no doubt, are startling conclusions, and I expect them to excite
controversy. In fact, an Ourang-Outang friend of mine, to whom I mentioned
them, was so shocked, that he has declined all nourishment ever since. But
I rely on the scientific spirit of this great society to do me justice; and
I venture to add a request that it will see fit to endow research by voting
an extra supply of apples and nuts to the Chimpanzees, the Anubis Baboon,
and myself, while we are at work on this very fatiguing field of inquiry.

       *       *       *       *       *

--> NOTICE.--Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS., Printed
Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no case be
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