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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, October 3, 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, October 3, 1891" ***

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VOL. 101.

October 3rd, 1891.


No. IX.

SCENE--_The Burg Terrace at Nuremberg_. PODBURY _on a bench, grappling
with the Epitome of_ SPENCER.

_Podbury_ (_reading aloud, with comments_). "For really to conceive the
infinite divisibility of matter is mentally to follow out the divisions
to infinity, and to do this would require infinite time." You're right
_there_, old cock, and, as I haven't got it to spare, I won't trouble
you!--um--um ... "opposite absurdities"--"subjective modifications" ...
"ultimate scientific ideas, then, are all representative of ideas that
cannot be comprehended." I could have told _him_ that. What bally rot this
Philosophy is--but I suppose I must peg away at it. Didn't she say she was
sorry I didn't go in more for cultivating my mind? (_He looks up._) Jove,
here she comes! and yes, there's that beggar CULCHARD with her! I thought
he'd--how the dickens did he manage to--? I see what _he's_ after--thinks
he'll cut me out--twice over--but he shan't this time, if I can help it!

_Culchard_ (_to_ Miss HYPATIA PRENDERGAST). No, the Modern Spirit is too
earnestly intent upon solving the problems of existence to tolerate humour
in its literature. Humour has served a certain purpose in its day, but that
day is done, and I for one cannot pretend to regret its decay.

_Miss H. P._ Nor I. In fact, the only humour I ever _really_ appreciated
is that of the ancient classics. There has been no true fun since
ARISTOPHANES died. At least, _I_ think not.

_Podb._ (_catching the last sentence_). Oh, I say, come, Miss PRENDERGAST.
Have you ever read "The Jumping Frog"?

_Miss P._ I was under the impression that _all_ frogs jumped. But I never

_Podb._ (_declining to be crushed_). Well, I call MARK TWAIN funny anyhow.
But _I'm_  going in for study now. I am--honour bright! I'm swotting up

[_He exhibits the volume proudly._

_Miss P._ And are you not enchanted by the logical lucidity of that great

_Podb._ Um--I should be more enchanted if I ever had the faintest notion
what the great thinker was driving at. Look here--here's a simple little
sentence for you! _(Reads.)_  "Let us therefore bear in mind the
following:--That  of the whole incident force affecting an aggregate, the
effective force is that which remains after deducting the non-effective,
that the temporarily effective and the permanently effective vary
inversely, and that the molar and molecular changes wrought by the
permanently effective force also vary inversely." (_With pathos._) And
that's only in an _Epitome_, mind you!

_Miss P._ Really, Mr. PODBURY, I see nothing particularly incomprehensible
in that.

_Culch._ (_with his superior smile_). My dear PODBURY, you can hardly
expect to master the Spencerian phraseology and habit of thought without
at least _some_ preliminary mental discipline!

_Podb._ (_nettled_). Oh--but _you_ find him plain-sailing enough, I

_Culch._ I have certainly not encountered any insuperable difficulties in
his works as _yet_.

_Podb._ Well, I'll just trouble you to explain _this_--wait a bit.
(_Opens volume again._) Ah, here we are--"And these illusive and primordial
cognitions, or pseud-ideas, are homogeneous entities which may be
differentiated objectively or subjectively, according as they are presented
as Noumenon or Phenomenon. Or, in other words, they are only cognoscible as
a colligation of incongruous coalescences." Now then--are you going to tell
me you can make head or tail of all that?

_Culch._ (_perceiving that_ Miss P. _is awaiting his reply in manifest
suspense_). It's simple enough, my dear fellow, only I can't expect _you_
to grasp it. It is merely a profound truth stated with masterly precision.

_Podb._ Oh, is _that_ all, my dear fellow? (_He flings up his heels in an
ecstasy._) I _knew_ I'd have you! Why, I made that up myself as I went
along, and if _you_ understand it, it's a jolly sight more than _I_ do!
[_He roars with laughter._

_Miss P._ (_behind her handkerchief_). Mr. CULCHARD has evidently gone
through the--the "preliminary mental discipline."

_Culch._ (_scarlet and sulky_). Of course, if Mr. PODBURY descends to
childishness of that sort, I can't pretend to--

[Illustration: Podbury grappling with the Epitome of Spencer.]

_Podb._ (_wiping his eyes_). But you _did_ pretend, old chap. You said it
was "profound truth" and "masterly precision"! I've got more profound truth
where _that_ came from. I say, I shall set up as an intellectual Johnny
after this, and _get_ you to write an Epitome of me. I think I pulled your
leg _that_ time, eh?

_Culch._ (_biting his lip_). When you have extracted sufficient
entertainment from that very small joke, you will perhaps allow Miss
PRENDERGAST to sit down and begin her sketch. You may not be aware that
you've taken her place.

[_He withdraws majestically to the parapet, while_ PODBURY _makes way for_
Miss P. _with apologies_.

_Podb._ (_as he leans over seat while she sketches_). I wish your brother
BOB had been here--he would have enjoyed that!

_Miss P._ It was really too bad of you, though. Poor Mr. CULCHARD!

_Podb._ He shouldn't try to make me out a bigger duffer than I am, then.
But I say, you don't _really_ think it was too bad? Ah, you're
_laughing_--you don't!

_Miss P._ Never mind what I really think. But you have got us both into sad
disgrace. Mr. CULCHARD is dreadfully annoyed with us--look at his

_Culch._ (_leaning over parapet with his back to them_). That _ass_
PODBURY! To think of his taking me in with an idiotic trick like that! And
before Her too! And when I had made it all right about the other evening,
and was producing an excellent impression on the way up here. I wish I
could hear what they were whispering about--more silly jokes at my expense,
no doubt. Bah! as if it affected _me_!

_Podb._ (_to_ Miss P.). I say, how awfully well you draw!

_Miss P._ There you betray your ignorance in Art matters. Sketching with me
is a pastime, not a serious pursuit, (_They go on conversing in a lower
tone._) No, _please_, Mr. PODBURY. I'm quite sure he would never--

_Podb._ (_rises; comes up to_ CULCHARD, _and touches his shoulder_). I say,
old chappie--

_Culch._ (_jerking away with temper_). Now, look here, PODBURY. I'm not in
the mood for any more of your foolery--

_Podb._ (_humbly_). All right, old boy. I wouldn't bother you, only Miss
PRENDERGAST wants a figure for her foreground, and I said I'd ask you if
you'd keep just as you are for a few minutes. Do you mind?

_Culch._ (_to himself_). Afraid she's gone too far--thinks she'll smooth me
down! Upon my word, it would serve her right to--but no, I won't be petty.
(_Aloud._) Pray tell Miss PRENDERGAST that I have no immediate intention of
altering my position.

_Podb._ Thanks awfully, old chap. I knew you'd oblige.

_Culch._ (_incisively_). I am obliging Miss PRENDERGAST, and her only.
(_Raising his voice, without turning his head._) Would you prefer me to
_face_ you, Miss PRENDERGAST?

_Miss P._ (_in tremulous tones_). N--no, thank you. It--it's so much more
n--natural, don't you know, for you to be l--looking at the view.

_Culch._ As you please. (_To himself._) Can't meet my eye. Good! I shall go
on treating her distantly for a little. I wonder if I look indifferent
enough from behind? Shall I cross one foot? Better not--she may have begun
sketching me. If she imagines I'm susceptible to feminine flattery of this
palpable kind, she'll--how her voice shook, though, when she spoke. Poor
girl, she's afraid she offended me by laughing--and I _did_ think she had
more sense than to--but I mustn't be too hard on her. I'm afraid she's
already beginning to think too much of--and with my peculiar position with
Miss TROTTER--(MAUD, that is)--not that there's anything definite at
present, still--(_Aloud._) Ahem, Miss PRENDERGAST--am I standing as you
wish? (_To himself._) She doesn't answer--too absorbed, and I can't hear
that idiot--found he hasn't scored so much after all, and gone off in a
huff, I expect. So much the better! What a time she is over this, and how
quiet she keeps! I wish I knew whether it was coquetry or--shall I turn
round and see? No, I must be perfectly indifferent. And she _did_ laugh at
me. I distinctly saw her. Still, if she's sorry, this would be an excellent
opportunity for--(_Aloud._) Miss PRENDERGAST! (_No reply--louder._) May I
take it that you regret having been betrayed into momentary approbation of
a miserable piece of flippancy? If so, let me assure you--(_Turns round--to
discover that he is addressing two little flaxen-haired girls in speckled
pinafores, who are regarding him open-mouthed._ Miss PRENDERGAST _and_
PODBURY _have disappeared_.) PODBURY _again!_ He must have planned
this--with _her_! It is too much. I have done--yes--done  with the pair of
them! [_Strides off in bitter indignation._

       *       *       *       *       *

SCHOOL-BOY'S FIRST EXPERIENCE OF SMOKING.--One sickarette,--and he never
could do another. _O si sic omnes_!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Mrs. WHEELER and Mrs. CUSTER, two literary ladies of New York, are
starting a hotel for women only.]

  Says Mrs. CUSTER to Mrs. WHEELER:
  "I propose we put out a 'promoting' feeler!"
  Says Mrs. WHEELER to Mrs. CUSTER,
  "Monopolist Males we shall greatly fluster;"
  'Hotel it not in Gath!' at present
  Till we have made things nice and pleasant.
  First rule--'No Rules!' O, of course male noddies
  Will snigger at once, the superior bodies!
  But OSCAR WILDE must 'pull up his socks,'
  Ere he'll equal women at paradox.
  What I mean is this, in our 'Women's Hotel,'
  We'll have no such thing as the 'Curfew Bell,'
  And no fixed hour for the cry, 'Out lights!'
  We will give free way to true 'Woman's Rights,'
  Which are to thump, strum, tap, twirl, trill,
  From morn till night at her own sweet will.
  That's why we cherish, despite male spleen,
  Typewriter, Piano, and Sewing-Machine!
  The 'woodpecker tapping' is, indeed, not in it
  With Emancipate Woman--no, not for a minute!
  Our Hotel will be, when we've won the battle,
  'The Paradise of unlimited Rattle,'
  'The Realm of the Spindle,' 'the Home of the Duster!'"
  Says Mrs. WHEELER to Mrs. CUSTER.
  "Nought tabooed save Man! So comes Peace the Healer!"
  Says Mrs. CUSTER to Mrs. WHEELER.
  _Punch hopes_ their Hotel may flourish--only,
  Spots "Reserved for Ladies" are often--lonely!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GERMAN EMPEROR GOING NAP.--It now appears that the words descriptive of
NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE used by the German Emperor, and to which the French
took so strong an exception, were not "_Le parvenu Corse_," but "_Le
conquérant Corse_," which, of course, makes all the difference. At this
banquet it would have been better had each course been omitted from the

       *       *       *       *       *

A Vain Vaunt.

  _La belle France_ boasts of being Art's true henchman!
    That cosmopolitan claim she should be mute on.
  "Art for Art's sake!" shouts the thrasonic Frenchman,
    "Save when that Art is Teuton,"
  Though Art's not marred for him by subtle sin
  A German twang poisons e'en _Lohengrin_.

       *       *       *       *       *



_Secretary to the Local Cricket Club._ "BUT, MADAM, YOU CAN'T BE AWARE THAT


       *       *       *       *       *


(_Commenced by Mr. J.A. Froude and concluded by the Duke of Medina

It may be remembered that the English writer in _Longman's Magazine_, had
got to the point when after trying to get out of the expedition by pleading
poverty, incompetency, and anything else I could think of, I was forced to
go on my way to England with apparent satisfaction. We had putrid pork and
mouldy biscuit, but still I informed the King that we were "content and
cheerful." Had I given him any other intelligence, the chances are that he
would have had my head--not  a good one, but sufficient to meet my modest

Well, we sailed towards England, and as Mr. J.A. FROUDE has already
explained (quoting from my own letter to King PHILIP), "knowing nothing of
navigation," I soon made a bad shot. Instead of going to Tilbury, I drifted
towards Cronstadt, even then a fortress of some consideration. I could tell
you a great deal more, were it not that I succumbed to sea-sickness and
gave up my command. The expedition was now, of course, commanded by the
steward, but the duties of his unpleasant office left him but little time
for directing an invasion. Well, we got within reach of England when the
wind began to blow, and before I could hitch myself up with a
marling-spike, every man Jack of us was ready for Davy Jones's locker!

But why should I dwell upon the events of the next few days? We were
out-manoeuvred and beaten. I myself took refuge in a wood of mahogany
trees, and it was my delight and my privilege to supply the requirements of
the British colony in all that they desired. The result of this was that I
and a few personal friends took refuge in a forest in which mahogany trees
flourished. It was in this leafy prison that I supplied the genuine old
Armada mahogany "as advertised." I would be afraid to say how many places I
supplied with wood from the Armada. I may hint that I know something of the
tables at Westminster and the benches of Gray's Inn. But there, that is
many years ago, and all I can say now is, "Heave away, boys," and "Three
cheers for the Don, the Keys, and the Donkey." I was the Don, the keys were
supplied to those who paid for them, and the donkeys could defend
themselves. The Armada was not a success, and after this frank avowal, it
seems to me that Mr. FROUDE need render no further explanation. Surely the
story of the Spanish Invasion is copyright. And if it is, Mr. FROUDE has no
right to tamper with my work, the more especially as it is immediately
appropriated by that model of modern journalism the _Review of Reviews_.

       *       *       *       *       *

PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTION.--We have five senses. That's quite enough. If we
had a sixth sense, what a _new sense_ it would be!

       *       *       *       *       *


    (_Latest Up-to-Date Version of a celebrated Bacchanalian ditty, as
    it might be revised by Dr. Mortimer Granville and Mr. James

    ["No one drinks alcoholic liquor (unless it be beer) to quench
    thirst."--JAMES PAYN.]

    In Cellar deep I sit and steep
    My soul in GRANVILLE'S logic.
  Companions mine, sound ale, good wine--
    _That_ foils Teetotal dodge--hic!
  With solemn pate our sages prate,
  The Pump-slaves neatly pinking.
  He's proved an ass, whose days _don't_ pass
      In drinking, drinking, drinking!

  In water pure there's danger sure,
    All fizzle-pop's deceiving;
  And ginger-beer must make you queer
    (If GRANVILLE you're believing).
  Safe, on the whole, is Alcohol;
    It saves man's strength from sinking.
  I injure none, and have good f--fun.
      Whilst drinking, drinking, drinking!

  Hic! Hic! Hooray!! New reasons gay
    For drink from doctors borrow!
  The last (_not_ first) is simple thirst,
    Thatsh true--to LAWSON'S sorrow!
  Good Templarsh fain would "physic PAYN,"
    And GRANVILLE squelch like winking;
  But all the same, true Wisdom's--hic--game
      Is drinking, drinking, drinking!

[_Left playing it._

       *       *       *       *       *


    [_Mr. Punch_ has observed with much gratification the success of
    various _brochures_ professing to give, under the disguise of
    retrospect, a prophetic but accurate account of the naval battle
    of the immediate future. _Mr. Punch_ has read them carefully over
    and over again. For some time he has been living, so to speak, in
    the midst of magnificent iron-clad fleets. In vain have torpedoes
    been launched on their occasionally death-dealing mission against
    him, in vain have immense shells exploded in his immediate
    neighbourhood. Nothing, not even the ramming of one whole squadron
    by another, has succeeded in daunting him. He has remained
    immovable in the midst of an appalling explosion which reduced a
    ship's company to a heap of toe-nails. And now, his mind fired by
    the crash of conflict and the intoxication of almost universal
    slaughter, he proposes to show the world how a naval novel that
    means to be accurate as well as vivid, to be bought by the public
    in thousands as well as to teach useful lessons to politicians and
    sailors, ought really to be written. _Mr. Punch_ may as well state
    that he has _not_ submitted this story to any naval experts. His
    facts speak for themselves, and require no merely professional
    approval to enhance their value.]


(_A Story of Blood and Battle._)


[Illustration: The Explosion.]

Listen, my Grandchildren! for you are mine, not indeed by the ridiculous
accident of birth (since to speak the truth I am an unmarried  old
sea-dog), but by the far higher and more honourable title of having been
selected by me to hear this yarn. You know well enough that such a tale
_must_ be told to grandchildren, and since you undoubtedly possessed
grandparents, and have been hired at a shilling an hour to listen to me, I
have every right to address you as I did. Therefore I say, my
grandchildren, attend to what I am about to relate. You who live under the
beneficent sway of the mighty Australo-Canado-Africo-Celto-Americo-Anglian
Federation of Commonwealths, can have no notion of the degraded conditions
under which I, your grandfather, and the rest of my miserable
fellow-countrymen lived fifty years ago in the year 1892. Naturally you
have read no books of history referring to any date anterior to 1902. The
wretched records of ignorance, slavery and decrepitude have been justly
expunged from your curriculum. Let me tell you then that a little country
calling itself the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at that time
arrogated to itself the leadership of the mighty countries which you now
call your home. You smile and refer me to a large-sized map on which, as
you justly observe, this country occupies a space of not more than two
square inches. Your surprise is intelligible, but the melancholy fact
remains. All this has now been happily changed, and changed too in
consequence of a war in which England (for so the country was often
inaccurately called, except upon Scotch political platforms, where people
naturally objected to the name) in which, as I say, England bore the chief
part and obtained the decisive victory. The story of this war I am now
about to relate to you.


War had been declared. We had known for a long time that it was coming. For
months past the bellicose bench of Bishops had been preaching war in all
the Cathedrals of the land. Field Marshal the Duke of WOLSELEY, who was
then a simple lord, had written articles in all the prominent American
reviews, and had proved to demonstration that with 50,000 boys and the new
patent revolving ammunition belt, Britain (for that too was the name of my
late country) was ready to defy and conquer the world. Rear-Admiral and
Lieutenant-General Sir WILLIAM T. STEAD, G.C.B., C.S.I., K.G., V.C.--the
great journalist in the shade of whose colossal mounted statue we are now
sitting--had suddenly become a convert to the doctrine that war is the
great purifier, and had offered in a spirit of extraordinary
self-abnegation to command both the Army and the Fleet in action. Volunteer
corps armed with scythes, paper-knives, walking-sticks and umbrellas had
sprung up all over the country, and had provided their own uniforms and
equipment. Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, father of the present Earl of South
Africa, had been recalled to office by an alarmed country, and had united
in his own person the offices of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of
the Admiralty, Premier, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord Privy Seal. As
a first step towards restoring confidence, he had, with his own hands,
beheaded the former Prime Minister, the Marquis of SALISBURY, and had
published a cheap and popular edition of his epoch-making Letters from
Mashonaland. His Lordship's official residence had been established at the
Amphitryon Club where they still preserve on constant relays of ice the
_Bécassine bardée aux truffes_ which Lord RANDOLPH was about to eat when he
snubbed the united ambassadors of Germany, France, Austria, Russia, Italy
and the Republic of Andorra. The immediate consequence was a declaration of
war against us.


I was at that time in command of H.M.S. _Bandersnatch_, a vessel of nine
hundred thousand horse-power, and a mean average displacement of four
hundred thousand tons. Ah, the dear old _Bandersnatch!_ Never can I forget
the thrill of exquisite emotion which pervaded my inmost being as I stepped
on board in mid-ocean. Everything was in apple-pie order. Bulkheads,
girders, and beams shone like glass in the noonday sun. The agile
torpedo-catchers had been practising their sports, and I could not resist a
feeling of intense pride when I learnt that only fifty of these heroic
fellows had that morning perished owing to the accidental explosion of one
of their charming playthings at the very crisis of the game. The racers of
the after-guns had been out for their morning's exercise. Indeed the
saddles had only just been removed, and the noble animals were now enjoying
a good square meal of corn in their bombproof stable. Keep your animals in
good fettle, and they'll never shirk their work: that was always my motto,
and right well has it answered. The roaring furnaces, the cylindrical
boilers, the prisoned steam, the twin screws, the steel shot that crashes
like thunder, the fearful impact of the ram, the blanching terror of the
supreme moment, the shattered limbs and scattered heads,--all these were
ready, waiting but for the pressure of my finger on the middle button of
the boatswain's mess-waistcoat to speed forth upon their deadly work
between the illustrated covers of a shilling pamphlet.


In another moment the enemy's fleet had hove in sight. Our movements in the
ten minutes preceding the fatal conflict will be best understood by
consulting the annexed diagram:--


We advanced in this imposing order for five minutes. Then came a puff of
smoke, and, in less time than it takes to tell it, two thousand men had
been literally blown into thin air, their sole remnant being the left shoe
of my trusty second in command, Captain GLIMDOWSE. I trained the two
turret-guns until I had got them into perfect condition, and gave the word.
The crash that followed was terrific. One of the massive missiles went
home, and stayed there, no amount of inducement availing to bring it out
again to face the battle. The other, however, behaved as a British missile
should, and exploded in the heart of the hostile fleet. The result was
terrific. French, German and Russian Admirals by the thousand were
destroyed, their scattered fragments literally darkening the face of the
sun, and a mixed shower of iron, steel, stanchions, bollards, monster guns,
Admirals, sailors, stewards, cocked-hats, and Post Captains fell for ten
minutes without intermission from the clouds into which they had been
driven by the awful force of the explosion. I turned to my Lieutenant, who
was standing beside me, to give a necessary order. As I was about to
address him, the machine-guns in the enemy's tops belched forth a myriad
projectiles, and the unfortunate Lieutenant was swept into eternity. All
that was left of him was his right hand, which, curiously enough, remained
for a minute suspended in the air in its proper relative position to what
had been the Lieutenant's body. I mastered my emotion with an effort, as I
reverently grasped and shook the melancholy relic. Then, shedding a silent
tear, I dropped it over the side, and with an aching heart, watched it
disappear beneath the wave on which many of its former owner's happiest
hours had been spent.


This catastrophe ended the battle. The allied fleets had been swept off the
face of the ocean. I packed what remained of H.M.S. _Bandersnatch_ in my
tobacco-pouch, attached myself to a hen-coop, and thus floated triumphantly
into Portsmouth Harbour.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Aix-la-Chapelle, Monday._--I have always had a strange longing to know
CHARLEMAGNE. To shake him by the hand, to have opportunity of inquiring
after his health and that of his family, to hear his whispered reply--that
indeed were bliss. But CHARLEMAGNE is dead, and desire must be curbed. The
only thing open to an admirer is to visit the place of his last repose, and
brood in spots his shade may yet haunt. CHARLEMAGNE was buried at
Aix-la-Chapelle (German Aachen), but since my arrival in the town, I find
great difficulty in discovering his tomb. The great soldier Emperor
resembled an unfortunate and unskilful pickpocket in one respect. He was
always being taken up. He died in the year 814, and was left undisturbed
till the year 1000, when the Emperor OTTO THE THIRD opened his tomb, and,
finding his great predecessor sitting on a marble chair, helped him down.
The marble chair is on view in the Cathedral to this day (verger, I mark)
to witness to the truth of this narrative. One hundred and sixty-five years
later, FREDERICK BARBAROSSA opened the second tomb where OTHO had placed
C., and transferred to a marble sarcophagus what, at this date, was left of
him. In the following century C. was canonised. Whereupon nothing would
satisfy FREDERICK THE SECOND but to go for the bones again. They were now
growing scarce, and only a few fragments fill the reliquary in which at
length all that is left of my revered friend (if after this lapse of time I
may call him so) reposes.

I have been fortunate in securing a relic, not exactly of CAROLO, but of
the time at or about which he lived. It is a piece of tapestry, on which
fingers long since dust have worked a sketch of the Emperor going to his
bath. Considering its age, the tapestry is in remarkably fresh condition.
The old Hebrew trader, whom for a consideration I induced to part with it,
said he would not charge any more on that account; which I thought very
considerate. He also said he might be able to get me some more pieces. But
this, I think, will do to go on with.

But if there be nothing left of CAROLO MAGNO, there still is the city he
loved, in which he lived and died. Here is the Kaiserquelle, bubbling out
of Büchel in which, centuries ago, he laved his lordly limbs. Going down
into my bath this morning I observed in the dim light the imprint of a
footstep on the marble stair.

"That might have been CHARLEMAGNE'S," I said to YAHKOB, my bath attendant.

"_Ja wohl_," said YAHKOB, nodding in his friendly way, and, going out, he
presently returned with a hot towel.

That did not seem to follow naturally upon my observation, which was,
indeed, born of idle fancy. (I know very well C.'s death eventuated long
prior to the building of the stately colonnade that fronts the present
baths, and that therefore the footprint is illusory.) I am growing used to
a certain irrelevancy in YAHKOB's conversation. My German is of the date of
CHARLEMAGNE, and is no more understood here than is the Greek of SOCRATES
in the streets of Athens. YAHKOB was especially told off for my service
because he thoroughly understood and talked English. He says, "Ye-es" and
"Ver well." But when I offer a chance remark he, three times out of five,
nods intelligently, bolts off and brings me something back--a comb and
brush, a newspaper, but oftenest, a hot towel. Once, when I asked him
whether there were two posts a day to London, he lugged in an arm-chair.

I get on better with WILLIAM. WILLIAM is a rubber--not of whist, _bien
entendu_, but of men. In build WILLIAM is pear-shaped, the upper part of
him, where you would expect to find the stalk, broadening out into a
perpetual smile. He has lived in the Baths twenty-three years, and yet his
gaiety is not eclipsed. If he has a foible it is his belief that he
thoroughly understands London and its ways.

"A ver big place," he remarked this morning, "where dey kills de ladees."

This reference not being immediately clear, WILLIAM assisted dull
comprehension by drawing his finger across his throat, and uttering a
jovial "click!" But it was only when, his eyes brimming over with fun, he
said, "YAK de Reeper," that I followed the drift of his remark.

It is gratifying to the citizen of London travelling abroad, to learn that
in the mind of the foreigner the great Metropolis is primarily and chiefly
associated with "JACK the Ripper" and his exploits.

"I rob you not hard," WILLIAM incidentally remarks, pounding at your chest
as if it were a parquet flooring he was polishing; "but I strong so I can
break a shentleman's ribs."

I make due acknowledgment of the prowess, being particularly careful to
refrain from expressing doubt, or even surprise. WILLIAM, always smiling,
repeats the assertion just as if I had contradicted him. Try to change

[Illustration: "I would break hees ribs!"]

"I wonder if CHARLEMAGNE had a massage man in his suite?" I say, "and who
was his Doctor? Now if he had had Dr. BRANDIS, I believe he would have been
alive at this day. But we cannot have everything. CHARLEMAGNE had the Iron
Crown of Lombardy; we have Dr. BRANDIS."

"Y e e s," said WILLIAM, still gloating  over his own  train of  thought;
"eef  I like I break  a shentleman's ribs."

Sometimes WILLIAM'S  smile, contracting, breaks into a  whistle, horribly
out of  tune. He  rather fancies  his musical  powers, and is  proud of his
 intimate acquaintance  with the fashionable _chansons_ current in London
to-day, or as he puts it, "Vat dey shings at de Carrelton Clob." Then he
warbles a line of the happily long-forgotten "Champagne CHARLIE," with
intervals of "Oh what a surprise!" He sings both to the same tune, and
fortunately knows only two lines of one and a single line of the other.

Try to bring him back to CAROLO MAGNO.

"Wouldn't you," I ask "give all you are worth to have lived in the time of
CHARLEMAGNE? Suppose some day you walked into this room and discovered him
sitting on his marble throne as OTHO found him with the Iron Crown on his
head and his right hand grasping the imperial sceptre, what would you do?"

"I would break hees ribs," said WILLIAM, his face illumined by a sudden
flash of delighted anticipation.

Alack! we are thinking of two personages sundered by centuries. My mind
dwells on CHARLEMAGNE, whilst WILLIAM is evidently thinking of Champagne

       *       *       *       *       *


There were eight of us, each within a year or so of one another.

Father was a very quiet man, engaged all day in his study.

Mother was equally quiet.

Father would never allow a trumpet, drum, or any instrument of torture,
except the piano, to be brought into the house.

Mother quietly saw his orders carried out.

In due course we all left home one after the other, and having been so
quiet for so long, each one of us has contrived to make a considerable
noise in the world since, and are all doing well. "Doing" may be used in
the widest possible sense. Among other accomplishments we blow our own
trumpets, as you see. As father and mother object to noise, we have not
encouraged their visits.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DEA EX MACHINÂ!

(_A Reminiscence._)]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Shakspeare once more freely adapted to the situation._)

    ["We wanted, and we want, to do for the villages,
    what the first reformed Parliament did in conferring
    municipal government upon the towns. We knew
    that the Tory Party did not really mean to give
    us village or parish Councils.... 'The Radical
    agitators,' says Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH, 'want
    to see a complete change in the social condition of
    rural society.' What if we do?... Why, it was
    for this that many of us, seven or eight years ago,
    and many more years ago, fought for getting the
    labourer a vote."--_Mr. John Morley at Cambridge._]

SCENE--_The Forest of Ha_(_w_)_arden._

_Touchstone_ (Mr. J-HN M-RL-Y); _Audrey_, (The Agricultural Vote); _Jaques_
(Mr. P-NCH), behind. Afterwards _William_ (Sir M-CH-L H-CKS-B-CH.)

_Touch._ Come apace, good AUDREY: I will fetch up your votes, AUDREY. And
how, AUDREY?--am I the man yet? Doth my simple programme content you?

_Audrey._ Your programme! Lord warrant us, what programme?

_Touch._ I am here with thee and thy Votes as the glittering poet-god
Apollo was among the herds of Admetus.

_Jaq._ (_aside_). Oh, knowledge oddly applied! Fancy Olympian Oracles in a
thatched cottage!

_Touch._ When a man's speeches cannot be understood, nor a man's good
platform wit seconded by the froward child popular understanding, it
strikes a man more dead than a small minority on a big Bill. Truly, I would
the gods had made thee political.

_Aud._ I do not know what political is. Is it honest in deed and word? Is
it a true thing?

_Touch._ (_with sardonic frankness_). No, truly; for the truest politics
show the most feigning; and Tories are given to politics; and what they
swear, in politics, may be said, as Tories, they do feign.

_Aud._ Do you wish, then, that the gods had made _me_ political?

_Touch._ I do, truly; for they swear to me thou art true Tory,
parson-and-squire-ridden Tory. Now, if thou wert political, I might have
some hope thou didst feign--to _them_!

_Aud._ Would you not have me Tory?

_Touch._ No, truly, unless thou wert fortune-favoured;  for Toryism coupled
to poverty is to have folly a sauce to misery.

_Jaq._ (_aside_). A shrewd fool!

_Aud._ Well, I am not rich; and therefore I pray the gods to make me

_Touch._ Truly, and to cast away Liberalism upon a willingly
"unemancipated" Voter, were to deck a porker with pearls.

_Aud._ I may not be "emancipated," but I thank the gods I am

_Touch._ Well, praised be the Liberals for thine enfranchisement!
Emancipation--from "squarsonry"--may come hereafter. But, be it as it may,
I will marry thee.

_Jaq._ (_aside_). I would fain see this wedding. Methinks there will be
sport forward ere it be fully achieved.

_Aud._ Well, the gods give us joy!

_Touch._ Amen.... But, AUDREY, there is a youth here in the forest lays
claim to you.

_Aud._ Ay, I know who 'tis: he hath no interest in me in the world. Here
comes the  man you mean.

_Touch._ It is meat and drink to me to see a--Tory: by my troth, we that
have good wits have much to answer for; we shall be flouting; we cannot

_Enter_ WILLIAM.

_Will._ Good even, AUDREY.

_Aud._ Give ye good even, WILLIAM.

_Will._ And good even to you, Sir!

_Touch._ Good even, gentle friend.... Art thou wise?

_Will._ Ay, Sir, I have a pretty wit.

_Touch._ You do desire this maid?

_Will._ I do, Sir.

_Touch._ Give me your hand. Art thou learned?

_Will._ No, Sir.

_Touch._ Then learn this of me; to have is to have; for it is a great
figure in Gladstonian rhetoric, that votes being deducted from one Party
and added to another, by putting the one Out do put the other In; for all
your writers do consent that _ipse_ is he: now you are not _ipse_, for I am

_Will._ Which he, Sir?

_Touch._ He, Sir, that must marry the woman. Therefore, you Tory,
abandon--which is, in the vulgar, leave--the society, which in the boorish
is, company--of this female,--which in the common is, woman; which together
is, abandon the society of this female, or Tory, thou vanishest; or, to thy
better understanding, skedaddlest; or, to wit, I defeat thee, make thee
away, translate thy majority into minority, thine Office into Opposition; I
will deal in programmes with thee, or in eloquence, or in epigram; I will
bandy with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee with policy; I will "mend
thee or end thee" a hundred and fifty ways; therefore, tremble, and depart!

SONG (_behind_).

  It was a lover and his lass,
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
  That o'er the stubble fields did pass
    (Together WILL caught 'em).
    In the time of autumn,
  When M.P.'s spout, and "manoeuvre" about;
    M.P.'s (who are "out") love autumn.

  About three acres and a cow,
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino;
  The artful country folks know now.
    In the time of autumn, &c.

  Since that the franchise was their dower,
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
  The Country Voters are a power.
    In the time of autumn, &c.

  And, therefore, at the present time,
    With "an Agricultural Policy"--funny, ho!--
  _Both_ Parties simple HODGE would lime,
    In the time of autumn, &c.

_Will._ (_aside_). Truly, though there is no great matter in the ditty, yet
the note is very untuneable.                          [_Exit._

_Touch._ Trip, AUDREY, trip, AUDREY,--I attend,--I attend!

_Jaq._ (_appearing_). There is surely another political deluge forward, and
these motley would-be couples are seeking the official ark! [_Exit._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _William_.... SIR M-CH-L H-CKS-B-CH. _Touchstone_.... J-HN


SCENE--_The Forest of Ha(w)arden._

Like It_, Act V., Scene 1.]

       *        *        *        *        *


We have all been startled to find from the researches of Mr. WOODALL in
_Notes and Queries_, that "Between the story sung by the Poet Laureate in
his romantic poem _The Lord of Burleigh_, and the actual fact, there seems
to be little in common." HENRY CECIL, Earl and afterwards Marquis of
EXETER, married Miss SARAH HOGGINS under the name of JOHN JONES, having a
wife alive at the time, and she did not die as the poem relates. It is
obvious then that TENNYSON must be re-written, and we offer his Lordship
the following humble suggestions. _The Lord of Burleigh_ should
henceforward run somewhat as follows:--

  Quoth he, "Gentle SARAH HOGGINS,"
    Speaking in seductive tones,
  "You must wed no HODGE or SCROGGINS,
    But espouse your own J. JONES."
  Oh! he was an artful party,
    And that marriage was a crime.
  He'd a wife alive and hearty,
    Though she'd left him for a time.

The above discovery has, of course, led to doubts regarding other
Tennysonian heroines. Was Lady CLARA VERE DE VERE, for example, as black as
the poet has painted her? Perish the thought! Here are a couple of specimen
stanzas for an amended version:--

    I vow that you were not a flirt,
  The daughter of a hundred Earls
    Would not a single creature hurt.
  "Kind hearts are more than coronets,"
    What abject twaddle, on my word;
  And then the joke is in the end,--
    We know they made the bard a Lord.

  The tale of how young LAURENCE died,
    In some audacious print began;
  The fact is that he took to drink,
    He always was that sort of man.
  And as for ALFRED, why, of course
    You snubbed him; but was that a crime,
  That he should go and call you names,
    And print his atrabilious rhyme?

Then, again, was the _Amy_ of _Locksley Hall_ quite as shallow-hearted and
so forth as the angry rhymester declares? It will probably turn out that
she was not. Hence the verses should run in this fashion:--

  And I said, "My Cousin AMY, speak the truth, my heart to ease.
  Shall it be by banns or license?" And she whispered, "Which you please."
  Love took up the glass of Time and waved it gaily in the air,

  Married life was sweet at Number Twenty-Six in Camden Square.

  AMY faithless! Bless your heart, Sir, that was not the case at all:

  It was pure imagination that I wrote in Locksley Hall.

[Illustration: _George_ (_about to enjoy the first new-laid Egg from the
recently set-up Fowl-house_). "WHY--CONF--THEY'VE  BOILED THE PORCELAIN

This process will doubtless have to be applied to many of the poems, but we
must leave the congenial task to the Laureate.

       *        *        *        *        *



  As when th' industrious windmill vainly yearns
    To pause, and scratch its swallow-haunted head,
  Yet at the wind's relentless urging turns
    Its flying arms in wild appeal outspread;
  So am I vex'd by vain desire, that burns
    These barren places whence the hair hath fled,
  To wander far amid the woodland ferns,
    Where dewdrops shine along the gossamer thread;
  Where its own sunlight on the reddening leaf
    Sleeps, when soft mists have swathed the sunless tree,

  Or where the innumerous billows merrily dance;
  Yet must I busily dissemble grief
  Whirl'd in the pitiless round of circumstance,
    Rigid with trained respectability.

       *        *        *        *        *

New Way out of a Wager.

  DESMOND, Theosophist Colonel, now thinks better
    Of his rash vow his gift to "demonstrate,"
  Receiving a "precipitated letter"
    Warning him not to be--precipitate.
  Many a Betting Man who'd hedge or tack
  Must wish he had Mahatmas at _his_ back.

       *        *        *        *        *

The Beggar's Petition.

(_New Version._)

  Life must not be lost, Sir, with lightness,
    To _labour_ for life gives me pain;
  My exchequer's affected with tightness,
  But begging's the pink of politeness,
    Like Scribes, Sir, "I beg--to _remain!_" *

* And didn't CHARLES LAMB, in his most delightful essay _On the
Decay of Beggars_, deplore their gradual disappearance?

       *       *       *       *       *


_Song by a Scotch Student_. AIR--"_Annie Laurie_."

["According to Dr. LAURIE, of Edinburgh University, the "teaching of Greek,
so far as it is attempted in our secondary schools, is positively
harmful."--_Daily News._]

  Pedagogue brays are bonnie,
    When Greek they'd fain taboo;
  And 'tis here that Doctor LAURIE
    Gi'es utterance strictly true,
    Gi'es utterance strictly true,
    Which ne'er forgot should be,
  And for bonnie Doctor LAURIE,
    A Scottish boy would dee.

  Auld HOMER is a humbug,
    ANACREON is an ass;
  Sumphs scrape enoo o' baith o' them,
    The "Little-go" to pass,
    The Little-go to pass--
    It affects them "harmfullee."
  Ah! but bonnie Doctor LAURIE,
    He kens Greek's a' my ee!

  Like diplomas fause and lying,
    Are "passes" such as this.
  Why should Scotch lads sit sighing
    O'er the _Anabasis_?--
    O'er the _Anabasis_?
    XENOPHON's fiddle-de-dee?
  Oh, for bonnie Doctor LAURIE,
  I'd shout with three times three!

       *        *        *        *        *

UNDER-LYNE'D.--Said Sir W. VERNON HARCOURT, at Ashton-under-Lyne, "I am
very glad to be enabled to come here from the hospitable roof of Mr. RUPERT
MASON." ... And again, "I have come here also from the roof of Mr. MATHER."
Quite a Sir WILLIAM ROOFUS! But what was he doing on the roof? Was there a
tile off in each case? Something wrong with the first house that a Mason
couldn't set right? And with the second, did Sir ROOFUS sing, "Oh dear,
what can the Mather be?" And why the invidious distinction between the two
roofs? The first being hospitable, and the second having no pleasant
epithet to recommend it.

       *        *        *        *        *


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *





In these progressive days earnest reformers, especially those of the London
County Council type, yearn to chasten and æstheticise the Muse of the Music
Hall, who is perhaps the only really popular Muse of the period. My name
gives me a sort of hereditary right to take exceptional interest in such
matters, though indeed my respected, and respectable, ancestor is not in
all things the model of his more catholic and cosmopolitan descendant. The
McDougall regimen would doubtless be a little _too_ drastic. To improve the
Music-hall Song off the face of the earth, is an attempt which could only
suggest itself to puritan fanaticism in its most arbitrary administrative
form. The proletariat will not "willingly let die" the only Muse whose
ministrations really "come home to its business and its bosom." No, Sir,
the People's Pegasus cannot, must not be ruthlessly consigned to the
knackers. But may it not be gently bitted, discreetly bridled, and taught
to trot or amble with park-hack paces in the harness of Respectability?

It is in this hope and faith that the following drawing-room versions of
some of "the most popular Comic (and Sentimental) Songs of the Day" have
been attempted by
    Your respectful admirer,

To the Respectable Citizen, the Moral Matron, and the Young Person, with a
love of larkiness and lilt, but a distrust of politics, pugilism, and deep
potations, the following eclectic adaptation of this prodigiously popular
ballad may perhaps be not altogether unwelcome.


AIR--"_Two Lovely Black Eyes_".

  Strolling one Sunday near Bethnal Green,
  This "æsthete" you might have seen,
  Surveying "the People" with scornful spleen
      When, oh, what a surprise!
  An Art Exhibition I chanced to see,
  Therein I entered right speed-i-lee,
  When--on a canvas--there shone on me
      Two lovely brown eyes!


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
    Smiling right down on a dingy throng,
          Two lovely brown eyes!

  From a canvas of "High Art" sort they shone,
  Their owner was cinctured with classic zone,
  She was spare of flesh, she was big in bone,
      Oh, what a surprise!
  A parson, whom everyone owned "a good sort,"
  Had hung them there for the pleasure and sport
  Of the dreary dwellers in slum and court,
      Those lovely brown eyes!


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
    Drawing the gaze of an East-End crowd,
          Two lovely brown eyes!

  My own regard, as I loitered there,
  Fastened on one proletariat pair,
  With finery frowsy, and oily hair;
      Oh, what a surprise!
  "SALLIE" and "BILL" were the names they flung
  Frankly abroad with unreticent tongue,
  Lounging and staring where graciously hung
      Those lovely brown eyes.


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
  SALLIE and BILL your calm beauty could thrill;
          Two lovely brown eyes!

  Art (so I argue) for all is best,
  Here, in the East, on the Day of Rest,
  Lo! my pet theory put to the test!
      Oh, what a surprise!
  The chap staring there is a Coster true,
  Trowsered in corduroy, belchered in blue;
  What does _he_ think of your heavenly hue,
      Two lovely brown eyes?


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
  "SALLIE", he whispered, "_she's_ got, like _you_,
          Two lovely brown eyes!"

  The picture was one of BURNE-JONES'S best;
  "SALLIE" was snub-nosed and showily drest;
  I sought her visage in querulous quest,
      When oh, what a surprise!
  Plump in the midst of a "puddingy" face,
  Coarse-cut in feature, devoid of grace,
  Nature capricious had chosen to place
    Two lovely brown eyes!


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
  There on each side of a salient "snub,"
          Two lovely brown eyes:

  Brown? Ah, yes! But, alack! alack!
  The brown was fringed with a halo of _black_,
  Fruit, it was plain of some marital thwack,
      Oh, what a surprise!
  "_She_," sighed the girl, "has a beautiful chump,
  Though she _do_ seem to 'ave got the 'ump.
  _Them_ pair o' lamps never felt a thump,
      _Them_ lovely brown eyes!"


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
  Something seemed telling that man he was wrong,
          Two lovely brown eyes!

  Say, was it fancy? I saw a flush
  O'er the coarse cheeks of that Coster rush,
  "Stash it!" he murmured. A Coster blush?
      Oh, what a surprise!
  SALLIE,--she clung to his muscular arm--
  With a look half  lovingness, half alarm,
  He stooped and--kissed her! Now, was it _your_ charm,
      Two lovely brown eyes?


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
  Was it your influence, gentle yet strong,
          Two lovely brown eyes?

  "BILL," whispered she, "you may bet two _d
  She_ never nagged at 'er bloke--like _me_--
    He never wheeled a whelk-barrer, d'yer see?
          Oh, what a surprise!
    Parties with cultcher and piles o'cash
    Ain't no temptation to row or bash,
    But--who's to tell but she's jilted '_er_ mash--
          Miss Lovely Brown Heyes?"


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
  Twinkled like stars 'twixt a tear and a frown,
          Two lovely brown eyes.

  The moral you've caught I can hardly doubt;
  On Art _versus_ Morals men sneer or shout,
  Leave it to OSCAR to fight _that_ out,
      If you would be wise.
  Better, far better, it is to let
  Beautiful things work their way--you bet!
  Then the Coster's wife may less frequently wet
      _Her_ lovely brown eyes.


          Two lovely brown eyes!
          Oh, what a surprise!
  Art-loving-Man is _less_ likely to black
          Two lovely brown eyes!


       *       *       *       *       *



CROMWELL.--An English Brewer. Uncertain about his aspirates. Distinctly
vulgar. Face disfigured by warts.

PETER THE GREAT.--Quite a common sort of Russian. Man with coarse tastes.
Came to England to learn ship-building. Fond of low society; in fact, the
type of an enterprising cad.

WASHINGTON.--Entirely provincial English rebel, who caused considerable
trouble in America. Family fair, but not to be traced beyond three
generations. Used to eat peas with his knife.

HANNIBAL.--Brutal barbarian. Feeblest ideas of stategy. Went the wrong way
over the Alps. Given to oaths from childhood up. Quite a classical nobody.

BUONAPARTE.--A Corsican _Parvenu_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Garrick School.

  School for young actors is the Garrick Playhouse.
  Upon the road to fame a quarter-way house
  For IRVING _fils_. And likewise note we there
  The heir apparent of a parent HARE.

       *       *       *       *       *

"_DIO, age_!" of which the classic American translation is, "Do tell!"

       *       *       *       *       *



Curious thing, now that I am installed as a pupil in FIBBINS'S Chambers in
Waste Paper Buildings, Temple, how few _new_ briefs I am given to read.
Usual routine is for DICK FIBBINS to hand me a brief on which the dust of
ages has collected, and to leave me to "get up the law about it"; but when
he (FIBBINS) comes back from his day's business in Court, about 4·30 P.M.,
he doesn't seem to care a bit to know what the law is. Seems tired, and
prefers to gossip and smoke; so I do the same, or "follow on the same
side," as he expresses it.

"It strikes me forcibly," I begin, "that the Plaintiff, SMITHERS, in that
running-down case you asked me to read to-day, hasn't got the ghost of a
chance. Why, in _Blatherson_ v. _Snipe_, the Court ruled--"

"Tried the lawn-tennis in the gardens yet?" FIBBINS interrupts, in the
rudest possible manner.

"No," I reply, "I was speaking of the Court, not lawn-tennis courts." (One
for FIBBINS, I think.) "All  the Judges held in _Blatherson_ v. _Snipe_,

"Oh, did they?" he interrupts again: "doosid interesting. Was I for
plaintiff or defendant?"

"Plaintiff, SMITHERS. A running-down case."

"Wish it had been a running-up case--a case of running-up the fees," he
laughs. Then, resuming a more professional style, "You see, I've had such
multitudes of cases since then, that I've forgotten the precise details.
But you write out your own Opinion--not to-day; tomorrow will do. Then I'll
see what it's like. Now let's go a trot down the Strand."

Another circumstance that strikes me as remarkable, is the frequency with
which I hear the Impressive Clerk (in the little room next to mine)
requesting persons who have called to "settle up that other little matter."
Then the strange voice laughs, and says--"Oh, your Governor can wait." "No,
he can't,"--it's  the Clerk who says this--"it's  been going on for  three
years, now." "Well," chimes in the unknown, "let it go a bit longer.
When'll your Governor have settled  those pleadings?" "When  your people
settle about the five guineas, and not before," replies the Impressive
Clerk in his best Parliamentary debating style. Then follows a long
wrangle, not on law, but on finance, which never--as far as I can
judge--ends in the Clerk getting his way, and his money.

[Illustration: "Looks like a Prime Minister in reduced  circumstances."]

Astonishing event happens. A real live new brief comes in! Impressive
Clerk--who looks like a Prime Minister in reduced circumstances--brings it
to FIBBINS when I am in the room. More impressive than ever. "From ROGERS,
in Chancery Lane--an excellent firm, Sir," he says. Poor FIBBINS tries,
ineffectually, to conceal his delight, and his eye turns instinctively to
the place where the fee is marked.

"Six guas" (legal slang for guineas) "for an Opinion, not bad," he
comments, rubbing his hands. FIBBINS dusts a corner of his desk, and lays
it down there.

_I_ am given this precious brief, and am asked to write a "draft Opinion"
about it! "Just to try your hand," says FIBBINS, who does not wish me to be
conceited. "Then I'll write my own afterwards," he adds.

I make a very elaborate commentary, quoting from innumerable parallel cases
in English, American, and Roman law, and, after giving it to DICK FIBBINS
to read, I don't see it again.

But, a few afternoons later, when Impressive Clerk happens to be out, a
knock comes. Nobody in. At last, go myself (_Query_--infra  dig.?) and open

"Here!" says a juvenile, who apparently mistakes me for the Clerk, and
rudely chucks some papers to me, which hit me in the chest, "give these to
your Governor. What a time you take answering a knock! Having a nap, hay?
Take care old FIBBINS don't catch you at it, that's all!" Juvenile
disappears downstairs, whistling, before I can think of a suitable

Open the papers. The same brief returned with request to "draw up a
Statement of Claim,"--and my "Opinion" inside! It looks as if DICK sent
these clients of his _my_ valuable advice, pretending that it was his own!

My learned "leader," when he comes in, treats affair very coolly.

"Oh, did I send _your_ 'Opinion' to them as well as mine? What an ass I am!
I wonder what they thought of it?"

I also wonder. In looking over the returned brief just now, however, I
certainly did not come across the "Opinion," manufactured by FIBBINS
himself, of which that learned Counsel spoke. And I have no second chance
of examining it, as he is careful to take "all the documents in the case"
(a phrase of the Impressive Clerk's) home with him, for what he calls

The conviction that it _was_ my Opinion, and mine alone, which FIBBINS
dispatched, probably out of sheer laziness, to ROGERS & CO., Solicitors,
Chancery Lane, is one that I still retain. But it is FIBBINS who retains
the fee!

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By one who idled. To his Lady-help._)

  I am back at my work, which is far from exciting
    After nothing to do for a month at a time,
  So I am not astonished to find myself writing
    To you, dear MELENDA, and writing in rhyme.
  In my rooms very often the scent of the heather
    Brings back with it sweet recollections, and so
  I think of the days when we idled together,
    Far away in the country a fortnight ago.

  Yes, the two afternoons when, although we were sorry
    That it rained, we went out as to do we had vowed,
  And the wonderful echo we found in a quarry
    That took what we whispered and said it aloud.
  Whilst we wandered through fern-laden hedges and talked, it
    So happened a dragon-fly flew by your side.
  You remember, I'm sure, how you laughed as I stalked it,
    And how it seemed hurt, as it finally died.

  Then I think of our pic-nic. The sunshine came glinting,
    And we thought that the summer had come--come to stay.
  We did not walk too fast, you were constantly hinting
    You were really afraid we were losing our way.
  I seemed to be catching two glimpses of heaven,
    As I gazed at the sky and kept looking at you;
  For the party that started by being just seven
    Had a curious habit of shrinking to two.

  Why, that's quite sentimental. It isn't the fashion
    To write of such things in so high flown a style.
  Yet maybe I'm entitled to so much of passion
    As to say that you won me outright with your smile.
  Though a merciless fate may not let it befall so,
    For we know not at all what there may be in store,
  Yet next year, if you're down there--and I am there also,
    Shall we do what we did in the summer before?

       *       *       *       *       *

"TO ERR IS HUMAN."--"Even I am not always infallible," observed _Mr. P._,
on noticing that, in the dialogue under a picture, last week, the spelling
of "cover-coat" for "covert-coat" had escaped his eagle eye. Just as he was
wondering to himself how such things could be, his other and eagler eye
caught this line in the correspondence, _per_ "Dalziel," from Chicago, in
the _Times_ for Sept. 23:--"Great Britain has chosen a sight for her
buildings at the World's Fair." If "taken" had been substituted for
"chosen," the mistake might have borne a satirical meaning. No doubt Great
Britain has not made any error as to the site she has selected, from any
point of view.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Man's life is in two colours, simply told:
  Green while you're young, and grey when you are old.

       *       *       *       *       *

DOMESTIC COOKERY.--(_For a future New Edition of "Mrs.
Glasse-with-care"_)--It will contain suggestions for new dishes, to be
arranged according to grammatical divisions of gender and number, as "case"
already exists. A specimen of the first will be _Une Femme-lette_, a female
companion dish to _Un 'Ommelet_. Another example proposed is _La Petite
Marmite_ and _Le Petit Pa'mite_, two dishes most suitable for a very small
family party; say of dwarf Troglodytes. "Number" of dishes must always be
"a party question;" though at the same time politics will be rigidly
excluded from the new publication.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, October 3, 1891" ***

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