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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, September 5, 1891
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, September 5, 1891" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 101.



September 5, 1891.



SOME CIRCULAR NOTES.

CHAPTER III.

_REIMS--NIGHT--STREETS--ARRIVAL--LION
D'OR--DEPRESSION--LANDLADY--BOOTS--CATHEDRAL--LONELINESS--BED._

It is just ten o'clock. Reims seems to be in bed and fast asleep,
except for the presence in the streets of a very few persons, official
and unofficial, of whom the former are evidently on the alert as to
the movements, slouching and uncertain, of the latter.

We drive under ancient Roman Arch; DAUBINET tells me its history in
a vague kind of way, breaking off suddenly to say that I shall see it
to-morrow, when, so he evidently wishes me to infer, the Roman Arch
will speak for itself. Then we drive past a desolate-looking Museum.
I believe it is a Museum, though DAUBINET's information is a trifle
uncertain on this point.

We pass a theatre, brilliantly illuminated. I see posters on the wall
advertising the performance. A gendarme, in full uniform, as if he
had come out after playing _Sergeant Lupy_ in _Robert Macaire_, is
pensively airing himself under the _façade_, but there is no one else
within sight,--no one; not a _cocher_ with whom _Sergeant Lupy_ can
chat, nor even a _gamin_ to be ordered off; and though, from one point
of view, this exterior desolation may argue well for the business
the theatre is doing, yet, as there is no logical certainty that the
people, who do not appear outside a show, should therefore necessarily
be inside it, the temple of the Drama may, after all, be as empty as
was _Mr. Crummles_' Theatre, when somebody, looking through a hole in
the curtain, announced, in a state of great excitement, the advent of
another boy to the pit.

And now we rattle over the stones joltingly, along a fairly
well-lighted street. All the shops fast asleep, with their eyelids
closed, that is, their shutters up, all except one establishment,
garishly lighted and of defiantly rakish, appearance, with the words
_Café Chantant_ written up in jets of gas; and within this _Café_, as
we jolt along, I espy a _dame du comptoir_, a weary waiter, and two
or three second-class, flashy-looking customers, drinking, smoking,
perhaps arguing, at all events, gesticulating, which, with the
low-class Frenchmen, comes to much the same thing in the end, the end
probably being their expulsion from the drinking-saloon. Where is
the _chantant_ portion of the _café_? I cannot see,--perhaps in some
inner recess. With this flash of brilliancy, all sign of life in
Reims disappears. We drive on, jolted and rattled over the cobble
stones--(if not cobble, what are they? Wobble?)--and so up to the
_Lion d'Or_.

[Illustration]

I am depressed. I can't help it. It _is_ depressing to be the only
prisoners in a black van; I should have said "passengers," but the
sombre character of the omnibus suggests "Black Maria;" it _is_
depressing (I repeat to myself), to be the only two passengers
driving through a dead town at night-time, as if we were the very
personification of "the dead of night" being taken out in a hearse to
the nearest cemetery. Even DAUBINET feels it, for he is silent, except
when he tries to rouse himself by exclaiming "Caramba!" Only twice
does he make the attempt, and then, meeting with no response from
me, he collapses. Nor does it relieve depression to be set down in a
solemn courtyard, lighted by a solitary gas-lamp. This in itself would
be quite sufficient to make a weary traveller melancholy, without the
tolling of a gruesome bell to announce our arrival. This dispiriting
sound seems to affect nobody in the house, except a lengthy young
man in a desperate state of unwakefulness, who sleepily resents our
arrival in the midst of his first slumber (he must have gone to bed at
nine), and drowsily expresses a wish to be informed (for he will not
take the trouble to examine into the matter for himself) whether we
have any luggage; and this sense of depression becomes aggravated and
intensified when no genial Boniface (as the landlord used invariably
to be styled in romances of half a century ago) comes forth to greet
us with a hearty welcome, and no buxom smiling hostess, is there to
order the trim waiting-maid, with polished candlestick, "to show
the gentleman his room." And, at length, when a hostess, amiable but
shivering, does appear, there is still an absence of all geniality;
no questions are asked as to what we might like to take in the way
of refreshment, there is no fire to cheer us, no warm drinks are
suggested, no apparent probability of getting food or liquor, even if
we wanted it, which, thank Heaven, we don't, not having recovered from
the last hurriedly-swallowed meal at the railway buffet _en route_.
Yes, at the "Lion d'Or" at Reims, on this occasion, _hic et nunc_, is
a combination of melancholy circumstances which would have delighted
_Mark Tapley_, and, as far as I know, _Mark Tapley_ only.

"On an occasion like this," I murmur to myself, having no one else to
whom I can murmur it confidentially,--for DAUBINET, having a knowledge
of the house, has disappeared down some mysterious passage in order to
examine and choose our rooms,--"there is, indeed, some merit in being
jolly."

DAUBINET returns. He has found the rooms. The somnolent boots will
carry our things upstairs. Which of the two rooms will I have? They
are _en suite_. I make no choice. It is, I protest, a matter of
perfect indifference to me; but one room being infinitely superior
to the other, I select it, apologetically. DAUBINET, being more of a
_Mark Tapley_ than I am, is quite satisfied with the arrangement, and
has almost entirely recovered his wonted high spirits.

[Illustration]

"Very good. _Très bien!_ Da! Petzikoff! Pedadjoi! I shall sleep like
a top. _Bon soir! Buono notte! Karascho!_ Blass the Prince of WAILES!"
and he has disappeared into his bedroom. I never knew a man so quick
in unpacking, getting into bed, and going to sleep. He hasn't far
to go, or else Morpheus must have caught him up, _en route_, and
hypnotised him. I hear him singing and humming for two minutes; I hear
him calling out to me, "All right? Are you all right?" and, once again
invoking the spirit of _Mark Tapley_, I throw all the joviality I
can into my reply as I say, through the wall, "Quite, thanks. Jolly!
Good-night!" But my reply is wasted on him; he has turned a deaf ear
to me, the other being on the pillow, and gives no sign. If he is
asleep, the suddenness of the collapse is almost alarming. Once again
I address him. No answer. I continue my unpacking. All my portmanteau
arrangements seem to have become unaccountably complicated. I pause
and look round. Cheerless. The room is bare and lofty, the bed is
small, the window is large, and the one solitary _bougie_ sheds
a gloom around which makes unpacking a difficulty. I pull up the
blind. A lovely moonlight night. In front of me, as if it had had the
politeness to put itself out of the way to walk up here, and pay me a
visit, stands the Cathedral, that is--some of it; but what I can see
of it, _au clair de la lune_, fascinates me. It is company, it is
friendly. But it is chilly all the same, and the sooner I close the
window and retire the better. Usual difficulty, of course, in closing
French window. After a violent struggle, it is done. The bed looks
chilly, and I feel sure that that stuffed, pillow-like thing, which is
to do duty for blanket and coverlet, can't be warm enough.

Hark! a gentle snore. A very gentle one. It is the first time I ever
knew a snore exercise a soothing effect on the listener. This is
decidedly soporific. It is an invitation to sleep. I accept. The
Cathedral clock sounds a _carillon_. It plays half a tune, too, as if
this was all it had learnt up to the present, or perhaps to intimate
that there is more where that comes from, only I must wait for
to-morrow, and be contented with this instalment. I am. Half a tune is
better than no tune at all, or _vice versâ_: it doesn't matter. When
the tune breaks off I murmur to myself, "To be continued in our next;"
and so--as I believe, for I remember nothing after this--I doze off to
sleep on this my first night in the ancient town of Reims.

       *       *       *       *       *

BUMBLE BROUGHT TO BOOK.

    ["Mr. Ritchie ... has taken the unusual step of preparing a
    memorandum explanatory of ... the Public Health (London)
    Act, which comes into operation on the 1st of January ...
    The Vestries and District Councils ... have come out with
    increased powers, but also with increased responsibilities.
    They are in future known as 'the sanitary authorities'; they
    must make bye-laws, and enforce not only their own, but
    those made by the County Council; and, if they fail in their
    duty--as, for example, in the matter of removing house-refuse,
    or keeping the streets clean--they are liable to a fine. It is
    pleasant to think that, in future, any ratepayer may bring Mr.
    Bumble to book."--_The Times_.]

[Illustration: _President of the Local Government Board_. "THERE'S MR.
BUMBLE'S WORK, MADAM, AND IT'LL BE YOUR OWN FAULT IF YOU DON'T KEEP
HIM UP TO IT!"]

_Bumble_. Wot, more dooties piled upon me? It's a beastly black shame
      and a bore.
  Which Ritchie beats _Oliver Twist_ in a canter at "asking for more."
  Didn't grasp his dashed Hact, not at fust, though of course I opposed
      it like fun;
  But this 'ere Memyrandum's a startler. _I_ want to know what's to be done.
  _Me_ keep the streets clean, _me_ go poking my dalicot nose into 'oles
  As ain't fit for 'ogs, but is kep' for them Sweaters' pale wictims--pore
      soles?
  _Me_ see that the dust-pails is emptied, and underground bedrooms made
      sweet?
  _Me_ nail the Court Notices hup upon Butchers as deals in bad meat?
  Great Scissors, it's somethink houtrageous. I knew Ritchie's Act meant
      'ard lines,
  And it's wus than I could 'ave emagined. But wot I funk most is them
      FINES!!!
  Fine _Me_--if I make a mistake, as, perhaps, even BUMBLE may do!
  That _is_ turning the tables a twister! More powers? Ah, well, that
      might do,
  But increase my great "Responsibilities," give them Ratepayers a chance
  Of a calling _me_ hover the coals! Won't this make my hold henemies dance?
  I never did like that HYGEIA, a pompous and nose-poking minx--
  A sort of a female _Poll Pry_, with a heye like an 'ork or a lynx;
  But the making me "Sanit'ry," too--oh, I know wot _that_ means to a T.
  She's cock--or say, hen--of the walk, and her sanit'ry slave'll be Me!
  Oh, I fancy I see myself sweeping the snow from the streets with a broom,
  Or explorin'--with fingers to nose--some effluvious hunderground room!
  Or a-trotting around with the dust-pails when scavengers chance to run
      short!
  Oh, just _won't_ the street-boys chyike me and 'ousemaids of BUMBLE make
      sport?
  Disgustin'! But there RITCHIE stands with his dashed Memyrandum. A look
  In his heye seems to tell me that he too enjoys bringing BUMBLE to book,
  As the _Times_--I'm serprised at that paper!--most pleasantly puts it
      to-day.
  My friend BONES the Butcher too! Moses! wot _would_ my old parlour-chum
      say
  If he saw me a nailing a Notice--but no, that's too horrid a dream.
  I must be a 'aving a Nightmare, and things cannot be wot they seem.
  I could do with mere Laws--bye or hother-wise--Hacts, jest like Honours,
      is easy,
  But this Memyrandum of RITCHIE's queers BUMBLE, and makes him feel queasy,
  Can't pertend as I don't hunderstand it, it's plain as my nose, clear as
      mud.
  _I'm_ responsible for--say Snow-clearing! It stirs up a Beadle's best
      blood!
  And when they can _Fine_ me for negligence, jest like some rate-paying
      scrub--
  Oh! Porochial dignity's bust! I must seek a pick-up at my Pub!

[_Does so._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A MODEST REQUEST.

"I HEAR YOU'RE SO CLEVER ABOUT ZENANA WORK. WILL YOU SHOW ME THE
STITCH?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"FIRST-CLASS" TRAVELLING

_MADE EASY, BY PAYING A "THIRD-CLASS" FARE AND A SMALL ADDITIONAL
TIP._

(BY ONE WHO HAS DONE IT.)

1. Arrive at station in four-wheeler, accompanied by lots of
superfluous rugs, wraps, air-cushions, and pillows, &c., and if
your domestic arrangements permit of it, two young ladies and one
middle-aged one, who should assume an anxious and sympathetic mien.

2. On your cab drawing up, stay with a gentle forbearance the rush
of the ordinary attentive porter, and request him, as if you had
something important to communicate, to send you "the guard of the
train" by which you propose to travel. On the appearance of this
official, who will not fail to turn up, you will now appeal to one of
your three female assistants, the middle-aged one for choice. Placing
your case, as it were, in her hands, she will, in a half-sympathetic,
half-commanding tone, address the official somewhat as follows:--"This
gentleman, who is travelling to Barminster, and is going third-class
(she makes a point of this), is, as you see, a great invalid, and
he will require (this with a certain sense of being understood to
mean a handsome tip) a carriage to himself." If said with a certain
self-assurance, involving a species of lofty wink, this will probably
be understood in the right sense by the official in question, and will
be probably met by some such assurance as--"The train is very full,
Madam, but I will do my best for the gentleman, and can ensure him, I
think, a compartment to himself, at least, as far as Bolchester, where
I leave the train. But I will explain the matter to my successor, and
I have no doubt that he will be able (this also with a significant
wink) to ensure the gentleman's seclusion. You are, I think, four? If
you will follow me, and take my arm, Sir, I think we shall be able to
manage it for you."

3. Enlist the assistance of several attendant porters, regardless
of apparent outlay, who have been fairly let into your secret, and
are prepared to, and in fact absolutely do, empty a third-class
compartment already packed with passengers for Barminster, who retreat
awe-stricken at your approach.

4. Immediately on taking possession of your carriage, recline the
whole length of the five seats, faced by your three sympathetic
and anxious-miened female companions. Be careful to give each of
the assistant porters certainly not less than sixpence apiece in
ostentatious fashion. Do not, however, as yet administer the shilling,
or perhaps, eighteenpence you purpose giving to the original guard of
the train who is to hand you over to the official who will have charge
of you after Bolchester.

5. You will possibly have a _mauvais quart d'heure_ before departure,
for though your guard, in hopes of the remunerative fee, will
have carefully locked you in, he will not be able to prevent the
calculating and more or less unfeeling British public, who, composed
of a party of nine, are looking for as many places as they can find
together, from discovering that you have six vacant places in your
carriage, and directing the attention of other railway officials, not
initiated into your secret agreement, to this circumstance. You must
therefore be prepared for some such curt brutality as, "Why, look
'ere, EMMA, there's room for 'arf-a-dozen of us 'ere!" or, "I'm
sure 'e needn't be a sprawlin' like that, takin' 'arf the carriage
to 'isself," a rebuke which your feminine supporters resent in
their severest manner. You are, however, at length saved by the
interposition of your guardian angel, who sweeps away the party of
nine unseated ones with a voice of commanding control, as much as to
say, "This isn't your end of the train; besides, can't you see the
poor gentleman's pretty well dying?" And he does hurry them off, and
pack them in somewhere or other, but whether to their satisfaction or
not, it is easier to hazard a guess than faithfully to record.

6. Bolchester is reached, and you are formally introduced to your
final guarding and protecting angel, who rapidly takes in the
situation, and by an assurance that he will see to your comfort,
this, accompanied by a slightly perceptible wink, leaves you in happy
expectation, which the result justifies, of reaching your destination
uninvaded.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.

    NO. V. Scene--_Upper deck of the Rhine Steamer, König
    Wilhelm, somewhere between Bonn and Bingen. The little
    tables on deck are occupied by English, American, and German
    tourists, drinking various liquids, from hock to Pilsener
    beer, and eating veal-cutlets. Mr. CYRUS K. TROTTER is on
    the lower deck, discussing the comparative merits of the New
    York hotels with a fellow countryman. Miss MAUD S. TROTTER
    is seated on the after-deck in close conversation with
    CULCHARD. PODBURY _is perched on a camp-stool in the forward
    part. Near him a British Matron, with a red-haired son, in
    a green and black blazer, and a blue flannel nightcap, and a
    bevy of rabbit-faced daughters, are patronising a tame German
    Student in spectacles, who speaks a little English._

[Illustration: Mr. Cyrus K. Trotter discussing New York Hotels.]

_The British Matron_. Oh, you _ought_ to see London; it's our
capital--chief city, you know. Very grand--large--four million
inhabitants! [_With pride, as being in some way responsible for this._

_A Rabbit-faced Daughter_ (_with a simper_). Quite a little _world_!

    [_She looks down her nose, as if in fear of having said
    something a little too original._

_The Germ. Stud._ No, I haf not yet at London peen. Ven I vill pedder
Englisch learn, I go.

_The Blazer_. You read our English books, I suppose? DICKENS, you
know, and HOMER, eh? About the Trojan War--that's his _best_ work!

_The Stud._ (_Ollendorffically_). I haf not read DIGGINS; but I haf
read ze bapers by _Bigvig_. Zey are vary indereshtin, and gurious.

_A Patriotic Young Scot_ (_to an admiring Elderly Lady in a black
mushroom hat_). Eh, but we just made a pairrty and went up Auld
Drachenfels, and when we got to th' tope, we danced a richt gude Scots
reel, and sang, "_We're a' togither an' naebody by_." concluding--just
to show, ye'll understan', that we were loyal subjics--wi' "_God Save
th' Queen_." The peasants didna seem just to know what to mak' of us,
I prawmise ye!

_The Black Mushroom_. How I wish I'd been one of you!

_The Young Scot_ (_candidly_). I doot your legs would ha' stood such
wark.

    [_PODBURY becomes restless, and picks his way among the
    camp-stools to CULCHARD and Miss TROTTER._

_Podbury_ (_to himself_). Time _I_ had a look in, I think. (_Aloud._)
Well, Miss Trotter, what do you think of the Rhine, as far as you've
got?

_Miss T._ Well, I guess it's navigable, as far as _I've_ got.

_Podb._ No, but I mean to say--does it come up to the mark in the
scenery line, you know?

_Miss T._ I cannot answer that till I know whereabouts it is they mark
the scenery-line. I expect Mr. CULCHARD knows. He knows pretty well
everything. Would you like to have him explain the scenery to you
going along? His explanations are vurry improving, I assure you.

_Podb._ I daresay; but the scenery just here is so flat that even my
friend's remarks won't improve it.

_Culch._ (_producing his note-book ostentatiously_). I do not propose
to attempt it. No doubt you will be more successful in entertaining
Miss TROTTER than I can pretend to be. I retire in your favour. [_He
scribbles._

_Podb._ Is that our expenses you're corking down there, CULCHARD, eh?

_Culch._ (_with dignity_). If you want to know, I am "corking down,"
to adopt your elegant expression, a sonnet that suggested itself to
me.

_Podb._ Much better cork that _up_, old chap--hadn't he, Miss TROTTER?

    [_He glances at her for appreciation._

_Miss T._ That's so. I don't believe the poetic spirit has much
chance of slopping over so long as Mr. PODBURY is around. You have
considerable merit as a stopper, Mr. PODBURY.

_Podb._ I see; I'd better clear out till the poetry has all gurgled
out of him, eh? Is that the idea?

_Miss T._ If it is, it's your own, so I guess it's a pretty good one.

    [_PODBURY shoulders off._

_Culch._ (_with his pathetic stop on_). I wish I had more of your
divine patience! Poor fellow, he is not without his good points; but I
do find him a thorn in my flesh occasionally, I'm afraid.

_Miss T._ Well, I don't know as a thorn in the flesh is any the
pleasanter for having a good point.

_Culch._ Profoundly true, indeed. I often think I could like him
better if there were less in him to like. I assure you he tries me so
at times that I could almost wish I was back at work in my department
at Somerset House!

_Miss T._ I daresay you have pretty good times there, too. Isn't that
one of your leading dry goods stores?

_Culch._ (_pained_). It is not; it is a Government Office, and I am
in the Pigeonhole and Docket Department, with important duties to
discharge. I hope you didn't imagine I sold ribbons and calico over a
counter?

_Miss T._ (_ambiguously_). Well, I wasn't just sure. It takes a pretty
bright man to do that where I come from.

_An Old Lady_ (_who is sitting next to PODBURY, and reading a
home-letter to another Old Lady_). "Dear MARIA and dear MADELINE
are close by, they have taken very comfortable lodgings in Marine
Crescent. Dear MADELINE's frame is expected down next Saturday."

_Second Old Lady_. MADELINE's frame! Is anything wrong with the poor
girl's spine?

_First Old Lady_. I never heard of it. Oh, I see, it's _fiancé_,
my dear. CAROLINE _does_ write so illegibly. (_Continuing._)
"Um--um,--suppose you know she will be maimed--" (perhaps it _is_
her spine after all--oh, _married_, to be sure), "very slowly" (is it
slowly or shortly, I wonder?), um--um, "very quiet wedding, nobody but
dear Mr. WILKINSON and his hatter."

_Second O.L._ The idea of choosing one's hatter for one's best man!
I'm surprised MARIA should allow it!

_First O.L._ Maria always _was_ peculiar--still, now I come to look,
it's more like "brother," which is certainly _much_ more suitable.
(_Continuing._) "She will have no--no bird's-marks ..." (Now, what
_does_ that--should you think that meant "crows-feet"? Oh, no, _how_
stupid of me--_bridesmaids_, of course!)--"and will go to the otter
a plain guy"--(Oh, Caroline really is _too_....)--"to the _altar_ in
plain _grey_! She has been given such quantities of pea-nuts"--(very
odd things to give a girl! Oh, _presents_! um, um)--"Not settled
yet where to go for their hangman"--(the officiating clergyman, I
suppose--very flippant way of putting it, I _must_ say! It's meant for
_honeymoon_, though, I see, to be _sure_!) &c., &c.

_Culch._ I should like to be at Nuremberg with you. It would be an
unspeakable delight to watch the expansion of a fresh young soul in
that rich mediæval atmosphere!

_Miss T._ I guess you'll have opportunities of watching Mr. PODBURY's
fresh young soul under those conditions, any way.

_Culch._ It would not be at all the same thing--even if he--but you
_do_ think you're coming to Nuremberg, don't you?

_Miss T._ Well, it's this way. Poppa don't want to get fooling around
any more one-horse towns than he can help, and he's got to be fixed up
with the idea that Nuremberg is a prominent European sight before he
drops everything to get there.

_Culch._ I will undertake to interest him in Nuremberg. Fortunately,
we are all getting off at Bingen, and going, curiously enough, to the
same hotel. (_To himself_.) Confound that fellow PODBURY, here he is
_again_!

_Podb._ (_to himself, as he advances_). If she's carrying on with
that fellow, CULCHARD, to provoke me, I'll soon show her how little
I--(_Aloud._) I say, old man, hope I'm not interrupting you, but I
just want to speak to you for a minute, if Miss TROTTER will excuse
us. Is there any particular point in going as far as Bingen to-night,
eh?

_Culch._ (_resignedly_). As much as there is in not going farther than
somewhere else, _I_ should have thought.

_Podb._ Well, but look here--why not stop at Bacharach, and see what
sort of a place it is?

_Culch._ You forget that our time is limited if we're going to stick
to our original route.

_Podb._ Yes, of course; mustn't waste any on the Rhine. Suppose we
push on to Maintz to-night, and get the Rhine off our hands then?
(_With a glance at Miss TROTTER._) The sooner I've done with this
steamer business the better!

_Miss T._ Well, Mr. PODBURY, that's not a vurry complimentary remark
to make before me!

_Podb._ We've seen so little of one another lately that it can hardly
make much difference--to _either_ of us--can it?

_Miss T._ Now I call that real kind, you're consoling me in advance!

_The Steward_ (_coming up_). De dickets dat I haf nod yed seen!
(_examining_ CULCHARD's _coupons_). For Bingen--so?

_Culch. I_ am. This gentleman gets off--is it Bacharach or Maintz,
PODBURY?

_Podb._ (_sulkily_). Neither, as it happens. I'm for Bingen, too, as
you won't go anywhere else. Though you _did_ say when we started, that
the advantage of travelling like this was that we could go on or stop
just as the fancy took us!

_Culch._ (_calmly_). I did, my dear PODBURY. But it never occurred to
me that the fancy would take you to get tired of a place before you
got there!

_Podb._ (_as he walks forwards_). Hang that fellow! I know I shall
punch his head some day. And She didn't seem to care whether I stayed
or not. (_Hopefully._) But you never _can_ tell with women!

    [_He returns to his camp-stool and the letter-reading Old
    Ladies._

       *       *       *       *       *

A SONG IN SEASON.

    'Twas the autumn time, dear love,
    The English autumn weather;
  And, oh, it was sweet, it was hard to beat
    As we sailed that day together!
    It was cold when we started out,
    As we noted with sad surprise;
  And the tip of your nose was as blue, I suppose,
    As the blue of your dear, dear eyes.

    We sailed to Hampton Court,
    And the sun had burnt us black;
  Then we dodged a shower for the half of an hour,
    And then we skated back;
    Till the weather grew depressed
    At the shifting state of its luck,
  And the glass, set fair, gave it up in despair,
    And much of the lightning struck.

    We sat on the bank in the storm,
    In the steady fall of the snow,
  In the stinging hail and the howling gale,
    And the scorching sun, you know;
    We sat in it all--yes, all!
    We cared for no kind of weather--
  What made us so mad was the fact that we had
    The whole of the kinds together.

       *       *       *       *       *

ROBERT'S FUTURE.

My kind Amerrycain aquaintance--I musn't call him frend tho' he is
so werry free and social with me, for I hopes I knos my propper
place--has giwen me a long acount of his week at Brighton. It seems
as he was in grate luck, for it was Brighton Race Week, and he is
good enuff to say that, whatever diffrent opinyons the men of other
countries may find in regard to the warious customs and manners of our
grate but rayther rum nashun, they all agrees, with one acord, that a
English race-course is the prettyest and nicest thing of the sort that
the hole world can show. I rayther thinks as he dropt his money there,
but it couldn't have bin werry much, for it didn't have the least
effeck on his good temper. It seems as he got interdooced to some
sillybrated pusson who rites in papers and seemed to kno everythink,
but wot he wanted to kno was if I coud tell him what caused his
werry bad indijeshun, to which I at once replied, without a moment's
hesitashun, that it was probberbly owing to his being, wich he told
me he was, a sort of relashun of a real Common Councilman of the
Grand old Citty of London! at which he larfed quite hartily and said,
"Bravo, Mr. ROBERT, that's one to you!"

[Illustration]

He arterwards arsked me for the werry best place to go to, where he
coud have jest about a few hours quiet refleckshun all to hisself
without not nothink to disturb him; so I sent him to Marlow,
gentlemanly Marlow, if you please, with a letter to my old friend BILL
the Fisherman, and there, he told me arterwards, he had sich a luvly
day of it as he never rememberd having afore. He sat for fours ours in
a luvly Punt, in a bewtifool drizzlin rain, with lots of fish a biting
away, but he was much too much engaged to pay the least atenshun to
'em, and there wasn't not noboddy to bother him; so he sat there, and
thort out about the most himportentest ewent of his life; and when I
waited upon him at the "Grand Hotel" arterwards, I don't think as I
ewer seed a reel Gent, as he suttenly is, in such jolly good sperrits.
So, seeing how werry successfool I had been, I wentured to say to
him,--"And now, Sir, if you wants to see gentlemanly Marlow in quite
another aspic, and one that estonishes and delites all as sees it,
just take the 9:45 train from Paddington next Sunday, and, drectly
you gets there, go at wunce to the Lock, and there, for ours and ours
you will see sitch a sight of most ravishing bewty, combined with
helegance and hart, as praps no other spot in all the hole world
can show! Why, Sir," I said, "every time as the full Lock opens its
yawning gates, at the command of one of the principel hofficers of the
Tems Conserwancy, you will think of the Gates of Parrydice a hopening
for a excurshun of hundreds of the most bewtifoollest Angels as
ginerally lives there!" "Why, Mr. ROBERT," says the Amerrycain,
"your henthusiasm xcites my curosity, and I'll suttenly go, and," he
added, with almost a blushing smile, "I rayther thinks as I'll take a
companion with me."

And off he went on the follering Sunday, and didn't git back till
seven o'clock to dinner, and his fust words to me was,--"Mr. ROBERT,
you didn't in the least xagerate the bewty of the scene as you sent me
for to see--it was as strange and as lovely as a Faery Tail! I wasn't
at all surprised to see what Swells there was among 'em, and what
werry particklar attentions they paid to 'em, cos I reklek how My Lord
RANGDULF CHURCHILL slected that particklar spot, on henny particklar
fine Sunday, to seek that werry welcome and much wanted change from
his sewere Parlementary dooties, as he used wen he were ere among us
to rekquire, for I guess as there ain't sitch a sight to be seen not
nowheres else so well calklated to brighten a pore feller up who's
jest about done up with reel hard work." I didn't quite understand
what made my Amerrycain smile quite so slily as he finished his
rayther long speech, but he most certenly did, and then set to work at
his dinner.

He arterwards told me as how as he means to pay a wisit, when the
season begins, to our new Hotel at Monty Carlo, sumwheres in France,
and try his new system at the Tables, and if he suckseeds, as he knows
he shall, he will, praps, sum day tell me his secret, and then I shall
have to ask my gentlemanly Manager here to let me have a few weeks
there, and then I shan't want to do any more waiting! What a prospeck!

ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: COUNTRY-HOUSE PETS.

_The Morning-Room at Glen-Dimity Castle, after Lunch. Mr. Belamy Tabby
is singing "Hi tiddley hi ti, hi, ti, hi!_"

_The Duchess_. "HOW CLEVER AND AMUSIN' YOUR FRIEND, MR. WHATSHISNAME
IS!--_TABBY_, ISN'T IT? SO GOOD-LOOKIN' AND GENTLEMANLIKE TOO! QUITE A
GODSEND ON A RAINY DAY LIKE THIS, WHEN ALL THE MEN ARE OUT SHOOTIN' OR
FISHIN', OR SOMETHING! IS HE MARRIED?"

_Noble Hostess_. "OH YES; BUT WHAT'S SO NICE ABOUT HIM, HE DOESN'T
MIND BEIN' ASKED WITHOUT HIS WIFE. THOSE SORT OF PERSONS SO OFTEN
EXPECT THEIR WIVES TO BE ASKED TOO, AND THAT'S SUCH A BORE, YOU KNOW!"

_Her Grace_. "YES; HOW SENSIBLE OF HIM! I MUST GET HIM TO COME TO US
AT BRASENOSE TOWERS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CANADIAN "SEARCH-LIGHT."

(A SONG OF SINCERE SYMPATHY.)

AIR--"_THE SLAVE IN THE DISMAL SWAMP_."

  In dark fens of the Dismal Swamp
    The Search-Light sends its ray!
  What is that hideous oozy tramp?
  What creatures crawling 'midst jungle damp
    Scuttle from light away?

  Revealing radiance shine, oh shine,
    Through black bayou and brake,
  Where knotted parasites intertwine,
  And through the tangles of poisonous vine
    Glideth the spotted snake.

  Where hardly a human foot would pass,
    Or an honest heart would dare
  The quaking mud of the foul morass,
  With rank weed choked, and with clotted grass,
    Fit for a reptile's lair.

  They dread the light, do those dismal things,
    Its gleam they dare not face.
  Their snaky writhings, their bat-like wings,
  Their quaking menace of fangs and stings
    Make horror of the place.

  All things should be so bright and fair
    In a land so glad and free;
  But the Search-Light layeth dark secrets bare,
  And shows how loathsomeness builds a lair
    In a land of Liberty.

  Push on, brave bearer of piercing Light,
   Through pestilential gloom,
  Where crawls the spawn of Corruption's night!
  Deal out, stout searcher, to left and right,
    The cleansing strokes of doom.

  That fair lithe form in that fleet frail bark
    Is a comely Nemesis,
  Before whose menace 'tis good to mark
  The reptile dwellers in dens so dark
    Driven with growl and hiss.

  The saurian huge and the lizard slow,
    Foul shapes of ruthless greed,
  And the stealthy snake of the sudden blow,
  All owl-like shrink from the Search-Light's glow,
    Or fly with felon speed.

  Corruption's spawn must be chased and slain,
    Scourged from the wholesome earth.
  It clingeth else like the curse of CAIN.
  Smite, smite like flail upon garnered grain,
    These things of bestial birth!

       *       *       *       *       *

OLD DOGGEREL RE-DRESSED.

(_AFTER READING CERTAIN CRITICISMS ON CERTAIN NOVELISTS, CERTAIN
COMMENTS ON THOSE CRITICISMS, AND CERTAIN REJOINDERS TO THOSE
COMMENTS_.)

  Little novelists have little critics,
   Like little gnats, to bite 'em;
  Those little critics have lesser critics,
   And so _ad infinitum_!

       *       *       *       *       *

LINES BY A LEWISHAM WITLER.

  The PENN is mightier than the sword--
    Of any Red-Rad whipster.
  I _said_ he'd win--doubted _my_ word;
    But I'm the O.K. tipster.
  Rads roughed on me and called me "Bung;"
    I've bunged them up--a corker--
  At the result their heads they hung.
    _They_ whip the Witler? Walker!
  We're the PENN-holders. For their man
    That One-Six-Nine-Three nicked him,
  Witlers warmed up "Old Warmingpan;"
    PENN gave him odds, and licked him.
  "Villadom" did its duty--game;
    Rads jeered it; that's their mania.
  Lewisham? No, we'll change the name,
    And call it--PENN-Sylvania!

       *       *       *       *       *

TIP BY A TORY.--The _Star_, talking of "HODGE's Political Salvation,"
says that Mr. GLADSTONE has given the Liberal country programme in a
sentence. _I_ will give it in a word. It is all "Hodge-podge!"

       *       *       *       *       *

UNATTRACTIVE COMBINATION.--If a young woman is "fast," and uncommonly
ugly, wouldn't she make a great mistake were she to combine the two
qualities, and be "fast-'idious"?

       *       *       *       *       *

NAME FOR A CERTAIN SECTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED PRESS.--The Nude
Journalism.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE CANADIAN "SEARCH-LIGHT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COQUETTE OF THE PERIOD.

[Illustration]

  You vowed you loved me, but your eyes
    Said just the same to dozens,
  The music of your low replies,
    Was heard by several cousins.
  Forgive me if I could not cope,
    With charms so comprehensive;
  And scarce believed a love whose scope,
    Was really too extensive.

  The fashion of the age you'll say,
    But I've a predilection
  For girls who in the olden way
    Retain one man's affection.
  You favoured me with witching smiles,
    You gave me frequent dances;
  But other men that I wished miles
    Away, enjoyed your glances.

  Man loves as men loved in old times,
    And as in legends hoary,
  We celebrate a maid in rhymes,
    Is that too old a story?
  But still man loves one girl alone,
    And flies when he discovers--
  That she he thought was all his own,
    Has half a dozen lovers.

  You sighed and said that you felt hurt,
    And prettily you pouted,
  When anybody called you flirt,
    A fact I never doubted.
  And yet such wheedling ways you had,
    Man yielded willy-nilly;
  And half your swains were nearly mad,
    And all of us were silly.

  Youth's first illusions fly apace,
    And now one man confesses
  He scarcely can recal your face,
    Or colour of your dresses.
  And whether you were false or true,
    Or what fate followed after,
  Remembrance only keeps of you
    The echo of your laughter.

       *       *       *       *       *

PROVERBIAL PRAYER FOR A PAUPER-HATING BUMBLE.--Give me neither poverty
nor Ritchies!

       *       *       *       *       *

A CREDITABLE INCIDENT IN THE NEXT WAR.

(_AN ADVANCE SHEET FROM MR. PUNCH'S PROPHETIC HISTORY OF EUROPE._)

    ["Italy is bound to maintain abroad the appearance of a great
    and rich country, while at home she ought to conduct herself
    as if in straitened circumstances."--_Daily Paper_.]

The Italian Army had been completely victorious. There was but one
drawback to the entire satisfaction of the Commander-in-Chief--one
of his favourite Generals was under arrest, and was being tried by
court-martial. The accused had refused the assistance of Counsel, and
had insisted upon pleading "Guilty."

"But," urged the Commander-in-Chief, "you surely have some excuse.
To sack a private house belonging to your own countryman was
unpardonable. It was an aimless piece of Vandalism! For your own
reputation--for the sake of your ancestors--on behalf of your
descendants--some explanation should be afforded."

"Surely this is no time for levity," murmured a Warrior-Journalist,
who was suspected of combining with the duties of a hero the labours
of a Special Correspondent for a Roman journal.

"Do I look like a jester?" asked the Prisoner; and then he added, "My
brave companions, it is for the honour of our country--to conceal her
poverty from the sneers of foreigners--that I carry with me the secret
of my action to the family vault. Press me no further--see, I am ready
for the firing-party!"

There was nothing further to be said, and the little procession made
its way to the Barrack Square. The Prisoner shook hands warmly with
his Judges, and with the weeping soldiery who were to act as
his executioners. "I will give the words of command myself.
Ready--present--"

"Stop!"

An aged man had approached the group. He was out of breath with
running. The firing-party paused, and lowered their rifles.

"Do not listen to him!" shouted the Accused. "And if he will not
desist, shoot him too--shoot us both."

"You exceed your duties, Sirrah," said the Commander-in-Chief, with
some severity--for discipline was strict in the Italian Army. "It is
for me to command, not you!" The Prisoner lowered his head at the just
reproof, and then his superior officer continued, "Why do you ask us
to desist?"

"Because the Prisoner is innocent. He acted from the best of motives.
I was the proprietor of the shop he sacked, and I (for, after all, I
am a patriot) demand his pardon!"

"You!" exclaimed the Commander-in-Chief. "Surely you ought to be the
last to urge such a plea. We do not know what your shop contained, but
presume that the contents was your property."

"You are right in the presumption," acquiesced the aged man; "but
these documents will show that he was right, from a military point of
view, to sack my shop."

The Commander-in-Chief hastily glanced at the papers, and with a
thrill of pleasure, ordered his favourite General to be released.

"This mystery must never be revealed," he murmured. And it never
would, had not the hero-journalist printed the story. Thus it was that
the tale became international property. Now it is known all the
world over that the General sacked a shop to obtain the arms and
accoutrements of the Italian Army. But it is still (comparatively)
a secret that the proprietor of the establishment carried on on the
premises the business of a pawnbroker!

       *       *       *       *       *

COMPULSORY GREEK;

OR, BYRON UP TO DATE.

(_A BRITISH BOY'S VIEW ON A BURNING QUESTION._)

[Illustration]

  Compulsory Greek! Compulsory Greek!
    Though "burning SAPPHO loved and sung,"
  Why in Greek shackles should they seek
    To bind the British schoolboy's tongue?
  Eternal bores, that Attic set,
  But, heaven be thanked, we'll "chuck" them yet.

  "The Scian and the Teian Muse"
    Ruled us as tyrants absolute;
  Now even pedagogues refuse
    To stodge us with such stale old fruit.
  Why should the STANLEY-dowered West
  Make the _Anabasis_ a test?

  They teach us about Marathon,
    But what is Marathon to me?
  Tell me of fights still going on,
    Men "rightly struggling to be free;"
  Nay, _I_ find interest much more brave in
  The mill 'twixt Thingummy and SLAVIN.

  Oh, feed me not on mythic lore,
    But Science and the modern Fact,
  Teach me Electric Fires to store,
    The difference 'twixt "Bill" and "Act."
  Why should a Cockney care a "cuss"
  For HOMER or for ÆSCHYLUS?

  For who _are_ they? But what art thou,
    My Country? On thy fertile shore
  The heroic lyre is tuneless now;
    To scheme for dividends, dig for ore,
  _These_ are the things we hold divine,
  Not HOMER's long-resounding line.

  If you would make a splendid name
    Amidst a lucre-loving race,
  You must be in god Mammon's game,
    And hustle for a foremost place.
  What do we want with poets here?
  For Greece a snub, for Greek a sneer!

  Must _we_ still pore o'er classic text
    Because our simple fathers said
  It made "a gentleman"? What next?
    Let the dead languages stay dead!
  Hooray for Fact and Rule of Three!
  Compulsory Greek is fiddle-de-dee.

  Place me on Stock Exchange's steep
    With nought to do but sell and buy
  To Bull and Bear we need not keep
    Our classics up; that's all my eye.
  Ho! for the Factory, Mart, and Mine
  The toils of Greek our souls decline.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: THE POOR OVERWORKED PARLIAMENTARY OFFICIAL TRIES TO
ESCAPE FOR A HOLIDAY WITHIN HIS OWN COUNTRY.

  The poor overworked official escapes for a holiday

  he is observed and followed by a crowd of officials

  but Escapes--up in a Balloon
  Away!

  The wind changes

  He flies to the Seaside
  Oh horror!

  a narrow Escape!

  But eventually
  lands on his
  own estate

  and is delighted
  to see his tenants
  coming out to welcome him!

  but it turns out to be
  a demonstration against
  his policy!!

  Escapes on board
  a friend's racing
  yacht--but
  finds that
  his political antagonist
  is one of the party!!

  Alone by the shore
  he picks up
  a bottle

  In it is
  a complaint
  about his office!!

  Joy! upon his native stubble

  No! who is this making Political Speech?

  His Country House gets too hot for him So

  he returns to Town disgusted.

  Henry Furniss]

       *       *       *       *       *

SOLOMON PELL IN ALL HIS GLORY.

_A DICKENSIAN DREAM AT PLYMOUTH._

"Boy!" cried Mr. SOLOMON PELL, in the tones of a severe Stentor. The
small Boy with the Big Blue Bag responded promptly with a deferential
"Yussir."

"Listen!" pursued Mr. PELL, with dignity. And he read with emphatic
elocution from some closely-printed columns in the _Times_,
interjecting exclamatory comments from time to time.

[Illustration]

"'When we remember the importance of the work daily intrusted to
Solicitors (_Important, indeed!_), and the amount of industry (_Quite
so!_), judgment (_Exactly!_), learning (_I believe you!_), and
integrity (_Why, cert'n'ly!_), it involves, and the responsibility
which is necessarily incurred by them in advising, not only in public
and political matters, but in all the details of private transactions,
the dealings with property, and matters affecting not only the
purses, but the honour and reputation (_Ah!!!_), of the members of the
community (_Well, and pointedly put, Boy!_), and when we remember,
in addition, what a powerful and (on the whole) respected body they
are (_I should think so!_)--a body, too, consisting not merely of a
"fortuitous concourse of atoms" (_I should say not, indeed! Fancy
me being a mere "atom," or fortuitous!_) ("Please, Sir, I _can't_;"
interjected the Boy with the Bag)--each going his own way, and seeking
his own interest, but bound together, as the great bulk of its members
are, and organised by means of this great Society, and of the kindred
societies scattered over the country, and acting in harmony with
it--it seems most surprising (_Surprising? Astounding, Sir!_) that
so little in the way of dignity and reward can be looked forward to
by the Solicitor, however honestly, ably, and conscientiously he may
perform the arduous and responsible duties of his profession.'"

Mr. PELL here paused, and panted, like one who comes to the surface
after a deep-sea dive. Then he pursued:--

"There, Boy! _That_ is from the opening speech of the President of
the Incorporated Law Society at Plymouth! And excellent it is,--though
perhaps a little long-winded. As a mere sentence, a sinuous sequence
of words, a 'breather' in syllables, an exercise in adjectives,
it cuts the record and takes the cake. But look, Boy, at the
sound common-sense of it! Since the famous, if flattering,
remarks--concerning Me!--of my late friend, the ex-Lord-Chancellor,
who said--nay, swore, that 'the country ought to be proud of me,'
I have met with no observations concerning our Profession which so
commend themselves to my judgment."

"Oh, please Sir, yussir, right you are, Sir!" jerked out the Boy with
the Bag.

"Right Mr. MELMOTH WALTERS is," corrected Mr. PELL, severely. "I knew
it would come, Boy, and it _has_. Though it has taken time, it has
taken time. Listen yet further, and don't fidget with that Bag!

"'I contend (_He contends!_) that it is the duty of the State to
provide due recognition of merit in the ranks of a Profession which
has been set apart (_Dedicated, as it were, like a--like a--sort of a
scapegoat--ahem! no, not that, exactly, either, but--a--you know, Boy,
you know!_), and regulated (_Just a leetle too much, perhaps_) by it,
from which so much is expected, and to which so much is confided.'

"Splendid! My sentiments to a touch! Sir, that Blue Bag is a Temple of
Sacred Secrets, and _should_ be a shrine of Open Honour. (_Must make
a note of that for my next speech at the Forum!_) 'Sir SOLOMON PELL'
would not sound badly, eh, Boy?"

"Oh, please Sir, yussir--I mean, no, Sir, fur from it, Sir--_fur_ from
it!"

"And yet the Bar gets all the honours, and most of the emoluments,
whilst the Blue Bag, too often, is sent empty away. Is it just? Is it
judicious? What says once again the Plymouth oracle?

"'I ask whether it is wise or prudent on the part of the State to
leave unnoticed and disregarded the higher aspirations and ambitions
of a large and useful and powerful class of the community?'

"No, Sir--a thousand times no! Let our 'higher aspirations' be
considered. _Some_ of us have souls above six-and-eightpence, and
yearnings beyond bills of costs. Let 'em be gratified, Boy!"

"Oh, please Sir, yussir: let 'em! Immediately--if not sooner, Sir!"

"_By_ the State--with a capital S! If a soldier may carry a Field
Marshal's _bâton_ in his knapsack, why, _why_ should not a Solicitor
carry a Baronetcy in his Blue Bag?"

"And Ekker answers, 'Why?' Sir."

"I beg your pardon, Boy, it is the _Times_, not the _Echo_, which so
answers. The _Times_ says:--

"'They (Solicitors) are the guardians of our dearest (yes, our
_dearest_) interests, the confidants of family secrets, the arbiters
in family controversies, and not infrequently the custodians of the
honour and the good name of their clients.'

"Quite so. Why, Boy, did we let out the Secrets of the Blue Bag, the
contents of Old Nick's Sack, which that 'stupid old snuff-colour'd son
of a gun,' Saint Medard 'cut into slits on the Red Sea shore' would be
_nothing_ to 'em!"

"Nothink at all, Sir; nothink, wotsomedever!"

"No matter--a time will come, Boy! In Mr. WILLIAM MELMOTH WALTERS's
speech I see the dawn of it.

"'The Profession, it is true, does not receive in any great measure
those official dignities and rewards which the President claims on
its behalf, nor are we quite confident that, if it did, the fact would
increase the confidence or the respect of its clients.'

"Well, the _Times_ may not be 'quite confident.' _I_ am! And so would
the clients be, I'm sure. Remove that Blue Bag, Boy! Wonder what _Mr.
Pickwick's_ opinion of Mr. WALTERS's speech would have been, and that
of the _Wellers_, father and son! [_Sings._

  "I'll place it in the hand of my Solicitors;
    I'll have this thing put right.
        We _may_ make money,
        But--isn't it funny!--
    Few 'dignities' Solicitors delight!"

    [_Left considering it._

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM DARKEST AFRICA.

  Mrs. SHELDON is back from her travels abroad.
    Were she only a man, we should hail her as manly!
  As it is, there are some who, in wishing to laud,
    Are accustomed to call her the feminine STANLEY.
  But now this adventurous, much-daring she
    Through such perils has gone, and so gallantly held on,
  In time that's to come Mr. STANLEY may be
    Merely known to us all as the male Mrs. SHELDON!

       *       *       *       *       *

MOTTO FOR THE OPPONENTS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.--No noose is good news!
(But what will grim Lord GRIMTHORPE say?)

       *       *       *       *       *

The Cheapest Insurance Office must be the _Fee-nix_.

       *       *       *       *       *

STORICULES.

II.--THE BACK-VIEW.

The boy had gone out to get change.

[Illustration]

I was waiting in the studio, listening to the photographer. He was in
quite a small way of business, and no one would have expected him to
have any change for anything. I was sitting on a rustic stile, with a
Greek temple and some wilted Spiræas in the background. He was in the
dark room, busy, splashing liquids about, and reminiscent. I still
believe that he thought the time of waiting would seem shorter
to me if he talked. The whole place seemed to suggest financial
difficulties, and smelt of chemicals.

"You remember the Punyer case?" he asked. His voice sounded thin and
far-off through the closed door of the dark room.

I did. PUNYER had been a cashier, and had absconded with rather more
than the usual amount.

"Well, I had some dealings with PUNYER. As a cashier he was certainly
dishonest, but as a man he was absolutely reliable, and nothing
would induce him to break his word. I know that to be a fact from my
personal experience of the man; indeed, it was through me that he was
identified--or, rather, through one of my photographs."

"Really?"

"Yes. On the day that he absconded, a four-wheeler drove up to this
house. The driver got off, and sent a message up to the studio that
a gentleman in a cab outside wished to speak to me. So, of course, I
went out. Inside the cab I found a man wearing a thick green veil. He
explained to me that his face had been injured in a railway accident,
and that he could not allow it to be seen by any one. He wanted me to
photograph the back of his head. He knew that the request was unusual.
'But,' he said, pathetically, 'my few friends have got to know the
back of my head, just as they know the faces of others who are--who
are less unfortunate than myself. The doctors tell me that I have not
long to live, and my friends are eager to have some slight memento of
me.' I was much moved, and I agreed to photograph him at once."

"The man was PUNYER?"

"Of course. The photograph of the back of his head turned out
admirably--clear and full of character."

"But why did he get photographed at all?"

"You shall hear; it all came out afterwards. I have already told
you that PUNYER, in his private capacity, was a man of his word. It
appears that he was engaged to a Miss MIRANDA BUDE. Indeed, it was to
her that I was to send the photographs when they were finished. He
had promised her that he would have his photograph taken for her on
his birthday; and the day on which he absconded happened to be his
birthday. He could not break his promise. What was he to do? At first
he disguised himself as far as he could; he shaved off his luxurious
beard and moustache; he had his long fair hair closely cropped
and stained black. But there was on his face one certain mark of
identification which he could not alter nor remove. It was a slight
scar, extending diagonally across his forehead; when he was a child
he once fell into the fender, and the mark had remained ever since.
At last the bright idea occurred to him that he might have the back
of his head photographed instead of his face, and so keep his promise
to MIRANDA. It was really a brilliant idea. For there was absolutely
nothing in the view of the back of his head by which he _could_ be
identified."

"But you told me just now that he actually _was_ identified by your
photograph."

"So he was;--I was just going to explain. I was sitting in my studio
one day, touching up the photographs of the back-view of PUNYER,
when in came a detective from Scotland Yard. From his appearance, a
detective was the last thing on earth that you would have taken him to
be."

"They generally say that in the detective stories," I said,
meditatively.

"If you think I'm making this up--"

"No, no,--not at all. Go on."

"Well, he told me his business, and I at once showed him one of the
photographs, telling him under what circumstances they were taken. He
examined it carefully. 'Ah!' he said, 'if I only could prove that this
was PUNYER, I should be able to complete my case, and my advancement
would be certain. In my own mind I am convinced of it, but at present
I cannot prove it. PUNYER had a scar on his face. It was like his
devilish cunning to have only the back of his head photographed!' He
was just leaving, when suddenly a new idea seemed to flash across him.
He seized the photograph, and rushed across to the mirror. You know
that if anything is written backwards, you can read it by holding it
up to a looking-glass. So, of course, the detective, by holding up
the photograph of the back-view, saw the full-face reflected. The scar
showed just above the green veil, and consequently--"

At this point the boy returned with my change. The photographer had
locked himself into the dark room, and I could not get at him; the law
gives a man no redress under such circumstances, and so I came away.

I might have got over the story, perhaps; but my change, I found
afterwards, was sixpence short, and that is not so easy to forgive.

       *       *       *       *       *

"ENTERTAINMENT."

    ["People of this high class (Royal Highnesses, &c.) are said
    to 'entertain' visitors, but that is an inversion of the
    actual fact; their object is to be entertained. And quite
    right too. Nothing can surely be more delightful than to have
    one's house full of friends at will, and then be able to turn
    them out at a moment's notice (as a life-boat gets rid of
    superfluous water) by that simple mechanism of a Chamberlain.
    When the Social System attains its acmé, all of us will have a
    Chamberlain and be entertained."--JAMES PAYN.]

_Host_ (_concerning Guest_):--

  The twenty-first day, and no signs of a budge!--
    And it isn't for want of "suggestion."
  I begin to suspect Hospitality's fudge,
    Meaning--mutually ruined digestion!
  He _is_ such a bore, and his wife is _so_ fat,
    And as fond of her bed as a dormouse.
  My girls say--in confidence--_she_ is a cat;
    I'm sure he's a prig and a poor-mouse.
  I fancied he'd "influence," which he might use
    For DICK, our third son, who's a duffer.
  It doesn't come off, and I really refuse
    In DICK's interests longer to suffer.
  PAYN's right, and a Chamberlain would be a boon.
    Ah! I know so precisely what PAYN meant.
  What! Be entertained--by one's guests? I'd as soon
    From a locust-swarm seek--Entertainment!

_Guest_ (_concerning Host_):--

  Hah! He wants to get rid of us, currish old cub!
    But, although it's by no means amusing,
  My only alternative now is the Club.
    Confound Mrs. JONES for refusing
  McMUNGO's "invite" into Scotland. She thought
    This crib was as swell, and more cosy.
  She hoped, too, to meet that young MAGNUS MCNAUGHT,
    Who once seemed so sweet on our ROSIE.
  We're bored to extinction, and BLOGGS is a "foots";
    If we're late down to breakfast, he snorts at us.
  He worries our lives out with pic-nics and shoots,
    And will flourish his Clarets and Ports at us.
  My wife likes her ease and her breakfast in bed;
    I hate cellar-swagger and scurry.
  Entertainment indeed! We're as lumpish as lead
    When we're not on the whirl or the worry.
  But turn out to-morrow, my BLOGGS? No, not me,
    Though I know what your "little hints" signify.
  Your "dear DICK" forsooth! Such a noodle as he
    The title of "duffer" would dignify
  You've given up hope about him, and so now
    You would have us "make room." Not precisely!
  Till the Tenth, when we're due at Dunclacket, somehow
    "The Doldrums" will do pretty nicely.
  PAYN's right. With "high rank and no manners," a man
    His guests may "evict" at his pleasure;
  But BLOGGS--till he hits on some "Chamberlain" plan--
    Must leave 'em to flit at their leisure.
  I made up my mind when I came to this place;
    For a month, at the least, to remain meant.
  Though now my amusement at BLOGGS's wry face
    Is nearly my sole "Entertainment."

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTICE.--Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS.,
Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no
case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed
Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.





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