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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, February 13, 1892
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 102, February 13, 1892" ***

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VOL. 102.

February 13, 1892.


Mr. CHAPLIN received a deputation on the subject of the Swine-fever
last week. True to his dramatic instincts as regards the fitness of
things, the Minister for Agriculture was, on this occasion, wearing a
Sow-wester. He regretted that he was unable to don a pig-tail, which,
as the representative of the Fine Old English Gentleman of years gone
by, he should much like to do, but it was a fashion with the pig-wigs
of the last century which he hoped to see revived as "a tail of old
times." It was better, far better to be pig-tailed as were their
great grandfathers, than to be pigheaded as were so many people with
pig-culiar notions, specially in Scotland.


"I am doing and have been doing," said the Ministering CHAPLIN, "my
very best to please the pigs, but there are some pigs that won't be
pleased when they find that everything is not going to be done for
them gratis. You may take this for grunted,--I should say granted. Now
let me give you an illustration. There were five pigs belonging to
a well-known littery family. The first pig went to market but no one
would purchase him, the second pig stayed at home (not feeling well),
the third pig had pleuro-pneumonia, and the fourth pig was in full
swing--if you can imagine a pig in a swing--of swine-fever; and the
fifth and quite the smallest pig of the lot, a mere sucking-pig, went
'wheeze, wheeze, wheeze!' and 'wheezes' were always a very bad sign.
_À propos_ of 'signs' I have little doubt but that the well-known
sign of the 'Pig and Whistle' descends to us from ancient times of
Influenza. He trusted that the whole pig-family would soon be pigging
up again."

The Right Hon. Gentleman finished by apologising for not being able
to quote anything apposite from the works of either the philosophic
BACON, the Ettrick Shepherd HOGG, or the poetic SUCKLING, his motto
for the present being "_porker verba_," and he had to issue a Circular
about the cattle who were all going wrong.

The Deputation thanked Mr. CHAPLIN, and unanimously expressed their
opinion, that where pigs were concerned, the Minister should have
his stye-pend increased. Noticing that Mr. CHAPLIN had risen from
his chair, and had assumed a threatening attitude, the Deputation
hurriedly thanked the Minister of Agriculture, and speedily withdrew.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


BORN, JUNE 19, 1834. DIED, JAN. 31, 1892.

  Sturdy saint-militant, stout, genial soul,
  Through good and ill report you've reached the goal
  Of all brave effort, and attained that light
  Which makes our clearest noontide seem as night.
  How much 'twill show us all! We boast our clarity
  Of spiritual sense, but mutual charity
  Is still our nearest need when faith grows fierce
  And even hope earth's mists can hardly pierce.
  You were much loved; you spake a potent word
  In the world's ear, and listening thousands heard
  With joy that clear and confident appeal.
  The lingering doubts finer-strung spirits feel,
  The sensitive shrinkings from familiar touch
  Of the high mysteries, moved you not. Of such
  The great throng-stirrers! And you stirred the throng
  Who felt you honest and who knew you strong;
  Racy of homely earth, yet spirit-fired
  With all their higher moods felt, loved, desired.
  Puritan, yet of no ascetic strain
  Or arid straitness, freshening as the rain
  And healthy as the clod; a native force
  Incult yet quickening, cleaving its straight course
  Unchecked, unchastened, conquering to the end.
  Crudeness may chill, and confidence offend,
  But manhood, mother wit, and selfless zeal,
  Speech clear as light, and courage true as steel
  Must win the many. Honest soul and brave,
  The greatest drop their garlands on your grave!

       *       *       *       *       *




_Mr. H. Kemble_. "My dear Tree, _I_ ought to have played _Hamlet_.
First, my name--Kemble. Secondly, Shakspeare's authority--'Oh, that
this too too solid flesh would melt,' and again, 'Fat and scant of

_Mr. B. Tree_. "All right, my dear Kemble. Quite true what you say;
and, any night I am unable to play, you shall be my double!"

       *       *       *       *       *



  The Whip, he writes to me to-day,
    Not, as his wont, in tones pacific,
  But in the very strongest way,
    And using language quite terrific.

  He hopes to see me in my place,
    And woe betide the sad seceder,
  Whose absence helps to throw disgrace
    Both on his Party and his Leader.

  I throw my hat up to the sky.
    At taunts of treason or defection
  I flip my fingers. What care I?
    _For I do NOT seek re-election!_

       *       *       *       *       *

"THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH."--According to the _Times_ of Friday last,
February 5, Cardinal MANNING died practically a pauper. He had given
everything away in charity. He was a "Prince of the Church," and his
gifts to others were, indeed, princely. In the wills and deeds of how
many of our Very Reverend and Right Reverend Lordships shall we find
nothing gathered up and bequeathed of the loaves and fishes which have
fallen to their share? Such a testament as the Cardinal's would be in
quite a New Testamentary spirit.

       *       *       *       *       *

FOREIGN AND HOME NEWS.--"The Prussian Education Bill," remarked an
elderly bachelor to. Mr. PETER FAMILIAS, "is a very important matter;
because you see--"

"Hang the Prussian Education Bill!" interrupted PETER F., testily.
"You should see the English Education Bill I've had for my boy's
schooling last half!"

       *       *       *       *       *



    [The President of the Board of Trade has, by command of
    the QUEEN, conveyed, through the Royal National Lifeboat
    Institution, to the crews of the lifeboats of Atherfield,
    Brightstone, and Brooke, Her Majesty's warm appreciation of
    their gallant conduct in saving the crew and passengers of the
    steamship _Eider_.]

  Your hand, lad! 'Tis wet with the brine, and the salt spray has
          sodden your hair,
  And the face of you glisteneth pale with the stress of the
          struggle out there;
  But the savour of salt is as sweet to the sense of a Briton,
  As the fragrance of wet mignonette, or the scent of the
          bee-haunted limes.

  Ay, sweeter is manhood, though rough, than the smoothest
          effeminate charms
  To the old sea-king strain in our blood in the season of shocks
          and alarms,
  When the winds and the waves and the rocks make a chaos of danger
          and strife;
  And the need of the moment is pluck, and the guerdon of valour is

  That guerdon you've snatched from the teeth of the thundering
          tiger-maw'd waves,
  And the valour that smites is as naught, after all, to the valour
          that saves.
  They are safe on the shore, who had sunk in the whirl of the
          floods but for _you_!
  And some said you had lost your old grit and devotion! We knew
          'twas not true.

  The soft-hearted shore-going critics of conduct themselves would
          not dare,
  The trivial cocksure belittlers of dangers they have not to share,
  Claim much--oh _so_ much, from rough manhood,--unflinching cool
          daring in fray,
  And selflessness utter, from toilers with little of praise, and
          less pay.

  Her heroes to get "on the cheap" from the rough rank and file of
          her sons
  Has been England's good fortune so long, that the scribblers'
          swift tongue-babble runs
  To the old easy tune without thought. "Gallant sea-dogs and
          life-savers!" Yes!
  But poor driblets of lyrical praise should not be their sole
          guerdon, I guess.

  On the coast, in the mine, at the fire, in the dark city byeways
          at night,
  They are ready the waves, or the flames, or the bludgeoning
          burglar to fight.
  And are _we_ quite as ready to mark, or to fashion a fitting reward
  For the coarsely-clad commonplace men who our life and our
          property guard?

  A question _Punch_ puts to the Public, and on your behalf, my
          brave lad,
  And that of your labouring like. To accept your stout help we are
  If supply of cheap heroes _should_ slacken, and life-saving valour
          grow _dear_--
  Say as courts, party-statesmen, or churches--'twould make some
          exchequers look queer.

  Do we quite do our part, we shore-goers? Those lights could not
          flash through the fog,
  And how often must rescuer willing lie idle on land like a log
  For lack of the warning of coast-wires from lighthouse or
          lightship? 'Tis flat
  That we, lad, have not done _our_ duty, until we have altered all

  Well, you have done yours, and successfully, _this_ time at least,
          and at night.
  All rescued. How gladly the last must have looked on that brave
          "Comet Light,"
  As you put from the wave-battered wreck. Cold, surf-buffeted,
          weary, and drenched,
  Your pluck, like the glare from that beacon, flamed on through the
          dark hours unquenched.

  Nor then was your labour at end. There was treasure to save and to
  Well done, life-boat heroes, once more! _Punch_ is proud to take
          grip of your hand!
  Your QUEEN, ever quick to praise manhood, has spoken in words you
          will hail,
  And 'twere shame to the People of England, if they in their part
          were to fail.

       *       *       *       *       *



    ["The last of the old Mail-guards is about to disappear from
    the service of the Post Office. Fifty-six years have elapsed
    since Mr. MOSES NOBBS--for such is the venerable official's
    name--was selected to undertake the duties of Guard to one of
    the Royal Mails."--_Daily Telegraph_.]

  Historical Muse! are you sober?
    _Is_ he, the old Mail-guard, alive,
  Who probably swigged sound October
    From flagons, in One, Eight, Three, Five?
  When PILCH went a-slogging, and CLARKE
    Was a-studying slow underhand lobs?
  Hooray for that evergreen spark,
    The veteran Guard, MOSES NOBBS![1]

  Why, MOSES, thus bring to a close
    Your fifty-six years on the road?
  Do you yearn, after all, for repose,
    Who with zeal half-a-century glowed?
  The Muse makes her moan at your loss,
    And Sentiment silently sobs.
  Ah! Time, friend, will play pitch-and-toss
    With all of us, even a NOBBS!

  One sees your Mail-Coach all a-blaze,
    A masterly hand on the rein,
  In those rollicking, railway-less days,
    Which never shall greet us again.
  That tootling tin-horn one can hear;
    The old buffers, with breeches and fobs,
  One can picture; they doubtless were dear
    To the bosom of brave MOSES NOBBS.

  That blunderbuss, too! Good old Guard!
    At what Knight of the Road has it shot?
  And do you remember the bard
    Who gave us "_The Tantivy Trot_?"
    No longer the Highwayman robs;
  And silence now settles upon
    The Last of the Guards--MOSES NOBBS!

  Yet oblivion shall not descend
    On that name till a stave hath been sung.
  The Muse is antiquity's friend,
    And in praise of the past will give tongue.
  If CRACKNALL, the Tantivy Whip,
    Claimed song, they're but _parvenu_ snobs
  Who say that the lyre should let slip
    The memory of stout MOSES NOBBS.

  The Mail-Coach, my NOBBS, is no more
    What it was when you put on the man;
  We've Mail Trains, all rattle and roar,
    And that portent, the Packet Post Van.
  A Pullman, and not the Box-seat,
    Is the aim of our modern Lord BOBS;
  But the old recollections are sweet;
    And _Punch_ drinks to your health, MOSES NOBBS!

[Footnote 1: The _Telegraph_ gives the gentleman's name both as
"NOBBS" and "NOGGS." As "NOBBS" comes first, _Mr. Punch_ adopts it, he
hopes without misnaming the illustrious veteran.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: KIND INQUIRIES.


_Episcopal Butler._ "OH YES, MA'AM. HE'S _BETTER_ TO-DAY! WE'RE ALL

       *       *       *       *       *



I may be a Duffer, but I hope I am neither an idiot nor a cad. I have
never collected postage-stamps, nor outraged common humanity by asking
people to send me their autographs. With these exceptions I have
failed as a collector of almost everything. To succeed you need luck,
and a dash of unscrupulousness, and careful attention to details,
and a sceptical habit of mind. Even as a small boy I used to waste my
shillings at a funny little curiosity-shop, kept by a nice old lady
who knew no more about her wares than I did. Here I acquired quite
a series of old coppers, which Mrs. SOMERVILLE said were ancient
Bactrian. We asked where Bactria was, and she replied that it was a
"country beyond Cyrus." We answered that Cyrus was not a territorial
but a personal name, "A fellow, don't you know, not a place," but
the old lady's information stopped there. I wonder where my Bactrian
Collection is now. Certainly I never sold it; indeed, I never sold
anything; not only because nobody would buy, but because, after
all, one is a Collector, not a tradesman. Birds' eggs I would have
collected if I could, but you had first to find the bird's nest
(almost an impossible quest for a born Duffer), and to blow the eggs,
which, let me tell you, needs nicety of handling. I did once find
a thrush's nest, and tried blowing an egg, but it was not wholly a
success, and the egg (the contents of which I accidentally absorbed)
was not wholly fresh. Then it is awkward when you are at the top of
a tall tree, with an egg in your mouth, for safety, if the other boys
make you laugh, as you try to come down. It is the egg which,--but
enough! Everyone who has been in that position will understand what is
meant. It is not difficult to collect shells on the seashore, but it
is extremely difficult to find out what shells they are, after you
have collected them.

[Illustration: "And, in shooting at the cats with a crossbow, I had
the misfortune to break several windows."]

Conchology is no child's play. As to collecting marine animals for an
aquarium, the trouble begins when you forget your acquisitions, and
carry them about for some time in the pockets of your jacket. That
jacket is apt to be dusted by the bigger boys, who also interfere
with your affections for toads, lizards, snakes and other live stock
dear to youth. The common ambition of boyhood is to be a great
rabbit-grower, but, somehow, my rabbits did not thrive. The cats
got at them, and, in shooting at the cats with a crossbow, I had the
misfortune to break several windows, and riddle a conservatory.

The chief objects of my later ambition have been rare old books, gems,
engravings, china, and so forth. All these things, if they are to be
collected, demand that you shall have your wits about you; and the
peculiarity of the Duffer is that his wits are always wool-gathering.
A nice collection of wool they must have stored up somewhere. As to
books, one invariably begins by collecting the wrong things. In novels
and essays you read of "priceless Elzevirs," and "Aldines worth their
weight in gold." Fired with hope, you hang about all the stalls, where
you find myriads of Elzevirs, dumpy, dirty little tomes, in small
illegible type, and legions of Aldines, books quite as dirty, if not
so dumpy, and equally illegible, for they are printed in italics. You
think you are in luck, invest largely, and begin to give yourself the
airs of an amateur and a discoverer. Then comes somebody who knows
about the matter in hand, and who tells you, with all the savage joy
of a collector, that nobody wants any Elzevirs and Aldines, except a
very few, and they must be in beautiful old bindings, uncut down,
or scarcely cut down by the binder. These you may long for, but you
certainly will never find them in the fourpenny box. The Duffer is
always making the mistake of buying small bargains, as he thinks them,
and so he will spend, in some time, perhaps, a hundred pounds. With
a hundred pounds, and with luck, and prudence, and cunning, he might
perhaps buy one small volume which a collector who knew his business
would not wholly disdain. But, as it is, he has squandered his money,
and has nothing to show for it but a heap of trash, of the wrong date,
without the necessary misprints in the right places, ragged, short,
and, above all, _imperfect_. I suppose I have the richest collection
of imperfect books in the world. One hugs oneself on one's _Lucasta_
(very rare), or one's Elzevir _Cæsar_ of the right date, or one's
first edition of MOLIÈRE, and then comes, with fiendish glee, the
regular collector, and shows you that _Lucasta_ has not the portrait
of LOVELACE, that _Cæsar_ has not his pagination all wrong (as he
ought to have), that the Molières are Lyons piracies, that half of
GILBERT's _Gentleman's Diversion_ is not bound up with the rest,
that, generally speaking, there are pages missing here and there all
through your books, which you have never "collated," that "a ticket
of PADELOUP, the binder, has been taken off some broken board of a
book, and stuck on to a modern imitation, and so forth, all through
the collection. You cannot sell it; nobody will take as a present
this Library of a Gentleman who has given up collecting; even Free
Libraries do not want this kind of treasure, and so it remains,
littering your shelves, a monument of folly. Happy are the Duffers
whose eyes are impenetrably sealed, and who can go on believing,
in spite of a modern water-mark, in their sham BURNS MSS. and their
volumes with autographs of all the celebrated characters in history.
But my eyes are purged, and I do not think you shall find me
collecting old books any more. Certainly I shall not venture into
auction-rooms, compete with the Trade, and get left with a book
artfully run up, thanks to my enthusiasm, to four or five times its
market value.

As to china, what the Duffer buys is invariably cracked, and the
"marks" on which he places confidence are flagrant imitations.
He usually begins by supposing that Crown Derby is a priceless
possession, also he has a touching faith in chipped blue and white
cups and saucers, marked with a crescent. Worcester they may be, but
not the right sort of Worcester. And Crown Derby is the very Aldine or
Elzevir of this market. You might as well collect shares in the Great
Montezuma Gold Mine, and expect to derive benefit from the investment.

Gems are among the things that the Duffer may most wisely collect,
for the excellent reason that, in this country, he very seldom
indeed finds any for sale. He cannot come to much sorrow, for lack of
opportunities. In Italy it is different. How many beautiful works of
Art I have acquired in Florence, at considerable ransoms, all of them
signed in neat, but illegible Greek capitals. I puzzled over them with
microscopes. The names seemed to end in [Greek: ICHLÊS]. I thought
myself a rival of BLACAS, or Lord KILSYTH, or the British Museum. Then
my friend, WILKINS, came in. "Pretty enough pastes of the last century
I see," he remarks. "Pastes!--last century!" I indignantly exclaim;
"why they're of the best period: Sards, all of them signed, but I
can't make out the artist's name." "It is PICHLER," says WILKINS, "he
usually signed, for fear his things should be sold as antiques." I had
to give in about PICHLER (which certainly does not sound very Greek);
"but here," I said, "you can't call _this_ paste, you can't scratch
the back of it." "I know I can't," says WILKINS, examining the
ring, "for a very good reason, because a thin layer of sard has been
inserted behind. But it's paste, for all that."

"Well," I say, "here's a genuine ancient ring, old gold, and a lovely
head of Prosperine in cornelian."

"Well, this _is_ odd," says WILKINS, "I know the setting is genuine,
I have seen it before. But then it had a rubbishy late bit of work in
it, and I was in the _atelier_ when a gem-cutter shaved away the top
of the stone, and copied your head of Prosperine on it from a Sicilian
coin. I can show you a coin of the same stamp in my collection."

[Illustration: "HER MAJESTY'S SERVANTS."


And he showed me it, otherwise I might have remained incredulous.
"These scarabs," he went on, "are from Birmingham, I know the glaze.
That gold Egyptian ring, Queen TAIA's do you say, is Coptic, Cairo is
full of them. That head of CÆSAR is a copy from the one in the British

"Why, it is rough with age," I said.

"Ay, they've stuffed it down a turkey's crop, and it has got rubbed
up in the gravel with which the ingenious bird assists the process of
digestion. A _man_ who could swallow that gem is a goose."

I am presenting my esteemed collection of ancient engraved stones to
my nephew at school, who shows all the character of the collector.
He may swop them for bats, or tarts, or he may learn wisdom from the
misfortunes of his uncle.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mr. Badgerer, Q.C._ (_rising to cross-examine_). Then you assert that
the golden dinner-service which we are inquiring about was in your
possession on the evening of July 26th at half-past eight o'clock?

_Plaintiff._ I do.

_Mr. Badgerer, Q.C._ And that when you went to take them out of the
strong-box at 9:15 for your party they had disappeared?

_Plaintiff._ Quite so.

_Mr. Badgerer, Q.C._ Pardon my suggesting such a thing, but I
am instructed to ask you whether, when you paid £800 to the
rate-collector for arrears of rates on the very next day, you had not
obtained that sum by selling a portion of this gold plate yourself?

_The Judge._ Really, Mr. BADGERER, this won't do at all. "Legal
bullying" is a thing of the past, and I shall have to commit you for
contempt if you make these unworthy suggestions to the Witness.

_Mr. Badgerer, Q.C._ But, m'Lud, the whole point of the defence is
that the Plaintiff himself sto--

_The Judge_ (_hastily interposing_). --Sh! You must not talk like
that. Remember that "the floor of the Court is _not_ the same thing as
the interior of a coal-barge."

_Mr. Badgerer, Q.C._ (_sulkily_). Very well. But I really don't know
how I am to conduct my case if your Ludship intervenes to check me.
(_To_ Witness.) I can ask you _this_ at any rate. Did you or did you
not run up to Town by an early train the morning after the robbery?

_Plaintiff._ Certainly I did. I went to see my tailor, in Bond Street.

_Mr. Badgerer, Q.C._ And why did you, then, go all the way from Bond
Street to the City, eh?

_Plaintiff_ (_gravelled_). My Lord, I must appeal for protection. The
question is a bullying one.

_The Judge._ Oh, certainly! Counsel has no right to ask such things.
He ought to take the charitable view of your actions, and suppose that
you went to the City for a mid-day chop, or because you wanted to
look at St. Paul's, or something of that kind. We must really try and
conduct our business as nobly as we can.

_Mr. Badgerer, Q.C._ (_pleasantly_). "_Que Messieurs les assassins
commencent!_" Then we will presume that your predilection for City
chops is so great, that you went a couple of miles out of your way to
get one, and that your reason for dropping in at the establishment
of Messrs. BLANK, Goldsmiths, and offering them half-a-dozen

_The Judge_ (_interrupting_). Oh, really, this is not at all--

_Plaintiff._ Quite the reverse. I won't stay here to be insulted by

    [_Exit hurriedly._

_Mr. Badgerer, Q.C._ I am afraid the Police Officers who are waiting
outside to arrest our friend who has just left the box will also be
denounced as "legal bullies." But after all one can't cross-examine a
rogue on rosewater principles. And if we Barristers sometimes do make
things rather rough for innocent Witnesses, by dragging out unpleasant
incidents in their careers, or suggesting some that never occurred, by
so acting we provide a powerful inducement to people to avoid having
such unpleasant incidents to be dragged out. And if the fear of
cross-examination prevents actions being brought, it thereby also
prevents would-be litigants ruining themselves in law expenses. With
submission, m'Lud, and if your Ludship pleases, I would say that we
"legal bullies" are public benefactors in disguise.

_The Judge._ There's something in what you say, Mr. BADGERER. But the
disguise need not be so complete as it is. I suppose it's a verdict
for the Defendants? _With_ costs, yes. Gentlemen of the Jury, I can't
sufficiently express my sense of the nobility of your conduct in
listening to the evidence as you have done--though, of course, if
you had _not_ listened, I should have committed you all for contempt
in double-quick time--and you will now return a verdict for the

    [_Left sitting._

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *




_Thirsty Attorney._ "NOT TOO MUCH FROTH ON, MY LUD!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


    [In endeavouring to capture a gang of burglars at Greenwich,
    these two constables were dreadfully battered. But they kept
    up the pursuit until the ruffians were secured.]

  Your hand, Mr. TAPPIN, your hand, Mr. SMEETH.
  To the men who protect us we offer no wreath.
  They face for our sakes all the rogues and the brutes,
  Getting cracks from their bludgeons and kicks from their boots.

  They are battered and bruised, yet they never give in,
  And at last by good luck they may manage to win.
  Then, their heads beaten in all through scorning to shirk,
  Scarred and seamed they return without fuss to their work.

  O pair of good-plucked 'uns, ye heroes in blue,
  As modest as brave, let us give you your due.
  Though we cannot do much, we'll do all that we can,
  Since our hearts throb with pride at the sight of a Man.

  Mr. SMEETH you're a man, Mr. TAPPIN's another;
  _Mr. Punch_--pray permit him--henceforth is your brother.
  We are proud of you both, and we'll all of us cheer
  These Peelers from Greenwich who never knew fear.

       *       *       *       *       *


We see there has been some churlish cavilling in some quarters because
the School Management Committee of the London School Board passed
a requisition in November last, sanctioning the purchase of an
articulated skeleton for the Belleville Road School, at the very
reasonable sum of £8 16s. Why make any bones about the matter? What
more ornamental and indeed indispensable article of school-furniture
than a human skeleton nearly six foot high? Still, should the past
system of expenditure be continued in the future, _Mr. Punch_
would suggest that excellent and infinitely cheaper substitutes for
skeletons will be found in the persons of the rate-payers themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

CUPID'S TENNIS-COURTS.--Under the heading "Tennis in the Riviera," the
_Daily Telegraph_ recently gave us some important news, which should
largely influence the Matrimonial Market. The names of Ladies and
Gentlemen, both "singles" (a not strictly grammatical plural, by the
way, but what's grammar in a game of Thirty to Love?) were given.
There was, however, no mention of "ties" or of matches to come.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday Review_ complained of Mr. TREE's gait as _Hamlet_, 'which,'
said the Critic, 'reminds one too much of AGAG.' Most cutting
comparison for an actor sticking rigidly to the Shakspearian text!
If there were interpolations in the text of Mr. BEERBOHM TREE's own
introduction, then indeed he might remind them of _A-gag_; that is, if
he were continually a-gagging.--M.L."

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW BOOK.--Soon may be expected, _A Guide to the Unknown Tongs_, by
the Author of _A Handbook to Poker_.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *





  "I feel as well as well can be!"--
            _Take care!_
  La Grippe's deceptive dontcher see,
            Beware! Beware!
            Trust it not,
            'Twill be fooling thee;

  It's just three weeks since I was "down!"--
            _Take care!_
  "I'm wanted very much in town."
            Beware! Beware!
            Run no risk,
            'Tis humbugging thee!

  "_I_ feel all right,--as well as you!"--
            _Take care!_
  What feeling tells you is not true!
            Beware! Beware!
            Pneumonia waits
            To be nipping thee!

  "You Doctors are such funny chaps!"--
            _Take care!_
  We know the dangers of Relapse.
            Beware! Beware!
            Flout me not,
            _I'm_ not fooling thee!

  "Too long you pillow us and pill us!"--
            _Take care!_
  You don't half know that blarmed bacillus.
            Beware! Beware!
            Brave it not,
            'Twill be flooring thee!

  "The fever's gone, the aches seem vanished."
            _Take care!_
  They come back when you think 'em banished.
            Beware! Beware!
            Trust 'em not,
            They'll be dodging thee!

  "Oh, come, I say, look here, you know!"--
            _Take care!_
  Your pulse is yet two beats too slow.
            Beware! Beware!
            Trifle not,
            Sense is schooling thee!

  "Three weeks have I been on my back!"--
            _Take care!_
  You don't want to _renew_ the rack.
            Beware! Beware!
            East winds are out,
            They'll be cooling thee!

  "It is a _beast_ of a complaint!"--
            _Take care!_
  Don't storm! Your pulse is fluttering, faint.
            Beware! Beware!
            Worry not,
            Think of _syncope_!

  "Tush! Taking Care's the awfullest worry!"--
            _Take care!_
  For "Complications" punish hurry.
            Beware! Beware!
            Resist him not,
            Who'd be ruling thee!

  Keep warm indoors, take lots of rest.
            _Take care_!
  That of all counsels is _the_ best.
            Beware! Beware!
            _Out_? Cert'nly _not_!
            For two weeks--or _three_!

    [_Left fuming._

       *       *       *       *       *

"ON THE SLY."--The name of Mr. J.E. SLY was mentioned in the _World_
last week as a candidate for the office of High Bailiff of the City
of London Court. Quite a Shakspearian name is _Sly_. "Look in the
Chronicles," quoth _Christopher_ of that ilk, "We came in with RICHARD
Conqueror." We drink success to him in "a pot of the smallest ale" and
"Let the _World_ slip,"--whether it did slip or not, the event will
prove,--"We shall ne'er be younger."

       *       *       *       *       *

"CHARLES, HIS FRIENDS."--The Gentlemen who sought to adorn King
CHARLES's statue with wreaths on the 30th January, are not to be
beheaded. Like the White Rose League, their Jacobark is worse than
their Jacobite.

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: (H)]

_House of Commons, Tuesday, February_ 9.--House met to-day for what,
the SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE tells me, must needs be last Session
of present Parliament. Appropriately funereal air over scene and
proceedings. Usually Members return to work in highest spirits.
Remember, in years gone by, before the blight of neglect in high
places fell upon him, how dear old PETER RYLANDS enjoyed himself
on these occasions. What long strides he used to take, bustling to
and fro! What thunderous slaps of friendly welcome he bestowed on
shrinking shoulders! What digs of deep and subtle humour he dealt to
unresponsive ribs!

If PETER were with us to-day, it is probable that even his
effervescence of natural spirits would droop under prevalent gloom.
The familiar place is a House of Mourning. Members tread softly, lest
they should disturb the sick or wake the dead. Everyone has had the
influenza, fears he is going to catch it, or mourns someone whom it
has snatched away.

When SPEAKER took Chair and business commenced, a glance round crowded
benches brought back memory of much that has happened in the Recess.

"'Tis not alone this inky cloak, good TOBY, worn in sign of public
mourning," said WILFRID LAWSON, strangely subdued; "the House of
Commons has had its losses."

"Yes," I say, looking across at the Treasury Bench, where in the
last weeks of July we were wont to see the kindly anxious face of
OLD MORALITY, never more to cheer us with his little aphorisms, and
incite to following his pathway of duty to his QUEEN and country. In
his place, alert, youthful, strong, with ready smile breaking the
unfamiliar gravity; of face and manner, sits the new Leader, still
blushing under effect of ringing cheer that welcomed him to his high

Lower down, filled up by another, is the place whence used frequently
to arise a tall, almost gaunt, figure, which, with voice and
manner indicating close associations with the Church pulpit, read
from manuscript neatly-constructed answers designed to crush
HENNIKER-HEATON. A kindly man and an able was RAIKES, who did not
obtain full recognition for his administration of the office to which
he was called.

On the other side of the House a great gap is made by the withdrawal
of PARNELL from the scene. A second, of quite other association, yawns
where genial DICK POWER used to sit, and wonder what on earth he did
in this galley, when he might have been riding to hounds in County
Waterford. HARTINGTON gone, too, an unspeakable loss to gentlemen on
the benches immediately behind. Many are the weary hours they have
wiled away wondering whether, at the next backward jerk of the head
of the sleeping statesman, his hat would tumble off, or whether
catastrophe would be further postponed. In HARTINGTON's place sits
CHAMBERLAIN, much too wide awake to afford opportunity for speculation
on that or cognate circumstance.

In his old corner-seat, in friendly contiguity, with his revered
friend on the Treasury Bench, GRANDOLPH lounges contemplative. Met him
earlier in afternoon. Passed us in corridor as I was talking to the
MARKISS, who was anxious to know how the dinner went off last night,
at which nephew ARTHUR appeared in character of the New Host at
Downing Street. The MARKISS looked narrowly at GRANDOLPH as he passed
with head hung down, tugging at his moustache.

"You remember TOBY, what HEINE said of DE MUSSET? 'A young man with a
great future--behind him.' There he goes."

"Don't you believe it, my Lord," I said, with the frankness that
endears me to the aristocracy. "You'll make a grave mistake if you act
upon that view of GRANDOLPH's position."

"Ah, well," said the MARKISS, a little hastily; "I must go and see
STRATHEDEN AND CAMPBELL about this Portugal business."

As he strode off I thought how precise and graphic remains
Lord LYTTON's description of him, written before he came to the

  "The large slouching shoulder, as oppressed
    By the prone head, habitually stoops
  Above a world his contemplative gaze
    Peruses, finding little there to praise."

Sorry I vexed him.

Some disappointment at GRANDOLPH's appearance. Hoped he might do
honour to occasion by presenting himself in the attire clad in which
he of late roamed through Mashonaland. It would have been much more
picturesque than either of the uniforms in which mover and seconder
of Address are obviously and uncomfortably sewn up preparatory to
reciting the bald commonplace of their studiously conned lesson.

"He might at least," said CHAPLIN, who, as Minister for Agriculture,
takes an interest in specimens of animal produce, "have brought with
him the skin of one of those nine lions he shot from the oak in which
CHARLES THE FIRST took refuge."

[Illustration: "No gun made would carry so far."]

GRANDOLPH affects not to hear this whispered remark. It was
addressed to NICHOLAS WOOD, who, leaning over back of Treasury
Bench, laboriously explains that CHAPLIN is a little mixed; that the
oak-tree to which he alludes was grown on English ground--wasn't it
in Worcestershire?--and therefore could not afford a safe place of
retreat whence lions might be potted in Central Africa.

"There is," said NICHOLAS, emphatically, "no gun made that would carry
so far."

"Pish!" said CHAPLIN, somewhat inconsequentially.

GRANDOLPH looks across at Front Opposition Bench, and wonders how
Mr. G. is enjoying himself in the Sunny South. "Younger than any of
'em," GRANDOLPH admits. "Odd that with a general sweeping away of the
Leaders in their places last Session, only he should be left. Expect
he'll see us all out."

"Order! order!"

'Tis the voice of the SPEAKER. I thought he'd complain.

"Notices of Motion!" he calls, in sonorous voice. Then the dreary
business begins, MILMAN having all the fun to himself as he pulls
a lucky number put of the Ballot Box, and Members rise in long
succession, giving notice of interminable Bills and Motions, just as
they did at the beginning of last Session, when HARTINGTON slept on
the Front Opposition Bench, when OLD MORALITY fidgetted uneasily in
the seat of Leader, and when PARNELL stood with his back to the wall
in Committee Room No. 15.

       *       *       *       *       *

TRULY AND REELLY.--Why didn't they at once elect COTTON, Alderman,
Poet, and Haberdasher, for the office of City Chamberlain, without
waiting for a show of hands and the rest of it? Of course COTTON ought
to have been elected right off the reel.

       *       *       *       *       *

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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