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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, February 27, 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 27, 1892" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 102.



February 27, 1892.



CONFESSIONS OF A DUFFER.

V.--THE DUFFER AT CRICKET.

To hear my remarks on the Cricket, in the Pavilion, you might think
that I had been a great player entirely, in my day. "Who is that
fine old English sportsman," you might ask, "who seems to have been
so intimate with MYNN, and FULLER PILCH, and CARPENTER, and HAYWARD
and TARRANT and JACKSON and C.D. MARSHAM? No doubt we see in him the
remains of a sterling Cricketer of the old school." And then when I
lay down the law on the iniquity of boundary hits, "always ran them
out in _my_ time," and on the tame stupidity of letting balls to the
off go unpunished, and the wickedness of dispensing with a long stop,
you would be more and more pursuaded that I had at least, played for
my county. Well, I _have_ played for my county, but as the county I
played for was Berwickshire, there is perhaps nothing to be so very
proud of in that distinction. But this I will say for the Cricketing
Duffer; he is your true enthusiast. When I go to Lord's on a summer
day, which of my contemporaries do I meet there? Not the men who
played for the University, not the KENNYS and MITCHELLS and BUTLERS,
but the surviving members of College Second Elevens in the old days of
Cowley Marsh, when every man brought his own bottle of Oxford wine for
luncheon. These are the veterans who contribute most to the crowd of
lookers-on. They never were of any use as players, but their hearts
were in the game, and from the game they will never be divorced. It is
an ill thing for an outsider to drop a remark about Cricket among us,
at about eleven o'clock in a country house smoking-room. After that
the time flies in a paradise of reminiscences, till about 4 A.M. or
some such "wee, short hour ayont the Twal'," if one may quote BURNS
without being insulted by all the numerous and capable wits of
Glasgow. Why is it that the Duffer keeps up his interest in Cricket,
while the good players cease to care much about it? Perhaps _their_
interest was selfish; his is purely ideal, and consequently immortal.
To him Cricket was ever an unembodied joy of which he could make
nothing palpable; nothing subject to the cold law of averages. Mine
was 0.3.

[Illustration]

My own introduction to Cricket, as to Golf, was peculiarly poignant. I
and my brother, aged more or less about six or seven, were invited to
play by the local Club, and we each received exactly one very slow and
considerate lob. But his lob took him on the eye, and mine, kicking on
a bad wicket, had me on the knee-pan. The subsequent proceedings did
not interest us very much, but there is nothing like entering children
early at a manly pastime.

Intellectual application will, to some extent, overcome physical
difficulties. By working at least five hours a day, and by reading the
_Cricket Field_ daily and nightly, I did learn to bowl a little, with
a kind of twist. This, while it lasted, in a bowlerless country, was
a delightful accomplishment. You got into much better sporting society
than you deserved, and, in remote parts of the pastoral districts
you were looked up to as one whose name had been in _Bell's Life_;
we still had _Bell's Life_ then. It was no very difficult matter to
bowl a rustic team for a score of runs or so, and all went merry as a
wedding bell. But, alas, when Drumthwacket played Tullochgorum, there
was a young Cambridge man staying with the latter chieftain. I began,
as I usually did, by "yorking" Tullochgorum's Piper and his chief
Butler, and his head Stalker, and then SMITH of King's came in. The
ground, as usual, had four sides. He hit me over the enclosure at
each of the four sides, for I changed my end after being knocked for
five fours in his first over. After that, my prestige was gone. The
rustics, instead of crawling about their wickets, took to walking
in and smacking me. This would not have mattered, if any of the
Drumthwacket team could have held a catch, and if the wicket-keeper
had not let SMITH off four times in one over. My character was lost,
and all was ended with me north of the Grampians, where the wickets
are peculiarly suitable to my style of delivery.

As to batting, there is little that is pleasant to confess. As soon as
I got a distant view of a ball, I was ever tempted to whack wildly in
its direction. There was no use in waiting for it, the more I looked
at it the less I liked it. So I whacked, and, if you always do this,
a ball will sometimes land on the driving part of the bat, and then it
usually happened that my companion, striving for a five or a six, ran
me out. If he did not, I did not stay long. The wicket-keeper was a
person whose existence I always treated as _une quantité négligeable_,
and sometimes the ball would bound off his pads into the stumps. The
fielders would occasionally hold a catch, anything _may_ happen. On
the other hand there was this to be said for my style of batting,
that the most experienced Cricketer could not tell where or in what
direction I would hit any given ball. If it was on the off, that was
no reason why I should not bang it to square-leg, a stroke which has
become fashionable since my time, but in those old days, you did not
often see it in first-class Cricket. It was rather regarded as "an
agrarian outrage." Foreigners and ladies would find Cricket a more
buoyant diversion if all the world, and especially LEWIS HALL and
SHREWSBURY, played on my principles. Innings would not last so long.
Not so many matches would be drawn. The fielders would not catch cold.

To speak of fielding is to revive unspeakable sorrows. For a
short-sighted man, whose fingers are thumbs, no post in the field
is exactly grateful. I have been at long-leg, and, watching the game
intently, have perceived the batters running, and have heard cries of
"well fielded!" These cries were ironical. The ball had been hit past
me, but I was not fortunate enough to observe the circumstance. A
fielder of this _calibre_ always ends by finding his way to short-leg.
A prudent man can do a good deal here by watching the umpire, dodging
when he dodges, and getting behind him on occasion. But I was not
prudent. I observed that a certain player hit very much behind the
leg, so there, "in the mad pride of intellectuality," I privily
stationed myself. He _did_ it very fine, very fine indeed, into my
eye. The same misfortune has attended me at short-slip; it should have
been a wicket, it was a black eye, or the loss of a tooth or two, as
might happen. In fact, I sometimes wonder myself at the contemptuous
frankness of my own remarks on the fielding at Lord's. For if a catch
could be missed (and most catches can), I was the man to miss it.
Swift ones used to hit me and hurt me, long ones I always misjudged,
little simple poppy ones spun out of my fingers. Now the unlucky thing
about Cricket, for a Duffer, is that your misfortunes do not hurt
yourself alone. It is not as in a single at Golf, it is not as in
fishing, or riding, or wherever you have no partner. To drop catches
is to madden the bowler not unnaturally, and to lengthen the period
of leather-hunting. Cricket is a social game, and its proficients
soon give the cold shoulder to the Duffer. He has his place, however,
in the nature of things. It is he who keeps up the enthusiasm, who
remembers every run that anybody I made in any given match. In fact,
at Cricket, the Duffer's mission is to be a "judge of the game;" I
don't mean an Umpire, very far from that. If you once let the Duffer
umpire he could ruin the stoutest side, and secure victory to the
feeblest. I may say that, at least in this capacity, I have proved
really useful to my party in country matches. But, in the long run,
my capacity even for umpiring came to be doubted, and now I am only
a critic of Cricket. There is none more relentless, not one with a
higher standard, at least where no personal feelings are concerned.
For I have remarked that, if a Cambridge man writes about an Oxford
victory (which he seldom has to do), or if an Oxford man writes on a
Cambridge victory (a frequent affliction), he always leaves you with
the impression that, in spite of figures, his side had at least a
moral triumph. These admirable writers have all been Duffers.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TIMES CHANGE.

_Shade of William the Conqueror._ "WHAT! THE PEOPLE OBJECT TO
ENCLOSING A FEW ACRES OF THIS OPEN SPACE FOR STATE PURPOSES--FOR THEIR
OWN BENEFIT? BY THE SPLENDOUR OF HEAVEN! I SHOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE
HEARD THE VARLETS OBJECT TO MY MAKING MILES OF IT SUCH--FOR _MINE_!"

_Secretary for War._ "AH, YOUR MAJESTY HAD IN _YOUR_ TIMES NO _TIMES_
TO RECKON WITH!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

TIMES CHANGE.

    ["The 'Ranges Act' constitutes ... a standing menace to rights
    of common wherever commons and open spaces exist."--_The
    Times_.]

  "The old order changes, yielding place to new."
    By Phoebus, you are right, mellifluous TENNYSON!
  Could Norman WILLIAM this conjuncture view,
    He'd greet our Progress with--well, scarce a benison;
  He, though ranked high 'midst monarchs and commanders,
  Had the same weakness as our troops in Flanders.

  ROBERT the Devil's ruthless son would clear
    A county to make coverts, deer-runs, chaces.
  What had he thought of modern notions queer
    Concerning Common Rights and Open Spaces?
  "The People--who are varlets!--still oppose them,
  Whether the Powers that be make or enclose them!"

  "The People _versus_ Powers that Be!" Ah, yes!
    Imperious Norman, that's a modern trial
  That's always being argued more or less;
    The Press keeps now such vigilant espial
  On every grasping would-be public plunderer.
  You, Sire, had not to reckon with "The Thunderer!"

  Times change, stark soldier, and we have the _Times_
    Premier to check and snub Chief Secretaries.
  Counting land-grabbing high among earth's crimes
    Would have amazed you! Public judgment varies.
  You and your wolf-hound, WILLIAM, would not now
  Try a "clean sweep,"--without a general row.

  Ask OTTO! He is somewhat in your style,
    But he could tell you what new risks environ
  The ancient art of Ruling. You may smile
    At Print and Paper _versus_ Blood and Iron,
  But Sovereign and Crown, though loved by many,
  Stand now no chance against the Popular Penny.

  Ask Malwood's Squire again! He knows right well
    The New Democracy,--and the New Forest;
  _Our_ great Plantagenet, a true blue "Swell,"
    Fights for the People when their need is sorest.
  In Norman BILLY he'd own small belief;
  The People's WILLIAM is _his_ favourite chief.

  Your ghostly presence in these verdant glades
    Might startle STANHOPE, musing on his Ranges,
  But not the angriest of Royal Shades
    May now arrest the progress of Time's changes.
  True, much is yielded yet to Swelldom's "Sport,"
  But some aver that even _its_ time is short.

  No, Clearances and Rights of Common, now
    Own not the sway of autocrats capricious.
  Small use, great Shade, to knit that haughty brow,
    And swear _your_ action would be expeditious.
  The days of Curfew and of Forest Law
  Are passed. _We_'re swayed by Justice--and Free Jaw!

       *       *       *       *       *

"FOR VALUE RECEIVED."--Aldgate Ward changed Alderman LUSK for one
POUND.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WHAT OUR ARTIST HAS TO PUT UP WITH, BEFORE HE TURNS
LIKE A CRUSHED WORM.

_Our Art Critic_ (_patronisingly_). "HA--HUM! WELL, YOUR COLOUR IS
FAIRLY DECENT, AND YOU HAVE NICISH FEELING FOR LIGHT AND SHADE, AND
_CHIAROSCURO_. BUT WHERE YOB ALWAYS FAIL TO PLEASE, SOMEHOW, IS IN
YOUR _EXECUTION_!"

_Our Artist_. "MY _EXECUTION_? AH! JUST SO. I'VE NO DOUBT THAT
_YOURS_, NOW WOULD BE MORE GENERALLY POPULAR!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM PARLIAMENTARY EXAMINATION PAPER.

_Question_.--Explain the term "Standing Orders."

_Answer_ 1.--It means that when a visitor to the House has an order
for the Speaker's Gallery, and can't find a seat, he then becomes one
of the Standing Orders.--SISTE VIATOR.

_Answer_ 2.--When a friendly M.P. sees three of us waiting for him,
takes us to the bar of the House, and orders drinks all round, which
we take standing.--BIBENDUM EST.

       *       *       *       *       *

INDIA FOR THE IRISH!--"An amended estimate of the present Paddy Crop
has been published by the Local Government." (_Vide Times_ for Feb.
15.) What more can the most thorough Home-Rulers want, if they would
only be content to make their home in Burmah instead of Ireland?
"Local Government" can soon be developed, for 'tis but Home Rule in
the bud, and the "Paddy Crop" is already there.

       *       *       *       *       *

MOTTO FOR THE NEW RECORDER OF THE CITY OF LONDON.--"HALL There!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"COMBINING AMUSEMENT WITH INSTRUCTION."

(_A SKETCH AT THE COLLECTION OF INSTRUMENTS OF TORTURE._)

    SCENE--_The Maddox Street Galleries. A large and appropriately
    lighted room. Upon walls of a sombre crimson, various
    Implements of Torture are arranged with considerable taste,
    and an eye for decorative effect, the central space being
    reserved for more elaborate contrivances in wood and iron.
    Visitors discovered inspecting the Exhibition by the aid of
    the excellent Catalogues, with the subdued appreciation of
    persons conscious that they are spending a very pleasant and
    profitable afternoon._

_Mr. Charnelhouse Goole_ (_as he enters, to Mrs. C.G._). Now, my dear,
the first thing I want to see is that Iron Maiden there's so much talk
about. I wonder whereabouts it is!

_Mrs. C.G._ I think _that_ must be it, up at the other end of the
room. But don't you _think_, dear, it would be nicer to see the
_other_ things first, and keep that for the _last_?

_Mr. C.G._ (_struck by the refinement of this suggestion_). Well,
upon, my word, AMINA, I almost think it would!

_Mr. Frederic Frivell_ (_to his wife, whom he takes a marital pleasure
in shocking_). What fun those old fellows must have had in those days,
mustn't they?

_Mrs. Frivell_ (_a serious lady_). I don't think fun is at _all_ the
right word, FREDERIC. I do _wish_ you wouldn't take these things so
lightly. I'm sure it's melancholy enough to look at all these horrid
machines, and think--

_Mr. F._ That Torture is a lost art? Isn't that what you were going to
say? But it's _not_, you know; we've refined it--that's all. Look at
the Photographer, and the Interviewer, and the Pathetic Reciter, and
the--

    [_Mrs. F. endeavours to convince him that she didn't mean that
    at all, and that he is comparing totally different things._

_An Aphoristic Uncle_ (_to an irreverent Nephew_). No. 89. "A
Long-spiked Wooden Roller, known as a 'Spiked Hare.'" You see, TOM,
my boy, the victim was--(_Describes the process._) "Some of the old
writers describe this torture as being most fearful," so the Catalogue
tells us.

_Tom-my-boy_ (_after inspecting the spikes_). Well, do you know,
Uncle, I shouldn't be at all surprised if the old Johnnies weren't so
far out.

_The Aph. Uncle._ Another illustration, my boy, of "Man's inhumanity
to Man"!

_Tom-my-boy._ Not bad for you, Uncle--only you cribbed it out of the
Catalogue, you know! [_The A.U. gives him up._

    _An Indulgent Parent enters, leading a small boy in a tall
    hat, and is presently recognised by the A.U._

_The A.U._ So you've brought your son to see this collection,
hey? Well, it's of the greatest educational value to a thoughtful
youth--rich in moral and historical instruction!

_The I.P._ Well, it was like this, you see. I had to take him to the
dentist's, and, finding we should have half-an-hour or so to spare
before he could attend to him, I thought we'd just drop in here and
amuse ourselves--eh, BOBBY? Wonderfully ingenious, you know, in
their way, some of these things! Now, _here's_ a thing--"A Spanish
mouth-pear, made of iron." You see, BOBBY, they forced it into the
mouth and touched a screw, and it sprang open, preventing the victim
from screaming.

_Bobby_. Y-yes, father. Should you think Mr. Fawcepps will have one of
those?

_The I.P._ (_annoyed_). Now, what _is_ the use of my taking you to a
place of this sort to divert your thoughts, if your mind is running
on something else all the time? I won't have it, do you hear. Enjoy
yourself like a sensible boy!

_Bobby_. Y-yes, Father, I am. It--it's quite cured my toothache
already--_really_ it has!

_Mrs. Frivell_ (_reading from Catalogue_). "A Penitent's Girdle, made
of barbed wire, which, when worn next to the flesh, caused the most
unpleasant and uncomfortable irritation." Oh, FREDERIC, just fancy
that!

_Mr. F._ My dear CECILIA, I can _quite_ fancy it!

_Mrs. F._ But I thought these tortures were only for _Malefactors_.
Why do they call it a _Penitent's_ Girdle?

_Mr. F._ Can't say,--unless because he generally repented having put
it on.

_Mrs. F._ I don't think that _can_ be the real reason.

_Two English House-maids_ (_to a small German Page-Boy who is
escorting them_). Here, JOHNNIE, what's _this_ mean? (_Reads from
Catalogue the motto on an Executioner's Sword._) "Di Herrin' sturin
dem Unheel ick exequire ir End Urthile." Come, _you_ ought to know!

_Johnnie_ (_not unnaturally at a loss_). It means--it means--somding I
do not understandt.

_The Housemaids_ (_disappointed in him_). Well, you _are_ a boy! I
_did_ think, bein' German yourself, you'd be quite at _'ome_ 'ere!

_Mr. Ernest Stodgely_ (_impressively, to Miss FEATHERHEAD, his
fiancée_). Just look at this, FLOSSIE. (_Reading._) "Executioner's
Cloak, very long, of red woollen material; presumably red so as not to
show blood-spots or stains." Hideously suggestive that, is it not?

_Miss Flossie._ I shouldn't call it exactly _hideous_, ERNEST. Do
you know, I was just thinking that, with a high Astrachan collar, you
know, and old silver fastenings, it would make rather a nice winter
cloak. So deliciously warm! [_ERNEST avails himself of a lover's
privileges to lecture her severely._

    IN FRONT OF THE IRON MAIDEN.

_Mr. Ch. Goole._ So _this_ is the Iron Maiden! Well, I expected
something rather more dreadful-looking. The face has really quite a
pleasant expression. [_Disappointedly._

[Illustration: "Oh, but I think that makes it so much _more_ horrible,
don't you?"]

_Mrs. Ch. G._ (_with subtler appreciation_). Oh, but I think that
makes it so much _more_ horrible, don't _you_?

_Mr. Ch. G._ Well, I don't know--perhaps. But there ought to be a
wax figure inside it. They ought to have wax figures on most of these
things--make it much more interesting!

_Mr. Frivell_ (_who is close by_). I quite agree with you,
Sir--indeed, I would go farther. I think there should be competent
persons engaged to provide practical illustrations of all the more
amusing tortures--say from three to five every afternoon. Draw all
London!

_Mrs. F._ (_horrified_). FRED, you _know_ you don't mean it! And
besides, you would _never_ get people willing to be shut up inside
that thing!

_Mr. F._ My dear, I'm perfectly serious, as I always am. And as to
not getting subjects, why--(_He beckons to one of the Boy-Messengers
in waiting, who advances_). Look here, my lad, you seem a bright
intelligent youth. Would you mind just stepping inside and allowing us
to close the door? We won't detain you an instant.

_Mrs. F._ What a shame, FRED! Don't _think_ of such a thing, there's a
good boy! Say no--and I'll give you sixpence!

_The Boy_ (_grinning_). Well, Lady, make it a shillin', and I'll stay
outside--to oblige you!

_Mrs. F._ (_giving him a shilling_). There's a good sensible boy!
FREDERIC, have you gone _quite_ mad? You know you wouldn't hurt a fly?

    [_The GOOLES move away, feeling that they have been trifled
    with._

_Mr. F._ A fly? Not for the world!--but this is only a boy. I want to
know what they're here _for_. Now, my lad, you're not engaged to be
_idle_, you know. Just think of the amount of innocent pleasure you
would afford by getting into this spiked cradle and letting me rock
you. You won't? Well, will you sit on the Spanish Donkey? come! I'll
give you a leg up and fasten the weights on your legs for you. You
aren't afraid of a donkey?

    [_Bystanders collect in hope of amusement._

_The Boy_ (_sulkily_). Not of _some_ Donkeys, Sir, as ain't quite so
sharp as that one, whatever they think theirselves!

    [_Titters. Mr. F.F. feels that he has got rather the worst
    of it, and collapses, with the dismal completeness of a Funny
    Man; Mrs. F. remains behind to bribe the boy with another
    shilling to promise her solemnly never on any account to play
    with any of the tortures._

_Mrs. F._ (_rejoining her husband_). FREDERIC, how _can_ you? You make
me feel perfectly _faint_ when you act like this!

_Mr. F._ (_recovering_). Faint, CECILIA? Well, I daresay they won't
mind if you sit down in one of these spiked chairs for a minute or
two.

_Mrs. F._ (_angrily_). I shall do no such thing, FREDERIC! And you
ought to be _ashamed_ to suggest it!

_Mrs. Borrodale_ (_choosing photographs of Nuremberg_). Look, JOHN,
what a lovely large one of the _Sebald's Kirche_! I really _must_
have this. Oh, and the _Insel Schutt_--and this of the _Schöne
Brunnen_--and the view from the _Burg_--that makes the half-dozen.
They will be joys for _ever_, JOHN! And _only_ three shillings each!
Will you pay the boy for them, JOHN, please--it's just eighteen
shillings.

_John_. Can't, my dear. Only half-a-crown in my pocket. Don't you
remember, I lent you my last sov. not five minutes ago?

_Mrs. B._ Oh, so you did. Well, on second thoughts, perhaps this
size is rather--I think I'll take five of the sixpenny ones
instead--they're every bit as good. You can spare me that half-crown,
JOHN!

_A Patriot_ (_coming out_). Well, it's just the same 'ere as
everywhere else. All the things "made in Germany"! Sickenin' _I_ call
it!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A MEETING OF THE "BANDY" ASSOCIATION

FOR THE PROMOTION OF "HOCKEY ON THE ICE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

RICE AND PRUNES.

[Illustration]

  Rice and prunes a household journal
    Called the chief of household boons:
  Hence my mother cooks diurnal
    Rice and prunes.

  Therefore on successive noons,
    Sombre fruit and snowy kernel
  Woo reluctant forks and spoons.

  As the ear, when leaves are vernal,
    Wearies of the blackbird's tunes,
  So we weary of eternal
    Rice and prunes.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN OLD FRIEND AT THE CRITERION.--Time flies, and _Fourteen Days_,
occupying only a couple of hours or so at the Criterion, goes
wonderfully. CHARLES WYNDHAM is the life and soul of the piece, and
the giddy GIDDENS is another life and soul. Miss MARY MOORE, charming
as ever, with a clearness of "dictation," as Mrs. MALAPROP would
say, that is in itself a delight to the ear. Every word she speaks is
distinct, and, which is more to the purpose, every telling word tells.
_Fourteen Days_ is a survival and revival of one of H.J. BYRON's
fittest. If it "catches on" once more, as it ought to do, it might run
fourteen weeks, and then,--"Next please!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Q.E.D.

"_MAY_ I ASK YOU HOW YOU MANAGE TO KEEP YOUR LITTLE PET SO SLEEK AND
THIN?"

"I DON'T KNOW. IT HAS ITS LUNCH AND DINNER WITH ME EVERY DAY."

"WELL, SO DOES MINE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday, February 15._--A lively sitting, with an
unexpected ending. Debate on Address resumed by SEXTON in excellent
speech, an effect largely contributed to by comparative brevity. Only
an hour long; remarkable compression. Would have been better still
had it been reduced by the twenty minutes occupied in preliminary
observations. At twenty-five minutes past four he rose to move
Amendment condemnatory of Land Purchase Act of last year. Precisely at
a quarter to five came to his amendment, and began to recommend it to
House. But mustn't complain. An excellent beginning for new Session
that may further develop.

"An oratorical eel," SAUNDERSON, later in sitting, likened Member
for West Belfast to; charming simile, with just that mixture of
graphicness and incongruity that only Irish wit could flash upon.
Not meant to be uncomplimentary, for SAUNDERSON, like the rest,
acknowledges capacity of SEXTON in debate; his clear insight, his
capacity for grasping a subject, his aptness of illustration, his
quickness of retort, and, alack! the embarrassment of the wealth of
language. If he could only economise that, and guard against the
fatal fluency that besets him, converting what might be a sharp direct
speech of twenty minutes into a windy weariness of hour-and-a-half or
two hours, he would take high rank among Parliamentary debaters.

DIZZY once said the occasions when a man addressing House of Commons
need exceed twenty minutes, come to him only twice or thrice in a
lifetime. He did more than preach; he carried into practice his own
principle with success. Very rarely in later years, even when Leader
of House of Commons, did he exceed twenty minutes, and all his
most successful interpositions in debate were on that plan. When,
occasionally, he felt that circumstances demanded a long and laboured
address, his labour was in vain.

Capital speech, too, of quite another kind, from DUNBAR BARTON. Most
promising maiden speech delivered in present Parliament; of good
omen that best parts were not those prepared in leisure of study,
put the earlier passages evoked by preceding debate, and necessarily
impromptu. As for SAUNDERSON, he was in his best form.

"SAUNDERSON," said the SQUIRE OF MALWOOD, recognising a kindred
spirit, "always reminds me of those Lifeguardsmen you see at the
Military Festival, riding round Agricultural Hall slashing off heads.
The heads are dummies, and no harm is done; but it's a pretty sight."

The Colonel rides well, and is a skilful swordsman.

Delight of audience crowding in after dinner completed by TIM HEALY
dashing in with intent to trip up Colonel. Domestic difficulties in
the Party have not smoothed down TIM's natural truculence. With JOHN
REDMOND sitting behind him and SAUNDERSON in front, a porcupine in
fretful mood is a ball of spun silk compared with TIM.

After this RADCLIFFE COOKE and collapse, with the prospect of
proceedings droning on till midnight, then adjournment, and begin
again to-morrow. Suddenly, on stroke of twelve, Closure moved. House
completely taken aback. Whilst it sat gasping under shock SPEAKER
declared Closure carried; bells rang through all the corridors;
Members trooped in to find Division imminent. When figures declared,
showing Government had been surprised into narrow majority of 21,
fresh wave of excitement welled forth, amid which Address was,
somehow, agreed to. Members went off into snowstorm, cheering and
laughing as if there had never before been such larks.

_Business done_.--Address agreed to.

_Tuesday Night_.--GRANDOLPH turned up to-day; took his familiar
corner seat; tugged at his old moustache; caressed his new beard, and
listened to SEALE HAYNE recklessly attacking the sacred institution of
Justiciary of the Peace.

"Nothing changed, TOBY, dear boy," he said; "not even the Ministry.
When I came back from Mashonaland I was told we were on the eve of
political earthquake. The House of Commons was to be transformed into
a cockpit; the Benches steepled in the gore of an iniquitous Ministry.
But, except for some vacant places and some further advancement of
privates in the little band I once officered, it's all the same, only
a little drearier. The same throng in the Lobby, the same rows of
Members sitting on the Benches, the same Mace on the Table, the same
stately figure in the Chair, and the same Sergeants-at-Arms relieving
guard at the Cross Benches. There are not quite the same two Irish
Leaders, for BRER FOX has 'gone away.' BRER RABBIT I see sitting
over there with his kindly face and his friendly smile, perhaps the
only Irishman in the House who, if a coat were trailed before him,
would turn away from temptation. It's only Irishmen, with their
inexhaustible fund of humour, who would have put JUSTIN MCCARTHY in
his present place. Doesn't much matter so long as TIM HEALY's around.
I'll bet my gold mine at Mashonaland against the Kennel, Barks, that
TIM will make up the average of fighting even when BRER RABBIT in the
scale."

[Illustration: A GIFT FROM THE GREEKS.

RIGHT HON. ARTHUR. "IF I CAN ONLY GET THIS THROUGH, IT OUGHT TO SETTLE
'EM!"]


There's one thing changed GRANDOLPH did not allude to; perhaps
unconscious of it. 'Tis his own appearance. In addition to the beard,
he has put on ruddy tint that speaks well for Mashonaland as a health
resort compared with Westminster. Amongst the pale-faced legislators
his visage shines like the morning sun. "Quite a Colonial look about
him," says ALGERNON BORTHWICK, fretfully. "But, after a few dinners at
the Amphitryon and a few nights at the House and elsewhere, he'll get
over it."

Members from all parts crowd round GRANDOLPH to shake the horny hand
of the intrepid explorer, the dauntless lion _dompter_. A cold air
whistles along the row of Ministers as he sits behind.

"What's he up to?" JOKIM hoarsely whispered, all his native gaiety
eclipsed.

"Come down, I suppose," said Prince ARTHUR, smiling, "to congratulate
us on our great victory last night, whereby we escaped defeat in
Debate on Address by triumphant majority of 21."

"Quite a stormy petrel don't you think?" JOKIM said, nervously rubbing
his hands.

"Not exactly," said Prince ARTHUR; "that usually comes before the
storm you know. If you must be personal and ornithological, I should
say GRANDOLPH's appearance on the scene is more reminiscent of the
vulture; a little hasty in his appearance perhaps, but that is none
the less significant."

_Business done._--Practically none, and so home to dinner at twenty
minutes to eight.

_Thursday Night._--Prince ARTHUR explained provisions of
long-looked-for Local Government scheme. A remarkable, unexampled,
scene. House crowded on every Bench, with Duke of DEVONSHIRE looking
down from Peers' Gallery, thanking Heaven he is out of it. Prince
ARTHUR's manner in introducing the measure in keeping with the strange
surroundings. Might reasonably have been expected that he would have
been at pains to recommend the Bill to acceptance of House. Not a
bit of it. If people insisted upon regarding it as the most important
business of Session, Prince ARTHUR couldn't help it. But he certainly
would not foster the delusion. In its potentiality of beneficent
effect, the Bill nothing in comparison with the Coercion Act or the
Light Railways Act.

"A poor thing," he said, in effect, and did not add, "but mine own."

If it was not his, certainly no one else would own it. Irish Members
received it with jeers. JOHN MORLEY denounced it as a monstrous
imposture. SQUIRE OF MALWOOD benignantly affected to regard it as a
little joke with which Ministers designed to vary a dull Session.
But a joke may be carried too far; better drop this now, and go to
business.

Oddly enough, the storm of contumely had effect of inspiring Prince
ARTHUR with new affection for his unwelcomed offspring, adding to the
strength of his evidently new conviction that the proposed expedient
was sound, and, if accepted, would prove efficacious.

"And what do _you_ think of the Tory scheme of Home Rule," I asked
JUSTIN MCCARTHY, when it was all over.

"_Timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes_," he said, dropping into his native
Celtic speech. "But in this case there is no room for apprehension.
BALFOUR may leave this wooden horse outside the gates for a month, and
the Trojans wouldn't touch it with a pair of tongs."

Prince ARTHUR grew more confident as the clouds gathered.

"I see very well," he said, "if I'm to stable this horse in the Home
Rule Troy, I must drag it all the way myself. I shall get no help
from either section of the garrison. But it's got to be done, and
I'll buckle-to. Once through, it will settle the more than ten years'
siege."

_Business done._--Prince ARTHUR left tugging away at his wooden horse.

_Friday Night._--House of Lords almost deserted. HALSBURY punctual in
his place, making most of opportunities on Woolsack whilst they yet
remain.

"Here to-day and gone to-morrow, TOBY," he remarked, with forced
gaiety; "but, when I hand in the Seals of Office, I shall at least
have the serene assurance to cheer me in my retirement that the whole
of my family, including collateral branches, have been provided for."

Amongst the prevailing dolour, the MARKISS in high spirits.

"Things not looking well in the Commons or the country, I admit," he
says; "but all is not lost yet. I have still a card to play, and I
believe it will score the trick. We shall presently have to go to the
country, and fight a confident Opposition. Successful Foreign Policy
is played out. Free Education has brought us no support; trifling
with Home Rule in Ireland will bring us enemies. Am convinced that
the thing to go to the country on is the fog. MIDDLETON's our man.
Been thinking over it for a week. See it now; shall take up question
of London fog; devise some means of battling with it; and then let
the worst come. A Government that has fought the fog will at least
carry London, and, London ours, we shall be able to stem the tide of
anarchy."

_Business done_.--The MARKISS takes a great resolution.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE HUNTING OF THE HARCOURT."

_(According to Fancy Sketch by "Observer" in the "Times.") "O where
and O where is our Harcourt Laddie gone?"_]

       *       *       *       *       *

PADDYWHACK AND DR. BIRCH.--Everyone knows what "the Assisted Education
(Ireland) Bill" is. Why should not an Assisted Education (England)
Bill be brought in to enable public school-boys to secure, without
payment of any additional fee beyond that included for "swishing"
in the Bill sent home to the parents, the specimen of the legal
instrument with which their education may have been most helpfully
assisted?

       *       *       *       *       *

"BECKY THE SECOND."--Those comparatively few who answered our query
as to where "the good _Becky_, the very opposite of _Becky_ in _Vanity
Fair_, was to be found in THACKERAY's works," and have referred us to
_A Shabby Genteel Story_, are right. The many who hit upon _Rebecca_
in the burlesque of _Ivanhoe_ mistook the question.

       *       *       *       *       *

A CORRESPONDENT, signing himself "IGNORAMUS," writes to inquire "The
address of a Society called 'The London French Polishers.'" He says,
"I want my French polished up a bit before going to Paris."

       *       *       *       *       *

"VIVE LA LIBERTÉ!"

The _Era_ at one time used to enjoy a monopoly of strangely, but
purely professionally-worded advertisements; but now the _Daily
Telegraph_ is creeping up and commencing to occupy the _Era's_
special domain. One day last week in the _D.T._ the following
notice appeared:--"Mr. CHARLES SUGDEN at liberty.--Address, &c." "At
Liberty!" How will this sound to the uninitiated millions? Taking for
granted that the readers, whose name is Legion, know perfectly well
who and what Mr. CHARLES SUGDEN is, having a lively recollection
of this talented actor as among the best representatives of bad
characters (excepting perhaps that of _William of Orange_, which was
Mr. SUGDEN's _chef d'oeuvre_, and about whose character there are
strong differences of opinion), will they not unnaturally be led
to inquire how, why, when and wherefore Mr. SUGDEN ever came to be
deprived of his liberty, and under what circumstances he has been
restored to it, or it to him? "At Liberty!" It has a grand and
glorious sound! This distinguished Thespian was never an "hereditary
bondsman," then why not always "at liberty"? But, be this as it may,
once more "the Rover is free!" SUGDEN is a name honourable behind and
before the foot-lights. In the Courts of Law it is a Legal Light, and
among Gas Companies the Sugden Burner is, we believe, justly famous.
Whatever the announcement may or may not mean, all sons of Liberty
will rejoice that this eccentric comedian is once more free, and on
the stage he will be again most welcome.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Are you staying in town?" "No," answered Mrs. R.; "I'm going _au
contraire_." Which, she subsequently explained, was French for going
into the country.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FANCY PORTRAIT.

GENERAL _BOOM_BASTES.

_Solo and Chorus._

AIR--"_Piff! Paff! Pouf!" from "La Grande Duchosse."_

        "ET PUFF! PUFF! PUFF!
        ET TARA PARA POUM!
  JE SUIS, MOI, LE GÉNÉRAL BOOM! BOOM!"

    [_Repeats it ad lib._]

       *       *       *       *       *

ON RELIGIOUS CYMBALISM.

The Salvationist Bands which perform in and out of London--(would
that they were restricted as the Moore and Burgess Minstrels restrict
themselves to one hall, never or "hardly ever," performing out
of London!)--everywhere and anywhere without respecting illness,
or the hours of public worship in our Churches and Chapels, or
the necessities of repose, show thereby a distinct want of that
consideration for the feelings of their fellow-citizens which simple
Christian folk call Charity. These Booth performers--which designation
savours suggestively of Mountebanks--would do well to play their
peculiar music and sing their peculiar hymns within the four walls
of their own places of worship, employing the intervals essential
for gaining of wind and for rest of muscle in meditating, perhaps
breathlessly, on the inspired Pauline teaching which will inform them
that even the works of an Apostle, if he have not charity, will be as
"sounding brass and tinkling cymbals," making indeed a great noise in
the world, but as one WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE has said, being mere "sound
and fury signifying nothing." "Liberty of Worship" by all means,
but not such Liberty for any one particular form of worship which,
interfering with the freedom of others, speedily degenerates into
fanatical licence, and so becomes a nuisance as intolerant as it is
intolerable.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANGLO-AMERICAN FRENCH.--A new word must be added to our French
dictionaries. In _Le Figaro_ for Feb. 15, in an article on HECTOR
MALOT, occurs this expression, "_en ce temps de puffisme littéraire_."
In English we have had the word and the thing too, since the time of
SHERIDAN's _Critic_, but is any student of French journalism familiar
with it in the Parisian newspapers?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FANCY BALL.

[Illustration]

  You came as GRETCHEN, hair of gold
    And face so exquisitely sweet,
  That I, like FAUST, had _certes_ sold
    Myself, to win you, MARGUERITE.
  Each plait enmeshed my struggling heart,
    That wildly beat against my will;
  And though at last we had to part,
    In Dreamland I could see you still.

  Another night, with tresses dark,
    And kirtle strewn with _fleurs-de-lys_,
  You came a flashing JOAN OF ARC,
    Destructive of my bosom's peace.
  The sword was girt upon your hip,
    And thine the Maid's heroic glance;
  I seemed to hear upon your lip,
    The watchword of her life, "For France!"

  Anon I saw thee as the Queen
    Who held so many hearts in fee;
  But MARY STUART scarce had been,
    Methinks, so beautiful as thee.
  I fain had gone and splintered lance,
    As in the old days in our realm;
  To win a kind approving glance,
    And wear your glove upon my helm.

  What, stately EDITH! Lives there yet
    The lady of that royal line,
  The peerless proud Plantagenet,
    Will KENNETH's great emprise be mine?
  We saw how high his hopes could soar;
    We know the guerdon that he won.
  Shall I find favour, as of yore
    Did DAVID, Earl of Huntingdon?

  'Tis certain, in whatever guise
    You come, as heroine of song
  Or story, to my faithful eyes
    You shine the fairest of the throng.
  However fanciful you be,
    Whatever fancy dress befalls;
  My fancy paints you fancy-free,
    To fancy me at Fancy Balls!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE REAL NINE POINTS OF THE LAW.--Costs.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE UNOBSERVED OF ONE "OBSERVER."

From the account given by "OBSERVER" in the _Times_, it might be
inferred that "HARCOURT! HARCOURT!" was shouted all over the House,
in the lobbies, through the smoking-room, in the library, through
the cellars, in fact, everywhere within the sacred precincts, on
one memorable night, while at that very moment the wily Sir WILLIAM,
tucked comfortably up in his little bed, was murmuring softly to
himself, "HARCOURT! indeed! '_Ha! not caught_,' more likely!" and
so sweetly fell asleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

MRS. R. read aloud from the latest Report of "B. and F. Bible
Society," "One cannot help thinking of the glorious field of labour
which lies open here before the Colporteur, and of the pleasant way
in which his labours are appreciated by all." But the worthy lady
pronounced colporteur as coalporter, and so on hearing from a
friend that "the Coalporters were on strike," Mrs. R. could not help
exclaiming, "Dear! how ungrateful of them, when they were being 'so
much appreciated by all!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE WESTMINSTER WAX-WORK SHOW FOR THE SESSION 1892.
ROOM 2.]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

In _Tess of the D'Urbevilles_ (published by Messrs. OSGOOD, MCILVAINE
& CO.), Mr. THOMAS HARDY has given us a striking work of fiction,
bold in design, and elaborate in finish. The characters, with one
exception, are as true to life as are his graphic descriptions of
nature's own scenery; true that is to the types of such rural life as
he professes to represent,--the life led in our Christian country by
thousands and thousands of genuine Pagans, superstitious Boeotians,
with whom the schoolmaster can do but little, and the parson still
less. As to the clergymen who appear in this story, two of them are
priggishly academic, a third is a comfortable antiquarian, and the
fourth unacquainted with even the A.B.C. of his own pastoral theology.

[Illustration: A BRIGHT PARTICULAR STAR IN THE MILKY WAY.

Showing how an Angel without wings played on the harp to Milkmaid Tess
of the Tubbyveals, who was so proud of her calves.]

Since THACKERAY's _Captain Costigan_, and TOM ROBERTSON's dramatic
variation of him as _Eccles_ in _Caste_, no more original type of the
besotted, no-working working-man, has been given us ("at least, as far
as I am aware," interpolates the Baron, with a possible reservation)
than _Tess's_ father, _Durbeyfield_. His foolish wife, _Joan_, kindly
in a way, a fair housewife and helpmate, yet deficient in moral sense,
is another admirably-drawn character.

The only blot on this otherwise excellent work is the absurdly
melodramatic character of that "villain of the deepest dye," _Alec
D'Urbeville_, who would be thoroughly in his element in an Adelphi
Drama of the most approved type, ancient or modern. He is just the
sort of stage-scoundrel who from time to time seeks to take some mean
advantage of a heroine in distress, on which occasions said heroine
(of Adelphi Drama) will request him to "unhand her," or to "stand
aside and let her pass;" whereupon the dastardly ruffian retaliates
with a diabolical sneer of fiendish malice, his eyes ablaze with
passion, as, making his melodramatic exit at the O.P. wing, he growls,
"Aha! a day will come!" or "She must and shall be mine!" or, if
not making his exit, but remaining in centre of stage to assist in
forming a picture, he exclaims, with fiendish glee, "Now, pretty one,
you are in my power!" and so forth. 'Tis a great pity that such a
penny-plain-and-two-pence-coloured scoundrel should have been allowed
so strong a part among Mr. HARDY's excellent and unconventional
_dramatis personæ_. Even the very, very strong ejaculations wherein
this bold bad man indulges on the slightest provocation belong to the
most antiquated vocabulary of theatrical ruffianism. However, there
he is, and all the perfumes of the Vale of Blackmoor will not suffice
for dispelling the strong odour of the footlights which pervades
every scene where this unconscionable scoundrel makes his appearance.
That he is ultimately disposed of by being stuck to the heart with
the carving-knife that had been brought in for cold-beef slicing at
breakfast, is some satisfaction. But far be it from the Baron to give
more than this hint in anticipation of the tragic _dénoûment_. Some
might accuse Mr. THOMAS HARDY of foolhardiness in so boldly telling
ugly truths about the Pagan Phyllises and Corydons of our dear old
Christian England; but we, his readers, have the author's word for
the truth of what he has written, as "the fortunes of _Tess of the
D'Urbevilles, a Pure Woman_," are "faithfully presented," by THOMAS
HARDY, and so his honour is pledged to the truth of this story which
his powers of narration have made so fascinating to a host of readers
besides the one who is a host in himself, namely,

THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

JUSTICE FOR JUSTICE!

    SCENE--_A Court of Justice. Prisoner, a young man of
    eighteen, in the dock, weeping bitterly. His Uncle stands
    before him, and occasionally offers him smelling salts.
    General commiseration amongst the spectators, many of whom
    are ladies armed with opera-glasses. Police Constable under
    cross-examination._

_Counsel for the Defence._ And so, Constable, you had actually the
heart to read the warrant to the Prisoner?

_Witness._ I did, Sir, in the execution of my duty.

_Coun. for the Def._ (_scornfully_). Duty! and to this he said
nothing?

_Wit._ (_in a low tone_). Nothing, Sir--nothing!

_Coun. for the Def._ And I am not surprised! He might well
say nothing to such an announcement! HE, a Gentleman by
birth--education--everything--to be accused of forgery! It is
_too_ cruel!

_Mr. Justice Punch_ (_courteously but firmly_). I do not wish to
control the management of your case, Mr. MCSLANGER, but the time
for you to address the Jury has not yet arrived.

_Coun. for Def._ (_submissive but sulky_). As your Lordship pleases.

    [_Resumes his seat._

_Usher_ (_calling_). Admiral CUTTERMAN!

_Admiral_ (_in a low tone_). Here!

    [_He leaves the Prisoner, first handing him the smelling
    salts, and enters the Witness Box._

_Council for the Prosecution_ (_after the Witness has been sworn_).
I think you are here on subpoena served by the Treasury.

_Witness_ (_with a glance of sadness at the Dock_). Had I not been
summoned to be present by those in authority, not the entreaties of
magicians would have brought me here!

_Coun. for the Pros._ I take it you are an unwilling Witness?

_Witness_ (_with difficulty suppressing acute emotion_). A most, a
very most unwilling Witness!

_Coun. for the Def._ (_scornfully_). Unwilling!

_Coun. for the Pros._ (_in a tone of remonstrance_). I really must beg
my learned friend to refrain from disturbing the proceedings. These
constant interruptions are most annoying.

_Coun. for the Def._ (_with force and violence_). I cannot
sufficiently express my indignation--

_Mr. Justice Punch_ (_sharply_). Then do not make the attempt.

_Coun. for the Def._ (_surlily_). As your Lordship pleases.
[_Subsides._

_Coun. for the Pros._ But, in spite of being an unwilling Witness, you
undoubtedly saw the Prisoner forge your name?

_Witness_ (_with his handkerchief to his eyes_). Alas! I did!

    [_A pause, during which everyone regains equanimity._

_Coun. for Def._ (_on renewal of proceedings_). And so you are the
Uncle of the Prisoner?

_Witness_ (_sadly_). Yes, I am.

_Coun. for Def._ Still you are here, and are pushing that poor lad to
the prison-door! (_Prisoner snivels._) Yes, you are dealing him (one
of your own flesh and blood) a never-to-be-recalled injury!

_Witness_ (_plucking up spirit_). Only my duty, Sir. I obey only my
duty!

_Coun. for Def._ Your duty! Why, man, how can it be your duty?

_Mr. Justice Punch_ (_seriously_). Again I must interpose. (_To_
Counsel.) Mr. MCSLANGER, I must once more remind you that your
business at present is to ask questions, not to make speeches.

_Coun. for Def._ But, my Lord, the task is a difficult one.

_Mr. Justice Punch._ If you find it beyond your powers, no doubt some
of your colleagues will come willingly to your assistance.

_Coun. for Def._ No, my Lord, I do not mean what your Lordship means.
I am quite capable of performing the duties it has been my pleasure
and pride to accept.

_Mr. Justice Punch_ (_wearily_). Pray let us get on?

_Coun. for Def._ Do you not think it a grossly cruel and revolting
thing that a man should give evidence against his near relative?

_Witness_ (_greatly agitated_). My Lord, I appeal to you, is it fair
that I should be treated in this fashion?

_Mr. Justice Punch_ (_emphatically_). No, it is not! You are here,
Sir, in performance of a solemn duty--to assist the ends of justice in
the punishment, and consequently prevention, of crime. It is not right
that in the witness-box you should be badgered and insulted as if you
were worthy of the dock! One can feel some sympathy with the
relatives of the prisoner, because he appears to have had respectable
surroundings. But if he is convicted of forgery, it will be his own
fault! I shall accept the verdict as a proof that education and birth
are not safeguards to prevent crime. And as for you, Sir (_turning
angrily to_ Coun. for Def.), let me tell you that you degrade your
office when you make the wig and the gown the shield of the brute and
the bully. Let us have no more of it!

_Coun. for Def._ (_subdued but depressed_). As your Lordship pleases.

_Mr. Justice Punch._ It does so please me, and I think that it will
equally please all my learned brothers who sit in Royal Courts
to follow my example! It is time that the Witness, as well as the
accused, received proper protection. I hope my words will be taken to
heart in another place!

    [_The Scene closes in on his Lordship's suggestion._

       *       *       *       *       *

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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