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Title: Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, January 30, 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, January 30, 1892" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 102.



January 30, 1892.



CONFESSIONS OF A DUFFER.

III.--THE LITERARY DUFFER.

[Illustration: "I have worn a cloak and a Tyrolese hat, and
attitudinised in the Picture-galleries."]

Why I am not a success in literature it is difficult for me to tell;
indeed, I would give a good deal to anyone who would explain the
reason. The Publishers, and Editors, and Literary Men decline to tell
me _why_ they do not want my contributions. I am sure I have done
all that I can to succeed. When my Novel, _Geoffrey's Cousin_, comes
back from the Row, I do not lose heart--I pack it up, and send it off
again to the Square, and so, I may say, it goes the round. The very
manuscript attests the trouble I have taken. Parts of it are written
in my own hand, more in that of my housemaid, to whom I have dictated
passages; a good deal is in the hand of my wife. There are sentences
which I have written a dozen times, on the margins, with lines leading
up to them in red ink. The story is written on paper of all sorts and
sizes, and bits of paper are pasted on, here and there, containing
revised versions of incidents and dialogue. The whole packet is now
far from clean, and has a business-like and travelled air about it,
which should command respect. I always accompany it with a polite
letter, expressing my willingness to cut it down, or expand it, or
change the conclusion. Nobody can say that I am proud. But it always
comes back from the Publishers and Editors, without any explanation
as to why it will not do. This is what I resent as particularly hard.
The Publishers decline to tell me what their Readers have really said
about it. I have forwarded _Geoffrey's Cousin_ to at least five or six
notorious authors, with a letter, which runs thus:--

    "DEAR SIR,--You will be surprised at receiving a letter from
    a total stranger, but your well-known goodness of heart must
    plead my excuse. I am aware that your time is much occupied,
    but I am certain that you will spare enough of that valuable
    commodity to glance through the accompanying MS. Novel, and
    give me your frank opinion of it. Does it stand in need of
    any alterations, and, if so, what? Would you mind having it
    published _under your own name_, receiving one-third of the
    profits? A speedy answer will greatly oblige."

Would you believe it, _Mr. Punch_, not one of these over-rated and
overpaid men has ever given me any advice at all? Most of them
simply send back my parcel with no reply. One, however, wrote to say
that he received at least six such packets every week, and that his
engagements made it impossible for him to act as a guide, counsellor,
and friend to the amateurs of all England. He added that, if I
published the Novel at my own expense, the remarks of the public
critics would doubtless prove most valuable and salutary.

This decided me; I _did_ publish, at my own expense, with Messrs.
SAUL, SAMUEL, MOSS & CO. I had to pay down £150, then £35 for
advertisements, then £70 for Publisher's Commission. Other expenses
fell grievously on me, as I sent round printed postcards to everyone
whose name is in the Red Book, asking them to ask for _Geoffrey's
Cousin_ at the Libraries. I also despatched six copies, with six
anonymous letters, to Mr. GLADSTONE, signing them, "A Literary
Constituent," "A Wavering Anabaptist," and so forth, but,
extraordinary to relate, I have received no answer, and no notice has
been taken of my disinterested presents. The reviews were of the most
meagre and scornful description. Messrs. SAUL, SAMUEL, Moss & Co. have
just written to me, begging me to remove the "remainder" of my book,
and charging £23 15s. 6d. for warehouse expenses. Yet, when I read
_Geoffrey's Cousin_, I fail to see that it falls, in any way, beneath
the general run of novels. I enclose a marked copy, and solicit your
earnest attention for the passage in which _Geoffrey's Cousin_ blights
his hopes for ever. The story, Sir, is one of controversy, and is
suited to this time. _Geoffrey McPhun_ is an Auld Licht (see Mr.
BARRIE's books, _passim_). His cousin is an Esoteric Buddhist. They
love each other dearly, but _Geoffrey_, a rigid character, cannot
marry any lady who does not burn, as an Auld Licht, "with a hard
gem-like flame." _Violet Blair_, his cousin, is just as staunch an
Esoteric Buddhist. Nothing stands between them but the differences of
their creed.

"How can I contemplate, GEOFFREY," said VIOLET, with a rich blush,
"the possibility of seeing our little ones stray from the fold of the
Lama of Thibet into a chapel of the Original Secession Church?"

They determine to try to convert each other. _Geoffrey_ lends _Violet_
all his theological library, including WODROW's _Analecta_. She
lends him the learned works of Mr. SINNETT and Madame BLAVATSKY. They
retire, he to the Himalayas, she to Thrums, and their letters compose
Volume II. (Local colour _à la_ KIPLING and BARRIE.) On the slopes of
the Himalayas you see _Geoffrey_ converted; he becomes a Cheela, and
returns by overland route. He rushes to Ramsgate, and announces his
complete acceptance of the truth as it is in Mahatmaism. Alas! alas!
_Violet_ has been over-persuaded by the seductions of Presbyterianism,
she has hurried down from Thrums, rejoicing, a full-blown Auld Licht.
And, in her _Geoffrey_, she finds a convinced Esoteric Buddhist! They
are no better off than they were, their union is impossible, and Vol.
III. ends in their poignant anguish.

Now, _Mr. Punch_, is not this the very novel for the times; rich in
adventure (in Kafiristan), teeming with philosophical suggestiveness,
and sparkling with all the epigrams of my commonplace book. Yet I am
about £300 out of pocket, and, moreover, a blighted being.

I have taken every kind of pains; I have asked London Correspondents
to dinner; I have written flattering letters to everybody; I have
attempted to get up a deputation of Beloochis to myself; I have tried
to make people interview me; I have puffed myself in all the modes
which study and research can suggest. If anybody has, I have been "up
to date." But Fortune is my foe, and I see others flourish by the very
arts which fail in my hands.

I mention my Novel because its failure really is a mystery. But I
am not at all more fortunate in the reception of my poetry. I have
tried it every way--ballades by the bale, sonnets by the dozen, loyal
odes, seditious songs, drawing-room poetry, an Epic on the history of
Labducuo, erotic verse, all fire, foam, and fangs, reflective ditto,
humble natural ballads about signal-men and newspaper-boys, Life-boat
rescues, Idyls, Nocturnes in rhyme, tragedies in blank verse. Nobody
will print them, or, if anybody prints them, he regrets that he
cannot pay for them. My moral and discursive essays are rejected, my
descriptions of nature do not even get into the newspapers. I have
not been elected by the Sydenham Club (a clique of humbugs); I have
let my hair grow long; I have worn a cloak and a Tyrolese hat, and
attitudinised in the picture-galleries, but nobody asked who I am. I
have endeavoured to hang on to well-known poets and novelists--they
have not welcomed my advances.

My last dodge was a Satire, the _Logrolliad_, in which I lashed the
charlatans and pretenders of the day.

  While hoary statesmen scribble in reviews
  And guide the doubtful verdict of the Blues,
  While HAGGARD scrawls, with blood in lieu of ink,
  While MALLOCK teaches Marquises to think,

so long I have rhythmically expressed my design to wield the dripping
scourge of satire. But nobody seems a penny the worse, and I am not a
paragraph the better. Short stories of a startling description fill my
drawers, nobody will venture on one of them. I have closely imitated
every writer who succeeds, but my little barque may attendant sail, it
pursues the triumph, but does not partake the gale.

I am now engaged on a Libretto for an heroic opera.

What offers?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE IMPERIAL JACK-IN-THE-BOX.

_Chorus_ (_Everybody_). "EVERYTHING IN ORDER EVERYWHERE! O! WHAT A
SURPRISE! SOLD AGAIN!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE IMPERIAL JACK-IN-THE-BOX.

A SONG FOR THE SHOUTING EMPEROR.

AIR--"_THE MAJOR-GENERAL._"

  I am the very pattern of a Modern German Emperor,
  Omniscient and omnipotent, I ne'er give way to temper, or
  If now and then I run a-muck in a Malay-like fashion,
  As there's method in my madness, so there's purpose in my passion.
  'Tis my aim to manage _everything_ in order categorical--
  My fame as Cosmos-maker I intend shall be historical.
  I know they call me _Paul Pry_, say I'm fussy and pragmatical--
  But that's because sheer moonshine always hates the mathematical.
  I'm not content to "play the King" with an imperial pose in it--
  Whatever is marked "Private" I shall up and poke my nose in it.

ALL.

  _He_ won't let drowsing dogs lie, he'll stir up the tabby sleeping Tom--
  In fact, he is the model of a modern German Peeping Tom!

  I bounce into the Ball-Room when they think I'm fast asleep at home,
  And measure steps and skirts and things and mark what state folks keep
      at home;
  Watch the toilette of young Beauty on the very strictest Q.T. too,
  Evangelise the Army and keep sentries to their duty, too,
  On the Navy, and the Clergy, and the Schools, my wise eyes shoot lights,
      Sir.
  I'm awfully particular to regulate the footlights, Sir.
  I preach sermons to my soldiers and arrange their "duds" and duels, too,
  And tallow their poor noses, when they've colds, and mix their gruels,
      too;
  I'll make everybody moral, and obedient, and frugal, Sir--
  In fact I'm an Imperial edition of MCDOUGALL, Sir!

ALL.

  He'd compel us to drink water and restrain us when to wed agog;
  In fact he is the model of a Modern German pedagogue.

  I've all the god-like attributes, omniscient, ubiquitous,
  I mean to squelch free impulse, which is commonly iniquitous.
  But what's the good of being Chief Inspector of the Universe,
  And prying into everything from pompous Law to puny verse,
  If everything or nearly so, shows a confounded tendency
  _To go right of its own accord_? My Masterful Resplendency
  Would radiate aurorally, a world would gaze on trustingly
  If only things in general wouldn't go on so disgustingly.
  Where _is_ the pull of being Earth's Inspector autocratical,
  When the Progress _I_'d be motor of seems mainly automatical?

ALL.

  Hooray! My would-be Jupiter, a _parvenu_ is told again
  He's not the true Olympian, Jack-in-the-Box is "Sold Again!!!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"ARTIFICIAL OYSTER-CULTIVATION," read Mrs. R., as the heading of a par
in the _Times_. "Good gracious!" she exclaimed, "who on earth would
ever think of eating 'artificial oysters!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTHING is certain in this life except Death, Quarter Day and stoppage
for ten minutes at Swindon Station.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SO CONVENIENT!

_Young Wife_. "WHERE ARE YOU GOING, REGGIE DEAR?"

_Reggie Dear_. "ONLY TO THE CLUB, MY DARLING."

_Young Wife_. "OH, I DON'T MIND THAT, BECAUSE THERE'S A TELEPHONE
THERE, AND I CAN TALK TO YOU THROUGH IT, CAN'T I?"

_Reggie_. "Y-YES--BUT--ER--YOU KNOW, THE CONFOUNDED WIRES ARE ALWAYS
GETTING OUT OF ORDER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

PARLIAMENT À LA MODE DE PARIS.

    SCENE--_The Chamber during a Debate of an exciting character.
    Member with a newspaper occupying the Tribune._

_Member_. I ask if the report in this paper is true? It calls the
Minister a scoundrel! [_Frantic applause._

_President_. I must interpose. It is not right that such a document
should be read.

_Member_. But it is true. I hold in my hand this truth-telling sheet.
(_Shouts of_ "_Well done_!") This admirable journal describes
the Minister as a trickster, a man without a heart! [_Yells of
approbation._

_President_. I warn the Member that he is going too far. He is
outraging the public conscience. ["_Hear! hear_!"

_Member_. It is you that outrage the public conscience. [_Sensation._

_President_. This is too much! If I hear another word of insult, I
will assume my hat.

    [_Profound and long-continued agitation._

_Member_. A hat is better than a turned coat! (_Thunders of
applause._) I say that this paper is full of wholesome things, and
that when it denounces the Minister as a good-for-nothing, as a
slanderer, as a thief--it does but its duty.

    [_Descends from the Tribune amidst tumultuous applause, and is
    met by the Minister. Grand altercation, with results._

_Minister's Friends_. What have you done to him?

_Minister_ (_with dignity_). I have avenged my honour--I have hit him
in the eye!

    [_Scene closes in upon the Minister receiving hearty
    congratulations from all sides of the Chamber._

       *       *       *       *       *

PRESERVED VENICE.

(_SPECIALLY IMPORTED FOR THE LONDON MARKET._)

A SATURDAY NIGHT SCENE AT OLYMPIA.

IN THE PROMENADE.

_A Pessimistic Matron_ (_the usual beady and bugle-y female, who
takes all her pleasure as a penance_). Well, they may _call_ it
"Venice," but _I_ don't see no difference from what it was when
the Barnum Show was 'ere--except--(_regretfully_)--that then they
'ad the Freaks o' Nature, and Jumbo's skelinton!

[Illustration: "I'm sure I'm 'ighly flattered, Mum, but I'm already
suited."]

_Her Husband_ (_an Optimist--less from conviction than
contradiction_). There you go, MARIA, finding fault the minute you've
put your nose inside! We ain't _in_ Venice yet. It's up at the top o'
them steps.

_The P.M._ Up all them stairs? Well, I 'ope it'll be worth seeing when
we _do_ get there, that's all!

_An Attendant_ (_as she arrives at the top_). Not this door,
Ma'am--next entrance for Modern Venice.

_The Opt. Husb._ You needn't go all the way down again, when the steps
join like that!

_The P.M._ I'm not going to walk sideways--_I_'m not a crab, JOE,
whatever _you_ may think. (_JOE assents, with reservations_). Now
wherever have those other two got to? 'urrying off that way! Oh,
_there_ they are. 'Ere, LIZZIE and JEM, keep along o' me and Father,
do, or we shan't see half of what's to be seen!

_Lizzie_. Oh, all right, Ma; don't you worry so! (_To JEM, her
fiancé_.) Don't those tall fellows look smart with the red feathers in
their cocked 'ats? What do they call _them_?

_Jem_ (_a young man, who thinks for himself_). Well, I shouldn't
wonder if those were the parties they call "Doges"--sort o' police
over there, d'ye see?

_Lizzie_. They're 'andsomer than 'elmets, I will say _that_ for them.
(_They enter Modern Venice, amidst cries of "This way for Gondoala
Tickets! Pass along, please! Keep to your right!"_ &c., &c.) It _does_
have a foreign look, with all those queer names written up. Think it's
like what it is, JEM?

_Jem_. Bound to be, with all the money they've spent on it. I daresay
they've idle-ised it a bit, though.

_The P.M._ Where are all these kinals they talk so much about? I don't
see none!

_Jem_ (_as a break in the crowd reveals a narrow olive-green
channel_). Why, what d'ye call _that_, Ma?

_The P.M._ That a kinal! Why, you don't mean to tell me any barge
'ud--

_The Opt. Husb._ Go on!--you didn't suppose you'd find the Paddington
Canal in _these_ parts, did you? This is big enough for all
_they_ want. (_A gondola goes by lurchily, crowded with pot-hatted
passengers, smoking pipes, and wearing the uncomfortable smile of
children enjoying their first elephant-ride._) That's one o' these
'ere gondoalers--it's a rum-looking concern, ain't it? But I suppose
you get _used_ to 'em--(_philosophically_)--like everything else!

_The P.M._ It gives me the creeps to look at 'em. Talk about
_'earses_!

_The Opt. Husb._ Well, look 'ere, we've come out to enjoy
ourselves--what d'ye say to having a ride in one, eh?

_The P.M._ You won't ketch me trusting _my_self in one o' them tituppy
things, so don't you deceive yourself!

_The Opt. Husb._ Oh, it's on'y two foot o' warm water if you do
tip over. _Come_ on! (_Hailing Gondolier, who has just landed his
cargo._) 'Ere, 'ow much'll you take the lot of us for, hey?

_Gondolier_ (_gesticulating_). Teekits! you tek teekits--là--you vait!

_Jem_. He means we've got to go to the orfice and take tickets and
stand in a cue, d'yer see?

_The P.M._ Me go and form a cue down there and get squeeged like at
the Adelphi Pit, all to set in a rickety gondoaler! I can see all _I_
want to see without messing about in one o' them things!

_The Others_. Well, I dunno as it's worth the extry sixpence, come to
think of it. (_They pass on, contentedly._)

_Jem_. We're on the Rialto Bridge now, LIZZIE, d'ye see? The one in
SHAKSPEARE, _you_ know.

_Lizzie_. That's the one they call the "Bridge o' Sighs," ain't it?
(_Hazily._) Is that because there's _shops_ on it?

_Jem_. I dessay. Shops--or else suicides.

_Lizzie_ (_more hazily than ever_). Ah, the same as the Monument.
(_They walk on with a sense of mental enlargement._)

_Mrs. Lavender Salt_. It's wonderfully like the real thing, LAVENDER,
isn't it? Of course they can't _quite_ get the true Venetian
atmosphere!

_Mr. L.S._ Well, MIMOSA, they'd have the Sanitary Authorities down on
them if they _did_, you know!

_Mrs. L.S._ Oh, you're so horribly unromantic! But, LAVENDER, couldn't
we get one of those gondolas and go about. It would be so lovely to be
in one again, and fancy ourselves back in dear Venice, now _wouldn't_
it?

_Mr. L.S._ The illusion is cheap at sixpence; so come along, MIMOSA!

    [_He secures, tickets, and presently the LAVENDER SALTS,
    find themselves part of a long queue, being marshalled
    between barriers by Italian gendarmes in a state of politely
    suppressed amusement._

_Mrs. L.S._ (_over her shoulder to her husband, as she imagines_). I'd
no idea we should have to go through all this! Must we really herd
in with all these people? Can't we two manage to get a gondola all to
ourselves?

_A Voice_ (_not LAVENDER's--in her ear_). I'm sure I'm 'ighly
flattered, Mum, but I'm already suited; yn't I, DYSY?

    [_DYSY corroborates his statement with unnecessary emphasis._

_A Sturdy Democrat_ (_in front, over his shoulder_). Pity yer didn't
send word you was coming, Mum, and then they'd ha' kep' the place
clear of us common people for yer! [Mrs. L.S. _is sorry she spoke._

    IN THE GONDOLA.--_Mr. and Mrs. L.S. are seated in the back
    seat, supported on one side by the Humorous 'ARRY and his
    Fiancée, and on the other by a pale, bloated youth, with a
    particularly rank cigar, and the Sturdy Democrat, whose two
    small boys occupy the seat in front._

_The St. Dem._ (_with malice aforethought_). If you two lads ain't
got room there, I dessay this lady won't mind takin' one of yer on her
lap. (_To Mrs. L.S., who is frozen with horror at the suggestion._)
They're 'umin beans, Mum, like yerself!

_Mrs. L.S._ (_desperately ignoring her other neighbours_). Isn't that
lovely balcony there copied from the one at the Pisani, LAVENDER--or
is it the Contarini? I forget.

_Mr. L.S._ Don't remember--got the Rialto rather well, haven't they?
I suppose that's intended for the dome of the Salute down there--not
quite the outline, though, if I remember right. And, if that's the
Campanile of St. Mark, the colour's too brown, eh?

_The Hum. 'Arry_ (_with intention_). Oh, I sy, DYSY, yn't that the
Kempynoily of Kennington Oval, right oppersite? and 'aven't they got
the Grand Kinel in the Ole Kent Road proper, eh?

_Dysy_ (_playing up to him, with enjoyment_). Jest 'aven't they!
On'y I don't quoite remember whether the colour o' them gas-lamps is
correct. But there, if we go on torkin' this w'y, other parties might
think we wanted to show orf!

_Mrs. L.S._ Do you remember our _last_ gondola expedition, LAVENDER,
coming home from the Giudecca in that splendid sunset?

_The Hum. A._ Recklect you and me roidin' 'ome from Walworth on a
rhinebow, DYSY, eh?

_Chorus of Chaff from the bridges and terraces as they pass._ 'Ullo,
'ere comes another boat-load! 'Igher up, there!... Four-wheeler!...
Ain't that toff in the tall 'at enjoyin' himself? Quite a 'appy
funeral! &c., &c.

_Mrs. L.S._ (_faintly, as they enter the Canal in front of the
Stage_). LAVENDER, dear, I really can't stand this _much_ longer!

_Mr. L.S._ (_to the Bloated Youth_). Might I ask you, Sir, not to puff
your smoke in this lady's face--it's extremely unpleasant for her!

_The B.Y._ All right, Mister, I'm always ready to oblige a
lydy--but--(_with wounded pride_)--as to its bein' _unpleasant_, yer
know, all _I_ can tell yer is--(_with sarcasm_)--that this 'appens to
be one of the best tuppeny smokes in 'Ammersmith!

_Mr. L.S._ (_diplomatically_). I am sure of that--from the aroma, but
if you _could_ kindly postpone its enjoyment for a little while, we
should be extremely obliged!

_The B.Y._ Well, I must keep it _aloive_, yer know. If there's anyone
'ere that understands cigars, they'll bear me out as it never smokes
the same when you once let it out.

    [_The other Passengers confirm him in this epicurean dictum,
    whereupon he sucks the cigar at intervals behind Mrs. L.S.'s
    back, during the remainder of the trip._

_Mr. L.S._ (_to Mrs. L.S. when they are alone again_). Well, MIMOSA,
illusion successful, eh?

_Mrs. L.S._ Oh, _don't_!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ABOMINATIONS OF MODERN SCIENCE.

MARIANA ARRIVES AT THE MOATED GRANGE (AFTER A LONG, DAMP JOURNEY) JUST
IN TIME TO DRESS FOR DINNER, AND FINDS, TO HER SORROW, THAT HER ROOM
IS WARMED BY HOT WATER PIPES AND LIGHTED BY ELECTRICITY.]

       *       *       *       *       *

TO MY CIGARETTE.

[Illustration]

  My own, my loved, my Cigarette,
    My dainty joy disguised in tissue,
  What fate can make your slave regret
    The day when first he dared to kiss you?

  I had smoked briars, like to most
    Who joy in smoking, and had been a
  Too ready prey to those who boast
    Their bonded stores of Reina Fina.

  In honeydew had steeped my soul
    Had been of cherry pipes a cracker,
  And watched the creamy meerschaum's bowl
    Grow weekly, daily, hourly blacker.

  Read CALVERLEY and learnt by heart
    The lines he celebrates the weed in;
  And blew my smoke in rings, an art
    That many try, but few succeed in.

  In fact of nearly every style
    Of smoke I was a kindly critic,
  Though I had found Manillas vile,
    And Trichinopolis mephitic.

  The stout tobacco-jar became
    Within my smoking-room a fixture;
  I heard my friends extol by name
    Each one his own peculiar mixture.

  And tried them every one in turn
    (_O varium, tobacco, semper_!);
  The strong I found too apt to burn
    My tongue, the week to try my temper.

  And all were failures, and I grew
    More tentative and undecided,
  Consulted friends, and found they knew
    As little as or less than I did.

  Havannah yielded up her pick
    Of prime cigars to my fruition;
  I bought a case, and some went "sick."
    The rest were never in condition.

  Until in sheer fatigue I turned
    To you, tobacco's white-robed tyro,
  And from your golden legend learned
    Your maker dwelt and wrought in Cairo.

  O worshipped wheresoe'er I roam,
    As fondly as a wife by some is,
  Waif from the far Egyptian home
    Of Pharaohs, crocodiles, and mummies;

  Beloved, in spite of jeer and frown;
    The more the Philistines assail you,
  The more the doctors run you down,
    The more I puff you--and inhale you.

  Though worn with toil and vexed with strife
    (Ye smokers all, attend and hear me),
  Undaunted still I live my life,
    With you, my Cigarette, to cheer me.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SOMETHING WRONG SOMEWHERE.

"HOW CHARMING YOU LOOK, DEAR MRS. BELLAMY--AS USUAL! _WOULD_ YOU MIND
TELLING ME WHO MAKES YOUR LOVELY FROCKS? I'M _SO_ DISSATISFIED WITH MY
DRESSMAKER!"

"OH, CERTAINLY. MRS. CHIFFONNETTE, OF BOND STREET."

"CHIFFONNETTE! WHY, I'VE BEEN TO HER FOR YEARS! THE WRETCH! I WONDER
WHY SHE SUITS YOU SO MUCH BETTER, NOW!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A TALK OVER THE TUB;

_OR, LEGAL LAUNDRESSES IN COUNCIL._

    ["The whole legal machinery is out of gear, and the country is
    too busy to put it right."--_Law Times_.]

_A LEADING LAUNDRESS._

    Wich I say, Missis 'ALSBURY, Mum,
    We are all getting into a quand'ry;
  You and me can no longer be dumb,
    Seein' how we're the heads of the Laundry:
  It is all very well to stand 'ere,
    Sooperintending the soaping and rinsing;
  Old pleas for delay, I much fear,
    Are no longer entirely conwincing.
  Just look at the Linen--in 'eaps!
    And no one can say it ain't dirty!
  Our clients, a-grumbling they keeps,
    And some of 'em seem getting shirty.
  Wotever, my dear, shall we do?
    Two parties 'as axed me that question;
  And now I just puts it to _you_,
    And I 'ope you can make some suggestion.

_HEAD LAUNDRESS._

  My dear Missis COLEY, I own
    _I_ ain't heard from the parties you 'int at.
  But them Linen-'eaps certny _has_ grown,
    Wich their bulk I 'ave just took a squint at.
  We sud, and we rub, and we scrub.
    And the pile 'ardly seems to diminish.
  It tires us poor Slaves of the Tub,
    And the doose only knows when we'll finish,

_A LEADING LAUNDRESS._

  Percisely, my dear, but it's _that_,
    As the Public insists upon knowin',
  Missis MATHEW 'as told me so, pat,
    Wich likeways 'as good Missis BOWEN.
  You can't floor their argyments, quite,
    'Owsomever you twirl 'em or 'twist 'em;
  They say, and I fear they are right,
    There is somethink all wrong with our System!

_HEAD LAUNDRESS._

  _Our_ System! Well, well, my good soul,
    You know 'twasn't _us_ as inwented it.
  We wouldn't have got into this 'ole,
    If _you_ and _me_ could 'ave perwented it.
  I know there's no end of a block,
    That expenses is running up awfully;
  The sight of it gives me a shock,
    But 'ow can we alter it--_lawfully_?

_A LEADING LAUNDRESS._

  I fear, Mum, I very much fear,
    That word doesn't strike so much terror
  As once on the dull public ear;
    Times change. Mum, they do, make no error!
  Our clients complain of the cost,
    And lots of Commercials is leaving us.
  I think, Mum, afore more is lost,
    We had best own the block is--well grieving us!

_HEAD LAUNDRESS._

  There can't be no 'arm, dear, in _that_.
    Let's write to the papers and 'int it.
  I know with your pen you are pat,
    And the _Times_ will be 'appy to print it.
  If we are to git through _that_ lot,
    We must 'ave some more 'elp--that's my notion!
  Let's strike whilst the iron is 'ot,
    The Public may trust our dewotion.
  We'll call the chief Laundresses round;
    Some way we no doubt shall discover.
  At least, dear, 'twill 'ave a good sound,
    If we meet, and--well _talk the thing over!_

    [_Left doing so._

       *       *       *       *       *

A MENU FROM HATFIELD.

POTAGES.

Consommé de Neveu aux Balles de Golf.
Au Jo poché.

ENTRÉES.

Suprême de Livres Bleus.
Irlandais Sauvages en Culottes.
Filou Mignon Randolph, Sauce Tartarin.
Dégoût de Goschen à la Financière.

RÔTS.

Canards Portuguais.
Entrecôte d'Afrique à l'Allemande.

RELEVÉS.

Terrine de Fermes Vendues à la Parnell.
Pâté de Loi à l'Ordre Publique.

LÉGUMES.

Petits Soupçons Français, Sauce Égyptienne.
Vêpres Ceçiliennes.

ENTREMETS.

Absorbé de Birmingham.
Succès de Whitehall aux Affaires Étrangères.

DESSERT.

Amendes Parlementaires.
Raisons de Plus en Défaites.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "SHORT 'ANDED."

MRS. H-LSB-RY. "I TELL YOU WHAT IT IS, MRS. COLEY, MUM,--IF ALL THIS
'ERE DIRTY LINEN'S TO BE GOT THROUGH, WE MUST 'AVE _'ELP_, MUM!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE MUSIC IN OUR STREET."

(_A WORD FROM A GIRL WHO LIVES IN IT._)

[Illustration]

  Did you ever 'ear our music? What, never? _There_'s a shame;
  I tell yer it's golopshus, we do 'ave such a game.
  When the sun's a-shinin' brightly, when the fog's upon the town,
  When the frost 'as bust the water-pipes, when rain comes pourin' down;
  In the mornin' when the costers come a-shoutin' with their mokes,
  In the evenin' when the gals walk out a-spoonin' with their blokes,
  When Mother's slappin' BILLY, or when Father wants 'is tea,
  When the boys are in the "Spotted Dog" a 'avin' of a spree,
  No matter what the weather is, or what the time o' day,
  _Our_ music allus visits us, and never goes away.
  And when they've tooned theirselves to-rights, I tell yer it's a treat
  Just to listen to the lot of 'em a-playin' in our street.

  There's a chap as turns the orgin--the best I ever 'eard--
  Oh lor' he does just jabber, but you can't make out a word.
  I can't abear Italians, as allus uses knives,
  And talks a furrin lingo all their miserable lives.
  But this one calls me BELLA--which my Christian name is SUE--
  And 'e smiles and turns 'is orgin very proper, that he do.
  Sometimes 'e plays a polker and sometimes it's a march,
  And I see 'is teeth all shinin' through 'is lovely black mustarch.
  And the little uns dance round him, you'd laugh until you cried
  If you saw my little brothers do their 'ornpipes side by side,
  And the gals they spin about as well, and don't they move their feet,
  When they 'ear that pianner-orgin man, as plays about our street.

  There's a feller plays a cornet too, and wears a ulster coat,
  My eye, 'e does puff out 'is cheeks a-tryin' for 'is note.
  It seems to go right through yer, and, oh, it's right-down rare
  When 'e gives us "_Annie Laurie_" or "_Sweet Spirit, 'ear my Prayer_";
  'E's so stout that when 'e's blowin' 'ard you think 'e must go pop;
  And 'is nose is like the lamp (what's red) outside a chemist's shop.
  And another blows the penny-pipe,--I allus thinks it's thin,
  And I much prefers the cornet when 'e ain't bin drinkin' gin.
  And there's Concertina-JIMMY, it makes yer want to shout
  When 'e acts just like a windmill and waves 'is arms about.
  Oh, I'll lay you 'alf a tanner, you'll find it 'ard to beat
  The good old 'eaps of music that they gives us in our street.

  And a pore old ragged party, whose shawl is shockin' torn,
  She sings to suit 'er 'usband while 'e plays on so forlorn.
  'Er voice is dreadful wheezy, and I can't exactly say
  I like 'er style of singin' "_Tommy Dodd_" or "_Nancy Gray_."
  But there, she does 'er best, I'm sure; I musn't run 'er down,
  When she's only tryin' all she can to earn a honest brown.
  Still, though I'm mad to 'ear 'em play, and sometimes join the dance,
  I often wish one music gave the other kind a chance.
  The orgin might have two days, and the cornet take a third,
  While the pipe-man tried o' Thursdays 'ow to imitate a bird.
  But they allus comes together, singin' playin' as they meet
  With their pipes and 'orns and orgins in the middle of our street.

  But there, I can't stand chatterin', pore mother's mortal bad,
  And she's got to work the whole day long to keep things straight for dad.
  Complain? Not she. She scrubs and rubs with all 'er might and main,
  And the lot's no sooner finished but she's got to start again.
  There's a patch for JOHNNY's jacket, a darn for BILLY's socks,
  And an hour or so o' needlework a mendin' POLLY's frocks;
  With floors to wash, and plates to clean, she'd soon be skin and bone
  ('Er cough's that aggravatin') if she did it all alone.
  There'll be music while we're workin' to keep us on the go--
  I like my tunes as fast as fast, pore mother likes 'em slow--
  Ah! we don't get much to laugh at, nor yet too much to eat,
  And the music stops us thinkin' when they play it in the street.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MARIE, COME UP!"--When Miss MARIE LLOYD, who, unprofessionally, when
at home, is known as Mrs. PERCY COURTENAY, which her Christian name is
MATILDA, recently appeared at Bow-Street Police Court, having summoned
her husband for an assault, the Magistrate, Mr. LUSHINGTON, ought
to have called on the Complainant to sing "_Whacky, Whacky, Whack!_"
which would have come in most appropriately. Let us hope that the
pair will make it up, and, as the story-books say, "live happily ever
afterwards."

       *       *       *       *       *

NIGHT LIGHTS.--Rumour has it that certain Chorus Ladies have objected
to wearing electric glow-lamps in their hair. Was it for fear of
becoming too light-headed?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE POLITICAL WIREPULLER AT WORK.]

       *       *       *       *       *

POLITE LITERATURE.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--Having seen in the pages of one of your
contemporaries several deeply interesting letters telling of "the
Courtesy of the CAVENDISH," I think it will be pleasing to your
readers to learn that I have a fund of anecdote concerning the
politeness--the true politeness--of many other members of the Peerage.
Perhaps you will permit me to give you a few instances of what I may
call aristocratic amiability.

On one occasion the Duke of DITCHWATER and a Lady entered the same
omnibus simultaneously. There was but one seat, and noticing that
His Grace was standing, I called attention to the fact. "Certainly,"
replied His Grace, with a quiet smile, "but if I had sat down, the
Lady would not have enjoyed her present satisfactory position!" The
Lady herself had taken the until then vacant place!

Shortly afterwards I met Viscount VERMILION walking in an opposite
direction to the path I myself was pursuing. "My Lord," I murmured,
removing my hat, "I was quite prepared to step into the gutter." "It
was unnecessary," returned his Lordship, graciously, "for as the path
was wide, there was room enough for both of us to pass on the same
pavement!"

On a very wet evening I saw My Lord TOMNODDICOMB coming from a shop
in Piccadilly. Noticing that his Lordship had no defence against the
weather, I ventured to offer the Peer my _parapluie_.

[Illustration]

"Please let me get into my carriage," observed his Lordship. Then
discovering, from my bowing attitude, that I meant no insolence by my
suggestion, he added,--"And as for your umbrella--surely on this rainy
night you can make use of it yourself?"

Yet again. The Marchioness of LOAMSHIRE was on the point of crossing a
puddle.

Naturally I divested myself of my greatcoat, and threw it as a bridge
across her Ladyship's dirty walk.

The Marchioness smiled, but her Ladyship has never forgotten the
circumstance, and I have the coat still by me.

And yet some people declare that the wives of Members of the House of
Lords are wanting in consideration!

Believe me, dear _Mr. Punch_,

Yours enthusiastically, S. NOB.

_The Cringeries, Low Booington_.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTICE--No. XXV. of "Travelling Companions" next week.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FANCY PORTRAIT.

SEÑOR DRUMMONDO WOLFFEZ, REPRESENTING THE JOHN BULLFIGHTER AT MADRID.

_"TORÉADOR CONTENTO!"_]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE JUDGES IN COUNCIL.

    ["All the judicial wisdom of the Supreme Court has met in
    solemn and secret conclave, heralded by letters from the heads
    of the Bench, admitting serious evils in the working of the
    High Court of Justice; a full working day was appropriated for
    the occasion; the learned Judges met at 11 A.M. (nominally)
    and rose promptly for luncheon, and for the day, at 1·30
    P.M. Two-and-a-half hours' work, during which each of the
    twenty-eight judicial personages no doubt devoted all his
    faculties and experience to the discovery, discussion, and
    removal of the admittedly numerous defects in the working of
    the Judicature Acts! Two-and-a-half hours, which might have
    been stolen from the relaxations of a Saturday afternoon!
    Two-and-a-half hours, for which the taxpayers of the United
    Kingdom pay some eight hundred guineas! Truly the spectacle
    is eminently calculated to inspire the country with confidence
    and hopes of reform."--_Extract from Letter to the Times._]

    SCENE--_A Room at the Royal Courts. Lord CHANCELLOR, Lord
    CHIEF JUSTICE, MASTER of the ROLLS, Lords Justices, Justices._

_L.C._ Well, I'm very glad to see you all looking so well, but can
anyone tell me why we've met at all?

_L.C.J._ Talking of meetings, do you remember that Exeter story dear
old JACK TOMPKINS used to tell on the Western Circuit?

[Illustration: Fee-simple.]

    [_Proceeds to tell JACK TOMPKINS's story at great length to
    great interest of Chancery Judges._

_M.R._ (_who has listened with marked impatience_). Why, my dear
fellow, it isn't a Western Circuit story at all. It was on the
Northern Circuit at Appleby.

    [_Proceeds to tell the same story all over again, substituting
    Appleby for Exeter. At the conclusion of story, Great laughter
    from Chancery Judges. Common Law Judges look bored, having
    all told same story on and about their own Circuits._

_L.C._ Very good--very good--used to tell it myself on the South Wales
Circuit--but what have we met for?

_Lord Justice A._ I say, what do you think about this
cross-examination fuss? It seems to me--

_L.C.J._ Talking of cross-examination--do you fellows remember the
excellent story dear old JOHNNIE BROWBEAT used to tell about the
Launceston election petition?

    [_Proceeds to tell story in much detail. L.C. looks
    uncomfortable at its conclusion_.

_M.R._ (_cutting in_). Why, my dear fellow, it wasn't Launceston at
all, it was Lancaster, and--

    [_Tells story all over again to the Chancery Judges._

_L.C._ Yes--excellent. I thought it took place at Chester--but really,
now, we must get to business. So, first of all, will anyone kindly
tell me what the business is?

_Mr. Justice A._ (_a very young Judge_). Well, the fact is, I believe
the Public--

_Chorus of Judges_. The what?

_Mr. Justice A._ (_with hesitation_). Why--I was going to say there
seems to be a sort of discontent amongst the Public--

_L.C._ (_with dignity_). Really, really--what have we to do with the
Public? But in case there should be any truth in this extraordinary
statement, I think we might as well appoint a Committee to look into
it, and then we can meet again some day and hear what it is all about.

_L.C.J._ Yes, a Committee by all means; the smaller the better. "Too
many cooks," as dear old HORACE puts it.

_M.R._ Talking of cooks, isn't it about lunch time?

    [_General consensus of opinion in favour of lunching. As
    they adjourn, L.C.J. detains Chancery Judges to tell them a
    story about something that happened at Bodmin, and, to prevent
    mistakes, tells it in West Country dialect. M.R. immediately
    repeats it in strong Yorkshire, and lays the venue at
    Bradford. Result; that the whole of HER MAJESTY's Courts in
    London were closed for one day._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LAY OF THE LITIGANT.

(_AFTER HOOD. ALSO AFTER COLERIDGE'S (C.J.) LETTER TO THE LORD
CHANCELLOR ON THE DECAY OF LEGAL BUSINESS._)

  I remember, I remember
    The Law when I was born,
  The Serjeants, brothers of the coif,
    The Judges dead and gone.
  The Judicature Acts to them
    Were utterly unknown;
  It was a fearful ignorance--
    Oh, would it were my own!

  I remember, I remember
    The worthy "Proctor" race,
  The "Posteas," and the "Elegits,"
    The "Actions on the Case."
  The "Error" each Attorney's Clerk
    Did wilfully abet,
  The days of "Bills" in Equity--
    _Some_ bills are living yet!

  I remember, I remember
    The years of "_Jarndyce_" jaw,
  The lively game of shuttlecock
    'Twixt Equity and Law.
  Tribunals then were "Courts" indeed
    That are "Divisions" now,
  And Silken Gowns have feared the frowns
    Upon a "Baron's" brow.

  We remember, we remember
    The flourishing of trumps,
  When Parliament took up our wrongs,
    And manned the legal pumps.
  Those noble Acts (they said) would end
    Obstructions and delay,
  And ne'er again would litigants
    The piper have to pay.

  I remember, I remember
    Expenses, mountains high;
  I used to think, when duly "taxed,"
    They'd vanish by-and-by.
  It was a foolish confidence,
    But now 'tis little joy
  To know that Law's as slow and dear
    As when I was a boy!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE HERO OF THE SUMMER SALE.

(_BY OUR OWN PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL POETESS_.)

[Illustration]

  I would I loved some belted Earl,
    Some Baronet, or K.C.B.,
  But I'm a most unhappy girl,
    And no such luck's in store for me!
  I would I loved some Soldier bold,
    Who leads his troops where cannons pop,
  But if the bitter truth be told--
    I love a man who walks a shop!
      For oh! a King of Men is he--
        With princely strut and stiffened spine--
      So his, and his alone, shall be,
        This fondly foolish heart of mine!

  On Remnant Days--from morn till night,
    When blows fall fast, and words run high,
  When frenzied females fiercely fight
    For bargains that they long to buy--
  From hot attack he does not flinch,
    But stands his ground with visage pale,
  And all the time looks every inch
    The Hero of that Summer Sale!
      For oh! a King of Men is he--
        Whom shop-assistants call to "Sign!"
      So his, and his alone, shall be
        This fondly foolish heart of mine!

       *       *       *       *       *

MONDAY, _Jan._ 18, 1892. "Bath and West of England's Society's Cheese
School at Frome." Of this School, the _Times_, judging by results,
speaks highly of "the practical character of the instruction given
at the School." This is a bad look-out for Eton and Harrow, not
to say for Winchester and Westminster also. All parents who wish
their children to be "quite the cheese" in Society generally, and
particularly for Bath and the West of England, where, of course,
Society is remarkably exclusive, cannot do better, it is evident,
than send them to the Bath and West of England Cheese School.

       *       *       *       *       *

ON THE TRAILL.--It is suggested that in future M.P. should stand for
Minor Poet. Would this satisfy Mr. LEWIS MORRIS? Or would he insist on
being gazetted as a Major?

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

[Illustration: The following Page.]

One of the Baron's Deputy-Readers has been looking through Mr.
G.W. HENLEY's _Lyra Heroica; a Book of Verse for Boys_. DAVID NUTT,
London.) This is his appreciation:--Mr. HENLEY has tacked his name
to a collection which contains some noble poems, some (but not much)
trash, and a good many pieces, which, however poetical they may be,
are certainly not heroic, seeing that they do not express "the simpler
sentiments, and the more elemental emotions" (I use Mr. HENLEY's
prefatory words), and are scarcely the sort of verse that boys are
likely, or ought to care about. To be sure, Mr. HENLEY guards himself
on the score of his "personal equation"--I trust his boys understand
what he means. My own personal equation makes me doubt whether Mr.
HENLEY has done well in including such pieces as, for instance,
HERBERT's "_Memento Mori_," CURRAN's "_The Deserter_," SWINBURNE's
"_The Oblation_," and ALFRED AUSTIN's "_Is Life Worth Living_?" If Mr.
HENLEY, or anybody else who happens to possess a personal equation,
will point out to me the heroic quality in these poems, I shall feel
deeply grateful. And how, in the name of all that is or ever was
heroic, has "_Auld Lang Syne_" crept into this collection of heroic
verse? As for Mr. ALFRED AUSTIN, I cannot think by what right he
secures a place in such a compilation. I have rarely read a piece
of his which did not contain at least one glaring infelicity. In
"_Is Life Worth Living_?" he tells us of "blithe herds," which (in
compliance with the obvious necessities of rhyme, but for no other
reason)

  "Wend homeward with unweary feet,
  Carolling like the birds."

Further on we find that

  "England's trident-sceptre roams
  Her territorial seas,"

merely because the unfortunate sceptre has to rhyme somehow to
"English homes."

But I have a further complaint against Mr. HENLEY. He presumes, in the
most fantastic manner, to alter the well-known titles of celebrated
poems. "_The Isles of Greece_" is made to masquerade as "The Glory
that was Greece"; "_Auld Lang Syne_" becomes "The Goal of Life," and
"_Tom Bowline_" is converted into "The Perfect Sailor." This surely
(again I use the words of Mr. HENLEY) "is a thing preposterous, and
distraught." On the whole, I cannot think that Mr. HENLEY has done
his part well. His manner is bad. His selection, it seems to me, is
open to grave censure, on broader grounds than the mere personally
equational of which he speaks, and his choppings, and sub-titles,
and so forth, are not commendable. The irony of literary history has
apparently ordained that Mr. HENLEY should first patronise, and then
"cut," both CAMPBELL and MACAULAY. Was the shade of MACAULAY disturbed
when he learnt that Mr. HENLEY considered his "_Battle of Naseby_"
both "vicious and ugly"?

BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & CO.

       *       *       *       *       *

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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