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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, June 11, 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, June 11, 1892" ***

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VOL. 102, JUNE 11, 1892***


PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 102

JUNE 11, 1892



A DAY AT ANTWERP.

(BY THE "VACUUS VIATOR.")

_In the Place Verte._--"The traveller," according to _Bædeker_,
"should at once direct his steps to the Cathedral." Not going to be
bullied by _Bædeker_! Shall assert my independence by directing steps
somewhere else first. Carillon tinkling fitfully up in tower. Like an
elderly ghost with failing memory, trying to play every tune she ever
knew all at once on a cracked, old spinnet. Fancy I detect fragment
of "_The Heavens are Telling_," tripped up by the "_Old Hundredth_,"
and falling over "_Haydn's Surprise_." Ghost tries back, and just as
she seems about to arrive at something definite--suddenly gives it
up as hopeless. To Church of St. Paulus, to see the Calvary. Small
but highly intelligent Belgian Boy, who speaks English, insists on
volunteering services. (Why aren't _our_ street-boys taught French
and German in Board Schools?--make all the difference to foreigners
in London.) Boy takes me up avenue of heroic-sized scriptural statues,
introduces me to "Moïse," "Dahvit mit de 'arp," and others. Kind of
him--but I wish he would go. Offer him twopence. Boy declines with
indignation. Young Belgium evidently high-minded and sensitive. He
informs me that, in a certain church he refers to as "Sin Yack," there
are "RUBENS' peecture--moch fine," and plainly proposes to conduct
me thither. Mustn't hurt his feelings again--so accept. Boy clumps
on ahead, down alleys, and through back-streets, and round corners,
looking round severely at intervals to see that I am not giving him
the slip. Nice friendly little fellow--but despotic. Don't seem to be
much nearer; "Sin Yack" evidently a saint of retiring disposition....
At last. Boy points him out triumphantly. Thank him, with apologies
for taking him so much out of his way. Boy demands two francs. Hint,
as delicately as possible, that I consider this estimate of the value
of his time and society somewhat high. Boy peremptory. Give him fifty
centimes. Boy abusive; follows me with uncomplimentary remarks. I can
_not_ go about Antwerp all day with a hostile boy harassing my rear
like this! So undignified. However, shall find sanctuary with "Sin
Yack." Every door closed. Boy at a distance--chuckling, I am afraid.
Shall walk on--not _hurrying_, but briskly. Boy gone at last--thank
goodness!--with Parthian yelp of "Rosbif!"

[Illustration: "Rosbif!"]

_In the Cathedral._--Being shown round by Sacristan, in company with
two respectable young Britons. "You shee dot oltarbiece, gentlemens,"
says Sacristan, "paint by RUBENS, in seexteen day, for seexteen
hondert florin." Whereupon both Britons make a kind of "cluck" with
their tongues. "Dat vos von hondert florin efery day he vas paint,"
explains the Sacristan. Britons do this division sum in their heads,
check it as correct, and evidently feel increased respect for RUBENS
as capable-for an artist--of driving a good bargain. "RUBENS baint
him ven he vas seexteen," which younger Briton considers "very
_creditable_ to him, too!" They inspect the High Altar, with more
clucks, and inform one another, with the air of Protestants who are
above prejudice, that it's a marvellous piece o' _work_, though, mind
yer! Sacristan points out holes underneath choir-stalls. "De organ is
blay over dere, and de mooshique he com out hier troo de 'oles, so all
be beoples vas vender vere de schounds com from!" First Briton remarks
to me that "That's a rum start, and no mistake." I agree that it _is_
a rum start. I shall find myself clucking presently, I know! "Haf you
scheen yed de bortraits of GLATSHTONE and Lort BAGONSFELDT?" Sacristan
asks us "... 'No?' then I show you." He leads us up to the finial of
one of the stalls, which is carved in the figure of a monk. "Is not
dat de Ole Grandt Man himself?" he asks, triumphantly. Second Briton
agrees "It's a wonderful likeness, reelly." His Companion admits
"They've got old GLADSTONE there to a _t_"--but adds that "come
to _that_, it might do for _either of_ 'em." "Lort BAGONSFELDT" is
opposite, but, as Sacristan observes, would be more like "if dey only
vas gif him a leedle gurl on de vorehead." Next we are taken to the
Retro-Choir and shown the "mosh gurious and peautiful bainting in
de ole Cathedrale. Schtand yust hier, Gentelmens, _now_ you see him.
Beoples say, 'Oh, yais, _ve_ know, yust a marble-garvings--a baw
releff!' I dell you, nodings of de kindt. All so flat as a biece
of vite baper--com close op. Vat you tink? Vonderful, hey?" Britons
deeply impressed by this and other wonders, and inform Sacristan that
their own Cathedrals "ain't _in_ it." "Look at the _value_ of the
things they've _got_ 'ere, you know," they say to me, clucking, and
then depart, after asking Sacristan the nearest way to the Zoo.

_At Table d'hôte._--Fellow-countrymen to the fore; both my immediate
neighbours English, but neither shows any inclination to converse.
Rather glad of it; afternoon of Museums and Galleries instructive--but
exhausting. Usual Chatty Clergyman at end of table, talking Guide-book
intelligently; wife next him, ruminating in silence and dismally
contemplating artificial plant in a plated pot in front of her. It
_is_ a depressing object--but why look at it? Horror of two Sportsmen
opposite on being offered snipe. "Snipe _now_--Great Scott!" they
exclaim, "And ain't they _high_ too?" One helps himself to some, with
a sense that being on the Continent makes all the difference. But even
_his_ courage fails on being offered stewed apricots with it. Close
by a couple of Americans; a dry middle-aged man, and a talkative young
fellow who informs him he was at Harvard. Elder man listens to him
with a grim and wooden forbearance. "Ez fur languages," the younger
man is saying. "I'd undertake to learn any language inside of six
months. Fur enstance, I got up Trigonometry in two. You'll tell me
that _isn't_ a language, and that's so, but take _Latin_ now, I'd
learn Latin--to write _and_ speak--in a year, Italian I'd learn in a
fortnight--with constant _study_, you understand. Then there's German.
Well. I cann't _read_ German--not in their German text, I cann't, and
I don't _speak_ it with fluency, but I can ask my _way_ in it, and
order anything _I_ want, and I reckon that's about as much as a man
requires to know of any language. Will you take a glass of wine outer
my bottle? I've another coming along." Elder man declines stiffly, on
plea that he is almost a teetotaller. "Well, maybe you're wise," says
the Harvard man, "but I've discovered a thing that'll put you all
right in the morning when you've eaten or drunk more'n's good for you
overnight. I'll tell you what that thing _is_. It's just persly--plain
ordinary simple persly. You eat a bunch o' fresh persly first thing
you get up, and it don't matter _what_ you've taken, you'll feel just
as _bright_!" Elder man, who has been cutting up his chicken into very
small pieces, looks up and says solemnly, "You may consider yourself
vurry fortunate in being able to correct the errors you allude to by a
means which is at once so efficacious and so innocent." After which he
subsides into his salad. Harvard man shut up.

_In the Fumoir._--Two drearily undecided men trying to make up their
minds where to go next. Shall they stay at Antwerp for a day or
two, or go over to Brussels, or go back to Calais and stay there, or
_what_? "Calais is on their way _home_, anyhow," says one, and the
other, without attempting to deny this, thinks "there may be more to
_see_ at Brussels." "Not more than there is here," says his friend:
"all these places much about the same." "Well," says the first,
yawning, "shall we stay where we _are_?" "Just as _you_ please," says
the other. "No; but what would _you_ rather do?" ... "Me? oh, I'm
entirely in _your_ hands!" First man, who has had Green Chartreuse
with his coffee and seems snappish, annoyed at this, and says, "it's
dam nonsense going on like that." "Oh," says the second, "then you
leave it to _me_--is _that_ it?" "Haven't I been saying so all along!"
growls the other. Second Undecided Man silent for a time, evidently
forcing himself to come to a decision of some sort. At last he looks
up with relief. "_Well_," he says, very slowly, "what do _you_ think
about it?" Whereupon they begin all over again. This indecision is
catching--leave them.

_In the Street--about_ 11:30 P.M.--Back from Variety Theatre. Hotel
doors closed. Have rung several times--no result at present. Curious
impression that I shall be hauled up before a Dean or somebody for
this to-morrow and fined or gated. Wish they'd let me in--chilly out
here. _Is_ there a night-porter? If not--awkward. Carillon again from
Cathedral tower. Ghost has managed to recollect a whole tune at last,
picking it out with one finger. Seem to have heard it before--what the
Dickens _is_ it? Recognise it as the "Mandolinata in E." Remember the
VOKES Family dancing to it long ago in the Drury Lane Pantomime. Not
exactly the tune one would expect to meet in a Cathedral.... Unbolting
behind doors. Nervous feeling. Half inclined to assure Porter
penitently that this shall not occur again. Wish him good-night
instead--pleasantly. Porter grunts--_un_pleasantly. Depressing to be
grunted at the last thing at night. To bed, chastened.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MOAN OF THE MUSIC-HALL MUSE.

    [It is hinted that the vogue of the tremendously successful
    but tyrannously ubiquitous "_Ta-ra-ra-Boom-de-ay!_" is
    beginning, at last, to wane.]

_She museth upon "the Boom that waneth every day," and wondering what
she shall "star" with next, breaketh forth into familiar strains:--_

[Illustration]

AIR--"_What will you do, Love?_"

  What shall I do now? My song was going
    Like a tide flowing, all Booms beyond;
  What shall I do, though, when critics hide it,
    And cads deride it who're now so fond?
  "Ta-ra-ra" chiding, "Boom-de-ay" deriding!--
    Nought is abiding--that's sadly true!
  I'll pray for another Sensation Notion.
    With deep emotion--that's what I'll do!

    (_Gazes mournfully at her unstrung harp, and, smitten by
    another reminiscence, sings plaintively_):--

AIR--"_The harp that once through Tara(ra)'s Halls._"

  The harp that once through Music Halls
    Sheer maddening rapture shed,
  Now hangs as mute on willow-walls
    As though that Boom were dead.
  So dims the pride of former days,
    So fame's fine thrill is o'er,
  And throngs who once yelled high with praise,
    Now find the Boom a bore.

  No more to toffs and totties bright
    Thy tones, "Ta-ra-ra" swell.
  The gloom that hailed my turn to-night
    Sad tales of "staleness" tell.
  The Chorus now will seldom wake,
    The old mad cheers who gives?
  And LOTTIE some new ground must break
    To prove that still she lives.

_She harketh back to the old strain:--_

  What would you do now if distant tidings,
    Thy fame's confidings should undermine,--
  Of some "Star" abiding 'neath other skies,
    In the public eyes yet more bright than thine?
  Oh, name it not! 'Twould bring shade and shame
    On my new-made name, and it can't be true.
  This far fame of mine, did some rival share it,
    I could not bear it--what _would_ I do?

  What would you do, now, if home returning,
    With anger burning at the fickle crew,
  You found the prospect of another Boom,
    To dispel your gloom--ah! what would you do?
  Why then by Ta-Ra, I'd bless the morrow
    And banish sorrow, and raise my "screw."
  I'd re-string this Harp hung no more on the willow,
    And with tears my pillow no more bedew.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE--DISCOVERED!

    SCENE--_A Borough._ TIME--_Within measurable distance of the
    General Election. Enter BROWN and JONES._

_Brown._ Well JONES, I am glad to hear that you purpose standing for
Parliament. You are a first-class man, and the House will be all the
better for having your assistance.

_Jones._ You are mistaken, my dear BROWN. I did intend to stand for
Parliament, but since the Archbishop has published his letter, I have
determined to retire from the contest.

_Brown._ What nonsense! Why I, as you know, have been in the House for
years and I assure you I have never met a more suitable man for
the place. Why, my dear JONES, you are absolutely cut out for
Parliament--absolutely cut out for it!

_Jones_ (_sadly_). I wish I could think so. But alas, no, after the
Archbishop's letter, I must, I will give it up.

_Brown._ Have you not made the question of the Criminal Code your own?

_Jones._ Yes, but I must admit (and I make the admission with shame)
that years ago at school I was rightly accused of stealing apples.

_Brown._ And was the accusation believed--were you punished?

_Jones_ (_struggling with his emotion_). Alas! it was, and I received
(from the Bench) a severe reprimand. It brings the red blood into my
cheeks--a severe reprimand!

_Brown_. Then you know all about the Libel Acts,--you are up in a
slander?

_Jones_ (_bitterly_). And should I not be? Do you not know that I was
once fined ten shillings and costs for saying that a drunken cook was
intoxicated!

_Brown._ Surely there was not much harm in that?

_Jones._ It was immoral to call the cook intoxicated, and the
Archbishop says, "that persons previously condemned on grounds
of immorality of all kinds are not proper legislators." Under the
circumstances I have detailed, I should not be a proper legislator!

_Brown._ But look at me! Here am I living a free life, doing exactly
what I please, and deserving the censure of the Bench five times
a week! I will undertake to say that you are three times as good a
fellow as I am; yet I am as certain of my seat as possible.

_Jones_ (_sadly_). But there is a gulf between us--the gulf that
divides not-entirely-conscious innocence and half-imaginary vice. You
are safe, and I am not.

_Brown._ I don't see why! Why am I safe? Or rather let me mend the
question--why do you think your chance of being elected so small?

_Jones._ Because, my dear BROWN, I have been found out!

    [_Scene closes in upon conventional virtue perfunctorily
    triumphant._

       *       *       *       *       *

A BLIZZARD FROM THE NORTH.

    ["The plea of the existence of such custom, or habit, or
    practice of copying as is set up can no more be supported
    when challenged than the highwayman's plea of the custom of
    Hounslow Heath."--_Justice North's Judgment in the Copyright
    Action "Walter_ v. _Steinkopff_."]

  So "Stand and deliver!" will not _quite_ do
  In the year eighteen hundred and ninety-two;
  And if you are caught on the Queen's highway,
  With a something for which you've omitted to pay,
  No use to try putting in--under your breath--
  The plea of the custom of Hounslow-Heath!

  Thanks to the _Times_ and to Justice NORTH!
  The highway--of-News--may be clearer henceforth
  Of robber daring and footpad sly.
  To stop a coach, or to fake a cly,
  Boldly to lift or astutely sneak,
  Will expose a prig to the bobby's tweak,
  And he shall not shelter himself beneath
  The plea of the custom of Hounslow Heath.

  _Autolycus_ now must buy his wares,
  And not with his neighbours go (_gratis_) shares.
  "Thou shalt not steal--not even brains,"
  Says Justice NORTH, and his rule remains.
  Thanks to the Justice, thanks to the _Times_!
  Plain new definitions of ancient crimes
  Are needful now when robbers unsheath
  The old plea of the custom of Hounslow Heath!

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR SAL VOLATILE; OR, A WRIGGLER SARPINT OF OLD NILE.

[Illustration]

  CLÉOPÂTRE, quittant la Seine,
  Ici tu viens en souveraine,
  Where "Britons never will be slaves,"
  And "BRITANNIA rules the waves."
  (Ritournelle égoïste et vaine!)

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE GRAND OLD GEORGIE PORGIE.

  GEORGIE-PORGIE, GRAND BUT SLY,
  KISSED THE GIRLS TO RAISE A CRY;
  WHEN THE GIRLS CAME OUT TO PLAY,
  GEORGIE-PORGIE RAN AWAY!]

       *       *       *       *       *

DEFINITION OF "STUFF AND NONSENSE."--A Junior urging a ridiculous
plea.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WINNER OF THE DERBY.--_Hugo_ in future is to be remembered as
"_Victor Hugo_."

       *       *       *       *       *

OPERA-GOER'S DIARY.

[Illustration: Hot Weather. The Friar proposes cider-"cupping" as a
remedy. Dance of Joy in consequence.]

_Monday._--GOUNOD's _Roméo et Juliette_. _Les deux frères_ ("Brothers
of Corse"), JEAN and EDOUARD, excellent respectively as _Romeo_
and _Friar Laurent_. EDWARD looked the reverend, kind-hearted, but
eccentric herbalist to the life, singing splendidly. But Brother JOHN,
in black wig, black moustache, and with pallid face, look so unhealthy
a _Romeo_ that his appearance must have first excited _Juliet's_ pity,
which we all know is akin to love. My advice to JOHNNIE DE RESZKÉ is
to "lighten the part," and "do it on his head,"--which, being summed
up, means flaxen-haired wig and light moustache. _Juliette Eames_
charming. _Nurse Bauermeister_ too young. _Tybalt Montariol_, when
killed, must not lie "toes up" too close to Curtain. Friendly members
of Capulet faction rescued his legs, otherwise these members must have
suffered. M. DUFRICHE, as _Mercutio_, mistaken for EDOUARD DE RESZKÉ.
Subsequent appearance of the real Simon Pure as The Friar only
complicates matters, but death of _Mercutio_ settles it. The survivor
is EDOUARD DE RESZKÉ. Mr. ALEC MARSH, late of English Comic Opera,
appears as the _Duke of Verona_, and everyone admires his Grace.

[Illustration: Vaults on both sides.]

_Tuesday._--_Orféo._ Everyone talking of to-morrow's Derby. Bets
"taken and Orf-"eo.

_Wednesday._--_Derby Day Night_--celebrated by performance of
_Philemon_ and _Cavalleria_. Both favourites. But in honour of the
winner _Hugo_, the Opera ought to have been the _Hugo-nots._

_Thursday_.--_Lohengrin._ _Rentrée_ of Madame NORDICA as _Elsa_, who
couldn't be bettered by anybody Elser. _Lohengrin_ is "The Johnnie
of the Opera," i.e., JOHNNIE DE RESZKÉ. First-rate: no longer does he
appear in dark hair as in _Romeo_; but as a Knight light, suitable to
the time of year.

_Friday._--_Il Vascello Fantasma_, which is the _Flying Dutchman_
with MAGGIE MACINTIRE Mac-in-tirely restored to us as the charming
_Senta_--quite an Eighty-per-_Senta_--of attraction. Awful appearance
of Phantom Ship! Evidently straight from Dead Sea. Racing conversation
in all parts of house. "Ancient Mariners," or "Old Epsom Salts,"
talking about _Flying Dutchman's_ year, 1849,

_Saturday._--Progress reported generally. MELBA very good. Miss
EAMES being absent, we miss EAMES. House counted out by midnight.
DRURIOLANUS satisfied with Derby Week.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WELSHERS AT THE MANSHUN HOUSE.

We've ad the Welshers ere, and did they injy theirselves? Didn't they
jest! And wosn't they all jest perlite to us Waiters, as all true
gents allus is, and didn't they amost shout theirselves hoarse when
the LORD MARE got up to perpose the fust Toast! But not qwite, oh no,
not by no means, or they woodn't have bin abel to sing what they calls
their Nashnal Hanthem so bewtifoolly that they made the werry tears
cum into my old eyes! One on 'em kindly told me as they calls it, "Him
glad to find Ada," which means, "The Land of my Fathers"! and a werry
nice name too, tho I don't quite see why they shoud leave out their
pore Mothers, but it's the ushal way of the world, out of site out of
mind! but they makes up for it by calling the Land of their Fathers,
their Mother country, so it comes all rite in the end.

The same kind Gent told me he oped they would sing their favrit song,
"Ah, hide her nose!" commonly called "_Poor_ MARY ANN!" so I should
think indeed.

I didn't see, in looking down the long list of Gests, no gent by the
name of TAFFY, at which I was summut serprized.

I heard a gent interdoosed as the Edditer of "the General Gimrig,"
which I takes to be a Raddicle Paper. I didn't at all no afore what a
wunderfooll harrystokratic place little Wales is. Why we had about a
duzen Nobbelmen inclewding a reel Dook, and as if that wosn't rayther
a staggerer, we had no less than four reel Bishups with Harchdeecuns
to match, about thirty Members of Parlement, and quite a brood of
Welch Mares.

I suttenly thort as I had had a werry fair sampel of Welch enthusyasm
and Welch loyalty when I herd them jine in singin _our_ Nashnal
Anthem; but lor it was nothin to their recepshun of the LORD MARE
when he guv 'em the Toast of the hevening, "Wales!" Why they sprung
to their feet, Bishups, and Harchdeecuns, and Dook, and Nobbelmen, and
M.P.'s and all, and shouted and cheerd and emtied their glasses, and
then gave three such cheers as made the hold All ring again! Which I
wished as the Prinse of WALES was there to heer 'em.

BROWN and me had our nice quiet larf together at the ushal bit of fun.
When sum werry ellerkent gent was a makin a speach as was rayther too
long for them as wanted to heer the lovely Welch mewsic, they began
for to hammer on the table with our bewtifool silver spoons and
reel cut glasses, meaning to say, "That's about enuff," but the pore
delewded Horrator thort it meant, "Keep it up, my boy; it's splendid!"
So he kep it up till two of our best glasses was broke, and then he
kindly sat down looking the werry pictur of happiness. It reminded
me of a simlar little delushun as we practises early in the year.
"Waiter," says sum hungry Gent, "bring me sum more Whitebait," and I
takes him sum more Sprats, and he is quite content! As our Grate Poet
says, "Where hignorance makes you 'appy, remane as you are"! Upon the
whole, I wentures to think as the Welch Nashnal Bankwet, given by Lord
Mare EVANS, was about the most sucksessful as I have ewer assisted
at during my menny years of such pleasant xperiences. I finishes by
saying, I should werry much like to see a reel Irish Lord Mare try his
hand in the same Nashnal way.

ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *

A TIP-TOP TIPSTER.

    [In some spirited verses that appeared in the _Sportsman_, on
    the morning of Derby Day, Mr. JOHN TREW-HAY, alone amongst the
    prophets, selected _Sir Hugo_ as the winner.]

  Ye Gods, what a Prophet! We thought 'twas his fun,
  For the horse that he picked stood at fifty to one,
  And we all felt inclined in our pride to say, "You go
  To Bath and be blowed!" when he plumped for _Sir Hugo_.
  But henceforth we shall know, though the bookies may laugh,
  That this HAY means a harvest, and cannot mean chaff.
  Though it lies on the turf, there's no sportsman can rue
  That he trusted such HAY when he knew it was TREW!

       *       *       *       *       *

"RESIGNATION OF AN ALDERMAN."--He had had two basins of Turtle. He
asked for yet another. "All gone, Sir; Turtle off!" was the Waiter's
answer. The Alderman said not a word; he smiled a sickly smile. There
was no help for it, or "no helping of it," as he truthfully put it. He
would do his best with the remainder of the _menu_. The resignation of
the Alderman was indeed a sight to touch the heart even of ROBERT the
City Waiter.

       *       *       *       *       *

BRER FOX AND OLE MAN CROW.

(_A FABLE SOMEWHAT IN THE FASHION OF "UNCLE REMUS," BUT WITH
APPLICATIONS NEARER HOME._)

[Illustration]

  Ole Man Crow he wuz settin' on der rail,
    Brer Fox he up en he sez, sezee,
    "Dis yer's a sight dat yo' otter see!"
  En he show him der tip of his (Ulster) tail.
  "Eve'y gent otter have a lick at dis yer,
  So's ter know w'at's w'at; en _yer_ needn't fear!"
          "Oho! Oho!"
          Sez Ole Man Crow.
  "But der Irish butter I've a notion dat _I_ know!"

  Brer Fox he boast, and Brer Fox he bounce,
  But Ole Man Crow heft his weight to an ounce.
  "Wat, tote me round der Orange-grove?"
      Sez Ole Man Crow, sezee;
  "Tooby sho dat's kyind, but I radder not rove
    Wer der oranges are flyin' kinder free;
  Wer One-eyed RILEY en Slipshot SAM
  Sorter lam one ernudder ker-blunk, ker-blam!
  Tree stan' high, but honey mighty sweet--
  Watch dem bees wid stingers on der feet!
  Make a bow ter de Buzzard, en den ter de Crow,
  Takes a limber-toe'd gemman for ter jump Jim Crow!"

  Den Brer Fox snortle en Brer Fox frown.
  Sezee, "You're settin dar sorter keerless-like," sezee.
    "But yer better come down,
    Der is foes a broozin' roun'
  W'at will give yer wus den butter in der North Countree.
  You'll get mixed wid der Tar-Baby ef inter der North yo' pitch,
  For der North ain't gwinter cave in, radder die in der las' ditch!"

  Den Ole Man Crow up en sez, sezee,
  "You been runnin' roun' a long time, en a-sassin' atter me;
  But I speck you done come to de end er de row.
  You wun't frighten me not wuth a cent.," sez Ole Man Crow.
  "I ain't gwine nowhere skasely; I'll be busy near dis rail.
  You wun't tempt me wid de butter--or der powder--on yo' tail.
  Good-bye, Brer Fox, take keer yo' cloze,
  For dis is de way de worril goes;
  Some goes up en some goes down.
  _You_'ll get ter de bottom all safe en soun'!
  I'll watch yo' 'strategy' wid int'rest, now en den,
  En--well, I'll try ter _look_, des as _frightened_ as I ken!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The House of Lords Committee of Privileges decided that Captain
FORESTER's action in the Barnard Peerage case was a Vane attempt.
"The chance," said the _Times_, "of such a prize as Raby Castle, with
£60,000 a-year, is likely to tempt a man to think his arguments and
claims are better than they really are." Raby Castle on the brain
would soon become a sort of Rabies.

       *       *       *       *       *

HAMLET IN HALF AN HOUR.

(_PREPARED FOR THE HALLS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE SUGGESTIONS OF MR.
PLUNKET'S COMMITTEE._)

    SCENE--_An open space outside Elsinore. View of the Palace and
    the Battlements. HAMLET discovered talking to the Ghost._

_Ham._ And is it really within thy power to show me illustrations to
the story that has so much interested me?

_Ghost._ It is! Behold!

    [_He waves his bâton and a rock becomes transparent,
    displaying a tableau of the play-scene in "Hamlet."_]

_Ham._ Ah, how well do I remember the occasion! It was after I had met
thee, and thou hadst told me the sad story of thy decease by my Uncle.
And then I contrived this device to catch the conscience of the King!
Thou art sleeping calmly, and a cloaked figure is pouring poison--real
poison--into thy ear! and look, the King is greatly disturbed! Ah, how
it all comes back to me! (_The rock resumes its normal condition._)
And canst thou show me more?

_Ghost._ Ay, and I will! Behold!

    [_He waves his bâton, and another rock discovers a tableau
    representing the Burial of OPHELIA._

_Ham._ (_deeply interested_). Why, these must be the maimed rites that
were all that was given to my poor lost love--the lady I desired
to visit a nunnery--to OPHELIA. And see there are the comic
Grave-diggers. Show me more. Show me more!

    [_The vision fades away like its predecessor._

_Ghost._ I would, did not the decision of statute law limit the time.
And now I must away. But mind, my son--six principal characters, and
no more! Thou wilt remember!

_Ham._ Ay, marry; and yes, I will! (_The Ghost disappears._) And so
I have to meet LAERTES at a fencing-bout. I will!

    _Trumpets. Enter King, Queen, LAERTES, OSRIC and Court._

_King._ HAMLET, all hail! I wish thee joy! May'st thou be the victor
at to-day's trial of skill!

_Ghost_ (_heard from below_). Remember! Six principal characters. He
and thou and I are three. Three! Six, and no more!

_Hamlet_ (_aside_). Peace, perturbed spirit!

_Laertes_ (_approaching_). My good Lord, I wish thee well, for I do
love thee.

_Ghost_ (_from below_). Four! Remember--Four! Six, and no more! and
mind the time goes apace. Ten minutes of the thirty gone!

_Hamlet_ (_aside_). Peace, perturbed spirit! (_Aloud._) The foils!

_Osric_ (_approaching_). My Lord, the weapons!

_Ghost_ (_as before_). He maketh five! Beware! Six, and no more!

_Ham._ (_aside_). Rest, perturbed spirit! (_Aloud._) I will take this
one!

    [_HAMLET and LAERTES take the foils and salute._

_King._ Now will I drink to HAMLET after the first bout. OSRIC, be
ready to give him a cup when he is tired! Mind me well. (_Aside._) The
cup of which HAMLET shall drink contains poison. Ha! ha! ha! A time
will come! I triumph!

    [_HAMLET and LAERTES fence and drop their foils._

_Osric._--Let me return them, good Sirs!

    [_He gives the weapons in such a fashion that they are
    exchanged._

_King._ Now will I drink to HAMLET. Give him the other cup.

_Ham._ Nay, your pardon. Sire. I am fat and scant of breath, but I
will crush a cup with thee, later!

_Queen._ Give me the cup. I will drink to thee, HAMLET! [_Drinks._

_Ghost_ (_as before_). I hear the well-remembered voice of thy mother,
boy! That makes six. The limit's reached!

_Ham._ (_aside_). Rest, perturbed spirit! (_Aloud._) And now, good
LAERTES, I am at thy service.

    [_They fight. HAMLET is wounded._

_Osric._ A hit, a hit, a palpable hit!

_Ham._ (_annoyed_). I am hurt, and by thee!

    [_Fights fiercely and wounds_ LAERTES.

_Queen._ Oh! I am poisoned! [_Dies._

_Ham._ What, treachery! Ah, thou brute!

    [_Rushes up and kills King with his foil._

_Laertes._ I am dying! Forgive me, HAMLET. It was the doing of the
King. [_Dies._

_Ghost_ (_as before_). Twenty and nine minutes have expired! The time
is all but up!

_Ham._ (_aside, with difficulty_). Rest, perturbed spirit! Farewell,
farewell, a long farewell to all my--

_Ghost_ (_as before_). Ring down! The time is up!

    (_Quick Curtain_)

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A GENTLE EGOTIST.

_The Brilliant Jones_ (_who likes an appreciative audience--to his
Hostess_). "OH, THERE!--IT'S NO USE--I GIVE IT UP! CONVERSATION'S
IMPOSSIBLE, WHEN PEOPLE _WILL_ TALK!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"INNINGS DECLARED CLOSED."

    SCENE--_Grounds of the St. Stephen's C.C. SALISBURY
    (Captain) and BALFOUR (Champion Bat) at Wickets. The latter
    has just despatched the ball to the boundary for "another
    four," eliciting "applause all round the ring," as the
    (Cricket) saying is._

_Captain_. Well hit, my dear ARTHUR!

_Champion Bat_ (_modestly_).       Ah! bit of a fluke.

_Captain_. Come, come! Cricket swagger may merit rebuke,
    But take your fair _kudos_; don't run yourself down.

_Wicket-Keeper_ (_aside_). Bah! that's his old trick. At the ball he
          will frown,
    And fumble the bat as though funk, or don't care,
    Filled his soul; but when slogging's the game he's all there.
    Mere posing, not playing the game,--yet he _scores_!
    I wonder how WILL likes the ring's frantic roars
    At their flashy young favourite?

_Bowler_ (_aside_).                Humph! he lays on!
    I did hope, with that ball, that his wicket was gone.
    'Twas a curly one, one of my regular old sort.
    Good batting _and_ bowling, that's true Cricket sport,
    As CLARKE, Grand Old Trundler, declared was the case
    When he bowled and PILCH batted.

_Champion Bat_ (_aside_).          Just twig HARCOURT's face!
    Thought he'd had me ere now. Can't you hear his "How's _that_?"--
    If I gave him a chance?

_Captain_.                 He's a fine slogging bat,
    But behind the sticks--humph! Well, let's see, lad, your score
    Wants but eight of the "century." Ninety-two more
    Towards your "average," ARTHUR! The Cricketer's Bard
    Will be rhyming your doings!

_Champion Bat_.                An awful "reward"!
    But shall we play on?

_Captain_ (_thoughtfully_).     Well, now, what do you think?
    From fighting it out to the end I don't shrink,
    But time's running short; _we_ stand well for a win:
    They _say_ that their eager desire's to go in.
    Perhaps if they got their desire they'd be posed.
    Suppose we declare that our innings is closed?

    [_Left considering it._

       *       *       *       *       *

"PROBABLE STARTERS."

The Gentleman who sits on a pin with its business-end uppermost.

The Follower "not Allowed," on Missus making a quite unexpected
appearance in the Kitchen.

Clerk, who having written to say that he is unable to attend to
business as he is laid up with symptoms of influenza, comes face to
face with the Senior Partner on the river at Bolton Lock.

LOTHARIO on his knees to his dearest friend's Wife. Enter Husband.

       *       *       *       *       *

"TEXTUEL."--Mr. TOOLE was horrified at overhearing portions of a
conversation between two Gentlemen who were evidently provincial
Managers, one of whom was saying, "Yes, I agree with you. We have
settled to re-open our pits at a reduction of ten per cent." "I
beg pardon, Gentlemen," anxiously put in the Comedian, who had just
returned from the race-course, having been tooled down to Epsom and
back on a drag; "but I am going on tour, and if the price of admission
to the pit is to be so largely reduced--" Then they explained to
him that they were Wenham Coal-owners. Mr. J.L. TOOLE was immensely
relieved, and immediately invited his two acquaintances to partake of
refreshment on board the Houseboat now moored off King William Street,
Charing Cross.

       *       *       *       *       *

"TE DUCE," &c.--Old Pupils who were at "Balston's," are requested by
Lord DUCIE to hurry up with their subscriptions to Memorial in Eton
College Chapel. A Ducie'd good idea.

       *       *       *       *       *

CLEAR CASE OF SUPERSTITION.--Mr. GLADSTONE trusting to "SHIPTON's"
Prophecies.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "INNINGS CLOSED."

RIGHT HON. ARTHUR B. "DON'T YOU THINK IT'S TIME TO DECLARE THIS
INNINGS _CLOSED_?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUFFER.

NO. XI.--THE DUFFER IN LOVE.

Mrs. MCDUFFER never greatly admired the lady with whom this confession
is concerned. She denies that CECILIA BRAND was pretty, and when I
do not answer (for where is the use of argument in such a case?), she
remarks that I am too short-sighted to know whether a woman is pretty
or not. This appears to myself to be an injudicious assertion, and the
flank of my opponent might be turned if it were worth while. But it is
not worth while. A Duffer I may be, but not such a duffer as to reason
with a woman. If you score a point (and how many times one sees an
opening in the fair one's harness), a woman is angry, or cries, or
both, and there is no repartee to that _ultima ratio_.

[Illustration: "It was while thus engaged that I heard a sound of
female voices."]

I maintain, then, that CECILIA was pretty, and very pretty; pleasant,
and very pleasant. No doubt she keeps those qualities yet. I do not
believe in the syllogism by which a man persuades himself that he was
a fool, that he had a lucky escape, that a girl becomes quite another
person, and usually very stout and stupid, because she has preferred
someone else to himself. No, if we met to-morrow--But Fortune forbid
that we should meet to-morrow, or any other day! I have no relics of
CECILIA. I had some,--an old glove, a lash of a riding-switch, and
other trifles. I kept them in the secret drawer of a bureau, and in
my absence that bureau was traded away for a new æsthetic article,
relics and all, of course. Perhaps some minor poet bought the piece
of furniture, and found the things, and wrote a poem on them. That is
what makes me uncomfortable. If CECILIA sees the poem in one of the
Magazines, and remembers the incidents which the souvenirs recall,
she will certainly not be pleased with me, whether she fancies that I
wrote the poem, or that I forgot all about the treasures, and traded
their receptacle away. Life is really very complicated.

I met CECILIA at a house in the country. We sat next each other at
dinner. I found her charming. We had the same taste in novels,--she
knew Miss AUSTEN almost off by heart, and, like me, she was very fond
of field sports. I flattered myself that she did not find my company
uncongenial. In the evening there was a little dance: I don't dance,
or at least, it was some time since I had danced, not in fact since
the used to make me take dancing lessons at school. How I hated
it! However, this time I thought it seemed very easy and pleasant,
though the floor was extremely polished and slippery, dangerously
so. CECILIA, of course, was my partner. You know how they describe
waltzing in novels, the ecstasy of it, the wild impassioned delight.
Consult GUY LIVINGSTONE and OUIDA. Well, it was not at all like that.

I do not exactly remember what occurred. We started, there was a buzz.
I think there was a collision. I became extremely dizzy.... When
I recovered my senses, it was _not_ to find the dark grey eyes of
CECILIA bending over me with an expression of anxiety. No, she was not
there. I went to bed: I know there was a great contusion on my elbow.

Next morning, it was winter, everyone was going to skate. Now I could
not skate. At school, when there was a skating holiday, I always
passed it beside the fire, which I had all to myself, roasting apples,
and reading _Ivanhoe_. These were among my happiest hours. However,
I did not tell CECILIA that I could not skate. I pretended (it seemed
safe) to be desperately fond of hunting, and to despise skating.
Besides I had work, literary work, I told CECILIA, an article on Miss
AUSTEN. This pleased her, but nobody accepted the article. In fact, I
was bent on secretly learning to skate. I sent to town for a pair of
"Acmes," for I knew I never could manage all the straps and buckles
of the ordinary modern skate. I knew of a pond where nobody came, and
thither, under cover of night, I smuggled a bed-room chair. They say
that pushing a chair in front of you is a good way to learn. My terror
was extreme; it would be awkward to be caught, at a friend's house,
stealing a bed-room chair. That I ventured this risk shows how fond of
CECILIA I was. I reached the pond safely, and hid the chair in a dry
ditch. Next day, when presumed to be engaged on literary labours, I
sneaked back, sat down on my chair, and tried to put on the skates.
It always seemed so easy when one saw an expert do it, like Mercury
donning his winged shoon, and sailing over the ice. But my hands grew
blue as I struggled with the key and the nuts, till I became certain
that my boots were in fault.

There was no help for it, I hid my chair in its ditch, and returned,
to take the village cobbler into my confidence. He, good man, rose
to the situation, and pointed out what I had surmised to be the
case, viz., that the heels of my boots were too long to allow the
chisel-edged flange to be adjusted by the lever, and admit at the same
time of the other end of the heel being gripped by the cramps,--but
he promised to whittle away part of the heel, and send the skates home
without delay: and he was as good as his word.

This time I took the precaution of fitting them on in my room. I
walked about in them, and was happy. Next day I got to work again:
gingerly I brought my chair into action, but I was wholly unprepared
for the extreme slipperiness of the ice, even though forewarned to
some extent by the painful experiences of _Mr. Winkle_. I had read
that the skater "is very highly favoured when contending with the
great enemy of motion, viz., friction," a proposition which I found
to be perfectly true. My legs developed separatist tendencies, and
started on independent orbits. Often I found myself sitting down in
a position affected by acrobats, but unusual in Society. As for the
chair, it would rear and plunge like a horse, or escape across the
ice, where I had to crawl to it on my knees. It was while thus engaged
that I heard a sound of female voices, and, lo! there were CECILIA and
two other girls, who had heard of this pond in the wood, and come to
try it. I presented a singular spectacle, kneeling before a bed-room
chair in the middle of a lonely pond. They laughed, a lover should
never be ridiculous, but how could I help it! I thought it best to
be frank, indeed, what excuse could I make, what explanation could I
offer? In the evening I told CECILIA that I had undergone all this for
her sake; that, expert in other pastimes (except dancing), I had hoped
to make myself more worthy of "figuring" in her society. But, as a
matter of fact, I never got so far as figures.

Next day there was a thaw, and soon I had an opportunity of riding
with CECILIA. It was "The Last Ride Together," as in Mr. BROWNING. I
don't like to speak about it. When we got off the road on to the turf
my horse began to kick and plunge. I have read that it is not right,
but I did what I always do, I held on by the pummel. Would _you_ not
hold on by the carpet, in an earthquake. It felt like a young and
lively earthquake. We came home soon, _CECILIA leading my horse_.
People staying in the house met us.

I did not propose to CECILIA. I thought, like _Sir Andrew Aguecheek_,
"It is four to one she'll none of me." Nay, the odds were probably
even longer. Ah, CECILIA, if these lines meet thine eyes, thou wilt
know that one heart still is true. In another life, less begirt by
material difficulties, we may meet amongst the asphodel, where there
is no opportunity for the display of mere mechanical accomplishments.
Till then, _au revoir_!

       *       *       *       *       *

APPROPRIATE.--At Nancy, the Maire pledged the Czech gymnasts, in a
goblet of Pommery. Their chief, returning thanks in French, with
a strong Bohemian accent, remarked that he took this as a great
compliment to his own nationality, the champagne being "_très Czech_."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TROP DE ZÈLE.

(_An Aristocratic Tip._)

_The New Companion_ (_fresh from Girtham College_). "YES, LADY JANE,
I SAW _H_ER, WITH _H_ER _H_ABITUAL _H_YPOCRISY _H_OLDING OUT _H_ER
_H_AND TO _H_IS AS _H_E WAS _H_ARANGUING AT _H_IS _H_OTEL--"

_Lady Jane._ "GOOD GRACIOUS, CHILD, DON'T STICK IN YOUR H'S SO
CAREFULLY AS ALL THAT! PEOPLE WILL THINK YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER
DROPPED 'EM, AND THAT YOU'RE TRYIN' TO PICK 'EM UP!" [_And People
wouldn't be very far wrong._]

       *       *       *       *       *

LADY GAY'S SELECTIONS.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--Of my two selections to supply the last Horse in the
Derby--one--_La Flêche_, so far forgot what was due to my prophetic
utterances as to finish _second_--and indeed, very nearly _win_!
However, as such reprehensible conduct was mainly owing to the absurd
wish of her jockey, BARRETT, to be first, my readers will see that no
blame attaches to _me_--as the mare would doubtless not have hurried
so much had she been left to her own devices--(the sex notoriously
dislikes hurry)--it being a well-known fact that she would make a
race with a donkey!--though why donkey races should be spoken of with
such contempt. I don't know, for I once rode one with Lord ARTHUR
on Hampstead Heath--(it was during our engagement, when people will
do foolish things; we had been "slumming," and he was disguised in
"pearlies," whilst I was gowned "_à la_ 'ARRIETT")--and I assure you
our Donkeys went very fast. However--this is a digression--as the man
said when he walked over the cliff, so let us "_noch einmal zu unser
schafen_," as the German proverb runs. Although disappointed in the
behaviour of _La Flêche_, my second string _Llanthony_ maintained
my reputation for correct tips, by running _last_, as I said he
would!--It is true that some papers report him as having finished
seventh and _El Diablo_ last; but as he did not _win_, he might just
as well have been last as seventh--and as I am sure my friend Lord
ELTHAM will not mind the placings being reversed--I therefore place
_Llanthony_ last--and those of my readers who took my advice and
backed him, will have every reason to congratulate themselves when
they draw their money!

With regard to the winner, _Sir Hugo_, whose success was a general
surprise to all except myself--(surprise is bad form)--I can only
follow the example of all other writers on turf matters in declaring
that, "he always had my good word, and was in fact my winter
favourite, as anyone can see who will take the trouble to glance
through my earlier advices!"--these will be difficult to find, as
they were only conveyed in private letters which will not be published
until my biography is written later on!--(very much, I hope). Still,
had I pursued the ordinary course of trying to tip the _Winner_, _Sir
Hugo_ would undoubtedly have been my sole selection--a fact which
should not fail to weigh with my followers--and I _have_ followers
in plenty, as Lord ARTHUR knows!

Having done the whole of Epsom week, I shall be glad of a rest to
get ready for Ascot--(four new gowns to try on)--and besides there
are some smart parties to attend next week, so Doncaster will not be
blessed with my sweet presence. However, I have a friend there on
the Press _who can be trusted_. So, in concluding this letter with
my selection for the last horse in the Manchester Cup, I am able to
recommend it _very_ strongly, as my friend will do the placing; and
as _I_ am not there, no collusion can be suspected!

I must just mention that among the shows provided on Epsom Downs for
the entertainment of the multitude, was one which I should like to see
done away with, namely, the so-called "glove contests"--which to my
mind are not calculated to advance "England's greatness" nor are they
pleasing to look on at. The "abolition of Slavin(g)" is undoubtedly
a fine thing, but is hardly perhaps an unmixed blessing when it makes
heroes of Dusky Warriors!

I hear from my friend Major CLEMENT that we are going to have a most
successful Ascot in spite of the regrettable absence of Royalty;
indeed he could have let all the Boxes twice over--and as I shall
be staying there all the week with my friends the Baron and Baroness
LUTHER VON MONTAG, I hope to collect some valuable information for my
betting readers.

Yours devotedly, LADY GAY.

THE TIP.

  To ride the first horse in the Manchester Cup
    Is a thing for which jockeys might quarrel!
  But if modest young WOODBURN should have the "leg up,"
    He's content to be _last_ on "_Balmoral_."

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday, May 30._--House met to-day, with pretty
assumption of things being just as usual. SPEAKER in Chair; Mace on
Table; paper loaded with questions; House even moderately full. Mr.
G. not present, but SQUIRE OF MALWOOD makes up for that, and all
other deficiencies. Quite radiant in white waistcoat and summer
pants; wish he would crown the effect by wearing white hat; draws the
line at that. "People are apt to forget," he says, "that my father
was a dignitary of the Church. It is well sometimes to hint at the
circumstance, and it would be impossible to do it from under the
brim of a white hat." The item scarcely needed to complete joviality
of Squire's appearance and bearing; looks like the best man at a
wedding-party. "That's just what I am, TOBY," he said; "Mr. G. is
going to the country to wed the majority at the polls, and I'm the
best man."

[Illustration: Truculent Tim.]

Meanwhile, farce of there being nothing particular in the wind
admirably kept up. Odd to see how even mention of that blessed word
Dissolution is avoided. Even when, last Thursday, Mr. G. and Prince
ARTHUR practically settled the matter, the word not uttered. Mr.
G. hinted at possibility of ARTHUR's sometime, in some convenient
circumstances, making a statement as to the business of the Session;
the Prince, adopting the phraseology, said he would do so. Since then
the same precaution been observed.

"It's not a new idea," Prince ARTHUR said just now, when I commented
on the peculiarity. "When a man is sick unto death, people don't
mention in his presence the particular form of disease that is
carrying him off. Neither do we openly talk of Dissolution in a
Parliament whose days are numbered."

SEXTON finally got off his speech on Irish Education Bill, though
under peculiarly distressing circumstances. Might have delivered it
before Easter, when Bill was reached one evening at eleven o'clock.
SEXTON thought the hour inconvenient and the audience inadequate for
the oration; insisted upon postponing it. Must be delivered to-night
or never; so worked it off, speaking for an hour in almost empty and
sadly inattentive House. TIM HEALY, not to lose an opportunity that
might be final, joined in debate. Audience being chiefly composed of
JACKSON, TIM took opportunity of genially observing, _à propos_ of the
Bill, that if he had to spend his time on a desert island with either
a Chief Secretary or an Irish peasant, he would prefer the peasant.
"I'm glad of that," said JACKSON; "it would be lonely for the one that
was left. Within a week the population would certainly be reduced by
one-half. Whether the survivor would be TIM or the other one, would
depend upon circumstances." _Business done._--Irish Education Bill
read Second Time.

[Illustration: THE GREAT CONTEST. BLACK AND WHITE AT THE NATIONAL
SPORTING CLUB, MONDAY, MAY 30, 1892.

_At the earnest request of the President, Mr. Punch will not disclose
the personality of the spectators._]

_Tuesday._--ELCHO's speech to-day, in supporting WILFRID LAWSON's
Motion against Adjournment over Derby Day, most excellent fooling.
A dangerous thing to play practical jokes with House; only a person
of ELCHO's supreme coolness would have faced the fearful odds. A
desperate man having done so, might, by swerving however slightly
to left or right, have made mistake, and been angrily dropped on by
watchful House. GRICE-HUTCHINSON had some experience of this in his
truncated speech. Commenced at length to be funny in usual ante-Derby
Day fashion; beginning to draw picture of his leading WILFRID LAWSON
by hand over Epsom Downs. Members opposite snorted disapproval;
GRICE-HUTCHINSON abruptly shut up; like the unfinished window in
Aladdin's Tower, his carefully-prepared joke unfinished must remain.
With this awful warning, ELCHO rose unperturbed and unabashed. Was a
success from first moment; SPEAKER artlessly contributed to it; GEDGE
had something to say; been popping up whenever opening occurred; here
again competing with ELCHO; which should be preferred?

"Does the noble Lord," said SPEAKER, with bland sarcasm, "rise to
second the Amendment?"

Now the Amendment was WILFRID LAWSON's, and met with direct negative
proposal to adjourn over Derby Day. Last time question to the fore
ELCHO had moved the Adjournment. To suppose he was now going to back
up WILFRID LAWSON in opposing it was an exquisite jape, worthy of the
Chair. But ELCHO capped it. "Yes, Sir," he gravely answered.

This was a flash of humour everyone could see. The crowded House,
wearied with what had gone before, positively jumped at it. But it was
a kind of joke that had to be lived up to. Could ELCHO do it? Would
he spoil it by going too far, or would he shrink affrighted from the
position audaciously assumed? He did just the right thing, in tone,
manner, and matter, affording the House the merriest moments ever
enjoyed on a deathbed. It seemed so good that it was idle to expect
anything better to follow. But something there was. It was the
Division, in which ELCHO, walking up to the Table by side of WILFRID
LAWSON, acted as co-teller whilst the figures were announced that
abolished the Derby Day holiday in the House of Commons. ELCHO had had
his jest, and the Opposition had his estate.

_Business done._--Motion for Derby Day negatived by 158 Votes against
144.

[Illustration: "6 to 4." (_t. and o._)]

_Wednesday._--Spent quite cheerful Derby Day in Commons. House met
shortly after twelve; when I say House, I mean the SPEAKER and me.
"Dearly beloved TOBY," said the SPEAKER, "it seems we're to have the
place to ourselves." But presently HOWELL arrived, and GEDGE, terribly
afraid that he should miss prayers. "I suppose my opportunities will
not be extended. Stockport doesn't seem to care to have me in the new
Parliament, and I'm not aware of any competition for my hand among
other constituencies. So I mean to make the most of what time is left.
I fancy they'll at least miss me at St. Margaret's. Proudest moment in
my life, TOBY, when the other Sunday, I overheard one of the Vergers
saying to another, 'Man and boy I've been in this 'ere church for
forty year, but I never heard a Amen carry so far as Muster GELGE
pitches his.' It's something to be appreciated, TOBY. Can't say that
House of Commons has taken to me kindly; but toward what may be the
close of a Parliamentary career, the tribute of this honest Verger is,
I will admit, soothing."

(12:25.)--GEDGE moves Count; bells ring; SQUIRE OF MALWOOD strolls in
with the pleased expression of a man who might be at the Derby, but
isn't; HORACE DAVY and some others; all told only 13. "If you'll
excuse me. Gentlemen," said the SPEAKER, "I'll retire; look in again
little later."

[Illustration: "Formerly of the Herts Militia."]

(1 P.M.)--SPEAKER back in Chair; ATTORNEY-GENERAL moves Count; bells
ring as before; SQUIRE OF MALWOOD again comes in; no deception; wasn't
lurking about with intent to show up in House, then rush off to catch
half-past twelve train for Epsom. Heads counted; only 19 present;
must have forty or no House. "Look here, Gentlemen," said the SPEAKER,
"this won't do. The Chair is not to be trifled with. I shall again
retire, and won't come back till four o'clock, or till I am assured
there are forty Members present."

SPEAKER gathered up skirts and strode forth. Three hours before
House can be Counted Out. What's to be done in the time? ELLIOT LEES
determines to make a book; 6 to 4 no House (_t. and o._); HENRY FOWLER
wouldn't bet; but ROBY put something on, and ALBERT ROLLIT staked a
fiver.

(4 P.M.)--SPEAKER back again; House much fuller now; ELLIOT LEES
looking anxious; made a nice book if he can only pull it off. But
arrival of half a dozen Members would upset everything. ROBY and
ALBERT ROLLIT rushing about corridors trying to bring men in; LEES
KNOWLES moves Count; more ringing of bells; ROLLIT and ROBY, on
picket-duty to last moment, nearly locked out; SPEAKER counts; finds
only 35. "The House will now adjourn," says the SPEAKER. "Don't see
why we should have met at all," says ROBY, snappishly. "I do," says
ELLIOT LEES, making his little collection. "I've had a pleasant and
profitable afternoon."

_Business done._--House not made.

_Friday._--House met at two o'clock; might have sat till seven; but
at five minutes to five gently broke up. Won't be back till Thursday.
"Not much of a holiday." said Viscount GRIMSTONE, formerly of the
Herts Militia; "better make the most of it;" and he set off at the
rate of five miles an hour.

_Business done._--Adjourned for the Whitsun Recess.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

THE VIGOROUS VICAR.--Dr. MILLS of Coventry, to which place his
bitterest enemies cannot relegate him as he is already there, acts
up to his name, as a Member of the Church Militant, with pluck and
perseverance, whether right or wrong it is not for _amicus curiæ_ to
say. But, it may be asked, is this action for the rates, on the part
of the Vicar, a Vicar's first-Rate Act or not? Some parishioners
suspend payment; we suspend judgment.

       *       *       *       *       *

VERY NATURAL ERROR.--A gentleman who up till now has been a quiet
sort of man, with nothing suggestive of the "P.R." about him, sent
to excuse himself from appearing at our old friend Mrs. RAM's
dinner-party, because as he wrote to her nephew, who read the
letter aloud, "I am off to see Woodhall Spa." "What!" she exclaimed,
"Prize-fighting beginning again! And isn't Mr. WOODHALL or WOODALL a
Member of Parliament? He ought to know better. Where are the police?"

       *       *       *       *       *

"IT WILL WASH!"--"Abolition of the House of Peers!" No, stop--spell it
with an "a," and make it "Pears,"--now a Company Limited. Going along
in first-rate style. The Pears' Soap Christmas Book, illustrated,
is to be a new edition of "_His Soaps Fables_." Next form of
advertisement,--"Very good morning! Just bought Pears' Soap Shares."

       *       *       *       *       *

FRENCH PLAYS IN LONDON.--The old saying applies, "They do these things
better in France." London prefers to go to Paris for its French plays;
but when two rivals, a BERNHARDT and a COQUELIN, come over to London,
Londoners give the lady a chance of making her charming voice heard,
but the clever French actor has, literally, to "shut up."

       *       *       *       *       *

ROYAL DECISION.--When the QUEEN goes from Balmoral to Mar Lodge, Her
Majesty takes a Deesided course.

       *       *       *       *       *

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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