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Title: Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, March 26, 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, March 26, 1892" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 102.



March 26, 1892.



YE MODERATES OF LONDON!

[Illustration: The Stay-at-Home Voter.]

  Ye Moderates of London
    Who sat at home at ease,
  Ah! little did you think upon
    The dangerous C.C.'s!
  While comfort did surround you,
    You did not care to go
          To remote
          Spots to vote
  When the stormy winds did blow.

  The voter should have courage
    No danger he should shun;
  In every kind of weather
    All sorts of risks should run.
  Not he! So bold Progressives
    Will tax him, and he'll know
          He must pay
          In their way,
  Which is neither sure nor slow.

  But when the Thames Embankment,
    The finest road in town,
  Is riotous with tramcars,
    Will _that_ make rates come down?
  Will all these free arrangements,
    Free water, gas, do so?
          Oh, they may!
          Who can say?
  And the Companies may go.

  When LIDGETT and McDOUGALL
    Are censors of the play,
  We can patronise the Drama
    In a strictly proper way;
  When PARKINSON's Inspector
    Of Ballets, we shall know
          He will stop
          Any hop
  If he sees a dancer's toe.

  Such grandmaternal rulers
    Will settle life for us,
  And Moderates, escaping
    All canvassing and fuss,
  Can still, from cosy firesides,
    Through three long years or so,
          Watch whereat
          Jumps the cat,
  And which way the wind does blow.

       *       *       *       *       *

LOCKWOOD THE LECTURER.

    ["Last Tuesday Mr. FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., M.P., delivered a
    lecture entitled 'The Law and Lawyers of Pickwick,' to a large
    gathering of the citizens of York, which place he represents
    in Parliament."--_Daily Telegraph_.]

AIR--"_Simon the Cellarer._"

  Oh, LOCKWOOD the Lecturer hath a rare store
        Of jo-vi-a-li-tee
  Of quips, and of cranks, with good stories galore,
        For a cheery Q.C. is he!
        A cheery Q.C. and M.P.
  With pen and with pencil he never doth fail,
  And every day he hath got a fresh tale.
  "A Big-vig on Pig-vig," he quaintly did say,
  When giving his lecture at York t'other day.
        For Ho! ho! ho!
        FRANK LOCKWOOD can show
        How well he his DICKENS
        Doth know, know, know!
            _Chorus._--For Ho! ho! ho! &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

HOSPITALITY À LA MODE.

    ["Programmes and introductions are going out of fashion at
    balls."--_Weekly Paper_.]

    SCENE--_Interior of a Drawing-room during a dance. Sprightly
    Damsel disengaged looking out for a partner. She addresses
    cheerful-looking Middle-aged Gentleman, who is standing near
    her._

_She._ I am not quite sure whether I gave you this waltz?

_He._ Nor I. But I hope you did. I am afraid it is nearly over, but we
  shall still have time for a turn. [_They join the dancers._

_She._ Too many people here to-night to make waltzing pleasant.

_He._ Yes, it is rather crowded. Shall we sit out?

_She_ (_thankfully, as he has not quite her step._) If you like. And
  see, the band is bringing things to a conclusion. Don't you hate a
  _cornet_ in so small a room as this? So dreadfully loud, you know.

_He._ Quite. Yes, I think it would have been better to have kept to
  the piano and the strings.

_She._ But the place is prettily decorated. It must have cost them a
  lot, getting all these flowers.

_He._ I daresay. No doubt they managed it by contract. And lots of
  things come from Algeria nowadays. You can get early vegetables in
  winter for next to nothing.

_She._ Yes, isn't it lovely? All these palms, I suppose, came from the
  Stores.

_He._ No doubt. By the way, do you know the people of the house at
  all?

_She._ Not much. Fact was, I was brought. Couldn't find either the
  host or hostess. Such a crowd on the staircase, you know.

_He._ Yes. Rather silly asking double the number of people the rooms
  will hold, isn't it?

_She._ Awfully. However, I suppose it pleases some folks. I presume
  they consider it the swagger thing to do?

_He._ I suppose they do. Do you know many people here?

_She._ Not a soul, or--

_He._ You would not have spoken to me?

_She._ Well, no--not exactly that. But--

_He._ You have no better excuse ready. Quite.

_She._ How rude you are! You know I didn't quite mean that.

_He._ No, not quite. Quite.

_She._ By the way, do you know what time it is?

_He._ Well, from the rooms getting less crowded, I fancy it must be
  the supper hour. May I not take you down?

_She._ You are most kind! But do you know the way?

_He._ I think so. You see, I have learned the geography of the place
  fairly well.

_She._ How fortunate! But if I accept your kindness, I think I should
  have the honour of knowing your name.

_He._ Certainly; my name is SMITH.

_She._ Any relation of the people who are giving the dance?

_He._ Well, yes. I am giving the dance myself--or rather, my wife is.

_She._ Oh, this is quite too delightful! For now you can tell me what
  to avoid.

_He._ Certainly; and I have the pleasure of speaking to--?

_She._ You must ask my _chaperon_ for my name. You know, introductions
  are not the fashion.

_He._ And your _chaperon_ is--?

_She._ Somewhere or other. In the meanwhile, if you will allow me?

_He_ (_offering his arm_). Quite!

    [_Exeunt to supper._

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. PUNCH'S UP-TO-DATE POETRY FOR CHILDREN.

NO. 1.--"LITTLE MISS MUFFIT."

[Illustration]

      Little Miss MUFFIT
      Reposed on a tuffet,
  Consuming her curds and whey--
      She had dozens of dolls,
      And some cash in Consols
  Put by for a rainy day.

      But though calm and content
      While she drew Three per Cent.,
  The Conversion unsettled her mien,
      And she said, "Though they've thrown us
      This Five-Shilling Bonus,
  I cannot brook Two pounds fifteen!"

      Comes a Broker outsider--
      Who chanced to have spied her,
  And "Options" and "Pools" he extols--
      When he pictures the profit
      (Commission small off it),
  She cheerfully sells her Consols.

      Then she starts operations
      With fierce speculations
  In Stocks of all manner and shape;
      But whatever she chooses
      Her "cover" she loses,
  And sees it run off on the tape.

      So alas! for Miss MUFFIT--
      She now has to rough it,
  And never gets jam with her tea;
      While the Bucket-shop Dealer
      Employs a four-wheeler,
  Regardless of _L._ _S._ and _D._

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE FROGS" AT OXFORD.

    SCENE--_Parlour of Private House, Oxford._ TIME--_Quite
    recently. Cook wishes to speak to her Mistress._

_Cook._ Please, 'm, I should like to go out this evening, 'm, which
  it's to see them Frogs at the New Theayter.

_Mistress._ But it's all Greek, and you won't understand it.

_Cook._ O yes, 'm. I once saw the Performin' Fleas, and they was
  French, I believe, leastways a Frenchman were showin' of 'em, and
  I unnerstood all as was necessary.

    [_After this, of course she obtains permission._

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Ram's Uncle (on the maternal side) has recently joined the
religious sect known as the Plymouth Brethren. This has greatly
distressed the good Lady. "If it had been anything else," she says,
"a Moravian Missionary, or a Christian Brother-in-law, I wouldn't
have minded. But to think that an Uncle of mine should have become
a Yarmouth Bloater is a little hard on a poor woman no longer in her
idolescence."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WILFUL WILHELM.

_An Imperial German Nursery Rhyme. (From the very latest Edition of
"Struwwelpeter.")_

_Wilful Wilhelm._ "TAKE THE NASTY _PUNCH_ AWAY! I WON'T HAVE ANY
_PUNCH_ TODAY!"]

  Young WILHELM was a wilful lad,
  And lots of "cheek" young WILHELM had.
  He deemed the world should hail with joy
  A smart and self-sufficient boy,
  And do as it by _him_ was told;
  He _was_ so wise, he _was_ so bold.
  If anyone dared stop his play,
  He screamed out--"Take the wretch away!
  Oh, take my enemy away!
  I won't have any foes to-day!"

  His old adviser WILHELM swore
  Was a pig-headed senile bore.
  _He_ meant to try another tack,
  So his Old Pilot got the sack.
  Nay more, one day, in a fierce squall,
  He smashed his picture on the wall;
  Tore up the papers when they said
  He was a little "off his head."
  He yelled, in his despotic way,
  "Not any Press for me," I say!
  "Oh, take that nasty _Punch_ away
  I won't have any _Punch_ to-day!"

  He deemed himself, and this was odd,
  A sort of new Olympian god;
  And when the wise, who watched his whim,
  Sighed, "Have the gods demented him?
  _Quem deus vult, et cetera_" he
  Was just as mad as mad could be;
  And, just like other angry boys,
  Kicked over tables, smashed his toys,
  And cried out, "Take the things away!
  I'll have nought but new toys to-day!"

  "Prudence?" he yelled; "what do _I_ care?"
  And here he kicked the old pet Bear
  His sire and grandsire had so cherished,
  Till the old policy had perished
  With Wilful WILHELM, who preferred
  The Eagles. With a pole he stirred
  Big Bruin up. "Oh, _I_'ll surprise him!
  And, if he growls, I'll 'pulverise' him."
  Some thought that picking rows with Bruin
  Meant folly, if it did not ruin;
  But when they whispered words of warning,
  Then Wilful WILHELM, counsel scorning,
  Shrieked, "Take the nasty brute away!
  I won't have any Bears to-day!"

  Now, WILHELM, do not be absurd,
  But listen to a friendly word!
  You are a clever boy, no doubt,
  And very smart, and very stout,
  Like young AUGUSTUS, dainty eater,
  Whose story is in _Struwwelpeter_.
  Did'st ever read those truthful stories,
  Good Dr. HEINRICH HOFFMANN's glories,
  Which round the world have travelled gaily,
  By Nursery pets consulted daily?
  If not, just get "Shock-headed PETER";
  Read of AUGUSTUS, the soup-eater,
  And stuck-up "JOHNNY Head-in-Air,"
  Who came down "bump" all unaware.
  And "Fidgety PHILIP." You'll confess them
  Pointed,--and don't try to suppress them,
  Like Princes, party-men and papers
  Which can't admire _all_ your mad capers!
  My Wilful WILHELM, you'll not win
  By dint of mere despotic din;
  By kicking everybody over
  In whom a critic you discover,
  Or shouting in your furious way,
  "Oh, take the nasty _Punch_ away!
  I won't have any _Punch_ to-day!"

       *       *       *       *       *

WHAT THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, MR. PUNCH, SAYS TO THE ARTISTS'
CORPS.--"Gentlemen, you would no doubt like a brush with the enemy, to
whom you will always show a full face. Any colourable pretence for
a skirmish won't suit your palette. You march with the colours, and,
like the oils, you will never run.' You all look perfect pictures, and
everybody must admire your well-knit frames. Gentlemen, I do not know
whether you will take my concluding observation as a compliment or
not, but I need hardly say that it is meant to be both truthful and
complimentary, and it is this, that though you are all Artists, you
look perfect models,"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CONSCIENTIOUS.

_Mr. Boozle_ (_soliloquises_). "MY MEDICAL MAN TOLD ME NEVER ON ANY
ACCOUNT TO MIX MY WINES. SO I'LL FINISH THE CHAMPAGNE FIRST, AND
_THEN_ TACKLE THE CLARET!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"BUTCHER'D TO MAKE--."

    [On Monday the 14th a "lion-tamer" was torn to pieces in a
    show at Hednesford.]

  Shame to the callous French, who goad
  The horse that pulls a heavy load!
  Shame to the Spanish bull-fight! Shame
  To those who make of death a game!
  We English are a better race:
  We love the long and solemn face;
  We fly from any cheerful place,--
            On Sunday.

  But, other days, we like a show.
  There may be danger, as we know;
  We put the thought of that aside,
  For noble sport is England's pride:
  We'd advertise a railway trip,
  To see a wretched tamer slip
  And die beneath the lion's grip,--
            On Monday!

       *       *       *       *       *

A REALLY EXCEPTIONALLY REMARKABLE AND NOTEWORTHY FACT.--_To-day,
Thursday, March_ 17.--Fine Spring weather. Have sat for over
half-an-hour at a window looking on to the street, between 3·30 and
4·15 P.M., _and have not once heard either the whole or any portion of
the now strangely popular "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay!"_ ... As I write this
... ha!... The grocer's book!... "Boom-de-ay" without the "Ta-ra."
The spell is broken! N.B.--As this delightful song has now a certain
number of Music-"hall-marks," the places where it is sung can be
spotted and remembered as "Ta-ra's Halls."

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE YOUNG CITY-MEN.

TO MAKE MUCH OF (LUNCHEON) TIME; OR, A COUNSEL TO CLERKS. (AFTER
HERRICK.)

  Gather ye fish-bones while ye may,
    The luncheon hour is flying,
  And this same cod, that's boiled to-day,
    To-morrow may be frying.

  The handsome clock of ormolu
    A quarter past is showing,
  And soon 'twill be a quarter to,
    When you must think of going.

  That man eats best who eats the first,
    When fish and plates are warmer,
  But being cold, the worse and worst
    Fare still succeeds the former.

  Then be not coy, but use your lungs,
    And while ye may, cry "_Waiter_!"
  For having held just now your tongues,
    You may repent it later.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FANCY PORTRAIT.

THE HUMBUG-HUNTING FERRET. (_VIVERRA LABOUCHERIENSIS_.)

_The Times_ (_loq._). "AH! WONDERFUL INSTINCT, AND OCCASIONALLY
USEFUL. BUT I'M NOT PARTICULARLY PARTIAL TO HIM!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

PONSCH, PRINCE OF OLLENDORF.

(_M. MAETERLINCK'S VERY LAST MASTERPIECE._)

The Belgian Master has tried, as he has already informed the world,
"to write SHAKSPEARE for a company of Marionnettes." Encouraged by
his extraordinary success, he has soared higher yet, and adapted
our greatest national drama for the purposes of the (Independent)
itinerant Stage. We are enabled by the courtesy of his publishers to
give a few specimen scenes from this _magnum opus_, which, as will
be seen, requires somewhat more elaborate mounting and mechanical
effects than are at present afforded by the ordinary Punch
Show. In M. MAETERLINCK's version, Ponsch becomes the Prince of
Half-seas-over-Holland; he is the victim of hereditary homicidal
mania, complicated by neurotic hysteria. Inflamed by the insinuations
of Mynheer Olenikke--a kind of Dutch Mephistopheles and Iago
combined--he is secretly jealous of his consort the Princess Jödi's
preference for the society of Djoë, the Court Jester and Society
Clown. Here is our first sample:--

    _A Chamber in the Castle. Princess JÖDI discovered at a
    window with DJOË._

_Jödi_. Lo! lo! a shower of stars is falling upon the fowl-house!

_Djoë_. Oh! oh! a shower of stars upon the fowl-house? (_A water pipe
in the back-garden bursts suddenly and splashes them._) Ah! ah! I am
wet all over! Have you a pocket handkerchief?

_Jödi_. Oh, look! a comet--an enormous one--has descended into the
water-butt! The sky is blood-red, and the moon has turned the colour
of green cheese. This bodes some disaster!

_Djoë_. It is unsettled--rainy--unpleasant weather. Can you lend me an
umbrella?

_Jödi_. I cannot lend you an umbrella, because I have lent mine to
the gardener's wife. Owls are roosting on the chimney-pots, and a
stickleback has jumped out of the pond. Hush, my Lord the Prince
approaches!

    [_Prince PONSCH enters, bearing a stout staff, which he nurses
    gloomily, like an infant; a hurricane is heard in the middle
    distance; the waterpipe sobs strangely and then expires; a
    blackbeetle comes out of a cupboard and runs uneasily about,
    until a flash of lightning enters down the chimney and kills
    it. PONSCH stands glaring at DJOË and the Princess._

_Djoë_ (_hastily_). There is going to be a storm. Do not forget what I
have uttered. Good evening!

    [_He goes; the wind whistles a popular air through the
    keyhole._

_Jödi_ (_nervously_). What an appalling evening! I have never seen the
like of such a sky.

_Ponsch_. There is something about you this evening--how beautiful you
are looking! Bring BEBBI-PONSCH.

_Jödi_ (_fetching the Infant Prince_). Here he is. Why do you look so
strangely at him?

_Bebbi-Ponsch_ (_a small, but important part_). Is Pa-a-par poo-oorly?
Won't he p'ay wiz me no mo-ore?

_Ponsch_. The soul of a little stage-child looms from under his green
eyes! OLENIKKE was right, and I-- No matter. I will open the window.

    [_Opens it, and throws BEBBI-P. out. Sound of water-splash
    audible._

_Jödi_. Oh my! Oh my! What have you done? He has fallen right into the
moat--on one of the swans!

_Ponsch_. Indeed--on one of the swans? (_A pot of mignonnette is blown
off the window-sill by a gust._) I will close the window. (_Closes it;
a hailstorm beats on the panes._) Is that really a hailstorm--or only
birds?

_Jödi_. I can hear nothing. (P. _strikes her suddenly on the head
with staff._) Someone is knocking at my door. Come in! I cannot see
anything now.

_Ponsch_. Can you, indeed, see nothing? [_He strikes her again._

_Jödi_. Now I can see stars. I feel as if purple mills were going
round in my head. I shall never kiss anybody any more. Oh! oh! oh!
[_She dies._

_Ponsch_. She was a beautiful woman, do you know? Oh, how lonely I
shall feel hereafter! (_A black dog is heard scratching and sniffing
outside the door._) It is only Tobbi. Someone has trod on your toe,
my poor Tobbi. Come in. Give me your paw. (_Tobbi enters, and flies
suddenly at his nose._) Oh, my nose is bleeding! Let us go to the
pond. I do not know why I feel so melancholy this evening. [_He goes
out, pursued by Tobbi._

    SAMPLE No. II.--_A Hall in Castle Ollendorff. A Marionnette
    Theatre at the back of Stage. DJOË, a Belgian Bedell, and
    Dutch Dolls-in-waiting discovered._

_Djoë_. Green flames are running along the walls, and blue globes are
bounding about the back garden. I have never seen such a night. Here
comes the Prince.

    [_Enter PONSCH, conscience-stricken; all bow._

_Ponsch_. I am not melancholy, but I have hardly any hair. Let the
Play commence!

    _Curtain of Marionnette Show rises; a Clown is seen chasing
    a butterfly._

_A Councillor_. Oh! oh! oh! [_Uproar; the Clown and Butterfly are
withdrawn. A Skeleton appears on the Stage, and dances his head and
limbs off in a blue light._

_Ponsch_ (_rising_). That was done purposely! You are driving at
something. Confess it! Is there no topic more cheerful? I cannot bear
it any longer!

    [_Knocks down DJOË with his staff. A combat, during which
    DJOË several times obtains possession of the weapon, and
    wounds PONSCH. N.B.--Note the striking resemblance here to
    the similar, but very inferior, Scenes in "Hamlet."_

_The Dutch Dolls_ (_running about_). Both of them bleeding already!
There's blood on the walls already! Already blood on the walls! (&c.).

_The Bedell_. The Prince has slain DJOË. Take him into custody.

    [_PONSCH strikes the Bedell down._

_The B._ Ha! ha! ha! (_Tries to rise--but is struck again_). Ha! ha!
(_PONSCH strikes once more._) Ha!

    [_The Bedell dies; a draught enters under the door and
    blows out two of the candles; a thunderbolt is heard coming
    down-stairs, and the Ghost of JÖDI suddenly appears from
    behind a tapestry representing "The Finding of Moses."_

_Ponsch_ (_to Ghost_). Have you any hearse-plumes at hand? Do not be
angry with me. Can you hear my teeth? I am only a poor little old man.
Will you please undo my necktie? (_cf. "King Lear"_). Let us go to
breakfast. Will there be muffins for breakfast?

    [_Exit, leaning heavily on Ghost's arm._

_The Dutch Dolls_ (_with conviction_). One more such night as this,
and all our heads would have gone bald!

    SAMPLE No. III.--_The Courtyard with a scaffold and gibbet.
    A blood-red moon is sailing amid the currant-bushes, and a
    shower of stars proceeds uninterruptedly. PONSCH discovered
    looking through the fatal noose._

_Djakketch_ (_the Court Executioner_). Can you see anything through
the loop?

_Ponsch_. Not yet. I cannot see the audience anywhere.

_Djak._ No; we are probably above the heads of the audience. But can't
you distinguish Mr. WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE?

_Ponsch_. Wait one moment. No, I cannot see Mr. SHAKSPEARE anywhere.

_Djak._ Because he has had to take a back seat. Look again. Can you
see nothing?

_Ponsch_. I can make out an omnibus in the street. It is green.

_Djak._ Ay, ay! A Bayswater 'bus. They _are_ green. But don't you see
any of the general public?

_Ponsch_. I can see Mr. WILLIAM ARCHER, and some new Critics, and
unconventional Dramatists. They are following the text with books of
the Play. But there are no more errand-boys with baskets.

_Djak._ This is wonderful. No more errand-boys with baskets?

_Ponsch_. No more small children with babies!

_Djak._ No more small children? Do pray let _me_ look. (_PONSCH
retires, and DJAKKETCH puts his head through the loop._) Oh, I can
see plainly now. There is not a single spectator left. They have all
been bored to death!

_Ponsch_. All bored to death? Now then, lift your head a little, and I
will fondle you. [_Pulls the cord towards himself._

_Djak._ Oh, what have you put round my neck? Oh me! You are going to
... oh, you _are_!

_Ponsch_. Oh, I _am_!

_Djak._ Then--oh!

_Ponsch_. Oh!

    [_Exeunt all, except DJAKKETCH, who ceases kicking
    gradually. A peacock is heard warbling in a cemetery round the
    corner; a barn-door fowl jumps on a wheelbarrow, and crows._

FINIS.

       *       *       *       *       *

HORACE IN LONDON.

TO A CRUSTED OLD PORT. (_AD AMPHORAM_.)

[Illustration]

  Old liquor born on my birthday, a twin to me,
  Whether ordained wit and mirth to put into me,
    Or passions that witch and defy us,
      Or, peradventure, the sleep of the pious.

  Vaunt not its shippers, my friend, but produce it--an
  Actual, "forty-five," languorous Lusitan,
    Befitting, whate'er be its label,
      You, my good host, and the guest at your table.

  Steeped though you frown in this dryasdust clever age,
  Dare you presume to resist such a beverage?
    Why, ELDON, that dragon of virtue,
      Never imagined its vintage could hurt you.

  Liquor like this from a bottle whose crust is whole,
  Liquor like this rubs the rust from the rusty soul;
    The faddist it mellows: the private
      Secrets of State it can somehow arrive at.

  Under its spell frolics Hypochondriasis;
  Poverty learns what a millionnaire's bias is,
    Yes, Poverty, such a spell under,
      Laughs at the County Court's impotent thunder.

  Fill, then! A bumper we'll empty between us to
  Bacchus, the _Pas-de-trois_ Graces, and Venus too,
    With all of that classical ilk, man--
      Till the stars fade with the morn and the milkman.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE "TA-RA-RA" BOOM.

(_BY OUR OWN MELANCHOLY MUSER._)

  I am shrouded in impenetrable _gloom_-de-ay,
  For I feel I'm being driven to my _doom_-de-ay,
      By an aggravating ditty
      Which I don't consider witty;
  And they call the horrid thing, "Ta-ra-ra-_boom-de-ay_!"

  Every 'bus-conductor, errand-boy, and _groom_-de-ay,
  City clerk, and cheeky crossing-sweep with _broom_-de-ay
      Makes my nervous system bristle
      As he tries to sing or whistle
  That atrocious and absurd "Ta-ra-ra-_boom_-de-ay!"

  So I sit in the seclusion of my _room_-de-ay,
  And deny myself to all--no matter _whom_-de-ay--
      For I dread a creature coming
      Whose involuntary humming
  May assume the fatal form, "Ta-ra-ra-_boom_-de-ay!"

  Oh, I fear that when the Summer roses _bloom_-de-ay,
  You will read upon a well-appointed _tomb_-de ay:--
      "Influenza never lick'd him,
      But he fell an easy victim
  To that universal scourge--'Ta-ra-ra-_boom_-de-ay!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

One of the Baron's Assistant Readers has been reading a
really interesting, well written novel in two volumes, by MARY
BRADFORD-WHITING. It is called _Denis O'Neil_, and tells of the
adventures of a young Irish Doctor who gets entangled in the plots
of one of those Secret Societies that used to exist in "the most
distressful country that ever yet was seen," some twenty years ago.
The romance contains some clever sketches of character. The story
(published by BENTLEY) ends sadly, and those who want to find fault
with it will say it is too short.

[Illustration: Our Competition Novel.--Competitors at Work.]

The Leadenhall Press,--immortalised by its invention of that
invaluable work of art, "The Hairless Author's Paper Pad," which the
Baron herewith and hereby strongly recommends to Mr. GLADSTONE, who
has so much writing to do with a pad on his knee, and for this purpose
Mr. G. would find this the "_knee plus ultra_" of inventions,--this
same Leadenhall Press has recently published a story without a title,
offering a reward of £100 to any individual, or to be divided between
such individuals, as may guess it. The story is in effect about
a youth who lost his right eye in fighting another boy, and who
subsequently revenged himself by depriving his antagonist of an eye by
a violent stroke at Lawn-tennis. What can be the title? The Baron has
had the following suggestions made to him:--"Eye for an Eye," "The
Egotist," "My Eye!" "Aye! aye!" "Ocular Demonstration," "A Man of One
Eye-dear!" "Eyes Righted," "One Left," "The Other Eye," "Two Pupils
and One Eye," "You and Eye," "The Eyes Have It." The Baron "winks the
other eye," and will be very glad should any hint of his have assisted
a deserving person to gain the reward offered by Mr. TUER. _En
attendant_ the Baron has hit upon a still more novel idea. He will
write some contributions towards short stories, and his readers shall
finish them. The terms will be these:--The Baron commences a chapter,
or a few lines of it, and leaves it unfinished, then his readers shall
finish the sentence, and sometimes the chapter, for themselves. If the
sentence, or the chapter, as the case may be, _shall turn out to be
exactly what the Baron would have written had he continued it, then
he, the Baron, will award_ £100 _to the successful candidate, or will
award a division of that sum among the successful candidates. Every
competitor shall pay the Baron_ £50. _And to insure such payment,
each competitor's cheque for this amount must accompany his or her
contribution._

EXAMPLE.--_CHAPTER I.--The harvest-moon was slowly rising. The
heather, dried and burnt by the mid-day sun, appeared, to the eye
unaccustomed to this aspect of the country, to be merely a rugged
divergence from the main road. Descending carefully from his dog-cart,
a small man in a big coat, muffled up to the eyes, proceeded leisurely
to--_

Now, then, _what_ did he leisurely proceed to do? There's a fortune in
it!--somewhere!--says

THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: STUDIES IN ANIMAL LIFE.

THE GOORMONG. (_EPICURI DE GREGE PORCUS. BRITISH ISLES._)

_Mr. Huggins._ "_WHAT_ A 'EAVENLY DINNER IT WAS!"

_Mr. Buggins._ "B'LIEVE YER! MYKES YER WISH YER WAS BORN 'OLLER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

SPRING TIME IN LEAP YEAR;

OR, THE JOLLY BATHERS.

_First Jolly Bather_ (_singing, quaveringly_):--
        Spring's delights are now revi-i-i-vi-i-i-ng,
          Verdant leaflets deck each spr-a-ay!

_Second Jolly Bather_ (_impatiently_). _Don't_, ARTHUR, make that
row! B-r-r-r! (_Shivers._) Spring's _delights_, indeed! And as to
the "verdant leaflets" (unless you mean election squibs), where _are_
they?

_First Ditto._ Ah, "verdant leaflets" not a bad name for Financial
Reform tracts, _et id genus omne_. Touch of your old satirical
Saturday-Reviewish style there, Nunky!

_Second Ditto_ (_hastily_). Oh, bother! What are we here for?

_First Ditto_ (_coolly_). Why, to _bathe_, I presume.

_Second Ditto._ Bah! One would think, ARTHUR, we belonged to that
society of lunatics who make a point of taking a matutinal plunge in
the Serpentine every morning, all the year round, _even if they have
to break the ice to do it_! Ineffable idiots! [_Curls up._

_First Ditto._ Well, we may as well put a good face on it, Uncle.

    [_Grimaces._

_Second Ditto_. Ah, yes, you can say so--at _your_ age, ARTHUR. I like
my morning tub in my bath-room--with the chill off.

    [_Wraps his towel round his neck._

_First Ditto_. (_Sings again, tremolo_):--
        Why linger shivering on the brink,
          And fear to launch away?

_Second Ditto_ (_sharply_). Why, you're at it again, ARTHUR! And a
Conventicler's hymn, too, this time. I'm a-a-shamed of you.

_First Ditto_. Ah! that's what LABOUCHERE, O'KELLY, CONYBEARE, and
Company say! _I_ don't mind; in fact, as I told 'em, I rather like it.
Does me a world of good.

_Second Ditto_ (_admiringly_). Ah! you _have_ got a nerve, ARTHUR. I
_will_ say that for you. Still, you've been giving them something to
"guy" you about lately, you know.

_First Ditto_ (_sharply_). Ah! have I? Well, "I can assure you that
I am the last person in the world to object to a process from which I
have profited so much."

_Second Ditto_. Oh, yes, that was all very well for them, over yonder.
In fact, I own it was rather neatly put.

_First Ditto_ (_slily_). Didn't "lack finish," was sufficiently "_ad
unguem_," eh, Nunky?

_Second Ditto_ (_moodily_). Ah! what do you youngsters know about
those fine old fighting days? I didn't love DIZZY, but he was a neat
hand with the foils, boy.

_First Ditto_. Especially in a bout with a friend,--with the buttons
off. But I say, this isn't bathing, you know!

_Second Ditto_. No. (_Eyeing the stream distastefully._) Hadn't
we better postpone the pleasure till a little later in the season,
ARTHUR. When those "Spring's delights" of which you melodiously
twangle are a leetle more _en évidence_.

_First Ditto_ (_pipes_). Hawthorn buds give joyful tidings.
        Welcome, youths, 'tis bright bath-day!

_Second Ditto_. Ah! if we're here to do the Eclogue business, STREPHON
can take his turn, as well as CORYDON. [_Sings._
        Let us plunge into the ri-i-i-v-e-e-r!
          Leave our vesture on the bank!

_First Ditto_. Bless me, STREPHON, how you shi-i-v-e-e-r!

_Second Ditto_. 'Tis like a fishmonger's tank!

_First Ditto_. Pooh! 'tis lovely--when you're in it;
          One bold header, and 'tis done!

_Second Ditto_. Ah, quite so, but--wait a minute,
          Till I've warmed me with a run.
        That will stir my circulation;
          For the moment I am "friz."

_First Ditto_. _Magnifique!_ my dear relation;
          But, you'll own, it is not "biz."

_Both_. We must o-o-o-ow-n it is not "biz!"

_Second Ditto_. Well, no, I suppose it isn't, ARTHUR. By the way,
what's that row behind there?

_First Ditto_. (_looking_). By Jove! it's that Gladstone gang! They've
tracked us! (_Sings_)--
        They're after us! They're after us!
          _We_'re the individuals they require.

_Second Ditto_. (_sardonically_). What a lyric _répertoire_ you have,
ARTHUR! Old English glee, Puritan psalmody. Music-hall song, all come
equally well to you, it seems. But those roughs mean mischief, Nephew
mine!

[Illustration: SPRING TIME IN LEAP YEAR.

SALISBURY. "DON'T YOU THINK, NEPHEW ARTHUR, WE'D BETTER
_PLUNGE_--BEFORE WE'RE _PUSHED_?"]

_First Ditto_. Doubtless! They always do. And they've done some
lately, drat them! I say, wouldn't they like _to shove us in_, as they
did the old witches, _to see if we can swim_?

_Second Ditto_. By Jove! I shouldn't wonder if they tried. Don't you
think, ARTHUR, (_valiantly_) it would be better, more manly, and more
politic, perchance, _to plunge in than to be pushed_?

_First Ditto_ (_drily_). Ah! just as the brave sheep--
        "Committed suicide to save themselves from slaughter."

_Second Ditto_. Oh, hang your quotations! Happy omen! 'Tis Leap Year,
is it not? Just a leap; though, like DERBY's, it be "in the dark,"
and--well, _we shall know where we are, anyhow!_

_First Ditto_. Ah, just so; and that's something!

    [_Left considering._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TEMPTATION.

_Hairdresser_. "ANY _BAY-RUM_, SIR?"

_Middy_. "THANK YOU--A--NO! NOT QUITE so EARLY IN THE MORNING--YOU
KNOW!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"CLERK ME NO CLERKS."

      It seems Sir E.C., Q.C., likes
        The blatant, brazen, Boothian band,
      Admires "abstaining" zeal that strikes
        The biggest drum with boldest hand.
  He says, "You must not judge some others' case
  By tastes much more refined," less commonplace.

      Yet, as Sir EDWARD disagrees
        With those whose tastes he thus divined,
      It's manifestly clear he sees
        _His_ taste in music's not "refined."
  'Twas written long ago by CHAUCER's pen,
  "The gretest clerkes ben not the wisest men."

       *       *       *       *       *

"MY DEAR EYES! WHAT! SEE-USAN!"

At the Prince of Wales's, Mr. ARTHUR ROBERTS, as _Captain Crosstree_,
is more ARTHUR ROBERTS than ever, and, consequently, immensely droll.
While he is on the stage, the audience is convulsed with spasmodic
laughter, excepting when he tries to forget himself and his drollery
in a loyal attempt at doing justice to Messrs. SIMS' AND PETTITT's
words, and to the serious business of some situation intended to be
dramatic. At such moments the laughter of the House is checked, a
sudden gloom comes over the faces that were but now on the broad grin,
even the lineaments of Mr. ROBERTS become agonised, and the audience,
like _Christopher Sly_ when bored by the Duke's players, mutter to
themselves, "would t'were done." But these painful seconds, which, at
the time, seem hours, are, we are glad to say, but brief and passing
shadows over Mr. ROBERTS' own quaint humour which speedily reasserts
itself, and, the Pettitt-and-Sims fetters being cast aside, the
People's ARTHUR is himself again, and more so than ever. And, when he
_is_ himself, he is simply the most absurd person that ever faced the
footlights.

[Illustration: _Arthur Roberts_ (_to Arthur Williams_). "The boat's
getting along nicely, now we've got rid of some of the heavy cargo."]

Miss NELLIE STEWART is a pretty singing, dancing, twisting, twirling
_Susan_. But what induced handsome Miss MARION BURTON, once so gay
and sprightly as _Cherubino_ in _Le Nozze di Figaro_, to essay this
musically dreary part of _William_, and, further, to wear a costume
about as unlike that of the nautical and traditional _William_ as can
well be imagined, is a puzzle to anyone who knows what she _has_ done
and _can_ do. Not a bit of dash in the character; all the good old
conventional British Tar taken right out of it. She can indeed say
with the fool in _The Yeomen of the Guard_, "I've got a song to sing,
oh!" for she has two or three, but her "voice is wasted on the desert
air," as they go for nothing, and therefore probably nobody else could
make them go for anything.

Mr. ARTHUR WILLIAMS is funny, but his Variety Show scene, with
soliloquy and song, is too long; or rather, it would not be too long,
if the piece were only cut down to a two hours' entertainment.

[Illustration: A Mug of Burton.]

Let this "Comic Opera," for so is it described in the bills, be
cut down as ruthlessly, but not as blindly, as _William_ cut down
_Crosstree_; let something catching be substituted for most of the
music of the First Act,--specially omitting the "Why, certainly!"
interpolation, which is a feeble but evident imitation of Mr. W.S.
GILBERT's classic "What, never?" "Well, hardly ever;" let the music
of the Second Act be taken out by handfuls, and, if possible, let what
remains be replaced by something sparkling; then, with less of sweet
but sad _William_--for the present version of the part is quite
"BURTON's _Anatomy of Melancholy_,"--with less of fascinating but
squirming _Susan_, far less of minor characters generally, and more,
by comparison, of the two MACS--meaning the two ARTHURS with the
plural names ROBERTS and WILLIAMS,--also a telling song for Mr.
CHAUNCEY OLCOTT (whose singing now wins an _encore_ for an indifferent
ballad),--with the Captain's-giggy hornpipe of Mr. WILLIE WARD
retained, as also the graceful dancing of Miss KATIE SEYMOUR, and
then, omitting as much of the plot and authors' written dialogue as
can be conveniently spared,--very little of it would be missed,--there
is no rhyme or reason why _Blue-Eyed Susan_ should not run on as a
Variety Entertainment for any number of nights and days, during which
fresh material can be constantly substituted by Messrs. ROBERTS & Co.
of the Drollery Company, Unlimited, without racking the fertile brains
of Messrs. PETTITT AND SIMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SALVATION HOUSE OF COMMONS. OUR PARLIAMENTARY
ARTIST'S DREAM, MARCH 10.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ONE FOR HIM.

_Major Spooneleigh_. "AND YOU RIDE SO WELL, AND--ER--YOU DRIVE
SO WONDERFULLY WELL, AND--ER--YOU DANCE SO--ER--BEAUTIFULLY, AND
YOU--ER--PLAY LAWN-TENNIS SO--ER--EXQUISITELY, AND--ER--OF COURSE YOU
FISH ALSO?"

_Mrs. Dasher_. "NEVER FOR COMPLIMENTS, I ASSURE YOU; AND CERTAINLY NOT
IN SHALLOW WATERS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

[Illustration: Chief Secretary.]

_House of Commons, Monday, March_ 14.--JACKSON turned up to-night
answering questions from Irish Members. This reminds us he's Irish
Secretary. Been so of course since Parliament met; but quite forgotten
it. Mention this to the SPEAKER who looked a little dull while Captain
PRICE was discoursing on Navy Affairs in Committee of Supply. So went
up to have a little chat with him in the Chair.

"My dear TOBY," he said, "I don't know whether you meant it, but
you've paid JACKSON the highest compliment it is possible to convey.
When in these times the CHIEF SECRETARY so manages to conduct business
of his department that he himself is temporarily forgotten, he's doing
it surpassingly well. My big brother ROBERT was once Chief Secretary,
though perhaps you forget that also. He resigned because, as he said,
there was not enough work to keep an active man going. That was long
time ago. I daresay you had no chance of forgetting during the last
five years that Prince ARTHUR was Chief Secretary?"

[Illustration: T.P. Gill.]

Cannot claim to have invented the compliment the SPEAKER discerned;
merely mentioning matter of fact; but, as he says, when in these days
a Chief Secretary manages to get himself forgotten, the wheels at the
Irish Office must be going pretty smoothly. JACKSON has not brought
about this miraculous change by laying himself out to flatter or court
Irish Members. He is exactly the same as he was when he filled office
of Financial Secretary; doubtless the same as when he looked after his
tanyard in Yorkshire. Goes straight to the point in simple unaffected
business manner that ruffles no sensibilities. Fancy he could tan a
hide in such a way that it would not feel any resentment.

A predecessor at the Irish Office who succeeded, in more troublesome
times, in living on peaceable terms with Irish Members, was
CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN. Irish Members, swift judges of character, taking
measure of both, came to conclusion nothing to be gained by rowing
round them. What killed FORSTER, and turned GEORGE TREVELYAN's hair
grey, made CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN smile--not an offensive smile, but one
of interested amusement. JACKSON's sense of humour not so keen, but
his imperturbability even more impregnable. If Irish Member trailed
his coat before him, JACKSON would say, "My dear fellow, won't you get
cold? Let me help you on with your coat."

SQUIRE OF MALWOOD, a judge on this particular point, says the MARKISS
missed the greatest chance he has had for six months in not putting
JACKSON in place of OLD MORALITY.

"Precious good thing for us, TOBY," says the SQUIRE, "that he didn't.
JACKSON the very model of a Leader of House, and Prince ARTHUR--well
he's Prince ARTHUR."

"But I suppose you don't mean," I venture to ask, "that JACKSON is the
exclusive type of a successful Leader?"

"No," says the SQUIRE, with a far-away look.

_Business done._--Two Votes in Supply.

_Tuesday._--Spent doleful afternoon in Committee of Supply.
Circumstances call upon Members below Gangway, Radicals or Irishmen,
to come to front, and make at least show of doing something. SAGE OF
QUEEN ANNE'S GATE pricks up his ears when Chairman puts question to
allow £6 7s. 11d. on account of Sheerness Police Court. Why should
Northampton contribute its quota, however small, to expenses of
Sheerness Police Court? Debate and Division; after which, the SAGE
retired to smoke cigarette through rest of afternoon, and discuss
probable date of Dissolution.

[Illustration: The Storm in the Reform Club Tea-Cup.]

Then Irish Members come on. Cream seems spooned off the mass in
preparation for festivities on St. Patrick's Day, and only the
skimmest of skim milk left. WEBB wobbles to the front; talks out vote
for Chicago Royal Committee, although ATTORNEY-GENERAL tells him it
will be all right as to Irish interests; being now close upon ten
minutes to seven, when Committee must adjourn, WEBSTER hasn't time
to make detailed explanations, but promises to do so on Report. WEBB
maunders on all the same, and Vote postponed.

Great day for FLYNN. TIM HEALY thinks he's pretty smart as a debater;
SEXTON believes he knows a thing or two; O'BRIEN is understood to be
something of an orator. FLYNN will show House how all these qualities
may be combined in one man. Does it by the tiresome twenty minutes,
the lamentable half-hour; popping up on every question with comically
judicial air; talking on with fatal feeble flatulent fluency, whilst
GILL sits nursing his hat awaiting his turn.

Alack for Irish humour, eloquence and deviltry, that it should come to
this!

Whilst FLYNN once again turns on the tap of his tepid dish-water, news
comes that Lord HAMPDEN died this morning in far-off Pau. HAMPDEN was
the BRAND who sat in Chair during Parliament of 1874, and wrestled
nightly with the "bhoys" when they were in their prime--MAJOR
O'GORMAN rollicking through the night; JOSEPH GILLIS with lean hand
outstretched and his "It seems to me, MR. SPEAKER"; PARNELL in the
white heat of passion; DELAHUNTY with his One Pound Notes, and poor
MCCARTHY DOWNING with his scared look and his indescribable but
unmistakable air of one accustomed to frequent the best society in
Skibbereen.

After a fourth speech from FLYNN, with another to follow from WEBB,
one almost envies the EX-SPEAKER lying at rest at the foot of the
Pyrenees.

_Business done._--A few Votes in Supply.

_Thursday._--St. Patrick's Day in the evening. Irish Members rose to
occasion; indeed, at one time O'KELLY and JOHN O'CONNOR rose together;
remained on their legs in defiance of Standing Orders and angry
protest of Chairman. Seemed as if someone must be suspended _pour
encourager les autres_. Storm suddenly stilled; rising passion subdued
by appearance of ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS on the scene, wanting to know about
the Refreshment-bar in the Lobby. which, he said, was lowering to the
dignity and respectability of House.

_Friday_ 12·15 A.M.--All this in Committee of Supply, which came to
end at midnight. Then Report of Supply brought on; uproar renewed;
Vote for Irish Teachers' Pension Fund under discussion. Irish Members
mysteriously disappeared; SEXTON, understood to have ready prodigious
speech on the subject, nowhere to be found. "JOHN O'CONNOR," NOLAN
hoarsely whispered, "you have the longest legs in the Party; go and
look up the bhoys, and I'll talk."

Silently but swiftly LONG JOHN stole forth on his mission; NOLAN
nobly performed his part. At end of forty minutes' breathless talk,
the Colonel, feeling his mouth growing parched, moved adjournment of
House. SPEAKER didn't recognise relevancy of argument; declined to put
the question.

"The Hon. Member," he said, "has spoken for forty minutes, and not
given a single reason in favour of his proposal."

"I was coming to that point," said NOLAN, "and, if it is quite in
order, I will now approach it."

Ruled out of order. LONG JOHN, back from his foray, in course of which
had hunted up SEXTON, threw himself into breach; moved the adjournment
for irresistible reason.

"I object," he said, "to this important subject being dealt with at
nearly one o'clock in the morning on St. Patrick's night."

T.W. RUSSELL, condoled with his compatriots below Gangway on
difficulties of situation. "Certainly hard," he said, "that on St.
Patrick's night they should be called upon to discuss questions
involving facts and figures." BALFOUR opposed adjournment; CONYBEARE
strode in; commenced what promised to be long speech; Prince ARTHUR
moved Closure; carried by nearly a hundred majority.

1·35 A.M.--House just back after division on question of adjournment;
Ministerialists in full muster and full of fight; 41 for adjournment,
121 against. As if nothing been said during previous hour-and-half,
ILLINGWORTH urges Prince ARTHUR to concede adjournment; PRINCE ARTHUR
rises to reply. Irish Members, pulling themselves together, walk
steadily out, amid ribald laughter from Ministerialists. Once more the
CURSE OF CAMBOURNE turns up. This seems, quite naturally, to suggest
the Closure; sort of automatic procedure; CONYBEARE--Closure. One more
division just to wind up, and at ten minutes past two Vote carried and
House up.

_Business done._--Revival of old times.

_Saturday_, 1·20 A.M.--House just up, after prolonged wrangle,
lasting, with interval for dinner, straight through from two o'clock
yesterday afternoon. Met then for Morning Sitting designed to make
progress with financial business. For four hours disputed how business
was to be arranged. This left one hour for doing it. Sitting suspended
at seven, resumed at nine.

At it again talking about Royalties on Gold in Wales. Domestic
Policy in Zululand, the Irish Question in the Falkland Islands, and
Parliamentary Reporting. All this led gently up to passing Vote on
Account; a conclusion finally arrived at with the assistance of the
Closure.

_Business done._--Vote on Account taken.

       *       *       *       *       *

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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