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Title: Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, March 5, 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 5, 1892" ***

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VOL. 102.

March 5th, 1892.


    Great is the might of the Meaningless! Especially in a rattling refrain
    or a rousing chorus. Big drum effects are always popular. What wonder
    clever Miss LOTTIE COLLINS'S "_Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay_!" is all the rage?
    "Her greatest creation" (_vide_ advertisements), "sung and danced with
    the utmost _verve_," has taken the town. Will it "mar its use" to
    attach a meaning to it? Let us try:--




  A SMART "mug-lumberer" one must be
  To-day, to "fetch" Sassiety;
  Not too strict, of swagger free,
  And as "fly" as "fly" can be.
  Ever pushing, ever bold,
  (Else one's left "out in the cold")
  Thus Success you grasp, and hold.
  And may sing, though Pecksniffs scold,--


      Tra-la! We "boom" to-day!
      That's how we "boom" to-day!
      Bra-va! We "boom" to-day!
      Hoo-rah! We "boom" to-day!
              [_And so on, six times or more._


  All want to "Boom." But don't be shy,
  For modesty is all my eye.
  Shun all reserve, if you would try
  For "paying" notoriety.
  If you would "make your pile" in haste,
  You must not bother about "taste."
  _Every_ chance must be embraced,
  If you would sing when fairly "placed,"
      _Chorus_--Tra-la! We "boom" to-day!
              [_Over and over again._


  Art's a good game. 'Tis easier far
  Than 'twas of old to be a Star.
  Hit on some trick crepuscular,
  Like smudge or smoke, and there you are!
  They'll mouth, and call you "Master." So
  You're sure--in time--to be a go.
  You will catch on, and sell, although
  Your meaning not a soul may know,--
      _Chorus_--Tra-la-la! "Boom" to-day!
              [_Ad libitum._


  If Humour is your little line,
  Coherent sense you must resign,
  Cry, "Paradox alone's divine!
  LAMB had _his_ manner, _this_ is Mine!"
  Try strain and twist; gnaw the dry bone
  Of mirth till all the marrow's gone;
  And crowds, who first stared like a stone,
  Your "subtle genius" soon will own.
      _Chorus_--Tra-la! We "boom" to-day!
              [_Ad nauseam._


  Is the Dramatic "biz" preferred?
  There you may "boom" it like a bird.
  Turn on the Absolute-Absurd;
  By that strange tap the mob is stirred.
  Be dismal, deathly, dirty, dim;
  Grovelling, ghastly, gruesome, grim,
  Anything meaning morbid whim;
  Quidnuncs will cry, "What treuth! what _vim_!"
      _Chorus_--Tra-la-la! "Boom" to-day!
              [_As long as you like_!


  Or would you even higher fly,
  And found a "Cult"? You've but to try.
  That blend fools follow in full cry,
  Meaninglessness _plus_ Mystery!
  A witch astride upon a broom,
  A bogie in a darkened room,
  Nonsense and nubibustic gloom,--
  Mix them like witch-broth; they will "boom"!
      _Chorus_--Tra-la! We "boom" to-day!
              [_Till you are tired of it._


  Boom! Boom! 'Twill bring in cent. per cent.,
  With that Big Drum, Advertisement.
  Nonsense, with _nous_ discreetly blent,
  Finds the world cheated--and content.
  But "make your game" while yet there's room,
  For novel shapes of quackery. Doom
  Awaits us in the outer gloom:
  A day _may_ come when Bosh _won't_ "Boom"!

      That's how we "boom" to-day!
      Tra-la! We "boom" to-day!
      Ha-ha! We "boom" to-day!
      Tra-la! We "boom" to-day!
              [_And so on till further orders._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ASSISTED EDUCATION."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.--Quoth one of the Baron's Assistants to his Chief,
"Sir, those who love the personality, and venerate the memory of CHARLES
DICKENS, will thank Miss HOGARTH who has selected, Mr. LAWRENCE HUTTON who
has edited, and OSGOOD, MCILVAINE & CO. who publish, a series of letters
addressed by BOZ to WILKIE COLLINS. They bear date between the years 1851
and 1870, were found among COLLINS'S papers after his death, and prove not
the least precious of his possessions. _Foster's Life of Dickens_ will
undoubtedly remain the medium through which the outer world shall know the
great novelist." "True," interposes the Baron, "that certainly is one way
in which admiration for the works of the great novelist will be foster'd
among us. You agree? Of course you do. Proceed, sweet warbler, your
observations interest me much." Whereupon the warbler thus addressed
continued. "But, Sir, we are all conscious of a certain unpleasant taste
those volumes leave in the mouth. Some of the incidents recorded, and many
of the letters, present DICKENS with undue prominence in a possible phase
of his character, as a ruthless tradesman in literature and lecturing, with
some tendency to be overbearing in his social relations. In this little
volume of letters to his old familiar friend we find him at his best,
whether as a worker in literature or as a critic of other people's work."


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "JOINT OCCUPATION."

(_Suggested by Cook's Tourist in Egypt._)]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: QUITE UP TO DATE.

US!"          _Charlie._ "_NOT AT ALL_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *



(_An Ode for the Brandenburg Diet Day; a long way after Dryden._)

    ["At the banquet of the Diet of Brandenburg, the GERMAN EMPEROR said:--
    'The assured knowledge that your sympathy loyally attends me in my
    work, inspires me with fresh strength to persevere in my task, and to
    advance along the path marked out for me by Heaven. To this are added
    the sense of responsibility to our Supreme Lord above, and my
    unshakable conviction that He, our former ally at Rossbach and
    Dennewitz, will not leave me in the lurch. He has taken such infinite
    pains with our ancient Brandenburg and our House, that we cannot
    suppose he has done this for no purpose.... My course is the right one,
    and it will be persevered in."--_Daily Paper._]

  'Twas in the royal feast Brandenburg set
      For Providence's pet:
      Aloft in Teuton state
      The god-like hero sate
          On his Imperial throne:
    His Brandenburgers listened round,
    Appreciative of the Power of Sound;
    All admire shouting--when the Shouter's crowned!
      The Jovian Eagle at his side
      Perched, and like Rheims's Jackdaw, eyed
      The Olympian hero in his pride.

  Happy, happy, happy Chief!
      None but the loud,
      None but the loud,
  From the crass crowd may win belief!
  His looks he shook, his long moustache he twirled,
  And saw a vision of himself as Sovereign of the World!
    The listening crowd admire the lofty sound.
    "A present deity!" they shout around.
    "A present deity!" the vaulted roofs rebound.
      With ravished ears,
      The monarch hears,
        Assumes the god,
        Affects to nod,
      And seems to shake the spheres!

  In praise of Brandenburg the Shouting Emperor spoke,
    In language like a huge thrasonic joke.
    The newest god in triumph comes;
    Blare the trumpets, thump the drums:
    Flushed with a purple grace,
    He lifts his Jovian face!
  Now give the blowers breath. He comes, he comes!
  New ALEXANDER fair and young,
  Drinking, in Teuton nectar, once again
      To Brandenburg, that treasure
      Of earth, and heaven's chief pleasure,
      Rich the treasure,
      Sweet the pleasure,
    Which to the gods has given such pain!

  Soothed with the sound, the Emperor grows vain,
  Fights all his battles o'er again;
  'Twas Heaven that routed all _his_ foes, Olympus slew _his_ slain.
    _He_ has the greatest of allies!
    Doubters are dastards in _his_ eyes,
    And grumblers at their deified
    Young Emperor in his proper pride.
      Should shake from their false shoes
      Germania's dust. The Muse
    Must sing Jove-WILHELM great and good,
      By a benignant fate
      Lifted, gifted, gifted, lifted,
      Lifted to a god's estate,
          Olympian in his mood:

    *     *     *     *     *

  The mighty Master smiled to see,
  Infant-in-Arms, young Germany,
  Jove's nursling, quit his cot and pap,
  And, quite a promising young chap,
  Grown out of baby-shoes and bottle,
  And "draughts" which teased his infant throttle,
    Get rid of ailments, tum-tum troubles,
    Tooth-cutting pangs, and "windy" bubbles,
    A tremendous time beginning;
      Fighting still, all foes destroying:--
      "A world-empire's worth the winning!
      Its fair foretaste I'm enjoying.
        The new god now sits beside ye,
        Take the gifts he will provide ye!
        He's your young Orbilian schooler,
        Your Hereditary Ruler!"
  (The Brandenburgers bellow loud applause.)
  "_My_ course is right, and glorious is _my_ Cause!!!"
    The Prince, the god unable to restrain,
        Rose from his chair,
        With Jovian air,
    And, hanging up his thunderbolts with care,
    What time his eagle gave a gruesome glare,
    The nectar gulped again and yet again:
  Then stooping his horned helmet firm to jam on,
  Voted himself the New God--Jupiter-(G)Ammon!

    *     *     *     *     *

        "Let ALEXANDER yield the prize
          To WILHELM of the Iron Crown;
        _He_ raised himself unto the skies,
          _I_ bring Olympus _down_!!!"

       *       *       *       *       *




I SHOULD be the most ungrateful dog if I failed to acknowledge the pleasure
I have received during my life from the society of your friends and
_protégés_. I don't speak of mere material, meat-and-money advantages.
Probably, if a strict account could be stated, it might be found that in
these paltry matters a balance, large or small, was still due to me. Who
knows? Strict accounts are hateful; and even if I did lose here and there I
did it, I fancy, with my eyes open, and was not sorry to indulge these
gentlemen with the idea that their fascinations had conquered me. No. What
I speak of is rather the genuine pleasure I have derived from some of the
finest acting (in ordinary life, not on the boards) that the world ever
saw, acting in which I protest that the tears, the sighs, the misery, the
gallantry, the courage, the loyal sentiments and the honourable promises
all rang with so sincere a sound that the very actor himself was subdued
like the dyer's hand to the colours he worked in, until he believed himself
to be the most unjustly persecuted of mankind, the most upright of
gentlemen, or whatever the special emotion he simulated required that he
should seem to be for the moment. That he might possibly be what, as a
matter of fact, he often was, a rogue and a knave, mattered little to me at
the time. He was evidently himself ignorant of his potentialities, and in
any case they could not spoil my æsthetic enjoyment of a notable
performance. And after all who is to undertake to draw the line between the
good man and the bad? I have known men with regard to whom I was convinced
that they were admirably equipped by nature for a career of roguery;
somewhere in the backs of their heads I know they carried a complete set of
intellectual implements for the task, but no temptation, as it happened,
ever came to open the door of that secret chamber, and the unconscious
owners of it passed through life honoured by their fellow-citizens, and
their actions still smell sweet and blossom in their dust. Others, of
course, were not so fortunate. Their crisis pursued and captured them,
revealed them to themselves and others, and in many cases only left them,
alas, after cropping both their hair and their reputations. But I leave
these divagations, which can have but little interest for you. What I
rather wish to do is to recall to your memory the curious personality and
the chequered adventures of our common friend, WILFRID COBBYN.


I met him some six years ago when I was on a visit to my father's old
friend, General TEMPEST, at Dansington. Most people, I take it, have heard
of Dansington, that home of educational establishments, amusement, and
retired Indian Generals. Old General TEMPEST--LEONIDAS MARLBOROUGH TEMPEST
he had been christened by a warlike father, whose military aspirations had
been crushed by the necessity for a commercial career, and who had taken it
out of fate by devoting his son to heroism at the baptismal font, and by
subsequently buying him a commission in a crack regiment--General TEMPEST
was, in the days of which I speak, a hospitable veteran whose amiability
and good-nature had survived many severe campaigns in which he had taken
and given hard knocks wherever hard knocks were to be found. His
benevolence and hospitality were proverbial far beyond the limits of
Dansington, and his daughter CLARA was one of the prettiest girls in the
United Kingdom.

On the occasion of this visit I found a fellow guest, the identical WILFRID
COBBYN whom I have already mentioned. He had been there for a fortnight, I
learnt from ALEXANDER, the eldest hope of the TEMPESTS, and had made
himself a favourite with every member of the family. How they got to know
him I never quite discovered--indeed, I doubt if any of them could have
told me--and as to his previous history all they seemed to know was that
his father had property "somewhere in the West of England," that he himself
had travelled a great deal, and was now close upon thirty years old. I am
free to admit that after my first dinner in his company I had very little
inclination to worry myself about the details of his past, so cheerful and
fascinating did I find his gay companionship. I cannot quite explain the
charm of the man. He had a roving blue eye, a ruddy and glowing complexion,
and a laugh that seemed to kick all gloomy fancies into flinders, and to
carry those who heard it in a helter-skelter gallop of mirth. And then what
stories the fellow could tell! He had the General and me in perpetual
convulsions, and even ALEXANDER, a somewhat awkward and taciturn youth,
much weighed down by the responsibilities of his freshmanhood at Oxford,
was pleased to unbend and smile approvingly at the amazing sallies of the
wizard COBBYN.

One story I remember in particular, though I dare not attempt to repeat it
as COBBYN told it. It was about the wretched adventures of a certain
travelling companion of his on a shooting expedition in Albania. It was a
story that never seemed to cease,--a bad recommendation for most stories, I
admit; but in this case so artfully and with such surprising humour and
force was it told, so vividly did it depict a long series of ludicrous
sufferings culminating in the total loss of the sufferer's clothes and his
involuntary appearance in the full uniform of a Turkish Zaptieh, with other
surprising and endless episodes, that at the last we had in the midst of
our gasps of helpless laughter to implore the narrator to stop for the sake
of our sides and the resounding rafters of the General's house.

At other times the irresistible WILFRID would pose reminiscently as the
gallant protector of outraged virtue, or as the hero of some deathless
story of courage and coolness by which empires had been saved from
disaster. And he was so persuasive, so convincing, that our imaginations,
which would have refused to follow a smaller man on lower flights, soared
obediently after him through an empyrean of impossible romance. Nor did he
stop at this. General TEMPEST was the pattern of old-world punctilio, but
before a week was out he had introduced COBBYN, of whom he knew nothing
except what COBBYN told him, to all the best people in Dansington; nor
shall I ever forget the air with which this glorious rascal took the portly
old Countess of CARDAMUMS down to her second supper at the County Ball. He
rode ALEXANDER'S chestnut, and ALEXANDER never murmured. The General's
ancient retainer went on his many errands, and neither the General nor his
man saw anything out of the way in the proceeding. Even CLARA looked, I
thought, with some favour--but as CLARA always breaks into indignant
denials whenever this is hinted, I will proceed no further. As for the
members of the Dansington Club they were enthusiastic in COBBYN'S praises.
The young sparks imitated his fashions in ties and collars, the old bucks
repeated to one another his stories, and one and all vowed he was "an
uncommon good fellow, by Gad."

To me COBBYN was always profusely polite, with that flattering politeness
which induces the flattered to think himself just a shade cleverer and
sharper and better than his fellow-creatures, and on the day before my
departure he honoured me by borrowing a ten-pound note of me and writing my
London address with much ceremony on the back of an envelope, which I
afterwards found lying about in a passage of the General's house.

Three months afterwards there was a tempest in Dansington. COBBYN had gone
away for two days and had stayed away for good. His intimates and the
Dansington tradesmen became uneasy, rumours began to spread, and the result
was a crash which made some very knowing fellows look extremely foolish,
and filled the Club with honest British imprecations. Little TOM SPINDLE,
who commanded a troop of the Fallowshire Yeomanry (the Duke of
DASHBOROUGH'S Hussars) and had the reputation of spending a royal income
with beggarly meanness, had backed one of COBBYN'S bills for £1,000. Sir
PAUL PACKTHREAD, one of the greatest of the local magnates, had lent him
£500 without a scrap of security, and Colonel CHUTNEY had put £300 into the
Ephemeral Soapsuds Company, Limited, of which COBBYN was to have been the
managing director. I cannot go through the whole long list. He had fleeced
all that was fleeceable in Dansington, and had vanished into the clouds.
How he managed to do it, by what artful proposals he conquered the avarice
of SPINDLE, prevailed over the mercantile sagacity of PACKTHREAD, and
subdued the fiery temper of CHUTNEY, will never be known. Partly, no doubt,
he succeeded by being here and there perfectly truthful and candid. He
_was_ the son of a well-to-do country Squire, but the father had long since
ejected his offspring from the paternal mansion; he had really travelled
and had often displayed pluck. But his chief gifts were his good-humour,
his ardent imagination, and a persuasive tongue that gained for him the
trusting confidence of his victims almost before he himself knew that he
meant to victimise them.

They tell me he is now established somewhere in the West of America.
Wherever he goes he is sure to be popular--for a time.

Goodbye, dear old PLAU!
                I hope I haven't bored you.
                                Yours trustfully,
                                                DIOGENES ROBINSON.

       *       *       *       *       *


    SCENE--_A Theatre with Audience and Company complete. The former
    "smart" and languidly enthusiastic, the last wearily looking forward to
    the final "Curtain." The last Act is all but over._

_Servant_ (_to_ Countess). The Duchess of BATTERSEA is in the Hall. May she
come up?

_Countess._ Certainly. Why did you not show her up at once?

_Servant_ (_arranging his powdered hair in a glass_). Because in cases of
exposure her Grace is quite equal to showing up herself!

_Countess_ (_smiling_). You are cynical, JOHN. Do you not know that
cynicism is the birthright of fools, and, when discovered, is more than
half found out?

_Servant_ (_taking up coal scuttle_). Like the hair of your Lady-ship--out
of curl!           [_Exit._

_Countess._ A quaint conceit; but here is my husband. Let me avoid him. A
married man is quite out of date--save when he forms the subject of his own
obituary.           [_Exit._

_A pause. Enter the_ Duchess of BATTERSEA.

_Duchess._ Dear me! No one here! So I might have brought the Duke with me,
after all! And yet he is so fond of the petticoats. He loses his head when
he begins kissing his hand. And I lose my head when I fail to catch a
'buss. A kiss with him and a 'buss with me--where's the difference?


_Earl_ (_angrily_). You here!

_Duchess_ (_with an appealing gesture_). You are not pleased to see me! You
regard me as an adventuress! You are ashamed of my past! A past unblessed
by a clergyman--in fact, a past without a pastor!

_Earl._ Begone! Do not dare to darken my doors again. This is no home for
old jokes!

_Duchess._ You must hear me. Do you know why I have treated you so badly?
Do you know why I have taught your wife to regard me as a rival? Why I have
blackmailed you to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds? Do you know
why I have done all this and more? I will tell you. Because I am your

_Earl_ (_in a choking voice_). I suspected as much from the very first!

_Re-enter the_ Countess, _carrying a heap of family portraits._

[Illustration: FANCY PORTRAIT.


_Being Lady Windy-mère's Fan-cy Portrait of the new dramatic author,
Shakspeare Sheridan Oscar Puff, Esq._

["He addressed from the stage a public audience, mostly composed of ladies,
pressing between his daintily-gloved fingers a still burning and half-
smoked cigarette."--_Daily Telegraph._]]

_Countess._ Here, Duchess, although you are not to my liking, I have
brought you a few pictures of my husband and some of his predecessors. Take
'em, and bless you!

_Duchess_ (_overflowing with emotion_). My dear, this is too much.
(_Weeps._) You un_woman_--I should say un_lady_--me!


_Lord T.C._ Come and marry me.

_Duchess._ With pleasure! Lawks-a-mussy!           [_Exeunt._

_Earl._ And now, let us remember that while the sun shines, the moon clings
like a frightened thing to the face of CLEOPATRA.

_Quick Curtain._

_Applause follows, when enter the Author. He holds between his thumb and
forefinger a lighted cigarette._

_Author._ Ladies and Gentlemen, it is so much the fashion nowadays to do
what one pleases, that I venture to offer you some tobacco while I enjoy a
smoke myself. (_Throws cigars and cigarettes amongst the audience à la_
HARRY PAYNE.) Will you forgive me if I change my tail-coat for a smoking
jacket? Thank you! (_Makes the necessary alteration of costume in the
presence of the audience._) And now I will have a chair. (_Stamps, when up
comes through a trap a table supporting a lounge_), and a cup of tea.
(_Another table appears through another trap, bringing up with it a tray
and a five o'clock set._) And now I think we are comfortable. (_Helps
himself to tea, smokes, &c._) I must tell you I think my piece excellent.
And all the puppets that have performed in it have played extremely well. I
hope you like my piece as well as I do myself. I trust you are not bored
with this chatter, but I am not good at a speech. However, as I have to
catch a train in twenty minutes, I will tell you a story occupying a
quarter of an hour. I repeat, as I have to catch a train--I repeat, as I
have to catch a train--

_Entire Audience._ And so have we!           [_Exeunt._ (_Thus the Play
ends in smoke._)

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Rather more than a Fairy Story._)

JOHN SMITH, of London, sat in front of his fire pondering over the fact
that, at a great sacrifice to the interests of his native city, the coal
dues had been abolished, and yet his bill for fuel was no lighter. He
watched the embers as they died away, when all of a sudden a small creature
appeared before him. He could not account for her presence, and did not
notice from whence she came. But she was there, sure enough, and began to
address him.

"JOHN SMITH, of London," she began, in a small but admirably distinct
voice, "I am the Fairy Domestic Economy, and I have come to warn you that,
unless you wake up, you will come to grief."

"Wake up?" queried J.S. "Wake up about what?"

"Why, the election of the London County Council, to be sure!" returned the
Fairy, impatiently. "Here, the election is close upon you, and the chances
are twenty to one that you will let it pass without recording your vote."
"What election?"

"Bless the man!" exclaimed the Fairy. "He does not know that the Members of
the L.C.C., the Masters of London, are to be chosen on Saturday, the 5th of
March, and will from that date remain in power for four years!"

And then the Fairy showed him the possible future, explaining that it was
in his hands to alter it. The vision she conjured up before him seemed
intensely idiotic. Everything was to be done for nothing. There were to be
free railways, free tramways, free bakeries, free butchers' shops, free
ginger-beer manufactories, free clothiers, free hosiers, free boot-makers,
free gas companies, free waterworks--in fact, everything was to be gratis.

"But somebody must pay for it!" said JOHN SMITH, of London.

"Why, of course," returned the Fairy, "and you are to be the paymaster. You
will have to pay about five shillings in the pound as a commencement, with
additional crowns to follow!"

"But how am I to avoid this fate?" cried JOHN SMITH, in a tone of genuine

"By voting for the Moderates, and doing your best to keep out the
Progressives. And, mind, don't forget my warning."

And then the Fairy disappeared. A few moments later, and poor JOHN SMITH
found himself sprawling upon the floor.

"Why, I do believe I have been asleep!" he exclaimed.

And then he woke up in good earnest, and hurried off to the polling
stations, and voted for the Moderate candidates.

At least it is to be hoped he will!

       *       *       *       *       *


SCENE--_A Third-Class Carriage._       TIME--_Three Hours before the next
Station._       DRAMATIS PERSONÆ--_Jones and Robinson._




       *       *       *       *       *



_House of Commons, Monday, February 21._--"What a day he _is_ having to be
sure!" murmured the SQUIRE OF MALWOOD, looking across the table at the
other eminent country gentleman who is our First Minister of Agriculture.

Truly a great occasion for CHAPLIN, and he rose to its full height. Just
the same man he was six years ago when he from same place, drew lurid
picture of the Empire staggering to its doom overweighted with Small
Holdings. Now he is bringing in a Bill to establish Small Holdings, and
recommends the expedient to House as crowning edifice of Empire's
prosperity. At such a crisis some men would have blushed, however entirely
foreign to their habit the pretty weakness might be. CHAPLIN, on contrary,
made out in vague, but luminous, manner that he had been right in both
instances. Indeed, the anxious listener had conveyed to him the conviction,
still vague but not less irresistible, that this direct contradiction was
peculiarly creditable to the Right Hon. Gentleman addressing the House,
displaying a flexibility of genius not common to mankind.

CHAPLIN always looms large on whatever horizon he may appear. To-night,
standing at Table introducing Small Holdings Bill, he seemed to swell
wisibly before our eyes. Prince ARTHUR early in progress of the speech
observed precaution of moving lower down Bench. By similar strategic
movement, HENRY MATTHEWS drew nearer to Gangway. Thus CHAPLIN was, so to
speak, planted out in Small Holding exclusively his own.

House anxious to hear particulars of Government measure, CHAPLIN,
remembering old times when they used to jeer at his sonorous commonplaces
uttered below Gangway, took a pretty revenge. Out of oration of fifty-five
minutes duration, he appropriated twenty-five to general observations
prefacing exposition of clauses of Bill. Just the same kind of pompous
platitude conveyed in turgid phraseology, at which, in old times, Members
used to laugh and run away. But CHAPLIN had them now. Like the wedding
guest whom the Ancient Mariner button-holed--though as PLUNKET reminds me,
the A.M. was meagre in frame, and CHAPLIN is not--the House could not help
but hear. Once, when the orator dropped easily into autobiographical
episode, described himself strolling about the fields of Lincolnshire,
turning up a turnip here, drawing forth a casual carrot there, meditating
on the days when

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: YOUNGER THAN EVER!


       *       *       *       *       *

every English yeoman went to morning service with a stout yew bow on his
back, his quiver full of arrows; shot a buck on his way back (by permission
of the landlord), and sat down to his midday meal flanked by a tankard of
chill October--at this stage, it is true, there were signs of impatience
amongst town-bred Radicals, who wanted to know about the Bill.

[Illustration: Mr. G. dreams a Dream.]

But it was very beautiful, and those who, from natural taste, inborn
prejudice, or lamentable ignorance, did not care for it themselves, could
not fail to enjoy the supreme delight the occasion brought to the Minister
of Agriculture.

_Business done._--Small Holdings Bill introduced.

_Tuesday._--Two Right Rev. Bishops, Lord Bishop of ST. ASAPH and he of
SALISBURY, in Peers' Gallery for two or three hours tonight; attracted by
debate on Welsh Disestablishment. Bishop of SALISBURY couldn't restrain his
astonishment at scene.

"One of the profoundest and most important questions of the day," he
whispered in his right reverend brother's ear. "It is the attack upon the
outworks. Wales carried by the Liberation Society, we shall have them
leaping over the palings into our preserves. Should have thought, now, the
House of Commons would have been seething with excitement; benches crowded;
all the Princes of Debate to the fore; cheers and counter-cheers filling
the place. Whereas there are not, I should say, more than eighteen Members
present whilst the stout Gentleman down there is demonstrating how much
happier Wales is under the benediction of the Church than she would be
without. The whole thing reminds me, dear ST. ASAPH, of--er--well, of an
eight o'clock morning service in inclement weather."

"You're young, brother SARUM," said ST. ASAPH, "young, of course I mean, in
contradistinction to Old Sarum. When you've been a little longer in
Parliamentary life, you'll understand things better. These empty benches,
and the general appearance of being horribly bored presented by the small
congregation--which I may say finds eloquent expression on the face of our
friend JOHN G. TALBOT--simply mean that they have heard all these speeches
before, and have made up their minds on the subject. They are ready to
vote, but they will not remain to hear the speeches. As you say, in such
circumstances it would appear more businesslike to take the vote at once,
and get along with other work. But that is unparliamentary. This will be
kept going till there is just time left before the adjournment to divide.
_Then_ you'll see how dear is this question to the hearts of our friends,
and how virulent is the persistence of the adversary."

Turned out exactly as the Lord Bishop had said. After half-past ten,
Members trooped down in scores. When Prince ARTHUR rose to continue the
debate he was hailed with ringing cheer from embattled host. Pretty to see
how gentlemen to right of SPEAKER, mustered for defence of the Church, were
careful to contribute to fitness of things by wearing the clerical white

"Very nice indeed of them," said Young SARUM, rarely out so late at night,
but drawn back, after light repast, to watch the division taken. "I could
wish that, instead of the superabundance of shirt-front displayed, our
friends had selected more closely-buttoned vests, and that their coat-
collar fitted a little higher. But we cannot have perfection, and the white
tie at least indicates nice feeling."

_Business done._--Proposal to disestablish Church in Wales negatived by 267
Votes against 220.

_Wednesday._--PROVAND moved Second Reading Shop Hours' Bill, and, what's
more, carried it against Ministers. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN tells me that,
though Scotch Members voted for Bill, result has cast a gloom over them.
Expecting PROVAND would lose, they were all prepared to say, in casual way,
"Ah, well, so the case is non-PROVAND." Some had, indeed, gone so far as
commence to write letters home enshrining this joke. These are now, of
course, waste-paper. Pity opportunity lost. Scotch language not rich in
provision of similar openings for wit.

_Business done._--Second Reading Shop Hours' Bill carried. Rare opportunity
for Scotch joke hopelessly lost.

_Thursday._--MIDLETON brought London Fog on again in Lords to-night. Asked
the MARKISS if he would have any objection to appointment of Joint
Committee to inquire into the matter? The MARKISS a great artist in words;
suits his conversation to the topic. His reply decidedly misty; wouldn't
say yes or no; talked about Joint Committees being a mysterious part of the
Constitution; didn't know how they were to be appointed; hinted at rupture
with Commons if proposal were made; wound up by saying that if Motion for
Committee were submitted, he would do his best to induce their Lordships to
adopt it.

Strangers in Gallery puzzled by this speech. But the Lords know all about
it. STRATHEDEN winked at CAMPBELL, and both noble Lords wagged their head
in admiration of MARKISS'S diplomacy; recognise deep design in involved
speech and well affected hesitation.

MARKISS, I hear, vexed with me letting the cat--I mean the fog, out of the
bag last week. But it's everybody's secret. The Government have made up
their mind to go to the country on the London Fog. This Joint Committee
will be appointed with least possible delay; a measure based on its Report
will be carried through both Houses; everything will be ready for return of
unsuspecting Fog Fiend next November.

"Sorry you mentioned it prematurely, TOBY," the MARKISS said, not unkindly.
"But you only forestalled the announcement by a few days. It's been in my
mind for months. The cry of Separation is growing a little shrill; Free
Education hasn't done us any good; Small Holdings only so-so. The Fog's the
thing! Grappling with that, all London rallies to our standard, and with
London at our back we can face the country."

[Illustration: Nurse Rendel taking care of her charge at Valescure, St.
Raphael, the Riviera.]

Curious instance of association of ideas and sympathy. So completely is
mind of Her Majesty's Ministers occupied with this Fog problem, that
to-night it got into House of Commons. LORD ADVOCATE brought in Bill
allocating Scotch Local Taxation grant. Debate went on for six hours; at
end of that time discovered that whole proceedings irregular. As involving
money question, introduction of Bill should have been preceded by
Resolution submitted to Committee of whole House. Debate abruptly
adjourned; evening wasted; howls of derision from Radicals.

"Never mind," said Prince ARTHUR, cheerily. "Let those laugh who win. This
is only another argument (perhaps not so accidental and undesigned as
people think) in support of our new Fog policy."

_Business done._--Night wasted in Commons. In Lords, light looms behind the

_Friday._--News of Mr. G. speeding home over land and sea. All his friends
on Front Bench been begging him to stay longer in the Sunny South. No need
whatever for his return; things going on admirably; not missed in the
least; shocking weather here; better stay where he is.

"Ho, indeed!" said Mr. G., pricking up his ears and a dangerous light
flashing under his eyebrows. "I'm not wanted, ain't I? SQUIRE OF MALWOOD
getting along admirably in my shoes; doing well without me; not missed in
the slightest. Very well, then; _I'll go home._"

MACLURE, who has been in the confidence of great statesmen from DIZZY
downward, tells me Mr. G.'s homeward flight was hastened by curious dream.
Dreamt all his sheep were straying from fold; some going one way, others
another; each bent on his own particular business. In vain Mr. G. leaping
up and taking crook in hand, put hand to mouth and halloed them back to
Home-Rule fold. They went their way, some even making for Unionist
encampment, where Mr. G., moving heavily in his slumber, distinctly saw one
sheep regarding scene through an eyeglass.

"Only a dream of course," Mr. G. said, when he set off in the morning for a
twenty-mile walk. "But I think I may as well be getting back. Made up for
the Session; fit for anything. Nothing could have been kinder or more
watchful than Nurse RENDEL'S care of me; if I had been his son (which I
admit is chronologically difficult), couldn't have been better done to.
Only concerned just now for ARMITSTEAD. That young fellow, proud of his
chickenhood of sixty-seven years, brought me out to take care of me, and
freshen me up. Fancy I've worn _him_ out; instead of his taking care of me,
have to look after him! Shall be glad to get again within sound of Big Ben.
Spoiling for a fight. HARCOURT done very well; but he'll have to tuck in
his tuppenny and let me over into the Leader's place."

_Business done._--Miscellaneous.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "PASSING IT ON."

_Rupert_ (_just back from School, where he has been tremendously fagged_).

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["It is better to do a stupid thing that has been done before, than to
    do a wise thing that has never been tried."--_Mr. Balfour in the House
    of Commons._]

  HEAR the great pundit; deem him not absurd,
  He utters wisdom's latest, greatest word.
  All coats, we know, are best when frayed with wear;
  Trousers we love when most they need repair,
  Boots without heels, completely lacking soles,
  And hats all crushed and battered into holes.
  Nay, we'll go farther, and, to prove him true,
  Do all the vanished ages used to do.
  We'll crop the ears of those who preach dissent,
  And at the stake teach wretches to repent.
  Clad _cap-à-pie_ in mail we'll face our foes,
  And arm our British soldiery with bows.
  Dirt and disease shall rule us as of yore,
  The Plague's grim spectre stalk from shore to shore.
  Proceed, brave BALFOUR, whom no flouts appal,
  Collect stupidities and do them all.
  Uneducate our men, unplough our land,
  Bid heathen temples rise on every hand;
  Unmake our progress and revoke our laws,
  Or stuff them full of all their banished flaws.
  Let light die out and brooding darkness reign,
  And in a word call Chaos back again.
  Then, as we perish, we can shout with glee,
  "Hail, hail to BALFOUR and Stupidity!"

       *       *       *       *       *

SCREWED UP AT MAGDALEN.--Mr. G.B. SHAW had a lively time of it at Oxford.
Fancy a whole bevy of Socialists all cooped up together under lock and
screw. What a fancy-picture of beautiful harmony the mere thought conjures
up. Burning cayenne pepper on one side, dirty water on the other, and loyal
Undergraduates, screwed and screwing, all round them. Never mind, BERNARD.
It was a capital puff for the Socialistic wind-bag, and one G.B.S. took
care it should not be wasted.

       *       *       *       *       *


  "To set class against class is the crime of all crimes."
  That's the dictum of FUSBOS, a type of our times;
  Yet FUSBOS himself all his co-scribes surpasses
  In rancorous railings concerning "the masses."
  He thinks that all efforts injustice to right
  Are inspired by mere malice and fondness for fight.
  He might just as well urge that morality's rules
  Set slaves against tyrants, or rogues against fools;
  Or mourn that each new righteous law that man passes
  Must set honest folk 'gainst the criminal classes!

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE MEETING OF THE WATERS."--The Engineers of London and Birmingham have
been requested, says the _Daily Telegraph_, to "lay their heads together,"
so as to see if an amicable arrangement cannot be effected. This is an
instance where to have "water on the brain" is absolutely necessary. Odd to
think that in this "water difficulty" are contained all the elements of a
burning question; so much so indeed, that the Engineers who may be clever
enough to solve the problem without getting themselves into hot water, may
confidently be expected to follow up their achievement by proceeding to
"set the Thames on fire."

       *       *       *       *       *

EXCHEQUER intends to "call in" light sovereigns. The sovereigns I have all
seem to be tolerably heavy, so would there be any objection to my
lightening them by taking some of the gold off, and keeping it? This would
form a nice little "metallic reserve" for me, a thing which Mr. GOSCHEN
seems to approve of. Would not an appropriate motto, to be inscribed on the
new One Pound Notes, be--"_Quid, pro quo?_"--SLY-METALLIST.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LONDON IN VENICE.]

       *       *       *       *       *




  FORBEAR this painted show to strut
    Of girlish toilet, manner skittish:
  It may be _Fin-de-Siècle_, but
    It isn't British.

  To dance, to swell the betting rank,
    To rival 'ARRIET at Marlow;
  To try to break your husband's bank
    At Monte Carlo,

  Would ill beseem your daughter "smart;"
    The vulgar slang of bacchant mummers,
  If act you must is scarce the part
    For sixty summers.

  Let Age be decent: keep your hair
    Confined, if nothing else, to one dye:
  I'd rather see you, I declare,
    Like Mrs. GRUNDY!

       *       *       *       *       *


(_What it may come to._)

    ["If we are obliged to go into the open market for our soldiers, and
    compete with other employers of labour, we must bid as highly as they
    do, in pay, hours of work, and general conditions and comfort."--_Daily
    Paper on the Report of Lord Wantage's Committee._]

SCENE--_A Public Place._

Sergeant KITE _and a_ Possible Recruit _in conversation._

_Sergeant Kite_ (_continuing_). Then you must remember that we are
exceedingly generous in the matter of rations.

_Possible Recruit_ (_pained_). _Rations_! I suppose you mean _courses_! I
find that in all the large firms in London the assistants have a dinner of
six courses served, with cigars and coffee to follow. I couldn't think of
joining the Army unless I had the same.

_Sergeant K._ (_with suppressed emotion_). If it must be so, then it must.
Who's to pay the piper, _I_ don't know! The Public, I suppose.

_P. R._ I should think so! Then as to drills. Really the number of these
useless formalities should be largely decreased, and the hours at which
they are held should be fixed with greater regard to the convenience of
private soldiers. By the bye, of course I need hardly mention that I should
not dream of enlisting unless it was agreed that I should never be called
before 9.30 A.M. My early cup of tea and shaving-water might be brought to
me at nine.

_Sergeant K._ (_after an interval_). Called! Early cup of tea! Shaving-
water! Oh, this is _too_ much!

_P.R._ (_coolly_). Not at all, my dear Sir, not half enough. There are
other points I wish to mention. For example, do you allow feather-beds?

_Sergeant K._ Feather-beds!

_P.R._ Yes. A _sine quâ non_, I assure you. Then as to pay and pensions,
and length of service. I would only accept an engagement by the month, with
liberty to terminate it at any time with a week's notice.

_Sergeant K._ (_with sarcasm_). And you would wish to retire at a week's
notice if war were declared?

_P.R._ (_surprised_). Certainly! Why not? "Peace with Honour" would be my
motto. As to pay, of course you know what I could get if I went in for
civil employment?

_Sergeant K._ No, I don't, and I don't see what that has to do with it. You
surely would not compare the QUEEN'S service with the work of a beggarly

_P.R._ Yes, I would. And as I could earn five shillings a-day easily in a
shop, why, you will have to give me that, with a pension (as I might do
better) of ten shillings a-day after six years' service.

_Sergeant K._ Any other point you would like to mention?

_P.R._ Yes, there is one other. Why should a labourer be able to get
damages from his employer when injured, and a soldier be unable? The
principle of the Employers' Liability Act must be extended to the Army, so
that if any Commanding Officer made some stupid blunder in battle, as he
probably would do, and I were to be hurt in consequence, I might sue him
when we got back to England. You understand my point?

_Sergeant K._ Oh, quite! But what would there be to prevent every soldier
present at the battle from suing also?

_P.R._ Nothing at all. Of course they _would_ all sue. So no General must
be permitted to go into action without first of all depositing in the High
Court at home security for costs if defeated,--say half a million or so.

_Sergeant K._ (_with forced politeness_). Well, I'm glad to have heard your
views. I'll mention them to my Colonel. They are sure to please him.

_P.R._ Yes, but don't keep me waiting long for his reply. My offer only
remains open till to-morrow morning.

_Sergeant K._ Oh--!

[_The remainder of the gallant_ Sergeant's _observations are not necessary
for publication, neither would they be accepted as a guarantee of his good
faith. Exit to recruit._

       *       *       *       *       *



FROM very early days, the days, or nights, of _The Battle of Waterloo_ and
_Scenes in the Circle_, with the once-renowned WIDDICOMB as Master of the
Ring, _Mr. Punch_ has ever been particularly fond of the old-fashioned
equestrian entertainment. The Ring to which he has just made allusion is,
it need hardly be added, The Circus, and The Book is a novel by Miss AMYE
READE. _Mr. P._ is not sweet upon any gymnastic and acrobatic shows in
which the chances of danger appear, and probably are, as ten to one against
the performer; and especially does he object to children of very tender
years being utilised in order to earn money for their parents or guardians
by exhibiting their precocious agility. _Mr. P._ approves of the ancient
use of the birch as practised at Eton a quarter of a century ago, and he is
quite of the Wise Man's opinion as to the evil consequences of sparing the
rod; which proverbial teaching, had it been practically and judiciously
applied to Master SOLOMON himself (the ancient King, not the modern
Composer) in his earliest years, would probably have prevented his going so
utterly to the bad in the latter part of his life. So much, as far as
corporal punishment is concerned, for the education of youth, whether in or
out of the circus school. But girls, as well as boys, are trained for this
circus business, gaining their livelihood by acrobatic performances. Does
_Mr. Punch_, representing the public generally, quite approve of this
portion of circus and acrobatic training? To this he can return only a
qualified answer. His approval would depend, first, on the natural but
extraordinary capability of the female pupil, and, secondly, the method of
training her. As a rule, he would prefer to keep her out of it altogether:
and, as to the boys, he certainly would defer their public appearance until
they were at least sixteen; their previous training having been under the
supervision of a responsible inspector. Then as to the training of animals
for the circus business. If the training system means "all done by
kindness," that is, by unflinching firmness and a just application of a
considerately devised system of equally balanced rewards and punishments,
then _Mr. P._ approves; but where cruelty comes in, whether in the training
of child or beast, _Mr. Punch_ would have such trainer of youth punished as
_Nicholas Nickleby_ punished _Squeers_, in addition to imprisonment and
fine; and for cruelty to dumb animals _Mr. P._ would order the garotter's
punishment and plenty of it. Having professed this faith, _Mr. Punch_,
after thus "arguing in a Circle," returns to his starting-point, and would
like to know how much of truth there is in Miss AYME READE'S story
entitled, _Slaves of the Sawdust_? As literature it is poor stuff, but as
written with a purpose, and that purpose the exposing of alleged systematic
cruelty in training children and dumb animals for the circus-equestrian
acrobatic life, the book should not only attract general notice, but should
also lead to a Commission of inquiry, or to some united action of all
responsible circus-managers against the author of this work, which would
result in either the said managers or the authoress being "brought to
book." _Mr. Punch_ hath spoken. _Verb. sap._

       *       *       *       *       *

-->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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