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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, December 10, 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 103, December 10, 1892" ***

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VOL. 103

December 10, 1892.


The Smoking-Room (_continued_).

I MAY assume, that after the terrible example given in my last chapter,
you have firmly made up your mind never on any account to take service
in the great army of bores. But this determination is not all that is
necessary. A man must constantly keep a strict guard on himself, lest he
should unconsciously deviate even for a few minutes into the regions of
boredom. Whatever you do, let nothing tempt you to relate more than once
any grievance you may have. Nothing of course is more poisonous to the
aggrieved one than to stifle his grievance absolutely. Once, and once
only, he may produce it to his friends. I shall be blamed, perhaps, for
making even this slight concession. Please be careful, therefore, not to
abuse it. Is there in the whole world a more ridiculous sight than a
strong, healthy, well-fed sportsman who wearies his companions one after
another with the depressing recital of his ill-luck, or of the dastardly
behaviour of the head-keeper in not stopping the whole party for half an
hour to search for an imaginary bird, which is supposed to have fallen
stone-dead somewhere or other; or of the iniquities of the man from whom
he bought his cartridges in not loading them with the right charge; or
any of the hundred inconveniences and injuries to which sportsmen are
liable. All these things may be as he says they are. He may be the most
unfortunate, the most unjustly treated of mankind. But why insist upon
it? Why check the current of sympathy by the dam of constant repetition?
And, after all, how trivial and absurd the whole thing is! Even a man
whose career has been ruined by malicious persecution will be avoided
like a pest if it is known that he dins the account of his wrongs into
everyone's ears. How, then, shall the sufferer by the petty injuries of
ordinary sport be listened to with patience? Of all bores, the
grievancemonger is the fiercest and worst. Lay this great truth by in
your memory, and be mindful of it in more important matters than sport
when the occasion arises.


I have been asked to say, whether a man may abuse his gun? I reply
emphatically, no. A gun is not a mere ordinary machine. Its beautiful
arrangement of locks, and springs, and catches, and bolts, and pins, and
screws, its unaccountable perversities, its occasional fits of
sulkiness, its lovely brown complexion, and its capacity both for
kicking and for smoking, all prove that a gun is in reality a sentient
being of a very high order of intelligence. You may be quite certain
that if you abuse your gun, even when you may imagine it to be far out
of earshot, comfortably cleaned and put to roost on its rack, your gun
will resent it. Why are most sportsmen so silent, so _distraits_ at
breakfast? Why do they dally with a scrap of fish, and linger over the
consumption of a small kidney, and drink great draughts of tea to
restore their equilibrium? If you ask them, they will tell you that it's
because they're "just a bit chippy," owing to sitting up late, or
smoking too much, or forgetting to drink a whiskey and soda before they
went to bed. I know better. It is because they incautiously spoke evil
of their guns, and their guns retaliated by haunting their sleep. I
_know_ guns have this power of projecting horrible emanations of
themselves into the slumbers of sportsmen who have not treated them as
they deserved. I have suffered from it myself. It was only last week
that, having said something derogatory to the dignity of my second gun,
I woke with a start at two o'clock in the morning, and found its wraith
going through the most horrible antics in a patch of moonlight on my
bed-room floor. I shot with that gun on the following day, and missed
nearly everything I shot at. Could there be a more convincing proof?
Take my advice, therefore, and abstain from abusing your gun.

Now your typical smoking-room conversation ought always to include the
following subjects:--(1) The wrong-headed, unpopular man, whom every
district possesses, and who is always at loggerheads with somebody; (2)
"The best shot in England," who is to be found in every country-side,
and in whose achievements all the sportsmen of his particular district
take a patriotic pride; (3) the folly and wickedness of those who talk
or write ignorantly against any kind of sport; (4) the deficiency of
hares due to the rascally provisions of the Hares and Rabbits Act; (5) a
few reminiscences, slightly glorified, of the particular day's sport;
and (6) a prolonged argument on the relative merits of the old plan of
shooting birds over dogs, and the modern methods of walking them up or
driving. These are not the only, but certainly the chief ingredients.
Let me give you an example, drawn from my note-book.

SCENE--_The Smoking-room of a Country-house in December. Six Sportsmen
in Smoking-coats. Time_, 11.15 P.M.

_First Sportsman_ (_concluding a harangue_). All I can say is, I never
read such rot in all my life. Why, the fellow doesn't know a gun from a
cartridge-bag. I'm perfectly sick of reading that everlasting rubbish
about "pampered minions of the aristocracy slaughtering the unresisting
pheasant in his thousands at battues." I wonder what the beggars imagine
a rocketing pheasant is like? I should like to have seen one of 'em
outside Chivy Wood to-day. I never saw taller birds in my life. Talk of
_them_ being easy! Why, a pheasant gets ever so much more show for his
money when he's beaten over the guns. If they simply walk him up, he
hasn't got a thousand to one chance. Bah!

                                            [_Drinks from a long glass._

_Second Sportsman._ I saw in some paper the other day what the President
of the United States thought about English battue-shooting. Seemed to
think we shot pheasants perched in the trees, and went on to say that
wasn't the sport for _him; he_ liked to go after his game, and find it
for himself. Who the deuce cares if he does? If he can't talk better
sense than that, no wonder CLEVELAND beat him in the election.

_Third Sp._ Pure rubbish, of course. Still I must say, apart from
pheasants, I like the old plan of letting your dogs work. It's far more
sport than walking up partridges in line, or getting them driven at you.

_First Sp._ My dear fellow, I don't agree with you a bit. In the first
place, as to driving--driven birds are fifty times more difficult; and
what's the use of wasting time with setters or pointers in ordinary
root-fields. It's all sentiment.

    [A long and animated discussion ensues. This particular
     subject never fails to provoke a tremendous argument.

    (_A few minutes later._)

_Second Sp._ (_to the host_). What was the bag to-day, CHALMERS?

_Chalmers._ A hundred and forty-five pheasants, fifty-six rabbits,
eleven hares, three pigeons, and a woodcock. We should have got a
hundred and eighty pheasants if they hadn't dodged us in the big wood. I
can't make out where they went.

_Second Sp._ It's a deuced difficult wood to beat, that is. I thought we
should have got more hares, all the same.

_Chalmers._ Hares! I think I'm precious lucky to get so many nowadays.
There won't be a hare left in a year or two.

    (_The discussion proceeds._)

_Third Sp._ How's old JOHNNY RAIKES shooting this year? I never saw such
a chap for rocketers. They can't escape him.

_Chalmers._ I asked him to-day, but he couldn't come. I think for
pheasants he's quite the best shot in England. Nobody can beat him at
that game.

_Fourth Sp._ Hasn't he got some row or other on with =Crackside=?

_Chalmers._ Yes. That makes fourteen rows =Crackside= has got going on
all at once. He seems to revel in them. His latest move was to refuse to
pay tithe, and when the parson levied a distress, he made all his
tenants drunk and walked at their head blowing a post-horn. He's as mad
as a hatter.

So there you have a sample conversation, sketched in outline. You will
find it accurate enough. All you have to do is to select for yourself
the part you mean to play in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Something to Live For.

(_From the Literary Club Smoking-room._)

    _Cynicus._ I'm waiting till my friends are dead, in
     order to write My Reminiscences?

    _Amicus._ Ah, but remember, "_De mortuis nil nisi

    _Cynicus._ Quite so. I shall tell nothing but
    exceedingly good stories about them.

       *       *       *       *       *

    SO LIKE HER!--"I can never trust him," said Mrs. R.,
    alluding to a friend of hers, who considered himself
    well up in SHAKSPEARE, "because I've found out before
    now that he gargles his quotations."

    NOTE.--"The Man who Would," _will_ appear next week. No. IV.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


    ["Mr. RHODES announced that it was his intention, either
    with the help of his friends or by himself, to continue
    the telegraph northwards, across the Zambesi, through
    Nyassaland, and along Lake Tanganyika to Uganda. Nor is
    this all.... This colossal _Monte Cristo_ means to cross
    the Soudan ... and to complete the overland telegraph
    line from Cape Town to Cairo; that is, from England to
    the whole of her possessions or colonies, or 'spheres of
    influence' in Africa."--_The Times._]

  THE World's Seven Wonders are surely outshone!
    On Marvel World's billows 'twill toss us--'twill toss us,
  To watch him, Director and Statesman in one,
    This Seven-League-Booted Colossus--Colossus!
  Combining in one supernatural blend
    Plain Commerce and Imagination--gination;
  O'er Africa striding from dark end to end,
    To forward black emancipation--cipation.

  Brobdingnagian Bagman, big Dreamer of Dreams.
    A Titan of tact and shrewd trader--shrewd trader!
  A diplomat full of _finesse_ and sharp schemes,
    With a touch of the pious Crusader--Crusader!
  A "Dealer" with despots, a "Squarer" of Kings,
    A jumper of mountain, lake, wilderness, wady,
  And manager 'cute of such troublesome things
    As LOBENGULA or the MAHDI--the MAHDI.

  Well may ABERCORN wonder and FIFE tootle praise,
    His two thousand hearers raise cheering--raise cheering.
  Of wild would-be Scuttlers he proves the mad craze,
    And of Governments prone to small-beering--small-beering.
  Sullen Boers may prove bores to a man of less tact,
    A duffer funk wiles Portuguesy--tuguesy;
  But Dutchmen, black potentates, all sorts, in fact,
    To RHODES the astute come quite easy--quite easy.

  The British South-African Company's shares
    _May_ be at a discount--(Trade-martyrs!--trade-martyrs!)--
  But he, our Colossus, strides on, he declares,
    Whether with or without chums or charters--or charters.
  Hooray! We brave Britons are still to the front--
    Provided we've someone to boss us--to boss us;
  And Scuttlers will have their work cut out to shunt
    This stalwart, far-striding Colossus--Colossus!

       *       *       *       *       *


     _Local Flyman_ (_who also officiates at Funerals_).
     "Mornin', Sir. Glad to see you out again! Really thought
     I should 'a' had the honor of drivin' you to the
     cemetery, Sir!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

TAXES. A HOARDING AND SAVING CLAUSE.--_À propos_ of an article in the
_Times_ on this subject, and a paragraph of _Mr. Punch's_, last week,
anent "Hoardings," we may now put a supplementary question in this form,
"As Government taxes _Savings_, would it not be quite consistent to tax
_Hoardings_?" Since the answer must, logically, be in the affirmative,
let Government begin at once with all the Hoardings displaying any kind
of hideous pictorial advertisement.

       *       *       *       *       *

"HE rumbles so in his conversation," observed Mrs. R. of an orator whose
sentences were considerably involved, "that I can seldom catch the grist
of what he says."

       *       *       *       *       *


MRS. BESANT is said to have told a representative of a daily paper, that
"an adept in Theosophy uses his supernatural powers solely for his own
convenience, just as ordinary people avail themselves of a messenger, or
the telephone or telegraph."

We have it on the very best of authority that the discharge of handbills
from aërial bombs is to be entirely surpassed as a method for
advertising a commodity, by a new and protected process.

"A Company is being formed," so runs the prospectus, "for the express
purpose of importing Mahatmas of the very best vintage (guaranteed
_extra sec_), direct from Thibet, where an exceptionally luxuriant crop
has been produced during past years.

"They will be shipped to any port in the United Kingdom, and delivered
to any address, carriage free, at prices which will compare most
favourably with those quoted by foreign firms for inferior articles.

"The trade supplied by special contract.

"They will prove invaluable to advertisers and others.

"No family should be without one. Order early.

"They can be used for a variety of purposes; but they will be found most
particularly serviceable for distributing handbills and posters,
especially in inaccessible places.

"_Domestic servants entirely superseded by them._

"Prompt and accurate delivery of any object may be effected by their
agency, owing to their marvellous powers of precipitation.

"Full instructions for working, and instruments for repairing, supplied
with each specimen.

"Not liable to get out of order.

"Safe in the hands of a child. Yet they are not toys.

"Procurable of any respectable Lunatic Asylum.

"Ask for Our Brand, and see that you get none other.

"Beware of worthless foreign imitations, which dishonest dealers will
try to foist upon you.

  "Of Mahatmas young, and Mahatmas old,
  Of Mahatmas meek, and Mahatmas bold,
  Of Mahatmas gentle, and Mahatmas rough,
  We lay long odds that we'll sell enough."

The financial column of the Journal of the Future, we may expect, will
read somewhat as follows:--"Mahatmas opened weak, but slowly advanced a
third. Later they became stronger, and closed firm at 8-1/4.
Latest--Mahatmas fell rapidly."

_Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis._

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARITY BEGINS ABROAD.--The following advertisement (which recently
appeared in the _Times_) has been sent for solution:--

    GENTLEMAN, with knowledge of business and disposing of
    100,000 francs, is desirous of REPRESENTING, either in
    Europe, Africa, America, or elsewhere, a serious FIRM,
    capable of giving important profits. Offers to be
    addressed, &c.

In reply to this appeal, _Mr. Punch_ begs to say that "the gentleman
with knowledge of business" seems to be anxious to act as an _alter ego_
to a serious (not a jocular) firm "capable of giving profits."
"GENTLEMAN" does not specify whose profits the serious firm is capable
of giving, and thus it may be presumed that the 100,000 francs would
form the capital with which the charitable transaction would be
conducted. This is the more probable as "GENTLEMAN" says he knows how to
dispose of them.

       *       *       *       *       *


No. IV.

The Irish Giant Baby "At Home."

    The exterior of the Show is painted to represent a
    Cottage, and bears the highly improbable name of "Polly
    O'Gracious," with an even less credible announcement
    that this is the identical "little cot where she was
    born." Inside is an ordinary tent, with a rough platform
    at the further end, whereon is an empty chair, at which
    a group of small Boys, two or three young Women, and
    some middle-aged Farm-labourers, have been solemnly and
    patiently staring for the last quarter of an hour.

_First Farm Labourer_ (_to Second_). I bin in 'ere 'bout erf an hour, I
hev, and ain't seed nowt so fur!

_Second F. L._ Same 'ere! Seems to take 'em a proper good time a-gittin'
o' this 'ere baby claned up!

_First F. L._ Ah, it do. But look at the _size_ on her!

_Second F. L._ Size! They cudn't be no slower not with a hellyphant!

    [The tedium is relieved by a very audible dispute
    outside between the Driver of the Baby's Caravan and the
    Wife of the Conjuror next door, who appears to have
    excited the Driver's displeasure by consenting to take
    the money in the absence of the Baby's proprietress.

_The Driver_ (_with dignity_). I consider it a bloomin' liberty, and a
downright piece of himpertinence, you comin' 'ere interferin' with with
my business--and so I tell yer!

_The Lady_ (_with more dignity_). I'm not taking no liberties with
nobody--she ast me to it, or I shoudn't _be_ 'ere--_I_ don't want to
take the money, not without bein' ast to do so. She come and ast me to
take her place while she was away, and in course _I_ wasn't goin' to say

_Driver._ Don't you tork to me. I know what _you_ are, puttin' yerself
forward whenever yer can--a goin' tellin' the people on the road as you
was the Baby's mother!

_The Lady._ I never said no such thing! Why should I want to tell sech a
story for?

_Driver._ Arsk yourself--not me. And p'raps you never said you 'ad
valuable property in our waggin' neither.

_Lady_ (_apparently cut to the heart by this accusation_). It's a
false'ood! I never 'ad no valuable property in your waggin', nor yet
nobody else's; and I'll thank you to keep your distance, and not go
raggin' me.

_Driver_ (_edging nearer_), I'll keep _my_ distance. But don't you make
no mistake--I'm not to be _played_ with! I'm sick o' your goin's on. And
then(_reviving a rankling and mysterious grievance_) to think o' you a
comin' mincin' up on the road with yer(_mimicking_), "Oh, yus, Mrs.
FAIRCHILD, there's a blacksmith jest across the way!" What call 'ad you
got to shove _your_ nose in like that, eh? you're a interferin' cat,
that's what _you_ are!

    [The Conjuror's Lady is moved to the verge of tears and
    assault, and her wrath is only assuaged by the arrival
    of the missing Proprietress, who patches up a temporary
    peace; presently the hangings at the back are parted,
    and an immensely stout child, dressed in an infant's
    frock, waddles in, hoists herself on the platform and
    into the chair, from which she regards the Spectators
    with stolid composure; the small boys edge back, nudge
    one another and snigger furtively; the girls say "Oh,
    lor!" in a whisper, and a painful silence follows.

_A Middle-aged Labourer_ (_feeling the awkwardness of the situation_).
'Ow old may you be, Missy?

_The Giant Baby_ (_with a snap_). Ten!

    [She gazes all round with the hauteur peculiar to a
    phenomenon, and her visitors are only relieved from the
    strain by the timely appearance of the Exhibitor, a
    Mulatto lady, who gives a brief biographical sketch of
    the Infant's career, with details of her weight and
    measurements. Then Miss POLLY sings a stanza
    of "Little Annie Rooney" in a phonographic manner,
    dances a few ponderous steps, and identifies the most
    sheepish youth in the audience--much to his
    embarrassment--as her sweetheart, after which her
    audience is permitted to shake hands with her and

       *       *       *       *       *

A Prize Lottery.

    A Young Man in a light suit, and a paste pin in a dirty
    white necktie, has arrived with a chest, from which he
    extracts a quantity of small parcels in coloured

_The Young Man_ (_as a group collects around him_). Now, I'm 'ere to
orfer those among yer who 'ave the courage to embark in speckilation an
unrivalled opportunity of enriching themselves at next to no expense.
Concealed in each o' these small porcels is a prize o' more or less
value, amongst them bein', I may tell yer, two 'undred threepenny
pieces, not to mention 'igher coins up to 'arf a sov'rin. Mind, I
promise nothing--I only say this: that those who show confidence in me
I'll reward beyond their utmost expectations.( _To an_ Agricultural
Labourer _in the circle._) 'Ere, you Sir, 'ave you ever seen me before
in all your life?

     "Concealed in each o' these small porcels is a prize o'
     more or less value."]

_The Agricultural Labourer_ (_with a conscientious fear of committing
himself_). I _may_ 'ave.

_The Young Man._ You _may_ 'ave! '_Ave_ you? 'Ave _I_ ever seen _you_?
Come now!

_The Agr. L._ (_cautiously_). I carn't answer fur what you've _seen_,

_The Y. M._ Well, are you a friend o' mine?

_The A. L._ (_after inward searchings_). Not as I'm aweer on.

_The Y. M._ Then take this packet.(_The_ A. L. _grins and hesitates._)
Give me a penny for it.(_The_ A. L. _hangs back._) Do as I _say_! (_His
tone is so peremptory that the_ A. L. _hastens to obey._) Now don't open
that till I tell you, and don't go away--or I shall throw the money
after yer. (_The_ A. L. _remains in meek expectation;_ Old Billy
Fairplay, _and a_ Spotty-faced Man, _happen to pass; and join the group
out of innocent curiosity._) Will _you_ give me a penny for this, Sir?
(_To the Spotty-faced One, who shakes his head._) To oblige Me! (_This
is said in such an insinuating tone, that it is impossible to resist
him._) Now you've shown your confidence in me, will you open that packet
and show the company what it contains.

_The Spotty-faced Man_ (_undoing the packet_). There's nothink inside o'
mine--it's a reg'lar do!

    [_Roars of laughter._

_The Y. M._ Quite right--there _was_ nothink inside o' thet partickler
packet. I put it there a-purpose, as a test. But I don't want nobody to
go away dissatisfied with my manner o' doin' business, and, though I
ain't promised yer nothing, I'll show yer I'm better than my word, and
them as trusts me'll find no reason to repent of 'aving done so. 'Ere's
your original penny back, Sir, and one, two, _three_ more atop of
that--wait, I ain't done with yer yet--'ere's sixpence more, because
I've took a fancy to yer face--and _now_ I 'ope you're satisfied!

_The Sp.-F. M._ (_in an explanatory undertone to his neighbours_). I
knew it's on'y them as comes last thet gits left, d' yer see!

    [_Several bystanders hasten to purchase._

_Old Billy Fairplay_ (_in an injured tone_). There ain't on'y a
three-penny-bit in mine!

_The Y. M._ 'Ark at 'im--there's a discontented ole josser for yer! I
carn't put 'arf a sov'rin' in _all_ o' the packets, not and make my
expenses. P'raps you'll 'ave better luck next time.

    [_The packets are in more demand than ever._

_The Agr. L._ May I open this 'ere packet now, Master?

_The Y. M._ If you don't tell nobody what's in it, you may. I've sold as
many as I keer to a' ready.

_The Agr. L._ (_opening the parcel, and finding a toy-watch of the value
of one farthing sterling_). 'Ere, I'll give yer this back--'tain't no
good to me!

_The Y. M._ (_with concern_). I'm reelly very sorry, Sir, I've given you
a wrong 'un by mistake. I _quite_ fancied as----Allow me to apologise,
and, as a proof I 'aven't lost your good opinion, give me a penny for
this one.

    [_He selects a packet with great care from the heap._

_The A. L._ You don't take me in no moor--I'd sooner make ye a _present_
o' the penny!

_The Y. M._ (_wounded_). Don't talk like that, Sir--you'll be sorry for
it afterwards! (_In a whisper._) It's all right _this_ time, s'elp me!

_The A. L._ I know as it's a kitch o' some sort ... --hows'ever, jest
this once. (_He purchases another packet, and is rewarded by an
eyeglass, constructed of cardboard and coloured gelatine, which he
flings into the circle in a fury._) 'Tis nobbut a darned swindle--and
I've done wi' ye! Ye're all a pack o' rogues together!

    [Exit, amidst laughter from the rest, whose confidence,
    however, has been rewarded by very similar results.

_The Y. M._ He don't know what he's lost by givin' way to his narsty
temper--but there, _I_ forgive 'im! (_He begins to replace the remaining
parcels in the chest; one packet escapes his notice, and is instantly
pounced upon by a sharp, but penniless urchin._) Now, Gentlemen, I'm
'ere reppersentin' two Charitable Institootions--the Blind Asylum, and
the Idjut Orfins--but I'm bloomin' sorry to say that, _this_ time, arter
I've deducted my little trifling commission, there'll be a bloomin'
little to 'and over to either o' them deservin' Sercieties; so, thenkin'
you all, and wishin' you bloomin' good luck, and 'appiness and
prosperity through life, I'll say good-bye to yer.

_The Sharp Urchin_ (_after retiring to a safe distance with his booty._)
Theer's _summat_ inside of 'un--I can 'ear un a-rartlin' ... 'ow many
_moor_ wrops! 'Tis money, fur sartin!... (_Removes the last wrapping._)
Nawthen but a silly owld cough-drop! (_He calls after the_ Young Man,
_who is retreating with_ Mr. Fairplay, _and his spotty friend._) I've a
blamed good mind to 'ave th' Lar on ye fur that, I hev--a chatin' foaks
i' sech a way! Why don't ye act honest?

    [_Is left masticating the cough-lozenge in speechless

       *       *       *       *       *


READ yesterday, in the _Fortnightly_, this article by OUIDA. Resolved to
follow her teachings at once. Changed my "frightful, grotesque, and
disgraceful male costume" for the most picturesque garments I had--a
kilt, a blue blazer, and a yellow turban, which I once wore at a fancy
dress ball. Then strolled along Piccadilly to the Club. Rather cool.
Having abandoned "the most vulgar form of salutation, the shake-hands,"
bowed distantly to several men I had known for years--but they looked
another way. Met a policeman. "Hullo!" he said. "Come out o' that! Your
place is in the road." He mistook me for a sandwich-man! Explained that
I was advocating a new style of dress. "Where's yer trousers?" he asked.
"Trousers!" I cried. "Why, OUIDA"--but it was useless to explain to such
a fool--so I left him.

At the Club, immense astonishment. Again explained. Members tapped their
foreheads, and said I had better see the Doctor. Why? Then they all
avoided me. Grand chance to show my ability "to support solitude, and to
endure silence." Deuced dull, but it saved me from "the poisoned
atmosphere of crowded rooms." Began to feel hungry about lunch-time, but
happily remembered that "it is not luxury which is enervating, it is
over-eating." Exhausted, but virtuous. Remembered that I had to dine at
my aunt's. Awkward! Could I go in that dress? She is so prim, and so
prejudiced in favour of trousers. Also she is so rich, and I was her
heir. It needs money to obtain the luxury which the great teacher
advocates. Hurried home, and put on hateful evening dress. Avoided
hansoms, they being too much connected with one "ugly hurry-skurry," and
drove to my aunt's in a damp, dirty four-wheeler. Even the new moralist
herself would have been satisfied with the slowness of that.

At dinner sat between two charming women, evidently as clever as they
were beautiful. Suddenly remembered that we "lose the subtle and fine
flavours of our best dishes, because we consider ourselves obliged to
converse with somebody," and after that did not speak a word. Charming
women stared, and then each turned towards me a beautiful shoulder, and
I saw her face no more. Was just enjoying the flavours when I
recollected that nothing "can make even tolerable, artistically
speaking, the sight of men and women sitting bolt upright close together
taking their soup." We were long past the soup, but it was not too late.
I left the table at once, and reclined elegantly on the floor, with my
plate by my side. "AUGUSTUS," said my Aunt, "are you ill?" I shook my
head; I could not speak, for I was just enjoying an unusually subtle
flavour. Then one of the guests, a member of my Club, whispered to my
aunt, and tapped his forehead. Then she tapped her forehead, and all the
guests tapped their foreheads. I had finished that flavour, so I said,
"My dear Aunt, I am not mad, I----" "Then," said she, "you must be
intoxicated. Leave the house!" And, with the butler and the footmen
escorting me to the street-door, I was obliged to do so.

It is all over. I know that my Aunt will bequeath her fortune to the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ancient Buildings among the
Jews, but I am consoled by the thought that I, at least, have followed
the noble teachings of the New Morality.

       *       *       *       *       *

    British East African Co.:--"Your Room is better than
    your Company."

       *       *       *       *       *


THE title of Mr. CONAN DOYLE'S new book, _Adventures of Sherlock
Holmes_, is incomplete without the addition of, "And the D.D., or Dummy
Doctor," who plays a part in the narratives analogous to that of
"Charles, his Friend," on the stage. The book is, in many respects, a
thriller, reminding one somewhat of _The Diary of a Late Physician_, by
SAMUEL WARREN. This volume is handsomely got up--too handsomely--and
profusely, too profusely, illustrated. For both romancer and reader,
such stories are better un-illustrated. A sensational picture attracts,
and distracts. In this collection the Baron can recommend _The Beryl
Coronet_, _The Red-Headed League_, _The Copper Beeches_, and _The
Speckled Band_. The best time for reading any one of these stories is
the last thing at night, before turning in. "At such an hour, try _The
Speckled Band_, and see how you like it," says the Bold Baron.

The Baron's assistant dives into the Christmas Card Basket, and produces
RAPHAEL TUCK AND SONS,--"Tuck," a schoolword dear to "our boys,"--who
lead off the Christmas dance. Daintily and picturesquely got up, their
Cards are quite full. Their Watteau Screens will serve as small
ornaments afterwards. These "Correct Cards," with few exceptions, are
not particularly for Christmas, but for all time. Here's Luck To RAPHAEL

"Todgers's could do it when it liked," and so can Messrs. HUTCHINSON &
Co. at this Fairy Tale time, when they bring out three capital books,
edited by ALFRED H. MILES; _i.e._, _Fifty-two Fairy Tales_, _Fifty-two
other Stories for Boys_, and _Fifty-two other Stories for Girls_. Why
not Fairy Tales for a holiday task, and an examination in Fairy Lore,
with a Fairy Lore Degree for the successful candidate?

Then come BLACKIE AND SONS with Plenty from HENTY--Mr. G. A. HENTY--who
at Christmas-time is anything but a "Non-Henty-ty." _Beric the Briton_,
_In Greek Waters_, _Condemned as a Nihilist!_--"Go it, HENTY!" The Baron
cheers you onward.


_The Thirsty Sword_, by ROBERT LEIGHTON. It's a killing story.

_An Old-Time Yarn_, by EDGAR PICKERING, about the adventures of DRAKE
and HAWKINS. HAWKINS, mariner, not Sir 'ENRY, the Judge. New yarn.
Strong old salts--very refreshing.

_The Bull Calf_, brought out for JOHN BULL JUNIOR'S amusement at
Christmas, and seasonably illustrated by FROST, is a queer sort of
animal of the Two Macs Donkey breed. Right for NIMMO to have some fun at
Christmas, according to old example, "_Nimmo mortalium omnibus horis

What's in a name? not the first time this question has been asked and
answered--but 'tis impossible for the Baron to avoid quoting it now,
when in consequence of its title, he was within an ace of putting aside
_The Germ Growers_, under the impression that it was a scientific work
on Bacillus and Phylloxera. On taking it up, however, the Baron soon
became deeply interested, but was subsequently annoyed to find how the
artful author had beguiled him by leading up to a kind of imitation of
the _In hoc Signo vinces_ legend, and had somewhat adroitly adapted to
his purpose the imagery of one of the most poetic and sublime of ancient
Scripture narratives; _i.e._, where the prophet sees the chariots of
Israel in the air. One remarkable thing about the romance is the absence
of "love-motive," and, indeed, the absence of all female interest. Here
and there the Canon writes carelessly, as instance the following

    "Then he got a little glass-tube into which he put
    something out of a very small bottle, which he took from
    a number of others which lay side by side in a little
    case which he took out of a pocket in the side of the

Apart from other faults, there are too many "whiches" here, and unlike
his malignant hero, _Davoli_, the Canon doesn't seem to be well up in
his "which-craft." Clever Canon POTTER must turn out from his Potteries
some ware superior to this for the public and

                                                              THE BARON.

       *       *       *       *       *

    REFLECTION IN THE MIST.--You could have "cut the fog, it
    was so thick," is a common expression. But the fog,
    unwelcome as it always is, is not like an unwelcome
    acquaintance, who can be "cut" or avoided by turning
    down a street, or by pretending unconsciousness of his

       *       *       *       *       *

    QUESTION FOR A LEGAL EXAM.--If a farmer purchased a good
    milch cow reared at Dorking, what would be its (old
    style) legal produce? _Answer or Rejoinder._--Why, of
    course, some sort of Surrey-butter.

       *       *       *       *       *


     _Suburban Belle_ (_to her Dressmaker_). "And I should
     like a Medici Collar to my Tea-gown. Do you understand?
     A Medici Collar--like that of the Venus de Medici!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


  DAVY JONES, _loquitur:_--

  "_Fifteen men on the dead man's chest. Hey! ho! and a bottle of rum!"_
  Faith, that's a chorus I can rattle off with zest. Gratefully it
          clatters upon DAVY'S tym-pa-num,
  Like a devil's tattoo from Death's drum! Fi! Fo! Fum! These be very
          parlous times for old legends of the sea.
  VANDERDECKEN is taboo'd, the Sea Sarpint is pooh-pooh'd, but 'tis plain
          as any pikestaff they can't disestablish Me!
  DADDY NEPTUNE may delight in the Island trim and tight, where his
          sea-dogs breed and fight, as in days of yore,
  When old CHARLIE DIBDIN'S fancy piped free songs of JACK and NANCY, of
          Jolly Salts at sea, and Old Tarry-Breeks ashore;
  But if Britons rule the waves, as the grog-fired sailor raves, when he
          dreams of glorious graves in the deep dark main,
  DADDY NEPTUNE must allow DAVY shares his empire now, or the _Sultan_
          and the _Howe_ have gone down in vain.

  DADDY NEPTUNE loves me not. Plumped by storm or by shot, my Locker held
          a lot in the days gone by,
  But 'tis daily growing fuller. Is the British Tar off colour, are the
          sea-dogs slower, duller, though as game to die?
  Has Science spoilt their skill, that their iron pots so fill my old
          Locker? How I thrill at the lumbering crash,
  When a-crunch upon a rock, with a thundering Titan shock, goes some
          shapeless metal block, to immortal smash?

  Oh! it's real, rasping fun! Mighty hull, monster gun, all are mine ere
          all's done; and the millions madly spent
  On a lollopping wolloping kettle, with ten thousand tons of metal sink
          as the Titans settle, turtle-turned, or wrenched and rent,
  To my rocks and my ooze. I seem little like to lose by the "Progress"
          some abuse, and the many crack up.
  Ah! NEPTUNE, sour old lad, DAVY JONES may well look glad at the modern
          Iron-clad, and thank ARMSTRONG and KRUPP!

  Science and Salvage? Fudge! If _I_ am any judge, my sea-depths and salt
          sludge will not lose by _them_.
  NEP calls me callous mocker, but, according to _my_ Cocker, I may laugh,
          with a full Locker, whilst the fools condemn.
  Think of daring the blue brine with a chart of the Eighty-Nine, and "a
          regular goldmine" in one huge black hulk!
  Whilst the lubbers stick to that, I shall flourish and grow fat like a
          shark or ocean-rat, though old NEP may sulk.

  Demon-Sexton of the Deep! Ha! ha! Ho! ho! I keep my old office. Wives
          may weep, and the taxpayers moan;
  Let the grumblers make appeal to King Science! Lords of Steel, Iron
          Chieftains, do ye feel when your victims groan?
  DAVY JONES is well content with that tribute ye have sent, with the
          millions ye have spent just to glut his gorge;
  He had seldom such a fill in the days of wood--and skill--constant
          sea-fights, or the spill of the _Royal George_.

  Good old false last-century Chart! Though the conning may be smart,
          and the steersman play his part, Palinurus-like,
  Whilst they trust to your vain vellum, which is almost sure to sell
          'em, even DAVY JONES can tell 'em, they may sink or strike.
  Hooray, King Death, hooray! Who says we've had our day! Pass the rum and
          let's be gay. Not that "dead man's chest,"
  ROBERT LOUIS grimly sings, like my "Locker Chorus" rings--mingling
          weirdly wedded things--grisly doom and jest!

       *       *       *       *       *

On an Irish Landlord.

    "Love thou thy Land!" So sang the Laureate.
      Were that sole Landlord duty, you'd fulfil it!
    But land makes not a Land, nor soil a State.
      Loving your land, how sullenly you hate--
        The People--who've to till it!
  Of the earth, earthy is that love of soil
  Which for wide-acred wealth will sap and spoil
  The souls and sinews of the thralls of Toil.
  Churl! Bear a human heart, a liberal hand!
  _Then_ thou may'st say that thou dost "love thy Land."

       *       *       *       *       *

    WHEN a Stag has once been uncarted, and has been given
    so many minutes law to get away, the Huntsman may correctly
    allude to him as "The Deer Departed."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


    (_Scene from that new Screaming Farce "The Political Box and Cox."_)

    ["Mr. GLADSTONE (says the _Daily Chronicle_) has
    effected a formal reconciliation with the Member for
    Northampton. He visited Mr. and Mrs. LABOUCHERE, took
    tea with them, and had a long and very cordial
    interview. So far, indeed, as Mr. LABOUCHERE ever had
    any personal feeling in reference to his exclusion from
    the Ministry, it may be regarded as dead."]


_Box._ Although we are not destined to occupy the same--ahem!--Cabinet
Council Chamber--at present, I don't see any necessity for our cutting
each other's political throat, Sir.

_Cox._ Not at all. It's an operation that I should decidedly object to.

_Box._ And, after all, I've no violent animosity against _you_, Sir.

_Cox._ Nor have I any rooted antipathy to _you_. Sir.

_Box._ Besides, it was all--ahem!--Mrs.--ahem's fault, Sir!

_Cox_ (_embarrassed_). Well--ahem!--my--er--loyalty--as a man of
honour--to--er--that lady, Sir, forbids, Sir, my saying,
or--er--permitting to be said----

    [_Gradually approaching chairs._

_Box._ Ah, exactly, I _quite_ understand that. The truth is----

_Cox_ (_quickly_). A most excellent thing, in its way. I always see it.

_Box._ Very well, Sir!

_Cox._ Very well, Sir!    [_Pause._

_Box._ Take a little jam, Sir!

_Cox._ Thank you, Sir!

    [_Taking a spoonful. Pause._

_Box._ Do you sing, Sir?

_Cox_ (_modestly_). I have, in days gone by, done a little Negro

_Box._ Then give us a breakdown. _(Pause.)_ Well, well, perhaps the
suggestion's a little inopportune. What is your opinion of smoking, Sir?

    [_Produces cigarette._

_Cox_ (_tartly_). I think it is a pestilent practice, Sir!

_Box_ (_puffing_). So do some other singular people, Sir. To be sure,
they may not so much object to it if the pipes are not loaded.

_Cox._ No--I daresay that _does_ make some difference.

_Box._ And yet, Sir, on the other hand, doesn't it strike you, as rather
a waste of time, for people to keep puffing away at pipes (or
Programmes) with nothing in 'em?

_Cox_ (_drily_). No, Sir--not more than any other harmless
recreation--such, for instance, as posing as a Party leader, without any

_Box_ (_aside_). Some of his own Party may be found a bit shaky. Next
time I invite him, it may be to tea--and turn-out!

_Cox_ (_aside_). Let him put _that_ in his pipe (or cigarette) and smoke

_Box_ (_aloud_). Well, well, now we so thoroughly understand each other,
what--even Programmes--shall part us?

_Cox._ Who--even--ahem! a certain Party, shall tear us asunder?

_Box._ COX!

_Cox._ BOX!

    [_About to embrace._ BOX _stops, seizes_ COX's _hand,
     and looks eagerly in his face._

_Box._ You'll excuse the apparent insanity of the remark, but the more I
gaze on your features, the more I'm convinced that you'd never be such a
suicidal idiot as to--seek another Chamber?

_Cox_ (_winking_). Walker!

_Box._ Ah--tell me--in mercy tell me--have you such a thing as the
"Strawberry Leaves" in your eye?

_Cox._ No!

_Box._ Then we _are_ brothers!

    [_They rush into each other's arms._

_Cox._ Of course, we stop where we are?

_Box._ Of course!

_Cox._ For between you and me, I'm rather partial to the House.

_Box._ So am I--I feel quite at home in it.

_Cox._ Everything so clean and comfortable!

_Box._ And I'm sure its Mistress, Mrs.--ahem!--from what little
_I've_ seen of her, is very anxious to do her best.

_Cox._ So she is--and I vote, Box, that we stand by her!

_Box._ Agreed! (_winks._) There's my hand upon it--join but yours--agree
that the House is big enough to hold us both, then Box----

_Cox._ And Cox----

_Both._ Are satisfied!    [_Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *


SIR,--Will you permit me to protest against the shocking insecurity of
life and property in London? What are the Police doing? Only yesterday I
was walking, _in the middle of the day_, in a rather quiet road in this
suburb, when a _highway robber_, disguised as an ordinary beggar, asked
me for a copper! His look was _most forbidding_, and he put his hand
under his coat in a way that convinced me he was about to _draw a
revolver_! I at once gave him my purse, with half-a-crown in it, which
seemed to pacify him, and I am convinced that I owe my life to my
_presence of mind_. The shock, however, has quite prostrated me, and my
medical adviser has already paid me _three visits_, on the strength of
it, and says I need "careful watching for some time." He has very kindly
put off a holiday, in order to watch me, which is sufficient to prove
what a _diabolical outrage_ I have been the victim of!
                                                     Yours, indignantly,
                                   _Cozynook, Sydenham._ TABITHA GRUNDY.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--We are coming to a really awful state of things in the
Strand! A friend of mine (who does not wish his name mentioned) assures
me that he was proceeding from the Gaiety Restaurant, where he had been
lunching, towards Charing Cross, when he was "attacked by VERTIGO" in
broad day-light! Comment is needless. If dangerous foreign bandits like
this VERTIGO--who from his name must be an Italian--are permitted to
plunder innocent pedestrians with impunity, the sooner we abolish our
Police Force and save the expense, the better.
                                                            NO ALARMIST.

DEAR ED'TOR,--I write you a line to say I've jus' been 'sulted--grossly
'sulted--on Thames 'Bankmen'. Walkin' 'long--quite shober--sud'ly
'costed by man dressed like 'pleeceman. Said "lot bad krakters
about"--took hold of my arm--wanted see me into cab. _I saw through him
at once._ It was a plot! Wanted steal vabblewatch--forshately lef' watch
home. Angry at not findin' watch--bundled me into cab anyhow--feel
'fects still. Whash Scolland Yard 'bout? Are spekbull citizens to be
'sulted by pleece--by me'dress-li'pleece, I mean? It's all true 'bout
Lunn' bein' _most_ unsafe. Norra word' of 'xagg'ration! _Cre' 'xperto._
Thash Latin!--_Shows_ I'm spekbull. No more now! He'ache.
                                                       Yours, RUM PUNCH.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir Gerald Portal.

  OF Afric's districts C. and E.,
    'Tis clear to any mortal,
  We've but to keep our Afric key,
    And enter by our PORTAL.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE following mysterious advertisement is cut from the _Grantham

    WANTED, to Purchase, a HALF-LEGGED Horse, five years
    old, suitable for Building work, about 16
    hands.--Address, &c.

Is the horse to have two legs? Not on all fours with nature? And the
sixteen hands? Compensation for want of legs? Give it up!

       *       *       *       *       *


    (_By Our Own Prophetic Reporter._)

A FEW days since a "Grand Intellectual _Fête_" was given by the Flower
League in advancement of the Patriotic Cause, in the grounds of the Duke
of DITCHWATER. The Railway Companies afforded unusual facilities for
securing a large gathering, and there was much enthusiasm amongst those
who were present. To meet the requirements of decisions arrived at
during the trial of recent Election Petitions, it was arranged that some
one competent to undertake the task should introduce and explain the
various distractions afforded for the entertainment of the very numerous
company. Mr. A. BRIEFLESS, JUNIOR, Barrister, of London, kindly
consented to act as lecturer, his professional engagements fortunately
allowing him leisure to assume such a responsibility.

The Lecturer said that he was delighted to see so large a gathering.
(_Cheers._) They quite reminded him of the clients who thronged his
passage on the first day of Term, waiting for his chamber doors to open.
(_Laughter._) There was nothing in the remark he had just made to
provoke merriment. He wished it to be clearly understood that he
appealed to their reason. (_Cheers._) It had been objected that some of
the entertainments given at what had been called political pic-nics had
nothing to do with the reasoning faculties of the spectators. This he
emphatically denied. (_Applause._) Without wasting further of their
time--(_"No, no!" "Go on."_)--he would come to his first
illustration--the Bounding Brothers of Bohemia. (_Great cheering._) It
was advisable that the bodies as well as the minds of children educated
by the School-Boards should receive attention. Their bodies should be
brought to as near perfection as possible; every muscle should be
brought into play. To explain his meaning, he called upon the Bounding
Brothers of Bohemia to illustrate the poetry of motion.

Upon this, five gentlemen in tights (understood to be the athletic
kindred to whom the Lecturer had referred) performed a series of feats
of strength, which included standing on one another's heads, jumping
through hoops, and turning quadruple somersaults.

After their performances were over Mr. BRIEFLESS resumed.

The Lecturer said: He next wished to appeal to their reason--to
challenge, so to speak, their senses on the power of foreign opinion. It
was asserted that an Englishman cared only for his native land and the
Press appertaining thereto. Now he (the Lecturer) had the greatest
respect for the English Press--(_cheers_)--still he found that some of
our foreign contemporaries were nearly as good. (_"Hear, hear!"_) He
wished to introduce the Signora MANTILLA from Spain--(_applause_)--who
had consented to sing a political song in Spanish, emphasizing her
opinions by a dance after each verse. (_Great cheering._) The Signora
MANTILLA then gave a demonstration, which was much appreciated.

The Lecturer resumed. He said he had not insulted their intelligence by
asking them if they understood Spanish. Of course, they did. (_Loud
laughter._) He was quite sure that the Signora's third verse and
accompanying dance must have convinced everyone of the advantages of
Fair Trade. (_Laughter._) He saw no reason for merriment. (_Renewed
laughter._) He had now come to that important subject Bi-metallism.
(_Cheers._) They had been told that whereas speech was silver, silence
was golden. (_"Hear, hear!"_) To show the advantage of silver
(represented by speech), the Blue-eyed Nigger would give a native song
accompanied on his own banjo. (_Loud applause._)

The Blue-eyed Nigger then favoured the company with one of his
characteristic ditties.

The Lecturer said he had now to thank his audience for their kind
attention, and to inform them that the display of fireworks with
set-pieces containing political sentiments appealing to their reason,
would take place immediately.

Shortly afterwards the company separated, greatly pleased with the
rational entertainment they had been invited to enjoy.

       *       *       *       *       *


     _General._ "Mr. de Bridoon, what is the general use of
     Cavalry in modern warfare?"

     _Mr. de Bridoon._ "Well, I suppose to give Tone to what
     would otherwise be a mere Vulgar Brawl!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


  (Being a Parisian Parliamentary Procedure as "She Might be
   Spoke in England.")

SCENE--The House of Commons at question-time. Ministers in attendance,
excited Members regarding them with derision.

_First Member._ I claim the word, Mr. Speaker. I would ask Esquire
Harcourt, does he propose to make his Budget popular?

    [_"Very well! very well!" from the Conservatives._

_Esquire Harcourt._ I tell the Hon. Gentleman that by such a question he
insults the world! (_Cheers._) Nay, he insults England!

    [_Loud applause, in which all join._

_First Mem._ (_after a pause_). Still, you have not answered my
question. Is your Budget to be popular?


_Esquire Har._ (_with spirit_). I consider such a question twice
repeated an infamy!

    [_Enthusiastic cheering._

_Second Mem._ Then it is you who are infamous!


_The Speaker._ Gentlemen, Ministers, do not force me to put on my
hat--do not cause me to suspend the sitting.

_First Mem._ Surely a civil question deserves a civil answer?

_Esquire Harcourt._ Not in a nation that has bled on the field of
battle.    [_Roars of applause._

_First Mem._ (_after a pause_). And yet what I required to know was
reasonable. I wished to know whether Esquire Harcourt proposed to name a
popular Budget?

_Esquire Harcourt._ He repeats the calumny!    [_Uproar._

_First Mem._ (_after a pause_). But is there no reply? I would ask Sir
Gladstone--is there no reply?

_Sir Gladstone_ (_springing to his feet_). It is for the honour of
England! (_Immense enthusiasm._) And now, Sir, you are answered!

    [Roars of applause. Scene closes in upon Ministers receiving
    the hand-shakes of supporters and opponents.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


     It is The Opinion of Mr. Phunkie "that the Fair Sex is all
     very well at the Covert Side, and he has no objection to a
     little quiet Flirtation there; but if a Man is expected to
     go hanging round a Girl when Hounds are running, the thing
     is apt to become a dooce of a Nuisance!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["A deputation of Seamstresses stated at Westminster Police
    Court, that they make soldiers' clothing, receiving for each
    pair of trousers 8-1/4_d._, and for each flannel-belt,
    rather less than one penny."--_Daily Paper._]

  O England, you boast of your warrior sons,
    Your history tells of them, fearless in strife,
  How they faced the French horse, how they charged Russian guns,
    So thoughtful of duty, so careless of life!

  You honour them rightly, but do not forget
    That economy pleases the voters as well;
  Each penny reduces the National Debt;
    Old Ships, as you know, are the best things to sell.

  You could not escape paying pounds to the men
    Who fought, wearing soles of brown paper, supplied
  In your wise, frugal way. Follow precedent then!
    Remember pence saved, not your children who died!

  Though the men must be paid, such expense need not vex
    A skilful economist. This can be met.
  You can always grind pence from the poor, weaker sex;
    If the clothes are ill-made, think what bargains you get!

  Then lavish your honours, your wealth, on the brave,
    If you did not, perhaps, scarce a man would enlist;
  But forget not the gain of each penny you save,
    And starve these poor Women--they cannot resist.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Pears' Christmas Number_--what it ought to be:--A new
    edition of "_His Soap's Fables_."

       *       *       *       *       *

    The Real Enemy to "The Big Loaf" (According to John
    Burns).--The Big Loafer.

       *       *       *       *       *


NATIONAL ART-TREASURES.--I see that objections are being made to
Millbank as a suitable site for the Picture Gallery which Mr. Tate has
so generously offered to the nation. May I ask whether the advantages of
the Isle of Dogs have ever been considered? The position being right out
of the way of anybody who cares a rush for Art, and in the centre of the
river-fog district, so as to ensure a maximum of injury to the pictures
by damp, its offer to the generous donor would convincingly demonstrate
our Government's appreciation of such patriotic munificence. Failing the
Isle of Dogs, would there be any objection to Barking, in the
neighbourhood of the Sewage Outfall? They are quite accustomed there to
dealing with the precipitation of sludge. Perhaps some Art-lover would
                                          Citizen of a Rather Mean City.

HOUSEHOLDER'S DIFFICULTIES.--Could some practical Correspondent advise
us as to what would be the best course to pursue under the following
awkward circumstances? I live in a house in a newly-constructed terrace,
with very thin party-walls. The tenant on one side has just set up a
private establishment for the reception of the most thoroughly incurable
class of maniacs, while on the other side is a family who make their
living by piano, violin, and cornet performances, at private houses. I
have asked the landlord to abate the nuisance by adding another brick to
the thickness of the walls on each side; but he writes to me, giving his
address at the Bankruptcy Court, to explain that the houses are not so
constructed as to bear the extra weight, which I think very probable. I
would apply for an injunction against the Maniacs, were it not that
their howlings are sometimes useful in drowning the sound of the
constant practising on the piano. Would it be wise to retaliate by
dropping bricks at midnight down my neighbours' chimneys? What is the
least term of Penal Servitude that I could get if I hired some of the
Unemployed to break into the musical house and smash up the instruments?
If I went as a Deputation on the subject to Mr. Asquith, should I be
likely to be cordially received?
                                                        Tortured Tenant.

       *       *       *       *       *

    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
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*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, December 10, 1892" ***

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