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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, July 30, 1892
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, July 30, 1892" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 103.



July 30, 1892.



IAGO IN BIRMINGHAM.

(_SHAKSPEARE ONCE MORE ON THE SITUATION._)

[Illustration]

  _Iago_          MR. J-S-PH CH-MB-RL-N.
  _Roderigo_      MR. J-SSE C-LL-NS.

_Roderigo._ Thou told'st me thou did'st hold him in thy hate.

_Iago._ Despise me, if I did not. The great ones of the City,
    In personal suit to make me his Lieutenant,
    Off-capped to him:--and, by the faith of man,
    I know my price--I am worth no worse a place;
    But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
    Evades them with a bombast circumstance,
    Horribly stuffed with epithets of war;
    And, in conclusion,
    Nonsuits my meditators; for, "Certes," says he,
    "I have already chose my officer." And who was he?
    Forsooth, a great Arithmetician.
       *       *       *       *       *
    That never set a squadron in the field,
    Nor the division of a battle knows
    More than a spinster; unless the bookish theorick,
    Wherein the toged Consul can propose
    As masterly as he; mere prattle, without practice,
    Is all his soldiership.
        _But, Sir, he had the Election!_

       *       *       *       *       *

A RESULT OF BEING HOSPITABLE.

    SCENE--_Small, but Fashionable Club in West-End._

_Algy._ Waiter! bring me a brandy-and-soda. Don't feel up to the
average to-day.

_Hughie._ Late last night?

_Algy._ Yes. Went to Mrs. CRAMMERLY's Dance, Prince's Gate. Goodness
knows _why_ I went! I don't think they'll get me there again in a
hurry.

_Charlie_ (_waking up from arm-chair_). Were _you_ a victim too? I
didn't see you there!

_Algy._ No. Because I probably left before you arrived. I had had
enough of it in an hour, and came on here to supper; not before I
had nearly poisoned myself with a concoction that old CRAMMERLY was
asserting loudly, was an "'80 wine."

_Charlie_ (_laughing_). Ah! my dear friend, _I_ had been there before,
and knew the ropes. Took pretty good care to steer clear of the wine,
and got a chap to give me a whiskey-and-soda.

_Uninvited Member._ May I ask where was this charming Party?

_Algy._ At the CRAMMERLY's, Prince's Gate. Colonel CRAMMERLY.

_Uninvited M._ Colonel CRAMMERLY! Let's see, was he an old Crimea man?

_Algy._ _No_!--He _was_ Colonel in the Bounders Green Volunteers.
(_Roars of laughter._) You know "CRAMMERLY's Starch"--made a fortune
out of it.

_Charlie._ He must have spent a bit of it last night. They say the
flowers alone cost over a thousand pounds.

[Illustration]

    _Enter_ Captain O.

_Captain O._ Talking about the Colonel CRAMMERLY Party, eh? (_To_
Uninvited M.) Were you there?

_Uninvited M._ (_very satirically_). Oh, dear no! I fear I'm not
smart enough to warrant my admittance into that _charmed_ and _select_
circle. [_Roars of laughter._

_Capt. O._ By Jove, you were well out of it. (_Addressing the Club
generally._) Did--you ever see such--eh?

_Charlie._ I want to know where the deuce they get their men from.

_Algy._ I fancy they discover them in the City.

_Jack._ _I_ never met--such shocking people before.

_Capt. O._ Too dreadful for words. I could only conclude they must
have been relations. [_Roars of laughter._

_Jack._ By the way, did you notice that there was a "bounder" who was
reversing?

_Uninvited M._ (_with great indignation_). No!!!

_Jack._ I tell you it's a positive fact--I know it to my cost; for I
was dancing with that youngest daughter, you know--the one who has the
fluffy fringe over her forehead--and the brute bounced against us,
and sent us flying. Never even apologised. If I could have got him
outside, I declare I would have given him a deuced good hiding. A man
like that ought to be kicked.

_Uninvited M._ Were the women any better?

_Algy._ Well, if you call Mrs. DASH any better!

_Uninvited M._ (_with tragic intensity_). You _don't_ mean to say
_she_ was there!

_Algy._ I _do_.

_Uninvited M._ But do you mean to say that Mrs. CRAMMERLY has heard--

_Jack._ No. She's deaf. [_Laughter._

_Uninvited M._ Well, you _do_ surprise me! (_After a long pause._) Any
other shining lights of London Society?

_Jack._ No--except that fearful Mrs. JUSSOPH and her daughters, who
honoured me with an invitation to their afternoon party at their
suburban residence at _West Kensington_. I don't know whether you
regard them as an illumination. [_Roars of laughter._

_Uninvited M._ (_triumphantly._) Good gracious! Then there was
positively no one there that one knows.

_Algy_ (_thinking he has said something original_). No one, that one
_wants_ to know.

_Uninvited M._ I suppose the whole thing was done for an
advertisement--?

_Algy._ Possibly. Anyhow, once bitten, twice shy. They won't get _me_
inside their stuccoed palace again.

_Chorus of Those who were at the Party._ Same here! [_Pause._

_Capt. O._ (_lighting cigar by candle_). By the way, JACK, did old
CRAM. ask you to Scotland for the 12th?

_Jack._ Yes.

_Capt. O._ So he did me. Shall you go?

_Jack._ It depends--I think so--if I don't get anything better. I'm
told it's a wonderful shoot. They pulled down over a thousand birds
the first day, last year.

_Capt. O._ Does old CRAMMERLY shoot?

_Jack._ Oh dear no! He's as blind as a bat. He only rents it for his
friends.

_Capt. O._ (_greatly relieved_). That's good news, for he's a terrible
bore. He'd be a shocking nuisance on the Moors. I must say, I can't
stand _him_ at any price.

_Jack._ No, nor any of the family, for the matter of that. Well, ta,
ta! Perhaps we shall meet there. I'm off to the Empire, to join some
friends who've got a box.

    [_Exit to enjoy further hospitality._

       *       *       *       *       *

"PERFIDIOUS ALBION" AGAIN.--Lieutenant MIZON, with his grievances
against the British Niger Company, was _fêted_ last week in Paris.
To inform Frenchmen that the British Company in question is not so
_niger_ as it has been painted would be useless at the present moment,
when Frenchmen are still loud in their applause of the speech made by
the Prefect of the Seine in such a _Mizon-scène_. [N.B.--_Jeu de mot_
forwarded by our own "Prefect of the In-Seine."]

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM NEWCASTLE.--Mr. HAMOND, M.P. for Newcastle, charged Mr. JOHN
MORLEY with having made a certain statement. Mr. MORLEY denied it, and
asked Mr. HAMOND to substantiate the charge. Mr. HAMOND could not do
this, nor did he apologise. Is this the "_'Amond honorable_"?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SIR CARLOS EUAN-SMITHEZ; OR, THE INSULTING SULTAN AND
THE HIGH-TONED CHRISTIAN KNIGHT.

_A MODERN MOORISH BALLAD, AFTER THE FASHION OF BON GAULTIER._]

  Brave Sir CARLOS EUAN-SMITHEZ! basely have they borne thee down;
  Thousands, thirty, would they tip thee as a churl they'd tip a
          crown?
  Thou at home hadst shown that Sultan with emphatic toe the door;
  In Morocco thou didst coolly turn thy back upon the Moor.

  Long in fiery Fez he lingered, subtle SMITHEZ, being bound
  To contract Commercial Treaty with the minions of MAHOUND.
  Full eight weeks' negociations smoothed that Treaty's parlous way;
  On the fifth July the Sultan swore it should be signed next day.

  But the false Frank's furtive whisper at the Sultan's ear was heard.
  (When the Frank may foil the Saxon won't he do so? Like a bird!)
  And the treacherous Moorish Monarch, to his people's interest blind,
  Sold the sham he dubbed his honour, changed the thing he deemed
          his mind.

  "Christian Knight," began the Monarch ("knight" was diplomat for
          "dog"),
  "There is something in your Treaty, that I relish--like roast hog.
  Know Morocco is no home for Factories and Colossal Stores;
  And the omnipresent Bagman is a bugbear to my Moors!

  "All my Cadis, all my ladies, wish at--Hades Western Trade.
  You must make large alterations in the Treaty we've half made;
  Shape it not in Christian interests, Christian Knight, but in
          MAHOUND's,
  And--incline thine ear!--I'll give thee, Christian, Thirty
          Thousand Pounds!!!"

  Enter black slave bearing Treasure! Rangèd bags of glittering gold!
  Then upspake brave EUAN-SMITHEZ. "Hold, base Sultan; minion, hold!
  Dost thou think to bribe and buy a Christian Knight? A Paynim plan!
  If _I_ take it, thou mayst sell me to a Moorish dog's-meat man!"

  Then his steed obeyed his master, and he whinnied loud and free,
  Turned his back upon the tempter, caracoled with coltish glee;
  Struck out with his heels behind him, smote that slave upon the
          nose,
  Kicked the bags until the bullion in a Danaë shower arose.

  Never DON FERNANDO's charger, _Bavieca_, gave such spring,
  In the sawdust-sprinkled circus of AL-WIDDICOMB, the King!
  Never did DON GOMERSALEZ fill the Moslem with more fear,
  When he smote him o'er the mazzard with his streak-o'-lightning
          spear!

  And the scattered gold flew widely, urged by that prodigious kick,
  Smote the Frank behind the throne, although he dodged amazing quick;
  Spattered that insulting Sultan, like a splash of London mud,
  Blackening his dexter eye, and from his "boko" drawing blood.

  Then Sir CARLOS EUAN-SMITHEZ gave that Moorish Sultan beans,
  Holding it foul scorn--as did the pluckiest of Christian Queens--
  a Christian Knight should take an insult from a turban'd Moor,
  Without landing him a hot 'un, without giving him what-for!

  Speed thee, speed thee, noble charger! Speed thee faster than the
          wind!
  Stout Sir CARLOS EUAN-SMITHEZ leaves that Moorish Fez behind;
  Shakes its sand from off his shoes, and, having wiped the Sultan's
          eye,
  Turns his back, and takes his hook, without e'en wishing him
          "Good-bye!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE.

_Wife of the Late Member for Tooting._ "ARCHIBALD, WHY WERE YOU SO
GRUMPY AT THE BIGGE BOOTHBYS' TO-NIGHT?"

_L.M. for T._ "SUCH PEOPLE, SUCH A DINNER, FOR A MAN WHO HAS JUST LOST
HIS SEAT!"

_Wife._ "I'M SURE PARLIAMENT DIDN'T DO ANYTHING FOR YOU!"

_L.M. for T._ "AT LEAST IT SPARED ME THIS SORT OF THING HAPPENING SIX
TIMES A WEEK!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OPERATIC NOTES.

_Last Nights of the Season._--_Monday._--"By General Desire," the
Second and Third Acts of DE LARA-Boom-de-ay's Opera, called _La Luce
dell' Asia_, followed by _Cavalleria Rusticana_. Was "by general
desire" applied to the entire programme, or only to its first part?
Well, we may take for granted that everyone wanted to hear and see
again--but especially to hear--the _Cavalleria_. So the "special
desire" must apply to _La Luce_ solely and only. If so, then from this
wording we gather that the general and uncontrollable desire to hear
the Second and Third Acts of DE LA-RA-Boom's Opera did not extend to
its Prologue, First Act, Fourth Act (if any), and Epilogue. But is
it complimentary to a Composer to express a general wish to hear only
certain portions of his work, implying thereby that the generally
un-expressed desire is rather against than for re-hearing the other
portions? All the same Sir COVENT GARDENIUS exercises a _sound_
discretion in thus dealing with this particular Opera.

_Tuesday._--BEMBERG's New Opera, _Elaine_.

  _Chorus._--Why was _Elaine_
        Given again?
        O DRURIOLAN-
        US, please explain!

And he did so, by saying in the programme "[fist] In consequence of
its Great Success and by general desire." Ha! ha! look at the hand,
with index-finger outstretched! By this sign, Sir DRURIOLANUS would
have us to understand that "this Opera was not one which ever went
_without a hand_." Moreover, Sir ORACLE tells us of its "Great
Success;" note the capitals, and note also, the expression itself,
which was not found in the announcement of the repetition of the
Second and Third Acts of the Light Asian Opera on Monday. Isn't
this an artful way of pitting Admirable BEMBERG against our own
accomplished DE-LARA-Boom? "We" were not there either Monday or
Tuesday, which, as far as the inimitable _intermezzo_ of the "Rustic
Chivalry" goes, was distinctly "our" loss. But they were going to do
without us, and they did so; but whether ill or well, this deponent,
meaning "We," knoweth not; and so, we're like Brer Rabbit, who lay low
and said nothin'. Brer Wolf sezzee were kinder sorry he was unable to
go Satterday arternoon for to hear Brer Fox's new Opera, _Nydia, the
Blind Girl_.

_Friday._--_Don Giovanni._--Madame DOTTI, in taking the _rôle_
of _Donna Anna_, "took the cake." Not going "a bit dotty," but in
excellent form.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

BE-LITTLER-ING MR. GLADSTONE'S MAJORITY.--Not that the G.O.M. is
"coming of age in the olden times,"--as somebody's picture has
it,--but that he is coming in with a mixed Majority of atoms difficult
to be assimilated. This much exercises the wigorous brain of Mr.
R.D.M. LITTLER, Q.C. writing to the _Times_. Of course R.D.M. LITTLER,
Q.C.--which initials, being interpreted, may mean, "Railway Directors'
Man"--is the Conservativest of Conservatives--"but that's another
Tory," as one may say, adapting RUDYARD KIPLING's phrase,--and,
difficult as the G.O.M. may find it to get on with the aid of a Little
Majority, he couldn't get on any better with the aid of a Littler.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--The Guide to Wild West Kensington should announce the objects
of interest in this Buffalo Bill Show, not as "classified," but
"Codyfied."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THINGS ONE WOULD RATHER HAVE EXPRESSED OTHERWISE.

_Host._ "TAKE A LITTLE WHISKEY BEFORE YOU GO, JONES!"

_Jones_ (_after helping himself_). "THANKS! MAY I POUR YOU OUT SOME?"

_Host._ "PLEASE--NOT TOO MUCH--JUST ABOUT HALF WHAT YOU'VE GIVEN
YOURSELF!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TRAVELLER.

(_MODERN VERSION BY A GRATEFUL COOK'S TOURIST._)

    [Mr. THOMAS COOK, originator of the great "Personally
    Conducted" Tourist and Excursionist System, died on Monday the
    18th July, aged 84 years.]

  "Remote, unfriended, melancholy slow,
  Or by the lazy Scheldt, or wandering Po?"
  Nay, gentle GOLDSMITH, it is thus no more,
  None now need fear "the rude Carinthian boor,"
  The bandit Greek, the Swiss of avid grin,
  Or e'en the predatory Bedouin.
  Where'er we roam, whatever realms to see,
  Our thoughts, great Agent, must revert to thee.
  From Parthenon or Pyramid, we look
  In travelled ease, and bless the name of COOK!
  Eternal blessings crown the wanderer's friend!
  At Ludgate Hill may all the world attend.
  Blest be that spot where the great world instructor
  Assumed the _rôle_ of Personal Conductor!
  Blest be those "parties," with safe-conduct crowned,
  Who do in marshalled hosts the Regular Round;
  Gregarious gaze at Pyramid or Dome,
  The heights of Athens, or the walls of Rome,
  Then like flock-folded sheep, are shepherded safe home.

  "Let observation, with extensive view,
  Survey mankind from China to Peru."
  By all means, yes, or even further fare,
  And Afric's forest huge and poisonous Pigmies dare.
  But, to avoid the lonely traveller's pain,
  From Ludgate Circus drag the well-linked chain;
  As Amurath to Amurath succeeds,
  So COOK to COOK! THOMAS's grandiose deeds
  What Tourist may forget? The great one's gone,
  But his vast enterprise shall still march on.
  What THOMAS started, is pursued by JOHN.
  Peace to the dust of the Great Pioneer,
  "Great COOK is dead, long live Great COOK!" we cheer.

       *       *       *       *       *

DARK DOINGS.--Mrs. MARTHA RICKS, the emancipated black slave, who came
all the way from Liberia to pay Her Gracious MAJESTY a morning call,
may be now known as "The QUEEN's Black Woman," or as a companion
silhouette to "SALISBURY's Black Man." Of course she will go back
laden with valuable presents, quite a wealthy old lady, or "_Ricks
Pecuniarum_."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DUFFER IN POLITICS.

My country neighbours at Mount Duffer are not literary. So very remote
from this condition are they, that they regard men of letters as
"awful men," in the Shakspearian sense of the word. Consequently,
since those papers began to appear, sometimes, in the pages of _Mr.
Punch_, I have risen in the general esteem. Even JOHN DUC MACNAB has
been heard to admit, that though the MAC DUFFER is "nae gude ava' with
the rod or the rifle, he's a fell ane with the pen in his hand. Nae
man kens what he means, he's that deep." In consequence of the spread
of this flattering belief, I have been approached by various local
Parties, to sound my fathomless depths as a possible Candidate.

[Illustration]

First came a deputation of Jacobites. They were all ladies, of
different ages, young and old; all wore ornaments in which the locks
of Queen MARY, CHARLES THE FIRST, Prince CHARLIE, and other Saints and
Martyrs, were conspicuously displayed. Would I stand as a Jacobite?
they asked, and generally in the interests of Romance and Royalism. I
said that I would be delighted; but inquired as to whether we had not
better wait for Female Suffrage. That seemed our best chance, I said.
They replied, that FLORA MACDONALD had no vote, and what was good
enough for her was good enough for them. I then hinted that it would
be well to know for which King, or Queen, I was to unfurl the banner
at Glenfinnon. I also suggested that the modern Crofters did not seem
likely to rally round us. The first question provoked a split, or
rather several splits in our Party. It appeared that some five or
six Pretenders of both sexes, and of intricate genealogies, had their
advocates. An unpleasant scene followed, and things were said which
could never be forgiven. The deputation, which had been expected
to stay to luncheon, retired in tears, exclaiming for a variety of
monarchs all "over the water."

The local Gladstonians came next. I had never declared myself, they
said. Was I for Home Rule? I said we must first review Mr. GLADSTONE's
numerous writings about HOMER, and then come to Home Rule. "HOMER
stops the way!" Were Mr. GLADSTONES Homeric theories compatible with
a rational frame of mind? Here I felt very strong, and animated with
a keen desire to impart information. The deputation said all this
was ancient history. As to Home Rule itself, they said it really
did not matter. What they wanted was, free poaching, free private
whiskey-stills, free land, and a large head of game, to be kept up by
the proprietor, for the benefit of the glen, as in old times. I said
that these seemed to me to be Utopian demands. If you all fish, and
shoot, and drown the keepers in the linn, I urged, there will soon be
no game left for any of you. No Game-laws, I observed, and you will
obviously have no poaching. There will be nothing to poach, and no
fun in doing it. They said that they would pay keepers to hold the
Southern bodies off, out of the rates, and the rates would be paid by
the Laird--meaning me. I said I knew that several Lairds were standing
on this platform, but that, personally, if my land and rents were to
be taken away, I did not see how the rates were to be got out of my
empty sporran. This was a new idea to them, but I cheered them up
by saying I was in favour of Compulsory Access to Mountains, with
no Personal Option in the matter. This was what the people needed, I
said--they needed to be made to climb mountains, beginning with Box
Hill. On Bank Holidays, I remarked, they never go to the top. They
stay where the beer is. I would have a staff of Inspectors, to see
that they went. The general limbs and lungs would be greatly improved,
and the sale of whiskey, from private stills, would be increased.

This unlucky remark divided my Party. The Free Kirk Minister wore a
blue ribbon, and was a Temperance-at-any-price politician. Two of "The
Men," however,--a kind of inspired Highland prophets--had a still of
their own, and they and the Minister nearly came to blows. The Party
then withdrew, giving three cheers for Mr. GLADSTONE, but not pledging
themselves to vote for me.

The Eight Hours' people were at me next. I said I saw that the Bill
would provide employment for a number of people, but I added, that I
did not see who was to pay the wages, nor who was to buy the goods.
For, I remarked, you certainly cannot compete with foreign countries
at this rate, and at home the Classes will be competing with _you_,
being obliged to have recourse to manual labour. They said that was
just what they wanted, everybody to labour with his hands. I answered
that many of the Classes, a poor lot at best (_cheers_), would come
on the Parish. Who was to pay the rates when everybody was working,
and nobody was buying what was made? If there were no markets, where
were you to sell your produce? They said they would live on the land.
I answered that the land would not support the population: you would
need to import bread-stuffs, with what were you going to pay for them?
I added that my heart was with them, but that they could only attain
their ends by massacring or starving three-fourths of the population,
and who knew how he himself might fare, with a three-to-one chance
against his survival? Suppose it did not come to that, I urged,
suppose the Bill gave all the world employment; suppose that, somehow,
it also paid their wages, or supported them, in a very short time you
would need a Four Hours' Bill (_cheers_), a Two Hours' Bill, a One
Hour's Bill, of course with no fall in wages. The constitution of
things would not run to it.

They said that I had clearly not fought out the economic aspect of
the question. I said that was how my hair was blanched, with trying to
fight it out, but that, somehow, it always baffled me. I added remarks
about squaring the circle, but they said it was a good deal easier to
square Mr. GLADSTONE. The friends of Total Prohibition of Vaccination
and of Beer were waiting, also a deputation, who wanted subscriptions
for a SHELLEY Memorial, Russian Jews, Maxim guns for Missionaries,
and other benevolent objects. I declined to see _them_, however, and
was left to solitude, and to the reflection that I am unfitted for
the sphere of active politics. In this belief the neighbours are now
pretty generally agreed, which, as I have no keen ambition to shine in
Parliament, is a very fortunate circumstance.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A VICTORY OF THE POLLS.

MENTAL COLLAPSE OF AN ELECTION EDITOR AFTER COMPILING STATISTICS DAY
AND NIGHT FOR THE LAST THREE WEEKS!]

       *       *       *       *       *

LADY GAY'S SELECTIONS.

_Mount Street, Grosvenor Square._

DEAR MR. PUNCH,

The Race for the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown was productive of
tremendous excitement, and everybody turned pale as the two gallant
horses came up the straight, locked together, but the key to
the situation--Parliamentary phrase, due to the prevalence of
Elections--was held by the champion _Orme_, who managed to get home,
"all out" by a neck!--at least, Lord ARTHUR said he was "_all out_,"
though how he could be "_home_" at the same time I don't quite
understand--but he may have been alluding to the backers of _Orvieto_.
I was told that _St. Damien_ "made up a lot of ground at the finish;"
but I can't say I noticed it myself, as the course looked to me
exactly as it did before the race! Dear me! how pleased my friends
the Duke and Duchess of WESTMINSTER did look! and with good reason,
too--it was a wonderful task for _Orme_ to accomplish, with only six
weeks' training!--it must have been a _special_ train all the time;
in fact, the one he was brought to Sandown in, I suppose.

Being unable to go to Leicester, I took advantage of a military
escort, offered me by--(no--let the gallant officer's name remain a
secret--he little thought he was escorting a Press-lady)--to pay a
visit to the New Wimbledon--and being nothing if not loyal, I chose
the day when the shooting for the "Queen's" commenced. My escort
informed me with an inane smile, that the Camp had experienced "Bisley
weather;" the feebleness of which joke so annoyed me, that I am half
inclined to put his name in the pillory of public print--(what a
glorious expression for our own Midlothian Mouther)--but I refrain,
for reasons connected with Lord ARTHUR.

I must say that I think Bisley has a more business-like look than
Wimbledon ever had, though perhaps this is scarcely to the taste of
the average feminine visitor, who used to enjoy pic-nicing to the
accompaniment of whizzing bullets, and does not appreciate the latter
without the former. The shooting was very uncertain in the first
stage of the Queen's, as the wind was in a variable mood--(is the wind
_feminine_, I wonder?)--going sometimes at eighteen and sometimes
at thirty miles an hour, which was disconcerting and inconsiderate
behaviour (it _must_ be feminine!)--calculated to annoy any
right-minded Volunteer! Indeed, one notoriously good shot, Private
CHICKEN, although a good _plucked_ one--having made six misses in ten
shots--declined to be _roasted_ by his friends, and retired into his
_casserole_--which is French for tent, I believe--while several other
marksmen (why marksmen?) found themselves carefully placing their
bullets on other people's targets.

However, I was much struck with the equanimity with which reverses
were accepted by the members of our gallant Amateur Army, and
intend composing an ode in their honour, to be sung in camp to
the accompaniment of bullets, bagpipes, and brass bands! (more
alliteration for the Midlothian Maltese Marriage Merchant), the
refrain of which will run thus:--

            The Volunteer! The Volunteer!!
            No matter how the wind may veer!
  Will have no fear! and will not sweer! so do not jeer!!! the
          Volunteer!!!"

--appropriate _patriotic_ music to which will be written by Signor
CLEMENTI SCHIOTTI!

There is no racing of any importance this week, there being only a
small Meeting under Pic Nic Rules, at a place called Goodwood--(I
write of it in this contemptuous way, as I am not going
myself)--somewhere on the coast of the Solent--to which I need not
allude at any length; I will, therefore, only mention one race
having been so successful lately, that I can afford to rest on my
oars--(rather an insecure position by the way, for anyone who can't
swim!) and remain as usual

Yours devotedly, LADY GAY.

CHESTERFIELD CUP SELECTION.

  To win such a race as the Chesterfield Cup,
    Is a task wanting speed and endurance;
  And the duty of all, ere the ghost giving up,
    Is to quickly effect an _Insurance_."

_P.S._--I don't see any _sense_ in this, but the _rhyme_ is good!

L.G.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: UNPLEASANT DUTIES OF CLUB LIFE.

MONSIEUR VICTOR ACHILLE PÉTROLY, THE NEW CHEF, IS SUDDENLY SUMMONED
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE TO RECEIVE A REPRIMAND.

THE QUESTION IS, WHO'S TO ADMINISTER IT?]

       *       *       *       *       *

WILLIAM THE WHEELMAN.

_Enthusiastic Cyclist loquitur_:--

  I have noticed with unfeigned and real pleasure,
    The rapid growth of Cycling. (_How it jumps!_)
  To those who have the energy and leisure
    It affords--(_Confound this saddle! it so bumps!_)
  What otherwise would be quite unattainable,
    A healthy, and a pleasurable form
  Of exercise. (_Yes, health is hereby gainable;_
    _But I am most uncomfortably warm!_)

  It gives them the advantages of travel,
    (_By Jingo! I was nearly over then!_
  _A tumble and the "gravel-rash" would gravel_
    _The nimblest of extremely Grand Old Men_)
  Which, previous to the Cycle's happy advent,
    Were out of almost everybody's reach.
  (_And to the "spirits" of the cycling-cad vent._
    _'Arry on Wheels the law must manners teach._)

  It's really very much more profitable
    Than is the long luxurious rail way journey.
  (_If in the saddle I feel not more stable,_
    _I'll be "unhorsed," like tilter in a tourney!_)
  Monotonous the journey from the City,
    Along a fixed unalterable route.
  (_This is an old "bone-shaker." 'Tis a pity!_
    _For over the front wheel one's apt to shoot._)

  The traveller's whirled from station unto station,
    (_I wish there were more stations on this road_,)
  With hardly half a chance for observation.
    (_If I know where I am, may I be blowed!_),
  Without an opportunity to examine
    The district. (_Wish that I could spot a pub!_
  _For I am overdone with thirst and famine,_
    _And see no chance of tipple or of grub!_)

  (_I must travel many miles o'er clay or cobble,_
    _I fear, before I'll have a real rest,_
  _The big wheel and the little shift and wobble,_
    _I think the low pneumatic Cycle's best._
  _Eh? "Dangerous to Cyclists!" That's a notice,_
    _I fancy, that suggests a spin down-hill._
  _How stiff I feel! How very parched my throat is!_
    _Hold up! By Jove, but that was near a spill!_)

  I emphasise the fact that I consider
    That, physically--(_Pheugh! that little wheel_
  _Is dangerous as poor old WELLER's  "widder_,")
    Yes, morally, and socially, I feel
  The benefits of Cycling are unbounded,
    Almost--(_Almost I fear a nasty fall!_
  _I wish, with big and little wheel confounded,_
    _That I were on a Safety, after all!_)

       *       *       *       *       *

WHISPER BY _AN ILL_ WIND.--If Alderman KNILL cannot conscientiously
attend the Established Church service, whereat it is not essential for
a Lord Mayor to be present, the Court of Aldermen ought to be proud
of him, and elect him "Willy-Knilly" to be Lord Mayor all the same.
Whatever may be the result, of Alderman KNILL nothing but good can be
said. "_Nil nisi bonum._"

       *       *       *       *       *

BLACK GAME.--"Bother Morocco!" says a Sportsman. "What's the news from
the Moors?"

       *       *       *       *       *

A PROSPECT OF THE TWELFTH.

(_BY AN IMPRESSIONIST._)

Certainly, I can foresee my adventures. I can tell of my march over
the heather, of my delight as the breezy air sweeps over the moors,
and helps to bronze my already sunburnt face!

I can fancy the chatter of the keeper as he holds my second gun, and
pays me that attention which can only be wiped off by tips! I can hear
the sound of the first shot, and decipher the meaning of the initial
puff of smoke!

I can see the shadows disappearing as lunchtime comes to hand. I can
recognise the cart with its goodly contents, and the girls who will
sit beside us as we discuss our modest pies (hot and savoury,) and
quaff our '84. And then I can hear the retreating footsteps as the
darlings trip away, leaving us to resume our chase after the birds.

And then the shadows will grow longer, and the sun will set behind
the hills in a mass of purple, red, and gold; and it will be time for
us to turn our faces towards the shooting-box that will shelter us
through the long watches of the summer's night.

And lastly I can see the final halt at the poulterer's, as we purchase
the grouse to fill our bags before the journeying home.

       *       *       *       *       *

A GEOGRAPHICAL THEORY.--"Where _is_ Liberia?" inquired one cultured
person of another, _à propos_ of Mrs. RICKS's interview with the
QUEEN. "I'm sure _I_ don't know," was the answer, "but--judging by the
name--I should think it was _exactly opposite_ to Siberia."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WILLIAM THE WHEELMAN.

"'I CAN ONLY EMPHASISE THE FACT THAT I CONSIDER THAT PHYSICALLY,
MORALLY, AND SOCIALLY, THE BENEFITS THAT CYCLING CONFERS ON THE MEN
OF THE PRESENT DAY ARE ALMOST UNBOUNDED.' (_Aside._) _WISH I WERE ON
A 'SAFETY'!!_"]

       *       *       *       *       *

MINOR MISERIES.

NO. I.--TO A LADY ON WHOSE TABLE-CLOTH HE HAD UPSET THE MUSTARD-POT.

  Dear Lady, in your dining-room
    I sat, a melancholy slave.
  Your smiles could hardly chase my gloom;
    While others jested, I was grave.
  And still you saw me sit and sit--
    "Enough of this," you said, "come, come,
  Be cheerful." While I merely bit
    A foolish, irresponsive thumb,
  And found no comfort in the act,
    And cursed myself, the clumsy Goth,
  As void of fingers as of tact,
    Who spilt the mustard on the cloth!

  That was the cause of all my woe--
    Good lack, I blame my thumbs in vain;
  Still on the cloth's expanded snow
    I seem to see that yellow stain.
  And still you sit and speak me fair,
    And still your Butler grimly smiles,
  The while I paint in mustard there
    A sketch-map of the British Isles.
  I think it had repaid my guilt
    Had you flashed fire like Ashtaroth,
  And scorched the clumsy wretch who spilt
    That flood of mustard on your cloth.

  Beef, pudding, cherry-tart, and cream,
    What more could mortal man desire?
  I munched them idly in a dream,
    My head sang like a village choir.
  I fumbled with the silver pot
    From which that tawny torrent ran;
  I heard you say it mattered not,
    To cheer a miserable man.
  So here I thank you; may I be
    Extinct as is the Behemoth
  Rather than spill by Fate's decree
    Once more the mustard on your cloth.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEXT AFRICAN MISSION.

(_TELEGRAPHIC PRÉCIS OF THE NEGOCIATIONS._)

_First Day._--Arrived safely at the Sultan's capital. Everything in
proper order. Draft Treaty in my trunk with my diplomatic uniform.
Escort in marching order. Ammunition in waggon. Quite ready to
commence negociations. Only waiting for the conjuring paraphernalia
of Herr VON KLEVERMANN to come up with us. Thought that that special
morning performance before the King and Queen of the Cannibal Islands
would delay matters.

_Second Day._--Herr VON KLEVERMANN and his traps have arrived in
camp. Looked over the conjuring tricks. Sorry to find that one of the
best (the Inexhaustible Bottle) has been stolen by the Queen of the
Cannibal Islands. As time is an object, unable to send back to recover
it. Might have to fight for it, too, which would possibly lessen the
numbers of our escort. Experts declare that the Inexhaustible Bottle
could only be secured at the point of the bayonet. Have arranged for
a meeting with the Sultan to-morrow.

_Third Day._--Sultan's toothache better. His Majesty having sent word
that he would be glad to see me, I, accompanied by the Interpreter,
the Commander of the Escort, and last, but certainly not least,
Herr VON KLEVERMANN, arrived at the Palace. Found that the Lord High
Chamberlain had been removed yesterday. The Lord High Executioner
was acting in his stead. In fact, this overworked official seemed
to be the solitary survivor of the Imperial Household. The Lord
High Executioner told us that His Majesty had been very irritable
yesterday. The Sultan, he said, was now in a good temper, and was
quite harmless. I found His Majesty most gracious. However, he
said that he was not quite prepared to sign a Commercial Treaty. He
offered, in lieu of signature, to give me twelve sacks of emeralds
(uncut), and the wives of six of his Field-Marshals. Explained that
no representative of England could entertain such a suggestion. The
Sultan, upon this, terminated the interview.

_Fourth Day._--The Sultan having learned that Herr VON KLEVERMANN
was a member of my _suite_, expressed a wish for a second meeting.
I consequently attended at the Palace. Herr VON KLEVERMANN, having
produced a number of artificial-flowers, a birdcage, and a rabbit,
from an Opera-hat, His Majesty asked the price. I immediately replied,
a Treaty of Commerce. I am to sail again to-morrow.

_Fifth Day._--Had another interview with His Majesty. The Sultan
wanted to know the terms of the proposed Treaty. I replied, free
access to the interior for British merchandise, and the abolition of
slavery. His Majesty replied, he did not mind the abolition of slavery
so much, on the understanding that the regulation did not apply to
him. Herr VON KLEVERMANN then produced his Magic hat, and brought out
from it a cup of coffee, half-a-dozen recently-washed handkerchiefs,
and a white mouse. The last item caused us to be hurriedly expelled
from the Palace. It appears that the Sultan greatly objects to mice.
The Interpreter should have informed me of this peculiarity.

_Sixth Day._--Received a message from His Majesty to the effect that
he would be glad to see me and Herr VON KLEVERMANN again, on the
condition that nothing objectionable should be produced from the
Magic hat. Herr VON KLEVERMANN once more gave a _séance_. The eminent
entertainer extracted from the Gibus a portmanteau, a soup-tureen, and
a lady's watch. His Majesty greatly delighted. He signed the Treaty,
and possessed himself of the hat.

_Seventh Day._--Knowing that it was as well to leave the country as
soon as possible, started early. Herr VON KLEVERMANN had expressed
his doubts whether His Majesty would be satisfied. It appears that
the Magic hat requires a good deal of preparation to be effective. The
Herr's forebodings of evil were speedily verified. The Mission had
not gone a mile before we were followed by the entire army. We made a
demonstration with the machine-gun, which had the effect of destroying
six or seven brigades of the enemy. The Sultan in person, declared
that he considered the Treaty null. Nothing to do but retire as best
we could.

_Eighth Day._--Deeply regret failure of the Mission. However, find
that the King and Queen of the Cannibal Islands are anxious for
annexation to England. They seem impressed with the notion that
the British Government have power to cause a flow of spirits from
the Inexhaustible Bottle which, since the departure of Herr VON
KLEVERMANN, has ceased to yield alcoholic drinks. Of course, shall do
nothing in this new matter until I receive further instructions.

_Ninth Day._--Embarked on my return home.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FANCY PORTRAIT.

THE RIGHT MAN IN THE RIGHT PLACE--BENNETT, M.P. FOR LINCOLN.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ADVICE TO THE G.O.M.

(_FROM A MATHEMATICAL TORY._)

  Take forty-two, and carry eight
  (Eight hours, I mean), then mind your eye;
  Bring all your items up to date,
  And do your best to multiply
  Your sheep by next subtracting votes
  From over-suffraged Tory goats.
  By Registration Law perplexed,
  Take "qualifying periods" next,
  And at one swoop reduce with glee
  Twelve months, or more, to only three.
  Add labour to your motley crew,
  Subtract (from life) a church or two.
  Produce, with geometric skill,
  The lines of many a promised bill.
  But state--the Unionists to vex--
  That Home Rule always equals _x_.
  Raise, in a rash, disastrous hour,
  Campaigning Ireland to a power.
  And thus, to prayers and protests deaf,
  Bisect the Empire.  _Q.E.F._

       *       *       *       *       *

PRETENCE VERSUS DEFENCE.

    SCENE--_Whitehall. Time--The Present. Enter Universal
    Inspector-General, accompanied by Mr. Admiralty Official._

_Universal Inspector-General._ So you are going to have Naval
Manoeuvres after all, Mr. Admiralty Official?

_Mr. Adm. Official._ Yes, General, we are.

_Un. Ins.-Gen._ And are you going to do anything new this time?

_Mr. Ad. Off._ Nothing more than the usual meaningless cruising.

_Un. Ins.-Gen._ I read something about the landing of the wounded?

_Mr. Ad. Off._ Ah--that _is_ new! We are going to "assume" a number
of wounded. To quote from the _Regulations_--"Before the ships leave
for the ports, officers in command of fleets and squadrons are to
communicate to each Commander-in-Chief, by telegraph, the aggregate
number of assumed wounded that may be expected to reach his port."

_Un. Ins.-Gen._ Tell me what do we want with these pointless
Manoeuvres? Wouldn't it have answered everyone's purpose if there
had been a lecture in lieu of them at the Royal United Service
Institution?

_Mr. Ad. Off._ I should not be surprised.

_Un. Ins.-Gen._ Then why run into this unnecessary expense?

_Mr. Ad. Off._ You really must ask my successor!

    [_Exeunt severally._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CANVASS.

(_A PURELY IMAGINARY SKETCH._)

[Illustration: "_You_ know 'ow to do it!"]

    SCENE--_A Portico in Portman Square. Mr. BENJAMIN GULCHER
    (an ardent Radical Artisan, canvassing the district on behalf
    of a "pal" of his, who is putting up as a Labour Candidate),
    discovered on the doorstep._

_Mr. Gulcher_ (_to himself--after knocking_). Some might think it was
on'y waste of time me callin' at a swell 'ouse o' this sort--but them
as lives in the 'ighest style is orfen the biggest demmycrats. Yer
_never_ know! Or p'raps this Sir NORMAN NASEBY ain't made his mind up
yet, and I can tork him over to _our_ way o' thinking. (_The doors
are suddenly flung open by two young men in a very plain and sombre
livery._) Two o' the _young_ 'uns, I s'pose. (_Aloud._) 'Ow _are_ yer?
Father in, d'yer know?

_First Footman_ (_loftily_). I don't know anything about your father,
I'm sure. Better go down the airey-steps and inquire there.

_Mr. G._ (_annoyed with himself._) It's my mistake. I didn't see yer
were on'y flunkeys at first. It's yer Guv'nor _I_ want--the ole man!

_First Footman_ (_with cold dignity_). If you are illewding to Sir
NORMAN, he is not at home.

_Mr. G._ (_indignantly_). 'Ow can yer tell me sech a falsehood, when
I can see him myself, a-dodgin' about down there in the passage!
(_Forces his way past the astonished men into the hall, and addresses
a stately Butler in plain clothes._) 'Ere, Sir NASEBY, I've come in to
'ave a little tork with you on the quiet like.

_The Butler_ (_not displeased_). I don't happen to be Sir NORMAN
himself, my good man. Sir NORMAN is out.

_Mr. G._ Out, is he? _that's_ a pity! I wanted to see him on important
business. But look 'ere--p'raps his Missus is in--_She'll_ do! (_To
himself._) I gen'ally git along with the wimmin-folk--_some_ 'ow!

_The Butler._ I can't say if her Ladyship is at home. If you like to
send up your name, I'll inquire.

_Mr. G._ You tell her Mr. BENJAMIN GULCHER is 'ere, if she'll step
down a minnit. She needn't _'urry_, yer know, if she's 'aving her
dinner or cleanin' herself. (_To himself, as the_ Butler _departs
noiselessly._) Civil-spoken party that--one o' the lodgers, seemin'ly.
Roomy sort o' crib this 'ere. Wonder what they pay a week for it!

_Butler_ (_returning_). Her Ladyship will see you, if you will step
this way.

    [_Mr. G. is taken up a staircase, and ushered into
    the presence of Lady NASEBY, who is seated at her
    writing-table._

_Lady N._ (_still writing_). One moment, please. My husband is out
just now--but if you will kindly state the nature of your business
with him, I daresay I could--(_She looks up._) Good Heavens! What
could have possessed CLARKSON to show such a person as that in _here_!
(_To herself._)

_Mr. G._ (_in his most ingratiating manner_). Well, Mum, in the
absence of his Lordship, I am sure you'll prove a 'ighly agreerble
substitoot!

_Lady N._ (_freezingly_). May I ask you to tell me--in two words--what
it is you wish to see him about.

_Mr. G._ _Certingly_ you may, Mum! It's like this 'ere. I want your
good Gentleman to promise me his vote and influence for Mr. JOE
QUELCH, as we're runnin' for a Labour Candidate this Election.

_Lady N._ I really cannot answer for my husband's views on political
matters, Mr.--a--SQUELCHER; I make it a rule _never_ to interfere.

_Mr. G._ Jest what _my_ old woman sez. I've learnt her not to argy
with _me_ on politics. But, yer see, a deal depends on the way a
thing is _done_, and--(_insinuatingly_)--a good-lookin' woman liks
yourself--(Lady N. _gasps out a faint little "Oh!" here_)--oh, I'm
on'y tellin' yer what yer know already--'ud find it easy enough to get
her better 'alf to vote _her_ way, if she chooses. You take him some
evenin'--say a Saturday, now--when he's jest 'ad enough to feel 'appy,
and coax him into giving his vote to QUELCH. _You_ know 'ow to do it!
And he's the _right_ man, mind yer, QUELCH is--the right _man_!

_Lady N._ (_almost inaudibly_). How--how _dare_ you come into my
house, and offer me this impertinent advice! How--?

_Mr. G._ (_good-temperedly_). Easy there, Lady--no impertinence
intended, I'm sure. I shouldn't come in 'ere, intrudin' on the sacred
privacy of the British 'Ome, which I'm quite aware an Englishman's
'Ouse is his Castle--and rightly so--if I didn't feel privileged like.
I'm _canvassing_, I am!

_Lady N._ You are taking a most unpardonable liberty, and, if you have
the _slightest_ sense of decency--

_Mr. G._ (_imploringly_). Now look 'ere--don't let us 'ave a vulgar
_row_ over this! I ain't goin' to lose _my_ temper. Strike--but 'ear
me! If we don't think alike, there's no reason why you and me should
fall out. I put that to _you_. It's likely enough you don't _know_ JOE
QUELCH?

_Lady N._ (_with temper_). I never heard of the man in my life!

_Mr. G._ (_triumphantly_). See there, now. That's where canvassing
comes in, d'yer see? It's our honly way of combating the hignirance
and hapathy of the Upper Classes. Well, I'll tell yer somethink
_about_ 'im. QUELCH worked as a lighterman on a barge fourteen years
for eighteen bob a-week. Ain't _that_ a Man of the People for yer? And
if he gits into Parliment, he'll insist on Labour bein' served fust;
he's in favour of Shortened Hours of Labour, Taxation o' Ground
Rents, One Man one Vote, Triannual Parliments and Payment o' Members,
Compulsory Allotments, Providin' Work by Gov'ment for the Unemployed,
Abolition o' the 'Ouse o' Lords, and a Free Breakfast Table. Ah, and
he means _'aving_ it too. That's what JOE is. But look 'ere, why
not come and 'ear what he's got to say for yerself? He's 'oldin' a
small open-air meetin' in Kipper's Court this evenin', ar-past eight
percisely. You come and bring yer 'usban', and I'll guarantee you
git a good place close to the cheer. I'll interdooce yer to him
arterwards, and he'll answer any questions yer like to arsk him--fair
_and_ straight!

_Lady N._ (_feebly_). Thank you very much; but--but we are
unfortunately dining out this evening, so I'm _afraid_--

_Mr. G._ (_more in sorrow than in anger_). There it _is_, yer see. Yer
afraid. Afraid o' 'earing the truth. Carn't trust yerself to listen to
both sides. But I don't despair of yer yet. See 'ere; is it 'Ome Rule
that separates us? 'Cos, if so, it needn't. QUELCH don't care no more
for 'Ome Rule than that 'ere penwiper do, between you and me! On'y,
yer see, he carn't _say_ so at present, d'yer ketch my meanin'? (Lady
N. _rings the bell in despair_.) Oh, thankee, Mum, if you _are_
so kind, I'll take whatever yer goin' to 'ave yerself, _I_ ain't
partickler.

[Illustration: NEW FACES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

(_According to the Portraits that have appeared in the Illustrated
Papers._)]

_Lady N._ (_as the Butler appears_). CLARKSON, show this--this
gentleman the way out.

_Mr. G._ Don't you trouble, old pal, I can find it for myself. (_To_
Lady N.) I b'lieve, if the truth was known, you're comin' round
already, Mum. I'll tell yer what I'll do. I'll leave some o' these
'ere little pamphlicks, as you might git your good man to run his eye
over. "_Why_ I am a Radikil," "The Infamy of Tory Gov'ment," "'Ow we
are Robbed!" &c. And 'ere's a picter-poster--"The 'Orrers of Coercion
under the Brutal BALFOUR!" Yer might put it up in yer front winder--it
don't _commit_ yer to nothing, yer know!--it'll amuse the kids, if
you've any family.

_Clarkson_ (_in his ear_). Will you walk downstairs quietly, or shall
I have to pitch you?

_Mr. G._ (_roused at last_). What, I'm to cop the push, am I? An'
what _for_, eh? What 'ave I done more than you swells ha' bin doin'
ever since the Elections started? (_To_ Lady N.) You come pokin' into
_our_ 'ouses, without waitin' to be invited, arskin' questions and
soft-sawderin', and leavin' tracks and coloured picters--and we put
up with it all. But as soon as one of _us_ tries it on, what do yer
do?--ring for the Chucker-out! Ah, and reason enough, too--yer know
yer'll get beaten on the argyments! (_Here he is gently but firmly
led out by_ CLARKSON, _and concludes his observations on the' stairs
outside._) Stuck-up, pudden'-'eaded fossils!... battenin' on the
People's brains!... your time'll come some day!... Wait till QUELCH
'ears o' this! &c., &c.

_Lady N._ (_alone_). Thank goodness he's gone!--but _what_ an ordeal!
I really _must_ part with CLARKSON. And--whatever the Primrose
League Council may say--I shall have to tell them I _must_ give up
canvassing. I don't think I _can_ do it any more--after this!

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

"Read it!" said Everyone. "Read what?" asked the Baron. "_The
Wrecker_," answered Everyone. "I will," quoth the Baron, promptly.
And--it was done. It took some time to do, but of this more anon.
The Baron's time is fully occupied, never mind how, but fully, take
his word for it. A copy of _The Wrecker_ was at once provided by its
publishers, Messrs. CASSELL & Co., and the question for the Baron to
consider, was not "What will I do with it?" but How, when, and where,
will I read it? Clearly 'twas no ordinary book. Everybody was saying
so, and what Everybody is saying has considerable weight. A book not
to be trained through at express pace, so that the beauties of the
surrounding scenery would be lost, but something that when once
taken up cannot be put down again, like the brass knobs worked by an
electric-battery,--something giving you fits and starts, and shocks,
as do the electric brass-knobs aforesaid; something that, if you begin
it at 4 P.M., exhausts you by dinner-time, and after dinner, keeps you
awake till you read the last line at 2 A.M., and then tumble into bed
parched, fevered, exhausted, but in ecstasies of delight, feeling as
if you were the hero who had experienced all the dangers, and had come
out of them triumphantly.

[Illustration]

Such were the Baron's anticipations as to the joys in store for him
on reading _The Wrecker_, by Messrs. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON and LLOYD
OSBOURNE. The Baron hit on a plan, he must isolate himself as if he
were a telephone-wire. "Good," quoth he, "Isolation is the sincerest
flattery,--towards authors." The friend in need, not in the sense of
being out at elbows, appeared at the right moment, as did the Slave
of the Lamp to _Aladdin_. "Come to my house in the mountains," said
this Genius, heartily; "come to the wold where the foxes dwell, not
a hundred miles from a cab-stand, yet far far away,--amid lovely
scenery, in beautiful air, to quiet reposeful rooms, with the silence
of the cloister and the jollity of the Hall where beards wag all, in
the evening, when the daily task is done." "Friend REGINALD SYDE, I
thank thee," responded gratefully the Baron. "I am there!" And in less
time than it takes to go the whole distance in a four-horsed coach
with a horn blowing and the horses blown, the Baron, travelling by
special express, was there,--all there! The Authorities on the line
made no extra charge for taking _The Wrecker_ as luggage.

The weather was favourable for reading; an interminable downpour, when
one is grateful for any book, even a _Dictionary of Dates_, or the
remains of a _Boyle's Court Guide_. The Brave Baron shut himself into
his room, laid in stores of tobacco and grog, decided, in the course
of half an hour, on a comfortable position, and then laid himself out
for the perusal, not to say the study, of _The Wrecker_. Introductory
Chapter excellent,--appetising. "_Oliver_ asks for more," murmurs
the Baron to himself, settling down to "the Yarn." Chapter I. Now a
strange thing happened. The Story broke off! suddenly--inexplicably.
Descriptions, yes, by the handful, by the cartload--all excellent, no
doubt--and much to be appreciated by a reader with nothing on earth
to do the whole year round; but, about page 53, the Baron began to be
uneasy, shifted his pillows, refilled pipe, took "modest quencher,"
and then turned to grapple with _The Wrecker_. No good. Where the
deuce had the Story got to? When would the excitement come in? Where
was the sensation? Toiling on, went the Baron, stopping frequently
to wish he had a dictionary wherein he might ascertain the meaning of
strange, uncouth words and phrases, and to anathematise the Authors
separately or together. Had OSBOURNE interfered with STEVENSON, or was
STEVENSON allowing OSBOURNE to have his say, reserving himself for a
grand _coup_ at half-price? Would OSBOURNE chuck STEVENSON overboard,
or was it to be t'other way off? At page 90 the Baron decided he
would take a walk round, even if it were pouring cats and dogs, and
exclaiming, "Air, air, give me air!" he rushed forth. It was fine.
A brisk walk and a talk--just like King CHARLES "who walked and
talked"--with his genial host REGI SYDE, restored the Baron's
circulation, and made him wonder to himself at the reported great
circulation of the book. Back to his room again--into easy chair--p.
100--_Happy Thought_. This book is about ships and sea, The Baron will
be a Skipper!--and so he skips, skips, with great relief, until "A
sail in sight appears,"--spell it "sale," and there's a picture of
it--"He hails it with three cheers!"

Now the Story, at p. 134, begins in good earnest, and, except for the
idle dilletante reader, all the foregoing, from the first Chapter,
might go by the board--that is, as far as the Baron can make out. He
speaks only for himself. The Chapter describing the sale by auction is
first-rate; no doubt about it. The Baron's spirits, just now down to
zero, rose to over 100°. On we go: Throw over OSBOURNE, and come along
with Louis STEVENSON of _Treasure Island_. Bah! that exciting Chapter
was but a flash in the pan: brilliant but brief: and "Here we are!"
growls the Baron, "struggling along among a lot of puzzling lumber
in search of excitement number two, which does not seem to come until
Chapter XXIV., p. 383." Then there is a good blow out--of brains, a
scrimmaging, a banging, and a firing, and a scuffling, and a fainting,
and one marvellous effect. And then--is heard no more. The Baron harks
back, harks for'ard. No: puzzlement is his portion. Who was who, when
everybody turned out to be somebody else? Where was the Money? or more
important, Where is the Interest? "Well, that I cannot tell," quoth
he, "but 'twas a famous queer Sto-_ree_!" Perhaps the Baron, reading
against time, did not do it justice; or, perhaps he did. Anyway,
meeting a Lady-Stevensonian admirer, the Baron ventured to communicate
to her his great disappointment; whereupon she timidly whispered,
"Well, Baron, to tell you the truth, I quite agree with you. I found
it awfully tedious--except the sensations; but everybody is praising
it; so please, O please, do not betray my secret!" "Madam, a lady's
secret, even the universally-known _Lady Audley's Secret_, is
inviolable when intrusted to

Your devoted Servant, THE BARON DE B.-W."

       *       *       *       *       *

SUMMERUMBRELLA.

[Illustration]

  I long for sunshine, such as there must be
    In Egypt, blazing on the native Fellah;
  I see no sun or sky, I only see
            My own Umbrella!

  "No sun, no moon," as HOOD wrote long ago,
    "No sky," no star--called, by the Romans, _stella_--
  Like negative November here below,
            My own Umbrella!

  Think not of "AMARYLLIS in the shade"!
    Can I play tennis in the rain with BELLA,
  Holding aloft, while through the flood I wade,
            My own Umbrella?

  I'm sick of sitting in the Club to scoff;
  I'll take a walk. Hang me! Some English "fellah"
  Has left his rotten gamp, and carried off
            My own Umbrella!

       *       *       *       *       *

[fist] 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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