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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, November 26, 1892
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, November 26, 1892" ***

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VOL. 103.

November 26, 1892.



A Philosopher has deigned to address to me a letter. "Sir," writes
my venerable correspondent, "I have been reading your open letters to
Abstractions with some interest. You will, however, perhaps permit
me to observe that amongst those to whom you have written are not a
few who have no right whatever to be numbered amongst Abstractions.
Laziness, for instance, and Crookedness, and Irritation--not to
mention others--how is it possible to say that these are Abstractions?
They are concrete qualities and nothing else. Forgive me for making
this correction, and believe me yours, &c. A PLATONIST."--To which I
merely reply, with all possible respect, "Stuff and nonsense!" I know
my letters have reached those to whom they were addressed, no single
one has come back through the Dead-letter Office, and that is enough
for me. Besides, there are thousands of Abstractions that the mind
of "A PLATONIST" has never conceived. Somewhere I know, there is an
abstract Boot, a perfect and ideal combination of all the qualities
that ever were or will be connected with boots, a grand exemplar
to which all material boots, more or less, nearly approach; and by
their likeness to which they are recognised as boots by all who in
a previous existence have seen the ideal Boot. Sandals, mocassins,
butcher-boots, jack-boots, these are but emanations from the great
original. Similarly, there must be an abstract Dog, to the likeness of
which, in one respect or another, both the Yorkshire Terrier and the
St. Bernard conform. So much then for "A PLATONIST." And now to the
matter in hand.


My dear FAILURE, there exists amongst us, as, indeed, there has
always existed, an innumerable body of those upon whom you have cast
your melancholy blight. Amongst their friends and acquaintances they
are known by the name you yourself bear. They are the great army of
failures. But there must be no mistake. Because a man has had high
aspirations, has tried with all the energy of his body and soul to
realise them, and has, in the end, fallen short of his exalted aim,
he is not, therefore, to be called a failure. MOSES, I may remind you,
was suffered only to look upon the Promised Land from a mountain-top.
Patriots without number--KOSSUTH shall be my example--have fought
and bled, and have been thrust into exile, only to see their objects
gained by others in the end. But the final triumph was theirs surely
almost as much as if they themselves had gained it. On the other hand
there are those who march from disappointment to disappointment, but
remain serenely unconscious of it all the time. These are not genuine
failures. There is CHARSLEY, for instance, journalist, dramatist,
novelist--Heaven knows what besides. His plays have run, on an
average, about six nights; his books, published mostly at his own
expense, are a drug in the market; but the little creature is as vain,
as proud, and, it must be added, as contented, as though Fame had set
him, with a blast of her golden trumpet, amongst the mighty Immortals.
What lot can be happier than his? Secure in his impregnable egotism,
ramparted about with mighty walls of conceit, he bids defiance to
attack, and lives an enviable life of self-centred pleasure.

Then, again, there was JOHNNIE TRUEBRIDGE. I do not mean to liken him
to CHARSLEY, for no more unselfish and kind-hearted being than JOHNNIE
ever breathed. But was there ever a stone that rolled more constantly
and gathered less moss? Yet no stroke could subdue his inconquerable
cheerfulness. Time after time he got his head above the waters;
time after time, some malignant emissary of fate sent him bubbling
and gasping down into the depths. He was up again in a moment,
striving, battling, buffeting. Nothing could make JOHNNIE despair, no
disappointment could warp the simple straightforward sincerity, the
loyal and almost childlike honesty of his nature. And if here and
there, for a short time, fortune seemed to shine upon him, you may be
sure that there was no single friend whom he did not call upon to bask
with him in these fleeting rays. And what a glorious laugh he had; not
a loud guffaw that splits your tympanum and crushes merriment flat,
but an irrepressible, helpless, irresistible infectious laugh, in
which his whole body became involved. I have seen a whole roomful of
strangers rolling on their chairs without in the least knowing why,
while JOHNNIE, with his head thrown back, his jolly face puckered into
a thousand wrinkles of hearty delight, and his hands pressed to his
sides, was shouting with laughter at some joke made, as most of his
jokes were, at his own expense.

It was during one of his brief intervals of prosperity, at a meet
of the Ditchington Stag-hounds that I first met JOHNNIE. He was
beautifully got up. His top-hat shone scarcely less brilliantly than
his rosy cheeks, his collar was of the stiffest, his white tie was
folded and pinned with a beautiful accuracy, his black coat fitted
him like a glove, his leather-breeches were smooth and speckless, and
his champagne-coloured tops fitted his sturdy little legs as if they
had been born with him. He was mounted on an enormous chestnut-horse,
which Anak might have controlled, but which was far above the power
and weight of JOHNNIE, plucky and determined though he was. Shortly
after the beginning of the run, while the hounds were checked, I
noticed a strange, hatless, dishevelled figure, riding furiously round
and round a field. It was JOHNNIE, whose horse was bolting with him,
but who was just able to guide it sufficiently to keep it going in
a circle instead of taking him far over hill and dale. We managed to
stop him, and I shall never forget how he laughed at his own disasters
while he was picking up his crop and replacing his hat on his head.
Not long afterwards, I saw our little Mazeppa crashing, horse and all,
into the branches of a tree, but in spite of a black eye and a deep
cut on his cheek, he finished the run--fortunately for him a very
fast and long one--with imperturbable pluck and with no further
misadventure. "Nasty cut that," I said to him as we trained back
together, "you'd better get it properly looked to in town." "Pooh,"
said JOHNNIE, "it's a mere scratch. Did you see the brute take me into
the tree? By Jove, it must have been a comic sight!" and with that he
set off again on another burst of inextinguishable laughter.

About a week after this, the usual crash came. A relative of JOHNNIE
was in difficulties. JOHNNIE, with his wonted chivalry, came to his
help with the few thousands that he had lately put by, and, in a day
or two, he was on his beam-ends once more. And so the story went on.
Money slipped through his fingers like water--prosperity tweaked
him by the nose, and fled from him, whilst friends, not a whit more
deserving, amassed fortunes, and became sleek. But he was never
daunted. With inexhaustible courage and resource, he set to work again
to rebuild his shattered edifice, confident that luck would, some day,
stay with him for good. But it never did. At last he threw in his lot
with a band of adventurers, who proposed to plant the British flag in
some hitherto unexplored regions of South or Central Africa. I dined
with JOHNNIE the evening before he left England. He was in the highest
spirits. His talk was of rich farms, of immense gold-mines. He was
off to make his pile, and would then come home, buy an estate in the
country--he had one in his eye--and live a life of sport, surrounded
by all the comforts, and by all his friends. And so we parted, never
to meet again. He was lost while making his way back to the coast with
a small party, and no trace of him has ever since been discovered.
But to his friends he has left a memory and an example of invincible
courage, and unceasing cheerfulness in the face of misfortune, of
constant helpfulness, and unflinching staunchness. Can it be said that
such a man was a failure? I don't think so. I must write again. In the
meantime I remain, as usual,


       *       *       *       *       *

SIGNS OF THE SEASON.--"_Beauty's Daughters!_" These charming young
ladies are to be obtained for the small sum of one penny! as for this
trifling amount,--unless there is a seasonably extra charge,--you
can purchase the Christmas Number of the _Penny Illustrated_,
wherein Mr. CLEMENT SCOTT "our dear departed" (on tour round the
world--"globe-trotting"), leads off with some good verses. Will he be
chosen Laureate? He is away; and it is characteristic of a truly great
poet to be "absent." And the Editor, that undefeated story-teller,
tells one of his best stories in his best style, and gives us a
delightful picture of Miss ELSIE NORMAN. "Alas! she is another's!
she never can be mine!" as she is Somebody Elsie's. Success to your
Beauties, Mr. LATEY, or more correctly, Mr. EARLY-AND-LATEY, as you
bring out your Christmas Number a good six weeks before Christmas Day.

       *       *       *       *       *

MOTTO FOR THE LABOUR COMMISSION.--"The proper study of mankind

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEW EMPLOYMENT.--Being "Unemployed."

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



_Grand Old Jarvie, loquitur_:--

    O Lud! O Lud! O Lud!
  (As TOM HOOD cried, apostrophising London),
    November rules, a reign of rain, fog, mud,
    And Summer's sun is fled, and Autumn's fun done.
    Far are the fields M.P.'s have tramped and gunned on!
  Malwood is far, and far is fair Dalmeny,
            And Harwarden,
            Like a garden
  (To Caucus-mustered crowds) glowing and greeny
            In soft September,
  Is distant now, and dull; for 'tis November,
            And we are in a Fog!
  Cabbin' it, Council? Ah! each _absent_ Member
  May be esteemed a vastly lucky dog!
  The streets are up--of course! No Irish bog
  Is darker, deeper, dirtier than that hole
  SP-NC-R is staring into. On my soul,
  M-RL-Y, we want that light you're seeking, swarming
  Up that lank lamp-post in a style alarming!
  Take care, my JOHN, you don't come down a whopper!
  And you, young R-S-B-RY, if _you_ come a cropper
  Over that dark, dim pile, where shall _we_ be?
            Pest! I can hardly see
  An inch before my nose--not to say clearly.
  Hold him up, H-RC-RT! He was down then, nearly,
  Our crook-knee'd "crock." Seems going very queerly,
  Although so short a time out of the stable.
  Quiet him, WILLIAM, quiet him!--if you're able.
  This is no spot for him to fall. I dread
  The need--just here--of "sitting on his head."
            Cutting the traces
  Will leave us dead-lock'd, _here_ of all bad places!
  Oh, do keep quiet, K-MB-RL-Y! You're twitching
  My cape again! Mind, ASQ-TH! You'll be pitching
  Over that barrier, if you are not steady.
  Fancy us getting in this fix--already!
  Cabbin' it in a fog is awkward work,
  Specially for the driver, who can't shirk,
            When once his "fare" is taken.
                    I feel shaken.
  'd rather drive the chariot of the Sun
            (That's dangerous, but rare fun!)
                    Like Phaëthon,
  Than play the Jehu in a fog so woful
            To this confounded "Shoful"!

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


_Mount Street, Berkeley Square._


More than a fortnight ago I fled from the London fog, with the result
that it got thicker than ever about me in the minds of your readers
and yourself! I determined during my absence to do what many people
in the world of Art and _Letters_ have done before me, employ a
"Ghost"--(my _first_ dealings with the supernatural, and probably my
_last_!). I wired to one of the leading Sporting Journals for their
most reliable Racing Ghost--he was busy watching _Nunthorpe_--(who is
only the Ghost of what he was!)--and the Bogie understudy sent to
me was a Parliamentary Reporter!--(hence the stilted style of the
letter signed "POMPERSON." Heavens! what a name!)--I had five minutes
to explain the situation to him before catching the _train de
luxe_--(Lord ARTHUR had gone on with the luggage)--and I don't
think he had the ghostliest idea of what I wanted!--the one point he
grasped, was, that he was to use anonymous names--which he did with
a vengeance!--My horror on reading his letter was such that I
dropped all the money I had in my hand on the "red" instead of the
"black"--and it won!--(I think I shall bring out a system based on

Of course all my friends thought Lord ARTHUR and I had quarrelled,
and I was "off" with someone else!--What a fog. This idea being
confirmed by the following week's letter, which was the well-meant
but misdirected effort of my friend Lady HARRIETT ENTOUCAS, to whom
I wired to "do something for me"--(she pretty nearly did for me
altogether!)--there was nothing for it but to come home--where I
am--Lord ARTHUR wanted to write you this week, but I thought one
explanation at a time quite enough--so his shall follow--"if you want
a thing done, do it yourself!"--so in future I will either be my own
Ghost or have nothing to do with them! Yours apparitionally,


       *       *       *       *       *




    _The majority of the Public is still outside, listening
    open-mouthed to a comic dialogue between the Showman and a
    juvenile and irreverent Nigger. Those who have come in find
    that, with the exception of some particularly tame-looking
    murderers' heads in glazed pigeon-holes, a few limp effigies
    stuck up on rickety ledges, and an elderly Cart-horse in low
    spirits, there is little to see at present._

_Melia_ (_to JOE, as they inspect the Cart-horse._) This 'ere can't
never be the live 'orse with five legs, as they said was to be seen

_Joe._ Theer ain't no other 'orse in 'ere, and why _shouldn't_ it be
'im, if that's all?

_Melia._ Well, I don't make out no more'n _four_ legs to'un, nohow,

_Joe._ Don't ye be in sech a 'urry, now--the Show ain't _begun_ yet!

[Illustration: "It's quoite tri-ew!"]

    [_The barrel-organ outside blares "God Save the Queen," and
    more Spectators come stumping down the wooden steps, followed
    by the Showman._

_Showman._ I shell commence this Exhibition by inviting your
inspection of the wonderful live 'orse with five legs. (_To
the depressed Cart-horse._) 'Old up! (_The poor beast lifts his
off-fore-leg with obvious reluctance, and discloses a very small
supernumerary hoof concealed behind the fetlock._) Examine it! for
yourselves--two distinct 'oofs with shoes and nails complete--a
_great_ novelty!

_Melia._ I don't call that nothen of a leg, _I_ don't--it ain't 'ardly
a _oof_, even!

_Joe_ (_with phlegm_). That's wheer th' old 'orse gits the larf on ye,
that is!

_Showman._ We will now pass on to the Exhibition. 'Ere (_indicating
a pair of lop-sided Orientals in nondescript attire_) we 'ave two
life-sized models of the Japanese villagers who caused so much
sensation in London on account o' their peculiar features--you will
easily reckernise the female by her bein' the ugliest one o' the two.
(_Compassionate titters from the Spectators._) I will now call your
attention to a splendid group, taken from English 'Istry, and set in
motion by powerful machinery, repperesentin' the Parting Interview
of CHARLES THE FIRST with his fam'ly. (_Rolls up a painted canvas
curtain, and reveals the Monarch seated, with the Duke of GLOUCESTER
on his knee, surrounded by OLIVER CROMWELL, and as many Courtiers,
Guards, and Maids of Honour as can be accommodated in the limited
space._) I will wind up the machinery and the unfortunate King will be
seen in the act of bidding his fam'ly ajew for ever in this world.

    [_CHARLES begins to click solemnly and move his head by
    progressive jerks to the right, while the Little Duke
    moves his simultaneously to the left, and a Courtier in the
    background is so affected by the scene that he points with
    respectful sympathy at nothing; the Spectators do not commit
    themselves to any comments._

_Showman_ (_concluding a quotation from MARKHAM_). "And the little
Dook, with the tears a-standin' in 'is heyes, replies, 'I will be tore
in pieces fust!'" Other side, please! No, Mum, the lady in mournin'
_ain't_ the beautiful but ill-fated MARY, Queen o' Scots--it's Mrs.
MAYBRICK, now in confinement for poisonin' her 'usban', and the figger
close to her is the MAHDI, or False Prophet. In the next case we
'ave a subject selected from Ancient Roman 'Istry, bein' the story
of ANDROCLES, the Roman Slave, as he appeared when, escaping from his
crule owners, he entered a cave and found a lion which persented 'im
with 'is bleedin' paw. After some 'esitation, ANDROCLES examined the
paw, as repperesented before you. (_Winds the machinery up, whereupon
the lion opens his lower jaw and emits a mild bleat, while ANDROCLES
turns his head from side to side in bland surprise._) This lion is
the largest forestbred and blackmaned specimen ever imported into
this country--the _other_ lion standing beyind (_disparagingly_), has
nothing whatever to do with the tableau, 'aving been shot recently in
Africa by Mr. STANLEY, the two figgers at the side repperesent the
Boy Murderers who killed their own father at Crewe with a 'atchet and
other 'orrible barbarities. I shall conclude the Collection by showing
you the magnificent group repperesentin' Her Gracious Majisty the
QUEEN, as she appeared in 'er 'appier and younger days, surrounded by
the late Mr. SPURGEON, the 'Eroes of the Soudan, and other Members of
the Royal Fam'ly.


    _After some tight-rope, juggling, and boneless performances
    have been given in the very limited arena, the Clown has
    introduced the Learned Pony._

_Clown._ Now, little Pony, go round the Company and pick me out the
little boy as robs the Farmer's orchard.

    [_The Pony trots round, and thrusts his nose confidently into
    a Small Boy's face._

_Small Boy_ (_indignantly_). Ye're a _liar_, Powney; so theer!

_Clown._ Now, see if you can find me the little gal as steals her
mother's jam and sugar. Look sharp now, don't stand there playin' with
yer bit!

_A Little Girl_ (_penitently, as the Accusing Quadruped halts in front
of her_). Oh, please, Pony, I won't never do it no more!

_Clown._ Now go round and pick me out the Young Man as is fond o'
kissin' the girls and married ladies when their 'usbands is out o' the
way. (_The Pony stops before an Infant in Arms._) 'Ere, think what
yer _doin'_ now. You don't mean _'im_, do you? (_The Pony shakes his
head._) Is it the Young Man standin' just beyind as is fond o' kissin
the girls? (_The Pony nods._) Ah, I thought so!

_The Rustic Lothario_ (_with a broad grin_). It's quoite tri-ew!

_Clown._ Now I want you, little Pony, to go round and tell me who's
the biggest rogue in the company. (_Reassuringly, as the Pony goes
round, and a certain uneasiness is perceptible among some of the
spectators_). I 'ope no Gentleman 'ere will be offended by
bein' singled out, for no offence is intended,--it is merely a
'armless--(_Finds the Pony at his elbow._) Why, you rascal! do you
mean to say _I'm_ the biggest rogue 'ere? (_The Pony nods._) You've
been round, and can't find a bigger rogue than me in all this company?
(_Emphatic shake of the head from Pony; secret relief of inner circle
of Spectators._) You and me'll settle this later!

_First Spectator_ (_as audience disperses_). That war a clever Pony,

_Second Spect._ Ah, he wur that. (_Reflectively._) I dunno as I shud
keer partickler 'bout _'avin_ of 'im, though!


    _A small canvas booth with a raised platform, on which a Young
    Woman in short skirts has just performed a few elementary
    conjuring tricks before an audience of gaping Rustics._

_The Showman._ The Second Part of our Entertainment will consist
of the performances of a Real Live Zulu from the Westminster Royal
Aquarium. Mr. FARINI, in the course of 'is travels, discovered both
men and women--and this is one of them. (_Here a tall Zulu, simply
attired in a leopard's-skin apron, a bead necklace, and an old busby,
creeps through the hangings at the back._) He will give you a specimen
of the strange and remarkable dances in his country, showin' you the
funny way in which they git married--for they don't git married over
there the same as we do 'ere--cert'n'ly _not_! (_The Spectators form a
close ring round the Zulu._) Give him a little more room, or else you
won't notice the funny way he moves his legs while dancin'.

    [_The ring widens a very little, and contracts again, while
    the Zulu performs a perfunctory prance to the monotonous
    jingle of his brass anklets._

_Melia_ (_critically_). Well, that's the silliest sort of a weddin' as
iver _I_ see!

_Joe._ He do seem to be 'avin' it a good deal to 'isself, don't 'e?

_Showman._ He will now conclude 'is entertainment by porsin round,
and those who would like to shake 'ands with 'im are welcome to do so,
while at the same time, those among you who would like to give 'im a
extry copper for 'isself you will 'ave an opportunity of noticin' the
funny way in which he takes it.

_Spectators_ (_as the Zulu begins to slink round the tent, extending a
huge and tawny paw_). 'Ere, _come_ arn!

    [_The booth is precipitately cleared._

       *       *       *       *       *

"_WRITE Letter Days_" should be the companion volume to _Red Letter
Days_, published by BENTLEY.

       *       *       *       *       *





       *       *       *       *       *



The subject of the Smoking-room would seem to be intimately and
necessarily connected with the subject of smoke, which was dealt with
in our last Chapter. A very good friend of mine, Captain SHABRACK of
the 55th (Queen ELIZABETH'S Own) Hussars, was good enough to favour
me with his views the other day. I met the gallant officer, who is,
as all the world knows, one of the safest and best shots of the day,
in Pall Mall. He had just stepped out of his Club--the luxurious
and splendid Tatterdemalion, or, as it is familiarly called, "the
Tat"--where, to use his own graphic language, he had been "killing the
worm with a nip of Scotch."

"Early Scotch woodcock, I suppose," says I, sportively alluding to the

"Scotch woodcock be blowed," says the Captain, who, it must be
confessed, does not include an appreciation of delicate humour amongst
his numerous merits; "Scotch, real Scotch, a noggin of it, my boy,
with soda in a long glass; glug, glug, down it goes, hissin' over the
hot coppers. You know the trick, my son, it's no use pretendin' you
don't"--and thereupon the high-spirited warrior dug me good-humouredly
in the ribs, and winked at me with an eye which, if the truth must be
told, was bloodshot to the very verge of ferocity.

"Talkin' of woodcock," he continued--we were now walking along Pall
Mall together--"they tell me you're writin' some gas or other about
shootin'. Well, if you want a tip from me, just you let into the
smokin' room shots a bit; you know the sort I mean, fellows who are
reg'lar devils at killin' birds when they haven't got a gun in their
hands. Why, there's that little son of a corn-crake, FLICKERS--when
once he gets talkin' in a smokin' room nothing can hold him. He'd talk
the hind leg off a donkey. I know he jolly nearly laid me out the
last time I met him with all his talk--No, you don't," continued the
Captain, imagining, perhaps, that I was going to rally him on his
implied connection of himself with the three-legged animal he had
mentioned, "no you don't--it wouldn't be funny; and besides, I'm not
donkey enough to stand much of that ass FLICKERS. So just you pitch
into him, and the rest of 'em, my bonny boy, next time you put pen
to paper." At this moment my cheerful friend observed a hansom that
took his fancy. "Gad!" he said, "I never can resist one of those
india-rubber tires. Ta, ta, old cock--keep your pecker up. Never
forget your goloshes when it rains, and always wear flannel next your
skin," and, with that, he sprang into his hansom, ordered the cabman
to drive him round the town as long as a florin would last, and was

Had the Captain only stayed with me a little longer, I should have
thanked him for his hint, which set me thinking. I know FLICKERS well.
Many a time have I heard that notorious romancer holding forth on
his achievements in sport, and love, and society. I have caught him
tripping, convicted him of imagination on a score of occasions; dozens
of his acquaintances must have found him out over and over again; but
the fellow sails on, unconscious of a reverse, with a sort of smiling
persistence, down the stream of modified untruthfulness, of which
nobody ought to know better than FLICKERS the rapids, and shallows,
and rocks on which the mariner's bark is apt to go to wreck. What
is there in the pursuit of sport, I ask myself, that brings on this
strange tendency to exaggeration? How few escape it. The excellent,
the prosaic DUBSON, that broad-shouldered, whiskered, and eminently
snub-nosed Nimrod, he too, gives way occasionally. FLICKERS'S, I own,
is an extreme case. He has indulged himself in fibs to such an extent,
that fibs are now as necessary to him as drams to the drunkard. But
DUBSON the respectable, DUBSON the dull, DUBSON the unromantic--why
does the gadfly sting him too, and impel him now and then to wonderful
antics. For was it not DUBSON who told me, only a week ago, that he
had shot three partridges stone dead with one shot, and in measuring
the distance, had found it to be 100 yards less two inches? Candidly,
I do not believe him; but naturally enough I was not going to be
outdone, and I promptly returned on him with my well-known anecdote
about the shot which _ricocheted_ from a driven bird in front of me
and pierced my host's youngest brother--a plump, short-coated Eton
boy, who was for some reason standing with his back to me ten yards in
my rear--in a part of his person sacred as a rule _plagoso Orbilio_.
The shrieks of the stricken youth, I told DUBSON, still sounded
horribly in my ears. It took the country doctor an hour to extract
the pellets--an operation which the boy endured, with great fortitude,
merely observing that he hoped his rowing would not be spoiled for
good, as he should bar awfully having to turn himself into a dry-bob.
This story, with all its harrowing details, did I duly hammer into the
open-mouthed DUBSON, who merely remarked that "it was a rum go, but
you can never tell where a _ricochet_ will go," and was beginning upon
me with a brand-new _ricochet_ anecdote of his own, when I hurriedly

Wherefore, my gay young shooters, you who week by week suck wisdom and
conversational ability from these columns, it is borne in upon me that
for your benefit I must treat of the Smoking-room in its connection
with shooting-parties. Thus, perhaps, you may learn not so much what
you ought to say, as what you ought not to say, and your discretion
shall be the admiration of a whole country-side. "The Smoking-room:
with which is incorporated 'Anecdotes.'" What a rollicking, cheerful,
after-dinner sound there is about it. SHABRACK might say it was
like the title of a cheap weekly, which as a matter of fact, it does
resemble. But what of that? Next week we will begin upon it in good

       *       *       *       *       *


  From SMITH and MITCHELL to a Kangaroo!!!
    The "noble art" _is_ going up! Whilloo!
  Stay, though! Since pugilist-man seems coward-clown,
  Perhaps 'tis the Marsupial coming down!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FELINE AMENITIES.



       *       *       *       *       *


    ["With all his faults, M. DE LESSEPS is perhaps the most
    remarkable--we may even say the most illustrious--of living
    Frenchmen."--_The Times_.]

  JACQUES BONHOMME _loquitur_:--

  _Someone_ should suffer--yes, of course--
    For the depletion of my stocking;
  But _Le Grand Français_? Bah! Remorse
    Moves me to tears. It seems too shocking.
  Get back my money? _Pas de chance_!
  And then he is the pride of France!

  I raged, I know, four years ago,
    Against those Panama projectors.
  The law seemed slack, inquiry slow;
    How I denounced them, the Directors,
  Including _him_--in some vague fashion;
  But then--BONHOMME was in a passion!

  And now to see the _gendarme's_ hand--
    Half-shrinkingly--upon _his_ shoulder,
  Our _Grand Français_--_so_ old, _so_ grand!
    _Ma foi_, it palsies the beholder.
  And will it lessen my large loss
  To fix a stain on the Grand Cross?

  Too sanguine? Too seductive? Yes!
    But was it not such hopeful charming
  That led him to his old success?
    The thought is softening, and disarming;
  O'er Suez and the Red Sea glance,
  And see what he has done for France!

  _Peste_ on this Panama affair!
    Egyptian sands sucked not our savings
  As did those swamps. Still I can't bear
    To see _him_ suffer. 'Midst my cravings
  For _la revanche_, I'd fain not touch
  Our Greatest Frenchman--'tis too much!

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["The Young Ladies of Nottingham have formed a Short-skirt
    League."--_Daily Graphic_.]

  Ye pretty girls of England,
    So famous for your looks,
  Whose sense has braved a thousand fads
    Of foolish fashion-books,
  Your glorious standard launch again
    To match another foe,
            And refrain
            From the train
    While the stormy tempests blow,
  While the sodden streets are thick with mud,
    And the stormy tempests blow!

  See how the girls of Nottingham
    Inaugurate a League
  For skirts five inches from the ground;
    They'll walk without fatigue,
  No longer plagued with trains to lift
    Above the slush or snow;
            They'll not sweep
            Mud that's deep
    While the stormy tempests blow;
  Long dresses do the Vestry's work,
    While stormy tempests blow.

  O pretty girls of Nottingham,
    If you could save us men
  From our frightful clothing,
    How we should love you then!
  We'd shorten turned-up trouser,
    And widen pointed toe,
            Leave off that
            Vile silk hat,
    When the stormy tempests blow--
  Wretched hat that stands not wind or rain
    When the stormy tempests blow.

  We're fools. Yet, girls of England,
    We might inquire of you,
  Why wear those capes and sleeves that seem
    Quite wide enough for two?
  And why revive the _chignons_--
    Huge lumps pinned on? You know
            You would cry
            Should they fly
    Where the stormy tempests blow;
  For they catch the wind just like balloons,
    Where the stormy tempests blow.

       *       *       *       *       *

FAULTS O' BOTH SIDES.--Ardent Radicals grumbled at the Government
for not holding an Autumn Session. That was a fault of omission. Now
touchy Tories are angry with it for showing too strong a tendency to
what Mr. GLADSTONE once sarcastically called "a policy of examination
and inquiry"--into the case of Evicted Tenants, Poor-Law Relief,
&c. This is a fault of (Royal) Commission. Luckless Government! The
verdict upon it seems to be that it

  "Does nothing in particular,
  And does it very--_ill_."

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTICE.--The Twin Fountains of Trafalgar Square regret to inform the
British Public that, although they have performed gratuitously and
continuously for a number of years, they are compelled to retire from
business, as they cannot compete with the State-aided spouting which
takes place in their Square.

       *       *       *       *       *

A GREAT "TREAT."--Public-house Politics at Election time.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "LE GRAND FRANÇAIS!"

JACQUES BONHOMME (_regarding_ M. DE LESSEPS, _apart_). "BAH! I HAVE

       *       *       *       *       *


_Lady_ (_having had a fall at a Brook, and come out the wrong
side,--to Stranger, who has caught her Horse_). "OH, I'M _SO_ MUCH

       *       *       *       *       *


Books from the publishing house of FISHER UNWIN are always goodly to
look upon, the public having to thank him for something new in form,
binding, and colour, in other series than the Pseudonym Library. In a
new edition of _The Sinner's Comedy_, just issued at the modest price
of Eighteenpence, he has solved a problem that has long baffled the
publisher, and bothered the public. Few like the appearance of a book
with the pages machine-cut; fewer still can spare the time to cut a
book. Mr. FISHER UNWIN compromises by presenting this dainty little
volume with the top pages ready cut, the reader having nothing to
do but to slice the side-pages, a labour which no book-lover would
grudge, seeing that it leaves the volume with the uncut appearance
dear to his heart. The story, told in 146 pages, is, my Baronite says,
worthy the distinction of its appearance. The characters are clearly
drawn, the plot is interesting, the conversation crisp, and the style
throughout pleasantly cynical. The author, JOHN OLIVER HOBBES, has a
pretty turn of aphorism. "A man's way of loving is so different from
a woman's"; and again, "Genius is so rare, and ambition is so common."
Here be truths, old enough perhaps, but cleverly re-set.

Some people complain that politics are dull. They should read the
parliamentary and extra-parliamentary utterances of the Member for
Wrottenborough. They appear weekly in that rising young paper, the
_Sunday Times_, and an extremely readable selection of them has lately
been published "in book form," for the enlivening of the Recess.
Adapting the Laureate's lines, the Baron would say,--

  "They who would vote for an M.P. whose sense with humour chimes,
  Will read the Member for Wrottenborough, all in the _Sunday Times_--
  A paper our sires paid Sevenpence for, along of its grit and go,
      Seventy years ago, my Public, seventy years ago!"

For whimsical audacity, and quaint unexpectedness. Mr. PAIN, in his
latest book, _Playthings and Parodies_, would be hard to beat. In this
there is a good back-ground of shrewd observation. He does not
propose to make your flesh creep, or your eyes run torrents. He simply
succeeds in making you laugh. In "The Processional Instinct," Mr. PAIN
informs us that he has discovered that our private life is circular,
and our public life is rectilineal. SHAKSPEARE, who, being for all
time, and not merely for an age, recommends this author to the general
public when he says that everybody "should be so conversant with

_The Memories of Dean Hole_ is rather a misleading title; "but," says
the Baron, "I suppose the term 'Reminiscences' is played out. The word
'Memories' seems to suggest that someone, whether Dean HOLE, or Dean
CORNER, or any other Dean, had more than one memory, as indeed those
persons appear to possess who mention their 'good memory for names,'
and their 'bad memory for dates,' and _vice versâ_. _Soit!_" quoth
the Baron, in excellent French, "you may take it from me (if I'll part
with it) that the Hole book is by no means a half-and-half sort of
book, but is vastly entertaining." The stories of "The Cloth" form the
most entertaining part of the work. The Baron wishes success to this
work of the Dean in Holey Orders, and suggests that the volume should
be re-entitled _Gathered Leaves from Dean Hole's Rose Garden_, a
better title than "Reminiscences."

MARION CRAWFORD'S _Don Orsino_ (published by MACMILLAN & CO.) would
be worth reading were it only for the colour of its word-painting,
and for its high-comedy dialogue. Yet is Mr. CRAWFORD rather given
to pause in his story, for the sake of moralising on the tendencies
of the age; and the reader, patient though he may be, when he has
become interested in the personages of the novel, does not care to be
button-holed by a digression. MARION CRAWFORD'S recipe for commencing
an amorous duologue (early in Vol. III.), which is to lead up to a
declaration of love, is deliciously ingenious. It begins with the
gentleman taking a seat, and his first remark is upon the chair. Mr.
CRAWFORD evidently remembers the old story of how the tenor who knew
but one song, "_In my Cottage near a Wood_," used to introduce it into
any scene of any Opera by the simple process of making his entrance
alone and finding a chair on the stage. "Aha!" quoth he. "What's this?
A chair? and made of wood! Ah! that word! how it reminds me of my
'umble home, 'my cottage near a wood.'" Cue for band; chord; song.
In this instance, the love-scene, admirably led up to on the above
plan, is strikingly powerful; it is the work of a master-hand. The
_dénoûment_ is both artistically original and, at the same time,
ordinarily probable. May all readers enjoy this excellent novel as
much as has the sympathetic


       *       *       *       *       *

CLASSICAL QUESTION.--If some schoolboys, home for Christmas holidays,
wanted Sir AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS to give them a Christmas Box (not a
private one at the Pantomime), what Ancient Philosopher would they
mention? Why--of course--"ARISTIPPUS."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A LABOUR OF LOVE.



       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. ALFRED AUSTIN, in his new poem, _Fortunatus, the Pessimist_, has
hit upon a new notion, to say nothing of a novel rhyme. Sings he:--

  "When the foal and brood-mare hinny,
  And in every cut-down spinney
  Lady's-Smocks grow _mauve and mauver_,
  Then the Winter days are over."

This opens a polychromatic vista to the New Poetry. Technical Art
comes to the aid of the elder Muses. The products of gas-tar alone
should greatly regenerate a something time-worn poetic phraseology. As

  When the poet, Mr. PENNYLINE,
  Is inspired by beauteous Aniline,
  Products chemical and gas-tarry
  Give the modern Muse new mastery.
  Mauve _may_ chime with love, and mauver
  Form a decent rhyme to lover;
  While (and if not, why not?) _mauvest_
  Antiphonetic proves to lovest.
  (Verse erotic always sports
  Tricksily with longs and shorts.
  Verbal votaries of Venus
  Are an arbitrary genus,
  And as arrogant as HOWELLS
  In their dealings with the vowels.
  _Love, move, rove_, linked in a sonnet,
  Pass for rhymes; the best have done it!)
  Then again there is Magenta!
  Surely science never sent a
  Handier rhyme to--well, polenta,
  Or (for Cockney Muses) Mentor!
  The poetic sense auricular
  Can't afford to be particular.
  Rags of rhymes, mere assonances,
  Now must serve. Pegasus prances,
  Like a Buffalo Bill buck-jumper,
  When you have a "regular stumper"
  (Such as "silver") do not care about
  Perfect rhyming; "there or thereabout"
  Is the Muse's maxim now.
  You _may_ get (bards have, I trow)
  Rhyme's last minimum irreducible,
  From dye-vat, retort, or crucible.

Verily (as _Touchstone_ says), "I'll rhyme you so, eight years
together, dinners and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted." And if it
is "the right butterwoman's rate to market," or "the very false gallop
of verses," it is at any rate good enough for a long-eared public or a
postulant for the Laureateship.

       *       *       *       *       *



_Monday._--Extremely awkward--the entire British Fleet have come
ashore; and, as it is impossible to move them on account of their
enormous tonnage, this will entail a loss of £24,000,000,000!

_Tuesday._--Troubles never come singly! The French, taking advantage
of the temporary suspension of our naval operations, have declared
war. This means the utter ruin of the bathing season, not only at
Herne Bay, but Southend, and the Isle of Thanet.

_Wednesday._--As I expected! The French Fleet are coming up towards
London. They are sure to pepper us as they pass. As every gun carries
several hundred miles, I do not see how books can be uninterruptedly
issued from and returned to the Circulating Library.

_Thursday._--Our first slice of luck! The entire French Fleet during
the mist last night came into collision with the Nore Light, and sank
immediately. I was surprised at their sparing the Reculvers and the
local bathing-machines, but now the mystery is explained.

_Friday._--Just learned that the great gun of Paris, which carries
forty-four thousand miles, is to be tried for the first time
to-morrow. It would have been used earlier, had it not been necessary
to raise a foreign loan to supply funds to load it. Trust it won't
be laid in our direction. This war has already caused the Insurance
Companies to double their charges! Too bad!

_Saturday._--All's well that ends well. Hostilities are at an end.
This morning all the glass in the windows were broken at 8 o'clock.
Ten minutes later the Champs Elysées was deposited half a mile from
Birchington. We now know that the great Paris gun burst on its
first discharge, and France exists no longer as a country, but as a
"geographical expression" is deposited in various parts of Europe.

       *       *       *       *       *

REAL AND IDEAL.--"A Really Hard-Headed Man"--the Iron-skulled
individual now exhibiting at the Aquarium. If his will is as iron
as his head, what a despot he would be! If France is tired of her
Republic, she might try the Iron-Headed Man as a ruler. There is the
chance, of course, that he might turn out a numskull, and be only King
Log, after all.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


    ["Do the poor make the slums, or the slums make the
    poor?"--_Henry Lazarus, in "Landlordism."_]


  Is it the poor wot makes the Slums, or the Slums wot makes the poor?
  Well, that's the question, Guv'nor, and I've 'eared it arsked afore,
  And the arnser ain't so easy, if you wants to be O.K.
  Don't suppose as _I_ can settle it, but I'll have my little say.

  My old friend Mister LAZARUS, now, he ups and sez, sez he,
  The great Ground Landlord is the great _prime_ cause. "Yah!
  Cries the House-Farmer; "Slums is Slums, acos the Poor is _Pigs_!"
  "You try 'em, friend philanthropist! They'll play you proper rigs."

  Yus, there's two sides to heverythink, wus luck! That's where
          we're fogged.
  Passiges like foul pigstyes, gents, and backyards like black bogs,
  Banisters broke for firewood, and smashed winders stuffed with rags,
  These make the sniffers slate the poor, Perticular if they're wags.

  Well, gents, you know, it's _this_ way. Just you fancy yerselves
  In a back-slum like Ragman's Rents. 'Old 'ard, don't larf with
  Some on us _is_ born there, yer know; it might ha' bin _your_ luck,
  _If_ yer mother'd bin a boozer, and yer father'd got the chuck.

  Of course _yourn_ was respectable; _mine_ wosn't; there's the diff.!
  Ah! things like this ain't settled by a snort or by a sniff.
  Jest fancy hopening yer eyes fust time in a dark dive,
  Or a sky-parlour where a plarnt o' musk won't keep alive.

  Emagine, if yer washups can, some ten foot square o' room,
  With a stror-heap in one corner, and a "dip" to light the gloom;
  With the walls dirt-streaked with damp-lines, outside, a drunken
  And hinside, a whiff of sewer-gas in a hatmosphere of gin.

  Some on you carn't emagine there's sech 'orrors on the earth;
  But there are, you bet your buttons. Who'd select 'em for their
  Not you, not me, not no one, if you asked 'em, I expect;
  But yer place o' birth yer see, gents' jest the thing yer _carn't_

  If you're born where streets is narrer, and where rooms is werry
  Where you've damp sludge for a ceiling, rotting plarster for a wall;
  Where yer carn't eat, sleep, wash yerselves, or lay up when you're
  Without tumbling one o'er tother, wy, yer _sinks_, gents, pooty

  _Sinks!_ Yes, when wot yer lives in _is_ a sink, or somethink wus;
  With a drunkard for a mother, and some neighbour for a nuss;
  With the gutter for yer playground, and a 'ome from which yer
  Can you wonder that poor Slum-birds is give o'er to Dirt and Drink.

  Ah! them two D's goes together. Just you plant some orty Queen
  In a rookery, in her kidhood, and then tell her to keep _clean_,
  Wash 'er face, and mend 'er garments,--wich they're mostly
          sewed-up rags,--
  In six months she'd be a scare-crow, 'ands like sut, and 'air all

  Wot yer washups don't quite tumble to's the fack as like breeds
  If you would himprove Slum-dwellers, at the Slum you fust must
  Give us small dark 'oles to dwell in, and you must be jolly green
  If you think folks bred in dirt like, are a-going to keep 'em clean.

  When the sewer-rats take to sweetening and lime-washing _their_
          foul 'oles,
  And bright light and disinfectants are the fads of skunks and moles,
  Then poor souls in cellar-dwellings and in jerry-builders' dens,
  Will be smart as young canaries and as clean as clucking hens.

  NOCKY SPRIGGINGS guyed me proper, in his chuckly sorter style,
  With his thumb 'ooked orful hartful, and his chickaleary smile.
  "JIM," sez he, "wot price _your_ jabber? Do yer think the blooming
  Cares a cuss for me and you, JIM, any more than for our mokes?

  "Shut yer face, you pattering josser! Dirt and Drink is good for
  If the Poor _wos_ clean and sober, where 'ud be their
  If it's Public 'Ouse 'gainst Wash 'Ouse, if it's Slumland _wersus_
  _I_ am on for booze and backy 'stead o' drains and water-pipes.

  "You may be _too_ jolly clean, JIM, and a precious sight _too_
  Were's the good to scrub yer skin orf! And if when a cove gits
  Or would give his donah wot-for on the Q.T. _wot_ a lark
  If there weren't no 'andy alleys, nor no corners snug and _dark_.

  "If the Public--_and_ the Slops--wos always fly to wot _we_ done,
  'Long o' widened streets and gas-light, wy we'd 'ave no blooming
  Lagged for larrupping yer missus, nailed for boozing till yer nod?
  Wy, you jabbering young Juggins, _we should always be in quod!_"

  'Ard nut is NOCKY SPRIGGINGS--of the sort as make the slums,
  'Cos there ain't much chance for cleanness, or for comfort, when
          _he_ comes.
  He's as 'appy in the dirt, gents, as a blowfly or a 'og;
  Or poor Paddy in his tater-patch alongside of a bog;

  He'd chop up 'is doors and winders for a fire to 'ot his lush,
  Don't care a 'ang for decency, and never raised a blush.
  But, arter my hexperience--and I've 'ad some down our court--
  I believe that--fair at bottom--it's the Slum as makes _his_ sort.

  Anyways I'm pooty certain, if we'd got more light and space,
  And were not jammed up together in a filthy, ill-drained place;
  If the sunlight could but see us, and the public _and_ the cops,
  There would be less booze and bashing, fewer drabs and

  Aye, and fewer NOCKY SPRIGGINGSES! I don't go for to say
  As it's _all_ along o' Landlords, who'd rent 'ell, if 'twould but
  But I've noticed you find fewest mice where there are lots of cats,
  And where there ain't no rat-holes, well--yer won't spot many rats!

       *       *       *       *       *



The enormous crowd cheered again and again. It was furious. The
enthusiasm spread from throng to throng, until a mighty chorus
filled every portion of the land. And there was indeed reason for the
rejoicing. Had not the great Arctic Explorer come home? Had he not
been to the North Pole and back? At that very moment were not a couple
of steam-tugs drawing his wooden vessel towards his native shore?
It was indeed a moment for congratulation--not only personal but
national, nay cosmopolitan. The victory of art over nature belonged to
more than a country, it belonged to the world!

And the tugs came closer and closer, and the cheers grew louder and
louder. Then the vessel bearing the Explorer was near at hand.
The crowd joyously jumped into the water, and raising him on their
shoulders, bore him triumphantly to land.

How they welcomed him! How they seized his hands and kissed them! How
they cried and called him "Master," and "Victor," and "Hero!" It was a
scene never to be forgotten!

When the excitement had somewhat subsided, they began to ask him
questions. At last one of them wished to know how he contrived to find
the North Pole and get back in safety?

"You intended to drift?" said they. "Great and glorious hero,
victorious victor, triumphant explorer, did you do this?"

"I did," was the reply.

"And tell us what was your method of obtaining the knowledge you now
possess? Oh, great chief, how _did_ you manage it?"

Then came the answer--

"By sitting still, and doing nothing!"

And now it being dark, they separated to illuminate their homes in
honour of the fresh industry--an industry admirably adapted to that
great and contented class of the community, the Unemployed!

       *       *       *       *       *

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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