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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 104, January 28, 1893
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 104, January 28, 1893" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 104.



January 28, 1893.



CONVERSATIONAL HINTS FOR YOUNG SHOOTERS.

THE KEEPER. (_Continued._)

Is there no way, then, you may ask, in which the Head Keeper may be lured
from his customary silence for more than a sentence or two? Yes, there is
one absolutely certain method, and, so far as I know, only one. The subject
to which you must lead your conversation is--no, it isn't poachers, for a
good keeper takes the occasional poacher as part of his programme. He wages
war against him, of course; and, if his shooting happens to be situated
near a town of some importance, the war is often a very sanguinary one,
only ended by the extermination (according to Assize-Court methods) of the
poachers. But the keeper, as I say, takes all this as a matter of course.
He recognises that poachers, after all, are men; as a sportsman, he must
have a sneaking sympathy for one whose science and wood-craft often baffle
his own; and, therefore, though he fights against him sturdily and
conscientiously, and, as a rule, triumphs over him, he does not generally,
being what I have described him, brag of these victories, nor, indeed, does
he care to talk about them. "There, but for the grace of God, goes
Velveteens," must be the mental exclamation of many a good keeper when he
hears his enemy sentenced to a period of compulsory confinement. I do not
wish to be misunderstood. There are poachers and poachers. And whereas we
may have a certain sympathy for the instinct of sport that seems to compel
some men to match their skill against the craft of fur or feather reared at
the expense and by the labour of others, there can surely be none for the
methodical rogues who band themselves together on business principles, and
plunder coverts just as others crack cribs, or pick pockets. Even sentiment
is wasted on these gentlemen.

But I return from this digression. The one subject, then, on which a keeper
may be trusted to become eloquent, is, that of

FOXES.

Just try him. Suppose you are shooting a wood, in which you expect to find
a considerable number of pheasants. The guns are posted, the beaters have
begun to move at the far end of the wood. Suddenly you are aware of a
commotion in the middle of the wood. Here and there pheasants rise long
before the beaters have approached. There is a whirring of wings, and
dozens of birds sail away, un-shot at, to right, to left, and all over the
place. And then, while you are still wondering what this may mean, a fine
dog-fox comes sliding out from the covert. Away he goes at top speed across
the open. The little stops view him as he passes, and far and near the air
resounds with shrill "yoick!" and "tally-ho!" In the end four birds are
brought to bag, where twenty at least had been expected. When the beat is
over, this is the kind of conversation you will probably hear:--

_First Beater_ (_to a colleague_). I seed 'un, JIM; a great, fine fox 'e
were, a slinkin' off jest afore we coom up. "Go it," I says to myself; "go
it, Muster BILLY FOX, you bin spoilin' sport, I'll warrant, time you was
off"; and out 'e popped as sly as fifty on 'em, ah, that 'e was.

_Second B._ Ah! I lay 'e was that. Where did 'e slip to, TOM?

_First B._ I heerd 'em a hollerin' away by CHUFF'S Farm. Reckon 'e's goin'
to hev 'is supper there, to-night.

_Second B._ And a pretty meal 'e'll make of it. Pheasant for breakfast,
pheasant for dinner, pheasant for tea; I'll lay 'e don't get much thinner.

_One of the Guns_ (_to the Keeper_). Nuisance about that fox, SYKES.

_Keeper._ Nuisance, Sir? You may say that. Why, I've seen as many as four
o' them blamed varmints one after another in this 'ere blessed wood. Did
you see 'im, Sir? I wish you'd a shot 'im just by mistake. Nobody wouldn't
a missed 'im. But there, a-course I daren't touch 'em. Mr. CHALMERS
wouldn't like it, and a-course I couldn't bring myself to do it. But I do
say, we've got too many on 'em, and we never get the hounds, or if they do
come, they can't kill. What am I to do? Mr. CHALMERS wants birds, and 'e
wants foxes too. I tell 'im 'e can't have both. I does my best, but what's
a man to do with a couple o' thousand foxes nippin' the heads off of his
birds? Fairly breaks my heart, Sir. Keep 'em alive, indeed! Live and let
live's my motter, but it ain't the plan o' them blamed foxes.

    [_And so forth ad lib._

There are other animals which your true keeper holds in aversion. And chief
amongst these is the domestic cat. You might as well try to keep a
journalist from his writing-paper as country cats from the coverts. They
are inveterate and determined poachers, and, alas, they meet with scant
mercy from the keeper if he catches them. Many a fireside tabby or
tortoise-shell dies a violent death in the course of every year, and is
buried in a secret grave. This often gives rise to disturbance, for the
cottager, to whom the deceased was as the apple of her eye, may make
complaint of the keeper to his master. My friend SYKES, one of the best
keepers I know, once related to me an incident of this nature. As it may
help to explain the nature of keepers, and throw light on the
conversational method to be adopted with them, I here set down the winged
words in which SYKES addressed me.

[Illustration: "Taking away his Character."]

"Trouble, Sir? I believe you. Them old women gives me a peck o' trouble,
far more nor the breakin' of a retriever dog. There's old Mrs. PADSTOW,
Mother PADDS we call 'er, she's a rare old teaser. Went up to Mr. CHALMERS
last week and told 'im I'd shot 'er pet cat. Mr. CHALMERS, 'e spoke to me
about it; said I'd better go and make it right with the old gal. So,
yesterday I goes to call upon 'er. First we passed the time o' day
together, and then we got to business. You see, Sir, me and the old lady
had always been friendly, so I took it on the friendly line. 'Look 'ere,' I
says, 'Mrs. PADSTOW, I've come about a cat.' 'Ah,' she says. 'It's just
this way,' I says, 'Mr. CHALMERS tells me you said I'd shot your cat. Now,'
I says, straightenin' myself up and lookin' proud, 'I couldn't scarcely
believe that, and you and me such good friends, so I've just come to ask
you if you did say that. She was a bit took aback at this, so I asked 'er
again. 'Well,' she says, 'I didn't exactly say that.' 'What did you say
then?' I asked her. 'I told Mr. CHALMERS,' she says, 'that our old cat 'ad
been shot what never did no 'arm, and I thought it might be as you'd a done
it, p'raps not meanin' it.' 'Ah,' I says, 'them was your words, was they?'
'Yes,' she says, 'them was my words.' 'Well, then,' I says, 'you'd better
be careful what you say next time, or you don't know whose character you'll
be takin' away next.' And with that I left 'er."

"But did you shoot the cat, SYKES?" I ventured to ask.

"_Did_ I shoot it? Ho, ho, ha, ha! What do _you_ think! Sir?"

And with that enigmatic answer the dialogue closed.

       *       *       *       *       *

When referring to a recent Lecture by a certain Noble Marquis
(distinguished in the "_P.R._-age" of the Realm), the ladies generally say,
that they should decidedly object to be married "under the Queensberry
Rules." _Their_ prize ring is quite another affair.

       *       *       *       *       *

"DOWN AMONG THE COALS."--The most appropriate place wherein to try "the
scuttle" policy would, of course, be--Newcastle.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTRÖM.

[Illustration]

(_Fragments from a Narrative somewhat in the style of E. A. Poe._)

Even while one gazed, the current acquired a monstrous velocity.

Each moment added to its speed--to its headlong impetuosity.

The vast bed of the waters, seamed and scarred into a thousand conflicting
channels, burst suddenly into frenzied convulsion--heaving, boiling,
hissing,--gryrating in gigantic and innumerable vortices, and all whirling
and plunging on with a rapidity which water never elsewhere assumes except
in precipitous descents.

       *       *       *       *       *

Precipitous descents! Niagara's abrupt and headlong plunge is but as an
eddy in a rocky trout-stream compared with what was soon to be seen _here_.
In brief space there came over the scene another radical alteration. The
general surface grew somewhat more smooth, and the whirlpools one by one
disappeared, while prodigious streaks of foam became apparent where none
had been seen before. These streaks, at length, spreading out to a great
distance, and entering into combination, took unto themselves the gyratory
motion of the subsided vortices, and seemed to form the germ of another
more vast. Suddenly--very suddenly--this assumed a distinct and definite
existence in a circle of a colossal and seemingly all-embracing diameter.
The edge of the whirl was represented by a broad belt of gleaming, turbid
slime--cumbered spray, foul, festering, furiously troubled, slipping, as it
seemed, particle by particle, viscid gout by gout, into the mouth of the
terrific funnel, whose interior, as far as the eye could fathom it, was a
smooth, shining, and jet-black wall of water, inclined to the horizon at an
angle of some forty-five degrees, speeding dizzily round and round, with a
swaying and sweltering motion, and sending forth to the winds an appalling
voice half shriek, half roar, such as not even the mighty cataract of
Niagara ever lifts up in its agony to Heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

Then, said I, this _can_ be nothing else than the "great, all-whelming
whirlpool of the Maelström!"

       *       *       *       *       *

In all violent eddies at sea _there is good fishing_, at proper
opportunities, if only one has the courage to attempt it. In fact, it is
made a matter of desperate speculation--risk standing instead of labour,
and courage, of a reckless, and not too scrupulous sort, answering for
capital. But there are many who would lightly adventure the pestilential
perils of a tropic stream, or fever-haunted water-way or canal, who would
yet shrink from being caught--owing to want of care, and cautious
calculation as to the exact hours of slack and safety--by the hideous,
irresistible, all-engulfing, all-wrecking whirl of the terrifying Ström!
Once drawn within the down-draught of that hideous vortex, a whole army
might be destroyed more certainly than even by the manifold death-dealing
contrivances of modern science, a whole legislature lost in a single hour
of ghastly and unhonoured catastrophe!

       *       *       *       *       *

Oh, the sickening sweep of that descent! With what sensations of awe,
horror, and strange, distraught admiration, must a doomed victim, once
within that whirl, gaze about him!--for he has leisure to observe. The
downward draught of those swift, wide-sweeping, spirally-whirling
water-walls is comparatively slow. The victim clinging to his boat, or
bound to his spar or barrel, appears to be hanging, as if by magic, midway
down, upon the interior surface of a funnel, vast in circumference,
prodigious in depth, and whose perfectly smooth sides might be mistaken for
ebony, but for the bewildering rapidity with which they spin around,
and for the gleaming and ghastly radiance they shoot forth, a foul,
phosphorescent iridescence, as of accumulated corruption, streaming in a
flood of loathsome radiance along the black walls, and far away down into
the inmost mist--veiled recesses of the abyss!

       *       *       *       *       *

Looking about upon the wide waste of liquid ebony on which that helpless,
past-struggling, beautiful, and apparently doomed figure was borne, I
perceived that she, in the midst of the mighty, all-mastering misery, was
not the only object in the embrace of the whirl. Both above and below were
visible fragments of wreckage--significant wreckage--plumed hats,
sword-sheaths, portfolios, epaulettes, decorations, insignia of honour, as
if here a national Argosy, laden with Opulence, Rank Intelligence, and
Honour, had gone, dismally and desperately, down to--_what_? Let those
Phlegethon walls, that Tophet-like mist, make answer!

       *       *       *       *       *

And that bound, helpless, seemingly doomed, but beautiful and piteously
appealing figure on which my eyes were fixed in terror, and amaze, and
profound compassion? Alas! Yet are there some objects which enter the whirl
at a late period of the tide, which for some happy reason descend slowly
after entering, which do not reach the bottom before the turn of the tide,
which are _not completely absorbed_ ere the desperate ordeal of danger is
ended by utter submergence and entire wreck! These, conceivably, may be
whirled up again to the level of the ocean, without undergoing the fate of
those which had been drawn in more early, or absorbed more rapidly!

       *       *       *       *       *

Here indeed the phantom of Hope seems to gleam forth rainbow-like even
amidst the foul mists of the Maelström! That beautiful agonised figure
seems yet but as it were at the edge of the whirl. Into its profound and
pestilential depths, indeed, she _can see_. And she shudders at the sight,
as must all who are interested in her fate. But the Ström will not whirl
for ever, the hour of slack cannot be far off, and when the slope of the
sides of the vast funnel become momentarily less and less steep, when the
gyrations of the whirl grow gradually less and less violent, when the froth
and the fume disappear, and the bottom of the gulf seems slowly to uprise;
when the sky clears, and the winds go down, and the full moon rises
radiantly o'er the swaying but no longer tormented floods, shall she, that
beautiful, bound creature be found floating upon the quieting waves, sorely
buffeted, may be much scarred, bearing in her beauty ineffaceable traces of
the hideous ordeal she has undergone, but living, and _Safe_?

       *       *       *       *       *

So may it be!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FASHIONABLE.

"HOW DO YOU LIKE ME IN THIS, VERA? TELL ME THE TRUTH."

"WELL, DEAR, IT LOOKS AS IF YOUR PET POODLE HAD DIED, AND YOU'D HAD HIM
MADE UP AS A CLOAK!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARLEY'S OLD 'AUNT AT THE ROYALTY.

_Charley's Aunt_, by Mr. BRANDON THOMAS, is distinctly related to _The
Private Secretary_; and Mr. PENLEY, as _Lord Babberley_, is second cousin
to the _Rev. Mr. Spalding_, who, as the Private Secretary, obtained so
distinguished a position in the theatrical world not so many years ago. As
a play, _The Private Secretary_ had a strange history, seeing that it began
as a failure, had an Act cut out of it, and, surviving this severe
operation, grew into an enormous success, then went "so strong" as to be
able to keep on running in London, the Provinces, our Colonies, and
America, for some years.

_Charley's Aunt_, however, has experienced no such downs and ups, being
born to the rouge-pot as heiress of the great success which _The Private
Secretary_ had only gradually, though surely, achieved. Yet 'tis a matter
for question whether the latter was not the better piece, dramatically, of
the two, having, besides its own comic situations, two irresistibly
diverting characters, represented by little PENLEY and mountainous HILL,
both playing into one another's hands.

There are very few comparatively dull moments in _Charley's Aunt_, and
these arise from faulty construction necessitating occasional explanations
which come as dampers in the midst of the uproarious fun whereat the house
has been shaking its sides and even weeping with laughter. And the
awkwardness of these pauses in the action is still further emphasised by
their being filled up with either commonplace narrative, or with a kind of
cheap sentimentality quite at variance with the general tone of the piece.
Were this slight blemish removed, the longevity of _Charley's Aunt_ would,
it is more than probable, equal that of _The Private Secretary_.

[Illustration: LIKE AS TWO P'S!

_The Private Secretary._ "Excuse me, Madam? but, d'you know, I fancy you
must be a connection of mine--I see such a resemblance to our family. I am
the Rev. Robert Spalding!"

_Lord Fancourt Babberley._ "Oh yes; and I'm Charley's Aunt, and Robert's
Cousin."

_The P. S._ "Dear me! Fancy that!"]

All the parts are well played. Mr. BRANDON THOMAS has not given himself
much of a chance as _Colonel Chesney_, who bears a strong family
resemblance to the heavy dragoon in the _Pantomime Rehearsal_. The young
men, Messrs. PERCY LYNDAL and FARMER, have plenty of "go"--it would be
"little go" were they Cantabs--as the two undergraduates, young enough to
be still up at College completing their education, yet old enough to
propose and be accepted as eligible husbands. But in a rattling three-act
farce as this is intended to be, any exaggeration is sufficiently probable
as long only as it is thoroughly amusing; and, it be added, in such a
piece, sentiment is as much out of place as would be plain matter-of-fact
conduct or dialogue. To see Mr. PENLEY in the elderly Aunt's dress is to
convulse the house without his uttering a word. To see him enjoying himself
with the young ladies while threatened by their lovers, who cannot take
them away without compromising themselves, is delicious. Then, when after
dinner he is alone with the ladies, and having been informed by the
scout--capitally impersonated by Mr. CECIL THORNBURY--in a whisper, what
story it is that the gentlemen find so amusing, he goes into fits of
laughter, and subsequently, when after one of the ladies has told a story
which makes the girls laugh, he inquires "Is that all?" and being answered
that it is, he cannot refrain from expressing, in very strong language, his
opinion of the stupidity of the anecdote he has just heard, and then is
seized with a perfect convulsion of laughter,--in all this he is most
heartily joined by the entire audience, who laugh with him and at him.
Altogether in this piece Mr. PENLEY is inimitably and irresistibly funny.

The piece has one other merit which is not the least among its attractions,
that is, that it begins at nine punctually and is over by eleven, thus
yielding two hours of all-but continuous merriment.

       *       *       *       *       *

SIMPLE STORIES.

"Be always kind to animals wherever you may be!"

ELSIE AND THE MACAW.

ELSIE was growing a big girl, and though she was still in short frocks, she
gave herself airs, and had ideas about dress, and sometimes was tempted to
argue with her dear Mamma and give her a pert answer. She was, however in
high glee just now, because she had been invited by her Aunt DABBLECHICK to
a pic-nic with a lot of other little boys and girls. She made a great fuss
about her dress, she studied _The Queen_, and _The Gentlewoman_, and other
papers devoted to this important subject, and worried her poor Mamma with
all sorts of silly suggestions. The costume, however, was at last arranged,
and the little goose was cross because her Mamma would not allow her to
have a blue feather in her hat. ELSIE, like a naughty child, determined
that she would, by some means or other, have this feather.

[Illustration]

How to obtain one was the difficulty. At last it struck her that the
splendid Macaw, a gift from her Uncle, Admiral SANGARORUM, brought from
Brazil, had some lovely feathers of about the right tint.

Taking a few lumps of sugar with her, she paid a visit to the conservatory
where "Lord Macawley," as he was called, swung all day and shrieked. She
felt how naughty she was, but her overweening vanity quite stifled her
conscience. She scratched the bird's poll, treated him to several lumps of
sugar, and, when he was not looking, suddenly jerked one of the finest
feathers out of his tail.

"Lord Macawley" screamed furiously, and ELSIE was terribly frightened for
fear she should be discovered. She, however, ran away with her prize, and
carefully fixed it in her hat.

The next morning when she was ready to start, and JAMES was waiting with
the pony-chaise to drive her over to her Aunt's, her Mamma, who was
gathering flowers in the conservatory, sent for her to see that she looked
nice before starting. Very pretty the little girl looked in her peacock
blue dress, her snowy frills, her black-silk stockings, and Oxford shoes.

Her hat was trimmed with ribbon to match her dress, and her feather so
artfully intertwined, that she hoped her Mamma would not notice it. It
certainly would have passed without observation, but, just as ELSIE was
tripping away, "Lord Macawley" saw her.

He set up a fiendish scream, and then said, "G-r-r! Gr-r-r! Who stole my
feather?" over and over again.

ELSIE turned scarlet. Mamma removed and inspected the hat, and, the little
girl was promptly packed off to bed, where she was left to shed many tears
over her folly for the rest of the day.

Mamma keeps the blue feather, which she shows to her little girl whenever
she is inclined to be disobedient or vain. The exhibition usually has a
magical effect.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SNOW CURE!!

_Fiendish Little Boy_ (_to Elderly Gentleman, who has come a cropper for
the fourth time in a hundred yards_). "'ERE I SAY, GUVN'OR, YOU'RE FAIR,
WALLERIN' IN IT THIS MORNIN'! H'ANYONE 'UD THINK AS YOU'D BIN HORDERED IT
BY YOUR MEDICAL MAN!!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEXT EGYPTIAN LESSON.

    SCENE--_Interior of the Sanctum of the_ Young KHEDIVE. _Present,
    his Highness. To him enter the_ British Representative.

_British Rep._ I think your Highness desired to see me?

_Khedive._ Certainly, my dear Lord. I wish to express once again my great
regret that I could have done, or said, or thought anything without taking
your advice. You have quite forgiven me?

_Brit. Rep._ (_in a tone of respectful annoyance_). Thank you very much,
your Highness; but as I am exceptionally busy this morning, I think, if you
have nothing more to say to me, I will do myself the honour of taking my
departure.

_Khe._ Oh no--a thousand times, no! Are you not aware that I am very
European in tastes, am fond of books, and have a hobby in a small aquarium?

_British Rep._ So I have read, your Highness, in a London evening paper.
And now, if you will permit me, I will----

_Khe._ Oh no--don't go, I promised you I would consult you in every
important matter--and I mean to keep my word.

_British Rep._ I am glad to hear your Highness say so; and I can answer for
Her Majesty's Government being extremely gratified at the report of this
conversation. I shall make a point of communicating with the Premier
forthwith. And now, with your Highness's gracious permission, I will take
my leave.

_Khe._ What a hurry you are in! I have got a lot of important things to
consult you about, and yet you won't wait a moment! I say, it's not
treating a fellow fairly!

_Brit. Rep._ (_grieved_). I trust your Highness will not repeat that
observation after due consideration. But to show you my anxiety to meet
your Highness's wishes, I will sacrifice the examination of a promising
scheme to make the Nile nine and a half times as productive as it is now,
to listen to you.

_Khe._ You are very good. Well, what do you think of my dressing-gown?

_British Rep._ Capital--in every way capital. But surely you didn't want to
talk about that?

_Khe._ Oh, yes, I did! Would you advise me to have it trimmed with any more
fur?

_British Rep._ I should imagine it was more a matter of taste than
politics.

_Khe._ Oh, hang politics! What do you think about my dressing-gown? Would
your Government recommend fur?

_British Rep._ I think, under the circumstances, I can act on my own
responsibility without further reference to Her Majesty's Government. Yes,
by all means, have fur.

_Khe._ I am infinitely obliged to you. Fact is, I told my tailor I thought
I would have fur, but I did not like to give the order without your advice.

_British Rep._ I trust your Highness accepts my assurance that Her
Majesty's Government are most anxious to prevent you from appearing in a
false position.

_Khe._ It's most civil of you to say so. Then I will have fur.

_British Rep._ And now, if your Highness no longer requires my
presence----.

_Khe._ (_interrupting_). But I do. As I have already said, I've a lot of
things to ask you. Now, I want to know whether it would be to the benefit
of the fellaheen if I visited the theatre more frequently?

_British Rep._ Your Highness will use your own discretion. I think I may
say, without further reference to Downing Street, that Her Majesty's
Government will have not the slightest objection to your Highness indulging
in any innocent recreation.

_Khe._ Come--that's very good of them. But don't go. Look here. There will
be no great harm if I wear brown leather boots?

_British Rep._ I think not, if your Highness, by the exhibition of such a
preference, does not wound the susceptibilities of other Powers. And now,
your Highness, with your permission, I think I must withdraw.

_Khe._ Very well. If you won't stay any longer I suppose you won't. If I
want any more advice I will send over to you.

_British Rep._ I am extremely obliged to your Highness.

    [_Bows, and exit._

_Khe._ Glad he's gone! And now that I have consulted him about everything,
I think I will have a little recreation on my own account. What shall I do?
Oh, I know, I will dismiss the entire Ministry!

    [_Does so._

(_Curtain._)

       *       *       *       *       *

"GOING STRONG."--At the Court Theatre the _Pantomime Rehearsal_ in which
Messrs. BROOKFIELD and WEEDON have a capital duet, is just as fresh as
ever. Quite a new piece with all the old fun in it. "Equestrian Scenes in
the Circle," might now be added, as they've got a performing PALFREY who
does a very pretty _scherzo_ or skirt-show dance. "Good entertainment
for"--everybody.

       *       *       *       *       *

VICE VERSÂ ON THE STAGE.--Re-appearance of Mr. and Mrs. BANCROFT at HARE'S
Theatre. When Mr. HARE made his first appearance in London it was at Mr.
and Mrs. BANCROFT'S Theatre. And _Diplomacy_ is to be revived. This move is
most diplomatic.

       *       *       *       *       *

"HAPPINESS IN ----."--Professor ST. GEORGE MIVART will be glad to learn
that a telegram from New York, dated the 19th instant, contained the
following interesting item of intelligence.--"A vast quantity of ice is now
at Hell Gate."

       *       *       *       *       *

DEPRECIATION OF GOLD!--"Guinea Fowls" were sold in the Market last week at
from 2_s._ 5_d._ to 3_s._ 6_d._! and a Plover Golden, was to be had for
ninepence!!

       *       *       *       *       *

What with _The Daily Bourse_ and dustmen who refuse to remove the
Drury-Lane refuse, our Sir AUGUSTUS DURIOLANUS has been, of late,
considerably Harris'd.

       *       *       *       *       *

MOTTO FOR THE LADIES WHO BECOME MEMBERS OF MRS. STANNARD'S "ANTI-CRINOLINE
LEAGUE."--"All hoops abandon ye who enter here."

       *       *       *       *       *

GREAT BRITAIN is a country _per se_--so is every Island, as it is only _per
sea_ it can be reached.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MAKING THE BEST OF IT.

"GOOD MORNING, UNCLE CHARLES! DID YOU SLEEP WELL? I'M AFRAID YOUR BED WAS
RATHER HARD AND UNEVEN; BUT----"

"OH, IT WAS ALL RIGHT, THANKS! I GOT UP NOW AND THEN DURING THE NIGHT, AND
RESTED A BIT, YOU KNOW!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

MISCHIEF!

    ["As regards Home Rule, I did not, of course, say that there were
    only three Home-Rulers in the world--Mr. GLADSTONE, Mr. MORLEY,
    and myself. I said that ... there were no stronger Home-Rulers,
    except myself, than Mr. GLADSTONE and Mr. MORLEY in
    Parliament."--_Mr. H. Labouchere, in a Letter to the "Times."_

    "Monkeys and parrots show much analogy in character and habits;
    they both possess extraordinary powers of imitation, which they
    exercise in copying man and his peculiarities. Monkeys 'take off'
    his gestures, and parrots his speech."--_Napier's "Book of Nature
    and Man."_]

    Oh, a merry mime was Jacko!
    He could wink, and whiff tobacco,
      Like a man (an artful _homo_) and a brother.
    And the Parrot--ah! for patter,
    And capacity for chatter
    On--no matter much _what_ matter,
    That gave scope for clitter-clatter,
      The world could hardly furnish such another.
    The Parrot was a bird
      That could talk great bosh with gravity;
    The Ape could be absurd
      With an air of solemn suavity;
  And which to take most seriously, when the mimes were both on show,
  There were ill-conditioned scoffers who declared they did not know.

  "I am very sure," said Jacko, and he twitched his tail with glee,
  "That the only serious creatures in the country are 'We Three'--
  You, Polly, honest Jack (an Irish House-dog), and Myself!"
  (Here he pulled poor Poll's tail-feathers hard, and capered like an elf.)
  Poll held on to his perch, he'd much tenacity of claw,
  But performed, involuntarily a sort of sharp see-saw,
      And he snorted and looked down
      With a very beaky frown,
      And his round orb grew as red as any carrot.
      "'_We Three_'? your Twelfth-Night tag
      Is mere thrasonic brag.
      _Tschutt!_ You'll make my tail a rag!
      Wish you wouldn't pull and drag
  At my feathers in that way!" cried the Parrot.

      Chuckled Jacko, "This _is_ prime!
      What a dickens of a time
    (Like the Parrot and the Monkey in the story)
      We shall have! Teach you, no doubt,
      Not to leave poor Jacko out
    Next time when you are ladling round the glory.
      I might share with honest Jack
      If of yielding I'd the knack,
    Or would stoop to play the flatterer or the flunkey.
      Pretty Poll! It is my pride
      To assist you--from outside!
    And I hope you're duly grateful," said the Monkey.

      "_I_ perceive," cried Pretty Polly,
      "It's all right, and awfully jolly!
    But if you think to pull me from my perch
      By the tail, you are mistaken.
      Simian tricks will leave unshaken
    My hold, though I may seem to sway or lurch.
      A bird who knows his book
      Can afford to cock a snook
    At a chatterer who intrigueth against _his_ chief.
      _'We Three'?_ You quote the Clown;
      And _you play him_! Yes, I own
      Pretty Poll _may_ be pulled down,
    But I do not think 'twill be by Monkey 'Mischief!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

For a Byronic Exam.

_Question._ What proof exists that Lord BYRON shared expenses with the Maid
of Athens?

_Answer._ The line in which he says, "Maid of Athens, ere we 'part,'"--&c.

_Q._ Is there any allusion to billiards in this poem?

_A._ Certainly. It occurs where the Bard says to the Maid, "Take the rest."

       *       *       *       *       *

"AGAIN WE COME TO THEE, SAVOY!" (_vide old-fashioned duet_).--It is
rumoured that the separation, on account of incompatibility of temper,
between a certain distinguished Composer and an eminent Librettist has come
to an end. Its end is peace--that is, an Operatic piece. They have met; the
two have embraced, and will, no doubt, live happily ever afterwards, on the
same terms as before, with the third party present, whose good offices it
is pretty generally understood (his "good offices" are "Number Something,
The Savoy,"--but this is not an advertisement) have brought about this
veritable "Reunion of Arts."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MISCHIEF!]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

_"Eton of Old, or, Eighty Years Since!"_ exclaimed the Baron, and, taking
up the handsome volume recently published by Messrs. GRIFFITH AND FARRAN,
he was soon absorbed in its pages.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Rather disappointing," murmured the Baron, as he closed the book, and
"read no more that day." "Why, with a good memory, a lively imagination,
and a pleasant style, this 'Old Colleger' might have given us something far
more amusing than he has done. Of course Anybody's Anecdotes of our Grand
Old School will probably be interesting up to a certain point: and they
might be made 'funny, without being vulgar.' But this worthy Octogenarian,
be he who he may, has produced only a very matter-of-fact book, containing
historic information likely to arrest the attention of an old or young
Etonian, but only now and again does the author give us anything
sufficiently amusing to evoke a laugh. However, in the course of perusal, I
have smiled gently, but distinctly. Had the Octogenarian already told many
of these stories to his intimates, to whom their narration caused as much
facile entertainment as was given to the friends of _Mr. Peter Magnus_,
when he signed himself 'AFTERNOON,' in substitution for his initials,
'P.M.'?" And it is related how _Mr. Pickwick_ rather envied the ease with
which _Mr. Magnus's_ friends were entertained. If so, then is the Baron to
the Octogenarian Etonian and his intimates as was _Mr. Pickwick_ to "P. M."
and his correspondents. There are some good tales about KEAT and HAWTREY,
and of course the book, as one among an Etonian series, has its own value
for all who care about Eton of the past.

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Perdidi diem_," says the Baron, "or at least the better part of it, in
reading _Zero the Slaver_, by LAWRENCE FLETCHER, who seems to me to be a
promising pupil in the school of RIDER HAGGARD and LOUIS STEVENSON,
but chiefly of the former. It was a beastly day, snow falling, and
North-West-by-North wind howling, bitterly cold, and so," continued the
Baron, "I was reduced to _Zero_. The construction of the plot is clever, as
is also the description of a great fight, in the latter portion of the
story; but, as a whole, the story is irritatingly ill-written, and tawdrily
coloured, while italics are used to bring into prominence any description
of some strongly sensational situation."

Few things so annoying to me, personally, as the romancer speaking of his
chief puppets as "our friends." This LAWRENCE FLETCHER is perpetually
doing. Now his heroes are not "my friends," for, when I read, I am strictly
impartial, at all events, through two-thirds of the book, and, if I learn
to love any one or two (or more) of them, male or female, I should still
resent the author's presuming to speak of them as "our friends." To do so
from the first is simply impudent presumption on the part of the author, as
why, on earth, should he assume that his creations--his children--should be
as dear to us as they are to him?

No--"Our friends," so used, is a mistake.

The influence of RIDER HAGGARD is over the whole book, but in two instances
the author has been unable to resist close imitation, nay, almost quotation
of a well-known Haggardism, and so he writes at p. 130:--

    "Just then a very wonderful and awful thing happened."

And at p. 197:--

    "When suddenly, and without an instant's warning, a most awful
    thing happened."

Both variations on a Haggardism, and both equally spoilt in the process of
transferring and adapting.

One sentence, the utterance of a Zulu chief, is well worth quoting, and it
is this:--

    "But empty hands are evil things wherewith to face a well-armed
    spook."

"The well-armed spook" is a joy for ever.

_"A great black man fleeted past the rocks."_ "Hum!" quoth the Baron,
"fleeted" is a new word to me. Not that I object to its invention and use
on that account; in sound and appearance it expresses no more than "sped,"
or, if pursuit is to be implied, "fled."

Here is something that this novelist having written may well lay to heart,

    _"The man was as white-skinned as themselves, and judging from the
    purity of his English, must have been at one time a British
    subject."_

"Now," quoth the Baron, meditatively, "if purity of English, with or
without a white skin, is the unmistakable mark of a 'British subject,' then
it follows that Mr. LAWRENCE FLETCHER is of some nationality other than
British. At least, such is the logical conclusion arrived at by his humble
but critical servant,

"THE BARON DE B. W. 'B. B.' (_British Born._)"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A VOCATION.

_The Vicar._ "OH--_THAT'S_ YOUR BOY, SMITHERS? AND WHAT'S HE GOING TO BE? A
SHOEMAKER, LIKE YOURSELF?"

_Smithers._ "OH NO, SIR. HE'S UNCOMMON FOND OF ANIMALS, YOU SEE--SO WE'RE
THINKING OF MAKING HIM A BUTCHER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A NEW TURN.--He was an eloquent, an earnest lover, but she saw through him.
When he had sworn to be true, which oath of his she didn't trust for a
minute, and had implored her to do likewise, she only murmured to herself,
"_Had I a heart for falsehood framed_----" Whereupon he vowed that such a
thing was impossible; but, supposing her to possess such a heart, what
would she do with it, considering it as a frame? Then she replied, softly,
"I should put your portrait in it."

       *       *       *       *       *

"All's Well that Ends Well."

YOUNG ABBAS thought to catch Lord CROMER napping.
Perhaps he'll not again try weasel-trapping.
E'en HOMER sometimes nods. 'Tis true--of HOMER;
But ABBAS thinks 'tis not--as yet--of CROMER!

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. LABOUCHERE is, AUTOLYCUS hears, much interested in Mr. YATES'S
promotion to Magisterial honours. "I shall keep my eye on EDMUND," HENRY
says. "If only I get a chance of putting him on my weekly Pillory in
_Truth_, I do not deny it would give me keen satisfaction."

       *       *       *       *       *

MRS. R. has read that the Christy Minstrels are turned into a Limited
Company, but, before subscribing for shares, she wants to know if she would
have to black her face? But what she objects to most is, that the principal
performers (as she has been told) rattle their own bones!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MAN FROM BLANKLEY'S.

A STORY IN SCENES.

    SCENE III.--Mrs. TIDMARSH'S _Drawing-room. Wall-paper of big grey
    peonies sprawling over a shiny pale salmon ground. Over-mantel in
    black and gold. Large mirrors: cut-glass gaselier, supplemented by
    two standard lamps with yellow shades. Furniture upholstered in
    yellow and brown brocade. Crimson damask hangings. Parian
    statuettes under glass, on walnut "What-nots"; cheap china in
    rosewood cabinets. Big banner-screen embroidered in beads, with
    the Tidmarsh armorial bearings, as recently ascertained by the
    Heralds' College. Time, twenty minutes to eight._ Mrs. TIDMARSH
    _is seated, flushed and expectant, near the fire, her little
    daughter_, GWENDOLEN, _aged seven, is apparently absorbed in a
    picture-book close by._ Miss SEATON _is sitting by a side-table,
    at some distance from them. Enter_ Mr. TIDMARSH, _who, obeying a
    sign from his wife, approaches the hearth-rug, and lowers his
    voice to a cautious under-tone._

_Mr. Tid._ It's all right, SEAKALE got in at BLANKLEY'S just as they were
closing. They said they would send round and stop the person, if
possible--but they couldn't say, for certain, whether he mightn't have
started already.

_Mrs. Tid._ Then he may come, even now! May I ask what you intend to do if
he does, MONTAGUE?

_Mr. Tid._ Well, that's what I rather wanted to ask _you_, my dear. We
might tell SEAKALE to send him away.

_Mrs. Tid._ If you do, he'll be certain to send away the wrong
person--Uncle GABRIEL, as likely as not!

_Mr. Tid._ Um----yes, I never thought of that--no, he must be shown up.
Couldn't you explain to him, quietly, that we have made up our party and
shan't require his--hem--services?

_Mrs. Tid._ I? Certainly _not_, MONTAGUE. _You_ hired him, and you must get
rid of him yourself!

_Mr. Tid._ (_uneasily._) 'Pon my word, MARIA, it's an awkward thing to do.
I almost think we'd better keep him if he comes--we shall have to _pay_ for
him anyhow. After all, he'll be quite inoffensive--nobody will notice he's
been hired for the evening.

_Mrs. Tid._ He may be one of the assistants out of the shop for all we can
tell. And you're going to let him stay and make us thirteen, the identical
thing he was hired to avoid! Well, I shall have to let Miss SEATON dine,
after all--that's what it comes to, and this creature can take her down--it
will be a little change for her. GWENNIE, my pet, run down and tell SEAKALE
that if he hears me ring twice after everybody has come, he's to lay two
extra places before he announces dinner. (GWENNIE _departs reluctantly_;
Mrs. T. _crosses to_ Miss SEATON.) Oh, Miss SEATON, my husband and I have
been thinking whether we couldn't manage to find a place for you at dinner
to-night. Of course, it is _most_ unusual, and you must not expect us to
make a _precedent_ of it; but--er--you seem rather out of spirits, and
perhaps a little cheerful society--just for once----I don't know if it can
be arranged yet, but I will let you know about that later on.

_Miss Seaton_ (_to herself_). I do believe she _means_ to be kind!
(_Aloud._) Of course, I shall be very pleased to dine, if you wish it.

_Seakale_ (_at door_). Mr. and Mrs. GABRIEL GILWATTLE, and Miss BUGLE!

    [_Enter a portly old Gentleman, with light prominent eyes and a
    crest of grizzled auburn hair, in the wake of an imposing Matron
    in ruby velvet: they are followed by an elderly Spinster in black
    and silver, who rattles with jet._

_Miss Bugle_ (_after the usual greetings_). I hope, dearest MARIA, you will
excuse me if I am not quite in my usual spirits this evening; but my
cockatoo, whom I have had for ages, has been in convulsions the whole
afternoon, and though I left him calmer, done up in warm flannel on the rug
in front of the fire, and the maid promised faithfully to sit up with him,
and telegraph if there was the slightest change, I can't help feeling I
ought never to have come.

_Aunt Joanna_ (_to her host._) Such a drive as it is here, all the way from
Regent's Park, and in this fog--I told GABRIEL that if he escapes
bronchitis to-morrow----

_Seakale._ Mr. and Mrs. DITCHWATER! Mr. TOOMER!

[Illustration: "Mr. and Mrs. Ditchwater!"]

_Mr. Ditch._ Yes, dear Mrs. TIDMARSH, our opportunities for these festive
meetings grow more and more limited with each advancing year. Seven dear
friends, at whose board we have sat, and they at ours, within the past
twelve months, carried off--all gone from us!

_Mrs. Ditch._ _Eight_, JEREMIAH, if you count Mr. JAUNDERS--though _he_
only dined with us once.

_Mr. Ditch._ To be sure, and never left his bed again. Well, well, it
should teach us, as I was remarking to my dear wife as we drove along, to
set a higher value than we do on such hospitalities as we are still
privileged to enjoy.

_Mr. Toomer_ (_to_ Mrs. TID.) My poor wife would, I am sure, have charged
me with all manner of messages, if she had not been more or less delirious
all day--but I am in no anxiety about her--she is so often like that, it is
almost chronic.

_Seakale._ Mr. and Mrs. BODFISH! Miss FLINDERS! Mr. POFFLEY!

_Mr. Bodf._ (_after salutations._) Mrs. BODFISH and myself have just been
the victims of a most extraordinary mistake! We positively walked straight
into your next-door neighbour's house, and if we had not been undeceived by
a mummy on the first landing, I don't know where we should have found
ourselves next.

_Mrs. Tid._ _A mummy!_ How _very_ disagreeable; such a _peculiar_ thing to
have about a house? But we really know nothing about the people next door.
We have never encouraged any intimacy. We thought it best.

_Mrs. Bodf._ I told their man-servant as we came away that I considered he
had behaved disgracefully in not telling us our mistake at once; no doubt
he had a motive; people _are_ so unprincipled!

_Little Gwendolen_ (_drawing_ Miss SEATON _into a corner_). Oh, Miss
SEATON, what _do_ you think? Mother's going to let you dine downstairs with
them--won't _that_ be nice for you? At least, she's going to, if somebody
comes, and you're to go down with him. He isn't like a _regular_
dinner-guest, you know. Papa hired him from BLANKLEY'S this morning, and
Mother and he both hope he mayn't come, after all; but _I_ hope he _will_,
because I want to see what he's like. Don't _you_ hope he'll come? _Don't_
you, Miss SEATON, dear?

[Illustration: WRITING THE QUEEN'S SPEECH.]

_Miss Seaton_ (_to herself_). Then _that_ was why! And I can't even refuse!
(_Aloud._) My dear GWENNIE, you shouldn't tell me all these things--they're
secrets, and I'm sure your Mother would be very angry indeed if she heard
you mention them to _anybody_!

_Gwen._ Oh, it was only to you, Miss SEATON, and you're _nobody_, you know!
And I _can_ keep a secret, if I choose. I never told how JANE used
to----[Miss SEATON _endeavours to check these disclosures_.

_Uncle Gab._ (_out of temper, on the hearth-rug_). Seven minutes past the
hour, MONTY--and, if there's a thing I'm particular about, it's not being
kept waiting for my dinner. Are you expecting somebody else? or what _is_
it?

_Mr. Tid._ (_nervously_). Well, I half thought--but we won't wait any
longer for him--he is not worth it--ha! there he is--I think I heard the
front door--so perhaps I may as well give him----eh?

_Uncle Gab._ Just as you like--_my_ dinner's spoilt as it is. (_Catching
sight of the banner-screen._) What have you stuck this precious affair up
for, eh?

_Mr. Tid._ To--to keep the fire off. MARIA'S idea. Uncle--she thought
our--hem--crest and motto would look rather well made up like this.

_Uncle Gab._ (_with a snort_). Made up! I should think it was! Though what
you want to make yourself out one of those good-for-nothing aristocrats for
is beyond me. You know _my_ sentiments about 'em--I'm a thorough-going
Radical, and the very sound of a title----

_Seakale_ (_with a fine combination of awe and incredulity_). Lord
STRATHSPORRAN!

    [_There is a perceptible flutter in the company, as a ruddy-haired
    and rather plain young man enters with an apologetic and even
    diffident air, and pauses in evident uncertainty as to his host
    and hostess._

_Uncle Gab._ (_to himself._) A Lord! Bless my soul! MONTY and MARIA are
getting up in the world!

_Guests_ (_to themselves._) A Lord! No _wonder_ they kept the dinner back!

_Miss Seaton_ (_after a hurried glance--to herself._) Good Heavens! DOUGLAS
CLAYMORE!--reduced to this! [_She lowers her head._

_Mr. Tid._ (_to himself._) They might have told me they were going to send
us a Lord--_I_ never ordered one! I wonder if he's genuine--he don't _look_
it. If I could only find out, quietly!

_Mrs. Tid._ (_to herself._) Gracious! And I was going to send him in with
the Governess! (_To her Husb. in a whisper._) MONTAGUE, what are you
_about_? Go and be civil to him--do!

    [_She rings the bell twice:_ Mr. TIDMARSH _advances, purple with
    indignation and embarrassment, to welcome the new-comer, who
    shakes him warmly by the hand_.

(_End of Scene III._)

       *       *       *       *       *

HER WAY OF PUTTING IT.--Mrs. R. thinks she has an excellent memory for
riddles. She was delighted with that somewhat old conundrum about "What is
more wonderful than JONAH in the whale?" to which the answer is, "Two men
in a fly," and determined to puzzle her nephew with it the very next time
she met him. "Such a capital riddle I've got for you, JOHN!" she exclaimed,
"Let me see. Oh, yes--I remember--yes, that's it;" and then, having settled
the form of the question, she put it thus--"What is more wonderful than two
men in an omnibus?" And when she gave the answer, "JONAH in a fly," and
correcting herself immediately, said, "No--I mean, 'JONAH in a whale,'" her
nephew affectionately recommended his excellent relative to lie down and
take a little rest.

       *       *       *       *       *

RAILWAY RATES.--What better rate can there be than that of the Flying
Dutchman to the South, and the Flying Scotchman to the North; the two hours
and a-half express to Bournemouth, and the Granville two hours to Ramsgate?
The word "Rates" is objectionable as being associated with taxes--and to
avoid the taxes the Fishermen are going to employ smacks and boys. Poor
boys! there are a lot of smacks about. As the Pantomime and Music-hall poet
sang, "Tooral looral lido, whacky smacky smack!" But though they, the
Fishermen, hereby avoid the Rails, yet they can't do without their network
of lines.

       *       *       *       *       *

When an actor has to make love to an actress on the stage, it is "purely a
matter of business." Real "love-making" is never a matter of business; most
often 'tis very much the contrary. The "matter of business" comes in with
"making an uncommonly good marriage," but the love-making has little to do
with this, except as it is, on the stage, "a matter of business."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RAILWAY SERVANT'S VADE-MECUM.

_Question._ What are the duties of a Pointsman?

_Answer._ To remember the effect of moving the switches.

_Q._ When is he likely to cease to remember this important detail?

_A._ After he has been on duty a certain or uncertain number of hours.

_Q._ Do these conditions also appertain to the labours of a man in the
signal-box?

_A._ Certainly, but in a more marked degree.

_Q._ What would a collision consequent upon the occasion to which you have
referred be called?

_A._ Generally, "an accident."

_Q._ But would there ever be an exception to this nomenclature?

_A._ Yes; in the case of a Coroner being over-officious, and his Jury
"turning nasty."

_Q._ What would be the effect of this unpleasant combination of
circumstances?

_A._ That a verdict of "Manslaughter" would be given against the occupant
of the signal-box.

[Illustration]

_Q._ What would happen to his superiors?

_A._ Nothing. However, they would be required to see the proper evidence
was forthcoming at the prisoner's trial.

_Q._ What would be the end of the incident?

_A._ Six months hard labour from the Bench, and a day's sympathy from the
general Public for the ex-occupant of the signal-box.

_Q._ What are the duties of a Station-master?

_A._ To be civil to season-ticket holders, and to refer the general Public
to officials of smaller importance than himself.

_Q._ What is your impression of an ideal Station-master?

_A._ A gentleman in correct morning dress taking a deep interest savouring
of sincere satisfaction in all the arrangements of the traffic over which
he exercises a qualified control.

_Q._ If he is asked why such and such a train is an hour late, what should
he reply?

_A._ He should observe cheerily that it keeps better time than it used to
do.

_Q._ Should he ever exhibit surprise?

_A._ Only when a train enters the station punctually to the moment, then he
may safely presume that there must have been an accident somewhere.

_Q._ And now in conclusion, how can an official secure in all human
probability a long life?

_A._ By taking care never to travel on his own line?

       *       *       *       *       *

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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