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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 98, January 18, 1890
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 98, January 18, 1890" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.


VOL. 98.



January 18th, 1890.



AMONG THE AMATEURS.

No. III.--REALISATION.

    SCENE--_Theatre Royal, Blankbury, on the first night of
    the performance of the well-known Comedy of_ "Heads or
    Tails?" _by the "Thespian Perambulators." Time_, 7:50
    P.M. _A "brilliant and fashionable assemblage" is
    gradually filling the house. In the Stalls are many
    distinguished Amateurs of both Sexes, including_ Lady
    SURBITON, _who has brought her husband_ and Mrs.
    GAGMORE (Lady SURBITON'S _particular friend_). _The
    rest of the Stalls are occupied by the immediate
    friends and relations of the Actors. A few professional
    Critics are to be seen. They are addressed with much
    politeness by the Amateurs in front of the House, and
    "played to" with feverish anxiety by the Amateurs on
    the Stage. The Orchestra is composed of excellent
    Amateur Musicians. The Curtain has not yet risen._

_Lady Surbiton_ (_to_ Mrs. GAGMORE). My dear, it's a wonder we ever got
here. CHARLES of course forgot the date, and told me only yesterday he'd
invited some men to stay for a shoot. He had to listen to reason, though,
and so we spent all yesterday sending telegrams to put them off. I've been
at every performance of The Thespians for years, and it wouldn't do to
begin missing them now, would it?

    [Illustration]

_Mrs. Gagmore._ Certainly not, dear, it would have been quite a calamity.
There's the Duchess of MIDDLESEX nodding to you.

_Lady S._ So it is. (_Smiles sweetly at the Duchess, who is sitting three
rows off._) I call it scandalous of her to come out like this when both her
twins have got the measles. Did I tell you I lent Mr. SPINKS my pet parrot,
Penelope, for this performance?

_Mrs. G._ No, dear. I didn't know they ever played it with a parrot.

_Lady S._ Well, they don't usually, but Mr. SPINKS told me that, after
studying the piece very very carefully, he had come to the conclusion that
there ought to be a parrot in _Lady Shorthorn's_ drawing-room, and he
begged me to lend him mine. Fortunately it scarcely ever talks. Oh, there's
Mr. PENFOLD! How old he's getting to look. He never seems to have a good
word to say for anyone in his critiques. They're very late in beginning. I
hope nothing has happened to Penelope. Ah! at last.

    _The Orchestra strikes up. After a few minutes the
    Curtain rises on "the Drawing-room at Bullivant Court."
    Sc. 1, Act 1._ HARRY HALL, _in livery as_ JOHN _the
    Footman, is reclining on a sofa, reading a magazine.
    Penelope, in her cage, is a conspicuous object on the_
    O.P. _side_.

_John_ (_yawning_). "Nothink in the _Fortnightly_, as per usual. Heigh-ho!
This is slow work. Who's that?"

    _Enter_ BELINDA, _the Nursery-maid. The usual amatory
    scene follows. They both disappear, as_ TIFFINGTON
    SPINKS _enters made up as_ "Colonel DEBENHAM," _with a
    saffron complexion, a grey moustache, a red tie and an
    iron-grey wig. He shivers. A great deal of preliminary
    applause. He bows with dignity, conscious of his fame,
    and proceeds._

_Col. Debenham._ "Ugh! how horribly cold this is. I shall have to speak
seriously to SHORTHORN about the state of his fires."

_Penelope the Parrot_ (_suddenly and with terrible distinctness_). "Old
fool!" [_A titter from the irreverent._ SPINKS _pays no heed to the
interruption._

_Lady Surbiton._ How awful! I declare I haven't heard Penelope speak for
six months. I hope to heaven she won't do it again.

_Mrs. Gagmore._ I thought it sounded so natural.

_Lord S._ So it did, that's why it was so out of place. He's getting on all
right now, though.

_Col. Debenham_ (_concluding a peppery soliloquy_). "And as for Lady
SHORTHORN and that spiteful cat of a sister of hers, all I can say of TOM
DEBENHAM is----"

_Penelope_ (_loudly_). "Old fool!"

    [_Whistles up and down the scale. Much laughter._
    SPINKS _feels that violent measures are necessary if
    the piece is not to be utterly ruined. He perceives_
    JARP _standing at the wings made up as_ BINNS _the
    Butler. A happy thought flashes on him. He nods
    meaningly at_ JARP.

_Col. Debenham_ (_improvising gag_). "Oh, confound that bird! I must have
it removed. I'll ring for the butler."

    [_Rings. Enter_ JARP _as_ BINNS.

_Binns._ "'Er Ladyship's compliments, Colonel DEBENHAM, and she would
like----"

_Spinks_ (_in a whisper of concentrated fury to_ JARP). Not yet; take that
infernal parrot away, quick!

_Jarp_ (_loses his head; still the Butler is strong within him_). "'Er
Ladyship is served!"

_Spinks_ (_aloud_). "Oh, nonsense--nonsense, man! You're an idiot. Here,
take this bird, and kill it!"

    [_Seizes cage, thrusts it into the flustered_ JARP'S
    _arms, and pushes him off, the Parrot, horribly
    frightened, yelling, "Old fool!"_

_Lady Surbiton._ How dare he speak of Penelope in that way? Kill her! If
Mr. JARP so much as lays a finger upon her----

_Lord S._ She'll bite him. Oh, you may make your mind quite easy about that
parrot. She's bitten every finger of mine to the bone, and I'm certain
she's quite equal to defending herself against JARP.

    _The Act proceeds without any further hitch, until_
    BELINDA _wheels on her double perambulator containing
    two red-headed infants, one of whom is terrified into
    tears and calls for "Father!" in a shrill voice. After
    this everything, however, goes well, and the Curtain
    falls amidst thunders of applause._


BEHIND THE CURTAIN.

_Spinks._ Yes, GUSHBY, I believe you did it. You were closeted with that
parrot for an hour yesterday. I believe you deliberately taught it to say
that, in order to crab my part. What's more, I'm certain of it, for I
distinctly recognised your voice in the parrot's.

_Gushby._ Pooh! nonsense! If I had taught it to say anything, it would have
been something worse than that, you may be sure.

_Spinks._ You always were kind. As for JARP, he was in the plot. Otherwise
do you think any man could have made such a fool of himself?


IN FRONT OF THE CURTAIN.

_Lady Surbiton._ That's what I've always said. There's so much _esprit de
corps_ and good feeling amongst Amateurs--none of that wretched jealousy
and bickering which ruins professionals.

_Mrs. Gagmore._ It is delightful to listen to them, certainly. They all
look and act like perfect gentlemen. All Mr. JARP'S Butlers are splendid.
You can see at a glance that they have only been with good families.


BEHIND THE CURTAIN.

_Hon. B. Boldero._ I fancy we shall have good notices to-morrow in the
_Morning Moonbeam_. I saw PENFOLD laughing immensely.

_Spinks_ (_down on his luck_). Did you? (_Plucking up a bit._) Well, it
"went" capitally. It was only that blessed parrot.

    [_Goes off intending to buy several copies of next
    morning's "Moonbeam."_


IN FRONT OF THE CURTAIN.

_Mr. Penfold_ (_to his neighbour, a brother journalist_): Are you going to
write anything about this? I have got to do a short notice for the _Morning
Moonbeam_. It's no use abusing these fellows. That's been tried. I'll give
them a little butter this time, and see whether that won't stop them. How
would it do to say something like this?--"We advise the Thespians to keep
clear as much as they can of professionalism. Of course, tradition demands
that the ladies' parts should be played by professionals, but the
introduction of a professional parrot and a professional baby in the First
Act was a mistake, which might have ruined the performance."

    [_His Friend nods approval. Exeunt severally. Imagine
    tableau next day. Delight of Amateurs on reading the
    notice of their performance in the "Moonbeam."_

       *       *       *       *       *

HOLIDAY CATECHISM.

_Mr. P._ Now little Master JACK HORNER, from your corner in Drury Lane,
what plums do you pick out of the Pantomime?

_Master J. H._ The Hansom Cab and King HARRY (NICHOLLS) returning home
confronted by the Queen, then the GRIFFITHS Cow, the Giant's Dinner and his
Servants, and the Dame LENO'S wonderful Fowl.

_Mr. P._ What else?

_Master J. H._ Lots of things, but at the Circus at Covent Garden, the
Shetland Ponies lovely. They come first, so you must be early.

_Mr. P._ Did you see anything else that pleased you?

_Master J. H._ I should think so. Such a game! Mlle. GOU-GOU quite shocked
my little sister POLLY, by her strange conduct. But when it turned out that
he was a man, how we laughed! It _was_ funny.

_Mr. P._ And I suppose you stayed for the Lion?

_Master J. H._ You may be sure we did! POLLY was a little frightened at
first; but when we found that the Royal Dane Boarhound and the Horse didn't
mind him a bit, why we didn't mind either. Isn't it wonderful? Oh, you
ought to go and see them. They are prime!

       *       *       *       *       *

    BARNUM'S MOTTO.--"_Tout à fait La Shows._"

       *       *       *       *       *

MUZZLED AND PUZZLED; OR, "LOVE ME, LOVE MY DOG."

(_A Carol of Kentish Conservatism. Some way after Goldsmith._)


    [Illustration]


  _Good Tories all, of County Kent,
    Give ear unto my song,
  And spare your puerile intent
    To do your Party wrong._

  * * * *

  There was a mighty Minister,
    To power appointed late;
  A virtuous and valiant _Vir_,
    A Pillar of the State.

  If one who doth fat oxen drive
    Should in himself be fat,
  This Minister seemed bound to thrive
    As to his post most pat.

  A more bucolic personage
    Bucolics never sang;
  And when he took that post and wage,
    All round his praises rang.

  O'er Agriculture to preside,
    CHAPLIN was surely born;
  He bore his honours with the pride
    Of Chanticleer at morn.

  In Kent there were some Tories found,
    For Tories still there be;
  In fact, the species doth abound
    In spite of W. G.

  CHAPLIN and they at first were friends,
    But when a feud began
  They--whom a little thing offends--
    Rounded on that good man.

  The motto of these Men of Kent
    Was, "Love me, love my Dog;"
  And soon with angry discontent
    The County was agog.

  For CHAPLIN--it was like his cheek,
    Cockiest of Ministers!--
  Quite supererogant, did seek
    To muzzle Kentish Curs!

  Around to all the counties near
    An angry protest ran;
  To touch a Kentish dog, 'tis clear,
    Touches a Kentish Man.

  Fanatic lovers of the hound
    Scorn hygienic laws,
  And though their dogs should snap all round
    You must not bind their jaws.

  Restraint appeared both sore and sad
    To every Kentish eye,
  And, whilst they swore the Man was mad,
    They swore the Dogs would die.

  Nay, more, there came _this_ fearsome threat
    From true-blue Tory throats:
  "With muzzles if our dogs you fret,
    _You shall not have our votes!_"

  O patriots true! Rads grin with glee!
    The puzzle CHAPLIN fogs;
  'Tis plain that Party loyalty
    Is going to the dogs!

  Kent's choice 'twixt Party seems, and pup,
    The question stirs the town,
  Whether the Tories will give up,
    Or CHAPLIN will climb down!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: STUDIES IN REPARTEE.

_Heavyside_ (_Author of "Epaminondas" and other unread Epics_). "BY THE
BYE, HOW MUCH DO _YOU_ WEIGH, BINKS?"

_Little Binks._ "FOURTEEN STONE!"

_Heavyside._ "DEAR ME! YOU DON'T LOOK VERY BIG, TO WEIGH ALL THAT!"

_Little Binks._ "'_EPAMINONDAS_' DOESN'T _LOOK_ VERY BIG--BUT IT'S PRECIOUS
HEAVY!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

SLAPS FOR SLIPPERS.

SIR,--I am at a loss to understand what is the meaning of all this futile
discussion as to the respective merits of the various kinds of road
pavement. There cannot be a moment's doubt, as to which is, far and away,
the cheapest, the safest, and--in a word--the--best. Without any
hesitation, I maintain that it is the _Asphalte_. And I do not speak
without experience. For many years I have picked mine up from the box-seat
of a hearse, which I think my most virulent opponents will admit, from the
ticklish character of its cattle, accustomed as they are to a stiff, formal
and lugubrious method of progression, affords a test that must be regarded
as supreme by all candid and unprejudiced inquirers into the matter under
dispute.

_In the wettest weather_ I have never had so much as a slip on the
asphalte, whereas the moment I have got on to the wood, when it has been
_comparatively dry_, I have frequently had the horses down as many as seven
or eight times in half a mile, and on one occasion, that I can recall, the
stumbling was so frequent, that the Chief Mourner stopped the procession,
and sent me an irritable message to the effect that, if I could not manage
to keep my horses more securely on their feet, I had better then and there
"hand over the corpse, and let it finish its journey to the Cemetery on the
top of the first mourning-coach." Fortunately, we came shortly to a bit of
asphalte, on which I was able to bowl merrily along, and make up for lost
time; and, as at length we reached the Cemetery only an hour and
three-quarters after the appointed time, the Chief Mourner, whatever may
have been his disposition to make complaints, had the good taste to keep
them to himself. Still, the incident was annoying, and I attribute its
occurrence simply and solely to that pest of all sure and stately-footed
hacks--_the Wood Pavement_.

    [Illustration]

Beyond holding three thousand Preference Shares in the _European and
Inter-oceanic Asphalte Paving Company_, and having signed a contract to
supply them for seventeen years with the best Pine Pitch on favourable
terms, I have not the slightest interest to subserve in writing this
letter, which I think any quite impartial critic will allow, curtly, but
honestly, expresses the unprejudiced opinion of

    AN UNBIASSED JUDGMENT.


SIR,--I am a private gentleman, who keeps a carriage, or rather, a
four-horse coach, in which I am continually driving about all over London
at full speed. We dash at such a rate over those portions of the Metropolis
that are blessed with a wood pavement that my coachman is frequently
summoned for furious driving, but we have never yet had a horse down. No
sooner, however, do we get to the asphalte than all this is changed.
Leaders and wheelers alike are instantly on their backs, and I have now
made it a rule, the moment we come to a street paved with this dangerous
and detestable composition, to put my horses inside the coach, and, with
the assistance of a policeman or two, drag the vehicle to the other end
myself. Only yesterday, I think it was, on the north side of Leicester
Square, I counted as many as nineteen ugly falls in as many minutes,
necessitating, in nearly every case, the despatch of the creature on the
spot by a shot from a revolver. The fact is, the laying of _asphalte_
anywhere should be made criminal in a Vestry. I write impartially on this
subject, as, beyond being a sleeping partner in a large firm of Wooden
Road-Paving Contractors, I have no sort of interest to serve, one way or
the other. But it must be obvious, from the account I have given of my own
personal experience above, that in addressing you on the subject, I am
actuated by no motives that are not consistent with and fitting to the
signature of

    AN UNPREJUDICED OBSERVER.


SIR,--I am in no way interested in the present pavement controversy, but I
would direct public attention to the real source of all the mischief, and
that is the ineffective shoeing of the unhappy horses, who are compelled to
struggle with the difficulties created for them by a parcel of Paving
Authorities. What we want is a general order issued by the Board of Trade
obliging all horse-owners to provide those they possess with a couple of
pairs of _The Patent India-rubber frog and flannel-soled Horse-Shoes_,
warranted to support the most stumbling beast on any pavement whatever. I
said I was in no way interested in the present controversy, and as I am
merely the Inventor of the shoe above referred to, it must be obvious, that
in making this communication to you, I am only fulfilling the commonest
duties of

    AN ORDINARY SPECTATOR.


SIR,--Will not you, or someone, step in and deal with the matter
comprehensively, without paying regard to vested interests? Surely, if the
right people would only put their heads together, they must hit on some
method of bettering the present wretched condition of those much ill-used
but patient and long-suffering creatures, among whom the first to subscribe
himself is

    THE ORDINARY LONDON OMNIBUS HORSE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    ANOTHER TITLE FOR THE GUIDE TO THE EXHIBITION AT THE
    NEW GALLERY.--"New Edition of the _Tudor's Assistant_."

       *       *       *       *       *

    TO BE CREATED A KNIGHT HOSPITALLER.--Mr. PETER REID.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Another Version of "La Toss-ca." The Cow in the Drury Lane
Pantomime.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE JUBILEE OF THE PENNY POST.

    "On Jan. 10, 1840, the Penny Post became an
    accomplished fact."--_Times_.

  ATTEND, all ye who like to hear a noble Briton's praise!
  I tell of valiant deeds one wrought in the Century's early days:
  When all the legions of Red Tape against him tore in vain,
  Man of stout will, brave ROWLAND HILL, of true heroic strain.

  It was about the gloomy close of Eighteen Thirty Nine,
  MELBOURNE and PEEL began to melt, the P.O. "sticks" to pine,
  For vainly the Official ranks and the Obstructive host
  Had formed and squared 'gainst ROWLAND HILL'S plan, of the Penny Post.
  Still poor men paid their Ninepences for sending one thin sheet
  From Bethnal Green to Birmingham by service far from fleet;
  Still she who'd post a _billet doux_ to Dublin from Thames shore,
  For loving word and trope absurd must stump up One-and-four;
  Still frequent "friendly lines" were barred to all save Wealth and Rank,
  Or Parliamentary "pots" who held the privilege of "Frank;"
  Still people stooped to dubious dodge and curious device
  To send their letters yet evade the most preposterous price;
  Still to despatch to London Town a business "line or two"
  Would cost a Connemara peasant half his weekly "screw;"
  Still mothers, longing much for news, must let their letter lie
  Unread at country post-offices, the postage being too high
  For their lean purses, unprepared. And Trade was hampered then,
  And Love was checked, and barriers raised--by cost--'twixt men and men.
  Then up and spake brave ROWLAND HILL in accents clear and warm,
  "This misery can be mended! Read my _Post Office Reform_!"
  St. Stephens heard, and "Red Tape" read, and both cried out "Pooh! Pooh!
  The fellow is a lunatic; his plan will never do!"
  All this was fifty years ago. And now,--well, are there any
  Who do not bless brave ROWLAND HILL and his ubiquitous Penny?
  One head, if 'tis a _thinking_ one, is very often better
  Than two, or twenty millions! That's just why _we_ get our letter
  From Aberdeen, or Melbourne, from Alaska or Japan,
  So cheaply, quickly, certainly--thanks to one stout-soul'd Man.

  Fifty years since! In Eighteen Forty, he, the lunatic,
  Carried his point. Wiseacres winced; Obstruction "cut its stick."
  He won the day, stout ROWLAND HILL, and then they made him Knight.
  If universal benefit unmarred by bane gives right
  To titles, which are often won by baseness or a fluke,
  The founder of the Penny Post deserved to be a Duke.
  But then he's something better--a fixed memory, a firm fame;
  For long as the World "drops a line," it cannot drop his name.
  'Tis something like a Jubilee, this tenth of Janua-_ree_!
  _Punch_ brims a bumper to its hero, cheers him three times three,
  For if there was a pioneer in Civilisation's host,
  It was the cheery-hearted chap who schemed the Penny Post.
  And when the croaking cravens, who are down on all Reform,
  And shout their ancient shibboleth, and raise their tea-pot storm,
  Whene'er there's talk of Betterment in any branch of State,
  And vent their venom on the Wise, their greed upon the Great,
  _Punch_ says to his true countrymen, "Peace, peace, good friends--be
    still!
  Reform does _not_ spell Ruin, lads. Remember ROWLAND HILL!!!"

       *       *       *       *       *

A CURIOUS CURE.

DEAR MR. PUNCH, _January_13, 1890.

So much attention is now bestowed upon the prevailing epidemic that I will
not apologise for troubling you with a letter detailing a case that has
recently come under my own notice. My eldest son, AUGUSTUS, returned home
from the educational establishment admirably conducted by my eminent and
reverend friend, Dr. SWISHTALE, apparently in excellent health and spirits,
shortly before Christmas Day. On the 4th (just a week before the date fixed
for his return to the educational establishment to which I have referred)
he showed symptoms of influenza. He complained of low spirits, seemed
inclined to quarrel with (and thrash) his younger brothers, and flatly
declined to accompany me to an inspection of the treasures contained in the
Natural Historical Museum at South Kensington. I immediately prescribed for
him a diet of bread and water, and an enforced retirement to bed. He spent
the remainder of the day in loudly-expressed expostulation and lamentation.
On the Sunday (after a consultation with his mother) I decided to adopt a
home treatment of kindness, which I trusted would prevent the necessity of
calling in our family doctor. I give the remainder of the case in diary
form.

_Monday._--AUGUSTUS very poorly. Complains of pains in his head, arms,
legs, back, nose, and right little finger. Says he has no appetite, but,
urged by his mother, manages to eat for breakfast two sausages and a couple
of eggs. Quite unable to get up; but shortly before two o'clock, on
learning that I proposed visiting the Morning Performance at Her Majesty's
Theatre, expresses his desire to accompany me. He seemed to enjoy
_Cinderella_ thoroughly, in spite of his ailments; but, at the conclusion
of the performance, became so very languid, that we found it desirable to
take a Hansom home.

_Tuesday._--AUGUSTUS prostrate. Pain in the right little finger
unconsciously shifted to the left little finger. He says he had nightmare
continuously, but "had not slept a wink." Breakfast, of course, in bed. No
appetite for anything save muffins, herrings, and marmalade on buttered
toast. Unable to move until one o'clock, when he thought (at the suggestion
of his mother) that a visit to the Crystal Palace might probably do him
good. The excursion was a happy thought, as certainly he seemed quite
himself at Sydenham. After a hearty dinner from soup and the joint, he once
more seemed languid, and had to be carried home by rail and cab.

_Wednesday._--AUGUSTUS still very unwell. Seems much troubled at a dream he
has had, in which he apparently died through going back to school. Still
complains of insomnia. Says he did not close his eyes all night. Wished to
"punch the head" (to adopt his own phraseology) of his younger brother for
saying, that he had heard him snoring. However, recovered towards the
evening sufficiently to accompany the rest of the family to the Circus at
Covent Garden. In the theatre appeared more himself, but ill immediately
afterwards.

_Thursday._--AUGUSTUS (according to his own account) alarmingly ill. Found
by his bedside a medical dictionary (taken from the shelves of my library)
which he says, he had been reading. He thinks, that he has all the worst
symptoms of _delirium tremens_. This is strange, as his habitual drink is
ginger-beer. He complains of pains in his ears, eyes, knees, elbows, and
big toes on both feet. Quite unable to get up before five o'clock, when he
was fortunately, sufficiently recovered to accompany his younger brothers
to a juvenile party and Christmas tree. According to SAMMY (my second son)
AUGUSTUS danced every dance, and served as an assistant to an amateur
conjuror. But this last statement I give with some reserve, as it does not
correspond with the report furnished by AUGUSTUS himself.

_Friday._--AUGUSTUS at his worst. In the morning he alarmed his mother by a
passionate burst of weeping. He seems to think that, if he goes back to
school to-morrow, he will die immediately. Feeling that this was an
unhealthy state of mind, I took him to the Zoological Gardens in the
afternoon, and must confess that, while there, he appeared to experience a
keen delight in feeding the bears with fragments of newspaper, concealed in
stale buns. But at night his melancholia returned, and he was scarcely able
to eat his dinner.

_Saturday._--Received a letter from my eminent and reverend friend, Dr.
SWISHTALE, informing me that, in consequence of the prevalence of
influenza, it had been thought advisable to extend the Christmas vacation
for a fortnight or three weeks. On conveying this intelligence to my eldest
son, he seemed to rapidly recover, and has (I am happy to say) been well
ever since.

Trusting that the history of this singular case may afford some hints and
comfort to parents with children afflicted (as was my dear AUGUSTUS) with a
disease so eccentric in its ramifications as influenza,

    I remain, dear _Mr. Punch_,

    Yours most truly, SIMON SIMPLE WIDEAWAKE.

_Malinger Villa, Blarney Road, S. W._

       *       *       *       *       *

VOCES POPULI.

THE CADI OF THE CURBSTONE.

    SCENE--_A thoroughfare near Hyde Park. Shortly before
    Scene opens, an Elderly Gentleman has suddenly stopped
    the cab in which he has been driving, and, without
    offering to pay the fare, has got out and shuffled off
    with a handbag. The Cabman has descended from his seat
    and overtaken the old gentleman, who is now perceived
    to be lamentably intoxicated. The usual crowd springs
    up from nowhere, and follows the dispute with keen and
    delighted interest._

_Cabman._ Look 'ere, you ain't goin' not without payin' _me_, you
know--where's my two shillings?

_The Elderly Gentleman_ (_smiling sweetly, and balancing himself on his
heels against some railings_). I'm shure _I_ dunno.

_Cabman._ Well, _look_, can't yer? don't keep me 'ere all day--feel in yer
pockets, come!

    [_The Old Gentleman makes an abortive effort to find a
    pocket about him somewhere, and then relapses into
    abstraction._

_Crowd._ Let 'im take 'is time, _he'll_ pay yer right enough, if you let
the man alone.

_A Woman._ Ah, pore gentleman, the best of us is took like that sometimes!

    [_Murmurs of sympathy._

_Cabman._ I don't want no more than what's my own. 'E's rode in my keb, and
I want my fare out of 'im--an' I mean '_aving_ it, too!

    [_Here the Old Gentleman, who seems bored by the
    discussion, abruptly serpentines off again and is
    immediately overtaken and surrounded._

_The E. G._ Wha' d'ye mean? 'founded 'perrinence! Lemme 'lone ... 'portant
bishniss!

_Cabman._ Pay me my fare,--or I'll have your bag!

    [_Seizes bag; the Elderly Gentleman resisting feebly,
    and always smiling_.

_Crowd._ Why can't yer pay the man his fare and have done with it? There,
he's feeling in his pockets--he's going to pay yer now!

    [_Elderly Gentleman dives vaguely in a pocket, and
    eventually produces a threepenny bit, which he tenders
    magnificently._

_Cabman._ Thruppence ain't no good _to me_--two shillings is what I want
out o' _you_--a florin--'j'ear me?

_The E. G._ (_after another dive fishes up three halfpence_). Thash all
you're 'titled, to--go 'way, go 'way!

_Crowd_ (_soothingly to Cabman_). 'E'll make it up in time--don't '_urry_
'im.

_Cabman._ D' ye think I kin stand 'ere cooling my 'eels, while he's payin'
me a 'apn'y every 'arf 'our? I've got my living to earn same as _you_ 'ave!

_Crowd._ Ah, he's right there! (_Persuasively to Elderly Gentleman._) 'Ere,
Ole Guv'nor, fork out like a man!

    [_The Old Guv'nor shakes his head at them with a
    knowing expression._

_Cabman._ Well, I shan't let go o' this 'ere bag till I _am_ paid--that's
all!

    [_Here a Policeman arrives on scene._

_Policeman._ Now, then, what's all this? Move along 'ere, all of you--don't
go blocking up the thoroughfare like this! (_Scathingly_.) What are yer all
_lookin'_ at? (_The Crowd, feeling this rebuke, move away some three paces,
and then linger undecidedly._) 'Ere, Cabman, you've no right to lay 'old on
that gentleman's bag--_you_ know that as well as I do!

_Cabman_ (_somewhat mollified by this tribute to his legal knowledge,
releases bag_). Well, _he_ ain't got no right to ride in my keb, and do a
guy, without paying nothink, 'as he?

_Policeman._ All I tell _you_ is--you've no right to detain his bag.

_Cabman._ Let 'im pay me my legal fare, then--two shillings it is 'e owes
_me_. I don't want to hinterfere with 'im, if he'll pay me.

_Pol._ (_with a magnificent impartality, to the E. G._). What have you got
to say to _that_?

_The E. G._ (_with a dignified wave of the hand_). Shay? Why, tha' I'm
shimply--a gerrilm'n.

_Pol._ (_his impartiality gradually merging into official disgust_). Well,
all I can say to _you_ is, if you _are_ one, don't abuse it.... Where are
you going to?

_The E. G._ (_brimming over with happy laughter_). _I_ dunno!

_Pol._ (_deciding to work on his fears_). Don't you? Well, _I do_, then. I
know where _you_'re goin' to--ah, and where you'll _be_, too, afore you're
much older--the station-'us!--(_with a slight lapse into jocularity, in
concession to his audience_)--"for one night honly"--that's _your_
direction, unless you look out. (_With virtuous indignation._) 'Ere are
you--calling yourself a gentleman, and old enough to know better--riding in
this man's keb, and trying to bilk him out of his money. Why, you ought to
be _ashamed_ o' yourself!

_A Funny Onlooker._ Now, Policeman, why do you interfere? Why can't you
leave them to settle it between them?

_Pol._ (_turning on him with awful dignity_). I don't want no suggestions
from _you_, Sir. I know _my_ dooty, and them as tries to obstruck me'll get
no good by it. I'm not 'ere to take one man's part more than another.

_Cabman._ Well, ain't you goin' to do something now you _are_ here? What's
the good of a Copper if he won't 'elp a man to git his rights, eh?

    [_Murmurs of sympathy from Crowd._

_Pol._ Now, you mind _your_self--that's what _you_'d better do, or _you_'ll
be gitting into trouble next! I've told you I can't interfere one way or
the other; and--(_generally, to Crowd_)--you must pass along 'ere, please,
or I shall 'ave to make yer.

_Crowd_ (_to Eld. G._). Give the man his money, can't yer? Pay 'im!

_Cabman._ Come, look sharp! Just you pay me!

_The E. G._ How c'n I pay, man? P'fectly 'shurd! Go to bleeshes!

    [_Bolts again, and is once more overtaken by the
    indignant Cabman._

_Pol._ (_following up_). Now, then, Cabman, don't go hustling him!

    [_Crowd's sympathy veers round to the E. G. again._

_Cabman._ _'Oo's_ 'ustlin'? I ain't laid a finger on 'im.
(_Magnanimously._) I've no wish to 'inder 'im from going wherever he likes,
so long as he pays me fust!

_Pol._ You've no right to touch the man, nor yet his bag; so be careful,
that's all I tell you!

_The E. G._ (_with maudlin enthusiasm_). Pleeshman's perfelly ri'!
Pleeshman always knowsh besht!

    [_Tries to pat Policeman on back._

_Pol._ (_his disgust reaching a climax_). 'Ere, don't you go pawin' _me_
about--for I won't '_ave_ it! If _I'm_ right, it's more than what _you_
are, anyhow! Now be off with you, wherever it is you're going to!

_Cabman_ (_desperate_). But look 'ere--can't you take his name and address?

_Pol._ (_rising to the occasion_). Ah! that's what I was waitin' for! Now
you've _ast_ me--now I kin _act_! (_Pulls out a pocket-book full of dirty
memoranda, and a stumpy pencil._) Now then, Sir, your name, if _you_
please?

_The E. G._ (_sleepily_). Shtupid thing a-do, but qui' forgot.... Come out
'ithout mi' name, 'shmornin'!

_Pol._ (_sternly_). That won't do with Me, you know. What's your name? Out
with it!

_The E. G._ (_evidently making a wild shot at it_). FERGUSHON.

    [_Smiles, as if he feels sure the Policeman will be
    pleased with a name like that_.

_Pol._ JOHN? GEORGE? JAMES?--or what?

_The E. G._ You can purr 'em all down t' me--it don' marrer!

_Pol._ (_briskly_). Where do you live, Mr. FERGUSON?

_The E. G._ (_mechanically_). Shirty-one, Lushington Street, Gargleshbury
Park.

_Pol._ (_writing it down, and giving leaf to Cabman_). There, will _that_
do for you?

_Cabman._ That's all _I_ want. (_To the E. G._) You'll 'ear from me later
on.

_The E. G._ (_affectionately_). Alwaysh pleash'd shee you, any time....
Pleeshman too.... Shorry can't shtop--mos' 'portant bishnish!

_Pol._ Which way do you want to go?

_The E. G._ Earlsh Court.

_Pol._ Then get there, if you're capable of it. And now, you boys, clear
the road, will you?

    [_The Elderly Gentleman, smiling in the full conviction
    of having extricated himself from a difficult situation
    with consummate tact and diplomacy, goes off unsteadily
    in the direction of Piccadilly, accompanied by a suite
    of small boys who have kindly resolved to see him
    through any further adventures that may await his
    progress. The Cabman remains to discuss the affair at
    great length on the curbstone. The Policeman paces
    slowly on, conscious that he has worthily maintained
    the dignity of his office._

    [Illustration: A Cab-array.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A CORRESPONDENT, _à propos_ of the prevailing epidemic, writes,--"Sir,
there must have been an epidemic of influenza at Cambridge about
thirty-three years ago, as in a travesty of _Faust_, produced at the A. D.
C. about that time, occurs a parody of the song '_Di Frienza_' from _La
Traviata_, commencing '_Influenza_ is about, So I'll stay no longer out.'
History repeats itself occasionally.--I am, Yours,

    AN INFLUENZIAL PERSONAGE, Trin. Coll. Cam."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THINGS ONE WOULD RATHER HAVE EXPRESSED DIFFERENTLY.

_Miss Amy._ "AND DO YOU ADMIRE MISS TRAVERS, MR. GOSLIN?"

_Mr. G._ "YES--AWF'LY! SHE'S SO UNLIKE ALL OTHER GIRLS, DON'TCHERKNOW!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

PLAIN ENGLISH!

JOHN BULL _loquitur:_--

  "ENGLISH as she is spoke," my little friend,
    Is not precisely what your pundits deem it.
  Let _me_ give you a lesson! This must end.
    That flag, however lightly you esteem it,
  Has not so long waved folds fair, broad, and ample
  To all earth's winds for _you_ at last to trample.

  No! What the mischief is your little game?
     Monkeyish tricks help neither power nor dignity.
  A little country heir of much fair fame,
    I'd like to treat with patience and benignity;
  But memories of CAMOENS and DE GAMA
  Should save you from the clown's part in earth's drama.

  Clowning it is to caper in this style,
    Trying to make a foot-cloth of my banner.
  You ought to know the temper of our Isle,
    You've tested it in circumstantial manner.
  Down before SOULT and JUNOT you'd have gone
  But for that very flag, and WELLINGTON.

  Old friends? Of course we are. Old rivals too,
    In commerce and adventure the world over.
  From JOHN THE GREAT'S time to the present, you
    In Africa have been a daring rover;
  "The Rover's free"! Ah! that's good lyric brag--
  He is not free to trample on my flag!

  VASCO DE GAMA and CABRAL, no doubt,
    Held an exceedingly free hand aforetime.
  Cocks of the walk were those adventurers stout,
    But then their time was different from your time.
  In what you call your "civilising labours,"
  You'll have to think a little of your neighbours.

  "Prancing proconsuls" often stir up strife,
    Which to abate diplomacy must strain.
  Your PINTO seems to mean war to the knife--
    He's too much given to the 'Ercles vein.
  I'm sure I do not want to hurt your feelings,
  I simply say I can't stand SERPA'S dealings.

  Plain English this, my little Portuguee,
    And BARROS GOMES will tell you I mean it.
  Fight? Pigmy _versus_ Titan? Fiddlededee!
    My meaning--without menaces, you'll glean it--
  Is this--I would not hector, no, nor "nag,"
    Only, my lad--_you'll just come off that Flag!_

       *       *       *       *       *

LONDON FOR THE LONDONERS;

_Or, How to Please Everybody_.

SCENE--_Railway Compartment._ BROWN _and_ JONES _discovered reading
Newspapers._

_Brown_ (_putting down his journal_). Not much news, Sir.

_Jones_ (_following the example_). Quite so, Sir--not much.

_Brown._ Perhaps, Sir, the most interesting item is this talk about London
Improvement.

_Jones._ So I think, Sir. But what do we want with this plan for widening
the Strand, and making a road to Holborn? It seems to me, Sir, that the
suburbs are being neglected.

_Brown._ I agree with you, Sir. Now, if they would develop the North of
London, it would be more to the purpose. If they would run a road direct
from Charing Cross to, say Zanzibar Terrace, Upper Kensal Green, West, it
would really be of service to the public.

_Jones._ Very likely, Sir--very likely. For my part, it seems to me that
Chiswick also requires a helping hand. The construction of a broad
boulevard running from Charing Cross in a straight line to, say, Upham Park
Road, would tend to show that the County Council justly appreciated its own
responsibilities. And I say this, knowing the necessities of Chiswick, for
in that neighbourhood I happen to reside.

_Brown._ And I, too, Sir, am equally cognisant of the requirements of Upper
Kensal Green West. As a matter of fact, Sir, I happen to have a comfortable
house in Zanzibar Terrace.

_Jones._ And I, Sir, a delightful villa in Upham Park Road.

[_Whistle. Train enters tunnel, and further conversation is drowned by the
rattle of the carriages._

       *       *       *       *       *

A Musical Anticipation.

  FRED COWEN'S _Viking_
  Sure to be striking.
  Think there is luck in
  BARTON MCGUCKIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

    UNSOUGHT HONOUR.--After his last Birthday, Mr.
    GLADSTONE was unanimously elected a Member of "the
    Eighty Club."

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: PLAIN ENGLISH!

    JOHN BULL. "LOOK HERE, MY LITTLE FRIEND, I DON'T WANT TO
    HURT YOUR LITTLE FEELINGS,--BUT, _COME OFF THAT
    FLAG!!!_"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Jenkinson_ (_to M. F. H., who dislikes being bothered_).
"WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS HORSE?" (_No answer._) "BRED HIM MYSELF, YOU
KNOW!"

_M. F. H._ (_looking at Horse out of corner of his eye_). "UMPH! I THOUGHT
YOU COULDN'T HAVE BEEN SUCH A SILLY IDIOT AS TO HAVE _BOUGHT_ HIM!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OLD COLDS FOR NEW.

(_A Fairy Tale of Anglo-Russian Origin._)

ONCE upon a time there was a feeble little Ailment called
"Cold-in-the-head," which was treated in the most contemptuous fashion by
its relations. The nearest of its kith and kin--Measles and
Scarlatina--absolutely laughed when its name was mentioned, and scarcely
recognised it as a connection. So Cold-in-the-head had rather a bad time of
it generally.

One day the feeble little Ailment was wandering aimlessly about in search
of a resting-place, when it came upon an enormous establishment thronged
with thousands of working-men. When the _employés_ are described as
"working-men," it is not, however, quite accurate, for at that moment they
were not working.

"Why are you idle?" sneezed out little Cold-in-the-head in a tone of
compassion.

"Because," replied one of the _employés_, rather gruffly, "there is nothing
to do. If you want further information, you had better inquire at that
office."

And the man pointed to a door bearing the legend, "Editor's Room." The poor
little Ailment entered the apartment, and found a Gentleman seated in front
of a desk covered with papers. The Gentleman was staring before him, and
the ink in his pen had dried up.

"What do you want?" asked the Gentleman. "And why don't you shut the door
behind you?"

"I should cease to exist without draughts," explained the poor little
Ailment, "and please don't speak roughly to me, as I want to help you."

"You help me!" exclaimed the Editor--for the Gentleman was an Editor. "How
can you do that?"

"I think I can give you a subject."

"You are very welcome if you can do that," was the reply, "as in this dead
season of the year ideas are as scarce as coals; nay scarcer. But surely,
didn't you do something for the Press ages ago?"

"That was in the 'forties;' but I am quite different now."

Then the little Ailment related to the Editor stories of Russia, and the
East, and all sorts of wonderful things.

"Well," murmured the Editor, after some consideration, "I think you may be
useful, after all, if we are helped by the Doctors."

       *       *       *       *       *

"What a fuss they are making about this new rival of ours!" said Measles,
angrily.

"Too absurd!" commented Scarlatina, in a tone of annoyance.

Then there was a grand procession. First came Correspondents, then
Interviewed Physicians, then the General Public. It was a sight that had
never been seen before. In the midst of the excitement an Ailment appeared.

"Why, bless me!" cried Measles. "Only fancy!"

"Can I believe my eyes?" shouted Scarlatina. "Why, it's poor little
Cold-in-the-head, that no one used to care a jot about six months ago!"

"Silence!" said the Ailment, with great dignity. "You must learn to treat
me with the respect due to my exalted station. And please don't call me
'Cold-in-the-head,' for I am known as 'The Russian Influenza!'"

Then the Ailment turned towards _Mr. Punch_, who (as was his wont) was
smiling, and bade him do homage.

"Not a bit of it," exclaimed the Sage of Fleet Street, raising a glass of
Ammoniated Tincture of Quinine to his lips, and quaffing merrily a
teaspoonful. "I defy you! You are puffed up with conceit, my poor little
Illness, and when, in a few weeks' time, we have another sensation to talk
and think about, you will sink back into your native obscurity."

And _Mr. Punch_ (as the event will prove) was--as he always is--entirely
right!

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PORTE ST. MARTIN.--If there were ever any question as to the genius
of SARA BERNHARDT, she has now settled it by appearing as _Jeanne d'Arc_,
and showing us what she is Maid of. By the way, as of course she wears
golden or auburn hair, _Jeanne d'Arc_ must appear as _Jeanne_ Light.
Irreverent scoffers may say this is historically correct, as from their
point of view _Joan_ was rather light-headed. Of course, _Joan_ is coming
over to London. Why not to Mr. HARE'S Theatre, and finish the evening with
a prime Garrick Stake.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: MR. PUNCH'S EXHIBITION OF GRAND "OLD
    MASTERS."]


       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: "ALL ALIVE!"

    _Cheesemonger._ "WHAT IS IT, MY DEAR?"

    _Little Girl._ "OH, MOTHER'S SENT BACK THIS PIECE O'
    CHEESE, 'CAUSE FATHER SAYS IF WE WANTS ANY BAIT WHEN
    HE'S A GOIN' A FISHIN', HE CAN DIG 'EM UP IN OUR
    GARDEN!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A COMING BIG BORE.

_Being a probable Extract from the "City Intelligence" for 1900._

THE half-yearly meeting to discuss the Report just issued by the Chairman
and Directors of the Amalgamated International Anglo-French Submarine
Channel Tunnel Railway Company was held in the Company's Fortress Boardroom
yesterday afternoon, and, owing to the present critical Continental
outlook, as might have been expected, succeeded in securing the attendance
of an unusually large number of shareholders.

The Chairman, who on rising was received with prolonged hooting and a
chorus, again and again renewed _con amore_ by the assembled audience, of
"_And he's a jolly bad fellow!_" having, at length, though frequently
interrupted, obtained something like a hearing, was understood to say, that
he had little to offer in the shape of comment on the Report submitted to
the meeting. (_Groans._) The causes of its unsatisfactory nature were
patent to all. Owing to their having been compelled, in what he now fully
recognised was a slavish and mistaken obedience to a popular clamour (_a
Voice, "You're right!_"), three years ago, in the height of a sudden scare
about invasion--("_Oh! oh!_")--to let the water in and flood the
Tunnel--(_groans_)--they had been occupied ever since in pumping it out
again, and though now he was glad to announce that the last bucketful had
been emptied out, and that the traffic would be resumed
forthwith--(_cheers_)--still the operation had cost them three millions of
money, that they had to get from the market in the shape of Seventeen per
Cent. First Preference Debentures--("_Oh! oh!_")--on which, however, he
trusted that a favourable season's receipts might enable them possibly to
pay a next half-year's dividend of three and sixpence. (_Prolonged
groans._) It was not much; still, it was something. ("_Oh! oh!_") But if
they wished to secure even this modest remuneration for their money, they
must make up their minds, especially at the present moment, when there was
a daily,--he might almost say, an hourly,--expectation of the withdrawal of
their Ambassador from Paris, that there must be no more craven yielding to
delusive impulses of an idiotic patriotism--(_loud cheers_),--in a word, no
more talk about closing the Tunnel on the paltry plea of "national
security." (_Prolonged cheering._) He was glad to hear those cheers. It was
an endorsement of the standpoint that he and his Directors meant to take in
the present crisis, which was, in effect, to remind themselves that they
were shareholders of the Anglo-French Submarine Channel Tunnel Railway
Company first--and Englishmen afterwards--(_thunders of applause, and loud
and prolonged cheering_);--and that, if called upon to shed their life's
blood, it would be solely in defence of that great engineering work, the
true monument of peace, in which their aspirations, their hopes, and, above
all, their capital, had been so fearlessly embarked and largely
invested.(_Renewed enthusiasm._)

A Shareholder here rose, and said, that if there really was, as the
Chairman seemed to imply, a probability that war with our friendly
neighbours might break out at any minute, would it not be advisable, in the
interests of the Company, to come to some amicable and therefore
satisfactory commercial arrangement for the transit of troops through the
Tunnel, which, no doubt, it would be their first object to
secure.(_Laughter._) There might possibly be some stupid attempt of our own
Government forces to seize upon and even damage, with a view to rendering
the Tunnel useless, the works commanding this end of it. Should not a
Volunteer Corps of Shareholders be at once organised--("_Hear!
hear!_")--for the purpose of keeping them until the French Military
Authorities came over in sufficient force to enable them to seize and
securely hold them against all comers? He trusted he was not wanting in a
well-balanced and legitimate patriotism--("_No! no!_")--but like their
respected Chairman, he felt that there was a higher claim, a louder call
than that addressed to an Englishman by his country, and that was the deep,
grim, stern and stirring appeal made to the Seventeen per Cent.
Debenture-holder by his Company.(_Roars of laughter._)

Considerable uproar here arose over the ejection from the meeting of a
protesting Shareholder, who injudiciously proposed an Amendment to the
Report to the effect that, "In the face of grave National danger, the
Company ought to be prepared, even if it involved serious financial loss,
to close their Tunnel, if such a step should be regarded as necessary to
the security of the country by the military advisers of the Government."
This proposition was howled down, and the Chairman was again about to
address the now somewhat quieted meeting, when a copy of an evening paper,
announcing the declaration of war, and the simultaneous seizure of the
British end of the Tunnel that morning by two hundred French troops, who
had crossed from Boulogne by yesterday's evening Mail-boat, and had passed
the night at Folkestone in disguise, was handed up on to the platform.

THE CHAIRMAN (_after reading out the various items of intelligence to the
Audience, who listened to them with breathless excitement_). Well,
Gentlemen, in the face of this not entirely unsuspected
news--(_laughter_)-our course is, I think, pretty clear. We must at once
dispatch a deputation to make the best terms we can with the French General
in command, for the transit of the one or two, or even three hundred
thousand troops they propose to bring over. (_Cheers._) Even if we get only
an excursion fare out of them, it will be something. ("_Hear, hear!_") And,
at least, we shall be able to congratulate ourselves on this occasion with
a sterling and heartfelt satisfaction that, whether the country go to the
dogs or not--(_roars of laughter_)--the property of the Company will, at
any rate, be preserved. (_Enthusiastic applause._) The Chairman, who
continued his address amid mingled cheers and laughter in the same strain,
having submitted the names to form the proposed deputation to the meeting,
the Shareholders dispersed, apparently in the highest spirits, singing a
parody of the great national ditty, in which the line, "_Britons ever,
ever, ever will be knaves_," with an accompaniment of loud guffaws of
laughter, struck the listening ear, as they betook themselves to their
respective homes.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE IRISH QUESTION IN BOND STREET.

VERY calmly and pleasantly is this matter settled at Messrs. DOWDESWELL'S
Galleries. Mr. O. RICKATSON takes us a mighty pleasant tour through
Wicklow, Wexford, and Waterford. He gives us his views on the Land Question
(Shure there are Sixty-two of them, bedad!) in Water-colours, and very
bright, breezy, and delightful they are. If they _will_ have Home Rule, if
they persist in having Ireland for the Irish, we have no desire to pick a
quarrel with this accomplished _aquarelliste_ (Ha! ha!) for showing us the
beauties of the "distrissful counthry;" and if we are not allowed to have
the real thing, we shall find the peaceful possession of Mr. RICKATSON'S
delightful pictures no mean substitute.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: ENTERTAINING AN ENTERTAINER.

    Mr. Toole, before partaking of all the farewell
    luncheons, dinners, and suppers, previous to his
    departure for Australia.

    Mr. J. L. Toole after all the farewell lunches, &c., &c.
    ***P. & O. Co. won't make any reduction on taking a
    quantity.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PILFERER.

TO ALL VOLAPUK-SPEAKING FOLK.

THERE exists at this moment no institution which even aspires to be to the
Volapuk-speaking world what We were whilst still We remained in
Northumberland Street, and looked after things generally. The wise are few.
The governing minds are never numerous. But We have one, and We have
determined to expand it over a new Monthly Magazine. At the outset We,
being, after all, human, were confronted by the difficulty of finding a
title. Several suggested themselves to a Mind not lacking in scope. A few
may be mentioned. There was the _Filibuster_; the _Summum Bone-'em_;
_Macheath's Miscellany_; the _Monthly Marauder_; the _Eviscerator_; the
_Literary Leech_; the _Monthly Misappropriator_; the _Sixpenny Scoop_. Each
has its particular attraction and appropriateness. But, having submitted
the selection of titles for the consideration of some of the foremost men
of letters, lawyers, soldiers, scientists, and divines of our time, with a
request for an expression of their opinion, we decided upon the title which
appears at the head of these few preliminary remarks. We are the
_Pilferer_, price sixpence, published monthly; a reduction on taking a
quantity.

The _Pilferer_ will not be a colourless reflection of public opinion for
the time being. It will certainly not be a Party organ, and that for
sufficient reason. Neither Party has at this moment any distinctive body of
doctrine, any well-conceived system of faith, which would justify Us in
labelling Our new monthly with a Party badge. Moreover than which, We have
some reason to believe that neither Party, nor any subdivision of Party,
particularly cares to be associated with Us. We shall therefore be
independent of Party, because, having a very clear, intelligible belief in
Ourselves, We are able to survey the struggles of contending parties from
the standpoint of sublime egotism. We are the man who can interpret the
best thought of his day in such a manner as to render it accessible to the
general intelligence of Our age. We are the true Prophet of Our time, and
We hope to make a modest profit out of Our new venture. Hence, Our first
starting point will be a deep and almost awestruck regard for the destinies
of the Volapuk-speaking race. The American Republic we especially take
under our wing (price of the Magazine in the United States 50 cents.),
whilst we work for the Empire, seek to strengthen it, to develop it, and,
when necessary, to extend it. We believe in Ourselves, in England, and in
Humanity. We are not mad. We do not "hear them dancing in the hall," as
used to happen when HENRY RUSSELL still filled the stage of the Concert
Hall. But we have our mission, which is to hold the world straight, keep
ourselves _en évidence_, and earn a modest living.

How is this to be done? By the preaching of a man who energises the
activity of the Church by the ideals of chivalry and the production of a
Sixpenny Monthly, made up of pickings from other people's pockets. Visible
in many ways is the decadence of the Daily Press since We left it. The
Mentor of Young Democracy has abandoned philosophy, and stuffs the ears of
his TELEMACHUS with the skirts of CALYPSO'S petticoats, the latest scandals
of the Court, and the prurient purrings of abandoned womankind in places
where you accept the unaccustomed cigar, and drink the unfamiliar
champagne. All the more need, then, that there should be a Voice which,
like that of the Muezzin from the Eastern minaret, shall summon the
Faithful to the duties imposed by their belief. We go into this waste land
to possess it. It is capable of being made to flourish as of old under the
stimulating radiance of a great ideal, and the diligent and intelligent
culture of one who, like Ourselves, has the capacity for direction.

Who will help Us? There is not a street in London, nor a village in the
country, which is not capable of producing, even at short notice, and under
slight pressure, a man or a woman who will spend two hours a week, every
week in the year, in more or less irksome voluntary exertion in order to
sell the _Pilferer_. To such we say, "If, by canvassing, or otherwise, you
secure, say, six subscribers, the _Pilferer_ shall be sent to you as long
as the six continue their subscriptions." In this case, the subscriptions
should be paid in advance.

Are there any among the readers of the _Pilferer_ craving for counsel, for
sympathy, and for the consolation of pouring out their soul's grief at so
much a quart, so to speak? If so, may we ask them to communicate with Us?
Their cases, as they submit them, will be placed before such competent and
skilful advisers as We are able to gather round Us from the best men and
women in the Volapuk-speaking world. Their confidences will be printed free
of cost, and, touched up with the literary art that shaped many a spicy
series, are likely to produce copy at once tasty and cheap. We have a heap
of letters and post-cards from eminent persons to whom we submitted the
design lightly sketched above. They may be known as "Some Letters of Marque
to the Editor of the _Literary Privateer_."

    MR. GL-DST-NE.

DEAR MR. PILFERER,--The idea you suggest appears to me highly useful, as
well as ingenious in relation to all who are able to appreciate it.
Personally I am outside this circle, and so will save my sixpence a month.
I hope you enjoyed your 'bus tour along the Commercial Road?

    Yours faithfully, W. E. GL-DST-NE.


    Mr. B-lf-r.

    1, _Carlton Gardens, S.W., Dec._ 12, '89.

I THINK your scheme ought to prove useful. But isn't there some difficulty
with the original proprietors of the goods? If I can help you in any way,
by putting anyone in prison, pray count upon me. Obstruction must be put
down in any form in which it presents itself.

    Yours faithfully,

    A. J. B-LF-R.


    EARL OF C-RN-RV-N.

THERE is, no doubt, a large amount of valuable matter which appears from
time to time in the Magazines, but which, being buried under a mass of
unimportant writing, is overlooked. I have found this in reference to my
own contributions, which have occasionally been passed over by the public,
who have preferred to read the other contents.


    LORD C-L-R-DGE.

AT one time of my life I wrote far too many articles to have much opinion
of the ability required to produce them, or their value to anyone when
produced. What I did write was much better than the general run of
articles. Now I do not write, there is nothing in the Magazines. If you can
get it out for nothing, and sell it for sixpence, you will do well.


    LORD W-LS-L-Y.

    _Ranger's House, Greenwich Park, S.E. Sunday._

DEAR MR. PILFERER,--In answer to your note, I have nothing to say of any
interest.

    W-LS-L-Y.


    LORD T-NNYS-N.

    _Hangford, Freshwater, Isle of Wight._

LORD T-NNYS-N presents his compliments to _Mr. Pilferer_, and begs to point
out to him that had he thrust his corporeal presence upon Lord T-NNYS-N
over his garden hedge, or by his area-steps, he would have been
incontinently cast forth by the domestics. Lord T-NNYS-N finds it
impossible to discover any appreciable difference between that step and the
one whereby _Mr. Pilferer_ impertinently, through the medium of the
unsuspecting penny post, forces himself upon Lord T-NNYS-N'S notice, and
impudently begs him to assist him with a gratuitous advertisement for a
commercial undertaking.


    MR. CHARLEY BATES.

    _Middle of Next Week. Nix Alley, No. 0._

DEAR PAL,--Excuse this address, but sometimes it's well not to go into too
many perticklers. I have yours giving me an account of your new lay. As far
as I can make out, there's a lot of tradesmen in London who, at
considerable give out of swag, get swell fellers to write articles for
them. Then _you_ plunge in, romp around, fill your pockets with the pick of
the lot, and go and sell it on your own hook. That's good. But what I like
best is the putting on of the bands and surplice, the taking of the good
book in the right hand, the uprising of the eyeballs, and the general
trotting out of the loftiest principles, the purest motives, and the
general welfare of our brother men. You are a regular wonner, old pal, and
should do; leastways, you have the good wishes of your old friend,

    CHARLEY.

       *       *       *       *       *

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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