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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, August 2, 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 99, August 2, 1890" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 99.



August 2, 1890.



[Illustration: A "SCENE" IN THE HIGHLANDS.

_Ill-used Husband_ (_under the Bed_). "AYE! YE MAY CRACK ME, AND
YE MAY THRASH ME, BUT YE CANNA BREAK MY MANLY SPERRIT. I'LL NA COME
OOT!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

PUNCH TO THE SECOND BATTALION.

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"--JUVENAL.

  You're off, boys, to Bermuda
    (_Like_ "the Bermoothes," "vexed").
  The Guards rebel? _Proh pudor!_
    What next--and next--and next?
  Who'll guard the Guards, if they guard not
   The fame they should revere?
  Fie on the row, row, row, row,
    Of the British Grenadier!

  Your _Punch_ is sorry for you,
    And for these lads "in quod;"
  But Discipline's a parent
    That _must_ not spare the rod.
  May you right soon redeem your name,
    And no more may _Punch_ hear
  Of the row, row, row, row, row, row,
    Of the British Grenadier!

  _If_ you have been o'er-worried
    By ultra-Martinet;
  Into unwisdom hurried,
    Be sure Bull won't forget.
  But England's Redcoats must _not_ ape
    The Hyde Park howl, that's clear;
  So no more row, row, row, row,
    From the British Grenadier!

       *       *       *       *       *

ROBERT'S AMERICAN ACQUAINTANCE.

My akwaintance among eminent selebraties seems to be rapidly
encreasing. Within what _Amlet_ calls a week, a little week, after my
larst intervue with the emenent young Swell as amost lost his art to
the pretty Bridesmade, I have been onored with the most cordial notice
of a werry emenent Amerrycane, who cums to Lundon wunce ewery year,
and makes a good long stay, and allus cums to one or other of our
Grand Otels. He says he's taken quite a fansy to me, and for this most
singler reason. He says as I'm the ony Englishman as he has ewer known
who can allus giv a answer rite off to ewery question as he arsks
me! So much so, that he says as how as I ort to be apinted the Guide,
Feelosofer, and Frend of ewery one of the many Wisiters as we allus
has a staying here!

Well, all I can say is, that if I affords the heminent Amerrycane
jest about harf the fun and emusement as he does me, I must be a much
cleverer feller than I ewer thort myself, or than my better harf
ewer told me as I was. Ah, wouldn't he jest make her stare a bit if
she herd sum of his most owdacious sayings. Why, he acshally says,
that the hole system of marrying for life is all a mistake, and not
consistent with our changable nature! And that we ort to take our
Wives on lease, as we does our houses, wiz., for sewen or fourteen
years, and that in a great majority of cases they woud both be preshus
glad when the end of the lease came! And he tries werry hard to make
me bleeve, tho in course he doesn't succeed, that in one part of
his grate and staggering Country, ewerybody does jest as he likes
in these rayther himportant matters, and has jest as many Wives as
he can afford to keep, and that the King of that place has about a
dozen of 'em! Ah, if you wants to hear a Teel downright staggerer as
nobody carnt posserbly bleeve, don't "ask the Pleaceman," but arsk an
Amerrycane!

He wanted werry much to go to Brighton, and see our new Grand
Metropole Otel opened last Satterday; so I spoke to our most
gentlemanly Manager, and he gave him a ticket that took him down
first-class, and brort him back, and took him into the Otel, and
supplied him with heverythink as art coud wish for, or supply, and
as much Shampane as he could posserbly drink--and, when there ain't
nothink to pay for it, it's reelly estonishing what a quantity a
gennelman can dispose of--; and the way in which he afterwards told
me as he showed his grattitude for what he called a reel first-class
heavening's enjoyment was, to engage a delicious little sweet of
apartments for a fortnite, so we shall see him no more for that length
of time. He told me as he had seen all the great Otels of Urope
and Amerrykey, but he was obligated to confess, in his own emphatic
langwidge, that the Brighton Metropole "licked all creation!" I didn't
quite understand him, but I've no doubt it was intended as rayther
complimentary. He rayther staggered me by asking what it cost, but I
was reddy with my anser, and boldly said, jest exaoly a quarter of a
million.

He told me that, in his own grand country, he was ginerally regarded
as a werry truthful man, which, of course, I was pleased to hear, for
sum of his statements was that staggering as wood have made me dowt
it in a feller-countryman. For hinstance, he acshally tried to make
me bleeve that his Country is about 20 times as big as ours! Well, in
course, common politeness made me pretend to bleeve him, speshally
as he's remarkable liberal to me, as most of his countrymen is, but
I coudn't help thinking as it woud have been wiser of him if he had
made his werry long Bow jest a leetle shorter. He's a remarkabel
fine-looking gennelman, and his manners quite comes up to my
description. ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *

A LYRIC FOR LOWESTOFT.

    [Mr. HENRY IRVING is studying for his new piece at Lowestoft.]

[Illustration]

  Henry Irving, will the Master feel the fierce and bracing breeze,
  As you wander by the margin of the restless Eastern seas?

  Save the seagull slowly swirling none shall hear the tale of woe,
  Learn how dark the life that ended in the fatal "Kelpie's Flow."

  'Mid the murmur of the ocean you will tell how _Edgar_ felt
  When his _Lucy_ broke her troth-plight, and he flung down _Craigengelt_,

  Fitting place for actor's study, all that long and lonely shore;
  Yonder point methinks as Wolf's Crag should be known for evermore.

  Henceforth will the place be haunted when the midnight hour draws nigh:
  Men shall see the Master standing stern against the stormy sky.

  Faint, impalpable as shadow from the cloudland, _Lucy_ there
  Shall keep tryst; the moon's effulgence not more golden than her hair.

  And, in coming nights of Autumn, when the vast Lyceum rings
  With reverberating plaudits, and the town thy praises sings,

  Memories of the sands at Lowestoft shall be with you ere you sleep;
  In your ears once more shall echo diapason of the deep.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A DREAM OF UNFAIRLY-TREATED WOMEN.

(_A Long Way After the Laureate._)]

  I read, before my eyelids dropt their shade,
    A leader on weak women and their woe,
  In toil and industry, in art and trade,
    In this hard world below.

  And for awhile the thought of the sad part
    Played by them and of Fate's ill-balanced scales,
  Moistened mine eyelids, and made ache mine heart,
    Remembering these strange tales

  Of woman's miseries in every land,
    I saw wherever poverty draws breath
  Woman and anguish walking hand in hand,
    The dreary road to death.

  Those pallid sempstresses of HOOD'S great song
    Peopled the hollow dark, not now alone,
  And I heard sounds of insult, shame, and wrong,
    And grief's sad monotone,

  From hearts, like flints, beaten by tyrant hoofs;
    And I saw crowds in sombre sweating-dens,
  With reeking walls and dank and dripping roofs--
    Fit scarce for styes or pens.

  Death at home's sin-stained threshold; honour's fall
    Dislodging from her throne love's household pet,
  And wan-faced purity a tyrant's thrall,
    With wild eyes sorrow-wet.

  And unsexed women facing heated blasts
    And Tophet fumes, and fluttering tongues of fire;
  And virtue staked on most unholy casts,
    And honour sold for hire:

  Squadrons and troops of girls of brazen air,
    Tramping the tainted city to and fro,
  With feverish flauntings veiling chill despair
    And deeply-centred woe.

  So shape chased shape. I saw a neat-garbed nurse,
    Wan with excessive work; and, bowed with toil,
  A shop-girl sickly, of the primal curse
    Each looked the helpless spoil.

  Anon I saw a lady, at night's fall
    Stiller than chiseled marble, standing there;
  A daughter of compassion, slender, tall,
    And delicately fair.

  Her weariness with shame and with surprise
    My spirit shocked: she turning on my face
  The heavy glances of unrested eyes,
    Spoke mildly in her place.

  "I have long duties; ask thou not my name
    Some say I fret at a fair destiny.
  Many I have to tend; to make my claim
    Some venture: we shall see."

  "I trust, good lady, that in a fair field,
    The case 'twixt you and tyranny will be tried,"
  I said; then turning promptly I appealed
    To one who stood beside.

  She said, "Poor pay, and plenteous fines, and worse,
    Made me rebel amidst my mates' applause.
  To insubordination I'm averse,
    But have I not good cause?

  "We are cut off from hope in our hard place,
    Sweet factory? Ah, well, _our_ sweets are few.
  We strike for justice. Man might show some grace,
    I think, Sir; do not you?"

  Turning I saw, ranging a flowery pile,
    One sitting in an entry dark and cold;
  A girl with hectic cheeks, and hollow smile;
    Wired roses there she sold,

  Or strove to sell; but often on her ear
    The harrying voice of stern policedom struck,
  And chased her from her vantage, till a tear
    Fell at her "wretched luck."

  Again I saw a wan domestic drudge
    Scuttering across a smug suburban lawn;
  Tired with the nightly watch, the morning trudge,
    The toil at early dawn.

  And then a frail and thin-clad governess,
    Hurrying to daily misery through the rain.
  Toiling, with scanty food, and scanty dress,
    Long hours for little gain.

  Anon a spectral shop-girl creeping back
    To her dull garret-home through the chill night,
  Bowed, heart-sick, spirit-crushed, poor ill-paid hack
    Of harsh commercial might!

  These I beheld, the world's sad woman-throng,
    Work-ridden vassals of its Mammon-god,
  Their destiny to creep and drudge along,
    And kiss grief's chastening rod.

  And then I saw a spirit surface-fair,
    A Mænad-masked betrayer, base, impure,
  But with sin's glittering garb, and radiant air,
    Gay laugh, and golden lure.

  It smiled, it beckoned--whither? To the abyss!
    But of that throng how many may be drawn
  By the gay glamour and the siren kiss
    To where sin's soul-gulfs yawn?

  How many? No response my vision gave.
    Make answer, if ye may, ye lords of gain!
  Make answer, if ye know, ye chiders grave
    Of late revolt, and vain!

  Dream of _Fair_ Women? Nay, for work and want
    Mar maiden comeliness and matron grace.
  Let sober judgment, clear of gush and cant,
    The bitter problem face!

       *       *       *       *       *

ERIN AVENGED.--The Irish champions, HAMILTON, PIM, and STOKER, have
won the "All-England" (it _should_ be All-Irish) Tennis Championship,
both Single and Double, beating the hitherto invincible Brothers
RENSHAW, and other lesser Lights of the Lawn. And now at Bisley the
Irish Team have, for the third time in succession, won the Elcho
Challenge Shield. The old caveat will have to be changed into "No
_non_-Irish need apply!"

       *       *       *       *       *

QUITE THE NEWEST SONGS.--"_Over the Sparkling Serpentine_." By the
author and composer of "_Across the Still Lagoon_." "_Five Men in a
Cab_." By the ditto ditto of "_Three Men in a Boat_;" "_Hates Copper
Nightmare_" to follow "_Love's Golden Dream_;" and the "_General's
Dustpan_;" also, shortly; a companion song to the popular "_Admiral's
Broom_."

       *       *       *       *       *

"A GATHERING OF THE CLAN."--According to _Debrett_, the Earl of
CLANCARTY (by the way, the Patent of Nobility granted to this family
in 1793, is consequently not a hundred years old) bears on his arms "A
Sun in splendour." The authority is too good to imagine for a moment
that this can be a misprint!

       *       *       *       *       *

WEEK BY WEEK.

_Monday_.--Colney Hatch Hussars' Annual private Introspection. Balloon
rises at Chelsea. Sets to partners after midnight.

_Tuesday_.--Beadle of Burlington Arcade's Copper Wedding Festivities
commence. Kangaroo Shooting in Fleet Street begins.

_Wednesday_.--_Mr. Punch_ up and out with the lark. Afternoon
Fireworks on the Stock Exchange. Hippopotamus-washing in the
Serpentine commences.

_Thursday_.--Billiard Championship contest in the Pool below London
Bridge. Cannons supplied by the Tower. Anniversary Festivity to
celebrate the Discovery of cheap Ginger Beer by the Chinese B.C. 3700.

_Friday_.--Opening of the "Wash and Brush you up" Company's Automatic
Machine, by Prince HENRY of BATTENBERG. Total Eclipse of the Moon,
invisible at Herne Bay and Pekin.

_Saturday_.--Tinned Oyster Season commences. Fancy Dress Ball at
Bedlam. Close time for Hyænas in Belgrave Square.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Austrian Inventor, who has just designed his ship of a mile in
length that is to travel through the water at eighty-seven miles an
hour, and cross the Atlantic in something under a day and a half, is,
I am told, only waiting the requisite capital to enable him at once
to set about carrying his project into effect. Each vessel will be
provided with an Opera House a Cathedral, including a Bishop, who
will be one of the ship's salaried officers; a Circus, Cricket-ground,
Cemetery, Race-course, Gambling-saloon, and a couple of lines of
Electric Tram-cars. The total charge for board and transit will
be only 10s. 6d. a day, which will bring the fare to New York
to something like 16s. As it is calculated that at least 100,000
passengers will cross the Atlantic on each journey, the financial
aspect of the whole concern seems sound. As I said before, the only
difficulty is the capital. Surely some enterprising Croesus who has
thirty millions lying idle in the Two-and-a-half per Cents, might look
at the matter.

       *       *       *       *       *

"A SPORTING TIPSTER" writes:--"Perhaps you are not aware that _the_
feature of next Season's Foot-ball will be the arrival of a strong
team of the Kajawee Cannibal Islanders, a ferocious race, who have
been instructed in the game by a celebrated Midland half-back. As in
practice they invariably, instead of a foot-ball, use a fresh human
head, and in a scrimmage leave half their number dead on the field, by
having recourse to the 'Kogo' or 'Spine Splitting Stroke,' introduced
from a local athletic game, some excitement will no doubt be
manifested in sporting circles when they meet the Clapham Rovers, as,
I believe, it is arranged they shall do at the Oval, early in November
next."

       *       *       *       *       *

Hats of the style of the earliest portion of the Saxon Heptarchy
will _not_, after all, be seen in the Row during this Season, though
several male leaders of fashion are stated to have given orders for
them on an approved model.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A WASTED EPIGRAM.

"WHERE IS THE EVENING _GAZETTE_, WAITER?'

"PLEASE, SIR, IT'S NOT YET _SEWN_."

"_SOWN_, SIR! IT OUGHT TO HAVE _COME UP_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

MINE AND THINE.

    [In a recent case, a promoter of Gold Mining Companies
    was asked if any of his Companies had ever paid a penny of
    dividend. His answer was, "You cannot know much about gold
    mines to ask such a question." He admitted, however, that he
    himself had made some £50 000 out of them. "This," he said,
    "is not profit; it is the realisation of property."]

  Take a patch of land in Africa and multiply by ten,
    Then extract a ton of metal from an ounce or two of sand;
  Write a roseate prospectus with a magnifying pen,
    Making deserts flow with honey in a rich and smiling land.

  Take some crumbs of truth, and spread them with a covering of bosh,
    And conceal them in a pie-crust labelled "Promises to pay";
  Hide away all dirty linen, or remove it home to wash,
    And then begin the process which the wise ones call "Convey."

  Next collect a band of brothers, all inspired by one desire.
    To subserve the public interest, single-hearted men and true;
  Stuff with shares, and thus permit them in your kindness to acquire,
    At a price, the vendor's property,--the vendor being you.

  Then, since _you_ must make a profit, call the public to your aid;
    Let them give you all their money, which they think they only lend:
  And of course you mustn't tell them, till the fools have safely paid,
    Mines were made for sinking money, not for raising dividend.

  And the clergy bring their savings, the widows bring their store,
    And they push to reach your presence, and they jostle and they fall,
  And at last they pile their money in a heap before your door;
    And, just to make them happy, you accept and keep it all.

  So you make your mine by begging--(modern miners never dig),--
    And you float a gorgeous Company. The shares go spinning up;
  But you never "rig the market." (What an awkward word is "rig"!)
    And you drain success in bumpers from an overflowing cup.

  Then one day the thing gets shaky, and it goes from bad to worse,
    And the public grasps a shadow where it tried to hold a share;
  And in vain the country clergy most unclerically curse,
    _You_ have "realised your property," and end a millionnaire.

       *       *       *       *       *

COMING SEA-SCRAPES AT CHELSEA.

(_DRAWN BY AN INSIDER._)

MR. PUNCH, SIR,

That the sister Service should also have its turn at Chelsea I
reckon I can understand, and the Show ought to be popular; but if
the Admiralty want to make a further "exhibition" of themselves, they
won't have to go very far a-field for material. Here are one or two
exhibits that come to hand at once. First, there's those big guns
which it ain't safe to fire nohow, and which, if you do load with half
a charge, crack, bend, and get sent back to be "ringed" up, whatever
that means, and are not safe, even for a salute, ever afterwards.
Then, in another case, they might show a foot or two of that blessed
boiler-piping which is always leaking, or splitting, or bursting, just
when it shouldn't. In a third they might display a chop that had been
cooked from lying exposed in one of those famous stokeholes where
the poor beggars of sailors are expected to pass their time without
getting roasted too. Then there might be, as a sort of prize puzzle,
a plan of these here recent manoeuvres, with the Umpire's opinion
of the whole blessed jumble tacked on to it. Then, to enliven the
proceedings. Lord GEORGE might take his turn with the rest of the
Admiralty Board, and give us, every half hour or so, a figure or two
of the Hornpipe, just to let the public see that they have got some
sort of nautical "go" about them to warrant them in drawing their big
screw. Bless you, _Mr. Punch_, there's lots to make an Exhibition of
at Chelsea next year if you come to calculate. Leastways that's the
opinion of your humble servant and admirer,

A TAX-PAYING LANDLUBBER.

       *       *       *       *       *

ON GUARDS!

THE BAD FORM OF THE PAST.

[Illustration]

There he stood in his evening dress, with a half-smoked cigarette
between his lips. He had been knocking about Piccadilly all day,
had dined at the Junior, looked in at the Opera, and finished at the
Steak. He seemed a civilian of civilians. The most casual observer
would have declared that he could never have seen the inside of a
barrack-yard. So no surprise was expressed when the question was asked
him.

"What am I?" he repeated, languidly, and then he replied, with a yawn,
"Can't you see, old Chappie? Why, an Officer in the Guards!"

THE GOOD FORM OF THE FUTURE.

There he stood in his neat, serviceable undress uniform, with a cigar
between his lips. He had abandoned the swagger frogged coat and silk
sash for the unpretending patrol jacket of his brethren in the Line.
He had been hard at work all day in barracks, inspecting meals,
visiting the hospital, attending parades. He had paid his company
personally, had seen every man, and found that there were no
complaints. He had attended a mess meeting, and had dined at mess,
playing a rubber afterwards (sixpenny points) in the ante-room.
He knew as much about the internal economy of the Battalion as the
Colonel, the Adjutant, or the Sergeant-Major. He seemed a soldier of
soldiers. The most casual observer would have declared that he was
acquainted with every inch of the barrack-yard. So general surprise
was expressed when the question was asked him.

"What am I?" he repeated, briskly; and then he replied, with a smile,
"Can't you see, stupid? Why, an Officer in the Guards!"

       *       *       *       *       *

VOCES POPULI.

AT A GARDEN-PARTY.

    SCENE--_A London Lawn. A Band in a costume half-way between
    the uniforms of a stage hussar and a circus groom, is
    performing under a tree. Guests discovered slowly pacing the
    turf, or standing and sitting about in groups._

_Mrs. Maynard Gery_ (_to her Brother-in-law--who is thoroughly aware
of her little weaknesses_). Oh, PHIL,--you know everybody--_do_ tell
me! Who is that common-looking, little man with the scrubby beard, and
the very yellow gloves--how does he come to be _here_?

_Phil_. Where? Oh, I see him. Well--have you read _Sabrina's Uncle's
Other Niece?_

_Mrs. M.G._ No--_ought_ I to have? I never even heard of it!

_Phil_. Really? I wonder at that--tremendous hit--you must order
it--though I doubt if you'll be able to get it.

_Mrs. M.G._ Oh, I shall _insist_ on having it. And _he_ wrote it?
Really, PHIL, now I come to look at him, there's something rather
striking about his face. Did you say _Sabrina's Niece's Other
Aunt_--or what?

_Phil_. _Sabrina's Uncle's Other Niece_ was what I _said_--not that it
signifies.

_Mrs. M.G._ Oh, but I always attach the greatest importance to names,
myself. And do you know him?

_Phil_. What, TABLETT? Oh, yes--decent little chap; not much to say
for himself, you know.

_Mrs. M.G._ I don't mind _that_ when a man is _clever_--do you think
you could bring him up and introduce him?

_Phil_. Oh, I _could_--but I won't answer for your not being
disappointed in him.

_Mrs. M.G._ I have never been disappointed in any genius
_yet_--perhaps, because I don't expect too much--so go, dear boy; he
may be surrounded unless you get hold of him soon. [_PHIL obeys_.

_Phil_ (_accosting the Scrubby Man_). Well, TABLETT, old fellow, how
are things going with you? _Sabrina_ flourishing?

_Mr. Tablett_ (_enthusiastically_). It's a tremendous hit, my boy;
orders coming in so fast they don't know how to execute 'em--there's a
fortune in it, as I always told you!

_Phil_. Capital!--but you've such luck. By the way, my sister-in-law
is most anxious to know you.

_Mr. T._ (_flattered_). Very kind of her. I shall be delighted. I was
just thinking I felt quite a stranger here.

_Phil_. Come along then, and I'll introduce you. If she asks you
to her parties by any chance, mind you go--sure to meet a lot of
interesting people.

_Mr. T._ (_pulling up his collar_). Just what I enjoy--meeting
interesting people--the only society worth cultivating, to my mind,
Sir. Give me _intellect_--it's of more value than wealth!

    [_They go in search of Mrs. M.G._

_First Lady on Chair_. Look at the dear Vicar, getting that poor
Lady PAWPERSE an ice. What a very spiritual expression he has, to be
sure--really quite apostolic!

_Second Lady_. We are not in his parish, but I have always heard him
spoken of as a most excellent man.

_First Lady_. Excellent! My dear, that man is a perfect _Saint_! I
don't believe he knows what it is to have a single worldly thought!
And such trials as he has to bear, too! With that _dreadful_ wife of
his!

_Second Lady_. That's the wife, isn't it?--the dowdy little woman, all
alone, over there? Dear me, what _could_ he have married her for?

_First Lady_. Oh, for her _money_, of course, my dear!

_Mrs. Pattallons_ (_to Mrs. ST. MARTIN SOMERVILLE_). Why, it really
_is_ you! I absolutely didn't know you at first. I was just thinking,
"Now who _is_ that young and lovely person coming along the path?" You
see--I came out without my glasses to-day, which accounts for it!

_Mr. Chuck_ (_meeting a youthful Matron and Child_). Ah, Mrs. SHARPE,
how de do! _I'm_ all right. Hullo, TOTO, how are _you_, eh, young
lady?

_Toto_ (_primly_). I'm very well indeed, thank you. (_With sudden
interest_). How's the idiot? Have you seen him lately?

_Mr. C._ (_mystified_). The idiot, eh? Why, fact is, I don't _know_
any idiot!--give you my word!

_Toto_ (_impatiently_). Yes, you _do_--_you_ know. The one Mummy says
you're next door to--you must see him _sometimes_! You _did_ say Mr.
CHUCK was next door to an idiot, didn't you, Mummy?

    [_Tableau._

_Mrs. Prattleton_. Let me see--_did_ we have a fine Summer in '87?
Yes, of course--I always remember the weather by the clothes we wore,
and that June and July we wore scarcely anything--some filmy stuff
that belonged to one's ancestress, don't you know. _Such_ fun! By the
way, what has become of Lucy?

_Mrs. St. Patticker_. Oh, I've quite lost sight of her lately--you
see she's so perfectly happy now, that she's ceased to be in the least
interesting!

_Mrs. Hussiffe_ (_to Mr. DE MURE_). Perhaps _you_ can tell me of a
good coal merchant? The people who supply me now are perfect _fiends_,
and I really must go somewhere else.

_Mr. De Mure_. Then I'm afraid you must be rather difficult to please.

    Mr. TABLETT _has been introduced to_ Mrs. MAYNARD GERY--_with
    the following result_.

_Mrs. M.G._ (_enthusiastically_). I'm so delighted to make your
acquaintance. When my brother-in-law told me who you were,
I positively very nearly shrieked. I am such an admirer of
your--(_thinks she won't commit herself to the whole title--and
so compounds_)--your delightful _Sabrina_!

_Mr. T._ Most gratified to hear it, I'm sure, I'm told there's a
growing demand for it.

_Mrs. M.G._ Such a hopeful sign--when one was beginning quite to
despair of the public taste!

_Mr. T._ Well, I've always said--So long as you give the Public a
really first-rate article, and are prepared to spend any amount of
money on _pushing_ it, you know, you're sure to see a handsome return
for your outlay--in the long run. And you see, I've had this carefully
analysed, by competent judges--

_Mrs. M.G._ Ah, but _you_ can feel independent of criticism, can't
you?

_Mr. T._ Oh, I defy anyone to find anything unwholesome in it--it's as
suitable for the most delicate child as it is for adults--nothing to
irritate the most sensitive--

_Mrs. M.G._ Ah, you mean certain critics are so thin-skinned--they are
indeed!

_Mr. T._ (_warming to his subject_). But the beauty of this particular
composition is that it causes absolutely _no_ unpleasantness or
inconvenience afterwards. In some cases, indeed, it acts like a charm.
I've known of two cases of long-standing erysipelas it has completely
cured.

_Mrs. M.G._ (_rather at sea_). How gratifying that must be. But that
is the magic of all truly great work, it is such an _anodyne_--it
takes people so completely out of themselves--doesn't it?

_Mr. T._ It takes anything of that sort out of _them_, Ma'am. It's the
finest discovery of the age, no household will be without it in a few
months--though perhaps I say it who shouldn't.

_Mrs. M.G._ (_still more astonished_). Oh, but I _like_ to hear you.
I'm so tired of hearing people pretending to disparage what they have
done, it's such a _pose_, and I hate posing. Real genius is _never_
modest. (_If he had been more retiring, she would have, of course,
reversed this axiom_.) I _wish_ you would come and see me on one of
my Tuesdays, Mr. TABLETT, I should feel so honoured, and I think you
would meet some congenial spirits--do look in some evening--I will
send you a card if I may--let me see--could you come and lunch next
Sunday? I've got a little man coming who was very nearly eaten up by
cannibals. I think _he_ would interest you.

_Mr. T._ I shall be proud to meet him. Er--did they eat _much_ of him?

_Mrs. M.G._ (_who privately thinks this rather vulgar_). How _witty_
you are! That's quite worthy of a--_Sabrina_, really! Then you _will_
come? So glad. And now I mustn't keep you from your other admirers any
longer. [_She dismisses him_.

LATER.

_Mrs. M.G._ (_to her Brother-in-law_). How _could_ you say that dear
Mr. TABLETT was _dull_, PHIL? I found him perfectly charming--so
original and unconventional! He's promised to come to me. By the way,
_what_ did you say the name of his book was?

_Phil_. I never said he had written a book.

_Mrs. M.G._ PHIL--you _did_!--_Sabrina's Other--Something_. Why, I've
been _praising_ it to him, entirely on your recommendation.

_Phil_. No, no--_your_ mistake. I only asked you if you'd read
_Sabrina's Uncle's Other Niece_, and, as I made up the title on the
spur of the moment, I should have been rather surprised if you had.
_He_ never wrote a line in his life.

_Mrs. M.G._ How _abominable_ of you! But surely he's famous for
_something_? He talks like it. [_With reviving hope_.

_Phil_. Oh, yes, he's the inventor and patentee of the new "Sabrina"
Soap--he says he'll make a fortune over it.

_Mrs. M.G._ But he hasn't even done _that_ yet! PHIL, I'll _never_
forgive you for letting me make such an idiot of myself. What _am_
I to do now? I _can't_ have him coming to me--he's really too
impossible!

_Phil_. Do? Oh, order some of the soap, and wash your hands of him, I
suppose--not that he isn't a good deal more presentable than some of
your lions, after all's said and done!

    [_Mrs. M.G., before she takes her leave, contrives to inform
    Mr. TABLETT, with her prettiest penitence, that she has only
    just recollected that her luncheon party is put off, and that
    her Tuesdays are over for the Season. Directly she returns to
    Town, she promises to let him hear from her; in the meantime,
    he is not to think of troubling himself to call. So there is
    no harm done, after all_.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE OPERA-GOER'S DIARY.

(_LAST WEEK OF OPERA._)

[Illustration: Hamlet Personally Conducted.]

_Monday_.--_Hamlet_. Music by AMBROISE THOMAS, and _libretto_ by
Messieurs CARRÉ and BARBIER, who seem to have read _Hamlet_ once
through, after which they wrote down as a _libretto_ what they
remembered, of the story. It would be difficult to mention any Opera
less dramatic than this. The question arises at once, adapting the
immortal phrase of JAMES LE SIFFLEUR, "Why lug in _Hamlet_?" Why
not have called it _Ophelia_? Whatever interest there may be in the
Opera--and there is very little--is centred entirely in _Ophelia_.
The _Ghost_ is utterly purposeless, but of distinguished appearance
as a robust spectre, marching in at one gate, and out at another, or
hiding behind a sofa, and popping up suddenly, in order to frighten
an equally purposeless _Hamlet._ Like father, like son. M. LASSALLE
is a fine, substantial, baritonial _Hamlet_, who is always posturing,
weeping, calling out _ma mère_, and blubbering on the ample matronly
bosom of his mother, Madame RICHARD ("O RICHARD! _O ma Reine_!")
like a big, blubbering, overgrown schoolboy. Were I inclined to
disquisitionise, I should say that Messieurs CARRÉ and BARBIER have
actually realised SHAKSPEARE's own description of his jelly-fleshed
hero, whose mind is as shaky as his well-covered body. _Hamlet_
was--as SHAKSPEARE took care to emphasise--"fat, and scant of
breath"--which was the physical description of the actor who first
impersonated the leading _rôle_ of this play; and the French author's
idea of _Hamlet_ was, accordingly, a fat youth, very much out of
condition, home from Wittenberg College, in consequence of his
father's recent decease.

[Illustration: Hamlet is out of it in the last Act. Why wasn't he
brought into the Ballet?]

Some of the lighter musical portions of the Opera are charming, and
the Chorus at the end of Act I, might have been written by OFFENBACH.
But what is there of the story? Nothing. The King is not killed: the
Queen isn't poisoned: _Polonius_ is not stabbed behind the arras,
having been, perhaps, killed before the Opera commenced, since his
name appears in the book but not in the programme, and the only person
on the stage that I could possibly associate with that dear old
Lord Chamberlain was M. MIRANDA, who had donned a white beard and a
different robe from what he had been previously wearing as _Horatio_
in the First and Second Acts, in order to enter and lead the King
away, in an interpolated and ineffective scene which was not in the
book. A very hard-working Opera for the principals, and a thankless
task. _Hamlet's_ drinking song fine, and finely sung. But the whole
point of the Opera is in the last Act, where there is a _ballet_ that
has nothing to do with the piece, but pretty to see little PALLADINO
in short white skirts, dancing merrily in a forest glade, among the
happy peasantry, to whom comes _Ophelia_, mad as several hatters,
and after a lunatic scene, charming, both musically and dramatically,
throws herself into the water, and dies singing.

Here is a suggestion for the effective compression and reduction
of the Opera, and if my plan be accepted, DRURIOLANUS will earn the
eternal gratitude of those who would like to hear all that is good in
it, and to skip, as PALLADINO does, the rest. Thus:--

ACT I.--_Enter_ HAMLET. _Solo. Exit. Enter_ OPHELIA. _Solo. Re-enter_
HAMLET. OPHELIA _and_ HAMLET _love-duet. Exit_ OPHELIA. HAMLET'S
_Friends come in, and he sings them a Drinking Song with Chorus. All
join in Chorus and Dance. Curtain_.

[Illustration: An awkward moment for Hamlet. Row with his Mother and
Ophelia.]

ACT II.--_Opening Chorus (anything; it doesn't matter if it's only
pretty and bright). Enter_ HAMLET. _Solo_. "_Être, ou ne pas être."
Enter_ OPHELIA _with book, pretends not to see_ HAMLET. _Solo. Enter_
Queen. OPHELIA _complains to her that_ HAMLET _isn't behaving like
a gentleman._ Queen _upbraids_ HAMLET: _So does_ OPHELIA: HAMLET
_depressed, Exit_ Queen R.H. _Exit_ OPHELIA L.H. HAMLET _remains,
evidently going mad_. PALLADINO _looks in. Dances_. HAMLET _joins her.
Enter Friends, Courtiers, Peasants, and other Friends. All join in
ballet_, HAMLET _included. Enter_ Keepers, _and_ HAMLET _is taken off
to Hanwellhagen_. OPHELIA _rushes in, faints. Curtain_.

ACT III.--_Meadows near Hanwellhagen, in Denmark. Dance of Lunatics,
out for a holiday. To them enter OPHELIA. All the charming music,
delightful, and, this being finished, she chucks herself away into the
stream. Curtain_.

Great call for everybody concerned. And, if the above scheme be
adopted, the Opera would be over before eleven, having begun at nine.
I present this with my compliments to DRURIOLANUS and AMBROISE THOMAS;
and, if he is not "a doubting THOMAS," he will try this plan.

The remainder of the week passed away happily, so I hear, but was not
able to be in my place, as I was at somebody else's place far, far
away. The Opera has been, from the first, a big success. Should like
to hear _Masaniello_ once again. Perhaps that is a treat in store for
all of us. Thus ends the Opera-goer's Diary for 1890, and everybody is
highly satisfied and delighted. Curtain.

       *       *       *       *       *

MUSICAL PARADOX.

  When Autumn comes, our womenfolk prepare
  To grind the "old old tune" called "change of air."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MRS. HIGHFLYER'S DANCE, 2 A.M.

"AH! IT'S ALL VERY WELL FOR THE FOOTMEN,--AND IT'S ALL VERY WELL
FOR THE GALS,--BUT IT'S PRECIOUS 'ARD ON US COACHMEN AND THE PORE
MOTHERS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"OUR TURN NOW!"

_OR, MR. BULL AND THE WANDERING MINSTRELS._

  _Mr. Bull_. Confound these Wandering Minstrels! Oh, the bore of them!
    Only just settled with yon tow-hair'd fellow
  Turning the corner, and behold two more of them,
    Prepared to grind and tootle, blow and bellow,
  Until I tip _them_ in a liberal fashion.
    Upon my word, their noise is something shocking;
  Enough to put a person in a passion.
    Menaces slighting and remonstrance mocking,
  They stand and twangle, tootle, grind, and gurgle
    Their horrible cacophony. Find it funny,
  Ye grinners? Might as well my mansion burgle,
    As "row" me forcibly out of my money.
  The Teuton tootler, being tipped, is "sloping,"
    Patting his pocket with a smile complacent.
  The Gallic blower, for like treatment hoping,
    Grins at the Portuguese who grinds adjacent.
  What a _charivari_! Oh, I _must_ stop it!
    I say, you rascal with the hurdy-gurdy,
  More than enough of that vile shindy; drop it!
    And you, my brazen, blatant, would-be VERDI,
  Hush that confounded horn, or go and blow it
    At--Jericho. _My_ walls you will not tumble
  By windy shindy, and you ought to know it.

  _Horn-Player_. Bah! ze old hombogs! He sall growl and grumble
  But he vill _pay_ ven it come to ze pinches;
    I know him, ze cantankerous _vieux_ chappie.
  Ze German yonder, vy he take ze inches,
    And get ze Hel-igoland! Now he quite happy.
  I do ze same. _Pom! Pom!_ Zat blast vos thunder!
    How he do tear his hair and tvist his features.
  He svear, but he vill vat you call "knock under."

  _Mr. Bull_. I say, you Portugee, smallest of creatures,
  And noisiest for your size, shut up, and hook it!

  _Hurdy-gurdy_. _Gr-r-r-r! Gr-r-r-r!_ Zey say zat ze old fool is
      skveezable,
  Melting in his own heat. Py gar, he _look_ it.
    Ze Teuton yonder find zat he vas teaseable
  Out of ze "tip," ze big _pour-boire_. He got him,
    He go, he grin! Sall I not take ze hint too?
  I get him too--_I_ go. But I no let him
    Drive me away, as he did SERPA PINTO.
  _Gr-r-r-r! Gr-r-r-r!_ I see zat he no like ze grinding.
    Soo mooch ze bettare! He sall give mooch money;
  Ze _pour-boire_, someveres, he sall soon be finding,
    If I keep on. Zeese Eenglish are so funny.

  _Tutto_. Ze money for ze Minstrels! Kvick! So sall you
    Get rid of us. Like to ze artful gloser
  In Mistare SEYMOUR'S sketch, _ve_ "know ze value
    Of peace and kvie'ness." Pay us, ve go, Sir!   [_Left tootling._

       *       *       *       *       *

IN THE KNOW.

(_BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN PROPHET._)

Am I going to Goodwood? I answer that question by another. Is it
likely that a race-meeting of any pretensions can possibly do without
one whom even his enemies acknowledge to be the only accurate and
high-minded sporting writer in the world? Those who care (and I
devoutly hope that Mr. J., whose brains equal those of a newly-born
tadpole, will not be amongst the number) can see me at any moment on
pronouncing the password, "mealy-mouth," in my old place, _close to
the space devoted to Royalty._ Yes, I shall be there. In the meantime,
I propose to treat of the horses as only I can treat of them. I have
nothing to say against _Pioneer_, except that the name promises very
well for one who means to lead the way. _Nous verrons_, as RACINE
said, on a celebrated occasion. As for _The Imp_, I cannot too
strongly lay it down that only blue devils are bad for the digestion,
and _Galloping Queen_ may gallop farther than or not so far as _Miss
Ethel_. A miss must be better than a mile to win. If _Theophilus_ were
_Formidable_, or if _Imogene_ possessed a _Grecian Bend_, it might be
necessary to sound _Reveille_ in _Rotten Row_, which would certainly
be a _Marvel_. Not being a roadster, I sometimes like _The Field_.

The above information ought to be sufficient to guide anybody whose
brains are calculated to fill an egg-cup. All others may go to
Earlswood, where they will probably meet Mr. J.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "OUR TURN NOW!"

FRANCE AND PORTUGAL (_who know the value of Peace and Quiet_). "YOU
GIVE GERMAN SOMESING,--HE GO VAY! YOU GIVE _US_ SOMESING,--_VE_ GO
VAY!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE REAL GRIEVANCE OFFICE.

(_BEFORE_ MR. COMMISSIONER PUNCH.)

_AN ANGLO-INDIAN GENTLEMAN INTRODUCED._

[Illustration]

_The Commissioner_. Well, Sir, What can I do for you?

_Anglo-Indian_. I wish respectfully to call your attention, Sir,
to our case, which is now before a Parliamentary Committee. I am
an Indian Civil Servant. I am called a member of the Uncovenanted
Service, but I contend that such a term is a misnomer. Originally the
Uncovenanted Service consisted of Natives of India, who were employed,
without covenant, to do subordinate official work, under the direction
of the Covenanted Civil Service. The bulk of these persons were
overseers and tax-collectors.

_The Com._ Has there been any alteration of late years? I see you lay
a stress upon _originally_.

_Anglo-In._ At this moment there are in the Service, in one department
alone--the Educational--a Senior Classic, a Second Wrangler, several
other Wranglers, and many Fellows of Oxford and Cambridge, who took
high honours with their degrees. The Service now requires great
technical knowledge, as it has to deal with Archæology, Finance,
Geological Survey, Public Works, and Telegraphy, and can only be
entered by Europeans, who have been selected by nomination, or after
competition, either by the Secretary of State for India, or the
Government of India. It is not an Uncovenanted Service, as we now
enter it with the prospect of pension; and one of our grievances
is, that that prospect has become less favourable through the recent
action of our employers.

_The Com._ Be kind enough to explain.

_Anglo-In._ Certainly, Sir. When we entered the Service our pension,
after serving thirty years, was stated by the Secretary of State to
be £500. Naturally this was taken to mean gold, but because years ago
the Service consisted of Natives, the Government hit upon the plan of
paying us in silver, which at the present rate means a loss of £150 in
the £500.

_The Com._ Are the members of the other Indian Services, Civil and
Military, treated in like manner?

_Anglo-In._ No, they are paid their pensions in gold.

_The Com._ Well, considering the class of men who now enter your
Service I do not see why you should be put at so great a disadvantage.
Have you any other grievances?

_Anglo-In._ Well, thirty years is a long time to have to serve in a
climate as trying as the tropics, especially when we are not allowed
to count furlough as service.

_The Com._ I think so, too. Then I may sum up your grievances thus.
You are educated men, and therefore deserve fair treatment. You
would consider fair treatment, payment of pensions in gold, and the
lessening of the years of service necessary to earn the right of
retirement?

_Anglo-In._ Exactly, Sir; and I cannot thank you sufficiently for
putting our case so plainly.

_The Com._ Not at all. Should you receive no redress within a
reasonable time, you may mention the matter to me again.

    [_The Witness with a grateful bow then withdrew_.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SHADOW OF A CASE!

(_TO THE EDITOR OF PUNCH._)

DEAR SIR,--As the leading forensic journal of this great country (your
contemporary _Weekly Notes_ runs you pretty close occasionally in some
of its reports), I address you. It was my painful duty a few days ago
(I had to "take a note" for a colleague, an occupation more honourable
than lucrative), to be present at a cause that was heard before the
President of the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division of the High
Court of Justice and a Special Jury. The trial created considerable
interest, not only amongst the general public, but amongst that branch
of our honourable Profession represented by the Junior Bar, no doubt,
because certain points of law, not easily recognisable--I frankly
confess, I myself, am unable to recount them--were no doubt in
question, and had to be decided by competent authority. The Counsel
directly engaged were some of the brightest ornaments of Silk and
Stuff. Amongst the rest were my eloquent and learned friend, Sir
CHARLES RUSSELL, my erudite and learned friend Mr. INDERWICK (whose
_Side-lights upon the Stuarts_, is a marvel of antiquarian research),
and my mirth-compelling and learned friend Mr. FRANK LOCKWOOD,
whose law is only equalled (if, indeed, it is equalled) by his comic
draughtmanship. As the details of the trial have been fully reported,
there is no necessity to go into particulars. However, there was a
feature in the case that the passing notice of an article in one or
more of the leading journals is scarcely sufficient to meet.

It was proved that the detective part of divorce (if I may use the
expression) may be conducted in a fashion, to say the least, of not
the most entirely satisfactory character. A talented family were
called before us, whose performances were, from one point of view,
extremely amusing. But, Sir, although (as you will be the first to
admit) laughter is a most excellent thing in its proper place, the
sound of cachinnation is seldom pleasing in the Divorce Court. Under
these circumstances I would propose that, in future, Divorce Shadowing
should be put under the protection of the State. There should be a
special department, and the Shadowers should be of the distinguished
position of Mr. MCDOUGALL of the London County Council, and the like.
The office of the rank and file of the Shadowers should be honorary,
as the pleasure of following in (possibly) unsavoury steps in the
cause of virtue, would be to them, I presume, ample reward for any
trouble the labour might entail. I would willingly myself undertake
the responsibilities attaching to the post of Director-General, of
course on the understanding that a suitable provision were made, not
only as compensation for the loss of my practice, but also that I
might perform the duties of the office with suitable dignity. But when
I say this, I would add, that I should reserve to myself the right of
seeking the supplementary services of the Archbishop of CANTERBURY,
and Mr. Sheriff AUGUSTUS HARRIS, as assessors in assisting me to
distinguish between innocence and vice, and guilt and virtue.

Believe me, with an expression of all necessary respect for "the
Nobility" connected with the case to which I have referred, and
admiration for the courage of a certain Militiaman, exhibited by his
entering the witness-box, and there facing the cross-examination he so
richly deserved, I remain, Yours truly,

(_Signed_) A BRIEFLESS, JUNIOR.

_Pump-handle Court, July 29, 1890._

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

[Illustration]

Poet and Prophet are nearly allied. Mr. ALFRED AUSTIN is an
illustration of this, in his recently published _English Lyrics_
(MACMILLAN) all of which he must have written in utter ignorance
of the doings of the Chairman of the County Council. Yet, hath the
Prophetic Poet these lines:--

  "Primrose, why do you pass away?"

And the Primrose's return:

  "Nay, rather, why should we longer stay?"

But the Conservative bias of the Poet is shown in the next line:

  "_We_ are not needed," &c.

The commencement of the poem, however, as here quoted, is evidently an
inspiration for which the Poet was not responsible. It is a charming
little volume of charming verse. It is good poetic wine, which
needs not the bush provided by Mr. WILLIAM WATSON in the shape of a
thickset introduction. What, asks W.W., is the attitude of ALFRED
AUSTIN towards Nature? This recalls a well-known scene in _Nicholas
Nickleby_--"She's a rum 'un, is Natur'," said _Mr. Squeers_. "She
is a holy thing, Sir," remarked _Mr. Snawley_. "Natur'," said _Mr.
Squeers_, solemnly, "is more easier conceived than described. Oh,
what a blessed thing, Sir, to be in a state of natur'!" And these
observations of Messrs. _Snawley_ and _Squeers_ pretty accurately sum
up all that the ingenious WILLIAM WATSON has to say about Natur' and
ALFRED AUSTIN. The moral of which lies in the application of it, which
is,--skip the preface, and make plunge into the poetry.

A good deal has been written in olden time and of late about the
Oberammergau Passion Play. Nothing has been better done than the
work by Mr. EDWARD R. RUSSELL, formerly M.P. for Glasgae, who visited
Oberammergau this year. His account is instinct with keen criticism,
fine feeling, and reasoning reverence. Moreover, whilst other works
are padded out into bulky volumes, he says all that need be said in
fifteen pages of a pleasantly-printed booklet--price sixpence. It is
a reprint from letters which the errant Editor contributed to his
journal, the _Liverpool Daily Post_, at the sign of which copies may
be had. THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & Co.

       *       *       *       *       *

Art's Friends and Foe!

  TATE, WALLACE, AGNEW! Here be three good names,
  Friends of true Art, and furtherers of her aims;
  Munificence but waits to take sound shape;
  Say, shall it be frustrated by--Red Tape?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BUZZY TIME FOR THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

{Persons interested should secure the Government paper containing
all the information in regard to the Hessian Fly, and other injurious
insects and fungi.}]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE CHURCH-GOING BELL."

SUNDAY MORNING, COAST OF NORWAY.

(_By Our Yotting Artist._)]

       *       *       *       *       *

JOHNNY, MAKE ROOM FOR DELONCLE!

(_NEW NORTH AFRICAN VERSION OF AN OLD SONG._)

    "M. DELONCLE, in his conversation with a Belgian reporter,
    puts in a claim for practically the whole of the northern
    half of Africa, with the possible exception of Egypt."--_The
    Times_.

    AIR--"_Tommy, make room for your Uncle_."

    _Deputy_ DELONCLE (_addressing_ JOHNNY BULL) _sings_:--

  Nothing but deserts now left for France!
    Hang it! That _will_ not do!
  Therefore DELONCLE her claims must advance,
    Mighty they are, nor few.
  Right from Oubanghi unto Lake Tchad,
    Through Wadai and Ba-gir-mi!
  JOHNNY, my lad, I shall be glad
    If you'll make room for ME!

    _Chorus_.

    JOHNNY, make room for DELONCLE,
      There's a little dear!
    JOHNNY, make room for DELONCLE,
      He wants to stay here.
    He needs the whole of North Africa!
      (The rest he may leave to you),
    Do not annoy, there's a good boy!
      Make room for DELONCLE, do!

  To So-ko-to and the Gan-do,
    Your claims you must resign.
  If France goes far from Zanzibar,
    _I_'ll draw a new boundary line.
  To the east of the Niger by latitude ten!
    That is our mi-ni-_mum_!
  Ours the Sahara! Yes, _che sarà sarà!_
    Therefore don't _you_ look glum!

    _Chorus_.

    JOHNNY, make room for DELONCLE!
      The Niger is ours, that's clear.
    JOHNNY, make room for DELONCLE!
      He doesn't want _you_ here.
    France must take up her traditional _rôle_
      (Of grabbing all she _can_ do)
    So, JOHNNY, my boy, don't you annoy;
      Make room for DELONCLE, _do_!

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM

THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday, July_ 21.--RITCHIE got another Bill
through; not a measure of high imperial policy; nothing to do either
with Heligoland or Zanzibar; only proposes to improve in various
ways the dwellings of the industrial classes. Still, as JOKIM has
shown in connection with one or two of his little Bills, it is
quite possible nearly to wreck a Ministry even on matter-of-fact
business arrangements. But RITCHIE isn't JOKIM, and so his Bill
passes to-night, taking two steps at a time, both sides uniting in
congratulation and cheers. WALTER FOSTER, rising, salutes the Minister
with a quite touching bless-you-my-child attitude. FOSTER rather
hints that the Bill everyone is so pleased with, is really his. True,
RITCHIE'S name is on back, and he took charge of it in its passage
through Committee and House. But the real man was FOSTER; his
Amendments had made the Bill; he had moulded it in Committee, and now
here he was to give it his blessing. Rather delicate position; sort of
cracking up himself, which FOSTER would not do for the world; blushed
a little, as he praised the Bill; otherwise accomplished his task with
ease and grace, whilst RITCHIE, listening, twitched his eyebrows, and
thought unutterable things.

"I wish," said OLD MORALITY, "we had an embarrassment of RITCHIES, or
even two or three more like him."

OLD MORALITY been rather worried to-night; a hail-storm of questions
on all sorts of subjects; amongst others, TIM HEALY and WILFRID
LAWSON badgering him about the Local Taxation Bill. When is it really
intended to take it? LAWSON asks OLD MORALITY back at the table again
for twentieth time; literally gasping for breath; looked round House
with anguished expression; then happy thought strikes him; "Mr.
SPEAKER, Sir," he says, "it is really impossible to do more than one
thing at a time."

The pathetic earnestness with which this axiom was advanced, the
sudden swift spasm of conviction that had flashed it across his mind,
his certainty of the soundness of the assertion (paradoxical though
it might appear), and his hasty, anxious glance below the Gangway
opposite, apprehensive that that quarter would peradventure furnish
a person capable of controverting it, all filled the House with keen
delight. Laughed for full sixty seconds by Westminster clock; OLD
MORALITY standing at table looking round and wondering what on earth
he'd said now.

_Business done._--Census Bills read Second Time.

_Tuesday_.--Pretty quiet sitting, till DIMSDALE craftily crept upon
the scene. Don't often hear from this distinguished member of the
Order of Noble Barons; generally content to serve his country by
voting for the Government. To-night stirred in sluggish depths
by omission of Government in preparing Census Bill to provide for
Religious Census; so the Noble Baron moves Amendment designed to
authorise Religious Census. Opposition Benches nearly empty; those
present listen listlessly; know it's all right; Government are pledged
against Religious Census; no harm in the Noble Baron moving his
Amendment and making his speech; the Bill as introduced is safe.

[Illustration: Another Noble Baron.]

Then up gets RITCHIE; drops remark, in off-hand manner, as if it did
not signify, that Members on Ministerial side are free to vote as they
please. Sudden change of attitude in Opposition Benches. Listlessness
vanishes; a whisper of treachery goes round; CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN makes
hot protest; HARCOURT sent for; comes in gleefully; matters been going
so quietly, place unbearable for him; now a row imminent, HARCOURT
joyously returns to Front Bench. Seats fill up on both sides; OLD
MORALITY hurries in; situation explained to him; dolefully shakes his
head; HARCOURT thunders denunciation of a Ministry that plays fast
and loose with House; then OLD MORALITY gets up, and publicly abjures
DIMSDALE and his Amendment. It was, he explained, only RITCHIE'S fun
in saying Ministerialists were free to vote as they pleased on this
matter. The Government were against the Amendment, and of course good
Ministerialists would vote with Ministers. So they did, and DIMSDALE'S
rising hopes crushed by majority of 288 against 69.

_Business done._--English Census Bill passed through Committee.

_Wednesday_.--Came across NICHOLAS WOOD in remote corner of Corridor;
had the depressed look familiar when he has been wrestling with great
mental problems and finds himself worsted.

"What's the matter now, NICHOLAS? Thinking over what OLD MORALITY said
yesterday about impossibility of doing more than one thing at a time?"

"No, TOBY," he said, wearily; "it's not that; gave that up at once.
OLD MORALITY's a good fellow, but he's too subtle for me. It's this
Police Question that bothers me; give up a good deal of time to
mastering it. Sort of thing seemed likely to suit me; heard all
MATTHEWS' speeches; tried to follow CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM; courted
CONYBEARE'S company, and pursued PICKERSGILL with inquiries. Thought
I'd got a pretty clear notion of what it all meant; and now it turns
out all to have led up to making PULESTON Constable of Carnarvon.
Never heard his name before in connection with the Police Question.
He took no part in discussions; had nothing to do with it I ever heard
of; just when I was comfortably getting on another tack, the whole
question centres on PULESTON. It seems _he_ was the Police Question,
and now he's Constable of Carnarvon. Why Carnarvon? Why not stationed
in the Lobby or the Central Hall where he would be with old friends?
Suppose he'll wear a blue coat, bright buttons, and a belt, and will
shadow LOYD-GEORGE who now sits for Carnarvon? If you write to him
must you address your letters "P.C. PULESTON"? and shall we have to
change refrain of our latest National Hymn? instead of singing '_Ask
a Policeman?_' shall we have to chant 'Ask a PULESTON?' These are the
new problems; suddenly rushed in, bothering me to death when I thought
I'd got pretty well through Session, Recess close at hand and no
more difficult points coming up. Don't think, TOBY, I was cut out for
politics; perhaps I take them too seriously; but like to know things,
and there are so many things to know."

Try to cheer up NICHOLAS; suggest to him that he should put his
questions down on the paper; might address them to FERGUSON; a
little out of the way of Foreign Affairs; but a conversation publicly
conducted between NICHOLAS and FERGUSON would be interesting.

_Business done._--Votes in Supply.

_Friday_.--House in rather strange condition to-night; things all
sevens and sixes; Motion is that Anglo-German Agreement Bill be read
Second Time. Opinion very mixed on merits of measure; on the whole,
no particular objection to it, even though with it goes Heligoland.
Still, an Opposition must oppose; but where is the Opposition? Mr. G.
came down last night; said he'd no particular objection to Treaty, but
didn't like the process of confirming it; so publicly washed his hands
of the business. Since the announcement appeared in papers, HERBERT
tells me his illustrious father's life has been a burden to him. Every
post brings him letters from rival advertising soap manufacturers,
making overtures of business transactions.

"Sir," runs one of these epistles, "alluding to your statement in the
House of Commons last night that you publicly washed your hands of
participation in the Anglo-German Treaty, would you have any objection
to our stating that the substance used was our celebrated Salubrious
Savon? Anticipating your favourable reply, we assume that you would
have no objection to our publishing a portrait of you using our soap,
with its familiar label, 'Does not wash collars.' We have only to add
that in the event of your favourably accepting this suggestion, we
shall esteem it a favour to be allowed to gratuitously supply you and
your family with specimens of our art for the term of your natural
lives."

[Illustration: The British Constitution.]

This is merely an incident in the struggle, illustrating one of the
embarrassments it has evolved. Only man thoroughly happy is HARCOURT.
He invented the line of attack on ground of breach of constitutional
usages; put up Mr. G. to make his speech; supplied him with
authorities, and in supplementary speech amazed House with his
erudition. Made stupendous speech last night; literally gorged the
House; to-night picks up fragments and provides another feast: six
baskets wouldn't hold it.

"Wish, TOBY, dear boy," he said, sinking back in his seat after
delivering his second speech, cunningly grafted on an Amendment, "we
could carry this over next week. I could easily make a speech a day.
Remember when I was once in Ireland, asked a tenant how he liked the
new agent, who was reputed to be very able business man. 'Well,'
said my acquaintance, 'I don't know about his business daylings, but
for blasphaymious language, he's _au revoir_.' On constitutional
questions, TOBY, I may, with all modesty, say I'm _au revoir_."

_Business done._--Anglo-German Treaty agreed to.

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.

FRIENDLY COMMENTS ON CHARACTER AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

"_She is never at a loss for a clever answer;_" i.e., "A cat whose
claws are always out."

"_A little stand-offish to strangers, but wonderfully winning when one
really knows him;_" i.e., "Which one need never do, thank goodness!"

LEGAL.

"_As your Lordship pleases;_" i.e., "As a Judge, you are a stupid,
self-sufficient dolt; but so long as my client, the solicitor, gets
his costs, it doesn't matter a jot to me or him _what_ you decide!"

"_With your Lordship's permission, my Junior will settle the
minutes;_" i.e., "And so save us both the trouble of apportioning, in
the customary perfunctory fashion, the oyster to the solicitors, and
the shells to the clients."

IN THE SMOKING-ROOM.

"_You don't mind my telling you exactly where I think you're wrong?_"
i.e., "You obviously want setting down, and I may as well do it."

"_Do you mind just stating that over again?_" i.e., "While I think of
something to say in reply."

"_Of course you know more about the subject than I do;_" i.e., "I am
pretty sure you never gave it a thought till this minute."

"_If you care for my candid opinion;_" i.e., "I am now about to be
annoying, and perhaps rude."

"_All right, I'm not deaf!_" i.e., "Keep your confounded temper."

       *       *       *       *       *

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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