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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98 February 15, 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, Vol. 98 February 15, 1890" ***

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  FEBRUARY 15, 1890

       *       *       *       *       *



    "Très volontiers," repartit le démon. "Vous aimez les tableaux
    changeans: je veux vous contenter."

    _Le Diable Boiteux._


  Sweet odours, radiant colours, glittering light!
  How swift a change from the dusk sodden night
    Of London in mid-winter!
  _Titania_ here might revel as at home;
  Fair forms are floating soft as Paphian foam,
    Bright as an iceberg-splinter.

  Dianas doubtless, yet their frost holds fire;
  The snowiest bosom covers soft desire,
    And these are snowy, verily.
  As blanched--and bare--as Himalaya's peaks,
  Light-vestured as a troop of dancing Greeks.
    Waltz-measures ripple merrily.

  Merrily? Yes; the music throbs with mirth,
  Feet trip in time to it; yet what strange dearth
    Of glee midst all these graces!
  The quickening fire of spirit, passion, will,
  Seems scarce to move these dancing forms or thrill
    These irresponsive faces.

  The Shadow smiled. "True, yet not true," he said.
  "Good Form demands that men should look half dead,
    And women semi-frozen.
  Yet Nature lives beneath these modish masks
  Somewhere, sometimes, with energy that tasks
    Caste's rigid rule to cozen.

  "Pygmalion's prayer breathed life into the stone,
  But see yon graceful girl, with straitened zone
    And statuesque still bearing.
  You'd say in her the marble must invade
  The flesh, in so much loveliness arrayed,
    Such radiant raiment wearing.

  "Whirled in the waltz's formal maze by one
  Who might be a broad-cloth'd automaton,
    For any show of pleasure,
  She moves with drooping lids, and lips apart,
  And scarce a flush to show that a young heart
    Throbs to the pulsing measure."

  "Men meet to moon, and women whirl to wed,
  The cynic says. Is joy in life quite dead.
    Gladness in concourse banished
  From the parades of fashionable youth?
  Have maiden tenderness and manly truth
    From Vanity Fair quite vanished?"

  "Soft!" sneered the Shadow. "Questionings like these
  Sound _gauche_ and gushing. Better far to freeze
    To the right social zero,
  Than stoop to zeal and frank display of zest,
  Notes of the vulgar glories that invest
    The housemaid-novel's hero.

  "Nothing more useful than the surface-ice
  Of stiff stolidity. Vigour, aye, and vice,
    Therein find ready covert.
  Wickedness here may lurk, or even wit.
  Not to name happiness; but naught of it
    Is obvious and overt.

  "How bored they look, the slim stiff-collared boys!
  Energy that is eager and enjoys
    They may anon make show of
  In some less honest haunt; here as in pain
  They creak and crawl, devoid of that _sans gêne_
    That virtue seems sworn foe of.

  "Languidly circumvolving, lounging lank,
  In scuffling circle or in mural rank,
    Of misery mechanic
  They look the wooden symbols; nought to show
  That even well-starched linen's sheeny snow
    Veils impulses volcanic.

  "That straight-limb'd son of Anak circling there
  Much like a whirling semaphore, strange care
    His boyish forehead wrinkling?
  The season's catch! His sire, is great in Soap,
  His partner's mother yonder sits; with hope
    Her watchful eyes are twinkling.

  "The twirling twain are silent. Silence sits
  Lord of the revel, incubus of wits
    Arch palsier of prattle
  Yet many a girl here mute's a chatterer sweet,
  And many a youth in circles less discrete
    Is an 'agreeable rattle.'

  "Respectability's austere restraint
  Rules them relentlessly; smiles forced and faint
    And joyless facial spasms
  Their meetings and their mutterings attend.
  Jerky approximations quickly end
    In void unvocal chasms.

  "Yet still they circle, and yet still they loll.
  A marionette wooing a wooden doll
    Would look more animated
  Than yonder pair, revolving interlaced,
  Exchanging commonplaces leaden-paced,
    Or repartees belated."

  "Mammon by day and maundering at night
  Oh, Shade!" I cried, "can furnish scant delight,
    The Race for Wealth is rapid.
  How can the feverish rush find true relief
  In heartless intercourse, as bald as brief,
    Amusement vain as vapid?"

  "Amusement? Intercourse? They scarce exist."
  The Shadow answered. "Some Boeotian mist
    Society blinds and muddles.
  True recreation in this joyless round?
  The sea's bright changefulness as soon were found
    In Pedlington's rain-puddles.

  "The cliques and coteries know not how to mix.
  A barrier more impassable than Styx
    Is Philistine stupidity.
  Were mutual amusement meeting's aim,
  Mind _must_ move maidenhood inert and tame,
    Melt masculine rigidity.

  "Concourse, not intercourse, is what you see:
  To mix, and sympathise, and to be free,
    Is the true sociality.
  These meet, like marbles mingled in a bag,
    And the net outcome, friend, is friction, fag,
  Boredom, and sheer banality.

  "The strongest symptom of quick life crops out
  In watchful mutual mockery. Gibe and flout
    In low asides flow freely.
  Oh, bland elysium for the brave and fair,
  Whose pleasures are the snigger and the stare,
    Chill snub, and eye-glance steely!

  "Prigdom's Philistia, though a polished State,
  Has not yet learned quite how to recreate.
    Gath in the ball-room gathers,
  Askelon haunts 'At homes,' but little joy
  Bring they to man or matron, girl or boy,
    To swells or City-fathers."

  (_To be continued._)

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. PUNCH _and_ Mr. J. L. TOOLE _discovered smoking a last cigar_.

_Mr. P._ And so, my dear JOHNNIE, you are leaving us at once?

_Mr. J. L. T._ Yes, Sir, but I hope soon to be back again. I am looking
forward to the voyage as an excellent digestive to all the luncheons,
dinners, and suppers I have been taking for the last five or six weeks.

_Mr. P._ I have no doubt they have been a little trying--eh, JOHNNIE?

_Mr. J. L. T._ And yet, as I have observed in the _Upper Crust_, "they
were very welcome." But, Sir, how did I get through my oratory? Did you
notice my speeches at the Garrick and the Savage? Which did you prefer?

_Mr. P._ I heard the first, and read a report of the second, and can
conscientiously declare they were equally good.

_Mr. J. L. T._ I am glad to hear you say so, Sir. I confess I didn't
think there was _much_ to choose between them. And now (_with deep
emotion_), will you excuse my glove?

_Mr. P._ No; I won't say good-bye; for wherever you may roam, my dear
JOHNNIE, you will have this consolation--you will find me there before

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "There is now a strong impression that the Money Market
has at last tided over the period of tightness."--_Daily News_, Feb. 4.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  _A Song of a Strange Development._

  Will you walk into my Congress? says the Emperor unto Labour;
  'Tis the nicest little Congress; I'm inviting many a neighbour.
  The way into my Congress by this Rescript I prepare,
  And we shall have some curious things to show you--when you're there.
      Then won't you, won't you, little International Working-Man?

  We've already done a little to improve poor Labour's lot,
  Shorten its hours, insure its life, and help to fill its pot.
  But the poorer and the weaker yet fall short of the reality
  Of "conformity to the principles of Chris-ti-an morality."
                  Then won't you, &c.

  'Tis one of the State's duties, friends, to regulate the time,
  The duration and the nature of your work,--a task sublime;
  And you'll find we'll do it better, if you only won't resist,
  Than that most obnoxious personage, the shouting Socialist.
                  Then won't you, &c.

  I'm an Emperor by profession, but I have my little plan
  For improving the position of the German Working-man.
  But the International Question stands a little in the way,
  So I've asked the Nations to convene--I only hope they may.
                  Then won't you, &c.

  And when they get together they will do--well, we shall see;
  But the Socialists shan't have _all_ their own way with Industry.
  _I_ recognise the justice of the Workmen's aspirations,
  And upon their wants and wishes I would start "negotiations."
                  Then won't you, &c.

  Oh, I know my plan will bring up all the fogies in full blast,
  And Coercion and Protection I see looking on aghast.
  But I'm game to turn deaf ear to them, if _you_ will only list,
  To that latest, strangest birth of time, the Imperial Socialist!
                  Then won't you, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Hints from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's correspondence._

SIR,--If you wish to immortalise yourself as Chancellor of the
Exchequer, now is your opportunity. You have a surplus, I believe, of
eight or nine millions? This is about the figure required to provide the
Members of the London County Council with a moderate-sized palace, not
perhaps entirely suited to their exalted dignity, but, at least,
sufficient to house them in something like proper and fitting style. A
site should be secured on the Embankment, by clearing away Somerset
House, and the intervening buildings, including the blocks of the Inner
and Middle Temple, which could all be carted away and re-erected further
down, say, at Millbank, and on the space thus secured a white marble
structure could be reared with an adequately imposing façade facing the
river, that would in some slight degree represent the majesty of the
illustrious body destined to occupy it. I don't say that nine millions
would be enough thoroughly to carry out the design I have in view, but
your surplus might serve as a central fund to begin upon, to which
Parliament, no doubt, would cheerfully add another five or six millions
if required. Such an obvious use for your money, I feel, needs no
further argument from yours encouragingly and suggestively,


SIR,--I have several near relatives in the Colonies, with whom I have,
owing to the present exorbitant rates for postage, not communicated for
many years. This fact has suggested to me that _the_ golden opportunity
now offers itself to you of re-uniting family ties, re-opening closed
correspondence, restoring natural affection in otherwise hardened
breasts, and, in a word, consolidating the Empire, it may be, for
countless ages yet unborn. Spend your surplus, Sir, in providing this
country and all her dependencies with a _farthing postage_--mind, not a
_penny_, but a FARTHING POSTAGE! I read somewhere that the actual cost
to the Government for the transport of letters was at the rate of ten
for a penny. Thus your four millions sunk in the enterprise ought to
produce you an immediate profit, at least so I make it, of six millions
a year. But, profit or no profit, think of the boon to thousands of
Englishmen like myself, who could then stand a penny-worth of
correspondence in the year, with children with whom now they are unable
to communicate, owing to the cruel and crushing charge of fivepence for
a single letter. Picture one who, though not close over money matters,
and full of love for his offspring, must yet sign himself


SIR,--Have you read Lord WOLSELEY's article in this month's _Harper_? He
advises a higher rate of pay for the rank and file of the British Army?
_Verbum sap._ You understand. It is clear what you must do with your
surplus. Ensure TOMMY ATKINS six-and-six-pence a day, and you will have
every Regiment in the Service thronged with real live Gentlemen. This is
what is wanted (so I gather from Lord W.'s article) to make the British
Army, if not the most costly, at least the most respectable in the
world. Come, Sir, do not make it necessary that you should be reminded a
second time of your plain and obvious duty by


SIR,--There can be no doubt in regard to the proper destination of those
surplus millions, the fitting disposition of which, I am informed, is
involving you in no little perplexity. They seem in a special manner to
furnish the legitimate answer to the almost universal cry, now going
forth, for "Free Education." Here then is your opportunity. And it is a
magnificent one. Your surplus will enable a wise and paternal Government
to give not merely education, free of cost, to every child in the three
kingdoms, but will supply it with ample means to infuse the very highest
culture attainable into the very dregs of the population. Spanish,
Italian, German, Russian, French, Chinese, together with riding,
dancing, painting in oil colours, hydrostatics, and the elements of
Court etiquette, will, henceforth, comprise the curriculum of the
veriest gutter-child.

Can you, Sir, contemplate such a brilliant, such a soul-stirring
prospect unmoved? That you cannot, and will at once hand over your
useful millions for the purpose of carrying into effect the above modest
but magnificent scheme, is the firm belief of yours suggestively,


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A DIAGNOSIS.]


       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: Book Markers.]

"Bring me my Scotch Dictionary!" cried the Baron. "Alas, my Lord!" was
the answer of the faithful servitor, "there is none such here."
"I'fakins!" quoth the Baron, "then will I buckle to and read _A Window
in Thrums_ without it, even though I break all my teeth and nigh choke
myself, as indeed, I have well-nigh done in my gallant attempt to master
the first two chapters." So I, the Baron, being convalescent and having
a few hours to spare, lay me down and read, and read, and read, and
stumbled over the Scotch words and phrases, until I hit on the plan of
reading it aloud to two or three other convalescents; just to see how
_they_ would like it. And as I read aloud, this book,--which on account
of its apparent difficulty, and by reason of my education having been
neglected, "lang syne," in respect to the Scotch language, an intimate
knowledge of which I have not yet acquired "the noo,"--it gained my
affection gradually, steadily, and increasingly. Though I could not have
translated individual words and phrases, yet I instinctively understood
them, and was delighted with the homely simplicity of the style, the
keen observation, the shrewd wit, and the gentle pathos of _A Window in
Thrums_. The BARON DE BOOK-WORMS is grateful to Mr. J. M. BARRIE; and
when an opportunity is offered him, he is seriously thinking of
re-reading some of the Scotchiest of Sir WALTER SCOTT'S Novels, and
having a "Nicht or twa wi' ROBBIE BURNS."

I await the Reminiscences of Mr. MONTAGU WILLIAMS, Q.C. and P.M., with
considerable interest.

Mr. KEITH FLEMING'S romance, _Can such Things be? or, the Weird of the
Beresfords_,--no relation to Lord CHARLES of that ilk,--starts, and will
make the reader start too, with a very creepy idea. The story would have
been a genuine weird and eerie one but for the continual twaddling
interruptions about "spookikal" research and metaphysical problems,
which, however, the experienced skipper, who knows the chart, can easily
avoid after the first two or three bumps, and even the inexperienced
reader will be able, after an hour or two, to hop from point to point
like a robin from twig to twig. But skipping and hopping is wearying,
and the story is too long, and so we become familiar with the ghost, and
we all know what the fatal consequence of familiarity is. The
repetitions of the Spook's appearance are monotonous. Had _The Weird_
been condensed like milk in tins, or essenced like Liebig, and been
presented to the public as a story in two numbers of _Blackwood_ (always
such an appropriate title for a Magazine full of mysterious
stories,--BLACK WOOD so like Black Forest) or _Macmillan_, or _Cornhill_
(where, somehow, a ghost-story always reads uncommonly well), this
romance would have created a great sensation. As it is, it doesn't, at
least not much. BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

       *       *       *       *       *


Our present Drama (No. VI.) represents an attempt to illustrate upon the
Music-hall Stage the eternal truth that race _will_ tell in the long
run, despite--but, on second thoughts, it does not _quite_ prove that,
though it certainly shows the unerring accuracy of parental--at least,
that is not exactly its tendency, either; and the fact is that _Mr.
Punch_ is more than a little mixed himself as to the precise theory
which it is designed to enforce. He hopes, however, that, as a realistic
study of Patrician life and manners, it will possess charms for a
democratic audience.


_A Grand Social Psychological Comedy-Drama, in One Act._


_The Earl of Burntalmond._
_The Countess of Burntalmond_    (_his wife_).
_Robert Henry Viscount Bullsaye_ (_their son and heir_).
_The Lady Rose Caramel_          (_niece to the Earl_).
_Horehound._            }   (_Travelling as "The Celebrated Combination_
_Mrs. Horehound._       }   _Korffdropp Troupe," in their refined and_
_Coltsfoot Horehound._  }        _elegant Drawing-room Entertainment._)

SCENE--_The Great Quadrangle of Hardbake Castle; banners, mottoes,
decorations, &c. On the steps, R., the Earl, supported by his wife, son,
and niece, is discovered in the act of concluding a speech to six
tenantry, who display all the enthusiasm that is reasonably to be
expected at ninepence a night._


_The Earl (patting_ Lord BULLSAYE'S _shoulder)._ I might say more,
Gentlemen, in praise of my dear son, Lord BULLSAYE, here--I might dwell
on his extreme sweetness, his strongly marked character, the variety of
his tastes, and the singular attraction he has for children of all
ages--but I forbear. I will merely announce that on this day--the day he
has selected for attaining his majority--he has gratified us all by
plighting troth to his cousin, the Lady ROSE CARAMEL, with whose dulcet
and clinging disposition he has always possessed the greatest natural
affinity. [_Cheers._

_Lord Bullsaye_ (_aside to_ Lady R.). Ah, ROSE, would such happiness
could last! But my heart misgives me strangely--why, I know not.

_Lady R._ Say not so, dear BULLSAYE--have you not just rendered me the
happiest little Patrician in the whole peerage?

_Lord B._ 'Tis true--and yet, and yet--pooh, let me snatch the present
hour! [_Snatches it._

_The Earl._ And now, let the Revels commence.

_Enter the_ Korffdropp Troupe, _who give their marvellous Entertainment,
entitled, "The Three Surprise Packets;" after which--_

_Horehound._ This will conclude the first portion of our Entertainment,
Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen; and, while my wife and pardner retires to
change her costoom for the Second Part, I should be glad of the
hoppertoonity of a short pussonal hexplanation with the noble Herl on my
right. [_Exit_ Mrs. HOREHOUND.

_The Earl_ (_graciously_). I will hear you, fellow! (_Aside._) Strange
how familiar his features seem to me!

_Horeh._ The fact is, your Lordship's celebrating the coming of hage of
the _wrong heir_. (_Sensation--i.e., the six tenantry shift from one leg
to the other, and murmur feebly._) Oh, I can prove it. Twenty-one years
ago--(_slow music_)--I was in your Lordship's service as gamekeeper,
'ead whip, and hextry waiter. My son and yours was born the selfsame
day, and my hold woman was selected to hact as foster-mother to the
youthful lord. Well--(_tells a long, and not entirely original, story;
marvellous resemblance between infants, only distinguishable by green
and magenta bows, &c., &c._) Soon after, your Lordship discharged me at
a moment's notice----

_The Earl_ (_haughtily_). I did, upon discovering that you were in the
habit of surreptitiously carrying off kitchen-stuff, concealed within
your umbrella. But proceed with your narration.

_Horeh._ I swore to be avenged, and so--(_common form again; the shifted
bows_)--consequently, as a moment's reflection will convince you, the
young man on the steps, in the button-'ole and tall 'at, is my lawful
son, while the real Viscount is--(_presenting_ COLTSFOOT, _who advances
modestly on his hands_)--'ere! [_Renewed sensation._

_The Earl._ This is indeed a startling piece of intelligence. (_To_ Lord
B.) And so, Sir, it appears that your whole life has been one consistent
imposition--a gilded _lie_?

_Lord B._ Let my youth and inexperience at the time, Sir, plead as my
best excuse!

_The E._ Nothing can excuse the fact that you--you, a low-born son of
the people, have monopolised the training, the tenderness and education,
which were the due of your Patrician foster-brother. (_To_ COLTSFOOT.)
Approach, my injured, long-lost boy, and tell me how I may atone for
these years of injustice and neglect!

_Coltsf._ Well, Guv'nor, if you could send out for a pot o' four arf, it
'ud be a _beginning_, like.

_The E._ You shall have every luxury that befits your rank, but first
remove that incongruous garb.

_Colts_, (_to_ Lord B.). These 'ere togs belong to _you_ now, young
feller, and I reckon exchange ain't no robbery.

_Lord B._ (_with emotion, to_ Countess). Mother, can you endure to
behold your son in tights and spangles on the very day of his majority?

_Countess_ (_coldly_). On the contrary, it is my wish to see him attired
as soon as possible, in a more appropriate costume.

_Lord B._ (_to_ Lady R.). ROSE, _you_, at least, have not changed? Tell
me you will love me still--even on the precarious summit of an acrobat's

_Lady Rose_ (_scornfully_). Really the presumptuous familiarity of the
lower orders is perfectly appalling!

_The Earl_ (_to_ Countess, _as_ Lord B. _and_ COLTSFOOT _retire to
exchange costumes_). At last, PAULINE, I understand why I could never
feel towards BULLSAYE the affection of a parent. Often have I reproached
myself for a coldness I could not overcome.

_Countess._ And I too! Nature was too strong for us. But, oh, the joy of
recovering our son--of finding him so strong, so supple, so agile. Never
yet has our line boasted an heir who can feed himself from a fork
strapped on to his dexter heel!

_The E._ (_with emotion_). Our beloved, boneless boy!

[_Re-enter_ COLTSFOOT _in modern dress, and_ Lord B. _in tights_.

_Colts._ Don't I look slap-up--O.K. and no mistake? Oh, I _am_ 'aving a

_All._ What easy gaiety, and unforced animation!

_The E._ My dear boy, let me present you to your _fiancée_. ROSE, my
love, this is your _legitimate_ lover.

_Colts._ Oh, all right, _I've_ no objections--on'y there'll be ructions
with the young woman in the tight-rope line as I've been keepin' comp'ny
with--that's all!

_The E._ Your foster-brother will act as your substitute there.
(_Proudly._) _My_ son must make no _mésalliance_!

_Rose_ (_timidly_). And, if it would give you any pleasure, I'm sure I
could soon learn the tight-rope!

_Colts._ Not at _your_ time o' life. Miss, and besides, 'ang it, now I'm
a lord, I can't have my wife doin' nothing low!

_The E._ Spoken like a true BURNTALMOND! And now let the revels
re-commence. [_Re-enter_ Mrs. HOREHOUND.

_Horeh._ (_to_ Lord B.). Now then, stoopid, tumble, can't you--what are
you 'ere _for_?

_Lord B._ (_to the_ Earl). Since it is your command, I obey, though it
is ill tumbling with a heavy heart!

[_Turns head over heels laboriously._

_Colts._ Call that a somersault? 'Ere, 'old my 'at (_giving tall hat to_
Lady R.) _I'll_ show yer 'ow to do a turn.

[_Throws a triple somersault._

_All._ What condescension! How his aristocratic superiority is betrayed,
even in competition with those to the manner born!

_Mrs. Horeh._ (_still in ignorance of the transformation_). Halt! I have
kept silence till now--even from my husband, but the time has come when
I _must_ speak. Think you that if he were indeed a lord, he could turn
such somersaults as those? No--no. I will reveal all. (_Tells same old
story--except that she herself from ambitious motives transposed the
infants' bows._) Now, do with me what you will!

_Horeh._ Confusion, so my ill-judged action did but redress the wrong I
designed to effect!

_The E._ (_annoyed_). This is a serious matter, reflecting as it does
upon the legitimacy of my lately recovered son. What proof have you,
woman, of your preposterous allegation?

_Mrs. H._ None, my lord,--but these--

[_Exhibits two faded bunches of ribbon._

_The E._ I cannot resist such overwhelming evidence, fight against it as
I may.

_Lord B._ (_triumphantly_). And so--oh, Father, Mother, ROSE--dear, dear
ROSE--I am no acrobat after all!

_The E._ (_sternly_). Would you were anything half so serviceable to the
community, Sir! I have no superstitious reverence for rank, and am, I
trust, sufficiently enlightened to discern worth and merit--even beneath
the spangled vest of the humblest acrobat. Your foster-brother, brief as
our acquaintance has been, has already endeared himself to all hearts,
while you have borne a trifling reverse of fortune with sullen
discontent and conspicuous incapacity. He has perfected himself in a
lofty and distinguished profession during years spent by _you_, Sir, in
idly cumbering the earth of Eton and Oxford. Shall I allow him to suffer
by a purely accidental coincidence? Never! I owe him reparation, and it
shall be paid to the uttermost penny. From this day, I adopt him as my
eldest son, and the heir to my earldom, and all other real and personal
effects. See, ROBERT HENRY, that you treat your foster-brother as your
senior in future!

_Coltsf._ (_to_ Lord B). Way-oh, ole matey, I don't bear no malice, _I_
don't! Give us your dooks. [_Offering hand._

_The C._ Ah, BULLSAYE, try to be worthy of such generosity!

[Lord B. _grasps_ COLTSFOOT'S _hand in silence._

_Lady Rose._ And pray, understand that, whether Mr. COLTSFOOT be
viscount or acrobat, it can make no difference whatever to the
disinterested affection with which I have lately learnt to regard him.

[_Gives her hand to_ COLTSFOOT, _who squeezes it with ardour_.

_Coltsf._ (_pleasantly_). Well, Father, Mother, your noble Herlship and
Lady, foster-brother BULLSAYE, and my pretty little sweetart 'ere, what
do you all say to goin' inside and shunting a little garbage, and
shifting a drop or so of lotion, eh?

_The E._ A most sensible suggestion, my boy. Let us make these ancient
walls the scene of the blithest--ahem!--_beano_ they have ever yet

    [_Cheers from Tenantry, as the_ Earl _leads the way into the Castle
    with_ Mrs. HOREHOUND, _followed by_ HOREHOUND _with the Countess
    and_ COLTSFOOT _with_ Lady ROSE, Lord BULLSAYE, _discomfited and
    abashed, entering last as Curtain falls_.]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By the Foot of Clara Groomley._)


In the little sitting-room above his shop sat Mr. ASSID ROPES. It was
the afternoon before Christmas Day. He had generously allowed all his
assistants to leave. "If anybody wants their hair cut, or their hat
ironed," he said, "I'll do it myself, and then they'll wish they

Yet, when a customer rapped on the floor below, Mr. ROPES felt
exceedingly angry.

"What do you want?" he called down the stairs.

"I want my hat ironed," said a clear, manly voice.

"Go away! Your hat doesn't want ironing. Go to bed!"

"I will not go away," said the clear, firm voice, "until you have
attended to my hat--hat once, if you please."

Mr. ROPES came grumbling down the stairs. For one moment he gazed at the
man in the shop, and then flung his arms round him and wept tears of

"My dear old friend, CYRIL MUSH!" he exclaimed.

They had been boys together at Eton, and rowed in the Trinity boat
together at Cambridge. Fate had separated them.

In less than a minute they were talking over old times together in the
little sitting-room over the shop. CYRIL MUSH was delighted. "You can't
charge an old friend anything for just ironing his hat," he said, with
his peculiarly winning smile.

Before Mr. ROPES could correct this impression, another voice was heard
in the shop below.

"Can you come down for a minute--to oblige a lady?"

Mr. ROPES descended once more. In a minute he returned.

"Awfully sorry, MUSH, but I must go. I've got to shave a dead poodle,
and the men are coming to stuff it at nine o'clock to-night. It's for a
lady--_noblesse oblige_, you know. I'll finish your hat when I come

In a second he was gone. CYRIL MUSH replaced the lining in his hat, and
placed it on his head. He went out into the streets. He was wondering
what poodle it was which Mr. ASSID ROPES had gone to shave. Could it be
the same? No, most certainly not. So of course it was the same.

In the meanwhile Mr. ROPES had arrived at the house, and had been
ushered into the chamber of death. The light was very bad, and he
happened to cut the animal while engaged in shaving it.

"Very sorry, Sir," said Mr. ROPES, from force of habit, "but it's not my
fault. You've got a pimple there, and you jerked your head just as I was
going over it. A little powder will put that all right."


Suddenly it flashed across him that the poodle was not dead if the blood
flowed. He rushed out of the room, and found himself confronted by a
handsome, wicked-looking man, of about thirty.

"Excuse me, Sir, but that poodle's not dead. It's in a trance. Just run
down to the kitchen and fetch me some brandy, some blankets, and some
hot bricks, and I'll bring it round."

"The dog _is_ dead, and in a very few hours he'll be stuffed," was the
cruel reply. "You needn't trouble to bring it round. If you've brought
your tackle round, you can shave it."

"I've been shaving it--and that's how I know."

A door opened on the other side of the passage, and a fair young girl
came out in tears and a black dress.

"What's the matter, ALGERNON?" she said.

"It's nothing, ALICE. This idiot says that _Tommy's_ not dead."

With one wild yell of joy, a yell that broke the gas-globes, and
unlinked carriages at all the principal London railway stations, ALICE
SMITH fell senseless on the floor.

"Out you get!" exclaimed her cousin ALGERNON to Mr. ROPES. "If the dog
is not dead, come back in two hours, and _prove_ it--otherwise it will
be dead, and stuffed too."

"Now then," said ALGERNON, when Mr. ROPES had gone, "if _Tommy Atkins_
is not dead, he soon will be." He grasped his walking-stick, and tried
the door of the room. It was locked. Mr. ROPES had locked it, and taken
the key!

"Aha!" he exclaimed. "Baffled! Baffled! Kindly turn the lime-light off
the swooned maiden, and throw it on to me. Sympathetic music from the
violins, if you please."

       * * *

One hour had passed. Mr. ALKALOID, the photographer, had met Mr. MUSH.
Mr. ALKALOID had come from Ryde to London to get his hair singed. The
two accidentally met Mr. ROPES as he was dashing wildly down the street
towards his own shop. In one minute all was explained. Mr. ALKALOID had
fetched his photographic apparatus, and the three were careering back to
the house where the poodle lay dead. But was he dead? You know he
wasn't, as well as I do. What do you ask such senseless questions for?
"It's the only sure test," said ALKALOID. "If that dog's alive, he'll
wag his tail when I try to photograph him. I never knew it fail."

       * * *

Outside the door of that gorgeously-furnished room stood an excited
group. ALGERNON, the villain, was soliloquising. ALICE was explaining to
CYRIL how he had dropped his note down the neck of the wrong girl--who
was also named SMITH--and how she had been compelled to believe him
unfaithful. Mr. ROPES was listening attentively at the key-hole, and
CYRIL was kissing ALICE.

Within the room Mr. ALKALOID was photographing the dead poodle. (I call
it dead, but of course that doesn't humbug _you_.)

"Now then, we're ready," they heard Mr. ALKALOID say. "Don't stare. Just
a natural, easy--now then--thank you!"

There was dead silence within the room and without. Then the door
opened, and Mr. ALKALOID came out cheerfully.

"The poodle's dead all right," he said. "What you took to be blood,
ROPES, was blacking off your razor. You really ought not to strop them
on your boot. I'll walk round to your shop with you. I want my hair

ALICE went into hysterics; ALGERNON swooned with joy; and CYRIL MUSH had
a fit.

At the moment of going to press, they are all three still in the above
condition. The dog, in the meantime, has been accidentally stuffed with
the stuffing intended for the stuffer's Christmas goose. The goose was
found, on carving, to be stuffed with several shilling shockers, which
had been intended to pad the poodle.

And to what better use could they have been put--especially if they were
all like this?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MISUNDERSTOOD!]


_Daughter of the House_ (_anxious to introduce Partners to each other_).

       *       *       *       *       *



       * * *


    "When the assault is given in the presence of spectators, it is not
    uncommon to precede it by the Salute, which shows the scheme and
    various figures, as it were, of the attack and defence in a precise,
    ceremonious manner, and with the same kind of courtly ritual as that
    which distinguishes the minuet."--_H. A. Colmore Dunn's "Fencing"._

  There, standing face to face, foil in hand,
    Just out of lunging range they salute,
  Who anon, swordsman stark, old fencer grand,
    Must fight their duel out, foot to foot.
  Mere preliminary flourish, all of this;
    The punctilio of "form" without a fault;
  But soon the blades shall counter, clash, and twist,
                  In assault.

  The ritual of the rapier or the foil;
    Vastly pretty ceremonial parade.
  Merest preface to the hot and breathless toil
    Of the fencers fiercely battling blade to blade.
  In position! Featly, formally on guard,
    Engage the blades in quarte. But by-and-by
  Every subtle thrust and parry, feint and ward,
                  Each will try.

  Foible to foible! Measure distance! Lunge!
    Now the thrust ends in the merest harmless touch;
  But ere the beaten man throws up the sponge,
    As the boxers say, relaxing his hilt-clutch,
  There'll be lunges and ripostes of other sort.
    Firm foot and steady hand must be their friend;
  The encounter will be struggle, not mere sport,
                  Ere the end.

  First to left and then to right! Parry of quarte!
    In pronation by a turn of supple wrist!
  Parry in tierce! All elegant and smart;
    But the lethal thrust no parry can resist
  Comes not in this preliminary play.
    The defender, so complacent and erect,
  Will show another pose another day,
                  We suspect.

  And that grey Grand Old Assailant, who's expert
    At beat and re-beat, press, and graze, and bind,
  Will try his best at a disabling hurt;
    It is not mere parade that's in his mind.
  Meanwhile he's taking measure of his foe,
    Meanwhile his foe of him is taking stock;
  And anon they'll come together in a glow,
                  With a shock!

       *       *       *       *       *


_Brief Fragment of a current Historical Romance._

    [It is whispered that the PRIME MINISTER has of late taken too much
    into his own hands the conduct of the foreign affairs of the
    Government.--_Smoking-room Gossip._]

The PRIME MINISTER stood upon the rug, with his back to the fire, and
regarded his assembled colleagues with an imperious and angry scowl.
There was a profound and significant silence for several minutes. At
length it broke. He was addressing them once more.

"You understand the official relationship that exists between us. You
are my creatures. I am your Master. What I originate, you accept. I act,
you endorse. Do I," he continued, his voice rising to a shrill, piping
treble, "do I make myself sufficiently clear?"

A sickly smile of abject acquiescence overspread the features of the now
trembling Ministers. Their Chief noted it with a gloomy glare. Then with
a furious gesture, he suddenly kicked a waste-paper basket into the air.
"You may go!" he growled. They did not wait for a second permission.
Swiftly, but obsequiously, they glided out of the room, and with traces
of terror stamped on their blanched countenances, silently sought the
little neighbouring Railway Station, and took the next train to London.

       * * *

That night the Premier sat up late. But his work, when he began it, did
not take him long. Yet it was not unimportant, for the departing
mail-bag carried a set of sealed orders for the Admiral in Command of
the British Squadron in East African Waters, another Ultimatum to the
Government of Portugal, a threatening communication to the Porte, and
disturbing despatches, threatening to the peace of Europe, to the
Governments of Russia, France, and Germany respectively. He laughed long
and loud when he thought of their contents. Then he went to bed.

       * * *

Later on, his work bore fruit; and people then said that the Cabinet of
the day must have been a strange one!

       *       *       *       *       *


"A cargo of 180,000 mummified Cats has just been landed at Liverpool, to
be used as Manure."--_Daily Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *


I'm a beginning for to think as we're rayther a rum lot in this werry
strawnery world of ours. I've jest bin a collectin from sum of my
brother Waiters sum of their little historys, as far as they remembers
'em, and werry strange and werry warious sum on 'em is. There's one pore
chap who's about as onest and as atentif a Waiter as I nos on anywheres,
but you never, no never, ewer sees him smile, not ewen wen a ginerus old
Deputy, or a new maid Alderman, gives him harf-a-crown! I've offen and
offen tried to cheer him hup with a good old glass of ginerus port, wen
sum reglar swells has bin a dining and has not emtied the bottels--as
reel Gennelmen never does--but never quite suck-seeded, tho' he drank
down his wine fast enuff and ewidently injoyed it quite as much as if
he'd paid for it, praps jest a leetle bit more. So one day I wentured to
arsk him how it was as he was allers as sollem as a Churchwarden at a
Charity Sermon, or a Clown in summer time, and he told me as it was all
causd by the suckemstances of his hurly life, which he had never been
abel to shake off hisself, pore Fellar! tho' they was none of 'em his
own fault, which they was as follers.


To begin with. He was born on a Fryday, on the 1st of April, and amost
all his days for years after seems to have been either Frydays or Fust
of Aprils, sumtimes one, sumtimes tother, sumtimes both. He was the
youngest of eleven children, and so made the family party consist of 13,
always as we all knos a unlucky number, and he seemed to have been
treeted as if it had bin his own fault, which in course it wasn't, not
by no means, no more than it was his fault the having the Skarlet Fever
on one Crismus Day, which he did to heverybody's disgust.

He was afterwards told by his old Nuss BECKY that one speshal greevance
of his pore mother was, that her youngest child being seven years old
when BILLY was born, all the warious prepperashuns customary on such
himportant occasions had been dun away with as useless, ewen to the
customary gigantick Pincushon, so that in his case there was no "Welcum
to the Little Stranger!" So long, too, as his oldest brother remained at
tome, he was never allowed to set down to dinner with the rest of the
famerly, because, in course, he made up the unlucky number, the werry
nateral consequence being, that when his oldest brother suddenly took
his departure from among 'em, poor little BILLY was werry severely
flogged for setting down to dinner with a smiling countinghouse! Of
course ewery time as his unfortnit Birthday came round he was made a
April Fool of, all his six lovin Brothers jining in the sport, one arter
the other, nearly all day long. When he went to school, ewerybody knowed
of his afflickshun, and made a fool of him, hushers and all.

After he growed up, his Father got him a plaice at a Lunatic Asylum, as
being the most properest for his sollem natur; and there he remained for
no less than five years!

Then, on the other hand, there's old TOM, or rayther yung TOM, for he's
one of them jolly chaps as never seems to get no older. Why he goes
about a grinning away, and a chatting away, and a chaffing of old BILL,
who's much younger than him, like anythink. So I naterally arsked him
how he acounted for his good sperrits. And what was his arnser? Why,
hurly training. His Father was a Comic Play Actor, and allers ready for
a larf, and offen took yung TOM with him to the Theater till he becum
quite a favrite with all the merry gals there, who used to pet him, and
give him sweets, and teach him to say all sorts of funny things; and,
when he was old enuff, he was promoted to the dignity of a full-blown
Super, at 18 shillings a week, and all his close found. His grate
differculty was in looking serious and keeping serious when serious
bizziness was a going on; and on one occashun, when he was playing one
of a band of sangwinerry ruffians, sumthink so took his fansy, that he
not only bust into a loud larf hisself, but set all the rest of the
sangwinerry ruffians a larfing too, and quite spiled all the effect of
the scene. So he was bundled off neck and crop, and soon afterwards got
a sitewashun as a Pleaceman, but, for the life of him, he never could
keep hisself serious when he was before a Magistrate with a case; for if
ennybody made a joke, or ennybody larfed, TOM set off a grinning with
the best of 'em, and once axshally made a joke with his Worship; so of
course off he was sent again, to find a rest for the soles of his feet,
and a free play for his good sperrits, in the honnerabel capacity of a


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ULTIMA RATIO.]

_Small Rustic._ "YEOU CAN'T GO THAT WAY."

_Stalwart Young Lady_ (_out Sketching_). "WHY NOT?"


_Stalwart Young Lady._ "BUT I CAN GET OVER HURDLES."

_Small Rustic._ "AND THEN THERE'S THE BULL!"

       *       *       *       *       *




_House of Commons, Tuesday, February 11._--"How do you do, TOBY? A merry
New Session and many of them."

It was OLD MORALITY who spoke; his kindly face beamed on me; his
friendly hand grasped mine. Walked up the floor together through the old
familiar scene. Benches crowded, though a vacant seat here and there:
HARTINGTON'S for example. Everybody sorry to hear he's been ill, and
glad to think of him enjoying the sunlight of Monte Carlo. Grand Old Man
more Grand and less Old than ever; just up from Oxford; passed very
well, it is said. Comes into Parliament with every prospect of
distinguishing himself; his maiden speech looked for with much interest.

"I think I'll put it off for a month or two, TOBY," he said, blushing
with the ingenuousness of youth. "You see I'm so fresh from college,
that it would ill become me to plunge into public affairs. It's all very
well for a young fellow like me to get up at the Union; but here it's
different. You're very good to say that great things are expected of me;
but, if you please, I'll keep in the background a bit. I'll feel my feet
first, as they used to say in the nursery, in what seems only

Very nice this of him. Wish all young fellows fresh from the University,
even when they have taken honours, were equally modest.

"Haven't seen you since we met at Greenlands' icy mountains in the
Recess," OLD MORALITY said, continuing our conversation interrupted by
the cheers that greeted our arrival. "You remember how bitterly cold the
day was? Rather thought you hurried away. Wish you could have stayed to
luncheon. We happened to have something succulent. However, you must
come and dine in my room behind the SPEAKER'S Chair; AKERS-DOUGLAS will
show you the way. We do it pretty snug there, I can tell you. What sort
of a Session shall we have? Who can tell? Usual sort of thing, I
suppose. We shall bring in a lot of Bills; Gentlemen opposite will talk
some of them out; at Easter and Whitsuntide Recesses we shall squeeze a
stage of some through, under pressure of the holidays; then three weeks
in June and most of July will be wasted; and in August we'll suspend
Standing Orders, and ram through everything we can. As for me, I shall
endeavour to do my duty to the QUEEN, to the Country, and to the Members
of this House, in whichever part they sit. Did you ever, dear TOBY,
consider how a kettle boils? The water nearest to the fire is first
heated, and (being heated) rises to the top. Its place is supplied by
colder portions, which are heated in turn, and this interchange takes
place till all the water is boiling hot. That is how we shall get
through the Session. The Report of the Parnell Commission, being most
heated, will rise to the top first. Then the Tithes Bill, Land Purchase,
the Education question, and one or two other little matters will follow,
till we're all in boiling water. Good-bye now; don't forget to come
across AKERS-DOUGLAS about Eight o'Clock."

_Business done._--Session opened.

       *       *       *       *       *

KILLING FOR A SHILLING.--Lord WOLSELEY (who seems to have read the
regulations governing communications from soldiers to the Press in a
very liberal spirit) has published an article on the British Army in the
pages of an American Twelvepenny Magazine. The contribution is
embellished with sketches of the costumes of TOMMY ATKINS and his
predecessors. For the rest, some of the letterpress is sufficiently
alarming to warrant "Our Only General" in assuming a title which he
apparently appears to covet--that of a "Shilling Shocker!"

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: Vol au Vent.]

Now that the Parliamentary Session has opened, and the Season threatens
to set in with its usual severity, the dinner question comes prominently
to the front. Even in the best-regulated households there is a sameness
about dinner which, towards the end of the week, palls upon the
appetite. Some ambitious young men have attempted to deal with the
matter and surprise their guests by introducing cheese immediately after
the soup (_soufflé au parmesan_), and after a cut of beef comes the fish
(_turbot à la Russe_). That is well meant, but it is crude. _Mr. Punch_
has given his great mind to the subject, and presents to the
consideration of the dining world the following hints for a meal:--

  Blauwe Landtongsche Oesters.
  Dikke Rivierkreeften Soep.     Volmaakte Soep in Van Dijk Stijl.
  Selderij.  Olijven.  Radijs.  Haringen.  Poukenvorm gebakken
  in Berg-op-Zoomsche Stijl.
  Gekruide Gerechten.
  Gestreepte Baars, Piet Hein Stijl.  Lambasteien met Zeeuwsche Saus.
  Chateau Danzac.
  Hoenden Vleugels, met Haagsche Saus.
  Heetkoudegemakten Ganzenlevers in Zwolsche Stijl.
  Ruinart, wrang wijn, Bijzonder Perrier Jouet, Louis Roederer, wrang,
  Giesler & Co., G. H. Mumm, buitengewoondroog.
  Aardappelen in Sneeksche Stijl.
  Doperwten, Fransche Stijl.
  Gebakkene Kropsalade.
  Sorbet, Anneke Jans.
  Kanefasrug Eendvogels.  Gekruide Seiderij-sla.
  Curacaogelei.  Italiaansche Ijs.  Edamsche Kaas.  Vruchten.
  Gemonteerde Stukken.
  Likeuren. Sigaren.
  Pupen en Tabak.

It may be objected that half-and-half, even when badly spelt, is a cold
preparation for dinner; and others may take exception to _Poukenvorm_,
as likely to have an earthy taste. But did they ever try it _gebakken in
Berg-op-Zoomsche Stijl_? It is no use mincing matters. Let anyone in
search of a good dinner enter any well-appointed _restaurant_, and order
this _menu_ right through down to _Pupen en Tabak_ (which is not a
preparation of dog's meat), and if they are not satisfied, _Mr. Punch_
is a Dutchman.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Vaudeville, when it was opened, was devoted to all that was light
and cheerful. Comedy and Burlesque went hand-in-hand, and the audience,
if ever asked to weep, were begged to cry with laughter. But Mr. ROBERT
BUCHANAN (with the assistance of the late Mr. RICHARDSON) "has changed
all that." _Clarissa_, the present attraction at the little theatre on
the North-side of the Strand, is a piece of the most doleful character.
The First Act is devoted to a very heartless abduction, and the last to
a lingering death and a fatal _duello_. When it is announced that the
successful fencer who "kills his man" is no less a person than that
excellent Comedian, Mr. THOMAS THORNE, it will be readily understood
that "the New Drama" is the reverse of lively. _Clarissa_ has scarcely a
laugh in it from beginning to end. Certainly, in the last Scene but one,
there is a revel, in which "pseudo-Ladies of Fashion" take part, but the
merriment with which it is spiced is decidedly ghastly. Miss WINIFRED
EMERY is exceedingly clever, but her death-scene is painfully
protracted. Mr. THALBERG, as _Lovelace_, is a sad dog in every sense--a
very sad dog, indeed. The only incident in the piece ever likely to
provoke a smile, is the appearance of some comic bearers of grotesque
sedan-chairs. When _Clarissa_ is carried out _à la_ GUY FAUX at the end
of the Second Act, there is certainly a moment's hesitation whether the
audience should cry or laugh. But the sighs have it, and
pocket-handkerchiefs remain to the front. On the occasion of the initial
performance, some slight amusement was caused by the introduction of Mr.
BUCHANAN in unconventional nineteenth century morning dress amongst the
old-fashioned costumes of the company; but, of course, the slight
amusement was for once and away, and could not advantageously be
frequently repeated. Thus, take one thing with another, the life of the
Vaudeville audiences at this moment cannot be truthfully described as a
merry one.

[Illustration: Something Lively at the Vaudeville.]

At the Avenue quite a different story may be told. People who visit this
pretty little house desirous of being moved even unto tears by that
finest of _Fausts_, Mr. ALEXANDER, will be disappointed--they had far
better stay at home, or go to see _Clarissa_. Mr. HAMILTON AÏDÉ has
adapted from the French of CARRÉ (a case of fetch and carry) a Farcical
Comedy in Three Acts, which _he_ calls _Dr. Bill_, in preference to _Dr.
Jojo_ the Gallic original. The prescription from which the Doctor
concocts his mixture might have been supplied by the Criterion. Mr.
FREDERICK TERRY plays a part that would have suited Mr. WYNDHAM down to
the ground, and Mr. CHEVALIER is continually suggesting the
peculiarities of Mr. MALTBY. Miss FANNY BROUGH is Miss FANNY BROUGH,
which means that no one could play the part so well, much less better.
For the rest, the company (although a new one) work together with a "go"
that carries all before it. ALEXANDER has certainly conquered the
world--of Comedy. He may do less wise things if he rests satisfied, and
leaves Tragedy alone for an indefinitely lengthened period.


P.S.--Mr. JEROME'S new piece (which he describes as "comparatively
speaking, new and original"), just produced at Terry's Theatre, is
rather disappointing. Its title of _New Lamps for Old_ strongly
suggests a "Night's Entertainment." But when the poverty of the plot and
the quality of the dialogue are taken into consideration, it would be
almost too much to say that this pleasant idea is fully realised by the
evening's performances. It must be confessed, however, that Mr. PENLEY,
rising and descending in a dinner-lift, is (at first) funny; and Miss
CISSY GRAHAME is ever welcome.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Making up Dr. Bill's Prescription.]

       *       *       *       *       *

    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 Stamped and Addressed
    Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no

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