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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, April 26 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, April 26 1890" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOLUME 98, April 26TH 1890

_edited by Sir Francis Burnand_



MR. PUNCH'S MORAL MUSIC-HALL DRAMAS.

(CONTINUED FROM P. 145.)

No. IX.--UNDER THE HARROW.

_A Conventional Comedy-Melodrama, in Two Acts._

ACT. II.--SCENE--_Same as in Act I.; viz., the Morning-room at
Natterjack Hall. Evening of same day. Enter_ BLETHERS.

_Blethers._ Another of Sir POSHBURY'S birthdays almost gone--and my
secret still untold! (_Dodders._) I can't keep it up much longer ...
Ha, here comes his Lordship--he does look mortal bad, that he do! Miss
VERBENA ain't treated him too well, from all I can hear, poor young
feller!

_Enter_ Lord BLESHUGH.

_Lord Bleshugh._ BLETHERS, by the memory of the innumerable
half-crowns that have passed between us, be my friend now! I have no
others left. Persuade your young Mistress to come hither--you need
not tell her _I_ am here, you understand. Be discreet, and this florin
shall be yours!

_Blethers._ Leave it to me, my Lord. I'd tell a lie for less than
that, any day, old as I am!   [_Exit._

_Lord Bl._ I cannot rest till I have heard from her own lips that
the past few hours have been nothing but a horrible dream ... She is
coming! Now for the truth!   [_Enter_ VERBENA.

_Verbena._ Papa, did you want me? (_Recognises Lord B.--controls
herself to a cold formality._) My Lord, to what do I owe this--this
unexpected intrusion?   [_Pants violently._

_Lord Bl._ VERBENA, tell me, you cannot really prefer that seedy snob
in the burst boots to me?

_Verb. (aside)._ How can I tell him the truth without betraying
dear Papa? No, I must lie, though it kills me. (_To_ Lord B.) Lord
BLESHUGH, I have been trifling with you. I--I never loved you.

_Lord B._ I see, and all the while your heart was given to a howling
cad?

_Verb._ And if it was, who can account for the vagaries of a girlish
fancy! We women are capricious beings, you know. (_With hysterical
gaiety._) But you are unjust to Mr. SPIKER--he has not _yet_ howled in
my presence--(aside)--though I very nearly did in _his_!

_Lord B._ And you really love him?

_Verb._ I--I love him. (_Aside._) My heart will break!

_Lord B._ Then I have no more to say. Farewell, VERBENA! Be as happy
as the knowledge that you have wrecked one of the brightest careers,
and soured one of the sweetest natures in the county, will permit.
(_Goes up stage, and returns._) A few days since you presented me with
a cloth pen-wiper, in the shape of a dog of unknown breed. If you
will kindly wait here for half-an-hour, I shall have much pleasure in
returning a memento which I have no longer the right to retain, and
there are several little things I gave you which I can take back
with me at the same time, if you will have them put up in readiness.
  [_Exit._

_Verbena._ Oh, he is cruel, cruel! but I shall keep the little bone
yard-measure, and the diamond pig--they are all I have to remind me of
him!   [_Enter_ SPIKER, _slightly intoxicated_.

_Spiker (throwing himself on sofa without seeing_ VERB.) I don' know
how it is, but I feel precioush shleepy, somehow. P'raps I did partake
lil' too freely of Sir POSHBURY'S gen'rous Burgundy. Wunner why they
call it "gen'rous"--it didn't give _me_ anything 'cept a bloomin'
headache! However, I punished it, and old POSHBURY had to look on and
let me. He-he! (_Examining his hand._) Who'd think, to look at thish
thumb, that there was a real live Baronet squirmin' under it. But
there ish!   [_Snores._

_Verb. (bitterly)._ And _that_ thing is my affianced husband! Ah, no,
I cannot go through with it, he is _too_ repulsive! If I could
but find a way to free myself without compromising poor Papa. The
sofa-cushion! Dare I? It would be quite painless ... Surely the
removal of such an odious wretch cannot be _Murder_ ... I will! (_Slow
music. She gets a cushion, and presses it tightly over_ SPIKER'S
_head_.) Oh, I wish he wouldn't gurgle like that, and how he does
kick! he cannot even die like a gentleman! (SPIKER'S _kicks become
more and more feeble, and eventually cease_.) How still he lies! I
almost wish ... Mr. SPIKER, Mr. SPI-KER!... no answer--oh, I really
_have_ suffocated him! (_Enter_ Sir POSH.) You, Papa?

_Sir Posh._ What, VERBENA, sitting with, hem--SAMUEL in the gloaming?
(_Sings, with forced hilarity._) "In the gloaming, oh, my darling!"
that's as it should be--quite as it should be!

_Verb. (in dull strained accents)._ Don't sing, Papa, I cannot bear
it--just yet. I have just suffocated Mr. SPIKER with a sofa-cushion.
See!   [_Shows the body._

_Sir Posh._ Then I am safe--he will tell no tales now! But, my child,
are you aware of the very serious nature of your act? An act of
which, as a Justice of the Peace, I am bound to take some official
cognizance!

_Verb._ Do not scold me, Papa. Was it not done for _your_ sake?

_Sir P._ I cannot accept such an excuse as that. I fear your motives
were less disinterested than you would have me believe. And now,
VERBENA, what will _you_ do? As your father, I would gladly screen
you--but, as a Magistrate, I cannot promise to be more than passive.

_Verb._ Listen, Papa. I have thought of a plan--why should I not wheel
this sofa to the head of the front-door steps, and tip it over? They
will only think he fell down when intoxicated--for he _had_ taken far
too much wine, Papa!

_Sir P._ Always the same quick-witted little fairy! Go, my child, but
be careful that none of the servants see you. (VERB. _wheels the sofa
and_ SPIKER'S _body out_, L.U.E.) My poor impulsive darling, I do hope
she will not be seen--servants do make such mischief! But there's
an end of SPIKER, at any rate. I should _not_ have liked him for a
son-in-law, and with him, goes the only person who knows my unhappy
secret!

_Enter_ BLETHERS.

_Blethers._ Sir POSHBURY, I have a secret to reveal which I can
preserve no longer--it concerns something that happened many years
ago--it is connected with your _birthday_, Sir POSHBURY.

_Sir P. (quailing)._ What, _another_! I must stop _his_ tongue at all
hazards. Ha, the rotten sash-line! (_To_ BL.) I will hear you, but
first close yonder window, the night air is growing chill.

[BLETHERS _goes to window at back. Slow music. As he approaches it_,
LORD BLESHUGH _enters_ (R 2 E), _and, with a smothered cry of horror,
drags him back by the coat-tails--just before the window falls with a
tremendous crash_.

_Sir P._ BLESHUGH! What have you done?

_Lord Blesh. (sternly)._ Saved _him_ from an untimely end--and _you_
from--crime.

  [_Collapse of_ Sir P. _Enter_ VERBENA, _terrified._

_Verb._ Papa, Papa, hide me! The night-air and the cold stone steps
have restored MR. SPIKER to life and consciousness! He is coming to
denounce me--you--both of us! He is awfully annoyed!

_Sir P. (recklessly)._ It is useless to appeal to me, child. I have
enough to do to look after myself--now!   [_Enter_ SPIKER, _indignant_.

[Illustration]

_Spiker._ Pretty treatment for a gentleman, this! Look here, POSHBURY,
this young lady has choked me with a cushion, and then pitched me down
the front steps--I might have broken my neck!

_Sir P._ It was an oversight which I lament, but for which I must
decline to be answerable. You must settle your differences with her.

_Spiker._ And you, too, old horse! _You_ had a hand in this, I know,
and I'll pay you out for it now. My life ain't safe if I marry a girl
like that, so I've made up my mind to split, and be done with it!

_Sir P. (contemptuously)._ If you don't, BLETHERS _will_. So do your
worst, you hound!

_Spiker._ Very well, then; I will. (_To the rest._) I denounce this
man for travelling with a half-ticket from Edgware Road to Baker
Street on his thirteenth birthday, the 31st of March, twenty-seven
years ago this very day.   [_Sensation._

_Blethers._ Hear me; it was _not_ his thirteenth birthday! Sir
POSHBURY'S birthday falls on the 1st of April--_to-morrow!_ I was
sent to register the birth, and, by a blunder, which I have repented
bitterly ever since, unfortunately gave the wrong date. Till this
moment I have never had the manliness or sincerity to confess my
error, for fear of losing my situation.

_Sir P. (to_ SPIKER). Do you hear, you paltry knave? I was _not_
thirteen. Consequently, I was under age, and the Bye-laws are still
unbroken. Your hold over me is gone--gone for ever!

_Spiker._ H'm--SPIKER spiked this time!   [_Retires up disconcerted._

_Lord Bl._ And you did not really love him, after all, VERBENA?

_Verb. (with arch pride)._ Have I not proved my indifference?

_Lord Bl._ But I forget--you admitted that you were but trifling with
my affection--take back your pin-cushion.

_Verb._ Keep it. All that I did was done to spare my father!

_Sir Posh._ Who, as a matter of fact, was innocent--but I forgive you,
child, for your unworthy suspicions. BLESHUGH, my boy, you have saved
me from unnecessarily depriving myself of the services of an old
retainer. BLETHERS, I condone a dissimulation for which you have done
much to atone. SPIKER, you vile and miserable rascal, be off, and be
thankful that I have sufficient magnanimity to refrain from giving you
in charge. (SPIKER _sneaks off, crushed_.) And now, my children, and
my faithful old servant, congratulate me that I am no longer----

_Verbena and Lord Bleshugh (together)._ Under the Harrow!

  [_Affecting Family Tableau and quick Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: BLANK REFUSAL.

_B-lf-r._ "QUITE EASY TO GET THE MONEY, IF YOU'LL BACK THE BILL."
_P-rn-ll._ "NO, THANK YOU!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF PAINTERS IN WATER-COLOURS.--Sir JOHN GILBERT
leads off with an excellent landscape "_Autumn_," which is full of
his best quality. The presidential key-note thus struck, seems to have
been taken up by the rest of the exhibitors, for in the present show
there is certainly a preponderance of landscapes. Among the most
notable contributions may be named those by Messrs. BIRKET FOSTER,
A. D. FRIPP, T. LLOYD, C. B. PHILLIP, HEMY, SMALLFIELD, MARSHALL,
GOODWIN, WATERLOW, E. K. JOHNSON, STACY MARKS, HENSHALL, J. D. WATSON,
T. J. WATSON, HENRY MOORE, CARL HAAG, Miss CLARA MONTALBA, Mrs.
ALLINGHAM and Miss C. PHILLOTT. The exhibition, though it appears to
be not so large as usual, is a very interesting one.

"AN UNCONSIDERED TRIFLE."--One of the clever young men who assist in
that excellent _Daily Telegraph_ salad, "London Day by Day," without
which, served fresh and fresh every morning, life would not be worth
living, said, last Tuesday, that "the latest on 'Change is that
STANLEY declares he never saw EMIN PASHA. Why? Because there's no M in
Pasha." _Mr. Punch_, December 21, 1889, originated it in this form:--

A MYTHICAL PERSON: EMIN PASHA.--Why this fuss about a man who does not
exist? There's no _M in_ "Pasha."

"It's of no consequence;" only, given as the latest quotation on
'Change, was not quite up to date for "London Day by Day."

       *       *       *       *       *

AN UNKNOWN QUANTITY.

  WHAT _is_ a "Sphere of Influence"?
    Say, warlike WISSMANN; tell, pugnacious PINTO
    (Whom England had to give so sharp a hint to).
  The talk about the thing is now immense.
  JOHN BULL, the German, and the Portuguee,
  Claim each a "sphere," and that alone makes three;
  But what and where are they upon the map?
  And do they intersect or overlap?
  One wonders what they are and where they _can_ lie.
  STANLEY flouts EMIN, EMIN rounds on STANLEY;
  On Shire's shore raid Portuguese fire-eaters;
  Somewhere it seems the problematic PETERS
  Stirs troubles still in toiling for the Teuton.
  FERGUSSON'S diplomatically mute on
  The matter, but it scarcely seems chimerical
  To say these rivalries are mostly _spherical_.
  Delimitation's talked of, and indeed
  'Tis needful, in the face of grabbing greed.
  Perhaps a pair of geometric compasses
  Might stop these rival rumpusses;
  For in these "Spheres of Influence" _Punch_ hears
  Anything but the "Music of the Spheres."

       *       *       *       *       *

INTERESTING NOVELTY.

LADY MAIDSTONE announces "an 8.30 o'clock" (to adapt the Whistlerian
title when he did his "ten-and-sixpenny o'clock") at the Westminster
Town Hall, for April 26, for the production of an entirely new play,
entitled _Anne Tigony_, by a new and original dramatic authoress
of the name of SOPHIE KLEES. It is, we understand, a domestic drama
illustrative of Greek life. The great sensation scene is of course
"when Greek meets Greek." This tragedy, we are informed, "refers to
what, in the Greek way of thinking, are the sacred rites of the
dead, and the solemn importance of burial." It is, therefore, an
Anti-Cremation Society drama. The _tableaux_ are by Mrs. JOPLING,
the conductor is Mr. BARNEY, and the leading _rôle_ of _Anne Tigony_
herself is to be played by my Lady MAIDSTONE. We wish SOPHIE KLEES
every possible success, and a big and glorious future. Beware the
Cremationists!--they might try to wreck the piece.

       *       *       *       *       *

A RUM SUBJECT.--The Budget.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A DOUBTFUL COMPLIMENT.

"OH YES, SIR GUS, MY HUSBAND'S AS WELL AS EVER, THANK YOU, AND HARD AT
WORK. I'VE HAD TO COPY OUT HIS PAMPHLET ON BI-METALLISM _THREE TIMES_,
HE ALTERS IT SO! AH, IT'S NO SINECURE TO BE MARRIED TO A MAN OF
GENIUS. I OFTEN ENVY YOUR DEAR WIFE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TIPPLER'S TRIUMPH.

(_See Mr. Goschen's Budget Speech._)

  ALAS! we deemed him purposeless; the vinous smile that flickered up
    Across his glowing countenance was meaningless to us.
  We only saw a drunkard who addressed us, as he liquored up,
    Not always too politely, and in words that sounded thus.
  "All ri' you needn' 'shult me, I'm a berrer man than you;
  Mr. GOSCHEN couldn' shpare me as a shource of revenue."

  And when we led him home at night we scorned the foolish antic all
    That flung him into gutters, made him friendly with a post;
  And we snubbed him when he told us--we were always too pedantical--
    That he saw a thousand niggers dressed in red on buttered toast.
  He was better, now I know it, than our soberheaded crew,
  We who added not a farthing to the country's revenue.

  And, oh, the folly of his wife, I scarcely can imagine it,
    When to his room he reeled at last and went to bed in boots.
  And she, with all the bearing of a Tudor or Plantagenet,
    Said royally, "We loathe you; you're no better than the brutes."
  Shame upon her thus to rate him, for philanthropists are few
  Who as much relieve our burdens, or increase the revenue.

  But now we know that Surpluses will come to fill the Treasury,
    If only, like the sea-port towns, we all keep drinking rum;
  And he who swills unceasingly, and always without measure, he
    Is truly patriotic, though Blue-ribbonites look glum.
  For to him, above all others, easy temperance is due,
  Since he cheapens tea by twopence as a source of revenue.

  Then here's to those who toasted well the national prosperity,
    And swelled the Surplus, draining whiskey, brandy, gin, or beer;
  And the man who owns a bottle-nose he owns a badge of merit; he
    Takes _Bardolph_, and not RANDOLPH, as a patron to revere.
  Here's your health, my gallant Tippler, may you ne'er have cause to rue
  That you blessed our common country as a source of revenue!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LAW AND THE LIVER.

    [Two Magistrates have decided that selling coffee "containing
    80 per cent. of chicory" is not punishable under the
    Adulteration Act.]

EVER since drinking my morning cup of what my grocer humorously
describes as "French Coffee," I have suffered from headache, vertigo,
and uncontrollable dyspepsia. I wonder what can be the cause?

Perhaps the fact (inscribed on the bottom of the tin in very small
letters) that "this is a mixture of coffee and chicory," has something
to do with it.

Only as the chicory is in a majority of four to one, would it not be
more correct to describe it as "a mixture of chicory and coffee?"

I see that, in accordance with the Adulteration Act, my baker
now sells bread which he labels as "a compound of wheat and other
ingredients." Other disagreedients, he ought to say.

"Partly composed of fresh fruit," is the inscription on the jam
I purchase. This means one raspberry to a pound of mashed
mangold-wurzel.

We shall be taking chemically-coloured chopped hay at five this
afternoon. Will you join us?

If I purchase my own coffee-beans and grind them, can my breakfast be
properly termed a bean-feast?

Yes, as you say, I can no doubt guard against adulteration by keeping
a couple of cows in my cellar, growing corn in my backyard, tea-plants
and sugar-canes on my roof, and devoting my best bed-room to the
cultivation of coffee, fruit, and mixed pickles; but would my landlord
approve of the system?

And, finally, is this what they mean by a "Free Breakfast Table," that
every grocer is "free" to poison us under cover of a badly-drawn Act
of Parliament?

       *       *       *       *       *

TO THE PUBLIC.--"Modern Types." Type not yet "used up." Type No. X.
will appear next week.

       *       *       *       *       *


OLD TIMES REVIVED.

    "RETURNING TO OLD TIMES.--The new coaches, which are to carry
    the parcel mail between Manchester and Liverpool nightly,
    ran for the first time tonight. The coach from Manchester for
    Liverpool started punctually at ten o'clock from the Parcel
    Office, in Stevens Square. Some thousands of people had
    assembled to witness the inauguration of the service. The
    van, which has been specially constructed for the service,
    was well-filled with parcels, and a guard in uniform, an old
    soldier, took his seat inside it, armed with a six-shooter and
    a side-sword. The departure of the coach, which was announced
    by the blowing of a horn, was loudly cheered by the crowd of
    people, and the vehicle was followed down the main streets
    of the city by some hundreds of spectators. There are three
    horses to the van, and relays of horses are provided at
    Hollins Green and Prescot. The coaches are timed to do the
    thirty-six mile journey in five and a half hours, arriving in
    Manchester and Liverpool respectively at 3.15 A.M."--_Daily
    Paper, April 14, 1890._

[Illustration: PROBABLE ILLUSTRATION OF THE FUTURE:--"ATTACK ON MAIL
COACH!" SKETCHED BY ARTIST OF _DAILY GRAPHIC_ ON THE SPOT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ON THE SWOOP.

  FAR from its native eyrie, high in air,
      Above the extended plain,
  The Teuton Eagle hovers. Broad and fair
      From Tropic main to main
  Stretches a virgin continent vast, and void
      Of man's most treasured works;
  No plough on those huge slopes is yet employed;
      The untamed tiger lurks
  In unfelled forest and unfooted brake;
      Those streams scarce know a keel;
  Through the rank herbage writhes the monstrous snake;
      Dim shapes of terror steal
  Unmarked and menacing from clump to clump,
      Whilst from the tangled scrub
  Is heard the trampling elephant's angry trump.
      The frolic tiger-cub
  Tumbles in jungle-shambles; in his lair
      The lion couches prone.
  What does that wingéd portent in mid-air,
      Hovering alert, alone?
  Strong-pinioned, brazen-beaked, and iron-clawed,
      This Eagle from the West;
  Adventurous, ravening for prey, unawed
      By perils of the quest.
  Beneath new clouds, above fresh fields he flies,
      Foraging fleet and far,
  With clutching talons, and with hungering eyes,
      Scornful of bound or bar.
  Winged things, he deems, may safely oversweep
      Landmark and mountain-post.
  The Forest-king may fancy he can keep
      His realm against a host
  Of such aërial harpies. Be it proved!
      Till late the Imperial fowl
  Not far from its home-pinnacles hath roved;
      Now LEO on the prowl
  Must watch his wingèd rival. Who may tell
      Where it shall strike or stoop?
  LEO, your lair must now be warded well;
      AQUILA'S on the Swoop!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LAST CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE.

(_Brought by the Survivors against those--who might have looked after
them._)

    "But we are all getting older every year, and with the lapse
    of time, while many have died, a good number have fallen into
    dire misfortune.... LORD CARDIGAN'S words to the survivors
    of the Six Hundred the morning after the charge have been
    repeated to me, although I wasn't there to hear them. He said:
    'Men, you have done a glorious deed! England will be proud of
    you, and grateful to you. If you live to get home, be sure
    you will all be provided for. Not one of you fine fellows will
    ever have to seek refuge in the workhouse!' Now, you perhaps
    know how that promise has been kept. I cannot tell you, even
    from my secretarial records, the full extent of the misery
    that has fallen upon my old comrades in the Charge of the
    Light Brigade; but I can give you a few details that should
    be made widely public."--_The Secretary of the Balaclava
    Committee._

  FORTY years, Forty years,
    All but four--onward,
  Since to the Valley of Death
    Rode the Six Hundred;
  Since the whole country cried
  "We will for you provide,--
  Blazon your splendid ride,
    Gallant Six Hundred!"

  Yet now the Light Brigade
  Stands staring much dismayed
  For they can plainly see
    Someone has blundered.
  For here are they, grown old,
  With their grand story told,
  Left to the bitter cold,--
    Starving Six Hundred!

  Workhouse to right of them,
  Workhouse to left of them,
  Workhouse in front of them!
    Has no one wondered
  That British blood should cry,
  "Shame!" and exact reply,
  Asking the country why
  Thus it sees droop and die
    Those brave Six Hundred!

  As they drop off the stage,
  Want, and the weight of age--
  Is this their only wage?--
    Home rent and sundered!
  And is their deed sublime,
  Flooding all after-time,
  Now but a theme for rhyme,
    Whispered--and thundered
  Where, from the pit and stalls,
  Theatres and Music-halls,
    Greet their "Six Hundred!"

  Can thus emotion feed
  On the heroic deed,
  Yet leave the doer in need,--
    Of his rights plundered?
  "No!" the whole land declares
  Henceforth their load it shares,
    Spite those who blundered.
  They shall note wants decrease,
  Of comfort take a lease
  Till all their troubles cease
  And to their end in peace
    Ride the Six Hundred!

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.

SOCIAL.

"_How sweetly that simple costume becomes your style of beauty,
dear!_" _i.e._, "Cheap dress suits a silly dowdy."

"_Ah! Here we are again! Thought I should come across you presently;_"
_i.e._, "How he must tout for it! And what a relief it would be to go
somewhere where he does _not_ turn up!"

"_Yes, capital story I know,--but pardon me just a minute, old chap.
I think I see Mrs. Mountcashel beckoning me;_" _i.e._, "_What_ an
escape! Doesn't buttonhole me again to-night if _I_ know it."

MILITARY.

"_The Mess rather prides itself upon its cellar;_" _i.e._, The host is
a little doubtful about what the Wine Committee have in hand for the
benefit of the guest he has asked to dinner.

"_The Regiment at the Inspection, although a trifle rusty, never did
better;_" _i.e._, The Senior Major clubbed the Battalion, and the
Commanding Officer was told by the General, with an unnecessary strong
expression, to "Take 'em home, Sir!"

LEGAL.

"_The Will of the late Mr. Dash is so complicated that it is not
unlikely to give employment to Gentlemen of the long robe;_" _i.e._,
Administration suit, with six sets of solicitors, ten years of chamber
practice, three further considerations, and the complete exhaustion of
the estate in costs.

"_Mr. Nemo, as a Solicitor in his office, is a very able man;_" _i.e._,
That although Mr. NEMO, away from his profession, would shrink from
doing anything calculated to get himself turned out of the West-End
Club to which he belongs; in his _sanctum_ he would cheerfully sell
the bones of his grandmother by auction, and prosecute his own father
and mother for petty larceny, arson, or murder, always supposing he
saw his way to his costs.

EPISTOLATORY.

"_A thousand thanks for your nice long, sympathetic letter;_" _i.e._,
"Great bore to have to reply to six pages of insincere gush."

"_Please excuse this hurried scrawl;_" _i.e._, "That'll cover any
mistakes in spelling, &c."

"_Only too delighted;_" _i.e._, "_Can't_ refuse, confound it!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ON THE SWOOP!]

       *       *       *       *       *


IN THE KNOW.

(_By Mr. Punch's Own Prophet._)

THERE was some good racing at Newmarket last week, and, as usual,
every single race proved up to the hilt the extraordinary accuracy of
my forecasts. I said a year ago that "_Bandersnatch_ was a colt who
hadn't a chance of winning a first-class race. Only a March hare or a
Bank-holiday boozer would think of backing him." _Bandersnatch's name
never even appeared on the race-card last week._ Mr. JEREMY says the
colt is dead, as if that had anything to do with it; but of course if
the gullish herd chooses to cackle after Mr. JEREMY it's no use trying
to help them.

The hippopotamus-headed dolts who pinned their faith to _Molly
Mustard_ must have learnt their lesson by this time. Of course _Molly
Mustard_ defeated that overrated sham _Undercut_; but what of that?
When _Undercut_ was placed second to _Pandriver_ at the North
Country Second Autumn Handicap two years ago, I warned everybody
that _Wobbling Willie_ who is half-brother to _Rattlepate_ by
_Spring Onion_, ought to have made a certainty of the race if the
gruel-brained idiots who own him had only rubbed his back with DAFFY'S
Elixir twice a-day before going to bed. As it was _Wobbling Willie_
rolled about like a ship at sea, and Brighton Pref passed him in a
common canter. That scarcely made _Molly Mustard_ a second _Eclipse_.
The fact of the matter is she is a roarer, or will be before the
season is over, and those who backed her will have to whistle for
their money. All I can say is, that I hope they will like the trap
into which their own patent-leather-headed imbecility has led them.

_Corncrake_ is a nice, compact, long-coupled, raking-looking colt,
with a fine high action that reminds me of a steam-pump at its best.
He is not likely to bring back much of the £3000 given for him as
a yearling by his present owner, but he might be used to make the
running for his stable-companion _Catsmeat_, who was picked up for £5
out of a butcher's cart at Doncaster.

For the Two Thousand I should have selected _Barkis_ if he had been
entered. Failing him, there is very little in it. _Sandy Sal_ might
possibly have a chance, but she has always turned out such an arrant
rogue that I hesitate to recommend her. Mr. JEREMY plumps for _Old
Tom_, and the whole pack of brainless moon-calves goes after him
in full cry as usual. If _Old Tom_ had two sound legs he might be
a decent horse, but he has only got one, and he has never used that
properly.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A TRAVELLING TRIBUNAL.

Why not Cyclist Judges and Clerk and Marshal going all the year round,
to be met by local Barristers?]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CHILDREN'S FANCY DRESS BALL.

ALL the grate LORD MARE'S and the good Lady Maress's hundreds and
hundreds of little frends had their annual peep into Paradice last
Wensday heavening, at the good old Manshun Howse, on which most
interesting ocashun all their fond Mas and their stump-upping Pas sent
them into the famous Egipshun All in such a warious combenashun of
hartistick loveliness and buty as ewen I myself never seed ekalled!
Whether it was the rayther sewere coldness of the heavening, or the
niceness of the seweral refreshments as the kind Lady Maress perwided,
or whether it was that most on 'em was amost one year older than they
was larst year, in course I don't know, but they suttenly kept on a
pitching into the wittels and drink in a way as rayther estonished
ewen my seasoned eyes, acustomed as they is to Copperashun Bankwets,
and settra. One little bewty of a Faery, with her lovely silwer wand
of power, amost friten'd me out of my wits by thretening to turn
me into sumthink dredful if I didn't give her a strawbery hice
emedeately, which she fust partly heated, and then drunk, as their
custom is, I spose. Then there was a lot of all sorts--niggers and
sodgers, and three young ladies as mag-pies. Which last made me think
that a young gent fond of using his fists might do wus than go as
a burd prize-fiter. By the way, one likes condesenshun, down to
a certain xtent, but whether it should hinclude a most bewtifool
Princess a dansing with a pore littel white-faced Clown, is what I
must leave others to deside; I declines doing it myself.

[Illustration]

We had _Mr. Punch_ in the course of the heavening, and both hold and
young larfed away as ushal at his rayther rum morality. Then we
had two most clever gents who dressed theirselves up before a large
looking-glass to look like lots of diffrent peeple. The best couple I
was told was two Gents named BIZMARCK and BULLANGER, one was said to
be a reel Ero, and the other, a mere Sham, but I don't know werry much
about such Gents myself, xcept that BROWN tried werry hard to make me
beleeve that BIZMARCK, who was the reel Ero, used to think nothink
of pouring a hole Bottle of Shampain into a hole Pot of Stout and
drinking it all off at one draft, like a ancient Cole Heaver! We
finished up with a lot of German Chinese, who jumped about and danced
about and climbed up a top of one another, and then acshally bilt
theirselves up like a house, and then all tumbled to pieces, reelly
quite wunderfool, and not only the lovely little children, but ewen
Common Councilmen, aye and ewen ancient Deputys, all stood round and
larfed away and enjoyed theirselves, recalling to my sumwhat faltering
memory the words of the emortel Poet, "One touch, of Nature makes the
hole World grin."

  ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN ECHO FROM THE LANE.

[Illustration]

LAST week the Carl Rosa Opera Company (whose Managing Directors
are AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS, future Sheriff of London, with Sheriff's
officers in attendance, to whom he might, on some future emergency,
entrust the charge of Her Majesty's) continued its season of success
with a solitary addition to the programme, _L'Etoile du Nord_.
_À propos_ of this novelty, it may be hinted that although the
_Catherine_ of Madame GEORGINA BURNS does not make us entirely forget
ADELINA PATTI in the same character, the performance is, from every
other point of view, completely gratifying. As "little _Peter_," Mr.
F. H. CELLI is (as the comic songs have it) "very fine and large." Mr.
JOHN CHILD, whose _Wilhelm_, in _Mignon_, lacked distinction, is more
in his element as _Danilowitz_ the pastry-cook. The stage management
(as might have been expected with AUGUSTUS to the fore) is admirable,
the battle-scene at the end of the Second Act filling the house with
a mixture one-tenth smoke to nine-tenths enthusiasm. By the time these
lines are before the entire world, if all goes well, _Thorgrim_, by
Mr. FREDERICK COWEN, will have been produced. As the work of a native
composer, it should receive a hearty welcome, particularly on the
boards of the National Theatre; but, sink or swim, the Carl Rosa
Opera Company cannot possibly come to harm with its present popular
_repertoire_. And, as good music is a boon to the London public, such
a state of things is distinctly satisfactory.

       *       *       *       *       *

"IN THE NAME OF THE LAW!"--It is a pity that Mr. LAW, the author
of _Dick Venables_, did not take a little more trouble in the
construction of his new piece at the Shaftesbury Theatre. It just
misses being an excellent drama, and deserving the valuable assistance
it receives from all concerned on the stage side of the Curtain. That
the wife of a convict should take a house next door to her deeply
dreaded husband's prison, that a jewel-collector should keep his
precious stones in a side-board, that an Archdeacon should apparently
have nothing better to do than play the kleptomaniac at Dartmoor,
are facts that seem largely improbable; and yet these are the salient
points of the latest addition to the playgoer's _repertoire_. For
the rest, _Dick Venables_ is interesting, and admirably played. But
whether, after the first-night criticisms, the piece will do, is a
question that must be left to the future for solution.

       *       *       *       *       *


HYPNOTIC HIGH FEEDING.

(_Being some Brief Diary Notes of a Coming Little Dinner (New Style),
jotted down a few years hence._)

"YOUR dinner is served. Sir!"

It was the Professorial Butler who made this announcement with a
solemn and significant bow. He had undertaken, for the modest fee of
half-a-crown, to throw my four guests,--an Epicurean Duke, a couple
of noted Diners-out, and a Gourmand of a high order well known in
Society,--into a profound hypnotic sleep, under the influence of
which, while supplied with a few scraps of food, and slops by way
of drink, they were to believe that they were assisting at a most
_recherché_ repast, provided by a _cuisine_, and accompanied by choice
vintage wines, both of the first excellence.

I felt a little nervous as we proceeded to the dining-room, but as
the Professor adroitly passed his hand over the head of each as he
descended the stairs, and pointed out to me the dazed and vacant look
that had settled on the features of all of them, I felt reassured,
especially when they fell mechanically into their places, and began to
peruse, with evident delight, the contents of the _Menu_, which ran as
follows:--

  SOUP.

  Toast-and-water and Candle-ends.

  FISH.

  Herrings' Heads and Tails.
  Counter Sweepings.

  ENTREMETS.

  Rotten Cabbage-stalks.

  ENTRÉE.

  Odds and Ends of Shoe Leather.

  ROAST.

  Cat's Meat.

  SWEET.

  Old Jam-pot Scrapings on Musty Bread.

That they didn't all rise like one man with a howl of execration on
reading this was soon explained when the Professorial Butler set down
a soup-plate before the Epicurean Duke and with an insinuating smile,
simply announced it as _Tortue claire_. It was clear from this
that they were under the impression that they were partaking of a
first-class little dinner, and had read the _Menu_ at the will of
the Professorial Butler, as he subsequently explained to me in such
fashion that the toast-and-water soup, in which the candle-ends played
the part of green fat, appeared to them in the light of the finest
"clear turtle." "And how about the Herrings' Heads and Tails?" I
asked. "They take that for _Saumon de Gloucester, sauce Pierre Le
Grand_," was the bland reply, a fact which at that moment the Gourmand
endorsed, by smacking his lips and with an ejaculation of "Sublime
salmon that! I'll take a little more," holding out his plate for a
second helping. The Cabbage-stalks figured in their imagination as
"_Asperges d'Italie, en branches glacées à la Tour d'Amsterdam_," while
the pennyworth of plain cat's meat, passed more than muster as
"_Filet de B[oe]uf en Diplomat, braisée à la Prince de Pékin_." The
Shoe-leather and Jam-pot Scrapings brought the Menu to a triumphant
close, with "_Ris de Veau pralinée au boucles Menschikoff_," and
"_Bombardes Impérials de Péru_" respectively.

I confess, when I heard one of the Diners-out asking for Champagne,
and saw his glass filled with Harvey's Sauce and water, with the
announcement that it was _Dry Monopole Cuvée Réservée_, I felt some
momentary misgivings, but they were speedily put to flight on my
noticing the evident gusto with which he emptied his glass, at the
same time pronouncing it to be "a very fine wine," which he assigned
to the vintage of '76. I own too I felt a little nervous when the
Professorial Butler, I think not without a sly twinkle in his eye,
gave all the party a _liqueur_ of petroleum for Green Chartreuse, but
they certainly seemed to find it all right, and so my apprehensions
disappeared.

Thus my "Little Dinner" came at length to a conclusion. That it was
an undoubted success, from a financial point of view, there can be
no sort of doubt, for fourpence more than covered the cost of the
materials, to which, adding the Professorial Butler's fee of two
shillings and sixpence, brings the whole cost of the entertainment up
to eightpence-halfpenny a head. It is true I have not heard whether
any of my guests have suffered any ill-effects from partaking of my
hospitality, but I suppose if any of them had died or been seized with
violent symptoms, the fact would have been notified to me. So, on
the whole, I may congratulate myself. I certainly could not afford
to entertain largely in any other fashion, but, with the aid of the
Professorial Butler, I am already contemplating giving a series of
nice "Little Dinners," and even on a more extended scale. Indeed, with
the assistance of Hypnotism, it is possible, at a trifling cost, to
see one's friends. And in the general interests of Society, I mean to
do it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FANCY PORTRAIT.

(_After reading the Correspondence on Fruit and Birds in the "Morning
Post."_)

THE BRIGAND BULLFINCH.]

       *       *       *       *       *

BULLYING POOR "BULLY."

  SAYS the Blackbird to the Bullfinch, "It is April; let us up!
  We will breakfast on the plum-germs, on the pear-buds we will sup."
  Says the Bullfinch to the Blackbird, "We'll devour them every bit,
  And quite ruin the fruit-growers, with some aid from the Tom-tit."
  Then these garden Machiavellis set to work and did not stop
  Till the promise of September prematurely plumped each crop.
  Ah! the early frost is ruthless, and the caterpillar's cruel,
  But, to spifflicate the plum or give the gooseberry its gruel,
  To confusticate the apple, or to scrumplicate the pear,
  Discombobulate the cherry, make the grower tear his hair,
  And in general play old gooseberry with the orchard and the garden,
  Till the Autumn crop won't fetch the grumpy farmer "a brass farden,"
  There is nothing half so ogreish as the Bullfinch and his chums,
  Those imps of devastation--as regards our pears and plums.
  Poor "Bully," sung by COWPER in his pretty plaintive verse,
  It is thus thine ancient character they (let us hope) asperse.
  "The gardener's chief enemy," so angry scribes declare,
  And the cause why ribstone pippins and prime biggaroons are rare.
  Little birds, my pretty "Bully," should all diet upon worms,
  And grub on grubs, contented, not on fruit-buds and young germs
  Vain your pretty coat, my "Bully," beady eyes, and pleasant pipe,
  If you will not give our fruit-crops half a chance of getting ripe.
  Let us hope that they traduce you, all this angry scribbling host
  Of horticultural zealots who abuse you in the _Post_.
  The Reverend F. O. MORRIS takes the field in your defence,
  But they swear, though picturesquish, he's devoid of common-sense.
  _Punch_ inclineth to the Parson, and he doesn't quite believe
  All the statements of the growers and the gardeners who grieve
  Over "Bully's" depredations, for he knows that, as a rule,
  The birds' foe is a fashionable fribble, or a fool.
  From the damsels who despoil them for their bonnets or their cloaks,
  To the farmer who exterminates the dickies, and then croaks
  O'er the spread of caterpillars and such-like devouring vermin,
  They are selfish and shortsighted. So he'll not in haste determine
  The case against poor "Bully," or the Blackbird, or Tom-tit.
  Though they put it very strongly, _Punch_ would warn them--Wait a bit!

       *       *       *       *       *

SPORTIVE CAPTAIN HAWLEY SMART takes a somewhat new departure in
_Without Love or Licence_. There is less racing than usual in this
novel, and there is a very ingenious plot, which we are not going
to spoil the pleasure of the reader by divulging. The secret is well
kept, and one is put off the scent till well-nigh the final chapter.
The whole story is bright and dashing, abounding with graphic sketches
of such people as one meets every day. The author is in the best
of spirits--he evidently has a licence for spirits--and keeps his
audience thoroughly amused, from start to finish.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: A STABLE UNDERSTANDING.

_Curate (who had often explained to his Class that Heresy was "an
obstinate choice")._ "NOW BOYS, WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY HERESY WAS?"

_Several Boys._ "'OBSON'S CHOICE, SIR!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A SHORT SONG IN SEASON.

AIR--"_Ballyhooley._"

    PHILLIPS thinks--(you're right, my boy!)
    Dingy London would enjoy
  More music, and proposals make (which charm me)
    For a Great Municipal Band,
    Which, under wise command,
  Might prove a sort of music-spreading Army.
    The critics all declare
    English taste for music rare,
  But the "Parks and Open Spaces'" sage Committee
    Hold a very different view,
    And, to prove their judgment true,
  Want a Metropolitan Band for the Big City.

  _Chorus._

    London-lovers high and low,
    Let us all enlist, you know,
  For the County-Councillor's schemes extremely charm me.
    Let us raise Twelve Hundred Pounds,
    And we soon shall hear the sounds
  Of the Music-lover's Metropolitan Army!

    There's a moral to my song
    And it wont detain ye long;
  To PHILLIPS, L.C.C. send your subscription,
    (North Park, Eltham, S.E.), for
    That sagacious Council-lor
  Is a patriot of a practical description.
    When the money he has got,
    (And Twelve Hundred's not a lot,)
  Right soon he'll form a strong and sage Committee!
    And it will not be their fault
    If there's any hitch or halt
  In the Metropolitan Band for our Big City.

  _Chorus._

    Stump up, Cockneys, high and low
    We must all enlist, you know,
  For the sum required is nothing to alarm ye.
    So just do as you are bid,
    And subscribe Twelve Hundred "quid"
  For the Music-lover's Metropolitan Army!

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

_Joints in our Social Armour_, by a Mr. JAMES RUNCIMAN, has an amusing
"Dedication to W. S. and G. N. S." "Gentlemen," writes this seemingly
new member of the brotherhood of letters, "this little book contains
many things which have already pleased you, and all that may be good
in them has really come from you." After this frank confession, one
naturally desires to have the "good things" of "W. S. and G. N. S."
first-hand, instead of what presumably must be a _rechauffé_. As the
"good things," however, have to be picked out of a volume of 342 pages
of wearisome reading about "The Ethics of the Drink Question," "The
Social Influence of the 'Bar'" (Public-house, _bien entendu_), "Genius
and Respectability," &c., &c., it is not an easy task to find them.
For the rest, to the intelligent reader, the joints of Messrs. W. S.,
G. N. S., and JAMES RUNCIMAN are likely to prove veritable pieces
de résistance. A cut from the joint in this instance is accordingly
strongly recommended.

_The Colonial Year-Book for 1890_ supplies a want that has long been
felt by Britons in every quarter of the globe. Mr. TRENDELL, C.M.G.,
the author of this interesting work, deserves well of the Empire.

  BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & CO.

       *       *       *       *       *

A FABLE FOR FANATICS.

  THERE was a stream, now fast, now slow,
  But given at times to overflow;
  A freakishness that played strange pranks
  With the poor dwellers on its banks.
  There came two engineers. One said,
  "Embank it!" Wagging a wise head
  In the austere impressive way
  Of dogmatists, as who should say,
  "If there's an Oracle, _I_ am it."
  The other answered, "Nonsense! _Dam it!_"
  They did, and stood with hope elate,
  But presently there came a "spate;"
  The swollen torrent, swift and muddied,
  All the surrounding country flooded,
  Put a prompt stop to prosperous tillage,
  Drowned fifty folk, and swamped a village.

  MORAL.

  Some men's sole notion of improvement
  Is simply to arrest all movement.
  This craving crass the spirit stirs
  Of Tsars and of Teetotallers,
  Eight-Hour fanatics, and the like,
  Friends of the dungeon and the dyke.
  "_Dam it!_" That is their counsel's staple.
  (Mark, LUBBOCK; also, BLUNDELL-MAPLE!)

       *       *       *       *       *

NEWS FROM AIX-LES-BAINS.--"_Fireworks were let off._" As mercy is the
Royal prerogative, we are glad to learn that it was exercised in the
case of FIREWORKS on the birthday of the Princess BEATRICE.

       *       *       *       *       *

BY ORDER OF F.M. COMMANDING-IN-CHIEF, PUNCH.--The Grand Military
Exhibition, Chelsea Hospital, to be known as "The Sodgeries."

       *       *       *       *       *


ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday, April 14._--Boys came back after Easter
Monday; Head Master punctually in his place.

"Yes, dear TOBY," he said, as I respectfully shook his hand. "I am
nothing if not a man of business. Done my duty to the country round
Henley; now come up to do my duty in town at Westminster."

Not all the boys here. Some, including Oldest Boy, extending
their holiday. Prince ARTHUR not turned up yet, nor GRANDOLPH, nor
CHAMBERLAIN. Wide empty space on Front Opposition Bench where HARCOURT
wont to sit. A dozen Members on Ministerial Benches; a score on
Opposite side; others in ambush, especially on Ministerial side.

"AKERS-DOUGLAS, like _Roderick Dhu_, need only blow his horn and the
glen is filled with armed men," said Colonel MALCOLM, who knows
his Walter Scott by heart. The DOUGLAS being a man of modern ideas,
doesn't blow his horn: would be unparliamentary; might lead to his
being named and relegated to the Clock Tower. Effect brought about
when bell rings for Division; then Members troop in in fifties.
"What's the Question?" they ask each other, as they stand at Bar.
Nobody quite sure. Some say it's wages of Envoy Extraordinary at
Buenos Ayres; others affirm it's salary of Chaplain of Embassy in
Vienna. A third believes it's something to do with the Nyassa region;
a fourth is sure it's Turks in Armenia; whilst Member who has heard
portion of one of several speeches delivered by SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S
GATE, says it's Motion made to provide a Chaplain for DRUMMOND WOLFF,
whose forlorn condition, planted out amid Mahommedans in Teheran, SAGE
has been lamenting. Few quite sure of actual question; fewer still
heard it debated. But no time to lose. House cleared for Division.
Must go in one Lobby or other; so Ministerialists follow each other
like sheep; Opposition flock into other Lobby. Amendment (whatever it
is) negatived by 134 Votes against 69.

In conversation about Vienna Chaplaincy WINTERBOTHAM comes to front.
"Why," he asks, "should we support an English church in Vienna more
than in other Continental towns, where the residents provide the
funds? Not many months ago I was in the church at Vienna; called upon
to hand the plate round, and there were only a few shillings to hand
over to expectant parson."

"Very good story," said WILFRID LAWSON; "but if I was WINTERBOTHAM,
wouldn't tell it again. _What became of the money?_"

_Business done._--Diplomatic and Consular Vote obtained.

_Tuesday._--OLD MORALITY proposes forthwith to take morning sittings
on Tuesdays and Fridays. Private Members in state of burning
indignation. Scarcely anything left to them but Tuesdays. On Fridays
Government business takes precedence. Notices of Amendment may be
moved on going into Committee of Supply; but so hampered that hardly
any use as outlet for legislative energies of private Members.
On Tuesdays have it all to themselves. May move Amendments, take
Divisions, and generally enjoy themselves. Now OLD MORALITY comes
along "Like the blind Fury, with abhorrëd shears," says COZENS-HARDY,
dropping into bad language, "and cuts us off our Toosday."

[Illustration: "Comes the blind Fury."]

Nothing in the world less like a blind Fury than our dear Leader, as
he sits on Treasury Bench bearing brunt of protest from every side.
Very sorry; desirous of meeting convenience of Hon. Members in
whatever part of House they sit. But duty has first call. Duty to
QUEEN and country demands partial sacrifice of Tuesdays.

Motion carried, and this the last Tuesday Private Members will enjoy.
Must make the most of it. COMPTON on first, with Motion setting forth
grievances of Postal Telegraph Clerks. Excellent Debate, and Division
over by eight o'clock. Still four hours' work. MARK STEWART has next
place. STEWART has Marked necessity for Reform of Constitution in
proceedings of Fiars Courts in Scotland. Thinks functions of Fiars'
Juries should be extended. Rare opportunity for House of Commons to
master this question. True, it is dinner-time; but what is dinner
compared with the national interest smouldering under these Fiars?
Besides, it's our last Tuesday.

"We must make the most of this," says ALBERT ROLLIT to RICHARD TEMPLE.
"Yes," says RICHARD TEMPLE, with effusion. "Glad you're staying on.
Wouldn't do to be Counted Out to-night."

ROLLIT, thinking he's got TEMPLE all right, walks off by front hall
door; TEMPLE, certain that ROLLIT will stay, executes strategic
retreat by corridor, leading past dining-room to central hall. Same
thing going on in a hundred other cases, "Must see this through," One
says to the Other. "By all means," the Other says to One. Then One and
the Other saunter out of the Lobby, quicken their steps when they get
into outer passage, and speed out of Palace Yard as quick as Hansom
would fly.

MARK STEWART still puffing away at the Fiars; House gradually
emptying, till no one left but the LORD ADVOCATE and GEORGE CAMPBELL.
Presently CAMPBELL strides forth. Somebody moves that LORD ADVOCATE
be Counted. SPEAKER finds he's not forty. ("I'm really forty-five, you
know," LORD ADVOCATE pleads.) No Quorum. So at a quarter past eight
House Counted Out. "Hard on you, STEWART," the LORD ADVOCATE said,
as the two walked through the deserted chamber. "Must have spent good
deal of trouble on your speech. Subject so interesting, too; pity
to lose it; advise you to have it printed in leaflet form, and
distributed. So in your ashes would live your wonted Fiars, as was
appropriately remarked by BURNS." STEWART said he would think about
it.

_Business done._--COMPTON'S Resolution declaring position of
telegraphists unsatisfactory negatived by 142 votes against 103.

_Thursday._--"Better have a nip of something short," said JACKSON,
friendly Bottle Holder, to CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, he too in
JOKIM'S room finally revising notes for Budget Speech.

"No," said JOKIM, shaking his head, and wistfully regarding the Port
decanter; "it wouldn't do. Think of what I have to say in my speech
about the drink traffic. It's drink that has created our Surplus.
Can't help the Surplus, but must say a word in condemnation of drink.
Would never do to have me enforcing my argument with sips out of a
tumbler. Suppose, when I came to the question, 'Who drinks the rum?'
TANNER were to point to the tumbler and shout across the House, 'You
do.' Where would we be? Where would Her Majesty's Government be? No,
JACKSON, old fellow, you mean well, and a sip of Port, with or without
an egg, in course of three hours' speech, is a comfort. But it mustn't
be;" and JOKIM turned resolutely away from decanter.

JACKSON kind-hearted fellow; deeply touched at his chief's heroic
self-denial. "You leave it to me," he whispered, as they left JOKIM'S
room and strolled off to Treasury Bench.

Just before JOKIM rose to commence Budget Speech JACKSON came in
carrying tumblerful of dark liquid; might be extract of walnut,
printer's ink, anything equally innoxious. JOKIM saw it, and
recognised the '51 Port.

"JACKSON," he whispered, tremulously, "you shouldn't do it; but since
you _will_, leave the bottle on the chimbley-piece, and don't ask me
to take none, but let me put my lips to it when I am so dispoged, and
then I will do what I am engaged to do according to the best of my
ability."

No chimbley-piece handy. So JACKSON cunningly tucked away the tumbler
in among the Blue Books and papers where it innocently rested till
JOKIM, well under way with speech, and feeling round for notes upset
it; agonised glance as the ruby fluid ran over the unresponsive table
on to the heedless floor. Heartless persons opposite tittered.

[Illustration: "I hear a smile pass over the face of the Right Hon.
Gentleman."]

"I hear a smile pass over the face of the Right Hon. Gentleman," said
JOKIM, fixing glance somewhat venomously on HARCOURT. House burst
into roar of laughter. JACKSON took advantage of diversion to mop up
spilled Port with blotting-paper. Only GRAND CROSS in Peers' Gallery,
sat stern and unresponsive.

"I call that pretty mean, TOBY," he said, talking it over afterwards.
"It was I who first saw the smile in House of Commons. My greatest
oratorical success; and here comes JOKIM, coolly appropriates it,
and House laughs as if it were quite new!" Never saw GRAND CROSS so
terribly angry. JOKIM will have bad quarter of an hour when they meet.
_Business done._--Budget brought in.

_Friday._--Bi-metallism the matter to-night. SAM SMITH brings on
attractive subject in one of those terse, polished, pregnant orations
for which he is famous. Nevertheless, the few Members present
yawn. OLD MORALITY--"nothing if not man of business"--finds topic
irresistible. Whilst subject _caviare_ to the General (GOLDSWORTHY and
others), seems matter of life and death to a select half-dozen; these
glare at each other across House, as if arguments advanced _pro_ and
_con_. affected their private character. Prince ARTHUR plunges
in; declares in favour of Bi-metallism; Irish Members share common
ignorance on subject; but this settles them; go out in body to vote
for Mono-metallism; SAM SMITH'S Motion for Conference negatived by 183
votes against 87.

       *       *       *       *       *

--> 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.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

This book contains some dialect.

Page 196: Both 'wingéd' and 'wingèd' were used in this book, and both
have been retained:

"What does that wingéd portent in mid-air,"

"Must watch his wingèd rival. Who may tell"





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