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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 93, August 20, 1887.
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 93, August 20, 1887." ***

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  PUNCH,

  OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

  VOLUME 93.

  AUGUST 20, 1887.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PLEASANT TRAVELLER'S CONVERSATION-BOOK.

(_To be translated into French, German, and Italian, for the benefit of
Foreigners._)

IN THE TRAIN.

CONTINENTAL Railways are disgracefully mismanaged.

[Illustration]

This train does not travel at anything like the rate of our expresses.

The "Flying Scotchman" travels at 50, 100, or 150 (_according to fancy_)
miles the hour.

I object to smoking; also wish all the windows to be opened or closed
(_as the case may be_).

The foreign _buffet_ does not equal our refreshment-rooms.

A plate of soup, half a roast fowl, and mashed potatoes cannot compare
with what we call in England a "ham sandwich."

I object to the lamp being shaded, or insist upon the lamp being shaded
(_according to pleasure_).

Why are we stopping here? Why are we not stopping here?

It is disgraceful that we should stop here. It is disgraceful that we
should not stop here.

If this occurs again, I shall write to the papers.

AT THE STATION.

Why must I go here? Why may I not go here?

I insist upon going where I please.

I refuse to answer, as an impertinent question, "what I have to
declare."

I object to opening that trunk, that portmanteau, and that hat-box.

It is insolent to accuse me of smuggling. Where is the Chief of Police?

Have there been any orders to treat my luggage in this manner?

I complain that, as you have passed my boxes without examination, that I
should have ever been asked for my keys.

I will not take this omnibus, nor this fly, nor this cart.

I do not want to patronise any hotel.

Why do you not put my luggage on that carriage?

I had a right to say I would take no conveyance--as a matter of fact, I
knew I should be swindled.

Now do make haste, and do what I ask, or I shall report you to the
Station Master.

No, I shall give you nothing--it is contrary to the Bye-laws in England.

AT THE HOTEL.

I object to this room, because it is on the ground, first, or upper
floors (_according to taste_).

I do not like the price paid for the _table d'hôte_.

I object to the bed-curtains--why are there no bed-curtains?

I will not pay for _service_--_service_ should be charged.

Your prices are extortionate. I shall be careful to warn all my friends
against coming to this hotel.

Don't be impertinent.

EN ROUTE.

This scenery is disappointing.

The water-fall is over-rated and the ruin a fraud.

I will not take off my wide-awake in this Cathedral.

Why cannot I look at the altar during the celebration of Service?

I have seen much better things in a ninth-rate town in England than I
find in this Museum.

I consider the whole tour not worth the candle.

It is infamous that I should have been induced by false pretences to
come abroad.

You can easily imagine how I must be missed at home.

       *       *       *       *       *

Land Measure.

    [Mr. JESSE COLLINGS supports the Government Allotments Bill,
    although it only holds forth a prospect of one acre, and no cow.]

  JESSE content with SALISBURY'S gift? How odd!
    One acre only, and of cows a lack!
  Pooh! JESSE takes this "acre" as a "rod"--
    For faithless GLADSTONE'S back.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE QUESTION OF THE HOUR.--The Government have been given a good inch
(of coercive power). Will they take a (National) League?

       *       *       *       *       *

WELSH FOR THE WELSH.

MR. PUNCH by some accident was unable to be present at the "Eisteddfod
Genhedlaethol y Cymry," and therefore could not take part in the
competitions at the Albert Hall. For the sake of the other bards he is
glad, as he feels sure that had he sung his own little composition he
would have been hailed at once "_Pencerd Gwalia_," "_Mynorydd_" and
"_Owen Dyfed_," rolled into one. However, that the World may not suffer
by his unselfishness, he publishes his _Anerchiaudau ir Llywydd_
(Poetical Address to the President), which he would have sung to an
accompaniment of a hundred harps. As it is short, he gives it in full:--

Y MORWYNIG GWYNTOEDD.

  Hi ddiddleth di ddiddleth ghist katte haw di fiddleth,
    Ac kowwe pob gofid y munne,
  Fel lliddell doggggg rawd di see glap spwwt,
    Ond di pplatt gofid rhosyn di ssspnnn
          Fy mam, fly man,
          O pale ale man am di fly man!

       *       *       *       *       *

PRIVILEGED PISTOLS.

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, it is rumoured, a few days since,
received a deputation of schoolboys home for the holidays, and other
young gentlemen delegated to him with a petition that he would propose a
bill for the repeal of the duty now demanded for permission to carry a
gun.

The foreboy of the memorialists, Master SMITHERS, in an address premised
with "Please Sir," informed the Right Honourable Gentleman of the object
of their application. He, and those other fellows, considered the
gun-tax an awfully hard impost, he might say imposition--out of
school-hours. It denied them a recreation they particularly wanted to
enjoy in the holidays, namely, shooting, which was fun for them as good
as for Members of Parliament. Shooting was shooting, whether you shot
sparrows or grouse. But ten bob duty was more than poor fellows could
afford.

[Illustration: Revolvers.]

JACKSON, Junior, asked why, if the tax on firearms was intended to
prevent a chap from carrying a gun, it wasn't charged just the same upon
pistols? You couldn't look into a daily paper hardly without seeing an
account of a murder committed, or somebody or other shot, or shooting
himself by accident, with a revolver, or the revolver going off on its
own accord, and killing its owner or someone else. Cads and roughs
almost all of them carried revolvers, and so it was that burglars went
about shooting policemen. If every revolver had to be loaded with a
licence, or the firearm-duty were enforced for all firearms, it would
save no end of lives. But if that didn't signify, and everybody was to
be free to carry a revolver, what use was there in what you might call
fining a fellow for leave to carry a gun?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER said that his young friends appeared to
him to have made out a very good case, not so much for the repeal of the
gun-duty as for its extension, if necessary, or at any rate its
enforcement, as regarded revolvers, upon which the existing duty might
require to be increased to an amount which would effectually limit the
possession of those dangerous weapons. Meantime he would consult his
colleagues, who, he was assured, would give this question their most
serious consideration.

The young gentlemen then gave three groans for the CHANCELLOR of the
EXCHEQUER, and bolted.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MARBLE ARCH.

(_A Song for the Season._)

    "Can nothing be done for the Marble Arch?...London soot-flakes have
    dealt cruelly with a surface admirably calculated to receive
    them."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

AIR--"_I Dreamt that I Dwelt in Marble Halls._"

  I DREAMT that I gazed at the Marble Arch,
    King Fog and King Coal at my side,
  The soot of November, the dust-storms of March
    Had made it a sight to deride.
  I said all the foreigners think, I'll be bound,
    To our City this thing is a shame;
  But I guess 'twill be found, when next Season comes round,
    That its state is much the same.

  It _does_ want a wash, there's no doubt about that,
    For the marble's a dull, dirty brown;
  That is, where it isn't as black as your hat--
    _Can't_ they clean it while Swelldom's from Town?
  Marble? Deft TADEMA, I will be bound,
    Would say 'tis not worthy the name;
  But I'd wager a pound, when next Season comes round,
    We shall find it still the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

EVICTION.

A WOFUL BALLAD OF WIMBLEDON. AIR--"_The British Grenadier._"

[Illustration: _Illustrious President._ "NOW, MY LAD, SORRY TO
INCONVENIENCE YOU, BUT--HEM--HA--YOU MUST REALLY GO--SOMEWHERE ELSE!"]

  SOME prate of patriotism, and some of cheap defence,
  But to the high official mind that's all absurd pretence;
  For of all the joys of snubbing, there's none to it _so_ dear,
  As to snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British Volunteer!

  A patriotic Laureate may bid the Rifles form,
  And Citizens may look to them for safety in War's storm;
  But Secretaries, Dooks, and such at this delight to jeer,
  And to snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British Volunteer!

  A semi-swell he may be, but he may be a mere clerk,
  And he's an interloper, and to snub him is a lark.
  Sometimes he licks the Regulars, and so our duty's clear,
  'Tis to snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British Volunteer!

  He hankers for an increase in his Capitation Grant,
  It's like his precious impudence, and have the lift he shan't.
  What, make it easier for him to run us close? No fear!
  We'll snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British Volunteer!

  He has a fad for Wimbledon, but that is just a whim,
  And as eviction's all the go, we'll try it upon _him_.
  _He_'s not an Irish tenant, so no one will interfere,
  When once more we snub, snub, snub, snub the British Volunteer!

  His targets and his tents and things are nuisances all round,
  As Jerry-Builders, Dooks, and other Toffs have lately found.
  Compared with bricks and mortar and big landlords he's small beer,
  So we'll snub, snub, snub, snub, snub, snub the British Volunteer!

  The Common's vastly handy, there's no doubt, to chaps in town,
  And crowds of Cockneys to the butts can quickly hurry down;
  But what are _all_ Town's Cockneys to one solitary Peer?
  No; let us snub, snub, snub, snub the British Volunteer!

  Your Citizen who wants to play at soldiers need not look
  To have his little way as though he were a Royal Dook.
  With building-leases--sacred things!--he must not interfere,
  So let us snub, snub, snub, snub the British Volunteer!

  If he must shoot his annual shoot somewhere, why, let him go
  To Pirbright or to Salisbury Plain, or e'en to Jericho.
  But out from his loved Wimbledon he'll surely have to clear,--
  A final snub, snub, snub, snub to the British Volunteer!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IN THE HONEYMOON.

_She (beaming)._ "WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU, DEAR? WHAT AGREEABLE
CHARACTERISTIC DID I POSSESS TO PLACE ME ABOVE ALL OTHERS IN YOUR SIGHT
AND ESTIMATION?"

_He._ "H-U-M--LE'ME SEE."--(_Ponders._)--"H-M--OH, DARLING, I GIVE IT
UP. CU'IOUS THING, DEAR--I NEVER COULD GUESS WIDDLES!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"ROOM AND VERGE."

LORD SALISBURY agrees with Lord BEACONSFIELD that Asia is large enough
for both Russia and England. Quite so. And unlimited space is large
enough for all the galaxies of Worlds,--until two of them want to occupy
one portion of it. Then comes Chaos or a Cosmical Boundary Question. The
"room enough" theory is a genial one, which would have commended itself
to _Uncle Toby_. But it does not carry us practically very far on the
road to a settlement. The world was presumably "large enough" to
accommodate the ambitions of OCTAVIUS and MARK ANTONY. Only they did not
happen to think so. Collision terrestial or celestial does not come from
the narrowness of limits, but from the crossing of courses.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHANGE.

(_A Weather Forecast for the Next Ten Weeks._)

_August 20._--Heavy downpour commences. Thirty-six inches of rain fell
in as many minutes. The Clerk of the Weather catches cold.

_August 27._--Heavy downpour continues. The entire audience at the
Gaiety, being unable to get home without getting drenched, decline to
leave the Theatre, and, after a riot, pass the night there, in the face
of the protests of the Management.

_September 3._--Heavy downpour shows no signs of abating. Several
leading Umbrella Manufacturers make rapid fortunes, and are raised to
the Peerage.

_September 15._--Heavy downpour still continuing, the Serpentine
overflows its banks, and runs southwards. Salmon-fishing commences in
the Brompton Road.

_September 27._--Downpour heavier than ever. The Underground Lines
flooded, and the traffic carried on by penny steamers.

_October 8._--Downpour steadily continuing, the Albert Hall is opened as
a National Swimming Bath, and Battersea Park as a Rice Plantation.

_October 19._--Downpour still on the increase. The Hippopotamus from the
Zoological Gardens is washed in a torrent down Portland Place, and left
high-and-dry on the steps of the Langham Hotel.

_October 28._--Downpour as heavy as ever. Gondolas seen in Piccadilly. A
well-known Duke endeavouring to drive a bathing-machine in Belgrave
Square, upsets it, and is only rescued with difficulty by drags from his
own balcony.

_November 3._--Downpour still continuing and London being now under
water, wild-duck shooting commences in Chancery Lane.

_November 9._--Downpour at its height. In consequence of the flooded
condition of the Guildhall, the Lord Mayor's banquet is given under a
water-proof tent on Primrose Hill, his distinguished guests approaching
it across the Regent's Park in coal-barges. Prime Minister, in his
speech, commenting upon the weather, describes it "as the worst he ever
remembers."

       *       *       *       *       *

FERDINAND AND ARIEL.

(IN BULGARIA.)

(_Shakspeare once again adapted to circumstances._)

_Enter_ ARIEL, _invisible, playing and singing_. FERDINAND _following
him_.

_Ariel's Song._

  COME into Bulgarian Lands,
  We stretch our hands;
  'Tis a chance not to be miss'd.
  When we have kiss'd
  Your hand in loyal fealty there,
  The Crown's sweet burden you may bear.
    Hark! Hark!

  _Burden._ Bow-wow! (_Dispersedly._)
    Let the Russ bark!

  _Burden._ Bow-wow! (_Dispersedly._)
    Hark, hark! I hear
    The strutting Gallic Chanticleer
    Cry Cock-a-doodle-doo!

  _Ferdinand._ Where should
    this music be? In th' air, or th' earth?
    It sounds once more, and sure it waits upon
    _My_ forward footsteps. Sitting all alone,
    Musing upon Prince ALEXANDER'S wreck,
    This music crept upon me unawares,
    Stirring my hope, and rousing Russia's passion,
    With its sweet air. Thence have I followed it,
    Or it hath drawn me rather:--but 'tis gone.
    No, it begins again.

[Illustration]

_Ariel sings:_

  Full fathom deep BATTENBERG lies,
    Of _his_ chance chaos is made;
  But you'll see, if you have eyes,
    Your hopes ripen as his fade.
  You may suffer a great change
  Into a young King. Is't strange?
  Fate which rings poor SANDY'S knell
  Sounds your coronation bell.
  Hark! dost hear it?--ding-dong-dell!

      [_Burden._ Ding-dong!

  _Ferdinand._ This ditty doth decoy, yet fright me,--rather.
  This is no common chance. A golden crown
  Fate proffers me:--I see it,--shall I wear it?
      [_Left considering._

       *       *       *       *       *

"FINIS CORONAT OPUS."

THE summary given in an evening paper last week of a well-known suit,
now happily at an end, is instructive. Four years ago the plaintiff was
absolutely without means, and apparently utterly friendless. The man who
had wronged her offered her (amongst other infamous actions) a miserable
pittance to expatriate herself and to cease to "annoy" him. She called
in the assistance of the Press; and now she retires with provision for
herself and innocent child, her character re-established, and a sum of
money that our grandfathers would have called a "plum." The paper that
championed her was plucky, and as the result has proved, in the right.
Praise to whom praise is due. Acknowledgment is due to the _P. M. G._

       *       *       *       *       *

HAPPY THOUGHT.

(_By an Unhappy Unionist._)

  TREVELYAN swears he trusts the Grand Old Man,
    And follows him in playing fast and loose.
  Well, we have heard of Leda and the Swan,
    But here's a case of Leader and the Goose!

       *       *       *       *       *

POPULAR EDUCATION.--_Examiner._ Give the meaning of "Hagiology."
_Candidate._ Science of Witchcraft.

       *       *       *       *       *

SALUBRITIES ABROAD.

_To those about to travel_ viâ _Dover and Calais_.--Ask when _The
Empress_ makes the journey. Something like a boat, and the day our
party went by her she did the crossing in the hour, and I won't
positively swear it wasn't a minute or so under that time. There's a
crossing-sweeper for you! The Empress of the Sea! Mind you it was a fine
day, and what I should say would be considered a calm sea, though there
were several sufferers.

If not in a hurry--and who can hurry in such weather?--the easiest
travelling is by the 11 A.M. from Victoria; admirable _Empress_ for the
crossing; and a good twenty-five minutes or more for one of the best
buffet-luncheons in France. Stay the night in Paris, and off to your
Royat, your Aix, or wherever it may be, as early as possible.

_At the Paris-Lyon Station, en route for Royat._--Owing to the gentle
influence of Colonel WATERS, attached to the L. C. & D. corps in Paris,
and to the indefatigable exertions of his lieutenant in uniform, GUSTAV
HERLAN, the P. L. & M. Company have consented to put a _lit-salon_
carriage on to their day-train as quite an exceptional concession to an
invalid, who might be supposed to have thus addressed them:--

  Pity the sorrows of a gouty man,
    Whose trembling limbs have brought him to your door,
  Who asks you to oblige him with--you can--
    A simple _lit-salon_ and nothing more.

The perfect comfort of this arrangement for a long journey is worth the
price including the _supplément_, which I am paying when a cheery voice
cries, "Hallo! old chap," and I recognise PULLER, whom I haven't seen
for some time. I return his greeting heartily. "You've got a _coupé
reservé_?" he exclaims gleefully, and literally skipping for joy. I
never saw a man in such spirits. He is not absolutely young, nearer
forty than thirty for example, looking so wonderfully fresh, that
turn-down collars and a jacket would suit him perfectly. He is as
clean-shaved as a Benedictine Monk or a Low Comedian. He says of
himself--he is the waggish companion to whom I alluded in my previous
notes--"I am well preserved in high spirits." He insists on paying the
extra seat and _supplément_. Cousin JANE (again going to Royat for the
Cæsar Baths) says she shall be delighted, and so PULLER is to come with
us. Certainly am delighted to see PULLER. Will he have his things
brought here? He will, "_à l'instant!_"--he pronounces it "_ar long
stong_," and roars with laughter as if he had delivered himself of the
rarest witticism. Then he skips off down the platform, waving an
umbrella in one hand and a stick in the other. Suddenly PULLER'S social
characteristics all flash across me. I haven't seen him for years, and
had forgotten them. I recollect _now_, he is what they call "an
inveterate punster," and loves when abroad (though an accomplished
linguist) to speak the language of the country in which he may be
temporarily sojourning with a strong English accent; it is also a part
of his humour to embellish his discourse with English idioms literally
translated,--or, _vice versâ_, to give French idioms in colloquial
English; so that on the whole his conversational style, when in foreign
parts, is peculiar. The impression left in my memory years ago of
PULLER, is that he is a wonderfully good-natured fellow unless a trifle
puts him out, when he flares up suddenly into red heat; but this is
seldom, and he cools down directly if allowed to stand. When he is not
in the highest possible spirits he is an agreeable companion, as he can
give some interesting, but utterly untrustworthy, information on most
subjects, and, when this comes to an end, he falls asleep suddenly,--he
does everything suddenly,--but, as I have since ascertained, does not
snore. When at his office in London he is the second partner of an
eminent firm of Solicitors with a varied and extensive business. For a
safe and sound legal opinion in any difficult matter, specially on the
Chancery side, there is no one to whom I would sooner go myself, or
recommend a friend than JAMES PULLER, of HORLER, PULLER, PULLER (J.),
BAKER AND DAYVILLE. For the greater part of the year JAMES PULLER is
hard at work, and is gravity itself, except on certain social and
festive occasions. But in vacation-time he gives up Law and goes in for
Lunacy. "I feel," he says, when he returns, still capering on the
platform, this time with his stick in one hand and his hat in the other,
"I feel like a school-boy out for a holiday," and, allowing for the
difference of age and costume, he looks the character.

Travelling is very tiring; so is rising early in the morning (which is
included in the process of travelling) after a night spent in fitful
dozing, one's rest being broken by nervous anxiety as to whether the
waiter will remember to call one at the cruel hour of 6·30, or not, and
determining to be up at that time exactly, and if he doesn't appear
punctually, to ring for him to bring the bath and the boots; then
preternatural wakefulness, then the drowsiness, then the painful
emptiness, then the necessity for extraordinary energy and bustle,--all
this fatigues me so much, that when at last I find myself in a
comfortable railway-carriage, I sink back, and prepare to make up for
the lost sleep of the previous night.

PULLER has been travelling all night right through, yet he is now as
fresh as the proverbial lark. He is smoking. He came up smoking. I am a
smoker, but at an early hour on a hot day, and comparatively
unbreakfasted, I do not like the smell of the last half-inch of a strong
and newish cigar such as PULLER is now smoking. He is sucking at this
last morsel of it as if it were the only one he should take (I wish it
were) for another month, and as if it went to his heart to part with it.

"Don't you smoke your cigars rather short?" I ask, mildly, by way of a
hint.

"No," he replies, quickly; "I smoke them rather long. Had him there,
eh?" he says playfully, turning to Cousin JANE, who, I regret to say,
encourages him with an appreciative smile. After his fit of chuckles has
subsided (in which I do not join), he takes off his hat _à la
française_, and addresses himself to Cousin JANE.

"If Madame does not oppose herself to that I shall smoke."

JANE graciously returns, "Oh dear no, I do not mind smoke," which isn't
at all what I want her to say on this occasion. PULLER throws away what
is left of his cigar, and, producing an enormous case, offers me what he
calls "a beauty,"--very big, very dark one, with a bit of red and gold
paper wrapped round its middle, as if it were in a delicate state of
health and might suffer from rheumatism,--but I decline it, saying
pointedly, "I can't stand smoking so early, and before breakfast."

"Oh," he returns in an offhand manner, "can't you? I can smoke any time,
it doesn't affect _me_. Besides, I had a first-rate breakfast at the
fork, and spoon too, at the buffet,"--he pronounces this word as written
in English--this is his fun (i.e.__, the fun of a high-spirited
Solicitor on a holiday), and forthwith he lights the big cigar, changes
his seat so as to face us both, and then commences a conversation about
all sorts of things, seasoned with his jokes and comic French, at which
he laughs himself uproariously, and appeals to me to know if it,
whatever the joke may be, "Wasn't bad, was it?" And when I beg him to
spare some of his witticisms, as he'll want them for the friends he's
going to meet at Royat--(thank Heaven, he _is_ going to meet
friends!)--he only says, "Oh, there's lots more where these came from,"
and off he goes again. Fortunately he turns to Cousin JANE, and
instantly I close my eyes, and pretend to be overcome by fatigue. If
JANE is wise she will do the same. JANE is tired, but tolerant.

Finding that neither of us is up to much talking (I have inadvertently
opened an eye) he says, "Look here, I'll show you my travelling-bag," as
if it was something to amuse children. This delights him immensely. He
opens it and explains its compartments, tells how he shaves, what soap
he uses, how he invented a peculiar pomade for travelling, and how he
had thought out this bag and had everything made to fit into its place.
He takes out everything, brushes, combs, razors, glass-pots, knives,
brushes, one after the other, expatiating on their excellence as if he
were a pedlar anxious to do a deal, and we were his casual, but likely,
customers. Then finding our interest waning, he shuts it up, and saying
that the best of travelling in a _lit-salon_ is that you can stretch
your legs, he forthwith begins capering, asks JANE if he mayn't have the
pleasure of the next waltz and so forth, until fortunately, he discovers
the secret of the seat which pulls out and becomes a bed, and is so
struck with the idea that he exclaims, "By Jove! this is first-rate!
pillows, mattresses, everything! I've never slept in one of these! I
haven't been to bed all night. You don't mind my taking forty winks--do
you?"

O dear no--take eighty if he likes.

"Ah, then," he says in broken English, "I go to couch myself. I salute
you the good morning, Mister and Missis. I have well envy of to sleep."
And thank goodness in another minute the high-spirited Solicitor is fast
asleep, and _not_ snoring.

Then we all drop off. At Montargis he awakes, breakfasts at the buffet:
we breakfast in our _salon_. He returns, puffing another cigar, stronger
and bigger than the previous one: but smoking yields to sleeping and his
high spirits become less and less. After his second or third sleep he
becomes hungry. The train is late. He becomes hungrier and hungrier.
Again he smokes; but his cigars are dwindling in size and growing paler
in colour. He calculates when the hour of dinner will be. He foresees
that it will not be till past eight and we breakfasted at eleven. Hunger
has deprived him of all his jokes, all his high spirits; he is
hopelessly depressed, and preserves an almost sullen silence till we
reach Clermont-Ferrand, when the sight of the Commissionnaire of the
Hôtel Continental slightly restores him, and as we get into the Omnibus
he whispers to me feebly, "I say, let's cry '_Vive_ BOULANGER!'"

I beg him to hold his tongue, or the police will be down on him. I fancy
this warning has its effect, in his present state of hunger, as he
limits himself to whispering out of the window to any passer-by who
happens to be in uniform, "_Vive_ BOULANGER!" but I am bound to say,
nobody hears him, so finding the fun of the jest exhausted within the
first ten minutes, he drops it, and once more collapses, shakes his head
wearily over his wretched state, and expresses in pantomime how he is
dying for something to eat. JANE and myself recognise Clermont-Ferrand
and draw one another's attention to all points of interest, more or less
incorrectly. Then, after noticing how familiar all the land-marks seem
_en route_, we find we have been taken by a different road from the one
we need to travel in order to avoid the dust.

Ha! Here is Doctor REM. Welcome to Royat! Same rooms, New Proprietor,
but same Hotel in effect, it is the Continental. M. HALL, of what
nationality I do not know, exerts himself to see that everything shall
be right for everybody who has just arrived. There are several others by
this train, all requiring special and individual attention, and all,
somehow, getting it. New faces, but civility and readiness to oblige
everywhere. The weather perfect!--perhaps a trifle too perfect. But
Royat is high up, and, if it is hot here, what must it be down below at
Vichy or at Aix! Dinner in the Restauration of the Hotel, where we pant
for air because other visitors, chiefly French, of advanced years and in
various stages of "The Cure," will not allow a door or window to be
opened. We finish dinner, and hurry off for our coffee in the garden of
the Casino Samie. End of first day.

P.S.--I said last week I could not find the English newspapers in the
reading-room of the Cercle. I have since seen them, _Times_ and
_Telegraph_. But the only one sold outside is apparently the _Morning
Post_. Lord SALISBURY is coming.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE INSURER'S PHRASE-BOOK.

THERE is no truth in the report that a whole Brigade of Firemen and
Sixteen Fire-engines are now permanently encamped in Kensington Gardens
Square, and that Captain SHAW is about to take furnished lodgings in the
immediate neighbourhood of Westbourne Grove.

No, those men walking up and down the shop and eying everybody
suspiciously are not shop-walkers, as you suppose. Four of them are
detectives, with orders summarily to arrest any customer who looks at
all like an incendiary, and the others are disguised Firemen.

[Illustration: Excitement at Pad-inked-on.]

I don't quite know what you mean by speaking of a "holocaust" in
connection with the recent disastrous conflagration which destroyed five
whole streets and a hundred lives, but no doubt the cost _will_ be
enough to make anybody holloa!

"Why have we to hire a boat to take us from the garden-gate to our
front-door?" Oh, because five million gallons of water were poured down
our street by the Fire-Brigade men the day before yesterday, and the
Main Drainage system is only equal to removing a few gallons at a time.

Naturally the Water Companies have taken advantage of this state of
things to suggest to householders that, as they have so much water in
their cellars, they can do without any in their cisterns, and to
announce therefore that the supply will be discontinued for a week.

Is it a fact that Insurance Premiums in Bayswater now vary in proportion
to the distance from Westbourne Grove?

How curious that "two huge columns of fire" should produce at least half
a dozen equally huge columns of print!

No, as you say, this wall-paper is not pretty, and walking on hard
concrete-floors is a little unpleasant at first; but then, you see, they
are both absolutely incombustible.

The Fire-engine in the Hall is certainly a little in the way of the
servants; but then what a comfort it is to feel that with this
precaution, _and_ powerful hydrants laid on to each floor, _and_
sleeping in fire-proof beds with one's clothes on, _and_ having an
outside iron stair-case to each window in the house, we really _are_
pretty safe against the next conflagration, in spite of the fact that we
live just opposite a Universal Provider!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PRIVATE BANKER'S PÆAN.

(_Some way after Shakspeare._)

  I KNOW a Bank whereto the poor man goes.
  If there too quickly his deposit grows,
  I fancy _our_ Monopoly may decline,
  No, no, at Thirty Pounds we'll draw the line,
  Nor let the Artisan, however thrifty,
  In the Post-Office pile an annual Fifty.
  We've floored them this time after a good fight,
  Government yields, to our extreme delight.
  We Private Banks are saved, by our teeth's skin.
  If they the thin end of the wedge slip in,
  By Jove, they'll open wide the public eyes,
  And smash up all our snug Monopolies.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN AMUSEMENT SCARCELY LIKELY TO BE POPULAR WITH CHILDREN.--The
Switchback.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LONGING FOR A NEW SENSATION.

_Jack (a Naughty Boy, who is always in disgrace, and most deservedly)._
"I SAY, EFFIE, DO YOU KNOW WHAT I SHOULD LIKE? I SHOULD LIKE TO BE
ACCUSED OF SOMETHING I'D NEVER DONE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FIRE AND WATER.

(_With Apologies to the Shades of the Authors of "Rejected Addresses."_)

  THE Fire Fiend was curst with unquenchable thirst,
    And his gnomes to his aid having beckoned,
  From Cornhill to Clapham he flew at a burst,
  And furious flames soon arose from the first,
    And volumes of smoke from the second.

  The Fire Fiend was hungry as Moloch of old,
    And knew not the meaning of pity.
  The new _Edax Rerum_; voraciously bold,
  His maw a red gulf that was ready to hold
    The calcined remains of a City.

  That Phlegethon-gorge might have served as the grave
    Of man and his works altogether;
  But SHAW, the new Life-guardsman, swordless but brave,
  Was ever at hand to extinguish and save,
    And hold the Red Ogre in tether.

  The Fire Fiend as usual went at full pelt,
    But SHAW at his heels followed faster,
  Of leather well tanned were SHAW'S boots and his belt,
  And his helmet was brazen for fear it should melt,
    And the Fire Demon knew him as master.

  The Fire Fiend possessed a most hideous phiz,
    Polyphemus's was not more horrid,
  Unkempt and unwashed was that visage of his,
  For water that touched it went off with a whiz!
    It _was_ so tremendously torrid.

  But SHAW on his enemy kept a cool eye,
    Of vigilant valour the symbol.
  Affrighted no more by the Fire Demon's cry
  Than the squeak of a rat; if the Fire Fiend was spry,
    His opponent was equally nimble.

  For Water, Fire's foe, at his best freely flows,
    And the Fire Demon dares not to linger
  Whenever his enemy turns on the hose;
  He stands in much fear of this foeman and those
    Who flock at the lift of his finger.

  The Fire Fiend has schemes, it is credibly said,
    For laying half London in ashes;
  But Water--and SHAW--are the things he must dread,
  And at sight of an engine he shakes his red head,
    And his teeth like a lunatic gnashes.

  But his fire-gnomes he multiplies lately so fast
    That the task of repressing them's trying;
  The flare that they make and the heat that they cast
  Are so great that the Fiend seems resolved in one blast
    To set the Metropolis frying.

  He blazes and blazes; SHAW gallops to snatch
    His prey from its desperate danger;
  But the Demon's a deuce of a rider to catch,
  And it taxes brave SHAW to continue a match
    For the fiery noctivagant ranger.

  And if London is wise she assistance will call,
    For the Water King needs the alliance
  Of hands that are sturdy and limbs that are tall,
  To give the Fire Demon a rattling good fall,
    And set all his imps at defiance.

  How often his fiery flame-banner outrolled
    O'er London our bosoms has shaken!
  The Water King never relaxes his hold,
  But many a time, if the truth must be told,
    We have just, only _just_, saved our bacon.

  The Fire-Fiend's a foe of redoubtable might,
    And it takes a stout fighter to floor him;
  Yet, in spite of his flames, the ignipotent sprite
  Has been licked up to now by our fire-quelling knight,
    Who strides so triumphantly o'er him.

  Look! look! 'tis our Water-King; doesn't he stand
    Like Michael, o'ercoming the Dragon?
  Oh! champion braver than he and his band
  Of brazen-helmed heroes ne'er fought hand to hand,
    Or emptied a flask or a flagon.

  His sword is an axe, and his spear is a hose,
    But Paladins famous in story
  For gallantest charges and swashingest blows,
  Though demons and dragons they met as their foes
    Were ne'er more deserving of glory.

  Back, lurid in air, for another regale,
    The Fire-Fiend who's down but not settled,
  With fresh bellowsed flame will return without fail,
  And help to oppose him he'll thankfully hail
    Our Water-King manly and mettled.

  He is down, but not dead, and his dreadful red head
    He again will be lifting to-morrow.
  'Tis Hydrant 'gainst Hydra, and shall it be said
  That for lack of assistance this demon so dread
    Shall doom the great City to sorrow?

  This fierce All-devourer is hungry as Time,
    And would wolf all the world as food-fuel.
  A champion we have--is his pose not sublime?--
  And so let us help him--to fail were a crime--
    To give the Fire Demon his gruel.

  Fierce tyrant is Fire, and his foes are too few
    For a Fiend so alert and so furious,
  Would London be safe, gallant SHAW and his crew
  She must manfully back, and she'll find it won't do
    In this instance to be too penurious.

[Illustration: THE "FIRE FIEND."

SHAW THE LIFEGUARD MAN. "I'VE GOT HIM UNDER!--BUT I MUST HAVE SUPPORT TO
_KEEP HIM DOWN_!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DISTRIBUTION.

_Robert (to stingy Old Gent, who had given him a Halfpenny)._ "YOU'LL
'XCUSE ME, SIR--BUT--WOULD YOU MIND--AH--MAKIN' IT A PENNY, SIR--WHICH
WE HAS TO DIVIDE IT--'MONGST THE OTHER WAITERS, SIR!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

ROBERT AT THE MINISTERIAL BANKWET.

HER Majesty's Ministers, so far as I understands these sollem matters,
don't seam to have been having a partickler cumferal time of it lately.
BROWN, who's quite a grate Pollytishun, or at any rate thinks hisself
so, which I spose is pritty much the same thing, says, in his wulgar
way, as they have been and had 2 or 3 slaps in the face lately as has a
good deal staggered 'em, but in course he was ony speaking
paragorically, as the chymists says, so I don't suppose as they was
werry much hurt by 'em, and they most suttenly didn't show not no sines
of 'em when, on Wensday last, they all marched in in triumph to receeve
from the Rite Honnerabel the LORD MARE the proud assurance that in his
Rite Honnerabel opinion, and in that of the Grand Old Copperashun over
witch he so royally presides, they had nobly done their dooty, and well
herned the werry hiest reward as he had it in his power to bestow, wiz.,
a reel Manshun Ouse Bankwet!

Praps if there was one of the werry Noble and Rite Honnerabel Gestes as
didn't look quite at his hease, it was the forren Gent as is the
CHANCESELLER of the XCHECKER, and in course that's werry heasily
accounted for. Weather men bes Tories, or weather they be Libberals,
they all likes men as sales strait and sticks to their cullers, and, if
it's posserbel, nales 'em to the Marst, and never ewen dreams of bawling
'em down coz the weather's a looking jest a little dusty. Howsumever
these sollem thorts ain't quite the thing for such reel jowial Bankwets
as that of Wensday, so I banishes 'em hence without no blessing.

The grate Conserwatif Cheefs seemed to thorowly enjoy the change, and to
sum on 'em it must have bin a change indeed. Tork about Conserwatifs not
liking change, how about changing the Ouse of Commons, with their
spessimens of the Wulgar Tung, and their most rude questions, and their
imperent mocking larfter, for the splendid Manshun Ouse, and its
gorgeous Bankwet, and sitch an arty recepshun from onered Aldermen and
uncommon Councilmen as amost broke sum of the new wine-glasses with
shaking!

Puncshally as the sillybrated Manshun Ouse Clock struck harf-past seven
the Prime Minister hentered the Hall, so there was no Hed Cook a cussing
and a swearing in the hot regions below at his _Chef-doovers_ being
spylt with waiting. It was a speshally fine dinner, the Petty Gallatins
o' aspect, and the Wenson, being about the finest as even I ever tasted.

The pore Epping Forest Depputy got pretty well charfed about where the
Wenson came from, but he bore it like a man, and arsked for another
slice. I was pleased to notice a great improvement in the way as the
sacred Loving Cup was passed round, speshally among the Marshonesses and
Cowntesses, there wasn't above 2 or 3 on 'em as wood grasp it with their
bootiful little wite hands insted of gracefoolly taking off the cover
and showing off their dimond rings wen it was hoffered to 'em.

As for the speeches, I thinks as the LORD MARE has about spylt us in
that respec. His is allers short and sharp, and spoken out like a man,
but most of the others was so slow and so dredfull careful, and so
preshus long, that BROWN and me both agreed as they was amost sollum
enuff for poor Ministers as is out, rayther than for jolly Ministers as
is in.

We was all werry much shocked, speshally us Hed Waiters, at hearing from
the LORD MARE as how as sumbody at Guildhall had said as all militerry
men was Imposters, and all naval men Tom Fools! But the Fust Lord of the
Admiralty gave it him pretty hot in his absense, and said if as any
tomfoolery was a goin on anywheres he knew who'd be a taking the lead in
it! So Sir WILFULL LAWSON will probberbly be a leetle more carefuller in
future.

Lord SORLSBURY made a werry long speech, but all I coud make out of it
was two rayther himportant fax. Fustly, that there isn't to be no grate
Uropean War until after the 9th of nex Nowember, so I feels rayther
sorry for pore Mr. Alderman DE KEYSER, and Seccondly, that if there is
to be one anywheres, it will werry possibly be too near home to be
pleasant, which I for one was werry sorry to hear, but I hardly thort
that he meant it or he would not have made us all larf so by telling us,
that the Members of the Ouse of Commons treated it like we men does our
wives, that is, we has our own opinion on 'em in private, but we don't
allow not nothink to be said against 'em in Public. Ah! my Lord Markiss,
how one touch of Natur makes us all kings! Who'd ever have thort that a
werry Prime Minister would have been troubled with a similar complaint
to that as so offen trubbles a pore Hed Waiter.

Mr. GOSHEN apollergised for the absense of the pore 1st Lord of the
Tresury, who was quite nocked up with setting up so late.

And so ended the last of the long seris of grand Bankwets of the rain of
Lord Mare HANSON, a seris to be rememberd for many long years by all on
us, as combining with all the reglar old lot, such a wariety of noveltys
to all sorts and condishuns of sillybrated persons, as has never bin
ekalled afore, and as will and down his name to a werry remote
posteriority as HANSON the Magnifisent!

  ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHANNEL TALK.

(_Echoes from the Naval Manoeuvres._)

[Illustration: Any Port in a Storm.]

  "WHAT they're at I can't guess,"
  Observes Dungeness,
  "Then the plan you've not read,"
  Responds Beachy Head,
  "FREMANTLE went right on:
  I saw him," says Brighton,
  "Oh, that's all my eye!"
  Ejaculates Rye,
  "Well, he came down my way,"
  Remarks Pegwell Bay,
  "Yes, and HEWETT'S his target;
  That's quite clear," adds Margate,
  "It seems silly to me,"
  Sneers Westgate-on-Sea,
  "Humph! I think it quite real:
  That I do!" replies Deal,
  "And they think so on shore,"
  Says the Light at the Nore,
  "Well, now it's all over,
  Thank goodness!" says Dover.

       *       *       *       *       *

A NOTE FULL OF GAIETY.--_Loyal Love_, the new piece at the Gaiety,
requires a little compression. If the Authoress would only reduce it to
one Act, and have that single scene supplied with a few catchy songs,
there really is no reason why it should not serve some day as a very
effective _lever de rideau_ at the Savoy, as a capital foil to a Comic
Opera. For the rest, Mrs. BASIL POTTER has greatly improved, Mr. WILLARD
is (as usual) excellent, but the remainder of the company are
unimportant. Scenery good, and dresses adequate.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ZINGS VUN VOOT RÂHZER HAF LEFT OONZET!"

_Herr Wohlgemuth._ "ACH, YA! YOU MUST HAF HAT A FERRY COOT MASTER! YOUR
FOICE HAS _LASTET_ SO VUNDERFOLLY LONG!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A BALLADE OF THE HOUSE.

(_Sung apologetically at a recent Banquet._)

    "You do not know the number of muzzled Ciceros who are sitting in
    the House of Commons, men who have come from the constituencies
    conscious of their power, anxious to render service to the
    State."--_Mr. Goschen at the Mansion House._

  WHAT if garrulity be rife,
    And what if bald debate,
  Spun out in empty Party strife,
    Has sealed the Session's fate!
  What if the tap-room jest has sped,
    And hot retort has stirred,
  While threats to punch a Member's head
    Have been distinctly heard!
  Ah, what?--If but the House disclose
  A score of Muzzled Ciceros!

  What if things are not as they were
    Some twenty years ago;
  And manners that might make one stare
    Are now thought _comme il faut_;
  What if the tongue of Billingsgate,
    The grace of Seven Dials,
  Now modestly subserve the State?
    There's one at them who smiles,
  And points to where there sit in rows
    A score of Muzzled Ciceros!

       *       *       *       *       *

NAUTICAL SUPERSTITION.--Mr. DAVID JONES, of the Welsh Mercantile Marine,
Shipowner, proposed to call a vessel recently completed the
_Eisteddfod_. A Saxon seaman objected to that as an unlucky name,
because any ship so denominated would be sure to spring a leek.

       *       *       *       *       *

All the Difference.

    "Every Poet hates to be called 'Mr.'"--_Globe._

  FORMALITY sometimes is Scorn's twin sister--
    The prefix to the Poet means disaster;
  But though no Bard would be addressed as "Mister,"
    How they all love to be addressed as "Master!"

       *       *       *       *       *

WHY HE WENT.

SOME doubts having been expressed in influential quarters as to the
genuine character of the Manifesto alleged to have been recently put
forth to the European Powers by Prince FERDINAND on his entry into
Bulgaria, the following, whatever subsequent changes may have been
diplomatically introduced into it prior to publication, may be
confidently regarded as an authentic transcript of that document in its
original form.

_To the Crowned Heads of Europe, and others whom it does or does not
concern, greeting, &c._

Be it known to those who have been interested in, and somewhat mystified
by our recent movements, that we, FERDINAND THE FIRST, by the voice of
the Regents, and the will of the Great Sobranje, elected Monarch of
Bulgaria, wishing to make clear and explain why that we, having
originally held aloof from any idea of acceptance of the post, and even
having snubbed the Deputation who came to offer it to us in the name of
the Bulgarian people, have apparently at the eleventh hour, to the
exasperation of Russia, the consternation of the Porte, the indifference
of Germany, the annoyance of Austria, the chagrin of France and the
hearty amusement of England, suddenly turned round, and accompanied by a
small portmanteau and a suite of two, accepted the situation and started
on a penny steam-boat for Sofia, wish to make statement as follows:--

Having discovered upon inquiry that the palace required re-papering and
was sadly out of repair, with both gas and water-rates seven quarters in
arrear, while it appeared that both the throne and crown would have to
be hired, and possibly only a lame omnibus horse available for our use
at the Coronation procession, and taking in regard the fact that no
guarantee was forthcoming that our allowance from the Civil List would
touch anything like £150 a-year, we at first reluctantly decided, spite
its undeniably flattering nature, to decline the offer so spontaneously
made to us. And we conveyed as much to the delegates who received the
news crestfallen, and were about to depart in sulky silence when a
telegram arrived from Sofia of such an encouraging and startling
description, that it seemed, to us at least, to put the question in an
entirely fresh and original light, and in one that we felt might make us
waver in our determination. It simply announced the fact that the
Government, never doubting of our acceptance of the crown, had already
taken the bull by the horns, and ordered _at a local Ready-Made Clothing
Establishment a complete brand-new Uniform_ for us to wear the moment we
set our foot on Bulgarian soil. "Buttons and all?" we asked. "Buttons
and all!" was the reply. This gracious and patriotic, and quite
unexpected act profoundly touched us. Indeed, it decided us; and when it
was further intimated to us that _the bill would not be sent in to us_,
but go to increase the deficit in the forthcoming Budget, we did not
hesitate, but accepted the full responsibilities of the situation, and
informed the Deputation that, spite the hostile attitude of Europe, we
would go to Sofia, and at least "try it on."

Thus, and for this reason, we have started on our venturesome journey,
whether or not to a successful issue the future alone can show. We have,
however, made provision for emergency, and stipulated that, in the event
of any sudden revolution obliging us to scuttle back again over the
frontiers post haste, the uniform in question shall be regarded as our
own personal property, and not be liable to be claimed as a royal
perquisite, and altered to fit our possible successor. This, then, is
the true statement of the reason that has induced us to assume the
recent attitude that we have felt constrained to take in the face of the
European Powers, concerning whom we may add, in conclusion, that their
laughter if they are amused, or their howling if they are angered, are
at the present moment equally matters of supreme indifference to us.

(_Signed_)       FERDINAND, _Prince Elect of Bulgaria_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: The Fag End of the Session "Keeping a House"]

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Lords, Monday, August 8._--Curious debate in Lords. As
everyone knows, GEORGE RANGER has given notice to Volunteers that some
of his tenants in neighbourhood of Wimbledon object to the assembling of
Camp, and so the tents must be struck. As Commander-in-Chief, GEORGE
RANGER is, of course, specially solicitous for the prosperity and
convenience of the great and singularly cheap adjunct to regular forces.
But as between a landlord's interest and a patriot-soldier's sentiments
sentiment must take back seat. Nice thing to talk about in after-dinner
speeches, and at opening of Bazaars; but, GEORGE RANGER regrets to say,
quite another pair of sleeves in actual life. So Camp must be struck.

To-night WEMYSS brings on Motion deprecating contemplated procedure.
Removal of the Camp, he said amid cheers, would be "nothing short of a
national calamity." Would endanger progress if not existence of
Volunteer movement. Dook behaved most nobly. Declared with tear in his
voice that he would not be obstacle to free course of debate. Lest Peers
of England should be awed by his presence when discussing matter of
"national interest," G. R would withdraw, which he did! Noble Lords made
free use of their liberty. WANTAGE who, fresh from his command at
Wimbledon, knows all about it, deplored the contingency. SPENCER
effectively brought the ultimate ends of his left-hand whisker to
witness that driving-out of Volunteers from Camp would be "a public
disaster." HARRIS hinted, on behalf of Government, that British
tax-payer might somehow be brought into this domestic disturbance, of
course with hand in breeches-pocket. Might indemnify GEORGE RANGER
against loss real or imaginary, and so keep Camp for Volunteers.

House of Commons at the moment just entered Committee of Supply, pricked
up its ears as rumour reached it. Sage of Queen Anne's Gate observes
that, by merciful dispensation of providence rare in this direction,
Lords cannot vote money in relief of Royal Dukes or otherwise, and
Commons may have something to say about Wimbledon when question brought
before it. _Business done._--Committee of Supply.

_Tuesday._--Lords adjourned at 5.40 this afternoon. Peers left House as
if bomb had exploded. Only ROSEBERY giving notice that early next
Session he will "call attention to constitution of House of Peers, and
move Resolution." Peers of older creation, like BRABOURNE, shocked;
whilst Old Mother HUBBARD--only just picked up a bargain set of robes,
nearly new--very uneasy.

"These young Radicals," said BRABOURNE, adjusting his ill-fitting
coronet, "never satisfied. Must always be bringing themselves to front,
and reform everything. Why not leave our sacred House to itself.
ROSEBERY, everybody knows, yearns after the Commons, an institution
which I believe is situated in some parts of this building. I, for one,
very glad to get rid of him. Will undertake, if I can get support (which
I don't doubt), to bring in Bill, legalising ROSEBERY'S dismantling
himself, and his being qualified to sit in the Commons." HUBBARD (forget
his new name) offers to back the Bill. "Yes," said BRABOURNE, "that will
do admirably. You'll stand for new Peers, and so whole House will be
represented. Impossible that we, of the Ancient Peerage, can brook
impertinence of this kind."

In Commons sitting impartially divided between Scotch votes in Supply,
and Technical Education Bill, explained by HART-DYKE. Hard to say which
division duller. Scotch debate lightened by rather massive joke of
proposing to reduce salary of Secretary for Scotland by £1,000.
Unanimous protest of Scotch Members against this office being held by
Member of House of Lords. If there was £1,500 to be pouched, why should
not representative of the people have it, instead of being lavished upon
bloated member of the aristocracy? Things looked so serious, that Lord
Advocate put up to beg that Members be satisfied with discussion as far
as it had gone, promising opportunity for renewal to-morrow, when
(though didn't mention this) care will be taken to have present force
strong enough to resist raid on Scotch office. Proposal unsuspiciously
assented to.

_Business done._--Supply.

[Illustration: Earl Sp-nc-r introduces Incontrovertible Argument.]

_Wednesday._--A nicht wi' BURNS. A good drizzling Scotch mist from noon
till Six o'Clock. Scotch Lunacy, Sheriff of Lanarkshire, Secretary for
Scotland, Scotch Technical Instruction Bill were among subjects dealt
with. Might have been going on now had not one of the Scotch Members,
feeling his brain softening, moved the Closure. Old Morality woke up
from his sleep in condition of righteous indignation. Here was audacity,
indeed! An obscure Scotch Member presuming to poach on his preserves, to
interfere with his sacred privilege of moving Closure! Began in tones of
mingled sorrow and anger to protest. SPEAKER interposed. Reminded him
that Closure motion could not be debated. Must be put forthwith. So
done. Flood of talk stopped. Bill under discussion read Second Time, and
Old Morality led out, pallid and palpitating.

[Illustration: "Obstruction!"]

Lord Advocate coming back from visiting him, finds passage obstructed by
ARTHUR BALFOUR. Shall he jump over, or crawl under? Either difficult on
August day for a stout gentleman. So whispers across barricade that
"SMITH'S much cut up," and sits down on hither side.

_Business done._--All Scotch.

_Thursday._--Very small attendance in Commons. Considerably over forty
remain on Opposition Benches to support Sage of Queen Anne's Gate's
demand for Adjournment, in order to discuss cost and consequences of
DRUMMOND WOLFE'S pic-nic in the East. Soon as gained consent, general
exodus, and Sage cheerfully chats across deserted floor with GOSCHEN,
who takes incessant notes. JOHN DILLON, who, what with intolerable
interposition of Scotland yesterday, has not made speech since Tuesday,
breaks in and shows that, next to Ireland, Egypt is most distressful
country that ever yet was seen. Conversation drags along till after Ten
o'Clock, when it dies of sheer inanition. Then Government Allotment Bill
on. HARCOURT makes discovery that it promises only one acre and no cow
at all. GOSCHEN hauled up again to whipping-post. Taunted with sudden
conversion to principle of compulsion. True, didn't like compulsion. Had
always said so, but "impossible for a single member of a Government to
carry out his views on every point;" whereat Opposition grinned.

_Business done._--Allotments Bill read Second Time.

_Friday._--Some sensation in moderately crowded House at Question Time,
when report ran round Benches that Sir JOHN PULESTON, Knight, was
approaching. Slight reaction of disappointment when he entered. Vague,
though prevalent notion, he'd come down in knightly costume, with vizor
down (or up, as the case may be), armed "cap and pie," as GENT-DAVIS
says, with lance in rest, and Squire in attendance. On contrary, lounged
in just as if nothing had happened, with slightly preoccupied look and
little start of surprise when congratulated on honour Government had
done itself. "Oh! ah! yes! Know what you mean. Thanks. It's very hot,
ain't it?" he said, making way through throng of congratulators.
"Clywch! Clywch!" roared ABRAHAM, humorously looking over newspaper
announcing Knighthood.

[Illustration: "Clywch! Clywch!"]

"What's the matter with you?" I asked. "What are you clucking about?"

"I was only coughing in my native tongue," he said. "Clywch! Clywch!"

Various reasons suggested why PULESTON made Knight just now. HOWARD
VINCENT says it's because he's the only Member for English borough that
can pronounce the word "Eisteddfod," and knows the plural isn't
"Eisteddfod_s_". Whatever the reason, everyone heartily pleased. The new
Knight, they say, will keep his own Table Round. Dean's Yard, Eight
o'Clock. Dress optional.

_Business done._--Row about Lords' Amendments to Irish Land Bill.

       *       *       *       *       *

LAWFUL (?) LATITUDE.

As "cross examination to credit," has recently been considerably
developed by certain members of the legal profession, the following
questions are suggested to students studying for call to the Bar, or
admission to the roll of Solicitors, as likely to be peculiarly
conducive to qualification.

_To a Bishop._--When your Lordship was at school were you ever flogged?
Will you swear it was not for committing petty larceny? Did you ever in
your life steal an apple? When at the University were you ever sent
down? Will you undertake to say that you have never been drunk? When you
were two-and-twenty years of age did you ever swear or use profane
language? Remember you are on your oath, my Lord, and answer this--will
you dare to assert that you have never in the whole course of your life
been guilty of conduct that had it been brought to light would not have
been a proper theme for denunciation from your Lordship's own pulpit?

_To a General._--Now, Sir, have you ever been accused of cowardice? Is
it not a fact that some little time before you obtained your first
commission you were known as "Tell-tale TIT"? Will you swear you have
never been guilty of cheating? As a matter of fact, did you not
frequently get a comrade to do your verses at Eton, and then allow your
tutor to believe that you had written them yourself? Had a
brother-General been guilty of such a crime, would you have not been
forced to admit that it was conduct unworthy of an officer and a
gentleman? As an expert in defining a standard of honour, will you
venture to say that there is any difference in the degree of shame
attaching to construing with a concealed crib and cheating at cards?

_To a Queen's Counsel._--Now, Sir, will you----

But no, it will be unnecessary to prepare any questions for a Barrister,
as _he_ will know how to protect himself from insult.

       *       *       *       *       *

AT LOW WATER MARK.--The Channel Tunnel.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration] NOTICE.--Rejected Communications or Contributions,
whether MS., Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description,
will in no case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and
Addressed Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no
exception.

       *       *       *       *       *





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