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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari. Volume 93, September 10, 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, September 10, 1887" ***

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  PUNCH,

  OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

  VOLUME 93.

  SEPTEMBER 10, 1887.

       *       *       *       *       *

STRANGE ADVENTURES OF ASCENA LUKINGLASSE.

(_By_ PHIL UPPES, _Author of "An Out-of-Luck Young Man," "Jack and Jill
went up the Hill," "The Bishop and his Grandmother," &c._)

ASCENA'S NARRATIVE.

THE story which I have to tell is more than strange. It is so terrible,
so incredible, so entirely contrary to all that any ordinary reader of
the _London Journal_ or the "penny dreadfuls" has ever heard of, that
even now I have some doubt in telling it. I happen, however, to know it
is true, and so does my husband. My husband will come in presently with
his narrative. There! that ought to make you curious. A very good
commencement.

My early life was uneventful. I was a foundling. I was left with two old
ladies (I fancy I may work them up some day into "character" sketches)
by a perfect gentleman, who, after giving them £200, went away the next
morning to Vienna for ever. He left with these two old ladies a little
wardrobe full of clothes, but there was not a mark, nor so much as an
initial, upon a single thing. They had all been cut out with a sharp
pair of scissors.

This again ought to excite your curiosity. Bear it in mind. Mysterious
parentage--no mother, no marks, and father gone to Vienna for ever.

The two old ladies kept a school, in which I first was a scholar, then a
teacher. There I remained until I was seventeen, when I was tall and
strong for my age, and looked more like three or four and twenty. One
day one of the old ladies said to me--

"Now, my dear, I will tell you what we are going to do. We are going to
sell the school, and buy a little cottage at Bognor. It doesn't face the
sea, and just holds two. So, as we have considered you more or less our
own daughter, we are going to kick you out. Now don't let's talk any
more about it to-day, but tell us to-morrow at breakfast, like a dear
good girl, that we are going to do what you wish."

"I shall tell you to-morrow," I answered, firmly. "I'll pretend to think
the matter over with all my might and main, until to-morrow morning, and
then give you an answer as solemnly weighed, and as carefully set out,
as a Saturday afternoon essay."

So I was kicked out.

I became a governess in the household of Mrs. COWSTREAM. That household
consisted of the master, whose manner was what old ladies in
Lincolnshire call "rampageous," the children, who were, beyond doubt,
hopelessly dull, and the mistress, who was colourless.

Nothing particularly happened save my dismissal (after receiving a
salary of about a thousand to twelve-hundred a year) within six months.
With about four-hundred pounds in hand I went to the Charing Cross
Hotel.

I feel I am a little plot-less. So far: foundling, old ladies at Bognor,
aimless engagement by Mrs. COWSTREAM and advertisement for the Charing
Cross Hotel. All good in their way, but not quite enough. I want an
incident. I have it.

Having untold gold, I thought I would buy some gloves in the Tottenham
Court Road. I entered an omnibus, was much struck by an old woman who
sat next me, bought the gloves, was arrested as a thief for passing
false money and saved from penal servitude for life by old woman. Come,
there's action for you! Still, I don't know why it is, but we don't seem
to get much "forrader."

The old woman hurried me about from place to place feeding me simply on
grapes and bonbons. For some reason I was not allowed to know where I
was. I didn't want to, and not caring a brass-farthing for the selfish
old ladies at Bognor, it mattered nothing to me whether they heard from
me or not. After a time the old woman asked me to sign this with my
blood.

"In consideration of seven pounds a week, I agree to sell my dreams
between sunset and sunrise, the payment ceasing on my death, and my
dreams, if any, immediately becoming only, and unconditionally my own."

I broke out laughing and signed it. Then the old woman said:--

"I am old enough to be your mother, and I am sure you know I feel kindly
towards you. I am not entirely my own mistress--think well of me if you
can."

Then placing by my side a little bottle of champagne, potted meats,
Devonshire cream, and dainty biscuits of various kinds, she left me. The
next day I was kicked out and carried in a carriage to Dawlish. I had a
nice little dinner--tender beefsteak, new potatoes, asparagus and
spinach, a bottle of sound port and a ripe stilton. After this, somehow
or other, I had a restless night. I was tormented with strange dreams in
which appeared a person whom I had never seen in my life. Certainly not
that I can remember. He was an old man wearing an immense opal on his
right-hand little finger. I had never seen such an opal before. The
dream was confused, I can only give these facts about it.

Let's see how I am getting on. Mysterious parentage. School life. Old
woman in omnibus, ghastly-comical agreement, heavy dinner and consequent
nightmare. Is that all? No, I have forgotten the advertisement for the
Charing Cross Hotel. All told, I can't say that there is much in my
story. Must get on. More heavy dinners, more nightmares. Went to
Brighton. Saw Doctor who said, "Your nerves are out of order, you are
suffering from a malady called Incipient Detearia. What do you drink?"

"Nothing but port, maraschino, and champagne."

"Quite right. Persevere. I am going away for a fortnight. Continue your
diet, and, when I return, I will come and see you again. By that time
your malady will have reached an acute stage. By the way, do you ever
eat?"

"Not as much as I drink. I sometimes have a plate of turtle soup, but
chiefly as an excuse for a glass of punch."

"Quite so. Good day."

After this, my dreams became more and more confused, and I grew quite
ill. Then I met a gentleman at the _table d'hôte_, called Captain
CHARLES. He was most kind, asked me on board his yacht, and, when we had
got to Dieppe, said,--

"Miss ASCENA, I think we both understand each other. I am afraid I have
done very wrong in kidnapping you. Well, now, I am going to put a
question to you, straight and fair. When the yacht slipped anchor at
Brighton, I had a marriage-licence in our names, in a morocco case in my
pocket, upon which any clergyman on the Continent is bound to act. It's
no Gretna-Green business, I can assure you."

"I'll talk about it this afternoon, if I am well enough," I said,
holding on to a rope (it was very rough), and, feeling myself turning
deadly pale.

"Are you married already?" he asked, with a something like a choking in
his mouth.

"No, no, no," I cried. "I like you very much."

I got out of the general embarrassment by fainting away until I found
myself in the Hotel Royal, Dieppe.

Again I pause to say that I fancy somehow I am making a mess of this
story. To my list I have added an absolutely pointless and superfluous
case of kidnapping, which would be unpleasant were it not ridiculous.

Well, the Doctor came, and said I was to have a large glass of port wine
and a small glass of beef tea every ten minutes. This did me good. After
a few hours of this treatment, feeling more communicative, I told
Captain CHARLES all I have written here. I also explained to him my
difficulty in carrying on my tale without a _collaborateur_.

He stooped over me, kissed me gently on the forehead, and said--

"Never mind, dearest. I will send for a curious old man from Strasburg,
and have myself a shot at the story. Two pens are better than one."

I could only wonder how it would all end, and, vaguely hope for the
best.

CAPTAIN CHARLES' NARRATIVE.

My name is ALBERT CHARLES. I have a curious old friend who lives at
Strasburg, called OUTHOUSE. I am CHARLES, his friend. I wrote to
OUTHOUSE and told him Miss LUKINGLASSE'S story--of course, in
unscientific language. He replied, it was deeply interesting, and he
would come to me at once. He arrived, and immediately performed the old
"drop of ink trick," where, it will be remembered, a chap is made to
describe what he sees in a little writing-fluid.

Then OUTHOUSE turned to me with a strangely solemn face.

"We have got our finger," said he, "on the tarantula in his hole, the
viper in his lair, the _pieuvre_ in his cave. Such monsters should not
be allowed to live."

I was bewildered. We made our way from Newhaven to Chislehurst. We
called upon the old man with the opal, of whom we had so often talked.
He trembled. OUTHOUSE seemed to swell to twice his natural height. Then
the old chap with the opal appeared to wither under his gaze. Then he
changed to all manner of colours, and literally exploded. He went off
with a feeble bang, like a cheap firework. Not waiting to pick up his
pieces, we returned to Dieppe, collared the omnibus old woman (whom we
found on the point of strangling ASCENA), and got her sent to prison,
where she very properly committed suicide to save us further
embarrassment. After these preliminaries had been successfully
accomplished, I am pleased to say that ASCENA enjoyed peaceful dreams
and sweet repose.

There now! I have cleared up things pretty well, and don't think it bad
for a first attempt.

ASCENA'S NARRATIVE.

I am married to Captain CHARLES, and OUTHOUSE is to live with us for
ever. This is pleasant. I am a little disappointed that circumstances
over which I have no control should prevent me from telling you why I
was a foundling, what was done with my juvenile wardrobe, why my father
never returned from Vienna, what on earth became of my dreams when I
sold them to somebody or other for a pound a day--in fact, what it is
all about. You will say that I am a fraud, a mistake, an unconsidered
trifle. You will be right. Mrs. Captain CHARLES is very stupid and
commonplace. Alas! there has been a great falling off since the days of
ASCENA LUKINGLASSE!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A PARVENU.

(THE COMING ARISTOCRACY OF MIND.)

_He._ "CHARMING YOUTH, THAT YOUNG BELLAMY--SUCH A REFINED AND CULTIVATED
INTELLECT! WHEN YOU THINK WHAT HE'S _RISEN_ FROM, POOR FELLOW, IT REALLY
DOES HIM CREDIT!"

_She._ "WHY, WERE HIS PEOPLE--A--INFERIAH!"

_He._ "WELL, YES. HIS GRANDFATHER'S AN EARL, YOU KNOW, AND HIS UNCLE'S A
BISHOP; AND HE _HIMSELF_ IS HEIR TO AN OLD BARONETCY WITH EIGHTY
THOUSAND A YEAR!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A TALE OF TERROR.

HE sat, or rather grovelled, amongst a pile of daily newspapers. His
eyes were wilder, much wilder, than the Wild West of BUFFALO-BILL, his
hair was as dishevelled as that of an infuriated Irish M.P. after an
All-night Sitting. He looked as mad as a hatter.

"What ails you?" I inquired, sympathetically, soothingly. For all
answer--as the ebulliently sentimental she-novelist saith--he pointed to
the pell-mell pile of morning papers.

"Poor fellow!" said I. "Have you then been trying to understand Sir
HENRY ROSCOE'S erudite Address to the British Association?"

He shook his head emphatically.

"Or to make head or tail, flesh, fowl, or good red herring of one of
AUBERON HERBERT'S acidulous jeremiads?"

Again he shook his head, and tore his hair at the same time.

"Or to learn from MATTHEW ARNOLD'S moony meanderings, complacent
assumptions, and tart imputations, what is the real nature of his
favourite, quiet, reasonable person,

'Asperitatis et invidiæ corrector et iræ?'"

Once more that action of decided dissent.

"Then perhaps you have been trying to find the 'sweet reasonableness,'
and the invaluable 'dry light' of Science in Professor TYNDALL'S furious
fulminations from the Alps?"

"Nay, nay, not so," he sobbed, insanely.

"You may have been endeavouring to reconcile all Mr. GLADSTONE'S
Home-Rule utterances during the last ten years, to identify the Mr.
BRIGHT of to-day with the People's Tribune of forty years syne, to
measure the motives of Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, or appraise the intrinsic
importance of JESSE, 'the Member for Three Acres and a Cow?'"

"Alas, no!"

"Humph! You cannot possibly have been so foolish as to venture the
brain-dizzying dangers of a course of the 'Thunderer's' tempestuous
Home-Rule leaders?"

He had not, and intimated as much, mournfully.

"Dear me! Desperate man, _do_ not say that you have been trying to
analyse the authoritative 'Analyses' of this year's County Cricketing,
to test their apportionment of champion honours, or track out their
distracting decimals to their last hidden lair!"

"Worse than that--far worse!" he moonily muttered.

"You alarm me, rash man!" I cried. "Can it possibly be that from a
comparison of the works of the (Sporting) Prophets you have foolishly
essayed to spot the winner of the coming St. Leger?"

"No such luck," said he, with a shudder.

I drew near to him, and whispered low in his ear--

"Have you--_have_ you been seeking the meaning of the verses of some
peer-poet in the _Morning Post_?"

"Would--_would_ it were but that," he groaned, picking a single straw
from the truss or so that stuck porcupine-quill-wise in his tangled fell
of hair.

"I have it!" I cried. "You have an attack of veritable 'Whitmania,'
arising from a too long indulgence in the intoxicating yet enervating
flow of Swinburnian superlatives?"

"The deuce a bit of it," he snapped, testily.

I was growing impatient, and inclined "to give it up."

"Oh! this is worse than ARGYLL on Political Economy, or a Double
Acrostic!" I grumbled, angrily. "What in the name of Eleusis _have_ you
been up to?"

"_Listen!_" he whispered, placing his lips close to my ears; "listen,
and marvel if you may; aid me if you can. _I have been trying, by a
comparison of the comments thereupon in the various party papers, to
understand the real significance of a_ BYE-ELECTION!!!"

"Miserable man!" I gasped, "that way indeed Madness lies. Know you not
that human imbecility in those identical comments reaches its absolutely
'lowest deep' of abject folly and crazy inconsequence. Know you not that
nothing--positively _nothing_ in the whole history of this crack-brained
world--is so mad and so maddening as a Tory article on a bye-election
won by a Liberal, or a Liberal article on a bye-election gained by a
Tory? Know you not that in these dismally, delirious lucubrations, all
the rules of arithmetic, all the laws of logic, all the palpable
bearings of facts, all the obvious meanings of words, to say nothing of
the dictates of veracity, and the impulse of fairness, are deliberately
inverted, perverted, played moral havoc and intellectual pitch-and-toss
with? Know you not that the gibberings of Bedlam are clear and continent
sense compared with the argufyings of a party-scribe 'explaining away'
an opponent's success, or picturing an ally's crushing defeat as a
'moral victory?' Know you not that the (supposed) necessity of penning
such frantic fustian makes a Tory Thunderer drivel like a drunken
THERSITES, and a Radical RHADAMANTHUS equivocate like a pettifogging
attorney? Know you not----?"

But with a howl of horror the wretched victim of party silliness and
factious sophistry pitched head-first amidst the pile of papers--MAD!!!

       *       *       *       *       *

Laissez-Faire.

    "I believe, if you would let alone this unhappy peasantry, there
    would be no difficulty whatever."--Mr. BALFOUR, _on the Irish
    Question_.

  THE Irish Landlord has lost his tenants,
    And doesn't know where to find them;
  Let them alone, and they'll come home,
    And bring rents (in their pockets) behind them.

       *       *       *       *       *

A REAL "INKY FLOOD."

"HERE lies one whose name was written in water," the sad but happily
inappropriate epitaph which KEATS suggested for himself. Had he lived in
our days he would have felt it to be equivocal. People are writing to
the papers with "ink," said to be made out of Thames water. Styx itself
was surely nothing to this. An inkstand has been called "_mare nigrum_,"
but hitherto no poetic trope-maker has been bold enough to speak of a
river as an inkstand. Facts _are_ stranger than fiction!

       *       *       *       *       *

'ARRY AT THE SEA-SIDE.

    DEAR CHARLIE,

  'Ow are you, old oyster? _I_'m doin' the briny, dear boy;
  Got my usual fortnit, yer know, as I makes it a pint to enjoy,
  Things is quisby at 'ome, and they pressed me to chuck up my annual
    spree,
  And stand by to look arter the mater who's down with rheumatics. Not me!

  Relations are that bloomin' selfish it fair gives a feller the sick,
  I'm jest tidy myself, flush of tin, with no end of a thunderin' "pick,"
  And now I've a chance of a outing to keep myself up to the mark,
  I'm to stay in the doldrums at 'ome! It's _too_ much of a screamin'
    old lark.

  No, CHARLIE, boy, self-preservation's the fust law of Nature, yer know;
  So I jest slung my 'ook like a shot and came here for a bite and a blow.
  I'm as red as a bloomin' tomarter already, and talk about stodge!
  Jest you arsk the old mivvey as caters for me at the crib where I lodge.

  Number Seventeen, Paragon Place, is my diggings, mate, floor
    Number Three,
  From the right'and bow-winder's off-corner you ketch a side-squint of
    the sea.
  White stucco and hemerald sun-blinds, trailed up with a fine
    "Glory" rose,
  And a slavey as pooty as pie, if it weren't for the smuts on her nose.

  Oh, I'm up to the knocker, I tell yer; fresh 'errins for breakfast,
    old pal,
  Bottled beer by the bucket, prime 'bacca, and oh, such a scrumptious
    young gal!
  Picked 'er up on the pier, mate, permiskus, last Wensday as ever was.
    Whew!
  She would take the shine out of some screamers, I tell yer, my pippin,
    would Loo.

  Dropped 'er 'at the feet of yours, truly, and 'ARRY, of course, was
    all there.
  Her 'airpins went flyin! Thinks I, that's a jolly fine sample of 'air;
  As black as my boots, and as shiny, and oh! sech a 'eavenly smell.
  "Hillo! Miss," sez I, "while you're 'andy, there's no need for
    Mister RIMMEL."

  That nicked 'er, my nibs. It's the patter as does it, of course _with_
    good looks;
  Gals do like a chap as can gab, as you'll find by them Libery books.
  Take WEEDEE, my boy, or Miss BROUGHTON; you'll see if a feller would
    tackle
  A feminine fair up to dick, he 'as got to be dabs at the cackle.

  And that's where _I_ score, my dear CHARLIE. Lor bless yer, in
    'arf an 'our more,
  Me and Loo was as cosy as cousins, tucked up in a nook on the shore.
  Gives yer 'oliday outing a flaviour, the feminine element do,
  Although, _ontry noo_, dear old pal, it's a tidy stiff drain on
    yer "screw."

  'Owsomever, flare up and blow "exes" is always my motter, yer see;
  And I never minds blueing the pieces purwided I gets a good spree;
  Wich is jest wot I'm 'aving at present. You'll say, at this pint,
    I expect,
  "'ARRY'S doing the Toff as per usual." To which, mate, I answers,
    "_Ker_-rect!"

  Socierty's right, my dear CHARLIE,--Socierty always _is_ right,--
  GLADSTONE'S gab about "masses and classes" is all tommy rot and
    sour spite.
  There is only one class worth consid'rin', and that is the reglar
    _fust_-class;
  And the chap as don't try to get into it--well, he is simply a ass.

  Socierty sez, "When the Season is hover, slide off to the Sea!
  It's _the_ place for a fair autumn barney." And shall I dispute it?
    Not me.
  'ARRY knows his tip better than that, Sir. Your juggins may 'ave
    'is own whim
  About bicycling, boating, or wot not; _I_ mean bein' well in the swim.

  Lor, it warms a cove's heart dontcherknow, puts his sperrits right slap
    on the rise,
  Wen the Niggers are dancing a break-down or singing _Two Lovely
    Black Eyes_.
  To see lardy Toffs and swell ladies, and smart little gals with
    no fuss,
  'Anging round on the listen and snigger as though they wos each
    one of _hus_.

  They likes it, my lad, yus they likes it, the Music Hall patter and
    slang.
  Yet some jugginses kick at _my_ lingo as _vulgar_! Oh, let 'em go 'ang.
  Take a run, Mister Mealymouthed Critic, go home and eat coke, poor
    old man.
  All Toffs as _is_ Toffs share my tastes; we are built on the very
    same plan.

  Wots the hodds if yer rides in a kerredge, or drives in a double-'orse
    drag,
  With a 'orn and a loud concerteena and lots o' prime prog in the bag?
  It is only a question of ochre, the principle's ditto all round.
  It is larks by the Sea we all seek, and they suits us all down to
    the ground.

  But now, I am off to the Pier, CHARLIE. Boat's coming in from Boolong,
  And I wouldn't miss that not for nothink. The wind blows a little bit
    strong,
  And there's bound to be lots on 'em quisby, some regular goners, dessay;
  And it _is_ sech a lark to chi-ike them, the best bit o' fun of the day.

  Old jokers in sealskin caps, CHARLIE, drawn over their poor blue old
    ears,
  Pooty gals with complexions like paste-pots, old mivvies gone green
    with the queers;
  Little toffs with their billycocks raked, jest to swagger it off like,
    yer know,
  But with hoptics like badly-biled whelks. Oh, I tell yer it's all a
    prime show.

  _Larf_, CHARLIE? It bangs ARTHUR ROBERTS, and makes a chap bloomin'
    nigh bust.
  I must take a 'am sanwich to munch. Wen a cove ketches sight on it fust,
  And I sings out, "Hi! who'll 'ave a fat 'un?" to see that bloke shudder
    and shrink,
  And go gooseberry green in the gills, is _too_ lovely, mate. Wot do
    _you_ think?

  And all this, with the larks on the sands, niggers, spotting the
    bathers,--that's spiff!--
  Sails round, going bobbing for whiting, and singing at night on
    the cliff,
  Not to mention rides out, as per posters, and quiet flirtations with Loo,
  I was quietly asked to chuck up 'long o' Mother's rheumatics! Yah boo!

  'ARRY'S not sech a mug, I essure you. Sweet Home is dashed fiddlededee.
  _I_'m not nuts on yer dabby domestic, it spiles a smart chap for a spree.
  Ony sorry my time's nearly hup; but, as fur as the ochre will carry,
  Do the briny with swells _like_ a swell, is the tip of
    Yours scrumptiously, 'ARRY.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "OVERCAST."

THEY WERE OUT FOR A DAY IN THE COUNTRY--WERE LATE AT THE STATION--HE
LEFT IT TO HER TO TAKE THE TICKETS--A HORRID CROWD--FRIGHTFULLY HOT--AND
SHE WAS HUSTLED AND FLUSTERED CONSIDERABLY WHEN SHE REACHED THE
CARRIAGE.

_He (cool and comfortable)._ "HOW CHARMING THE YELLOW GORSE----"

_She (in a withering tone)._ "YOU DIDN'T 'XPECT TO SEE IT BLUE, I
S'PPOSE!"     [_Tacet!_]

       *       *       *       *       *

SALUBRITIES ABROAD.

_Thirteenth day of Cure at Royat. Hotel Continental._--The view from my
window is charming, whether on a bright morning or a moonlight night.
But I am not contented with it. There is within me an "OLIVER, asking
for more." Had I the faith which moves mountains, I would order that
hill opposite to be removed, so as to give me a more extensive, and a
grander view.

       * * *

_The Beggars at Royat._--A nuisance and a disgrace to the place. Why are
these wretched creatures allowed to trade on their fearful afflictions?
Are there no free hospitals, no charitable institutions, where they can
be taken care of? Of course there are. Is there no power to compel them
to go in? Is there no "_traitement_" for them?

       * * *

As for the little beggar boys and girls who are brought up to the trade
and who waylay us all day, cannot they be put to some useful work and be
forced into school? These able-bodied paupers should be employed in
mending the footpaths leading up to Gravenoire and the environs, which
are in a very bad condition.

       * * *

I do not object, indeed by this time I take rather kindly to the _vin du
pays_, but I detest what Mr. "DUMB-CRAMBO" would call--

[Illustration: The Whine of the Country.]

       * * *

_À propos_ of walks in a wretched condition, why don't their Worships,
the Maires of Royat and Chamalière, lay their heads together and mend
the footpaths? In making the above suggestion, I do not contemplate
wood-pavement. No: but I do think that these beggars might be utilised.

       * * *

_Pensées d'un Baigneur._--A bather has plenty of time to emulate the
celebrated parrot. What can he do--the bather not the parrot--in his
bath, except think? He can talk, hum, or sing. He can recite: and
exercise his voice and memory. But this would attract attention, and I
fancy the talking, singing, or reciting bather would very soon be
requested to keep quiet. Therefore he must think. He may not sleep: it
is not permitted by the faculty. No: thinking is the thing. The time in
a bath,--thirty-five minutes of it--passes as a dream, and the thoughts
are as difficult to catch and fix as butterflies. Here are a few:--

It is absolutely necessary to please oneself even in things apparently
indifferent. Out of politeness, I yielded yesterday to an invitation to
take a drive of two hours. I was ill for nearly a couple of days
afterwards.... So was the kind person who took me. I believe she meant
it well, and intended it as an act of politeness. (N. B. This was
written within the first seven days of the "_traitement_". This sort of
thing must come out of you. The waters bring out selfishness and
ingratitude.)

       * * *

Morning after morning I find myself staring at the notice on the wall at
the foot of my bath. From that I gather that I am a "titulaire." My
bath-cell is No. 17. So as Titulaire I am Number Seventeen,--like a
convict. My Gaoler, the bathman, does not know me perhaps by any other
name than "Monsieur &c., Dix-Sept." Ah, well, I never thought I should
be seventeen again. But I am--at Royat. How it must be re-juvenising me!

       * * *

I have been looking over a list of excursions to various "Salubrities
Abroad." Among them I find this:--"_De Lyon en Savoie et en Dauphiné par
Saint-André-le-Gaz, et retour_".

"St. Andrew-the-Gas" sounds a novel name in a calendar. He was evidently
a Saint much in advance of his time. An excellent man of course
"according to his lights."

       * * *

I saw a subject here for Mr. MARKS, R.A. A bearded Franciscan Monk in
his brown habit, with cord and rosary at his waist, sending a telegram
at the telegraph office. Imagine the surroundings. Mr. MARKS might call
it an Anachronism.

       * * *

When abroad, I make notes of the names of any new dishes. The following
one was new to me as a name, not as a dish, which was simple enough,
"_Culottes de boeuf à la fermière_". What next? "_Caleçons de veau à
la baigneuse?_" "_Gilets de mouton à la bergère?_" "_Culottes de veau à
la Brian O'Lynn?_" "_Chapeau de volaille à la coq?_"

       * * *

_Music._--This morning, the fifteenth of my sojourn here, the band is
playing something new. This is refreshing, as I am becoming a little
tired of the overtures to _Zampa_, _Guillaume Tell_, _Italiano in
Algeria_, selections from the _Huguenots_ (highly popular as a good
finish to any concert) and the dance music, waltzes and mazurkas, which
have been popular for the last two years.

       * * *

The clocks of Royat are still in an undecided state. The uninitiated
person who takes his time--(_Note, en passant for all baigneurs
here_--Never be in a hurry, and always "take your time," no matter from
where you take it)--from the Hotel, and starts at 7·30 in order to reach
his bath by 8,--a walk of five minutes,--will find, on arriving at the
_Etablissement_, that it is just 8·5, so that he has taken a quarter of
an hour to do the distance. If he starts from the _Etablissement_ at
8·30, to meet a friend at the station, on arriving there he will
discover that it is 8·15 by the Railway Clock, so that he is at the end
of his journey a quarter of an hour before he set out, having done the
distance in considerably less than no time,--a record worth preserving.
The Post Office Authorities, in despair, have put up a notice informing
everybody that their clock has no connection with that of the
_Etablissement_, which may just do what it likes and be wound to it, and
ignoring all church-clock authority and all municipal authority too,
they (the Post Office Authorities aforesaid) announce that they intend
to take their time from the Railway station, but even then will give
themselves a margin of five minutes one way or the other, so that the
public wishing to send letters must ascertain what the post times
_ought_ to be, and then give themselves another margin of at least ten
minutes on the safe side. The calculation is not very complicated when
you are accustomed to it, and its uncertainty lends a gentle stimulus to
the ordinary routine of the uneventful life at Royat.

       * * *

For "Excursions from Royat by Rail or Road," see my Guide-Book,
forthcoming.

       * * *

This advice, "_See my Guide_," or "_See my History_," is perpetually
recurring as a friendly hint--it really being a most artful way of
introducing an advertisement to your notice--in that invaluable
publication, the _Guides Diamant, P. Joanne_, series, HACHETTE & CIE.,
without which no traveller's pocket or bag is completely furnished. Time
for _siesta_.

       *       *       *       *       *

FIRST IN THE FIELD.

_A Song of the Cricket Championship._

[Illustration: Em met. (Yorks.)]

  THE GRACES are hers, but the Parcæ have tost her
  Of late, so the Championship won't go to Gloucester;
  Despite brave Lord HARRIS, and efforts well-meant,
  That honour won't fall to the bold Men of Kent.
  'Twould have charmed not a few of the "better for wus" sex,
  Had luck smiled (not she!) on their sweethearts of Sussex;
  And, though it is famed as the pluck and hard-work shire,
  The top of the tree is not reached yet by Yorkshire.
  Dame Fortune, that Sphinx of the riddle-cum-diddle sex,
  Crowns not with success the crack Batsmen of Middlesex.
  Spite of SHREWSBURY, GUNN, and such cricketing pots,
  Her Song for this season is "_No, not for Notts!_"
  And, although "runner-up" (if like greyhounds one rank a shire)
  She's _just_ missed first place, has stout HORNBY-led Lancashire.
  Thanks--in chief--to young LOHMANN, whom fate cannot flurry,
  The Championship once more comes South. Bravo, Surrey!

[Illustration: Pilling. (Lancs.)]

       *       *       *       *       *

OMINOUS.--Lord R. CHURCHILL is to address a meeting of Unionists at
Sunderland. Hardly strikes one as quite a suitable spot for that
purpose, _Sunderland_ being rather suggestive of the Separatist policy
that Lord RANDOLPH and his friends are so strongly opposed to. The Home
Rulers would have chosen Cumberland as more appropriate.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Pleasure Parties.]

       *       *       *       *       *

DRURY LANE WITH PLEASURE.

MY DEAR MR. PUNCH,

IT was only what might have been expected that a large audience should
assemble in the National Theatre to see the new piece by Messrs. PAUL
MERRITT and AUGUSTUS HARRIS. The very title was inviting, and when to
that title were added scenes in Oxford, Monte Carlo, Nice and
Gloucestershire, who could refuse the invitation? Certainly not I. So I
accepted, with pleasure, and was present at the initial performance. I
refreshed my recollection of college life at Oxford where men certainly
were not quite as serious as _Mr. Jack Lovell_, in the long since of the
"fifties." I could not help regretting that the Oxford of thirty years
ago had not the unconventional Mr. NICHOLLS amongst the Undergraduates.
Had he been there at the period to which I refer, I undoubtedly should
have sought the honour of his acquaintance, but on the condition that he
did _not_ introduce me to the aforesaid _Jack Lovell_, who on
matriculating at Drury Lane was about as lively as a mute at a funeral.
I was not at all surprised to find him rather out of sorts. Frankly,
_Mr. Jack Lovell_ in _Pleasure_ is not a nice young man. He reads for
the Church and gets plucked, as indeed he should, as he seems to have
employed the time that he ought to have occupied in hard reading, in
behaving in the most disgraceful manner to _Miss Jessie Newland_,
otherwise the ever charming Miss ALMA MURRAY. Very properly refused a
family living, he succeeds to a peerage, and immediately publishes the
story of his betrothed and refuses to marry her.

[Illustration: Bringing Down the House.]

Personally, I must admit that I received with joy the news that he was
drinking himself to death, and only felt the deepest regret when I
learned that he had not perished in an admirably contrived Earthquake.

[Illustration: Sweets to the Sweet.]

But, in spite of _Mr. Jack Lovell_, Oxford, at Drury Lane, contained a
number of interesting persons. The _Doddipotts_, father and son, with
their American relative (Miss BROUGH), were most amusing, and I was
quite satisfied to accompany them to Nice and Monte Carlo, to see the
Battle of Flowers, the Carnival Ball, and last, but not least, the
Earthquake. This latter effect, in more senses than one, "brought down
the house." In _Pleasure_ the stage-management is excellent throughout,
and, of the joint authorship of the piece, I think I may safely say that
its chief merit lies in the name of HARRIS. Not a mythical "HARRIS,"
like unto the friend of _Mrs. Gamp_, but some one far more substantial,
the great AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS himself. Whether one is gazing upon the
Sheldonian Theatre (the background to an Oxford Mixture of no common
kind), or the Barges, or the Promenade des Anglais, or the Carnival
Ball, the presence of an excellent master of effect is seen in every
group, in every detail.

[Illustration: An Oxford Mixture.]

_Pleasure_ is described as a Comedy-Drama, and the plot is not, perhaps,
as strong as some of its predecessors. As "strength" at a theatre
invariably spells "murder" or "sudden death," I am not at all sure that
this absence of the ultra-melodramatic is not to be welcomed, in spite
of the taste for the horrible which is supposed to be the characteristic
of those who patronise the pit and gallery. But what the People (with a
capital initial letter) lose in the ghastly, they certainly gain in the
beautiful. If the scenery at Drury Lane of the Riviera does not cause
"Personally conducted tours" to be more numerously attended next year
than ever, I shall be more than surprised--I shall be disappointed. Even
the Earthquake should not be a deterrent, for as far as I could learn
from "the incident" at Drury Lane, no one was a penny the worse for the
shaking. Even the unworthy _Lovell_ escaped--I fancy up the chimney. If
this were so, it would only be in keeping with his character.

In the first Drury Lane success, _The World_ (by the same authors as
_Pleasure_), there was a wonderful clergyman, played by the late Mr.
RYDER, whose cynicism was equal to his audacity. This strange
ecclesiastic I remember, having sown an unusually large crop of wild
oats in his youth, on his return from Evening Service in his middle age,
imperiously refused to allow a lady to remain in his parish because she
had once been deeply attached to him, and had loved him "not wisely, but
too well." I shall never forget the dignified earnestness of the late
Mr. RYDER as he explained to this lady his position as a married man,
and sternly ordered her to move on. Had _Mr. Jack Lovell_ been ordained,
I fancy he would have made an excellent curate to this reverend
gentleman, and that between them they would have formed what is
satirically termed a "pretty pair."

It is possible that the original intention of the authors of _Pleasure_
may have been to have conferred on the hero of their piece a Deanery, or
even an Archbishopric, and that the recollection of this prior clerical
creation may have influenced them to alter their contemplated Church
patronage into a temporal peerage linked with twenty thousand a-year. Be
this as it may, _Jack_ and his prototype will rest in my memory as
companion pictures, of what a clergyman might, could, would (but should
not) be. The scenery and the admirable stage-management make _Mr.
Lovell_ and his doings bearable. They pull him through. For the rest,
_Pleasure_ is an amusing play, well mounted, and capitally acted, and
should keep the boards until December brings to Drury Lane and a
delighted world the Christmas Pantomime. On the first night all went
well up to the end of the Fifth Act; but the last, after the excitement
of the Riviera scenes, came as rather an anti-climax.--I beg to sign
myself, in compliment to and emulation of the Earthquake, ONE WHO HAD
GONE TO PIECES.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Hint to the Howlers.

  BETWIXT Paddies who kick up wild hullabaloo,
  And rude Radical raffs who will play the Yahoo,
  There apparently is not a Tanner to choose;
  Though the Irishmen boast of the better excuse!
  Rads the Message of Peace will not hasten, I trow,
  By taking a hand in this Donnybrook row.
  To "trid on their coat-tails" is policy mad,
  But to help them to swing the shillelagh's as bad.
  To ape angry Pats in their weakness for fights,
  Is the very worst way to get Ireland her "rights."

       *       *       *       *       *

AN ADDRESS TO PARLIAMENT.--Shut up!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SEA-SIDE WEATHER STUDIES. SET FAIR. WHITBY.]

       *       *       *       *       *

"ON HIS OWN HOOK!"

A POLITICAL "ANGLER'S SONG."

(_Imitated, at a respectful distance, from Piscator's Song in "The
Compleat Angler._")

_Piscator pipeth_:--

  Now private pique breeds party talk,
  Some G. would bless, and some would baulk;
  Some seem to find it pretty sport,
  Changeful constituencies to court.
    To share such games I do not wish,
    No, for awhile, I'd rather--fish.

  Just now I might to danger ride,
  There's doubt about the winning side,
  One's little game may often prove
  Advanced by a _retiring_ move.
    For faction's fetter, party's snare,
    Whilst angling here I need not care.

  Such recreation is there none,
  As playing one's own game alone.
  Aught else is risky, more or less,
  And well may land one in a mess,
    My hand alone my work can do,
    Here I can fish, and study too.

  I care not much to fish the seas,
  Me party-angling more doth please;
  My present task I contemplate
  With patience, not with heart elate.
    But in safe waters I would keep,
    And floods at home run wild and deep.

  I'm not _quite_ cocksure on which side
  At present runs "the flowing tide;"
  I'd not be stranded with the ebb--
  I've shunned the Grand Old Spider's web;
    I am not like a simple fly;
    I take my hook, and mind my eye.

  I'll not with Caucus gudgeons wait,
  Prepared to gorge whatever bait.
  How poor a thing, wire-pullers find,
  Will captivate the Caucus mind!
    Yet latterly, to my surprise,
    Unto _my_ bait it fails to rise.

  But here, though while I fish I fast
  From the political repast,
  Yet, as my new-found friends invite,
  I'll take the swim, I'll watch the bite.
    Should chance the Coalition dish,
    _There_'d be a pretty kettle o' fish!

  So I'm content this post to take,
  Alone, but calm and wide awake.
  Anglers "lie low" just now and then,
  Much more so we fishers of men.
    Here I can "bob," smoke, make a name,
    And from afar watch the whole game.

  I fancy that, were RANDOLPH here,
  He'd smile, and share my bottled beer.
  Both fishers we; by brain not book,
  Take our own line, on our own hook.
    I'll watch which way the home wind blows,
    And when 'tis settled--well, who knows?

       *       *       *       *       *

AT HOME WITH ATOMS.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--After listening to Sir HENRY ROSCOE'S Address at the
Free Trade Hall last evening, my brain feels very much like a "molecule
on the eve of being broken into atoms," by the grandeur of the subject
on which he discoursed, and as he so kindly told us this catastrophe
"may be brought about not only by heat vibrations, but likewise by an
electrical discharge at a comparatively low temperature," the present
state of the weather rather adds to the anxiety I feel about the seat of
my mental organisation. Still "there is a fundamental difference," he
tells us, "between the question of separating the atoms in the molecule,
and that of splitting up the atom itself," so that there seems to be a
remote chance in any case of my preserving an atom or two of sound sense
and intelligence in the midst of impending chaos, the more so, as "even
the highest of terrestrial temperatures, that of the electric spark, has
failed to shake any atom in two."

In the course of his address Sir H. ROSCOE also said, "There is no such
thing in nature as great or small." I was always considered the smallest
in my family, and it seems difficult, though at the same time
encouraging, to believe I am equal in physical quantities of height and
weight to the other members. What such nice men say must be true--at any
rate until something _truer_ is found out. I shall therefore cherish the
idea I have hitherto been under a delusion. Mind may have some
inscrutable quality wherewith to balance Matter. I remember my tallest
sister was the one who thought least. Mind and Matter are now so much
mixed, that they may be interchangeable molecules; who knows? Sir H.
ROSCOE observed also that "heat is evolved by the clashing of the
atoms." I felt how true that was when we twelve molecules quarrelled as
children.

I think, _Mr. Punch_, for a woman, I have gathered a great deal of
information in a few hours.

Yours truthfully,
THE BETTER HALF OF SOMEBODY.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PECCANT MEMBER.

_A Wail by a Weary One._

    PARLIAMENT sitting still--and in September!
    It's all along of "the unruly member"--
    That is, the tongue. But, to adapt it duly
    To modern days, it should be called _Home_-Ruly!

       *       *       *       *       *

"NOT IN THE HUNTS."--Mr. SANDERS.

[Illustration: "ON HIS OWN HOOK!"

JUDICIOUS JOE. "A BIT ROUGH--BUT, PLEASANTER THAN _HOME WATERS_--JUST
NOW!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: STREET PUZZLE. TO FIND LAW AND ORDER.

STRAND, 10·45 P.M.]

       *       *       *       *       *

CIRCUS PERFORMANCES.

SIR,--I see that there is a senseless outcry against the proposed plan
of the Board of Works to build on a portion of the open space now
available at Piccadilly Circus, and I write to protest against the
pestilent heresy that prompts it. What, Sir, I ask, has the Board to do
with "beauty"? As a public body, responsible to the ratepayers, they
have only one thing to consider, and that is, "utility." Why, then,
should they not seize upon every vacant inch of ground at their
disposal, and convert it into a Central Pig Market? Such a thing could
not be better installed than at the end of Regent Street, and here is
the very site for it. Expecting to see some active steps taken to set
this on foot, I am, Sir, your obedient Servant, NOTHING IF NOT
PRACTICAL.

SIR,--Your Correspondent, "ONE WITH AN EYE TO THE SUBLIME," is right in
attacking the gross Vandalism of the Board, but, in his proposed scheme
for statues and fountains, he falls miserably short of what is really
wanted to make Piccadilly Circus what it should be; namely, the grandest
open space in Europe. The ground should be cleared from St. James's
Church to Leicester Square, East and West, and opened up southwards the
whole width to the Duke of York's Column. Upon the space so secured, a
white marble pavement, broken only by colossal water-works, groups of
classic statuary, splendid monuments, and groves of orange-trees, should
be laid, and here, to the plash of silvery cascades, utterly
outrivalling the greatest display of which Versailles is capable, and,
to the music of half-a-dozen separate military bands, the jaded Londoner
should disport himself from morn to dewy eve. You ask as to the cost.
Well, a rate of fifteen shillings in the pound for a hundred and fifty
years would soon settle that, and I am sure there is not a taxpayer in
the parishes immediately concerned who would not willingly jump at this
trifling charge to see the scheme realised. At least, this is the view
at the present moment taken of the matter by Yours, obediently, AN
ENTHUSIASTIC OUTSIDER.


SIR,--They are talking of pulling down St. Mary-le-Strand and wish to
cut off the steps of St. Martin's. Why not _move them both_ and set them
up back to back on the disputed ground? One could face Piccadilly and
the other look up Coventry Street. The idea is a happy one and has the
merit of bringing together in juxtaposition the works of our two great
_Renaissance_ architects GIBBS and WREN. I offer it to your artistic
readers for what it is worth and beg to subscribe myself, Yours,
tentatively, A LOCAL MECÆNAS.


Sir,--There was some time since some sensible talk of erecting a
gigantic iron tower in the neighbourhood of the St. Martin's Baths and
Wash Houses. Surely no finer site could be found for such an erection
than that provided by Piccadilly Circus. Here, with a sufficiently ample
base, such for instance as could be furnished by the entire available
space in question, a thing of the kind might rise to, say, the height of
1,000 feet and have one, two or even three theatres at the top. Several
restaurants could be accommodated on the upper floors, and the lower 500
feet might be partly relegated to a sausage manufactory and partly let
out in chambers. The whole would afford a pleasing and striking _coup
d'oeil_ to any one approaching it either from Waterloo Place,
Piccadilly or Shaftesbury Avenue, and prove, I think, a happy compromise
and solution of the somewhat vexed question of the utilisation of the
disputed space. At least, so the matter strikes your suggestive
Correspondent, A HOPEFUL ÆDILE.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEARNING THE LANGUAGE.

_A Page from his Bulgarian Ollendorff._

HAVE you perceived the Triumphal Arch at the entry of the City?

No, I have not perceived the Triumphal Arch at the entry of the City,
but I have noticed the cold shoulder of the Generals.

This must be the congratulatory Round Robin of the Officers.

Yes, it is the congratulatory Round Robin of the Officers, but here also
is the placard proclaiming me a Usurper.

Has the Snub arrived from the Porte?

Yes, the Snub has arrived from the Porte, and with it the Ultimatum from
the CZAR.

In any emergency would you depend upon the omnibus horse provided for
you by the War Department?

No, in any emergency I would not depend upon the omnibus horse provided
for me by the War Department, but on the list of trains proceeding to
the frontier, as furnished in the local _Bradshaw_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: NAUGHTICAL?

_Yachting Friend (playfully)._ "HAVE YOU ANY EXPERIENCE OF SQUALLS,
BROWN?"

_Brown._ "SQUALLS!" (_Seriously._) "MY DEAR SIR, I'VE BROUGHT UP TEN IN
FAMILY!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FOR AN IRISH TRIP.

(_Some Preparatory Memoranda._)

1. To get up the early Celtic history, and establish my undoubted right
to call myself an Irishman, by tracing my pedigree directly back to
FERGUS THE FIRST.

2. Lend colourable certainty to this by hiring a low-comedy Donnybrook
Fair suit from NATHAN'S, and wearing it on all public occasions.

3. Make arrangements to take a dozen lessons in jig-dancing and
shillelagh-flourishing from some recognised Music-Hall celebrity engaged
in this special line of business.

4. Get the words of the _We'll have the Tail off the Cow, Pat_, and
other patriotic songs, by heart, and have an encore verse ready in case
of being called upon to give it in any popular emergency.

5. Familiarise myself with the use of such expressions as "Whist!
Whist!" "Arrah! are ye shure now," "divil a bit!" and other Irish
colloquialisms, and accustom myself to interspersing my orations with
shrill whoops to give emphasis to a sentence or point to a period as
occasion may require or suggest.

6. Conceive a defence of boycotting and bring it oratorically, in an
airy and genial way, within a measurable distance of legality, and back
it up if possible with some biblical and Homeric analogies.

7. Study the Plan of Campaign practically, by hurling boiling pitch,
meal, lime and brickbats through a besieged cabin-window into the faces
of imaginary constabulary without.

8. Habituate myself to mild indulgence in "potheen," occasional drinking
of confusion to the "Sassenach," and to taking care not to lose sight of
my return ticket.

       *       *       *       *       *

CASE-O'-MY-BANKER.

(_The Story of Another Child._)

  THE Boy stood in the sweltering street,
    Whence all but he had fled;
  The fast-departing dog-days' heat,
    Flamed full upon his head.

  He was not beautiful nor bright,
    Nor born to rule the storm;
  A most unlucky urban wight;
    A small, yet grimy, form.

  His parents could not grant the boon
   --A fortnight's Country air;
  They would have spared him precious soon,
    But had no cash to spare!

  He called aloud: "Kind Public, say,
    If me you have forgot!"
  But far from Town the Public play
    Unconscious of his lot.

  "Speak, millionnaires," again he cried,
    "If I may not levant!"
  And but the falling leaves replied,
    And daylight growing scant.

  Upon his brow he felt the breath
    Of summer slowly fail,
  And looked and prayed for kindly aid,
    As seaman for a sail.

  Meanwhile the Children's Country Fund,
    Formed near the roaring Strand,
  (At Buck'n'ham Street, the Number Ten,)
    Had no more cash in hand!

  He murmured faintly once again,
    "Kind Public, must I stay?"
  While to the seaside cab and train
    Bore happier lads away.

       * * *

    Ah, Public! You this Summer's heat
      Have felt at Pleasure's marts;
    Think how you'd like it in the street,
      Before it quite departs!

       *       *       *       *       *

A Real Sporting Event.

ARROW-THROWING is said to be the latest new sport--in Yorkshire.
Newer even than Frog-spearing in France! What next? Perhaps "Javelin-men"
will soon mean something modern, and not perfunctory. Then
"Hatchet-throwing"--in a sense having no relation to travellers'
taradiddles--may become the vogue; and Mr. HANBURY, who is so much
concerned about the Salary of the Master of the Hawks, may move in the
House to have it transferred to a new and actual public functionary--the
Master of the Tomahawks.

       *       *       *       *       *

GEOLOGISTS talk learnedly about the immense antiquity of what they call
"the Coal measures." The modern coal-measures, needed now, are measures
for arming our Coaling Stations.

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

_From the Notes of a Colleague of the Member for Barkshire._

_House of Commons, Monday, August 29._--I was afraid that TOBY would
give himself a holiday. For some time since the Whips have kept an
uneasy eye upon the most independent, the most talented, the most
industrious of their following. And now he has gone! "He will return--I
know he will," before the end of the Session; but for the moment he is
away--the deadly dulness that prevailed at Westminster a fortnight since
was too much for him; and so I follow him in the House--be it well
understood, at a respectful distance. His absence will not be pleasing
to any one--even the sprightly AKERS DOUGLAS, forgetting for the moment
the destination of votes, will regret him. But, as he good-naturedly
observes, under the impression that he is adapting SHAKSPEARE to the
exigencies of the situation, "Votes may come and votes may go, but the
Session seemingly goes on for ever!"

[Illustration: A. Ak-rs D--gl-s.]

To return to August 29. The Patriots have determined it shall be a grand
week for the "Ould Counthry." Many previous weeks have been equally
grand weeks, or as they would put it "months." When the SPEAKER took his
seat, scarcely a quorum present. Ministerialists "in reserve," (like
policemen when some one writes to tell Sir C. WARREN he is going to
demonstrate in Trafalgar Square) in various parts of the House.
Gladstonian Whips well _en évidence_ to act as guides to sole
representatives of the Non-Dissentient Liberals, WOODALL and CHILDERS.

Unprejudiced North Briton DOUGLAS CRAWFORD has a question for young
NORTHCOTE about pig-iron and coal. Seemingly Scotch firms have been
overlooked. Surveyor-General of Ordnance very gravely answers question,
goes home and tenders his resignation, "in consequence of recommendation
of Committee reporting upon War Office organising and suggesting
changes." NORTHCOTE had enough of it. Couldn't even say something funny
about "burning questions _re_ coal generally ending in smoke."

After JOICEY had wanted to know why great guns should be let off at
Tynemouth Castle, and STANHOPE had promised that for the future they
should be fired (if possible) in a whisper ("Savours of a bang," put in
CHILDERS, _sotto voce_), the Irish gentlemen got to their favourite
sport, KING-HARMAN baiting. They had one or two good sets-to, making it
particularly unpleasant for the Under Secretary about the trial of
O'BRIEN, Resident Magistrates, and Horse-breeding. But this "illigant
divarsion" was only a sort of _hors d'oeuvres_ to the _pièce de
résistance_, "Supply--Irish Votes," which was as strong and savoury as
the National Stew itself.

DILLON began the ball by moving a reduction of the Constabulary Votes,
saying that the chief duties of the officers were, driving out with the
Country Gentlemen, flirting with all the Young Girls, and shooting with
the Landlords.

[Illustration: H. N-rthc-te.]

"Ah, so it is," said JOSEPH GILLIS, with a flush of scarlet indignation
mounting his noble brow, "It's not the driving and shooting I object
to--it's the flirting!"

JOSEPH GILLIS is very excitable when the fair sex is mentioned, and no
doubt meant what he said.

TIM HEALY followed on, regretting that GRANDOLPH was not there, no doubt
for the same reason that the Irish gentleman with a shillelagh was sorry
to see no bald pates neat and handy. He said that the Boycotted were the
happiest inmates of the distressful country, possibly feeling that they
had plenty of time for drinking and fighting.

Then the various votes were taken and "talked at," in the customary way
until the hands of the clock marked Three in the morning. Whenever a
chance showed itself of a war-whoop--whiz--and down came the club upon
somebody--anybody. A couple of hours after midnight the Irishmen became
more conciliatory, soothed by the thought that on the following evening
they would have KING-HARMAN at their mercy.

"He will take a deal of bating," said TIM, "but whist, you will see how
I shall get at him. He's been to Cremorne----"

"Fie, for shame!" cried JOSEPH GILLIS, "don't talk of such sinful
places!"

[Illustration: Sm-ll and B-gg-r.]

_Tuesday._--Lords had a real good afternoon's work. The LORD CHANCELLOR
(with his usual grace--rather suggestive of the _pavan_ in the Gray's
Inn Maske) took his seat at 4·30. Squabble about the Woman's Suffrage
Bill, which, after being deferred for six months, had come up
again--scowling. Lord DENMAN proposed "previous question," but LORD
CHANCELLOR (great tactician, but not great lawyer) suggested the matter
should stand over until the next sitting. Reproach of "got no work to
do" consequently removed from the Upper House.

Lords adjourned at Five o'Clock for a week, to recover from their
exertions.

"Whist, bhoys, be aisy now," said TIM, in the Commons, when KING-HARMAN
was seen going to his dinner. Then came the deluge.

"It is grand, Sorr," said the only Home-Ruler who does not use an
accent; "it is just illigant, Sorr; and it's myself is proud of this
day."

TIM walked into the Under Secretary with "joy." He "scathed" him, and
said all manner of things about him. He used, amongst other weapons his
legal knowledge (TIM is a great authority upon all legal questions) to
describe him as a "returned convict."

"Look at that now!" observed JOSEPH GILLIS. "It's disgraceful that we
should be ruled by a man who has assaulted the perlice!"

In the midst of the excitement KING-HARMAN suddenly returned from his
dinner. No doubt he had sacrificed, in his haste to defend himself, or
rather, what the only Home-Ruler who does not use an accent calls his
"Ka-rack-tare," from the aspersions of the "inimy," three courses, a
dessert, to say nothing of a cup of coffee and a _chasse_. He drew a
picture of being a lad of two-and-twenty when he assaulted the police at
Cremorne. Would not Hon. Members of Home-Rule persuasion have done the
same at that age? Indignant denial of the entire Home-Rule Party, who
are horrified this suggestion! "Would _they_ tread on the tail of
anybody's coat? And at two-and-twenty? Look at that, now! Bedad! they
would just like to get at the Under Secretary's head with a shillelagh
for making such a suggestion."

And so the war was carried on, TIM'S heart being at last softened by
KING-HARMAN declaring that he had saved him from ill-treatment at
Dungannon at the hands of some gentlemen who wanted to show him "how to
cheer for the QUEEN" with a stick. "I got hold of the men by the neck
and hurled them back," cried KING-HARMAN, unsuccessfully controlling his
emotion, "and now he--he--he says I got into a ro--ow--ow at Cremorne."

[Illustration: M-tth-ws.]

"Craymorne, not Cremorne," shouted the Home-Rulers who are proud of
accuracy.

And while all this excitement reigned around, the HOME SECRETARY sat
smiling, glad for once and away to be out of his customary hot corner.
However, all passed off peacefully and no bones were broken.

_Thursday._--House very thin during Question Time, and attendance of
Ministerialists during the entire sitting very scanty, considering the
programme. Then there was an incident. Incident came about this way.
DILLON had been seen during hour allowed for Minister-baiting reading
the huge print of an enormous green placard. First impression he had
grown short-sighted, and required larger type; second, that he meant
mischief. Second impression right one. So to raise the question of the
proclamation of the Ennis County Clare Meeting he asked permission to
move adjournment of debate. SPEAKER put it, were there requisite number
of Members present ready to sanction a regular first-class, A 1,
whack-where-you-will, go-as-you-please, Irish row? SPEAKER used more
Parliamentary language than this, but that was about his meaning. Sixty
Members sprang to their feet to testify their desire not to quarrel, but
to uphold constitutional privileges in the most peaceable manner in the
world. And then the row began.

DILLON had first shot. Meeting was to be of the most peaceful character.
All that the boys wanted to do was to remind one another of their
inalienable right to denounce the wanton and overbearing conduct of the
Government. They would say this in the most illigant manner imaginable,
without giving offence to anybody. He was going to speak to the boys
himself, and so was Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN, and so was Mr. PHILIP STANHOPE.
Sure, now, what harm could there be, especially as the meeting was not
to be held in a part of the country that wanted pacifying? And because
some rack-renting landlords, wild with fury, and shaking in their shoes
with apprehension, asked for it to be proclaimed, it was to be! Could
this be tolerated? No! He would be off that very evening to brave the
bayonet, the buckshot, the battle and the breeze!

BALFOUR mildly remonstrating. Ennis, County Clare, best possible place
in the world; but meeting might cause peasantry to lose the Arcadian
innocence for which they are at present distinguished. Murmurs from
Home-Rulers, and, later on, "outrage" by PHIL STANHOPE, who actually had
the audacity to speak of Chief Secretary as a "whimsical and
lackadaisical gentleman." The SPEAKER sprang to his feet, and sharply
rebuked the outrager. Only fancy! Calling ARTHUR BALFOUR'S manner
whimsical! and lackadaisical! So monstrous! So blood-curdling! so
untrue!

The usual gentlemen who patronise the "divarsion" having had their full
share of the fun, the debate was brought to a conclusion. Then the
gentlemen turned their attention to the remaining Irish Estimates, and
enjoyed themselves until the next morning.

_Friday and Saturday._--Sittings at this time of the year get so mixed,
that they take two days to give a single date. Committee of the House as
before; Irish Estimates as before; "illigant divarsion" as before. And
so, half asleep, the remains of what, a few months ago, had been a
self-respecting House of Commons continued its dreary Session.

_Total for the Week._--Irish Business carried on in Irish manner, and
CHAMBERLAIN booked for Canada.

       *       *       *       *       *

SOME NOTES AT STARMOUTH.

AN outcast once more! I exchange the blessing invoked on the perfidious
PLAPPER for curse of equal calibre. On--on--like the Wandering Jew, or
the Pilgrim of Love. No rest but the hotel for me! Starmouth landladies
beginning to enter into the humour of the thing--they appear now with a
broad grin, repeated on faces of accepted lodgers at windows. They
evidently do not consider me a sound investment. Meet other homeless
ones, searching--we scowl at one another jealously.

[Illustration: Sound Investment.]

Evening is getting on--which is more than I am. Sinking into a state of
maudlin self-pity. My poor Drama--and all the things I ordered to be
sent in to PLAPPER'S! He, or his lodger, will read by _my_ lamp, bathe
in _my_ bath, feed on my jam--while I ... but I cannot trust myself to
think of it--or Starmouth may lose one of its leading opticians?...
Later--_saved!_ It still seems incredible to me--but I have rooms at
last! At Mrs. SURGE'S--a widow lady, who, as she tells me herself, has
not been in a hurry to put up her card, as she likes "to pick her
lodgers." And she has picked Me--me, the Blighted, the scorned of
Starmouth! No sea-view--but plenty of horsehair. Sunflowers and
mignonette in long front garden; bow-window, and regiment of geraniums
drawn up in pots on little table. Go back, and recover luggage.

Return to Mrs. SURGE'S roof, not without nervous apprehensions--she may
repent, or I might find the house a smoking ruin. Can't get over an idea
that the Fates are pursuing me. However, they seem to be taking a rest
just now. I am free at last to study Starmouth. Hitherto I have had eyes
for nothing but little cards with "Apartments" on them.

No doubt about Starmouth being full. Streets crowded. Most of the young
men promenading in flannels and cricket "blazers," of startling
brilliancy. Children, young girls, and stout matrons in striped linen
yachting-caps. (When you are elderly, and at all stout, you do _not_
appear to advantage in this form of head-dress.) _Chars-à-bancs_, flys,
tricycles, goat-chaises. Always thought Starmouth was a picturesque
fishing-village, with windmills, wooden huts, and drying-nets along
beach. It isn't.

Still, of course, the change from all London associations, the absolute
quiet must have tendency to refresh the fagged brain. (Always rather a
gratifying reflection somehow, to think one has a fagged brain.) I
observe they are doing _Our Boys_ at the theatre. At the Aquarium are
the BUFFON Brothers with their celebrated Acrobatic Ass "from all the
London Music-Halls." Switchback Railway, too, on the beach, and
automatic machines about every five yards. Plenty of life here.

[Illustration: Is-linked-on.]

I am becoming gradually aware that Starmouth, though full, is not
exactly fashionable. I infer this, partly from the fact that already I
instinctively turn round to look curiously at the speaker, when I hear a
duly aspirated "h," _à la mode d'Islington_, partly from the prevalence
and popularity of the whelk-stalls on the Esplanade. Really good
society, even in its laxest mood, would scarcely support quite so many.

On the Pier. Military Band. View of Beach from sea very beautiful at
night, fairy-like effect of continuous line of light from whelk-stalls.
Yet one would hesitate to put a touch of description like that into a
novel--curious the prudery of fiction, your realistic French author
would describe contents of all the little saucers. That is _Art_, and I
shall see if I can work it in to my drama somehow.

Leave Pier. Back to Esplanade. Crowd round young man singing to
concertina a ditty about a certain JEMIMA who though "so fond of her
beer, was always a Mug."

Sentimental Song, to harp, at next corner. About a Stowaway, with golden
curls, and "dear baby lips," and "sweet little eyes," how a cruel Mate
found him in the hold, and was so touched that he kissed him on the
forehead for speaking the "tree-youth," and the crew wept. Most
pathetic--Singer himself compelled to retire to public-house at
conclusion.

Bed. Dream my Nautical Drama accepted by Mr. IRVING--a _waking_ dream,
too!

_Sunday._--Breakfast. My landlady evidently person of strict propriety.
My two boiled eggs come in dressed in little red-worsted petticoats. It
never occurred to me before that a bare egg was calculated to call up a
blush--but really they make me feel almost shy now--they do look so coy,
so modest in their simple attire. Possibly, though, Starmouth eggs are
not very strong, and require artificial warmth.

[Illustration: Holloway.]

Bells. Stream of people, looking good, in tall hats and best things,
going inland--unregenerate stream, in tweeds, making for sands.
Salvation Army, with fervent but tactless drum. Sunday not a day for
Nautical Drama. Beach, "Will I take a tract?" Hate being rude, so
accept.... I have gone a hundred yards, and I have fourteen
tracts--almost enough to start distributing on my own account.

_Evening._--Sacred Music. That is, I go to pier when Military Band is
playing. Band certainly broad in its views--I find them performing an
unmistakable polka. There are sacred dances, I know, in Oratorios--but
surely not _polkas_? As they follow it up with _Faust_, and the
_Jeunesse Dorée_ Valse, I realise that I am on the secular, or Trafalgar
Pier--it is _Waterloo_ Pier that has the Sacred Band.

Crush tremendous; all the art, chivalry, and beauty of Holloway and Mile
End pass in dazzling procession before me. "Shouldn't you laugh if this
old pier was to come down, eh? There's a tidy lot on it," observes a
Blazer to a Yachting Cap. "I should 'ang on to you if it did," responds
the Cap, tenderly--"we'd all gow down together!"

[Illustration: My Lend.]

The pier is certainly crowded--is it strong? Don't like the idea of
going down with my Drama unwritten. Shall retire--good night's rest, and
then start fresh with Drama in morning.

       *       *       *       *       *

[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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