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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari. Volume 93. August 27, 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 27, 1887" ***

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  PUNCH,

  OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

  VOLUME 93.

  AUGUST 27, 1887.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PRICE OF SUPPORT.

_A Fragment of a coming Contemporary Romance._

    "Is it possible that Mr. GLADSTONE, not content with having allied
    himself with the Parnellites, or with having endeavoured to sow
    jealousies between the component parts of the United Kingdom, is at
    last endeavouring to purchase the parliamentary support of the
    South-Eastern Railway? The idea seems almost too humiliating to be
    entertained; but it is not easy to place any other interpretation
    upon this new and startling announcement. Can it be conceived that
    the safety of England ranks as nothing in his estimation when it is
    brought into competition with the possibility of winning a few votes
    from the interested supporters of a commercial enterprise?"--_Times._

VOL. I.--THE COMPACT.

IT was on a sultry August evening in the memorable year 1887 that a
stranger, whose anxious gaze, now and again fixed on the entrance,
denoted the fact that he was awaiting the arrival of one of the Members,
crossed and re-crossed the pavement of the Hall of the Reform Club with
a step that indicated a high condition of nervous trepidation. To the
casual observer he might have passed for a solicitor in an extreme state
of irritability. The Hall-Porter, however, who had watched him narrowly,
had recognised him for who he was. He knew that the restless interloper,
who had several times peered into his carpet-bag, and examined specimens
of Channel chalk, and had, when he thought no one was looking, hacked a
London, Chatham and Dover trains'-bill with his penknife, was no other
than the famous Sir EDWARD WATKIN, the then Chairman of the
South-Eastern Railway Company. He approached him.

"He won't be long," he said, intuitively guessing the object of his
visit, and addressing him kindly. "Ha! hark! Here he comes!" He had
scarcely spoken, when a roaring cheer, borne on the sweet evening air,
broke the comparative silence of the street outside, and in another
minute a surging and struggling mob, who were shouting themselves
hoarse, had deposited safely from their shoulders, on the door-step of
the Club, their great hero and idol, whom they had thus, as was their
wont, nightly carried in triumph from the House.

The ex-Premier, for indeed the buoyant bearing, the high shirt-collar,
and the contagious enthusiasm of the new arrival proclaimed his identity
at once, dashed up the steps three at a time, and, waving a radiant
farewell of thanks to the crowd, bounded into the Hall, where, seeing
the stranger, he instantly seized him by the arm, and hurriedly led him
to a recess.

"This is very good and genial of you, my dear Sir EDWARD," he commenced.

The other eyed him cautiously. "You wanted to see me?" he rejoined,
sulkily.

"Yes, indeed!" was the brisk reply. "I wished to tell you that, as you
had been wicked enough,--ha! ha!--to conceive the idea of uniting
England and France by a Tunnel, I had been wicked enough also to
determine to help you to do it. Ha! ha!" He laughed long and loud. His
interlocutor stared at him for a few moments aghast. Then he clutched
him.

"You mean this?" he asked, growing pale with excitement as he spoke.
"You mean that you will vote for the Bill?"

"Not only vote for the Bill, but make it a Government measure." As he
spoke he was interrupted by a commotion in Pall Mall. Some Junior
Members of the Carlton were by way of a practical joke, common enough at
this season, dropping a Unionist Liberal out of the first-floor windows
into the area, and their merriment over the exploit resounded loudly
down the street. The ex-Premier heard it and a wonderful smile played
upon his almost beautiful features. "You see, they are going to pieces
next door," he added exultingly, "I shall be in in a few weeks, nothing
can stop me; and then, I give you my word, you shall have your Tunnel."

The other approached him. There was a curious look in his eye. "You have
your price?" he asked. "Name it," he added under his breath, glancing
around him furtively to see they were not overheard.

The great Statesman winked knowingly. "Merely the South-Eastern vote,"
he whispered. "Come, is it a bargain at that?"

"Done!" was the quick rejoinder. They grasped hands.

"Show this gentleman to a four-wheeler," said the ex-Premier.

So they parted. But as the Grand Old Politician turned towards the
supper-room there was a fine triumphant lustre beaming in his eye, for
he knew, that if he had possibly betrayed his country, he had at least
squared the Railway Company. He had made the _compact_!

VOL. II.--PAID IN FULL.

The country was about to face a great crisis in its history. Yet, as the
year 1894 opened, there were little evidences of the approaching storm.
It is true that the Gladstone Cabinet were still in power, and were
passing exasperating measures. But this was nothing new. Last year they
had abolished Compulsory Vaccination, and had passed the Country Estates
Popular Appropriation Act. They had inaugurated the first Session of the
present one by suppressing the Volunteer Movement, and cutting down the
Naval and Military votes respectively to the modest figure of £2,000,000
a year; and they pointed to the Channel Tunnel, now opened about sixteen
months, for a triumphant vindication of these Imperial economies. They
argued that a country that could pour a perpetual stream of Cook's
Tourists night and day over to the Continent, had given a guarantee for
preserving International peace such as would warrant it in reducing the
expense for its defences to a pecuniary minimum; and, though they met
with some opposition from the Permanent Departments, and were hotly
criticised by an angry mob of naval and military men, who found
themselves, at a moment's notice, both thrown out of work, and deprived
of their pay, they, nevertheless, carried their point, and effected the
proposed reductions. But a thunder-clap was about to fall upon the
unsuspecting country from a blue sky, and the Channel Tunnel, which had
inspired its misguided leaders with a baseless confidence, was destined
to inflict the shock.

It became known in London suddenly on the morning of the Tuesday in the
Easter Recess that the approaches to the Tunnel had been suddenly seized
by a hostile French force that had landed by the night-mail disguised as
tourists, and that the key of the apparatus destined to flood it in any
case of emergency, was not forthcoming, the Chairman of the Company, who
had charge of it, having suddenly disappeared without leaving his
address. It was also further rumoured that the guns commanding the
shore-exit had been spiked by active Shareholders anxious to protect
their property from destruction at all hazards, and were useless. When,
therefore at eleven o'clock, the second edition of the morning papers
announced that a French army was pouring through the Tunnel, and
occupying the neighbouring heights, at the rate of ten thousand men an
hour, the panic became indescribable. Nor did it diminish when it was
further known that the French Ambassador, leaving a threatening
ultimatum behind him, had that afternoon taken his departure for Paris.
The country flew to arms. Sir ARCHIBALD HARRISON hastily collected the
available force at Aldershot, and took up his position on the Hog's
Back, and awaited the approach of the enemy with 213 men, all told, and
three guns. They took no notice of him. At twelve the following day it
was known that the Duke of CAMBRIDGE, falling back on Sydenham, in
command of a handful of Volunteers and a squadron of the Household
Cavalry hurriedly got together, had capitulated in the Refreshment
Department.

The details of the disaster spread like wildfire. The consternation was
terrific. The LORD MAYOR went into hysterics, and was, by common
consent, removed to Colney Hatch, while an angry mob invaded the War
Office, and seizing any members of the Ordnance Committee they could lay
hold of, forthwith dragged them out, and lynched them in Pall Mall. That
same evening a French army, 350,000 strong, entered London in triumph.

A few outrages marked this occupation. The Nelson Column was thrown
down, Waterloo Bridge blown up, Piccadilly re-christened the Rue
Boulanger, and the whole of Madame TUSSAUD'S Collection seized as
National property.

So matters stood, but the cutting off of the food supply, thirty
shillings being charged at a West-End Club for a plate of indifferent
tinned-rabbit, soon brought matters to a crisis. The Cabinet that at the
first approach of the enemy, had instantly retired to the Island of
Lewis, came cautiously up to town and opening negotiations for peace
with the French Government, finally signed the Tottenham Court Road
treaty, and provided for the evacuation of the country by the invader.
The terms were stringent and somewhat severe. In addition to agreeing to
the cession of India, Australia, the Cape, Canada and all her
Mediterranean possessions, together with the division of her Fleet among
the Navies of Europe, England undertook to pay an indemnity in ready
money at the Bank of England of five-hundred millions sterling.

       * * *

As a cordon of French troops was keeping back the sullen crowd that
thronged the space in front of the Royal Exchange and watched the
waggons heavily laden with the bullion that was about to be transferred
to the South-Eastern Railway for transmission to France, a tall, elastic
figure wearing a high shirt-collar, pushed eagerly up the steps of the
Mansion House, and gazed reflectively at the scene that was being
enacted below. Presently some one touched it. It turned.

"Ha! Sir EDWARD," was the bright recognition, "who would ever have
thought of meeting you again, and who would ever have conceived," the
cheery voice continued, "that our little compact should have ended in
this!" The speaker pointed with a significant smile to the waggons of
bullion lumbering beneath. "Well," responded the other with a suggestive
dryness, "my support got you into power at any rate!"

A marvellous brightness overspread the features of his interlocutor.
"Yes, it did," he replied, "and though I am quite confident that
posterity will say it was worth the price, I see," he added airily,
waving his hand in the direction of the Bank, "that at the present
moment it is apparently being _paid in full_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: REMARKS ONE WOULD RATHER HAVE LEFT UNANSWERED.

"WELL, GOOD-BYE, DEAR MRS. JONES. I'M AFRAID I'VE PUT YOU OUT BY CALLING
AT THIS UNEARTHLY HOUR."

"OH, I HOPE I DIDN'T SHOW IT!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

SALUBRITIES ABROAD.

_Hotel Continental, Royat._--Our party here (which, somehow or another,
PULLER has contrived to get together and introduce to each other by the
simple means of inducing M. HALL to give us a room to ourselves for a
small _table-d'hôte_ at the un-Royat-like hour of 7.30) consists of La
Contessa CASANOVA, the English wife of an Italian merchant, the head of
a large house of business in London--she is Marchesa or Contessa, I am
not certain which, but PULLER styles her _Miladi_ and _Madame_. She is
devoted to the serious Drama, and her pet subject is SALVINI in
_Othello_. Her daughter, an elegant young English girl, lively, amusing,
and with a bias in favour of the very lightest forms of theatrical
entertainment.

Then we have Madame METTERBRUN and her daughters, Anglo-Germans,
thorough musicians, with WAGNER at their fingers' ends,--literally, as
they are accomplished pianists. There is Mrs. DINDERLIN, who was here
last year, and is taking the waters seriously, and who knows when to put
in the right word at the right moment. Cousin JANE who is taking the
waters still more seriously and who is an excellent listener: myself an
impartial referee: and PULLER the Solicitor out for a holiday, who is
alternately in the highest of spirits or the lowest depths of
depression, according as the waters and weather affect him. Outside our
party there are others whom I meet occasionally, consisting of the lady
who finds fault with everything French, the gentleman who laughs at
everything French, the grumbler whom nothing satisfies, the contented
man who is pleased with everything, the man who after being here a day
is intensely bored, the man who from the moment of his arrival is always
studying Guide-books and _indicateurs_ to see what is the best and
easiest way of getting away again: the patient who has come all the way
here to see the Doctor and then refuses to do anything he tells him: the
patient who has come to find out what on earth is the matter with him:
the man who doctors himself, and two or three ladies of my acquaintance
of whom I only catch occasional glimpses as they issue from Sedan-chairs
or muffled up like the Turkish women, merely recognise me with their
eyes, incline their heads and pass on their way with a little
drinking-glass in their hands.

To me Royat is an amusing place: it is certainly a pretty one, and its
waters in most cases are decidedly of lasting benefit. What those "most
cases" are, the patients themselves best know.

       * * *

For expanse there is nothing like the sea, and for grandeur the snow
mountains. Unless I go up to the Puy de Dôme--which I do not mean to do,
for I have been up there once, and never, never, never will go there
again--I cannot see either. And even from the top of the Puy you can
only discern the sea, or Mont Blanc, with a very good glass, on a very
clear day.

       * * *

M. BOISGOBEY'S description of a Parisian Club in his latest book (I
delight in BOISGOBEY now that there is no GABORIAU) called
_Grippe-Soleil_ will amuse London Club members. The only two Clubs in
Paris I ever saw were not a bit like BOISGOBEY'S description.

       * * *

When anyone who has been under treatment a week, unexpectedly meets a
friend here, he stops short, stares at him, examines him from head to
foot, and then exclaims, in a tone of utter astonishment, "What!! _you_
here!!" as if the new arrival were either an intruder or a lunatic. The
person thus addressed immediately retorts in an injured tone, "Well,
what on earth are you here for?" and then he adds maliciously, "there
doesn't seem to be much the matter with _you_." Now to say this is to
utter your deliberate opinion that the person you are addressing is at
Royat (or any other Salubrity Abroad wherever it may be) under the false
pretence of being an invalid, and is therefore, to put it plainly, a
shammer, an impostor.

       * * *

After this greeting, explanations follow. The first man has to prove his
right to be at Royat, and the second man has to admit the evidence to be
incontestable, on the condition, implied but not expressed, of his own
case being taken as thoroughly warranting his taking the baths and
_traitement_ generally at Royat.

       * * *

Then comes the question of Doctors. "Who shall decide when Doctors
disagree?"--but who shall decide when patients disagree about Doctors?
"Whom do you go to?" asks the suffering SMITH of the invalid Brown.
"Well," says BROWN, apologetically,--because he is not sure, this being
his first visit, that he might not have gone to a better man, "I go to
Dr. CHOSE," and noticing the astonishment depicted on his friend's face,
he hastens to explain, "SQUILLS sent me to him." The suffering SMITH
professes himself puzzled to know why on earth SQUILLS always sends his
patients to CHOSE. "Dr. REM'S the man for you, my boy," says SMITH. But
BROWN feels that he is in the toils of SQUILLS, and that it would not be
fair to him or to CHOSE, if he suddenly left the latter and sought the
advice of Dr. REM, on the sole recommendation of SMITH who, after all,
is not a professional.

       * * *

Then two _habitués_ meet. "I always go to CHOSE," says eczematic JONES,
dogmatically, "first-rate fellow, CHOSE. All the French go to him.
_They_ know." "Ah!" returns gouty ROBINSON, with conviction, "I never
have been to anyone but REM. He's the chap. All the English go to him.
Best man in Royat." And if it weren't the hour for one of them to go and
drink Eugénie water, and for the other to take his second glass of St.
Mart, they would have a row and come to blows.

       * * *

PULLER tells me that there's one London Doctor, describing himself as a
Gynæcologist ("A guinea-cologist," parenthetically remarks PULLER), who
always sends his patients here. I think he says his name is Dr. BARNES.
"He sends so many," says PULLER, "that I propose changing the name of
the place from Royat-les-Bains into Royat-les-Barnes." I see why he
introduced the name of BARNES. Fortunately he is so delighted with this
_jeu de mot_, which I fancy I've heard before, that he is off to tell
his friends in the Parc, and, as I pass a group, I overhear him
explaining the point of it to a French lady and her husband, with whom
he has a speaking acquaintance. For PULLER likes what he calls "airing
his French," and is not a bit shy.

       * * *

The Band is performing another new tune! How is this? I can account for
it. It rained nearly all yesterday, and so the musicians didn't come
out. How did they occupy themselves? In rehearsal. Well here's one good
effect of rain at Royat, it brings out the new tunes.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MR. PUNCH'S HISTORICAL PARALLELS. No. 2.

THE LORDLY CECIL ENTERTAINS HIS SOVEREIGN. HATFIELD, 1573 AND 1887.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A Pretty Plate to Set Before the Queen.

    "The Queen's Plates are henceforth to be devoted to improving the
    breed of horses."

  A MOST wise change that sense for long has wished,
  But, Phoebus! how the "Platers" will be dished!

       *       *       *       *       *

AN INVITATION.

(_To a well-known Air._)

    "Mr. FREDERICK MAUDE, Honorary Secretary of the 'Liberal Union,' has
    resigned that post in consequence of his disapproval of the attitude
    taken up by the leaders of the 'Liberal Unionist' party towards the
    leaders of the Liberal party, and of his inability to support the
    programme of a Tory Government."

  COME back to Hawarden, MAUDE,
    For the Tory black flag's flown!
  Come back to Hawarden, MAUDE,
    Leave HARTY and JOE alone;
  For the Government plainly is all abroad,
    And the Unionist game is blown.

       *       *       *       *       *

A "CHEF DOUVRES."--The L. C. & D.'s new steamer _Empress_.

       *       *       *       *       *

ALL IN PLAY.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--Town is supposed to be empty, except of the poor
persons who are forced to attend the Houses of Parliament, and the
toiling millions of the East End, who are, however, of no account in the
West. In spite of this dearth of population, the Gaiety (which I
attended on your behalf, looking and feeling as much like you as I
possibly could) was very full on the first night of _Loyal Love_, a play
which has apparently been put upon the stage for the personal and
exclusive benefit of Mrs. BROWN-POTTER.

[Illustration: Saved by the Bottle.]

Certainly this talented lady has vastly improved since she made her
first appearance in _Man and Wife_, and has only to continue at the same
rate of progress to become in a very short time a really admirable
actress. _Loyal Love_ is rather a foolish piece, and reminded me equally
of the _Lady of Lyons_, _Romeo and Juliet_, and _Box and Cox_. The plot
was feeble in the extreme; and had not Mrs. BROWN-POTTER made a decided
point by calling a rude and ancient king, who _would_ wear his hat in
the presence of ladies, "Old Man," I really think the performance would
have fallen rather flat. As it was, the phrase (which was accepted by
the "first-nighters" as a colloquial "Americanism") put everyone in good
humour, and the last Act, with its amusing mock poisonings, and comical
arrests and counter-arrests, went with every token of genial
satisfaction. By the way, the "bottle trick" (by which poison is turned
into wine) should be treated more avowedly in a spirit of burlesque.
Were a decanter of pantomimic proportions introduced, the effect would
be excellent. _Loyal Love_ is not a good name for this funny little--it
is only in four Acts--play. It is a pity, as the hero and heroine are
always declaring that they would like to live and die together on a
desert island, that it was not called _Mr. and Mrs. Robinson Crusoe_,
with an explanatory subtitle of the _Purposeless Plotter, the
Death-Dealing Wine-Cellar, and the Grand Old King_.

[Illustration: Heroic Proportions.]

At the Adelphi a new and original drama called _The Bells of Haslemere_,
has been produced amidst the enthusiastic applause of the entire Press.
I am sorry to say I was a little disappointed. No doubt my expectations
had been unduly raised by the "notices." It appeared to me that there
was nothing absolutely and entirely new and original in the play, save a
series of hats worn by Mr. JOHN BEAUCHAMP in the character of a
fraudulent trustee. However, it is only just to say that the _chapeaux
of Joseph Thorndyke_ were unique. Had they been produced as "exhibits"
to an affidavit read during a summons heard before one of the Chief
Clerks in the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice, they must
have assisted materially in rendering virtue triumphant, ay, with or
without an appeal to the Judge. One of the authors of the piece, Mr.
SYDNEY GRUNDY, is a well-known barrister, and no doubt the legal
training of this learned gentleman suggested their most appropriate
introduction. _Joseph Thorndyke_ uncovered, might have been faithful to
his _cestui que_ trust, but _in_ his hat he could only have
proved--what, alas! he was--a fraudulent trustee. Mr. TERRISS as _Frank
Beresford_, bore a striking resemblance to the naval lieutenant in the
_Harbour Lights_ whose escape from one action (on board ship) to defend
another (in a police court) roused the enthusiasm of the pit and gallery
for so many hundred nights, and Miss MILLWARD in both pieces was much
about the same individual. But in spite of this conventionality, the
play was decidedly interesting to the audience, who filled the cheaper
parts of the house. In fact I am inclined to believe that the critics
are right, and that _The Bells_ will ring for any number of nights. The
scenery was admirable, and I should like to see it again. I am not quite
so sure that anything else in the drama would induce me to pay the
Adelphi a second visit. Stay, I think I should like to bestow another
glance on Mr. BEAUCHAMP'S hats. I am all but certain, that from a
fraudulent-trustee-point-of-view, they are absolutely faultless,--yes,
absolutely faultless.

[Illustration: A Hat(e)ful Character.]

The Crystal Palace, now that the new Bill is on the fair road to become
law, seemingly has taken a fresh lease of popularity. The evening
_fêtes_ are a great feature, and jaded Londoners can scarcely do better
than to take a train from Victoria or St. Paul's, and spend a pleasant
couple of twilight hours amidst the lamps and (on Thursdays) the
fireworks. In the daytime there is always an excellent panorama, and
frequently a successful play performed by its original London company.
This last has always a charm for

  Yours most truly,

  ONE WHO HAS GONE TO PIECES.

       *       *       *       *       *

ADAM SLAUGHTERMAN.[A]

_By Walker Weird, Author of "Hee Hee," "Solomon's Ewers," &c._

[Illustration: very Sincerely yours Adam Slaughterman]

CHAPTER I.--BLOOD RELATIONS.

"IT is very kind of you to come round," I said, to my two friends, Sir
HARRY and BONG, as they threw themselves violently into two arm-chairs
(which almost broke under the brutal force of their descent), and
emptied two casks of whiskey.

As I looked at Sir HARRY, with his wide shoulders and deeper chest, I
could not help thinking what a curious contrast I was to him, with my
head of grizzled hair cut short and starting up like a half-worn
scrubbing-brush. Then there was BONG, who is not like either of us,
being short, dark, stout,--_very_ stout,--with twinkling black eyes
everlastingly hidden by blue spectacles.

"Look here, old fellow," said Sir HARRY, "why shouldn't we give up
civilisation, and go in for the mud--I mean blood--baths in South
Africa?"

I fairly jumped at his words.

"Nothing I should like better. And you, BONG?"

BONG is so overpoweringly frivolous.

"I'll go, because I am getting fat."

"Shut up, BONG," said Sir HARRY, and then we screamed at the witticism
for three hours. After that we started for Africa, in search of the land
of the White-eyed Kaffirs, which we believed to be somewhere south of
the Westminster Aquarium, the Alhambra, and other Music-Halls in which a
specimen of the race had occasionally been seen.

On our arrival in Africa we found our old friend, UMBUGSOAPYGAS, with
his huge battle-axe (playfully called Kosikutums or "the brain-pricker,"
from a habit he had of chipping life out of a man's cranium), awaiting
us. He was a huge savage, with a large piece of loose skin concealing
the right side of his face, which was absolutely boneless. UMBUGSOAPYGAS
was delighted to see us.

"O cove, O cove-dat-am-cool!"--(Oh individual, oh individual without the
influence of passion!)--"brave one, great one! Let me come with thee to
swim in gore!"

I let him say this, as I saw his enthusiasm was producing a marked
effect upon the minds of some niggers that were listening to him. But
after he had said it, I thought it better to stop his vapouring;
for there is nothing I hate so much, as this Zulu system of extravagant
praising--"zwaggering," as they call it.

"Shut up!" I cried, the more especially as I saw that he was getting the
blood-fever upon him, and savagely destroying with his huge axe a
spider's cobweb.

He gave me a sort of nod, and seized the niggers by their throats until
their eyes cracked. Then, with roars of laughter (for they really looked
most ridiculous), we followed the blacks into the boat, and went to the
Mission House of the Rev. BANG MCSAXPENCE, without any further adventure
than cutting off at the wrist the hand of one of the murderous tribe of
Lorkymussies.

CHAPTER II.--MISSION WORK IN SOUTH AFRICA.

The Rev. BANG MCSAXPENCE and his wife and child lived in great comfort
amidst the people they had taught so carefully. I do not quite know what
the educational curriculum happened to be, but no doubt it would have
merited the approval of the London School Board. They had a French cook,
called ADOLPHE, who seemingly had been obtained from a travelling Circus
that no doubt had passed the Mission House in the course of a provincial
tour.

"Oh, the monster! See the horrible man. He is a Mister Black," said
ADOLPHE, looking at UMBUGSOAPYGAS. The savage in a moment had dragged
out the little Frenchman's eyes, thrown them high in the air, rubbed
them in salt, and replaced them in their sockets. BONG, Sir HARRY, and I
could not help laughing.

A little later we were called in by Mrs. BANG MCSAXPENCE, and soon were
enjoying a really good cup of tea, I was putting forth my hand for a
fresh supply, when the breakfast-things were knocked over by a head
freshly severed from the trunk.

"Rough and _reddy_!" I suggested, with a laugh.

"Another carpet spoiled!" said gentle Mrs. MCSAXPENCE, trying to wipe
out the deep crimson stain.

"This is serious," observed the Rev. BANG MCSAXPENCE arming himself with
a carving-knife, "the Lorkymussies are upon us. And, to cause me greater
annoyance, they have kidnapped my daughter TOTTIE."

This turned out to be the case, and although we could not help smiling
at the notion of a fair-haired little girl being at the mercy of some
clumsy, tomahawking, brutal cannibals, we felt very sorry for the
bereaved father.

We started. The first victim was a sentinel. UMBUGSOAPYGAS clutched him
by the throat and pulling his head back, tore it off with a crack, like
the popping of a soda-water cork. Then we were upon them. There were
yells, crashes, and blood all over the place. The "Brain-pricker" was
here there and everywhere, scooping out brains just like a cheese-scoop
scoops out cheese to be tasted by the customers of a London butterman.
It really was all very amusing, and in spite of our servants being
absolutely cut to pieces, we were in the gayest spirits imaginable. That
all should end happily, who should turn up at the last moment but
TOTTIE, with a little pail into which the dear child had poured the
heart's blood of some of her persecutors.

"I shot six of them with my own little revolver," said the interesting
infant, as I stroked her golden-hair with my crimson-coloured fingers;
"wasn't it clever of me?"

We had a very good lunch, the _poulet à la Portugaise_ of ADOLPHE being
particularly worthy of a second helping. After this meal was over, I
went to the Rev. BANG MCSAXPENCE, and taking him by the arm, observed,
"I really think you ought to give up this sort of life. You see you owe
a duty to your wife and daughter--especially the latter, who, if she
does not receive any education, and only mixes with bloodthirsty
cannibals, may grow up wild, shunning her kind."

"You are right, SLAUGHTERMAN," replied the Minister, straightening his
carving-knife, which since the night before had severed many a human
rib. "I made up my mind to it this very morning, just before I began my
hacking and slaying. I won't risk another fight, but leave it to a
younger Clergyman. And besides, between you and me, I am well off. It is
thirty thousand pounds I am worth to-day, and every farthing of it made
by honest trade, and savings in the bank at Zanzibar--for living costs
me here next to nothing."

"You are right."

"I am sure of it," answered the Clergyman. "I will turn my back upon
this place in a month. But it will be a wrench--it will be a wrench."[B]

CHAPTER III.--WATER ON THE BRAIN.

We left the Rev. BANG MCSAXPENCE (whose successor, by the way, was
killed and eaten six weeks later), taking with us the little ADOLPHE (a
most invaluable butt for our buffooneries), and voyaged into the
Unknown. We got into a boat, and throwing overboard some niggers to pick
up dead swans, they were immediately (much to our amusement) drowned.
This made us think, and we came to the conclusion that they must have
been carried to death by a current. In a moment our canoe began to fly
along as if seized with a mighty hand, and we were in a tunnel. The
water hurried us along, and we had scarcely time to notice that we were
passing now "Baker Street Station," now "Portland Road," now "King's
Cross," when we were close to a gigantic lily of fire that nearly
roasted us. We passed, got to some rocks, and were trying to get a cab,
or at least a fly, when we suddenly came across a number of spiders.
They were dreadful creatures. They foamed at the mouth, screamed at one
another, and devoured their invalid relations.

Here I should like to pause to write something _really_ terrible about
these spiders, but must hurry on, as there is still a deal of killing to
be done before I get to the end of my narrative. Enough to say I may
return to those spiders some of these days, and out of their webs spin a
three-volume novel of unusual grimness and humour.

Shortly after this we emerged from the tunnel (passing by a place called
Gloucester Road), and found ourselves in the land of the White-eyed
Kaffirs.[C]

CHAPTER IV.--QUITE KILLING.

The country we now occupied was called New Pendy--no doubt because it
had never been written about before. It is not very necessary to
describe the lands or the people; and really the most remarkable thing
in the place was a staircase, of a very wonderful character. Let the
reader imagine, if he can, a splendid stairway, sixty-five feet from
balustrade to balustrade, consisting of two vast flights, each of one
hundred and twenty-five steps, of eight inches in height, by three feet
broad, connected by a flat resting-place sixty feet in length, and
running from the palace wall, on the edge of the precipice down to meet
a waterway or canal cut to its foot from the river. This was the great
staircase, the magnificence of which fairly took our breath away.[D]

Having described the staircase, it is only necessary to say that the New
Pendies were governed by two Queens, one of whom fell in love with Sir
HARRY and married him, quarrelled with her sister, and engaged in a
civil war which rent the country in twain. This naturally occasioned a
good deal of bloodshed. Never shall I forget the manner in which
TRYLEAPYEA (the lady who honoured Sir HARRY with her preference) wooed
that individual. When they first met they could not speak the same
language, so she took a pencil from me and made a delightful little
sketch, which I give in the margin. There is no difficulty in
recognising a bride expressing admiration at a wedding-cake.

[Illustration]

       * * *

Need I say that after her marriage TRYLEAPYEA'S subjects had the most
terrible fight with the subjects of her sister SARAMARIAH, which was
chiefly waged on the staircase. This happened after I and UMBUGSOAPYGAS
had performed together a kind of "Turpin's Ride to York," from the
battlefield. ADOLPHE escaped to post these memoirs--UMBUGSOAPYGAS was
cut to pieces. Sir HENRY and BONG in his blue spectacles, were kept for
ever in the New Pendy country, and, finally, I myself was killed,
funeralled, and cremated.[E]

FOOTNOTES:

[A] _Editor._ Surely I have heard this title before, or one very similar
to it?

_Author._ No, I think not.

[B] _Editor._ Surely I have read this conversation, almost word for
word, somewhere?

_Author._ No, I think not.

[C] _Editor._ The description of the tunnel seems to have some reference
to a recent flooding of the Metropolitan Railway?

_Author._ No, I think not.

[D] _Editor._ Surely I have read this wonderfully graphic description of
a flight of steps somewhere before?

_Author._ No, I think not.

[E] _Author._ Stop, stop, this is disgraceful! Why into about a dozen
lines you have compressed two-thirds of my story! I had pages, and
pages, and pages of slaughter! If you do not print them in full, I am
sure the public will be disappointed!

_Editor._ No, I think not!

       *       *       *       *       *

A RISE IN BALLOONS.--It would seem that Aërostation, with an eye to
affairs, has at length advanced to a possibility within the range of
practical enterprise. Messrs. JOVIS and MALLET, in their late balloon
ascent from Paris, were accompanied by two Guinea-Pigs. Had these
partakers of their voyage been deputed to attend that expedition in the
interest, as Directors, of an Aërial Navigation Company? And did they,
in their official capacity, get the customary guineas, and enjoy the
lunch provided as usual for their refreshment in the discharge of their
arduous duties? If so, of course, it can't be said that a balloon was a
place where those Guinea-Pigs had no business. The Balloon also
contained two Pigeons; but these perhaps were birds of a different
feather from Shareholders in a Joint-Stock speculation.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GETTING OUT OF IT.

"WHERE _ARE_ YOU GOING, GEORGE? THE OMNIBUS WILL BE HERE DIRECTLY, AND
WE'RE ALL READY TO START."

"YES, DEAREST! A--I FORGOT TO TELL YOU--I WAS TO MEET BROWN AT THE CLUB
ABOUT _THOSE SHARES_, YOU KNOW, _UNLESS HE TELEGRAPHED TO THE CONTRARY_.
MOST _IMPORTANT_! BUT DON'T TROUBLE ABOUT ME--I'LL GET DOWN BY A LATER
TRAIN, IN TIME FOR SUPPER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

A "GOOD GUN."

[Illustration: A "GOOD GUN."

S-L-SB-RY. "I SAY, OLD FELLOW, I WISH YOU'D COME AND JOIN US, AFTER
LUNCH!!"

H-RT-NGT-N. "WELL--ER--FACT IS--I'M WAITING TO SEE IF MY PARTY'S COMING
UP!!"]

       * * *

SCENE--_The Moors. A Shooting Party at Lunch._

_Sm-th (throwing himself down)._ Oh! I am so tired!

_B-lf-r (stretching himself languidly)._ So am I!

_Sm-th._ Oh, _you_ are _always_ tired, aren't you? Look so, anyhow.
Haven't been exerting yourself much, so far as I have seen, up to now.

_B-lf-r._ My dear fellow, you have yet to learn that hurry is not pace,
and that fuss is not business.

_S-l-sb-ry._ Well, boys, don't squabble, but lunch. We've _all_ done
pretty badly, up to now, and unless we do better before
sundown,----[_Sighs and sips._

_Sm-th (sorrowfully)._ Yes, that's very true. [_Sips and sighs._

_B-lf-r._ Well, I'm glad it's lunch-time anyhow, for I'm fairly baked.

_Sm-th._ Nip of Irish, B.?

_B-lf-r._ Irish be--_proclaimed_! Sick of the very name of Irish. _Do_
let's forget it for awhile, and hand me the J. J., there's a good
fellow.

_S-l-sb-ry (musing)._ Humph! Pretty pair of Sportsmen! Empty rotundity,
and linked languor long drawn out. Wonder what DIZZY would have thought
of such a pair of guns, especially of "his successor." _Tracy Tupman_
emulating _Mr. Winkle_.

_Sm-th._ Eh? What? Beg pardon, S-L-SB-RY, I'm _not_ forty-winking.

_S-l-sb-ry._ Not at all, not at all. I was--ahem!--saying what a
_Winkle_--ah--M-TTH-WS is!

_B-lf-r (disgustedly)._ Oh, M-TTH-WS! Missed every bird he's tried at.
Pity all burglars are not as bad shots as he. Couldn't hit a constable
at ten yards.

_S-l-sb-ry (drily)._ Not if he _tried_. I never feel safe at twenty. If
he hasn't peppered us all round, it isn't _his_ fault.

_Sm-th._ And--ahem--G-SCH-N hasn't turned out _quite_ the success we
expected, eh? That last miss of his was rather a bad one.

_S-l-sb-ry._ Humph! perhaps. Still, I wish he'd brought one or two of
his friends with him.

_B-lf-r._ Well, perhaps they'll join us later on.

_S-l-sb-ry (aside)._ I _hope_ so. Not much prospect of a decent bag if
they don't, I fear. Fact is, my party this year's a failure. Scarcely a
good gun among them. Finest and largest shooting-ground we've had for
years, and _yet_ we can't make a bag. Adjoining Moor supposed to be an
absolute failure, and yet the party who've taken it--on most Liberal
terms I hear, and with little hope of good sport--are picking up birds
like fun. Pop, pop, pop, pop! and every bang a bird. Old G. getting
quite cock-a-whoop about it. Fancies he'll top us at the end of the
shoot. Quite wrong, of course. Now that, at last, we've really dropped
upon that rascally gang of Irish poachers who had leagued themselves
together to play the mischief with our Moor, I guess we shall astonish
G.'s party a trifle. _They_ wink at the poaching Paddies. Most
unsportsmanlike conduct I ever heard of. What'll they do, _now_, I
wonder? Still we can't afford to go on muffing and missing _too_ long.
Bang! There goes another. And one of our birds, too, I'll be bound.
Hillo! by Jove, there's H-RT-NGT-N, sauntering this way, and by himself,
too. Something like a shot, _he_ is, and, if he'd join us--well, well,
we shall see. Looks, as usual, as though he didn't care a single tomtit
for things in general, and shooting in particular. Often lets a bird go
from sheer indifference, but seldom misses one from lack of skill. Sure
he can't be comfortable with _that_ lot--indeed, he owns it. And they
don't like his friendliness with us. Why can't he join us, and have done
with it?

_H-rt-ngt-n (approaching)._ Ah! there they are. And a jolly lot of
Sportsmen they look. Poor S-L-SB-RY, I pity him. Ought to have swept the
Moors. Birds plentiful, and lots of guns. But no shots. Doosed awkward.
Know what it is to shoot with a party one doesn't get on with. Our party
not the right sort now; awfully mixed--doesn't suit me a bit. G. has let
in too many outsiders. If they'd rally round me now, and let me pick
'em! But the picked rallyers are so precious few, and the rest, instead
of closing up to me, seem to be tailing off after GL-DST-NE, somehow,
confound 'em! One _Ch-mb-rl-n_ doesn't make a shooting party, even
with BR-GHT thrown in. Don't want to shoot against S-L-SB-RY, though,
I'm sure. Much rather drive the birds his way. But join him!--humph!

_S-l-sb-ry (hailing)._ Hillo, H-RT-NGT-N, old man, how are you? All
alone? Where's your party?

_H-rt-ngt-n._ Oh! they're along behind there, somewhere. How are _you_
getting on?

_S-l-sb-ry._ Oh, pre-e-t-ty well--considering. Hardly got our hands in
yet,--some of us (_significantly_). Birds a bit shy, too. But we shall
get among them presently, and then!----(_sotto voce_). I say old
fellow, why don't you join us--after lunch? _Capital_ shooting-ground,
but, ahem!--some of our fellows a _leetle_ wild, and one or two regular
cockneys. I wan't a real good gun or two badly, and then we should be
safe for a splendid bag. (_Aloud._) Come, old fellow, what do you say?

_H-rt-ngt-n._ Tha-a-nks. Awfully kind, I'm sure. But--ah--fact is, I'm
just waiting to see if my Party's coming up. [_Left waiting._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: RAILWAY STATION PUZZLE. TO FIND A SEAT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

RICHARD JEFFERIES.

  LOVER of Nature, whom her lovers love,
    Those who were dear to thee to them are dear:
  The world's hard way to lift their lives above
    Is a clear duty, welcome as 'tis clear.
  And if for every page of pure delight,
    Those fine and faithful fingers wrought for all,
  There came the slenderest gift, the poorest mite,
    More lightly on those stricken hearts might fall,
  The weight of sore bereavement, hard to bear,
  E'en when, as here, all men its sorrow share.

       *       *       *       *       *

OGRES IN DAIRYLAND.--Everybody has heard of Fairy Rings, which have a
sweetly Arcadian sound. But "_Dairy_ Rings" do not savour of Arcadia,
save, perchance, in the sense suggested by the stock quotation,
"_Arcades ambo_--blackguards both." The function of "Dairy Rings," it
seems, is artificially and injuriously to keep up the cost of produce.
Not until they are broken up will people really get "Milk
Below"--monopoly prices.

       *       *       *       *       *

RAPTURE.

(_By a Radical._)

    MR. CHAMBERLAIN (in the debate on the Lords' Amendments to the Land
    Bill) said, "he had never regarded the House of Lords as the special
    representatives of the community, that he would very much have
    preferred that an Amendment in the interests of the community should
    have proceeded from another quarter, that they were Commons' House
    of Parliament, and that it was they who had to look after the
    interests of the community, and not the House of Lords."
    (_Opposition Cheers._)

  HOORAY! This is rather more like the old JOE,
  Whom as pet of the Peers his old friends hardly know.
  Does "cushioned ease" tire him already,--so soon?
  Is "gentlemen" chumship no longer a boon?
  Can zeal for the Union no longer determine,
  The Birmingham champion to back up the ermine?
  This snub to the Peers is decidedly handsome,
  We'll soon have JOE talking once more about "ransom."
  Oh! Spalding was splendid, and Bridgeton was brave,
  And GROSVENOR'S defeat made the Unionists rave;
  TOM SAYERS ne'er landed his foe such a "oner,"
  As SALISBURY had at the hands of our BRUNNER;
  But neither the news of Gladstonian gain,
  Of TREVELYAN'S return, or the tantrums of CAINE,
  To Radical bosoms such a rapture affords,
  As Brummagem JOE once more smiting the Lords!

       *       *       *       *       *

CON. FOR THE CONNUBIALLY INCLINED.--What is the difference between an
accepted and a rejected offer of marriage? The first leads to the
Matrimonial Knot; the second is the Matrimonial Not.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Bon Voyage!"

  MR. CAINE, who is tired Party knots of unravelling,
  Is off, so 'tis said, round the world to be travelling.
  Let's hope that much clearing of temper and brain
  May result from this new sort of "Wanderings of CAIN(E)".

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IN THE CAUSE OF ART.

_Patron._ "WHEN ARE YER GOIN' TO START MY WIFE'S PICTURE AND MINE?
'CAUSE, WHEN THE 'OUSE IS UP WE'RE A GOIN'----"

_Artist._ "OH, I'LL GET THE CANVASES AT ONCE, AND----"

_Patron (millionnaire)._ "CANVAS! 'ANG IT!--NONE O' YER CANVAS FOR ME!
PRICE IS NO OBJEC'! I CAN AFFORD TO PAY FOR SOMETHING BETTER THAN
CANVAS!!"     [_Tableau!_]]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ARTIST'S HOLIDAY;

OR, A BRUSH WITH THE POLICE.

_Start for Isle of Wight._--Market for Pictures so depressed, can only
afford a fortnight away from Town this Summer. Never mind! Intend to
have a high old time while it lasts. Shall travel over the whole
Island--Cowes, Ryde, Ventnor, Shanklin, Alum Bay, and the Needles.
Travelling suggests that I'm my own "traveller"--in the Oil and Colour
line! Mustn't mention this joke to my aristocratic customers, however.

_On the Way Down._--Read in my favourite newspaper--"Art is a fanciful
and captious mistress, exacting many sacrifices from her servants, and
not infrequently putting them to considerable inconvenience." Sounds
unpleasant. Wish people wouldn't write like this. True, perhaps, but not
edifying. Writer goes on to say of Artists that "Respectability is
arrayed in arms against them, because their ways are not as those of its
smug and unimaginative votaries." (Rather a good hit that--"smug and
unimaginative;"--writer not such a fool as I thought.) "Mrs. GRUNDY
sniffs at them with righteous scorn, because their appearance, bearing,
and habits, are not measurable by the standards of propriety." (I should
hope not, indeed!) "The subaltern administrators of the law regard them
with suspicion"--Humbug! Throw paper down in disgust. Never been
interfered with by a policeman in my life. What is there in _me_ to
excite suspicion, I should like to know? Should write to Author of that
article, and tell him he's an ass, only can't afford to waste a stamp
just now.

_Southampton._--Go on board boat for Ryde. Curious. Three men following
me about everywhere! On stepping on to Ryde pier, they make a pounce on
me. Ask to see my luggage. It seems they are "subaltern administrators
of the law," disguised. I refuse to give up my keys; in order to mollify
them, make a joke, and tell them "they can't Ryde the high horse here."
Only reply they make is to break my bag open. Very objectionable. Crowd
evidently think I'm a London thief, and hoot at me.

Ask Detectives if they think I look like a Dynamiter? They say nothing,
and wink. Seem to look on my question as a "leading," or rather a
misleading, one. Thank Heaven! There's nothing suspicious in my
Gladstone bag. But, as these are Government emissaries, perhaps the mere
possession of a "Gladstone" bag is considered to connect me in some
mysterious way with Parnellism, and so with crime. Is there such a thing
as a "Salisbury" bag? Wish I'd got one if there is. Perhaps it would be
a good move to tell them I'm a Unionist. They reply (gruffly) "they
don't want none of my gab," and that _they_ intend to find out what I am
precious quick.

_At Police Station._--(To which I've been taken, through a howling mob!)
Bag opened. Several things appear to excite suspicion. Palette inspected
carefully. If it hadn't been for bad success of my last humorous remark,
should tell my captors that "I've no _palate_ for conspiracy." My box of
brushes regarded as highly questionable. Suggests obvious
sporting-riddle--Why do they think I've been in at the death (of
somebody or other?)--Answer: _because I've got the brush!_ Bottle of
Chinese White at once impounded. Considered to contain "an explosive
composition," it seems. Detectives convey it carefully to middle of
large field, and bury it, until Colonel MAJENDIE can come down from
Town. What, however, is regarded as greatest proof of my nefarious
tendencies is a picture of London Bridge in my portfolio. Detective asks
triumphantly--"What made you draw that there bridge if you ain't a
Fenian, now?" I reply "it's only a pot-boiler." Answer considered so
very incriminating that I am immediately handcuffed and put in a cell.
Never realised before what a very "fanciful and captious mistress," Art
is, or what idiots "the subaltern administrators of the law" are capable
of making of themselves.

_Three Days Later._--Liberated! Am told it was "all a mistake." Chinese
White bottle proved not to contain anything dangerous to human life.
Pot-boiler restored me, slightly soiled. No excuses or apologies
made--sent away with a "free pardon!" And this is England! Ah, they
manage some things better in France!

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM

THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

[Illustration]

_House of Lords, Monday, August 15._--Some ordinary business on Agenda,
but importance dwarfed by imposing demonstration made by WEMYSS. Session
really coming to a close. WEMYSS has done his share of speech-making.
According to DENMAN has appropriated more than fair share. Nevertheless,
he finds in Mid-August quite an accumulation of odds and ends omitted
from speeches prepared during last two years. If he doesn't work them
off this Session will be out of date by next. That no insuperable
objection to delivering speech in House of Lords; still, freshness and
appropriateness not altogether without weight. How shall he dispose of
the accumulated treasure? Thought once of publishing it in single
Volume, call it "Jubilee Thoughts, by Earl of WEMYSS;" or "Peerless Wit
and Wisdom, by a Peer." Found publishers not anxious to undertake
proposal. Jubilee, they said, beginning to pall, too many books about of
Wit and Wisdom. Happy thought! Why not throw the scraps into form of
speech, and favour House of Lords with it? Some of the topics little
ancient and continuity of thought difficult to simulate; but propose to
"call attention to Socialistic legislation during the Sessions of 1886
and 1887." That will cover everything.

So arranged, and to-night, as soon as immaterial business disposed of,
WEMYSS rose, and began his speech. Audience of eighteen, to begin with.
Gradually diminished, till there remained, for fifth and final
peroration, only four. Was a tremendous speech--bloodcurdling,
convincing, and delivered with much animation. Never was a nation in
such peril. Before Great Britain lay only Black Night and Despair.

Might have been expected that, when WEMYSS sat down, there would have
been eager competition for precedence to take up the thread of debate so
solemnly launched. But he'd overdone it. So terrified the few Peers
present, that none could speak. Looked at each other with fitful,
fearful glances. One by one they rose, and tremblingly tottered out.
WEMYSS left in solitary possession of House, filled only with echoes of
his fearsome jeremiad. Thus closed this memorable one-speech debate.
LORD CHANCELLOR retaining presence of mind sufficient to adjourn the
House, WEMYSS picked up his notes, and went forth, probably to prepare
for his own flight from the doomed country.

_Business done._--In Commons, Mines Bill in Committee.

[Illustration: Columbus, M. P.]

_House of Commons, Tuesday._--JOHN MANNERS in his place to-night.
Everyone glad to see him back again; Liberals, Conservatives,
Dissentients, Unionists, whatever we be, all unite in saying a friendly
word to JOHN on his convalescence.

Another arrival greeted with more mixed feelings. BRUNNER, flushed by
his great victory in Northwich, comes up to be sworn in. Tremendous
cheering on Liberal side. Dead silence among Ministerialists. Old
Morality gazes up at glass roof with preoccupied air; thoughts far away
from Westminster or Northwich either. CAINE, looking on from Bar, turns
his back, and marches forth.

"Another blessing in disguise," says he. "I think now I'll go off to
Japan, and see how they're getting on with their projected Parliamentary
Institutions. Might get some hints for forming our National Party."

[Illustration: T. B-rt.]

Crimes Bill on again. Committee pegging away far into tomorrow. A good
business-like debate, but a little dull. Minority of between seventy and
eighty industriously tried to carry Amendments moved by BURT and others.
Majority, varying between 120 and 140, thinking matter over in privacy
of smoke-room, news-room, and terrace, come up with minds fully made up
on points of detail, and always vote with Ministers. BURT, beaten again
and again, comes back to scratch, looking, towards half-past two in the
morning, a little broken down, but still full of fight.

_Business done._--Mines Bill.

_Thursday._--House of Lords deserves well of its country. Is setting
Commons example it will do well to follow. On Monday, as noted, WEMYSS
made long speech, and, no one rising to follow in debate, House
forthwith adjourned. Same thing happened on Tuesday when DENMAN
introduced beneficent proposals for limiting speeches. Met with success
beyond his wildest expectations. Had asked that duration of speeches
might be strictly limited. Lords with one accord forthwith accepted
principle. Applied it so strictly that, as LORD CHANCELLOR in his
epigrammatic way put it, "speeches were limited to silence." In fact no
one spoke at all. DENMAN had debate all to himself, and House adjourned.
So pleased with this arrangement that it was carried a step further
to-night. Only one speech was made. Was delivered from Woolsack. So
brief may be quoted _verbatim_:--

"House will now adjourn," said LORD CHANCELLOR.

That was all, and noble Lords dispersed.

"Most pleasant, informing and useful sitting we've had for many
Sessions," said BUCKINGHAM to CHANDOS.

"_Allons!_" said STRATHEDEN to CAMPBELL, "let us go and visit those
foolish Commons who waste their time in much speaking."

Commons crowded and animated. Evidently no prospect here of foregoing
speech-making. Sixty-eight questions on paper to begin with. GEORGE
CAMPBELL, his mind athirst for information, wanted to know from
President of Board of Trade what was the meaning of "allotment."
RITCHIE, with elbow leaning negligently on box, and legs crossed,
mockingly referred the ingenuous Knight to _Johnson's Dictionary_.
Curiously reminiscent of _Mephistopheles_ bantering _Faust_, was RITCHIE
as he looked across at CAMPBELL.

Old Morality announced abandonment of various Government measures,
dropping tear over each. Emotion became monotonous towards tenth tear,
and Opposition rudely laughed. But Old Morality had his revenge later.
Quite a long time since he has "pounced." But as midnight drew on, and
little progress made, began to grow desperate. CHAMBERLAIN suddenly
turned upon his allies, attacked them in rattling speech. Even voted
against them when Division called. Government majority went down from
customary hundred to alarming forty-two. Then Old Morality, goaded to
madness, "pounced" right and left. HARCOURT stirred up GOSCHEN with long
pole; BALFOUR yawned ostentatiously when DILLON convicted him of
ignorance of Irish affairs; PARNELL pounded away; T. W. RUSSELL withdrew
from alliance with Government; TIM HEALY chuckled; JOSEPH GILLIS
alternately jeered and groaned. But Old Morality came out victor.
Whenever lull occurred he moved Closure, and so presently wound up
sitting.

[Illustration: Mephistopheles, M. P.]

_Business done._--Split between "Dissentient Liberals" and Government.

_Friday._--House not so full to-night. Rumour about that there was
something to fore in Lords. Members migrated thither. Only a few Peers
present. Markiss rose, and in matter-of-fact tone, as if offering
observation on state of weather, announced Proclamation of National
League. Fifteen Peers present successfully controlled emotion, and
passed on to ordinary business. Commons, penned in Gallery above, and
crowded at Bar below, rushed to own House, carrying news with them.
Arrived just in time to hear HANBURY question Government on quite other
subject. HANBURY'S hawk eye had discovered in the Estimates vote for
salary of Master of Hawks. Wanted to know who he was, what he did for a
living, and how many hawks he might have to deal with in course of year.
Frank and somewhat startling disclosure from Treasury Bench. The
existence of Master of Hawks admitted; regular payment of his salary
confessed. Only hitch was that there were no hawks. Still, there have
been hawks in time of STUARTS. An impecunious nobleman had obtained
office, with reversion to eldest son; and so, through the ages,
unsuspecting taxpayer had subscribed salary. House so ashamed to
discover its remissness as custodian of Public purse, that, by common
consent, subject dropped. But silent resolution taken that noble
Hawk-master shall have drawn his salary for last time.

Then BALFOUR confirmed statement made in other House about Proclamation
of National League. Announcement received, on the whole, in grim
silence, also not without its portent. House then took up Allotments
Bill, with which it wrestled in business fashion for rest of sitting.

_Business done._--National League Proclaimed.

       *       *       *       *       *

MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

(_Shakspeare adapted to "The Times."_)

    "Oppression hath made up this League."
    _King John_, Act iii., Scene 1.

  _Angelo_ ... Lord S-L-SB-RY.

  _Escalus_ ... B-LF-R.

_Escalus._ Every leader it hath writ hath disvouched other.

_Angelo._ In most uneven and distracted manner. Its actions show much
like to madness: pray heaven its wisdom be not tainted. Yet can we own
ourselves beaten, and redeliver our authority?

_Esc._ I guess not.

_Ang._ And why should we proclaim it a few days before our departure,
that if any crave redress of injustice, they must not exhibit their
discontent in the street?

_Esc._ It shows its reason for that: to have a despatch of complaints;
and to deliver us from devices hereafter, which shall then have no power
to stand against us.

_Ang._ Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaimed!

       *       *       *       *       *

A TALE OF ARABI.--The recent unsuccessful effort to secure the release
of ARABI PASHA, recalls the trial of that unfortunate Egyptian when he
was so ably defended by a distinguished member of the British Bar. On
that occasion, to put it Broadley, he was more of a patriot than a
criminal.

       *       *       *       *       *

"_ECLIPSE_ first, the rest nowhere," is a celebrated racing record. The
disappointed astronomers of Europe, last Friday, modified the
_mot_--"Eclipse nowhere" is the common burden of their reports.

       *       *       *       *       *

MOTTO FOR AGRICULTURISTS.--Set a parasite (_the Chalcis fly to wit_) to
catch a parasite (_the Hessian ditto_).

       *       *       *       *       *

A BURNING QUESTION.

_By Our Own Cricket Enthusiast._

    "The four Counties in whose doings the interest of the Cricketing
    public is centred, were all hard at work yesterday. [Friday, August
    19.] Yorkshire doing very badly against Surrey at the Oval, and
    Nottinghamshire showing to considerable disadvantage with Lancashire
    at Old Trafford."--_Daily News._

  OH, don't talk to me of the close of the Session, or who's to be
    Premier, perchance, in the next one;
  Those questions, no doubt, may excite party spouters, but there is a
    far more important and vext one.
  The Cricketing Season draws fast to a close; the rain's come at last
    with inopportune bounty.
  And there is a question eclipsing all others,--which, _which_ for this
    year will be Premier County?
  It's narrowing down,--oh, it's narrowing down, and it grows more
    soul-harrowing every minute,
  For Surrey and Lancashire, Yorkshire and Notts are the only four
    Counties a man can call "in it."
  Trent-Bridge is astir with a fever of fidgets, the Tykes are all hurry,
    and worry, and flurry,
  Old Trafford is all upon thorns, and, by Jove, what excitement there is
    at the Oval in Surrey!
  HORNBY and HAWKE cannot sleep of a night, and their nerves into coolness
    in vain strive to tutor;
  GLADSTONE and SALISBURY'S rivalry's child's-play compared with the ditto
    of SHERWIN and SHUTER.
  Plague upon Jupiter Pluvius! _Why_ did he not hang aloof just a week or
    two longer?
  Oh, don't talk to me of your turnips and things,--what are they to the
    question which team is the stronger?
  Glorious season for Cricket all round, as is proved by the lots of
    Leviathan scoring,
  And now, hang it all, at the very identical point when it comes to the
    pinch, it is pouring.
  Cockshies all chance, every average crabs, this detestable deluge.
    Slow wickets and sticky.
  Muck even the great ARTHUR SHREWSBURY'S play, and make WALTER READ'S
    chance of top-average dicky,
  ARTHUR'S two centuries _plus_ sixty-seven, falls off to a pitiful
    seven-and-twenty,
  And BARLOW and BRIGGS have it all their own way; three "ducks" in one
    innings--of Notts men--seems plenty.
  Look at poor Yorkshire again! MARTIN HAWKE did his best to choose right,
    but caked wickets _plus_ LOHMANN,
  Are far too long odds e'en for ULYETT and HALL; and who can foresee
    English weather? Why, no man.
  Wants a cool sticker like SCOTTON to stand it. Eh? Gives the poor
    bowlers a look in? Oh, granted,
  Good trundling's a part of the game to be sure, but you see at this
    crisis it's _scoring_ that's wanted,
  Dashes the 'gazers, this downing the wickets like nine-pins in swamp
    with muck-moisture afloat all,
  And then ninety-two for a tall-scoring team like our Notts, you must
    own's a contemptible total,
  Middlesex plays in and out; lots of scorers like WEBBE, STODDART, LUCAS,
    O'BRIEN, and VERNON.
  But ROBERTSON, BURTON, and WEST want assistance as bowlers, and
    bowling's a thing wins will turn on.
  Gloucester's slap out of it. Pity poor GRACE with a team he can seldom
    bring up to the scratch, Sir,
  So that, in spite of his own startling scores, the, at one time,
    "Invincibles" scarce win a match, Sir,
  Sussex,--well, QUAIFE is a promising bat, and you always may look for
    some notches from NEWHAM,
  Whilst J. and A. HIDE are a host in themselves; but good fortune this
    season has failed to pursue 'em.
  Kent, with Lord HARRIS, the family of HEARNES, and RASHLEIGH, with
    credit should carry field matters on,
  But this year they'll not be at top of the tree, 'spite the bowling of
    WOOTON, the smiting of PATTERSON.
  Leicester has got a good trundler in POUGHER, but one bowler won't
    make a good (Cricket) summer,
  Whilst Derbyshire's CHATTERTON, CROPPER, and RATCLIFF don't make her,
    at present, the new (Cricket) comer.
  As for game Essex,--well, evergreen GREEN, who has done in his day
    some redoubtable cricket,
  Will own he will not have a look in _this_ year, e'en with BUXTON,
    and BISHOP, and BRYAN, and PICKETT.
  No, we must still look to one of the four; and oh, what a lot hope that
    one will be Surrey,
  Fancy the spirits of GRIFFITH and SOUTHERTON--(chums of that "barn-door"
    whom no one could flurry,
  Stout little JUPP)--must just now haunt the Oval, or hold ghostly
    confabulations at Mitcham,
  Discussing the way in which SHUTER'S lot cut 'em and drive 'em, and
    swipe 'em, and place 'em, and pitch 'em.
  And oh! _if_ smart SHUTER, crack READ, steady LOHMANN, and
    swift-footed MAURICE, and cat-like young ABEL
  _Should_ once more put Surrey at top of the tree, won't the Oval
    just be a tumultuous Babel?

[Illustration: Woo "Ton."]

[Illustration: "Baa low!"]

[Illustration: "'Ull yet?"]

[Illustration: "Hide!"]

[Illustration: The Family "Urn."]

[Illustration: Puffer.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[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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