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Title: Mr. Punch at the Seaside
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 "Mr. Punch at the Seaside" ***

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    Edited by J. A. HAMMERTON

 Designed to provide in a series of volumes, each complete in
 itself, the cream of national humour, contributed by the masters of
 comic draughtsmanship and the leading wits of the age to "Punch",
 from its beginning in 1841 to the present day.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "BY THE SILVER SEA"

This is _not_ Jones's dog.]

       *       *       *       *       *








       *       *       *       *       *


_Twenty-five volumes, crown 8vo. 192 pages
fully illustrated_



























       *       *       *       *       *



One of the leading characteristics of the nineteenth century was the
tremendous change effected in the social life of Great Britain by the
development of cheap railway travel. The annual holiday at the seaside
speedily became as inevitable a part of the year's progress as the
milkman's morning call is of the day's routine. What at first had been a
rare and memorable event in a life-time developed into a habit, to
which, with our British love for conventions, all of us conform.

Whether or not our French critics are justified in saying that we
Britishers take our pleasures sadly, these pages from the seaside
chronicles of Mr. Punch will bear witness, and while at times they may
seem to support the case of our critics, at others the evidence is
eloquent against them. This at least is certain, that whatever the
temperament of the British as displayed during the holiday season at our
popular resorts, the point of view of our national jester, Mr. Punch, is
unfailingly humorous, and such sadness as some of our countrymen may
bring to their pleasures is but food for the mirth of merry Mr. Punch,
who, we are persuaded, stands for the sum total of John Bull's good
humour in his outlook on the life of his countrymen.

As the real abstract and brief chronicler of our time, Mr. Punch has
mirrored in little the social history of the last sixty-five years, and
apart from the genuine entertainment which this book presents, it is
scarcely less instructive as a pictorial history of British manners
during this period. One may here follow in the vivid sketches of the
master-draughtsmen of the age the ceaseless and bewildering changes of
fashion--the passing of the crinoline, the coming and going of the
bustle, the chignon, and similar vanities, and the evolution of the
present-day styles of dress both of men and women.

It is also curious to notice how little seaside customs, amusements,
troubles and delights, have varied in the last half-century. Landladies
are at the end what they were at the beginning; the same old type of
bathing-machine is still in use; our forefathers and their womenfolk in
the days when Mr. Punch was young behaved themselves by "the silver sea"
just as their children's children do to-day. Nothing has changed, except
that the most select of seaside places is no longer so select as it was
in the pre-railway days, and that the wealthier classes, preferring the
attractions of Continental resorts, are less in evidence at our own

The motto of this little work, as of all those in the series to which it
belongs, is "Our true intent is all for your delight", but if the book
carry with it some measure of instruction, we trust that may not be the
less to its credit.


_Mrs. Dorset_ (_of "Dorset's Sugar and Butter Stores", Mile End Road_).
"Why on earth can't we go to a more _dressy_ place than this, 'Enery?
I'm sick of this dreary 'ole, year after year. It's nothing but sand and
water, sand and water!"

_Mr. Dorset._ "If it wasn't for sand and water, you wouldn't get no

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

SEASIDE MEM.--The Society recently started to abolish Tied-houses will
not include Bathing Machines within the scope of its operations.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: BIDDY-FORD]

    [_Mr. Justice Hawkins._ Where is Ramsgate?

    _Mr. Dickens._ It is in Thanet, your lordship.
                            _Report of Twyman v. Bligh._]

    "Where's Ramsgate?" Justice Hawkins cried.
      "Where on our earthly planet?"
    The learned Dickens straight replied,
      "'Tis in the Isle of Thanet.

    "Ramsgate is where the purest air
      Will make your head or leg well,
    Will jaded appetite repair,
      With the shrimp cure of Pegwell.

    "Where's Ramsgate? It is near the place
      Where Julius Cæsar waded,
    And nearer still to where his Grace
      Augustine come one day did.

    "All barristers should Ramsgate know:
      I speak of it with pleasure",
    Quoth Dickens. "There I often go
      When wanting a refresher.

    "Where's Ramsgate? Where I've often seen.
      Both S-mb-rne and Du M-r-_er_,
    When I have gone by 3.15
      Granville Express, Victori_er_.

    "With Thanet Harriers, when you are
      Well mounted on a pony,
    You'll say, for health who'd go so far
      As Cannes, Nice, or Mentone?

    "With Poland, of the Treasury,
      Recorder eke of Dover,
    I oft go down for pleasurey.
      Alack! 'tis too soon over!

    "O'er Thanet's Isle where'er you trudge,
      My Lud, you'll find no land which----"
    "Dickens take Ramsgate!" quote the Judge.
      "Luncheon! I'm off to Sandwich!"

       *       *       *       *       *


_Bathing Guide._ "Bless 'is 'art! I know'd he'd take to it kindly--by
the werry looks on 'im!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


     _Contributed by_ "GLAUCUS", _who is staying at a quiet
     watering-place, five miles from anywhere, and three miles from a
     Railway Station_.


    _Monday_(?) _after breakfast, lying on the beach._

Wonder if it is Monday, or Tuesday?

Wonder what time it is?

Wonder if it will be a fine day?

Wonder what I shall do if it is? On second thoughts, wonder what I shall
do if it isn't?

Wonder if there are any letters?

Wonder who that is in a white petticoat with her hair down?

Wonder if she came yesterday or the day before?

Wonder if she's pretty?

Wonder what I've been thinking about the last ten minutes?

Wonder how the boatmen here make a livelihood by lying all day at full
length on the beach?

Wonder why every one who sits on the shore throws pebbles into the sea?

Wonder what there is for dinner?

Wonder what I shall do all the afternoon?

       * * * * *

    _Same day, after lunch, lying on the beach._

Wonder who in the house beside myself is partial to my dry sherry?

Wonder what there is for dinner?

Wonder what's in the paper to-day?

Wonder if it's hot in London? Should say it was.

Wonder how I ever could live in London?

Wonder if there's any news from America?

Wonder what tooral looral means in a chorus?

Children playing near me, pretty, very?

Wonder if that little boy intended to hit me on the nose with a stone?

Wonder if he's going to do it again? Hope not.

Wonder if I should like to be a shrimp?

       * * * * *

    _Same day, after an early dinner, lying on the beach._

Wonder why I can never get any fish?

Wonder why my landlady introduces cinders into the gravy?

Wonder more than ever who there is at my lodgings so partial to my dry

Wonder if that's the coast of France in the distance?

Feel inclined for a quiet conversation with my fellow-man.

[Illustration: EXMOUTH]

A boatman approaches. I wonder (to the boatman) if it will be a fine day
tomorrow? He wonders too? We both wonder together?

Wonder (again to the boatman) if the rail will make much difference to
the place? He shakes his head and says "Ah! he wonders!" and leaves me.

Wonder what age I was last birthday?

Wonder if police inspectors are as a rule fond of bathing?

Wonder what gave me that idea?

Wonder what I shall do all this evening?

[Illustration: A HIGH SEA OVER THE BAR]

    _Same day, after supper, Moonlight, lying on the beach._

Wonder if there ever was such a creature as a mermaid?

Wonder several times more than ever who it is that's so fond of my dry

Wonder if the Pope can swim?

Wonder what made me think of that?

Wonder if I should like to go up in a balloon?

Wonder what Speke and Grant had for dinner to-day?

Wonder if the Zoological Gardens are open at sunrise?

Wonder what I shall do to-morrow?

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SHOPPING

_Lady_ (_at Seaside "Emporium"_). "How much are those--ah--improvers?"

_Shopman._ "Improv--hem!--They're not, ma'am"--(_confused_)--"not--not
the article you require, ma'am. They're fencing-masks, ma'am!"



       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DEA EX MACHINÂ! (_A Reminiscence_)]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Flora._ "Oh, let us sit here, aunt, the breeze is so delightful."

_Aunt._ "Yes--it's very nice, I dare say; but I won't come any nearer to
the cliff, for I am always afraid of _slipping through those

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A BOAT FOR AN HOUR

_Stout Gentleman._ "What! is that the only boat you have in?"]

       *       *       *       *       *



    I think, as I sit at my ease on the shingle,
      And list to the musical voice of the Sea,
    How gaily my Landlady always will mingle
      From my little caddy her matutine tea.
    And vainly the bitter remembrance I banish
      Of mutton just eaten, my heart is full sore,
    To think after one cut it's certain to vanish,
      And never be seen on my board any more.

    Some small store of spirit to moisten my throttle
      I keep, and indulge in it once in a way;
    But, bless you, it seems to fly out of the bottle
      And swiftly decrease, though untouched all the day.
    My sugar and sardines, my bread and my butter,
      Are eaten, and vainly I fret and I frown;
    My Landlady, just like an Æsthete's too utter
      A fraud, and I vow that I'll go back to Town.

       *       *       *       *       *


Sketch from our window, 10 A.M., at Sludgeborough Ness.]

       *       *       *       *       *



Science has given us the baby-jumper, by which we are enabled to carry
out the common exclamation of "Hang those noisy children" without an act
of infanticide, by suspending our youngsters in the air; and perhaps
allowing them to have their full swing, without getting into mischief;
but the apparatus for the nursery will not be complete until we have
something in the shape of coops for our pretty little chickens, when
they are "out with nurse", and she happens to have something better--or
worse--to do than to look after them.

How often, in a most interesting part of a novel, or in the midst of a
love passage of real life, in which the nurse is herself the heroine,
how often, alas! is she not liable to be disturbed by the howl of a
brat, with a cow's horn in his eye, a dog's teeth in his heels, or in
some other awkward dilemma, which could not have arisen had the domestic
Child-coop been an article of common use in the Metropolitan parks, or
on the sands at the seaside?

[Illustration: YARMOUTH]

There is something very beautiful in the comparison of helpless infancy
to a brood of young chickens, with its attendant imagery of "mother's
wing", and all that sort of thing, but the allegory would be rendered
much more complete by the application of the hencoop to domestic
purposes. We intend buying one for our own stud of _piccoli_--which
means little pickles--and we hope to see all heads of families taking it
into their heads to follow our example.

       *       *       *       *       *

MIDSUMMER MADNESS.--Going to the seaside in search of quiet.

       *       *       *       *       *


"D'year as 'ow old Bob Osborne 'ave give up shrimpin' an took ter

"Well, I'm blest!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


You give them a change by taking them to the seaside--all they have to
do is to look after the children--and yet they don't seem to appreciate

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A NATIVE HOISTER]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


Shall we like Pierpoint, to which favourite and healthy seaside resort
we finally resolved to come, after a period of much indecision and
uncertainty, and where we arrived, in heavy rain, in two cabs, with
thirteen packages, on Saturday?

Shall we be comfortable at 62, Convolution Street, dining-room floor,
two guineas and a half a week, and all and perhaps rather more than the
usual extras?

Shall we like Mrs. Kittlespark?

Shall we find Kate all that a Kate ought to be?

Shall we lock everything up, or repose a noble confidence in Mrs.
Kittlespark and Kate?

Shall we get to know the people in the drawing-room?

Shall we subscribe to the Pier, or pay each time we go on it?

Shall we subscribe to that most accommodating Circulating Library,
Pigram's, where we can exchange our books at pleasure, _but not oftener
than once a day_?

Shall we relax our minds with the newest novels, or give our intellects
a bracing course of the best standard works?

Shall we dine late or early?

Shall we call on the Denbigh Flints, who, according to the _Pierpoint
Pioneer_, are staying at 10, Ocean Crescent?

Shall we carefully avoid the Wilkiesons, whom the same unerring guide
reports at 33, Blue Lion Street?

Shall we be satisfied with our first weekly bill?

Shall we find in it any unexpected and novel extras, such as
knife-cleaning, proportion of the water-rate, loan of latch-key, &c.?

Shall we get our meat at Round's, who displays the Prince of Wales's
Feathers over his shop door, and plumes himself on being "purveyor" to
His Royal Highness; or at Cleaver's, who boasts of the patronage of the
Hereditary Grand Duke of Seltersland?

Shall we find everything dearer here than it is at home?

Shall we be happy in our laundress?

Shall we be photographed?

Shall we, as Mrs. Kittlespark has a spare bed-room, invite our Cousin
Amelia Staythorp, from whom we have expectations, and who is
Constance Edith Amelia's Godmother, to come down and stay a week with

Shall we be praiseworthily economical, and determine not to spend a
single unnecessary sixpence; or shall we, as we _have_ come to
Pierpoint, enjoy ourselves to the utmost, go in for all the amusements
of the place--pier, public gardens, theatre, concerts, Oceanarium,
bathing, boating, fishing, driving, riding, and rinking--make
excursions, be ostentatiously liberal to the Town Band, and buy
everything that is offered to us on the Beach?

A month hence, shall we be glad or sorry to leave Pierpoint, and go back
to Paddington?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GOING TO BRIGHTON]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A VIEW OF COWES]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SCENE AT SANDBATH

The Female Blondin Outdone! Grand Morning Performance on the Narrow
Plank by the Darling ----]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mrs. T._ "What a wretch you must be, T.; why don't you take me off?
Don't you see I'm overtook with the tide, and I shall be drownded!"

_T._ "Well, then--will you promise not to kick up such a row when I stop
out late of a Saturday?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

POSTSCRIPT TO A SEASIDE LETTER.--"The sea is as smooth, and clear, as a
looking-glass. The oysters might see to shave in it."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ALL IN THE DAY'S WORK

"And look here! I want you to take my friend here and myself just far
enough to be up to our chins, you know, and no further!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BANGOR]

       *       *       *       *       *


That the lodging-house keepers are on the look out for the weary
Londoners and their boxes.

That the sea breezes will attract all the world from the Metropolis to
the coast.

That Britons should prefer Ramsgate, Eastbourne, Scarborough, and the
like, to Dieppe, Dinard, and Boulogne.

That paterfamilias should remember, when paying the bill, that a two
months' letting barely compensates for an empty house during the
remainder of the year.

That the shore is a place of recreation for all but the bathing-machine

That the circulating libraries are stocked with superfluous copies of
unknown novels waiting to be read.

That, finally, during the excursion season, 'Arry will have to be
tolerated, if not exactly loved.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: [_The "Lancet" advocates taking holidays in Midwinter
instead of Midsummer._]

View of the sands of Anywhere-on-Sea if the suggestion is adopted.

Time--December or January.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mrs. Fydgetts_ (_screaming_). "My child! My child!"

_Mr. Fydgetts._ "What's the use of making that noise? Can't you be

_Mrs. F._ "You're a brute, sir."

_Mr. F._ "I wish I were; for then I should be able to swim."

_Mrs. F._ "Mr. Fydgetts! Ain't you a-coming to help me?"

_Mr. F._ "No! It serves you right for bringing me down to this stupid

_Mrs. F._ "_I_, indeed. Why, I wanted to go to Brighton and you would
come to Margate--you said it was cheaper."

_Mr. F._ "It's false; I said no such thing."

_Mrs. F._ "You did, you did!"

_Mr. F._ "O, woman! woman! Where do you expect to go to?"

_Mrs. F._ "To the bottom; unless you come and help me!"

_Mr. F._ "Help yourself. I'm s-i-n-k-i-n-g"--

_Mrs. F._ "My child! My child!"

_Mr. F._ (_rising from the water_). "Be quiet, can't you! Woo-o-m--" (_the
rest is inaudible, but the watery pair are saved just in time, and renew
their dispute in the boat as soon as they are rescued from their
perilous position_).]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mabel_ (_soliloquising_). "Dear me, this relaxing
climate makes even one's parasol seem too heavy to hold!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_By Jingle Junior on the Jaunt_


[Illustration: PUFFINS]

Why Great?--where's Little Yarmouth?--or Mid-Sized Yarmouth?--give it
up--don't know--hate people who ask conundrums--feel well cured directly
you get here--good trademark for dried-fish sellers, "The Perfect
Cure"--if you stay a fortnight, get quite kipperish--stay a month, talk
kipperish! Principal attractions--Bloaters and Rows--first eat--second
see--song, "_Speak gently of the Herring_"--"long shore" ones
splendid--kippers delicious--song, "_What's a' the steer,
Kipper?_"--song, "_Nobody's rows like our Rows_"--more they
are--varied--picturesque--tumbledown--paradise for painters--very
narrow--capital support for native Bloater going home after dinner--odd
names--Ramp, Kitty Witches--Gallon Can, Conge! Fancy oneself quite the
honest toiler of the sea--ought to go about in dried haddock suit--feel
inclined to emulate _Mr. Peggotty_--run into quiet taverns--thump tables
violently--say "gormed!" Whole neighbourhood recalls _Ham_ and _Little
Em'ly_--_David, Steerforth, Mrs. Gummidge_--recall ham myself--if well
broiled--lunch--pleasant promenades on piers--plenty of amusement in
watching the bloateric commerce--fresh water fishing in adjacent Broads,
if you like--if not, let it alone--broad as it's long! The Denes--not
sardines--nor rural deans--good places for exercise--plenty of
antiquities--old customs--quaint traditions! Picturesque ancient
taverns--capital modern hotels--stopping in one of the latter--polite
waiter just appeared--dinner served--soup'll get cold--mustn't
wait--never insult good cook by being unpunctual--rather let Editor go
short than hurt cook's feelings[1]--so no more at present--from Yours


[Footnote 1:] Don't like this sentiment. Is J. J. a Cook's



Emphatically the Sea on the strict Q T--no bustle at
railway-station--train glides in noiselessly--passengers ooze
away--porters good-tempered and easy-going--like suffragan Bishops in
corduroys--bless boxes--read pastorals on portmanteaux--no one in a
hurry--locomotive coos softly in an undertone--fly-drivers suggest
possibility of your requiring their services in a whisper! Place
full--no lodgings to be had--visitors manage to efface themselves--no
one about--all having early dinners--or gone to bed--or pretending to be
somewhere else--a one-sided game of hide and seek--everybody hiding,
nobody seeking! Seems always afternoon--dreamy gleamy sunshine--a dense
quietude that you might cut in slices--no braying brass-bands--no
raucous niggers--no seaside harpies--Honfleur packet only excitement--no
one goes to see it start--visitors don't like to be excited! Chief
amusements, Common, Sands, and Pony-chaises--first, good to roll
on--second, good to stroll on--first two, gratuitous and breezy--third,
inexpensive and easy--might be driven out of your mind for
three-and-six--notwithstanding this, everybody presumably sane. Capital
place for children--cricket for boys--shrimping for girls--bare
legs--picturesque dress--not much caught--salt water good for
ankles--excellent bathing--rows of bathing-tents--admirable notion!
Interesting excursions--Arundel Castle--Bramber--Bognor--Chichester
--Petworth House! Good things to eat--Arundel mullet--Amberley trout
--Tarring figs! Delightful air--omnipotent ozone--uninterrupted
quiet--just the place to recover your balance, either mental or
monetary--I wish to recover both--that's the reason I'm here--send
cheque at once to complete cure.[2]

[Footnote 2:] We have sent him the price of a third-class fare to town,
with orders to return instantly: possibly this is hardly the sort of
check that our friend "J. J." expected.--ED.

[Illustration: RAMSGATE]


Long way from London--no matter--fast train--soon here--once here don't
wish to leave--palatial hotels--every luxury--good _tables
d'hôte_--pleasant balls--lively society! Exhilarating air--good as
champagne without "morning after"--up early--go to bed late--authorities
provide something better than a broken-down pier, a circulating library,
and a rickety bathing-machine--authorities disburse large sums for
benefit of visitors--visitors spend lots of money in town--mutual
satisfaction--place crowded--capital bands--excellent theatricals
--varied entertainments--right way to do it! The Spa--first
discovered 1620--people been discovering it ever since--some drink
it--more walk on it--lounge on it--smoke on it--flirt on it--wonderful
costumes in the morning--more wonderful in the afternoon--most wonderful
in the evening! North Sands--South Sands--fine old Castle well
placed--picturesque old town--well-built modern terraces, squares and
streets--pony-chaises--riding-horses--Lift for lazy ones!
Capital excursions--Oliver's Mount--Carnelian Bay--Scalby
Mill--Hackness--Wykeham--Filey! Delightful gardens--secluded seats
--hidden nooks--shady bowers--well-screened corners--Northern
Belles--bright eyes--soft nothings--eloquent sighs--squozen
hands--before you know where you are--ask papa--all up--dangerous very!
Overcome by feelings--can't write any more--friend asks me to drink
waters--query North Chalybeate or South Salt Well--wonder which--if in
doubt try soda qualified with brandy--good people scarce--better run no


       *       *       *       *       *

COSTUME IN KEEPING.--"Of all sweet things", said Bertha, "for the
seaside, give me a serge." The Ancient Mariner shook his head. He didn't
see the joke.

       *       *       *       *       *

BOARD AND LODGING!--_Landlady._ "Yes, sir, the board were certingly to
be a guinea a week, but I didn't know as you was a-going to bathe in the
sea before breakfast and take bottles of tonic during the day!"

       *       *       *       *       *


With compliments to the S.P.C.A.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LABELLED!]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: NAUGHTICAL?

_Yachting Friend_ (_playfully_). "Have you any experience of squalls,

_Brown._ "Squalls!" (_Seriously._) "My dear sir, I've brought up ten in

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SOCIAL BEINGS

Wearied by London dissipation, the Marjoribanks Browns go, for the sake
of perfect quiet, to that picturesque little watering-place,
Shrimpington-super-Mare, where they trust that they will not meet a
single soul they know.

Oddly enough, the Cholmondeley Joneses go to the same spot with the same

Now, these Joneses and Browns cordially detest each other in London, and
are not even on speaking terms; yet such is the depressing effect of
"perfect quiet" that, as soon as they meet at Shrimpington-super-Mare,
they rush into each other's arms with a wild sense of relief!]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HEARTS OF OAK

_Angelina_ (_who has never seen a revolving light before_). "How patient
and persevering those sailors must be, Edwin! The wind has blown that
light out six times since they first lit it, and they've lighted it
again each time!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SHANKLIN]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SCILLY]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HAYLING ISLAND]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MUMBLES]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "Now, mind, if any of those nasty people with cameras
come near, you're to send them away!"]

       *       *       *       *       *



(_From our Special Commissioner_)


Dear Mr. Punch,--This is a spot, which, according to your instructions,
I reached last evening. In these same instructions you described it as
"a growing place." I fancy it must be of the asparagus order, that
vegetable, as you are well aware, taking three years in which to develop
itself to perfection. Highburybarn-on-Sea is, I regret to say, in the
first stage--judged from an asparagus point of view. I cannot entertain
the enthusiastic description of the candid correspondent (I refer to the
cutting forwarded by you from an eminent daily paper under the heading,
"By the Golden Ocean.") He describes it as "an oasis on the desert coast
of Great Britain." Far be it from me to deny the desert--all I object
to is the oasis.

[Illustration: Limpets]

I ask you, sir, if you ever, in the course of the travels in which you
have out-rivalled Stanley, Cameron, Livingstone, Harry de Windt, and,
may I add, De Rougemont, ever came across an oasis, consisting of two
score villas, built with scarcely baked bricks, reposing on an arid
waste amid a number of tumbled-down cottages, and surmounted by a mighty
workhouse-like hotel looking down on a pre-Adamite beershop?

The sky was blue, the air was fresh, the waves had retreated to sea when
I arrived in a jolting omnibus at Highburybarn-on-Sea, and deposited
myself and luggage at the Metropolitan Hotel. A page-boy was playing
airs on a Jew's-harp when I alighted on the sand-driven steps of the
hostelry. He seemed surprised at my arrival, but in most respectful
fashion placed his organ of minstrelsy in his jacket pocket, the while
he conveyed my Gladstone bag to my apartment, secured by an interview
with an elderly dame, who gave an intelligent but very wan smile when I
suggested dinner. She referred me to the head waiter. This functionary
pointed in grandiose fashion to the coffee-room, wherein some artistic
wall-papering wag had committed atrocities on which it would be libel to


There was only one occupant, a short clean-shaven gentleman with white
hair and a red nose, who was apparently chasing space. This turned out
to be a militant blue-bottle. Meantime, the head-waiter produced his
bill of fare, or rather the remains of it. Nearly every dish had
apparently been consumed, for the most tempting _plats_ were removed
from the _menu_ by a liberal application of red pencil. Finally, I
decided on a fried sole and a steak. The white-haired man still pursued
the blue-bottle.

I went up to my room, and after washing with no soap I returned to the
coffee-room. The blue-bottle still had the best of it. The head-waiter,
after the lapse of an hour, informed me that the sole would not be long.
When it arrived, I found that he spoke the truth. If you have any
recollection of the repast which _Porthos_ endured when entertained by
_Madame Coquenard_, you will have some notion of my feast. The
head-waiter told me that some bare-legged persons who had waded into the
water were shrimp-catchers. I only wished that I were one of them, for
at least they found food.

[Illustration: BIRCHINGTON]

Later on I retired to rest. I was visited in the hours of darkness, to
which I had consigned myself, by a horde of mosquitoes, imported, so I
was informed in the morning, by American travellers, who never tipped
the waiters. I fulfilled their obligations, still gazing on the auburn
sand-drift, still looking on the sea, still feeling hungry and murmuring
to myself, "Highburybarn-on-Sea would be a capital place for children,
if I could only see any cows." A melancholy cocoa-nut shy by the
station appeared to afford all the milk in the place.

  Yours despondently,

       *       *       *       *       *

EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES: MARGATE.--_Mother._ "Now, Tommy, which would
you rather do--have a donkey ride or watch father bathe?"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Bathing Woman._ "Master Franky wouldn't cry! No! Not
he!--He'll come to his Martha, and bathe like a man!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


Master Tommy is emphatically of the opinion that the sexes ought not to
bathe together.]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "DENUDATION"

_Niece_ (_after a header_). "Oh, aunt, you're not coming in with your
spectacles on?"

_Aunt Clarissa_ (_who is not used to bathe in the "open"_). "My dear, I
positively won't take off anything more, I'm determined!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_After Wordsworth_)

[Illustration: MOORINGS]

    O Blank new-comer! I have seen,
      I see thee with a start:
    So gentle looking a Machine,
      Infernal one thou art!

    When first the sun feels rather hot,
      Or even rather warm,
    From some dim, hibernating spot
      Rolls forth thy clumsy form.

    Perhaps thou babblest to the sea
      Of sunshine and of flowers;
    Thou bringest but a thought to me
      Of such bad quarter hours.

    I, grasping tightly, pale with fear,
      Thy very narrow bench,
    Thou, bounding on in wild career,
      All shake, and jolt, and wrench.

    Till comes an unexpected stop;
      My forehead hits the door,
    And I, with cataclysmic flop,
      Lie on thy sandy floor.

    Then, dressed in Nature's simplest style,
      I, blushing, venture out;
    And find the sea is still a mile
      Away, or thereabout.

    Blithe little children on the sand
      Laugh out with childish glee;
    Their nurses, sitting near at hand,
      All giggling, stare at me.

    Unnerved, unwashed, I rush again
      Within thy tranquil shade,
    And wait until the rising main
      Shall banish child and maid.

    Thy doors I dare not open now,
      Thy windows give no view;
    'Tis late; I will not bathe, I vow;
      I dress myself anew.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THALATTA! THALATTA!"

_General chorus_ (_as the children's excursion nears its destination_).
"Oh, I say! There's the sea! 'Ooray!!"

_Small boy._ "I'll be in fust!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_A Social Contrast_

[Illustration: ILE OF MAN]


_Pater._ Here at last! A nice reward for a long and tedious journey!

_Mater._ Well, you were always complaining in town.

_Pater._ Broken chairs, rickety table, and a hideous wall-paper!

_Mater._ Well, I didn't buy the chairs, make the table, or choose the
wall-paper. Discontent is your strong point.

_Pater._ And is likely to remain so. Really, that German band is

_Mater._ My dear, you have no ear for music. Why, you don't even care
for my songs! You used to say you liked them once.

_Pater._ So I did--thirty years ago!

_Mater._ Before our marriage! And I have survived thirty years!

_Pater._ Eh? What do you mean by that, madam?

_Mater._ Anything you please. But come--dinner's ready.

_Pater._ Dinner! The usual thing, I suppose--underdone fish and overdone

_Mater._ Well, I see that you are determined to make the best of
everything, my dear!

_Pater._ I am glad you think so, my darling!

    [_And so they sit down to dinner._


_Pater._ Here at last! What a charming spot! A fitting sequel to a very
pleasant journey!

_Mater._ And yet you are very fond of town!

_Pater._ This room reminds me of my own cozy study. Venerable chairs, a
strange old table, and a quaintly-designed wall-paper.

_Mater._ Well, I think if I had had to furnish the house, I should have
chosen the same things myself. But had they been ever so ugly, I feel
sure that you would have liked them. You know, sir, that content is your
strong point.

_Pater._ I am sure that I shall find no opportunity of getting any merit
(after the fashion of _Mark Tapley_) for being contented in this
pleasant spot. What a capital German band!

_Mater._ I don't believe that you understand anything about music, sir.
Why, you even pretend that you like my old songs!

_Pater._ And so I do. Every day I live I like them better and better.
And yet I heard them for the first time thirty years ago!

_Mater._ When we were married! And so I have survived thirty years!

_Pater._ Eh? What do you mean by that, madam?

_Mater._ That I am a living proof that kindness never kills. How happy
we have been! But come--dinner's ready.

_Pater._ Dinner! The usual thing, I suppose--a nice piece of fish and a
juicy joint. Now, that's just what I like. So much better than our
pretentious London dinners! Not that a London dinner is not very good in
its proper place.

_Mater._ Well, I see that you are determined to make the best of
everything, my dear.

_Pater._ I am glad you think so, my darling!

    [_And so they sit down to dinner._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A GOAT AND TWO KIDS]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Nursemaid._ "Lawk! There goes Charley, and he's took his mar's parasol.
What _will_ missus say?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Temperance Enthusiast._ "Look at the beautiful lives our
first parents led. Do you suppose _they_ ever gave way to strong drink?"

_The Reprobate._ "I 'xpect Eve must 'a' done. She saw snakes!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(At all events it looks and sounds like one)]

       *       *       *       *       *



_Shingleton, near Dulborough._


With the desire of enjoying a few days of tranquillity and a few dips in
the sea, I have arrived and taken lodgings at this "salubrious
watering-place" (as the guide-books choose to call it), having heard
that it was quiet, and possessed of a steep, cleanly, and bathe-inviting
beach. As to the latter point, I find that fame has not belied it; but
surely with a view to tempt me into suicide, some demon must have
coupled the term "quiet" with this place. Quiet! Gracious Powers of
Darkness! if this be your idea of a quiet spot to live in, I wonder
what, according to your notion, need be added to its tumult to make a
noisy town. Here is a list of aural tortures wherewith we are tormented,
which may serve by way of time-table to advertise the musical
attractions of the place:--

1 A.M.--Voices of the night. Revellers returning home.

1.30 A.M.--Duet, "_Io t'amo_", squealed upon the tiles, by the famous
feline vocalists Mademoiselle Minette and Signor Catterwaulini.

2 A.M.--Barc-arole and chorus, "_Bow wow wow_" (BACH), by the Bayers of
the Moon.

3 A.M.--Song without words, by the early village cock.

3.30 A.M.--Chorus by his neighbours, high and low, mingling the treble
of the Bantam with the Brahma's thorough bass.


4 A.M.--Twittering of swallows, and chirping of early birds, before they
go to catch their worms.

4.45 A.M.--Meeting of two natives, of course _just_ under your window,
who converse in a stage-whisper at the tip-top of their voices.

5 A.M.--Stampede of fishermen, returning from their night's work in
their heavy boots.

6 A.M.--Start of shrimpers, barefooted, but occasionally bawling.

7 A.M.--Shutters taken down, and small boys sally forth and shout to one
another from the two ends of the street.

7.15 A.M.--"So-holes! fine fresh so-holes!"

7.30 A.M.--"Mack'reel! fower a shillun! Ma-a-ack'reel!"

8 A.M.--Piano play begins, and goes on until midnight.

8.25 A.M.--Barrel-organ at the corner. Banjo in the distance.

9 A.M.--German band to right of you. Ophicleide out of time, clarionette
out of tune.

9.30 A.M.--"Pa-aper, mornin' pa-aper! _Daily Telegraft!_"

9.45 A.M.--German band to left of you. Clarionette and cornet both out
of time and tune.

10.15 A.M.--A key-bugler and a bag-piper a dozen yards apart.

11 A.M.--Performance of Punch and Toby, who barks more than is good for

11.30 A.M.--Bellowing black-faced ballad-bawlers, with their banjoes and
their bones.

Such is our daily programme of music until noon, and such, with sundry
variations, it continues until midnight. Small wonder that I have so
little relish for my meals, and that, in spite of the sea air, I can
hardly sleep a wink. I shall return to Town to-morrow, for surely all
the street tormentors must be out of it, judging by the numbers that now
plague the sad seaside.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: REDCAR]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WALTON ON THE NAZE]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE MEAT SUPPLY"

_Bathing-man._ "Yes, mum, he's a good old 'orse yet. And he's been in
the salt water so long, he'll make capital biled beef when we're done
with him!!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

_Our Poetess._ "Do not talk to me of dinner, Edwin. I must stay by this
beautiful Sea, and _drink it all in_!"

_Bill the Boatman._ "Lor! She's a thirsty one too!"

       *       *       *       *       *


Hire bath-chairs, put the bath-chairmen inside, and drag them as fast as
you can up and down the parade.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: INOPPORTUNE

_Enthusiast of the "No Hat Brigade"_ (_to elderly gentleman, who has
just lost his hat_). "Fine idea this, sir, for the hair, eh?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Jones._ "Hullo, Brown, what's the matter with you and
Mrs. Brown?"

_Brown._ "Matter? Why, do you know what they call us down here? They
call us Beauty and the Beast! Now I should like to know what my poor
wife has done to get such a name as that!"]

       *       *       *       *       *



    I sat on a slippery rock,
      In the grey cliff's opal shade,
    And the wanton waves went curvetting by
      Like a roystering cavalcade.
    And they doffed their crested plumes,
      As they kissed the blushing sand,
    Till her rosy face dimpled over with smiles
      At the tricks of the frolicsome band.

    Then the kittywake laughed, "Ha! ha!"
      And the sea-mew wailed with pain,
    As she sailed away on the shivering wind
      To her home o'er the surging main.
    And the jelly-fish quivered with rage,
      While the dog-crabs stood by to gaze,
    And the star-fish spread all her fingers abroad,
      And sighed for her grandmothers' days.

    And the curlew screamed, "Fie! fie!"
      And the great gull groaned at the sight,
    And the albatross rose and fled with a shriek
      To her nest on the perilous height.

       * * * * *

    Good gracious! the place where I sat
      With sea-water was rapidly filling,
    And a hoarse voice cried, "Sir, you're caught by the tide!
      And I'll carry ye off for a shilling!"

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A SAIL OVER THE BAY]

       *       *       *       *       *

"LOCAL COLOUR."--PLACE: South Parade, Cheapenham-on-Sea.--_Edith._
"Mabel dear, would you get me _Baedeker's Switzerland_ and the last
Number of the _World_."

_Mabel._ "What do you want _them_ for?"

_Edith._ "Oh, I'm writing letters, and we're in the Engadine, you know,
and I just want to describe some of our favourite haunts, and mention a
few of the people who are staying there--here, I mean."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SCENT BEES]

       *       *       *       *       *




    Oh dreary, dreary, dreary me!
      My jaw is sore with yawning--
    I'm weary of the dreary sea,
    With its roaring beach
    Where sea-gulls screech,
    And shrimpers shrimp,
    And limpets limp,
    And winkles wink,
    And trousers shrink;
    And the groaning, moaning, droning tide
    Goes splashing and dashing from side to side,
    With all its might, from morn to night,
      And from night to morning's dawning.


    The shore's a flood of puddly mud,
      And the rocks are limy and slimy--
    And I've tumbled down with a thud--good lud!--
    And I fear I swore,
    For something tore;
    And my shoes are full
    Of the stagnant pool;
    And hauling, sprawling, crawling crabs
    Have got in my socks with star-fish and dabs;
    And my pockets are swarming with polypes and prawns,
    And noisome beasts with shells and horns,
    That scrunch and scrape, and goggle and gape,
    Are up my sleeve, I firmly believe--
      And I'm horribly rimy and grimy.


    I'm sick of the strand, and the sand, and the band,
      And the niggers and jiggers and dodgers;
    And the cigars of rather doubtful brand;
    And my landlady's "rights",
    And the frequent fights
    On wretched points
    Of ends of joints,
    Which disappear, with my brandy and beer,
    In a way that, to say the least, is queer.
    And to mingle among the throng I long,
    And to poke my joke and warble my song--
    But there's no one near
    On sands or pier,
    For everyone's gone and I'm left alone,
      The Last of the Seaside Lodgers!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FILEY]

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE BY OUR MAN OUT OF TOWN--Watering places--resorts where the visitor
is pumped dry.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Seedy Individual_ (_suddenly and with startling vigour_)--

    "Aoh! Floy with me ercross ther sea,
    Ercross ther dork lergoon!!"


       *       *       *       *       *


_Lodging-House Keeper._ "On'y this room to let, mem. A four-post--a
tent--and a very comfortable double-bedded chest of drawers for the
young gentlemen."]

       *       *       *       *       *


Why does not some benefactor to his species discover and publish to a
grateful world some rational way of spending a wet day at the seaside?
Why should it be something so unutterably miserable and depressing that
its mere recollection afterwards makes one shudder?

This is the first really wet day that we have had for a fortnight, but
what a day! From morn to dewy eve, a summer's day, and far into the
black night, the pitiless rain has poured and poured and poured. I broke
the unendurable monotony of gazing from the weeping windows of my
seaside lodging, by rushing out wildly and plunging madly into the rainy
sea, and got drenched to the skin both going and returning. After
changing everything, as people say but don't mean, and thinking I saw
something like a break in the dull leaden clouds, I again rushed out,
and called on Jones, who has rooms in an adjacent terrace, and, with
some difficulty, persuaded him to accompany me to the only billiard
table in the miserable place. We both got gloriously wet on our way to
this haven of amusement, and were received with the pleasing
intelligence that it was engaged by a private party of two, who had
taken it until the rain ceased, and, when that most improbable event
happened, two other despairing lodgers had secured the reversion.
Another rush home, another drenching, another change of everything,
except the weather, brought the welcome sight of dinner, over which we
fondly lingered for nearly two mortal hours.

But one cannot eat all day long, even at the seaside on a wet day, and
accordingly at four o'clock I was again cast upon my own resources.
I received, I confess, a certain amount of grim satisfaction at seeing
Brown--Bumptious Brown, as we call him in the City, he being a common
councilman, or a liveryman, or something of that kind--pass by in a fly,
with heaps of luggage and children, all looking so depressingly
wet,--and if he had not the meanness to bring with him, in a half-dozen
hamper, six bottles of his abominable Gladstone claret! He grinned at
me as he passed, like a Chester cat, I think they call that remarkable
animal, and I afterwards learnt the reason. He had been speculating for
a rise in wheat, and, as he vulgarly said, the rain suited his book, and
he only hoped it would last for a week or two! Ah! the selfishness of
some men! What cared he about my getting wet through twice in one day,
so long as it raised the price of his wretched wheat?

My wife coolly recommended me to read the second volume of a new novel
she had got from the Library, called, I think, _East Glynne_, or some
such name, but how can a man read in a room with four stout healthy boys
and a baby, especially when the said baby is evidently very
uncomfortable, and the four boys are playing at leap-frog? Women have
this wonderful faculty, my wife to a remarkable extent. I have often,
with unfeigned astonishment, seen her apparently lost in the sentimental
troubles of some imaginary heroine, while the noisy domestic realities
around her have gone on unheeded.

I again took my place at the window, and gazed upon the melancholy sea,
and remembered, with a smile of bitter irony, how I had agreed to pay an
extra guinea a week for the privilege of facing the sea!--and such a
sea! It was, of course, very low water--it generally is at this charming
place; and the sea had retired to its extremest distance, as if utterly
ashamed of its dull, damp, melancholy appearance. And there stood that
ridiculous apology for a pier, with its long, lanky, bandy legs, on
which I have been dragged every evening to hear the band play. Such a
band! The poor wheezy cornet was bad enough, but the trombone, with its
two notes that it jerked out like the snorts of a starting train, was a
caution. Oh! that poor "_Sweetheart_", with which we were favoured every
evening! I always pictured her to myself sitting at a window listening,
enraptured, to a serenade from that trombone!

But there's no band to-night, not a solitary promenader on the
bandy-legged pier, I even doubt if the pier master is sitting as usual
at the receipt of custom, and I pull down the blind, to shut out the
miserable prospect, with such an energetic jerk that I bring down the
whole complicated machinery, and nearly frighten baby into a fit, while
the four irreverent boys indulge in a loud guffaw.

Thank goodness, on Saturday I exchange our miserable, wheezy, asthmatic
band for the grand orchestra of the Covent Garden Promenade Concerts,
and the awful perfume of rotten seaweed for the bracing atmosphere of
glorious London.


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ON HIS HONEYMOON TOO!

_Man with Sand Ponies._ "Now then, Mister, you an' the young lady, a
pony apiece? 'Ere y'are!"

_Snobley_ (_loftily_). "Aw--I'm not accustomed to that class of animal."

_Man_ (_readily_). "Ain't yer, sir? Ne' mind." (_To boy._) "'Ere, Bill,
look sharp! Gent'll have a donkey!"]

       *       *       *       *       *









       *       *       *       *       *

Cornewall Lewis_

In consequence of the English watering-places being crowded, people are
glad to find sleeping accommodation in the bathing-machines.

_Boots_ (_from Jones's Hotel_). "I've brought your shaving water, sir;
and you'll please to take care of your boots on the steps, gents: the
tide's just a comin' in!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


All the family have colds, except the under-nurse, who has a face-ache.
Poor materfamilias, who originated the trip, is in despair at all the
money spent for nothing, and gives way to tears. Paterfamilias
endeavours to console her with the reflection that "_he_ knew how it
would be, but that, after all, St. John's Wood, where they live, is such
a healthy place that, with care and doctoring, they _will soon be nearly
as well as if they had never left it_!"

    [_Two gay bachelors may be seen contemplating paterfamilias and his
    little group. Their interest is totally untinged with envy._


       *       *       *       *       *


"Do you know anything good for a cold?"


"What is it?"

"Have you got the price of two Scotch whiskies on you?"


"Then it's no use my telling you."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Snobson_ (_to inhabitant of out-of-way seaside resort_).
"What sort of people do you get down here in the summer?"

_Inhabitant._ "Oh, all sorts, zur. There be fine people an' common
people, an' some just half-an'-half, like yourself, zur."]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_See Daily Papers_)]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A DELICIOUS DIP.

_Bathing Attendant._ "Here, Bill! The gent wants to be took out
deep--take 'im _into the drain_!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _She._ "How much was old Mr. Baskerville's estate sworn
at by his next-of-kin?"

_He._ "Oh--a pretty good lot."

_She._ "Really? Why, I heard he died worth hardly anything!"

_He._ "Yes, so he did--that's just it."]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Angelina_ (_scientific_). "Do you smell the iodine from the sea, Edwin?
Isn't it refreshing?"

_Old Salt_ (_overhearing_). "What you smell ain't the sea, miss. It's
the town drains as flows out just 'ere!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: OBLIGING.

_Excursionist_ (_to himself_). "Ullo! 'ere's one o' them artists.
'Dessay 'e'll want a genteel figger for 'is foreground. I'll _stand for

       *       *       *       *       *

TRUE DIPSOMANIA.--Overbathing at the seaside.

       *       *       *       *       *


    When the days are bright and hot,
      In the month of August,
    When the sunny hours are not
      Marred by any raw gust,
    Then I turn from toil with glee,
      Sing a careless canto,
    And to somewhere by the sea
      Carry my portmanteau.

    Shall I, dreaming on the sand,
      Pleased with all things finite,
    Envy Jones who travels and
      Climbs an Apennine height--
    Climbs a rugged peak with pain,
      Literally speaking,
    Only to descend again
      Fagged with pleasure-seeking?

    Smith, who, worn with labour, went
      Off for rest and leisure,
    Races round the Continent
      In pursuit of pleasure:
    Having lunched at Bâle, he will
      At Lucerne his tea take,
    Riding till he's faint and ill,
      Tramping till his feet ache.

    Shall I, dreaming thus at home,
      Left ashore behind here,
    Envy restless men who roam
      Seeking what I find here?
    Since beside my native sea,
      Where I sit to woo it,
    Pleasure always comes to me,
      Why should I pursue it?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE MURMUR OF THE TIED]

       *       *       *       *       *

EXTRA SPECIAL.--_Paterfamilias_ (_inspecting bill, to landlady_). I
thought you said, Mrs. Buggins, when I took these apartments, that there
were no extras, but here I find boots, lights, cruets, fire,
table-linen, sheets, blankets and kitchen fire charged.

_Mrs. Buggins._ Lor' bless you, sir, they're not extras, but

_Paterfamilias._ What, then, do you consider extras?

_Mrs. Buggins._ Well, sir, that's a difficult question to answer, but I
should suggest salad oil, fly-papers, and turtle soup.

    [_Paterfamilias drops the subject and pays his account._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SUSPICION

_Stout Visitor_ (_on discovering that, during his usual nap after
luncheon, he has been subjected to a grossly personal practical joke_).
"It's one o' those dashed artists that are staying at the 'Lord Nelson'
'a' done this, I know!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Aunt Jane._ "It's wonderful how this wireless telegraphy
is coming into use!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A DREAM OF THE SEA

Ethel, who is not to have a seaside trip this year, dreams every night
that she and her mamma and aunt and sisters spread their sash-bows and
panniers and fly away to the yellow sands.]

       *       *       *       *       *


    It nearly broke my widowed art,
      When first I tuk the notion,
    That parties didn't as they used,
      Take reglar to the ocean.

    The hinfants, darling little soles,
      Still cum quite frequent, bless 'em!
    But they is only sixpence each,
      Which hardly pays to dress 'em.

    The reason struck me all at once,
      Says I, "It's my opinion,
    The grown-up folks no longer bathes
      Because of them vile Sheenions."

    The last as cum drest in that style,
      Says, as she tuk it horf her,
    "I'm sure I shall not know the way
      To re-arrange my quoffur!"

    By which she ment the ed of air,
      Which call it wot they will, sir;
    Cum doubtless off a convict at
      Millbank or Pentonville, sir.

    The Parliament should pass a law,
      Which there's sufficient reason;
    That folks as wear the Sheenions should
      Bathe reg'lar in the season.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


(_Another communication from the side of the dear sea waves_)

I was told it was greatly improved--that there were alterations in the
sea-front suggestive of the best moments of the Thames Embankment--that
quite "smart" people daily paraded the pier. So having had enough of
"Urn-bye", I moved on. The improvements scarcely made themselves felt at
the railway station. Seemingly they had not attracted what Mr. Jeames
would call "the upper suckles." There were the customary British
middle-class matron from Peckham, looking her sixty summers to the full
in a sailor hat; the seaside warrior first cousin to the billiard-marker
captain with flashy rings, beefy hands, and a stick of pantomime
proportions, and the theatrical lady whose connection with the stage I
imagine was confined to capering before the footlights. However, they
all were there, as I had seen them any summer these twenty years.

But I had been told to go to the Pier, and so to the Pier I went,
glancing on my way at the entertainers on the sands, many of whom I
found to be old friends. Amongst them was the "h"-less phrenologist,
whose insight into character apparently satisfied the parents of any
child whose head he selected to examine. Thus, if he said that a
particularly stupid-looking little boy would make a good architect,
schoolmaster, or traveller for fancy goods, a gentleman in an
alpaca-coat and a wide-awake hat would bow gratified acquiescence, a
demonstration that would also be evoked from a lady in a dust cloak,
when the lecturer insisted that a giggling little girl would make a
"first-rate dressmaker and cutter-out."

Arrived at the Pier, I found there was twopence to pay for the privilege
of using the extension, which included a restaurant, a band, some
talented fleas, and a shop with a window partly devoted to the display
of glass tumblers, engraved with legends of an amusing character, such
as "Good old Mother-in-Law", "Jack's Night Cap", "Aunt Julia's Half
Pint", and so on. There were a number of seats and shelters, and below
the level of the shops was a landing-stage, at which twice a day two
steamers from or to London removed or landed passengers. During the rest
of the four-and-twenty hours it seemed to be occupied by a solitary
angler, catching chiefly seaweed. The Band, in spite of its uniform, was
not nearly so military as that at "Urn Bye." It contained a
pianoforte--an instrument upon which I found the young gentleman who
sold the programmes practising during a pause between the morning's
selection and the afternoon's performances. But still the Band was a
very tuneful one, and increased the pleasure that the presence of so
many delightful promenaders was bound to produce. Many of the ladies who
walked round and round, talking courteously to 'Arry in all his
varieties, wore men's _habits_, _pur et simple_ (giving them the
semblance of appearing in their shirt-sleeves), while their heads were
adorned with fair wigs and sailor hats, apparently fixed on together.

These free-and-easy-looking damsels did not seem to find favour in the
eyes of certain other ladies of a sedater type, who regarded them (over
their novels) with undisguised contempt. These other ladies, I should
think, from their conversation and appearance, must have been the very
flowers of the flock of Brixton Rise, and the _crème de la crême_ of
Peckham Rye society. Of course there were a number of more or less known
actors and actresses from London, some of them enjoying a brief holiday,
and others engaged in the less lucrative occupation of "resting."

However, the dropping of "h's", even to the accompaniment of sweet
music, sooner or later becomes monotonous, and so, after awhile, I was
glad to leave the Pier for the attractions of the Upper Cliff. On my way
I passed a Palace of Pleasure or Varieties, or Something wherein a
twopenny wax-work show seemed at the moment to be one of its greatest
attractions. This show contained a Chamber of Horrors, a scene full of
quiet humour of Napoleon the Third Lying in State, and an old effigy of
George the Third. The collection included the waxen head of a
Nonconformist minister, who, according to the lecturer, had been "wery
good to the poor", preserved in a small deal-box. There was also the
"Key-Dyevie" of Egypt, General Gordon, and Mrs. Maybrick. Tearing myself
away from these miscellaneous memories of the past, I ascended to the
East Cliff, which had still the "apartments-furnished" look that was
wont to distinguish it of yore. There was no change there; and as I
walked through the town, which once, as a watering-place, was second
only in importance to Bath,--which a century ago had for its M.C. a
rival of Beau Nash,--I could not help thinking how astonished the ghosts
of the fine ladies and gentlemen who visited "Meregate" in 1789 must be,
if they are able to see their successors of to-day--"Good Old Chawlie
Cadd", and Miss Topsie Stuart Plantagenet, _née_ Tompkins.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DEAL]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "NICE FOR THE VISITORS"

(Sketch outside a fashionable hotel)]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Boy_ (_to Brown, who is exceedingly proud of his
sporting appearance_). "Want a donkey, mister?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: INCORRIGIBLE

_Visitor._ "Well, my man, I expect it must have cost you a lot of money
to paint your nose that colour!"

_Reprobate._ "Ah, an' if Oi cud affoord it, Oi'd have it _varnished_

       *       *       *       *       *


_Materfamilias_ (_just arrived at Shrimpville--the children had been
down a month before_). "Well, Jane, have you found it dull?"

_Nurse._ "It was at fust, M'm. There was nothink to improve the mind,
M'm, till the niggers come down!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BY THE SAD SEA WAVES

"But, are you sure?"

"Yus, lady. 'E's strong as an 'orse!"

"But how am I to get on?"

"Oh, _I'll lift yer_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Confiding Spinster._ "I'm afraid the sea is too cold for me this
morning, Mr. Swabber."

_Bathing Man._ "Cold, miss! Lor' bless yer, I just took and powered a
kittle o' bilin' water in to take the chill off when I see you a

       *       *       *       *       *


_Injured Individual._ "Heigho! I _did_ think I should find some refuge
from the miseries of the seaside in the comforts of a bed! Just look
where my feet are, Maria!"

_His Wife._ "_Well_, John! it's _only_ for a _month_, you know!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BLIGHTED HOPES

_Extract of letter from Laura to Lillie_:--"I declare, dear, I never
gave the absurd creature the slightest encouragement. I did say, one
evening, I thought the little sandy coves about Wobbleswick were
charming, especially one. _The idea!_--of his thinking I was alluding to
him!"----&c., &c.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SENSITIVE

"I think I told you, in my letter of the first of October, of his absurd
interpretation of an innocent remark of mine about the sandy shores of
Wobbleswick. Well, would you believe it, dear! we were strolling on the
Esplanade, the other day, when he suddenly left Kate and me, and took
himself off in a tremendous huff because we said we liked walking _with
an object_!!"

    [_Extract from a later letter of Laura's to Lillie._


       *       *       *       *       *


"No bathing to-day!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


A Nocturne which would seem to show that "residential flats" were not
wholly unknown even in primeval times!]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Blinks._ "The sun 'll be over the yard-arm in ten
minutes. _Then_ we'll have a drink!"

_Jinks._ "I think I'll have one while I'm waiting!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Tompkins_ (_in a feeble voice, for the fourth or fifth time, with no
result_). "Chairman!!! chairman!!!"

_That Awful Boy._ "Lydies and gentlemen----!!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Paterfamilias in North Cornwall_)


    Oh! how delightful now at last to come
      Away from town--its dirt, its degradation,
    Its never-ending whirl, its ceaseless hum.
      (A long chalks better, though, than sheer stagnation.)

    For what could mortal man or maid want more
      Than breezy downs to stroll on, rocks to climb up,
    Weird labyrinthine caverns to explore?
      (There's nothing else to do to fill the time up.)

    Your honest face here earns an honest brown,
      You ramble on for miles 'mid gorse and heather,
    Sheep hold athletic sports upon the down
      (Which makes the mutton taste as tough as leather).

    The place is guiltless, too, of horrid piers.
      And likewise is not Christy-Minstrel tooney;
    No soul-distressing strains disturb your ears.
      (A German band has just played "_Annie Rooney_".)

    The eggs as fresh as paint, the Cornish cream
      The boys from school all say is "simply ripping."
    The butter, so the girls declare, "a dream."
      (The only baccy you can buy quite dripping.)

    A happiness of resting after strife,
      Where one forgets all worldly pain and sorrow,
    And one contentedly could pass one's life.
      (A telegram will take _me_ home to-morrow.)

       *       *       *       *       *

SCENE: MARGATE BEACH ON EASTER MONDAY.--_First Lady._ "Oh, here comes a
steamer. How high she is out of the water."

_Second Lady._ "Yes, dear, but don't you see? It's because the tide's so

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AWKWARD

_The aristocratic Jones_ (_rather ashamed of his loud acquaintance,
Brown_). "You must excuse me, but if there's one thing in the world I
particularly object to, it's to having anybody take my arm!"

_Brown._ "All right, old fellow!--_you_ take _mine_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Question._ Is it your intention to leave London at once to benefit by
the ocean breezes on the English coast?

_Answer._ Certainly, with the bulk of my neighbours.

_Q._ Then the metropolis will become empty?

_A._ Practically, for only about three and a half millions out of the
four millions will be left behind.

_Q._ What do you consider the remaining residuum?

_A._ From a West End point of view a negligible quantity.

_Q._ Do not some of the Eastenders visit the seaside?

_A._ Yes, at an earlier period in the year, when they pay rather more
for their accommodation than their neighbours of the West.

_Q._ How can this be, if it be assumed that the East is poorer than the

_A._ The length of the visit is governed by the weight of the purse.
Belgravia stays a couple of months at Eastbourne, while three days at
Margate is enough for Shoreditch.

_Q._ Has a sojourn by the sea waves any disadvantages?

_A._ Several. In the first instance, lodgings are frequently expensive
and uncomfortable. Then there is always a chance that the last lodgers
may have occupied their rooms as convalescents. Lastly, it is not
invariably the case that the climate agrees with himself and his family.

_Q._ And what becomes of the house in town?

_A._ If abandoned to a caretaker, the reception rooms may be used by her
own family as best chambers, and if let to strangers, the furniture may
be injured irretrievably.

_Q._ But surely in the last case there would be the certainty of
pecuniary indemnity?

_A._ Cherished relics cannot be restored by their commonplace value in

_Q._ Then, taking one thing with another, the benefit of a visit to the
seaside is questionable?

_A._ Assuredly; and an expression of heartfelt delight at the
termination of the outing and the consequent return home is the
customary finish to the, styled by courtesy, holiday.

_Q._ But has not the seaside visit a compensating advantage?

_A._ The seaside visit has a compensating advantage of overwhelming
proportions, which completely swallows up and effaces all suggestions of
discomfort--it is the fashion.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PARIS?

"Not if I know it! Give me a quiet month at the seaside, and leave me
alone, please!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Irene._ "Do you remember Kitty Fowler?"

_Her Friend._ "No, I don't."

_Irene._ "Oh, you _must_ remember Kitty. She was the plainest girl in
Torquay. But I forgot--that was after you left!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Visitor._ "Have you ever seen the sea-serpent?"

_Boatman._ "No, sir. I'm a temperance man."]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Husband._ "Hi! Maria! Take care of the paint!"

_Painter._ "It don't matter, ma'am. It'll all 'ave to be painted

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MARGATE

_Chatty Visitor._ "I like the place. I always come here. 'Worst of it
is, it's a little too dressy!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Shy but Susceptible Youth._ "Er--_could_ you tell me who that young
lady is--sketching?"

_Affable Stranger._ "She has the misfortune to be my wife!"

_Shy but Susceptible One_ (_desperately anxious to please, and losing
all presence of mind_). "Oh--the misfortune's entirely _yours_, I'm

       *       *       *       *       *

BRILLIANT SUGGESTION (_Overheard at the Seaside_).--_She._ "So much
nicer now that all the visitors have gone. Don't you think so?"

_He._ "Yes, by Jove! So jolly nice and quiet! Often wonder that
_everybody_ doesn't come now when there's nobody here, don't you know!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A NUISANCE.

_Miss Priscilla._ "Yes; it's a beautiful view. But tourists are in the
habit of bathing on the opposite shore, and that's rather a drawback."

_Fair Visitor._ "Dear me! but at such a distance as that--surely----"

_Miss Priscilla._ "Ah, but with a _telescope_, you know!"]

       *       *       *       *       *



    I do not mean the Kodak fiend,
      Who takes snap-shots of ladies dipping,
    And gloats o'er sundry views he's gleaned
      Of amatory couples "tripping."

    No, not these playful amateurs
      I sing of, but the serious artist,
    Who spreads upon the beach his lures,
      What time the season's at its smartest.

    His tongue is glib, his terms are cheap,
      For ninepence while you wait he'll take you;
    Posterity shall, marv'lling, keep
      The "tin-type" masterpiece he'll make you.

    What though his camera be antique,
      His dark-room just a nose-bag humble,
    What if his tripod legs are weak,
      And threaten constantly to tumble.

    No swain nor maiden can withstand
      His invitation arch, insidious,
    To pose _al fresco_ on the strand--
      His _clientèle_ are not fastidious.

    "You are so lovely", says the wretch,
      "Your picture will be quite entrancing!"
    And to the lady in the sketch
      I overheard him thus romancing.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Sir Talbot Howard Vere de Vere._ "Ah! Good morning, Mrs. Jones!
Dreadful accident just occurred. Poor young lady riding along the King's
Road--horse took fright--reared, and fell back upon her--dreadfully
injured, I'm sorry to say!"

_Mrs. Woodbee Swellington Jones._ "_Quite_ too shocking, dear Sir
Talbot! Was she--er--a person of position?"

_Sir Talbot Howard Vere de Vere._ "POSITION, by George!! Dooced
uncomfortable position, too, I should say!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD

_Bertie._ "Gertie, do just go back to the beach and fetch me a baby
(you'll find a lot about), and I'll show you all the different ways of
saving it from drowning!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: TYNEMOUTH]

The weather which, in Mr. Dunstable's varied experience of
five-and-twenty years, he assures me, has never been so bad, having at
length afforded some indications of "breaking", I make the acquaintance,
through Mrs. Cobbler, of Mr. Wisterwhistle, proprietor of the one
bath-chair available for the invalid of Torsington-on-Sea, who, like
myself, stands in need of the salubrious air of that health-giving
resort, but who is ordered by his medical adviser to secure it with the
least possible expenditure of physical strength.

Both Mr. Wisterwhistle and his chair are peculiar in their respective
ways, and each has a decided history. Mr. Wisterwhistle, growing
confidential over his antecedents, says, "You see, sir, I wasn't brought
up to the bath-chair business, so to speak, for I began in the Royal
Navy, under His Majesty King William the Fourth. Then I took to the
coastguard business, and having put by a matter of thirty pound odd, and
hearing 'she' was in the market,"--Mr. Wisterwhistle always referred to
his bath-chair as 'she,' evidently regarding it from the nautical
stand-point as of the feminine gender,--"and knowing, saving your
presence, sir, that old Bloxer, of whom I bought her, had such a good
crop of cripples the last season or two, that he often touched
two-and-forty shillings a week with 'em, I dropped Her Majesty's
service, and took to this 'ere. But, Lor, sir, the business ain't wot it
wos. Things is changed woeful at Torsington since I took her up. Then
from 9 o'clock, as you might say, to 6 P.M., every hour was took up;
and, mind you, by real downright 'aristocracy,'--real live noblemen,
with gout on 'em, as thought nothink of a two hours' stretch, and didn't
'aggle, savin' your presence, over a extra sixpence for the job either
way. But, bless you, wot's it come to now? Why, she might as well lay up
in a dry dock arf the week, for wot's come of the downright genuine
invalid, savin' your presence, blow'd if I knows. One can see, of
course, sir, in arf a jiffy, as you is touched in the legs with the
rheumatics, or summat like it; but besides you and a old gent on
crutches from Portland Buildings, there ain't no real invalid public
'ere at all, and one can't expect to make a livin' out of you two; for
if you mean to do the thing ever so 'ansome, it ain't reasonable to
expect you and the old gent I was a referring to, to stand seven hours a
day goin' up and down the Esplanade between you, and you see even that
at a bob an hour ain't no great shakes when you come to pay for 'ousing
her and keepin' her lookin' spic and span, with all her brass knobs a
shining and her leather apron fresh polished with patent carriage
blackin': and Lor, sir, you'd not b'lieve me if I was to tell you what a
deal of show some parties expects for their one bob an hour. Why, it was
only the other day that Lady Glumpley (a old party with a front of black
curls and yaller bows in her bonnet, as I dare say you've noticed me a
haulin' up and down the Parade when the band's a playin'), says to me,
says she, 'It ain't so much the easygoin' of your chair, Mr.
Wisterwhistle, as makes me patronise it, as its general genteel
appearance. For there's many a chair at Brighton that can't hold a
candle to it!'" But at this point he was interrupted by the appearance
of a dense crowd that half filled the street, and drew up in silent
expectation opposite my front door. Dear me, I had quite forgotten I had
sent for him. But the boy who cleans the boots and knives has returned,
and brought with him _the One Policeman_!


       *       *       *       *       *

noticeable at certain times arise from the fact of the tide being high?
If so, is the tide sometimes higher than usual, as the--ahem!--odours
certainly are?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PERIL!

_Gruff Voice_ (_behind her--she thought she heard her own name_). "She's
a gettin' old, Bill, and she sartain'y ain't no beauty! But you and I'll
smarten her up! Give her a good tarrin' up to the waist, and a streak o'
paint, and they 'ont know her again when the folks come down a'
Whitsun'. Come along, and let's ketch 'old of her, and shove her into
the water fust of all!!"

_Miss Isabella._ "Oh! the horrid wretches! No policeman in sight!
Nothing for it but flight!"

    [Is off like a bird!


       *       *       *       *       *


There were even then quiet spots by the sea where one could be alone
with Nature undisturbed]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A SENSE OF PROPERTY

_Botanical Old Gent_ (_in the Brighton Gardens_). "Can you tell me, my
good man, if this plant belongs to the 'Arbutus' family?"

_Gardener_ (_curtly_). "No, sir, it doan't. It b'longs to the

       *       *       *       *       *


Portrait of a gentleman attempting to regain his tent after the morning

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MERMAIDS' TOILETS IN '67

_Blanche._ "I say, some of you, call after aunty! She has taken my
_chignon_, and left me her horrid black one!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


The captain, who is well up in his classics, translates, for his Fanny's
benefit, a celebrated Latin poem (by one Lucretius) to the effect that
it is sweet to gaze from the cliff at the bathing machines vainly
struggling to take the unfortunate bathers into deep water.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SEASIDE PUZZLE

To find your bathing-machine if you've forgotten the number]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

SEASIDE DRAMA.--_Mrs. de Tomkyns_ (_sotto voce, to Mr. de T._).
"Ludovic, dear, there's Algernon playing with a strange child! _Do_
prevent it!"

_Mr. de T._ (_ditto, to Mrs. de T._). "How on earth am I to prevent it,
my love?"

_Mrs. de T._ "Tell its parents Algernon is just recovering from scarlet
fever, or something!"

_Mr. de T._ "But it isn't true!"

_Mrs. de T._ "Oh, never mind! Tell them, all the same!"

_Mr. de T._ (_aloud_). "Ahem! Sir, you'd better not let your little girl
play with my little boy. He's only just recovering from--er--_Scarlet

_Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins_ (_together_). "It's all right, sir!--_so's our
little gal!_"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MIXED BATHING

_Fussy Landlady_ (_to new Lodger_). "Well, sir, if you'll only tell me
when you want a bath, _I'll see you have it_."]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A Gasp and a Growl from Paterfamilias Fogey_)


    In for it here,
      Six weeks or more,
    Once every year
      (Yah, what a bore!)
    Daughters and wife
      Force me to bide
    Mad to "see life"
      By the seaside!

    Go out of town
      What if we do?
    Hither comes down
      All the world too;
    Vanity Fair,
      Fashion and Pride,
    Seeking fresh air
      By the seaside.

    Drest up all hands--
      Raiment how dear!--
    Down on the sands,
      Out on the Pier,
    Pace to and fro,
      See, as at Ryde,
    Off how they show
      By the seaside!

    Fops and fine girls,
      Swarm, brisk as bees;
    Ribbons and curls
      Float on the breeze;
    Females and males
      Eye and are eyed;
    Ogling prevails
      By the seaside!

    Daughters may see
      Some fun in that.
    Wife, how can she,
      Grown old and fat?
    Scene I survey
      But to deride,
    Idle display
      By the seaside.

    Views within reach,
      Picturesque scenes,
    Rocks on the beach,
      Bathing machines,
    Shingle and pools,
      Left by the tide,
    Youth, far from schools,
      By the seaside.

    Artists may sketch,
      Draw and design,
    Pencil, or etch;
      Not in my line.
    Money, no end,
      Whilst I am tied
    Here, I must spend,
      By the seaside!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Snooks_ (_to new acquaintance_). "Tell yer what, look in
one evenin' and 'ave a bit of supper, if you don't mind 'avin it in the
kitchen. Yer see, we're plain people, and don't put on no side. Of
course, I know as a toff like you 'ud 'ave it in the _drawing-room_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TORQUAY (TALKEY)]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HASTINGS]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mrs. Brown finds Sandymouth a very different place from what she
remembers it years ago._

_Greengrocer._ "Cabbage, mum!? We don't keep no second-class vegetables,
mum. You'll get it at the lower end o' the town!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: KINGSWEAR]

_Tom Jones_ (_in love_). The most heavenly place I ever was in. The sun
is warmer, the sky bluer, the sea the calmest I ever knew. Joy sparkles
on every pebble; Art spreads its welcome arms through every spray of
seaweed. True happiness encircles me on every breeze, and Beauty is by
my side.

_Old Jones._ Beastly slow. All sea and sky, and ugly round stones. You
can't bask in the sun because there is none--it's always raining--and
because the flints worry your back. Confound the children, scraping up
the wet sand and smelling seaweeds! It must be time for them to go to
bed or to lessons or something. Wherever you sit there is sure to be a
draught, and such heaps of old women you can't put your legs up on the
seat. Hang it all, there isn't a young girl in the place, let alone
pretty ones.

[Illustration: O-SHUN SHELLS!]

_Young Brown_ (_waiting for a Commission_). Awfully dull. Quite too
excessively detestable. Not a fellow to talk to, you know, who knows
anything about the Leger, or draw-poker, or modern education, you know.
Can't get introduced to Lady Tom Peeper. Nobody to do it. Wish my
moustache would curl. Pull it all day, you know, but it won't come. Lady
Tom smiled, on the Parade to-day. Got very red, but I shall smile too
to-morrow. A man must do something in this dreadful place.

_Major Brown_ (_Heavies_). Not half bad kind of diggings. Quite in
clover. Found Lydia here--I mean Lady Tom Peeper. Horribly satirical
woman, though. Keeps one up to the mark. I shall have to read up to keep
pace with her. I shouldn't like to be chaffed by her. Better friend than
enemy. Poor Tom Peeper! he must have a bad time of it! Can't say "Bo"
to a gosling. And she knows it. That's why he never comes down here.
Coast clear. Fancy she's rather sweet on me. By Jove! we had a
forty-mile-an-hour-express flirtation before her marriage! Must take
care what I'm about now. Mustn't have a collision with Tom--good old
man, after all, if he is a fool. Take this note round, Charles, to the
same place.

[Illustration: A CUTTER ON THE BEECH]

_Mrs. Robinson_ (_Materfamilias_). Scarcely room to swing a cot, for
baby. Thank goodness, all the children are on the beach. I hope Mary Ann
won't let out to the other nurses that Totty had the scarlet fever. He's
quite well now, poor little man, and no one will be any the worse for
it. Horrid! of course. No, it is not a Colorado beetle, Robinson. They
infest the curtains; we did not bring them with us in our trunks. Do go
out and buy some insect-powder, instead of looking stupid behind that
nasty cigar. Oh, and get some soap and some tooth-powder, and order
baby's tonic, and Jane's iron--mind, sesqui-sulphate of iron (I suppose
I must find the prescription), and a box of--what's that stuff for sore
throats? And do hire a perambulator with a hood. And we have no dessert
for to-morrow--you know, or you ought to know, it's Sunday. Some fruit,
and what you like. Oh! and don't forget some biscuits for the dog. What
has become of Tiny? Tiny! Tiny! I know he did not go with the children.
I dare say he has eaten something horrid, and is dying under a chair.
Dear! dear! who would be mother of a family with such a careless,
thoughtless, quite too utterly selfish husband as you are. Of course you
never remembered to-day was my birthday. I ought never to have been
born. A bracelet or a pair of ear-rings--or, by the way, I saw a lovely
châtelaine on the Parade. You might find enough to give me one pleasure
since our wedding.

_Robinson_ (_Paterfamilias_). I like the seaside, I do. When will it be

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A SANDY COVE]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A FRAGMENT

    Augustus knows a certain snug retreat--
    A little rocky cavern by the sea--
    Where, sheltered from the rain (and every eye),
    He fondly hopes to breathe his tale of love
    Into his artless Arabella's ear!...]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Jack_ (_a naughty boy, who is always in disgrace, and most
deservedly_). "I say, Effie, do you know what I should like? I should
like to be accused of something I'd never done!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A LAMENT

_Dowager._ "It's been the worst season I can remember, Sir James! All
the men seem to have got married, and none of the girls!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: JOYS OF THE SEASIDE

_Brown._ "What beastly weather! And the glass is going steadily down!"

_Local Tradesman._ "Oh, that's nothing, sir. The glass has no effect
whatever on _our_ part of the coast!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: BROAD-STARES]

SCENE--_Any fashionable Watering-place where "Church Parade" is a
recognised institution._

TIME--_Sunday_, 1 P.M. _Enter_ Brown _and_ Mrs. Brown, _who take

_Mrs. Brown._ Good gracious! Look another way! Those odious people, the
Stiggingses, are coming towards us!

_Brown._ Why odious? I think the girls rather nice.

_Mrs. B._ (_contemptuously_). Oh, _you_ would, because men are so easily
taken in! Nice, indeed! Why, here's Major Buttons.

_B._ (_moving his head sharply to the right_). Don't see him! Can't
stand the fellow! I always avoid him at the Club!

_Mrs. B._ Why? Soldiers are always such pleasant men.

_B._ (_contemptuously_). Buttons a soldier! Years ago he was a
Lieutenant in a marching regiment, and now holds honorary rank in the
Volunteers! Soldier, indeed! Bless me! here's Mrs. Fitz-Flummery--mind
you don't cut her.

_Mrs. B._ Yes, I shall; the woman is unsupportable. Did you ever see
_such_ a dress. And she has changed the colour of her hair--again!

_B._ Whether she has or hasn't, she looks particularly pleasing.

_Mrs. B._ (_drily_). You were always a little eccentric in your taste!
Why, surely there must be Mr. Pennyfather Robson. How smart he looks!
Where _can_ he have come from?

_B._ The Bankruptcy Court! (_Drily._) You were never particularly famous
for discrimination. As I live, the Plantagenet Smiths!

    [_He bows with effusion._

_Mrs. B._ And the Stuart Joneses. (_She kisses her hand gushingly_). By
the way, dear, didn't you say that the Plantagenet Smiths were suspected
of murdering their uncle before they inherited his property?

_B._ So it is reported, darling. And didn't you tell me, my own, that
the parents of Mr. Stuart Jones were convicts before they became

_Mrs. B._ So I have heard, loved one. (_Starting up._) Come, Charley, we
must be off at once! The Goldharts! If they catch us, _she_ is sure to
ask me to visit some of her sick poor!

_B._ And _he_ to beg me to subscribe to an orphanage or a hospital!
Here, take your prayer-book, or people won't know that we have come from

    [_Exeunt hurriedly._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ROW ME O!]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CURLEW]

       *       *       *       *       *

AT SCARBOROUGH.--_Miss Araminta Dove._ Why do they call this the Spa?

_Mr. Rhino-Ceros._ Oh! I believe the place was once devoted to boxing

    [_Miss A.D. as wise as ever._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "BY THE SAD SEA WAVES"

_Landlady_ (_who has just presented her weekly bill_). "I 'ope, ma'am,
as you find the bracing hair agree with you, ma'am, and your good
gentleman, ma'am!"

_Lady._ "Oh, yes, our appetites are wonderfully improved! For instance,
at home we only eat two loaves a day, and I find, from your account,
that we can manage eight!"

    [_Landlady feels uncomfortable._


       *       *       *       *       *


"Oh, I say, here comes that dismal bore, Bulkley! Let's pretend _we
don't see him_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PESSIMISM

_Artist_ (_irritated by the preliminaries of composition and the too
close proximity of an uninteresting native_). "I think you needn't wait
any longer. There's really nothing to look at just now."

_Native._ "Ay, an' I doot there'll _never_ be muckle to look at there!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A Song for the Seaside_)


    The Donkey-Boys of England, how merrily they fly,
    With pleasant chaff upon the tongue and cunning in the eye.
    And oh! the donkeys in a mass how patiently they stand,
    High on the heath of Hampstead, or down on Ramsgate's sand.

    The Donkey-Boys of England, how sternly they reprove
    The brute that won't "come over", with an impressive shove;
    And oh! the eel-like animals, how gracefully they swerve
    From side to side, but won't advance to spoil true beauty's curve.

    The Donkey-Boys of England, how manfully they fight,
    When a probable donkestrian comes suddenly in sight;
    From nurse's arms the babies are clutch'd with fury wild,
    And on a donkey carried off the mother sees her child.

    The Donkey-Boys of England, how sternly they defy
    The pleadings of a parent's shriek, the infant's piercing cry;
    As a four-year-old MAZEPPA is hurried from the spot,
    Exposed to all the tortures of a donkey's fitful trot.

    The Donkey-Boys of England, how lustily they scream,
    When they strive to keep together their donkeys in a team;
    And the riders who are anxious to be class'd among genteels,
    Have a crowd of ragged Donkey-boys "hallooing" at their heels.

    The Donkey-Boys of England, how well they comprehend
    The animal to whom they act as master, guide, and friend;
    The understanding that exists between them who'll dispute--
    Or that the larger share of it falls sometimes to the brute?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE JETTY]

       *       *       *       *       *

SEASIDE ACQUAINTANCES (SCENE--The Shady Side of Pall Mall).--_Snob._ My
Lord, you seem to forget me. Don't you recollect our meeting this summer
at Harrogate?

_Swell._ My dear fellow, I do not forget it in the least. I recollect
vividly we swore eternal friendship at Harrogate, and should it be my
fate to meet you at Harrogate next year, I shall only be too happy to
swear it again.

    [_Lifts his chapeau, and leaves Snob in a state of the most speechless

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Portrait of a gentleman who sent his wife and family to
the seaside, followed by a later train, and left their address behind.

    [_Sketched after five hours' futile search for them._


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A VOICE FROM THE SEA

"O let me kiss him for his mother!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By the Cynic who stays in London_)

[Illustration: "HA! RICH!"]

Because "everybody" is there, and it is consequently so pleasant to see
St. John's Wood, Bayswater, and even Belgravia, so well represented on
the Esplanade.

Because the shops in the King's Road are _nearly_ as good as those to be
found in Regent Street.

Because the sea does not _always_ look like the Thames at Greenwich in a

Because some of the perambulating bands play very nearly in tune.

Because the Drive from the Aquarium to the New Pier is quite a mile in
length, and only grows monotonous after the tenth turn.

Because watching fish confined in tanks is such rollicking fun.

Because the Hebrews are so numerously represented on the Green.

Because the Clubs are so inexpensive and select.

Because the management of the Grand is so very admirable.

Because it is so pleasant to follow the Harriers on a hired hack in
company with other hired hacks.

Because the half-deserted Skating Rinks are so very amusing.

Because it is so nice to hear second-rate scandal about third-rate

Because the place is not always being visited by the scarlet fever.

Because it is so cheerful to see the poor invalids taking their morning
airing in their bath-chairs.

Because the streets are paraded by so many young gentlemen from the

Because the Brighton belles look so ladylike in their quiet Ulsters and
unpretending hats.

Because the suburbs are so very cheerful in the winter, particularly
when it snows or rains.

Because on every holiday the Railway Company brings down such a very
nice assortment of excursionists to fill the streets.

Because Brighton in November is so very like Margate in July.

Because, if you did not visit Brighton, you might so very easily go
farther and fare worse.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WESTON-SUPER-MARE]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Tomkins, disconsolate on a rock, traces some characters upon the sand._
_To him, Mrs. Tomkins_ (_whose name is Martha_).

_Mrs. T._ "Well, Mr. Tomkins, and pray who may Henrietta be?"

    [_Tomkins utters a yell of despair, and falls prostrate._


       *       *       *       *       *


"What does t'lass want wi' yon _boostle_ for? It aren't big enough to
_smoggle_ things, and she can't _steer_ herself wi' it!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By a Resident_)

    What does he come for?
      What does he want?
    Why does he wander thus
      Careworn and gaunt?
    Up street and down street with
      Dull vacant stare,
    Hither and thither, it
      Don't matter where?

    What does he mean by it?
      Why does he come
    Hundreds of miles to prowl,
      Weary and glum,
    Blinking at Kosmos with
      Lack-lustre eye?
    He doesn't enjoy it, he
      Don't even try!

    Sunny or soaking, it's
      All one to him,
    Wandering painfully--
      Curious whim!
    Gazing at china-shops.
      Gaping at sea,
    Guzzling at beer-shops, or
      Gorging at tea.

    Why don't he stay at home,
      Save his train fare,
    Soak at his native beer,
      Sunday clothes wear?
    No one would grudge it him,
      No one would jeer.
    Why does he come away?
      Why is he here?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BLACKPOOL]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BRIGHTON]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MARGATE]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Landlady._ "I hope you slept well, sir?"

_New Boarder._ "No, I didn't. I've been troubled with insomnia."

_Landlady._ "Look here, young man. I'll give you a sovereign for every
one you find in that bed!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TOUCHING APPEAL

_Testy Old Gent._ (_wearied by the importunities of the Brighton
boatmen_). "Confound it, man! Do I _look_ as if I wanted a boat?"]

       *       *       *       *       *


I've bin spending my long Wacation of a fortnite at Northgate.

Northgate's a nice quiet place, Northgate is, tho' it quite fails in
most things that constitoots reel injoyment at the seaside, such as
Bands and Niggers and Minstrels and all that.

It's a grand place for weather, for it generally blows hard at
Northgate, and wen it doesn't blow hard it rains hard, which makes a
nice change, and a change is wot we all goes to the seaside for.

It seems a werry favrite place for inwaleeds, for the place is full on
'em, Bath cheers is in great demand and all the seats on the Prade is
allus occypied by 'em.

Dr. Scratchem too sends most of his favrite cases there, and you can't
walk on the Peer without facing lots on 'em.

Brown says the place makes him as sollem as a Common Cryer, and he
hasn't had a good hearty larf since he came here, but then Brown isn't
quite sattisfied with his Lodgings, and has acshally recommended his
Land Lady to turn her house into the Norfolk Howard Hotel, _Unlimited_,
so perhaps she may account for his want of spirits. Northgate's rather a
rum place as regards the tide. Wen it's eye it comes all over the place
and makes such a jolly mess, and wen it's low it runs right out to sea
and you can't see it. Brown tried to persuade me as how as one werry eye
tide was a spring tide, but as it was in September I wasn't so green as
to beleeve that rubbish.

It seems quite a pet place for Artists, I mean Sculpchers, at least I
s'pose they must be Sculpchers, and that they brings their Moddels with
'em, for the Bathing Machines is stuck close to the Peer, so dreckly
after breakfast the Moddels goes and bathes in the Sea, and the
Sculpchers goes on the Peer, and there's nothink to divert their
attention from their interesting studdys, and many on 'em passes ours
there quietly meditating among the Bathing Machines.

Brown says, in his sarcastic way, it's the poor Sculpchers as comes
here, who can't afford to pay for their Moddels, so they comes here and
gets 'em free gratis for nothink.

There's sum werry nice walks in the nayberhood but I never walks 'em,
for it seems to me that the grate joke of every Buysicler and Trysicler,
and the place swarms with 'em, is to cum quietly behind you and see how
close he can go by you without nocking you down. I'm sure the jumps
and the starts and the frites as I had the fust day or too kep my Art in
my mouth till I thort it would have choked me.

How Ladys, reel Ladys too, can expose theirselves on such things I can't
make out. I herd a young Swell say that wot with them and what with the
Bathing Moddels it was as good as a Burlesk!

We've got werry cumferrabel Lodgings, we have, just opposite the Gas
Works and near a Brick Field. When the wind is South or West we smells
the bricks and when its East we smells the Gas, but when its doo North
we don't smell nuffen excep just a trifle from the Dranes, and so long
as we keeps quite at the end of the werry long Peer we don't smell
nuffen at all excep the sea weed.

Our Landlord's a werry respeckabel man and the Stoker on our little
Railway, and so werry fond of nussing our little children that they are
allus as black as young Sweeps. Their gratest treat is to go with him to
the Stashun and stand on the ingin when they are shuntin, so preshus
little they gits of the sea breezes.

We've had a fust rate Company staying here. I've seen no less than 2
Aldermen, and 1 Warden of a City Compny, but they didn't stay long. I
don't think the living was good enuff for 'em. It must be a werry trying
change, from every luxery that isn't in season, to meer beef and mutton
and shrimps! and those rayther course.

I think our Boatmen is about the lazyest set of fellows as ever I seed.
So far from begging on you to have a soft Roe with the Tide, or a hard
Roe against it, they makes all sorts of egscewses for not taking you,
says they're just a going to dinner, or they thinks the wind's a
gitting up, or there ain't enough water!

Not enuff water in the Sea to flote a Bote! wen any one could see as
there was thousands of galluns there.

I saw some on 'em this mornin bringin in sum fish, and asked the price
of a pair of Souls, but they axshally said they didn't dare sell one,
for every man Jack of 'em must be sent to Billingsgate! but werry likely
sum on 'em might be sent back again in the arternoon, and then I could
get some at the Fishmonger's!

What a nice derangemunt!

There was the butiful fresh fish reddy for eating, there was me and my
family reddy to eat 'em, but no, they must be packed in boxes and
carried to the Station and then sent by Rale to London, and then sent by
Wan to Billingsgate, and that takes I'm told ever so many hours, and
then carried back to the London Stashun, and then sent by Rale to
Northgate, and then carried from the Stashun to the Fishmonger's, and
then I'm allowed to buy 'em!

Well if that isn't a butiful business like arrangement, my Lord Mare, I
should like to know what is.

However, as I wunce herd a Deputy say, when things cums to their wust,
things is sure to mend, and I don't think that things can be much wusser
than that.

  (_Signed_) ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HEAVY SWELL ON THE BAR]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE BELL BUOY]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SPIRIT OF THE THING.--_Landlady_ (_to shivering lodger_). No, sir, I
don't object to your dining at a restorong, nor to your taking an
'apenny paper, but I must resent your constant 'abit of locking up your
whiskey, thereby himplying that me, a clergyman's daughter, is prone to

    [_Lodger immediately hands her the key as a guarantee of good faith._

       *       *       *       *       *


So! as it's a fine day, you'll sit on the beach and read the paper
comfortably, will you? Very good! Then we recommend you to get what
guinea-pigs, brandy-balls, boats, and children's socks, to say nothing
of shell-workboxes, lace collars, and the like you may want, before you
settle down.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "Excuse me, sir. I seem to have met you before. Are you
not a relative of Mr. Dan Briggs?"

"No, madam. I _am_ Mr. Dan Briggs himself."

"Ah, then that explains the remarkable resemblance!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ACCOMMODATING

_Lodger._ "And then, there's that cold pheasant, Mrs. Bilkes"----

_Landlady._ "Yes'm, and if you should have enough without it, lor', Mr.
Bilkes wouldn't mind a eatin' of it for his supper, if that's all."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mrs. Brown._ "Might I ask how much you gave that

_Mr. Brown_ (_first day down_). "Sixpence."

_Mrs. B._ "Oh, indeed! Perhaps, sir, you are not aware that your wife
and family have listened to those same niggers for the last ten days for
a _penny_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mermaiden._ "I am told you keep a circulating library?"

_Librarian._ "Yes, miss. _There_ it is! Subscription, two shillings
a-week; one volume at a time; change as often as you please! Would you
like to see a catalogue?"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Polite Little Girl_ (_suddenly_). "This is my mamma, sir. Will you
please sing her, 'It's the seasoning wot does it!'"]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Visitor._ "What a roaring trade the hotels will be doing, with all
these holiday folk!"

_Head waiter at The George._ "Lor bless yer, sir, no! They all bring
their nosebags with 'em!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SEASIDE STUDIES

_Wandering Minstrel._ "Gurls! I'm a doocid fine cha-appie!" &c., &c.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Wiggles and Sprott prefer bathing from the beach to
having a stuffy machine. They are much pleased with the delicate little
attention indicated above!]

       *       *       *       *       *


A Brighton bath-chairman's idea of a suitable route for an invalid lady]

       *       *       *       *       *


    On the sands as loitering I stand
      Where my point of view the scene commands,
    I survey the prospect fair and grand
                      On the sands.

    Niggers, half a dozen German bands,
      Photographic touts, persistent, bland,
    Chiromancers reading dirty hands,

    Nursemaids, children, preachers, skiffs that land
      Trippers with cigars of fearful brands,
    Donkeys--everything, in short, but sand--
                      On the sands.

       *       *       *       *       *


Old Mr. de Cramwell, being bilious and out of sorts, is ordered to go to
the sea, and take plenty of exercise in the open air. (He begins at

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: TAKING A ROW]

The "disguised minstrel", believed by the public to be a peer of the
realm collecting coin for a charity, but who is in reality the
sentimental singer from a perambulating troop of nigger banjoists,
"working on his own."

The preacher whose appreciation of the value of logic and the aspirate
is on a par.

The intensely military young man whose occupation during eleven months
in the year is the keeping of ledgers in a small city office.

The artist who guarantees a pleasing group of lovers for sixpence, frame

The band that consists of a cornet, a trombone, a clarionet, some bass,
and a big drum, which is quite as effective (thanks to the trombone)
when all the principals have deserted in search of coppers.

And last (and commonest of all) the cockney who, after a week's
experience of the discomforts of the seaside, is weary of them, and
wants to go home.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By an Impressionist_)

    Old lady first, with hair like winter snows,
                            Makes moan.
    And struggles. Then, with cheeks too richly rose,
                            A crone,
    Gold hair, new teeth, white powder on her nose;
                            All bone
    And skin; an "Ancient Mystery", like those
                            Of Hone.
    Then comes a girl; sweet face that freshly glows!
                            Well grown.
    The neat cloth gown her supple figure shows
                            Now thrown
    In lines of beauty. Last, in graceless pose,
                            Half prone,
    A luckless lout, caught by the blast, one knows
                            His tone
    Means oaths; his hat, straight as fly crows,
                            Has flown.
    I laugh at him, and----Hi! By Jove, there goes
                            My own!

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A Sketch at Margate_)

     _Close under the Parade wall a large circle has been formed,
     consisting chiefly of Women on chairs and camp-stools, with an
     inner ring of small Children, who are all patiently awaiting the
     arrival of a troupe of Niggers. At the head of one of the flights
     of steps leading up to the Parade, a small and shrewish Child-nurse
     is endeavouring to detect and recapture a pair of prodigal younger
     Brothers, who have given her the slip._

_Sarah_ (_to herself_). Wherever can them two plegs have got to?
(_Aloud; drawing a bow at a venture._) Albert! 'Enery! Come up 'ere this
minnit. _I_ see yer!

_'Enery_ (_under the steps--to Albert_). I say--d'ye think she
_do_?--'cos if----

_Albert._ Not she! Set tight.

    [_They sit tight._

_Sarah_ (_as before_). 'Enery! Albert! You've bin and 'alf killed little
Georgie between yer!

_'Enery_ (_moved, to Albert_). Did you 'ear that, Bert? It wasn't _me_
upset him--was it now?

_Albert_ (_impenitent_). 'Oo cares? The Niggers'll be back direckly.

_Sarah._ Al-bert! 'Enery! Your father's bin down 'ere once after you.
You'll _ketch_ it!

_Albert_ (_sotto voce_). Not till father ketches _us_, we shan't. Keep
still, 'Enery--we're all right under 'ere!

_Sarah_ (_more diplomatically_). 'Enery! Albert! Father's bin and left a
'ap'ny apiece for yer. Ain't yer comin' up for it? If yer don't want it,
why, stay where you are, that's all!

_Albert_ (_to 'Enery_). I _knoo_ we 'adn't done nothin'. An' I'm goin'
up to git that 'ap'ny, I am.

_'Enery._ So 'm I.

    [_They emerge, and ascend the steps--to be pounced upon immediately by
    the ingenious Sarah._

_Sarah._ 'Ap'ny, indeed! You won't git no 'apence _'ere_, I can tell
yer--so jest you come along 'ome with me!

    [_Exeunt Albert and 'Enery, in captivity, as the Niggers enter the

_Bones._ We shall commence this afternoon by 'olding our Grand Annual
Weekly Singing Competition, for the Discouragement of Youthful Talent.
Now then, which is the little gal to step out first and git a medal?
(_The Children giggle, but remain seated._) Not one? Now I arsk
_you_--What _is_ the use o' me comin' 'ere throwin' away thousands and
thousands of pounds on golden medals, if you won't take the trouble to
stand up and sing for them? Oh, you'll make me so wild, I shall begin
spittin' 'alf-sovereigns directly--I _know_ I shall! (_A little Girl in
a sun-bonnet comes forward._) Ah, 'ere's a young lady who's bustin' with
melody, _I_ can see. Your name, my dear? Ladies and Gentlemen, I have
the pleasure to announce that Miss Connie Cockle will now appear. Don't
curtsey till the Orchestra gives the chord. (_Chord from the
harmonium--the Child advances, and curtsies with much aplomb._) Oh, lor!
call _that_ a curtsey--that's a _cramp_, that is! Do it all over again!
(_The Child obeys, disconcerted._) That's _worse_! I can see the s'rimps
blushin' for yer inside their paper bags! Now see Me do it. (_Bones
executes a caricature of a curtsey, which the little Girl copies with
terrible fidelity._) That's _ladylike_--that's genteel. Now sing _out_!
(_The Child sings the first verse of a popular music-hall song, in a
squeaky little voice._) Talk about nightingales! Come 'ere, and receive
the reward for extinguished incapacity. On your knees! (_The little Girl
kneels before him while a tin medal is fastened upon her frock._) Rise,
Sir Connie Cockle! Oh, you _lucky_ girl!

     [_The Child returns, swelling with triumph, to her companions,
     several of whom come out, and go through the same performance, with
     more or less squeakiness and self-possession._

_First Admiring Matron_ (_in audience_). I do like to see the children
kep' out o' mischief like this, instead o' goin' paddling and messing
about the sands!

_Second Ad. Mat._ Just what _I_ say, my dear--they're amused and
edjucated 'ow to beyave at the same time!

_First Politician_ (_with the "Standard"_). No, but look here--when
Gladstone was asked in the House whether he proposed to give the Dublin
Parliament the control of the police, what was his answer. Why....

_The Niggers_ (_striking up chorus_). "'Rum-tumty diddly-umty
doodah-dey! Rum-tumty-diddly-um was all that he could
say. And the Members and the Speaker joined together
in the lay. Of 'Rum-tumty-diddly-umty doodah-dey!'"

_Second Pol._ (_with the "Star"_). Well, and what more would you have
_'ad_ him say? Come, now!

_Alf_ (_who has had quite enough ale at dinner--to his fiancée_). These
Niggers ain't up to much Loo. Can't sing for _nuts_!

_Chorley_ (_his friend, perfidiously_). You'd better go in and show 'em
how, old man. Me and Miss Serge'll stay and see you take the shine out
of 'em!

_Alf._ P'raps you think I can't. But, if I was to go upon the 'Alls now,
I should make my fortune in no time! Loo's 'eard me when I've been in
form, and she'll tell you----

_Miss Serge._ Well, I will say there's
many a professional might learn a lesson from Alf--whether Mr. Perkins
believes it or not.

    [_Cuttingly, to "Chorley"._

_Chorley._ Now reelly, Miss Loo, don't come down on a feller like that.
I want to see him do you credit, that's all, and he couldn't 'ave a
better opportunity to distinguish himself--now _could_ he?

_Miss Serge._ _I'm_ not preventing him. But I don't know--these Niggers
keep themselves very select, and they might object to it.

_Alf._ I'll soon square _them_. You keep your eye on me, and I'll make
things a bit livelier!

    [_He enters the circle._

_Miss Serge_ (_admiringly_). He has got a cheek, I must say! Look at
him, dancing there along with those two Niggers--they don't hardly know
what to make of him yet!

_Chorley._ Do you notice how they keep kicking him beyind on the sly
like? I wonder he puts up with it!

_Miss S._ He'll be even with them presently--you see if he isn't.

     [_Alf attempts to twirl a tambourine on his finger, and lets it
     fall; derision from audience; Bones pats him on the head and takes
     the tambourine away--at which Alf only smiles feebly._

_Chorley._ It's a pity he gets so 'ot dancing, and he don't seem to keep
in step with the others.

_Miss S._ (_secretly disappointed_). He isn't used to doing the
double-shuffle on sand, that's all.

_The Conductor._ Bones, I observe we have a recent addition to our
company. Perhaps he'll favour us with a solo. (_Aside to Bones._) 'Oo
_is_ he? 'Oo let him in 'ere--_you_?

_Bones._ _I_ dunno. I thought _you_ did. Ain't he stood nothing?

_Conductor._ Not a brass farden!

_Bones_ (_outraged_). All right, you leave him to me. (_To Alf._) Kin it
be? That necktie! them familiar coat-buttons! that paper-dicky! You
are--you _are_ my long-lost convick son, 'ome from Portland! Come to
these legs! (_He embraces Alf, and smothers him with kisses._) Oh,
you've been and rubbed off some of your cheek on my complexion--you
_dirty_ boy! (_He playfully "bashes" Alf's hat in._) Now show the
comp'ny how pretty you can sing. (_Alf attempts a music-hall ditty, in
which he, not unnaturally, breaks down._) It ain't my son's fault,
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's all this little gal in front here, lookin' at
him and makin' him shy! (_To a small Child, severely._) You oughter know
_worse_, you ought! (_Clumps of seaweed and paper-balls are thrown at
Alf who by this time is looking deplorably warm and foolish._) Oh, what
a popilar fav'rite he is, to be sure!

_Chorley_ (_to Miss S._). Poor fellow, he ain't no match for those
Niggers--not like he is now! Hadn't I better go to the rescue, Miss Loo?

_Miss S._ (_pettishly_). I'm sure I don't care _what_ you do.

    [_"Chorley" succeeds, after some persuasion, in removing the
    unfortunate Alf._

_Alf_ (_rejoining his fiancée with a grimy face, a smashed hat, and a
pathetic attempt at a grin_). Well? I _done_ it, you see!

_Miss S._ (_crushingly_). Yes, you _have_ done it! And the best thing
you can do now, is to go home and wash your face. _I_ don't care to be
seen about with a _laughing-stock_, I can assure you! I've had my
dignity lowered quite enough as it is!

_Alf._ But look 'ere, my dear girl, I can't leave you here all by
yourself you know!

_Miss S._ I dare say Mr. Perkins will take care of me.

    [_Mr. P. assents, with effusion._

_Alf_ (_watching them move away--with bitterness_). I wish all Niggers
were put down by Act of Parliament, I do! Downright noosances--that's
what _they_ are!

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EAST-BORN]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WEST-BORN]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TAKING IN SAIL]

       *       *       *       *       *

DELAYS ARE DANGEROUS.--_Young Housekeeper._ "I'm afraid those soles I
bought of you yesterday were not fresh. My husband said they were not
nice at all!"

_Brighton Fisherman._ "Well, marm, that be your fault--it bean't mine.
I've offered 'em yer every day this week, and you might a' 'ad 'em o'
Monday if you'd a loiked!"

       *       *       *       *       *

AT MARGATE.--_Angelina_ (_very poetical, surveying the rolling ocean_).
"Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink."

_Edwin_ (_very practical_). No drink! Now, hang it all, Angy, if I've
asked you once I've asked you three times within the last five minutes
to come and do a split soda and whiskey! And _I_ can do with it!

       *       *       *       *       *


_Maid_ (_to Paterfamilias_). "Please, sir, missus say you're to come in,
and sit on the boxes; because we can't get 'em to, and they wants to be

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The General._ "And what are you going to be when you
grow up, young man?"

_Bobbie._ "Well, I can't quite make up my mind. I don't know which would
be nicest--a soldier, like you, or a sailor, like Mr. Smithers."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THEM ARTISES!"

_Lady Artist._ "Do you belong to that ship over there?"

_Sailor._ "Yes, miss."

_Lady Artist._ "Then would you mind loosening all those ropes? They are
much too tight, and, besides, I can't draw straight lines!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


How Belinda Brown appeared with "waves all over her hair" before taking
a bath in the sea--and

How she looked after having some more "waves all over it."]

       *       *       *       *       *


Don't let them jolt you up the beach till you are dressed.

_Jones_ (_obliged to hold fast_). "Hullo! Hi! Somebody stop my boots!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A FIX

_Separated husband._ "Fetch him out, sir!"

_Proprietor of moke._ "Why, if I went near her, she'd lie down; she
always goes in just before high water; nothing'll fetch her out till the
tide turns!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


    See! what craft Margate Harbour displays,
      There are luggers and cutters and yawls,
    They sail upon sunshiny days,
      For land-sailors arn't partial to squalls.
    There's Paterfamilias takes out the lot
      Of the progeny he may own,
    But the Saturday Evening boat has got
      A freight that is hers alone.
    By far the most precious of craft afloat,
    Is the Saturday Evening "Husbands' Boat".

    There are husbands with luggage, and husbands with none,
      There are husbands with parcels in hand,
    They bring down to wives whom they lately have won,
      Who pretty attentions command.
    There are husbands who know whate'er time it may be
      Their wives on the jetty will wait
    For that Hymeneal argosy,
      With its matrimonial freight.
    Oh! the most precious of craft afloat
    Is the Saturday Evening "Husbands' Boat".

    But the Monday Morning is "Monday black",
      That when at school we knew,
    For the husbands to business must all go back,
      And the wives look monstrous blue;
    So loud the bell rings, and the steamer starts
      On her way to Thames Haven again,
    And amid those who leave are as many sad hearts,
      As there are amid those who remain.
    Coming or going of craft afloat,
    The most prized one is the "Husbands' Boat".

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FINIS!


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FINIS]

       *       *       *       *       *


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