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Title: Voces Populi
Author: Anstey, F., 1856-1934
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 "Voces Populi" ***

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    [_Reprinted from "Punch"_]







    [_All rights reserved_]



    AN EVENING WITH A CONJUROR                         1
    AT THE TUDOR EXHIBITION                            7
    IN AN OMNIBUS                                     13
    AT A SALE OF HIGH-CLASS SCULPTURE                 19
    AT THE GUELPH EXHIBITION                          26
    AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY                              32
    AT THE HORSE SHOW                                 38
    AT A DANCE                                        44
    AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM                             50
    THE TRAVELLING MENAGERIE                          57
    AT THE REGENT STREET TUSSAUD'S                    62
    AT THE MILITARY EXHIBITION                        67
    AT THE FRENCH EXHIBITION                          73
    IN THE MALL ON DRAWING-ROOM DAY                   80
    AT A PARISIAN CAFÉ CHANTANT                       85
    AT A GARDEN PARTY                                 90
    AT THE MILITARY TOURNAMENT                        95
    FREE SPEECH                                       99
    THE RIDING-CLASS                                 104
    THE IMPROMPTU CHARADE-PARTY                      110
    A CHRISTMAS ROMP                                 115
    ON THE ICE                                       121
    IN A FOG                                         127
    BRICKS WITHOUT STRAW                             131
    AT A MUSIC HALL                                  136
    A RECITATION UNDER DIFFICULTIES                  142
    BANK HOLIDAY                                     147


     NOT _me_!"                                                        8
  "GO 'OME, DIRTY DICK!"                                              17
  "FIGGERS _'ere_, GEN'L'M'N!"                                        20
  "PETS! DON'T YOU _love_ THEM?"                                      27
  "CAPTURED BY A DESULTORY ENTHUSIAST"                                34
  BUT IT AIN'T _mine_!"                                               51
  MAN"                                                                60
  "COME AN LOOK! ALAHA-BA-LI-BOO!"                                    74
  "OW 'E SMOILED AT ME THROUGH THE BRORNCHES!"                        81
  FEMALE ARTISTE (SINGS REFRAIN)                                      86
  "SHOW IT NOW, BY PUTTING MONEY IN THIS 'AT!"                       102
      LICKED OFF!"                                                   105
  "_Warm_, SIR? I _am_ WARM--AND SOMETHING MORE!"                    119
  CÔTÉ--COMME _moi_!"                                                123
  "GO IT, OLE FRANKY, MY SON!"                                       125
  THE SISTERS SILVERTWANG                                            137
  "I AM ONLY A COWBOY"                                               143
  THE OWNER OF THE HAT DEIGNS NO REPLY                               154


=An Evening with a Conjuror.=

     SCENE--_A Suburban Hall. The Performance has not yet begun. The
     Audience is limited and low-spirited, and may perhaps
     number--including the Attendants--eighteen. The only people in
     the front seats are a man in full evening dress, which he tries
     to conceal under a caped coat, and two Ladies in plush
     opera-cloaks. Fog is hanging about in the rafters, and the
     gas-stars sing a melancholy dirge. Each casual cough arouses
     dismal echoes. Enter an intending Spectator, who is conducted
     to a seat in the middle of an empty row. After removing his hat
     and coat, he suddenly thinks better--or worse--of it, puts them
     on again, and vanishes hurriedly._

FIRST SARDONIC ATTENDANT (_at doorway_). Reg'lar turnin' em away
to-night, _we_ are!

SECOND SARDONIC ATTENDANT. He come up to me afore he goes to the
pay-box, and sez he--"Is there a seat left?" he sez. And I sez to 'im,
"Well, I _think_ we can manage to squeeze you in somewhere." Like that,
I sez.

[_The Orchestra, consisting of two thin-armed little girls, with
pigtails, enter, and perform a stumbling Overture upon a cracked piano._
HERR VON KAMBERWOHL_, the Conjuror, appears on platform, amidst loud
clapping from two obvious Confederates in a back row_.

HERR V. K. (_in a mixed accent_). Lyties and Shentilmans, pefoor I
co-mence viz my hillusions zis hevenin' I 'ave most hemphadically to
repoodiate hall assistance from hany spirrids or soopernatural beins
vatsohever. All I shall 'ave ze honour of showing you will be perform by
simple Sloight of 'and or Ledger-dee-Mang! (_He invites any member of
the Audience to step up and assist him, but the spectators remain coy._)
I see zat I 'ave not to night so larsh an orjence to select from as
usual, still I 'ope--(_Here one of the obvious Confederates slouches up,
and joins him on the platform._) Ah, zat is goot! I am vair much oblige
to you, Sare. (_The Confederate grins sheepishly._) Led me see--I seem
to remember your face some'ow. (_Broader grin from Confederate._) Hah
you vos 'ere last night?--zat exblains it! But you 'ave nevaire assist
me befoor, eh? (_Reckless shake of the head from Confederate._) I
thought nod. _Vair_ vell. You 'ave nevaire done any dricks mit
carts--no? Bot you will dry? You never dell vat you gan do till you dry,
as ze ole sow said ven she learn ze halphabet. (_He pauses for a
laugh--which doesn't come._) Now, Sare, you know a cart ven you see 'im?
Ah, zat is somtings alretty! Now I vill ask you to choose any cart or
carts out of zis back. (_The Confederate fumbles._) I don't vish to
'urry you--but I vant you to mike 'aste--&c., &c.

THE MAN IN EVENING DRESS. I remember giving Bimbo, the Wizard of the
West, a guinea once to teach me that trick--there was nothing in it.

FIRST LADY IN PLUSH CLOAK. And can you _do_ it?

THE M. IN E. D. (_guardedly_). Well, I don't know that I could exactly
do it _now_--but I know how it's done.

[_He explains elaborately how it is done._

HERR V. K. (_stamping, as a signal that the Orchestra may leave off_).
Next I shall show you my zelebrated hillusion of ze inexhaustible 'At,
to gonclude viz the Invisible 'En. And I shall be moch oblige if any
shentilmans vill kindly favour me viz 'is 'at for ze purpose of my

THE M. IN E. D. Here's mine--it's quite at your service. [_To his
companions._] This is a stale old trick, he merely--(_explains as
before_). But you wait and see how I'll score off him over it!


HERR V. K. (_to the_ M. in E. D.). You are gvide sure, Sare, you leaf
nossing insoide of your 'at?

THE M. IN E. D. (_with a wink to his neighbours_). On the contrary,
there are several little things there belonging to me, which I'll thank
you to give me back by-and-by.

HERR V. K. (_diving into the hat_). So? Vat 'ave we 'ere? A bonch of
flowairs! Anozzer bonch of flowairs? Anozzer--_and_ anozzer! Ha, do you
alvays garry flowairs insoide your 'at, Sare?

THE M. IN E. D. Invariably--to keep my head cool; so hand them over,
please; I want them.

[_His Companions titter, and declare "it really is too bad of him!"_

HERR V. K. Bresently, Sare,--zere is somtings ailse, it feels
loike--yes, it ees--a mahouse-drap. Your haid is drouble vid moice,
Sare, yes? Bot zere is none 'ere in ze 'at!

THE M. IN E. D. (_with rather feeble indignation_). I never said there

HERR V. K. No, zere is no mahouse--bot--[_diving again_]--ha! a leedle
vide rad! Anozzer vide rad! And again a vide rad--and one, two, dree
_more_ vide rads! You vind zey keep your haid noice and cool, Sare? May
I drouble you to com and dake zem avay? I don't loike the vide rads
myself, it is madder of daste. [_The Audience snigger._] Oh, bot
vait--zis is a _most_ gonvenient 'at--[_extracting a large
feeding-bottle and a complete set of baby-linen_]--ze shentelman is
vairy domestic I see. And zere is more yet, he is goot business man, he
knows ow von must hadvertise in zese' ere toimes. 'E 'as 'elp me, so I
vill 'elp 'im by distributing some of his cairculars for 'im.

[_He showers cards, commending somebody's self-adjusting trousers
amongst the Audience, each person receiving about two dozen--chiefly in
the eye--until the air is dark, and the floor thick with them._

THE M. IN E. D. (_much annoyed_). Infernal liberty! Confounded
impudence! Shouldn't have had _my_ hat if I'd known he was going to play
the fool with it like this!

FIRST LADY IN PLUSH CLOAK. But I thought you knew what was coming?

THE M. IN E. D. So I did--but this fellow does it differently.

[HERR VON K. _is preparing to fire a marked half-crown from a
blunderbuss into a crystal casket_.

A LADY WITH NERVES (_to her husband_). John, I'm _sure_ he's going to
let that thing off!

JOHN (_a Brute_). Well, I shouldn't be surprised if he is. _I_ can't
help it.

THE L. WITH N. You could if you liked--you could tell him my nerves
won't stand it--the trick will be every _bit_ as good if he only
_pretends_ to fire, I'm sure.

JOHN. Oh, nonsense!--You can stand it very well if you _like_.

THE L. WITH N. I _can't_, John.... There, he's raising it to his
shoulder. John, I _must_ go out. I shall scream if I sit here, I _know_
I shall!

JOHN. No, no--what's the use? He'll have fired long before you get to
the door. Much better stay where you are, and do your screaming sitting
down. (_The Conjuror fires._) There, you see, you _didn't_ scream, after

THE L. WITH N. I screamed to _myself_--which is ever so much worse for
me; but you never _will_ understand me till it's too late!

[HERR VON K. _performs another trick_.

FIRST LADY IN PLUSH CLOAK. That was very clever, wasn't it? I can't
_imagine_ how it was done!

THE M. IN E. D. (_in whom the memory of his desecrated hat is still
rankling_). Oh, can't you? Simplest thing in the world--any child could
do it!

SECOND LADY. What, find the rabbit inside those boxes, when they were
all corded up, and sealed!

THE M. IN E. D. You don't mean to say you were taken in by _that_! Why,
it was another rabbit, of course!

FIRST LADY. But even if it _was_ another rabbit, it was wearing the
borrowed watch round its neck.

THE M. IN E. D. Easy enough to slip the watch in, if all the boxes have
false bottoms.

SECOND L. Yes, but he passed the boxes round for us to examine.

THE M. IN E. D. Boxes--but not _those_ boxes.

FIRST L. But how could he slip the watch in when somebody was holding it
all the time in a paper bag?

THE M. IN E. D. Ah, _I_ saw how it was done--but it would take too long
to explain it now. I _have_ seen it so well performed that you
_couldn't_ spot it. But this chap's a regular duffer!

HERR V. K. (_who finds this sort of thing rather disturbing_). Lyties
and Shentilmans, I see zere is von among us who is a brofessional like
myself, and knows how all my leedle dricks is done. Now--[_suddenly
abandoning his accent_]--I am always griteful for hanythink that will
distrack the attention of the orjence from what is going on upon the
Stige; naterally so, because it prevents you from follerin' my actions
too closely, and so I now call upon this gentleman in the hevenin' dress
jest to speak hup a very little louder than what he _'as_ been doin', so
that you will be enabled to 'ear hevery word of 'is hexplanation more
puffickly than what some of you in the back benches have done itherto.
Now, Sir, if you'll kindly repeat your very hinteresting remarks in a
more haudible tone, I can go on between like. [_Murmurs of "No no!"
"Shut up!" "We don't want to hear him!" from various places_; THE MAN IN
EVENING DRESS _subsides into a crimson taciturnity, which continues
during the remainder of the performance_.

At the Tudor Exhibition.


_The usual Jocose_ 'ARRY (_who has come here with_ 'ARRIET, _for no very
obvious reason, as they neither of them know or care about any history
but their own_). Well, I s'pose as we _are_ 'ere, we'd better go in a
buster for a book o' the words, eh? (_To_ COMMISSIONAIRE.) What are yer
doin' them c'rect guides at, ole man? A shillin'? Not _me_! 'Ere,
'Arriet, we'll make it out for ourselves.

A YOUNG MAN (_who has dropped in for five minutes--"just to say he's
been, don't you know"_). 'Jove--_my Aunt_! Nip out before she spots
me.... Stop, though, suppose she _has_ spotted me? Never can tell with
giglamps ... better not risk it. [_Is "spotted" while hesitating._

HIS AUNT. I didn't recognise you till just this moment, John, my boy. I
was just wishing I had some one to read out all the extracts in the
Catalogue for me; now we can go round together.

[JOHN _affects a dutiful delight at this suggestion, and wonders
mentally if he can get away in time to go to afternoon tea with those
pretty Chesterton Girls_.

AN UNCLE (_who has taken_ MASTER TOMMY _out for the afternoon_). This is
the way to make your English History _real_ to you, my boy!

[TOMMY, _who had cherished hopes of Covent Garden Circus, privately
thinks that English History is a sufficiently unpleasant reality as it
is, and conceives a bitter prejudice against the entire Tudor Period on
the spot_.

SHILLIN'? NOT _me_!"]

THE INTELLIGENT PERSON. Ha! armour of the period, you see!
(_Feels bound to make an intelligent remark._) 'Stonishing how the whole
art of war has been transformed since then, eh? Now--to me--(_as if he
was conscious of being singular in this respect_)--to _me_, all this is
most interesting. Coming as I do, fresh from Froude--

HIS COMPANION (_a Flippant Person_). Don't speak so loud. If they know
you've come in here fresh, you'll get turned out!

PATRONISING PERSONS (_inspecting magnificent suit of russet and gilt
armour_). 'Pon my word, no idea they turned out such good work in those
times--very creditable to them, really.


THE UNCLE. Now, Tommy, you remember what became of Katherine of Aragon,
I'm sure? No, no--tut--tut--_she_ wasn't executed! I'm afraid you're
getting rather rusty with these long holidays. Remind me to speak to
your mother about setting you a chapter or so of history to read every
day when we get home, will you?

TOMMY (_to himself_). It _is_ hard lines on a chap having a Sneak for an
Uncle! Catch me swotting to please _him_!

'ARRY. There's old 'Enery the Eighth, you see--that's 'im right enough;
him as 'ad all those wives, and cut every one of their 'eds off!

'ARRIET (_admiringly_). Ah, I knew we shouldn't want a Catalogue.

THE INT. P. Wonderfully Holbein's caught the character of the
man--the--er--curious compound of obstinacy, violence, good-humour,
sensuality, and--and so on. No mistaking a Holbein--you can tell him at
once by the extraordinary finish of all the accessories. Now look at
that girdle--isn't that Holbein all over?

FLIPPANT P. Not quite all over, old fellow. Catalogue says it's painted
by Paris Bordone.

THE INT. P. Possibly--but it's Holbein's _manner_, and, looking at these
portraits, you see at once how right Froude's estimate was of the King.

F. P. Does Froude say how he got that nasty one on the side of his nose?

A VISITOR. Looks overfed, don't he?

SECOND V. (_sympathetically_). Oh, he fed himself very well; you can see

THE AUNT. Wait a bit, John--don't read so fast. I haven't made out the
middle background yet. And where's the figure of St. Michael rising
above the gilt tent, lined with _fleurs-de-lis_ on a blue ground? Would
this be Guisnes, or Ardres, now? Oh, Ardres on the right--so _that's_
Ardres--yes, yes; and now tell me what it says about the two gold
fountains, and that dragon up in the sky.

[JOHN _calculates that, at this rate, he has a very poor chance of
getting away before the Gallery closes_.

THE PATRONISING PERSONS. 'Um! Holbein again, you see--very curious their
ideas of painting in those days. Ah, well, Art has made great progress
since then--like everything else!

MISS FISHER. So _that's_ the beautiful Queen Mary! I wonder if it is
really _true_ that people have got better-looking since those days?

[_Glances appealingly at_ PHLEGMATIC FIANCÉ.


MISS F. You hardly ever see such small hands now, do you? With those
lovely long fingers, too!

THE PHL. F. No, never.

MISS F. Perhaps people in some other century will wonder how anybody
ever saw anything to admire in _us_?

THE PHL. F. Shouldn't be surprised.

[MISS F. _does wish secretly that_ CHARLES _had more conversation_.

THE AUNT. John, just find out who No. 222 is.

JOHN (_sulkily_). Sir George Penruddocke, Knight.

HIS AUNT (_with enthusiasm_). Of course--_how_ interesting this is,
isn't it?--seeing all these celebrated persons exactly as they were in
life! Now read who he _was_, John, please.

THE INT. PERSON. Froude tells a curious incident about--

FLIPPANT P. I tell you what it is, old chap, if you read so much
history, you'll end by _believing_ it!

THE INT. P. (_pausing before the Shakspeare portraits_). "He was not for
an age, but for all time."

THE FL. P. I suppose that's why they've painted none of them alike.

A PERSON WITH A TALENT FOR COMPARISON. Mary, come here a moment. Do look
at this--"Elizabeth, Lady Hoby"--did you _ever_ see such a likeness?

MARY. Well, dear, I don't quite--

THE PERSON WITH, &C. It's her living image! Do you mean to say you
really don't recognise it?--Why, _Cook_, of course!

MARY. Ah! (_apologetically_)--but I've never seen her dressed to go
_out_, you know.

THE UNCLE. "No. 13, Sir Rowland Hill, Lord Mayor, died 1561"--

TOMMY (_anxious to escape the threatened chapters if possible_). I know
about _him_, Uncle, he invented postage stamps!


FIRST PATRONISING P. "A Tooth of Queen Katherine Parr." Dear me! very

SECOND P. P. (_tolerantly_). And not at all a bad tooth, either.

'ARRIET (_comes to a case containing a hat labelled as formerly
belonging to Henry the Eighth_). 'Arry, look 'ere; fancy a king going
about in a thing like that--pink with a green feather! Why, I wouldn't
be seen in it myself!

'ARRY. Ah, but that was ole 'Enery all over, that was; _he_ wasn't one
for show. He liked a quiet, unassumin' style of 'at, he did. "None of
yer loud pot 'ats for Me!" he'd tell the Royal 'atters; "find me a tile
as won't attract people's notice, or you won't want a tile yerselves in
another minute!" An' you may take yer oath they served him pretty
_sharp_, too!

'ARRIET (_giggling_). It's a pity they didn't ask you to write their
Catalogue for 'em.

THE AUNT. John, you're not really _looking_ at that needlework--it's
Queen Elizabeth's own work, John. Only look how wonderfully fine the
stitches are. Ah, she was a truly _great_ woman! I could spend hours
over this case alone. What, closing are they, _already_? We must have
another day at this together, John--just you and I.

JOHN. Yes, Aunt. And now--(_thinks there is just time to call on the_
Chestertons, _if he goes soon_)--can I get you a cab, or put you into a
'bus or anything?

HIS AUNT. Not just yet; you must take me somewhere where I can get a bun
and a cup of tea first, and then we can go over the Catalogue together,
and mark all the things we _missed_, you know.

[JOHN _resigns himself to the inevitable rather than offend his wealthy
relative_; _the_ INTELLIGENT PERSON _comes out, saying he has had "an
intellectual treat" and intends to "run through Froude again" that
evening_. 'ARRY _and_ 'ARRIET, _depart to the "Ocean Wave" at Hengler's.
Gallery gradually clears as Scene closes in._

In an Omnibus.

     _The majority of the inside passengers, as usual, sit in solemn
     silence, and gaze past their opposite neighbours into vacancy.
     A couple of Matrons converse in wheezy whispers_.

FIRST MATRON. Well, I must say a bus is pleasanter riding than what they
used to be not many years back, and then so much cheaper, too. Why you
can go all the way right from here to Mile End Road for threepence!

SECOND MATRON. What, all that way for threepence--(_with an impulse of
vague humanity_). The _poor_ 'orses!

FIRST MATRON. Ah, well, my dear, it's Competition, you know,--it don't
do to think too much of it.

CONDUCTOR (_stopping the bus_). Orchard Street, Lady!

[_To_ SECOND MATRON, _who had desired to be put down there_.

SECOND MATRON (_to_ CONDUCTOR). Just move on a few doors further,
opposite the boot-shop. (_To_ FIRST MATRON.) It will save us walking.

CONDUCTOR. Cert'inly, Mum, we'll drive in and wait while you're tryin'
'em on, if you like--_we_ ain't in no 'urry!

[_The_ MATRONS _get out, and their places are taken by two young girls,
who are in the middle of a conversation of thrilling interest_.

FIRST GIRL. I never liked her myself--ever since the way she behaved at
his Mother's that Sunday.

SECOND GIRL. How _did_ she behave?

[_A faint curiosity is discernible amongst the other passengers to learn
how she--whoever she is--behaved that Sunday._

FIRST GIRL. Why, it was you _told_ me! You remember. That night Joe let
out about her and the automatic scent fountain.

SECOND GIRL. Oh, yes, I remember now. (_General disappointment._) I
couldn't help laughing myself. Joe didn't ought to have told--but she
needn't have got into such a state over it, _need_ she?

FIRST GIRL. That was Eliza all over. If George had been sensible, he'd
have broken it off then and there--but no, he wouldn't hear a word
against her, not at that time--it was the button-hook opened _his_ eyes!

[_The other passengers strive to dissemble a frantic desire to know how
and why this delicate operation was performed._

SECOND GIRL (_mysteriously_). And enough too! But what put George off
most was her keeping that bag so quiet.

[_The general imagination is once more stirred to its depths by this
mysterious allusion._

FIRST GIRL. Yes, he did feel that, I know, he used to come and go on
about it to me by the hour together. "I shouldn't have minded so much,"
he told me over and over again, with the tears standing in his
eyes,--"if it hadn't been that the bottles was all silver-mounted!"

SECOND GIRL. Silver-mounted? I never heard of _that_ before--no wonder
he felt hurt!

FIRST GIRL (_impressively_). Silver tops to every one of them--and that
girl to turn round as she did, and her with an Uncle in the oil and
colour line, too--it nearly broke George's 'art!

SECOND GIRL. He's such a one to take on about things--but, as I said to
him, "George," I says, "You must remember it might have been worse.
Suppose you'd been married to that girl, and _then_ found out about Alf
and the Jubilee sixpence--how would _that_ have been?"

FIRST GIRL (_unconsciously acting as the mouthpiece of the other
passengers_). And what did he say to _that_?

SECOND GIRL. Oh, nothing--there was nothing he _could_ say, but I could
see he was struck. She behaved very mean to the last--she wouldn't send
back the German concertina.

FIRST GIRL. You don't say so! Well, I wouldn't have thought that of her,
bad as she is.

SECOND GIRL. No, she stuck to it that it wasn't like a regular present,
being got through a grocer, and as she couldn't send him back the tea,
being drunk,--but did you hear how she treated Emma over the crinoline
'at she got for her?

FIRST GIRL (_to the immense relief of the rest_). No, what was that?

SECOND GIRL. Well, I had it from Emma her own self. Eliza wrote up to
her and says, in a postscript like,--Why, this is Tottenham Court Road,
I get out here. Good-bye, dear, I must tell you the rest another day.

     [_Gets out, leaving the tantalised audience inconsolable, and
     longing for courage to question her companion as to the precise
     details of Eliza's heartless behaviour to George. The
     companion, however, relapses into a stony reserve. Enter a_
     CHATTY OLD GENTLEMAN _who has no secrets from anybody, and of
     course selects as the first recipient of his confidence the one
     person who hates to be talked to in an omnibus_.

THE CHATTY O. G. I've just been having a talk with the policeman at the
corner there--what do you think I said to him?

HIS OPPOSITE NEIGHBOUR. I--I really don't know.

THE C. O. G. Well, I told him he was a rich man compared to me. He said
"I only get thirty shillings a week, Sir." "Ah," I said, "but look at
your expenses, compared to mine. What would _you_ do if you had to spend
eight hundred a year on your children's education?" I spend that--every
penny of it, Sir.

HIS OPP. N. (_utterly uninterested_). Do you indeed?--dear me!

C. O. G. Not that I grudge it--a good education is a fortune in itself,
and as I've always told my boys, they must make the best of it, for it's
all they'll get. They're good enough lads, but I've had a deal of
trouble with them one way and another--a _deal_ of trouble. (_Pauses for
some expression of sympathy--which does not come--and he continues_:)
There are my two eldest sons--what must they do but fall in love with
the same lady--the same lady, Sir! (_No one seems to care much for these
domestic revelations--possibly because they are too_ _obviously
addressed to the general ear_). And, to make matters worse, she was a
married woman--(_his principal hearer looks another way uneasily_)--the
wife of a godson of mine, which made it all the more awkward, y'know.
(HIS OPPOSITE NEIGHBOUR _giving no sign, the_ C. O. G. _tries one
Passenger after another_.) Well, I went to him--(_here he fixes an old
Lady, who immediately passes up coppers out of her glove to the_
CONDUCTOR)--I went to him, and said--(_addressing a smartly dressed
young Lady with a parcel who giggles_)--I said, "You're a man of the
world--so am I. Don't you take any notice," I told him--(_this to a
callow young man, who blushes_)--"they're a couple of young fools," I
said, "but you tell your dear wife from me not to mind those boys of
mine--they'll soon get tired of it if they're only let alone." And so
they would have, long ago, it's my belief, if they'd met with no
encouragement--but what can _I_ do--it's a heavy trial to a father, you
know. Then there's my third son--he must needs go and marry--(_to a Lady
at his side with a reticule, who gasps faintly_)--some young woman who
dances at a Music-hall--nice daughter-in-law that for a man in my
position, eh? I've forbidden him the house of course, and told his
mother not to have any communication with him--but I know,
Sir,--(_violently, to a Man on his other side, who coughs in much
embarrassment_)--I _know_ she meets him once a week under the eagle in
Orme Square, and _I_ can't stop her! Then I'm worried about my
daughters--one of 'em gave me no peace till I let her have some painting
lessons--of course, I naturally thought the drawing-master would be an
elderly man--whereas, as things turned out,----

A QUIET MAN IN A CORNER. I 'ope you told all this to the Policeman, Sir?

THE C. O. G. (_flaming unexpectedly_). No, Sir, I did _not_. I am not in
the habit--whatever _you_ may be--of discussing my private affairs with
strangers. I consider your remark highly impertinent, Sir.

     [_Fumes in silence for the rest of the journey._

THE YOUNG LADY WITH THE PARCEL (_to her friend--for the sake of
vindicating her gentility_). Oh, my dear, _I_ do feel so funny, carrying
a great brown-paper parcel, in a bus, too! Any one would take me for a

[Illustration: "GO 'OME, DIRTY DICK!"]

A GRIM OLD LADY OPPOSITE. And I only hope, my dear, you'll never be
taken for any one less respectable.

     [_Collapse of_ GENTEEL Y.L.

FIRST HUMOROUS 'ARRY (_recognising a friend on entering_). Excuse me
stoppin' your kerridge, old man, but I thought you wouldn't mind givin'
me a lift, as you was goin' my way.

SECOND H. 'A. Quite welcome, old chap, so long as you give my man a bit
when you git down, yer know.

FIRST H. 'A. Oh, o' course--that's expected between gentlemen.

(_Both look round to see if their facetiousness is appreciated, find it
is not and subside._)

THE CONDUCTOR. Benk, benk! (_he means "Bank"_) 'Oborn, benk! 'Igher up
there, Bill, can't you?

A DINGY MAN SMOKING, IN A VAN. Want to block up the ole o' the road, eh?
That's right!

THE CONDUCTOR (_roused to personality_). Go 'ome, Dirty Dick! syme old
soign, I see,--"Monkey an' Poipe!" (_To Coachman of smart brougham which
is pressing rather closely behind._) I say old man, don't you race after
my bus like this--you'll only tire your 'orse.

[_The Coachman affects not to have heard._

THE CONDUCTOR (_addressing the brougham horse, whose head is almost
through the door of the omnibus_). 'Ere, _'ang_ it all!--step insoide,
if yer want to!

[_Brougham falls to rear--triumph of_ CONDUCTOR _as Scene closes_.

At a Sale of High-Class Sculpture.

     SCENE--_An upper floor in a City Warehouse; a low whitewashed
     room, dimly lighted by dusty windows and two gas-burners in
     wire cages. Around the walls are ranged several statues of meek
     aspect, securely confined in barred wooden cases, like a sort
     of marble menagerie. In the centre, a labyrinthine grove of
     pedestals, surmounted by busts, groups, and statuettes by
     modern Italian masters. About these pedestals a small
     crowd--consisting of Elderly Merchants on the look out for a
     "neat thing in statuary" for the conservatory at Croydon or
     Muswell Hill, Young City Men who have dropped in after lunch,
     Disinterested Dealers, Upholsterers' Buyers, Obliging Brokers,
     and Grubby and Mysterious men--is cautiously circulating._

OBLIGING BROKER (_to_ AMIABLE SPECTATOR, _who has come in out of
curiosity, and without the remotest intention of purchasing sculpture_).
No Catlog, Sir? 'Ere, allow me to orfer you mine--that's _my_ name in
pencil on the top of it, Sir; and, if you _should_ 'appen to see any lot
that takes your fancy, you jest ketch my eye. (_Reassuringly._) I
sha'n't be fur off. Or look 'ere, gimme a nudge--I shall know what it

[_The_ A. S. _thanks him profusely, and edges away with an inward vow
to avoid his and the_ AUCTIONEER'S _eyes, as he would those of a

AUCTIONEER (_from desk, with the usual perfunctory fervour_). Lot 13,
Gentlemen, very charming pair of subjects from child life--"_The Pricked
Finger_" and "_The Scratched Toe_"--by Bimbi.

A STOLID ASSISTANT (_in shirtsleeves_). Figgers _'ere_, Gen'lm'n!

     [_Languid surge of crowd towards them._

[Illustration: "FIGGERS _'ere_, GEN'L'M'N!"]

A FACETIOUS BIDDER. Which of 'em's the finger and which the toe?

AUCT. (_coldly_). I should have thought it was easy to identify by the
attitude. Now, Gentlemen, give me a bidding for these very
finely-executed works by Bimbi. Make any offer. What will you give me
for 'em? Both very sweet things, Gentlemen. Shall we say ten guineas?

A GRUBBY MAN. Give yer five.

AUCT. (_with grieved resignation_). Very well, start 'em at five. Any
advance on five? (_To_ ASSIST.) Turn 'em round, to show the back view.
And a 'arf! Six! And a 'arf! Only six and a 'arf bid for this beautiful
pair of figures, done direct from nature by Bimbi. Come, Gentlemen,
come! Seven! Was that _you_, MR. GRIMES? (THE GRUBBY MAN _admits the
soft impeachment_.) Seven and a 'arf. Eight! It's _against_ you.

MR. GRIMES (_with a supreme effort_). Two-and-six!

[_Mops his brow with a red cotton handkerchief._

AUCT. (_in a tone of gratitude for the smallest mercies_).
Eight-ten-six. All done at eight-ten-six? Going ... gone! GRIMES, Eight,
ten, six. Take money for 'em. Now we come to a very 'andsome work by
Piffalini--"_The Ocarina Player_," one of this great artist's
masterpieces, and an exceedingly choice and high-class work, as you will
all agree directly you see it. (_To_ ASSIST.) Now, then, Lot 14,
there--look sharp!

STOLID ASSIST. "Hocarina Plier" eyn't arrived, Sir.

AUCT. Oh, hasn't it? Very well, then. Lot 15. "_The Pretty Pill-taker_,"
by Antonio Bilio--a really magnificent work of Art, Gentlemen.
(_"Pill-taker, 'ere.!" from the_ S. A.) What'll you give me for her?
Come, make me an offer. (_Bidding proceeds till the "Pill-taker" is
knocked down for twenty-three-and-a-half guineas._) Lot 16, "_The
Mixture as Before_," by same artist--make a charming and suitable
companion to the last lot. What do you say, MR. MIDDLEMAN--take it at
the same bidding? (Mr. M. _assents, with the end of one eyebrow_.) Any
advance on twenty-three and a 'arf? None? Then,--MIDDLEMAN, Twenty-four,
thirteen, six.

MR. MIDDLEMAN (_to the_ AMIABLE SPECTATOR, _who has been vaguely
inspecting the "Pill-taker"_). Don't know if you noticed it, Sir, but I
got that last couple very cheap--on'y forty-seven guineas the pair, and
they are worth eighty, I solemnly declare to you. I could get forty a
piece for 'em to-morrow, upon my word and honour, I could. Ah, and I
know who'd _give_ it me for 'em, too!

THE A. S. (_sympathetically_). Dear me, then you've done very well over

MR. M. Ah, well ain't the word--and those two aren't the only lots I've
got either. That "_Sandwich-Man_" over there is mine--look at the work
in those boards, and the nature in his clay pipe; and "_The
Boot-Black_," that's mine, too--all worth twice what _I_ got 'em
for--and lovely things, too, ain't they?

THE A. S. Oh, very nice, very clever--congratulate you, I'm sure.

MR. M. I can see you've took a fancy to 'em, Sir, and, when I come
across a gentleman that's a connysewer, I'm always sorry to stand in his
light; so, see here, you can have any one you like out o' my little lot,
or all on 'em, with all the pleasure in the wide world, Sir, and I'll
on'y charge you five per cent. on what I gave for 'em, and be
exceedingly obliged to you, into the bargain, Sir. (_The_ A. S. _feebly
disclaims any desire to take advantage of this magnanimous offer_.)
Don't say No, if you mean Yes, Sir. Will you _'ave "The Pill-taker,"_

THE A. S. (_politely_). Thank you very much, but--er--I think _not_.

MR. M. Then perhaps you could do with "_The Little Boot-Black_," or
"_The Sandwich-Man_," Sir?

THE A. S. Perhaps--but I could do still better _without_ them.

[_He moves to another part of the room._

THE OBL. BROKER (_whispering beerily in his ear_). Seen anythink yet as
takes your fancy, Sir; 'cos, if so--

[THE A. S. _escapes to a dark corner--where he is warmly welcomed by_

MR. M. _Knew_ you'd think better on it, Sir. Now which is it to be--the
"_Boot-Black_," or "_Mixture as Before_"?

AUCT. Now we come to Lot 19. Massive fluted column in coral marble with
revolving-top--a column, Gentlemen, which will speak for itself.

THE FACETIOUS BIDDER (_after a scrutiny_). Then it may as well mention,
while it's _about_ it, that it's got a bit out of its back!

AUCT. Flaw in the marble, that's all. (_To_ ASSIST.) Nothing the
_matter_ with the column, is there?

ASSIST. (_with reluctant candour_). Well, it _'as_ got a little chipped,

AUCT. (_easily_). Oh, very well then, we'll sell it "A. F." Very glad
it was found out in time, I'm sure. [_Bidding proceeds._

FIRST DEALER _to_ SECOND (_in a husky whisper_). Talkin' o' Old Masters,
I put young 'Anway up to a good thing the other day.

SECOND D. (_without surprise--probably from a knowledge of his friend's
noble unselfish nature_). Ah--'ow was that?

FIRST D. Well, there was a picter as I 'appened to know could be got in
for a deal under what it ought--in good 'ands, mind yer--to fetch. It
was a Morlan'--leastwise, it was so like you couldn't ha' told the
difference, if you understand my meanin'. (_The other nods with complete
intelligence._) Well, I 'adn't no openin' for it myself just then, so I
sez to young 'Anway, "You might do worse than go and 'ave a _look_ at
it," I told him. And I run against him yesterday, Wardour Street way,
and I sez, "Did yer go and _see_ that picter?" "Yes," sez he, "and
what's more, I got it at pretty much my own figger, too!" "Well," sez I,
"and ain't yer goin' to _shake 'ands with me over it_?"

SECOND D. (_interested_). And _did_ he?

FIRST D. Yes, he did--he beyaved very fair over the matter, I will say
_that_ for him.

SECOND D. Oh, 'Anway's a very decent little feller--_now_.

AUCT. (_hopefully_). Now, Gentlemen, this next lot'll tempt you, _I'_m
sure! Lot 33, a magnificent and very finely executed dramatic group out
of the "_Merchant of Venice_," _Othello_ in the act of smothering
_Desdemona_, both nearly life-size. (ASSIST., _with a sardonic
inflection_. "_Group_ 'ere, _Gen'lm'n_!") What shall we say for this
great work by Roccocippi, Gentlemen? A hundred guineas, just to start

THE F. B. Can't you put the two figgers up separate?

AUCT. You know better than that--being a group, Sir. Come, come, any one
give me a hundred for this magnificent marble group! The figure of
_Othello_ very finely finished, Gentlemen.

THE F. B. I should ha' thought it was _her_ who was the finely finished
one of the two.

AUCT. (_pained by this levity_). Really, Gentlemen, _do_ 'ave more
appreciation of a 'igh-class work like this!... Twenty-five guineas?...
Nonsense! I can't put it up at that.

[_Bidding languishes. Lot withdrawn._

SECOND DISINTERESTED DEALER (_to_ FIRST D. D., _in an undertone_). I
wouldn't tell every one, but I shouldn't like to see _you_ stay 'ere and
waste your time; so, in case you _was_ thinking of waiting for that last
lot, I may just as well mention--


FIRST D. D. Ah, it's _that_ way, is it? Much obliged to you for the
'int. But I'd do the same for you any day.

SECOND D. D. I'm _sure_ yer would!

[_They watch one another suspiciously._

AUCT. Now 'ere's a tasteful thing, Gentlemen. Lot. 41. "_Nymph eating
Oysters_" ("_Nymph 'ere, Gen'lm'n!_"), by the celebrated Italian artist
Vabene, one of the finest works of Art in this room, and they're _all_
exceedingly fine works of Art; but this is a _truly_ work of Art,
Gentlemen. What shall we say for her, eh? (_Silence._) Why, Gentlemen,
no more appreciation than _that_? Come, don't be afraid of it. Make a
beginning. (_Bidding starts._) Forty-five guineas. Forty-six--_pounds_.
Forty-six pounds only, this remarkable specimen of modern Italian Art.
Forty-six and a 'arf. Only forty-six ten bid for it. Give character to
any gentleman's collection, a figure like this would. Forty-seven
_pounds_--_guineas_! and a 'arf.... Forty-seven and a 'arf guineas....
For the last time! Bidding with you, Sir. Forty-seven guineas and a
'arf--Gone! Name, Sir, if _you_ please. Oh, money? Very well. Thank you.

PROUD PURCHASER (_to Friend, in excuse for his extravagance_). You see,
I must have something for that grotto I've got in the grounds.

HIS FRIEND. If she was mine, I should put her in the hall, and have a
gaslight fitted in the oyster-shell.

P. P. (_thoughtfully_). Not a bad idea. But electric light would be more
suitable, and easier to fix too. Yes--we'll see.

THE OBL. BROKER (_pursuing the_ AM. SPECT.). I 'ope, Sir, you'll
remember me, next time you're this way.

THE AM. SPECT. (_who has only ransomed himself by taking over an odd
lot, consisting of imitation marble fruit, a model, under crystal, of
the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and three busts of Italian celebrities of
whom he has never heard_). I'm afraid I sh'an't have very much chance of
forgetting you. _Good_ afternoon!

[_Exit hurriedly, dropping the fruit, as Scene closes._

At the Guelph Exhibition.


A THRIFTY VISITOR (_on entering_). Catalogue? No. What's the use of a
Catalogue? Miserable thing, the size of a tract, that tells you nothing
you don't know!

HIS WIFE (_indicating a pile of Catalogues on table_). Aren't _these_
big enough for you?

THE THR. V. Those? Why they're big enough for the _London Directory_!
Think I'm going to drag a thing like that about the place? You don't
really want a Catalogue--it's all your fancy!

MR. PRATTLER (_to_ MISS AMMERSON). Oh, _do_ stop and look at these
_sweet_ goldfish! Pets! Don't you _love_ them? _Aren't_ they tame?

MISS AMMERSON. Wouldn't do to have them _wild_--might jump out and
_bite_ people, you know!

MR. P. It's _too_ horrid of you to make fun of my poor little
enthusiasms! But really,--couldn't we get something and feed them?--_Do_

MISS A. I dare say you could get ham-sandwiches in the Restaurant--or

MR. P. How unkind you are to me! But I don't care. (_Wilfully._) I shall
come here all by myself, and bring biscuits. Great big ones! Are you
determined to take me into that big room with all the Portraits? Well
you must tell me who they all are, then, and which are the Guelphiest

[Illustration: "PETS! DON'T YOU _love_ THEM? _Aren't_ THEY TAME?"]

CONSIDERATE NIECE (_to_ UNCLE). They seem mostly Portraits here. You're
sure you don't _mind_ looking at them, Uncle? I know so many people _do_
object to Portraits.

UNCLE (_with the air of a Christian Martyr_). No, my dear, no; _I_ don't
mind 'em. Stay here as long as you like. I'll sit down and look at the
people till you've done.

FIRST CRITICAL VISITOR (_examining a View of St. James's Park_). I
wonder where that was taken. In Scotland, I expect--there's two
Highlanders there, you see.

SECOND C. V. Shouldn't wonder--lot o' work in that, all those different
colours, and so many dresses. [_Admires, thoughtfully._

A WELL-READ WOMAN. That's Queen Charlotte, that is. George the Third's
wife, you know--her that was so _domestic_.

HER COMPANION. Wasn't that the one that was shut up in the Tower, or

THE W. W. In the Tower? Lor, my dear, no, _I_ never 'eard of it. You're
thinking of the Tudors, or some o' that lot, I expect!

HER COMP. Am I? I dare say. I never _could_ remember 'Istry. Why, if
you'll believe me, I always have to stop and think which of the Georges
came first!

MORE CRITICAL VISITORS (_before Portraits_). He's rather
pleasant-looking, don't you think? I _don't_ like _her_ face at all. So
peculiar. And what a hideous dress--like a tea-gown without any upper

A SCEPTICAL V. They all seem to have had such thin lips in those days.
Somehow, I _can't_ bring myself to believe in such very thin lips--can
_you_, dear?

HER FRIEND. I always think it's a sign of meanness, myself.

THE S. V. No; but I mean--I can't believe _every one_ had them in the
eighteenth century.

HER FRIEND. Oh, I don't know. If it was the fashion!


VISITOR (_admiring an embroidered waistcoat of the time of_ George the
Second--_a highly popular exhibit_). What lovely work! Why, it looks as
if it was done yesterday!

HER COMPANION (_who is not in the habit of allowing his enthusiasm to
run away with him_). Um--yes, it's not bad. But, of course, they
wouldn't send a thing like that here without having it washed and done
up first!

AN OLD LADY. "Teapot used by the Duke of Wellington during his
campaigns." So he drank _tea_, did he? Dear me! Do you know, my dear, I
think I must have _my_ old tea-pot engraved. It will make it so much
more interesting some day!


MR. PRATTLER (_before a portrait of Lady Hamilton by Romney_). There!
Isn't she too charming? I do call her a perfect _duck!_

MISS AMMERSON. Yes, you mustn't forget her when you bring those

AN AMURRCAN GIRL. Father, see up there; there's Byron. Did you erver see
such a purrfectly beautiful face?

HER FATHER (_solemnly_). He was a beautiful _Man_--a beautiful Poet.

THE A. G. I know--but the _expression_, it's real saint-like!

FATHER (_slowly_). Well, I guess if he'd had any different kind of
expression, he wouldn't have written the things he _did_ write, and
that's a fact!

A MORALISING OLD LADY (_at Case O_). No. 1260. "Ball of Worsted wound by
William Cowper, the poet, for Mrs. Unwin." No. 1261. "Netting done by
William Cowper, the poet." How very nice, and what a difference in the
habit of literary persons _nowadays_, my dear!


MR. WHITEROSE, _a Jacobite fin de siècle, is seated on a Bench beside a_

THE S. S. (_half to himself_). Har, well, there's one comfort, these
'ere Guelphs'll get notice to quit afore we're _much_ older!

MR. WHITEROSE (_surprised_). You say so? Then you too are of the Young
England Party! I am rejoiced to hear it. You cheer me; it is a sign that
the good Cause is advancing.

THE S. S. Advancin'? I believe yer. Why, I know a dozen and more as are
workin' 'art and soul for it!

MR. W. You do? We are making strides, indeed! Our England has suffered
these usurpers too long.

THE S. S. Yer right. But we'll chuck 'em out afore long, and it'll be
"Over goes the Show" with the lot, eh?

MR. W. I had no idea that the--er--intelligent artisan classes were so
heartily with us. We must talk more of this. Come and see me. Bring your
friends--all you can depend upon. Here is my card.

THE S. S. (_putting the card in the lining of his hat_). Right, Guv'nor;
we'll come. I wish there was more gents like yer, I do!

MR. W. We are united by a common bond. We both detest--do we not?--the
Hanoverian interlopers. We are both pledged never to rest until we have
brought back to the throne of our beloved England, her lawful sovereign
lady--(_uncovering_)--our gracious Mary of Austria-Este, the legitimate
descendant of Charles the Blessed Martyr!

THE S. S. 'Old on, Guv'nor! Me and my friends are with yer so fur as
doing away with these 'ere hidle Guelphs; but blow yer Mary of Orstria,
yer know. Blow _'er_!

MR. W. (_horrified_). Hush--this is rank treason! Remember--she is the
lineal descendant of the House of Stuart!

THE S. S. What of it? There won't be no lineal descendants when we git
_hour_ way, 'cause there won't be nothing to descend to nobody. The
honly suv'rin _we_ mean to 'ave is the People--the Democrisy. But
there, you're young, me and my friends'll soon tork you over to hour way
o' thinking. I dessay we 'aint fur apart, as it is. I got yer address,
and we'll drop in on yer some night--never fear. No hevenin' dress, o'

MR. W. Of course. I--I'll look out for you. But I'm seldom in--hardly
_ever_, in fact.

THE S. S. Don't you fret about _that_. Me and my friends ain't nothing
partickler to do just now. We'll _wait_ for yer. I should like yer to
know ole Bill Gabb. You should 'ear _that_ feller goin' on agin the
Guelphs when he's 'ad a little booze--it 'ud do your 'art good. Well, I
on'y come in 'ere as a deligate like, to report, and I seen enough. So
'ere's good-day to yer.

MR W. (_alone_). I shall have to change my rooms--and I _was_ so
comfortable! Well, well,--another sacrifice to the Cause!



     _Visitors ascending staircase, full of enthusiasm and energetic
     determination not to miss a single Picture, encounter people
     descending in various stages of mental and physical exhaustion.
     At the turnstiles two Friends meet unexpectedly; both being shy
     men, who, with timely notice, would have preferred to avoid one
     another, their greetings are marked by an unnatural effusion
     and followed by embarrassed silence._

FIRST SHY MAN (_to break the spell_). Odd, our running up against one
another like this, eh?

SECOND SHY MAN. Oh, very odd. (_Looks about him irresolutely, and
wonders if it would be decent to pass on. Decides it will hardly do._)
Great place for meeting, the Academy, though.

FIRST S. M. Yes; sure to come across _somebody_, sooner or later.

[_Laughs nervously, and wishes the other would go._

SECOND S. M. (_seeing that his friend lingers_). This your _first_ visit

FIRST S. M. Yes. Couldn't very well get away _before_, you know.

[_Feels apologetic, without exactly knowing why._

SECOND S. M. It's _my_ first visit, too. (_Sees no escape, and resigns
himself._) Er--we may as well go round together, eh?

FIRST S. M. (_who was afraid this was coming_--_heartily_). Good! By the
way, I always think, on a first visit, it's best to take a single room,
and do that thoroughly. [_This has only just occurred to him._

SECOND S. M. (_who had been intending to follow that plan himself_). Oh,
_do_ you? Now, for _my_ part, I don't attempt to see anything
_thoroughly_ the first time. Just scamper through, glance at the things
one oughtn't to miss, get a general impression, and come away. _Then_,
if I don't happen to come again, I've always _done_ it, you see. But
(_considerately_), look here. Don't let me drag you about, if you'd
rather not!

FIRST S. M. Oh, but I shouldn't like to feel I was any tie on you. Don't
you mind about me. I shall potter about in here--for hours, I dare say.

SECOND S. M. Ah, well (_with vague consolation_), I shall always know
where to _find_ you, I suppose.

FIRST S. M. (_brightening visibly_). Oh dear, yes; I sha'n't be far

     [_They part with mutual relief, only tempered by the necessity
     of following the course they have respectively prescribed for
     themselves. Nemesis overtakes the_ SECOND S. M. _in the next
     Gallery, when he is captured by a Desultory Enthusiast, who
     insists upon dragging him all over the place to see obscure
     "bits" and "gems," which are only to be appreciated by ricking
     the neck or stooping painfully_.

A SUBURBAN LADY (_to Female Friend_). Oh dear, _how_ stupid of me! I
_quite_ forgot to bring a pencil! Oh, _thank_ you, dear, that will do
_beautifully_. It's just a _little_ blunt; but so long as I can _mark_
with it, you know. You don't think we should avoid the crush if we began
at the end room? Well, perhaps it _is_ less confusing to begin at the
beginning, and work steadily through.


     _A small group has collected before Mr. Wyllie's "Davy Jones's
     Locker," which they inspect solemnly for some time before
     venturing to commit themselves to any opinion._

FIRST VISITOR (_after devoting his whole mind to the subject_). Why,
it's the Bottom of the Sea--at least (_more cautiously_), that's what it
seems to be _intended_ for.

SECOND V. Ah, and very well done, too. I wonder, now, how he managed to
stay down long enough to paint all that?


THIRD V. Practice, I suppose. I've seen writing done under water myself.
But that was a tank!

FOURTH V. (_presumably in profound allusion to the fishes and
sea-anemones_). Well, they seem to be 'aving it all their own way down
there, don't they?

[_The Group, feeling that this remark sums up the situation, disperses._

THE SUBURBAN LADY (_her pencil in full play_). No. 93. Now what's _that_
about? Oh, "_Forbidden Sweets_,"--yes, to be sure. _Isn't_ that
charming? Those two dear little tots having their tea, and the kitten
with its head stuck in the jam-pot, and the label and all, and the
sticky spoon on the nursery table-cloth--so _natural!_ I really _must_
mark that. (_Awards this distinction._) 97. "_Going up Top._" Yes, _of
course_. Look, Lucy dear, that little fellow has just answered a
question, and his master tells him he may go to the top of the class, do
you _see_? And the big boy looking so sulky, he's wishing he had learnt
his lesson better. I do think it's _so_ clever--all the different
expressions. Yes, I shall _certainly_ mark that!


THE S. L. (_doubtfully_). H'm, No. 156. "_Cloud Chariots_"? Not very
_like_ chariots, though, _are_ they?

HER FRIEND. I expect it's one of those sort of pictures that you have to
look at a long time, and then things gradually come _out_ of it, you

THE S. L. It _may_ be. (_Tries the experiment._) No, _I_ can't make
_anything_ come out--only just clouds and their reflections.
(_Struggling between good-nature and conscientiousness._) I _don't_
think I _can_ mark that.


A MATRON (_before Mr. Dicksee's "Tannhäuser"_). "_Venus and
Tannhäuser_"--ah, and is that Venus on the stretcher? Oh, _that's_ her
all on fire in the background. Then which is Tannhäuser, and what are
they all supposed to be doing? [_In a tone of irritation._

HER NEPHEW. Oh, it tells you all about it in the Catalogue--he meets her
funeral, you know, and leaves grow on his stick.

THE MATRON (_pursing her lips_). Oh, a _dead person_.

[_Repulses the Catalogue severely and passes on._

FIRST PERSON, _with an "Eye for Art"_ (_before "Psyche's Bath," by the
President_). Not bad, eh?

SECOND PERSON, &c. No, I rather like it. (_Feels that he is growing too
lenient_). He doesn't give you a very good idea of marble, though.

FIRST P. &c. No--_that's_ not marble, and he always puts too many folds
in his drapery to suit _me_.

FIRST P. &c. Just what _I_ always say. It's not natural, you know.

[_They pass on, much pleased with themselves and one another._

A FIANCÉ (_halting before a sea-scape, by Mr. Henry Moore, to_ FIANCÉE).
Here, I say, hold on a bit--what's _this_ one?

FIANCÉE (_who doesn't mean to waste the whole afternoon over pictures_).
Why, it's only a lot of waves--_come_ on!

THE SUBURBAN L. Lucy, _this_ is rather nice. _"Breakfasts for the
Porth!_" (_Pondering_). I think there must be a mistake in the
Catalogue--I don't see any breakfast things--they're cleaning fish, and
what's a "Porth!" Would you mark that--or not?

HER COMP. Oh, I _think_ so.

THE S. L. I don't know. I've marked such a quantity already and the lead
won't hold out much longer. Oh, it's by Hook, R.A. Then I suppose it's
_sure_ to be all right. I've marked it, dear.

China_. Oh, my _dear_, look at that. Did you ever _see_ such a thing?
Isn't it too perfectly _awful_? And there's a thing! Do come and look at
this horror over here. A "_Study_," indeed. I should just think it
_was_! Oh, Maggie, don't be so satirical, or I shall die! No, but _do_
just see this--isn't it _killing?_ They get worse and worse every year,
I declare!

[_And so on._


_Two Prosaic Persons come upon a little picture, by Mr. Swan, of a boy
lying on a rock, piping to fishes._

FIRST P. P. _That's_ a rum thing!

SECOND P. P. Yes, I wasn't aware myself that fishes were so partial to

FIRST P. P. They may be--out there--(_perceiving that the boy is
unclad_)--but it's peculiar altogether--they look like herrings to me.

SECOND P. P. Yes--or mackerel. But (_tolerantly_) I suppose it's a fancy

[_They consider that this absolves them from taking any further interest
in it, and pass on._


AN OLD LADY (_who judges Art from a purely Moral Standpoint, halts
approvingly before a picture of a female orphan_). Now that really is a
nice picture, my dear--a plain black dress and white cuffs--just what I
_like_ to see in a young person!

THE S. L. (_her enthusiasm greatly on the wane, and her temper slightly
affected_). Lucy, I _wish_ you wouldn't worry so--it's quite impossible
to stop and look at _everything_. If you wanted your tea as badly as _I_
do! Mark that one? What, when they neither of them have a single _thing_
on! Never, Lucy,--and I'm surprised at your suggesting it! Oh, you meant
the next one? h'm--no, I _can't_ say I care for it. Well, if I _do_ mark
it, I shall only put a tick--for it really is _not_ worth a cross!


could carry away with me.

HIS FLIPPANT FRIEND. Too many people about, eh? Never mind, old chap,
you _may_ manage to sneak an umbrella down stairs--I won't say anything!

[_Disgust of his companion, who descends stairs in offended silence, as
scene closes._

At the Horse Show.

     TIME--_About 3.30_. _Leaping Competition about to begin. The
     Competitors are ranged in a line at the upper end of the Hall
     while the attendants place the hedges in position. Amongst the
     Spectators in the Area are--a Saturnine Stableman from the
     country; a Cockney Groom; a Morbid Man; a Man who is apparently
     under the impression that he is the only person gifted with
     sight; a Critic who is extremely severe upon other people's
     seats; a Judge of Horseflesh; and Two Women who can't see as
     well as they could wish._

THE DESCRIPTIVE MAN. They've got both the fences up now, d'ye see?
There's the judges going to start the jumping; each rider's got a ticket
with his number on his back. See? The first man's horse don't seem to
care about jumping this afternoon--see how he's dancing about. Now he's
going at it--there, he's cleared it! Now he'll have to jump the next

[_Keeps up a running fire of these instructive and valuable observations
throughout the proceedings._

THE JUDGE OF HORSEFLESH. Rare good shoulders that one has.

THE SEVERE CRITIC (_taking the remark to apply to the horse's rider_).
H'm, yes--rather--pity he sticks his elbows out quite so much, though.

[_His Friend regards him in silent astonishment. Another Competitor
clears a fence, but exhibits a considerable amount of daylight._

THE SATURNINE STABLEMAN (_encouragingly_). You'll 'ev to set back a bit
next journey, Guv'nor!

THE COCKNEY GROOM. 'Orses 'ud jump better if the fences was a bit

THE S. S. They'll be plenty 'oigh enough fur some on 'em.

THE SEVERE CRITIC. Ugly seat that fellow has--all anyhow when the horse

JUDGE OF HORSEFLESH. Has he? I didn't notice--I was looking at the
horse. [SEVERE CRITIC _feels snubbed_.

THE S. S. (_soothingly, as the Competitor with the loose seat comes
round again_). _That's_ not good, Guv'nor!

THE COCKNEY GROOM. 'Ere's a little bit o' fashion coming down next--why,
there's quite a boy on his back.

THE S. S. 'E won't be on 'im long if he don't look out. Cup an ball _I_
call it!

THE MORBID MAN. I suppose there's always a accident o' some sort before
they've finished.

FIRST WOMAN. Oh, don't, for goodness' sake, talk like that--I'm sure _I_
don't want to see nothing 'appen.

SECOND WOMAN. Well, you may make your mind easy--for you won't see
nothing here; you _would_ have it this was the best place to come to!

FIRST WOMAN. I only said there was no sense in paying extra for the
balcony, when you can go in the area for nothing.

SECOND WOMAN (_snorting_). Area, indeed! It might be a good deal airier
than what it is, I'm sure--I shall melt if I stay here much longer.

THE MORBID MAN, There's one thing about being so close to the jump as
this--if the 'orse jumps sideways--as 'osses will do every now and
then--he'll be right in among us before we know where we are, and then
there'll be a pretty how-de-do!

SECOND WOMAN (_to her Friend_). Oh, come away, do--it's bad enough to
see nothing, let alone having a great 'orse coming down atop of us, and
me coming out in my best bonnet, too--come away! [_They leave_.

THE DESCRIPTIVE MAN. Now, they're going to make 'em do some in-and-out
jumping, see? they're putting the fences close together--that'll puzzle
some of them--ah, he's over both of 'em; very clean that one jumps! Over
again! He's got to do it all twice, you see.

THE JUDGE OF HORSEFLESH. Temperate horse, that chestnut.

THE SEVERE CRITIC. Is he, though?--but I suppose they _have_ to be here,
eh? Not allowed champagne or whiskey or anything before they go in--like
they are on a race-course?

THE J. OF H. No, they insist on every horse taking the pledge before
they'll enter him.

THE DESCRIPTIVE MAN. Each of 'em's had a turn at the in-and-out jump
now. What's coming next? Oh, the five-barred gate--they're going over
that now, and the stone wall--see them putting the bricks on top? That's
to _raise_ it.

THE MORBID MAN. None of 'em been off yet; but (_hopefully_) there'll be
a nasty fall or two over this business--there's been many a neck broke
over a lower gate than that.

[_A Competitor clears the gate easily, holding the reins casually in his
right hand._

THE J. OF H. That man can ride.

THE SEVERE CRITIC. Pretty well--not what I call _business_,
though--going over a gate with one hand, like that.

THE J. OF H. Didn't know you were such an authority.

THE S. C. (_modestly_). Oh, I can tell when a fellow has a good seat. I
used to ride a good deal at one time. Don't get the chance much
now--worse luck!

THE J. OF H. Well, I can give you a chance, as it happens. (SEVERE
CRITIC _accepts with enthusiasm, and the inward reflection that the
chance is much less likely to come off than he is himself_.) You wait
till the show is over, and they let the horses in for exercise. I know a
man who's got a cob here--regular little devil to go--bucks a bit at
times--but you won't mind that. I'll take you round to the stall and get
my friend to let you try him on the tan. How will that do you, eh?

THE SEVERE CRITIC (_almost speechless with gratitude_). Oh--er--it will
_do_ me right enough--capital! That is--it _would_, if I hadn't an
appointment, and had my riding things on, and wasn't feeling rather out
of sorts, and hadn't promised to go home and take my wife in the Park,
and it's her birthday, too, and, then, I've long made it a rule never to
mount a strange horse, and--er--so you understand how it is don't you?

THE J. OF H. Quite, my dear fellow. (_As, for that matter, he has done
from the first._)

THE COCKNEY GROOM (_alluding to a man who is riding at the gate_).
'Ere's a rough 'un this bloke's on! (_Horse rises at gate; his rider
shouts "Hoo, over!" and the gate falls amidst general derision._) Over?
Ah, I should just think it _was_ over!

THE SATURNINE STABLEMAN (_as horseman passes_). Yer needn't ha' "Hoo'd"
for that much!

[_The Small Boy, precariously perched on an immense animal, follows; his
horse, becoming unmanageable, declines the gate, and leaps the hurdle at
the side._

THE S. S. Ah, you're a _artful_ lad, you are--thought you'd take it
where it was easiest, eh?--you'll 'ev to goo back and try agen you will.

CHORUS OF SYMPATHETIC BYSTANDERS. Take him at it again, boy; _you're_
all right!... Hold him in tighter, my lad.... Let out your reins a bit!
Lor, they didn't ought to let a boy like that ride.... He ain't no more
'old on that big 'orse than if he was a fly on him!... Keep his 'ed
straighter next time.... Enough to try a boy's nerve! &c., &c.

[_The Boy takes the horse back, and eventually clears the gate amidst
immense and well-deserved applause._

THE MORBID MAN (_disappointed_). Well, I fully expected to see _'im_
took off on a shutter.

THE DESCRIPTIVE MAN. It's the water-jump next--see; that's it in the
middle; there's the water, underneath the hedge; they'll have to clear
the 'ole of that--or else fall in and get a wetting. They've taken all
the horses round to the other entrance--they'll come in from that side


     [_One of the Judges holds up his stick as a signal; wild shouts
     of "Hoy-hoy! Whorr-oosh!" from within, as a Competitor dashes
     out and clears hedge and ditch by a foot or two. Deafening
     applause. A second horseman rides at it, and lands--if the word
     is allowable--neatly in the water. Roars of laughter as he
     scrambles out._

THE MORBID MAN. Call that a brook! It ain't a couple of inches
deep--it's more mud than water! No fear (_he means "no hope"_) of any on
'em getting a ducking over that!

     [_And so it turns out; the horses take the jump with more or
     less success, but without a single saddle being vacated. The
     proceedings terminate for the afternoon amidst demonstrations
     of hearty satisfaction from all but_ THE MORBID MAN, _who had
     expected there would have been "more to see."_

At a Dance.

THE HOSTESS _is receiving her Guests at the head of the staircase_; _a_

HOSTESS (_with a gracious smile, and her eyes directed to the people
immediately behind him_). _So_ glad you were able to come--how do you

THE CONSCIENTIOUSLY LITERAL MAN. Well, if you had asked me that question
this afternoon, I should have said I was in for a severe attack of
malarial fever--I had all the symptoms--but, about seven o'clock this
evening, they suddenly passed off, and--

[_Perceives, to his surprise, that his Hostess's attention is wandering,
and decides to tell her the rest later in the evening._

MR. CLUMPSOLE. How do you do, Miss Thistledown? Can you give me a dance?

MISS THISTLEDOWN (_who has danced with him before_--once). With
pleasure--let me see, the third extra after supper? Don't forget.

MISS BRUSKLEIGH (_to Major Erser_). Afraid I can't give you anything
just now--but if you see me standing about later on, you can come and
ask me again, you know.

MR. BOLDOVER (_glancing eagerly round the room as he enters, and
soliloquising mentally_). She ought to be here by this time, if she's
coming--can't see her though--she's certainly not dancing. There's her
sister over there with the mother. She _hasn't_ come, or she'd be with
them. Poor-looking lot of girls here to-night--don't think much of this
music--get away as soon as I can, no _go_ about the thing!... Hooray!
There she is, after all! Jolly waltz this is they're playing! How pretty
she's looking--how pretty _all_ the girls are looking! If I can only get
her to give me one dance, and sit out most of it somewhere! I feel as
if I could talk to her to-night. By Jove, I'll try it!

[_Watches his opportunity, and is cautiously making his way towards his
divinity, when he is intercepted._

MRS. GRAPPLETON. Mr. Boldover, I do believe you were going to _cut_ me!
(_MR. B. protests and apologises._) Well, _I_ forgive you. I've been
wanting to have another talk with you for ever so long. I've been
thinking so _much_ of what you said that evening about Browning's
relation to Science and the Supernatural. Suppose you take me down
stairs for an ice or something, and we can have it out comfortably

[_Dismay of Mr. B._, _who has entirely forgotten any theories he may
have advanced on the subject, but has no option but to comply_; _as he
leaves the room with_ MRS. GRAPPLETON _on his arm, he has a torturing
glimpse of_ MISS ROUNDARM, _apparently absorbed in her partner's

MR. SENIOR ROPPE (_as he waltzes_). Oh, you needn't feel convicted of
extraordinary ignorance, I assure you, Miss Featherhead. You would be
surprised if you knew how many really clever persons have found that
simple little problem of nought divided by one too much for them. Would
you have supposed, by the way, that there is a reservoir in Pennsylvania
containing a sufficient number of gallons to supply all London for
eighteen months? You don't quite realize it, I see. "How many gallons is
that?" Well, let me calculate roughly--taking the population of London
at four millions, and the average daily consumption for each individual
at--no, I can't work it out with sufficient accuracy while I am dancing;
suppose we sit down, and I'll do it for you on my shirt-cuff--oh, very
well; then I'll work it out when I get home, and send you the result
to-morrow, if you will allow me.

MR. CULDERSACK (_who has provided himself beforehand with a set of
topics for conversation--to his partner, as they halt for a moment_).
Er--(_consults some hieroglyphics on his cuff stealthily_)--have you
read Stanley's book yet?

MISS TABULA RAISER. No, I haven't. Is it interesting?

MR. CULDERSACK. I can't say. I've not seen it myself. Shall we--er--?

     [_They take another turn._


MR. C. I suppose you have--er--been to the (_hesitates between the
Academy and the Military Exhibition--decides on latter topic as
fresher_) Military Exhibition?

MISS T. R. No--not yet. What do you think of it?

MR. C. Oh--_I_ haven't been either. Er--do you care to--?

     [_They take another turn._

MR. C. (_after third halt_). Er--do you take any interest in politics?

MISS T. R. Not a bit.

MR. C. (_much relieved_). No more do I. (_Considers that he has
satisfied all mental requirements._) Er--let me take you down stairs for
an ice.

[_They go._

MRS. GRAPPLETON (_re-entering with_ MR. BOLDOVER, _after a discussion
that has outlasted two ices and a plate of strawberries_). Well, I
thought you would have explained my difficulties better than _that_--oh,
what a _delicious_ waltz! Doesn't it set you longing to dance?

MR. B. (_who sees_ MISS ROUNDARM _in the distance, disengaged_). Yes, I
really think I must--. [_Preparing to escape._

MRS. GRAPPLETON. I'm getting such an old thing, that really I oughtn't
to--but well, just this _once_, as my husband isn't here.

[MR. BOLDOVER _resigns himself to necessity once more_.

FIRST CHAPERON (_to second ditto_). How sweet it is of your eldest girl
to dance with that absurd Mr. Clumpsole! It's really too _bad_ of him to
make such an exhibition of her--one can't help smiling at them!

SECOND CH. Oh, Ethel never can bear to hurt any one's feelings--so
different from some girls! By the way, I've not seen _your_ daughter
dancing to-night--men who dance are so scarce nowadays--I suppose they
think they have the right to be a little fastidious.

FIRST CH. Bella has been out so much this week, that she doesn't care to
dance except with a really first-rate partner. She is not so easily
pleased as your Ethel, I'm afraid.

SECOND CH. Ethel is _young_, you see, and, when one is pressed so much
to dance, one can hardly refuse, _can_ one? When she has had as many
seasons as BELLA, she will be less energetic, I dare say.

[MR. BOLDOVER _has at last succeeded in approaching_ MISS ROUNDARM, _and
even in inducing her to sit out a dance with him_; _but, having led her
to a convenient alcove, he finds himself totally unable to give any
adequate expression to the rapture he feels at being by her side_.

MR. B. (_determined to lead up to it somehow_). I--I was rather
thinking--(_he_ meant _to say_, "_devoutly hoping_," _but, to his own
bitter disgust, it comes out like this_)--I should meet you here

MISS R. Were you? Why?

MR. B. (_with a sudden dread of going too far just yet_). Oh
(_carelessly_), you know how one _does_ wonder who will be at a place,
and who won't.

MISS R. No, indeed, I don't--_how_ does one wonder?

MR. B. (_with a vague notion of implying a complimentary exception in
her case_). Oh, well, generally--(_with the fatal tendency of a shy man
to a sweeping statement_)--one may be pretty sure of meeting just the
people one least wants to see, you know.

MISS R. And so you thought you would probably meet me. I _see_.

MR. B. (_overwhelmed with confusion, and not in the least knowing what
he says_). No, no, I didn't think that--I hoped you mightn't--I mean, I
was afraid you might--

[_Stops short, oppressed by the impossibility of explaining._

MISS R. You are not very complimentary to-night, are you?

MR. B. I can't pay compliments--to _you_--I don't know how it is, but I
never can talk to you as I can to other people!

MISS R. Are you amusing when you are with other people?

MR. B. At all events I can find things to say to _them_.


ANOTHER MAN (_to_ MISS R.). Our dance, I think?

MISS R. (_who had intended to get out of it_). I was wondering if you
ever meant to come for it. (_To_ MR. B., _as they rise_.) Now I sha'n't
feel I am depriving the other people! (_Perceives the speechless agony
in his expression, and relents._) Well, you can have the next after this
if you care about it--only _do_ try to think of something in the
meantime! (_As she goes off._) You will--won't you?

MR. B. (_to himself_). She's given me another chance! If only I can rise
to it. Let me see--what shall I begin with? _I_ know--_Supper!_ She
hasn't been down yet.

HIS HOSTESS. Oh, Mr. Boldover, you're not dancing this--do be good and
take some one down to supper--those poor Chaperons are dying for some

[Mr. B. _takes down a Matron whose repast is protracted through three
waltzes and a set of Lancers_--_he comes up to find_ MISS ROUNDARM
_gone_, _and the Musicians putting up their instruments_.

COACHMAN AT DOOR (_to Linkman, as_ MR. B. _goes down the steps_). That's
the _lot_, Jim!

[Mr. B. _walks home, wishing the Park Gates were not shut, so as to
render the Serpentine inaccessible_.



     _Sightseers discovered drifting languidly along in a state of
     depression, only tempered by the occasional exercise of the
     right of every free-born Briton to criticize whenever he fails
     to understand. The general tone is that of faintly amused and
     patronizing superiority._

A BURLY SIGHTSEER _with a red face_ (_inspecting group representing
"Mithras Sacrificing a Bull"_). H'm; that may be Mithras's notion of
making a clean job of it, but it ain't _mine_!

A WOMAN (_examining a fragment from base of sculptured column with a
puzzled expression as she reads the inscription_). "Lower portion of
female figure--probably a Bacchante." Well, how they know who it's
intended for, when there ain't more than a bit of her skirt left, beats

HER COMPANION. Oh, I s'pose they've got to put a name to it o' _some_

AN INTELLIGENT ARTISAN (_out for the day with his_ FIANCÉE--_reading
from pedestal_). "Part of a group of As--Astrala--no,
_Astraga_--lizontes"--that's what _they_ are, yer see.

FIANCÉE. But who _were_ they?

THE I. A. Well, I can't tell yer--not for certain; but I expect they'd
be the people who in'abited Astragalizontia.

FIANCÉE. Was that what they used to call Ostralia before it was
discovered? (_They come to the Clytie bust._) Why, if that isn't the
same head Mrs. Meggles has under a
glass shade in her front window, only smaller--and hers is alabaster,
too! But fancy them going and copying it, and I dare say without so much
as a "by your leave," or a "thank you!"


THE I. A. (_reading_). "Portrait of Antonia, sister-in-law of the
Emperor Tiberius, in the character of Clytie turning into a sunflower."

FIANCÉE. Lor! They did queer things in those days, didn't they?
(_Stopping before another bust._) Who's that?

THE I. A. 'Ed of Ariadne.

FIANCÉE (_slightly surprised_). What!--not young Adney down our street?
I didn't know as he'd been took in stone.

THE I. A. How do you suppose they'd 'ave young Adney in among this
lot--why, that's antique!

FIANCÉE. Well, I was _thinking_ it looked more like a female. But if
it's meant for old Mr. Teak the shipbuilder's daughter, it flatters her
up considerable; and, besides, I always understood as her name was

THE I. A. No, no; what a girl you are for getting things wrong! that 'ed
was cut out years and years ago!

FIANCÉE. Well, she's gone off _since_, that's all; but I wonder at old
Mr. Teak letting it go out of the family, instead of putting it on his
mantelpiece along with the lustres, and the two chiny dogs.

THE A. I. (_with ungallant candour_). 'Ark at you! Why you 'ain't much
more sense nor a chiny dog yourself!

MORALIZING MATRON (_before the Venus of Ostia_). And to think of the
poor ignorant Greeks worshipping a shameless hussey like that! It's a
pity they hadn't some one to teach them more respectable notions! Well,
well! it ought to make us thankful _we_ don't live in those benighted
times, that it ought!

A CONNOISSEUR (_after staring at a colossal Greek lion_). A lion, eh?
Well, it's another proof to my mind that the ancients hadn't got very
far in the statuary line. Now, if you _want_ to see a stone lion done
true to Nature, you've only to walk any day along the Euston Road.

A PRACTICAL MAN. I dessay it's a fine collection, enough, but it's a
pity the things ain't more perfect. _I_ should ha' thought, with so many
odds and ends and rubbish lying about as is no use to nobody at present
they might ha' used it up in mending some that only requires a 'arm 'ere
or a leg there, or a 'ed and what not, to make 'em as good as ever. But
ketch _them_ (_he means the Officials_) taking any extra trouble if they
can help it!

HIS COMPANION. Ah, but yer see it ain't so easy fitting on bits that
belonged to something different. You've got to look at it _that_ way.

THE P. M. _I_ don't see no difficulty about it. Why, any stonemason
could cut down the odd pieces to fit well enough, and they wouldn't have
such a neglected appearance as they do now.

_A Group has collected round a Gigantic Arm in red granite._

FIRST SIGHTSEER. There's a _arm_ for yer!

SECOND S. (_a humourist_). Yes; 'ow would yer like to 'ave _that_ come a
punching your 'ed?

THIRD S. (_thoughtfully_). I expect they've put it up 'ere as a sarmple

THE MORALIZING MATRON. How it makes one realize that there were giants
in those days!

HER FRIEND. But surely the size must be a _little_ exaggerated, don't
you think? Oh, is _this_ the God Ptah?

[_The_ M. M. _says nothing, but clicks her tongue to express a grieved
pity, after which she passes on_.

THE INTELLIGENT ARTISAN _and his_ FIANCÉE _have entered the Nineveh
Gallery, and are regarding an immense human-headed, winged bull_.

THE I. A. (_indulgently_). Rum-looking sort o' beast that 'ere.

FIANCÉE. Ye-es--I wonder if it's a likeness of some animal they used to
'ave then?

THE I. A. I _did_ think you was wider than _that_!--it's only
imaginative. What 'ud be the good o' wings to a bull?

FIANCÉE (_on her defence_). You think you know so much--but it's got a
man's 'ed, ain't it? and I know there used to be _'orses_ with 'alf a
man where the 'ed ought to be, because I've seen their pictures--so

THE I. A. I dunno what you've got where _your_ 'ed ought to be, torking
such rot!


THE GRIM GOVERNESS (_directing a scared small boy's attention to a
particularly hideous mask_). See, Henry, that's the kind of mask worn by

HENRY. Always--or only on the fifth of November, Miss Goole?

[_He records a mental vow never to visit a Savage Island on Guy Fawkes's
Day, and makes a prolonged study of the mask, with a view to future

A KIND, BUT DENSE UNCLE (_to_ NIECE). All these curious things were made
by cannibals, ETHEL--savages who eat one another, you know.

ETHEL (_suggestively_). But, I suppose, Uncle, they wouldn't eat one
another if they had any one to give them _buns_, would they?

[_Her_ UNCLE _discusses the suggestion elaborately, but without
appreciating the hint_; _the_ GOVERNESS _has caught sight of a huge and
hideous Hawaiian Idol, with a furry orange-coloured head, big
mother-o'-pearl eyes, with black balls for the pupils, and a grinning
mouth picked out with shark's teeth, to which she introduces the
horrified_ HENRY.

MISS GOOLE. Now, Henry, you see the kind of idol the poor savages say
their prayers to.

HARRY (_tremulously_). But n--not just before they go to bed, do they,
Miss Goole?


THE UNCLE. That's King Rameses' mummy, Ethel.

ETHEL. And what was _her_ name, Uncle?

THE GOVERNESS (_halting before a case containing a partially unrolled_
_mummy, the spine and thigh of which are exposed to view_). Fancy,
Henry, that's part of an Egyptian who has been dead for thousands of
years! Why, you're not _frightened_, are you?

HARRY (_shaking_). No, I'm not frightened, Miss Goole--only if you don't
mind, I--I'd rather see a gentleman not _quite_ so dead. And there's one
over there with a gold face and glass eyes, and he looked at me,
and--please, I _don't_ think this is the place to bring such a little
boy as me to!

_A Party is examining a Case of Mummied Animals._

THE LEADER. Here you are, you see, mummy cats--don't they look comical
all stuck up in a row there?

FIRST WOMAN. Dear, dear--to think o' going to all that expense when they
might have had 'em stuffed on a cushion! And monkeys, and dogs
too--well, I'm sure, fancy _that_ now!

SECOND WOMAN. And there's a mummied crocodile down there. I _don't_ see
what they'd want with a mummy _crocodile_, do you?

THE LEADER (_with an air of perfect comprehension of Egyptian customs_).
Well, you see they took whatever they could get 'old of, _they_ did.


OLD LADY (_to_ POLICEMAN) Oh, Policeman, can you tell me if there's any
article here that's supposed to have belonged to Adam?

POLICEMAN (_a wag in his way_). Well, Mum, we _'ave_ 'ad the 'andle of
his spade, and the brim of his garden 'at, but they wore out last year
and 'ad to be thrown away--things won't last for ever--even _'ere_, you


A PEEVISH OLD MAN. I ain't seen anything to call worth seeing, _I_
ain't. In our Museum at 'ome they've a lamb with six legs, and
hairy-light stones as big as cannon-balls; but there ain't none of that
sort 'ere, and I'm dog-tired trapesing over these boards, I am!

HIS DAUGHTER (_a candid person_). Ah, I ought to ha' known it warn't
much good taking _you_ out to enjoy yourself--you're too old, _you_ are!

ETHEL'S UNCLE (_cheerily_). Well, Ethel, I think we've seen all there is
to be seen, eh?

ETHEL. There's _one_ room we haven't been into yet, Uncle, dear.

UNCLE. Ha--and what's that?

ETHEL (_persuasively_). The _Refreshment_ Room.

[_The hint is accepted at last._



     _A crowd is staring stolidly at the gorgeously gilded and
     painted entrance, with an affectation of superior wisdom to
     that of the weaker-minded, who sneak apologetically up the
     steps from time to time. A tall-hatted orchestra have just
     finished a tune, and hung their brazen instruments up like
     joints on the hooks above them._

A WOMAN CARRYING AN INFANT (_to her_ HUSBAND). Will 'ee goo in, Joe?

JOE (_who is secretly burning to see the show_). Naw. Sin it arl afoor
arfen enough. Th' outside's th' best on it, I reckon.

HIS WIFE (_disappointed_). Saw 'tis, and naw charge for lookin' at 'en

THE PROPRIETOR. Ladies and Gentlemen, Re-mem-bar! This is positively the
last opportunity of witnessing Denman's Celebrated Menagerie--the
largest in the known world! The Lecturer is now describing the animals,
after which Mlle. Cravache and Zambango, the famous African Lion-tamers,
will go through their daring feats with forest-bred lions, tigers,
bears, and hyenas, for the last time in this town. Remembar--the last
performance this evening!

JOE (_to his_ WIFE). If ye'd _like_ to hev a look at 'em, I wun't say
nay to et.

HIS WIFE. I dunno as I care partickler 'bout which way 'tis.

JOE (_annoyed_). Bide where 'ee be then.

HIS WIFE. Theer's th' child, Joe, to be sure.

JOE. Well we bain't a gooin' in, and so th' child wun't come to no 'arm,
and theer's a hend on it!

HIS WIFE. Nay, she'd lay in my arms as quiet as quiet. I wur on'y
thinkin', Joe, as it 'ud be somethin' to tell her when she wur a big
gell, as her daddy took her to see th' wild beasties afoor iver she
could tark--that's arl I wur meanin', Joe. And they'll let 'er goo in
free, too.

JOE. Ay, that'll be fine tellin's fur 'er, sure 'nough. Come arn,
Missus, we'll tek th' babby in--happen she'll niver git th' chance

[_They mount the steps eagerly._


JOE'S WIFE (_with a vague sense of being defrauded_). I thart thee'rd
ha' bin moor smell, wi' so many on 'em!

JOE. They doan't git naw toime for it, I reckon, allus on the rord as
they be.

THE LECTURER. Illow me to request yar kind hattention for a moment.
(Stand back there, you boys, and don't beyave in such a silly manner!)
We har now arrived at the Haswail, or Sloth Bear, described by Buffon as
'aving 'abits which make it a burden to itself. (_Severely._) The
Haswail. In the hajoinin' cage observe the Loocorricks, the hony hanimal
to oom fear is habsolootly hunknown. When hattacked by the Lion, he
places his 'ed between his fore-legs, and in that position awaits the
honset of his would-be destroyer.

JOE'S WIFE. I thart it wur th' _hostridge_ as hacted that away.

JOE. Ostridges ain't gotten they long twisted harns as iver _I_ heard

HIS WIFE (_stopping before another den_). Oh, my blessed! 'Ere be a
queer-lookin' critter, do 'ee look at 'en, Joe. What'll _he_ be now?

JOE. How do 'ee suppose as I be gooin' to tell 'ee the name of 'en?
He'll likely be a sart of a 'arse. [_Dubiously._

HIS WIFE. They've a let' en git wunnerful ontidy fur sure. 'Ere, Mister
(_to_ STRANGER) can you tell us the name of that theer hanimal?

STRANGER. That--oh, that's a Gnu.

JOE'S WIFE. He says it be a noo.

JOE. A noo _what_?

HIS WIFE. Why, a noo _hanimal_, I s'pose.

JOE. Well, he bain't naw himprovement on th' hold 'uns, as I can see.
They'd better ha' left it aloan if they couldn't do naw better nor
_'im_. Dunno what things be coming to, hinventin' o' noo hanimals at
this time o' day.


A BOOZED AND ARGUMENTATIVE RUSTIC. I sez as that 'un's a fawks, an' I'm
ready to prove it on anny man.

A COMPANION (_soothingly_). Naw, naw, 'e baint naw fawks. I dunno what
'tis,--but 'tain't naw fawks nawhow.

B. AND A. RUSTIC. I tell 'ee _'tis_ a fawks, I'm sure on it. (_To_ MILD
VISITOR) _Bain't_ 'e a fawks, Master, eh?

MILD VISITOR. Well, really, if you ask me, I should say it was a hyena.

THE RUSTIC'S COMP. A hyanna! ah, that's a deal moor like; saw 'tis!

THE RUSTIC. A pianner? Do 'ee take me vur a vool? I'll knack th' 'ed arf
o' the man as plays 'is priskies wi' me, I wull! Wheer be 'e? Let me get
at 'en!

[MILD V. _not being prepared to defend his opinion by personal combat,
discreetly loses himself in crowd_.


SECOND BOY. Sit a bit moor forrard, Billy, cann't 'ee!

FIRST BOY. _Cann't_, I tell 'ee, I be sittin' on th' scruff of 'is neck
as 'tis.

THIRD BOY. I can see my vaither, I can. 'Ere, vaither, vaither, look at
me--see wheer _I_ be!

FOURTH BOY (_a candid friend_). Shoot oop, cann't 'ee', ya young
gozzle-'ead! Think ya vaither niver see a hass on a hellyphant afoor!

FIFTH BOY. These yere helliphants be main straddly roidin'. I wish 'e
wudn't waak honly waun haff of 'en at oncest, loike. What do 'ee mean, a
kitchin' old o' me behind i' that way, eh, Jimmy Passons!


SIXTH BOY. _You'd_ ketch 'old 'o hanything if you was like me, a slidin'
down th' helliphant's ta-ail.

FIFTH BOY. If 'ee doan't let go o' me, I'll job th' helliphant's ribs,
and make 'un gallop, I will, so _now_, Jimmy Passons!


VARIOUS SPEAKERS. Wheer be pushin' to? Car that manners screouging like
that!... I cann't see nawthen, _I_ cann't wi' all they 'ats in front....
What be gooin' arn, do 'ee know?... A wumman gooin' in along 'o they
lions and tigerses? Naw, ye niver mane it!... Bain't she a leatherin' of
'un too!... Now she be a kissin' of 'un--maakin' it oop loike.... John,
you can see better nor me--what be she oop to now?... Puttin' 'er 'ed
inside o' th' lion's? Aw, dear me, now--_there_'s a thing to be doin'
of! Well, I'd ruther it was 'er nor me, I know _that_.... They wun't do
'er naw 'arm, so long's she kips 'er heye on 'em.... What do 'ee taak so
voolish vor? How's th' wumman to kip 'er heye on 'em, with 'er 'ed down
wan on 'em's throat, eh?... Gracious alive! if iver I did!... Oh, I do
'ope she bain't gooin' to let off naw fire-arms, I be moor fear'd o'
pistols nor any tigers.... Theer, she's out now! She be bold fur a
female, bain't her?... She niver maade 'em joomp through naw bla-azin'
'oops, though.... What carl would she hev fur doin' that? Well, they've
a drared 'er doin' of it houtside', that's arl I know.... An' they've a
drared Hadam outside a naamin' of th' hanimals--but ye didn't expect to
see _that_ doon inside', did 'ee?... Bob, do 'ee look at old Muster
Manders ovver theer by th' hellyphant. He's a maakin' of 'isself that
familiar--putting biskuts 'tween his lips and lettin' th' hellyphant
take 'em out wi's troonk!... _I_ see un--let un aloan, th' hold doitler,
happen he thinks he's a feedin' his canary bird!

At the Regent Street Tussaud's.

     _Before the effigy of Dr. Koch, who is represented in the act
     of examining a test-tube with the expression of bland
     blamelessness peculiar to Wax Models._

WELL-INFORMED VISITOR. That's Dr. Koch, making his great discovery!

UNSCIENTIFIC V. What did _he_ discover?

WELL-INF. V. Why, the Consumption Bacillus. He's got it in that bottle
he's holding up.

UNSC. V. And what's the good of it, now he _has_ discovered it?

WELL-INF. V. Good? Why, it's the thing that causes _consumption_, you

UNSC. V. Then it's a pity he didn't leave it alone!

_Before a Scene representing "The Home Life at Sandringham."_

FIRST OLD LADY (_with Catalogue_). It says here that "the note the page
is handing _may_ have come from Sir Dighton Probyn, the Comptroller of
the Royal Household." Fancy _that_!

SECOND OLD LADY. He's brought it in in his fingers. Now _that's_ a thing
I never allow in _my_ house. I always tell Sarah to bring all letters,
and even circulars, in on a tray!

_Before a Scene representing the late Fred Archer, on a rather quaint
quadruped, on Ascot Racecourse._

A SPORTSMAN. H'm--Archer, eh? Shouldn't have backed his mount in _that_

_Before "The Library at Hawarden."_

GLADSTONIAN ENTHUSIAST (_to_ FRIEND, _who, with the perverse ingenuity
of patrons of Waxworks, has been endeavouring to identify the Rev. John
Wesley among the Cabinet in Downing Street_). Oh, never mind all that
lot, Betsy; they're only the _Gover'ment_! Here's dear Mr. and Mrs.
Gladstone in this next! See, he's lookin' for something in a drawer of
his side-board--ain't that _natural_? And only look--a lot of people
have been leaving Christmas cards on him (_a pretty and touching tribute
of affection, which is eminently characteristic of a warm-hearted
Public_). I wish I'd thought o' bringing one with me!

HER FRIEND. So do I. We might send one 'ere by post--but it'll have to
be a New Year Card now!

A STRICT OLD LADY (_before next group_). Who are these two? "Mr. 'Enery
Irving, and Miss Ellen Terry in _Faust_, eh? No--I don't care to stop to
see them--that's play-actin', that is--and I don't 'old with it nohow!
What are these two parties supposed to be doin' of over here?
What--Cardinal Newman and Cardinal Manning at the High Altar at the
Oratory, Brompton! Come along, and don't encourage Popery by looking at
such figures. I _did_ 'ear as they'd got Mrs. Pearcey and the
prambilator somewheres. I _should_ like to see that, now."


AN AUNT (_who finds the excellent Catalogue a mine of useful
information_). Look, Bobby, dear (_reading_). "Here we have
Constantine's Cat, as seen in the _Nights of Straparola_, an Italian
romancist, whose book was translated into French in the year 1585--"

BOBBY (_disappointed_). Oh, then it _isn't Puss in Boots_!

A GENIAL GRANDFATHER (_pausing before Crusoe and Friday_). Well, Percy,
my boy, you know who _that_ is, at all events--eh?

PERCY. I suppose it is Stanley--but it's not very like.

THE G. G. Stanley!--Why, bless my soul, never heard of _Robinson Crusoe_
and his man _Friday_?

PERCY. Oh, I've _heard_ of them, of course--they come in Pantomimes--but
I like more grown-up sort of books myself, you know. Is this girl
asleep _She_?


THE G. G. No--at least--well, I expect it's _The Sleeping Beauty_. You
remember her, of course--all about the ball, and the glass slipper, and
her father picking a rose when the hedge grew round the palace, eh?

PERCY. Ah, you see, Grandfather, you had more time for general reading
than we get. (_He looks through a practicable cottage window._) Hallo, a
Dog and a Cat. Not badly stuffed!

THE G. G. Why, that must be _Old Mother Hubbard_. (_Quoting from
memory._) "Old Mother Hubbard sat in a cupboard, eating a Christmas
pie--or a _bone_ was it?"

PERCY. Don't know. It's not in _Selections from British Poetry_, which
we have to get up for "rep."

THE AUNT (_reading from Catalogue_). "The absurd ambulations of this
antique person, and the equally absurd antics of her dog, need no
recapitulation." Here's _Jack the Giant Killer_, next. Listen, Bobby, to
what it says about him here. (_Reads._) "It is clearly the last
transmutation of the old British legend told by Geoffrey of Monmouth, of
Corineus, the Trojan, the companion of the Trojan Brutus, when he first
settled in Britain. But more than this"--I hope you're listening,
Bobby?--"_more_ than this, it is quite evident, even to the superficial
student of Greek mythology, that many of the main incidents and
ornaments are borrowed from the tales of Hesiod and Homer." Think of
that, now!

[BOBBY _thinks of it, with depression_.

THE G. G. (_before figure of Aladdin's Uncle selling new lamps for
old_). Here you are, you see! "_Ali Baba_," got 'em all here, you see.
Never read your _Arabian Nights_, either! Is that the way they bring up
boys nowadays!

PERCY. Well, the fact is, Grandfather, that unless a fellow reads that
kind of thing when he's _young_, he doesn't get a chance afterwards.

THE AUNT (_still quoting_). "In the famous work," Bobby, "by which we
know Masûdi, he mentions the Persian Hezar Afsane-um-um-um,--nor have
commentators failed to notice that the occasion of the book written for
the Princess Homai resembles the story told in the Hebrew Bible about
Esther, her mother or grandmother, by some Persian Jew two or three
centuries B.C." Well, I never knew _that_ before!... This is _Sindbad
and the Old Man of the Sea_--let's see what they say about _him_.
(_Reads._) "Both the story of _Sindbad_ and the old Basque legend of
Tartaro are undoubtedly borrowed from the _Odyssey_ of Homer, whose
_Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ were translated into Syriac in the reign of
Harun-ur-Rashid." Dear, dear, how interesting, now! and, Bobby, what
_do_ you think some one says about _Jack and the Beanstalk_? He
says--"This tale is an allegory of the Teutonic Al-fader, the red hen
representing the all-producing sun; the moneybags, the fertilizing rain;
and the harp, the winds." Well, I'm sure it seems likely enough, doesn't

     [BOBBY _suppresses a yawn_; PERCY'S _feelings are outraged by
     receiving a tin trumpet from the Lucky Tub; general move to the
     scene of the Hampstead Tragedy_.


SPECTATORS. Dear, dear, there's the _dresser_, you see, and the window
broken and all; it's wonderful how they can _do_ it! And there's poor
Mrs. 'Ogg--it's real butter and a real loaf she's cutting, and the poor
baby, too!... Here's the actual casts taken after they were murdered.
Oh, and there's Mrs. Pearcey wheeling the perambulator--it's the _very_
perambulator! No, not the very one--they've got _that_ at the other
place, and the piece of toffee the baby sucked. Have they really! Oh, we
_must_ try and go there, too, before the children's holidays are over.
And this is all? Well, well, everything very nice, I _will_ say. But a
pity they couldn't get the _real_ perambulator!

At the Military Exhibition.


AN UNREASONABLE OLD LADY (_arriving breathless, with her grandson and
niece_). This'll be the place the balloon goes up from, I wouldn't miss
it for anything! Put the child up on that bench, Maria; we'll stand
about here till it begins.

MARIA. But _I_ don't see no balloon nor nothing.

[_Which, as the foliage blocks out all but the immediate foreground is
scarcely surprising._

THE U. O. L. No more don't I--but it stands to reason there wouldn't be
so many looking on if there wasn't _something_ to see. We're well enough
where we are, and _I_'m not going further to fare worse to please
nobody; so you may do as you _like_ about it.

[MARIA _promptly avails herself of this permission_.

THE U. O. L. (_a little later_). Well, it's time they did _something_,
I'm sure. Why, the people seem all moving off! and where's that girl
Maria got to? Ah, here you are! So you found you were no better
off?--_Next_ time, p'raps you'll believe what I tell you. Not that
there's any War Balloon as _I_ can see!

MARIA. Oh, there was a capital view from where I was--out in the open

THE U. O. L. Why couldn't you say so before? Out in the open! Let's go
there then--it's all the same to _me_!

MARIA (_with an undutiful giggle_). It's all the same now--wherever you
go, 'cause the balloon's gone up.

THE U. O. L. Gone up! What are you telling me, Maria?

MARIA. I see it go--it shot up ever so fast and quite steady, and the
people in the car all waved their 'ats to us. I could see a arm a waving
almost till it got out of sight.

THE U. O. L. And me and this innercent waiting here on the seat like
lambs, and never dreaming what was goin' on! Oh, Maria, however you'll
reconcile it to your conscience, _I_ don't know!

MARIA. Why, whatever are you pitching into _me_ for!

THE U. O. L. It's not that it's any partickler pleasure to _me_, seeing
a balloon, though we _did_ get our tea done early to be in time for
it--it's the sly deceitfulness of your _conduck_, Maria, which is all
the satisfaction I get for coming out with you,--it's the feeling
that--well, there, I won't _talk_ about it!

[_In pursuance of which virtuous resolve, she talks about nothing else
for the remainder of the day, until the unfortunate_ MARIA _wishes
fervently that balloons had never been invented_.


_An admiring group has collected before an enormous pin-cushion in the
form of a fat star, and about the size of a Church-hassock._

FIRST SOLDIER (_to his Companion_). Lot 'o work in _that_, yer know!

_Second Soldier._ Yes. (_Thoughtfully._) Not but what--(_becoming
critical_)--if I'd been doin' it _myself_, I should ha' chose pins with
smaller 'eds on 'em.

FIRST S. (_regarding this as presumptuous_). You may depend on it the
man who made _that_ 'ad his reasons for choosing the pins he did--but
there's no pleasing some parties!

SECOND S. (_apologetically_). Well, I ain't denying the _Art_ in it, am

FIRST WOMAN. I _do_ call that 'andsome, Sarah. See, there's a star, and
two 'arps, and a crownd, and I don't know what all--and all done in pins
and beads! "Made by Bandsman Brown," too! [_Reading placard._

SECOND W. Soldiers is that clever with their 'ands. Four pounds seems a
deal to ask for it, though.

FIRST W. But look at the weeks it must ha' took him to do! (_Reading._)
"Containing between ten and eleven thousand pins and beads, and a
hundred and ninety-eight pieces of coloured cloth!" Why, the pins alone
must ha' cost a deal of money.

SECOND W. Yes, it 'ud be a pity for it to go to somebody as 'ud want to
take 'em out.

FIRST W. It ought to be bought up by Gover'ment, that it ought--they're
well able to afford it.

     _A select party of Philistines, comprising a young Man,
     apparently in the Army, and his_ MOTHER _and_ SISTER, _are
     examining Mr. Gilbert's Jubilee Trophy in a spirit of puzzled

THE MOTHER. Dear me, and _that's_ the Jubilee centrepiece, is it? What a
heavy-looking thing. I wonder what _that_ cost?

HER SON (_gloomily_). Cost? Why, about two days' pay for every man in
the Service!

HIS MOTHER. Well, I call it a shame for the Army to be fleeced for
_that_ thing. Are those creatures intended for mermaids, with their
tails curled round that glass ball, I wonder? [_She sniffs._

HER DAUGHTER. I expect it will be crystal, Mother.

HER MOTHER. Very likely, my dear, but--glass or crystal--_I_ see no
sense in it!

DAUGHTER. Oh, it's absurd, of course--still, this figure isn't badly
done. Is it supposed to represent St. George carrying the Dragon?
Because they've made the Dragon no bigger than a salmon!

MOTHER. Ah, well, I hope Her Majesty will be better pleased with it than
I am, that's all.

     [_After which they fall into ecstasies over an industrial
     exhibit consisting of a drain-pipe, cunningly encrusted with
     fragments of regimental mess-china set in gilded cement._

     _Before a large mechanical clock, representing a fortress,
     which is striking. Trumpets sound, detachments of wooden
     soldiers march in and out of gateways, and parade the
     battlements, clicking for a considerable time._

A SPECTATOR (_with a keen sense of the fitness of things_). What--all
that for on'y 'alf past five!


SPECTATORS (_passing in front of groups of models arranged in realistic
surroundings_). All the faces screwed up to suffering, you see!... What
a nice patient expression that officer on the stretcher has! Yes,
they've given _him_ a wax head--some of them are only _papier-mâché_....
Pity they couldn't get nearer their right size in 'elmets, though, ain't
it?... There's _one_ chap's given up the ghost!... I know that stuffed
elephant--he comes from the Indian Jungle at the Colinderies!... I _do_
think it's a pity they couldn't get something more _like_ a mule than
this wooden thing! Why, it's quite _flat_, and its ears are only
leather, nailed on!... You can't tell, my dear; it may be a peculiar
breed out there--cross between a towel-horse and a donkey-engine, don't
you know!


     _At the back, amidst tropical scenery, an endless procession of
     remarkably undeceptive rabbits of painted tin are running
     rapidly up and down an inclined plane. Birds jerk painfully
     through the air above, and tin rats, boars, tigers, lions, and
     ducks, all of the same size, glide swiftly along grooves in the
     middle distance. In front, Commissionnaires are busy loading
     rifles for keen sportsmen, who keep up a lively but somewhat
     ineffective fusillade._

'ARRIET (_to_ 'ARRY). They 'ave got it up beautiful, I must say. Do you
_get_ anything for 'itting them?

'ARRY. On'y the honour.

A FATHER (_to intelligent_ SMALL BOY _in rear of_ NERVOUS SPORTSMAN).
No, I ain't seen him 'it anything _yet_, my son; but you watch. That's a
rabbit he's aiming at now.... Ah, _missed_ him!

SMALL BOY. 'Ow d'yer _know_ what the gentleman's a-aiming at, eh,

FATHER. 'Ow? Why, you notice which way he points his gun.

[_The N. S. fires again--without results._

SMALL BOY. I sor that time, Father. He was a-aiming at one o' them
ducks, an' he missed a rabbit! [_The N. S. gives it up in disgust._


     _Enter a small party of 'Arries in high spirits._

FIRST 'ARRY. 'Ullo! _I_'m on to this. 'Ere Guv'nor', 'and us a gun.
_I_'ll show yer 'ow to shoot!

     [_He takes up his position, in happy unconsciousness that
     playful companions have decorated his coat-collar behind with a
     long piece of white paper._

SECOND 'ARRY. Go in, Jim! You got yer markin'-paper ready anyhow.

     [_Delighted guffaws from the other_ 'ARRIES, _in which_ JIM _joins

THIRD 'ARRY. I'll lay you can't knock a rabbit down!

JIM. I'll lay I can!

[_Fires. The procession of rabbits goes on undisturbed._

SECOND 'ARRY (_jocosely_). Never mind. You _peppered_ 'im. I sor the
feathers floy!

THIRD 'ARRY. You'd ha' copped 'im if yer'd bin a bit quicker.

JIM (_annoyed_). They keep on movin' so, they don't give a bloke no

SECOND 'ARRY. 'Ave a go at that old owl.

     [_Alluding to a tin representation of that fowl which remains
     stationary among the painted rushes._

THIRD 'ARRY. No--see if you can't git that stuffed bear. He's on'y a
yard or two away!

AN IMPATIENT 'ARRY (_at doorway_). 'Ere, _come on_! Ain't you shot
enough? Shake a leg, can't yer, Jim?

SECOND 'ARRY. He's got to kill one o' them rabbits fust. Or pot a tin
lion, Jim? _You_ ain't afraid?

JIM. No; I'm goin' to git that owl. He's _quiet_ any way.

[_Fires. The owl falls prostrate._

SECOND 'ARRY. Got 'im! Owl's _orf_! Jim, old man, you must stand drinks
round after this!

[_Exeunt_ 'ARRIES, _to celebrate their victory in a befitting fashion,
as Scene closes in_.

At the French Exhibition.

CHORUS OF ARAB STALL-KEEPERS. Come an look! Alaha-ba-li-boo! Eet is
verri cold to-day! I-ah-rish Brandi! 'Ere _Miss_! you com' 'ere! No pay
for lookin'. Alf a price! Verri pritti, verri nah-ice, verri cheap verri
moch! [_And so on._]

CHORUS OF BRITISH SALESWOMEN. _Will_ you allow me to show you this
little novelty, Sir? _'Ave_ you seen the noo perfume sprinkler? Do come
and try this noo puzzle--no 'arm in _lookin'_, Sir. Very nice little
novelties 'ere, Sir! 'Eard the noo French Worltz, Sir? every article is
very much reduced, &c., &c.


SCENE--_A hall in the grounds. Several turnstiles leading to curtained

SHOWMAN (_shouting_). Amphitrite, the Marvellous Floatin' Goddess Just
about to commence! This way for the Mystic Gallery--three illusions for
threepence! Atalanta, the Silver Queen of the Moon; the Oriental Beauty
in the Table of the Sphinx, and the Wonderful Galatea, or Pygmalion's
Dream. Only threepence! This way for the Mystic Marvel o' She! Now

A FEMALE SIGHTSEER (_with the air of a person making an original
suggestion_) Shall we go in, just to see what it's like?

MALE DITTO. May as well, now we _are_ 'ere. (_To preserve
himself from any suspicion of credulity_). Sure to be a take-in o' some

[Illustration: "COME AN LOOK! ALAHA-BA-LI-BOO!"]

     [_They enter a dim apartment, in which two or three people are
     leaning over a barrier in front of a small Stage; the Curtain
     is lowered, and a Pianist is industriously pounding away at a

THE F. S. (_with an uncomfortable giggle_). Not much to see _so_ far, is

HER COMPANION. Well, they ain't begun yet.

     [_The Waltz ends, and the Curtain rises, disclosing a_ CAVERN
     SCENE. AMPHITRE, _in blue tights, rises through the floor_.

AMPHITRE (_in the Gallic tongue_). Mesdarms et Messures, j'ai l'honnoor
de vous sooayter le bong jour! (_Floats, with no apparent support, in
the air, and performs various graceful evolutions, concluding by
reversing herself completely._) Bong swore, Mesdarms et messures, mes

[_She dives below, and the Curtain descends._

THE F. S. Is that all? I don't see nothing in _that_!

HER COMP. (_who, having paid for admission, resents this want of
appreciation_). Why, she was off the ground the 'ole of the time, wasn't
she? I'd just like to see _you_ turnin' and twisting about in the air as
easy as she did with nothing to 'old on by!

THE F. S. I didn't notice she was off the ground--yes that _was_ clever.
I never thought o' that before. Let's go and see the other things now.

HER COMP. Well, if you don't see nothing surprising in 'em till they're
all over, you might as well stop outside, _I_ should ha' thought.

THE F. S. Oh, but I'll notice more next time--you've got to get _used_
to these things, you know.

     [_They enter the Mystic Gallery, and find themselves in a dim
     passage, opposite a partitioned compartment, in which is a
     glass case, supported on four pedestals, with a silver crescent
     at the back. The illusions--to judge from a sound of scurrying
     behind the scenes--have apparently been taken somewhat

THE FEMALE SIGHTSEER (_anxious to please_). They've done that 'alf-moon
very well, haven't they?

VOICE OF SHOWMAN (_addressing the Illusions_). Now then, 'urry up
there--we're all waiting for you.

     [_The face of "Atalanta, the Silver Queen of the Moon," appears
     strongly illuminated, inside the glass-box, and regards the
     spectators with an impassive contempt--greatly to their

THE MALE S. (_in a propitiatory tone_). Not a bad-looking girl, is she?

compartment_). Polly, when these people are gone, I wish you'd fetch me
my work!

     [_The Sightseers move on, feeling crushed. In the second
     compartment the upper portion of a female is discovered, calmly
     knitting in the centre of a small table, the legs of which are
     distinctly visible._

THE FEMALE S. Why, wherever has the _rest_ of her got to?

THE ORIENTAL BEAUTY (_with conscious superiority_). That's what you've
got to find out.

[_They pass on to interview "Galatea, or Pygmalion's Dream," whose
compartment is as yet enveloped in obscurity._

A Youthful Showman (_apparently on familiar terms with all the
Illusions_). Ladies and Gentlemen, I shell now 'ave the honour of
persentin' to you the wonderful Galatear or Livin' Statue; you will 'ave
an oppertoonity of 'andling the bust for yourselves, which will warm
before your eyes into living flesh, and the lovely creecher live and
speak. 'Ere, look sharp, earn't yer! (_To_ GALATEA.)

PYGMALION'S DREAM (_from the Mystic gloom_). Wait a bit till I've done
warming my 'ands. Now you can turn the lights up ... there, you've bin
and turned 'em _out_ now, stoopid!

THE Y. S. Don't you excite yourself. I know what I'm doin'. (_Turns the
lights up, and reveals a large terra-cotta Bust._) At my request, this
young lydy will now perceed to assoom the yew and kimplexion of life
itself. Galatear, will you oblige us by kindly coming to life?

     [_The Bust vanishes, and is replaced by a decidedly earthly
     Young Woman in robust health._

THE Y. S. Thenk you. That's all I wanted of yer. Now, will you kindly
return to your former styte?

[_The Young Woman transforms herself into a hideous Skull._

THE Y. S. (_in a tone of remonstrance_). No--no, not that ridiklous
fice! We don't want to see what yer will be--it's very _loike_ yer, I
know but still--(_the skull changes to the Bust._) Ah, that's more the
stoyle! (_Takes the Bust by the neck and hands it round for
inspection._) And now, thenking you for your kind attention, and on'y
'orskin one little fyvour of you, that is, that you will not reveal 'ow
it is done, I will now bid you a very good evenin', Lydies and

THE F. S. (_outside_). It's wonderful how they can do it all for
threepence, isn't it? We haven't seen _She_ yet!

HER COMP. What! 'aven't you seen wonders enough? Come on, then. But you
_are_ going it you know!

     [_They enter a small room, at the further end of which are a
     barrier and proscenium with drawn hangings._

THE EXHIBITOR (_in a confidential tone, punctuated by bows_). I will not
keep you waiting, Ladies and Gentlemen, but at once proceed with a few
preliminary remarks. Most of you, no doubt, have read that celebrated
story by Mr. Rider 'Aggard, about a certain _She-who-must-be-obeyed_,
and who dwelt in a place called Kôr, and you will also doubtless
remember how she was in the 'abit of repairing at certain intervals, to
a cavern, and renooing her youth in a fiery piller. On one occasion,
wishing to indooce her lover to foller her example, she stepped into the
flame to encourage him--something went wrong with the works, and she was
instantly redooced to a cinder. I fortunately 'appened to be near at the
time (you will escuse a little wild fib from a showman, I'm sure!) I
'appened to be porsin by, and was thus enabled to secure the ashes of
the Wonderful SHE, which--(_draws hangings and reveals a shallow metal
Urn suspended_ _in the centre of scene_) are now before you enclosed in
that little urn. She--where are you?

SHE (_in a full sweet voice from below_). I am 'ere!

SHOWMAN. Then appear!

     [_The upper portion of an exceedingly comely_ YOUNG PERSON
     _emerges from the mouth of the Urn_.

THE F. S. (_startled_). Lor, she give me quite a turn!

SHOWMAN. Some people think this is all done by mirrors, but it is not
so; it is managed by a simple arrangement of light and shade. She will
now turn slowly round, to convince you that she is really inside the urn
and not merely beyind it. (_She turns round condescendingly._) She will
next pass her 'ands completely round her, thereby demonstrating the
utter impossibility of there being any wires to support her. Now she
will rap on the walls on each side of her, proving to you that she is no
reflection, but a solid reality, after which she will tap the bottom of
the urn beneath her so that you may see it really is what it purports to
be. (SHE _performs all these actions in the most obliging manner_.) She
will now disappear for a moment. (SHE _sinks into the Urn_.) Are you
still there, She?

SHE (_from the recess of the Urn_). Yes.

SHOWMAN. Then will you give us some sign of your presence? (_a hand and
arm are protruded and waved gracefully_). Thank you. Now you can come up
again. (SHE _reappears_.) She will now answer any questions any lady or
gentleman may like to put to her, always provided you won't ask her how
it is done--for I'm sure she wouldn't give me away, _would_ you, She?

SHE(_with a slow bow and gracious smile_). Certingly not.

THE F. S. (_to her_ COMPANION). Ask her something--do.

HER COMP. Go on! _I_ ain't got anything to ask her--ask her yourself!

A BOLDER SPIRIT (_with interest_). Are your _feet_ warm?

SHE. Quite--thenks.

THE SHOWMAN. HOW old are you, She?

SHE (_impressively_). Two theousand years.

'ARRY. And quite a young thing, too!

A SPECTATOR (_who has read the Novel_). 'Ave you 'eard from Leo Vincey

SHE (_coldly_). I don't know the gentleman.

SHOWMAN. If you have no more questions to ask her, She will now retire
into her Urn thenking you all for your kind attendance this morning,
which will conclude the entertainment.

     [_Final disappearance of_ SHE. _The Audience pass out,
     feeling--with perfect justice--that they have "had their
     money's worth."_


     _The line of carriages bound for Buckingham Palace is moving by
     slow stages down the Drive. A curious but not uncritical crowd,
     consisting largely of females, peer into the carriages as they
     pass, and derive an occult pleasure from a glimpse of a satin
     train and a bouquet. Other spectators circulate behind them,
     roving from carriage to carriage, straining and staring in at
     the occupants with the childlike interest of South Sea
     Islanders. The coachmen and footmen gaze impassively before
     them, ignoring the crowd to the best of their ability. The
     ladies in the carriages bear the ordeal of popular inspection
     with either haughty resignation, elaborate unconsciousness, or
     amused tolerance, and it is difficult to say which demeanour
     provokes the greatest resentment in the democratic breast._

CHORUS OF FEMALE SPECTATORS. We shall see better here than what we did
last Droring-Room. Law, 'ow it _did_ come down, too, pouring the 'ole
day. I was that sorry for the poor 'orses!... Oh, that one _was_ nice,
Marire! Did you see 'er train?--all flame-coloured satting--_lovely!_
Ain't them flowers beautiful? Oh, Liza, '_ere's_ a pore skinny-lookin'
thing coming next--look at 'er pore dear arms, all bare! But dressed
'andsome enough .... That's a Gineral in there, see? He's 'olding his
cocked 'at on his knee to save the feathers--him and her have been
'aving words, apparently.... Oh, I _do_ like this one. I s'pose that's
her Mother with her--well, yes, o' course it _may_ be her Aunt!

A SARDONIC LOAFER. 'Ullo, 'ere's a 'aughty one! layin' back and puttin'
up 'er glorses! Know us agen, Mum, won't you? You may well look--you
ain't seen so much in yer ole life as what you're seein' to-day, _I_'ll
lay! Ah, you ought to feel honoured, too, all of us comin' out to look
at yer. Drored 'er blind down, this one 'as, yer see--knew she wasn't
wuth looking at!


     [_A carriage passes; the footman on the box is adorned by an
     enormous nosegay, over which he can just see._

FIRST COMIC COCKNEY. Ow, I s'y--you _'ave_ come out in bloom, Johnny!

SECOND C. C. Ah, they've bin forcin' _'im_ under glorse, they 'ave! 'Is
Missis'll never find 'im under all them flowers. Ow, 'e smoiled at me
through the brornches!

     [_Another carriage passes, the coachman and footmen of which
     are undecorated._

FIRST C. C. Shime!--they might ha' stood yer a penny bunch of voilets
between yer, that they might!

THE SARDONIC L. 'Ere's a swell turn-out and no mistake--with a couple o'
bloomin' beadles standin' be'ind! There's a full-fed 'un inside of it
too,--look at the dimonds all over 'er bloomin' old nut. _My_ eye! (_The
elderly dowager inside produces a cut-glass scent-bottle of goodly
size._) Ah, she's got a drop o' the right sort in there--see her sniffin
at it--it won't take 'er long to mop up that little lot!

JEAMES (_behind the carriage, to_ CHAWLES). Our old geeser's perdoocin'
the custimary amount o' sensation, eh, Chawley?

CHAWLES (_under notice_). Well, thank 'Eving, I sha'n't have to share
the responsibility of her _much_ longer!

'ARRIET (_to_ 'ARRY). I wonder they don't get tired o' being stared at
like they are.

'ARRY Bless your 'art--_they_ don't mind--they _like_ it. They'll go 'ome
and s'y (_in falsetto_) "Ow, Pa, all the bloomin' crowd kep' on a lookin'
at us through the winder--it _was_ proime!"

'ARRIET (_giggling admiringly_). 'Ow do _you_ know the w'y they tork?

'ARRY (_superior_). Why, they don't tork partickler different from what
you and me tork--do they?

FIRST MECHANIC. See all them old blokes in red, with the rum 'ats, Bill?
They're Beefeaters goin' to the Pallis, they are.

SECOND M. What do they do when they git there?

FIRST M. Do? oh, mind the bloomin' staircase, and chuck out them as don'
beyave themselves.

A RESTLESS LADY (_to her husband_). Harry, I don't like this place at
all. I'm sure we could see better somewhere else. Do let's try and
squeeze in somewhere lower down.... No, this is worse--that _horrid_
tobacco! Suppose we cross over to the Palace? [_They do so._

A POLICEMAN. Too late to cross now, Sir--go back, please.

[_They go back and take up a position in front of the crowd on the

THE R. L. There, we shall see beautifully here, Harry.

A CRUSTY MATRON (_talking at the_ R. L. _and her husband_). Well, I'm
sure, some persons have got a cheek, coming in at the last minnit and
standing in front of those that have stood here hours--that's lady-like,
I _don't_ think! Nor yet, I didn't come here to have my eye poked out by
other parties' pairosols.

     [_Continues in this strain until the R. L. can stand it no
     longer, and urges her husband to depart._

CHORUS OF POLICEMEN. Pass along there, please, one way _or_ the
other--keep moving there, Sir.

THE R. L. But where are we to _go_--we must stand _somewhere_?

A POLICEMAN. Can't stand anywhere 'ere, Mum.

     [_The unhappy couple are passed on from point to point, until
     they are finally hemmed in at a spot from which it is
     impossible to see anything whatever._

HARRY. If you had only been content to stay where you were at first, we
should have been all right!

THE R. L. Nonsense, it is all your fault, you _are_ the most hopeless
person to go anywhere with. Why didn't you tell one of those policemen
_who we were_?

HARRY. Why? Well, because I didn't see one who looked as if it would
interest him, if you want to know.


CHORUS OF LOYAL LADIES OF VARIOUS AGES. There--they're clearing the
way--the Prince and Princess won't be long now. Here's the Life Guards'
Band--don't they look byootiful in those dresses? Won't that poor
drummer's arms ache to-morrow? This is the escort coming now.... 'Ere
come the Royalties. Don't push so, Polly, you can see without that!...
There, that was the Prince in the first one--did yer see him, Polly?
Oh, yes, leastwise I see the end of a cocked 'at, which I took to be
'im. Yes, _that_ was 'im right enough.... There goes the
Princess--_wasn't_ she looking nice? I couldn't exactly make out which
was her and which was the two young Princesses, they went by all in a
flash like, but they _did_ look nice!... 'Ere's another Royalty in this
kerridge--'oo will she be, I wonder? Oh, I expect it would be the old
Duchess of----No, I don't think it was _'er_,--she wasn't looking
pleasant enough,--and she's dead, too.... Now they have got inside--'ark
at them playing bits of _God Save the Queen_. Well, I'm glad I've seen

A SON (_to cheery old Lady_). 'Ow are you gettin' on, Mother, eh?

CH. O. L. First-rate, thankee, John, my boy.

SON. You ain't tired standing about so long?

CH. O. L. Lor' bless you, no. Don't you worry about _me_.

SON. Could you see 'em from where you was?

CH. O. L. I could see all the coachmen's 'ats beautiful. We'll wait and
see 'em all come out, John, won't we? They won't be more than an hour
and a half in there, I dessay.

A PERSON WITH A FLORID VOCABULARY. Well, if I'd ha' known all I was
goin' to see was a set o' blanky nobs shut up in their blank-dash
kerridges, blank my blanky eyes if I'd ha' stirred a blanky foot, s'elp
me Dash, I wouldn't!

A VENDOR (_persuasively_). The kerrect lengwidge of hevery flower that
blows--one penny!

At a Parisian Café Chantant.

     SCENE--_An open air restaurant in the Champs-Elysées; the seats
     in the enclosure are rapidly filling; the diners in the gallery
     at the back have passed the salad stage, and are now free to
     take a more or less torpid interest in the Entertainment
     below._ _Enter_ TWO BRITONS, _who make their way to a couple of
     vacant chairs close to the orchestra_.

FIRST BRITON. _Entrée libre_, you see; nothing to pay! Cheaper than your
precious Exhibition, eh? [_Chuckles knowingly._

SECOND BRITON (_who would rather have stayed at the Exhibition but
doesn't like to say so_). Don't quite see how they expect the thing to
pay if they don't charge anything, though.

FIRST B. Oh, they make _their_ profit out of the dinners up in the
gallery there.

SECOND B. (_appreciating the justice of this arrangement, having dined
with his companion elsewhere_). Well, that's fair enough.

[_Feels an increased respect for the Entertainment._

FIRST B. Must get their money back somehow, you know. Capital seats for
hearing, these. Now, we'll just take a cup of coffee, and a quiet cigar,
while we listen to the singing--you'll enjoy this, _I_ know!

     [_With the air of a man who knows the whole thing by heart; the
     Waiter brings two tumblers of black coffee, for which he
     demands the sum of six francs; lively indignation of the_ TWO
     BRITONS, _who denounce the charge as a swindle, and take some
     time to recover sufficient equanimity to attend to what is
     going on on the Stage_.


FEMALE ARTISTE (_sings refrain_)--

    Pour notre Exposition,
      Il faut nous faire imposition! &c., &c.

SECOND B. (_who not being at home in the language, rather resents his
companion's laughter_). What's that she's saying?

FIRST B. (_who laughed because he knew there was a joke about the
Exhibition_). Eh?--oh! I'll tell you afterwards.

[_Hopes his friend will have forgotten all about it by that time._

SECOND B. (_pertinaciously, as the Singer kisses her hand, and rushes
precipitately off stage_). Well, what was all _that_ about?

FIRST B. (_who, upon reflection, finds that he hasn't the faintest
idea_). Oh, nothing very much--more the _manner_, you know, than
anything else--it's the _men_ who have all the really funny songs.

[_A Male Artiste appears, bowing and kicking up his left leg behind:
the_ FIRST BRITON _bends forward with an anxious frown, determined to
let nothing escape him this time. Fortunately, as_ M. CHARLEMAGNE, _the
Comic Singer, possesses a powerful voice, the_ FIRST BRITON _is able to
follow most of the words, from which, although they reach his ear in a
somewhat perverted form, he contrives to extract intense amusement. This
is how the Chanson reaches him_:--

    Seul boulevard silent vous arrête:
    Quand monde a tout départ n'amas,

[_He can't quite make out this last word._

    Repondez vitement--

[_Something he doesn't catch._

    Le fou l'eau sitôt vous crie "un rat!"

[_Here he whispers to his friend that "That last line was rather neat."_

_Refrain_ (_to which_ M. CHARLEMAGNE _dances a gavotte with his hat
thrust into the small of his back_).

    Il n'a pas départ Dinard.

[_This makes the_ FIRST BRITON--_who once spent a week at Dinard--laugh

                Ne Pa, ne Ma! (_bis_)
    C'était pas tant, mais sais comme ça--
          Il n'a pas départ Dinard,
        Il non a pas certain-y-mal là!

FIRST BRITON (_to Second Ditto_). _Very_ funny, isn't he?

SECOND B. (_who--less fortunate than his friend--has not caught a single
word_). Um--can't say I see much in it myself.

FIRST B. (_compassionately_). Can't you? Oh, you'll get into the way of
it presently.

SECOND B. But what's the joke of all that about "Pa"?

FIRST B. (_who has been honestly under the impression that he did see a
point somewhere_). Why, he says he's an orphan--hasn't any Pa nor Ma.

SECOND B. (_captiously_). Well, there's nothing so very funny in _that_!

FIRST B. (_giving up the point on consideration, as_ M. CHARLEMAGNE
_skips off_). Oh, it's all nonsense, of course; these fellows only come
on to fill up the time till Pôlusse sings (_feels rather proud of having
caught the right pronunciation_). Pôlusse is the only one really worth
listening to.

SECOND B. (_watching two Niggers in a Knockabout Entertainment_). I can
follow _these_ chaps better. [_Complacently._

_One of the Niggers_ [_to the other_]. Ha, George Washington, Sar. I'll
warm you fur dat ar conduck!

FIRST B. (_in a superior manner_). Oh, yes; you soon get into the

     [_Later_--M. CHARLEMAGNE _has re-appeared, and sung a song
     about changing his apartments, with spoken passages of a
     pronouncedly Parisian character_.

FIRST B. (_who little suspects what he has been roaring with laughter
at_). That fellow really _is_ amusing. I must take Nellie to hear him
some night before we go back.

SECOND B. (_dubiously_). But aren't some of the songs--for a girl of her

FIRST B. My dear fellow, not a bit! I give you my word I haven't heard a
single line yet that was in the least offensive--not a single line!
_Any_body might go! Look here--it's Pôlusse next; now you
listen--_he'll_ make you laugh!

     [_The great_ M. PAULUS _appears and sings several Chansons in a
     confidentially lugubrious tone, and with his forefingers thrust
     into his waistcoat pockets. Curiously enough, our_ FIRST BRITON
     _is less successful in following_ M. PAULUS _than he was with
     the Artistes who preceded him--but this is entirely owing to
     the big drum and cymbals, which will keep coming in and putting
     him out--something in this manner_:--

    M. PAULUS. Et quand j'rentr', ce n'est pour rien--
            Ma belle me dit: "Mon pauv' bonhomme,
    Tu n'a pas l'air de"--(_The cymbals_: brim-brin-brien!)
    Ell' m' flanqu' des giffl's--(_The drum_: pom-pom-pom-pom!)

    _Refrain_ (_which both Britons understood_).

        "Sur le bi--sur le bô; sur le bô, de bi, de bô.
    Sur le bô--sur le bi; sur le bi, de bô, de bi!" &c., &c., &c.

FIRST BRITON (_after twenty minutes of this sort of thing_). That's the
end, I suppose. They've let down the curtain. _Capital_, wasn't he? I
could listen to him all night!

SECOND B. (_as they pass out_). So could I--delightful! Don't know when
I've enjoyed anything so much. The other people don't seem to be moving,
though. (_Consults programme._) There's another Part after this; Paulus
is singing again. I suppose you'll stay?

FIRST B. Well--it's rather late, isn't it?

SECOND B. (_much relieved_). Yes. Not worth while going back now (_with
a yawn_). We must come here again.

FIRST B. (_making a mental resolution to return no more_). Oh, we must;
nothing like it on our side of the Channel, y' know.

SECOND B. (_with secret gratitude_). No, we can't do it. (_Walk back to
their hotel in a state of great mental exhaustion, and finish the
evening with a bock on the Boulevards._)

At a Garden Party

SCENE--_A London Lawn. A Band in a costume half-way between the uniforms
of a stage hussar and a circus groom, is performing under a tree. Guests
discovered slowly pacing the turf, or standing and sitting about in

MRS. MAYNARD GERY (_to her_ _Brother-in-law_--_who is thoroughly aware
of her little weaknesses_). Oh, Phil,--you know everybody--_do_ tell me!
Who is that common-looking little man with the scrubby beard, and the
very yellow gloves--how does he come to be _here_?

PHIL. Where? Oh, I see him. Well--have you read _Sabrina's Uncle's Other

MRS. M. G. No--_ought_ I to have? I never even heard of it!

PHIL. Really? I wonder at that--tremendous hit--you must order
it--though I doubt if you'll be able to get it.

MRS. M. G. Oh, I shall _insist_ on having it. And _he_ wrote it? Really,
Phil, now I come to look at him, there's something rather striking about
his face. Did you say _Sabrina's Niece's Other Aunt_--or what?

PHIL. _Sabrina's Uncle's Other Niece_ was what I _said_--not that it

MRS. M. G. Oh, but I always attach the greatest importance to names,
myself. And do you know him?

PHIL. What, Tablett? Oh, yes--decent little chap; not much to say for
himself, you know.

MRS. M. G. I don't mind _that_ when a man is _clever_--do you think you
could bring him up and introduce him?

PHIL. Oh, I _could_--but I won't answer for your not being disappointed
in him.

MRS. M. G. I have never been disappointed in any genius _yet_--perhaps,
because I don't expect too much--so go, dear boy; he may be surrounded
unless you get hold of him soon. [Phil _obeys_.

PHIL (_accosting the Scrubby Man_). Well, Tablett, old fellow, how are
things going with you? _Sabrina_ flourishing?

MR. TABLETT (_enthusiastically_). It's a tremendous hit, my boy; orders
coming in so fast they don't know how to execute 'em--there's a fortune
in it, as I always told you!

PHIL. Capital!--but you've such luck. By the way, my sister-in-law is
most anxious to know you.

MR. T. (_flattered_). Very kind of her. I shall be delighted. I was just
thinking I felt quite a stranger here.

PHIL. Come along then, and I'll introduce you. If she asks you to her
parties by any chance, mind you go--sure to meet a lot of interesting

MR. T. (_pulling up his collar_). Just what I enjoy--meeting interesting
people--the only society worth cultivating, to my mind, Sir. Give me
_intellect_--it's of more value than wealth!

[_They go in search of_ Mrs. M. G.

FIRST LADY ON CHAIR. Look at the dear Vicar getting that poor Lady
Pawperse an ice. What a very spiritual expression he has, to be
sure--really quite apostolic!

SECOND LADY. We are not in his parish, but I have always heard him
spoken of as a most excellent man.

FIRST LADY. Excellent! My dear, that man is a perfect _Saint_! I don't
believe he knows what it is to have a single worldly thought! And such
trials as he has to bear, too! With that _dreadful_ wife of his!

SECOND LADY. That's the wife, isn't it?--the dowdy little woman, all
alone, over there? Dear me, what _could_ he have married her for?

FIRST LADY. Oh, for her _money_ of course, my dear!

MRS. PATTALLON (_to_ MRS. ST. MARTIN SOMERVILLE). Why, it really _is_
you! I absolutely didn't know you at first. I was just thinking "Now
who _is_ that young and lovely person coming along the path?" You see--I
came out without my glasses to-day, which accounts for it!

MR. CHUCK (_meeting a youthful Matron and Child_). Ah, Mrs. Sharpe, how
de do! _I'm_ all right. Hullo, TOTO, how are _you_, eh, young lady?

TOTO (_primly_). I'm very well indeed, thank you. (_With sudden
interest._) How's the idiot? Have you seen him lately?

MR. C. (_mystified_). The idiot, eh? Why, fact is, I don't _know_ any
idiot!--give you my word!

TOTO (_impatiently_). Yes, you _do_--_you_ know. The one Mummy says
you're next door to--you must see him _sometimes_! You _did_ say Mr.
Chuck was next door to an idiot, didn't you, Mummy? [_Tableau._

MRS. PRATTLETON. Let me see--_did_ we have a fine Summer in '87? Yes, of
course--I always remember the weather by the clothes we wore, and that
June and July we wore scarcely anything--some filmy stuff that belonged
to one's ancestress, don't you know. _Such_ fun! By the way, what has
become of Lucy?

MRS. ST. PATTICKER. Oh, I've quite lost sight of her lately--you see
she's so perfectly happy now, that she's ceased to be in the least

MRS. HUSSIFFE (_to_ MR. DE MURE). Perhaps _you_ can tell me of a good
coal merchant? The people who supply me now are perfect _fiends_, and I
really must go somewhere else.

MR. DE MURE. Then I'm afraid you must be rather difficult to please.

MR. TABLETT _has been introduced to_ MRS. MAYNARD GERY--_with the
following result_.

MRS. M. G. (_enthusiastically_). I'm so delighted to make your
acquaintance. When my brother-in-law told me who you were, I positively
very nearly shrieked. I am such an admirer of your--(_thinks she won't
commit herself to the whole title--and so compounds_)--your delightful

MR. T. Most gratified to hear it, I'm sure. I'm told there's a growing
demand for it.

MRS. M. G. Such a hopeful sign--when one was beginning quite to despair
of the public taste!

MR. T. Well, I've always said--So long as you give the Public a really
first-rate article, and are prepared to spend any amount of money on
_pushing_ it, you know, you're sure to see a handsome return for your
outlay--in the long run. And of course you must get it carefully
analysed by competent judges--

MRS. M. G. Ah, but _you_ can feel independent of criticism now, can't

MR. T. Oh, I defy any one to find anything unwholesome in it--it's as
suitable for the most delicate child as it is for adults--nothing to
irritate the most sensitive--

MRS. M. G. Ah, you mean certain critics are so thin-skinned--they are:

MR. T. (_warming to his subject_). But the beauty of this particular
composition is that it causes absolutely no unpleasantness or
inconvenience afterwards. In some cases, indeed, it acts like a charm.
I've known of two cases of long-standing erysipelas it has completely

MRS. M. G. (_rather at sea_). How gratifying that must be. But that is
the magic of all truly great work, it is such an _anodyne_--it takes
people so completely out of themselves--doesn't it?

MR. T. It takes anything of that sort out of _them_, Ma'am. It's the
finest discovery of the age, no household will be without it in a few
months--though perhaps I say it who shouldn't.

MRS. M. G. (_still more astonished_). Oh, but I _like_ to hear you. I'm
so tired of hearing people pretending to disparage what they have done,
it's such a _pose_, and I hate posing. Real genius is _never_ modest.
(_If he had been more retiring, she would have, of course, reversed this
axiom._) I _wish_ you would come and see me on one of my Tuesdays, MR.
TABLETT, I should feel so honoured, and I think you would meet some
congenial spirits--do look in some evening--I will send you a card if I
may--let me see--could you come and lunch next Sunday? I've got a little
man coming who was very nearly eaten up by cannibals. I think _he_ would
interest you.

MR. T. I shall be proud to meet him. Er--did they eat _much_ of him?

MRS. M. G. (_who privately thinks this rather vulgar_). How _witty_ you
are! That's quite worthy of--er--_Sabrina_, really! Then you _will_
come? So glad. And now I mustn't keep you from your other admirers any
longer. [_She dismisses him._


MRS. M. G. (_to her_ BROTHER-IN-LAW). How _could_ you say that dear Mr.
Tablett was _dull_, Phil? I found him perfectly charming--so original
and unconventional! He's promised to come to me. By the way, _what_ did
you say the name of his book was?

PHIL. _I_ never said he had written a book.

MRS. M. G. Phil--you _did_!--_Sabrina's Other--Something._ Why, I've
been _praising_ it to him, entirely on your recommendation.

PHIL. No, no--_your_ mistake. I only asked you if you'd read _Sabrina's
Uncle's Other Niece_, and, as I made up the title on the spur of the
moment, I should have been rather surprised if you had. _He_ never wrote
a line in his life.

MRS. M. G. How _abominable_ of you! But surely he's famous for
_something_? He talks like it. [_With reviving hope._

PHIL. Oh, yes, he's the inventor and patentee of the new "Sabrina"
Soap--he says he'll make a fortune over it.

MRS. M. G. But he hasn't even done _that_ yet! PHIL, I'll _never_
forgive you for letting me make such an idiot of myself. What _am_ I to
do now? I _can't_ have him coming to me--he's really too impossible!

PHIL. Do? Oh, order some of the soap, and wash your hands of him, I
suppose--not that he isn't a good deal more presentable than some of
your lions, after all's said and done!

     [MRS. M. G., _before she takes her leave, contrives to inform_
     MR. TABLETT, _with her prettiest penitence, that she has only
     just recollected that her luncheon party is put off, and that
     her Tuesdays are over for the Season. Directly she returns to
     Town, she promises to let him hear from her; in the meantime,
     he is not to think of troubling himself to call. So there is no
     harm done, after all._

At the Military Tournament.

SCENE--_The Agricultural Hall. Tent-pegging going on._

STENTORIAN JUDGE (_in Arena_). Corporal Binks! (_The Assistants give a
finishing blow to the peg, and fall back._ Corporal BINKS _gallops in,
misses the peg, and rides off, relieving his feelings by whirling his
lance defiantly in the air_.) Corporal Binks--nothing!

A GUSHING LADY. Poor dear thing! I _do_ wish he'd struck it! He did look
so disappointed, and so did that sweet horse!

THE JUDGE. Sergeant Spanker! (Sergeant S. _gallops in, spears the peg
neatly, and carries it off triumphantly on the point of the lance, after
which he rides back and returns the peg to the Assistants as a piece of
valuable property of which he has accidentally deprived them._) Sergeant
Spanker--eight! (_Applause; the Assistants drive in another peg._)
Corporal Cutlash! (Corporal C. _enters, strikes the peg, and dislodges
without securing it. Immense applause from the Crowd._) Corporal

THE GUSHING LADY. Only two, and when he really did hit the peg! I do
call that a shame. I should have given him more marks than the other
man--he has such a _much_ nicer face!

A CHILD WITH A THIRST FOR INFORMATION. Uncle, why do they call it

THE UNCLE. Why? Well, because those pegs are what they fasten down tents

THE CHILD. But why isn't there a tent now?

UNCLE. Because there's no use for one.


UNCLE. Because all they want to do is to pick up the peg with the point
of their lance.

CHILD. Yes, but why _should_ they want to do it?

UNCLE. Oh, to amuse their horses. (_The_ CHILD _ponders upon this answer
with a view to a fresh catechism upon the equine passion for
entertainment, and the desirability, or otherwise, of gratifying it_.)

practice to strike them pegs fair and full.

HIS NEIGHBOUR (_who holds advanced Socialistic opinions_). Ah, I
dessay--and a pity they can't make no better use o' their time! Spoiling
good wood, _I_ call it. I don't see no point in it myself.

THE CHATTY MAN. Well, it shows they can _ride_, at any rate.

THE SOCIALIST. Ride? O' course they can _ride_--we pay enough for 'aving
'em taught, don't we? But you mark my words, the People won't put up
with this state of things much longer--keepin' a set of 'ired murderers
in luxury and hidleness. I tell yer, wherever I come across one of these
great lanky louts strutting about in his red coat, as if he was one of
the lords of the hearth, well--it makes my nose bleed, ah--it _does_!

THE CHATTY MAN. If that's the way you talk to him, I ain't surprised if
it do.

THE JUDGE. Sword _versus_ Sword! Come in there! (_Two mounted
Combatants, in leather jerkins and black visors, armed with swordsticks,
enter the ring_; JUDGE _introduces them to audience with the aid of a
flag_.) Corporal JONES, of the Wessex Yeomanry; Sergeant SMITH, of the
Manx Mounted Infantry. (_Their swords are chalked by the Assistants._)
Are you ready? Left turn! Countermarch! Engage! (_The Combatants wheel
round and face one another, each vigorously spurring his horse and
prodding cautiously at the other; the two horses seem determined not to
be drawn into the affair themselves on any account, and take no personal
interest in the conflict; the umpires skip and dodge at the rear of the
horses, until one of the Combatants gets in with a rattling blow on the
other's head, to the intense delight of audience. Both men are brushed
down, and their weapons re-chalked, whereupon they engage once
more--much to the disgust of their horses, who had evidently been hoping
it was all over. After the contest is finally decided, a second pair of
Combatants_ _enter; one is mounted on a black horse, the other on a
chestnut, who refuses to lend himself to the business on any terms, and
bolts on principle; while the rider of the black horse remains in
stationary meditation._) Go on--that black horse--go on! (_The chestnut
is at length brought up to the scratch snorting, but again flinches, and
retires with his rider._)

THE CROWD (_to rider of black horse_). Go on, now's your chance! 'It
him! (_The recipient of these counsels pursues his antagonist, and
belabours him and his horse with impartial good-will until separated by
the Umpires, who examine the chalk-marks with a professional scrutiny._)

THE JUDGE. Here, you on the black horse, you mustn't hit that other
horse about the head. (_The man addressed appears rebuked and surprised
under his black-wired visor._) THE JUDGE (_reassuringly_). It's all
_right_, you know; only, don't do it again, that's all! (_The Combatant
sits up again._)

THE GUSHING LADY. Oh, I can't bear to look on, really. I'm _sure_ they
oughtn't to hit so hard--_how_ their poor dear heads must ache! Isn't
that chestnut a _duck_? I'm sure he's trying to save his master from
getting hurt--they're such sensible creatures, horses are! (_Artillery
teams drive in, and gallop between the posts; the Crowd going frantic
with delight when the posts remain upright, and roaring with laughter
when one is knocked over._)


THE GUSHING LADY. Oh, they're simply too _sweet_! How those horses are
enjoying it--aren't they pets? and how perfectly they keep step to the
music, don't they?

HER FRIEND. (_who is beginning to get a trifle tired by her
enthusiasm_). Yes; but then they're all trained by Madame Katti Lanner,
of Drury Lane, you see.

THE GUSHING LADY. What pains she must have taken with them; but you can
teach a horse _anything_, can't you?

HER FRIEND. Oh, that's nothing; next year they're going to have a horse
who'll dance the Highland Fling.

THE SOCIALIST. A pretty sight? Cost a pretty sight o' the People's
money, I know that. Tomfoolery, that's what it is; a set of dressed-up
bullies dancin' quadrilles on 'orseback; _that_ ain't military
manoeuvrin'. It's sickenin' the way fools applaud such goin's on. And
cuttin' off the Saracen's 'ed, too; I'd call it plucky if the Saracen 'ad
a gun in his 'and. Bah, I 'ate the 'ole business!

HIS NEIGHBOUR. Got anybody along with you, Mate?

THE SOCIALIST. No, I don't want anybody along with _me_, I don't.

HIS NEIGHBOUR. That's a pity, that is. A sweet-tempered, pleasant-spoken
party like you are oughtn't to go about by yourself. You ought to bring
somebody just to enjoy your conversation. There don't seem to be anybody
_'ere_ of your way of thinkin'.


THE GUSHING LADY (_as the Cyclist Corps enter_). Oh, they've got a _dog_
with them. Do look--such a dear! See, they've tied a letter round his
neck. He'll come back with an answer presently. (_But, there being
apparently no answer to this communication, the faithful but prudent
animal does not re-appear._)


THE INQUISITIVE CHILD. Uncle, which side won?

UNCLE. I suppose the side that advanced across the bridges.

CHILD. Which side _would_ have won if it had been a _real_ battle?

UNCLE. I really couldn't undertake to say, my boy.

CHILD. But which do you _think_ would have won?

UNCLE. I suppose the side that fought best.

CHILD. But which side was _that_? (_The_ Uncle _begins to find that the
society of an intelligent Nephew entails too severe a mental strain to
be frequently cultivated_.)

Free Speech

SCENE--_An Open Space. Rain falling in torrents. An Indignation Meeting
is being held to protest against the Royal Grants. The Chairman presides
at a small portable reading-desk, generally alluded to as The "Nostrum";
a ring of more or less Earnest Radicals, under umbrellas, surround him.
Speakers address the Meeting in rapid succession; a Man with a red flag
gives it a sinister wave at any particularly vigorous expression. Her
Gracious Majesty the Queen is repeatedly described as "this mis-rubble
ole bein'," an Archbishop is invariably mentioned as an "Arch-rogue,"
while the orators and the audience appear from their remarks to be the
only persons capable of worthily guiding this unhappy Country's
destinies. Policemen in couples look on from a distance and smile

AN ORATOR (_bitterly_). The weather is against us, Feller Republikins,
there's no denyin' that. As we were tramping along 'ere, through the mud
and in the rain, wet to the skin, I couldn't 'elp remarking to a friend
o' mine, that if it had been a pidging-shootin' match at Urlingham, or a
Race-meeting at Hascot, things 'ud ha' been diff'rent! Ther'd ha' bin
blue sky and sunshine enough _then_. Well, I 'spose hany weather's
considered good enough for the likes of hus! Hany weather'll do for pore
downtrod slaves to assert their man'ood and their hindependence in!
(_Cries of "Shame!"_) Never you mind--hour turn'll come some day! We
sha'n't _halways_ be 'eld down, and muzzled, and silenced, and prevented
uttering the hindignation we've a right to feel! (_Bellowing._) We shall
make our vices 'eard one day! But I'm reminded by my friend as I've got
to keep to the pint. Well (_he composes his features into a sneer_) I'm
told as 'ow 'Er Most Gracious Madjesty--(_"Booing" from Earnest
Radicals_)--'Er Most Gracious Madjesty--'as she calls 'erself--'as put
by a little matter of a millum an' a 'arf--since she came to the Throne.
Now, Feller Republikins, that millum an' a 'arf 'as come out of _your_

SEVERAL PERSONS (_who do not look as if they paid a heavy income tax_).
'Ear 'ear!

ORATOR. Yes, it belongs to the People--ah! and you've a legal right to
demand it back--a legal _right_! And I arsk you--if that millum and a
'arf of money was to be divided among the Toilers of London
ter-morrow--'ow many Hunemployed should we see? (_Crowd deeply impressed
by this forcible argument._) Yet we're arst to put our 'ands in our
pockets to support the Queen's children!

A GENTLEMAN WITH VERY SHORT HAIR. Shame--never! [_Puts his hand in
somebody else's pocket by way of emphasising his declaration._]

ORATOR. Feller Republikins, if a Queen don't do the work as she's paid
for doin' of, what ought to be done with 'er? I put it to _you_!


[_Looks round nervously to see if a Policeman is within hearing._

A FAT LADY (_who has been ejaculating. "Oh, it is a shime, it is!" at
every fresh instance of Royal expenditure_). Well, I must say that's
_rather_ strong langwidge!

ANOTHER ORATOR. Gentlemen, I regret to say that, on this monstrous fraud
and attempted imposition known as "The Royal Grants Bill," Mr. Gladstone
voted with the Government. [_Frantic applause._

ORATOR (_puzzled_). Yes, Gentlemen, I am here to state facts, and I am
ashamed to say, that on this single occasion Mr. Gladstone--went wrong.
[_Shouts of "No! No!"_

A FERVID GLADSTONIAN (_waving his umbrella_). Three cheers for Mr.
Gladstone, what-_hever_ he does!

     [_The_ CROWD _join in heartily_; ORATOR _decides to drop the
     point, particularly as it does not seem to affect the Meeting's
     condemnation of the principle of the Bill_.

AN IRISH PATRIOT. I've often harrd tell, Gintlemen, of a certain
stra-ange animal they carl a "Conservative Warkin-Man" (_Roars of_
_laughter_). A Warkin-Man a Conservative! Why, bliss me sowl, the
thing's absurd! There niver _was_ such a purrson in this Warld. A
Conservative Warkin-Man! why--(_takes refuge in profanity_). If there
was why don't we iver hear 'um in an assimbly of this sort? Why hasn't
he the common manly courage to come forward and defind his opinions?
_We'd_ hear 'um, Gintlemen. It's the proud boast of Radicals and
Republikins that they'd give free speech and a fair hearin' to ivery
man, no matter hwhat his opinions are, but ye'll niver see 'um stip
farward at ahl--and hwhy?

A DECENT MECHANIC. Well, look 'ere, mate, _I'm_ a Conservative
Working-Man, if ye'd like to know, and I ain't afraid to defend my
opinions. Come now!

THE CHAIRMAN (_somewhat taken aback_). Well, Friends, while I conduct
this chair, I can promise this man a puffickly fair 'earin', and I'm
sure you will listen to him patiently, whatever you may think of his
arguments. (_Cries of 'Ear--'ear! "Fair play hall the world hover!"
"We'll listen to him quiet enough!"_) First of all, I must be satisfied
that our Friend is what he professes to be. We want no Sham Workin'-men
_'ere_. [_Brandishes a foot-rule in evidence of the genuineness of his
own claims._

THE D. M. Am I a workin'-man? Well, I've made ladies' boots at sixpence
an hour for three years--d'ye call that bein' a Workin' Man? I've soled
and 'eeled while you wait in a stall near Southwark Bridge seven years
an' a arf! Praps you'll call _that_ a Workin'-Man? (_Cries of "Keep to
the Point!"_) Oh, I'll keep to the point right enough. There's this
Irishman here been a tellin' of you 'ow wrong it is to turn his
countrymen out of their 'ouses when they don't pay their rent. Ain't
_we_ turned out of our 'ouses, if we don't pay ourn? 'Oo snivels over

THE I. P. No personalities now! It's my belief ye're a Landlord yerself!

THE D. M. I _told_ yer ye wouldn't 'ear me now!

A SOCIALIST (_in a stentorian voice_). Feller Demmercrats, as an
ex-Fenian and an ex-Convict, I implore you--give this man a hearin'!

THE D. M. Then about this Royal Grant. (_Cries of "Shut up!" "Go 'ome!"
"Don't tork nonsense!"_) If you're going to 'ave a King and
Queen at
all--(_Cries of "We ain't! Down with 'em!"_) Ah, then I s'pose you're
going to put up fellers like 'im (_pointing to the Socialist_), and 'im
(_pointing to Chairman_), and 'im! [_Uproar._


THE SOCIALIST. Fellow-Citizens, I appeal to you, give this man
rope--he's doing our work splendidly!

THE D. M. Well, all I've got to say is----(_Shouts of "Get down!" Yells
and booing_). Oh, you won't tire me out that way. All _I_ can say is,
I'd a precious sight rather----

THE CHAIRMAN (_excitedly_). Fellow citizens, we've listened to this man
long enough--these sentiments are an insult to the meeting!

[_Yells as before._

THE SOCIALIST (_extending a billycock hat with a passionate gesture_).
Feller Demmercrats, if you are earnest, if you are sincere in the
indignation, the just hindignation, this man provokes--show it now, by
putting money in this 'at for the Plan o' Campaign! [_The storm lulls._

THE D. M. (_resuming_). I arsk every honest man here whether----

_Chairman_ (_interposing_). I think, as our friend here don't seem able
to keep to his point, we won't call upon him for any further remarks.

     [THE D. M. _is hustled down, amidst derisive cheers and groans;
     the_ SOCIALIST _ascends the Platform_.

THE SOCIALIST. I don't mind tellin' yer, friends and feller citizens,
that in the late election in Heast Marylebone, I used all my
influence--(_cheers_)--all _my_ influence to deter men from voting for
your Radical candidate. (_Sensation, and a cry of "More shame for
yer!"_) Ah, I _did_, though, and I'd do it agin, and I'll tell yer for
why. I 'ate yer Tories, but if I'm to be 'it a blow in the face, I don't
like it done behind my back. (_Cheers_). And your precious Liberals and
Radicals, they're worse nor hany Tories, and for this reason--(_with a
penetrating glance_)--they're more hinvidious! Ah, that's it, they're
more _hinvidious_! Traitors, hevery man jack of 'em!

     [_And so on, concluding with denunciations of all "sending
     round the 'at," and appeals for contributions to the Plan of
     Campaign. Meeting dissolves with three cheers for the coming
     Republic from the victims of a Tyrannous System of Repression
     of Opinion._

The Riding-Class.

     SCENE--_A Riding-school, on a raw chilly afternoon. The gas is
     lighted, but does not lend much cheerfulness to the interior,
     which is bare and bleak, and pervaded by a bluish haze. Members
     of the Class discovered standing about on the tan, waiting for
     their horses to be brought in. At the further end is an alcove,
     with a small balcony, in which_ MRS. BILBOW-KAY, _the Mother of
     one of the Equestrians, is seated with a young female Friend_.

MRS. BILBOW-KAY. Oh, Robert used to ride very nicely indeed when he was
a boy; but he has been out of practice lately, and so, as the Doctor
ordered him horse-exercise, I thought it would be wiser for him to take
a few lessons. Such an excellent change for any one with sedentary

THE FRIEND. But isn't riding a sedentary pursuit, too?

MRS. B.-K. Robert says _he_ doesn't find it so.

[_Enter the_ RIDING MASTER.

RIDING MASTER (_saluting with cane_). Evenin', Gentlemen--your 'orses
will be in directly; 'ope we shall see some _ridin'_ this time.
(_Clatter without; enter Stablemen with horses._) Let me see--Mr.
Bilbow-Kay, Sir, you'd better ride the _Shar_; he ain't been out all
day, so he'll want some 'andling. (Mr. B.-K., _with a sickly smile,
accepts a tall and lively horse_.) No, Mr. Tongs, that ain't _your_
'orse to-day--you've got beyond _'im_, Sir. We'll put you up on _Lady
Loo_; she's a bit rough till you get on terms with her, but you'll be
all right on her after a bit. Yes, Mr. Joggles, Sir, you take
_Kangaroo_, please. Mr. Bumpas, I've 'ad the _Artful Dodger_ out for
you; and mind he don't get rid of you so easy as he did Mr. Gripper
last time. Got a nice 'orse for _you_, Mr. 'Arry
Sniggers, Sir--_Frar Diavolo_. You mustn't take no notice of his bucking
a bit at starting--he'll soon leave it off.


MR. SNIGGERS (_who conceals his qualms under a forced facetiousness_).
Soon leave _me_ off you mean!

R. M. (_after distributing the remaining horses_). Now then--bring your
'orses up into line, and stand by, ready to mount at the word of
command, reins taken up in the left 'and with the second and little
fingers, and a lock of the 'orse's mane twisted round the first. Mount!
That 'orse ain't a _bicycle_, Mr. Sniggers. [Mr. S. (_in an undertone_).
No--worse luck!] Number off! Walk! I shall give the word to trot
directly, so now's the time to improve your seats--that back a bit
straighter, Mr. 'Ooper. No. 4 just fall out, and we'll let them
stirrup-leathers down another 'ole or two for yer. (_No. 4, who has just
been congratulating himself that his stirrups were conveniently high,
has to see them let down to a distance where he can just touch them by
stretching._) Now you're all comfortable. ["Oh, _are_ we?" _from_ MR.
S.] Trot! Mr. Tongs, Sir, 'old that 'orse in--he's gettin' away with you
already. Very bad, Mr. Joggles, Sir--keep those 'eels down! Lost your
stirrup, Mr. Jelly? Never mind that--_feel_ for it, Sir. I want you to
be independent of the irons. I'm going to make you ride without 'em
presently. (Mr. Jelly _shivers in his saddle_.) Captin' Cropper, Sir; if
that Volunteer ridgment as you're goin' to be the Major of sees you like
you are now, on a field-day--they'll 'ave to fall out to _larf_, Sir!
(Mr. Cropper _devoutly wishes he had been less ingenuous as to his
motive for practising his riding_.) Now, Mr. Sniggers, make that 'orse
learn 'oo's the master! [Mr. S. "He _knows_, the brute!"]

MRS. B.-K. He's very rude to all the Class, except dear Robert--but then
Robert has such a nice easy seat.

THE R. M. Mr. Bilbow-Kay, Sir, try and set a bit closer. Why, you ain't
no more 'old on that saddle than a stamp with the gum licked off!
Can-ter! _You're_, all right, Mr. Joggles--it's on'y his play; set down
on your saddle, Sir!... I didn't say on the ground!

MRS. B.-K. (_anxiously to her_ SON, _as he passes_). Bob, are you quite
sure you're safe? (_To_ FRIEND.) His horse is snorting so dreadfully!

R. M. 'Alt! Every Gentleman take his feet out of the stirrups, and cross
them on the saddle in front of him. Not your _feet_, Mr. Sniggers, we
ain't Turks 'ere!

MR. S. (_sotto voce_). "There's _one_ bloomin' Turk 'ere, anyway!"

R. M. Now then--Walk!... Trot! Set back, Gentlemen, set back all--'old
on by your knees, not the pommels. _I_ see you, Mr. Jelly, kitchin' old
o' the mane--I shall 'ave to give you a 'ogged 'orse next time you come.
Quicken up a bit--this is a ride, not a funeral. Why, I could _roll_
faster than you're trotting! Lor, you're like a row o' Guy Foxes on
'orseback, you are! Ah, I thought I'd see one o' you orf! Goa-ron, all
o' you, you don't come 'ere to _play_ at ridin'--I'll make you ride
afore I've done with you! 'Ullo, Mr. Joggles, nearly gone that time,
Sir! There, that'll do--or we'll 'ave all your saddles to let
unfurnished. Wa--alk! Mr. Bilbow-Kay, when your 'orse changes his pace
sudden, it don't look well for you to be found settin' 'arf way up his
neck, and it gives him a bad opinion of yer, Sir. Uncross stirrups! Trot
on! It ain't no mortal use your clucking to that mare, Mr. Tongs, Sir,
because she don't understand the langwidge--touch her with your 'eel in
the ribs. Mr. Sniggers, that 'orse is doin' jest what he likes with you.
'It 'im, Sir; he's no friends and few relations!

MR. S. (_with spirit_). _I_ ain't going to 'it 'im. If you want him 'it,
get up and do it yourself!

R. M. When I say "Circle Right"--odd numbers'll wheel round and fall in
be'ind even ones. Circle _Right_!... Well, if ever I--I didn't tell yer
to fall _off_ be'ind. Ketch your 'orses and stick to 'em next time.
Right In-_cline_! O' course, Mr. Joggles, if you prefer takin' that
animal for a little ride all by himself we'll let you out in the
streets--otherwise p'raps you'll kindly follow yer leader. Captain
Cropper, Sir, if you let that curb out a bit more, _Reindeer_ wouldn't
be 'arf so narsty with yer.... Ah, now you _'ave_ done it. You want
_your_ reins painted different colours and labelled, Sir, you do. 'Alt,
the rest of you.... Now, seein' you're shook down in your saddles a
bit--["_Shook_ up'_s_ _more like it_!" _from_ Mr. S.]--we'll 'ave the
'urdles in and show you a bit o' Donnybrook! (_The Class endeavours to
assume an air of delighted anticipation at this pleasing prospect._)
_To_ Assistant R. M., (_who has entered and said something in an
undertone_.) Eh, Captin' 'Edstall here, and wants to try the grey cob
over 'urdles? Ask him if he'll come in now--we're just going to do some

ASSIST. R. M. This lot don't look much like going over 'urdles--'cept in
front o' the 'orse, but I'll tell the Captain.

[_The hurdles are brought in and propped up._ _Enter a well-turned-out_
STRANGER, _on a grey cob_.

MR. SNIGGERS (_to him_). You ain't lost nothing by coming late, I can
tell yer. We've bin having a gay old time in 'ere--made us ride without
sterrups, he did!

CAPTAIN HEADSTALL. Haw, really? Didn't get grassed, did you?

MR. S. Well, me and my 'orse separated by mutual consent. I ain't what
you call a fancy 'orseman. We've got to go at that 'urdle in a minute.
How do _you_ like the ideer, eh? It's no good funking it--it's got to be

R. M. Now, Captin--not _you_, Captin Cropper--Captin 'Edstall _I_ mean,
will you show them the way over, please?

[CAPTAIN H. _rides at it_; _the cob jumps too short, and knocks the
hurdle down--to his rider's intense disgust_.

MR. S. I say, Guvnor, that was a near thing. I wonder you weren't off.

CAPT. H. I--ah--don't often come off.

MR. S. You won't say that when you've been 'ere a few times. You see,
they've put you on a quiet animal this journey. _I_ shall try to get him
myself next time. He be'aves like a gentleman, _he_ does.

CAPT. H. You won't mount him, if you take my advice--he has rather a
delicate mouth.

MR. S. Oh, I don't mind that--I should ride him on the curb o' course.

[_The Class ride at the hurdle one by one._

R. M. Now, Mr. Sniggers, give 'im more of 'is 'ed than that, Sir--or
he'll take it.... Oh, Lor, well, it's soft falling luckily! Mr. Joggles,
Sir, keep him back till you're in a line with it.... Better, Sir; you
come down true on your saddle afterwards anyway!... Mr. Parabole!... Ah,
_would_ you? _Told_ you he was tricky, Sir! Try him at it again....
Now--over!... Yes, and it is over, and no mistake!

MRS. B.-K. Now it's Robert's turn. I'm afraid he's been overtiring
himself, he looks so pale. Bob, you won't let him jump too high, _will_
you?--Oh, I daren't look. Tell me, my love,--is he _safe_?

HER FRIEND. Perfectly--they're just brushing him down.


MRS. B.-K. (_to her_ SON). Oh, Bob, you must never think of jumping
again--it _is_ such a dangerous amusement!

ROBERT (_who has been cursing the hour in which he informed his parent
of the exact whereabouts of the school_). It's all right with a horse
that knows _how_ to jump. Mine didn't.

THE FRIEND. I _thought_ you seemed to jump a good deal higher than the
horse did. They ought to be trained to keep close under you, oughtn't
they? [ROBERT _wonders if she is as guileless as she looks_.]

CAPT. CROPPER (_to the_ R. M.) Oh, takes about eight months, with a
lesson every day, to make a man efficient in the Cavalry, does it? But,
look here--I suppose four more lessons will put _me_ all right, eh? I've
had _eight_, y' know.

R. M. Well, Sir, if you _arsk_ me, I dunno as another arf dozen 'll do
you any 'arm--but, o'course, that's just as _you_ feel about it.

[CAPTAIN CROPPER _endeavours to extract encouragement from this Delphic

The Impromptu Charade-Party.

     SCENE--_The Library of a Country-House; the tables and chairs
     are heaped with brocades, draperies, and properties of all
     kinds, which the Ladies of the company are trying on, while the
     men rack their brains for a suitable Word._ _In a secluded
     corner_, MR. NIGHTINGALE _and_ MISS ROSE _are conversing in

MR. WHIPSTER (_Stage-Manager and Organizer--self-appointed_). No--but I
say, _really_, you know, we _must_ try and decide on something--we've
been out half-an-hour, and the people will be getting impatient! (_To
the Ladies._) Do come and help; it's really no use dressing up till
we've settled what we're going _to do_. Can't _anybody_ think of a good

MISS LARKSPUR. We ought to make a continuous story of it, with the same
plot and characters all through. We did that once at the Grange, and it
was awfully good--just like a regular Comedy!

MR. WHIPSTER. Ah, but we've got to hit on _a Word_ first. Come--nobody
got an idea? Nightingale, you're not much use over _there_, you know. I
hope you and Miss Rose have been putting your heads together?

MR. NIGHTINGALE (_confused_). Eh? No, nothing of the sort! Oh, ah--yes,
we've thought of a _lot_ of Words.

MISS ROSE. Only you've driven them all out of our heads again!

[_They resume their conversation._

MR. WH. Well, do make a suggestion, somebody! Professor, won't _you_
give us a Word?

CHORUS OF LADIES. Oh, _do_, Professor--you're sure to think of something

PROFESSOR POLLEN (_modestly_). Well, really, I've so little experience
in these matters that--A Word _has_ just occurred to me, however; I
don't know, of course, whether it will meet with approval--(_he beams at
them with modest pride through his spectacles_)--it's "Monocotyledonous."

CHORUS OF LADIES. Charming! Monocottle--Oh, can't we _do_ that?

MR. WH. (_dubiously_). We might--but--er--what's it _mean_?

PROF. POLLEN. It's a simple botanical term, signifying a plant which has
only one cup-shaped leaf, or seed-lobe. Plants with _two_ are termed--

MR. WH. I don't see how we're going to act a plant with only one
seed-lobe myself--and then the syllables--"mon"--"oh"--"cot"--"till"--we
shouldn't get done before _midnight_, you know!

PROF. POLLEN (_with mild pique_). Well, I merely threw it out as a
suggestion. I thought it could have been made amusing. No doubt I was
wrong; no doubt.

MR. SETTEE (_nervously_). I've thought of a word. How
would--er--"_Familiar_" do?

MR. WH. (_severely_). Now, _really_, Settee, _do_ try not to footle like

[MR. SETTEE _subsides amidst general disapproval_.

MR. FLINDERS (_with a flash of genius_). I've got it--_Gamboge_!

MR. WH. Gamboge, eh? Let's see how that would work:--"Gam"-"booge." How
do you see it yourself?

[MR. FLINDERS _discovers on reflection, that he doesn't see it, and the
suggestion is allowed to drop_.

MISS PELAGIA RHYS. _I've_ an idea. _Familiar!_ "Fame"-"ill"-"liar," you

[_Chorus of applause._

MR. WH. Capital! The very thing--congratulate you, Miss Rhys!

MR. SETTEE (_sotto voce_). But I say, look here, _I_ suggested that, you
know, and you said--!

MR. WH. (_ditto_). What on earth _does_ it matter who suggests it, so
long as it's right? Don't be an ass, Settee! (_Aloud._) How are we going
to do the first syllable "Fame," eh? [MR. SETTEE _sulks_.

MR. PUSHINGTON. Oh, that's easy. One of us must come on as a Poet, and
all the ladies must crowd round flattering him, and making a lot of
him, asking him for his autograph, and so on. I don't mind doing the
Poet myself, if nobody else feels up to it.

[_He begins to dress for the part by turning his dress-coat inside out,
and putting on a turban and a Liberty sash, by way of indicating the
eccentricity of genius; the Ladies adorn themselves with a similar
regard to realism, and even more care for appearances._


_The Performers return from the drawing-room, followed by faint

MR. PUSHINGTON. Went capitally, that syllable, eh? (_No response._) You
might have played up to me a little more than you did--you others. You
let me do everything!

MISS LARKSPUR. You never let any of us get a word in!

MR. PUSHINGTON. Because you all talked at once, that was all. Now
then--"ill." I'll be a celebrated Doctor, and you all come to me one by
one, and say you're _ill_--see?

[_Attires himself for the rôle of a Physician in a dressing-gown and an
old yeomanry helmet._

MR. WHIPSTER (_huffily_). Seems to me I may as well go and sit with the
audience--I'm no use _here_!

MR. PUSHINGTON. Oh, yes, Whipster, I want you to be my confidential
butler, and show the patients in.

[MR. W. _accepts--with a view to showing_ PUSHINGTON _that other people
can act as well as he_.


MR. PUSHINGTON. Seemed to _drag_ a little, somehow! There was no
necessity for you to make all those long soliloquies, Whipster. A
Doctor's confidential servant wouldn't chatter so much!

MR. WHIPSTER. You were so confoundedly solemn over it, I had to put some
fun in _somewhere_!

MR. P. Well, you might have put it where some one could see it. Nobody

PROFESSOR POLLEN. I don't know, Mr. Pushington, why, when I was
describing my symptoms--which I can vouch for as scientifically
correct--you persisted in kicking my legs under the table--it was
unprofessional, Sir, and extremely painful!

MR. PUSHINGTON. I was only trying to hint to you that as there were a
dozen other people to follow, it was time you cut the interview short,
Professor--that one syllable alone has taken nearly an hour.

MISS BUCKRAM. If I had known the kind of questions you were going to ask
me, Mr. Pushington, I should certainly not have exposed myself to them.
I say no more, but I must positively decline to appear with you again.

MR. PUSHINGTON. Oh, but really, you know, in Charades one gets carried
away at times. I assure you, I hadn't the remotest (_&c, &c._--_until_
Miss Buckram _is partly mollified_.) Now then--last syllable. Look here,
I'll be a regular impostor, don't you know, and all of you come on and
say what a _liar_ I am. We ought to make that screamingly funny!


MR. PUSHINGTON. Muddled? Of _course_ it was muddled--you all called me a
liar before I opened my mouth!

THE REST. But you didn't seem to know how to begin, and we _had_ to
bring the Word in somehow.

PUSHINGTON. Bring it in?--but you needn't have let it _out_. There was
Settee there, shouting "liar" till he was black in the face. We must
have looked a set of idiots from the front. I sha'n't go in again
(_muttering_). It's no use acting Charades with people who don't
understand it. There; settle the Word yourselves!


GENERAL MURMUR. What _can_ it be? Not _Turk_, I suppose, or
Magician?--Quarrelling?--Parnellite--Impertinence? Shall we give it up?
No, they like us to guess, poor things; and besides, if we don't they'll
do another; and it is getting _so_ late, and such a _long_ drive home.
Oh, they're all coming back; then it _is_ over. No, indeed, we can't
_imagine_. "_Familiar!_" To be sure--_how_ clever, and _how_ well you
all acted it, to be sure--you must be quite tired after it all. I am
sure _we_--hem--are deeply indebted to you.... My dear Miss Rose, how
wonderfully you disguised yourself, I never recognized you a bit, nor
_you_, Mr. Nightingale. What part did _you_ take?

MR. NIGHTINGALE. I--er--didn't take any particular part--wasn't wanted,
you know.

MISS ROSE. Not to _act_,--so we stayed outside and--and--arranged

AN OLD LADY. Indeed? Then you had all the hard work, and none of the
pleasure, my dear, I'm afraid.

MISS ROSE (_sweetly_). Oh no. I mean yes!--but we didn't _mind_ it much.

THE O. L. And which of you settled what the Word was to be?

MR. N. Well, I believe we settled that together.

[_Carriages are announced; departure of guests who are not of the
house-party. In the Smoking-room_, MR. PUSHINGTON _discovers that he
does not seem exactly popular with the other men, and puts it down to

A Christmas Romp.

     SCENE--MRS. CHIPPERFIELD'S _Drawing-room_. _It is after the
     Christmas dinner, and the Gentlemen have not yet appeared._
     MRS. C. _is laboriously attempting to be gracious to her
     Brother's Fiancée, whose acquaintance she has made for the
     first time, and with whom she is disappointed_. _Married
     Sisters and Maiden Aunts confer in corners with a sleepy

FIRST MARRIED SISTER (_to Second_). I felt quite sorry for Fred, to see
him sitting there, looking--and no wonder--so ashamed of himself--but I
always will say, and I always _must_ say, Caroline, that if you and
Robert had been _firmer_ with him when he was younger, he would never
have turned out so badly! Now, there's my George--&c., &c.

MRS. C. (_to the Fiancée_). Well, my dear, I don't approve of young men
getting engaged until they have some prospect of being able to marry,
and dear Algy was always my favourite brother, and I've seen so much
misery from long engagements. However, we must hope for the best, that's

A MAIDEN AUNT (_to Second Ditto_). Exactly what struck _me_, Martha.
_One_ waiter would have been quite sufficient, and if James _must_ be
grand and give champagne, he might have given us a little _more_ of it;
I'm sure I'd little else but foam in _my_ glass! And every plate as cold
as a stone, and you and I the only people who were not considered worthy
of silver forks, and the children encouraged to behave as they please,
and Joseph Podmore made such a fuss with, because he's well off--and not
enough sweetbread to go the round. Ah, well, thank goodness, we needn't
dine here for another year!

MR. CHIPPERFIELD (_at the door_). Sorry to cut you short in your cigar,
Uncle, and you, Limpett; but fact is, being Christmas night, I thought
we'd come up a little sooner and all have a bit of a romp.... Well,
Emily, my dear, here we are, all of us--ready for anything in the way of
a frolic--what's it to be? Forfeits, games, Puss in the Corner,
something to cheer us all up, eh? Won't any one make a suggestion?

[_General expression of gloomy blankness._

ALGERNON (_to his Fiancée--whom he wants to see shine_). Zeffie, you
know no end of games--what's that one you played at home, with potatoes
and a salt-spoon, _you_ know?

ZEFFIE (_blushing_). No, _please_, Algy! I don't know _any_ games,
indeed, I couldn't _really_!

MR. C. Uncle Joseph will set us going, I'm sure--what do _you_ say,

UNCLE JOSEPH. Well, I won't say "no" to a quiet rubber.

MRS. C. But, you see, we can't _all_ play in that, and there _is_ a pack
of cards in the house somewhere; but I know two of the aces are gone,
and I don't think all the court cards were there the last time we
played. Still, if you can manage with what is left, we might get up a
game for you.

UNCLE J. (_grimly_). Thank you, my dear, but, on the whole, I think I
would almost rather romp--

MR. C. Uncle Joseph votes for romping! What do you say to Dumb Crambo?
Great fun--half of us go out, and come in on all-fours, to rhyme to
"cat," or "bat," or something--_you_ can play that, Limpett?

MR. LIMPETT. If I _must_ find a rhyme to cat, I prefer, so soon after
dinner, not to go on all-fours for it, I confess.

MR. C. Well, let's have something quieter, then--only _do_ settle.
Musical Chairs, eh?

ALGY. Zeffie will play the piano for you--she plays beautifully.

ZEFFIE. Not without notes, Algy, and I forgot to bring my music with me.
Shall we play "Consequences"? It's a very quiet game--you play it
sitting down, with paper and pencil, you know!

MR. LIMPETT (_sardonically, and sotto voce_). Ah, this is something
_like_ a rollick now. "Consequences," eh?

ALGY (_who has overheard--in a savage undertone_). If that isn't good
enough for you, suggest something better--or shut up!

[MR. L. _prefers the latter alternative_.

MR. C. Now, then, have you given everybody a piece of paper, Emily?
Caroline, you're going to play--we can't leave _you_ out of it.

AUNT CAROLINE. No, James, I'd rather look on, and see you all enjoying
yourselves--I've _no_ animal spirits now!

MR. C. Oh, nonsense! Christmas-time, you know. Let's be jolly while we
can--give her a pencil, Emily!

AUNT C. No, I can't, really. You must excuse me. I know I'm a wet
blanket; but, when I think that I mayn't be with you another Christmas,
we may _most_ of us be dead by then, why--(_sobs_).

FRED (_the Family Failure_). That's right, Mater--trust you to see the
humorous side of everything!

ANOTHER AUNT. For shame, Fred! If you don't know who is responsible for
your poor mother's low spirits, others do!

[_The Family Failure collapses_

MR. LIMPETT. Well, as we've all got pencils, is there any reason why the
revelry should not commence?

MR. C. No--don't let's waste any more time. Miss Zeffie says she will
write down on the top of her paper "Who met whom" (must be a Lady and
Gentleman in the party, you know), then she folds it down, and passes it
on to the next, who writes, "What he said to her"--the next, "What she
said to him"--next, "What the consequences were," and the last, "What
the world said." Capital game--first-rate. Now, then!

[_The whole party pass papers in silence from one to another, and
scribble industriously with knitted brows._

MR. C. Time's up, all of you. I'll read the first paper aloud. (_Glances
at it, and explodes._) He-he!--this is really very funny. (_Reads._)
"Uncle Joseph met Aunt Caroline at the--ho--ho!--the Empire! He said to
her, '_What are the wild waves saying!_' and she said to him, 'It's time
you were taken away!' The consequences were that they both went and had
their hair cut, and the world said they had always suspected there was
something between them!"

UNCLE J. I consider that a piece of confounded impertinence!


AUNT C. It's not true. I _never_ met Joseph at the Empire. I don't go to
such places. I _didn't_ think I should be insulted like
this--(_Weeps_)--on Christmas too!

AUNTS' CHORUS. Fred _again_!

[_They regard the_ FAMILY FAILURE _indignantly_.

MR. C. There, there, it was all fun--no harm meant. I'll read the next.
"Mr. Limpett met Miss Zeffie in the Burlington Arcade. He said to her,
'O, you little duck!' She said to him, 'Fowls are cheap to-day!' The
consequences were that they never smiled again, and the world said,
'What price hot potatoes?'" (_Everybody looks depressed._) H'm--not
bad--but I think we'll play something else now.

[ZEFFIE _perceives that_ ALGY _is not pleased with her_.

TOMMY (_to_ UNCLE JOSEPH). Uncle, why didn't _you_ carve at dinner?

UNCLE J. Well, Tommy, because the carving was done at a side table--and
uncommon badly done, too. Why do you want to know?

TOMMY. Parpar thought you _would_ carve, I know. He told Mummy she must
ask you, because--

MRS. C. (_with a prophetic instinct_). Now, Tommy, you mustn't tease
your Uncle. Come away, and tell your new Aunt Zeffie what you're going
to do with your Christmas boxes.

TOMMY. But mayn't I tell him what Parpar said, first?

MRS. C. No, no; by and by--not now! [_She averts the danger._

[_Later; the Company are playing "Hide the Thimble"; i.e., someone has
planted that article in a place so conspicuous that few would expect to
find it there. As each person catches sight of it, he or she sits down._
UNCLE JOSEPH _is still, to the general merriment, wandering about and
getting angrier every moment_.

MR. C. That's it, Uncle, you're _warm_--you're _getting_ warm!

UNCLE J. (_boiling over_). _Warm_, Sir? _I am_ warm--and something more,
I can tell you! [_Sits down with a bump._

MR. C. You haven't _seen_ it! I'm sure you haven't seen it. Come now,

[Illustration: "_Warm_, SIR? I _am_ WARM--AND SOMETHING MORE!"]

UNCLE J. Never mind whether I have or have not. Perhaps I don't _want_
to see it, Sir!

THE CHILDREN. Then do you give it up? Do you want to be told? Why, it's
staring you in the face all the time!

UNCLE J. I don't care whether it's staring or not--I don't want to be
told anything more about it.

THE CHILDREN. Then you're _cheating_, Uncle--you must go on walking till
you _do_ see it!

UNCLE J. Oh, that's it, eh? Very well, then--I'll walk!

[_Walks out, leaving the company paralysed._

MRS. C. Run after him, Tommy, and tell him--quick!

[_Exit_ TOMMY.

MR. C. (_feebly_). I think when Uncle Joseph does come back, we'd better
try to think of some game he _can't_ lose his temper at. Ah, here's

TOMMY. I _told_ him--but he went all the same, and slammed the door. He
said I was to go back and tell you that you would find he _was_ cut
up--and cut up rough, too!

MRS. C. But what did you tell _him_?

TOMMY. Why, only that Parpar asked him to come to-night because he was
sure to cut up well. You said I might!

[_Sensation; Prompt departure of_ TOMMY _for bed; moralising by
Aunts; a spirit of perfect candour prevails; names are called--also
cabs; further hostilities postponed till next Christmas_.

On the Ice.

     SCENE--_The Serpentine. On the bank, several persons are having
     their skates put on; practised Skaters being irritable and
     impatient, and others curiously the reverse, at any delay in
     the operation_.

CHORUS OF UNEMPLOYED SKATE-FASTENERS. 'Oo'll 'ave a pair on for an hour?
Good Sport to-day, Sir! Try a pair on, Mum! (_to any particularly stout
Lady_). Will yer walk inter _my_ porler, Sir? corpet all the w'y! 'Ad
the pleasure o' puttin' on your skites last year, Miss! Best skates in
London, Sir! [_Exhibiting a primæval pair._

THE USUAL COMIC COCKNEY (_to his Friend, who has undertaken to instruct
him_). No _'urry_, old man--this joker ain't _arf_ finished with me yet!
(_To_ SKATE-FASTENER.) Easy with that jimlet, Guv'nor. My 'eel ain't
'orn, like a 'orse's 'oof! If you're goin' to strap me up as toight as
all that, I shell 'ave to go to _bed_ in them skites!... Well, what is
it _now_?

SKATE-FASTENER. Reg'lar thing fur Gen'lm'n as 'ires skates ter leave
somethink be'ind, jest as security like--_anythink_'ll do--a gold watch
and chain, if yer got sech a thing about yer!

THE C. C. Oh, I dessay--not _me_!

SKATE-F. (_wounded_). Why, yer needn't be afroid! _I_ shorn't run
away--you'll find _me_ 'ere when yer come back!

THE C. C. Ah, that _will_ be noice! But all the sime, a watch is a thing
that slips out of mind so easy, yer know. You might go and forgit all
about it. 'Ere's a match-box instead; it ain't silver!

SKATE-F. (_with respect_). Ah, you _do_ know the world, _you_ do!

THE C. C. Now, Alf, old man, I'm ready for yer! Give us 'old of yer
'and.... Go slow now. What's the Vestry about not to put some gravel
down 'ere? It's downright dangerous! Whoo-up! Blowed if I ain't got some
other party's legs on!... Sloide more? Whadjer torking about! I'm
sloidin' every way at once, _I_ am!... Stroike out? I've struck sparks
enough out of the back o' my 'ed, if that's all!... Git up? Ketch me!
I'm a deal syfer settin' dayown, and I'll sty 'ere! [_He stays._

A NERVOUS SKATER (_hobbling cautiously down the bank--to Friend_). I--I
don't know how I shall _be_ in these, you know--haven't had a pair on
for years. (_Striking out._) Well, come--(_relieved_)--skating's one of
those things you never forget--all a question of poise and
equi--confound the things! No, I'm all right, thanks--lump in the ice,
that's all! As I was saying, skating soon comes back to--thought I was
gone that time! Stick by me, old fellow, till I begin to feel my--Oh,
hang it _all_!... Eh? surely we have been on more than five minutes!
Worst of skating is, your feet get so cold!... These _are_ beastly
skates. Did you hear that crack? Well, _you_ may stay on if you like,
but I'm not going to risk _my_ life for a few minutes' pleasure! [_He
returns to bank._

THE FOND MOTHER (_from bank, to_ CHILDREN _on the ice_). That's right.
Alma, you're doing it _beautifully_--don't _walk_ so much! (_To_ FRENCH
GOVERNESS). Alma fay bocoo de progray, may elle ne glisse assez--nayse
par, Ma'amzell?

MADEMOISELLE. C'est Ella qui est la plus habile, elle patine dejà très
bien--et avec un aplomb!

THE F. M. Wee-wee; may Ella est la plus viaile, vous savvy. Look at
Ella, Alma, and see how _she_ does it!

MAD. Vous marchez toujours--toujours, Alma; tâchez donc de glisser un
petit peu--c'est beaucoup plus facile!

ALMA. Snay pas facile quand vous avez les skates toutes sur un
côté--comme _moi_, Ma'amzell!

F. M. Ne repondy à Ma'amzell, Alma, and watch Ella!

ELLA. Regardez-moi, Alma. Je puis voler vîte--oh, mais vîte ... oh I
_have_ hurt myself so!

ALMA (_with sisterly sympathy._) _That's_ what comes of trying to show
_off_, Ella, darling! [ELLA _is helped to the bank_.

A PATERNAL SKATE-FASTENER. 'Ere you are, Missie--set down on
this 'ere cheer--and you, too, my little dear--lor,
_they_ won't do them cheers no 'arm, Mum, bless their little 'arts!
Lemme tyke yer little skites orf, my pooties. _I'll_ be keerful,
Mum--got childring o' my own at 'ome--the moral o' _your_ two, Mum!


THE F. M. (_to_ GOVERNESS). Sayt un homme avec un bong ker.
Avez-vous--er--des cuivres, Ma'amzell?

THE P. S. (_disgustedly_). Wot?--only two bloomin' browns fur tykin' the
skites orf them two kids' trotters! I want a shellin' orf o' you fur
that job, _I_ do.... "Not another penny?" Well, if you do everythink as
cheap as you do yer skiting, you orter be puttin' money by, _you_ ought!
That's right, tyke them snivellin' kids 'ome--blow me if ever I--&c.,
&c., &c. [_Exit party, pursued by powerful metaphors._

THE EGOTISTIC SKATER (_in charge of a small_ NIECE). Just see if you can
get along by yourself a little--I'll come back presently. Practise
striking out.

THE NIECE. But, Uncle, directly I strike out, I fall down!

THE E. S. (_encouragingly_). You will at first, till you get into
it--gives you confidence. Keep on at it--don't stand about, or you'll
catch cold. I shall be keeping my eye on you! [_Skates off to better

THE FANCY SKATER (_to less accomplished_ FRIEND). This is a pretty
figure--sort of variation of the "Cross Cut," ending up with "The Vine";
it's done this way (_illustrating_), quarter of circle on outside edge
forwards; then sudden stop----(_He sits down with violence_). Didn't
quite come off that time!

THE FRIEND. The sudden stop came off right enough, old fellow!

THE F. S. I'll show you again--it's really a neat thing when it's well
done; you do it all on one leg, like this----

[_Executes an elaborate back-fall._

HIS FRIEND. You seem to do most of it on no legs at all, old chap!

THE F. S. Haven't practised it lately, that's all. Now here's a figure I
invented myself. "The Swooping Hawk" I call it.

HIS FRIEND (_unkindly--as the_ F. S. _comes down in the form of a St.
Andrew's Cross_). Y--yes. More like a Spread Eagle though, ain't it?

PRETTY GIRL (_to_ Mr. ACKMEY, _who has been privileged to take charge
of herself and her_ PLAIN SISTER). Do come and tell me if I'm doing it
right, Mr. Ackmey. You _said_ you'd go round with me!

[Illustration: "GO IT, OLE FRANKY, MY SON!"]

THE PLAIN S. How can you be so _selfish_, Florrie? You've had ever so
much more practice than _I_ have! Mr. Ackmey, I wish you'd look at my
left boot--it _will_ go like that. Is it my ankle--or what? And this
strap _is_ hurting me so! Couldn't you loosen it, or take me back to the
man, or something? Florrie can get on quite well alone, can't she?

MR. A. (_temporising feebly_). Er--suppose I give _each_ of you a hand,

THE PLAIN S. No; I can't go along fast, like you and Florrie. You
promised to look after me, and I'm perfectly helpless alone!

THE PRETTY S. Then, am I to go by myself, Mr. Ackmey?

MR. A. I--I think--just for a little, if you don't mind!

THE PRETTY S. Mind? Not a bit! There's Clara Willoughby and her brother
on the next ring, I'll go over to them. Take good care of Alice, Mr.
Ackmey. Good-bye for the present.

[_She goes_; ALICE _doesn't think_ MR. A. _is "nearly so nice as he used
to be."_

THE RECKLESS ROUGH. Now then, I'm on 'ere. Clear the way, all of yer!
Parties must look out fur themselves when they see _me_ a comin', I
carn't stop fur nobody!

[_Rushes round the ring at a tremendous pace._

AN ADMIRING SWEEPER (_following his movements with enthusiasm_). Theer
he goes--the Ornimental Skyter! Look at 'im a buzzin' round! Lor, it's a
treat to see 'im bowlin' 'em all over like a lot er bloomin' ninepins!
Go it, ole Franky, my son--don't you stop to apollergise!... Ah, there
he goes on his nut agen! _'E_ don't care, not _'e_!... Orf he goes
agin!... That's _another_ on 'em down, and ole Franky atop--'e'll 'ave
the ring all to 'isself presently! Up agin! Oh, ain't he _lovely_! I
never see his loike afore nowheres.... _Round_ yer go--that's the
stoyle! My eyes, if he ain't upset another--a lydy this time--she's done
_'er_ skytin fur the d'y any 'ow! and ole Frank knocked silly.... Well,
I ain't larfed ser much in all my life! [_He is left laughing._

In a Fog.

(_A Reminiscence of the Past Month._)

     SCENE--_Main thoroughfare near Hyde Park. Time_ 8 P.M. _Nothing
     visible anywhere, but very much audible; horses slipping and
     plunging, wheels grinding, crashes, jolts, and English as she
     is spoke on such occasions._

MRS. FLUSTERS (_who is seated in a brougham with her husband, on their
way to dine with some friends in Cromwell Road_). We shall be dreadfully
late, I know we shall! I'm sure Peacock could go faster than this if he
liked--he always loses his head when there's much traffic. Do tell him
to make haste!

MR. F. Better let him alone--he knows what he's doing.

MRS. F. I don't believe he does, or he wouldn't dawdle like this. If you
won't speak to him, I must. (_Lets down the glass and puts out her
head._) Peacock!


MRS. F. What are we stopping for like this?

THE SHADOW. Fog very thick just 'ere, M'm. Can't see what's in front of
us, M'm.

MRS. F. It's just as safe to keep moving as to stand still--go on at

THE S. Very good, M'm. (_To horse._) Pull urp! [_Crash!_

VOICE FROM THE UNSEEN. What the blanky blank, &c.

PEACOCK. There _is_ suthin in front, M'm. A van, from 'is langwich,

MRS. F. (_sinking back_). Marmaduke, this is awful. I'd no idea the fog
was like this--or I should never have----(_With temper._) Really, people
have no _right_ to ask one out on such a night.

MR. F. (_with the common sense that makes him "so aggravating at
times"_). Well, Fanny, you could hardly expect 'em to foresee the
weather three weeks ahead!

MRS. F. At all events, _you_ might have seen what it was going to be as
you came home from the Temple. Then we could have sent a telegram!

MR. F. It seemed to be lifting then, and besides, I--ah--regard a
dinner-engagement as a species of kindly social contract, not to be
broken except under pressing necessity.

MRS. F. You mean you heard me say there was nothing but cold meat in the
house, and you know you'll get a good dinner at the Cordon-Blewitts,--not
that we are likely to get there to-night. Have you any idea whereabouts
we are?

MR. F. (_calmly_). None whatever.

MRS. F. Then ask Peacock.

MR. F. (_lets down his window, and leans out_). Peacock!


MR. F. Where have we got to now?

PEACOCK. I ain't rightly sure, Sir.

MRS. F. Tell him to turn round, and go home.

MR. F. It's no use going on like this. Turn back.

PEACOCK. I dursn't leave the kerb--all I got to go by, Sir.

MR. F. Then take one of the lamps, and lead the horse.

PEACOCK. It's the _young_ 'orse, Sir.

MR. F. (_sinking back_). We must put up with it, I suppose.

[_A smart crack is heard at the back of the carriage._

MORE VOICES. Now, then, why the blanky dash, &c., &c.

MRS. F. Marmaduke, I can't sit here, and know that a bus-pole may come
between us at any moment. Let us get out, and take a cab home at once.

MR. F. There's only one objection to that suggestion--viz., that it's
perfectly impossible to tell a cab from a piano-organ. We must find out
where we are first, and then turn. Peacock, drive on as well as you can,
and stop when you come to a shop.

MRS. F. What do you want to stop at a shop for?

MR. F. Why, then I can go in, and ask where we _are_.

MRS. F. And how do you expect _them_ to know where we are! (_She sees a
smear of light in the distance._) Marmaduke, there's a linkman. Get out
quick, and hire him to lead the way.

MR. F. (_who gets out, and follows in the direction of the light,
grumbling to himself_). Hallo!--not past the park yet--here's the
railings! Well, if I keep close to them, I shall--(_He suddenly collides
with a bench_). Phew! Oh, confound it! (_He rubs his shins._) Now, if it
hadn't been for Fanny, I--Where's that linkman? Hi!--you there!--stop!
(THE LIGHT STOPS.) Look here--I want you to come to my carriage, and
show my man the way out of this!

VOICE FROM BEHIND THE RAILINGS. We got to find our _own_ way out fust,
Guv'nor. We're _inside_!

A BELATED REVELLER (_lurching up to_ MR. F.) Beg your pardon, bur cou'
you dreck me nearesht way--er--Dawshon Plashe?

MR. F. (_savagely_). First turning to the right, third to the left, and
then straight on till you come to it!

THE B. R. I'm exsheedingly 'blished; (_confidentially_) fact ish, I'm
shuffrin' shli' 'fection eyeshi', an' I 'shure you, can't shee anyshing
dishtingly to-ni'. (_He cannons against a lamp-post, to which he clings
affectionately, as a Policeman emerges from the gloom._)

POLICEMAN. Now then, what are you doing 'ere, eh?

THE B. R. Itsh all ri', P'lishman, thish gerrilman--(_patting lamp-post
affectionately_)--has kindly promished shee me home.

MR. F. Hang it! Where's Peacock and the brougham? (_He discovers a
phantom vehicle by the kerb, and gets in angrily._) Now, look here, my
dear, it's no earthly good--!

OCCUPANT OF THE BROUGHAM. (_who is not_ FANNY). Coward, touch a
defenceless woman if you dare! I have nothing on me of any value. Help!

[MR. F., _seeing that explanation is useless, lets himself out again,
precipitately, dodges the_ POLICEMAN, _and bolts, favoured by the fog,
until all danger of pursuit is passed, at the end of which time he
suddenly realizes that it is perfectly hopeless to attempt to find his
own carriage again_. _He gropes his way home, and some hours later,
after an extemporised cold supper, is rejoined by his Wife._

MRS. F. (_cheerfully_). So _there_ you are, Marmaduke! I wasn't
anxious--I felt sure you'd find your way back somehow!

MR. F. (_not in the best of tempers_). Find my way back! It was the only
thing I could do. But where have _you_ been all this time, Fanny?

MRS. F. Where? Why, at the Blewitts, to be sure. You see, after you got
out, we had to keep moving on, and by and by the fog got better, and we
could see where we were going to,--and the Blewitts had put off dinner
half an hour, so I was not so _very_ late. Such a _nice_ dinner!
Everybody turned up except _you_, Marmaduke--but I _told_ them how it
was. Oh, and old Lady Horehound was there, and said a man had actually
got into her brougham, and tried to wrench off one of her most valuable
bracelets!--only she spoke to him so severely that he was struck with
remorse, or something, and got out again! And it was by the Park,
_close_ to where you left me. Just fancy, Marmaduke, he might have got
into the carriage with _me_, instead!

MR. F. (_gloomily_). Yes, he _might_--only, he--er--_didn't_, you know!

Bricks without Straw

     SCENE--_A Village School-room. A Juvenile Treat is in progress,
     and a Magic Lantern, hired for the occasion, "with set of
     slides complete--to last one hour," is about to be exhibited._

THE VICAR'S DAUGHTER (_suddenly recognizing the New Curate, who is
blinking unsuspectingly in the lantern rays_). Oh, Mr. Tootler, you've
just come in time to help us! The man with the lantern says he only
manages the slides, and can't do the talking part. And I've asked lots
of people, and no one will volunteer. _Would_ you mind just explaining
the pictures to the children? It's only a little Nursery
tale--_Valentine and Orson_--I chose that, because it's less hackneyed,
and has such an excellent _moral_, you know. I'm sure you'll do it so

MR. TOOTLER (_a shy man_). I--I'd do it with pleasure, I'm sure--only I
really don't know anything about _Valentine and Orson_!

THE V.'S D. Oh, what _does_ that matter? I can tell you the outline in
two minutes. (_She tells him._) But it's got to last an hour, so you
must spin it out as much as ever you can.

MR. TOOTLER (_to himself_). Ought I to neglect such a golden opportunity
of winning these young hearts? No. (_Aloud._) I will--er--do my best,
and perhaps I had better begin at once, as they seem to be
getting--er--rather unruly at the further end of the room. (_He clears
his throat._) Children, you must be very quiet and attentive, and then
we shall be able, as we purpose this evening, to show you some scenes
illustrative of the--er--beautiful old story of _Valentine and Orson_,
which I doubt not is familiar to you all. (_Rustic applause, conveyed by
stamping and shrill cheers, after which a picture is thrown on the
screen representing a Village Festival._) Here, children, we have a view
of--er--(_with sudden inspiration_)--Valentine's Native Village. It
is--er--his birthday, and Valentine, being a young man who is
universally beloved on account of his amiability and good conduct--(_To
the_ VICAR'S D. "Is that correct?" THE V.'S D. "Quite, _quite_
correct!")--good conduct, the villagers are celebrating
the--er--auspicious event by general rejoicings. How true it is that if
we are only _good_, we may, young as we are, count upon gaining the
affection and esteem of all around us! (_A Youthful Rustic, with a
tendency to heckle._ "Ef 'ee plaze, Zur, which on 'em be Valentoine?")
Valentine, we may be very sure, would not be absent on such an occasion,
although, owing to the crowd, we cannot distinguish him. But, wherever
he is, however he may be occupied, he little thinks that, before long,
he will have to encounter the terrible Orson, the Wild Man of the Woods!
Ah, dear children, we all have our Wild Man of the Woods to fight. With
_some of_ us it is--(_He improves the occasion_). Our next picture
represents--(_To_ ASSISTANT). Sure this comes next? Oh, they're all
numbered, are they? Very well--represents a forest--er--the home of
Orson. If we were permitted to peep behind one of those trunks, we
should doubtless see Orson himself, crouching in readiness to spring
upon the unsuspecting Valentine. So, often when we--&c., &c. The next
scene we shall show you represents the--er--burning of Valentine's ship.
Valentine has gone on a voyage, with the object of--er--finding Orson.
If the boat in the picture was only larger, we could no doubt identify
Valentine, sitting there undismayed, calmly confident that,
notwithstanding this--er--unfortunate interruption, he will be guided,
sooner or later, to his--er--goal. Yes, dear children, if we only have
patience, if we only have faith, &c., &c. Here we see--(_an enormous
Bison is suddenly depicted on the screen_) eh? oh, yes--here we have a
specimen of--er--Orson's _pursuits_. He chases the bison. Some of you
may not know what a bison is. It is a kind of hairy cow, and--(_He
describes the habits of these creatures as fully_ _as he is able._)
(THE YOUTHFUL RUSTIC. "Theer baint nawone a-erntin' of 'un, Zur.") What?
Oh, but there _is_, you know. Orson is pursuing him, only--er--the
bison, being a very fleet animal, has outrun his pursuer for the moment.
Sometimes we flatter ourselves that we have outrun _our_ pursuer--but,
depend upon it, &c., &c. But now let us see what Valentine is
about--(_Discovering, not without surprise, that the next picture is a
Scene in the Arctic Regions_). Well, you see, he has succeeded in
reaching the coast, and here he is--in a sledge drawn by a reindeer,
with nothing to guide him but the Aurora Borealis, hastening towards the
spot where he has been told he will find Orson. He doesn't despair,
doesn't lose heart--he is sure that, if he only keeps on, if
he--er--only continues, only perseveres--(_Aside._ What drivel I _am_
talking! _To_ ASSISTANT. I say, are there many _more_ of this sort?
because we _don't_ seem to be getting on!)--Well, now we come to--(_a
Moonlight Scene, with a Cottage in Winter, appears_)--to the--ah--home
of Valentine's _mother_. You will observe a light in the casement. By
that light the good old woman is sitting, longing and praying for the
return of her gallant boy. Ah, dear children, what a thing a good old
mother is! (_To the_ VICAR'S DAUGHTER.) "I really can _not_ keep on like
this much longer. I'm positively certain these slides are out of order!"
THE V.'S D. "Oh, no; I'm sure it's _all_ right. Do _please_ go on.
They're _so_ interested!" THE YOUNG HECKLER. "'Ow 'bout Valentoine,
Zur?--wheer be 'ee?" Ah, where is Valentine, indeed? (_To_ ASS.) Next
slide--quick! (_Recognises with dismay a View of the Grand Canal._)
No--but, I say--_really_, I _can't_--Here we have Valentine at Venice.
He has reached that beautiful city,--well called the Queen of the
Adriatic,--at last! He contemplates it from his gondola, and yet he has
no heart just now to take in all the beauty of the scene. He feels that
he is still no nearer to finding Orson than before. (THE YOUNG HECKLER.
"Naw moor be we, Zur. We ain't zeed _nayther_ on 'em zo fur!" _Tumult,
and a general demand for the instant production of Orson or Valentine._)
Now, children, children! this is very irregular. You must allow me to
tell this story my own way. I assure you that you will see them both in
good time, if you only keep still! (_To_ ASS.) I can't stand this any
more Valentine and Orson must be underneath the rest. Find them, and
shove them in quick. Never mind the numbering! (_The screen remains
blank while the_ ASSISTANT _fumbles_.) Well, have you _got_ them?


THE ASSISTANT. No, Sir; I'm rather afraid they ain't _here_. Fact is,
they've sent me out with the wrong set o' slides. This ain't _Valentine
and Orson_--_it's a miscellaneous lot_, _Sir_!

     [_Collapse of Curate as Scene closes in._

At a Music Hall.

     SCENE.--_The auditorium of a Music Hall, the patrons of which
     are respectable, but in no sense "smart." The occupants of the
     higher-priced seats appear to have dropped in less for the
     purpose of enjoying the entertainment than of discussing their
     private affairs--though this does not prevent them from
     applauding everything with generous impartiality._

THE CHAIRMAN. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Celebrated Character-Duettists
and Variety Artistes, the Sisters Silvertwang, will appear next!

[_They do; they have just sung a duet in praise of Nature with an
interspersed step-dance. "Oh, I love to 'ear the echo on the Moun-ting!"
(Tiddity-iddity-iddity-iddity-um!) "And to listen to the tinkle of the
Foun-ting!" (Tiddity, &c.)_

A WHITE-CAPPED ATTENDANT (_taking advantage of a pause, plaintively_).
Sengwidges, too-pence!


VOLUBLE LADY _in the Shilling Stalls_ (_telling her Male Companion an
interminable story with an evasive point_). No, but you 'ear what I'm
going to _tell_ you, because I'm coming to it presently. I can't
remember his name at this moment--something like Budkin, but it wasn't
that, somewhere near Bond Street, he is, or a street off there; a
Scotchman, but _that_ doesn't matter! (_Here she breaks off to hum the
Chorus of "Good Ole Mother-in-Law!" which is being sung on the stage._)
Well, let me see--what was I telling you? Wait a minute, excuse _me_,
oh, yes,--_well_, there was this picture,--mind you, it's a lovely
_painting_, but the frame simply nothing,--not that I go by frames,
myself, o' course not, but I fetched it down to show him--oh, I know
what you'll say, but he must know _something_ about such things; he
knew my uncle, and I can tell you what he _is_--he's a florist, and
married nineteen years, and his wife's forty--years older than me, but
I've scarcely spoke to _her_, and no children, so I fetched it to show
him, and as soon as he sets eyes on it, he says----(FEMALE
"CHARACTER-COMIC" _on Stage_, _lugubriously_. "Ritolderiddle, ol de_ray_
ritolderiddle, olde-_ri_-_ido_!") I can't tell you _how_ old it is, but
'undreds of years, and Chinese, I shouldn't wonder, but we can't trace
its 'istry--that's what _he_ said, and if _he_ don't know, _nobody_
does, for it stands to reason he must be a judge, though nothing to
me,--when I say nothing, I mean all I know of him is that he used to
be----(TENOR VOCALIST ON STAGE. "My Sweetheart when a Bo-oy!") I always
like that song, don't you? Well, and this is what I was _wanting_ to
tell you, _she_ got to know what I'd done--how is more'n _I_ can tell
you, but she did, and she come straight in to where I was, and I see in
a minute she'd been drinking, for drink she does, from morning to night,
but I don't mind _that_, and her bonnet all on the back of her head, and
her voice that 'usky, she----(TENOR. "She sang a Song of Home Sweet
Home--a song that reached my heart!") And I couldn't be expected to put
up with _that_, you know, but I haven't 'alf told you yet--_well_, &c.,


FLORRIE FOLJAMBE _appears on Stage_). New dresses to-night.

SECOND DITTO. Yes. (_Inspects_ MISS F.'S _costume_.) Something wrong
with that boy's dress in front, though, cut too low. Is that silver
bullion it's trimmed with? That silver stuff they put on my
pantomime-dress has turned quite yellow!

FIRST DITTO. It will sometimes. Did you know any of the critics when you
were down at Slagtown for the Panto?

SECOND DITTO. I knew the _Grimeshire Mercury_, and he said most awfully
rude things about me in his paper. I was rather rude to him at
rehearsal, but we made it up afterwards. You know Lily's married, dear?

FIRST DITTO. What--Lily? You don't mean it!

SECOND DITTO. Oh, yes, she _is_, though. She went out to Buenos Ayres,
and the other day she was taken in to dinner by the Bishop of the
Friendly Islands.

FIRST DITTO. A Bishop? _Fancy!_ That _is_ getting on, isn't it?

MISS FOLJAMBE (_on Stage, acknowledging an encore_). Ladies and
Gentlemen, I am very much obliged for your kind reception this evening,
but having been lately laid up with a bad cold, and almost entirely lost
my vice, and being still a little 'orse, I feel compelled to ask your
kind acceptance of a few 'ornpipe steps, after which I 'ope to remain,
Ladies and Gentlemen, always your obedient 'umble servant to
command--Florrie Foljambe!

[_Tumultuous applause, and hornpipe._

CHAIRMAN. Professor Boodler, the renowned Imitator of Birds, will appear

THE PROFESSOR (_on Stage_). Ladies and Gentlemen, I shall commence by an
attempt to give you an imitation of that popular and favourite songster
the Thrush--better known to some of you, I dare say, as the Throstle, or
Mavis! (_He gives the Thrush--which somehow doesn't "go."_) I shall next
endeavour to represent that celebrated and tuneful singing-bird--the
Sky-lark. (_He does it, but the Lark doesn't quite come off._) I shall
next try to give you those two sweet singers, the Male and Female
Canary--the gentleman in the stalls with the yellow 'air will represent
the female bird on this occasion, he must not be offended, for it is a
'igh compliment I am paying him, a harmless professional joke. (_The
Canaries obtain but tepid acknowledgments._) I shall now conclude my
illustrations of bird-life with my celebrated imitation of a waiter
drawing the cork from a bottle of gingerbeer, and drinking it

[_Does so; rouses the audience to frantic enthusiasm, and retires after
triple recall._

THE VOLUBLE LADY _in the Shilling Stalls_ (_during the performance of a
Thrilling Melodramatic Sketch_). I've nothing to say against her
'usban', a quiet, respectable man, and always treated _me_ as a lady,
with grey whiskers--but that's neither here nor there--and I speak of
parties as I find them--_well_. _That_ was a Thursday. On the _Saturday_
there came a knock at my door, and I answered it, and there was she
saying, as cool as you please----(HEROINE ON STAGE. "Ah, no, no--you
would not ruin me? You will not tell my husband?") So I told her. "I'm
very sorry," I says, "but I can't lend that frying-pan to nobody." So I
got up. Two hours _after_, as I was going down stairs, she come out of
her room, and says,--"'Allo, Rose, 'ow _are_ yer?" as if nothing had
'appened. "Oh, jolly," I says, or somethink o' that sort--_I_ wasn't
going to take no notice of _her_--and she says, "Going out?"--like that.
I says, "Oh, yes; nothing to stay in for," I says, careless-like; so
Mrs. Piper, _she_ never said nothing, and _I_ didn't say nothing; and
so it went on till Monday--_well_! Her 'usban' met me in the passage;
and he said to me--good-tempered and civil enough, I _must_ say--he
said----(VILLAIN ON STAGE. "Curse you! I've had enough of this fooling!
Give me money, or I'll twist your neck, and fling you into yonder
mill-dam, to drown!") So o' course I'd no objection to that; and all she
wanted, in the way of eatables and drink, she _'ad_--no, let me finish
_my_ story first. Well, just fancy _'er_ now! She asked me to step in;
and she says, "Ow are you?" and was very nice, and I never said a
word--not wishing to bring up the past, and--I didn't tell you
_this_--they'd a kind of old easy chair in the room--and the only remark
_I_ made, not meaning anythink, was----(HERO ON STAGE. "You infernal,
black-hearted scoundrel! this is _your_ work, is it?") Well, I couldn't
ha'put it more pleasant than that, _could_ I? and old Mr. Fitkin, as was
settin' on it, he says to me, he says----(HERO. "Courage, my darling!
You shall not perish if my strong arms can save you. Heaven help me to
rescue the woman I love better than my life!") but he's 'alf silly, so I
took no partickler notice of _'im_, when, what did that woman do, after
stoopin' to me, as she 'as, times without number--but--Oh, is the play
over? Well, as I was saying--oh, _I'm_ ready to go if you are, and I can
tell you the rest walking home. [_Exit, having thoroughly enjoyed her

A Recitation Under Difficulties.

     SCENE.--_An Evening Party_; MISS FRESIA BLUDKINSON, _a talented
     young Professional Reciter, has been engaged to entertain the
     company, and is about to deliver the favourite piece entitled_,
     "_The Lover of Lobelia Bangs, a Cowboy Idyl_." _There is the
     usual crush, and the guests outside the drawing-room, who can
     neither hear nor see what is going on, console themselves by
     conversing in distinctly audible tones._ _Jammed in a doorway,
     between the persons who are trying to get in, and the people
     who would be only too glad to get out, is an_ UNSOPHISTICATED
     GUEST _who doesn't know a soul, and is consequently reduced to
     listening to the Recitation_. _This is what he hears_:--

MISS FRESIA BLUD. (_in a tone of lady-like apology_).

    I am only a Cowboy----

[_Several Ladies put up their glasses, and examine her critically, as if
they had rather expected this confession. Sudden burst of Society
Chatter from without._

SOCIETY CHATTER. How d'ye do?... Oh, but her parties never _are_!... How
are you?... No, I left her at .... Yes, he's somewhere about.... Saw you
in the Row this mornin'.... Are you doing anything on----?... Oh, _what_
a shame!... No, but _doesn't_ she now?... No earthly use trying to get
in at present ... &c., &c.

MISS FRESIA B. (_beginning again, with meek despair, a little louder_).

    I am only a Cowboy; reckless, rough, in an unconventional suit of
    I hain't, as a rule, got much to say, and my conversation is mostly

[_Cries of "Ssh!" intended, however, for the people outside, who are
chattering harder than ever._

    When the cackle of females strikes my ear----

SOCIETY CHATTER (_as before_). Oh, _much_ cooler here.... Yes,
delightful, wasn't it? Everybody one knows.... No, you don't
_really_?... Oh, Popsy's flourishing, thanks.... The new Butler turned
out a perfect demon ... but I said I wouldn't have his tail docked for
anything ... so they've painted it _eau de Nil_, and it looks _so_ nice!

MISS F. B. (_pointedly_).

    When the cackle of females strikes my ear, I jest vamose, for they
    make me skeered,
    And I sorter suspicion I skeer them too, with my hulking form, and
    my bushy beard!

[_Here, of course, she strokes a very round chin._

SOCIETY CHATTER. Seems to be somethin' goin' on in there--singin',
actin', dancin', or somethin'.... Well, of course, only heard _her_
version of it as yet, y' know.... Have you seen him in ... white
bengaline with a Medici collar, and one of those ... nasty gouty attacks
he _will_ have are only rheumatism, &c., &c.

MISS F. B. (_when next heard_).

    I cleared my throat and I tried to speak--but the words died

A FEMININE VOICE OUTSIDE. So _long_ since we had a quiet talk together!
Do tell me all about, &c., &c.


                                        ----strangled by sheer alarm.
    For there in front----

[_Here she points dramatically at a stout matron, who fans herself

            ----was the slender form, and the sweet girl-face of our new
       "School Marm"!
    Say, boys! hev' ye heard an Æolian harp which a Zephyr's tremulous
    finger twangs?
    Wa'al, it kinder thrills ye the way I felt when I first beheld
    Lobelia Bangs!

SOC. CHAT. Oh, you really _ought_ to go--so touching! Dick and I both
regularly howled all through the last act.... Not in the _least_,
thanks. Well, if there _is_ a seat.... You're sure there _are_ any ices?
Then, strawberry, please--no, _nothing_ to drink!... _Will_ you allow

[Illustration: "I AM ONLY A COWBOY."]

... Told she could dress hair perfectly, but I soon found she was ... a
Swedenborgian, my dear, or something horrid.... Haven't you? _I've_ had
it three times, and ... so many people have asked me for cards that
really I ... had the drains thoroughly looked to, and now they're ...
delicious, but rather overpowering in a _room_, I think! &c., &c.

MISS F. B. (_with genuine feeling_).

    Who would imagine one meek-voiced girl could have held her own in a
    deafening din!
    But Lobelia's scholars discovered soon she'd a dead-sure notion of
    For her satin palm had a sting like steel, and the rowdiest rebel
    respected her,
    When she'd stretched out six of the hardest lots in the Bible-Class
    with a Derringer!

SOC. CHAT. No, a very dull party, you could move about quite easily in
all the rooms, so we ... kicked the whole concern to shivers and ...
came on here as soon as we could.... Capital dinner they _gave_ us too
... &c., &c.

MISS F. B. (_with as much conviction as possible under the

    And the silence deepened; no creature stirred in the stagnant hush,
    and the only sound
    Was the far-off lumbering jolt, produced by the prairie rolling for
    leagues around!

SOC. CHAT. (_crescendo_). Oh, an old aunt of mine has gone in for
step-dancing--she's had several lessons ... and cut her knees rather
badly, y'know, so I put her out to grass ... and now she can sit up and
hold a biscuit on her nose ... but she really ought to mix a little grey
in her wig!

[_&c., &c., to the distraction of the_ UNSOPHISTICATED GUEST, _who is
getting quite interested in Lobelia Bangs, whom he suddenly discovers,
much to his surprise, on horseback_.


    And on we cantered, without a word, in the mid-day heat, on our swift
    I was only ignorant Cowboy Clem--but I worshipped bright Lobelia Bangs!

SOC. CHAT. (_fortissimo_). Not for ages; but last time I met him he was
... in a dreadful state, with the cook down with influenza ... and so I
suppose he's _married_ her by this time!

MISS F. B. (_excitedly_).

    But hark! in the distance a weird shrill cry, a kinder mournful,
    monotonous yelp--
    (_Further irruption of_ SOCIETY CHATTER) ... is it jackal?--bison?--a
    cry for help.

SOC. CHAT. Such a complete _rest_, you know--so perfectly peaceful! Not
a soul to talk to. I _love_ it ... but, to really enjoy a tomato, you
must see it dressed ... in the _sweetest_ little sailor suit!


    My horse was a speck on the pampas' verge, for I dropped the rein in
    my haste to stoop;
    Then I pressed my ear to the baking soil--and caught--ah, horror--the
    Indian whoop!

SOC. CHAT. Some say it _isn't_ infectious, but one can't be too careful,
and, with children in the house, &c., &c.


    I rose to my feet with quivering knees, and my face went white as a
    fresh-washed towel;
    I had heard a war-cry I knew too well--'twas the murderous bellow of
    Blue-nosed Owl!

SOC. CHAT. Nice fellow--I'm very fond of him--so fresh--capital
company--met him when I was over there, &c.


    "What! leave you to face those fiends alone!" she cried, and slid
    from her horse's back;
    "Let me die with you--for I love you, Clem!" Then she gave her steed
    a resounding smack,
    And he bounded off; "Now Heaven be praised that my school six-shooter
    I brought!" said she.
    "Four barrels I'll keep for the front-rank foes--and the next for
    you--and the last for me!"

SOC. CHAT. Is it a _comic_ piece she's doing, do you know? Don't think
so, I can see somebody smiling. Sounds rather like Shakespeare, or
Dickens, or one of those fellahs.... Didn't catch what you said. No.
Quite impossible to hear one's self speak, _isn't_ it?


    And ever louder the demons yelled for their pale-faced prey--but I
    scorned death's pangs,
    For I deemed it a doom that was half delight to die by the hand of
    Lobelia Bangs!
    Then she whispered low in her dulcet tones, like the crooning coo of
    a cushat dove!
    (_At the top of her voice._) "Forgive me, Clem, but I could not bear
    any squaw to torture my own true love!"
    And she raised the revolver--"crack-crack-crack!"

[_To the infinite chagrin of the_ UNSOPHISTICATED GUEST, _who is
intensely anxious to hear how Miss Bangs and her lover escaped from so
unpleasant a dilemma--the remaining cracks of her revolver, together
with the two next stanzas, are drowned in afresh torrent of
small-talk--after which he hears_ MISS F. B. _conclude with repressed

    But the ochre on Blue-nosed Owl was blurred, as his braves concluded
    their brief harangues;
    And he dropped a tear on the early bier of our Prairie Belle,
    Lobelia Bangs!

[_Which of course leaves him in a state of hopeless mystification._

SOC. CHAT. Is that the _end_? Charming! Now we shall be able to _talk_
again! &c., &c.

Bank Holiday.

     SCENE--_The Crystal Palace. The Nave is filled with a dense
     throng of Pleasure-seekers. Every free seat commanding the most
     distant view of a Variety Performance on the Great Stage has
     been occupied an hour in advance. The less punctual stand and
     enjoy the spectacle of other persons' hats or bonnets. Gangs of
     Male and Female Promenaders jostle and hustle to their hearts'
     content, or perform the war-song and dance of the Lower-class
     'Arry, which consists in chanting "Oi tiddly-oi-toi;
     hoi-toi-oi!" to a double shuffle. Tired women sit on chairs and
     look at nothing. In the Grounds, the fancy of young men and
     maidens is lightly turning to thoughts of love; the first dawn
     of the tender passion being intimated, on the part of the
     youth, by chasing his charmer into a corner and partially
     throttling her, whereupon the maiden coyly conveys that his
     sentiments are not unreciprocated by thumping him between the
     shoulders. From time to time, two champions contend with fists
     for the smiles of beauty, who may usually be heard bellowing
     with perfect impartiality in the background. A small but
     increasing percentage have already had as much liquid
     refreshment as is good for them, and intend to have more.
     Altogether, the scene, if festive, might puzzle an Intelligent
     Foreigner who is more familiar with Continental ideas of

A DAMSEL (_in a ruby plush hat with a mauve feather_). Why, if they yn't
got that bloomin' ole statute down from Charin' Cross! What's _'e_ doin'
of down 'ere, I wonder?

HER SWAIN (_whose feather is only pink and white paper_). Doin' of?
Tykin' 'is d'y orf--like the rest of us are tykin' it.

THE DAMSEL (_giggling_). You go on--you don't green _me_ that w'y--a

SWAIN. Well, 'yn't this what they call a "Statutory" 'Oliday, eh?

DAMSEL (_in high appreciation of his humour_). I'll fetch you _sech_ a
slap in a minnit! 'Ere, let's gow on the Swissback.

Another Damsel (_in a peacock-blue hat with orange pompons_). See that
nekked young man on the big 'orse, ALF? It says "Castor" on the stand.
'Oo was _'e_?

ALF. Oh, _I_ d' know. I dessay it'll be 'im as invented the Castor Ile.

THE DAMSEL (_disgusted_). Fancy their puttin' up a monument to _'im_!

SUPERIOR 'ARRY (_talking Musichalls to his Adored One_). 'Ave you 'eard
her sing "Come where the Booze is Cheapest?"

THE ADORED. Lots o' toimes. I _do_ like _'er_ singing. She mykes sech
comical soigns--and then the _things_ she sez! But I've 'eard she's very
common in her tork, and that--_orf_ the styge.

THE S. A. I shouldn't wonder. Some on 'em _are_ that way. You can't 'ave

HIS ADORED. No, it _is_ a pity, though. 'Spose we go out, and pl'y Kiss
in the Ring? [_They do._


WIFE OF BRITISH WORKMAN (_spelling out placard under Hottentot Group_).
"It is extremely probable that this interesting race will be completely
exterminated at no very distant period." Pore things!

BRITISH WORKMAN (_with philosophy_). Well, _I_ sha'n't go inter mournin'
for 'em, Sairer!

LAMBETH LARRIKIN (_in a pasteboard "pickelhaube," and a false nose,
thoughtfully, to_ BATTERSEA BILL, _who is wearing an old grey
chimney-pot hat, with the brim uppermost, and a tow wig, as they
contemplate a party of Botocudo natives_). Rum the sights these 'ere
savidges make o' theirselves, ain't it, Bill?

BATT. BILL (_more thoughtfully_). Yer right--but I dessay if you and me
'ad been born among that lot, _we_ shouldn't care _'ow_ we looked!

VAUXHALL VOILET (_who has exchanged headgear with_ CHELSEA
CHORLEY--_with dismal results_). They _are_ cures, those blackies! Why,
yer carn't 'ardly tell the men from the wimmin! I expect this lot'll be
'aving a beanfeast. See, they're plyin' their myusic.


CHELSEA CHORLEY. Good job we can't _'ear_ 'em. They say as niggers'
music is somethink downright horful. Give us "Hi-tiddly-hi" on that
mouth-orgin o' yours, will yer?

[VAUXHALL VOILET _obliges on that instrument_; _every one in the
neighbourhood begins to jig mechanically_; _exeunt party, dancing_.

A PIMPLY YOUTH. "Hopium-eater from Java." That's the stuff they gits as
stoopid as biled howls on--it's about time we went and did another beer.
[_They retire for that purpose._


CHORUS OF SPECTATORS. There's another lot o' bloomin' rockets gowin orf!
Oo-oo, 'ynt that lur-uvly? What a lark if the sticks come down on
somebody's 'ed! There, didyer see 'em bust? Puts me in mind of a shower
o' foiry smuts. Lor, so they do--what a fancy you _do_ 'ave. &c., &c.


AN OLD GENTLEMAN (_who has come out with the object of observing Bank
Holiday manners--which he has done from a respectful distance--to his
friend, as they settle down in an empty first-class compartment_).
There, now we shall just get comfortably off before the crush begins.
Now, to _me_, y'know, this has been a most interesting and gratifying
experience--wonderful spectacle, all that immense crowd, enjoying itself
in its own way--boisterously, perhaps, but, on the whole, with
marvellous decorum! Really, very exhilarating to see--but you don't
agree with me?

HIS FRIEND (_reluctantly_). Well, I must say it struck me as rather
pathetic than----

THE O. G. (_testily_). Pathetic, Sir--nonsense! I like to see people
putting their _heart_ into it, whether it's play or work. Give me a

[_As if in answer to this prayer, there is a sudden irruption of typical
Bank Holiday-makers into the compartment._

MAN BY THE WINDOW. Third-class as good as fust, these days! Why, if
there ain't ole Fred! Wayo, Fred, tumble in, ole son--room for one more

["OLE FRED" _plays himself in with a triumphal blast on a tin trumpet,
after which he playfully hammers the roof with his stick, as he leans
against the door_.

OLE FRED. Where's my blanky friend? I 'it 'im one on the jaw, and I
ain't seen 'im since! (_Sings, sentimentally, at the top of a naturally
powerful voice._) "Comrides, Comrides! Hever since we was boys! Sharin'
each other's sorrers. Sharin' each hother's--beer!"

[_A "paraprosdokian," which delights him to the point of repetition._

THE O. G. Might I ask you to make a little less disturbance there, Sir?
[_Whimpers from over-tired children._

OLE FRED (_roaring_). "I'm jolly as a Sandboy, I'm 'appy as a king! No
matter what I see or 'ear, I larf at heverything! I'm the morril of my
moth-ar, (_to_ O. G.) the himage of _your_ Par! And heverythink I see or
'ear, it makes me larf 'Ar-har!'"

[_He laughs "Ar-har," after which he gives a piercing blast upon the
trumpet, with stick obbligato on the roof._

THE O. G. (_roused_). I really _must_ beg you not to be such an infernal
nuisance! There are women and children here who----

OLE FRED. Shet up, old umbereller whiskers! (_Screams of laughter from
women and children, which encourage him to sing again._) "An' the roof
is copper-bottomed, but the chimlies are of gold. In my double-breasted
mansion in the Strand!" (_To people on platform, as train stops._)
_Come_ in, oh, lor, _do_! "Oi-tiddly-oi-toi! hoi-toi-oy!"

[_The rest take up the refrain--"'Ave a drink an' wet your eye," &c. and
beat time with their boots._

THE O. G. If this abominable noise goes on, I shall call the
guard--disgraceful, coming in drunk like this!

THE MAN BY THE WINDOW. 'Ere, dry up, Guv'nor--_'e_ ain't 'ad enough to
urt 'im, _'e_ ain't!

CHORUS OF FEMALES (_to_ O. G.). An' Bank 'Oliday, too--you orter to be
_ashimed_ o' yerself, you ought! 'E's as right as right, if you on'y let
him alone!

OLE FRED (to O. G.). Ga-arn, yer pore-'arted ole choiner boy! (_sings
dismally_), "Ow! for the vanished Spring-toime! Ow! for the dyes gorn
boy! Ow! for the"--(_changing the melody_)--"'omeless, I wander in
lonely distress. No one ter pity me--none ter caress!" (_Here he sheds
tears,_ _overcome by his own pathos, but presently cheers up._) "I
dornce all noight! An' I rowl 'ome toight! I'm a rare-un at a rollick,
or I'm ready fur a foight." Any man 'ere wanter foight me? Don't say no,
ole Frecklefoot! (_To the_ O. G., _who perspires freely_.) "Oh, I _am_
enj'yin' myself!"

[_He keeps up this agreeable rattle, without intermission, for the
remainder of the journey, which--as the train stops everywhere, and
takes quite three-quarters of an hour in getting from Queen's Road,
Battersea, to Victoria--affords a signal proof of his social resources,
if it somewhat modifies the_ O. G.'S _enthusiasm for the artless gaiety
of a Bank Holiday_.

A Row in the Pit; or, The Obstructive Hat.

     SCENE--_The Pit during Pantomime Time. The Overture is

AN OVER-HEATED MATRON (_to her Husband_). Well, they don't give you much
_room_ in 'ere, I _must_ say. Still, we done better than I expected,
after all that crushing. I thought my ribs was gone once--but it was
on'y the umberella's. You pretty comfortable where _you_ are, eh,

FATHER. Oh, I'm right enough, I am.

JIMMY (_their Son; a small, bullet-headed boy, with a piping voice_). If
_Father_ is, it's more nor what _I_ am. I can't see nothen, I can't!

HIS MOTHER. Lor' bless the boy! there ain't nothen to _see_ yet; you'll
see well enough when the Curting goes up. (_Curtain rises on opening
scene._) Look, Jimmy, ain't _that_ nice, now? All them himps dancin'
round, and real fire comin' out of the pot--which I 'ope it's quite
safe--and there's a beautiful fairy just come on, dressed so grand, too!

JIMMY. I can't see no fairy--nor yet no himps--nor nothen!

[_He whimpers._

HIS MOTHER (_annoyed_). Was there ever such a aggravating boy to take
anywheres! Set quiet, do, and don't fidget, and look at the hactin'!

JIMMY. I tell yer I can't _see_ no hactin', Mother. It ain't my
fault--it's this lady in front o' me, with the 'at.

MOTHER (_perceiving the justice of his complaints_). Father, the pore
boy says he can't see where he is, 'cause of a lady's 'at in front.

FATHER (_philosophically_). Well, _I_ can't 'elp the 'at, can I? He must
put up with it, that's all!

MOTHER. No--but I thought, if you wouldn't mind changing places with
him--you're taller than him, and it wouldn't be in your way 'arf so

FATHER. It's always the way with you--never satisfied, _you_ ain't!
Well, pass the boy across--I'm for a quiet life, I am. (_Changing
seats._) Will _this_ do for you?

[_He settles down immediately behind a very large, furry, and feathery
hat, which he dodges for some time, with the result of obtaining an
occasional glimpse of a pair of legs on the stage._

FATHER (_suddenly_). D----the 'at!


MOTHER. You can't wonder at the _boy_ not seeing! P'raps the lady
wouldn't mind taking it off, if you asked her?

FATHER. Ah! (_He touches_ THE OWNER OF THE HAT _on the shoulder_.)
Excuse me, Mum, but might I take the liberty of asking you to kindly
remove your 'at? [THE OWNER OF THE HAT _deigns no reply_.

FATHER (_more insistently_). Would you 'ave any objection to oblige me
by taking off your 'at, Mum? (_Same result._) I don't know if you
_'eard_ me, Mum, but I've asked you twice, civil enough, to take that
'at of yours off (_pathetically_). I'm a playin' 'Ide and Seek be'ind it
'ere! [_No answer._

THE MOTHER. People didn't ought to be allowed in the Pit with sech 'ats!
Callin' 'erself a lady--and settin' there in a great 'at and feathers
like a 'Ighlander's, and never answering no more nor a stuffed himage!

FATHER (_to the Husband of_ _The Owner of the Hat_). Will you tell your
good lady to take her 'at off, Sir, please?

THE OWNER OF THE HAT (_to her Husband_). Don't you do nothing of the
sort, Sam, or you'll _'ear_ of it!

THE MOTHER. Some people are perlite, I must say. Parties might _beyave_
as ladies when they come in the Pit! It's a pity her 'usband can't teach
her better manners!

THE FATHER. _'Im_ teach her! 'E knows better. 'E's got a Tartar there,
_'e_ 'as!

THE OWNER OF THE HAT. Sam, are you going to set by and hear me insulted
like this?

HER HUSBAND (_turning round tremulously_). I--I'll trouble you to drop
making these personal allusions to my wife's 'at, Sir. It's puffickly
impossible to listen to what's going on on the stage with all these
remarks be'ind!

THE FATHER. Not more nor it is to _see_ what's going on on the stage
with that 'at in front! I paid 'arf-a-crown to see the Pantermime, I
did; not to 'ave a view of your wife's 'at!... 'Ere, Maria, blowed if I
can stand this 'ere game any longer. Jimmy must change places again, and
if he can't see, he must jest stand up on the seat, that's all!

[JIMMY _is transferred to his original place, and mounts upon the seat_.

A PITTITE BEHIND JIMMY (_touching up_ JIMMY'S _Father with an
umbrella_). Will you tell your little boy to set down, please, and not
block the view like this?

JIMMY'S FATHER. If you can indooce that lady in front to take off her
'at, I will--but not before. Stay where you are, Jimmy, my boy.

THE PITTITE BEHIND. Well, I must stand myself then, that's all. I mean
to see, _somehow_! [_He rises._

PEOPLE BEHIND HIM (_sternly_). Set down there, will yer?

[_He resumes his seat expostulating._

JIMMY. Father, the gentleman behind is a pinching of my legs!

JIMMY'S FATHER. Will you stop pinching my little boy's legs! He ain't
doing _you_ no 'arm--is he?

THE PINCHING PITTITE. Let him sit down, then!

JIMMY'S FATHER. Let the lady take her 'at off!

MURMURS BEHIND. Order, there! Set down! Put that boy down! Take orf that
'at! Silence in front, there! Turn 'em out! Shame! ... &c., &c.

THE HUSBAND OF THE O. OF THE H. (_in a whisper to his Wife_). Take off
the blessed 'at, and have done with it, do!

THE O. OF THE H. What--_now_! I'd sooner _die_ in the 'at!

[An ATTENDANT _is called_.

THE ATTENDANT. Order, there, Gentlemen, please--unless you want to get
turned out! No standing allowed on the seats--you're disturbing the
performance 'ere, you know!

[JIMMY _is made to sit down, and weeps silently_; _the hubbub gradually
subsides--and_ THE OWNER OF THE HAT _triumphs--for the moment_.

JIMMY'S MOTHER. Never mind, my boy, you shall have Mother's seat in a
minute. I dessay, if all was known, the lady 'as reasons for keeping her
'at on, pore thing!

THE FATHER (_perceiving her drift_). Ah, I never thought o' that. So she
may. Very likely her 'at won't _come_ off--not without her _'air_!

THE MOTHER. Ah, well, we mustn't be 'ard on her, if that's so.

THE O. OF THE H. (_removing the obstruction_). I 'ope you're satisfied
_now_, I'm sure?

THE FATHER (handsomely). Better late nor never, Mum, and we take it kind
of you. Though, why you shouldn't ha' done it at fust, I dunno; for you
look a deal 'ansomer without the 'at than what you did in it--_don't_
she, Maria?

THE O. OF THE H. (_mollified_). Sam, ask the gentleman behind if his
little boy would like a ginger-nut.

[_This olive-branch is accepted; compliments pass; cordiality is
restored, and the Pantomime proceeds without further disturbance._

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to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.