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Title: Mr Punch's Model Music Hall Songs and Dramas - Collected, Improved and Re-arranged from Punch
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 "Mr Punch's Model Music Hall Songs and Dramas - Collected, Improved and Re-arranged from Punch" ***

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Transcriber's Note: Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.
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    By F. ANSTEY.



    Price 3_s._ 6_d._




    Collected, Improved, and Re-Arranged



    With Illustrations.






    INTRODUCTION                             3



    I.--THE PATRIOTIC                       15


    II.--THE TOPICAL-POLITICAL              18


    III.--A DEMOCRATIC DITTY                23


    IV.--THE IDYLLIC                        27


    V.--THE AMATORY EPISODIC                31


    VI.--THE CHIVALROUS                     37


    VII.--THE FRANKLY CANAILLE              40


    VIII.--THE DRAMATIC SCENA               47


    IX.--THE DUETTISTS                      53


    X.--DISINTERESTED PASSION               59


    XI.--THE PANEGYRIC PATTER               63









    II.--JOE, THE JAM-EATER                 86


    III.--THE MAN-TRAP                      93


    IV.--THE FATAL PIN                      99


    V.--BRUNETTE AND BLANCHIDINE           106


    VI.--COMING OF AGE                     113


    VII.--RECLAIMED!                       120


    VIII.--JACK PARKER.                    132


    IX.--UNDER THE HARROW                  139


    X.--TOMMY AND HIS SISTER JANE          151


    XI.--THE RIVAL DOLLS                   158




[_The Illustrations are by Edward T. Reed; with others from "Punch."_]





The day is approaching, and may even now be within measurable distance,
when the Music Halls of the Metropolis will find themselves under yet
more stringent supervision than is already exercised by those active and
intelligent guardians of middle-class morality, the London County
Council. The moral microscope which detected latent indecency in the
pursuit of a butterfly by a marionette is to be provided with larger
powers, and a still more extended field. In other words, our far-sighted
and vigilant County Councilmen, perceiving the futility of delaying the
inspection of Variety Entertainments until such improprieties as are
contained therein have been suffered to contaminate the public mind for
a considerable period, are determined to nip these poison-flowers in the
bud for the future; and, unless Mr. Punch is misinformed, will apply to
Parliament at the earliest opportunity for clauses enabling them to
require each item in every forthcoming performance to be previously
submitted to a special committee for sanction and approval.

The conscientious rigour with which they will discharge this new and
congenial duty may perhaps be better understood after perusing the
little prophetic sketch which follows; for Mr. Punch's Poet, when not
employed in metrical composition, is a Seer of some pretensions in a
small way, and several of his predictions have already been shamelessly
plagiarised by the unscrupulous hand of Destiny. It is not improbable
that this latest effort of his will receive a similar compliment,
although this would be more gratifying if Destiny ever condescended to
acknowledge such obligations. However, here is the forecast for what it
is worth, a sum of incalculable amount:--



     SCENE--_A Committee-room of the L. C. C.; Sub-Committee of
     Censors, (appointed, under new regulations, to report on all
     songs intended to be sung on the Music-hall Stage,) discovered
     in session._

  _Mr. Wheedler_ (_retained for the Ballad-writers_). The next licence I
have to apply for is for--well, (_with some hesitation_)--a composition
which certainly borders on the--er--amorous--but I think, Sir, you will
allow that it is treated in a purely pastoral and Arcadian spirit.

  _The Chairman_ (_gravely_). There _are_ arcades, Mr. Wheedler, I may
remind you, which are by no means pastoral. I cannot too often repeat
that we are here to fulfil the mission entrusted to us by the Democracy,
which will no longer tolerate in its entertainments anything that is
either vulgar, silly, or offensive in the slightest degree.

  _Mr. Wheedler._ Quite so. With your permission, Sir, I will read you the


    "Oh! the day shall be marked in red letter----"

  _The Chairman._ One moment, Mr. Wheedler, (_conferring with his
colleagues_). "Marked with red letter"--isn't that a little--eh? liable
to----You don't think they'll have read Hawthorne's book? Very well,
then. Go on, Mr. Wheedler, please.

  _Mr. W._ "'Twas warm, with a heaven so blue."

  _First Censor._ Can't pass those two epithets--you must tone them down,
Mr. Wheedler--_much_ too suggestive!

  _Mr. W._ That shall be done.

  _The Chairman._ And it ought to be "sky."

  _Mr. W._ "When amid the lush meadows I met her,
              My Molly, so modest and true!"

  _Second Censor._ I object to the word "lush"--a direct incitement to

  _Mr. W._ I'll strike it out. (_Reads._)

    "Around us the little kids rollicked,
     Lighthearted were all the young lambs----"

  _Second Censor._ Surely "kids" is _rather_ a vulgar expression, Mr.
Wheedler? Make it "_children_," and I've no objection.

  _Mr. W._ I have made it so. (_Reads._)

    "They kicked up their legs as they frolicked"----

  _Third Censor._ If that is intended to be done on the stage, I protest
most strongly--a highly indecorous exhibition!
     [_Murmurs of approval._

  _Mr. W._ But they're only lambs!

  _Third Censor._ Lambs, indeed! We are determined to put down _all_
kicking in Music-hall songs, no matter _who_ does it! Strike that line

  _Mr. W._ (_reading_). "And frisked by the side of their dams."

  _First Censor_ (_severely_). No profanity, Mr. Wheedler, _if_ you

  _Mr. W._ Er--I'll read you the Refrain. (_Reads, limply._)

    "Molly and I. With nobody nigh.
      Hearts all a-throb with a rapturous bliss,
    Molly was shy. And (at first) so was I,
      Till I summoned up courage to ask for a kiss!"

  _The Chairman._ "Nobody nigh," Mr. Wheedler? I don't quite like that.
The Music Hall ought to set a good example to young persons. "Molly and
I--_with her chaperon by_," is better.

  _Second Censor._ And that last line--"asking for a kiss"--does the song
state that they were formally engaged, Mr. Wheedler?

  _Mr. W._ I--I believe it omits to mention the fact. But (_ingeniously_)
it does not appear that the request was complied with.

  _Second Censor._ No matter--it should never have been made. Have the
goodness to alter that into--well, something of this kind. "And I always
addressed her politely as "Miss." Then we _may_ pass it.

  _Mr. W._ (_reading the next verse_).

    "She wore but a simple sun-bonnet."

  _First Censor_ (_shocked_). Now really, Mr. Wheedler, _really_, Sir!

  _Mr. W._    "For Molly goes plainly attired."

  _First Censor_ (_indignantly_). I should think so--_Scandalous_!

  _Mr. W._    "Malediction I muttered upon it,
               One glimpse of her face I desired."

[Illustration: Licensing Day.]

  _The Chairman._ I think my colleague's exception is perhaps just a
_leetle_ far-fetched. At all events, if we substitute for the last

    "Her dress is sufficient--though on it
     She only spends what is strictly required."

Eh, Mr. Wheedler? Then we work in a moral as well, you see, and avoid
malediction, which can only mean bad language.

  _Mr. W._ (_doubtfully_). With all respect, I submit that it doesn't scan
quite so well----

  _The Chairman_ (_sharply_). _I_ venture to think scansion may be
sacrificed to propriety, _occasionally_, Mr. Wheedler--but pray go on.

  _Mr. W._ (_continuing_).

    "To a streamlet we rambled together.
      I carried her tenderly o'er.
    In my arms--she's as light as a feather--
      That sweetest of burdens I bore!"

  _First Censor._ I really _must_ protest. No properly conducted young
woman would ever have permitted such a thing. You must alter that, Mr.

  _Second C._ And I don't know--but I rather fancy there's a
"double-intender" in that word "light"--(_to colleague_)--it strikes
me--eh?--what do _you_ think?----

  _The Chairman_ (_in a conciliatory manner_). I am inclined to agree to
some extent--not that I consider the words particularly objectionable in
themselves, but we are men of the world, Mr. Wheedler, and as such we
cannot shut our eyes to the fact that a Music-hall audience is only too
apt to find significance in many apparently innocent expressions and

  _Mr. W._ But, Sir, I understood from your remarks recently that the
Democracy were strongly opposed to anything in the nature of

  _The Ch._ Exactly so; and therefore we cannot allow their
susceptibilities to be shocked. (_With a severe jocosity._) Molly and
you, Mr. Wheedler, must either ford the stream like ordinary persons, or
stay where you are.

  _Mr. W._ (_depressed._) I may as well read the last verse, I suppose:

    "Then under the flickering willow
      I lay by the rivulet's brink,
    With her lap for a sumptuous pillow----"

  _First Censor._ We can't have that. It is really _not_ respectable.

  _The Ch._ (_pleasantly._) Can't we alter it slightly? "I'd brought a
small portable pillow." No objection to _that_!

     [_The other Censors express dissent in undertones._

  _Mr. W._    "Till I owned that I longed for a drink."

  _Third C._ No, no! "A drink"! We all know what _that_ means--alcoholic
stimulant of some kind. At all events that's how the audience are
certain to take it.

  _Mr. W._ (_feebly_).

    "So Molly her pretty hands hollowed
      Into curves like an exquisite cup,
    And draughts so delicious I swallowed,
      That rivulet nearly dried up!"

  _Third C._ Well, Mr. Wheedler, you're not going to defend _that_, I

  _Mr. W._ I'm not prepared to deny that it is silly--_very_ silly--but
hardly--er--vulgar, I should have thought?

  _Third C._ That is a question of taste, which we won't dispute. _I_ call
it _distinctly_ vulgar. Why can't he drink out of his _own_ hands?

  _The Ch._ (_blandly_). Allow me. How would _this_ do for the second
line? "She had a collapsible cup." A good many people _do_ carry them. I
have one myself. Is that all of your Ballad, Mr. Wheedler?

  _Mr. W._ (_with great relief._) That _is_ all, Sir.

     [_Censors withdraw, to consider the question._

  _The Ch._ (_after consultation with colleagues_). We have carefully
considered this song, and we are all reluctantly of opinion that we
cannot, consistently with our duty, recommend the Council to license
it--even with the alterations my colleagues and myself have gone
somewhat out of our way to suggest. The whole subject is too dangerous
for a hall in which young persons of both sexes are likely to be found
assembled; and the absence of any distinct assertion that the young
couple--Molly and--ah--the gentleman who narrates the experience--are
betrothed, or that their attachment is, in any way, sanctioned by their
parents or guardians, is quite fatal. If we have another Ballad of a
similar character from the same quarter, Mr. Wheedler, I feel bound to
warn you that we may possibly consider it necessary to advise that the
poet's licence should be cancelled altogether.

  _Mr. W._ I will take care to mention it to my client, Sir. I understand
it is his intention to confine himself to writing Gaiety burlesques in

  _The Ch._ A very laudable resolution! I hope he will keep it.
     [_Scene closes in._

It is hardly possible that any Music-hall Manager or vocalist,
irreproachable as he may hitherto have considered himself, can have
taken this glimpse into a not very remote futurity without symptoms of
uneasiness, if not of positive dismay. He will reflect that the ballad
of "Molly and I," however reprehensible it may appear in the fierce
light of an L. C. C. Committee Room, is innocuous, and even moral,
compared to the ditties in his own _répertoire_. How, then, can he hope,
when his hour of trial strikes, to confront the ordeal with an unruffled
shirt-front, or a collar that shall retain the inflexibility of
conscious innocence? And he will wish then that he had confined himself
to the effusions of a bard who could not be blamed by the most
censorious moralist.

Here, if he will only accept the warning in time, is his best safeguard.
He has only to buy this little volume, and inform his inquisitors that
the songs and business with which he proposes to entertain an ingenuous
public are derived from the immaculate pages of Mr. Punch. Whereupon
censure will be instantly disarmed and criticism give place to
congratulation. It is just possible, to be sure, that this somewhat
confident prediction smacks rather of the Poet than the Seer, and that
even the entertainment supplied by Mr. Punch's Music Hall may, to the
Purist's eye, present features as suggestive as a horrid vulgar clown,
or as shocking as a butterfly, an insect notorious for its frivolity.
But then, so might the "songs and business" of the performing canary, or
the innocent sprightliness of the educated flea, with its superfluity of
legs, all absolutely unclad. At all events, the compiler of this
collection ventures to hope that, whether it is fortunate enough to find
favour or not with Music-hall "artistes," literary critics, and London
County Councilmen, it contains nothing particularly objectionable to the
rest of the British Public. And very likely, even in this modest
aspiration, he is over-sanguine, and his little joke will be taken
seriously. Earnestness is so alarmingly on the increase in these days.




[Illustration: THE PATRIOTIC.]


This stirring ditty--so thoroughly sound and practical under all its
sentiment--has been specially designed to harmonise with the recently
altered tone of Music-hall audiences, in which a spirit of enlightened
Radicalism is at last happily discernible. It is hoped that, both in
rhyme and metre, the verses will satisfy the requirements of this most
elegant form of composition. The song is intended to be shouted through
music in the usual manner by a singer in evening dress, who should carry
a small Union Jack carelessly thrust inside his waistcoat. The title is
short but taking:--


_First Verse._

    Of a Navy insufficient cowards croak, deah boys!
    If our place among the nations we're to keep.
    But with British beef, and beer, and hearts of oak, deah boys!--
    (_With enthusiasm._) We can make a shift to do it--On the Cheap!


    (_With a common-sense air_.) Let us keep, deah boys! On the Cheap,
    While Britannia is the boss upon the deep,
    She can wollop an invader, when he comes in his Armada,
    If she's let alone to do it--On the Cheap!

_Second Verse._

    Johnny Bull is just as plucky as he _was_, deah boys!
    (_With a knowing wink._) And he's wide awake--no error!--not asleep;
    But he won't stump up for ironclads--becos, deah boys!
    He don't see his way to get 'em--On the Cheap!


    So keep, deah boys! On the Cheap,
    (_Gallantly._) And we'll chance what may happen on the deep!
    For we can't be the losers if we save the cost o' cruisers,
    And contentedly continue--On the Cheap!

_Third Verse._

    The British Isles are not the Conti-nong, deah boys!
    (_Scornfully._) Where the Johnnies on defences spend a heap.
    No! we're Britons, and we're game to jog along, deah boys!
    (_With pathos._) In the old time-honoured fashion--On the Cheap!


    (_Imploringly._) Ah! keep, deah boys! On the Cheap;
    For the price we're asked to pay is pretty steep.
    Let us all unite to dock it, keep the money in our pocket,
    And we'll conquer or we'll perish--On the Cheap!

_Fourth Verse._

    If the Tories have the cheek to touch our purse, deah boys!
    Their reward at the elections let 'em reap!
    They will find a big Conservative reverse, deah boys!
    If they can't defend the country--On the Cheap!


    They must keep, deah boys! On the Cheap,
    Or the lot out of office we will sweep!
    Bull gets rusty when you tax him, and his patriotic maxim
    Is, "I'll trouble you to govern--On the Cheap!"

_Fifth Verse_ (_this to be sung shrewdly_).

    If the Gover'ment ain't mugs they'll take the tip, deah boys!
    Just to look a bit ahead before they leap,
    And instead of laying down an extry ship, deah boys!
    They'll cut down the whole caboodle--On the Cheap!

_Chorus_ (_with spirit and fervour_).

    And keep, deah boys! On the Cheap!
    For we ain't like a bloomin' lot o' sheep.
    When we want to "parry bellum,"[A]
                     [_Union Jack to be waved here._
    You may bet yer boots we'll tell 'em!
    But we'll have the "bellum" "parried"--On the Cheap!

This song, if sung with any spirit, should, _Mr. Punch_ thinks, cause a
positive _furore_ in any truly patriotic gathering, and possibly go some
way towards influencing the decision of the country, and consequently
the fate of the Empire, in the next General Elections. In the meantime
it is at the service of any Champion Music Hall Comique who is capable
of appreciating it.


[A] Music-hall Latinity--"_Para bellum_."


[Illustration: "--And the Post!"]

In most respects, no doubt, the present example can boast no superiority
to ditties in the same style now commanding the ear of the public. One
merit, however, its author does claim for it. Though it deals with most
of the burning questions of the hour, it can be sung anywhere with
absolute security. This is due to a simple but ingenious method by which
the political sentiment has been arranged on the reversible principle. A
little alteration here and there will put the singer in close touch with
an audience of almost any shade of politics. Should it happen that the
title has been already anticipated, _Mr. Punch_ begs to explain that the
remainder of this sparkling composition is entirely original; any
similarity with previous works must be put down entirely to "literary
coincidence." Whether the title is new or not, it is a very nice one,


(_To be sung in a raucous voice, and with a confidential air._)

    I've dropped in to whisper some secrets I've heard.
              Between you and me and the Post!
    Picked up on the wing by a 'cute little bird.
    We are gentlemen 'ere--so the caution's absurd,
    Still, you'll please to remember that every word
              Is between you and me and the Post!

_Chorus_ (_to which the singer should dance_).

      Between you and me and the Post! An 'int is sufficient at most.
      I'd very much rather this didn't go farther,
               than 'tween you and me and the Post!

    At Lord Sorlsbury's table there's sech a to-do.
              Between you and me and the Post!
    When he first ketches sight of his dinner _menoo_,
    And sees he's set down to good old Irish stoo--
    Which he's sick of by this time--now, tell me, ain't _you_?
              Between you and me and the Post!

     _(This happy and pointed allusion to the Irish Question is sure
     to provoke loud laughter from an audience of Radical
     sympathies. For Unionists, the words_ "Lord Sorlsbury's" _can be
     altered by our patent reversible method into "the_ G. O. M.'s,"
     _without at all impairing the satire.) Chorus, as before._

    The G. O. M.'s hiding a card up his sleeve.
              Between you and me and the Post!
    Any ground he has lost he is going to retrieve,
    And what _his_ little game is, he'll let us perceive,
    And he'll pip the whole lot of 'em, so I believe,
              Between you and me and the Post!      (_Chorus._)

     (_The hit will be made quite as palpably for the other side by
     substituting_ "Lord Sorlsbury's," _&c., at the beginning of the
     first line, should the majority of the audience be found to
     hold Conservative views._)

    Little Randolph won't long be left out in the cold.
              Between you and me and the Post!
    If they'll let him inside the Conservative fold,
    He has promised no longer he'll swagger and scold,
    But to be a good boy, and to do as he's told,
              Between you and me and the Post!      (_Chorus._)

     (_The mere mention of_ Lord Randolph's _name is sufficient to
     ensure the success of any song._)

    Joey Chamberlain's orchid's a bit overblown,
              Between you and me and the Post!

     (_This is rather subtle, perhaps, but an M.-H. audience will
     see a joke in it somewhere, and laugh._)

    'Ow to square a round table I'm sure he has shown.

     (_Same observation applies here._)

    But of late he's been leaving his old friends alone,
    And I fancy he's grinding an axe of his own,
              Between you and me and the Post!      (_Chorus._)

     (_We now pass on to Topics of the Day, which we treat in a
     light but trenchant fashion._)

    On the noo County Councils they've too many nobs,
              Between you and me and the Post!
    For the swells stick together, and sneer at the mobs;
    And it's always the rich man the poor one who robs.
    We shall 'ave the old business--all jabber and jobs!
              Between you and me and the Post!      (_Chorus._)

     (N.B.--_This verse should not be read to the L. C. C. who might
     miss the fun of it._)

    There's a new rule for ladies presented at Court,
              Between you and me and the Post!
    High necks are allowed, so no colds will be cort,
    But I went to the droring-room lately, and thort
    Some old wimmen had dressed quite as low as they _ort_!
              Between you and me and the Post!      (_Chorus._)

    By fussy alarmists we're too much annoyed,
              Between you and me and the Post!
    If we don't want our neighbours to think we're afroid,
                                               [_M.-H. rhyme._
    Spending dibs on defence we had better avoid.
    And give 'em instead to the poor unemployed.
                                    [_M.-H. political economy._
              Between you and me and the Post!      (_Chorus._)

    This style of perlitical singing ain't hard,
              Between you and me and the Post!
    As a "Mammoth Comique" on the bills I am starred,
    And, so long as I'm called, and angcored, and hurrar'd,
    I can rattle off rubbish like this by the yard,
              Between you and me and the Post!

     [_Chorus, and dance off to sing the same song_--_with or
     without alterations_--_in another place._

[Illustration: A DEMOCRATIC DITTY.]


The following example, although it gives a not wholly inadequate
expression to what are understood to be the loftier aspirations of the
most advanced and earnest section of the New Democracy, should not be
attempted, as _yet_, before a West-End audience. In South or East
London, the sentiment and philosophy of the song may possibly excite
rapturous enthusiasm; in the West-End, though the tone is daily
improving, they are not educated quite up to so exalted a level at
present. Still, as an experiment in proselytism, it might be worth
risking, even there. The title it bears is:--


VERSE I.--(_Introductory._)

    Some Grocers have taken to keeping a stock
    Of ornaments--such as a vase, or a clock--
    With a ticket on each where the words you may see:
    "To be given away--with a Pound of Tea!"

_Chorus_ (_in waltz time_).

                "Given away!"
                That's what they say.
    Gratis--a present it's offered you free.
                Given away.
                With nothing to pay,
    "Given away--[_tenderly_]--with a Pound of Tea!"

VERSE II.--(_Containing the moral reflection._)

    Now, the sight of those tickets gave me an idear.
    What it set me a-thinking you're going to 'ear:
    I thought there were things that would possibly be
    Better given away--with a Pound of Tea!

        _Chorus_--"Given away." So much as to say, &c.

VERSE III.--(_This, as being rather personal than general in its
application, may need some apology. It is really put in as a graceful
concession to the taste of an average Music-hall audience, who like to
be assured that the Artists who amuse them are as unfortunate as they
are erratic in their domestic relations._)

    Now, there's my old Missus who sits up at 'ome--
    And when I sneak _up_-stairs my 'air she will comb,--
    I don't think I'd call it bad business if _she_
    Could be given away--with a Pound of Tea!

        _Chorus_--"Given away!" That's what they say, &c.
                                            [_Mutatis mutandis._

VERSE IV.--(_Flying at higher game. The social satire here is perhaps
almost too good-natured, seeing what intolerable pests all Peers are to
the truly Democratic mind. But we must walk before we can run.
Good-humoured contempt will do very well, for the present._)

    Fair Americans snap up the pick of our Lords.
    It's a practice a sensible Briton applords.
        [_This will check any groaning at the mention of Aristocrats._
    Far from grudging our Dooks to the pretty Yan-kee,--
    (_Magnanimously_) Why, we'd give 'em away--with a Pound of Tea!

        _Chorus_--Give 'em away! So we all say, &c.

VERSE V.--(_More frankly Democratic still._)

    To-wards a Republic we're getting on fast;
    Many old Institootions are things of the past.
    (_Philosophically_) Soon the Crown 'll go, too, as an a-noma-lee,
    And be given away--with a Pound of Tea!

        _Chorus_--"Given away!" Some future day, &c.

VERSE VI.--(_Which expresses the peaceful proclivities of the populace
with equal eloquence and wisdom. A welcome contrast to the era when
Britons had a bellicose and immoral belief in the possibility of being
called upon to defend themselves at some time!_)

    We've made up our minds--though the Jingoes may jor--
    Under no provocation to drift into war!
    So the best thing to do with our costly Na-vee
    Is--Give each ship away, with a Pound of Tea!

        _Chorus_--Give 'em away, &c.

VERSE VII.--(_We cannot well avoid some reference to the Irish Question
in a Music-hall ditty, but observe the logical and statesmanlike method
of treating it here. The argument--if crudely stated--is borrowed from
some advanced by our foremost politicians._)

    We've also discovered at last that it's crule
    To deny the poor Irish their right to 'Ome Rule!
    So to give 'em a Parlyment let us agree--
    (_Rationally_) Or they may blow us up with a Pound of their "Tea"!

        [_A euphemism which may possibly be remembered and understood._

        _Chorus_--Give it away, &c.

VERSE VIII. (_culminating in a glorious prophetic burst of the Coming

    Iniquitous burdens and rates we'll relax:
    For each "h" that's pronounced we will clap on a tax!
                                          [_A very popular measure._
    And a house in Belgraveyer, with furniture free,
    Shall each Soshalist sit in, a taking his tea!

  _Chorus, and dance off._--Given away! Ippipooray!
      Gratis we'll get it for nothing and free!
      Given away! Not a penny to pay!
      Given away!--with a Pound of Tea!

If this Democratic Dream does not appeal favourably to the imagination
of the humblest citizen, the popular tone must have been misrepresented
by many who claim to act as its chosen interpreters--a supposition _Mr.
Punch_ must decline to entertain for a single moment.


The following ballad will not be found above the heads of an average
audience, while it is constructed to suit the capacities of almost any
lady _artiste_.


     _The singer should, if possible, be of mature age, and incline
     to a comfortable embonpoint. As soon as the bell has given the
     signal for the orchestra to attack the prelude, she will step
     upon the stage with that air of being hung on wires, which
     seems to come from a consciousness of being a favourite of the

    I'm a dynety little dysy of the dingle,
         [_Self-praise is a great recommendation--in Music-hall songs_.
      So retiring and so timid and so coy.
    If you ask me why so long I have lived single,
      I will tell you--'tis because I am so shoy.

     [_Note the manner in which the rhyme is adapted to meet
     Arcadian peculiarities of pronunciation._

_Spoken_--Yes, I am--really, though you wouldn't think it to look at me,
would you? But, for all that,--

  _Chorus_--When I'm spoken to, I wriggle,
            Going off into a giggle,
          And as red as any peony I blush;
            Then turn paler than a lily,
            For I'm such a little silly,
          That I'm always in a flutter or a flush!

     [_After each chorus an elaborate step-dance, expressive of
     shrinking maidenly modesty._

    I've a cottage far away from other houses,
      Which the nybours hardly ever come anoigh;
    When they do, I run and hoide among the rouses,
      For I _cannot_ cure myself of being shoy.

_Spoken_--A great girl like me, too! But there, it's no use trying,

        _Chorus_--When I'm spoken to, I wriggle, &c.

    Well, the other day I felt my fice was crimson,
      Though I stood and fixed my gyze upon the skoy,
    For at the gyte was sorcy Chorley Simpson,
      And the sight of him's enough to turn me shoy.

_Spoken_--It's singular, but Chorley always 'as that effect on me.

        _Chorus_--When he speaks to me, I wriggle, &c.

    Then said Chorley: "My pursuit there's no evyding.
      Now I've caught you, I insist on a reploy.
    Do you love me? Tell me truly, little myding!"
      But how _is_ a girl to answer when she's shoy?

_Spoken_--For even if the conversation happens to be about nothing
particular, it's just the same to me.

        _Chorus_--When I'm spoken to, I wriggle, &c.

[Illustration: THE IDYLLIC.]

    There we stood among the loilac and syringas,
      More sweet than any Ess. Bouquet you boy;
                                      [_Arcadian for "buy."_
    And Chorley kept on squeezing of my fingers,
      And I couldn't tell him not to, being shoy.

_Spoken_--For, as I told you before,--

        _Chorus_--When I'm spoken to, I wriggle, &c.

    Soon my slender wyste he ventured on embrycing,
      While I only heaved a gentle little soy;
    Though a scream I would have liked to rise my vice in,
      It's so difficult to scream when you are shoy!

_Spoken_--People have such different ways of listening to proposals. As
for me,--

        _Chorus_--When they talk of love, I wriggle, &c.

    So very soon to Church we shall be gowing,
      While the bells ring out a merry peal of jy.
    If obedience you do not hear me vowing,
      It will only be because I am so shy.

     [_We have brought the rhyme off legitimately at last, it will
     be observed._

_Spoken_--Yes, and when I'm passing down the oil, on Chorley's arm, with
everybody looking at me,--

  _Chorus_--I am certain I shall wriggle,
            And go off into a giggle,
          And as red as any peony I'll blush.
            Going through the marriage service
            Will be sure to mike me nervous,
                        [_Note the freedom of the rhyme._
          And to put me in a flutter and a flush!


The history of a singer's latest love--whether fortunate or
otherwise--will always command the interest and attention of a
Music-hall audience. Our example, which is founded upon the very best
precedents, derives an additional piquancy from the social position of
the beloved object. Cultivated readers are requested not to shudder at
the rhymes. _Mr. Punch's_ Poet does them deliberately and in cold blood,
being convinced that without these somewhat daring concords, no ditty
would have the slightest chance of satisfying the great ear of the
Music-hall public.

The title of the song is:--


     _The singer should come on correctly and tastefully attired in
     a suit of loud dittoes, a startling tie, and a white hat_--_the
     orthodox costume (on the Music-hall stage) of a middle-class
     swain suffering from love-sickness. The air should be of the
     conventional jog-trot and jingle order, chastened by a
     sentimental melancholy._

    I've lately gone and lost my 'art--and where you'll never guess--
    I'm regularly mashed upon a lovely Marchioness!
    'Twas at a Fancy Fair we met, inside the Albert 'All;
    So affable she smiled at me as I came near her stall!

  _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia is stiff in behaviour!
              She'd an Uncle an Earl, and a Dook for her Pa--
              Still there was no starchiness in that fair Marchioness,
              As she stood at her stall in the Fancy Bazaar!

    At titles and distinctions once I'd ignorantly scoff,
    As if no bond could be betwixt the tradesman and the toff!
    I held with those who'd do away with difference in ranks--
    But that was all before I met the Marchioness of Manx!

                               _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia, &c.

    A home was being started by some kind aristo-cràts,
    For orphan kittens, born of poor, but well-connected cats;
    And of the swells who planned a _Fête_ this object to assist,
    The Marchioness of Manx's name stood foremost on the list.

                               _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia, &c.

    I never saw a smarter hand at serving in a shop,
    For every likely customer she caught upon the 'op!
    And from the form her ladyship displayed at that Bazaar,
    (_With enthusiasm_)--You might have took your oath she'd
        been brought up behind a bar!

                               _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia, &c.

    In vain I tried to kid her that my purse had been forgot,
    She spotted me in 'alf a jiff, and chaffed me precious hot!
    A sov. for one regaliar she gammoned me to spend.
    "You really can't refuse," she said, "I've bitten off the end!"


                               _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia, &c.

    "Do buy my crewel-work," she urged, "it goes across a chair,
    You'll find it come in useful, as I see you 'ile your 'air!"
    So I 'anded over thirty bob, though not a coiny bloke.
    I couldn't tell a Marchioness how nearly I was broke!

_Spoken_--Though I _did_ take the liberty of saying: "Make it fifteen
bob, my lady!" But she said, with such a fascinating look--I can see it
yet!--"Oh, I'm sure _you_'re not a 'aggling kind of a man," she says,
"you haven't the face for it. And think of all them pore fatherless
kittings," she says; "think what thirty bob means to _them_!" says she,
glancing up so pitiful and tender under her long eyelashes at me. Ah,
the Radicals may talk as they _like_, but----

                               _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia, &c.

    A raffle was the next concern I put my rhino in:
    The prize a talking parrot, which I didn't want to win.
    Then her sister, Lady Tabby, shewed a painted milking stool,
    And I bought it--though it's not a thing I sit on as a rule.

_Spoken_--Not but what it was a handsome article in its way, too,--had a
snow-scene with a sunset done in oil on it. "It will look lovely in your
chambers," says the Marchioness; "it was ever so much admired at
Catterwall Castle!" It didn't look so bad in my three-pair back, I must
say, though unfortunately the sunset came off on me the very first time
I happened to set down on it. Still think of the condescension of
painting such a thing at all!

                               _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia, &c.

    The Marquis kept a-fidgeting and frowning at his wife,
    For she talked to me as free as if she'd known me all my life!
    I felt that I was in the swim, so wasn't over-awed,
    But 'ung about and spent my cash as lavish as a lord!

_Spoken_--It was worth all the money, I can tell you, to be chatting
there across the counter with a real live Marchioness for as long as
ever my funds would 'old out. They'd have held out much longer, only the
Marchioness made it a rule never to give change--she couldn't break it,
she said, not even for _me_. I wish I could give you an idea of how she
smiled as she made that remark; for the fact is, when an aristocrat
_does_ unbend--well,----

                               _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia, &c.

    Next time I meet the Marchioness a-riding in the Row,
    I'll ketch her eye and raise my 'at, and up to her I'll go,
    (_With sentiment_)--And tell her next my 'art I keep the stump
        of that cigar
    She sold me on the 'appy day we 'ad at her Bazaar!

_Spoken_--And she'll be pleased to see me again, _I_ know! She's not one
of your stuck-up sort; don't you make no mistake about it, the
aristocracy ain't 'alf as bloated as people imagine who don't _know_
'em. Whenever I hear parties running 'em down, I always say:

         _Chorus_--Don't tell me Belgravia is stiff in behaviour, &c.

[Illustration: THE CHIVALROUS.]


     _The singer (who should be a large man, in evening dress, with
     a crumpled shirt-front) will come on the stage with a bearing
     intended to convey at first sight that he is a devoted admirer
     of the fair sex. After removing his crush-hat in an easy
     manner, and winking airily at the orchestra, he will begin_:--


    There's enthusiasm brimming in the breasts of all the women,
      And they're calling for enfranchisement with clamour eloquent:
    When some parties in a huff rage at the plea for Female Suffrage,
      I invariably floor them with a simple argu-ment.

_Chorus_ (_to be rendered with a winning persuasiveness_).

        Why _shouldn't_ the darlings have votes? de-ar things!
        On politics each of 'em dotes, de-ar things!
        (_Pathetically._) Oh it _does_ seem so hard
              They should all be debarred,
        'Cause they happen to wear petticoats, de-ar things!

    Nature all the hens to crow meant, I could prove it in a moment,
      Though they've selfishly been silenced by the cockadoodle-doos.
    But no man of sense afraid is of enfranchising the Ladies.
      (_Magnanimously._) Let 'em put their pretty fingers into any
           pie they choose!

        _Chorus_--Why _shouldn't_ the darlings, &c.

    They would cease to care for dresses, if we made them elec-tresses,
      No more time they'd spend on needlework, nor at pianos strum;
    Every dainty little Dorcas would be sitting on a Caucus,
      Busy wire-pulling to produce the New Millenni-um!

        _Chorus_--Why _shouldn't_ the darlings, &c.

    In the House we'll see them sitting soon, it will be only fitting
      They should have an opportunity their country's laws to frame.
    And the Ladies' legislation will be sure to cause sensation,
      For they'll do away with everything that seems to them a shame!

        _Chorus_--Why _shouldn't_ the darlings, &c.

    They will promptly clap a stopper on whate'er they deem improper,
      Put an end to vaccination, landed property, and pubs;
    And they'll fine Tom, Dick, and Harry, if they don't look
           sharp and marry,
      And for Kindergartens confiscate those nasty horrid Clubs!

        _Chorus_--Why _shouldn't_ the darlings, &c.

    They'll declare it's quite immoral to engage in foreign quarrel,
      And that Britons never never will be warriors any more!
    When our forces are abolished, and defences all demolished,
      They will turn upon the Jingo tack, and want to go to war!

        _Chorus_--Why _shouldn't_ the darlings, &c.

    (_With a grieved air._) Yet there's some who'd close such
                 vistars to their poor down-trodden sistars,
      And persuade 'em, if they're offered votes, politely to refuse!
    Say they do not care about 'em, and would rather be without 'em--
      Oh, I haven't common patience with such narrer-minded views!

        _Chorus_--Why _shouldn't_ the darlings, &c.

    And it's females--that's the puzzle!--who petition for the muzzle,
      Which I call it poor and paltry, and I think you'll say so too.
    They are not in any danger. Let 'em drop the dog-in-manger!
      If they don't require the vote themselves, there's other Ladies do!

        _Chorus_--Why _shouldn't_ the darlings, &c.

     [_Here the singer will gradually retreat backwards to the rear
     of the stage, open his crush-hat, and extend it in an attitude
     of triumph as the curtain descends._


Any ditty which accurately reflects the habits and amusements of the
people is a valuable human document--a fact that probably accounts for
the welcome which songs in the following style invariably receive from
Music-hall audiences generally. If--_Mr. Punch_ presumes--they conceived
such pictures of their manner of spending a holiday to be unjustly or
incorrectly drawn in any way, they would protest strongly against being
so grossly misrepresented. As they do nothing of the sort, no apology
can be needed for the following effusion, which several ladies now
adorning the Music-hall stage could be trusted to render with immense
effect. The singer should be young and charming, and attired as simply
as possible. Simplicity of attire imparts additional piquancy to the


    We 'ad a little outing larst Sunday arternoon;
    And sech a jolly lark it was, I shan't forget it soon!
    We borrered an excursion van to take us down to Kew,
    And--oh, we did enjoy ourselves! I don't mind telling _you._

     [_This to the Chef d'Orchestre, who will assume a polite

     [_Here a little spoken interlude is customary._ Mr. P. _does not
     venture to do more than indicate this by a synopsis, the
     details can be filled in according to the taste and fancy of_
     _the fair artiste:--"Yes, we did 'ave a time, I can assure
     yer." The party: "Me and_ Jimmy 'Opkins;" _old_ "Pa Plapper."
     _Asked because he lent the van. The meanness of his subsequent
     conduct._ "Aunt Snapper;" _her imposing appearance in her
     "cawfy-coloured front."_ Bill Blazer; _his "girl," and his
     accordion._ Mrs. Addick _(of the fried-fish emporium round the
     corner); her gentility--"Never seen out of her mittens, and
     always the lady, no matter how much she may have taken." From
     this work round by an easy transition to--_

  _The Chorus_--For we _'ad_ to stop o' course,
                Jest to bait the bloomin' 'orse,
                So we'd pots of ale and porter
                (Or a drop o' something shorter),
                While he drunk his pail o' water,
                He was sech a whale on water!
                That more water than he oughter,
                More water than he oughter,
                            'Ad the poor old 'orse!

_Second Stanza._

    That 'orse he was a rum 'un--a queer old quadru-pèd,
    At every public-'ouse he passed he'd cock his artful 'ed!
    Sez I: "If he goes on like this, we shan't see Kew to-night!"
    Jim 'Opkins winks his eye, and sez--"We'll git along all right!"

        _Chorus_--Though we 'ave to stop of course,--&c., &c.
                            [_With slight textual modifications._

_Third Stanza._

    At Kinsington we 'alted, 'Ammersmith, and Turnham Green,
    The 'orse 'ad sech a thust on him, its like was never seen!
    With every 'arf a mile or so, that animal got blown:
    And we was far too well brought-up to let 'im drink alone!

        _Chorus_--As we 'ad to stop, o' course, &c.

_Fourth Stanza._

    We stopped again at Chiswick, till at last we got to Kew,
    But when we reached the Gardings--well, there was a fine to-do!
    The Keeper, in his gold-laced tile, was shutting-to the gate,
    Sez he: "There's no admittance now--you're just arrived too late!"

     [_Synopsis of spoken Interlude: Spirited passage-at-arms
     between_ Mr. Wm. Blazer _and the_ Keeper; _singular action of_ Pa
     Plapper; _"I want to see yer Pagoder--bring out yer old Pagoder
     as you're so proud on!"_ Mrs. Addick's _disappointment at not
     being able to see the "Intemperate Plants," and the "Pitcher
     Shrub," once more. Her subsidence in tears, on the floor of the
     van._ Keeper _concludes the dialogue by inquiring why the party
     did not arrive sooner. An' we sez_, "Well, it was like this,
     ole cock robin--d'yer see?"

        _Chorus_--We've 'ad to stop, o' course, &c.

_Fifth Stanza._

    "Don't fret," I sez, "about it, for they ain't got much to see
    Inside their precious Gardings--so let's go and 'ave some tea!
    A cup I seem to fancy now--I feel that faint and limp--
    With a slice of bread-and-butter, and some creases, and a s'rimp!"

     [_Description of the tea_:--"_And the s'rimps--well, I don't_
     _want to say anything against the s'rimps--but it did strike me
     they were feelin' the 'eat a little--s'rimps are liable to it,
     and you can't prevent 'em." After tea. The only tune_ Mr. Blazer
     _could play on his accordion. Tragic end of that instrument. How
     the party had a "little more lush." Scandalous behaviour of_
     "Bill Blazer's _girl." The company consume what will be
     elegantly referred to as "a bit o' booze."_ Aunt Snapper _"gets
     the 'ump." The outrage to her front. The proposal to
     start--whereupon,_ "Mrs. Addick, _who was a'-settin' on the
     geraniums in the winder, smilin' at her boots, which she'd just
     took off because she said they stopped her breathing,"
     protested that there was no hurry, considering that_--

        _Chorus, as before_--We've got to stop, o' course, &c.

_Sixth Stanza._

    But when the van was ordered, we found--what _do_ yer think?

     [_To the_ Chef d'Orchestre, _who will affect complete ignorance._

    That miserable 'orse 'ad been an' took too much to drink!
    He kep' a reeling round us, like a circus worked by steam,
    And, 'stead o' keeping singular, he'd turned into a team!

     [_Disgust of the party:_ Pa Plapper _proposes to go back to the
     inn for more refreshment, urging--_

  _Chorus_--We must wait awhile o' course,
            Till they've sobered down the 'orse.
            Just another pot o' porter
            Or a drop o' something shorter,
            While our good landlady's daughter
            Takes him out some soda-warter.
            For he's 'ad more than he oughter,
            He's 'ad more than he oughter,
                          'As the poor old 'orse!

_Seventh Stanza._

    So, when they brought the 'orse round, we started on our way:
    'Twas 'orful 'ow the animal from side to side would sway!
    Young 'Opkins took the reins, but soon in slumber he was sunk--
    (_Indignantly._) When a interfering Copper ran us in for being drunk!

     [_Attitude of various members of the party. Unwarrantable
     proceeding on the part of the_ Constable. _Remonstrance by_ Pa
     Plapper _and the company generally in_--

  _Chorus_--Why, can't yer shee? o' coursh
            Tishn't us--it ish the 'orsh!
            He's a whale at swilling water,
            We've 'ad only ale and porter,
            Or a drop o' something shorter.
            You le'mme go, you shnorter!
            Don' you tush me till you oughter!
            Jus' look 'ere--to cut it shorter--
                          Take the poor old 'orsh!

     [_General adjournment to the Police-station. Interview with the_
     Magistrate _on the following morning._ Mr. Hopkins _called upon to
     state his defence, replies in_--

  _Chorus_--Why, your wushup sees, o' course,
            It was all the bloomin' 'orse!
            He _would_ 'ave a pail o' water
            Every 'arf a mile (or quarter),
            Which is what he didn't oughter!
            He shall stick to ale or porter,
            With a drop o' something shorter,
            I'm my family's supporter--
                          Fine the poor old 'orse!

     [_The_ Magistrate's _view of the case. Concluding remark that,
     notwithstanding the success of the excursion, as a whole--it
     will be some time before the singer consents to go upon any
     excursion with a horse of such bibulous tendencies as those of
     the quadruped they drove to Kew._


[Illustration: THE DRAMATIC SCENA.]


This is always a popular form of entertainment, demanding, as it does,
even more dramatic than vocal ability on the part of the artist. A song
of this kind is nothing if not severely moral, an frequently depicts the
downward career of an incipient drunkard with all the lurid logic of a
Temperance Tract. _Mr. Punch_, however, is inclined to think that the
lesson would be even more appreciated and taken to heart by the
audience, if a slightly different line were adopted such as he has
endeavoured to indicate in the following example:--


     _The singer should have a great command of facial expression,
     which he will find greatly facilitated by employing (as indeed
     is the usual custom) coloured limelight at the wings._

_First Verse (to be sung under pure white light)._

    He (_these awful examples are usually, and quite properly,
       anonymous_) was once as nice a fellow as you could desire
       to meet,
    Partial to a pint of porter, always took his spirits neat;
    Long ago a careful mother's cautions trained her son to shrink
    From the meretricious sparkle of an aërated drink.

_Refrain (showing the virtuous youth resisting temptation. N.B. The
refrain is intended to be spoken through music._ NOT _sung_.)

        Here's a pub that's handy.
          Liquor up with you?
        Thimbleful of brandy?
          Don't mind if I do.
        Soda-water? No, Sir.
          Never touch the stuff.
        Promised mother--so, Sir.
                         (_With an upward glance._)
          'Tisn't good enough!

_Second Verse._ (_Primrose light for this._)

    Ah, how little we suspected, as we saw him in his bloom,
    What a demon dogged his footsteps, luring to an awful doom!
    Vain his mother's fond monitions; soon a friend, with fiendish laugh,
    Tempts him to a quiet tea-garden, plies him there with shandy-gaff!

_Refrain_ (_illustrating the first false step_).

        Why, it's just the mixture
          I so long have sought!
        Here I'll be a fixture
          Till I've drunk the quart!
        Just the stuff to suit yer.
          Waiter, do you hear?
        Make it, for the future,
          _Three_ parts ginger-beer!

_Third Verse_ (_requiring violet-tinted slide_).

    By-and-by, the ale discarding, ginger-beer he craves alone.
    Undiluted he procures it, buys it bottled up in stone.

(_The earthenware bottles are said by connoisseurs to contain liquor of
superior strength and quality._)

    From his lips the foam he brushes--crimson overspreads his brow.
    To his brain the ginger's mounting! Could his mother see him now!

_Refrain_ (_depicting the horrors of a solitary debauch poisoned by

        Shall I have another?
          Only ginger-pop!
        (_Wildly._) Ah! I promised mother
          Not to touch a drop!
        Far too much I'm tempted.
          (_Recklessly._) Let me drink my fill!
        That's the fifth I've emptied--
          Oh, I feel so ill!

        [_Here the singer will stagger about the boards._

_Fourth Verse._ (_Turn on lurid crimson ray for this._)

    Next with drinks they style "teetotal" he his manhood must degrade;
    Swilling effervescent syrups--"ice-cream-soda," "raspberry-ade,"
    Koumiss tempts his jaded palate--payment he's obliged to bilk--
    Then, reduced to destitution, finds forgetfulness in--milk!

_Refrain_ (_indicating rapid moral deterioration_).

        What's that on the railings?
                        [_Point dramatically at imaginary area._
          Milk--and in a can!
        Though I have my failings,
          I'm an honest man.
                            [_Spark of expiring rectitude here._
        I can _not_ resist it.      [_Pantomime of opening can._
          That celestial blue!
        Has the milkman missed it?          [_Melodramatically._
          _I_'ll be missing too!

_Fifth Verse_ (_in pale blue light_).

    Milk begets a taste for water, so comparatively cheap,
    Every casual pump supplies him, gratis, with potations deep;
    He at every drinking-fountain pounces on the pewter cup,
    Conscious of becoming bloated, powerless to give it up!

_Refrain_ (_illustrative of utter loss of self-respect_).

        "Find one straight before me?"
          Bobby, you're a trump!
        Faintness stealing o'er me--
          Ha--at last--a pump!
        If that little maid 'll
          Just make room for one,
        I could grab the ladle
          After she has done.

     _The last verse is the culminating point of this moral
     drama:--The miserable wretch has reached the last stage. He
     shuts himself up in his cheerless abode, and there, in shameful
     secrecy, consumes the element for which he is powerless to
     pay--the inevitable Nemesis following._

_Sixth Verse_ (_All lights down in front. Ghastly green light at

    Up his sordid stairs in secret to the cistern now he steals,
    Where, amidst organic matter, gambol microscopic eels;
    Tremblingly he turns the tap on--not a trickle greets the trough!
    For the stony-hearted turncock's gone and cut his water off!

_Refrain_ (_in which the profligate is supposed to demand an explanation
from the turncock, with a terrible dénoûment_).

        "Rate a quarter owing,
          Comp'ny stopped supply."
        "Set the stream a-flowing,
          Demon--or you die!"
        "Mercy!--ah! you've choked me!"
                       [_In hoarse, strangled voice as the turncock._
        "_Will_ you turn the plug?"          [_Savagely as the hero._
          "No!"                              [_Faintly, as turncock._

     [_Business of flinging a corpse on stage, and regarding it
     terror-stricken. A long pause; then, in a whisper,_--

                                "The fool provoked me!
    (_With a maniac laugh._) Horror! I'm a Thug!"

     [_Here the artist will die, mad, in frightful agony, and rise
     to bow his acknowledgments._

[Illustration: THE DUETTISTS.]


The "Duet and Dance" form so important a feature in Music-hall
entertainments, that they could hardly, with any propriety, be neglected
in a model compilation such as _Mr. Punch's_, and it is possible that he
may offer more than one example of this blameless diversion. For some
reason or other, the habit of singing in pairs would seem to induce a
pessimistic tone of mind in most Music-hall _artistes_, and--why, _Mr.
Punch_ does not pretend to say--this cynicism is always more marked when
the performers are of the softer sex. Our present study is intended to
fulfil the requirements of the most confirmed female sceptic, and,
though the Message of the Music Halls may have been given worthier and
fuller expression by pens more practised in such compositions, _Mr.
Punch_ is still modestly confident that this ditty, with all its
shortcomings, can be sung in any Music Hall in the Metropolis without
exciting any sentiment other than entire approval of the teaching it
conveys. One drawback, indeed, it has, but that concerns the performers
alone. For the sake of affording contrast and relief, it was thought
expedient that one of the fair duettists should profess an optimism
which may--perhaps must--tend to impair her popularity. A conscientious
_artiste_ may legitimately object, for the sake of her professional
reputation, to present herself in so humiliating a character as that of
an _ingénue_, and a female "Juggins"; and it does seem as if the
Cynical Sister must inevitably monopolise the sympathies of an
enlightened audience. However, this difficulty is less formidable than
it appears; it should be easy for the Unsophisticated Sister to convey a
subtle suggestion here and there, possibly in the incidental dance
between the verses, that she is not really inferior to her partner in
smartness and knowledge of the world. But perhaps it would be the
fairest arrangement if the Sisters could agree to alternate so
ungrateful a _rôle._


_First Verse._

  _First Sister_ (_placing three of the fingers of her left hand
on her heart, and extending her right arm in timid appeal_).

    Dear sister, of late I'm beginning to doubt
      If the world is as black as they paint it.
    It mayn't be as bad as some try to make out----

  _Second Sister_ (_with an elaborate mock curtsy._)
    That _is_ a discovery! _Mayn't_ it?

  _First S._ (_abashed_).
    I'm sure there are sev'ral who aren't a bad lot,
    And some sort of principle seem to have got,
    For they act on the square----

  _Second S._                    Don't you talk tommy-rot!
    It's done for advertisement, _ain't_ it?


  _Second S._ Why, there's nobody at bottom any better than the rest!

  _First S._    Are you sure of it?

  _Second S._                    I'm telling you, and _I_ know,
              The principle they act upon's whatever pays 'em best.
                And the only real religion now is--Rhino!

     [_The last word must be rendered with full metallic effect. A
     step-dance, expressive of conviction on one part and incipient
     wavering on the other, should be performed between the verses._

_Second Verse._

  _First S._ (_returning, shaken, to the charge_).
             Some _un_married men lead respectable lives.

  _Second S._ (_decisively_). Well, I've never happened to meet them!

  _First S._ There are husbands who're always polite to their wives.

  _Second S._ Of course--if their better halves beat them!

  _First S._ Some tradesmen have consciences, so I've heard said;
             Their provisions are never adulteratèd,
             But they treat all their customers fairly instead.

  _Second S._ 'Cause they don't find it answer to cheat them!


  _First S._  {What?
  _Second S._ {No,--They're none of 'em at bottom any better
          than the rest.

  _Second S._         I'm speaking from experience, and _I_ know.
             If you could put a window-pane in everybody's breast
                   You'd see on all the hearts was written--"Rhino!"

_Third Verse._

  _First S._ There are girls you can't tempt with a title or gold.

  _Second S._ There may be--but I've never seen one.

  _First S._ Some much prefer love in a cottage, I'm told.

  _Second S._ (_putting her arms a-kimbo_).
              If you swallow _that_, you're a green one!
              They'll stick to their lover so long as he's cash,
              When it's gone, they look out for a wealthier mash.
              A girl on the gush talks unpractical trash--
                When it comes to the point, she's a keen one!


  _First S._ Then, are none of us at bottom any better than the rest!

  _Second S._ (_cheerfully_). Not a bit; I am a girl myself and _I_ know.

  _First S._ You'd surely never give your hand to someone you detest?

  _Second S._ Why _rather_--if he's rolling in the Rhino!

_Fourth Verse._

  _First S._ Philanthropists give up their lives to the poor.

  _Second S._ It's chiefly with tracts they present them.

  _First S._ Still, some self-denial I'm sure they endure?

  _Second S._ It's their hobby, and seems to content them.

  _First S._ But don't they go into those horrible slums?

  _Second S._ Sometimes--with a flourish of trumpets and drums.

  _First S._ I've heard they've collected magnificent sums.

  _Second S._ And nobody knows how they've spent them!


  _Second S._ Oh, they're none of 'em at bottom any better than the rest!
                They are only bigger hypocrites, as _I_ know;
              They've famous opportunities for feathering their nest,
                When so many fools are ready with the Rhino!

_Fifth Verse._

  _First S._ Our Statesmen are prompted by duty alone.

  _Second S._ (_compassionately_). Whoever's been gammoning _you_ so?

  _First S._ They wouldn't seek office for ends of their own?

  _Second S._ What else would induce 'em to do so?

  _First S._ But Time, Health, and Money they all sacrifice.

  _Second S._ I'd do it myself at a quarter the price.
              There's pickings for all, and they needn't ask twice,
                For they're able to put on the screw so!

_Refrain_ (_together_).

    No, they're none of 'em at bottom any better than the rest!
      They may kid to their constituents--but _I_ know;
    Whatever lofty sentiments their speeches may suggest,
      They regulate their actions by the Rhino!

     [_Here the pair will perform a final step-dance, indicative of
     enlightened scepticism, and skip off in an effusion of sisterly
     sympathy, amidst enthusiastic applause._



When a Music-hall singer does not treat of the tender passion in a
rakish and knowing spirit, he is apt to exhibit an unworldliness truly
ideal in its noble indifference to all social distinctions. So amiable a
tendency deserves encouragement, and _Mr. Punch_ has much pleasure in
offering the following little idyl to the notice of any Mammoth Comique
who may happen to be in a sentimental mood. It is supposed to be sung by
a scion of the nobility, and the _artiste_ will accordingly present
himself in a brown "billy-cock" hat, a long grey frock-coat,
fawn-coloured trousers, white "spats," and primrose, or green,
gloves--the recognised attire of a Music-hall aristocrat. A
powerful,--though not necessarily tuneful,--voice is desirable for the
adequate rendering of this ditty; any words it is inconvenient to sing,
can always be spoken.


_First Verse._

    When first I met my Mary Ann, she stood behind a barrow--
      A bower of enchantment spread with many a dainty snack!
    And, as I gazed, I felt my heart transfixed with Cupid's arrow,
      For she opened all her oysters with so fairylike a knack.

_Refrain_ (_throaty, but tender_).

        She's only a little Plebeian!
          And I'm a Patrician swell!
        But she's as sweet as Aurora, and how I adore her,
          No eloquence ever can tell!
        Only a fried-fish vend-ar!
          Selling her saucers of whilks,
                       [_Almost defiant stress on the word "whilks."_
        But, for me, she's as slend-ar--far more true and tend-ar,
          Than if she wore satins and silks!

     [_The grammar of the last two lines is shaky, but the
     Lion-Comique must try to put up with that, and, after all, does
     sincere emotion ever stop to think about grammar? If it does,
     Music-hall audiences don't--which is the main point._

_Second Verse._

    I longed before her little feet to grovel in the gutter:
      I vowed, unless I won her as a wife, 'twould drive me mad!
    Until at last a shy consent I coaxed her lips to utter,
      For she dallied with her Anglo-Dutch, and whispered, "Speak to Dad!"

        _Refrain_--For she's only a little Plebeian, &c.

_Third Verse._

    I called upon her sire, and found him lowly born, but brawny,
      A noble type, when sober, of the British artisan;
    I grasped his honest hand, and didn't mind its being horny:
      "Behold!" I cried, "a suitor for your daughter, Mary Ann!"

        _Refrain_--Though she's only a little Plebeian, &c.

_Fourth Verse._

    "You ask me, gov'nor, to resign," said he, "my only treasure,
      And so a toff her fickle heart away from me has won!"
    He turned to mask his manly woe behind a pewter measure--
      Then, breathing blessings through the beer, he said; "All
              right, my son!

        _Refrain_--If she's only a little Plebeian,
                     And you're a Patrician swell,"--&c.

_Fifth Verse._

     (_The author flatters himself that, in quiet sentiment and
     homely pathos he has seldom done anything finer than the two
     succeeding stanzas._)

    Next I sought my noble father in his old ancestral castle,
      And at his gouty foot my love's fond offering I laid--
    A simple gift of shellfish, in a neat brown-paper parcel!
      "Ah, Sir!" I cried, "if you could know, you'd love my little maid!"

        _Refrain_--True, she's only a little Plebeian, &c.

_Sixth Verse._

    Beneath his shaggy eyebrows soon I saw a tear-drop twinkle;
      That artless present overcame his stubborn Norman pride!
    And when I made him taste a whilk, and try a periwinkle,
      His last objections vanished--so she's soon to be my bride!

        _Refrain_--Ah! she's only a little Plebeian, &c.

_Seventh Verse._

    Now heraldry's a science that I haven't studied much in,
      But I mean to ask the College--if it's not against their rules--
    That three periwinkles proper may be quartered on our 'scutcheon,
      With a whilk regardant, rampant, on an oyster-knife, all gules!

        _Refrain_--As she's only a little Plebeian, &c.

This little ditty, which has the true, unmistakable ring about it, and
will, _Mr. Punch_ believes, touch the hearts of any Music-hall audience,
is entirely at the service of any talented _artiste_ who will undertake
to fit it with an appropriate melody, and sing it in a spirit of
becoming seriousness.


This ditty is designed to give some expression to the passionate
enthusiasm for nature which is occasionally observable in the Music-hall
songstress. The young lady who sings these verses will of course appear
in appropriate costume; viz., a large white hat and feathers, a crimson
sunshade, a pink frock, high-heeled sand-shoes, and a liberal extent of
black silk stockings. A phonetic spelling has been adopted where
necessary to bring out the rhyme, for the convenience of the reader
only, as the singer will instinctively give the vowel-sounds the
pronunciation intended by the author.


_First Verse._

    Oh, I love to sit a-gyzing on the boundless blue horizing,
      When the scorching sun is blyzing down on sands, and ships, and sea!
    And to watch the busy figgers of the happy little diggers,
      Or to listen to the niggers, when they choose to come to me!

_Chorus_ (_to which the singer should sway in waltz-time_).

        For I'm offully fond of the _Sea_!-side!
        If I'd only my w'y I would _de_-cide
            To dwell evermore,
            By the murmuring shore,
        With the billows a-blustering _be_-side!

_Second Verse._

    Then how pleasant of a morning, to be up before the dorning!
      And to sally forth a-prorning--e'en if nothing back you bring!
    Some young men who like fatigue 'll go and try to pot a sea-gull,
      What's the odds if it's illegal, or the bird they only wing?

        _Chorus_--For it's one of the sports of the _Sea_-side! &c.

_Third Verse._

    Then what j'y to go a bything--though you'll swim, if you're
           a sly thing,
      Like a mermaid nimbly writhing, with a foot upon the sand!
    When you're tired of old Poseidon, there's the pier to promenide on,
      Strauss, and Sullivan, and Haydn form the programme of the band.

        _Chorus_--For there's always a band at the _Sea_-side! &c.

_Fourth Verse._

    And, with boatmen so beguiling, sev'ral parties go out siling!
      Sitting all together smiling, handing sandwiches about,
    To the sound of concertiner,--till they're gradually greener,
      And they wish the ham was leaner, as they sip their bottled stout.


        _Chorus_--And they cry, "Put us back on the _Sea_-side!" &c.

_Fifth Verse._

    There is pleasure unalloyed in hiring hacks and going roiding!
      (If you stick on tight, avoiding any cropper or mishap,)
    Or about the rocks you ramble; over boulders slip and scramble;
      Or sit down and do a gamble, playing "Loo" or "Penny Nap."

        _Chorus_--"Penny Nap" is the gyme for the _Sea_-side! &c.

_Sixth Verse._

    Then it's lovely to be spewning, all the glamour of the mewn in,
      With your love his banjo tewning, ere flirtation can begin!
    As along the sands you're strowling, till the hour of ten is towling,
      And your Ma, severely scowling, asks "Wherever you have bin!"

        _Chorus_--Then you answer "I've been by the _Sea_-side!" &c.

_Seventh Verse._

    Should the sky be dark and frowning, and the restless winds be mowning,
      With the breakers' thunder drowning all the laughter and the glee;
    And the day should prove a drencher, out of doors you will
              not ventcher,
      But you'll read the volumes lent yer by the Local Libraree!

        _Chorus_--For there's sure to be one at the _Sea_-side! &c.

_Eighth Verse._

    If the weather gets no calmer, you can patronise the dramer,
      Where the leading lady charmer is a chit of forty-four;
    And a duty none would skirk is to attend the strolling circus,
      For they'd all be in the workhouse, should their antics cease
               to dror!

        _Chorus_--And they're part of the joys of the _Sea_-side! &c.

_Encore Verse_ (_to be used only in case of emergency_).

    Well, I reelly must be gowing--I've just time to make my bow in--
      But I thank you for allowing me to patter on so long.
    And if, like me, you're pining for the breezes there's some brine in,
      Why, I'll trouble you to jine in with the chorus to my song!

        _Chorus_ (_all together_)--Oh, we're offully fond of the
                    _Sea_-side! &c.



A Music-hall audience will always be exceedingly susceptible to
pathos--so long as they clearly understand that the song is not intended
to be of a comic nature. However, there is very little danger of any
misapprehension in the case of our present example, which is as natural
and affecting a little song as any that have been moving the Music Halls
of late. The ultra-fastidious may possibly be repelled by what they
would term the vulgarity of the title,--"The Night-light Ever Burning by
the Bed"--but, although it is true that this humble luminary is now more
generally called a "Fairy Lamp," persons of true taste and refinement
will prefer the homely simplicity of its earlier name. The song only
contains three verses, which is the regulation allowance for Music-hall
pathos, the authors probably feeling that the audience could not stand
any more. It should be explained that the "tum-tum" at the end of
certain lines is not intended to be sung--it is merely an indication to
the orchestra to pinch their violins in a _pizzicato_ manner. The singer
should either come on as a serious black man--for burnt cork is a
marvellous provocative of pathos--or as his ordinary self. In either
case he should wear evening dress, with a large brilliant on each hand.


_First Verse._

    I've been thinking of the home where my early years were spent,
      'Neath the care of a kind maiden aunt, (_Tum_-tum-_tum_!)
    And to go there once again has been often my intent,
      But the railway fare's expensive, so I can't! (_Tum_-tum!)
    Still I never can forget that night when last we met:
      "Oh, promise me--whate'er you do!" she said, (_Tum_-tum-_tum_!)
    "Wear flannel next your chest, and, when you go to rest,
      Keep a night-light always burning by your bed!" (_Tum_-tum!)

_Refrain_ (_pianissimo._)

                And my eyes are dim and wet;
                For I seem to hear them yet--
    Those solemn words at parting that she said: (_Tum_-tum-_tum_!)
                "Now, mind you burn a night-light,
                --'Twill last until it's quite light--
      In a saucerful of water by your bed!" (_Tum_-tum!)

_Second Verse._

    I promised as she wished, and her tears I gently dried,
      As she gave me all the halfpence that she had: (_Tum_-tum-_tum_!)
    And through the world e'er since I have wandered far and wide,
      And been gradually going to the bad! (_Tum_-tum!)
    Many a folly, many a crime I've committed in my time,
      For a lawless and a chequered life I've led! (_Tum_-tum-_tum_.)
    Still I've kept the promise sworn--flannel next my skin I've worn,
      And I've always burnt a night-light by my bed! (_Tum_-tum!)


                All unhallowed my pursuits,
                (Oft to bed I've been in boots!)
    Still o'er my uneasy slumber has been shed (_Tum_-tum-_tum_!)
                The moderately bright light
                Afforded by a night-light,
          In a saucerful of water by my bed! (_Tum_-tum!)

_Third Verse._ (_To be sung with increasing solemnity._)

    A little while ago, in a dream my aunt I saw;
      In her frill-surrounded night-cap there she stood! (_Tum_-tum-_tum_!)
    And I sought to hide my head 'neath the counterpane in awe,
      And I trembled--for my conscience isn't good! (_Tum_-tum!)
    But her countenance was mild--so indulgently she smiled
      That I knew there was no further need for dread! (_Tum_-tum-_tum_!)
    She had seen the flannel vest enveloping my chest,
      And the night-light in its saucer by my bed! (_Tum_-tum!)

_Refrain_ (_more pianissimo still._)

                But ere a word she spoke,
                I unhappily awoke!
    And away, alas! the beauteous vision fled! (_Tum_-tum-_tum_!)
    (_In mournful recitation_)--There was nothing but the slight light
                Of the melancholy night-light
        That was burning in a saucer by my bed! (_Tum_-tum!)



To be a successful Military Impersonator, the principal requisite is a
uniform, which may be purchased for a moderate sum, second-hand, in the
neighbourhood of almost any barracks. Some slight acquaintance with the
sword exercise and elementary drill is useful, though not absolutely
essential. Furnished with these, together with a few commanding
attitudes, and a song possessing a spirited, martial refrain, the
Military Impersonator may be certain of an instant and striking success
upon the Music-hall stage,--especially if he will condescend to avail
himself of the ballad provided by _Mr. Punch_, as a vehicle for his
peculiar talent. And--though we say it ourselves--it is a very nice
ballad, to which Mr. McDougall himself would find it difficult to take
exception. It is in three verses, too--the limit understood to be
formally approved by the London County Council for such productions. It
may be, indeed, that (save so far as the last verse illustrates the
heroism of our troops in action--a heroism too real and too splendid to
be rendered ridiculous, even by Military Impersonators), the song does
_not_ convey a particularly accurate notion of the manner and pursuits
of an officer in the Guards. But then no Music-hall ditty can ever be
accepted as a quite infallible authority upon any social type it may
undertake to depict--with the single exception, perhaps, of the Common
(or Howling) Cad. So that any lack of actuality here will be rather a
merit than a blemish in the eyes of an indulgent audience. Having said
so much, we will proceed to our ballad, which is called,--


_First Verse._

    I'm a Guardsman, and my manner is perhaps a bit "haw-haw;"
    But when you're in the Guards you've got to show _esprit de corps_.
                                       [_Pronounce "a spreedy core."_
    We look such heavy swells, you see, we're all aristo-cràts,
    When on parade we stand arrayed in our 'eavy bearskin 'ats.

_Chorus_ (_during which the Martial Star will march round the stage in
military order._)

        We're all "'Ughies," "Berties," "Archies,"
                            In the Guards! Doncher know?
        Twisting silky long moustarches,
                                 [_Suit the action to the word here._
                            Bein' Guards! Doncher know?
        While our band is playing Marches,
                            For the Guards! Doncher know?
        And the ladies stop to gaze upon the Guards,

     [_Here a member of the orchestra will oblige with the cymbals,
     while the Vocalist performs a military salute, as he passes to_--

_Second Verse._

    With duchesses I'm 'and in glove, with countesses I'm thick;
    From all the nobs I get invites--they say I am "so _chic_!"
                                                [_Pronounce "chick."_
    It often makes me laugh to read, whene'er I go off guard,
    "Dear Bertie, come to my At Home!" on a coronetted card!


        For we're "Berties," "'Ughies," "Archies,"
                            In the Guards! Doncher know?
        With our silky long moustarches,
                            In the Guards! Doncher know?
        Where's a regiment that marches
                            Like the Guards? Doncher know?
        All the darlings--bless 'em!--dote upon the Guards,

_Third Verse._

     [_Here comes the Singer's great chance, and by merely taking a
     little pains, he may make a tremendously effective thing out of
     it. If he can manage to slip away between the verses, and
     change his bearskin and scarlet coat for a solar topee and
     kharkee tunic at the wings, it will produce an enormous amount
     of enthusiasm, only he must not take_ more _than five minutes
     over this alteration, or the audience--so curiously are British
     audiences constituted--may grow impatient for his return._

But hark! the trumpet sounds!... (_Here a member of the orchestra will
oblige upon the trumpet._) What's this? ... (_The Singer will take a
folded paper from his breast and peruse it with attention._) We're
ordered to the front!
     [_This should be shouted._

    We'll show the foe how "Carpet-Knights" can face the battle's brunt!
    They laugh at us as "Brummels"--but we'll prove ourselves "Bay-yards!"

     [_Now the Martial Star will draw his sword and unfasten his
     revolver-case, taking up the exact pose in which he is
     represented upon the posters outside._

As you were!... Form Square!... Mark Time!... Slope Arms!...
now--'Tention!... (_These military evolutions should all be gone through
by the Artist._) Forward, Guards!
     [_To be yelled through music._


        Onward every 'ero marches,
                            In the Guards! Doncher know?
        All the "'Ughies," "Berties," "Archies,"
                            Of the Guards! Doncher know?
        They may twist their long moustarches,
                            For they're Guards! Doncher know?
        Dandies? yes,--but dandy _lions_ are the Guards!

     [_Red fire and smoke at wings, as curtain falls upon the
     Military Impersonator in the act of changing to a new






    _The Little Crossing-Sweeper_
     By the unrivalled Variety Artist        Miss JENNY JINKS.

    _The Duke of Dillwater_                  Mr. HENRY IRVING.
      [_Specially engaged; Mr. Punch is sure that he will cheerfully
          make some slight sacrifice for so good a cause, and he can
          easily slip out and get back again between the Acts of "Henry
          the 8th."_

    _A Policeman_                            Mr. RUTLAND BARRINGTON.
      [_Engaged, at enormous expense, during the entire run of this

    _A Butler_ (_his original part_)         Mr. ARTHUR CECIL.

    _Foot-passengers_, _Flunkeys_, _Burglars_.--By the celebrated
                    Knockabout Quick-change Troupe.

     SCENE I.--_Exterior of the_ Duke's _Mansion in Euston Square by
     night. On the right, a realistic Moon (by kind permission of_
     Professor HERKOMER) _is rising slowly behind a lamp-post. On
     left centre, a practicable pillar-box, and crossing, with real
     mud. Slow Music, as_ Miss JENNY JINKS _enters, in rags, with
     broom. Various Characters cross the street, post letters, &c._;
     Miss JINKS _follows them, begging piteously for a copper, which
     is invariably refused, whereupon she assails them with choice
     specimens of street sarcasm--which the Lady may be safely
     trusted to improvise for herself_.

  _Miss Jenny Jinks_ (_leaning despondently against pillar-box, on which a
ray of limelight falls in the opposite direction to the Moon_).

    Ah, this cruel London, so marble-'arted and vast,
    Where all who try to act honest are condemned to fast!

_Enter two_ Burglars, _cautiously_.

  _First B._ (_to_ Miss J. J.)
    We can put you up to a fake as will be worth your while,
    For you seem a sharp, 'andy lad, and just our style!

     [_They proceed to unfold a scheme to break into the Ducal
     abode, and offer_ Miss J. _a share of the spoil, if she will
     allow herself to be put through the pantry window_.

  _Miss J. J._ (_proudly_). I tell yer I won't 'ave nothink to do
        with it, fur I ain't been used
    To sneak into the house of a Dook to whom I 'aven't been introdooced!

  _Second Burglar_ (_coarsely_). Stow that snivel, yer young
        himp, we don't want none of that bosh!

  _Miss J. J._ (_with spirit_). You hold _your_ jaw--for, when you
        opens yer mouth, there ain't much o' yer face left to wash!

     [_The_ Burglars _retire, baffled, and muttering_. Miss J.
     _leans against pillar-box again--but more irresolutely_.

    I've arf a mind to run after 'em, I 'ave, and tell 'em I'm game
        to stand in!...
    But, ah,--didn't my poor mother say as Burglary was a _Sin_!

     [Duke _crosses stage in a hurry; as he pulls out his latchkey,
     a threepenny-bit falls unregarded, except by the little_
     Sweeper, _who pounces eagerly upon it_.

    What's this? A bit o' good luck at last for a starvin' orfin boy!
    What shall I buy? _I_ know--I'll have a cup of cawfy, and a
        prime saveloy!
    Ah,--_but it ain't mine_--and 'ark ... that music up in the air!

          [_A harp is heard in the flies._

    Can it be mother a-playin' on the 'arp to warn her boy to beware?
    (_Awestruck._) There's a angel voice that is sayin' plain
        (_solemnly_) "Him as prigs what isn't his'n,
    Is sure to be copped some day--and then--his time he will
        do in prison!"

     [_Goes resolutely to the door, and knocks--The_ Duke _throws
     open the portals_.

  _Miss J. J._ If yer please, Sir, was you aware as you've
        dropped a thruppenny-bit?

  _The Duke_ (_after examining the coin._) 'Tis the very piece I
        have searched for everywhere! You rascal, you've _stolen it_!

  _Miss J. J._ (_bitterly_). And _that's_ 'ow a Dook rewards honesty
        in _this_ world!

        [_This line is sure of a round of applause._

  _The Duke_ (_calling off_). Policeman, I give this lad in
        charge for a shameless attempt to rob,

_Enter_ Policeman.

    Unless he confesses instantly who put him up to the job!

  _Miss J. J._ (_earnestly_). I've told yer the bloomin' truth,
        I 'ave--or send I may die!
    I'm on'y a Crossing-sweeper, Sir, but I'd scorn to tell yer a lie!
    Give me a quarter of a hour--no more--just time to kneel down and pray,
    As I used to at mother's knee long ago--then the Copper kin
        lead me away.

     [_Kneels in lime-light. The_ Policeman _turns away, and uses
     his handkerchief violently; the_ Duke _rubs his eyes_.

  _The Duke._ No, blow me if I can do it, for I feel my eyes are
        all twitching!
    (_With conviction._) If he's good enough to kneel by his
        mother's side, he's good enough to be in my kitching!

     [Duke _dismisses_ Constable, _and, after disappearing into the
     Mansion for a moment, returns with a neat Page's livery, which
     he presents to the little_ Crossing-sweeper.

  _Miss J. J._ (_naïvely_). 'Ow much shall I ask for on this,
        Sir? What! Yer don't mean to say they're for _me_!
    Am I really to be a Page to one of England's proud aristocra-cee?

        [_Does some steps._

    _Mechanical change to_ SCENE II.--_State Apartment at the_
    Duke's. _Magnificent furniture, gilding, chandeliers. Suits of
    genuine old armour. Statuary (lent by British and Kensington

_Enter_ Miss J., _with her face washed, and looking particularly plump
in her Page's livery. She wanders about stage_, _making any humorous
comments that may occur to her on the armour and statuary. She might
also play tricks on the Butler, and kiss the maids--all of which will
serve to relieve the piece by delicate touches of comedy, and delight a
discriminating audience._

_Enter the_ Duke.

    I hope, my lad, that we are making you comfortable here?    [_Kindly._

  _Miss J. J._ Never was in such slap-up quarters in my life,
        Sir, _I'll_ stick to yer, no fear!

     [_In the course of conversation the_ Duke _learns with
     aristocratic surprise, that the_ Page's _Mother was a Singer at
     the Music Halls_.

  _Miss J. J._ What, don't know what a Music-'all's like? and you a Dook!
Well, you _are_ a jolly old juggins! 'Ere, you sit down on this gilded
cheer--that's the ticket--I'll bring you your champagne and your
cigars--want a light? (_Strikes match on her pantaloons._) Now you're
all comfortable.

_The_ Duke _sits down, smiling indulgently, out of her way, while she
introduces her popular Vocal Character Sketch, of which space only
permits us to give a few specimen verses_.

        First the Champion Comic
          Steps upon the stage;
        With his latest "Grand Success."
          Sure to be the rage!
        Sixty pounds a week he
          Easily can earn;
        Round the Music Halls he goes,
          And does at each a "turn."


    Undah the stors in a sweet shady dairl,
    I strolled with me awm round a deah little gairl,
    And whethaw I kissed har yaw'd like me to tairl--
                    Well, I'd rawthah you didn't inquiah!

              All golden her hair is,
            She's Queen of the Fairies,
    And known by the name of the lovely Mariah,
              She's a regular Venus,
            But what passed between us,
    I'd very much rawthah you didn't inquiah!

        Next the Lady Serio,
          Mincing as she walks;
        If a note's too high for her,
          She doesn't sing--she talks,
        What she thinks about the men
          You're pretty sure to learn,
        She always has a hit at them,
          Before she's done her "turn!"


    You notty young men, ow! you notty young men!
    You tell us you're toffs, and the real Upper Ten,
    But behind all your ears is the mark of a pen!
    So don't you deceive us, you notty young men!

  _Miss J. J._ (_concluding_).
             And such, Sir, are these entertainments grand,
             In which Mirth and Refinement go 'and-in-'and!

     [_As the_ Duke _is expressing his appreciation of the elevating
     effect of such performances, the_ Butler _rushes in, followed
     by two flurried_ Footmen.

  _Butler._ Pardon this interruption, my Lord, but I come to
        announce the fact
          That by armed house-breakers the pantry has just been attacked!

  _Duke._ Then we'll repel them--each to his weapons look!
        I know how to defend my property, although I _am_ a Dook!

  _Miss J._ (_snatching sword from one of the men-in-armour_).
          With such a weapon I their hash will settle!
          _You'll_ lend it, won't yer, old Britannia Metal?

     [_Shouts and firing without; the_ Footmen _hide under sofa_.

    Let flunkeys flee--though danger may encircle us,
    A British Buttons ain't afeard of Burgulars!

     [_Tremendous firing, during which the_ Burglars _are supposed
     to be repulsed with heavy loss by the_ Duke, Butler, _and_

  _Miss J._ 'Ere--I say, Dook, I saved yer life, didn't yer _know_?

(_A parting shot, upon which she staggers back with a ringing scream_.)

          The Brutes! they've been and shot me!... Mother!... Oh!

     [_Dies in lime-light and great agony; the_ Footmen _come out
     from under sofa and regard with sorrowing admiration the
     lifeless form of the_ Little Crossing-sweeper, _which the_
     Duke, _as curtain falls, covers reverently with the best



(_Dedicated respectfully to Mr. McDougall and the L. C. C._)

[Illustration: Joe!]

The Music-hall Dramatist, like Shakspeare and Molière, has a right to
take his material from any source that may seem good to him. _Mr.
Punch_, therefore, makes no secret of the fact, that he has based the
following piece upon the well-known poem of "The Purloiner," by the
Sisters Jane and Ann Taylor, who were _not_, as might be too hastily
concluded, "Song and Dance Duettists," but two estimable ladies, who
composed "cautionary" verses for the young, and whose works are a
perfect mine of wealth for Moral Dramatists. In this dramatic version
the Author has tried to infuse something of the old Greek sense of an
overruling destiny, without detriment to prevailing ideas of moral
responsibility. Those who have the misfortune to be born with a
propensity for illicit jam, may learn from our Drama the terrible
results of failing to overcome it early in life.



    _Jam-Loving Joe._ By that renowned Melodramatic Serio-Comic,

    _Joe's Mother_ (_the very part for Mrs. BANCROFT if she can
    only be induced to make her reappearance_).

    _John, a Gardener._ By the great Pink-eyed Unmusical Zulu.

    _Jim-Jam, the Fermentation Fiend._ By Mr. BEERBOHM TREE (_who
    has kindly consented to undertake the part_).

    _Chorus of Plum and Pear Gatherers, from the Savoy_ (_by kind
    permission of_ Mr. D'OYLY CARTE).

    SCENE--_The Store-room at sunset with view of exterior of Jam
    Cupboard, and orchard in distance._

_Enter_ JOE.

     "As Joe was at play, Near the cupboard one day, When he thought
     no one saw but himself."--_Vide Poem._

  _Joe_ (_dreamily_.) 'Tis passing strange that I so partial am
                  To playing in the neighbourhood of Jam!

     [_HERE_ Miss CURDLER _will introduce her great humorous
     Satirical Medley illustrative of the Sports of Childhood, and
     entitled,_ "Some little Gymes we all of us 'ave Plied;" _after
     which, Enter_ JOE'S _Mother, followed by JOHN and the Chorus,
     with baskets, ladders, &c., for gathering fruit_.

     "His Mother and John, To the garden had gone, To gather ripe
     pears and ripe plums."--_Poem._

  _Joe's Mother_ (_with forced cheerfulness_)--

    Let's hope, my friends, to find our pears and plums,
    Unharmed by wopses, and untouched by wums.

     [_Chorus signify assent in the usual manner by holding up the
     right hand._


    Fruit, when gathered ripe, is wholesome--
      Otherwise if eaten green.
    Once I know a boy who stole some--

     [_With a glance at JOE, who turns aside to conceal his

      His internal pangs were keen!

  _Chorus_ (_virtuously_). 'Tis the doom of all who're mean,
    Their internal pangs are keen!

  _Joe's Mother_ (_aside_). By what misgivings is a mother tortured!
    I'll keep my eye on Joseph in the orchard.

        [_She invites him with a gesture to follow._

  _Joe_ (_earnestly_). Nay, Mother, here I'll stay till you have done.
    Temptation it is ever best to shun!

  _Joe's M_. So laudable his wish, I would not cross it--
    (_Mysteriously._) He knows not there are jam-pots in yon closet!

  _Chorus._ Away we go tripping,
            From boughs to be stripping
            Each pear, plum, and pippin
                Pomona supplies!
            When homeward we've brought 'em,
            Those products of Autumn,
            We'll carefully sort 'em
                  (_One of our old Music-hall rhymes_),
                According to size!    [_Repeat as they caper out._

     [JOE'S Mother, _after one fond, lingering look behind, follows:
     the voices are heard more and more faintly in the distance.
     Stage darkens: the last ray of sunset illumines key of
     jam-cupboard door._

  _Joe._ At last I am alone! Suppose I tried
         That cupboard--just to see what's kept inside?

             [_Seems drawn towards it by some fatal fascination._

       There _might_ be Guava jelly, and a plummy cake,
       For such a prize I'd laugh to scorn a stomach-ache!

             [_Laughs a stomach-ache to scorn._

       And yet (_hesitating_) who knows?--a pill ... perchance--a powder!
       (_Desperately._) What then? To scorn I'll laugh them--even louder!

     [_Fetches chair and unlocks cupboard. Doors fall open with loud
     clang, revealing Interior of Jam Closet (painted by_ HAWES
     CRAVEN). JOE _mounts chair to explore shelves._

     "How sorry I am, He ate raspberry jam, And currants that stood
     on the shelf!"--_Vide Poem._

  _Joe_ (_speaking with mouth full and back to audience_).
    'Tis raspberry--of all the jams my favourite;
    I'll clear the pot, whate'er I have to pay for it!
    And finish up with currants from this shelf ...
    Who'll ever see me?

  _The_ Demon _of the Jam Closet (rising slowly from an immense
  pot of preserves_).    No one--but Myself!

     [_The cupboard is lit up by an infernal glare (courteously lent
     by the Lyceum Management from "Faust" properties); weird
     music_; JOE _turns slowly and confronts the_ Demon _with
     awestruck eyes._ N.B.--_Great opportunity for powerful acting

  _The Demon (with a bland sneer_). Pray don't mind _me_--I
        will await your leisure.

  _Joe_ (_automatically_). Of your acquaintance, Sir, I've not
        the pleasure.
      Who are you? Wherefore have you intervened?

  _The Demon_ (_quietly_). My name is "Jim-Jam;" occupation--fiend.

  _Joe,_ (_cowering limply on his chair_). O Mr. Fiend, I
          _know_ it's very wrong of me!

  _Demon_ (_politely_). Don't mention it--but please to come "along of" me?

  _Joe_ (_imploringly_). Do let me off this once,--ha! you're relenting,
        You smile----

  _Demon_ (_grimly_). 'Tis nothing but my jam fermenting!

          [_Catches_ JOE's _ankle, and assists him to descend._

  _Joe_. You'll drive me mad!

  _Demon_ (_carelessly_).    I _may_--before I've done with you!

  _Joe_. What do you want?

  _Demon_ (_darkly_).   To have a little fun with you!
      Of fiendish humour now I'll give a specimen.

     [_Chases him round and round stage, and proceeds to smear him
     hideously with jam._

  _Joe_ (_piteously_). Oh, don't! I feel _so_ sticky. _What_ a mess I'm in!

  _Demon_ (_with affected sympathy_).    That _is_ the worst of
          jam--it's apt to stain you.

     [_To_ JOE, _as he frantically endeavours to remove the traces
     of his crime._

    I see you're busy--so I'll not detain you!

     [_Vanishes down star-trap with a diabolical laugh.
     Cupboard-doors close with a clang; all lights down._ JOE
     _stands gazing blankly for some moments, and then drags himself
     off stage. His Mother and_ JOHN, _with Pear-and-Plum-gatherers
     bearing laden baskets, appear at doors at back of Scene, in
     faint light of torches._

[Illustration: The Demon!]

_Re-enter_ JOE _bearing a candle and wringing his hands._

  _Joe._ Out, jammed spot! What--will these hands _never_ be clean? Here's
the smell of the raspberry jam still! All the powders of Gregory cannot
unsweeten this little hand ... (_Moaning._) Oh, oh, oh!

     [_This passage has been accused of bearing too close a
     resemblance to one in a popular Stage Play; if so, the
     coincidence is purely accidental, as the Dramatist is not in
     the habit of reading such profane literature._

  _Joe's Mother._ Ah! what an icy dread my heart benumbs!
      See--stains on all his fingers, and his thumbs!

     "What Joe was about, His mother found out, When she look'd at
     his fingers and thumbs."--_Poem again._

Nay, Joseph--'tis your mother ... speak to her!

  _Joe_ (_tonelessly, as before_). Lady, I know you not (_touches lower
part of waistcoat_); but, prithee, undo this button. I think I have jam
in all my veins, and I would fain sleep. When I am gone, lay me in a
plain white jelly-pot, with a parchment cover, and on the label
write--but come nearer, I have a secret for your ear alone ... there are
strange things in _some_ cupboards! Demons should keep in the dust-bin.
(_With a ghastly smile._) I know not what ails me, but I am not feeling
at all well.

     [JOE'S Mother _stands a few steps from him, with her hands
     twisted in her hair, and stares at him in speechless terror._

  _Joe_ (_to the Chorus_). I would shake hands with you all, were not my
fingers so sticky. We eat marmalade, but we know not what it is made of.
Hush! if Jim-Jam comes again, tell him that I am not at home.

  _All_ (_with conviction_). Some shock has turned his brine!

  _Joe_ (_sitting down on floor, and weaving straws in his hair._) My
curse upon him that invented jam. Let us all play Tibbits.

     [_Laughs vacantly; all gather round him, shaking their heads,
     his_ Mother _falls fainting at his feet as curtain falls upon a
     strong and moral, though undeniably gloomy dénoûment._


This Drama, which, like our last, has been suggested by a poem of the
Misses Taylor, will be found most striking and impressive in
representation upon the Music-hall stage. The dramatist has ventured to
depart somewhat from the letter, though not the spirit, of the original
text, in his desire to enforce the moral to the fullest possible extent.
Our present piece is intended to teach the great lesson that an
inevitable Nemesis attends apple-stealing in this world, and that Doom
cannot be disarmed by the intercession of the evil-doer's friends,
however well-meaning.




    _William_ (_a Good Boy_)                       Mr. HARRY NICHOLLS.
    _Thomas_ (_a Bad Boy_)                         Mr. HERBERT CAMPBELL.
             (_Who have kindly offered their services._)
    _Benjamin_ (_neither one thing nor the other_) Mr. SAMUEL SUPER.
    _The Monster Man-Trap_                         Mr. GEORGE CONQUEST.

     SCENE.--_An elaborate set, representing, on extreme left, a
     portion of the high road, and wall dividing it from an orchard;
     realistic apple- and pear-trees laden with fruit. Time, about
     four o'clock on a hot afternoon. Enter_ WILLIAM _and_ THOMAS,
     _hand-in-hand, along road; they ignore the dividing wall, and
     advance to front of stage._

_Duet._--WILLIAM _and_ THOMAS.

  _Wm._ I'm a reg'lar model boy, I am; so please make no mistake.
          It's Thomas who's the bad 'un--_I'm_ the good!

  _Thos._ Yes, I delight in naughtiness for naughtiness's sake,
            And I wouldn't be like William if I could!


  _Wm._ Ever since I could toddle, my conduct's been model,
          There's, oh, such a difference between me and him!

  _Thos._ While still in the cradle, I orders obeyed ill,
            And now I've grown into a awful young limb!

                       { he's }
  _Together._ Yes, now { I've } grown into a awful young limb.
           I've made up my mind not to imitate _him_!

        [_Here they dance._

_Second Verse._

  _Wm._ If someone hits him in the eye, he always hits them back!
          When _I_ am struck, my Ma I merely tell!
        On passing fat pigs in a lane, he'll give 'em each a whack!

  _Thos._ (_impenitently_). And jolly fun it is to hear 'em yell!


_Third Verse._

  _Wm._ He's always cribbing coppers--which he spends on lollipops.

  _Thos._   (A share of which _you_'ve never yet refused!)

  _Wm._ A stone he'll shy at frogs and toads, and anything that hops!

  _Thos._   (While you look on, and seem to be amused!)


_Fourth Verse._

  _Wm._ As soon as school is over, Thomas goes a hunting squirr'ls,
          Or butterflies he'll capture in his hat!

  _Thos._ _You_ play at Kissing in the Ring with all the little girls!

  _Wm._ (_demurely_). Well, Thomas, I can see no harm in _that_!


_Fifth Verse._

  _Wm._ Ah, Thomas, if you don't reform, you'll come to some bad end!

  _Thos._   Oh, William, put your head inside a bag!

  _Wm._ No, Thomas, that I cannot--till you promise to amend!

  _Thos._   Why, William, what a chap you are to nag!

     [_Chorus and dance._ THOMAS _returns to road, and regards the
     apple-trees longingly over top of wall._

  _Thos._ Hi, William, look ... what apples! there--don't _you_ see?
          And pears--my eye! just _ain't_ they looking juicy!

  _Wm._   Nay, Thomas, since you're bent upon a sin,
          _I_ will walk on, and visit Benjamin!

     [_Exit_ WILLIAM (L. 2 E.), _while THOMAS proceeds to scale the
     wall and climb the boughs of the nearest pear-tree.
     Melodramatic Music._ The Monster Man-trap _stealthily emerges
     from long grass below, and fixes a baleful eye on the
     unconscious_ THOMAS.

  _Thos._ I'll fill my pockets, and on pears I'll feast!

            [_Sees_ Man-trap, _and staggers._

          Oh, lor--whatever is that hugly beast!
          Hi, help, here! call him off!...

  _The Monster._         'Tis vain to holler--
          My horders are--all trespassers to swoller!
          You just come down--I'm waiting 'ere to ketch you.
      (_Indignantly._) You _don't_ expect I'm coming up to fetch you!

  _Thos._ (_politely._) Oh, not if it would inconvenience _you_, Sir!
      (_In agonised aside._) I feel my grip grow every moment looser!

     [_The_ Monster, _in a slow, uncouth manner, proceeds to
     scramble up the tree._

          Oh, here's a go! The horrid thing can _climb_!
          Too late I do repent me of my crime!

     [_Terrific sensation chase!_ The Monster Man-trap _leaps from
     bough to bough with horrible agility, and eventually secures
     his prey, and leaps with it to the ground._

  _Thos._ (_in the_ Monster's _jaws_). I'm sure you seem a kind,
          good-natured creature--
      You will not harm me?

  _Monster._          No--I'll only eat yer!

     [THOMAS _slowly vanishes down its cavernous jaws; faint yells
     are heard at intervals--then nothing but a dull champing sound;
     after which, dead silence. The_ Monster _smiles, with an air of

_Re-enter_ WILLIAM, _from_ R., _with_ BENJAMIN.

  _Benjamin._ I'm very glad you came--but where is Thomas?

  _Wm._ (_severely_). Tom is a wicked boy, and better from us,
      For on the road he stopped to scale a wall!...

         [_Sees_ Man-trap, _and starts._

      What's _that_?

  _Benj._       It will not hurt _good_ boys at all--
        It's only Father's Man-trap--why so pale?

  _Wm._ The self-same tree! ... the wall that Tom _would_ scale!
          Where's Thomas _now_? Ah, Tom, the wilful pride of you.

        [_The_ Man-trap _affects an elaborate unconsciousness._

[Illustration: Up a Tree!]

  _Benj._ (_with sudden enlightenment_). Man-trap, I do believe
          poor Tom's inside of you!
        That sort of smile's exceedingly suspicious.

        [_The_ Man-trap _endeavours to hide in the grass._

  _Wm._ Ah, Monster, give him back--'tis true he's vicious,
        And had no business to go making free with you!
        But think, so bad a boy will disagree with you!

     [WILLIAM _and_ BENJAMIN _kneel in attitudes of entreaty on
     either side of the_ Man-trap, _which shows signs of increasing
     emotion as the song proceeds._

  _Benjamin_ (_sings_).

      Man-trap, bitter our distress is
        That you have unkindly penned
      In your innermost recesses
        One who used to be our friend!

  _William_ (_sings_).

      In his downward course arrest him!
        (He may take a virtuous tack);
      Pause awhile, ere you digest him,
        Make an effort--bring him back!

     [_The_ Man-trap _is convulsed by a violent heave_; WILLIAM and
     BENJAMIN _bend forward in an agony of expectation, until a
     small shoe and the leg of_ THOMAS'S _pantaloons are finally
     emitted from the_ Monster's _jaws._

  _Benj._ (_exultantly_). See, William, now he's coming ... here's
          his shoe for you!

  _The Man-trap_ (_with an accent of genuine regret). I'm sorry--but
          that's all that I can do for you!_

  _Wm._ (_raising the shoe and the leg of pantaloons, and holding
      them sorrowfully at arm's length_).
      He's met the fate which moralists all promise is
      The end of such depraved careers as Thomas's!
      Oh, Benjamin, take warning by it _be_-time!
      (_More brightly_). But now to wash our hands--'tis nearly tea-time!

     [_Exeunt_ WILLIAM and BENJAMIN, _to wash their hands, as
     Curtain falls. N.B. This finale is more truly artistic, and in
     accordance with modern dramatic ideas, than the conventional


Our present example is pure tragedy of the most ambitious kind, and is,
perhaps, a little in advance of the taste of a Music-hall audience of
the present day. When the fusion between the Theatres and the Music
Halls is complete--when Miss Bessie Bellwood sings "_What Cheer, 'Ria?_"
at the Lyceum, and Mr. Henry Irving gives his compressed version of
_Hamlet_ at the Trocadero; when there is a general levelling-up of
culture, and removal of prejudice--then, and not till then, will this
powerful little play meet with the appreciation which is its due. The
main idea is suggested by the Misses Taylor's well-known poem, _The
Pin_, though the dramatist has gone further than the poetess in working
out the notion of Nemesis.




    _Emily Heedless._ By either Miss VESTA TILLEY or Mrs. BERNARD BEERE.

        (only he mustn't sing "_The Good Young Man who Died_").

    _First and Second Bridesmaids._ Miss MAUDE MILLETT and Miss

     SCENE.--EMILY'S _Boudoir, sumptuously furnished with a screen
     and sofa,_ C. _Door_, R., _leading to_ EMILY'S _Bed-chamber.
     Door,_ L. EMILY _discovered in loose wrapper, and reclining in
     uncomfortable position on sofa._

  _Emily_ (_dreamily_). This day do I become the envied bride
    Of Peter, justly surnamed Paragon;
    And much I wonder what in me he found
    (He, who Perfection so personifies)
    That he could condescend an eye to cast
    On faulty feather-headed Emily!
    How solemn is the stillness all around me!

        [_A loud bang is heard behind screen._

    Methought I heard the dropping of a pin!--
    Perhaps I should arise and search for it....
    Yet why, on second thoughts, disturb myself,
    Since I am, by my settlements, to have
    A handsome sum allowed for pin-money?
    Nay, since thou claim'st thy freedom, little pin,
    I lack the heart to keep thee prisoner.
    Go, then, and join the great majority
    Of fallen, vagrant, unregarded pinhood--
    My bliss is too supreme at such an hour
    To heed such infidelities as thine.

        [_Falls into a happy reverie._

_Enter_ First and Second Bridesmaids.

  _First and Second Bridesmaids._ What, how now, Emily--not yet attired?
    Nay, haste, for Peter will be here anon!

     [_They hurry her off by_ R. _door, just as_ PETER PARAGON
     _enters_ L. _in bridal array. N.B.--The exigencies of the Drama
     are responsible for his making his appearance here, instead of
     waiting, as is more usual, at the church._

  _Peter_ (_meditatively_). The golden sands of my celibacy
    Are running low--soon falls the final grain!
    Yet, even now, the glass I would not turn.
    My Emily is not without her faults
    "_Was_ not without them," I should rather say,
    For during ten idyllic years of courtship,

[Illustration: "It is a Pin!"]

    By precept and example I have striven
    To mould her to a helpmate fit for me.
    Now, thank the Gods, my labours are complete.
    She stands redeemed from all her giddiness!

        [_Here he steps upon the pin, and utters an exclamation._

    Ha! What is this? I'm wounded ... agony!
    With what a darting pain my foot's transfixed!
    I'll summon help (_with calm courage_)--yet, stay, I would not dim
    This nuptial day by any sombre cloud.
    I'll bear this stroke alone--and now to probe
    The full extent of my calamity.

     [_Seats himself on sofa in such a position as to be concealed
     by the screen from all but the audience, and proceeds to remove
     his boot._

    Ye powers of Perfidy, it is a pin!
    I must know more of this--for it is meet
    Such criminal neglect should be exposed.
    Severe shall be that house-maid's punishment
    Who's proved to be responsible for this!--
    But soft, I hear a step.

     [_Enter_ First _and_ Second Bridesmaids, _who hunt diligently
     upon the carpet without observing_ Peter's _presence._

  _Emily's Voice_ (_within_). Oh, search, I pray you.
    It _must_ be there--my own ears heard it fall!

        [PETER _betrays growing uneasiness._

  _The Bridesmaids._ Indeed, we fail to see it anywhere!

  _Emily_ (_entering distractedly in bridal costume, with a large rent in
her train_).

    You have no eyes, I tell you, let me help.
    It must be found, or I am all undone!
    In vain my cushion I have cut in two
    'Twas void of all but stuffing ... Gracious Heavens,
    To think that all my future bliss depends
    On the evasive malice of a pin!

        [PETER _behind screen, starts violently._

  _Peter_ (_aside_). A pin! what dire misgivings wring my heart!

     [Hops forward with a cold dignity, holding one foot in his

    You seem in some excitement, Emily?

  _Emily_ (_wildly_). _You_, Peter!... tell me--have you found a pin?

  _Peter_ (_with deadly calm_). Unhappy girl--I _have_!
          (_To_ Bridesmaids.) Withdraw awhile,
      And should we need you, we will summon you.

     [_Exeunt_ Bridesmaids; EMILY _and_ PETER _stand facing each
     other for some moments in dead silence._

    The pin is found--for I have trodden on it,
    And may, for aught I know, be lamed for life.
    Speak, Emily, what is that maid's desert
    Whose carelessness has led to this mishap?

  _Emily_ (_in the desperate hope of shielding herself_).
    Why, should the fault he traced to any maid,
    Instant dismissal shall be her reward,
    With a month's wages paid in lieu of notice!

  _Peter_ (_with a passionless severity_).
    From your own lips I judge you, Emily.
    Did they not own just now that you had heard
    The falling of a pin--yet heeded not?
    Behold the outcome of your negligence!

        [_Extends his injured foot._

  _Emily_.   Oh, let me kiss the place and make it well!

  _Peter_ (_coldly withdrawing foot_).   Keep your caresses till
        I ask for them.
    My wound goes deeper than you wot of yet,
    And by that disregarded pin is pricked
    The iridescent bubble of Illusion!

  _Emily_ (_slowly_). Indeed, I do not wholly comprehend.

  _Peter._ Have patience and I will be plainer yet.
    Mine is a complex nature, Emily;
    Magnanimous, but still methodical.
    An injury I freely can forgive,
    Forget it (_striking his chest_), never! She who leaves about
    Pins on the floor to pierce a lover's foot,
    Will surely plant a thorn within the side
    Of him whose fate it is to be her husband!

  _Emily_ (_dragging herself towards him on her knees_).
    Have pity on me, Peter; I was mad!

  _Peter_ (_with emotion_). How can I choose but pity thee, poor soul,
    Who, for the sake of temporary ease,
    Hast forfeited the bliss that had been thine!
    You could not stoop to pick a pin up. Why?
    Because, forsooth, 'twas but a paltry pin!
    Yet, duly husbanded, that self-same pin
    Had served you to secure your gaping train,
    Your self-respect--and Me.

  _Emily_ (_wailing_). What have I done?

  _Peter_. I will not now reproach you, Emily,
    Nor would I dwell upon my wounded sole,
    The pain of which increases momently.
    I part from you in friendship, and in proof,
    That fated instrument I leave with you

     [_Presenting her with the pin, which she accepts mechanically._

    Which the frail link between us twain has severed.
    I can dispense with it, for in my cuff

     [_Shows her his coat-cuff, in which a row of pins'-heads is

    I carry others 'gainst a time of need.
    My poor success in life I trace to this
    That never yet I passed a pin unheeded.

  _Emily._ And is that all you have to say to me?

  _Peter._ I think so--save that I shall wish you well,
    And pray that henceforth you may bear in mind
    What vast importance lies in seeming trifles.

  _Emily_ (_with a pale smile_). Peter, your lesson is already learned,
    For precious has this pin become for me,
    Since by its aid I gain oblivion--thus!    [_Stabs herself._

  _Peter_ (_coldly._) Nay, these are histrionics, Emily.

        [_Assists her to sofa._

  _Emily._ I'd skill enough to find a vital spot.
    Do not withdraw it yet--my time is short,
    And I have much to say before I die.
    (_Faintly._) Be gentle with my rabbits when I'm gone;
    Give my canary chickweed now and then.
    ... I think there is no more--ah, one last word--
    (_Earnestly_)--Warn them they must not cut our wedding-cake,
    And then the pastrycook may take it back!

  _Peter_ (_deeply moved_). Would you had shown this
        thoughtfulness before!    [_Kneels by the sofa._

  _Emily._ 'Tis now too late, and clearly do I see
    That I was never worthy of you, Peter.

  _Peter_ (_gently_). 'Tis not for me to contradict you now.
    You did your best to be so, Emily!

  _Emily._ A blessing on you for those generous words!
    Now tell me, Peter, how is your poor foot?

  _Peter._ The agony decidedly abates,
    And I can almost bear a boot again.

  _Emily._ Then I die happy!... Kiss me, Peter ... ah!


  _Peter._ In peace she passed away. I'm glad of that,
    Although that peace was purchased by a lie.
    I shall not bear a boot for many days!
    Thus ends our wedding morn, and she, poor child,
    Has paid the penalty of heedlessness!

     [_Curtain falls, whereupon, unless Mr. Punch is greatly
     mistaken, there will not be a dry eye in the house._



_Suggested by "The Wooden Doll and the Wax Doll," by the Misses Jane and
Ann Taylor._


    _Blanchidine,_ } By the celebrated Sisters STILTON, the Champion
    _Brunette._    }      Duettists and Clog-Dancers.

    _Fanny Furbelow._ By Miss SYLVIA SEALSKIN (_by kind permission of
                             the Gaiety Management_).

    _Frank Manly._ By Mr. HENRY NEVILLE.

    SCENE--_A sunny Glade in Kensington Gardens, between the
    Serpentine and Round Pond._

_Enter_ BLANCHIDINE _and_ BRUNETTE, _with their arms thrown
affectionately around one another._ BLANCHIDINE _is carrying a large and
expressionless wooden doll._

_Duet and Step-dance._

  _Bl._ Oh, I do adore BRUNETTE! (_Dances._) Tippity-tappity,
    tappity-tippity, tippity-tappity, tip-tap!

  _Br._ BLANCHIDINE'S the sweetest pet! (_Dances._) Tippity-tappity, &c.

  _Together._        When the sun is high,
                     We come out to ply,
                     Nobody is nigh,
                     All is mirth and j'y!
                     With a pairosol,
                     We'll protect our doll,
                     Make a mossy bed
                     For her wooden head!

     [_Combination step-dance during which both watch their feet
     with an air of detached and slightly amused interest, as if
     they belonged to some other persons._

    Clickity-clack, clickity-clack, clickity, clickity, clickity-clack;
    clackity-clickity, clickity-clackity, clackity-clickity-_clack_!

        [_Repeat ad. lib._

  _Bl._ (_apologetically to Audience_). Her taste in dress is rather plain!
        (_Dances._) Tippity-tappity, &c.

  _Br._ (_in pitying aside_). It _is_ a pity she's so vain!
        (_Dances._) Tippity-tappity, &c.

  _Bl._              'Tis a shime to smoile,
                     But she's shocking stoyle,
                     It is quite a troyal,
                     Still--she mikes a foil!

  _Br._              Often I've a job
                     To suppress a sob,
                     She is such a snob,
                     When she meets a nob!

        [_Step-dance as before._

     [N.B.--_In consideration of the well-known difficulty that most
     popular Variety-Artists experience in the metrical delivery of
     decasyllabic couplets, the lines which follow have been written
     as they will most probably be spoken._

  _Bl._ (_looking off with alarm_). Why, here comes Fanny
        Furbelow, a new frock from Paris in!
    She'll find me with Brunette--it's _too_ embarrassing!


    (_To Brunette._) Brunette, my love, I know _such_ a pretty
        game we'll play at--
    Poor Timburina's ill, and the seaside she ought to stay at.
    (The Serpentine's the seaside, let's pretend.)
    And _you_ shall take her there--(_hypocritically_)--you're
        such a friend!

  _Br._ (_with simplicity_). Oh, yes, that _will_ be splendid, Blanchidine,
    And then we can go and have a dip in a bathing-machine!

     [BLAN. _resigns the wooden doll to_ BRUN., _who skips off with
     it_, L., _as_ FANNY FURBELOW _enters_ R., _carrying a
     magnificent wax doll_.

  _Fanny_ (_languidly_). Ah, howdy do--_isn't_ this heat too
    frightful? And so you're quite alone?

  _Bl._ (_nervously._) Oh, _quite_--oh yes, I always am alone,
    when there's nobody with me.

     [_This is a little specimen of the Lady's humorous "gag," at
     which she is justly considered a proficient._

  _Fanny_ (_drawling_).      Delightful!
    When I was wondering, only a little while ago,
    If I should meet a creature that I know;
    Allow me--my new doll, the Lady Minnie!

        [_Introducing doll._

  _Bl._ (_rapturously_). Oh, what a perfect love!

  _Fanny._                  She ought to be--for a guinea!
    Here, you may nurse her for a little while.
    Be careful, for her frock's the latest style.

        [_Gives_ BLAN. _the wax doll_.

    She's the best wax, and has three changes of clothing--
    For those cheap wooden dolls I've quite a loathing.

  _Bl._ (_hastily_). Oh, so have _I_--they're not to be endured!

_Re-enter_ BRUNETTE _with the wooden doll, which she tries to press
upon_ BLANCHIDINE, _much to the latter's confusion_.

  _Br._ I've brought poor Timburina back, completely cured!
    Why, aren't you pleased? Your face is looking _so_ cloudy!

  _F._ (_haughtily_). Is she a friend of _yours_--this little
        dowdy?    [_Slow music._

  _Bl._ (_after an internal struggle_). Oh, no, what an idea!
    Why, I don't even know her by name!
    Some vulgar child ...

        [_Lets the wax doll fall unregarded on the gravel._

  _Br._ (_indignantly_). Oh, what a horrid shame!
    I see _now_ why you sent us to the Serpentine!

  _Bl._ (_heartlessly_). There's no occasion to flare up like turpentine.

  _Br._ (_ungrammatically_). I'm _not_! Disown your doll, and
        thrust me, too, aside!
    The one thing left for both of us is--suicide!
    Yes, Timburina, us no more she cherishes--
    (_Bitterly._) Well, the Round Pond a handy place to perish is!

        [_Rushes off stage with wooden doll._

  _Bl._ (_making a feeble attempt to follow_). Come back,
    Brunette; don't leave me thus, in charity!

  _F._ (_with contempt_). Well, I'll be off--since you seem to
        prefer vulgarity.

  _Bl._ No, stay--but--ah, she said--what if she _meant_ it?

  _F._ Not she! And, if she did, _we_ can't prevent it.

  _Bl._ (_relieved_). That's true--we'll play, and think no more about her.

  _F._ (_sarcastically_). We may _just_ manage to get on without her!
    So come----(_Perceives doll lying face upwards on path._)
    You odious girl, what have you done?
    Left Lady Minnie lying in the blazing sun!
    'Twas done on purpose--oh, you _thing_ perfidious!    [_Stamps._
    You _knew_ she'd melt, and get completely hideous!
    Don't answer _me_, Miss--I wish we'd never met.
    You're only fit for persons like Brunette!

        [_Picks up doll, and exit in passion._

_Grand Sensation Descriptive Soliloquy, by_ BLANCHIDINE, _to
Melodramatic Music_.

  _Bl._ Gone! Ah, I am rightly punished! What would I not give now to have
homely little Brunette, and dear old wooden-headed Timburina back again!
_She_ wouldn't melt in the sun.... Where are they now? Great Heavens!
that threat--that rash resolve ... I remember all! 'Twas in the
direction of the Pond they vanished. (_Peeping anxiously between
trees._) Are they still in sight? ... Yes, I see them? Brunette has
reached the water's edge ... What is she purposing! Now she kneels on
the rough gravel; she is making Timburina kneel too! How calm and
resolute they both appear! (_Shuddering._) I dare not look further--but
ah, I must--_I must_!... Horror! I saw her boots flash for an instant in
the bright sunlight: and now the ripples have closed, smiling, over her
little black stockings!... Help!--save her, somebody!--help!... Joy! a
gentleman has appeared on the scene--how handsome, how brave he looks!
He has taken in the situation at a glance! With quiet composure he
removes his coat--oh, _don't_ trouble about folding it up!--and why,
_why_ remove your gloves, when there is not a moment to be lost? Now,
with many injunctions, he entrusts his watch to a bystander, who
retires, overcome by emotion. And now--oh, gallant, heroic soul!--now he
is sending his toy-terrier into the seething water! (_Straining_
_eagerly forward._) Ah, the dog paddles bravely out--he has reached the
spot ... oh, he has passed it!--he is trying to catch a duck! Dog, dog,
_is_ this a time for pursuing ducks? At last he understands--he dives
... he brings up--agony! a small tin cup! Again ... _this_ time,
surely--what, only an old pot-hat!... Oh, this dog is a fool! And still
the Round Pond holds its dread secret! Once more ... yes--no, yes, it
_is_ Timburina! Thank Heaven, she yet breathes! But Brunette?
Can she have stuck in the mud at the bottom? Ha, she, too, is
rescued--saved--ha-ha-ha!--saved, saved, saved!

        [_Swoons hysterically amid deafening applause._

[Illustration: "Saved--ha-ha-ha!"]

  _Enter_ FRANK MANLY _supporting_ BRUNETTE, _who carries_ TIMBURINA.

  _Bl._ (_wildly_). What, do I see you safe, beloved Brunette?

  _Br._ Yes, thanks to his courage, I'm not even _wet_!

  _Frank_ (_modestly_). Nay, spare your compliments. To rescue Beauty,
    When in distress, is every hero's duty!

  _Bl._ Brunette, forgive--I'm cured of all my folly!

  _Br._ (_heartily_). Of course I will, my dear, and so will dolly!

     [_Grand Trio and Step-dance, with "tippity-tappity," and
     "clickity-clack" refrain as finale._


Our present Drama represents an attempt to illustrate upon the
Music-hall stage the eternal truth that race _will_ tell in the long
run, despite--but, on second thoughts, it does not _quite_ prove that,
though it certainly shows the unerring accuracy of parental--at least,
that is not exactly its tendency, either; and the fact is that _Mr.
Punch_ is more than a little mixed himself as to the precise theory
which it is designed to enforce. He hopes, however, that, as a realistic
study of Patrician life and manners, it will possess charms for a
democratic audience.




    _The Earl of Burntalmond._

    _The Countess of Burntalmond (his wife)._

    _Robert Henry Viscount Bullsaye (their son and heir)._

    _The Lady Rose Caramel (niece to the Earl)._

    _Horehound_            } Travelling as "The Celebrated Combination
    _Mrs. Horehound_       }   Korffdropp Troupe," in their refined and
    _Coltsfoot Horehound_  }   elegant Drawing-room Entertainment.


     SCENE--_The Great Quadrangle of Hardbake Castle; banners,
     mottoes, decorations, &c. On the steps_, R., _the Earl,_
     supported by his wife, son, and niece, is discovered in the act
     of concluding a speech to six tenantry, who display all the
     enthusiasm that is reasonably to be expected at nine-pence a

  _The Earl_ (_patting_ Lord BULLSAYE'S _shoulder_). I might say more,
Gentlemen, in praise of my dear son, Lord Bullsaye, here--I might dwell
on his extreme sweetness, his strongly marked character, the variety of
his tastes, and the singular attraction he has for children of all
ages--but I forbear. I will merely announce that on this day--the day he
has selected for attaining his majority--he has gratified us all by
plighting troth to his cousin, the Lady Rose Caramel, with whose dulcet
and clinging disposition he has always possessed the greatest natural

  _Lord Bullsaye_ (_aside to_ Lady R.). Ah, Rose, would such happiness
could last! But my heart misgives me strangely--why, I know not.

  _Lady R._ Say not so, dear Bullsaye--have you not just rendered me the
happiest little Patrician in the whole peerage?

  _Lord B._ 'Tis true--and yet, and yet--pooh, let me snatch the present
     [_Snatches it._

  _The Earl._ And now, let the Revels commence.

_Enter the_ Korffdropp Troupe, _who give their marvellous Entertainment,
entitled, "The Three Surprise Packets;" after which_--

  _Horehound._ This will conclude the first portion of our Entertainment,
Lords, Ladies, _and_ Gentlemen; and, while my wife and pardner retires
to change her costoom for the Second Part, I should be glad of the
hoppertoonity of a short pussonal hexplanation with the noble Herl on my

        [_Exit_ Mrs. HOREHOUND.

  _The Earl_ (_graciously_). I will hear you, fellow! (_Aside._) Strange
how familiar his features seem to me!

  _Horeh._ The fact is, your Lordship's celebrating the coming of hage of
the _wrong heir_. (_Sensation--i.e., the six tenantry shift from one leg
to the other, and murmur feebly._) Oh, I can prove it. Twenty-one years
ago--(_slow music_)--I was in your Lordship's service as gamekeeper,
'ead whip, and hextry waiter. My son and yours was born the selfsame
day, and my hold dutch was selected to hact as foster-mother to the
youthful lord. Well--(_tells a long, and not entirely original, story;
marvellous resemblance between infants, only distinguishable by green
and magenta bows, &c., &c._) Soon after, your Lordship discharged me at
a moment's notice----

  _The Earl_ (_haughtily_). I did, upon discovering that you were in the
habit of surreptitiously carrying off kitchen-stuff, concealed within
your umbrella. But proceed with your narration.

  _Horeh._ I swore to be avenged, and so--(_common form again; the shifted
bows_)--consequently, as a moment's reflection will convince you, the
young man on the steps, in the button-'ole and tall 'at, is my lawful
son, while the real Viscount is--(_presenting_ COLTSFOOT, _who advances
modestly on his hands_)--'ere!

        [_Renewed sensation._

  _The Earl._ This is indeed a startling piece of intelligence. (_To_ Lord
B.) And so, Sir, it appears that your whole life has been one consistent
imposition--a gilded _lie_?

  _Lord B._ Let my youth and inexperience at the time, Sir, plead as my
best excuse!

  _The E._ Nothing can excuse the fact that you--you, a low-born son of
the people, have monopolised the training, the tenderness and education,
which were the due of your Patrician foster-brother. (_To_ COLTSFOOT.)
Approach, my injured, long-lost boy, and tell me how I may atone for
these years of injustice and neglect!

  _Colts._ Well, Guv'nor, if you could send out for a pot o' four arf, it
'ud be a _beginning_, like.

  _The E._ You shall have every luxury that befits your rank, but first
remove that incongruous garb.

  _Colts._ (_to_ Lord B.). These 'ere togs belong to _you_ now, young
feller, and I reckon exchange ain't no robbery.

  _Lord B._ (_with emotion, to_ Countess). Mother, can you endure to
behold your son in tights and spangles on the very day of his majority?

  _Countess_ (_coldly_). On the contrary, it is my wish to see him attired
as soon as possible, in a more appropriate costume.

  _Lord B._ (_to_ Lady R.). Rose, _you_, at least, have not changed? Tell
me you will love me still even on the precarious summit of an acrobat's

  _Lady Rose_ (_scornfully_). Really the presumptuous familiarity of the
lower orders is perfectly appalling!

  _The Earl_ (_to_ Countess, _as_ Lord B. _and_ COLTSFOOT _retire to
exchange costumes_). At last, Pauline, I understand why I could never
feel towards Bullsaye the affection of a parent. Often have I reproached
myself for a coldness I could not overcome.

  _Countess._ And I too! Nature was too strong for us. But, oh, the joy of
recovering our son--of finding him so strong, so supple, so agile. Never
yet has our line boasted an heir who can feed himself from a fork
strapped on to his dexter heel!

  _The E._ (_with emotion_). Our beloved, boneless boy!

     [_Re-enter_ COLTSFOOT _in modern dress, and_ Lord B. _in

  _Colts._ Don't I look slap-up--O.K. and no mistake? Oh, I _am_ 'aving a

  _All._ What easy gaiety, and unforced animation!

  _The E._ My dear boy, let me present you to your _fiancée_. Rose, my
love, this is your _legitimate_ lover.

  _Colts._ Oh, all right, _I've_ no objections--on'y there'll be ructions
with the young woman in the tight-rope line as I've been keepin' comp'ny
with--that's all!

  _The E._ Your foster-brother will act as your substitute there.
(_Proudly._) _My_ son must make no _mésalliance_!

  _Rose_ (_timidly_). And, if it would give you any pleasure, I'm sure I
could soon learn the tight-rope!

  _Colts._ Not at _your_ time o' life, Miss, and besides, 'ang it, now I'm
a lord, I can't have my wife doin' nothing low!

  _The E._ Spoken like a true Burntalmond! And now let the revels

[Illustration: Lord B. in tights.]

        [_Re-enter_ Mrs. Horehound.

  _Horeh._ (_to_ Lord B.). Now then, stoopid, tumble, can't you--what are
you 'ere _for_?

  _Lord B._ (_to the_ Earl). Since it is your command, I obey, though it
is ill tumbling with a heavy heart!

        [_Turns head over heels laboriously._

  _Colts._ Call _that_ a somersault? 'Ere, 'old my 'at (_giving tall hat
to_ Lady R.) _I'll_ show yer 'ow to do a turn.

        [_Throws a triple somersault._

  _All._ What condescension! How his aristocratic superiority is betrayed,
even in competition with those to the manner born!

  _Mrs. Horeh._ (_still in ignorance of the transformation_). Halt! I have
kept silence till now--even from my husband, but the time has come when
I _must_ speak. Think you that if he were indeed a lord, he could turn
such somersaults as those? No--no. I will reveal all. (_Tells same old
story--except that she herself from ambitious motives transposed the
infants' bows._) Now, do with me what you will!

  _Horeh._ Confusion, so my ill-judged action did but redress the wrong I
designed to effect!

  _The E._ (_annoyed_). This is a serious matter, reflecting as it does
upon the legitimacy of my lately recovered son. What proof have you,
woman, of your preposterous allegation?

  _Mrs. H._ None, my lord,--but these--

        [_Exhibits two faded bunches of ribbon._

  _The E._ I cannot resist such overwhelming evidence, fight against it as
I may.

  _Lord B._ (_triumphantly_). And so--oh, Father, Mother, Rose--dear, dear
Rose--I am no acrobat, after all!

  _The E._ (_sternly_). Would you were anything half so serviceable to the
community, Sir! I have no superstitious reverence for rank, and am, I
trust, sufficiently enlightened to discern worth and merit--even beneath
the spangled vest of the humblest acrobat. Your foster-brother, brief as
our acquaintance has been, has already endeared himself to all hearts,
while you have borne a trifling reverse of fortune with sullen
discontent and conspicuous incapacity. He has perfected himself in a
lofty and distinguished profession during years spent by _you_, Sir, in
idly cumbering the earth of Eton and Oxford. Shall I allow him to suffer
by a purely accidental coincidence? Never! I owe him reparation, and it
shall be paid to the uttermost penny. From this day, I adopt him as my
eldest son, and the heir to my earldom, and all other real and personal
effects. See, Robert Henry, that you treat your foster-brother as your
senior in future!

  _Colts._ (_to_ Lord B.). Way-oh, ole matey, I don't bear no malice, _I_
don't! Give us your dooks.
     [_Offering hand._

  _The C._ Ah, Bullsaye, try to be worthy of such generosity!

        [Lord B. _grasps_ COLTSFOOT'S _hand in silence_.

  _Lady Rose._ And pray, understand that, whether Mr. Coltsfoot be
viscount or acrobat, it can make no difference whatever to the
disinterested affection with which I have lately learnt to regard him.

        [_Gives her hand to_ COLTSFOOT, _who squeezes it with ardour_.

  _Colts._ (_pleasantly_). Well, Father, Mother, your noble Herlship and
Lady, foster-brother Bullsaye, and my pretty little sweetart 'ere, what
do you all say to goin' inside and shunting a little garbage, and
shifting a drop or so of lotion, eh?

  _The E._ A most sensible suggestion, my boy. Let us make these ancient
walls the scene of the blithest--ahem!--_beano_ they have ever yet

     [_Cheers from Tenantry, as the_ Earl _leads the way into the
     Castle with_ Mrs. HOREHOUND, _followed by_ HOREHOUND _with the_
     Countess _and_ COLTSFOOT _with_ Lady ROSE, Lord BULLSAYE,
     _discomfited and abashed, entering last as Curtain falls_.




    _Lady Belledame_ (_a Dowager of the deepest dye_).

    _Monkshood_ (_her Steward, and confidential Minion_).

    _Little Elfie_ (_an Angel Child_). This part has been specially
        constructed for that celebrated Infant Actress, Banjoist, and
        Variety Comédienne, Miss BIRDIE CALLOWCHICK.

    SCENE--_The Panelled Room at Nightshade Hall._

  _Lady Belledame_ (_discovered preparing parcels_). Old and unloved!--yes
the longer I live, the more plainly do I perceive that I am _not_ a
popular old woman. Have I not acquired the reputation in the County of
being a witch? My neighbour, Sir Vevey Long, asked me publicly only the
other day "when I would like my broom ordered," and that minx, Lady
Violet Powdray, has pointedly mentioned old cats in my hearing!
Pergament, my family lawyer, has declined to act for me any longer,
merely because Monkshood rack-rented some of the tenants a little too
energetically in the Torture Chamber--as if in these hard times one was
not justified in putting the screw on! Then the villagers scowl when I
pass; the very children shrink from me--[_A childish Voice outside
window,_ "Yah, 'oo sold 'erself to Old Bogie for a pound o' tea an' a
set o' noo teeth?"]--that is, when they do not insult me by suggestions
of bargains that are not even businesslike! No matter--I will be avenged
upon them all--ay, all! 'Tis Christmas-time--the season at which
sentimental fools exchange gifts and good wishes. For once I, too, will
distribute a few seasonable presents.... (_Inspecting parcels._) Are my
arrangements complete? The bundle of choice cigars, in each of which a
charge of nitro-glycerine has been dexterously inserted? The lip-salve,
made up from my own prescription with corrosive sublimate by a venal
chemist in the vicinity? The art flower-pot, containing a fine specimen
of the Upas plant, swathed in impermeable sacking? The sweets compounded
with sugar of lead? The packet of best ratsbane? Yes, nothing has been
omitted. Now to summon my faithful Monkshood.... Ha! he is already at

        [_Chord as_ MONKSHOOD _enters_.

  _Monkshood._ Your Ladyship, a child, whose sole luggage is a small
bandbox and a large banjo, is without, and requests the favour of a
personal interview.

  _Lady B._ (_reproachfully_). And you, who have been with me all these
years, and know my ways, omitted to let loose the bloodhounds? You grow
careless, Monkshood!

  _Monks._ (_wounded_). Your Ladyship is unjust--I _did_ unloose the
bloodhounds; but the ferocious animals merely sat up and begged. The
child had took the precaution to provide herself with a bun!

  _Lady B._ No matter, she must be removed--I care not how.

  _Monks._ There may be room for one more--a little one--in the old well.
The child mentioned that she was your Ladyship's granddaughter, but I
presume that will make no difference?

  _Lady B._ (_disquieted_). What!--then she must be the child of my only
son Poldoodle, whom, for refusing to cut off the entail, I had falsely
accused of adulterating milk, and transported beyond the seas! She
comes hither to denounce and reproach me! Monkshood, she must not leave
this place alive--you hear?

  _Monks._ I require no second bidding--ha, the child ... she comes!

     [_Chord. Little_ ELFIE _trips in with touching

  _Elfie_ (_in a charming little Cockney accent_). Yes, Grandma, it's
me--little Elfie, come all the way from Australia to see you, because I
thought you must be sow lownly all by yourself! My Papa often told me
what a long score he owed you, and how he hoped to pay you off if he
lived. But he went out to business one day--Pa was a bushranger, you
know, and worked--oh, _so_ hard; and never came back to his little
Elfie, so poor little Elfie has come to live with you!

  _Monks._ Will you have the child removed now, my Lady?

  _Lady B._ (_undecidedly_). Not now--not yet; I have other work for you.
These Christmas gifts, to be distributed amongst my good friends and
neighbours (_handing parcels_). First, this bundle of cigars to Sir
Vevey Long with my best wishes that such a connoisseur in tobacco may
find them sufficiently strong. The salve for Lady Violet Powdray, with
my love, and it should be rubbed on the last thing at night. The plant
you will take to the little Pergaments--'twill serve them for a
Christmas tree. This packet to be diluted in a barrel of beer, which you
will see broached upon the village green; these sweetmeats for
distribution among the most deserving of the school-children.

  _Elfie_ (_throwing her arms around Lady B.'s neck_). I _do_ like you,
Grandma, you have such a kind face! And oh, what pains you must have
taken to find something that will do for everybody!

  _Lady B._ (_disengaging herself peevishly_). Yes, yes, child. I trust
that what I have chosen will indeed do for everybody,--but I do not
like to be messed about. Monkshood, you know what you have to do.

  _Elfie._ Oh, I am sure he does, Grandma! See how benevolently he smiles.
You're such a good old man, you will take care that all the poor people
are fed, _won't_ you?

[Illustration: Little Elfie.]

  _Monks._ (_with a sinister smile_). Ah! Missie, I've 'elped to settle a
many people's 'ash in my time!

  _Elfie_ (_innocently_). What, do they all get hash? How nice! I like
hash,--but what else do you give them?

  _Monks._ (_grimly_). Gruel, Missie. (_Aside._) I must get out of this,
or this innocent child's prattle will unman me!

        [_Exit with parcels._

  _Elfie._ You seem so sad and troubled, Grandma. Let me sing you one of
the songs with which I drew a smile from poor dear Pa in happier days.

  _Lady B._ No, no, some other time. (_Aside._) Pshaw! why should I dread
the effect of her simple melodies? (_Aloud._) Sing, child, if you will.

  _Elfie._ How glad I am that I brought my banjo!    [_Sings._

    _Dar is a lubly yaller gal dat tickles me to deff;
    She'll dance de room ob darkies down, and take away deir breff.
    When she sits down to supper, ebery coloured gemple-man,
    As she gets her upper lip o'er a plate o' "possom dip," cries,
        "Woa, Lucindy Ann!"_ (Chorus, dear Granny!)


    _Woa, Lucindy!   Woa, Lucindy!   Woa, Lucindy Ann!
    At de rate dat you are stuffin, you will nebber leave us nuffin;
         so woa, Miss Sindy Ann!_

  _To Lady B._ (_who, after joining in chorus with deep emotion, has burst
into tears_). Why, you are _weeping_, dear Grandmother!

  _Lady B._ Nay, 'tis nothing, child--but have you no songs which are less

  _Elfie._ Oh, yes, I know plenty of plantation ditties more cheerful than
that. (_Sings._)

    _Oh, I hear a gentle whisper from de days ob long ago,
      When I used to be a happy darkie slave.
    But now I'se got to labour wif the shovel an' de hoe--
      For ole Massa lies a sleepin' in his grave!


    _Poor ole Massa!   Poor ole Massa!_   (Pianissimo.)   _Poor ole
    Massa, that I nebber more shall see!
    He was let off by de Jury, Way down in old Missouri--But
    dey lynched him on a persimmon tree._

  _Elfie._ You smile at last, dear Grandma! I would sing to you again, but
I am so very, very sleepy!

  _Lady B._ Poor child, you have had a long journey. Rest awhile on this
couch, and I will arrange this screen so as to protect your slumbers.
     [_Leads little_ ELFIE _to couch_.

  _Elfie_ (_sleepily_). Thanks, dear Grandma, thanks.... Now I shall go to
sleep, and dream of you, and the dogs, and angels. I so often dream
about angels--but that is generally after supper, and to-night I have
had no supper.... But never mind.... Good night, Grannie, good night ...
goo'ni' ... goo ... goo!
     [_She sinks softly to sleep._

  _Lady B._ And I was about to set the bloodhounds upon this little
sunbeam! 'Tis long since these grim walls have echoed strains so sweet
as hers. (_Croons._) "Woa, Lucindy" &c. "Dey tried him by a Jury, way
down in ole Missouri, an' dey hung him to a possumdip tree!" (_Goes to
couch, and gazes on the little sleeper._) How peacefully she slumbers!
What a change has come over me in one short hour!--my withered heart is
sending up green shoots of tenderness, of love, and hope! Let me try
henceforth to be worthy of this dear child's affection and respect.
(_Turns, and sees_ MONKSHOOD.) Ha, Monkshood! Then there is time yet!
Those parcels ... quick, quick!--the parcels!----

  _Monks_ (_impassively_). Have been left as you instructed, my Lady.

     [_Chord._ Lady B. _staggers back, gasping, into chair. Little_
     ELFIE _awakes behind screen, and rubs her eyes_.

  _Lady B._ (_in a hoarse whisper_). You--you have left the parcels ...
all--_all?_ Tell me--how were they received? Speak low--I would not
that yonder child should awake and hear!

  _Little Elfie_ (_behind the screen, very wide awake indeed_). Dear, good
old Grannie--she would conceal her generosity--even from _me_!
(_Loudly._) She little thinks that I am overhearing all!

  _Monks._ I could have sworn I heard whispering.

  _Lady B._ Nay, you are mistaken--'twas but the wind in the old wainscot.
(_Aside._) He is quite capable of destroying that innocent child; but
old and attached servant as he is, there are liberties I still know how
to forbid. (_To_ M.) Your story--quick!

  _Monks._ First, I delivered the cigars to Sir Vevey Long, whom I found
under his verandah. He seemed surprised and gratified by the gift,
selected a weed, and was proceeding to light it, whilst he showed a
desire to converse familiarly with me. 'Astily excusing myself, I drove
away, when----

  _Lady B._ When _what_? Do not torture a wretched old woman!

  _Monks._ When I heard a loud report behind me, and, in the portion of a
brace, two waistcoat-buttons, and half a slipper, which hurtled past my
ears, I recognised all that was mortal of the late Sir Vevey. You mixed
them cigars uncommon strong, m'Lady.

  _Elfie_ (_aside_). Can it be? But no, no. I will _not_ believe it. I am
sure that dear Granny meant no harm!

  _Lady B._ (_with a grim pride she cannot wholly repress_). I have
devoted some study to the subject of explosives. 'Tis another triumph to
the Anti-tobacconists. And what of Lady Violet Powdray--did she apply
the salve?

  _Monks._ Judging from the 'eartrending 'owls which proceeded from
Carmine Cottage, the salve was producing the desired result. Her
Ladyship, 'owever, terminated her sufferings somewhat prematoor by
jumping out of a top winder just as I was taking my departure----

  _Lady B._ She should have died hereafter--but no matter ... and the

  _Monks._----was presented to the Pergaments, who unpacked it, and loaded
its branches with toys and tapers; after which Mr. Pergament, Mrs. P.,
and all the little Pergaments joined 'ands, and danced round it in
light'arted glee. (_In a sombre tone._) They little knoo as how it was
their dance of death!

  _Lady B._ That knowledge will come! And the beer, Monkshood--you saw it

  _Monks._ Upon the village green; the mortality is still spreading, it
being found impossible to undo the knots in which the victims have tied
themselves. The sweetmeats were likewise distributed, and the floor of
the hinfant-school now resembles one vast fly-paper.

  _Lady B._ (_with a touch of remorse_). The children too! Was not my
little Elfie once an infant? Ah me, ah me!

  _Elfie_ (_aside_). Once--but that was long, long ago. And, oh, _how_
disappointed I am in poor dear Grandmama!

  _Lady B._ Monkshood, you should not have done these things--you should
have saved me from myself. You _must_ have known how greatly all this
would increase my unpopularity in the neighbourhood.

  _Monks._ (_sulkily_). And this is my reward for obeying orders! Take
care, my Lady. It suits you now to throw me aside like a--(_casting
about for an original simile_)--like a old glove, because this innocent
grandchild of yours has touched your flinty 'art. But where will _you_
be when she learns----?

  _Lady B._ (_in agony_). Ah, no, Monkshood, good, faithful Monkshood,
she must never know that! Think, Monkshood, you would not tell her that
the Grandmother to whom she looks up with such touching, childlike love,
was a--_homicide_--you would not do that?

  _Monks._ Some would say even 'omicide was not too black a name for all
you've done. (Lady BELLEDAME _shudders_.) I might tell Miss Elfie how
you've blowed up a live Baronet, corrosive sublimated a gentle Lady,
honly for 'aving, in a moment of candour, called you a hold cat, and
distributed pison in a variety of forms about this smiling village; and,
if that don't inspire her with distrust, I don't know the nature of
children, that's all! I might tell her, I say, and, if I'm to keep my
mouth shut, I shall expect it to be considered in my wages.

  _Lady B._ I knew you had a good heart! I will pay you
anything--anything, provided you shield my guilt from her ... wait, you
shall have gold, gold, Monkshood, gold!

     [_Chord. Little_ ELFIE _suddenly comes from behind screen;
     limelight on her. The other two shrink back._

  _Elfie._ Do not give that bad old man money, Grandmother, for it will
only be wasted.

  _Lady B._ Speak, child!--how much do you know?

  _Elfie._ All!    [_Chord._ Lady B. _collapses on chair_.

  _Lady B._ (_with an effort_). And now, Elfie, that you know, you scorn
and hate your poor old Grandmother--is it not so?

  _Elfie._ It is wrong to hate one's Grandmother, whatever she does. At
first when I heard, I was very, very sorry. I _did_ think it was most
unkind of you. But now, oh, I _can't_ believe that you had not some
good, wise motive, in acting as you did!

  _Lady B._ (_in conscience-stricken aside_). Even _this_ cannot shatter
her artless faith ... Oh, wretch, wretch!

        [_Covers her face._

  _Monks._ Motive--I believe you there, Missie. Why, she went and insured
all their lives aforehand, _she_ did.

  _Lady B._ Monkshood, in pity hold your peace!

  _Elfie_ (_her face beaming_). I knew it--I was sure of it! Oh, Granny,
my dear, kind old Granny, you insured their lives first, so that no real
harm could possibly happen to them--oh, I am so happy!

[Illustration: "Good-bye, Good-bye!"]

  _Lady B._ (_aside_). What shall I say? Merciful Powers, what _shall_ I
say to her?
     [_Disturbed sounds without._

  _Monks._ I don't know what you'd better _say_, but I can tell you what
your Ladyship had better _do_--and that is, take your 'ook while you
can. Even now the outraged populace approaches, to wreak a hawful
vengeance upon your guilty 'ed!
     [_Melodramatic music._

  _Lady B._ (_distractedly_). A mob! I cannot face them--they will tear me
limb from limb. At my age I could not survive such an indignity as that!
Hide me, Monkshood--help me to escape!

  _Monks._ There is a secret underground passage, known only to myself,
communicating with the nearest railway station. I will point it out, and
personally conduct your Ladyship--for a consideration--one thousand
pounds down.

        [_The noise increases._

  _Elfie._ No, Granny, don't trust him! Be calm and brave. Await the mob
here. Leave it all to me. I will explain everything to them--how you
meant no ill,--how, at the very time they thought you were meditating an
injury, you were actually spending money in insuring all their lives.
When I tell them _that_----

  _Monks._ Ah, you tell 'em that, and see. It's too late now--they are

     [_Shouts without._ Lady B. _crouches on floor. Little_ ELFIE
     _goes to the window, throws open the shutters, and stands on
     balcony in her fluttering white robe, and the limelight_.

  _Elfie._ Yes, they are here. Why, they are carrying torches!--(Lady B.
_groans_)--and banners, too! I think they have a band.... Who is that
tall, stout gentleman, in the white hat, on horseback, and the lady in a
pony-trap, with, oh, such a beautiful complexion! There is an
inscription on one of the flags--I can read it quite plainly. "_Thanks
to the generous Donor!_" (That must be _you_, Grandmother!) And there
are children who dance, and scatter flowers. They are asking for a
speech. (_Speaking off._) "If you please, Ladies and Gentlemen, my
Grandmama is not at all well, but she wishes me to say she wishes you a
Merry Christmas, and is very glad you all like your presents so much.
Good-bye, _good_-bye!" (_Returning down Stage._) Now they have gone
away, Granny.... They did look so grateful!

  _Lady B._ (_bewildered_). What is this! Sir Vevey, Lady Violet,--alive,
well? This deputation of gratitude? Am I mad, dreaming--or what does it
all mean?

  _Monks._ (_doggedly_). It means that the sight of this 'ere angel child
recalled me to a sense of what I might be exposin' myself to by carrying
out your Ladyship's commands; and so I took the liberty of substitootin
gifts more calculated to inspire gratitude in their recipients--that's
what it means.

  _Lady B._ Wretch!--then you have disobeyed me? You leave this day month!

  _Elfie_ (_pleading_). Nay, Grandmother, bear with him, for has not his
disobedience spared you from acts that you might some day have
regretted?... There, Mr. Butler, Granny forgives you--see, she holds out
her hand, and here's mine; and now----

  _Lady B._ (_smiling tenderly_). Now you shall sing us "_Woa, Lucinda!_"

     [_Little_ ELFIE _fetches her banjo, and sings, "Woa, Lucinda!"
     her Grandmother and the aged Steward joining in the dance and
     chorus, and embracing the child, to form picture as Curtain




    _Jack Parker_ ("_was a cruel boy, For mischief was his sole
                  employ._"--_Vide_) Miss JANE TAYLOR.

    _Miss Lydia Banks_ ("_though very young, Will never do what's
                       rude or wrong._"--_Ditto._)

    _Farmer Banks_        }  By the Brothers GRIFFITHS.
    _Farmer Banks's Bull_ }

    _Chorus of Farm Hands._

     SCENE.--_A Farmyard._ R. _a stall from which the head of the
     Bull is visible above the half-door. Enter_ Farmer BANKS _with
     a cudgel_.

  _Farmer B._ (_moodily_). When roots are quiet, and cereals are dull,
    I vent my irritation on the Bull.

        [_We have_ Miss TAYLOR'S _own authority for this rhyme_.

    Come hup, you beast!

     [_Opens stall and flourishes cudgel--the Bull comes forward
     with an air of deliberate defiance._

    Oh, turning narsty, is he?

        [_Apologetically to Bull._

    Another time will do! I see you're busy!

     [_The Bull, after some consideration, decides to accept this
     retractation, and retreats with dignity to his stall, the door
     of which he carefully fastens after him. Exit_ Farmer BANKS,
     L., _as_ LYDIA BANKS _enters_ R. _accompanied by Chorus. The
     Bull exhibits the liveliest interest in her proceedings, as he
     looks on, with his forelegs folded easily upon the top of the

_Song_--LYDIA BANKS (_in Polka time_).

    I'm the child by Miss Jane Taylor sung;
    Unnaturally good for one so young--
    A pattern for the people that I go among,
    With my moral little tags on the tip of my tongue.
    And I often feel afraid that I shan't live long,
    For I never do a thing that's rude or wrong!

_Chorus_ (_to which the Bull beats time_).
      As a general rule, one _doesn't_ live long,
      If you never do a thing that's rude or wrong!

_Second Verse._

    My words are all with wisdom fraught,
    To make polite replies I've sought;
    And learned by independent thought,
    That a pinafore, inked, is good for nought.
    So wonderfully well have I been taught,
    That I turn my toes as children ought!

_Chorus_ (_to which the Bull dances_).
      This moral lesson she's been taught--
      She turns her toes as children ought!

  _Lydia_ (_sweetly_). Yes, I'm the Farmer's daughter--Lydia Banks;
    No person ever caught me playing pranks!
    I'm loved by all the live-stock on the farm,

        [_Ironical applause from the Bull._

    Pigeons I've plucked will perch upon my arm,
    And pigs at my approach sit up and beg.

        [_Business by Bull._

    For me the partial peacock saves his egg,
    No sheep e'er snaps if _I_ attempt to touch her,
    Lambs _like_ it when I lead them to the butcher!
    Each morn I milk my rams beneath the shed,
    While rabbits flutter twittering round my head,
    And, as befits a dairy-farmer's daughter,
    What milk I get I supplement with water,

     [_A huge Shadow is thrown on the road outside_; LYDIA _starts_.

    Whose shadow is it makes the highway darker?
    That bullet head! those ears! it is----Jack Parker!

     [_Chord. The Chorus flee in dismay, as_ JACK _enters with a
     reckless swagger_.


    I'm loafing about, and I very much doubt
    If my excellent Ma is aware that I'm out;
    My time I employ in attempts to annoy,
    And I'm not what you'd call an agreeable boy!
        I shoe the cats with walnut-shells;
          Tin cans to curs I tie;
        Ring furious knells at front-door bells--
          Then round the corner fly!
    'Neath donkeys' tails I fasten furze,
      Or timid horsemen scare;
    If chance occurs, I stock with burrs
      My little Sister's hair!

        [_The Bull shakes his head reprovingly._

    Such tricks give me joy without any alloy,
    But they do not denote an agreeable boy!

     [_As_ JACK PARKER _concludes, the Bull ducks cautiously below
     the half-door, while_ LYDIA _conceals herself behind the pump_,

  _Jack_ (_wandering about stage discontentedly_). I thought at least
        there'd be _some_ beasts to badger here!
    Call this a farm--there ain't a blooming spadger here!

        [_Approaches stall--Bull raises head suddenly._

    A bull! This is a lark I've long awaited!
    He's in a stable, so he should be baited.

     [_The Bull shows symptoms of acute depression at this jeu de
     mots_; LYDIA _comes forward indignantly_.

  _Lydia._ I _can't_ stand by and see that poor bull suffer!
    Excitement's sure to make his beef taste tougher!

        [_The Bull emphatically corroborates this statement._

    Be warned by Miss Jane Taylor; fractured skulls
    Invariably come from teasing bulls!
    So let that door alone, nor lift the latchet;
    For if the bull gets out--why, then you'll catch it.

  _Jack._ A fractured skull? Yah, don't believe a word of it!

     [_Raises latchet: chord; Bull comes slowly out, and crouches
     ominously_; JACK _retreats, and takes refuge on top of pump:
     the Bull, after scratching his back with his off foreleg, makes
     a sudden rush at_ LYDIA.

  _Lydia_ (_as she evades it_). Here, help!--it's chasing me!--it's
        too absurd of it!
    Go away, Bull--with _me_ you have no quarrel!

     [_The Bull intimates that he is acting from a deep sense of

  _Lydia_ (_impatiently_). You stupid thing, you're _ruining_ the moral!

        [_The Bull persists obstinately in his pursuit._

  _Jack_ (_from top of pump_). Well dodged, Miss Banks! although
        the Bull I'll back!

        [_Enter_ Farm-hands.

  _Lydia._ Come quick--this Bull's mistaking me for Jack!

  _Jack._ He knows his business best, I shouldn't wonder.

  _Farm-hands_ (_philosophically_). He ain't the sort of Bull
        to make a blunder.

        [_They look on._

  _Lydia_ (_panting._) Such violent exercise will soon exhaust me!

        [_The Bull comes behind her._

    Oh, Bull, it _is_ unkind of you ... you've _tossed_ me!

     [_Falls on ground, while the Bull stands over her, in readiness
     to give the coup de grace_; LYDIA _calls for help_.

  _A Farm-hand_ (_encouragingly_). Nay, Miss, he seems moor
        sensible nor surly--
    He knows as how good children perish early!

     [_The Bull nods in acknowledgment that he is at last
     understood, and slaps his chest with his forelegs._

  _Lydia._ Bull, I'll turn naughty, if you'll but be lenient!
    Goodness, I see, is sometimes inconvenient.
    I promise you henceforth I'll _try_, at any rate,
    To act like children who are unregenerate!

[Illustration: On top of the Pump.]

     [_The Bull, after turning this over, decides to accept a

  _Jack._ And, Lydia, when you ready for a lark are,
    Just give a chyhike to your friend--Jack Parker!

        [_They shake hands warmly._


  _Lydia._ I thought to slowly fade away so calm and beautiful.
      (Though I didn't mean to go just yet);
    But you get no chance for pathos when you're chivied by a bull!
      (So I thought I wouldn't go just yet.)
    For I did feel so upset, when I found that all you get
    By the exercise of virtue, is that bulls will come and hurt you!
      That I thought I wouldn't go just yet!

  _Chorus._ We hear, with some regret,
      That she doesn't mean to go just yet.
      But a Bull with horns that hurt you
      Is a poor return for virtue,
      So she's wiser not to go just yet!

     [_The Bull rises on his hindlegs, and gives a forehoof each to_
     LYDIA _and_ JACK, _who dance wildly round and round as the
     Curtain falls_.

[N.B.--Music-hall Managers are warned that the morality of this
particular Drama may possibly be called in question by some members of
the L. C. C.]




    _Sir Poshbury Puddock (a haughty and high-minded Baronet)._

    _Verbena Puddock (his Daughter)._

    _Lord Bleshugh (her Lover)._

    _Spiker (a needy and unscrupulous Adventurer)._

    _Blethers (an ancient and attached Domestic)._


    SCENE--_The Morning Room at Natterjack Hall, Toadley-le-Hole;
    large window open at back, with heavy practicable sash._


  _Blethers._ Sir Poshbury's birthday to-day--his birthday!--and the
gentry giving of him presents. Oh, Lor! if they only knew what _I_ could
tell 'em!... Ah, and _must_ tell, too, before long--but not yet--not


  _Verb._ Yes, Papa is forty to-day; (_innocently_) fancy living to _that_
age! The tenants have presented him with a handsome jar of mixed
pickles, with an appropriate inscription. Papa is loved and respected by
every one. And I--well, I have made him a little housewife, containing
needles and thread ... See!
     [_Shows it._

  _Lord Blesh._ (_tenderly_). I say, I--I wish you would make _me_ a
little housewife!

        [_Comedy love-dialogue omitted owing to want of space._

  _Verb._ Oh, do look!--there's Papa crossing the lawn with, oh, such a
horrid man following him!

  _Lord B._ Regular bounder. Shocking bad hat!

  _Verb._ Not so bad as his boots, and _they_ are not so bad as his face!
Why doesn't Papa order him to go away? Oh, he is actually inviting him

_Enter_ Sir POSHBURY, _gloomy and constrained, with_ SPIKER, _who is
jaunty, and somewhat over familiar._

  _Spiker_ (_sitting on the piano, and dusting his boots with his
handkerchief_). Cosy little shanty you've got here, Puddock--very tasty!

  _Sir P._ (_with a gulp_). I am--ha--delighted that you approve of it!
Ah, Verbena!
     [_Kisses her on forehead._

  _Spiker._ Your daughter, eh? Pooty gal. Introduce me.

        [_Sir_ POSH. _introduces him--with an effort._

  _Verbena_ (_coldly_). How do you do? Papa, did you know that the
sashline of this window was broken? If it is not mended, it will fall on
somebody's head, and perhaps kill him!

  _Sir P._ (_absently_). Yes--yes, it shall be attended to; but leave us,
my child, go. Bleshugh, this--er--gentleman and I have business of
importance to discuss.

  _Spiker._ Don't let us drive you away, Miss; your Pa and me are only
talking over old times, that's all--eh, Posh?

  _Sir P._ (_in a tortured aside_). Have a care, Sir, don't drive me too
far! (_To_ VERB.) Leave us, I say. (Lord B. _and_ VERB. _go out, raising
their eyebrows._) Now, Sir, what is this secret you profess to have

  _Spiker._ Oh, a mere nothing. (_Takes out a cigar._) Got a light about
you? Thanks. Perhaps you don't recollect twenty-seven years ago this
very day, travelling from Edgware Road to Baker Street, by the
Underground Railway?

  _Sir P._ Perfectly; it was my thirteenth birthday, and I celebrated the
event by a visit to Madame Tussaud's.

[Illustration: Spiker Introduced.]

  _Spiker._ Exactly; it was your thirteenth birthday, and you travelled
second-class with a half-ticket--(_meaningly_)--on your thirteenth

  _Sir P._ (_terribly agitated_). Fiend that you are, how came you to
learn this?

  _Spiker._ Very simple. I was at that time in the temporary position of
ticket-collector at Baker Street. In the exuberance of boyhood, you
cheeked me. I swore to be even with you some day.

  _Sir P._ Even if--if your accusation were well-founded, how are you
going to prove it?

  _Sp._ Oh, that's easy! I preserved the half-ticket, on the chance that I
should require it as evidence hereafter.

  _Sir P._ (_aside_). And so the one error of an otherwise blameless
boyhood has found me out--at last! (_To_ SPIKER.) I fear you not; my
crime--if crime indeed it was--is surely condoned by twenty-seven long
years of unimpeachable integrity!

  _Sp._ Bye-laws are Bye-laws, old Buck! there's no Statute of Limitations
in criminal offences that ever _I_ heard of! Nothing can alter the fact
that you, being turned thirteen, obtained a half-ticket by a false
representation that you were under age. A line from me, even now,
denouncing you to the Traffic Superintendent, and I'm very much

  _Sir P._ (_writhing_). Spiker, my--my dear friend, you won't do
that--you won't expose me? Think of my age, my position, my daughter!

  _Sp._ Ah, now you've touched the right chord! I _was_ thinking of your
daughter--a nice lady-like gal--I don't mind telling you she fetched me,
Sir, at the first glance. Give me her hand, and I burn the compromising
half-ticket before your eyes on our return from church after the
wedding. Come, that's a fair offer!

  _Sir P._ (_indignantly_). My child, the ripening apple of my failing
eye, to be sacrificed to a blackmailing blackguard like you! Never while
I live!

  _Sp._ Just as you please; and, if you will kindly oblige me with writing
materials, I will just drop a line to the Traffic Superintendent----

  _Sir P._ (_hoarsely_). No, no; not _that_.... Wait, listen; I--I will
speak to my daughter. I promise nothing; but if her heart is still her
own to give, she may, (mind, I do not say she _will_,) be induced to
link her lot to yours, though I shall not attempt to influence her in
any way--in _any_ way.

  _Sp._ Well, you know your own business best, old Cockalorum. Here comes
the young lady, so I'll leave you to manage this delicate affair alone.
Ta-ta. I shan't be far off.

        [_Swaggers insolently out as_ VERB. _enters._

  _Sir P._ My child, I have just received an offer for your hand. I know
not if you will consent?

  _Verb._ I can guess who has made that offer, and why. I consent with all
my heart, dear Papa.

  _Sir P._ Can I trust my ears! You consent? Noble girl!

        [_He embraces her._

  _Verb._ I was quite sure dear Bleshugh meant to speak, and I _do_ love
him very much.

  _Sir P._ (_starting_). It is not Lord Bleshugh, my child, but Mr. Samuel
Spiker, the gentleman (for he is at heart a gentleman) whom I introduced
to you just now.

  _Verb._ I have seen so little of him, Papa, I cannot love him--you must
really excuse me!

  _Sir P._ Ah, but you will, my darling, you _will_--I know your unselfish
nature--you will, to save your poor old dad from a terrible disgrace ...
yes, _disgrace_, listen! Twenty-seven years ago--(_he tells her all_).
Verbena, at this very moment, there is a subscription on foot in the
county to present me with my photograph, done by an itinerant
photographer of the highest eminence, and framed and glazed ready for
hanging. Is that photograph never to know the nail which even now awaits
it? Can you not surrender a passing girlish fancy, to spare your fond
old father's fame? Mr. Spiker is peculiar, perhaps, in many ways--not
quite of our _monde_--but he loves you sincerely, my child, and that is
in itself a recommendation. Ah, I see--my prayers are vain ... be
happy, then. As for me, let the police come--I am ready!

  _Verb._ Not so, Papa; I will marry this Mr. Spiker, since it is your
     [Sir POSH. _dries his eyes._

  _Sir P._ Here, Spiker, my dear fellow, it is all right. Come in. She
accepts you.

_Enter_ SPIKER.

  _Sp._ Thought she would. Sensible little gal! Well, Miss, you shan't
regret it. Bless you, we'll be as chummy together as a couple of little

  _Verb._ Mr. Spiker, let us understand one another. I will do my best to
be a good wife to you--but chumminess is not mine to give, nor can I
promise ever to be your dicky-bird.


  _Lord B._ Sir Poshbury, may I have five minutes with you? Verbena, you
need not go. (_Looking at_ SPIKER.) Perhaps this person will kindly
relieve us of his presence.

  _Sp._ Sorry to disoblige, old fellow, but I'm on duty where Miss Verbena
is now, you see, as she's just promised to be my wife.

  _Lord B._ _Your_ wife!

  _Verb._ (_faintly_). Yes, Lord Bleshugh, his _wife_!

  _Sir P._ Yes, my poor boy, _his_ wife!

     [VERBENA _totters, and falls heavily in a dead faint,_ R.C.,
     _upsetting a flower-stand;_ LORD BLESHUGH _staggers, and swoons
     on sofa, C., overturning a table of knicknacks;_ SIR POSHBURY
     _sinks into chair,_ L.C., _and covers his face with his hands._

  _Sp._ (_looking down on them triumphantly_). Under the Harrow, by Gad!
Under the Harrow!

        [_Curtain, and end of Act I._


    SCENE--_Same as in Act I.; viz., the Morning-Room at Natterjack
    Hall. Evening of same day. Enter_ BLETHERS.

  _Blethers._ Another of Sir Poshbury's birthdays almost gone--and my
secret still untold! (_Dodders._) I can't keep it up much longer.... Ha,
here comes his Lordship--he does look mortal bad, that he do! Miss
Verbena ain't treated him too well, from all I can hear, poor young


  _Lord Bleshugh._ Blethers, by the memory of the innumerable half-crowns
that have passed between us, be my friend now--I have no others left.
Persuade your young Mistress to come hither--you need not tell her _I_
am here, you understand. Be discreet, and this florin shall be yours!

  _Blethers._ Leave it to me, my lord. I'd tell a lie for less than that,
any day, old as I am!

  _Lord Bl._ I cannot rest till I have heard from her own lips that the
past few hours have been nothing but a horrible dream.... She is coming!
Now for the truth!

_Enter_ VERBENA.

  _Verbena._ Papa, did you want me? (_Recognises Lord B.--controls herself
to a cold formality._) My lord, to what do I owe this--this unexpected
     [_Pants violently._

  _Lord Bl._ Verbena, tell me, you cannot really prefer that seedy snob in
the burst boots to me?

  _Verb._ (_aside_). How can I tell him the truth without betraying dear
Papa? No, I must lie, though it kills me. (_To Lord B._) Lord Bleshugh,
I have been trifling with you. I--I never loved you.

  _Lord B._ I see, and all the while your heart was given to a howling

  _Verb._ And if it was, who can account for the vagaries of a girlish
fancy! We women are capricious beings, you know. (_With hysterical
gaiety._) But you are unjust to Mr. Spiker--he has not _yet_ howled in
_my_ presence--(_aside_)--though I very nearly did in _his_!

  _Lord B._ And you really love him?

  _Verb._ I--I love him. (_Aside._) My heart will break!

  _Lord B._ Then I have no more to say. Farewell, Verbena! Be as happy as
the knowledge that you have wrecked one of the brightest careers, and
soured one of the sweetest natures in the county, will permit. (_Goes up
stage, and returns._) A few days since you presented me with a cloth
pen-wiper, in the shape of a dog of unknown breed. If you will kindly
wait here for half-an-hour, I shall have much pleasure in returning a
memento which I have no longer the right to retain, and there are
several little things I gave you which I can take back with me at the
same time, if you will have them put up in readiness.

  _Verbena._ Oh, he is cruel, cruel! but I shall keep the little bone
yard-measure, and the diamond pig--they are all I have to remind me of

_Enter_ SPIKER, _slightly intoxicated._

  _Spiker._ (_throwing himself on sofa without seeing Verb._) I don' know
how it is, but I feel precioush shleepy, somehow. P'raps I _did_ partake
lil' too freely of Sir Poshbury's gen'rous Burgundy. Wunner why they
call it "gen'rous"--it didn't give _me_ anything--'cept a bloomin'
headache! However, I punished it, and old Poshbury had to look on and
let me. He-he! (_Examining his hand._) Who'd think, to look at thish
thumb, that there was a real live Baronet squirmin' under it. But there

[Illustration: Spiker spiked.]

  _Verb._ (_bitterly_). And _that_ thing is my affianced husband Ah, no I
cannot go through with it, he is _too_ repulsive! If I could but find a
way to free myself without compromising poor Papa. The sofa-cushion!
_Dare_ I? It would be quite painless.... Surely the removal of such an
odious wretch cannot be _Murder_.... I will! (_Slow music. She gets a
cushion, and presses it tightly over_ SPIKER'S _head._) Oh, I _wish_ he
wouldn't gurgle like that, and how he does kick! He cannot even die like
a gentleman! (SPIKER'S _kicks become more and more feeble and eventually
cease._) How still he lies! I almost wish ... Mr. Spiker, Mr.
Spi-ker!... no answer--oh, I really _have_ suffocated him! (_Enter_ Sir
POSH.) You, Papa?

  _Sir Posh._ What, Verbena, sitting with, hem--Samuel in the gloaming?
(_Sings with forced hilarity._) "In the gloaming, oh, my darling!"
that's as it should be--quite as it should be!

  _Verb._ (_in dull strained accents_). Don't sing, Papa, I cannot bear
it--just yet. I have just suffocated Mr. Spiker with a sofa-cushion.
     [_Shows the body._

  _Sir Posh._ Then I am safe--he will tell no tales now! But, my child,
are you aware of the very serious nature of your act? An act of which,
as a Justice of the Peace, I am bound to take some official cognizance!

  _Verb._ Do not scold me, Papa. Was it not done for _your_ sake?

  _Sir P._ I cannot accept such an excuse as that. I fear your motives
were less disinterested than you would have me believe. And now,
Verbena, what will _you_ do? As your father, I would gladly screen
you--but, as a Magistrate, I cannot promise to be more than passive.

  _Verb._ Listen, Papa. I have thought of a plan--why should I not wheel
this sofa to the head of the front-door steps, and tip it over? They
will only think he fell down when intoxicated--for he _had_ taken far
too much wine, Papa!

  _Sir P._ Always the same quick-witted little fairy! Go, my child, but be
careful that none of the servants see you. (VERB. _wheels the sofa and_
SPIKER'S _body out,_ L.U.E.) My poor impulsive darling, I do hope she
will not be seen--servants _do_ make such mischief! But there's an end
of Spiker, at any rate. I should _not_ have liked him for a son-in-law,
and with him, goes the only person who knows my unhappy secret!


  _Blethers._ Sir Poshbury, I have a secret to reveal which I can preserve
no longer--it concerns something that happened many years ago--it is
connected with your _birthday_, Sir Poshbury.

  _Sir P._ (_quailing_). What, _another_! I must stop _his_ tongue at all
hazards. Ah, the rotten sash-line! (_To_ BLETHERS.) I will hear you, but
first close yonder window, the night-air is growing chill.

     [BLETHERS _goes to window at back. Slow music. As he approaches
     it,_ Lord BLESHUGH _enters_ (R 2 E), _and, with a smothered cry
     of horror, drags him back by the coat-tails--just before the
     window falls with a tremendous crash._

  _Sir P._ Bleshugh! What have you done?

  _Lord Blesh._ (_sternly_). Saved _him_ from an untimely end--and _you_

_Collapse of_ Sir P. _Enter_ VERBENA, _terrified._

  _Verb._ Papa, Papa, hide me! The night-air and the cold stone steps have
restored Mr. Spiker to life and consciousness! He is coming to denounce
me--you--both of us! He is awfully annoyed!

  _Sir P._ (_recklessly_). It is useless to appeal to me, child. I have
enough to do to look after myself--now.

        [_Enter_ SPIKER, _indignant._

  _Spiker._ Pretty treatment for a gentleman, this! Look here, Poshbury,
this young lady has choked me with a cushion, and then pitched me down
the front steps--I might have broken my neck.

  _Sir P._ It was an oversight which I lament, but for which I must
decline to be answerable. You must settle your differences with her.

  _Spiker._ And you too, old horse! _You_ had a hand in this, I know, and
I'll pay you out for it now. My life ain't safe if I marry a girl like
that, so I've made up my mind to split and be done with it!

  _Sir P._ (_contemptuously_). If _you_ don't, Blethers _will_. So do your
worst, you hound!

  _Spiker._ Very well then; I will. (_To the rest._) I denounce this man
for travelling with a half-ticket from Edgware Road to Baker Street on
his thirteenth birthday, the 31st of March twenty-seven years ago this
very day!

  _Blethers._ Hear me! It was _not_ his thirteenth birthday; Sir
Poshbury's birthday falls on the 1st of April--_to-morrow_! I was sent
to register the birth, and, by a blunder, which I have repented bitterly
ever since, unfortunately gave the wrong date. Till this moment I have
never had the manliness or sincerity to confess my error, for fear of
losing my situation.

  _Sir P._ (_to_ SPIKER). Do you hear, you paltry knave? I was _not_
thirteen. Consequently, I was under age, and the Bye-laws are still
unbroken. Your hold over me is gone--gone for ever!

  _Spiker._ H'm--Spiker spiked this time!

        [_Retires up disconcerted._

  _Lord Bl._ And you did not really love him, after all, Verbena?

  _Verb._ (_with arch pride_). Have I not proved my indifference?

  _Lord Bl._ But I forget--you admitted that you were but trifling with my
affection--take back your pin-cushion!

  _Verb._ Keep it. All that I did was done to spare my father!

  _Sir Posh._ Who, as a matter of fact, was innocent--but I forgive you,
child, for your unworthy suspicions. Bleshugh, my boy, you have saved me
from unnecessarily depriving myself of the services of an old retainer.
Blethers, I condone a dissimulation for which you have done much to
atone. Spiker, you vile and miserable rascal, be off, and be thankful
that I have sufficient magnanimity to refrain from giving you in charge.
(SPIKER _sneaks off crushed._) And now, my children, and my faithful old
servant, congratulate me that I am no longer----

  _Verbena and Lord Bleshugh_ (_together_). Under the Harrow!

        [_Affecting Family Tableau and quick Curtain._


[Illustration: Tommy and Jane.]

Once more we draw upon our favourite source of inspiration--the poems of
the Misses Taylor. The dramatist is serenely confident that the new
London County Council Censor of Plays, whenever that much-desired
official is appointed, will highly approve of this little piece on
account of the multiplicity of its morals. It is intended to teach,
amongst other useful lessons, that--as the poem on which it is founded
puts it--"Fruit in lanes is seldom good"; also, that it is not always
prudent to take a hint: again, that constructive murder is distinctly
reprehensible, and should never be indulged in by persons who cannot
control their countenances afterwards. Lastly, that suicide may often be
averted by the exercise of a little _savoir vivre_.



    _Tommy and his Sister Jane (Taylorian Twins, and awful examples)._

    _Their Wicked Uncle (plagiarised from a forgotten Nursery Story,
        and slightly altered)._

    _Old Farmer Copeer (skilled in the use of horse and cattle medicines)._

     SCENE--_A shady lane; on the right, a gate, leading to the
     farm; left, some bashes, covered with practicable scarlet

_Enter the_ Wicked Uncle, _stealthily_.

  _The W. U._ No peace of mind I e'er shall know again
    Till I have cooked the geese of Tom and Jane!
    But--though a naughty--I'm a nervous nunky,
    For downright felonies I'm far too funky!
    I'd hire assassins--but of late the villains
    Have raised their usual fee to fifteen shillin's!
    Nor, to reduce their rates, will they engage
    (_Sympathetically_) For two poor orphans who are under age!
    So (as I'd give no more than half a guinea)
    I must myself get rid of Tom and Jenny.
    Yet, like an old soft-hearted fool, I falter,
    And can't make up my mind to risk a halter.
    (_Looking off._) Ha, in the distance, Jane and little Tom I see!
    These berries--(_meditatively_)--why, it only needs diplomacy.
    Ho-ho, a most ingenious experiment!

     [_Indulges in silent and sinister mirth, as_ Jane _and_ Tom
     _trip in, and regard him with innocent wonder._

  _Jane._ Uncle, what _is_ the joke? Why all this merriment?

  _The W. U._ (_in guilty confusion_). Not merriment, my
        loves--a trifling spasm--
    Don't be alarmed--your Uncle often has 'em!
    I'm feeling better than I did at first--
    _You're_ looking flushed, though not, I hope, with thirst?


_Song, by the_ Wicked Uncle.

    The sun is scorching overhead;
      The roads are dry and dusty;
    And here are berries, ripe and red,
      Refreshing when you're _thusty_!
    They're hanging just within your reach,
      Inviting you to clutch them!
    But--as your Uncle--I beseech
      You won't attempt to touch them?

  _Tommy and Jane_ (_dutifully_). We'll do whatever you beseech, and not
attempt to touch them!

        [_Annoyance of_ W. U.

  _The W. U._ Temptation (so I've understood)
      A child, in order kept, shuns;
    And fruit in lanes is seldom good
      (With several exceptions).
    However freely you partake,
      It can't--as you are young--kill,
    But should it cause a stomach-ache--
      Well, don't you blame your Uncle!

  _Tommy and Jane._ No, should it cause a stomach-ache, we will not blame
our Uncle!

  _The W. U._ (_aside_). They'll need no further personal assistance,
    But take the bait when I am at a distance.
    I could not, were I paid a thousand ducats,
    (_With sentiment_) Stand by, and see them kick their little buckets,
    Or look on while their sticks this pretty pair cut!

        [_Stealing off._

  _Tommy._ What, Uncle, going?

  _The W. U._ (_with assumed jauntiness_). Just to get my hair
        cut!    [_Goes._

  _Tommy_ (_looking wistfully at the berries_). I say, they _do_ look
        nice, Jane, such a lot too!

  _Jane_ (_demurely_). Well, Tommy, Uncle never told us _not_ to.

     [_Slow music; they gradually approach the berries, which they
     pick and eat with increasing relish, culminating in a dance of

_Duet_--TOMMY _and_ JANE (_with step-dance_).

  _Tommy_ (_dancing, with his mouth full_). These berries ain't so
        bad--although they've far too much acidity.

  _Jane_ (_ditto_). To me, their only drawback is a dash of insipidity.

  _Tommy_ (_rudely_). But, all the same, you're wolfing 'em
        with wonderful avidity!

  _Jane_ (_indignantly_). No, _that_ I'm not, so _there_ now!

  _Tommy_ (_calmly_).                          But you _are_!

  _Jane._                                                 And so are _you_!

     [_They retire up, dancing, and eat more berries--after which
     they gaze thoughtfully at each other._

  _Jane._ This fruit is most refreshing--but it's curious how
        it cloys on you!

  _Tommy_ (_with anxiety_). I wonder why all appetite for
        dinner it destroys in you!

  _Jane._ Oh, Tommy, aren't you half afraid you've ate
        enough to poison you?

  _Tommy._ No, _that_ I'm not--so there now! &c., &c.

        [_They dance as before._

  _Tommy._ Jane, _is_ your palate parching up in horrible aridity?

  _Jane._ It is, and in my throat's a lump of singular solidity.

  _Tommy._ Then that is why you're dancing with such pokerlike rigidity.

     [_Refrain as before; they dance with decreasing spirit, and
     finally stop, and fan one another with their hats._

  _Jane._ I'm better now that on my brow there is a little breeziness.

  _Tommy._ My passing qualm is growing calm, and tightness
        turns to easiness.

  _Jane._ You seem to me tormented by a tendency to queasiness?

     [_Refrain; they attempt to continue the dance--but suddenly sit
     down side by side._

  _Jane_ (_with a gasp_). I don't know what it is--but, oh, I
        _do_ feel so peculiar!

  _Tommy_ (_with a gulp_). I've tumults taking place within
        that I may say unruly are.

  _Jane._ Why, Tommy, you are turning green--you really
        and you _truly_ are!

  _Tommy._ No, _that_ I'm not, so _there_ now!

  _Jane._                              But you _are_!

  _Tommy._                                 And so are _you_!

     [_Melancholy music; to which_ TOMMY _and_ _Jane_, _after a few
     convulsive movements, gradually become inanimate. Enter old_
     Farmer COPEER _from gate, carrying a large bottle labelled
     "Cattle Medicine."_

  _Farmer C._ It's time I gave the old bay mare her drench.

        [_Stumbles over the children._

    What's here? A lifeless lad!--and little wench!
    Been eating berries--where did they get _them_ idees?
    For cows, when took so, I've the reg'lar remedies.
    I'll try 'em here--and if their state the worse is,
    Why, they shall have them balls I give my 'erses!

        [_Carries the bodies off just before the_ W. U. _re-enters_.

  _W. U._ The children--gone? yon bush of berries less full!
    Hooray, my little stratagem's successful!

        [_Dances a triumphant pas seul. Re-enter Farmer C._

  _Farmer C._ Been looking for your little niece and nephew?

  _The W. U._ Yes, searching for them everywhere--

  _Farmer C._ (_ironically_).             Oh, _hev'_ you?
    Then let me tell you, from all pain they're free, Sir.

  _The W. U._ (_falling on his knees_). _I_ didn't poison them--it
        wasn't _me_, Sir!

  _Farmer C._ I thought as much--a constable I'll run for.


  _The W. U._ My wretched nerves again! _This_ time I'm done for!
    Well, though I'm trapped, and useless all disguise is,
    My case shall ne'er come on at the Assizes!

     [_Rushes desperately to tree and crams himself with the
     remaining berries, which produce an almost instantaneous
     effect. Re-enter_ TOM _and_ JANE _from gate, looking pale and
     limp. Terror of the_ Wicked Uncle _as he turns and recognises

  _The W. U._ (_with tremulous politeness_). The shades of
        Jane and Tommy, I presume?

        [_Re-enter Farmer C._

  _Jane and Tommy_ (_pointing to Farmer C._) His Cattle
        Mixtures snatched us from the tomb!

  _The W. U._ (_with a flicker of hope_). Why, then the self-same
        drugs will ease _my_ torments!

  _Farmer C._ (_chuckling_). Too late! they've drunk the lot,
        the little vormints!

  _The W. U._ (_bitterly_). So out of life I must inglorious wriggle,
    Pursued by Tommy's grin, and Jenny's giggle!

     [_Dies in great agony, while_ TOMMY, JANE, _and_ Farmer COPEER
     _look on with mixed emotions as the Curtain falls_.


"Miss Jenny and Polly had each a new dolly."--_Vide Poem._


    _Miss Jenny_  } By the Sisters LEAMAR.
    _Miss Polly_  }

    _The Soldier Doll_ } By the Two ARMSTRONGS.
    _The Sailor Doll_  }

     SCENE--_A Nursery. Enter_ Miss JENNY _and_ Miss POLLY, _who
     perform a blameless step-dance with an improving chorus_.

    Oh, isn't it jolly! we've each a new dolly,
      And one is a Soldier, the other's a Tar;
    We're fully contented with what's been presented,
      Such good little children we both of us are!

     [_They dance up to a cupboard, from which they bring out two
     large Dolls, which they place on chairs._

  _Miss J._ _Don't_ they look nice! Come, Polly, let us strive
    To make ourselves believe that they're alive!

  _Miss P._ (_addressing_ Sailor D.). I'm glad you're mine. I
        dote on all that's nautical.

  _The Sailor D._ (_opening his eyes suddenly_). Excuse me, Miss, your
        sister's more _my_ sort o' gal.

     [_Kisses his hand to_ Miss J., _who shrinks back, shocked and

  _Miss J._ Oh, Polly, _did_ you hear? I feel so shy!

  _The Sailor D._ (_with mild self-assertion_). _I_ can say "Pa" and
        "Ma"--and wink my eye.

     [_Does so at_ Miss P., _who runs in terror to_ Miss J.'s

  _Miss J._ Why, both are showing signs of animation.

  _Miss P._ Who'd think we had such strong imagination!

  _The Soldier Doll_ (_aside to the Sailor D._). I say, old fellow,
        we have caught their fancy--
    In each of us they now a real man see!
    Let's keep it up!

  _The Sailor D._ (_dubiously._) D'ye think as we can _do_ it?

  _The Soldier D._ You stick by me, and I will see you through it.
    Sit up, and turn your toes out,--don't you loll;
    Put on the Man, and drop the bloomin' Doll!

     [_The_ Sailor DOLL _pulls himself together, and rises from
     chair importantly_.

  _The Sailor D._ (_in the manner of a Music-hall Chairman_)--

    Ladies, with your kind leave, this gallant gent
    Will now his military sketch present.

     [Miss J. _and_ P. _applaud_: _the_ Soldier D., _after feebly
     expostulating, is induced to sing_.

_Song, by the_ Soldier Doll.

    When I used to be displayed,
    In the Burlington Arcade,
    With artillery arrayed
                Shoulder Hump

    I imagine that I made
    All the Lady Dolls afraid,
    I should draw my battle-blade
          From its sheath,
                Shoulder Hump

    For I'm Mars's gallant son,
    And my back I've shown to none,
    Nor was ever seen to run
          From the strife!
                Shoulder Hump!

    Oh, the battles I'd have won,
    And the dashing deeds have done,
    If I'd ever fired a gun
          In my life!
                Shoulder Hump!

_Refrain (to be sung marching round Stage)._

    By your right flank, Wheel!
    Let the front rank kneel!
    With the bristle of the steel
          To the foe.
    Till their regiments reel,
    At our rattling peal,
    And the military zeal
          We show!

[Illustration: "Shoulder Hump!"]

        [_Repeat, with the whole company marching round after him._

  _The Soldier Doll._ My friend will next oblige--this jolly Jack Tar.
    Will give his song and chorus in charàck-tar!

        [_Same business with_ Sailor D.

_Song, by the_ Sailor Doll.

    In costume I'm
    So maritime,
    You'd never suppose the fact is,
    That with the Fleet
    In Regent Street,
    I'd precious little naval practice!
    There was saucy craft,
    Rigged fore an' aft,
    Inside o' Mr. Cre-mer's.
    From Noah's Arks to Clipper-built barques,
    Like-wise mechanical stea-mers.


    But to navigate the Serpentine,
            Yeo-ho, my lads, ahoy!
    With clockwork, sails, or spirits of wine,
            Yeo-ho, my lads, ahoy!
    I did respeckfully decline,
    So I was left in port to pine,
    Which wasn't azactually the line
    Of a rollicking Sailor Boy, Yeo-ho!
    Of a rollicking Sailor Bo-oy!

        Yes, there was lots
        Of boats and yachts,
        Of timber and of tin, too;
        But one and all
        Was far too small
        For a doll o' my size to get into
        I was too big
        On any brig
        To ship without disas-ter,
        And it wouldn't never do
        When the cap'n and the crew
        Were a set 'o little swabs all plaster!

_Chorus_--So to navigate the Serpentine, &c.

    An Ark is p'raps
    The berth for chaps
    As is fond o' Natural Hist'ry.
    But I sez to Shem
    And the rest o' them,
    "How you get along at all's a myst'ry!
    With a Wild Beast Show
    Let loose below,
    And four fe-males on deck too!
    I never could agree
    With your happy fami-lee,
    And your lubberly ways I objeck to."

     [_Chorus. Hornpipe by the company, after which the_ Soldier
     Doll _advances condescendingly to_ Miss JENNY.

  _The Sold. D._ Invincible I'm reckoned by the Ladies,
    But yield to you--though conquering my trade is!

  _Miss J._ (_repulsing him_). Oh, go away, you great conceited thing, you!

        [_The_ Sold. D. _persists in offering her attentions._

  _Miss P._ (_watching them bitterly_). To be deserted by one's
        doll _does_ sting you!

        [_The_ Sailor D. _approaches._

  _The Sailor D._ (_to_ Miss P.) Let _me_ console you, Miss, a Sailor Doll
    As swears his 'art was ever true to Poll!

(N.B.--_Good opportunity for Song here._)

  _Miss P._ (_indignantly to_ Miss J.) Your Sailor's teasing me to
        be his idol!
    Do make him stop--(_spitefully_)--When you've _quite_ done
        with _my_ doll!

  _Miss J._ (_scornfully._) If you suppose _I_ want your wretched warrior,
    I'm sorry _for_ you!

  _Miss P._            I for you am sorrier.

  _Miss J._ (_weeping_, R.). Polly preferred to me--what ignominy!

  _Miss P._ (_weeping_, L.). My horrid Soldier jilting me for Jenny!

        [_The two Dolls face one another_, C.

  _Sailor D._ (_to_ Soldier D.). You've made her sluice her sky-lights
        now, you swab!

  _Soldier D._ (_to_ Sailor D.). As you have broke her heart, I'll
    break your nob!    [_Hits him._

  _Sailor D._ (_in a pale fury_). This insult must be blotted out in bran!

  _Soldier D._ (_fiercely_). Come on, I'll shed your sawdust--if I can!

        [Miss J. _and_ P. _throw themselves between the combatants_.

  _Miss J._ For any mess you make _we_ shall be scolded,
    So wait until a drugget we've unfolded!

        [_They lay down drugget on Stage._

  _The Soldier D._ (_politely_). No hurry, Miss, _we_ don't object
        to waiting.

  _The Sailor D._ (_aside_). His valour--like my own--'s evaporating!
    (_Defiantly to_ Soldier D.). On guard! You'll see how soon
        I'll run you through!
    (_Confidentially._) (If you will not prod _me_, I won't pink _you_.)

  _The Soldier D._ Through your false kid my deadly blade I'll pass!
    (_Confidentially._) (Look here, old fellow, don't you be a _hass_!)

        [_They exchange passes at a considerable distance._

  _The Sailor D._ (_aside_). Don't lose your temper now!

  _Sold. D._        Don't get excited.
    Do keep a little farther off!

  _Sail. D._                      Delighted!

        [_Wounds_ Soldier D. _by misadventure._

  _Sold. D._ (_annoyed_). There now, you've gone and made upon
        my wax a dent!

  _Sail. D._ Excuse me, it was really quite an accident.

  _Sold. D._ (_savagely_). Such clumsiness would irritate a saint!

        [_Stabs Sailor Doll._

  _Miss J. and P._ (_imploringly_). Oh, stop! the sight of sawdust
        turns us faint!

        [_They drop into chairs, swooning._

  _Sail. D._ I'll pay you out for that!

        [_Stabs Soldier D._

  _Sold. D._                            Right through you've poked me!

  _Sailor D._ So you have _me_!

  _Sold. D._                  You shouldn't have provoked me!

        [_They fall transfixed._

  _Sailor D._ (_faintly_). Alas, we have been led away by vanity.
    Dolls shouldn't try to imitate humanity!    [_Dies._

  _Soldier D._ For, if they do, they'll end like us, unpitied,
    Each on the other's sword absurdly spitted!

     [_Dies._ Miss J. _and_ P. _revive, and bend sadly over the

  _Miss Jenny._ From their untimely end we draw this moral,
    How wrong it is, even for dolls, to quarrel!

  _Miss Polly._ Yes, Jenny, in the fate of these poor fellows see
    What sad results may spring from female jealousy!

        [_They embrace penitently as Curtain falls._



(_Adapted freely from a well-known Poem in the "Struwwelpeter."_)


    _Conrad (aged 6)._

    _Conrad's Mother(47)._

    _The Scissorman (age immaterial)._

     SCENE--_An Apartment in the house of_ CONRAD'S _Mother, window
     in centre at back, opening upon a quiet thoroughfare. It is
     dusk, and the room is lighted only by the reflected gleam from
     the street-lamps._ CONRAD _discovered half-hidden by left

  _Conrad_ (_watching street_). Still there! For full an hour
        he has not budged
    Beyond the circle of yon lamp-post's rays!
    The gaslight falls upon his crimson hose,
    And makes a steely glitter at his thigh,
    While from the shadow peers a hatchet-face
    And fixes sinister malignant eyes--
    On whom? (_Shuddering._) I dare not trust myself to guess
    And yet--ah, no--it cannot be myself!
    I am so young--one is still young at six!--
    What man can say that I have injured him?
    Since, in my Mother's absence all the day
    Engaged upon Municipal affairs,
    I peacefully beguile the weary hours
    By suction of consolatory thumbs.

     [_Here he inserts his thumb in his mouth, but almost instantly
     removes it with a start._

    Again I meet those eyes! I'll look no more--
    But draw the blind and shut my terror out.

        [_Draws blind and lights candle; Stage lightens._

    Heigho, I wish my Mother were at home!
    (_Listening._) At last! I hear her latch-key in the door!

     [_Enter_ CONRAD'S _Mother, a lady of strong-minded appearance,
     rationally attired. She carries a large reticule full of

  _Conrad's M._ Would, Conrad, that you were of riper years,
    So you might share your Mother's joy to-day,
    The day that crowns her long and arduous toil
    As one of London's County Councillors!

  _Conrad._ Nay, speak; for though my mind be immature,
    One topic still can charm my infant ear,
    That ever craves the oft-repeated tale.
    I love to hear of that august assembly

        [_His Mother lifts her bonnet solemnly._

    In which my Mother's honoured voice is raised!

  _C.'s M._ (_gratified_). Learn, Conrad, then, that, after many months
    Of patient "lobbying" (you've heard the term?)
    The measure by my foresight introduced
    Has triumphed by a bare majority!

  _Con._ My bosom thrills with dutiful delight--
    Although I yet for information wait
    As to the scope and purpose of the statute.

  _C.'s M._ You show an interest so intelligent
    That well deserves it should be satisfied,
    Be seated, Conrad, at your Mother's knee,
    And you shall hear the full particulars.
    You know how zealously I advocate
    The sacred cause of Nursery Reform?
    How through my efforts every infant's toys
    Are carefully inspected once a month----?

  _Con._ (_wearily_). Nay, Mother, you forget--I _have_ no toys.

  _C.'s M._ Which brings you under the exemption clause.
    But--to resume; how Nursery Songs and Tales
    Must now be duly licensed by our Censor,
    And any deviation from the text
    Forbidden under heavy penalties?
    All that you know. Well; with concern of late,
    I have remarked among our infancy
    The rapid increase of a baneful habit
    On which I scarce can bring my tongue to dwell.

        [_The Stage darker; blind at back illuminated._

    Oh, Conrad, there are children--think of it!--
    So lost to every sense of decency
    That, in mere wantonness or brainless sloth,
    They obstinately suck forbidden thumbs!

        [CONRAD _starts with irrepressible emotion._

    Forgive me if I shock your innocence!
    (_Sadly._) Such things exist--but soon shall cease to be,
    Thanks to the measure we have passed to-day!

  _Con._ (_with growing uneasiness_). But how can statutes
        check such practices?

  _C.'s M._ (_patting his head_). Right shrewdly questioned,
        boy! I come to that.
    Some timid sentimentalists advised
    Compulsory restraint in woollen gloves,
    Or the deterrent aid of bitter aloes.
    _I_ saw the evil had too deep a seat
    To yield to such half-hearted remedies.
    No; we must cut, ere we could hope to cure!
    Nay, interrupt me not; my Bill appoints
    A new official, by the style and title
    Of "London County Council Scissorman,"
    For the detection of young "suck-a-thumbs."

     [_Here the shadow of a huge hand brandishing a gigantic pair of
     shears appears upon the blind._

  _Con._ (_hiding his face in his Mother's lap._) Ah, Mother,
    see!... the scissors!... On the blind!

  _C.'s M._ Why, how you tremble! You've no cause to fear.
    The shadow of his grim insignia
    Should have no terror--save for thumb-suckers.

  _Con._ And what for _them_?

  _C.'s M._ (_complacently_). A doom devised by me--
    The confiscation of the culprit thumbs.
    Thus shall our statute cure while it corrects,
    For those who have no thumbs can err no more.

     [_The shadow slowly passes on the blind_, CONRAD _appearing
     relieved at its departure. Loud knocking without. Both start to
     their feet._

  _C.'s M._ Who knocks so loud at such an hour as this?

  _A Voice._ Open, I charge ye. In the Council's name!

  _C.'s M._ 'Tis the Official Red-legged Scissorman,
    Who doubtless calls to thank me for the post.

  _Con._ (_with a gloomy determination_). More like his business,
        Madam, is with--Me!

  _C.'s M._ (_suddenly enlightened_). A Suck-a-thumb? ... you, CONRAD?

  _C._ (_desperately_). Ay,--from birth!

     [_Profound silence, as Mother and Son face one another. The
     knocking is renewed._

  _C.'s M._ Oh, this is horrible--it must not be!
    I'll shoot the bolt and barricade the door.

     [CONRAD _places himself before it, and addresses his Mother in
     a tone of incisive irony_.

  _Con._ Why, where is all the zeal you showed of late?
    Is't thus that you the Roman Matron play?
    Trick not a statute of your own devising.
    Come, your official's waiting--let him in!

        [C's M. _shrinks back appalled_.

    So? you refuse!--(_throwing open door_)--then--enter, Scissorman!

     [_Enter the_ Scissorman, _masked and in red tights, with his
     hand upon the hilt of his shears._

  _The S._ (_in a passionless tone_). Though sorry to create
    I claim the thumbs of this young gentleman,
    Which these own eyes have marked between his lips.

  _C.'s M._ (_frantically_). Thou minion of a meddling tyranny,
    Go exercise thy loathsome trade elsewhere!

  _The S._ (_civilly_). I've duties here that must be first performed.

  _C.'s M._ (_wildly_). Take my two thumbs for his!

  _The S._                                        'Tis not the law--
    Which is a model of lucidity.

  _Con._ (_calmly_). Sir, you speak well. My thumbs are forfeited,
    And they alone must pay the penalty.

  _The S._ (_with approval_). Right! Step with me into the outer hall,
    And have the business done without delay.

  _C.'s M._ (_throwing herself between them._) Stay, I'm a
        Councillor--this law was _mine_!
    Hereby I do suspend the clause I drew.

  _The S._ You should have drawn it milder.

  _Con._                                    Must I teach
    A parent laws were meant to be obeyed?
      [_To Sc._] Lead on, Sir. (_To his Mother with cold courtesy._)
        Madam,--may I trouble you?

[Illustration: "My Conrad!"]

     [_He thrusts her gently aside and passes out with the_ Sc.;
     _the door is shut and fastened from without._ C.'s M. _rushes
     to door which she attempts to force without success._

  _C.'s M._ In vain I batter at a senseless door,
    I'll to the keyhole train my tortured ear.
    (_Listening._) Dead silence! ... is it over--or, to come?
    Hark! was not that the click of meeting shears?...
    Again! and followed by the sullen thud
    Of thumbs that drop upon linoleum!...

     [_The door is opened and_ CONRAD _appears, pale but erect._
     _N.B. The whole of this scene has been compared to one in "La
     Tosca"--which, however, it exceeds in horror and intensity._

  _C.'s M._ They send him back to me, bereft of both!
    My CONRAD! What?--repulse a Mother's Arms!

  _Con._ (_with chilling composure_). Yes, Madam, for between us ever more,
    A barrier invisible is raised,
    And should I strive to reach those arms again,
    Two spectral thumbs would press me coldly back--
    The thumbs I sucked in blissful ignorance,
    The thumbs that solaced me in solitude,
    The thumbs your County Council took from me,
    And your endearments scarcely will replace!
    Where, Madam, lay the sin in sucking them?
    The dog will lick his foot, the cat her claw,
    His paws sustain the hibernating bear--
    And you decree no law to punish _them_!
    Yet, in your rage for infantine reform,
    You rushed this most ridiculous enactment--
    Its earliest victim--your neglected son!

  _C.'s M._ (_falling at his feet_). Say, CONRAD, you will some day pardon

  _Con._ (_bitterly, as he regards his maimed hands._) Aye--on the day
these pollards send forth shoots!

     [_His_ Mother _turns aside with a heartbroken wail_; CONRAD
     _standing apart in gloomy estrangement as the Curtain


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcribers Notes:

Some minor obvious punctuation and typographical errors have been
corrected silently. Unclosed quotes have been left as they appear in the

Changes made:

    Pg 15 "With enthusiams [replaced with "enthusiasm"] We can make
    a shift to do it"

    Pg 66 "and the restless winds be mowning." [replaced full stop
    with comma]

    Pg 95 "The Monster Man-trap steathily" [replaced with

    Pg 128 "Even _this_ cannot shatter her alrtess [replaced with
    "artless"] faith"

    Pg 131 "If you please, Ladies and Gentlemen, my Grandmamma"
    [replaced with "Grandmama" (used previously)]

    Pg 156 "a constable I'll run for, [replaced comma with full stop.]"

Both versions of the following words were used in the text:

    latchkey, latch-key
    limelight, lime-light
    sashline, sash-line
    selfsame, self-same

All uncertain hyphenation left hyphenated:

    Pg 25  a-noma-lee
    Pg 38  elec-tresses
    Pg 99  Bed-chamber
    Pg 115 low-born
    Pg 120 Christmas-time
    Pg 164 sky-lights

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