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Title: Puppets at Large - Scenes and Subjects from Mr Punch's Show
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 "Puppets at Large - Scenes and Subjects from Mr Punch's Show" ***

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Puppets at Large

    Puppets at Large

    Scenes and Subjects
    From Mr. Punch's Show.

    By F. Anstey
    Author of "Vice Versa," "Voces Populi," &c., &c.

    With Illustrations by
    J. Bernard Partridge

    Bradbury, Agnew, & Co. Ld., Bouverie St., E.C.



    Doing a Cathedral                                                 1
    The Instantaneous Process                                         13
    In the Cause of Charity                                           27
    The Classical Scholar in Reduced Circumstances                    43
    Rus in Urbe                                                       51
    Catching the Early Boat                                           61
    Society's Next Craze                                              71
    An Ideal Interviewer                                              83
    Saturday Night in the Edgware Road                                91
    The "Model Husband" Contest                                       101
    The Courier of the Hague                                          109
    Feeling their Way                                                 119
    A Testimonial Manqué                                              131
    The Model Democracy                                               145
    By Parliamentary                                                  159
    The Farming of the Future                                         167
    A Dialogue on Art                                                 177
    The Old Love and the New                                          189
    A Doll's Diary                                                    201
    Elevating the Masses                                              219
    Bookmakers on the Beach                                           231
    'Igher Up!                                                        243
    At a Highland Cattle Auction                                      257
    The Country of Cockaigne                                          265


    "What did 'e want to go and git the fair 'ump about?"             11
    "What's she got hold of now?"                                     21
    "You have lofty ambitions and the artistic temperament"           37
    "They ain't on'y a lot o' sheep! I thought it was reciters,
    or somethink o' that"                                             55
    "Mokestrians"                                                     75
    "Dear, dear! _not_ a county family!"                              125
    "Well, he's had a sharp lesson,--there's no denying that"         135
    "None of your humour here, mind!"                                 155
    "I cann't get nothen done to 'en till the weather's a bit
    more hopen like"                                                  171
    "They haven't the _patiensh_ for it"                              183
    "It must be a sort of animal, I suppose"                          193
    "I see _him_ standing on the very brink of the precipice"         209
    "To-night is ours!"                                                225
    "Why the blazes don't ye take it?"                                239
    "Thash where 'tis, yer come on me too late!"                      251
    "'Ere, Florrie, you ain't _croying_, are yer?"                    271




_The interior of Dulchester Cathedral._ TIME--_About 12.30. The March
sunshine slants in pale shafts through the clerestory windows, leaving
the aisles in shadow. From without, the cawing of rooks and shouts of
children at play are faintly audible. By the West Door, a party of
Intending Sightseers have collected, and the several groups, feeling
that it would be a waste of time to observe anything in the building
until officially instructed to do so, are engaged in eyeing one another
with all the genial antipathy and suspicion of true-born Britons._

A Stodgy Sightseer (_to his friend_). Disgraceful, keeping us standing
about like this! If I'd only known, I'd have told the head-waiter at the
"Mitre" to keep back those chops till----

    [_He breaks off abruptly, finding that the chops are
     reverberating from column to column with
     disproportionate solemnity; a white-haired and
     apple-faced verger rustles down from the choir
     and beckons the party forward benignantly, whereupon they
     advance with a secret satisfaction at the prospect of "getting
     the cathedral 'done' and having the rest of the day to
     themselves;" they are conducted to a desk and requested, as a
     preliminary, to put sixpence apiece in the Restoration Fund
     box and inscribe their names in a book._

_Confused Murmurs._ Would you put "Portico Lodge, Camden Road, or only
London?"... Here, I'd better sign for the lot of you, eh?... They
_might_ provide a better pen--in a _cathedral_, I _do_ think!... He
might have given all our names in full instead of just "And party!"...
Oh, I've been and made a blot--will it _matter_, should you think?... I
never _can_ write my name with people looking on, can _you_?... I'm sure
you've done it beautifully, dear!... Just hold my umbrella while I take
off my glove, Maria.... Oh, why _don't_ they make haste? &c., &c.

     [_The_ STODGY SIGHTSEER _fumes, feeling that, while they are
     fiddling, his chops are burning._

The VERGER. Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you will please to follow me,
the portion of the building where we now are is part of the original
hedifice founded by Ealfrytha, wife of Earl Baldric, in the year height
'undred heighty-height, though we 'ave reason to believe that an even
hearlier church was in existence 'ere so far back as the Roman
occupation, as is proved by a hancient stone receptacle recently
discovered under the crypt and hevidently used for baptismal purposes.

A SPECTACLED S. (_who feels it due to herself to put an intelligent
question at intervals._) What _was_ the method of baptism among the
Early Christians?

The VERGER. We believe it to 'ave been by total immersion, Ma'am.

The SPECT. S. Oh? _Baptists!_

     [_She sets down the Early Christians as Dissenters, and takes
     no further interest in them._

The VERGER. At the back of the choir, and immediately in front of you,
is the shrine, formerly containing the bones of St. Chasuble, with
relics of St. Alb. (_An_ EVANGELICAL SIGHTSEER _snorts in disapproval._)
The 'ollow depressions in the steps leading up to the shrine, which are
still visible, were worn away, as you see, by the pilgrims ascending on
their knees. (_The party verify the depressions conscientiously, and
click their tongues to express indulgent contempt._) The spaces between
the harches of the shrine were originally enriched by valuable gems and
mosaics, all of which 'ave now long since disappeared, 'aving been
removed by the more devout parties who came 'ere on pilgrimages. In the
chapel to your left a monument with recumbent heffigies of Bishop
Buttress and Dean Gurgoyle, represented laying side by side with clasped
'ands, in token of the lifelong affection between them. The late Bishop
used to make a rather facetious remark about this tomb. He was in the
'abit of observing that it was the honly instance in _his_ experience of
a Bishop being on friendly terms with his Dean. (_He glances round for
appreciation of this instance of episcopal humour, but is pained to find
that it has produced a general gloom; the_ EVANGELICAL SIGHTSEER,
_indeed, conveys by another and a louder snort, his sense that a Bishop
ought to set a better example._) In the harched recess to your right, a
monument in painted halibarster to Sir Ralph Ringdove and his lady,
erected immediately after her decease by the disconsolate widower, with
a touching inscription in Latin, stating that their ashes would shortly
be commingled in the tomb. (_He pauses, to allow the ladies of the party
to express a becoming sympathy--which they do, by clicks._) Sir Ralph
himself, however, is interred in Ficklebury Parish Church, forty mile
from this spot, along with his third wife, who survived him.

     [_The ladies regard the image of Sir Ralph with
      indignation, and pass on; the_ VERGER _chuckles faintly at
      having produced his effect._

The EVANGELICAL S. (_snuffing the air suspiciously_). I'm sorry to
perceive that you are in the habit of burning _incense_ here!

     [_He looks sternly at the_ VERGER, _as though to imply that it
     is useless to impose upon him._

The VERGER. No, Sir, what you smell ain't incense--on'y the vaults after
the damp weather we've bin 'aving.

     [_The_ EVANGELICAL SIGHTSEER _drops behind, divided between
     relief and disappointment._

A PLASTIC S. (_to the_ VERGER). What a perfectly _exquisite_ rose-window
that is! For all the world like a kaleidoscope. I suppose it dates from
the Norman period, at _least_?

The VERGER (_coldly_). No, Ma'am, it was only put up about thirty year
ago. _We_ consider it the poorest glass we 'ave.

The PLAST. S. Oh, the glass, yes; _that's_ hideous, certainly. I meant
the--the other part.

The VERGER. The tracery, Ma'am? That was restored at the same time by a
local man--and a shocking job he made of it, too!

The PLAST. S. Yes, it _quite_ spoils the Cathedral, _doesn't_ it?
Couldn't it be taken down?

The VERGER (_in answer to another Inquirer_). Crowborough Cathedral
finer than this, Sir? Oh, _dear_ me, no. I went over a-purpose to 'ave a
look at it the last 'oliday I took, and I was quite surprised to find
'ow very inferior it was. The spire? I don't say that mayn't be 'igher
as a mere matter of feet, but our lantern-tower is so 'appily
proportioned as to give the effect of being by far the 'ighest in

A TRAVELLED S. Ah, you should see the _continental_ cathedrals. Why,
_our_ towers would hardly come up to the top of the naves of some of

The VERGER (_loftily_). I don't take no notice of foreign cathedrals,
Ma'am. If foreigners like to build so ostentatious, all I can say is,
I'm sorry _for_ them.

A LADY (_who has provided herself with a "Manual of Architecture" and an
unsympathetic_ COMPANION). _Do_ notice the excessive use of the
ball-flower as a decoration, dear. Parker says it is especially
characteristic of this cathedral.

UNSYMPATHETIC COMPANION. I don't see _any_ flowers myself. And if they
like to decorate for festivals and that, where's the harm?

     [_The_ LADY WITH THE MANUAL _perceives that it is hopeless to

The VERGER. The dog-tooth mouldings round the triforium harches is
considered to belong to the best period of Norman work----

The LADY WITH THE MANUAL. Surely not _Norman_? Dog-tooth is Saxon, _I_
always understood.

The VERGER (_indulgently_). You'll excuse _me_, Ma'am, but I fancy it's
'erringbone as is running in _your_ 'ed.

The LADY WITH THE M. (_after consulting "Parker" for corroboration, in
vain_). Well, I'm sure dog-tooth is quite _Early English_, anyway. (_To
her_ COMPANION.) Did you know it was the interlacing of the round arches
that gave the first idea of the pointed arch, dear?

Her COMP. No. But I shouldn't have thought there was so very much in the

The LADY WITH THE M. I do _wish_ you took more _interest_, dear. Look at
those two young men who have just come in. They don't _look_ as if
they'd care for carving; but they've been studying every one of the
Miserere seats in the choir-stalls. That's what _I_ like to see!

The VERGER. That concludes my dooties, ladies and gentlemen. You can go
out by the South Transept door, and that'll take you through the
Cloisters. (_The Party go out, with the exception of the two_ 'ARRIES,
_who linger, expectantly, and cough in embarrassment._) Was there
anything you wished to know?

FIRST 'ARRY. Well, Mister, it's on'y--er--'aven't you got some old
carving or other 'ere of a rather--well, _funny_ kind--sorter thing you
on'y show to _gentlemen_, if you know what I mean?

The VERGER (_austerely_). There's nothing in _this_ Cathedral for
gentlemen o' _your_ sort, and I'm surprised at your expecting of it.

[_He turns on his heel._

FIRST 'ARRY (_to Second_). I spoke civil enough to _'im_, didn't I? What
did 'e want to go and git the fair 'ump about?

SECOND 'ARRY. Oh, _I_ dunno. But you don't ketch _me_ comin' over to no
more cathedrils, and wastin' time and money all for nuthink--that's all.

     [_They tramp out, feeling that their confidence has been
     imposed upon._

[Illustration: "What did 'e want to go and git the fair 'ump about?"]




_A Photographer's Studio on the Seventh Floor. It is a warm afternoon._
MR. STIPPLER, _Photographic Artist, is discovered alone._

MR. STIPPLER (_to himself_). No appointments while this weather lasts,
thank goodness! I shall be able to get ahead with those negatives now.
(_Sharp whistle from speaking-tube, to which he goes._) Well?

VOICE OF LADY ASSISTANT (_in shop below_). Lady just brought her dog in;
wants to know if she can have it taken now.

MR. STIP. (_to himself_). Oh, dash the dog and the lady too!

THE VOICE. No, only the _dog_, the lady says.

MR. STIP. (_confused_). Eh? Oh, exactly. Ask the lady to have the
goodness to--ah--step up. (_He opens the studio door, and awaits the
arrival of his client; interval, at the end of which sounds as of a
female in distress about halfway down are distinctly audible._) She's
_stepping_ up. (_Another interval. The head of a breathless_ ELDERLY
LADY _emerges from the gloom._) This way, Madam.

ELDERLY LADY (_entering and sinking into the first plush chair_). Oh,
_dear_ me, I thought I should _never_ get to the top! Now _why_ can't
you photographers have your studios on the ground floor? So _much_ more

MR. STIP. No doubt, Madam, no doubt. But there is--ah--a prejudice in
the profession in favah of the roof; possibly the light is considered
somewhat superiah. I thought I understood there was--ah--a dog?

The E. L. Oh, he'll be here presently. I think he saw something in one
of the rooms on the way up that took his fancy, or very likely he's
resting on one of the landing mats,--such an _intelligent_ dog! I'll
call him. Fluffy, Fluffy, come along, my pet, nearly up now! Mustn't
keep his missis waiting for him. (_A very long pause: presently a small
rough-haired terrier lounges into the studio with an air of
proprietorship_.) That's the dog; he's so small, he can't take _very_
long to do, _can_ he?

MR. STIP. The--ah--precise size of the animal does not signify, Madam;
we do it by an instantaneous process. The only question is the precise
pose you would prefer. I presume the dog is a good--ah--rattah?

The E. L. Really, I've no idea. But he's _very_ clever at killing
bluebottles; he _will_ smash them on the window-panes.

MR. STIP. (_without interest_). I see, Madam. We have a speciality for
our combination backgrounds, and you might like to have him represented
on a country common, in the act of watching a hole in a bank.

The E. L. (_impressed_). For bluebottles?

MR. STIP. For--ah--rats. (_By way of concession._) _Or_ bluebottles, of
course, if you prefer it.

The E. L. I think I would rather have something more characteristic. He
has such a pretty way of lying on his back with all his paws sticking
straight up in the air. I never saw any _other_ dog do it.

MR. STIP. Precisely. But I doubt whether that particulah pose would be
effective--in a photograph.

The E. L. You think not? Where _has_ he got to, now? Oh, _do_ just look
at him going round, examining everything! He _quite_ understands what
he's wanted to do; you've no idea what a clever dog he is!

MR. STIP. Ray-ally? How would it do to have him on a rock in the middle
of a salmon stream?

The E. L. It would make me so uncomfortable to see it; he has a perfect
_horror_ of wetting his little feet!

MR. STIP. In _that_ case, no doubt----Then what do you say to posing
him on an ornamental pedestal? We could introduce a Yorkshire moor, or a
view of Canterbury Cathedral, as a background.

The E. L. A pedestal seems _so_ suggestive of a cemetery, doesn't it?

MR. STIP. Then we must try some other position. (_He resigns himself to
the commonplace._) Can the dog--ah--sit up?

The E. L. Bee-yutifully! Fluffy, come and show how nicely you can sit

FLUFF (_to himself_). Show off for this fellow? Who pretends he's got
rats--and hasn't! Not if _I_ know it!

     [_He rolls over on his back with a well-assumed air of

The E. L. (_delighted_). There, _that's_ the attitude I told you of. But
perhaps it _would_ come out rather too leggy?

MR. STIP. It is--ah--open to that objection, certainly, Madam. Perhaps
we had better take him on a chair sitting up. (FLUFF is, _with infinite
trouble, prevailed upon to mount an arm-chair, from which he growls
savagely whenever_ MR. STIPPLER _approaches_.) You will probably be more
successful with him than I, Madam.

The E. L. I could make him sit up in a _moment_, if I had any of his
biscuits with me. But I forgot to bring them.

MR. STIP. There is a confectionah next door. We could send out a lad for
some biscuits. About how much would you requiah--a quartah of a pound?
_He goes to the speaking tube._

The E. L. He won't eat _all_ those; he's a _most_ abstemious dog. But
they must be _sweet_, tell them. (_Delay. Arrival of the biscuits. The_
ELDERLY LADY _holds one up, and_ FLUFF _leaps, barking frantically,
until he succeeds in snatching it; a manoeuvre which he repeats with
each successive biscuit_.) Do you know, I'm afraid he really _mustn't_
have any more--biscuits always _excite_ him so. Suppose you take him
lying on the chair, much as he is now? (MR. STIPPLER _attempts to place
the dog's paws, and is snapped at_.) Oh, _do_ be careful!

MR. STIP. (_heroically_). Oh, it's of no consequence, Madam. I
am--ah--_accustomed_ to it.

The E. L. Oh, yes; but _he_ isn't, you know; so please be _very_ gentle
with him! And could you get him a little water first? I'm sure he's
thirsty. (MR. STIPPLER _brings water in a developing dish, which_ FLUFF
_empties promptly_.) Now he'll be as _good_----!

MR. STIP. (_after wiping_ FLUFF'S _chin and arranging his legs_). If we
can only keep him like that for one second.

The E. L. But he ought to have his ears pricked. (MR. STIPPLER _makes
weird noises behind the camera, resembling demon cats in torture_; FLUFF
_regards him with calm contempt_.) Oh, and his hair is all in his eyes,
and they're his best feature!

     [MR. STIPPLER _attempts to part_ FLUFF'S _fringe; snarls_.

MR. STIP. I have not discovered his eyes at present, Madam; but he
appears to have excellent--ah--_teeth_.

The E. L. _Has_n't he! Now, couldn't you catch him like _that_?

MR. STIP. _(to himself_). He's more likely to catch _me_ like that!
(_Aloud; as he retreats under a hanging canopy._) I think we shall get a
good one of him as he is. (_Focussing_.) Yes, that will do very nicely.
(_He puts in the plate, and prepares to release the shutter, whereupon_
FLUFF _deliberately rises and presents his tail to the camera_.) I
presume you do not desiah a _back_ view of the dog, Madam!

[Illustration: "What's she got hold of _now_."]

The E. L. Certainly not! Oh, Fluffy, naughty--naughty! Now lie down
again, like a good dog. Oh, I'm afraid he's going to sleep!

MR. STIP. If you would kindly take this--ah--toy in your hand, Madam, it
might rouse him a little.

The E. L. (_exhibiting a gutta-percha rat_). Here, Fluffy, Fluffy,
_here's_ a pitty sing! What _is_ it, eh!

FLUFF (_after opening one eye_). The old fool fancies she's got a rat!
Well, she may _keep_ it!

[_He curls himself up again_.

MR. STIP. We must try to obtain more--ah--animation than that.

[_He hands the_ ELDERLY LADY _a jingling toy_.

The E. L. (_shaking it vigorously_). Fluffy, see what Missis has got!

FLUFF _(by a yawn of much eloquence_). At _her_ age, too! Wonderful how
she can _do_ it!

[_He closes his eyes wearily._

MR. STIP. Perhaps you may produce a better effect with this. [_He hands
her a stuffed stoat._

FLUFF (_to himself_). What's she got hold of _now_? Hul-lo! (_He rises,
and inspects the stoat with interest._) I'd no idea the old girl was so

MR. STIP. Capital! Now, if he'll stay like that another----(FLUFF
_jumps down, and wags his tail with conscious merit._) Oh, _dear_ me. I
never saw such a dog!

The E. L. He's tired out, poor doggie, and no wonder. But he'll be all
the _quieter_ for it, _won't_ he? (_After restoring_ FLUFF _to the
chair._) Now, couldn't you take him panting, like that?

MR. STIP. I must wait till he's got a little less tongue out, Madam.

The E. L. Must you? Why? _I_ should have thought it was a capital

MR. STIP. For a physician, Madam, _not_ a photographer. If I were to
take him now the result would be an--ah--enormous tongue, with a dog in
the remote distance.

The E. L. And he's putting out more and more of it! Perhaps he's thirsty
again. Here, Fluffy, water--water! [_She produces the developing dish._

FLUFF (_in barks of unmistakable significance_). Look here, I've had
about enough of this tomfoolery. Let's go. _Come_ on!

MR. STIP. (_seconding the motion with relief_). I'm _afraid_ we're not
likely to do better with him to-day. Perhaps if you could look in some
othah afternoon?

The E. L. Why, we've only been an hour and twenty minutes as yet! But
what would be the best time to bring him?

MR. STIP. I should say the light and the temperatuah would probably be
more favourable by the week aftah next--(_to himself_) when I shall be
taking my holiday!

The E. L. Very well, I'll come then. Oh, Fluffy, Fluffy, what a silly
little dog you are to give all this trouble!

FLUFF (_to himself, as he makes a triumphant exit_). Not half so silly
as some people think! I _must_ tell the cat about this; she'll go into
fits! I will say she has a considerable sense of humour--for a cat.



_Mona House, the Town Mansion of the Marquis of Manx, which has been
lent for a Sale of Work in aid of the "Fund for Super-annuated
Skirt-dancers," under the patronage of Royalty and other distinguished

_In the Entrance Hall._

MRS. WYLIE DEDHEAD (_attempting to insinuate herself between the
barriers_). Excuse me; I only wanted to pop in for a moment, just to see
if a lady friend of mine is in there, that's _all_!

The LADY MONEY-TAKER (_blandly_). If you will let me know your friend's

MRS. W. D. (_splendide mendax_). She's assisting the dear Duchess.
_Now_, perhaps, you will allow me to pass!

The L. M. Afraid I can't, really. But if you mean Lady Honor
Hyndlegges--_she_ is the only lady at the Duchess's stall--I could send
_in_ for her. Or of course, if you like to pay half-a-crown----

MRS. W. D. (_hastily_). Thank you, I--I won't disturb her
ladyship. I had no _idea_ there was any charge for admission,
and--(_bristling_)--allow me to say I consider such regulations _most_

The L. M. (_sweetly, with a half glance at the bowl of coins on the
table_). Quite _too_ ridiculous, ain't they? _Good_ afternoon!

MRS. W. D. (_audibly, as she flounces out_). If they suppose _I'm_ going
to pay half-a-crown for the privilege of being _fleeced_----!

FOOTMAN (_on steps, sotto voce, to confrère_). "Fleeced"! that's a good
'un, eh? _She_ ain't brought much wool in with _her_!

His CONFRÈRE. On'y what's stuffed inside of her ear. [_They resume their
former impassive dignity._

_In the Venetian Gallery--where the Bazaar is being held._

A LOYAL OLD LADY (_at the top of her voice--to_ STALL-KEEPER). Which of
'em's the Princess, my dear, eh? It's her I paid _my_ money to see.

The STALL-KEEPER (_in a dismayed whisper_). Ssh! Not _quite_ so loud!
There--just opposite--petunia bow in her bonnet--selling kittens.

The L. O. L. (_planting herself on a chair_). So _that's_ her! Well, she
_is_ dressed plain--for a Royalty--but looks _pleasant_ enough. I
wouldn't mind taking one o' them kittens off her Royal 'Ighness myself,
if they was going at all reasonable. But there, I expect, the cats
_'ere_ is meat for my masters, so to speak; and you see, my dear, 'aving
the promise of a tortoise-shell Tom from the lady as keeps the Dairy
next door, whenever----

[_She finds, with surprise, that her confidences are not encouraged_.

MISS ST. LEGER DE MAYNE (_persuasively to_ MRS. NIBBLER). Do let me show
you some of this exquisite work, all embroidered entirely by hand, you

MRS. NIBBLER (_edging away_). Lovely--_quite_ lovely; but I
think--a--I'll just take a look round before I----

MISS DE M. If there is any _particular_ thing you were looking for,
perhaps _I_ could----

MRS. N. (_becoming confidential_). Well, I _did_ think if I could come
across a nice _sideboard-cloth_----

MISS DE M. (_to herself_). What on earth's a sideboard-cloth? (_Aloud._)
Why, I've the very _thing_! See--all worked in Russian stitch!

MRS. N. (_dubiously_). I thought they were always quite plain. And
what's that queer sort of flap-thing for?

MISS DE M. Oh, _that_? That's--a--to cover up the spoons, and forks,
and things; quite the latest fashion, _now_, you know.

MRS. N. (_with self-assertion_). I _have_ noticed it at several dinner
parties I've been to in society lately, certainly. Still I am not sure

MISS DE M. I always have them on my _own_ sideboard now--my husband
won't _hear_ of any others.... Then, I _may_ put this one in paper for
you? fifteen-and-sixpence--thanks _so_ much! (_To her colleague, as_
Mrs. N. _departs_). Connie, I've got rid of that awful nightgown case at

MRS. MAYCUP. A--you _don't_ happen to have a small bag to hold a
powder-puff, and so on, you know?

MISS DE M. I _had_ some very pretty ones; but I'm afraid they're
all--oh, no, there's just _one_ left--crimson velvet and real
_passementerie_. (_She produces a bag_). Too trotty for words, isn't it?

MRS. MAYCUP (_tacitly admitting its trottiness_). But then--that sort of
purse shape----Could I get a small pair of folding curling-irons into
it, should you think, at a pinch?

MISS DE M. You could get _anything_ into it--at a pinch. I've one myself
which will hold--well, I can't tell you what it _won't_ hold!
Half-a-guinea--so _many_ thanks! (_To herself, as_ MRS. MAYCUP _carries
off her_ _bag_.) What _would_ the vicar's wife say if she knew I'd sold
her church collection bag for _that_! But it's all in a good cause!
(_An_ ELDERLY LADY _comes up_.) May I show you some of these----?

The ELDERLY LADY. Well, I was wondering if you had such a thing as a
good warm pair of sleeping socks; because, these bitter nights, I do
find I suffer so from cold in my feet.

MISS DE M. (_with effusion_). Ah, then I can _feel_ for you--so do _I_!
At least, I _used_ to before I tried--(_To herself._) Where _is_ that
pair of thick woollen driving-gloves? Ah, _I_ know. (_Aloud._)--these.
I've found them _such_ a comfort!

The E. L. (_suspiciously_). They have rather a queer----And then they
are divided at the ends, too.

MISS DE M. Oh, haven't you seen _those_ before? Doctors consider them so
much healthier, don't you know.

The E. L. I daresay they are, my dear. But aren't the--(_with delicate
embarrassment_)--the separated parts rather long?

MISS DE M. Do you _think_ so? They allow so much more freedom, you see;
and then, of course, they'll shrink.

The E. L. That's true, my dear. Well, I'll take a pair, as you recommend
them so strongly.

MISS DE M. I'm quite _sure_ you'll never regret it!

(_To herself, as the_ E. L. _retires, charmed_.) I'd give _anything_ to
see the poor old thing trying to put them on!

MISS MIMOSA TENDRILL (_to herself_). I do so _hate_ hawking this horrid
old thing about! (_Forlornly, to_ MRS. ALLBUTT-INNETT.) I--I beg your
pardon; but _will_ you give me ten-and-sixpence for this lovely

MRS. ALLBUTT-INNETT. My good girl, let me tell you I've been pestered to
buy that identical basket at every bazaar I've set foot in for the last
twelve-month, and how you can have the face to ask ten-and-six for
it--you must think I've more money than wit!

MISS TENDR. (_abashed_). Well--_eighteenpence_ then? (_To herself, as_
Mrs. A. I. _closes promptly_.) There, I've sold _something_, anyhow!

The HON. DIANA D'AUTENBAS (_to herself_). It's rather fun selling at a
Bazaar; one can let oneself _go_ so much more! (_To the first man she
meets._) I'm sure you'll buy one of my buttonholes--now _won't_ you? If
I fasten it in for you myself?

MR. CADNEY ROWSER. A button'ole, eh? Think I'm not classy enough as I

MISS D'AUT. I don't think _anyone_ could accuse you of not being
"_classy_;" still a flower would just give the finishing-touch.

MR. C. R. (_modestly_). Rats!--if you'll pass the reedom. But you've
such a way with you that--there--'ow much.

MISS D'AUT. Only five shillings. Nothing to _you_!

MR. C. R. Five bob? You're a artful girl, _you_ are! "_Fang de
Seakale_," and no error! But I'm _on_ it; it's worth the money to 'ave a
flower fastened in by such fair 'ands. I won't 'owl--not even if you
_do_ run a pin into me.... What? You ain't done a'ready! No _'urry_, yer
know.... 'Ere, won't you come along to the refreshment-stall, and 'ave a
little something at my expense. Do!

MISS D'AUT. I think you must imagine you are talking to a barmaid!

MR. C. R. (_with gallantry_). I on'y wish barmaids was 'alf as pleasant
and sociable as _you_, Miss. But they're a precious stuck-up lot, _I_
can assure you!

MISS D'AUT. (_to herself as she escapes_). I suppose one ought to put up
with this sort of thing--for a charity!

MRS. BABBICOMBE (_at the Toy Stall, to the Belle of the Bazaar, aged
three-and-a-half_). You _perfect_ duck! You're simply too _sweet_! I
_must_ find you something. (_She tempers generosity with discretion by
presenting her with a small pair of knitted doll's socks_.) There,

The BELLE'S MOTHER. What do you say to the kind lady _now_, Marjory?

MARJORY (_a practical young person, to the donor_). Now div me a dolly
to put ve socks on.

[MRS. B. _finds herself obliged to repair this omission_.

A YOUNG LADY RAFFLER (_to a_ YOUNG MAN). Do take a ticket for this
charmin' _sachet_. Only half-a-crown!

The YOUNG MAN. Delighted! If you'll put in for this _splendid_ cigar
cabinet. Two shillin's!

[_The_ YOUNG LADY _realises that she has encountered an Augur, and
passes on_.

MISS DE. M. (_to_ MR. ISTHMIAN GATWICK). Can't I tempt you with this
tea-cosy? It's so absurdly cheap!

MR. ISTHMIAN GATWICK (_with dignity_). A-thanks; I think not. Never
_take_ tea, don't you know.

MISS DE M. (_with her characteristic adaptability_). Really? No more do
_I_. But you _could_ use it as a _smoking-cap_, you know. _I_ always----

[_Recollects herself, and breaks off in confusion_.

[Illustration: "You have lofty ambitions and the artistic

MISS OPHELIA PALMER (_in the "Wizard's Cave"--to_ MR. CADNEY ROWSER).
Yes, your hand indicates an intensely refined and spiritual nature; you
are perhaps a _little_ too indifferent to your personal comfort where
that of others is concerned; sensitive--too much so for your own
happiness, perhaps--you feel things keenly when you _do_ feel them. You
have lofty ambitions and the artistic temperament--seven-and-sixpence,

MR. C. R. (_impressed_). Well, Miss, if you can read all that for
seven-and-six on the palm of my 'and, I wonder what you _wouldn't_ see
for 'alf a quid on the sole o' my boot!

[MISS P.'S _belief in Chiromancy sustains a severe shock_.

BOBBIE PATTERSON (_outside tent, as Showman_). This way to the
Marvellous Jumping Bean from Mexico! Threepence!

VOICE FROM TENT. Bobbie! Stop! The Bean's _lost_! Lady Honor's horrid
Thought-reading Poodle has just stepped in and swallowed it.

BOBBIE. Ladies and Gentlemen, owing to sudden domestic calamity, the
Bean has been unavoidably compelled to retire, and will be unable to
appear till further notice.

MISS SMYLIE (_to_ MR. OTIS BARLEYWATER, _who--in his own set--is
considered "almost equal to Corney Grain"_). I thought you were giving
your entertainment in the library? Why _aren't_ you?

MR. OTIS BARLEYWATER (_in a tone of injury_). Why? Because I can't give my
imitations of Arthur Roberts and Yvette Guilbert with anything _like_
the requisite "go," unless I get a better audience than three
programme-sellers, all under ten, and the cloak-room maid--_that's_ why!

MRS. ALLBUTT-INNETT (_as she leaves, for the benefit of bystanders_). I
must say, the house is _most_ disappointing--not at _all_ what I should
expect a _Marquis_ to live in. Why, my _own_ reception-rooms are very
nearly as large, and decorated in a much more modern style!

what he does," and whom he has just discovered inside a case got up to
represent an automatic sweetmeat machine_). Why, my dear old _chap_! No
idea it was _you_ inside that thing! Enjoying yourself in there, eh?

The DOOSID GOOD-NATURED FELLOW (_fluffily, from the interior_). Enjoying
myself! With the beastly pennies droppin' down into my boots, and the
kids howlin' because all the confounded chocolates have worked up
between my shoulder-blades, and I can't shake 'em out of the slit in my
arm? I'd like to see _you_ tryin' it!

The L. O. L. (_to a stranger, who is approaching the_ _Princess's
stall_). 'Ere, Mister, where are your manners? 'Ats off in the presence
o' Royalty!

[_She pokes him in the back with her umbrella; the stranger turns,
smiles slightly, and passes on._

A WELL-INFORMED BYSTANDER. You are evidently unaware, Madam, that the
gentleman you have just addressed is His Serene Highness the Prince of

The L. O. L. (_aghast_). Her '_usban_'! And me a jobbin' of 'im with my
umbrella! 'Ere, let me get out!

[_She staggers out, in deadly terror of being sent to the Tower on the



You are, let us say, a young professional man in chambers or offices,
incompetently guarded by an idiot boy whom you dare not trust with the
responsibility of denying you to strangers. You hear a knock at your
outer door, followed by conversation in the clerk's room, after which
your salaried idiot announces "A Gentleman to see you." Enter a dingy
and dismal little man in threadbare black, who advances with an air of
mysterious importance. "I think," he begins, "I 'ave the pleasure of
speaking to Mr.----" (_whatever your name is_.) "I take the liberty of
calling, Mr.----, to consult you on a matter of the utmost importance,
and I shall feel personally obliged if you will take precautions for our
conversation not being over'eard."

He looks grubby for a client--but appearances are deceptive, and you
offer him a seat, assuring him that he may speak with perfect
security--whereupon he proceeds in a lowered voice.

"The story I am about to reveal," he says, smoothing a slimy tall hat,
"is of a nature so revolting, so 'orrible in its details, that I can
'ardly bring myself to speak it to any 'uming ear!" (_Here you will
probably prepare to take notes._) "You see before you one who is of 'igh
birth but low circumstances!" (_At this you give him up as a possible
client, but a mixture of diffidence and curiosity compels you to
listen._) "Yes, Sir, I was '_ fruges consumeary nati_.' I 'ave received
a neducation more befitting a dook than my present condition. Nursed in
the lap of haffluence, I was trained to fill the lofty position which
was to have been my lot. But, '_necessitas_,' Sir, as you are aware,
'_necessitas non abat lejim_,' and such I found it. While still
receiving a classical education at Cambridge College--(praps you are
yourself an alumbus of _Halma Mater_? No? I apologise, Sir, I'm
sure)--but while preparing to take my honorary degree, my father
suddenly enounced the horful news that he was a bankrup'. Stript of all
we possessed, we were turned out of our sumchuous 'ome upon the cold
world, my father's grey 'airs were brought down sorrowing to sangwidge
boards, though he is still sangwin of paying off his creditors in time
out of what he can put by from his scanty hearnings. My poor dear
Mother--a lady born and bred--sank by slow degrees to a cawfy-stall,
which is now morgidged to the 'ilt, and my eldest Sister, a lovely and
accomplished gairl, was 'artlessly thrown over by a nobleman, to 'oom
she was engaged to be married, before our reverses overtook us. His name
the delikit hinstinks of a gentleman will forbid you to inquire, as
likewise me to mention--enough to 'int that he occupies a prominent
position amongst the hupper circles of Society, and is frequently to be
met with in the papers. His faithlessness preyed on my Sister's mind to
that degree, that she is now in the Asylum, a nopeless maniac! My honely
Brother was withdrawn from 'Arrow, and now 'as the 'yumiliation of
selling penny toys on the kerbstone to his former playfellers. '_Tantee
nannymice salestibus hiræ_,' indeed, Sir!

"But you ask what befell myself." (_You have not--for the simple reason
that, even if you desired information, he has given you no chance, as
yet, of putting in a word._) "Ah, Sir, there you 'ave me on a tender
point. '_Hakew tetigisti_,' if I may venture once more upon a scholarly
illusion. But I 'ave resolved to conceal nothing--and you shall 'ear.
For a time I obtained employment as Seckertary and Imanuensis to a
young baranit, 'oo had been the bosom friend of my College days. He
would, I know, have used his influence with Goverment to obtain me a
lucritive post; but, alas, ere he could do so, unaired sheets, coupled
with deliket 'elth, took him off premature, and I was once more thrown
on my own resources.

"In conclusion, Sir, you 'ave doubtless done me the hinjustice to
expect, from all I 'ave said, that my hobjick in obtaining this
interview was to ask you for pecuniary assistance?" (_Here you reflect
with remorse that a suspicion to this effect has certainly crossed your
mind._) "Nothing of the sort or kind, I do assure you. A little 'uming
sympathy, the relief of pouring out my sorrers upon a feeling 'art, a
few kind encouraging words, is all I arsk, and that, Sir, the first
sight of your kind friendly face told me I should not lack. Pore as I
am, I still 'ave my pride, the pride of a English gentleman, and if you
was to orfer me a sovereign as you sit there, I should fling it in the
fire--ah, I _should_--'urt and indignant at the hinsult!" (_Here you
will probably assure him that you have no intention of outraging his
feelings in any such manner._) "No, and _why_, Sir? Because you 'ave a
gentlemanly 'art, and if you were to make sech a orfer, you would do it
in a kindly Christian spirit which would rob it of all offence. There's
not many as I would bring myself to accept a paltry sovereign from, but
I dunno--I might from one like yourself--I _might_. _Ord hignara mali,
miseris succur-reary disco_, as the old philosopher says. You 'ave that
kind of _way_ with you." (_You mildly intimate that he is mistaken here,
and take the opportunity of touching the bell_.) "No, Sir, don't be
untrue to your better himpulses. '_Ave_ a feelin 'art, Sir! Don't send
me away, after allowing me to waste my time 'ere--which is of value _to
me_, let me tell yer, whatever _yours_ is!--like this!.... Well, well,
there's 'ard people in this world? I'm _going_, Sir ... I 'ave
sufficient dignity to take a'int.... You 'aven't got even a trifle to
spare an old University Scholar in redooced circumstances then?... Ah,
it's easy to see you ain't been at a University yourself--you ain't got
the _hair_ of it! Farewell, Sir, and may your lot in life be 'appier
than----All right, don't _hexcite_ yourself. I've bin mistook in yer,
that's all. I thought you was as soft-edded a young mug as you look.
Open that door, will yer; I want to get out of this 'ole!"

Here he leaves you with every indication of disgust and disappointment,
and you will probably hear him indulging in unclassical vituperation on
the landing.




_A railed-in corner of the Park. TIME--About 7 p.m. Inside the enclosure
three shepherds are engaged in shearing the park sheep. The first
shepherd has just thrown his patient on its back, gripped its shoulders
between his knees, and tucked its head, as a tiresome and obstructive
excrescence, neatly away under one of his arms, while he reaches for the
shears. The second is straddled across his animal, which is lying with
its hind legs hobbled on a low stage under an elm, in a state of stoical
resignation, as its fleece is deftly nipped from under its chin. The
third operator has almost finished his sheep, which, as its dark grey
fleece slips away from its pink-and-white neck and shoulders, suggests a
rather décolletée dowager in the act of removing her theatre-cloak in
the stalls. Sheep, already shorn, lie and pant in shame and shivering
bewilderment, one or two nibble the blades of grass, as if to assure
themselves that that resource is still open to them. Sheep whose turn is
still to come are penned up at the back, and look on, scandalised, but
with an air which seems to express that their own superior
respectability is a sufficient protection against similar outrage. The
shearers appear to take a humorous view of their task, and are watched
by a crowd which has collected round the railings, with an agreeable
assurance that they are not expected to contribute towards the

FIRST WORK-GIRL (_edging up_). Whatever's goin' on inside 'ere? (_After
looking--disappointed._) Why they ain't on'y a lot o' sheep! I thought
it was Reciters, or somethink o' that.

SECOND WORK-GIRL (_with irony_). They _look_ like Reciters, don't they!
It do seem a shime cuttin' them poor things as close as convicks, that
it do!

FIRST W.-G. They don't mind it partickler; you'd 'ear 'em 'oller fast
enough if they did.

SECOND W.-G. I expeck they feel so redic'lus, they 'aven't the 'art to

LUCILLA (_to GEORGE_). Do look at that one going up and sniffing at the
bundle of fleeces, trying to find out which is his. _Isn't_ it pathetic?

GEORGE. H'm--puts one in mind of a shy man in a cloak-room after a
party, saying feebly, "I rather think that's _my_ coat, and there's a
crush hat of mine _somewhere_ about," eh?

LUCILLA (_who is always wishing that GEORGE would talk more sensibly_).
Considering that sheep don't _wear_ crush hats, I hardly see how----

GEORGE. My dear, I bow to your superior knowledge of natural history.
Now you mention it, I believe it _is_ unusual. But I merely meant to
suggest a general resemblance.

[Illustration: "They ain't on'y a lot o' sheep! I thought it was
Reciters, or somethink o' that."]

LUCILLA (_reprovingly_). I know. And you've got into such a silly habit
of seeing resemblances in things that are perfectly different. I'm sure
I'm _always_ telling you of it.

GEORGE. You are, my dear. But I'm not nearly so bad as I _was_. Think of
all the things I used to compare _you_ to before we were married!

SARAH JANE (_to her TROOPER_). I could stand an' look at 'em hours, I
could. I was born and bred in the country, and it do seem to bring back
my old 'ome that plain.

Her TROOPER. I'm country bred too, though yer mightn't think it. But
there ain't much in sheep shearin' to _my_ mind. If it was _pig
killin'_, now!

SARAH JANE. Ah, that's along o' your bein' in the milingtary, I expect.

Her TROOPER. No, it ain't that. It's the reckerlections it 'ud call up.
I 'ad a 'ole uncle a pork-butcher, d'ye see, and (_with sentiment_) many
and many a 'appy hour I've spent as a boy----[_He indulges in tender

A YOUNG CLERK (_who belongs to a Literary Society, to his FIANCÉE_). It
has a wonderfully rural look--quite like a scene in 'Ardy, isn't it?

His FIANCÉE (_who has "no time for reading rubbish"_). I daresay; though
I've never been there myself.

The CLERK. Never been? Oh, I see. _You_ thought I said _Arden_--the
Forest of Arden, in Shakspeare, didn't you?

His FIANCÉE. Isn't that where Mr. Gladstone lives, and goes cutting down
the trees in?

The CLERK. No; At least it's spelt different. But it was 'Ardy _I_
meant. _Far from the Madding Crowd_, you know.

His FIANCÉE (_with a vague view to the next Bank Holiday_). What do you
_call_ "far"--farther than _Margate_?

     [_Her companion has a sense of discouragement._

An ARTISAN (_to a neighbour in broadcloth and a white choker_). It's
wonderful 'ow they can go so close without 'urtin' of 'em, ain't it?

His NEIGHBOUR (_with unction_). Ah, my friend, it on'y shows 'ow true it
is that 'eving tempers the shears for the shorn lambs!

A GOVERNESS (_instructively, to her charge_). Don't you think you ought
to be very grateful to that poor sheep, Ethel, for giving up her nice
warm fleece on purpose to make a frock for _you_?

ETHEL (_doubtfully_). Y--yes, Miss Mavor. But (_with a fear that some
reciprocity may be expected of her_) she's too big for any of my _best_
frocks, _isn't_ she?

FIRST URCHIN (_perched on the railings_). Ain't that 'un a-kicking? 'E
don't like 'aving _'is_ 'air cut, 'e don't, no more shouldn't I if it
was me.... 'E's bin an' upset 'is bloke on the grorss, now! Look at the
bloke layin' there larfin'.... 'E's ketched 'im agin now. See 'im
landin' 'im a smack on the 'ed; that'll learn 'im to stay quiet, eh?
'E's strong, ain't 'e?

SECOND URCHIN. Rams is the wust, though, 'cause they got 'orns, rams

FIRST URCH. What, same as goats?

SECOND URCH. (_emphatically_). Yuss! Big crooked 'uns. And runs at yer,
they do.

FIRST URCH. I wish they was rams in 'ere. See all them sheep waitin' to
be done. I wonder what they're finkin' of.

SECOND URCH. Ga-arn! They _don't_ fink, sheep don't.

FIRST URCH. Not o' anyfink?

SECOND URCH. Na-ow! They ain't got nuffink to fink _about_, sheep ain't.

FIRST URCH. I lay they _do_ fink, 'orf and on.

SECOND URCH. Well, I lay _you_ never see 'em doin' of it!

     [_And so on. The first Shepherd disrobes his sheep, and
     dismisses it with a disrespectful spank. After which he
     proceeds to refresh himself from a brown jar, and hands it to
     his comrades. The spectators look on with deeper interest, and
     discuss the chances of the liquid being beer, cider, or cold
     tea, as the scene closes._



_In Bed; At the Highland Hotel, Oban._

What an extraordinary thing is the mechanism of the human mind! Went to
sleep last night impressed with vital importance of waking at six, to
catch early steamer to Gairloch. And here I am--broad awake--at exactly
5.55! Is it automatic action, or what? Like setting clockwork for
explosive machine. When the time comes, I blow up--I mean, _get_ up.
Think out this simile--rather a good one.... Need not have been so
particular in telling Boots to call me, after all. Shall I get up
_before_ he comes? He'll be rather surprised when he knocks at the door,
and hears me singing inside like a lark. But, on reflection, isn't it
rather _petty_ to wish to astonish an hotel Boots? And why on earth
should I get up myself, when I've tipped another fellow to get me up?
But suppose he forgets to call me. I've no right, as yet, to _assume_
that he will. To get up now would argue want of confidence in
him--might hurt his feelings. I will give him another five minutes, poor

_Getting up._--No actual necessity to get up yet, but, to make assurance
doubly--something or other, forget what--I will ... I do. Portmanteau
rather refractory; retreats under bed--quite ten minutes before I can
coax it out.... When I have, it won't let me pack it. That's the worst
of this breed of brown portmanteaus--they're always nasty-tempered.
However, I am getting a few things into it now, by degrees. Very
annoying--as fast as I put them in, this confounded portmanteau shoots
them out again! If I've put in that pair of red and white striped
pyjamas once, I've done it twenty times--and they always come twisting
and rolling out of the back, somehow. Fortunate I left myself ample

Man next door to me is running it rather fine. _He_ has to catch the
boat, too, and he's not up yet! Hear the Boots hammering away at his
door. How _can_ a fellow, just for the sake of a few more minutes in
bed--which he won't even know he's _had_!--go and risk losing his
steamer in that way? I'll do him a good turn--knock at the wall myself.
"Hi! get up, you lazy beggar. Look sharp--you'll be late!" He thanks
me, in a muffled tone, through the wall. He is a remarkably quick
dresser, he tells me--it won't take him thirty-five seconds to pack,
dress, pay his bill, and get on board. If that's the case, I don't see
why _I_ should hurry. I've got much more than that _already_.

_At the Quay._--People in Oban stare a good deal. Can't quite make out
reason, unless they're surprised to find me up so early. Explain that I
got up without having even been called. Oban populace mildly surprised,
and offer me neckties--_Why?_

Fine steamer this; has a paddle-wheel at _both_ ends--"because," the
Captain explains, "she has not only to _go_ to Gairloch--but come back
as well."

First-rate navigator, the Captain; he has written my weight, the date of
my last birthday, and the number of the house I live in, down in a sort
of ledger he keeps. He does this with all his passengers, he tells me,
reduces the figures to logarithms, and works out the ship's course in
decimals. No idea there was so much science in modern seamanship.

_On Board._--Great advantage of being so early is that you can breakfast
quietly on deck before starting. Have mine on bridge of steamer, under
awning; everything very good--ham-méringues _excellent_. No coffee,
but, instead, a capital brand of dry, sparkling marmalade, served,
sailor-fashion, in small pomatum-pots.

What a small world we live in! Of all people in the world, who should be
sitting next to me but my Aunt Maria! I was always under the impression
that she had died in my infancy. Don't like to mention this, because if
I am _wrong_, she might be offended. But if she _did_ die when I was a
child, she ought to be a much older woman than she looks. I _do_ tell
her this--because it is really a compliment.

My Aunt, evidently an experienced traveller, never travels, she informs
me, without a pair of globes and a lawn-mower. She offers, very kindly,
to lend me the Celestial globe, if the weather is at all windy. This is
behaving _like_ an Aunt!

We are taking in live-stock; curious-looking creatures, like spotted
pug-dogs (only bigger and woollier, of course) and without horns.
Somebody leaning over the rail next to me (I _think_ he is the Public
Prosecutor, but am not quite sure), tells me they are "Scotch
Shortbreads." Agreeable man, but rather given to staring.

Didn't observe it before, but my Aunt is really amazingly like Mr.
Gladstone. Ask her to explain this. She is much distressed that I have
noticed it; says she has felt it coming on for some time; it is not, as
she justly complains, as if she took any interest in politics either.
She has consulted every doctor in London, and they all tell her it is
simply weakness, and she will outgrow it with care. Singular case--must
find out (delicately) whether it's catching.

We ought to be starting soon; feel quite fresh and lively, in spite of
having got up so early. Mention this to Captain. Wish he and the Public
Prosecutor wouldn't stare at me so. Just as if there was something
singular in my appearance!

They're embarking my portmanteau now. Knew they would have a lively time
of it! It takes at least four sailors, in kilts, to manage it. Ought I
to step ashore and quiet it down? Stay where I am. Don't know why, but
feel a little afraid of it when it's like this. Shall exchange it for a
quiet hand-bag when I get home.

Captain busy hammering at a hole in the funnel--dangerous place to
spring a leak in--hope he is making it water-tight. The hammering
reminds me of that poor devil in the bedroom next to mine at the hotel.
_He_ won't catch the boat now--he _can't_! My Aunt (who has left off
looking like Mr. Gladstone) asks me why I am laughing. I tell her about
that unfortunate man and his "thirty-five seconds." She screams with
laughter. Very humorous woman, my Aunt.

Deck crowded with passengers now: all pointing and staring ... at whom?
Ask Aunt Maria. She declines to tell me: says, severely, that "If I
don't know, I ought to."

Great Heavens! It's at _me_ they're staring! And no wonder--in the hurry
I was in, I must have packed _everything_ up!... I've come away just as
I was! _Now_ I understand why someone offered me a necktie. Where shall
I go and hide myself? Shall I ever persuade that beast of a portmanteau
to give me out one or two things to put on--because I really _can't_ go
about like this! Captain still hammering at funnel--but he can't wake
that sleepy-headed idiot in the next room. "Louder--knock _louder_, or
the boat will go without him! Tell him there isn't another for two days.
He's said good-bye to everybody he knows at Oban--he will look such an
ass if he doesn't go, after all!"... Not the least use! Wonder what his
name is. My Aunt says _she_ knows, only she won't tell me--she'll
whisper it, as a great secret. She is just about to disclose the name,
which, somehow, I am extremely curious to know--when ...

Where am I? Haven't they got that unhappy fellow up _yet_? Why the
dickens are they knocking at _my_ door? I've been on board the steamer
for hours, I tell you? Eh? _what?_ Five minutes to eight! And the
Gairloch boat? "Sailed at usual time--seven. Tried to make you hear--but
couldn't."... Confound it all! Good mind not to get up all day--now!




_It is the summer of 189-. The scene is a road skirting Victoria Park,
Bethnal Green, which Society's leaders have recently discovered and
appointed as the rendez-vous for the Season, and where it is now the
correct thing for all really smart people to indulge, between certain
prescribed hours, in sports and pastimes that have hitherto been more
characteristic of the masses than the classes. The only permissible
mount now is the donkey, which must be ridden close to the tail, and
referred to as a "moke." A crowd of well-turned-out spectators arrives
from the West End every morning about eleven to watch the brilliant
parade of "Mokestrians" (as the Society journalist will already have
decided to call them). Some drive slowly up and down on coster-barrows,
attended by cockaded and disgusted grooms. About twelve, they break up
into light luncheon parties; after which they play democratic games for
half an hour or so, and drive home on drags._

MR. WOODBY-INNETT (_to the DONKEY PROPRIETOR_). Kept a moke for me? I
told you I should be wantin' one every mornin' now.

The DONKEY PROPRIETOR (_after consulting engagement book_). I've not got
it down on my list, Sir. Very sorry, but the Countess of Cumberback has
just booked the last for the 'ole of this week. Might let you 'ave one
by-and-by, if Sir Hascot Goodwood brings his in punctual, but I can't
promise it.

MR. WOODBY-INN. That's no good; no point in ridin' after the right time.
(_To himself, as he turns away._) Nuisance! Not that I'm so keen about a
moke. Not a patch on a bike!--though it don't do to say so. Only if I'd
known this, I'd have turned up in a tall hat and frock coat; and then I
could have taken a turn on the steam-circus. Wonder if it would be any
sort of form shyin' at cocoa-nuts in tweeds and a straw hat. Must ask
some chap who knows. More puzzlin' what to put on this year than ever!

mine, isn't it? Will you please put me up, and _promise_ me you'll keep
close behind and make him run. (_Suppliantly._) You will, _won't_ you?

The DONKEY PROPRIETOR (_with a due sense of his own value_). Well, I
dessay I can come along presently, Lady 'Urlingham, and fetch 'im a
whack or two; jest now I can't, having engaged to come and 'old the
Marshiness of 'Ammercloth on _'er_ moke; but there, you orter be able
to git along well enough by yourself now--_you_ ought!

[Illustration: "Mokestrians."]

CAPTAIN SONBYRNE (_just home on leave from India--to MRS.
CHESHAM-LOWNDES_). Rather an odd sort of idea this--I mean, coming all
the way out here to ride a lot of donkeys, eh?

MRS. CHESHAM-LOWNDES. It used to be rather amusing a month ago, before
they all got used to riding so near the tail; but now they're all so
good at it, don't you know.

CAPT. SONB. I went down to Battersea Park yesterday to see the
bicyclists. Not a soul there, give you my word!

MRS. C.-L. No; there _wouldn't_ be _this_ season. You see, all sorts and
conditions of people began to take it up, and it got too fearfully
common. And now moke-riding has quite cut it out.

CAPT. SONB. But why ride donkeys when you can get gees?

MRS. C.-L. Oh, well, they're democratic, and cheap, and all that, don't
you know. And one really can't be _seen_ on a horse this year--in town,
at least. In the country it don't matter so much.

FIRST MOKESTRIAN (_to second ditto_). Hullo, old chap, so _you_'ve taken
to a moke at last, eh? How are you gettin' on?

SECOND MOKESTRIAN. Pretty well. I can sit on his tail all right now, but
I can't get into the way of keepin' my heels off the ground yet, it's so
beastly difficult.

_Fragments from_ SPECTATORS. That's rather a smart barrow Lady
Barinrayne's drivin' to-day.... Who's the fellow with her, with the
paper feather in his pot-hat? Bad style, _I_ call it.... That's Lord
Freddy Fugleman--best dressed man in London. You'll see everybody
turnin' up in a paper feather in a day or two.... Lot of men seem to be
using a short clay as a cigarette-holder now, don't they?... Yes, Roddie
Rippingill introduced the idea last week, and it seems to have caught
on. [_&c._, _&c._]

_After Luncheon; at the Steam-Circus and other Sports._

_Scraps of Small-talk._ No end sorry, Lady Gwendolen; been tryin' to get
you a scent-squirt everywhere; but they're all gone; such a run on 'em
for Ascot, don't you know.... Thanks; it doesn't matter; only dear Lady
Buckram has just thrown some red ochre down the back of my neck, and
Algy Vere came and shot out a coloured paper thing right in my face, and
I shouldn't like to seem uncivil.... Suppose I shall see you at Lady
Brabazon's "Kiss in the Ring" at Bethnal Green to-morrow afternoon?...
I believe she _did_ send us cards, but we promised to look in at a
friendly lead the Duchess of Dillwater is giving at such a dear little
public she's discovered in Whitechapel, so we may be rather late....
You'll keep a handkerchief-throw for me if you _do_ come on, won't
you?... It will have to be an _extra_, then, I'm afraid.... Are you
goin' to Lord Balmisyde's eight o'clock breakfast to-morrow? _So_ glad;
I hear he's engaged five coffee-stalls, and we're all to stand up and
eat saveloys and trotters and thick bread and butter.... Oh, I wanted to
ask you, my girls have got an invitation to a hoky-poky party the
Vavasours are giving after the moke-ridin' next Thursday, and I'm told
it's quite wrong to eat hoky-poky with a spoon--do you know how that
is?... The only _correct_ way, Caroline, is to lick it out of the glass,
which requires practice before it can be _attempted_ in public. But I
hear there's quite a pleasant boy-professor somewhere in the Mile End
Road who teaches it in a single lesson; he's _very_ moderate; his terms
are only half a guinea, which includes the hoky-poky. I'll send you his
address if I can find it.... Thanks _so_ much; the dear girls _will_ be
so grateful to you.... I _do_ think it's _quite_ too bad of Lady
Geraldine Grabber, she goes and sticks her card on the only decent
wooden horse in the steam-circus and says she's engaged it for the whole
time, though she hardly ever takes a round! And so many girls standing
out who can ride without getting in the _least_ giddy!... Rathah a
boundah, that fellow, if you ask me; I've _seen_ him pullin' a swing
boat in brown boots and ridin'-breeches!... How wonderfully well your
daughter throws the rings, dear Lady Cornelia, I hear she's won three
walking-sticks and five clasp knives.... You're very kind. She is quite
clever at it; but then she's had some private coaching from a gipsy,
don't you know.... What are you going to do with yourself this
afternoon?... Oh, I'm going to the People's Palace to see the finals
played off for the Skittles Championship; bound to be a closish thing;
rather excitin', don't you know.... Ah, Duchess, you've been in form
to-day, I see, five cocoa-nuts! Can I relieve you of some of them?...
Thanks, they _are_ rather tiresome to carry; if you _could_ find my
carriage and tell the footman to keep his eye on them. [_&c._, _&c._]

LADY ROSEHUGH (_to MR. LUKE WALMER, on the way home_). You know I _do_
think it's _such_ a cheering sign of the times, Society getting simpler
in its tastes, and sharing the pleasures of the Dear People, and all
that; it must tend to bring all classes more _together_, don't you know!

MR. LUKE WALMER. Perhaps. Only I was thinking, I don't remember seeing
any of the Dear People _about_.

LADY ROSEHUGH. No; somebody was telling me they had taken to playing
Polo on bicycles in Hyde Park. So extraordinary of them--such a pity
they haven't some higher form of amusement, you know!



_Den of Latest Lion._

LATEST LION (_perusing card with no visible signs of gratification_).
Confound it! don't remember telling the Editor of _Park Lane_ I'd let
myself be interviewed. Suppose I must have, though. (_Aloud to SERVANT,
who is waiting._) You can show the Gentleman up.

SERVANT (_returning_). Mr. Walsingham Jermyn!

     [_A youthful Gentleman is shown in; he wears a pink-striped
     shirt-front, an enormous buttonhole, and a woolly frock-coat,
     and is altogether most expensively and fashionably attired,
     which, however, does not prevent him from appearing somewhat
     out of countenance after taking a seat._

The L. L. (_encouragingly_). I presume, Mr. Jermyn, you're here to ask
me some questions about the future of the British East African Company,
and the duty of the Government in the matter?

MR. JERMYN (_gratefully_). Er--yes, that's what I've come about, don't
you know--that sort of thing. Fact is (_with a burst of confidence_),
this isn't exactly my line--I've been rather let in for this. You see,
I've not been by way of doin' this long--but what's a fellow to do when
he's stony-broke? Got to do _somethin'_, don't you know. So I thought
I'd go in for journalism--I don't mean the drudgery of it,
leader-writin' and that--but the light part of it, _Society_, you know.
But the other day, man who does the interviews for _Park Lane_ (that's
the paper I'm on) jacked up all of a sudden, and my Editor said I'd
better take on his work for a bit, and see what I made of it. I wasn't
particular. You see, I've always been rather a dead hand at drawin'
fellows out, leadin' them on, you know, and all that, so I knew it would
come easy enough to me, for all you've got to do is to sit tight and let
the other chap--I mean to say, the man you're interviewin'--do all the
talking, while you--I mean to say, myself--keep, keeps--hullo, I'm
getting my grammar a bit mixed; however, it don't signify--_I_ keep
quiet and use my eyes and ears like blazes. Talking of grammar, I
thought when I first started that I should get in a regular hat over the
grammar, and the spellin', and that--_you_ write, don't you, when you're
not travellin'? So you know what a grind it is to spell right. But I
soon found they kept a Johnny at the office with nothing to do but put
all your mistakes right for you, so, soon as I knew that, I went ahead

The L. L. Exactly, and now, perhaps, you will let me know what
particular information you require?

MR. J. Oh, _you_ know the sort of thing the public likes--they'll want
to know what sort of diggings you've got, how you dress when you're at
home, and all that, how you write your books, now--you do write books,
don't you? Thought so. Well, that's what the public likes. You see, your
name's a good deal up just now--no humbug, it _is_ though! Between
ourselves, you know, I think the whole business is the balliest kind of
rot, but they've got to have it, so there you are, don't you see. I
don't pretend to be a well-read sort of fellow, never was particularly
fond of readin' and that; no time for it, and besides, I've always said
_Books_ don't teach you knowledge of the world. I know the world fairly
well--but I didn't learn it from books--ah, you agree with me
there--_you_ know what skittles all that talk is about education and
that. Well, as I was sayin', I don't read much, I see the _Field_ every
week, and a clinkin' good paper it is, tells you everythin' worth
knowin', and I read the _Pink Un_, too. Do you know any of the fellows
on it? Man I know is a great friend of one of them, he's going to
introduce me some day, I like knowin' literary chaps, don't you? You've
been about a good deal, haven't you? I expect you must have seen a lot,
travellin' as you do. I've done a little travellin' myself, been to
Monte Carlo, you know, and the Channel Islands--_you_ ever been to the
Channel Islands? Oh, you ought to go, it's a very cheery place. Talkin'
of Monte Carlo, I had a rattlin' good time at the tables there; took out
a hundred quid, determined I would have a downright good flutter, and
Jove! I made that hundred last me over five days, and came away in
nothing but my lawn-tennis flannels. That's what I _call_ a flutter,
don't you know! Er--beastly weather we're havin'! You have pretty good
weather where you've been? A young brother of mine has been out for a
year in Texas--he said _he'd_ very good weather--of course that's some
way off where _you_'ve come from--Central Africa, isn't it? Talkin' of
my brother, what do you think the young ass did?--went out there with a
thousand pounds, and paid it all down to some sportsmen who took him to
see some stock they said belonged to them--of course he found out after
they'd off'd it that they didn't own a white mouse among 'em! But then,
Dick's one of those chaps, you know, that think themselves so uncommon
knowing, they _can't_ be had. I always told him he'd be taken in some
day if he let his tongue wag so much--too fond of hearing himself talk,
don't you know, great mistake for a young fellow; sure to say somethin'
you'd better have let alone. I suppose you're getting rather sick of all
these banquets, receptions, and that? They do you very well, certainly.
I went to one of these Company dinners some time ago, and they did me as
well as I've ever been done in my life, but when you've got to sit still
afterwards and listen to some chap who's been somewhere and done
somethin' jawin' about it by the hour together without a check, why,
it's not _good_ enough, I'm hanged if it is! Well, I'm afraid I can't
stay any longer--my time's valuable now, don't you know. I daresay yours
is, too. I'm awfully glad to have had a chat with you, and all that. I
expect you could tell me a lot more interestin' things, only of course
you've got to keep the best of 'em to put in your book--you _are_
writin' a book or somethin', ain't you? Such heaps of fellows are
writin' books nowadays, the wonder is how any of 'em get read. I shall
try and get a look at yours, though, if I come across it anywhere; hope
you'll put some amusin' things in,--nigger stories and that, don't make
it too bally scientific, you know. Directly I get back, I shall sit
down, slick off, and write off all you've told me. I shan't want any
notes, I can carry it all in my head, and of course I shan't put in
anything you'd rather I didn't, don't you know.

The L. L. (_solemnly_). Mr. Jermyn, I place implicit confidence in your
discretion. I have no doubt whatever that your head, Sir, is more than
capable of containing such remarks as I have found it necessary to make
in the course of our interview. I like your system of extracting
information, Sir, very much. Good morning.

Mr. J. (_outside_). Nice pleasant-spoken fellow--trifle long-winded,
though! Gad, I was so busy listenin' I forgot to notice what his rooms
were like or anythin'! How would it do to go back? No, too much of a
grind. Daresay I can manage to fox up somethin'. I shall tell the Chief
what he said about my system. Chief don't quite know what I _can_ do
yet--this will open his eyes a bit.

     [_And it does._



_For over half-a-mile the pavement on the East side of the road is
thronged with promenaders, and the curbstone lined with stalls and
barrows, and hawkers of various wares. Marketing housewives with covered
baskets oscillate undecidedly from stalls to shops, and put off
purchasing to the last possible moment. Maids-of-all-work perambulate
arm-in-arm, exchanging airy badinage with youths of their acquaintance,
though the latter seem to prefer the society of their own sex. A man
with a switchback skittle-board plays gloomy games by himself to an
unspeculative group of small boys. The tradesmen stand outside their
shops and conduct their business with a happy blend of the methods of a
travelling showman and a clown._

BURLESQUE BUTCHER. Now then, all o' _you_ there! Buy, buy, buy! Just
give yer minds to spendin' yer money! (_In a tone of artless wonder._)
Where _does_ the Butcher git this _luverly_ meat? What can I do fur
_you_ now, Marm? (_Triumphantly, after selling the scrag-end of a neck
of mutton._) _Now_ we're busy!

FARCICAL FISHMONGER (_with two Comic Assistants_). Ahar! (_To crowd._)
Come 'ere, you silly young snorkers! I've the quali_tee_! I've the
quali_tay_! _Keep_ takin' money!

FIRST COMIC ASSISTANT. Ahye! Foppence a pound nice plaice! Kippers two
fur three 'apence. _We're_ the Perfeshnul Curers! What are yer all goin'
to _do_? Sort 'em out cheap!

SECOND C. A. I don't mind! What care I? (_Bursting into song._) "'Ow,
she rowled me 'ed, and rumbled in the 'ay!" On me word, she did, ladies!

     [_He executes a double shuffle, and knocks over several boxes
     of bloaters in the gaiety of his heart._

A HAWKER OF PENNY MEMORANDUM BOOKS (_to an audience of small boys_).
Those among you 'oo are not mechanics, decidedly you 'ave mechanical

     [_He enlarges upon the convenience of having a notebook in
     which to jot down any inspirations of this kind; but his
     hearers do not appear to agree with him._

A LUGUBRIOUS VENDOR. One penny for six comic pypers. Hevery one

A RUDE BOY. You ain't bin _readin'_ o' any on 'em, 'ave yer, guv'nor?

A CROCKERY MERCHANT (_as he unpacks a variety of vases of appalling
hideousness_). _I_ don't care--it's self-sacrifice to give away!
Understand, you ain't buyin' _common_ things, you're buyin' suthin'
_good_! It 'appens to be my buthday to-night, so I'm goin' to let you
people 'ave the benefit of the doubt. Come on 'ere. I don't ask you to
b'lieve _me_--on'y to jedge fur yerselves. I'm not 'ere to tell you no
fairy tales; and the reason why I'm in a position to orfer up these
vawses--all richly gilt, and decorated in three colours, the most
expensive ever made--the reason I'm able to sell them so cheap as I'm
doin' is this--(_he lowers his voice mysteriously_)--'arf the stuff I
'ave 'ere we git _in very funny ways_!

     [_This ingeniously suggestive hint enhances the natural charm
     of his ware to such a degree that the vases are bought up
     briskly, as calculated to brighten the humblest home._

A SANCTIMONIOUS YOUNG MAN (_with a tongue too large for his mouth, who
has just succeeded in collecting a circle round him_). I am only 'ere
to-night, my friends, as a paid servant--for the purpose of deciding a
wager. Some o' you may have noticed an advertisement lately in the
_Daily Telegrawf_, asking for men to stand on Southwark Bridge and orfer
arf-suverings for a penny apiece. You are equally well aware that it is
illegal to orfer the Queen's coinage for money: and that is _not_ my
intention this evening. _But_ I 'ave 'ere several pieces of gold,
guaranteed to be of the exact weight of arf a suvering, and 'all-marked,
which, in order to decide the wager I 'ave spoken of, I shall now
perceed to charge you the sum of one penny for, and no more. I am not
allowed to sell _more_ than one to each person----

     [_Here a constable comes up, and the decision of the wager is
     postponed until a more favourable opportunity._

FIRST "GENERAL" (_looking into a draper's window_). Look at them
coloured felt 'ats--all shades, and on'y sixpence three-fardens!

SECOND "G." They _are_ reasonable; but I've 'eard as felt 'ats is gone
out of fashion now.

FIRST "G." Don't you believe it, Sarah. Why, my married sister bought
one on'y last week!

COSTER (_to an old lady who has repudiated a bunch of onions after a
prolonged scrutiny_). Frorsty? So would _you_ be if _your_ onion 'ad bin
layin' out in the fields all night as long as these 'ave!

FIRST ITINERANT PHYSICIAN (_as he screws up fragments of candy in pieces
of newspaper_). That is Frog in your Froat what I'm doin' up now. I arsk
you to try it. It's given to me to give away, and I'm goin' to _give_
it away--you understand?--that's all. And now I'm going to tork to you
about suthink else. You see this small bottle what I 'old up. I tell you
there's 'undreds layin' in bed at this present moment as 'ud give a
shillin' fur one of these--and I offer it to you at one penny! It
corrects all nerve-pains connected with the 'ed, cures earache,
toothache, neuralgy, noomonia, 'art-complaint, fits, an' syhatica. Each
bottle is charged with helectricity, forming a complete
galvanic-battery. Hall _you_ 'ave to do is to place the bottle to one o'
your nawstrils, first closing the other with your finger. You will find
it compels you to sniff. The moment you _tyke_ that sniff, you'll find
the worter comin' into your heyes--and that's the helectricity. You'll
say, "_I_ always 'eard helectricity was a _fluid_." (_With withering
scorn._) Very _likely_! You _'ave_? An' _why_? Be-cawse o' the hignirant
notions prevailin' about scientific affairs! Hevery one o' these bottles
contains a battery, and to each purchaser I myke 'im a present--a
_present_, mind yer--of Frog in 'is Froat!

SUSAN JANE (_to LIZERANN, before a stall where "Novelettes, three a
penny," are to be procured by the literary_). Shall we 'ave a penn'orth,
an' you go 'alves along o' me?

LIZERANN. Not _me_. I ain't got no time to go improvin' o' _my_ mind,
whatever _you_ 'ave!

A VENDOR OF "'ORE'OUND TABLETS" (_he is a voluble young man, with
considerable lung-power, and a tendency to regard his cough lozenges as
not only physical but moral specifics_). I'm on'y a young feller, as you
see, and yet 'ere I _am_, with my four burnin' lamps, and a lassoo-soot
as belonged to my Uncle Bill, doin' _wunnerful_ well. Why, I've took
over two pound in coppers a'ready! Mind you, I don't deceive you; you
may all on you do as well as me; on'y you'll 'ave to get two good
ref'rences fust, _and_ belong to a temp'rance society, like I do. This
is the badge as I've got on me at this minnit. I ain't always bin like I
am now. I started business four year ago, and was doin' wunnerful well,
too, till I got among 'orse-copers an' dealers and went on the booze,
and lost the lot. Then I turned up the drink and got a berth sellin'
these 'ere Wangoo Tablets--and now I've got a neat little missus, and a
nice 'ome, goin' on wunnerful comfortable. Never a week passes but what
I buy myself something. Last week it was a pair o' noo socks. Soon as
the sun peeps out and the doo dries up, I'm orf to Yarmouth. And what's
the reason? I've _enjoyed_ myself there. My Uncle Bill, as lives at
Lowestoft, and keeps six fine 'orses and a light waggon, _he's_ doin'
wunnerful well, and he'd take me into partnership to-morrow, he would.
But no--I'm 'appier as I am. What's the reason I kin go on torkin' to
you like this night after night, without injury to my voice? Shall I
tell yer? Because, every night o' my life, afore I go to bed, I take
four o' these Wangoo Tablets--compounded o' the purest 'erbs. You take
them to the nearest doctor's and arsk 'im to analyse an' test them as he
_will_, and you 'ear what _he_ says of them! Take one o' them
tablets--after your pipe; after your cigaw; after your cigarette. You
won't want no more drink, you'll find them make you come 'ome reglar
every evening, and be able to buy a noo 'at every week. You've ony to
persevere for a bit with these 'ere lawzengers to be like I am myself,
doin' _wunnerful_ well! You see this young feller 'ere? (_Indicating a
sheepish head in a pot-hat, which is visible over the back of his
stall._) Born and bred in Kenada, _'e_ was. And quite _right_! Bin over
'ere six year, so, o' course he speaks the lengwidge. And _quite_ right.
Now I'm no Amerikin myself, but they're a wunnerful clever people, the
Amerikins are, allays inventin' or suthink o' that there. And you're at
liberty to go and arsk 'im for yourselves whether this is a real
Amerikin invention or not--as he'll tell yer it _is_--and quite right,
too! An' it stands to reason as _he_ orter know, seein' he introdooced
it 'imself and doin' wunnerful well with it ever since. I ain't come
'ere to _rob_ yer. Lady come and give me a two-shillin' piece just now.
I give it her back. _She_ didn't know--thort it was a penny, till I told
her. Well, that just shows you what these 'ere Wangoo 'Ore'ound Tablets

     [_After this practical illustration of their efficacy, he
     pauses for oratorical effect, and a hard-worked-looking matron
     purchases three packets, in the apparent hope that a similar
     halo of the best horehound will shortly irradiate the head of
     her household._

LIZERANN (_to SUSAN JANE, as they walk homewards_). On'y fancy--the
other evenin', as I was walkin' along this very pavement, a cab-'orse
come up beyind me, unbeknown like, and put 'is 'ed over my shoulder and
breathed right in my ear!

SUSAN JANE (_awestruck_). You _must_ ha' bin a bad gell!

     [_LIZERANN is clearly disquieted by so mystical an
     interpretation, even while she denies having done anything
     deserving of a supernatural rebuke._



_Scene the First--At the GALAHAD-GREEN'S._

MRS. G.-G. Galahad!

MR. G.-G. (_meekly_). My love?

MRS. G.-G. I see that the proprietors of _All Sorts_ are going to follow
the American example, and offer a prize of £20 to the wife who makes out
the best case for her husband as a Model. It's just as well, perhaps,
that you should know that I've made up my mind to enter _you_!

MR. G.-G. (_gratified_). My dear Cornelia! really, I'd no idea you had
such a----

MRS. G.-G. Nonsense! The drawing-room carpet is a perfect disgrace, and,
as you can't, or won't, provide the money in any _other_ way,
why----Would you like to hear what I've said about you?

MR. G.-G. Well, if you're sure it wouldn't be troubling you too much, I
_should_, my dear.

MRS. G.-G. Then sit where I can see you, and listen. (_She reads._)
"Irreproachable in all that pertains to morality"--(and it would be a
bad day indeed for you, Galahad, if I ever had cause to think
_otherwise_!)--"morality; scrupulously dainty and neat in his
person"--(ah, you may well blush, Galahad, but fortunately, they won't
want me to _produce_ you!)--"he imports into our happy home the delicate
refinement of a _preux chevalier_ of the olden time." (Will you kindly
take your dirty boots off the steel fender!) "We rule our little kingdom
with a joint and equal sway, to which jealousy and friction are alike
unknown; he, considerate and indulgent to my womanly weakness"--(You
need not stare at me in that perfectly idiotic fashion!)--"I, looking to
him for the wise and tender support which has never yet been denied. The
close and daily scrutiny of many years has discovered"--(What are you
shaking like _that_ for?)--"discovered no single weakness; no taint or
flaw of character; no irritating trick of speech or habit." (How often
have I told you that I will _not_ have the handle of that paper-knife
sucked? Put it down; do!) "His conversation--sparkling but ever
spiritual--renders our modest meals veritable feasts of fancy and flows
of soul.... _Well_, Galahad?"

MR. G.-G. Nothing, my dear; nothing. It struck me as, well,--a trifle
_flowery_, that last passage, that's all!

MRS. G.-G. (_severely_). If I cannot expect to win the prize without
descending to floweriness, whose fault is _that_, I should like to know?
If you can't make sensible observations, you had better not speak at
all. (_Continuing._) "Over and over again, gathering me in his strong,
loving arms, and pressing fervent kisses upon my forehead, he has cried,
'Why am I not a Monarch that so I could place a diadem upon that brow?
With such a Consort am I not doubly crowned?'" Have you anything to say
to _that_, Galahad?

MR. G.-G. Only, my love, that I--I don't seem to remember having made
that particular remark.

MRS. G.-G. Then make it _now_. I'm sure I wish to be as accurate as I

     [_MR. G.-G. makes the remark--but without fervour._

_Scene the Second--At the MONARCH-JONES'._

MR. M.-J. Twenty quid would come in precious handy just now, after all
I've dropped lately, and I mean to pouch that prize if I can--so just
you sit down, Grizzle, and write out what I tell you; do you hear?

MRS. M.-J. (_timidly_). But, Monarch, dear, would that be quite _fair_?
No, don't be angry, I didn't mean that--I'll write whatever you please!

MR. M.-J. You'd _better_, that's all! Are you ready? I must screw myself
up another peg before I begin. (_He screws._) Now, then. (_Stands over
her and dictates._) "To the polished urbanity of a perfect gentleman he
unites the kindly charity of a true Christian." (Why the devil don't you
learn to write decently, eh?) "Liberal, and even lavish, in all his
dealings, he is yet a stern foe to every kind of excess"--(Hold on a
bit, I must have another nip after that)--"every kind of excess. Our
married life is one long dream of blissful contentment, in which each
contends with the other in loving self-sacrifice." (Haven't you corked
all that down _yet_!) "Such cares and anxieties as he has he conceals
from me with scrupulous consideration as long as possible"--(Gad, I
should be a fool if I _didn't_!)--"while I am ever sure of finding in
him a patient and sympathetic listener to all my trifling worries and
difficulties."--(_Two_ f's in difficulties, you little fool--can't you
even _spell_?) "Many a time, falling on his knees at my feet, he has
rapturously exclaimed, his accents broken by manly emotion, 'Oh, that I
were more worthy of such a pearl among women! With such a helpmate, I
am indeed to be envied!'" That _ought_ to do the trick. If I don't romp
in after that!----(_Observing that MRS. M.-J.'S shoulders are
convulsed._) What the dooce are you giggling at _now_?

MRS. M.-J. I--I wasn't giggling, Monarch dear, only----

MR. M.-J. Only _what_?

MRS. M.-J. Only crying!

_The Sequel._

"The judges appointed by the spirited proprietors of _All Sorts_ to
decide the 'Model Husband Contest'--which was established on lines
similar to one recently inaugurated by one of our New York
contemporaries--have now issued their award. Two competitors have sent
in certificates which have been found equally deserving of the prize;
viz., Mrs. Cornelia Galahad-Green, Graemair Villa, Peckham, and Mrs.
Griselda Monarch-Jones, Aspen Lodge, Lordship Lane. The sum of twenty
pounds will consequently be divided between these two ladies, to whom,
with their respective spouses, we beg to tender our cordial
felicitations."--(_Extract from Daily Paper, some six months hence._)



He is an elderly amiable little Dutchman in a soft felt hat; his name is
BOSCH, and he is taking me about. _Why_ I engaged him I don't quite
know--unless from a general sense of helplessness in Holland, and a
craving for any kind of companionship. Now I have got him, I feel rather
more helpless than ever--a sort of composite of SANDFORD and MERTON,
with a didactic, but frequently incomprehensible Dutch BARLOW. My
SANDFORD half would like to exhibit an intelligent curiosity, but is
generally suppressed by MERTON, who has a morbid horror of useful
information. Not that BOSCH is remarkably erudite, but nevertheless he
contrives to reduce me to a state of imbecility, which I catch myself
noting with a pained surprise. There is a statue in the Plein, and the
SANDFORD element in me finds a satisfaction in recognising it aloud as
William the Silent. It is--but, as my MERTON part thinks, a fellow
_would_ be a fool if he didn't recognise William after a few hours in
Holland--his images, in one form or another, are tolerably numerous.
Still BOSCH is gratified. "Yass, dot is ole Volliam," he says,
approvingly, as to a precocious infant just beginning to take notice.
"Lokeer," he says, "you see dot Apoteek?" He indicates a chemist's shop
opposite, with nothing remarkable about it externally, except a Turk's
head with his tongue out over the door.

"Yes, I (speaking for SANDFORD and MERTON) see it--has it some
historical interest--did Volliam get medicine there, or what?"

"Woll, dis mornin dare vas two sairvans dere, and de von cot two blaces
out of de odder's haid, and afderwarts he go opstairs and vas hang
himself mit a pedbost."

BOSCH evidently rather proud of this as illustrating the liveliness of
The Hague.

"Was he mad?"

"Yass, he vas mard, mit a vife and seeks childrens."

"No, but was he out of his senses?"

"I tink it was oud of Omsterdam he vas com," says BOSCH.

"But how did it happen?"

"Wol-sare, de broprietor vas die, and leaf de
successor de pusiness, and he dells him in von mons he will go, begause
he nod egsamin to be a Chimigal--so he do it, and dey dake him to de
hosbital, and I tink _he_ vas die too by now!" adds BOSCH, cheerfully.

Very sad affair evidently--but a little complicated. SANDFORD would like
to get to the bottom of it, but MERTON convinced there is _no_ bottom.
So, between us, subject allowed to drop.

SANDFORD (now in the ascendant again) notices, as the clever boy,
inscription on house-front, "Hier woonden Groen Van Prinsterer,

"I suppose that means Van Prinsterer lived here, Bosch?"

"Yass, dot vas it."

"And who was he?"

"He vas--wol, he vos a Member of de Barliaments."

"Was he celebrated?"

"Celebrated? oh, yaas!"

"What did he _do_?" (I think MERTON gets this in.)

"Do?" says BOSCH, quite indignantly, "he nefer do _nodings_!"

BOSCH takes me into the Fishmarket, when he directs my attention to a
couple of very sooty live storks, who are pecking about at the refuse.

"Dose pirts are shtorks; hier dey vas oblige to keep alvays two shtorks
for de arms of de Haag. Vhen de yong shtorks porn, de old vons vas

SANDFORD shocked--MERTON sceptical.

"Keel dem? Oh, yaas, do anytings mit dem ven dey vas old," says BOSCH,
and adds:--"Ve haf de breference mit de shtorks, eh?"

What _is_ he driving at?

"Yaas--ven _ve_ vas old ve vas nod kill."

This reminds BOSCH--BARLOW-like--of an anecdote.

"Dere vas a vrent to me," he begins, "he com and say to me, 'Bosch, I am
god so shtout and my bark is so dick, I can go no more on my lacks--vat
vas I do?' To him I say, 'Wol, I dell you vat I do mit you--I dake you
at de booshair to be cot op; I tink you vas make vary goot shdeak-meat!"

Wonder whether this is a typical sample of BOSCH'S _badinage_.

"What did he say to that, Bosch?"

"Oh, he vas vair moch loff, a-course!" says BOSCH, with the natural
complacency of a successful humorist.

We go into the Old Prison, and see some horrible implements of torture,
which seem to exhilarate BOSCH.

"Lokeer!" he says, "Dis vas a pinition" (BOSCH for "punishment") "mit a
can. Dey lie de man down and vasten his foots, and efery dime he vas
shdrook mit de can, he jomp op and hit his vorehaid.... Hier dey lie
down de beoples on de back, and pull dis shdring queeck, and all dese
tings go roundt, and preak deir bones. Ven de pinition was feenish you
vas det." He shows where the Water-torture was practised. "Nottice 'ow
de vater vas vork a 'ole in de tile," he chuckles, "I tink de tile vas
vary hardt det, eh?" Then he points out a pole with a spiked prong.
"Tief-catcher--put 'em in de tief's nack--and get 'im!" Before a
grim-looking cauldron he halts appreciatively. "You know vat dat vas
for?" he says. "Dat vas for de blode-foots; put 'em in dere, yaas, and
light de vire onderneat."

No idea what "_blode-foots_" may be, but from the relish in BOSCH'S
tone, evidently something very unpleasant, so don't press him for
explanations. We go upstairs, and see some dark and very mouldy
dungeons, which BOSCH is very anxious that I should enter. Make him go
in _first_, for the surroundings seem to have excited his sense of the
humorous to such a degree, that he might be unable to resist locking me
in, and leaving me, if I gave him a chance.

Outside at last, thank goodness! The Groote Kerk, according to BOSCH,
"is not vort de see," so we don't see it. SANDFORD has a sneaking
impression that I ought to go in, but MERTON glad to be let off. We go
to see the pictures at the Mauritshuis instead. BOSCH exchanges
greetings with the attendants in Dutch. "Got _another_ of 'em in tow,
you see--and collar-work, _I_ can tell you!" would be a free
translation, I suspect, of his remarks. Must say that, in a
Picture-gallery, BOSCH is a superfluous luxury. He _does_ take my
ignorance just a trifle too much for granted. He _might_ give me credit
for knowing the story of Adam and Eve, at all events! "De Sairpan gif
Eva de opple, an' Eva gif him to Adam," BOSCH carefully informs me,
before a "_Paradise_," by Rubens and Brueghel.

This rouses my MERTON half to inquire what Adam did with it.

"Oh, _he_ ead him too!" says BOSCH in perfect good faith.

I do wish, too, he wouldn't lead me up to Paul Potter's "_Bull_," and
ask me enthusiastically if it isn't "real meat." I shouldn't mind it so
much if there were not several English people about, without
couriers--but there _are_. My only revenge is (as MERTON) to carefully
pick out the unsigned canvases and ask BOSCH who painted them; whereupon
BOSCH endeavours furtively to make out the label on the frames, and then
informs me in desperation, "it vas '_School_,'--yass, _he_ baint him!"
BOSCH kindly explains the subject of every picture in detail. He tells
me a Droochsloot represents a "balsham pedder." I suppose I look
bewildered, for he adds--"oppen air tance mit a village." "Hier dey vas
haf a tispute; dis man say de ham vas more value as de cheese--dere is
de cheese, and dere is de ham." "Hier is an old man dot marry a yong
vife, and two tevils com in, and de old man he ron avay." "Hier he dress
him in voman, and de vife is vrighten." "Hier is Jan Steen himself as a
medicine, and he veel de yong voman's polse, and say dere is nodings de
madder, and the modder ask him to trink a glass of vine." "Hier is de
beach at Skavening--now dey puild houses on de dunes--bot de beach is
schdill dere."

Such are BOSCH'S valuable and instructive comments, to which, as
representing SANDFORD and MERTON, I listen with depressed docility. All
the same, can't help coming to the conclusion that Art is _not_ BOSCH'S
strong point. Shall come here again--alone. We go on to the Municipal
Museum, where he shows me what _he_ considers the treasures of the
collection--a glass goblet, engraved "mit dails of tobaggo bipes," and
the pipes themselves; a painting of a rose, "mit ade beople's faces in
de leafs;" and a drawing of "two pirts mit only von foots."

Outside again. BOSCH shows me a house.

"Lokeer. In dot house leef an oldt lady all mit herself and ade
sairvans. She com from Friesland, yassir."

Really, I think BOSCH is going to be interesting--at last. There is a
sly twinkle in his eye, denoting some story of a scandalous but
infinitely humorous nature.

"Well, Bosch, go on--what about the old lady?" I ask eagerly, as MERTON.

"Wol, Sir," says BOSCH, "she nefer go noveres."...

That's _all_! "A devilish interesting story, _Sumph_, indeed!" to quote
Mr. Wagg.

But, as BOSCH frequently reminds me, "It vas pedder, you see, as a
schendlemans like you go apout mit me; I dell you tings dot vas not in
de guide-books." Which I am not in a position to deny.




_The Drawing-room of a Margate Hotel. TIME--Evening. MRS. ARDLEIGH (of
Balham), and MRS. ALLBUTT (of Brondesbury), are discovered in the midst
of a conversation, in which each is anxious both to impress the other,
and ascertain how far she is a person to be cultivated. At present, they
have not got beyond the discovery of a common bond in Cookery._

MRS. ALLBUTT. You have the yolks of two eggs, I must tell you; squeeze
the juice of half a lemon into it, and, when you boil the butter in the
pan, make a paste of it with _dry_ flour.

MRS. ARDLEIGH. It sounds delicious--but you never can trust a Cook to
carry out instructions exactly.

MRS. ALL. I never _do_. Whenever I want to have anything specially nice
for my husband, I make a point of seeing to it myself. He appreciates
it. Now _some_ men, if you cook for them, never notice whether it's you
or the Cook. My husband _does_.

MRS. ARD. I wonder how you find time to do it. I'm sure _I_ should

MRS. ALL. Oh, it takes time, of course--but what does that matter when
you've nothing to do? Did I mention just a small pinch of Cayenne
pepper?--because that's a _great_ improvement!

MRS. ARD. I tell you what I like Cayenne pepper with, better than
anything--and that's eggs.

MRS. ALL. (_with elegant languor_). I hardly ever eat an egg. Oysters,
now, I'm _very_ fond of--_fried_, that is.

MRS. ARD. They're very nice done in the real shells. Or on scollops. We
have silver--or rather--(_with a magnanimous impulse to tone down her
splendour_), silver-plated ones.

MRS. ALL. How funny--so have we! (_Both women feel an increase of liking
for one another._) I like them cooked in milk, too.

     [_The first barrier being satisfactorily passed, they proceed,
     as usual, to the subject of ailments._

MRS. ARD. My doctor _does_ do me good, I must say--he never lets me get
ill. He just sees your liver's all right, and then he feeds you up.

MRS. ALL. That's like _my_ doctor; he always tells me, if he didn't keep
on constantly building me up, I should go all to pieces in no time.
That's how I come to be here. I always run down at the end of every

MRS. ARD. (_feeling that MRS. ALLBUTT can't be "anybody very particular"
after all_). What--to Margate? Fancy! Don't you find you get tired of
it? _I_ should.

MRS. ALL. (_with dignity_). I didn't say I always went to Margate. On
the contrary, I have never been here before, and shouldn't be here now,
if my doctor hadn't told me it was my only chance.

MRS. ARD. (_reassured_). I only came down here on my little girl's
account. One of those nasty croupy coughs, you know, and hoops with it.
But she's almost well already. I will say it's a wonderful air. Still,
the worst of Margate is, one isn't likely to meet a soul one knows!

MRS. ALL. Well, that's the charm of it--to me. One has enough of that
during the Season.

MRS. ARD. (_recognising the superiority of this view_). Indeed one has.
What a whirl it has been to be sure!

MRS. ALL. The Season? Why, I never remember one with so little doing.
Most of the best houses closed--hardly a single really smart party--one
or two weddings--and that's positively all!

MRS. ARD. (_slightly crushed, in spite of a conviction_ _that--socially
speaking--Balham has been rather more brilliant than usual this year_).
Yes, that's very true. I suppose the Elections have put a stop to most

MRS. ALL. There never was much going on. _I_ should rather have said it
was Marlborough House being shut up that made everything so dull from
the first.

MRS. ARD. Ah, that _does_ make such a difference, doesn't it? (_She
feels she must make an effort to recover lost ground._) I fully expected
to be at Homburg this year.

MRS. ALL. Then you would have met Lady Neuraline Menthol. She _was_
ordered there, I happen to know.

MRS. ARD. Really, you don't say so? Lady Neuraline! Well, that's the
first _I've_ heard of it. (_It is also the first time she has heard of
her, but she trusts to be spared so humiliating an admission._)

MRS. ALL. It's a fact, I can assure you. You know her, perhaps?

MRS. ARD. (_who would dearly like to say she does, if she only dared_).
Well, I can hardly say I exactly _know_ her. I know _of_ her. I've met
her about, and so on. (_She tells herself this is quite as likely to be
true as not._)

[Illustration: "Dear, dear! _not_ a county family!"]

MRS. ALL. (_who of course does not know Lady Neuraline either_). Ah, she
is a most delightful person--requires _knowing_, don't you know.

MRS. ARD. So many in her position do, don't they? (_So far as she is
concerned--they all do._) You'd think it was haughtiness--but it's
really only _manner_.

MRS. ALL. (_feeling that she can go ahead with safety now_). I have
never found anything of _that_ sort in Lady Neuraline myself (_which is
perfectly true._) She's rather odd and flighty, but _quite_ a dear. By
the way, _how_ sad it is about those poor dear Chutneys--the Countess,
don't you know!

MRS. ARD. Ah (_as if she knew all the rest of the family_), I don't know
_her_ at all.

MRS. ALL. Such a sweet woman--but the trouble she's had with her eldest
boy, Lord Mango! He married quite beneath him, you know, some girl from
the provinces--not a county-family girl even.

MRS. ARD. (_shocked_). Dear, dear! _not_ a county family!

MRS. ALL. No; somebody quite common--I forget the name, but it was
either Gherkin or Onion, or something of that sort. I was told they had
been in Chili a good while. Poor Mango never had much taste, or he would
never have got mixed up with such a set. Anyway, he's got himself into
a terrible pickle. I hear Capsicums is actually to be sold to pay his

MRS. ALL. You don't say so! Capsicums! Gracious!

MRS. ALL. Yes, _isn't_ it a pity! Such a lovely old place as it was,
too--_the_ most comfortable house to stay at in all England; so
beautifully _warm_! But it's dreadful to think of how the aristocracy
are taking to marry out of their own set. Look at the Duke of
Dragnet--married a Miss Duckweed--goodness only knows where he picked
her up! but he got entangled somehow, and now his people are trying to
get rid of her. I see so many of these cases. Well, I'm afraid I must
wish you good evening--it's my time for retiring. (_Patronisingly._)
I've quite enjoyed the conversation--such a pleasure in a place like
this to come across a genial companion!

MRS. ARD. (_fluttered and flattered_). I'm sure you're exceedingly kind
to say so, and I can say the same for myself. I hope we may become
better acquainted. (_To herself, after MRS. ALLBUTT has departed._) I've
quite taken to that woman--she's so thoroughly the lady, and moves in
very high society, too. You can tell that from the way she talks. What's
that paper on the table? (_She picks up a journal in a coloured
wrapper._) "_Society Snippets, the Organ of the Upper Ten. One Penny._"
The very thing I wanted. It's such a comfort to know who's who. (_She
opens it and reads sundry paragraphs headed "Through the Keyhole."_) Now
how funny this is! Here's the very same thing about the dulness of the
Season that she said. That shows she must be really in it. And a note
about Lady Neuraline being about to recruit at Homburg. And another
about her reputation or eccentricity, and her "sweetness to the select
few privileged to be her intimates." And here's all about Lord Mango,
and what a pleasant house Capsicums is, and his marriage, and the Duke
of Dragnet's, too. Her information was very correct, I must say! (_A
light begins to break in upon her._) I wonder whether----but
there--people of her sort wouldn't require to read the papers for such

     [_Here the door opens, and MRS. ALLBUTT appears, in some

MRS. ALL. (_scrutinising the tables_). Oh, it's nothing. I thought I'd
left something of mine here; it was only a paper--I see I was mistaken,
don't trouble.

MRS. ARD. (_producing Society Snippets_). I expect it will be this.
(_MRS. ALLBUTT'S face reveals her ownership._) I took it up, not knowing
it was yours. (_Meaningly_.) It has some highly interesting
information, I see.

MRS. ALL. (_slightly demoralised_). Oh, has it? I--I've not had time to
glance at it yet. Pray don't let me deprive you of it. I dare say
there's very little in it I don't know already.

MRS. ARD. So I should have thought. (_To herself, after MRS. ALLBUTT has
retired in disorder._) Fancy that woman trying to take me in like that,
and no more in Society than I am--if so much! However, I've found her
out before going too far--luckily. And I've a good mind to take in this
_Society Snippets_ myself--it certainly does improve one's conversation.
She won't have it _all_ her own way _next_ time!




_THE ARGUMENT.--Mr. Hotspur Porpentine, a distinguished resident in the
rising suburb of Jerrymere, has recently been awarded fourteen days'
imprisonment, without the option of a fine, for assaulting a
ticket-collector, who had offered him the indignity of requiring him to
show his season-ticket at the barrier. The scene is a Second-Class
Compartment, in which four of Mr. Porpentine's neighbours are discussing
the affair during their return from the City._

MR. COCKCROFT (_warmly_). I say, Sir--and I'm sure all here will bear me
out--that such a sentence was a scandalous abuse of justice. As a near
neighbour, and an intimate friend of Porpentine's, I don't 'esitate to
assert that he has done nothing whatever to forfeit our esteem. He's a
quick-tempered man, as we're all aware, and to be asked by some
meddlesome official to show his season, after travelling on the line
constantly for years, and leaving it at home that morning--why--_I_
don't blame him if he _did_ use his umbrella!

MR. BALCH (_sympathetically_). Nor I. Porpentine's a man I've always had
a very 'igh respect for ever since I came into this neighbourhood. I've
always found him a good feller, and a good neighbour.

MR. FILKINS (_deferentially_). I can't claim to be as intimate with him
as some here; but, if it isn't putting myself too far forward to say so,
I very cordially beg to say ditto to those sentiments.

MR. SIBBERING (_who has never "taken to" Porpentine_). Well, he's had a
sharp lesson,--there's no denying that.

MR. COCKCR. Precisely, and it occurs to me that when he--ah--returns to
public life, it would be a kind thing, and a graceful thing, and a thing
he would--ah--appreciate in the spirit it was intended, if we were to
present him with some little token of our sympathy and unabated
esteem--what do you fellers think?

MR. FILK. A most excellent suggestion, if my friend here will allow me
to say so. I, for one, shall be proud to contribute to so worthy an

MR. BALCH. I don't see why we shouldn't present him with an
address--'ave it illuminated, and framed and glazed; sort of thing he
could 'ang up and 'and down to his children after him as an _heirloom_,

[Illustration: "Well, he's had a sharp lesson,--there's no denying

MR. SIBB. I don't like to throw cold water on any proposition, but if
you want _my_ opinion, I must say I see no necessity for making a public
thing out of it in that way.

MR. COCKCR. I'm with Sibbering there. The less fuss there is about it,
the better Porpentine'll be pleased. My idea is to give him something of
daily use--a _useful_ thing, yi-know.

MR. BALCH. Useful _or_ ornamental. Why not his own portrait? There's
many an artist who would do him in oils, and guarantee a likeness, frame
included, for a five-pound note.

MR. SIBB. If it's to be like Porpentine, it certainly won't be
_ornamental_, whatever else it is.

MR. FILK. It can't be denied that he is remarkably plain in the face.
We'd better, as our friend Mr. Cockcroft here proposes, make it
something of daily use--a good serviceable silk umbrella now--that's
_always_ appropriate.

MR. SIBB. To make up for the one he broke over the collector's head,
eh?--that's _appropriate_ enough!

MR. COCKCR. No, no; you mean well, Filkins, but you must see yourself,
on reflection, that there would be a certain want of--ah--good taste in
giving him a thing like that under the circumstances. I should suggest
something like a hatstand--a handsome one, of course. I happen to know
that he has nothing in the passage at present but a row of pegs.

MR. SIBB. I should have thought he'd been taken down enough pegs

MR. FILK. (_who resents the imputation upon his taste_). I can't say
what the width of Mr. Porpentine's passage may be, never having been
privileged with an invitation to pass the threshold, but unless it's
wider than ours is, he couldn't get a hatstand in if he tried, and if my
friend Cockcroft will excuse the remark, I see no sense--to say nothing
of good taste, about which perhaps I mayn't be qualified to pass an
opinion--in giving him an article he's got no room for.

MR. COCKCR. (_with warmth_). There's room enough in Porpentine's passage
for a whole host of hatstands, if that's all, and I know what I'm
speaking about. I've been in and out there often enough. I'm--ah--a
regular tame cat in that house. But if you're against the 'atstand, I
say no more--we'll waive it. How would it do if we gave him a nice
comfortable easy-chair--something he could sit in of an evening,

MR. SIBB. A touchy chap like Porpentine would be sure to fancy we
thought he wanted something soft after a hard bench and a plank
bed--you can't go and give him _furniture_!

MR. COCKCR. (_with dignity_). There's a way of doing all things. I
wasn't proposing to go and chuck the chair _at_ him--he's a sensitive
feller in many respects, and he'd feel _that_, I grant you. He can't
object to a little present of that sort just from four friends like

MR. BALCH (_with a falling countenance_). Oh! I thought it was to be a
general affair, limited to a small sum, so that all who liked could join
in. I'd no notion you meant to keep it such a private matter as all

MR. FILK. Nor I. And, knowing Mr. Porpentine so slightly as I do, he
might consider it presumption in me, making myself so prominent in the
matter--or else I'm sure----

MR. COCKCR. There's no occasion for anyone to be prominent, except
myself. You leave it entirely in my 'ands. I'll have the chair taken up
some evening to Porpentine's house on a 'andcart, and drop in, and just
lead up to it carelessly, if you understand me, then go out and wheel
the chair in, make him try it--and there you _are_.

MR. BALCH. There _you_ are, right enough; but I don't see where _we_
come in, exactly.

MR. FILLK. If it's to be confined to just us four, I certingly think we
ought _all_ to be present at the presentation.

MR. COCKCR. That would be just the very thing to put a man like
Porpentine out--a crowd dropping in on him like that! I know his ways,
and, seeing I'm providing the chair----

MR. BALCH (_relieved_). _You_ are? That's different, of course; but I
thought you said that we four----

MR. COCKCR. I'm coming to that. As the prime mover, and a particular
friend of Porpentine's, it's only right and fair I should bear the chief
burden. There's an easy-chair I have at home that only wants re-covering
to be as good as new, and all you fellers need do is to pay for 'aving
it nicely done up in velvet, or what not, and we'll call it quits.

MR. BALCH. I daresay; but I like to know what I'm letting myself in for;
and there's upholsterers who'll charge as much for doing up a chair as
would furnish a room.

MR. FILK. I--I shouldn't feel justified, with my family, and, as,
comparatively speaking, a recent resident, in going beyond a certain
limit, and unless the estimate could be kep' down to a moderate sum, I

MR. SIBB. (_unmasking_). After all, you know, I don't see why we should
go to any expense over a stuck-up, cross-grained chap like Porpentine.
It's well-known he hasn't a good word to say for us Jerrymere folks, and
considers himself above the lot of us!

MR. BALCH and MR. FILK. I'm bound to say there's a good deal in what
Sibbering says. Porpentine's never shown himself what _I_ should call

MR. COCKCR. I've never found him anything but pleasant myself, whatever
he may be to others. I'm not denying he's an _exclusive_ man, and a
_fastidious_ man, but he's been 'arshly treated, and _I_ should have
thought this was an occasion--if ever there was one--for putting any
private feelings aside, and rallying round him to show our respect and
sympathy. But of course if you're going to let petty jealousies of this
sort get the better of you, and leave me to do the 'ole thing myself,
_I've_ no objection. I daresay he'll value it all the more coming from

MR. SIBB. Well, he _ought_ to, after the shameful way he's spoken of you
to a friend of mine in the City, who shall be nameless. You mayn't know,
and if not, it's only right I should mention it, that he complained
bitterly of having to change his regular train on your account, and said
(I'm only repeating his words, mind you), that Jerrymere was entirely
populated by bores, but you were the worst of the lot, and your jabber
twice a day was more than he _could_ stand. He mayn't have _meant_
anything by it, but it was decidedly uncalled for.

MR. COCKCR. (_reddening_). I 'ope I'm above being affected by the
opinion any man may express of my conversation--especially a
cantankerous feller, who can't keep his temper under decent control. A
feller who goes and breaks his umbrella over an unoffending official's
'ead like that, and gets, very properly, locked up for it! Jerrymere
society isn't good enough for him, it seems. He won't be troubled with
much of it in future--_I_ can assure him! Upon my word, now I come to
think of it, I'm not sure he shouldn't be called upon for an explanation
of how he came to be travelling without a ticket; it looks very much to
me as if he'd been systematically defrauding the Company!

MR. FILK. Well, I didn't like to say so before; but that's been _my_
view all along!

MR. BALCH. And mine.

MR. SIBB. Now perhaps you understand why we'd rather leave it to you to
give him the arm-chair.

MR. COCKCR. I give a man an arm-chair for bringing disgrace on the 'ole
of Jerrymere! I'd sooner break it up for firewood! Whoever it was that
first started all this tomfoolery about a testimonial, I'm not going to
'ave _my_ name associated with it, and if you'll take _my_ advice,
you'll drop it once and for all, for it's only making yourselves

     [_His companions, observing that he is in a somewhat excited
     condition, consider it advisable to change the subject._



"I think you left directions that you were to be thawed in 199--
precisely?" said the stranger politely. "Allow me to introduce
myself--NUMBER SEVEN MILLION AND SIX. If you feel equal to the effort,
and would care to see the vast improvements in our social condition
since the close of the benighted Nineteenth Century, I shall be pleased
to conduct you."

MR. PUNCH then began to realise that he had had himself frozen by a
patent process just a hundred years ago, and that he had returned to
animation in time for the close of the marvellous Twentieth Century; so
he prepared, in much curiosity and excitement, to accompany his guide.

"By the way," observed the latter, "you must not be annoyed if
your--hem--habiliments, which we are unaccustomed to nowadays, should
attract some attention."

Singularly enough, MR. PUNCH had just begun to feel a certain
embarrassment at the prospect of being seen in Piccadilly or Regent
Street in the company of a person attired in grey cellular pyjamas, a
drab blanket, and a glazed pot hat. However, on reaching the street, he
found that every man he met was similarly clad, while his own
costume--which, in his original century, would only have been remarkable
for its unimpeachable taste--was, in this, the subject of universal and
invidious comment.

"You'll have your regulation pot hat and pyjamas served out to you in
time!" said MR. SEVEN MILLION AND SIX encouragingly. "Then no one will
say anything to you. In these days we resent anything that tends to
confer an artificial distinction on any man. Surnames, for example,
which occasionally suggested superiority of birth, have long been
abolished, and official numbers substituted. You seem to be looking for
something you do not see?" he added, noting a certain blankness and
disappointment in MR. PUNCH'S expressive countenance.

"I was only wondering why I saw no signs of any new and marvellous
inventions at present," said MR. PUNCH. "I rather expected to see the
air full of electric trains, manageable balloons, or coveys of citizens
darting about on mechanical pinions. But I see none, and even more
people go on foot than in my own time."

"Inventions, I take it," was the reply, "only served to enrich the
Capitalist, and save time or labour. Now we have no Capitalists and no
riches, and no reason for hurrying anywhere, while it would be absurd
and useless to lessen the amount of manual labour when, even as it is,
there is scarcely enough to keep everyone employed for six hours a day."

"Why are all the women I see dressed exactly alike in navy-blue woollen
frocks and coal-scuttle bonnets?" MR. PUNCH inquired presently. "Surely
they can't _all_ be members of the Sal----"

"A uniform costume was decreed by plebiscite some years ago," replied
his mentor, promptly. "Any real equality amongst women was found
hopeless so long as some were able to render themselves exceptionally
attractive by a distinctive toilette."

"What!" exclaimed MR. PUNCH, "did all the pretty women consent to such a

"They were in a very decided minority, even then," said MR. SEVEN
MILLION AND SIX; "and it is not our way to think much of minorities. At
present, owing no doubt to an enactment which penalised every pretty
woman by compelling her to wear blue goggles and a respirator, feminine
beauty is practically extinct."

MR. PUNCH could not restrain a sigh. They were now entering a somewhat
gloomy thoroughfare, between massive blocks of buildings, with large
doors and innumerable small windows, which towered into the sky on
either hand.

"I seem to miss the shop-fronts," he said aloud, "with their
plate-glass, and all their glitter and luxury. What has become of them

"Such necessaries as the citizen requires," said his companion, "are
procured at the Public Storehouses, which you see around you, by the
simple method of presenting a ticket. The luxuries you refer to were
only procurable by the rich, and nobody is rich now. If you will come
with me, I will take you over one of the State Dwelling-houses, and show
you one of the suites of rooms. Every citizen has a room; or, if
married, a couple of rooms, exactly the same shape and size as those of
his fellows.... Beautifully clean, you see!" he remarked, complacently,
as he threw open one of the doors. "Neat whitewashed walls, plain deal
furniture, nice holland blinds--what more can any reasonable citizen
want in the way of comfort?"

"There used to be a celebrated poet in my time," said MR. PUNCH,
with some hesitation, "Who designed and sold very beautiful
upholster--tapestry, wall-papers, curtains, and so on. I fancy _he_
held socialistic views. But I see no trace of his work _here_."

"I think I know whom you refer to," was the reply. "The community would
doubless have been glad of his company's services if they would only
have contracted to supply every citizen with precisely the same pattern
and quality of their manufactures at, say, a pork-pie a yard, but, for
some reason, the firm could not see their way to it, and the industry
declined; which is not to be regretted, for it certainly tended to
foster individualism."

"It is curious," said MR. PUNCH, when they were outside again, "that I
have not as yet seen a single policeman."

"Not at all curious. We _have_ none. Crime simply proceeded from the
galling sense of social inequality. Consequently, as soon as that was
removed, Justice, with all its machinery, became an anachronism."

"I think," said MR. PUNCH, presently, "I should like to take a stroll in
Hyde Park."

"That," said his guide, "has not been possible for at least fifty years.
All the parks are now cut up into three-acre allotments, where every
able-bodied citizen does an hour's compulsory spade-work once a
fortnight. A most admirable reform, as you will agree!"

"Capital!" gasped MR. PUNCH, with an anticipatory pain in his back.
"Then I am curious to see what strides have been made by your modern
painters. Could you take me to a picture-gallery?"

"There are _no_ modern painters. It is perhaps a pity--but quite
unavoidable. It was an obvious injustice that, when all citizens had to
perform their share of more or less distasteful manual labour, there
should be any one class that earned a living by work in which they took
a positive pleasure. So that every artist had to do his six hours'
stone-breaking or brick-making; or what not, as an antecedent condition
of being permitted to paint at all, and naturally the State declined to
provide him with paints and brushes at the expense of the community. A
few artists persisted for a while, from sheer love of the thing; but as
no picture fetched more than a pound of sausages, and the average price
was a bowl of porridge, they found it expedient to turn to some more
useful occupation. And it is undeniable that they contribute more to the
resources of the commonwealth by wielding a trowel or a broom than by
messing about with brushes and paint. As a concession to hereditary
instinct, however, their descendants are still set apart as State

"And the drama?" MR. PUNCH inquired next. "How is _that_ getting on? Has
the New Dramatist made his appearance at last?"

"On the contrary, I am glad to say he has disappeared--let us hope for
ever. For, the essence of Drama, as I understand, was Emotion--Passion,
Jealousy, Marital and Parental relations, and so on. Now that marriages
are the subject of State regulation, and extend only for a limited
period, Passion, of course is obsolete; Jealousy, too, is recognised as
merely Selfishness in disguise, and we have grown too altruistic to
desire the exclusive possession of anything. While as the offspring of
every union are removed at birth to a communal _crèche_, and brought up
and educated by the State, there are no longer any opportunities for
filial or parental affection."

"Then I presume Fiction is equally----?"

"Just so. Fiction depended on Contrast. When everybody is on precisely
the same level, the novelist is, happily, unnecessary. What are you
looking for _now_?"

"I was wondering if I could buy an evening paper anywhere," said MR.
PUNCH, wistfully. "But perhaps Journalism is also----?"

"Of course. Everyone is so contentedly and peacefully absorbed in
contributing his share of work to the State, that he has no desire to
read about the doings of other persons, even if there was anything of
interest to be told, which there isn't. We produce just sufficient for
our own wants, so there is no commerce; we have no Army or Navy, since
we don't desire to conquer, and are not worth conquering. No Politics,
because we govern ourselves by our own consent and co-operation; no
Science, as inventors only benefited capital at the expense of labour;
and, this being so, what _is_ there to put into a newspaper, if we had

"Haven't you even a--a _humorous_ paper?" said MR. PUNCH. "I used to do
a little in that way once."

"You had better not do it _here_. Humour, I believe, consisted in
representing Humanity under ridiculous aspects. _We_'re Humanity, and we
don't see any fun in being laughed at. None of your humour here, mind!"

"But the citizens have a certain amount of leisure, I suppose," said MR.
PUNCH. "How _do_ they amuse themselves? For I can discover no
libraries, no circuses, nor concert-rooms, nor anything!"

[Illustration: "None of your humour here, mind!"]

"It was seen to be invidious to furnish any entertainment at the public
expense which did not give equal amusement to all, and so the idea was
gradually dropped. When our citizens have finished their daily task,
they find their relaxation, in the intervals of eating and sleeping, in
the harmless and soothing practice of chewing gum. They can all do
_that_, and the State provides each with a weekly supply for the
purpose. Now tell me--is there anything _more_ I can do for you?"

"Yes," murmured MR. PUNCH; "if you would be so very kind as to freeze me
again for five hundred years or so, I should be exceedingly obliged. I
don't feel quite at home in _this_ century!"



_On the Platform._

A LADY OF FAMILY. Oh, yes, I do travel third-class sometimes, my dear. I
consider it a duty to try to know something of the lower orders.

     [_Looks out for an empty third-class compartment._

     _In the Carriage._--_The seats are now occupied: the LADY OF
     FAMILY is in one corner, next to a CHATTY WOMAN with a basket,
     and opposite to an ECCENTRIC-LOOKING MAN with a flighty

The ECCENTRIC MAN (_to the LADY OF FAMILY_). Sorry to disturb you, Mum,
but you're a-setting on one o' my 'am sandwiches.

The _L. of F._???!!!

The E. M. (_considerately_). Don't trouble yourself, Mum, it's of no
intrinsic value. I on'y put it there to keep my seat.

The CHATTY W. (_to the L. OF F._). I think I've seen you about
Shinglebeach, 'ave I not?

The L. OF F. It is very possible. I have been staying with some friends
in the neighbourhood.

The C. W. It's a nice cheerful place is Shinglebeach; but
(_confidentially_) don't you think it's a very singler thing that in a
place like that--a fash'nable place, too--there shouldn't be a single
'am an' beef shop?

The L. OF F. (_making a desperate effort to throw herself into the
question_). What a very extraordinary thing to be sure. Dear, _dear_ me!
No ham and beef shop!

The C. W. It's so indeed, Mum; and what's more, as I daresay you have
noticed for yourself, if you 'appen to want a snack o' fried fish ever
so, there isn't a place you could go to--leastways, at a moment's
notice. Now, 'ow do you explain such a thing as that?

The L. OF F. (_faintly_). I'm afraid I can't suggest any explanation.

A SENTENTIOUS MAN. Fried fish is very sustaining.

     [_Relapses into silence for remainder of journey._

The ECCENTRIC MAN. Talking of sustaining, I remember, when we was kids,
my father ud bring us home two pennorth o' ches'nuts, and we 'ad 'em
boiled, and they'd last us days. (_Sentimentally._) He was a kind man,
my father (_to the L. OF F., who bows constrainedly_), though you
wouldn't ha' thought it, to look at him. I don't know, mind yer, that he
wasn't fond of his bit o' booze--(_the L. OF F. looks out of
window_)--like the best of us. I'm goin' up to prove his will now, I
am--if you don't believe me, 'ere's the probate. (_Hands that document
round for inspection._) That's all reg'lar enough, I 'ope. (_To the L.
OF F._) Don't give it back before you've done with it--I'm in no 'urry,
and there's good reading in it. (_Points out certain favourite passages
with a very dirty forefinger._) Begin there--_that's_ my name.

     [_The L. OF F. peruses the will with as great a show of
     interest as she can bring herself to assume._

The ECCENTRIC MAN. D'ye see that big 'andsome building over there?
That's the County Lunatic Asylum--where my poor wife is shut up. I went
to see her last week, I did. (_Relates his visit in detail to the L. OF
F., who listens unwillingly._) It's wonderful how many of our family
have been in that asylum from first to last. I 'ad a aunt who died
cracky; and my old mother, she's very peculiar at times. There's days
when I feel as if I was a little orf my own 'ed, so if I say anything
at all out of the way, you'll know what it is.

[_L. OF F. changes carriages at the next station. In the second carriage
are two Men of seafaring appearance, and a young Man who is parting from
his FIANCÉE as the L. OF F. takes her seat._

The FIANCÉ. Excuse me one moment, Ma'am.

(_Leans across the L. OF F. and out of the window._) Well, good-bye, my
girl; take care of yourself.

The FIANCÉE (_with a hysterical giggle._) Oh, I'll take care o' _my_

     [_Looks at the roof of the carriage._

HE (_with meaning_). No more pickled onions, eh?

SHE. What a one you are to remember things! (_After a pause._) Give my
love to Joe.

HE. All right. Well, Jenny, just one, for the last. (_They embrace
loudly, after which the F. resumes his seat with an expression of
mingled sentiment and complacency._) Oh (_to L. OF F._), if you don't
mind my stepping across you again, Mum. Jenny, if you see Dick between
this and Friday, just tell him as----

     [_Prolonged whispers; sounds of renewed kisses; final parting
     as train starts with a jerk, which throws the FINACÉ upon the
     L. OF F.'S lap. After the train is started a gleam of peculiar
     significance is observable in the eyes of one of the Seafaring_
     _Men, who is reclining in an easy attitude on the seat. His
     companion responds with a grin of intelligence, and produces a
     large black bottle from the rack. They drink, and hand the
     bottle to the FIANCÉ._

The F. Thankee, I don't mind if I do. Here's wishing you----

     [_Remainder of sentiment drowned in sound of glug-glug-glug; is
     about to hand back bottle when the first SEAFARER intimates
     that he is to pass it on. The L. OF F. recoils in horror._

BOTH SEAFARERS. It's _wine_, Mum!

     [_Tableau. The LADY OF FAMILY realises that the study of
     third-class humanity has its drawbacks._



_A Car on the Electric Light Railway. TIME.--Twentieth Century._

FIRST FARMER (_recognising Second Farmer_). Why, 'tis Muster Fretwail,
surelie! didn't see it was you afore. And how be things gettin' along
with _you_, Sir, eh?

FARMER FRETWAIL (_lugubriously_). 'Mong the middlin's, Muster Lackaday;
'mong the middlin's! Nothen doin' just now--nothen 't all!

THIRD FARMER (_enviously_). Well, _you_ hevn't no call fur to cry out,
neighbour. I see you've got a likely lot o' noo 'oardins comin' up all
along your part o' the line. I wish mine wur arf as furrard, I know

F. FRETWAIL. Ah, them "Keep yer 'air on"'s, _you_ mean, Ryemouth. I
don't deny as they was lookin' tidy enough a week back. But just as I
was makin' ready fur to paint up "Try it on a Billiard Ball," blamed if
this yere frost didn't set in, and now theer's everything at a
standstill, wi' the brushes froze 'ard in the pots!

F. RYEMOUTH. 'Tis the same down with me. Theer's a acre o' "Bunyan's
Easy Boots" as must hev a noo coat, and I cann't get nothen done to 'en
till the weather's a bit more hopen like. Don' keer _'ow_ soon we hev a
change, myself, I don't!

F. LACKADAY. Nor yet me, so long as we don't 'ave no gales with it.
Theer was my height acre pasture as I planted only las' Candlemas wi'
"Roopy's Lung Tonics"--wunnerful fine and tall they was, too--and ivery
one on 'en blowed down the next week!

F. FRETWAIL. Well I 'ope theer wun't be no rain, neither, come to that.
I know I had all the P's of my "Piffler's Persuasive Pillules" fresh
gold-leaved at Michaelmas, and it come on wet directly arter I done it,
and reg'lar washed the gilt out o' sight an' knowledge, it did. Theer
ain't no standin' up agen rain!

F. RYEMOUTH. I dunno as I wouldn't as lief hev rain as sun. My
"Hanti-Freckle Salves" all blistered up and peeled afore the summer was
'ardly begun a'most.

[Illustration: "I cann't get nothen done to 'en till the weather's a bit
more hopen like."]

F. LACKADAY. 'Tis a turr'ble hard climate to make 'ead against, is
ourn. I've 'eard tell as some farmers are takin' to they enamelled hiron
affairs, same as they used to hev when I wur a lad. I mind theer wur a
crop o' "Read Comic Cagmag" as lingered on years arter the paper itself.
Not as I hold with enamelling, myself--'tain't what I call 'igh
farmin'--takes too much outer the land in _my_ 'pinion.

F. FRETWAIL. Aye, aye. "Rotation o' boards." Say, "Spooner's Sulphur
Syrup" fur a spring crop, follered with some kind o' soap or candles,
and p'raps cough lozengers, or hembrocation, or bakin' powder, if the
soil will bear it, arterwards--that's the system _I_ wur reared on, and
there ain't no better, 'pend upon it!

F. RYEMOUTH. I tell 'ee what 'tis; it's time we 'ad some protection agen
these yere furrin advartisements. I was travellin' along the Great
Northern t'other day, an' I see theer wos two or three o' them French
boards nigh in ivery field, a downright shame and disgrace I call it,
disfigurin' the look of the country and makin' it that ontidy--let alone
drivin' honest British boards off the land. Government ought to put a
stop to it; that's what _I_ say!

F. LACKADAY. They Parliment chaps don't keer _what_ becomes of us poor
farmers, they don't. Look at last General Election time. They might ha'
given our boards a turn; but not they. Most o' they candidates did all
their 'tisin' with rubbishy flags and balloons--made in Japan, Sir,
every blamed one o' them! And they wonder British Agriculture don't
prosper more!

F. RYEMOUTH. Speaking o' queer ways o' hadvertisin', hev any of ye set
eyes on that farm o' young Fullacrank's? Danged if ever _I_ see sech
tomfool notions as he's took up with in all _my_ born days.

F. FRETWAIL. Why, what hev he been up to _now_, eh?

F. RYEMOUTH. Well, I thought I shud ha' bust myself larfin' when I see
it fust. Theer ain't not a board nor a sky sign; no, nor yet a 'oarding,
on the 'ole of his land!

F. LACKADAY. Then how do he expect to get a profit out of it?--that's
what _I_ want to year.

F. RYEMOUTH. You'll 'ardly credit it, neighbours, but he's been buryin'
some o' they furrin grains, hoats and barley, an' I dunno what not, in
little holes about his fields, so as to make the words, "Use Faddler's
Non-Farinaceous Food"--and the best of it is the darned young fool
expecks as 'ow it'll all sprout come next Aperl--he do indeed, friends!

F. FRETWAIL. Flying in the face o' Providence, I calls it. He must ha'
gone clean out of his senses!

F. LACKADAY. Stark starin' mad. I never heerd tell o' such extravagance.
Why, as likely as not, 'twill all die off o' the land afore the year's
out--and wheer wull he be _then_?

F. RYEMOUTH. Azactly what I said to 'en myself. "You tek my word for
it," I sez, "'twun't never come to no good. The nateral crop for these
yere British Hiles," I told 'en, "is good honest Henglish hoak an'
canvas," I sez, "and 'tain't the action of no sensible man, nor yet no
Christian," sez I, "to go a-drillin' 'oles and a-droppin' in houtlandish
seeds from Canada an' Roosha, which the sile wasn't never intended to

FARMERS FRETWELL and LACKADAY. Rightly spoke, neighbour Ryemouth, 'twas
a true word! But theer'll be a jedgment on sech new-fangled doin's, and,
what's moor, you and I will live fur to see it afore we're very much

     [_They all shake their heads solemnly as scene closes in._




_The Smoke-room of a Provincial Hotel. TIME--Towards midnight.
CHARACTERS--MR. LUCESLIPP-BLETHERON, a middle-aged Art Patron and
Dilettante. He has arrived at his third tumbler of whiskey and water,
and the stage at which a man alludes freely before strangers to his
"poor dear father." MR. MILBOARD, a Painter, on a sketching tour. He is
enduring MR. L.-B. with a patience which will last for just one more
pipe. FIRST COMMERCIAL, who considers Mr. L.-B. a highly agreeable and
well-informed gentleman, and is anxious to be included in his audience.
SECOND COMMERCIAL, who doesn't intend to join in the conversation until
he feels he can do so with crushing effect._

MR. LUCESLIPP-BLETHERON. Yes, I assure you, I never come acrosh a David
Cox but I say to myself, "_There_'sh a Bit!" (_Here he fixes his
eye-glass, sips whiskey and water, and looks at MR. MILBOARD as if he
expected him to express admiration at this evidence of penetration. The
only tribute he extorts, however, is a grunt._) Now, we've a Cornelius
Janssen at home. Itsh only hishtory is--my dear father bought it. He was
an artist himself, painted a bit, travelled man, an' all that short o'
thing. Well, _he_ picked it up for ten pounds!

FIRST COMMERCIAL (_deferentially_). Did he reelly now? A Johnson for ten
pounds! Did he get a warranty with it, Sir?

MR. L.-B. (_after bringing the eye-glass to bear on the intruder for a
second_). Then I've a Mieris--at leasht, _shome_ clever f'ler painted
it, and it'sh a pleashure to look at it, and you can't get over _that_,
can you?

MR. MILBOARD. I don't intend to _try_ to get over it.

MR. L.-B. You're qui' right. Now I'm the lasht man in the world to
shwagger; shtill, I'm goin' to ashk you to lemme have my lil' shwagger
now. I happened to be at Rome shor' time ago, and I met Middleman there.
We had our lil' chat together and what not--he'sh no pershonal friend o'
mine. Well; I picked up a lil' drawing by a Roman chap; worth nothing
more than what I got it for, or _anything_, as you may shay. Middleman
had the whole run of this chap's studio. I saw this drawing--didn't care
mush about it--but thought it wash a gem, and gave the modesh shum of a
hundred an' fifty _lire_ for it. Put it in my portmanteau between a
couple o' shirts----

FIRST COMM. (_still pining for notice_). When you say shirts, Sir, I
presume you mean _clean_ ones?

MR. L.-B. No man with the shlightest feelin' or reverence for Art would
_put_ sush a queshtion! (_The FIRST COMM. collapses._) Between a couple
of--(_underlining the word_) Shirts, and brought it home. Now I'm comin'
to my point. One afternoon after my return, I wash walking down Bond
Street, when I saw a sketch exhibited in a window by the shame f'ler. I
went in and shaid, "What are you asking for thish? Mind I don' wanter
_buy_ it; ashk me any price yer like!" And they shaid forty guineash.

MR. MILB. Apparently they availed themselves of your permission, and
_did_ ask you any price they liked.

MR. L.-B. No doubt; but wait till I've _done_. I saw another--a finished
drawing not qui' so good as mine, there. Then I shaid to them quietly,
"Now, look _here_, why don' you go an' buy 'em for yourshelves in the
artist's own shtudio?" It shtruck me as sho odd, a man like Middleman,
being there, and having the pick, shouldn' buy _more_ of 'em!

MR. MILB. Wasn't worth his while; he can't buy _everything_!

MR. L.-B. (_after considering this impartially with some more whiskey_).
No; your ansher is a very _good_ one, and a very _fair_ one. He _can't_
buy everything. I _did_ pick, however, an' I gorrit. I said to him, "How
mush?" an' he tol' me, and there wash an end of it, do you shee?

MR. MILB. It's the ordinary course of business, isn't it?

MR. L.-B. Egshackly. But how few _do_ it! Now, I'll tell you 'nother
shtory 'bout my poo' dear father. He came 'pon a sculpture in a
curioshity shop; it wash very dirty and used up, but my dear father saw
it was worth shpotting, and a thing to _be_ shpotted, and sho he put
hish _finger_ on it!

FIRST COMM. (_undaunted by past failure_). And was it antique, Sir?

MR. L.-B. That'sh more'n I can tell you; it wash very dirty, at any
rate, and he only gave fifty guineash for it. Wasn't a _great_ shum----

FIRST COMM. (_encouraged by his affability_). No, indeed; a mere
nothing, so to speak, Sir!

MR. L.-B. (_annoyed_). Will you have the goodnesh to lemme finish what I
was telling thish gentleman? When my poo' father got that busht home, it
was the mos' perfect likenesh o' Napoleon!

[Illustration: "They haven't the _patiensh_ for it."]

MR. MILB. Ha! puts me in mind of the old story of the man who picked up
a dingy panel somewhere or other, took it home, cleaned it, and found a
genuine Morland; went on cleaning and discovered an undoubted Rembrandt;
cleaned _that_, and came to a Crivelli; couldn't stop, kept on cleaning,
and was rewarded by a portrait of George the Fourth!

FIRST COMM. (_deeply impressed_). And all of them genuine? How _very_
extraordinary, to be sure!

MR. L.-B. (_wagging his head sapiently_). I could tell you shtranger
things than _that_. But as I was shaying, here was this busht of
Napoleon, by some French chap--which _you_ would tell me was _against_

MR. MILB. Why? The French are the best sculptors in the world.

MR. L.-B. The Frensh! I can _not_ bring myshelf to believe that, if only
for thish shimple reashon, they haven't the _patiensh_ for it.

FIRST COMM. So _I_ should have said. For my own part--not knowing much
_about_ it, very likely--I should have put the _Italians_ first.

MR. MILB. If you are talking of all time----

FIRST COMM. (_feeling at last at his ease_). I should say, even _now_.
Why, there was a piece of statuary in the Italian Exhibition at Earl's
Court some years back that took _my_ fancy and took my _wife's_ fancy
very much. It was a representation in marble of a 'en and chickens, all
so natural, and with every individual feather on the birds done to such
a nicety----!

MR. MILB. I was hardly referring to the skill with which the Italians

MR. L.-B. Ridic'lous! Great mishtake to talk without unnershtanding
shubject. (_The FIRST COMMERCIAL retires from the room in disorder._)
One thing I should like to ashk is thish. Why are sculptors at present
day so inferior to the antique? Ishn't the human form divine ash noble
and ash shymmetrical ash formerly? Why can't they _reproduce_ it then?

MR. MILB. You must first find your sculptor. Providence doesn't see fit
to create a Michael Angelo or a Praxiteles every five minutes, any more
than a Shakspeare.

MR. L.-B. (_wavering between piety and epigram_). Thank the Lord for
_that_! Now there'sh Florensh. Shome of us who have had the _run_
there--well, there you see all the original thingsh--all the
_originalsh_. And yet, if you'll believe me (_dreamily_), with all my
love and charm for Art, gimme the Capitoline Venush living and breathing
in _flesh and blood_, Sir, not in cold lifelesh marble!

MR. MILB. That of course is a matter of taste. But we are talking about
Art, not women.

MR. L.-B. (_profoundly_). Unforsh'nately, women are the _shubjects_ of
Art. You've got to find out your client's shtyle of Art firsht, and then
carry it out in the besht possible manner.

MR. MILB. (_rising, and knocking his pipe out_). Have I? But I'm going
to bed now, so you'll excuse me.

MR. L.-B. (_detaining him_). But look here again. Take the Louvre. (_As
MR. MILBOARD disclaims any desire to take it._) Now, nobody talksh about
the Gallery _there_, and yet, if you only egshemp the thingsh that are
rude and vulgar, and go quietly roun'----

SECOND COMMERCIAL (_who sees a Socratic opening at last_). Might I ask
you, Sir, to enumerate any pictures there, that, in your opinion, are
"rude and vulgar"?

     [_MR. MILBOARD avails himself of this diversion to escape._

MR. L.-B. In the Grand Gallery of the Louvre there'sh an enormous amount
of shtuff, as everybody who'sh an artisht and a lover of Art knowsh. If
I had a friend who wash thinking of going to the Louvre (_here he looks
round vaguely for MR. MILBOARD_), I should shay to him, "Do you _care_
about pictursh at all? If you _don't_, don't borrer yourshelf 'bout it.
If you _do_, drop in shome day with Me, and I'll give you a hint what
to shee." (_As he cannot make out what has become of MR. MILBOARD, he
has to content himself with the SECOND COMMERCIAL._) If you were _my_
boy, I should shay to you----

SECOND COMM. (_at the door_). Pardon me for remarking that, if I was
your boy, I should probably prefer to take my own opinion. (_With
dignified independence._) I never follow other persons' taste in Art!

     [_He goes out as the Smoke-room Page enters._

MR. L.-B. (_hazily with half-closed eyes_). If you wash _my_ boy, I
should shay to you, very quietly, very sherioushly, and without
'tempting to dictate----(_Perceives that he is addressing the Page._)
Jus' bring me 'nother glash whiskey an' warrer.

     [_He is left sitting._




_The Stables at Saddlesprings, the Wheelers' Country House near
Bykersall. MISS DIANA'S Horse BAYARD discovered in his Stall._

BAYARD (_talking to himself, as is the habit of some horses when
alone_). I can't make it out. She's here. All the family came down
yesterday--I heard the omnibus start for the station to meet them. And
yet she hasn't sent for me; hasn't even been near me! She always used to
rush in here and kiss me on the nose the very first--She's ill--that's
it of course--sprained her fetlock or something. If she was well, she'd
have had me saddled as soon as she'd had her morning feed, and we'd have
gone for a canter together somewhere.... I hope she'll get well soon.
I'm sick of being taken out by the stable-man; he's so dull--no notion
of conversation beyond whistling! Now, Miss Diana would talk to me the
whole way.... Perhaps her hands and seat might have been----But what did
_that_ matter? I liked to feel she was on my back, I liked the sound of
her pretty voice, and the touch of her hand when she patted me after her
ride.... (_He pricks his ears._) Why, that's her voice outside now!
She's all right, after all. She's coming in to see me!... I _knew_ she
couldn't have forgotten!

MISS DIANA'S VOICE (_outside_). Yes, you might put it in here for the
present, Stubbs. I suppose it will be quite safe?

STUBBS' VOICE. Safe enough, Miss, there's plenty o' empty stalls this
side. Nothing _in_ 'ere just now, except----

MISS D.'S VOICE. Very well, then. Just wipe some of the dust off the
mud-guards, because I shall want it again after lunch. And mind you
don't scratch the enamel taking it in.

STUBBS. Very good, Miss. I'll be keerful.

     [_MISS DIANA'S steps die away upon the cobbles._

BAYARD (_to himself_). She's gone--without even asking after me! What
has she been out in--a bath chair? I'm sure she _must_ be ill.

STUBBS (_to the Bicycle, as he wheels it in_). 'Ere, steady now, 'old
up, can't ye? And keep that blarsted near pedal o' yourn off o' _my_
enamel. Blest if I wouldn't rather rub down arf a dozen 'unters nor one
o' them yere bloomin' bi-cycles. I know where I _am_ with a 'orse; but
these 'ere little, twisty, spidery wheels----Come _over_, will ye. I'll
lean ye up agen 'ere till I've 'ad my dinner.

[Illustration: "It must be a sort of animal, I suppose."]

     [_He places the machine against a partition next to BAYARD'S
     stall, and goes out._

BAYARD (_to himself, as he inspects his neighbour with the corner of his
eye_). It's _not_ a bath-chair; it's one of these bicycles. It must be a
sort of animal, I suppose, or Stubbs wouldn't have spoken to it. I
should like to ask it one or two questions. (_He gets his neck over the
partition, and breathes gently through his nostrils upon the
handle-bars._) Excuse me, but do you understand horse-language at all?

The BICYCLE (_answering by a succession of saddle-creaks_). Perfectly.
I'm a kind of horse myself, I believe, only greatly _improved_, of
course. _Would_ you mind not breathing on my handle-bars like that? It
tarnishes the plating so. The saddle is the seat of _my_ intelligence,
if you will kindly address your remarks here.

BAYARD. I beg your pardon. I will in future. I don't creak myself, but
I've been closely connected with saddles ever since I was a
two-year-old, so I can follow you fairly well. Didn't I hear my
mistress's voice outside just now?

The BICYCLE. No; _my_ mistress's, Miss Diana's. I'd just taken her out
for a short spin--not far, only fifteen miles or so.

BAYARD. Then, she--she's quite well?

The BICYCLE. Thanks, she's pedalling pretty strong just now. I'm going
out with her again this afternoon.

BAYARD. Again! You will have had a hard day of it altogether, then. But
I suppose you'll get a day or two's rest afterwards? I know _I_ should
want it.

The BICYCLE. Bless you, _I_ never want rest. Why, I've been forty miles
with her, and come home without clanking a link! _She_ was knocked up,
if you like--couldn't go out for days!

BAYARD. Ah, she was never knocked up after riding _me_!

The BICYCLE. Because--it's no fault of yours, of course, but the way
you've been constructed--you couldn't go far enough to knock _anybody_
up. And she doesn't get tired now, either. I'm not the kind of bicycle
to boast; but I've often heard her say that she much prefers her "bike"
(she always calls me her "bike"--very nice and friendly of her, isn't
it?) to any mere _horse_.

BAYARD. To any mere horse! And does she--give any reasons?

The BICYCLE. Lots. For one thing, she says she feels so absolutely safe
on me; she knows that, whatever she meets, I shall never start, or shy,
or rear, or anything of that sort.

BAYARD. I don't remember playing any of those tricks with her, however
hard she pulled the curb.

The BICYCLE. Then she says she never has to consider whether any
distance will be too much for me.

BAYARD. As for _that_----But the longer I was out with her, the better I
was pleased; she might have brought me home as lame as a tree all round,
and _I_ shouldn't have cared!

The BICYCLE. Perhaps not. But _she_ would; so inconvenient, you see. Now
_my_ strong point is, I _can't_ go lame--in good hands, of course, and
she knows exactly how to manage me, I will say that for her!

BAYARD. Does she give you carrots or sugar after a ride? she did _me_.

THE BICYCLE (_with a creak of contempt_). Now what _do_ you suppose I
could do with sugar or a carrot if I had it? No, a drop or two of oil
now and then is all I take in the way of sustenance. That's _another_
point in my favour, I cost little or nothing to keep. Now, your oats and
hay and stuff, I daresay, cost more in a year than I'm worth altogether!

BAYARD.. I must admit that you have the advantage of me in cheapness. If
I thought she grudged me my oats----But I'm afraid I couldn't manage on
a drop or two of oil.

The BICYCLE. You'd want buckets of it to oil _your_ bearings. No, she
wouldn't save by that! (_STUBBS re-enters._) Ah, here comes my man. I
must be going; got to take her over to Pineborough, rather a bore this
dusty weather, but when a lady's in the case, eh?

BAYARD. There's a nasty hill going into Pineborough; do be careful how
you take her down it!

The BICYCLE. You forget, my friend, I'm not a Boneshaker, I'm a Safety.
Why, she'll just put her feet up on the rests, fold her arms, and leave
the rest to me. She knows _I_ can be trusted.

BAYARD. Just tell me this before you go. Does--she doesn't pat you, or
kiss you on your--er--handle-bar after a run, does she?

The BICYCLE (_turning its front wheel to reply, as STUBBS wheels it
out_). You don't imagine I should stand any sentimental rot of that
sort, do you? She knows better than to try it on!

BAYARD (_to himself_). I'm glad she doesn't kiss it. I don't think I
_could_ have stood that!

_Same Scene. Some Hours Later._

STUBBS (_enters, carrying a dilapidated machine with crumpled handles, a
twisted saddle, and a front wheel distorted into an irregular pentagon_).
Well, I 'ope as 'ow this'll sarve as a lesson to 'er, I dew; a marcy she
ain't broke her blessed little neck! (_To the Bicycle._) No need to be
hover and above purtickler 'bout scratchin' your enamel _now_, any'ow!
(_He pitches it into a corner, and goes._)

BAYARD (_after reconnoitring_). You don't mean to say it's _you_!

The BICYCLE. Me? of course it's me! A nice mess I'm in, too, entirely
owing to her carelessness. Never put the brake on down that infernal
hill, lost all control over me, and here I am, a wreck, Sir! Why, I had
to be driven home, by a grinning groom, in a beastly dog-cart! Pleasant

BAYARD. But she--Miss Diana--was she hurt? Not--not _seriously_, eh?

The BICYCLE. Oh, of course you don't care what becomes of _me_ so long
as----_She's_ all right enough--fell in a ditch, luckily for her, _I_
came down on a heap of stones. It'll be weeks before I'm out of the
repairer's hands.

BAYARD (_to himself_). I _oughtn't_ to be glad; but I am--I _am_! She's
safe, and--and she'll come back to me after this! (_To the Bicycle._)
Wasn't she sorry for you?

The BICYCLE. Not she! These women have no feeling in them. Why, what do
you suppose she said when they told me it would take weeks to tinker me

BAYARD (_to himself--with joy_). I think I can guess! (_To the
Bicycle._) What _did_ she say?

The BICYCLE (_rattling with indignation_). Why, all _she_ said was: "How
tiresome! I wonder if I can hire a decent bike here without having to
send to town for one." There's gratitude for you! But _you_ can't enter
into my feelings about it.

BAYARD. Pardon me--I fancy I can. And, after all, your day will come,
when the Vet has set you up again. _Mine's_ over for ever. (_To
himself._) Oh, why, _why_ wasn't I born a bicycle!



_January 1._--Just had a brilliant idea--_quite_ original. I don't
believe even any human person ever _thought_ of such a thing, but
then,--besides being extremely beautiful and expensive, with refined wax
features and golden hair--I am a very clever doll indeed. Frivolous, no
doubt; heartless, so they tell me--but the very reverse of a _fool_. I
flatter myself that if _anybody_ understands the nature of toys,
especially _male_ toys--but I am forgetting my idea--which is this. I am
going this year to write down--the little girl I belong to has no idea I
can write, but I _can_--and better than _she_ does, too!--to write down
every event of importance that happens, _with the dates_. There! I fancy
_that_ is original enough. It will be a valuable dollian document when
it is done, and _most_ interesting to look back upon. Now I must wait
for something to happen.

_January 6._--Went to Small Dance given by the Only Other Wax Doll (a
dreadful old frump!) on the Nursery Hearthrug. Room rather nicely
illuminated by coloured fire from grate, and a pyramid nightlight, but
floor poor. Didn't think much of the music--a fur monkey at the
Digitorium, and a woolly lamb who brought his own bellows, make _rather_
a feeble orchestra. Still, on the whole, enjoyed myself. Much admired.
Several young Ninepins, who are considered stuck-up, and keep a good
deal to their own set, begged to be introduced. Sat out one dance with a
Dice-box, who rattled away most amusingly. I understand he is quite an
authority on games, and anything that falls from his mouth is received
with respect. He is a great sporting character, too, and arranges all
the meetings on the Nursery Race-course, besides being much interested
in Backgammon. I _do_ like a Toy to have _manly_ tastes!

The Captain of a Wooden Marching Regiment quartered in the neighbourhood
was there in full uniform, but not dancing. Told me they _didn't_ in his
regiment. As his legs are made in one piece and glued on to a yellow
stand, inclined to think this was not mere military swagger. He seemed
considerably struck with me. Made an impression, too, on a rather
elderly India-rubber Ball. Snubbed him, as one of the Ninepins told me
he was considered "a bit of a bounder."

Some of the Composition Dolls, I could see, were perfectly _stiff_ with
spite and envy. Spent a very pleasant evening, not getting back to my
drawer till daylight. Too tired to write more.

_Mem._--Not to sit out behind the coal-scuttle another time!

_February 14._--Amount of attention I receive really quite embarrassing.
The Ninepins are too _absurdly_ devoted. One of them (the nicest of all)
told me to-day he had never been so completely bowled over in his whole
existence! I manage to play them off against each other, however. The
India-rubber Ball, too, is at my feet--and, naturally, I spurn him, but
he is so short-winded that nothing will induce him to rise. Though
naturally of an elastic temperament, he has been a good deal cast down
of late. I smile on him occasionally--just to keep the Ball rolling; but
it is becoming a frightful bore.

_March._--Have been presented with a charming pony-carriage, with two
piebald ponies that go by clock work. I wish, though, I was not expected
to share it with a _live kitten_! The kitten has no idea of repose, and
spoils the effect of the turn-out. Try not to seem aware of it--even
when it claws my frock. Rather interested in a young Skipjack, whom I
see occasionally; he is quite good-looking, in a common sort of way. I
talk to him now and then--it is something to do; and he is a new type,
so different from the Ninepins!

_April 1._--Have just heard the Skipjack is engaged to a plaster
Dairy-maid. A little annoyed, because he really seemed----Have been to
see his _fiancée_, a common-place creature, with red cheeks, and a thick
waist. Congratulate the Skipjack, with just a _hint_ that he might have
looked higher. Afraid that he misunderstood me, for he absolutely

_April 7._--The Skipjack tells me he has _broken off his engagement_; he
seems to think I shall guess the reason--but I don't, of _course_. Then
he actually has the impertinence to (I can scarcely pen the words for
indignation) to _propose_--to Me! I inform him, in the most
_unmistakable_ terms, that he has presumed on my good-nature, and that
there are social barriers between us, which no Skipjack can ever
surmount. He leaves me abruptly, after declaring that I have broken the
spring of his existence.

_April 8._--Much shocked and annoyed. The Skipjack found quite stiff and
colourless this morning, in the water-jug! Must have jumped in last
night. So _very_ rash and silly of him! Am sure I gave him no
encouragement--or _next_ to none. Hear that the Dairy-maid has gone off
her head. Of course it will be put down to _grief_; but we all know how
easily plaster heads get cracked. Feel really distressed about it all,
for the blame is sure to fall on _me_. Those Composition Dolls will make
a fine scandal out of it!

_May._--The Ninepins are getting very difficult to manage; have to put
them down as delicately as possible; but I am afraid, poor fellows, they
are dreadfully upset. The Wooden Captain has challenged the Dice-box to
a duel--I fear, on _my_ account. However, as the officer's sword will
not unglue, I _hope_ nothing will come of it. All this _most_ worrying,
though, and gives me little _real_ satisfaction. I find myself sighing
for more _difficult_ conquests.

_June._--Went to afternoon tea with the biggest Dutch Doll. Rather a
come-down, but now that there is this coolness between the Composition
set and myself, I must go _somewhere_. I feel _so_ bored at times! Can
see the ridiculous Dutch thing is trying to _out-dress_ me! She had a
frock on that _must_ have cost at _least_ fifty beads, and I don't
believe it will _ever_ be paid for! Only made her look the bigger _guy,_
though! Tea-party a stupid affair. Make-believe tea in pewter cups. Met
the latest arrival, a really nice-looking Gentleman Doll, introduced as
"Mr. Joseph." Very innocent face, without any moustache, and the
sweetest blue eyes (except mine) I think I _ever_ saw! Seemed rather
shy, but pleasant. Asked him to call.

_June 18._--Mr. Joseph has not called _yet_. Very strange! Suspect those
horrid Composition Dolls have been setting him against me. Met him by
the back-board and scolded him. He seemed confused. By a little
management, I got it all out of him. I was right. He _has_ been told
about the Skipjack. He has strict principles, and gave me to understand
that he would prefer to decline my acquaintance--which was _like his
impudence_! This is exciting, though. I intend to overcome these
scruples; I mean him to be madly in love with me--then I shall
scornfully reject him, which will serve him just _right_!

_July._--My tactics have succeeded--_at last_! To-day Joseph called,
_ostensibly_ to beg me to go and see the unhappy Ball, who, it seems, is
terribly collapsed, reduced to a _mere bowl_, and so exhausted that he
cannot hold out much longer. However, in the course of the interview, I
soon made him oblivious of the Ball. He fell at my feet. "Beautiful
Gloriana," he cried, "with all your many and glaring faults, I love
you!" Then I carried out the _rest_ of my programme--it was a painful
scene, and I will only record that when he left me, he was completely
_un-dolled_! I feel almost sorry for him--he had rather a nice face!

[Illustration: "I see _him_ standing, on the very brink of the

_July 4._--I don't seem able to settle to anything. After all, I think I
will go and see the poor Ball. It would comfort him, and I might see
_him_ there. I will order the pony-carriage.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August._--What has happened to me? Where have I been all this time? Let
me collect myself, and see how much I remember. My last clear
recollection is of being in my carriage on my way to receive the
departing Ball's last sigh.... Something has started the clockwork. My
ponies are bolting, and I haven't the _slightest_ control over them! We
are rushing along the smooth plain of the chest of drawers, and rapidly
nearing the edge. I try to scream for help, but all I can utter is,
"Papa!" and "Mamma!" All at once I see _him_ standing, calm and
collected, on the very brink of the precipice. Is he strong enough to
stop the ponies in their mad clockwork career, and save me, _even yet_?
_How_ I will love him if he does! An instant of sickening suspense ...
we are _over_!--falling down, down, down.... A crash, a whirr of
clockwork, a rush of bran to my head--and I know no more. What follows
is a dream--a horrible, confused nightmare--of lying among a heap of
limp bodies--some armless, some legless, others (ah! the horror of it)
_headless_! I grope blindly for my own limbs--they are intact; then I
feel the place where I naturally expect to find my head--it is
_gone_!... The shock is too much--I faint once more. And that is all.

Thank goodness, it was only a dream--for here I am, in the same old
nursery again! Not _all_ a dream, either--or my pony-carriage would
scarcely present such a damaged appearance. The _accident_ was real.
Then what--_what_ has become of Joseph? I _must_ find him--I must make
him understand that I repent--that, for the future, I intend to be a
changed doll!

_September._--Still searching for Joseph. No trace of him. I seem to be
a changed doll in more ways than one. My former set knows me not. The
Ninepins do not stagger when I smile at them now; the Dice-box gapes
open-mouthed at my greeting. I call upon the Composition Dolls--they are
very polite; but it is quite clear that they don't remember me in the
least! Alas! how soon one is forgotten in the world of Toys! Have no
heart to recall myself to them. I go, for the first time since my
accident, to a convenient brass knob, in which I would once gaze at my
reflected features by the hour. How indescribable are my sensations at
the discovery that I have a _totally new head_--a china one! I, who used
to look down on china dolls! It is a very decent head, in its way; quite
neat and inoffensive, with smooth, shiny hair, which won't come down
like the golden locks I _once_ had. I am glad--yes, _glad_ now--that
Joseph has gone, and the home he used to occupy is deserted, and shut
up. If he were here, _he_ would not know me either. Now I can live
single all my remaining days, in memory of him, and devote myself to
doing good!

_October._--Have entered on my new career. Am organising a Mission for
Lost Toys, and a Clothing Club for Rag Dolls. To-day, while "slumming"
in the lumber-closet, found my old acquaintance, the Dutch Doll in a
_shocking_ state of destitution--nothing on her but a piece of _tattered
tissue-paper_! To think that my evil example and her own _senseless
extravagance_ have brought her to _this_! Gave her one of my old
tea-gowns and a Sunday domino, but did not reveal myself. Feeling very
sad and lonely: think I shall have to keep a mouse--I must have
_something_ to love me!

_October 15._--Someone has taken poor dear Joseph's old house. I see a
new doll, with a small but worldly black moustache and a very bad
countenance, watching me as I pass the windows. Shall call and leave a
scripture brick. It may do him good.

_October 16._--Have called.... _Never_ heard worse language from the
lips of _any_ doll! Came across my old admirer, the Ball, who is better,
though still what I have heard the nursery governess describe as an
"_oblate spheroid_." Of course, he did not recognise me.

_December._--Have seen a good deal of the Doll with the worldly
moustache lately. From certain symptoms, do not despair of reforming
him--ultimately. He seems softening. Yesterday he told me he did not
think he should live long. Yet he has a splendid constitution--the best
porcelain. He is dreadfully cynical--seems so reckless about everything.
If I could only reclaim him--for Joseph's sake!

This afternoon I saw the yellow stand which the Wooden Captain used to
occupy. What memories it recalled, ah me! Can he have disgraced himself
and been "broke"? And am _I_ responsible?

_Christmas Eve._--Am sitting in my corner, my mouse curled comfortably
at my feet, when the Walking Postman comes up with a letter--for _me_!
It is from the Wicked Doll! He is very ill--_dying_, he thinks--and
wishes to see me. How well I remember that _other_ message which
Joseph--but Joseph is taken, and the Ball still bounds! Well, I will go.
It will be something to tell my Diary.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Christmas Day._--Something _indeed_! How shall I begin my wondrous
_incredible_ tale? I reached the Doll's House, which looked gloomier and
more deserted than ever, with the sullen glow of the dying fire
reflected redly in its windows. The green door stood open--I went in.
"Ha, ha! _trapped_!" cried a sneering voice behind me. It was the Wicked
Doll! His letter was a _ruse_--he was as well as I was--and I--I was
shut up there in that lonely house, entirely at his mercy!... It was a
frightful position for any doll to be placed in; and yet, looking back
on it now, I don't think I minded it so _very_ much.

"Listen!" he said, in response to my agonized entreaties. "Long, long
ago, when I was young and innocent, a beautiful but heartless being
bewitched me, kid and bran! I told my love--she mocked at me. Since then
I have sworn, though she has escaped me, to avenge myself by sacrificing
the life of the first doll I could entice into my power. _You_ are that
doll. You must die!"... "I am quite prepared," I told him--"do your
worst!" which seemed to confuse him very much. "I will," he said,
"presently--presently; there is no hurry. You see," he explained, in a
tone almost of apology, "in endeavouring to save her life (it was my
last good action) I got my head smashed, and received the substitute I
now wear, which, as you will observe, is that of an unmitigated villain.
And it's no use having a head like that if you don't live _up_ to
it--_is_ it, now? So--as I think I observed before--prepare for the
worst!" "Don't talk about it any more--_do_ it!" I said, and I breathed
Joseph's name softly. But the Wicked Doll did nothing at all. I began to
feel safer--it was so obvious that he hadn't the faintest notion _what_
to do. "She treated me abominably," he said feebly; "_any_ doll would
have been annoyed at the heartless way in which Gloriana----"

I could contain my feelings no longer.

"Joseph!" I gasped (I had lost all fear of him), "you ridiculous old
goose, don't you _know_ me? _I_ am Gloriana, and I have found you at
last!" And with that I flung myself into his arms, and told him
everything. I think he was more relieved than anything. "So _you_ are
Gloriana!" he said. "It's dreadfully bewildering; but, to tell you the
honest truth, I can't keep up this villainy business any longer. I
haven't been brought up to it, and I don't understand how it's done. So
I tell you what we'll do. If you'll leave off living up to _your_ new
head, I won't try to live up to _mine_!" And so we settled it.

_Postscript. December 31._--We are to be married to-morrow. The Dutch
Doll is to be my bridesmaid, and the Wooden Captain (who was only away
on sick leave, after all) is coming up to be best man. I have seen the
poor old Ball, and told him there will always be a corner for him in our
new home. I am very, _very_ happy. To think that Joseph should still
care for his poor Gloriana, altered and homely as her once lovely
features have now become! But Joseph (who is leaning over my shoulder
and reading every word I write) stops me here to assure me that I am
lovelier than ever in _his_ eyes. And really--I don't know--perhaps I
_am_. And in _other_ persons' eyes, too, if it comes to that. I
certainly don't intend to give up society just because I happen to be




_ARGUMENT--MRS. FLITTERMOUSE, having got up a party to assist her in
giving an Entertainment at the East End, has called a meeting for the
purpose of settling the items in the programme._

_MRS. FLITTERMOUSE'S Drawing-room in Park Lane. Everybody discovered
drinking tea, and chatting on matters totally unconnected with

MRS. FLITTERMOUSE (_imploringly_). Now, _please_, everybody, _do_
attend! It's quite impossible to settle anything while you're all
talking about something else. (_Apologies, protests, constrained
silence._) Selina, dear, what do you think it would be best to begin

The DOWAGER LADY DAMPIER. My dear Fritilla, I have no suggestion to
offer. You know my opinion about the whole thing. The people don't want
to be elevated, and--if they did--entertaining them is not the proper
means to set about it. But I don't wish to discourage you.

MRS. FLITT. Oh, but I think we could do so _much_ to give them a taste
for more rational and refined amusements, poor things, to wean them from
the coarse pleasures which are all they have at present. Only we must
really decide what each of us is going to do.

MRS. PERSE-WEAVER. A violin solo is always popular. And my daughter
Cecilia will be delighted to play for you. She has been taught by the

CECELIA. Oh, Mother, I couldn't, really! I've never played in public. I
_know_ I should break down!

LADY DAMP. In that case, my dear, it would be certainly unwise on your
part to attempt it.

MRS. P.-W. Nonsense, Cecilia, nonsense. You _won't_ break down, and it
wouldn't matter in the least if you did. _They_ wouldn't notice
anything. And it will be such excellent practice for you to get
accustomed to a platform, too. Of _course_ she will play for you, dear
Mrs. Flittermouse!

MRS. FLITT. It will be _so_ good of you, Miss Weaver. And it won't be
like playing to a _real_ audience, you know--poor people are so easily
pleased, poor dears. Then I will put that down to begin with. (_She
makes a note._) Now we must have something quite different for the
next--a reading or something.

LADY HONOR HYNDLEGGS. A--nothin' _humorous_, I hope. I do think we ought
to avoid anythin' like descendin' to their level, don't you know.

MR. LOVEGROOVE. Might try something out of _Pickwick_. "_Bob Sawyer's
Party_," you know. Can't go far wrong with anything out of Dickens.

MISS DIOVA ROSE. Can't endure him myself. All his characters are so
fearfully common; still--(_tolerantly_) I daresay it might
amuse--a--that class of persons.

MRS FLITT. I must say I agree with Lady Honor. We should try and aim as
high as possible--and well, I think _not_ Dickens, dear Mr. Lovegroove.
_Tennyson_ might do perhaps; he's written some charmin' pieces.

MR. LOVEGR. Well, fact is, I don't go in for poetry much myself. But
I'll read anythin' of his you think I'm equal to.

MRS. FLITT. Why--a--really, it's so long since I--and I'm afraid I
haven't one of his poems in the house. I suppose they are down at
Barn-end. But I could send to Cutt and Hawthorn's. I daresay _they_
would have a copy somewhere.

MISS SIBSON-GABLER. Surely Tennyson is rather--a--retrograde? Why not
read them something to set them _thinking_? It would be an interesting
experiment to try the effect of that marvellous Last Scene in the
_Doll's House_. I'd love to read it. It would be like a breath of fresh
air to them!

MRS. P.-W. Oh, I've seen that at the Langham Hall. You remember,
Cecilia, my taking you there? And Corney Grain played _Noah_. To be
sure--we were _quite_ amused by it all.

MISS S.-G. (_coldly_). This is _not_ amusing--it's a play of Ibsen's.

MRS. FLITT. Is that the man who wrote the piece at the Criterion--what
is it, _The Toy Shop_? Wyndham acted in it.

LADY DAMP. No, no; IBSEN is the person there's been all this fuss about
in the papers--he goes in for unconventionality and all that. I may be
wrong, but I think it is _such_ a mistake to have anything
unconventional in an entertainment for the people.

MRS. FLITT. But if he's being _talked_ about, dear Lady Dampier, people
might like to know something about him. But perhaps we'd better leave
Ibsen open, then. Now, what shall we have next?

MISS SKIPWORTH. I tell you what would fetch them--a skirt-dance. I'll
dance for you--like a shot. It would be no end of fun doin' it on a
regular platform, and I've been studyin' Flossie Frillington, at the
Inanity, till I've caught her style exactly.

[Illustration: "To-night is ours!"]

MR. KEMPTON. Oh, I say, you can give her a stone and a beatin' any day,
give you my word you can. She doesn't put anythin' like the go into it
you do.

     [_MISS S. accepts this tribute with complacency._

MRS. FLITT. A skirt-dance will be the very thing. It's sure to please
the people we shall bring over for it--and of course they'll be in the
front rows. Yes, I must put _that_ down. We ought to have a song next.
Mrs. Tuberose, you promised to come and sing for us--you will, won't

MRS. TUBEROSE. Delighted! I rather thought of doing a dear little song
Stephan Otis has just brought out. It's called "_Forbidden Fruit_," and
he wrote it expressly for me. It goes like this.

     [_She sits down at the piano, and sings, with infinite
     expression and tenderness._

    "Only the moon espies our bliss,
    Through the conscious clusters of clematis,
      Shedding star-sweet showers.
    To-morrow the world will have gone amiss--
    Now I gaze in your eyes, love, I thrill to your kiss--
    So let us remember naught but this:
      That To-night is ours!
    Yes, this passionate, perilous, exquisite night--
      Is Ours!"

SEVERAL VOICES. Charmin'.... Otis puts so much real feeling into all his
songs ... quite a little gem! &c., &c.

LADY DAMP. I should have thought myself that it was rather advanced--for
an East-End audience--

MRS. TUBEROSE (_nettled_). Really, dear Lady Dampier, if people see
nothing to object in it _here_, I don't see why they should be more
particular at the East-End!

MRS. FLITT. Oh, no,--and as if it matters what the _words_ are in the
song. I daresay if one heard _their_ songs----Now we want another
song--something as different as possible.

MR. GARDINIER. Heard a capital song at the "Pav." the other
night--something about a Cock-eyed Kipper. Just suit my voice. I could
easily get the words and music, and do that for you--if you like.

SEVERAL VOICES. A Cock-eyed Kipper! It sounds too killing! Oh, we _must_
have that!

LADY DAMP. Might I ask what kind of creature a--a "Cock-eyed Kipper" may

MR. GARD. Oh, well, I suppose it's a sort of a dried herring--with a
squint, don't you know.

LADY DAMP. I see no humour in making light of a personal deformity, I
must say.

MR. GARD. Oh, don't you? _They_ will--it'll go with a scream there!

MISS DIOVA ROSE. Yes, poor dears--and we mustn't mind being just a
little vulgar for once--to cheer them up.

LADY HONOR. I have been to the Pavilion and the Tivoli myself, and I
heard nothing to object to. I know I was much more amused than I ever am
at theatres--_they_ bore me to death.

MR. BAGOTRIX. We might finish up with _Mrs. Jarley's Waxworks_, you
know. Some of you can be the figures, and I'll come on in a bonnet and
shawl as _Mrs. Jarley_, and wind you up and describe you. I've done it
at lots of places in the country; brought in personal allusions and all
that sort of thing, and made everybody roar.

LADY DAMP. But will the East-Enders understand your personal allusions?

MR. BAG. Well, you see, the people in the front rows will, which is all
_I_ want.

LADY HONOR (_suspiciously_). Isn't _Mrs. Jarley_ out of _Pickwick_,
though? That's Dickens, surely!

MR. BAG. (_reassuringly_). Nothing but the name, Lady Honor. I make up
all the patter myself, so that'll be all right--just good-natured chaff,
you know; if anybody's offended--as I've known them to be--it's no fault
of mine.

MRS. FLITT. Oh, I'm sure you will make it funny,--and about getting
someone to preside--I suppose we ought to ask the Vicar of the nearest

LADY HONOR. Wouldn't it be better to get somebody--a--more in Society,
don't you know?

MRS. FLITT. And he might offer to pay for hiring the Hall, and the other
expenses. I never thought of that. I'll see whom I can get. Really I
think it ought to be great fun, and we shall have the satisfaction of
feeling we are doing real good, which is such a comfort!




_The Sands at Baymouth, where some pony and horse races are being run.
By the Grand Stand, and under the wall of the esplanade, about a dozen
bookmakers, perched on old packing-cases, are clamouring with their
customary energy. The public, however, for some reason seems unusually
deaf to their blandishments and disinclined for speculation, and the
bookmakers, after shouting themselves hoarse with little or no result,
are beginning to feel discouraged._

BOOKMAKERS (_antiphonally_). Evens on the field! Three to one bar one!
Five to one bar two! Six to one bar one! Even money _Beeswing_! Six to
one _Popgun_! Come on 'ere. Two to one on the field! What do you want to

     [_The public apparently want to look another way._

FIRST BOOKMAKER (_to SECOND BOOKMAKER_). Not much 'ere to-day! Shawn't
get no roast baked and biled this journey, eh?

SECOND B. (_with deep disgust_). They ain't _got_ no money! Baymouth's
going down. Why, this might be a bloomin' Sunday-school treat! Blest if
I believe they know what we're 'ere _for_!

THIRD B. (_after pausing to refresh himself, sardonically to FOURTH
BOOKMAKER_). De-lightful weather, William!

WILLIAM (_in a similar tone of irony_). What a glorious day, Percy! Sech
a treat to see all the people enjoyin' theirselves without any o' the
silly speculation yer _do_ find sometimes on occasions like this! (_He
accepts the bottle his friend passes, and drinks._) 'Ere's better luck
to all!

FIFTH B. (_pathetically_). Don't leave your little Freddy out! (_They
don't leave their little FREDDY out._) Cheer up, William, there's
'appier days in store; there'll be Jersey comin' soon. We'll be orf to
the sunny south! (_To a stranger who comes up to him._) Why, Uncle, you
don't say it's you! How _well_ you're looking! Shake 'ands and 'ave a
bit on, jest for ole sake's sake! (_The stranger proceeds to introduce
himself as the Secretary, and to demand a fee._) What! pay you five
shillins for standin' 'ere wastin' my time and voice like this? Not me!
Why, I ain't took two blessed sorcepans since I bin 'ere! (_The
Secretary remains firm._) I won't do it, my boy. Not on _prinserple_, I
won't. I wouldn't give you five shillins not if your tongue was 'anging
down on to your boots--so there! (_The Secretary does not attempt so
violent an appeal to his better nature, but calls a police-inspector._)
'Ere, I'd sooner git down and chuck the show altogether; jest to mark my
contempt for such goings on! (_He descends from his box; takes down his
sign, unscrews his pole, folds up his professional triptych, and departs
in a state of virtuous indignation only to be expressed by extreme
profanity, while the Secretary proceeds unmoved to collect payments from
the others; who eventually compromise the claims for half-a-crown._)

MR. SAM SATCHELL (_"from Southampton"_). Now then, you gentlemen and
aristocratic tradesmen, where _are_ you all? Don't any o' you know
_anything_? Come on 'ere. (_He stops an elderly rustic._) You've got a
fancy, I can see! (_The rustic denies the impeachment, grinning._) Git
along with yer, yer artful ole puss, then, and don't keep gentlemen away
as wants to bet! (_To a Yeomanry trooper._) Come along, my ole
soldier-boy, give it a name! (_His old soldier-boy declines to give it
any name, and passes on._) Call yerself a warrior bold, and afraid o'
riskin' 'alf-a-crown! Why, yer Queen and country orter be ashamed o'
yer! (_As a young farmer in riding-gaiters comes up, with the evident_
_intention of business._) Ah, _you_ don't forget the old firm, I see....
What, four to one not good enough for you? You won't get no better odds,
go where you _like_! I suppose you expeck me to make you a present o'
the money? (_The farmer moves on._) I dunno what's _come_ to 'em all.
_I_ never see nothing like it in all _my_ life!

_In the Grand Stand._

A GLIB PERSON, _in a tall hat_ (_as he picks his way up and down the
benches, the occupants of which treat him with intolerant
indifference_). I'm not a bookmaker, ladies and gentlemen; don't have
that impression of me for a moment! I'm simply an amateur, and an
independent gentleman o' means, like any of yourselves. You all know
more than _I_ do. I don't come 'ere with any intention o' winning your
money--far from it. I'm wishful to settle and live among you. I may
eventually put up as your member; and, if so, when I take my place in
Parliament I shall be in a position to testify that the Baymouth people
are extremely cautious as to the manner in which they invest their money
on 'orse-racing'! Yes, I'm 'ere on beyarf of the Sporting League, just
to prove how free a meeting like this is from the evils o' gambling. I
don't come 'ere to _rob_ yer. I want yer all to win. I like to see yer
bright and shining faces around me; I like the friverolity and
reckereation and the conviverality of the thing, that's all. I'll tell
yer how it is. I've a rich ole aunt, and she puts fifty pound into my
'ands, and sez, "Jacky," she sez, "I love those dear Baymouth people,
and I want you to take this 'ere money and lay it out among 'em in
moieties, and make 'em rich and 'appy." You can see for yourselves. I've
no tickets and no parryfernalia, excep' this little pocket-book, where I
enter any bets you honour me with. Come, Miss win a pair o' those
three-and-sixpenny gloves at Chickerell's, the ex-Mayor's, to oblige
_me_! Did I tread on your corn, Sir? I assure you it was the last thing
I intended.... "You knew I'd do it afore I'd done?"... Well, Sir, if
you've sech a gift o' seeing into futoority as that, why not make
something out of it now? Three to one bar one. _Kitty I'm_ barring.
Thank _you_, Sir; 'alf-a-crown to seven and six on _Sportsman_. I tell
you candidly--you've got the winner. The favourite won't win. Now, then,
all you others, where's your Baymouth pluck? I orfered you thirty to one
_Beeswing_ last race; and you wouldn't take it. And _Beeswing_ won, and
you lost the chance o' making yer fortunes. Don't blame _me_ if the
same thing 'appens again. I'm on'y bettin', as I told you, for my own
amusement, and to get rid o' the money! (_&c._, _&c._)

MR. SAM SATCHELL (_whom the apathy of the public has apparently reduced
to a state of defiant buffoonery_). Even money _Daredevil_, you rascals!
And why the blazes don't ye take it? Come on. I'll take two little bits
o' twos that _Kitty_ don't win! Four to one against ole bread-and-butter
_Tommy_, over there in the corner! Eleven and a 'alf to three quarters
to two against _Kitty_. "What har the Wild Waves say-hay-ing?" Two
_Kitties_ to three _Daredevils_ against a bloomin' goat-chaise? On the
Baymouth Durby I'm bettin'!

_At the Close of the Last Race--Three horses have started; the favourite
has led to the turn and then bolted up the shingle, but, as the tide has
come in and almost covered the course, and the other two horses by
declining to face the water have let him in again, he wins after an
exciting finish, up to the girths in sea-water; and such bookmakers as
have succeeded in obtaining patronage are paying up with as much
cheerfulness as they can command._

FIRST BOOKMAKER (_to eager backer_). "Wait a bit, my boy, wait _a bit_,
the number hasn't gone up yet, my son. Where's your ticket--forty-two?
(_His Clerk refers to book._) That's _Squibbs_. I pay over
_winners_--not losers. (_To the public._) Come along and fetch your
money, the bullion's 'ere! (_To another backer._) What was
yours--threes? ("Fours _I_'ve got," _from his Clerk._) Why don't yer
arst for what you're entitled to, instead o' makin' me arst my clurk
what your bet was? There's your money--take it and go."

[Illustration: "Why the blazes don't ye take it?"]

     [_The backer departs wealthier but abashed._

SECOND B. I'm payin' over that 'ard-run race, gentlemen, men and 'orses
exhorsted! I'm payin' over _Susan_--dear ole Susey-hanner! who wants
their money? The Bank o' England's 'ere, gentlemen, Mr. Frankie
Fairprice and his ole friend, who's always by his side and never looses

THIRD B. (_who has had to borrow largely from his brethren to meet his
engagements_). Are you all done now? (_To the crowd._) Then I'll wish
yer good afternoon, thank ye all for yer comp'ny, but you've bin
bloomin' bad fun to-day, and you don't ketch me playin' Patience on a
monument at any more o' yer blanky sand 'oppin' 'andicaps, that's all!

     [_However, the local newspapers report next day that "A number
     of the sporting fraternity were in attendance to do business
     and apparently carried on a brisk and profitable trade"--which
     only shows how difficult it is for the casual observer to form
     an accurate opinion._




_The Omnibus is on its progress from Piccadilly to the Bank; the weather
is raw and unpleasant, and the occupants of the garden-seats on the roof
of the vehicle are--for once in a way--mostly men._

FIRST PASSENGER (_to SECOND, an acquaintance_). I see young Bashaway the
other day. (_Significantly._) Jest been to see his father, so he told

SECOND PASSENGER (_with interest_). _'Ad_ he though? And 'ow did he
_find_ him?

FIRST P. Fustrate, young JIM said; didn't know when he'd seen him
lookin' better--(_with sentiment_)--quite like his old self!

SECOND P. (_heartily_). That _is_ good 'earin', that is!
(_Reflectively._) Seems _rum_, though, come to think of it.

FIRST P. 'Ow d'yer _mean_--rum? It's no more than what yer'd expect,
bein' where he is. Look at the _air_ o' the place--there ain't a
'elthier situation all round London, to my mind!

SECOND P. No, that's right enough; and, from all I 'ear, the food's well
cooked and served reg'lar, if it _is_ plain.

FIRST P. Ah, and Bill _enjoys_ his meals now, he does--the work gives
him a appetite, and it's years, to my certain knowledge, since he done a
stroke, and o' course he ain't allowed no drink----

SECOND P. And _that's_ enough, of itself, to be the savin' of 'im, the
way he was!

FIRST P. Then, yer see, there's the reg'lar hours, and the freedom from
worry, and the like, and nothink on his mind, and the place with every
sanitary improvement and that--why, he owns his own self it's bin the
makin' of 'im. And from what young Jim was a tellin' me, it appears that
if Bill goes on gittin' good-conduck marks at the rate he's doin',
there'll be a nice little sum doo to 'im when he's done his time at
Wormwood Scrubs.

SECOND P. (_sympathetically_). Well, and that makes suthin' to look
forward to, don't it, when he _does_ git let out. Talkin' o' that,
you've known 'im longer 'n what I 'ave. Do you 'appen to know what it
was as he got inter trouble _for_?

FIRST P. (_with the consciousness of superior delicacy_). Lor' bless
yer, I never thought o' arskin' 'im the question.

SECOND P. (_with feeble self-assertion under this implied rebuke_).
Well, it all depends on 'ow yer _put_ a question o' that sort.

     [_He is silent for the remainder of the journey._

Trafalgar Square_). Pretty these 'ere fountains look, with the water
playin', don't they?

The CONTRADICIOUS PASSENGER. The fountings are well enough, if it wasn't
fur the water--norsty messy stuff, I call it.

The CHATTY P. (_abandoning the fountains_). It's wonderful what an
amount o' traffic there is in the Strand, ain't it?

CONTRAD. P. Nothink to what it was forty years ago!

     [_His neighbour, not feeling in a position to deny it,

The DRIVER (_to a PASSENGER WITH A BADGE, immediately behind him_). 'Ow
is it you're orf yer keb to-day, Bob? Taking a day orf, or what?

The PASSENGER WITH A BADGE. Not much. Goin' up to Bow Street to gimmy
evidence in a collision case--that's all.

DRIVER (_dubiously_). Bow Street! Ain't that rorther shovin' yer 'ed in
the lion's mouth, eh?

The P. WITH A B. (_with virtuous serenity_). Not _it_! What ha' they got
agen me all the time I bin licensed? Only three drunks and a loiter!

The CHATTY P. (_returning to the charge_). Orful state the roads are in
with all this mud! I s'pose that's the London County Council, eh?

The CONTRAD. P. London Kayounty Kayouncil! No, it ain't--nothink o' the
sort! I'll _tell_ yer 'oo it is, if yer want to know; it's Gladstone!

The CHATTY P. (_mildly surprised, but glad to have discovered common
ground_). I see you're a Conservative--like myself.

The CONTRAD. P. That's jest where you're _wrong_! I ain't no
Conservative, nor yet I don't want none o' Gladstone neither. I'm a
Radikil, _I_ am. John Burns and Ben Tillett--that's _my_ lot!

The CHATTY P. (_reluctantly relinquishing politics_). Ah, well, every
man's got a right to form his own opinions, ain't he?

The CONTRAD. P. No, he _ain't_--not if he goes and forms _wrong_ 'uns!
(_A pause._) 'Ave yer got the time about yer?

The CHATTY P. (_accepting this as a sign of softening_). I'm sorry to
say I come out without my watch this morning, or else----But there's
plenty o' clocks about as'll tell yer.

The CONTRAD. P. (_with intense disdain_). Clocks! You don't ketch _me_
trusting no clocks--with no two of 'em alike!

The CHATTY P. (_as they pass a well-known watchmaker's_). Well, 'ow
about that clock with the figgers? Won't _that_ do yer? They set it to
Grinnidge time every hour, so it's bound to be right!

The CONTRAD. P. (_as descends_). There yer _are_! Think I'd put my faith
in a clock as 'as to be set right every hour? 'Tain't _likely_! Good-day
to yer!

The CHATTY P. So long! (_To himself._) A pleasant feller enough, I
dessay, if you leave the subjec' to _'im_!

DRIVER (_to smart HANSOM CABMAN_). Now then, outer the way with that
'ere 'Ackney keb o' yours!

HANSOM CABMAN (_with hauteur_). As it 'appens, it _ain't_ a 'Ackney
cab--it's a private kerridge, this is!

DRIVER. Ah, I might ha' known _you_ was a hammytoor by yer silly
hasslike method o' conducting yer business! [_Drives on triumphant._

No, I don't want no 'Ome Rule, nor yet no Parish Counsels, nor nothink
o' _that_. What _I_ wanter see interdooced 'ere is Tereenial Porliments.

The KNOWLEDGABLE PASSENGER (_with respect_). Tereenial Parliments? I
don't know as I've 'eard o' _them_.

The POL. P. Ain't yer? Well, they're what we _want_. Why, they've 'ad
'em in America, they've ad 'em in Ostralia, they've 'ad 'em in Orstria;
and everywhere, mind yer, _everywhere_ they've been in operation they've
turned out a success!

The KN. P. Then it's 'igh time _we_ 'ad 'em. _What_ is it they're
called, again?

The POL. P. Tee-reen-ial Porliments. It stands to _reason_ they work
well. There they _are_, a settin' eight months in the year fur seven
year on end--somethink's _bound_ to come of it! I'd like to see any o'
_our_ lot settin' like that! It's a pity we don't take more pattern by
America in our law-makin'.

[Illustration: "Thash where 'tis, yer come on me too late!"]

The KN. P. Except in our criminal law. Why, I've 'eard there's States
out there where a man may go and commit a crime, d'ye see, and once he
gits across the boundary from one State into another--like as it might
be a line across this 'ere street like, d'ye see--once he's over that,
they can't do nothink to 'im!

The POL. P. (_thoughtfully_). Ah, that wouldn't never do '_ere_, that

     [_The CONDUCTOR comes up to collect fares._

CONDUCTOR (_to a SLEEPY PASSENGER in a corner_). Now then, fare, please?

The SLEEPY PASSENGER (_with manly regret_). I ain't gorrit, ole pal. If
yer'd asht me jes' two minutes afore I gorrup, I could ha' done it for
yer, but I took jes' anorrer glash an' blued th' lot. No man can say I
don' part s'long's I gorrer _money_; no freehandeder man anywheresh'n
wharri am; but yer come on me too late. (_Shaking his head
reproachfully._) Thash where 'tis, yer come on me too late!

COND. 'Ere, I ain't goin' to stand no nonsense! If yer 'aven't got the
money, git down orf o' my bus, and quick, too!

The SL. P. Ged _down_? An' _quick_! You wouldn' tor' li' that if you'd
sheen wharrer bloomin' 'ard job I 'ad to get _up_! [_He resumes his

COND. (_passing on, softened_). I can't go and break the beggar's neck
for tuppence, and he's got it somewhere about him, as likely as not.
(_To a LITIGIOUS PASSENGER._) Tuppence is the fare, Sir, if _you_

The LITIGIOUS PASSENGER. One penny is the legal fare, and all I intend
to pay. I know the law!

COND. And so do I. It's wrote up tuppence inside the bus. If yer ain't
going to pay more, yer'd better git down; ye've 'ad over your penn'orth

The LITIG. P. (_with spirit_). I decline to get down. I insist on being
taken to the Bank for my penny.

COND. Oh, _do_ yer? We'll see about that.

     [_He stops the 'bus and calls a CONSTABLE, to whom he briefly
     explains the situation._

CONSTABLE (_pacifically, from below, to the LITIG. P._). Come, Sir,
don't block the traffic, like this 'ere! Either pay the man his fare or
get down--one of the two.

The LITIG. P. (_from the roof_). I have a legal right to remain here if
I like!

CONST. That may be, Sir; but if you do, this man can summons you that's

The LITIG. P. (_warming with the joy of battle_). That's just what I
_want_ him to do! Can't I _make_ him summon me?

COND. (_disgusted_). 'Ere, 'ang it all! _do_ yer think I'm goin' to cart
you 'arf over London fur a penny, and throw yer in the luxury of a
lawsoot? 'Ere's yer penny back, and I give yer the ride free, _there_!

The LITIG. P. (_accepting the penny, and descending with dignity_). Very
well; and let me tell you this, it was just as well you gave way when
you did, for I was quite prepared to carry the case to the House of

COND. Ah! and I s'pose yer think yer'd git _there_ for a penny?

     [_The Omnibus goes on before the LITIGIOUS PERSON has time to
     think over such an obvious repartee as asking the CONSTABLE to
     take the man's number._



_A Yard. In the open space between the rows of pens the AUCTIONEER is
trying to dispose of some horses which are trotted out one by one in the
usual fashion._

THE AUCTIONEER (_spectacled, red-bearded, canny, slightly Arcadian touch
imparted by straw hat, and a sprig of heather in his button-hole_).
What'll I say for this, noo? (_A horse of a meditative mien is just
brought in._) Here's a beast, and a very good beast, from Lochaber!
(_The bystanders remain unmoved._) He was bred by Meester MacFarlane, o'
Drumtappit, and ye'll all ha' haird on him as the biggest breeder in
these pairts. (_Heads are shaken, so much as to intimate that this
particular animal does not do Mr. MacFarlane justice._) Trot him up an'
doon a bit, boy, and show his action--stan' away back there! _(With
affected concern_.) Don't curb him so tight--be careful now, or ye'll do
meeschief to yourself an' others! (_As the horse trots past them,_
_several critics slap it disrespectfully on the hind-quarters--a liberty
which it bears with meekness._) There's a pace for ye--he's a guid
woorker, a gran' beast--hoo much shall we say for him? (_Nobody seems
able to express his appreciation of the grand beast in figures._) Just
to stairt ye then--twenty poon! (_Even the animal himself appears
slightly staggered by this sum; bystanders are quietly derisive;
AUCTIONEER climbs rapidly down without interruption till he reaches six
pounds, when he receives his first bid._) Sex poon' is bed for 'm--is
there ony advance on sex poon? (_Someone in the background:--"Fefteen
shellin'!"_) Sex-fefteen--noo, Meester McRobbie, wull ye no luik this
way? (_MR. MCR. responds by a decided negative._) Ye won't? Ah, I never
got ony guid from ye--'cept when I didn't meet ye. (_This piece of
Scotch "wut" raises a laugh at MR. MCR.'S expense, but does not affect
the bidding, which still languishes._) Then, he's going at
sex-fefteen--for the last time. Whaur's my bedder at sex-fefteen?
(_Repentance or modesty prevents the bidder from coming forward, and the
AUCTIONEER continues, more in grief than anger._) Eh, this is too bad
noo--I'll thank no man for making me a bed, 'cept those that are meant
in airnest. No one bed onything for a beast like this! Then I hae to
tell ye ye've not bed near up to the resairve price on it. (_Suddenly
becomes weary of the animal._) Tak' it awa'. (_The next horse is led
in._) Now, here's a beast that's well-known, I'm thenkin'. (_The general
expression signifies that its reputation is not altogether to its
credit._) There's a well-bred mare--open up, and let her show hersel'.
(_The mare is shown, but fails to excite competition._) Ah, ye'll ony
buy screws to-day, an' not the nice things at a'--tak' her away. (_The
mare is taken out ignominiously; AUCTIONEER, followed by crowd, leads
the way to where a pony and trap are standing harnessed._) Noo, I'm gaun
to pit up the pony an' van--just show them hoo she goes in hairness,
boy. (_To intrusive collie._) Out of the way, dug, in case ye get your
feet smashed. (_Trap starts off, and is driven out of sight._) Whaur's
the laddie gaun ta? Thenks he'll show himsel' at Nairn, maybe! Ah, here
she comes. (_Trap returns at a modest pace._) Stan' back, noo, all of
ye; give her room. I'll sell the mare first, and a beauty she is--what
shell we say? Ten poons--and she's a nice one! Well, stairt her at five,
she may get up. (_Bidding gets up to ten pounds, where it stops._) Then
she goes at ten, and I'm very glad she's gaun to a gude auld friend o'
mine--Meester McKenzie, o' Glenbannock. Wull ye say five mair, and take
the hairness, Meester McKenzie? It's _richt_ hairness! (_MR. MCK.
declines to be tempted._) Well, I'm sorry ye wull na, I'd ha liked
(_sentimentally, as if it had been the dream of his life_) for the mare
an' the hairness to go togither and no to pairt them--but as 'tis, it
canna be helped. We'll pass on to the pegs, if you please. (_Passes to a
row of pens containing pigs, and mounts some planks placed along the
top._) Now, these are some proper pegs. (_A rush is made for the rails
enclosing the pigs, which instantly become self-conscious and redouble
their grunts._) Noo, laddies, laddies, it's no fair o' ye taking up a'
the room i' that way. I'm quite sure there's a lot o' ye in front that's
no buying pegs--ye hanna the luik o' pairsons that buy pegs. Stan' by
for shame, and don't keep them that comes to buy, where they canna see
sae much as a tail. Hoo much apiece for these palefaced pegs? Ye've an
awfu' guid view o' them there, Mr. Ferguson,---luik this way once again
for forrty and threepence. (_Persuasively._) It'll soun' better wi' the
threepence. Gaun' for forty an' three. (_The owner of the pigs calls out
"No!"_) I thocht I made a law here that people having pegs should gie me
the resairve at the time--see what ye do now, Peter MacPhairson, make a
fule of the buyers and a fule o' mysel'!--but (_with tolerant contempt_)
Peter is not a strong man, we must no be haird on Peter. (_Roar from
crowd;_ _disappearance of MR. MACPH._) I'll cancel no more sales that
way, however, as I eentimate to ye once for a'.

'ARRY (_on tour from Town--to his admiring friend_). I say, Charley,
what d'yer bet I don't talk to some of these chaps in their own lingo?

CHARLEY. What a fellow you are! Mind what you are about, that's all.

'ARRY (_going up to an elderly person in the only Scotch cap visible_).
Hech, Sair, but yon's a braw bonnie wee bit piggie fur a body to tak' a
richt gude wullie waucht wi' gin ye meet him comin' thro' the rye!

The PERSON IN THE SCOTCH CAP (_who happens to be a retired Colonel in a
Highland Regiment, who is somewhat careless in his attire_). I think you
will find that sort of thing better appreciated after you've got home.

     [_'ARRY returns to CHARLEY, feeling much smaller than he allows
     his friend to perceive._




_An airless Court in a London back Street. TIME--August._

JIMMY (_aged eight, to Florrie, aged seven_). No, I ain't comin' to the
Reckereation Groun', not jess yit, I carn't.... I'm goin' ter wyte about
'ere till the lidy comes.... Why, 'er as is comin' to see my Muvver
'bout sendin' me fur a fortnight in the kerntry.... Yus, where I was
larst year.... It's settled as I'm ter go agine--leastways as _good_ as
settled. My Farver 'e've sent in a happlication to the K'mitty, and
Teacher 'e sez 'e kin reckermend me, an' Mr. and Mrs. Delves--them as
'ad the cottidge where I went afore--they've arst fur to 'ave me
agin--so you see, Florrie, it's all _right_. On'y I carn't settle to
nuffink afore I know when I'm goin', an' about the trine an' that. Yer
'ave to roide in a trine to git to the kerntry, yer know.... Wot, ain't
yer never bin there?... Yer'd wanter fawst enough if yer knoo what it
was loike.... There's grorss there, an' trees an' that.... Na-ow, a
_lot_ better 'n the Reckereation Groun'--that's all mide outer old
grivestones as the deaders 'as done wiv. There's 'ills an' bushes an'
'edges where yer can pick flowers.... There ain't no perlice to _git_
yer locked up.... An' everyfink smells so lovelly, kinder 'elthy
like--it mikes yer feel 'ungry.... Not like sassages an' inions
azackly--'tain't that sorter smell.... On'y 'ere and there, an' yer'd
'ardly tell they _was_ shops, they kerry 'em on that quoiet.... Yer
wouldn' call it poky if yer was there. Mr. Delves 'e _was_ a kind man,
'e was; mide me a whistle out a sickermore brornch, 'e did; and Mrs.
Delves, she lemme help her feed the chickings.... They 'ad a garding
beyind, an' there'd bin rasberries an' gooseberries a growin' on
bushes--strite, there 'ad--I ain't tellin' yer no lies--on'y they was
all gone by then. An' they 'ad a dog--Rover _'is_ nime was--'e was a
koind dog, lemme lay insoide of 'is kennel orfen, 'e would.... I'd like
ter 'ave a run over thet Common agen, too. I dessay as I shell--p'reps
the d'y arter to-morrer.... There's a pond on it, an' geese, an' they
comes at yer a stritching out their necks an' a-'issin' thet
sevidge.... Na-ow, yer've on'y got ter walk up to 'em, an' they goes
orf, purtendin' they took yer fur somebody else, an' wasn't meanin' no
offence. I ain't afride o' no geese, I ain't--nor yet Lily wasn't
neither. We sor a pig 'aving a ring put froo 'is nose one day. 'E
'ollered out like 'e was bein' killed--but 'e wasn't. An' there was a
blecksmiff's, where they put the 'orse's shoes on red 'ot, 'an the 'orse
'e never took no notice. Me and Lily used ter go fur long walks, all
under trees. Once she showed me a squill--"squerl" _she_ kep' a-calling
of it, till I tole 'er 'ow--an' it run up a tree zigzag, and jumped on
to another ever so fur. That was when we was pickin' nuts. We went a
blackberryin', too, one day.... Na-ow, there warn't nobody dead. An'
Lily ... Lily Delves 'er nime was, b'longed to them I was stoppin'
wiv.... I didn't notice partickler.... Older nor you, an' bigger, and
lots redder 'bout the cheeks.... She wasn't a bad sort--fur a gal.... I
dunno; I liked _all_ on 'em.... Well, there was Farmer Furrows, 'e was
very familiar, said as 'ow I might go inter 'is horchard and pick the
happles up as was layin' there jest fur the askin'. An' Bob Rumble, 'im
as druv Mr. Kennister the grocer's cart, 'e used ter gimme a roide along
of 'im when 'e was tikin' round porcels an' that. We'd go along lanes
that 'igh yer couldn't see nuffink fur leaves; and once 'e druv along a
Pork with tremenjus big trees in it, an' stagses walkin' about
underneath with grite big 'orns.... Suthink like 'im as is drawed
outside the public round the corner--on'y they warn't none o' them gold.
I 'speck them gold ones is furrin'.... An' the grub--we 'ad beekstike
pudd'n o' Sundays, an' as much bread an' treacle every day as ever I
could eat, and I _was_ 'ungry when I was in the kerntry.... An' when I
come away Mrs. Delves, she gethered me a big noseguy fur to tike 'ome to
Muvver--kissantimums, merrigoles, an' dyliers, all sorts there was--an'
Murver she put 'em in a jug, and soon as ever I shet my eyes an'
sniffed, I could see that garding and Rover and Lily as _pline_--but
they went bad, an' 'ad to be froed aw'y at larst. I shall see 'em all
agine very soon now, though, won't thet be proime, eh?... Whatsy? 'Ere,
Florrie, you ain't _croying_, are yer?... Why don't yer arsk yer Farver
if 'e won't let _you_ go.... Oh, I thought as yer _wanted_ to go. Then
what _are_ yer----?... No, I ain't gled to git aw'y from you....
A-course I shell be gled to see 'er; but that ain't why, it's
jest----You ain't never bin in the kerntry, or you'd know 'ow I'm
feelin'.... There's the lidy comin' now. I must cut across an' 'ear
what she sez to Muvver. Don' tike on--'tain't o'ny fur a fortnight,
anyway.... Look 'ere, I got suthink' for yer, Florrie, bought it orf a
man what 'ad a tray on 'em--it's a wornut, d'ye see? Now open it--ain't
them two little choiner dolls noice, eh?... I'd rorther you 'ad it nor
'er, strite, I would!... I'll be back in a minnit.

[Illustration: "'Ere, Florrie, you ain't _croying_, are _yer_?"]

_After an Interval of Twenty-four Hours._

No, _I_ ain't bin nowhere particular.... Settled? yus, it's all settled
'bout me goin' ter the kerntry.... To-morrer? no, I ain't goin'
_to-morrer_.... Nex' week? not as I _knows_ on.... You wanter know sech
a _lot_, you do!... If I _do_ tell yer, you'll on'y go an' larf....
Well, I ain't goin' at all--_now_ I 'ope you're pleased.... What's the
good o' bein' _sorry_?... Oh, I don't keer much, I don't.... Set down on
this step alonger me, then, and don't you go saying nuffink, or I'll
stop tellin' of yer.... You remember me goin' in yes'day arternoon to
'ear what the lidy said? Well, when I got in, I 'eard 'er s'y, "Yus,
it'll be a great disappintment for '_im_, pore boy," she sez, "arter
lookin' forward to it an' all; but it can't be 'elped." And Muvver, she
sez, "'Is Farver'll be sorry, too; it done Jimmy ser much good larst
time. 'E can't pay not more nor 'arf-a-crownd a week towards it, but he
can manage that, bein' in work jess now." But the lidy sez, "It's this
w'y," she sez, "it costis us neelly arf a suffering over what the parint
pays fur each child, and we ain't got the fun's fur to send more 'n a
few, cos the Public don' suscroibe ser much as they might," she sez.
"An' so this year we're on'y sending children as is delikit, an' reelly
_wants_ a chinge." So yer see, I ain't a goin'. I dunno as I'm delikit;
but I _do_ want the kerntry _orful_ bad, I do. I wish I never 'adn't bin
there at all 'cos then preps I shouldn' mind. An' yit I'm gled I bin,
too. I dreamt about it larst night, Florrie, I did. I was a-settin' on
this 'ere step, sime as I am now, an' it was 'ot an' stoiflin', like it
is; an' all of a suddink I see Mr. Kennister's' cart wiv the grey 'orse
turn into our court an' pull up hoppersite, an' Bob Rumble 'e was
a-driving on it. An' 'e sez, "Jump up!" 'e sez, "an' I'll tike yer back
to Mr. Delves's cottidge." And I sez, "May Florrie come too?" An' 'e
sez, "Yus, both on yer." So up we gits, and we was droivin' along the
lanes, and I was showin' yer the squills an' the stagses, an' jes as we
come to the turn where yer kin see the cottidge----Well, I don'
remember no more on it. But it was a noice dream so far as I got wiv it,
an' if I 'adn't never bin there, I couldn' ha' dreamt it, _could_ I,
eh? An', like as not, I'll dream the rest on it anuvver night.... An'
you must try an' dream your share, too, Florrie. It'll be a'most like
bein' in the kerntry in a sort o' w'y fur both on us, won't it?


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added vividness to the exhilarating raciness of the author's humour.

_The volumes are sold separately as under:--_

    HANDLEY CROSS; or, Mr. Jorrock's
    Hunt. With 67 Text and 12 Page
    Illustrations and Coloured Frontispiece.
    Price 7_s._ 6_d._

    ASK MAMMA; or, The Richest Commoner
    In England. With 51 Text
    and 8 Page Illustrations and Coloured
    Frontispiece. Price 6_s._

    60 Text and 8 Page Illustrations and
    Coloured Frontispiece. Price 6_s._

    Text and 8 Page Illustrations and
    Coloured Frontispiece. Price 6_s._

    With 46 Text and 8 Page Illustrations
    and Coloured Frontispiece.
    Price 6_s._

    HAWBUCK GRANGE; or, The Sporting
    Adventures of Thomas Scott,
    Esquire. With 28 Text and 8 Page
    Illustrations and Coloured Frontispiece.
    Price 4_s._ 6_d._




5 Volumes, Large Crown 8vo, gilt top, price 25s.

     "Mr. Burnand's Writings are well worth collecting. He has
     produced a very large body of comic writing of a high order of
     merit, and the amount of it that is first-rate is considerable.
     There is a perpetual gaiety and airiness about his work which
     makes it always pleasant to dip into, and few humorists have
     the power of making their readers laugh so agreeably, so
     innocently, so often, and so much."--_Athenæum._

_The Volumes are sold separately as under:_

Price 5s. each.


    _With 160 "Punch" Illustrations_.


    _With 116 "Punch" Illustrations_.


    _With 108 "Punch" Illustrations_.


    _With 110 Illustrations_.


    _With 115 "Punch" Illustrations_.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Puppets at Large - Scenes and Subjects from Mr Punch's Show" ***

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