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Title: Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 109, September 7, 1895
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 109, September 7, 1895" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 109.

SEPTEMBER 7, 1895.



THAT POOR PENNY DREADFUL!

["Is the 'Penny Dreadful' and its influence so very dreadful, I
wonder?"--JAMES PAYN.]

  Alas! for the poor "Penny Dreadful"!
  They say if a boy gets his head-full
      Of terrors and crimes,
      _He_ turns pirate--sometimes;
  Or of horrors, at least, goes to bed full.

  Now _is_ this according to Cocker?
  Of Beaks one would not be a mocker,
      But _do_ many lads
      Turn thieves or foot-pads,
  Through reading the cheap weekly Shocker?

  Such literature is _not_ healthy;
  But _does_ it make urchins turn stealthy
      Depleters of tills,
      Destroyers of wills,
  Or robbers of relatives wealthy?

  I have gloated o'er many a duel,
  I've heard of DON PEDRO the Cruel:
      Heart pulsing at high rate,
      I've read how my Pirate
  Gave innocent parties their gruel.

  Yet I have ne'er felt a yearning
  For stabbing, or robbing, or burning.
      No highwayman clever
      And handsome, has ever
  Induced _me_ to take the wrong turning!

  A lad who's a natural "villing,"
  When reading of robbing and killing
      _May_ feel wish to do so;
      But SHEPPARD--like CRUSOE--
  To your average boy's only "thrilling."

  Ah! thousands on Shockers have fed full,
  And yet _not_ of crimes got a head-full.
      Let us put down the vile,
      Yet endeavour the while,
  To be _just_ to the poor "Penny Dreadful"!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EVIDENT.

_George._ "EH--HE'S A BIG 'UN; AIN'T HE, JACK?"

_Minister_ (_overhearing_). "YES, MY LAD; BUT IT'S NOT WITH EATING AND
DRINKING!"

_Jack._ "I'LL LAY IT'S NOT ALL WI' FASTIN' AN' PRAYIN'!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FOR WHEEL OR WOE.

The Rural District Council at Chester resolved recently to station
men on the main roads leading into the city to count the number
of cyclists, with a view to estimating what revenue would accrue
from a cycle tax. Extremely high and public-spirited of the Chester
authorities to take the matter up. These dwellers by the Dee ought to
adopt as their motto, "The wheel has come full cycle."

       *       *       *       *       *

"WHO IS SYLVIA?"--An opera, from the pen of Dr. JOSEPH PARRY, the
famous Welsh composer, entitled _Sylvia_, has been successfully
produced at the Cardiff Theatre Royal. The _libretto_ is by Mr.
FLETCHER and Mr. MENDELSSOHN PARRY, the _maestro's_ son, so that the
entire production is quite _parry-mutuel_.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RAILWAY RACE.

[Illustration]

A new British sport has arisen, or rather has, after a seven years'
interval, been revived within the last week or so, and the British
sporting reporter, so well-known for his ready supply of vivid and
picturesque metaphor, has, as usual, risen to the occasion. That large
and growing class of sedentary "sportsmen," whose athletic proclivities
are confined to the perusal of betting news, have now a fresh item
of interest to discuss in the performances of favourite and rival
locomotives. More power has been added to the elbows of the charming
and vociferous youths, who push their way through the London streets
with the too familiar cry of "Win-nerr!" (which, by the way, has quite
superseded that of "Evening Piper!"). And the laborious persons who
assiduously compile "records" have enough work to do to keep pace with
their daily growing collection. Even the mere "Man in the Street" knows
the amount of rise in the Shap Fell and Potter's Bar gradients, though
possibly, if you cross-question him, he could not tell you where they
are. However, the great daily and evening papers are fully alive to the
occasion, and the various sporting "Majors" and "Prophets" are well to
the fore with such "pars" as the following:--

Flying Buster, that smart and rakish yearling from the Crewe stud, was
out at exercise last evening with a light load of eighty tons, and did
some very satisfactory trials.

       *       *       *       *       *

Invicta, the remarkably speedy East Coast seven-year-old, made a very
good show in her run from Grantham to York yesterday. She covered the
80-1/2 miles in 78 minutes with Driver TOMKINS up, and a weight of some
120 tons, without turning a hair. She looked extremely well-trained,
and I compliment her owners on her appearance.

       *       *       *       *       *

Really something ought to be done with certain of the Southern
starters. I will name no names, but I noticed one the other day whose
pace was more like thirty hours a mile than thirty miles an hour. I
have heard of donkey-engines, and this one would certainly win a donkey
race.

       *       *       *       *       *

These long-distance races are, no doubt, excellent tests for the
strength and stamina of our leading cross-country "flyers," but I
must enter a protest against the abnormally early hours at which the
chief events are now being pulled off. A sporting reporter undergoes
many hardships for the good of the public, but not the least is the
disagreable duty of being in at the finish at Aberdeen, say at 4.55
A.M. The famous midnight steeple-chase was nothing to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was some very heavy booking last night at Euston, and Puffing
Billy the Second was greatly fancied. He has much finer action and
bigger barrel than his famous sire, not to mention being several hands
higher. It is to be hoped that he will not turn out a roarer, like the
latter.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are dark rumours abroad that the King's Cross favourite has been
got at. She was in the pink of condition two days ago; but when I saw
her pass at Peterborough to-day, she was decidedly touched in the wind.
The way she laboured along was positively distressing. Besides, she was
sweating and steaming all over.

       *       *       *       *       *

I will wire my prophecies for to-day as soon as I know the results.

THE SHUNTER.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST."

_Hackney_ (_to Shire Horse_). "LOOK HERE, FRIEND DOBBIN, I'LL BE SHOD
IF THEY WON'T DO AWAY WITH US ALTOGETHER SOME OF THESE DAYS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PICKINGS FROM PICARDY.

AFTER THE PROCESSION. A SOLO BY GRAND-PÈRE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY "COPPER."

(_After Wordsworth's "Character of the Happy Warrior."_)

[Sir JOHN BRIDGE, at Bow Street, bidding farewell to Detective-Sergeant
PARTRIDGE, retiring after thirty years' service, described the virtues
of the perfect policeman. He must be "absolutely without fear," "gentle
and mild in manner," and utterly free from "swagger," &c., &c.]

  Who is the happy "Copper"? Who is he

  Whom every Man in Blue should wish to be?

  --It is the placid spirit, who, when brought

  Near drunken men, and females who have fought,

  Surveys them with a glance of sober thought;

  Whose calm endeavours check the nascent fight,

  And "clears the road" from watchers fierce and tight.

  Who, doomed to tramp the slums in cold or rain,

  Or put tremendous traffic in right train,

  _Does_ it, with plucky heart and a cool brain;

  In face of danger shows a placid power,

  Which is our human nature's highest dower;

  Controls crowds, roughs subdues, outwitteth thieves,

  Comforts lost kids, yet ne'er a tip receives

  For objects which he would not care to state.

  Cool-headed, cheery, and compassionate;

  Though skilful with his fists, of patience sure
  ,
  And menaced much, still able to endure.

  --'Tis he who is Law's vassal; who depends

  Upon that Law as freedom's best of friends;

  Whence, in the streets where men are tempted still
  By fine superfluous pubs to swig and swill

  Drink that in quality is not the best,

  The Perfect Bobby brings cool reason's test

  To shocks and shindies, and street-blocking shows;

  Men argue, women wrangle,--Bobby _knows_!

  --Who, conscious of his power of command

  Stays with a nod, and checks with lifted hand,

  And bids this van advance, that cab retire,

  According to his judgment and desire;

  Who comprehends his trust, and to the same

  Keeps true with stolid singleness of aim;

  And therefore does not stoop nor lie in wait

  For beery guerdon, or for bribery's bait;

  Thieves he must follow; should a cab-horse fall,

  A lost child bellow, a mad woman squall,

  His powers shed peace upon the sudden strife,

  And crossed concerns of common civic life,

  A constant influence, a peculiar grace;

  But who, if he be called upon to face

  Some awful moment of more dangerous kind,

  Shot that may slay, explosion that may blind,

  Is cool as a cucumber; and attired

  In the plain blue earth's cook-maids have admired,

  Calm, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law,

  Fearless, unswaggering, and devoid of "jaw."

  Or if some unexpected call succeed

  To fire, flood, fight, he's equal to the need;

  --He who, though thus endowed with strength and sense,

  To still the storm and quiet turbulence,

  Is yet a soul whose master bias leans

  To home-like pleasures and to jovial scenes;

  And though in rows his valour prompt to prove,

  Cooks and cold mutton share his manly love:--

  'Tis, finally, the man, who, lifted high

  On a big horse at some festivity,

  Conspicuous object in the people's eye,

  Or tramping sole some slum's obscurity,

  Who, with a beat that's quiet, or "awful hot,"

  Prosperous or want-pinched, to his taste or not,

  Plays, in the many games of life, that one

  In which the Beak's approval may be won;

  And which may earn him, when he quits command,

  Good, genial, Sir JOHN BRIDGE'S friendly shake o' the hand.

  Whom neither knife nor pistol can dismay,

  Nor thought of bribe or blackmail can betray:

  Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
  Looks forward, persevering, to the last,

  To be with PARTRIDGE, ex-detective, class'd:

  Who, whether praised by bigwigs of the earth,

  Or object of the Stage's vulgar mirth,

  Plods on his bluchered beat, cool, gentle, game,

  And leaves _somewhere_ a creditable name;

  Finds honour in his cloth and in his cause,

  And, when he dips into retirement, draws

  His country's gratitude, the Bow Street Beak's applause:

  This is the happy "Copper"; this is he

  Whom every Man in Blue should wish to be.

       *       *       *       *       *

"TWENTY MINUTES ON THE CONTINENT."

(_By Our Own Intrepid Explorer._)

"I tell you what you want," said my friend SAXONHURST. "You find your
morning dumb-bells too much for you, and complain of weakness--you
ought to get a blow over to France."

[Illustration]

The gentleman who made the suggestion is a kind guardian of my health.
He is not a doctor, although I believe he did "walk the hospitals" in
his early youth, but knows exactly what to advise. As a rule, when I
meet him he proposes some far-a-field journey. "What!" he exclaims,
in a tone of commiseration; "got a bad cold! Why not trot over to
Cairo? The trip would do you worlds of good." I return: "No doubt it
would, but I havn't the time." At the mere suggestion of "everyone's
enemy," SAXONHURST roars with laughter. He is no slave to be bound by
time. He has mapped out any number of pleasant little excursions that
can be carried out satisfactorily during that period known to railway
companies (chiefly August and September) as "the week's end." He has
discovered that within four-and-twenty hours you can thoroughly "do"
France, and within twice that time make yourself absolutely conversant
with the greater part of Spain. So when he tells me that I want "a blow
over" to the other side of the Channel, I know that he is proposing no
lengthy proceedings.

"About twenty minutes or so on the continent will soon set you to
rights," continues SAXONHURST, in a tone of conviction. "Just you
trust to the London, Chatham and Dover Railway and they will pull you
through. Keep your eye on the 9 A.M. Express from Victoria and you will
never regret it."

Farther conversation proved to me that it was well within the resources
of modern civilization to breakfast comfortably in Belgravia, lunch
sumptuously at Calais, and be back in time for a cup of (literally)
five o'clock tea at South Kensington. Within eight hours one could
travel to the coast, cross the silver streak twice, call upon the
Gallic _douane_, test the _cuisine_ of the _buffet_ attached to the
Hôtel Terminus, and attend officially Mrs. ANYBODY'S "last Any-day." It
seemed to be a wonderful feat, and yet when I came to perform it, it
was as easy as possible.

There is no deception at 9 A.M. every morning at the Victoria Station.
A sign-post points out the Dover Boat Express, and tells you at the
same time whether you are to have the French-flagged services of the
_Invicta_ and the _Victoria_, or sail under the red ensign of the
_Calais-Douvres_. Personally, I prefer the latter, as I fancy it is
the fastest of the speedy trio. Near to the board of information is a
document heavy with fate. In it you can learn whether the sea is to
be "smooth," "light," "moderate," or "rather rough." If you find that
your destiny is one of the two last mentioned, make up your mind for
breezy weather, with its probable consequences. Of course, if you can
face the steward with cheerful unconcern in a hurricane, you will have
nothing to fear. But if you find it necessary to take chloral before
embarking (say) on the Serpentine in a dead calm, then beware of the
trail of the tempest, and the course of the coming storm. If a man who
is obliged to go on insists that "it will be all right," take care, and
beware. "Trust him not," as the late LONGFELLOW poetically suggested,
as it is quite within the bounds of possibility that he may be "fooling
thee." But if the meteorological report points to "set fair," then
away with all idle apprehensions, and hie for the first-class smoking
compartment, that stops not until it gets to Dover pier, for the pause
at Herne Hill scarcely counts for anything.

As you travel gaily along through the suburbs of Surrey and the hops of
Kent, you have just time to glance from your comfortable cushioned seat
at "beautiful Battersea," "salubrious Shortlands," "cheerful Chatham,"
"smiling Sittingbourne," "favoured (junction for Dover and Ramsgate)
Faversham," and last, but not least, "cathedral-cherishing Canterbury."
You hurry through the quaint old streets of "the Key to Brompton" (I
believe that is the poetical _plus_ strategical designation of the
most warlike of our cinque ports), and in two twos you are on board
the _Calais-Douvres_, bound for the _buffet_ of _buffets_, the pride
of the caterer's craft, or rather (to avoid possible misapprehension)
his honourable calling. The Channel is charming. This marvellous twenty
miles of water is as wayward as a woman. At one time it will compel
the crews of the steamers to appear in complete suits of oil-skin; at
another it is as smooth as a billiard-table, and twice as smiling. The
report at Victoria has not been misleading. We are to have a pleasant,
and consequently prosperous passage.

On board I find a goodly company of lunchers. Mr. Recorder BUNNY,
Q.C., sedate and silent--once the terror of thieves of all classes,
and ruffians of every degree, now partly in retreat. Then there is the
MACSTORM, C.B., warrior and novelist. Foreign affairs are represented
by MM. BONHOMMIE and DE CZARVILLE, excellent fellows both, and capable
correspondents in London. Then there are a host of celebrities. DICKY
HOGARTH, the caricaturist; SAMUEL STEELE SHERIDAN, the dramatist; and
SHAKSPEARE JOHNSON COCKAIGNE, the man of literary all-work.

"It is very fine this to me when therefore I come out why," observes an
Italian explorer, who has the reputation of speaking five-and-twenty
languages fluently, and is particularly proud of his English.

"Certainly," I answer promptly, because my friend is a little
irritable, and still believes in the possibilities of the _duello_.

"Therefore maybe you find myself when I am not placed which was
consequently forwards." And with this the amiable explorer from the
sunny south, no doubt believing that he has been imparting information
of the most valuable character, relapses into a smiling silence.

In the course of the voyage I find that, if I pleased, I could wait
until a quarter to four, and then return to my native shores. This
would give me more than three hours in Calais. But what should I do
with them?

"You might go to the Old Church," says Mr. Recorder BUNNY, Q.C., "which
was an English place of worship in the time of Queen MARY. Some of the
chapels are still dedicated to English Saints, and there are various
other memorials of the British occupation."

"Or you can go to the _plage_," puts in the MACSTORM. "Great fun in
fine weather. Whole families pic-nic on the sands. They feed under
tents or in chalets. In the water all day long, except at meal-times.
At night they retire, I think, to a little collection of timber-built
villas, planted in a neatly-kept square. The whole thing rather
suggestive of ALEXANDER SELKIRK _plus_ an unlimited supply of a
quarter-inch deal flooring, canvas, and cardboard."

[Illustration]

In spite, however, of the unrivalled attractions of Calais, I determine
to go no further than the _buffet_. Acting under the instructions of
Mr. Recorder BUNNY, Q.C., who seems to know the ropes thoroughly well,
I allow the "goers on" (passengers bound for Paris and the Continent
generally) to satisfy their cravings for food, and then give my orders.
A waiter, who has all the activity of his class, representing, let us
say, the best traditions of the Champs Elysée, takes me in hand. We
make out a _menu_ on the spot--Melon, _tête de veau à la vinaigrette_,
_caneton aux petits pois_, and a cheese omelette. Then half a bottle
of red wine, a demi-syphon, and a _café_ and _chasse_. All good. Then
the _garçon_ skips away, placing knives and forks at this table, a
dish of fruit at that, and a basket of bread at the one yonder. These
athletic exercises (that are sufficiently encouraging to promise
the performer--if he wishes it--a prosperous career on the lofty
_trapèze_), are undertaken in the interests of the expected voyagers
Albion bound. Before the arrival of the Paris train I have eaten my
lunch, settled my bill (moderate), and taken my deck chair on the good
steamer that is to carry me back to my native land.

Ah! never shall I forget the dear old shores of England as I watch
them after _déjeuner à la fourchette_ through the perfumed haze of an
unusually good cigar. "Low capped and turf crowned, they are not a
patch upon the wild magnificence of the fierce Australian coast line,
but in my eyes they are beautiful beyond compare." I remember that
at one time or another I have heard "the finest music in the world,
but at that moment there comes stealing into my ears a melody worth
all that music put together, the chime of English village bells." I
recollect that I have heard these beautiful expressions used in the
Garrick Theatre on the occasion of the revival of a certain little
one-act piece. Mr. ARTHUR BOUCHIER was then eloquent (on behalf of
the author) in praise of Dover, and I now agree with him. What can
be more beautiful than the white cliffs of Albion and the sound of
English village bells--after a capital lunch at Calais, and during the
enjoyment of an unusually good cigar?

The trusty ship gets to England at 2.30, the equally trusty train
arrives at Victoria a couple of hours later. I am in capital time for
Mrs. ANYBODY'S "last Any-day."

"How well you are looking," observes my kind hostess, pouring out a cup
of tea.

"And I am feeling well," I return; "and all this good health I owe to
twenty minutes on the continent."

And these last words sound so like the tag to a piece that they shall
serve (by the kind permission of the British public) as the title and
the end to an article.

       *       *       *       *       *

SCRAPS FROM CHAPS.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--My pater reads the Bristol newspapers, but I don't,
because there's never any pirates or red Indians in them, but happening
to look in one the other day I noticed an awfully good thing. It said
that at a place called Stapleton all the parents were very indignant at
the way in which the schoolmistress had been treated by the manigers,
and to show their symperthy they decided to keep their children from
school. The school was nearly empty in consequents. Now I don't think
my schoolmaster has half enough sympathy shown him. He does know how
to cane, certainly, but he isn't really such a beast as fellows make
out--at least not just the day or so before the holidays begin--and
would you mind telling parents that they ought to keep their boys at
home for a week or a fortnight after next term begins, to show how much
they symperthise with him? Poor chap, he has lots of trouble--I know he
has, because I give him some.

Yours respekfully, BLOGGS JUNIOR.

       *       *       *       *       *

BAWBEES THANKFULLY RECEIVED.--A National Scottish Memorial to BURNS
is in the Ayr. "Surely," writes a perfervid one, "BURNS did as much
for our country and the world as SCOTT, yet how very different the
monuments of the two in Edinburgh and Glasgow! I am sure no Scotchman
would grudge his mite, however poor, for such a purpose." Quite so. But
it would take a good many "Cotter's Saturday mites" to build anything
like the Scott Memorial in Princes Street. And what is this that the
Rev. Dr. BURRELL, of New York, said in presenting a new panel for the
Ayr statue of BURNS from American lovers of the poet? "The stream of
pilgrims," he observed, "from America to the banks of the Doon was
twice as large as that which found its way to the banks of the Avon."
Then why should not the stream of dollars follow, and erect a colossal
"Burns Enlightening the Nations" somewhere down the Clyde--say, at the
Heads of Ayr? _Hamlet_ beaten by _Tam O'Shanter_, and Avon taking a
back seat to Doon! Flodden is, indeed, avenged.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WEARING O' THE GREEN.--There was a discussion at the Cork
Corporation's meeting on a recommendation of the Works Committee, that
"a new uniform, of Irish manufacture, be ordered for the hall-porter."
What should be the colour, was the difficulty? "Some members," we
regret to read, "were in favour of blue"; and then the debate went on
thus--

Mr. BIBLE he thought they should stick to the green Mr. FARINGTON said
that green uniforms rot; Mr. LUCY denounced such a statement as mean,
And--"never change colour!"--advised Sir JOHN SCOTT.

So the hall-porter will have a uniform of "green and gold"--the green
to be durable," and the gold to make it endurable!

       *       *       *       *       *

CABBY? OR, REMINISCENCES OF THE RANK AND THE ROAD.

(_By "Hansom Jack."_)

No. II.--IN THE SHELTER. ME AND BILLY BOGER.

[The first Cabman's Shelter or "Rest" in the Metropolis was set up at
the Stand in Acacia Road, St. John's Wood, on February 6, 1875.]

    There! After a two 'ours slow crawl through a fog, _with_ a cough, and
    a fare as is sour and tight-fisted,
    Why, even a larky one drops a bit low, and the tail of 'is temper gits
    terrible twisted.
    And that's where the Shelter comes 'andily in.
    With a cup of 'ot corfee, a slice and a "sojer,"
   _And_ 'bacca to follow, life don't look so bad!
    What do _you_ think? I says to my pal BILLY BOGER.

    Brown-crusted one, BILLY; 'ard baked from 'is birth. Drives a
    "Growler" yer see, and behaves quite according.
    Rum picter 'e makes with 'is 'at on 'is nose, and 'is back rounded up
    like, against a damp hoarding.
    Kinder kicks it at comfort, contrairy-wise, BILL do; won't take it on
    nohow, the orkurd old Tartar.
    The sort as won't 'ave parrydise as a gift if so be it pervents 'em
    from playing the martyr!

    "That's 'Jackdaw' the Snapshotter all up and down!" says BILL with a
    grunt. That's a nickname 'e's guv me
    Along of my liking for looking at life. Well, the world is a floorer
    all round; but Lord love me
    Mere grumble's no good; doesn't mend things a mite; world rolls on and
    larfs at us; don't seem a doubt of it;
    Cuss it and cross it, and over _you_ go! Better far to stand by and
    look on, till you're out of it.

    "Heye like a bloomin' old robin, _you_ 'ave," says BILL (meaning _me_),
    "allus cocked at creation
    As though you was recknin' it up for a bid like. And what is the end
    of your fine 'observation'?
    You squint, and you heft, and you size people up, sorter 'grading
    'em out' as Yank JONATHAN puts it.
    And when you are through, what's the hodds? All my heye! You boss
    till you're blind, and then death hups and shuts it!"

    Carn't 'it it, we carn't. But we're pals all the same, becos BILL is
    more 'onest than some who're more 'arty. We kid, and we kibosh each
    other like fun, but when H. J. wants backing old BILLY'S the party,
    And when BILLY busts JACK is all there, you bet, although _I_ tool a
    Forder and _'e_ a old Growler.
    But pickles ain't in it for sourness with BILLY, nor yet fresh-laid
    widders for doin' the 'owler.

    "Hansom up!"--"Ah!" says old BILLY. "_Per_cisely! It's jest 'Hansom
    up, Growler _down_!' _I_ ain't in it
    With sech a smart, dashing young Jehu as _you_, as can put on your
    quarter o' mile to the minute!
    Hivory fitments, and bevel-edged mirrors! A lady's boodwore in blue
    cloth! Ain't it 'trotty'?
    Wanity Fair upon wheels, JACK, _I_ call it. Wot price now I wonder for
    me and OLD SPOTTY?

    [Illustration]

    "Women, too, getting that bloomin' _hadvanced_ they all paternise
    you--_and_ a cigaratte. Drat 'em!
    Few years agone they'd a fynted at thought on it. Women fair
    knock-outs. Could never get at 'em!
    Foller their leaders like sheep to a slorter-'ouse. Drive theirselves
    next, I persoom, _on_ a Forder.
    Party you took up outside 'ere larst night, 'er in feathers and paint,
    was a pooty tall horder."

    "Known _'er_ six year, BILL," I says with a sigh like. "A sweeter young
    snowdrop than when I first druv 'er
    You couldn't 'a' button-holed. Ah! and she's pooty as paint--bar _the_
    paint--at this moment, Lord luv 'er!
    Frolicsome, freehanded,--fast? Well, I s'pose so. She used to drive up
    with a toffy young masher.
    Turtle-doves? Well,'twas a pleasure to see 'em, BILL; 'er such a dainty
    'un, 'im such a dasher."

    "Innercent, hay? _Yes_, as rain-sprinkled laylock boughs. _'E_ broke
    'is neck in a steeplechase, BILLY,
    _She_ took to sewing, and dropped smiles and 'ansoms. Wilted away like
    a gas-shrivelled lily.
    Then I lost sight on 'er, couple o' year or so. Next she turned up
    as--well, BILLY you've seen 'er,
    Pro. at the "Pompydour," generous, gassy, and--well, p'r'aps as _good_
    as a lot that look greener."

    "Bah!" snaps BILL BOGER, dissecting 'is bloater as though 'twos
    'umanity, and 'im a surgeon;
    "Life as it's seen from the cab-driver's 'pulpit' would give some new
    texts to a PARKER or SPURGEON.
    _Culler-der-rose_, indeed! Yaller-der-janders! It's most on it
    dubersome, dirty or dingy.
    The free 'anded fares is best part on 'em quisby, and them as _is_
    righteous runs sour-like _and_ stingy."

    I says, "BILL, you're bilious!" 'E snorts supercilious, and bolts the
    'ard-roe. "Hah, young Daffydowndilly,"
    'E growls as 'e munches, "of all the green bunches o' Spring inguns
    _you_ are the greenest. It's silly,
    Your slop-over sentiment is, _for_ a Cabby!!!"--Fare? "Finsbury Park,
    and look slippy!" "All right, Sir!"--
    "We'll argue it out, BILLY BOGER, some other time." Right away
    coachman! Kim up mare! Good night, Sir!

           *       *       *       *       *

    The words of that arch-humourist, the late ARTEMUS WARD, on the subject
    of the New Woman, whom he designated "a he-lookin' female," are worth
    repeating:--"'O, woman, woman,' I cried, my feelins worked up to a hi
    poetick pitch, 'you air a angle when you behave yourself; but when you
    take off your proper appairel and (mettyforically speaken) get into
    pantyloons--when you desert your firesides, and with your heds full
    of wimin's rites noshuns go round like roarin lyons, seekin whom you
    may devour someboddy--in short, when you undertake to play the man,
    you play the devil and air an emfatic noosence. My female friends,' I
    continnered, as they were indignantly departin, 'wa well what A. WARD
    has sed!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: UNLUCKY SPEECHES.

"WOULDN'T YOU LIKE SOME MUSIC, PROFESSOR?"

"NO, THANKS. I'M QUITE HAPPY AS I AM. TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, I PREFER
THE WORST POSSIBLE CONVERSATION TO THE BEST MUSIC THERE IS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI.

A BALLAD OF BIRD SLAUGHTER.

(_With Apologies to the Shade of Keats._)

"The new style of women's head-gear--called mixed plumes--threatens to
add the extermination of Birds of Paradise to that of several species
of herons.... It is for this 'use' that whole heronries in Florida and
elsewhere have been utterly destroyed; it is for this that Birds of
Paradise are being persecuted even to extinction."--_Mrs. E. Phillips,
Vice-President of the Society for the Preservation of Birds._

    I.

    Oh, what can ail thee, poet-man,
      Alone and palely loitering?
    "The wings are banished from the woods,
          And no birds sing."

    II.

    Oh, what can ail thee, bird-lover,
      So haggard and so woe-begone?
    "The heronry no more is full,
          And the cranes are flown."

    III.

    I see there's sorrow on thy brow,
      At dawn's rose-flush, at eve's cool dew.
    "Bird-song is gone from the garden rose,
          And the field flowers too.

    IV.

    "I met a lady on the way,
      Fell, beautiful, cold Fashion's child;
    Her hair was golden, her plume was high,
          And her eyes were wild.

    V.

    "She made a mixed plume for her head,
      Of heron crest and aureole.
    She looked at me as void of love,
          And cold of soul.

    VI.

    "She slaughtered Birds of Paradise,
      And little cared for all day long
    Save silencing the whirr of wings,
          And the trill of song.

    VII.

    "She found the task of relish sweet;
      The warbling wildwood choir she slew.
    Till the larks were mute, and the linnets dead,
          And the robins few.

    VIII.

    "She took me to her milliner's
      And showed with glee a sight full sore,
    Her new mixed plume, with aureoles six,
          And egrets four.

    IX.

    "'Twas there she lulled all love asleep,
      And her heart grew hard--ah, woe betide!--
    As the granite-boulder that gleameth white
          On the cold hill-side.

    X.

    "I saw dead songsters heaped to view.
      From field, wood, mere, came one sad call:
    They cried, '_La Belle Dame sans Merci_
          Will slay us all!'

    XI.

    "Beauty no more will flash a-wing,
      Music no more full-throated flush.
    Fashion will curse the fields of Spring
          With the Winter's hush.

    XII.

    "I saw poor bird-beaks in that room
      With fruitless warning gaping wide;
    And the lady wore their stolen plumes
          With a cruel pride.

    XIII.

    "'The Feathered Woman' was she hight;
      But all reproof, compassion-born,
    The modish _Belle Dame sans Merci_
          Doth laugh to scorn.

    XIV.

    "What plea for beauty or for song,
      Or simple prudence, may she reck,
    While Fashion rules she with mixed plumes
          Her head must deck?

    XV.

    "The birds in myriads may die,
      Till earth is all a songless hush;
    But she upon her crest _must_ sport
          A feathered-brush!

    XVI.

    "'Tis not sore need bids songsters bleed,
      Not lack of vesture or of food;
    'Tis only Fashion's foolish freak
          Strips wold and wood.

    XVII.

    "And that is why I wander here,
      Alone and sadly loitering,
    Whilst the sedge shakes not with glancing plume,
          And no birds sing!"

       *       *       *       *       *

BOURNEMOUTH'S chief magistrate, by decision and order of the
corporation of that town, has been deprived of a strip of land,
alleged to be public property, which he had enclosed within his own
private grounds. The sight of sixty workmen ruthlessly "removing his
summer-house and shrubs, and throwing tons of mould over the cliffs,"
could not have been a very exhilarating one for the erstwhile owner,
who must have felt like Mayor-ius 'mid the ruins of Cart-hage.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration:

THE EMPTY CUPBOARD.

OLD MOTHER HUBBARD SHE WENT TO THE CUPBOARD
TO GET HER POOR DOG A BONE,
WHEN SHE GOT THERE THE CUPBOARD WAS BARE,
AND SO THE POOR DOG HAD NONE.

["Mr. CHAPLIN, speaking in the House of Commons on the 19th August,
said that it was not possible to prepare and produce measures for the
relief of Agriculture this Session."--_Daily Paper._]]

       *       *       *       *       *

ROUNDABOUT READINGS.

"Roundabout Ridings" would be the more correct title, for he who writes
these lines has yielded to the joint influences of the prevalent craze
and the glorious weather, and has been touring in North Devon on (and
off) a bicycle. I say "off" advisedly, for the hills in that delightful
country are so numerous, so long, and so steep, that out of every
hundred miles you accomplish you will find that you have walked at
least fifty while you painfully shoved your wheel before you. And when
you reach the laborious summit and pause panting, you are as likely as
not to gather your breath and strength under a notice informing you
that the descent beyond, down which you had hoped to spin with extended
legs, is dangerous to cyclists.

       *       *       *       *       *

And thereupon, if the sun is shining in full strength, and you are
spent and parched, you may possibly decide that in order to make a
bicycle tour in North Devon a complete and splendid success, it is
essential that you should do it without a bicycle. But later on, when
you have reached the end of your journey, have had your bath, your rub
down and your brush up, and are waiting placidly for your dinner with
an appetite well set and a thirst calculated to drain a vat of cider,
then you will realise that even in the precipitous Devonshire country
bicycling is a real delight.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

Putting aside for the moment the question whether or not you ought
to take a bicycle, I hold that the following ingredients go to
make a successful bicycle tour. (1) A tall youngster from Oxford
possessing incalculable yards of totally irresponsible arms and legs,
a happy knack of conversational prattle, a shock of fair hair, and
imperturbable good humour. These details, though important, are not
essential. It is, however, absolutely essential that he should make all
plans for the day's ride, settle on the stopping places and hotels,
and carry maps and guide-books. You can then enjoy the satisfaction of
abusing him heartily whenever things go wrong. You will also find that
whenever you want the map he will either have left it in the pocket
of a coat which has been sent on by train, or stowed it away in the
darkest recess of the bottom of his kit-case.

       *       *       *       *       *

The second ingredient is a private clown of quaint humour and original
ideas. This is the sort of man who finds interest and amusement in
everything, and provokes you to laughter by the most unexpected
sallies. Before you have had time to turn round he will be on terms of
easy familiarity with drivers of coaches, porters at hotels, ladies
who serve behind bars, and rustics whom he may meet on the road. In
five minutes he knows the details of all their personal history,
their length of service, the manner of their work, the size of their
families, their adventures, and their chief desires in life. They all
treat him with the highest consideration and go out of their way to
make things easy for him. At Lynton our own particular clown sent the
hotel band into convulsions by dancing a step dance while they were
solemnly playing a German march. The incongruity of the situation so
tickled the trombone that for at least two minutes he was utterly
unable to carry on the pumping operations entailed by his instrument.
His ruin was completed when he was asked to join our party with the
special object of inflating the back-tyres of our bicycles. Even the
conductor relaxed into a smile.

       *       *       *       *       *

The third ingredient is a paymaster. If you can find a handsome,
well-built, agreeable and intellectual man for the position (as we
did) so much the better. You will thus add an air of character and
distinction to your tour. In that respect, I admit, we were fortunate
beyond the average. I need only add, as a slight reminder to my
companions, that they have not yet repaid to me the money I disbursed
for them.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

The fourth ingredient is one rainy day. It helps you to enjoy the fine
weather all the more, and it gives you an opportunity of investing
yourself in the pretty little gray waterproof cape which bicycle
outfitters provide for wet weather. From a ticket attached to the
collar of mine, I discovered that it was called an "electric poncho." I
can only say that it fully deserved the title. Wet weather, moreover,
adds a pleasing element of uncertainty to bicycling by making your back
wheel skid, so that you never know, from one moment to the other, what
you may be doing. If three of you are riding in a line, it is more than
probable that, in the twinkling of an eye, you will be piled three deep
on the side of the road.

       *       *       *       *       *

You ought also to insure at least one hotel dance in the course of your
journey. All hotel dances are the same, and therefore one is quite
sufficient as a sample. Hotel dances are attended by eight ladies and
six men. One of the men is a boy. He has two sisters, who are also
present at the dance. He dances three times with one sister, and three
times with the other. His seventh dance he devotes to a lady no longer
in her first youth, who has captured his young affections, and after
the mad excitement of this episode he goes to bed. Another of the men
is always elderly, bald and stout. He displays the courtly gallantry
which is understood to be an attribute of the old school. He is a
rigorous stickler for the etiquette of the ballroom. He dances the
Lancers with a solemn precision and the waltz with a precise solemnity,
and that is the only distinction he makes between them. He is a great
hand at well-turned compliments of a ponderous nature, and it is a
liberal education to see him conducting his partner back to her seat.
A third man is an amusing rattle. He makes his partners giggle by his
total ignorance of the Lancers, and incurs the frowns of the bald man
by his dashing exploits in the waltz. The ladies all wear high dresses,
they have interchangeable _chaperons_, and make a noble pretence of
enjoying themselves. In the fifth dance the bald man falls down, and
long before twelve o'clock everything is over and peace reigns again in
the hotel.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

Clovelly is the proud possessor, not merely of the steepest High Street
in the world, but also of a "poet-artist" (so he describes himself),
who is also (I again quote his own description) a "professional
qualified photographer." Here is an extract from his enthusiastic poem
entitled "A Peep from the Hobby Drive, Clovelly."

    How charming is the old High Street,
    Pitched with pebbles, rough--how steep;
    There donkeys stand with coal and sand,
    And women with their brush in hand.

    Out boldly stands the grand old pier,
    To check the waves that may come near;
    And fishermen upon it stand,
    Yarning with their pipes in hand.

    Among such grandeur, artist, rest--
    To imitate it at thy best;
    For should some beauty fall to ground,
    Thy picture has it, safe and sound.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the _Fishing Gazette_ I take the following story:--

Last spring, while a party of tourists were fishing up North, a
well-known lawyer lost his gold watch from the boat in which he was
sitting. Last week he made another visit to the lakes, and during
the first day's sport caught an 8lb. trout. His astonishment can be
imagined when he found the watch lodged in the throat of the trout. The
watch was running, and the time correct. It being a "stem winder," the
supposition is that, in masticating its food, the fish wound up the
watch daily.

[Illustration]

I happen to know that this story is incomplete, and I venture to
add some missing details. The fish--a particularly thoughtful
animal--finding that there was no chain to the watch, resolved to
supply this defect, and, by a well-known process in metallurgy,
converted some of its scales into a complete Albert, which it connected
with the watch. The watch used to lose two minutes a week. With
admirable patience the fish regulated it, and restored it to its owner
in perfectly accurate trim. When it was originally lost the watch
was a simple one. It has now become a repeater, with a special dial
indicating the days of the week, the month, and the year A.D. By a
trick, learnt from a fried whiting in early life this trout contrived
every day to insert its tail into its mouth, and, by using it as a
brush, to keep the watch clean, and free from rust. When the fish had
been boiled and eaten, the watch stopped, out of sympathy, and has not
gone since.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A SOLILOQUY.

_Generous Dealer_ (_examining ring_). "HE ASKS TWENTY. HE THINKS HE'LL
GET EIGHTEEN. IT'S WORTH SIXTEEN. I'LL GIVE FOURTEEN. HE PAID TWELVE.
I'LL OFFER TEN!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A CRY FROM CHICAGO.

    Better fifty years of Europe
      Than a cycle of Porkopolis!
    Freedom's shackled with a new rope
      In Mock-Modesty's metropolis.
    Ladies--aye and men--in tights
      To Chicago prudes proves shockers;
    So they limit wheelman rights
      By forbidding--knickerbockers!
    Nay, the manly human calf
      To these Aldermen's so shocking,
    They prohibit--do not laugh!--
      All display of--the male--stocking!!

    We must don a costume baggy
      From the throat unto the ankles;
    Something stuffy, chokey, draggy!
      Yah! In freemen's hearts it rankles
    This restriction. Don't let's heed 'em!
      If they bother thus our biking.
    Ho! for Battersea and freedom!
      Cyclists of Chicago, striking,
    Like their sires for Independence,
      'Gainst the prigs our wheel-rights blocking,
   Claim, in all their old resplendence,
      Knicker free and liberal stocking!

       *       *       *       *       *

MUSIC MINUS CHARMS.

(_The Latest Developments of the Educational Department._)

"Where are we going next?" asked the Taught of the Teacher. They had
just left the portals of the School Board.

"To a place that should be inscribed with the words 'All hope abandon
who enter here,' and which is known as the Slums," was the sad reply.

The Teacher and the Taught travelled on until they were lost in a maze
of workmen's buildings.

"Not so very bad," commented the Taught.

"Surely a man and his family might live peaceably enough in these
seemingly comfortable flats."

"You do not know all," said the Teacher. "Much has been done for the
artisan, but the School Board have driven him to despair. Listen!"

Then the two investigators heard sounds of shrieking and wailing. There
was a hubbub of dreadful groans and sighs.

"These are not human," cried the Taught.

"They are not," was the answer. "Have you ever heard the like?"

"Never. And yet I should say that the tones came from violins--played,
no doubt, by imps."

"No, it is not that." And then came the full explanation.

"The dreadful discord to which we are listening is caused by the
practice of the scholars of the School Board. The energetic youngsters
are being taught at the expense of the ratepayers how to play the
'fiddle.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BRITISH BATHER.

(_By a Dipper in Brittany._)

[See the correspondence in the _Daily Graphic_]

    Mrs. GRUNDY rules the waves,
    With Britons for her slaves--
      They're fearful to disport themselves,
      Unless the sexes sort themselves
    And take their bathing sadly, for French gaiety depraves!

    'Tis time no more were seen
    The out-of-date "machine";
      Away with that monstrosity
      Of prudish ponderosity--
    Why can't we have the bathing tent or else the trim _cabine?_

    I think we should advance
    If we took a hint from France,
      And mingled (quite decorously)
      On beaches that before us lie All round our coasts--we do abroad
      whene'er we get the chance!

    O'er here in St. Maló
    The thing's quite _comme il faut_;
      Why not in higher latitude?
      I can't make out the attitude Of those who make the British dip
      so "shocking," dull and slow!

       *       *       *       *       *

LANCASHIRE riflemen who "pay their shot" at the average rate of £5 per
annum for "marking," are certainly entitled to every modern improvement
on their range at Altcar, and it is no wonder that there has been
some grumbling at the non-introduction of canvas-targets since their
invention years ago. However, this defect, we read in the _Liverpool
Daily Post's_ "Volunteer Notes," will shortly be removed, and the
desired innovation substituted, so that Bisley marksmen who, hitherto,
indulged in sneers at the deficiencies of Altcar, must now cease making
a butt of the northern range.

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

_House of Commons, Monday, August 26._--Doorkeepers and police puzzled
by notable gathering of strangers. Came in one by one. No one seemed
to know another; yet there was about them, according to Mr. HORSLEY'S
testimony, certain signs of brotherhood. None wore top hats; every
man's hair was longer than it is ordinarily worn; several carried
cloaks, mostly brown about the seams, cut, as far as Mr. HORSLEY can
remember, something after pattern of cloak worn by Lord TENNYSON when
he came to be sworn in as a peer of the realm, and was, on first
presenting himself, turned away by the policeman in the outer hall
under the impression that he was collecting empty bottles.

Most of the strangers had orders for special gallery. Some had seats
under the gallery. Others (these, it turned out when the secret was
fully disclosed, were the sonneteers) found seats on the higher, but,
in the House of Commons, less distinguished, slopes of Parnassus,
allotted to undistinguished strangers who ballot for places.

They were the candidates for the Poet Laureateship, or rather some of
them. Walking out after questions were over, SARK found a double row
of poets sitting on the stone benches right and left of the corridor,
waiting for a possible turn at the ballot--waiting with same dogged
patience, same unquenchable hope, with which they tarry for public
recognition.

All due to JOHNSTON of Ballykilbeg. Turning aside for moment from
the vexed Bermothes of theology, and the suspicious conduct of Irish
Members of the Catholic faith, BALLYKILBEG permitted his gaze to fall
on the vacant chair of the Poet Laureate. Gave notice of intention to
ask PRINCE ARTHUR at to-day's sitting what he meant to do about it.
Hence this commotion in the drear woods and the hungry thickets that
clothe the foot of Parnassus.

"Sorry for 'em," said BALLYKILBEG, looking up towards crowded
galleries. "They're a poor-looking lot. Don't believe there's a Master
of an Orange Lodge among 'em. Anyhow they're all out of it. My man is
WILFRID LAWSON. Don't mean to say he put me up to ask the question
with any ulterior personal views. But he knew what I was at, and he
knows my opinion of him. We don't agree in politics, and he's not sound
on the Pope of Rome. But for verse that fetches you, the poetry you
can understand without first tying wet cloth round your head, give me
WILFRID LAWSON. PRINCE ARTHUR refers me to THE MARKISS. I'll call and
see him, taking with me a choice selection of WILFRID'S verse, which
I'll read to him."

[Illustration: FISHING MADE DIFFICULT.

_A. J. B._ "What on earth is the use of getting a brand new rod, when
you're caught up on these bothering things every five minutes?"]

_Business done._--Votes in Supply.

_Tuesday._--Scotch votes on; the WEIRISOME WEIR stands where he did, at
corner seat of front bench below Gangway. This convenient situation for
fixing Corporal HANBURY with gleaming eye. Also the metal grating which
serves as flooring of House is useful as adding reverberating sound
to WEIRISOME'S voice when occasion makes it desirable it should issue
from his boots. If it were not for the matting laid over the grating,
effect would be much more tremendous. WEIRISOME makes the best of it.
Blood curdling to hear him just now denouncing some Procurator Fiscal
whose office is in Edinburgh, and his house in Ross-shire. Or is it the
other way about? The worst of WEIRISOME making our flesh creep by his
ventriloquial talents is, that we get a little mixed about his points.
However it was, the Procurator Fiscal had committed a heinous crime.
Only by exercise of supernatural forbearance that WEIRISOME refrained
from moving to reduce salary of Secretary for Scotland by £2000.

Effect of supernatural rumblings of his voice increased by ghastly
pauses in flow of conversation. HANBURY, as yet new to post of
Financial Secretary, will by-and-by get accustomed to its trials.
Meanwhile it is painful for Cap'en TOMMY BOWLES, moored immediately
behind his old colleague, to observe his hair gradually standing up
whilst House is hushed in awesome silence what time WEIRISOME is
solemnly reaffixing his _pince-nez_ with intent to continue his remarks.

Chairman more than once attempted to fill up pauses by reminding
WEIRISOME what was the precise bearing of vote before Committee. Once
sternly threatened to inforce rule which permits Chairman to order a
rambling speaker to shut up, and sit down. WEIRISOME apparently paid
no attention. A few minutes later, fancying he saw sign of movement in
the Chair, he stopped; with wide sweep of arm put on his _pince-nez_;
held manuscript up with apparent intention of consulting it; covertly
regarded JAMES W. over the top. Concluding he meant business,
WEIRISOME, without another word, solemnly, slowly--to the agonised
looker on the process seemed to occupy sixty seconds--dropped into his
seat.

_Business done._--A good deal in Committee of Supply.

_Friday, 2 A.M._--It is the unexpected that ever happens in House of
Commons. Wednesday is ordinarily humdrum day; SPEAKER takes Chair
at noon; all over before six. Accordingly, having met at noon on
Wednesday, House sat till two o'clock next morning, proceedings
culminating with scene in which DICK WEBSTER, of all men, was convicted
of disorderly conduct.

"Really," said J. G. TALBOT, nervously rubbing his hands, "I don't know
what we shall see next. Probably the Chaplain, in full canonicals,
conducted to Clock Tower by Serjeant-at-Arms for having spoken
disrespectfully of the Archbishop of CANTERBURY. The sooner this
Session is over, the better it will be for Church and State."

By way of balancing eccentricity of uproarious Wednesday, the sitting
just drawing to close has been unrelievedly dull. Yet it was the
sitting solemnly set aside for Irish votes. Battle-royal expected,
with nothing left at its close but few fragments that had once been
GERALD BALFOUR, and here and there the limb of an Irish Member.
Nothing happened, not even a division. Only long succession of dreary
diatribes, with GERALD BALFOUR occasionally interposing with new
promise of benignant sway.

"Very odd," said Truculent TIM, annoyed to find himself mollified. "The
voice of the new Chief Secretary is uncommonly like the voice of ARTHUR
BALFOUR. But the hands promise to rule after the fashion of the hands
of JOHN MORLEY."

_Business done._--All the Irish votes passed.

_Friday._--House sat to-day, pegging away again at Supply, so as to
prorogue next week. Navy Votes on; Cap'en TOMMY BOWLES attempts to boss
the show, making light of Lord High Admiral JOKIM, openly alluding
to Corporal HANBURY as a horse-marine, this too much for an ancient
friendship strained by altered circumstances.

"TOMMY," said the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, turning round
upon his former ally, after he had been up for twentieth time dictating
marine tactics to the Sea Lords and policy to the First Lord; "did you
ever hear a story LUBBOCK tells about the Maori convert? As he had not
been seen for some weeks inquiry was made as to his welfare. 'Oh,'
explained the chief of his tribe, 'he gave us so much good advice that
at last we put him to death.' Think it over TOMMY. It's a nice story,
and there's a moral in it."

_Business done._--Nearly all.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GENTLE EXERCISE.

_Mrs. Jones._ "COME ON, OLD SLOWCOACH! LET'S RACE UP THIS NEXT HILL, OR
WE'LL BE LATE FOR TEA!"

[_Jones is beginning to doubt the wisdom of having sold his Pony
and Trap, and taken to Bicycles. He lives seven miles from a Town
where Mrs. J. takes him shopping four times a week with the greatest
regularity._ ]

       *       *       *       *       *

A PIECE FULL OF POINT.

Messrs. CLEMENT SCOTT and BRANDON THOMAS are to be congratulated on
the success of their adaptation of the _Maître d'Armes_, produced
at the Adelphi Theatre on Saturday last. The play, which appeared,
like the longest remembered dramas of the late DION BOUCICAULT, in
August--traditionally "the dead season of the stage"--seems destined
to be as popular as the best-liked of its predecessors. For once--but,
it is to be hoped, not "and away"--Mr. WILLIAM TERRISS has a chance
of showing his quality in a character worthier of his powers than the
customary hero of "walking gentleman" romance. Like Mr. HENRY NEVILLE
when he appeared as _Henry Dunbar_, after a long course of _Ticket
of Leave Man_, Mr. TERRISS makes the most of his opportunity. Miss
MILLWARD is excellent as the child of the fencer--a criticism which
applies equally "to every one concerned." Well written, well mounted,
and well played, there is no reason why _The Swordsman's Daughter_
should not prove the truth of heredity and "run through"--the season.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Full of wise saws" is "Amateur Angler," in the _Fishing Gazette_,
concerning the river Wye. He complains that "he tried for trout, but
caught chub," which, however, we are told "is a comely fish"--quite
chub-stantial, doubtless--and "gives as much sport, at times, as a
gentlemanly trout." "Lordly salmon" are also to be found. Evidently the
Wye is peopled by the upper crust of the piscatorial world, and this,
perhaps, explains the reason for "the river being netted and poached in
every conceivable way," or wye, as Cockneys say.

       *       *       *       *       *

With sorrow we read, in the _South Wales Daily News_, the announcement
of the demise of "Billy," the celebrated goat, that for ten years
had been an honoured and favourite member of the First Battalion,
Welsh Regiment. This excellent animal, who died from the ravages of
rheumatism contracted on the march, seems to have belonged to the
"giddy" species of goat, for we learn that "he could hold his own
with the best in drinking stout, beer, wine, or spirits." With these
Anti-Local Veto propensities, it would not have been astonishing had
the bibulous "Billy," like a certain historical personage, met with his
end by drowning in a butt.

       *       *       *       *       *

A DIALOGUE OF THE NIGHT.

["The art of setting forth a scene, an incident, in the shape of
conversation natural, fluent, easy, and witty, is not so common an
accomplishment as the large supply produced on Mr. CRAUFURD'S demand
may seem to suggest."--_The "Daily News" on "Dialogues of the Day"
edited by Mr. Oswald Craufurd._]

SCENE--_The Elysian Fields, at nightfall._

PRESENT--_The shades of_ Lord _and_ Lady SPARKISH, Lord _and_ Lady
SMART, Colonel ALWIT, Mr. NEVEROUT, Miss NOTABLE, _and some other
characters in_ Dean SWIFT'S "_Polite Conversation_."

_Lady Smart_ (_laying down her book with a yawn_). Egad! Our posterity
cannot _talk_, they can only prattle.

_Lord Sparkish._ Or rather _patter_.

_Miss Notable._ Pray, my lord, what is "patter"?

_Lord Sparkish._ All sauciness and slang, like the soliloquy of a Cheap
Jack.

_Mr. Neverout._ Modish conversation, to-day, seems to borrow its
diction from the music-hall, and its repartee from the 'bus conductor.

_Miss Notable._ Oh fie! Now our "Polite and Ingenious Conversation," as
the dear Dean of ST. PATRICK reported it, was vastly different. Did not
Mr. SWIFT declare that he defied all the clubs and coffee-houses in the
town to equal it in wit, humour, smartness or politeness?

_Lady Sparkish._ Yes; yes, indeed! And he had scruples about
prostituting "this noble art to mean and vulgar people."

_Mr. Neverout._ Egad, the penny daily paper and the sixpenny
illustrated weekly have altered all that. "Mean and vulgar people" now
write books and journals, as well as read 'em.

_Miss Notable._ For my part I don't like dialogues, except upon the
stage. They are so mortally dull.

_Lady Sparkish._ Nay, but my dear girl, the Dean says, you must
remember, "Dialogue is held the best method of inculcating any part of
knowledge; and I am confident that public schools will soon be founded
for teaching wit and politeness, after my scheme, to young people of
quality and fortune."

_Mr. Neverout._ Perhaps the present rage for dialogues is the first
step in that direction.

_Lady Answerall._ Pah! there _are_ no "young persons of quality" now!

_Lord Sparkish._ Though plenty of young persons of fortune!

_Mr. Neverout._ Quite a different thing, my Lord! In _our_ days
School Boards, Labour Members, and American Millionaires had not been
invented. CREECH had indeed translated HORACE into the vernacular, but
JOWETT had not Englished the Platonic Dialogues for the benefit of
Extension Lectures and hack journalists.

_Colonel Alwit._ Faith, I could never stomach that inquisitive bore
SOCRATES and his dreary dialoguists. That gay, wicked, but debonair
dog, LUCIAN, was more to my mind.

_Mr. Neverout._ Ah! who of our latter-day dialogue-mongers could equal
the smart and really _quite fin-de-siècle_ cynic of SAMOSATA?

[Illustration]

_Miss Notable._ Well, as TIBBALDS, said:--

    "I am no schollard, but I am polite,
    Therefore be sure I'm no Jacobite."

So I've not read your LUCIANS and PLATOS and things. But I like _Gyp_,
and _Anthony Hope_. I vow he hath a true touch of "the quality," and he
vastly delights me.

_Mr. Neverout._ Does he not go nigh to make you blush, now and anon?

_Miss Notable._ Blush? Ay, blush like a blue dog.

_Lady Smart._ Still I maintain the Town to-day cannot _talk_.

_Mr. Neverout._ Any more than it can write letters.

_Lady Sparkish._ There is nought _genteel_ in their gabble, nor truly
smart in their repartee.

_Lord Sparkish._ And they cannot _badiner_ a bit.

_Lady Smart._ Like that _dear Bellamour!_

_Miss Notable._ Or that _delightful Lovelace!_

_Lady Smart._ Modern dialogues are _dull!_

_Mr. Neverout._ If our dear Dean, now, could furnish them with a fresh
supply of those entertaining and improving "polite questions, answers,
repartees, replies, and rejoinders," such as he took thirty years in
collecting, there might be a chance for them.

_Lord Sparkish._ Or if we could send them some really modish dialogues
from the shades!

_Lady Sparkish._ Faith, suppose we send 'em _this!_

_Miss Notable._ Ah, do let's!!!





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