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Title: Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 109, September 28, 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 28, 1895" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 109.

SEPTEMBER 28, 1895.



SCRAPS FROM CHAPS.

Aston-ishing!--The English Cup, won by the Aston Villa Football Club
last year, has been stolen. Between boots and football a strong
affinity exists; and it appears that a _cordonnier_, a member of the
club, obtained a loan of the trophy, which he proudly placed in his
shop window. On a pedestal, in the midst of all sorts and conditions
and sizes of shoes, it stood in silvery splendour--a sovereign, as it
were, o'er a kingdom of soles--and was the gaping admiration of the
"idle progeny" of the neighbourhood, who, as is well known, evince
ever an absorbing interest in all things appertaining to "the rolling
circle's speed." And the knight of the Soccus and Cothurnus, the adept
constructor of JESSAMY'S slipper and GILES'S "hobnailed," the owner of
the store, lulled himself to sleep singing "Dear little Boot-ercup,
Sweet little Footer-cup," and dreamed that the goal of his ambition
had been reached, and that he had received the appointment of Soler
and Heeler Extraordinary to all the Football Clubs of the United
Kingdom. But, alas! he awoke one morn to find that a burglary had been
committed, and that the Cup had vanished! "It would appear," says the
_Liverpool Courier_, "that the thieves _wanted the cup for the value
of its silver!_" Oh! impossible! Gentlemen who thus acquire valuable
articles of gold or silver do so not for the coarse gratification of
an _auri sacra fames_, but rather for the satisfaction of an artistic
craving, a laudable desire to contemplate, in poetic solitude, the
beauty of the objects.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE.

_Tam._ "SAE YE'VE GOTTEN BACK, SANDERS?"

_Sanders._ "'DEED, AYE. I'VE JUST GOTTEN BACK."

_Jamie._ "AN' HOO DID 'E LIKE LONDON?"

_Sanders._ "OD, IT'S AN OOTLANDISH PLACE YON! THEY TELL 'T ME THEY
COULDNA UNNERSTAUN MA AWCCENT!"

_John._ "AWCCENT! I NEVER HEARD TELL THAT FIFE FOLK HAD _ONY_ AWCCENT!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"BY PROXY."

  More lovely than the summer morn
    That floods with light a southern shore
  And smiles upon the yellow corn
    Thy sister is, O sweet LENORE!

  And yet, LENORE, dost thou not guess
    What draws me now from her to _thee_,
  What prompts me thus _thy_ hand to press,
    And from _thy_ lips seek Fate's decree?

  Call me not fickle; for I'll love
    With fondness growing e'er more fond;
  More tender be than gentle dove
    Tow'rds her I prize all else beyond.

  Dost thou not guess--or _wilt_ thou not--
    The thoughts that in my bosom dwell?--
  Then "lend me all the ears you've got,"
    And I'll the mystery dispel:

  More lovely than the summer sky
    Your sister is, whom I adore!
  I would propose--but I'm too shy;
    Pray _ask her for me_, kind LENORE!

       *       *       *       *       *

FINAL "VALKYRIE--LONDON" DECISION.--"Quoth DUN-RAVEN, 'Never more!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

"SERMONS."

SIR,--I have read some correspondence on this subject in the _Daily
Telegraph_. Nothing very original. But, Sir, I must ask a question
which I fancy will set clerics and laymen a thinking. This is it: _Why
should not a successful sermon have a good long run?_

A play that makes a hit runs for weeks, for months, for years.
Audiences come from all parts to hear and see it. They come, too, by
night, a most inconvenient time, and not by day. Now, why should it not
be the same with a sermon?

Let us suppose that the Rev. Mr. SILVERTRUMPET, of St. Simon's
Within-and-Without, preaches a first-rate sermon. For years past,
popular preachers have been regularly advertised in the newspapers, and
church-goers have been accustomed to look out for announcements as to
where Mr. SILVERTRUMPET, or any other popular preacher, is to appear
and discourse. The actor, on tour, goes round _with one play_ visiting
different towns. _Why not the preacher with one sermon?_

[Illustration]

Perhaps the actor has a _répertoire_ acquired in course of time: _so
might it be with the preacher_. That a good sermon, once delivered,
should be lost, is as hard on the preacher as that a good play should
be performed for one night only, and then, "be heard no more!"

My remedial suggestions are: _first_, let critic attend "first morning"
or "first afternoon" of a new sermon. Let him praise, or condemn it.

_Secondly._ No critics: but simply an advertisement under a column
headed "Churches," announcing that Mr. SILVERTRUMPET or Mr.
DESKTHUMPER, or whoever it may be, with all his titles, Canon,
Archdeacon, Bishop, Vicar, &c., &c., set out in full, will preach at
such and such a time, at such and such a church. Also, I think _the
title of the sermon should be given_. There is sometimes an attraction
in a title. Then, that sermon being a success, let it be thus
advertised:--

 ST. SIMON'S WITHIN-AND-WITHOUT.--The Rev. Mr. SILVERTRUMPET'S Sermon,
 entitled _Charity; or, How We Live Now_, having achieved an ENORMOUS
 SUCCESS, will be repeated EVERY SUNDAY at 11.30 (_or whatever the hour
 may be_) until further notice.

 I maintain that, as there are crowds attracted from all parts during
 two years to visit a theatre between the hours of seven and eleven
 nightly, in order to see an amusing or thrilling play, and a popular
 actor (likewise twice a week for _matinées_), so, in like manner,
 there would be crowds to come from all parts to hear a good sermon and
 see a popular preacher once, or even twice on Sunday.

  I remain, Sir, yours,
  A. LAMBKIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--About sermons I have this to say, or sing,--

  A sermon for Sundays, oh! preach, preach to me!
    Let those who don't like it complain!
  But should it delight me, the seats being free,
    I'm likely to hear it again.

  Yours,
  KNOTT MOORE.

       *       *       *       *       *

PITCH-ED OUT.--A motion for the introduction of tar-macadam, instead of
granite, as pavement for the Aberdeen streets, was rejected by the Town
Council after a lengthy and lively discussion upon the subject. What
really gave the _coup de grâce_ to the cause of the Tar-macadamites
was a councillor's statement that "he had often got a wet foot in
a tar-macadam street ('_Hear, hear!_')." This alarming assertion
effectually "queered the pitch"--to use a slang expression--for the
would-be innovators, and "granite and dry feet" won the day by
fourteen votes to nine.

        *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MEDIÆVAL GUNNERY PRACTICE.

THE FIRST SHOT.

THE RESULT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

POETIC LICENCE.

SIR LEWIS MORRIS describes the United States as:--

                            She
  Who sits august and free,
  A crownèd Commonwealth from sea to sea."

But why "crownèd"? America will surely resent the monarchical
suggestion. Might not _this_ be more appropriate, Sir LEWIS?:--

                            She
  Who owns the Big Countree,
  Where Niggers are, and Silver may be free,
  A dollar'd despotism, under three
  Great tyrants--"Boodle," "Lynch," and "Tammany."

How's _that_ for high-falutin, mellifluous MORRIS?

       *       *       *       *       *

Edith Mary Ledingham.

 _The young stewardess of the "Iona" who met with a terrible death on
 that ill-fated vessel in the heroic effort to rescue a child._

["She was such a good girl. She was so happy in her new work, and liked
the sea."--_Her Mother._]

  Only "a Gateshead girl," whose name,
  Though loved, was all unknown to fame,
        Until that testing morn,
  That moment fierce of sudden fear;
  To-day to English hearts as dear
        As English girl hath borne!

  That awful instant set it fair
  Among the records high and rare
        That glorify our State.
  A girl's heart, simple, cheerful, fond,
  To desperate duty could respond,
        In the great moment, great.

  What more have History's heroes done?
  Or with what readier valour won
        The golden meed of Fame?
  Only charred ashes left to sight!
  But on the immortal scroll we write
        Another gentle name.

  Such a good girl! And loved the sea!
  O white-cliff'd isle, while such as she
        Light a poor English home.
  The Viking blood, the NELSON strain
  No fateful hour shall seek in vain
        To serve thee on the foam.

       *       *       *       *       *

AS THE LAW SHOULD BE.

(_From "The Legal Intelligence" of the Future._)

Mr. Justice _Punch_ then addressed the prisoner in the following
words:--"Prisoner at the Bar, you have been rightly found guilty of
committing the heinous crime of writing and causing to be published a
pernicious form of composition known as a 'Penny Dreadful.' The jury
who have tried you have had no trouble in coming to the conclusion that
you are solely responsible for the fearful results that have followed
the appearance of your latest contribution to criminal literature.
Had not _Red-handed Rob_ left the printers there is every reason for
believing that the manor-house would have never been burnt down, and
that poor Mrs. SMITH would have been still hale and hearty. Nay more,
the twenty-seven burglaries and fifty-six other crimes of even a yet
more serious character would in all human probabilities have never been
committed. For all this terrible work you are primarily responsible.
In days gone by you would have escaped the appropriate penalty of your
wickedness. But now that the Pernicious Story Punishment Act has become
the law of the land, I have the power, as I have long had the will, to
treat you with becoming severity." His Lordship then passed sentence
in the customary form. Later in the day the publishers and printers of
_Red-Handed Rob_ were convicted of being accessories both before and
after the fact, and shared the fate of their colleague in iniquity.

       *       *       *       *       *

VIRGINIBUS PUERISQUE.

(_A Hint to the Purveyors of Tainted Literary Food for Youth_)

  The varlet who vends unwholesome victual
    Is sharply punished, if caught in the act;
  Why should the scoundrel expect acquittal
    Who sells bad books to our boys? Sad fact!
  We know that youth loves not goody boring,
    That little pigs have no relish for pearls!
  But where's the excuse for foul garbage pouring
    In innocent souls of our boys and girls?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "LOOK HERE, SCHLUMPENHAGEN, YOU MUST HELP US AT OUR
SMOKING CONCERT. YOU PLAY THE FLUTE, DON'T YOU?"

"NOT VEN DERE ISH ANYPOTTY APOUT."

"HOW'S THAT?"

"DEY _VON'T LET ME!_"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OBERLANDED A LA MODE.

Up in railway; all Switzerland is now "up in railway." Revisiting
simple spot opposite Jungfrau; here twenty years ago. "Simple!"
Electric light; shops; telescopes; tourists everywhere! They sprawl
on hillocks like Bank-holiday-Virginia-Waterers! Just heard one ask
waiter, "'Ow many feet are we 'ere above the sea?" "One tousing
eight 'undred mètres." "What's the good of meters?" What indeed?
Electric light everywhere. Everybody telescoping chamois, and buying
photographs; photographs chiefly of _other_ places; all the same when
you return home. Men attired like golfers; women in gaiters; exercise,
principally shopping. Simple Switzeresses outside toy-booths, talk
excellent English, but all in national costume. N.B. National costume
can be purchased.

[Illustration]

There _used_ to be only half an inn here; there are _now_ five hotels,
with a beer-garden, and inevitable casino. Dancing every night. Like
to watch fair, fat, sentimental German waltzing solemnly. Elderly
Darby of Albion, too, capering the newest shuffles and reverses, would
surprise his wife Joan at home. "Darby is devoted to climbing, and I
was glad to let him return to the primitive little place I remember on
our honeymoon." That is what _she_ thinks. _Climbing!_ Not a bit of it!
Most here, when fagged out with shopping, take guide and porter up the
"Shamhorn." There's a "Shamhorn" album now wherein proud mountaineers
exhibit flights of fancy in their records that one could never guess
from their countenances. At _table d'hôte_ not a few of SVENGALI'S
opinion, that "only the dirty want to wash." But the water is superb!
so are the Alps. Yet am I Oberlanded, and must go lower to feel higher.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR OWN TORRIST IN NORTH DEVON.

[Illustration]

_Mem. at Ilfracombe._--Capital boating and fishing here. Likewise
plenty of steamering. Lovely scenery everywhere about in this
neighbourhood for pedestrians, equestrians, "carriage-folk,"
and donkey-chaise people. _Special mem. for equestrians and
drivers_;--"_Hire on the spot_," which sounds like some direction at
billiards, but is meant for advice to riders and drivers. Picturesque
caves on coast to visit in rowing-boat, or in canoe which you can
paddle yourself. With fair weather, and good waterproof, you can't be
dull at Ilfracombe.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Mem._--"For outward application only." Before starting for a long and
genuinely country walk, put in your pocket a waterproof sponge wrapper.
It occupies no space, and, like an objectionable person in a small
party, _is always there to be sat upon_. Strong crook-handled stick
with pointed ferrule indispensable.

       *       *       *       *       *

Were Ilfracombe a French watering-place, how delightful it could be
made. Imagine the restaurants, the _déjeuners à la fourchette_, under
cover in bad weather, out in the open air in fine; the good bands; the
casino; the _établissement_, with excellent reading and writing-rooms,
billiard tables, library, first-rate concerts and fair dramatic
performances; _petits chevaux_, _petits soupers al fresco_, and every
possible opportunity afforded for enjoying life _en pleine air_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_À propos_ of restaurants, there is a splendid chance for starting a
first-rate French hotel in Ilfracombe, with well-devised gardens, and
at such a superb height, that while it would be open to all the most
refreshing breezes--for it is impossible to feel the full benefit of
these in the valley--yet would it be warm and cosy during the coldest
months, of which, in an ordinary year with well-regulated seasons,
there cannot be many.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ilfracombers boast that the snow does not lie in these parts. I hope
the Ilfracombers who gave me this information are, so far, like the
snow.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

Of course there are golf links. The links-eye'd golf man looks out for
these at once, and though he has got to go some little distance for
them, there they are--at last. Equally of course there is lawn tennis,
and plenty of it close at hand. A shilling an hour; "_net profits_."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Per steamboat to Tenby._--Tenby is described on some of the
excursionist handbills as "_The Naples of Wales_." If Tenby is the
Naples of Wales, then Margate is the Monte Carlo of Kent.

       *       *       *       *       *

Tenby Pier being in process of construction, there is no landing except
in small boats, of which there appears to be a better supply than is
usual on such excursions. But as even these boats cannot be run ashore
with their cargoes, there are the stalwart arms of boatmen extended to
carry ladies, and boatmen's broad shoulders on which gentlemen, unable
to wade, can ride pick-a-back. _Anyone over fifteen stone had better
remain on board._

       *       *       *       *       *

A guide-book, written by Mr. and Mrs. S. C. HALL--names held in
grateful remembrance as authorities on Irish legends--describes climate
of Tenby as being "for the greater portion of the year warm, dry,
and bracing." May be; was not there "for the greater portion of the
year." She "Halls by the Sea," further declare, when comparing Tenby
with Hastings, Ventnor, and Torquay, that it, though "equally mild, is
nevertheless invigorating." Shouldn't have thought it. But--very glad
to hear it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Oysters in plenty at Tenby. This being the first month with an "r" in
it after the off-oyster season, we saw an ogre-like gourmand devouring
a dozen or so of the natives of Tenby, with the magic aid of vinegar,
pepper, and--and--_whisky!!_ Of such grand constitutions (should he be
none the worse afterwards) are heroes made!

       *       *       *       *       *

_From Ilfracombe to Lynton._--Pass Watermouth Castle. Lucky person the
proprietor of this charming place. Lovely position this Watermouth;
quite enough to make one's mouth water.

       *       *       *       *       *

Near Coombe-Martin is Hangman's Hill, where a sheep hanged a man for
stealing him.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the character of _Mr. P.'s_ Own Inn-spector I venture to pronounce
the Valley of Rocks Hotel at Lynton delightful. Here everything is
unpretentiously English, and even the waiters are not all foreigners.
The supply of certain articles of food may on occasion run short (which
ought not to happen), and consequently you can only complain of what
you _don't_ get, very rarely of what you do. The other hostelries
may be equally good, but of these _Mr. P.'s_ Own Inn-spector, being
un-ubiquitous, cannot speak from experience.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Valley of Rocks Hotel is so-called because it is _not_ in the
valley but high up, and thence you can go down by the easiest possible
descent, _i.e._ _per_ water-worked tram-way to Lynmouth, and so
remount. Here we go up up up, and here we go down down down O, all day
at threepence a head per journey, reduction on taking a quantity of
tickets, not persons.

       *       *       *       *       *

And here comes in my complaint. I do not know what numbers this
"_ascenseur_" will carry with safety, but that it can _not_ carry more
than twenty, all told, inside and out, with anything like comfort, I,
not being "Your Fat Contributor," will honestly affirm. Whether the
proprietorship is in the hands of a company, or in those of Sir TIT BIT
NEWNES is of no importance. If Sir T. B. N. has the sole management, he
may be trusted in future to look after this "_facilis descensus_" well
and wisely.

       *       *       *       *       *

The drivers of the Ilfracombe four-horsed coaches are all good whips;
not showy, but careful. Pretty sight to see COPP'S mail, the Defiance
brought at a trot between the two gate-posts, and tooled round the
small lawn up to the Valley of Rocks Hotel, Lynton. N.B. Put your name
down early for box-seat in Coppy-book.

       *       *       *       *       *

Notice that the Defiance guard is a master of horn blowing. He tootles
most of the popular tunes of the day with windy wariations, humourously
causing deep bellowing bass notes to issue from the instrument whenever
the coach is passing by a field of cattle. The guard takes an unfair
advantage of these animals, as their peculiarity being to have no
horns, _they are unable to return the blow!_

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A Bathing Cove.]

Plenty of bathing; well managed; might be much better. _Advice gratis
for "bain de luxe"_:--Take a boat, towels, spirit lamp, can of fresh
water, &c., &c., discover natural bathing place on coast, snugly fixed
up among the rocks,--and _there you are_. Don't forget to have with you
refreshments for after bath.

       *       *       *       *       *

It grieves me to be compelled to quit Ilfracombe just as the real
sport is beginning. I do not allude to the North Devon Stag Hounds,
but to the arrival of September wasps, and very fine autumn gnats.
This morning had a glorious run over tables and chairs, killing the
wily wasp in the open, that is, on the window pane, with a slipper.
Luckily "_pane forte et dure_." or there would have been smashery. Cut
off his sting, if possible, with purpose of presenting it to youngest
lady of party. Killed a second, but less wily wasp. Ran him to earth
in jam pot. A third, which entered by the door, after a rapid burst
through the hall, showed some fine sport, and after getting away in the
open (window), went to ground somewhere in the rose bushes, when the
pursuers, armed with napkins, slippers, and paper-knives, gave up the
pursuit, and returned to breakfast.

Later in the day killed a splendid gnat with very big head and large
wings. Quite a pantomime gnat. Send him: as specimen to Sir AUGUSTUS
DRURIOLANUS. Useful as model for "property gnat" at Christmas. Or,
nailed him to wall, as warning to other gnats.


       *       *       *       *       *

_Final Note._:--Ilfracombe ought simply to be perfect. Spare friendly
criticism, and you help to spoil the place. But I say to the I. I. C.,
in all friendliness, addressing them in French, "knowing the language,"
like _Jeames, "Messieurs, j'ai raison, moi; vous,--vous avez Torrs_."
And now, I am off to Cromer.

       *       *       *       *       *

"ITERUM CRISPINUS!"--Bravo SIMS REEVES! SIMMUM to the front again, the
evening shirt-front, inviting MAUD for a stroll with him in the garden,
as fresh as ever! Glad to hear that in addition to "_Tom Bowling_," and
out of compliment to the modern _furore_ for cricket, SIMMUM is going
to produce, from his chest, a new song entitled "_Will Batting_," which
is to be dedicated to "W. G." But SIMMUM, our prime tenor, will make
it a duet, and sing it with Grace. Trust soon to hear that SIMMUM will
give us "_The Lost Ball_," as a companion to the "_The Lost Chord_."

       *       *       *       *       *

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

(_By "Hansom Jack."_)

No. V.--"GOING DOWN"--THE RACES--UPS AND DOWNS.

  "_Going down?_" Not this year. Bin laid up with the Flu, like my
    betters, and still feel a little bit squiffy,
  But when I _am_ fit and 'ave just arf a charnce of a run down to
    Epsom, I'm on in a jiffy.
  Lor! 'ow many times 'ave I druv to the Derby, in all sorts o' cumpny,
    'igh, low, and jest mejum;
  And seen some queer games, too! Well, say wot yer like, it's a
    'oliday bust, and it breaks the year's tejum.

  Tejum's the doose, if you arsk me; and dulness does hoceans more
    'arm than the pious ones reckon.
  It's jest when mernotony gives yer the 'ump that you're open to any
    bad biz as may beckon.
  Grey flatting constant will set you a longing to paint the town red,
    jest by way o' variety;
  Leastways, it's so with a Cabby, _I_ know, and no doubt it's the same
    in more toppin' Socierty.

  Ah! I remember old Kennington toll-gate afore 'twos removed Oh! the
    jams and the crushes!
  Once tooled down a fine F. O. clerk, young and smart, with the pootiest
    parcel o' blue silk and blushes,
  'Amper O. K., Larrynargers _had libbitum_, fizz up to Dick, and a
    somethink _poetic_,
  Like laylocks, laburnums and mayblossom in it, as made me--a mere nipper
    then--symperthetic.

  To see 'im a whisking the dust from 'er bonnet, arf tender, arf sorcy,
    an' 'er a-purtending,
  To bridle up proud and becoming, was pooty. Whose money, thought I, my
    young nabs are _you_ spending.
  'E parted like water, and backed 'em a buster; and blowed if _I_
    shouldn't with them heyes upon me.
  Dunno if _'e_ spotted a winner. _I_ didn't! But 'ow they enjoyed it!
    'Er smile reglar won me.

  When young 'uns is sweet 'uns, and sweet 'uns high-bred 'uns, it fetches
    me, somehow, to see 'em philander,
  They do it so dainty, an' sorter respekful. BILL BOGER, 'e says I'm a
    cackling old gander.
  All right, bilious BILLY! You've druv lovey-doveys of all sorts and ranks
    till you're verjuice an' sorrel,
  But these weren't no Monday Bank 'Oliday Mashers, or shop-sweet-hearts
    out on the scoop, _that's_ a moral.

  Well, close to the Stand a old heagle-beaked buffer was doing the nice
    to a dragful of toppers,
  And one 'awk-nosed duchess, as yaller as mustard, with hoptics
    suggestive of bile or 'ot coppers,
  Dropped lamps on _our_ little turn-out. Oh, Jemimer! I'm sure red-'ot
    needles was simply not in it,
  A savage old Pater, a jealous Miss GOLDBAGS, and--hus! Oh! I twigged
    the whole game in a minnit.

  Quite spiled my smart cab as a dove-cote that day. Druv 'ome rather
    late, and a trifle less cheerful,
  Him wondrous perlite, but,--well, wandering-eyed, an' 'er with the
    least little touch of the tearful.
  For me, I'd the 'ump, though 'e paid like a prince. Didn't see them
    again not till twenty year after;
  And then--well it gave me the doldrums somehow, though BILL BOGER
    declared that it moved _'im_ to laughter.

  _'E_ druv me and BILL to the Derby! We'd clubbed for a friendly drag
    down, BILL an' me, and some others,
  And poor young F. O. was our whip! 'E'd gone badgery slightly, along
    not of years but of bothers.
  _I_ knew _'im_ at once, and I think 'e twigged _me_; but 'e made ne'er
    a sign, only looked grave and civil.
  And when BILLY stood 'im a drink, 'e bowed low, just to 'ide what I
    guess was a flash o' the devil.

  I never let on, but addressed 'im respekful, and jest touched my 'at
    when we parted. Says BILLY,
  "You're mighty perlite on the suddent, young Snapshotter!" Well, I may
    be sentimental or silly,
  But _I_ often spekylate 'ow them two fare, and if I'll ever see them
    again; if they're married.
  I've tooled lots o' pairs to the Derby since then, and I tell you some
    curious couples I've carried.

  A brace o' young Sheenies as slep all the way, a' Eathen Chinee with
    a helderly lydy
  Distributin' tracks; two hevangelist singers, as plump as JEM SMITH,
    and as black as _Man Friday_;
  But if I possessed this 'ere _clarevoyong_ power I'd try it upon
    _Cremorne's_ year and _that_ couple.
  Wich makes BILLY say I'm as young as I was then, at 'art--though I
    mayn't be so nimble and supple.

       *       *       *       *       *

LETTERS TO A FIANCÉE.

DEAR GLADYS,--I am so glad that in spite of your many engagements--one
of them being an engagement to be married--you found time to write to
me again at last. You say little about your _fiancé_, but that, after
all, is of small importance. I approve of engagements in the abstract;
I know of no amusement more harmless nor more agreeable for a young
girl; and from my own experience I shall be delighted to assist you,
with any little hints in my power, towards making the course of true
love run as smoothly as possible.

[Illustration]

You have not described ARTHUR very clearly--(I am supposing, for the
sake of argument, that his name is ARTHUR; in your agitation you did
not tell me his name, but I think you are the sort of girl who would
be in love with the sort of man who would be called ARTHUR)--you have
not, I say, told me much about him; but from your letter I gather the
following suggestive facts:--

I. _You were made for each other._

A simple and self-evident proposition--it needs no comment.

II. _He never loved anyone but you! Except once, many years ago; and he
has told you all about it quite frankly. She was unworthy of him; and
married Another._

Now I have no doubt whatever, GLADYS, that you are quite jealous of
this person of whom he has told you, quite frankly and who was unworthy
of him, and married Another. I wish I could convince you of the fact
that there is no one in the world so little dangerous to you as the
person to whom he has grown indifferent. Fear rather the girls he
_doesn't_ know, the women he _will_ meet, the charming people to whom
he has just been introduced, the cousins he has never made love to! The
past can not be the rival of the present: the future may. But this is a
subject on which argument is of no avail. Reason retires, snubbed: and
retrospective sensitiveness remains. Now come his faults:--

III. _He does not like the way you do your hair, and he has a book of
dried flowers with their names written above them in Latin and violet
ink, and he shows them to you when he comes to tea._

These appear to be his only defects. I can understand that they cause
you some anxiety, but with care I trust in time they may wear off. Like
BUFFON the naturalist (_is_ it BUFFON?) or somebody, I have, from stray
bones, so to speak, to reconstruct, in imagination, the entire animal.
My impression of him is somewhat vague, but on the whole satisfactory.
It is charming of him to go home and write to you the instant he has
left you--I think it only right, of course--when people meet every day
they have a great deal more to write about than if they saw each other
occasionally. One thing in your letter puzzled me. He has been called
to the Bar, but he did not go, because he had once been thinking of
being a clergyman and he had conscientious scruples about the law. What
_can_ you mean? I am quite at a loss, but since you say it was very
noble of him and you love him all the more, I suppose it is all right.
You say his father has a maddening way of taking you aside and asking
you in general to "use your influence" with ARTHUR. He never says what
about, but gives forth irritating platitudes about "a woman's tact"
and "gentle feminine persuasion." You are quite right to agree at once
and not ask for an explanation, as it would keep you away from ARTHUR
longer, and it doesn't matter in the least.

It is very curious about the day ARTHUR went shooting and told you he
had shot two brace of grouse, and you found out afterwards it was not
true, he had shot thirteen. You ask me "how you should act," and say
you have as yet "taken no steps in the matter."

Of course, if you find him out in a little fib and let him know it,
he will think you have a horribly suspicious nature and be rather
disgusted at your want of trustfulness; on the other hand, if you don't
show it, he will think you extraordinarily stupid and easily duped. I
think if I were you, I should whenever the subject is alluded to, pin
on an enigmatic smile and be silent. This will be quite sufficient
punishment for the boastfulness of his modesty. Write soon again. I am
glad ARTHUR is so good to his sister's husband. A good brother-in-law
always makes an excellent _fiancé_.

With congratulations and every good wish,

  Your affectionate friend,
  MARJORIE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Q. E. D.

"HOW _VAIN_ YOU ARE, EFFIE! LOOKING AT YOURSELF IN THE GLASS!"

"_VAIN_, AUNT EMMA? ME _VAIN_! WHY I DON'T THINK MYSELF _HALF_ AS
GOOD-LOOKING AS I REALLY _AM_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

NOT THE CHEESE!

(_By an Old-fashioned Fellow_)

 ["I would buy 'Cheshire,' if I could get it; but I cannot. For
 years I have been doing business in most parts of the country ...
 and I have hardly ever seen a Cheshire cheese."--_"Fromage," in the
 correspondence on "English Cheese" in the "Daily News."_]

  So they've found it out at last, the other fellows,
    The mystery that for years I have bewailed!
  The cheese that with long keeping merely mellows,
    The good "Old Cheshire" from our marts has failed!
  You _cannot_ get it now for love or money,
    That fair, and fine, and flavoursome old stuff,
  With its amber glow as warm as virgin honey--
    So different from the Yankee's soapy buff!
  Don't talk to me of fine Canadian Cheddar,
    Of Gloster, or of Dutch, or shams like these;
  They may be cheaper, greasier, yellower, redder,
    But they're none of 'em a patch on Cheshire Cheese!

  Why, I used to munch it every day at luncheon;--
    'Twas lovely with a glass of amber ale!
  Now a chunk as hard as any Bobby's truncheon,
    As dry as yellow soap, and just as pale,
  They give me when I ask 'em for Old Cheshire,
    Or a clammy stuff called Gruyere--all in holes.
  Ah! "a crust of bread-and-cheese" was once a pleasure
    To honest appetites and English souls.
  I can do with Wiltshire, Dorset, Double Gloster,
    Or even good old Stilton at a pinch,
  But the modern "Cheshire" Cheese is an impostor,
    From whose muckiness malodorous I flinch.

  What the dickens have they been and gone and done with it?
    The foreigner has mucked _our_ market up,
  And it seems to me he's simply having fun with it.
    Cheese hard as any steel shot from a Krupp,
  Or soft and green and oozy as a swamp is,
    They give me, with some comic crackjaw name.
  But these foreign frauds--like Cæsars and like Pompeys--
    In nastiness seem pretty much the same.
  The smell of 'em--sometimes--is something horrid.
    They are limp, and locomotive, and--oh, there!
  The _thought_ of 'em makes me go chill or torrid,
    Whether Gruyere, or Roquefort, or Camembert!

  Then the Yankee with his tendencies Titanic
    Has sacrificed prime cheese to speed and bulk.
  _Now_ they say that in our markets there is panic;
    That luckless dairy farmers shake and sulk.
  Well upon my Alfred David _I_ don't wonder
    If "Cheddar" cheese _is_ rotting by the ton;
  For our worship of mere bigness is a blunder
    And I only hope the reign of it is done.
  But why should boyhood's "Cheshire Cheese" delicious--
    Like good old Ribstone pippins--fail and cease?
  Of modern "Cheshire" I am most suspicious,
    And whatever it _may_ be, it's not "the cheese"!

       *       *       *       *       *

AN ASININE PERFORMANCE.--A certain gallant and deservedly popular
colonel, whose love of politics is, perhaps, not quite so fervent
as his fondness for race-horses and greyhounds, has recently turned
his attention to another and comparatively novel form of sport. This
takes the shape of an _asinus doctus_--a learned, or accomplished,
donkey--"who can be matched at jumping, eating, and drinking, or all
three, against any other member of his tribe in the world," and the
erudite animal gave, for the colonel's behoof, a private exhibition
of his attainments in the grounds attached to an hotel in Norton.
First, _Ned_ jumped a 5ft. 6in. bar "without any apparent effort:"
then he devoured an ounce of twist tobacco and half-a-pound of bacon
with equal ease, but the thirst provoked by the latter comestible
had to be assuaged by a quart of champagne which he "put away" with
great promptitude and gusto. Refreshed with wine he further proceeded
to show a clean pair of heels to a pony in a steeplechase, winning
easily--"ears down" in fact. Finally, with a fox-terrier dog as his
jockey, he galloped round an orchard. The colonel was much pleased with
the entertainment, and well he might be. There is a brilliant career
in store for that donkey on the variety stage; or even in Parliament,
where he might "command the applause of list'ning senates," while
adorning the Hibernian benches as, of course, Member "for Bray."

  Bedad! here's a leader, ye sons o' Killarney
    Begorrah! ye'll not find a better I'll lay.
  Thin hould all yer braggin' and blusterin' blarney,
    And take a few hints from the Mimber for Bray!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: VIVA ITALIA!

BRITANNIA (_to Italia_). "HEARTILY I WISH YOU WELL! BE 'LESS
VISIONARY,' AND 'MORE PRACTICAL'!"

 ["The financial condition of Italy in the last degree unsatisfactory
 and unsound, the Roman question ever looming in the horizon, and
 the certainty of internal dissension continuing to develop, must
 necessarily blast all fair prospects for peace and prosperity in
 the young nation, towards which England has been inclined to look
 with sympathetic regard and almost maternal anxiety."--_Vide Daily
 Telegraph, Sept. 16, "The Ransom of Rome."_

 "An enormous debt has been run up, and the financial position of Italy
 has been damaged by the magnificent aims of her rulers."--_Times,
 Sept. 21._]

       *       *       *       *       *

L'ILE DE WIGHT.

_À Monsieur Punch._

DEAR MISTER,--After to have assisted at the Congress of Geographs at
London I come of to make a little _voyage d'agrément_--a voyage of
agreement--to the Island of Wight. I am gone to render visit to one of
my english friends who inhabits Sandown. I go not to tell you his name,
that would be to outrage the privacy of your "Home, sweet home." I
shall call him "SMITH." _Ah, le brave garçon?_--the brave boy! Eh well,
this good SMITH he invites me at him--_chez lui_, how say you?--and
I part from London by a beautiful morning of August, and I arrive to
Portsmout. See there the Island of Wight in face! I traverse the sea
in packet-boat, I arrive to Ride, and, in fine, to Sandown. _Tiens_,
see there the brave SMITH on the quay of the station! I would wish to
embrace him. But no! We are in England. I go to give him a shake-hands.
_Voilà tout._ And he conducts me to his house, and I see there Madame,
who is charming, and his childs. Ah, the dear little childs. But I
speak not of them, because all that is the "Home, sweet home," and, as
one says in english, the castle of the Englishman is in his house.

Sandown is a little town, enough coquette, very well placed at the
border of the sea. In effect, there is a _plage_, a _promenade_, a
_jetée_. It is not precisely the _plage_ of Trouville, the _promenade_
of Ostende; but it is enough agreeable. Only, at place of the pretty
little cabins, the tents, so charming, so coquette, there is some
drolls of things, some boxes on wheels, which one calls "bathings
machines." Oh, _la, la!_ I mock myself of them. And of more! The
ladys and the gentlemans can not to bathe themselves together. They
are there, all near the one of the other, but not together. _Ah
çà, c'est épatant!_ Me I march all gaily in the water towards the
ladys; I am in my costume of bath, all that there is of most as he
must--_de plus comme il faut_, how say you? When a man in a little boat
agitates the arms, and cries himself, "Hi there!" that is to say, "_Hé
là-bas!_"--and still of more which I comprehend not. And my friend
SMITH he cries to me also, and he agitates the arms, and, in fine, I
comprehend that it is defended. What droll of idea!

One day there is the _régates_--the regattas. We go all on the little
pier, and I see the Duckunt, the Watter-polo, the Greasepol. Ah, it
is of the most amusings! On the promenade there is the musicians,
who play of the organ, of the banjo; also the singers that you call
"nigers." They are there all together, and one hears the valse, the
hymn, the song of the Coffee Concert, all at the time. There is also
a man who walks himself on some stilts. He is very droll, and the
assistance--_l'assistance_--laughs much. Me I laugh as the other
spectators. The evening there is a fire of artifice, and the little
town is of the most gay. There is some "set-pieces," as one calls them,
and I read "Welcome to our Visitors." That is very polite; I offer my
thanks to Misters the Municipal Councillors of Sandown. And there is
one other which I see hardly, I see but "Success to ----." My friend
SMITH tells to me that it is "Success to our Saloon Bar." That may be.
But he is _blagueur_ this SMITH, he pleasants--_plaisante_, how say
you?--sometimes.

_A vrai dire_--to true to say--Sandown is well agreeable, above all
when he makes fine. _Et il faisait un temps superbe_--he was making
a superb time. As to the other parts of the Island of Wight, I go to
speak you of them in one other letter.

  Agree, &c.,

  AUGUSTE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "DADDY'S WAISTCOAT!"

(_Sketched from Life in Drury Lane._)]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Bechuanaland potentate visiting our shores is voted by all "a
jolly good fellow," and is generally admitted to be what, in Parisian
parlance, is known as a _bon Khama-rade_.

       *       *       *       *       *

"JEWELL'S APOLOGY."--Paste.

       *       *       *       *       *

PUNCH TO THE RUGBY UNION.

 ["Professionalism is illegal."--_First "New Law" adopted by the Rugby
 Union for the control of Rugby Football._]

  ROWLAND HILL, and gentlemen all,
  Thanks for your efforts to "keep up the ball"
  Out of the Moneygrub's sordid slime!
  "Professionalism" and "Broken Time"
  Wanted the touch of a vigorous hand
  To keep the Amateur Football Band
  From the greedy clutch of the spirit of trade
  And speculation, alas! arrayed
  In spoil-sport fashion against true sport,
  On turf and river, in course and court.
  Keep it up, gentlemen! Let not the shame
  Of money-greed mar one more grand English game!

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE NEW WOMAN" AT THE LYCEUM, _i.e._, Mrs. PATRICK CAMPBELL as
_Romeo-Robertson's Juliet_. Heartily can we "pat CAMPBELL" on her
delicate shoulder for her rendering of her share in the "Balcony
Scene." That "The CAMPBELLS are coming" we all know; but whether
this particular CAMPBELL, "of that ilk," has yet "arrived" is the
question on which we shall have more to say "in our next." Scenically,
satisfactory. Dramatically, doubtful.

       *       *       *       *       *

UGLY.

 (_A Pendant to a pretty little "pome" called "Pretty," by "Janet."_)

  An ugly little artist had an ugly little dream,
  Of an ugly little world built on an ugly little scheme;
  He took up his little pencil and incontinently tried
  To make ugly little pictures of that world so uglified.

  He drew ugly little figures just like evil little imps,
  With ugly little bodies of the hue of parboiled shrimps,
  With ugly little faces of a subterhuman sort,
  Each a dark Gehenna phantom or unnatural Stygian "sport."

  He limned ugly little mannikins as pale as tallow dips,
  And ugly unsexed women with protuberant under lips,
  With ugly scarlet tresses, or with sable porters'-knots,
  And with noses like a satyr's, and with eyes like inky blots.

  He daubed ugly little backgrounds, all as meaningless as mud,
  And ugly little sunsets all suggesting fire and blood,
  And ugly little arabesques which little seemed to mean,
  Yet were commonly suggestive of the cruel and unclean.

  Then that ugly little artist kicked up ugly little heels,
  And indulged in grim grimaces, and in gruesome little squeals,
  And he cried, "Hooray! On Loveliness shall man no longer feast.
  _I_ have proved that Art's true subject is not Beauty, but--the Beast!"

       *       *       *       *       *

MRS. MAMMON.

 [One of the latest journalistic attractions is said to be "finance
 made easy"--for ladies!]

  What? Finance made easy for ladies?--
    If _that_'s the last conquest of Mammon,
  "Sweet home" may henceforth be a Hades,
    Domestic enjoyment mere gammon.
  To babies, and bonnets, and kisses
    'Tis sacred; and O 'twere a pity,
  To find our fair matrons and misses
    Devoted to "Funds" and "the City."
  Let home be all innocent honey;
    With (she) Bulls and Bears do not rend it.
  All women should know about money
    Is what they know now--how to spend it!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A NEW RACE IN AFRICA!

ARRIVAL OF THE UGANDA EXPRESS. (TWENTY MINUTES AHEAD OF TIME.)]

       *       *       *       *       *

PSYCHOPHILOPHRENOPHYSIOGNOMY.

(_Some further Wrinkles by an Amateur Delineator._)

 ["A hint as to the manner you look at people, when delineating them
 for your own purpose, so that they should not be cognisant you are
 taking mental notes. Never stare at anyone straight in the face; and
 if whilst looking you should catch your subject's eye, quickly avert
 your gaze without moving to something about them that they may be
 wearing, or to the next person; you may for the moment appear to be
 looking into vacancy, or making a mental calculation, without staring
 at anything in particular."--_Professor O., in a weekly journal._]

To be a successful delineator you should cultivate the art of
squinting. Do this readily and naturally, without any apparent effort.
This completely baffles the subject, for even if you catch _his_
eye, you may safely defy him to catch yours. Beside, it economises
time. In a crowd you can often thus kill two birds with one stone, or
stony stare. If, however, nature has denied you this accomplishment,
instead of squinting, you may wink the other eye. But this is sometimes
misconstrued, as it has a rather challenging effect. You may find
yourself (if the subject is a lady) head over ears in a flirtation--or
in a somersault down the stairs--according to circumstances, before you
know where you are.

Acquire the habit of taking physiognomical snap-shots. Practise this
until, by merely glancing at a person in a good light for, say the
twentieth of a second, you can secure a mental picture of his or her
character, habits, and hobbies. You can develop and intensify, if
necessary, these useful little views at home, bringing out further
details as to the subject's bank-balance, latest _affaire de coeur_,
or number of first-cousins-once-removed. All these points can be
elucidated with a little patience and imagination.

Always, in conversing with a chance acquaintance you may meet in the
street, gaze steadily at the brim of his hat, or study his necktie with
a fixed and critical stare. This will make him think there is something
wrong. He will fidget, and become nervous, revealing the inmost secrets
of his soul. You then easily bag your instantaneous view, and depart
abruptly with triumph. He will cut you dead next time, but that doesn't
matter. You have added him to your collection, and can sail in quest of
fresh specimens.

Some ladies rather like their new bonnets being examined. Learn,
therefore, to do this with respectful admiration, and be prepared with
an instant and favourable criticism. It is as well to master a few
technical terms, so as to avoid, for example, confusing an _aigrette_
with a _toque_.

If, on the other hand, your lady victims resent their head-gear or
hair-dye being too closely examined, you must fall back on mental
arithmetic. Calculate how many barleycorns it would take to go round
the equator, or how many white beans there are in five black ones. If
these sums are too hard to be done on the spur of the moment, work them
out at home, and learn the results by heart, before sallying forth on
your head-hunting expeditions.

Never ask a policeman without scanning narrowly his features, nor, if
sitting behind a 'bus-driver, omit to secure his profile. Interview
every crossing-sweeper you pass. Organ-grinders, also, are fairly
inexpensive material to work upon. All these common objects are readily
accessible, and frequently prove perfect mines of character, if you
only dig deep enough below the surface. But the earnest explorer
will find the countenances of cabmen to be the most remunerative
phreno-physiognomical studies. Never mind their remarks if you can
enrich your note-book with some hitherto undiscovered trait of human
nature, with the inner meaning of some mysterious wrinkle, or with
the true poetry of a wayward wart. Return home happy if the day's
achievements include the decipherment of a mole on a flower-girl's
cheek, or the translation of some rare tint of colour-music on the nose
of some loafer near a pub.

Do not be content with the stores of face-reading lore that have
been already acquired. Each day fresh secrets should be revealed.
For instance, it has only recently been ascertained that one freckle
on the tip of the nose means a disposition to borrow money without
returning it; that three pimples in a row across the forehead indicate
unpunctuality and insubordination; or that a droop of the left eyelid
signifies habitual impecuniosity. It is still a moot point whether a
nose can be both Quixotic and witty, and how to read a promiscuous
eyebrow when combined with a constant upper lip. These, and many other
mysteries, are waiting to be laid bare by the amateur but ardent face
delineator.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WHY AND THE WHEREFORE.

_Porter (to passenger)._ Where for? _Passenger._ Wye.

And Porter does not reply, "'Cos I want to know," but puts a label on
passenger's portmanteau accordingly.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PROTESTING TOO MUCH.]

"AND I HOPE YOU'RE A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND?"

_Applicant for Situation as Pace boy._ "OH YES, MA'AM--_VERY_ HIGH!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

TOM THE GOLFER.

 [A Stanza on behalf of the testimonial now set on foot, and promoted
 by Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, to TOM MORRIS, the Grand Old Man of Golf.]


AIR--"_Tom the Tinker_."

  Tom the Golfer's a wonderful man,
  For though seventy-five, up to now, is his span,
  At hitting a ball or at laying a plan,
      He's a clipper is TOM the Golfer!
  He can play the game, when not laying new links.
  The Golf-world of a brave testimonial thinks,
  And _Punch_ inquires, with his choicest of winks,
      "Now, Golfing-world, what offer?"

       *       *       *       *       *

"Cheer, Boys, Cheer!"

 (_Ad Druriolanum, equitem gratias agens ad magistrum antiquum Henricum
 Russellum_.)

"Cheer, boys, cheer! No more of idle sorrow. Courage, brave hearts,
will bear us on our way!" Tickets I've got for Drury Lane to-morrow.
Cheer, boys, cheer! I am going to see that play!

[Illustration: "What cheer, my hearties!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

Ladies desirous of "trying their luck" in the matter of marrying a
title, had better turn their attention towards St. Petersburg, where a
French Count has made the novel proposal of starting a lottery--with
himself as the prize. A million tickets are to be issued at one rouble
each. The winner is to receive, in addition to an aristocratic husband,
the sum of 250,000 roubles; the Count himself will pocket a quarter of
a million; and the remaining half of the money is to be divided between
charity and the promoters of the "raffle." In the Parisian parlance of
the boulevards, this enterprising nobleman is decidedly a "roublard."

       *       *       *       *       *

ROUNDABOUT READINGS.

I learn from _The Freeman's Journal_ that "Lord WINDSOR, who presided
at the Librarians' Congress, is an all-round man. In addition to his
interest in libraries and the support which he has given to struggling
Tory papers, he is a first-class lawn-tennis player who has narrowly
escaped playing for the amateur finals, and a cricketer who carries
about with him still the marks of a blow which he received on the nose
in the playing fields of Eton College." I assume, though the fact is
not expressly stated, that the blow was inflicted by a cricket ball,
and not by the hostile fist of a fellow Etonian. It appears, then, that
in his early youth there was about Lord WINDSOR'S nose a something, a
bridge, an angle, _que sçais-je_, which forbad the idea of complete
roundness. The providential arrival of a sort of homoeopathic cricket
ball removed the protuberance, and now Lord WINDSOR is _totus teres
atque rotundus_. And, what is more, he still carries the marks about
with him. Gallant President of the Librarians' Congress!

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

  As a small boy at Eton Lord WINDSOR, I hear,
  Played a good game of cricket, but failed as a sphere.
  But behold, he grows rounder, the older he grows,
  With a ball to each eye _plus_ a ball on his nose.

       *       *       *       *       *

West Bromwich has my profound sympathy. I read in a Birmingham paper
that "there is a complete deadlock with regard to the mayoralty of
West Bromwich for the coming year. The deputation appointed at the
meeting in August have waited upon several eligible gentlemen to try
and induce them to accept office, but without any success up to the
present. Alderman ROLLASON has declined, and Councillor BUSHELL will
not undertake the duties, and the committee are now doing their best
to induce Councillor SLATER to take the position a second time." By
this time, let us hope, the difficulty may have been removed, for
imagination boggles at the idea of a town without a mayor.

       *       *       *       *       *

  West Bromwich's Committee-men, they fairly tore their hair.
  In all West Bromwich's expanse they could not find a Mayor.
  Each deputy with anguish notes his prematurely shed lock,
  But, dash it, what are men to do confronted by a deadlock?
  Each portly Alderman his Aldermanic self excuses,
  In vain they try the Councillors, for every one refuses.
  Declined with thanks by ROLLASON, the honour next they proffer
  To BUSHELL, who, in turn, declines their most obliging offer.
  Next, moving on, they tempt again their ex-Mayor, Mr. SLATER,
  "Be thou," they cry, with emphasis, "our mayoral dictator.
  With badge and chain and gown of fur it's not a paltry billet;
  The breach is ready-made," they say; "step into it and fill it.
  A vacuum a nuisance is, we ask thee to abate it;
  Our edifice is roofless now, climb up and promptly slate it."

       *       *       *       *       *

If Mr. SLATER should ultimately decline the proffered mayoralty, the
only suggestion I can make is that somebody should be pricked for the
office. I don't quite know what it means, but I know that every year
some forty estimable gentlemen are pricked for the shrievalty of their
respective counties. One after another they arise in the Court of
Justice in which this terrible ceremony takes place and declare that
there are circumstances which absolutely forbid them to accept the
post of High Sheriff. One pleads a reduced rental, another asks to be
excused on the ground of failing health, but the plea is allowed in
very few cases, and in the end most of them are reluctantly pricked.
The new cook on board ship in CHARLES DICKENS'S _American Notes_ was
boxed up with the Captain standing over him, and was forced to roll out
pastry which he protested, being of a highly bilious nature, it was
death to him merely to look at. But he had to roll it out all the same.
So it ought to be with an unwilling candidate for a mayoralty.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us be just to our American cousins in spite of boat-racing and
yacht-racing _fiascos_. There are certain things that they obviously
order much better than we do. For instance, when the silly season
presses they just mark out one of their prominent literary men and
have him attacked by highwaymen. At least this is what lately happened
to Mr. RICHARD HARDING DAVIS, for I read in _Harper's Weekly_ that
"a considerable number of daily journals of average veracity in New
York and Boston published accounts of Mr. DAVIS'S encounter, differing
to such a degree in details that each paper seemed to derive its
information from an independent source. The very variation of the
reports was an indication of a basis to the original tale: but after
all, the despatch which carried most conviction was one only four lines
long, in which Mr. DAVIS was quoted as intimating that some industrious
writer had lied about him."

       *       *       *       *       *

Notice again how magnificently they manage an earthquake. Little more
than a week ago a telegram, emanating from Tegucigalpa in Honduras,
was published in the _New York Herald_. In this it was stated that
"mail advices from Yetapan announced that a terrible earthquake
had occurred in that section of the country." There were elaborate
details. Three hundred persons perished. Four thousand people from the
outlying villages flocked into the city. During the night "sheets of
flame appeared at different points in the north-west rising to immense
heights. A church tower crashed down, carrying with it the roofs of
three houses. Just before daylight a prolonged shock rocked the entire
town as though it were a cradle, and on the mountain side quantities of
grazing cattle were engulfed by lava. At Covajunca thirty-seven houses
were laid in ruins: at Cayuscat twenty-nine houses collapsed. A later
despatch states that 353 bodies have already been recovered." In short,
this earthquake was carried out in a style of lavish completeness, and
no expense was spared to make it a record convulsion. It is unnecessary
to add that it never happened. There wasn't a single quake in the whole
of Honduras. Like _Falstaff's_ assailants, and like the highwaymen that
waylaid Mr. RICHARD HARDING DAVIS, it wore a suit of buckram. And of
all qualities of buckram the American is unquestionably the best.

       *       *       *       *       *

It appears, moreover, that CAIN and ABEL lived in Central America, and
that the mausoleum of ABEL is still to be seen in Yucatan, with all
the inscriptions complete. Somehow or other a migration to Egypt then
took place, and the Sphinx was erected by ABEL'S widow as a monument to
her murdered husband. All this has been discovered by M. LE PLONGEON;
and, to confirm the truth of the story, Mr. W. T. STEAD is to publish
it, bound in buckram, of course. "JULIA'S" share in this discovery is
not stated, but there can be no doubt that she must have been hovering
round.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am told that Cheshire cheese is in a bad way; that the price of it
has fallen so much as to make the total disappearance of Cheshire
cheese extremely likely. At the same time it is said that Cheshire
cheese is going down because the farmers wilfully produce an inferior
article. It may be so, though I hope it is not. But if it is, why
delay the punishment? To produce inferior cheese is as bad as robbery
with violence; and a dozen or so with a Cheshire cat ought to prove an
effective deterrent to the most hardened offender.

       *       *       *       *       *

TRAVELLER'S CONVERSATION BOOK.

(_For English Tourists visiting Sebastopol._)

I can assure you that I had no idea of treating Russia with disrespect.

I was not born at the time of the Crimean War, and know nothing
whatever of the battles of the Alma, Inkermann, and Balaclava.

I really only require breakfast, and have no intention of sketching the
walls of that fortress.

I was asking the waiter to clean my boots, and not for information
concerning the strength of the garrison.

I was not aware that the place had been declared a naval port, and was
therefore sacred from foreign invasion.

As a matter of fact, I was not searching for torpedoes, but only taking
a sea bath.

I was as innocent in thought and intention as a _baigneuse_ at Margate.

[Illustration]

I am sorry that it has been necessary to confiscate my Gladstone bag,
as it contains my linen and toilet requisites.

Certainly my bath sponge is not an explosive.

The programme of _Cheer, Boys, Cheer_, which is said to have been found
in my bag, is of no political significance.

It certainly was not intended to create a riot at Moscow.

It surely is unnecessary to cover me with chains.

I really must protest against being detained in a dungeon three feet
square, in lieu of occupying a comfortable room in the hotel _au
troisième_.

It seems to me harsh treatment to deprive me of all my goods and
chattels, and then refuse to allow me to communicate with the British
Ambassador.

Well, of course, if I must go I must, and I suppose I ought to thank
you for securing my ticket.

But surely you have made a mistake. I wished a ticket for Hampstead.

Very sorry that you should tell me that _you_ are right----from this I
gather I am booked (without appeal) to Siberia!





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