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Title: Punch, or the London Charavari, Volume 93, October 8, 1887
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 Charavari, Volume 93, October 8, 1887" ***

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Charivari, Lisa Tang, Malcolm Farmer and the Online


  PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

  Volume 93, October 8th 1887

  _edited by Sir Francis Burnand_



[Illustration: OUR AMERICAN COUSIN AGAIN TO THE FRONT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BATTLE OF THE WAY.

_A Lay of Lake-land._

  "Now, Lake-men, claim your right of way, and see the business done,
  Come with your crowbar, spade, and pick;--and sure the battle's won,
  For bolts and bars show SPEDDING'S race that you don't care a fig,
  And prove that right's no match for might when rallied round Latrigg."

  So shouted ROUTH-FITZPATRICK, and Lake-men with a cheer,
  To Fawe Park Gates from Keswick's peaceful slopes were drawing near,
  When high upon the topmost wall as if to break the spell,
  There uprose the Solicitor of Mrs. SPENCER BELL.

  He spoke and as his voice he raised his arms he waved around,
  "Beware," he cried, "what you're about, for this is private ground.
  With sundry pains and penalties you'll surely be repaid,
  Who dare to-day set hand to move this lawful barricade!"

  But ROUTH-FITZPATRICK heeded not his protest, nor replied;
  So Mrs. BELL'S Solicitor, he promptly stood aside,
  And watched the next proceedings with a disapproving frown,
  For up went crow-bar, pick, and axe, and gate and bar went down.

  Yes, 'neath the sturdy Lake-men's blows the barriers gave way,
  And lo! in rushed the joyous thronging crowd without delay;
  And some on foot, and some in drags, and some in waggons stowed,
  Held on their way triumphantly down the disputed road.

  So onward towards Silver Hill advanced the active host,
  And cleared each wire fence away, and levelled every post;
  And when with crowbar, pick, and axe, they'd made their purpose plain,
  To Nichol Ending they returned in triumph once again.

  Then Secretary JENKINSON uprose and spoke a word,
  And said how by the sights that day his manly breast was stirred,
  And how that, if on Saturday as they had now begun
  They held their own, they might regard the fight already won.

  And then a telegram from Mr. PLIMSOLL he read out,
  The which the Lake-men greeted with a hearty answering shout;
  And Mrs. BELL'S Solicitor retired from the field,
  But with an ugly look that seemed to say, "We'll never yield!"

  And so commenced the fray that day, and though we know, of course,
  As everybody tells us, there's no remedy in force,
  Still, if the Lake-men's pick and axe this matter sets at rest,
  We must admit how ills to cure at Keswick they know best.

  But which side wins or loses in the still impending fight,
  Whether force of public freedom, or trick of legal right,
  The eager world on-looking may have watched a deadlier fray,
  But none more keen in contest than the Battle of the Way!

       *       *       *       *       *

PARNELLITE PROVERB (_applied to the Baleful Balfour_).--Give him an
inch (of law) and he'll take a (National) League.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MORNING'S REFLECTIONS.

    SCENE--_Breakfast-table of an Illustrious Statesman of stalwart
    proportions and "Gladstonian" politics. Illustrious Statesman
    discovered, admiringly perusing three closely-printed columns of
    leading Morning Paper._

[Illustration]

_I. S._ (_soliloquising_). Hah! Really reads very well, _very_ well
indeed. Points neatly put, hits smartly delivered! They shan't call me
the "Champion Slugger" for nothing. American pugilist, named SULLIVAN,
original bearer of that honorific title, I believe. Should like to see
SULLIVAN. A fellow-feeling makes us wondrous--curious. _Not_ kind,
always, or JOSEPH and WILLIAM--but no matter.

Hm--m--m! Hm--m--m--m! Excellent! Sparklers calculated to illuminate
Lewes, startle Sussex, electrify the country. Slugging and sparkling
my specialities. One or two decent speakers about; "our distinguished
leader" can--distinguish, at great length and with considerable
verbosi--I mean eloquence. RANDOLPH can rattle, and MORLEY can pound,
and ROSEBERY twitter pleasantly. But they can't coruscate _and_ crush.
The power of the bolt, which at once shines and smashes, is
Jovian--not Rhodian, as DIZZY once nastily suggested. "My thunder,"
and I'm proud of it.

By the way, wonder what the _other_ "Thunderer" thinks of it. Touches
a tender chord, the chord of memory. Lost chord now, indeed. But no
matter, let's see.

    [_Turns paper._

Hm--m--m! Hm--m--m--m! Hah! _Too_ bad! "His bludgeon, or--considering
his present connection--may we say his shillelagh?" Tut-tut! The
Cloud-Compeller as a bludgeon-man, the Titan-queller flourishing a
blackthorn like a tenth-rate Theseus, a Hibernian Hercules! Absurd! No
sense of keeping whatever. "Swashbuckler," too! Nasty, and not even
new!

As to "beating the big drum in Sussex"--why, how often have I done
it--to their delight--in their own pages! "Travesty of contemporary
history"--this to their own omniscient HISTORICUS!

Shows the "Champion Slugger" has struck home, though. Your
hard-hitter--your fellow who smites, as the appreciative rustic
(Sussex man, I wonder?) put it, "blooming hard, blooming high, and
blooming often," generally scores--even in the cricket-field. I am the
BONNOR of debate, the THORNTON of the platform. And doesn't the "Ring"
like it?

Knocked holes in the "Jubilee Session," I fancy, "Ignorant people who
mistake the flush of fever for the bloom of health, the torpor of
apoplexy for the tranquillity of sleep," think that blazing BALFOUR
and stertorous SMITH are never "a penny the worse" for my repeated
poundings. Pooh! "Salted with fire"--_my_ fire--they--not being of the
indomitable race of DIZZY--will _not_ "undecaying live" much longer. I
prophesy--but no, prophecy, _private_ prophecy at least, is not
profitable. Don't suppose a Delphic priest, or even a Derby tipster
ever wasted time in prophesying _to himself!_

Still--still, _if_ Champion "slugging" combined with coruscation
_does_ lead to Leadership--as why should it not?--I fancy I know some
one who will have what the sporting patterers call, I think, "a look
in" one of these days. Parochial shrewdness is all very well, so is
philosophical precision combined with Puritan fervour. But the
"swashing blow" strikes home, and if the Unionist bucklers are beaten
down thereby, let who likes cry "swashbuckler!" As to
"shillelaghs"--why is not "blackthorns to the front!" the order of the
hour?

    [_Left smiling._

       *       *       *       *       *

IN TROUBLED WATERS.--Mr. CHAMBERLAIN is being praised in some quarters
for saying that we should leave Irish affairs, and "attend to our own
business." The inference seems to be that "Irish affairs" are _not_
"our business." Is not Ireland as much a part of the United Kingdom as
England, Scotland, or Wales? We shall be glad of a line from Mr.
CHAMBERLAIN--when he gets to his Fisheries.

       *       *       *       *       *

GOLD AND STEEL: OR, SOMETHING LIKE A "SCIENTIFIC FRONTIER."

[Illustration: _The Nizam of Hyderabad_ (_to Britannia_). "HERE,
MADAM, IS AN EARNEST OF MY GOOD-WILL--AND MY SWORD IS READY WHEN
WANTED."]

_Mr. Punch, as Britannia's Chief Spokesman and First Plenipotentiary,
replies to the Nizam of Hyderabad, First of India's Mahommedan
Princes_:--

  Thanks, great descendant of GHAZEE-OOD-DEEN!
  A gracious gift! It well may move the spleen
  Of England's enemies--and yours. The Bear
  Will stir, and growl in his chill Northern lair
  To see the Indian Tiger arm-in-arm
  With England's Lion, linked by the strong charm
  Of mutual confidence and common aim.
  A generous friendship, Prince, is our best game.
  Not loyalty alone approves your gift,
  But wise self-interest, and sagacious thrift.
  Sage SALAR JUNG would cordially approve
  The liberal impulse, the far-sighted move.
  _Punchius_, my Prince, is far too great to gush,
  And fulsome flattery wakens manhood's blush.
  England's true honour England's hand must hold;
  Steel for defence, and for equipment gold
  'Tis hers to furnish; when that hand shall fail,
  Auxiliar sword or purse will nought avail
  To prop her sway, or 'stablish shaken power,
  Not though she had the more than Danaë dower
  Of all "the wealth of Ormuz and of Ind."
  Fear must not shake and softness must not blind
  The man, the people, who would lead and light
  Progress's Army in the World's great fight.
  Each nation finds, when Fate its courage tests,
  Its last, best frontier is its soldiers' breasts.
  War's sinews, though, wise captains won't contemn,
  Loyalty, liberal aid,--who laughs at _them_
  Is churl and goose at once. All England's ranks
  Will hail your generous gift with cordial thanks,
  NIZAM-OOL-MOOLK! Our DUFFERIN has Wit,
  Trust him to make the wisest use of it;
  Or failing that--which doubtless will _not_ fail--
  Trust _Punch_ to throw his _bâton_ in the scale,
  Whose wood, in hands like his, as skilled as bold,
  Ofttimes outweighs the worth of steel _and_ gold.
  NIZAM, that North-West Frontier, _Punch's_ eye
  Shall watch henceforth with sharpest scrutiny.
  The lakhs not lacking, should swift wisdom lack,
  That _bâton_ will descend with thundering thwack
  On dolts who dull delay shall cause or suffer;--
  But there, our DUFFERIN is not a duffer.
  Red-tape itself would hardly be so mad
  As to misread the moral Hyderabad
  Reads to Calcutta in this princely _proffer_.
  _Punch_--for his QUEEN--acknowledges the offer
  Of him who brings, a tribute free as leal,
  Gold for her peace, and for her war-time steel.

       *       *       *       *       *

ROBERT AT LILLIE BRIDGE.

Well, it does seem rayther rum, I confess, but it's nevertheless true,
that hardly nothink of a singlar and xtraordinary charackter seems to
appen in London that I don't seem to be present. In these dredful dull
days, when there ain't not no great dinners a going on, no not hardly
one Livery Company a dining in their Alls of dazzling light, and the
LORD MARE hisself a injoying of his olliday at Pangburn, what is a
pore Hed Waiter to do to wile away a idle hour or 2; so hearing as two
of the seven Champions of England was about to run a race of ever so
many hundred yards in just a few seconds, at Lilly Bridge, me and
BROWN went there on that now sillybrated Monday, and saw sich a
rewolutionary riot as would have done justice to old Ireland itself.
Determined to be in good time, we went early, and took up our plaices,
and patiently waited. At about 5 o'clock pea. hem. the two galliant
Champions walked on the ground, and took a good look at it. I didn't
think werry much of their pussonal aperance, and shouldn't a thort as
they was Champions if I hadn't bin told, and one was a good deal older
than the other one, which didn't seem quite fare to me. However, I
didn't interfere, as it wasn't no bizziness of mine, and the two
running Champions walked in to dress, or rather praps I should say, to
undress for the race. Harf past 5 came, and no Champions, and 6
o'clock struck and no Champions, and we began to get jest a little
fidgetty; at aquarter-past 6 a wild roomer spread around that we was
all a going to be sold!

There was about a hundred thowsand on us, more or less, a waiting
patiently and quietly for a sight that thousands had cum hundreds of
miles for to see, and we was told as how as the two galliant Champions
had had a jolly row jest as they was a undressing, and then both on em
dressed themselves again, and set off at their werry best speed, in
quite different and rong directions, and never cum back! At this
howdacious swindle our true British pluck begun for to arise, and we
all with one acord began to shout tout, "Give us back our Money!" As
they didn't do it, we all made a rush to the Pay Places, jest to help
ourselves to our several shillings, but the cowardly money-takers had
bolted with our money!

Then we Great Britains, feeling as we had been hartfully swindled,
rose up in our mighty wroth and wowed wengeance! And wengeance we
took! Some of the leading sperits among us who had come hundreds of
miles to see the Recorder beaten, tho why they wanted to beat him I
coudn't at all understand, shouted out "We'll have sum-think for our
money afore we gos back," and quite right too, if they'd ha' stopped
at the beer and lemonade, and the spunge cakes, at which the first
rush was made, but when it came to destruction and fire and rebellyon,
me and BROWN withdrawed our countenances from the hole thing and
remembered our duty to our QUEEN and Country, and seeing as the blue
Gardiens of the Peeple was rayther hard pressed by the raging and
angry Mob, we got two of our friends, as was there, to jine us, and
then them, and me, and BROWN, thinking as perhaps a reserve force
might be wanted, and out of respect to the great Country that begot
us, and bread us, and eddicated us, we stood a long ways off and
formed ourselves into a reserve Corpse accordingly, and from there we
surweyed all the wild and wicked proceedings in peace and quietness,
and, strange to say, wasn't wanted after all!

Ah, if a few more of the few respectable-looking gents as was there
had imitated our bold xample, things might have ended werry different
to what they begun, but so it is, the mere mob is jest as easily led
away to do rong as to do rite, it's only the few who has the moral
curridge to judge for theirselves as can stand apart on the roof of a
publichouse, and look down with pitty and contemp on what is quite
beneath 'em.

As I stood a moralising from my exhalted persition, with a glass of
werry nice hot rum and water to keep up my sperrits and keep out the
cold, I coudn't help thinking wot a werry wunderfull chap is the
Brittish Publick when he hasn't noboddy to guide him. In this werry
partickler case, becoz sumbody had bin and robbed 'em all of a
shilling a peace, they sets to work, and not only gobbles up all poor
Mrs. KING'S refreshments, but breaks all her glasses and things,
although she knowed more about it than the Emperor of CHINA, and that
coudn't ha' been werry much, and smashes down all the palings and
places, and then sets 'em on fire, altho' they belonged to a Gent who
was out of Town miles and miles away.

Well, I must say that, having in my werry long xperience seen lots of
crowds of all sorts and sizes, for a thorough blackguard set as
doesn't seem to have one single good quality, or, if they has, they
hides it so carefully that not no one can never find it, but who seems
to delight in orful langwidge and senseless mischief, commend me to a
sporting mob in the naybourhood of Lundon; and the less they are
allowed to congregate there, the better for all honest and decent
people.

      ROBERT.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AN ANXIETY.

_Aunty._ "WHY, LAURIE, YOU SEEM TO BE GROWING EVERY DAY!"

_Laurie_ (_whose one idea is his Birthday next week_). "YES, AUNTY;
I'M AFRAID I SHALL BE SIX BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

VICARIOUS WHIPPING.--Why are Railway Chairmen and Directors like JAMES
THE FIRST when he was a boy? Because, according to received tradition,
His Majesty, _in statu pupillari_, was provided with another boy, who,
whenever JEMMY deserved the rod, had to be flogged, as a substitute,
in the Royal youth's place; and the Railway Authorities are allowed
similar substitutes, namely, signalmen, engineers, and other
subordinates, against whom, when fatal accidents happen by their
superiors' fault, Coroners' Juries usually return verdicts of
manslaughter.

       *       *       *       *       *

DESCRIPTION OF AN ASSASSIN.--"A Man who takes life seriously." N.B.--I
never like hearing a Medical Man so described in ordinary conversation.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

SALUBRITIES ABROAD.

(_En Route for Home after the Royat Treatment._)

At Geneva I meet an old friend, one of the heartiest men I've ever
known and one of the best. He is delighted, really delighted, at our
accidental meeting. I am for going on, but he will not hear of it.

"I know the place," says he, cheerily, with a wink and a nudge, "and
I'll take you about."

What a wink it is! and what a nudge! So full of humorous appreciation
of life and character. Such a knowing not-to-be-done-by-anyone sort of
wink. And the nudge is intended to draw your attention to the wink and
emphasise it. JOHN BIRLEY is the frankest, openest, freest-and-easiest
of men, with a boundless capacity for enjoyment, the strongest
sympathies with suffering, and of a reverential grateful spirit that
thanks Heaven for all bounties, and accepts misfortunes and sorrows as
kindly reminders from Providence that the misfortunes and sorrows of
others have to be considered and relieved, and again he thanks Heaven
for having put it into his power to relieve them. His chief enjoyment
is in giving pleasure to others. The most selfish would gain some good
from contact with JOHN BIRLEY; and the craftiest, to whom it might
occur to make JOHN BIRLEY'S acquaintance for the sake of what he could
make out of him or by him, would soon discover his error, and would be
informed that he stood detected, very clearly, plainly, and
straightly, not by anything that JOHN BIRLEY would say, but he would
have it intimated to him beyond possibility of mistake by JOHN
BIRLEY'S wink and a playful nudge from JOHN BIRLEY'S elbow in his left
or right side, for JOHN speaks with both elbows. The crafty rogue
would there and then know--if he were not too fatally crafty for
himself as are so many rogues, or too conceited to realise the humour
of the situation,--that his little game, whatever it might have been
with JOHN BIRLEY, was up, that his schemes were upset and that to "try
it on," any further with JOHN BIRLEY would be utter waste of time and
trouble. That is what JOHN BIRLEY'S wink would convey to the rogue.
But to the honest man, to the friend, the wink and nudge assure good
comradeship and something rare in store for him. To the unfortunate
and suffering there is another tone to the wink and nudge, and to
these they are full of promise of hope and help, and act as a fine
invigorating tonic.

Such is JOHN BIRLEY, whom I meet _en route_ and who insists upon my
stopping with him and showing me the place. He travels a great deal,
he knows everybody and everybody knows him. No matter what the
language of the country may be, no matter whether he is in France,
Germany, Russia, Egypt, India, or Africa, among cultivated peers,
outlandish peasants, or uncouth savages, JOHN BIRLEY invariably makes
himself thoroughly understood, for any deficiency in his acquaintance
with the language he ekes out with a wink and a nudge adapted to the
occasion, and he is sure to obtain exactly what he wants, or an
excellent substitute for it, if the thing itself is not to be had. And
this has always been so. It so happens that he has retired from
business and is now very rich, but long ago when he was working hard,
and struggling too, his manner and method were just the same; he has
never been discouraged, never been discontented, always energetic,
always sanguine, and has elbowed his path for himself through the
crowd, politely, pleasantly, apologising sympathetically for any toes
he may have accidentally trod upon in his onward course, and working
himself well into the front rank by the magic charm of his wink and
nudge. He has pulled some others after him who have clung on to his
coattails, and brought out of the ruck not a few of those on whose
toes, as I have already said, he had pressed rather heavily in
passing.

I know I cannot be in better hands, and he is going to show me about
everywhere within the very few days I can absolutely spare, now that
my cure is finished, my Royat time over, and that I am on my way back
to England, home, and beauty.

He maps out a few excursions. He has taken them all before, long ago.
But, delighted to go over old ground, the greater part of his pleasure
will be found in my enjoyment; for to revisit places associated with
pleasant memories, or with nothing but the remembrance of their
loveliness, their grandeur, or their solemnity, is to him, in some way
like welcoming old friends. All JOHN BIRLEY'S friends are old ones; he
has no new ones,--he never had. Some men of the world discussing him,
aver that it is a sort of proof to themselves of there being something
good still left in them, that they can reckon themselves among JOHN
BIRLEY'S friends. They are of all shades and colours are his friends,
and they will analyse each other's characters behind each other's
backs in the presence of JOHN BIRLEY, and afterwards they will be more
inclined towards each other, more sympathetic, and more charitably
disposed, in consequence of each other's good points having been
brought out into strong relief by JOHN BIRLEY'S kindly light. So it is
with seeing the beauties of nature or art in his company; and so it is
that I consider myself to have alighted on my legs in having come
across him in this, the lovely playground of Europe, the home of the
Merry Swiss Boys and Girls.

There is the Lake to be done; there is Nyon, Thonon, Rolle, Lausanne,
Ouchy, Evian-les-Bains, Vevey, and then there are the heights above,
including the ascent to St. Gergues, and to wherever can be obtained
the best views of Mont Blanc, the Dent du Midi, and the other
well-known "objects of interest." Were PULLER here, he would say that
"the best views of these mountains can be obtained at the
photographers"--but he is not here, he is finishing his treatment at
Royat. So it is all arranged, and we dine together, as a commencement.

"You don't mind a third party present?" says BIRLEY to me,
apologetically, "as I have just found old Sir ALEC MCQUINCEY,
wandering about without a companion. Wretched to be alone, eh? and not
well, eh? Suffering from liver--nasty that--gives jaundiced view of
life. So must cheer the old boy up. He's off for a cure to
Evian-les-Bains; so I said to him, 'Dine with us to-night, and we'll
land you there to-morrow, eh?'--that's right, isn't it?"--and he gives
me a cheery wink and nudge, taking me, as it were, into partnership
with him in his scheme for entertaining Sir ALEC MCQUINCEY, and for
keeping up the latter's spirits, previous to seeing him off to-morrow
to the place across the Lake where he is to undergo his treatment,
which I trust may enable him to "live happily ever after," and enjoy
any amount of City dinners ("He is a City magnate," says BIRLEY, with
a nudge, "and that's not good for liver complaint, eh?") till the end
of next Season.

Sir ALEC is a capital companion, hearty, cheery, and full of
anecdotes. He has got an excellent listener in JOHN BIRLEY, whereat I
am rather astonished as JOHN generally has a lot to say for himself,
and a good story from one man invariably draws out another from J. B.
But on this occasion he is so unusually silent that I am puzzled. It
is true that Sir ALEC commences most of his anecdotes with an apology
to BIRLEY in this shape, "I've told this to BIRLEY before, but,"
turning to me, "you haven't heard it, and it may interest _you_,"
whereupon BIRLEY nods approval, and I politely assure Sir ALEC that I
am already deeply interested by anticipation, and in the words of the
ancient drama, now obsolete, I feel inclined to add, "Proceed, sweet
warbler, your story interests me much; proceed."

The sweet warbler, who, by the way, is a trifle hoarse and
occasionally a little indistinct, tells several of these
narratives--they are narratives--and I cut in with occasional
observations more or less to the point, which are silently
acknowledged by BIRLEY, but not by Sir ALEC, who seems bent upon
getting on with his series, interspersed with anecdotes, to the
exclusion of all other conversation. He begins with the fish, and his
first story about somebody who rose from nothing and arrived at being
something, lasts, with the assistance of several discursive but
illustrative anecdotes, till we reach the merry Swiss cream and stewed
fruit. With the coffee and cigars he opens volume two of his
interesting and remarkable stories of great men--each biographical
monologue being really interesting by itself, only taken together they
ought to be spread over a considerable period, like the _Arabian
Nights' Entertainments_, and still BIRLEY contentedly listens, gently
inhaling his cigarette, and, when referred to, nodding corroboration.
It occurs to me that as Sir ALEC has told all these before to JOHN
BIRLEY, so the latter may have told most of his to Sir ALEC and to
myself, and that that is why he is now so silent. At all events, he
only rarely makes observations, and these of the curtest. I fancy he
wants me to come out and amuse Sir ALEC, in return for Sir ALEC
interesting me; and it occurs to me that I shall be ungrateful if I do
not cut in with something new, just to save BIRLEY from hearing Sir
ALEC'S stories all over again, and Sir ALEC from hearing BIRLEY'S,
with which I presume, as they are such very old and intimate friends,
he must be acquainted.

So I rouse myself, with a strong determination to shine or perish in
the attempt. I make a sharp and apposite remark on some portions of
the story which Sir ALEC is now recounting, whereat BIRLEY smiles, and
Sir ALEC smiles too, but resumes his narrative at once, as if he were
afraid of losing the thread in consequence of my interruption. I am
conscious of having only glimmered; I have not yet shone. On he goes
again; he is telling us of a wonderful silver tea-pot, how it was lost
in a cart, how some one saw it outside the Old Bailey, how some one
came up at that moment and a Judge said to an Alderman, "That's the
tea-pot!" Now at this moment I remember that I have a story which
neither of these two has ever heard of a Judge and an Alderman which
will come in capitally here, and so as I am quite certain that if I
keep it to myself and allow the opportune moment to pass, I shall
forget it entirely, and so lose a magnificent chance of shining
brilliantly in the presence of Sir ALEC (who if favourably impressed
can be, I am aware, of the greatest possible service to me), I take
advantage of Sir ALEC drawing strenuously at the last half-inch (he is
a thrifty man evidently) of his expiring cigar, to say briskly, "By
the way,--excuse my interrupting you--but that reminds me," and then I
give my story of the Judge and the Alderman, which makes BIRLEY laugh,
and brings a smile to Sir ALEC'S lips, though it seems to me there is
a puzzled expression on his countenance, as though he couldn't quite
understand the point, and was appearing to be amused chiefly out of
politeness to me as being a friend of JOHN BIRLEY'S.

However, Sir ALEC does smile, and then forthwith resumes his
narrative. When he has finished, as he has mentioned the names of some
persons with whom I am acquainted, I ask him if they are so and so,
and he replies, "Yes," and adds something which elicits from me a
sharp remark that gets a roar from BIRLEY, and produces on Sir ALEC'S
countenance another smile and the same sort of puzzled expression I
had noticed before. I feel that I have shone, but that somehow I have
not turned my light strongly enough on to Sir ALEC. I question him as
to the identity of some other celebrated persons he has been
mentioning, and he replies with something about them which doesn't
seem to exactly correspond with my question; but once more--being in
the happiest vein, and shining in a manner that positively astonishes
myself, I let off another brilliant jest, which is received in
precisely the same manner by my audience as were my previous
conversational fireworks. I think to myself, "I am ingratiating myself
with Sir ALEC. This will be a first-rate thing for me and for several
members of my family, as a man in Sir ALEC'S influential position,"
&c.

Sir ALEC now starts another subject, and as I foresee that if he
sticks to it, I have something which will cap everything, I at once
question him as to something he has just uttered. He replies, but, as
before, I am bothered by his reply, which seems to me utterly
inconsequent. So I repeat my question. And he smiles, nods and says,
"Well--yes--" doubtfully. But my question required quite a different
sort of answer. It had been, "How many times did you say Lord
GRANGEMORE sneezed on that occasion?" To which it is evident that a
doubtful "Well--um--yes," is not a satisfactory answer. So I repeat
the question, whereupon he turns towards me confidentially and says,
"No, I don't think so. It was her sister he married." I look at him
inquiringly to see if this is his fun, but at that moment I catch a
wink from BIRLEY who is putting up his hand to his ear and intimating
in the clearest possible pantomime for my private and particular
benefit, that our entertaining friend Sir ALEC MCQUINCEY is uncommonly
deaf!

Now I comprehend BIRLEY'S silence. Now I comprehend why Sir ALEC goes
on talking, and why he looks puzzled at any interruption, and why he
could only smile when he got the cue, as it were, from his companion,
and was made aware that there had been something said which required
to be smiled at.

I relapse into silence. I accept an excellent cigar from Sir ALEC, and
I let him talk for the rest of the evening uninterruptedly, until he
looks at his watch, says that nine-thirty is late enough for him, that
he has enjoyed his evening with us amazingly, and goes off to bed.

"Agreeable old chap," says BIRLEY, stretching out his legs,
preparatory to taking a short stroll. "Seen a lot of life has old
ALEC. He's a capital Chairman at a Board-meeting. Just deaf enough
when he doesn't want to hear any arguments. I let him talk on."

"So I see," I say, and we walk out to bid good-night to Mont Blanc.

"The Mons looks like a warrior taking his rest--his last rest," says
BIRLEY, gravely, giving me a subdued nudge. "NAPOLEON THE GREAT, and
his cocked hat, carved out of white stone. Ah!" and, meditatively we
linger, and then walk slowly back to the Hotel.

"We'll take old ALEC to his warm bath at Evian-les-Bains to-morrow,"
says BIRLEY. "Good night." Then he pauses on the stairs, as with a
wink full of fun, and last playful nudge, he says, "I suppose you'll
let him have all the talk to himself, eh? Won't you? Ha! ha! I shall."

      *  *  *

My friend SKURRIE to whom his own Plan of Return, which I have
accepted, is as the law of the Medes and Persians, says he will give
me three days more for GENEVA and BIRLEY, and that then we must
emphatically start homewards as he insists on JANE and myself seeing
Heidelberg _en route_ and every half hour of our time from Wednesday
to Monday is so carefully adjusted that to miss one train will upset
all the plans he has taken such pains and trouble to arrange for us. I
am closeted with him for two hours, when he explains it all to me,
gives me, so to speak, the key of the puzzle, insists on my verifying
the items by _Cook's Tourist Train-Book_ (an invaluable work), and
then reducing it to writing. After this I am headachey, and exhausted.

[P.S.--Revising this, long after the event, I say, "Beware of SKURRIE
and his fixed plan of sight-seeing against time."]

       *       *       *       *       *

GRASP YOUR THISTLE.

[Illustration: Light Puffs raised a Little Swell.]

MR. PUNCH, SIR,--I would like to ask you, slick out, if you reckon it
was all fair and square with that there _Thistle's_ keel. For to hear
that interested parties in that race had gone down in a diving-bell
the evening before and screwed themselves on to that yacht would not
have surprised me. And, let me tell you had they done so, they would
have considerably impeded her progress the following day. That Captain
BARR was cute enough when he said, "he couldn't make out what had come
to his ship." Take my word what had come to it was just that
diving-bell, and I shouldn't mind calculating that the owner of the
_Volunteer_ was boss of the interested parties fixed up inside of it.
You ask "can such things take place in the States?" Wal--I guess they
just can. Muchly so, when there's money on it. As to the diving-bell
advantage, I speak feelingly, as I have assisted over a twenty-mile
course in one myself. We were on that occasion found out at the
finish. But it was all straight. The umpire, whom we had previously
squared, and who was above reproach, gave it in our favour. It's
knowing these things, coupled with the fact that I backed the
_Thistle_ for two hundred dollars, that makes me just throw out these
friendly hints to you, Sir, from,

      THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC.

[Illustration: The Port Bow.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A Point of Law.

(_By a Pun-propounding Gladstonophobist._)

  He's "popping up again," despite our praying;
    Fools and fanatics flocking to his side.
  Him to suppress I'm sure would not be slaying,
    But "Justifiable G. O. M.-icide!"

       *       *       *       *       *

BUTTER FOR AILESBURY.--The Jockey Club's decision!

       *       *       *       *       *

REPORTERS AT THE REPORTERS' CONGRESS.--Scarcely Short-handed!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "HOME! SWEET HOME!" (ALAS!)]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LAST (SIGNAL) MAN.

VERITY IN A VISION.

(_With Apologies to the Shade of Campbell._)

    "The effect of material progress, and of the growth of mechanical
    invention, is to place the lives and interests of an increasing
    number of people in the keeping of a single man. Responsibility
    becomes concentrated to a dangerous and a truly alarming
    degree."--_Times._

  _Of all dark shapes of human doom,
    The lot of darkest dye
  Is his whose soul must sole assume_
    RESPONSIBILITY!

  I saw a vision in my sleep,
  The earth had swung with secular sweep
    To the last gulf of Time.
  I saw the last of human mould,
  Alone, unfriended, unconsoled
  As ADAM when the night first rolled
    O'er Eden's early prime.

  The Sun's eye had a sickly glare,
    The Earth with age was wan;
  The wrecks of shattered thousands were
    Around that lonely man.
  Some had expired in pain,--its brands
  On clammy face and clutching hands,--
    In sudden palsy some.
  Among them was no sound or tread
  Even of Death among the dead,
    Pain's very voice was dumb.

  Still, statue-like, that lone one stood,
    With fixed earth-seeking eye,
  Silent as a flame-blasted wood
    When winds have all swept by.
  The last surviving unscathed One!
  His face was grey, his race was run,
    Cold as antarctic snow,
  Unmoved by hopes, untouched by fears,
  Left by the tide of human tears
    That never more may flow.

  He moaned, "No more shall man let stand
    His power, his pride, his skill;
  The arts that made fire, flood, and land
    The vassals of his will.
  Yet shall _I_ mourn man's vanished sway,
  The Systems that have had their day?
    Out on the sordid arts,
  The triumphs with which earth once rang,
  The Progress which spared not one pang
    To trampled human hearts!

  "No; let oblivion's curtain fall
    On me too, last of men.
  I would not if I could recall
    Life's tragedy again.
  Its burden I would not bring back,
  Responsibility's iron rack
    No more shall make me writhe;
  No lapse of vision, loss of word,
  Shall make me feel a man abhorred,
  Strew earth with slain as by War's sword
    Or Death's relentless scythe.

  "No more with weary wandering eyes
    I'd watch, where, if I tire,
  Hundreds in hideous agonies
    May helplessly expire.
  No man that breathes mere mortal breath
  _Alone_ should stand at odds with Death.
    Systems? O learning lost!
  On nerve, sight, sinew--human all,
  And apt to fail at urgent call--
  The bitter burden had to fall;--
    Behold at what a cost!

  "On me it fell, ah! not on Him,
    The Corporate Demon dark,
  Whose greed of gain gave systems dim
    Capricious action. Hark!
  The click, the crash! Nay, never mine--
  Thank Heaven!--again to watch the line
    With chill and catch of breath.
  The knowledge that at last I fly
  Thy rack, Responsibility,
    Takes all the sting from Death!

  "'Justice' no more shall hale me up
    To answer this wild waste
  Of human life. _That_ bitter cup
    At least I shall not taste.
  Go, Sun, and say,--if e'er thy face
  Shine on another earthly race,--
    On what an ill-paid clod
  Man laid Responsibility--
  Because its Justice ruled awry,
    And Mammon was its god."

       *       *       *       *       *

Poor Old England!

These are hard times, and the oracles of the newspapers teem with
thrifty suggestions. The last advice to the hard-pressed
agriculturists is, to go in for cultivating mushrooms and
blackberries. What a prospect for the country children! Fancy every
mushroom-meadow tabooed to the early rural rambler, and all the
blackberries strictly "preserved," in the sense of partridges, not of
plum-jam. And what a fate for the land of the oak, the apple-tree, the
wheat and the bearded barley, to come down, like tramps and
village-urchins, to fungi and bramble-fruits!

       *       *       *       *       *

POLITICAL ECONOMY.--Lord ROSEBERY, when next in power, will insist on
the Government being "short-handed."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: JUSTICE AT FAULT.

MR. PUNCH. "YES--YOU'VE GOT ONE OF 'EM! BUT YOU OUGHT TO HAVE _BOTH!!_"

"It is intolerable that a Railway Company should, for the sake of
increasing its receipts, play fast and loose with the safety of great
numbers of human beings. The block-system ought, in fact, to be made
compulsory, and it should not be in the power of a Railway Company to
suspend it."--_Morning Paper._]

       *       *       *       *       *

CROSSING THE BAR.

MR. PUNCH--MY VERY DEAR SIR,

[Illustration: A Q.C., M.P.--the Long of it.]

As on more than one occasion you have done me the honour of publishing
some of my experiences, I feel that in you I am addressing a gentleman
of keen intelligence, admirable judgment, and excellent sense. I am
sure that you will not for a moment imagine that I am using language
of exaggerated eulogy when I say that never in the course of what I
may term my forensic life have I found an individual so eminently
qualified to assume the highest duties inseparable from the Judicial
Bench. Having this opinion of your merits, I cannot refrain from
addressing you on a matter of the greatest possible importance to
every member of the profession to which it is my pride to belong.

[Illustration: Another Q.C., M.P.--the Short of it.]

Sir, last week the Members of the Associated Chamber of Commerce had
the audacity to affirm that every Counsel should be placed in the same
position as any other agent in respect of his legal obligation to do
the best he could for his employer. In other words, these gentlemen
are anxious to prevent Barristers from accepting briefs unless they
are sure of appearing in Court to conduct the cases to which they
refer. Really nothing would be more monstrous! It is alleged, Sir,
that we with a dozen cases in hand cannot do justice to them all! That
we pick and choose, exerting ourselves in those which interest us
most, and confer most distinction upon us, and neglecting the rest!
This is a very old cry, and a very unfair one. I have been for very
many years a Member of the Bar, and can assure yon that, in my own
professional career (which is a typical one), I have never been guilty
of the abuses credited to us. The Representatives of the Associated
Chambers of Commerce can know very little of the matter to which they
are pleased to call attention by their superficial observations. I
should like some of these Representatives to attend with me in the
Royal Courts in Term Time, to mark us as we labour in the cause of our
clients, and then to accompany me to the House of Commons, to watch us
as we attend to our Parliamentary duties. Amongst our number, I would
show him Mr. WADDY, unexhausted from impassioned appeals to the Jury,
standing with Blue Book in hand, ready to use his mighty voice in
defence of those liberties so dear to the heart of every Englishman.
And when they were weary of admiring that gentleman, I would beg of
them to regard Mr. FINLAY, with his wig off and his gown discarded,
giving gratuitous service to the best interests of the British Public.
Their portraits should be hung up in every Chamber of Commerce, to
remind our detractors that we have souls above fees, voices beyond the
regulation of retainers! Moreover, I feel, Sir, that those who would
attempt to degrade our social status by making us the peers of the
commercial community are as short-sighted as they are ungrateful. It
is said that we throw over our cases--that we do not appear when the
names of our clients are reached in the Cause List! Has it ever
occurred to these Associated Chambers that as litigation is admittedly
to be avoided, the less law we give the Public the better? But I will
not descend to an argument that should be kept in reserve when
something infinitely stronger will serve my purpose better. From my
name you will see that I can speak with authority. In that name I
solemnly declare that I have never picked and chosen my cases, but
have ever taken in all of them equal interest, and done to all of them
equal justice.

I deny that, by running after _me_, the Public has been guilty of an
insane action. At least in the sense attached by Mr. NORWOOD to the
accusation. Further, I have yet to learn that the Public ever _has_
run after me. And if the Public has run after me, I absolutely and
entirely contradict the absurd statement that it could get much better
work done by others--_at any rate for a third of the money!_

      I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient Servant,
        (_Signed_) A. BRIEFLESS JUNR.

    _Pumphandle Court, Temple._

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

_A Secret Inheritance_ is the title of Mr. B. L. FARJEON'S latest, and
only not his best, Romance, because his others have all been as
absorbingly interesting and as exciting as this. Yet because in this
the author adheres strictly to the point, without any carpenters'
scenes, of humour, which are distracting and irritating, I am inclined
to set this down as the best of all Mr. FARJEON'S,--in fact,--the
best-by-Far-jeon. He is, for many reasons, better than BOISGOBEY.

[Illustration: Sketch of a Review. The March of Intellect.]

In an admirably got up and well-arranged Jubilee volume about Pope LEO
THE THIRTEENTH, by JOHN OLDCASTLE, we find an item of information
which may be advantageously recommended to Emperors, Empresses,
Monarchs of all they survey, Princes, Lord Mayors, and Aldermen. It is
"the Pope's dinner." Listen, "A few minutes suffices for its
consumption." "He does not spend a hundred francs a month for his
table." Not one pound a week! Not three shillings a day on his food,
wine included! He dines "at two o'clock: his mid-day meal lasts not
longer than half-an-hour, and is very frugal, consisting of soup, one
kind of meat, two dishes of vegetables, some fruit, and, by the
doctor's orders, a glass of claret." His supper at 9.30 consists of
"soup, an egg, and some salad." Is there a Radical living who could
tax the Pope's bill of fare as exorbitant?

_The Red Spider_, by the Author of _Mehalah_, &c., is the _Un-read
Spider_ as far as I am concerned, for I could not manage to get
through it, and I did try.

      BOOK WORM.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NU DIKSHONARY.

    DEER PUNCH,

Az I speek, so I rite, az neerly az possibl. I hope that wunce popular
soshial and intellectual recreashon meeting the "Spelling Bee,"
(_sic_) will soon be revived, with a difference. It may be expected to
cum up agen under the name of a Fonetik Spelling B, and the auspices
of the American Spelling Reform Associashun. A competishun in spelling
English wurds acording to thare sound may divert superfishl hearers;
but no dout menny of those who hav cum to scoff wil remane to spel.

The adopshun of fonetik spelling must tend to elevate the Masses in
respect of orthografy to a level with the Classes, az it will enable
the former to spel az they speek correctly, when they do speek so.
But, for that matter the fonetik orthografy, wunce adopted, wil
naturally be followd by an adaptashun of all the prezent rules of
Grammer to popular uzage. Perhaps the aspirate wil be expeld from the
Alfabet, and there wil be an end to the supersilius aristocrat's
derizhun of the Peeple for dropping their h's.

However, an Act of Parliament mite be necessary to effect the rekwisit
reforms of the QUEEN'S Inglish if possibl.

If the Republic of Letters cood be persuaded to employ those of the
Alfabet fonetically, a popular system of spelling wood soon prevale.
At leest all ordinary parts of speech mite by common consent be ritten
as pronounsd. But a certin difficulty wood perhaps be prezented by
proper names. I am afrade my friends who spel their own MARJORIBANKS,
PONSONBY, GROSVENOR, POINGDESTRE, DECRESPIGNY, DALRYMPLE, and others
whom I could mention, wood almost as soon be hanged as pen fonetik
signatures. As for myself, however, I hav no such objecshun. I happen
to inherit a name of which the tradishonal orthografy is COLQUHOUN. It
is far too much of a mouthful to be pronounced az so spelt, and I, for
my part, deferring all pride of pedigree to a great intellectual
movement, do not hesitate to sine it, regardless of the double meaning
it may convey to an American reeder,

      COON.

P.S.--BEN JONSON'S signature is clearly fonetik. As for SHAKSPEARE,
SHAKESPEARE, SHAKESPEAR, or SHAKSPERE, he seems not to have known how
to spel his own name.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ICHABOD!"

_Scotch Wife_ (_to her Gossip_). "AH DINNA KEN WHAT'S COME OWER THE
KIRK. AH CANNA BIDE TO SEE OOR MENESTER SPANKIN' ABOOT ON YON
CYCLOPÆDY!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MEDICAL NEW YEAR'S DAY.

    [The London Medical Schools open in the first week of October.]

  In the dim days of chilly October,
    When leaves are grown ashen and brown,
  Let us hope to be steady and sober,
    The Medicals come up to town.
  They will study all lore anatomic,
    To ease future patients from pains;
  And must vow that no "Champion Comic"
    Shall win them from muscles and veins.

  With dissecting _extensor_ and _flexor_,
    They'll find work enough for the knife;
  While a _plexus_ of nerves a perplexer
    Will sometimes remain for all life.
  While that life as an "organisation
    In action," if critics speak truth,
  Will remain the supremest attraction
    For doctors in age or in youth.

  In the summer their studies botanic
    Will take them to flood and to field;
  Well we know that the structures organic
    Serene satisfaction will yield.
  They will gauge both _corolla_ and _calyx_,
    Till examinations are o'er.
  May they find, with the study of _salix_,
    They need wear the willow no more.

  Then _Materia Medica's_ charming,
    They'll learn all about Oil of Rue,
  And if _Tinct_: _Podophylli_'s alarming,
    They'll turn to their Squills and Tolu.
  In the _Hordeum Decorticatum_
    They'll find an old friend when they're ill;
  While the _Ferrum_ that's dubbed _Tartaratum_
    Is not quite the thing in a pill.

  Then our chemistry comes, and each symbol
    Will vary, it seems, every age,
  And the man has a mind that is nimble,
    Who conquers each intricate page.
  There's AgNO_{3} as the Nitrate
    Of silver as plain as can be,
  And anon comes the Sulphate and Citrate
    Of Iron, that's known as Fe.

  Very steep is the pathway to knowledge,
    As Medical Students will find;
  And we'll hope that they'll work, when at College,
    Or what they denominate "grind."
  And hereafter, amid the aroma
    Of weeds, they'll think tenderly still
  Of the dear days before the diploma
    That gave them the "Licence to Kill!"

       *       *       *       *       *

How Then?

Mr. BRIGHT, backing up the Anti-Vaccination fanatics, says, "If honest
parents object to have their children vaccinated, I would not compel
them to submit." He would, in fact, substitute voluntary for
compulsory vaccination. But what if voluntary vaccination for the few
means involuntary small-pox for the many, Mr. BRIGHT?

       *       *       *       *       *

IN NUCE.--Mr. GLADSTONE, adversely criticising Dr. INGRAM'S _History
of the Irish Union_, compares that gentleman to a buoy tossed about on
the waves. Indeed, the ex-Premier's article may be thus compendiously
summed up _à la_ PAUL BEDFORD:--"I _don't_ believe you, my Buoy!"

       *       *       *       *       *

FOREST TALK.

_Compiled for the Use of the Epping Deer-stalkers._

This wounded buck that is approaching us, painfully dragging its
shattered hind-leg after it, must be the same creature we peppered,
after such good sport, last Tuesday week.

Dear me, I did not know that our hunting-pack consisted of a mastiff,
two poodles, three bull-dogs, a beagle, and a bloodhound.

Are these clumsy sportsmen, who blaze away without knowing what they
are firing at, the "gentlemen" invited by the Verderer to assist him
at the chase? Ha! I think, from the way he shakes his head as he makes
off, that I must have hit that old buck nearly in the eye.

No, I am mistaken. I can clearly see now from the manner in which he
is limping that I must have wounded the young deer badly in the ankle.

I wonder whether I shall find him lying down in a copse and dying some
time next week.

My friends will certainly have to wait for their venison, for, strange
to say, that is the seventeenth buck I have maimed this morning who
has managed to drag himself off after being hit.

Fortunately the officers of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals are engaged in Town.

While this lasts, however, there cannot be a doubt but that the
quality of the sport is excellent.

I wonder whether the Conservators are really fully aware of what a
regular good time of it I'm having.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "LONDON QUITE EMPTY!"

SKETCHED IN OCTOBER--EAST BY WEST.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COMPLAINT OF THE COCKNEY CLERK.

    "I know of no cure but for the Englishman (1) to do his best to
    compete in the particulars where the German now excels; (2) to
    try to show that, taken all round, he is worth more than the
    German."

      _Mr. Gladstone on English Clerks and German Competition._

  All very fine, O orator illustrious!
    But I as soon would be a Mole, or Merman,
  As a short-grubbing, horribly industrious,
              Linguistic German.

  A Clerk's a Clerk, that is a cove who scribbles
    All day, and then goes in for cue, and "jigger,"
  And not a mere machine who feeds by nibbles,
              Slaves like a nigger.

  Learn languages? And for two quid a week?
    Cut barmaids, billiards, bitter beer and betting?
  Yah! that may suit a Sausage, or a sneak!
              Whistles need wetting.

  That is if they are genuine English whistles,
    And not dry, hoarse, yah-yah Teutonic throttles.
  _I_'m not a donkey who can thrive on thistles.
              No, that's "no bottles."

  I've learned my native tongue,--and that's a teaser--
    I've also learned a lot of slang and patter;
  But German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Sir,
              For "screw" no fatter?

  Not me, my old exuberant Wood-chopper!
    Level _me_ to the straw-haired Carls and Hermanns?
  No; there's another trick would do me proper,--
              Kick out the Germans!

  Old BISMARCK'S "Blood and Iron's" a receipt meant
    For Sour-Kraut gobblers, sandy and sardonic;
  But for us Britons that Teutonic treatment
              Is much too tonic.

  The cheek of 'em just puts me in a rage,
    Send 'em back home, ah! even pay their passage!
  Or soon, by Jove, we'll have to call our age,
              The German "Sauce"-age!

       *       *       *       *       *

A STABLE COMPANION.

We read in the _Daily Telegraph_ of Sept. 30th the following:--

NO SALARY.--A Widow Lady (39), well educated but not accomplished,
will give her Services as Housekeeper in return for a comfortable
HOME, and to be treated as one of the family, and the occasional use
of a good hack, no need to have carried a lady before. Thoroughly
understands the management of a gentleman's house, companionable, and
ladylike appearance. Superior references.--Address, &c.

Is it the comfortable home which has "no need to have carried a lady
before"? or the "family" of which the Advertiser desires to be one? We
should imagine that this very masculine lady would be more likely to
carry the family. Failing answers to her advertisement, she had better
apply to a Circus for a post. "The occasional use of a good hack"
would evidently be instead of salary. But she is much too modest. Why
say she is "not accomplished" when she knows how to break in a horse?
Any Rugby Football Club would give her "the occasional use of a good
_hack_."

       *       *       *       *       *

THEATRICAL INDEX WANTED.--"The Way Out."

       *       *       *       *       *

SOME NOTES AT STARMOUTH.

I must say they take _rather_ a matter of course view here of my
engagement. No one would suppose from their manner that there was
anything at all unusual in a match between a Government official and a
confectioner's assistant! LOUISE'S Aunt, indeed, (whether sincerely,
or from motives of policy, I hardly know,) does not conceal her regret
that a certain ROBERT PONKING had not "spoken out" while he had the
opportunity. PONKING is a rising salesman in the trimming department
of some upholstering business, and doing, I understand, extremely
well. Still, I do flatter myself--but one can't _say_ these things,
unfortunately!

[Illustration: A Cutter making for the Peer Head.]

An encounter--which, but for LOUISE'S exquisite common sense, might
have been awkward--has just taken place. We met PONKING on the Pier.
It struck me that the Aunt's surprise was a little overdone, but he
was evidently unprepared for _me_. LOUISE perfectly composed, however;
introduced me as "her intended" (a trifle _bourgeois_ this, perhaps,
but it _is_ difficult to know what to say--I felt it myself.) PONKING
allowed her to see he was fearfully cut up, and I am afraid she is
reproaching herself a little, poor girl!

We have met him again; he has reached the saturnine and Byronic stage;
LOUISE remonstrated with him for smoking so many cigars, which she was
sure were bad for him (_his_ cigars are bad for everybody else at all
events!) and he replied gloomily that there was no one to care _now_
what he did, and oversmoking was as pleasant a way of leaving the
world as most. I can see this is depressing LOUISE; she is not nearly
so bright when alone with me as she used to be--she does not even take
much interest in my Drama! I do my best to comfort her by declaring
that PONKING is only "posing," and has not the remotest idea of dying
for love; but that only seems to irritate her--she has such a tender
little heart.

As we are constantly meeting him about, I appeal to him privately to
brighten up a little. He is much affected, says I must make some
allowance for his position, and implores me not to forbid him LOUISE'S
society altogether. He will make an effort to be gayer in the future,
he promises me, the mask shall only be dropped in private. After all,
he is ALF'S friend, and an especial favourite of the Aunt's. If he
does not recognise the propriety of going, I can't send him away--we
must see something of him. I should be sorry for him myself--if only
he were not such an underbred beast!

[Illustration: "Thou counterfeit'st a bark."
    Shakspeare.]

There is certainly a decided alteration in PONKING; he now affects the
most rollicking high spirits--though why he should find it necessary
to dissemble his grief by playing the fool all over the sands is more
than I can understand. But he grinds piano-organs, and goes round with
the tambourine; receives penny galvanic shocks, and howls until he
collects a crowd; has "larks" with the lovebirds which pick out
fortunes, and chaffs all the Professors of Phrenology, choosing, as
the head-quarters of his exploits, any place where Louise and I happen
to be, to whom he returns, with roars of laughter, to tell us his
"latest." Then he plays practical jokes on _me_, chalking things on my
back, and putting sand down my neck. It is all very well for him to
plead that he does these things "to hide an aching heart,"--but if he
hides it in this way, he won't be able to find it again--that's all! I
can see, too, it disgusts LOUISE, who bites her lips a good deal,
although, she says, it is "quite a treat to see how Mr. PONKING is
enjoying himself." I am afraid, for all that, that she thinks me a
little too serious. Perhaps I am--I must prove to her that it is
possible to rollick with refinement. But, somehow, I can never make
her laugh as PONKING does.

I very seldom have a quiet hour with her now; her brother has
persuaded her that she ought "to see more of what's going on," and "do
as others do." Her wishes, are, of course, paramount with me--although
I cannot see the enjoyment of going to the open-air Music-Hall _quite_
so often, nor did I come here to play "penny nap," on the sands all
the afternoon. If, too, LOUISE must speculate, she might "go nap" with
more judgment, and I do strongly object to the ostentatious generosity
with which PONKING throws away his best cards, rather than rob her of
a trick--it is in the _worst_ taste, and yet I fear she is touched by
it. In the evening several of us promenade the town arm in arm;
PONKING has a banjo and ALF an accordion. LOUISE begs me to go, to see
that ALF does not get into trouble--which may be necessary enough, but
who will see that _I_ get into none?

It is unpleasant to be warned by a policeman not to make so much noise
over the "_Soy, oh, what Joy_," ditty, and I don't know why he singled
_me_ out--I was only _humming_ the confounded thing! They generally
come in and have supper with me, which Mrs. SURGE complains bitterly
about; she says the gentlemen stay so late, and are so noisy, and her
room smells of smoke so next day. I am aware of that, because I have
to _sit_ in it. I don't like PONKING at any time, but, if possible, he
is rather more detestable in his sentimental moods, which generally
come upon him after supper, when he informs me that the 'alo has
departed from his life, and begs me, in broken accents, to allow
LOUISE to visit his tomb occasionally. If he were only _there_!

[Illustration: "Uneven is the course. I like it not!"--_Shakspeare_.]

To-day LOUISE appeared, for the first time, in a striped yachting-cap.
I merely hinted, very gently, that, as she had never been on board a
yacht in her life, and the cap did not even suit her, I preferred her
ordinary style of head-dress, when she grew angry at once.
_Everybody_, she informed me, was not of my opinion--Mr. PONKING had
complimented her particularly--hang PONKING!

I find myself constantly greeting and being greeted by Blazers. I am
sure _I_ don't know how I have come to be acquainted with so
many--they all ask me "How is myself," and, in answer to my polite,
but scarcely warm, inquiries after their health, reply that they are
"ter-rific"--which they _are_! PONKING was asked by LOUISE the other
afternoon whether he was "ready for his tea;" and answered briefly,
but emphatically, "Wait till I get _'old_ of it!" LOUISE remarked
afterwards that he was "so quick." I doubt very much whether she would
say as much of _me_. I am as fond of her as ever--in some respects,
fonder--but I cannot help noticing these things--I cannot help seeing
that Starmouth is not doing her any good.

_Afternoon: on the Sands._--LOUISE and ALF have been scooping a pit.
When it is dug, she says coquettishly that there is just room for me.
I decline, a little curtly perhaps--but I really am surprised at
LOUISE--such extremely bad style! Her Aunt, who is eating plums
hard-by, says "some people seem to think themselves too grand for
anything." I can hear ALF whispering that LOUISE would not have to ask
"poor old PONK" twice.

LOUISE says, pouting, that she shall not ask _me_ again. I can see I
have hurt her feelings. After all, it is possible to be _too_
particular--there is no harm in it--countless couples around us are
making themselves at least equally conspicuous. Somehow I never can be
as firm with LOUISE as I am with most people.... I _ought_ to be
comfortable, with her head resting upon my shoulder and my arm
encircling her waist (_she_ insists on this)--but, as a matter of
fact, I catch myself remarking how very much LOUISE has caught the sun
of late. And she has developed quite a _twang_ within the last few
days!

PONKING has just come up; he has arranged with a photographer to take
us all, just as we are, in a group. As PONKING and ALF consider it
humorous to be taken in the act of making horrible grimaces, we
promptly become objects of general interest. I should _not_ like to be
seen by any of the fellows at the office just now.

[Illustration: Coming with a Rush!]

We are all posed--and a nice picture we shall make!--when, on the
outskirts of the crowd, I see a slender stately figure, which does not
seem quite to belong to Starmouth.

There is actually a sort of resemblance--but that is absurd! She
notices the crowd, and as she pauses with a half-indifferent
curiosity, I see her full face.... It is almost too terrible to be
true--but I am under no delusion,--_it is ETHEL DERING!_

"Quite steady all, for one moment, please," says the photographer. If
I could only bury my head in the sand like an ostrich,--but _that_
would excite remark, I suppose, and, besides, there is no time!

       *       *       *       *       *

Theatrical Noes to Queries.

Mrs. JOHN WOOD is not engaged with a sequel to _East Lynne_, but with
JOHN CLAYTON.

ARTHUR CECIL was not a favourite of Queen ELIZABETH; and she never
received him at the Court in his life.

WILSON BARRETT does not always make a speech after an earthquake.

And lastly it is not true that Mrs. JAMES BROWN-POTTER was instructed
in her art by Mrs. SIDDONS, Mrs. JORDAN, Miss ELLEN TERRY, Mme. SARAH
BERNHARDT, and Miss MINNIE PALMER.

       *       *       *       *       *

-->NOTICE.--Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS.,
Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no
case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed
Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.





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