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Title: Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 108, March  23, 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. 108, March  23, 1895" ***

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VOL. 108.

MARCH 23 1895.


  I confess, "when first I saw your
        Face," I swore--
  One or two mild objurgations,
          Nothing more.
  When and where I got you I can
          Not divine,
  All I do know is the fact that
          You are mine.
  Yes, I _was_ an unsuspecting
          Sort of muff,
  Everybody else suspects you
          Fast enough.
  Bus-conductors, shopmen, cabbies,
  All decline you, sometimes adding
          Rude remarks:
  You have danced on sundry counters,
          And advice
  Not to "try it on" 's been given me
          Once or twice.
  Were you not a paltry "bob," but
  You might be of use and save a
          Nimble "brown":
  For you'd find yourself right quickly
          In the slot,
  Were you of the right dimensions--
          But you're not.
  I'm beginning to assume a
          Hang-dog air,
  For I feel my conduct's hardly
          "On the square."
  Now I leave church early (though I
          Get there late),
  Lest I may be moved to put you
          In the plate!
  That last spark of decent feeling
          I possess,
  But my character you've ruined,
          More or less:
  So it's time, old pewter shilling,
          We should part,
  Which--I lose at least a cab-fare--
          Breaks my heart.

         *       *       *       *       *

  There! I've thrown you in the river,
          And at last
  I can thank my stars devoutly,
          You are "passed"!


  "Change upon the counter should be
          Strictly eyed;
  Afterwards mistakes can not be

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PRIOR CLAIMS.

LOVE MAMMA BEST." (_Apologetically._) "YOU SEE I MET HER

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A Fable._)

A New Hen wandering disconsolately in a country farmyard once made the
acquaintance of a cock of the old school, when both fell into some
discourse concerning the changes of the modes.

"Ah," said the former, arrogantly addressing the latter, "times are
indeed a good deal altered since you were a cockerel, and all for the
better, thank goodness! Time was, and not so very long ago either, when
I was expected to do nothing save lay eggs and breed chickens: now,
however, my mistress must know better than to expect such degrading
offices of me, for I will neither lay the one nor breed the other."

The old cock was about to offer some remarks in ridicule of these
sentiments, when the housewife came into the yard, and, snatching up
the New Hen, wrung her neck, remarking to herself as she did so, that
a fowl that could neither lay eggs nor rear chickens, had obviously no
place in the economy of nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW READING.--"A bull in a china shop" may be
Latin-Americanised with a considerable amount of truth as "The '_bos_'
of the show."

       *       *       *       *       *


  Come, DAMON, since again we've met
    We'll feast right royally to-night,
  The groaning table shall be set
    With every seasonable delight!
  The luscious bivalve ... I forgot,
    The oyster is an arch-deceiver,
  And makes its eater's certain lot
    A bad attack of typhoid fever.

  With soup then, be it thick or clear,
    The banquet fitly may commence--
  Alas, on second thoughts, I fear
    With soup as well we must dispense.
  The doctors urge that, in effect.
    Soup simply kills the thoughtless glutton,
  It's full of germs. I recollect
    They say the same of beef and mutton.

  Yes, each variety of meat,
    As you remark, is much the same,
  And we're forbidden now to eat
    Fish, oysters, poultry, joint or game.
  But though a Nemesis each brings,
    The punishment, the doctors tell, is
  As nothing to the awful things
    Awaiting all who toy with jellies.

  "Cheese--that is not condemned with these?"
    Yet ample evidence we find
  To make us, DAMON, look on cheese
    As simply poison to mankind;
  While those who may desire to pass
    Immediately o'er Charon's ferry,
  Have but to take a daily glass
    Of claret, hock, champagne or sherry.

  And therefore, DAMON, you and I,
    Who fain would live a year at least,
  Reluctantly must modify
    The scope of our projected feast;
  A charcoal biscuit we will share,
    Water (distilled, of course,) we'll swallow,
  Since this appears the only fare
    On which destruction will not follow!

       *       *       *       *       *


"May I ask," said the worthy Alderman DAVIES, and he might
have added, "I ask because '_DAVIES sum, non OEdipus_'"--but
he didn't, and it was a chance lost, "what salary you [the witness
under examination] received for this conduct of yours while secretary?"
To which witness answered, "£500 a year, and a bonus of £200."
Whereupon the Alderman remarked, "Then all I can say is, you could have
got many honest men to do the work for much less."

Quite so, Mr. Alderman, true for you; but if a man will act honestly
for a sovereign, what might not the addition of ten shillings do?
It ought to make him more honest comparatively, while another ten
shillings would make him superlatively honest. But how if there were an
obligation attached to the increase? Just a trifling deviation out of
the straight course to begin with, to oblige a patron?

Let honesty be the drug in the market, and the rare herb dishonesty
will be at a premium. It is gratifying to be assured, on aldermanic
authority, that SHAKSPEARE was wrong, and that in future for
_Hamlet's_ well-known dictum, "For to be honest as this world goes is
to be as one man picked out of ten thousand," we must read "For to be
dishonest as this world goes is to be as one man picked out of ten

Happy Alderman DAVIES! In what paradisiacal pastures must he
have moved and breathed and earned his livelihood!

       *       *       *       *       *


  Standing awhile at the corner crossing,
    Watching a van as it lumbers past,
  Something impels me to turn and saunter
    Down to the Square, where I met you last.
  Down to the Square with its formal garden
    Slowly I pace--yet I scarce know why;
  Somehow I never have since been near it,
    Things have all changed since last July!

  There is the gate, where you fumbled sadly
    Turning the key--though I lent my aid--
  There are the paths, where we strolled in sunshine,
    There is our seat in the chestnut shade.
  Borders all empty, and paths uncared for,
    Bleak, bare branches, and murky sky--
  This is the "garden I love" no longer,
    How it has changed since last July!

  All that we spoke of, or left unspoken,
    All that our tongues or our eyes could say
  Comes to me now, as the Square I circle,
    Clear as events but of yesterday.
  Vain to remember, to care still vainer,
    You have been married a month, and I--
  I'm a misogynist--just at present,
    How we have changed since last July!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "FULL SPEED AHEAD!"

_Britannia_ (_to Lord Spencer_).


       *       *       *       *       *


 ["The essential thing is that the party now in office has loyally
 followed the example of the party in opposition, and, 'neglecting
 party considerations, and provincial interests, has,' as the Civil
 Lord claimed for it, 'risen to the full height of its Imperial
 responsibilities.'"--_The "Times" on the Navy Estimates._]

  _Britannia_ (_cheerily_). To "hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn,"
    My SPENCER, in _this_ clear determined manner,
  Is spirit-gladdening; showing you were born
    To back my power and upbear my banner!

  _Triton-Spencer._ You do me proud, Ma'am!
    Foghorns not in it, eh? As for those sirens!--
  Aha! Ulysses made a great to-do,
    But by the blue brine that your coast environs
  _Our_ marine music beats'em out of sight!

  _Britannia._ Especially now you blare so well together
  You rival conch-performers. Ah! that's right.
    _Now_ I'm prepared for any sort of weather!

  _Triton-Spencer sings_:--

  BRITANNIA'S Sea-Lady-in-Chief,
    And I'm her First Lord, and a ripper.
  Our chumminess passes belief,
    Lor! When she appointed me skipper
  Some fancied I'd dawdle--at least, so they said--
  Now they see that my motto is--Full Speed Ahead!

  GEORGIE HAMILTON there with his glass,
    Would spy out the flaws if there were any:
  EDDARD REED wouldn't let blunders pass,
    They're critical coves, and won't spare any.
  But bless'em, their scrutiny _I_ do not dread.
  My motto, you see, Ma'am, is--Full Speed Ahead!

  Of course, that won't do in a fog,
    But I think there's a clear course afore us!
  Give way to old-fashioned jig-jog?
    Nay, not by the mothers who bore us!
  With a sharpish look-out, but without stint or dread,
  We blow up our horn, Ma'am, for--Full Speed Ahead!

  Old Nep may regard us with glee,
    Amphitrite may shout an "Ahoy," Ma'am.
  If you're still on for Killing the Sea,--
    To back you in that I'm the bhoy, Ma'am.
  By my heart ('tis true blue), by my beard (it is red),
  My motto, BRITANNIA, is--Full Speed Ahead!

  _Britannia._ Bravo, my ruddy-bearded, brave old Triton!
    Nep shouts approval from his deep-sea grotto.
  Friends need not fear for me, foes shall not frighten,
    While you, and all my sons, stick to that motto!

       *       *       *       *       *

(_alias_ "SILOMIO") begs the Government to suppress the Boers.

       *       *       *       *       *

CONVALESCENT.--After "a bout" of influenza, the best thing for
the patient is to be "about again."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A FIN-DE-SIÈCLISM!


_Sunday Visitor._ "IS MRS. BROWN AT HOME?"


_Sunday Visitor._ "ARE THE _YOUNG LADIES_ AT HOME?"

_Servant._ "NO, SIR; THEY ARE AT CHURCH!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


  You would not guess which one I mean,
  Sweet girl in white, sweet girl in green.
  Perhaps not either, do you think
  O even sweeter girl in pink?
  It's just as well I should not tell
  Which seemed the belle, sweet girl in pink.

  So, safely vague, I simply say
  Her face was fair, her laugh was gay.
  A lively dance with her would cure
  The worst of human ills, I'm sure.
  Her pretty face would soon replace
  The saddest ease with health I'm sure.

  A cripple, if he had the chance,
  Would try undoubtedly to dance;
  The dullest fool, the saddest cur,
  Might both be charmed to dance with her;
  And here's a tip, don't let it slip,
  To cure _la grippe_ just dance with her.

  The other two might like me less
  If I described the charmer's dress;
  I will not name a single stitch
  To show which of them may be which;
  Pink, white or green, each one has seen
  That I must mean _she_ may bewitch.

       *       *       *       *       *


  I Am the Ancient Aryan,
    And you have done me wrong--
  I did not come from Hindostan,
    I've been here all along.

  I never travelled from the East
    In huge successive waves.
  You'll find your ancestors deceased
    Inside your own old caves.

  There my remains may now be sought,
    Mixed up with mastodons,
  Which very long with flints I fought
    Before I fought with bronze.

  In simple skins I wrapped me round,
    Ere mats I learned to make;
  I dug my dwellings in the ground,
    Or reared them on a lake.

  I had no pen--I'm sure of this,
    Although you say I penned
  All manner of theologies
    In Sanskrit and in Zend!

  My nature you've misunderstood.
    When first I sojourned here,
  I worshipped chunks of stone or wood,
    My rites were rather queer!

  The more my little ways you scan
    The less you'll care to praise
  And bless the dear old Aryan
    Of Neolithic days.

  They've mixed me up, till I declare
    I hardly can report
  Whether I first was tall and fair
    Or I was dark and short.

  But on two things I take my stand,
    Through all their noise and strife,
  I didn't come from Asia; and
    I _had_ no Higher Life!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE TIP OBLIQUE.

_Verger_ (_to over-generous Visitor_). "I BEG YOUR PARDON, SIR. NO

       *       *       *       *       *


 SCENE--_Author at his desk, with Newspaper Cuttings before


  "The Critics' comments I'll peruse,
    And I will profit by;
  I'll find out what they most abuse,
    And strive to rectify!"

  _First Critic._

  "His work unequal as we read,
    We think upon the whole
  This author almost would succeed
    If nearer to his goal."

  _Second Critic._

  "His serious pages suit us well,
    Revealing thought and heart;
  But he is quite unbearable
    When trying to be smart!"

  _Third Critic._

  "Some sprightly pages from his pen
    With pleasure we have read;
  But if he moralises, _then_
    He's heavier than lead!"

  _Fourth Critic._

  "We by the eye of faith can see--
    It isn't from his books--
  He is not such a fool as he
    Invariably looks."

  _Fifth Critic._

  "This author's pages needs must thrill
    A sympathetic mind,--
  Of subtle knowledge, tender skill,
    Deep pathos, wit refined."

  _Sixth Critic._

  "A mass of folly more intense
    Experience can't recall.
  We tried to find one shred of sense.
    _There is not one at all!_"

 [_Exit Author, tearing his hair._

       *       *       *       *       *


 ["A medical contemporary (_The British Medical Journal_) asserts that
 'The desire to rise early, except in those trained from youth to
 outdoor pursuits, is commonly a sign, not of strength of character and
 vigour of body, but of advancing age.'"--_Daily Telegraph._]

  'Twas the voice of the sluggard, I heard him hooray
  As he turned in his bed at the dawning of day;
  "_At last_ early rising--that fraud--is found out!
  Henceforth prigs will leave me alone, I've no doubt!

  "They've preached at me ever since SOLOMON'S time,
  And no doubt before it, in prose and in rhyme.
  Yet truth _will_ prevail, and now Science hath said
  That for early morning there's no place like bed!

  "With their early to bed and their early to rise,
  They've tortured the good, and tormented the wise.
  In sermons, and spelling-books, proverbs and tracts,
  And now they just find they've mistaken the facts!

  "It's just like those moralists! Talk stilted bosh
  For an æon or two, and then find it won't wash!
  Lord! how they have stuck up their noses, the prigs,
  And compared us to sloths and to somnolent pigs.

  "What price now the ant, and that huge bore the bee?
  Whilst our old foe, the lark, proves pure fiddle-de-dee.
  Their healthy, and wealthy, and wise, and what not,
  Is exploded at last; it is all tommy-rot!

  "A man's _not_ a black-beetle, to find it a lark
  To go crawling about chilly rooms in the dark;
  And if you must rise in the gloom and the cold,
  The fact only proves that _you're foolish or old!_

  "No more, then, need man feel constrained in the least
  To turn out like an insect, a bird, or a beast;
  For Medical Science has spoken, and said
  That the sluggard is right, and there's no place like bed!"

 [_Curls up, and snores with a clear conscience._

       *       *       *       *       *


Last week the name of Mr. REDFORD as newly-appointed Licenser
of Plays was announced. This is just to the late Licenser's assistant
and deputy. But if the office is to be continued, why should it not be
thrown open to competitive examination? A paper of such questions as
the following would secure a learned Theban for the office:--

1. Who was the Licenser of Plays in the time of SHAKSPEARE?

2. Translate passages (given) from (@a@) French dramatists,
(@b@) Italian, (@g@) German, (@d@) Spanish,
(@e@) Norwegian, (@z@) Russian, (@ê@) Japanese.

3. Translate passages (given) from the works of English dramatists into
the above-mentioned languages.

4. Give your opinion on the following "situations" and "plots," and say
whether you consider it in the interests of public morality that they
should be licensed for performance or not.

5. State your reasons for such opinions.

6. Is it your opinion that an officer of the Licensing (Play)
Department should be in attendance every night at every theatre (a
stall being kept for him by the manager on pain of fine or forfeiture
of licence) to note if any change or any introduction be made in the
dialogue or in any part or portion of the play already licensed? And if
not, why not?

7. Would it be, or not, advisable in your opinion that every author, or
all the authors when collaborating, should read their own pieces aloud
to the Licenser, giving as much action and dramatic illustration as
space will allow? And that the low comedians and eccentric comedians,
male and female, with songs and dances, should attend, and show (_a_)
what steps they propose taking in the new piece, (_b_) what words,
(_c_) winks, (_d_) becks, and (_e_) wreathed smiles they intend giving
in order to point an innuendo or adorn an apparently harmless joke?

8. Do you think that, as an assistant judge on such occasions, one or
more experts (at so much an hour) should be present?

9. (_a_) In your opinion should not every play be _seen_ by the
Licenser, duly acted, with the costumes, before a licence can be
granted? (_b_) and then that the licence be granted only on the
condition that no alteration in word or action be made at any time, and
under no pretence whatever, during the run, on pain of forfeiture of

The above suggestions will serve as a foundation for some future
Licensing Exam.-paper.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_To the Editor of the "Sp-ct-tor."_)

SIR,--I am sure you will be glad to have another veracious
story about Animal Etiquette. During the recent frost we hung a bone up
in the garden for the starving birds to peck at, and one of our dogs--a
collie--was mean enough to steal it. Next day we noticed him limping,
and were surprised to find a great gash across one of his paws. I at
once understood what had happened. Our other dogs had evidently thought
stealing the bone under the circumstances was very bad form, _and the
collie had been cut by them!_

Yours sympathetically,


SIR,--I find that even kittens have a code of etiquette, and
understand the niceties of social rank. The other day our kitten was on
the table, when a winged creature which I took for a fly settled just
in front of it. Pussy immediately gracefully retreated backwards till,
on arriving at the edge, she slid to the ground. At first I put down
her behaviour to fright, but it was nothing of the sort. It was a pure
act of courtesy. _The supposed fly was a lady-bird!_ Our intelligent
little animal had shown her instinctive respect for title and sex,
which was naturally very gratifying to an ardent


SIR,--Our terrier killed a rat yesterday. To-day we saw him,
for no obvious reason, approach the rat-hole again. We all agreed that
he must be paying a visit of condolence to the bereaved relatives!


       *       *       *       *       *


["Tourists and foreigners ... in Athens have been put to great
inconvenience on account of the cab strike."--_Standard, March 14._]]

       *       *       *       *       *

to an article, an eminently well-informed Conservative politician,
whose zeal was in excess of his knowledge, exclaimed, "Ah! I thought it
would come to this! The Ultra-Radicals are not going straight for the
abolition of the Upper House, but have decided on undermining it, by
doing away with the Lower One to begin with. Fancy its being necessary
for the Commons to bring in a Bill for their own self-preservation!!"

       *       *       *       *       *


_Question._ Your duty, I believe, is to protect the public from
receiving impressions--from your point of view--of a pernicious

_Answer._ Certainly; and this I accomplish by reading and rejecting
what I think the public should avoid.

_Q._ How long has the office been in existence?

_A._ About a century or so.

_Q._ How did the public get on before your office came into existence?

_A._ Fairly well, especially in the days of SHAKSPEARE.

_Q._ Had the Bard of Avon to obtain a licence for the production of his

_A._ No; they were then practically edited by the public.

_Q._ Could not the public edit plays in the reign of Queen
VICTORIA with the intelligence displayed in the days of "Good
Queen BESS"?

_A._ It is impossible to say, as the question has not been tested by

_Q._ You say that your duty is to preserve the purity of the public
taste; was that also the object of the earlier of your predecessors?

_A._ Seemingly not, as the office was called into existence to serve
as a bar to the dissemination of opinions of an entirely political

_Q._ But that is not now the _raison d'être_ of the appointment?

_A._ Oh, no; for nowadays, thanks to the newspapers, politics enjoys
free trade.

_Q._ But still, the right of interference exists?

_A._ Yes, but it is only used to prevent a performer from "making up"
as a Cabinet Minister, to the annoyance of the right hon. gentleman
favoured with the attention.

_Q._ Is there any rule to guide the use of the official blue pencil?

_A._ None in particular. That emblem of concrete authority may be
diligently used for a decade, and then be laid aside for a quarter of a

_Q._ Then there is no policy in the office?

_A._ None to speak of. What was wrong in 1875 may be right in 1895, and
may be wrong again at the commencement of the next century.

_Q._ But purely such an office has not gained the entire applause of
the London Press?

_A._ On the contrary, the all but universal condemnation.

_Q._ And yet when the office became vacant there were many journalistic

_A._ Because journalists accept the situation of the hour, and make the
best of it.

_Q._ Is it possible that the candidates who have failed may find their
objection to the existence of the office stronger than ever?

_A._ It is not only possible, but probable.

_Q._ And thus any non-journalist who accepts the appointment may not
have a very pleasant time of it?

_A._ So it would appear to the casual observer.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Monday._--This is the day I promised to go with my aunt to the first
meeting of that new Society for the Propagation of Female Suffrage
amongst the Turks. Wish I'd never promised. Don't see how I can escape.
Why, yes, good idea--the influenza! I'll have it. Almost fancy I have
a slight pain in my back, which would certainly be a symptom. I will
decide that I have a pain in my back. Send note, saying, in uncertain
weather caution is necessary; fear that I'm attacked by the prevailing
epidemic; wish every success to the good cause, and so forth. Then,
relieved in my mind, down to the club, and forget all about the old

_Tuesday._--Shall have a melancholy time this evening. Mrs.
POGSON'S At Home, with recitations. Oh lord! Daren't offend
old POGSON by refusing. It would not be so bad if there were
not the five Miss POGSONS. Of all the awful, middle-aged young
women----! Ha, by Jove! Never thought of it. Of course. The influenza.
Telegraph at once. Deeply regret, illness, and so forth. I really have
a slight pain in my back. Wonder what it is. Put on my thickest coat
when I go out.

_Wednesday._--Awful joke this influenza. Shall escape old
BLODGETT'S dinner to-night. Should have been bored to death.
Now sixpenny telegram settles it all. The only thing is I really have
a pain in my back. Reminds me of boy crying "Wolf" in the fable. Shall
stay in this evening, and keep warm by the fire.

_Thursday._--Do not feel much worse, but pain still there. Shall not
venture out. Can therefore, quite truthfully, excuse my absence from
BOREHAM'S _matinée_. Good enough fellow, BOREHAM, but
can't write a tragedy at all. So shall escape the awful infliction of
his mixed imitation of IBSEN and SHELLEY. The worst
of it is that, with this beastly pain in my back, I begin to think
my influenza is no sham at all. Stop in all day in warm room. In the
evening feel headache, as well as pain in back. Fear the worst.

_Friday._--No doubt about it. In bed. Must see the doctor. Letter
from GADSBY. Wants me to go to the theatre to-night. Jolly
party. Supper after at his house. Little dance to finish with. Jolly,
lively fellow GADSBY. Knows lots of pretty actresses, and
has all sorts of larks. Would have been good fun. And here am I in
bed! Hang the influenza! But cannot risk anything. Get JONES
fetched--JONES, M.D., my old chum. Tell him how I feel, and
say I have the influenza. "Bosh!" says he, "you've been sitting in a
draught somewhere, and got a little lumbago in your back. It's nothing.
And you've stuck in a hot room till you've got a headache for want of
fresh air. Get up and go out as soon as you can." Feel better already.
Show him GADSBY'S letter. "The very thing," says he; "I'm
going. We'll go together. With that influenza of yours, you oughtn't to
go out without someone to watch the case."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE "SEXO-MANIA."

"We think _Lips that have Gone Astray_ the foulest novel that ever
yet defiled the English tongue; and that in absolute filth its Author
can give any modern French writer six and beat him hollow!"--_The

_Fair Author_ (_to her Publisher, pointing to above Opinion of the
Press quoted in his advertisement of her Novel_). "AND PRAY, MR.


       *       *       *       *       *



 ["According to present arrangements the SPEAKER will deliver
 his valedictory address on the eve of the adjournment for the Easter

 _The Times_.]

AIR--"_The Cane-bottom'd Chair._"

  Ah-h-h-h!!! Farewell to _the_ Chair, to the Mace, to the Bar!
  To tedious twaddle and purposeless jar!--
  Away from the House, and its toils, and its cares,
  I hope to sit snug in my snuggest of chairs.

  To mount that old Chair was my pride, to be sure;
  But--the House got ill-mannered, its air grew impure:
  And the sights I have seen there on many a day
  Were worthy a lot of young Yahoos at play.

  Ah! yet that old Chamber had corners and nooks,
  Which seemed haunted by friendly, familiar old spooks.
  But escaping old bothers means missing old friends.

  Old chums, like old china, though possibly cracked,
  With rickety tempers, and wits broken-backed,
  Old memory treasures. And when shall men see
  Such champions as DIZZY and W. G.?

  No better divan need young ABBAS require
  Than this snug Easy Chair well drawn up to the fire.
  Off robes! Wig avaunt! Now I'm cosy!--And yet,
  If there's something to gladden, there's much to regret.

  Why is it one clings to some genial old scamp?
  Why is it one sticks to a worn-out old gamp?
  Why is it, despite my relief, I feel drawn
  To that hard high-backed Chair I so long sat upon?

  Long, long through the hours, and the night, and the chimes
  Have I sat, yawned and ached in the tiresome old times,
  When faction and fog filled the House, and for me
  The Chamber was pitiless pur-ga-to-ree!

  Now comfort and quiet will gladden my rest,
  And tedium no longer will torture my breast,
  For that finest of Seats ever padded with hair
  I am going to exchange for my own Easy Chair!

  If Chairs had but speech it would whisper alarms
  To him who's next clasped in its stuffy old arms.
  How long there _I_ languished, and lolled in despair--
  Till I wished myself wood like the rest of "the Chair!"

  A decade and more since I first filled the place![A]
  There's many a form and there's many a face
  Have vanished since I donned the wig of grey hair,
  And sat and looked stately, at ease in that Chair.

  Men say I have honoured that Chair ever since,
  With the poise of a judge and the mien of a prince.
  Perhaps! But I'm weary, and glad, I declare,
  To make now a change to my own Easy Chair.

  When the candles burn low, and the company's gone,
  In the silence of night I shall sit here alone,
  Or with you, _Mr. Punch_, many-memoried pair,
  And muse on old days in that high Speaker's Chair!

  Eh? What, _Mr. Punch?_ Read me last night's debate?
  Oho! Order! Order!! I'm drowsy, 'tis late.
  For Ayes and for Noes, _Punch_, no more need I care;
  I may take forty winks in my own Easy Chair!

 [_Left taking 'em._

* Mr. ARTHUR WELLESLEY PEEL was elected Speaker at the opening of the
Session of 1884, upon the retirement of Sir HENRY BRAND.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANCIENT CUSTOM.--"A quaint practice exists" at the Episcopal
Palace, Fulham, "of waking up the domestics by means of a long pole."
"Stirring them up," apparently, as the keepers do the beasts at the
Zoo. _The Sun_ reminds us of the existence of "_rousing staves_" for
waking sleepers in church. About Regatta time riparian dwellers are
frequently disturbed in their slumbers by "rousing staves," which,
however, are sung by jolly young watermen, canoeists and house-boaters.

       *       *       *       *       *



["The original arrangement that Mr. PEEL shall retire on the
eve of the Easter holidays still holds good."--_Times, March 16._]]

       *       *       *       *       *





       *       *       *       *       *


_A Poem of Platitude._

  Yes, girls will be girls, and flirts will be flirts,
    And coquette to the end of the chapter!
  "There's safety in numbers," the proverb asserts,
    And I'm sure that no saw could he apter.

  The safety, I fear, is that DICK will fight shy,
    When he hears that you're flirting with HARRY;
  And HARRY will think, when you've TOM in your eye,
    That you're safer to flirt with than marry!

  Nay, then you don't rest till you've JACK at your feet,
    Till he finds that he's WILLY for rival;
  The odds are that both, like the rest, will retreat,
    And at last there'll be _no_ one's survival.

  For flirting's a game that is risky to play,
    At least from the standpoint of wedlock;
  When each is afraid your affection will stray
    To some other, the end is a deadlock!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BOOT WAR.--"In consequence of the strike," observed Mrs.
R., "I am afraid a great many hardworking men will be left with boots
on their hands."

       *       *       *       *       *


 "We air governed too much."--_Artemus Ward._

  No! The old spirit is not dead,
   Though long it, trance-like, slept,
  While Peter Putright reared his head,
   And venom'd vigil kept.

  Their despot yearnings retrograde
   Our tyrants label "Progress";
  In specious robes of light array'd
   They hide a horrid Ogress;

  And many simple souls and true
   By guile seduced to err,
  Or fondly trusting something new,
   Fell down and worshipp'd her.

  And o'er their prostrate senses roll'd
   A monstrous idol car,
  Whose priests, in frenzy uncontroll'd,
   Still know not where they are.

  The doughtier freeman of the past
   With wrath such bondage sees;
  Who freedom won with pike and gun
   From nobler foes than these.

  Some bygone champions' pow'r benign
   Our waning strength restores;
  They forced from kings what we'd resign
   To County Councillors.

  The heirs of those who won our right
   Inherit such a soul
  They'd starkly fight by day and night,
   But quite neglect to poll.

  And so, in Law and Order's day
   The brazen crew intrudes,
  And London nigh becomes the prey
   Of pedants, prigs, and prudes.

  But lo! the slip 'twixt cup and lip
   Has made their glory dimmer;
  Down, down goes the dictatorship
   Of _Stiggins_ and of _Trimmer_.

  And threaten'd London joys to find
   The Incubus o'erthrown,
  The gang whose mandate 'tis to mind
   All business but their own.

  With "shoulders to the wheel" alway,
   The grannies in a batch
  Can suck such comfort as they may
   From eggs they must not hatch.

       *       *       *       *       *

for having played truant--not an absolutely new part for him--from the
House of MOLIÈRE has been condemned by the Court of Appeal to
pay five hundred francs every time he performs away from the Comédie
Française. This may, or may not, be hard on M. COQUELIN, an
artist whose absence from the stage would be much deplored: but could
not there be, in England, some Court of Public Appeal, empowered to
condemn an actor or two, _not_ artists like M. COQUELIN, in
similar penalties for appearing at all? Great opportunity for a new
court and new procedure. Witnesses for prosecution from stalls, dress
circle, gallery, pit, upper boxes. Witnesses to be heard in defence of
course also; and let the best evidence win.

       *       *       *       *       *

A GOOD BANK NOTE.--After the recent meeting of the gentlemen
who manage the affairs of The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, the Bank
of England may now be considered not as a bank which may be of sand or
mud, but as a rock, and as firm. The Baring Straits having been safely
passed, the look-out man cries, "All's well that ends well!"

       *       *       *       *       *

she is well-read.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ANIMAL SPIRITS."


       *       *       *       *       *


Have just perused report of Commission on Library Wall-flowers.
Appears that enterprising book-shop, resort of fashionable world for
past century, has sent round urgent whip to Representative Men of
Letters (and also Mr. LE GALLIENNE) asking for short list
of best neglected books. Find that answers cover fairly wide ground,
from HOMER to New English Dictionary. Feeling that it might
please general public to have some expression of opinion from various
defunct authors described with faint praise as undeservedly neglected,
and finding it inconvenient to arrange personal interview, by reason
of distance and other difficulties, have sent out circular requesting
that they would interview themselves on the subject and kindly let me
have result. Some answered evasively through secretaries. Subj in small
assortment from letters of those who responded frankly:--


  Lo! in the hollows of Hades I hear the lamenting of LUBBOCK,
  Bart., who declares that HOMERUS (or somebody else of the same name,
  One or the other, or both, or perhaps a collection of poets)--
  LUBBOCK, I say, who declares that the sale of my poems is paltry,
  Says he is sorry to see me reduced to the state of a wall-flower!
  But as a matter of fact I have got an immense circulation,
  Chiefly in Oxford and Cambridge and Eton and other _palæstræ_.
  SOPHOCLES pushes me close, but PINDAR is out of the running,
  Being a bit too stiff, though the cost is defrayed by the parents.
  As for the rest, I consider HERODOTUS very deserving;
  Quaintly enough at this moment I see he is writing about me,
  Writing to say he considers HOMERUS exceedingly clever.
  Who, by the way, is a Mr. LE GALLIENNE? He, as they tell me,
  Prattles a lot on his private affairs for the good of the public.


To me for my part it appears that of the other poets, both those
before and after, no one, as the saying is, can hold a two-penny torch
to HOMERUS. He, in the language of the Far-Western people,
whips cosmos. But of those that write things not to be mentioned, no
Then Man dwelling in the nether world can surpass the Now Woman. So at
least they that are over the book-market tell me; but them I cannot
easily believe. Further, to speak of such as collect history, but,
being unworthy indeed of neglect do yet escape the notice of those that
appoint to office, I give the front row to Mr. OSCAR BROWNING.


  Had I survived my well-contented age
    And lived to see the bettering of the times,
  And witnessed HENRY ARTHUR on the stage,
    Or read the latest confidential rhymes;

  Small marvel were it that my tragic art
    Should lapse among a race of larger build;
  Or that the sonnet-echoes of my heart
    Should fail before the booming Bodley guild.

  Yet have I lovers still, a faithful few;
    And here I take occasion for observing
  How greatly I have been indebted to
    The Cambridge Locals and to Mr. IRVING.

  _Post-script._--The Temple SHAKSPEARE for the pocket
  Is selling now; I know of none to knock it.


You shall not ask better from me than that I should distil you these
two extracts from my Standard Essays, amended to date.

1. _Of Studies._--Reading, and namely of the kitchen ware of
AUTOLYCUS, maketh a full man; reviewing maketh a puffy
man; and my _New Organ,_ now old and strangely unpopular, maketh an
harmonious man.

2. _Of Gardens._--Very delightful for sweetness is the Wallflower;
likewise the Bonny Briar-Patch. But of those flowers such as the Aster
and the Carnation, of which the perfume is such that they are best
trodden upon and bruised, there is yet another that you shall take heed
of. It is the Sweet Earl Lavender. You shall pass by a whole alley of
them and find nothing of their sweetness: they are like precocious
odours, most desirable when incensed or crushed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sortes Shakspearianæ.

SHAKSPEARE in the Commons--

  "God speed the Parliament! Who shall be the Speaker?"

  _Henry the Sixth,_ Part I., Act iii., Sc. 2.

       *       *       *       *       *

A FORGOTTEN MELODY.--A once popular negro song that might
come in as a chorus if Mr. BANNERMAN does _not_ accept the
Speakership, is to the tune of "_Old Bob Ridley, O!_" and could be
evidently neatly adapted to "O WHITE RIDLEY, O!"

       *       *       *       *       *

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SITTING ON HIM.

_Mr. Slowman Sopht._ "OH COME, I SAY, MISS MAWY, YOU ON FOOT? WHY,


       *       *       *       *       *


 [Mr. LESLIE STEPHEN, speaking at Toynbee Hall the other day,
 stated that the members of the Athenæum had deserted the classics for
 the pages of _Punch_ and the latest French novel.]

 SCENE--_The Library of a well-known Club, where are
 discovered a few Bishops, Judges, M.P.'s, and other persons
 "distinguished in literature or art."_

_Academician_ (_chuckling over_ MARCEL PRÉVOST'S _latest
audacity, to_ M.P., _who is puzzling out the "Journal du prince" in_
DAUDET'S "_La Petite Paroisse_"). I say, old man, lend me your
pocket dictionary for a moment, will you?

_M.P._ Certainly; only it doesn't give half the words. (_Sighs,
aside._) Why didn't I learn more French at Eton! These _moeurs
conjugales_ beat me every now and then at the most interesting point!

_A Professor of Metaphysics_ (_who has concealed_ J. H.
ROSNY'S _"Renouveau" behind a file of the "Times," and is sitting
on_ LAVEDAN'S _"Les Marionettes," to himself_). I really
cannot go home till I have cleared up the relations between _Chagny_
and _Madame d'Argonne!_

_A Judge_ (_caught reading "Le Mariage de Chiffon" by a Bishop,
apologetically_). Ah, I find my French gets rusty without systematic
daily practice. Why, would you believe it, I found yesterday I had
forgotten what _en goguettes_ meant!

_Bishop._ Ahem, I believe it is a synonym for _en ribote_, with
nearly the vulgar connotation of _gris_ or _soul_--tipsy, you know!
(_Hastily, to_ Waiter, _aware that he has displayed a rather too close
acquaintance with Gallic slang_.) Kindly fetch me to-day's number of

_Waiter._ They are all engaged, my Lord.

_Bishop._ Then let me look at last week's issue again.

_Head Master of Public School_ (_dubiously_). Dare I be seen with
_Madame Chrysanthème?_ (_Noticing that all the quiet corners are
occupied with students of French literature._) No--another time!

_Leading Novelist._ Here's LESLIE STEPHEN been betraying us!
He says, what is only too true, that we've abandoned the standard
authors, including myself, for _Punch!_

_Cabinet Minister_ (_as a deus ex machinâ_). Well, _Mr. Punch_
IS a classic. To read him is a liberal education!

 [_They do so, with a general sigh of relief._

       *       *       *       *       *



_House of Commons, Monday Night, March 11._--A great cloud fallen over
House to-day. Soon the stately presence that fills the Chair will step
forth, never to return. The sonorous voice that can still the storm in
its angriest mood will no more resound through the hushed Chamber. The
best Speaker the House of Commons in its long history has known, will
be merged in the mediocrity of the House of Lords. A hard succession of
blows to fall on an assembly. First Mr. G., then GRANDOLPH,
and now ARTHUR PEEL, three men of wholly varied type, each
unique, in his way reaching the highest level.

Suppose we shall get along somehow, though for all concerned in
business of House, in maintaining its usefulness and supporting its
dignity, the future without PEEL in the Chair not to be
regarded without foreboding. He has every quality and gift that go
to make the ideal Speaker. A noble presence, a fine voice, a courtly
manner, a resolute will, a full knowledge of the forms of the House,
a keen though decently suppressed sense of humour--a scholar and a
gentleman. These things are seen and recognised from outside. Only
those who live and work in the House of Commons know how marvellous is
the combination, how infinite in its magnitude the loss impending.

_Tuesday._--Talk to-night all about successor to the SPEAKER.
A dozen names mentioned; general conclusion that whoever may be
selected, he's not to be envied. The Member for SARK, turning
up to-night for first time this Session, brings strange news. Has been
on the Riviera, daily expecting influenza. Saw Mr. G. yesterday; the
talk at Cap Martin, as here, all about the soon-to-be emptied Chair,
and who is to fill it. SARK tells me he is quite certain Mr.
G. is thinking of coming forward as candidate; is (so SARK
says, and he is a most reliable person) evidently eating out his heart
in voluntary retirement. Now he's got his Psalter out, doesn't know
what to do next.

"I asked him," SARK says, "whether there was any precedent for
an ex-Prime Minister, however young in years and untamed in energy,
becoming Speaker."

"Not exactly," he said; "but there is the case of a Speaker who became
Prime Minister. ADDINGTON, you will remember, Speaker in 1789,
was Premier at the turn of the century. It was said of him, by the way,
that he never quite overcame the force of old habits. When engaged with
the Cabinet in consideration of foreign affairs he had difficulty in
refraining from saying 'The French to the right, the Austrians to the
left.' Don't see why the case shouldn't be taken the other way about,
and an ex-Premier become Speaker. Fancy I may take it that I have
some qualifications for the post. Know the House pretty intimately;
have been familiar with it for some years. Am told I never looked so
picturesque as when, on public occasions, I wore official gown of
Chancellor of Exchequer. Think the Speaker's dress would suit me. But
that a mere trifle. What I hanker after, at my time of life, at the
close of a career not absolutely free from hard work, is some post not
too arduous. Seems to me the Speakership would be the very thing; just
enough to do, and not too much."

[Illustration: _Mr. G._ (_disguised in Speaker's wig and gown_).
"Rather fancy the costume would suit me down to the ground!"]

If it had been anyone but SARK had said this, would have
listened with incredulity. But SARK most respectable man.

_Business done._--ROBERTSON in excellent speech explained Navy

_Thursday._--The Silence of SILOMIO. No, it's not the title of
a novel. You're thinking of the late Dean MAITLAND. This quite
another story; equally tragic. Came about this way. House met to deal
with Army Estimates. CAWMEL-BANNERMAN in his place, after ten
days in his bedroom with a cold. The cold must have had most amusing
companion, that is if CAWMEL was as pawky with it as he was
to-night with the semi-military horde led by Private HANBURY,
who swooped down and barred approach to Committee, These deployed in
the open; placed their amendments on the paper. House knew what to
expect. Never suspected SILOMIO in ambush.

As soon as questions over, plot disclosed. COCHRANE, a
harmless, perhaps necessary, man, put up to move adjournment, in order
to discuss the Swazi question. That in itself a stroke of genius. Had
SILOMIO personally moved, game would have seemed too stale.
Probability is forty Members not been found to stand up in support of
motion. Looks much better to have such action taken on one side of
House and supported from the other; invests it with air of impartiality
and unanimity. On challenge from the SPEAKER, Conservatives
rose in body to support COCHRANE'S request. Having secured
that object, and being on their legs, they strolled out, leaving
of others all told, to listen to COCHRANE'S urgent message.
Amongst them sat FRANK LOCKWOOD, with tender gleam in eyes
that roamed with curious intentness about Speaker's chair.

Whilst COCHRANE spoke, SILOMIO sat with inspired
look on his face, making voluminous notes. He would come on by-and-by.
Let others keep the thing going as long as possible; just when hapless
Ministers thought it was over, and they might get to business, they
should hear a well-known war-whoop; should discover SILOMIO
at the table, in for a good hour's speech. Meanwhile he sat piling
notes upon notes, pausing occasionally to cheer COCHRANE, anon
humming softly to himself

  "Swaziland, my Swaziland!"

[Illustration: "Our Artist"--Sir Frank Blockwood, Q.C., M.P.]

UNDER SECRETARY FOR COLONIES deprecated in public interest
irregular discussion of question at present time. GORST,
hampered by this responsibility, made curiously halting speech.
BADEN-POWELL spoke "as one who had been in South Africa";
SQUIRE OF MALWOOD more gravely repeated SYDNEY
BUXTON'S warning. Now was SILOMIO'S time. But before
he could move PRINCE ARTHUR was on his feet, positively,
with some commonplaces about respecting Ministerial responsibility,
consenting to close the conversation!

SILOMIO gasped for breath; instinctively felt for his assegai;
clutched at his notes dripping with the gore of SYDNEY BUXTON.
When he had partially mastered his emotion the amendment was withdrawn
and opportunity had fled.

"_Sic vos non vobis vellera fertis oves_," said PLUNKET
soothingly. "But never mind. You remember that in the end
VIRGIL got his own, and BATHYLIUS was basted."
SILOMIO stared.

_Business done._--SILOMIO contrives a debate and others talk.

_Friday Night._--Policemen in lobby much startled by incident that
preceded arrival of SPEAKER to resume sittings at nine
o'clock. The steady tramp of a column in marching order broke on the
ear. Came nearer and nearer from direction of dining-room; swinging
doors flung open; Colonel of the Queen's Westminster Volunteers
entered. Behind him, in close order, tramped something like score of
members. At word of command they took half turn to right and passed
into House, as in earlier days another British column swung through the
gates of Delhi.

Ten minutes later, more than half the force were observed to come out
of the House, look furtively round, and dash off in various directions,
some to smoking-room, some to reading-room, and some clear off the
premises. But they had done their appointed work, and HOWARD
VINCENT, an old campaigner, had secured opportunity for delivering
his speech on hostile tariffs and bounties.

Grave doubt at morning sitting whether House could be made for the
alluring joy. VINCENT took up position in lobby much as
recruiting-sergeant shows himself near Trafalgar Square. Accosted all
Members passing by. Offered them free rations and front seats for the
lecture if they would stay. Soon picked up enough men to reduce chances
of count out. Dinner, I am told, a little exciting, especially towards
the end. Several Members discovered straying towards the door. But the
ex-captain, of the Royal Berks Militia not to be trifled with. Kept
them together past the cheese; delivered every man in the House one
minute and thirty seconds before the SPEAKER took the Chair.
If any skulked out when the Colonel was once embarked on his lecture
he, of course, couldn't interfere. But they mustn't suppose their
departure wasn't marked. No more free rations for them.

_Business done._--By reason of CAWMELL-BANNERMAN'S great
persuasiveness men and money for Army voted at morning sitting.

       *       *       *       *       *

SEASIDE MEM.--The Society recently started to abolish
Tide-houses will not include Bathing Machines within the scope of its


Trancriber's note:

Greek letters are indicated with @a@

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 108, March  23, 1895" ***

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