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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 107, September 15, 1894
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, Volume 107, September 15, 1894" ***

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Punch, or The London Charivari

Volume 107, September 15, 1894

edited by Sir Francis Burnand



[Illustration: OF VITAL IMPORTANCE.

"HI, BILLIE! _'ERE_'S CHEAP GLOVES!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

ALL MY EYE!

OR, RHYME AND REASON.

(_By Baron Grimbosh._)

  Since first the Muse to melody gave birth,
  And with rhyme's chymings blest a happy irth,
  Poetic seekers of a "perfect rhyme"
  Have missed the bull's-eye almost every thyme.
  We want a brand-new Versifiers' Guide,
  And he who Pegasus would neatly ruide,
  Must shun bards' beaten highways, read no hymn,
  Nor by phonetic laws his stanzas trymn.
  The eye's the Muse's judge, and by the eye
  Parnassian PITMANS must the poet treye.
  Rhyme to the ear is wrong; at any rate,
  Rhyme that greets not the eye cannot be grate,
  And though by long wrong usage sanctified,
  It may not pass my new Poetic Gied.
  These new Rhyme-Rules let bardlings get by heart,
  For from the New Parnassus must depeart,
  From TOPLADY to TENNYSON, all those
  Who prove sweet Poesy's false phonetic fose.
  COWPER and ROWLAND HILL must be arraigned;
  In KEBLE, HEBER, NEWMAN, are contaigned
  False rhymes the most atrocious upon earth,
  Which might move MOMUS to derisive mearth.
  Of Rhyme's true laws I'm getting to the root,
  And a New Poetry will be the froot,
  The Muse, now by the few acknowledged fair,
  Shall then be warmly welcomed everywhair,
  And not, as now, in one loud howl sonorous,
  As "footle" banned by Commonsense in chorous.
  Then a verse-scorning world, in pleased surprise,
  Will to Parnassus lift delighted ise;
  And from St. Albans to the Arctic Pole,
  The "lyric cry" (in Grimbosh rhymes) shall role.
  The people then not hymns alone shall praise,
  But the sweet secular singer's luscious laise,
  Phonetic laws to wish to change at once
  Must prove a man a duffer and a donce,
  The laws of spelling are less fatal foze.
  (You can spell "does" as either "duz" or "doze,"
  And if you wish to make it rhyme with bosh,
  What easier than writing wash as "wosh"?)
  If TENNYSON were all rewritten _thus_,
  His verse indeed would be de-li-ci-us;
  And ISAAC PITMAN'S spelling would add lots
  Of charm to the great works of ISAAC WOTTS.
  There! Grimbosh sets the world right once again!
  May lesser poets mark! A-main!! A-main!!!

       *       *       *       *       *

LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.

SCENE--_A Sea-side Library._

_Visitor (wearily, after a series of inquiries and disappointments)._
What I want is a _recent_ novel. I haven't read _The Vermilion
Gillyflower_ yet. It's been out six months or more. Surely you've got
_that_?

_Shop Attendant._ I don't _fancy_ it's in our catalogue. I don't
_remember_ hearing of it. (_Brightly._) We've got _Ivanhoe_.

_Visitor (ignoring the suggestion)._ Well, then, I could do with CONAN
DOYLE'S last, or STANLEY WEYMAN'S.

_Shop Attendant._ STANLEY, did you say? Oh yes, we've _ordered_ the
_Life of Dean Stanley_, but it hasn't come yet.

_Visitor (gloomily)._ I don't want anybody's life. I want--let's see--_A
Gentleman of France_.

_Shop Attendant. A Gentleman of France?_ I don't recollect the title.
But (_cheerfully_) we've _John Halifax, Gentleman_, if that'll do as
well.

_Visitor (groaning)._ Oh no, it won't! How about _So-so_, by BENSON, you
know? Or I hear Mrs. CLIFFORD'S latest is worth reading. Or _Bess of the
Curvybills_, by HARDY. That's been out a couple of years at least.
(_Hopefully._) Oh, I'm sure _that_'s got to you.

_Shop Attendant (floored)._ Would you look through the shelves for
yourself, if you please? You'll find _something_ to suit you, I _know_.
There's one or two of DICKENS'S, and _Middlemarch_--now, _that_'s a
rather recent work. Or _The Channings_. We've had _The Channings_ bound
again, and it's a _great_ favourite.

    [_Flits off quite relieved at the entrance of a girl
    who desires a penny time-table and a halfpennyworth of
    writing-paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Plague of Poets.

(_By a Rabid Reviewer._)

  What's this the log-rollers are gushing about?
  "Captain JACK CRAWFORD, the Post Scout!"
  Oh, bother the Bards! How the rhyme-grinders go it!
  My future rule shall be "scout the poet!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"MUTES AND LIQUIDS."--Some clever detectives, of the Birmingham Police
Force--not by any means Brummagem detectives--disguised themselves
as "Mourners' Mutes" and such like black guards of hearses, and,
after a re-hearsal of their several parts, they went to a tavern for
drink--grief, professionally or otherwise, being thirsty work--and
managed to discover that this public-house was only a privately
conducted betting-house, being, like themselves, in disguise. The result
has yet to be ascertained, but so far it has proved a most successful
"undertaking."

       *       *       *       *       *

GOOD NEWS.--"Cheer, Boys, Cheer!" "There's a Good Time Coming"; for the
evergreen veteran, Mr. HENRY RUSSELL, is "preparing his reminiscences
for publication." _Mr. Punch_ looks forward with pleasure to perusing
them, and wishes that HENRY'S congenial collaborator, CHARLES MACKAY,
were yet living to share the treat.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SEA-FAIRIES; OR, ULYSSES-PUNCHIUS AND THE MODERN
SIRENS.

(_A long way after the late Laureate._)]

  _Slow strolled the weary PUNCHIUS, and saw,
  Betwixt the white cliff and the whiter foam,
  Sweet faces, rounded arms, and bosoms prest
  To little harps of gold. And PUNCHIUS said:_--
  "Lo! I am lucky, after session long,
  To light upon these sirens; and their song
  I fear not, though I'm wary as Ulysses,
        Nor do I dread their kisses,
  (Seeing that far away PENELOPE-JUDY Abides.)
  Oh! hang this maudlin muck from MUDIE!
  I love not, I, these new, neurotic novels,
  In which the wild New Woman soars--and grovels.
  Emancipated females are _not_ sirens!
  There's pleasure in the peril that environs
        Old-fashioned witchery.
  A pretty English maiden at her stitchery,
  Or a scaled mermaid, siren, or sea-fairy,
  Alike have charms for me. Yet I'll be wary,
  'Maidens mit nodings'--or but little--'on,'
        As BREITMANN hints, are dangers
        For weak wayfaring strangers.
  But Beauty never hurt _me_. Fears begone!
  See how the long-tressed charmers smile and beckon!
  I'll go and risk a chat with them, I reckon!"
  _And while Punch mused,
  They whispering to each other as in fun,
  Soft music reached the Unsurpassable One:_--

  "Whither away, whither away, whither away? Fly no more!
  Whither away from the bright white cliff and the sandy siren-haunted
      shore?
  Back to town--which is horrible now--or to politics--the beastliest
      bore?
    Day and night do the printers'-devils call?
    Day and night do stump-orators howl and squall?
        Bless 'em--and let 'em be!
  Out from the city of singular sights, and smells.
  Come to these saffron sands and these silvery shells,
  Far from the niggers, and nursemaids, and howling swells,
        Here by the high-toned sea:
  O hither, come hither, and furl your sails!
    Come hither to me, and to me,
  Hither, come hither, and frolic and play,
  (Of course, in a highly-respectable middle-aged way).
  Good company we--if you do not object to our--tails.
  And the least little tiny suspicion of silver scales.
    We will sing to you lyrics gay,
  Such as LOCKER, or AUSTIN DOBSON, or LANG might pen.
  Oh, we know your society-singers, and now and then,
  When old Father Nep's in the sulks, or amusement fails,
  Or we're tired of the "merry carols" of rollicking gales
    (As young ALFRED TENNYSON said
    When just a weeny bit 'off his (poetical) head')
  We study another than _Davy Jones's_ Locker,
  And read your Society Novel or Shilling Shocker!
  Oh, spangles are sparkling in bight and bay!
  Come down, Old Gentleman, give us your hand.
  We are modern mermaids, as you may understand,
  And fair, and frolic, fun-loving, and blamelessly free.
      Hither, come hither, and see!"

  And PUNCHIUS, waggishly winking a wary eye,
  Cried, "Coming, my nautical darlings!--at least, I'll try.
  Middle-aged? I'm as young as a masher of five-and-twenty!
  I love pretty girls, honest fun, and the _far niente_.
  I'm 'a young man,' but not 'from the country,' as you will find,
  And if you are game for flirtation, well, _I_ don't mind!"
  And he stepped him down, and he sat by the sounding shore,
  And chatted, and flirted, and laughed with the sirens four;
  And he sang, as young TENNYSON might have, or UHLAND, the German,
      This song of the Modern Merman!--

      "Who would not be
      A merman bold,
      And sit by the sea,
      With mermaids free.
      And sweet converse hold
      With nice nautical girls,
      And toy with their curls,
      And watch the gleam
      Of their glistening pearls,
      As they chatter, chatter
      On,--well, no matter
      Each with her tale
      And whisks her--narrative.
      (Pink skin or scale,
      Charms are all comparative!)
  Oh what a happy life were mine
  With Beauty (though caudate) beside the brine!
  With four sea-fairies beside the sea
  _Punch_ can live merrily, merrily!"
  And the Mermaids pinched the Punchian cheek
  (For his Caudal lecture) and made him squeak.
  And he cried "Revenge!" (like TIMOTHEUS, Miss)
  And a sweet revenge for a nip is a kiss.
  And around the rock siren laughter rang
  And that bevy of sweet sea-fairies sang:--

  "O the laugh-ripple breaks on the breaking wave,
  And sweet are its echoes from cove and cave,
      And sweet shall your welcome be,
        You dear old Cove,
        Whom all she-things love,
  O hither, come hither and be our lord,
    For merry mischiefs are we!
  We kiss sweet kiss, and we speak sweet word:
  O listen, listen, your eyes shall glisten.
  ('Tis better than being by B-RTL-YS bored!)
      Business? O fiddle-de-dee!!!
  With pleasure and love make jubilee.
      Leucosia, Ligea, Parthenope
  Will load your briar and brew your tea.
  And we keep rare stingo down under the sea,
  For we tithe earth's commerce, all duty-free!
      Where will you light on a happier shore.
      Or gayer companions or richer store,
      All the world o'er, all the world o'er?
  Whither away? listen and stay! To _Judy_ and Parliament fly no more!"

  _And sick of St. Stephen's, in holiday mood,
  The Modern Ulysses half wishes he could!_

[Illustration: CONFRÈRES.

_Master Jacky (who took part in some school theatricals last
term,--suddenly, to eminent Tragedian who has come to call)._ "I SAY,
YOU KNOW--_I_ ACT!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

LYRE AND LANCET.

(_A Story in Scenes._)

PART XI.--TIME AND THE HOUR.

SCENE XIX.--_The Dining Hall._

_Spurrell_ (_to himself, uncomfortably conscious of the expectant_
THOMAS _in his rear_). Must write _something_ to this beggar, I suppose;
it'll keep him quiet. (_To_ Mrs. BROOKE-CHATTERIS.) I--I just want to
write a line or two. Could you oblige me with a lead-pencil?

_Mrs. Chatteris._ You are really going to write! At a dinner-party, of
all places! Now _how_ delightfully original and unconventional of you! I
promise not to interrupt till the inspiration is over. Only, really, I'm
afraid I don't carry lead-pencils about with me--so bad for one's
frocks, you know!

_Thomas (in his ear)._ I can lend you a pencil, Sir, if you require one.

    [_He provides him with a very minute stump._

_Spurr._ (_reading what he has written on the back of_ UNDERSHELL'S
_missive_). "Will be in my room (Verney Chamber) as soon after ten as
possible.

 "J. SPURRELL."

(_He passes the paper to_ THOMAS, _surreptitiously_.) There, take him
that.

    [THOMAS _retires_.

_Archie (to himself)._ The calm cheek of these writin' chaps! I saw him
takin' notes under the table! Lady RHODA ought to know the sort of
fellow he is--and she shall! (_To_ Lady RHODA, _in an aggrieved
undertone_.) I should advise you to be jolly careful what you say to
your other neighbour; he's takin' it all down. I just caught him
writin'. He'll be bringing out a satire, or whatever he calls it, on us
all by-and-by--you see if he won't!

_Lady Rhoda._ What an ill-natured boy you are! Just because _he_ can
write, and you _can't_. And I don't believe he's doin' anythin' of the
sort. I'll ask him--_I_ don't care! (_Aloud, to_ SPURRELL.) I say, I
know I'm awfully inquisitive--but I do want to know so--you've just been
writin' notes or somethin', haven't you? Mr. BEARPARK declares you're
goin' to take them all off here--you're not really, _are_ you?

_Spurr. (to himself)._ That sulky young chap has spotted it! (_Aloud,
stammering._) I--take everything off? _Here!_ I--I assure you I should
never even _think_ of doing anything so indelicate!

_Lady Rhoda._ I was sure that was what you'd say! But still (_with
reviving uneasiness_), I suppose you _have_ made use of things that
happened just to fit your purpose, haven't you?

_Spurr. (penitently)._ All I can say is, that--if I have--you won't
catch me doing it _again_! And other people's things _don't_ fit. I'd
much rather have my own.

_Lady Rhoda (relieved)._ Of course! But I'm glad you told me. (_To_
ARCHIE, _in an undertone_.) I _asked_ him--and, as usual, you were
utterly wrong. So you'll please not to be a Pig!

_Archie (jealously)._ And you're goin' to go on talkin' to him all
through dinner? Pleasant for me--when I took you down!

_Lady Rhoda._ You want to be taken down yourself, I think. And I mean to
talk to him if I choose. You can talk to Lady CULVERIN--she likes boys!
(_Turning to_ SPURRELL.) I was goin' to ask you--ought a schipperke to
have meat? Mine won't touch puppy biscuits.

    [SPURRELL _enlightens her on this point_; ARCHIE _glowers_.

_Lady Cantire_ (_perceiving that the_ Bishop _is showing signs of
restiveness_). Well, Bishop, I wish I could find you a little more ready
to listen to what the other side has to say!

[Illustration: "I shall be--ah--all impatience, Lady Cantire."]

_The Bishop (who has been "heckled" to the verge of his endurance)._ I
am--ah--not conscious of any unreadiness to enter into conversation with
the very estimable lady on my other side, should an opportunity present
itself.

_Lady Cant._ Now, that's one of your quibbles, Dr. RODNEY, and I detest
quibbling! But at least it shows you haven't a leg to stand upon.

_The Bishop._ Precisely--nor to--ah--run away upon, dear Lady. I am
wholly at your mercy, you perceive!

_Lady Cant. (triumphantly)._ Then you _admit_ you're beaten? Oh, I don't
despair of you _yet_, Bishop!

_The Bishop._ I confess I am less sanguine. (_To himself._) Shall I have
strength to bear these buffets with any remains of Christian forbearance
through three more courses? Ha, thank Heaven, the salad!

    [_He cheers up at the sight of this olive-branch._

_Mrs. Earwaker_ (_to_ PILLINER). Now, I don't altogether approve of the
New Woman myself; but still, I am glad to see how women are beginning to
assert themselves and come to the front; surely you sympathise with all
that?

_Pilliner (plaintively)._ No, really I _can't_, you know! I'd so much
rather they _wouldn't_. They've made us poor men feel positively
obsolete! They'll snub us out of existence soon--our sex will be
extinct--and then they'll be sorry. There'll be nobody to protect them
from one another! After all, we can't help being what we are. It isn't
_my_ fault that I was born a Man Thing--now, _is_ it?

_Lady Cant. (overhearing this remark)._ Well, if it _is_ a fault, Mr.
PILLINER, we must all acknowledge that you've done everything in your
power to correct it!

_Pill. (sweetly)._ How nice and encouraging of you, dear Lady CANTIRE,
to take up the cudgels for me like that!

    [_The_ Countess _privately relieves her feelings by expressing
    a preference for taking up a birch rod, and renews her attack
    on the_ Bishop.

_Mr. Shorthorn (who has been dragging his mental depths for a fresh
topic--hopefully, to_ Miss SPELWANE). By the bye, I haven't asked you
what you thought about these--er--Revolting Daughters?

_Miss Spelwane._ No, you haven't; and I thought it _so_ considerate of
you.

    [Mr. SHORTHORN _gives up dragging, in discouragement_.

_Pill._ (_sotto voce, to_ Miss SPELWANE). Have you quite done sitting on
that poor unfortunate man? _I_ heard you!

_Miss Spelw. (in the same tone)._ I'm afraid I _have_ been rather
beastly to him. But, oh, he _is_ such a bore--he _would_ talk about his
horrid "silos" till I asked him whether they were easy to tame. After
that, the subject dropped--somehow.

_Pill._ I see you've been punishing him for not happening to be a
distinguished Poet. I thought _he_ was to have been the fortunate man?

_Miss Spelw._ So he was; but they changed it all at the last moment: it
really was rather provoking. I _could_ have talked to _him_.

_Pill._ Lady RHODA appears to be consoling him. Poor dear ARCHIE'S face
is quite a study. But really I don't see that his poetry is so very
wonderful; no more did _you_ this morning!

_Miss Spelw._ Because you deliberately picked out the worst bits, and
read them as badly as you could!

_Pill._ Ah, well, he's here to read them for himself now. I daresay he'd
be delighted to be asked.

_Miss Spelw._ Do you know, BERTIE, that's rather a good idea of yours.
I'll ask him to read us something to-night.

_Pill. (aghast)._ To-night! With all these people here? I say, they'll
never _stand_ it, you know.

    [Lady CULVERIN _gives the signal_.

_Miss Spelw._ (_as she rises_). They ought to feel it an immense
privilege. I know _I_ shall.

_The Bishop_ (_to himself, as he rises_). Port in sight--at last! But,
oh, _what_ I have had to suffer!

_Lady Cant._ (_at parting_). Well, we've had quite one of our old
discussions. I always enjoy talking to _you_, Bishop. But I haven't yet
got at your reasons for voting as you did on the Parish Councils Bill:
we must go into that upstairs.

_The Bishop_ (_with veracity_). I shall be--ah--all impatience, Lady
CANTIRE. (_To himself._) I fervently trust that a repetition of this
experience may yet be spared me!

_Lady Rhoda_ (_as she leaves SPURRELL_). You will tell me the name of
the stuff upstairs, won't you? So very much ta!

_Archie_ (_to himself_). I'd like to tar him very much, and feather him
too, for cuttin' me out like this! (_The men sit down_; SPURRELL _finds
himself between_ ARCHIE _and_ Captain THICKNESSE, _at the further end of
the table_; ARCHIE _passes the wine to_ SPURRELL _with a scowl_.) What
are you drinkin'? Claret? What do you do your writin' on, now, as a
general thing?

_Spurr._ (_on the defensive_). On paper, Sir, when I've any to do. Do
you do yours on a _slate_?

_Captain Thicknesse._ I say, that's rather good. Had you there,
BEARPARK!

_Spurr._ (_to_ ARCHIE, _lowering his voice_). Look here, I see you're
trying to put a spoke in my wheel. You saw me writing at dinner, and
went and told that young lady I was going to take everything off there
and then, which you must have known I wasn't likely to do. Now, Sir,
it's no business of yours that I can see; but, as you seem to be
interested, I may tell you that I shall do it in my own room, as soon as
I leave this table, and there will be no fuss or publicity about it
whatever. I hope you're satisfied now?

_Archie._ Oh, _I_'m satisfied. (_He rises._) Left my cigarette-case
upstairs--horrid bore--must go and get it.

_Capt. Thick._ They'll be bringing some round in another minute.

_Archie._ Prefer my own. (_To himself, as he leaves the hall._) I knew I
was right. That bounder _is_ meaning to scribble some rot about us all!
He's goin' straight up to his room to do it.... Well, he may find a
little surprise when he gets there!

_Capt. Thick._ (_to himself_). Mustn't let this poet fellow think I'm
jealous; daresay, after all, there's nothing serious between them.
Not that it matters to me; anyway, I may as well talk to him. I
wonder if he knows anything about steeplechasin'.

    [_He discovers that_ SPURRELL _is not unacquainted with this
    branch of knowledge._

SCENE XX.--_A Corridor leading to the Housekeeper's Room._

TIME--9.30 P.M.

_Undershell_ (_to himself_). If I wasn't absolutely compelled by sheer
hunger, I would not touch a morsel in this house. But I can't get my
things back till after ten. When I do, I will insist on a conveyance to
the nearest inn. In the meantime I must sup. After all, no one need know
of this humiliating adventure. And if I _am_ compelled to consort with
these pampered menials, I think I shall know how to preserve my
dignity--even while adapting myself to their level. And that girl will
be there--a distinctly redeeming fact in the situation. I will be easy
and even affable; I will lay aside all foolish pride; it would be
unreasonable to visit their employer's snobbery upon them. I hear
conversation inside this room. This must be the door. I--I suppose I had
better go in.

    [_He enters._

       *       *       *       *       *

FOLLOWING FOOTSTEPS.

(_Fragment from a Romance founded on Reality._)

He had become famous. Or perhaps that was scarcely the word--notorious
would have been better. At any rate his name had appeared in the papers.
For nine days everyone talked about him. It was during those nine days
that he was wanted. No, not by the myrmidons of the law. He had escaped
them. His plea of innocent had been accepted. So far as Scotland Yard
was concerned he was safe. Quite safe.

[Illustration]

But was he safe from "that other"? Ah, there was the point. With the
instinct of desperation he took himself off. He hurried away. He went by
an excursion train--one that stopped at all the stations and was called
a "fast train to this place" and "that place," but never referred to in
connection with its destination--and arrived in due time at a cockney
watering-place.

He was followed! As sure as fate, came the follower! Ready to hunt him
down! Ready to take him! He rapidly repacked his bag. He hurriedly left
for the station. Once again he was flying away. Now he had chosen a
prosperous city. The place was teeming with population. Surely he would
be lost in this giddy throng? No. He was followed! On came the pursuer!
Ready to take him!

Again and again the same thing happened. Did he go to the Continent, his
pursuer was after him. Did he travel to Scotland, he was met in the
Highlands by the same fatal presence.

It was useless to fight against destiny any longer. Assisted by those
interested in a popular paper--which had slightly altered its character,
changing from an authority on scientific research into a cheap sporting
weekly--he reached the Antarctic Circle. He heard following footsteps.
He tried to hide himself behind the South Pole. But it was of no avail.
At length he was discovered! They stood face to face, both wearing
skates.

"What do you want with me?"

"You were accused of murder, but was innocent."

"Yes," he returned, with an ugly frown. "I was innocent _that_ time."

"You are an interesting person. I have followed you all this way because
I have determined to interview you."

"No you don't," cried the pursued, drawing a sword walking-stick, and
holding the blade dagger-wise.

"Yes I do," shouted the pursuer, producing a note-book. "And now tell me
who were your father and mother?"

There was a short, decisive struggle, and then all was over.

"If there is ever an inquest in this distant spot," said the conqueror,
"the jury will bring it in justifiable homicide."

And no doubt he was right in his conjecture.

       *       *       *       *       *

TITLE FOR THE NEW IRISH FARCICAL COMEDY.--_The Two (or more) Shamrocks;
or, A Little Cheque!_

       *       *       *       *       *

THE INCONVENIENCED TRAVELLER'S PHRASE-BOOK.

(_To be Translated into every Language._)

AN INCIDENT _EN ROUTE_.

Why, although I telegraphed for rooms, am I told at three in the morning
that there is no better accommodation for me than this stable?

[Illustration]

Why do you threaten me with the police-station for protesting?

Why do you take me by the throat and drag me along when I am offering no
resistance?

Why do you put me in a cell when I had ordered an apparently now
occupied bed-chamber at the hotel?

Why do you refuse me a mattress, and take away the plank bedstead with
which this dungeon is solely furnished?

Why may I not see a solicitor?

Why do you refuse to send for the British Consul when I tell you that my
cousin's maiden aunt is engaged to a Bishop?

What more can I do to prove my respectability when I have shown you my
certificate of birth, my commission in the Militia, my banker's
pass-book, my diploma as an utter-barrister, several framed and
illuminated addresses of congratulation, and my passport?

Why, although I have offered to pay for it, can I not have a decent
breakfast?

Why do you insist upon my making a nauseous meal on stale bread and
unfiltered water?

Why should you refuse me pens, ink, and paper?

Why should I not write to the Editor of the _Times_?

Why should you take away my watch, and put me in a practising-ground
amidst drunkards, forgers, and burglars?

Why should you not believe me when I assure you that it is a mistake
when you fancy I have come to sketch the outworks of the frontier
fortress?

Why should you not credit my assertion that I only procured a circular
ticket because I wanted to see foreign parts and taste foreign cookery?

Why, after all this worry and anxiety, should you mumble something about
"misapprehension," and bundle me out without an apology?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RUNNER NUISANCE.--"T. L.," writing to _The Times_ about the nuisance
of "cab-runners" in the London streets, says, "_a stream that cannot be
dammed can be turned_." But this stream of "cab-runners" _is_ being
daily and hourly so treated, of course only by _male_ occupants of cabs
carrying luggage, and the runners take nothing but "_damnum et
injuriam_" for their pains. But when the travellers with _impedimenta_
are ladies or ladies' maids, and nurses with children, then evidently
this objectionable stream cannot be "dammed" unless the butler or a
stalwart footman be at home to receive _Mesdames les voyageuses_. In
these cases, EVE travelling ought to have ADAM handy.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WHAT BROWN HAS TO PUT UP WITH.

_The Throat Doctor._ "AND DOES YOUR LITTLE BOY EVER _SNORE_, MRS.
BROWN?"

_Mrs. Brown._ "I DON'T _THINK_ SO. HE ALWAYS SLEEPS IN OUR ROOM, AND
WE'VE NEVER NOTICED IT!"

_Little Brown._ "_MAMMY_ SNORES--IF YOU _LIKE_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

WIGS ON THE GREEN;

OR, THE FRIENDS OF UNITED IRELAND.

AIR--"_Enniscorthy._"

  You may travel over Europe till your heart and foot-soles ache,
  You may meet wid many a warrior, but don't make a mistake,
  The wondher of the wurruld, and of pathriots wide-awake,
    Is the Parthy that is "led" by poor MCCARTHY.
  The way they "pull together" fills a man wid shame and dread;
  They're all in love wid Erin swate--or lasteways so 'tis said--
  And the way each proves his passion is by breaking 'tother's head,
    'Tis that that plays the mischief wid MCCARTHY.

  _Chorus._

  For DILLON goes for HEALY'S chump,
  And at O'BRIEN aims a thump,
    And REDMOND hits all round with anger hearthy;
  And the sticks they all go whacking,
  And the skulls, faith, they are cracking.
    When JUSTIN tries to lead the Oirish Parthy!

  When they got "a little cheque" or two a desperate row arose,
  TIM HEALY dashed at "Honest JOHN" and fought him to a close,
  And REDMOND showed designs upon O'BRIEN'S classic nose,
    It was that which riz the dander of MCCARTHY.
  They hustled round poor Erin so they nearly knocked her down,
  She barely dodged a cudgel that was aimed at DILLON'S crown,
  "And och!" she sighed, "if this is _love_ a colleen well may frown
  On the wooing of a crack-brained Oirish Parthy."

  _Chorus._--For DILLON went for HEALY'S chump, &c.

  They were all fast "friends" of Erin, they'd declared so o'er and
      o'er,
  But HEALY scorned O'BRIEN, and deemed Honest JOHN a bore;
  While REDMOND called them liars all, and sycophants, and swore
    _He_ wouldn't hold a candle to MCCARTHY.
  There wasn't much to foight about save mutual hate and spleen,
  And yet such a shillelagh-foight at Donnybrook ne'er was seen;
  Black oies, red noses! Faith it looked as though they'd strew the
      Green
    Wid the fragments of the "Chief" they called MCCARTHY.

  _Chorus._--For DILLON went for HEALY'S nose, &c.

  And all their inimies looked on, and laughed as they would doie;
  And every friend of Erin wiped a tear from sorrow's oie;
  Saying "If such friends of Unity why ever don't they trroy
    To show a firm united Oirish Parthy?"
  Sighed Erin "Would to Providence this faction-foight were done!
  It breaks the hearts of pathriots, to my foes 'tis purest fun,
  _Why_ can't they sthop these parthy-sphlits and merge them into One?
    That's all that now is needed,--ax MCCARTHY!"

  _Chorus._

  But DILLON goes for HEALY'S chump,
  He at O'BRIEN aims a thump,
    And REDMOND hits all round with anger hearthy;
  And the sticks they still go whacking,
  And the skulls they still are cracking.
    Whosoever tries to lead the Oirish Parthy!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WIGS ON THE GREEN!"

OR, THE FRIENDS OF UNITED IRELAND(?).]

       *       *       *       *       *

IN MEMORIAM.

LOUIS PHILIPPE ALBERT D'ORLÉANS, COMTE DE PARIS.

DIED AT STOWE HOUSE, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, SEPT. 8, 1894.

  A ROYAL exile, and our England's guest,
  Let English church-bells chime him to his rest,
  Whilst English hearts respectfully condole
  With a devoted wife's sore-sorrowing soul.
  Not as the heir of a too shadowy crown,
  Who knew long exile's ache, and fortune's frown,
  But as a friend who long with us did dwell,
  And a brave man who bore fierce suffering well,
  We grieve for him, and bow as sounds his passing bell.

       *       *       *       *       *

A SUGGESTED ADDENDUM.--In the course of a sharply-written article in
this month's _The Theatre Magazine_ (under the editorship of FREDERICK
HAWKINS), Mr. CLEMENT SCOTT, while indignantly repelling the charge of
venality brought against French dramatic critics by their compatriot M.
ALEXANDRE DUMAS, observes, referring to English authors, "_We have our
DUMASES on this side of the Channel_." Undeniably. And, we may add,
"Would they were Dumb-asses!"

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR NATIONAL DEFENCES.

(_By Mr. Punch's Own Veteran Expert._)

It was a happy thought of the respected Editor of this paper (if I may
be permitted so to say) to commission me to undertake a thorough
inspection of the guns at the Admiralty Pier, Dover. Since war has
broken out between China and Japan there is no saying what may happen
next, and it seems to me that a plain statement of our preparedness will
have a reassuring effect. So without further preface I will relate my
adventures, taking care, however, to give no information that can be
serviceable to the enemy.

[Illustration]

I am a bit of a soldier myself but frankly confess that I was not nearly
so much of a warrior as my companion. We had a pass for two, and it was
understood that nothing should be done through indiscretion that might
endanger the safety of the country. So if my description is not what the
dramatic critics of the nearly newest school term "convincing," the
omission is accounted for. We two, braving the rain the wind and the
spray, put in an appearance at the end of the Admiralty Pier. There was
a sort of boat-house on our right, which seemingly contained clothing
for those who intended to do the guns.

"You had better put on canvas, Sir," said the custodian; "the engineers
are about, and it is rather dirty down below."

My companion was soon suited with a pair of overalls and a jumper. I
would have been fitted as speedily if the date of the adornment had been
anticipated by twenty years or so. As it was, my weight rather
interfered with the measurement. From the size of the canvas clothing in
stock, I am afraid our army must be a skinny one. Be this as it may, I
had to wear "36," when "44" would have been nearer the mark. The result
was that I walked with difficulty, and found I could not cough. So I was
rather glad that there was no chance of meeting the fairer sex, as I was
quite sure that I was not looking my best. And I say this although I was
tied together with bits of rope, and _did_ wear an old jockey cap.

"We will go and see the powder magazine first," said our guide,
flourishing what seemed to me to be a cheap kind of teapot, with a light
at the end of it. "It is so many feet below the level of the sea at low
water."

I carefully refrain from giving the number of feet--first, because I
will disclose no confidences, and, secondly, because I have forgotten
it. So down we went into the depths of the earth. The hole was about as
big as a kitchen chimney, and had on one side of it a number of iron
bars, serving as a ladder. Our guide went first, then my companion, then
I myself. I shall never forget the experience. I have often heard of the
treadmill, and this seemed a revised edition of the punishment. Each bar
hurt my feet, and each foot of descent increased my temperature. I went
very slowly--it was impossible to go fast in overalls "36." When I had
descended what appeared to me to be a mile or so, I came to a full stop.
I was standing in a sort of empty store-cupboard--the kind of place
where careful housewives stack boxes and unused perambulators.

"This is the magazine," said our conductor, waving his illuminated
tea-pot about, so that we might see the place to better advantage.

"Is this all?" I asked, rather disappointed, as after so much exertion I
should have been glad of a little excitement. Even an infernal machine
on tick would have been something.

"Yes, that's all, Sir," returned the teapot-bearer, beginning to mount
the ladder. He was followed by my companion. I brought up the rear, and
felt like the great-grandfather of JACK SHEPPARD escaping from Newgate.
When I was half way it occurred to me that it was really very wrong to
allow people to see such secrets. I might have been a spy, or a
political agent, or something or other. Yes, such things should not be
permitted, and I recommenced my exertions.

"Take care where you go, Sir! There's a loose plank thereabouts!"

It was the voice of our leader. It came from above, and had a
ventriloquial sound about it. I felt inclined to reply in a shrill
_falsetto_, "What a funny man you are Mr. COLE!" but would not. First,
it was undignified; secondly, I hadn't the breath to do it.

"Wearily, drowsily," like Miss MAY YOHE, but (considering my costume)
with a difference, I came to the surface. I felt that I had been for the
last ten hours in the hottest room of a local Chinese Turkish Bath. I
was so limp that had I been told that the fairest of the fair and the
richest of the rich combined was on the eve of being introduced to me, I
should not have made any effort to get away. Yes, in spite of being
conscious that I had rubbed my nose with a smutty glove, and
consequently had something in common with the sweep.

"We are going to see the engines," said my friend.

"Only so many hundred feet below the level of the ocean," added our
conductor. (It will be observed that I carefully avoid figures for the
reasons I have already given.)

"Thanks, no," I gasped out; "I don't think I will go. I suppose they are
exactly like other engines?"

"Not in the least."

"Ah, then that decides me, I will stay here," and I did.

I am glad to say that the engines appeared to be particularly
interesting, and kept my friend and his escort busily engaged for about
half an hour. At length my companions returned. I was partially
recovered. I was no longer as limp as a bit of string; I was by this
time almost as strong as a piece of address cardboard.

"You _should_ have seen the engines," said my friend in a tone of
reproach, "they were excellent."

I replied that I would take his word for it. Then we went to see the
guns themselves. Well, I frankly confess I was disappointed. They were
the usual sort of guns. Big tubes and all that kind of thing. Rather
silly than otherwise.

"They are only fired twice a year," said our guide, as if that enhanced
their value. And now I began to understand why the casemates had such an
"apartments furnished" air about them. The windows had brass fittings. I
expected to see curtains hanging from above, and was quite disappointed
not to find a canary in a birdcage hanging down between the window and
the gun muzzle.

"Dear me!" I observed, "so these are the guns! They are fired I supposed
by Number One?"

Our conductor was absolutely startled at my remark. Many years since I
was a Volunteer Artilleryman, and I had stumbled on a technical term.
"Number One" is the gunner of the firing-party who fires (_i.e._ lets
off) the gun. The result of this display of knowledge was an elaborate
description by our guide of the character of the gun bristling with
technicalities. (Wishing to protect the Government secrets I do not
transcribe it.)

Then we went to see how the gun was loaded, how it was laid or aimed. At
last we came to the look-out tower.

"Only room for one gentleman," said our guide; and I nobly yielded first
place to my friend. He went up, and his head disappeared. I could only
see his body from the neck downwards. He appeared very agitated. Later
on he came down, and saying there was a "stiffish breeze," invited me to
take his place. Ascending slowly, greatly impeded by fit and fatigue, I
got to the top of the ladder. My head disappeared, and my body I knew
must have become greatly agitated. And this was not surprising. For my
body was still in the hottest room of the local Chinese Turkish Bath,
which had grown hotter than ever, and my head had apparently suddenly
found itself on the summit of Mont Blanc. Yes, and in winter weather.
For a moment it was all I could do to avoid what seemed to me to be
avalanches, frozen thunderbolts and Atlantic icebergs. They seemed to be
dashing over me. Clinging for dear life to what appeared to be a sort of
glassless cucumber frame was our conductor. He explained something or
other in a voice that sounded as if he were a ventriloquist who was
making a man say "Good night" at the top of a very high chimney.

I intimated that I was perfectly satisfied. This I did in dumb show by
promptly dropping my head and climbing down as quickly as possible. When
I reached the stone floor my face was ice for a moment and then turned
red hot, following the example set by the rest of my body.

Shortly afterwards, staggering in my imperfect fit, I once more returned
to the entrance of the boat-house. The robes surrounding me were
carefully untied in several directions. I drew off my overalls, my
jumper, my shocking bad hat, my torn white gloves. I resumed my ordinary
clothes. "RICHARD was himself again." At least, as near himself as he
could be after a loss of about two stones of weight and the greater part
of his voice.

"You will not give particulars that will endanger the safety of the
State?"

I promised (in a feeble, melancholy tone that seemed to me like a
mouse's dying farewell to sorrowing relatives) that I wouldn't.

And I hope I haven't.

       *       *       *       *       *

Development.

(_Brummagem Version of a Celebrated Quatrain._)

  There was a Rad in the days that were earlier;
  Years fleeted by, he grew smarter and curlier;
  Further years gave him a Toryish twist,
  Then he was _Times_ man, and Unionist!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PREHISTORIC PEEPS.

THERE WERE EVEN THEN QUIET SPOTS BY THE SEA WHERE ONE COULD BE ALONE
WITH NATURE UNDISTURBED]

       *       *       *       *       *

ODE FOR THE MARRIAGE
SEASON.

I.

  Sing now in festal rhyme
  Of Hymen's harvest-time,
    The happy chances
  When Cupid's fragrant torch
  Leads to the sacred porch
  And the bells' wedding chime
    Crowns young romances.

  Here, whispering somewhat loud,
  Gathers the wonted crowd;
  Matrons with heart still young
    Happily tearful,
  Critics of dress, avow'd,
  Too sibilant of tongue,
  And, thick the throng among,
  Damsels expectant still
  Of love, their lives to fill,
    Chatty and cheerful.

  See, there the bridegroom waits
  Till at the flow'r-strewn gates
    His love descendeth,
  And all ears listening,
  And some eyes glistening,
  Fiction's romances pale
  While of a real love-tale
    First chapter endeth.

  The choir-boys, open-eyed,
    Forget their psalter
  For gazing at the bride,
  Childlike yet dignified,
  There by her lover's side,
    Before the altar.

  Here to the shrine they bring
  That old pure offering
    Of all religions,
  Hallowing their first, young loves--
  A pair of turtle-doves,
    Or two young pigeons.

  Never since ADAM'S primal banns were cried
    By every bird in Eden's leafy minster,
  Has such a bridegroom taken such a bride,
  So true a Bachelor, so sweet a Spinster.

[Illustration: A DISAPPOINTMENT.

[_To perambulate_, v.n., in German _spazieren_; in French, _se
promener_; in Italian, _passeggiare_.]

_Johann Schmidt._ "ACH! VAT A BITTY, MISTER CHONES! ZEN VE MUST NOT GO
THEREIN TO BERAMPULATE?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

SONG OF THE IMPECUNIOUS BARD.

  How many woes, the heavens beneath,
    The sons of men assume!
  For some, they say, are boomed to death,
    While some have ne'er a boom.
  And some like rockets rise and fall--
    A sadder lot have they
  Whose rockets never mount at all,
    But fizz and die away.

  _My_ sun is sinking to the West--
    It did not fairly rise.
  In velvet coats I can't invest,
    Nor in Byronic ties.
  The very cheapest "shag" I smoke,
    My thirst on water quench--
  My latest sixpence when I broke,
    I _knew_ I must retrench.

  Upon a simple scone I lunch,
    Or luncheon I ignore--
  I cannot even buy a _Punch_--
    A most terrific bore!
  But yet at Fleet Street, 85,
    From gazing none retard,
  And solace still may thence derive
    An impecunious Bard.

       *       *       *       *       *

TEMPORA MUTANTUR.

  There was a time I loved to row
    Upon the Thames, and pitch my tent
  On reedy islands lying low,
    Without a thought of tax or rent.
  But if I sleep in puddles now
    I get rheumatics, gout and cramp.
  The Thames has grown--I know not how--
                      So damp.

  There was a time I loved to climb
    From morn till eve, from eve to morn,
  Those snow-capped Alpine peaks sublime,
    The Rigi and the Matterhorn.
  Now, Ludgate Hill is quite as much
    As I can do, or Hornsey Rise--
  Mountains, you see, have grown to such
                      A size.

  There was a time I loved to flit
    To Margate with its German bands,
  And split my sides at nigger-wit,
    Or ride on donkeys on the sands.
  Now, niggers have got coarse and low,
    And if I mount on steeds, they cough,
  Or wink, or wag their ears and throw
                      Me off.

  But now my nerves are all a wreck
    I'll seek some less exacting sport
  In Regent's Park, nor risk my neck
    In foolish pranks of that mad sort.
  I'll find some steady man who owns
    A safe reliable Bath-chair,
  And tip him well to wheel my bones
                      With care.

       *       *       *       *       *

NEWS FROM NORWICH.

"Am I too sweeping when I say that we have more to fear from drinking
and gambling than from all the capitalists put together?" So boldly and
pertinently asked Mr. President DELVES, in his opening speech at the
Norwich Trades Union Congress. Mr. DELVES "paused for a reply." _Mr.
Punch_ gives it with an emphatic "No!"

It is not every working-man's friend who will tell the working-man this
wholesome truth: that the Bottle and the Betting-Book are his worst
enemies. When he defeats _them_, the grasping capitalist, the mere
greedy monopolist, will not have a chance against him. Sober workmen who
did not gamble would indeed be "too strong to be afraid of Parliament,"
or any other power.

Mr. DELVES spoke of strikes as likely to become "an old weapon like the
discarded flintlock of a past age." Good again! But if the workmen will
organise an effective strike, as general as possible, against Beer and
Betting, it will the best day's work they have ever done for themselves
and their country, and against exacting capitalism and sweating
monopoly.

  When workmen act on DELVES'S plan,
  Who will fight the Working-man?

Or, to adapt another old piece of doggerel:--

      If the Working-man
      Will work on the plan
  That DELVES set forth at Norwich;
      Check betting and drouth,
      Need he burn _his_ mouth
  With the Socialist's hot porridge?

       *       *       *       *       *

LINES IN PLEASANT PLACES.

CONSTANTINOPLE AT OLYMPIA.

  To the confines of Asia 'tis easy to roam--
    Here's a bus, going west, which invites
  You (absurdly enough) to go east to the home
    Of all manner of Turkish delights.

  On arriving, at once you embark in a boat
    Of a name unpronounceable quite,
  And through vistas of columns are wafted afloat
    In unspeakable-Turkish delight.

  The vocab. in the programme is really A1,
    You can pick up the language at sight,
  And converse with your Turk in his own native tongue
    To his infinite (Turkish) delight.

  Then the making of carpets and Galata tower
    Are both of them well worth a sight;
  And the houris you'll view in their shop-window bower.
    With mild, semi-Turkish delight.

  'Twill be long ere the show on the stage you forget,
    For the ballets are wonderfully bright,
  There's an interval too, for a "naice segarette"--
    A Britannico-Turkish delight.

  When at last to an end the great spectacle comes,
    You bid Constantinople good night;
  And you go home enchanted, with several drums
    Of the genuine "Turkish delight."

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

[Illustration]

The volumes of "The Autonym Library" by any other name would be just as
handy. "It was a curious coincidence in names," quoth the Baron, "that,
when first I took up one of these volumes, I was discoursing with an
eminent judge on some mysterious points in the celebrated 'Claimant'
trial, a full and detailed report of which would afford matter for an
'Arthur-Ortonym' library of fiction." The particular volume which had
attracted the Baron's attention was _Mad Sir Uchtred of the Hills_, by
S. R. CROCKETT. 'Tis a strange book, and the "kindly reader," so
addressed prefatially by the author, may have a kindly word for it, and,
"by my troth," quoth the Baron, "the reading of it made pass an hour or
so 'twixt meal-times not unpleasantly," the while he sat on the smooth
deck of a wave-conquering yacht, in view of the hoary side of the Green
Isles of Arrah and Bedad, what time the Sea-any-monies and the
coal-scuttle fish shot like blue blazes "through the silver threads of
the still and sleepy waters." And that is how the Baron would write were
he describing the scene Crockettically. The story of _Sir Uchtred_ was
evidently suggested by the _Strange Adventures of the Great King
Nebuchadnezzar_, and indeed the guileless author would so have it
understood from the headings prefixed to his chapters. There is much
about "Randolph" in it, which is pleasant, seeing that for some time
"our only Randolph" is absent from us, going round the world, and
getting himself, the Baron hopes, all round again by the process.

_Sir Uchtred_ goes mad, mad as a hatter--("What hatter? But no matter!"
quoth the poetical Baron),--and wanders about "with a tile off," just as
a hatter would do who was so demented as to forget his business. Then at
the critical moment he is suddenly restored to his senses by hearing, in
the darkness, far down, a bell ring! Yes, he had heard it before, a
sweet church bell, long ago in his infancy.... Just as the wicked
character in _Nicholas Nickleby's_ first play written for the _Crummles
Company_, the villain of the piece, when about to commit his greatest
piece of villainy, hears a clock strike! He has heard a clock strike in
happier times, in the days of his innocency, and he is struck by the
striking coincidence, and he weeps--he relents! he is good once more!!!
And this is how mad _Sir Uchtred_ is brought back again to his senses,
and how all ends happily for everybody except for a certain lame tamed
black wild cat, which, after having had a great deal to do with the
story, disappears, and is heard of no more. Alas! poor Yorick! Will good
Sir R. CROCKETT of the Pens write another little red book--("such is the
colour of the cover in the Autonym Library. But for certain 'tis a much
read book," quoth idiotic Sir Bookred of the Swills)--informing us what
became of the cat with three legs and eight lives, one of its chances
having gone? I haven't met such a cat as this since Mr. ANTHONY HOPE
introduced us to the appreciative tail-less one belonging to _Mr. Witt's
Widow_.

And another book in the library is _The Upper Berth_. It sounds an
aristocratic title, doesn't it? Go not by sound save when the cheering
dinner-gong or luncheon-bugle may summon thee; and then "stand not on
the order of your going," but go and order whatever there may be on the
_menu_. "_The Upper Berth_," says the Baron, still aboard the gallant
vessel, "is the best ghost story I have read for many a day. 'Tis by
MARION CRAWFORD, and not written in his well-known modern Roman hand.
Then in the same volume, by the same author, is _The Waters of
Paradise_, which is disappointing, certainly, after the sensational
_Upper Berth_. Therefore," quoth the Baron, "my counsel and advice is,
read, if you will, _The Waters of Paradise_, only take them off at a
draught first; don't mix the spirit with the waters, but take _The Upper
Berth_ afterwards. For choice read it in bed, with the aid of one
solitary light, taking care to select a tempestuous night, when boards
creak, windows rattle, and doors open of their own accord. In these
conditions you will thoroughly enjoy MARION CRAWFORD'S _Upper Berth_,
and will gratefully thank the thoughtful and considerate

 BARON DE BOOK-WORMS."

P.S.--Once more ashore, and abed, convalescenting, in view of the
_poluphosboytoning thalasses_ (Yes, my boy O! the Baron knoweth the
Greek is not thus, but why not lug in the name of sea-going BOYTON on
such an appropriate occasion?), the Baron readeth _Ships that pass in
the Night_. A deeply pathetic story in one volume, which the Baron
cannot regret not having read long ere this, as it suits his mood so
exactly now. He thanks Miss BEATRICE HARRADEN, and would recommend the
book everywhere, and to everybody, but that by now no such passport is
necessary. Certain personages and localities in the story recall to the
Baron's mind a pretty play, and a most successful one, produced at the
St. James's Theatre under Mr. ALEXANDER'S management. It was _Liberty
Hall_, by SIDNEY CARTON, and the characters were the friendless girl,
played, I fancy, by MARION TERRY; the somewhat cynical and mysterious
lonely man, played by Mr. GEORGE ALEXANDER; and, finally, _Toddy_, the
old bookseller and book-collector, a part that suited Mr. RIGHTON down
to the ground. Such undesigned coincidences are interesting to reader
and playgoer, and in no way detract from the author's originality.

 B. DE B-W.

       *       *       *       *       *

"OUR BENIGHTED ANCESTORS";

OR, HOW IT WILL STRIKE POSTERITY.

(_Circa_ 2894 A.D.)

_Amanda_ (_looking over_ AMANDUS'S _shoulder_). What _are_ you so
absorbed in, my dear?

_Amandus_ (_rousing himself_). Why darling, in this very clever, though
painful, antiquarian work by Dr. DIGEMUP called "Dips into the Dismal
Ages." (_Shudders sympathetically._) Dear, dear, how it makes one pity
one's poor, respectable, but ridiculous ancestors of about a thousand
years syne,--say the end of the "so-called Nineteenth Century!"

_Amanda._ Why dear, what did they do?

_Amandus._ You should rather ask, what did they _suffer_? I was reading
a graphic, but harrowing, account of an extraordinary annual "Custom"
they had--they, the conventional, commonplace, conformists of the day,
top-hatted Philistines, "civilised" into characterlessness, polished
into pithlessness, humanised into moral pap and pulp. It seems to have
been a custom almost as cruel as the blood-bath of Dahomey, as
irrational and tormenting as the hari-kari of old Japan.

_Amanda._ Dear me! Poor dear deluded duffers, why did they do it?

_Amandus. That_ even the pundits of the "Shrimpton-on-Sea" Exploration
Society cannot so much as conjecture. Their excavators lately came upon
a most mysterious "marine deposit" in a sand-choked chalk-cave in the
course of repairing the great South-Coast Marine Embankment. Here are
pictures of some of the items. Many of them are mysteries whose nature
and use cannot be fathomed. Here is an apparatus supposed to have been a
barbarous musical instrument, a hoop with a piece of parchment stretched
across it, and ornamented with movable brazen discs. It _may_ have been
used to scare gulls. At any rate, it must have made a hideous din when
beaten or agitated. It was discovered near certain strange semi-polished
fragments of what were apparently the rib-bones of some extinct animals.
Their use now cannot even be surmised; neither can that of a curious
wooden implement somewhat resembling a miniature model of the obsolete
agricultural implement once known, it appears, as a "shovel" or "spade."

_Amanda._ How _very_ odd! Still, hardly _dreadful_, dear, so far, eh?

_Amandus_ (_gravely_). Perhaps not! Though the significance even of
these comparatively harmless absurdities is painful. But my dear, Dr.
DIGEMUP'S researches lead him to the belief that in the latter half of
the Nineteenth Century a hideous "Annual Custom" prevailed. In the
autumn of the year, it would seem, a sort of Social Edict of Banishment
drove all decent and well-to-do citizens from their own happy homes, to
make themselves miserable--by way of penance probably--in strange
places, fusty, ill-furnished, often unhealthy, and always expensive, far
from all the comforts and decencies, the conveniences and charms of
their own well-ordered residences.

_Amanda._ But _why_ did they do this dismal thing?

_Amandus._ It is not conceivable that they _would_ do it save for
compulsion. It is conjectured that some secret religious tribunal or
vengeful Social _Vehmgericht_ drove the devoted victims to this dreadful
doom. They had to pass weeks, and sometimes months, either in continual
travel--as tiring and painful as the penitential pilgrimages of a yet
earlier date--or in compulsory incarceration in dismal dungeons or
comfortless caravanserais.

_Amanda_ (_shivering_). Oh dear, how _very_ dreadful!

_Amandus._ Dreadful, indeed! The leaders, controllers, or
"gangers" of these Autumnal Pilgrimages of Pain, were certain
mysterious functionaries called, it appears, by the generic name of
"Paterfamilias." The Paterfamilias, who appears to correspond somewhat
to the ancient idea of a Pilgarlic or Scapegoat, had, though "sore
against his will," like the mythical _John Gilpin_, to lead his family
followers in this peripatetic purgatory, suffer its worst horrors
himself, and--_pay all the expenses_!!!

_Amanda._ SHOCKING!!! And what did they call this horrid custom?

_Amandus._ As far as can be ascertained, it seems to have been known as
the "Annual Holiday," or "Autumn Outing"!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]





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