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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 107, October 13, 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, October 13, 1894" ***

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Punch, or the London Charivari

Volume 107, October 13, 1894

_edited by Sir Francis Burnand_



MAKING THE RUNNING WITH "THE DERBY WINNER."

DRURIOLANUS has scored another success. And why not? Surely he deserves
it, for, with the assistance of his two collaborators, CECIL RALEIGH and
HENRY HAMILTON, Sir AUGUSTUS HARRIS has trained a Derby winner that will
carry all before him over the Drury Lane course until the place is
required for the pantomime. And the training has been most judicious.
The problem the three stable companions (for the piece is nothing if not
horsey) set themselves was to produce a drama that would fill the Grand
National Theatre both before and behind the curtain. This problem they
have solved to the satisfaction of all parties.

[Illustration: "Three to One on."]

The method adopted is simple enough. Take, for instance, the First Act.
One of the authors no doubt suggested the interior of a country house.
"Quite so," says DRURIOLANUS, "a nobleman's country house. I will show
you how to do it." And he does. "O _Todgers's_ can do it when it likes!"
Gorgeous hall with a billiard table thrown in at the back to give an
idea of the luxury and magnitude. And then the company! Earls and
Countesses and Lords and Ladies and a Duchess! Why, even the villain is
a major in a crack cavalry regiment, and the low comedian a surgeon who
has worn the Queen's uniform. Apparently to give the latter additional
aristocratic gloss, the Duchess is made to be in love with him. And the
plot? Why, of course. Let Miss ALMA STANLEY arrive direct from India to
sow discord between my Lord the hero and my Lady the heroine. This she
does, looking charming in her villainy, and wearing a striking costume.
My Lord tells her "to begone" (a most unreasonable request, by the way,
as she has arrived at the Hall in the middle of the night, with
evidently any number of boxes), but she won't. Miss ALMA STANLEY prefers
to faint in my Lord's arms, to the great indignation of my Lady. Tableau
and curtain.

Next, please. The Downs, and a trial of the 'osses. Then we have a meet
of horses, saddle and otherwise. The "otherwise" are harnessed to a
pony-chaise that looks as if it had come from the Lowther Arcade. Miss
ALMA STANLEY rides in on a steed of her own. My Lord, the hero, objects
to the gracious presence of this fair equestrian, and gets a
horse-whipping for his trouble. Then the trial comes off. The noble
animals canter across the stage. The _dramatis personæ_ describe their
progress to one another as they make the running behind the scenes. All
first-rate and life-like. Haven't we seen it ourselves in the early
morn? Then they reappear (amidst immense enthusiasm) as cardboard
profile in the distance, to make a final entry in the horseflesh from
the O. P. wings. Capitally done, and a great success. Stalls, Circle,
Pit, Boxes, and Gallery, all delighted. So are they with the military
ball at York. Nearly everybody in uniform. Hussars, Gunners,
Highlanders, Fusileers, and Yeomen. My Lord the hero appears as Colonel
of his county Yeomanry. Quite right, he has left the service, and taken
to the reserve. Then there is the cotillion, and my Lord finds himself,
to his surprise, dancing with Miss ALMA STANLEY. He is again caught by
my Lady, the heroine (the poor chap is always compromising himself at
the wrong moment), and there is of course only one solution to this
embarrassing situation, and that is,--curtain. No better ball scene been
on the stage for years. DRURIOLANUS has all the details at his
fingertips, and the ball at his feet. Keep it rolling!

In the next Act we find that the Countess, in full ball costume, has
eloped with the Villainous Major to a hotel. My Lady has allowed her
companion to describe themselves as Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So in the
porter's book. But thus far and no farther. When the Major politely begs
the loan of her heart, the Countess bids him go, and treats him really
with absolute rudeness. The Major, after a terrible struggle with my
Lady, in which he gets the worst of it, is completely crushed, and
probably inwardly laments the very considerable expense to which he must
have been put by the elopement. At this crisis enter my Lord the hero.
Row and tableau. After this, the audience feels that the correct
prescription is to cut the dialogue and come to the "'osses." And to a
great extent this prescription is adopted. There is a first-class scene
of a sale at Tattersall's, and a very realistic view of the finish at
the Derby. The throng cheer behind the curtain, and so does the throng
in front of it. The task is complete: both sides of the green baize are
crowded with excited people.

It is exceptionally good. Scenery, music, general stage management, and
incidental music all excellent. Mrs. JOHN WOOD first-rate, as good as
ever, and Miss ALMA STANLEY greatly distinguishes herself. So does Mr.
CARTWRIGHT as the most matter-of-fact villain that "in this distressful
country has ever yet been seen." When he murders, or ruins, or seriously
inconveniences anyone, he observes _sotto voce_ to himself, in a tone
that would be equally appropriate were he thanking an omnibus conductor
for giving him change for sixpence, "I thought I should do it." Then Mr.
ARTHUR BOURCHIER and Miss BEATRICE LAMB as My Lord and My Lady could not
be better. And Miss PATTIE BROWNE, Miss L. MOODIE, and Miss HETTIE DENE,
all the right people in the right places, as are both Mr. GEORGE GIDDENS
and Mr. LIONEL RIGNOLD. To sum up, _The Derby Winner_ has won, and Sir
DRURIOLANUS has more than satisfied his enthusiastic backers the public,
and he and they will have a real good run for their money.

[Illustration: "Sold!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

IF NOT, WHY NOT?

    ["SARAH GRAND has contributed an article on 'Should irascible
    Old Gentlemen be taught to Knit?' to the forthcoming issue of
    '_Phil May's Winter Annual_.'"--_Evening paper_, October 2.]

This will shortly be followed by a series of papers on the following
subjects:--"Shall hysterical Old Ladies be encouraged to smoke?"

"Should elderly, short-tempered Dowagers be permitted to use bad
language?"

"Shall Octogenarian Barmaids be obliged to flirt?"

"May decayed Duchesses play pitch-and-toss?"

"Shall Professional Beauties of a certain age be compulsorily retired?"

"Are Burlesque Actresses of over forty years' standing to attend
Sunday-school?"

"May Ballet-girls teach their grand-children to knit?"

"Should cross-eyed Viscountesses catch flies?"

"Ought Old Girls generally to make use of slang?"

"Should _Prima donnas_ in their dotage wear blue pinafores?"

"Can the 'Shirt-front Brigade' be taught 'good form'?"

"May Lady Novelists dispense with the historic present?"

"Should much-married Adventuresses read _The Family Herald_?

"May timid Gentlewomen join the Pioneer Club?"

And "Is not the New Woman played out?"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A BACKWARD CROP.

_Young Mr. Green (who wants a Hunter for the coming Season)._ "YA--AS;
BUT HE'S GOT SUCH A SEEDY TAIL!"

_Dealer._ "SEEDY? AH, THAT'S IT! JUST GERMINATIN', IT IS. WANT O'
SUNSHINE, YER SEE. LOR' BLESS Y', THINGS IS MOSTLY BIN A BIT BACKARD
THIS SEASON!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"I'M GETTING A BIG GIRL NOW!"

(SONG FOR MISS UNIFIED LONDON.)

AIR--"_I'm Getting a Big Girl Now!_"

  I've had all the pleasures belonging to youth,
    Its sweetmeats, its larks, and its toys.
  But I find, with regret, what is really the truth,
    That girls will grow old, just like boys.
  I'd like still to play in the jolly old way,
    But the world will not let me somehow.
  I know what it means; I am now in my teens.
    Yes; I'm getting a big girl now!

          _Chorus._

      I'm getting a big girl now,
      And they tell me it's time I knew how
        To behave more _like_ one,
        And in toys find less fun;
      For I'm getting a big girl now!

  I've had a good time for a number of years,
    And I'm sure I'm not anxious to change,
  But the very best swim there is _somebody_ queers.
    They _won't_ let me alone--it's so strange!
  It does give one a shock; but I've outgrown my frock,
    My girdle won't meet anyhow;
  They're beginning to quiz. Ah! I see how it is;
    I'm getting a big girl now

          _Chorus._

      I'm getting a big girl now,
      If I romp someone kicks up a row
        They tell me I chuck
        Too much money on "tuck"!--
      Ah! I'm getting a big girl now!

  I know there's a party who's anxious to spoil
    My nice little games at Guildhall.
  He growls "turn up turtle and toys, Miss, and _toil_,
    Gog and Magog are no good at all.
  Your coaches, and horses, and tin-armoured forces,
    Are babyish bosh, and bow-wow!
  You must scorn grub and ease--like those _good_ L.C.C.'s--
    For you're getting a big girl now!

          _Chorus._

      "You are getting a big girl now;
      You must turn up the tuck-shop I vow.
        A cut of cold mutton
        Go take--with good HUTTON!
      For you're getting a big girl now!"

  I own that I _hate_ to be talked to like this;
    And as to those L.C.C. prigs
  They always hold up as a "Model for Miss,"
    I'll give 'em beans yet--please the pigs!
  _Me_ fussy and frugal like dowdy MCDOUGALL?--
    Well--well; no use raising a row
  Like all girls and boys I _must_ give up my toys.
    For I'm getting a big girl now!

          _Chorus._

      Yes, I'm getting a big girl now;
      My dollies must go anyhow;
        And as to the tuck
        I must cut it--worse luck!
      For I'm getting a big girl now.

  Good-bye, _dear_ old toys! I am getting too big
    For dolls, dressing up, and--_bohoo_!
  Gog! Magog!! Alas!!! Is it quite _infra dig_.
    To drop a few tears over _you_?
  I _am_ such a whopper, it _may_ be improper,
    But--there, I _am_ blubbing--_wow-wow_!
  Good-bye, rose and myrtle! Farewell toys and turtle!
    I'm getting a big girl now.

          _Chorus._

      Yes, I'm getting a big girl now,
      (And feel doocedly sorry somehow,)
        In Unification
        They think there's salvation
      For one, who's a big girl now!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I'M GETTING A BIG GIRL NOW!"

MISS UNIFIED LONDON PUTTING AWAY ALL HER PRETTY TOYS AND PLAYTHINGS.]

       *       *       *       *       *

MUDDY MILAN.

  Once I thought that you could boast
    Such a perfect southern sky,
  Flecked with summer clouds at most;
    Always sunny, always dry,
  Warm enough, perhaps, to grill an
  Englishman, O muddy Milan!

  Now I find you soaking wet,
    Underneath an English sky;
  Pavements, mediæval yet,
    Whence mud splashes ever fly;
  And, to make one damp and ill, an
  Endless downpour, muddy Milan!

  Though you boast such works of art,
    Where is that unclouded sky?
  Muddy Milan, we must part,
    I shall gladly say good-bye,
  Pack, and pay my little bill--an
  Artless thing--and leave you, Milan.

       *       *       *       *       *

A REALLY "INDEPENDENT OF LABOUR PARTY."--MR. KEIR HARDIE, M.P.

       *       *       *       *       *

LYRE AND LANCET.

(_A Story in Scenes._)

PART XV.--TRAPPED!

SCENE XXIV.--_A Gallery outside the Verney Chamber._

TIME--_About 10.15._

_Undershell (to himself, as he emerges from a back staircase)._ I
suppose this _is_ the corridor? The Boy said the name of the room was
painted up over the door.... Ah, there it is; and, yes, Mr. SPURRELL'S
name on a card.... The door is ajar; he is probably waiting for me
inside. I shall meet him quite temperately, treat it simply as a----(_He
enters; a waste-paper basket, containing an ingenious arrangement of
liquid and solid substances, descends on his head._) What the devil do
you mean, Sir, by this outrageous----? All dark! Nobody here! Is there a
general conspiracy to insult me? Have I been lured up here for a
brutal----(SPURRELL _bursts in_.) Ah, _there_ you are, Sir! (_With cold
dignity, through the lattice-work of the basket._) Will you kindly
explain what this means?

_Spurrell._ Wait till I strike a light. (_After lighting a pair of
candles._) Well, Sir, if _you_ don't know why you're ramping about like
that under a waste-paper basket, I can hardly be expected to----

_Und._ I was determined not to remove it until somebody came in; it fell
on my head the moment I entered; it contained something in a soap-dish,
which has wetted my face. You may laugh, Sir, but if this is a sample of
your aristocratic----

_Spurr._ If you could only see yourself! But _I_'d nothing to do with
it, 'pon my word I hadn't; only just this minute got away from the
hall.... _I_ know! It's that sulky young beggar, BEARPARK. I remember
he slipped off on some excuse or other just now. He must have come in
here and fixed that affair up for me--confound him!

_Und._ I think _I_'m the person most entitled to----But no matter; it is
merely one insult more among so many. I came here, Sir, for a purpose,
as you are aware.

_Spurr. (ruefully)._ Your dress clothes? All right, you shall have them
directly. I wouldn't have put 'em on if I'd known they'd be wanted so
soon.

_Und._ I should have thought your own would have been more comfortable.

_Spurr._ More comfortable! I believe you. Why, I assure you I feel like
a Bath bun in a baby's sock! But how was I to know? You shouldn't leave
your things about like that!

_Und._ It is usual, Sir, for people to come to a place like this
provided with evening clothes of their own.

_Spurr._ I know that as well as you do. Don't you suppose I'm
unacquainted with the usages of society! Why, I've stayed in
boarding-houses at the seaside many a time where it was de rigger to
dress--even for high tea! But coming down, as I did, on business, it
never entered my head that I should want my dress suit. So when I found
them all as chummy and friendly as possible, and expecting me to dine as
a matter of course,--why, I can tell you I was too jolly glad to get
hold of anything in the shape of a swallowtail and white choker to be
over particular!

_Und._ You seem to have been more fortunate in your reception than I.
But then _I_ had not the advantage of being here in a business capacity.

_Spurr._ Well, it wasn't that altogether. You see, I'm a kind of a
celebrity in my way.

_Und._ I should hardly have thought _that_ would be a recommendation
here.

_Spurr._ I was surprised myself to find what a lot they thought of it;
but, bless you, they're all as civil as shopwalkers; and, as for the
ladies, why, the old Countess and Lady MAISIE and Lady RHODA couldn't be
more complimentary if I'd won the Victoria Cross, instead of getting a
first prize for breeding and exhibiting a bull bitch at CRUFT'S Dog
Show!

_Und. (bitterly, to himself)._ And this is our aristocracy! They make a
bosom friend of a breeder of dogs; and find a poet only fit to associate
with their servants! What a theme for a satirist! (_Aloud._) I see
nothing to wonder at. You possess precisely the social qualifications
most likely to appeal to the leisured class.

_Spurr._ Oh, there's a lot of humbug in it, mind you! Most of 'em know
about as much of the points of a bull as the points of a compass, only
they let on to know a lot because they think it's smart. And some of 'em
are after a pup from old Drummy's next litter. _I_ see through all that,
you know!

_Und._ You are a cynic, I observe, Sir. But possibly the nature of the
business which brings you here renders them----

_Spurr._ That's the rummest thing about it. I haven't heard a word about
that yet. I'm in the veterinary profession, you know. Well, they sent
for me to see some blooming horse, and never even ask me to go near it!
Seems odd, don't it?

_Und. (to himself)._ _I_ had to go near the blooming horse! Now I begin
to understand; the very servants did not expect to find a professional
vet in any company but their own! (_Aloud._) I--I trust that the horse
will not suffer through any delay.

_Spurr._ So do I; but how do I know that some ignorant duffer mayn't be
treating him for the wrong thing? It may be all up with the animal
before I get a chance of seeing what I can do!

_Und. (to himself)._ If he knew how near I went to getting the poor
beast shot! But I needn't mention that now.

_Spurr._ I don't say it isn't gratifying to be treated like a swell, but
I've got my professional reputation to consider, you know; and if
they're going to take up all my time talking about _Andromeda_----

_Und. (with a start)._ _Andromeda!_ They have been talking about
_Andromeda_? To you! Then it's _you_ who----

_Spurr._ Haven't I been telling you? I should just jolly well think they
_have_ been talking about her! So you didn't know my bull's name was
_Andromeda_ before, eh? But _you_ seem to have heard of her, too!

_Und. (slowly)._ I--I _have_ heard
of _Andromeda_--yes.

    [_He drops into a chair, dazed._

_Spurr. (complacently)._ It's curious how that bitch's fame seems to
have spread. Why, even the old Bishop----But, I say, you're looking
rather queer; anything the matter with you, old fellow?

_Und. (faintly)._ Nothing--nothing. I--I feel a little giddy, that's
all. I shall be better presently.

    [_He conceals his face._

_Spurr. (in concern)._ It was having that basket down on your head like
that. Too bad! Here, I'll get you some water. (_He bustles about._) I
don't know if you're aware of it, old chap, but you're in a regular
_dooce_ of a mess!

_Und. (motioning him away irritably)._ Do you suppose I don't know
_that_? For heaven's sake, don't speak to me! let me alone!... I want to
think--I want to think. (_To himself._) I see it all now! I've made a
hideous mistake! I thought these CULVERINS were deliberately----And all
the time----Oh, what an unspeakable idiot I've been!... And I can't even
explain!... The only thing to do is to escape before this fellow
suspects the truth. It's lucky I ordered that carriage! (_Aloud,
rising._) I'm all right now; and--and I can't stay here any longer. I am
leaving directly--directly!

_Spurr._ You must give me time to get out of this toggery, old chap;
you'll have to pick me out of it like a lobster!

_Und. (wildly)._ The clothes? Never mind them now. I can't wait. Keep
them!

_Spurr._ Do you really mean it, old fellow? If you _could_ spare 'em a
bit longer, I'd be no end obliged. Because, you see, I promised Lady
RHODA to come and finish a talk we were having, and they've taken away
my own things to brush, so I haven't a rag to go down in except these,
and they'd all think it so rude if I went to bed now!

_Und. (impatiently)._ I tell you you may keep them, if you'll only go
away!

_Spurr._ But where am I to send the things to when I've done with 'em?

_Und._ What do I----Stay, here's my card. Send them to that address. Now
go and finish your evening!

_Spurr. (gratefully)._ You _are_ a rattling good chap, and no mistake!
Though I'm hanged if I can quite make out what you're doing here, you
know!

_Und._ It's not at all necessary that you _should_ know. I am leaving
immediately, and--and I don't wish Sir RUPERT or Lady CULVERIN to hear
of this--you understand?

_Spurr._ Well, it's no business of mine; you've behaved devilish well to
me, and I'm not surprised that you'd rather not be seen in the state
you're in. I shouldn't like it myself!

_Und._ State? _What_ state?

_Spurr._ Ah, I _wondered_ whether you knew. You'll see what I mean when
you've had a look at yourself in the glass. I daresay it'll come off
right enough. I can't stop. Ta, ta, old fellow, and thanks awfully!

    [_He goes out._

_Und. (alone)._ What does he mean? But I've no time to waste. Where have
they put my portmanteau? I can't give up _everything_. (_He hunts round
the room, and eventually discovers a door leading into a small
dressing-room._) Ah, it's in there. I'll get it out, and put my things
in. (_As he rushes back, he suddenly comes face to face with his own
reflection in a cheval glass._) Wh--who's that? Can this--this piebald
horror possibly be--_me_? How----? Ah, it was _ink_ in that infernal
basket--not water! And my hair's full of flour! I _can't_ go into a
hotel like this, they'd think I was an escaped lunatic! (_He flies to a
wash-hand stand, and scrubs and sluices desperately, after which he
inspects the result in the mirror._) It's not _nearly_ off yet! Will
_anything_ get rid of this streakiness? (_He soaps and scrubs once
more._) And the flour's caked in my hair now! I must brush it all out
before I am fit to be seen. (_He gradually, after infinite toil,
succeeds in making himself slightly more presentable._) Is the carriage
waiting for me all this time? (_He pitches things into his portmanteau
in a frantic flurry._) What's that? Some one's coming!

    [_He listens._

_Tredwell (outside)._ It's my conviction you've been telling me a pack
o' lies, you young rascal. For what hearthly business that feller
UNDERSHELL could 'ave in the Verney---- However, _I_'ll soon see how it
is. (_He knocks._) Is anyone in 'ere?

_Und. (to himself, distractedly)._ He mustn't find me here! Yet,
where---- Ah, it's the only place!

    [_He blows out the candles, and darts into the dressing-room
    as_ TREDWELL _enters_.

_Tred._ The boy's right. He _is_ in here; them candles is smouldering
still. (_He relights one, and looks under the bed._) You'd better come
out o' that, UNDERSHELL, and give an account of yourself--do you 'ear
me?... He ain't under there! (_He tries the dressing-room door;_
UNDERSHELL _holds his breath, and clings desperately to the handle._)
Very well, Sir, I know you're _there_, and I've no time to trouble with
you at present, so you may as well stay where you are till you're
wanted. I've 'eard o' your goings-on from Mr. ADAMS, and I shall 'ave to
fetch Sir RUPERT up to 'ave a talk with you by-and-by.

    [_He turns the key upon him, and goes._

_Und. (to himself, overwhelmed, as the Butler's step is heard
retreating)._ And I came down here to assert the dignity of Literature!

[Illustration: "He suddenly comes face to face with his own
reflection."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

[Illustration: Accompanying Trilby.]

Our GEORGE DU MAURIER is in analogous case to that of a dramatic
character of whom he may possibly have heard. _M. Jourdain_ one day
happed upon the discovery that he had been talking prose all his life
without knowing it. Mr. DU MAURIER has lived through half a century
master of an exquisite style, and only now makes the discovery known to
the world. Plain indications of the fact were given in _Peter Ibbetson_.
But in respect of style and in other matters, _Trilby_, just published
by OSGOOD, MCILVAINE & CO., is a prodigious improvement. That a man who
has made his mark in pencil should, on taking up his pen, disclose
possession of the rare gift of style, strikes the literary person with
more marvel even than is evoked by discovery of a new novelist who can
construct a plot and delineate character. Mr. DU MAURIER has rich
endowment of all these gifts, which shine on every page of _Trilby_. He
has, moreover, given us a new thing quite apart from the run of English
novels. HENRI MURGER was before him with a deathless book in which life
in the Quartier Latin is powerfully and tenderly portrayed. Mr. DU
MAURIER'S chapters on student life in Paris need not fear comparison
with _La Vie de Bohème_, which is praise of the kind Sir HUBERT STANLEY
hoarded. Beyond that, growing out of it, is the boldly conceived,
firmly-drawn, and charmingly coloured character of _Trilby_, with her
curious _entourage_, her varied life, and her tragic end. _Little
Billee_, in whom some will find revived lost memories of a dear friend,
is a charming personality, whilst _Taffy_ and the _Laird_ are live men.
With such wealth of material and such felicity of touch, Mr. DU MAURIER
might well have foregone the temptation of allowing _Little Billee_ to
hold forth on theological subjects to his dog, at a length inevitable in
the pulpit, but a little out of place as an interlude in a novel. This
passage supplies a jarring note in an otherwise almost perfect symphony.

One turns with eagerness to the _Life of Frances Power Cobbe_, more
especially when it bears the honoured _imprimatur_ of BENTLEY. Miss
COBBE has lived long, enjoying full opportunity of seeing things and
people. She ought to have written a good book. "Instead of which," as
the judge once said, she presents a slovenly-written, ill-digested mass
of miscellaneous matter, including whole chapters devoted to digests of
her published works. Pleased with herself from most aspects, she
particularly admires her literary style. There is a passage in the book
where she plaintively apprehends that, lost in admiration of her style,
readers may miss the true purpose and importance of her writing;--this
in volumes that bristle with such monstrosities as "compared to,"
"disapproved of," and "from thence," the latter a favourite foible of
Miss COBBE'S style. In the second volume there are some attempts at what
was naturally looked for, to wit, reminiscences of people the present
generation would like to meet. But the burly, complacent figure of the
diarist intervenes just as they come into view. She tells us what she
said to them, not, what we are burning to hear, what they said to her.
On the whole, looked at through Miss COBBE'S spectacles, they were a
poor lot. Of RENAN she writes, "The impression he has left on me is one
of disappointment and short-falling." Short-falling is "style" of the
athletic order, and, my Baronite vaguely surmises, is the opposite of
high jumping. As to poor CARLYLE, Miss COBBE "never shared the
admiration felt for him by so many able men." GEORGE BORROW, who wrote
_The Bible in Spain_, she "never liked, thinking him more or less a
hypocrite." Professor TYNDAL is more in favour, since, in reply to the
gift of one of Miss COBBE'S instructive books, the Professor wrote an
acknowledgment, the exquisite irony of which his correspondent evidently
does not see. One other partial concession is made in a passage sublime
in its fatuousness. Speaking of one of her books, of which the fortunate
reader will find a full summary in the first volume, Miss COBBE says,
"It was very favourably reviewed, but some of my fellow Theists _rather
disapproved of the tribute I had paid to Christ_." The volumes bear on
the front the COBBE coat of arms and motto. The family may, we are
assured, be traced back through four centuries, and, even in the present
degenerate days, is highly connected.

Whilst the great heart of the people is considering whether it shall
throb against the House of Lords or whether it shall forbear, Mr. SWIFT
MACNEILL, Q.C., M.P., has delivered at that ancient institution what the
_Marchioness_ was accustomed to describe as "a wonner." _Titled
Corruption_ is the alluring style of the neatly-bound volume issued by
FISHER UNWIN. There is, my Baronite says, a touch of artistic genius in
the contrast between the plain, unassuming calico binding of the book
and the blood and thunder that rolls through its pages. It is "the
sordid origin of some Irish peerages" that Mr. SWIFT MACNEILL undertakes
to set forth. Perhaps if he were solely responsible for the work, its
startling statements might be dismissed as coloured by fervid fancy. He,
however, supports himself with the dictum of Mr. LECKY, "the majority of
Irish titles are historically connected with memories not of honour but
of shame," and illustrates it by extracts from confidential letters of
Lords Lieutenants of Ireland, recommending gentlemen for the peerage.
Altogether an interesting withdrawal of the curtain dropped before
passages in the history of Ireland on the eve of the Union.

Signed and approved in the Baronite Office by

THE JUDICIOUS BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BREAKING THE ICE.

_He._ "I'VE GOT TO TAKE YOU INTO DINNER, MISS TRAVERS--AND I'M RATHER
AFRAID OF YOU, YOU KNOW! MRS. JOLIBOIS TELLS ME YOU'RE VERY CLEVER!"

_She (highly amused)._ "HOW ABSURD! I'M NOT A _BIT_ CLEVER!"

_He (with sigh of relief)._ "WELL, DO YOU KNOW, I _THOUGHT_ YOU
WEREN'T!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

UNREST!

    "The lady sleeps! O, may her sleep,
     As it is lasting, so be deep."

    _E. A. Poe's "The Sleeper."_

  BELLONA sleeps! If sleep it be
  That nightmare slumber, restlessly
  Haunted by dream-world's wizardry.

  So SISERA slept within the tent,
  Restless, though way-worn and war-spent,
  Whilst JAEL'S fierce face above him bent.

  Wake not, War-Goddess! All the world
  Dreads now to hear the war-cry skirled,
  To see the battle-flag unfurled.

  Our DEBORAHS now invoke not war,
  And urge not to its shock and jar
  The princes of our ISSACHAR.

  An awesome hush is o'er the earth,
  It checks our joy, it mutes our mirth.
  Foreboding some prodigious birth,--

  Some monstrous issue, that may sweep
  Earth's plains with red from deep to deep;
  And thou dost sleep, still thou dost sleep!

  "Awake! Awake!" So DEBORAH cried
  To BARAK in her prophet-pride,
  But earth hath now no prophet-guide.

  Our bravest BARAKS well may quail
  At the dread thought of that fierce hail,
  That shall beat Europe like a flail.

  We see in dreams War's shrieking scythe
  Whirl through earth's ranks that fall and writhe,
  Of our best manhood taking tithe.

  What dreams are _thine_? That restless hand
  Stretches, in sleep, to grasp the brand.
  We watch! What may we understand?

  BELLONA sleeps! Oh, may that sleep,
  Though it seem restless, yet be deep!
  May Somnus hold her in his keep!

  Humanity prays that she may lie
  For ever with unopened eye!--
  But--what dim sheeted ghosts go by?

  What spectres of what coming woes,
  What vision-shocks of phantom foes
  Make that hand stretch, and clutch, and close?

  What rattle of the war-dogs' chain
  Steals through dull slumber to her brain?
  Are Love's bland opiates all in vain?

  Vain Science, Commerce, Human ruth,
  The love of Right, the search of Truth,
  Wisdom of Sage and warmth of Youth?

  That hand, stretched in half-conscious quest
  Of the war-weapon, doth attest
  Awakening's prelude in--Unrest!

  Wake not, War-Goddess! _When_ you stir,
  The Raven-wings, once more a-whirr,
  May see our earth--a sepulchre!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: UNREST!]

       *       *       *       *       *

SYMPATHY.

SCENE--_In front of_ Mrs. R.'s _house._

_Mrs. R._ (_paying_ Cabman). You look all right to-day. _Cabman._ Ah,
mum! my looks don't pity me. I suffer from a tarpaulin liver. _Mrs. R._
(_correcting_). A torpedo liver you mean.

    [Cabman _accepts the correction, and an extra shilling_.

       *       *       *       *       *

LESSONS IN LAUGHTER.

    ["Instead of the many educational extras in our Board Schools,
    why should there not be some elementary class devoted to the
    development of humour?"--_Mr. James Payn, in the "Illustrated
    London News._"]

  Why not, indeed? This resplendent suggestion of
    Carefully training the humorous sense
  Cannot, nay, must not, be burked by a question of
    Practical parents, or shillings and pence.

  Down with arithmetic, spelling, or history,
    Books that are stupid, and arts that are trite,
  Rather we'll turn to each novelist's mystery,
    Study the volumes our humorists write.

  Those who at present look sadly their task upon,
    View it with evident hate and disdain,
  Much will rejoice when invited to bask upon
    Witty romances composed by JAMES PAYN.

  Soon for diversion they'll take, and feel pleasure in,
    DOBSON for dinner, and LOCKER for lunch,
  And will employ what remains of their leisure in
    Weekly digesting a volume of _Punch_.

  Then, that each young and intelligent artisan
    May not be prejudiced as to his view,
  LANG will appear as antiquity's partisan,
    ZANGWILL will treat of the humorists new.

  So, while we thank Mr. PAYN for inventing it,
    Chiefly the system will profit us then,
  Since--a great fact, though he shrinks from presenting it--
    Humorists all will be opulent men!

       *       *       *       *       *

FRAGMENT OF A POLICE "REPORT D'ARTHUR."

  Then he that made the little songs
  For ARTHUR--deftly could he make the same--
  Budged not; but ARTHUR rose and silently,
  Whether by malice of the mind prepense,
  Or by the merest inadvertency,
  (As he alleged that felt it,) drew his fist
  And smote him on the digit heavily,
  And ceased,

       *       *       *       *       *

         But lo!
  ARTHUR was 'ware of one that winked on him,
  Clothed all in sable, stout, constabular:
  Then murmured ARTHUR, "Place me in the dock!"
  So to the dock they came eventually.
  And there the pressmen came and sampled him;
  And later came the Bar and pleaded for him;
  And last the Bench observed, "More things are wrought
  By misadventure than you might suppose,
  And such the case before us; yea, a tort
  Committed in a temporary state
  Of sheer oblivion. We dismiss the suit."

  So from the Court serenely ARTHUR passed,
  And passing held communion with himself
  How he should work it up for future gag.

       *       *       *       *       *

FRIENDLY FRENCH FEELING AND FISHING.--Oh, of course, nothing could be
nicer. They _are_ so fond of us English in France! Can't possibly do
without us. The latest development of it, in a small way, being the
seizure of a Ramsgate fishing-smack, called the _Bonnie Bell_, by a
French fishing-boat, which hauled the _B. B._ into Gravelines. "Hard
lines" this. Anyway it is a nasty fishing "smack" in the eye, given and
taken. And where's the friendly feeling?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: STUDIES IN ANIMAL LIFE.

THE SEA-LION ASHORE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

AN AWFUL OUTLOOK.

(_For "Love in the Arbour."_)

  A DARWINITE tells us some flowers can _see_!
    This adds a new terror to botany.
  For lovers, and ladies, will surely agree
    Blossoms' tongues could tell tales--had they got any:
  The _Fat Boy_ in _Pickwick_, an Arbour-eaves-dropper,
    To amorous "spoons" was a terror;
  But flowers with eyes for what Aunts call "improper"?
    That is a look-out, and no error!
  'Tis climbers and parasites chiefly, we're told,
    Who're gifted with optical powers.
  Well nymphs will be roguish, and swains will be bold,
    Notwithstanding inquisitive--flowers!
  The Virgin, no doubt, will invite the sly kiss,
    Despite the Virginian Creeper;
  And _Corydon_ clasp in the moonlight sweet miss
    Though Convolvulus play _Tom the Peeper_.
  But should science discover that blossoms can _speak_,
    And tell tales about bower-hid passion;
  I'll wager it wouldn't be more than a week,
    Before flowers would go out of fashion!
  One prospect at least this new doctrine discovers:
    Did eyes and glib tongues fill our bowers,
  The man whom a maiden deems "flower of lovers,"
    Would no more be lover of flowers

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LAY OF THE OLD ALDERMAN.

  "Unification" is vexation,
    The "L. C. C." 's as bad;
  The "New Citee"
    Doth puzzle me
  And "New Mayors"
    Drive me mad!

       *       *       *       *       *

"BOMBASTES FURIOSO MINIMUS,"--_i.e._ Prince HENRI D'ORLÉANS.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE O. B. C. (LIMITED).

    ["Canon AINGER condemns minor poetry as 'mere
    confectionary.'"--_Globe_, Oct. 4.]

That being so, why should not the matter be placed on a business-like
footing? The following is a specimen prospectus:--

THE O'ER-RATED BOSH COMPANY (LIMITED).

Caterers by (self) appointment to the Yellow-book, the Rhymers' Club,
and Nobody Else in Particular.

Sweet-stuff Contractors for Mutual Admiration Parties, Muffin-worries,
and other Beanos. Log-rolling in all its branches.

Highly-spiced productions at unpopular prices. Only unbowdlerised
materials used. Particular attention is given to insure imperfect
cleanliness in all details.

                  TARIFF.                               £  _s. d._

  ODES (Royal Marriage, buttered), per line              1  1  0
    "  dry                                     per fytte 0  0  2
    "  "To Spring" (given away in packet of 12).
  LAYS                                           (fresh) 0  0  4
    "                                     (equal to new) 0  0  3
    "                                        (warranted) 0  0  2
  BALLADS                           (ordinary, per line) 0  0  1
    "         (with proper _envoi_ and correctly rhymed) 0  0  1-1/2
  SONNETS     (with wide margin, on hand-made paper, and
                             quite unintelligible), each 2  0  0
    "      To the Sunset                                 0  0  0-1/2
  RONDEAUS              (extra sick), bottled, per dozen 0  3  6
    "             (full-flavoured), on draught, per gush 0  0  4
  RONDELS                      (fancy, for albums), each 0  0  4
  TRIOLETS       (as used in lunatic asylums), per dozen 0  0  1
  VILLANELLES     (recommended for curates and converted
                                         burglars), each 0  1  7
  RECITATIONS                        (G. R. SIMS' mixed) 0 10  6
    "                                            (Comic) 0  0  0-1/4
    "                    (best blood-curdling), per gulp 0  1  3-1/2

Conveniently packed for delivery within the London radius.

SESTINAS, CHANTS ROYAL, VIRELAIS, and other French Sweetmeats to order.

The Management would recommend all lovers of high-class confectionary to
test the quality of the under-mentioned specialities:--Walrot's Eloping
Sally Lunns; Le Billygoat's Lovers' Liquorice; Dr. Goodboy's Medical
Nightmares; John Silvergray's Blue Points (3_d._ a dozen); Arthur
Sillywit's Symnels; Norty Gal's Richmond Maids, and Oscar's Masterpieces
(each 2_d._).

In any case of civility or attention on the part of their _employés_,
the Directors earnestly request that the same be reported immediately to
the Head Office, Poet's Corner, where the matter will be promptly dealt
with.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE GIFTED AMATEUR.

_The German Emperor._ "I WILL NOW SING YOU A LITTLE THING OF MY OWN!"

    [_The effect on the Audience was instantaneous._

["The German Emperor's song will be published this week in Germany,
France, and England."]]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MATRON'S HISS.

(_An Apologue with an Application._)

    [A lady-bicyclist the other day, riding in "rational dress,"
    was roundly hissed by an elderly Mrs. GRUNDY, standing by. The
    wheel-woman is said to have retorted, "Are you _women_ who thus
    hiss me? When you bathe, you wear a special costume, which you deem
    suitable. When I ride, I do the same. Where's the difference?"]

[Illustration]

"But," said the Proud Briton to the Perfect Stranger, "in addition to
our armies and fleets, our religions and our laws, our parsons and our
policemen, we have one Protective Power, moral palladium and social ægis
in one, whose value outweighs that of all others."

The Perfect Stranger looked surprised.

"And what," said he, "is that?"

"We call it the 'Matron's Hiss,'" replied the Proud Briton, with
enigmatical complacency. "Anything _contra bonos mores_, bad form,
improper, new-fangled, unconventional, unhealthy, unwholesome, immodest,
vulgar, vicious, venal, on to summarise still further, anything that is
either new or naughty, or both, is immediately 'put down' by the
'Matron's Hiss.'"

Quoth the Perfect Stranger, "I should like to observe it in operation."

"You shall!" said the Proud Briton.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Perfect Stranger, under the guidance of the Proud Briton went
everywhere and saw everything.

He saw a sweet, though apparently semi-suffocated, young girl dressed
(or, as _he_ would by unaided judgment have concluded, _un_dressed) for
her first ball.

He saw an elderly fine lady, a high-nosed _dame de par le monde_,
prepared--he would have said, painted and glazed--for a high, social
"function."

He saw a fair _ingénue_, under the eyes of her vigilant mamma and
chaperon, in one evening waltzing with, and trying to win, as more
permanent partners, an elderly but opulent Satyr, and a youthful,
brainless, but titled _Cloten_.

He heard conversation which the talkers themselves laughingly called
_risqué_ (and which he would grimly have called rude) at fashionable
dinner-tables between smirking matrons and leering elderly men.

He witnessed the vagaries of despot Fashion, the (as he considered)
"immodesty" of "full dress," the "impropriety" of flagrant
"cosmeticism," the "unhealthiness" of inadequate or superfluous
clothing, the "cruelty" of corsets, the "vulgarity" and wanton
murderousness of bird-destroying feather trimmings.

These, and many more follies, improprieties and wickedness the Perfect
Stranger was wondering witness of.

"But," observed the Perfect Stranger, "where is the 'Matron's Hiss'?"

"Oh!" replied the Proud Briton, with some embarrassment, "but in all
this there is nothing _new_, you know, nothing unprecedented,
innovating, subversive of accepted Social Laws; nothing 'bad form,' that
is to say unusual, unexpected, unconsecrated by respectable usage. If
there _is_ anything Naughty, it is not New, and what is--possibly--New
is not Naughty. _Therefore_, there is no call for that omnipotent Hiss!"

"Humph! What then _would_ elicit it?" inquired the Perfect Stranger.

"_That_ is a bit difficult to define, off-hand," answered the Proud
Briton, hesitatingly. "Say, for example, a natural waist, or absence of
corsets, high-dress at a Court function, marriage for love--which in
Society or in the tennis-court is equivalent to _nothing_--wearing an
unfashionable hat, or four-buttoned gloves when six are _de règle_,
sounding your g's (when fashion dictates their being dropped), or not
sounding your h's (till fashion tells you to drop _them_), blushing
inopportunely--say, at the stare of a duke or the 'suggestiveness' of a
millionaire--showing sympathy out of your own 'set,' objecting to
tailor-made attire or accepted bathing-costume, discussing questions of
sex in a spirit of serious sympathy instead of through some _décadent_
Art-medium; being earnest, original, or spontaneous in _any_ way, and
thus defying Society's golden rule, 'Do always as others do.'"

"Is that the Masterful Matron's sole rule?" queried the Perfect
Stranger.

"Substantially yes," replied the Proud Briton; "though it is
supplemented, perhaps, by the corollary, 'Never be either the first or
the last to do a new thing.'"

"Then," commented the Perfect Stranger, "the Matron's Hiss would be
silent at the sight of bared shoulders and bust in mid-winter, but would
sound with anserine shrillness at the sight of a lady's lower limbs
comfortably, and conveniently, and healthily, _and_ decently, but
unconventionally, clad in summer on a cycle?"

"Precisely!" said the Proud Briton, though perhaps with less of British
pride than usual.

"Then," said the Perfect Stranger, "I think your Hissing Matron is a
silly, despotic, cackling old goose, who will never save the social
Capitol! But who and what is _that_?"

_That_ was a portly, florid, and high-nosed elderly dame, of pompous
demeanour, and flamboyant raiment, elaborately and obviously
cosmetiqued, and arrayed in a startlingly low-cut garment.

"_That_," said the Proud Briton, with an uneasy smile, "_is_ Mrs.
GRUNDY, the great Goose-Autocrat, the Palladium of Propriety, the Ægis
of Social Morality, the very Masterful Matron of whom we have been
talking."

"Then," demanded the Perfect Stranger, with staggering pertinence, "_Why
does she not Hiss at Herself?_"

The Proud Briton was silent.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LORD MAYOR ELECT.--The incoming Lord Mayor has already shown himself
a "Man of Letters" as he communicated a letter of thanks for kind wishes
to pretty well every leading journal. These, when collected, may be
published as a new "_Renals_ Miscellany."

       *       *       *       *       *

"MATRIMONIAL OBEDIENCE."

Sir,--I should never dream of humiliating myself to the extent of
promising to obey any man. Yet I am a married woman--married, too, in a
Church of England. How did I manage it, perhaps you will inquire? In
this way, which I recommend for the adoption of all women who would
decline to be worse than slaves. Instead of repeating the words "love,
cherish, and obey" after the officiating clergyman, I altered them to
"love cherries and whey," of which I happen to be very fond; so that
whenever my husband (who is a poor creature) reproaches me with breaking
my vow of obedience made at the altar--he does not often do this, as he
is seldom at home--I can, with a clear conscience, affirm that I never
took any vow at all. This astonishes him so much that it makes him
swear, and then go out to his club. A good riddance too!

  AN ENTIRELY NEW WOMAN.

Sir,--As a lawyer, I hold that the contract into which a woman enters at
marriage to obey her husband, being one made "under duress," is entirely
void. She is compelled to take the vow, otherwise she could not be
married at all. But, in order to make her position still clearer, I
should advise that, before repeating the words of the clergyman, she
should say to him, "Am I to understand that unless I repeat this formula
you will decline to marry me?" He may be a little surprised, but is sure
to answer in the affirmative. Then she should reply, "Very well; then I
repeat it under protest, and without prejudice," and the ceremony could
thereafter go on as usual. There might also be inserted, after the
announcement of the wedding in the papers, the words "No obedience,"
like "No cards," in which case no doubt whatever could be raised as to
the wife's true legal position. I shall be happy to advise farther, if
necessary, and meanwhile remain,

  Yours toutingly,

  LAW CALF.

Sir,--What is this nonsense about women refusing to obey their husbands?
The only way with wives is to be gentle with them, but at the same time
perfectly firm. This is my plan, and it answers admirably. My wife the
other day declined to surrender the morning paper to me, and told me she
would like to be a "New Woman." "Very well," I answered; "then you won't
object to my being a New Man too"; and I at once chained her securely to
the strongest bed-post in the house, and forbade any food to be brought
near her. After four hours of this discipline she came to such senses as
Providence has blessed her with, and is now the very loving and obedient
consort of

  Yours domestically,

  MASTER OF HIS OWN HOUSE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EARLY TACT.

_Aunty Rose._ "AND HOW OLD DO YOU THINK _I_ AM, TOMMY?"

_Tommy._ "WELL--SIXTY-THREE?"

_Aunty Rose._ "OH, YOU FLATTERER! WHY, I'M PAST EIGHTY!"

_Tommy._ "AH! I _THOUGHT_ YOU WERE; BUT I THOUGHT YOU WOULDN'T LIKE ME
TO _SAY_ SO, YOU KNOW."]

       *       *       *       *       *

TROUBLES IN MADAGASCAR.--Not by any means at an end. Most probably all
"Hova" again.

       *       *       *       *       *

HANWELLIA'S ANSWER.

(_See "Punch," September 22._)

  So, my friend, you ask me questions; well, I'll give you tit for tat:
  I'm a matrimonial cormorant connected with a bat.
  But I stirred my stumps and wandered through the wicket of the jail,
  While the umpire leg-befored me as a prisoner on bail.

  What a sight for sunny snowballs! ah, my heart beat fast and loud
  When once more I mingled freely with the logarithmic crowd:
  And on either side the cube-roots cast the falsehood in the teeth
  Of the oyster I had bearded on his own, his native, heath.

  It was splendid, but I fancy that they came it rather strong
  When a saucy capercailzie played sonatas on a gong.
  If his music was so naughty, his behaviour was so nice,
  That I laughed to see him gaily cutting capers on the ice.

  Then the band struck up in earnest, though their leader murmured
      "play";
  And at first they played ta-ra-ra, but without the boom-de-ay.
  Then they captured a canal-boat, and with half-a-dozen bars
  Beating time they smashed the record from Mashonaland to Mars.

[Illustration]

  Fifty tunes they played serenely, but I didn't seem to care,
  For my Aunt had said "ELIZA, when the band plays I'll be there;
  I'll be there with Uncle RUFUS who has got to go because----
  Well the reason doesn't matter, he'll be there," and there he was.

  If the stars drink champagne-cider out of tankards to the dregs,
  All the stars and little starlings with the garters on their legs,
  Shall an undiscovered cornet with a mile or two of tail
  Be put off with half a gallon of our humble home-brewed ale?

  No, by Jove, he wouldn't stand it; he can let the others pay;
  Standing treat is out of fashion, so he'll tap the milky way.
  When the red-hot stars come trickling he can cool them in his cup,
  And he'll tap it all the harder just to keep his pecker up.

  He can hang about the Strand, too, if we give him lots of rope,
  And he'll lather SEMOLINA with a sud of patent soap;

  SEMOLINA, you remember, took her passage on a hoy,
  She was married to an anchorite and now she's got a boy.

  Parish Councillors came round her, Dukes and Earls, and even Barts;
  With their spades they carved allotments on the table-land of Herts;
  But she faced them in her fury, and she asked the idiots how
  She could ever stomach acres after eating up her cow?

  There, I think I've answered fairly every question on your list;
  All their meaning I have mastered, there's not one of them I've
      missed.
  I'm a sulphur-headed sunbeam, with a taste for pretty clocks,
  Which I always tell the time by when they strike upon the box.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. R. doubled up her _Times_ for convenience of handling, and came
upon this sentence where the paper folded:

    "Individuals grown in tubs in greenhouses, in cool climates,
    have been known to live over a hundred years."

She paused. "Good Heavens!" she exclaimed; "it's as remarkable as the
history of the old hermits who used to live perched up on the tops of
pillars! But if ever these very clean individuals did live in 'tubs' for
over a hundred years, what possible good could they have been to
anybody, or even to themselves!" Turning the paper over Mrs. R. found
that the letter was headed "American Aloes."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: REAL SYMPATHY.

_'Arry (reading account of the War in the East)._ "OW, I S'Y, 'ARRIET,
THEY'VE BIN AN' TOOK OLD LI 'UNG CHANG'S THREE-HEYED PEACOCK'S FEATHERS
ALL OFF 'IM!"

_'Arriet (compassionately)._ "PORE OLD FELLER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

TO AMANDA.

  AMANDA, I, your faithful slave,
    Am grieved by the conviction
  That you expect me to behave
    As lovers do in fiction,
  To falter forth my vows sincere
    In syllables disjointed;
  My more prosaic speech, I fear,
    Will leave you disappointed.

  I ought, I candidly allow,
    In sitting-rooms and places
  To stride about with gloomy brow
    And agitated paces;
  But in athletic sports I'm sure
    I always was a duffer,
  And, if I tried, your furniture
    Most certainly would suffer.

  To prove the tenderness I feel
    My duty is, I know, to
  Leave quite untasted every meal,
    And breakfast off your photo;
  But habit proves, alas, too strong!
    With appetite unshaken
  I still attack (I know it's wrong)
    My matutinal bacon.

  Again; I clearly ought to try
    To immolate a rival,
  And prove my special fitness by
    A process of survival;
  My cowardice I much deplore,
    But still, romantic fury
  Would scarcely pay, when brought before
    An unromantic jury.

  So, if your courage still insists
    On scorning thoughts prudential,
  And you regard the novelists'
    Commandments as essential,
  With some more daring person live;
    For me, a brief perusal
  Of modern fiction makes me give
    A kind but firm refusal!

       *       *       *       *       *

LETTERS FROM A DÉBUTANTE.

MY DEAR MARJORIE,--You _are_ hard on poor ORIEL CRAMPTON when you say
that philanthropy, brisk walks, a bad temper, and a taste for collecting
postage-stamps, form the most hideous combination any human being could
imagine. Of course, I admit he's a little dreary. All is now over
between us. Things reached a climax one rainy afternoon when BABY
BEAUMONT, in a mood of intense juvenility, offered "to teach ORIEL to
make barley-sugar." Forgeting his school-days, ORIEL patronisingly said
he was glad to learn from anyone. So BABY seized ORIEL'S arm, twisted it
round in the classical manner, and then hit the twist. It was quite
impossible to help laughing when ORIEL, pale with fury, declared he
could take a joke, supposed this was the New Humour, and left the room.
"What can you expect," said BABY, "of the middle-aged?" (ORIEL is _not_
twenty-four yet.)

That evening I wrote a note, putting an end to our engagement.

I gave it to him in the billiard-room, and--he gave _me_ one at the same
time, and--_to the same effect_! I felt dreadfully hurt at his throwing
me over. He wrote, "I feel I have no right to ask you, who are so fitted
to shine in the society of the _gay and decadent_" (this meant BABY),
"to share a life that will be wholly dedicated to the amelioration of
the condition of the poorer classes," &c.

In the midst of our agitation, we were compelled to play "musical
chairs" with the others, as if nothing had happened! What a mockery it
seemed!

We parted amicably. He asked if I should like to hear, from time to
time, of the progress of his life-work, and _I_ promised to be his
sister.... When he went away, a strange sense of loss came over me....
One page in my life had been turned for ever!... BABY tried to console
me by observing that _now_ there would be a chance of getting plenty of
hot water for baths. ORIEL used to drink it all.

At the tennis-party Mrs. LORNE HOPPER seemed utterly bored by Captain
MASHINGTON. She said my dress wanted "taking up on the shoulders," and
that the sleeves were exaggerated. (Exaggerated! I should hope they
were!) Mr. LORNE HOPPER seemed nice, and very quiet, and harmless at
first, but it gradually came out that he does sketches at the piano in
the style of CORNEY GRAIN, and what is worse, expects to be asked to do
them.

Lady TAYMER implored us all to laugh, and we did our best to please our
hostess; but the room was nearly empty in five minutes.

At dinner, BABY talked of the bad taste and imbecility of practical
jokes. In the evening, he wrote to seventeen periodicals denying he had
written _The Mauve Camellia_, and asking to have it contradicted. We
waltzed. Captain MASHINGTON dances better than ever, and _has_ nice
eyes. That night I found hair-brushes in my bed, I see nothing funny in
it, and shall not speak to BABY BEAUMONT until he apologises.

Great excitement prevailed here last week. It was discovered that
SAMOVARSKI, the great Russian pianist, was in the neighbourhood. He
accepted an invitation to come here for two days. Imagine the joy of the
LYON TAYMERS! They sent out invitations with "To meet M. SAMOVARSKI,"
printed on the cards. He is known to be rather erratic, but as he was
actually to stay in the house it seemed quite safe. Thirty-six people
came to a dinner in his honour.

SAMOVARSKI arrived at seven, asked for some lager beer, and went
straight to bed. Nothing on earth would induce him to get up, or even to
unlock his door or answer an inquiry. It was a terrible evening. The
TAYMERS hoped on for the next day. The great composer got up at two.
Many people had stayed on the chance of hearing him play. It was a
beautiful day, and Lady TAYMER entreated to be allowed to drive him
round the neighbourhood. He declined, and spent the whole afternoon
playing piquet with his secretary. At dinner, he talked absurdities
about the Chinese war, refusing even to _mention_ music--which it seems
he detests--and then, very courteously, begged to be excused, as he had
to correct the proofs of his article "Impressions of English Country
Life" for some Moscow journal.... Do not mention the subject to the
TAYMERS when you see them. We are going to have private theatricals!! I
will write again soon.

  Your loving friend,

  GLADYS.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]





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