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Title: Punch, Or the London Charivari Volume 107, November 24, 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, November 24, 1894" ***

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Punch, Or the London Charivari

Volume 107, November 24, 1894

_edited by Sir Francis Burnand_



THE HAYMARKET HEROINE.

[Illustration: A THRILLING MOMENT; OR, GO IN AND WYNN.

THE REV. STEPHEN WYNN STARTLED BY A WOMAN WITH A GOOD MANY TAILS ABOUT
HER!]

  Says Mrs. PATRICK CAMPBELL, "Wasn't I a quite first ranker, eh?
  As A. PINERO'S--_the_ PINERO'S--_Second Mrs. Tanqueray?_
  We know that reputations great have often been, and _are_ made,
  By such a part, but not by Mister ARTHUR JONES'S barmaid.
  Though _then_ there was a chance when both the men began to gamble;
  Yet--no--I never cared for it," quoth Mrs. PATRICK CAMPBELL.
  "When at the T. R. H. I feared, and so did Mr. TREE,
  That HADDON CHAMBERS hadn't an apartment fit for me.
  _Kate Cloud_ is rather hazy; but they said 'there will for _you_ be
      "_bus_,"'
  (Theatrical for 'business')--which seems to me _in nubibus_.
  For I'm a shady heroine of squalor not romance,
  For passion and emotion I have barely got a chance.
  I'm in a yacht both first and last, and what becomes of _me_      }
  I am not very certain, and no more is Mr. TREE,                   }
  As at the finish both of us are thoroughly at sea.                }
  For the villain there's CHARLES CARTWRIGHT, and, speaking for myself,
  I Preferred him when, more villainous, he was at the Adelphi.
  They talk a deal of Pat-mos (a name that sounds like two),
  A mixture of Hibernian that's 'Pat' with 'Moss,' He-_brew_,
  This coupled too with _John-a-Dreams_,--of course there's no offence
  Intended, yet it _has_ a smack of some irreve_rence_.
  The play's successful to a point, the critics say 'no doubt of it,'
  But were I Mister TREE I would cut thirty minutes out of it.
  I finish with no postscript, I commenced with no preamble,
  And sign myself devotedly, your PAULA PATRICK CAMPBELL."

[Illustration: UNDER A CLOUD; OR, AN OXFORD (COMPACT) MIXTURE.

  HAROLD and HUBERT were two pretty men,
  Puzzled by plot when the clock strikes ten.
  Up jumps HAROLD, "A cloud in the sky!"
  "Comrade!" cries HUBERT, "how's _that_ for high?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW AND OLD.

(_By One who prefers the Old._)

  Soft hair that ripples like a lake
  What time the water-lilies wake,
  Fair rosy cheeks and eyes of blue,
  Clear windows that the soul sees through,
  A moving grace, a brow of snow:
  Such were the girls we used to know.

  But now we tremble as we spy
  Woman's advancing majesty:
  The flashing eyes, the brows that knit,
  The ready tongue all themes to fit,
  The heavy stride--the hose in hue
  Unlike her eyes and deeply blue.

  Gone are the locks of golden brown
  That hung on gleaming shoulders down:
  Close-cropped as never Roundhead knave
  In sternest times aspired to shave,
  Not MILTON'S self, however blind,
  To toy with such had felt inclined.

  O monstrous growth of modern times,
  Not thine the lilt of lover's rhymes,
  Whom some grim don perchance may wed,
  Who scorns the heart and sues the head:
  Farewell for ever and a day,
  Miss ARAMINTA JONES, B.A.!

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: A TASTE TO BE ACQUIRED.

_Sporting Farmer (to young Pupil from provincial town, who has just made
his first effort to ride over a Fence)._ "NOW THEN, JUMP ON AGAIN!
BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME! YOU'LL LIKE IT AFTER A BIT!"

_Pupil (still seeing stars)._ "SHALL I, SIR? SEEMS TO ME AS MUCH LIKE A
RAILWAY COLLISION AS ANYTHING!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE FOURTH R."

'Twas "The Three R's" they promised us, but now They're merged in a bad
fourth--Religious (?) Row!

    ["The so-called 'compromise' of 1871 was based on the assumption
    that, when all the differences of our English Christendom were
    struck out, there would be found the beating heart of 'a common
    Christianity' sending a quickening life through all its members....
    Believing it not impossible for 'all who profess and call
    themselves Christians' to reconcile themselves to these two forms,
    elementary and supplementary, I earnestly commend them for peaceful
    co-existence to the conflicting parties of School Board electors and
    members."--_Dr. James Martineau's Letter to the "Times" of November
    14._]

  O wise and gentle teacher, whose appeal
    Is to the common heart, whilst general anger
  Distracts and darkens all our commonweal,
    And schools and churches ring with noisy clangour;
  Would they but heed thy loving call, though late,
    How would the prospect brighten! Zeal fanatic
  With disingenuous dodges of debate,
    Insidious cant, assumption autocratic,
  Secular spleen, short-sighted super-thrift,--
    All are at furious odds, wild-warring, windy,
  Intent, 'twould seem, to whelm a glorious gift
    In the loud whirlpool of sectarian shindy!

  "The beating heart"? It seems a mingled maze
    Of beating hands, and bludgeons wildly waving.
  How send "a quickening life" through this dull craze
    Of deadly, deadening rancour rudely raving?
  What _is_ their task, these teachers of the untaught,
    These would-be lighteners of our mental blindness?
  What is the lesson the child-crowds have caught
    From these tumultuous foes of human-kindness?
  They told us, in quaint diction, the Three R's
    Should renovate the land, refine the people;
  Break down at last low-birth's invidious bars.
    Alas! What rings from school-tower and church-steeple?
  Not the harmonious heaven-aspiring sound
    Of blessing-bearing bells, but furious clashing
  Of cracked creed-tocsins, spreading wrath around,
    Love's efforts thwarting, wisdom's high hopes dashing.
  Where be the "Three R's" now? Sectarian schism
    Has cloven up the compromise, and ended
  In Ugly Rush! See rampant Rileyism
    Shaking its standard at the door, attended
  Close by the Nonconformist banner-bearer,--
    "Religion without Dogma!" blazoned boldly,--
  Denouncing the first "R" as child-ensnarer
    Into a fold whereon _his_ creed looks coldly,
  Whilst hating hotly one who hotly hates
    His shibboleth as vague and vain and vapid.
  Next, vigorous be-rater of the Rates,
    Whose rise he vows is ruinously rapid,
  Unsympathetic Gallio of the Shop
    Pence-saving soul and strenuous till-protector,
  The third R rages.
        Stop, mad zealots, stop!
    Lest all the toil of Board and School Inspector,
  Teacher and taught, end in one fourth R--ROW!
    A vulgar term, my masters, unscholastic;
  But--the great lesson ye are teaching _now_,
    To the young mind, and to the conscience plastic,
  Of gutter-waifs and children of the slum.
    They have "long ears," _these_ "little pitchers," verily.
  Think you without joint bidding they will come
    Whom their old teacher, Vice, employs so merrily?
  _His_ creed is one, _his_ doctrine's not obscure,
    _His_ tests and formularies do not vary,
  _His_ "standards" stand, and his "results" are sure,
    And of "school-places" _he_ is never chary.

  Oh self-elected shepherds, with your crooks,
    Fighting, while round your folds the wolves are creeping!--
  Pedagogues wrangling o'er your lesson-books,
    Whilst your wrath rages human love sits weeping!
  If of "a common Christianity"
    Ye were but practical and patient teachers,
  In Education's task ye might _agree_.
    Now sense is asking "Who shall teach our teachers?"

[Illustration: "THE FOURTH R;" OR, THE "RELIGIOUS"(?) ROW AT THE
SCHOOLBOARD.

_Quite Un-sectarian Girl._ "OH, MY! WHAT A JOLLY ROW!"

_Equally Un-sectarian Boy._ "AIN'T IT! I 'OPE THEY'LL KEEP IT UP, AND WE
SHAN'T 'HAVE TO LEARN NOTHINK!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

LYRE AND LANCET.

(_A Story in Scenes._)

PART XXI.--THE FEELINGS OF A MOTHER.

SCENE XXXI.--_The Morning Room._ TIME--_Sunday morning; just after
breakfast._

_Captain Thicknesse_ (_outside, to_ TREDWELL). Dogcart round, eh?
everything in? All right--shan't be a minute. (_Entering._) Hallo,
PILLINER, you all alone here? (_He looks round disconcertedly._) Don't
happen to have seen Lady MAISIE about?

_Pilliner._ Let me see--she _was_ here a little while ago, I fancy....
Why? Do you want her?

_Capt. Thick._ No--only to say good-bye and that. I'm just off.

_Pill._ Off? To-day! You don't mean to tell me your chief is such an
inconsiderate old ruffian as to expect you to travel back to your
TOMMIES on the Sabbath! You could wait till to-morrow if you _wanted_
to. Come now!

_Capt. Thick._ Perhaps--only, you see, I _don't_ want to.

_Pill._ Well, tastes differ. A cross-country journey in a slow train,
with unlimited opportunities of studying the Company's bye-laws and
traffic arrangements at several admirably ventilated junctions, is not
my own idea of the best way to spend a cheery Sunday, that's all.

_Capt. Thick._ (_gloomily_). Daresay it will be about as cheery as
stoppin' on here, if it comes to that.

_Pill._ I admit we were most of us a wee bit chippy at breakfast. The
Bard conversed--but he seemed to diffuse a gloom somehow. Shut you up
once or twice in a manner that might almost be described as d--d
offensive.

_Capt. Thick._ Don't know what you all saw in what he said that was so
amusin'. Confounded rude _I_ thought it!

_Pill._ Don't think anyone _was_ amused--unless it was Lady MAISIE. By
the way, he might perhaps have selected a happier topic to hold forth to
Sir RUPERT on than the scandalous indifference of large landowners to
the condition of the rural labourer. Poor dear old boy, he stood it
wonderfully, considering. Pity the Countess breakfasted upstairs; she'd
have enjoyed herself. However, he had a very good audience in little
Lady MAISIE.

_Capt. Thick._ I do hate a chap that jaws at breakfast.... _Where_ did
you say she was?

_Lady Maisie's voice_ (_outside, in Conservatory_). Yes, you really
ought to see the Orangery and the Elizabethan Garden, Mr. BLAIR. If you
will be on the terrace in about five minutes, I could take you round
myself. I must go and see if I can get the keys first.

_Pill._ If you want to say good-bye, old fellow, now's your chance!

_Capt. Thick._ It--it don't matter. She's engaged. And, look here, you
needn't mention that I was askin' for her.

_Pill._ Of course, old fellow, if you'd rather not. (_He glances at
him._) But I say, my dear old chap, if _that_'s how it is with you, I
don't quite see the sense of chucking it up _already_, don't you know.
No earthly affair of mine, I know; still, if I _could_ manage to stay
on, I would, if I were _you_.

_Capt. Thick._ Hang it all, PILLINER, do you suppose _I_ don't know when
the game's up! If it was any _good_ stayin' on---- And besides, I've
said good-bye to Lady C., and all that. No, it's too late now.

_Tredwell_ (_at the door_). Excuse me, Sir, but if you're going by the
10.40, you haven't any too much time.

_Pill._ (_to himself, after_ Captain THICKNESSE _has hurried out_). Poor
old chap, he does seem hard hit! Pity he's not Lady MAISIE'S sort.
Though what she can see in that long-haired beggar----! Wonder when
VIVIAN SPELWANE intends to come down; never knew her miss breakfast
before.... What's that rustling?... Women! I'll be off, or they'll nail
me for church before I know it.

    [_He disappears hastily in the direction of the Smoking Room as_
    Lady CANTIRE and Mrs. CHATTERIS _enter_.

_Lady Cantire._ Nonsense, my dear, no walk at all; the church is only
just across the park. My brother RUPERT always goes, and it pleases him
to see the Wyvern pew as full as possible. I seldom feel equal to going
myself, because I find the necessity of allowing pulpit inaccuracy to
pass without a protest gets too much on my nerves; but my daughter will
accompany you. You'll have just time to run up and get your things on.

_Mrs. Chatteris_ (_with arch significance_). I don't _fancy_ I shall
have the pleasure of your daughter's society this morning. I just met
her going to get the garden keys; I think she has promised to show the
grounds to----Well, I needn't mention _whom_. Oh dear me, I hope I'm not
being indiscreet _again!_

_Lady Cant._ I make a point of never interfering with my daughter's
proceedings, and you can easily understand how natural it is that such
old friends as they have always been----

_Mrs. Chatt._ Really? I _thought_ they seemed to take a great pleasure
in one another's society. It's quite romantic. But I must rush up and
get my bonnet on if I'm to go to church. (_To herself, as she goes
out._) So she _was_ "Lady Grisoline," after all! If I was her mother----
But dear Lady CANTIRE is so advanced about things.

_Lady Cant._ (_to herself_). Darling MAISIE! He'll be Lord DUNDERHEAD
before very long. How sensible and sweet of her! And I was quite uneasy
about them last night at dinner; they scarcely seemed to be talking to
each other at all. But there's a great deal more in dear MAISIE than one
would imagine.

_Sir Rupert_ (_outside_). We're rather proud of our church, Mr.
UNDERSHELL--fine old monuments and brasses, if you care about that sort
of thing. Some of us will be walking over to service presently, if you
would like to----

_Undershell_ (_outside--to himself_). And lose my _tête-à-tête_ with
Lady MAISIE! Not exactly! (_Aloud._) I am afraid, Sir RUPERT, that I
cannot conscientiously----

_Sir Rup._ (_hastily_). Oh, very well, very well; do exactly as you like
about it, of course. I only thought----(_To himself._) Now that _other_
young chap would have gone!

_Lady Cant._ RUPERT, who is that you are talking to out there? I don't
recognise his voice, somehow.

_Sir Rup._ (_entering with_ UNDERSHELL). Ha, ROHESIA, you've come down,
then? slept well, I hope. I was talking to a gentleman whose
acquaintance I know you will be very happy to make--at last. This is the
genuine celebrity _this_ time. (_To_ UNDERSHELL.) Let me make you known
to my sister, Lady CANTIRE, Mr. UNDERSHELL. (_As_ Lady CANTIRE _glares
interrogatively._) Mr. CLARION BLAIR, ROHESIA, author of
hum--ha--_Andromache_.

_Lady Cant._ I thought we were given to understand last night that Mr.
SPURRELL--Mr. BLAIR--you must pardon me, but it's really so very
confusing--that the writer of the--ah--volume in question had already
left Wyvern.

_Sir Rup._ Well, my dear, you see he is still here--er--fortunately for
us. If you'll excuse me, I'll leave Mr. BLAIR to entertain you; got to
speak to TREDWELL about something.

    [_He hurries out._

_Und._ (_to himself_). This must be Lady MAISIE'S mamma. Better be civil
to her, I suppose, but I can't stay here and entertain her long!
(_Aloud._) Lady CANTIRE, I--er--have an appointment for which I am
already a little late; but before I go, I should like to tell you how
much pleasure it has given me to know that my poor verse has won your
approval; appreciation from----

_Lady Cant._ I'm afraid you must have been misinformed, Mr.--a--BLAIR.
There are so many serious publications claiming attention in these days
of literary over-production that I have long made it a rule to read no
literature of a lighter order that has not been before the world for at
least ten years. I may be mistaken, but I infer from your appearance
that your own work must be of a considerably more recent date.

_Und._ (_to himself_). If she imagines she's going to snub Me----!
(_Aloud._) Then I was evidently mistaken in gathering from some
expressions in your daughter's letter that----

_Lady Cant._ Entirely. You are probably thinking of some totally
different person, as my daughter has never mentioned having written to
you, and is not in the habit of conducting _any_ correspondence without
my full knowledge and approval. I think you said you had some
appointment; if so, pray don't consider yourself under any necessity to
remain.

_Und._ You are very good; I will not. (_To himself, as he retires._)
Awful old lady, that! I quite thought she would know all about that
letter, or I should never have---- However, I said nothing to compromise
anyone, luckily!

_Lady Culverin_ (_entering_). Good morning, ROHESIA. So glad you felt
equal to coming down. I was almost afraid--after _last night_, you
know.

_Lady Cant._ (_offering a cold cheekbone for salutation_). I am in my
usual health, thank you, ALBINIA. As to last night, if you _must_ ask a
literary Socialist down here, you might at least see that he is received
with common courtesy. You may, for anything _you_ can tell, have
advanced the Social Revolution ten years in a single evening!

_Lady Culv._ My _dear_ ROHESIA! If you remember, it was you yourself
who----!

_Lady Cant._ (_closing her eyes_). I am in no condition to _argue_ about
it, ALBINIA. The slightest exercise of your own common sense would have
shown you----But there, no great harm has been done, fortunately, so let
us say no more about it. I have something more agreeable to talk about.
I've every reason to hope that MAISIE and dear GERALD THICKNESSE----

_Lady Culv._ (_astonished_). MAISIE? But I thought GERALD THICKNESSE
spoke as if----!

_Lady Cant._ Very possibly, my dear. I have always refrained from giving
him any encouragement, and I wouldn't put any pressure upon dear MAISIE
for the world--still, I have my feelings as a mother, and I can't deny
that, with such prospects as he has now, it _is_ gratifying for me to
think that they may be coming to an understanding together at this very
moment; she is showing him the grounds; which I always think are the
great charm of Wyvern, so _secluded_!

_Lady Culv._ (_puzzled_). Together! At this very moment! But--but surely
GERALD has _gone_?

_Lady Cant._ Gone! What nonsense, ALBINIA! Where in the world should he
have gone to?

_Lady Culv._ He _was_ leaving by the 10.40, I know. For Aldershot. I
ordered the cart for him, and he said good-bye after breakfast. He
seemed so dreadfully down, poor fellow, that I quite fancied from what
he said that MAISIE must have----

_Lady Cant._ Impossible, my dear, quite impossible! I tell you he is
_here_. Why, only a few minutes ago, Mrs. CHATTERIS was telling me----
Ah, here she is to speak for herself. (_To_ Mrs. CHATTERIS, _who
appears, arrayed for public service._) Mrs. CHATTERIS, did I, or did I
_not_, understand you to say just now that my daughter MAISIE----?

_Mrs. Chatt._ (_alarmed_). But, _dear_ Lady CANTIRE, I had no idea you
would disapprove. Indeed you seemed----And really, though she certainly
takes an interest in him, I'm sure--_almost_ sure--there can be nothing
serious--at present.

_Lady Cant._ Thank you, my dear, I merely wished for an answer to my
question. And you see, ALBINIA, that GERALD THICKNESSE can hardly have
gone yet, since he is walking about the grounds with MAISIE.

_Mrs. Chatt._ Captain THICKNESSE? But he _has_ gone, Lady CANTIRE! I saw
him start. I didn't mean _him_.

_Lady Cant._ Indeed? then I shall be obliged if you will say who it is
you _did_ mean.

_Mrs. Chatt._ Why, only her old friend and admirer--that little poet
man, Mr. BLAIR.

_Lady Cant._ (_to herself_). And I actually _sent_ him to her! (_Rising
in majestic wrath._) ALBINIA, whatever comes of this, remember I shall
hold _you_ entirely responsible!

    [_She sweeps out of the room; the other two ladies look after
    her, and then at one another, in silent consternation._

[Illustration: "I'll be off, or they'll nail me for church!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WHIMS OF AMPHITRYON.

Isn't our good friend of the _P. M. G._ a little extravagant with his
culinary raptures? However, we will not be outdone. If he rhapsodises
the "Magnificent Mushroom," we have discovered a still more exalting
theme, which, taking "whelk" as pronounced, we will call

THE WITCHERY OF THE WHELK.

Would you learn the divinest glory of a goddess among molluscs? Would
you note the gastronomic charms of a succulent sea-nymph? Ostracise,
then, from your table the blue-point impostor that foists his bearded
banality on the faithful elect. Let the cult of that lusty Titan, the
Limpet, sink awhile into the limbo of outworn idolatries. Forbear, if
you are wise, to hymn the stern masculinity of the Mussel, gregarious
demi-god but taciturn, hermetically sealed within the wilful valves of a
sulky self-effacement. And let that other fakir of the sea-marge, the
fantastic and Pharisaic Scallop, ply his Eleusinian rites, unrevered by
the devout and metaphor-mixing epicure. Rather let it be ours to
celebrate, though baldest prose were all-insufficient, the allurements
of a pandemic Aphrodite, the seductive Whitechapel Whelk, and the coy
grace of her sister, the wanton Winkle of Rosherville.

Let us take the first--assume that the siren is yours, then consider how
fitliest she shall be dressed. And here it shall be seen whether you
have true chivalry and romance in your soul, or whether you grovel in
mere sensual _gourmandise_. What says Master BILL NUPKINS, master-cook
to the Blue Pig chop-house in Skittle-alley? Is there not an idyllic
flavour of Cocaigne, a very fervour of simplicity about his spelling
which goes straight to the gizzard of the whelk-worshipper? Listen to
his wise counsel on whelks _à la_ Shoreditch:--

"Tyke three 'aputh of whilks, 'Erne By sort fer choice, and chuck 'em
wiv a saveloy and a kipper into a sorcepan, if you can nick one from a
juggins. Bile 'em till they're green, and add 'arf a glorss of
unsweetened, tho it's a pity to wyste it. If toimes is 'ard, the kids
and the missus can 'ave the rinsings, or go wivout. Taike my tip, and
don't you be a bloomin' mug. You can blyme well stick to the juggins'
sorcepan. You may, I dessay, raise arf a dollar on it." There speaks the
true _gourmet_, with single-hearted straight-forward egotism, worthy of
a City alderman, in all the glory of a civic banquet. To none but an
artist in guttlery would that touch of genius about the kids and the
missus occur.

Again, disdain not the sweetly subtle recipes and romantic fancies that
you may gather during your sojourn at Colney Hatch. For there, far from
the dull Philistinism of house-dinners and fried-fish shops, with all
wild Mænad orgies may your divinity be adored. Learn but one magic
formula, and you shall see the wizard-working of your incantation, as,
like an enchantress herself bewitched, she assumes you an ensorceled,
faery shape. Here, mark you, is this potent spell, culled from the
inspired lips of a frenzied _chef_.

_To Make Whelk Fritters._--Take one ripe whelk, draw and truss it until
you are black in the face, tie up the forequarter with chickweed, sit
down, and smoke a pipe; parboil anything you like for a few hours,
or don't, if you don't care to; rub the _purée_ through a tammy (I
don't know what this is); flavour with elbow-grease, egg-_faisandé_,
mud-salad, and _bêtes noire_; dredge the gallimaufrey, and hold your
nose; write some letters; the _vol-au-vent_ will then explode; wrap
the pieces in an old sock, and bury for six weeks; take the 2.13 train
to town, and have your hair cut, or pay some calls; then start again
with another whelk, and proceed as before; but it is better to buy the
fritters ready-made."

Is not this a lesson in devotion and perseverance? Rejoice greatly, and
work out your sybaritic salvation.

And now that you have food for pious reflection, after a space you
shall, to your exceeding great advantage, be further instructed in the
liturgy of the Winkle.

[Illustration: "ALL IS NOT GOLD," &c.

_Gentleman (in waiting for his Wife, at "Great Annual Sale," to Head of
Department)._ "YOU MUST DO AN ENORMOUS BUSINESS ON DAYS LIKE THIS."

_Head of Department._ "NOT SO MUCH AS YOU MIGHT FANCY. THE GREAT
MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE HERE TO-DAY ARE _SHOPPING_--NOT BUYING!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE WORST OF HAVING "A DAY."

_Edith._ "HERE COME THOSE DREADFUL BORES, THE BRONDESBURY-BROWNS! HOW
_TACTLESS_ OF THEM, TO COME AND SEE US ON THE ONLY DAY IN THE WEEK WE'RE
_AT HOME_!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"NOBODY LOOKING!"

    ["We will not evacuate Madagascar ... we will pursue the
    advantages we have gained ... Madagascar will become a flourishing
    French Colony. (_Cheers._) ... Our freedom of action is complete.
    There can be no foreign interference."--_M. Hanotaux on the French
    Expedition to Madagascar._]

_Lupus, on the prowl, loquitur:_--

  Oh, those Malagasy muttons! They are homicidal beasts,
    Very dangerous, and desperate, and spiteful.
  Yet, taken young, they furnish quite the toothsomest of feasts,
    And my hunger for a meal is getting frightful.
  My "attitude towards them" is--oh! well, the usual one
    Of the Wolf toward the Lamb the wide world over;
  The "attitude" of the imprisoned Bear toward the Bun,
    And I'm _free_--as free as song's romantic Rover!
  Yes, I'm free, though not "afloat." There's a feeling in my throat
    That my foes might call omnivorous voracity,
  But it is a noble hunger; on nobility I doat;
    And black baa-lambs are so given to--pugnacity.
  So full of ill-will, too, in all circumstances! Yes,
    They turn nasty at the thought of being eaten up!
  But omelettes still need eggs, as they ever will, I guess,
    And the eggs have to be broken and well beaten up!
  You can't tie lambs to treaties, that's the worst of the false things,
    Though _you_ supply the treaty and the tether.
  They bolt from my Protectorate as though the brutes had wings,
    And they will _not_ trust a Wolf as a bell-wether!
  It is very, very vexing! In such quiet times as these,
    When "the elements of peace" are fairly uppermost,
  They ought to be so willing to do _anything_ to please.
    (_Gn-a-r-r!_ Do I want "redress," now, or my supper most?)
  All the world is doing homage to that peaceful creature, Bruin,
    Who is almost as unmilitant as _I_ am;
  Yet these Malagasy muttons would the _entente_ simply ruin.
    They're as fierce as the ferocious sheep of Siam.
  At the lovely "words of concord and of peace" they simply--_bleat_,
    A sound that fills the Dove--and me--with terror!
  They think, because he's gentle, that the Wolf they'll kill and eat.
    The Wolf must try to show them they're in error.
  A "policy of division and of discord" must inspire
    The world with horror and with apprehension.
  Of "watching o'er my interests and my honour," I shan't tire,
    And I think there's little fear of--intervention.
  All the other brutes are busy at their several little games,
    Inspired by various--peaceful--emulations!
  These rivalries--of peace--will not set the world in flames,
    Or "compromise" relations between nations.
  So I think while no one's looking, I may drop down on these sheep
    With moral and magnanimous severity.
  Ah! there's a black-faced baa-lamb! On her track I'll slowly creep,
    I can go with boldness, though "without temerity."
  A peaceful time like this is my time to make a pounce;
    The dogs are all asleep, there's no one looking.
  Ah! there's nothing like a blend of magnanimity and bounce.
    _Yum-yum!_ 'Tis a choice morsel, scarce needs cooking;
  She comes this way, amusingly unmindful of her fate.
    Aha! my Hova lambkin, I shall have you,
  I shall eat you up! There's no one will object, until too late,
    There's no one near will trouble take to save you!

    [_Prowls on._

[Illustration: "NOBODY LOOKING!"

FRENCH WOLF (_to himself_). "AHA! THE SHEEP-DOGS ARE ASLEEP! I SHALL EAT
YOU, MY LITTLE DEAR!"

"Our freedom of action is complete. There can be no foreign
interference."--_Speech of M. Hanotaux._]

       *       *       *       *       *

QUEER QUERIES.

THE L. C. C. AGAIN.--Is it possible that the Government is about to back
up the London County Council in another attack on one of our
time-hallowed institutions? I see that Mr. ASQUITH told a deputation
that "one of the first acts of a Local Authority, if it had the power,
would be to abolish the Ring." What on earth has a Local Authority to do
with the mode in which marriages are celebrated? Englishmen should rise
in their thousands to defend the wedding-ring, symbolising as it does
the sanctity of the nuptial tie, and should hurl from power a Government
which is about to hand us over, fingers and souls, to a tyrannical set
of County Council busybodies. Mr. ASQUITH went on to talk rather
disconnectedly, it seems to me, about gambling; perhaps he holds the
cheap modern view that "Marriage is a Lottery." But I want to know why a
Home Secretary meddles with subjects of this sort? And how long is this
conspiracy between a Radical Ministry and the L. C. C. to be allowed to
continue?

  NOT TO BE CAUGHT NAPPING.

       *       *       *       *       *

MORE SHE-NOTES.

(_By_ IOPNA, _Author of "A Yellow Plaster."_)

CHAPTER I.

"_Virginibus puerisque_," said Miss CONSTANTIA DEMNING; "and it's by a
_man_!"

"By a _man_!" echoed the awe-struck ATHANASIA.

"And to think that in spite of all our pioneering and efforts to confine
her studies to the New Woman Series our niece may even now have tasted
of the tree and be bursting out into throbbing nerve-centres and
palpable possibilities. Compare we two with her! Have you noted her
restless craving after Philistine delights such as man-worship and a
literary style? Thank Heaven, she never got that from _us_ or _our_
books."

The speakers were a pair of old Purgatorial Twins, not without
alleviations, designed by Nature to multiply. But aloofness, coupled in
harness with anæmia, had nipped the wilding shoots in the bud and won
hands down at the distance. True, in the scraggy past, there had been a
male creature, less curate than Cupid, that each of them had saved her
soul alive in the memory of. But the cares of celibacy, cruel-heavy as
a portmanteau-metaphor, now weighed on their shoulders; they could not
crush them with a burial-spade like complete natures; they stamped their
faces (the cares did the twins' faces) with their ponderous crow's feet.

Still, at times, like spring-cleanings, came spring-hankerings. A whiff
of yellow tulip on the breeze, and they would drink in the sunlight and
the flowers and the beasts and the fishes and the dew and the early
worm.

Even now as they peered into this book of forbidden sentiment at
the words--"The presence of the two lovers is so enchanting to each
other that it seems it must be the best thing possible for everybody
else"--from some faded, twilit cellar of the past came the bleating
lyre-bird of carnal reverie; but the astuter of the two scented tangibly
the cloven hoof, and coming to her better self with a strangled
"Oh!" she cast the book into the stove of the Queen Anne parlour, so
suggestive of their own aloofness, void as it was of dog or waste-paper
basket, or English grammar, or any such humanizing influence.

At that moment a pair of swift, Pagan feet sounded in the passage.

CHAPTER II.

When MARGERINE entered there was the usual family aloofness in her face,
but also a new element of alleviation. Always plastic as the compound
from which she derived her name she had now reached five feet seven
and a half inches, and from the crest of her unutterably pullulating
womanhood could afford to look down impersonally on her maiden aunts as
they struggled in the trough like square pegs in a round hole.

The spectacle of burning leather was in her nostrils, and the vile smell
of it gave her an insight into the situation. Plunging her Aunt's best
silver-plated sugar-tongs into the flames, she rescued her shrivelled
treasure, waved it above the coming tempest like a brand, and faced
them, rigid with wrath, half-seas-over with the glamour of things.

An odd, earnest, ineffable look jumped into her eyes, changing their
grey to pitch-black, with patches of ethereal blue, where the soul shone
through. To their dying day the twins never forgot the smell, or ceased
from the pain of their incapacity to grasp the fresh, unmellowed point
of view. Points of view are the very dickens.

At last she got less rigid, and became nasty in soft, sweet, labial
gutturals, like the whoop of a bull-frog on the sleepy pool just above
the dam.

"Is this well-born and well-bred in you, I ask?" There was a defiant
abasement in her tone. "Of course you can't help it. You never loved!
Pooh!"

The two elder Miss DEMNINGS crushed the fledgling secret of the late
curate into its nest, and vituperated till they fell short of matter,
being but poorly winded. "Unregenerate--abandoned--viper--alleviator!
Pass from our twin presence!"

MARGERINE moved toward the door; then, by a quaint habit that was a
third nature to her (she had two others), she stood there absently, ajar
and aloof. Her air of distinction came right out through her wretched
frock. Then she went to the drawing-room, singeing her Pagan cheek with
the smouldering volume, her young, expansive brain hot with the thought
that there were no other copies in the village. "Unless he sends for
another from town I shall never be able to keep up my unreasoning,
palpitating ecstasy. I must have some ventilation for my inevitableness,
or burst."

She rang for fresh tea. The crumpets were crystal-cold. She tasted one,
and had a qualm, as if her sympathies were getting enlarged. For a
moment she wondered what a headache such as she had read about in books
could be like. The next, she was down by the trout-stream, familiar in
all she-notes, and lay there gurgling with gutturals.

The peculiarity of CHAMOIS HYDE was that he could not bear making other
people--college dons, for instance--ridiculous. About himself it did not
so much matter. Oxford had succeeded Eton, and hard on the heels of a
good degree had come a cropper in the hunting-field, a nurse, a
complicated kiss, a proposal, marriage, disillusionment, in the order
named. A poorer, singler man, with the same prancing tip-toe spirit,
would have lost all sense of decency, and written a book. But being
rich, and, by profession, married, he also was on his way to the usual
trout-stream. Which was a thousand pities, and comes into the next
chapter.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ALL'S WELL!"

_Cockney Volunteer_ (_on Sentry go_). "HALT! WHO GOES THERE?"

_Rustic._ "IT'S ALL ROIGHT, MAN. OI COOMS ALONG 'ERE EV'RY MAARNIN'!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

PROVERB FOR CHAPERONS.

  Flirts of a feather spoon together;
  Amorous pairs flock on the stairs.

       *       *       *       *       *

JAP AND CHIN.--"What a curious metamorphosis!" writes to us our esteemed
contributor-at-a-distance, HERR VON SAGEFRIED. "Herr John Chinaman is
suing for peace! so that the Chinese party becomes the real
_Chap-on-knees_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

COMMENT BY A LABOUCHERIAN.--Resolutions cannot be made with ROSEBERY.

       *       *       *       *       *

  THE NEW MAN.--Woman.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Minister._ "OH DEAR, NO, JAMES. THERE'LL BE NO NECESSITY
FOR WHISKY IN HEAVEN."

_Parishioner (dubiously)._ "NECESSITY OR NO NECESSITY, I MAUN SAY I AYE
LIKE TO SEE IT ON THE TABLE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CHRONICLES OF A RURAL PARISH.

II.--THE PUBLIC MEETING.

I promised last week that the third chapter should be devoted to
my meeting, and a WINKINS'S word is as good as his bond, in point
of fact, if anything a trifle better. But I think I ought first to
mention that since the account of my interview with Mrs. LETHAM
HAVITT and Mrs. ARBLE MARCH appeared in print, I have been subjected
to the annoyance of receiving an anonymous letter. I should be the
last to suggest that either of these ladies, for whom my admiration
is equalled only by my respectful awe, had anything to do with this
missive, but here is what it contained. "It is easy to jeer at Woman,
but be warned in time. Her day will come. Already, married or single,
she may vote, already County Councils tremble at her word. Treat Woman
with respect, _or it will be the worse for you_." These last words
were written in red ink. I confess I'm not easily frightened, but I
don't like this kind of thing. And all my wife says is that it serves
me right for getting mixed up in these public affairs at my time of
life, and that I ought to know better.

"You're not fitted for it, TIMOTHY," she says, "and you'll only be
made a fool for your pains." I am very fond of my wife, but I wished
she wasn't a prophetess.

It is time to come to the meeting. It was held in the Voluntary
Schoolroom, granted to me by the Vicar, on the express condition
that I should be strictly non-political. The room was crammed with
persons, men and women, married and single. The Vicar brought his
daughters, two charming girls. BLACK BOB and his mates were there,
in solid rows, whilst Mrs. HAVITT and Mrs. MARCH both turned up,
attended by body-guards--the one of Women Liberals, the other of
Primrose Leaguers. When the Chairman rose at half-past seven it is
no exaggeration to say that the scene was striking and impressive.
Then, two minutes later, I rose, and commenced my _magnum opus_ of
oratory. I had fifty-two pages of notes, I drank six glasses of water,
and twenty-three people left before I had done, which was not until
an hour and five minutes had elapsed. I don't for a moment complain
that twenty-three left; my complaint is that the number was so few. My
peroration, to which I had devoted days of care, somehow hardly had
the effect I had hoped for.

"This is indeed a memorable year," I said; "a year of truly rural
significance. It remains with you to show that you are prepared to
rise to the height of the occasion. If you do this, if you grasp
firmly the benefits which this Act offers you, then when next New
Year's Day the gladsome bells ring out once again to tell a listening
world that one year is dead and that another lives, they will sound
all the clearer, all the more joyous, because they ring in a year in
which Mudford will have a Parish Council."

Then I sat down, amidst subdued applause, which, I admit, disappointed
me. The Vicar's daughters never even took the trouble to applaud
at all, and both seemed to have something to confide to their
handkerchiefs. Black BOB whispered to his neighbour, "Laying it on
thick to-night, isn't he?" I wonder what he meant.

After this commenced a torrent of questions, forty-six in all before
they were done. May I never live to have such another experience! All
the points I had evaded, because I had not understood them, came up
with hardly a single exception. One man asked, "Can the Parish Council
remove the parson?"--a most embarrassing question, which evoked roars
of laughter from the audience, and a look of indignation from the
Vicar. And the awful conundrums!--most of which I had to content
myself with giving up. Here is one. "Supposing only eight people
come to the Parish Meeting, and a Parish Council of seven has to be
elected, and suppose seven of the eight are nominated for election,
and the seven are elected chairmen of the Meeting in succession, and
have all to retire because they are candidates for the Council, and
suppose the eighth man cannot read or write, and when he's proposed as
chairman, goes home, how will the Parish Council be elected?" I simply
said I would consult my lawyer, and, if necessary, take counsel's
opinion.

Of course there was a vote of thanks, and of course it was carried.
When I got home, my wife, who had declined to go, asked me how it had
all gone off. "My dear MARIA," was all I said; "you are quite right.
A man at my time of life ought never to start taking part in public
affairs."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DOOM OF THE MINOR POETS.

  When Minor Poets grew so rife,
  They found a Minor Poet's life
    Was very little fun
  The Spirit of the Age they prayed
  They might be melted down, and made
    Into a Major one.

  Each had a very little spark
  Of genius, that in the dark
    Might clearly be discerned.
  But in a universal glare!
  Who could perceive a rushlight, where
    By myriads they burned?

  The Spirit heard the prayer they urged,
  That all their merits might be merged
    In one enduring Fame:
  "Yet, ere you all are whelmed and gone,
  You," she declared, "must fix upon
    The Major Poet's name."

  Up rose a mighty clamour then,
  For SMITH proposed the cognomen
    Of SMITH, in ardent tones.
  "More suitable for high renown,"
  Cried BROWN, "appears the name of BROWN."
    JONES advocated JONES.

  Expecting yet some verdict clear,
  The Spirit waited half a year,
    Then spread her wings and fled,
  But ere she fled, pronounced this curse:
  "You all shall read each other's verse
    Till all of you are dead!"

  Some, overburdened by the doom,
  Sank speedily into the tomb.
    In padded cells and lone
  There wander others, who abuse
  All day the volumes they peruse,
    But never ope their own!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THINGS THAT ARE SAID.

"NOW, MAJOR DO YOUR VERY BEST TO COME TO US ON TUESDAY. I SHALL EXPECT
YOU. BUT IF YOU _CAN'T_ COME, OF COURSE I SHALL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

CROSSED!

(_To a Girl at a Distance._)

  Why must you go four thousand miles away?
    It throws our correspondence out of gear!
  I cannot cable to you ev'ry day--
    It's much too public, and it's rather dear!

  You write for sympathy--I sympathise;
    You get my answer ten days after date,
  And then, with spirits sky-high, you despise
    My poor attempts your sorrow to abate!

  Meanwhile, to my hilarious last-but-one
    Here comes your late but similar reply;
  But now _my_ turn at dumps has just begun--
    I can't enjoy your triumphs while I sigh!

  And so our moods go see-saw, up and down,
    Our letters cross, perversely cold or fond!
  There's only one redress--come back to town,
    And then we'll _meet_, and cease to correspond!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MUSIC WITH A FUTURE.

(_An Imaginary Sketch of How Things can not Possibly be Done._)

SCENE--_The Composing Room of an_ Illustrious Musician. _The_
Illustrious Musician _discovered deep in thought in front of a Piano._

_Illustrious Musician_ (_picking out the notes with one finger_).
"Dumty dumty, dumty dum dum." No, that isn't it! I am sure I had it
just now. (_Tries again._) "Dumty dumty, dumty dum dum." No, that's
not it either! I must try it again--oh, of course, with Herr VON
BANGEMNÖT. Now to summon him. (_Blows trumpet_). That ought to bring
my _aide-de-camp_.

    [_Flourish of trumpets, drums; doors thrown open, and enter a
    Regiment of Infantry, with its full complement of officers._

_Colonel_ (_saluting_). Your Majesty required assistance?

_I. M._ (_considering_). Yes, I knew I wanted something. Oh, to be sure.
Will you please send Herr VON BANGEMNÖT to me at once.

_Colonel_ (_saluting_). Yes, your Majesty. (_To troops._) Right about
turn.

    [_Flourish of trumpets, drums. The Regiment retires. Enter_ Herr
    VON BANGEMNÖT.

_Herr Von Bangemnöt_ (_making obeisance_). Your Majesty required my
assistance?

_I. M._ Well, scarcely that, old Double Bass. The fact is, I've just
composed a very pleasing trifle, but I can't write it down for the
life of me. Would you like to hear it?

_H. V. B._ Certainly, your Majesty. I shall be overjoyed.

_I. M._ Well, it goes like this--"Dumty dumty, dumty dum dum." See.
"Dumty dumty, dumty dum dum." Now, _you_ repeat it.

_H. V. B._ (_who has been listening intently_). "Dumty dumty--dum dum."

_I. M._ (_interrupting_). No, no; you've got it all wrong. See here,
"Dumty dumty, dumty dum dum."

_H. V. B._ (_in an ecstacy_). "Dumpty dumpty, dumpty dum dum."
Perfectly charming! It is really excellent!

_I. M._ (_pleased, but suspicious_). You really think it good?

_H. V. B._ Good! that isn't the word for it. Excellent! first rate!
capital!

_I. M._ I am so glad you like it. I daresay you could write it out for
me?

_H. V. B._ Oh, certainly. Beautiful! Only wants a little amplification
to take the musical world by storm.

_I. M._ (_much pleased_). You really are exceedingly complimentary.
You are indeed. I suppose it could be scored for an orchestra?

_H. V. B._ I should think so. I will turn it into a march for the
Cavalry.

_I. M._ And for the Infantry, too? You see, there might be jealousy if
you didn't.

_H. V. B._ Quite so. And there should be marches for the Artillery and
Engineers. Then of course we should have a version to be played by the
Navy, first in fine weather and then in a storm.

_I. M._ I think we ought to do as much. And of course the children
should have a version suitable for their shrill voices. And it could
be used as an opera, and played on the organ. All this, of course, you
could manage?

_H. V. B._ Certainly, you may be sure it shall become universally
popular. I will score it for every conceivable instrument, and every
possible audience. It shall be played or sung in hospitals, railway
stations, schools, and in fact everywhere!

_I. M._ It shall! But there must be one version teaching a man how to
play the tune with a solitary finger.

_H. V. B._ May I venture to ask by whom that last version will be used?

_I. M._ Why, old Double Bass, can't you guess? Why, man alive, I shall
play from it myself!

    [_Tableau and Curtain._

       *       *       *       *       *

NOVELTIES IN GASTRONOMY.

Talk about the Chinese eating dogs and cats, and the partiality of the
South Sea Islanders for Missionary, what price this, from the _Daily
Telegraph?_--

ROAST COOK (single) WANTED, for large hotel. State age, and last
reference.

The cannibal advertiser evidently is a _gourmet_, for he is particular
as to age, and never eats them married. Or is it that he likes them
single in preference to double, as, _per contra_, one might prefer
double stout to single stout. After this, we shall expect such
delicacies as Boiled Butler, Sauce Maître d'Hotel, Fried Footman,
garnished with Calves-foot jelly, or Pickled Pageboy with Button
mushrooms. Every fashion must have some inaugurator; and who knows but
that we are on the eve of cannibalism, and that the Advertiser and the
_Daily Telegraph_ are its joint pioneers!

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

Writes a Baronitess, "How quaint and simple appear the affectations of
Miss JANE AUSTEN'S heroines in _Pride and Prejudice_, especially now
that one's mind is confused with the vagaries of the newspaper-created
but impossible 'New Woman.'" Rather different days then, when girls
addressed their mothers as "Ma'am," and were afraid of getting their
feet wet, which was unromantic, and bread-and-butter romance was
the fashion of those times. No matter, these romantic young women
knew how to dress, according to the exquisite illustrations of HUGH
THOMSON. What could be expected but sentiment, when the young men also
appeared so picturesquely attired. This new edition of an old work is
charmingly got up and published by GEORGE ALLAN. Turning from these
very early nineteenth century attractions, I find _A Battle and a
Boy_ staring at me from a brilliant red binding. The colour suggests
a gory fight, but there is nothing martial about it, only a Tyrolean
peasant-boy in a pugilistic attitude with another boy. He is having it
out before starting on his battle of life, which, taking place in the
gay Tyrol, where things happen out-of-the-way, BLANCHE WILLIS HOWARD
has made it more interesting than an every-day fight.

[Illustration: Most Interesting.]

Most young women nowadays like to be here, there, and everywhere, and
so you will find them in the _Fifty-two Stories of Girl-life_, by some
of our best women writers, and edited by ALFRED H. MILES. Messrs.
HUTCHINSON who, publish this work, might head their advertisement with
"Go for Miles--and you won't find anything better than this." Other
jokes on "miles" they may discover or invent for themselves. These are
mostly for our big girls, but the little ones will find a gorgeously
gay _Rosebud Annual_ for 1895, quite a prize-flower, exhibited by
JAMES CLARK & CO.; whilst _Rosy Mite; or, the Witch's Spell_, by VERA
PETROWNA JELIBROVSKY,--this is a nice easy name to ask for!--is a
most thrilling nursery tale of how a little girl, who ought to be an
arithmetician after being reduced to the size of her little finger, is
able to subtract much adventurous interest from among the insects and
the insect-world, and is full of undivided wonders. The illustrations,
by T. PYM, show how charmingly unconventional life can be in such
circumstances.

[Illustration: Aunï and Nephew

BY OUR OWN BIRD FANCIER.]

So charming, after long years of parting, to come again on _Mr.
Micawber_! Of all things, he has been writing an account of _The
Life and Adventures of Thomas Edison_ (CHATTO AND WINDUS). The book
purports to be the joint work of W. K. L. DICKSON and ANTONIA DICKSON.
But that is only his modesty. The literary style is unmistakable.
"Released from the swaddling clothes of error and superstition," no
one but _Mr. M._ could have written, "the inherent virility of man has
reasserted itself, and to the untrammelled vision and ripened energies
of the scientist the arcana of nature have been gradually disclosed."
"EDISON'S literary proclivities," he adds, in a sentence that recalls
struggles in the house in Windsor Terrace, City Road, where _David
Copperfield_ was a lodger, "were seriously hampered by the collapse
of the family fortunes, and the early necessity of gaining his own
living. Despite his paucity of years, and the practical claims which
life had already imposed, EDISON devoted every spare moment to the
improvement of his mind, and profited to the utmost by the wise and
gentle tuition of his mother." My Baronite can almost hear _Mr.
Micawber's_ voice choked by a sob as he declaimed this last sentence.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) _Mr. Micawber_ does not last long.
After the first chapter his hand is rarely seen, he probably, the God
of Day gone down upon him, having been carried to the King's Bench
prison. For the rest, the book is an admirable account of one of the
most marvellous lives the world has known. Much of it is told in
EDISON'S own words, conveying simple records of magic achievements.
The book, luxuriously printed on thick glazed paper, is adorned by
innumerable sketches and portraits, illustrating the life and work of
the Wizard of the Nineteenth Century.

  B. DE B.-W.

       *       *       *       *       *

FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

[Illustration: Cook's Tour de Force.]

Florence is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world for
studying pictures. Resolve to visit the Pitti Palace. Now I shall see
something like a palace--the home of the MEDICI, adorned with all the
beauty of architecture and sculpture which they loved so well! No
monotonous, painted barrack like Buckingham Palace, no shabby brick
house like St. James's. And now I shall see a collection of pictures
worthily housed in a magnificent building! No contemptible piece
of architecture like our National Gallery, where you fall over the
staircase directly you go in at the door, and where, when you have
recovered yourself, you find three staircases, facing you like the
heads of Cerberus at another entrance, and always go up the wrong one,
and have to come down again and clamber up another before you find
what you want. Even then, if you seek the watercolours of the greatest
English landscape painter, you must go down yet another staircase into
the cellar.

Ascertain the position of the Pitti Palace, and stroll gently towards
it. There is plenty of time, for the daylight will last another three
hours. Cross the Ponte Vecchio, and reach a large open space opposite
a magnificent jail. Yes! Even the jails here are magnificent! Continue
strolling on until I arrive at the open country. Ask the way to the
Palace, and am told that it is about two kilomètres back along the
way I have come. Curious that I should not have noticed it. Return,
looking carefully right and left, but do not see it anywhere, and
again arrive opposite the jail. Ask a man I meet how that prison calls
itself. He informs me courteously that it is the Palazzo Pitti. That!
That dismal, monotonous, gloomy, brown structure? Why, Buckingham
Palace is a joy for ever compared to it, and even Wormwood Scrubbs
Prison reveals unsuspected charms! Would like to sit down to recover
from the shock, but as one is more likely to find a public seat
in a London square than in an Italian piazza, this is impossible.
Therefore, totter to the great central entrance. Perhaps the grand
staircase leading to the galleries may be as attractive as the
exterior is forbidding.

[Illustration: DYNAMITE WITH CARE]

Discover that the entrance to the galleries is by a small side door,
where I leave my walking-stick, and climb a narrow, steep staircase.
Then climb a narrower and steeper staircase, and finally reach a
staircase so steep and narrow that it might more accurately be called
a ladder. Begin to think I have mistaken the way. Perhaps I shall find
myself in the attics of the Palace, and be arrested as an anarchist.
Have left my stick below, and have not even a passport with which to
protect myself. Step cautiously up the first rounds of the ladder,
when suddenly a large body completely fills the space above, and comes
slowly down. It is impossible to go on; it is impossible to remain
where I am. Must therefore go down to the least narrow staircase, and
wait till the obstruction has passed. Do so. Awful pause....

[What the obstruction was, "A FIRST IMPRESSIONIST" will tell us in our
next.--ED.]

[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]





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