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Title: Mr. Punch In Society - Being the humours of social life
Author: Various
Language: English
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Edited by J. A. HAMMERTON

Designed to provide in a series of volumes, each complete in itself,
the cream of our national humour, contributed by the masters of comic
draughtsmanship and the leading wits of the age to “Punch,” from its
beginning in 1841 to the present day.



[Illustration: _He._ “By the bye, talking of old times, do you remember
that occasion when I made such an awful ass of myself?”

_She._ “_Which?_”]

                         MR. PUNCH IN SOCIETY


                       _WITH 133 ILLUSTRATIONS_




                      THE PROPRIETORS OF “PUNCH”

                     THE EDUCATIONAL BOOK CO. LTD


_Twenty-five Volumes, crown 8vo, 192 pages fully illustrated_





It would be difficult to think of _Mr. Punch’s_ prototype of the
immortal drama as “in Society”; but, however much our national jester
may resemble in facial detail the somewhat rude and impulsive character
from whom he took his name, he is in all his instincts a gentleman. In
other words, it is just here that PUNCH has differed from most comic
journals, being, if not absolutely from the first number, certainly
from its early days, distinguished for refinement of taste and good
manners, not less than for its wit and humour. “MR. PUNCH in Society”
is indeed MR. PUNCH in his most congenial surroundings, as he has been
above all else the untiring, irrepressible satirist of the social world.

If an analysis were made of all the drawings which have appeared in
PUNCH from 1841 to the present day, we venture to think that those
devoted to Society’s ways, its foibles, its follies, would greatly
outnumber the illustrations of any other phase of life. And was not
the entire career of one of MR. PUNCH’S most celebrated artists
devoted exclusively to social satire? The name of George du Maurier
is pre-eminent in the history of modern humorous art. To an unerring
instinct for character, shrewd but never unkindly satire, he united a
profound sense of beauty which made his work unique and individual. It
was thus that to a vast public, of which only a very small proportion
could be expected to possess any art culture, Du Maurier’s work
appealed with irresistible force, his charming lightness of touch,
his gaiety, which came no doubt from his Gallic origins, rendering
everything from his pencil a source of delight to the general public,
no less than to the students of draughtsmanship.

Du Maurier’s connection with PUNCH began in 1860 and his earliest work
displayed very little of that wonderful grace to which it attained
before many years had passed, but Mr. Henry James, discussing his
art so long ago as 1883, said that “since 1868, PUNCH has been,
artistically speaking, George du Maurier,” an opinion which would
certainly be accepted in America, where for a generation the cultured
classes looked to Du Maurier, as Mr. Spielman reminds us, “almost
exclusively, not only for English fashions in male and female attire,
the _dernière mode_ in social etiquette, but for the truest reflection
of English life and character.”

When we consider that almost exclusively in the pages of MR. PUNCH
is the artistic life-work of Du Maurier contained, we shall see
how inexhaustible a treasury is there to be drawn upon for such a
collection as the present. We have thought it wise, however, not to
limit “MR. PUNCH in Society” to the work of any one humorist, but have
sought to present a collection of Du Maurier’s best social satires in
company with those of many other artists who, in their individual ways,
have also depicted the humours of social life.



       *       *       *       *       *



                                                  _Huntingthorpe Hall._

MY DEAR JACK,--I want you to come down on Monday and stay a couple of
days with me. My wife will be delighted, as you can help her with a
children’s party, and also play Pantaloon in a little thing being got
up by the young people. I will mount you on the Tuesday with our Stag
hounds, as I know you are fond of a day’s hunting. No, don’t thank me,
my dear chap--I shall be only too glad if you will go, as the horse I
am intending to put you on is a rank brute, and when he doesn’t refuse
his fences--which is a rare occurrence--he invariably falls into them.
However, you won’t mind _that_, will you?

You will have to put up with real bachelor accommodation, I am afraid,
as the house is crammed. The best I can do for you is a half share of
one of the attics. Our cook has left us, all unexpectedly, so this
places her room at our disposal for two of you. The kitchen-maid is
doing her best to keep us from starving; but, though she means well, I
can hardly class her as a _cordon bleu_.

Louise Dearlove, that pretty little girl you were so sweet upon last
season, is unable to come; but her brother--the red-headed youth who
was always trying to pick a quarrel with you--will be here.

I am so short of horses that I fear I must ask you to cab the four
miles up from the station; but I am sure you won’t mind taking the
rough with the smooth.

                                              Yours ever,
                                                          JOHN JOSTLER.

As the recipient of the above invitation, I ask which is “the smooth”?

       *       *       *       *       *


“Not dancing any more to-night, Fred?”

“No; and, what’s more, I’ll never put my foot in this house again! Why,
I’ve been _introduced three times_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Stout Lady (at a charity ball)._ “Excuse me, Lady Godolphin, but I
_should_ so like to make some notes of your charming costume--may I?”

_Lady Godolphin._ “Pardon me, but really I’m afraid I haven’t the
pleasure of----”

_Stout Lady._ “Oh, I’m _sure_ you won’t mind: I’m ‘Girlie,’ you know--I
do the fashion article for _Classy Bits_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Club Attendant (to stout party, who is struggling into
overcoat)._ “Allow me, sir.”

_Stout Party._ “No, don’t trouble! This is the only exercise I ever

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ENGLISH AS SHE IS SPOKE!!

_Future Duke._ “What are you goin’ to do this mornin’ eh?”

_Future Earl._ “Oh, I dunno. Rot about, I s’pose, as usual.”

_Future Duke._ “Oh, but I say, that’s so rotten.”

_Future Earl._ “Well, what else is there to do, you rotter?”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    Scene--_The Drawing-rooms of No. 1 and No. 2, Upperten
    Mansions, S.W._

_First Lady (entering)._ Here I am! I am sure you won’t guess who I am.
See, the American Banner and the Union Jack. I represent “Under Two

_First Hostess._ Oh, how clever! But we shall have Mr. Smith here
presently, and he is sure to come in something quite new.

_Second Lady (entering)._ Here I am. Now you will never know what book
I represent. Stars and stripes on one shoulder, the white ensign on the
other! “Under Two Flags.” Eh?

_First Hostess._ Wonderful! We shall have Mr. Smith here by and by. He
is sure to amuse us.

_Third Lady (entering)._ I promised to come and here I am. The Star
Spangled Banner and our own Royal Standard. “Under Two Flags.” There,
isn’t it good?

_First Hostess._ Quite too good! So pleased you have come. We are
waiting for Mr. Smith. He’s sure to make us all laugh, as he’s _so_

_Fourth Lady._ Up to my time! And I have come as a well-known book.
See, a dear little American banner on one side of my head, and a weeny,
weeny Union Jack on the other. “Under Two Flags.” I thought I would
surprise you!

_First Hostess._ I knew you would. Mr. Smith is coming! He’s sure to be

_Mr. Smith (entering)._ Now you must guess. I won’t take off my cloak
until I have shown you these two dolls. Here they are, soldiers of the
time of Louis XIV. And now you shall see me. (_Throws off his cloak
and appears in gorgeous costume._) I represent, with the help of my
companions, “The Three Musketeers.”

_Second Hostess (rigidly)._ I think there is some mistake. This is a
meeting of the Distressed Charwomen’s Food Fund Association. I think
you must have wanted to attend my neighbour next door’s Book Tea.

_Mr. Smith (hastily resuming his cloak)._ Oh, I beg your pardon.

                                                  [_Exit in confusion._

       *       *       *       *       *


_She._ “Oh, _how_ do you do, dear Mr. Lyon. _Have_ you forgiven me for
cutting you at Mrs. Leo Hunter’s last night? I was actually stupid
enough to take you for that horrid bore, Mr. Tetterby Thompson, whom
you’re said to be so like. It’s a horrid libel--you’re not like him a

_He._ “A--a--I _wasn’t_ at Mrs. Leo Hunter’s last night--a--a--a--and
my name _is_ Tetterby Thompson!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Digby._ “I had hoped for the pleasure of taking you down to supper,
Mrs. Masham!”

_Rigby._ “Too late, my dear fellow! It’s the _early_ bird that catches
the worm!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mr. Marsh._ “I’ve just had quite a long chat with your three charming
little girls, Mrs. Roope.”

_Mrs. Roope._ “Not mine, Mr. Marsh. I have no children.”

_Mr. Marsh_ (_very surprised_). “No chil---- Are you sure?”]

       *       *       *       *       *



                                                        [_See page 19_]



_Enter Mr. Chesterfield Grandison Potts._ “How d’ye do, my dear Mrs.
Pettifer? I’ve come to congratulate you on your performance of the
_Lady of Lyons_, at Mrs. Tomkyns’s. It was simply _perfect!_”

_Distinguished Lady Amateur._ “Oh, far from perfect, I fear! To be
_perfect_, alas! the part of _Pauline_ requires that one should be
_young_ and _lovely_, you know!”

_Mr. C. G. Potts_ (_who piques himself on his old-fashioned courtesy_).
“My _dear_ lady, you are a _living proof to the contrary!_”

       *       *       *       *       *


“Oh, how d’ye do, Sir Bruin? And so you’re leaving England for good,
and we shall never see you again!”

“Nothing of the kind! Who says so?”

“Oh, I saw it in one of the papers. But the papers don’t always tell
the truth, I’m sorry to say!”

       *       *       *       *       *


_Enthusiastic Lady Visitor_ (_at winter health resort_). “What a
delightful place this is, Professor. And the baths, how perfect! I
could bathe all day--couldn’t you?”

_The Professor._ “Well, you see, I’m a _resident_, and that makes a

_Lady Visitor._ “Ah! to be sure. I suppose you never even _think_ of
taking a bath!”

       *       *       *       *       *


_Love-lorn Middy_ (_about to join his ship_). “I’ve come to say
_good-bye_, Amy!”

_Cousin Amy._ “Good-bye, Johnny. When we see you next, I hope you’ll be
an _Admiral_!”

       *       *       *       *       *


“I was _so_ sorry not to be at home when you called, Mr. Binks!”

“Oh, pray don’t mention it! It didn’t matter in the least, I can
_assure_ you!”

       *       *       *       *       *


_Hostess._ “What, must you go already, Professor?”

_The Professor._ “My dear madam, there is a limit even to _my_ capacity
of inflicting myself on my friends!”

_Hostess._ “Oh no--not at all--I _assure_ you!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: VII

_Miss Bugge._ “Oh, but mine is such a horrid name!”

_Young Brown._ “Ah--a--um--I’m afraid it’s too late to alter it now!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: VIII

_Deaf Old Gentleman._ “The conversation seems very amusing, my dear.
What is it all about?

_Hostess_ (_fortissimo_). “When they say anything worth repeating,
grandpapa, _I’ll tell you_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IX

_She._ “No! I can’t give you another dance. But I’ll introduce you to
the prettiest girl in the room!”

_He._ “But I don’t _want_ to dance with the prettiest girl in the room.
I want to dance with _you_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: X

_He._ “Everybody will be leaving Town now that Parliament is dissolved.”

_She._ “Yes. Indeed I think all the _nice people have left already_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XI

_Jones_ (_under the impression that he is making himself agreeable_).
“I don’t care a bit for a pretty woman, myself! They have no
conversation. _I_ like a _plain_ woman, who has _plenty to say for

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XII

(_Dinner has just been announced_)

_Hester and Billy_ (_sadly_). “Good night, sir. _We’ve_ got to go _to

_Distinguished Professor_ (_who is taking down the Hostess_). “Ah, my
dears, that’s where we’re _all_ wishing we were!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XIII

_Nervous Person_ (_speaking at last to his Neighbour_). “Do you know
who that remarkably _ugly_ person is just opposite--talking to the
black-haired lady, you know--um--eh?”

_Neighbour._ “That, sir, is my _brother_!”

_Nervous Person._ “Yes? I--I--I beg your pardon--I--I--Stupid of me not
to have seen the _family likeness_--a--a--a----”

                                          [_Collapses and disappears._]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XIV

_The Professor._ “How singularly you and your brother resemble each
other, Miss Angelina!”

_Miss Angelina._ “Is that a compliment to my brother, or a compliment
to me?”

_The Professor._ “Oh, a compliment to neither, I assure you!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XV

_He._ “What a pretty fan!”

_She._ “Yes; I had it given to me when I first came out!”

_He._ “Really! It _has_ worn well!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XVI

_Servant._ “Lady Glitter’s carriage!”

_Son of the House_ (_tenderly, as he hands her Ladyship out_). “Ah!
I’ve been waiting for this moment all the evening!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XVII

_Caller._ “Only fancy, Mrs. Dowderley, I was very nearly calling on
your neighbour, Lady Masham, whose day at home it is _too_! when I
suddenly remembered I wasn’t dressed for paying calls!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Hostess._ “What, leaving already, Mr. Mivers! I’ve scarcely seen
anything of you the whole evening!”

_Mr. Mivers_ (_who goes in for the Courteous Manners of the Olden
Time_). “That, madam, is entirely my fault!”

                 [_Exit gracefully, but remembers as he goes downstairs
                     that he meant to say_ “misfortune,” _not “fault.”_

       *       *       *       *       *



_Visitor_ (_who has accepted an invitation to a local concert_). “Is it
evening dress?”

_Hostess._ “Oh, no; just as you are dressed now--or worse, if you have

       *       *       *       *       *


_Lady Guest_ (_to Host, who hates getting up early_). “I’m so awfully
sorry to have dragged you up at this unearthly hour, but I had to catch
the 8.30 train.”

_Host._ “Not at all. I’m only too glad to be able to see you off!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: III

_Host._ “Take a little whiskey before you go, Jones?”

_Jones_ (_after helping himself_). “Thanks! May I pour you out some?”

_Host._ “Please--not too much--just about half what you’ve given

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IV

_Gushing Lady._ “Oh but, Mr. Jones, I should love to be beautiful--even
if for only half-an-hour!”

_Jones._ “Yes; but you wouldn’t like the coming back again!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: V

_He._ “I suppose, now that the London Season is coming to an end, that
you’ve been very gay?”

_She._ “Oh, yes--I haven’t had a dull moment since I saw you last!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: VI

_Fair Hostess._ “Good-night, Major Jones; we’re supposed to breakfast
at nine; but we’re not very punctual people. Indeed, the later you
appear to-morrow morning, the better pleased we shall all be!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: VII

_The Professor_ (_to Hostess_). “Thank you so much for a most
delightful evening! I shall indeed go to bed with pleasant
recollections,--and _you_ will be the very _last_ person I shall think

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: VIII

_Elderly Party_ (_who fancies herself young_). “Ah, Mildred, you and I
must one day lose our youth and beauty!”

_Mildred._ “Oh, you mustn’t be down-hearted. _You_ have _worn_ so
wonderfully well!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IX

_Captain Sawney_ (_at a Mi-Carême fancy dress ball, perfectly satisfied
that he is saying a happy thing and paying a very great compliment_).
“Well, you do look delightful! Fascinating! Too charming for words!
What an awful pity it is you are not always like that!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: X

_Jones_ (_nervously conscious that he is interrupting a pleasant
tête-à-tête_). “A--I’m sorry to say I’ve been told to take you in to
supper, Miss Belsize!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XI

_Hostess._ “This is good of you, Major Grey! When I wrote I never
expected for a _moment_ that you would come.”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XII

_Old Aunt_ (_despondently_). “Well, I shall not be a nuisance to you
much longer.”

_Nephew_ (_reassuringly_). “Don’t talk like that, aunt. You know you

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: XIII

“Well, good-bye, Mr. Green. It was so nice of you to come. It does
father such a lot of good to have someone to talk to.”

“I was delighted to come, Miss Brown, but I’m afraid I’m not much of a

“My dear Mr. Green, don’t let that trouble you. Father’s ideal
_listener_ is an _absolute idiot_, with no conversation _whatever_, and
I know he has enjoyed himself tremendously to-night!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


[A contemporary complains that most people in Society consider it
necessary to address one another in shrill, high-pitched voices.]

    You’re pretty, Miss Kitty, and dainty and slim,
      And graceful indeed is your mien;
    Your eyes are as bright and your ankle as trim
      As any the writer has seen.
    Your curly brown locks, which invite a caress,
      Would make any artist rejoice;
    But you’ve one little fault, even I must confess,
      And that’s your Society voice.

    When I asked you to wed me a fortnight ago
      At Mrs. De Jenkynson’s ball,
    I never expected you, Kit, to say “No”
      In tones that would ring through the hall.
    You dreamt not--how should you, of course?--that the sound
      Of your voice would be heard far and wide,
    But I _did_ feel a fool when a titter went round
      As we walked to your chaperon’s side.

    A beautiful maiden was never yet won,
      ’Tis said, by a faint-hearted swain;
    And so, Mistress Kit, ere the season is done
      I am sure to approach you again.
    And oh! if your feelings should leave you no choice
      But to utter the verdict I dread,
    Pronounce not my doom at the top of your voice,
      But speak in a whisper instead.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Fair Authoress._ “So sorry to be so late. I’m afraid I’m _last_!”

_Genial Host._ “‘_Last_--but not _least_!’”]

       *       *       *       *       *


Our Money Lender.--From Borrowdale.

Our Standing Counsel.--From the Giant’s Causeway.

Our Butcher.--From the Chops of the Channel.

Our Dentist.--From the Mouth of the Thames.

Our Doctor.--From Lancing.

Our Confectioner.--From Bakewell.

Our Beekeeper.--From Honeybourne.

Our Flirting Friend.--From Florence, Constance Nancy, Nora, and Sophia.

Our Pewopener.--From Hassock’s Gate.

Our Undergraduate.--From Reading.

Our Tailor.--From the New Cut.

Our Own Correspondent.--From Penmaenmawr.

And our Darlings.--From Archangel and the Coast of Bonny.

       *       *       *       *       *

FRONT AND SIDE.--_She._ “What an enormous expanse of shirt-front Major
Armstrong has!”

_He._ “H’m--it isn’t his _front_ I object to. It’s his _side_!”

       *       *       *       *       *


_Jones_ (_after a delightful waltz_). “And now, Miss Brown, let us go
and seek some ‘Refreshment for Man and Beast!’”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SOCIAL AGONIES                       [_See p. 49_]

SOCIAL AGONIES.--(Scene--_Mrs. Montgomery Morris’s Drawing-room just
before Dinner._)--_Mrs. Sidney Mountjoy_ (_to Hostess_). “Oh yes,
Biarritz was all very well, but we got into a quarrel with some people
there--a _dreadful_ couple, who behaved most _shamefully_! I’m told the
husband, a certain Mr. _Hamilton Allsop_, means to pull Sidney’s nose
_whenever_ and _wherever_ he meets him, and his horrid wife actually
declares she’ll----”

_Footman._ “Mr. and Mrs. _’Amilton Hallsop_!”

       *       *       *       *       *

A FRUGAL MIND.--_She._ “And don’t forget to order six dozen of the
_very driest_ champagne you can get, for our dance on Tuesday next.”

_He._ “But the ladies, as a rule, don’t like very dry champagne.”

_She._ “No, love, they don’t. Neither do the _waiters_!”

       *       *       *       *       *

LE MONDE OÙ L’ON S’AMUSE.--_She._ “I want you to come and dine with me,
but I suppose you are so much engaged just now. How many deep?”

_He._ “I really don’t know. Sufficient for the day is the evil

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Twin Muddletons_ (_both claiming the dance, after much argument,
simultaneously_). “Well, we leave it to you, Miss Brown. You must know
whom you gave this dance to!”

                      [_Miss Brown, never having seen them before this,
                       her first ball, and quite unable to tell t’other
                            from which, has no views on the question._]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Miss Griffin._ “I’m sure it must be Mrs. Jones’s fault
that she can’t manage Mabel. The child is most affectionate.”

_Polite Visitor_ (_eager to agree_). “Yes, the way she gets on with
_you_ shows that!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_For the Children of “Smart People”_)

    Ding-a-dong, ding-a-dong, what do I care!
    I’ll sing you a nice little song of May Fair--
    Five hundred people invited to meet
    In a wee little house, in a wee little street--
    Five hundred people all huddled together,
    Discussing the faults of their friends and the weather--
    One little pianist strumming an air,
    No one to listen and no one to care--
    One little lady attempting to sing,
    Tears in the eyes of that poor little thing:
    Up gets a man, sings, “_Two lovely black eyes!_”--
    You might hear a pin drop--“_Oh! what a surprise!_”
    For that is the music they like in May Fair.
    Ding-a-dong, ding-a-dong, what do I care!

       *       *       *       *       *

SOCIAL ECONOMY.--_Mrs. Scrooge._ “I’m writing to ask the Browns to meet
the Joneses here at dinner, and to the Joneses to meet the Browns. We
owe them both, you know.”

_Mr. Scrooge._ “But I’ve heard they’ve just quarrelled, and don’t

_Mrs. Scrooge._ “I know. They’ll refuse, and we needn’t give a dinner
party at all!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Genius to Second Genius._ “Why on earth do you do
your hair in that absurd fashion, Smith?”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TANGIBLE

_Second Groom_ (_waiting at tea for the nonce, and handing thin
bread-and-butter--sotto voce_). “Clap two or three bits together, miss,
then you’ll get a bite!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A POST-OBIT

“There, Major, it’s the best likeness I ever had taken of me--and poor
Fred never saw it!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: On coming out of church, General Sir Talbot de la Poer
Sangrazul is so struck by the beauty of the afternoon sky, that he
forgets to put on his hat, and Lady Jones (who is rather near-sighted)
drops a penny into it!]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A Dialogue of the Present Day_)

    SCENE--_Mrs. Featherston’s Drawing-room. Mrs. Thistledown
    discovered calling._

_Mrs. Thistledown_ (_taking up a novel on a side-table_). “The Romance
of a Plumber,” by Paul Poshley. My dear Flossie, you _don’t_ mean to
tell me you read _that_ man?

_Mrs. Featherston._ I haven’t had time to do more than dip into it as
yet. But why, Ida? _Oughtn’t_ I to read him?

_Ida._ Well, from something Mr. Pinceney told me the other day--but
really it’s too bad to repeat such things. One never knows, there _may_
be nothing in it.

_Flossie._ Still, you might just as well _tell_ me, Ida! Of course I
should never dream----

_Ida._ After all, I don’t suppose there’s any secret about it. It
seems, from what Mr. Pinceney says, that this Mr. Poshley--you must
_promise_ not to say I told you----

_Flossie._ Of course--of course. But do go on, Ida. What _does_ Mr.
Poshley do?

_Ida._ Well, it appears he _splits his infinitives_.

_Flossie_ (_horrified_). Oh, not _really_! But how _cruel_ of him! Why,
I met him at the Dragnetts’ only last week, and he didn’t look at _all_
that kind of person!

_Ida._ I’m afraid there’s no doubt about it. It’s perfectly notorious.
And of course any one who once takes to _that_----

_Flossie._ Yes, indeed. _Quite_ hopeless. At least, I _suppose_ so.
Isn’t it?

_Ida._ Mr. Pinceney seemed to think so.

_Flossie._ How sad! But can’t anything be _done_, Ida? Isn’t there
any law to punish him? By the bye, how _do_ you split--what is

_Ida._ My dear, I thought you knew. I really didn’t like to ask any

_Flossie._ Well, whatever it is, I shall tell Mudies not to send me
anything more of his. I _don’t_ think one ought to encourage such

       *       *       *       *       *

TWO VERY DIFFERENT PERSONAGES.--“A society man” and “a secret society

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A PROTECTOR

“If you please, Miss Lilian, your mamma has sent the footman to see you

       *       *       *       *       *


_Wife_ (_to FitzJones, who, in trying to lay the cloth for the picnic
on a windy day, has got among the crockery_). “Just look what you’re
doing, Archibald!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EQUIVOCAL

_Mrs. Blobbs._ “I quite thought you had forgotten us, Miss Gusher.”

_Miss Gusher._ “Well, I have a bad memory for faces as a rule, but I
should not be likely to forget yours!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    Time was, not very long ago,
      When Mabel’s walking-skirt
    Trailed half-a-yard behind to show
      How well she swept the dirt.
    But “short and sweet” are in again;
      No more the grievance rankles,
    For Mabel’s now curtailed her train
      And shows her dainty ankles.

    But Mabel has a thrifty mind.
      To supplement her charms,
    The frills that once she wore behind
      She fastens on her arms.
    Her sleeves are made in open bags
      Like trousers in the Navy;
    No more she sweeps the streets, but drags
      Her sleeve across the gravy.

       *       *       *       *       *

LENTEN NON LENT-’EM.--_Fräulein von Under Standt._ “How _very_ plainly
zat dear Lady Churchleigh is dressed!”

_Friend._ “Yes, indeed. But, you must remember, it is Lent.”

_Fräulein._ “Ach no! You do not mean to tell me really and truly zat
she _borrows_ her dresses?”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “Hang it, you’ve got an umbrella of your own. Why the
deuce don’t you stick it up?”

“Not if I know it, old man! This umbrella was done up last May by Monty
Brabazon, and has never been opened since!”

“Monty Brabazon? Who’s he?”

“Not know Lord Montague Brabazon? Why, he’s about the only man in
London _who really knows how to do up an umbrella_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Hostess._ “You’re _not_ going _already_, Professor,

_The Professor._ “I’m sorry to, my dear lady, but I have been working
so late all the week I feel I must have my beauty sleep to-night.”

_Hostess._ “Then I mustn’t keep you. I’m sure you _need_ it, poor

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _She._ “I love this excessively hot weather! Don’t you,
Mr. Boreham?”

_He._ “No! I can’t stand it. I shall go away if it continues!”

_She._ “I do hope it will!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A FRIENDLY REBUKE

“Thanks for a very pleasant evening, and good-night, Herr Professor.
I’m sorry to have to leave you so early!”

“Ach! Fräulein, when you come to see us, your stays are always so

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AT A GARDEN PARTY

_Lady Vere de Vere_ (_to distinguished foreigner_). “You _must_ excuse
me. I know it’s awfully silly of me. I know your name so well, but I
can’t remember your face!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _She._ “I haven’t seen any of your people here to-night,
Mr. Carter. I hope they are well?”

_Mr. Carter._ “No. They’ve all got colds. I was the only one of the
family able to come.”

_She._ “Oh! I _am_ sorry.”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_According to Mr. Sheldon_)

    [“The Rev. Charles M. Sheldon has just aroused the wrath of the
    ladies of Topeka by his views on the servant-girl problem. He
    advocated from the pulpit ‘the hired girl’ should be treated
    as one of the family and cherished, not chided.”--_Pall Mall

Lord Doubleshire entertained a small party of friends at his town house
last evening. After dinner the servants mingled freely with the guests,
and the Marchioness of Stoke Newington was presented to the second
stair-maid, Miss Elizabeth Wilkins, whose acquaintance she made.

Among the smart “bridge” parties last week must be numbered Mrs. Algey
Bounceby’s. Her butler, Thomas Scraggs, who paired for the first rubber
with the Duke of Dunkirk, is fast proving his claim to be one of the
finest exponents of this fashionable card game.

We understand that the Countess of Crumbleton has issued cards to a
distinguished but select few to meet her coachman, Mr. John Jenkins.

At the theatre the other evening, conspicuous among a remarkably
well-dressed set of people, we noticed Lord Loughboro, the Hon. Misses
Loughboro, and the head gardener, Ezekiel Jilks. The latter gentleman
wore the famous silver Albert watch-chain, a Christmas present, it is
understood, from Miss Gwendolen Loughboro, the bestowal of which gift
has aroused so much comment in aristocratic and horticultural circles.

Half-a-dozen dissatisfied members of Brooks’s club are talking of
resigning if Lord Livewell’s groom is not black-balled. He was of
course put up by Lord Livewell himself and seconded by his uncle, Earl
Gothepace. One or two rumours have certainly reached us reflecting
on the temperance of Bob Whippet, the handsome groom. But for the
old-fashioned prejudices which evidently animate the action of the
discontented six, we have nothing but the severest reproof.

Owing to the severe illness of Miss Madeline Marrowby, the stall at
the forthcoming Bazaar will be taken by her maid Ellen Cripps. As
previously arranged, the stall-holders will be presented individually
to the Royal Visitors.

In the forthcoming golf competition, at Hoylake, Miss Susan Bates, the
scullery-maid to Hon. Miss Fitzwinter, is looked on as a likely prize
winner. Her handicap playing has shown a wonderful improvement lately,
so much so that her considerate mistress has given her permission to
forego her ordinary duties of washing up the dishes and filling the
coal scuttles, in order that she may get in a good morning’s practice
on the links.

Among the presentations for the next Drawing-room we are glad to notice
the name of Kate Briggs, the pretty second parlour-maid of Lord and
Lady Wigmore. It will be remembered that their head butler attended the
last levée. A full description of Miss Briggs’s presentation costume
appears elsewhere.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Miss Gushington._ “Well, you know, dear Mr. Robinson,
for my part, I must say I enjoy excellent health as a rule, only I do
suffer so at times from fits of _giddiness_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady Visitor._ “I see you still have poor old Bingo.”

_Fair Widow._ “Yes. I wouldn’t part with him on any account. I never
look at him without thinking of poor dear Marmaduke!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _He._ “And so, as I didn’t know what the leopard would
be up to next, I shot him on the spot.”

_She._ “How very exciting! And which spot did you shoot him on?”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE LION AT HOME                        [_See p. 75_]

THE LION AT HOME.--_The Hope and Pride of the Family_ (_just home from
the grand tour_). “Oh, really, you know, the men one meets in some
of those places out west! I said to myself every night, ‘Well, thank
Heaven I haven’t shot anybody!’”

_Fond and Nervous Mother._ “You mean, thank Heaven nobody shot you,
don’t you, dear?”

       *       *       *       *       *


_Young Lady._ “I suppose you know everybody here, Miss Oddie?”

_Miss Oddie._ “Oh, I know most of them. But there are several _strange
faces_ over there!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    In youth I never cared for sport;
      Fresh air was not a passion to me;
    Athletic feats of any sort
      Sent unresponsive shudders through me;
    I had, in fact, a sedentary mind,
    And hated exercise of any kind.

    And so, when others smote the sphere
      With bat or mallet, boots or putter,
    I charmed (with song) the female ear,
      And made the female bosom flutter.
    I also played the zither and recited
    Poems of young loves, prematurely blighted.

    I sang, as I have said: I had
      That kind of voice that folks call “fluty”;
    I trilled of “Memories strangely sad,”
      Of “Pansies” and the “Eyes of Beauty.”
    Not more divinely does the early bird
    Sing when the worm has recently occurred.

    At that delightful hour of gloom,
      Slightly anterior to tea-time,
    I paralysed the drawing-room
      With trifles of my own in three-time,
    Till all the air was heavy with Desire,
    And prostrate matrons begged me to retire.

    Just then a vogue for High Romance
      Prevailed, and I’d a pent-up yearning;
    The hollow cheek, the hungry glance,
      Betrayed the fever inly burning;
    At inconvenient times the thing would out,
    Especially when ladies were about.

    Somehow the care of female hearts
      At that time always fell to my lot;
    Within the maze of Cupid’s arts
      I was their guiding star, their pilot;
    Not to have loved me with a blinding passion
    Was, broadly speaking, to be out of fashion.

    But latterly, I don’t know why,
      That star has waned, until at last I’m
    Left in the lurch while maidens fly
      Towards the ruder forms of pastime;
    And now their talk is all of tennis courts,
    Of golf, gymkhanas and athletic sports.

    I don’t complain. I know there’ll be
      One of these days a mild renaissance
    In the exclusive cult of ME:
      I view the fact with some complaisance;
    One day there’ll come an era of the Brain,
    And Theodore will be himself again.

       *       *       *       *       *

MANNERS.--In the dining-room of respectable society it is not
considered correct to put your fingers into the plate before you. But
at church, into the plate that is set before you, all are expected to
put their alms.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Visitor._ “Your governess seems _very_ good-natured.”

_Lady of the House._ “Yes, poor thing, her father lost a lot of money,
so I took her as governess for the children.”

_Visitor._ “Poor, poor thing! Isn’t it terrible how unfortunate some
people are!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


“How kind of you to call--I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting!”

“Oh, don’t mention it--I’ve not been at all bored! I’ve been trying to
imagine what I should do to make this room look comfortable if it were

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fair Hostess_ (_to Mrs. Masham, who is looking her very
best_). “Howdydo, dear? I hope you’re not so tired as you _look_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE LIFE OF THE PARTY

“I say, Brown, let’s try and get into the same mourning-coach as Major
Bardolph. He always comes out so jolly on these occasions!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Dutiful Nephew._ “Oh, uncle, I thought you wouldn’t mind my bringing
my friend Grigg, from our office. He ain’t much to look at, and he
can’t dance, and he don’t talk, and he won’t play cards--but he’s
_such_ a mimic!! To-morrow he’ll imitate you and Aunt Betsy in a way
that’ll make all the fellows _roar_!!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A DRAMA OF THE DRAWING-ROOM            [_See p. 85_]

A DRAMA OF THE DRAWING-ROOM.--By means of his face and attitude,
Jones flatters himself he can express the deepest interest in the
conversation of a _bore_, while in reality his attention is fixed on
what is going on in some other part of the room.

Just at present, old Mrs. Marrable is relating to Jones the harrowing
details of her late lamented’s last illness--while Captain Spinks
is popping the question to Clara Willoughby behind one of Chopin’s
Mazurkas--and Jones has no doubt but that his face and attitude are all
Mrs. M. could wish.

       *       *       *       *       *

LONDON IDYLLS.--_Algernon_ (_the heir_). “Awfully kind of Mrs. Masham
to give us a lift. But it was rather a squeeze, eh?”

_Jack the Detrimental_ (_his younger brother_). “Yes. By the way,
talking of squeezes, it struck me very forcibly, driving along, that
you’d got hold of one of Miss Laura Masham’s hands!”

_Algernon._ “Well, you meddling young idiot! what if I _had_?”

_Jack._ “Oh, nothing. Only _I’d got hold of the other_, you know!”

       *       *       *       *       *


_Host._ “What a smart set of people we’ve got to-night, deary!”

_Hostess._ “Yes. How I wish one of our dear girls would come and sit by
us, and tell us who everybody is!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    SCENE--_A Ball Room. Edwin leads out Angelina as arranged
    earlier in the evening, to dance a promised “square.” They walk
    through the first figure. A pause._

_Edwin._ Been to the Academy, of course?

_Angelina._ O yes. Been several times. So fond of Miss Thompson’s
picture, you know. I like the group of the dying soldier and the boy
laughing at having killed a Frenchman, awfully. So awfully clever, you

_Edwin._ O awfully! The wounds are so awfully true to nature, you know.
Do _we_ begin?

_They walk through the second figure. A pause._

_Edwin._ Been to see Salvini?

_Angelina._ Of course. Isn’t he awfully nice? I think he is perfectly
charming in _Othello_. His face quite reminds me, in the Jealousy
Scene, of dear Mr. Irving in the last Act of _The Bells_. His suicide
at the end of the piece, you know, is really quite too awfully clever.
Isn’t it?

_Edwin._ You mean the throat-cutting affair, eh? When he falls on his
back and dies quivering, eh? O yes, awfully clever. It’s our turn, I

_They walk through the third figure. A pause._

_Edwin._ Read any novels lately?

_Angelina._ Just read an awfully nice book, “The Law and the Lady.” One
of the heroes is a monstrosity without legs, Miserrimus Dexter, don’t
you know. Awfully clever.

_Edwin._ O yes. Read the book myself. Clever notion, the idiotic
man-woman, eh, wasn’t it?

_Angelina._ O yes, awfully good. I think they are waiting for us.

_They walk through the fourth figure. Promenade._

_Edwin._ Did you go to Stafford House to see the coffins?

_Angelina._ O yes, we all went--Mamma, Papa, and the children, don’t
you know. Met everybody there. Such an awful crush.

_Edwin._ Like the coffins?

_Angelina._ O so much. They looked awfully nice. So deliciously cool,
don’t you know.

_Edwin._ Cool! You like that kind of thing cool, eh?

_Angelina._ Yes, I think so.

_Edwin._ Ah, then you must be against cremation?

_Angelina_ (_hesitating_). Well--yes--perhaps. (_After consideration._)
Yes, I think so. Yes, I think I like the baskets best.

                                                       [_Fans herself._

_Edwin._ _À propos_--may I get you an ice?

_Angelina._ O, thanks so much. Yes, Grandpapa was awfully delighted
with the wicker coffins, and has ordered a couple lined with charcoal,
for himself and Grandmamma. I am going to the shop to-morrow to choose
them for him. Thanks--strawberry, please.

                               [_They retire into the Refreshment-room,
                                          with a view to getting cool._

       *       *       *       *       *

“NOBLESSE OBLIGE.”--_Old Friend._ “Hullo, Dick? How are you? I wish
you’d come and dine with me to-night. But now you’re a lord, I suppose
I mustn’t call you Dick any longer, or even ask you to dinner?”

_Noble Earl_ (_who has just come into his title_). “Lord be blowed!
Lend me a fiver, and you may call me what you like--and I’ll dine with
you into the bargain!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Little Dobbs_ (_who is a good dancer, but has let his
partner down with a crash_). “That was my very first accident. Will
_you_ give me a dance?”

_She_ (_majestically_). “Certainly, with pleasure. _I never let a man
down in my life!_”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _He_ (_who has failed to catch his companion’s name, and
wishes to find it out indirectly_). “By the way, how do you _spell_
your name?”

_She._ “J-O-N-E-S.”]

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. Poffington flatters himself he is creating a sensation. (_Perhaps
he is._)]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR WHIST PARTY.--_Major MacFlush_ (_at close of rubber, to partner_).
“Didn’t ye see me call for trumps?”

_Partner_ (_a new hand_). “You may have called, major, but I never
heard you!”

       *       *       *       *       *


_She._ “I believe you know my neighbours, the Chesterfield Browns?”

_He._ “Haw--well--a--I go to the house, don’tcherknow, and dine with
’em occasionally, and all that--but I’m not on _speaking terms_ with

       *       *       *       *       *


_He._ “I live in Hill Street. Where do you live?”

_She._ “I live in Hill Street, too.”

_He_ (_greatly delighted to find they have something in common_).
“_Really!_” (_After a moment’s hesitation._) “Any particular number?”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Latest Bulletins_)

    [“A person writing to the _Daily Dispatch_ says the Marquess
    of Anglesey’s wonderful polyglot parrot is not ill, but on the
    contrary was laughing and chatting very heartily on Monday.”]

We are glad to be able to state that Lord Mount Sorrel’s favourite
monkey, which has been suffering lately from phlebitis, is well on the
way to recovery. No further bulletins will be issued.

The report that Lady Agatha Fitzhunter’s pet pony was confined to
the stable with bronchitis is grossly exaggerated. The pony merely
complained of being a little horse. The joke, of course, like its
maker, was a chestnut.

Mrs. Martin Bradley’s French poodle is rapidly re-covering. It is
admitted on all hands, however, that it was a remarkably close shave.

The alarming rumour that Lord Barndore’s famous owl (which had been
suffering from insomnia lately) had committed suicide on Tuesday night,
is happily contradicted this morning. It appears that the owl had
merely left the house for a few hours for a special purpose-to wit, to

Lord Raspberry’s prize turkey, which a short time ago had a painful
operation performed on its neck, was able to appear at dinner last
night and received a cordial welcome from those present.

The absurd tale that Lady Hopton Wood’s pretty little Manx cat was
suffering from diseased liver has no foundation in fact. The liver was
perfectly good, and similar to that usually supplied.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A DISTINCTION AND A DIFFERENCE           [_See p. 97_]

A DISTINCTION AND A DIFFERENCE.--_Gorgius Midas Junior (a crack dancer
in his own set) gets a card for a dance at Stilton House, and waltzes
with Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns, the only lady he knows there, and who
has often been his partner under the paternal roof. Proudly conscious
of creating a sensation, he is dancing his very best, when_--

_Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns_ (_suddenly_). “We’d better stop, Mr. Midas!
This form does very well at Midas Towers, _but it doesn’t do here_!”

                   [_G. M’s “form,” which is not restricted to himself,
                          consists in holding his partner like a banjo,
                          and hopping slowly around her beneath a

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “THE LAST FEATHER” (_Time--4 a.m._)--_Little Twister_
(_to his Host, lighting his tenth cigar, and having exhausted_
“_The Spanish Crisis_,” “_Dissolution of Parliament_,” “_Voyage of
Challenger_,” _&c._) “By th’by, Bloker, it strikes me there are several
points in this Tichborne case that----”!!

                 [_All we know further is, that about this hour a short
                    gentleman was seen to leave a house in Gravelotte
                    Crescent hastily, without his hat, which was thrown
                    after him!_]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Hostess._ “I’m afraid we are going to be a very small party to-night.
The fog seems to have kept away _all our best people_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EXCLUSIVENESS

_Host._ “Nice party, ain’t it, Major Le Spunger? ’Igh and low, rich
and poor,--_most_ people are welcome to _this_ ’ouse! This is ‘Liberty
’All,’ _this_ is! No false pride or ’umbug about _me_! I’m a self-made
man, _I_ am!”

_The Major._ “Very nice party, indeed, Mr. Shoddy! How proud your
father and mother must feel! Are _they_ here?”

_Host._ “Well, no! ’Ang it all, you know, one _must_ draw the line

       *       *       *       *       *


“A smartish affair this,” I said to the little man with the pale-blue
eyes, who leant disconsolately against the wall.

He laughed nervously. I felt drawn to him, somehow. He appeared to know
no one, and I knew very few intimately, and hadn’t succeeded yet in
discovering the host and hostess.

“But I should say,” I went on, drawing inspiration from my new
acquaintance’s sympathetic attention, “I should say it cost our host
Sir Tumnal Tintz a pretty penny. The champagne is exactly up to par,
and no stint.”

“Really, I’m glad to hear you say so.”

“Reassuring, isn’t it?”

From our point of vantage we could command a full view of the
ball-room. The melody of the waltz, the perfume, and the frou-frou of
Parisian and Viennese confections had lulled the little man into a
delicious reverie.

“There,” I said, “you see that old chap who looks as if he had stolen
the Eastern Hemisphere and put it under his waistcoat--that explains
the fizz!”

My friend looked exceedingly puzzled.

“That’s Gootzegog--the chap who supplied the wine. Oh, everybody knows
Sir Tumnal runs things a bit above his income. Lady Tintz has social
ambitions. What’s the consequence? Bills are paid by invitations to
meet all the exclusive and celebrated, instead of by coin of the realm.
Gootzegog accepted with pleasure--on the back of a receipted bill for
six dozen ‘bottles of the boy.’”

“Really, this is exceedingly unpl----”

“Social sins,” I said. “You’ll know them all by heart by and by. It’s
only a question of time. Now, you see that woman hop-waltzing. There,
just passed us, high-pitched voice, pearls----”

“Yes, yes, but----”

“That is Mrs. Grinburger, known in Chatham Street as Juliette & Cie.,
swagger dressmakers, where Lady Tintz can make up her betting-book, and
hedge--by patronising the Grinburger.”

“Upon my word!” in astonishment.

“Scandalous having to meet these people. And that thin woman bare-ly
clothed--ha! ha! excuse my little quip.”

“I know----”

“Mdlle. Sembrach--bonnets; supplies the Tintz girls with headgear,
and is allowed to pass as a friend of the family because she forgets
to send in the bill. Convenient, isn’t it? She looks like making a
match--or a breach of promise----”

“It is incredible,” almost vociferated my little friend, whose eyes I
was evidently opening as to the ways and means of a certain, or rather
uncertain, class of society. “It is incredible,” he said, “that you
should tell me all these scandalous tales in the house where you are

“Quite so, quite so,” I said, fearing I may have wounded his
sensibilities. “One only does this sort of thing when the function is a
fizzle. But you appeared to know no one.”

“You appear to know everyone----”

“A good many. Come, let us have a stroll round and try and find the

The little man blinked nervously.

“Have you any idea what the Johnny’s like?” I enquired.

“Exactly like me,” said the little man. “I am Sir Tumnal Tintz!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A HINT

_Sir Pompey Bedell._ “Oh--er--Mr. Grigsby, I think! How d’ye do?”

_Grigsby._ “I hope I see you well, Sir Pompey. And next time you give
me two fingers, I’m blest if I don’t pull ’em off!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Footinitt_ (_energetically helping at bazaar_). “Won’t you put in for
a raffle for this cushion?”

_Visitor._ “Oh, no, thanks.”

_Footinitt._ “Of course it’s rather useless and gaudy, and so forth;
and personally I think the design’s rotten. But _do_ put in for it.”

_Visitor._ “No, thanks. I made it!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mrs. Snobbington._ “We had meant to call long before this, really, but
with the best intentions, somehow, we always kept _putting off the evil

       *       *       *       *       *


_First Stranger._ “Here--hi! I want a knife and fork, please!”

_Second Stranger._ “Con-found you--so do I!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Visitor._ “I’ve just been to make my first call on Mrs.

_Lady of the House._ “So glad, dear. Poor thing, she’s glad to know

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “Oh yes, Sir Gus, my husband’s as well as ever,
thank you, and hard at work. I’ve had to copy out his pamphlet on
Bi-metallism _three times,_ he alters it so! Ah, it’s no sinecure to be
married to a man of genius. I often envy your dear wife!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    [“Among upper-class women the use of bad language is awful; not
    only do elderly dowagers say ‘D--n!’ but girls of seventeen
    make use of that deplorable expression.”--_A correspondent to
    the Daily Express._]

        The age is unmistakably profane;
        Morality, like trade, is on the wane:
        Of late with most profound regret I’ve heard
        How that a certain naughty little word,
    Quite impolite, and quite unparliament’ry too,
    Once vulgar, now’s affected by the gentry too.

        From common oaths my tender spirit shrinks,
        I foozle when I hear them on the links;
        The cabby’s curse my moral system shocks,
        I shudder when I hear it from the box;
    But that which on the raw more sorely touches is
    The swear that’s used by dowagers and duchesses.

        When in the case of nobly-bred adults
        Age and experience yield these sad results,
        What wonder if their daughters (pretty lambs!)
        Indulge at times in copying their dams?
    (A “play ’po’ words” which serves to render printable
    That which, writ otherwise, would be but hintable.)

        Is this profanity a passing phase
        Like Pigs-in-clover, or the Ping-pong craze?
        Will it revert to “Goodness me!” or “Blow!”?
        I cannot tell you, for I do not know;
    This I do know: a nation grave disaster risks
    That lets its women talk in ----s and * * *

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Party_ (_who, of course, doesn’t think himself
good-looking_). “Really, Clara, I can’t think how you can make a pet of
such an ugly brute as an Isle of Skye terrier!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “READY! AYE READY!”                    [_See p. 113_]

“READY! AYE READY!”--_Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns._ “That lady was
evidently intended by nature for a _Chinese_, Sir Charles! I wonder who
she can be?”

_Sir Charles._ “She happens to be my sister, Lady Plantagenet de la
Zouche. May I ask _why_ you think nature intended her for a _Chinese_?”

_Mrs. P. de T._ (_equal, as usual, to the emergency_). “She struck me
as having such _exquisitely small feet_!”

       *       *       *       *       *

Highflyer_ (_despondently_). “There’s too much frost to hunt, and
not enough ice to skate; all the horses are coughing; the gov’nor
writes to say that he’s going to endow a new church; Bingo wires that
all seats are booked for a fortnight at any theatre worth going to;
Fanny Canterly is engaged to that ass Blinkers; I’ve a bill overdue on
Tuesday; Hummingbirdie Belleville threatens an action for breach of
promise; Aunt Genista hasn’t weighed in as usual; and some idiot has
sent me a card with a robin on it, wishing me ‘All the Compliments of
the Season!’”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A FRIEND IN NEED

_Bobby Short._ “I say--I can’t find my partner, Miss Wilson! Have you
seen her?”

_Tommy Long._ “Don’t know her by sight, even! But, if you like, I’ll
lift you up, and you can hunt for yourself!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mrs. Gusher._ “Oh, good-bye, Sir John. So sorry not to
have found your most _charming_ wife at home.”

_Sir John._ “Thanks--thanks! By the way, let me assure you I’ve only
got _one_,--and----”

                         [_Thinks that the remainder of the sentence is
                                  “better understood than expressed.”_]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady of the House_ (_to Bore, who generally calls just
as she is about to go shopping_). “Won’t you let me ring for a little
refreshment for you?”

_Bore._ “I think I’ll take a little something just before I go.”

_Lady of the House._ “Oh, then, _do_ have it now!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Sturdy Briton._ “It’s all very well to turn up your nose at _your own_
beggarly Counts and Barons, Mossoo. But you can’t find fault with _our_
nobility! Take a man like our Dook o’ Bayswater, now! Why, he could
buy up your foreign Dukes and Princes by the dozen! and as for you and
me, he’d look upon us as so much dirt beneath his feet! Now, that’s
something _like_ a nobleman, _that_ is! That’s a kind o’ nobleman that
I, as an Englishman, feel as I’ve got some right to be _proud_ of!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SERPENT’S TOOTH

“Didn’t I send ’im to Heton an’ Hoxford? Didn’t I send ’im into the
Harmy, along o’ some o’ the biggest nobs in all Hengland, with an
allowance fit for a young Hearl? And what’s the hupshot of it all? Why,
he gives dinners to Dooks and Royal ’Ighnesses, an’ don’t even harsk
’is pore old father to meet ’em. ’Ighnesses, indeed! I could buy up the
’ole blessed lot! And, _what’s more, I wouldn’t mind tellin’ ’em so
to their faces, for two pins!--Ah! just as soon as look at em--and ’e
knows it!_”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    I have been so bothered for coppys of my Romanse, as I read at
    the Cook’s Swarry some time back, that I have detummined to
    publish it, and here it is. In coarse, all rites is reserved.


                        THE MYSTERY OF MAY FARE

                       (BY ONE BEHIND THE SEENS)

                        CHAPTER I.--_Despare!_

It was Midnite! The bewtifool Countess of Belgravier sat at the hopen
winder of her Boodwar gazing on the full moon witch was jest a rising
up above the hopposite chimbleys. Why was that evenly face, that
princes had loved and Poets sillybrated, bathed in tears? How offen had
she, wile setting at that hopen winder, washed it with Oder Colone, to
remove the stanes of them tell tail tears? But all in wane, they wood
keep running down that bewtifool face as if enamelled with its buty;
and quite heedless of how they was a spiling of her new ivory cullered
sattin dress that Maddam Elise’s yung ladies had been a workin on up to
five a clock that werry arternoon.

She had bin to the great ball of the Season, to be washupped as usual
by the world of Fashun, but wot had driven her home at the hunerthly
hour of harf-parst Eleven? Ah, that cruel blo, that deadly pang, that
despairin shok, must be kep for the nex chapter.

                    CHAPTER II.--_The Helopemeant!_

Seated in the Housekeeper’s own Room at the Dook of Surrey’s lovely
Manshun, playfoolly patting his fatted calves, and surrounded by his
admiring cirkle, sat Charles, the ero of my Tale. Charles was the
idle of that large establishment. They simply adored him. It was not
only his manly bewty, tho that mite have made many an Apoller envy
him. It was not only his nolledge of the world, tho in that he was
sooperior to menny a Mimber of Parlyment from the Sister Oil, but it
was his style, his grace, his orty demeaner. The Housekeeper paid him
marked attenshuns. The Ladies Maid supplyed him with Sent for his
ankerchers. The other Footmen looked up to him as their moddel, and
ewen the sollem Butler treated him with respec, and sumtimes with
sumthink else as he liked even better. The leading Gentlemen from
other Doocal establishments charfed him upon his success with the Fare,
ewen among the werry hiest of the Nobillerty, and Charles bore it all
with a good-natured larf that showed off his ivory teeth to perfecshun.
Of course it was all in fun, as they said, and probberly thort, till
on this fatal ewening, the noose spread like thunder, through the
estonished world of Fashun, that Charles had heloped with the welthy,
the middle-aged, but still bewtifool, Marchioness of St. Bendigo.

                      CHAPTER III.--_The Dewell._

The pursoot was rapid and sucksessful, and the Markiss’s challenge
reyther disterbed the gilty pair at their ellegant breakfast. But
Charles was as brave as he was fare, and, having hired his fust Second
for twenty-five francs, and made a few other erangements, he met his
hantigginest on the dedly field on the follering day at the hunerthly
hour of six hay hem. Charles, with dedly haim, fired in the hair! but
the Markiss being bald, he missed him. The Markiss’s haim was even more
dedly, for he, aperiently, shot his rival in his hart, for he fell
down quite flat on the new-mown hay, and dishcullered it with his blud!

The Markiss rushed up, and gave him one look of orror, and, throwing
down a £1,000 pound note, sed, “that for any one who brings him two,”
and, hurrying away to his Carridge, took the next train for Lundon.
Charles recovered hisself emediately, and, pocketing the note, winked
his eye at the second second, and, giving him a hundred-franc note for
hisself, wiped away the stains of the rouge and water, and returned to
breakfast with his gilty parrer-mour.

                        CHAPTER IV.--_The End._

The poor Markiss was so horryfied at his brillyant sucksess, that
Charles’s sanguinery corpse aunted his bed-side, and he died within
a month, a leetle munth, as _Amlet_ says, of the dredful ewent, and
Charles married his Widder. But, orful to relate, within a werry short
time Charles was a sorrowin’ Widderer, with a nincum of sum £10,000 a
year; and having purchased a Itallien titel for a hundred and fifty
pound, it is said as he intends shortly to return to hold Hingland;
and as the lovely Countess of Belgravier is fortnetly becum a Widder,
and a yung one, it is thought quite posserbel, by them as is behind the
seens, like myself, for instance, that before many more munce is past
and gone, there will be one lovely Widder and one andsum Widderer less
than there is now; and we is all on us ankshushly looking forred to the
day wen the gallant Count der Wennis shall lead his lovely Bride to the
halter of St. George’s, Hannower Squeer, thus proving the truth of the
Poet’s fabel,--

    “The rank is but the guinny’s stamp,
    The Footman’s the man for a’ that.”

       *       *       *       *       *

AWKWARD.--_Miss Fillip_ (_to Young Gentleman, who has taken her in to
dinner at Olympia Manor_). “You say that you don’t shoot, hunt, fish,
drive, or ride, and that you hate cycling. Now, what on earth are you
staying here for?”

_Young Gentleman_ (_languidly_). “Because I can’t afford to live
anywhere else in the winter.”

                   [_Then it flashes across Miss F. that she is talking
                                        to a younger son of the house._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FORM!

“Good Heavens! What a swell! What is it? Tea fight? Wedding breakfast?”

“Oh no; only going to my tailor’s. _Must_ be decently dressed when I go
to see _him_. He’s so beastly critical!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EN PASSANT

_He._ “That’s that ass, Bounderson, isn’t it? He should have been
drowned as a _puppy_!”

_She._ “There’s time enough _yet_, isn’t there?”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fair Girl_ (_on sofa, to her neighbour during New
Year’s Eve Festivity_). “How delightful it must be for you, Mrs.
Featherstone, to hear all the dear Professor’s lectures!”

_Mrs. Featherstone._ “Oh, _I_ never hear his lectures. But _he_’ll have
to hear one of _mine_ to-night!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


“Well, Mr. Softley, did you revenge yourself on Algy since that quarrel
you had with him?”

“Yes, indeed. I ordered my man to be wude to his man when he meets

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Little Timkins_ (_to gorgeous chappie_). “Excuse me,
old boy, but _who_ are you in _mourning_ for?”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: REFLECTED GLORY

_Shopman._ “Here! Hi! Are you his Grace the Duke of Bayswater?”

_Magnificent Flunkey._ “I ham!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Visitor_ (_naïvely_). “Well, I certainly never dreamt I should find
you at home on such a lovely afternoon as this!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    SCENE--_The Park._ TIME--_The Fashionable Morning Hour._ LUI
    _and_ ELLE _discovered enjoying a_ causerie.

_Elle._ Oh, it will be quite gay! Admission five guineas and ten pounds
a seat at the tea-tables. The Organising Committee have rented the
Anthropological Gardens.

_Lui._ Any kind of entertainment?

_Elle._ Oh, yes. We have got Mr. Barnstormer for a recitation and
Di Flop for one of her great songs with a chorus for nothing, and
Scrapini, the violinist, is to bring his violin.

_Lui._ Also for nothing?

_Elle._ Of course. Such an excellent advertisement for them. And then
there are to be lamps on the artificial lake and fireworks--small ones
that won’t frighten the horses outside--on the terrace. Two guineas
a seat for places in front of the fireworks, and five shillings
entrance-fee to the avenue of Japanese lanterns.

_Lui._ Well, you ought to rake in the shekels. And what is it for?
What’s the name of the Charity?

_Elle._ I quite forget. But you will find it on the tickets.

                                    [_The talk drifts to other topics._

       *       *       *       *       *


“What a lot of people there were at the Wortleburys’ last week--and yet
how dull it was!”

“Yes, dear. But it was much brighter after you left.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_She._ “Oh, Mr. Sorney, I am so grateful to you for your thoughtfulness
in writing so promptly to tell me of poor Harry’s accident!”

_He._ “Pray don’t mention it--I was very glad indeed to have the
opportunity of doing it!”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Host._ “You’ll have a nice drive home!”

_Guest._ “Yes; that’s the best of it!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Horrible position of little Biffin, who proposes a new
round game. But when he has to explain, he finds he cannot recollect
anything at all about it!]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Jones._ “I am never at a loss in conversation.”

_His Fair Hostess._ “But surely, Mr. Jones, there must be _some_
subjects you don’t understand. What do you do then?”

_Jones._ “Oh, _then_--I say nothing, and look intelligent.”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: INGRATITUDE

_Nervous Youth_ (_to charming girl, who has been trying to set him at
his ease_). “He, he! I always--ha--feel rather shy with pretty girls,
y’know, but I’m _quite_ at home with you!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “Oh, Miss Brown, I was _so_ sorry I didn’t see you when
you called the other day. I had such a dreadful headache that I had to
tell my maid I was not at home to any of my friends. But of course I
should have seen _you_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The New Footman_ (_stentoriously_). “Mrs. Montgomery
Jenkins’s carriage!”

_Mrs. Montgomery Jenkins._ “A--tell the coachman to wait.”

_New Footman._ “Please, ma’am, he says he can’t. He says he’s got
another job at twenty minnits past eleven!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “I’ve just left Mr. Brayne, and it’s quite a relief to
meet _you_. He is _so_ intellectual, you know!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ANCIENT HISTORY

_The Frumps_ (_who rather fancy themselves in this style_). “It’s
called the Early Victorian bonnet.”

_Guileless Youth_ (_under the impression that he is paying a graceful
compliment_). “Oh yes. I suppose you wore them when you were _quite_

       *       *       *       *       *


_Lady Angleby_ (_mother of pretty débutante_). Really! It’s positively
painful. It ought to be stopped.

_Elderly Countess_ (_with no daughters_). Eh, what? Tooth hurtin’? Have
it out, my dear. Or try mind healin’. It’s very expensive, but Susan
Southwater tells me----

_Lady A._ Oh, Susan! She’s always got some bee in her bonnet. Though
how any self-respecting bee _could_! But I wasn’t talking about teeth.
It’s this wretched paper. Listen to this. “One of the prettiest
_débutantes_ I saw was Miss Nora Angleby, whose mother, Lady Angleby,
was wearing nothing but a string of pearls----”

_E. C._ Have ’em up for libel, my dear. I wouldn’t stand it.

_Lady A._ “--nothing but a string of pearls with her white frock, and
looking so delightfully young. Everyone was saying that they might be
sisters.” Isn’t it too silly?

_E. C._ H’m! I dunno. You do look youngish sometimes. As for the
frock--don’t you think it was a _leetle_ too--for the part, you know?

_Lady A._ Oh, did you think so? It’s the way they are cutting them this
year for girls. But don’t you think they ought to be pulled up?

_E. C._ The frocks, my dear, or the dressmakers, or the girls?

_Lady A._ No, no, the editors. I’m in this wretched rag week after week.

_Mrs. Thrope (also mother of pretty débutante)._ So am I. It’s a
perfect scandal.

_Lady A._ Are you? I don’t _see_ your name anywhere.

_Mrs. T._ If you look--isn’t there an account of the Hersham House Ball?

_Lady A._ Oh, yes, here you are. “Mrs. Thrope, who goes everywhere, was
in great good looks and her well-known magenta frock.” You’ll have to
get a new one, darling, after that. “She was chaperoning her daughter,
Miss Anne Thrope, another _débutante_, who was quite the beauty of
the----” Well, really! What can it matter to anyone whether Anne’s a
beauty or not, poor darling!

_Mrs. T._ She did look rather sweet, didn’t she?

_Lady A._ What? Oh, ah, yes. Quite pretty, I thought. But to have it
put in print like that for any Dick, Tom, or Harry to read! It does
away with all the privacy of life.

_E. C._ Who _does_ read it--besides you two?

_Mrs. T._ Who? The suburbs, of course. Susan tells me the circulation
in Bayswater is perfectly enormous. Of course _I_ only get it to read
_her_ things.

_Lady A._ So do I. Not that they are worth reading. They always seem to
me to be so _banale_.

_Mrs. T._ Yes, aren’t they? And so absolutely without point.

_E. C._ What makes ’em print ’em, then?

_Lady A._ Oh, money, of course. Her money. It’s the root of all her
idylls. She’d pay anything they asked to get them published.

_E. C._ H’m! Did she tell you so?

_Lady A._ My dear, of course not. But I happen to--oh, do listen to
this. I do think they might draw the line somewhere. It wouldn’t be
so bad if they would keep it select. But really! _That_ woman!

_E. C._ Well, who is it?

_Lady A._ Mrs. Judesheim! A whole paragraph about her and her diamonds.
_Her_ diamonds!

_Mrs. T._ Not the Bridge woman?

_Lady A._ Positively, my dear, though one would have thought after that
last little _exposé_----

_Mrs. T._ Well, really! I wonder who they’ll put in next!

_E. C._ Anyone, my dear Edith--anyone who’ll pay. That’s the way it’s
done. Susan wants to dispose of her articles, and, accordin’ to you,
she pays, and in they go. Mrs. Whatshername has got daughters and she
wants to dispose of _them_. So, she pays, and in _they_ go. Quite
simple, ain’t it?

_Lady A._ Oh, but I’m _sure_ you are wrong.

_Mrs. T._ I don’t think you _can_ be right. We haven’t come to _that_

_E. C._ _You_ haven’t, my dear, of course. You buy the paper because
you--have to read Susan’s articles. Never do myself. Hate readin’
articles, specially by people I know. But that’s just the difference
between you two and this Judesheim woman. She _likes_ to see her name
in print. And then, her husband’s a business man, and she knows the
value of a good advertisement.

_Lady A._ I _can’t_ believe it.

_E. C._ Well, we’ll ask Susan when she comes. She knows all about it.
She ought to be--ah, here she is. How do, my dear?

_Lady Susan Southwater_ (_enters hurriedly_). You dear people. I _am_
so ashamed. I simply _had_ to finish my article for next week, and it
wouldn’t come.

_Lady A._ We were just talking about your articles. I particularly
liked that last one in to-day’s paper.

_Mrs. T._ So did I. But I think--no, I don’t like it quite as well as
the one _last_ week. That was too delightful. So witty.

_Lady S._ Glad you liked it. Well, are we going to cut for partners?

_E. C._ In a minute. But we want to ask you about this old rag of
yours. Do people pay to have their names in it?

_Lady S._ Tradespeople? _They_ do, of course.

_E. C._ No, no. Ordinary people like us.

_Lady S._ Oh, well--but what makes you ask?

_Lady A._ Well, the fact is, Edith and I don’t like the way they _will_
put our names in, and we were just saying that; and then to read a
paragraph about that Mrs. Judesheim actually, and the whole thing
seemed so vulgar, and we were wondering whether anyone really did pay.

_Lady S._ Oh, but my dear, of course they do, though only the Editor
knows who. But if you like I’ll talk to him about you two, and say that
you would prefer not to have your names----

_Lady A._ Oh, please no, it _really_ isn’t worth it. No, as far as I am
concerned personally----

_Mrs. T._ It seems to me it would be a pity to make a fuss about it.
After all, it doesn’t do one any harm. So please don’t trouble, darling.

_Lady S._ My dear, it’s no trouble. I shall be seeing him this evening,
anyhow. So I’ll just tell him----

_Lady A._ I beg that you will do nothing of the kind. I particularly
dislike asking favours from people of that class. Don’t you think we
might begin our rubber?

_Lady S._ Perhaps that _would_ be the best solution. Unless you like to
pay him _not_ to put your names in. You might do that, you know--for a

_Lady A._ You don’t mean to imply----

_Lady S._ My dear, not for worlds! Some do, and some don’t. But of
_course_ you and Edith----

_E. C._ Don’t! Let’s cut.

                                   [_They cut for partners in silence._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HAVING A GOOD TIME

_Mamma._ “It’s very late, Emily. Has anybody taken you down to supper?”

_Fair Débutante_ (_who has a fine healthy appetite_). “Oh yes,
mamma--several people!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Hostess._ “I’ve got _such_ a cold to-day. I feel quite

_Prize Idiot_ (_calling_). “I’ve got a bad cold too; but _I_ don’t feel
particularly stupid!”

_Hostess._ “Ah, I see you’re not quite yourself!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mrs. Noovoriche._ “Yes, my dears, I gave a hundred guineas for this
gown! Pretty figure, isn’t it?”--_Chorus_ (_after due inspection_).
“Simply awful!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fitz-Noodle_ (_who rather fancies himself as the “Black
Prince”_). “By Jove, Miss Renneslaer, how awfully charming!”

_Fair American._ “My! What _are_ you? _Canned Lobster?_”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE HEIGHT OF MAGNIFICENCE             [_See p. 151_]

THE HEIGHT OF MAGNIFICENCE--_Sir Gorgius Midas_. “Hullo! where’s all
the rest of yer gone to?”

_Head Footman._ “If you please, Sir Gorgius, as it was past two
o’clock, and we didn’t know for certain whether you was coming back
here, or going to sleep in the City, the hother footmen thought they
might go to bed----”

_Sir Gorgius._ “‘Thought they might go to bed,’ did they? A pretty
state of things, indeed! So that if I’d a’ ’appened to brought ’ome a
friend, there’d a’ only been you four to let us hin, hay!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AT A LADIES’ CLUB

_Guest_ (_who rather fancies himself as a fascinator_). “But although
you are all known as men-haters, aren’t there now and again occasions
when you find it _very_ hard to live up to your reputation?”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: KINDLY MEANT

_Young Noodle._ “Oh, do have another sandwich, Miss Swan. You have such
a long way to eat--I mean such a long way to go!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Little Titmuss_ (_just told off to take the younger
Miss Long in to supper, quite forgets which of the two is the
younger_). “Er--er--may I have the pleasure--er--of--er--taking the
longer Miss Young--I mean-the lunger Miss Yong--that is----”

                                                [_Becomes incoherent._]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A Young Blood, in trouble about his legs, soliloquises before his

Well now, this _is_ a doosid nuisance, what?… S’pose I’ve got to
face the question, now that all the rest of our set have made up
their minds.… _Hate_ havin’ to make up my mind! It’s rotten, simply
_rotten_--I don’t mean my mind, but havin’ to worry over things like
this--I never was so dreadfully worried, except perhaps over the shape
of that tie last season, what?… Why can’t they put it off a little
while longer? But no, they’re all goin’ to wear them next Friday at
that supper at the Carlton, and Stella Pardedew’s comin’ too--wish
I hadn’t asked her, she _can_ be so cuttin’, when she likes …
I’m sure, if I’ve measured myself once, I’ve measured myself fifty
times, and I can’t make ’em more than ten and three-eighths round
the calf.… I know she’ll ask whether it’s three calves or one,
when she sees me comin’ along … rotten joke, too!… Here, let me
try once more--where’s that tape?… No, I don’t seem to spring to
ten and a-half inches, anyhow, and I walked the whole length of Bond
Street this afternoon, what?… They don’t look so bad in gaiters and
ridin’-breeches, or under a motor-coat, and when I’m golfin’, too,
I can double the thick top ends of my stockin’s down and make quite
a decent show, but these silk things, what!… They’ll be sayin’
somethin’ about advertisements for Anti-fat--that rotter Bertie will,
_I_ know, just because his are fifteen inches round.…

       *       *       *       *       *

DE GUSTIBUS NON DISPUTANDUM.--_Adonis_ (_after his guests have
departed_). “By Jove, Maria, what a handsome woman Mrs. Jones is! She
looks better than ever!”

_His Wife._ “Ahem! Well, it may be my bad taste, but I own I have
hitherto failed to detect the beauty of Mrs. Jones. Now, _Mr._ Jones is
good-looking, if you like!”

_Adonis._ “_Jones good-looking!_ Come--hang it, Maria, Jones is a very
good fellow, and all that; but I must say I’ve never perceived his
_good looks_!” &c., &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Hostess._ “I thought you were going to play ‘Bridge’!”

_Host._ “So we are, but they are playing ‘ping-pong’ in the
dining-room, and ‘fires’ in the billiard-room, Jack’s trying to
imitate Dan Leno in the drawing-room, and Dick’s got that infernal
gramophone of his going in the hall, and they are laying supper in the
smoking-room, so _we’re_ going to the nursery!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[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_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    SCENE--_A salon anywhere._ TIME--_Afternoon tea. Hostess
    addressing her guests._

_Hostess._ Yes, I think this is so much more amusing than “Books,”
and “Songs.” One gets so tired of a lady with toy banners in her hair
calling herself “Under Two Flags,” and a man insisting that he is
perfectly made up for “The Absent-Minded Beggar” when he wears a label
of--“Quite blind. Give me a penny,” and keeps his eyes open.

_First Lady Friend._ Certainly. Well, do you think my “Curiosity” was
good? An old boot belonging to my great grandfather.

_Hostess._ Perfectly delightful. So nice to have a great grandfather,
and one who wore boots.

_Second Lady Friend._ Well, my “Curiosity” is not quite so personal.
This is an old work-box that has been in our family for the last
hundred years.

_Chorus._ How interesting!

_Second Lady Friend._ And it was bought, so I have been told, at the
Exhibition of 1851.

_Professor Grumbles_ (_interposing_). Dear lady, I fancy you have made
a mistake in your dates. Now, if the box was in your family a century,
and it came from the Exhibition of 1851, it must----

_Hostess_ (_interposing_). Oh, my dear Professor, pray don’t worry us
with statistics. Now, what have _you_ got?

_Professor Grumbles_ (_producing a bag_). Well dear lady, my little
contribution to the general hilarity of the occasion will be caused by
my friend in the bag. It is a specimen--a very rare specimen--of the
South African puff-adder. Most doctors will tell you that the sting
of this reptile is dangerous. (_He produces from the bag a black,
vicious-looking snake._) In fact, most people will say that the sting,
or rather a bite, is certain death. But be reassured, my good friends.
In spite of this universal belief, I may say that, without expressing
an absolutely definite opinion, _I don’t think so_!

                        [_“Curiosity” tea disperses rapidly and in some

       *       *       *       *       *


_Jones._ “Con-found it all! Somebody’s taken _my_ hat, and left this
filthy, beastly, shabby old thing instead!”

_Brown._ “A--I beg your pardon, but _that_ happens to be _MY_ hat!”]

       *       *       *       *       *



Several ladies have chosen this week for taking walks. As I was popping
down Bond Street a few days ago I nearly ran into sweet Lady B., who
was dressed in the softest brown, with a dear little robin redbreast
perched lovingly in her _toque_, which was a veritable _dernier cri_.
There is a beautiful story in connection with the little dickey, as
Lady B. believes that it is the same little feathered darling she used
to feed with crumbs on her window-sill last winter! It is such a joy to
her tender heart to feel that her little pensioner will now never be
parted from his benefactress--while the _toque_ lasts.

A few minutes later, while I was returning the Countess of A.’s bow,
I caught my foot in the _marabout_ of one of our most unconventional
and witty American visitors, who is, by the way, the heroine of the
following delightful little story. While staying at a country house,
not a hundred miles from a certain little white village with red
roofs, the house party was taken to a local flower show. At dinner that
evening, charming Miss X., who was a member of the party, was asked by
her partner if she took an interest in gardening. “I guess I’m only
interested in strawberry leaves!” was the witty answer.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Small Swell_ (_who has just finished a quadrille_). “H’m, thank
goodness, that’s over! Don’t give me your bread and butter misses to
dance with. I like your grown women of the world!”--(_N.B._ _The bread
and butter miss has asked him how old he was, and when he went back to

       *       *       *       *       *


“You _must_ remember her. I introduced you at my ‘At Home.’”

“You introduced me to so _many_ people, how can I remember?”

“But she was wearing----” (_Describes the costume minutely._)

“Oh, was _that_ she? Of _course_ I remember _her_ perfectly!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Hostess._ “Good night, General! So kind of me to have asked you.”

_Guest._ “Not at all. So kind of me to have come!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


All lovers of literature will be delighted to hear that Miss Cumberland
Smith’s latest work, “Chained by Circumstance,” is to be issued in
tooled green leather to match the dainty little belts which are being
shown this week by Mr. Peter Jay. This book would look particularly
well with a white satin Liberty _robe_, a stole of Indian work, and the
hair _coiffured_ in the _mode retroussé_, which is now, we are glad to
see, once more with us.

Another little gem for book lovers is certainly Lady M.’s wonderfully
realistic “Revelations of Revolt,” bound in crimson and black. No
brunette should be without it. To go with this beautiful volume we
should strongly recommend a simple Empire costume of crimson _panne_,
with deep frills of accordion-pleated white chiffon, edged with black
_ruching_, with sprays of crimson chrysanthemums falling to the feet.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Algy_ (_suddenly taking the change out of his pocket
and examining it)_. “I say, old man, what do you think? I gave our
cabby a sovereign and a sixpence for bringing us here from the club!”

_Freddie._ “My dear f’lla, you’re always overdoin’ it. A sovereign
would have been ample!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

MAKING CONVERSATION.--_He._ “I suppose you have been everywhere during
the season?”

_She._ “No season. Nothing to read. Nothing to see.”

_He._ “Then there is nothing to talk about?”

_She._ “No, nothing. Can’t you suggest a novelty?”

_He_ (_brightening up_). “Yes--the weather.”

                                                       [_Left talking._

       *       *       *       *       *

A FORLORN HOPE.--_The Dowager._ “Now, you’ve got all the girls off your
hands so successfully, except poor Maria, you ought to give _her_ a

_My Lord._ “Yes--a--give a ball--a--or a garden party--a----”

_My Lady._ “Oh, poor Maria’s not worth a ball--nor even a garden
party. We might give an _afternoon tea_!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “I say, Nell, the Dad says that he remembers that old
boy when he hadn’t a shirt to his back, and now he has thousands.”

“Good gracious, how extravagant! And how hot!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: COUNTRY-HOUSE PETS                [_See p. 171_]

COUNTRY-HOUSE PETS (_The morning-room at Glen-Dimity Castle, after
lunch. Mr. Belamy Tabby is singing “Hi tiddley hi ti, hi, ti,
hi!”_).--_The Duchess._ “How clever and amusin’ your friend, Mr.
Whatshisname is!--_Tabby_, isn’t it! So good-lookin’ and gentlemanlike
too! Quite a godsend on a rainy day like this, when all the men are out
shootin’ or fishin’, or something! Is he married?”

_Noble Hostess._ “Oh yes; but what’s so nice about him, he doesn’t mind
bein’ asked without his wife. Those sort of persons so often expect
their wives to be asked too, and that’s such a bore, you know!”

_Her Grace._ “Yes; how sensible of him! I must get him to come to us at
Brasenose Towers!”

       *       *       *       *       *

AN UNSELFISH MAN.--_Colonel Slyboots, M.P._ “So sorry to leave you all
alone at Mudboro’, my love; but duty will compel me to be at my post at
Westminster for the Autumn Session, you know. So dull in town without
you, too.”

_Mrs. S._ “Poor dear! Then I’ll accompany you, my angel!”

_Colonel S._ “Oh, on no account. Wouldn’t hear of it!”

       *       *       *       *       *

SOCIETY SMALL TALK.--“On the young lady’s exclaiming ‘How well these
rooms are lighted!’ the young man might reply, ‘Yes, by the light of
Beauty’s eyes, and you are lending your share, which is not a small
one, to the general illumination, the brilliancy of which is almost too
dazzling to a poor mortal like myself, to whom it is well that moments
such as these are brief, else the reaction would be destructive to my
peace of mind, if not altogether fatal to it.’”

_Young Peter Piper has got his lesson well by heart, and is only
waiting, to begin, for the lovely Miss Rippington to exclaim_, “How
well these rooms are lighted!” _which, unfortunately for him, they are_

       *       *       *       *       *

HONOURS DIVIDED.--_Mr. Goodchild._ “Yes, I do feel in good spirits this
evening. My boy has passed his examination!”

_The Earl._ “Well, I don’t see anything in that. So has mine.”

_Mr. Goodchild._ “Er--Indian Civil?”

_The Earl._ “No--Bankruptcy!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Rev. Lazarus Jones_ (_who has been honoured by
an invitation to lunch with that great man, Sir Gorgius Midas, just
returned from America_). “I suppose you are glad to get back to your
comfortable house again, Sir Gorgius?”

_Sir Gorgius Midas_ (_who perhaps does not like his palatial residence
to be called a “comfortable house”_). “Yes, Jones! Be it ever so
_’umble_, Jones, there’s no place like _’ome_!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MRS. BOREHAM AT HOME                [_See p. 175_]

MRS. BOREHAM AT HOME (_Amateur Theatricals_).--_Sir Pompey Bedell._
“Allow me to congratulate you, Mrs. Boreham, on a most successful
entertainment! I have never set foot inside a theatre myself, I am
proud to say, nor attended even _private_ theatricals before--such
things are not in my line! But I can honestly assure you that I
have rarely seen histrionic ability more consummate, or a dramatic
performance more exceptionally complete in every respect, than that
which it has been our truly enviable privilege to witness this evening!”

       *       *       *       *       *

AN AMENDMENT.--_Vera._ “What must I do about the Billsomes’ dance? I
dislike the Billsomes, and I don’t want to go.”

_Phillis._ “Well, say you regret you are unable.”

_Vera._ “Wouldn’t it be more truthful to say I am unable to regret?”

       *       *       *       *       *

IT’S AN EAST WIND THAT BLOWS NOBODY GOOD.--“Here comes the carriage,
Maud! Fancy having to go and pay calls in such weather! It’s enough to
give one one’s death of cold!”

“Worse than that, mother! Everybody’s sure to be _in_!”

       *       *       *       *       *

ONE WAY OF FASTING.--_Miss Kate_ (_to Mr. Joskin_). “You don’t know how
glad I am that Lent has begun.”

_Mr. Joskin._ “Why?”

_Miss Kate._ “Because there are no more stupid dinner-parties and
balls. We only go to theatres and restaurants now.”

       *       *       *       *       *

NOT THE WORD.--_Young Lady_ (_in the drawing room_). “Just listen! I
can hear the gentlemen laughing. I believe they tell all their good
stories directly we’re out of the dining-room.”

_Experienced and rather severe Matron._ “_Good_ stories, dear!
No--‘good’ is not the word.”

       *       *       *       *       *

AN EYE FOR ESSENTIALS.--_Mamma_ (_house-hunting for the Season_). “It’s
a good house for a dance, Emily!”

_Emily._ “The rooms are rather small, aren’t they?”

_Mamma_ (_who knows how matches are made_). “Yes; but what a capital

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Snookson._ “Yes; Hastings is a charming place, and has
quite a peculiar--a--and half-melancholy _interest_ for me. We came
over with the _Conqueror_, you know!”

_Fair Bostonian_ (_late from Paris_). “Ah, that must have been very
trying! _We_ came over with the _Calais-Douvres_.”

                                      [_S. tries not to look foolish._]

       *       *       *       *       *


Mrs. Boultby Smith and her daughters have been “at home” to their
London friends every Wednesday afternoon for the last seven years. Last
Wednesday some visitors actually came!]

       *       *       *       *       *


Mrs. De Vere Tomlinson at home. Puzzles. Small and early.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PRIG-STICKING                      [_See p. 181_]

PRIG-STICKING.--_Little Prigson._ “Oh! as for Grigson, he’s distinctly
the most objectionable little prig in all England; but his sistah’s
_quite_ the nicest girl I ever met.”

_Aunt Eliza._ “Dear me! What sweeping assertions! You _might_ have
had the decency just to make the traditional exception in favour of
_present company_!”

_Cousin Maud._ “Yes; in _both_ cases, you know!”

       *       *       *       *       *

SOME DISTINCTIONS AND A DIFFERENCE.--_Hostess has just been showing
Guest the picture gallery and other glories of the ancient Baronial
Halls, at the same time discoursing of the family greatness. Guest_
(_pointing to row of busts_). “And are these celebrities or just

       *       *       *       *       *

LIMITED.--_She_. “Yes; that stupid man who came with the Smiths trod on
the duchess’s train, and it tore right across, and the dear old thing
never said a word. Wasn’t it _sweet_ of her?”

_He._ “Well, there was only one word she _could_ have said!”

       *       *       *       *       *


    CONVERSATIONAL TEAS twice a week OFFERED by a Lady of high
    social position at her home to strangers, Americans, Colonials
    and foreigners, for whom pleasant introductions are desirable;
    private interviews given to ladies who desire coaching on
    matters of high English etiquette and fashion.--_Advertisement
    in morning paper._

This seems to be a new variation. We all know the blameless A.B.C.
tea patronised by country cousins after a hard day’s work shopping or
matinéeing in town.

There is the institution known as a “high tea” (why _high_?) for those
whose indigestion is robust enough to negotiate six o’clock beef and
tannin from the pot.

A year or two ago we were deluged with “book teas” and “play teas,” or
“song teas,” and other nursery devices for educating the middle-aged
and teaching the old idea how to make wild shots at far-fetched rebuses.

For dipsomaniacs there is, we regret to say, the D. T.; and the strict
Q. T. for persons of a secretive turn of mind.

And now a lady of high social position is in the market with bi-weekly
“Conversational Teas.” Is the accent on the conversation or the tea, we
would ask? Are there any gratuities expected? Is anything given away
with a pot of tea? Do you bring your own mug? Does the lady-autocrat
at the tea-table give marks for good behaviour? Does she “turn” you
if you have failed to learn your small-talk correctly? Do you get a
diploma (or a degree) at the end of the course if you pass the cake
with honours? And is the “colonial” who comes out at the bottom of
the tea-class rewarded with a wooden spoon? All these, and many other
questions, present themselves to would-be students of “high English

       *       *       *       *       *

GUESSES AT TRUTH.--_Mr. Laidislaw._ “Handsome woman our hostess--don’t
you think? By the bye, what do you suppose her age is?”

_Miss St. Cyr._ “Well, I should fancy, what the illustrated
biographies call ‘Present Day!’”

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mrs. Ponsonby de Tomkyns at Home--Small and Early._

_Brown_ (_who is fighting his way in--to Friendly Party, who holds out
his hand_). “Ah, how d’y’do, Mr.--er--I seem to know your _face_. Often
met you here before, I fancy, hav’n’t I?”

_Friendly Party._ “Very likely. My name’s Ponsonby de Tomkyns!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A TERRIBLE TURK

_Little Spinks._ “Ah! once I was as innocent as a little child! What I
am _now_, your sex has made me!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

“L’INVITATION À LA VALSE.”--_She._ “But you don’t know my name! What
have you put down on your cuff?”

_He._ “Oh, I’ve put down ‘Pearl Necklace.’”

_She._ “But there are lots of pearl necklaces here!”

_He._ “Yes; but I’ve also put down ‘Small and rather tight’--I mean the
_necklace_, you know!”

       *       *       *       *       *

THE OLD ORDER CHANGETH.--_Todeson_ (_who has grown his moustache,
dropped his G’s, and got into Society again_). “Fact is Society’s
gettin’ much too mixed, Duchess. It’s not amusin’, after spendin’ a
pleasant evenin’, to find you’ve been hobnobbin’ with a shopkeeper, or
sittin’ next his wife at dinner, you know!”

_Her Grace._ “Oh, dear me! Why, my _husband’s_ a shopkeeper, Mr.
Todeson. He keeps that great bric-à-brac warehouse in Conduit
Street!--and the toy-shop at the corner, that’s mine!--and the
confectioner over the way, that’s my mother, the Duchess of Hautcastel!”

                   [_Todeson feels he has been puttin’ his foot in it._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _De Smythe._ “She was the ugliest woman I ever
met--er--er--present company excepted, of course!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

OF THE WORLD WORLDLY.--“There go the Spicer Wilcoxes, mamma! I’m told
they’re dying to know us. Hadn’t we better call?”

“Certainly not, dear. If they’re dying to know us, they’re not worth
knowing. The only people worth _our_ knowing are the people who _don’t_
want to know us!”

       *       *       *       *       *

BREAKING THE ICE.--_He._ “I’ve got to take you in to dinner, Miss
Travers--and I’m rather afraid of you, you know! Mrs. Jollibois 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

       *       *       *       *       *

A SUBTLE DISTINCTION.--_Jones_ (_who is of an inquiring mind_). “Ain’t
you getting _tired_ of hearing people say, ‘That is the beautiful Miss

_Miss Bellsize_ (_a professional beauty_). “Oh, no. I’m getting tired
of hearing people say, ‘Is _that_ the beautiful Miss Bellsize?’”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Hostess_ (_to guests, who have come to spend a few
days_). “We’re so glad you’ve been able to come, Mrs. Gushington; but I
do hope we are going to have rather better weather, or I am afraid you
won’t enjoy yourselves much.”--_Mrs. Gushington._ “Oh, but, my _dear_
Lady Boreham, we didn’t come here to _enjoy_ ourselves. We came to see

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fubsby._ “A--everybody’s getting too clever nowadays.
I assure you, _my_ chief object in society is to conceal my ignorance,
and prevent people from finding out what an abject fool I really am!”

_Miss Towers._ “And do you succeed?”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Hostess._ “Why, Mr. Smith, I’ve hardly seen you all the
evening! Now I particularly want you to come and hear a whistling solo
by my husband.”

_Smith_ (_whose hearing is a trifle indistinct_). “A whisky and soda
with your husband? Well, thanks, I don’t mind if I do have just one!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

AN EQUIVOCAL COMPLIMENT.--“I’m so glad to meet _you_ here, Captain
Spinks--and _so_ glad you’re going to take me in to dinner.” (_Captain
S. is delighted._) “You’re about the only man in the room my husband
isn’t likely to be jealous of!”

                      [_Captain Spinks’s delight is no longer unmixed._

       *       *       *       *       *



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