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Title: John Bull's Womankind - Les Filles de John Bull
Author: O'Rell, Max
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                                Twenty-Fifth Thousand.


                       THE LEADENHALL PRESS


                           MAX O'RELL.


                           John Bull's
                            Womankind
                   _(Les Filles de John Bull)_

                         BY THE AUTHOR OF
                    "John Bull and his Island"


              _HALF-A-CROWN: CLOTH, THREE-AND-SIX._


                           [Decoration]
                            _LONDON:_
  =FIELD & TUER; SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & CO.; HAMILTON, ADAMS & CO.=


        (English Copyright Edition. All Rights Reserved.)



  -----------------------------------------------------------------
     [Illustration]     |    [Illustration]   |    [Illustration]
    By Appointment to   |  By Appointment to  |  By Appointment to
   H.R.H. the Princess  |   Her Majesty the   |  H.I.M. Empress of
        of Wales.       |       Queen.        |       Russia.
  -----------------------------------------------------------------

                              REDFERN,
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  Times_, Paris, April 12th, 1884.

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  [Illustration]

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    Rowlands' articles, of 20 Hatton Garden, London.



  EVERY DAUGHTER OF JOHN BULL
          SHOULD READ

                             NEW
                            VOLUME
                          COMMENCES
                          WITH THE
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                           MONTHLY
                            PART.

        ==> THE Girls

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         [Illustration]

          FIELD & TUER
  Ye Leadenhalle Presse, E.C.
            T. 4199.



TO MRS. JOHN BULL.


Dear Madam,

Now please not to frown, still less to cry out, "Shocking!"

I assure you, you may turn over the leaves of this book from beginning
to end without fear of encountering a single piece of indiscretion.

I know that fresh air and cold water are your delight. You dearly love
to shiver at the contact of a dripping sponge; but your door is
carefully closed, and I have seen nothing.

It is not your undraped photograph that I publish, it is the litany of
your good qualities that I sing.

May I be allowed here to say freely what I think?

Well, dear Madam, I think that, if the human race, including Mr. Bull
your husband, felt for you half the admiration which your charms and
virtues inspire in me, you would be justly proclaimed the goddess of
conjugal felicity.

Now you ought to give me a smile for that, I think.

Open this little volume fearlessly, dear Madam, and if you should
light upon any mention--I will not say of your faults, for most
certainly you have none--but of some few little oddities perhaps, do
not be offended; but remember that our real friends are those who tell
us the truth--_en ami_, of course--but still who do tell it us.



CONTENTS.


                                                                  PAGE

  To Mrs. John Bull                                                iii

  Hors d'œuvre                                                      ix

  I.

    Flirtation--Sweethearting--Love in the Open Air--_Où il
      y a de la gêne il n'y a pas de plaisir_                        1

  II.

    Declarations of Love--Kisses--Disobliging Britons                8

  III.

    Love in Marriage--Mrs. John Bull's Bedroom--As you make
      your Bed, so you must lie on it--Young People, English
      and French--How it may sometimes be an economy to take
      your Wife with you when you travel on the Continent           12

  IV.

    The Marriage Ceremony in England--Civil Marriages--
      Elopements--Marriage in Scotland--Show your
      Credentials--One word more about the _dot_                    22

  V.

    After the Ball--My Wife makes me a little Confidence (from
      the Diary of a Frenchman married to an Englishwoman)          30

  VI.

    The Beauty of English Women--Their Dress--Their Hair--Advice
      to French Ladies--Hyde Park--Interior of English
      Theatres--O Routine! such is thy Handiwork!                   37

  VII.

    The Word and the Thing--Little Essay on the English
      Language--There is nothing like a good Telescope if
      you want to see well--Master Dubius--Puritan
      Parlance--Salvation Fair--May Meetings and Spring
      Cleanings--Are you _Pooty_ Well?--A Suitable Menu             46

  VIII.

    The Boas of the Aristocracy--The Prettiest Women in
      London--Shop Girls--Barmaids--Actresses and
      Supernumeraries--Miss Mary Anderson                           58

  IX.

    The _Demi-monde_--Sly Dogs--The Disreputable World--The
      Society for the Protection of Women--Humble Apologies
      for Grave Mistakes                                            66

  X.

    Reflections of an Innocent upon Women in general and
      Englishwomen in particular--Epistle to John Bull--Women's
      Rights--A Stormy Meeting--Viragos and other British Guys
      of the Sisterhood of St. Catharine                            72

  XI.

    Women at Home--Daughters, Wives, Widows, and Mothers--
      Comparisons--The Hospitality of Mrs. John Bull--Provincial
      Life                                                          83

  XII.

    Mrs. John Bull at Home on the .... _R.S.V.P._--An
      Intelligent Landlord--Meaning of the word "Concert"--The
      Conversazione--The Royal Academy                             100

  XIII.

    Ladies of the Royal Family--Mrs. Christian--Minnie and
      Alec--The noble Lord the Poet-Laureate--Wanted an
      English Academy                                              110

  XIV.

    The Governess and other Servants of Mrs. John Bull's
      Household--Lady-Helps--English and French Servants--
      Burglar Chase: the Policeman is successful for once          120

  XV.

    In the Smoking Room (_Causerie_)                               136

  XVI.

    The Brune and the Blonde--Madame la Comtesse d'A. and
      Lady B. chat a little about their husbands, discuss
      their respective merits, and indulge in several little
      confidences                                                  146

  XVII.

    The Teetotal Mania--Second Epistle to John Bull--The
      darling Sin of Mrs. John Bull according to a Venerable
      Archdeacon and a few Charitable Ladies--A free-born
      Briton, member of the Yellow Ribbon Army                     164

  XVIII.

    New Salvation Agencies--Priestess Rubbers--_Asinus
      asinam fricat_                                               176

  XIX.

    The Vicar's Wife (Fragments)
        I.                                                         180
       II.                                                         187
      III.                                                         200

  XX.

    Apotheosis of the Daughters of John Bull                       209

  XXI.

    John Bull and His Island (_Postscript_)                        228

  Appendix                                                         234



HORS D'ŒUVRE.


In proposing the toast to the ladies at a City dinner, one evening,
Lord Derby expressed himself in these terms:--

"Before appointing an Englishman to any post of importance, the first
question the electors ask is:

"'_What kind of a wife has he?_'"

And, indeed, the English, who introduce diplomacy into everything,
place discretion above all the qualifications that an English
candidate sends to the members of an electing board, in the form of
testimonials.

The chief thing required of a man who is to be placed at the head of a
Society, an Institution, a College, is that he should know how to
maintain order and good discipline: not with fuss and severity, but
with calmness and discretion; and the English are quite right, for
self-control and discretion are the two qualities that most fit a man
for government. "Now," the electors say, "if Mr. _So-and-So_, who is
one of our selected candidates, cannot keep his wife in order, how
will he keep a thousand men or boys in order? If he cannot maintain
good discipline in his house, how will he maintain it in our Society?
If he is ruled by his wife, it is his wife and not he whom we shall be
electing. Therefore Mr. _So-and-So_ will not do for us."

Very proper reasoning.

How many talented men could I name, who will owe to their wives, all
their life-time, the honour of being and remaining obscure heroes!

What is the main cause of England's greatness and prosperity? Simply
this:

The thousands of small republics, all independent each of the other,
that are called Societies, Hospitals, Colleges, etc., are governed,
not by idols that have hands and handle not, or by badly salaried
potentates who have eyes and see not, but by energetic and
clear-sighted men, who receive immense salaries, but who, in return,
devote to the Institutions that they rule over, all the resources, all
the force of their minds.

Take the schools and colleges for instance.

I am convinced that, in Paris, a _proviseur_ does not know the names
of more than thirty or forty of the pupils attending his _lycée_. At
any rate, there are not twenty of them that he could recognise in the
street and call by their names. His emoluments range from five to six
hundred pounds a year.

In England, the head-masters of the great Public Schools receive
three, four, five, and even six thousand pounds a year. Well, I
guarantee that these head-masters know individually every one of the
thousand boys or so that are under their care. They know the place
that each one occupies in his class. The pupils are placed by the
head-master, according to their merit and aptitude, in such and such
form, in such and such department. He will write to some parents,
"Your son has no taste for classics. I will put him in our modern
school to learn mathematics and science. I advise you to make an
engineer of him, an officer," etc.

In France, work is generally in inverse ratio to the emoluments.

In England, work is in proportion to the salary: responsible work, at
all events.

Take the Church.

English bishops are fortunate mortals, who receive emoluments
amounting to something like eight and ten thousand pounds a year. But,
over here, a bishopric is no sinecure.

In France, the clergy of a diocese receive from their bishop orders
which they obey blindly; they all teach the same dogma, and have no
competition to keep up; but, in England, everybody reasons and argues:
the young clergyman, fresh from Oxford or Cambridge, has his own way
of interpreting the Scriptures, and the bishop is constantly called
upon to pacify, to conciliate all his little clerical world who are
for ever dogmatising, discussing, disputing, in the pulpit, in
meetings, in the newspapers, and keep him on the alert all the year
round. If a French priest shows signs of independence of thought, he
is treated as a rebel, and his case is soon settled; public
indifference to religious matters consigns him to swift oblivion, when
he has succeeded in making a little noise, which happens very rarely;
but, in England, the priest who holds original views is backed up by
partisans who immediately take up his cause; at any moment, he may set
up for a martyr and become a source of continual annoyance to his
bishop.

Above all things, the man in office must avoid a scandal, what the
English call in slang, a row. So he must be discreet, conciliating,
and an accomplished diplomatist: such, I repeat, are the
qualifications of any man occupying a high and responsible position in
England.

Take the man of business, the City man. Everywhere you find the same
activity, the same feverish, high pressure kind of life.

Under these circumstances, the part that the English woman has to
play is clear enough: to make her husband forget, in private life, the
strain, the rebuffs, the deceptions, the snubs and kicks that he has
to endure in public life; to prepare for him a retreat in the calm
atmosphere of which he may refresh himself and acquire new strength;
to do the honours of her house with that liberality, that generous
hospitality, which are only met with among the English; in short, to
be satisfied with a part which, when filled with that abnegation and
devotion of which the women of all countries are capable, is no less
beautiful for being a secondary one.

Now, dear reader, if you will once more do me the honour of accepting
me as guide, we will visit together those beautiful girls a trifle too
emancipated, those virtuous wives a little too much respected, those
good mothers perhaps a little neglected; those women hospitable above
all others, whose ingenious forethought for the smallest needs of life
makes of a humble cottage a little palace of cleanliness, order, and
comfort.



JOHN BULL'S WOMANKIND.



I.

Flirtation--Sweethearting--Love in the open air--_Où il y a de la gêne
il n'y a pas de plaisir_.


Seeing that the word _flirtation_ seems to have been definitely
received into the French vocabulary, it is natural to suppose that our
language contained no equivalent for it, or that the thing itself
never existed in France.

Flirtation is, in fact, an essentially English pastime. No one flirts
in France: we are more serious than that in love affairs.

Some etymologists have thought that the verb _to flirt_ was formed
from _fleurette_ in the expression _conter fleurette_; but the best
authorities agree in thinking that it took its origin from
_fleardian_, an Anglo-Saxon word which means _to trifle_; and thus it
seems possible that it may have some connection with the verb
_fleureter_, which, in old French, signified "to say little
nothings," whence _plaisanter_, _badiner_.

However this may be, let us leave to _savants_ the task of deciding
the matter, while we concern ourselves about the thing itself. What,
then, is flirtation?

Flirtation is a very innocent little pastime. I have read in the
confession albums of young ladies of good society, "What is your
favourite occupation? Flirting." The answer is not in exquisite taste,
even from the English point of view, I admit; but no one would think
of taking it amiss ... all the more so, I should add, because these
confessions are not meant to be taken very seriously.

Young girls who at a ball had made themselves specially agreeable to
certain of their partners, and succeeded in drawing a few compliments
from them, might say, "We had such flirtation."

_To flirt_, then, is to make a young fellow believe that "_on l'a
remarqué, distingué_," as the Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein says; it
is to encourage him by sweet smiles and tender wiles, to quit his
reserve and carry his gallantry almost so far as to declare himself.
This kind of thing would be very dangerous with a young Frenchman; it
leads to no bad consequences with the young Englishman, for flirtation
is "attention without intention," as some one--I forget whom--has very
aptly put it; and an Englishman is able to pay a lady attentions
without harbouring any intentions. I compliment him upon it.

A woman who flirted would pass in France for giddy, even fast: she
knows her countrymen well, and is aware, when she coquettes with them,
what she is exposing herself to. A young girl would never even think
of it. But, in England, men are not so inflammable, and in flirting, a
woman does not play with fire. Witness the following little scene,
which gave me a quarter of an hour's diversion, at a conversazione
given by one of the great learned societies of London.

A young girl, lovely as an Englishwoman knows how to be lovely, when
she sets about it, stood in the corner of one of the rooms talking
with a young fellow of eighteen or twenty.

You should have seen with what a mischievous delight this little
angel, or rather this little demon, tortured the young booby, who
appeared to me not to know what to do with himself, or which way to
look, to escape the sight of a lovely and freely displayed _corsage_,
that rose and fell, a few inches from his nose. "Poor dear child!" I
thought to myself, "how oppressed you appear to be!" She seemed to be
doing her utmost to sigh her life away; and what amused me most, was
that, when the poor fellow appeared to have taken the firm resolution
not to be tempted, his pretty torturer stopped her chatter, and set to
work to fasten, with many careful and delicate touches, a rose that
threatened, at one moment to escape, at the next to be swallowed in
the heavy sea.

This little performance certainly lasted a quarter of an hour, and
really I pitied from the bottom of my heart this poor Tantalus--if one
may call Tantalus a young innocent who did not attempt to get
nearer--when, to my great satisfaction, I saw him beat a retreat. I
felt relieved. So did the poor fellow, I am sure.

A young Frenchman would soon have put an end to such a game by taking
some liberty that the young girl, after all, would have only too
richly deserved.

Sweethearting is a very different thing: we come now to love-making
taken _au sérieux_. Sweethearts are two young people who have
confessed their love to each other and have become mutually affianced,
with or without the consent of their parents. This English word has an
old-fashioned flavour about it. It corresponds very much to our _bon
ami_ and _bonne amie_. In speaking of the intended husband of a lady
of good society, you would now rather use the word _lover_.

Sweethearting could hardly exist in France, where the most firmly
betrothed lovers scarcely ever have a chance of renewing their vows
of love, except in the presence of a future mother-in-law. In England,
sweethearting means to make love openly; to take one's choice about,
to friends' houses, to concerts, to the theatre, to parties, for
sentimental walks more or less solitary; to be allowed a thousand
charming little liberties; it means, in a word, to play the comedy of
love. Of course, accidents will happen, it is inevitable: carried away
by the success of the play, the best actors may forget themselves. But
it is far from being the rule: it is even a very rare exception,
especially in the educated classes.

It is a curious spectacle, in a country where reserve, prudery, and
propriety are carried to a point of uncomfortableness, to observe the
couples of lovers walking about in the evening, holding each other by
the hand, by the waist, around the neck, and, in rather deserted
streets, forming regular processions. I am not speaking of the better
classes, of course; but still I speak of the lower middle class--of
clerks, shopmen, and shopgirls, very well dressed, and for the most
part very respectable. These couples go "sober, sober," like the "poor
man" in the nursery rhyme, and, with their eyes bent languishingly on
each other, appear to find very little to say with their lips. When
you pass and look at them, they seem to say to you: "You have been
through it yourself, old fellow, haven't you? You know all about it:
there's no need to mind you."

The seats in the parks and public promenades are occupied all the
evening long by such couples. These seats are made to hold three
persons, but, with a little management, they will accommodate six. The
occupants are there by the hour together, each couple taking no notice
of the others, but clasped in a silent embrace, motionless and
rapturous. I have always admired these stoical young Englishmen who
can thus undergo, for hours, this voluptuous treatment without any
inconvenience.

One evening, in the month of March of last year, I crossed Hyde Park
to get to the Marble Arch from Piccadilly. As I saw those couples
reposing at their ease on the grass, and not attempting to disturb
themselves for such a trifle as a man passing, I thought to myself, "O
free England! to what lengths, after all, will thy love of liberty
carry thee!"

As I was waiting at the Arch for my omnibus, a fine, good-humoured
looking policeman was pacing up and down. I went up to him, and began
by asking him if there would soon be a Bayswater omnibus passing.
Seeing him disposed to be chatty, I said to him, "They seem to make
themselves at home in the park, those lovers! They don't budge for
anybody."

"No, sir; no, not they," he replied naïvely; "no fear!" _Où il y a de
la gêne il n'y a pas de plaisir._

The policeman was evidently there at the entrance of the park to
protect the sweethearts, and prevent anybody from disturbing them. I
had always wondered why policemen were stationed outside the London
parks, and never entered them after dusk. I understand at last: one
does not take in everything at a glance.



II.

Declarations of love--Kisses--Disobliging Britons.


I never much admired our manner of making love declarations in France.
We go down on our knees, in our nineteenth-century costume, at the
feet of a woman whom we allow from her superior height to contemplate
us in all our servility. With her sweet, downcast eyes, this little
demon of observation takes an inventory of our slightest blemishes: of
our hair, that is not so luxuriant as it was; of our rounded upturned
eyes, that appear to be all whites; of a small wart, that we fondly
fancied no one noticed; of our dignity, that we have abdicated in
going on our knees, to implore favours that we are destined to pay
enough for, Heaven knows, and which, after all, mean promotion for her
who grants them; for I maintain that a woman who marries is promoted
over her sisters. Well I say it plainly, our part in this little
scene is a supremely ridiculous one. If you are not of the same
opinion, gentlemen, put the following question to yourselves: Should I
ever think of being photographed in such a position? I await your
reply.

They manage these things differently in England. The favourite seat of
young girls at home is a low chair, an ottoman, or very often a simple
footstool. How often have I seen pretty daughters of Albion, and that
in the best society, sitting Turkish fashion on the rug in front of
the fire, on winter evenings, caressing one another, or listening,
while some interesting novel was read aloud! These little scenes, full
of charm, have often suggested to me sweet pictures of domestic
happiness, in which each one plays the part that, according to my
ideas, is most befitting.

Seated comfortably at your ease, you have near you, but a little lower
than yourself, the beloved object of your dreams, or better still, the
dear companion of your daily life; in whose ear, without dislocating
your vertebræ, you can murmur sweet words of love. All your defects,
if defects you have--and be sure of it, you are not without some--are
out of the range of her eyesight. Over you, in perfumed waves, spread
her beautiful tresses that you caress, knot, unknot, and never tire of
playing with. With the eyes of a lover, and at the same time a
protector, you admire the graceful contour of her form, that vibrates
with pleasure at the sound of your voice, and her eyes that seem to
implore your protection and thank you for the cloudless life you map
out for her. Thus seated, you might even, without fear of annoying
her, smoke your cigar while you hold sweet converse, and build your
castles in Spain. I say, without fear of annoying her, for your wife
will certainly allow you to smoke, if she is not a simpleton.

"Your husband in love savours somewhat of the pacha," some emancipated
lady will perhaps exclaim.

Not in the least. We are not speaking of a master and his slave, but
merely putting in their proper places the possessor and the possessed:
the one who will have the battle of life to fight, and the one who
will fit him for it, who will encourage him by her tenderness and
love, rejoice with him in his joys, and cheer him in time of
adversity: "a state not of slavery, but of exalted duty."

Ah! Madam, how I am filled with admiration for you, when, meeting your
husband, I hear him say to me: "Excuse me, my dear boy, if I leave you
so quickly, but I am in a hurry to get home; my wife is expecting me!"
I know so many husbands who are in no hurry to go home, and for good
reason.

The kiss on the lips is almost the only one practised in England.

Do not imagine, however, that this pleasant little pastime can be
indulged in as freely as you might desire. No, here as elsewhere, the
same difficulty presents itself: the people that you may kiss are
those that belong to you; the people whose lips you are forbidden to
approach, are those that belong to that stern Cerberus that the French
call _Autrui_.

I would willingly initiate you further, dear inquisitive lady reader,
into those little scenes of intimacy, always so interesting, no matter
whether they pass amid English fogs or beneath Italy's pure sky; but,
you see, in all the houses where I have had the honour of being
invited, I have watched and observed in vain; I have scarcely seen
anything worth noting down. Those provoking Britons always waited
until I had left the house to proceed to business.



III.

Love in Marriage--Mrs. John Bull's bedroom--As you make your bed, so
you must lie on it--Young People, English and French--How it may
sometimes be an economy to take your Wife with you when you travel on
the Continent.


John Bull owes his success in this world--and perhaps in the next
also--to his indifference towards woman, an indifference that he is
fortunate enough to owe to his peculiar organisation and the uniform
temperature of his blood, and which not only enables him to keep a
cool head before the charms of the fair sex, but also to maintain them
in a complete state of submission.

The submission of woman to man is the basis of every solid social
system.

In John's eyes, woman is almost a necessary evil; a wife a partner of
the firm; love-making a little _corvée_ more or less disagreeable.

The Englishman is unquestionably well fitted for making colonies, but
badly formed for making love: he has no _abandon_ about him, cannot
forget himself, and passes his life in standing sentinel at the door
of his dignity. It requires more skill to make love than to lead
armies, said Ninon de Lenclos, who was an authority.

Go to the theatre and you will hear the young lover declare himself to
his lady-love in about the same tone as we should use at table in
asking our neighbour, "May I trouble you for the mustard?"

This "I love you" may be sincere, and is, I doubt not; but it
certainly can never have the power of our "_Je t'aime_." The English
language, in avoiding the second person singular, avoids familiarity.
Here a man says _you_ alike to his mistress and his bootmaker. Who
among us does not still feel a thrill of emotion and pleasure as he
thinks of the moment when, for the first time, he grew bold enough to
change _vous_ into _toi_? Where is the woman whose pulses did not
quicken with love at the sound of those words, _Si tu savais comme je
t'aime_, breathed low in her ear by her accepted lover. It is true
that in our high society a man uses _vous_ in speaking to his wife,
but if he loves her, _vous_ is only for the gallery: there are times
when _toi_ is indispensable.

After all, perhaps _you_ sits better on an Englishman, with his
respect for his wife: a respect of which she must be a little inclined
to complain occasionally.

Only go and see John Bull's house, and once more, let me repeat that
by John Bull I always mean the middle-class Englishman, with an income
of from two to five hundred a year. You will find it all very
comfortable: drawing-room, dining-room, library, breakfast-room. But
the bedroom!

Ah! the bedroom! You see at a glance that you are not in the temple of
love, but in a refuge for sleep and repose.

Of all the rooms in an English house, the bedroom is the least
attractive looking, the one that has had the least care and money
spent upon it: it always looks to me like a servant's room. No little
cosy arm-chairs; no pretty furniture; no ornament. Few or no
curtains.[1] You look in vain for a boudoir, that green-room of the
little elf-god. No: six straight-backed fragile-looking cane chairs;
an iron or brass bedstead; a dressing-table in front of the window; a
chest of drawers; a washstand, and a sponge-bath.

    [1] Many Englishmen are of opinion that curtains make a bedroom
    unhealthy. Health is the first thing to be considered.

Nothing more. What! my dear Mrs. Bull, not even a screen! Is John no
longer a man in your eyes?

Better still. Would you believe that in very good houses, I have seen,
and very plainly too ... yes, positively, I have seen _it_ on the
floor under the washstand?... I have often noticed by the side of the
English bed, a little piece of furniture, resembling a music-box in
shape, which I think does not add much poetical charm to the couch of
Mr. and Mrs. John Bull.

Such is the temple in which the Englishman sacrifices to Venus.

You have probably heard it said, dear reader, that a stranger never
penetrates into the bedroom in England. That is true, and may easily
be understood. However, should you call on an Englishman and be
persuaded to prolong your visit a little, after some time he will be
sure to ask you if you would not like to go upstairs and wash your
hands. It is the formula.

When I say that the bedroom is quite devoid of ornaments, I exaggerate
a little: the walls are adorned with illuminated texts from the Bible,
hung by means of ribbons. They are texts chosen for their
suitableness. "Thou God seest me," ... etc. The best was one that I
saw thus posted up at the head of an English bed: "Watch and pray,
lest ye enter into temptation; for the spirit indeed is willing, but
the flesh is weak."

One more word upon the English bedroom.

In making a bed in England, every covering is not taken off
separately, as it is in France, to be replaced carefully one after the
other, without the slightest crumple. Here the whole is taken off, or
rather turned back, over the foot of the bed, the feather bed is
shaken, and the clothes returned to their place as they came.

       *       *       *       *       *

Cold as an Englishwoman, has said Alfred de Musset. And as the
illustrious poet was an authority on women, we still say in France:
_froide comme une Anglaise_. Don't believe a word of it; it is a
calumny. You form your judgment from stiff collarettes that look as if
they had never been crumpled. In my mind, one of the Englishman's
greatest faults is his not appreciating at their proper worth such
sweet charming women, all the more attractive for their little air of
propriety and prudishness.

The finest Stradivarius would give forth but sorry sounds in the hands
of an ignoramus. How can you expect women to look very lively when
they have to pass the first fifteen years of their married life
_enceintes_ or _en couches_, suckling all the little John Bulls
destined one day to introduce cold beef and pickles in the four
corners of the Globe?

       *       *       *       *       *

When a Frenchwoman gets married, her good time begins; when an
Englishwoman gets married, her good time is over. Within a year her
case is settled: _comme mars en carême_. Thanks to the liberty that is
allowed to young couples, there may be a little mistake in arithmetic
made occasionally. As I do not wish to seem to calumniate for the
pleasure of calumniating, I must hasten to add that it is a very rare
thing to hear of an Englishman breaking faith where his attentions
have been too successful.

French men and English women generally live very happily together in
matrimony, often quite like lovers.

On the contrary, English men and French women seem to lead dull and
wretched lives. Of course, I am speaking of those that I know; I do
not wish to generalise, it would be absurd; and yet it seems to me one
might say that there were never two beings who appeared to be less
suited for each other; as well try to marry the day and the night.

Far be it from me to think of contesting the virtue of Englishwomen.
Women are born virtuous all the world over: this is one of the firm
convictions that I delight in holding. Is it simplicity or innocence
on my part? I do not think so.

Only, I would remark that the virtue of an Englishwoman runs less risk
in a country where young men are by temperament less enterprising, by
education more reserved, and by natural awkwardness more shy with
women than in Continental countries.

I do not say this in order to be critical, quite the contrary; and as,
in making these observations, my intention is not either to please the
French or to court the English, but simply to write conscientiously
what I think and what I see, I will hasten to add, that I greatly
prefer the young Englishman of twenty, shy, awkward, and childish as
he may appear to our school heroes, with his cricket and his football,
to the young Frenchman of the same age, who runs down women, and looks
at them with a bold and patronising air, as he twirls his moustache.

The young English girl knows more of life than the young French girl;
she may be as pure, but she is less innocent, less intact, and
consequently knows better how to take care of herself. A young married
woman will sometimes have a young sister not out of her teens, to stay
with her, during her confinement. Such a thing would never be done in
France. I do not say who is right; I merely draw attention to the
facts.

Unless a married woman courts danger, she runs no risk, surrounded as
she is by her children. All these things are so many safeguards for
the Englishwoman of the middle classes. I say _middle classes_; for,
if one may believe the reports of divorce cases published in the
newspapers, it is evident that the English upper classes cannot cast
the stone at their Continental neighbours.

As for the lower orders, I have resolved to speak of them as little as
possible in this volume. The subject is as repulsive as it is stale.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our worthy friend John Bull would doubtless like to have his virtue
discoursed upon at length. He prides himself upon it not a little; he
likes it talked about.

Yet one would be almost tempted to believe that he leaves all his
superfluous stock of that commodity in the cloak-rooms at Dover and
Folkestone, before embarking on board the boats of the South-Eastern
Railway Company. Good heavens! But what an emancipated look he has in
Paris! What a metamorphosis! How the corners of his mouth go up! How
he throws his insular reserve overboard! Why, this can never be John!
Somebody must have substituted an inferior article; he does not look
half so good. And when he returns home to his island, what endless
tales he has to tell about the immorality of Paris and Brussels!
Shocking! Dreadful!

Funny constitution! When he has had his little round of a fortnight on
the Continent, he seems to resume his quiet, godly habits for the rest
of the year. How he must have improved each shining hour!

       *       *       *       *       *

The virtue of an Englishman is bounded on the south by the English
Channel; on the west by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the North
Sea.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Why do you employ so many Germans in your offices?" I asked one day
of a great City man.

----"Because they speak several languages," he replied.

----"But could you not find Englishmen who have lived abroad, that
would do as well?"

----"I could find plenty, no doubt; but I should have no confidence in
their steadiness. You must not lose sight of an Englishman."

----"You don't mean it!" I cried. "Is that the opinion you have of
your countrymen?"

----"I don't believe in the virtue of an Englishman on the
Continent," he replied seriously.

----"What! You would not trust a...."

----"I would trust nobody."

----"Not even a bishop?"

----"Not even a bishop."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Things are dreadfully dear in France; one spends no end of money in
Paris," said another Briton to me one day.

----"Do you think so?" I replied. "When I am in Paris, and am staying
at an hotel, I spend but about twenty-five francs a day, and I live
like a prince."

----"Frightfully dear! I tell you."

----"And you talk of going again next month?"

----"Yes, but I shall have my wife with me."

----"What! you will take your wife! You will spend double as much
then...."

----"Not at all, I...."

My islander checked himself; he felt he had gone a little too far, and
a deep blush spread over his countenance.

"Oh! I beg your pardon," I cried; "of course you are quite right.... I
was not thinking."

Was I not a simpleton?



IV.

The Marriage Ceremony in England--Civil Marriages--Elopements--Marriage
in Scotland--Show your Credentials--One word more about the _dot_.


Marrying one of John Bull's daughters is not all honey.

One cannot help wondering how it comes to pass that the English, who
for centuries have been reforming their religion in every sense
imaginable, have never yet turned their attention to making the
language of the Church as choice and euphemistic as is the language of
good society. The Protestant Church alone seems to have retained the
sole privilege of calling a spade a spade, or something worse still.

At the ordinary services, it does not so much matter. The clergyman is
at a certain distance from the congregation, and when he reads you,
from the Bible, a story that makes you tremble for fear of what he
will read next, you can comfort yourself with the idea that the
charming young lady at your side has perhaps not been listening.
Besides, that which is addressed to everybody is addressed to nobody;
witness, the effect upon Christians of all the sermons that have been
preached to them for nearly two thousand years.

But when it comes to going through the marriage ceremony in church, it
is quite another matter.

You are standing beside your bride, and close to the clergyman who is
facing you. Six or eight bridesmaids, sometimes young girls twelve or
fifteen years old, are grouped behind the bride. Breaking the profound
silence, the minister thus addresses you, not in Latin, but in plain
English: "Dearly beloved brethren, we are gathered together here in
the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join
together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; which is an
honourable estate ... not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand
unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and
appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but
reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God;
duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained." And
then he goes on to say that it was ordained for the procreation of
children, for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication, that
such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry and keep
themselves undefiled members of Christ's body.

That is how the ball opens. It is promising, is it not? You would give
the world to sink through the floor, or to be able to seize your dear
little wife, and fill her ears with cotton wool. You blush, as you
think of the sweet creatures in white, blue, and pink, who are just
behind you biting their lips, and wondering what those brute beasts,
that have no understanding, have to do with the ceremony, and you feel
ready to fall on your knees and implore the forgiveness of the
innocent young girl at your side, for having brought her there to hear
such things. And that which strikes you with wonder, nay, with
amazement, is that just after, when the minister says to her, "Wilt
thou have this man to thy wedded husband ... wilt thou obey him, and
serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health?" she
does not indignantly exclaim:

"No, indeed, not for the world!"

Thus have the English, in their rigid puritanism, managed to spoil a
ceremony that might, and ought, to remain engraven on the memory among
life's sweetest souvenirs.

And yet, what beautiful words might be said to young couples, and
that, without going out of the Bible for them: the Bible, that finest
monument of English prose, so poetical at times, so grand, yet so
melodious always! Never was woman painted in colours so poetical;
never were her duties traced with such a masterly hand as by the
famous King of the Hebrews; and one might extract from the Proverbs
and the Song of Solomon a most charming lecture to be addressed to
young couples presenting themselves at the altar.

The language of the English Bible is incomparably superior to that of
the Bible in any other idiom. It is like music, like trumpet blasts.
With the exception of the finest passages of Bossuet, I know nothing,
even in our splendid prose, that could be compared with this great
national epic.

The foregoing remarks on the Bible will perhaps give pleasure to the
English; not that I wrote them with any such intention: it is simply
the exact truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

Plenty of people in England do without the religious ceremony. They
are not free-thinkers, for that; they are merely worthy people quite
orthodox, but who prefer the civil marriage as being more simple.

They present themselves at the registrar's office. No need to produce
any papers: the bridegroom gives his name and surname, as well as
those of the young girl he means to marry; the couple declare their
ages, in the presence of two witnesses, and state whether they are
spinster and bachelor, or whether either or both have been through the
ceremony of marriage before. The registrar's book is signed, and there
is an end of the matter. By means of a licence, that may be obtained
at Doctors' Commons for the sum of two guineas, the trouble of having
one's banns published may be avoided.

It is scarcely necessary to add that, when the parents give consent to
the marriage of their children, the ceremony generally takes place in
church; but the registrar is a great resource, when the parents are so
cruel as to stand in the way of the young folks' happiness.

       *       *       *       *       *

Elopements are very common in England. Do not imagine, however, for an
instant, that an elopement means anything very romantic. No signal or
rope ladder at midnight; no carriage with two swift steeds waiting at
the corner of the next street; no masked postillions, such as one is
accustomed to at the Ambigu Theatre. Nothing of the kind. As I said in
"John Bull and his Island," "A young girl goes out one fine morning to
post a letter, and, on her return, informs her parents that she is
married." Only; of course, it sometimes happens that she does _not_
return.

In the appendix will be found the account of a case that has recently
been tried in Dublin.[2] The prisoner, aged forty-two, had been
through the ceremony of marriage five times.

    [2] See Appendix (a).

But for marriage made easy, Scotland is the place. There civil
marriage, religious marriage, all is unnecessary. You gather together
your parents and friends, present to them the young girl to whom you
are engaged, and tell them: "This is the wife I have chosen." The
matter is settled: you are married.

If I may believe certain Scotch novels, this presentation even may be
dispensed with. It is sufficient for the young people to say to each
other: "I take you for my wife;" "I accept you as my husband," in
order to be able to consider themselves well and duly married. "A
wedding is all very well," Sandy will tell you, "but for real fun and
enjoyment, give me a good funeral."

I do not speak of these Scotch weddings with the least intention of
laughing at them. I think those primitive customs simply admirable.
Laws, contracts, and other impediments of all kinds are only made for
rogues.

Compare this charming manner of getting married with the bothers and
hindrances without end arising from the necessity for producing the
papers exacted by the French bureaucracy, both religious and civil:
certificates of birth, certificates of baptism, certificates of the
death of parents you may have lost, written consent of parents who are
unable to be present, _billets de confession_, and I know not what
besides; until you wonder Red Tape does not demand your own
certificate of existence. It would seem as though the marriage
formalities in France had been invented with the express idea of
making young people shun matrimony.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dress coats are not worn at weddings in England; they are only used
for evening wear, and are called evening coats. The bridegroom, his
best man, and the other gentlemen, are in frock coats. The dresses of
the bride and bridesmaids are similar to those worn in France on such
occasions.

The bride is led to the altar by her father. When the clergyman says:
"Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?" the father
advances, and replies: "I do." The dear man always appears to me
radiant on these occasions; with happy heart and beaming countenance
he answers: "I do." It is true he gives his daughter, but as that is
generally all he gives, it is a clear profit for him: one mouth less
to fill.

A suitor never thinks of asking for a _dot_ with his bride, as I have
said elsewhere. I even added: "Girls of the middle class in England
have no _dot_; or when they have, it is the exception, and not the
rule." This assertion brought down upon me a plethora of
recriminations. "What, Sir," wrote the indignant British parents, "we
give no _dots_ to our daughters! But, begging your pardon, we do so
when we have the means."

All I can say is that the exceptions may be a little more frequent
than I thought, although I doubt it; and whichever way the case may
stand, I know personally a great number of Englishmen very well off,
rich even, who have led their daughters to the altar, dowered them
with a few chemises and handkerchiefs, and ... wished them good luck.

The young couple manage as best they may.



V.

After the Ball--My Wife makes me a little Confidence (from the Diary
of a Frenchman married to an Englishwoman).


I am not jealous; yet, every time I reach home after a ball, I
experience a certain feeling of relief and satisfaction: I cannot help
it.

When you have seen your wife whirled round a room, in the arms of a
score of men, who have plunged their eyes in her _corsage_, inhaled
the perfume of her hair, held her waist and hand, felt her near them
at the distance of a hair's breadth, you are happy to find yourself
once more alone with her, and to feel that, after all, she is your
very own. Besides, there is another sentiment that animates you. The
dance has made your little wife radiant; it has brought a new glow to
her cheeks; her eyes are brighter; her whole being seems to exhale I
know not what intoxicating perfume; she is lovelier than ever in your
eyes; and those thousand little jealous ideas that have been passing
through your head have added fuel to the flame of your love ... in
short, I know nothing more pleasant, more delightful, than to return
from a ball with one's wife, to a cosy fire-side, to thrust her little
feet into her satin slippers, to pull off her gloves, and ask her for
a cup of tea.

We had had a little room arranged quite expressly for these
_tête-à-tête_. We called it the _reposoir_. We only used it on
returning from the play or a ball. What long confabulations we have
had in it! What delicious little chats its walls have heard! And,
thank Heaven, they often hear them still: I do not see why I should
not put all my verbs in the present tense.

This sanctum is about the size of a nutshell: there is just room for
two. The furniture consists of a table, a sofa, two inviting-looking
arm-chairs, and a Pleyel piano of the sweetest tone. A Turkey carpet
covers the floor, and two lamps with blue tulip-shaped globes throw a
soft, most exquisite light over the room. When the curtains are drawn,
we can imagine ourselves alone in the world.

My wife has more than once confessed to me that, to her, the greatest
pleasure about going to a ball or a theatre, was the thought of the
little _reposoir_ all ready to receive us on our return, and she never
forgot to give strict orders with regard to it before setting out.

I have more than once, at a party, caught her throwing me little
glances that seemed to say: "Have patience, darling; Parker is just
lighting us a lovely little fire; in a few moments we shall be all
alone, and I will soon drive that frown from your brow."

       *       *       *       *       *

One evening we came home and went to the _reposoir_ as usual, my wife
radiant and lovely enough to turn the head of a hermit, I a little
sulky. I took off her pelisse, laid it carefully on the sofa, and
threw myself dreamily into one of the chairs. My wife took possession
of the other, gave me a wicked little glance, and unceremoniously
burst out laughing in my face.

"I am sure you are jealous. Don't tell me you are not," she added,
placing five glowing perfumed fingers on my lips.

----"Well, yes, I am; it was not nice of you to waltz with that great
fop of a...."

----"Now don't talk about that; I was punished enough for it. I never
saw such an awkward fellow."

----"It served you right."

----"Come, don't scold me. I had it in my head--I don't know
why--that it was to be a polka. You know very well that I don't care
to waltz with anybody but you. First of all, because you waltz
beautifully, and then, with you there is no danger."

----"There is no danger? What do you mean?"

----"Did I say that?"

----"You did."

----"Oh! I don't know what I say. Yes, as I was remarking, you waltz
beautifully ... only...."

----"Only...."

----"Only you go too fast."

----"Too fast! How can that be? The waltz should be rapid, giddy."

----"Oh! you silly! Ahem! I mean to say, you are wrong."

----"Explain yourself, sweet one."

----"Well then, I mean that I like a waltz to be slow, dreamy, sad,
almost dying away; I should like them composed entirely of the kind of
airs they generally begin with--slow and solemn."

----"What!" I exclaimed, "you don't like the intoxicating kind of
waltz?"

----"You know nothing about it," replied she cunningly.

----"I tell you I am an inveterate waltzer."

----"That proves nothing at all."

----"I tell you a waltz should be an intoxicating whirl."

----"Just at the end, perhaps; though I am not so sure of that either.
Listen, I'll show you the kind of movement I like."

And, seating herself at the piano, my wife began to play a few bars of
the _Colonel_ waltz.

"That is a waltz," she said, seating herself on my knees, and laying
her head upon my shoulder.

----"Indeed!" I replied, growing reflective. "I say, darling, if you
don't mind--I don't know why I ask you that again, but more than ever
... I had rather you waltzed with no one but me."

----"Oh! you need not ask me; and if that poor fellow had not set
about it so awkwardly, I should very soon have thanked him and excused
myself.... Just time enough to perceive that it was a waltz: and that
would have settled it, you may be sure."

----"I don't follow you at all."

----"It is so lovely to waltz with you! You are not afraid to hold me
firmly, and besides ... when I get giddy, I just lay my head on your
shoulder and close my eyes, and then I feel quite safe."

----"It's a curious thing. The waltz makes me a little giddy too, but
still I...."

----"Well, you are not like me."

----"Does it make your head swim?"

----"What a dear old goosey you are!"

----"Not such a goose as I look.... Once more, what on earth is the
effect that the waltz does produce upon you?"

----"I ... do not know."

----"Try to find out."

And as I foresaw that my wife was about to make me a little
confidence, and my wife's confidences have always deeply interested
me, I turned down the lamps, made her turn her back to the light, and
applied an attentive ear to her pretty mouth.

"Now, come," I said to her; "do tell me."

----"I am sure, I don't know."

----"Oh yes, you do."

----"It's only nonsense...."

----"All the more reason why you should say it out. Go on, my own
darling: there is nothing so dangerous as nonsense turned inwards."

----"Little shivers ... ever so small ... you know.... Don't kiss me
in the neck: you'll make me shriek...."

----"Little _frissons_!... Where?"

----"All over...."

----"Humph! I begin to understand the danger you were speaking of just
now.... Now, darling, explain yourself more clearly, you know; I have
not got it yet."

----"I adore you!" she said rising, and, taking my head in her two
hands, she kissed me tenderly.

We took a delicious cup of tea together, and it was agreed that in
future my wife should only waltz with me.

It would appear that, when I waltz, I do not set about it too
awkwardly. At any rate, it is the conclusion that I drew from our
resolution.



VI.

The Beauty of Englishwomen--Their Dress--Their Hair--Advice to French
Ladies--Hyde Park--Interior of English Theatres--O Routine! such is
thy handiwork.


The French women are more graceful and more piquant than the English;
but they are less healthy and less fresh-looking. Their eyes are
brighter, their mouths much prettier, and their figures a great deal
finer; but their complexion is not so clear, nor nearly so fine.

Regular walks and baths are the secret of the health and beauty of the
English woman. She fears neither draught nor douche. She sleeps with
her window open, and, on rising, inundates herself with cold water. In
winter weather, the least hardy wrings a hard towel in water, and rubs
herself with it from head to foot to promote the circulation of the
blood, till her skin shrieks for mercy. The appetite thus awakened,
she descends, fresh and vigorous, to breakfast heartily on eggs and
cold meat, and then sets out for the lawn-tennis ground, or goes about
her daily task.

It is in the fields, or on the lawns of their gardens; always in open
air, that most Englishwomen pass six months of the year.

       *       *       *       *       *

The neck is very freely displayed in England by ladies in evening
dress; less so, however, than formerly, I am told. It would seem as
if, starting from the head downwards, an Englishwoman did not mind how
much she uncovered herself: provided she does not show her feet, she
is happy. When the streets are muddy--and Heaven knows what black,
dirty mud we have in London--you will never see the women lift their
skirts as they walk; they seem by instinct to prefer getting them
muddy to the waist. Consequently, the gentleman who follows a neat
pair of ankles in Paris is never seen in London.

The Englishwoman's skin is generally fine, and beautifully white and
smooth; satin and alabaster; a neck like the swan's. The shoulders and
hips are frequently too narrow; and, unfortunately, the bosom is too
often a _quantité négligeable_ in the enumeration of an Englishwoman's
charms. But when there is something to display, good heavens, how
proud they are of it! They carry it like church banners.

The first thing that strikes one in Paris on arriving from England is
the embonpoint of the women. By the powers! they seem to be having a
good time under the Republic. What development! What exuberance!
Ladies, it is really alarming: a little moderation, pray, or you will
soon have to throw your corsets over the hedge.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Englishwoman walks on the flat foot, and lets her arms hang; the
Frenchwoman puts her toes to the ground first, and her arms are folded
in front of her: it is more graceful, but not so comfortable. The last
time I visited Paris, I saw with pleasure that the high, pointed
heels, that were stuck in the centre of the sole, had begun to give
place to the English heels: this is a great progress.

And, _mesdames_, since you are beginning to imitate what is sensible
in the English _toilette_, allow me to give you a piece of advice that
your husbands will be very pleased to see you follow.

It is you who have the honour of setting the fashion to the civilized
world. You wear your clothes so gracefully, and you are so charming,
that even a frying-pan would look pretty on your heads. But I object
to your hats and bonnets. Yes, those _tyroliens_, loaded with
feathers, aigrettes, pompons, birds, fruit, and what not, are very
dear and exceedingly ugly. You seek too much to attract to your hats
that attention which should be bestowed entirely on your matchless
eyes.

The wife of a clerk in Paris with about a hundred and fifty pounds
a-year, will tell you that it is impossible to get a decent bonnet for
less than forty or fifty francs. What folly! I know perfect ladies in
England, who, for about five or ten shillings, make their own, and
charming bonnets they are: simple, quiet, and most stylish. In
England, only dealers in cast-off clothing would think of getting
themselves up in those gigantic constructions, covered with currants,
cherries--when shall we have the pumpkin?--that I noticed in the
windows of the grand bonnet shops in Paris.

Come, _mesdames_, turn over a new leaf. Let me recommend you, for
instance, the little "Princess" bonnet, so called because of the
partiality shown for it by the Princess of Wales. It is a simple
little form, made of straw, framed in velvet, that is not perched on
the top of the head, but encases it, just leaving a small chignon
visible at the back. How pretty women look in it! I would recommend
also the Peg Woffington hat, which completely frames the face. Every
picture needs a frame to throw up its beauty, as even a child in art
knows. How else explain why the nun's head-dress, the hood, the
turban, and the mantilla are so becoming to all young women?

Try these _coiffures_, ladies, and I assure you that you will find
them charming. Real distinction consists in simplicity, as you know
very well, and you are quite pretty enough to be able to do without
those absurd piles of head gear, that do not suit you at all, and that
must seriously interfere with your husbands' peace of mind. Do not
wait until your milliners introduce the reform. It is to their
interest to persuade you that the more furbelows you put on, the
prettier you look. Take the matter into your own hands: put on a
little Princess bonnet next Easter, and all the nymphs of the Bois de
Boulogne will drive to their milliners, and order one of the same
pattern, on their way home from the Avenue des Acacias.

       *       *       *       *       *

Englishwomen wear their hair very simply dressed, even at balls. I
admire that. To my taste, those locks, a little curly and rough on the
top of the head, and coiled into a knot at the back of the neck, are
much prettier than the complicated monuments that are the production
of some fashionable hairdresser's brain, and need a hundred hair pins
to keep them together. These edifices that have taken hours to build,
seem to awaken no idea in the mind, unless it be the idea of the
length of time it would take to undo them, and the danger of touching
them, lest the symmetry should be spoiled. On the contrary, those
loosely twisted knots suggest a thousand charming ideas to the mind.
Everything about a woman should be suggestive. You fancy you are going
to see two pretty round arms uplifted to fasten the swaying tresses.
And that is the prettiest movement of a woman, much the prettiest, you
will admit. Besides this, the unfastening is but the work of an
instant, and "_o'er a neck's rose-misted marble_" flows a mantle of
gold or ebony. Yes, decidedly the English way of doing the hair
suggests many pretty thoughts.

Love feeds on suggestion: I had almost said on illusion. The greatest
charm about a woman's dress lies less in what it displays than in what
it only hints at. As an illustration, take the success of a dress that
was a great favourite in England two years ago. It was fastened at the
neck; but, lower down, it yawned open, as if burst through the
pressure of _abondance de biens_, showing little, but leaving much to
be guessed at. It was provoking and exceedingly piquant. Besides--let
us say here all we think--this kind of bodice allowed a little
cheating, and the dissimulation of a small salt-cellar here and
there, which naturally made it very popular in England.

It is all very well for the fair sex to tell us that it is out of pure
vanity they delight in dressing prettily. I do not believe a word of
it. I should not dare to affirm that they did not take a secret
delight in eclipsing or crushing a rival, but I am infatuated enough
to believe that it is principally to please us that they study to look
lovely. It seems to me then, that we ought to have a voice in the
matter, a consultative if not a deliberative voice, and to be allowed
to tell them the kind of attire that pleases us most.

The more so, fair ladies, that it is one of our privileges to pay the
milliner's bills.

       *       *       *       *       *

Just as glaring and showy as are the colours the lower class women
array themselves in, just so quiet and simple are those worn in the
street by ladies.

The dresses you see in the carriages, in Hyde Park, are noticeable for
their sober tints and a studied, almost Puritan, simplicity.

There is something to the credit of Englishmen, which may aptly be
added here, and that is, that, with the exception of the old or
infirm, very few gentlemen accompany the ladies in the carriages: they
are on horseback. You will see no young idlers of the order of St.
Dandy and St. Dangler lolling among cushions, taking their solitary
drive in Hyde Park to while away an hour or two. It would be going a
little too far to say that in England every man works, although it
would be very near to the truth; but what is perfectly sure is that
they all have some occupation.

All display of toilette is reserved for the evening: for balls,
theatres, and dinners.

The auditorium of a London theatre presents a very much more brilliant
appearance than that of a Parisian one. It is an exceedingly pretty
sight to see all the boxes, stalls, and dress circle full of gaily
dressed ladies; in fact, if you except the Opera and two or three such
houses as the Lyceum, the Haymarket, and the St. James's, it is, in my
opinion, about the only thing there is interesting for a Frenchman to
see in a London theatre, even though he may understand English well.
Evening dress is not optional, it is compulsory; unless you are bound
for the upper regions of the house, the attendants, before showing you
to your place, conduct the ladies who may accompany you, to the
cloak-room, where hats and bonnets are left.

Of course, most ladies drive to the theatre in evening dress, and have
no hat to remove.

It is needless to say that in England, where routine is not so
deep-rooted as in France, ladies are admitted to the stalls. And why
should they not be? They are the best seats in the house, and why in
most of our Parisian theatres they are still closed to ladies, is
something that passes my comprehension.

Long ago: about two hundred years back, the pit was not supplied with
seats, and naturally women did not go there. This is why the ground
floor, although now provided with excellent accommodation, is still
interdicted to ladies. It seems too idiotic, but nevertheless, it is
in vain one looks for any other explanation.

Almost three hundred years ago men left off wearing belts. And yet, in
spite of that, on the backs of our coats may still be seen the two
buttons that served for their support--and it is probable we shall see
them there many a year yet.

O Routine! such is thy handiwork.



VII.

The Word and the Thing--Little Essay on the English Language--There
is nothing like a good telescope if you want to see well--Master
Dubius--Puritan Parlance--Salvation Fair--May Meetings and Spring
Cleanings--Are you _Pooty_ Well?--A suitable Menu.


It is the name of a thing that shocks an English woman, not so much
the thing itself.

That which we call a pair of _indispensables_ goes by the name of a
pair of _unmentionables_ over here. If you remark in a room, that the
trousers Mr. So-and-so wears are always irreproachable, you will send
all the ladies behind their fans. If you were to follow up the
subject, you would soon create a veritable panic in the room. But go
to any athletic meeting--to Lord's Cricket Ground, or Lillie
Bridge--there you will see gentlemen who, for all covering, have on
their skin a thin flannel jersey, and drawers of the same, about the
size of a fig leaf; saturated with perspiration, these elementary
articles of the toilette cleave to the form as if their wearers had
come straight out of a bath. Nevertheless, all around the course,
looking, admiring, and applauding, you will see a crowd of the fair
sex, that will convince you that an Englishwoman's eyes are not so
easily shocked as her ears.

In the room that contains the Elgin marbles, at the British Museum, I
have seen young girls shading Apollos, whose nakedness was
distressing. The glance of the passer-by did not disconcert them; with
a firm hand, they continued their work unmoved. I have more than once
run away blushing from those faithful reproductions.

Some English girls make studies from the nude figure, under the
guidance of a male professor. I must add, however, in order to be
just, that this latter does not make his observations directly to his
pupils: the young ladies retire to another room, while the master
writes on the margin of their drawings the remarks that their work
suggests to him. I am told that Sir Frederick Leighton, the celebrated
English painter, interdicts the undraped model to his pupils of the
Royal Academy, of which he is President.

Everyone must still remember the indignation which was aroused among
righteous upper circles by the revelations of the _Daily News_, when
that paper had the courage to make known the atrocities that were
being committed in Bulgaria. The ancient spinsters of philanthropic
England have never forgiven the great organ of the Liberal party for
having dared to enter into those details that froze the whole
civilized world with horror and affright. "To think that I should have
lived until to-day," wrote one of them to a Conservative paper, "to
read such things in a newspaper! Have we lost all sentiment of shame?
Must we women be exposed to see these hideous, revolting accounts in
print? That such things should be is bad enough; but that they should
be described in detail ought not to be allowed."

Thanks to the courage of the lamented Mac Gahan, the valorous
correspondent of the _Daily News_, these atrocities were brought to
light, too late, perhaps, to repair the evil already done, but not too
late to hinder the utter annihilation of a poor nation, which was
trying to shake off a shameful yoke that had weighed it down for four
centuries. Let us hope that, in future, the worthy maiden lady will
not venture to open any other paper than her _Myra's Journal_ and the
_Animal World_.

I find the following anecdote in the _Pall Mall Gazette_:--

"A foreigner well known in English society sends us the following
amusing account of his bathing experiences in England:--

"'I have been much amused by your suggesting to the ladies who object
to bathers in the River Thames the use of their inevitable companion,
the parasol. Let me relate what happened to me last year while a
temporary resident in a quiet seaside place of great renown. I was in
the habit of bathing off a boat, for which purpose I was rowed out a
couple of hundred yards or so from the shore, where I divested myself
of my "many" clothes and donned the "few" generally worn by bathers. I
practised this favourite pursuit of mine unmolested for several days;
but one fine afternoon I indulged in a game of tennis with the vicar
of some parish or other in the neighbourhood, and he gravely "took the
opportunity" to inform me that among his pious flock there were two
venerable old ladies, who--having a house facing the sea and close to
the spot whence I embarked for my daily revelry--were much distressed
in their minds by my proceedings, and, as they had disburdened their
souls to him for consolation, he earnestly begged me to see my way to
relieve the old ladies from their dire grievance. I told him I should
get myself rowed out a hundred yards further from shore, and the good
priest much applauded this resolution which would in his opinion
prevent any further mischief. However, the gods willed it otherwise.
The next day the vicar informed me--not without a suspicion of a smile
on his face--that the two "venerable dames" could still see me quite
plainly ... by means of a "capital binocular."'"

We would rather not attempt to describe the despair of the noble
foreigner.

There is nothing like a good telescope, if you want to see well.

That is evident.

       *       *       *       *       *

The most striking feature of the English language is euphemism: it is
its very genius. So, "to be taken in adultery" is in English law
phraseology, "to be surprised in criminal conversation." Conversation!
Charming, is it not? A cosy talk, a bit of a chat, you know.

If, in France, you must turn your tongue in your mouth seven times
before speaking, in England, you must turn it at least eight. You get
used to it in time.

In France, when something is offered us at table we say: "With
pleasure," or "No, thank you, not any more." "Thank you," alone, is
sufficient, if you wish to refuse. In England, _thank you_, alone,
signifies that you are ready to allow yourself to be helped to
such-and-such a dish, as I once or twice found to my dismay and the
distress of my poor stomach.

However, these are not the usual ways of accepting or refusing. At
the family table, when the master of the house asks you if you will
have a little more of the dish he has before him, if you are still
hungry, you reply: "I think I will." If you are satisfied, you answer:
"I don't think I'll have any more," or, "I would rather not have any
more."

A Frenchman, taking leave of his friends, says: "Well, I must leave
you; so, good-bye," and he shakes hands and goes. An Englishman will
say: "I am afraid I must go." He is _afraid_ it must be late; he
_thinks_ he must leave you; he _fears_ so: anyhow, he is not very
sure; and if you were to ask an Englishman if it is true that his nose
is in the middle of his face, he would reply that he hopes and
presumes it is in the place you mention:

    "Dubius is such a scrupulous good man,
    Yes, you may catch him tripping if you can.
    He would not, with a peremptory tone,
    Assert the nose upon his face his own;
    With hesitation, admirably slow,
    He humbly hopes--presumes--it may be so."

I happened the other day to be travelling, in a first-class carriage,
with half a dozen young people who were going to Hammersmith, to do a
little boating on the Thames. One of the young men was smoking. Up
comes the guard to the carriage door. "You are not in a
smoking-compartment, sir," said he to the young fellow, "and I see
you are smoking."

----"You make a mistake, I am not," promptly replied my smoker, who
had taken his pipe from his mouth at the approach of the guard, and
was holding it out of sight.

He was right: while he was answering the guard, it was his pipe that
was smoking, not he.

In a nation that boasts of its truthfulness, that punishes perjury with
transportation, but which is not more virtuous than its neighbours, it
was necessary to find _avec le ciel des accommodements_, and so white
lies were invented: lies more or less innocent.

How many good Englishmen do I know who would not for the world say,
"My God," but who get over the difficulty by saying _mon Dieu_ or
_mein Gott_, as if the Deity only understood English!

       *       *       *       *       *

But it is the Puritans that you should hear, if you would form an idea
of the genius of the English language. Their phraseology hangs about
their tongues like so much treacle.

It is quite a study apart.

If you would be thoroughly edified, take a walk along the Strand in
the month of May.

There stands in this thoroughfare an immense hall belonging to the
Young Men's Christian Association. This building, which ought to be
called Salvation Hall, is simply named Exeter Hall. It is in this
place that, from the first to the thirty-first of May, the various
angelical, evangelical, and archangelical societies, successively hold
their annual conferences, called May Meetings.

It is Salvation Fair.

To Exeter Hall throng _la gent trotte-menu_ from all parts of the
United Kingdom to do their souls' spring-cleaning.

For a whole month, the air of the Strand is impregnated with an odour
of sanctity ... of which it stands sadly in need, to speak the truth:
it is a spectacle thoroughly English, to see on one side of a
street--the north side of the Strand--edifying groups, unctuous
specimens of the most austere virtue; on the other side, a few yards
off, groups of unfortunate, shameless women, dirty, intoxicated,
daring specimens of the lowest debauch: on the right, hymns; on the
left, obscene songs: on the right, the Bible and the Gospel; on the
left, beer, gin ... and the rest.

In this pious society the note resembles the plumage.

Look at the Puritan, trotting along the Strand, going religiously to
the meeting of his sect. He walks with light, short, jaunty steps, his
head a little on one side. He is dressed in black shiny raiment, and
a wide-brimmed felt hat covers his head: it is the uniform of piety in
England. He wears all the imaginable symbols of English goodness,
including a brand-new piece of blue ribbon in his buttonhole; and he
carries his indispensable umbrella in his hand. The umbrella is the
_fidus Achates_ of every true-born Briton. You will never see one of
them so lost to the sense of propriety as to carry a walking-stick to
these meetings of male and female cherubim.

Does he enter into conversation? he _trusts_ you are pretty well
(pronounced _pooty well_). He will never push his presumption so far
as to imagine that, in this world of trials and sufferings, you can be
quite well. We must not expect too much; we must be content with the
small mercies Providence sends. Does he give you an appointment for
the morrow? "he _hopes_ to have the pleasure of seeing you, if the
Lord will." If you are to meet together to pray, to dine, nay, were it
only to take tea, the invitation invariably bears the proviso, D.V.

This prudent and wise person enters and leaves the tabernacle of the
West-end noiselessly. He would walk upon eggs without breaking them.
He casts right and left little grimaces that are so many forced
smiles; then takes his seat, and says a short prayer in his hands or
in his hat. It is generally in their hats that the Englishmen of Low
Church and dissenting sects address their prayers to Heaven.

The secretary's report of the state of the Association's finances is
read to the audience; some monotonous and endless hymns are sung; and
an edifying conference follows, showing the flourishing condition of
the society, and the benefits it confers upon humanity in general, and
its ministers in particular.

The meeting then breaks up, and at the door, little groups are formed,
a great deal of hand-shaking goes on, accompanied with felicitations
on the subject of the success of the good cause. Here is a sample
conversation that I caught one day in passing, and which I give word
for word:--

1st _Cherub_ (male).--"How do you do, Mrs. Jones? Are you pooty well?"

2nd _Cherub_ (female).--"Pooty well, thank you; are you pooty well?"

1st _Cherub_.--"Pooty well. How is dear Miss Evans? Is she pooty
well?"

3rd _Cherub_ (female).--"Not very well; she has such a bad cold!"

4th _Cherub_ (male).--"Has she really? This is a dreary world, is it
not? Dear soul, I hope she will take care of herself."

5th _Cherub_ (female).--"Glorious meeting, was it not?"

_Chorus._--"Glorious, indeed!"

I make my way to the door of the Hall. The entrance and lobby are
covered with advertisements: the programmes of the performances. In
this steeple-chase of people, who know how to believe in God and make
a snug little income out of it, it is the General of the Salvation
Army that carries off the palm: he announces assets to the amount of
over 350,000 pounds sterling, and an army of 500,000 soldiers, male
and female, well disciplined, and devoted to the cause. He has
outshone Messrs. Moody and Sankey, the American evangelists, who, in
1875, were preaching every evening to London audiences of thirty and
forty thousand persons, and that for months running! It is all over.
Mr. Sankey accompanies himself on a harmonium; the general has big
drums, cymbals and trombones; long live the general! Since the
imprisonment of Miss Booth, in Switzerland, the shares of the
Salvation Army have gone up steadily: there is no more lucrative
profession than that of a martyr, when it is properly carried out ...
and the "General" knows how to _battre la caisse et la remplir_.

As in this weary world, people do not live on the word of life alone,
Exeter Hall keeps a restaurant. I notice the bill of fare, posted up
at the door. This bill of fare fills my soul with sadness and regret.
My illusions vanish; I am no longer in paradise. I had expected
something in this way:--

    _Potage alleluia aux flageolets_,
    _Petit Agneau sauce Pénitence_,
    _Haricots bon jeune homme_,
    _Lentilles sauce Esaü_,
    _Crême à la Vertu_,
    _Soufflé aux petits Anges_,
    _Paradise pudding_.

But I was doomed to be disappointed.



VIII.

The Boas of the Aristocracy--The prettiest Women in London--Shop
girls--Barmaids--Actresses and Supernumeraries--Miss Mary Anderson.


According to the account of Lady John Manners, this is how the ladies
of the upper classes in England fare. As this _haulte dame_ should be
an authority on the matter, not only will we accept her statements as
perfectly correct, but we will also profit by her observations to draw
some judicious conclusions.

"In well-appointed sporting country houses," says Lady John
Manners,[3] "before the ladies--indeed, before most of the
gentlemen--leave their beds, dainty little services of tea and
bread-and-butter are carried to them. Sometimes the younger men prefer
brandy and soda. Fortified by these refreshments, the non-sporting
guests come to breakfast about ten. Four hot dishes, every sort of
cold meats that might fitly furnish forth a feast, fruits, cakes, tea,
coffee, cocoa, claret, constitute a satisfactory breakfast, often
prolonged till within two hours and a half of luncheon. The important
institution of luncheon begins at two. Again, the table is spread with
many varieties of flesh and fowl, hot and cold proofs of the cook's
ability, plain puddings for those who study their health, creations in
cream for those who have not yet devoted themselves to that
never-failing source of interest. Coffee is often served after lunch,
which is usually over soon after three. If a shooting party has gone
out, Norwegian stoves, crammed with hot dishes of an appetizing
character, have been despatched to the scene of action. The ladies
gather round the tea-table about five, usually showing much
appreciation of any little surprises in the way of muffins, or
tea-cakes, provided by a thoughtful hostess. When the shooters come
in, some will probably join the ladies, perhaps a few may like a
little champagne, but tea and talk tempt the majority. Dinner is
served at eight or half-past, and two hours more are then spent at
table. After dinner, coffee is brought into the dining-room, while the
gentlemen smoke. It is whispered that some of the ladies enjoy a
post-prandial cigarette. Liqueurs and tea are offered during the
evening, and keep up flagging energies till the ladies ostensibly go
to bed, after a little money has changed hands at poker or loo." The
gentlemen then have whisky, brandy, claret, effervescing waters, and
lemons brought them, to help them support existence till one or two
o'clock in the morning.

    [3] _National Review_, March, 1844.

Such is the ordinary of the aristocracy. Quite a choker this ordinary,
is it not?

Now this prodigious voracity seems to account for many things.

But first, it is impossible not to admire the wisdom of Providence in
arming these carnivora, I will not say with tusks of defence, but with
those tusks of attack that betray their nationality in any part of the
world.

We can understand now why English women over forty have shrunken gums;
we can understand now why their poor teeth very sensibly protest
against their superhuman task, and slant outwards, so as to get a
little help from the gums in this gigantic work of mastication; we
understand at last how it is that the eyes of most of the _habituées_
of Rotten Row seem to be starting from their sockets, and you need not
smile, for your eyes would soon do the same, if your digestive
apparatus were kept in perpetual movement of deglutition. It is a
facial panic.

The fact is that, in the fashionable promenade of Hyde Park, you see
very few pretty women. With the exception of some children that
certainly are lovely, the majority of the faces you see in the
carriages are sulky and stupid-looking; they have lobster eyes that
throw you an indifferent and half-dead glance: they are the faces of
digesting boas in a comatose state, the faces of women who seem to
have not a pleasure in life. No smiles, no little graceful gestures of
recognition from one carriage to another: it is Madame Tussaud's
exhibition out for an airing: a solemn and stupid procession.

If you would refresh your eyes with the sight of pretty faces, young,
rosy, plump and fresh,--if you would see them by the hundred, go and
take a stroll, between nine and ten o'clock in the morning, in Regent
Street, Oxford Street, New Bond Street, and Piccadilly. There you will
see the prettiest national produce that John Bull has to show you. The
finest specimens of Englishwomen are the assistants in the great
drapery, bonnet and mantle shops. The English tradesmen of importance,
who know their business, only employ women that are young, pretty, in
face and figure, and well behaved; and the sight of these hundreds of
independent, respectable, and well-mannered girls, going to their
shops every morning, is one of the most refreshing and edifying to be
seen in this immense city.

I have many times accompanied ladies to bonnet shops in the West-end,
where I have sometimes witnessed very amusing little scenes. I have
seen young spinsters of thirty-nine summers, make a pretty shop girl
put on all the hats in the shop, and then go to the glass and try them
on one after another. The disappointed looks of these poor dears were
quite diverting. It is a curious thing, they seemed to say to
themselves, making a wry face the while, none of these hats suit me as
they do that girl! And with what a mischievous, wicked little smile,
those pretty milliners of twenty-five--that pitiless age--said: "Oh!
that hat suits you so beautifully!" I admired the angelic patience
with which they tried the whole stock of the shop upon those ugly
heads. This occupation cannot fail to be often very amusing, and in
the evening, on returning home, what funny stories they must have to
tell each other!

It was in a fashionable milliner's shop in New Bond Street. A
scarecrow in petticoats had just chosen, after an hour's hesitation, a
sweet little white hat, that a girl of twenty would have thought too
childish for herself. Two pretty assistants bowed the lady out with a
very grave look, and closed the door. "I think women ought to expire
at forty, don't you?" said one of them to her companion. And the two
wicked creatures were near exploding with fun.

The fashionable shops are not the only ones that keep a good stock of
nice-looking English girls. Some of the finest specimens are to be
seen in the restaurants and buffets. Messrs. Spiers and Pond have
legions of them under their orders. These magnificent daughters of
Albion are of an inferior social grade, but they are well behaved,
and, for the most part, remarkably handsome. They are not so modest as
to be unable to bear the gaze of the sterner sex, or to allow a few
dandies to have a little flirtation with them over their glass of
wine; but still women who consent to stand behind a counter from ten
in the morning to twelve at night, for a salary of about thirty
shillings a week, are evidently respectable. In the case of a young
and handsome woman, a modest income is a certificate of virtue.

Once more, it is in the theatre that, in default of talented
actresses, you may admire beautiful women. I am bound, however, to
make an exception here in favour of Mrs. Stirling, the greatest
_comédienne_ in England, who, in spite of her talent as a teacher,
will leave no one after her to replace her; of Mrs. Bernard Beere, so
_sympathique_, so refined; of silver-voiced Mrs. Bancroft, so gay, so
sparkling with fun and mischief; of Miss Ellen Terry, so gracefully
youthful, frolicsome, and coaxing; of Mrs. Kendall, the first among
sentimental heroines of the English stage, with her delicacy, pathos,
and irreproachable purity of diction.

With the exception of the actresses just mentioned, you will see very
little to admire on the London stage but pretty women. And, after all,
this is not to be despised; one may pass an evening very agreeably in
looking at pretty faces and fine shoulders, especially after dining _à
l'anglaise_. When you have partaken of the fifth repast spoken of by
Lady John Manners, your intellect is not very exacting. So, I will not
hesitate to advise you, when you come to London, to go and see the
grand spectacular pieces, the Drury Lane pantomimes included, even if
the great impresario (to do him justice, no one knows how to mount a
play as he does) were to mention, in his next advertisements, that I
gave you such advice.

It is impossible to speak of English actresses without mentioning the
beautiful American lady who drew crowds to the Lyceum this year, in
the absence of Mr. Irving and Miss Terry, who were at the time
delighting the Yankees.

Miss Mary Anderson may boldly be proclaimed the champion beauty of the
world.

Her acting is good, but her beauty is such as to make one oblivious
of her talent. Her face is divinely sweet and beautiful; her gaze
ingenuous, her grace indescribable, her sculptural lines classic in
their purity; her proportions perfect: it is a feast for the eyes.
Gérard would not have desired a more chaste or purer model for his
Psyche receiving the first kiss of Cupid.



IX.

The _Demi-monde_--Sly Dogs--The Disreputable World--The Society for
the Protection of Women--Humble Apologies for grave Mistakes.


In a country where, as M. Taine says in his _History of English
Literature_, religion and morality are coins which you must have in
your pocket either good or counterfeit, the _monde où l'on s'amuse_ is
here the _monde où l'on se cache_. The _demi-mondaine_ is not a
prominent personage over here, and the Englishman who glides into her
house at nightfall, with his coat-collar turned up to his ears, and
his hat lowered over his eyes, would never think of taking her to a
theatre or of putting her into his carriage in Hyde Park. For this, I
think he deserves a good mark. Call it hypocrisy if you like; it is
deference to public opinion, and I prefer the vice that hides its head
to the vice that gives itself airs.

I heard with my own ears, a few years ago, in a Parisian
drawing-room, a lady of good society compliment a young man on the
pretty sinner she had seen him with in a box at a theatre. And the
receiver of the compliment seemed mightily pleased. His look said,
"Yes, it is So-and-So, who is on the best of terms with me."

Men do not meet around the dining-table of the English _cocotte_, nor
in her drawing-room. They do not go to her house to have a chat, much
less to pay her court: her sittings are held within closed doors. It
is not Aspasia nor Lais, it is a fine animal of a girl that friend
John pays a visit to, when he has not time to go to Boulogne. He
returns home, and no one, not even his most intimate friend, is the
wiser for his little nocturnal expeditions. Next day, with rosy cheeks
and downcast eyes, he accompanies his mother and sisters to church,
bearing a goodly number of books of devotion under his arm.

Hypocrisy! you will cry. No, it is not. Unless you accept La
Rochefoucauld's definition of hypocrisy: "homage that vice renders to
virtue;" for, thanks to this hypocrisy, the virtuous woman has not in
public to yield her rightful place to the other, who, conscious of her
degradation, keeps in the shade. The virtuous woman can reign, her
rights undisputed; and, in the inner family circle, the conduct of
the young men is rarely a subject of scandal for the ladies, who are
the honour of the house, and who certainly have a right to exact a
little consideration for their feelings.

I know a good Englishman, whose abode is about nine miles distant from
Brighton. Every Saturday he pays a little anonymous visit to this
town.

"What on earth takes you to Brighton every Saturday?" said one of his
sisters laughingly to him one day.

----"My dear child, I go to have my hair cut," replied the sly dog,
without wincing.

Next best to the whole truth, is the truth.

I know another, who, Briton though he be, begins to feel the effects
of the motion of the Ocean, as he invests in a railway ticket at
Charing Cross. Yet this does not prevent his passing a couple of days
at Boulogne about once a fortnight. He has never satisfactorily
explained the reason of these little trips to me. All I know is, that
if you want to tease him, you have only to say to him: "You have been
to Boulogne, I think?" or, "Do you know Boulogne?"

       *       *       *       *       *

There are no recognised houses of ill-fame in England, a fact of which
the virtuous John is immensely proud. Not that there is much cause for
it. If English law refuses to officially recognise vice and to
regulate it within four walls, it tolerates it in the open air, in the
streets, and above all, in the parks; and I cannot see what public
morality gains by it, unless it be the encouragement to deny, even in
the face of evident facts, something which is not recognised by law,
and the satisfaction of knowing that Nemesis follows the nocturnal
frequenters of the parks, in the shape of colds in the head ... and
the rest. I have spoken elsewhere of the processions of Regent Street
and the Strand, of the fair that is held in the shameless crowd that
swarms about the Haymarket and in the parks, from sunset to two in the
morning. I will not return to the subject; it would be out of place to
dwell long on the matter and enter into sickening details. Thanks to
the efforts of Lord Dalhousie, one of the most popular and intelligent
members of the House of Lords, it is probable that before long one of
the most hideous sights of London--a sight certainly unique in Europe,
will no longer meet the eyes of people unfortunate enough to be out of
doors after nightfall. Lord Dalhousie will, I think, succeed in
passing an Act of Parliament which will close the career of the
streets to girls under sixteen. That will be a grand improvement.

By-the-bye, it is high time that I should repair, whilst I think of
it, a grave error that I committed. I said, alas! I even put it down
in black and white, that there was a Society in England for the
protection of animals, and I was ill-inspired enough to add, "a
Society for the protection of women does not yet exist." Well, it
appears it does. You would never have thought it, would you? Nor I
either. Nothing is more certain, however: this Society has existed for
years, it appears. Consequently, the other day, on taking up my paper,
I was not surprised to see that a London magistrate had not feared to
fine a brute of a husband ten shillings, for having smashed his wife's
head with the tongs.[4] My compliments to a Society that inspires such
terror in a magistrate of the great city. After such an example as
that, few husbands will be opening their wives' heads to see what
there is inside. Let me hasten to make my most humble apologies to the
Society.

    [4] See Appendix (b).

All writers of books upon England mention the fact that, in the lower
classes, a man gets rid of a lawful wife for the sum of a few
shillings, and the critics never fail to cry "Exaggeration!"
"Caricature!" Of course I did not escape the usual diatribes on the
subject. I can understand being charged with having exaggerated, for I
have remarked this year in the papers, two cases of wives having been
sold for sixpence and a pint of beer respectively, whereas I had said
that the price of the transaction varied from half-a-crown to ten
shillings.

The article is going down, it is evident.

These cases must be much more frequent than they would appear to be
from newspaper reports. Such transactions are naturally settled by
private contract, and, as the English take very good care to keep at a
respectable distance from these gentry, unique in the world, there is
no means of knowing much about the matter. Now and then, some idiot,
who has got rid of his wife in this unceremonious fashion, is simple
enough to imagine that he can go and marry another directly. Then,
accused of bigamy, he is sent to the Court of Assizes, the papers
publish the case, and the affair thus comes to light.

The other day, a man who had married again after having sold his first
wife, said to his judge: "My former wife is very happy with her new
owner, my Lord; set me free, let me go home to my new wife, and I
promise your Lordship that I will feed her." (_Sic._)

The appeal was a touching one.

The judge condemned him to six months' imprisonment.

Truly his Lordship had no bowels of compassion.



X.

Reflections of an Innocent upon Women in General and Englishwomen
in Particular--Epistle to John Bull--Women's Rights--A Stormy
Meeting--Viragos and other British Guys of the Sisterhood of St.
Catharine.


Woman is an _objet d'art_ to be handled with circumspection, and when
one has a few little truths to say to this last great gift of the
Creator to man, one must set about it carefully, I admit.

Nevertheless, seeing that woman was given to us for our companion,
more or less with our consent, why should we not be able to say to her
politely, amiably, but frankly, addressing her collectively in her
person: Come, ladies, let us see if we cannot arrive at some
understanding. What do you want? I hear you constantly loudly
demanding the emancipation of your sex. You can do without us; and as
for our protection, henceforth you'll none of it. For you, in times
past, have we drawn the sword; to-day you hold us scarce worthy to
draw cheques at your bidding. You would be man's equal, as if you
ought not to be amply content with being incontestably his superior.
You have graces of body and mind, in a word, you are angels, men pay
you a homage that falls little short of worship. Do you crave fresh
duties that you may place man under new obligations? He will go
bankrupt, I assure you. Your first duties are to be tender, true, and
fair to see. You have every intention of continuing to be the latter,
we have no doubt, but you mean to be tender and sweet no longer. You
mean to strike, as your sisters did in the days of Aristophanes. Now,
on what terms will you reinstate us in your good graces? Will you
change lots with us? I do not suppose we should offer much opposition
to that; for if we Frenchmen have the bump of amativeness, we pay
dearly enough for it to prevent our being likely to be proud of it.
Does it not seem to you that, all things considered, you have the more
enviable lot? Dispensers of happiness, have you not the world at your
feet?

You want to be learned? But you are learned, in the heart's lore, by
nature. You want to be free? But we are your slaves confessed. You
want to make the laws? But your lightest word is law already. And
besides, between ourselves, do you not make your husbands vote pretty
much as you please, in the Chamber of Deputies? You want to have more
influence in the higher councils? But are you not satisfied with
knowing that it was a woman who was the cause of the fall of the human
race; that a woman has been the cause of every great catastrophe from
the siege of Troy down to the Franco-Prussian war; that, in a word,
woman has ever inspired our noblest actions and our foulest crimes?

You are proud of saying that to your sex belonged Joan of Arc, Jane
Hachette, Charlotte Corday, Madame de Staël, and George Sand. Quite
true; but, as I have had the honour of telling you before, woman was
intended to be a companion for man. Now could you find me many
gentlemen who would have been happy to take to wife anyone of the
ladies I have just mentioned?

The rights of woman! what a fine phrase! what a pretty farce! what a
sonorous platitude!

No, dear ladies, be not led away by those spectacled blue-stockings
who seek to estrange us from one another. The more you try to resemble
us, the more you lose your charm: electric fluids of the same name
repel one another; electric fluids of opposite kinds attract each
other.

The name of woman will ever be glorious so long as it is synonymous
with beauty, tenderness, sweetness, devotion, all the sacred troop of
virtues; it will be glorious, thanks to the Lucretias, the Penelopes,
the Cornelias, ancient and modern, to the devoted daughters, the
loving wives, the adorable mothers, to the thousands of obscure
heroines who remind us, in the words of the poet of Antiquity, that
the most virtuous women have been those whom the world has heard least
of.

       *       *       *       *       *

A witty French lady, who has also the talent of being pretty and very
amiable, reminded me the other day that Madame de Girardin had said,
that out of a hundred women, you would find but two stupid ones. If
England possessed, or had ever had a Madame de Girardin, we might
possibly read in some book, that out of a hundred English women, you
will find two witty. But this does not prevent John Bull from getting
on in the world. Very much the contrary: England made all her great
conquests at a time when her women were treated with about as much
consideration as the inmates of an Eastern harem, and it is to this
masculine independence, this indifference towards women, that the
success of the English may partly be ascribed. Our mothers in France
are matchless; but they tie us to their apron-strings too much: they
make us more supple and more amiable, but they enervate us. From our
mother's yoke we pass, after a short liberty, more or less capable of
improving us, to that of our wives. I will repeat it, cry it upon the
house-tops: from the cradle to the tomb we allow ourselves to be led
like lambs by women. The chains are charming, the servitude is of the
sweetest! that I do not wish to deny; but servitude it is none the
less; and if we are to go and found colonies, empires, in Africa,
China, and I don't know where else, we must have pioneers, and it is
not the fine young fellows, of whom the mothers of the present day are
so proud and so careful, that will go and transplant our civilisation
outside our dear fair country.

The Englishman leaves his mother without more emotion or more ceremony
than we should show in taking leave of our landlord. If he be married,
he announces to his wife that he has decided to set out next week for
Australia. She gets his trunks packed, an operation less lengthy in
England than in France, and off they go.

In our country, a woman follows her husband by law; here she follows
him by instinct. In France, woman is a dream; in England she is a
necessity, a habit.

Condé and Turenne were led by women; Wellington and Nelson ill-treated
their wives.

Corneille's heroines are Roman women, with hearts of gold, and wills
of iron, full of sublime devotion. Shakespeare's heroines are, for the
most part, slaves or simpletons: Juliet is a spoilt child, Desdemona a
kind of submissive odalisque, Beatrice a pretty prattle, and Ophelia a
goose.

"Madam," said a polite prince of the House of Wasa to his wife, "we
married you that you might give us children, not advice." A remark
worthy of Napoleon I. The Englishman says the same thing to his wife.
So Mrs. John Bull gives her husband plenty of children, but very
little advice.

But things are altering. Thanks to the higher education that is being
administered to young Englishwomen; thanks to Girton College, Newnham
College, the High Schools, and other institutions that are being
founded day by day, with the object of stripping woman of the
attributes that render her so attractive in our sight, all that has
been said and repeated about the reserve, the modesty, the innocence
of the Englishwoman, the virtues that made of her a model wife and
housekeeper, all this, I say, will soon be quite out of date.

Formerly girls were sent to receive their education at the hands of
some good women who did not teach them much, I am prepared to admit,
but who did not fail to fit them to be good wives, good mothers, and
good housekeepers. Now they are taught Latin and Greek, mathematics
and natural philosophy, political economy and medicine, yes, medicine,
and no one knows what besides. They wear men's hats known as
wide-awakes (much too wide awake to please most of us), and masculine
looking coats, and they stare you in the face in manly fashion. When
are the trousers coming?

Take care, friend John, you are on a downward and dangerous path. I
see you presiding over meetings of blue-stockings and hear you adding
your voice to theirs in their demand for women's rights. It seems to
me that it is your future happiness that you stake. You will have a
wife who will know the differential and integral calculus, but will be
all unskilled in the art of making those nice puddings and pies you
like so much. No more warm slippers awaiting you by the fender;
instead of the song of the kettle on the hob, that sweet household
melody, you will hear the litany of the Rights of Woman; no more
kisses on your wife's half-closed eyelids, she will wear spectacles.
You will be able to console yourself, by taking refuge in your club,
and grumbling there to your heart's content, or by going to a
restaurant and, at the price of a tip, buying the right of blowing up
the waiter. But remember that, to have a good grumble in, there's no
place like home; and if your dinner is not to your liking, why, you
can blow up your wife for nothing.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some English ladies are moving heaven and earth to get Parliament to
pass an Act which will allow them to vote. They will, perhaps, one day
go so far as to demand seats in the House of Commons.

What is to be done with the women? Owing to the emigration of the men,
this is indeed a problem that England will ere long have to solve in
one way or another.

"The emigration of two or three hundred thousand of our women would be
a great boon to us," said Lord Shaftesbury the other day; "it would
even be the greatest blessing that could happen to England." The wish
is not a gallant one, but it is sensible and practical.

It is even calculated that, if this wish could be realised, the number
of women that would remain, would still surpass by 500,000 the number
of her Britannic Majesty's male subjects.

Now, supposing that one day or the other every man enters the holy
estate of matrimony, the above figures prove that, in this realm,
about 800,000 ladies are condemned to a condition of single
blessedness. Miss Miller, Miss Cobbe, and other leaders of the
Sisterhood of St. Catharine would quickly remedy this sad state of
things, if they were allowed to vote, and one day to change the
_Parlement_ into _Bavardement_.

Miss Cobbe, the destroying angel of Man's rights, exclaimed at a
meeting held in London, on the 13th of June, 1884, that "she regretted
that she could not fight and pull down park railings to accomplish her
object."

This is promising, is it not?

At the same meeting, Miss Miller announced her intention of paying no
more taxes.[5] "I will force the tax collector," she said, "to break
into my house and sell my goods by auction, when I shall have a
gathering of friends to protest against the injustice done to women,
with the full intention of making my resistance more forcible and
myself more disagreeable and troublesome to the authorities every
year."

    [5] To the great amusement of the peaceful inhabitants of
    London, this lady has just carried out her threats. You will,
    however, be glad to hear that her friends managed to restore to
    her the distrained goods, so that the little performance did not
    tell much on the lady's purse.

This is energy worthy of a better cause.

It is needless to add that such ladies are mostly unclaimed blessings,
and that none of them set up as professional beauties. When a woman
is beautiful, she is generally content with playing a woman's part;
when she is a mother, this sublime _rôle_ is sufficient for her. These
tedious persons embrace the thankless career of advocates of woman's
rights, because they have never found anything better to embrace. And
these excellent ladies must not put it into their heads that they have
created the part, for it existed in the days of Aristophanes:
Praxagora was neither more nor less ridiculous than the present
champions of Women's rights.

It would be the reverse of generous for a man to reproach a woman with
being an old maid. When a man does not marry, it is for want of an
inclination; when a woman does not marry, it is for want of an
invitation.

However that may be, the old maid is a social failure, and, in
England, almost a social evil. At all events, she is a social
nuisance, when she sets up as an institution, a system, and claims the
right of being placed at the helm _ex-officio_.

It is quite right that the old maid should be respected, when she
consents to remain an obscure heroine, and to devote to doing good the
energies that it is not her lot to be able to devote to the sacred
duties of a wife and mother; let her be tolerated when she pounces
upon her fellow-creatures, in their houses, in omnibuses, and in
trains, to try to convert them; let her be pitied, when she is reduced
to the necessity of wasting her treasures of love on her cat and her
parrot. But when she talks of devoting her spare energies to striking
terror into the breast of man, it is high time that some Member of
Parliament should see if there is no possibility of passing a bill
through the House (before she gets in) to dispose of her, as widows
are disposed of in Malabar.



XI.

Women at Home--Daughters, Wives, Widows, and Mothers--Comparisons--The
Hospitality of Mrs. John Bull--Provincial Life.


The young girl is the heroine of English society. Free and accessible,
she is more attractive as a woman, but perhaps less tempting as a
future wife, than the timid and sweet young French girl.

She walks out alone, travels alone, and gives you a shake of the hand
that is enough to put your shoulder-blade out of joint.

Her favourite occupations are walking and riding, and the game of
lawn-tennis, which develops her form and her taste for flirtation. She
carries her head erect, her shoulders square, and, as you look at the
pump-handle swing of her arms, you feel that if occasion required, she
would be able to defend herself and give the man, who treated her with
disrespect, a sound box on the ears.

Her frank and fearless bearing is her surest protection: it is the
bearing of confidence and security.

The young married woman is much more fascinating in France than in
England.

The Frenchwoman gains her liberty when she marries, the Englishwoman
loses hers. The latter becomes a minor for the rest of her days, from
the moment she has pronounced the fatal _I will_. The former is, on
the contrary, emancipated by these magic words.

If the Frenchwoman has her own way in the household, she has very
often richly earned it. It is, unfortunately, not rare to see parents
offer to their child, as a companion of her joys and sorrows, a man of
forty, bald and unwieldy, who, after having run through health,
fortune, and all the romance he ever had about him, is willing to
bestow the rest upon her in exchange for her dot, her youth, her
beauty, and her virtues. It is a fact, though a sad one, that the
husband a French mother most ardently desires for her daughter, is a
staid, serious man, a man of experience, a notary, for instance. The
notary is quoted very high in the French matrimonial market.

It is a man of sound, ripe qualities, Madame, that you want for your
daughter. Ripe! sleepy, you mean, no doubt. And your charming
daughter, who has perhaps woven her little romance, built her bright
castles in Spain, as she danced with some handsome young cavalier of
twenty-five, accepts your choice without a murmur. He is still brisk,
he is well preserved, you say to yourself: a quiet, steady man, who
will have only my daughter's happiness at heart. But, Madame, does it
never occur to you that the idea of the fair young head of a girl of
eighteen, pillowed beside that bald or grey one, is nothing short of
revolting? When will you cease preaching to your daughters the theory
that a husband is a stupid animal, created and sent into the world to
buy dresses and diamonds, and that it is seldom he is in a position to
acquit himself properly in this respect at the age of twenty-five? A
husband of forty who places diamonds in his wife's ears, that may be
very nice; but a husband of twenty-five who lodges lovely kisses in
his wife's neck, that is much nicer still. Give your daughters liberty
to make their own choice, as is done in England, and you will soon see
the kind of article they prefer. Give your charming girls to fine
young men who love them; and, hand in hand, they will bravely fight
the battle of life, bring up numerous families of robust children to
brighten your declining years, and will grow old together, always
young and handsome in each other's eyes, as on the day of their
betrothal.

In England, a woman marries whom she likes. This system is not
without its drawbacks. Thus the sister of a well-known titled lady has
become a simple baker's wife; and not long ago, I read in the papers
that a baronet's daughter, who had married one of her father's grooms,
sought to be separated from her husband, because he did not exactly
treat her with the kindness he had always shown to his master's
horses.

Every rule has its exception, every medal its reverse side; but this
does not prove the rule to be a bad one, or the medal to be made of
base alloy. The liberty and confidence accorded, in England, to youth
and even to childhood, are much better calculated to instil into them
the sentiments of independence, self-respect, and responsibility, than
the system of watchfulness and mistrust, in which French children,
whether at home or in school, are brought up. When I spoke of youth
and childhood, I might have added that even the very babies have their
liberty; for, in England, they are not swathed and transformed into
little mummy-like bundles; their heads are left uncovered, their limbs
unconfined, they can stretch and kick to their heart's content. Up to
four or five years of age, they wear no long stockings, but their
little calves are allowed to grow brown and hardy with exposure to the
summer's sun and winter's wind; yet, I am not aware that the English
are less straight about the legs or more bald about the head, than the
French, whom I would remind that Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote, "The
countries in which the children are swathed, are the ones which swarm
with hunchbacks, and cripples of every description."

Air, air, more air! is the constant cry of our children.

       *       *       *       *       *

English girls rarely marry before they are twenty-two or -three years
old; many make very good marriages, when they are close upon thirty.

In this country, marriages are not knocked up in a few days, nor in a
few months. A young man of about twenty will engage himself to a girl
of eighteen, and the lovers remain thus engaged for two, three, and
four years.

For the young girl, it is a delightful time. During her engagement,
she enjoys almost all the pleasures of matrimony, knows none of its
cares; moreover she is free. It is no wonder she often does her best
to make the pleasure last as long as possible. She had rather murmur
sweet nothings with her lover, than shut herself up with him in a
semi-detached, and murmur against the price of coals and butter.

The day she marries, she is said to be settled, that is, established,
extinguished.

I do not wish to imply that, in an English household, the wife does
not find happiness awaiting her; nothing is further from my meaning.
On the contrary, I should say that she could enter upon her new life
with more confidence than her French sister, because the
responsibility she assumes is smaller, and because she has invariably
been taught how to keep house.

In France, the wife is the confidante, and, I say it to her honour,
the mistress of her husband. In England, she is only the mistress of
the household, the housekeeper.

In France, it is generally the wife of a tradesman who has charge of
his books and his cash-box, and never were either intrusted to better
guardianship than that of the goddess of order and economy that men
call _la Française_. If she happens to lose her husband, she is
capable of carrying on the business without him, and I could name a
great number of important houses of business that are managed by
widows--the famous BON MARCHÉ among others. The emancipation of woman,
in France, is proclaimed by the frequency of the inscription _Mdlle.
So-and-so_, and _Mdme. Vve. So-and-so_, over the shop doors. It is
independence.

In England, a wife knows nothing of her husband's affairs--not more
than a clerk knows of the affairs of his employer, and it would often
be hard for her to say whether he is on the road to riches or to ruin.
At the death of her husband, an Englishwoman, who has not enough to
live on, becomes a governess, a lady companion, a housekeeper, or a
nurse. It is servitude.

An Englishman gives his wife so much a month for the expenses of the
house, and a certain sum for her dress: her wages. It is without much
astonishment she learns one fine morning that her husband is about to
take her to a sumptuous new home, or that circumstances, over which
she has no control, make it expedient that the removal of their goods,
by the back door, shall take place next evening: she follows the
furniture.

The Bohemian temperament of the Englishman contrasts strangely with
his habits of industry and his reserve: it is a curious blending of
the ant and the grasshopper.

The Frenchman has but one aim, as he works: to put by some money that
shall bring him in a little income, and allow him to retire from toil.

The Englishman spends as he goes. The workman and the peasant, though
they earned two pounds a day, would be satisfied with the provision
made for them by the parish, should they outlive their working days.
The English house shows that its inmates take little thought for the
morrow: few cupboards, no wine cellars. I speak of London houses, with
rents rising to £100 a-year. The Englishman orders in a dozen of wine
at a time, and keeps it in his sideboard. In France, the ordinary
provincial house is a veritable ant's store. Even the modest cobbler
has a dark dry corner, where he can put his hand upon a dusty bottle
of old Bordeaux the day that he has one of his family to nurse, or an
old friend to feast. The cellar is to the Frenchman what the
linen-press is to the Frenchwoman, a sanctuary.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am constantly hearing on all sides complaints of the stagnation of
business. The farmers make loud lamentations: the earth refuses to
yield them her increase, and they can no longer make a living on
British soil.

Here is a great social problem that I should not care to undertake to
solve. However, from the few observations that I have made, it seems
to me that many English farmers have not to seek very far to find the
cause of their want of success.

The farmer's wife of other days was a worthy unpretentious woman, who
looked to everything connected with the farm, rose at five in the
morning, superintended the servants, did her own dairy work, and did
not even disdain to feed the pigs. The farmer's wife of the present
day is often a lady who, under pretext of not being able to pay
frequent visits to her friends, keeps open house and does the honours
of the farm with a grace and liberality worthy of the princely
hospitality of an English country-seat. She rises at nine, or has her
breakfast taken to her bedside; she has horses and carriages, ponies
for the children, wagonettes for pleasure parties, all the
accoutrements of an English nobleman's house. Her time is passed in
picnics, drives, visits, and receptions. She aims at keeping pace with
the squire's wife, but has this difficulty to contend with, that
whereas the squire takes up his rents whether farming be paying or
not, the farmer must pay them, let the year be a good or a bad one.

The tradesmen's wives outshine the women of the upper classes in the
luxury of their toilette. They are caricatures loaded with chains,
necklets, lockets, long earrings and feathers, as many as they can
carry. These ladies must be impatiently awaiting the day when liberty
or fashion will allow them to wear two hats at once, and rings in
their noses. These walking feather-brooms form a curious contrast with
the pretty little Princesse bonnets and simple attire of the English
ladies of good society.

My conscience almost reproaches me for having found fault with the
kind of existence led by many farmers' wives, for I think I may safely
affirm that to their hospitality I owe the most delightful hours of
_jucunda oblivia vitæ_ that I have ever passed in my life. O
conscience!

       *       *       *       *       *

Just as extensive and varied as are the possessions of John Bull,
Esquire, just so restricted is the domain of his wife.

When she has given her husband her heart and its few little
dependencies, her assets are reduced to the incontestable qualities
with which nature, as a generous mother, has gifted her. It is true
that since the passing of the Married Women's Property Act, she has a
right to possess property; but if she sets the least store by her
peace of mind and the tranquillity of the household, she quickly gives
up to her husband the rights which he considers as already his own in
his quality of husband. You see, he takes a wife _for better, for
worse_, and if he is no fool, he manages that it shall be for better.
It is very simple.

The Englishman is an astute diplomatist; he knows how to rob the enemy
of the sinew of war, and consequently of all liberty of action. He
knows, too, how to make his wife understand in order that she may take
great care of him, that his will is only to be made in her favour, if
she has served him well.

A well-known American lady said not long ago, that of all the ways of
earning a living, marriage was the hardest, most thankless, and least
lucrative for a woman. In justice, I should add, however, that for one
reason or another this lady had never tried it.

I know of an Englishman who, about fifty years ago succeeded in
winning the hand of a rich girl, and supplanting a lover to whom she
had previously plighted her troth. After having passed his life in
reproaching his wife for her infidelity ... to the man she had jilted
for him, this domestic tyrant vouchsafed to depart this life last
year, and a few years of widowhood and peace seemed in store for his
wife. But alas! when the will of this love of a husband was examined,
it turned out that though there was no mistake about the widowhood,
the peace was not so clear. He left everything to his son, that is to
say, his own fortune and that of his wife which he had taken
possession of, and was not even polite enough to restore to her. At
the same time he charged his son to pay that lady £100 per annum, as
long as she remained a widow: liberal treatment, was it not? ... for a
faithful old servant. As for the supposition that it could enter into
the head of the good woman to marry again, it was a joke in very
doubtful taste on the part of the worthy defunct. She is at present in
her seventy-third year. Her son is fast ruining himself on the Stock
Exchange and the turf, so that her pittance of £100 a year is not so
safe as it might be. But, whatever may happen, there is no danger that
the poor lady, urged by despair, will go and drown herself; she would
be too much afraid of rejoining her husband.

If you would study John Bull as a will maker, open the _Illustrated
London News_, which gives testamentary news every Friday. The dearly
beloved wife--this is the formula--will often be the object of your
lively compassion.

If one may trust epitaphs, there are widows who seem, however, far
from having cause of complaint against their poor defuncts.

I read on a handsome monument in Kensal Green Cemetery:

             "Here lies John Davies,
          The friend of the friendless,
          The most tender of husbands."

And lower down, on the same stone:

            "Here lies Thomas Millard,
          The friend of the friendless,
                     and the
    Tender husband of the Widow of John Davies
                above mentioned."

I religiously pay a visit to Kensal Green Cemetery every year. I am
still young, and I live in hopes of seeing the complete list of the
tender husbands of this exemplary widow.

       *       *       *       *       *

A French widow remains the head of the family: her authority is
unquestioned.

On the death of her husband, the English widow becomes a dowager: she
abdicates the little power she ever possessed in favour of her eldest
son. She has rarely been initiated into the affairs of her husband,
therefore it seems quite natural to her that her son, a man, should
take the reins of government into his own hands.

The head master of a French _lycée_ will tell you that the sons of
widows are generally the most docile and hard-working pupils; the head
master of an English public school will tell you that widows' sons are
generally lazy and wilful. An English banker will also tell you that
there are two classes of clients with whom he does not care to have
dealings: widows and clergymen. "They know nothing about business,"
said the manager of one of the large London banks to me one day.

"I fancy you calumniate the clergymen," said I.

I know a French widow who, a year before sending her son to school,
set herself to work to learn Latin and Greek, that she might help him
in his studies.

Having thus gained a year's start of her son, she went with him till
he reached the highest class. Every French reader will recognise this
French Cornelia, when I say that, on the occasion of her son's
carrying off the first prize at the _Grand Concours de la Sorbonne_,
she would not let him receive a wreath of laurels at the hands of the
Prince Imperial who was presiding over the distribution of prizes.

I know an English widow who, upon my remarking to her that mothers in
England seemed to have scarcely any authority over their sons, replied
that it was quite natural it should be so; each sex had its _rôle_ in
this world; men were made to command, and women to obey. _Look here,
upon this picture, and on this._

       *       *       *       *       *

It is needless to say that when we affectionately caress our mothers,
we appear highly ridiculous in the eyes of Englishmen. But so long as
we love our mothers, tenderly as we do; so long as we make them our
guides, confidants and consolers, we shall have no need to be jealous
of the English.

The mother's influence, so great in France, so insignificant in
England, explains the difference in the men of the two countries. In
the Frenchman, you find, mixed with his manly qualities, qualities
and defects which are essentially feminine: quickness of perception,
amiability, the love of the graceful rather than of the beautiful, a
taste for _causerie_,[6] or even a little gossip occasionally; in the
Englishman, the qualities and defects are not tempered by the art or
the desire of pleasing; they have free play; whence inundations,
avalanches of virtue or vice.

    [6] This pastime cannot be English, since the English language
    has no word for it.

The Englishman is the worshipper of practical common sense, and if I
had to give him a title, I should call him His Solidity Master John
Bull.

The Englishman is modelled on his father; the Frenchman is modelled
rather on his mother.

       *       *       *       *       *

If I had to name the most eminently English quality, without
hesitation I would name--hospitality.

And as it is difficult, when making observations on a foreign country,
not to be led into comparisons, I will add, at the risk of being taxed
with want of patriotism by those good French jingos who believe the
English to be semi-barbarians living in a kind of eternal darkness--I
will add, I say, that English hospitality is much more thoughtful and
generous than French hospitality. The Frenchwoman is a human ant; she
is no lender: she only half opens her door. The Englishwoman is like
the grasshopper: she flings wide the doors of her hospitality.

Go and pay a call in a French provincial house ... if you should
faint, your hostess will offer you a glass of _eau sucrée_; if she
invites you to a dance, she will offer you a cake and a cup of
chocolate. To be allowed a seat at her table, you must be one of her
own: her hospitality does not extend beyond the family circle. She
calls regularly on her friends, who religiously return her visits; but
they are dry, state calls; and arrived home, each one shuts herself
in, and double locks her door.

No one, who has lived long in the French provinces, can wonder at the
home life being a closed letter for foreigners. The absurdities,
retailed about us in books which pretend to describe our manners,
prove it abundantly.

English provincial life is much more intellectual and gay; people are
more sociable, and intercourse is freer. The young people of the
well-to-do classes belong to lawn-tennis and other athletic clubs, and
are constantly meeting together for recreation in the environs of the
town. These daily meetings are the occasion of frequent pleasure
parties and picnics. People dine, take tea or supper, at each others'
houses. The inhabitants of a little English town always seemed to me
like but one family. And the impromptu dances, the musical evenings,
the pleasant meetings of all kinds! Not a week passes without some
pretext arising for a sociable gathering. I know many a little town in
which, all through the winter, the inhabitants meet together in the
church schoolroom every Saturday. Some sing, others make music, good
readers read extracts of some amusing book. The price of admission is
one penny: the sum thus gathered pays for lighting and warming the
room; if there is any surplus, it is given to the poor. These
penny-readings are always well patronised.

This is a critical study which takes very much the form of a
panegyric, will perhaps exclaim some of my compatriots, on reading
these lines which have but one ambition, that of being faithful.

But I would remark to these compatriots, who, I must say, are not
numerous, that there are two kinds of patriotism, blind patriotism and
intelligent patriotism: that which will learn nothing from, nor praise
anything in, others, and that which seeks edification and
enlightenment, and knows how to recognise qualities of which no nation
is wholly destitute.

It is to the latter patriotism that my remarks are addressed.



XII.

Mrs. John Bull at Home, on the .... R.S.V.P.--An Intelligent
Landlord--Meaning of the word "Concert"--The Conversazione--The
Royal Academy.


When you hear the postman's loud rat-tat at your door, do not rush
with joy to your letter-box, for instead of a reply which you have
been impatiently awaiting, you may find a little snare, conceived in
the following terms:

    +-----------------------------------------------+
    |                                               |
    |         _Mrs. John Bull                       |
    |             requests the pleasure             |
    |                 of Mr. X's. company._         |
    |                                               |
    |  _Music at 9 o'clock._                        |
    |                                   _R.S.V.P._  |
    |                                               |
    +-----------------------------------------------+

R.S.V.P.! The hint is good, act upon it: _Résistez Si Vous Pouvez._

Use a little diplomacy, of course: "Mr. X. presents his compliments
to Mrs. John Bull, and regrets exceedingly that an engagement already
made by Mrs. X. will prevent him from availing himself of her kind
invitation for the ....." That's it. Do not forget to name Mrs. X.,
and to make her responsible for your deep disappointment; by so doing,
you will allow Mrs. John Bull to suppose that if you had made the
engagement yourself, you would have done everything in your power to
get out of it, in order to be able to go to her _soirée musicale_.

In these matters, you must imitate the English, who are unequalled in
diplomacy: when they have something disagreeable to say to you, they
will invariably say it through their wives. For instance, ask your
landlord to do some repairs for you; tell him it rains in his house;
that you are subject to rheumatism, and that his cardboard barrack
will be your sepulchre, if he does not forthwith send you the mason
and the carpenter. Perhaps you think he will take pity upon you and
come to the rescue. Not he: not so silly. He sends his wife instead.
That lady makes her appearance, looking anything but agreeable, and
not over polite. She tells you that tenants are always full of
complaints and there is no satisfying them, that she wishes the house
were at Jericho, that the draughts are necessaries of existence, and
if there were none, you would soon be poisoned by the exhalations from
the bricks, and that it is evident you do not know when you are well
off. She wishes you a more contented mind in the future, and takes her
departure. Furious, you write to your landlord to complain of the
unsatisfactory result of the interview, and receive a reply somewhat
in this style: "Sir, if it only rested with me, you should not have to
complain long, but this is how the matter stands: the rent of the
house you occupy is my wife's pin-money (there is a good kind fellow
for you now!), and these matters concern her alone. I have done my
best to try and persuade her to do the repairs in question, but I
regret to have to tell you, without success." So, as the law in
England favours the landlord, and if your house should collapse while
you held an unexpired lease on it, your landlord would not be bound to
rebuild it, rather than be frozen or drowned within doors, you have
the repairs done at your own expense, and there is an end of it.

But let us come back to our _soirée musicale_, or rather let us go to
it, since, not suspecting what was in store for us, we have accepted
the invitation.

At nine o'clock you present yourself. Your hostess comes forward,
shakes hands with you, and makes you welcome.

"How good of you to come, Mr. X--."

----"It's very kind of you to say so."

----"Do you sing?"

----"No, I'm afraid I do not."

----"I congratulate you then," Mrs. Bull has more than once whispered
to me in reply.

----"Excuse me, but it is I who congratulate you. I should be sorry to
spoil your charming evening...."

----"I must leave you, the music is going to begin."

The executants follow one another with a rapidity that is bewildering.
I have sometimes witnessed prodigious feats at these private concerts.
I have heard as many as twenty-five songs in less than two hours, and
when I thought of the number of little black dots on all those pages
that had been turned over, and of the seeming inability of the
performers to hit one of them right, I have said to myself: "It is
really too unlucky; never was there anything so perverse. It is
wonderful when one comes to take into consideration the theory of
chances."

"_Concert_," says Littré, "is _action d'agir ensemble_." Not so in
England at musical parties: rather _the act of running after one
another without being able to catch one another_. These good folks in
their duets always seem to me to be singing vigorously at each other:
"You can't catch me, you can't catch me!"

The piano is generally good, I mean the instrument; although the
French piano has more sonority, and certainly more limpidity.

"_Nos pianos sont un peu sourds_," said an amiable hostess to me one
day in French.

"They are lucky," thought I.

The best thing to be done, when you find yourself in for an evening's
music of this kind, is to put a good face upon it, and keep quiet.
After all it is but an affair of ear scratches. One survives it.

I was ill-inspired enough one evening to move out of my corner. I had
been in torture for about two hours. "Come, old fellow," I said to
myself, "this will never do: you must rouse yourself and move about a
little, you are getting tipsy listening to this noise."

A young man, with a coppery, metallic voice, had just completed the
massacre of that beautiful song of Tito Mattel's "_Non è ver_." The
execution over, I rose, thinking the moment favourable, and advancing
to where the singer stood, I said to him,

"What a lovely song that is, to be sure! and how exquisitely you sing
it."

----"It is my favourite," he said to me, with a triumphant glance.

----"You sing it with such taste too. Do you know it in Italian?"

----"Sir! But I have just sung it in Italian."

----"Really? I beg your pardon, I was so much under the influence of
the melody that I was not listening to the words."

"I am not in luck to-night decidedly," I said to myself as I returned
to my seat, feeling rather silly. "But, after all, I brought it on
myself."

A quarter of an hour later, my Briton seated himself at the piano, and
played a nocturne rejoicing in the title of "Evening Breeze," or
something equally original. I was told in confidence that it was a
piece of his own composition. He played it correctly enough to satisfy
a mathematician, without putting more expression into it than a
musical-box would have done. For that matter, if you would please a
drawing-room audience here, you must sing or play like a machine; no
refractory muscle must compromise the British dignity.

The Englishman who shows his feelings loses his self-control, and
becomes an object for the contemptuous pity of his compatriots. It is
bad form.

The sympathetic voice is unknown: people sing more or less loudly,
more or less out of tune. When the hostess comes and tells you: "This
gentleman is going to sing; he has a magnificent voice," that means
that he has the voice of a Stentor.

If I had to describe the nearest approach to the effect produced on
one by Mrs. John Bull's _soirées musicales_, I should say, intense
pains which I can only compare to toothache in the intestines. Imagine
yourself to be having a molar tooth extracted from the depths of your
stomach.

       *       *       *       *       *

The musical evenings, _passe encore_: people make a good deal of
noise, and you have the satisfaction of feeling that you are alive.
Besides, when the row is over, you sup; and, as I have told you, Mrs.
John Bull's suppers are very good.

But there is something worse than the musical party; it is the
_conversazione_, so called, because at this entertainment, you walk
about a great deal and converse very little.

On your arrival, you go and shake hands with your host and hostess,
then off you go: your card of invitation is as good as a _feuille de
route_. You walk at a funeral pace, with slow and solemn steps, until
your knees give way, or your head swims. Then you steer for the
buffet, and if you know how to use your elbows, you get a cup of tea
or coffee, an ice, or a few biscuits. The buffet, being generally the
great attraction of the evening, sustains a formidable siege, and you
will not get at it without a struggle or even a few bruises. But after
your first stage, you feel you must halt and take some refreshment,
even though it cost you two or three blows: it is a case of necessity.

As soon as the inner man is refreshed, you must put your best foot
foremost and be off once more. England expects every man to do his
duty. As to passing the evening at the buffet, it is not to be thought
of. You cast a sad glance at the ices _à la vanille_ and other nice
things that you turn your back on regretfully, and you start on your
second round, hoping on the way to be introduced to some lady and to
have an occasion to return to the buffet with her. No whist tables at
the _conversazione_, few chairs, some albums to turn over. These
meetings, called conversazioni, but which might as appropriately be
called walking parties (or _ambulazioni_?), are very favourite forms
of amusement. If they were not so crowded, you might perhaps feel
inclined to give your calves a good rubbing, and start ahead to do in
an hour the three or four miles that are expected of you. When you
feel your legs becoming a prey to thousands of needles and pins, you
seek out the master of the house, and say to him, "Thank you so much
for a very charming evening." He invariably answers, "I am so glad you
have enjoyed yourself." It is good form to make these remarks without
bursting out laughing in each other's faces.

John Bull, consummate master of the _art de s'ennuyer_, never invented
anything duller than the conversazione; it is the _ne plus ultra_ of
the art.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Royal Academy of Paintings, the London _Salon_, opens on the 1st
of May. If you call on Mrs. John Bull during the months of May or
June, the first thing she will ask you is: "Have you been to the
Academy? What pictures did you like best?" Now, the English are very
good judges of painting, and I am ashamed to say that, for my part, I
do not know a Van Dyck from a Van Daub. As I might venture to reply:
"I noticed such and such a picture," and create a poor impression, I
have found a way out of the difficulty by the following very simple
means. I get some artist friend to point out to me a score of the best
pictures in the collection; I have a good look at them, carefully
commit their names to memory, and set off to pay my calls.

"Have you been to...?" says Mrs. Bull.

----"Oh! yes.... By-the-bye, did you notice such and such a
picture...?"

Thus I spare myself a great deal of trouble and many blunders: first,
two whole days looking at the pictures, a stiff neck ... and, last but
not least, the annoyance of passing for an ignoramus, which is always
unpleasant ... especially when it is the case.

I suspect many a worthy Englishwoman of going to the Academy to see
the new summer fashions. As to the sons of Old Merry England, I have
often seen them take up their position at the buffet, and devote their
attention to the whisky and brandy until the return of the ladies they
brought with them. By this means they are enabled to see at the
Academy twice as many pictures as the hanging Committee have admitted.



XIII.

Ladies of the Royal Family--Mrs. Christian--Minnie and Alec--The Noble
Lord the Poet-Laureate--Wanted an English Academy.


Say to an English Conservative that Gladstone is an old rascal, and
Chamberlain a dangerous demagogue, and he will exclaim: "You are
right."

Say to a Liberal that Salisbury is a humbug, Stafford Northcote an old
woman, and Randolph Churchill a political _gamin_, and he will reply:
"You have the measure of them."

But venture to speak jokingly of the Queen, and your Englishman, be he
Liberal or Conservative, will fly at you like a bull-dog.

The reason is simple enough.

According to the Conservatives, a Liberal Government never has done,
and never will do, anything right.

According to the Liberals, a Conservative Government never
accomplished, and never will accomplish, anything but blunders or
atrocities.

But in insulting the Queen, who can do nothing wrong, and is thus
placed in a position of safety, removed from all party jealousies, you
are insulting England, and on this point the Englishman is not to be
trifled with; and indeed, be not deceived, this is the very secret of
his strength.

Happy the country that has sons ready, when the hour of danger comes,
to forget their own quarrels, and rally as one man around her
standard!

Go to a theatre, a concert, to the athletic sports of schoolboys, and
when the band strikes up "God Save the Queen," to announce that the
entertainment is at an end, you will see every man and boy bare his
head, every face grow serious, and, in the midst of this imposing
silence, this solemn attitude, you will be struck with admiration and
respect for this nation in whom the sound of a monotonous hymn can
awaken the deepest feelings of love for the mother-country.

Yet this boundless respect is less an act of homage to the monarchy
than to a court, which is untainted by the breath of scandal, and a
virtuous Queen who understands the duties of a constitutional
sovereign so well, that the best informed statesmen, whether Liberals
or Conservatives, declare that they know not to which side her heart
leans.

Not that the Queen's conservatism is not known to be of the strongest
kind; but she has always had enough tact, and respect for the
convictions of her subjects, to dissimulate her personal sentiments so
far, that a statesman may always pretend not to know them without
seeming to insult the common sense of his audience.

To read the speeches and decrees of the Queen, studded as they are
with the phrase "_it is our royal pleasure_;" to hear her royal assent
given to bills passed by both Houses of Parliament under the formula
of _La reyne le veult_, you would believe yourself in the Middle Ages,
or at least in the seventeenth century, under a despotic, absolute
monarchy. All these vestiges of old royal prerogatives are carefully
preserved in England, but they are merely empty forms: the will of the
Queen is not more terrible than the Tower of London, from which you
can now emerge as easily as you enter, and more easily too, for you
must pay sixpence to go in, and you can come out for nothing at all.
If a photograph could sign documents, the Queen's would replace her
quite well.

    "Gouvernement facile et beau,
      A qui suffit, pour toute garde,
    Un Suisse, avec sa hallebarde,
      Peint sur la porte du château."

The royal speeches and decrees are ratified and signed by the Queen,
and no doubt she previously reads them or has them read to her, but
not one phrase is hers, and if you would form an exact idea of her as
a woman, it is not her speeches and decrees that will help you.

In the second volume of the Queen's "Life in the Highlands," published
this year, you will look in vain for the slightest allusion to
politics; it is the journal of a country gentleman's wife, who takes
but small interest in anything outside the family circle. It is the
diary of a queen that gives her people but one subject of complaint,
which is that they do not see enough of her.

Happy queen! happy nation!

With the exception of _table d'hôte_ colonels' widows, and Polish
counts, who, in England as in every other country trodden of man, know
all the secrets of all the royal families in the world, and will tell
you with a mysterious look: "Oh! the Princess of _So-and-So_? I know
on excellent authority that she had to be married in all haste." Or:
"You know that little baby the Countess of ... had the other day? Dear
child! it will never know what it owes to His Royal Highness;" with
the exception, as I say, of these worthies, you will never hear anyone
in England tell you shady stories about one of the ladies of this
court, so pure and strict on the subject of conduct, that it is said
the Queen will not suffer a woman separated from her husband to be
presented to her, even were she a marchioness or a duchess.

It is by setting the example of a pure life; by allowing her people to
govern themselves as they think fit; by sympathising in the joys and
sorrows of her humblest subjects; by creating bonds of affection
between the cottage and the throne, that this Queen, this model
mother, has inspired in her subjects a love that is akin to worship.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Queen's daughters are artists. One has exhibited at the Royal
Academy; another has published some of her sketches in a monthly
magazine. You see them constantly visiting picture galleries and
painters' studios.

Their education has been such as a careful middle-class mother would
give to her daughters, and everyone knows that at the Swiss Cottage,
at Osborne, the young princesses learned to sew and keep house.

In 1866, Princess Alice, the wife of Prince Louis of Hesse, who in
1877 succeeded to the grand-ducal throne of Hesse-Darmstadt, wrote to
her mother, the ruler of the greatest empire in the world: "I have
made all the summer out walking dresses, seven in number, with
paletots for the girls, not embroidered, but entirely made from
beginning to end; likewise the new necessary flannel shawls for the
expected. I manage all the nursery accounts and everything myself,
which gives me plenty to do, as everything increases, and, on account
of the house, we must live very economically for these next years."

The letters of the Princess Alice, in which the house-mother is seen
in every line, were published in German a few years ago. Princess
Christian of Schleswig-Holstein has just given them to the world, in
English. The letters reveal in all its beauty the character of this
Princess, who lavished the care and tenderness of a heart full of
filial love upon her father in his last illness, and exactly seventeen
years after, fell a victim to the devotion with which she nursed her
husband and children through the terrible malady that was raging at
the time throughout the Grand-Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt.

I was one day in Soho Bazaar with two or three English ladies. A few
steps from us the Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein,
accompanied by her husband, was making some purchases. After having
chosen what she required: "You will send me these things," she said to
the young person who had served her.

----"To what address?"

----"To Buckingham Palace."

----"What name, madam?"

----"Oh!... Mrs. Christian!" cried the Princess gaily, at the same
time glancing at her husband, with an expression that betrayed her
enjoyment of the fun of the thing.

Marie Antoinette, the haughtiest of queens, loved to play the
shepherdess.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the month of September, 1883, the Poet Tennyson saw a little of the
King of Denmark's Court. Seated one evening near the young Empress of
Russia and her sister the Princess of Wales, he felt ill at ease, not
knowing by what title he ought rightly to address those royal ladies:
"I do not know," he said to them, "what I ought to call you?"

"Oh!" cried the charming Princess of Wales, "there is no difficulty:
Minnie and Alec, to be sure!"

The Princess's name is Alexandra, and that of the Empress of Russia
Marie Fedorovna.

Surely this was a very pretty answer, and such as one would expect
from the Princess _en vacances_.

Poor Tennyson! Mr. Gladstone has raised him to the peerage. The Poet
Laureate of England has consented to change his glorious name into
that of Lord Tennyson. For a long while, the news was treated by the
republic of letters as a hoax or a poor joke; but, alas! the report
was only too true. The graceful Saxon bard, who has so sweetly sung of
King Arthur and his knights of the Round-Table, takes his seat in the
House of Lords, just like Mr. Guinness, the manufacturer of double
stout. _Ah! quel honneur, Monsieur le Sénateur!_

It is a very shabby trick Mr. Gladstone has played him.

The word _esquire_ seemed quite ridiculous enough after the two names:
Alfred Tennyson; but Lord Tennyson! No, it is almost too much for
one's ears.

Where is the Frenchman who says _Monsieur_ Victor Hugo in speaking of
our immortal poet? And yet imagine, if you can, something still more
unseemly, fancy he had to be called _Monsieur le baron_ Victor Hugo,
and you will be able to form an idea of the public feeling here, when
it was known that Tennyson was going, of his own free will, to stick
the title of Lord in front of his name.

No one ever thought of reproaching Lord Byron for being titled: it was
an accident; he was but eleven years old when he inherited the title
and property of his great uncle. It is said that he wept for joy on
learning the honour that the accident of birth had conferred upon him.
What bitter tears Tennyson must have shed upon seeing himself, at the
close of his brilliant career, _the noble lord the Poet Laureate_! It
is a perfect suicide.

There was, too, in the genealogy of Alfred Tennyson wherewith to
satisfy the most ardent craving for distinction: among his ancestors
are to be found princes, kings, and even saints.

The Laureate's descent from John Savage, Earl Rivers, implies descent
from the first three Edwards, Henry III., John, the first two Henrys,
William the Conqueror, Edmund Ironsides, Ethelred, Edgar, Edmund I.,
Edward the Elder, Alfred, Ethelwulf, and Egbert: then Edward III.,
being the son of Isabelle, daughter of Philip the Fair, one may count
Saint Louis, Philip-Augustus, and Hugh Capet, among the Laureate's
ancestors. And these are not all. The _St. James's Gazette_, which a
short while ago gave the entire genealogy, showed that to the above
names might be added those of Ferdinand III., King of Castile and
Leon, canonised by Pope Clement X., the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa,
and several Scottish kings.

This is a grand array of noble names, or I am no judge. What can have
demoralised the descendant of such men?

Was it the voyage to Denmark?

Could it be a visit to the Court of Copenhagen, at a time when the
Czar of all the Russias, the Czarina, and the Princess of Wales were
there? Surely, even that was not enough to turn the head of the most
illustrious son of Albion.

What is Lord Tennyson going to do in the House of Lords? Will he vote,
he who has never mixed in politics, except perhaps when he was about
twenty (a long time ago), and the tone of his writings was decidedly
Radical? His presence in this august and venerable assembly will prove
once more that it is of no use looking upon the House of Lords as a
serious legislative body.

But, alas! England has no National Academy. Almost the only rewards
she has to offer a man of genius are a pension, a seat in the House of
Lords, or a corner at Madame Tussaud's.



XIV.

The Governess and other Servants of Mrs. John Bull's
Household--Lady-helps--English and French Servants--Burglar
Chase: the Policeman is successful for once.


In an English home the governess is a little more than a servant, a
great deal less than a guest. Her wages are inferior to those of the
cook, who seldom fails to remind her of it when she has a chance. The
butler patronises her, and if he sees her looking a little pale, he
will gallantly offer her a glass of port on his own responsibility.
The word _sir_ almost rises to the lips of the poor outcast when she
addresses this important personage. Her position is humiliating and
wretched. Everyone in the house seems to have a definite place, except
the poor governess. There is no welcome for her in the drawing-room;
there is no room for her in the kitchen. The family find her presence
a restraint; the servants think her proud and cordially hate her. With
none is she at her ease. She regrets that she did not take an
engagement of simple nurse; then she might have had an occasional chat
with the lady's-maid, and her existence might have been tolerable.

I read the following advertisement in my newspaper: "A young lady,
daughter and sister of clergymen, desires to enter a good family as
governess to children from eight to twelve years of age, to teach
English, drawing, music, arithmetic, French and German (acquired
abroad). A salary willingly accepted."

There is nothing startling for me in this advertisement. I know
governesses who have turned themselves into walking encyclopædias in
return for their washing and the right of partaking of scanty fare at
the family table; and many are there, who, disgusted with their
thankless calling, turn shop girls, earn from £50 to £70 a year, and
are well treated by their employers.

Many young girls belonging to families in easy circumstances go out as
morning governesses for the sake of adding a little to their
pocket-money. They have their homes and are independent; they are not
subjected to the constant mortifications the poor resident governess
has to endure.

A few certificated ladies, knowing how to command respect and good
salaries, manage to render their position pretty tolerable.

Offer to give an Englishman lessons at two shillings an hour, and he
will look upon you as a poor, needy wretch, and tell you "It's too
dear." Put on a high and mighty look, and ask him for a guinea, and
his eyes and mouth will grow round with respect; he will probably make
you a respectful bow and, with a few flattering words, pay what you
ask: _experto crede_.

I extract the following from the report of a case which was lately
heard at the Court of Queen's Bench.

A young governess claims the sum of £7 10s. for six months' lessons.
Her mistress refuses to pay her, because she left before the
expiration of the term; upon which the plaintiff states that she had
been struck by her mistress in the presence of the children, and had
left in consequence. The case is tried:

_Judge._--"Did you sign a twelve months' engagement?"

_Governess._--"No, my lord, I should never think of signing such a
thing."

_Judge._--"Why?"

_Governess._--"Because at the end of six months I always need a rest."

_Judge._--"I can understand that. I don't doubt that before long you
will find engagements of three months' duration quite long enough to
satisfy you." (Laughter).

_Governess._--"Neither do I, my lord." (Renewed laughter).

Later on the Judge addresses the defendant.

_Judge._--"Do you admit having struck the plaintiff?"

_Defendant._--"Yes, my lord, I gave her a slap."

_Judge._--"In the presence of your children?"

_Defendant._--"Yes, my lord; the plaintiff had insulted my little
boy."

_Judge._--"In what way?"

_Defendant._--"She had called him 'rude little fellow' and 'little
idiot.' Your lordship will quite understand that I could not put up
with such conduct in a governess."

And, as she pronounced the words _in a governess_, the look of disgust
on the face of the excellent lady must have been a sight to be seen.
It would have been a charity to offer her a glass of water to rinse
her mouth.

Who would be a governess and highly educated?

But unfortunately the fact is that in England a governess rarely is
very highly educated. She becomes a governess much as many a man
becomes a schoolmaster: to take revenge on the backs of a rising
generation for mortifications endured in the battle of life.

Private teaching is a _pis aller_; it is a career, not lucrative it
is true, but that you can embrace ... when you have tried all kinds of
employments without succeeding at any, and things are looking bad.

When England possesses a teaching body recognised as professional;
when no one will be permitted to teach without having previously
obtained a certificate of capacity, a thing required of the
apothecary's assistant; when the law forbids the dispensing of
adulterated instruction, the governess will be able to hold up her
head: she will have in her pocket a certificate of superiority over
the mother of the children confided to her care; she will no longer
have to blush for her calling, but, on the contrary, will be able to
take a pride in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Correctly speaking, there are few servants in England; there are young
ladies (pronounced _laïdies_) who, for a certain indemnity which they
seldom deserve, consent to black your boots, clean your knives, wash
dishes, and at the price of your tranquillity, save you the trouble of
doing some rather disagreeable things, which you could easily do for
yourself, if you had been taught better principles of equality in your
youth, and had been brought up in habits more in accordance with the
progress of democracy.

In America, among John Bull's cousins, you find no more servants:
there are lady-helps whom the mistress of the house treats on terms of
equality. The negro alone still consents, for a consideration, to lend
the boots of the Yankee a little of the brilliant ebony of his own
ugly muzzle. The lady-helps require references. Before engaging
themselves, they make inquiries of the lady-helps who have preceded
them, as to the character of the lady of the house, who, it is to be
hoped, will soon have to keep her character book. The consequence is
that many American ladies have given up house-keeping and taken to
living in hotels.

A friend of mine visited America in 1876, the year of the Exhibition
in Philadelphia. Provided with letters of introduction to several
important personages in Washington, he looked forward to passing a
pleasant time in American society. He soon received an invitation from
a senator to go and pass a few days in his country-house near
Washington. My friend accepted with alacrity, and repaired to the
senator's residence on the following Saturday: it was a fine country
house, it appears. After a very pleasant evening, spent with the
family, he retired to his room, and went to bed, charmed with the two
pretty daughters of his host, between whom he had had the pleasure of
sitting, at table. Next morning, he rose, and after making an
irreproachable toilette, gently opened the door to seize his boots.
Great was his surprise to see them just in the same condition as they
were the night before, when he had put them outside the door. They had
not been touched. Was it an oversight or a mystification? What was to
be done? My good friend was lost in conjecture, when the senator
happened to come up, and seeing his guest's rueful countenance, tapped
him lightly on the shoulder, and said: "My dear fellow, how careless I
am! I quite forgot to tell you last night where to find the brushes
and blacking."

But let us return to the daughters of John Bull.

In France, a servant is recognised by her little clean and
coquettish-looking muslin cap; here she is known rather by her
feathers. The Frenchwoman of the lowest classes has the love of linen,
it is her ambition to have her cupboards full of it; not so the
Englishwoman, she ignores it: while she is washing her chemise, she
has none to put on her body. The French servant, in the provinces at
all events, puts by her wages, so as to be able one day to retire to
her native village and live on her little income. The English servant
spends her modest wages on feathers, furs and furbelows of all sorts.
It is in the blood.

A French lady of my acquaintance had a young housemaid, in whom she
took an interest. Seeing that the girl spent all her earnings on
worthless finery, and that the remonstrances she addressed to her on
the subject produced no effect, she wrote to the mother, begging her
to give her daughter some good advice: "Your daughter may perhaps one
day marry some steady workman: you should teach her to be economical
and careful," said she. The mother came in a furious state. "Mind your
own business," cried she to my friend; "my daughter is as good as you,
I suppose. Can't she be free to spend her money as she likes? I wonder
what next! She does your work and doesn't interfere with your affairs!
It's a pity you don't stay in your parlour and leave the kitchen
alone." And this excellent mother, indignant, immediately took her
daughter away.

In England, servants must be kept at a distance if you care in the
least for your comfort; you give them their orders, you do not talk to
them.

In France, we still have good old servants whom we can treat
familiarly without fear of their taking any liberty on that account.
In our good homely provincial life, which is not sufficiently admired
and appreciated abroad, because it is ignored, it is not rare to see
an old cook living on her five or six hundred francs a year, and to
whom the children of her former master and mistress send a dainty dish
or a bottle of old wine, whenever there is a _fête_ in the family.
No, our home life is not understood. Because we are light-hearted and
see the sunny side of things, we are called frivolous: we, the most
economical and hard-working nation in the world. If we are not
colonists like the English, it is because we are too fond of our
homes, it is because we cannot bear to leave our beloved country. No,
our family life is a closed letter for foreigners; I repeat it. Yet,
it is of our homes that we may justly be proud, for it is there that
beat some of the warmest hearts on earth. In the humblest French
families, we find love, freedom and happiness, thanks to the
cheerfulness and charming _bonhomie_ of the father, thanks to the
kisses of the adorable mother; and it is not the coldness and
solemnity of the British family circle, that a son leaves without a
tear, or the slightest emotion, to go and settle in New Zealand or
some other colony at the other end of the world, that can compare very
advantageously with the charm of intimacy and unrestraint which reigns
around the French hearth. The great problem to solve in life, is not
only how to make colonies, but how to be happy and make happy those
who live with us in the hallowed family circle.

This problem we have solved.

But there I am digressing again, I am very much afraid, and forgetting
that I was going to talk to you, gentle reader, about English
servants. Forgive me, but really I have my head stuffed full of all
the things that I hear said about us by English people who study
French life on the Boulevard des Italiens between eleven o'clock and
midnight, or in novels of which all the heroes and heroines are stock
exchange _roués_ and disreputable women.

       *       *       *       *       *

Upper servants ask from £30 to £50 a year. In an ordinary middle-class
house, where you have to be content with the general servant, that is
to say the maid-of-all-work, who does none properly, and that you pay
from £15 to £20 a year, the ladies of the house have to make the beds
and cook the dinner. Her acquaintance with culinary art seems to be
confined to the boiling of potatoes, and she appears to pass the
greater part of her time in scrubbing the kitchen floor and cleaning
the steps in front of the house. This latter operation is performed,
kneeling, by means of a stone _ad hoc_, and damp cloths that are
dipped in a pail of water and wrung out with the hands. Why this hard
work is not done with a broom, which would save half the labour, and
all the lumbago and diseases of the knees that are the consequences of
it, I cannot imagine.

There is no affection whatever between mistress and maid, not even
the slightest attachment, and it is rare to see a servant longer than
twelve months in the same house. According to the servant, one place
is as good as another; according to the mistress there is not much to
choose between the maids. For the slightest reason a change is made,
"This won't suit me. Good-day, good-bye."

When the servant is ill, she is promptly despatched to the hospital;
when the mistress is ill, a sister, a friend, or a nurse is called in,
so that between drawing-room and kitchen there exist none of those
sentiments of gratitude which might hinder the growth of that great
English virtue--independence of the heart.

Of all the girls of the lower classes, servants are the most sought
after for wives: and the reason is not far to seek. Generally
smart-looking and well-dressed, with a little cap of lace and ribbon,
that adds greatly to their comeliness, coquettishly stuck on the top
of the head, and the bust generally well-developed by the exercise of
the arms, these girls are much more attractive than the sluts of the
English lower orders; but accustomed in service to spend their
earnings upon unbecoming finery, and to waste coals they have not to
pay for, they must make but very poor wives for artisans.

As I said just now that the English servant is known by her feathers,
I must explain that the little lace head-dress of which I have just
spoken is only worn in the house. If a servant has to go out, were it
but to cross the road, she takes off her cap and puts on her hat and
plumes.

       *       *       *       *       *

Every English servant, in fact, every English girl who is not
hunchbacked, has her lover, and ladies think it quite natural that she
should ask permission to go walking about with him, and sweethearting
one or two evenings in the week. The permission is invariably
accorded, unless the "young man" happens to be a grenadier or some
other red-coat in the service of Her Majesty, of whom the English lady
is just as suspicious as the _Parisienne_ is of the _cousin_ or the
_pays_ of the French servant. You see, these fine fellows of six feet
high are irresistible, with their hair parted in the middle and well
plastered with pomade, with their tight trousers and their odoriferous
penny cigars! Besides, in the army, there is no trifling with time:
love affairs are managed much like Her Britannic Majesty's enemies:
_tambour battant_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of all the sweethearts of the domestic servant, the policeman appears
to me to enjoy his good fortune the most quietly and securely. This
peaceful official has admirable facilities for making a good choice.
As he stalks leisurely up and down the street on duty, he is not long
in discovering the prettiest pair of eyes on his beat; and one of the
surest protections against burglars in London is to have a pretty
servant. I can assure you the policeman will take the safety of your
house to heart. He will even, in his zeal, go so far as to come and
see, between ten and eleven at night, whether your door is well
fastened. If you should be keeping late hours any evening, and he
should perceive a glimmer of light through the venetians, his guardian
of the honest and peaceful citizen will not hesitate to knock
discreetly at your door. On your presenting yourself, he will
apologise: "He was afraid some one might have got in." You thank him
warmly, congratulating yourself that the payment of your income tax,
which is partly devoted to recompensing the policeman for his trouble,
insures you the full and undisturbed enjoyment of your goods and
chattels, and does away with the necessity for your sleeping with one
eye open. As you watch him retire with a smile on his lips, you have
no hesitation in ascribing his radiant look to the satisfaction born
of a sense of duty fulfilled; and, as a Government official is always
glad to have an opportunity of showing the zeal with which he
accomplishes his duty, you doubt not that the worthy fellow was
delighted you opened the door to him yourself, for this opportunity
he would have lost if your pretty servant had gone to the door
instead, and, most decidedly, it was not in the hope of seeing her
that he paid you this little nocturnal visit.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was in the month of March of last year.

I was sitting in my study reading one evening, when the door opened
suddenly and my servant entered breathless.

----"Oh! sir," she cried, "there is a burglar in the house; the
policeman is below, if you would come and speak to him!"

I did not wait to be asked twice, but ran downstairs as fast as I
could. The policeman was at the area door, his bull's eye in his hand.

----"I have just seen a man on the roof of your house, sir," said he
to me. "If you will go up and watch to prevent him from getting in at
the windows of the upper story, while I search the garden and go round
the house, he can't escape us."

It seemed to me that the gallant policeman assigned me a more
dangerous post than the one he reserved for himself; but after all, as
I had more interest than he in preventing the robber from entering my
house, I went upstairs and lay in ambush, having taken care to arm
myself with the strongest stick I could find in the hall.

I remained at my post of observation for a good quarter of an hour.

Tired of awaiting my burglar, who gave no more sign of life than a
corpse, I returned at last to the kitchen to see what success the
policeman had met with. He had caught nobody.

----"I can't see anything of him, sir; the rascal must have got away."

----"But how?" I exclaimed; "burglars have not the power of rendering
themselves invisible like Mahdis."

----"I can't make it out at all," replied the worthy guardian of the
public peace evidently embarrassed. And taking up his lantern, that he
had placed on the kitchen table, he wished me "Good-night" and
retired.

----"Did you see anyone or hear any noise," I asked the servant.

----"No, sir."

----"You have had a fright all the same; you are looking quite
excited."

----"Oh! yes, sir, I was rather frightened," said she.

I went back to my study a little bit reflective. Policemen, like
gendarmes, are all alike. And yet it seemed to me that the face of the
one I had just spoken to was not unfamiliar to me, and that it was he
that I had espied one evening from behind my curtain, taking the
measure of my servant's waist as they stood at the gate together.

The end of this true story of brigands is, that the girl left my
service in the following month of May to get married, and that in the
end of the same year, a lusty little policeman made his entry into the
world, crying: "Stop thief!" at the top of his voice.

I always consider that policeman as wanting in the first duties of
politeness and gratitude in not asking me to stand godfather to the
youngster.

It was the least he could have done.



XV.

In the Smoking-room--_Causerie_.


(_John Bull, Esquire, and Monsieur, his neighbour, talk on matrimonial
matters._)

_J. B._--"So, my dear fellow, you are going to be married, it is quite
decided."

_Monsieur._--"Yes, quite."

_J. B._--"And who is the lady, if I may be so bold?"

_Monsieur._--"A charming English girl."

_J. B._--"Ah! charming, of course.... But what else?"

_Monsieur._--"What else? But that is already a great deal, it seems to
me. What would you have, my dear sir? A pair of heavenly blue
eyes...."

_J. B._--"I congratulate you."

_Monsieur._--"A lovely figure...."

_J. B._--"A lovely figure! My dear fellow, my countrywomen get all
that over from Paris. The _Bon Marché_ supplies any amount of lovely
figures at six or seven francs apiece.... For a Frenchman, you seem to
be going in for matrimony rather young."

_Monsieur._--"That is true; but a bachelor's life is so dull and so
dear in England! I am getting tired of it. Besides, I don't know, but
I fancy there is something about the English life that induces one to
marry. Existence in England is wretched, unless you have a house of
your own. There are no cafés ... your clubs and restaurants are dismal
... and your women are delightful ... how can one hesitate long? In
one of the suburbs of London, I have discovered a dear little house,
hidden under linden-trees, and covered with virginia creepers,
jasmine, and honeysuckle. It took my fancy, and as I looked at the two
big bolts on the front door, I thought to myself that, after paying
the rent and taxes, it must be pleasant to push over the bolts and
feel oneself master of something.... The feeling grows, and sets one
thinking that it is time to be getting a little property together....
Yes, decidedly the best thing to be done in England is to marry."

_J. B._--"The young lady has money, I presume?"

_Monsieur._--"I don't know in the least, my friend. You do not
imagine, I suppose, that I went to my future father-in-law, and asked
him what he was going to give his daughter on her wedding day, as the
custom is in France."

_J. B._--"No, of course not. Ah! you Frenchmen are bad diplomatists.
There is no need to ask such questions point-blank ... you can make
inquiries ... satisfy yourself."

_Monsieur._--"I am quite in the dark on the matter."

_J. B._--"And if your wife proves to be penniless?"

_Monsieur._--"Well, in that case, we must live carefully, that is
all."

_J. B._--"My dear fellow, I am very much afraid you are going to make
a fool of yourself."

_Monsieur._--"Why, how many times have I heard you speak of marriage
as a duty, a sacred institution!"

_J. B._--"Yes; but I don't see why it should not be a useful one at
the same time.... For my part, I have a weakness for the Three per
Cents, I don't mind owning it."

_Monsieur._--"And I have a weakness for pretty women."

_J. B._--"You'll get over it. And if your wife is pretty now, she will
not be so always. Englishwomen are not so talented as their French
sisters in the _art d'accommoder les restes_, you know."

_Monsieur._--"I shall have a clever wife."

_J. B._--"Her cleverness will cease to strike you, when you have lived
with her a little while."

_Monsieur._--"An excellent pianist."

_J. B._--"Before six months are over, you will know all her pieces by
heart.... There is nothing serious about all these things. Marriage
improves a woman's position from a social point of view; a man is
wrong who does not take care that it improves his, from a financial
point of view."

_Monsieur._--"I am no speculator."

_J. B._--"Neither am I, and this is the very reason why I like the
Three per Cents. Beauty fades, ephemeral charms disappear, and solid
qualities remain. Girls that have money want to be married as well as
those that have none; it would be unfair, my dear boy, to pass them
over, because they have money. Your Balzac says that a man who sets
foot in his wife's dressing-room is either a philosopher or a fool. I
go further than Balzac, and maintain that a man who marries must be a
philosopher or a fool, unless he takes advantage of it to improve his
position. You speak of love, my dear fellow, but matrimony is the very
profanation of love. It is only in Eastern countries that love and
woman are properly understood. It is habit that kills love; in the
East, women are slaves that do not live with men from morning to
night: they appear before their husbands only from time to time, and
exhaling the most exquisite perfumes. But, in Europe, upon my word,
they believe themselves their husbands' equals.... In England, they
take cheese and stout before going to bed. You see them with their
heads covered with curls, and you think how pretty they look, don't
you? But, my dear innocent fellow, don't you know that to obtain those
lovely curls, the sweet creatures must go to bed with their heads
loaded with waving-pins and curl-papers? Yes ... it is thus that your
wife will probably adorn herself for the night in order to be
beautiful ... not for _you_ at the moment, but for other people, you
perhaps included, on the morrow. _On the morrow_, mark you, my boy!
When you have undergone this kind of treatment for a few months--I
give you twelve, if you are a good diplomatist--you will penetrate
into your wife's apartment with about as much emotion as you would
enter the 'bus for the Bank. No, matrimony is dinner without dessert;
no little delicacies, no luxuries: a continual, eternal, sempiternal
_pot-au-feu_.... Respect, esteem, if you like...."

_Monsieur._--"Whose fault is that, my dear Mr. Bull? A woman is what
her husband makes her; it is Balzac who says that too. In love, as in
cookery, you have but one sauce.... It is possible to respect a woman,
and at the same time to be in love with her: respect and esteem are
the daily bread of matrimony; but a little honey on it now and then
does no harm."

_J. B._--"Moonshine--childishness--nonsense--my dear sir!"

_Monsieur._--"Call it nonsense and childishness, as much as you like;
but happiness is made up of all kinds of nonsense, _abandon_--a word,
by-the-bye, for which you have no equivalent in English--hearty
laughter, good kisses and the like; such nonsenses have a far more
pleasant sound to my ear than the _sacred bonds of matrimony_, the
_gravity of family life_...."

_J. B._--"_Mon cher ami_, it is easy to see that you come from a
frivolous country, where the women lead the men by the nose...."

_Monsieur._--"And the men enjoy it."

_J. B._--"A social system that is not built upon the submission of
woman is shaky."

_Monsieur._--"And what about happiness ... and joy? Where do you look
for them? In your banking account?"

_J. B._--"One would think you had a supreme contempt for banking
accounts, upon my word."

_Monsieur._--"Not I. Peace of mind may come from a good banking
account, I admit, but joy comes from the heart.... Matrimony seems to
me to be the finest institution going, I assure you; and I think it a
great fault of novelists to end their stories with the marriage
ceremony.... If ever I turned novelist--Heaven protect me and the
public from such a calamity!--my story should open with orange
blossoms and old slippers, and I should not disdain a pretty little
plump mother in her thirties, as a heroine for the middle chapters of
my book."

_J. B._--"I was congratulating you just now upon the news of your
marriage ... but it is the young lady that I should like to
congratulate from the bottom of my heart. My dear fellow, if you get
spreading those ideas of yours about this country, we matter-of-fact
Britons shall soon look in vain for women who will marry us.... And
whilst you are on the chapter of confidences, you might initiate me
into your secret and tell me how you do away with ... the little
drawbacks of matrimony."

_Monsieur._--"I do not do away with them, but I foresee them and am
prepared to meet them."

_J. B._--"Very good; but how?"

_Monsieur._--"I cannot say that I have plans of campaign well marked
out ... but, in my own mind, I say to myself: In matrimonial life, a
little diplomacy is necessary to prevent its becoming humdrum, and I
fully intend that my conjugal life shall not be humdrum. The bond and
habit are the two mortal enemies of love. _Bonjour, contrat! adieu,
amour!_ Well, since legal marriage was invented by some idiot or
scoundrel, it is for a sensible man to make the best of it, and to
forget, as quickly as possible, all the incongruous nonsense that has
been dinned into his ears, about marriage being a stern reality and a
rather disagreeable undertaking. I am going to try it; but I start
with the firm intention of being and remaining my wife's lover. I
shall do my best to forget that I am married. The illusion of the
stage is all gone for him who penetrates behind the scenes. We shall
each have our own quarters. Madame will sometimes allow Monsieur to
conduct her to his room; sometimes it will be Monsieur who will glide
into Madame's, when all around is hushed in slumber. We shall each
have a room that will be closed to the other: the boudoir for Madame,
the study for Monsieur. These two retreats I look upon as the
strongholds of love in matrimonial life."

_J. B._--"Well done."

_Monsieur._--"Let me explain. A man who would continue to inspire
esteem and love in a sensible wife, must not live constantly in her
society. To keep up a certain prestige in her eyes, he must lead a
busy life, and if ever he has nothing to do, he must be able to appear
as if he had. Therefore, when I have nothing particular in hand, I
shall lock myself into my study. There I shall read the paper and
smoke a cigar; but before shutting myself in, I shall be careful to
ask my wife to kindly see that I am not disturbed, as I shall be busy
all the morning, or all the afternoon, as the case may be. On the
other hand, when Madame has her vapours, or does not feel very
sociable, she will retire to her boudoir and send me word that she is
indisposed. In this boudoir, that I shall have coquettishly furnished,
she will receive a friend, read a novel, rest and dissipate her ill
humour. By this arrangement, we shall only be together when we feel
attracted towards each other, and I shall not be doomed to pass whole
evenings yawning in my wife's society. Why should a man do before his
wife that which would be considered the height of rudeness, if she
were any other woman?"

_J. B._--"Ah! my dear fellow, it is a fine thing to be young! Your
illusions are wonderful. I rather like that growlery idea of yours,
though: never show your wife that she is entitled to expect amiability
from you at all seasons, without having any effort to make to obtain
it. People get none the worse served for being a little hard to
please, in all circumstances of this life. I suppose you have not
informed the lady in question of these plans of yours?"

_Monsieur._--"Indeed I have, my dear Mr. Bull, and what is more, she
approves highly of them...."

_J. B._--"Well, my dear fellow, since you have made up your mind to go
in for matrimony, I am glad to see that you are preparing to rob it of
its drawbacks. When a man has entered into a compact that he cannot
draw out of, he is a fool if he does not do his best to turn it to his
own advantage.... But I fancy the ladies must be expecting us in the
drawing-room."

_Monsieur._--"Let us go and join them."



XVI.

The Brune and the Blonde--Madame la Comtesse d'A. and Lady B. chat a
little about their husbands, discuss their respective merits, and
indulge in several little confidences.


(_The scene is laid in a small drawing-room. The two friends are
seated, engaged in needlework._)

_Lady B._--"How beautifully you embroider, dear! You use your needle
to perfection. That little pink bird is exquisitely shaded. I should
never get to blend my colours as you do. And how your fingers fly!"

_La Comtesse._--"_Ah ça!_ you think, I daresay, that we Frenchwomen
only know how to read novels."

_Lady B._--"Indeed I don't; on the contrary, I know very well that you
are wonderfully clever with your needle. But what you are doing there
is too delicate for slippers, don't you think so? Those colours will
be so quickly soiled, especially if the Count has my husband's trick
of crossing his feet when he is sitting or lounging in his easy
chair."

_La Comtesse._--"They are only for the bedroom. I don't like men in
slippers, it makes them look shorter, and authorises them to take
little liberties in one's company--to cross their legs, and so on; I
shall have heels put to these, I will not have my husband lose a
particle of his height in my eyes. And you, dear, what is that you are
about?"

_Lady B._--"A kind of calotte. We call it a smoking-cap in English."

_La Comtesse._--"You don't mean it?"

_Lady B._--"Why not?"

_La Comtesse._--"How old is Lord B.?"

_Lady B._--"Thirty-two."

_La Comtesse._--"And you are going to let him wear a cap like that?
(_Laughing heartily._) But, _ma chère_, the forehead is the finest
part of a man. If you tolerate a skull cap, we shall soon see you
knitting him night-caps. It's a sloping and dangerous path you are on.
There's divorce ahead...."

_Lady B._--"Oh! I like to see men at their ease about the house."

_La Comtesse._--"At their ease! And supposing you do, that's not a
reason for making them frights. They are quite ugly enough as they
are. Besides, you will make that poor Lord B. horribly susceptible to
cold in the head. Do you know anything more ridiculous than a man with
his nose turned into a noisy trumpet? I should never be able to help
laughing in his face; it would be no use my trying."

_Lady B._--"For shame!"

_La Comtesse._--"It takes such a trifle to spoil a man. Just take the
case of the Marquis de P.; he is a splendid-looking man, a gentleman
every inch; the carriage of a king. Would you believe it, the
marchioness, who, it is said, is as much in love with him as when they
were first married, lets him wear spectacles? He looks for all the
world like a German doctor in them."

_Lady B._--"But what if he is short-sighted?"

_La Comtesse._--"A fine reason that! _Les lunettes sont des remèdes
d'amour._ As if he couldn't wear a _pince-nez_ or an eye-glass. I
rather like an eye-glass, don't you?"

_Lady B._--"No, indeed, I think them horrid."

_La Comtesse._--"Do you really? Now, I think they give a man a little
air of impertinence that is not disagreeable. On young fellows, I
admit, they are detestable; but on a man over thirty, I assure you, I
rather like them.... Why, dear, nearly every gentleman wears an
eye-glass in England!"

_Lady B._--"That is true, but they do not use them to stare rudely at
every woman they meet. I consider Frenchmen dreadful offenders in that
respect."

_La Comtesse._--"Englishmen are indifferent towards women."

_Lady B._--"That's quite a mistake, my dear; their apparent
indifference is really respect, and, thanks to that respect, we can go
where we like in peace and safety. I don't mind telling you that I
have my doubts about the real motives of the politeness of Frenchmen."

_La Comtesse._--"How can you talk like that? you, who come from a
country where a man thinks nothing of pushing past a lady and making
her stop in the street, or of entering a railway carriage before her!
No matter where he may be, a Frenchman will always stand aside to let
a woman pass...."

_Lady B._--"Yes, to have a better look at her. Now, at the theatre,
for instance, to me they are particularly annoying, your Frenchmen.
Between the acts, they come and stand about in the corridors and near
the boxes, and there, a yard or two from you, they will examine you in
detail through their opera-glasses. You may think yourself lucky if
they do not forthwith pass all sorts of remarks about you. That kind
of thing annoys and insults a woman. You may call it gallant, if you
like; I call it rude."

_La Comtesse._--"Rather impertinent, I will admit."

_Lady B._--"Impertinent, indeed! that is a mild word for it. Do you
know, one evening--it was at the Opera--I was in a box ... a little
_décolletée_ ... _en losange_, you know ... it was very fashionable in
1880."

_La Comtesse._--"It will come in again, you may be sure, _c'était
mutin en diable_."

_Lady B._--"What did you say it was?"

_La Comtesse._--"I said it was _mutin en diable_. Does that shock
you?"

_Lady B._--"Yes, a little: it reminds me of an expression of my
husband's."

_La Comtesse._--"What expression?"

_Lady B._--"I don't like to tell you."

_La Comtesse._--"What nonsense, dear; it's only between ourselves:
nobody else can hear."

_Lady B._--"Well then, it was one evening on coming home from a
banquet, he told me I was _damned_ pretty."

_La Comtesse._--"Did he? (_kissing her._) Well, so you are."

_Lady B._--"How would you say that in French? Would you say _jolie à
faire ... damner_?"

_La Comtesse._--"_Jolie en diable_ would be better."

_Lady B._--"I forgave him that night; he had been dining, as only our
husbands in England know how to dine.... When my husband comes home
late, I always wait up for him. Do you for yours?"

_La Comtesse._--"Of course I do, always. Besides, when the Count has
dined out, he is so entertaining."

_Lady B._--"I cannot say the same of Lord B.: he is a little bit dull
in his cups."

_La Comtesse._--"Well, dear, you were saying that you were at the
Opera one night in a low-necked dress, and that...."

_Lady B._--"Yes, true. I was forgetting; do lend me a needleful of
your pink silk.... Oh! that is soon told: it was neither an event nor
an adventure. As I told you, I was seated in my box.... Well, during
one of the _entr'actes_, two gentlemen came and took up their position
in front of me, and never took their eyes off my _corsage_ the whole
time. I was indignant."

_La Comtesse._--"You were wrong. When we indulge our coquetry to
satisfy our vanity, we ought to be willing to put up with the
consequences."

_Lady B._--"To satisfy our vanity! How do you mean?"

_La Comtesse_ (_smiling_).--"Come now, I appeal to you: is it simply
to be a little cooler that we have our bodies cut low?"

_Lady B._--"No, of course not; we like to be _décolletées_, because it
is the fashion; because, if we did not, we should appear ridiculously
prudish and outlandish. Alas! we are the slaves of fashion!"

_La Comtesse._--"My dear, if your form resembled the poor little
Baronne de S.'s, do you believe that any fashion in the world would
make you wear a low-necked dress?... You would soon reconcile to
yourself the thought of appearing prudish, ridiculous, and
outlandish."

_Lady B._--"Then you excuse those two impertinent creatures?"

_La Comtesse._--"I am almost inclined to do so. I do not see why a man
should not take a pleasure in looking at that which it seems to give
us pleasure to show."

_Lady B._--"Well, I can only tell you that such a thing would never
have happened to me in England."

_La Comtesse._--"I can quite believe that. I have seen your countrymen
look at Vesuvius as unmoved as if they had been looking at the
chimneys of St. Etienne or Birmingham.... Besides, my dear, had you
not a fan with you to protect you?"

_Lady B._--"I have taken note of what you said just now, you know;
that if women are coquettish, it is to satisfy their vanity. Perhaps
you will succeed in explaining to me why there are women who carry
their coquetry as far as _la galanterie_?"

_La Comtesse_ (_seriously_).--"A coquette satisfies her own vanity; a
woman who misconducts herself satisfies the vanity of a man. She is a
fool."

_Lady B._--"Ah! that is better (_a few moments' silence_). By the bye,
have you seen Lady G. lately? Poor little woman! is she not an
inconsolable widow?..."

_La Comtesse._--"I saw her last Tuesday. I found her better ... she
was beginning to be a little more reasonable."

_Lady B._--"I saw her the day after Lord G.'s death. She was in a
pitiable state."

_La Comtesse._--"So did I; but that was nothing ... it was on the day
itself that you should have seen her.... She was beside herself ...
she had completely lost her reason.... You should have heard her
reciting the litany of her husband's good qualities. What qualities,
what virtues people discover in their dead relatives, to be sure: did
it never strike you so?... They say Lord G. has left her all his
fortune, at least all that he could leave her.... It is no light
matter being left a widow in England: ... your husbands are very
shrewd, do you know! English wives have a great interest in taking
every care of their husbands."

_Lady B._--"Such is not Lady G.'s case, however. Her husband leaves
her his fortune on condition she remains a widow. If she re-marries,
she loses all her rights."

_La Comtesse._--"Well, well, that is tyranny, or I never understood
the word. Not content with having been a despot all his life, he must
continue after his death to make his wife feel an authority that he
can only exercise by proxy. There! really, it is only in England that
you find husbands of that stamp."

_Lady B._--"I don't agree with you. I think a husband shows his wisdom
in protecting his wife against the fortune-hunters that might be
attracted by her money."

_La Comtesse._--"But a woman is not a baby that does not know one
thing from another ... and if your husbands did not treat you as
minors...."

_Lady B._--"Besides, after all, you must admit that if a man loves his
wife, it is not pleasant for him to think that there is perhaps an
individual who is only waiting for him to die, in order to marry his
widow and enjoy comfortably a fortune that has perhaps cost him great
trouble to amass."

_La Comtesse._--"I do not admit any such injunctions. A woman is
capable of devotion and fidelity. But as for imposing upon her a
sacrifice for which she is to be paid, I call it insulting. I should
never feel anything but contempt for the memory of a husband who had
treated me in such a way.... I should marry again and have done with
him and his money."

_Lady B._--"I can forgive jealousy in those who love deeply; at least
I excuse it."

_La Comtesse._--"And so can I, but what you were speaking of a moment
ago is not jealousy, it is vanity, the vanity of a tyrant.... _A
propos_ of vanity and wills, have you heard about the will of M. de
R.... No? Well then, this is the kind of vanity I admit of: M. de R.
kept up his reputation of a humorist and a good husband to his last
moment. What did he do the night before his death but send for his
notary, and, before his friends and relatives who were present,
dictate to him the following will: 'I have loved my wife dearly, and I
know that my wife has loved me dearly, and will regret me. I leave her
all I have, to do as she pleases with, without having to consult
anyone. I authorise her to marry again; I even advise her to do so; I
do not fear competition.' Now, I can assure you that though Madame de
R. is only thirty-five, and very pretty, she will never marry again.
That is a French husband, my dear."

_Lady B._--"I am very willing to believe all you tell me about French
husbands, and love in married life, but why do not your novels show
us something of that domestic happiness?"

_La Comtesse._--"Ah! I stop you. You are going to speak to me of
novels that treat of impossible society, of _blasé_ men and light
women: but we have others, my dear Lady B. If we have 'Nana,' we have
also 'Le Roman d'un Brave Homme,' 'L'Abbé Constantin,' 'Le Maître de
Forges;' ... I could name them by the hundred. By the bye, have you
ever read 'Monsieur, Madame, et Bébé'?"

_Lady B._--"Have I read it! Ten times at least, and I shall read it
many times more yet."

_La Comtesse._--"I congratulate you."

_Lady B._--"It was Lord B. who made me read it."

_La Comtesse._--"Lord B. is a sensible man. That delightful book ought
to be in every household ... like the Bible: it is a regular treatise
on happiness in married life. How many times have the Count and myself
passed delightful hours together reading a chapter or two of those
charming descriptions!--My husband is a very good reader.--And how
many chapters have we put in practice! How many of those lovely little
scenes have we played!"

_Lady B._--"How fond of you your husband must be!"

_La Comtesse._--"It is twelve years ago that we were married: twelve
years of cloudless happiness.... The Count grows handsomer every year.
He is rather stern-looking, you know, but I like that in a man. When
he frowns, he is superb ... and then, it is so easy to chase his
frowns away: he is so good, so generous, ... so attentive. Would you
believe it? he makes me a regular declaration every time he sees me in
a new dress."

_Lady B._ (_laughing_).--"Really! He must have a pretty milliner's
bill to pay at the end of the year! Ha! ha! ha! There now, positively,
I have broken my needle. Lend me another, dear, will you?"

_La Comtesse_ (_giving her a needle_).--"There is one."

_Lady B._--"Thank you! Oh! what a lovely _marquise_ you have on. Those
diamonds are magnificent; I never saw you wear it before."

_La Comtesse._--"No, it is one of the Count's last follies. I must
tell you that yesterday I had a little shopping to do at the Louvre.
The Count proposed to accompany me. I accepted with joy, and we set
off. But just as we arrived at the door of the shops his heart failed
him, he hesitated. 'After all, my dear,' he said to me, 'I will not go
in, I will come and fetch you. Do you think you will be long getting
what you want?' 'I don't know, two hours perhaps; what are you going
to do all that while?' 'Don't trouble about me, I shall be here at
five o'clock exactly ... do not keep me waiting.' A _rendez-vous_ with
my husband is something sacred; I have never yet kept him waiting. Men
always hate to be kept waiting, military men especially, it makes them
horribly ill-tempered. So at five o'clock I came out and found my
gallant husband at the door. 'Where have you been?' I asked him. 'Oh,
I have been strolling about dear.' He looked a little bit mysterious;
I immediately guessed that he had been up to mischief. Between you and
me, men are not very clever you know in hiding their secrets. The
Count betrays his like a child. His eyes publish them immediately: you
can read there as in an open book. He did not attempt to defend
himself long. Monsieur had been strolling in the galleries of the
Palais Royal and had bought me the ring that you see: the diamonds are
worth at least a hundred pounds. Now I ask you, my dear Lady B., if
after that one dare trust one's husband out of sight an instant?... It
did not prevent his having a good kiss when he reached home though, I
can assure you. Heaven knows how near I was to giving it to him in the
_Place du Palais Royal_."

_Lady B._--"How delightful it is to hear you talk like that; it does
one good (_looking at her embroidery_). This cap is horrible ... just
do look at that blue and green: ... do they not clash?"

_La Comtesse._--"Take my advice, and put it aside. Embroider a
cigar-case for Lord B. I did a beauty for the Count: his initials and
coronet in dark blue on a pearl grey ground...."

_Lady B._--"That is a good idea.--(_Drawing nearer the
Countess._)--Has the Count ever taken you to a _cabinet particulier_?"

_La Comtesse._--"Many times."

_Lady B._--"Lord B. says a man cannot take his wife to a _cabinet
particulier_."

_La Comtesse._--"My dear, you are not forced to exhibit your marriage
certificate to the waiter. The Count considers that a lady can go
anywhere with her husband, and, for my part, I don't see why all the
nice places should be reserved for certain characters, and the honest
women have to content themselves with the Bouillons-Duval. Those are
my ideas, you know."

_Lady B._--"They are mine, too, to a certain extent, but I fear
that...."

_La Comtesse._--"I fear, _ma belle_, that your husband respects you a
little too much. I don't dislike the Count's making me ... blush ...
sometimes."

_Lady B._--"Oh! Lord B. would never do that.... It is I that have
made him blush several times."

_La Comtesse._--"Yes? You are charming. Tell me all about it!"

_Lady B._--"That would be very hard."

_La Comtesse._--"Do send me your husband's photograph. I should so
like to have in my album the portrait of an English lord who blushes
when his wife shocks him."

_Lady B._--"By the bye, you have not told me what a _cabinet
particulier_ is like."

_La Comtesse._--"Oh! they are nothing very wonderful: little rooms
coquettishly furnished ... all the pleasure is in the novelty, the
strangeness of the thing; ... it is droll to disguise oneself as ...
the mistress of one's own husband."

_Lady B._--"Oh! do tell me more about it."

_La Comtesse._--"You want me to shock you, then?"

_Lady B._--"All women enjoy being shocked ... a little, you know ...
not too much."

_La Comtesse._--"Well, then, dear--it was nearly ten years ago--I was
at a ball with my husband. About one o'clock in the morning, I had
just been waltzing with him, we saw there was going to be no supper
... and we were getting as hungry as wolves.

"'I say, darling,' said the Count to me, 'I am terribly hungry; don't
you think it is time to go home?'

"'But, my dear, we shall find nothing to eat at home.'

"'No?--never mind, we will find a way out of that difficulty pretty
soon; we are _en carnaval_; we will go and sup at the _Maison Dorée_.'

"No sooner said than done; we left the ball-room, jumped into the
brougham, and in a few minutes we were ... in a _cabinet particulier_.
The Count had a little sardonic, triumphant expression, that made me
feel a little uneasy, but what was to be done? I tried to look as
dignified as possible, when the waiter came in to receive his orders.
With his wife, a man does not commit great extravagances: the Count
ordered oysters, a lobster salad, some cold chicken, ices, and a
bottle of iced champagne. I had never seen my husband so gay, so
bright, so witty.... Oh! how lovely it is to be adored by one's
husband!... At dessert the Count became somewhat enterprising ... I
mean very enterprising! Fortunately the waiter came in...."

_Lady B._--"Without knocking?"

_La Comtesse._--"Without knocking; they are accustomed to it.... They
see such things, you know."

_Lady B._--"It must be high fun for them."

_La Comtesse._--"Not at all ... habit, you see ... they would much
rather be in bed, I can assure you. Well, as I was telling you, the
waiter came in for my husband's orders. 'Waiter,' said he, 'you can go
now. Bring some coffee ... when I ring.' The waiter bowed and retired.
You should have seen with what ease the Count gave him this order....
Oh! you know, it was easy to see he had had ... a little experience
... it was not the first time he had supped in a _cabinet
particulier_."

_Lady B._ (_seriously_).--"How can you suppose such things?"

_La Comtesse._--"How can I? (_kissing her._) Dear child, how
refreshing you are! However, what is perfectly certain is that,
although rather light-headed with the two glasses of champagne that
the Count had poured out for me, I saw quite clearly that he was
locking the door."

_Lady B._--"Oh! I should have screamed."

_La Comtesse._--"I had a great mind to; but what was the good? No law
protects a woman from her husband; you know that. We have no Woman's
Protection Society in France yet; _you_ have, you see.... I had risen
indeed, but the Count had seized me in his arms.... By the way, don't
you think there is something curiously fascinating in the idea of a
woman in the strong arms of the man she loves and who adores her ...
as they stand, she helpless, almost _perdue_ ... _perdue_ in the arms
of your husband, it is not dangerous ... _on se retrouve_, you know
... he, holding her up, and gazing into her face with eyes that seem
to devour her...."

_Lady B._--"Don't talk about it."

_La Comtesse._--"Then...."

_Lady B._--"Call the waiter, and let us have the coffee, my dear
Comtesse: it is high time."

_La Comtesse._--"I will do something better than that: I will give you
a cup of tea ... _à l'anglaise_." (_She rings._)



XVII.

The Teetotal Mania--Second Epistle to John Bull--The darling Sin of
Mrs. John Bull, according to a venerable Archdeacon and a few
charitable Ladies--A free-born Briton, Member of the Yellow Ribbon
Army.


The Blue Ribbon Army numbers at the present time more than 600,000
soldiers, it is said. A little patience, and the water drinkers will
soon be as numerous as the drunkards. What spectacles of eccentric
contrasts! Picture to yourself children, urchins of three or four
years old, decorated with the blue ribbon; men and women persuaded
into pledging themselves in writing that they will never touch wine,
beer, or any other alcoholic drink. What folly! and, at the same time,
what a confession of weakness! Is it not, in fact, asking them to sign
that, since they do not know how to stop when they have quenched their
thirst, they will swear to touch no drink whatever? And you, John, my
friend, you are satisfied with this progress; you rub your hands with
pleasure and admiration; you are going to close your taverns, and
forbid your grocers to sell wines, beer, and spirits: are you simple
enough to imagine that a people is to be made virtuous by Act of
Parliament? Your parsons and old maids, who know that about a hundred
million pounds sterling is annually spent upon alcohol, move heaven
and earth to divert this golden stream into the coffers of the Church,
to take it out of the devil's clutches and give it _to God_; and you
take all they say for Gospel, without perceiving that you are simply
working for a few shrewd speculators, who are delighted to have an
opportunity of trading upon your pretensions to virtue, in order to
cover themselves with both profit and honour.

Do you remember, for instance, that a little while ago, the Gospel
Temperance Society of Edinburgh was hard up, because it had to pay a
hundred pounds sterling to a gentleman who, during a whole month, had
talked himself hoarse in trying to prove to the inhabitants of Auld
Reekie that, if they would ensure their welfare in this world ... and
the next, they must drink nothing but water, and that the said Society
had also to pay the hotel bill of this good apostle, a bill that
amounted to £52 13s.? By Jove! More than fifty-two pounds for a
month's board and lodging! Water is expensive in Edinburgh!

Do you not think that your working classes would look much healthier,
if instead of weak tea and bread more or less buttered, you made them
breakfast off good soup, or even drink a glass of sound home-brewed
ale? It is not total abstinence, but moderation, that should be
preached: moderation,[7] a word that seems to be fast dying out of
your vocabulary. It is not wine, but vice, that makes the drunkard,
says the Chinese proverb; it is not the wine or the beer then, but the
vice, that it should be your effort to suppress.

    [7] _Temperance_ means _moderation_ (_temperare_), and not
    _total abstinence_.

_In medio veritas et virtus_; but the motto of your island unhappily
seems to be _In extremis dementia_. Your arms carry too far, and you
kill nothing.

All those insensate doctrines make a few fanatics and hypocrites, but
comparatively few serious proselytes, and, moreover, they tend to
produce the most violent reactions. Besides, do not forget that your
tea which you swallow in such quantities, your lemonade, and all the
tribe of artificial and teetotal drinks, have made you bilious, old
fellow; yes, bilious, dyspeptic, hypochondriac, morose, and crabbed;
and you ought to know that no Divine law forbids us to enjoy the good
things that Providence has strewn around us for our use, though the
law of Nature does teach us to use them with discretion.

You laugh at us because, when we are at table with our family, we do
not scruple to cover our chest with our _serviette_; you are much
amused at our commercial travellers, who, at a _table d'hôte_, bravely
tie it around their necks, and set to work as if they meant to do
serious execution, and you exclaim, "What gluttons! How they eat!"

But you are a little bit jealous, dear boy, that is all. Yes, at
table, we set aside our cares, we are happy, we talk and laugh with
our wives and children, and make the pleasure last as long as we can.
And if we have found the secret of happiness and gaiety, we inspire
more envy than pity, believe me; and if you had not ruined your
digestion with your tea and other unhealthy slops, if you were to
forget a little of your insular dignity while you are at table, and
make a little progress in your cookery, you would probably find that,
after all, gaiety is an excellent thing, even if it should come from a
good digestion.

I know very well you will reply that your only aim in this world is to
secure your salvation in the next. I know this takes up a great deal
of your time; but as it does not prevent your taking a great interest
in your banking account, and a thousand other little mundane matters,
I conclude that, if you, like ourselves, hope to reach paradise one
day, like ourselves also, you are not in a hurry to set out. Really,
_do_ leave us alone with your tea, cocoa, and other salvation potions.
Drink water, if it suits your taste; for England is a free country.
But for goodness' sake, let other people drink what they like.

Anyhow, take care: do not overshoot your mark. Drunkenness no longer
exists in a deep-rooted, hideous form, except among the lower classes
of your great towns, and this is a much better state of things than
existed when Members of Parliament were called to order for putting
their feet on the table in front of the Speaker. And it should be
added that, thanks to education, even your lower classes are becoming
more sober. As for asking for an Act of Parliament, to prevent
peaceful citizens from going to buy a bottle of cognac of their
grocer, it is utter folly.

Finally, John, remember that one of your bishops, not long ago,
refused to sign a similar petition to the House of Commons, saying
that he had rather belong to a nation of drunkards than a nation of
slaves.

It was in the coquettish town of Torquay, in the month of March,
1884.

I was present at an immense _tea-and-bread-and-butter-meeting_, held
under the auspices of the Temperance Society, and presided over by a
venerable archdeacon. As I looked around me at the long Lenten-looking
faces, silent and damned, to use the energetic expression of the poet
Shelley, swallowing their tea in little sips, and nibbling their bread
and butter with their eyes lifted heavenward, I thought to myself:
Yes, I have said and will maintain it: nothing is more beautiful,
nothing is more edifying, than to contemplate John as he imbibes this
angelical beverage.

I had duly partaken of a slice of bread and butter, and swallowed my
two cups of tea, as stoically as any of the members of this edifying
congregation, when an old maid, sitting next me, who, since the
proceedings began had not opened her mouth, except to yawn at regular
intervals like a machine, ventured to break the solemn silence:

"Oh! sir," she said, addressing me, "what a grand meeting this is!
Ours is a glorious cause!"

----"I do not doubt it, madam," I replied. "When this interesting tea
party is over, there is to be an address, I believe?"

----"Yes; Archdeacon ... will say a few words."

----"What is the object of this meeting? The closing of public-houses
on Sundays, I presume?"

----"Oh, dear no! we want to do something better than that. The
public-house is not the greatest evil we have to fight against. We
want to send a petition to Parliament to get the law repealed that
allows grocers and pastrycooks to sell wine, beer, and spirits."

----"Really!" I exclaimed.

----"Yes, the public-house is only frequented by the lower classes;
their sphere of action is, therefore, limited; but drunkenness among
the women of the middle classes is greatly on the increase. Under
pretence of buying a cake at the confectioner's, they enter the shop
with the intention of drinking wine; under the pretext of sending
their servants to buy groceries, they send for brandy, and get tipsy
at home. So we have said to ourselves: The confectioner and the grocer
are the enemies we have to fight."

----"I am afraid you calumniate your countrywomen," I suggested.

----"It is the sad truth; you will hear the Archdeacon presently: he
has terrible tales to tell. Yes, sir, the grocers do more harm to our
cause than the publicans. It was Mr. Gladstone that granted the
grocers their licences, because it is well known that most grocers are
Liberals."

----"I see," I said to my neighbour. "And as the publicans are
Conservatives, you would like them to enjoy the monopoly of the sale
of alcoholic poisons. It is a little electoral manoeuvre. Excuse me if
I do not quite appreciate your philanthropical sentiments. But I see
that the company is rising to go to the meeting; I will do myself the
pleasure of going to hear what the Archdeacon has to say."

The proceedings began with prayer and the singing of the hymn, "Rescue
the perishing."

When the hymn was finished, the venerable Archdeacon who presided
rose, and began to deliver his address, from which I give you the
following passages:--

"Over and over again, we have had it in evidence that the secret
drinking of the home has been traceable, not to habits picked up in
the public-house, but rather to the means of intoxication supplied
through the grocer's shop. Of this there is not the slightest doubt,
and when we remember that one of our famous judges, not long ago,
traced most of the terrible wife-murders, not to the drunkenness of
the husbands, but to the drunkenness of the wives, who had made their
homes so wretched that their husbands were aggravated into committing
the crime; when we remember further that, from all sides, there comes
evidence that, however successful our other efforts are in the
temperance cause, drunkenness is increasing amongst a certain class of
the population, and that this is more or less traceable to the
grocers' licences, we shall conclude that we are bound to try and do
something to remove this special cause of temptation from the homes of
our brothers and sisters. Not long ago, I was taking part in a mission
in a town some distance from Torquay, and, in a very poor
neighbourhood, I met the wife of an artisan coming out of one of the
grocer's shops. She had a basket upon her arm, and in it were the
usual groceries. The woman allowed me to look into the basket, and
there underneath all was the unmistakable bottle of spirits. I went
into the shop under the pretence of getting change for a sovereign,
and during the short time I was there, six or eight women came in and
purchased spirits."

"Between ourselves," I whispered to my neighbour, "it would have been
more generous of the very reverend gentleman, if he had made a little
purchase of the grocer he was getting up evidence against, instead of
asking him for a favour."

I continued to lend an attentive ear.

"In a railway station refreshment room, before half-past nine in the
morning, the following scene passed before my eyes:--Three very
respectably-dressed good-looking shop girls, evidently going out for a
holiday, went straight to the bar and ordered, in the most unblushing
way, a glass of bitter beer. Shortly afterwards, a fourth girl joined
them, and she as unblushingly asked for three pennyworth of spirits,
which she drank on the spot.... Not long ago, in this very town, I was
in a well-known refreshment shop, and whilst I was there, a lady,
respectable in appearance, with a child by her side, and a carriage
waiting outside to take her home, consumed no less than three glasses
of sherry one after the other. This was utterly unnecessary in the
middle of the day, and it was probably unknown to the lady's
husband.... You will help us, I am convinced, to put a stop to this
state of things; you will sign the petition we are about to send to
Parliament, and in which we ask our representatives to remove a very
great cause of temptation from the homes of many of our brethren by
withdrawing the grocers' licences."

The Archdeacon was followed on the platform by some ladies, who gave
the audience the benefit of their own experiences with regard to the
drunken habits of Englishwomen; after which the hymn, "To the work,"
was sung; for if, in France, everything ends in songs, in England
everything ends in hymns.

"Why," I said to my spinster friend, "there is no common sense in all
this. What! no more arguments than that! Because a few women have been
to buy a little brandy of their grocer, with the most innocent
intention perhaps, you are going to ask Parliament to prevent free and
honest citizens, who object to going to the public-house, from getting
a bottle of wine with their groceries. It is absurd."

----"Not at all," she replied; "I have been drinking nothing but water
for forty years and more, and the day we all become water drinkers, we
shall be a holy nation."

----"A nation of lunatics," thought I; and getting out of this
atmosphere as quickly as I could I jumped into a cab and drove to the
station. As I alighted, I noticed that my cabby had a bit of yellow
ribbon in his buttonhole.

"Hallo!" I said to him, "what decoration do you call that?"

----"Ah! you have been with the water drinkers, to the Blue Ribbon
meeting, sir; I belong to the Yellow Ribbon Army, I do."

----"Indeed," cried I; "and what do they do in the Yellow Ribbon
Army?"

----"Why," he answered; "you eats what you like, and you drinks what
you like, and you don't care a damn for nobody."

By Jove! it was quite a treat to see a _man_ again after having
passed the evening with such a lot of old women.

"Here, old fellow," said I to this free-born Briton, who had one of
those good open faces such as you see so often in Devonshire, "take
this, and go and drink my health;" and I turned away to the ticket
office, reconciled with mankind.[8]

    [8] I know a clergyman who has just been obliged to give up an
    excellent living, for having refused to comply with the request
    of the squire of the neighbourhood, that he should adorn himself
    with that certificate of stupidity, that decoration of reformed
    drunkards, the Blue Ribbon.

    The clergyman is a simpleton. To get or keep a good living, I
    would not hesitate to put a piece of blue ribbon in my
    buttonhole: it is so easy to put it in one's pocket, while one
    takes a glass of grog or generous Bordeaux.



XVIII.

New Salvation Agencies--Priestess Rubbers--_Asinus asinam fricat_.


Whitaker's Almanack for 1884 announces sixteen new religious sects or
associations certified to the Registrar-General.

To my great regret, I notice the disappearance of the Rational
Christians. This leaves a net gain of fifteen associations: a very
respectable figure, it must be admitted. Here are the names of the
sixteen new sects or associations in question:--

    Children's Special Service Association;
    Christian Soldiers;
    Church Army;
    Church of England (unattached);
    Free Salvation Army;
    Gospel Army Mission;
    Gospel Band;
    Israel, New and Latter House of Jews;
    King's Own Army;
    Latter-Day Saints;
    Members of the Church of England;
    Methodist Army;
    Mission Army;
    Pilgrim Band;
    Positivists;
    Young Women's Christian Association.

Do not be surprised, if before long you see, figuring on the list of
new religious sects, the Materialists and the Atheists or
Bradlaughites. I say _religious sects_, for in this country, even the
Atheist raises his unbelief to the dignity of a religion, and builds,
or rather gets built--which is more intelligent--a little conventicle
of his own.

In France, religion is a monopoly; in England, it is a race, a
steeple-chase.

In France, a new idea, a theory that sees the light and meets with
success, is the foundation of a new school; in England, the foundation
of a new church.

You will soon hear also of a sect that will be immensely popular, I do
not doubt: it is the sect of the Rubbers, or to give them a more
technical name, the _Frictionary Christians_. That it is of American
importation, it is scarcely needful to add. This is what the English
papers of the 5th February, 1884, say on the subject:--"A writer in
the _Boston Advertiser_ (U.S.) of January 18th, gives an account of
what he considers to be a new development of a very common form of
hysteria. This new development is the latest doctrine of a sect
founded some years ago in Park Street, Boston, under the name of
Christian Scientists; the meeting being attended by devout if not
strictly philosophical or scientific ladies. The new doctrine is this:
Matter in itself, they say, is inert, insensate, lifeless, and
unpotential; the power which animates matter is divine. Illness is
want of vital power, therefore want of divinity. A mind healer is a
person who is full to superabundance upon his own cognizance of the
Almighty, and who is willing to allow his, or more generally her,
superfluity or abundance to overflow into the person of some patient
in whom it is declared the presence of disease proves the absence of
the Lord. The process is of the simplest. The healer sits down with
her back in contact with the corresponding portion of the patient's
person, and for the moderate price of a dollar an hour allows the
supposed divine influence to filter from vertebræ to vertebræ."

Now this is what I call easy and convenient, and I might even add,
most pleasant; you rub and rub until your salvation is an accomplished
fact. If your priestess is a nice smooth-backed plump young woman,
the operation cannot fail to be pleasant as well as novel.

As you see, it is the embrocation of salvation, and nothing more.
Success warranted after a few applications.

If the Rubbers are in search of a motto or a trade-mark, I would
suggest: _Asinus asinam fricat._



XIX.

THE VICAR'S WIFE.

Fragments.


I.

The Reverend Bartholomew Goodman, vicar of E... was the only
representative of orthodoxy in that pretty little town of Devonshire.
Though rheumatic, this salaried believer in apostolic succession was,
correctly speaking, neither saint nor martyr. He had a wife and
children, and, one year with another, his living brought him in about
five hundred pounds.

He dogmatised but little, he would have feared to fail in respect
towards his _Alma Mater_, the Anglican Church, in seeking to defend
her, or prove that she only had the sole monopoly of the salvation of
souls. Being no great theologian, but endowed with a simple soul and
decidedly middling abilities, he contented himself with preaching to
his flock the old story, as he was pleased to call the doctrine of
Christ.

His sermons were very mediocre productions of the mind, in spite of
the time he spent over their manufacture; and when his wife would pity
him for all the labour they cost him, he would answer with a sigh: "My
dear, it is true my sermons do take up a good deal of my time, but it
is those who are obliged to listen to them that you should pity, and
not me."

This excellent man had his hobby, as indeed every Englishman has,
especially if he be a bit of a theologian; he firmly believed that the
English nation was none other than the ten tribes of Israel, who
disappeared after the destruction of Jerusalem. The matter formed a
never-ending subject of discussion for him, and when he chanced to
come across a good soul ready to listen to him, he grew animated and
almost eloquent over his theme. The idea was ever present with him,
and if he retired to rest at night, beside his virtuous spouse,
without having discovered some new proof of the identity of the House
of Israel with the British nation, he would exclaim with Titus, "I
have lost a day."

Of all the domestic animals that drew breath about the vicarage there
was not one more docile and useful, in the eyes of Mrs. Bartholomew
Goodman, than the reverend gentleman, her husband.

The worthy lady had taken the management of the parish into her own
hands. In her estimation, her husband was a good, well-meaning vicar,
incapable of anything beyond the writing of his sermons. As these
sermons were dull enough to send one to sleep standing up, and it was
usual to listen to them in a sitting posture, their chance of doing
good was but small. Besides, added Mrs. Goodman to herself, sermons
never converted anybody yet. The blackest sinner does not recognise
his own portrait in the descriptions of the lost that fall from the
preacher's lips. No, when the sermon is over, each hearer goes away
very well satisfied with himself, simply reflecting on his homeward
way: "Poor Smith! or poor Brown! how straight the vicar preached at
him this morning!" It is always to one's neighbour that the satires of
the stage or the diatribes of the pulpit apply, and that is why no one
thinks of getting angry at church or in the theatre.

To produce any effect upon the sinner, you must adopt arguments _ad
hominem_; you must beard the animal in his den. This _rôle_ of
champion of the Church militant Mrs. Goodman had marked out for
herself. Satan never found himself confronted with a more formidable
enemy.

Mrs. Goodman, it should be explained, seemed to be built for battle:
six feet high, alert and thin as a greyhound, with little piercing
eyes, a complete and formidable-looking cage of teeth, an aquiline
nose, curving boldly downward towards a long flat chin that it seemed
to threaten one day to join; everything about this soldier of the
faith denoted a resolution equal to the most arduous undertaking, a
resolution that neither rebuffs, ridicule, nor danger could shake.

At the voice of his wife, the good vicar was wont to tremble with
respect and apprehension.

In England, where wives are so docile, so respectful and submissive to
their husbands, the wife of the clergyman seems to be an exception to
the rule. It is easy to understand why. It is always more or less the
garb that makes the monk. For us, the priest means the black cassock
and the white surplice, that is to say austerity and innocence.
Whether it be prejudice or not, it seems difficult to reconcile the
idea of a priest's life with that of a husband, even the most saintly
husband on earth. You may call your wife your chaste spouse as much as
you like, it will always mean that she is chaste towards others, that
she is faithful to you; but after all, how shall I explain myself?
Well ... I never heard that the children of the clergy fall from the
moon into their mother's arms: that is all I can say.

I never could understand that curious being, a married priest. I mean
the veritable priest by vocation, the pastor of souls, the evangelist.
We are not treating here of those clergymen who are _savants_,
professors, writers, perfect gentlemen indeed, thorough men of the
world, taking the expression in its best sense; still less are we
treating of those clergymen who enter Holy Orders because it gives a
good standing in life, and increases their chance of making a rich
marriage, and who do not turn Mahometans, because the Mahometan faith
is not fashionable in England, and would open up to a man no lucrative
career.

The evangelical parson, who would be horrified at the idea of taking
his glass of whisky without first having said grace over it, and who,
in our opinion, can scarcely fail to accord to the bliss of matrimony
less anticipated gratitude than he bestows on his glass of grog;[9]
this man must appear strange indeed, incomprehensible to a woman who
is witness of all his little failings--taking for granted that he has
no defects, and of course no vices--to a woman, that little Argus-eyed
observer, who is, I say, witness of a thousand actions which prove to
her that this priest is only a man ... like other men. For us, on the
contrary, a priest is not like other men; scarcely is he a man in our
eyes. No, I cannot realise the idea; it is beyond my conception. The
slit-up surplice that I dare not name, for, in shape, it is the most
ridiculous-looking garment of a man's wardrobe.... No, no! in the
bedroom, this oracle and his wife must certainly be unable to keep
their countenance.

    [9] See Appendix (c).

This is not all.

The wife of a Protestant minister has a thousand and one occupations
which render her important, and these occupations are more manly than
those of her husband: she puts his theories into practice. He makes
sermons and collections; she distributes alms, visits the sick,
organises associations, _fêtes_, bazaars, concerts, lectures,
tea-parties at a shilling a head; she is the dispenser of all the
favours of the vicarage.

Now, place woman on a footing of equality with man, and her natural
instinct will soon place her on a pedestal from which she will
exercise authority overbearingly. I say _overbearingly_, for woman
being born to be protected, when she takes the upper hand, does so
like a _parvenue_; that is, fussily, indiscreetly.

This natural instinct Mrs. Goodman possessed in the highest degree;
her husband could have given evidence upon the point.

The vicar's wife had other reasons for believing herself superior to
her husband. She was of aristocratic origin, and pretended to be
descended from the Irish kings. For that matter, we may take the
opportunity of remarking that we have not yet met with any Irish
people that were not descended, in a straight line, from the ancient
kings of Ireland. If we were to believe the excellent Hibernians, our
Louis XII. never half so well earned the title of _Father of the
People_ as these old monarchs of Erin. The exploits of Hercules are
mere child's play by the side of the _tours de force_ of those lusty
Celts.

Proud of her ancestors, Mrs. Goodman often reminded the poor pastor of
his obscure birth. "I ought to be the wife of a bishop," she would
sometimes say to him, when he did not seem sufficiently lost in
admiration before her. "Alas, would that you were, my dear!" thought
the worthy man. And as he was good-natured and had no reason for
wishing harm to the chief of his diocese, the wish died on his lips
and was almost inaudible.

We believe we have said enough to prove that the Rev. Bartholomew
Goodman found his purgatory in this world, which must have been, for
his Christian soul, a great consolation and even a source of joy,
since the Protestant religion does not admit of the existence of this
place of purification in the next.


II.

One morning in the spring of the year 188... Mr. Goodman, vicar of the
parish of All Angels, sat in his study writing his two sermons for the
following Sunday.

As we have said elsewhere, sermons are read from the pulpit in
England; at least, this is the practice of Anglican clergymen, and we
have explained the reason why.

Now, as for centuries past, the hundreds of religious reviews,
magazines, and newspapers, have been publishing sermons, when a
clergyman has a rather limited allowance of imagination, these
periodicals furnish him with the materials for edifying the faithful
on Sundays; he has but to copy old sermons. For proof of this, you
need only take a peep at the great reading-room of the British Museum
any Saturday of the year. Every seat is monopolised by the ministers
of the hundred and odd religious sects who have set themselves the
task of wiping out from the registers of the next world the thousand
and one little stains that John Bull has contracted in this. It is a
sight worth looking at to see them poring over old dusty volumes, from
which is to be extracted the balm that is to give fresh life to the
flocks confided to their care. While listening to the scratching of
these hundreds of quills as they flew over the paper I have sometimes
said to myself: "Some folks earn their salaries easily." And yet the
public good should be the first consideration, and, after all, I do
not know that there is any harm about copying a sermon. On the
contrary, why not follow the advice that Voltaire gives in the
_Dictionnaire Philosophique_, at the chapter of Eloquence? This is
what he says after having spoken of Massillon: "Such masterpieces are
very rare; besides, everything has become common-place. Those
preachers who cannot imitate these great models would do well to learn
them by heart, and (supposing they have that rare gift, a talent for
declamation) recite them to their congregation, piece by piece,
instead of holding forth in a wearisome manner upon themes as stale as
uninstructive."

The regular Saturday visitors of the British Museum are quite of the
same opinion, only, as to commit to memory two sermons a week, and
sometimes more, would take up too much of the precious time that they
owe to the spiritual family that have to be fed with the Word of Life,
they copy them off, and read instead of reciting them: it is an
economy of labour.

"Whenever I wish to move my hearers," said a worthy parish priest one
day, "I repeat some Massillon to them."

But the fact is that pulpit eloquence is not much encouraged in
England. A really eloquent preacher would approach too nearly to the
actor to please a people so susceptible in religious matters. He would
not inspire confidence. The Englishman likes dogma before all things;
torrents of eloquence, _à la Bossuet_, would make him look askance at
the preacher; phrases polished and studied like those of Flechier,
expressions elegant and graceful, like those of Massillon, would
awaken suspicions in his mind; what he prefers is argument pure and
simple, and leaves to the lower orders the pleasure of being terrified
by revivalists.

We were speaking of English pulpit eloquence one day to an important
member of the political world. "English pulpit eloquence!" said he to
me, "we have none."

----"Yet, I heard Canon X. preach in the Abbey the other day," I said,
"and I assure you I never heard anything more graceful; he fascinated
me. He is an eloquent preacher at all events."

----"Yes," replied he, "Canon X. is a very good speaker, it is true
... but, my dear sir, if he could only hold his tongue, he would be a
bishop."

The canon in question has just been made a bishop after all; but only
a colonial bishop at the antipodes. If our English readers recognise
him, I offer them the _primeur_ of the anecdote.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our good Vicar had just copied out his morning sermon; but as he
wanted, in the evening, to thunder from the pulpit against romanism,
ritualism, methodism, socinianism, secularism, materialism, and all
those evils in _ism_, which, added to his rheumatism, rendered his
existence almost intolerable, he was, at the moment mentioned at the
opening of the chapter, just in the fire of composition. He wanted to
take his congregation by storm, and, like Calchas, he was preparing
his thunder.

But it was chiefly the Salvation Army that aroused his ire; it was for
these Sabbath breakers, that would come and shout and gesticulate
under his very windows, yelling blasphemous songs, accompanied by
trombones, cornets, concertinas, drums, and tambourines: it was for
these that he reserved his most powerful batteries and his avalanches
of anathemas.

He had chosen as his text for the occasion, the fifth verse of the
sixth chapter of the gospel according to St. Matthew: "And when thou
prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to
pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets,
that they may be seen of men."

The good clergyman would have liked to take for his text merely the
latter part of this verse, for in the depths of his honest heart, it
seemed to him that this verse in its integrity ought to be interpreted
thus: "When thou prayest, do not as the hypocrites do, neither pray in
the temples nor in the streets," that is to say, "Pray not in public
to be seen of men." And he knew very well that this interpretation of
it was corroborated in the following verse, which says: "But thou,
when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and pray to thy Father which
is in secret."

The Holy Scriptures in English seem to be so written that each sect
shall be able to take that which suits its theories, and reject all
that does not. It is thus that the hundred and eighty-four religious
beliefs of England are founded upon the Scriptures, and that out of
the same Scriptures each of them condemns its hundred and eighty-three
rivals.

Yet, in spite of this, all these self-styled seekers after the truth
live in peace, in perfect harmony. The nation is so accustomed to
liberty that religious eccentricity appears to them a simple and
natural thing. But the ministers of all the denominations agree to
differ from the Gospel on the matter of meeting together in public to
pray. Their unanimity on this point is easy to understand. Indeed,
what would become of the priests and the lawyers, if every man were
free to plead his own cause before God and men? Besides, so long as
man is human, he will always be pleased to have an occasion of
advertising his virtue, and he who would make a short prayer in his
closet with the door shut, makes a very long one in the temple, before
his fellow-creatures whom he edifies with his piety.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Vicar, with his head buried in his hands, was absorbed in the
deepest reflections, when the door of the library was opened suddenly,
and Mrs. Goodman entered hurriedly, a book in her hand.

This book was a copy of the New Testament, revised and corrected by
the Commission for the revision of the Holy Scriptures.

"Well, this is a pretty state of things!" cried that lady
breathlessly, as she dropped into an easy chair.

----"What is the matter, my dear?" asked the Vicar.

----"What is the matter! What is the matter indeed! A pretty question
to ask! The matter is that we are ruined; that before very long,
thanks to the bishops and the rest, whose business it is to look after
the interests of our Holy Church, the country will soon be full of
materialists and infidels."

----"Come, come; what is all this about, my dear?" said the reverend
gentleman quietly.

----"What is it about! Ah! my dear, it is easy to see you are paid by
the State, from the way in which you take things. There, read that,
and see what you think of it. It's a very pretty state of things
truly! What is it coming to? Who is to be trusted? We are betrayed,
swindled, lost...."

----"But, my dear, once more, who is it you are so bitter against? I
cannot see what can have put you into such a state of mind."

----"Ah! really! You don't see that, instead of keeping that precious
phrase that sums up Christianity: 'What shall it profit a man if he
gain the whole world and lose his own soul,' the New Version has:
'What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his
own life'?"

----"I see it very well; but read the reference: _or his soul_. You
have not looked at the foot of the page."

----"That hesitation only makes the matter worse. The translators had
much better have said frankly what they mean."

----"The Greek word _psuche_ signifies _soul_ as well as _breath_,
_life_."

----"Much I care for your Greek," cried Mrs. Goodman, indignant. "Do
your congregation know anything about Greek? What will they think of
us? That for centuries past, the Church has been deceiving them and
making them pay tithes for nothing. Can't you see that this change is
tantamount to saying there is no hell? Just as well say that our
Saviour never spoke of the other world, that everything He said
applies to the life here below, and that His precepts were only given
to teach the people to be happy in this world. It is frightful to
think of! We must not be surprised at anything after this. The next
thing I shall expect to see, is the bishops rallying round the
Unitarians and denying the divinity of Christ. That there is no such
place as purgatory, I am quite ready to admit; but if there is no
hell, while I am in Heaven, where will the sinners be, my poor Barty?
where will the sinners be?"

This little pet name, that the worthy lady only called her husband by
on great occasions, made the good Vicar feel sure that his wife had
come to him to seek some consolation. He accordingly set about trying
to pour balm on her wounds.

"Calm yourself, my dear wife," he said to her; "calm yourself. To tell
you the truth, I attach but a secondary importance to the New
Testament, and you know it; this is between ourselves. We are
Christians undoubtedly; but our glorious origin, traced from the Old
Testament, is a title much more sacred to us. So that we are descended
from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that we are the chosen people of the
Lord, what matters anything else to us?"

And in this matter the reverend gentleman was right. The religion of
the English is more Jewish than Catholic, and it might safely be
affirmed that an Englishman of the old school would sooner suffer one
to speak jokingly of any of the saints than of one of the characters
of the Old Testament, even though it might be Mrs. Potiphar, or one of
the ladies of the Lot family.

"No, my dear," continued the Vicar; "be sure that no harm can befall
us. We are the just and holy nation, the heritage of the Lord."

----"That is all very well ... for the future world," replied Mrs.
Goodman; "but for the present, I do not see how you are going to
explain to the congregation a change that appears to me to overturn
the structure of our Church completely. If we do not maintain our
precepts, we are done for. The Church should be consistent. Look at
the Pope: with his dogma of infallibility, he is still on his throne."

----"After all, my dear, if one did away with hell, there would be no
great harm done, and our greatest dignitaries of the Anglican Church
are of this opinion, you know."

----"Do away with hell!" cried Mrs. Goodman; "if you take that line,
we may as well shut up the Church."

----"You excite yourself for nothing, my dear, and you are wrong to
express yourself in such a way."

----"Protest then."

----"Against whom, against what would you have me protest? The
authorities of the Church have decided the alteration; we subalterns
have but to bow to their decision. Besides, I shall tell my
congregation that in the New Version _life_ means future life."

----"Very good, Barty; a good idea, for, be sure of it, you can't get
on without any hell: it is the fear of the devil that keeps the masses
in submission."

----"My dear wife, I assure you once more, that if there is a hell, it
matters not to us: the House of Israel--that is to say, the British
nation--will be saved to the last soul."

----"And the others?"

----"What others?"

----"Why, the French, the Germans, the Italians, the Chinese, and the
rest. What will become of them? Won't there be any of them in
Paradise?"

----"A few perhaps, but in very inferior places, you may be sure."

----"Who dies will see," said Mrs. Goodman.

----"Just so; make yourself comfortable; calm yourself, and have no
fear for the future. And now let me finish my sermon for to-morrow."

----"Don't talk to me of your sermons; you have enough of them, there
in your cupboards, to preach from, for the rest of your days."

----"My dear, it is a sermon of my own composition that I am
preparing."

----"That will be a treat for the congregation! Come, put away all
that, and drive me to the station; the carriage is ready."

----"It is impossible, my love; I have several letters to write."

----"You can write them to-morrow."

----"You would not have me write letters on a Sunday!" cried the
Vicar.

----"Can't you date them the day before? Really, Barty, I did not
think you were so simple as that."

----"Besides," added the worthy Mr. Goodman, "I have several places to
go to, a lot of bills to pay: the tradesmen are bothering me...."

----"Send them some tracts to remind them that humility and patience
are Christian virtues."

----"That does not pay in these days."

----"Whose fault is it? How can you expect that those people will
believe in you, when you don't believe in yourselves?"

----"My dear, my dear, I beg you will not renew that subject. You give
me a headache. Come, you are right to make me go out; I will drive you
to the station."

       *       *       *       *       *

Of all the tasks Mrs. Goodman set her husband, the one the reverend
gentleman dreaded most was driving out his model wife. The thought of
being able to return alone, and finish his sermon in peace, however,
made him put a cheerful face upon it.

The station was four miles distant from the vicarage, and part of the
journey consisted of a long steep hill to climb.

Mrs. Goodman, in her quality of member and agent of the Royal Society
for the Protection of Animals, never failed to make her husband alight
at the foot of the hill. "You are not going to make poor Bob drag you
up?" said she: "get down and walk: you get stouter every day; a walk
will do you good." The poor Vicar, heavy and asthmatical, alighted,
and puffing, coughing, and breathless, he followed as best he could
to the top of the hill, regretting as he went that husbands were not
included among the animals protected by the Society.

Arrived at the station, he took a ticket, placed his wife comfortably
in the corner of a carriage, and was about to quit the station, when
that lady called out to him: "Barty, be sure you don't forget to walk
when you come to the hill."

"Certainly, my dear," said the good parson, whom the sight of his
wife, starting in a direction opposed to that of the vicarage,
rendered facetious; "if you like, I'll put Bob in the carriage, and
push behind ... and the Society for the Protection of Animals will
award you a gold medal at least."

The engine whistled. The Vicar waved his hand to his wife, and
returned to his carriage, promising himself to do the return journey
at a good pace.

At the foot of the hill, Bob turned his head, according to his wont,
to see if his load were going to obey the injunctions of his
benefactrice; he even went so far as to bring up, in order to allow
the Vicar to get down more comfortably; but that gentleman pretended
not to understand the proceedings of the intelligent animal; he even
administered to Bob two or three sharp strokes of the whip, which
made him grow reflective. Mrs. Goodman's _protégé_ thought it prudent
to step out a little more smartly, and in less than half an hour he
had got over his four miles.

The Vicar had his horse put in the stable, the carriage in the
coach-house, ordered tea to be taken to him in his library, and to his
great satisfaction, was able to terminate the sermon that had been
ruminating in his mind so long.


III.

In the parish of All Angels, the children of the poor went every
Sunday to a Bible-class held in the church schoolroom.

The first class was under the direction of the Vicar's wife.
Proceedings commenced at three with prayer; then a hymn was sung, and
the classes began.

In these Sunday classes, passages of the Bible are read and explained
to the children by the teacher.

On the Sunday in question, Mrs. Goodman had chosen as the subject of
her lesson the twenty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. As soon as the hymn
was over she began to read:

"_Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose
glorious beauty is a fading flower...._

"_Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest
of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters
overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand._

"_The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under
feet._"

"You have heard the marvellous words of the great prophet," cried the
worthy lady. "Well, my dear children, Isaiah meant to say, that God
would punish man's wickedness, vanity and sensuality, and all these
prophecies have been fulfilled. That city of gold means Paris, the new
Babylon; the crown of pride means France. The strong and mighty one is
the Emperor of Germany, who, ever since the day on which he married
his son to the daughter of our beloved queen, has had the blessings of
the Lord showered upon him.

"This interpretation of the passage I have just read you was the one
presented by the dear lamented Dr. Macleod to our gracious sovereign,
and Her Majesty was pleased to consider that the words of Isaiah were
quite wonderful for the way in which they seemed to describe France.
What need have we of a surer authority?

"And, indeed, is it not easy to recognise at a glance that proud and
perverse nation which does not even keep the Sabbath holy? Do you
know, my dear children, that these Sabbath-breakers hold horse-races
and go to theatres on Sundays? Yes, you can scarcely believe it--our
upright, honest minds refuse to believe in such monstrous
iniquity--yes, newspapers are printed, bought, and read on Sundays. I
even saw once, though I could scarcely believe my eyes--I positively
saw in the public gardens, on that sacred day, little boys and girls
of the better classes playing with their hoops and dancing in front of
their parents, who seemed to see no harm in it whatever. It is the
abomination of desolation, and I do not hesitate to say it: the Jews
and Mussulmans are better than such people; for, after all, if they do
not worship the Saviour, at least they worship God. I prefer the
savages, who worship the sun, to these infidels who worship nothing at
all, and just go down on their knees before a few candles to save
appearances."

----"Please, 'm," said one little maid timidly, "papa says that the
French are Christians."

----"No, my child, they are papists, which is quite another thing.
Most of them are nothing at all. Those who believe in the Pope give
him money and receive of him, on a certain day fixed in advance,
plenary indulgences that allow them, up to that time, to offend God as
much and as often as they please. I am sure your papa would not apply
the name of Christian to such pagans. But, make your mind easy, dear;
I will go and talk with your papa one of these days.

"Then," continued Mrs. Goodman, "see what is the result: the day of
vengeance and chastisement arrives. A handful of English soldiers
annihilates millions of the French: the hordes of Bonaparte are
overwhelmed by the few soldiers of the Duke of Wellington.

"And why?

"Ah, why! Because our noble soldiers believed in God and prayed to
Him."

----"Oh! ma'am," then cried another little girl, "haven't those wicked
French people any prayers?"

----"I can scarcely tell you, my dear child, but I doubt it very much.
And even if they had," said the worthy lady, not in the least
disconcerted, "you may be sure that the Lord has something else to do
besides listening to such rubbish. For prayer to have any effect, the
supplicant must have grace, that is, he must have received permission
to lay his supplication at the feet of his Maker. And this grace we
only,--we, a God-fearing nation, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, we the chosen children of the Lord, have in abundance. We
are the allies of the God of Israel who has said: 'The children of
Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their
generations, for a perpetual covenant.' And again: 'Moreover also I
gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they
might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.'

"Now, I ask you, who is it that observes the Sabbath? First, there are
the Jews. Then the English and Americans. As I have already explained
to you, and as the Vicar has many times proved to you in the pulpit,
the Americans are none other than the tribe of Manasseh, and the Jews
are all that remain of the perverse tribes of Judah and Levi. The
English are therefore the children of the house of Israel. Yes, my
children, it is a glorious fact, and you may well be proud of it. So
keep your covenant with the Lord who will always recognise you by this
sign. I know wicked children who laugh and play on Sundays. Avoid
their bad example, and you will one day go to the realms of the
blessed, where there reigns an eternal Sabbath."

The last phrase did not produce in Mrs. Goodman's pupils the
enthusiasm she looked for. Many of them grew reflective over it, as
visions of scoldings, punishments, solemn silence, stern looks, and
tract-reading, presented themselves to their memory and formed
anything but an attractive subject of contemplation.

One little girl even went so far as to burst into a torrent of tears
on reaching home.

"What is the matter, my darling?" asked her mother.

----"Oh! mamma," cried the poor child, bathed in tears, "Mrs. Goodman
says in heaven it's Sunday all the week."

----"Well, what then?"

----"Oh!" sobbed the distressed innocent, "if I am a very good girl
all the week, shan't I be allowed to go down to hell to play with the
little devils on Saturdays?"

       *       *       *       *       *

It is time I should say that Mrs. Goodman is not at all an imaginary
character. I have had the pleasure of enjoying the excellent lady's
company many times. On these occasions, I have had explained to me how
the history of Napoleon can be plainly read in the Apocalypse of Saint
John, how all the great historical events, from the battle of Hastings
down to that of Tel-el-Kebir are spoken of as inevitable by Isaiah,
Ezekiel, and other prophets.

You can explain everything with the help of the Bible: as its name
indicates, it is the book _par excellence_. I have heard educated
people, apparently in possession of their mental faculties, tell me
that the victories of General Wolseley in Egypt were foretold in the
third chapter of Jeremiah and the eighteenth verse. I must tell you
that this was before the successes of the Mahdi.

However, among all the prophets, it is Isaiah that bears off the palm.
The Vicar of All Angels passed a whole evening in showing me the
French Revolution under quite a novel aspect, by the aid of the
sixty-six chapters of Isaiah.

Mrs. Goodman also taught history to her Sunday School class, after the
same fashion, Bible in hand.

       *       *       *       *       *

It seems to me an error to seek to put the religious convictions of
children to the proof. Those castles of abstractions that they build
out of obedience must give way at the first shock. The thousand little
fibs that are told to children, with a worthy intention, no doubt,
cannot fail sometimes to sow in their souls profound impressions and
doubts that are not easily uprooted. I speak from the experiences of
my own childhood.

It was on a Sunday, in the month of June, 1856, at the time of the
grand _fêtes_ at Cherbourg. I was to make my first communion the
Sunday following! Heaven knows how I prepared for it with all the
fervour of my young soul; how I prayed constantly for faith; how I
returned to the tribunal of penitence twice and thrice daily, fearing
lest I might have left some small peccadillo unconfessed. On the
Sunday in question, we were about thirty children assembled in the
church for catechism. The _curé_, who was present, begged the priest
to let him say a few words to us: "My dear children," he began, "I
have a great piece of news to announce to you. His Majesty the Emperor
is at present in Cherbourg. Next Sunday, the day of your first
communion, he will be passing through this town, and he invites you
all to dine with him." We looked at each other in silence, and if we
had not been in such a sacred place, we should certainly have jumped
with joy. As soon as I got home, I imparted the great news to my
mother. My good mother, who saw that I was almost smacking my lips in
advance over the thought of the _tartes à la crême_ that the Emperor
could scarcely fail to offer us, and who was always of opinion that
you should never disappoint children if you would gain their
confidence, merely replied: "Really? it is an extraordinary thing!
After all, it is a capital idea of the Emperor's! But unfortunately,
emperors are folks whose time is very much occupied, and it may happen
that he should have to return to Paris before being able to keep his
engagement. But, make your mind easy, we will invite your aunt,
godmother, and our friends, and we will celebrate the day worthily, so
that you may not forget it, I will promise you that." My dear mother
knew that we had been deceived. I had swallowed the pill confidently.

On the following Thursday, we met together again for catechism. Seeing
the _curé_ among us, we expected he had come with some fresh
announcement, and we lent an attentive ear to what might be coming.
And indeed, no sooner had we all taken our seats, than he rose, and,
addressing us, said: "My dear children, I have a great and glorious
piece of news to tell you to-day. I told you last Sunday that the
Emperor invited you all to dine with him on the day of your first
communion. Well, it is something better than that: it is not the
Emperor, it is God who on Sunday next will receive you at His table."

Was it the fault of the priest, or of children eleven years old, that,
at this announcement, all our little round faces lengthened visibly?
We had been imposed upon. That was the idea that we dared not confess
to ourselves, though it was undoubtedly present in our minds.

I remember hearing my mother say, years afterwards, that she had never
forgiven that priest for sowing seeds of doubt in my mind, at an age
when confidence is unlimited and deceptions so acutely felt.



XX.

APOTHEOSIS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF JOHN BULL.

(Scenes of disappointment in Paradise in the year 19..)


_Jennie._--"My dear Susie! At last! How glad I am to see you!"

_Susie._--"At last! my dear: why _at last_? I came straight up ...
without any hitch, as you may imagine."

_Jennie._--"Oh! of course ... I only thought ... that is, you used to
long so after Paradise ... that I began to wonder that you were so
long making up your mind to leave the vale of tears and misery: ...
would you believe there were moments when I used to be almost afraid
you would put an end to yourself?"

_Susie._--"Well, yes: I certainly used to long to be gone. But it is
so hard to be sure that one is ready. No, I used to pray that I might
be permitted to serve Him long on the earth, where He has so few
servants; and I would say to myself: The longer I live the more good I
shall be able to do."

_Jennie._--"Yes, I quite understand you, dear ... besides, between
ourselves, it is all very well to run down that poor Earth, but it has
its redeeming points, you know.... By the way, I must tell you, I have
such an anxiety on my mind. Do you know, I have been searching
everywhere for my husband for years ... I have been into every corner
of the place, and there is not a soul whom I have not asked if the
poor fellow had been seen.... He has not arrived yet, that is evident;
... and I can't help telling you that I begin to be dreadfully
afraid...."

_Susie._--"Your husband, my love? He is getting on capitally: he is
the picture of health, and seems to grow younger every day."

_Jennie._--"You don't mean it! Is it possible! I had been told he was
inconsolable, and was wasting away. Poor dear! I fancy I see him now
as he stood by my bedside. 'If you go, I shall not be long for this
world,' he said to me."

_Susie._--"Ah! well, my dear, make your mind easy, he is better, he
has got over it."

_Jennie._--"Heaven be praised! And yet--I know it's selfishness--but I
should like to have him here with me."

_Susie._--"But has nobody told you he is married?..."

_Jennie._--"Married! I don't believe a word of it."

_Susie._--"It is true enough, though. I took tea with his wife not
more than a fortnight ago."

_Jennie._--"Fancy the wretch! What a set the men are to be sure!...
And what woman has been mad enough to tie herself to him? the old
grumbler, old tyrant, old miser ... the...."

_Susie._--"Hush, my love; remember where you are.... Besides, between
ourselves, I don't believe he is over happy."

_Jennie._--"Serve him right ... the idea ... at his age too....
Perhaps he thought he was going to be married for his good looks, the
idiot!"

_Susie._--"At his age! He calls himself fifty-five...."

_Jennie._--"He tells falsehoods; he is sixty, and over.... Oh! if ever
I come across him here!... I...."

_Susie._--"He has married a very religious woman ... she makes him go
to every service ... he is a pattern to all his townsmen."

_Jennie._--"It just serves him right! but who is the woman?"

_Susie._--"Sarah Robinson."

_Jennie._--"What! the widow of Robinson, the chemist of High Street?"

_Susie._--"Just so."

_Jennie._--"And you say she is religious! Well well, she must have
changed since my time, and no mistake. Of course, you know the stories
that used to be told about her.... She was no better than she should
be, my dear, that is certain ... and...."

_Susie._--"Well, she is a model of piety now."

_Jennie._--"Oh! enough of this subject. There, let us talk of
something else.... Let me see, when was it you arrived here?"

_Susie._--"Yesterday morning, at twenty past eight. Everything seems
so strange to me ... this calm ... but what I can't get over is to see
the negroes, the Chinese, the savages; what a number of them are
here! ... those that our missionaries converted, I suppose. What a
blessed work, our foreign missions! Only I fancy all those converts
ought to have a place ... how shall I explain myself? ... marked out
for them. To speak candidly, I quite expected to see our glorious
nation treated with a great deal more consideration than it seems to
be."

_Jennie._--"Yes, isn't it strange? I can't understand it at all."

_Susie._--"Would you believe it, I had to wait two mortal hours at
the gate yesterday morning, and, when at last my turn came, Saint
Peter never even got up to welcome me ... and pay me a compliment or
two?... It would have been nothing but polite, I am sure; for, after
all, where would Paradise be without us? Who is it that proclaims the
glory of God at the four corners of the universe, I should like to
know?"

_Jennie._--"Yes, indeed; who but ourselves? I can assure you I am very
disappointed. Where is the realisation of all the promises our dear
minister used to hold out to us?... The kingdom of heaven is England's
inheritance; we are the chosen of the Lord ... and I don't know what
else.... It looks to me as if anybody could get in.... It is very
mixed, to say the least. We are treated just like anybody else ...
positively if I was not seated between a Cardinal and a Zulu at the
Seraphim's concert last night!"

_Susie._--"Can it be possible?"

_Jennie._--"It is a fact ... I have even been assured ... but I'll
never believe it unless I see it ... that there were.... But, just
look how everyone is crowding towards the great entrance gate ... who
can have arrived?"

Surely enough the noise of trumpets, tambourines, cornets,
concertinas, a frightful hubbub, had just burst on the ears of the
elect, who were rushing to the gate to find out the meaning of these
sounds, so strange in those regions of rest and harmony. In the midst
of the crowd of new-comers was to be seen a woman brandishing an
umbrella, gesticulating, vociferating, and appearing to be in a state
of great indignation. Saint Peter had just made his way through the
agitated crowd.

_Saint Peter._--"My children, calm yourselves, I beg. And you, madam,
come in quietly, please; we allow no such noises here. What is it you
want?"

_Mrs. Bull._--"Well, I never! you seem to take a very high tone with
me, I fancy; who are you to speak to me like that?"

_Saint Peter._--"I am Saint Peter; and you?"

_Mrs. B._--"Indeed! and what if you are? Do you think you are going to
have it all your own way here? Do you know that I am a Field-Marshal
of the Salvation Army?"

_Saint Peter._--"Madam; not so loud, pray."

_Mrs. B._--"Six thousand soldiers under my orders. We will see if I am
to be treated anyhow. The idea! A pretty reception for a woman like
me!"

_Saint Peter._--"Will you listen to me a moment?"

_Mrs. B._--"A contributor to the _War Cry_, the official gazette of
the elect ... a million copies printed every week ... three-hundred
thousand pounds receipts ... original inventor of the _blood-and-fire_
pomade and tooth paste ... admiral of the Salvation Fleet."

_Saint Peter._--"Can you spare a moment that I may put in...."

_Mrs. B._--"Barracks all over England ... allies all over the world."

_Saint Peter._--"Will you allow me to...."

_Mrs. B._--"It is easy to see that nobody reads the papers here, or
you would all know who I am. Who am I indeed! (_turning to her
suite_). Did you ever hear such a thing? Who am I?"

_Saint Peter._--"But, once more, madam...."

_Mrs. B._--"Wait a minute, I will just introduce you to my staff ...
you will see who I am ... who we are.... Sallie, speak to the
gentleman."

_Saint Peter._--"But I have no time to listen to...."

_Happy Sallie._--"I am the American tambourinist.... I rescue souls
_tambour battant_."

_Mary Ann._--"I am Captain of the 4th detachment ... allow me to play
you a hymn of my own composition" (_takes up her cornet_).

_Betsy._--"I am the solo-singer of Clapton Barracks; let me sing you
something."

_Saint Peter._--"My good people, do you take these sacred regions for
a Whitsuntide fair? Dear, dear! who sends me all these folks up here?
Will you have done this moment; it's horrible!"

_Mrs. B._--"Now then, make room for my followers, and let us be shown
to the Seraphs' Hall...."

_Saint Peter._--"My worthy friends, I am ready to forgive you. You
have got into the wrong train: your tickets are for Bedlam.... Have
the goodness to retire."

_Mrs. B._--"Retire! Ah! if the General were only here, we should not
be treated like this. We call upon you to show us to the places that
are reserved for us."

_Saint Peter._--"I do not know you."

_Susie._--"I play the Alleluiah trombone."

_Saint Peter._--"There they are, at it again! Go to Jericho, with your
Alleluiah trombone, your tambourines, your field-marshal, your
captains, and blood and fire soldiers.... Those English people will
drive me mad.... Once more, will you move on? You see very well that
you are causing an obstruction, there are elect behind you who cannot
pass in.... Upon my word, those English people look upon Paradise as a
British possession. (_All at once the sweetest music is heard; the
sound of harps becomes more and more audible._) My friends, have the
goodness to stand quite still for a few minutes in a respectful
attitude, whilst these blessed ones are passing." (_Twelve seraphs,
resplendent with light, advance, preceded by lutes and harps; they
smile as they pass before Saint Peter; they continue on their way._)

_Mrs. B._--"Who are those blessed ones so dazzling with light?"

_Saint Peter._--"They are six-winged seraphs of the first hierarchy,
who have been here nearly five hundred years; and I may take the
opportunity of telling you that they have never given me the slightest
trouble. Gentle, peaceful...."

_Mrs. B._--"But who were they on earth? To what sect did they belong?"

_Saint Peter._--"They are Incas, of the ancient empire of Peru."

_Mrs. B._--"What! savages! people who wear rings in their noses! Well,
I never thought to be insulted like this."

_Saint Peter._--"A more virtuous people never existed on earth, madam;
it is virtue put into practice that we reward here, and not
fine-sounding theories. In our eyes, he who has given a drop of water
and a morsel of bread to a poor fellow-creature is more worthy than he
who has discovered a new interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. He who
has done a good deed without ostentation, stands higher here than he
who has sounded a trumpet, and gone to publish his virtue in the
streets and temples. But I should only be wasting time if I tried to
explain these things, which do not seem to be in your line. Consider
yourselves very fortunate not to be turned out of doors with your
trumpets, your drums, and all your noisy and warlike trappings ... and
I will trouble you to pass on into the gardens to repose yourselves
after your journey, and meditate upon the indulgence of...."

_Mrs. B._--"Well, this is the climax! A sermon to me...! (_to her
companions_): Let us go in, my friends; and we must have patience, I
suppose. The General cannot fail to be here before very long. We will
then form a committee, and call an immense meeting of all the English
people that are here ... we will see if it is not possible to place
the keys of Paradise in better hands. (_To Saint Peter_): _Au revoir_,
Saint Peter, we shall meet again."

       *       *       *       *       *

While this little scene had been passing at the entrance of Paradise,
two of our old friends had just met at the corner of one of the
prettiest groves in the realms of the elect.

_Mrs. Goodman._--"My dear Bartie! It is you, at last!"

_The Reverend B. Goodman._--"Ah! my love, you here! How good it is to
see a face one recognises! Come and sit with me a little on this seat.
(_They sit down._) What a lot you must have to tell me!... Well?"

_Mrs. G._--"Well?"

_Rev. B. G._--"What a disenchantment, eh!"

_Mrs. G._--"If we had only known!"

_Rev. B. G._--"If we could only send a messenger down to tell all
those worthy people!"

_Mrs. G._--"Well! and how about your theory of the ten tribes found?
To hear you talk, my poor Bartie, there was going to be no room here
for anybody but ourselves...."

_Rev. B. G._--"I can't make it out at all; it bewilders me. Just
fancy, my dear, I arrived here last week in the company of a bishop.
At the gate, Saint Peter asked us for our names and qualifications. I
was not long getting through mine, of course; then up speaks the
bishop, in his finest tones, and says: 'John Thomas, lord-bishop of
* * *' 'Bishop!' replies Saint Peter, 'well ... never mind, you may
come in all the same.' Now, what do you think of that _all the same_?"

_Mrs. G._--"Insolent in the extreme. Ah! my dear, that's nothing....
Ever since I have been here, I have had constant mortifications; my
nerves are irritated every moment by what I see and hear--it is to be
hoped I shall get used to it--but it is very trying.... Turn this
way."

_Rev. B. G._--"What for?"

_Mrs. G._--"Don't look, I tell you; there are the Watsons just
passing; I don't want to speak to them.... Fancy their being here! I
am sure I always thought they would be cooked! ... rolling in riches,
and yet putting threepenny bits in the collection-box! ... and
refusing to subscribe to the old spire restoration fund. They got in
cheaply, and no mistake!... It is all very well to talk, but the best
way of proving your interest in a good cause is to put your hand in
your pocket.... Ah! one sees strange things here.... I hope you mean
to speak at the meeting, Bartie dear?"

_Rev. B. G._--"What meeting, my love?"

_Mrs. G._--"What meeting? Ah! my poor dear, don't you know anything
about it? Really, one would think you had just fallen here from the
moon.... How like you!... Alas! always the same apathy; you have not
changed a bit. But thanks be, there are energetic people here, who
have the grievances of their countrymen at heart ... we shall protest
against the indifference that we meet with on all sides here. We shall
call attention to all that we have done on earth, stand upon our
rights, and get up a petition."

_Rev. B. G._--"I suppose you belong to the organising committee?"

_Mrs. G._--"I have placed all my energy at the disposal of the
committee. Ever since I have been here I have been longing to devote
my feeble powers to the revindication of our rights to the undivided
heritage of the highest abode in the realms of the blessed.... Saint
Peter, who, I am bound to say, is very obliging, has kindly consented
to take the chair.... I have had such a great deal to do."

_Rev. B. G._--"As secretary?"

_Mrs. G._--"Exactly: the part of organising secretary is one that I
have always had a great taste for, as you know ... one does not change
at my age. Do you see all those people going towards the orange
gardens? it is there that the meeting is to be held.... There are the
Watsons coming back this way; ... they are evidently going to the
meeting. Well, all I can say is, they must be bare-faced enough to go
and protest ... however!... Look! positively, they have espied us....
Let us get up ... it is impossible to avoid them now."

_Mrs. Watson._--"Ah! it is our dear vicar! dear Mrs. Goodman, what a
happy thing! at last, thanks to the initiative taken by zealous
compatriots, we are to carry our complaints before the tribunal of
justice.... In an hour the meeting begins.... Shall we walk together?"

_Mrs. G._--"With pleasure."

_Mrs. W._--"On the way we shall be able to talk of old times and the
friends we left in our dear little town.... Ah! Mrs. Goodman, they
little dream of what we are doing on their behalf."

_Mrs. G._--(_Aside to her husband_)--"What impudence! _we_ indeed!"

(_The group, now followed by an immense crowd, proceeds towards the
orange gardens._)


GRAND DEMONSTRATION. INDIGNATION MEETING.

Saint Peter took the chair at eight o'clock precisely. In a few
graceful and feeling remarks he explained the object of the meeting
and then called upon the secretary to read to the audience the minutes
of the last meeting of the organising committee.

_Mrs. G._--(_This lady on rising was greeted with three rounds of
applause._)--"Blessed Saint, ladies and gentlemen. At its last meeting
the temporary committee of organisation arrived at the following
decision: 'Whereas from time immemorial, those of the elect who are of
British origin have made fruitless complaints on the subject of the
treatment which they meet with in Paradise, the committee decides upon
holding a meeting of the said elect to take into consideration the
best means of putting an end to such a regrettable state of things, a
state of things which threatens to disturb the harmony of these
blessed realms.'"

_The President._--"I call upon Miss Evvins to address the meeting."

_Miss Evvins._--"Against the fact that all nations seem to reign here,
we have nothing to say. That the divine mercy should embrace even the
most irreligious people, we can comprehend, and we bow to such a
decision; but when we see people who were converted by our own paid
missionaries, for instance, occupying places here higher than our own,
and treated with respect that is not bestowed upon ourselves, we think
it our duty to protest against such a state of things. If each one is
to be rewarded according to his work we certainly do not receive our
due. We might as well be mere Zulus." (_Groans and hisses._)

_A Zulu._--"My ancestors, it is true, practised virtue; but I can
assure the honourable speaker, that since we made the acquaintance of
the English, we have not been much better than they."

_Several voices._--"Turn him out!" (_The Zulu is seized upon and
ejected._)

_Miss Evvins._--"It is by persuasion, and not by violent means, that
we wish to obtain redress for our grievances...."

_Mrs. B._--"I ask to be allowed to say a few words."

_Miss E._--"We have drawn up a petition to this effect, which we shall
ask you to sign, and which is worded as follows: 'Considering that the
British nation is the most virtuous on earth, and that she alone sets
an example to the world by her piety, her religious researches, her
religious associations, her respect for petty nations, her chivalry
towards oppressed peoples, her contempt for filthy lucre, her
sobriety, and other no less virtuous qualities; the undersigned
members of the great and glorious British family humbly ask that such
virtue may receive the reward it deserves.'" (_Hear, hear._)

_The Rev. B. Goodman._--"I should like to propose an amendment, or
rather to suggest a change in the wording of the petition that we have
just heard read."

_The President._--"The Reverend Mr. Goodman will propose an
amendment."

_Mrs. B._--"I asked leave to speak before the reverend gentleman."

_The President._--"We will hear you after."

_Mrs. B._--"I want to speak at once...."

_The President._--"I tell you that...."

_Mrs. B._--"I protest. It's a shame!"

_The President._--"But I tell you, you shall...."

_Mrs. B._--"I will speak all the same. You make a grand mistake, if
you think my mouth is to be closed in that fashion. I can tell you
all, that we shall obtain nothing by persuasion. Here, as well as in
the world we have left, it is by strong measures and threats that one
obtains one's ends." (_Order, order._)

_The President._--"You have already despised my authority. If you use
threats, I shall refuse you permission to speak further...."

_Mrs. B._--"It is a swindle!" (_Order, order._)

_The President_ (_rising_).--"Retract the word _swindle_. Do you
imagine yourself in Seven Dials?"

_Mrs. B._--"I shall retract nothing. If in a week's time, I am not
placed on a throne resplendent with light, I shall make myself
objectionable: I shall break the park railings, pull up the flowers,
trample on the beds, and turn everything upside down.... I will keep
you busy, I promise you. I have only just come.... I'll get up a
meeting of my own, by-and-bye...."

_The President._--"I order the expulsion of the interrupter." (_After
a great struggle, in which the lady, looking like a destroying angel,
strikes out right and left, she is turned out, not without
difficulty._)

_The President._--"Now that order is restored, I call upon the
Reverend Mr. Goodman to address the meeting."

_Rev. B. G._--"In place of the words, 'Considering that the British
nation is the most virtuous on earth,' I propose that the following be
substituted: 'Considering that the British nation is none other than
the lost ten tribes of the House of Israel, the holy nation chosen of
the Lord.' Ladies and gentlemen, I am thoroughly convinced that...."

_A voice_ (_interrupting_).--"But, as the Lord reigns in these realms,
would it not be much more simple to ask Him if we really are, as the
reverend gentleman declares, His chosen people? It seems to me that,
by adopting this course, a great deal of time and trouble might be
saved."

_Several voices._--"Let the amendment be put to the meeting."

The amendment is voted almost unanimously.

The President announces that thirty millions, four hundred and
ninety-five thousand, nine hundred and sixty-four persons have
expressed the desire to address the meeting for the purpose of
enumerating the different virtues of the British people in general,
and the meritorious deeds of each one in particular. But, seeing that
the hour is advanced, and that, besides, the petition is agreed to, he
proposes to declare the meeting at an end.

After a unanimous vote of thanks to the President for the courtesy
with which he acceded to the wishes of the Committee, and the kindness
with which he promised to attend to the petition, the meeting broke up
at a quarter to twelve.



XXI.

John Bull and his Island: Postscript.


Pauperism has been, for some time, the question of the day in England,
the burning question, as they say over here. John is making theories.

Theories! he was wont to exclaim, the British nation can afford to
laugh at theories. This is the remark that a Conservative, possessed
of more pretension than foresight, made one day before Thomas Carlyle.

"My dear sir," replied the apostle of force in England, "the French
nobility of a hundred years ago said they could afford to laugh at
theories. Then came a man and wrote a book called the 'Social
Contract.' The man was called Jean Jacques Rousseau, and his book was
a theory, and nothing but a theory. The nobles could laugh at his
theory; but their skins went to bind the second edition of his book."

Yes, John, my friend, you are quite right to make theories: it is high
time. But do not neglect to put them into practice: open your museums
and picture galleries on Sundays, and shut a few public-houses;[10] do
not rest content with sending missionaries to your poor, to tell them
that they, like you, may one day dwell in the mansions of the blessed;
make them taste a few of the sweets of this life, amuse them, help
them to shake off the stupefying influence of drink; teach them little
by little that you do not mean to support them in idleness and
drunkenness, and that Unions and other houses of refuge for old age
are not instituted to encourage them to be careless and thoughtless
for the morrow. Try to make thinking men of them; at present they are
but slaves. Unfortunately for you, all these people can read. Beware
of the day on which they get sober. Take care of your skin: it is not
impossible that there may be yet a good deal of binding to be done.

    [10] See Appendix (d).

       *       *       *       *       *

"At the four corners of Trafalgar Square, the London _Place de la
Concorde_, four pedestals are to be seen. Three are surmounted by
statues, the fourth is waiting."[11]

    [11] _John Bull et son Ile_, p. 85.

It is waiting still.

If England is short of heroes, let her install General Booth on the
fourth pedestal; but for goodness and symmetry's sake, let her set
someone upon it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The statue of Queen Anne, that stands in front of St. Paul's
Cathedral, in the heart of the City, has been wanting a nose for the
past five or six years. For a shilling she might be provided with a
beauty. Yet no; the fat aldermen of Beefsteakopolis, who dine at three
or four guineas a head, and have lately spent twelve thousand pounds
upon a ridiculous and hideous monument that stands at the entrance to
the part of London that is under their jurisdiction, refuse a nose to
the sovereign in whose reign lived the great Marlborough, hero of
Blenheim and Malplaquet. Yet nobody can doubt that a nose would be
very useful to the poor thing, neglected by John Bull, and stuck up
there, in one of the most furiously draughty spots in London.

       *       *       *       *       *

"One of the largest tea houses is not ashamed to publish the
following advertisement in all the public thoroughfares and railway
stations of England:--'_We sell at three shillings a pound the same
tea as we supply to dukes, marquises, earls, barons, and the gentry of
the country._' The poor viscounts are left out in the cold: it is a
regrettable oversight."[12]

    [12] _John Bull et son Ile_, p. 61.

The oversight has been repaired; I congratulate both the viscounts and
the firm. Who says books serve no purpose? Why, princes and bishops
have been added. If only Her Majesty would be kind enough to give
Cooper Cooper's tea a trial!

       *       *       *       *       *

"The day the House of Lords reject any important measure passed by the
Liberals, it will have dealt its own death-blow."[13]

    [13] _Ib._, p. 242.

The operation is being performed the House having just rejected Mr.
Gladstone's Franchise Bill. If it has not dealt its own death-blow, it
has had a narrow squeak!

How ill-inspired the lords must be in seeking a quarrel with John
Bull, who has no wish to do them any harm! If I were a peer of this
realm, I fancy I could make myself the most amiable and submissive
being in the world. I would again say to John: "Now, look here, my
dear fellow, you know the House of Lords is convenient in one way,
because it spares you the trouble of holding two elections. It will
always be my endeavour to make myself agreeable. I have forty or fifty
thousand a year, and if you think I am going to be angry at anything
the Commons may do, why, you make a huge mistake. I know I am a fifth
wheel to the State coach, but you are too gentlemanly to remind me of
it, if I do not make you feel that a fifth wheel can sometimes play
the part of a _bâton dans les roues_. I will imitate the good example
set by the Queen: when you want the Liberals, you shall have them;
when you want the Conservatives, you shall have them. You, on your
part, must continue to hold me in respect, and call me the _noble
lord_ as hard as ever; I shall, as before, take precedence of
intellect and wealth; I shall patronise literature and art, by
scattering among my countrymen--for a consideration--the valuable
libraries and art treasures left me by over-conservative forefathers,
and protect the drama by keeping more actresses than ever. Surely, old
friend, we ought to be able to rub along together."

If the House of Lords should succumb, it will have the consolation of
knowing that its ruin has been wrought by its most ardent friends, and
not by its enemies. For that matter, a Government or Constitution
generally does die at the hands of its friends _à outrance_.

I also said: "The two great political parties are of about equal
strength.... The Irish party however, grows more national every day,
and the Government may before long have to reckon seriously with
it."[14]

    [14] _John Bull et son Ile_, p. 243.

The failure of the Egyptian campaign has greatly diminished the
popularity of the Liberal party, and it is more than probable that, if
it obtain the victory in the next election, its majority in Parliament
will be reduced to about a score. The partisans of Irish autonomy
number forty: it therefore seems pretty clear that Mr. Parnell, the
head of the Irish Home Rule party, will ere long be Viceroy of
England. Friend John will have to choose between two rather bitter
pills: granting Ireland her independence, or conquering the
Sister-Isle _vi et armis_. The prospect is not a brilliant one.


THE END



APPENDIX.


(_A._)--At the Dublin Commission Court, before Mr. Justice Lawson, on
Saturday, the 7th June, 1884, Brian Dennis Molloy, a wretched-looking
man of 45, son of a magistrate for the Co. Mayo, and who, on the death
of his father, will become entitled to £1,000 per annum, was indicted
for bigamy. The prisoner has married five times, the last person with
whom he went through the ceremony being his own first cousin, a lady
of about 40, Miss Robertina Greene, who has an income in her own right
of £400 per annum. There was only one formal charge against the
prisoner. Several of his wives were in court, and towards them he
assumed a most amusing expression, pretending affection for them by
sighing audibly as he recognised them. He said, "My Lord, might I sit
down? I feel very weak; I am not able to stand; I have been in prison
for the last two months." This permission was accorded. Mr. Stephen
Curtis, barrister, appeared for the accused.--Mr. M'Caffrey, assistant
clerk of the Crown, then read the indictment against the prisoner for
having on the 16th August, 1871, at Brownlow-hill, Liverpool, married
Elizabeth Mary Clancy while his lawful wife, Jane Molloy (_née_
Murray), was still alive. The latter was in court--a grey-haired
woman, who seemed to feel very much her position. The prisoner
pleaded not guilty. Mr. Curtis said he would be able to shorten the
case, for substantially their defence was that the prisoner was
insane. He had always been a person of weak intellect, and had often
been in a state of dangerous lunacy, having been four times in lunatic
asylums, both in this country and on the Continent. The prisoner
belonged to a most respectable family, amongst whom there had been
instances of insanity.[15]--Dr. Banks was examined, and deposed that
he had been physician to the Prisoner's family for a number of years.
He declined to answer with regard to other members of the family; but
with regard to the accused he said that at one time he was labouring
under symptoms of insanity, and had been placed in a private lunatic
asylum. He also understood that he had been confined in two lunatic
asylums in Bruges, and that he escaped from one recently.--Mr. Justice
Lawson: What do you think of his mind now? Witness: I think he is an
imbecile. He is of very weak mind.--Mr. Curtis: Do you think he is
capable of discerning right from wrong?--Witness: Certainly not as
regards his matrimonial alliances (laughter).--Serjeant O'Brian:--Oh,
we believe the man to be insane; but I never heard of a more
captivating character (laughter). No less than four ladies have
succumbed to his winning influence. Here Miss Greene, who had been
intently reading a newspaper during the proceedings, looked up and
smiled, whilst another of the ladies, Miss Cassidy, laughed
aloud.--Mr. Justice Lawson: There is no accounting for taste
(laughter).--Serjeant O'Brian: You know, my Lord, when men are
afflicted women are the ministering angels (laughter).--Mr. Justice
Lawson directed the Jury to find that the Prisoner was insane.--The
Prisoner was found guilty of the charge alleged, and on the verdict
being entered the Jury found that the Prisoner was insane at the time
he went through the ceremony of marriage. He was then ordered to be
detained in an asylum during the pleasure of his Excellency the Lord
Lieutenant.--When leaving the dock Molloy, who himself looked the
picture of misery, smiled to each of the women.--An extraordinary
passage at arms took place between two of Molloy's "wives" during the
interval when the Court was at luncheon. When the Prisoner was sent
down to the cells Miss Robertina Greene, the last of the ladies who
changed her name for Molloy, requested permission to speak to her
"husband," but the request was refused. Miss Clancy, another of the
ladies, had been on a similar mission, and with like ill-success. She
was standing outside the cell, close to Miss Greene, when the latter
turned round and poured a torrent of abuse on her. She said that most
of Miss Clancy's clothes belonged to her (Miss Greene). Miss Clancy, a
good-humoured looking girl, merely smiled at this statement, several
of her friends joining in the laughter.

    [15] No doubt a man who marries five times is mad; but for the
    comic facility with which marriage can be contracted in England,
    such scandalous scenes would never happen.


(_B._)--HOUSE OF COMMONS (1884).

_Assaults on Women._

Mr. Macfarlane asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if
his attention had been called to a case tried at the Thames
Police-court, in which a man named Joseph Dennis was found guilty of
assaulting Norah Driscoll by striking her in the right eye and
knocking her down. While on the ground he lifted her head up by the
hair and dashed it on the pavement, and kicked her on the left side.
She became unconscious, and was discovered in that condition by a
policeman. At Poplar Hospital it was found that two of her ribs were
bent in. Mr. Saunders fined the prisoner ten shillings and ten
shillings compensation; and, if he proposed to amend the law relating
to brutal assaults.

Sir W. Harcourt.--I am not aware that there is any defect in the law.
Judges and magistrates have the power to inflict severe sentences in
cases of brutal assaults, but, of course, they are not compelled to do
so unless circumstances require; and I have no power to overrule their
discretion by saying that magistrates or judges should pass higher
sentences than they think fit to do.

Mr. Macfarlane gave notice that when the Bill of the hon. member for
Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals got
into Committee, he should move to include women in the schedule
(laughter).


(_C._)--In case it should appear incredible that an Englishman should
say grace before taking a glass of grog, I give the following
anecdote, the veracity of which I vouch for.

A clerical friend of mine, Vicar of the Parish of ----, and late
professor of mathematics at one of the great English military
colleges, was one evening taking a glass of whisky and water with a
Presbyterian minister. Before carrying his glass to his lips, the
latter suggested to his companion that one of them should repeat
grace.

"Not over whisky and water, my friend, it would be a farce," answered
the Vicar.

----"My congregation would be ashamed of me if I took a glass of
whisky without first saying grace," said the Presbyterian.

----"Now, just see how congregations differ," said the other; "mine
would be ashamed of me, if I said a prayer over a glass of toddy."

Another anecdote, while I am on the subject of grace-saying. This one
is an old English veteran.

An evangelistic parson and a Quaker were seated at table together in
the dining-room of an hotel. The evangelist, seeing a chance of
displaying his piety, said to the quaker: "Had we not better say
grace?"

----"Friend," replied the quaker, "if you like, we can be silent a few
moments."

Be silent a few moments! that is rather out of the line of the
evangelist; he does not like to hide the light of his piety under a
bushel.


(_D._)--SOUTHWARK POLICE COURT.

(_8th August, 1884._)

A respectable-looking working man applied to his Worship under the
following circumstances. He said he had been working with a number of
other men at a wharf in the neighbourhood of Tooley-street, and at the
finish of their labour they were paid, and they were given two tickets
for beer to be obtained at a public-house in the neighbourhood. He
demanded his full wages, as he had no wish to go to a public-house;
but the foreman refused to give him the money. He wanted to hear
whether it was a legal transaction.--Mr. Bridge asked him if he was
paid in a public house.--Applicant replied in the negative. They were
paid in the office.--Mr. Bridge asked if the publican refused to give
them money for their tickets.--Applicant replied that the clerk had
told them the tickets were for beer. They were made out for a certain
public-house.--Mr. Bridge advised them to go to the proprietor of the
works and demand the money.--Applicant said they had done so, and the
foreman had refused to pay it; he told them they should keep the
tickets. He considered it a great hardship upon sober workmen that
they should be compelled to accept beer tickets as their wages.--Mr.
Bridge thought so too, and told him he might have summonses against
the foreman and the publican, but he could not promise him success, as
he had doubts as to the construction of the Act of Parliament.[16]

    [16] _In harvest time, it is still legal for farmers to make
    their labourers drink part of their wages._



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  _See Title-page, real size, appended._

    ==> +----------------------+
        | Midget folio.]       |
        |         Quads        |
        |          _For        |
        |    Authors, Editors  |
        |       & Devils_      |
        |       edited by      |
        |     AND: W. Tuer.    |
        |          ----        |
        |          1884        |
        |          ----        |
        |        London:       |
        |     Field & Tuer;    |
        |  Simpkin: Hamilton.  |
        +----------------------+

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                     +--------------------------+
                     |                          |
                     |      Field & Tuer,       |
                     |                          |
                     |  PRINTERS & PUBLISHERS,  |
                     |                          |
                     |  The Leadenhall Press,   |
                     |                          |
                     |        _LONDON_.         |
                     |                          |
                     +--------------------------+

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  "Myra's Journal" deals in a complete and ample way with all the
  latest novelties in Dress.--_Daily Chronicle._

                            MYRA'S JOURNAL
                                  of
                          DRESS and FASHION

    Published on the First of each Month, Price 6d., by post, 8d.

  =MYRA'S JOURNAL= is the most ladylike and economical Fashion
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  attests its success and popularity.

  Each Number contains from 32 to 48 pages letter-press, music size,
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  =A BEAUTIFULLY-COLOURED FASHION PLATE=, showing the New Modes of
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  =ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM PARIS.= By the Comtesse de B----.

  =SPINNINGS IN TOWN.= By The Silkworm.

  =HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THE ALTERATION OF DRESSES= in a
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  =MODELS DIRECT FROM LES GRANDS MAGASINS DU LOUVRE=, the First House
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   Etiquette, Health, and Personal Attention, Needlework, Books and
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          House Furniture and Furnishing, Miscellaneous, &c.

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  =MYRA'S JOURNAL= is the acknowledged authority on all Dress, and can
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  direct from the Publishers,

         Goubaud & Son, 39 & 40, Bedford Street, London, W.C.



  _To Everybody._

  It is within the experience of everyone that he has something which
  he no longer wants and that he wants something that he has not got.
  The simplest way out of the difficulty is to make an exchange, or to
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  process is remarkable for its simplicity."

  One very remarkable feature of the system is that it enables
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  It is impossible within the limits of an advertisement to convey
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  can therefore only urge the readers of this to purchase a copy at
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  to the public.

                                          OFFICE: 170, STRAND, LONDON.



                         RAPHAEL TUCK & SONS'

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                                 _Entirely New Designs furnished by
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                      [Illustration: TRADE MARK]

        The "Triptych,"
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        For Winter Use.
         HALF-A-GUINEA.
   Of all Stationers and Art
  Furnishing Stores throughout
           the world.

                                          The Patent "Easel"
                                             MUSIC STAND.
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                                             ONE GUINEA.

  Every Card and every Article issued by us bears our Trade Mark on
                         either Base or Back.

     R. TUCK & SONS, Fine Art Publishers, 72 & 73, Coleman Street,
                            CITY, LONDON.



  [Illustration: China Painting
    COLORS and MATERIALS]

  HANCOCKS'
    WORCESTER

  MOIST WATER COLORS will paint on China, Paper, Silk, Millboard,
  Canvas, &c., with no other Medium than Water. They have no Scent and
  cannot blister in firing.

  Whole and half-pans and tubes, same prices as ordinary moist water
  colors. Send for list to

  HANCOCK & SON, Ceramic Art Color Works, Worcester.



            GREENSILL'S celebrated
                 MONA BOUQUET

          [Illustration: TRADE MARK]

              THE ONLY GENUINE,
         THE SWEETEST & MOST DURABLE
               PERFUME EXTANT.

            BEWARE OF COUNTERFEITS

  AGENTS: {HOVENDEN, OSBORNE, GARRETT & CO.,
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          Just Published, New Edition, revised and extended,
                     price 2/-, handsomely bound.

                        JOHN BULL'S NEIGHBOUR
                          IN HER TRUE LIGHT.

         _Being an Answer to some recent French Criticisms._
                          By A BRUTAL SAXON.

  "We regard the work as meriting attention."--_Queen._ "There is a
  large element of truth in the charges the author prefers against the
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  Circular._ "Selling like wild-fire."--_Telegraphist._

         LONDON: WYMAN & SONS, 74-76, Gt. Queen Street, W.C.,
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                      NEVER BUY SHAM JEWELLERY.

   We sell the real article just as cheap.--_Vide Press Opinions._

            THE GOLDSMITHS' HALL-MARKED JEWELLERY COMPANY,
         95, STRAND, and at BEAUFORT BUILDINGS, LONDON, W.C.

           Warranted
    Real Gold, Hall-Marked.

        [Illustration]

           WARRANTED
         REAL DIAMONDS.

  No. 5.--Lady's Solid Half-Hoop Ring, real gold, hall-marked, set
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                  Price 21/-, registered, post free.

                                                   Warranted
                                            Real Gold, Hall-Marked.

                                                [Illustration]

                                                   WARRANTED
                                                REAL DIAMONDS.

  No. 6a.--Lady's Buckle Ring, real gold, hall-marked, set with two
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                  Price 17/6, registered, post free.

     Money returned if goods are not as represented. All kinds of
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  THE THOROUGH WASHER
      With Wringer & Mangler Combined.

  [Illustration]

  Will wash from three to ten times as many clothes in a given time as
  any other Machine in the Market.

  Thirty Shirts, or a mixed quantity, twelve or fourteen pounds in
  weight, can be THOROUGHLY and EASILY Washed in three or four minutes
  in the THOROUGH WASHER by any Child ten years old.

                    Catalogues, &c., Free by Post.

                The THOROUGH WASHING MACHINE COMPANY,
                         BURNLEY, LANCASHIRE.



  [Illustration]

  PATENTED.

  An Eminent Medical Practitioner Writes:--

  "_Southall's Sanitary Towel is one of the most valuable inventions
  for woman's comfort I have seen in the quarter of a century I have
  been in practice._"

  Approved for accouchement and general use. A desideratum of the
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  obtained of Ladies' Outfitters the world over, or sample packets of
  one dozen will be forwarded by Parcels Post for 1/3, or 2/3, and of
  six dozen, 6/6 and 12/6, from the Patentees:

               SOUTHALL BROS., Bull Street, BIRMINGHAM.
            Wholesale Agents: SHARP, PERRIN & Co., LONDON.

      _For protection against useless and injurious imitations,
   the label on each packet bears the signature of the Patentees._



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             Bottles, 2s. 9d.



            LOCKYER'S SULPHUR
              HAIR RESTORER.

   The Best. The Safest. The Cheapest.

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  Where the Sulphur Restorer is applied
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                        "THE BLOOD PURIFIER."

                       Old Dr. Jacob Townsend's
                             SARSAPARILLA

  [Illustration]

  Has been long used by the Medical Profession in all Skin and Blood
  Diseases. Pimples, Gout, Scurvy, Sores on the Neck and Legs, Dropsy,
  Impaired Health, and for cleansing the system of all impurities,
  which, when suffered to remain, surely destroy life.

                                                        [Illustration]

  G. C. Kernott M.D., London, says:--"I strongly recommend it in
  cutaneous diseases and all impurities of the blood."

  Read the following letter of a distinguished Churchman:--"The Hon.
  the Dean of Lismore requests Dean, Steel & Co. will send him two
  bottles of their Old Dr. Jacob Townsend's Sarsaparilla. The Dean has
  no objection to their publishing that he has found their
  Sarsaparilla very useful in his family."

        Sold in Bottles, 2s. 6d., 4s. 6d., 7s. 6d., and 11s.,
                         by all Chemists, &c.

             OLD DR. JACOB TOWNSEND'S SARSAPARILLA PILLS

            Are highly recommended for Bilious Affections,
             Indigestion, Liver, and Stomach Complaints.

           1s. 1½d., 2s. 9d., and 4s. 6d., of all Chemists.

     Chief Depot:--DEAN, STEEL & Co., 131, FLEET STREET, LONDON.



  TURNER'S TAMARIND
               COUGH EMULSION.

  "_It is a Pleasant and Elegant
           Preparation._"

   1s. 1½d. and
     2s. 9d.
   per bottle.

  [Illustration]

   Saving 7½d.
    in larger
      size.

                  EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS.

  "I know nothing equal to it for distressing Coughs."

  "I believe the best medicine for the Throat & Lungs."

  "The Tamarind has been quite a boon to me."

  "Invaluable to Speakers and Singers."

               Thirty Drops on Lump Sugar.

  _All Testimonials guaranteed Truthful._

                        _A 2/9 bottle per parcel post, carriage free._

  AGENTS--BARCLAYS, 95, Farringdon Street; HOOPER, London Bridge;
  SANGERS, 489, Oxford Street; DUNCAN, FLOCKHART & CO., Edinburgh;
  APOTHECARIES CO., Glasgow. All Wholesale Houses, and any Pharmacist
  or Chemist in the kingdom.

  J. A. TURNER, Pharmacist, LIVERPOOL.

                                                 BEWARE OF IMITATIONS!



                            BROWN'S PATENT
                        "DERMATHISTIC" CORSET

          BONES, BUSKS AND SIDE STEELS PROTECTED BY LEATHER.

          [Illustration]

         SOLD EVERYWHERE.
    Avoid Worthless Imitations.

  The _QUEEN_, November 17th, says: "'There is nothing like leather,'
  and the novel idea of covering with kid those parts which wear out
  first, seems a most practical idea. The DERMATHISTICS are shapely,
  neatly sewn, and the leather adds but little to their weight."

  _MYRA_, December 1st, says: "An ingenious method for ensuring
  durability. The leather adds in no way to the bulk, while it gives a
  decided added support to the figure, besides preventing wear. They
  are very comfortable."

  _YOUNG LADIES' JOURNAL_, May 1st, says: "The DERMATHISTIC CORSET is
  elegant in form, light in weight, and marvellously strong, and is
  particularly adapted to Ladies who ride, play at Lawn Tennis, or who
  are fond of Boating."

  The _WAREHOUSEMAN AND DRAPER_, March 1st, says: "The DERMATHISTIC
  has been steadily growing in favour since its introduction; its
  merits are not, however, even yet so well known as they deserve to
  be, and in many cases Drapers, we think, might with advantage
  introduce it more freely, for the very durable appearance of this
  shapely and really serviceable Corset could not fail to prove an
  attraction to their customers."

                        BLACK AND ALL COLOURS,

            No. 1.      No. 2.      No. 3.      No. 4.
            5/11.       7/11.       10/6.       15/6.

                         EVERY PAIR STAMPED.



  CATALOGUE FREE.

                 BY ROYAL

                           [Illustration]

                                          LETTERS PATENT

                           [Illustration]

                                                       CATALOGUE FREE.

        _For Measurement: Circumference of Abdomen and Hips._

  BAILEY'S PATENT ABDOMINAL BELTS.--Highly commended by all the
    Medical Papers. Several hundred unsolicited testimonials have been
    received from Medical men and others. Undoubtedly the greatest
    improvement ever effected. The hips are free. "Cannot shift or
    ruck up." Self-adjusting. Price 45_s._, 35_s._, 25_s._--Address
    the Superintendent, the Ladies' Department. New Catalogue free.

  BAILEY'S ELASTIC STOCKINGS.--Accurately fitted, upon which the
    utility of these articles entirely depends. Strong, light, and
    porous. Cotton, 5_s._, 6_s._ 6_d._; Silk, 7_s._ 6_d._, 10_s._
    6_d._, 14s. 6_d._, 17_s._ 6_d._ each. For measurement send the
    circumference at calf, ankle, and instep. New Catalogue free.

  BAILEY'S TRUSSES.--Covered in Gum Elastic, indestructible,
    perfectly impervious, and very cheap, suitable for Infants or the
    bath. (The necessity of wearing a Truss, especially in a warm
    bath, is not generally understood.) Trusses with or without
    springs. Every known description manufactured on the premises.
    Trusses repaired and recovered. The most difficult cases are
    courted. New Catalogue free.

  BAILEY'S IMPROVED CHEST-EXPANDING BRACES.--Invaluable for growing
    children. Price 12_s._ 6_d._ State age. New Catalogue free.

  BAILEY'S AIR AND WATER BEDS.--On Sale or Hire. Crutches, Enema
    Apparatus, &c. New Catalogue free.

          W. H. BAILEY & SON, 38, Oxford Street, London, W.



  [Illustration] <== REGISTERED TRADE MARK.

  DIRECT FROM THE LOOM TO THE CONSUMER

                                   AT A GREAT SAVING TO THE PURCHASER!

  Ladies, send letter or post card, and you will receive, POST FREE,
  Sample Patterns, with Prices, of all the LEADING NOVELTIES OF

                         DRESS FABRICS BY THE
                               BRADFORD
                        Manufacturing Company,
                         BRADFORD, YORKSHIRE.

  The B. M. Co., by trading direct with the public, have effected a
  revolution in the Styles and Fabrics of Dress Materials. Carriage
  Paid to any part of the United Kingdom on all orders over £1. The
  Century Cashmeres, as exhibited at the Health Exhibition, are in
  ever-increasing demand. Be particular to address in full; please
  write at once, mention John Bull's Womankind.



  DINNEFORD'S
          MAGNESIA

  [Illustration]

  For over Forty Years the Medical Profession have approved of this
  pure Solution as the best remedy for Acidity of the Stomach,
  Heartburn, Headache, Gout and Indigestion; and as the safest
  aperient for delicate Constitutions, Ladies, Children and Infants.

               _SOLD BY CHEMISTS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD._

  CAUTION--See that "DINNEFORD & Co." is on every Bottle and Label.



          _The Best, Quickest, & Most Agreeable Remedy for_
                     RHEUMATISM, BRONCHITIS, SORE
                 THROAT, NEURALGIA, LUMBAGO, &c., IS

                       SMEDLEY'S CHILLIE PASTE.

            IT GIVES INSTANT RELIEF AND DOES NOT BLISTER.

   If applied when the first symptoms appear, one application will
  usually effect a complete cure and avert what might otherwise be a
                           severe illness.

           In 1s. 6d. and 2s. 9d. Bottles of all Chemists,
               or post free from the Sole Proprietors,

                    HIRST, BROOKE & HIRST, LEEDS.



                     SMITH'S COLCHESTER DIGESTIVE
                                  OR
                              LIVE-LONG
                            ==> CANDY. <==

  No Household should be without this most valuable and PALATABLE
  DIGESTIVE STIMULANT. A small piece taken after a meal is an
  effectual PREVENTATIVE to INDIGESTION, or taken at bed-time, by its
  warmth-giving and Stomachic properties, PROMOTES SLEEP. A small
  piece dissolved in the mouth when exposed to damp and cold WARMS the
  CHEST, and prevents those injuries which arise from CHILLS. It is
  invaluable to all SPORTSMEN.

  The Marquis of Waterford writes (in 1884):--"I find your Candy most
  useful."

  _At 1s. 1½d., 1s. 9d., and 4s. 6d. (post, 1s. 4d., 3s., and 5s.),
                          of all Chemists._

               Be careful to buy only that prepared by

         J. C. SHENSTONE, Manufacturing Chemist, COLCHESTER.



                   SOLD BY THE PRINCIPAL DRUGGISTS.

  JACKSON'S =INCENSE= SPILLS.

    A sparkling means of incensing a domicile, and of exorcising evil
    smells.

    An Enchanter's little wand, that on being fired becomes to the
    receptive as a Medium which quickens the fancy, be its mood grave
    or gay, kindly leading the captive to that ladder, the top of
    which reaches through the clouds to the borders of Fairyland.

              IN BOXES AT 6d., OR BY POST SEVENPENCE.

  JACKSON'S CEMENT

    'A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.'

  [Illustration]

                   JACKSON'S CHINESE DIAMOND CEMENT

      FOR BROKEN CHINA, GLASS, EARTHENWARE, ORNAMENTS, TOYS &c.

                       IN BOTTLES AT 6d. & 1s.

                             [Signature]

    Grandma's China.

  JACKSON'S _CHINESE DIAMOND_ =CEMENT=.

    Surpasses in neatness, in strength, in cheapness, and retains its
    virtues in all climates. It has stood the test of time, and in all
    quarters of the Globe.

               In Bottles at 6d. and 1s., by post 1/2.

  JACKSON'S =RUSMA=.

    For the removal of Hair from the Arms, Neck, or Face, as well as
    Sunburn or Tan from the Skin.

    The activity of this depilatory is notable. It works without
    noise. It leaves a whole skin and a clean complexion.

                 In Bottles at 1s., by post for 1/2.

                       _FROM THE LABORATORY OF
              THOMAS JACKSON, Strangeways, MANCHESTER._



                   Window Blinds! Window Blinds!

             ==> Use the Patent Metallic Enamelled <==

                      =Venetian Window Blind=.

            ALWAYS CLEAN. PREVENTS INFECTION. CHEERFUL.

                    MORE DURABLE THAN ANY OTHER.

  By Washing can be made to look Equal to New after Years of Wear.

         _Send for Testimonials, Prices, and Estimates to_

                    Hodkinson & Clarke, Limited,

                      WHO ARE MANUFACTURERS OF

        The Latest Improved and Most Artistic Window Blinds.

  Venetians, Rollers, Cane, and Stained and Painted Glass Blinds.

   -----------------------------------------------------------
    Canada Works,  |  2, Chiswell St.,  |  Minster Buildings,
     Small Heath,  |     Finsbury,      |   12, Church St.,
     BIRMINGHAM.   |      LONDON.       |     LIVERPOOL.



                  "WHEN GEORGE THE FOURTH WAS KING,"

    Gold Medal,
  Adelaide, 1881.

                              =Needham's
                            Polishing
                                Paste.=

                                                      Order of Merit,
                                                      Melbourne, 1880.

                                                     Diploma of Merit,
                                                       Vienna, 1873.

    Was first
  introduced to
   the Public.

               [Illustration]

  It is the Oldest
        and Best Preparation in the Market for Cleaning and Polishing

             =BRASS, COPPER, TIN, BRITANNIA METAL, ETC.=

          Pickering's Furniture Polish, Plate Powder, Knife
                Powder, Brunswick Black, Razor Paste.

               SOLD BY CHEMISTS, GROCERS, IRONMONGERS.

                _Joseph Pickering & Sons, SHEFFIELD._



                      "=JOHN BULL'S WOMANKIND="

      who buy Cod Liver Oil should always have
      Peter Möller's.

  =Peter Möller= is the Inventor of the Process used, and Manufacturer
  of =Cod Liver Oil= _only_. His attention is given solely to the
  preparation of this invaluable medicinal food in its highest state
  of perfection, and the measure of his success is shewn by the award
  of NINETEEN FIRST PRIZES at FIFTEEN EXHIBITIONS. PETER MÖLLER was
  THE ONLY MANUFACTURER to whom TWO GOLD MEDALS were awarded at the
  International Fisheries Exhibition for =Cod Liver Oil=.

  It is sold in _Capsuled_ Bottles _only_ by Chemists, Grocers, &c.



    Newest
  Invention!
   Greatest
   Novelty!

                          THE =Y & N= PATENT
                       DIAGONAL SEAM =CORSET=.

  [Illustration]

  _Patented in England and on the Continent. Will not split in the
  Seams nor tear in the Fabric. Exquisite Model. Perfect Comfort.
  Guaranteed Wear._

  MADAME MARIE ROZE writes:--"I have very much pleasure in stating
  that the two pairs of Corsets you have made for me are a great
  success. They fit perfectly, and are far superior in every way to
  all the English and French Corsets I have tried."--Yours truly,
  MARIE ROZE MAPLESON.

  _LE FOLLET_ says:--"A novel invention in Corsets admirably
  calculated to prevent the very disagreeable occurrence of split
  seams. The cut is very good and becoming, and may be adapted to any
  figure with advantage."

  _THE QUEEN_ says:--"These Corsets are a new departure. The material
  is cut on the cross, and the component parts being also arranged
  diagonally, the seams have no strain. They are admirably modelled,
  exquisitely neat and strong, and the workmanship all that could be
  desired."

                   Beware of worthless imitations.

         Every genuine Y & N Corset is stamped "Y & N Patent
               Diagonal Seam Corset, No. 116" in oval.

    Gold Medal, New Zealand Exhibition, 1882; GOLD MEDAL, HIGHEST
      AWARD FOR CORSETS, LONDON INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION, 1884.

             Sold by all Drapers and Ladies' Outfitters.



  Corner's Patent

                         =Cinturon de Cuero=
                              =CORSET.=

  [Illustration]

  LADIES who appreciate a GOOD FITTING CORSET, that will bear any
  strain without stretching in the waist, or becoming unshapely
  through wear, will find that the "CINTURON DE CUERO," or LEATHER
  WAIST CORSET, has been admirably designed to meet both these
  requirements.

  The LEATHER is used in such a way that it forms a BAND OR BELT, and,
  while rendering the waist perfectly unstretchable, imparts a
  charming sense of comfort to the wearer; the original size and shape
  of the Corset being thus always retained, gives an elegant
  appearance to the figure, and considerably increases the durability.

              BLACK AND ALL COLOURS, 5s. 6d. to 15s. 6d.

  _From Drapers and Ladies' Outfitters throughout the Kingdom, through
  the principal Wholesale Houses._



                          =SWEARS & WELLS'=

             CELEBRATED OUTFITS FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES.

  MESSRS. S. & W. (Prize Medallists Paris Exhibitions, 1867 and 1878)
  respectfully draw the attention of Parents and Guardians to the
  unrivalled facilities their Establishment affords for fitting out
  Young Gentlemen for Private and Public Schools and Colleges, as the
  Stock on view comprehends every requisite first-class article of
  attire and utility, and the well-known reputation of the Firm as
  Juvenile Outfitters is a guarantee that the goods, specially
  selected and enumerated in the following list, possess all the
  necessary qualifications for their various purposes:

    Socks
    Knickerbocker Hose
    Underclothing
    Bathing Drawers
    Sponges and Bags
    Shirts
    Collars, Cuffs
    Collar Boxes
    Gloves
    Boots and Shoes
    Travelling Rugs
    Portmanteaus
    Ties, Scarfs
    Neckerchiefs
    Scarf Pins
    Studs, Links
    Braces, Belts
    Hand Bags
    Towels, Sheets
    Pillow Cases
    Leggings
    Pocket Handkerchiefs
    Umbrellas
    Knives
    Suits for Best Wear
    Suits for School Wear
    Suits for Cricketing
    Suits for Boating
    Suits for Football
    Suits for Riding
    Pea Jackets
    Overcoats
    Dressing Gowns
    Hats, Caps
    Hat Cases

     S. & W.'s Students' Celebrated Solid Leather Dressing Cases,
                       with Warranted Fittings,

                       27s. 6d. and 34s. each.

    Inventory of Clothes required for the various Public Schools,
     Fashion Sheets, Patterns of Materials, and Measurement Forms
                         forwarded Post Free.

                =NEW DEPARTMENT FOR BOOTS AND SHOES.=

    (Boots and Shoes for Infants, Children, Ladies and Gentlemen.)

  MESSRS. SWEARS & WELLS, in compliance with the continuous request of
  many of their Patrons, have the gratification of announcing to their
  Customers the opening of a SHOW ROOM for the Sale of Boots and
  Shoes. This arrangement completes their series of Departments, and
  thereby enables them to supply entire Outfits for Schools and
  Colleges, also for their numerous connections in India, the
  Colonies, the United States, and Foreign Countries.

                             DEPARTMENTS:

  Hosiery (Children's, Ladies', and Gentlemen's), Glove (Children's,
  Ladies', and Gentlemen's), Shirts and Collars (Children's and
  Gentlemen's), Tie and Scarf, Parasol, and Umbrella; Juvenile
  Tailoring, Hat & Cap; Girls' Costume; Infants' and Ladies'
  Underlinen; Children's, Ladies', and Gentlemen's Boots and Shoes.

                        192, REGENT STREET, W.



                              _MORSONS'_
                                  _PREPARATIONS OF_
                              =PEPSINE=

             Highly recommended by the Medical Profession

                          =FOR INDIGESTION.=

  As Wine in Bottles at 3s., 5s. & 9s.; Lozenges, 2s. 6d. and 4s. 6d.;
  Globules, 2s., 3s. 6d., and 6s. 6d.; and Powder as "Medicinal
  Pepsine," at 2s. 6d. and 4s., and "Porci," a more concentrated
  preparation than the Medicinal, at 4s. 6d. each. Sold by all
  Chemists.

  The popularity =Pepsine= has acquired as almost a specific for
  =Chronic Dyspepsia=, =Indigestion=, =&c.=, is due to the fact that
  it is the nearest possible production of the active principle of the
  gastric juice of the stomach. Unfortunately, like all other
  inventions of a like nature, =Pepsine= has been not slightly
  discredited by the spurious Manufactures that have been issued from
  time to time; it is therefore necessary as a guarantee of its
  efficacy to see that each bottle bears the Makers' name.



                     THE MOST EFFICACIOUS TONIC.

                            =FER BRAVAIS=

     TASTELESS, AND
   NEITHER STAINS NOR
   INJURES THE TEETH.

        DOES NOT
  CONSTIPATE or DISTURB
     THE DIGESTION.

                        [Illustration]

  _London Medical Record_, March 15, 1877, says:--"'Bravais' Iron' is
  tasteless, free from styptic character, and appears in the most
  simple state of combination, that is to say, merely united with
  oxygen and water, without the presence of acids. It is a most
  energetic preparation. It is the beau ideal of a ferruginous tonic.
  We regard it as a therapeutic of great value."

  Invaluable in all cases of general weakness or debility, and is
  taken with the greatest facility on a small piece of sugar or bread,
  or in a glass of wine before meals.

  Sold by all the PRINCIPAL CHEMISTS and DRUGGISTS, in Bottles in
  portable Card Cases, with Drop Measure complete, =3s.= and =4/6=
  each.

         _Pamphlets, with full Particulars and Testimonials,
                   Post Free on application to the_

       =Agency and Wholesale Depot, 8, IDOL LANE. LONDON, E.C.=



                          Allen & Hanburys'
                             "Perfécted"
                           =COD-LIVER OIL=

  "Is as nearly tasteless as Cod Liver Oil can be."--_Lancet._

  "Has almost the delicacy of salad oil."--_British Medical Journal._

  "No nauseous eructations follow after it is swallowed."--_Medical
  Press._

  It can be borne and digested by the most delicate; is the _only_ oil
  which does not "repeat," and for these reasons the most efficacious
  kind in use.

         _In Capsuled Bottles only, at 1/4, 2/6, 4/9, and 9/.
                          SOLD EVERYWHERE._

      =ALLEN & HANBURYS, Plough Court, Lombard Street, LONDON.=



  The "=Nonpareil=" is the richest, softest, and most becoming Fabric
  ever produced, and is pre-eminently suited for Ladies' indoor and
  outdoor Costumes, Boys' Suits and Children's Dress. Of all Drapers
  everywhere. Every yard is stamped on the back

  ==> "NONPAREIL"

    [Illustration]

      "NONPAREIL"
        VELVETEEN

  ==> The _finer qualities are_ equal in appearance and wear better
  than the very best Lyons Silk Velvet, and _cost only a quarter of
  the price_.

          Can be purchased of all leading retailers at from
                        =2s. to 6s. per yard=.

     Wholesale Agents: J. H. Fuller, 92, Watling Street, London.
             John R. Taylor, 51, Miller Street, Glasgow.



             By Special Royal [Illustration] Appointment.

                      =Spearman's Devon Serges=

      Thousands of Customers testify that no other article woven
                   equals this in general utility.

             According to the _Queen_ "It has no rival."

             On Sale all the Year round. Pure Wool only.
                   New Colours, Checks & Mixtures.

  For Ladies' wear, beautiful qualities, =1/6= to =4/6= the yard. For
    Children's wear, capitally strong, =1/3= to =2/= the yard. For
    Gentlemen's wear, double width, =2/6= to =10/6= the yard.

  The Navy Blues and the Blacks are fast dyes. On receipt of
    instructions samples will be sent post free.

        _N.B.--Any length cut, and Carriage Paid to principal
                          Railway Stations._

                   _SPEARMAN & SPEARMAN, PLYMOUTH._

                       ONLY ADDRESS. NO AGENTS.



                             "Bi }
                                 } Cycles"
                            "Tri }

              Hillman, Herbert & Cooper,
                      Premier Works, Coventry.
              (The Largest Cycle Factory in the World.)

  14, Holborn Viaduct and 5, Lisle Street, Leicester Square, LONDON.

     All the great =Road= Races for either Bicycles or Tricycles
                have been won on Machines of our make.

     One Stamp for Catalogues, List of Patrons and Testimonials.



  _BAYLISS, JONES & BAYLISS._

    SAMPLES AND LOW PRICES ON APPLICATION.

                       IRON FENCING, GATES, &c.

                            [Illustration]

                    Catalogues free on application
                       BAYLISS, JONES & BAYLISS
                            WOLVERHAMPTON
       London Offices, 3, Crooked Lane, King William St., _E.C._

                                SAMPLES AND LOW PRICES ON APPLICATION.

  Catalogues of Solid & Tubular Bar Fencing, Iron Hurdles, Gates, Wire
  Fencing, Rick Stands, Chain Harrows, Dog Kennel Railing, Galvanized
  Wire Netting, &c., &c., free on application.

                      BAYLISS, JONES & BAYLISS,
                    VICTORIA WORKS, WOLVERHAMPTON,
        And 3, CROOKED LANE, KING WILLIAM STREET, London, E.C.

               _Please mention John Bull's Womankind._



                      Wm. POLSON'S
                       CORN FLOUR.

  The Original and First Manufactured in Great Britain.

  UNRIVALLED FOOD OF HEALTH FOR CHILDREN AND INVALIDS.

               The Best Known Material for
         PUDDINGS, CUSTARDS, CAKES, BLANC MANGE.



          ==> Ask for =MOIR'S= <==

               TABLE JELLIES.
             SOUPS IN GLASSES.
               CURRY POWDER.
             POTTED MEATS, &c.

  Purveyors to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales.



                           TOUGHENED GLASS

             CELEBRATED FOR ITS EXTRAORDINARY STRENGTH.

                           Proprietors:--
  THE TOUGHENED GLASS COMPANY, Limited, 75, LEADENHALL STREET, E.C.



                    TO THE DAUGHTERS OF JOHN BULL!

            Save Time, Labour, Temper, and Money by Using

                      BRUCE'S OIL COOKING STOVES

  [Illustration]

  The Cheapest and quickest method of Cooking known. Absolutely Safe.
  No Smoke, Smell, Dirt, or Danger. Portable. No Flues or Fixing. The
  "_Household Friend_," the latest invention, and most successful Oil
  Stove ever offered to the Public. It cooks a joint 10 lbs., dinner
  for 6, with 3 courses in 3 hours, cost 2½d. Complete, with ½-gall.
  Kettle, Saucepan, Steamer, Fry-pan, Meat Tray and Grid, Funnel and
  pair Scissors, fitted with 4 large moveable Burners, Indicators, and
  the new Plate Warmer to heat 1 doz. Plates, securely packed in
  strong Box, 35s. The well-known _BAZAAR_ says: "We have no
  hesitation in recommending it; trustworthy, well finished, a marvel
  of cheapness, and =The Best Oil Stove= of its kind in the Market.
  The Maker, with great fairness, offers to change it or return the
  money if not approved of." Send for Descriptive Illustrated Price
  Lists of all kinds of Petroleum, Cooking and Heating Stoves, and
  Lamps specially suited for residents in the Country and Abroad,
  where the difficulty of obtaining a trustworthy article is so much
  felt, post free, to any part of the World. Buy direct of the Maker,
  and save 30 per cent.

             J. B. BRUCE, Wholesale, Retail, and Export,
         90, BLACKMAN STREET & 74, LANT STREET, LONDON, S.E.



         Annual Sale over Half-a-Million.

                     McCall's
                      Paysandu
                    Ox Tongues.

                                        SOLD BY
                                          ALL
                                        GROCERS.

    _In various sizes, 1½ to 3½ lbs. in Tins._

  Delicious for Breakfasts, Luncheons & Suppers.



                  LIEBIG COMPANY'S EXTRACT OF MEAT.

        ==> The ONLY BRAND WARRANTED GENUINE by BARON LIEBIG.

  [Illustration]

                               CAUTION!

  Numerous inferior and low-priced substitutes being in the market
  with misleading titles, labels, and portraits of the late Baron
  Liebig, purchasers must insist upon having the

                           LIEBIG COMPANY'S
                           Extract of Meat.

                THE FINEST MEAT-FLAVOURING INGREDIENT.

              Invaluable & efficient Tonic for Invalids.

  N.B.--Genuine ONLY with facsimile of Baron Liebig's Signature, in
  Blue Ink across Label.



                     Cooper, Cooper & Co.

                       SELL THE FINEST
                             TEA

                                          [Illustration]

                    THE WORLD PRODUCES AT

                       3s. _Per Pound_.

      And Magnificent =TEAS= at =2/6= and =2/-= a Pound,
       as supplied to Princes, Dukes, Marquises, Earls,
     Viscounts, Barons, Bishops, and the County Families
                    of the United Kingdom.

  _Samples and Book about =TEA= post free on application to_

                    Cooper, Cooper & Co.,

                        CHIEF OFFICE--
             50, KING WILLIAM STREET, LONDON BRIDGE.

                   BRANCH ESTABLISHMENTS--
   63, BISHOPSGATE STREET WITHIN, E.C. 268, REGENT CIRCUS,
           W. 35, STRAND (near Charing Cross), W.C.
       7, WESTBOURNE GROVE, W. 334, HIGH HOLBORN, W.C.
                           LONDON.



                             HEAL & SON.

                              BEDSTEADS.

  3ft. IRON FRENCH from 10s. 6d.

  3ft. BRASS FRENCH from 48s.

                      200 FIXED FOR INSPECTION.

                               BEDDING.

  MATTRESSES, 3ft., from 11s.

  A NEW SPRING MATTRESS, warranted good and serviceable, at a very
      Moderate Price.

    3ft., 28s.; 3ft. 6in., 32s.; 4ft., 36s.; 4ft. 6in., 40s.

  THIS WITH A TOP MATTRESS--

    3ft., 20s.; 3ft. 6in., 23s.; 4ft., 26s.; 4ft. 6in., 29s.

  Makes a most comfortable Bed and cannot be surpassed at the price.

  HEAL'S PATENT SOMNIER ELASTIQUE PORTATIF of which 30,000 have been
      sold, is the best Spring Mattress yet invented, 3ft., 40s.;
      5ft., 63s.

  GOOSE DOWN QUILT, 1 by 1¼ yds., 10s.

  BLANKETS, 2 by 2½ yds., 9s. 6d. per pair.

                     _BEDDING CLEANED & REMADE._

                          BEDROOM FURNITURE.

  PLAIN SUITES from £3.

  DECORATED SUITES from £8 10s.

  ASH and WALNUT SUITES from £12 12s.

                         300 SUITES ON VIEW.

  SCREENS, suitable for Bedrooms, 21s.

                        EASY CHAIRS from 35s.

  COUCHES from 75s.

  DINING TABLES from 70s.

  DINING-ROOM CHAIRS in Leather from 24s.

  BOOKCASES from 38s. & BOOKSHELVES from 7/6.

  WRITING TABLES from 25s.

  OCCASIONAL TABLES from 10s. 6d.

               _CHAIRS & SOFAS RESTUFFED & RECOVERED._

  English and Foreign Carpets. A Bordered Seamless Carpet from 26s.

      _Illustrated Catalogue of Bedsteads and Bedroom Furniture
              with Price List of Bedding, free by post._

             HEAL & SON, 195 to 198, TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD



           New Patterns, Post Free, with other Fashionable
                   Fabrics in all the Newest Tints.

          Under the Direct Patronage of the Courts of Great
          Britain, Germany, Russia, France, Austria & Italy.

                          EGERTON BURNETT'S
                             ROYAL SERGES

  Include the Best Makes of this Indispensable Material, and can be
    relied on to =stand Wind and Weather on Land and Sea, in Summer or
    Winter, for LADIES', GENTLEMEN'S, or CHILDREN'S WEAR=.

  They can be had in any Colour or Quality, from the finest and
    lightest, suitable for Tropical Climates, to the warm heavy makes
    capable of Resisting an Intense Degree of Cold.

  _Any Length Cut. No Agents._

          [Illustration]

                  Egerton Burnett, the navy serge man,
                  sells excellent stuff, wear it out if you can.

                                     _All Orders are executed direct._

               Prices for Ladies, 1/2½ to 4/6 per yard.

              Extra Strong for Gentlemen and Boys' Wear.

                     (54 in.) from 2/11 per yard.

  _The QUEEN_ says:--"It is pre-eminently useful, and recommends it to
    practical minds and purses of all lengths."

     Carriage Paid on Orders over 20s. to any Railway Station in
                    ENGLAND, IRELAND, or SCOTLAND.

            EGERTON BURNETT, No. 12, Wellington, SOMERSET.



                        Dr. J. COLLIS BROWNE'S

        CHLORODYNE

                        ORIGINAL AND

                            [Illustration]

                                ONLY GENUINE.

                                                CHLORODYNE

  Is the Best Remedy known for COUGHS, CONSUMPTION, BRONCHITIS,
    ASTHMA.

  Effectually checks and arrests those too often fatal Disease known
    as DIPTHERIA, FEVER, CROUP, AGUE.

  Acts like a charm in DIARRHŒA, and is the only specific in CHOLERA
    and DYSENTERY.

  Effectually cuts short all attacks of EPILEPSY, HYSTERIA,
    PALPITATION and SPASMS.

  Is the only palliative in NEURALGIA, RHEUMATISM, GOUT, CANCERS,
    TOOTHACHE, MENINGITIS, &c.

  The Right Hon. the EARL RUSSELL has graciously favoured J. T.
    DAVENPORT with the following:--"Earl Russell communicated to
    the College of Physicians that he received a despatch from Her
    Majesty's Consul at Manilla, to the effect that Cholera had
    been raging fearfully, and that the ONLY remedy of any service
    was CHLORODYNE."--See _Lancet_, December 1st, 1864.

  CAUTION.--The extraordinary medical reports on the efficacy of
    Chlorodyne, render it of vital importance that the public should
    obtain the genuine, which bears the words "Dr. J. Collis Browne's
    Chlorodyne."

    Sole Manufacturer--J. T. DAVENPORT, 33, Great Russell Street,
                            London, W.C.



                          AT HOME OR ABROAD,

                        I ALWAYS HAVE WITH ME

                    _Lamplough's Pyretic Saline_,

  Which forms a most Invigorating, Vitalising, and Refreshing Draught.

  Drs. PROUT, MORGAN, TURLEY, GIBBON, SPARKS, DOWSING, STEVENS, and
  many other Medical Men, have given unqualified Testimony to the
  importance of the discovery and the immense value of

                          THIS GREAT REMEDY

  [Illustration]

  As possessing elements most essential to the restoration and
  maintenance of health, with perfect vigour of Body and Mind.

  It gives instant relief in =Headache=, =Sea= or =Bilious Sickness=,
  =Constipation=, =Indigestion=, =Lassitude=, =Heartburn=, and
  =Feverish Colds=; and prevents and quickly relieves or cures the
  worst form of =Typhus=, =Scarlet=, and other =Fevers=, =Smallpox=,
  =Measles=, and =Eruptive= or =Skin Complaints=, and various other
  altered conditions of the Blood. It is the cure for =Cholera=. "It

                           'SAVED MY LIFE,'

  For the Fever had obtained a strong hold on me. In a few days I was
  quite well."--Extract from Letter of C. Fitzgerald, Esq., formerly
  Correspondent of the _Manchester Guardian_ in Albania.

  =CAUTION.=--Dr. Wilson writes:--"We all know how much rubbish is put
  into the market in imitation of it."

        _In Patent Glass-stoppered Bottles, 2s. 6d., 4s. 6d.,
                        11s., and 21s. each._

   To be obtained of any Chemist or Patent Medicine Dealer, and of
               H. LAMPLOUGH, 113, HOLBORN, LONDON, E.C.



         By                                       and H. I. and R. H.
  Special Appointments       [Illustration]       the Crown Princess
  to H. M. the Queen,                                of Germany.

                     CAMBRIC POCKET HANDKERCHIEFS

         _ALL PURE FLAX. SAMPLES AND PRICE LISTS POST FREE._

    Children's, hemmed for use,      1/8 per dozen.
    Ladies'                         2/11 per dozen.
    Gents'                          3/11 per dozen.

  Hemstitched.

    Ladies'      5/6 per dozen.
    Gents'       7/3 per dozen.

  "The Cambrics of Robinson & Cleaver have a world-wide fame."--_Queen._

                            IRISH LINENS.

  Real Irish Linen Sheeting, fully bleached, 2 yards wide, 1/11 per
    yard; 2½ yards wide, 2/4½d. per yard (the most durable article made,
    and far superior to any foreign manufactured goods).

  Roller Towelling, 18 in. wide, 3½d. per yd.

  Surplice Linen, 8½d. per yard.

  Linen Dusters, 3/3; Glass Cloths, 4/6 doz.

  Fine Linens and Linen Diaper, 10d. yard.

                         _Samples post free._

                      IRISH DAMASK TABLE LINEN.

    Fish Napkins                       2/11    per dozen.
    Dinner Napkins                     5/6     per dozen.
    Table Cloths, 2 yards square,      2/11½d. each.
    Table Cloths, 2½ yds. by 3 yds.,   6/11    each.
    Kitchen Table Cloths                 11½d. each.
    Strong Huckaback Towels,           4/6     per dozen.

  _Monograms, Crests, Coats of Arms, Initials, &c., woven & embroidered.
                         Samples post free._

                    _Robinson & Cleaver, Belfast._



         HIGHEST AWARDS WHEREVER EXHIBITED.

  [Illustration: "British."]

          [Illustration: "Apollo."]

                  [Illustration: "'Xtraordinary."]

             _SINGER & CO., COVENTRY._

            LONDON: 17, HOLBORN VIADUCT.

  [Illustration: "Traveller."]

                 FROM 70s. UPWARDS.

                        [Illustration: "Carrier."]

  LARGE ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE FREE ON APPLICATION.



                Who are the Really Great and <==
                  ==> Successful Men in this World?

  [Illustration]

  Huxley wisely says:--"Those who take honours in nature's university,
  who learn the laws which govern men and things and obey them, are
  the really great and successful men in this world.... Those who
  won't learn at all are plucked; and then you can't come up again.
  Nature's pluck means extermination." The simple meaning is, when
  ailing, pay no attention to the regulation of your diet, exercise,
  or occupation; attempt no conformity to the laws of life, or when
  you have drawn an over-draft on the bank of life, &c., avoid the use
  of ENO'S FRUIT SALT and you will be surprised to learn of the body
  what

    A Frail and Fickle Tenement it is, which, like the Brittle Glass
      that Measures Time, is often Broke, ere half its Sands are Run.

  THE FESTIVE SEASON.--Experience shows that porter, mild ales, port
  wine, dark sherries, sweet champagne, liqueurs, and brandies, are
  all very apt to disagree, while light white wines and gin or whisky,
  largely diluted with soda-water, will be found the least
  objectionable.

  ENO'S FRUIT SALT is particularly adapted for any constitutional
  weakness of the liver. It possesses the power of reparation when
  digestion has been disturbed or lost, and places the invalid in the
  right track to health. A world of woe is avoided by those who keep
  and use Eno's Fruit Salt; therefore no family should ever be without
  it.

  USE ENO'S FRUIT SALT.--Or as a health-giving, refreshing, cooling,
  invigorating beverage, or as a gentle laxative and tonic in the
  various forms of indigestion, USE ENO'S FRUIT SALT.

  ALSO GOUTY OR RHEUMATIC POISONS from the blood, the neglect of which
  often results in apoplexy, heart disease, and sudden death.

  USE ENO'S FRUIT SALT, prepared from sound, ripe fruit. What every
  travelling trunk and household in the world ought to contain--a
  bottle of ENO'S FRUIT SALT. Without such a simple precaution, the
  jeopardy of life is immensely increased.

  "All our customers for Eno's Fruit Salt would not be without it upon
  any consideration, they have received so much benefit from
  it."--Wood Brothers, Chemists, Jersey.

  FROM ENGLAND TO SYDNEY, on board the _Samuel Plimsoll_.--"Dear
  Sir,--I have just received a letter from my daughter, who sailed for
  Sydney last April as assistant matron of the _Samuel Plimsoll_, in
  which she says: 'I am sorry indeed, dad, to hear how the winter has
  tried you. Make up your mind and come out here. You will never
  regret it, and don't forget to bring some ENO'S FRUIT SALT. It was
  the only cure on board for sea-sickness. I gave it nearly all away
  to those who were ill, which seemed to revive them, and they soon
  began to rally under its soothing influence.'--I am, dear Sir, yours
  faithfully, Truth. 6, Asylum-road, Old Kent-road, S.E., Sept. 14,
  1883--Mr. J. C. Eno."

  DIRECTIONS IN SIXTEEN LANGUAGES HOW TO PREVENT DISEASE.

  SUCCESS IN LIFE.--"A new invention is brought before the public and
  commands success. A score of abominable imitations are immediately
  introduced by the unscrupulous, who, in copying the original closely
  enough to deceive the public, and yet not so exactly as to infringe
  upon legal rights, exercise an ingenuity that, employed in an
  original channel, could not fail to secure reputation and
  profit."--Adams.

  CAUTION.--Legal rights are protected in every civilised country.
  Examine each bottle, and see the capsule is marked ENO'S FRUIT SALT.
  Without it you have been imposed upon by worthless imitations. Sold
  by all Chemists.

   PREPARED ONLY AT ENO'S FRUIT SALT WORKS, HATCHAM, LONDON, S.E.,
                        By J. C. ENO'S PATENT



Transcriber's Note

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

Hyphenation has been made consistent.

The following amendments have been made:

    Page 70, footnote--c amended to b--See Appendix (b).

    Page 124--disageeable amended to disagreeable--... the trouble
    of doing some rather disagreeable things, ...

    Page 216--Sukie amended to Susie--_Susie._--"I play the
    Alleluiah trombone."





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