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Punch, Or The London Charivari, VOL. 100. Feb. 28, 1891
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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 100.



February 28, 1891.



SPECIMENS FROM MR. PUNCH'S SCAMP-ALBUM.

NO. II.—THE LITERARY "GHOST."



We will assume, simply for the purposes of this argument, that you, reader, are an innocent-minded elderly lady, and a regular subscriber to the Local Circulating Library. You are sitting by your comfortable fireside, knitting a "cross-over" for a Bazaar, when your little maid announces a gentleman, who says he has not a card-case with him, but requests that you will see him.

"You are sure he is a gentleman, MARY ANN?" you will inquire, with a slight uneasiness as to the umbrellas in the hall.

"Oh, a puffict gentleman, Mam," says MARY ANN—"with a respirator."

Upon this testimony to his social standing, you direct that the perfect gentleman shall be shown in.

MARY ANN has not deceived you—he has a respirator, also blue spectacles, and a red nose. He apologises with fluent humility for intruding upon you without the honour of a previous acquaintance, and takes a chair, after which he shifts his respirator to his chin, sheds a pair of immense woollen gloves into his hat, and produces a bundle of papers, over which he intreats you to cast an eye. On perusing them, they prove to be letters from various eminent authors, whose names are, more or less, familiar to you. These documents are more interesting as autographs than from any intrinsic literary merit, for they all refer to remittances for various amounts, and regret politely that the writer is not in a position to obtain permanent employment for his correspondent. While you are reading them, your visitor pays assiduous court to your cat—which impresses you favourably.

"Possibly, Madam," he suggests, "you may be personally acquainted with some of those gentlemen?" When you confess that you have not that honour, he seems more at his ease.

"I asked," he says, "because I have long heard of you as a Lady of great taste and judgment in literary matters—which, after seeing you, I can the more readily understand."

It is a fact that several of your nieces and female neighbours are in the habit of declaring that they would rather take your opinion on a novel than that of all the critics; still, you had not expected your fame to have spread so wide.

"I had another motive," he confesses, "because, if you were intimate with any of these authors, I should naturally 'esitate to say anything which might have the effect of altering your opinion of them. As it is, I can speak with perfect freedom—though in the strictest confidence. You see before you, Madam, an unfortunate bean, whom circumstances have 'itherto debarred from ever reaping the fruit of his own brine! Well may you remark, 'Your Gracious Goodness'"—(your natural astonishment having escaped you in the shape of this invocation)—"for in your goodness and in your graciousness rests my sole remaining 'ope. I was endowed from an early age with a fertile and versatile imagination, and creative powers which, without vanity, I may say, were of a rather superior class. The one thing I lacked was inflooence, and in the world of letters, Madam, as I am sure you do not need to be informed, without inflooence Genius is denied a suitable opening. At several literary Clubs in the West End I made the acquaintance of the authors whose letters you have just had the opportunity of reading—men who have since attained to the topmost pinnacle of Fame. At that time they were comparatively obscure; they 'eard my conversation, they realised that I 'ad ideers, of which they knew the value better, perhaps, than I did myself. I used to see them taking down notes on their shirt-cuffs, and that, but I took no notice of it at the time. Probably you have read the celebrated work of fiction by Mr. GASHLEIGH WALKER, entitled, King Cole's Cellars? I thought so. I gave him the plot, scenery and characters complete, for that story. I did, indeed."

"And do you mean to say he has taken all the credit himself!" you exclaim, very properly shocked.

"If he has," he replies, meekly, "I am far from complaining—a shilling or two was an object to me at that time. And it got me more work of the sort. There's Booty Bay, now, the book that made ROBERTSON—that was took down, word for word, from my dictation, in a back parlour of one of LOCKHART's Cocoa-Rooms. I got fifteen shillings for that. He got, I daresay, 'undreds of pounds. Well, I don't grudge it to him. As he said, I ought to remember he had all the manual labour of it. Then there's that other book which has sold its thousands, Four Men in a Funny—that was mine—all but the last chapter; he would put in that, and, in my opinion, spoilt it, from an artistic point. But what could I do? It was out of my 'ands! I must say I never anticipated myself that it would be so popular. 'I should be robbing you,' I said, 'if I took more than ten shillings for it.' All the same, it turned out a good bargain for him. Then there's the Drama, you would hardly credit it that I could name three leading theatres at this present moment where pieces are running which came originally out of my 'ed! But it's no use my saying so—no one would believe it. And now I've 'elped all these men up the ladder, they can do without me—they can go alone—or think they can. See the way they write—not a word about owing anything to my 'umble services, a postal order for three-and-six; but that's the world all over!"

"But surely," you will sympathetically observe, "you will expose them, you will insist on sharing in the reward of your labours—it is a duty you owe to the public, as well as yourself!"



"So I've been told, Madam. But what can I do?—I'm a poor man. 'Slow rises worth, by poverty depressed,' as POPE, or GOLDSMITH—for a similar idea occurs in both—truly observes. To put my case before the public as it ought to be put, I should first have to gain the ear of the Press—and you want a golden key to do that, nowadays. The Press is very reluctant to run down successful writers. 'Hawks won't pick out Awkses heyes,' as BURNS remarks. (By this time you are probably fumbling for your purse, which, as usual, is at the bottom of your work-basket.) No, they will find me out some day—after I'm dead and gone, most likely! In the meantime I envy nobody. I have the consciousness of Genius, and—I'm sure your generosity is overwhelming, Madam—I really never ventured to—Pardon these tears; it is the first time my poor talents have ever obtained such recognition as this! Could you crown your favours by giving me the names and addresses of any charitable friends and neighbours whom you think at all likely to follow your noble example?... I thank you from my heart, Madam, and, when I succeed in recovering my literary in'eritance, and am called upon to issue a collected edition of my works, I shall take the liberty of inscribing on the title-page a dedication to the generous benefactress who first 'elped to restore my fallen fortunes!"

With this he seals his lips again with the respirator, pockets his documents and your donation, and bows himself gratefully out, leaving you to meditate on the unscrupulousness of popular Authors, and the ease with which a confiding public is hoodwinked.

* * * * *

M.P. MANFIELD, M.P.

Northampton's new Member an honour can claim On which he need set little store: He now has M.P. written after his name, But he always had M.P. before.

If every M.P. in the lobby counts one, To the Ayes, or the Noes, walking through, Does logic demand, in each case, pro and con., M.P. MANFIELD, M.P., should count two?

* * * * *

CHANCE FOR SPINSTERS OF AN UNCERTAIN AGE.—There is to be a Mahommedan Mission in England.

* * * * *



* * * * *

BRAVO, BAGSHAWE!

A lady of Bedford, despotic and rash, Tried to force her poor groom to shave off his moustache. Judge BAGSHAWE the wise, made her pay for her prank. This makes one inclined to sing, "I know a Bank," Where BAGSHAWE might bring common-sense, for a change; They're worse than the Lady of Goldington Grange, These Banking Bashaws with three tails, who must clip Nature's health-giving gift from a clerk's chin or lip. Bah! What are they fit for, these stupid old rules? To be shaped by rich tyrants, obeyed by poor fools!

* * * * *

QUEER QUERIES.

ENGLISH HISTORY.—I have been reading several books on this subject, and am rather puzzled. Are the English people, as existing now, Teutons, or Danes, or Celts, or what? Can we be Teutons when the aborigines of these islands were not Teutonic? I feel that my own genius—and I have a lot—is Celtic; at the same time I have always prided myself on my Norman blood; yet from my liking for the sea, which never makes me sick, at least at Herne Bay, I fancy I must be descended from a Scandinavian Viking. What is the ethnological name given to a person who is an amalgamation of such heterogeneous elements?—INQUIRER.

* * * * *



* * * * *

THE BRUM AND THE OOLOGIST.

[Mr. W. JAMES asked the LORD ADVOCATE whether his attention had been called to a circular, issued from Birmingham by the Naturalists' Publishing Company, inviting applications for shares in "An Oological Expedition to the land of the Great Auk," meaning the Shetland Isles, and stating that, "if the season is a pretty fair one, a haul of at least twenty thousand eggs" of rare sea-birds might be expected.—Daily Paper.]

The "Brum" and the Oologist Were walking hand in hand; They grinned to see so many birds On cliff, and rock, and sand. "If we could only get their eggs," Said they, "it would be grand."

"If we should start a Company To gather eggs all day, Do you suppose," the former said, "That we could make it pay?" "We might," said the Oologist, "On the promoting lay!"

"Then you've a tongue, and I a ship, Likewise some roomy kegs; And you might lead the birds a dance Upon their ugly legs; And, when you've got them out of sight, I'll steal their blooming eggs."

"Oh, Sea-birds," said the Midland man, "Let's take a pleasant walk! Perhaps among you we may find The Great—or lesser—Auk; And you might possibly enjoy A scientific talk."

The skuas and the cormorants, And all the puffin clan, The stormy petrels, gulls, and terns, They hopped, and skipped, and ran With very injudicious speed To join that oily man.

"The time has come," remarked the Brum, "For 'talking without tears' Of birds unhappily extinct, Yet known in former years; And how much cash an egg will fetch In Naturalistic spheres."

"But not our eggs!" replied the birds, Feeling a little hot. "You surely would not rob our nests After this pleasant trot?" The Midland man said nothing but,— "I guess he's cleared the lot!"

"Well!" said that bland Oologist, "We've had a lot of fun. Next year, perhaps, these Shetland birds We'll visit—with a gun; When—as we've taken all their eggs— There'll probably be none!"

* * * * *

QUEER QUERIES.

DIVORCE FACILITIES.—I should like to be informed in what part of the United States it is that a Divorce is granted in half-an-hour, at a merely nominal fee, on the ground of conscientious objections to monogamy? What is the cost of getting there, and would it be necessary that my wife should go there too? There might be a difficulty in persuading her to take the journey.

INCOMPATIBILITY.

* * * * *

A CANADIAN CALENDAR.

(TO BE HOPED NOT PROPHETIC.)

1892. Reciprocity firmly established between the Dominion and the U.S.A.

1893. Emigration ceases between the Dominion and the Mother Country, and trade dies out.

1894. Return from Canada of families of the best blood to England and France.

1895. Great increase of the Savage Indian Tribes in the country, and the Improvident Irish Population in the towns of the Dominion.

1896. Practical suspension of trade between the Dominion and the U.S.A., the latter having now attained the desired object of shutting out goods of British manufacture from the American market.

1897. England refuses to assist Canada in resenting Yankee encroachment in the seal fisheries.

1898. Canada asks to be annexed to the U.S.A.

1899. After some hesitation Uncle SAM consents to absorb the Dominion.

1900. Canada becomes a tenth-rate Yankee State.

* * * * *

THE DICTUM OF DIOGENES.

"One Man, One Vote!" A very proper plan If you with each One Vote can find—One Man!

* * * * *

MRS. GRUNDY TO MR. GOSCHEN.

The Three per Cents, the Three per Cents, Serene but mortal Three, In view of recent sad events, Oh! give them back to me. Oh! GOSCHEN, Sir, kind gentleman, Hear my polite laments; Restore this trio, if you can— Those musical Per Cents.

My income once was safe, if small; It's larger, but unpaid, Despite "the quite phenomenal Development of Trade." The "Bogus Man" is on the track, And queer "Financial Gents" Have promised me in white and black Their Six and Ten per Cents.

The Three per Cents were regular, Respectable, and good. Their health was such that "under par" They very seldom stood; They needed no "conversion" rash, Like Darker Continents; A sort of Sunday turned to cash They were, my Three per Cents.

A distant river somewhere rolls, The wicked River Plate; Upon its banks there flourish souls Perverse and reprobate. Ah, send your missionaries there! If haply it repents, I'll not surrender Eaton Square For Surrey's wild or Kent's.

Not I alone; the best that breathe, Archbishop, Duke, and Lord, Your bust with chaplets rare will wreathe, This boon if you'll accord. How can we by example shame The mob who mock at rents, If we are left to do the same Without our Three per Cents?

Reft of a carriage, life is poor: A well-conducted set Needs ready money to procure Their butler and Debrett. The country totters to its fall, Disgraced to all intents, Unless you instantly recall Our solid Three per Cents.

* * * * *

THE FLOWERLESS FUNERAL.

(BY A FLOWER MERCHANT.)

Funeral Reform? Oh! just a fad,— Its advocates, in fact, as bad As those who want Cremation. A set of foolish, fussy fools Whose misplaced ardour nothing cools— A nuisance to the nation!

Economy, they're all agreed, Should be with them a cult and creed, Simplicity a passion. They'd quickly wreck this trade of ours, Since they would scorn the use of flowers, If they could set the fashion!

Yes; parsons agitate, but these Good gentlemen all take their fees— We thank them much for giving Such good advice upon this head, But recollect that from the dead We've got to get our living!

* * * * *

CHORUS OF THE OBJECTORS TO THE PROPOSED LORD'S TUNNEL RAILWAY.—"WATKIN the matter be!"

* * * * *

MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.

NO. XIV.—LE PETROLIUM; OU, LES SALOPERIES PARISIENNES.

(Par Zorgon-Gola, Auteur de "Toujours Poivre," "Charbon et Crasse," "La Fange," "499 Pages d'Amour," "Le Pourvoyeur Universel," "Une Reveuse qui vise l'Academie.")

I.—LA FAMILLE.

Si vous voulez voir les Slums Parisiens et comprendre le Peuple—avec la majuscule—vous devez visiter les Saloperies, faubourg au dela de Belleville et de Menilmontant, faubourg ou les femmes sortent le matin en cheveux—ca ne veut pas dire comme Lady GODIVA, mais simplement sans chapeau—acheter de la charcuterie; et ou vers minuit dans des bouges infects les hommes se coupent le gavion, en bons zigs, apres une soiree de rigolade. C'est ici qu'on trouve des admirables exemplaires de cette nombreuse famille EGOU-OGWASH, qui, datant de PHARAMOND, peuple Paris et joue tous les roles dans la comedie humaine. Ce n'est pas une famille tout a fait vieille roche, voyez-vous: au contraire, ca commence dans la boue de Provence et finit dans les egouts de Paris; mais elle est distinguee, tout de meme. Elle a son epilepsie hereditaire, belle et forte epilepsie qu'on trouvera partout dans cette vingtaine de romans que je suis resolu d'ecrire au sujet des EGOU-OGWASH. C'est une epilepsie genealogique. Il y en a pour toute la famille.

II.—LES POPPOT.

JANE POPPOT se promenait sur le Boulevard des Saloperies par une belle matinee d'aout. En cheveux, panier sur le bras, elle allait acheter de la charcuterie pour le dejeuner de son mari, oui, son mari pour de bon, chose unique dans la famille OGWASH, un vrai mariage a la Mairie et a l'eglise. Cette petite blonde, JANE, a ses idees a elle de se ranger, de vivre en honnete femme avec son respectable JEAN POPPOT qui l'adore, au point de lui pardonner tout le volume premier de son histoire.



Il n'y a pas dans tout Paris menage plus gentil que le petit appartement au septieme des POPPOT dans une cite ouvriere de ce Betnal Grin Parisien. Tout va bien avec ces braves gens. Lui, c'est le Steeple-Jack de Paris, ou il fait les reparations de tous les toits. Elle, blanchisseuse de fin, a developpe un secret dans la facon d'empeser les plastrons de chemises. Elle fait des plastrons monumentaux, luisants, dur comme l'albatre. Elle a des clients dans le beau monde et a l'etranger, jusqu'au Prince de BALEINES, qui lui confie ses chemises de grande toilette, celles qu'il porte au diner du Lor Maire, par exemple.

JANE achete sa charcuterie, et apres elle s'arrete au coin de la rue pour regarder Paris. C'etait un tic qu'elle avait, de regarder Paris. Cela tenait de la famille OGWASH. Instinct de race.

Paris, vu du hauteur des Saloperies, semble une grande marmite pleine de boue et de sang, ou les gens grouillent, se tordent, s'empiffrent, se devorent, et squirment dans leur propre graisse, comme de la blanchaille sautant dans l'huile bouillante. Un nuage de sewer-gaz monte jusqu'a JANE stationnee sur la hauteur de Belleville; et dans cette brume puante elle sent l'odeur de femmes et de l'ognon, le cognac, le meurtre, le fricot, le mont de piete, les omnibus, les croquemorts, les gargotes, les bals a l'entree libre pour dames, tout ce qu'il y a de funeste et de choquant dans cette ville infecte.

JANE s'amuse a flairer toutes ces horreurs pendant que le pauvre POPPOT danse devant le buffet en attendant l'arlequin ou le demi kilo de charcuterie assortie dans le panier de sa femme.

III.—DEGRINGOLADE.

Elle a degringole. Cela a commence tout doucement en trainant ses savates. Quand une femme degringole elle traine ses savates. C'est une loi universelle. L'on ne degringole pas sans trainer ses savates; l'on ne traine pas ses savates sans degringoler. Ainsi gare aux souliers ecules. O, mais elle est changee, cette pauvre p'tite blonde! La maladie hereditaire des EGOU-OGWASH vient d'etre indiquee. POPPOT, ce brave POPPOT, lui aussi il degringole, il resemble a un reverbere sur le boulevard dont on oublie d'eteindre le gaz. Il est allume du matin au soir.

Ca a commence si gentiment apres que ce bon Steeple-Jack etait tombe du faite de Notre Dame, ou il faisait des reparations. Le pauvre homme a fait cette chute en regardant JANE, qui dansait le cancan sur la Place du Parvis pour choquer ces cretins de Cook-tourists, et pour distraire son mari. C'etait pendant la convalescence de POPPOT que la degringolade a commence. JANE lui donna un de a coudre de vilain cognac, et de ce premier doigt de casse-poitrine a l'ivrognerie brutale n'etait qu'une glissade, presque aussi rapide que la glissade de Notre Dame. POPPOT trainait ses savates; il chomait; il rigolait; il gardait le Saint Lundi; il passait des journees devant le buffet du Petrolium, ce grand cabaret du peuple ou l'on voyait distiller le trois-six pour tout le quartier.

JANE faisait pire que degringoler; elle cascadait. Elle ne se debarbouillait plus. Elle avait pris en horreur le savon. Est-ce une aversion hereditaire, datant de la premiere femme qui a senti la puanteur de cet abominable savon francais, avant la bienfaisante invention de M. POIRES? Sans doute c'etait l'atavisme en quelque forme. Elle avait son beguin. C'etait le linge sale. Plus il etait sale, plus elle en raffolait. Elle ne voulait plus les chemises en batiste fine du Prince de BALEINES. Elle priait les aristos du Jockey Club de donner leurs plastrons a d'autres. Les clients qu'elle preferait etaient les porte-faix, les forts de la halle, les chauffeurs du chemin de fer. C'etait en allant chercher le linge de ces derniers qu'elle entrait sans le savoir dans le Dedale de cette voie ferree qui enlace et ecrase les etres vivants comme les grandes roues des locomotives ecrasent la poussiere de la voie.

Le President du P.L.M. lui aussi avait son beguin hereditaire. Il courait les femmes malpropres. Plus elles ne se debarbouillaient pas, plus il les courait. C'etait innocent. Il les admirait du cote esthetique. Cela tenait de la famille, puis de ce que lui aussi etait de la vieille souche des EGOU-OGWASH. Il s'allumait en lorgnant la figure noircie de cette pauvre JANE, et la rencontrant dans la gare un jour il se permit un pen de flirtage sans penser a mal. Mais par une fatalite, POPPOT, affreusement paf, descendait d'une quatrieme classe au moment ou le vieux baisait la main crasseuse de JANE, en lui disant son gentil bon soir: et des cet instant POPPOT voyait rouge.

IV.—SURINADE.

IL voyait rouge. Paris lui semblait un abattoir. Il couvait le meurtre, et pour l'aider il avait un complice qui etait du metier, JACQUES RISPERE, conducteur de machines sur le P.L.M., qui avait aussi sa manie hereditaire, et sa manie a lui etait de couper les gorges. Il les coupait sans rancune, a l'improviste, en souriant a sa victime, les yeux dans les yeux. Cric! c'etait fait. Par exemple il est descendu un jour de la locomotive et devant le buffet d'une station ou il n'y avait pas trop de monde il a surine la barmaid qui lui souriait en lui vendant une brioche. Il a egorge son chauffeur au risque d'arreter le train de luxe entre Avignon et Marseilles. On ne le punit pas. Cela tenait de la famille.

"Touche la, mon drole! C'est convenu," dit JACQUES RISPERE, apres un entretien de quelques heures devant le buffet du Petrolium. "Moi, j'arrangerai tout cela avec les fonctionnaires. Le train arrivant de Geneve doit passer le Rapide entre Macon et Dijon. Il ne passera pas. Je retarderai le train omnibus arrivant de Marseilles. J'accelererai le train-luggage arrivant de Paris. Il y aura une melee de quatre trains, entrechoques, tordus, enlaces, faisant le pique-a-baque: et pendant cette melee j'egorgerai ce vieux mufe de President. C'est simple."

"Comme bon jour," repondit POPPOT, aveuglement soul.

RISPERE tenait parole. A onze heures du soir il y avait une de ces catastrophes qui font fremir l'Europe voyageuse. L'assassin ne s'arretait pas a la gorge du President. Le vieil aristo n'avait pas assez de sang pour assouvir la soif meurtriere de l'epileptique. RISPERE egorgea tout le monde, a tort et a travers, une veritable tuerie. On le prit les mains rouges, la bouche blanche d'ecume. C'etait la vraie epilepsie d'ESQUIROL.

Quant a POPPOT personne n'a soupconne sa complicite dans ce crime gigantesque. Lui et JANE se soulent paisiblement du matin an soir devant le buffet du Petrolium, en amis. Ils deviennent tous les jours plus pauvres, plus paresseux, et plus poivres. Ainsi c'est facile de prevoir leur fin:—

L'hopital, trente pages de delire alcooelique, et la fosse commune.

Note de l'Auteur.—C'est mon intention irrevocable de finir ma vingtaine de romans sur la famille OGWASH, et je compte avec plasir offrir les dix-neuf a suivre a mon ami estime, Ponche.

* * * * *

LISTENING TO THE GENTLE KOOEN.

Maid Marian is "a Comic Opera in Three Acts," at least so I gather from the title-page of the book and from the programme of the Prince of Wales's Theatre; though where the comicality comes in, except occasionally with Mr. MONKHOUSE, it would require Sam Weller's "pair o' patent double million magnifyin' gas microscopes of hextra power" to detect. Mr. LE HAY, too, has nothing like the opportunity which was given him in Prince Bulbo. Now, when in a so-called Comic Opera your two principal low comedians have very little to do, say, or sing, and when that little is not of a particularly side-splitting character, and when the plot is not replete with comic situations, such a work must depend for its success on the freshness of its melodies, on the popularity of its artistes, and on the excellence of its mise-en-scene.



As to the last of these essentials, if, perhaps, it is not so brilliantly placed on the stage as some other shows have been, yet there is plenty of Harrisian movement, due always to the devices in stage-management of CHARLES of that ilk, who certainly knows how to keep the Chorus moving and the game alive generally.

The yet existing admirers of the once enormously popular composer, OFFENBACH, among whom I certainly include myself, will be much gratified by the delicately introduced reminiscences of the work of that master of opera bouffe which occasionally crop up during the performance of Maid Marian. If it be permissible for great Masters to repeat themselves, as notably more than one has done, may not little Masters exhibit the results of their profound studies in the schools of popular Composers? Surely they may; and was I not pleased with Mr. DE KOOEN (whose name seems to suggest "the voice of the turtle,"—the dove, not the soup) when his prelude to the Third Act distinctly recalled to my attentive mind the celebrated unison effect in L'Africaine, only without the marvellous jump, which, when first heard, thrilled the audience, and compelled an enthusiastic encore? Then Miss VIOLET CAMERON sang a song about the bells, with a chorus not in the least like that in Les Cloches de Corneville you understand, because the latter, I think, is performed without the bells sounding, but in this there is a musical peal which intensifies the distinction between the two. This "number" was encored heartily, nay, I think it was demanded three times, and came just at the right moment to freshen up the entertainment. In the previous Act Miss ATTALIE CLAIRE had had a good song which had also obtained an encore, thoroughly well deserved as far as her singing was concerned.

I forget what Mr. COFFIN had to sing, but, whatever it was, he did it more than justice, as did also the basso profondo, whose efforts in producing his voice from, apparently, his boots, were crowned with remarkable success.

The Friar Tuck here is a kind of good old-fashioned burlesque Friar, more like that one some years ago at the Gaiety, in Little Robin Hood than the Friar in Ivanhoe. But I should say that this Friar would be uncommonly thankful to have got anything like the song that Sir ARTHUR has given his Friar over the way, or something even as good as Mr. DALLAS had to sing, years ago, in REECE's Gaiety Burlesque. However, perhaps it was not intended for a singing part, and perhaps the actor who plays it is not a professional singer. We're not all of us born with silver notes in our chests.

I see that Mr. HORACE SEDGER announces the drama in action, entitled L'Enfant Prodigue, which recently made such a hit in Paris. Wonder how it will go here. Not knowing, can't prophesy.

PRIVATE BOX.

* * * * *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

The Baron thanks Sir HENRY THOMPSON for his Food and Feeding, which (published by WARNE & Co., a suggestive name) has reached its sixth edition. It is, indeed, an entertaining work, and a work that all honest entertainers should carefully study. It will delight alike the host and the guest. To the first, Sir HENRY, being a host in himself, can give such valuable advice as, if acted upon, will secure the ready pupil a position as a Lucullus of the first class; and, even when so placed, he will still have much to learn from this Past Grand Master in the art of living well and wisely. "Fas est ab 'hoste' doceri"—and a better host it would be difficult to find as teacher than Sir HENRY THOMPSON, P.G.M., to whose health and happiness the Baron quaffs a bumper of burgundy of the right sort and at the right time. Most opportunely does this book appear in the season of Lent, which may be well and profitably spent in acquiring a thorough knowledge of how to turn to the best account the fleshpots of Egypt, when the penitential time is past, and the yolk of mortification is thrown off with the welcome return of the Easter Egg. Read attentively what our guide and friend has to say about salads, especially note his remarks on the salad of "cold boiled table vegetables." His arrangement of the menu, to the Baron's simple taste, humble mode of life, and not inconsiderable experience, is perfect. Hors d'oeuvres are works of supererogation, and have never been, so to speak, acclimatised in our English table-land. The Baron may have overlooked any directions about ecrivisses, not as bisque, but pure and simple as cray-fish, which, fresh from the river and served hot and hot come in late but welcome as an admirable refresher to the palate, and as a relish for the champagne, though the Baron is free to admit that the dainty manipulation of them is somewhat of a trial to the inexperienced guest, especially in the presence of "Woman, lovely Woman." "Hease afore helegance," was Mr. Weller's motto, but "Ease combined with elegance" may be attained in a few lessons, which any skilled M.D.E. (i.e., Mangeur d'ecrivisses) will be delighted to give at the well-furnished table of an apt and ardent pupil. Once more "Your health, Sir HENRY!" that's the Baron's toast (bread not permitted) in honour of the eminent practician who does so much for the health of everybody.

That a considerable number of novel-readers like Saint Monica, by Mrs. BENNETT-EDWARDS, is evident, because it has reached its sixth edition, but that the Baron is not one of this happy number he is fain to admit. Saint Monica seems to him to be a story with which the author of As in a Looking-Glass might have done something in his peculiar way. It begins with promise, which promise is not justified by performance.



Who does not welcome the works of HAWLEY SMART, the brightest of our novelists? This is not a conundrum, and, consequently, has no answer. Everybody likes the books of our literary Major, and everybody will be pleased with The Plunger. The new Story is in two volumes, and is full of incident. There is a murder, which carries one through, from the first page to the last, in a state of breathless excitement. Not that the tale commences with the tragedy. But its anticipation is as delightful as its subsequent realisation; and, when the mystery is solved, joy becomes universal. The story is told with so light a hand, that it may be truly said that the only "heavy" thing about the book is its title.

The Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson is a good stout volume, full of portraits and interest from beginning to end, forming an important addition to the theatrical history of the day. The Baron drinks to his old friend, the greatest Rip that ever lived. "Here's your health, and your family's, and may you live long, and prosper!" says, heartily, THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

* * * * *



* * * * *

CORIOLANUS.

"First Citizen. Consider you what services he has done for his country?

"Second Citizen. Very well; and could be content to give him good report for't, but that he pays himself with being proud."—Coriolanus, Act I., Scene 1.

Teuton Coriolanus loquitur:—

"Was ever man so proud as is this MARCIUS?" There spake the babbling Tribune! Proud? Great gods! All power seems pride to men of petty souls, As the oak's knotted strength seems arrogance To the slime-rooted and wind-shaken reed That shivers in the shallows. I who perched, An eagle on the topmost pinnacle Of the State's eminence, and harried thence All lesser fowl like sparrows!—I to hide Like a chased moor-hen in a marsh, and bate The breath that awed the world into a whisper, That would not shake a taper-flame or stir A flickering torch to flaring! "I do wonder His insolence can brook to be commanded Under COMINIUS." So the Roman said: SICINIUS VELUTUS, thou hadst reason. Under COMINIUS! Who's COMINIUS now? The adolescent Emperor, or his cool Complacent Chancellor? COMINIUS! Unseasoned youth, or untried middle-age, A shouting boy, or a sleek-spoken elder, Hot stripling, cool supplanter! I serve not "Under COMINIUS," nay!—yet since he stands There, where I made firm footing amidst chaos, Stands in smug comfort where we Titans struggled— MOLTKE, and I, and the great Emperor,— Struggled for vantage, which he owes to us;— Since he stands there, and I in shadow sit, Silenced and chidden, I half feel I serve, Whom he would bid to second. Second him, In that Imperial Policy whose vast And soaring shape, like air-launched eagle, seemed To fill the sky, and shadow half the world? As well the Eagle's self might be expected To second the small jay! My shadow, mine? Yes, but distorted by the skew-cast ray Of a far lesser sun than lit the noon Of my meridian glory. So I spurn The shrunken simulacrum! And they shriek, Shout censure at me, the cur-crowd who crouched, Ere that a woman's hate and a boy's pride Smote me, the new Abimelech, so sore; They'd hush me, like a garrulous greybeard, chaired At the hearth-corner out of harm; they'd hush My voice—the valorous vermin! What say they? "That's a brave fellow; but he's vengeance proud; Loves not the common people!" Humph! I stand As MARCIUS would not, in the market-place, And show my wounds to the people. Is that pride? I stooped to—her!—let me not think of that; 'T would poison paradise!—but is that pride? The Roman pride was stiff and taciturn, And I,—they tell me, I "will still be talking," And no MENENIUS is by to say In charity of the modern MARCIUS, "Consider this:—he has been bred i'the wars Since he could draw a sword, and is ill-school'd In bolted language: meal and bran together He throws without distinction." Well, well, well "I would he had continued to his country As he began; and not unknit, himself, The noble knot he made." So they'll whine out The smug SICINIUSES. But what I wonder If once again the Volscians make new head! Who, "like an eagle in a dovecote," then Will flutter them and discipline AUFIDIUS? An eagle! Shall I spurn my shadow, then Trample my own projection? So they babble Who'd silence me, make this my mouthpiece[1] mute; Who prate of prosecution—banishment, Perchance, anon, for me, as for the Roman, Because "I cannot brook to be commanded Under COMINIUS." What said VOLUMNIA To her imperious son? "The man was noble, But with his last attempt he wiped it out; Destroy'd his country; and his name remains To the ensuing age abhorr'd." I would not have My own VIRGILIA say so—she who frets, At my colossal chafing. ARNIM's shade Would mock my fall; but silent Friedrichsruh Irks me, whilst lesser spirits so misshape My vast designs, whose shadow, dwarfed, distorted, I trample in my anger, thus—thus—thus!

[Footnote 1: The Hamburger Nachrichten, in whose columns (says the Times) Prince BISMARCK, according to the friends of the Government, "inspires incessant attacks upon the Imperial Policy, domestic, foreign, and colonial, and especially upon the proceedings of his successor, General CAPRIVI."]

* * * * *



* * * * *

DUMAS UP TO ARMY ESTIMATES' DATE.

PART I.—THE THREE VOLUNTEERS.

LIEUTENANT PORTHOS, Captain ATHOS, and Major ARAMIS were delighted with the progress discernible in every detail of the battalion to which it was their honour to belong. Not a man that did not appear on parade conscious of the fact that he had made himself proficient—the privates were contented, the non-commissioned officers happy. It was, indeed, a model Regiment. On the occasion of their inspection by Colonel D'ARTAGNAN, a man marched from the ranks, and demanded a hearing.

"And what do you want?" asked the inspecting officer.

"We wish the unjust to be made just," returned the discontented one. "We ask for a reform."

PORTHOS, ATHOS, and ARAMIS would have protested, but Colonel D'ARTAGNAN motioned them to be silent. "I am here," he murmured, "to listen to complaints. I must listen to his."

"Sir," said the complainant, "we have admirable officers—the Lieutenant, the Captain, and the Major. They are always at work."

"Yes," returned Colonel D'ARTAGNAN; "and so are you."

"But we have merely to obey orders, and not to command. We feel that although we pay for everything connected with the battalion, we should do something more. We ought to subscribe a sum to pay our excellent officers for commanding us!"

And PORTHOS, ATHOS, and ARAMIS refused the suggestion, to the great disappointment of their subordinates.

PART II.—TWENTY YEARS AFTERWARDS.

LIEUTENANT PORTHOS, Captain ATHOS, and Major ARAMIS were once again being inspected by D'ARTAGNAN, now wearing the gold and crimson scarf of a general officer.

"Yes, I have a complaint to make," replied one of the rank and file, in reply to the customary interrogation. "We have three officers; but they have merely to give orders, while we have to obey them. This is unfair—unjust. We are always at work."

"Yes," returned General D'ARTAGNAN, "and so are they."

"True enough. We feel that, although they pay everything for the battalion, they should do more. They ought to compensate their excellent privates for the time we devote to obeying them."

And PORTHOS, ATHOS, and ARAMIS accepted the suggestion, to the great delight of their subordinates.

PART III.—TEN YEARS LATER.

Lieutenant PORTHOS, Captain ATHOS, and Major ARAMIS were yet again on parade.

"I salute you, my friends," said Field Marshal D'ARTAGNAN, the inspecting officer. "But where is your Regiment?"

PORTHOS looked at ATHOS, and ATHOS glanced at ARAMIS. Then they replied in a breath, "It has been disbanded."

"Disbanded!" echoed D'ARTAGNAN. "But where are the accounts of the Corps?"

Then the three friends replied in a mournful tone, "Filed in the Court of Bankruptcy!"

"And what do you call this filing of officers' accounts in the Court of Bankruptcy?"

"We call it the last act of the Volunteer Movement, which, by the way, however, was not entirely voluntary!"

And the four friends having no further occupation requiring their joint attention, shook hands warmly, and parted—for ever!

* * * * *

MEN WHO HAVE TAKEN ME IN—TO DINNER.

(BY A DINNER-BELLE.)

NO. I.—THE OVER-CULTURED UNDERGRADUATE.



He stood, as if posed by a column, Awaiting our hostess' advance; Complacently pallid and solemn, He deigned an Olympian glance. Icy cool, in a room like a crater, He silently marched me down-stairs, And Mont Blanc could not freeze with a greater Assurance of grandeur and airs.

I questioned if Balliol was jolly— "Your epithet," sighed he, "means noise. Vile noise! At his age it were folly To revel with Philistine boys." Competition, the century's vulture, Devoured academical fools; For himself, utter pilgrim of Culture, He countenanced none of the Schools.

Exams: were a Brummagem fashion Of mobs and inferior taste; They withered "Translucence" and "Passion," They vulgarised leisure by haste. Self to realise—that was the question, Inscrutable still while the cooks Of our Colleges preached indigestion, Their Dons indigestible books.

Two volumes alone were not bathos, The one by an early Chinese, The other, that infinite pathos, Our Nursery Rhymes, if you please. He was lost, he avowed, in this era; His spirit was seared by the West, But he deemed to be Monk in Madeira Would probably suit him the best.

"Impressions of Babehood" in plenty Succeeded, "Hot youth" and its tears, Till I wondered if ninety or twenty Summed up his unbearable years. Great Heavens! I turned to my neighbour, A SQUARSON by culture unblest; And welcomed at length in field-labour And foxes refreshment and rest.

* * * * *

QUESTION OF THE KNIGHT.—If it be true, as was mentioned in the World last week, that Mr. Justice WRIGHT has "climbed down," only to be placed upon a higher perch, will any change of name follow on the Knighthood? Will he be known as Sir ROBERT RONG, late Mr. JUSTICE WRIGHT?

* * * * *

OUR ADVERTISERS.

THE JERRYBAND PIANO is a thundering instrument.

* * * * *

THE JERRYBAND PIANO should be in every Lunatic Asylum.

* * * * *

THE JERRYBAND PIANO.—This wonderful and unique instrument, horizontal and perpendicular Grand, five octaves, hammerless action, including keyboard, pedals, gong, peal of bells, ophicleide stop, and all the newest improvements, can be seen at Messrs. SPLITTE AND SON's Establishment, High Holborn, and purchased ON THE FIFTY YEARS' HIRE SYSTEM, by which, at a payment of 1s. 1-1/2d. a week, the piano, or what is left of it, becomes the property of the purchaser, or his heirs and executors, at the expiration of that period.

* * * * *

PECADILLA is a new after-dinner, home-grown Sherry, of quite extraordinary value and startling excellence.

* * * * *

PECADILLA is a full, fruity, gout-giving, generous, heady wine, smooth on the palate, round in the mouth, full of body, wing, character, and crust.

* * * * *

PECADILLA may be safely offered at funerals.

* * * * *

PECADILLA is a beverage for Dukes in distressed circumstances.

* * * * *

PECADILLA is the wine, par excellence, for the retrenching.

* * * * *

PECADILLA, mixed with citrate of soda, treacle, and soda-water, and drunk in the dark immediately after a glass of hot ginger brandy, will be found to possess all the quality of a low-priced Champagne.

* * * * *

PECADILLA is the making of an economical wedding breakfast.

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PECADILLA. A few parcels of this unique and delicious Wine are still to be had of the grower, a Sicilian Count, for the moment resident in Houndsditch, at the nominal price, inclusive of the bottles, of five shillings and ninepence the dozen.

* * * * *

TO MR. RUDYARD KIPLING.

(AN EXPLANATION.)

["Every minute of my time during 1891 is already mortgaged. In 1892 you may count upon me."—Mr. JEROME K. JEROME, not Mr. RUDYARD KIPLING. See "Punch," Feb. 14.]

Oh, Mr. KIPLING!—you whose pungent pen Of pirate publishers has been the terror, Try hard, I beg you, to forgive me, when I openly confess I wrote in error.

It was not you by whom the deed was done. But Mr. JEROME 'twas who wrote and said he Could not contribute, since his Ninety-One Was mortgaged to the Editors already.

'Twas rough on you, indeed, in such a way, By thinking you were he, to dim your glory. Yet pray believe I really grieve to say I mixed you up with quite "another story"!

* * * * *

DRAMATIC ILLUSTRATION OF AN ADVERTISEMENT.—In one of the advertising columns of the Times the paragraph appeared one day last week. The newspaper containing it lay on the table of a drawing-room. Elderly beau was making up (he was accustomed to making-up in another sense, as his wig and whiskers could testify) to charming young lady. Such was the scene. He asked her to accept him. Her reply was to show him the heading of this advertisement in the Times:—"YOUTH WANTED." Tableau! Exit Beau. Curtain.

* * * * *



* * * * *

MR. PUNCH TO MISS CANADA.

Oh, Canada, dear Canada, we shall not discombobulate Ourselves concerning JONATHAN. 'Tis true he tried to rob you late (That is if Tariff-diddling may be qualified as robbery), But BULL has learned the wisdom of not kicking up a bobbery.

No, Canada, we love you dear, and shall be greatly gratified If by your March Elections our relations are—say ratified. We don't expect self-sacrifice, we do not beg for gratitude, But keep an interested eye, my dear, upon your attitude.

Railings and ravings rantipole we hold are reprehensible, But of our kindly kinship we're affectionately sensible. A mother's proud to see her child learning to "run alone," you know; But does not wish to see her "run away" from home, she'll own you know.

MACDONALD is magniloquent, perhaps a bit thrasonical; His dark denunciations—at a distance—sound ironical. And when we read the rows between him and Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT; dear, We have our doubts if either chief quite plays the patriot part right, dear!

But there, we know that party speeches are not merum nectar, all, And we can take the measure of magniloquence electoral; The tipple Party Spirit men will stir and whiskey-toddy-fy, But when they have to drink it—cold—its strength they greatly modify.

Beware the Ides of March? Oh, no! All auguries we defy, my dear! The spectre of disloyalty don't scare us; all my eye, my dear. So vote away, dear Canada! our faith's in friendly freedom, dear; And croakers, Yank, or Canuck, or home-born, we shall not heed 'em, dear!

* * * * *



* * * * *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.

House of Commons, Monday Night, February 16.—After long tarrying, House once more justified its old character. Been dolefully dull these weeks and months past. Thought it was dead; only been sleeping. To-night woke up, and audience that filled every Bench, blocked the Gangways, and thronged the Bar, had rare treat. Occasion was the indictment of Prince ARTHUR; long pending; was to have come off at beginning of Session; put off on account of counter attractions in Committee-Room No. 15; postponement no longer possible; and here we are, House throbbing with excitement, OLD MORALITY nervously clacking about Treasury Bench, bringing his chicks together under his wing. RANDOLPH brought his young beard down to witness performance.



Initial difficulty in Irish Camp; Brer FOX sitting in old place, two steps down third bench below Gangway. Brer RABBIT, sunk in profound meditation, oblivious to the rival Leader's presence, occupies corner seat; room for one between them. Who shall take it? Anxious time for TIM HEALY. Nothing he dreads so much as possibility of outbreak. In Committee-Room No. 15, Brer FOX snatched out of Brer RABBIT's hand a sheet of paper. Suppose now, in sudden paroxysm, he were to reach forth and taking Brer RABBIT by the beard bang his head against the back of the Bench? TIM's gentle nature shivered with apprehension; thing to do was to get a good plump gentleman set between the two, so that in case hostilities broke out his body might be used as buffer. Thought of ELTON first. Besides a professional desire to find occupation for Members of the Bar, ELTON's figure seemed made on purpose for the peaceful errand TIM had in mind. Broached subject. ELTON said, always happy to oblige; but was, in fact, just now retiring from Parliamentary life; didn't care to be brought into undue prominence. Besides, he belonged to other side of House; Why not try T.B. POTTER?

"The very man!" cried TIM, "I believe you and he scale the same to a pound, and though your waist is more shapely, he has the advantage in shoulders."

POTTER most obliging of men; offered no objection. So TIM conducted him to the seat; he dropped gently, but firmly in it; Brer RABBIT putting on his spectacles, and looking across the expanse of T.B.'s shoulders, thought he recognised Brer FOX at the other side. Anyhow, he was beyond speaking distance, and so embarrassment was obviated.

TIM, his mind thus at rest, able to devote his attention to debate, to progress of which, he contributed a few interjections. Finally, when Division taken on JOHN MORLEY's Motion, and everybody ready to go home, he moved and carried Adjournment of Debate.

Business done.—Prince ARTHUR indicted for breach of Constitutional Law in Ireland. Jury retired to consider their verdict. Agreed upon acquittal by 320 Votes against 245.

Tuesday.—A once familiar presence pervades House to-night. Everyone more, or less vaguely, conscious of it. Even without chancing to look up to Peers' Gallery, Members are inspired with sudden mysterious access of Moral Influence. OLD MORALITY himself, that overflowing reservoir of moral axioms, takes on an aggravated air of responsibility and respectability. Has had a great triumph which would inflate a man of less modest character. Last night, or rather early this morning, Irish Members appeared to force Government hand; just when it seemed that RUSSELL's Amendment was about to be substituted for MORLEY's Resolution, TIM HEALY interposed, moved Adjournment of Debate; OLD MORALITY protested; SEXTON slily threatened all-night sitting; after an hour's struggle, Government capitulated; Adjournment agreed to; Irish Members went off jubilant.

To-night SEXTON asks OLD MORALITY when they shall resume debate?

"Ah," says OLD MORALITY, with look of friendly interest, as if the idea had struck him for the first time, "yes; just so. The Hon. Member wants to know when we shall resume the debate, the adjournment of which he and his friends were instrumental in carrying at an early hour this morning. Well, I must say, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, that we are perfectly satisfied with matters as they were left. We had a lively debate, a majority much larger than we had dared to hope for, and, as far as we are concerned, I think we'll leave matters alone. As one of our great prose-writers observed, it is, on the whole, more conducive to comfort to endure any inconveniences that may press upon one at the current moment, than to hasten to encounter others with the precise nature of which we do not happen to be acquainted."



GRAND CROSS missed this delightful little episode, not coming in till questions were over. Now he sat in Peers' Gallery and gazed through spectacles on scene of earlier triumphs. Looks hardly a day older than when he left us; the same perky manner, the same wooden visage, with its pervading air of supreme self-satisfaction and inscrutable wisdom. It is a night given up to Indian topics. PLOWDEN, in his quiet, effective way, has just carried Motion which will have substantial effect in the direction of securing fuller debate of Indian questions. GORST, standing at table replying to BUCHANAN on another Indian topic, alludes with deferential tone to "the SECRETARY OF STATE." GRAND CROSS almost audibly purrs from his perch in the Gallery.

"An odd world, my masters," says the Member for SARK, striding out impatiently, "when you have a man like GORST Under-Secretary, with a man like GRAND CROSS at the Head of the Department."

Business done.—An hour or two given to India.

Thursday.—Army Estimates on to-night. HANBURY comes to the front, as usual. STANHOPE tossing about on Treasury Bench, in considerable irritation.

"What's the use, my ST. JOHN," he asked BRODRICK, the only man standing by him, "of a family arrangement like ours, if one is subjected to annoyance like this? With one brother in the Peers, a pillar of staid Conservatism; with myself on the Treasury Bench, a Cabinet Minister, a right-hand man of the Government: and then, final touch, old PHILIP EGALITE below the Gangway opposite, with his Radicalism, and his tendency to out-JACOBY LABOUCHERE. This is a broad-based family combination, that ought to make us, each in his way, irresistible. And yet there seems nothing to prevent a fellow like HANBURY looking down from his six feet two scornfully on a British soldier not more than five feet four in his stocking-feet, whilst he inflates his chest, and asks, in profound bass notes, how are the ancient glories of the British Army to be maintained with men who cannot stretch the tape at thirty-six inches?"



When HANBURY sat down, after pounding away in ponderous style for nearly an hour, STANHOPE got up and prodded him reproachfully. Wonderful how much vinegar and vitriol he managed to distil into his oft-repeated phrase, "My honourable friend!" As for HANBURY, he sat with hands in pocket, staring at empty benches opposite, amazed at his own moderation.

Hours of the usual kind of talk on Army Estimates; the Colonels, Volunteer and otherwise, showing that the Army is as GILL (who has recently spent some time in Boulogne) says, en route pour les chiens; the SECRETARY of State for WAR demonstrating that everything is in apple-pie order, and his right honourable predecessor on the Front Opposition Bench bearing testimony to the general state of efficiency.

WOLMER flashed through the haze a word that has long wanted saying in the House. Why, he asked, place sentries surrounding St. James's Palace, the War Office, and the Horse Guards? Why, if presence of armed men at these particular gateways is essential to proper conduct of affairs of Department—why should Charity Commissioners and Education Office be left unguarded? WOLMER should keep pegging away at this question till he gets common-sense answer.

Business done.—Army Estimates moved.

Friday.—Gallant little Wales took the floor to-night. Wants the Church Disestablished; PRITCHARD MORGAN, in speech of prodigious length, asked House to sanction the proposal. The Government, determined to oppose Motion, cast about for Member of their body who could best lead opposition. Hadn't a Welshman on the Treasury Bench.

"There's RAIKES, you know," AKERS-DOUGLAS said, discussing the matter with OLD MORALITY. "He's not exactly a Welshman, but, when he's at home, he lives in Denbighshire, which is as near being Wales as you can get. Besides, his postal address is Llwynegrin."

"Ah!" said OLD MORALITY, "that looks well. He's not the rose, but he lives in convenient contiguity to the flower."

So RAIKES was put up, and a nice, peaceful, soothing, insinuating, conciliatory speech he made. In fact, as the Member for SARK says, "He got gallant little Wales down on its back, tied its horns and heels together, partially flayed it, and then rubbed in cunningly contrived combination of Cayenne pepper and vinegar."

Business done.—Welsh Disestablishment Motion negatived by 235 Votes to 203.

* * * * *

CELT AGAIN.

GRANT-ALLEN,—his manner moves cynics to mirth!— Makes out that the Celt is the Salt of the Earth. That accounts, it may be, for his dominant fault; A "salt of the earth" has a taste for assault!

* * * * *

OUT OF SCHOOL!

DEAR MR. PUNCH,—You are so awfully good to chaps at school that I am sure you will insert this letter. SMITH MINOR, who takes in the Times, says, that a "PARENT" has been writing to say, that there should be a meeting of Fathers to swagger over the meeting of Head Masters. Well, this wouldn't be half a bad idea if it were properly conducted; but the "PARENT" seems to be a beast of a governor, who wants to cut down the holidays, and such like rot. And this brings me to what I want to propose myself. If there are to be meetings of Head Masters and Parents, why not a meeting of Boys? We have a heap of grievances. For instance, lots of chaps would like to know why "the water" was stopped at Westminster, and something about the domestic economy of Harrow. Then the great and burning question of grub is always ready to hand. The "PARENT" wants to have a hand in the payment for school-books, seeing his way to getting the discount (stingy chap!) then why shouldn't we fellows have a voice choosing them? Then about taking up Greek, why shouldn't we have our say in that matter? After all, it interests us more than anyone else, as we are the fellows that will have to learn it, if it is to be retained. Then about corporal punishment. Not that we mind it much, still we are the fellows who get swished at Eton, and feel the tolly at Beaumont. Surely the Boys know more about a licking than Head Masters and Parents? You, as a practical man, will say, "Who should attend the Congress?" I reply, every public school might send a delegate; and by public school, I do not limit the term to the old legitimate "E. and the two W.'s," Eton, Winchester and Westminster. No; I would throw it open to such respectable educational establishments as Harrow, Rugby, Charterhouse, St. Paul's, Marlborough, Felsted, Cheltenham, Stonyhurst, and the rest of them. The more the merrier, say I; and if there was a decided division of opinion on any subject, we could settle the matter off-hand at once, by taking off our jackets and turning up our shirt-sleeves. The more I think of it, the more I like it! It would be a game!

Always your affectionate friend, (Signed) JONES MINIMUS.

* * * * *

THE SAME OLD GAME.

[Russia is said to be threatening the old Finnish laws and liberties.]

Russia snubs him who, as a candid friend, Horrors Siberian, Hebrew would diminish. Must Muscovites prove tyrants to the end? At least they aim to prove so to the Finnish!

* * * * *

NOTICE.—Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS., Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.

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