OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
April 18, 1891.
LEAVES FROM A CANDIDATE'S DIARY.
March 13.—Left Billsbury this morning by nine o'clock train, and came back to London. Brought with me the Billsbury Standard, and the Billsbury Meteor (the Radical paper.) Both have accounts of last night's meeting. Rather different, though.
The era of indecision is past. In another column we give a full account of the important meeting of the Council of the Conservative Association, which was held last night for the purpose of selecting a Conservative Candidate for Billsbury. The proceedings were enthusiastic and unanimous ... Mr. RICHARD B. PATTLE, the selected Conservative Candidate, is a young man of the highest promise. He had a distinguished career at Oxford, where he obtained honours in History, and represented his College in the Torpid races for eight-oared crews. Since then he has been called to the Bar, where he has already secured a lucrative practice.... His speech last night had the right ring about it. It was eloquent, practical, convincing, modest and decided, thoroughly in harmony with the best traditions of the Conservative party, and remarkable for the proof it afforded of the devotion of Conservatives at all times to the highest interests of the working classes. We have no hesitation in declaring, as Colonel CHORKLE did last night, that with such a Candidate to oppose him, the fate of Sir THOMAS CHUBSON may be considered as already decided. If only all Conservatives will put their shoulders to the wheel and work hard, the stigma under which Billsbury now labours will be swept away. A Mass Meeting of Conservative electors will be held on an early date to ratify the decision of the Council, and inaugurate the period of hard work throughout the constituency.
Last night the Conservatives gave their annual performance of the good old farce entitled, Choosing a Candidate; or, Who's got the Money-bags? We are glad to be able to congratulate this distinguished body of amateurs on the modest success which attended their efforts. Most of the performers are well-known to the Billsbury public. Alderman TOLLAND, as the heavy father, provoked screams of laughter by the studied pomposity of his manner. His unctuous rendering of the catch-phrase, "Constitutional Progress," has lost none of its old force. Mr. CHORKLE was, perhaps, not so successful as we have sometimes seen him in his representation of a real Colonel, but the scene in which he attacked and routed LINDLEY MURRAY, went extremely well. Mr. JERRAM as a singing journalist, was admirable. We cannot help wondering why so remarkable an actor should confine himself to the provincial stage. We had almost forgotten to mention that the part of The Candidate was, on this occasion, assigned to a Mr. RICHARD PATTLE, a complete novice, whose evident nervousness seriously imperilled the success of the piece. He had omitted to learn his part adequately, and the famous soliloquy, "The country has need of me," was painfully bungled. Mr. PATTLE has few qualifications for the ambitious role he essayed, and his friends would be doing an act of true kindness if they insisted on his withdrawal from a profession for which he is in no way fitted. The performance will be repeated as usual next year.
I suppose the Meteor people think that witty. When I got home, an awful thing happened. Mother, of course, wanted to see the papers, so I gave her the Standard, with which she was much pleased. She said it was evident I had made a wonderful impression, and that the Billsbury Conservatives were particularly sensible people! But, by some mistake, I left the Meteor lying on the drawing-room table. It seems that, in the afternoon, that sharp-tongued old hag, Mrs. SPIGOT, called. She saw the Meteor, took it up, and said, "Dear me, is this something about your son?" Mother, thinking it was the Standard, said, "Oh yes—do read it, Mrs. SPIGOT; it's a wonderfully accurate account, RICHARD says;" and that old cat read it all through. She then smiled, and said, "Yes, very flattering indeed." After she had gone, mother took it up, and, to her horror, found what it was. She was furious. When I got home in the afternoon, I found her in a state of what Dr. BAKER calls "extreme nervous excitement," with the Meteor lying in little scraps all over the drawing-room, just as if a paper-chase had been through there. She said, "Don't let me ever see that infamous paper again, DICK. The man who wrote it owes you some grudge, of course. Such a scoundrel ought to be denounced." I said I quite agreed with her. Later on, met VULLIAMY at the Club. We spoke about Billsbury. He asked me, with a sort of chuckle, if I'd seen the Star, and advised me to have a look at it, as there was something about me in it. This is what I found in the column headed "Mainly About People":—
"Mr. RICHARD PATTLE, who is to be the Conservative Candidate for Billsbury at the next election, is a young man of twenty-six. At Oxford he was generally called 'PODGE PATTLE' by his friends He took a fourth class in History. His oratorical efforts at the Union were not very striking, but he rowed in his College Torpid, which was bumped four times.
"Mr. PATTLE, as maybe inferred from his nickname, is neither tall nor thin. He is a member of the Middle Temple, but his eloquence has not yet astonished the Courts of Law. His father died five years ago, leaving him a considerable fortune, part of which he proposes to waste in the hopeless attempt to turn out Sir THOMAS CHUBSON."
Confound the people, I wish they'd mind their own business and leave me alone!
March 17.—Haven't been down to Billsbury again yet, but go the day after to-morrow to speak at a Mass Meeting of Conservative electors. However, I've had shoals of letters from the place—nearly all of them asking for subscriptions. The Five Bars Cricket Club, the Lilies Cricket Club, the Buffaloes Cricket Club, and the Blue Horse Cricket Club have all elected me a vice-president, and solicit the honour of my support. The Billsbury Free Dispensary is much in want of funds, and the Secretary points out that Sir THOMAS CHUBSON has subscribed L5 regularly every year. The United Ironmongers' Friendly Society wishes me to be an Honorary Member. CHUBSON subscribes L2 2s. to them. The Billsbury Brass Band, and three Quoit Clubs (the game is much played there) have elected me a member. The Secretary of the former sent me a printed form, which I was to fill up, stating what instrument I meant to play, and binding myself to attend at least one Band practice every week. Three "cases of heartrending distress" have appealed to me, "knowing the goodness of my heart." I shall have to consult TOLLAND, or some one, about all this. I get the Meteor and the Standard every day. The former goes on chaffing. Don't think JERRAM, in the Standard, writes as smartly as the other chaps. Must try to get him stirred up a bit. Just received letter from TOLLAND, saying he wants to talk to me before meeting about "matters connected with the Registration." More money, I suppose. Romeike, and all kinds of Press-Cutting Associations, keep on sending me that extract from the Star, till I'm fairly sick of it. They all want me to subscribe for Press-Cuttings. See them blowed first.
* * * * *
WHAT IT MAY COME TO!
SCENE—The Central Criminal Court. The usual Company assembled, and the place wearing its customary aspect. "Standing room only" everywhere, except in the Jury Box, which is empty. Prisoner at the Bar.
Judge. This is most annoying! Owing to the refusal of the Jury to serve, the time of the Bar, the Bench, and, I may even add, the prisoner, is wasted! I really don't know what to do! Mr. TWENTYBOB, I think you appear for the accused?
Counsel for the Defence. Yes, my Lord.
Judge (with some hesitation). Well, I do not for a moment presume to dictate to you, but it certainly would get us out of a serious difficulty if your client pleaded guilty. I suppose you have carefully considered his case, and think it advisable that he should not withdraw his plea?
Counsel for the Defence. No, my Lord, I certainly cannot advise him to throw up his defence. It is a serious—a deeply serious—matter for him. I do not anticipate any difficulty in establishing his innocence before an intelligent jury.
Judge. But we can't get a jury—intelligent or otherwise.
Counsel for the Defence. If no evidence is offered, my client should be discharged.
Counsel for the Prosecution. I beg pardon, but I must set my friend right. Evidence is offered in support of the charge, my Lord.
Judge. Yes; but there is no properly constituted body to receive and decide upon its credibility. I am glad that the Grand Jury (to whom I had the privilege of addressing a few observations upon our unfortunate position) have ignored a larger number of bills than usual; still the present case is before the Court, and I must dispose of it. Can you assist us in any way, Mr. PERPLEBAGGE?
Counsel for the Prosecution (smiling). I am afraid not, my Lord.
Judge. Well, I suppose I have no alternative but to order the Prisoner to be taken back to—
Prisoner. To the place I was in last night? No, thankee!—not me! Look here, gemmen all, we knows one another, don't we? Well, just to oblige you—as Darmoor ain't 'alf bad in the summer, and as in course I did do it—I plead guilty!
Judge (with a sigh of relief). Prisoner at the Bar, we are infinitely beholden to you! [Passes regulation sentence with grateful courtesy.
* * * * *
THE INVECTIVE OF H-RC-RT.
(A FRAGMENT IN HEXAMETERS, NOT BY GEORGE MEREDITH.)
Heigh me! brazen of front, thou glutton for Ground Game, how can one, Servant here to thy mandates heed thee among the Tories? Surely thy mission is fudge, oh, DAWNAY, Conservative Colonel! I, Sir, hither I fared on account of the cant-armed Sportsmen, Pledged to the combat; they unto me have in no wise a harm done, Never have they, of a truth, come putting my Hares and my Rabbits, Never in deep-soiled Hampshire, the nurser of heroes and H-RC-RTS, Ravaged; but if I found them among my trampled Carnations, Hares or Rabbits, or gun-bearing Tories, by Jingo, I'd pot 'em! O hugely shameless! Thee shall we follow to do an injustice Unto the farmers, seeing the Hares a-munching their crops up? I do not sit at the feet of the blatant Bordesley Gamaliel, Or of the unregenerate Agricultural Minister. Close time? Fudge! The Hares were intended at last to perish Either by sounding gun or the gaping jaws of the greyhound. Food for the people? Cant! The promotion of Sport is the purpose Plain of this pestilent Bill, which neutralises the victory Won, with much labour, by Me, my gift to the sons of the furrow. DAWNAY talks as though the Hare were a "domiciled animal." Shows what a deal he knows of Hares—save the pleasure of killing 'em. Shall I give the nourishing farmers up to this pillage? Nay, sure mine were the hands did most in the storm of the combat, Ay, and when peradventure we share the booty amongst us, After the General Election, the Tories may find—but no matter-r-r! Surely a time will come,—not a "close time" that for the Tories,— I being outraged, then will give them particular pepper!
* * * * *
1900 (Somewhere about).—Introduction into London of new Patent Smokeless Fuel, as experimentally exhibited in 1891 before the Prince of WALES and Empress FREDERICK in York Road, King's Cross. A few public-spirited householders insist on their cooks using it in the kitchen. Cooks of public-spirited householders unanimously give warning. No quotation of Fuel Company's shares on Stock Exchange.
1900 (Later).—Very reforming Parliament just returned. Use of new Fuel made compulsory. Fuel shares go up from a nominal 2s. 6d. a share to L437 6s. 8d. at a bound.
1901.—London already much cleaner. Only two fogs (white) in whole of last winter. Consequent intense surprise of old residents, cabmen, link-boys, porters, and pickpockets.
1902.—Retirement of several individuals, who declare they "liked the good old London fogs," to Black Country. Statue in Parian marble of inventor of new Fuel blocks erected on Thames Embankment.
1904.—Government buys up patent rights of Company, at ruinous sacrifice. A Minister of Chimneyculture appointed, with Cabinet rank. Blocks reduced in price, and sold at all Post Offices across the counter. Postal messengers, on receipt of telephonic orders, bring truckfuls to any address within ten minutes.
1905.—Green veils come into general use this summer, to keep off glare from white stone houses and other buildings in West-End of London. Several cases of partial loss of sight from extreme whiteness of dome of St. Paul's. Dean ordered (by County Council) to have dome lamp-blacked. Dean declines. Vote of thanks to him from resident staff of Ophthalmic Hospital.
1906.—Owing to surprising and overpowering health of inhabitants (caused by total absence of smoke and fogs), County Council establishes Gymnasia, Rowing Matches, and free public Pugilistic Contests, in order to work off surplus muscular energies of population.
1907.—Emigration of 2000 Doctors (who have no work to do) to one of General BOOTH's Colonies at South Pole. Show (in Temple Gardens) of delicate ferns and roses grown in atmosphere of Strand.
1908.—Strike of Whitewashers, Laundresses, and House Painters, against lack of employment. Go about singing, "Oh, call the Fog-Fiend back to us!" with refrain, "Oh, when the Fogs were here with us, Would we had used them more!"
1909.—Last surviving Chimney-sweeper, provided with a well-ventilated chamber at Madame Tussaud's. Special charge of sixpence for adults, threepence for children, made for privilege of seeing him.
1910.—Rest of inhabitants of England, as well as foreign invalids, flock to London because of noted purity and salubrity of its climate. Riviera deserted. London a little over-crowded, but very clean.
* * * * *
THREE ACRES AND AN EGG.
The following pleasing announcement appears in the advertisement columns of the East of Fife Record.—
WANTED, COTTAGERS and others to HATCH EGGS. Liberal Terms. Apply, &c.
We are glad to see the men of Fife thus taking the lead in creating new openings for the agricultural labourer. Of course the weather will have much influence upon the success of the new avocation. To sit out hatching eggs in one of such blizzards as we have had since Christmas would be exceedingly inconvenient, upon whatever "Liberal terms." But, given a fair summer day or a quiet autumn evening, there seems something quite idyllic in the picture of the agricultural labourer sitting out in his own Three Acres hatching eggs,—probably laid by the Cow.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE FRIEND OF LABOUR.
How doth the provident M.P. Improve each shining hour, And in the "Labour Question" see Hopes of return to power!
How skilfully he shapes his "sell," How neatly spreads his "fakes"! On Labour's ear they sound right well, The promises he makes.
Skilled Labour, Labour without skill, He would have busy, too; Nay, he would find some Labour still For idle "hands" to do.
Yet, Labour, whatsoe'er he say, To trust him be not fast; Or you'll discover, some fine day, He'll diddle you at last!
* * * * *
QUEER QUERIES.—COMBUSTIBLES.—I have five hundred barrels of Kerosene Oil, and three hundred of Paraffin, stored in a large room in the basement of my premises. Upstairs, on the top floor, there are about two hundred assistants at work. I now want to use part of the same room for the manufacture of fireworks. The place I don't think is too dark, as I have it constantly lighted by naked gas-jets. Would there be any need to take out a licence? The surrounding property, although very crowded, is only of a poor description.—INSURED.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S POCKET IBSEN.
(CONDENSED AND REVISED VERSION BY MR. P.'S OWN HARMLESS IBSENITE.)
NO. II.—NORA; OR, THE BIRD-CAGE (ET DIKKISVOeIT).
The same Room—except that the sofa has been slightly moved, and one of the Japanese cotton-wool frogs has fallen into the fireplace. Mrs. LINDEN sits and reads a book—but without understanding a single line.
Mrs. Linden (laying down book, as a light tread is heard outside). Here he is at last! (KROGSTAD comes in, and stands in the doorway.) Mr. KROGSTAD, I have given you a secret rendezvous in this room, because it belongs to my employer, Mr. HELMER, who has lately discharged you. The etiquette of Norway permits these slight freedoms on the part of a female Cashier.
Krogs. It does. Are we alone? (NORA is heard overhead dancing the Tarantella.) Yes, I hear Mrs. HELMER's fairy footfall above. She dances the Tarantella now—by-and-by she will dance to another tune! (Changing his tone.) I don't exactly know why you should wish to have this interview—after jilting me as you did, long ago, though?
Mrs. L. Don't you? I do. I am a widow—a Norwegian widow. And it has occurred to me that there may be a nobler side to your nature somewhere—though you have not precisely the best of reputations.
Krogs. Right. I am a forger, and a money-lender; I am on the staff of the Norwegian Punch—a most scurrilous paper. More, I have been blackmailing Mrs. HELMER by trading on her fears like a low cowardly cur. But, in spite of all that—(clasping his hands)—there are the makings of a fine man about me yet, CHRISTINA!
Mrs. L. I believe you—at least, I'll chance it. I want some one to care for, and I'll marry you.
Krogs. (suspiciously). On condition, I suppose, that I suppress the letter denouncing Mrs. HELMER?
Mrs. L. How can you think so? I am her dearest friend: but I can still see her faults, and it is my firm opinion that a sharp lesson will do her all the good in the world. She is much too comfortable. So leave the letter in the box, and come home with me.
Krogs. I am wildly happy! Engaged to the female Cashier of the Manager who has discharged me, our future is bright and secure!
[_He goes out; and Mrs. LINDEN sets the furniture straight; presently a noise is heard outside, and HELMER enters, dragging_ NORA in. She is in fancy dress, and he in an open black domino._
Nora. I shan't! It's too early to come away from such a nice party. I won't go to bed! [She whimpers.
Helmer (tenderly). There'sh a naughty lil' larkie for you, Mrs. LINEN! Poshtively had to drag her 'way! She'sh a capricious lil' girl—from Capri. 'Scuse me!—'fraid I've been and made a pun. Shan' 'cur again! Shplendid champagne the Consul gave us—'counts for it! (Sits down, smiling.) Do you knit, Mrs. COTTON?... You shouldn't. Never knit. 'Broider. (Nodding to her, solemnly.) 'Member that. Alwaysh 'broider. More—(hiccoughing)—Oriental! Gobblesh you!—goo'ni!
Mrs. Linden. I only came in to—to see NORA's costume. Now I've seen it, I'll go. [Goes out.
Helmer. Awful bore that woman—hate boresh! (Looks at NORA, then comes nearer.) Oh, you prillil squillikins, I do love you so! Shomehow, I feel sho lively thishevenin'!
Nora (goes to other side of table). I won't have all that, TORVALD!
Helmer. Why? ain't you my lil' lark—ain't thish our lil' cage? Ver-well, then. (A ring.) RANK! confound it all! (Enter Dr. RANK.) RANK, dear old boy, you've been (hiccoughs) going it upstairs. Cap'tal champagne, eh? 'Shamed of you, RANK! [He sits down on sofa, and closes his eyes gently.
Rank. Did you notice it? (with pride). It was almost incredible the amount I contrived to put away. But I shall suffer for it to-morrow (gloomily). Heredity again! I wish I was dead! I do.
Nora. Don't apologise. TORVALD was just as bad; but he is always so good-tempered after champagne.
Rank. Ah, well, I just looked in to say that I haven't long to live. Don't weep for me, Mrs. HELMER, it's chronic—and hereditary too. Here are my P.P.C. cards. I'm a fading flower. Can you oblige me with a cigar?
Nora (with a suppressed smile). Certainly. Let me give you a light?
[RANK lights his cigar, after several ineffectual attempts, and goes out.
Helmer (compassionately). Poo' old RANK—he'sh very bad to-ni'! (Pulls himself together.) But I forgot—Bishness—I mean, bu-si-ness—mush be 'tended to. I'll go and see if there are any letters. (Goes to box.) Hallo! someone's been at the lock with a hairpin—it's one of your hairpins! [Holding it out to her.
Nora (quickly). Not mine—one of BOB's, or IVAR's—they both wear hairpins!
Helmer (turning over letters absently). You must break them of it—bad habit! What a lot o' lettersh! double usual quantity. (Opens KROGSTAD's.) By Jove! (Reads it and falls back completely sobered.) What have you got to say to this?
Nora (crying aloud.) You shan't save me—let me go! I won't be saved!
Helmer. Save you, indeed! Who's going to save Me? You miserable little criminal. (Annoyed.) Ugh—ugh!
Nora (with hardening expression). Indeed, TORVALD, your singing-bird acted for the best!
Helmer. Singing-bird! Your father was a rook—and you take after him. Heredity again! You have utterly destroyed my happiness. (Walks round several times.) Just as I was beginning to get on, too!
Nora. I have—but I will go away and jump into the water.
Helmer. What good will that do me? People will say I had a hand in this business (bitterly). If you must forge, you might at least put your dates in correctly! But you never had any principle! (A ring.) The front-door bell! (A fat letter is seen to fall into the box; HELMER takes it, opens it, sees enclosure, and embraces NORA.) KROGSTAD won't split. See, he returns the forged I.O.U.! Oh, my poor little lark, what you must have gone through! Come under my wing, my little scared song-bird.... Eh? you won't! Why, what's the matter now?
Nora (with cold calm). I have wings of my own, thank you, TORVALD, and I mean to use them!
Helmer. What—leave your pretty cage, and (pathetically) the old cock bird, and the poor little innocent eggs!
Nora. Exactly. Sit down, and we will talk it over first. (Slowly.) Has it ever struck you that this is the first time you and I have ever talked seriously together about serious things?
Helmer. Come, I do like that! How on earth could we talk about serious things when your mouth was always full of macaroons?
Nora (shakes her head). Ah, TORVALD, the mouth of a mother of a family should have more solemn things in it than macaroons! I see that now, too late. No, you have wronged me. So did Papa. Both of you called me a doll, and a squirrel, and a lark! You might have made something of me—and instead of that, you went and made too much of me—oh, you did!
Helmer. Well, you didn't seem to object to it, and really I don't exactly see what it is you do want!
Nora. No more do I—that is what I have got to find out. If I had been properly educated, I should have known better than to date poor Papa's signature three days after he died. Now I must educate myself. I have to gain experience, and get clear about religion, and law, and things, and whether Society is right or I am—and I must go away and never come back any more till I am educated!
Helmer. Then you may be away some little time? And what's to become of me and the eggs meanwhile?
Nora. That, TORVALD, is entirely your own affair. I have a higher duty than that towards you and the eggs. (Looking solemnly upward.) I mean my duty towards Myself!
Helmer. And all this because—in a momentary annoyance at finding myself in the power of a discharged Cashier who calls me "I say TORVALD," I expressed myself with ultra-Gilbertian frankness! You talk like a silly child!
Nora. Because my eyes are opened, and I see my position with the eyes of IBSEN. I must go away at once, and begin to educate myself.
Helmer. May I ask how you are going to set about it?
Nora. Certainly. I shall begin—yes, I shall begin with a course of the Norwegian theatres. If that doesn't take the frivolity out of me, I don't really know what will! [She gets her bonnet and ties it tightly.
Helmer. Then you are really going? And you'll never think about me and the eggs any more! Oh, NORA!
Nora. Indeed, I shall, occasionally—as strangers. (She puts on a shawl sadly, and fetches her dressing-bag.) If I ever do come back, the greatest miracle of all will have to happen. Good-bye! [She goes out through the hall; the front-door is heard to bang loudly.
Helmer (sinking on a chair). The room empty? Then she must be gone! Yes, my little lark has flown! (The dull sound of an unskilled latchkey is heard trying the lock; presently the door opens, and Nora, with a somewhat foolish expression, reappears.) What? back already! Then you are educated?
Nora (puts down dressing-bag). No, TORVALD, not yet. Only, you see, I found I had only threepence-halfpenny in my purse, and the Norwegian theatres are all closed at this hour—and so I thought I wouldn't leave the cage till to-morrow—after breakfast.
Helmer (as if to himself). The greatest miracle of all has happened. My little bird is not in the bush just yet!
[NORA takes down a showily bound dictionary from the shelf and begins her education; HELMER fetches a bag of macaroons, sits near her, and tenders one humbly. A pause. NORA repulses it, proudly. He offers it again. She snatches at it suddenly, still without looking at him, and nibbles it thoughtfully as Curtain falls.
THE END (with Mr. Punch's apologies to the Master).
* * * * *
(BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN TYPE WRITER.)
NO. XXIV.—THE GIVER OF PARTIES.
It may be that "Party," in the sense of a hospitable entertainment, is an obsolete word, and that those who speak of "giving a party" prove themselves, by the mere expression, to be fogeys whom the rushing stream of London amusements has long since thrown up on the sandy bank of middle age, there to grow dull and forget that their legs were ever apt for the waltz, or their digestions able to cope with lobster mayonnaise at 2 A.M. Yet, though he who thus speaks may not be as smart as a swell, or as much up to date as a church-parade-goer, the expression will serve, for it indicates comprehensively enough every variety of entertainment known to the London Season—the dance, the dinner, the reception, the music at home, the tea-party, and the theatre-party, for all these in her benevolence does the Giver of Parties offer to us, and all these does she find the world of London eager to accept. Now it would seem, one would imagine, to be the easiest thing in the world, if only the money be not wanting, to give a party. A hostess, so someone may say, has but to invite her friends, to light her rooms, to spread her tables, to set the champagne flowing, to order an awning, and to hire music and a linkman, and the thing is done. The result of all this will no doubt be a party—of a sort, but of a sort far different, however gorgeous it may be, from the splendid and widely-advertised gatherings which the genuine Giver of Parties organises. For in the one variety it is just possible that enjoyment may be one of the main objects sought and attained; in the latter it is certain that enjoyment, though it is not always absent, must yield the precedence to social success and promotion in the scale of Society. These are the objects that the Giver of Parties, as it is proposed to describe her, has at heart, and to their attainment she devotes herself with a persistent and all-embracing energy which no disappointment is capable of daunting. The envy of her friends, the smiles and the presence of Royalty, may be hers, but there is always some loftier height to which she must climb before she can say to herself, "J'y suis, j'y reste," and be thankful.
Her life has known many changes. Her parents were county people of good descent and position, but of a reduced income, for which they apparently sought compensation in an increasing family, mostly daughters. It was necessary that she should marry young, and she submitted to necessity by accepting the proposal of a man some ten years her senior, who had already come to be favourably spoken off for the success of his commercial ventures. It is needless to add that all her relations took good care to impress upon her mind the fact that the alliance was an honour to her husband, whose wealth, even though it might in time rival that of the ROTHSCHILDS, could never make him fit to be mentioned in the same breath with one who numbered among her remoter ancestors a Baron, who had fought and bled on many fields for King CHARLES THE FIRST. However, the marriage took place in spite of the inequality of rank, and the much-honoured husband bore his wife with him to London, where for a time the modest comfort of a house in distant Bayswater satisfied them. Business prospered, and money came pouring in. The wife, who, it must be said, had undeniable beauty, excellent manners, and the trick of intuitively adapting herself to any society, was taken up by a great lady who happened to see her holding a stall at a large bazaar in which the fashionable world took some interest. Acting upon the great lady's suggestion, she was photographed in the becoming Tyrolese peasant's costume which she wore as a stall-holder, and the photograph was in some mysterious way engraved in all the illustrated papers of the following week. Her name was enshrined in paragraphs, she was observed in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, she was introduced to a Royal personage who was pleased to confer upon her the distinction of his smiles, and to mention her to the select circle of his intimates as "a very pretty, pleasant little woman." And thus she was started upon the thorny path of ambitious pleasure.
It is well known that the sacred fire of fashion burns—or is supposed to burn—in Belgravia alone. Its warmth drew her irresistibly. Bayswater became too cold to hold her, and early in the following year it was announced that a large house in the purlieus of Grosvenor Square had been purchased by her husband. However, she was content to climb by degrees, and, in her first season of social brilliancy, she restricted herself to a small and early dance, and a musical evening. At the dance, universal admiration was excited by the lavish profusion of the flowers with which her staircase was adorned, by the excellent quality of the champagne, and the inexhaustible supply of oysters. At the musical evening the music was as admirably rendered as it was completely neglected. And at both parties only those people were present as to whose social status and absolute "rightness" there could be no question. Indeed the dancer, whose foot had been trodden upon at the former, might console herself with the thought that none but a noble boot had caused her pain; while at the latter the sounds of heavy breathing, which mingled inharmoniously with Mlle. FALSETTI's bravura, were forgiven, in consideration of the exalted rank of their producer. Her success seemed now to be assured, and even the muttered discontent of a neglected husband, who was foolish enough to prefer comfort to smartness, began to subside. In the following year her entertainments became even more splendid, and less comfortable. She took a house at Ascot, and, triumph of triumphs! a scion of Royalty deigned to accept her hospitality.
After this, one would have supposed that she might have reposed for a space. But the penalty of social life is its never-ending necessity for movement. Jealous rivals abound to dispute a hardly-won supremacy, and the least sign of faltering may involve extinction. Yet it must be said that she is kind to her own, even when she is most brilliant. She brings out a daughter to be the delight of young Guardsmen, and marries her to a widowed Peer; she furbishes up forgotten relations, and allows them to shine in the rays of her glory; she is charitable after the manner of fancy fairs, and the hospitality of her house becomes proverbial. But, in the midst of all the bustle, the confusion, and the rattling turmoil of her career, she sometimes sighs for the undistinguished ease of her life in the pre-Royal days, sighs, and returns with fresh vigour to the struggle.
And so the pleasureless days of the pleasure-seeker follow one another, each with its particular legacy of little strivings, until, at the last, consolation may come from the thought that there is at least one place where there are many mansions, but no social ambitions.
* * * * *
NEW PRAYER-BOOK REVISION.—Several alterations will now have to be made in the marriage service. If it be permissible for the bride to omit her promise "to obey," as is reported to have been the case at a wedding last week, why should any undertaking "to love," "to honour," "to cherish," and so forth remain in the text? With all this left out, a marriage, which, of course, will no longer be an ecclesiastical rite, will hardly be a very civil ceremony. In course of time all the promises will be made either explicitly or implicitly conditional, the only question being what is the least possible obligation that can be incurred by both contracting parties at the smallest possible expense.
* * * * *
* * * * *
NOT CAUGHT YET!
The Boy and the Bird! And the Bird looks so old;— Scarce the species of fowl to be easily "sold,"— And the Boy is so young! It seems almost absurd To suppose that that pinch is to capture that Bird!
An old form of chase, if the legends run right; Like that, much akin, of the wild goose in flight. But salt, just like chaff and the plainly spread net, Was never regarded as promising yet.
But now? Well, the Birds of the age, like its Boys, Its Wives, and its Weather, its Tastes and its Toys, Have suffered a change, not a sea-change, but one Which floors half the maxims, and spoils half the fun.
Simple SIMON? Well, that's not as clear as it looks. The typical noodles of nursery books Were podgy and chubby, or lanky and pale, And—they tried to drop salt on poor dicky-bird's tail!
A fat boy in tight breeks with a palpable bait May look a great fool; but I guess we must wait,— Before we bemock him as crass and absurd,— To see—what effect it will have on the Bird!
The trial's well timed, and the bait looks "not bad;" The Boy may "know his book," though he's only a lad. Birds sometimes fall victims to Boys on the prowl, And the Voter Bird is not the wariest fowl.
The Voter Bird shortly must show what he's worth He may be the stupidest dicky on earth, Predestinate victim to salt-pinch or net; But then he may not,—and he is "not caught yet!"
* * * * *
AN AUTOCRAT'S ASPIRATION.—Pan-Slavism for Holy Russia, and Pan-Slav(e)ism for the rest of Europe.
* * * * *
LAND AND BRAIN.
(A PAGE FROM A VADE MECUM FOR POLITICAL ECONOMISTS.)
Question. Can you tell me how long an Author has a right to the profits arising out of his literary labours? Answer. Forty-two years, or the term of his natural life plus seven years further, whichever may be the longer. Q. And should Lord MONKSWELL's Copyright Bill, which has been read a First Time in the House of Peers, become law, will not this right be extended to thirty years after the death of the Author? A. It will, to his great advantage. The same measure contains other valuable provisions to secure to the Author the just profit of his brain-work. Q. But will not these advantages be purchased at the price of a loss to the general good? A. Very likely—the community will suffer for the benefit of the individual. Q. In like manner a Patentee, who invents a most useful article, enjoys (for a consideration) a monopoly of its sale, does he not? A. For fourteen years. This enables him to recoup himself for the thought and labour he has employed in the most useful article's construction. Q. If Author and Inventor were allowed an absolute monopoly of the profits arising out of their brain-work, it would be immoral? A. No doubt, as the individuals would benefit at the cost of the community. Q. Why should a butterman, then, have an absolute right in the sale of his butter? A. Because butter is butter, and brains are merely brains. Q. And would it not be for the benefit of the community if the landowner of a freehold were deprived of his rights after a term of years, and his holding be given to the public? A. Oh dear, no! Land, as RUDYARD KIPLING would say, "is quite another story!"
* * * * *
COUNSEL'S MOTTO (objected to in the Committee Rooms).—"Absence makes the fees grow stronger."
* * * * *
* * * * *
The first night of the Mixed Italian Opera Season, 1891. We open with GLUeCK's Orfeo, and, in a strong opera-glass, we drink to DRURIOLANUS OPERATICUS, and say, "Here's G-luck t'you!" Nothing can begin the season better than the appearance of GIULIA and SOFIA RAVOGLI—specially GIULIA—"There's something 'bout GIULIA So werry peculia'"—(Old Song)—in this short Opera, that is to say, an Opera which should be short were it not for the "waits" between the Scenes and Acts, which, as it is in the nature of weights to do, must always make even the lightest Opera seem heavy. Mlle. GIULIA sang and acted perfectly. Her rendering of the last song was most pathetic. This delicious melody the audience would have had over and over again, not in merry mood, for we are never merry in the hearing of such sweet music, but in appreciative sympathy with the woes of Orpheus so sweetly expressed. The lines in Bombastes rise in my memory:—
"So ORPHEUS sang of old, or poets lie, And—"
On consideration, however, I will not quote the remainder, but will say simply that we were all charmed. Welcome, at the commencement of another season, to Mlle. BAUERMEISTER, appearing as Cupid. To-morrow she will be Dame Marta! Wonderful! "Time cannot stale her infinite variety." How is it, O premiere danseuse, my pretty pretty Polly Hop-kino PALLADINO, Principal Shade among all these Happy but Shady characters, that thou didst not choose a classic dance in keeping with the character of the music and of the ideal—I distinctly emphasise "ideal"—surroundings? What oughtest thou to represent in the Elysian Fields? A Salvationised "Dancing Girl," without bonnet and tambourine? Nay, not so; but rather the very spirit of classic grace and elegance, moving rhythmically to melodious measure. In such a Scene as this ought to be, we want as much idealism as your graceful art can lend, otherwise we are only among our old friends, "the ladies and gentlemen of the Chorus"—bless em!—representing most substantially the "Shades of the Blessed," who appear to be Shades of every colour. GIULIA RAVOGLI, however, kept us entranced in the ancient classic land where once we used to wander. "Vive Lempriere!"
Second Night.—Faust, with a new Marguerite, Gay dog, Faust. How many Marguerites have there been even in my time! Same old story. Faust not a whit improved by experience—going on just the same as ever. His new Marguerite does credit to his choice, for Mlle. EAMES—(isn't she Miss EAMES, and neither Mademoiselle nor Signora? And doesn't she hail from Columbia?—but no matter)—is a sweet-looking Marguerite, with a voice as true as is her heart to Faust. A genuine Gretchen, simple not brilliant. Brilliancy she leaves to property diamonds, but awakes enthusiasm, by her judicious acting over the inert body of Valentine, when she attempts no sudden Colwell-Hatchney shriek, always so perilous. Signor PEROTTI looked as Faust might have done, had he been elected an Alderman of the City of London and acted up to the character. If DRURIOLANUS had lent him his Sheriff's chain to wear, Signor PEROTTI would have been perfect, that is from this point of view. M. MAUREL excellent as Mephisto in a new suit of clothes. He appears now as "The Gentleman in Grey"—rather suggestive of his having become a Volunteer, and a member, of course, of "the Devil's Own." Imagine Mephistopheles re-dressed at last! On both nights Signor MANCINELLI, the Conductor, seemed pleased, and that's something.
Great feature in Covent Garden this year is the decoration of the Pit-tier Lobby. DRURIOLANUS, feeling happy at the Opera prospects, and rejoicing in a full subscription, said to the Committee, "Gentlemen, let's have 'glasses round'!" Some officious person, hearing this, mistook the meaning of the great Chief, and straightway ran off and ordered looking-glasses all round for the Lobby! Grand effect! brilliant! dazzling!—too much so, in fact; several glasses too much. So, after a couple of nights' reflection, when the habitues came on Thursday, behold, two or three of the aristocratic mirrors or Peer-glasses had disappeared, the hat-pegs of former times had been restored, the wounded susceptibilities of the Stall-keepers whose occupation was partly gone, were healed, and where gloom was spreading, wreathed smiles once more prevailed. Even now these Opera-glasses are rather too powerful. Still, "let us see ourselves as others see us," is a good practical motto for the loiterer in the lobby, as he catches sight of himself, en passant, and wonders who that chap is, whose face he has seen somewhere before, but whose name he can't for the life of him recollect.
Thursday.—Carmen. Disappointed with JULIA RAVOGLI in this, though there are some fine bits of acting in it. Didn't care much about Sister SOFIA as Mickie the Maiden, M. LUBERT's Don Jose good but not great; and M. CELLI, who, in default of M. DEVOYOD's not being able to appear, took the part of Escamillo, was great, but not very good. He was, however, well supported by Signor RANDEGGER and the Orchestra, and considering the difficulties he had to struggle with, including an apology in the bills, he came out of it safely.
Saturday.—Re-appearance of the great DE RESZKE Brothers, JOHN and NED (what's JOHN without an 'ed?) in Lohengrin. Admirable. JULIA RAVOGLI excellent as Ortruda, and M. MAUREL equally so as Freddy. But why did he "feather his skull," like the Jolly Young Waterman, in so remarkable a style? However, his Freddy is a feather in his cap with which he ought to be satisfied. Miss EAMES as Elsa even better than as Marguerite. Crammed house. "Friends in front" more than satisfied. Good start.
* * * * *
SONGS OF THE UN-SENTIMENTALIST.
THE EARLY GREEN PEA.
Oh, the early green pea! the early green pea! Is the dish of all dishes to set before me! You may tell me of salmon caught fresh from the Tay, The beauties of plump white spring chicken display, The strawberry ripened three months before date— All these and much else you may set on my plate! But of them, no not one, stirs such rapture in me As the sweet, mellow taste of the Early Green Pea!
Oh, the early green pea, the pea of my taste, Must be gently assisted, not forced in hot haste, Lest the flavour it yield prove delusive and flat, In no way suggesting the young Marrowfat! But if it do this, oh what more could I wish, Than to see a young duckling form part of the dish! So with such a banquet spread out before me, Can you ask why I worship the Early Green Pea!
* * * * *
IN MEMORIAM.—As a tribute expressive of the high estimation in which the late Mr. P.T. BARNUM was held in England, why not endow a "Barnum Exhibition" at one of the Colleges of either University? We have "Smith's Prizeman," why not "Barnum Exhibitioner"?
* * * * *
"THE PRODIGY SON."—The three-act pantomime play at the Prince of Wales's has "caught on," as we predicted it would. Manager SEDGER thinks of temporarily adopting as his motto for this theatre, "Speech is silvern, silence is golden."
* * * * *
* * * * *
SWORD VERSUS LANCET!
(AN INCIDENT IN THE NEXT WAR.)
"Now," said the Surgeon-Field-Marshal-Commanding-in-Chief, as he stood before his men; "I have the greatest confidence in your skill. There is not one of you present who cannot perform an operation as successfully as myself;" here there was a murmur of polite denial in the ranks. "Nay, it is no flattery—I mean it. These are my last instructions. We are few, the enemy are many. We are not only soldiers but medical men. And as medical men it is our business to cure the wounds that we inflict in our more strictly military capacity."
Again there was a murmur—this time of cordial approval.
"Well, Gentlemen, as we have been taught in our drill, what the first rank breaks, the rear rank must bandage up. This would be all very well if our numbers were told by thousands, or even hundreds, instead of tens. But to-day we must use the bayonet rather than the lancet, the bullet in preference to the pill." Stealthy applause followed this observation. "But be careful. Common humanity calls upon us to do as little damage as possible. You know your anatomy sufficiently well to avoid inflicting a wound upon a vital part, and can so arrange that your blows shall incapacitate rather than functionally derange. And now, my friends, put your instrument-boxes and pharmacopoeias in your haversacks, and draw your swords. All ready? Yes! Then, 'Up, Guards, and at them!'"
With a wild cheer the Royal Regiment of Physicians and Surgeons (which had recently been admitted into the Service on the footing of the Royal Engineers) rushed forward. It was a beautiful sight to see them performing the most delicate operations in the kindest manner imaginable. The enemy trembled, wavered, and fled. In a moment the Royal Regiment had put up their swords and taken out their medical appliances. Their military duties done, and they were doctors once again, ready to help those who demanded their semi-civilian services. They had scarcely been engaged in this manner ten minutes when the Surgeon-Field-Marshal-Commanding-in-Chief cantered up to them. "Men," he cried, "drop your surgical instruments, and draw your swords. The enemy are again upon us! We must take their fort!"
In a moment the Royal Regiment was on the march. On their way, some of their comrades, wounded by the foe (in a bungling fashion), appealed to them for succour.
"Very Sorry," replied the Surgeon-Field-Marshal-Commanding-in-Chief, in a tone of commiseration; "very sorry indeed, but we can't attend to you. At this moment we are acting in our strictly military capacity!" And the Royal Regiment of Physicians and Surgeons, full of enthusiasm (but in rather loose formation) continued their march to the fort.
* * * * *
Tourmalin's Time Cheques, drawn on the bank of eccentric imagination by ANSTEY-GUTHRIE, is well worthy of the author of Vice Versa. The construction of the story is as artful as it is artistic, but the Baron cannot give his reason for this opinion without jeopardising the reader's pleasure. Still the Baron feels pretty certain that when the much-amused and greatly-chuckling but diligent and conscientious peruser of this light-hearted romance arrives at the last few pages, he will frown, rub his eyes, refer back to the very commencement of the story,—and then? Will he bless ANSTEY and blow GUTHRIE, or bless GUTHRIE and blow ANSTEY, or will he, being more tickled than ever, rush off to recommend it at once to his best friends, anticipating renewed delight from their pleasure and perplexity? The Baron wishes that ANSTEY and GUTHRIE had settled between them to call it Tourmalin's Time Bargains; but it is very likely that if ANSTEY suggested it, GUTHRIE rejected it, or, if the Baron may be permitted to say so without infringement of copyright, "vice versa." It is a great satisfaction to know that unlike the ERCKMANN-CHATRIAN collaboration, the ANSTEY-GUTHRIE partnership cannot be dissolved. JEKYL-AND-HYDE can cease to be, and JEKYL may alone survive; but the Baron rejoices in the fact of the mysterious bond between ANSTEY and GUTHRIE being indissoluble. Read Tourmalin's Time Cheques, and remember the prognostications of THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FBOM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday, April 6.—School reopened after Easter Holidays. OLD MORALITY duly in his place, but not many of the boys. Civil Service Estimates on; PLUNKET in charge on Ministerial side; SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE Leader of Opposition. Hammered away all night on old familiar lines. Ghosts of old acquaintances feebly crossed floor, disappearing behind SPEAKER's chair. Kensington Palace, with its cost; Bushey House; Cambridge Cottage; admission to Holyrood Palace; the deer in Home Park at Hampton Court; the pheasants in Richmond Park; the frescoes in House of Lords; the Grille of the Ladies' Gallery: the British Consular House at Cairo—each came up in turn; talked about; protested against; explained; divided upon, and voted. PLUNKET left to himself on Treasury Bench; bore up with unflagging energy and perennial patience; has heard same points raised every year since he was First Commissioner; has made same replies, and has seen Votes passed. Long before he was in office same thing used to go on with other First Commissioners. That was before the SAGE had taken to politics. Good old RYLANDS—"Preposterous PETER"—was then the Grand Inquisitor. But it was the same deer, the same gas-bills, the same question of free residence for "that eminent warrior," as the SAGE to-night called him, the Dook of CAMBRIDGE.
Oddly enough, almost only flash of humour through long sitting came from GEORGE CAMPBELL. Gave graphic description of his hanging about Holyrood Palace hankering after admission. According to existing regulation, admission to be gained only after bang goes two saxpences. For sixteen years Sir GEORGE ever lured to vicinity; sometimes casually entered doorway, proposing to loiter past ticket-collector; stopped by demand of a shilling, had resisted temptation. That was sad, but what he felt most acutely was injury done to his nation. Americans visiting Edinburgh on their way to Paris went to Holyrood: charged a shilling. "Ha! ha!" they cried, "see these stingy Scotchmen. They charge a shilling before they throw open their one Palace door, whilst in England you may roam through the Palaces free of charge,"
"Sir," cried Sir GEORGE, his voice under generous excitement of the moment taking on rasping tone, "the arrangement is prejudicial to the reputation of Scotchmen."
"This," said the SAGE, "will, I think, be an opportunity of going out for another cigarette."
Business done.—Handsful of Votes in Supply.
Tuesday.—NAPOLEON B. BOLTON strolled down to House to-night, intending to hear what TOMLINSON had to say on Emigration arrangements. In family circle it has always been considered that, as far as personal resemblance to NAPOLEON BONAPARTE goes, the late Prince JEROME wasn't in it with the Member for St. Pancras. BOLTON blushingly pooh-poohs the fond little fancy; but he is of kindly disposition; not inclined to insist on his opinion in controversy to other people's. Indeed, has gone so far as to furnish himself with fancy dress, fashioned on the style of that worn by the great NAPOLEON on State occasions. To-night, been at a children's party, showing himself in his uniform. Am told that, when he folds his arms, throws back his head, and recites, "On Linden, when the sun was low," you would think the Great Emperor had come back from St. Helena.
Intended to-night to create sensation in House. Doubted whether, as he was not about to move the Address, he would be permitted to enter with sword by his side. But he would be free of the smoke-room; might posture in the Lobby; might read an evening paper in the tea-room, whilst others enviously glanced at his epaulettes.
Here he was at ten minutes past nine standing in his favourite attitude at the Bar, no one having challenged his entrance. Fact is, House was up; not Counted Out, but having duly gone through the Orders and passed the Second Reading of an important measure. Such a day the Government had had! At Morning Sitting had ramped through the Orders, advancing Bill after Bill through critical stages. House nearly empty; Opposition effaced; Irish Members all absent except Brer RABBIT, who wanders about looking for Brer FOX. The only note of discord sounded in voice of GEORGE CAMPBELL. Report of Supply reached at a quarter to seven. At ten minutes to seven, in accordance with Rule ordering Morning Sitting, Debate must stop. One or two questions asked; quickly answered by PLUNKET; Vote after Vote agreed to on report stage. Then CAMPBELL gets up and wants to know about lighting the National History Museum at night?
Twelve minutes to seven.
PLUNKET looks anxiously at clock. If CAMPBELL would put his question and sit down he might be answered, and report stage got through. But CAMPBELL goes on till hand of clock points to ten minutes to seven.
"Order, order!" cries SPEAKER. Time limit reached; no more debate; CAMPBELL not finished yet; attempts to proceed; angry shouts of "Order! Order!" before which he subsides. Then, watching opportunity, suddenly bolts up again and wants to explain that he was not opposing the passage of report stage of Supply. "No, but you talked it out," said PLUNKET, with something less than his customary suavity.
This happened more than two hours ago. There has been the suspension of the Sitting, the resumption at nine o'clock, the Second Reading of the Rating of Machinery Bill; and now all is over, the guests are fled, the garlands dead, and all but NAPOLEON B. BOLTON departed. He, in fact, has only just arrived, and wishes he had not been in such a hurry to quit the circle where of late he was the object of awed admiration.
Thursday.—House filled up to-night; flowing tide evidently with us, including Mr. G., back after his holidays. Also Prince ARTHUR; been in training for some weeks in anticipation of long spurt in Committee on Irish Land Bill. Irish Members also returned in considerable force. Expected to find TIM HEALY arrive in fragments; but he's all there, much as usual.
"How's Brer FOX?" I asked him, wishing to hear latest news from Ireland.
"Oh," said he, "PARNELL's looking up."
"What do you mean?" I asked, astonished at this testimony.
"I mean, he's on his back, and, being in that position, must of course be looking up, if he's looking anywhere at all."
Light-hearted TIM! Time does not wither, or DALTON O'BRIEN stale, his infinite variety.
Scotch Members on before Ireland was approached. Something about the Scotch Private Bill Procedure Bill. Formidable List of Amendments to LORD-ADVOCATE's proposal to nominate Committee. All the Clans muster. NOVAR moves Amendment; CAMPBELL-BANNER-MAN objected that thirteen Scotch Members, including LENG and LYON PLAYFAIR, "would not make an adequate Committee." ROBERT-SON brought against the LORD-ADVOCATE the grave charge that he was "interpolating an extraneous and alien body into this business." Lord KINGSBURY, ex-Lord-Advocate, happened to be under Gallery on chance visit to House. Heard this remark with huge delight. Reminded him of the times when he used to sit through long nights with back fairly set against the Gangway post of Treasury Bench, invoking blessings on head of Duke of ARGYLL, and driving the Liberal Scotch Members wild with his perpetual smile of content.
Business done.—Committee on Irish Land Bill started.
Friday Night.—When House met at Morning Sitting OLD MORALITY discovered on Treasury Bench, looking more than usually guileless. Been badgered all week about Labour Committee. When going to disclose names of Commissioners and set forth terms of reference? Only yesterday Brer RABBIT put the question, intimating that whenever the announcement was made Adjournment of House would be moved in order to protest against omission of DAVITT's name. OLD MORALITY answering, said it was possible he might be able to make the announcement to-day, but much more likely on Monday.
Everyone thought it would be Monday. Brer RABBIT in his place to-day, but his men absent. OLD MORALITY, with positively a halo of innocency round his head, suddenly appeared at table; read out the list of Commissioners. Brer RABBIT's hand forced; must needs forthwith ask leave to move the Adjournment.
"Got your forty men?" asked the SPEAKER.
"Not quite," said Brer RABBIT, apologetically.
Only twenty-nine; so Brer RABBIT bowled out, and opportunity lost.
"Dear me!" said OLD MORALITY; "how very unfortunate. Now if I'd only waited till Monday, House would have been quite full; Brer RABBIT would have got his forty men twice over; we should have had an embarrassing Debate, and lost several hours of the sitting. As things have turned out, we can now go straight on with business."
Business done.—In Committee on Irish Land Bill.
* * * * *
THE RETURN OF THE WANDERER.—JOHNNIE has come marching home. JOHN LAWRENCE TOOLE, of the wide world generally, of London peculiarly, and of King William Street particularly, has returned. Divine WILLIAMS, always on the spot for any remarkable event, foresaw the happy day when, in Henry the Eighth, Act v., So. 3, he wrote, "The great TOOLE come!" May we venture to surmise that it will not be long ere we see the announcement of our favourite comedian's appearance in an entirely new and original farce entitled Ici on Parle Francais?
* * * * *
WHAT'S IN A NAME? (From a Correspondent).—Sir, I send you a cutting from a communication of J. MORTIMER GRANVILLE's, to The Lancet, No. 3,527, p. 798. Which when found make a note of:—"Instead of thallin I use a Periodohydromethyloxychinolin, because that is better borne, and seems to be more effective than the Tetrahydroparaquinasol." These two words would be a good penn'orth in a telegram. Yours, EPIGRAMMATIST.
* * * * *
PREMIERE AND DERNIERE, OR SHORTEST RUN ON RECORD.
Dramatic Author (to very friendly critic). Seen my new piece? eh? Premiere last night.
Very friendly Critic. Dear me! "One night only!" Hope they've got something ready for this evening. [Exit, chuckling.
* * * * *
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.