OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
August 1, 1891.
(A LETTER FROM NICOLA PUNCIO MACHIAVELLI TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS VITTORIO EMANUELE, SON OF UMBERTO, KING OF ITALY.)
There never was, nor is at this day, any man in the world who is not either a Prince or not a Prince. Seeing, therefore, that your Highness appertains of right to the class of them that are Princes, and being ambitious to present to your Highness that which should have the chiefest value in your eyes, I could not (though pondering much) deem anything more precious than the knowledge of men and of governments which I have learned through a space of half a hundred years. Forasmuch as your Highness hath travelled over stormy seas to the island of the British folk, I do presume to present to your Highness, as being one that seeketh wisdom, the ripe fruit of my knowledge, in order that your Highness may suck thereout such advantage as those who love your land chiefly desire both for yourself and for them to whose government you shall in the future be called.
II.—HOW A PRINCE IS TO GAIN REPUTATION.
To begin, then, I say it would be advantageous to be accounted both liberal and of a like nature unto other men that are not Princes. For although the majority of mankind be penurious and apt to hoard their money, and although in their assembly the British make a show of niggardliness, imputing it to themselves for a virtue, nevertheless, if they discern in a Prince such inclinations as they praise in themselves, no nation was ever quicker to blame or decry. For each holds in private that while he himself is generous, the rest are mean and covetous. Therefore, I counsel you let your conduct in the bestowal both of snuff-boxes, which no man at this day uses, and of scarf-pins, which are a delight to many, be so ordered that men may think of you as one that with a true generosity performs such acts as each of them, were he a Prince, would perform as well.
Likewise if there be those who wish to read unto you addresses of loyal welcome, it is not well to flout them publicly by showing signs of sleep; since it is the fashion of municipalities and Mayors to hold themselves to be of high importance, and a wise flattery of this self-deception well becomes you. And in replying, let your speech be both short and homely. The present German Emperor came lately among this people, and, having spoken aloud of the kindness of his Grandmamma, at once the hearts of all of them that are or hope to be grandmammas, or have themselves possessed a grandmamma, were moved to him so that he was accounted one of themselves from that time forth.
Again, how honourable it is for a Prince to be outspoken, candid, and truthful, I suppose everybody understands. Nevertheless, experience has shown in our times that those Princes who have not pinned themselves up to that excess of truth-speaking, have not alone secured the love of their subjects, but have been held up as patterns of a royal wisdom and virtue. For in the assemblages of the great that shall be gathered in your honour, and in the banquets and receptions wherewith it is customary to overwhelm a Prince, there must often be those surrounding him, and holding converse with him, whose absence would cause him joy rather than sorrow, on account of their exceeding pompous dulness. Yet it is well at such times for a Prince to conceal his feelings, and, though he be flattened with tedious ceremony, to keep both a cheerful countenance and a pleasant tongue, as of one to whom life offers a succession of the proudest and happiest moments. There is a Prince at this time in being (but his name I shall conceal), who can often have nothing in his mind but sorrow and depression, so many are his labours and so great is the number of the foundation-stones he lays; and yet, had he revealed either the one or the other by speech or gesture, they had robbed him before this of his power and reputation.
III.—OF THE WEARING OF UNIFORMS.
A Prince should have many uniforms, and wear them with much show and glitter. For it is expected of Princes that before they be weaned they should be Colonels, and should rank as Field-Marshals at a time when other lads still trail themselves to school. It is not indeed related of CSAR that he drilled a regiment at the age of six, nor of HANNIBAL that being yet a boy he did aught but take an oath. Yet now the custom of the world is otherwise, and a Prince who should never shine in the array of a soldier might justly be held odious and contemptible. That very German Emperor of whom I have spoken, won the applause of the multitude by cuirass and helmet, and having donned a British Admiral's uniform, was held of great account amongst a people apt for the rule of the sea. This honour in truth falls not to all; but others, and yourself among the number, may be made Post Captains, and wear a naval dress both with comfort and approbation.
Here in the land to which you have come you shall find all men lovers of Italy. For there is not one of those that watched her long and grievous struggles, that did not welcome with a heartfelt joy her deliverance, both from foreign yoke and from native tyrants. Here too they know that the example of your illustrious family, the wisdom and moderation of your father not less than the unquenchable valour and bodily strength of your grandfather, his contempt of danger, his devotion to duty, shone forth as a star before the eyes of all Italians, even in their darkest hours. Who is there that hath not the liveliest hope that all prosperity may be confirmed to that beloved country, that she may advance from greatness to greatness, that her kings may be just, her people free and contented. Let your illustrious family, then, still address itself to the work with courage and confidence, that under them Italy may stand forth an example to the nations of the world.
* * * * *
QUEER QUERIES.—QUOTATION WANTED.—Can anybody inform me where this exquisite line occurs—
"Heredity, thou mother of our race!"
I fancy it must be by Lord TENNYSON, but I cannot find it either in In Memoriam or the Idylls of the King. The line has been much admired by competent critics. A beautiful little volume of verse, recently published, is The Fall of Cetewayo. Possibly the line may be in that book.—P.S.—Is not 76 10s. 6d. too high a price to charge for bringing out an Epic Poem of 8000 lines, even if, as is asserted, there have been "no sales"?—LAUREATE PRESUMPTIVE.
* * * * *
MEREDITHOMANIA.—Miss HANNAH LYNCH (Author of George Meredith—a Study) is almost incoherently angry with "the inexcusable and comical consistency of stupidity" manifested by all those who are not, in the fullest sense, "Meredith-men"—or women. She is, however, so dogmatic and disdainful, that one suspects her of a tendency to substitute for the judicial verdict of the critical judgment-seat, the arbitrary and excessive punishment of "Lynch-law!"
* * * * *
WISBECH WINE.—Liberal Supply. The BRAND of 1891 acknowledged to be quite beyond competition.
* * * * *
"OFF TO MASHERLAND.".—Nothing from "GRANDOLPH the Explorer" this week. He's gone to the Diggings.
* * * * *
RIDING THE PIG.
[Mr. HEALY said he did not deny that after five years of liberal education the present Chief Secretary had greatly improved.... In reply to Mr. BALFOUR's inquiry, whether he could count upon Mr. HEALY's support in a Local Government Bill for Ireland, Mr. HEALY replied, "Certainly!"]
Ah! Spur, whip, and bridle are all very well, For a rider's equipment includes some "Coercion," But Jehu may need an additional spell, Whether riding a race or for simple diversion. There are reasons for giving a racer his head, And some flocks are driven and others are led.
Improved? Whillaloo! Fancy HEALY the hot Politely approving of "BALFOUR the Brutal"! How pleasant to picture the Pig at full trot, Without that "hard riding" some fancy must suit all! Too good to be true? That time only can show. 'Tis something that Piggy should promise to "go."
Your Pig is a "gintleman,"—take him aright; Or so those maintain who best know the 'cute creature. If you make him "eat stick" in excess he'll show fight. The goad and the snout-ring we've tried. This new feature— A lure in advance—may be worth being tried. That Piggy can go—and this rider can ride!
* * * * *
ENTHUSIASM LA RUSSE!
SCENE—A Bureau de Police at St. Petersburg. Present, Russian Bigwig and Subordinate.
Russian Bigwig (reading letter). "And they are to be received with the greatest possible enthusiasm!" I can scarcely believe my eyes! The Fleet of the French Republic!
Subordinate (using a Muscovite imprecation). Caviare droski!
Rus. Big. (severely). Slave! (Sub. cringes.) Another word, and I will have you knouted to death! It is the wish of our Little Father, the Czar of the Universe.
[They both fall on their knees, remove their hats, and sing the National Hymn.
Sub. (bowing to the ground). And what are the Imperial wishes?
Rus. Big. That not only shall the "Marseillaise" be tolerated when played by the French, but also be performed by our own bands. (With a burst of rage.) Oh, Caviare droski!
Sub. (on his knees). I would also add an oath, O Supreme Protector-of-the-Spirit-of-my-dead-Grandmother, had you not forbidden that extreme expression of opinion.
Rus. Big. You recall me to myself. O Son-of-PETER-son-of-PETER-son-of-PETER-son-of-TOMMY. I was wrong. But it makes my blood boil to think that our Master and his ancestors who scorned LOUIS PHILIPPE and NAPOLEON III. should recognise a Republic!
Sub. (aside). Say you so—this to the CZAR—thou Nihilist! (Aloud.) My Lord-the-comforter-of-the-spirit-of-my-first-cousin-once- removed-on-my-mother's-side, is indeed right! It is a painful sight!
Rus. Big. (aside). Say you so—this to the CZAR—thou Nihilist! (Aloud.) But perhaps we might improve matters. Supposing that the "Marseillaise" were imperfectly performed?
Sub. (with note-book). Excellent, my Lord! excellent! It shall be played out of tune on a score of regimental bands! Good, my Lord! good!
Rus. Big. And could not a translation be furnished suggesting ideas foreign to the original?
Sub. Again capital, my Lord. I will see that the troops have a version that gives the old legend (stolen from us by the English) of "The Song of Sixpence, or a pocketful of Rye-bread," as the real translation.
Rus. Big. A happy thought! The moral is wholesome. The Monarchical principle is advocated in the approved counting out of money and consumption of bread and honey by their Majesties, and the right of life and death is suggested by the pecking off of the nose of the housemaid while employed in hanging out the clothes! And about the troops—have they been warned that they might some day be expected to give a hated alien an enthusiastic reception?
Sub. They have, my Lord. And in anticipation of such an occasion, they have been taught for the last six months how to cheer in a whisper.
Rus. Big. Good! And now to a pleasanter duty. Have you those hundred thousand copies of Punch that were yesterday seized at the frontier?
Sub. I have, my Lord!
Rus. Big. (with fiendish glee). To Siberia with them! Come, help me to post them!
Sub. (trembling). But, my Lord, should Punch be read by the political prisoners who lie covered with chains in the secret mines under the lowest mountain in the Czar's dominions? What then?
Rus. Big. (in an awesome whisper). Mark me well! In the present pitiable state of the prisoners, such a feast of mirth-compelling waggery would kill them—yes, kill them—with laughter!
[Exeunt stealthily to put this craftily-conceived plot into guilty execution.
* * * * *
A NEW LEADER.
["At present the followers are obliged to be amiable because the Leader is amiable. Under the Leader I suggest they would be less amiable, and would be at liberty to say stronger things."—Mr. ATKINSON, M.P., in the House of Commons.]
CHORUS OF AMIABLE TORIES.
Hear! hear! Mr. A. We are amiable too, For we follow our amiable Leader, like you; But when forced to say, "Bless you!" we choke with our spleen, And we add, sotto voce, "You know what I mean." While we sit spick and span as a picture by FRITH, And contend with our feelings, to please Mr. SMITH.
Oh, we pule and we prate, we are nerveless and weak, And we swallow, like Pistol, the odorous leek. We palter with truth, and we flatter our foes, And we cringe, and we crawl, and are led by the nose. We are fools soft of speech, and without any pith, For we smother our feelings to suit Mr. SMITH.
Time was when a Member who hated the Celt Might detest him aloud and declare what he felt. He might use the crisp words which, if lacking in length, Make up for their shortness by meaning and strength. But now we all fawn on the Celt and his kith, While we smother our feelings to suit Mr. SMITH.
So, friends, we must choose a new Leader, and then, With a Man at our head we shall quit us like men: We shall always retort with a sting when we're stung, With the bees in our bonnet, the D's on our tongue. And the words that are honeyed shall fade like a myth, When an ATKINSON stands in the shoes of a SMITH.
* * * * *
* * * * *
TWO VIEWS OF THE NEXT INVASION.
The British Fleet, by a sad mischance, had disappeared.
It was then that the Nation had to depend upon its second line of defence—the Army.
The enemy flushed with victory, attempted to land, but were met with such a withering fire from the Volunteer Artillery, that they had to abandon the attempt in despair—at least for awhile. They retired for the night, and on the following morning were in front of Westgate-on-Sea. It was then found how wise the Committee of Home Defence had been in their recommendation. Feeling sure that the forces of the Crown would be ample to beat back any hostile attempt to seize a town the centre of one of the best of charities (St. Michael's Convalescent Home), the Committee had deprecated the suggestion of erecting extensive fortifications. Practically Westgate was without walls. But there was a better defence than brickwork. The Authorities had not been idle during the night, having utilised the Pause in the war to bring up two magnificent battalions of Militia—the 7th Rifle Brigade and the 4th Cheshire Regiment. Thus when the enemy succeeded in effecting a landing, they found themselves confronted by the very flower of the British Army. In ten minutes the hostile host were crumpled up like a sheet of paper, and disappeared in hot retreat.
During the following week the entire army of the foe was allowed to land in England, and were speedily exterminated. The contract given out by Government to an advertising undertaker was the means of making that contractor's fortune. Within ten days England was absolutely free from invasion.
"And are you surprised?" asked a journalist, addressing the greatest tactician of the century.
"Surprised!" echoed the other. "Why it was what we all expected from the first!"
The British Fleet, by a carefully calculated plan, had disappeared. It was then that the Nation had to depend upon its second line of defence—the Army.
The enemy, although somewhat depressed at the losses they had sustained, attempted to land, and of course were successful. The picked batteries from Woolwich, consisting of the Royal Horse Artillery, opened fire, but without the smallest effect. On the following morning the main force of the enemy appeared in front of Margate, the recently fortified port. It was then found how foolish the Committee of Home Defence had been in their recommendation. Feeling doubtful of the means the Government would have at their command to defend an unprotected town, they had ordered every village on the coast to be surrounded by the most intricate network of bricks and earthworks. And now, in the hour of need, these elaborate preparations were valueless. The troops of the enemy poured into Margate almost without opposition. The forts were silenced in five minutes, and although on the following morning the Household Brigade came to the rescue, the assistance thus afforded was of no avail.
During the succeeding week the entire army of the foe was allowed to land in England, and were immediately victorious. The contract for finding them lodgings in London made somebody's fortune. Within a week England was grovelling in the dust at the feet of her conquerors.
"And are you surprised?" asked a journalist, addressing the greatest tactician of the century.
"Surprised!" he echoed—"why it was what we all expected from the first!"
* * * * *
NEW RIDDLE (WITH THE OLD ANSWER).—Where was ISAACS when the Balance-Sheet went out?
* * * * *
THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.
SCENE—Courtyard of the "Grand Htel du Lion Belgique et d'Albion," at Brussels. It is just after Table d'hte; PODBURY and CULCHARD are sitting on a covered terrace, with coffee.
Podbury (producing a pipe). Not such a bad dinner! Expect they'll rook us a lot for it, though. Rather fun, seeing the waiters all troop in with a fresh course, when the proprietor rang his bell. Like a ballet at the Empire—eh?
Culchard (selecting a cigarette). I'm not in a position to say. I don't affect those places of entertainment myself.
Podb. Oh! Where do you turn in when you want to kick up your heels a bit? Madame Tussaud's? I say, why on earth didn't you talk to that old bloke next to you at dinner? He was trying all he knew to be friendly.
Culch. Was he? I daresay. But I rather understood we came out with the idea of keeping out of all that.
Podb. Of course. I'm not keen about getting to know people. He had no end of a pretty daughter, though. Mean to say you didn't spot her?
Culch. If by "spotting" you mean—was I aware of the existence of a very exuberant young person, with a most distressing American accent? I can only say; that she made her presence sufficiently evident. I confess she did not interest me to the point of speculating upon her relationship to anybody else.
Podb. Well—if you come to that, I don't know that I—still, she was uncommonly—(Happens to glance round, and lowers his voice.) Jove! she's in the Reading-room, just behind us. (Hums, with elaborate carelessness.) La di deedle-lumpty—loodle-oodle-loo—
Culch. (who detests humming). By the way, I wish you hadn't been in such a hurry to come straight on. I particularly wanted to stop at Bruges, and see the Memlings.
Podb. I do like that! For a fellow who wants to keep out of people's way! They'd have wanted you to stay to lunch and dinner, most likely.
Culch. (raising his eyebrows). Hardly, my dear fellow—they're pictures, as it happens.
Podb. (unabashed). Oh, are they? Any way, you've fetched up your average here. Weren't there enough in the Museum for you?
Culch. (pityingly). You surely wouldn't call the collection here exactly representative of the best period of Flemish Art?
Podb. If you ask me, I should call it a simply footling show—but you were long enough over it. (CULCHARD shudders slightly, and presently pats his pockets.) What's up now? Nothing gone wrong with the works, eh?
Culch. (with dignity). No—I was merely feeling for my note-book. I had a sudden idea for a sonnet, that's all.
Podb. Ah, you shouldn't have touched those mussels they gave us with the sole. Have a nip of this cognac, and you'll soon be all right.
[CULCHARD scribbles in lofty abstraction; PODBURY hums; Mr. CYRUS K. TROTTER, and his daughter, MAUD S. TROTTER, come out by the glass door of the Salon de Lecture, and seat themselves at an adjoining table.
Miss Trotter. Well, I guess it's gayer out here, anyway. That Reading Saloon is just about as lively as a burying lot with all the tombs unlet. I want the address of that man who said that Brussels was a second Parrus.
Mr. Trotter. Maybe we ain't been long enough off the cars to jedge yet. Do you feel like putting on your hat and sack, and sorter smellin' round this capital?
Miss T. Not any. I expect the old city will have to curb its impatience to see me till to-morrow. I'm tired some.
Culch. (to himself). Confound it, how can I—! (Looks up, and observes Miss T. with a sudden attention). That fellow PODBURY has better taste than I gave him credit for. She is pretty—in her peculiar style—quite pretty! Pity she speaks with that deplorable accent.
[Writes—"Vermilion lips that sheathe a parrot tongue," and runs over all the possible rhymes to "tongue."
Podb. (observing that his pencil is idle). Gas cut off again? Come for a toddle. You don't mean to stick here all the evening, eh?
Culch. Well, we might take a turn later on, and see the effect of St. Gudule in the moonlight.
Podb. Something like a rollick that! But what do you say to dropping in quietly at the Eden for an hour or so, eh? Variety show and all that going on.
Culch. Thanks—variety shows are not much in my line; but don't mind me if you want to go.
[PODBURY wanders off, leaving CULCHARD free to observe Miss TROTTER.
Miss T. CHARLEY writes he's having a lovely time in Germany going round. I guess he isn't feeling so cheap as he did. I wish he'd come along right here.
Mr. T. I presume he's put in all the time he had for Belgium—likely we'll fetch up against him somewhere before he's through.
Miss T. Well, and I don't care how soon we do, either. CHARLEY's a bright man, and real cultivated. I'm always telling him that he's purrfectly splendid company, considering he's only a cousin.
Mr. T. That's so every time. I like CHARLEY VAN BOODELER first-rate myself.
Culch. (to himself). If CHARLEY VAN BOODELER was engaged to her, I suppose he'd be here. Pshaw! What does it matter? Somehow, I rather wish now that I'd—but perhaps we shall get into conversation presently. Hang it, here's that fellow PODBURY back again! Wish to goodness he'd— (To PODBURY.) Hallo, so you haven't started yet?
Podb. Been having a talk with the porter. He says there's a big fair over by the Station du Midi, and it's worth seeing. Are you game to come along and sample it, eh?
_Culch._ (with an easy indifference intended for_ Miss T.'s _benefit_). No, I think not, thanks. I'm very comfortable where I am.
[He resumes his writing.
Podb. Well, it's poor fun having to go alone!
[He is just going, when Mr. TROTTER rises and comes towards him.
Mr. T. You'll excuse me, Sir, but did I overhear you remark that there was a festivity in progress in this city?
Podb. So I'm told; a fair, down in the new part. I could tell you how to get to it, if you thought of going.
Mr. T. Well, I don't see how I should ever strike that fair for myself, and I guess if there's anything to be seen we're bound to see it, so me and my darter—allow me to introduce my darter to you—MAUD, this gentleman is Mr.—I don't think I've caught your name, Sir—PODBURY?—Mr. PODBURY who's kindly volunteered to conduct us round.
Miss T. I should have thought you'd want to leave the gentleman some say in the matter, Father—not to mention me!
Podb. (eagerly). But won't you come? Do. I shall be awfully glad if you will!
Miss T. If it makes you so glad as all that, I believe I'll come. Though what you could say different, after Father had put it up so steep on you, I don't know. I'll just go and fix myself first.
Mr. T. (to PODBURY). My only darter, Sir, and a real good girl. We come over from the States, crossed a month ago to-day, and seen a heap already. Been runnin' all over Scotland and England, and kind of looked round Ireland and Wales, and now what we've got to do is to see as much as we can of Germany and Switzerland and It'ly, and get some idea of France before we start home this fall. I guess we're both of us gettin' pretty considerable homesick already. My darter was sayin' to me on'y this evening at table d'hte, "Father," she sez, "the vurry first thing we'll do when we get home is to go and hev a good square meal of creamed oysters and clams with buckwheat cakes and maple syrup." Don't seem as if we could git along without maple syrup much longer. (Miss TROTTER returns.) You never mean going out without your gums?
Miss T. I guess it's not damp here—any—(To PODBURY.) Now you're going to be Mary, and Father and I have got to be the little lambs and follow you around.
[They go out, leaving CULCHARD annoyed with himself and everybody else, and utterly unable to settle down, to his sonnet again.
IN AN UPPER CORRIDOR, TWO HOURS LATER.
Culch. (coming upon Podbury). So you've got rid of your Americans at last, eh?
Podb. I was in no hurry, I can tell you. She's a ripping little girl—tremendous fun. What do you think she asked me about you?
Culch. (stiff, but flattered). I wasn't aware she had honoured me by her notice. What was it?
Podb. Said you had a sort of schoolmaster look, and wanted to know if you were my tutor. My tutor! [He roars.
Culch. I hope you—ah—undeceived her?
Podb. Rather! Told her it was t'other way round, and I was looking after you. Said you were suffering from melancholia, but were not absolutely dangerous.
Culch. If that's your idea of a joke, all I can say is—
[He chokes with rage.
Podb. (innocently). Why, my dear chap, I thought you wanted 'em kept out of your way!
[CULCHARD slams his bedroom door with temper, leaving PODBURY outside, still chuckling.
* * * * *
THE WRONG OF SEARCH.
(A DREAM OF THE BRITISH INQUISITION.)
The unfortunate foreigner, travel-stained and suffering from the after-glow of a stormy passage, crawled up the gangway and was once more on land. He carried in his hand a portmanteau.
"Have you anything to declare?" asked an official, in a gold-peaked cap and blue frock coat, gruffly.
"Only that your seas are terrible," was the reply.
The official made no answer, but merely pointed to some planks that had been placed upon trestles. The foreigner glanced at the people who were standing in front of these planks, and noticed that they were pale with apprehension.
"Have you anything to declare?" was a second time uttered—now by a person less gold-laced. Then the official continued, "Here, open it!"
In a moment the portmanteau was thrown with force on the planks, and the foreigner protested.
"I understand you now. I have no cigars—I do not smoke. I have no spirits—I am what you call a teatotaller. I have no lace—I am a widower."
"Open it!" was once more the cry—this time with great vehemence.
"But I am innocent of concealing anything! Believe me, there is nothing to declare! I have some photographic plates—to open them is ruin! I prize my shirts—they are heirlooms—if they are roughly handled I can never wear them again." And the foreigner wrung his hands in his despair.
"If you will not open it," replied the official, unmoved by his eloquent appeal, "we shall detain your luggage."
"But this is barbarous—cruel," continued the foreigner, answering with excitement. "I have been to Constantinople with its mosques, and the Turks have treated me with greater consideration. I have seen the glories of Rome with its Forum, the splendours of Petersburg with its fortress prison, the treasures of Madrid with its art gallery—and everywhere—everywhere I have been treated with greater kindness, greater charity than here! And yet you say this is the land of the brave and the free!"
"We say nothing of the sort," retorted the official; "we say, open it!"
The foreigner, whose pallor was fearful to see, with his teeth clenched and his eyes starting from his head, put the key into the portmanteau lock, turned it, and the contents of the box was revealed to view.
In a moment the officials were upon it—thrusting their inquisitive hands here, there, and everywhere. There was a salad of boots, waistcoats, collars and brushes. At length they came to the photographic plates—they were removed in a trice from their receptacle, and held up to the light.
"Have you no hearts!" cried the foreigner, his face streaming with tears. "In a moment you have undone the labour of years! That plate—now destroyed for ever—when properly developed would have revealed the smiling features of my wife's mother! It took me a quarter of a century to catch her with such an expression! For when she saw me she always frowned. But ah, my shirts, my heirlooms! In the name of mercy, spare my shirts!"
But no, once more the appeal was disregarded. The small portmanteau was turned inside out. This the official chalked.
"So this is one of the habits of the English," cried the foreigner, bitterly.
"Not only the habits, Monsieur," observed a bystander, who trembling with apprehension, was waiting his turn; "but the customs. Customs that are out of date with the age. Customs that are contrary to the spirit of the century. Customs that cost more than they yield, and deserve to be cussed!"
"They do," cried the foreigner, excitedly. "May the Customs be—"
"You must not utter that word," interrupted the Revenue Officer, in a tone of peremptory command.
"It is British; why not?"
But although the foreigner was baffled in his desire to use the appropriate imprecation—he thought it!
* * * * *
It is a stifling night; I sit With windows open wide; And the fragrance of the rose is blown And also the musk outside, There's plenty of room for the moths out there In the cool and pleasant gloom; And yet these mad insectual beasts Will swarm into my room.
I've thrown so many things at him, And thrown them all so hard; There goes the sofa-cushion; that Missed him by half a yard. My hot tears rain; my young heart breaks To see him dodging thus; It is not right for him to be So coy—so devious.
As I sit by my duplex lamp, And write, and write, and write; They come and drown in the blue-black ink, Or fry themselves in the light. They pop, and drop, and flop, and hop, Like catherine-wheels at play; And die in pain down the back of my neck In a most repulsive way.
There's a brown moth on the ceiling. He Makes slow and bumpy rounds; Then stops and sucks the whitewash off— He must have eaten pounds. He's only waiting for his chance To take me unaware, And then the brute will drop, and make His death-bed in my hair.
Why do they do it? Why—ah! why? The dews of night are damp, But the place to dry one's self is not The chimney of a lamp. And sultriness engenders thirst, But the best, the blue-black ink, Cannot be satisfactory Regarded as a drink.
They are so very many, and I am so very few— They are so hard to hit, and so Elusive to pursue— That in the garden I will wait Until the dawning light, Until the moths all go by day Where I wish they'd go by night.
* * * * *
* * * * *
ON THE BRIDGE!
(A MUCH MODERNISED VERSION OF "THE VISION OF MIRZAH.")
On the second day of the week, commonly called Saint Monday (which according to the Customs of my Forefathers, I always keep as Holiday), after having washed myself, and offered up my Morning Devotions at the shrine of Nicotine, I turned over the pages of Bradshaw, with a view to passing the rest of the day in some more or less Rural Retirement.
As I was here confusing myself with the multitudinous Complexities of this recondite Tome, I fell into a profound Contemplation of the Vanity of human Holiday-making; and, passing from one puzzling page to another, Surely, said I, Man is but a Muddler and Life a Maze!
"Right you are!" sounded a mysterious voice in my ear.
The Sound of the voice was exceeding Sweet, and wrought into a variety of inflections. It put me in mind of those heavenly Airs that are played from the tops of closely-packed wheeled Vehicles, from many-keyed Concertinas upon Bank-Holidays. My Heart melted away in Secret Raptures. By which signs I—who had read my Spectator at the Free Library—knew well that I was in the company of a Genius! It is only Genii who drop upon one suddenly and unannounced, with a more or less pertinent commentary upon one's Inner Thoughts, in this fashion. I felt at once that I was in for the true Addisonian Oriental Apologue in all its hybrid incongruity.
I drew near with that Reverence which is due to a Superior—if nondescript Nature; and as my Heart was entirely subdued by the captivating Voice I had heard, I fell down at his Feet and wept. I could hardly have explained why, but 'tis the sort of thing one always does in an Eastern Apologue. The Genius smiled upon me with a Look of Compassion and Affability that familiarised him to my Imagination, at once dispelled all the Fears and Apprehensions with which I approached him, and turned off my Tearfulness "at the main," as Samuel Weller said, concerning the Mulberry One. He lifted me from the ground, and, taking me by the hand, "MIRZAH," said he, "I have heard thee in thy Soliloquies; follow me!"
Now, my name is not MIRZAH, but MATTHEW. Yet, after all, it did not much matter, and I felt it would be in questionable taste to correct a Genius.
He then led me to the highest Pinnacle of a Rock, and, placing me on the Top of it, "Cast thy Eyes yonder," said he, "and tell me what thou seest." "I see," said I, "a huge Valley, and a prodigious Roadway running through it." "The Valley that thou seest," said he, "is the Vale of Travel, and the Roadway that thou beholdest is part of the great Railway System." "What is the Reason," said I, "that the Roadway I see rises out of a thick Mist at one End, and again loses itself in a thick Mist at the other?" "Monopoly and Muddle freely engender Mists," responded the Genius. "Examine now," said he, "the Roadway that is bounded with Darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou discoverest in it." "I see a Bridge," said I, "standing in the midst of the Roadway." "Consider it attentively," said he.
Upon a more leisurely Survey of it—a Survey which, meseemed, it would have been well had Others made with similar Attentiveness—I found that the Arch thereof looked shaky and insecure; moreover, that a Great and Irregular-shaped Cleft or Crack ran, after the fashion of a Lightning-flash in a Painted Sea-scape, athwart the structure thereof from Keystone to Coping. As I was regarding this unpleasing Portent, the Genius told me that this Bridge was at first of sound and scientific construction, but that the flight of Years, Wear and Tear, vehement Molecular Vibration, and, above all, Negligent Supervision, had resulted in its present Ruinous Condition.
"But tell me further," said he, "what thou discoverest on it."
"I see," said I, "if my eyes and the dark Mists and Shadows deceive me not, a Figure couched upon the Parapet of the centre Arch thereof." As I looked more attentively, I saw that this figure was of a Spectral appearance, and Bony withal; albeit, its contours were to some extent hidden by its clinging cerement-like garments, and the equally clinging and charnel-like shades surrounding it.
Only an Attent, and, as it were, complacently Anticipative Visage, of an osseous and ogreish Aspect, gleamed lividly forth therefrom, as the Apparition appeared to Look and Listen through the Mist at one end of the Bridge for the welcome Sight of Disaster, the much desired Sound of Doom. A shrill and sibilant Metallic Shriek seemed to cleave the Shadows into which the Spectre gazed; a Violent Vibratory Pulsation, as of thudding iron nails threshing upon a resonant steel floor, seemed to heat the Roadway, shake the Bridge, and as it appeared to me to widen the levin-like Cleft or Crack which disfigured the Arch thereof.
Then did I quake inwardly and breathe short. "What, O Genius," I cried, "signifieth the Spectre, who thus sitteth On the Bridge, what forebodeth the Aspect of eager Anticipation, and for what doth he so gloatingly and expectantly Wait?"
"This," responded the Genius, gravely, "is Insatiate Death waiting for Inevitable Accident!"
I gazed with inexpressible melancholy upon the unhappy Scene. At length said I, "Show me now, I beseech thee, the Secrets that lie hid under those dark Mists which cover the regions to the right which you suggest are the realms of Monopoly and Muddle." The Genius making me no Answer, I turned about to address myself to him a Second time, but I found that he had left me. I then turned again to the Vision, but instead of the Roadway, the arched Bridge and the Attent Anatomy, I saw nothing but my own parlour, and my wife MARY picking up the Bradshaw's Guide which had fallen from my sleep-relaxed hand.
* * * * *
On that particular Saint Monday I took, not as I had intended, a Railway Excursion to Rural Parts, but, telling MARY—to her manifest concern—that I Had Altered my Mind as regarded our Holiday, I betook myself to the "Blue Boar" at the corner, and passed the day in Safety—and Solitary Smoking! Next morning, however, I read something in the papers which led me to believe that Railwaydom Aroused meant exorcising and evicting that Sinister Spectre, "regardless of Cost;" and I shall look forward to my next Holiday Outing with a mind Relieved and Reassured.
* * * * *
BLACKFRIARS TO SLOANE SQUARE.
The man who got in at Blackfriars Was smoking the foulest of briars, But it went out all right— Could I give him a light?— Hadn't got one—well, all men are liars.
I've frequently noticed the Temple Is a place there are not enough rhymes to; And that's why I've made This verse somewhat blank, And rather disregarded the metre.
How do you pronounce Charing Cross? It's a point where I'm quite at a loss. Some people, of course, Would rhyme it with "horse," But I always rhyme it with "hoss."
A woman at Westminster Bridge Had got just a speck on the ridge Of her Romanesque nose. "It's a black, I suppose," She observed. Then it flew—'twas a midge.
One man from the Park of St. James, Had really the loftiest aims; In the hat-rack he sat, Used my hair as a mat, And when I demurred called me names.
I bought from the stall at Victoria A horrible sixpenny story, a Book of a kind It pained me to find For sale at our English emporia.
I found when I got to Sloane Square That my ticket was gone; my despair Was awful to see, Till at last to my glee I looked in my hat—it was there!
* * * * *
["Sir E. WATKIN is about to introduce the Electric Light on the summit of Snowdon."—Daily Paper.]
Just started up Snowdon by Sir E. WATKIN's combined Galvano-Electric and Pneumatic Despatch Line, from Llanberis. Goes nearly to top. What a blessing! Saved all the bother of the mount. Go in tennis-shoes, as I'm told there's next to no climbing to be done.
Splendid day for view. Comfortable carriages. Hullo! what's this? Find myself suddenly shot into a mountain tarn. A Yankee would call it "tarnation cold." Get out dripping. Guard of train explains that "battery must be rather too strong this morning." Train put on line again. Up we go! Shivery. If I'd known this sort of thing went on, I'd have brought towels.
At Terminus, three-quarters way up, in a bleak and exposed crag, plastered with advertisements. Day not quite so glorious. Fog coming on. Or is it "Scotch mist?" But what has a Scotch mist to do in Wales? Ask engine-driver's opinion. He has none. "Then which is the way up?" Doesn't know. "His way is down." Must speak to Sir E.W. about engine-driver.
Ascent continued. Leads down-hill. Curious. Sound of dashing waterfall close by. Must see it. Turn round a corner. No waterfall at all, only the Electric-Light-generating station! Noise I heard was the "machinery in motion." Query—does an iron shed with chimney pouring out factory smoke, add to charms of wild scenery?
More surprises! Find an "Automatic Delivery" pillar! Curious sight on a mountain. Put a penny in, and you get a small book—Guide to Snowdonia. Thanks! But what I want is a guide to top. Fog worse than ever. Believe I've missed my way.
Five hours later.—I had. Shoes utterly worn out. Awfully, tired. Hit on top by mere accident. Resting in new hotel. Scrumptious, but dear. Don't care! Electric Light. What system? Waiter says "Brush." Must be 'air-brush up here, I fancy! Anyhow no good in a fog. Shall suggest foghorn to Sir E. WATKIN for thick weather. Also guides waiting at Crag Terminus. Bottle of beer. Divine! View? None, and don't want any. More beer. Electric Light better than I thought. Electricity is life. Electricity is also beer. More beer, please! Waiter asks "if I sleep at top?" Beds only two guineas a night. Of course I do! "Then shall he wake me for sunrise?" He'd better not. Goo' night! Sowdn—mean Snowdn—great sksess.
* * * * *
She gave them to me when the dance was done, Her eyes all lighted with the ecstasy Of triumph in the crushing contest won, Of all the joy of girlish victory. She gave them to me as we mounted up, With all the bold effrontery that dares To face the aged ones, who've come to sup, And sidles off to alcoves on the stairs.
She gave them to me, but some sprays, I know, All dying then, as though life's task were laid To rest within that burning breast of snow; And there the last great debt of all were paid. She gave them to me, and my heart did beat, As o'er my hope a greater promise came, And up the narrow way with steps so fleet She went, though I remember'd not her name.
She gave them to me, and I vow'd that they Should lie upon my heart till years had fled, Till, passing through life's narrow, thorny way, They'd rest with me when life's own leaves were dead. And thus I spoke, and then we wrote the deed, With fervid seal upon the heart's own slab— Alas! alas! how memory runs to seed!— I left her Violets in a beastly cab!
* * * * *
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
WATER SUPPLY.—Yes, we have read about the quantities of poisoned fish floating in the river somewhere near the "intake" of the Water Companies, and agree with you that under such circumstances the pretence of supplying a drinkable fluid is somewhat of a "take-in." But surely it is hardly necessary to adopt the extreme step you contemplate, of stationing an expert Thames fisherman at the side of your cistern night and day, in order to catch any fish that may come through the pipes. The Companies' filtering system may not be worth much, but it ought to be able to keep out something under the size of a whale.
HOLIDAY TRAVELLING.—You say that recent disclosures about Railway Bridges have made you nervous. The plan of personally inspecting every bridge your train will pass over on your way to Scotland is an excellent one, if you have time for it. Possibly also, a Railway Manager might agree to put a specially light engine to your train. As you say you are going to take a couple of tourist tickets, third class, it would probably pay him well to make any little alteration of that kind.
IMPECUNIOSITY.—We cannot help you. Reading the Riot Act and then assaulting them with a poker is not the best way of getting the Bailiffs out of a house. Try gentle persuasion. If you have recently had a case of black typhus in the house, you might mention the fact to them, and see what they say.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE LAST KNIGHT OF THE SEASON.
SIR AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS COVENT-GARDENIUS HARRIS, C.C.C.]
* * * * *
THE RULE OF THREE.
(A POSSIBLE SCENE OF THE FUTURE.)
PLAN OF ACTION.—Somewhere conveniently situated for all parties. The King, the Kaiser, and the Emperor, discovered discussing the Treaty that has now been in force for some years.
Kaiser (with assumed cheerfulness). Well, my dear Brothers, it is really time you should do something. It is not on my own account that I am anxious, but on yours—purely on yours.
King (dryly). Certainly!
Emperor (with a smile). No doubt! Pray proceed.
Kaiser (addressing Italy). Well, my dear friend, as I am afraid we are on the eve of a contest with France, I must beg of you to place three Army Corps upon your Alpine frontiers.
King (with assumed surprise). Why should I do this? It will be most inconvenient!
Kaiser. Why, to carry out the provisions of the Treaty.
Emperor (interposing). Your pardon, that stipulation was suppressed at King HUMBERT's request.
Kaiser (annoyed). Oh, was it! Then, my friend, perhaps you will be so good (as my relations with the CZAR are strained almost to breaking), as to station troops on the Russian frontier beyond Cracow.
Emperor (with improvised astonishment). Why should I do this? It will be most inconvenient.
Kaiser. Why, to carry out the provisions of the Treaty.
King (interposing). Your pardon; that stipulation was suppressed at the request of the Emperor of AUSTRIA.
Kaiser. Oh, was it? (Losing his temper.) Then I consider the whole affair as gross a swindle as—
Emperor (interrupting). Nay, Sire, remember your birth and position! It is a passing annoyance, but it should not move you. Remember, you are a Hohenzollern! Let me offer you a cigarette.
Kaiser (calming down). Well, perhaps I had better be quiet. It is more dignified.
King (helping himself to the Emperor's cigarette-case). Let me join you.
Kaiser. But I say, what use is the Treaty to either of us?
Emperor (with a smile). Properly treated, it is of service to us all. (Lights it, and offers it to his two partners). It will serve as a spill for our cigarettes! [Scene closes in upon the Treaty ending in smoke.
* * * * *
WELL DONE, DEAR!
We've levelled farms, we've planted trees, And many mighty men of means Have shot at deer, and, if you please, A DEAR has shot and won the Queen's!
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday, July 20.—"Man and boy I've sat in this House for seven years," said WHITTAKER ELLIS, as he reposed behind Ministers diffusing a sense of aldermanic respectability over an appreciable area of space; "never have I seen Irish Estimates got through in this style. LORD LIEUTENANT has his salary voted without a word of comment, and CHIEF SECRETARY will, I believe, get his in a couple of hours. Have known the time when it wasn't done in a couple of nights."
Strange indeed the scene; not thirty Members present whilst the Woluminous WEBB goes all the way back to the Tipperary riots in search of text for dreary observations; then fearsome speeches by FLYNN and P.J. POWER. Some fillip to proceedings when JORDAN rolls in.
JORDAN is Member of Parliament for Clare, as he once or twice incidentally remarked. Evidently much impressed by distinction. House laughs at reiterated claim. The billows of Jordan rise; had no personal objection to Prince ARTHUR, he said, but "as Member of Parliament for Clare" had to complain of him in his official capacity. What had he done? "He has given Clare such a resident Magistrate as CECIL ROCHE, a low tyrannical man, who ordered a low policeman to seize me—me, Member of Parliament for Clare."
JORDAN glared round on laughing House; quite incomprehensible what they should be guffawing at. Marvel increased when he introduced Father GILLIKAN on the scene,
"What had happened to Father GILLIKAN?" JORDAN roared, fixing a bloodshot eye on ASHMEAD-BARTLETT, who had just dropped in on Treasury Bench. "Why, Father GILLIKAN had been sent to prison for a speech delivered in the middle of the River Shannon."
House shouted with laughter; began again when JORDAN explained that Father GILLIKAN, though he had been making a speech in the middle of the River Shannon at the moment of his arrest, was primarily in a boat. Even that didn't mend matters, and JORDAN, giving up attempt to understand ill-timed hilarity of House, dried up.
Later, TIM HEALY turned up, TIM TRUCULENT no more. Where was the excited crowd he was wont to address in Sessions of not very long ago—the jeering Ministerialists, the applauding Liberals, the enthusiastic band of united Irishmen, with PARNELL sitting placid in their midst, he only quiet amid the turbulent throng? Now the House more than half empty; the audience irresponsive; Prince ARTHUR sitting solitary on Treasury Bench with head bowed to hide the blushes that had mantled his cheek at hearing TIM extol his improvement since, in 1887, he tried his prentice hand as Chief Secretary. Prince ARTHUR, when he rises, is careful not to introduce a discordant note. He has, he says, listened with interest to the able speech of the Hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for North Longford. There must be a division for decency's sake; but only 150 Members turn up, and no one would have been greatly surprised if Prince ARTHUR and TIM HEALY had walked off arm in arm into the same lobby.
"Shade of me departed frind, JOSEPH GILLIS," said LALOR, wearily rising to go forth to the division, "what d'ye think of us, suppose this night you chance to be looking down from whatever answers with you to the Strangers' Gallery, where you used to betake yourself after being suspended?"
Business done.—Irish Votes in Committee of Supply.
Tuesday.—The alliance, offensive and defensive, established between the two Houses of Legislature by Lord DENMAN and Mr. ATKINSON been temporarily blighted by machinations of the enemy.
DENMAN, the other night, wanted to move for return showing how many times he had been in attendance. House said it didn't particularly care to know. DENMAN insisted; then the MARKISS, as usual, appeared on the scene, and moved that DENMAN shouldn't be heard for remainder of sitting. DENMAN, never at loss in Parliamentary strategy, wanted to move that the MARKISS's motion should be put from Chair on that day ten months. But LORD CHANCELLOR, well known to be in league with the MARKISS, promptly put question. Before DESMAN knew where he was (a not unfamiliar access of haziness) Motion put, declared to be carried, and he condemned to sit silent for rest of evening.
Same tactics, slightly varied, carried on to effacement of other wing of allied forces. ATKINSON wanted to put question to JOKIM about his Coinage Bill. Took some pains in framing it; handed it in at table; next day question appeared on paper shorn of its oratorical excellencies.
"How is this?" says ATKINSON, addressing the SPEAKER.
"Question full of errors," SPEAKER explained.
"Will the Right Hon. Gentleman kindly state them?" said ATKINSON, folding his arms, and looking triumphantly round the House. Had the SPEAKER now. He would go into particulars. Sure to leave opening for master of argumentative tactics; ATKINSON would dart in and pink him amid applause of Senate. Public business might be delayed, but what of that? House liked intellectual treat.
SPEAKER, however, not so unwary as he looked. Took no notice of ATKINSON's inquiry; went on to next business. ATKINSON wrote to Clerks for explanation. No reply; so to-day gives notice of Vote of Censure on SPEAKER and Clerks.
"Sorry to be driven to this course, dear TOBY," he said, when I ventured to remonstrate with him on his remorseless career; "have the greatest respect for the SPEAKER; shrink from depriving the Clerks at table of means of livelihood. But an example must be made. Effect not confined to walls of this Chamber. My Motion of Censure on the SPEAKER will strike terror to the House of Lords, and go long way to deliver my noble friend DENMAN from thraldom under which a too sensitive nature lies bound hand and foot. The House need apprehend no inconvenience to the course of public business. Last night, in response to a bait artfully thrown out by Mr. TIMOTHY HEALY, I felt it my duty to rise in my place and announce that nothing would induce me to take office under the Crown. But in the matter of the SPEAKER, I shall recognise my personal responsibility, and when, in consequence of my Motion of Censure, he withdraws into private life, I will take the Chair."
Business done.—In Committee of Supply.
Thursday.—Haven't seen SEYMOUR KEAY lately. Report in House is, that he has been close and interested attendant on CATHCART case. Rumour receives some confirmation from circumstance that to-day, CATHCART case concluded, KEAY suddenly turns up full of spirits and valuable information. Subject (Land Purchase Bill back from Lords) particularly attractive to him, since it is bristling with obscurities. Once, when a Lords Amendment submitted, TIM HEALY asked what it meant. MADDEN sprang up with reassuring alacrity and said a few words, apparently of explanation. Didn't clear up anything; TIM insisted on wanting to know, you know; MADDEN nervously read and reread Amendment, couldn't make head or tale of it, but wouldn't do for ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND to say so. Accordingly smiled on TIM with pitying air of superiority. "Couldn't understand what the Lords meant by their Amendment? Well, well; surprised at such confession from one of TIM's acuteness."
Prince ARTHUR all the while turning over Amendment; at length interposed. "The Hon. and learned Gentleman opposite," he observed, "asks for an explanation of this Amendment; I frankly tell him I cannot give it. I don't understand it myself, and as it would be undesirable to include in the Act a provision that might lead to controversy, we will strike it out."
"And thus are our laws made!" said SHIRESS WILLS, throwing out his hands in astonishment.
Certainly a narrow escape. It was after this that KEAY's patent-leather boots glistened on the floor of House as he walked up to take seat below Gangway. Determined to make up for lost time; led astray in all directions; SPEAKER called him to order with increasing sternness; HENNIKER HEATON asked if he might move that for rest of Session he be no longer heard; SPEAKER evidently sorely tempted; here was a short sure way out of the difficulty. Faltered a moment, then rose heroically to sense of duty; put aside proposal, and KEAY went on again for another half-hour. "A long rigmarole," JOKIM called the speech. This not Parliamentary, but no one objected.
Business done.—Land Purchase Bill got ready for Royal Assent.
Friday.—Nothing can exceed MORTON's obliging disposition; talked for half an hour just now on subject of fortune-telling. Members can't prevent ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS from making speeches, but they needn't listen; so kept up lively conversation whilst ALPHEUS talked to CLEOPHAS. When he sat down, it appeared he had desired that his remarks should reach ear of Home Secretary; concluded by asking question; MATTHEWS unwarily protested, that, owing to noise in House, he had not been able to catch the drift of the Hon. Gentleman's remarks.
"Oh, very well," said ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS, "I'll repeat them."
"No! no!" MATTHEWS almost shrieked.
"No trouble at all," said ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS, and he set off again, making his speech once more. Business done.—Very little.
* * * * *
FOR THE BENEFIT OF ZOILUS.
SHAKSPEARE speaks of "the maiden virtue of the Crown." And the word "maiden" bears, in certain constructions, the meanings, "fresh, new, youthful, &c." But when Mr. Punch, comparing generally "Fifty Years Syne" with To-day, says:—
"Then HER MAJESTY, a Maiden Queen, fresh graced the Throne,"
"A SEPTUAGENARIAN" acidly objects, and twits Mr. Punch with premature failure of memory. "Aha! I know that man!" says Mr. P. Mr. Punch, of course, merely meant that about fifty years ago HER MAJESTY was a very youthful Sovereign. Moreover, the comparison made between "Then and Now" was not intended to be confined rigorously to "July 17, 1841," as is shown in the previous stanza, which says:—
"Then TOM HOOD could sing that Song which moved a world to tears,"
meaning "The Song of the Shirt," which, as explained in a footnote, was not published until 1843. Had Mr. Punch written with the fear of ZOILUS before his eyes, he might have appended another foot-note, to explain—for the benefit of ZOILUS—that he did not mean to convey the idea that HER MAJESTY was unmarried when he first made his appearance. Whereto the reply of the Public—all but ZOILUS—would probably have been, "Whoever supposed you did?"
* * * * *
"THEN YOU'LL REMEMBER ME!"—Among the names of those who, within the last ten years, have done good work for Mr. Punch ought to have appeared that of Mr. SAVILE CLARKE, whose cri du coeur from foreign shores has reached Mr. P.'s ears and touched Mr. P.'s heart.
* * * * *
L'ENTENTE CORDIALE.—A portion of the French Fleet is soon to be entertained on English shores. The first of these vessels sighted as it approaches will be sufficient evidence of their French ship towards us.
* * * * *
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.