OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
August 22, 1891.
THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.
SCENE—On the Coach from Braine l'Alleud to Waterloo. The vehicle has a Belgian driver, but the conductor is a true-born Briton. Mr. CYRUS K. TROTTER and his daughter are behind with PODBURY. CULCHARD, who is not as yet sufficiently on speaking terms with his friend to ask for an introduction, is on the box-seat in front.
Mr. Trotter. How are you getting along, MAUD? Your seat pretty comfortable?
Miss Trotter. Well, I guess it would be about as luxurious if it hadn't got a chunk of wood nailed down the middle—it's not going to have anyone confusing it with a bed of roses just yet. (To PODB.) Your friend mad about anything? He don't seem to open his head more'n he's obliged to. I presume he don't approve of your taking up with me and Father—he keeps away from us considerable, I notice.
Podb. (awkwardly). Oh—er—I wouldn't say that, but he's a queer kind of chap rather, takes prejudices into his head and all that. I wouldn't trouble about him if I were you—not worth it, y' know.
Miss T. Thanks—but it isn't going to shorten my existence any.
[CULCH. overhears all this, with feelings that may be imagined.
Belgian Driver (to his horses). Pullep! Allez vite! Bom-bom-bom! Alright!
Conductor (to CULCHARD). 'E's very proud of 'is English, 'e is. 'Ere, JEWLS, ole feller, show the gen'lm'n 'ow yer can do a swear. (Belgian Driver utters a string of English imprecations with the utmost fluency and good-nature.) 'Ark at 'im now! Bust my frogs! (Admiringly, and not without a sense of the appropriateness of the phrase.) But he's a caution, Sir, ain't he? I taught him most o' what he knows!
A French Passenger (to Conductor). Dis done, mon ami, est-ce qu'on peut voir d'ici le champ de bataille?
Conductor (with proper pride). It ain't no use your torkin to me, Mossoo; I don't speak no French myself. (To CULCHARD.) See that field there, Sir?
Culchard (interested). On the right? Yes, what happened there?
Cond. Fine lot o' rabbits inside o' there—big fat 'uns. (To another Passenger.) No, Sir, that ain't Belly Lions as you see from 'ere; that's Mon Sin Jeean, and over there Oogymong, and Chalyroy to the left.
ON THE TOP OF THE MOUND.
CULCHARD, who has purchased a map in the Waterloo Museum as a means of approaching Miss TROTTER, is pounced upon by an elderly Belgian Guide in a blue blouse, from whom he finds it difficult to escape.
The Guide (fixing CULCHARD with a pair of rheumy eyes and a gnarled forefinger). You see vere is dat schmall voodt near de vite 'ouse? not dere, along my shdeek—so. Dat is vare PEECTON vas kill, Inglis Officer, PEECTON. Two days pefore he vas voundet in de ahum. 'E say to his sairvan', "You dell ennipoddies, I keel you!" He vandt to pe in ze bataille: he vas in ze bataille—seven lance troo im, seven; PEECTON, Inglis Officer. (CULCHARD nods his head miserably.) Hah, you 'ave de shart dere—open 'im out vide, dat de odder shentilmans see. (CULCHARD obeys, spell-bound.) Vare you see dat blue gross, Vaterloo Shirshe, vere Loart UXBREEDGE lose 'is laig. Zey cot 'im off and pury him in ze cott-yardt, and a villow grow oudt of 'im. 'E com 'ere to see the villow growing oudt of his laig.
Culch. (abandoning his map, and edging towards Miss TROTTER). Hem—we are gazing upon one of the landmarks of our national history—Miss TROTTER.
Miss T. That's a vurry interesting re-mark. I presume you must have studied up some for a reflection of that kind. Mr. PODBURY, your friend has been telling me— [She repeats CULCHARD's remark.
Podb. (with interest). Got any more of those, old fellow?
[CULCHARD moves away with disgusted hauteur.
The Guide (re-capturing him). Along dat gross vay, VELLAINTON meet BLUSHAIR. Prussian general, BLUSHAIR, VELLAINTON 'e com hier. I see 'im. Ven 'e see ze maundt 'e vos vair angri. 'E say, "Eet is no ze battle-fiel' no more—I com back nevare!" Zat aidge is vere de Scots Greys vas. Ven they dell NAPOLEON 'oo zey are, 'e say. "Fine mens—splendid mens, I feenish dem in von hour!" SOULT 'e say, "Ah, Sire, you do not know dose dairible grey 'orses!" NAPOLEON 'e not know dem. SOULT 'e meet dem at de Peninsulaire—'e know dem. In dat Shirsh, dventy, dirty dablets to Inglis officers. NAPOLEON 'e coaled op 'is laift vink, zey deploy in line, vair you see my shdeek—ha, ze shentelman is gone avay vonce more!
Miss Trotter (to CULCHARD, who has found himself unable to keep away). You don't seem to find that old gentleman vurry good company?
Culch. The fact is that I much prefer to receive my impressions of a scene like this in solitude.
Miss T. I should have thought you'd be too polite to tell me so; but I was moving on, anyway.
[She goes on. Before CULCHARD can follow and explain, he finds himself accosted by Mr. TROTTER.
Mr. T. I don't know as I'm as much struck by this Waterloo field as I expected, Sir. As an Amurrcan, I find it doesn't come up to some of our battlefields in the War. We don't blow about those battlefields, Sir, but for style and general picturesqueness, I ain't seen nothing this side to equal them. You ever been over? You want to come over and see our country—that's what you want to do. You mustn't mind me a-running on, but when I meet someone as I can converse with in my own language—well, I just about talk myself dry.
[He talks himself dry, until rejoined by the Guide with PODBURY and Miss TROTTER.
Guide (to PODBURY). Leesten, I dell you. My vader—eighteen, no in ze Airmi, laboreur man—he see NAPOLEON standt in a saircle; officers roundt 'im. Boots, op to hier; green cott; vite vaiscott; vite laigs—
Podbury. Your father's legs?
Guide. No, Sare; my vader see NAPOLEON's laigs; leedle 'at, qvite plain; no faither—nossing.
Podbury. But you just said you had a faither!
Guide. I say, NAPOLEON 'ad no faither—vat you call it?—plume—in 'is 'at, at ze bataille.
Podbury. Are you sure? I thought the history books said he "stuck a feather in his hat, and called it Macaroni."
Miss T. I presume you're thinking of our National Amurrcan character, Yankee Doodle?
Guide. My vader, 'e no see NAPOLEON viz a Yankedoodle in 'is 'at; 'e vear nossing.
Podbury. Nothing? What became of the green coat and white waistcoat, then, eh?
Guide. Ah, you unnerstan' nossing at all! Leesten, I dell you vonce more. My vader—
Podbury. No, look here, my friend; you go and tell that gentleman all about it (indicating CULCHARD); he's very interested in hearing what NAPOLEON wore or didn't wear.
[The Guide takes possession of CULCHARD once more, who submits, under the impression that Miss TROTTER is a fellow-sufferer.
Guide (concluding a vivid account of the fight at Houguymont). Bot ven zey com qvite nearer, zey vind ze rade line no ze Inglis soldiers—nossing bot a breek vall, viz ze moskets—'Prown Pesses,' you coal dem—shdeekin out of ze 'oles! Ze 'oles schdill dere. Dat vas Houguymont, in the orshairde. Now you com viz me and see ze lion. Ze dail, two piece; ze bodi, von piece; ze ball, von piece. I sank you, Sare. 'Ope you com again soon.
[CULCHARD discovers that the TROTTERS and PODBURY have gone down some time ago. At the foot of the steps he finds his friend waiting for him, alone.
Culch. (with stiff politeness). Sorry you considered it necessary to stay behind on my account. I see your American friends have already started for the station.
Podbury (gloomily). There were only two seats on that coach, and they wouldn't wait for the next. I don't know why, unless it was that they saw you coming down the steps. She can't stand you at any price.
Culch. (with some heat). Just as likely she had had enough of your buffoonery!
Podb. (with provoking good humour). Come, old chap, don't get your shirt out with me. Not my fault if she's found out you think yourself too big a swell for her, is it?
Culch. (hotly). When did I say so—or think so? It's what you've told her about me, and I must say I call it—
Podb. Don't talk bosh! Who said she was forward and bad form and all the rest of it in the courtyard that first evening? She was close by, and heard every word of it, I shouldn't wonder.
Culch. (colouring). It's not of vital importance if she did. (Whistling.) Few-fee-fee-foo-foodle-di-fee-di-fa-foo.
Podb. Not a bit—to her. Better step out if we mean to catch that train. (Humming.) La-di-loodle-lumpty-leedle-um-ti-loo!
[They step out, PODBURY humming pleasantly and CULCHARD whistling viciously, without further conversation, until they arrive at Braine l'Alleud Station—and discover that they have just missed their train.
* * * * *
* * * * *
OR, THE CHRISTIAN CZAR AND THE HEATHEN CHINEE.
[A decree issued by the Emperor of CHINA (in connection with the recent anti-foreign agitation in that country) points out that the relations between the Chinese and the foreign missionaries have been those of peace and goodwill, and that the Christians are protected by treaty and by Imperial edicts, and commands the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors to protect the Christians and put down the leaders in the riots.]
Many writers remark,— And their language is plain, That for cruelty dark, And for jealousy vain, The Heathen Chinee is peculiar,— In future perhaps they'll refrain.
AH-SIN has his faults, Which one cannot deny; And some recent assaults On the mis-sion-a-ry, Have been worthy of—say Christian Russia, When dealing with small Hebrew fry.
But the EMPEROR seems stirred Persecution to bar, Which it might be inferred That I mean the White CZAR; But I don't. On the Muscovite CAESAR Such charity clearly would jar.
He's always the same, And he'll not stay his hand; The poor Jews are fair game In a great "Christian" Land; But the Lord of the Pencil Vermilion Rebukes his fanatical band.
A Heathen—of course!— (Whilst the CZAR is a Saint) But a sign of remorse At the Christian's complaint May be seen in the edict he's issued, Which might make a great Autocrat faint.
A Christian, 'tis true, To a Heathen Chinee Is as bad as a Jew Must undoubtedly be To an orthodox Christian of Russdom, Too "pious" for mere Char-i-tee.
So one Emperor stones His poor Israelites, Whilst the other one owns Even Christians have "rights," And, although they're (of course) "foreign devils," Their peace with good-will he requites.
Which is why, I maintain (And my language is free) That the CZAR, though he's vain Of his Or-tho-dox-y, Might learn from his Emperor cousin, Though he's only a Heathen Chinee!
* * * * *
NEWS OF "OUR HENRY" (communicated by Mr. J.L. T-LE).—To our interviewer the eminent actor replied, "Yes, suffering from bad sore throat, but may talk, as it's hoarse exercise which has been recommended. A stirrup-cup at parting? By all means. My cob is an excellent trotter, so I pledge you, with a bumper well-in-hand. Good-day!" And so saying, he gaily waved his plumed hat, and rode away.
* * * * *
"RATHER A LARGE ORDER."—"The Order of the Elephant" conferred on President CARNOT by the King of Denmark. This should include an Order for the Grand Trunk, in which to carry it about. The proper person to receive this Order is evidently the Grand Duke of Tusk-any.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE UNHYGIENIC HOUSEHOLDER.
AFTER READING THE REPORTS OF THE CONGRESS.
Tell me not in many a column, I must pull up all my drains; Or with faces long and solemn, Threaten me with aches and pains. Let me end this wintry summer, 'Mid the rain as best I may, Without calling in the plumber, For he always comes to stay.
I appreciate the Prince's Shrewd remarks about our lot; But the horror he evinces At our dangers, frights me not. Science in expostulation, Shows our rules of health are wrong; But in days when sanitation Was unknown, men lived as long.
If the air with microbes thickens, Like some mirk malefic mist, Tell me prithee how the dickens We can manage to exist. From the poison breathed each minute, Man ere this had surely died; When we see the fell things in it, On the microscopic slide.
I'm aware we're oft caught napping, And the scientist can say, That our yawning drains want trapping, Lest the deadly typhoid stay. Even with your house in order, If you go to take the air, So to speak, outside your border, Lo! the merry germs are there.
Doctors vow, in tones despotic, I must dig 'neath basement floors, Lest diseases called zymotic Enter in at all my pores. PARKES, of sanitation master, Wanted "purity and light;" I'm content to risk disaster, With unhygienic night.
* * * * *
QUEER QUERIES.—HYMENEAL.—I have been asked to attend the wedding of a friend, and respond to the toast of "The Ladies." I have never done such a thing before, and feel rather nervous about it. My friend says that I must "try and be very comic." I have thought of one humorous remark—about the "weaker sex" being really stronger—which I fancy will be effective, but I can't think of another. Would one good joke of that sort be sufficient? A propos of the lady marksman at Bisley, I should like to advise all ladies to "try the Butts," only I am afraid this might be taken for a reference to the President of the Divorce Division. How could I work the Jackson case in neatly? Would it be allowable to pin my speech on the wedding-cake, and read it off? Also, could I wear a mask? Any hints would be welcomed by—BEST MAN.
* * * * *
NOT QUITE POLITE.—The Manager of the Shaftesbury Theatre advertises "three distinct plays at 8.15, 9.15, and 10." Distinct, but not quite clear. Anyhow, isn't it rather a slur on other Theatres where it implies the plays, whether at 8.15, 9.15, or 10, are "indistinct."
* * * * *
SOME CIRCULAR NOTES.
Prospect of Holiday—An Entree—A Character in the Opening—Light and Leading—French Exercise—Proposition—Acceptation—Light Comedian—Exit—Jeudi alors—The Start.
I am sitting, fatigued, in my study. I have not taken a holiday this year, or last, for the matter of that. Others have; I haven't. Work! work! work!—and I am wishing that my goose-quills were wings ("so appropriate!" whisper my good-natured friends behind their hands to one another), so that I might fly away and be at rest. To this they (the goose-quills, not the friends) have often assisted me ere now. Suddenly, as I sit "a-thinking, a-thinking," my door is opened, and, without any announcement, there stands before me a slight figure, of middle height, in middle age, nothing remarkable about his dress, nothing remarkable about his greyish hair and close-cut beard, but something very remarkable about his eyes, which sparkle with intelligence and energy; and something still more remarkable about the action of his arms, hands, and thin, wiry fingers, which suggests the idea of his being an animated semaphore worked by a galvanic battery, telegraphing signals against time at the rate of a hundred words a minute, the substantives being occasionally expressed, but mostly "understood,"—pronouns and prepositions being omitted wholesale.
"What! DAUBINET!" I exclaim, he being the last person I had expected to see, having, indeed, a letter on my desk from him, dated yesterday and delivered this morning, to that he was then, at the moment of writing, and practically therefore for the next forty-eight hours—at least; so it would be with any ordinary individual—in Edinburgh. But DAUBINET is not an ordinary individual, and the ordinary laws of motion to and from any given point do not apply to him. He is a Flying Frenchman—here, there, and everywhere; especially everywhere. So mercurial, that he will be in advance of Mercury himself, and having written a letter in the morning to say he is coming, it is not unlikely that he will travel by the next train, arrive before the letter, and then wonder that you weren't prepared to receive him. Such, in a brief sketch, is mon ami DAUBINET.
"Aha! me voici!" he cries, shaking my hand warmly. Then he sings, waving his hat in his left hand, and still grasping my right with his, "Voici le sabre de mon pere!" which reminiscence of OFFENBACH has no particular relevancy to anything at the present moment; but it evidently lets off some of his superfluous steam. He continues, always with my hand in his, "J'arrive! inattendu! Mais, mon cher,"—here he turns off the French stop of his polyglot organ, and, as it were, turns on the English stop,—continuing his address to me in very distinctly-pronounced English, "I wrote to you to say I would be here," then pressing the French stop, he concludes with, "ce matin, n'est-ce pas?"
"Parfaitement, mon cher," I reply, giving myself a chance of airing a little French, being on perfectly safe ground, as he thoroughly understands English; indeed, he understands several languages, and, if I flounder out of my depth in foreign waters, one stroke will bring me safe on to the British rock of intelligibility again; or, if I obstinately persist in floundering, and am searching for the word as for a plank, he will jump in and rescue me. Under these circumstances, I am perfectly safe in talking French to him "Mais je ne vous attendais ce matin"—I've got an idea that this is something uncommonly grammatical—"a cause de votre lettre que je viens de recevoir"—this, I'll swear, is idiomatic—"ce matin. La voila!" I pride myself on "La," as representing my knowledge that "lettre," to which it refers, is feminine.
"Caramba!" he exclaims—an exclamation which, I have every reason to suppose, from want of more definite information, is Spanish. "Caramba! that letter is from Edinburgh; j'ai visite Glasgow, the Nord et partout, et je suis de retour, I am going on business to Reims, pour revenir par Paris,—si vous voudrez me donner le plaisir de votre compagnie—de Jeudi prochain a Mardi—vous serez mon invite,—et je serai charme, tres charme."
Being already carried away in imagination to Reims, and returning by Paris, I am at once inclined to reply,
"Enchante! with the greatest pleasure."
"Hoch! Hoch! Hurra!" he cries, by way of response, waving his hat. Then he sings loudly, "And—bless the Prince of WALES!" After which, being rather proud of his mastery of Cockneyisms, he changes the accent, still singing, "Blaass the Prince of WAILES!" which he considers his chef d'oeuvre as an imitation of a genuine Cockney tone, to which it bears exactly such resemblance as does a scene of ordinary London life drawn by a French artist. Then he says, seriously—"Eh bien! allons! C'est fixe—it is fixed. We meet Victoria, et alors, par London, Chatham & Dover, from Reims via Calais, tres bien,—train d'onze heures precises,—bien entendu. J'y suis. Ihr Diener! Adios! A reverderla! Addio, amico caro!" Then he utters something which is between a sneeze and a growl, supposed to be a term of endearment in the Russian tongue. Finally he says in English, "Good-bye!"
His hat is on in a jiffy (which I take to be the hundredth part of a second) and he is down the stairs into the hall, and out at the door "like a flying light comedian" with an airy "go" about him, which recalls to my mind the running exits of CHARLES WYNDHAM in one of his lightest comedy-parts. "Au revoir! Pour Jeudi alors!" I hear him call this out in the hall; the door bangs as if a firework had exploded and blown my vivacious friend up into the air, and he has gone.
"Jeudi alors" arrives, and I am at Victoria for the eleven o'clock Express to the minute, having decided that this is the best, shortest, and cheapest holiday I can take. I've never yet travelled with my excellent French friend DAUBINET. I am to be his guest; all responsibility is taken off my shoulders except that of my ticket and luggage, and to travel without responsibility is in itself a novelty. To have to think of nothing and nobody, not even of oneself! Away! away!
* * * * *
POLITESSE.—The following version of our great popular Naval Anthem will be issued, it is hoped, from Whitehall (the French being supplied by the Lords of the Admiralty in conjunction) to all the musical Naval Captains in command at Portsmouth. The graceful nature of the intended compliment cannot escape the thickest-headed land-lubber:—
Dirige, Madame la France, Madame la France dirigera les vagues! Messieurs les Francais ne seront jamais, jamais, jamais, Esclaves!
The effect of the above, when the metre is carefully fitted to the tune (which is a work of time), and sung by a choir (with accent) of a thousand British Blue-jackets, will doubtless be quite electrical.
* * * * *
NOTE BY A TRAVELLING FELLOW FIRST CLASSIC.—There's no passage in any Classical author, Latin or Greek, so difficult as is the passage between Dover and Calais on a rough day, and yet, strange to say, the translation is comparatively easy.
* * * * *
A PICTURE ON THE LINE.—Sketch taken at the Equator.
* * * * *
QUITE A LITTLE NOVELTY.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—As Englishmen are so often accused of want of originality, I hope you will let me call your attention to an occasion when it was conclusively proved that at least two of the British race were free from the reproach. The date to which I refer was the 1st of August last, when "a new and original drama," entitled The Trumpet Call, was produced at the Royal Adelphi Theatre, and the two exceptions to the general rule then proclaimed were Messrs. GEORGE R. SIMS and ROBERT BUCHANAN, its authors. The plot of this truly new and original piece is simple in the extreme. Cuthbertson, a young gentleman, has married his wife in the belief that his Wife No. 1 (of whom he has lost sight), is dead. Having thus ceased to be a widower, Cuthbertson is confronted by Wife No. 1 and deserts Wife No. 2. Assured by the villain of the piece that she is not really married to Cuthbertson, Wife No. 2 prepares to marry her informant. The nuptials are about to be celebrated in the Chapel Royal, Savoy, when enter Wife No. 1 who explains that she was a married woman when she met Cuthbertson, and therefore, a fair, or rather unfair, bigamist. Upon this Cuthbertson (who is conveniently near in a pew, wearing the unpretentious uniform of the Royal Horse Artillery), rushes into the arms of the lady who has erroneously been numbered Wife No. 2, when she has been in reality Wife No. 1, and all is joy. Now I need scarcely point out to you that nothing like this has ever been seen on the stage before. It is a marvel to me how Messrs. SIMS and BUCHANAN came to think of such clever things.
But if it had been only the plot that was original, I should not have been so anxious to direct attention to The Trumpet Call. But the incidents and characters are equally novel. For instance, unlike The Lights o' London, there is a caravan and a showman. Next, unlike In the Ranks, there are scenes of barrack-life that are full of freshness and originality. In Harbour Lights, if my memory does not play me false, the hero enlisted in the Guards, in The Trumpet Call he joins the Royal Horse Artillery. Then, again, unlike the scene in the New Cut in The Lights o' London, there is a view by night of the exterior of the Mogul Music Hall. Further, there is a "Doss House" scene, that did not for a moment (or certainly not for more than a moment) recall to my mind that gathering of the poor in the dark arches of a London bridge, in one of BOUCICAULT's pieces. By the way, was that play, After Dark, or was it The Streets of London? I really forget which. Then, all the characters in the new play are absolutely new and original. The hero who will bear everything for his alleged wife's sake, and weeps over his child, is quite new. So is the heroine who takes up her residence with poor but amusing showmen, instead of wealthy relatives. That is also quite new, and there was nothing like it in The Lights o' London. The villain, too, who will do and dare anything (in reason) to wed the lady who has secured his affections, is also a novelty. So is a character played by Miss CLARA JECKS as only Miss CLARA JECKS can and does play it. And there are many more equally bright and fresh, and, in a word, original.
So, my dear Mr. Punch, hasten to the Royal Adelphi Theatre, if you wish to see something that will either wake you up or send you to sleep. Go, my dear Mr. Punch, and sit out The Trumpet Call, and when you have seen it, you will understand why I sign myself,
Yours faithfully, ONE WHO HAS SEEN NOTHING LIKE IT BEFORE.
* * * * *
"FRENCH AS SHE IS SPOKE."
From Admiral Gervais to My Lor' Maire.
Much we regret, Lor' Maire, mon cher, Your banquet to refuse; But if you fear not mal de mer, Pack up your malle de mer, mon cher, And join us in a cruise.
From My Lor' Maire to Admiral Gervais.
Mon cher GERVAIS, Can't say "Je vais," Except "Je vais L'autre cote." GERVAIS, tu vas,— Moi—je ne vais pas.
* * * * *
LE ROI (EN GARCON) EN VOYAGE, S'AMUSE;
OR, WHAT HIS JUVENILE MAJESTY PACKED IN HIS "GLADSTONE," AND SET DOWN IN HIS NOTES, &C.
Ollendorff—Servian—in French, German, Russian, and any other Eastern tongues, as yet published.
Twelve dozen Boxes of Tin Soldiers.
Ditto, ditto, Bricks to Match.
Complete Letter Writer (with addenda), specially added by his "Papa," as models to be followed more or less closely when addressing his mother on matters of a homely and domestic character.
The Boy-King's Guide to the proper and decent method of presiding at a Cabinet Council, showing how the same may be conducted conjointly with the introduction of Ninepins, or some other equally interesting, intellectual, and manly game.
List of the best Sweet-stuff Shops.
Ditto, ditto of what's going on, and most worth looking up in places we visit.
Hand-Book to Leger de Main, with special reference to Practical Joking at State Functions, and other High Jinks!
Shilling Hand-Book to Home Made Fireworks, with Permanent Order signed by War Minister for supply of necessary materials.
* * * * *
HYJINKS AND HYGIENE.
Hygiene and Demography! Never before With such wonderful names has a Conference met, With statistics by thousands and papers galore As to what Demos wants, as to what he's to get. It's not always perfectly clear what they mean. Yet, perhaps an outsider is right when he thinks Though no doubt they would die for beloved Hygiene, As a matter of fact they indulge in High Jinks.
* * * * *
NEW WORK BY SIR AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS—to be included in the "Opera Omnia," by the same Author writing under a nom de plume, entitled, "Legs Taglionis; or, Little Steps for Babes in the Ballet. By a Pa' de Quatre." Also "Classes and Lasses," same series.
* * * * *
* * * * *
NEPTUNE'S "AT HOME;" OR, NEIGHBOURS UNITED.
The French are all coming, for so they declare, Of their fleet and their tars all the papers advise us; They're to come o'er the sea and to Portsmouth repair, Their squadrons at Spithead will please, not surprise us. Their fleet is to come for a right friendly spree; To promise them "skylarks" is hardly presumption. They're welcome to NEPTUNE's old "Halls by the Sea." Of powder and grog there'll be mighty consumption, In toasts and salutes, for they're friends and invited; JOHN and JOHNNY clasp paws, And drink deep to the Cause Of NEPTUNE's two guests and brave Neighbours United!
The scribes and the specials report wondrous things, Of the grand preparations, the routs and the rackets. Gone the old days of huge wooden walls and white wings, We now meet without mutual dusting of jackets. Well so much the better! Our seas let them try, Their squadrons are welcome to float 'em and swim 'em. Like good Cap'n Cuttle we'll smile and "stand by," Friendly bumpers we'll empty as fast as they brim 'em To welcome his guests Father NEPTUNE's delighted, He'll clasp both their paws, And drink deep to the Cause Of Sailors as shipmates and Neighbours United!
Old NEP is "At Home" to the Sailors of France. Old foes turn new friends as their reason grows riper; "All hands for Skylarking!" A measure we'll dance, With friendship for fiddler and pleasure for piper. 'Tis a good many years since they sought our white shore; Once more at hands'-grip we are glad to have got 'em. As to Jingos or Chauvinists,—out on the bores! Such Jonahs should promptly be plumped to the bottom; Poor swabs! For this party they are not invited; Shall they come athwart hawse As we drink to the Cause Of Shipmates for ever and Neighbours United?
Yes, we know that humanity fondly may scheme For Peace, of all ills the supposed panacea: We know that Utopia's only a dream, Unbroken good fellowship but an idea. Old NEP knows his great Naval Show is now on, And ARMSTRONG and WHITWORTH's huge works he's aware on; He sees what our shipwrights and gunsmiths have done To send foes o'er the Styx in the barque of old Charon. At sight of War's murderous monsters half frighted, E'en valour may pause, And drink deep to the Cause, Of Good-will among Nations and Neighbours United!
But, gushing apart, 'tis a sight for sad eyes To see ancient rivals on joint messmate duty. A French ship in our waters and not as a prize Might once have perturbed British Valour and Beauty. But now Father NEPTUNE, "At Home," calmly grips His trident, and smiles with most friendly benignity. We welcome French Sailors, and shout for French ships, Without an abatement of patriot dignity. To see any friend of JOHN BULL NEP's delighted. He holds out his paws, And will drink to the Cause Of Peace on the Ocean and Neighbours United!
Then shout, Britons, shout, while the neighbouring crews Hob-nob, as the symbol of neighbouring nations; Whilst NEPTUNE at Home welcomes brave Brother Blues, And serves out the stingo to each in fair rations. Your spirits, ye sturdy old seadogs, might smile On a friendship which to your true hearts is no treason. The Sea-God makes free of his favourite Isle The French lads he once would have shied, and with reason. Now to greet brave GERVAIS and his tars he's delighted. Midst general applause Let us drink to the Cause. Hooray for NEP's Visitors, Neighbours United!
* * * * *
* * * * *
TO THE SHELVED SEX.
(BY ONE WHO KEEPS HIS EARS OPEN.)
["Believing firmly in the absolute justice of woman's claim to the 'Parliamentary' franchise, I shall at all times support that claim."—Mr. Logan, the new M.P. for the Harborough Division.]
O woman, in our hours of ease. The mockery of false M.P.'s! When an Election comes in sight, E'en Ministers admit thy "right." Believe them not; they do not dote On the Political Petticoat. 'Tis all a politic pretence. Some of them are upon the fence; Some of them have "political" wives, And shirking stings in their home-hives, Take up "the Cause" with a sham zeal, Which not five in five thousand feel. But hear them over a Club-dinner Chuckling about the "pretty sinner" Who hankers for that finer Club, The House o' Commons! There's the rub! They do not want you there, my dears; The prospect of your "franchise" queers Wire-pullers' plans, and party reckoning— Hope, in male guise, stands blandly beckoning. He—Codlin—is the friend, not Short, But, in his heart he's making sport. Of course 'tis wickedest of shames, But—recollect Sir HENRY JAMES, Your open enemy avowed, Did not the House o' Commons crowd Of frauds and shams play up to him, And shelve "the Female Franchise" whim Only the other day? Sheer diddle! Have you not nous to read the riddle? How wondrous prompt was W.G. To back up SMITH! With what sly glee The "Woman's-Rightists" did subside. And—sub silentio—let you slide! Your Grand Old Man, dears,—well, he's human. He doesn't want some Grand Old Woman As colleague or as rival. WOODALL? Well, he is gentle, genial, good all; But there's a twinkle in his eye Persuades me that he would not die Did you consent to drop your "claim." And now there comes another name To raise for Shes the party slogan. Well, trust, dears—if you like—to LOGAN; He "will support you at all times!" Keep your eye on him! SHAKSPEARE's rhymes Tell you "Men were deceivers ever." M.P.'s wise, foolish, crass, and clever, Are—nominally—on your side, And—privately—your cause deride. Take the straight tip, my dears—I glean it From private talk—they don't half mean it!
* * * * *
THE VOLUNTEERS' FOOTHOLD.—SHOEBURYNESS.
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
BORN, FEB. 22, 1819. DIED, AUG. 12, 1891.
"We could not have been prouder of him had he been one of us."—Times.
Bard of two worlds, and friend of both, As ripe in years as culture, verily To miss that voice two worlds are loth, In which much wisdom spake so merrily. A voice, and no mere echo, thine, Of many tones, but manly ever. Thy rustic Biglow's rugged line A grateful world neglecteth never! It smote hypocrisy and cant With flail-like force; sleek bards that ripple Like shallow pools—who pose and pant, And vaguely smudge or softly stipple,— These have not brain or heart to sing As Biglow sang, our quaint Hosea, Whose "Sunthin in the Pastoral line," Full primed with picture and idea, Lives, with "The Courtin'," unforgot, And worth whole volumes of sham-Shen-stone. Yes, you could catch, as prigs may not, Pure women's speech and valiant men's tone. Zekle and Huldy in our hearts Have found a place. But a true Poet, Like SHAKSPEARE's Man, plays many parts. You chid us sharply, well we know it, For you'd the gift of Satire strong, And knew just how to lay the lash on. You smote what you thought British wrong, Well, that won't put us in a passion. "I ken write long-tailed if I please," You said. And truly, polished writer, More like "a gentleman at ease," Never touched quill than this shrewd smiter. Your "moral breath of temperament" Found scope in scholarly urbanity; And wheresoever LOWELL went Sounded the voice of Sense and Sanity. We loved you, and we loved your wit. Thinking of you, uncramped, uncranky; Our hearts, ere we're aware of it, "Run helter-skelter into Yankee." "For puttin' in a downright lick 'Twixt Humbug's eyes, there's few to metch it." Faith, how you used it; ever quick Where'er Truth dwelt, to dive and fetch it. Vernacular or cultured verse, The scholar's speech, the ploughman's patter You'd use, but still in each were terse, As clear in point as full in matter. You'd not disdain "the trivial flute," The rustic Pan-pipe you would finger, Yet could you touch "Apollo's lute" To tones on which Love's ear would linger. Farewell, farewell! Two countries loved, Two countries mourn you. None will quarrel With English hands, which, unreproved, Lay on your bier an English Laurel!
* * * * *
AN OLD SCHOOL BUOY.—Under the heading of "Church and Schools," the St. James's Gazette gave an interesting illustration of "public spirit in schools." It recounted how "An Old Bedford Boy"—no relation to ROBERT, the Waiter, we believe—in the course of returning thanks, said, "I have bathed in all the great rivers of the world." Then he added, "the water of the sluggish Ouse is the sweetest of them all." Oddly enough his name was "ZINCKE," though evidently he must be a first-rate "Zwimmer." With genuine love for his old school, he might have added that he wished he was a Buoy again. But he seems to have got on swimmingly everywhere.
* * * * *
"HELPS" AND WHELPS.
The following advertisement appeared some little time since in the columns of a daily contemporary:—
To those who have not time to give their dogs sufficient exercise in London.—A Lady, experienced, would EXERCISE DOGS in the Park. Terms, one hour daily, 5s. a week; two hours, 7s. 6d.—Address, &c.
Listen to this, Rover, my hound! This passes expectation! A "Lady Guide," who'll trot you round For scant remuneration!
When pain and anguish wring my brow Because I'm doomed to hark To your "Why-not-go-out?" bow-wow, She'll take you to the Park!
Cometh this ministering sprite, Smiling upon us meekly, And says, "I'll make your burden light For seven-and-sixpence weekly."
They talk of "woman's sphere," when sole, Her hemisphere, when mated; But surely here she's reached the goal For which she was created!
She'll chaperon you down the Row, With silken cord she'll lead Your footsteps where the flowerets blow,— A "lucky dog," indeed!
She'll win your love by bits of cake, She'll let you bark, or growl, And fight with other dogs, and make War on the water-fowl.
Yet is it right your wayward tramp Her maiden steps should hamper? No one who knows you for a scamp Would take you for a scamper!
And oh!—a thought most base and black, That puts me in a fluster— My Rover, would she bring you back? No, no, I will not trust her!
The offer tempts—(again that bark!)— But no—'tis weak to falter; The chain that leads you to the Park May lead me to the Altar!
* * * * *
FROM A VERY OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT.—"At Craig-y-nos we've been keeping up quite Craig-y-noces. High jinks up here. Craig-y-nos means the 'Rock of the Night,' but, mind you, no rock has been required by any of us when we did go to bed, even though we had real Welsh rabbits for supper. Madame PATTI, who takes the Patti-cake here, is far too wiry ever to be a Patti de foie gras. Delicious air here, as any air must be in which PATTI has a voice.—Yours truly,
"THE APPIEST OF THE AP JONESES."
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE DEMOGRAPHIC VADE MECUM.
Question. You properly attended the Congress last week?
Answer. Certainly, by wearing a small brooch pinned on the flap of my coat.
Q. What effect had this on the cabmen?
A. To cause them to charge me just double the customary fares.
Q. Did you go to the Inaugural Meeting?
A. Of course, but as it was so crowded, I could get no further than the door.
Q. Did you hear the speech of the Prince of WALES?
A. Unfortunately not; but I had the advantage of seeing the top of his Royal Highness's head.
Q. Did you go to the Soiree in Lincoln's Inn Fields, at the Hall of the Royal College of Surgeons?
A. I did, and was much amused at finding myself drinking claret cup in the museum devoted to skeletons.
Q. Did you go to the reception at Guildhall?
A. Certainly, and was greatly gratified at the amusements supplied to the Lord Mayor's guests.
Q. What were those amusements?
A. So far as I could see, the Band of the Grenadier Guards, conducted by Lieut. DAN GODFREY in undress uniform, playing before Sir JOSEPH SAVORY, Bart.; and some charters under a glass case.
Q. Was that all?
A. Well, I heard some harps, and then of course there were the Lord Mayor's trumpeters.
Q. Did you get your hat and coat in comfort?
A. In great comfort—after I had fought like a wild beast with other wild beasts for an hour and a half to get up to the place of distribution.
Q. Was this part of the programme badly managed?
A. It was not managed at all. The City Authorities had not even had the sense to put the numbers available at each counter en evidence.
Q. Did you derive any linguistic learning from this struggle?
A. Certainly. I heard bad language in sixteen different tongues.
Q. And what (as a connoisseur) did you think of the oaths?
A. That none were comparable to that English expletive which is equally suggestive of a barrier in a river, the mother of a lamb, and the observations of an angry man.
Q. Did you go anywhere else?
A. The entertainments I attended were so numerous that it is impossible to remember a tithe of them.
Q. And what did you do about Science?
A. Left it for discussion until the meeting of the Congress to be held next year!
* * * * *
* * * * *
ROBERT'S AMERICAN FRIENDS.
My Amerrycane Frend has cum back again to the "Grand Hotel." He has bin with us nearly a month, and says he finds it, as before, the werry best Hotel anywheres for a jowial Bacheldore. I thinks as he's about the coolest card as I ever seed, tho as good natured as a reel Lady, and I don't think as that's at all a bad karacter. When he heard as the Germun EMPRER was a cummin to Gildhall, he acshally arsked me to interdooce him to the Lord MARE, as he wanted a few tickets for hisself and frends! And when I told him as that coudn't be manidged, he arsked where he coud buy a few, as he supposed as money coud buy anythink, and praps he wasn't so werry rong arter all. He had two or three Amerrycan frends to dinner the other day, and didn't they jest tork away. One of 'em arsked me if I didn't think as it was shamefoolly xtravagant to give the Lord MARE of our little City jest the same salary for governing his one little square mile, as they in Amerrykey gave their Presedent for governing their hole country, altho it was about thirty times larger than ours. To which I boldly replied most suttenly not, becoz I had herd as there was lots of Presedents in the World, but ony one Lord MARE of London, to which my frend shouted out, "Bravo, ROBERT, that's one to you!"
Amost all their tork was about what they calls their "World's Show," as is to be held at Chickargo, I thinks they called it, the year after next, and what they have naterally come here for, is to arrange for the Lord MARE and his too Sherryffs, with their State Carridges, and state Footmen, and state Robes, to go over and show 'em how to open it! And the funniest one of the lot acshally said as I must go with 'em, for the World's Show woud not be a perfect show without they had in it the most horiginal specimen of a reel London Hed Waiter to show to their 50 million peeple! And I am to have the werry biggest tip as ever a Hed Waiter had. And I'm quite sure as they meant it all, for they larfed all the while as they torked about it.
This same one had a Ticket for Guildhall the hother heavening, when about four thowsand gests was there, and jolly fun he says it was, for they all seemed to begin a drinking of werry good Shampane about Nine a Clock, and kep on at it for above three hours, for there wasn't not nothink else for 'em to do, and so they did that, and did it well.
He arsked me if I coud remember what outlandish names the principal gests was all called, and when I told him I thort they was HIGH-GIN and DEMMY-GROGGY, they all roared again, and shouted out, "that's another to you ROBERT; go ahead, my tulip!" Tho what they meant I'm sure I don't kno.
Our gentlemanly Manager looked in to see how they was a getting on, and when they told him what they called my last joke, ewen he larfed away like the best on 'em. The fust time I gets a chance I'll ask him to explain it all to me.
What seemed to have struck the Amerrycan most, was what he described as the twelve most bewtifool Angels, all most bewtifoolly drest, in most bewtifool close, a playing most bewtifool toons on most bewtifool Arps! which he said reminded him more of Heaven than anythink he had ever seen or heard. He arsked me the name of the bewtifool hair as they played three times, and when I told him as I believed as it was a Welsh wun, and was called "The March of the Men of Garlick," he wonderd how men with such bad taste could have written such sweet music.
They can tell jolly good staggerers they can! Why one on 'em said as how we was a getting so scrowged up in the old Country, that they thort of giving us jest a little slice of theirs, and as theirs was about thirty times as big as ours, they could easily spare it.
But this I must and will say, they are perfect Gennelmen, and, as the best possibel proof of it, they is allers werry libbral to me.
* * * * *
Interesting romance is MARION CRAWFORD's Witch of Prague: the witch novel might easily have been told in one volume instead of three. Skipping is good exercise.
The casual reader, and the travelling reader or journey-alist, won't get much better entertainment for his money than he will find in Stories of Old and New Spain, by THOMAS A. JANVIER. No April foolin' around on the part of JANVIER with metaphysical digressions, but all straight to the point. For sensation, try Saint Mary of the Angels. Adelphi melodrama isn't in it with this story. Also in San Antonio there is a simple, quiet humour; and The Legend of Padre Jose is singularly touching. Altogether a book this of infinite variety. (Signed) BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
"HOW'S THAT FOR HY"-GIENIC?—In spite of the London Season being over, the Hygienic Congress had what 'ARRY would call a "'igh old time" of it in London last week. In anticipation of their next merry meeting, a distinguished member of the Association is already busily engaged in preparing a paper on "The Real and Apparent Connection between 'Hygiene' and 'High Jinks.'"
* * * * *
UNDER THE SCREW.
(BY A LIBERAL M.P.)
Oh, where shall I go, and what shall I do? Turn which way I will, I am under the screw. Every Voter must feel a tight clutch on the throat Of my conscience—poor thing!—ere he'll promise his vote. PAT late was my patron,—'twas only his fun! Now he's "three single gentlemen" not rolled in one. There's PARNELL, MACARTHY, and SAUNDERSON! Phew! If I partly please one, I make foemen of two. Hang Ireland! And Scotland is getting as bad. The S.H.R.A. will insist on their fad; And their plan, too, is "pressure!" It's just nought but "squeeze." And the poor M.P.'s life is one long "Little-Ease." TAFFY too takes his turn at the merciless rack, And there isn't a faddist, fanatic, or quack But has his own Screw, which he wants to apply. The Temperance Man "Direct Veto" would try, And if I'm not found to accept it with glee, He's vicious, and puts direct veto on me. Ungenerous hot Anti-Jennerites claim My vote against vaccine, or howl at my name; The Working-Man wants his Eight Hours, or, by Jingo, He'll give me—at polling—particular stingo. The Socialist wants me to do with the Land A—well, a dashed something I can't understand; The Financial Reformer, 'tis little he "axes," He only requires me to take off all taxes! And now, with the General Election in view, I'm dashed if a poor M.P. knows what to do. How to live on the rack is a regular poser. By Jove, I'm half tempted to turn a—Primroser! The soft "Primrose Path" may conduct to the fire, But 'tis easy at least, and of Screwing I tire!
* * * * *
TOO FREE TO BE EASY.
SCENE—Exterior of a Board School. Enter R. and L. well-meaning Philanthropist and long-headed Artisan. They greet one another with differing degrees of cordiality.
Philanthropist (heartily). Ah, my good friend, and how are you taking advantage of this great boon—the enormous privilege of free education?
Artisan (doggedly). By not sending my lad to school.
Phil. (with pained astonishment). You surprise me.
Art. I don't see why I should. I'm only following SAWNIE's lead. It's what they did in Scotland. They gave them free education, and that's the way to read it, and a good way too!
Phil. Well, at least you ought to be grateful.
Art. Grateful! Grateful for what?
Phil. Why, for free education—for education, you know, that costs you nought.
Art. Oh, it costs nought, does it? Then thank you for nothing!
[Exeunt—in very different directions!
* * * * *
MUSIC FOR THE PARLIAMENTARY MILLION.
MR. FARMER-ATKINSON, M.P., has announced that during the Recess he will deliver political addresses interspersed with songs and music. To assist him we have prepared a specimen "utterance," which, for the sake of convenience, we have thrown into a dramatic form.
Enter Mr. FARMER-ATKINSON, M.P., with an assortment of musical instruments which he places on a table in front of him. Immense applause, during which the Hon. Gentleman picks up a Cornet and plays a solo. Enthusiasm.
Mr. Farmer-Atkinson (bowing after recovering from his exertions). Ladies and Gentlemen. (Hear, hear!) Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen, for your cordial reception. (Applause.) And you must know, Ladies and Gentlemen, that although I have given you a solo on the cornet, I did not visit this flourishing town (cheers), this highly civilised town (renewed applause), this model town (hearty cheering), with the intention of blowing my own trumpet. (He pauses—silence.) Don't you understand? I did not want to blow my own trumpet—joke, see? (A laugh.) Thank you! And now about the Irish Question. Well everybody harps upon it. So will I. "Come back to Erin." (Plays and sings the touching melody—a harp accompaniment—applause.) Thank you! And now about the Triple Alliance. Well, I think I can illustrate that, both musically and politically. Triple means three. Well, I will take this drum on my back, beating it with the sticks that are bound to my shoulders; then I will apply my mouth to this set of pipes, while I beat a triangle with my hands. There! (Plays the musical instruments simultaneously—applause.) Thank you! You see I get some sort of music. A little unattractive possibly ("No! no!"), but still sufficiently pleasing to elicit your admiration. ("Hear, hear!") Thank you! Well, this effect reminds me of the Triple Alliance. We may take the drum to represent Italy, the set of pipes Germany, always fond of making a shrill noise, and the triangle will ably represent Austria. See? (Great applause.) And now I am very unwilling to weary you further. ("No, no!") Thank you! But I myself have an appointment which I must keep, so therefore, I must conclude my entertainment—I should say speech. Otherwise you would grow weary of me? ("No, no!") Thank you! But before bidding you good-bye, I must sing you one more song that I think will please everybody. It is called "Home Sweet Home." (Thunders of applause.) And now I will just get the right key and fire away. (He tunes up harp, and prepares to play.) And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, silence please, while I sing the most touching song in my repertoire. (Sings with immense feeling, "Home, Sweet Home.") Now then, Ladies and Gentlemen, chorus, please—
"Home, sweet home! Where'er we wander, There's no place like ho—o—o—ome!"
[The chorus is repeated as Mr. FARMER-ATKINSON disappears behind a curtain on the platform, and the audience fade away.
* * * * *
A PENNY FRENCH—TWOPENCE BRITISH.
(A FRAGMENT FROM A ROMANCE OF THE G.P.O.)
The youth, without a moment's hesitation, dashed manfully into the sea. He was watched by the excited spectators, who cheered him as he breasted the waves that beat against the head of the Admiralty Pier. It must, indeed, have been a great prize in view that could have caused such a daring feat. That was the thought of the old Coast-guardsman, as he watched the lad (he was scarcely more than a boy) as he took stroke after stroke for Calais. Now he rested on the back of a treacherous porpoise that soon cast him away.
"Will the steamboat lend him a helping hand, or rather rope?" muttered the veteran salt, as he watched the seemingly fragile figure of the swimmer. "Ah, by Neptune! well done! Strike me flat with a lubberly marling-spike, but a kindly act indeed!"
The action that had extorted the admiration of the aged seaman was a rope that had been thrown over the steamboat's bulwarks. The now weary swimmer gratefully accepted the boon. It saved his life.
"Will you pay the difference, and come on board, young Sir?" asked the Captain of the packet, facetiously.
"Were it not that I am very poor," gasped out the tired, and shivering lad, "I should not have undertaken this gigantic but necessary task."
He held on bravely, and in good time the coast of France was sighted, neared, and reached. Although as cold as stone, owing to the exposure to the waves, the swimmer was now refreshed. He threw away the rope, and once more struck out.
"Adieu!" he cried to the crew of the steamboat. "I can finish the rest of the distance without assistance."
He was as good as his word. Soon he was standing on French ground buying a post-card for India.
"And why have you come in this strange fashion?" asked an aged missionary of British extraction.
The weary lad replied in a faint voice, "Because at Calais a post-card to India costs a penny, at Dover twopence! Yet both posts surely are conveyed by the same mail. By swimming from Dover to Calais I have saved a penny!" And as he recorded this undoubted fact he fainted.
* * * * *
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.