OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
December 19, 1891.
The Baron's Assistants say that of the Christmas works published by Messrs. HUTCHINSON & CO. they can and do recommend The Children of Wilton Chase by L.J. MEAD, to which they accord their mead of praise, which likewise they bestow on FLORENCE MARRYAT's The Little Marine and the Japanese Lily, a book of adventures in the land of the Rising Sun, which will delight many rising sons for whom chiefly was this book intended. There are always "more ways than one," and so Where Two Ways Meet there is like to be a puzzle, solved in this instance by the authoress, SARAH DOUDNEY. Put down the books! Come to the festive board! Down—(the right way of course) with the mince-pie and plum-pudding! Strange is it that the source of so much enjoyment, the very types of Christmas good cheer, should themselves be so "down in the mouth" as invariably are Mathew Mince-pie and Peter Plum-pudding at this festive season. And they being gone and cleared off, enter a gentleman bearing the unusual and remarkable name of SMITH—familiarly welcomed as "TOM" of that ilk—and then pop go the crackers! "But we must keep the secret," whisper the Baron's Assistants, and they strongly advise everyone not to peep into this boite a surprise until Christmas Day itself. So, for SPARAGNAPANE's "charming confections, which," as the Baron's young lady clerks, BLYTHE and GAY, observe, "are in the very highest style of 'High Art'; and the same Mr. SPARE-NA-PAIN's Darkest Evening, and How to Get Out of It, will be tidings of comfort and joy to many a holiday-making household."
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & CO.
* * * * *
A TRULY ROORAL OPERA.
Sorry, indeed, are all London lovers of music at the sudden departure from our midst and mist of Cavalleria Rusticana, the Rustic Cavalier. It is no comfort to us to be told that the Rustic Cavalier will go into the provinces and appeal to the country. His province at present should have been to remain in London, where, with nothing to speak of in the way of mise-en-scene, he—that is, his composer, PIETRO MASCAGNI—has made a decided hit. Wise was our Signor LAGO "al factotum" in producing this, and knowing, too, must he be in his use of Windsor soap to have so speedily "taken the cake." Nay more, did not HER GRACIOUS MAJESTY absolutely retain a Royal Box at the Shaftesbury up to the last night of the run of this one-Act Opera? "Ah, bravo, Figaro, bravissimo! Fortunatissimo!" What a treat, too, to hear again the "Che faro." which brought down the Curtain, and brought down the House, on this termination to GLUCK's Orfeo. Strong, indeed, must be the Cavalleria to be successful after the Che taro: but it was.
The Overture, the solo sung, by way of novelty, behind the Curtain, by TURIDDU,—(what a name! like the commencement of a comic nonsensical chorus! TURIDDU ought to have been in love with Tulla Lieti and have behaved badly to Tralala. "But this is another story.")—the choruses, and most of the concerted pieces are charming; and, above all, the intermezzo, which, were the piece in two Acts, would he the overture to the Second Act is simply so fascinating, that without a dissentient voice from a full house it was warmly and heartily encored, and would have been called for a third time had the judicious Signor ARDITI shown the slightest sign of conceding a supply to a fresh demand. None of the solos, except the one sung behind the Curtain, are particularly catching, or dramatically effective. Mlle. ELANDI, as Santuzza, acts and sings well; and Signor BERTINI, with a good voice, is about as stiff in action as a rustic Cavalier would naturally be; while Signor BROMBARA's Alfio the Mule-driver is histrionically just about perfect. Of course it will not he long ere we hear it again, and under vastly improved conditions.
* * * * *
A MAYOR AND OLD HUNTER.
Last Thursday the Fishmongers gave a banquet in their hall to the Duke of BEAUFORT and other Masters of Hounds. But why should the Fishmongers thus publicly advertise themselves as "going to the dogs." What fishly a-fin-ity is there between hounds and herrings, except in the running of a drag? However, the Lord MAYOR improved the occasion, which we dare say judging from the liberal hospitality, or, in this instance hoss-pitality, of the Fishmongering Corporation, scarcely required improvement, to inform His Grace of BEAUFORT and other noble sportsmen that he too was a hunting man, and that Lord Mayors of London ought as a rule to he hunting men if they would keep up the ancient traditions of their office. Why doesn't his sporting and equestrian Lordship revive the "Lord Mayor's Hounds" of the time of GEORGE THE FIRST? The meet might be in Leadenhall Market, or in a still meater place, Smithfield, and a bag fox being turned out, they might, on a good scenting day, have a fine burst of a good forty minutes, taking Houndsditch in their stride away across Goodman's Fields then away across Bethnal Green, tally-hoing down Cambridge Road, and then with a merry burst, into Commercial Road East, gaily along Radcliff Highway, and running into sly Reynard in Limehouse Basin. Stepney! Yoicks! On hunting days there would be a placard on the Mansion House door with the words, "Gone Away!" And of course there would be a list of the meets appended to all the usual notices. Let the present Lord MAYOR start this, and his Mayoralty will indeed be a memorable one.
* * * * *
THE HYPNOTISED LOBSTER.
[Mr. ERNEST HART said, in a recent Lecture, that snakes, frogs, and lobsters could be hypnotised like human beings.]
'Tis the voice of the Lobster, I hear him complain, That hypnotic suggestion is on me again; I was mesmerised once and behold, since that time, I have yielded myself to suggestions of crime: I have compassed the death of an innocent "dab," And attempted to poison an elderly crab.
You'll not wonder my tricks give my relatives shocks, And they're holding a meeting just now in the rocks To decide whether I, who was once quite a saint, Should be put, as the doctors say, under restraint. I intend to go there in the midst of a trance. And, may I be boiled, but I'll lead them a dance!
It's a terrible thing, when to virtue inclined. That some vile Mesmeriser debauches your mind; When awake I recoil from the things that I've done, Such as scrunching the poor little mussels for fun. In these fetters hypnotic a foe holds me fast, And you'll find that they'll hang me, in seaweed, at last.
* * * * *
WELCOME, LITTLE STRANGER!
Last Friday there appeared a startling paragraph, announcing the first appearance of a New Island. Appropriately, it was on the face of The Globe. The intelligence came to us via Marseilles. Did it come up to the surface ready furnished for occupation, as in our second National Anthem about "Britons never being slaves" Britain is described as doing? The quotation is:—"When Britain first at Heaven's command, Arose from out the azure main," (or words to that effect), She (the Island) came up with a ready-made charter, and was open to be taken furnished. If this is the case, with the new Island, the sooner some parties "who won't be missed" pack off, bag and baggage, and take possession of the property, the better. It's a chance. "Island to Let. Ready furnished. Quite ready for occupation when thoroughly dry. No Agents need apply. Ground-Swell Landlord, Neptune, C. district."
* * * * *
"COME LIVE WITH ME, AND BE MY LOVE AND WE WILL ALL THE PLEASURES PROVE THAT LAND REFORM, ALLOTTED FIELD, AND VILLAGE COUNCILS SOON MUST YIELD."
And thou shalt sit at ease, and mock The Tory Shepherds of the flock, The Squire and Parson, o'er whose fall The Primrose Dames already squall.
And I will give thee cots most cosy, Of structure sound and aspect rosy; True homes, salubrious if not garish, And proper influence in the parish.
One-Man-one-Vote, the Ballot, School, And rating on a fairer rule; A Charity less harsh and cold To warm thine heart when thou grow'st old.
A chance upon the land to dwell, Free, independent, faring well; And if these pleasures may thee move, Come live with me, and be my love!
Though Tory Swains thy vote may crave To keep thee still the Landlord's slave, If freedom's joys thy mind may move, Come live with me and be my love!
THE NYMPH'S REPLY.
(Some way after Sir Walter Raleigh.)
If I were sure 'twere sooth thou'st sung, That truth were on thy silvery tongue; These pleasures must my passion move To live with thee and be thy love.
But art thou sure the Allotted Field A present paradise will yield, Making a lady of a thrall, As dreamed at the Memorial Hall?
Thy Village Council, Cottage cosy, Present in sooth a prospect rosy, But promises so oft are rotten; I've oft been wooed—and oft forgotten!
Free vote, fair rating, open school, Good wage, intelligent self-rule,— These are enticements me would move To live with thee and be thy love.
If thy zeal last, if love, indeed, Fire thee my hapless lot to heed; Then such delights my mind shall move To live with thee and be thy love.
* * * * *
A LOST OPPORTUNITY.—During a recent cause celebre in the Divorce Court the petitioner was asked by Sir CHARLES RUSSELL, Q.C., M.P., P.T.P.C., "Did he do anything?" to which the reply was, "He took up a salt-cellar and threw the contents in my face." Mr. FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., M.P., V.P.T.P.C. has been lamenting ever since that he could not have appeared as amicus curiae to point out that this testimony, until flatly contradicted, "must be taken as prima facie evidence of a salting her."
* * * * *
AFTER A VERY OLD NURSERY MODEL.
One, two, crimson and blue; Two, three, treaclyness free; Three, four, gilding galore; Four, five, bogies alive; Five, six, spectres from Styx; Six, seven, angels from heaven; Seven, eight, big "extra plate"; Eight, nine, wassail and wine; Nine, ten, pencil and pen; Ten, eleven, commercial leaven; Eleven, twelve, "high-art" shelve; Thirteen, fourteen, pictures of sporting; Fifteen, sixteen, ghost-stories, fixt een; Seventeen, eighteen, advertisements great in; Nineteen, twenty, profit in plenty!
* * * * *
* * * * *
SCENE—Interior of a Publisher's Office, shortly after the trial of Pinnock v. Chapman and Hall.
Publisher. We have given our best attention to your Manuscript of a three-volumed novel, called—let me see, what did you call it? Oh, yes, here it is!—called, Haunted by Sixteen Goblins, and we are afraid it won't do.
Literary Aspirant (pained). Won't do!
Pub. (calmly). No. Won't do a bit—at least, not in its present form. You see, you introduce a Pirate Chief, named Captain WILDFIRE, who lives at Singapore, and who murders the mate, the steward, five seamen, and all the Passengers of the Jolly Seamew, the vessel that he commands, and appropriates five million dollars belonging to his employers, the vessel's owners.
Lit. Asp. Quite so. I thought those incidents would be rather exciting. They're so new. Do you object to the murders, or what?
Pub. Oh, dear no! But now this name, Captain WILDFIRE. (Suspiciously.) Are you sure there is nobody whose name is at all like it, and who also resides at Singapore?
Lit. Asp. I took the name quite by chance. I've never been near Singapore in my life.
Pub. (relieved). Glad to hear it. One has to be so careful nowadays. Here's an Army List—let us see if anybody called WILDFIRE figures in it. Ha! What's this! "Major WILDMAN, 217th Hussars." (Gazes at Lit. Aspirant sternly.) Is your Captain WILDFIRE intended as a caricature of Major WILDMAN, Sir, or is it not?
Lit. Asp. (astonished). Why, of course not! I never heard of the man.
Pub. Very likely not. We should hear of him precious soon if we published your novel as it stands.
Lit. Asp. But what reason is there to suppose this Major WILDMAN has ever been to Singapore? And how can a captain of a merchantship like the Jolly Seamew be confused with a Major in the Army who has never commanded a vessel in his life?
Pub. (doggedly). All very well; but the name must come out. Then I don't like this description of the Ninth Goblin at all. Where is it? Oh, here! (Reads.) "Even the cerements of the tomb enveloping the form of the Ninth Goblin could not hide—nay, seemed rather to bring prominently forward—the malignant expression of the one-eyed face, with its crop of red whiskers, beetle brows, and low receding forehead."
Lit. Asp. What's wrong with that?
Pub. Wrong! Everything's wrong! There are lots of people about with red whiskers and low receding foreheads, and they'll all bring actions of libel.
Lit. Asp. But my Goblin has only one eye.
Pub. Well, so may they. They're equal to taking one eye out and putting it back when the trial's over, if they thought it'd help them to get money out of us. There may be a fellow called Mr. GOBLIN somewhere, too. Oh, no; it won't do at all. All the chapters with the Ninth Goblin in must come out.
Lit. Asp. (aghast). But that would spoil the book—it would mean leaving out half of it.
Pub. Yes, it would reduce the bulk, no doubt. In any case we could not produce it in a three-volume form. But we are bringing out a series of cheap fictions, and we might include yours.
Lit. Asp. (making the best of things). Well, some good books have appeared in a shilling form.
Pub. Yes. But it's not a shilling form we should propose. The fact is, that there is a great run on Penny Novelettes just now, and—
Lit. Asp. (rising). And you dare to propose bringing out the Sixteen Goblins as a Penny Novelette!
Pub. Certainly, and in view of the risk of actions for libel, you would have to pay the printing-bill, and give us a contract of indemnity in case your Captain Wildfire did turn out to be identical with some retired pirate who feels himself hurt at your description. You don't think much of the proposal? Well, nor do we of the book, to tell you the truth. Ta, ta!
[Disappears into inner room. Literary Aspirant slowly folds up his novel, and exit.
* * * * *
MOTTO FOR THE DIVORCE COURT.—Marry, and come up!
* * * * *
THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.
SCENE—The Tombs of the SCALIGERS at Verona. A seedy and voluble Cicerone, who has insisted upon volunteering his services, is accompanying Miss TROTTER, BOB PRENDERGAST, and CULCHARD. It is a warm afternoon, and CULCHARD, who has been intrusted with Miss T.'s recent purchases—two Italian blankets, and a huge pot of hammered copper—is not in the most amiable of moods.
The Cicerone (in polyglot). Ecco, Signore (pointing out the interlaced ladders in the wrought-iron railings), l'echelle, la scala, c'est tout flexible—(He shakes the trellis)—molto, molto curioso!
Culch. (bitterly, to the other two). I warned you how it would be! We shall have this sort of thing all the afternoon now!
Miss T. Well, I don't mind; he's real polite and obliging—and that's something, anyway!
Culch. Polite and obliging! Now I ask you—has he given us the slightest atom of valuable information yet?
Miss T. I guess he's too full of tact to wish to interfere with your special department!
The Cic. (to CULCHARD, who looks another way). Ici le tombeau di GIOVANNI DELLA SCALA, Signore. Verri grazioso molto magnifique, joli conserve! (He skins up on the pedestal, and touches a sarcophagus.) Non bronzo—verde-antique!
[Nods at CULCHARD, with a beaming smile.
Culch. (with a growl). Va bene, va bene—we know all about it!
Bob P. You may; but you might give Miss TROTTER and me a chance, you know!
The Cic. Zees, Marmor di Carrara; zat, Marmor di Verona—Verona marbre. MARTINO PRIMO a fait batir. (Counting on his fingers for CULCHARD's benefit.) Quattuor dichieme secolo—fotteen!
Culch. Will you kindly understand that I am quite capable of estimating the precise period of this sculpture for myself.
The Cic. Si-si, Signore. Scultore BONINO DA CAMPIGLIONE. (With a wriggle of deferential enthusiasm.) Bellissimo scultore!
Miss T. He's got an idea you find him vurry instructive, Mr. CULCHARD, and I guess, if you want to disabuse him, you'd better do it in Italian.
Culch. I think my Italian is equal to conveying an impression that I can willingly dispense with his society. (To the Cic.) Andate via—do you understand? An-da-te via!
The Cic. (hurt, and surprised). Ah, Signore!
[He breaks into a fervent vindication of his value as guide, philosopher, and friend.
Miss T. I guess he's endeavouring to intimate that his wounded self-respect isn't going to be healed under haff a dollar. And every red cent I had went on that old pot! Mr. CULCHARD, will you give him a couple of francs for me?
Culch. I—er—really see no necessity. He's done nothing whatever to deserve it!
Bob P. (eagerly). May I. Miss TROTTER? (Producing a ten-lire note.) This is the smallest change I've got.
Miss T. No. I guess ten francs would start him with more self-respect than he's got any use for. Mr. CULCHARD will give him three—that's one apiece—to punish him for being so real mean!
Culch. (indignantly). Mean? because I—! (He pays and dismisses the Cic.) Now we can examine these monuments in peace—they are really—er—unique examples of the sepulchral pomp of Italian mediaevalism.
Miss T. They're handsome tombs enough—but considerable cramped. I should have thought these old Scallywags would have looked around for a roomier burying lot. (To CULCHARD, who shivers.) You aren't feeling sick any?
Culch. No—only pained by such a travesty of a noble name. "Scallywags" for SCALIGERS seems to me, if I may say so, a very cheap form of humour!
Miss T. Well, it's more than cheap—it isn't going to cost you a cent, so I should think you'd appreciate it!
Bob P. Haw—score for you, Miss TROTTER!
Culch. I should have thought myself that mere personality is hardly enough to give point to any repartee—there is a slight difference between brilliancy and—er—brutality!
Bob P. Hullo! You and I are being sat upon pretty heavily, Miss TROTTER.
Miss T. I guess our Schoolmaster's abroad. But why Mr. CULCHARD should want to make himself a train out of my coverlets, I don't just see—he looks majestic enough without that.
[CULCHARD catches up a blanket which is trailing, and says bad words under his breath.
AT THE TOMB OF JULIET.
Culch. (who is gradually recovering his equanimity). Think of it! the actual spot on which Romeo and Juliet—SHAKSPEARE's Juliet—drew their last breath! Does it not realise the tragedy for you?
Miss T. Well, no—it's a disappointing tomb. I reckoned it would look less like a horse-trough. I should have expected Juliet's Poppa and Momma would want, considering all the facts of the case, to throw more style into her monument!
Culch. (languidly). May not its very simplicity—er—attest the sincerity of their remorse?
Miss T. Do you attach any particular meaning to that observation now? (CULCHARD bites his lip.) I notice this tomb is full of visiting cards—my! but ain't that curious?
Culch. (instructively). It only shows that this place is not without its pathos and interest for most visitors, no matter what their nationality may be. You don't feel inclined yourself to—?
Miss T. To leave a pasteboard? Why I shouldn't sleep any all night, for fear she'd return my call!
Culch. (producing a note-book). It's fanciful, perhaps but, if you don't mind waiting a little, I should like to contribute—not my card, but a sonnet. I feel one on its way.
Bob P. Better make sure the tomb's genuine first, hadn't you? Some say it isn't.
Culch. (exasperated). I knew you'd make some matter-of-fact remark of that kind! There—it's no use! Let us go.
Miss T. Why, your sonnets seem as skeery as those lizards there! I hope JULIET won't ever know what she's missed. But likely you'll mail those verses on to her later.
[She and BOB P. pass on, laughing.
Culch. (following). She only affects this vulgar flippancy to torment me. If I didn't know that—There, I've left that infernal pot behind now!
[Goes back for it, wrathfully.
In the Amphitheatre; Miss PRENDERGAST, PODBURY, and VAN BOODELER, are seated on an upper tier.
Podb. (meditatively). I suppose they charged highest for the lowest seats. Wonder whether a lion ever nipped up and helped himself to some fat old buffer in the Stalls when the martyrs turned out a leaner lot than usual!
Van. B. There's an ingenuous modernity about our friend's historical speculations that is highly refreshing.
Miss P. There is, indeed—though he might have spared himself and us the trouble of them if he had only remembered that the podium was invariably protected by a railing, and occasionally by euripi, or trenches. You surely learnt that at school. Mr. PODBURY?
Podb. I—I daresay. Forgotten all I learnt at school, you know!
Van. B. I should infer now, from that statement, that you enjoyed the advantages of a pretty liberal education?
Podb. If that's meant to be cutting. I should save it up for that novel of yours; it may seem smart—there!
Miss P. Really, Mr. PODBURY, if you choose to resent a playful remark in that manner, you had better go away.
Podb. Perhaps I had. (Rises, and moves off huffily). D—— his playfulness! 'Pon my word, poor old CULCHARD was nothing to that beggar! And she backs him up! But there—it's all part of my probation! (Here CULCHARD suddenly appears, laden with burdens.) Hullo! are you moving, or what?
Culch. I am merely carrying a few things for Miss TROTTER. (Drops the copper pot, which bounds down into the arena.) Dash the thing!... (Returning with it.) It's natural that, in my position, I should have these—er—privileges. (He trips over a blanket.) Conf—Have you happened to see Miss TROTTER about, by the way?
Podb. Fancy I saw her down below just now—with BOB. I expect they're walking round under the arches.
Culch. Just so. Do you know, PODBURY, I almost think I'll go down and find her. I—I'm curious to hear what her impressions of a place like this are. Such a scene, you know,—so full of associations with—er—the splendours and cruelties of a corrupt past—must produce a powerful effect upon the fresh untutored mind of an American girl, eh?
Miss T.'s voice (distinctly from arena). I'd like ever so much to see Buffalo BILL run his Show in here—he'd just make this old circus hum!
Miss P.'s voice (indistinctly from topmost tier). Almost fancy it all.... Senators—equites—populus—pullati... yellow sunlight striking down through vellarium ... crimsoned sand ... mirmillo fleeing before secutor ... DIOCLETIAN himself, perhaps, lolling over there on cubiculum ... &c., &c., &c.
Culch. The place appears to excite Miss PRENDERGAST's enthusiasm, at all events! [Sighs.
Podb. Rath-er! But then she's no end of a classical swell, you know! [Sighs.
Culch. (putting his arm through PODBURY's.) Ah, well, my dear PODBURY, one mustn't expect too much, must one?)
Podb. I don't, old chap—only I'm afraid she does. Suppose we toddle back to the hotel, eh? Getting near table d'hote time.
[They go out arm-in-arm.
* * * * *
'ARRY IN ROME AND LONDON.
A kind Correspondent calls Mr. Punch's attention to the fact that 'ARRY the Ubiquitous crops up even in the Classics, as ARRIUS, in fact, in Carmen lxxxiv. of CATULLUS. How proud 'ARRY will be to hear of his classical prototype! Our Correspondent "dropping into verse," exclaims:—
Yes! Your Cockney is eternal; ARRIUS speaks in 'ARRY still: Vaunts 'is "hincome" by paternal "Hartful" tricks hup 'Olborn 'Ill.
How well he is justified may be seen by a glance at the text of CATULLUS:—
"Chommoda" dicebat, si quando commoda vellet Dicere, et "hinsidias" ARRIUS insidias: Et tum miritice sperabat se esse locutum. Cum, quantum poterat, dixerat "hinsidias." Credo, sic mater, sic Liber avunculus ejus, Sic maternus avus dixerit, atque avia. CATULLUS, Carmen lxxxiv.
Which—for the benefit of 'ARRY himself, who is not perhaps familiar with the "Lingo Roruano"—though he may know something of a "Romano" dear to certain young sportsmen, though not dearer to them than other caterers,—may thus be very freely adapted:—
'ARRY to Hoxford gives the aspirate still He cruelly denies to 'Ighgate 'Ill; Yet deems in diction he can ape the "Swell," And "git the 'ang of it" exceeding well. Doubtless his sire, the 'atter, and his mother, The hupper 'ousemaid, so addressed each other; For spite of all that wrangling Board Schools teach, There seems heredity in Cockney speech.
* * * * *
FREDERICK THE GREAT AT BURLINGTON HOUSE.—"Bravo, Sir President of the Royal Academy!" says Mr. Punch, U.P.B.B., enthusiastically; "a splendid lecture, Sir, that of yours last Thursday, given to the architectural and other Academical students. who, acting upon your advice, should be each one the architect of his own fortune. Your sharply dashed-off portrait of The Grand Monarque, the 'Roi Soleil, majestic in the many-storey'd wig,'—the King being built up quite mon-architecturally,—'which encircled his retreating brow,' was masterly. More power to your elbow, Sir FREDERICK—that is, if you require it. Mr. Punch, Universal President of Brother Brushes, fraternally and cordially salutes you."
* * * * *
LATEST IN MASSAGE.—Our friend, Mrs. RAM, says she will not be "sham pooh'd;" she will be either really pooh'd, or not pooh'd at all.
* * * * *
"THE BIG BIG D." ENCORED.
MR. W.S. GILBERT ought to have been engaged as Counsel in the Duplany v. Duplany divorce case, when, attired in his wig, gown, and hands—ARTHUR SULLIVAN's full hands of course—he could have put the question which Mr. GILL had to make a pint of putting, i.e., as to the occasional use of strong language. Set librettically, "Firenza la bella" would have answered in her sweetest strain and with her most bewitching Florentine manner, "I never use a big big D." To her the Counsel, not Mr. GILL but Mr. GIL-BERT, would have retorted musically, "What 'never'?'" To him the fair Witness, replying on consideration, "Well,—hardly ever!" Then the chorus, led by the Judge, Sir FRANCIS JEUNE, and joined in by all the Jeuniors of his Court, would have wound up this portion of the proceedings, if not harmoniously, at least tunefully. For future reference, it would be known as "the Big Big D-ivorce Case." How such occasional musical outbursts would lighten the labours of the Court through many a tedious case! And in a cause un peu celebre like this, where there is a crammed house and enthusiastic audience ready to take every point, and risk possible expulsion rather than remain quiet, what a relief such a burst of song would be to everybody's pent-up feelings and bottled-up excitement. The comedy is all very well, but the finale is tragic, the last scene of all being from the historical subject with modern application representing "MARIUS seated among the ruins" of what might have been a happy domestic life.
* * * * *
A PANNICK IN GILDHALL!
We've jist bin and had sitch a Pannick in the City as we ain't not had since the prowd and orty Portogeese threttened to stop any more old Port from leaving of their shores, unless we guv 'em up ever so much of the hinside of Afrikey. Ah, that was a pannick that was, and all us Waiters felt it severially, but her Majesty's Guvernment, seeing at wunce the sollem natur of the threat, made such terrems as settled the hole affair, and Port went down as ushal.
Well that was bad enuff in all conshense, but it was nothink to what we has all bin threttened with, from the Lord MARE on his throne of power to the umblest waiter of his royal estaberlishmunt. I herd ony last week from the Gildall Beedle, so it must be trew, that ever so many of what's called Comishunners of Suers had cum a tearing down stairs from their place up above, a cussin and a swearin like mad, becoz the Kumpany as was a jest beginnin for to lite up our streets with Lectrissity. had writtin for to say as they coodn't get it dun for more nor another year. Well that was bad enutf for them as likes that tell-tail lite, "but wuss remanes behind," as the Pote says; and I reelly ardly xpecs to be beleeved when I says, as they threttened not to lite up the onered Manshun Ouse to the werry last! and as the gas has all a bin taken away, there wooden have been not no lites, and consequently not no Dinner in that grand Ome of Horspitallerty, not for twelve long weary hungry munse!
The shudder as run thro Gildhall when this was fust menshund, the Beedel tells me, was sumthink quite orful, and the langwidge used, ewen by anshant Deppertys, sumthink not to remember, but sumthink to forget as soon as posserbel.
However, a gentle reminder from them as could do what they threttind, whether it was six months' hard, or suppenshun from wun of their own tall, red lamp postesses, brort them all to their sewen senses, and everythink is to be reddy for the fust State Bankwet at the reglar hour on the reglar day; and so the dedly wroth of the grand old Copperashun is apeezed, and there is no longer enny tork of a mighty band of hindignent Welshers a marching up to Town to awenge the dedly hinsult with which their poplar Monnark was threttined!
Wun of our werry cleverest Depputys said to me.—"Ah, Mr. ROBERT, if our ennemys had reelly xtinguished all our light, I shoud indeed have said, with the Pote, Habsent Homen!"
I didn't kno a bit what he meant, but I rayther think it were sumthink seesonnabel about Ome sweet Ome, or about the likker "habsinth," wich I don't hold with. But I quite agreed with him.
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A ROYAL "HAPPY THOUGHT" IN DECEMBER.—The Promise of MAY.
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"ENGLAND, HOME, AND BEAUTY!"
["I am quite proud to think that my son marries one who was born in this country, has been educated in this country, and has the feelings of an Englishwoman."—H.R.H. the Prince of Wales at the Civil Service Dinner.]
The Prince's word will strike a chord Of sympathy and pleasure In English hearts. Not from abroad Young CLARENCE brought his treasure. He finds his MAY in British mead; 'Tis Punch's pleasant duty The old chorus once again to lead, "For England, Home, and Beauty!"
England!—the fair betrothed was born Within the seas that bind us; Home!—not from far court-precincts torn, This Princess comes to find us. Beauty!—well, look upon that face, Whilst PUNCHIUS Cupid hovers, With crowning wreath and genial grace, Above the Royal lovers.
Fair home-grown flower, bright English MAY, Whose promise cheers December, And who will make "wild March" so gay; Punch can right well remember. Betrothals many, bridals too, Your lover's sire's among them, And with a loyalty frank yet true Has generally sung them.
And so for you he bath a stave, Latest of the bright bevy. On gentle hearts and spirits brave The toll of love you'll levy. We trust that fortune may prove fair, And life's long pathway rosy, And love attend the Royal pair, The young "Promessi Sposi."
An English bridal it will be When March brings round the spring time, And English hearts will hail with glee The coming of the ring-time. Punch—like his Prince—is "proud to think" It then will be his duty, Once more the fine old toast to drink— "For England, Home, and Beauty!"
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TWOPENCE PLAIN.—A PENNY COLOURED.
MR. PUNCH, HONOURED SIR,
I have just received a copy of The Almanack, which, if I may say so, is worthy of the approach to the close of "the so-called Nineteenth Century." Not to go further into particulars, I should say that "A Doll's Diary" will be hard to beat in contemporary Christmas literature.
It was, Sir, not with the intention of making this obvious remark that I break in upon your reflections. My purpose was moved by discovering on the front corner of this work of Literature and Art the legend, "Price 6d.; Inland postage, 2d." Looking at the postal cover which lightly bore the treasure o'er land and sea to this ancient town, I discovered, that coming under the "foreign postage rate," 11/2d. had served the turn. Whence it appears, that had I, as usual at this season of the year, been at my country address, to be found in Dod, the Almanack would have cost me, or someone else (it is beside the argument), 2d. Whereas, being hundreds of miles away from the placid pastures that surround The Kennel, Berks, the postage is 25 per cent. less in amount. In one case, where the larger sum and the less amount of labour were concerned, the English Post-Office, taking all the money, charge 2d.; in the other, calling in the assistance of Belgium and Germany, and of course sharing with them the plunder, 11/2d. is held to be the fair recompense for the immensely extended labour. Isn't this something in the way of reversal of the ordinary trade axiom, as who should say "Twopence Plain; a Penny, Coloured"?
In its immediate application it is a small thing. People privileged to receive Punch's Almanack through the post will not quibble over a half-penny. But it is evident that a system which embodies an arrangement that needs only to be stated to have its absurdity demonstrated, wants looking after.
I beg to give my friend, the new Postmaster-General, notice that, as soon as the House meets, I shall put a question on the subject. In the meanwhile, and always I am, honoured Sir, your obliged and obedient servant,
Kaiserbad, Aachen, Monday.
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POPULAR SONGS RE-SUNG.
Perhaps a version "up to date" (as the slang goes) of Our Village, may interest the supporters of the Statesman Mr. ACLAND, without annoying the admirers of the poet WAL PINK.
NO. IV.—OUR VILLAGE.
AIR—"THE VILLAGE ON THE 'SLOW AND DIRTY' LINE."
For centuries the Village was maintained, without cessation, As "a Squire and Parson's paddock," just to keep poor yokels down, But all that is to be altered, at the Radical's instigation, We're settling on a village which shall have the charms of town. It's shaped on Democratic lines, it is in nubibus yet, But when Reform's set going, it's a horse that does not stop. The House o' Commons has pronounced, and though old Tories fuss, yet All understand the tyrant has the tip to shut up shop.
In the Village, new Village, a healthy little spot, The home of rural Hygiene, where nasty smells are not, Where HODGE shan't be the thrall Of the Vicarage and the Hall, In the Village shaped on Democratic lines!
There bobbing to their "betters" shall not be an institution With the Jemmies and the Jessamies, as in the good old day; There "Washhouses" shall civilise chawbacons—by ablution, And Drink-shops shall not freely tithe the ploughman's paltry pay. There shall be a Parish Council by the householders elected, Who will snub "the Village tyrant" and will cut the Parson's comb; And when once 'tis constituted such reform may be expected That poor HODGE in all sincerity may sing his "Home, Sweet Home!"
Chorus.—In the Village, new Village, the sanitary spot, A small self-governed commune with full powers to "allot," A Free Library for all, And a handsome Meeting Hall, In the Village shaped on Democratic lines!
There the Labourer shall not half-starve on "swankey." and thin pottage, With a prospect of the Workhouse when no longer he can work; But shall have a fragrant pigstye, and a sanitary cottage, And a voice in local business which the big-wigs cannot burke. The rural working-man shall superintend his children's schooling, And control long ill-used "charities," and champion "common rights," And, in fact, there'll be an end to Squire's sole sway and Parson's fooling, And the rustic's sole hope-beacon shall no more be "London's Lights."
Chorus.—In the Village, new Village, &c., &c.
There the peasant politician with the Guardian shall grapple, And keep up the rural standard, and keep down the local rates; The haughty Church no longer there shall lord it o'er the Chapel, And the Voluntary School shall find the level it so hates. In short, with Local Government invested, the whole Village Shall grow vigorous, and virtuous, and prosperous, and proud, And free from Landlord pressure, and the Parson's petty pillage, The peasants shall no longer to the slums of London crowd.
Chorus.—From the Village, new Village, a happy little spot, A home of peace and plenty, where oppression may not plot; Where there's room enough for all. And the "hind" is not a "thrall," In the Village shaped on Democratic lines!
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A SAFE NOVEL.
(WITH INTERPOLATED NOTES BY OUR OWN LEGAL ADVISER.)
CHAPTER I.—THE LOVERS' PARTING.
The sun was setting behind the towers of the church of Greenborough-on-the-Driblet.
[It must be clearly and distinctly understood that this village is not intended to refer to any parish with the word "green" introduced in the title—all incumbents of such livings being the most honourable and distinguished of men.]
Two persons were bidding one another adieu. The first was a man in the prime of life wearing a suit of tweeds.
[Please note that the name of the tailor is not given, and it is not to be assumed for a single moment that this refers to any individual in particular.]
The girl, for she was only a girl, wore a costume of almost puritanical simplicity.
[Again no dressmaker is singled out for discussion. It is a purely fancy portrait.]
They were both in tears. For the hour had come for their parting.
[It is necessary to state that by "parting" no reference is made to any existing firm of hair-dressers.]
For a moment they were silent, watching Phoebus as he descended in his glory of purple and gold.
[This refers to the mythical God of Day, and is not to be confounded with a member of a well-known firm of manufacturers of blacking.]
Then they spoke to one another.
"ZOZIMUS," she murmured, softly, "and is this our last meeting?"
[The name of ZOZIMUS was selected for the hero because it is an uncommon one, and consequently unlikely to be confounded with any more frequently-used designation. If by an unlucky chance there is a ZOZIMUS, he is assured that the coincidence is purely accidental.]
"I am afraid it must be so, my ZULUWOLFA," was the heartbroken response.
[Again the name has been chosen on the same lines as the selection of ZOZIMUS, and the explanation above given may be taken as having reference to both.]
"And so you are going across the sea in a boat?" she queried, trying to smile, in spite of her blinding tears.
[No boat in particular is intended, and we have the author's authority for saying that he has the greatest respect for every official connected with the shipping interest.]
"Yes," he returned, sadly, "it is my father's wish, and I trust that in a new world I shall find greater prosperity than I have been able to achieve in dear old England."
[No reference is made in the above to any weekly publications, although, perhaps the World and England may have been taken as titles for Saturday journals. Before passing this passage, we received the assurance of the author that he felt the deepest esteem for the Editors of the periodicals thus inadvertently mentioned.]
"Well, my beloved, you will soon see me; and, dead or alive, I shall be by your side in the spirit."
[This passage is not intended to single out any particular firm of distillers]
"We shall meet again," he cried, pressing her frail form to his breast. "Indeed we shall meet again."
[It must not be assumed that there has been a misprint in the above passage, and that reference is made to any particular firm of butchers.]
And so they parted!
(To be continued in our next, after consultation with our Solicitor.)
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WITHOUT THE COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON.—A few days since the Justices of South Shields sentenced a vagrant verging upon seventy years of age, to fourteen days imprisonment with hard labour—a matter to which attention was called when the Coroner held an inquest in the gaol on the poor old fellow's body. It would be interesting to know the names of these "un-worthies," so that they might be gibbeted as a contrast to the sentiments that will prevail when Christmas ushers in a time of peace and good-will!
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A STORY OF THE SEA (told on the Beach at Brighton).—"Fine day for a sail, Sir!"
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TOLD IN TAGS.
We have recently been favoured by a communication from a firm of Publishers, which informs us that, in a story sent for review, "by an oversight of the binder," the Epilogue was omitted, and inclosing that interesting document. We have perused the four pages with so much pleasure, that we suggest that, instead of writing the whole story, novelists, in future, should only publish the final chapter, which might be beneficially compressed into a few lines. As a lead, we print a few conclusions, to serve as models:—
Specimen of a Happy Ending.—And so there was nothing more to do but to get married, and consequently EDWIN led no happier bride to the altar than his much persecuted and greatly tried ANGELINA. So the bells of Tinkleton rang out their merriest chimes as the sun went down on the stately towers of Castle Sympleton.
Specimen of an Unhappy Ending.—So, at peace with all the world, still holding the hand she loved so well, and smiling a smile that brought tears into the eyes of the good old Colonial Bishop, FLORA faded away into the Golden Dream she knew so well!
Specimen of a Mysterious Ending.—And so HUGH, carrying a lamp in his right hand, and grasping the blade of his sword in his left, entered the cave of which he had heard so much. Will he ever return? Who can tell?
Specimen of a Comic Ending.—"So it was you, after all!" cried the Cheesemonger, with a shout of laughter.
EGERTON SWELLINGTON smiled an assent.
"Then all I can say," continued the worthy trader, "is, that a miss is as good as a mile."
And, for once in his life, Mr. DOUBLECHIN was absolutely right!
Specimen of the Poetical Ending.—So with the blue-bells sighing soft music, and the stars chanting their soothing lullaby, the sweet soul of MARIA realised the truth that—
'Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all.
Specimen of the Shocker's Ending.—And with a gasp and a reel, Sir RALPH fell back, back, back, down the precipice, and an hour later was found by the patrolling coast-guardsman a quivering mass of senseless humanity!
Specimen of the Christmas Ending.—And so, linked hand in hand, father and mother, son and daughter, husband and wife, nephew and niece, bowed their heads beneath the holly and mistletoe, and wished one another, with a heartiness that told volumes, "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"
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QUERIES FOR CAMBRIDGE EXAM. PAPER.—
1. If the Vice-Chancellor's authority to punish immorality within the bounds of the University town of Cambridge is to be done away with, will he still retain the then quite superfluous title of Vice-Chancellor?
2. On the abolition of "The Spinning-House," as plucked candidates are often spoken of as men who were "spun" for such-and-such an examination, might not the Senate-House be known as "The Spinning-House"?
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[In a recent libel action, brought against an author by an African merchant, Mr. GEORGE MEREDITH was called as a witness. He said:—
"The story in dispute passed through his hands as reader for the publishers. Asked in cross-examination if he thought that the opening of the story relating to the hero's mother did not offend against the canons of good taste, the witness answered that it was the attempt of a writer of serious mind to be humorous. It might be almost called a stereotype of that form of the element of humour. It was a failure but still passed with the public.—The Judge: A kind of elephantine humour?—The Witness: Quite so. I did not like it, but one would have to object to so much."
There the report of Mr. MEREDITH'S evidence ends. Exigencies of space apparently caused the omission of a great deal of it. Fortunately it is in our power to supply this deficiency.—ED.]
The Judge. Quite so, Mr. MEREDITH. I may say for myself that I fully understand you. But perhaps it would be well to explain yourself a leetle more clearly for the benefit of the jury.
Mr. George Meredith. My Lord, I will put it with a convincing brevity, not indeed a dust-scattering brevity fit only for the mumbling recluse, who perchance in this grey London marching Eastward at break of naked morn, daintily protruding a pinkest foot out of compassing clouds, copiously takes inside of him doses of what is denied to his external bat-resembling vision, but with the sharp brevity of a rotifer astir in that curative compartment of a homoeopathic globule—so I, humorously purposeful in the midst, of sallow—
The Judge. One moment, Mr. MEREDITH. Have you considered—
Mr. G.M. Consideration, my Lord, is of them that sit revolving within themselves the mountainously mouse-productive problems of the overtoppingly catastrophic backward ages of empurpled brain-distorting puzzledom: for puzzles, as I have elsewhere said, come in rattle-boxes, they are actually children's toys, for what they contain, but not the less do they buzz at our understandings and insist that they break or we, and, in either case, to show a mere foolish idle rattle in hollowness. Nor have the antic bobbings—
Sir Charles Russell (cross-examining). Really, Mr. MEREDITH, I fail to follow you. Would it not be possible—
Mr. G.M. Ay, there you have it. In truth, the question looks like a paragraph in a newspaper, upon which a Leading Article sits, dutifully arousing the fat worm of sarcastic humour under the ribs of cradled citizens, with an exposure of its excellent folly. For the word. That is it. The word is Archon, with extended hand summoning the collaboratorically ordained, misbegotten brood of shock-shilling pamphlets to his regal presence—
The Judge (testily). No doubt that would be so, but it brings us no nearer to a decision upon the question of humour in the particular passage of the book which contains the alleged libel.
Sir Charles Russell. Perhaps I can shorten matters, my Lord. Now, Mr. MEREDITH, will you be kind enough to explain the following passage from a book with which you may perhaps be acquainted. (Reads.) "This he can promise to his points. As for otherwhere than at the festive, Commerce invoked is a Goddess that will have the reek of those boards to fill her nostrils, and poet and alderman alike may be dedicate to the sublime, she leads them, after two sniffs of an idea concerning her, for the dive into the turtle-tureen. Heels up they go, poet first—a plummet he!" Is that humorous, or, if not, what is it?
Mr. G.M. Elephantine, I think; yet not elephantine altogether, since of them that crash amid jungle of atrophied semi-consciousness, strivingly set upon an overtopping mastery—
Sir Charles Russell (interrupting). Thank you. The passage is from One of our Conquerors. Here is another:—"Reverting to the father and mother, his idea of a positive injury, that was not without its congratulations, sank him down among his disordered deeper sentiments, which were a diver's wreck, where an armoured livid subtermarine, a monstrous puff-ball of man, wandered seriously light in heaviness; trebling his hundredweights to keep him from dancing like a bladder-block of elastic lumber." And while you are about it, pray inform the Court what you mean by "the vulgarest of our gobble-gobbets," or by "a trebly cataphractic Invisible."
Mr. G.M. Truly, the louder members of the grey public are fraternally instant to spurn at the whip of that which they do not immediately comprehend. But to me, plunged chokingly in translucent profundities of aquamarine splendour, not of a truth that in the heights above splendour resides not, chidingly offering a fat whiskerless cheek to the blows of circumstance, this was ever the problem of problems. How to write. How not to write. This way and that the raging fates tug the hapless reader, pillowed he upon the vast brown bosom of his maternal earth, or lurefully beckoning the dim shadow-shapes of dodecahedronic cataplasmatic centipede fatally conditioned to the everlasting pyramid of a star-pointing necessity. So—
The Judge (with determination). Mr. MEREDITH, the Court is sincerely obliged to you for your extremely valuable evidence. We are unwilling to detain you any longer. Besides, after what you have said, the point is as clear as daylight. Good morning, Mr. MEREDITH, good morning. You may become a trebly cataphractic Invisible.
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THE THINNING OF THE THATCH.
Oh, the Autumn leaves are falling, and the days are closing in, And the breeze is growing chilly, and my hair is getting thin! I've a comfortable income—and my age is thirty-three; But my Thatch is thinning quickly—yes, as quickly as can be!
I was once a merry urchin—curly-headed I was called, And I laughed at good old people when I saw them going bald; But it's not a proper subject to be lightly joked about, For it's dreadful to discover that your roof is wearing out!
I remember asking Uncle—in my innocent surprise— How he liked his head made use of as a Skating Rink by flies; But although their dread intrusion I shall manfully resist, I'm afraid they'll soon have got another Rink upon their list.
When invited to a party I'm invariably late, For I waste the time in efforts to conceal my peeping pate— Though I coax my hair across it—though I brush away for weeks, Yet I can't prevent it parting and dividing into streaks!
I have tried a Hair Restorer, and I've rubbed my head with rum, But the thatch keeps getting thinner, and the new hair doesn't come— So I gaze into the mirror with a gloomy, vacant stare, For the circle's getting wider of that Open Space up there!
People tell me that my spirits I must not allow to fall. And that coming generations won't have any hair at all— Well—they'll never know an anguish that can adequately match With the pangs of watching day by day the thinning of your Thatch!
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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.