OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
November 7, 1891.
We learn by telegraph from Berlin that some uneasiness exists in that capital owing to demonstrations made by the photographists and artists in plaster-of-Paris, who have been accustomed to reproduce likenesses and busts of His Imperial Majesty. They complain that, owing to a measure of uncertainty about the EMPEROR's personal appearance from day to day, they have large stocks thrown on their hands, and are reduced to a condition approaching bankruptcy. The crisis has been precipitated by the circumstance that, just when the combined trades, recovering from their first disaster, had produced a Christmas stock of portraits and busts, showing His Majesty with a beard, he shaved it off, and once more they have their goods returned on their hands. Prussian 31/2 per Cents. have fallen to 83-85.
* * * * *
When Sir AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS read in the Times that Signor LAGO had been granted the QUEEN's permission to prefix "Royal" to his opera entertainment at the Shaftesbury Theatre, it gave him so great a shock that, but for the opportune ("opera-tune," Sir AUGUSTUS jocosely put it) arrival of Dr. ROBSON ROUSTEM PASHA, the shock might have had a serious effect.
* * * * *
On Monday last, at half-past three, the King of SPAIN cut a new tooth, His Majesty's seventh acquisition in this class of property. The happy event was celebrated by a salute of seventeen guns.
"What's that?" asked His Majesty, awakened by the roar from his siesta.
"Sire," said the Field-Marshal commanding the troops, bringing his trusty Toledo to the salute, "your Majesty has condescended to cut a tooth."
"That's all very well to begin with," said the King; "but, when I grow a little older, I mean to cut a dash."
* * * * *
Previous to the appointment of Mr. ARTHUR BALFOUR, much speculation was indulged in as to the succession to the Leadership of the House of Commons. In Conservative circles there was an almost universal desire to see the place filled by a noble Baron well-known for the assiduity with which he arrives in town to transact business in Bouverie Street, returning to his country seat the same evening.
* * * * *
During the interval after it had been made known that the Leadership of the House of Commons had been offered to Mr. BALFOUR, and whilst his decision was anxiously awaited, Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT was asked whether he thought the Chief Secretary would take the place.
"Who can say, TOBY mio?" answered the Squire, stroking his chin, with a far-away glance. "The situation reminds me of an incident that came under my notice when I represented Oxford borough. One of my constituents, a worthy pastor, had had a call to another and much wealthier church. He asked for time to consider the proposal. One afternoon, a fortnight later, I met his son in High Street, and inquired whether his father had decided to take the new place. 'Well,' said the youngster, 'Pa is still praying for light, but most of the things are packed.'"
* * * * *
We understand that an innovation will be introduced at Guildhall on the occasion of the Lord MAYOR's dinner. The Lord MAYOR elect being a Welshman, intends to substitute the leek for the loving cup. At the stage of the festival where the loving cup usually goes round, a dish of leeks will be passed along, and every guest will be expected publicly to eat one. This will necessitate an alteration in the time-honoured formula of the Toastmaster. On the 9th of November it will run: "My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Right Hon. the Lord MAYOR pledges you with a loving leek, and bids you HALL a 'arty welcome."
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OUR OWN FINANCIAL COLUMN.
[Mr. Punch has decided that it is absolutely necessary for him to publish every week a financial article. The best treatises on Political Economy lay it down as an axiom that, where the desire for acquisition is universal, and the standard of value absolute, a balance between gain and loss can only be reached by the mathematical adjustment of meum and tuum. Acting upon this principle, Mr. Punch has, in the interests of everybody, retained the services of one of the most, if not the most, eminent contemporary financiers, whom modesty alone prevents from signing his own name to his benevolent and comprehensive articles. Those, however, who care to look beneath the surface, will have no difficulty in determining the identity of one of the greatest modern monetary authorities, a man whose nod has before this shattered prosperous empires, and whose word is even better than his bond, could such a thing be possible. Mr. Punch has only one thing to say to those who desire to be rich. It is this. Follow implicitly the advice of CROESUS.]
SIR,—You have asked me to devote some of my spare time to the enlightenment of your readers on matters connected with the money-markets of the world. The request is an easy one to make. You talk of spare time, as if the man who controlled millions of money, and could at any moment put all the Directors of the Bank of England in his waistcoat pocket, had absolutely nothing to do except to devote himself to the affairs of other people. Such a man has no leisure. When he is not engaged in launching loans, or in admitting to an audience the Prime Ministers of peoples rightly struggling to free themselves from debt by adding largely to their public liabilities, when, I say, he is not thusly or otherwisely engaged, his mind must still busy itself with the details of all the immense concerns over which he, more or less, presides. However, I am willing to make an exception in your case, and to impart to you the ripe fruits of an experience which has no parallel in any country of the habitable globe. Without, therefore, cutting any more time to waste, I begin.
(1.) Mines.—There can be no doubt that in this department a largely increased activity may soon be expected. I am aware that in "Shafts" there has been a downward tendency; but I am assured by the Secretary of the "Dodja Plant Co." (191/2, 6/8, 54.21/2, 7/8), that the prospects of this branch of investment were never more brilliant. The latest report of the Mining Expert sent out to investigate this mine, runs as follows:—
"I have now been three days in the interior of the Dodja Plant. I can confidently state that I found no water, though there was evidence of large deposits of salt, which could be worked at an immense profit. The gold is abundant. I have crushed ten tons of quartz with my own hands, and found the yield in florins extraordinary. The natives guard the mouth of the mine. Please relieve promptly. My assistant became a Salmi yesterday."
There is some obscurity (intentional, of course) in the last few words. I may, therefore, state that a Salmi is one of the most important native bankers. The profession is only open to millionnaires. I therefore say, emphatically, buy Dodjas.
(2.) The Carbon Diamond Fields.—The latest quotations are 14-5/8 to the dozen, with irregular falls. Carbon Prefs. unaltered. Trusts firm. This is a good investment for a poor man. In fact there could not be a better. No necessity to deal through an ordinary stockbroker. Wire "CROESUS, City." That will find me, and by return you shall have address of banker, to whom first deposit for cover must be immediately paid.
(3.) Italian Cattivas quieter. A Correspondent asks—"What do you recommend a man who has laid by L20 to do in order to hold L1,000 at the end of a month?" I say at once, Try Cattivas (19-2/5 Def.; Deb. Stk. 14—15). Wire "CROESUS, City."
(4.) South-African Pih Kroost short. Gold continues to be in good demand. Anybody wishing to make a quick profit out of a small sum, such as from two to five sovereigns, wire "CROESUS, City" anytime before 12.30. In all cases of telegraphing, the message must be "Reply-Paid," or no notice will be taken of the communication. Remember "Time is Money." Keep up a good supply of both, and you'll live to bless "CROESUS."
Advice Gratis.—Make (Brighton) "A," while the sun shines,
Inquiries as to The Para Docks Company, and The Jerrie Myer Bilder Company, I will answer squarely and fairly next week. Don't move in these without the straight and direct advice of "CROESUS."
As to the Turpin, Sheppard, and Abershaw Highways Company, I shall have something to say next week. Investors who want a real good thing, just hold your coin in hand for a week, till I say "Go," and then go it. This Company will be a big thing, and, mind you, safe.
For the present I close the account, to re-open it next week, and, to show my good faith, send you my subscription, which you may read here, as I subscribe myself, "CROESUS, CITY."
* * * * *
[Greek: THAE PROTEKTED PHEMALE.]
["For our part we do not believe in protected studies. Greek came into the Western world, poor and needy, three centuries ago. By her own unaided charms she has won her way. By those charms we believe that she will hold her own against all competitors until literature and civilisation are no more."—Times.]
Protected Greek! Protected Greek! BALFOUR may doubt, the Times demur, And chattering "correspondents" seek Against the goddess strife to stir, But while the Senate rules, you bet, The Goths shan't smash the Grecians yet.
When Don meets Don injurious fray Then comes in sooth the tug of war; And on this memorable day They gather in from near and far, To whelm the unnatural ones who'd seek To set the "Grace" against the Greek.
SWETE looks on JEBB and JEBB on BROWNE, And BATESON looks on ROBERTSON SMITH. They cry, "Of WELLDON 'tis ill-done!" But THOMSON is a man of pith, And GRIMTHORPE, that scalp-hunting "Brave" Will tomahawk the "Modern" slave.
The Proctors sat with serious brow, Within the swarming Senate House, Voters in hundreds swarmed below, Fellows of scholarship and nous. They counted votes, and, when 'twas done, Non-placets had it, three to one!
And where are they, Granta's fell foes, The champions of the Modern side? Five twenty-five emphatic "Noes" Have squelched their schemes, and dashed their pride. Hurroo! for those so prompt to vindicate Compulsory Greek against the Syndicate!
Thus sang, or would, or could, or should have sung, The modern Greek, in imitative verse; Meanwhile the Goddess, grave, though ever young, Stood, Psyche-like, untempted to rehearse The ragings—angrier ink was seldom slung— Uttered by BYRON in Minerva's Curse. She simply stood, as stately-proud as Pallas, Looking so calm, some might have deemed her callous.
Amusing sight this game! Don versus Don Mixed in a sort of classic Donny brook. A lethal weapon is a Lexicon When rivals make a bludgeon of the book. By her unaided charms the Goddess won Her way. This is the language of her look. (The Laureate's) "Judge thou me by what I am, "So shalt thou find me, fairest"—sans Compulsory Cram!
* * * * *
BETWEEN THE ACTS.
SCENE—Europe. The Great Powers discovered in Council.
Russia. Now, I think I have arranged matters fairly well. I shall myself lend a hand to France, and that will keep the balance decently level, so far as Germany is concerned.
Germany. Will it? I can fight you both!
Austria. Now, keep quiet. If we are to be partners, you must not be so impulsive.
Italy. Just what I say. Why can't he take it calmly!
Russia. Well, of course it's not my business; but if you want to break up the Triple Alliance, that's the way to do it! Well, then, France employed with you boys on the Rhine, I shall move down south, and quietly occupy Constantinople. Now, no one could object to that!
Germany. Why, I should, and so would Austria, wouldn't you?
Austria. Of course. But what could we do, if we were hard at work with France?
Italy. Yes; and fancy the Mediterranean becoming a Russian lake!
Russia. Oh, you would soon grow accustomed to it! Then I should move on to Afghanistan, and quietly make my way to India. But all this has to be done after the first step is taken. England must scuttle out of Egypt.
England. Scuttle out of Egypt? Why, certainly! After consideration! [Left considering.
* * * * *
* * * * *
ROBERT ON THE COMING SHO.
What a prowd and appy day dear old Whales is about for to have on the werry next Lord Mare's Day, as is cumming, which it's the ninth of nex month, which it's nex Monday. Not only is wun of the werry populusest of living Welchmen a going for to be made Lord MARE on that werry day, but the Prince of WHALES hisself, who was inwited but karnt kum cos he's keepin' his hone Jewbilly at ome that appy and horspigious day. Praps Madam HADDYLEANER PATTY (wich is quite a Welch name) would kum up an give us a treat on this okashun.
Praps my enthewsiasm in the cause of Whales may be xcused when I reweals the fack that I am myself arf a Welchman, as my Mother was a reel one before me, and so, strange to say, was my Huncle, her Brother. There was sum idear of dressing me up as a Bard with a Arp, and I was to jine in when the rest on us struck up "The March of the Men of Garlick," but I prudently declined the temting horffer. I need scarcely say that Welch Rabbits will be a werry striking part of the Maynoo, being probably substituted for the Barrens of Beef.
I'm told as all the Ministers is a cumming.
BROWN, with his ushal raddicle imperence, says it's becoz they knos as it's for the larst time. Yes, much BROWN knos about it, when he sed jest the werry same thing larst year! I'm told as Mr. BALFOUR and Mr. GOSHEN is to be seated nex to each other, so that they can take the Loving Cup together. So that will be all rite. We are going to have a splendid Persession—the werry longest and the werry hinterestingest of moddern times! So I adwise all my many kyind paytrons and Country Cuzzins to "cum erly." There's no telling what dredful changes may take place in these horful rewolushunary times, and ewen the "Sacred Sho" may be stript of sum of its many attrackshuns, or ewen erbolished altogether! But that is, of course, only a fearfool wision, begotten, as SHAKSPEARE says, of too much supper last nite, "a praying on my eat-oppressed Brane!" No, no! There are things as is posserbel, and there are things as ain't, and them as ain't done werry often happen.
* * * * *
THE TWO GRACES.
[Miss MAUDE MILLETT was at Cambridge last week, when the Grace of the Senate for an inquiry into the Compulsory Greek question was placeted by a large majority.]
The tug of war, when Greek met Anti-Greek In deadly feud, was over in a trice. They spoke out promptly, when they had to speak— They would not have the Grace at any price. But undergraduates of every race Flocked to the Theatre, each night to fill it. The Grace THEY placeted was just the Grace Of one fair maiden—pretty Miss MAUDE MILLETT.
* * * * *
A CHILI PICKLE.—The following advertisement is sent us, extracted from the Chilian Times:—
CASA QUINTA!—TO LET in Vina del Mar the first story of a comfortable house, with beautiful garden and yard, situated in the finest part of the villa, and consisting of eight rooms, baths, gas, cellar and all other comforts, etc., against rent or board to a matrimony—Apply, &c., &c.
If Chilians can treat English like this, Americans will stand a poor chance "against rent or board to a matrimony." The terms of the lease in Chilian Legal English would probably "afford employment for the gentlemen of the long robe."
* * * * *
The Observer recently warned us that—
"LOUISA Lady AILESBURY must not be confounded with MARIA Lady AILESBURY, who is the widow of the elder brother of her husband."
There is surely some misapprehension here. Lady "A." did not marry her deceased husband's brother, whether "elder" or younger.
* * * * *
THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.
SCENE—A hundred yards or so from the top of Monte Generoso, above Lake Lugano. CULCHARD, who, with a crowd of other excursionists, has made the ascent by rail, is toiling up the steep and very slippery slope to the summit.
Culchard (to himself, as he stops to pant). More climbing! I thought this line was supposed to go to the top! But that's Italian all over—hem—as PODBURY would say! Wonder, by the way, if he expected to be asked to come with me. I've no reason for sacrificing myself like that any longer! (He sighs.) Ah, HYPATIA, if you could know what a dreary disenchanted blank you have made of my life! And I who believed you capable of appreciating such devotion as mine!
A Voice behind. My! If I don't know that back I'll just give up! How've you been getting along all this time, Mr. CULCHARD?
Culch. (turning). Miss TROTTER! A most delightful and—er—unexpected meeting, indeed!
Miss Trotter. Well, we came up on the cars in front of yours. We've taken rooms at the hotel up here. Poppa reckoned the air would be kind of fresher on the top of this mountain, and I don't believe but what he's right either. I guess I shall want another hairpin through my hat. And are you still going around with Mr. PODBURY? As inseparable as ever, I presume?
Culch. Er—about as inseparable. That is, we are still travelling together—only, on this particular afternoon—
Miss T. He went and got mislaid? I see. He used to stray considerable over in Germany, didn't he? Well, I'm real pleased to see you anyway. And how's the poetry been panning out? I hope you've had a pretty good yield of sonnets?
Culch. (to himself). She's really grown distinctly prettier. She might show a little more feeling, though, considering we were almost, if not quite—(Aloud.) So you remember my poor poems? I'm afraid I have not been very—er—prolific of late.
Miss T. You don't say! I should think you'd have had one to show for every day, with the date to it, like a new-laid egg.
Culch. Birds don't lay—er—I mean they don't sing, in the dark. My light has been—er—lacking of late.
Miss T. If that's intended for me, you ought to begin chirping right away. But you're not going to tell me you've been "lounjun round en sufferin'" like—wasn't it Uncle Remus's Brer Terrapin? (Catching C.'s look of bewilderment.) What, don't you know Uncle Remus?
Culch. (politely). Mr. TROTTER is the only relation of yours I have had the pleasure of meeting, as yet.
Miss T. Why, I reckoned Uncle Remus was pretty most everybody's relation by now. He's a book. But likely you've no use for our national humorous literature?
Culch. I—er—must confess I seldom waste time over the humorous literature of any nation.
Miss T. I guess that accounts for your gaiety! There, don't you mind me, Mr. CULCHARD. But suppose we hurry along and inspect this panorama they talk so much of; it isn't going to be any sideshow. It's just a real representative mass-meeting of Swiss mountains, with every prominent peak in the country on the platform, and a deputation down below from the leading Italian lakes. It's ever so elegant,—and there's Poppa around on the top too.
ON THE TOP. TOURISTS DISCOVERED MAKING MORE OR LESS APPROPRIATE REMARKS.
First Tourist (struggling with a long printed panorama, which flaps like a sail). Grand view, Sir, get 'em all from here, you see! Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, Breithorn—
[Works through them all conscientiously, until, much to everybody's relief, his panorama escapes into space.
Second T. (a lady, with the air of a person making a discovery). How wonderfully small everything looks down below!
Third T. (a British Matron, with a talent for incongruity). Yes, dear, very—quite worth coming all this way for, but as I was telling you, we've always been accustomed to such an evangelical service, so that our new Rector is really rather—but we're quite friendly of course; go there for tennis, and he dines with us, and all that. Still, I do think, when it comes to having lighted candles in broad daylight—(&c., &c.)
Fourth T. (an equally incongruous American). Wa'al, yes, they show up well, cert'nly, those peaks do. But I was about to remark. Sir, I went to that particular establishment on Fleet Street. I called for a chop. And when it came, I don't deny I felt disappointed, for the plate all around was just as dry—! But the moment I struck a fork into that chop, Sir,—well, the way the gravy just came gushing out was—there, it ain't no use me trying to put it in words! But from that instant, Sir, I kinder realised the peculiar charm of your British chop.
Fifth T. (a discontented Teuton). I exbected more as zis. It is nod glear enough—nod at all. Zey dolt me from ze dop you see Milan. I look all aroundt. Novere I see Milan! And I lief my obera-glass behint me in ze drain, and I slib on ze grass and sbrain my mittle finger, and altogedder I do not vish I had com.
Miss T. (presenting CULCHARD to Mr. CYRUS K.T.). I guess you've met this gentleman before!
Mr. T. Well now, that's so. I didn't just reckon I'd meet him again all this way above the sea-level though, but I'm just as pleased to see him. Rode up on the cars, I presume, Sir? Tolerable hilly road all the way, ain't it now? There cann't anybody say we hain' made the most of our time since you left us. Took a run over to Berlin; had two hours and a haff in that city, and I dunno as I keered about making a more pro-tracted visit. Went right through to Vi-enna, saw round Vi-enna. I did want, being so near, to just waltz into Turkey and see that. But I guess Turkey'll have to keep till next time. Then back again into Switzerland, for I do seem to have kinder taken a fancy to Switzerland. I'd like to have put in more time there, and we stayed best part of a week too! But Italy's an interesting place. Yes, I'm getting considerable interested in Italy, so far as I've got. There's Geneva now—
Miss T. You do beat anything for mixing up places, Father. And you don't want to be letting yourself loose on Mr. CULCHARD this way. You'd better go and bring Mr. VAN BOODELER along; he's round somewhere.
Mr. T. I do like slinging off when I meet a friend; but I'll shut down, MAUD, I'll shut down.
Miss T. Oh, there you are, CHARLEY! Come right here, and be introduced to Mr. CULCHARD. He's a vurry intelligent man. My cousin, Mr. CHARLES VAN BOODELER,—Mr. CULCHARD. Mr. VAN BOODELER's intelligent too. He's going to write our great National Amurrcan novel, soon as ever he has time for it. That's so, isn't it?
Mr. V.B. (a slim, pale young man, with a cosmopolitan air and a languid drawl). It's our most pressing national need, Sir, and I have long cherished the intention of supplying it. I am collecting material, and, when the psychological moment arrives, I shall write that novel. And I believe it will be a big thing, a very big thing; I mean to make it a complete compendium of every phase of our great and complicated civilisation from State to State and from shore to shore. [CULCHARD bows vaguely.
Miss T. Yes, and the great Amurrcan public are going to rise up in their millions and boom it. Only I don't believe they'd better start booming just yet, till there's something more than covers to that novel. And how you're going to collect material for an Amurrcan novel, flying round Europe, just beats me!
Mr. V.B. (with superiority). Because you don't realise that it's precisely in Europe that I find my best American types. Our citizens show up better against a European background,—it excites and stimulates their nationality, so to speak. And again, with a big subject like mine, you want to step back to get the proper focus. Now I'm stepping back.
Miss T. I guess it's more like skipping, CHARLEY. But so long as you're having a good time! And here's Mr. CULCHARD will fix you up some sonnets for headings to the chapters. You needn't begin right away, Mr. CULCHARD; I guess there's no hurry. But we get talking and talking, and never look at anything. I don't call it encouraging the scenery, and that's a fact!
Mr. T. (later, to CULCHARD). And you're pretty comfortable at your hotel? Well, I dunno, after all, what there is to keep us here. I guess we'll go down again and stop at Lugano, eh, MAUD?
[CULCHARD eagerly awaits her reply.
Miss T. I declare! After bringing all my trunks way up here! But I'd just as soon move down as not; they're not unpacked any. (Joy of C.) Seems a pity, too, after engaging rooms here. And they looked real nice. Mr. CULCHARD, don't you and Mr. PODBURY want to come up here and take them? They've a perfectly splendid view, and then we could have yours, you know! (C. cannot conceal his chagrin at this suggestion.) Well, see here, Poppa, we'll go along and try if we can't square the hotel-clerk and get our baggage on the cars again, and then we'll see just how we feel about it. I'm perfectly indifferent either way.
Culch. (to himself, as he follows). Can she be really as indifferent as she seems? I'm afraid she has very little heart! But if only she can be induced to go back to Lugano ... She will be at the same hotel—a great point! I wish that fellow VAN BOODELER wasn't coming too, though ... Not that they've settled to come at all yet!... Still, I fancy she likes the idea ... She'll come—if I don't appear too anxious about it! [He walks on, trying to whistle carelessly.
* * * * *
WAR IN A FOG.
(A RECORD OF THE NEXT CAMPAIGN OF THE COMING MOLTKE.)
Our Army was now advancing in good order. We had the "A" Division of the enemy on our right, and the "B" Division on our left, but of course we had lost sight of Division "C." It was the morning after we had taken the fortress that had unexpectedly appeared before us on our right front, and had found ourselves to our surprise by the side of a river. The Chief of my Staff entered my tent whilst I was engaged in studying a map not very successfully.
"General," said he, "military music can be heard in the distance, from which I take it it must be the other part of our Army." "This is most fortunate," I replied; "but are they supposed to be in this part of the country? I fancied they were besieging the enemy's metropolis.
"So it was reported," returned my subordinate; "but it appears that, taking the first turning to the right, instead of the second to the left, they lost their way, and instead of capturing the capital, surrounded a harbour, in which, to their astonishment, they found his fleet."
"I suppose that the movements of Division 'C' are shrouded in mystery?"
"They are," returned the Chief of the Staff, saluting. "It is presumed that the commander is wandering somewhere near the frontier. A spy from his Army says that he had entirely lost touch of the country, and was continually asking his way. But how about our friends, the remainder of our Army, who are now approaching towards us? What shall we do?"
"Give them a fitting reception," was my reply.
In a moment our Army halted and pitched their tents. Accustomed to State functions of every sort and description, it was no difficult matter to them to decorate the line of march appropriately. Suddenly there was the sound of firing, and five minutes later an officer wearing the uniform of the enemy entered my tent and surrendered his sword.
"General," said he, "I yield to your superior knowledge of military tactics. I had expected to find friends, and now I have come across foes. And you number more than half a million of men, do you not?"
"Well, no; you may mean my brother commander, who has that force under his orders. But we have only about twenty thousand."
"And I have given up my arms for nothing," said my visitor.
"To whom have I the honour of speaking?" I asked, haughtily. "I presume, the Captain of the 'A' Division?"
"The 'A' Division! Why, they are miles away! and so are the 'B' Division."
"Then, who on earth are you?"
"Why, surely you know we are the 'C' Division?"
At this moment the Chief of my Staff again appeared. "Sir," said he, "are we to advance or retire? I must know at once, with a view to arranging satisfactorily the requirements of the Commissariat."
"One moment, Gentlemen," I replied, and then entered an inner recess. I searched my pockets, and finding my tossing half-crown, spun it into the air. I eagerly ascertained the result.
"We will advance, Sir," said I to the Chief of the Staff on my return. And my tone suggested both strong determination and peremptory command.
* * * * *
LULLABY OF AN INFANT SPECULATOR.
(A LONG WAY AFTER SIR WALTER SCOTT.)
[Packets called "Lucky Sweets," in which the bait is the chance of "prize gifts," are having a large sale amongst children.]
Oh, hush thee, my babie! thy sire is a "bear," Thy mother a "booky," both leary and fair, And the spirit of bold Speculation, I see, Heredity's taint hath stirred early in thee. Oh, two to one bar one! Heigh! dance, babie, dance! Oh, tiddley-um, diddley-um, back the off-chance!
Oh, hear not thy rattle, though loudly it goes; Oh, suck not thy fingers! Oh, count not thy toes! The "Last Odds" and "Share List" to thee shall be read To-night ere thou'rt cosily tucked up in bed. Oh, two to one bar one, &c.
Oh, hush thee, my babie! Thy sire will soon come, With "Surprise Packets" for thee. Oh, ain't it yum-yum? And "Lucky Sweets," babie, will catch thine off eye. Not "Hush-a-bye, babie!" but rather, "Buy! Buy!" Oh, two to one bar one, &c.
My lullaby, babie, 's not that of old nurse; The pillow for thee has less charms than the purse; It is not that "Sweets" from those packets you'd suck; No, babie, your yearning's to try your young luck. Oh, two to one bar one, &c.
You eagerly buy them, the "Prizes" to seek (You "blued" two-and-tenpence, my babie, last week), Those "Lucky Sweets," babie, are babydom's "play." But as for the sweets, why you chuck them away! Oh, two to one bar one, &c.
Oh, princes may "punt," babie; nobles may "plunge," But, babie, that chubby fist's cynical lunge Means craving for nothing that babyhood eats: No, babie, you'd fain do a "flutter" in sweets. Oh, two to one bar one, &c.
The tuck-shops, my babie, are well up to date; They know Speculation now rules the whole State; It sways all the classes, all ages, each sex; So now we're provided with "Nursery Specs." Oh, two to one bar one, &c.
Shall Court, Camp and Counter all yield to the spell And Cradledom not be considered as well? Shall betting fire Oxford, and gambling witch Girton, And Infancy not put its own little shirt on? Oh, two to one, bar one, &c.
Oh, hush thee, my babie! the time will soon come When at Baccarat boards you'll sit sucking your thumb. Meanwhile "Lucky Sweets," babie, buy while you may, They will teach simple childhood the charms of high play. Oh, two to one, bar one! Heigh! dance, babie, dance! Oh, tiddley-um, diddley-um, back the off-chance!
[Footnote 1: In the Stock Exchange sense, of course.]
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE IDLE AND THE INDUSTRIOUS APPRENTICE.
(AN OLD-FASHIONED APOLOGUE WITH A MODERN APPLICATION.)
GRANDOLH and ARTHUR were two young Apprentices, bound betimes to the ingenious and estimable Art or Craft of Cabinet-Making. Both of them were youths of a Sprightly Genius, and of an Alert Apprehension, attended, in the case of GRANDOLPH, with a mighty heat and ebullition of Fancy, which led early to a certain frothiness or ventosity in speech. ARTHUR, on the other hand, though possessed of excellent Parts, appeared to be of a more phlegmatic temperament, and took on a more languorous, not to say saturnine demeanour.
So it came about that for the time GRANDOLPH seemed to carry it over his fellow Apprentice, who indeed, amongst superficial observers, incurred the reproach of indolence and lackadaisical indifference, and although both were of creditable repute in the Craft, yet did GRANDOLPH shine the more prominently and give the greater promise of pre-eminence, ARTHUR seeming content, as men say, to play second fiddle to the more pushing Performer.
'Tis, however, within the purview of the Wise and the common observation of the Judicious, that things are not always as they seem!
GRANDOLPH, at an early epoch in his Apprenticeship, did found a sort of Comradeny or Free Company, which, from the number of its constituent items, came to be intituled The Fourth Party, in the which ARTHUR modestly took subordinate place, with unobtrusive ease and languid resignation. This Party did push matters in the Craft with a high hand and a talkative tongue. For as the ingenious Earl of SHAFTESBURY saith in his Soliloquy, "Company is an extreme provocative to Fancy, and, like a hot bed in gardening, is apt to make our Imaginations sprout too fast."
That GRANDOLPH was obnoxious to this charge of "sprouting too fast" may seem made manifest by the sequel. He indeed pushed himself into the front place by dint of copious verbosity, and militant oppugnancy. But (as the same SHAFTESBURY saith) where, instead of Controul, Debate, or Argument, the chief exercise of the wit consists in uncontroulable Harangues and Reasonings, which must neither be questioned nor contradicted; there is great danger lest the Party, thro' this habit, shou'd suffer much by Cruditys, Indigestions, Choler, bile, and particularly by a certain tumour, or flatulency, which renders him, of all men, the least liable to apply the wholesome regimen of self-practice. 'Tis no wonder if such quaint practitioners grow to an enormous size of Absurdity, whilst they continue the reverse of that practice, by which alone we correct the Redundancy of Humours, and chasten the exuberance of Conceit and Fancy.
Whether this particular "quaint practitioner" (our Idle Apprentice, GRANDOLPH) plagued "the Party" too much with his "Cruditys, Choler," &c., or whether he found himself unable to correct his own "Redundancy of Humours," certain it is that, at the very Pinnacle of Promise, and Height of Achievement, GRANDOLPH broke his indentures of Apprenticeship, and ran away!
And now, indeed, came the Opportunity of the true Industrious Apprentice, the hitherto calm and languid-looking, but, in verity, valorous, and vigilant, and virile ARTHTUR. Whereof, to be sure, he made abundant use, burgeoning forth into full blossom with astonishing suddenness, seizing Opportunity by the forelock with manly promptitude, and gaining golden opinions from all sorts of people; so that, after brief probation, he slipped, by general acclaim, into that very premier place so strangely, suddenly, and intempestively abdicated by the Idle Apprentice, GRANDOLPH.
Concerning the latter, the latest reports are not reassuring. Like his celebrated prototype of fable, the ill-fated "Don't Care," he runneth a chance of being "devoured by lions"! At least he appears to have sought the company of those parlous beasts in their native Afric wilds. We hear that "the lions kept him tucked up one night," which same news (—gathered from a diurnal intituled the Johannesberg Star—) hath a fearsome and ill-boding sound. That he is—for the time at least—in every sense "tucked up," is only too obviously true. Peradventure he may yet think the better of it, correct his Frothy Distemper and Vagrant Disposition, and (as the agonising advertisements have it) return to his friends that all may be forgiven and much forgotten!
But the last accounts of him picture him as lying languidly asprawl upon a Mausoleum in Mashonaland, playing dice with himself! The tomb would indeed appear to be, in the sombre words of the Mystick Poet:—
"The vault of his lost Ulalume,"
the runic-sounding word, "Ulalume," being taken perchance as the African synonym for "Reputation." Whether the cheering word Resurgam will ever be appropriate to that Tomb remaineth to be seen. But it would appear only too plain that GRANDOLPH (in the words of the aforesaid SHAFTESBURY) "hath been a great frequenter of the woods and river-banks, where he hath consum'd abundance of his breath, suffer'd his Fancy to evaporate, and reduc'd the vehemence both of his Spirit and Voice." In short, that the erst ambitious and aspiring GRANDOLPH is still content, for the time at least, to play the part of The Idle Apprentice.
* * * * *
* * * * *
"WHYS"—WISE AND OTHERWISE.
(BEING QUEER QUERIES.)
I wonder why, whene'er a four- Wheeler advances to a door, (A common thing on Britain's shore,) I wonder why, At once some aged man will stand And stare until its inmates land, As if enchained by something grand, Or weird, or high.
I wonder why the powers that mend The streets should root them up, and rend The roads with giant pipes on end And bricks awry, Just when we turn to town again; Though nothing stirred while West Cockayne Lay waste—a huge, deserted lane— I wonder why.
I wonder why athwart the Row Stray loafers linger, loth to go Past the mid-crossing, and are so Resolved to die, Hoping that, as you gallop near You'll maul them by your mad career— I wonder why.
I wonder why, when theatre Stalls, Are "papered" by Professionals, And children arch in Thespis' halls Their gambols ply, Why the Box-office has the face To offer me, who book place— A Stall that would the Pit disgrace, I wonder why.
I wonder why, whenever pressed A little money to invest In something which is quite the best Affair to buy, I always read next morning that Not I, but it (in parlance pat Of City articles) was "Flat," I wonder why.
* * * * *
CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS NURSERY RHYMES.
(FOR USE OF INFANT STUDENTS IN NEW SCHOOL OF DRAMATIC ART.)
'Tis the voice of the Prompter, I hear him quite plain; He has prompted me twice, Let him prompt me again.
* * * * *
THE PRETTY SIMPLETON.
[The Spectator warns men against marrying simpletons, pointing out that "there is no bore on earth equal to the woman who can neither talk nor listen, and who has no mental interests in common with her husband."]
When fair BELINDA sweetly smiles, And airily before you trips, You're captured by her artless wiles, And must admire her rosy lips. You know that she is very fair, You see that she has splendid eyes; But ah, rash lover, have a care, And find out if BELINDA's wise.
For beauty, trust us, is not all A wife in these days should possess; Her conversation's apt to pall, If she can talk of naught but dress. She need not be too deeply read, You do not want a priggish bride; But still take care the pretty head Can boast some little brain inside.
In courtship all she said was sweet, For you had died to win a glance; Her little platitudes seemed neat, Breathed 'mid the pauses of the dance. You would have felt a heartless fiend To criticise, when by her side; Nor would the lady have demeaned Herself to answer, had you tried.
But when you've won her for a wife, And ante-nuptial glamour dies, What food for matrimonial strife Her crass inconsequent replies. How terrible to find her dense, And never grasping what you mean; You'll think one gleam of common sense Worth more than finest eyes e'er seen.
Days come when love no longer gives Illusions as in hours of yore; And hapless is the man who lives To find his wife become a bore. Then keep, if you'd avoid that day, The wise Spectator's golden rule: Don't be by beauty led away, And choose for wife a pretty fool.
* * * * *
In the Times' book advertisement column, the S.P.C.K. announces the following new publication:—
THE OUSE. By the Rev. A.J. FOSTER, M.A.
This, we suppose, is the first of a new unaspirated ARRY SERIES. The next Volume being The Ome, and, after that, Books of Ighgate, Amsted, Olloway, and other Ills.
* * * * *
The Baron recognises, with pleasure, the actuality of the dramatic scenes In Cambridge Courts, by Mr. LEHMANN. The dialogues during rehearsal at the A.D.C., and of the Classic Play, are about the best of the many best things in the book. Mightily disappointed is the Baron with Mr. J.H. SHORTHOUSE's Lady Falaise, which, beginning so strongly, ends so feebly. Powerful it promised to be; exciting it promised to be; but weak it becomes, and, now and again, wearisome. Sorry for this is
THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
QUERIES FOR CANDIDATES (L.C.C.)
(WHAT THEY MAY COME TO.)
As the County Council now has power over the Tramways of London, will you pledge yourself to see that smoking carriages, comfortable cushions, waiting-rooms at street-corners, and constant civility, are provided for passengers?
Will you abolish the irritating and nefarious Ticket System?
How long do you think it will be before the electric light is universally established in the cars?
What is your view as to the provision of suitable places for wet umbrellas?
Will you at once vote for "Free or Assisted Locomotion"?
If a wheel of your private carriage comes off owing to skidding in the Tramway line, will you pledge yourself not to bring any claim for compensation against the Rates?
Will you vote for the summary dismissal of any Conductor who proceeds to count the passengers after being informed that he is "full inside"?
Is it a fact that you have promised to introduce "Pullman Palace Restaurant Cars, with free lunches," on the Tram-lines? If so, do you contemplate providing the cost out of your own resources, or how?
You state in your Address to the Electors that you "are desirous of reducing the hours of Tram employes to four a day, with two months' holiday in the year, and of giving a general rise of wages up to about L2 extra per week." Will you kindly say how you reconcile this desire with your expressed intention to "run the concern on the most economical plan, so as to save the pockets of the Ratepayers"?
It is reported that you have pledged yourself, if elected, to see that the Tram Conductors "get their Saturday to Monday at Brighton as a regular thing." How do you propose to carry out this part of your programme?
Do you consider yourself justified, in face of the above statements, in characterising the rival Candidate for the Council as "attempting to catch the Labour Vote by an impudent combination of insincere flattery, and fraudulent promises"?
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* * * * *
* * * * *
"BELOW THE BELT!"
(EXTRACTS FROM THE POLITICAL "FISTIANA" OF THE PERIOD.)
I.—BY THE "BRUMMAGEM BANTAM" (AS REPORTED IN THE "INJUDICIOUS BOTTLEHOLDER").
"The 'Arwarden Old 'Un, Gemmen? Lor bless yer, he ain't no account, nohow. Can't 'it a 'ole in a pound o' butter, 'e can't. Allus was a muff and a muddler; middling showy style, and a bit dodgy with his dooks, but neither a slogger nor a stayer, and, atween you and me and the post, allus ready to hist the white feather when 'ard pressed. Wot's that you say? His 'Travelling Company'? A reglar swindle, and a fair frost, Gemmen. Went 'round the country' on false purtences, and never did no good nowheres. Awful poor lot o' Pugs, that gang. Not in it with the ''Atfield Combination Troupe,' as can fight a bit, and 'as some smart scrappers in it. No, Gemmen, the 'Old 'Un' allus were a fraud. Couldn't stand up to a Froggy, 'e couldn't. His Company muddled the 'ole bag o' tricks, and made a hawful mess of it. Ah, and would agen, mark yer, if they got the chance. Should a'most like to see 'em 'ave another shy, if only for the bloomin' fun o' the thing; but it 'ud be a bit too expensive, and bring discredit on our Noble Hart, besides."
(Comments of the I.B.H. "Brayco, Brummagem Bantam! His style of hitting is straight and smart, in the ring or out of it. Hope the over-rated Hawardian Old 'Un and his Company relish the pepper young JOE has administered to the shifty Veteran and his parasitic 'Items'!")
II.—FROM THE "NEWCASTLE NOBBLER," ALIAS "HONEST JOHN."
"Werry much surprised to see as that windictive Bounder, the 'Brummagem Bantam,' has bin a letting out wicious like at his old pals, the 'Arwarden Old 'Un and his Pugilistic Company. 'They was muffs and muddlers,' he sez. Well, he ought to ha' said 'we,' considerin' as he wos one on 'em!!! The Old 'Un was his first patron, and me and other members of the Company his pertikler pals, and then he used for to crack us all up sky-high. Now he rounds on us for 'making a mess of it.' Well, praps if all wos knowed—but no matter! Only, to quarrel with your old pals, and then go about a-sneerin' and a-jeerin' at them for wot you yerself wos a party to, I call 'hitting below the belt'"!
(Comments of the I.B.H. "Bosh! 'Honest JOHN' is a shrew, and not a Practical Pug. Is one prizefighter never to criticise another's style because he's once been in the same Company with him? Might as well say he must therefore never improve his own style. Besides, any stick is good enough to beat the Grand Old Pug-dog with!")
III.—REJOINDER OF THE "BRUMMAGEM BANTAM."
"'Itting below the belt be jolly well blowed! Honest JOHN don't believe a word 'e sez—it's ony his narsty spite. Makes hisself the wiaduck for the 'Arwarden Gang's witrol and winegar, e' do. In course I wos one o' the Old 'Un's Company, wus luck! But I've larned a bit since then. Wot do you think? When I larruped my old pals, and called 'em mugs, messers, and muddlers, in corse I included myself, tacit-like. But there was no call for to say so! As to not showing of 'em up acos I wos one of 'em—Walker!!! If that's the Newcastle Nobbler's 'theory' of fair-play, 'e may jest go 'ome and eat coke!"
(Comments of the I.B.H. "The B.B. is quite right. If a Pug may not round on his old pals for doing what he helped them to do, it follows that he himself must never try to do better. Which is absurd! Go it, JOE!")
IV.—SURREJOINDER FROM "HONEST JOHN."
"My 'theory' ain't a bit wot the B.B. says it is. My 'theory' is that it's mean, and unfair, and unperfessional to curry favour with one's present backers by 'olding hup one's old pals to public redicule for doing wot we 'elped 'em to do, and at the time praised 'em for doin'. I call that 'hitting below the belt!' And I believe every 'onest and manly Pug from FIGG to SAYERS would ha' said ditter to ''Onest JOHN.' That's all, Gemmen!"
(Comment of the I.B.H. "Bosh! JOE's style of hitting is no doubt uncomfortable—for the Old 'Un and his pals. THAT'S EXACTLY WHY WE LIKE IT! What's the use of hitting above the belt only when the foe's only vulnerable below it? We rejoice to see the B.B. knocking the sawdust out of the Grand Old Fistic Fetish, and squelching the cant and claptrap out of 'Honest JOHN.'")
* * * * *
"You're the fust pineter whort I've knowed," said JULIA SANBY, demurely. "Father works at a plumber's, but 'e ain't industr'us. 'E ain't a good man. An' mother drinks. Orful!"
JULIA SANBY had consented, in consideration of money received, to let me make a sketch of her. She was a tall thin child, with a dirty and very intelligent face, great grey eyes, and long reddish hair. She was very bright and talkative; and yet she amazed me by being distinctly sanctimonious. She looked critically round my studio on her entrance.
"You ain't got no tex' 'ung up," she remarked, disparagingly. "We 'as two tex' in our kitching. I 'ung 'em up myself. An' father beat me for it. But I didn't keer, 'cos I knew I wos doin' good."
She pressed her thin lips together, and looked like a mangled martyr.
"Do you go to Sunday School?" I asked, as I got to work.
"I goes reggler, an' I'm first in the School, and I knows more colics than any of 'em, excep' teachers. I ain't like GAZEY."
"She's a girl what I 'ites. She's a bad girl. We calls 'er GAZEY, 'cos it's short for GEHAZI; but that ain't 'er real nime. She's a liar. She's allus tellin' lies—seems as if she couldn't storp doin' it." JULIA SANBY sighed sadly.
"What kind of lies?"
"She don't tell no lies to get 'erself out of nothin'; 'cos she's so bad that she don't keer whort rows she gets inter. But she tells other sorts. She just sits up on the fence what goes roun' the green, an' mikes up things, an' a lot of the children ain't got no more sense than to sit roun' an' listen to 'er. That just mikes 'er worse. She sits theer, a-tellin' stories, an' sweerin' they're all true. You never 'eard such stories."
"What are they all about?"
"Mostly about gran' things an' wunnerful things—kings, an' carridges, an' angels, an' firewux, an' dreams what she says she's 'ad. An' she'll sweer they're true. My word, it is wicked of 'er! She's allus pretennin' to be things what she ain't, too. One Sat'dy arf'noon she said she was a steam-injun. An' she got 'old of a little boy, BOB COLLINGS, and said 'e was the tender. An' BOB COLLINGS 'ad to foller close be'ind 'er all that arf'noon, else she'd a' nigh killed 'im. 'E got rather tired, because she kept runnin' about, bein' a express an' 'avin' cerlishuns. Lawst of all she wived 'er awms about, and mide a kind o' whooshin' noise. 'Now,' she said, 'my biler's bust, an' I'm done for!' So she lay flat on the wet groun', an' the tender went 'ome to 'is tea."
"What's she like to look at?"
JULIA SANBY confessed, with apparent reluctance, that GAZEY was very pretty. "She's prettier nor I am, nor any of the other childrun roun' 'ere. She's got golding 'air, an' blue eyes. But I 'ite 'er, 'cos she's so bad, an' 'cos she mikes the other children bad. I don't never listen to none of 'er mike-ups now."
"Would she let me make a sketch of her?"
"Dunno. You wouldn't like 'er. She's low in the wye she talks. The new curick don't like 'er. Nobody don't like 'er."
Now, just in this sentence, I fancied that the sanctimoniousness of JULIA SANBY had become mixed with some real feeling. I also reflected on the fact that, although most children are egoists, JULIA SANBY seemed to take more pleasure in talking about GAZEY than in discussing herself. I had distinct suspicions.
"Could you remember any of GAZEY's stories?"
"Go on, then. Tell me one."
She began a story, which was obviously an improvisation, with little incidents taken from other stories added to it. It was full of the wildest imaginings. She told it without the least nervousness or embarrassment. Her assumption of demureness and sanctity vanished utterly. She became vivid and dramatic. "An' I'd tike my gorspil oath it's all true," she added, at the conclusion, as if from force of habit.
"JULIA SANBY," I said, "GAZEY has not got golden hair nor blue eyes, neither is she pretty. You are GAZEY."
"I swear I ain't. I'm a good girl, and knows my colics; GAZEY's something orful."
"Very well," I answered, and went on finishing the sketch, as though I took no interest in her. After a few seconds' silence, she added, quite calmly,
"Owdjer know? I can pretend proper, cawn't I? But I 'adn't never talked about myself as if I was someone else afore. That pickshur ain't much like me."
"It will be when it's finished. Come to-morrow at the same time."
"Do you think I'm a liar?"
"You're either a liar or an artist, but I'm not sure which."
GAZEY put on her exceedingly frowsy hat. "The new curick needn't a bin so cock-sure about it then. G'mornin'."
* * * * *
THE LATEST FROM BOBBY.
(AN INTERCEPTED LETTER.)
DEAREST DARLING MOTHER,
I was so glad to get the hamper, and it has done me much good, all the fellows were pleased with the cake, and the sardines were first-rate, and the potted stuffs were awfully good. I am sorry you forgot the bottles of acidulated drops, but you can send them in the next hamper as soon as you like. There are only sixty-two days to the holidays—1688 hours including nights! Isn't that jolly!
And now, my dear Mother, I want to write most seriously to you upon a matter of great importance. You know I have been doing "Music" as an "extra." Well, it does not agree with me. The fact is, it is an hour every week in my playtime, when the Doctor says it is good for my health that I should be enjoying myself. And "Music" is an extra, like "Sausages for breakfast." And, of course, one has to think of all that. How hard dear Papa works to get his living; and, of course, I oughtn't to waste anything, ought I? Well, I really think I could give up "Music." After all, it's awful rot, and only fit for a pack of girls! So this is the great favour I'm going to ask you—and mind you say "Yes." May I give up "Music," and take up "Sausages for breakfast" instead?
Always your most loving Son, BOBBY.
* * * * *
IF THE FASHION SPREADS.
SCENE—Interior of a Fashionable Church. The Incumbent has read the Banns of Marriage between JOHN PLANTAGENET DE SMITH and MARY STUART DE BROWN, and asks the usual question.
Counsel (rising in pew). I beg to object.
Incumbent (surprised, but self-possessed). You will be good enough to communicate with us in the Vestry, at the end of the service,
Counsel. But I prefer to raise my objections at once. I may say, Reverend Sir, that I am here on behalf of Mr. JOHN PLANTAGENET DE SMITH, who is my client. I am instructed by the Messrs. CAPIAS of Bedford Row, and I contend that since the Members of the London County Council have instructed counsel to appear on their behalf at meetings in which they themselves act judicially, the right extends to Places of Public Worship.
Incumbent. Perhaps we might hear you later. If you were kind enough to raise your objections in the Vestry, it would be—
Counsel (interrupting). Pardon me, that would scarcely be satisfactory. We do not wish any hole-and-corner agitation. I am instructed by my client to say, that he courts the fullest investigation. Now, the facts are these:—
[Gives the facts, and ends an eloquent speech with a magnificent peroration.
Incumbent. In consequence of the rather long argument of our dear and learned brother, the customary quarter of an hour's sermon will not be given on this occasion. [Curtain.
* * * * *
AL FRESCO OPERA.—Cavalleria Rusticana at the Royal Shaftesbury, and Le Reve in the Winter (Covent) Garden kept by Ex-Sheriff DRURIOLANUS. "About the latter," says Sir DRURIOLANUS, "some enthusiasts quite rave. See?" (Exit Ex-Sheriff, to note this down for the forthcoming Pantomime.)
* * * * *
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.