PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
October 3rd, 1891.
THE TRAVELLING COMPANIONS.
SCENE—The Burg Terrace at Nuremberg. PODBURY on a bench, grappling with the Epitome of SPENCER.
Podbury (reading aloud, with comments). "For really to conceive the infinite divisibility of matter is mentally to follow out the divisions to infinity, and to do this would require infinite time." You're right there, old cock, and, as I haven't got it to spare, I won't trouble you!—um—um ... "opposite absurdities"—"subjective modifications" ... "ultimate scientific ideas, then, are all representative of ideas that cannot be comprehended." I could have told him that. What bally rot this Philosophy is—but I suppose I must peg away at it. Didn't she say she was sorry I didn't go in more for cultivating my mind? (He looks up.) Jove, here she comes! and yes, there's that beggar CULCHARD with her! I thought he'd—how the dickens did he manage to—? I see what he's after—thinks he'll cut me out—twice over—but he shan't this time, if I can help it!
Culchard (to Miss HYPATIA PRENDERGAST). No, the Modern Spirit is too earnestly intent upon solving the problems of existence to tolerate humour in its literature. Humour has served a certain purpose in its day, but that day is done, and I for one cannot pretend to regret its decay.
Miss H. P. Nor I. In fact, the only humour I ever really appreciated is that of the ancient classics. There has been no true fun since ARISTOPHANES died. At least, I think not.
Podb. (catching the last sentence). Oh, I say, come, Miss PRENDERGAST. Have you ever read "The Jumping Frog"?
Miss P. I was under the impression that all frogs jumped. But I never read—I—ah—study.
Podb. (declining to be crushed). Well, I call MARK TWAIN funny anyhow. But I'm going in for study now. I am—honour bright! I'm swotting up SPENCER—look!
[He exhibits the volume proudly.
Miss P. And are you not enchanted by the logical lucidity of that great thinker?
Podb. Um—I should be more enchanted if I ever had the faintest notion what the great thinker was driving at. Look here—here's a simple little sentence for you! (Reads.) "Let us therefore bear in mind the following:—That of the whole incident force affecting an aggregate, the effective force is that which remains after deducting the non-effective, that the temporarily effective and the permanently effective vary inversely, and that the molar and molecular changes wrought by the permanently effective force also vary inversely." (With pathos.) And that's only in an Epitome, mind you!
Miss P. Really, Mr. PODBURY, I see nothing particularly incomprehensible in that.
Culch. (with his superior smile). My dear PODBURY, you can hardly expect to master the Spencerian phraseology and habit of thought without at least some preliminary mental discipline!
Podb. (nettled). Oh—but you find him plain-sailing enough, I suppose?
Culch. I have certainly not encountered any insuperable difficulties in his works as yet.
Podb. Well, I'll just trouble you to explain this—wait a bit. (Opens volume again.) Ah, here we are—"And these illusive and primordial cognitions, or pseud-ideas, are homogeneous entities which may be differentiated objectively or subjectively, according as they are presented as Noumenon or Phenomenon. Or, in other words, they are only cognoscible as a colligation of incongruous coalescences." Now then—are you going to tell me you can make head or tail of all that?
Culch. (perceiving that Miss P. is awaiting his reply in manifest suspense). It's simple enough, my dear fellow, only I can't expect you to grasp it. It is merely a profound truth stated with masterly precision.
Podb. Oh, is that all, my dear fellow? (He flings up his heels in an ecstasy.) I knew I'd have you! Why, I made that up myself as I went along, and if you understand it, it's a jolly sight more than I do! [He roars with laughter.
Miss P. (behind her handkerchief). Mr. CULCHARD has evidently gone through the—the "preliminary mental discipline."
Culch. (scarlet and sulky). Of course, if Mr. PODBURY descends to childishness of that sort, I can't pretend to—
Podb. (wiping his eyes). But you did pretend, old chap. You said it was "profound truth" and "masterly precision"! I've got more profound truth where that came from. I say, I shall set up as an intellectual Johnny after this, and get you to write an Epitome of me. I think I pulled your leg that time, eh?
Culch. (biting his lip). When you have extracted sufficient entertainment from that very small joke, you will perhaps allow Miss PRENDERGAST to sit down and begin her sketch. You may not be aware that you've taken her place.
[He withdraws majestically to the parapet, while PODBURY makes way for Miss P. with apologies.
Podb. (as he leans over seat while she sketches). I wish your brother BOB had been here—he would have enjoyed that!
Miss P. It was really too bad of you, though. Poor Mr. CULCHARD!
Podb. He shouldn't try to make me out a bigger duffer than I am, then. But I say, you don't really think it was too bad? Ah, you're laughing—you don't!
Miss P. Never mind what I really think. But you have got us both into sad disgrace. Mr. CULCHARD is dreadfully annoyed with us—look at his shoulders!
Culch. (leaning over parapet with his back to them). That ass PODBURY! To think of his taking me in with an idiotic trick like that! And before Her too! And when I had made it all right about the other evening, and was producing an excellent impression on the way up here. I wish I could hear what they were whispering about—more silly jokes at my expense, no doubt. Bah! as if it affected me!
Podb. (to Miss P.). I say, how awfully well you draw!
Miss P. There you betray your ignorance in Art matters. Sketching with me is a pastime, not a serious pursuit, (They go on conversing in a lower tone.) No, please, Mr. PODBURY. I'm quite sure he would never—
Podb. (rises; comes up to CULCHARD, and touches his shoulder). I say, old chappie—
Culch. (jerking away with temper). Now, look here, PODBURY. I'm not in the mood for any more of your foolery—
Podb. (humbly). All right, old boy. I wouldn't bother you, only Miss PRENDERGAST wants a figure for her foreground, and I said I'd ask you if you'd keep just as you are for a few minutes. Do you mind?
Culch. (to himself). Afraid she's gone too far—thinks she'll smooth me down! Upon my word, it would serve her right to—but no, I won't be petty. (Aloud.) Pray tell Miss PRENDERGAST that I have no immediate intention of altering my position.
Podb. Thanks awfully, old chap. I knew you'd oblige.
Culch. (incisively). I am obliging Miss PRENDERGAST, and her only. (Raising his voice, without turning his head.) Would you prefer me to face you, Miss PRENDERGAST?
Miss P. (in tremulous tones). N—no, thank you. It—it's so much more n—natural, don't you know, for you to be l—looking at the view.
Culch. As you please. (To himself.) Can't meet my eye. Good! I shall go on treating her distantly for a little. I wonder if I look indifferent enough from behind? Shall I cross one foot? Better not—she may have begun sketching me. If she imagines I'm susceptible to feminine flattery of this palpable kind, she'll—how her voice shook, though, when she spoke. Poor girl, she's afraid she offended me by laughing—and I did think she had more sense than to—but I mustn't be too hard on her. I'm afraid she's already beginning to think too much of—and with my peculiar position with Miss TROTTER—(MAUD, that is)—not that there's anything definite at present, still—(Aloud.) Ahem, Miss PRENDERGAST—am I standing as you wish? (To himself.) She doesn't answer—too absorbed, and I can't hear that idiot—found he hasn't scored so much after all, and gone off in a huff, I expect. So much the better! What a time she is over this, and how quiet she keeps! I wish I knew whether it was coquetry or—shall I turn round and see? No, I must be perfectly indifferent. And she did laugh at me. I distinctly saw her. Still, if she's sorry, this would be an excellent opportunity for—(Aloud.) Miss PRENDERGAST! (No reply—louder.) May I take it that you regret having been betrayed into momentary approbation of a miserable piece of flippancy? If so, let me assure you—(Turns round—to discover that he is addressing two little flaxen-haired girls in speckled pinafores, who are regarding him open-mouthed. Miss PRENDERGAST and PODBURY have disappeared.) PODBURY again! He must have planned this—with her! It is too much. I have done—yes—done with the pair of them! [Strides off in bitter indignation.
* * * * *
SCHOOL-BOY'S FIRST EXPERIENCE OF SMOKING.—One sickarette,—and he never could do another. O si sic omnes!
* * * * *
* * * * *
"HOTEL ME, GENTLE STRANGER!"
[Mrs. WHEELER and Mrs. CUSTER, two literary ladies of New York, are starting a hotel for women only.]
Says Mrs. CUSTER to Mrs. WHEELER: "I propose we put out a 'promoting' feeler!" Says Mrs. WHEELER to Mrs. CUSTER, "Monopolist Males we shall greatly fluster;" 'Hotel it not in Gath!' at present Till we have made things nice and pleasant. First rule—'No Rules!' O, of course male noddies Will snigger at once, the superior bodies! But OSCAR WILDE must 'pull up his socks,' Ere he'll equal women at paradox. What I mean is this, in our 'Women's Hotel,' We'll have no such thing as the 'Curfew Bell,' And no fixed hour for the cry, 'Out lights!' We will give free way to true 'Woman's Rights,' Which are to thump, strum, tap, twirl, trill, From morn till night at her own sweet will. That's why we cherish, despite male spleen, Typewriter, Piano, and Sewing-Machine! The 'woodpecker tapping' is, indeed, not in it With Emancipate Woman—no, not for a minute! Our Hotel will be, when we've won the battle, 'The Paradise of unlimited Rattle,' 'The Realm of the Spindle,' 'the Home of the Duster!'" Says Mrs. WHEELER to Mrs. CUSTER. "Nought tabooed save Man! So comes Peace the Healer!" Says Mrs. CUSTER to Mrs. WHEELER. Punch hopes their Hotel may flourish—only, Spots "Reserved for Ladies" are often—lonely!
* * * * *
THE GERMAN EMPEROR GOING NAP.—It now appears that the words descriptive of NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE used by the German Emperor, and to which the French took so strong an exception, were not "Le parvenu Corse," but "Le conquerant Corse," which, of course, makes all the difference. At this banquet it would have been better had each course been omitted from the menu.
* * * * *
A Vain Vaunt.
La belle France boasts of being Art's true henchman! That cosmopolitan claim she should be mute on. "Art for Art's sake!" shouts the thrasonic Frenchman, "Save when that Art is Teuton," Though Art's not marred for him by subtle sin A German twang poisons e'en Lohengrin.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE ARMADA FROM THE SPANISH.
(Commenced by Mr. J.A. Froude and concluded by the Duke of Medina Sidonia.)
It may be remembered that the English writer in Longman's Magazine, had got to the point when after trying to get out of the expedition by pleading poverty, incompetency, and anything else I could think of, I was forced to go on my way to England with apparent satisfaction. We had putrid pork and mouldy biscuit, but still I informed the King that we were "content and cheerful." Had I given him any other intelligence, the chances are that he would have had my head—not a good one, but sufficient to meet my modest requirements.
Well, we sailed towards England, and as Mr. J.A. FROUDE has already explained (quoting from my own letter to King PHILIP), "knowing nothing of navigation," I soon made a bad shot. Instead of going to Tilbury, I drifted towards Cronstadt, even then a fortress of some consideration. I could tell you a great deal more, were it not that I succumbed to sea-sickness and gave up my command. The expedition was now, of course, commanded by the steward, but the duties of his unpleasant office left him but little time for directing an invasion. Well, we got within reach of England when the wind began to blow, and before I could hitch myself up with a marling-spike, every man Jack of us was ready for Davy Jones's locker!
But why should I dwell upon the events of the next few days? We were out-manoeuvred and beaten. I myself took refuge in a wood of mahogany trees, and it was my delight and my privilege to supply the requirements of the British colony in all that they desired. The result of this was that I and a few personal friends took refuge in a forest in which mahogany trees flourished. It was in this leafy prison that I supplied the genuine old Armada mahogany "as advertised." I would be afraid to say how many places I supplied with wood from the Armada. I may hint that I know something of the tables at Westminster and the benches of Gray's Inn. But there, that is many years ago, and all I can say now is, "Heave away, boys," and "Three cheers for the Don, the Keys, and the Donkey." I was the Don, the keys were supplied to those who paid for them, and the donkeys could defend themselves. The Armada was not a success, and after this frank avowal, it seems to me that Mr. FROUDE need render no further explanation. Surely the story of the Spanish Invasion is copyright. And if it is, Mr. FROUDE has no right to tamper with my work, the more especially as it is immediately appropriated by that model of modern journalism the Review of Reviews.
* * * * *
PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTION.—We have five senses. That's quite enough. If we had a sixth sense, what a new sense it would be!
* * * * *
"IN CELLAR DEEP."
(Latest Up-to-Date Version of a celebrated Bacchanalian ditty, as it might be revised by Dr. Mortimer Granville and Mr. James Payn.)
["No one drinks alcoholic liquor (unless it be beer) to quench thirst."—JAMES PAYN.]
In Cellar deep I sit and steep My soul in GRANVILLE'S logic. Companions mine, sound ale, good wine— That foils Teetotal dodge—hic! With solemn pate our sages prate, The Pump-slaves neatly pinking. He's proved an ass, whose days don't pass In drinking, drinking, drinking!
In water pure there's danger sure, All fizzle-pop's deceiving; And ginger-beer must make you queer (If GRANVILLE you're believing). Safe, on the whole, is Alcohol; It saves man's strength from sinking. I injure none, and have good f—fun. Whilst drinking, drinking, drinking!
Hic! Hic! Hooray!! New reasons gay For drink from doctors borrow! The last (not first) is simple thirst, Thatsh true—to LAWSON'S sorrow! Good Templarsh fain would "physic PAYN," And GRANVILLE squelch like winking; But all the same, true Wisdom's—hic—game Is drinking, drinking, drinking!
[Left playing it.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S NAVAL NOVEL.
[Mr. Punch has observed with much gratification the success of various brochures professing to give, under the disguise of retrospect, a prophetic but accurate account of the naval battle of the immediate future. Mr. Punch has read them carefully over and over again. For some time he has been living, so to speak, in the midst of magnificent iron-clad fleets. In vain have torpedoes been launched on their occasionally death-dealing mission against him, in vain have immense shells exploded in his immediate neighbourhood. Nothing, not even the ramming of one whole squadron by another, has succeeded in daunting him. He has remained immovable in the midst of an appalling explosion which reduced a ship's company to a heap of toe-nails. And now, his mind fired by the crash of conflict and the intoxication of almost universal slaughter, he proposes to show the world how a naval novel that means to be accurate as well as vivid, to be bought by the public in thousands as well as to teach useful lessons to politicians and sailors, ought really to be written. Mr. Punch may as well state that he has not submitted this story to any naval experts. His facts speak for themselves, and require no merely professional approval to enhance their value.]
WHO'D BE A SAILOR?
(A Story of Blood and Battle.)
Listen, my Grandchildren! for you are mine, not indeed by the ridiculous accident of birth (since to speak the truth I am an unmarried old sea-dog), but by the far higher and more honourable title of having been selected by me to hear this yarn. You know well enough that such a tale must be told to grandchildren, and since you undoubtedly possessed grandparents, and have been hired at a shilling an hour to listen to me, I have every right to address you as I did. Therefore I say, my grandchildren, attend to what I am about to relate. You who live under the beneficent sway of the mighty Australo-Canado-Africo-Celto-Americo-Anglian Federation of Commonwealths, can have no notion of the degraded conditions under which I, your grandfather, and the rest of my miserable fellow-countrymen lived fifty years ago in the year 1892. Naturally you have read no books of history referring to any date anterior to 1902. The wretched records of ignorance, slavery and decrepitude have been justly expunged from your curriculum. Let me tell you then that a little country calling itself the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at that time arrogated to itself the leadership of the mighty countries which you now call your home. You smile and refer me to a large-sized map on which, as you justly observe, this country occupies a space of not more than two square inches. Your surprise is intelligible, but the melancholy fact remains. All this has now been happily changed, and changed too in consequence of a war in which England (for so the country was often inaccurately called, except upon Scotch political platforms, where people naturally objected to the name) in which, as I say, England bore the chief part and obtained the decisive victory. The story of this war I am now about to relate to you.
War had been declared. We had known for a long time that it was coming. For months past the bellicose bench of Bishops had been preaching war in all the Cathedrals of the land. Field Marshal the Duke of WOLSELEY, who was then a simple lord, had written articles in all the prominent American reviews, and had proved to demonstration that with 50,000 boys and the new patent revolving ammunition belt, Britain (for that too was the name of my late country) was ready to defy and conquer the world. Rear-Admiral and Lieutenant-General Sir WILLIAM T. STEAD, G.C.B., C.S.I., K.G., V.C.—the great journalist in the shade of whose colossal mounted statue we are now sitting—had suddenly become a convert to the doctrine that war is the great purifier, and had offered in a spirit of extraordinary self-abnegation to command both the Army and the Fleet in action. Volunteer corps armed with scythes, paper-knives, walking-sticks and umbrellas had sprung up all over the country, and had provided their own uniforms and equipment. Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, father of the present Earl of South Africa, had been recalled to office by an alarmed country, and had united in his own person the offices of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of the Admiralty, Premier, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord Privy Seal. As a first step towards restoring confidence, he had, with his own hands, beheaded the former Prime Minister, the Marquis of SALISBURY, and had published a cheap and popular edition of his epoch-making Letters from Mashonaland. His Lordship's official residence had been established at the Amphitryon Club where they still preserve on constant relays of ice the Becassine bardee aux truffes which Lord RANDOLPH was about to eat when he snubbed the united ambassadors of Germany, France, Austria, Russia, Italy and the Republic of Andorra. The immediate consequence was a declaration of war against us.
I was at that time in command of H.M.S. Bandersnatch, a vessel of nine hundred thousand horse-power, and a mean average displacement of four hundred thousand tons. Ah, the dear old Bandersnatch! Never can I forget the thrill of exquisite emotion which pervaded my inmost being as I stepped on board in mid-ocean. Everything was in apple-pie order. Bulkheads, girders, and beams shone like glass in the noonday sun. The agile torpedo-catchers had been practising their sports, and I could not resist a feeling of intense pride when I learnt that only fifty of these heroic fellows had that morning perished owing to the accidental explosion of one of their charming playthings at the very crisis of the game. The racers of the after-guns had been out for their morning's exercise. Indeed the saddles had only just been removed, and the noble animals were now enjoying a good square meal of corn in their bombproof stable. Keep your animals in good fettle, and they'll never shirk their work: that was always my motto, and right well has it answered. The roaring furnaces, the cylindrical boilers, the prisoned steam, the twin screws, the steel shot that crashes like thunder, the fearful impact of the ram, the blanching terror of the supreme moment, the shattered limbs and scattered heads,—all these were ready, waiting but for the pressure of my finger on the middle button of the boatswain's mess-waistcoat to speed forth upon their deadly work between the illustrated covers of a shilling pamphlet.
In another moment the enemy's fleet had hove in sight. Our movements in the ten minutes preceding the fatal conflict will be best understood by consulting the annexed diagram:—
We advanced in this imposing order for five minutes. Then came a puff of smoke, and, in less time than it takes to tell it, two thousand men had been literally blown into thin air, their sole remnant being the left shoe of my trusty second in command, Captain GLIMDOWSE. I trained the two turret-guns until I had got them into perfect condition, and gave the word. The crash that followed was terrific. One of the massive missiles went home, and stayed there, no amount of inducement availing to bring it out again to face the battle. The other, however, behaved as a British missile should, and exploded in the heart of the hostile fleet. The result was terrific. French, German and Russian Admirals by the thousand were destroyed, their scattered fragments literally darkening the face of the sun, and a mixed shower of iron, steel, stanchions, bollards, monster guns, Admirals, sailors, stewards, cocked-hats, and Post Captains fell for ten minutes without intermission from the clouds into which they had been driven by the awful force of the explosion. I turned to my Lieutenant, who was standing beside me, to give a necessary order. As I was about to address him, the machine-guns in the enemy's tops belched forth a myriad projectiles, and the unfortunate Lieutenant was swept into eternity. All that was left of him was his right hand, which, curiously enough, remained for a minute suspended in the air in its proper relative position to what had been the Lieutenant's body. I mastered my emotion with an effort, as I reverently grasped and shook the melancholy relic. Then, shedding a silent tear, I dropped it over the side, and with an aching heart, watched it disappear beneath the wave on which many of its former owner's happiest hours had been spent.
This catastrophe ended the battle. The allied fleets had been swept off the face of the ocean. I packed what remained of H.M.S. Bandersnatch in my tobacco-pouch, attached myself to a hen-coop, and thus floated triumphantly into Portsmouth Harbour.
* * * * *
CHARLEMAGNE AND I.
Aix-la-Chapelle, Monday.—I have always had a strange longing to know CHARLEMAGNE. To shake him by the hand, to have opportunity of inquiring after his health and that of his family, to hear his whispered reply—that indeed were bliss. But CHARLEMAGNE is dead, and desire must be curbed. The only thing open to an admirer is to visit the place of his last repose, and brood in spots his shade may yet haunt. CHARLEMAGNE was buried at Aix-la-Chapelle (German Aachen), but since my arrival in the town, I find great difficulty in discovering his tomb. The great soldier Emperor resembled an unfortunate and unskilful pickpocket in one respect. He was always being taken up. He died in the year 814, and was left undisturbed till the year 1000, when the Emperor OTTO THE THIRD opened his tomb, and, finding his great predecessor sitting on a marble chair, helped him down. The marble chair is on view in the Cathedral to this day (verger, I mark) to witness to the truth of this narrative. One hundred and sixty-five years later, FREDERICK BARBAROSSA opened the second tomb where OTHO had placed C., and transferred to a marble sarcophagus what, at this date, was left of him. In the following century C. was canonised. Whereupon nothing would satisfy FREDERICK THE SECOND but to go for the bones again. They were now growing scarce, and only a few fragments fill the reliquary in which at length all that is left of my revered friend (if after this lapse of time I may call him so) reposes.
I have been fortunate in securing a relic, not exactly of CAROLO, but of the time at or about which he lived. It is a piece of tapestry, on which fingers long since dust have worked a sketch of the Emperor going to his bath. Considering its age, the tapestry is in remarkably fresh condition. The old Hebrew trader, whom for a consideration I induced to part with it, said he would not charge any more on that account; which I thought very considerate. He also said he might be able to get me some more pieces. But this, I think, will do to go on with.
But if there be nothing left of CAROLO MAGNO, there still is the city he loved, in which he lived and died. Here is the Kaiserquelle, bubbling out of Buechel in which, centuries ago, he laved his lordly limbs. Going down into my bath this morning I observed in the dim light the imprint of a footstep on the marble stair.
"That might have been CHARLEMAGNE'S," I said to YAHKOB, my bath attendant.
"Ja wohl," said YAHKOB, nodding in his friendly way, and, going out, he presently returned with a hot towel.
That did not seem to follow naturally upon my observation, which was, indeed, born of idle fancy. (I know very well C.'s death eventuated long prior to the building of the stately colonnade that fronts the present baths, and that therefore the footprint is illusory.) I am growing used to a certain irrelevancy in YAHKOB's conversation. My German is of the date of CHARLEMAGNE, and is no more understood here than is the Greek of SOCRATES in the streets of Athens. YAHKOB was especially told off for my service because he thoroughly understood and talked English. He says, "Ye-es" and "Ver well." But when I offer a chance remark he, three times out of five, nods intelligently, bolts off and brings me something back—a comb and brush, a newspaper, but oftenest, a hot towel. Once, when I asked him whether there were two posts a day to London, he lugged in an arm-chair.
I get on better with WILLIAM. WILLIAM is a rubber—not of whist, bien entendu, but of men. In build WILLIAM is pear-shaped, the upper part of him, where you would expect to find the stalk, broadening out into a perpetual smile. He has lived in the Baths twenty-three years, and yet his gaiety is not eclipsed. If he has a foible it is his belief that he thoroughly understands London and its ways.
"A ver big place," he remarked this morning, "where dey kills de ladees."
This reference not being immediately clear, WILLIAM assisted dull comprehension by drawing his finger across his throat, and uttering a jovial "click!" But it was only when, his eyes brimming over with fun, he said, "YAK de Reeper," that I followed the drift of his remark.
It is gratifying to the citizen of London travelling abroad, to learn that in the mind of the foreigner the great Metropolis is primarily and chiefly associated with "JACK the Ripper" and his exploits.
"I rob you not hard," WILLIAM incidentally remarks, pounding at your chest as if it were a parquet flooring he was polishing; "but I strong so I can break a shentleman's ribs."
I make due acknowledgment of the prowess, being particularly careful to refrain from expressing doubt, or even surprise. WILLIAM, always smiling, repeats the assertion just as if I had contradicted him. Try to change subject.
"I wonder if CHARLEMAGNE had a massage man in his suite?" I say, "and who was his Doctor? Now if he had had Dr. BRANDIS, I believe he would have been alive at this day. But we cannot have everything. CHARLEMAGNE had the Iron Crown of Lombardy; we have Dr. BRANDIS."
"Y e e s," said WILLIAM, still gloating over his own train of thought; "eef I like I break a shentleman's ribs."
Sometimes WILLIAM'S smile, contracting, breaks into a whistle, horribly out of tune. He rather fancies his musical powers, and is proud of his intimate acquaintance with the fashionable chansons current in London to-day, or as he puts it, "Vat dey shings at de Carrelton Clob." Then he warbles a line of the happily long-forgotten "Champagne CHARLIE," with intervals of "Oh what a surprise!" He sings both to the same tune, and fortunately knows only two lines of one and a single line of the other.
Try to bring him back to CAROLO MAGNO.
"Wouldn't you," I ask "give all you are worth to have lived in the time of CHARLEMAGNE? Suppose some day you walked into this room and discovered him sitting on his marble throne as OTHO found him with the Iron Crown on his head and his right hand grasping the imperial sceptre, what would you do?"
"I would break hees ribs," said WILLIAM, his face illumined by a sudden flash of delighted anticipation.
Alack! we are thinking of two personages sundered by centuries. My mind dwells on CHARLEMAGNE, whilst WILLIAM is evidently thinking of Champagne CHARLIE.
* * * * *
"ANNALS OF A VERY QUIET FAMILY."
There were eight of us, each within a year or so of one another.
Father was a very quiet man, engaged all day in his study.
Mother was equally quiet.
Father would never allow a trumpet, drum, or any instrument of torture, except the piano, to be brought into the house.
Mother quietly saw his orders carried out.
In due course we all left home one after the other, and having been so quiet for so long, each one of us has contrived to make a considerable noise in the world since, and are all doing well. "Doing" may be used in the widest possible sense. Among other accomplishments we blow our own trumpets, as you see. As father and mother object to noise, we have not encouraged their visits.
* * * * *
* * * * *
"AS HE'D LIKE IT."
(Shakspeare once more freely adapted to the situation.)
["We wanted, and we want, to do for the villages, what the first reformed Parliament did in conferring municipal government upon the towns. We knew that the Tory Party did not really mean to give us village or parish Councils.... 'The Radical agitators,' says Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH, 'want to see a complete change in the social condition of rural society.' What if we do?... Why, it was for this that many of us, seven or eight years ago, and many more years ago, fought for getting the labourer a vote."—Mr. John Morley at Cambridge.]
SCENE—The Forest of Ha(w)arden.
Touchstone (Mr. J-HN M-RL-Y); Audrey, (The Agricultural Vote); Jaques (Mr. P-NCH), behind. Afterwards William (Sir M-CH-L H-CKS-B-CH.)
Touch. Come apace, good AUDREY: I will fetch up your votes, AUDREY. And how, AUDREY?—am I the man yet? Doth my simple programme content you?
Audrey. Your programme! Lord warrant us, what programme?
Touch. I am here with thee and thy Votes as the glittering poet-god Apollo was among the herds of Admetus.
Jaq. (aside). Oh, knowledge oddly applied! Fancy Olympian Oracles in a thatched cottage!
Touch. When a man's speeches cannot be understood, nor a man's good platform wit seconded by the froward child popular understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a small minority on a big Bill. Truly, I would the gods had made thee political.
Aud. I do not know what political is. Is it honest in deed and word? Is it a true thing?
Touch. (with sardonic frankness). No, truly; for the truest politics show the most feigning; and Tories are given to politics; and what they swear, in politics, may be said, as Tories, they do feign.
Aud. Do you wish, then, that the gods had made me political?
Touch. I do, truly; for they swear to me thou art true Tory, parson-and-squire-ridden Tory. Now, if thou wert political, I might have some hope thou didst feign—to them!
Aud. Would you not have me Tory?
Touch. No, truly, unless thou wert fortune-favoured; for Toryism coupled to poverty is to have folly a sauce to misery.
Jaq. (aside). A shrewd fool!
Aud. Well, I am not rich; and therefore I pray the gods to make me Liberal.
Touch. Truly, and to cast away Liberalism upon a willingly "unemancipated" Voter, were to deck a porker with pearls.
Aud. I may not be "emancipated," but I thank the gods I am "enfranchised."
Touch. Well, praised be the Liberals for thine enfranchisement! Emancipation—from "squarsonry"—may come hereafter. But, be it as it may, I will marry thee.
Jaq. (aside). I would fain see this wedding. Methinks there will be sport forward ere it be fully achieved.
Aud. Well, the gods give us joy!
Touch. Amen.... But, AUDREY, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to you.
Aud. Ay, I know who 'tis: he hath no interest in me in the world. Here comes the man you mean.
Touch. It is meat and drink to me to see a—Tory: by my troth, we that have good wits have much to answer for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.
Will. Good even, AUDREY.
Aud. Give ye good even, WILLIAM.
Will. And good even to you, Sir!
Touch. Good even, gentle friend.... Art thou wise?
Will. Ay, Sir, I have a pretty wit.
Touch. You do desire this maid?
Will. I do, Sir.
Touch. Give me your hand. Art thou learned?
Will. No, Sir.
Touch. Then learn this of me; to have is to have; for it is a great figure in Gladstonian rhetoric, that votes being deducted from one Party and added to another, by putting the one Out do put the other In; for all your writers do consent that ipse is he: now you are not ipse, for I am he.
Will. Which he, Sir?
Touch. He, Sir, that must marry the woman. Therefore, you Tory, abandon—which is, in the vulgar, leave—the society, which in the boorish is, company—of this female,—which in the common is, woman; which together is, abandon the society of this female, or Tory, thou vanishest; or, to thy better understanding, skedaddlest; or, to wit, I defeat thee, make thee away, translate thy majority into minority, thine Office into Opposition; I will deal in programmes with thee, or in eloquence, or in epigram; I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee with policy; I will "mend thee or end thee" a hundred and fifty ways; therefore, tremble, and depart!
It was a lover and his lass, With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino, That o'er the stubble fields did pass (Together WILL caught 'em). In the time of autumn, When M.P.'s spout, and "manoeuvre" about; M.P.'s (who are "out") love autumn.
About three acres and a cow, With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino; The artful country folks know now. In the time of autumn, &c.
Since that the franchise was their dower, With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino, The Country Voters are a power. In the time of autumn, &c.
And, therefore, at the present time, With "an Agricultural Policy"—funny, ho!— Both Parties simple HODGE would lime, In the time of autumn, &c.
Will. (aside). Truly, though there is no great matter in the ditty, yet the note is very untuneable. [Exit.
Touch. Trip, AUDREY, trip, AUDREY,—I attend,—I attend! [Exeunt.
Jaq. (appearing). There is surely another political deluge forward, and these motley would-be couples are seeking the official ark! [Exit.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE TRUE TENNYSON.
We have all been startled to find from the researches of Mr. WOODALL in Notes and Queries, that "Between the story sung by the Poet Laureate in his romantic poem The Lord of Burleigh, and the actual fact, there seems to be little in common." HENRY CECIL, Earl and afterwards Marquis of EXETER, married Miss SARAH HOGGINS under the name of JOHN JONES, having a wife alive at the time, and she did not die as the poem relates. It is obvious then that TENNYSON must be re-written, and we offer his Lordship the following humble suggestions. The Lord of Burleigh should henceforward run somewhat as follows:—
Quoth he, "Gentle SARAH HOGGINS," Speaking in seductive tones, "You must wed no HODGE or SCROGGINS, But espouse your own J. JONES." Oh! he was an artful party, And that marriage was a crime. He'd a wife alive and hearty, Though she'd left him for a time.
The above discovery has, of course, led to doubts regarding other Tennysonian heroines. Was Lady CLARA VERE DE VERE, for example, as black as the poet has painted her? Perish the thought! Here are a couple of specimen stanzas for an amended version:—
Lady CLARA VERE DE VERE, I vow that you were not a flirt, The daughter of a hundred Earls Would not a single creature hurt. "Kind hearts are more than coronets," What abject twaddle, on my word; And then the joke is in the end,— We know they made the bard a Lord.
The tale of how young LAURENCE died, In some audacious print began; The fact is that he took to drink, He always was that sort of man. And as for ALFRED, why, of course You snubbed him; but was that a crime, That he should go and call you names, And print his atrabilious rhyme?
Then, again, was the Amy of Locksley Hall quite as shallow-hearted and so forth as the angry rhymester declares? It will probably turn out that she was not. Hence the verses should run in this fashion:—
And I said, "My Cousin AMY, speak the truth, my heart to ease. Shall it be by banns or license?" And she whispered, "Which you please." Love took up the glass of Time and waved it gaily in the air,
Married life was sweet at Number Twenty-Six in Camden Square.
AMY faithless! Bless your heart, Sir, that was not the case at all:
It was pure imagination that I wrote in Locksley Hall.
This process will doubtless have to be applied to many of the poems, but we must leave the congenial task to the Laureate.
* * * * *
A SONNET OF VAIN DESIRE.
AFTER THE HOLIDAYS.
As when th' industrious windmill vainly yearns To pause, and scratch its swallow-haunted head, Yet at the wind's relentless urging turns Its flying arms in wild appeal outspread; So am I vex'd by vain desire, that burns These barren places whence the hair hath fled, To wander far amid the woodland ferns, Where dewdrops shine along the gossamer thread; Where its own sunlight on the reddening leaf Sleeps, when soft mists have swathed the sunless tree,
Or where the innumerous billows merrily dance; Yet must I busily dissemble grief Whirl'd in the pitiless round of circumstance, Rigid with trained respectability.
* * * * *
New Way out of a Wager.
DESMOND, Theosophist Colonel, now thinks better Of his rash vow his gift to "demonstrate," Receiving a "precipitated letter" Warning him not to be—precipitate. Many a Betting Man who'd hedge or tack Must wish he had Mahatmas at his back.
* * * * *
The Beggar's Petition.
Life must not be lost, Sir, with lightness, To labour for life gives me pain; My exchequer's affected with tightness, But begging's the pink of politeness, Like Scribes, Sir, "I beg—to remain!" *
* And didn't CHARLES LAMB, in his most delightful essay On the Decay of Beggars, deplore their gradual disappearance?
* * * * *
Song by a Scotch Student. AIR—"Annie Laurie."
["According to Dr. LAURIE, of Edinburgh University, the "teaching of Greek, so far as it is attempted in our secondary schools, is positively harmful."—Daily News.]
Pedagogue brays are bonnie, When Greek they'd fain taboo; And 'tis here that Doctor LAURIE Gi'es utterance strictly true, Gi'es utterance strictly true, Which ne'er forgot should be, And for bonnie Doctor LAURIE, A Scottish boy would dee.
Auld HOMER is a humbug, ANACREON is an ass; Sumphs scrape enoo o' baith o' them, The "Little-go" to pass, The Little-go to pass— It affects them "harmfullee." Ah! but bonnie Doctor LAURIE, He kens Greek's a' my ee!
Like diplomas fause and lying, Are "passes" such as this. Why should Scotch lads sit sighing O'er the Anabasis?— O'er the Anabasis? XENOPHON's fiddle-de-dee? Oh, for bonnie Doctor LAURIE, I'd shout with three times three!
* * * * *
UNDER-LYNE'D.—Said Sir W. VERNON HARCOURT, at Ashton-under-Lyne, "I am very glad to be enabled to come here from the hospitable roof of Mr. RUPERT MASON." ... And again, "I have come here also from the roof of Mr. MATHER." Quite a Sir WILLIAM ROOFUS! But what was he doing on the roof? Was there a tile off in each case? Something wrong with the first house that a Mason couldn't set right? And with the second, did Sir ROOFUS sing, "Oh dear, what can the Mather be?" And why the invidious distinction between the two roofs? The first being hospitable, and the second having no pleasant epithet to recommend it.
* * * * *
PROPOSED NEW TITLE FOR LORD GR-M-TH-RPE.—Baron (H)ALTER EGO.
* * * * *
* * * * *
POPULAR SONGS RE-SUNG;
OR, MISS BOWDLER AT THE MUSIC HALLS.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,
In these progressive days earnest reformers, especially those of the London County Council type, yearn to chasten and aestheticise the Muse of the Music Hall, who is perhaps the only really popular Muse of the period. My name gives me a sort of hereditary right to take exceptional interest in such matters, though indeed my respected, and respectable, ancestor is not in all things the model of his more catholic and cosmopolitan descendant. The McDougall regimen would doubtless be a little too drastic. To improve the Music-hall Song off the face of the earth, is an attempt which could only suggest itself to puritan fanaticism in its most arbitrary administrative form. The proletariat will not "willingly let die" the only Muse whose ministrations really "come home to its business and its bosom." No, Sir, the People's Pegasus cannot, must not be ruthlessly consigned to the knackers. But may it not be gently bitted, discreetly bridled, and taught to trot or amble with park-hack paces in the harness of Respectability?
It is in this hope and faith that the following drawing-room versions of some of "the most popular Comic (and Sentimental) Songs of the Day" have been attempted by Your respectful admirer, VIRGINIA BOWDLER.
To the Respectable Citizen, the Moral Matron, and the Young Person, with a love of larkiness and lilt, but a distrust of politics, pugilism, and deep potations, the following eclectic adaptation of this prodigiously popular ballad may perhaps be not altogether unwelcome.
No. I.—TWO LOVELY BROWN EYES,
AIR—"Two Lovely Black Eyes".
Strolling one Sunday near Bethnal Green, This "aesthete" you might have seen, Surveying "the People" with scornful spleen When, oh, what a surprise! An Art Exhibition I chanced to see, Therein I entered right speed-i-lee, When—on a canvas—there shone on me Two lovely brown eyes!
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! Smiling right down on a dingy throng, Two lovely brown eyes!
From a canvas of "High Art" sort they shone, Their owner was cinctured with classic zone, She was spare of flesh, she was big in bone, Oh, what a surprise! A parson, whom everyone owned "a good sort," Had hung them there for the pleasure and sport Of the dreary dwellers in slum and court, Those lovely brown eyes!
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! Drawing the gaze of an East-End crowd, Two lovely brown eyes!
My own regard, as I loitered there, Fastened on one proletariat pair, With finery frowsy, and oily hair; Oh, what a surprise! "SALLIE" and "BILL" were the names they flung Frankly abroad with unreticent tongue, Lounging and staring where graciously hung Those lovely brown eyes.
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! SALLIE and BILL your calm beauty could thrill; Two lovely brown eyes!
Art (so I argue) for all is best, Here, in the East, on the Day of Rest, Lo! my pet theory put to the test! Oh, what a surprise! The chap staring there is a Coster true, Trowsered in corduroy, belchered in blue; What does he think of your heavenly hue, Two lovely brown eyes?
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! "SALLIE", he whispered, "she's got, like you, Two lovely brown eyes!"
The picture was one of BURNE-JONES'S best; "SALLIE" was snub-nosed and showily drest; I sought her visage in querulous quest, When oh, what a surprise! Plump in the midst of a "puddingy" face, Coarse-cut in feature, devoid of grace, Nature capricious had chosen to place Two lovely brown eyes!
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! There on each side of a salient "snub," Two lovely brown eyes:
Brown? Ah, yes! But, alack! alack! The brown was fringed with a halo of black, Fruit, it was plain of some marital thwack, Oh, what a surprise! "She," sighed the girl, "has a beautiful chump, Though she do seem to 'ave got the 'ump. Them pair o' lamps never felt a thump, Them lovely brown eyes!"
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! Something seemed telling that man he was wrong, Two lovely brown eyes!
Say, was it fancy? I saw a flush O'er the coarse cheeks of that Coster rush, "Stash it!" he murmured. A Coster blush? Oh, what a surprise! SALLIE,—she clung to his muscular arm— With a look half lovingness, half alarm, He stooped and—kissed her! Now, was it your charm, Two lovely brown eyes?
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! Was it your influence, gentle yet strong, Two lovely brown eyes?
"BILL," whispered she, "you may bet two d She never nagged at 'er bloke—like me— He never wheeled a whelk-barrer, d'yer see? Oh, what a surprise! Parties with cultcher and piles o'cash Ain't no temptation to row or bash, But—who's to tell but she's jilted 'er mash— Miss Lovely Brown Heyes?"
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! Twinkled like stars 'twixt a tear and a frown, Two lovely brown eyes.
The moral you've caught I can hardly doubt; On Art versus Morals men sneer or shout, Leave it to OSCAR to fight that out, If you would be wise. Better, far better, it is to let Beautiful things work their way—you bet! Then the Coster's wife may less frequently wet Her lovely brown eyes.
Two lovely brown eyes! Oh, what a surprise! Art-loving-Man is less likely to black Two lovely brown eyes!
* * * * *
MEN OF THE PAST.
(COMPILED BY THE MAN OF THE PRESENT.)
CROMWELL.—An English Brewer. Uncertain about his aspirates. Distinctly vulgar. Face disfigured by warts.
PETER THE GREAT.—Quite a common sort of Russian. Man with coarse tastes. Came to England to learn ship-building. Fond of low society; in fact, the type of an enterprising cad.
WASHINGTON.—Entirely provincial English rebel, who caused considerable trouble in America. Family fair, but not to be traced beyond three generations. Used to eat peas with his knife.
HANNIBAL.—Brutal barbarian. Feeblest ideas of stategy. Went the wrong way over the Alps. Given to oaths from childhood up. Quite a classical nobody.
BUONAPARTE.—A Corsican Parvenu.
* * * * *
The Garrick School.
School for young actors is the Garrick Playhouse. Upon the road to fame a quarter-way house For IRVING fils. And likewise note we there The heir apparent of a parent HARE.
* * * * *
"DIO, age!" of which the classic American translation is, "Do tell!"
* * * * *
JOURNAL OF A ROLLING STONE.
Curious thing, now that I am installed as a pupil in FIBBINS'S Chambers in Waste Paper Buildings, Temple, how few new briefs I am given to read. Usual routine is for DICK FIBBINS to hand me a brief on which the dust of ages has collected, and to leave me to "get up the law about it"; but when he (FIBBINS) comes back from his day's business in Court, about 4.30 P.M., he doesn't seem to care a bit to know what the law is. Seems tired, and prefers to gossip and smoke; so I do the same, or "follow on the same side," as he expresses it.
"It strikes me forcibly," I begin, "that the Plaintiff, SMITHERS, in that running-down case you asked me to read to-day, hasn't got the ghost of a chance. Why, in Blatherson v. Snipe, the Court ruled—"
"Tried the lawn-tennis in the gardens yet?" FIBBINS interrupts, in the rudest possible manner.
"No," I reply, "I was speaking of the Court, not lawn-tennis courts." (One for FIBBINS, I think.) "All the Judges held in Blatherson v. Snipe, that—"
"Oh, did they?" he interrupts again: "doosid interesting. Was I for plaintiff or defendant?"
"Plaintiff, SMITHERS. A running-down case."
"Wish it had been a running-up case—a case of running-up the fees," he laughs. Then, resuming a more professional style, "You see, I've had such multitudes of cases since then, that I've forgotten the precise details. But you write out your own Opinion—not to-day; tomorrow will do. Then I'll see what it's like. Now let's go a trot down the Strand."
Another circumstance that strikes me as remarkable, is the frequency with which I hear the Impressive Clerk (in the little room next to mine) requesting persons who have called to "settle up that other little matter." Then the strange voice laughs, and says—"Oh, your Governor can wait." "No, he can't,"—it's the Clerk who says this—"it's been going on for three years, now." "Well," chimes in the unknown, "let it go a bit longer. When'll your Governor have settled those pleadings?" "When your people settle about the five guineas, and not before," replies the Impressive Clerk in his best Parliamentary debating style. Then follows a long wrangle, not on law, but on finance, which never—as far as I can judge—ends in the Clerk getting his way, and his money.
Astonishing event happens. A real live new brief comes in! Impressive Clerk—who looks like a Prime Minister in reduced circumstances—brings it to FIBBINS when I am in the room. More impressive than ever. "From ROGERS, in Chancery Lane—an excellent firm, Sir," he says. Poor FIBBINS tries, ineffectually, to conceal his delight, and his eye turns instinctively to the place where the fee is marked.
"Six guas" (legal slang for guineas) "for an Opinion, not bad," he comments, rubbing his hands. FIBBINS dusts a corner of his desk, and lays it down there.
I am given this precious brief, and am asked to write a "draft Opinion" about it! "Just to try your hand," says FIBBINS, who does not wish me to be conceited. "Then I'll write my own afterwards," he adds.
I make a very elaborate commentary, quoting from innumerable parallel cases in English, American, and Roman law, and, after giving it to DICK FIBBINS to read, I don't see it again.
But, a few afternoons later, when Impressive Clerk happens to be out, a knock comes. Nobody in. At last, go myself (Query—infra dig.?) and open door.
"Here!" says a juvenile, who apparently mistakes me for the Clerk, and rudely chucks some papers to me, which hit me in the chest, "give these to your Governor. What a time you take answering a knock! Having a nap, hay? Take care old FIBBINS don't catch you at it, that's all!" Juvenile disappears downstairs, whistling, before I can think of a suitable rejoinder.
Open the papers. The same brief returned with request to "draw up a Statement of Claim,"—and my "Opinion" inside! It looks as if DICK sent these clients of his my valuable advice, pretending that it was his own!
My learned "leader," when he comes in, treats affair very coolly.
"Oh, did I send your 'Opinion' to them as well as mine? What an ass I am! I wonder what they thought of it?"
I also wonder. In looking over the returned brief just now, however, I certainly did not come across the "Opinion," manufactured by FIBBINS himself, of which that learned Counsel spoke. And I have no second chance of examining it, as he is careful to take "all the documents in the case" (a phrase of the Impressive Clerk's) home with him, for what he calls re-perusal.
The conviction that it was my Opinion, and mine alone, which FIBBINS dispatched, probably out of sheer laziness, to ROGERS & CO., Solicitors, Chancery Lane, is one that I still retain. But it is FIBBINS who retains the fee!
* * * * *
AT THE CLOSE OF THE SUMMER.
(By one who idled. To his Lady-help.)
I am back at my work, which is far from exciting After nothing to do for a month at a time, So I am not astonished to find myself writing To you, dear MELENDA, and writing in rhyme. In my rooms very often the scent of the heather Brings back with it sweet recollections, and so I think of the days when we idled together, Far away in the country a fortnight ago.
Yes, the two afternoons when, although we were sorry That it rained, we went out as to do we had vowed, And the wonderful echo we found in a quarry That took what we whispered and said it aloud. Whilst we wandered through fern-laden hedges and talked, it So happened a dragon-fly flew by your side. You remember, I'm sure, how you laughed as I stalked it, And how it seemed hurt, as it finally died.
Then I think of our pic-nic. The sunshine came glinting, And we thought that the summer had come—come to stay. We did not walk too fast, you were constantly hinting You were really afraid we were losing our way. I seemed to be catching two glimpses of heaven, As I gazed at the sky and kept looking at you; For the party that started by being just seven Had a curious habit of shrinking to two.
Why, that's quite sentimental. It isn't the fashion To write of such things in so high flown a style. Yet maybe I'm entitled to so much of passion As to say that you won me outright with your smile. Though a merciless fate may not let it befall so, For we know not at all what there may be in store, Yet next year, if you're down there—and I am there also, Shall we do what we did in the summer before?
* * * * *
"TO ERR IS HUMAN."—"Even I am not always infallible," observed Mr. P., on noticing that, in the dialogue under a picture, last week, the spelling of "cover-coat" for "covert-coat" had escaped his eagle eye. Just as he was wondering to himself how such things could be, his other and eagler eye caught this line in the correspondence, per "Dalziel," from Chicago, in the Times for Sept. 23:—"Great Britain has chosen a sight for her buildings at the World's Fair." If "taken" had been substituted for "chosen," the mistake might have borne a satirical meaning. No doubt Great Britain has not made any error as to the site she has selected, from any point of view.
* * * * *
MEM. IN COLOURS.
Man's life is in two colours, simply told: Green while you're young, and grey when you are old.
* * * * *
DOMESTIC COOKERY.—(For a future New Edition of "Mrs. Glasse-with-care")—It will contain suggestions for new dishes, to be arranged according to grammatical divisions of gender and number, as "case" already exists. A specimen of the first will be Une Femme-lette, a female companion dish to Un 'Ommelet. Another example proposed is La Petite Marmite and Le Petit Pa'mite, two dishes most suitable for a very small family party; say of dwarf Troglodytes. "Number" of dishes must always be "a party question;" though at the same time politics will be rigidly excluded from the new publication.