OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
August 20, 1892.
["Detective cameras have become favourite playthings with ladies of fashion."—Ladies' Paper.]
You used to prate of plates and prints And "quick developers" before, In spite of not unfrequent hints That these in time become a bore; But then this photographic craze Seemed little but a foolish fad, While now its very latest phase Appears to me distinctly bad.
Since even your devoted friends At sight of you were wont to fly, You manage still to gain your ends, And photograph them on the sly; The muff, the cloak with ample folds, The parcel, and the biscuit-tin, I know that each discreetly holds Detective lenses hid within.
Should CROESUS greet you with a smile, A "bromide" will record the fact; Should STREPHON help you o'er a stile, The film will take him in the act. Yet this renown, if truth be said, Is fame they'd rather be without; Nor, I assure you, will they wed A lady photographic tout.
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ANTIQUITY OF GOLF.
That Golf was a game probably known to and played by pre-Adamite Man (whoever he may have been; name and address not given) is evidenced by the learned Canon TRISTRAM's observation in the Biology Section of the British Association Meeting last week, to the effect that "he (the Canon) had never seen a better collection of these Links connecting the present with the past world." This must be most interesting to all Golf-players.
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A REALISTIC RHAPSODY.
(WITH APOLOGIES TO MR. HENRY KENDATT, AUTHOR OF "ASTARTE," IN THE "BOOKMAN.")
Across the wind-blown bridges, O look, lugubrious Night! She comes, the red-haired beauty Illumined by gaslight! By London's dim gaslight! So hush, ye cads, your roar! Behind her plumes are waving Her oil'd fringe flaps before.
O 'ARRIET, Cockney sister, Your face is writhed with jeers; How awful is the angle Of those protuberant ears! Those red, protuberant ears! And your splay feet—O lor!!! My loud, my Cockney sister, Where oil'd fringe flops before!
Ah, 'ARRIET! gracious 'eavens, How your greased locks do glow! I swoon! The "hodoration" (I heard you call it so) Sickens my senses so; 'Tis "Citronel"—no more, That scents, like a cheap barber's, That oil'd fringe hung before.
'ARRIET, my knowing darling, Your eyes a cross-watch keep, You're togged in shop-girl's fashion, Your cloak is bugled deep, Black-bugled broad and deep, With buttons dappled o'er, Good gr-racious! how it's grown, too— That oil'd fringe flopped before!
That "bang" is awfully trying, That odour maddens me. By Jingo! you've been dyeing Those rufous locks, I see, Those sandy locks, I see, They're darker than of yore. Avaunt! I'd be forgetting That oil'd fringe flopped before.
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Under the heading "Military Education," there appears in The Tablet, an advertisement concerning preparation for examinations at Woolwich and Sandhurst by "the Rev. E. VON ORSBACH, F.R.G.S., F.R.Hist.S., late Tutor to their Highnesses the Princes of THURN-AND-TAXIS." What a suggestive name for a tutor preparing young men for a Cavalry Regiment is "VON ORSBACH!" Not only would pupils surmount all difficulties of EUCLID's propositions, but being brought up by VON ORSBACH, they would dare all "riders!" Then as to the Princes, his pupils, cannot we conceive of the first Prince THURN how he has been turned out a perfect 'orseman by VON ORSBACH, and how it would tax all an Examiner's ingenuity to pluck TAXIS. Pity that when one Prince was called TAXIS the other wasn't named RATES. But evidently this was an oversight. A neat couplet might head this advertisement, and add to its attractiveness, as for instance:—
Every question, whatever they ax is, Will in its THURN be answered by TAXIS. TAXIS and THURN, for a win you'll of course back, The pick of the stable, the trainer VON ORSBACH.
We wish him a continuance of the successes which from his list this Equestrian Military Tutor—he can't he a "coach" as he is an ORSBACH—has already obtained. It's a German name, but it sounds more like 'Orsetrian (!)
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CUI BONO?—"It is a mistake," quoth The World last week, "to suppose that Mr. GLADSTONE complacently regards Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT as his 'Alter Ego.'" Mr. G. being the "Ego" it is not very likely that Sir WILLIAM V. HARCOURT is likely to "alter" any of his Leader's plans. Still an "Alter Ego" is very useful whenever Mr. GLADSTONE may want to "wink The Other I."
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[Christopher Columbus. "WHAT! GO OVER IN FIVE DAYS! WHY, IF I'D HAD A SHIP LIKE THAT, I'D HAVE DISCOVERED EVERYTHING BEFORE NOW!"]
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(BY A RE-ELECTED M.P.)
Yes, there I stood beside my wife, And called it—whilst the mob cheered wildly— "The proudest moment of my life," Which it was not, to put it mildly.
Heavens, how they cheered! Up went their caps, To see their Member safely seated; Who in his inmost soul, perhaps, Had almost wished himself defeated.
The girls are pleased. And Mrs. T., Has fairy visions of a handle To grace the name she shares with me; But is the game quite worth the candle?
Six years of unremitting work, Of flower-shows, bazaars, and speeches, Of sturdy mendicants who lurk In wait to act as sturdy leeches.
The faddists—Anti-This-and-That— Blue-spectacled "One Vote, One Person"— Extract a promise, prompt and pat, The while their heads you hurl a curse on.
And in return? The dull debate, The dreary unimportant question, The pressure of affairs of State, A muddled brain, a lost digestion.
Six years of it. I cannot stand At any cost another bout of it; But, given away on every hand, I don't quite see how to get out of it.
Ah, happy thought! My seat is safe, And so 'mid general adulation, I'll rescue some poor party waif By Chiltern Hundreds resignation.
The world will quickly roar applause, Of martyrs I shall be the latest; But I'm the party and the cause To whom the service will be greatest!
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SONG OF GRATITUDE (by a Nervous Equestrian on the exceptional absence of 'Arry-cyclists or "Wheelmen" from the road to Wimbledon).—
"Oh, Wheelie, have we missed you? Oh no, no, No!"
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British Envoy, Timbuctoo, to Foreign Minister, London.
No end of a row! Grand Vizier, Lord Chamberlain, Keeper of Privy Purse, and other high Officials, assembled outside my house, and smashed windows, aided by furious crowd. Certain that Sultan is at bottom of it. Mayn't I say something vigorous to him?
Foreign Minister, London, to British Envoy, Timbuctoo.
Awkward, as General Election going on. Temporise. Appear not to notice stone-throwing. Very difficult to get to Timbuctoo with British Force. If hit with stones, try arnica. Rather think Timbuctoo was discovered by an Irishman, and called after him, TIM BUCKTOO. Eh?
British Envoy to Foreign Minister.
Please don't jest; especially not in Irish. Glad to say aspect of affairs completely changed. Sultan frightened about the stone-throwing. Beheaded Grand Vizier, and sent Lord Chamberlain, heavily ironed, to be imprisoned in cellar under my own apartment. Gratifying. Treaty on point of being signed.
Foreign Minister to British Envoy.
Your action quite approved of. Get Treaty signed quick! France, not unnaturally, seems rather galled. See joke? Play on word "Gaul."
British Envoy to Foreign Minister.
Quite see joke. Saw it years ago. Please don't send any more of 'em. Treaty settled! Gives absurdly generous bounty to all British subjects trading with Timbuctoo. Abolishes all Tariffs. Draft, with Sultan's signature, returned to him to be properly copied out. Mere formality. Packing up, and off to Coast to-night.
Same to Same.
Arrived at coast. Treaty in carpet-bag. Regret to say, that on examining it, find that Sultan has slipped in the little word "not" in every clause. Makes hash of whole thing. What shall I do?
Foreign Minister, London, to British Envoy.
Do nothing! Former Foreign Minister no longer in Office. General Election has taken place. Whole subject will be reconsidered, with quite new lights, before long. Off for a holiday just now, and can't attend to it. You'll hear from me again in about six months. Meanwhile, your motto must be—"Fez-tina lente!" Last joke. Brilliant. Just going to let it off at dinner-party. P.S.—Great success.
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REEF-LECTION.—Delivering judgment in the case of Osborne v. Aaron's Reef, Limited, Mr. Justice CHITTY, in the interests of the public, was justly severe on both plaintiff and defendants, declining "to give any costs in this action to such a Company." Everyone is familiar with the nautical expression of "taking in a reef," which seems to have been a slightly difficult operation for anyone to perform with AARON's Reef, which, after the manner of AARON's Rod, when it was transformed into a serpent, appears to possess the faculty of swallowing to a very considerable extent. Knowing brokers, if consulted, would not have sung to unwary clients the popular ditty "Keep your Aarons," but would have recommended them, being in, to be out again in double-quick time, if there were any chance of an immediate though small ready-money profit to be made, before one could have said "Scissors!"
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MARGATE BY MOONLIGHT.
It is about nine P.M.; in the West, a faint saffron flush is lingering above the green and opal sea, while the upper part of the church tower still keeps the warm glow of sunset. The stars are beginning to appear, and a mellow half moon is rising in a deep violet sky. Lamps are twinkling above the dusky cliffs, and along the curve of the shore.
The Reader will kindly imagine himself on a seat at the end of the Pier, where the Sand is playing, and scraps of conversation from his neighbours and passing promenaders, reach his ear involuntarily.
Fair Promenader (roused to enthusiasm by the surroundings). Oh, don't it look lovely at night? (Impulsively.) I can't 'elp sayin' so.
Her Companion (whose emotions are less easily stirred). Why?
The Fair P. (apologetically). Oh, I don't know exactly—these sort o' scenes always do take my fancy.
Her Comp. (making a concession to her weakness). Well, I must say it's picturesque enough—what with the gas outside the 'All by the Sea, and the lamps on the whilk stalls.
First Girl (on seat—to Second). Here comes that young SPIFFING. I do hope he won't come bothering us! (Mr. S. gratifies her desire by promenading past in bland unconsciousness.) Well, I do call that cool! He must have seen us. Too grand to be seen talking to us here, I suppose!
Second Girl. I'm sure I wouldn't be seen talking to him, that's all! Why, he's on'y— [They pick him to pieces relentlessly.
First Girl. Take care—he's coming round again. Now we shall see. Mind you don't begin laughing, or else you'll set me off!
[As a natural consequence, Mr. S.'s approach excites them both to paroxysms of maidenly mirth.
Mr. S. (halting in front of them). You two seem 'ighly amused at something. What's the joke?
Second Girl (as the first is compelled to bury her face behind her friend's back). Don't you be too curious. I'll tell you this much—at your expense!
Mr. S. Oh, is it? Then you might let Me 'ave a a'porth!
First Girl. BELLA, if you tell him, I'll never speak to you again.
[As there is nothing particular to tell, Miss BELLA preserves the secret.
Mr. S. (reconnoitring his rear suspiciously). There's nothing pinned on to my coat-tails, is there? (Renewed mirth from the couple.) Well, I see you're occupied—so, good evenin'.
[Walks on, with offended dignity.
Second Girl. There! I knew how it would be—he's gone off in a huff now!
First Girl. Let him! He ought to know better than take offence at nothing. And such a ridic'lous little object as he's looking, too! What else can he expect, I'd like to know!... Don't you feel it chilly, sitting still?
Second Girl (rising with alacrity). I was just thinking. Suppose we take a turn—the other way round, or he might think—
First Girl. We'll show him others have their pride as well as him. [They disappear in the crowd.
Mr. Spiffing (repassing a few minutes later, with one of the young Ladies on each arm). Well, there, say no more about it—so long as it wasn't at Me, I don't mind! [They pass on.
A Wheezy Matron (in a shawl). She was a prettier byby in the fice than any o' the others—sech a lydylike byby she was—we never 'ad no bother with her! and never, as long as I live, shall I forgit her Grandpa's words when he saw her settin' up in her 'igh cheer at tea, with her little cheeks a marsk o' marmalade. "LOUISER JYNE," he sez, "you mark my words—she's the on'y reelly nice byby you ever 'ad, or will ave!"
Her Comp. An' he wasn't given to compliments in a general way, neither, was he?
Anxious Mother. I can't make him out. Sometimes I think he means something, and yet,—Every morning we've been here, he's come up to her on the Pier, and brought her a carnation inside of his 'at.
Her Confidante. Then depend upon it, my dear, he has intentions. I should say so, certingly!
The Mother. Ah, but CARRIE tells me she's dropped her glove, accidental-like, over and over again, and he's always picked it up,—and handed it back to her. I reelly don't know what to think!
The Confidante. Well, I wouldn't lose heart—with the moon drawin' on to the full, as it is!
A Seaside Siren (conscious of a dazzling complexion—to a suburban Ulysses). I wish I could get brown—I think it's so awfully becoming—but I never can!
Ulysses. Some people are like that. On'y turn red, you know, specially the nose—catches 'em there, y'know!
The Siren. I'm obliged to you, I'm sure! Is that meant to be personal?
Ulysses. Oh, I wasn't thinking of you when I said that.
The Siren. You're very complimentary. But do tell me—am I like that? (She presents her face for his inspection.) Candidly, now.
Ulysses (conscientiously). Well, I don't notice anything particular—but, you see, colours don't show up by moonlight.
[The Siren coldly intimates that her Mother will be waiting supper for them.
An Habitue. Some people will tell yer, now, that Margit's vulgar. They must be precious 'ard to please, that's all! I'm as partickler as what most are, and I can assure yer if there was anythink o' that sort about, I shouldn't come down 'ere reglar, season after season, like I do!
His Companion. In course not—and no more shouldn't I, neither!
ALONG THE ESPLANADE.
Female Voice (from the recesses of a glazed shelter). But if you're on the sands all day, how is it I never see you?
Male Voice (mysteriously). Would you like to know? Really? You shall. (With pride.) I'm one of the Niggers!
Fem. V. (deeply impressed). Not "GUSSIE," or "Uncle ERNIE!"
Male V. (with proud superiority). Not exactly. I conduct, I do—on the 'armonium.
Fern. V. (rapturously). Oh! I 'ad a sort o' feeling, from the very first, that you must be Somebody!
A Lodging-House Keeper. Yes, nice people they was—I don't know when I've 'ad such nice people. I'll tell you what they did ... They come on a Thursday—yes, Thursday it was—and took the rooms from the Saturday followin' to the next Saturday—and then they stopped on to the Saturday after that. I do call that nice—don't you?
A Mystic Plaint (from a Bench). Many and many a time I've borrered the kittles for them when the School Inspector was comin'—and now for them to turn round on me like this! It's a shame, it is.
A Lady of Economical Principles (at a Bow-window, addressing her Husband at the railings). Why, my dear feller, why ever did you go and do that—when there was a bed empty 'ere for him?
The Husband (sulkily). No one ever said a word to me about there being a bed. And I've taken one for him now at the Paragon, anyway—so that's settled!
The Economical Lady. I call it downright foolishness to go paying 'alf-a-crown a night for a bed, when there's one all ready 'ere for him! And you don't know how long he may mean to stop, either!
The Self-invited Visitor (suddenly emerging from the shadow).—You'll be 'appy to know, Mum, that your 'ospitality will not exceed the 'alf-crown. Good evenin'. [Retires to the Paragon.
The Econ. L. (regretfully). And a lobster ordered in for supper a-purpose for him, too!
A Street Musician (with a portable piano). I will next attempt a love-song. I feel full of love to-night. Oh, Ladies and Gentlemen—(earnestly)—take advantage of a salubrious night like this! Anyone who has not yet contributed will kindly embrace this opportunity of placing his offering upon the instrument; after which I shall endeavour to sing you "In Old Madrid." Oh, what a difficult ditty it is, to be sure, dear Ladies and Gentlemen—especially as it makes the twenty-seventh I've sung since tea-time—however, I will do my best. (He sings it.) That will conclude my al-fresco Concert for this evening. And now, thanking you all for your generous patronage of my humble efforts, and again reminding those who have not yet expressed their appreciation in a pecuniary form, that I am now about to circulate with the hat for the last time, I wish you all farewell, and balmy slumbers!
[He collects the final coins, and wheels away the piano. The crowd disperses; the listeners in the lodging-house balconies retire; and the Crescent is silent and deserted.
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One of the Baron's "Merry Men All" has been reading and enjoying Mr. BARRY PAIN's Stories and Interludes. The book has a wondrously weird and heavily-lined picture in front, which is just a little too like a "Prophetic Hieroglyphic" in Zadkiel's Almanack. An emaciated and broken-winged devil is apparently carrying an engine-hose through a churchyard, whilst a bat flits against a curious sky, which looks like a young grainer's first attempt at imitating "birds'-eye maple." Upon a second glance it seems possible that the "hose" is a snake, the tail of which the devil is gnawing. The gruesome design illustrates a yet more gruesome Interlude, entitled, "The Bat and the Devil." But it gives no fair idea of the contents of the volume, some of which are charming.
Read White Nights, stories within a story, told by a tragical "Fool," of the breed of HUGO's Rigoletto, and POE's Hopfrog—with a difference. They are told with force and grace, and with unstrained, but moving pathos. Read "The Dog That Got Found," a brief sketch indeed, but abundantly suggestive. Poor Fido—the "dog that got to be utterly sick of conventionality," and came to such bitter grief in his search for "life poignant and intense!" He might read a lesson to many a two-legged prig, were the bipedal nincompoop capable of learning it.
The Glass of Supreme Moments is, perhaps, needlessly enigmatical, and Rural Simplicity, Concealed Art, and Two Poets, strike one as superfluously "unpleasant." Mr. PAIN seems slightly touched with the current literary fad for making bricks with the smallest possible quantity of straw. One halfpennyworth of the bread of incident to an intolerable deal of the sack of strained style and pessimist commentary, make poorish imaginative pabulum, though there seems an increasing appetite for it amongst those who, unlike Lucas Morne in The Glass of Supreme Moments, plume themselves upon possession of "the finer perceptions." The Magic Morning is a "scrap" elaborately sauced and garnished; the fleeting flavour may possess a certain sub-acid piquancy, but such small dishes of broken meats are hardly nourishing or wholesome.
Mr. PAIN has a delicate fancy and a graceful style, a bitter-sweet humour, and a plentiful endowment of "the finer perceptions." He has done some good work here, and will do better—when he finds his subject, and loses his affectations. Read White Nights, again says the Baron's "retainer."
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & Co.
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COMING BARONETCY TO BE MUSICALLY NOTED.—Song for a "Lullaby" or a "Good Knight" from Don Giovanni, and dedicated by nobody's permission to Sir ARTHUR SEYMOUR SULLIVAN, would be "Barty! Barty!" Will Sir EDWARD SOLOMON be in it? Probably this is "another night."
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LAYS OF MODERN HOME.
Oh! bring my Butler back to me; I stray and lapse alone! If this be freedom, to be free Were something best unknown. He used to look so grand and grave— So sad when I was slack; 'Twas difficult to misbehave— Oh, bring my Butler back!
In him was nothing flash nor green— A Seneschal confessed; Most people deemed his reverend mien Some family bequest. And yet but three short, happy years Had seen him on our tack, And made us verge on VERE DE VERES— Oh, bring my Butler back!
A Pedigree in swallow-tails, He gave our household "tone." My soul plebeian trips and fails (See stanza first) alone. I fall on low Bohemian ways, I doff my evening black; I dine in blazer all ablaze— Oh, bring my Butler back!
I breakfast now and smoke in bed; I wrench the bell for coals; No master-hand and master-head The day's routine controls. No stately form in homage curved, Our commissariat's lack, Veneers with, "Dinner, Sir, is served"— Oh, bring my Butler back!
A few old friends drop in at times, But ah! their zest is gone; No organ voice with awe sublimes BROWN, JONES, and ROBINSON. They sound to me quite commonplace, Who seemed a ducal pack: 'Twas he who lent them rank and race— Oh, bring my Butler back!
And they must think me very queer, Each unennobled guest: I munch my chop, I quaff my beer At meal-times unrepressed, I laugh a laughter rude and loud; My little jokes I crack; The parlour-maid with mirth is bowed— Oh, bring my Butler back!
Yes! bring that paragon to me— 'Tis true he drank my wine; But, as I found it disagree, I don't so much repine: 'Tis true we missed a little plate When he gave us the sack. But "all things come to them that wait"— Oh, bring my Butler back!
That gorgeous grace, that smile severe, That look of Lords and Barts, These are the charms that most endear His image to our hearts. The standard of my broken life With him has gone to rack, And, if it were not for my wife, I'd bring my Butler back!
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FINE, OR REFINE?
[An Educational Journal recently suggested the formation of a "Guild of Courtesy," with especial view to refining the manners and language of the youth of the working classes.]
Hail, noble Guild! By all means drive Expletives from our highways; They are the ruin of our roads, The byword of our byways!
And rowdies too—to teach them grace A philanthropic art is; These subjects for the Guild may well Be called the "Guildy parties"!
The lumbering horse-play of the streets, Can we its spirits soothe? Will blarneying do? Or can "the Rough" Be "taken with the smooth"?
And there's the working girl: can we From yells and rompings wean her? For the demeanour of a Miss Is oft a mis-demeanour.
O worthy Guildsmen! Take in hand All ages and all classes! Show how to hearts Good Manners' arts Supply the freest passes.
Do not such terms as these of hope Your undertaking rob— The "common people"—"lower class," "The vulgar," and "the mob"?
And there's our worship of the purse; 'Gainst it pray have a tilt Oh, gild our manners! But take care They are not silver-gilt!
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ALL AT SEA.—The KAISER is reported to be so delighted with his visit to the Isle of Wight, that he proposes to repeat the journey next year. Fond of military display, if he goes to Hyde he will be appropriately accompanied by an escort of German Mounted Marines.
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READING THE STARS A LA MODE.
(EXTRACT FROM THE NOTE-BOOK OF THE SECRETARY OF THE EARTH AND MARS INTERCOMMUNICATION COMPANY, LIMITED.)
August 10, 1899.—Open this book just to jot down briefly the results of our efforts to hold a conversation with the people living in the adjacent planet. Get a better notion by this means of what we are doing than the minutes can afford. Shall leave this book as an heirloom to my successors in office. In 1892, when we were last nearest Mars (only at a distance of 35,000,000 miles or thereabouts), we came to the conclusion that the Marsians were trying to speak to us. They seemed to be making signals. With the assistance of our new telescope (six times as powerful as that of seven years ago), we made out what we took to be at first an old man waving a white hat. On more careful inspection, found that the old man was a volcano in a state of eruption. White hat evidently the smoke. Could distinctly locate the ocean. Unable to discover more, as the planet went off for another seven years' cruise.
August 10, 1906.—Jot down, in compliance with the wishes of my predecessor, the transactions of the Company. By the way, my new berth is a very pleasant one. Have nothing to do except every seven years, when we all have to watch Mars like anything. This time we have a first-class telescope. Fifty times as powerful as the one of seven years ago. Can count the hairs on a man's head at ten miles' distance. Mars seems quite close to us. There is a first-class hotel on one of the mountains, and apparently a very good paper, which by the way (like everything else on the planet), is red. Distinctly made out a man in a boat. Could not attract his attention. Stupid donkey! Have to wait for another seven years.
August 10, 1913.—Again ready. Better telescope than one in use seven years ago. Find we can now read the Marsian newspapers. They are written in same language as our own. Nothing in them worth quoting. Evidently "silly season" over there as well as here. Account of the Sea Serpent. Let off patent sky-shattering rockets, but the inhabitants of the adjacent planet failed to observe them. They have arranged bonfires in geometrical order, so far as we can understand it, as a signal (if it is one); they seem to wish to observe something like "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay." Interesting. Popular song of fourteen years ago just reached our nearest neighbour in the Solar System. Cannot observe more, as the planet is off for another seven years.
August 10, 1920.—We ought to do something this time. Improved telescope; can see everything. So excellent that we can almost hear the Marsians talking, Great advance, too, in through-space-hurling machinery. We applied this new power to a pea-shooter, and, at the first shot, was sufficiently fortunate to hit a Marsian policeman on the nose. He first arrested an innocent person for the assault, but, on our repeating the signal, he looked up, and shook his fist at the Earth. Eventually he traced the source of the pea-shooting. They then began to watch our signals. They were just about to reply when we started off for another seven years.
August 10, 1927.—I take up my predecessor's book to continue these observations. Deeply interested to see if the inhabitants of the neighbouring planet would remember the date, and be on the look out for us. Yes, there they were. We have just signalled "How are you?" But it has received, as yet, no reply. The Marsians seem to be signalling, but not in our direction. We have just tried another message, "Good morning; do you use soap?" Ah, this has woke them up! They do understand us. They have replied, "Don't be rude." We are greatly encouraged by this, and have signalled "The planet Mars, we believe?" This has elicited no response. Strange! We have begged for a reply, and it has just come. Here it is:—"Don't bother; can't attend to you just now. We are talking with the planet Jupiter." Time up! Off for another seven years!
August 10, 1934.—Just one line to add to the other communications of my predecessors. The Earth and Mars Intercommunication Company, Limited, has been merged into the London, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and North Saturn Aerial Railway Company. During the present near approach of Mars to the Earth, an excursion electric air-torpedo train will leave the Victoria Station for Pars the Capital of Mars. The excursion will be personally conducted by Baron COOK of Ludgate Circus. Return tickets, Second Class, L1,000; First Class (with hotel coupons), Half an ounce of coal.
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HOW IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SETTLED.
(SUPPLEMENTARY AND IMAGINARY DESPATCH NOT YET RECEIVED AT THE FOREIGN OFFICE.)
It will be remembered that I had the honour to report that amongst my suite I had the pleasure to be accompanied by Herr VON POPOFF, the celebrated Germano-Russian prestidigitateur. When I received a despatch from the Foreign Office informing me that I was premature in destroying the Draft Treaty, although that Draft Treaty contained provisions that were entirely different to those which the Sultan had already at the time accepted and promised to sign, I made up my mind to return to His Sheriffian Majesty with a view to setting things right. I considered it advisable to be accompanied by Herr VON POPOFF, as I counted upon that eminent conjuror's valuable aid to assist me in carrying out what I venture to submit, was my praiseworthy object.
When we reached the room the Sultan was occupying, we found His Sheriffian Majesty regarding with some indignation, the remains of the Draft Treaty that had been brought back to him by the messengers the Sultan had sent to me.
His Majesty was very angry, and had given orders for the immediate execution of Herr VON POPOFF and myself, when my talented assistant gently placed his hand upon the head of the swarthy and irate Sovereign, and by a clever pass produced an egg. This amused and amazed the Sultan immensely, and his Sheriffian Majesty desired that the feat should be repeated. This request received immediate practical acquiescence as the wonderworker deliberately extracted eggs from the Sultan's arms, legs, and whiskers. Having obtained some dozen eggs by this means, Herr VON POPOFF borrowed a turban from the Prime Minister, and breaking the eggs into his improvised saucepan, mixed the mess into a compact mass with the assistance of a scimitar kindly lent for the occasion by the Commander-in-Chief.
"High cock-alorum jig, jig, jig!" exclaimed the Wizard, and in a trice, the eggs had disappeared, and in their place appeared a pound-cake. I have the honour to report that the cake was then cut into small portions and passed round for consumption. His Sheriffian Majesty was good enough to partake of the rather stale comestible. The remainder of the cake was devoured by the suite.
By this time the Sultan was in great good humour, when unfortunately his eyes fell upon the remains of the destroyed Draft Treaty which were still lying unheeded on the palace floor. Seeing them his Sheriffian Majesty rolled his eyes savagely, and sent for the Lord High Executioner.
It was at this crisis that Herr VON POPOFF showed great presence of mind and absolute coolness. Without a moment's hesitation he requested that the fragments of paper might be given to him. Taking them in his right hand, he placed them in the turban he had previously used for manufacturing his pound-cake, and once more repeated his magic formula.
To the general surprise (and I must not omit my own individuality from the universal astonishment) he produced a new Treaty, which I then had the honour of handing to the Sultan for signature.
The Treaty (which was subsequently discovered to contain several important concessions to the country I have the honour to represent) was then signed, and the prestidigitateur and I retired loaded with honours.
I have, in conclusion, to beg permission to wear the Sheriffian Order of the Diamond-eyed Pig of the Second Class. The Sun-Star of the Emerald Life-sized White Elephant of the Double First-Class has already been accepted by Herr VON POPOFF, as that gentleman, being a foreign subject, has no need to desire official authorisation to use his recently-acquired and extremely bulky decoration.
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SIR,—So many punning Epitaphs have recently appeared in the Times a propos of "BOB LOWE," that I am sure you will now allow me to produce and publish what was rejected by your Editor, long before the decease of the above-mentioned eminent Statesman. I thought it, and still think it, uncommonly good; but the then Editor said, "No—it is unseemly to joke about the decease of a living celebrity." Now on the good old maxim of "Nil nisi bonum," I beg you will produce this, as I'm sure it is, and always was, uncommonly bonum, and like good wine, all the better for keeping. Here it is:—
ON THE LATE B.L.
Bob! has he gone above the sky? We hope that it is so. Yet when above, however high, He'll always be B.-LOWE.
I've seen nothing to equal this; at least, being a judge of such things, I may safely say so, adding humbly, "A poor thing, but mine own."
Yours, L.S. PRIT D'ESCALIER.
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ACCIDENTAL JOKE.—When does an explosion do no harm? When a husband blows his wife up—and she deserves it.
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Sweet, in a sordid age, it is to find One Abdiel to enticement bravely blind, One class not thrall to Plutus. But, hurroo! England rejoice aloud, for thou hast two. Sweet are the uses of—Advertisement, To huckster souls, whose god is Cent-per-cent. The Mart, the Forum, and—alas!—the Fane. Self-trumpeting, in type, cannot restrain; The leaded column and the poster smart Seduce the Histrio; e'en the thrall of Art Bows to the modern Baal of Pot and Paste, That deadly foe of Modesty and Taste. The Poet poses publicly, the Scribe Knows how to vaunt, to logroll, and to bribe. But there be those share not the general taint; The pestle-wielding Sage, the silk-gowned Saint. Redeem our fallen race from the dark shade That would confuse Professions with mere Trade. No, briefs and bills of costs may loom too big, Harpagon hide beneath a horsehair wig, Sangrado thrive on flattery and shrewd knack. And Dulcamara, safe in silence, quack; But—chortle, oh ye good, rejoice, ye wise!— Physic and Law will never—Advertise!
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"THE PARIAH."—In the latest copy to hand of that wonderful penn'orth of gossip and information, Sala's Journal, Vol. I. No. 16, and in the very first line of the light and leading article, our "G.A.S." asks "Is Woman a Pariah?" Of course she is not, we reply, not even if she be the very masculinest of females. Some, if they are "Riahs" at all, are "Ma-riahs." "Riah," it may be remembered, is the abbreviated form of the name as in the once popular Coster's song of "What cheer Riah?" Whether spelt with or without an "h" is of no consequence, the Coster not being particular.
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TO DR. LOUIS ROBINSON.
(Who said at the British Association that a Baby was an animal as interesting as any which had been brought from the uttermost parts of the Earth.)
Quite right, Dr. ROBINSON, perfectly right, No longer the need to repair to the Zoo; No longer we'll see with increasing delight The quarrelsome Monkey, the blithe Kangaroo. But the "animal's interest" shall charm us instead, Though it's scarcely a charm you've discovered,—at least There's many a father who's pointedly said, That his int'resting Babe was a "mere little beast!"
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SEASONABLE BUT UNFAIR.—When you have to pay heavily for light refreshments.
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THE NEXT VIVA VOCE.
["Due consideration will be given in the selection of Candidates for Scholarships to proficiency in athletics."—Daily Paper.]
Examiner (courteously). Have you studied any Latin author?
Candidate (with hesitation). I once looked into CORNELIUS NEPOS, but never could construe half a dozen lines.
Exam. What have you studied in Greek?
Can. Tried the first page of VALPY, and got through the present of [Greek: tupto]—then gave it up.
Exam. Do you know anything about Mathematics?
Can. Fancy I have heard of the Rule of Three, but hanged if I know much about Fractions.
Exam. (a little despairingly). Can you give the dates of the four WILLIAMS in English History?
Can. No. Suppose followed one another, as shillings of the time of WILLIAM THE FOURTH still in use. Suppose WILLIAM THE FIRST must have been about the end of the Eighteenth Century.
Exam. (with new hope). Do you know anything about Geography?
Can. Not without a Continental Bradshaw.
Exam. (nothing daunted). Can you tell me the name of the spot which is supposed to be the centre of the universe?
Can. I haven't the faintest idea, but suppose you mean Monte Carlo.
Exam. (as a last resource). Do you know anything about Law?
Can. Nothing at all, except that one of my friends had to pay five pounds, the other day, for assaulting a Policeman.
Exam. (losing his temper). Then what on earth do you know?
Can. Only how to break the record of the quarter mile.
Exam. (brightening up). And can you play Cricket?
Can. (contemptuously). Can I play Cricket! Why I carried my bat out for 184 against Loamshire, with GRACE bowling his swiftest.
Exam. (cordially grasping his hand). My dear Sir, after the satisfactory examination you have just undergone, I shall have much pleasure in recommending you for a Scholarship.
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ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday, Aug. 8.—Think I mentioned, just before Prorogation, how DUNBAR BARTON, offended at disregard paid to his warnings by Ministers, protested that he would never speak again, and should thenceforth be known as DUM BARTON. Finding him to-night figged out, prepared to move Address, reminded him of the incident.
"Quite so, TOBY," he said; "you're perfectly right. I never did speak again in that House. This is a different thing. Besides, I'm not going to make a speech, but to read a paper."
Rather quibbling this; but temptation to accept invitation to move Address at opening of new Session understood to be irresistible. Believe I'm the only Member who ever begged to be excused. W.H. CROSS seconded Address; speech much mystified House; remains to this day disputed point whether he meant to be funny, or was merely maladroit. Fancy he really meant it. GRAND CROSS in Peers' Gallery, looking on with fond affection. Life been for him, of late, a troubled sheet of water. His counsel about not dissolving Parliament till very last moment, over-ruled; consequence is, Government are going out; how India is to get on without him, GRAND CROSS really doesn't know. Situation not soothed by reprehensible frivolity of Prince ARTHUR. Meeting GRAND CROSS just now, moodily crossing Corridor, Prince said,—"Well, we're not the only parties changing places. I see, from the newspapers, that the planet Mars has already gone into Opposition."
GRAND CROSS severely shook his head. There are some things too sacred for a joke; his leaving the India Office is one. Moreover, not free from certain jealousy in the matter. Fact is, been, so to speak, "on the joke" himself. Modest merit, like murder, will out. No use attempting to burke what is open secret. All those funereal jokes in young Cross's speech—his "course of obituary notices" as ASQUITH happily put it—were really GRAND CROSS's. CROSS pere composed them in the seclusion of Eccle Riggs, and made them over to his son.
"Would never do, WILLIAM HENRY, for a man in my position to publicly make a joke. I am not sure how it befits the Junior Counsel for England in the Behring Sea Arbitration. But we must risk that. There they are," he said, handing him a packet of manuscript in a black-edged envelope, "and may a father's blessing accompany them."
There was, as I have said, some hesitation on part of House as to how they were to be received. On the whole, went off well. The reference to "the Government, at whose last hours we have now arrived," and the proposal to write their epitaph, brought down the House. GRAND CROSS sitting in Gallery nervously watching result, decidedly encouraged. In larger leisure of Opposition we shall probably have more of these vicarious flashes of latent humour.
Business done.—Address moved, met with Vote of No Confidence, submitted by ASQUITH in brilliant speech.
Tuesday.—Imminence of change in Ministry brings into prominence and close proximity what is likely to happen in Ireland when Home Rule is established. Irish Members of all sections on the alert. SAUNDERSON in his war-paint, which assumes shape of luminous white waistcoat. Always know, when the Colonel puts that on, he means business. Made to-night good Derrydown speech punctuated by howls of execration from Irish brethren opposite. That is just what Colonel enjoys; moved him to higher nights of oratory. His lurid picture of ASQUITH, Q.C., "sitting on the lips of Irish volcano," extremely effective. Irish Members cruelly and effectually retorted by putting up REDMOND JUNIOR to reply. Colonel gallantly smiled, but it was a gashly effort. Device evidently effective. REDMOND did admirably; nothing could have been better than his grave remark, to presumably alarmed House, that, having for seven years sat opposite Colonel, he was able to assure them that he was "perfectly harmless—perfectly harmless."
"Now that," said ASHBOURNE, in London just now winding up his ministerial affairs, "is the cruellest thing I ever heard said of SAUNDERSON."
Later, more serious evidence of seething condition of feeling in Ulster brought under notice of House. Ross, Q.C., was returned at General Election, in place of CHARLES LEWIS—a character useful as a study for young Members, showing how a man of considerable ability, and distinct Parliamentary aptitude, may prove a hopeless failure. Ross born and brought up in Derry; accustomed to controversial practices. Familiar from boyhood with the concrete form dialectics are apt to take when indulged in beyond space of half an hour. "If they mean business," Ross said confidentially to Honest JOHN BURNS, "they'll find the Derry Boy in it."
So, before coming down to House, he carefully filled his trouser-pocket with convenient-sized paving-stones. When he got up just now, House stared with amazement at curious appearance presented by the Orator. Ross, pleased with attention created, threw back his coat, placed hands on hips, stiffened his legs, and made the most of the paving-stones. Members opposite whispered, and tittered.
"Let them laugh that win," said Ross. "In case of a row, a paving-stone in trouser-pocket is worth a Krupp's Battery in the bush."
So it proved. Prevention better than cure. Nobody threw anything at New Member for Derry, and, when he had concluded successful Maiden Speech, went out and emptied his amazing pockets into his locker.
"I'll save 'em up for a rainy day, as the man said when he pawned his landlord's umbrella," was Mr. Ross's remark as he hurried off home, at least a quarter of a hundredweight lighter.
Business done.—More debate on Address.
Thursday.—Splendid House; full from floor to topmost tier of seats in Strangers' Galleries. The last scene in history of Government. All the Actors on. Boxes full; Stalls full; Pit full. Contrary to LORD CHAMBERLAIN's regulations, chairs placed in gangways. Great rush for these, as affording novel position. MATHERS, who got front seat, says it was very nice, but not without compensating disadvantage. "Expected every minute, you know, the man coming round for your penny, as they do in the Parks."
CHAMBERLAIN had first call; greatly cheered by Conservatives when he stood before footlights. Little bit of farce to begin with. ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS rose with JOSEPH. Submitted as point of order that, in Moving Adjournment on Tuesday night, JOSEPH had exhausted his right to speak. House howled. Just as if, Lyceum crowded to see IRVING play Charles the First, JOHNNIE TOOLE came before Curtain and explained that, as CHARLES THE FIRST was indubitably beheaded some hundreds of years ago, IRVING would be out of order in appearing to-night. Very well done, and added something to interest of moment. But unnecessary. JOSEPH equal to occasion without adventitious aid.
A fine speech, equal to the magnificent audience. Even DON'T KEIR-HARDIE took off his cap to listen. JOSEPH never better with his quick sharp thrust, his lunging blow, and his apt tripping up. As usual, best where speech broken in upon with rude interruption. Note the incident when launched upon his peroration, carefully prepared and perilously adventured upon. House not passionately fond of perorations. Will suffer them only from Mr. G. and one or two others. CHAMBERLAIN rarely rises to peroration point. To-night a great occasion. Solemn enough even for peroration. Rising with its swelling tide, he came to ask "the wisest and the most sensible among you to consider the situation." Standing at the moment with face turned to Liberals above Gangway; from Irish camp behind his back rose shouts of ironical cheers and noisy laughter, "Boo-oo!" CHAMBERLAIN stopped perforce, and with scornful gesture of thumb over his shoulder at mob behind, said, "Yes, to the others I do not speak;" then went on and finished his sentence.
"A great day this, for JOSEPH," I said after, to SQUIRE OF MALWOOD.
"Ah," said. THE PERSONAGE, meditatively stroking a chin made for Cabinets. "Yes, he's very important; he reminds me of a story I heard when I was in Scotland. There was a funeral going on in a quiet street in Glasgow. Among the company present was observed a man whom nobody seemed to know, but who was bustling about as if he were in charge of most things. At last the undertaker, jealous of his own position, suggested he had better take a back seat. 'Losh man!' cried the Unknown, his eyes blazing with indignation, 'I'm brither to the corpp.' Dissentient Liberalism is dead; but JOE is brither to the corpp, and we must bear with him a little."
That's all very well; but they haven't done with JOSEPH yet. There may come times of distress and famine when he will be heard of from Egypt.
Business done.—The Government's. Wound up by a majority of 40 in turbulent House of 660 Members.
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(From a confirmed Tea-Drinker, who, suffering from Gout, has been forbidden his favourite beverage.)
DEAR TOPER,—Alas, no more of "The generous" for some time to come, and, what afflicts me most is, I am cut off from my Tea! "What, no soap! So he died." Substitute "Tea" for "Soap," and there I am. My boy TOMMY, who is at home for the holidays, reminds me of what OVID said at Tomi, not to TOMMY, as they were not contemporaries, "Nec tecum vivere possum, nec sine te." For "te" read "tea," and that's my case to a T.
[Greek: Thatts Houtis.]
Goughty Street, Old Portman Square.
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LADY GAY'S SELECTIONS.—Dear Mr. Punch,—And now for another glance at Racing. Next week we have meetings at Stockton and Wolverhampton, and the most important race is the Stockton Handicap, for which I will append my usual poetic selection:—
STOCKTON HANDICAP SELECTION.
A difficult river to cross, I am told, Is the one that is known as the Styx; But, if rider and horseman be equally bold, You can do it by aid of "The Pyx"!
This will rejoice the hearts of my followers, who have been "selectionless" for some weeks, and have therefore been unable to bet, unless they have accepted the absolutely unreliable information given by all the other sporting writers, but never by, yours truly,
LADY GAY. Nash Hotel, Bournemouth.
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NOTICE.—Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS., Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.