OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
July 23, 1892.
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TO A SUMMER FLOWER.
Oh, lovely flower sent from afar, Like sunlight to this world of ours, What art thou but a golden star, A priceless gem amongst the flowers?
Alas, all earthly things must die, Thou, too, fair yellow flower must fade, Thou wilt not charm an Artist's eye, Upon the breast of some fair maid!
Ah, no, thine is a nobler fate, Unlike the lily or the rose, Thou passest to a higher state When in sad death thy petals close:
For then thine outward form, grown pale Is changed to what, at first scarce seen, Is still thyself, so fair, so frail, A little fruit of tender green!
When quite matured, how very choice Thy juicy flavour; who can then Sing all thy worth with mortal voice, Or write thy praise with mortal pen.
There, take it gently from the ground, O costermonger, to thy barrow, And shout, with loud discordant sound, The praise of Vegetable Marrow!
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Faintly it wakes at the even chime, The appetite long past its prime. The supper-room at the Club looks dim. What shall I "peck" for an epicure's whim? Roe, Bloater's Roe! That's the brief repast To tickle the palate, to break the fast!
They may prate of the pleasures of "early purl," Of the frizzled rasher's seductive curl, But, when I fear I can munch no more, When the thought of banquets becomes a bore, Roe, Bloater's Roe, upon toast they cast, And nausea's fled, and repletion's past!
Yes Bloater's Roe—upon toast. Ah, boon! That stayeth satiety, late or soon. Best of bonnes bouches, that all seasons fits! The tenderest tickler of all tit-bits! Roe, Bloater's Roe! O chef, grill fast, And prepare my palate its pet repast!
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ONE FORM OF A "SHELLEY MEMORIAL."—Awful indigestion the morning after a Lobster Supper.
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FROM DAY TO DAY.
(A STUDY IN POLITICAL JOURNALISM, FROM SOME OF THE MORNING PAPERS.)
To-day, the first pollings of the General Election take place, and the electors will be called upon to decide one of the most momentous issues that have ever been submitted to the judgment of the country. For ourselves, we cannot doubt for a moment as to what the verdict will be. It is impossible that a policy of empty promises, backed by mere misrepresentation, should prevail against a glorious record of administrative, legislative, and financial success. Careful calculations have convinced us that those who now hold the reins of office will return to power with a largely increased majority, to continue their beneficent work. The country recognises by this time that anything short of that would mean disaster to the commonwealth. Even with a small majority, the forces of disorder would be able to work untold mischief. Such a result, however, is not within the bounds of possibility, seeing that the Election will be fought purely and simply on the Irish question, which has been placed fully before the electorate in all its bearings. Our organisation is perfect, and our triumph assured.
NO. II. (THREE DAYS LATER.)
We are constrained to admit that, so far, the result of the Elections has not come up to the confident anticipations of our Party. Seats have been lost that ought to have been retained. On the other hand, we have failed to win seats that we had a right to count upon as certainties. It is not easy to apportion the responsibility for failure. Over-confidence and a consequent want of energy may have had something to do with it; but the chief reason is to be found in the disgracefully defective organisation of the Party. The story is an old one. We have ourselves deemed it our duty to lay this aspect of the case before the Leaders of the Party, but our repeated warnings have been unheeded, and the necessary consequences have followed. Our opponents, however, have not much to congratulate themselves upon. The Irish question has been kept studiously in the back-ground, and the results, so far as they have gone, only prove conclusively that there is no diminution whatever in the dislike with which the majority of the electorate regard the proposals of the party of disorder. We are far from saying that even now we shall lose the Election. Everything may yet be retrieved. But, even should the result be numerically favourable to the Opposition, they will be powerless for mischief with the small majority which is all they are likely to get.
NO. III. (A WEEK LATER.)
The Elections are now nearing an end, and it is possible to summarise the results. It is not surprising that our opponents should be reduced to the lowest depths of despair. They counted with the utmost certainty on a majority of two hundred. But, as matters stand, it is out of the question that their preponderance should exceed fifty. Where are now the confident boastings with which they inaugurated the campaign? They have confused the judgment of the electors with every kind of side-issue. Misrepresentations have been sown broadcast, and have, in too many instances, succeeded. But the great heart of the country is still sound. Votes must be weighed as well as counted, and it is safe to assume that, with a paltry and heterogeneous majority of merely fifty, the advocates of revolution will be reduced to impotence, even if they can succeed in forming a Government at all. The result is one on which our Party may well congratulate themselves. They have worked hard, and the solid fruit of their efforts is now within their reach. We may safely say that the Irish policy of our opponents has received its death-blow.
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"There he blows! There he goes!" Like a Titan in throes, With his wallopping tail, and his wave-churning nose, The spouting Cetacean Colossus! Eh? Harpoon that Monster! The thought makes one pale, With one thundering thwack of that thumping big tail, To the skies in small splinters he'd toss us!
Rolling in foaming wild billows, ice-laden He goes, like the "boisterous sea" (vide HADYN!) "Upheaved from the deep," swift, tremendous, Leviathan sports on the far-foaming wave. If he runs athwart us, what power shall save, From the doom to which promptly he'd send us?
His "soundings," or "diggings," are many and deep; But would that his "three-hundred fathoms" he'd keep, Below in the ocean's cold quiet. But no, not at all; he's not that sort of whale! He must breathe, he must blow, he must roar, till the gale Is charged with the sound of his riot.
Leviathan loves the wild turmoil of strife, And lashing the billows to him is true life; Behold how he buffets and scourges them! Chase him? The Captain (though also a Kaiser), Might think that his course to avoid him were wiser, Until sheer necessity urges them.
And yet whales are beaten—by narwhals and men, And other mere pigmies. 'Tis said, now and then, E'en sword-fish can compass their ruin, By stabbing together—in Cassius's way With Caesar. Leviathan, dead, is a prey To dog-fish, and sea-birds, or Bruin.
There he blows! There he goes! Would an amateur Whaler, Like WILHELM, that fine blend of Statesman and Sailor, Incline to the chase and the capture Of such a huge, wandering, wallopping whale, To whom "Troubling the waters" with blow-holes and tail Seems a source of such riotous rapture?
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DUST AND HASHES.
SIR,—When I first took my present house, I was advised to get a Sanitary Dust-bin, instead of the old brick one which existed in my back-yard. One of the blessings predicted for my Sanitary Dust-bin, was, that it was "easily removable." I find this to be the case. It has already been removed by some area-sneak, and as I have got rid of the old brick dust-bin, the Vestry threaten to prosecute me for creating a nuisance, because my dust is now placed in a corner under my front steps. What am I to do?
SIR,—I find that the law recently passed against tips to Dustmen is quite unknown—at all events, to the Dustmen themselves. My servants, I find, go on freely bribing these functionaries, to remove bones and vegetable refuse. Their rate of tipping, as far as I can make out, is about a halfpenny per bone. If I were now to enforce the law and forbid tips, I foresee that the Dustcarts would have pressing business elsewhere, and would visit me about once a month. Then would follow a regime of "big, big, D.s"—in the window—which would be intolerable. I prefer tipping to typhoid.
Yours long sufferingly, VICTIM OF THE VESTRIES.
SIR,—The Vestry is quite right to insist on every house burning up its own odds and ends. The true domestic motto is—"Every kitchen its own crematorium." I do this habitually, out of public spirit. It is true that a sickening odour permeates the house for an hour or two of every day, created by the combustion of dinner remnants; also that most of my family suffer from bad sore throats, which they attribute to this cause. What of that? The truly good Citizen will prefer to poison himself rather than his neighbours.
A CLERKENWELL CATO.
SIR,—I recently purchased Dodger's Digest of Dustbin Law, and recommend it to the perusal of every householder. In the case of The Vestry of Shoreditch v. Grimes, Lord Justice SLUSH remarks—"The Vestry complains that the Defendant's bin was improperly covered; that, in fact, it was not under coverture. To this the Defendant replies that his bin was void ab initio, as there was nothing in it. Then the question arises whether the Defendant's Cook was justified in tipping the Dustman into the empty bin, considering that the Legislature has distinctly forbidden tips of all kinds to Dustmen. I am of opinion that the Cook was the Defendant's agent, and that the rule of qui facit per alium facit per se applies here. The Cook's proceeding was undoubtedly tortious; it was not a criminal action, though it certainly cannot be called a civil one. I agree with my brother CHIPPY that the ratio decidendi must be, whether the Dustman, in coming to clean out an empty dust-bin, had a malus animus or no. On all these points I hold that judgment must be for the Vestry." Your readers will see the importance of such clear obiter dicta.
Yours, AMATEUR LAWYER.
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THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN.
Soon on Piccadilly's pavement solitude once more will reign; Soon the Park will be a desert, for the Season's on the wane; In Belgravia's lordly mansions nearly all the blinds are down, For "the Family is gone, Sir,"—not a soul is left in Town.
South to Switzerland they hurry, to explore each snowy fell; North to Scotland's moors and forests, where the grouse and red-deer dwell; Carlsbad, Homburg, Trouville, Norway, soon their jaded eyes will view; For Society is speeding "to fresh woods and pastures new."
Everyone is gone or going,—everyone, that is, one knows,— And the "Great Elections'" Season fast is drawing to its close. Never surely was a poorer; such dull dinners, so few balls, Such an Epsom, such an Ascot, or so many empty stalls.
Gone the Season, with its dances, with its concerts and its fetes, With its weddings and divorces, with its dinners and debates; Gone are all its vapid pleasures, all its easy charities, Gone its causes celebres and scandals, gone its tears and tragedies.
Weary legislators envy still more weary chaperons;— Much they know the truth who deem them of Society the drones;— All the maidens are ennuyees, vow they "can't do anymore," All the gilded youth are yawning—everything's a horrid bore.
Hearken then, ye youths and maidens, favoured Children of the West, East and South and North are children, who are hungering for rest. They have never seen the country, never heard the streamlet flow: London pavements, London darkness, London squalor,—these they know.
Not for them to range the moorland, or to climb the mountain-side; They must linger on in London, till the grave their sorrows hide. From year's end to dreary year's end they must pace the noisy street. Do you hear the ceaseless echo of their weary, weary feet?
Just one day without your wine, Sir! Madam, just one ribbon less, And one wearied child in London from afar your name will bless. Think, ere now you seek your boredom in fresh pleasure-draughts to drown, Three or four benighted Millions still are left behind in Town!
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GENERAL OPINION ON APPOINTMENT OF NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF INLAND REVENUE.—"MILNER's Safe."
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CANVASSERS AND CANVASSED.
(AN ELECTIONEERING REMINISCENCE.)
SCENE—A narrow South London Street of two-storeyed houses, with a Rag-and-Bone Shop at one end and a Public House at the other. Time, about four o'clock on a warm Saturday afternoon. Enter Mr. CARLTON-JERMYN, a middle-aged gentleman, in faultless get-up, who, in a moment of weakness, has undertaken to canvass the district for his friend, the Conservative Candidate.
Mr. C.-J. (to himself, as he regards his surroundings with dismay, and tries to arrange his canvassing-cards). I suppose this is Little Anna Maria Street? I didn't understand at the Committee Rooms that it was quite such a—however, I must do my best for dear old TILNEY. Who's the first man I must see and "use my best endeavours to persuade him into promising his vote?" Ah, Mr. J. SPLURGE, No. 1. (He picks his way delicately along, attempting to make out the numbers on the doors, which are all thrown back; female residents watch him from doorsteps and windows with amused interest.) No. 5; No. 3; the next is No. 1. (It is; but the entrance is blocked by a small infant with a very dirty face, who is slung in a baby-chair between the door-posts.) Very embarrassing, really! Can't ask such a child as this if Mr. SPLURGE is at home! I'll knock. (Stretches for the knocker across the child, who, misinterpreting his intentions, sets up a howl.) My good child, I assure you ... for Heaven's sake, don't!... I—I wonder whether I ought to kiss it—some fellows would!
Female Voice (from side-window). You leave that pore child alone, will yer—or I'll come out and tork to you, d'y'ear?
Mr. C.-J. (to himself). That's Mrs. SPLURGE! I think, perhaps, I'd better not wait. (With an inspiration.) I'll leave a card. (Drops one of his visiting-cards in the child's lap—to its exceeding terror—and retreats.) I'm afraid I haven't produced a very favourable impression, so far, I'll try No. 2, across the street. (He approaches a doorstep upon which two stout and dishevelled Women are seated.) Er—I beg your pardon, but could you kindly inform me if Mr.—er—(consulting card)—GUFFIN is at home?
First Woman (with sarcasm). Now do yer think he's nothink else to do but set indoors in a arm-cheer all day?
Mr. C.-J. I—I thought—I hoped—that, it being Saturday, I might be—er—fortunate enough—have I the pleasure of addressing Mrs. GUFFIN? [Both Women are convulsed with uncontrollable mirth.
Second Woman (on recovering—calling down the passage). 'Ere, Mrs. GUFFIN, yer wanted. 'Ere's a gentleman come to see yer!
Mrs. Guffin (appearing from the basement, and standing at the further end of the passage). Well, what does he want?
Mr. C.-J. (raising his hat, and sending his voice down the passage to her). I ventured to call, Mrs. GUFFIN, in the hope of finding your husband at home, and ascertaining his—er—political sympathies, in view of the Election.
Mrs. Guffin. Oh, it's about the voting, is it? Are you for a Conservatory?
Mr. C.-J. For a—? Oh, to be sure, yes. I came to ask Mr. GUFFIN to support Sir TILNEY BRUTON, the Conservative Candidate. Perhaps if I called again, I might—?
Mrs. Guffin (in a matter-of-fact tone). I don't expect my 'usband 'ome till late, and then he'll be drunk.
Mr. C.-J. Just so. But I trust, Mrs. GUFFIN, your husband feels the importance of maintaining the Union—?
Mrs. Guffin. He did belong, I know, but I think his branch broke up, or somethink.
Mr. C.-J. (puzzled). Ah, but I mean in—er—politics—I hope he is opposed to granting Home Rule to Ireland?
Mrs. G. He don't tell me nothing about his politics, but I've 'eard him say he was Radikil.
Mr. C.-J. (diplomatically, as Mrs. G. slowly edges towards the door). Might I suggest, Mrs. GUFFIN, that you should use the—er—influence which every woman possesses, to—er—induce your husband—(here he suddenly becomes aware that Mrs. GUFFIN has a very pronounced black eye); but perhaps I ought not to ask you.
Mrs. G. Well, my opinion is—if you want someone to tork over my 'usband to your side, you'd better come and do it yourself; because I ain't goin' to. So there! [She retires to the basement again.
First Dish. W. If you toffs can't do nothink better than come 'ere makin' mischief between a man and his wife, you'd better stop at 'ome, that you 'ad!
Mr. C.-J. (to himself). Upon my word, I believe she's right! But I never noticed the poor woman's eye before. I wish I could find one of the men in, and have a talk with him—much more satisfactory! (Knocks at No. 4) Is Mr. BULCHER at home?
Mr. B. (lurching out of a room on the ground-floor). Qui' c'rect, Guv'nor—thash me!
Mr. C.-J. I wanted to see you, Mr. BULCHER, to ask if we may count upon your support for the Conservative Candidate at the Election. I need hardly point out to you the—er—vital importance of—
Mr. B. (slouching against the passage-wall, opposite Mr. C.-J.). 'Old on, Guv'nor, lemme ashk you thish question, 'fore we go any furrer. Wharriwanter 'ear from you is—'Ow 'm I goin' git little bit o' good outer thesh 'lections for myshelf. You unnershtand me? What good Conshervative gov'men' ever done er workin' man—d' yer shee? Why, never—not in all their born daysh! You take that shtraight from me.
Mr. C.-J. But surely—er—it was a Conservative Government that gave you Free Education?
Mr. B. (knowingly). No, it washn't, Guv'nor. There yer wrong, d'yer see? It wash er Radicals give us Free Education. And whatsh Free Education er me? Wouldn' say Thank yer f'rall Free Education in er wide world!
Mr. C.-J. (recognising that he must strike a stronger chord). Well, at all events you will admit that, during the last six years, you have been—er—peaceful and prosperous?
Mr. B. (beerily). I've been peashful and proshperous ever sinsh I was born. No, look 'ere, Guv'nr, I'm torken to you 'bout wharri unnershtan', d'yer see? Jes' you lishen er wharri'm goin tell you. (Here he punctuates his remarks by poking Mr. C.-J.'s ribs with a clay pipe.) Workin' man's gettin' more and more 'telligent every day—he'sh qui' capable lookin' after his own interests. What he wantch is, One Man One Vote, Redooced Hours o' Labour, 'Ome Rule for London, an' the Control of the Liquor Traffic! What did Misher GLADSHTONE say? Educated and 'telligent clashes alwaysh wrong—mashes always ri'! An' hain't I 'telligent an' educated? Very well, then. There you 'ave it.
Mr. C.-J. But—er—don't you see, my friend, that, according to Mr. GLADSTONE, the more intelligent and educated you are, the more you're wrong?
Mr. B. Nothing of—er—kind. Don' you make any mishtake. I ain't wrong. I gommy 'pinions—my p'litical 'pinions, and the prinshiples I go 'pon are—Down with—er—Tories!
Mr. C.-J. In that case, Mr. BULCHER, I need not occupy your time any longer, so I'll say—
Mr. B. (buttonholing him). Don' you go 'way, Guv'nor, 'fore I've finished torkin. I've lishened all you gorrer say—now itsh my turn talk, and I tell you er Conshervative Gov'men ish a downri'—&c., &c.
Mr. C.-J. (escaping, after ten minutes' incoherence). I'm afraid he was not quite in a condition to be argued with, but perhaps I shall do better with Mr. MOLESKIN, next door. (To a small boy in passage.) Mr. MOLESKIN in, my lad?
The Boy. Father—e's in. Go right up the stairs, and you'll find 'im.
[Mr. C.-J. flounders up the narrow stairs, and is met at the top by a very burly and surly mechanic.
Mr. Moleskin. Now, then, what do you want 'ere? (Mr. C.-J. explains his object, in some confusion.) Oh, that's it, is it? And what right ha' you got comin' up my stairs as if they belonged to you? Jest you tell me that!
Mr. C.-J. (meekly). I'm really very sorry—but I was—er—shown up.
Mr. M. It's 'igh time you and the likes o' you were shown up, in my opinion. 'Ow would you like to 'ave me comin' bustin' up your stairs, eh?
Mr. C.-J. (thinking that he wouldn't like it at all). I assure you I quite feel that this is an unwarrantable intrusion on my part—I must ask you to accept my best apologies—but I should be very glad to know that we might count on your—er—support at such a national crisis.
Mr. M. I dessay yer would. But what I ask you is—where does the secresy of the Ballot come in, if I'm to tell you which way I'm goin' to give my vote?
Mr. C.-J. (in distress). Pray believe that I should not dream of—er—forcing any confidence from you, or dictating to you in any way! I merely—
Mr. M. (mollified). Well, I don't mind tellin' yer this much:—I've made up my mind long ago, and, when the time comes, I shall vote to please myself and nobody else; and that's as much as you've got any right to know!
Mr. C.-J. (with a feeling that he would give much the same answer himself under similar circumstances). Then I'm afraid it would be of no use if I said any more?
Mr. M. Not a bit o' use! [He goes into his room again.
Mrs. Moleskin (coming out and addressing her son from landing). 'Ere, JIMMY, you come in orf o' that doorstep, and don't you go showin' any more folks up, or you don't know oo' you may let in next!
Mr. C.-J. (sadly, to himself, as he descends). I'd no idea canvassing was such exhausting work. I—I really think I've done enough for one afternoon! [Leaves Little Anna Maria Street—for ever!
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"BEAR WITH US."—In the case reported in the papers last week of "an infuriated bear shot at Croydon," Inspector ORMONDE said that "when the ring had been removed from its lip, the animal was so much relieved that it immediately turned a somersault." A picture of this interesting incident should be at once painted and hung up in the Divorce Court. The husband, who has become quite a bear in consequence of his better half having rendered herself quite unbearable, would naturally turn head-over-heels with joy on getting quit of the ring. But alas! mark the end of the poor bear. He got more and more excited; he had to be looked up in a stable. Here the joy and novelty of the situation overcame him; his mighty brain gave way; he became mad as a hatter—(Alice in Wonderland might have asked, "Then why didn't they send for a hatter, who would have brought a chimney-pot, or some sort of a tile for his bear-head?")—and subsequently the veterinary Mr. THRALE (whose ancestral namesake had considerable experience in dealing with that learned bear. Dr. JOHNSON) procured a gun, and potted the bear. Awkward in his life, but grease-ful in his death.
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LADY GAY'S SELECTIONS.
Mount Street, Grosvenor Square.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,
Anything more dreary than racing during this week's weather at Newmarket can scarcely be imagined! I have often heard Lord ARTHUR declare he was "as dry as a limekiln," and always thought it an absurd expression; and now I know it is!—for anything more wet than the Limekilns at Newmarket this week I never saw!—it's a mystery to me how the poor horses and men avoid catching cold, cantering about there without galoshes—though, by the way, Mr. HAMMOND had one "Galoche" which, of course, was not much use!
Owing to the smallness (that's a good word) of the attendance, we were "pinched" a little in the prices, and of course the pinch came where one least expected it, which was somewhat disconcerting—but as most of the "good things" came off all right—(especially those we took with us from BENOIST and FORTNUM's)—it did not matter so much. Ladies of course were chiefly conspicuous by their absence, but my sweet friend Lady NEWMAN GATESHEAD was quite the Belle of the gathering, and attracted nearly as much attention as the Queen of Navarre, who naturally won her race in royal style!
My selection for the Chesterfield Stakes, Meddler, was successful after a short struggle with the Duke of PORTLAND's Kilmarnock to whom he had to give five pounds (I hope this does not mean that the noble owner is in want of money!); but I am told the latter was not "fit" and "will do better with time!" though I don't quite see how that can be, as surely "time" travels faster than Meddler, so that, unless they take time with him, the handicap will be difficult to frame! By the way, when the handicaps are framed, where do they hang them up? and is it one of the "perks" of the Handicapper to supply the frames?
Those who waited in the rain for the last race on Wednesday were rewarded with a splendid exhibition of horsemanship, given by WEBB on St. Angelo; who appears to be somewhat of a "handful" (St. Angelo I mean, not WEBB, who is very slight), and evinces a strong desire to run in any direction but the one desired of him! I think Mr. MILNER should have him trained on a zigzag method, when his natural wilfulness would cause him to run straight when racing! This is an excellent idea, and I have others equally good (applicable to all styles of horses), which I intend to suggest to different trainers on my next visit to Newmarket!
We were all relieved when the "curtain rang down" on Thursday—(this is not, at first sight, a racing expression, but is largely used by sporting writers, as demonstrating the diversified nature of their knowledge!), in time for us to catch the early special for Liverpool Street; which, special, might really, from the major portion of its patrons, have been thought to be starting for Jerusalem!
Friday was a glorious day for the Eclipse, which was only visible from the Observatory at Esher—the best account appears to have been given by Professor Orme, who recovered from his recent severe illness just in time to be present.
Just a word in conclusion on the big race of next week—a paradox—be "wide awake" and go "nap" on my tip, from information privately given to
Yours devotedly, LADY GAY.
LIVERPOOL CUP SELECTION.
Some owners win, although their gee In temper be a "villen;" As that is not the sort for me, I favour "Enniskillen."
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THE POLITICAL JOHNNY GILPIN.
(Further-discovered Fragments of the Grand Old Ballad, giving the Sequel of the strange story begun in "Punch," No. 2660, July 2, p. 318.)
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So fair and softly! JOHNNY cried, But JOHNNY cried in vain; That trot became a gallop soon, In spite of curb and rein.
So, stooping down, as needs he must Who cannot sit upright, He grasped the mane with both his hands, And eke with all his might.
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Away went GILPIN neck or nought, Away went hat and wig; He little dreamt when he set out Of running such a rig.
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly Like streamer long and gay, Till people thought, and JOHN half feared, That it might fly away.
Then might all gazers well discern The bottles he had slung; A bottle swinging at each side, As hath been said or sung.
Away went GILPIN—who but he? His fame soon spread around; "He carries weight! He rides a race!" "He'll win it, we'll be bound!"
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Then all through merry London Town, These gambols he did play; Until he came to rural parts, Where rustics lined the way.
There labourers shouted, women screamed, Up flew the felt-hats all; And every yokel yelled, "Well done!" As loud as he could bawl.
* * * * *
Away went GILPIN, out of breath, And fearing much a "spill;" But knowing till his race was run His horse would not stand still.
His hat was gone, his W(h)ig also, His cloak he had to clutch. Could he hold on? A mile or two Would put it to the touch.
A church-bell clanging, scared his steed, Pigs dashed betwixt its feet; And on his own beloved North Road, JOHN almost lost his seat.
On the North Road, his sometime friends, Their sometime favourite spied, Well-nigh dismounted, wondering much, To see how he did ride.
"Ride straight, JOHN GILPIN—for the House!" JOHN's Liberal Dame did cry. "The Party waits, and we feel tired." Said GILPIN—"So do I!"
But yet his horse was not a whit Inclined due North to stay; For why?—his stables at the House Were out Westminster way.
So like an arrow swift he flew Back southward through the throng, Who shouted loud, "He yet will win! JOHN GILPIN's going strong!"
* * * * *
And now Town's traffic once again For horse and man made space, The drivers thinking, as before, That GILPIN rode a race.
And so he did—and won it, too, For he got first to Town; And, stiff and sore, at the House door, Bare winner, he got down.
Now let us sing, Long live the QUEEN, And GILPIN, long live he! And when he next doth ride due North, May we be there to see!
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A GOOD STAYER.—From the Times of Tuesday, the 12th, we cull this:—
IN ANY CAPACITY of TRUST.—Seven years in first-class Turkish Bath. Patience and perseverance. Good invalid attendant. Active and attentive.
"Seven years in a Turkish Bath!" As Mr. WILSON BARRETT would exclaim, "How long! How long!" What better example of patience and perseverance, which, as all know, are "good for the gout," could possibly be given? That after this long stay in the Turkish Bath, he should be "a good invalid attendant," goes without saying. And not only is he "attentive," which is a great point in an "attendant," but he is also active—and this after so long a stay in a Turkish Bath, of which, however, he does not mention the temperature.
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Wednesday.—Crowded for WAGNER's Goetterdaemmerung, "which," says the Rev. Mr. Penley, who "doesn't like London," "is such an awful name, that fond as I am of music, I really could not go and see it." As to WAGNER, well, "it's all right when you know him, but you've got to know him fust."
Herr ALVARY excellent as Siegfried; Herr WIEGAND powerful; ditto the wide-awake Herr KNAPP. Frau KLAFSKY, a beautiful and interesting Bruennhilde; and it is difficult to be personally interesting in a Wagnerian Opera, where ensemble is everything. Fraeulein HEINE and BETTAQUE, equally good.
Herr MAHLER was "called," with the rest of the company, to receive his meed of praise for conducting. Opera perfectly put on Stage by Herr von DRURIOLANUS, and though the Season is coming to an end, yet the Opera is still "going strong."
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NOTE AND QUERY BY MRS. R.—Our old friend wants to know from what Poet comes this quotation—
"A needless Salamander ends the line."
Mrs. R. thinks it's from POPE; but if so, she asks what Pope? as there are so many of 'em.
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ORNAMENTAL STRUCTURE IN NEW NORFOLK.—A Triumphal ARCH.
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STUDIES IN THE NEW POETRY.
In offering this fourth example of the New Poetry to his readers, Mr. Punch wishes it to be distinctly understood, that he is in no way responsible, personally, for the curious mixture of divinities and semi-divinities who figure in it. It is one of the distinguishing marks of this particular sort of New Poetry to pile up a confusion of more or less mythological names in a series of swinging and resonant lines. In one line the reader may imagine himself to be embarked in the River Cocytus. In the next, he will be surprised to find himself in Eden. Blood, battle, bumptiousness, and an aggressive violence, are special characteristics of this style of writing. Some of the lines apparently mean nothing at all, others are calculated to make timid people tremble; and the effect of the whole is generally picturesque, lurid, and uncomfortable.
One of the great advantages of a poem like this, is that it may be used for all kinds of purposes. For example, if it was originally written as an invective against an opponent, it may afterwards, with the utmost ease, be made to serve as a threnody. Here then without further preface is:—
THE SUNDERED FLEA.
BY MR. R*DY*RD K*PL*NG.
Out on the path of the blazing ball that has hurtled a million years, Where the uttermost light glows red by night in the clash of the angry spheres, Where never a tear-drop dims the eye, and sorrows are stifled young, And the Anglo-Indians snigger and sneer with the jest of a bitter tongue.
Where the tribesmen mock at the Bengalee and shiver their spears in vain, And officers steep their souls chin-deep in brandy and dry champagne; Where the Rudyard river runs, flecked with foam, far forth to the Kipling seas, And the maker of man takes walks abroad with Pagan deities.
Where AZRAEL talks to the Graces Three, and the Muses Nine stand by, And ask Greek riddles of BUDDHA, who never makes reply. (Gentlemen all and ladies too as smart as a brand-new pin), And nobody wonders how on earth so mixed a lot got in—
Here in the track of a thunderbolt from the nethernmost smithy hurled, With the groan of an ancient passion rent from the wreck of a shattered world, In the white-hot pincers of BAAL borne through cycles of agony, Lit by the Pit's red wrath there came the Soul of a Sundered Flea.
And all that company started back; first AZRAEL grimly smiled, The smile that an East-End Coster smiles, by a stout policeman riled; And BUDDHA made no remark at all, but nodded his heavy head, Like a boy who has eaten too much dessert, and wants to be put to bed.
And the Muses Nine, as they stood in line, they shuddered and turned to go. "A joke's a joke, but I can't bear fleas," said CLIO to ERATO. And the Graces, the good Conservative Three, shrank back to a spot remote, And observed that they knew that this would come from letting the Masses vote.
Then AZRAEL spake—"On the Stygian lake I floated a half-sinned sin On the crest of a cross-grained stickleback, that is caught with a crooked pin; For a year and a day I watched it whirl, but never that sin could be One-half so base as your gruesome face, O Soul of a Sundered Flea!
"What ill have ye done? Speak up, speak up!—for this is no place, I trow, For the puling people on virtue fed. So speak, or prepare to go." But the Flea flew free from the pincers' grip, and uttered a single phrase— "I have lived on blood, as a gentleman should, and that is my claim to praise."
Then a shout of joy from the throng went forth; they built him a crystal throne, And there in his pride, with none beside, he rules and he reigns alone. And this is the tale which I here set down, as the story was told to me— In excellent Rudyard-Kipling verse—the tale of the Sundered Flea.
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ANTICIPATORY NEWS (from Our Own Court Tripping Newsman).—Sir ALGERNON BORTHWICK, Bart, M.P., will be raised to the Peerage with the title of Lord MORNINGPOST, of Penniwise, Seefarshire, N.B.
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An Anti-lawn-tennis Lady considers that the argument against Croquet, as a game involving a bent back, and a narrowing of the chest, is merely "A very stoopit objection."
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The Royal Agricultural Society's Journal. A Society Journal of a peculiar character, of which this is the Third Series and Third Volume. It is noticeable for Lord CATHCART's appeal for the wild birds, which, as addressed to farmers and farm-labourers and armed ploughboys, may be summed up by an adaptation of the refrain of the remonstrance—so frequently urged by one of Lieutenant COLE's funny figures—"Can't you let the birds alone?" Then Mr. HASTING "On Vermin," which doesn't sound nice, though better than if the title were vice versa,—is most interesting, especially where he tells us that "shrews are harmless." If so, why did SHAKSPEARE give us "The Taming of the Shrew" as such a feat? Professor BROWN writes about disease in sheep, of which paper Lord ARTHUR WEEDON DE GROSSMITH would be absolutely correct in observing, "What rot!" And, by the way, a propos of WEEDON, the Baron has to congratulate the Brothers GROSSMITH on their Diary of a Nobody, republished from Mr. Punch's pages, but with considerable additions. The Diary is very funny, not a page of it but affords matter for a good laugh; and yet the story is not without a touch of pathos, as it is impossible not to pity the steady, prim, old-fashioned jog-trot NOBODY, whose son, but just one remove above a regular 'ARRY, treats him with such unfilial rudeness.
It has been complained that the late General Election has not been amusing, and has given birth to little fun. Let those who feel this most acutely read Mr. R.C. LEHMANN's The "Billsbury Election (Leaves from the Diary of a Candidate)." He will tell you how Mr. RICHARD B. PATTLE contested Billsbury in the Constitutional Interest; how he "buttered up Billsbury like fun," was badgered by Billsbury, heckled by Billsbury, taxed, tithed and tormented by Billsbury, and eventually "chucked" by Billsbury, by the aggravatingly small majority of seventeen. Also how his "Mother bore up like a Trojan, and said she was prouder of me than ever." Just so.
I hold it true whate'er befall, I wrote so, to the Morning Post; 'Tis better to have "run" and lost, Than never to have run at all.
"Modern Types" and "Among the Amateurs" are well known to the readers of Punch. But lovers of C.S. CALVERLEY—that is to say, all but a very few ill-conditioned critical creatures—and of neat verse with a sting to it, should turn to p. 203 (A.C.S. v. C.S.C.), and read and enjoy the smart slating Mr. LEHMANN administers to tumid, tumultuous, thrasonic, turncoatist ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE, for saying of the brilliant and well-beloved Author of Fly Leaves, &c., that he—forsooth!—is "monstrously overrated and preposterously overpraised"!!! BARON DE B.-W. & Co.
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WANTED IN THE LAW COURTS.
A Junior who will wear his gown straight, and not pretend that intense preoccupation over dummy briefs prevents him from knowing that it is off one shoulder.
A Judge who can resist the temptation to utter feeble witticisms, and to fall asleep.
A Witness who answers questions, and incidentally tells the truth.
A Jury who do not look supremely silly, and ridiculously self-conscious, when directly addressed or appealed to by Counsel; or one that really understands that the Judge's politeness is only another and subtle form of self-glorification.
A Q.C. who is not "eminent," who does not behave "nobly," and who can avoid the formula "I suggest to you," in cross-examination; or one that does not thunder from a lofty and inaccessible moral altitude so soon as a nervous Witness blunders or contradicts himself.
An Usher who does not try to induce the general public, especially the female portion thereof, to mistake him for the Lord Chancellor.
A Solicitor who does not strive to appear coram populo on terms of quite unnecessarily familiar intercourse with his leading Counsel.
An Articled Clerk who does not dress beyond his thirty shillings a-week, and think that the whole Court is lost in speculation as to the identity of that distinguished-looking young man.
An Associate who does not go into ecstasies of merriment over every joke or obiter dictum from the Bench.
Anybody who does not give loud expression to the opinion at the nearest bar when the Court rises, that he could have managed the case for either or both sides infinitely better than the Counsel engaged.
A Court-house whose atmosphere is pleasant and invigorating after the Court has sat for fifteen minutes.
(Anyone concerned who, on reading these remarks in print, will think that the cap can, by any scintilla of possibility, fit himself.)
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* * * * *
JUSTICE FOR 'FRISCO.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—I notice that a complaint has been made that those charming stories of wild life in the Far West, are out of date. Nay, more, that they are calculated to do a great deal of harm to a considerable amount of valuable property. On the other hand, the talented authors of the picturesque romances to which I have referred, insist that there is a great demand for these literary wares, and they would suffer much loss if they were to discontinue their production.
Could not the matter be compromised? We are less sensitive than our American cousins, and if the scene were changed from St. Francisco to some quiet watering-place on the Kentish Coast, our kindred beyond the seas ought to be satisfied. I do not pretend to be a master of the style of those who write Backwood sensations, but I think I can jot down a few lines to show what I mean. Beneath I give a specimen of the sort of thing that might take the place of stories revelling in such titles as the "Luck of Murder Camp," "Slack Bill's Banker," and "The Talk of Stab-in-the-Backman's Chasm."
THE CHAFF OF HERNE BAY CREEK.
CHAPTER XX.—CHARLEY MEETS A CHUM.
The Miners who had been digging all day long the rough shingle for treasure-trove, had retired to their rudely constructed cabins. These rough huts were built of wood, and furnished with a seat on either side. There were two small windows let into the oaken walls—each of them not more than six inches square. They were absolutely free from furniture—save perhaps, a foot of cheap looking-glass, and here and there a wooden-peg used by the Miners for hanging up their slouch-hats, their red flannel-shirts, and their long leather-boots.
These huts were not unlike the other habitations in the wild Far West, save that they had this peculiarity—each hut was mounted on a huge springless framework, supported by four lumbering wooden wheels. By this arrangement the hut could be moved from place to place, sometimes to the fields, with their mines of undiscovered treasure; sometimes to the sea, burdened with legacies of the mighty deep.
CHARLEY was smoking a pipe, and thinking of that fair home in San Francisco, the very centre of civilisation, where the hotels were admirable, the stores well stocked, and house property at a premium.
"I did not discover a single ruby yesterday," he murmured, and then he looked at the wooden spade of a child—"I found only there a young 'un's toy. But it has softened my heart, and taught me that human nature is human nature."
He paused to wipe away with a sunburnt hand a furtive tear.
"CHARLEY, my lad," he exclaimed, "this is unmanly. What would DARE DEATH DICK or THUNDER TIM say to such a show of water?"
He took the spade, and was about to throw it with violence to the ground, when his better nature triumphed, and he placed it, almost with reverence, on the bench beside him.
He was disturbed by a tap on the outer door—the door that faced the sea.
"Who's there?" he shouted, as he held in one hand a revolver, and in the other a bowie-knife of the usual fashion.
"Are you ready?"
It was a gruff voice, and yet there was something feminine about it. CHARLEY had never feared to meet a woman yet, and he did not now shrink from the encounter. However his training had made him cautious. It might be a trap of the bloodthirsty Indians—those Children of Nature who were known to indulge in any cruel subterfuge to secure the white men as their prey.
"Are you ready?" was repeated in the same gruff voice, but now the tone was one of entreaty. The speaker seemed to be imploring for a reply.
CHARLEY hesitated no longer. He put down the bowie-knife, and still holding the revolver, opened the door.
He started back! Yes, it was a woman who confronted him. But such a woman! Her face was weather-beaten and sunburnt. Her hair was grey, and there were pieces of sea-weed in the shapeless mass that once may have been called a bonnet. She was wearing a heavy serge dress that was dripping with the sea. On her huge feet were old boots sodden with sand and wet. She might have been of any age, from fifty upwards.
She gazed at CHARLEY with an uncanny smile, and extended her arms towards him. Then she spoke in the same gruff tone,
"Come to your MARTHA!"
And CHARLEY knew he had met a chum!
* * * * *
There, something like the above might do. The woods in the neighbourhood of Herne Bay are just the places for adventure, and, with thought, a good deal might be managed with the Reculvers.
And now, Mr. Punch, I have done.
Yours respectfully, A WILD WELSH RAREBIT.
* * * * *
COMMERCE A L'AMERICAINE.
(PAGE FROM A DIARY ON THE POINT OF BEING WRITTEN.)
Monday.—Miners of the Great Hagglenaggle Fields ask for increase of wages, emphasising their demand by firing off revolvers and brandishing bowie-knives.
Tuesday.—Masters of the Great Hagglenaggle Fields refuse to treat with Miners, and entrench themselves behind ironclad back gardens. They also send for a force of PATTERSON's Mercenary Chuckers-out. Fighting imminent.
Wednesday.—Appearance of PATTERSON's Mercenary Chuckers out. They are met by Miners with discharges of Gattling guns and land torpedoes.
Thursday.—The two armies face to face. Both sides fire away, using up all their ammunition. End of the day's contest, no balance on either side. Great success of the new General Interment Company. Shares at thirty premium.
Friday.—Reinforcements for both sides. A general engagement considered imminent. In the meanwhile, pour passer le temps, skirmishes and slaughter of thousands.
Saturday.—First-class, regular all-round battle. A large force arrived to fight the Miners, Gatlings and Krupps blaze away without intermission. Losses on both sides pretty considerable.
Sunday.—Conversion of the Great Hagglenaggle Fields into a cemetery. Great rise in shares on allotment. Ten acres of booking in advance!
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LAYS OF MODERN HOME.
NO. III.—OFF FOR MY HOLIDAY.
Yes! I'm off for my holiday. Forty odd pieces Of luggage, three cabs, and a van, and a 'bus too. Without counting loose wraps, and umbrellas in creases, And sweets that my darlings are sucking with gusto.
Yes! I'm off for my holiday—wife in hysterics, Since nowhere on earth can her poodle be found; And the nurses and children—ANNES, LILIANS, ERICS— All screaming, and fussing, and fuming around!
Yes! I'm off for my holiday—Tyneside, or Deeside, Or Lakes, or that Switzerland English, Hind Head, Or the thousand monotonies known as "The Seaside"— Ask not whither my fugitive footsteps are led.
For whatever the place, it is ever the same thing; Poor Paterfamilias always must suffer. A dyspeptic, a costly, a lame and a tame thing Is Holiday-time for a family buffer.
Yes! I'm off for my holiday—where I won't mention; They are pulling the blinds of my drawing-room down: But next year—if I live—it's my solemn intention To stay, upon business, en garcon, in Town.
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FAIR PROSPECTS OF FINE WEATHER.—No rain on St. Swithin's, and last week the County of Inverness discarded its MACKINTOSH.
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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.