OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
November 19, 1892.
THE MAN WHO WOULD.
II.—THE MAN WHO WOULD PLAY GOLF.
BULGER was no cricketer, no tennis-player, no sportsman, in fact. But his Doctor recommended exercise and fresh air. "And I'm thinking, Sir," he added, "that you cannot do better than just take yourself down to St. Andrews, and put yourself under TOM MORRIS." "Is he a great Scotch physician?" asked BULGER; "I don't seem to have heard of him." "The Head of the Faculty, Sir," said the medical man—"the Head of the Faculty in those parts."
BULGER packed his effects, and, in process of time, he arrived at Leuchars. Here he observed some venerable towers within a short walk, and fancied that he would presently arrive at St. Andrews. In this he was reckoning without the railway system—he was compelled to wait at Leuchars for no inconsiderable time, which he occupied in extracting statistics about the consumption of whiskey from the young lady who ministered to travellers. The revelations now communicated, convinced BULGER that either Dr. MORRIS was not on the lines of Sir ANDREW CLARK, or, as an alternative, that his counsels were not listened to by travellers on that line.
Arriving in the dusk, BULGER went to his inn, and next morning inquired as to the address of the Head of the Faculty. "I dinna ken," said an elderly person, to whom he appealed, "that the Professors had made TOM a Doctor, though it's a sair and sad oversicht, and a disgrace to the country, that they hae'na done sae lang syne. But I jalouse that your Doctor was jist making a gowk o' ye." "What!" said BULGER. "Jist playin' a plisky on ye, and he meant that TOM wad pit ye in the way o' becoming a player. Mon, ye're a bull-neckit, bow-leggit chiel', and ye'd shape fine for a Gowfer! Here's TOM." And, with this brief introduction, the old man strolled away.
BULGER now found himself in the presence of Mr. MORRIS, whose courtesy soon put him on a footing of friendliness and confidence. He purchased, by his Mentor's advice, a driver, a cleek, a putter, a brassey, an iron, a niblick, and a mashy. Armed with these implements, which were "carried by an orphan boy," and, under the guidance of the Head of the Faculty himself, BULGER set forth on his first round. His first two strokes were dealt on the yielding air; his third carried no inconsiderable parcel of real property to some distance; but his fourth hit the ball, and drove it across the road. "As gude as a better," quoth the orphan boy, and bade BULGER propel the tiny sphere in the direction of a neighbouring rivulet. Into this affluent of the main, BULGER finally hit the ball; but an adroit lad of nine stamped it into the mud, while pretending to look for it, and BULGER had to put down another. When he got within putting range, he hit his ball careering back and forward over the hole, and, "Eh, man," quoth the orphan boy, "if ye could only drive as you put!"
In some fifteen strokes he accomplished his task of holing out; and now, weary and desponding (for he had fancied Golf to be an easy game), he would have desisted for the day. But the Head of the Faculty pressed on him the necessity of "The daily round, the common task." So his ball was tee'd, and he lammed it into the Scholar's Bunker, at a distance of nearly thirty yards. A niblick was now placed in his grasp, and he was exhorted to "Take plenty sand." Presently a kind of simoom was observed to rage in the Scholars' Bunker, out of which emerged the head of the niblick, the ball, and, finally, BULGER himself. His next hit, however, was a fine one, over the wall, where, as the ball was lost, BULGER deposited a new one. This he, somehow, drove within a few feet of the hole, when he at once conceived an intense enthusiasm for the pastime. "It was a fine drive," said the Head of the Faculty. "Mr. BLACKWELL never hit a finer." Thus inflamed with ardour, BULGER persevered. He learned to waggle his club in a knowing way. He listened intently when he was bidden to "keep his eye on the ba'", and to be "slow up." True, he now missed the globe and all that it inhabit, but soon he hit a prodigious swipe, well over cover-point's head,—or rather, in the direction where cover-point would have been. "Ye're awfu' bad in the whuns," said the orphan boy; and, indeed, BULGER'S next strokes were played in distressing circumstances. The spikes of the gorse ran into his person—he could only see a small part of the ball, and, in a few minutes, he had made a useful clearing of about a quarter of an acre.
It is unnecessary to follow his later achievements in detail. He returned a worn and weary man, having accomplished the round in about a hundred and eighty, but in possession of an appetite which astonished him and those with whom he lunched. In the afternoon, the luck of beginners attending him, he joined a foursome of Professors, and triumphantly brought in his partner an easy victor. In a day or two, he was drinking beer (which he would previously have rejected as poison), was sleeping like a top, and was laying down the law on stimy, and other "mysteries more than Eleusinian." True, after the first three days, his play entirely deserted BULGER, and even Professors gave him a wide berth in making up a match. But by steady perseverance, reading Sir WALTER SIMPSON, taking out a professional, and practising his iron in an adjacent field, BULGER soon developed to such an extent that few third-rate players could give him a stroke a hole. He had been in considerable danger of "a stroke" of quite a different character before he left London, and the delights of the Bar. But he returned to the Capital in rude health, and may now often be seen and heard, topping into the Pond at Wimbledon, and talking in a fine Fifeshire-accent. It must be acknowledged that his story about his drive at the second hole, "equal to BLACKWELL, himself, TOM MORRIS himself told me as much," has become rather a source of diversion to his intimates; but we have all our failings, and BULGER never dreams, when anyone says, "What is the record drive?" that he is being drawn for the entertainment of the sceptical and unfeeling. BULGER will never, indeed, be a player; but, if his handicap remains at twenty-four, he may, some day, carry off the monthly medal. With this great aim before him, and the consequent purchase of a red-coat and gilt-buttons, BULGER has a new purpose in existence, "something to live for, something to do." May this brief but accurate history convey a moral to the Pessimist, and encourage those who take a more radiant view of the possibilities of life!
* * * * *
A PLEBISCITE FOR PARNASSUS.
[The result of the Pall Mall's competition for the Laureateship has been to place Mr. ERIC MACKAY and Mr. GILBART-SMITH first and second, and SWINBURNE and MORRIS nowhere.]
A popular vote the Laureate's post to fill? Ay! if Parnassus were but Primrose Hill. The Penny Vote puts lion below monkey. 'Tis "Tuppence more, Gents, and up goes the donkey!"
* * * * *
QUITE MOVING.—From Far and Near and All Alive, are two excellent "movable toy-books" that will please the little ones (when their seniors are tired of playing with them) far into the Yule-tide season. The author is LOTHAR MAGGENDORFER, a gentleman to whom Mr. Punch wishes a "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." This may appear a little premature, but it is a far cry from England to Germany, and the Sage of Fleet Street has allowed for any delays that may be caused by fogs, railway unpunctuality, and other necessary evils.
* * * * *
THE AMERICAN GANYMEDE.
[The extraordinary triumph of Mr. GROVER CLEVELAND, Democratic Candidate for the American Presidency, is attributed to a general revolt against the McKinley Bill.]
O plump and pant-striped boy, upborne, Like Ganymede of old, Punch hails you, with your slack, untorn, Fast in the Eagle's hold. It is, indeed, a startling sight That speculation tarries on; And it must give an awful fright To Hebe (alias HARRISON!)
Up, up to the Olympus, where The White House spreads its board, Whirled high through the electoral air, A boy less long than broad! He looks not like the Tammany breed, That with high tariffs dally; He proves, this Yankee Ganymede, The Democratic rally.
This eagle's a colossal fowl, Like Sindbad's monstrous Roc, A bird of prey some say, a-prowl Like that Stymphalian flock, With iron claws and brazen beak, Intent to clutch and collar, Fired with devotion strong, yet weak, To the Almighty Dollar.
Pooh! Plunder's not his only joy. He hovered till he saw "A something-pottle-bodied boy," Who spurned MCKINLEY'S Law. He stooped and clutched him, fair and good, Flew nigh o'er roof and casement, Whilst the Republicans all stood Agape in sheer amazement.
He soars with proudly swelling crest And followed with acclaims, A cause of wonder in the West, And crowing by the Thames. For England, glorying in the sight, Greets Boy and Bird together; Whilst watching with serene delight That big, black, falling feather!
* * * * *
ROBERT ON LORD MARE'S DAY.
The most ewentfoollest day of the hole year broke, as the poets says, without almost not no fog, on Wensday larst, to my grate serprise and joy; but noing, from long xperiens, how unsertain is whether at this orful seasun of the year, I took jest one leetel glass of hold brandy before setting out on my arjus dootys. I was encurraged to do so also by the horful rumers as was spread about, weeks afore, as to threttend atacks on the sacred Show by some disapinted prottestens, I think they called theirselves, as hadn't bin inwited to the Bankwet, and so meant to prottest accordingly.
But I needn't a bin alarmd, for the most respekful mob as filled the streets was as quiet as mice, havin heard, I'm told, as how as the Copperashun had had the lectric light turned on at Gildhall, by which means, of course, they coud comunicate with any-wheres, and so know where to send an hole army of Waiters to, well fortyfide, and armed to the teeth with a splendid Lunch, to help the pore Perlice in their arjus dootys.
From wot I seed of the butifool Sho, I shood give the cake to the Frute-Makers' splendid Car, all covered with the most butifool Frute, all made, too, in England, as it trewthfoolly said on both sides of the high-backed Car. The second plaice I shood give to the numerus butifool young Ladys, with most butifool flaxin air, all most bisily ingaged in a twistlin and a twiddlin of luvly gold and silver wire, on a Car belongin to the Makers of Gold and Silver Wire Drorers, wich I heard a most respectfool carpenter declare, must, he thort, be most uncomferal to wear. With that good fortun as allers atends the Hed Waiter, I seem to have atracted the notis of one of the most butifool of the young Ladys afoursaid, for she acshally tossed me a luvly littel bit of reel golden wire, which I shall trezure nex my art for years, if so be as how it don't skratch.
The grand Bankwet, with its nine hunderd Gestes, was as ushal, about the grandest thing of the kind as the world has ever seen, but sumhows it struck me as the gents was much more impashent for their wittles than they ushally is. At my pertickler tabel, the two gents at the top was that trubblesum about the reel Turtel-soup as I ain't a tall accumstumed to, and I amost poured a hole ladel-full down the fine shirt-front of one of em; and then, trying at the next help to awoid him, I sent my helbow full into the face of the other, and a pretty fuss he made, you bet, and acshally torked of sending for the souperintendent, ewidently not knowing who I was.
The same himpashent Gent amost worried my life out arterwards, and all about a glass of plane water as he called it, and when I told him as I didn't think as we hadn't not none in the plaice, but I coud get him a bottel of amost any kind of Shampane as he liked to name; he again said as he wood call for the souperintendent. So in course I had to go for some, and a preshus long time it took me to get it; the wine-steward naterally sayin as he never before herd of sich a order on sich a ocasion, and he had only one bottel with him, and when I took it to the himpashent Gent, and told him so, he fairly roared with larfter, and told it all round as a capital joke! I wunders where the joke was.
When the dinner was over and the speaches began, I got permishun to stand unner the gallery for to hear them; but strange to tell, not a word coud I hear, and them as I did hear I coudn't unnerstand. So I began for to fear as crewel age was a tarnishing of my 'earrings, so I moved to the other end of the 'All jest in time for to hear a werry dark but gennelmanly young feller, as was called the Gayqueer, or some such wonderfool name, and who, I was told, come all the way from Indier, make sitch a grand and nobel speach, and in quite as good Inglish as ewen I coud use, as got him more applorse from the distinguisht hordiens than all the speaches maid by Her Madjesty's Ministers put together. Always xceptin the Lawyers, for they seems to have sitch a jolly good time of it, that they are allers as reddy to cause a larf as to enjoy one. We all seemed sumhow to miss the werry PRIME MINISTER—we are all so acustomd to see the werry top of the tree, that we don't quite like being put off with a mere bow, however big and himportant it may be; besides, I must confess as I do like to hear his luvly woice, ewen when I don't quite unnerstand all as he says. So I don't suppose as any one of my numerus readers will quarrel with me when I says, better luck nex time.
* * * * *
* * * * *
PROOFS BEFORE LETTERS.
Humbugs will always ape their betters, Fools fancy the alphabet brings them fame; But you don't become a man of letters By tacking the letters after your name. One suffix only the fact expresses, And that's an A and a couple of S's!
* * * * *
ANOTHER MEANING.—I Rantzau is the title of MASCAGNI'S new Opera. The title, anglicised, would be suitable for an old-fashioned transpontine melodramatic tragedian, who could certainly say of himself, "I rant so!"
* * * * *
At what time would SHAKSPEARE'S heroine of The Taming of the Shrew have been eminently fitted to be a modern Sunday-School teacher?
Answer. When Petruchio kissed her; because then she was a Kattie Kiss'd. (Hem! A Cate-chist.)
* * * * *
ALL ROUND THE FAIR.
SCENE—A street of Gingerbread, Sweetstuff, and Toy-stalls, "Cocoa-nut Shies," "Box-pitching Saloons," &c., forming the approach to the more festive portion of the Fair, from which proceeds a cheerful cacophony of orchestrions, barrel-organs, steam-whistles, gongs, big drums, rattles, and speaking-trumpets.
Proprietors of Cocoa-nut Shies. Now, then, play up all o' you—ar-har! There goes another on 'em! That's the way to 'it 'em—win all yer like, &c.
A Rival Proprietor (pointing to his target, through the centre of which his partner's head is protruded). Look at that! Ain't that better nor any coker-nut? Every time you 'it my mate's 'ed, you git a good cigar! (As the by-standers hang back, from motives of humanity.) 'Ere, 'ave a go at 'im, some o' you—give 'im a little encouragement!
The Head (plaintively). Don't neglect a man as is doing his best to please yer, gen'l'men! (A soft-hearted Bystander takes a shot at him, out of sheer compassion, and misses.) Try agen, Sir. I ain't 'ere to be idle!
A Sharp Little Girl (presiding over a sloping Chinese Billiard-board). Now, my dears—(To a group of boys, of about her own age)—'ave what yer like. A penny a pull, and a prize every time! Wherever the marble rolls, you 'ave any one article on the board!
[One of the boys pays a penny, and pulls a handle, propelling a marble, which, after striking a bell at the top of the slope, wobbles down into a compartment.
The Boy (indicating a gorgeous china ornament on the board). I'll 'ave one o' them—to take 'ome to mother.
The S.L.G. (with pitying superiority). No, my boy, you can go to a shop and buy one o' them for sixpence if you like—but 'ere you must 'ave what you git!
[She awards him a very dingy lead-pencil, with which he departs, abashed, and evidently revolving her dark saying in his perplexed mind.
Proprietor of a Box-pitching Saloon. One penny a ball! For hevery ball that goes in the boxes, you choose any prize you like! (With sorrow and sympathy, to a female Competitor.) Too 'ard, Lady, too 'ard! (To a male Comp., whose ball has struck the edge of the box, and bounced off.) Very near, Sir!
[Several Competitors expend penny after penny unsuccessfully, and walk away, with a grin of entire satisfaction.
Joe (landing a ball in one of the boxes, after four failures). I told 'ee I'd get waun in! (To his Young Woman.) What are ye goin' to 'ave, MELIA?
Melia (hovering undecidedly over a glittering array of shell-boxes, cheap photograph-albums and crockery). I'll take one o'—no, I won't neither.... I really don't know what to 'ave!
Joe (with masculine impatience). Well, go on—take summat, can't ye! (MELIA selects a cup and saucer, as the simplest solution of the problem.) I doan't carl that mooch of a show for fippence, I doan't. Theer, gi' us 'old on it. [He stows the china away in his side-pockets.
Melia. You took an' 'urried me so—else I don't know as I fancied a cup and sarcer so partickler. I wonder if the man 'ud change it, supposin' we was to go back and ast 'im!
Joe (slapping his thigh). Well, you are a gell and no mistake! Come along back and git whatever 'tis you've a mind to. (Returning.) 'Ere, Master, will ye gi' this young woman summat else for this 'ere? (He extracts the cup in fragments.) 'Ullo, look a' that now! (To MELIA.) Theer, it's all right—doan't take on 'bout it.—I'll 'ave another go to make it oop. (He pitches ball after ball without success.) I wawn't be bett. I lay I'll git 'un in afoor I've done! (He is at last successful.) Theer—now, ye can please yourself, and doan't choose nawthen' foolish this time! (He strolls on with lordly indifference, and is presently rejoined by MELIA.) Well, what did ye take arter all?
Melia. I got so flustered like, for fear o' losin' you, I just up and took the first that came 'andy.
Joe. Why, if ye ain't bin and took another cup an' sarcer! hor—hor! that's a good 'un, that is! Take keer on it, it's cost money enough any 'ow—'t wouldn't be no bargain if it wur a 'ole tea-set! What's goin' on 'ere?
[A venerable old Sportsman, whom the reader may possibly recollect having met before, has collected a small crowd in a convenient corner; his stock-in-trade consists of an innocent-looking basket, with a linen-cover, upon which are a sharpened skewer and a narrow strip of cloth.
The Sportsman. I'll undertake to show you more fun in five minutes, than you'll get over there in two: (with a vague suspicion that this is rather a lame conclusion)—in ten, I should say! This 'ere's a simple enough little game, when you know the trick of it, and I'm on'y a learnin' it myself. I ain't doin' this for money. I got money enough to sink a ship—it's on'y for my own amusement. Now you watch me a doin' up this garter—keep yer eye on it. (He coils up the strip.) It goes up 'ere, ye see, and down there, and in 'ere agin, and then round. Now, I'm ready to bet anything from a sovereign to a shilling, nobody 'ere can prick the middle. I'll tell ye if ye win. I'm ole BILLY FAIRPLAY, and I don't cheat! (A Spotty-faced Man, after intently following the process, says he believes he could find the middle.) Well, don't tell—that's all. I'm 'ere all alone, agin the lot o' ye, and I want to win if I can—one dog to a bone! (The S.-F.M. produces a florin from a mouldy purse, and stakes it, and makes a dab at the coil with the skewer.) No, ye're wrong—that's outside! (O.B.F. pulls the strip out.) By Gum, ye've done it, after all! 'Ere's four bob for you, and I'm every bit as pleased as if I'd won myself! 'Oo'll try next?
A Smart Young Man (with a brilliant pin in a dirty necktie, to JOE). I don't see how it's done—do you?
Joe. Ye will if you don't take yer eyes off it—theer, I could tell ye the middle now, I could.
The Sp.-F.M. Law, yes, it's simple enough. I done it first time.
Old B.F. Give an old man a chance to get a bit. If any party 'ere 'as found me out, let him 'old 'is tongue—it's all I ask. (To JOE.) You've seen this afore, I know!
Joe. Noa, I ain't—but I could tell ye th' middle.
Old B.F. Will ye bet on it? Come—not too 'igh, but just to show you've confidence in your opinion!
Joe (cautiously). I woant bet wi' ye, but I'll hev a try, just for nawthen, if ye like!
Old B.F. Well, I want to see if you really do know it—so, jest for once, I ain't no objection. (JOE pricks the garter.) Yes, you've found the middle, sure enough! It's a good job there was no money on—for me, leastwise!
The Sp.-F.M. I've a good mind to 'ave another try.
The Sm. Y.M. I wouldn't. You'll lose. I could see you on'y guessed the first time. (The Sp. F.M., however, extracts a shilling, stakes it—and loses.) There, I could ha' told you you was wrong—(To JOE)—couldn't you?
Joe. Yes, he art to ha' pricked moor to waun side of 'un. (The Sp.-F.M. stakes another florin.) Now he's done it, if ye like!
O.B.F. There, ye see, I'm as often wrong as not myself. (To the Sp.-F.M.) There's your four bob, Sir. Now, jest once more!
Joe (to MELIA). I'll git the price o' that theer cup an' sarcer out of 'un, any'ow. (To O.B.F.) I'll ha' a tanner wi' ye!
O.B.F. 'Alf a soverin, if you like—it's all the same to me!
Joe (after pricking). I thart I 'ad 'un that time, too, I did!
The Sm. Y.M. You shouldn't ha' changed your mind—you were right enough afore!
Joe. Yes, I should ha' stuck to it. (To O.B.F.) I'll bet ye two bob on the next go—come!
O.B.F. Well, I don't like to say no, though I can see, plain enough, you know too much. (JOE pricks; O.B.F. pulls away the strip, and leaves the skewer outside.) I could ha' sworn you done me that time—but there ye are, ye see, there's never no tellin' at this game—and that's the charm on it!
[JOE walks on with MELIA in a more subdued frame of mind.
The Sm. Y.M. (in the ear of the Spotty-faced One). I say, I got a job o' my own to attend to—jest pass the word to the Old Man, when he's done with this pitch, to turn up beyind the swing-boats there, and come along yourself, if yer can. It's the old lay I'm on—the prize-packets fake.
The Sp.-F.M. Right—we'll give yer a look in presently—it'll be a little change for the Ole Man—trades's somethin' cruel 'ere!
* * * * *
HIS MAD-JESTY AT THE LYCEUM.
Except when HENRY IRVING impersonated the hapless victim of false imprisonment in the Bastille, whence he issued forth after twenty years of durance, never has he been so curiously and wonderfully made-up as now, when he represents Lear, monarch of all he surveys. Bless thee, HENRY, how art thou transformed!
Sure such a King Lear was never seen on any stage, so perfect in appearance, so entirely the ideal of SHAKSPEARE'S ancient King. It must have been a vision of IRVING in this character that the divinely-inspired poet and dramatist saw when he had a Lear in his eye. For a moment, too, he reminded me of BOOTH—the "General," not the "particular" American tragedian,—and when he appeared in thunder, lightning, hail, and rain, he suggested an embodiment of the "Moses" of MICHAEL ANGELO.
A strange weird play; much for an audience, and more for an actor, all on his own shoulders, to bear. A one-part play it is too, for of the sweet Cordelia,—and sweet did ELLEN TERRY look and so tenderly did she play!—little is seen or heard. With Goneril and Regan, the two proud and wicked sisters,—associated in the mind of the modernest British Public with Messrs. HERBERT CAMPBELL and HARRY NICHOLLS, as is also Cordelia associated either with Cinderella or with Beauty in the story of Beauty and the Beast—we have two fine commanding figures; and well are these parts played by Miss ADA DYAS and Miss MAUD MILTON. The audience can have no sympathy with the two wicked Princesses, and except in Goneril's brief Lady-Macbethian scene with her husband, neither of the Misses LEAR has much dramatic chance. Pity that Mrs. LEAR—his Queen and their mother, wasn't alive! Let us hope she resembled her youngest daughter Cordelia, otherwise poor Lear must have had a hard life of it as a married man.
Why should not Mr. IRVING give the first part of this play reconsideration? Why not just once a week try him as a different sort of Lear? For instance, suppose, to begin with, that he had had a bad time of it with his wife, that for many years as a widower he had been seeking for the opportunity of disposing of his daughters, handing over to them and to their husbands the lease and goodwill of "The Crown and Sceptre," while he would be, as King, "retired from business," and going out for a lark generally. Thus jovially would he commence the play, a rollicking, gay, old dog, ready for anything, up to anything, and, like old Anchises, when he jumped on to the back of AEneas, "a wonderful man for his years." In fact, Lear might begin like an old King Cole, "a merry old soul," a "jolly old cock!" And then—"Oh, what a difference in the morning!"—when all his plans for a gay career had been shipwrecked by Cordelia's capricious and unnatural affectation.
Then must commence his senility; then he would begin to break up. A struggle, to show that there was life in the old dog yet, could be seen when the old dog had been out hunting, in Act II., and had shot some strange animal, something between a stag and a dromedary, which no doubt was a native of Britain in those good old sporting days. However, more of this anon. Suffice it to say now, that our HENRY IRVING'S Lear is a triumph in every respect, and that the audience only wanted a little more of Cordelia, which is the fault of the immortal and unequal Bard.
To those unacquainted with this play, Mr. TERRISS'S sudden appearance in somewhat anti-Lord-Chamberlain attire, as he bounded on, with a wand, and struck an attitude, was suggestive of the Good Fairy in the pantomime; and his subsequent proceedings, when he didn't change anybody into Harlequin, Clown, and so forth, puzzled the unlearned spectators considerably. But Mr. TERRISS came out all right, and acquitted himself (being his own judge and jury) to the satisfaction of the public. His speech about Dover Cliff, generally supposed to convey some allusion to the Channel Tunnel, was excellently delivered, and certainly after Lear, "on the spear side," Mr. TERRISS must take the Goodeley Cake.
Next to him in order of merit comes Mr. FRANK COOPER, as the wicked Edmund, on whom the good EDMUND, "Edmundus Mundi," smiled benignantly from a private box. There was on the first night a great reception given to HOWE—the veteran actor, not the wreck, and very far from it—who took the small part of an old Evicted Tenant of the Earl of Glo'ster, a character very carefully played by Mr. ALFRED BISHOP, Floreat Henricus! "Our HENRY" has his work cut out for him in this "Titanic work," as in his before-curtain and after-play speech he termed it. This particular "Titanic work" is (or certainly was that night) in favour with "the gods," who "very much applauded what he'd done." But the gods of old were not quite so favourable to "Titanic work" generally, and punished eternally Titanic workmen. To-night gods and groundlings applaud to the echo, and then everyone goes home as best he can in about as beautiful a specimen of a November fog as ever delighted a Jack-o'-Lantern or disgusted
* * * * *
AN OPERATIC NOTE.—Wednesday.—Lord Mayor's Day and Sheriff Sir AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS'S Show. L' Amico Fritz, or "The old Min is friendly," as Dick Swiveller would have put it. Not by any means as bright as Cavalleria. Mlle. DEL TORRE, del-lightful as Suzel. M. DUFRICHE, very good as Rabbino; CREMONINI, weak as Fritz; and Mlle. MARTHA-CUPID-BAUERMEISTER, good as usual in the part of the "harmless necessary Cat"-erina. Opera generally "going strong."
* * * * *
REPORTED DECISION.—Uganda is to be occupied till March next. Then, order of the day, "March in, March out!"
* * * * *
"SAFE BIND, SAFE FIND!"
P.C. JOHN BULL LOQUITUR:—
Keep them? Right my Gallic friend! 'Tis my duty, sad but binding. Free the Wolf—to what good end? Loose the Snake—what vantage finding? Faction flusters, Cant appeals In the name of sham-humanity. Right, not wrath, my bosom steels; Softness here were sheer insanity.
You've my warmest sympathy, Victim of the new Red Terror! My caged RAVACHOLS to free Were the maddest kind of error. Prison walls and dungeon wards Love I not, I'm no born gaoler, But just Law which Freedom guards Must ignore anarchic railer.
Blind offence of men half mad 'Neath the goad of brute oppression, Blunderings of fierce fools of fad, Demoniacal possession Of red rage at law unjust, I can check with calm compassion; But must firmly crush to dust Murder—in the newest fashion.
Dynamite as Freedom's friend? 'Tis the foul fiend's latest juggle. We must fight it to the end, Firm, unfaltering in this struggle. Mere "Political Offence," All this murder, mashing, maiming? 'Tis a pitiful pretence, Honour-blinding, wisdom-shaming.
Indiscriminate, ruthless raid! Mad chance—medly of disaster! Sophistry, the fiend's sworn aid, Never better served its master Than in calling such hell-birth A new gospel, holy, human,— Blasting as with maniac mirth Blameless men, and guiltless women!
No! The Dynamiter's creed— Though hate swagger, though cant snivel— Fires no "patriotic" deed; Base-born, all its ends are evil. Let caged wolves and tigers free? What more wicked, what absurder? Amnesty to Anarchy Means encouragement to Murder?
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WHERE TO PLACE HIM.—Why ought the future Poet-Laureate, whoever he may be, to occupy rooms over or close to the stables at Buckingham Palace? Because he would then be inspired by the Royal Mews.
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TO A MODEL YOUNG LADY.
[It is reported that it is a common custom in Paris, amongst ladies of position, to pay for their dresses by wearing them in public, and letting it be known from whom they obtained them.]
My dear, I like your pretty dress, It suits your figure to a T. I'm free to own that I confess, It's just the kind of dress for me. Yet will you kindly tell me, dear, Not merely was the costume made for Yourself alone—but is it clear And certain that your dress is paid for?
Mistake me not. I do not dread That you'll think fit to run away And leave the bill unpaid. Instead, I fear that you will never pay, Because no bill will ever come; And since when you decide to toddle Abroad, you'll go amidst a hum Of praise for Madame's lovely Model
Oh! promise me that when I read My paper (as I often do), I shall not with remorseless speed See endless pars in praise of you, Or rather of the dress you wore, For though, maybe, no harm or hurt is meant, Remember, dearest, I implore, I won't be fond of an advertisement!
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"Days with Sir Roger de Coverley!" exclaimed the Baron, on seeing the charming little book brought out at this season by Messrs. MACMILLAN. "Delightful! Immortal! Ever fresh! Welcome, with or without illustration; some of Mr. THOMSON's would not be missed."
There is a breezy, frank, boyish air about the "Reminiscences" of our great Baritone, CHARLES SANTLEY, which is as a tonic—a tonic sol-fa—to the reader a-weary of the many Reminiscences of these latter days. SANTLEY, who seems to have made his way by stolid pluck, and without very much luck, may be considered as the musical Mark Tapley, ready to look always on the sunny side. With a few rare exceptions, he appears to have taken life very easily.
Muchly doth the Baron like Mr. HALL CAINE's story of Captain Davy's Honeymoon, only, short as it is, with greater effect it might have been shorter.
The Baron, being in a reading humour, tried The Veiled Hand, by FREDERICK WICKS, a name awkward for anyone unable to manage his "r's." What Fwedewickwicks' idea of A Veiled Hand is, the Baron has tried to ascertain, but without avail. Why not a Gloved Hand? Hands do not wear veils, any more than our old friends, the Hollow Hearts, wear masks. Hands take "vails," but "that is another story." However, The Veiled Hand induced sleep, so the Baron extinguished both candles and Wicks at the same time, and slumbered.
I have also had time to read An Exquisite Fool, published by OSGOOD. MCILVAINE & CO., and written by Nobody, Nobody's name being mentioned as being the author. It begins well, but it is an old, old tale—BLANCHE AMORY and the Chevalier, and so forth—and as Sir Charles Coldstream observed, when he looked down the crater of Mount Vesuvius, "There's nothing in it."
Most interesting is a short paper on "The Green Room of the Comedie Francaise," in the English Illustrated Magazine for this month, pleasantly written by Mr. FREDERICK HAWKINS,—HAWKINS with an aspirate, not "'ENERY 'AWKINS" at present associated with "A CHEVALIER" in London. Mr. HAWKINS tells many amusing anecdotes, and gives a capital sketch of M. RENE MOLE. But the article would be damaged by extracts. Therefore, "Tolle, lege," says yours and everybody's, very truly,
THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
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* * * * *
A PUFF OF SMOKE.
(What the heart of the young Vocalist said to the Anti-Tobacconist, after reading Mr. Charles Santley's sage observations on Singing and Smoking, in his new book "Student and Singer.")
["Smoking is an art; it may be made useful or otherwise, according as it is exercised."—Mr. SANTLEY.]
Tell me not, ye mournful croakers, Smoking is a dirty habit. Brainless are ye, sour non-smokers, As a vivisected rabbit.
"Smoking is an Art," says SANTLEY; There is Beauty in the bowl. They who doubt it must be scantly Blest with sense, or dowered with soul.
As an Art it claims attention; Study is the only way. Smoking skill, not smoke-prevention, Is the thing we want to-day.
Art is long and smoke is fleeting; But puff on until you learn Good tobacco's not for eating! Pipe-bowls are not meant to burn!
Smoke without expectorating, Do not sputter, do not chew; Puff not as though emulating Some foul factory's sooty flue
Let not oily dark defilement Sting your lips; there is no need. Joy and care need reconcilement For enjoyment of the weed.
Trust no "Germans," buy no "British," Sound Havanas only smoke! "Lady Nicotine" is skittish, Penny Pickwicks are no joke.
Smoke no strong shag, no rank "stinger," Pick your baccy, puff with skill, And—although you are a singer, You may smoke, and not feel ill.
Let us then be up and smoking, An an Art the thing pursue; As great SANTLEY, who's not joking, Says he does, and all may do!
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LADY GAY'S DISTRACTION.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—You are as fickle as the rest of your sex, I fear, otherwise you would not have requited my devotion to you and your interests in such an awful manner as you did in publishing my husband's letter last week!—and such a letter! Oh, I could write such a scathing reply to it!
Of course, it was jealousy on the part of Sir CHARLES at my literary success—(setting aside the wonderful tips)—which caused the explosion that led to his writing to you, but I never—never—thought you would insert his letter, especially as I slipped in a postscript which to my mind explained everything—as, indeed, postscripts should do, or what is the good of writing a long letter about nothing in front of them? The wretch confesses that he laughed at my articles until he knew who wrote them, and then thought less of them! Isn't that like a husband?—I won't say like a man, as so few husbands are men!—at least, in the eyes of their wives. The moment a wife does something her husband can't do, he dislikes and pooh-poohs it; whereas, the more accomplishments a husband displays, the more a wife appreciates him, or says so even if she doesn't!—which is a noble falsehood, for how few women are large-minded enough to pretend to admire qualities which they despise because they don't possess them—I'm not sure that this is what I mean, nor do I quite understand it, but it reads well, which is more than Sir CHARLES'S stuff does!
And then his impertinence in proposing to "edit" my letters!—as if anyone could be more capable of doing that than you?—(you will observe that it is solely on your account that I am annoyed!)—I could not brook such interference!—I don't know exactly the meaning of "brooking" anything, but I know I wept enough tears of annoyance to form a decent "brook" of themselves! I need hardly tell you that it was a biting sarcasm on my part to suggest that he should finish his letter with a "verse," as I always do—but there—men don't understand sarcasm—(one of our most frequently employed weapons of offence!)—and the poor thing thought I was in earnest, and did it! And what a verse! I could write better with my left hand!
I need scarcely tell you that I have left him—(this is why my address is not to be published)—as I consider my duty to the Public rendered it imperative that I should do so, for I should not think much of any woman who allowed a paltry consideration of domestic obligations to weigh against the pursuit of a career of usefulness.
If, therefore, a vein of sadness and cynicism runs through this letter, you will understand that it does not proceed from any regret at the "breaking up of the happy home," but rather from sorrow at the thought that once again the intellectual superiority of one of the softer sex has not been accepted in the right spirit by the possessor of the weaker mind, to whom she owes obedience!
I trust I have done with Sir CHARLES for ever!—especially if he speaks the truth in saying that "following my tips has ruined him"—for why should any woman burden herself with an impecunious husband? He does not know where I am, and I feel still more secure in my retreat from having just heard that he has engaged the services of several of the most prominent London Detectives to trace me!
Owing no devotion now to Sir CHARLES—who will appreciate the following tender lines with which I close my letter—
O woman! in our hours of ease, Thou art not very hard to please! Thou takest what the gods may send; But, thwarted!—thou wilt turn and rend!
I am able to subscribe myself, dear Mr. Punch,
Yours more devotedly than ever,
[From internal evidence, we are inclined to believe that this present letter, or the one last week from "Sir CHARLES," is a forgery. In former correspondence Lady GAY mentioned "Lord ARTHUR" as her husband. We pause for an explanation.—ED.]
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PROVERB FOR VOCALISTS, A PROPOS OF SIR JOSEPH BARNBY'S REMARKS ON ARTICULATION.—"Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves."
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Why is pepper essential to the health of the new LORD MAYOR?—Because without "Kn." (cayenne) he would be "ill."
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* * * * *
LEFT TO THE LADIES.
MY DEAR MR. PUNCH,
Everyone—I mean everyone with a right mind—will sympathise with those nice people at Bristol who have been holding a "Woman's Conference." So kind and thoughtful of them, isn't it? I notice that Lady BATTERSEA gave a spirited account of a Confederation of Temperance of some thirty villages in Norfolk. The dear, good inhabitants are to keep off the allurements of drink by "listening to such shining lights as Canon WILBERFORCE, and social teas, processions with banners, and magic-lanterns, play their part." How they are to listen to the teas, processions and lanterns, I don't quite understand, in spite of the fact that they (the aforesaid teas, &c.) seem to be "playing their parts." Evidently teas, &c., are amateur Actors.
Then somebody who described herself as "a nobody from nowhere," is said to have "touched a moving chord, as she spoke with great feeling of the sympathy and the moral help the poor give back to those who work among them." What "moving chord?" Sounds like a bell-rope!
Then another lady who wore "the black and lavender dress of the Sisters of the People," followed with a paper, "perhaps overfull of details." And here let me say that I am quoting from "a woman correspondent" who seems to be full of admiration for her talking sisters. But in spite of this admiration, she knows their little faults. For instance, she describes a speech as "vigorous, racy, and perhaps a trifle sensational." Then, when someone else delivered an "address to educated mothers," she says that it excited deep interest, and "almost too many educated mothers threw themselves into the discussion that followed."
Then she observes, "It was disappointing that Lady ABERDEEN was at the last moment forbidden by her Doctor to undertake the long journey from Scotland." So it was, most disappointing; and "at the last moment," too!
Then she announces that "Some ladies expressed a feeling, that introducing young men and women in business to each other, when assembled in their hundreds at Prince's Hall, was an office fraught with considerable responsibility." To be sure! Great responsibility! Might even be improper! Everyone should be so careful!
However, there was one good thing in this Woman's Conference that everyone will praise. The delightful, genial, charitable females seem to have kept to themselves. No men were present. What a blessing—for the men! Yours gratefully,
AN OLD BACHELOR.
The Growleries, Lostbuttonbury, Singleton.
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CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
When the ruddy autumn leaves Flutter down on golden sheaves, And on plum-trees one perceives No more plums— All the swallows have not fled, Hardly is the summer dead— Then, alas, it must be said Christmas comes!
Christmas! Hang it all! But how Can that be? 'Tis weeks from now. What a fearful thought, I vow That it numbs! "Order Christmas papers" fills Bookshops, bookstalls. With its bills, Taxes, tips, fogs, frosts, coughs, chills, Christmas comes!
Even Christmas-cards appear, They are with us half the year, I would banish them from here, Say, to Thrums, Or to any mournful place, Where I'd never show my face, For they tell one that, apace, Christmas comes!
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SEASONABLE CHRISTMAS MOTTO FOR WELL-KNOWN FINE-ART PUBLISHERS.—"TUCK in!"
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TO "THE LAZY MINSTREL"
On the publication of his Eighth Edition, with therein Nineteen Poems originally written for Mr. Punch.
Who would not be a Minstrel Lazy? A trifle crazy, The best of them! Ah! Here's ASHBY STERRY, in punt or wherry, He's ever merry! sing "hey down derry," Or anything very Like Tra! la! la! la!
On sunny days he trolls his lays With gay guitar and Tra! la! la! la! From groves and glades come meadow-sweet maids, None of your saucy minxes or jades; The poet is there Without a care. With no regret, with mild cigarette. With gay guitar, and whiskey from Leith, Will he be crowned with the Laureate wreath?
(The Nymph Pantalettina is heard singing.)
Come where my ASHBY lies dreaming, Dreaming for hours after lunch. Softly! for he is scheming Poems for Mister Punch! Graceful is his position— Hark! how he sweeps the strings, While of his Eighth Edition The Warbler STERRY sings:—
(The Bard chirpeth his roundelay.)
"On 'Spring's Delights' in 'Hambledon Lock' 'My Country Cousin' may hap— With her I'll go 'In Rotten Row,' Stop on an 'oss 'At Charing-Cross,' For a 'Tam O'Shanter Cap.'
No gout? Oh no! But I'm 'Taken in Tow,' And suffering from dejection, 'Spring Cleaning' I'll use for a pair of old shoes (Queer rhyme upon reflection), 'Sound without Sense,' I've no pretence, To write Shakspearian Sonnets. Of her and him, As suits my whim, I sing, and I hymn her bonnets!"
(Chorus of Pantalettina and River Nymphs.)
So, hail to the Bard so merry, To Lazy Laureate STERRY! He'll sing of a Lock on the Thames! oh rare! Or hymn a Lock of his Lady's hair.
* * * * *
CONVERSATIONAL HINTS FOR YOUNG SHOOTERS.
The subject of Lunch, my dear young friends, has now been exhausted. We have done, for the time, with poetry, and descend again to the ordinary prose of every-day shooting. Yet stay—before we proceed further, there is one matter apart from the mere details of sport, which may be profitably considered in this treatise. It is the divine, the delightful subject of
First, I ask, do you know—(1), the man who never smokes from the night of the 11th of August up to the night of the 1st of February in the following year, for fear of injuring his sight and his shooting nerve? (2), the host who forbids all smoking amongst the guests assembled at his house for a shooting-party?
You, naturally enough, reply that you have not the honour of being acquainted with these severe, but enthusiastic gentlemen. Nobody does know them. They don't exist. But it is very useful to affect a sort of second-hand knowledge of these Gorgons of the weed, as thus:—
A Party of Guns is walking to the first beat of the day. Time, say about 10.20 A.M.
Young Sportsman (who has a pipe in his mouth, to Second Sportsman, similarly adorned). I always think the after-breakfast smoke is about the best of the day. Somehow, tobacco tastes sweeter then than at any other time of the day.
Second Sp. (puffing vigorously). Yes, it's first class; but I hold with smoke at most times of the day, after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and in between.
Young Sp. Well, I don't know. If I try to smoke when I'm actually shooting, I generally find I've got my pipe in the gun side of my mouth. I heard of a man the other day who knocked out three of his best teeth through bringing up his gun sharp, and forgetting he'd got a pipe in his mouth. Poor beggar! he was very plucky about it, I believe; but it made no end of a difference to his pronunciation till he got a new lot shoved in. Just like that old Johnnie in the play—Overland something or other—who lost his false set of teeth on a desert island, and couldn't make any of the other Johnnies understand him.
Second Sp. I've never had any difficulty with my smoking. I always make a habit of carrying my smokes in the left side of my mouth.
Young Sp. Oh, but you're pretty certain to get the smoke or the ashes or something, blown slap into your eyes just as you're going to loose off. No. (With decision.) I'm off my smoke when the popping begins.
Second Sp. Don't be too hard on yourself, my boy. They tell me there are precious few birds in the old planting this year, so you can treat yourself to a cigarette when you get there. It never pays to trample on one's longing for tobacco too much.
Young Sp. No, by Jove. Old REGGIE MORRIS told me of a fellow he met somewhere this year, who goes regularly into training for shooting. Never touches baccy from August to February, and limits his drink to three pints a day, and no whiskeys and sodas. And what's more, he won't let any of his guests smoke when he's got a shoot on, He's got "No Smoking" posted up in big letters in every room in the house. REGGIE said it was awful. He had to lock his bedroom door, shove the chest-of-drawers against it, and smoke with his head stuck right up the chimney. He got a peck of soot, one night, right on the top of his nut. Now I call that simple rot.
Second Sp. Ah, I've heard of that man. Never met him though, I'm thankful to say. Let me see what's the beggar's name? JACKSON or BARRETT, or POLLARD, or something like that. He's got a big place somewhere in Suffolk, or Yorkshire, or somewhere about there.
Young Sp. Yes, that's the chap, I fancy.
Now that kind of thing starts you very nicely for the day. It isn't necessary that either of the sportsmen whose dialogue has been reported should believe implicitly in the absolute truth of what he is saying. Observe, neither of them says that he himself met this man. He merely gets conversation out of him on the strength of what someone else has told him. That, you see, is the real trick of the thing. Don't bind yourself to such a story as being part of your own personal experience. Work it in on another man's back. Of course there are exceptions even to this rule. But this question I shall be able to treat at greater length when I come to deal with the important subject of "Shooting Anecdotes."
Very often you can work up quite a nice little conversation on cigarettes. Every man believes, as is well-known, that he possesses the only decent cigarettes in the country. He either—(1), imports them himself from Cairo, or (2), he gets his tobacco straight from a firm of growers somewhere in Syria and makes it into cigarettes himself; or (3), he thinks Egyptian cigarettes are an abomination, and only smokes Russians or Americans; or (4), he knows a man, BACKASTOPOULO by name, somewhere in the Ratcliffe Highway, who has the very best cigarettes you ever tasted. You wouldn't give two-pence a hundred for any others after smoking these, he tells you. And, lastly, there is the man who loathes cigarettes, despises those who smoke them, and never, smokes anything himself except a special kind of cigar ornamented with a sort of red and gold garter.
Out of this conflict of preferences the young shooter can make capital. By flattering everybody in turn, he can practically get his smoking gratis, for everyone will be sure to offer him at least one cigarette, in order to prove the superiority of his own particular kind. And if the young shooter, after smoking it, expresses a proper amount of ecstasy, he is not at all unlikely to have a second offered to him. Most men are generous with cigarettes. Many a man I know would far rather give a beggar a cigarette than a shilling, though the cigarette may have cost, originally, a penny-halfpenny, or more—a strange and paradoxical state of affairs.
Here is a final piece of advice. Admire all cigarette-cases, and say of each that it's the very best and prettiest you ever saw. You can have no notion how much innocent pleasure you will give.
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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..