OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
October 15, 1892.
'ARRY AT 'ARRYGATE.
DEAR CHARLIE,—The post-mark, no doubt, will surprise you. I'm still at the "Crown," Though I said in my last—wot wos true—I was jest on the mizzle for town. 'Ad a letter from nunky, old man, with another small cheque. Good old nunk! So I'm in for a fortnit' more sulphur and slosh, afore doing a bunk.
Ah! I've worked it, my pippin, I've worked it; gone in for hexcursions all round, To Knaresborough, Bolton, and Fountains. You know, dear old pal, I'll be bound, As hantiquities isn't my 'obby, and ruins don't fetch me, not much! I can't see their "beauty," no more than the charms of some dowdy old Dutch.
A Castle, all chunnicks of stone, or a Habbey, much out of repair, A skelinton Banquetting 'All, and a bit of a broken-down stair, May appear most perticular "precious" to them as the picteresk cops; But give me the sububs and stucco, smart villas, and spick-and-span shops.
"Up to date" is our siney quay non in these days. Fang der sickle, yer know. Wich is French for the same, I persoom, and them phrases is now all the go. Find 'em sprinkled all over the papers; in politics, fashion, or art, If you carnt turn 'em slick round yer tongue, you ain't modern, or knowing, or smart.
Still a houting to Bolton ain't bad when the charry-bang's well loaded up With swell seven-and-sixpence-a-headers. I felt like a tarrier-pup On the scoop arter six weeks of kennel and drench in the 'ands of a vet; I'd got free of the brimstoney flaviour and went it accordin', you bet!
'Ad a day at a village called Birstwith. The most tooralooralest scene, 'Oiler down among 'ills, dontcher know, ancient trees and a jolly big green. Reglar old Rip-van-Winkleish spot, sech as CALDECOTT ought to ha' sketched. Though I ain't noways nuts on the pastoral, even Yours Truly wos fetched.
Pooty sight and no error, old pal! 'Twos a grand "Aughticultural Show," So the "Progrum of Sports" told the public. Fruit, flowers, and live poultry, yer know. Big markee and a range of old 'en-coops, sports, niggers, a smart local band, Cottage gardemn', cheese, roosters, and races! Rum mix, but I gave it a 'and.
I do like to hencourage the joskins. One thing though, wos fiddle-de-dee, They 'ad a "Refreshment Tent," CHARLIE. 'Oh my! Ginger-ale and weak tea! Nothink stronger, old pal, s'elp me bob! Fancy me flopping down on a form A-munching plum-putty, and lapping Bohea as wos not even warm!
This 'ere 'Arrygate's short of amusements. There's niggers and bands on the "Stray" (Big lumpy old field in a 'ole, wich if properly managed might pay.) Mysterious Minstrels with masks on, a bleating contralto in black, With a orful tremoler, my pippin!—yus, these are the pick of the pack.
Bit sick of "Ta-ra-ra" and "Knocked 'em;" "Carissimar" gives me the 'ump, For I 'ear it some six times per morning; and then there's a footy old pump Blows staggery toons on a post-'orn for full arf a-hour each day, To muster the mugs for a coach-drive. My heye and a bandbox, it's gay!
At the "Crown" we git up little barnies, to eke out the 'Arrygate lot, For even the Spa's a bit samesome for six times a week when it's 'ot; Though they do go it pooty permiskus with pickter-shows, concerts, and such; Yus, I must say they ladles it out fair and free, for a sixpenny touch.
But even yer Fancy Dress Balls, and yer lectures by ANNIE BESANT, All about Hastral Bodies and Hether, seems not always quite wot yer want To wile away time arter dinner. So thanks to that gent—six-foot-four!— Who fair cuts the record as Droring-Room M.C.—of course hammytoor.
Then we've conjurors, worblers, phrenologists! One 'ad a go at my chump. 'E touzled my 'air up tremenjus, and said I'd no hend of a bump Of somethink he called "Happrybativeness." Feller meant well, I suppose, But I didn't quite relish his smile, nor his rummy remarks on my nose.
When a tall gurl as pooty as paint, and with cheeks like a blush—rose in bloom, 'As 'er lamps all a-larf on yer face, and a giggle goes round the whole room, 'Tisn't nice to sit square on a chair, with a feller a-sharpening 'is wit On your nob, and a rumpling your 'air till it's like a birch-broom in a fit!
One caper we 'ad, on the lawn, wos a spree and no error, old man. They call it a "Soap-Bubble Tournyment." Soapsuds, a pipe, and a fan, Four six—foot posts stuck in the ground with a tape run around—them's the "props," And lawn-tennis ain't in it for larks. Oh, the ladies did larf, though tip-tops!
Bit sniffy fust off. "Oh!" sez they, "wot a most hintellectual game!" But I noticed that them as sneered most wos most anxious to win, all the same, The gent he stands slap in the middle, and tries to blow bubbles like fun, Wich his pardner fans over the tape; don't it jest keep the girls on the run!
Every bubble as crosses the tape afore busting counts one to that pair, And the pair as counts most wins the prize. They are timed by a hegg-boiler. There! It wos all a pantermime, CHARLIE, to see 'ow them gurls scooted round, Jest like Japanese jugglers, a-fanning the bubbles, as would 'ug the ground.
Some gents wos fair frosts at the bizness; one good-'earted trim little toff Would blow with the bowl wrong end uppards. His pardner went pink and flounced off. He gurgled away like a babe with a pap-bottle, guggle—gug—gug! And I 'eard 'er a-giving 'im beans as 'e mizzled, much down in the mug.
Owsomever, it ain't for amusements as 'Arrygate lays itself hout; So, dear boy, it's for doses and douches; and there it scores freely, no doubt, Wy, there's thirty-two Springs in the Bog Field—a place like a graveyard gone wrong— Besides Starbeck, the Tewit, and others, all narsty, and most on 'em strong.
Since Sir SLINGSBY discovered the first one, now close on three cent'ries ago, Wot a lush of mixed mineral muck these 'ere 'Arrygate Springs 'ave let flow! Well, ere's bully for Brimstone, my bloater, and 'ooray for 'Arrygate air! Wich 'as done me most good I don't know, and I'm scorched if I very much care!
I know 'Arrygate girls cop the biscuit for beauty. They've cheeks like the rose, Their skin is jest strorberries and cream; it's the sulphur, dear boy, I suppose. As for me, I look yaller as taller alongside 'em CHARLIE, wus luck! I 'eard one call me saffron-faced sparrer, and jest as I thought 'er fair struck.
I'd nail 'em, in time, I've no doubt, when I once got the 'ang of their style. There's a gal at the Montpellier Baths. Scissoree! 'ow I've tried for a smile, When she tips me my tannersworth! Shucks! she's as orty and stiff as yer please. Primrose Dames isn't in it for snubs with these arrygant 'Arrygatese!
But I reckon my "Douche" is now due. Doctor BLACK's that pertikler, old man. These 'Arrygate doctors 'ave progrums—you've got to pan out to their plan. Up early, two swigs afore breakfust, and tubs when they tell yer's the rule. Well, the feller as flies to a Sawbones, and don't toe the line is a fool.
Reglar Doctor-Shop, 'Arrygate is; see their photos all over the town. Mine is doing me dollups of good; I'm quite peckish, and jest a bit brown. I'm making the most of my time, and a-laying in all I can carry. So 'ere ends this budget of brimstone and baths from your sulphur-soaked
* * * * *
[Illustration: A FROG HE WOULD A-ROWING GO!
A SAD SONG OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOAT RACE.
(WITH MR. PUNCH'S CORDIAL COMPLIMENTS TO THE VICTORIOUS FRENCH EIGHT.)
AIR—"A Frog he would a-Wooing go."
A FROGGIE would a-rowing go, Heigho for Rowing! To see if Big BULLIE could lick him or no; With his boating form that's all gammon and spinach. Heigho for British Rowing!
So off he set with his boating-cap, Heigho for Rowing! And swore at Big BULL he would just have a slap! Which BULL declared was all gammon and spinach! Heigho for British Rowing!
"Pray, Mr. BULL, will you race with me?" Heigho for Rowing! Says BULL, "If you like, but 'tis fiddle-de-dee! For FROG against BULL is all gammon and spinach." Heigho for British Rowing!
When they came to Andresy upon the Seine, Heigho for Rowing! Big BULL pulled his hardest, but pulled in vain, For he found his boasts were all gammon and spinach. Heigho for British Rowing!
For in spite of the brag, and the bounce, and the chaff, Heigho for Rowing! The FROG beat the BULL by a length and a half, With your MOSSOP and JAMES, licked by BOUDIN and CUZIN, Heigho, says R.C. LEHMANN!
"Pray, Mr. BULL, do you relish the spin?" Heigho for Rowing! (Said FROGGIE.) "And were you cocksure you would win, With your forty-one strokes all sheer gammon and spinach?" Heigho for British Rowing!
"Humph! Regular take-down!" said Big Mr. BULL— Heigho for Rowing! "But, FROGGIE or not, by the lord you can pull, With your much-decried 'hang,'—'twas all gammon and spinach! Heigho for British Rowing!"
"Ha! Ha!" cried the FROG, "the old fable, thought true"— Heigho for Rowing! "Is out of date now. I'm as big, BULL, as you, As an oarsman, which is not all gammon and spinach!" Heigho for British Rowing.
So that in the end (for the present), you see, Heigho for Rowing! Of the race between Big BULL and Little FROGGIE. BULL's fame, in a boat, seems all gammon and spinach. Heigho for British Rowing! ]
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* * * * *
MR. CHAUNCEY DEPEW, the well-known American lawyer, wonders why on earth the British Government has not long ago given Home Rule to Ireland. He encourages Mr. G.'s Ministry to do their best in this direction, and chaunce-y it. We're always delighted to welcome Mr. CHAUNCEY DEPEW in England, so let him come over with a Depewtation to Mr. G. on the subject.
* * * * *
EQUESTRIAN FRUIT.—At the Horticultural Show the Baroness BURDETT-COUTTS exhibited a "Cob of ADAM's Early Maize." No particulars are given. Was it 14'1 and a weight-carrier? Being ADAM's, it must be about the oldest in the world. "Maize" may be a misprint for "Mews." Next time the Baroness must send a pear.
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PROBABLE DEDUCTION.—A pertinacious Salvation Army Captain was worrying a Scotch farmer, whom he had met in the train, with perpetual inquiries as to whether "he had been born again of Water and the Spirit?" At last, MCSANDY replied, "Aweel, I dinna reetly ken how that may be, but my good old feyther and mither took their toddy releegiously every nicht, the noo."
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THE AUSTRO-GERMAN OFFICER'S VADE-MECUM.
Q. You have heard of the Ride from Berlin to Vienna, and vice versa?
A. Yes; and of the mishaps that befell many of the competitors.
Q. You mean their horses?
A. What applies to the one applies to the other.
Q. Some of the poor steeds died on the journey?
A. I daresay—of course, it was hard work.
Q. And you have read that, even when the poor horses were fainting and refusing food, the riders still went on?
A. Of course. The riders had magnificent pluck and nerve.
Q. What, to observe the anguish of their chargers without emotion?
A. No! The idea! I mean they had pluck and nerve in spite of all discouragement to push on to the winning-post.
Q. And what do you think this breaking down of the horses proved?
A. That, after all, the creatures were brutes—only brutes!
Q. Does not the suffering of these brutes suggest—
A. That the riders were brutes too?—Ah!
[No further question put, the Answerer having mastered the subject.
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IN EXCELSIS.—No better example of the methods employed by Vivisectionists could be given than was presented at the Church Congress last week, where in debate on this subject they were all engaged in cutting up one another. The Bishop of EDINBURGH, denouncing the morality of the Bishop of MANCHESTER and of Bishop BARRY, was a rare sight. His Lordship said that the morality of these two Bishops was "up in a balloon." Well, surely this is morality of the most elevated description. These Bishops are not "in partibus," but in nubibus.
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IN WATER COLOURS.—The East London Waterworks Company had a very successful meeting the other day. Inter alia the Chairman said, that "the Waltham Well is a complete success." Ergo let Well alone. That from this source they still supplied "36 gallons per head." The heads must be uncommonly hard to stand all this water on the brain. A dividend of eight per cent. is, after all, a very pleasant draught.
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"GREEN THE GUIDE."
(A SKETCH ON A "ROYAL BLUE" CAR AT JERSEY.)
On the Car is, among others, an Elderly Gentleman, in a tall hat, with a quantity of wraps; a Stout Shopkeeper, with a stouter Wife; a Serious Commercial Traveller, and a couple of young "Shop-ladies"; a Morose Young Man, who has "got out of bed the wrong side" that morning, and another, who has begun his potations rather early, and is in the muzzily talkative mood. The Car is one of a long string of similar vehicles, and is proceeding at a rapid rate along one of the winding roads.
The Muzzy Man. Frivolous, am I? Well, we came 'ere to be frivolous—to a certain extent. Am I out of the way in anything I've said? Because I woke this morning with a dry month, and I don't mind saying I've had a little drop o' brandy since.
His Neighbour. You might let people find out that for themselves, I should think!
The Muzzy M. No—I like to be honest and straightforward, I do. I don't want to be out of the way, you understand.
The Shopkeeper's Wife (to her Neighbour). This is a pretty part of the road we're on now—but, lor! there's nothing 'ere to come up to the Isle of Man. Douglas, now—that is a nice place, with all them Music Halls! And the scenery—why, I'm sure I felt sometimes as if I must stop, just to look at it!
The Muzzy Man. I consider scenery we're coming to most beautiful I've seen for—for miles around. [He goes to sleep.
The Shopkeeper (to the Elderly G., who is shifting and turning about uneasily). Lost anything, Sir?
The E.G. No—thank you, no. I was looking to see whether GREEN the Guide was on the car. (Shouts of laughter are heard from the car behind.) Ah, that's GREEN the Guide! I wish he'd come on our oar—very amusing fellow, Sir—capital company!
The Morose M. (to the Young Lady 'on his Left) Who's GREEN the Guide?
The Y.L. Oh, don't you know? He comes with the cars and makes jokes and all that. I hope he'll come to us.
The Mor. M. I don't. I can do that sort of thing for myself if I want to, I hope. [With a scowl.
The Y.L. Well, there's no harm in hoping!
The Serious Comm. T. (to his neighbour—one of the Shop-ladies). So you come from Birmingham? Dear me, now. I used to be there very often on business at one time. Do you know the Rev. Mr. PODGER there? A good old gentleman, he is. I used to attend his Chapel regular—most improving discourses he used to give us. I am fond of a good Sermon, aren't you? &c.
[He imagines—not altogether correctly—that he is producing an agreeable impression.
A Young Man in a Frock-coat, Canvas-shoes, and Cloth-cap. Scarborough? Yes, I've been there—but I don't care about it much. You have to dress such a lot there, y' know, and I like to come out just as I am!
[The conversation, notwithstanding its brilliancy, is beginning to flag—when the car is boarded by a stalwart good-looking man, carrying a banjo, and wearing a leather shoulder-belt with "GREEN the Guide" in brass letters upon it; the Elderly Gentleman, and most of the Ladies welcome him with effusion, while the Younger Men appear to resent his appearance.
The Mor. M. (sotto voce). If he's going to play that old instrument of torture, I shall howl, that's all!
Green the Guide (in a deep baritone voice). Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I congratulate you upon having a fine day for our excursion. My glass went up three feet this morning.
The Morose Man (aggressively). Was there whiskey inside it?
Green the Guide. No, Sir, it would have gone down suddenly if there had been. (The Elderly G. asks for a song.) I shall be delighted to entertain you to the best of my ability. What would you like to have?
The Mor. M. None of your songs—give us an imitation—of a deaf and dumb man.
Green the G. (with perfect good-humour). I shall be happy to do the deaf man, Sir,—if you'll help me by doing the dumb. (The Mor. M. begins to feel that he had better leave GREEN the Guide alone.) Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, I'll sing you a good old-fashioned hunting-song, and I'll ask you to join me in the Chorus.
[He sings "We'll all go out hunting to-day!"
The Mor. M. (after the First Verse). The beggar don't sing so badly. I will say that for him! (After the Third.) Capital voice he has! Rattling good Chorus, too! "Join the glad throng that goes laughing along, and we'll all go a-hunting to-day!" (At the end.) Bravo! encore! encore!
[His good-humour is suddenly and miraculously restored.
Green the G. (in a tone of instruction). You will notice that the thistle is very abundant just here, Ladies and Gentlemen. The reason of that, is that some years ago a vessel was wrecked on this part of the coast which was sailing from Scotland with a cargo of thistledown. (Outcry of incredulity.) If you don't believe me, ask the Coachman.
The Coachman (stolidly). It's a fact, Gentlemen, I assure you.
G. the G. The soil of Jersey is remarkably productive; if you plant a sixpence, it will come up a shilling in no time. The cabbages on this island grow to an extraordinary height, frequently attaining twenty feet—(outcry)—yes, if you measure up one side, and down the other. (They pass a couple of sheep on a slope.) The finest flock of sheep in the island. The dark one is not black, only a little sunburnt. The house you see on that hill over there was formerly slept in by CHARLES THE SECOND. He left a pair of slippers behind him—which have since grown into top-boots. There you see the only windmill in this part of the island—there used to be three, but it was found there was not enough wind for them all. From here you have a clear view of the coast of France; and, when the wind is blowing in this direction, you have an excellent opportunity of acquiring the French accent in all its purity. (This string of somewhat hoary chestnuts meets with a success beyond their intrinsic merits, the Morose Man being as much entertained as anybody.) On your right is an inland lake of fresh water—
The Muzzy Man (waking up with sudden interest). Can you drink it with perfect impunity?
G. the G. Depends how far you are accustomed to it as a beverage, Sir. (The car stops at an hotel.) We stop here two hours, Ladies and Gentlemen, to enable you to lunch, and examine the caves afterwards. You can leave anything you like on the cars except five-pound notes—and they might get blown away!
ON THE WAY HOME.
The Shopkeeper's Wife (to her Husband). Ah, TOM, it's just as well you stayed behind—you'd never have got through those caves! You wouldn't believe I could ha' done it unless you'd seen me—clambering down iron ladders, and jumping on to rocks, and squeezing through tunnels, and then up a cliff like the side of a house. I do wish you could ha' seen me, TOM!
Tom (philosophically). Ah, well, I was very comfortable where I was, settin' in the hotel room there, smoking my pipe. GREEN the Guide gave us, "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep," in first-rate style—he is a singer, and no mistake!
His Wife. Lor, I wish I'd known he was going to sing—I'd ha' stayed too! But here he is, waiting by the road for us—I do hope he's going to sing again!
Green the G. (mounting the car). I fear I am an unwelcome visitor.
The Eld. G. (graciously). It would be the first time in your life then, GREEN!
G. the G. Well, the fact is, I come to levy a little contribution on behalf of myself and the Coachman. Times are hard, Gentlemen, and both of us have large families to support. If you don't believe me, ask the Coachman. (The Elderly G. explains that his wrappings prevent him from getting at his purse just then, while the others contribute with more or less readiness and liberality.) Many thanks. Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of myself and the Coachman, and to express my sense of your generosity, I will sing you the great Jersey National Song, composed by myself, before leaving. (He sings a ditty with the following spirited Chorus):—
There the streets are paved with granite. So neat and clean And lots of pretty, witty girls, are always to be seen! With the brave old Mi-litia, Our foes to defy! And there they grow the Cabba-ges—Ten feet high! (All together, Gentlemen, please!) Yes, there they grow the Cabbages, there they grow the Cabbages, there they grow the Cabbages—Ten feet high!
Thank you, Gentlemen, I've sung that song a number of times, and I never remember hearing the chorus better sung. If you don't believe me, ask the Coachman.
Coachman. I've never 'eard it better sung, Ladies and Gentlemen, I assure you.
[GREEN the Guide descends in a blaze of popularity, and the "Royal Blue" rolls on in excellent spirits.
* * * * *
Monday.—Read Mr. CHAMBERLAIN's remarks on abstinence from bodily exercise. Sold my bicycle, and gave away all my rackets, bats, &c. Resolved to follow the latest system. Shall doubtless, by these means, reach Mr. C.'s high position as a statesman and orator. Went out in a Bath-chair. Five minutes after starting, man said he was not accustomed to drag so heavy an invalid, and must rest a little. Tried a speech—my maiden one—on the Disadvantages of Bodily Exercise. He listened respectfully, and, when at last I had finished, said he quite agreed with me, and that the fare was seven shillings.
Tuesday.—Have decided that exercise in a Bath-chair is quite superfluous. Resolved to take exercise, for the future, in a hammock, just outside the garden-door. Must practise speech-making to the gardener. Good idea—Orchids. Asked him what he thought about the new Orchid. Miserable fool answered, "Awkud, zur? Dunno waht thaht be." I said that was "awkud," and had to laugh at the highly original side-splitter myself, as he never saw it.
Wednesday.—Must really give up this long walk to the garden-door. Shall never become a great statesman unless I do. Resolved to take exercise in arm-chair in library. The children's governess came in to fetch a book. Addressed her at some length on Free Education. Afterwards, thought this subject was somewhat ill-chosen, as her salary is so small.
Thursday.—Really cannot stand this walking up and down stairs. Shall remain for the future in my bed-room and take exercise on sofa by fireside, as I feel chilly. Page came in with coals. Reminded me of Policy of Scuttle. Spoke of this at some length, and woke him up with difficulty when I had finished. Felt rather unwell.
Friday.—Dressing and undressing is certainly needless fatigue, and evidently causes this headache and general seediness. Shall take exercise in bed. Felt worse. Female relatives anxious, and insist on medical attendance. Assured them I was following the best system, and answered their persistent demands by a short address on Home Rule.
Saturday.—Felt so bad at five this morning, that Doctor was fetched. Tried feebly to address him on the Eight Hours' Question, when he said he never had any time to think how long he worked. Explained my new system to him. He said I should myself want a new system to stand such a course of treatment. Then he pulled me out of bed, and insisted on my walking ten miles as soon as I was dressed. Felt much better. Shall abandon politics and become a farmer, having just heard of an infallible system for growing wheat profitably.
* * * * *
THE "RESTORATION" PERIOD.—Will the Chairmen of the L.C. & D. and the S.E. Lines unite their forces? After the meeting on this subject last week, Sir EDWARD will have lots of reason to listen to. But apart from every consideration of mal de mer, and "From Calais to Dover," as the poet sings "'Tis soonest over," there is not anywhere a better, and we, who have suffered as greatly as the much-enduring Ulysses, venture to assert not anywhere as good a luncheon as at the "Restauration" (well it deserves the title!) of the Calais Station. Every patriotic travelling Englishman must be delighted to think that some few centuries ago we gave up Calais. Had it been nowadays in English hands, why it might even now be possessed of a "Refreshment Room" no better than—any on our side of the Channel, for there is no necessity to particularise. From Dover to Calais is the shortest and best restorative'd route for the traveller, whether ill or well, at sea.
* * * * *
MOTTOES for the new Lord MAYOR. "Nil obstet," "Nil fortius," and, from HORACE, "Nil amplius oro." This, in answer to thousands of correspondents, is our last word on the subject; so after this (except on the 9th of November), we say—nil.
* * * * *
SUCH A "LIGHT OPERA!"
Had Sir ARTHUR written the music for The Mountebanks, and Sir BRIAN DE BOIS GILBERT the book of Haddon Hall, both might have been big successes So, however, it was not to be, and Sir ARTHUR chose this book by Mr. GRUNDY, which labours under the disadvantages of being original, and of not owing almost everything to a French source. It isn't every day of the week that Mr. GRUNDY tumbles upon A Pair of Spectacles in a volume of French plays. The period to which the very slight and uninteresting story of Haddon Hall belongs is just before the Restoration, but the dialogue of "the book" is spiced with modern slang, both "up to date" (the date being this present year of Grace, not sixteen hundred and sixty) and out of date. The "out-of-date" slang, which is, "I've got 'em on"—alluding to the Scotchman's trousers—has by far the best of it, as it comes at the end of the piece, and enjoys the honour of having been set to music by the variously-gifted Composer: so that "I've got 'em on," with its enthusiastically treble-encored whiskey fling, capitally danced by Miss NITA COLE as Nance, with Mr. DENNY as The McCrankie, may be considered as the real hit of the evening, having in itself about as much to do with whatever there is of the plot as would have the entrance of Mr. JOEY GRIMALDI, in full Clown's costume, with "Here we are again!" Of the music, as there was very little to catch and take away, one had to leave it. Of course this seriously comic or comically serious Opera is drawing—["Music," observes Mr. WAGG, parenthetically, "cannot be drawing"]—and will continue to do so for some little time, long enough at all events to reimburse Mr. D'OYLY CARTE for his more than usually lavish outlay on the mise-en-scene.
[Illustration:"Christmas is comin'!" The McClown of McClown dancing. The Reel Hit of the Opera.
In the Second Act, the mechanical change from the exterior of Haddon Hall to the interior, must be reckoned as among the most effective transformations ever seen on any stage. It would be still more so if the time occupied in making it were reduced one-half, and the storm in the orchestra, and the lightning seen through black gauze on stage were omitted. The lightning frightens nobody, only amuses a few, and in itself is no very great attraction. Even if these flashes were a very striking performance; no danger to the audience need be apprehended from it, seeing that Mr. CELLIER is in front as "Conductor." Perhaps Mr. D'OYLY CARTE, noticing that Mr. GRUNDY calls his piece "a light Opera," thought that, as it wasn't quite up to this description, it would be as well if the required "light'ning" were brought in somewhere, and so he introduced it here. If this be so, it is about the only flash of genius in the performance.
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* * * * *
"CROSSING THE BAR."
ALFRED LORD TENNYSON.
BORN, AUGUST 5, 1809. DIED, OCTOBER 6, 1892.
"TALIESSEN is our fullest throat of song."—The Holy Grail.
Our fullest throat of song is silent, hushed In Autumn, when the songless woods are still, And with October's boding hectic flushed Slowly the year disrobes. A passionate thrill Of strange proud sorrow pulses through the land, His land, his England, which he loved so well: And brows bend low, as slow from strand to strand The Poet's passing bell Sends forth its solemn note, and every heart Chills, and sad tears to many an eyelid start.
Sad tears in sooth! And yet not wholly so. Exquisite echoes of his own swan-song Forbid mere murmuring mournfulness; the glow Of its great hope illumes us. Sleep, thou strong Full tide, as over the unmeaning bar Fares this unfaltering darer of the deep, Beaconed by a Great Light, the pilot-star Of valiant souls, who keep Through the long strife of thought-life free from scathe The luminous guidance of the larger faith.
No sadness of farewell? Great Singer, crowned With lustrous laurel, facing that far light, In whose white radiance dark seems whelmed and drowned, And death a passing shade, of meaning slight; Sunset, and evening star, and that clear call, The twilight shadow, and the evening bell, Bring naught of gloom for thee. Whate'er befall Thou must indeed fare well. But we—we have but memories now, and love The plaint of fond regret will scarce reprove.
Great singer, he, and great among the great, Or greatness hath no sure abiding test. The poet's splendid pomp, the shining state Of royal singing robes, were his, confest, By slowly growing certitude of fame, Since first, a youth, he found fresh-opening portals To Beauty's Pleasure-House. Ranked with acclaim Amidst the true Immortals, The amaranth fields with native ease he trod, Authentic son of the lyre-bearing god.
Fresh portals, untrod pleasaunces, new ways In Art's great Palace, shrined in Nature's heart, Sought the young singer, and his limpid lays, O'er sweet, perchance, yet made the quick blood start To many a cheek mere glittering; rhymes left cold. But through the gates of Ivory or of Horn His vivid vision flocked, and who so bold As to repulse with scorn The shining troop because of shadowy birth. Of bodiless passion, or light tinkling mirth?
But the true god-gift grows. Sweet, sweet, still sweet As great Apollo's lyre, or Pan's plain reed, His music flowed, but slowly he out-beat His song to finer issues. Fingers fleet, That trifled with the pipe-stops, shook grand sound From the great organ's golden mouths anon. A mellow-measured might, a beauty bound (As Venus with her zone) By that which shaped from chaos Earth, Air, Sky, The unhampering restraint of Harmony.
Hysteric ecstasy, new fierce, now faint, But ever fever-sick, shook not his lyre With epileptic fervours. Sensual taint Of satyr heat, or bacchanal desire, Polluted not the passion of his song; No corybantic clangor clamoured through Its manly harmonies, as sane as strong; So that the captious few Found sickliness in pure Elysian balm, And coldness in such high Olympian calm.
Impassioned purity, high minister Of spirit's joys, was his, reserved, restrained. His song was like the sword Excalibur Of his symbolic knight; trenchant, unstained. It shook the world of wordly baseness, smote The Christless heathendom of huckstering days. There is no harshness in that mellow note, No blot upon those bays; For loyal love and knightly valour rang Through rich immortal music when he sang.
ARTHUR, his friend, the Modern Gentleman, ARTHUR, the hero, his ideal Knight, Inspired his strains. From fount to flood they ran A flawless course of melody and light. A Christian chivalry shone in his song From Locksley Hall to shadowy Lyonnesse, Whence there stand forth two figures, stately, strong, Symbols of spirit's stress; The blameless King, saintship with scarce a blot, And song's most noble sinner, LANCELOT.
Lover of England, lord of English hearts, Master of English speech, painter supreme Of English landscape! Patriot passion starts A-flame, pricked by the words that glow and gleam In those imperial paeans, which might arm Pale cowards for the fray. Touched by his hand The simple sweetness, and the homely charm Of our green garden-land Take on a witchery as of Arden's glade, Or verdant Vallombrosa's leafy shade.
The fragrant fruitfulness of wood and wold, Of flowery upland, and of orchard-lawn, Lit by the lingering evening's softened gold, Or flushed with rose-hued radiance of the dawn; Bird-music beautiful; the robin's trill, Or the rook's drowsy clangour; flats that run From sky to sky, dusk woods that drape the hill, Still lakes that draw the sun; All, all are mirror'd in his verse, and there Familiar beauties shine most strangely fair.
Poet, the pass-key magical was thine, To Beauty's Fairy World, in classic calm Or rich romantic colour. Bagdat's shrine By sheeny Tigris, Syrian pool and palm, Avilion's bowery hollows, Ida's peak, The lily-laden Lotos land, the fields Of amaranth! What may vagrant Fancy seek More than thy rich song yields, Of Orient odour, Faery wizardry, Or soft Arcadian simplicity?
From all, far Faery Land, Romance's realm, Green English homestead, cloud-crown'd Attic hill, The Poet passes—whither? Not the helm Of wounded ARTHUR, lit by light that fills Avilion's fair horizons, gleamed more bright Than does that leonine laurelled visage now, Fronting with steadfast look that mystic Light. Grave eye, and gracious brow Turn from the evening bell, the earthly shore, To face the Light that floods him evermore.
Farewell! How fitlier should a poet pass Than thou from that dim chamber and the gleam Of poor earth's purest radiance? Love, alas! Of that strange scene must long in sorrow dream. But we—we hear thy manful music still! A royal requiem for a kingly soul! No sadness of farewell! Away regret, When greatness nears its goal! We follow thee, in thought, through light, afar Divinely piloted beyond the bar!
* * * * *
TO MY SWEETHEART.
["Those roses you bought and gave to me are marvels. They are still alive."—Her Letter.]
A Hothouse where some roses blew, And, whilst the outer world was white, The gentle roses softly grew To fragrant visions of delight.
Some wretched florist owned them all, And plucked them from their native bowers, Then gaily showed them on his stall To swell the ranks of "Fresh-Cut Flowers."
Some went beside a bed of pain Where influenza claimed its due; They drooped and never smiled again, The epidemic had them too.
A gay young gallant bought some buds, And jauntily went out to dine With other reckless sporting bloods, Who talked of women, drank of wine;
But whilst they talked, and smoked, and drank, And told tales not too sanctified. Abashed the timid blossoms shrank, Changed colour, faded, and then died.
Yet roses, too, I gave to you, I saw you place them near your heart, You wore them all the evening through, You wore them when we came to part.
But now you write to me, my dear, And marvel that they are not dead, Their beauty does not disappear, Their fragrant perfume has not fled.
The reason's plain. Somehow aright The flowers know if we ignore them. The roses live for sheer delight At knowing, Sweetheart, that you wore them.
* * * * *
THOUGHTS—NOT WORTH A PENNY.
(FRAGMENT FROM THE BURLESQUE-ROMANCE OF "NO CENTS; OR, THE NEW CRITICISM.")
The Critic of the new cult visited a tailor's establishment, and was delighted with all he saw. There were coats, and vests, and other garments.
"I make some fifty per cent. profit," said the proprietor of the establishment, stroking his moustache with a hand adorned with many a diamond ring. "Of course it causes some labour, thought, and time—but I get my money for my trouble."
"And why not?" replied the Critic. "Are you not worth it? Do you not devote your energy to it? Must you not live?"
And, having said this, the Reviewer visited another place of business. This time he had entered the office of a Stockbroker.
"Of course it is rather anxious work sometimes," said the alternative representative of a bull and a bear. "But it pays in the long run. I manage to keep up a house in South Kensington, and a carriage and pair, out of my takings."
"Again, why not?" responded the Critic. "You have a wife and family. Must you not live?" Then the Critic visited Cheesemongers, and Bankers, Solicitors, and Upholsterers. At last, he reached the modest abode of an Author.
"Ah!" said he, in a tone of contempt; "you write books and plays! Why?
"Why, to sell them," answered the Poet, in a faltering voice.
"Sell them!" echoed the Critic, in tones of thunder. "What do you mean by that?"
"Why, one must live!"
"Nonsense! The universe can get on very well without anyone. You might be dispensed with; and, if it comes to that, so might I. Yes, I am not wanted."
"Quite true!" murmured the Author; "indeed, you are not!"
"And, after all, what is your work? Mere brain action! Anyone who could wield a pen could do it for you! And you expect to be paid, as if you were a tradesman—a Tailor or an Upholsterer!"
"But am I not a man and a brother? Do I not get hungry, like anyone else? Have I not a wife and family?"
"That is entirely beside the question," persisted the Critic. "All you have to consider are the claims of Art. Now, Art is not to be served by paid votaries."
"Then I suppose am unworthy," replied the Author, mournfully shaking his head. Well, let us exchange places. You shall be the Author, and I will be the Critic."
"Very sorry, my dear friend, but that is an unjust division. By that means you would receive all the money."
"And why not? If I am to write, why am I not to be paid?"
"Because it is beneath the dignity of an Author to write with a view to obtaining cash."
"Indeed! Well, I am tired of work. You have nothing to do but criticise. Let us swap positions."
"Are you mad?" shouted the Critic. "Why, I am fond of my work. You don't imagine I am going to give up my salary to you? Why, it would demoralise you. I know the drawback of the system." And the Author applied himself to the study of the New Criticism, and it seemed as great a mystery to him as ever.
* * * * *
LADY GAY'S SELECTIONS.
Mount Street, Grosvenor Square.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,
Nothing but a keen sense of duty, coupled with the possession of the smartest thing in waterproof overcoats ever seen, would have tempted me to go racing last week; but the claims of Hurst Park were not to be denied, and my reward was, assisting at perhaps the most successful meeting ever held there—(the backers "went down" to a man, and so did the excellent lunch—so what more could you want?)—and, in addition, being told by at least twenty people, the name of the winner of the Cesarewitch!—they all named different horses, so that one is almost certain to be able to say next week, in that annoying tone of voice people adopt after a successful prophecy—(this does not apply to Just Prophets, who are notoriously modest in success)—"There! I told you it was a certainty for Whiteface!—couldn't lose!—of course you backed it, after what I told you!"—which of course was the very reason why you hadn't backed it; however—as he may really be able to tell you something on a future occasion, you put on a ghastly smile, and say—"Oh, yes—I had a trifle on—but my money was on Blackfoot before you told me—but it got me out!"—and it does "get you out" too, for nothing is more annoying than to be told you "ought to have won a good stake!"
However, with regard to the great race next week, I am fortunately able to set aside all "information received," because I have had a dream!—not one of the ordinary lobster-salad kind of racing-dreams one reads about—(naturally I should not have an inferior kind, having ordered in a stock of the "best selected," one to be taken every night at bed-time)—in which the dreamer only sees one horse—but a most complicated affair, from which it will be an easy task for anyone skilled in dream-lore to extract the winner!
Well—I had been rather upset during the day, so to quiet my nerves, on reaching home, I took, before going to bed, just a little Golden Drop of Brandy as an Insurance against restlessness—went to sleep, and dreamt that my friends Lady Villikins and Madame d'Albany, with their maid Helen Ware, were attacked on their way from Illsley to Weymouth, by some Dare Devil of a Circassian, whose horse's hoofs rang in a Metallic manner on the road! They were rescued in the pass of Ben Avon by the gallant Burnaby, who after a long Rigmarole, squared their captor, Roy Neil, with a Hanover Jack, and acted as their Pilot to safe quarters at Versailles! There!—that was my dream—and I think it points most conclusively to the winner; and, anyone unable to pick the right one, need only back them all, and there you are!—or at least you may be. If they don't care to do this, they can avail themselves of my verse selection—which I did not dream—and which, therefore, is quite as reliable.
Yours, devotedly, LADY GAY.
Oh, Weymouth is a pleasant place, And bathing tents are handy; When coming out, if white your face, Why, take a nip of Brandy.
P.S.—This advice is not intended for confirmed Topers.
* * * * *
"SUR LE TAPIS."—If the new Carpet Knight, Sir BLONDEL MAPLE—which is our troubadourish way of spelling it—be exceptionally successful on the Turf, isn't he just the man to "make his 'pile' and cut it"?
* * * * *
* * * * *
Not the least interesting figure in the circle of The Racing Life of Lord George Bentinck, which Messrs. BLACKWOOD produce in a handsome volume, is that of JOHN KENT, who, under the editorship of Mr. FRANK LAWLEY, tells the story. KENT was trainer to Lord GEORGE during the period when, to quote the characteristic Disraelian phrase, his Lordship became "Lord Paramount of the Turf." It is forty-four years since Lord GEORGE was found lying dead on his face in the water-meadows near Welbeck Abbey. Yet KENT remembers all about him—his six feet of height, his long black frock-coat, his velvet waistcoat, his gold chain, and his "costly cream-coloured satin scarf of great length, knotted under his chin, with a gold pin stuck in it." These scarves cost twenty shillings a-piece, and it was one of Lord GEORGE's fancies never to wear one a second time. When he died whole drawersful of them were found, and honest JOHN KENT purchased half-a-dozen from his Lordship's valet, who seems to have kept his eye on them. Did he ever wear them on Sundays? My Baronite who has been reading the book trows not. JOHN KENT knows his place better than that, and when he goes the way that masters and servants tread together, the scarves will doubtless be found tucked away in his chest of drawers. My Baronite is not able to take the same lofty view of the defunct nobleman who played at politics and worked at racing as does his faithful old servitor. Lord GEORGE seems to have been, as the cabman observed of the late JOHN FORSTER, "a harbitery gent," kind to those who faithfully serve him (as one is kind to a useful hound), but relentless to any who offended him or crossed his path. Moreover, whilst, as his biographer devoutly says, he purified the turf, he was not, upon occasion, above fighting blacklegs with their own weapons. The book gives clear glimpses of men and times which, less than half a century dead, will never live again. It pleasantly testifies that, though no man may be a hero to his valet, Lord GEORGE BENTINCK remains one in the eyes of his trainer.
The Baron not having read a three-volume novel for some considerable time, may safely affirm, instead of taking his oath, that Mrs. OLIPHANT's The Cuckoo in the Nest is one of the best he has come across for quite two months. It opens well, and if it drops a bit about the middle, there are all sorts of surprises yet in store for the reader, who, the Baron assures him or her, will be rewarded for his, or her, perseverance.
The Baron begs to recommend the latest volume of the Whitefriars Library, called King Zub, by W.H. POLLOCK. Zub is a wise poodle, and the waggish tale of the dog gives the name to the collection. The Fleeting Show is quite on a par with The Green Lady in a former collection by the same author, and such other stories as Sir Jocelyn's Cap and A Phantom Fish will delight those who, like the Baron, love the mixture as before of the weird and the humorous. In the Phantom Fish there is much local dialect, and The Baron coming across the expression, "a proper bender," is inclined to ask if this is not Zummerzetsheer for, and only applicable to, a running hare? The Baron remembers the expression well, though 'tis years since he heard it, and owns to being uncertain as to whether it is not Devonian or Cornish. That he heard it applied to a hare apparent he is prepared to make oath and say; but he is not in the least prepared to assert that it is not generally applied as an expression of admiration for adroitness in avoiding pursuit. "Be that as it may, give me King Zub and the other stories, a good fire, a glass of spiritual comfort, a cosy chair, and a soothing pipe, and I am prepared to spend a pleasant evening," says
THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
* * * * *
CONVERSATIONAL HINTS FOR YOUNG SHOOTERS.
(BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN GROUSE IN THE GUN-ROOM.)
In our last (it is Mr. Punch who speaks), we indicated very briefly the conversational possibilities of the Gun. It must be observed, that this treatise makes no pretensions to be exhaustive. Something must, after all, be left to the ingenuity of the young shooter who desires to talk of sport. All that these hints profess, is to put him in the way of shining, if there is a certain amount of natural brightness to begin upon. The next subject will be—
To a real talker, this subject offers an infinite variety of opportunities. First, you can begin to fight the battle of the powders, as thus:—
"What powder are you shooting with this year, CHALMERS?"
"How do you find it kill?"
"Deadly—absolutely-deadly: best lot I've ever had."
You need not say anything more now. The discussion will get along beautifully without you, for you will have drawn, (1), the man who very much prefers E.C., which he warrants to kill at a distance no other powder can attain to; (2), the man who uses E.C. or Schultze for his right barrel, and always puts a black-powder cartridge into his left; (3), the detester of innovations, who means to go on using the good old black-powder for both barrels as long as he lives; and (4), the man who is trying an entirely new patent powder, infinitely superior to anything else ever invented, and is willing to give everybody, not only the address of the maker, but half a dozen cartridges to try.
You cannot make much of "charges" of powder. Good shots are dogmatic on the point, and ordinary shots don't bother their heads about it, trusting entirely to the man who sells them their cartridges. Still you might throw out, here and there, a few words about "drams" and "grains." Only, above all things, be careful not to mention drams in connection with anything but black powder, nor grains, except with reference to Schultze or E.C. A laboriously-acquired reputation as a scientific shot has been known to be ruined by a want of clearness on this important point.
"Shot." Conversationally much more valuable than powder. "Very few people agree," says a well-known authority; "as to what is the best size of shot to use, and many forget that the charge which will suit one gun, and one description of game, will not do as well for another. Usually, one gun will shoot better one size of shot than will another, and we may safely say, that large bores shoot large shot better than do smaller bores." This last sentence has the beautiful ring of a profound truism. Lay it by for use, and bring it out with emphasis in the midst of such disagreement and forgetfulness as are here alluded to. "If a shooter is a good shot," says the same classic, "he may use No. 6 early in the season, and only for partridges—afterwards, nothing but No. 5. To the average shot, No. 6 throughout the season." This sounds dreadfully invidious. If a good shot cannot kill grouse with No. 6, how on earth is a merely average shot to do the trick? But, in these matters, the conversationalist finds his opportunity. Only they must not be pushed too far. There was once a party of genial, light-hearted friends, who went out shooting. Early in the day, slight differences of opinion made themselves observed with reference to the size of shot. Lunch found them still more or less good-tempered, but each obstinately determined not to give way even by a fraction on the point under discussion.
Afterwards they began again. The very dogs grew ashamed of the noise, and went home. That afternoon there was peace in the world of birds—at least, on that particular shooting—and the next morning saw the shooting-parties of England reduced by one, which had separated in different dog-carts, and various stages of high dudgeon, for the railway station. So, please to be very, very careful. Use the methods of compromise. If you find your friend obstinately pinned to No. 5, when you have declared a preference for No. 6, meet him half-way, or even profess to be converted by his arguments. Or tell him the anecdote about the Irishman, who always shot snipe with No. 4, because, "being such a little bird, bedad, you want a bigger shot to get at the beggar." You can then inform him how you yourself once did dreadful execution among driven grouse in a gale of wind with No. 8 shot, which you had brought out by mistake. You may object that you never, as a matter of fact, did this execution, never having even shot at all with No. 8. Tush! you are puling. If you are going to let a conscientious accuracy stand in your way like this, you had better become dumb when sporting talk is flying about. Of course you must not exaggerate too much. Only bumptious fools do that, and they are called liars for their pains. But a little exaggeration, just a soupcon of romance, does no one any harm, while it relieves the prosaic dullness of the ordinary anecdote. So, swallow your scruples, and
Join the gay throng That goes talking along, For we'll all go romancing to-day.
(To be continued.)
* * * * *
DOE VERSUS ROE(DENT).
["The basements of the Royal Courts of Justice have lately been invaded by swarms of mice. They have become very audacious, and have penetrated into the Courts themselves, whose walls are lined with legal volumes, the leaves of which provide them with a rich feast."—Daily Paper.]
For students of the law to "eat Their terms" is obviously right, But to devour the books themselves Is impolite.
Unfortunately Mr. STREET. Who planned the legal edif-īce, Designed a splendid trap for men, But not for mice.
To view the Courts at midnight now, The Courts all in the stilly Strand, With rodents squeaking out their pleas, That would be grand!
No Ushers 'ush them; they consume The stiffest calf you ever saw, Developing, these curious beasts, A taste for Law.
They fill—perhaps—the box wherein, Twelve bothered men have often sat, And try, with every proper form, Some absent cat.
A fore-mouse probably they choose, The culprit's advocate deride, And fix upon that cat the guilt Of mouseycide.
At the Refreshment-bars, perchance, They eat the cakes, and drink the milk, And in the Robing-room indulge In "taking silk."
The Judges' sacred Bench itself From scampering feet is not exempt; With calmness they commit, of Court, Frightful "contempt."
Through Byles on Bills they eat their way; Law "Digests" they at will digest; Not even Coke on Littleton Sticks on their chests!
Wanted—the stodgiest Law-book out! The Judges soon must note these facts, And try a copy of the Ju- -dicature Acts!
* * * * *
WHY THE FRENCH WON THE BOAT-RACE.
(ANSWERS SUPPLIED BY AN UNPREJUDICED BRITON.)
Because the English Eight had had no practice on the Seine.
Because the Londoners had had a fearful passage crossing the Channel.
Because they smashed their boat, and had to have it repaired.
Because the English steering might have been better.
Because the weather was intolerable, and chiefly affected the Englishmen.
Because the Londoners had no chance of pulling together.
Because the French knew the course better than the English.
Because the race should have been rowed weeks before.
Because the race should not have been rowed for months.
Because the British naturally liked to see the foreigners win.
And last (and least), because the French had by far the better crew!
* * * * *
ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE.—The style, title, office, and dignity of Archbishop of Canterbury, with all appurtenances thereto belonging, with all emoluments, spiritualities and temporalities appertaining, have been conferred by letters patent, under supreme authority, according to Act V. Henricus Noster in such cases made and provided, on the Rev. Mr. VINCENT, in consequence of the retirement of the Right Rev. ARTHUR STIRLING from the said office; the duties of which he so recently and so effectively performed between the hours of ten-thirty and eleven-fifteen every night for several months at the Theatre Royal Lyceum. We are in a position to add, that his resignation of this high and valuable office, has not taken place in consequence of any question as to the validity or invalidity of orders ("not admitted after 7.30"), nor has this step been rendered imperative by reason of any "irregularity" in "properties" or "appointments."
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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.