OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
December 6, 1890.
(BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN TYPE WRITER.)
NO. XXII.—THE MANLY MAIDEN.
The Manly Maiden may be defined as the feminine exaggeration of those rougher qualities which men display in their intercourse with one another, or in the pursuit of those sports in which courage, strength, and endurance play a part. In a fatal moment she conceives the idea that she can earn the proud title of "a good fellow" by emulating the fashions and the habits of the robuster sex. She perceives that men have a liking for men who are strong, bluff, outspoken, and contemptuous of peril, and she infers mistakenly, that the same tribute of admiration is certain to be paid to a woman who, setting the traditions of her sex at defiance, consciously apes the manly model without a thought of all that the imitation involves. She forgets that as soon as a woman steps down of her own free will from the pedestal on which the chivalrous admiration of men has placed her, she abandons at once her claim to that flattering reticence of speech, and that specially attentive courtesy of bearing, which are in men the outward and visible signs of the spiritual grace which they assume as an attribute of all women. In spite of what the crazy theorists of the perfect equality school may say, men still continue to expect and to admire in women precisely those qualities in which they feel themselves to be chiefly deficient. Their reverence and affection are bestowed upon her whose voice is ever soft, gentle and low, and whose mild influence is shed like a balm upon the labours and troubles of life. Of slang, and of slaps upon the back, of strength, whether of language or of body, they get enough and to spare amongst themselves, and they are scarcely to be blamed if at certain moments they should prefer refinement to roughness, and gentleness to gentlemen. However, these obvious considerations have no weight with the Manly Maiden. In fact they never occur to her, and hence arise failures, and humiliations, and disappointments not a few.
The Manly Maiden is not, as a rule, the natural product of a genuine country life. The daughter of rich parents, who have spent a great part of their lives in a centre of commercial activity, she is introduced to a new home in the country at about the age of fourteen. Seeing that all those who live in the neighbourhood are in one way or another associated with outdoor sports, and that the favour in which the men are held and their fame vary directly as their power to ride or to shoot straight, she becomes possessed by the notion that she too must, if she is to please at all, be proficient in the sports of men. Merely to ride to hounds is, of course, not sufficiently distinctive. Many women do that, without losing at all the ordinary characteristics of women. She must ride bare-backed, she must understand a horse's ailments and his points, she must trudge (in the constant society of men) over fallows and through turnips in pursuit of partridges, she must be able to talk learnedly of guns, of powders, and of shot, she must possess a gun of her own, and think she knows how to use it, she must own a retriever, and herself make him submissive by the frequent application of a silver-headed dog-whip.
These attainments are her ideals of earthly bliss, and she sets out to realise them with a terrible perseverance. Her father, of course, knows but little of sport. He is, however, afflicted with the ordinary desire to shine as a sportsman, and as a host of sportsmen. He stocks his coverts with game, and invites large shooting parties to stay with him. He himself takes to a gun as a hen might take to the water; although, as his daughter contemptuously expresses it, he is calculated to miss a hippopotamus at ten yards, he seems to imagine, if one may be permitted to judge from the wild frequency of his shots, that it is the easiest thing in the world to hit a pheasant or a partridge flying at ten times that distance. From such a father the Manly Maiden easily secures permission, first of all, to walk with the men while they are shooting, and subsequently to carry a gun herself.
And now the difficulties of the situation begin to make themselves felt, not, indeed, by her, for she remains sublimely unconscious to the end, but by the men who are compelled to associate with her upon her ventures. No man will ever hesitate to rebuke another for carrying his gun in such a way as to threaten danger; but, when a lady allows him to inspect the inside of her loaded gun-barrels, or shoots down the line at an evasive rabbit, he must suffer in silence, and can only seek compensation for restraining his tongue by incontinently removing his body to a safe place, where he can neither shoot nor be shot. At luncheon, however, he may be gratified by hearing the Manly Maiden rally him on the poor result of his morning's sport. She will then favour him, at length, with her opinions as to how a driven partridge or a rocketing pheasant should be shot, flavouring her discourse with copious extracts from the Badminton books on shooting, and adding here and there imaginative reminiscences of her own exploits in dealing death. In the hunting-field she will lose her groom, and babble sport to the Master, with whom she further ingratiates herself by rating and lashing one of his favourite hounds, or by heading the fox whenever he attempts to break away. She then crosses him at an awkward fence, and considers herself aggrieved by the strong language which breaks irresistibly from the fallen sportsman's lips. Later on she astonishes an elderly follower of the hounds by asking him for a draught from his flask, and completes his amazement by complaining of the thoughtless manner in which he has diluted his brandy.
In the evening she will narrate her adventures at length, amidst a chorus of admiring comments from her fond parents, and their parasites, and will follow up her triumphs of the day by pursuing the men into the smoking-room, where she permits one of them to offer her a cigarette, and imagines that she delights him by accepting it. On such an occasion she will inform one of her friends that, on the whole, she has but a poor opinion of Diana of the Ephesians, seeing that she only hunted with women, and never allowed men to approach her. From this it may be inferred that her stock of classical allusions is not quite so accurate and complete as that of a genuine sportswoman should be. Next morning she may be seen schooling her horses in the park. She has a touching faith in the use both of spur and of whip whenever the occasion seems least to demand them, and she despises the man who rides without rowels, and reverences one who attempts impossible jumps without discrimination. During the summer she spends a considerable part of her time in "getting fit" for the labours of the autumn and winter. Sometimes she even plays cricket, and has been known to address the ball that bowled her in highly uncomplimentary terms.
So the years pass on. She never learns that it is possible for a woman on certain occasions to be in the way of men, nor does her accuracy or her care with a gun increase. If she marries at all, she will marry some feeble creature who has no feeling for sport, and over whom she can lord it to her heart's content. But it is more probable that she will remain unwedded, and will develop eventually from a would-be harding-riding maiden, into a genuinely hard-featured old maid.
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A MUSICAL POLE STAR.
The Irish Polar Star Musical, yclept our Paddy REWSKI, gave his last "recital" at St. James's Hall, Thursday, November 27. Bedad, then, 'tis Misther Paddy REWSKI himself that is the broth of a boy entirely at the piano-forte, but, Begorra, he's better at the piano than the forte. He gave us a nice mixture of HANDEL, BEETHOVEN, CHOPIN, LISZT, and then a neat little compo of his own, consisting of a charming theme, with mighty ingenious and beautiful variations, all his own, divil a less. Great success for Paddy REWSKI. The Irish Pole, or Pole-ished Irishman, has thoroughly mastered his art, but if he has learnt how to master tune he has not yet perfected himself in keeping strict time, as he took his seat at the piano just one quarter of an hour late. Paddy REWSKI, me bhoy, when next you give us a recital, remember that punctuality is the soul of business. Au revoir, Paddy REWSKI!
Yours entirely, JIM KRO MESKI.
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ADVICE GRATIS.—Go and see London Assurance, with "CHARLES our friend" in it, at the Criterion. It has, probably, never yet been put on the stage as it is hic et nunc. Well worth seeing as a curio. But what tin-pot nonsense is the Tally-ho speech of Lady Grace Harkaway. And yet it has always "gone," and London Assurance itself, like the sly Reynard of the speech, has invariably shown good sport, and given a good run for the money.
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MAD WAGGERY.—The Chequers is not the name of a wayside inn, but of one of those modern inventions calculated to help to fill Colney Hatch. A Puzzle it is, and it can be done—at least so say FELTHAM & CO. Anyhow, they don't sell the solution, they only provide the mystery.
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AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS NUMBER (which is sure not to be forgotten).—Number One.
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A CAUTION TO SNAKES.
"There is, however, another opinion prevalent among the less educated which gives to the Rattle-snake the vindictive spirit of the North American Indian, and asserts that it adds a new joint to its rattle whenever it has slain a human being, thus bearing in its tail the fearful trophies of its prowess, just as the Indians wear the scalps of slain foes."—Wood's Natural History.
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"INGINS is Snakes!" And from its lair This snake seems stirring. Who cries "Scare!"? Well, they who hear the rattle Close at their heels, its spring will dread, And wary watch and cautious tread, And arm as though for battle.
Even to drive the keen-fanged snake From its old home in swamp or brake Irks sensitive humanity; But they who know the untamed thing, Have felt its fang, have seen its spring, Hold mercy mere insanity.
Untamed, untameable, it hides, Anguis in herba, coils and glides, And strikes when least expected, And who shall blame its watchful foe Who stands prepared to strike a blow, When the swift death's detected?
In the dark jungle dim and damp It lurks, and Civilisation's tramp Disturbs its sanctuary. Hard on the snake? Perchance, perchance! But Civilisation, to advance, Must ruthless be, as wary.
"Vindictive spirit" of the wild, 'Twixt you and Progress' pale-faced child Fated vendetta rages, And Pity's self stands powerless To help you counter with success The onset of the ages.
Long driven, lingeringly you lurk; Steel and starvation ply their work Of slow extermination. Armed once again Columbia stands, And who'd arrest avenging hands, Must challenge—Civilisation.
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The Archbishop of CANTERBURY's learned judgment in the Lincoln Case was very much after the style in which His Grace parts his hair. It was a first-rate example of the Via Media.
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A PAGE FROM A POSSIBLE DIARY.
(WRITTEN IN THE WILD WEST.)
Monday.—Well, here I am. Guess I have got together a pretty tidy Army, that should beat BARNUM into small potatoes. The Arabs from Earl's Court will soon go along straight enough. They seem to miss the Louvre Theatre over yonder, where they were on the free list. Rather a pity I can't start a Show here, but I calculate the country is too disturbed.
Tuesday.—Nothing much doing. Sent along to SMALL BITE, and he has promised to come round along with a few of the Ghost-Dancers to let me see what I think of them. Fancy the ballet has been done before. That clever cuss GUS, must have used it at Covent Garden when he put up Robert the Devil. It seems like the Nun Ballet—uncommonly.
Wednesday.—SMALL BITE is here. He's friendly enough, but his terms are too high. Fancy they must have been trying to annex him for the Aquarium. The Ghost-Dance is a fraud. Nothing in it. Might fake it up a bit with national flags and red fire. But it's decidedly disappointing. Altogether small pumpkins.
Thursday.—Settlers want to know when I am going to begin. They are always in such a darned hurry. They ought to know I am the hero of a hundred fights (see my Autobiography—a few copies of which may still be had at the almost nominal price of half-a-dollar) and should rely on me accordingly. Am to visit the Indian Camp to-morrow.
Friday.—Terms agreed. SMALL BITE and fifty braves engage themselves for six months certain, sharing terms, travelling exes, and one clear benefit. I find front of the curtain and advertising, they provide entertainment, which is to include Ghost-Dance (with banners and red fire) religious rites, war-dance, and scalping expedition with incidentals (SMALL BITE says he knows "some useful knockabout niggers") and procession in and out of towns. Think I can boom it.
Saturday.—My connection with war ended. Calculate I start to-morrow with the Show across the herring-pond, to wake up the Crowned Heads of Europe!
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TO THE BIG BACILLICIDE.
O DOCTOR KOCH, if you can slay Those horrid germs that kill us, You'll be the hero of the day, Great foe of the Bacillus! What champion may we match with you In all the world of fable? St. George, who the Great Dragon slew, The Knights of ARTHUR's Table, E'en gallant giant-slaying JACK, The British nursery's darling; Or JENNER, against whom the pack Of faddists now are snarling, Must second fiddle play to him Who stayed the plague of phthisis, And plumbed a mystery more dim And deep than that of Isis. For what are Dragons, Laidly Worms, And such-like mythic scourges, Compared with microscopic germs 'Gainst which the war he urges? Hygeia, goddess, saint, or nymph, We trust there's no big blunder, And hope your votary's magic lymph May prove no nine days' wonder. We dare not trust each pseudo-seer Who'd powder, purge, or pill us; But pyramids to him we'll rear Who baffles the Bacillus.
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STRANGE TRANSFORMATION.—From the Times Correspondent, U.S., we learned, last week, that somebody who had been "a Bull," was now "a Bear." What next will he be?—A donkey? Or did he begin with this, and will he end by being a goose?
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PROSPECT FOR CHRISTMAS.—"TUCK," i.e., RAPHAEL of that ilk. The "Correct (Christmas) Card."
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"A PAIR OF SPECTACLES."
The first spectacle classic and Shakspearian: t'other burlesquian, and PETTIT-cum-SIMS. The one at the Princess's, the other at the Gaiety. Place au "Divine WILLIAMS"! Antony and Cleopatra is magnificently put on the stage. The costumes are probably O.K.—"all correct"—seeing that Mr. LEWIS WINGFIELD pledges his honourable name for the fact. We might have done with a few less, perhaps, but, as in the celebrated case of the war-song of the Jingoes, if we've got the men, and the money too, then there was every reason why the redoubtable LEWIS (whose name, as brotherly Masons will call to mind, means "Strength") should have put a whole army of Romans on the stage, if it so pleased him.
For its mise-en-scene alone the revival should attract all London. But there is more than this—there is the clever and careful impersonation of Enobarbus by His Gracious Heaviness, Mr. ARTHUR STIRLING; then there is a lighter-comedy touch in the courteous and gentlemanly rendering of Octavius Caesar by Mr. F. KEMBLE COOPER—one of the best things in the piece, but from the inheritor of two such good old theatrical names, much is expected. And then there is the Mark Antony of Mr. CHARLES COGHLAN, a rantin', roarin' boy, this Antony, whom no one, I believe, could ever have made really effective; and finally. Her Graceful Majesty, Mrs. LANGTRY, Queen of Egyptian Witchery. Now honestly I do not consider Cleopatra a good part, nor is the play a good play for the matter of that. I believe it never has been a success, but if, apart from the really great attraction of gorgeous spectacular effects, there is any one scene above another which might well draw all London, it is the death of Cleopatra, which to my mind is—after the fall of WOLSEY, and a long way after, too,—one of the most pathetic pictures ever presented on the stage. So lonely in her grandeur, so grand, and yet so pitiable in her loneliness is this poor Queen of Beauty, this Empress-Butterfly, who can conquer conquerors, and for whose sake not only her noble lovers, but her poor humble serving-maids, are willing to die.
Her last scene is beyond all compare her best, and to those who are inclined to be disappointed with the play after the first Act is over I say, "Wait for the end," and don't leave until the Curtain has descended on that gracious figure of the Queen of Egypt, attired in her regal robes, crowned with her diadem, holding her sceptre, but dead in her chair of state. Ca donne a penser.
The Gaiety.—In calling their burlesque Carmen up to Data, possibly the two dear clever boys who wrote it intended some crypto-jocosity of which the hidden meaning is known only to the initiated in these sublime mysteries. Why "Data"? On the other hand, "Why not?"
However attractive or not as a heading in a bill of the play, the Gaiety Carmen is, on the whole, a merry, bright, and light burlesque-ish piece, though, except in the costume and make-up of Mr. ARTHUR WILLIAMS as Captain Zuniga, there is nothing extraordinarily "burlesque" in the appearance of any of the characters, as the appearance of Mr. HORACE MILLS as Remendado belongs more to Christmas pantomime than to the sly suggestiveness of real burlesque.
As Miss ST. JOHN simply looks, acts, and sings as a genuine Carmen, I can only suppose that her voice is not strong enough for the real Opera; otherwise I doubt whether any better operatic impersonator of the real character could be found. She is not the least bit burlesque, and though the songs she has to sing are nothing like so telling as those she has had given her in former pieces, yet, through her rendering, most are encored, and all thoroughly appreciated.
Mr. ARTHUR WILLIAMS as Zuniga is very droll, reminding some of us, by his make-up and jerky style, of MILHER as the comic Valentine in Le Petit Faust. Mr. LONNEN is also uncommonly good as the spoony soldier, and in the telling song of "The Bogie Man;" and in the still more telling dance with which he finishes it and makes his exit, he makes the hit of the evening,—in fact the hit by which the piece will he remembered, and to which it owes the greater part of its success.
In the authors' latest adaptation of the very ancient "business" of "the statues"—consisting of a verse, and then an attitude, I was disappointed, as I had been led to believe that here we should see what Mr. LONNEN could do in the Robsonian or burlesque-tragedy style. The brilliancy of the costumes, of the scenery, the grace of the four dancers, and the excellence of band and chorus, under the direction of that ancient mariner MEYER LUTZ, are such as are rarely met with elsewhere.
Mr. GEORGE EDWARDES may now attend to the building of his new theatre, as Carmen up to Data will not give him any trouble for some time to come.
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Only a Penny! And well worth every halfpenny of it. I am alluding to the Christmas Number of the Penny Illustrated Paper, in which appears A Daughter of the People, by JOHN LATEY, Junior, who is Junior than ever in December. Capital Christmas Number, and will attract an extraordinary number of Christmas readers.
The Rosebud Annual, published by JAMES CLARK & CO., is quite a bright posy for our very little ones.
Turning from novels, it is a relief to come across so inviting a little volume as the Pocket Atlas, and Gazetteer of Canada, which will be found of the greatest possible value to eccentric Londoners who purpose visiting the Dominion during the coming Winter.
"Persicos odi," but you won't agree with HORACE if you follow this "puer apparatus" of G. NORWAY, who, in Hussein's Hostage, gives us the exciting adventures of a Persian boy.
'Twixt School and College, by GORDON STABLES, has nothing to do with horsey experiences, as suggested by the author's name, but is the uneventful home-life of a poor Scotch laddie, who triumphs by dint of pluck.
Nutbrown Roger and I, by J.H. YOXALL, a romance of the highway, quite in the correct style of disguises and blunderbusses always so necessary for a tale of this kind.
Disenchantment is the—not altogether—enticing title of "an everyday story," by F. MABEL ROBINSON, author of The Plan of Campaign. It is rather a long tale to tell, for it takes 432 pages in the unravelling. It ends with a beautiful avowal that "the heart is no more unchanging than the mind, and that love's not immortal, but an illusion." As the utterer of this truism is a young married woman, it would seem that the foundation is laid for a sequel to Disenchantment that might be appropriately called Divorce.
The Secret of the Old House, by EVELYN EVERETT GREEN, who evidently can't keep a secret to himself, will be so no longer when the children have satisfied their curiosity by reading the book.
My faithful "Co." declares that he has been recently hard at work novel-reading. He has been revelling in an atmosphere of romance. He has been moved almost to tears by Lady Hazleton's Confession, by Mrs. KENT SPENDER, which, he says, includes, amongst many moving passages, some glimpses of Parliamentary life. Friend Olivia, in one bulky volume, takes the reader back to the days of CROMWELL, when people said "hath," instead of "has," and "pray resolve me truly," instead of "don't sell me;" and "Mr. JOHN MILTON" played upon the organ. It has a fine old crusty Puritan flavour about it, which, however, does not prevent the hero and heroine, in the last page, reading a letter together, "with smiles, and little laughs, and sweet asides, and sweeter kisses." Altogether, a book to read when a library does not contain WALTER SCOTT, ALEXANDRE DUMAS pere, G.P.R. JAMES, or HARRISON AINSWORTH. Two Masters deals with passages in the life of a young lady who is described as "a Boarding-school Miss" in Volume I., and "a young she-fiend" in Volume III. However, it is only right to say, that the last compliment is paid to her by a gentlemanly murderer, who takes poison and a cigarette, with a view to escaping a justly-deserved death on the gallows. From this it may be seen, that the novel is at times slightly sensational. Fearing that his Christmas might be saddened by this last ghastly incident, were not the impression created by it partially removed by less highly-seasoned fare, my faithful "Co." has also read Mary Hamilton, a Tale for Girls, My Schoolfellows, and Bonnie Boy's Soap Bubble. He considers the first admirably adapted to the comprehension of the readers to whom it is addressed, only the girls, he says, should be very young girls. My Schoolfellows he intends reading again when he has reached his second childhood, when he fancies he will be better pleased with the humours of "Guzzling Gus" and "Ned Never Mind." In conclusion, he admits that he is a little doubtful about the merits or demerits of Bonnie Boy's Soap Bubble. He explains, that while he was reading it he "fell a thinking," and that when he woke up, the volume was lying on the floor. Since then, he adds, he really has not had the leisure to pick it up.
The Snake's Pass, by BRAM STOKER, M.A. (SAMPSON LOW), is a simple love-story, a pure idyl of Ireland, which does not seem, after all, to be so distressful a country to live in. Whiskey punch flows like milk through the land; the loveliest girls abound, and seem instinctively to be drawn towards the right man. Also there are jooled crowns to be found by earnest seekers, with at least one large packing-case crammed with rare coins. The love-scenes are frequent and tempting. BRAM has an eye to scenery, and can describe it. He knows the Irish peasant, and reproduces his talk with a fidelity which almost suggests that he, too, is descended from one of the early kings, whereas, as everyone knows, he lives in London and adds grace and dignity to "the front" of the Lyceum on First Nights and others. He is perfectly overwhelming in his erudition in respect of the science of drainage, which, if all stories be true, he might find opportunity of turning to account in the every-day (or, rather, every-night) world of the theatre. In his novel he utilises it in the preliminaries of shifting a mighty bog, the last stages whereof are described in a chapter that, for sustained interest, recalls CHARLES READE's account of the breaking of the Sheffield Reservoir. The novel-reader will do well not to pass by The Snake's Pass. THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & CO.
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RED VERSUS BLACK.
(TWO VIEWS OF THE SAME PLACE, BY GENTLEMEN "WHO WRITE TO THE PAPERS.")
Opinion No. 1.—Monte Carlo! One of the most disgraceful places in Europe—a blot upon our civilisation. The gambling is productive of the greatest possible misery. It is an institution that should be held up to the execration of mankind. All the riffraff of the globe are attracted to this hideous spot. The place is like an upas-tree, under which everything noble and good languishes and dies! The form of Government is absolutely immoral. It is a scandal that rates, and taxes, and public improvements should be paid for out of the private purse of the Director. He could not afford it had he not made a fortune out of his ill-gotten gains! Anyone who has watched at the tables knows that the chances are absolutely unfair—that the Direction must win. Not that this matters much. It is the general immorality of the place that is so alarming. The place should be closed at once; and persons who have lost anything, say, during the last year, should have their money promptly returned to them. And I say this without any bias, although I did back Red, and Black came up ten times running!
P.S.—Just won a trifle. Not so sure that my pessimist view may not be modified.
Opinion No. 2.—Monte Carlo! Without exception, the loveliest spot in Europe. The so-called gambling is the cause of numberless blessings. It is an institution that should be held up to the admiration of mankind. All the aristocracy of the civilised world flock to it to indulge in a recreation to which only the greatly prejudiced can possibly take exception. The Government is benevolent to the last degree. In what other country are rates, taxes, and improvements paid for you? If the Director were not the best of men, how could this be done? The play itself is absolutely fair. And, with a system, and a sufficiency of capital, anyone is able to realise a large fortune in less than no time. Not that this absolute certainty should be taken into consideration. It is the general morality of the place that is so encouraging. The place should never close. And it would be a graceful thing if those who have laid in a store for their old age were to return a trifle, to be expended on some charity. And I say this without any bias, although I have backed Black ten times successfully.
P.S.—Just lost all I had. Not so sure that my optimist view is not open to rectification!
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BULL AND BULLION.
(ON GOLD, AFTER GOLDSMITH.)
When British Commerce stoops to folly, And finds too late that Bonds betray, What charm can soothe her melancholy, And the big rush for bullion stay?
To save herself from shameful ruin (Ask Monsieur LAUR!) her only chance Lies—full revenge for Waterloo!—in Big borrowings from generous France.
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Mr. Punch Among the Planets is the title of Mr. Punch's Christmas Number, vice Almanack superseded. Ask for this, and "see that you get it"!
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VOX STELLARUM.—The New Comet, November 19, Boston, U.S., suddenly appeared, and was heard to exclaim, "But, soft! I am observed!"
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(FRAGMENTS OF A MODERN "MARMION.")
"But DOUGLAS round him drew his cloak, Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:— * * * * * 'The hand of DOUGLAS is his own, And never shall in friendly grasp The hand of such as MARMION clasp.'" * * * * *
"The hand of such as MARMION!" Ay! Great Singer of the knightly lay, Thy tale of Flodden field Is darkened by unknightly stain. That slackened arm and burdened brain Of him found low among the slain, Constrained at last to yield To a mere "base marauder's lance;" He, firm of front and cold of glance, The dark, the dauntless MARMION.— The days of chivalry are gone, Dispraisers of the present say, Yet men arm still for party fray As fierce as foray old; And mail is donned, and steel is drawn, And champions challenging at dawn Ere night lie still and cold. Two champions here 'midst loud applause, Have led the lists in a joint cause On many a tourney morn, Have fought to vanward in the field Full many an hour, and, sternly steeled, One banner forward borne. And now—ah, well, as DOUGLAS old On MARMION looked sternly cold, So looks this Chieftain grey On his old comrade, though the fight Is forward now, and many a knight Is arming for the fray. As "the demeanour changed and cold Of DOUGLAS fretted MARMION bold," Has this old greyhaired Chieftain's chill Fretted that man of icy will? Who knows—or cares to know? At least he "has to learn ere long That constant mind, and hate of wrong" Than steely pride are yet more strong; That shame can strike a blow At comradeship more fatal far Than any chance of fateful war When faction howled with Cerberus throat, When falsehood struck a felon stroke, When forgery did its worst To pull its hated quarry down, To dim, disarm, degrade, discrown. Against the array accurst That ancient chief made gallant head, Dismayed not, nor disquieted At rancour's rude assault. He shared opprobrium undeserved, But not for that had courage swerved, Or loyalty made default. But now? The hand that reared hath razed; And as old ANGUS stood amazed At WILTON's shameful tale, So fealty here must bend the brow, And faith, though sorely tried, till now Surviving, faint and fail; As DOUGLAS round him drew his cloak, So, saddened by unknightly stroke, The ancient chief must draw; Nor in mere pharisaic scorn, But in the name of faith foresworn And honour's broken law.
"'Tis pity of him, too!" 'Twas so, The half-relenting ANGUS, low Spake in his snowy beard. "Bold can he speak, and fairly ride: I warrant him a warrior tried." A foeman to be feared, A leader to be trusted, seemed This dark, cold chief, and few had dreamed Of such strange severance. And any not ignoble eye In sorrow more than mockery Aside will gladly glance. 'Tis pity of it! Right or wrong, The Cause needs champions true as strong, And blameless as they're bold. "A sinful heart makes feeble hand," Cried MARMION, his "failing brand" Cursing with lips grown cold. Let vulgar venom triumph here, And hate, itself from shame not clear, Make haste to hurl the stone; A nobler foe will stand aside, And more in sorrow than in pride, Not hot to harry or deride, Like DOUGLAS in his halls abide, But keep his hand—his own!
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FROM A THEATRICAL CORRESPONDENT.—Sir,—I know a lot about London and N.B., but never till now did I know of the existence of 'ARRY in Scotland. The character is now represented, as I am informed, on the stage, by Mr. BEERBOHM TREE, who, in a play called Back, impersonates the MAC ARRY. Odd, this! for the McCOCKNIE. P.S.—One lives and learns. [*** If McCOCKNIE is to learn much, he will have to become a McMETHUSELAH. The piece to which he alludes is Called Back, by HUGH CONWAY and COMYNS CARR, and the part in it, excellently played by Mr. TREE, is Macari, an Italian.]
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PARS ABOUT PICTURES.
"The Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colours?" said young PAR. "Nonsense! why all the water is frozen now, and so they can't paint!" "Precisely," replied I; "and that's why it is a nice exhibition!" This so startled Young PAR that he slipped and fell. I turned into the Gallery in Pall Mall, and left him sitting on the cold hard flags outside. Inside pleasant enough. BIRKET FOSTER's "Island of Rum" very comforting—should like some hot. HERBERT MARSHALL—our own City MARSHALL—has gone further afield, to "Old Chelsea." Should now be called the Field MAR SHALL. MATTHEW HALE, in "Gathering Blackberries," is a hail fellow well met! "The Corso, Verona," by S.J. HODSON, shows that HODSON's choice is a good one. HENRY MOORE's sea-pieces—the more the merrier, say I. "Warkworth—Sunlit Shower," by A.W. HUNT: a walk worth taking when the hunt is up. "Holidays Past and Future," suggests wide subjects and open spaces. Why, then, is it painted by SMALLFIELD? "Wreck of the Halswell," is a terrible catastrophe. Can't be "All's Well." Possibly the painter, G.H. ANDREWS, means "all swell"—that seems a great deal more likely. ALBERT GOODWIN shows himself to be a good winner in the "Ponte Vecchio, Florence." DU MAURIER delights us with some clever Society sketches in pen and pencil. The veteran, Sir JOHN GILBERT, is as young, as dashing, as vigorous as ever. H.G. GLINDONI has two pictures full of humour and character. STACY MARKS' "Cockatoo" looks as if it had just flown in from the Zoo. "Au Sgarnach," by C.B. PHILLIP. Title difficult to understand. Landscape easy to comprehend. A close study of Nature, admirably painted. A wholesome Phillippic against namby-pamby prettiness. "On the Thames," by G.A. FRIPP, honestly painted, and no frippery about it. Miss CLARA MONTALBA has a large number of pictures of Venice—and Mr. RIDGE comes up and says he is the Keeper. What Keeper? He whispers, he is the Keeper of the Cold Out—What an oridginal remark!—and will I step into the Committee Room? I do, and remain there, and continue to be
Yours par-adoxically, OLD PAR.
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ROBERT AT THE HOPERA.
I was habel the other day to do BROWN a good turn by getting him engaged at won of our big Otels, so he kindly offerd to stand a supper, and then take me to the Hopera at Common Garden. We went to see Horfay.
It seems that wunce upon a time, ever so many thowsand years ago, before there was not no Lord Mares, nor no Shirryffs, nor not ewen no Aldermen, a Gent of the name of Horfay lived in Grease. He was the werry grandest Fiddler of his time, a regler JOEY KIM. Well, he married a werry bewtiful wife, of the name of Yourridisee, and they was both werry appy, till one day, as she was a having a run in a field, a norrid serpent bit her in her heel; so she died. Well, while poor Mr. Horfay is a telling us all about his trubbel, in comes a werry bewtiful young lady with a pair of most bewtiful wings on, and she werry kindly gives him a new sort of magic Fiddle, called, as I was told, A Liar! to go to—go down to you kno where, to git his wife back! Off he goes, and the neks sean shows us the werry plaice, all filled with savidges, and demons, and snakes, and things; and presently, when Mr. Horfay is seen a cumming down, all the demons and savidges runs at him to stop him; but he holds up the Liar, and begins for to sing, and most bewtifully too, tho' I didn't kno the tune; they all makes way for him, and he gos bang into lots of big flames, and so I werry naterally thort as how it was all over. But not a bit of it, for in the werry next sean we sees him with his Liar in a most lovly garden, all full of most lovly flowers and trees, and numbers of bewtiful ladies, a dancing and enjoying theirselves like fun, until his Liar leads him rite up to his wife, and then he raps harf his scarf round her, and off they gos together, both on 'em dowtless a longing for a reel nupshal kiss, but poor Mr. Horfay not a daring for to look at her, becoz if he does before he gets her home, she will be ded again direckly! Was there hever such a tanterlising case ever known! When she sings to him to give her one loving look, he sings to her to say he mustn't, until at larst she sets down on a nice cumferel-looking sofy, as appens for to be in the werry middel of the street, and says, werry artfully, as she carn't go not one step farther, when in course he turns round, and rushes up to her to have one fond embrace, and, thank goodness, they has it, and then she falls back dead!
Well, now, I knos as I'm ony a mere Hed Waiter, and, therefore, not xpected to have any werry fine feelings, like my betters has, but
I do declare that, when I saw this sad, sad end to all that grand amount of reel true Love, the tears run down my cheeks like rain, and I was a getting up to go away, when presently in came the lovly angel again, whose name I was told was Love, and told him that such love as his could conker Death itself; and she brort the pore wife to life again, and all hended, as all things shood end, jovial, and cumferal, and happy. What a wunderful thing is Music! It didn't seem at all strange to me that not one single word was spoke all the heavening, but ewery word sung, and in a forren tung, too, that I didn't hunderstand, the bewtiful story kep my atention fixt the hole time, and I warked home in the poring rain, werry thankful, and jest a leetle prowd, that in one thing, at least, I was not xacly like BROWN, who slept carm and content thro the hole of the larst hact.
* * * * *
THE FATE OF SALVATION ARMY GENERALS.
"Each General is, by a deed of appointment, executed and placed in safe custody with certain formalities, &c."—Gen. Booth's Letter to the Times, Nov. 27.
This is dreadful! Why should the Generals be executed? What have they done to deserve this cruel fate? And what is the use of placing them in safe custody after they have been executed? And what are the "certain formalities"? We pause for a reply to all these questions.
* * * * *
SEASONABLE.—CHRISTMAS IS COMING.—In the Morning Post, one day last week, appeared an announcement to the effect that Madame NOEL had left one residence in the West End for another in the same quarter. Odd this, just now. But go where she will, Le bon pere NOEL will be in London and the country on the 25th instant; so the best way is to prepare to receive Father Christmas.
* * * * *
SO-HO, THERE!—Some persons think that the proper place for "The Pelican" ought still to be—the wilderness.
* * * * *
NOVELTY.—Quartette for three players—"Whist! the Dumby Man!"
* * * * *
EDUCATIONAL WORK (BY C.S. P-RN-LL).—The Crammer's Guide to Politics.
* * * * *
* * * * *
A DRESS DRAMA.
(BY A PERPLEXED PLAYWRIGHT.)
I've got myself into a horrible mess, Of that there can be no manner of doubt, And my forehead is aching, because I've been making A desperate effort to get myself out, And I'm given away, so it seemeth to me, Like a threepenny vase with a pound of tea.
I promised an actress to write her a play, With herself, of course, in the leading part, With abundance of bathos paraded as pathos, And a gallery death of a broken heart— It's a capital plan, I find, to try To arrange a part where the audience cry.
So I quickly think of a beautiful plot, The interest ne'er for an instant flags; The sorrowful ending is almost heart-rending, As the heroine comes on in tatters and rags. It is better than aught I have thought of before, And will certainly run for a twelvemonth or more.
Yet, alas! for my prospect of glory and gain, She has strangled my play at its moment of birth, For now she has written to say she is smitten With the newest designs and creations of WORTH, And to quote her own words—"As a matter of fact, I've a couple of costumes for every act."
Then there follows a list of the things she has bought, Though I'm puzzled indeed as to what it may mean. She is painfully pat in her jargon of satin, Alpaca, nun's veiling, tulle, silk, grenadine, And she asks me to say if I honestly think She should die in pearl-grey, golden-brown, or shrimp-pink?
So here I am left in this pitiful plight. With nothing but dresses, what am I to do? For I haven't a notion what kind of emotion Is suited to coral or proper for blue; And if, when she faints, but they think she is dead, Old-gold or sea-green would be better than red.
Will crushed strawberry do for an afternoon call? For the evening would salmon or olive be right? May a charming young fellow embrace her in yellow? Must she sorrow in black? Must I wed her in white? Till, dazed and bewildered, my eyesight grows dim, And my head, throbbing wildly, commences to swim.
'Twere folly and madness to try any more, I know what I'll do—in a letter to-day I will just tell her plainly how utterly vainly I've striven and struggled to finish her play; And then—happy thought!—I will mildly suggest That she'll find for her purpose BUCHANAN the best.
I shall now write a play without dresses at all, A plan, which I'm sure will be perfectly new. Yet opposed to convention, why merely the mention Of a thing so immodest will startle a few; And, although it's a pity, I shrewdly suspect The Lord Chamberlain might deem it right to object.
Better still! from the French I will boldly convey What will be (in two senses) the talk of the town. You insist on a moral? Well, pray do not quarrel With the one that I now for your guidance lay down, That of excellent maxims this isn't the worst— Let the play, not the dresses, be settled the first!
* * * * *
SOMETHING IN A NAME.—What a happily appropriate name for the Chief Magistrate of so fashionable a watering-place as Brighton is Mr. SOPER! Whether he is soft SOPER, or Hard SOPER, or Scented SOPER, it matters not; it is only a pity that after his year of office, if the Brightonian Bathers can spare him, he should not be transferred to Windsor. Old Windsor SOPER—what a splendid title for the Mayor of the Royal town! No doubt he will show himself active and energetic during his Mayoralty, and that at Brighton henceforth a totally opposite meaning from the ordinary one will be given to the description of a speech as "a SOPER-ific." At east, it is 'oped so, for the sake of SOPER.
* * * * *
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Tuesday Night, November 25.—New Session opened to-day. Remarkable gathering of Members in the Lords to hear Queen's Speech read. Unusual excitement, though heroically restrained in presence of LORD CHANCELLOR, supported on Woolsack by four figures in red cloaks and cocked hats, borrowed for occasion from Madame Tussaud's. HALSBURY lost his temper once when Commission being read. Tussaud's man, sent down to work the figures—make them take off their cocked hats and nod upon cue being given by Reading Clerk—was on duty for first time; much interested in arrival of Commons at the Bar; instead of lying low behind Woolsack and minding his business, kept poking his head round to peer forth on scene. At last, LORD CHANCELLOR in hoarse whisper threatened to send him to Clock Tower if he didn't behave properly.
After this all went well; figures bringing their right elbow up with a jerk, took off their hats at precisely right moment, and replaced them without a hitch. They were labelled "Lord LATHOM," "Earl of COVENTRY," "Lord BROWNLOW," and "Lord KNUTSFORD." LORD CHANCELLOR sat in the middle. The ladies on floor of House watched them with much interest.
"Such dear old things," said one, when the figure labelled "Earl of COVENTRY" cleverly pretended to sneeze. "I wish they'd do it all over again; but I suppose the springs have run down."
In the Commons, everyone on the look out for PARNELL. What would he do? Where would he sit? What would he say? Or, would he come at all? Nobody knew. Some suspected last guess most probable. Towards Three o'Clock whisper went round that he was here. SARK had seen him crossing Lobby, with green spectacles and umbrella, and his hair died crimson. Was now in room with Irish Party, arranging about Leadership. Understood before House met that he was to retire from Leadership till fumes from Divorce Court had passed away. Then alliance between Home Rulers and Liberals would go on as before, and all would be well. Ministerialists downcast at this prospect; Liberals chirpy; a great difficulty avoided. Soon be in smooth water again.
Waiting in House for business to commence. SPEAKER away for cause that saddens everyone; COURTNEY to take the Chair at Four o'Clock; meeting of Irish Members still going forward. When business concluded, PARNELL would quietly walk out; they would take their places, and things would go on as if no one had ever heard of Eltham, of alarums and excursions, of exits by fire-escapes, and entrances by back doors.
Thinking of these things, I was standing by Sergeant-at-Arms' chair; heard a scuffling noise behind; looked round, and lo! there was PARNELL entering House by Distinguished Strangers' Gallery, descending by swarming down the end pillar, which supports Gallery from floor of House.
"Good gracious!" I cried. "What are you doing?"
"I'm catching the last post," said PARNELL, smiling blandly, as, reaching the floor, he unclasped arms and legs from the pillar and quietly walked over to his ordinary place as if this were the usual way of an Hon. Member approaching his seat.
Direful news rapidly spread. PARNELL not going to retire from Leadership! On contrary, meant to stay, ignoring little events brought to light in the Divorce Court. Ministerialists jubilant; Liberals depressed; the whole situation changed; prospects of Liberal supremacy, so certain yesterday, suddenly blighted; talk of Mr. G. retiring from the fray; spoke on Address just now, but no fight left in him; the Opposition wrung out like a damp cloth; even GEORGE CAMPBELL dumb, and Dr. CLARK indefinitely postponed Amendment long threatened. By ten o'clock the whole thing had flickered out. Address, which of late has taken three weeks to pass, agreed to in three hours.
Mr. G. went off as soon as OLD MORALITY had finished his modest speech. Walked with him across the Park to Carlton Terrace. Haven't seen him to speak to since Midlothian. What a change! Then elate, confident, energetic, tingling with life to his finger-ends; to-night shrunken, limp, despondent, almost heart-broken.
"Don't you think, Sir," I said, "that, after to-day's experience, Home Rule has a new terror? You remember how, seven or eight years ago, the Irish Members used to stand up in the House and personally vilify you. Then, when you came round to their side, the very same men beslabbered you with fulsome adulation. Now, when there is another parting of the ways, when you pit yourself, your authority, and your character, against their chosen Leader, they rudely turn their backs on you, and tell you to mind your own business. How'll it be, do you think, when you've finally served their purpose, and made possible the accomplishment of their aim? When you have made them Masters in Dublin, will they care any more for the views and prejudices of you and your Liberal Party than they have done to-day?"
"TOBY, dear boy," said Mr. G., "you're a young dog yet. When you come to my age, you'll have learned that there is no gratitude in politics. But we won't talk of it any more. I'm a little tired to-night."
So we walked in silence up the steps, by the Duke of YORK's Column.
Business done.—Address agreed to. Mr. P. flouts Mr. G.
Thursday.—House up at twenty minutes to Six, having got through rattling lot of business. Prince ARTHUR been sailing up and down floor, bringing in Land Bills and Railway Bills. HICKS-BEACH depressed with legacy of Tithes Bill.
"Cheer up, BEACH," says CRANBORNE, tugging at his moustache a la GRANDOLPH; "you may depend upon me. Keep your eye on your young friend, and he will pull you through."
"Thank you," said BEACH, with something more than his customary effusive manner.
JACKSON toying round the table, packing and unpacking papers, looking at his watch and the clock, vaguely whistling, and absently rubbing his hands.
"What's the matter?" I asked. "You seem out of sorts."
"Matter!" he cried. "Why, twenty minutes to Six is the matter, and here's all the work done and the House up. It's absolutely demoralising; portends something uncanny. On Tuesday we got through the Address in a single short sitting; yesterday, after meeting at noon, had to adjourn for three hours and a half; filled up remainder of time with bringing in Bills; To-day we have an Irish Land Bill brought in and read a First Time, after a Debate confined to SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE, and WILFRID LAWSON. Nothing like it seen for sixteen years. If this kind of thing goes on, you know, we'll get all the work of the Session done in three months, and perhaps done better than when it took nine. It's the suddenness that knocks me over, TOBY. They ought to be more considerate, and begin more gently."
Great commotion in Irish circles. Scene slightly shifted. It seems that Irish Members in re-electing PARNELL on Tuesday, thought he would relieve them of difficulty by forthwith resigning. Mr. P. doesn't take that view; thinks it would be rude, after having been unanimously elected, to appear to undervalue such remarkable, spontaneous act of confidence; doesn't care a rap for public opinion.
"J'y suis, et j'y reste," he says, smiling sweetly round the table, where his friends forlornly sit.
"Begorra!" says Mr. O'KEEF, indignantly, "it's bad enough to have him ruining us and the counthry, without using blasphaymious language."
Business done.—Everything on the paper.
Friday Night.—Louis JENNINGS made capital speech to-night on Motion challenging commutation of certain perpetual pensions. Seems, among other little jobs, we, the tax-payers of Great Britain, with Income-tax at sixpence in the pound, have been paying pension of L2,000 a year to descendant of the late ELLEN GWYNNE. Select Committee appointed by present Government to consider whole matter, recommended that no pension should be commuted at rate so high as twenty-seven years' purchase. JOKIM, generous with other people's money, flies in face of recommendation, and comfortably rounds off one or two of these little jobs with gratuity of twenty-seven years' purchase. Cheerful to hear this sort of thing denounced in breezy fashion from Conservative Benches. JENNINGS, amid loud cheers, hits straight out from the shoulder. WALTER FOSTER quite delighted. "Bless you, my child," he says, "you ought to belong to the Radical Party." Business done.—Agreed that, up to Christmas, Government shall have all the time.
* * * * *
CHRISTMAS CARDS.—"Here we are again!" as they come tumbling in, fresh from the hands of the publishers, HILDESHEIMER AND FAULKNER. More artistic than ever!
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A NEW BANK OF ENGLAND NOTE.—"The force o' this 'ere observation lies in the Barings of it."—Cap'en Cuttle adapted.
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PROBABLE PUBLICATION.—Correct to a Shade. (A book of ghostly counsel.) By the Author of Betrayed by a Shadow.
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WORLDLY-WISE MOTTO FOR THE WRANGLERS ABOUT "DARKEST AFRICA."—"Keep it Dark!"
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ANGLO-FRENCH MOTTO FOR A THOROUGHLY RAINY DAY.—"Pour Toujours."
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A JOURNALISTIC CITY.—Pressburg.
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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.