OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
November 29, 1890.
MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.
(Par DICK DODY, Auteur de "Le Nabab Boffin-Newcome," "Madame de Marneffe Jeune et Rawdon Crawley Commercant," "Trente Ans a prendre mon bien partout," "La Lie de mon Encrier," "Raclure des Petits Journaux," &c, &c.)
I.—LE HIGLIFE SCOLASTIQUE.
Le recteur regardait avec un air egrillard le museau chiffonne de la jolie Madame COPPERFIELD, qui desirait lui confier son petit garcon comme eleve dans l'institution la plus distinguee de tout Paris, une maison ou chaque enfant devait apporter dans sa petite malle trois couverts en vermeille, et un trousseau de six douzaines de chemises en batiste fine; une maison ou les extras, les vin d'oporto, les beef-tea, les sandwich, souvent depassaient la pension.
"Voyons, ma belle dame," dit le recteur, "comment s'appelle-t'il—ce petit mome—pardon—ce cher enfant?"
"DOMBEY, Monsieur, JONNIE DOMBEY. JONNIE sans l'H."
"Il est noble?"
"Mais, non, Monsieur. Son pere etait banquier, financier, que sais-je! Il faisait des affaires enormes—gigantesques! Il regardait les ROTHSCHILD comme de nouveaux venus—il—" et la gentille petite COPPERFIELD se perdait dans un labyrinthe de phrases, et se refugiait dans une enorme houppe a poudre-Sarah, qu'elle portait toujours dans son manchon.
"Mais il n'etait pas noble," dit le recteur, avec durete; "je regrette fort, Madame, de ne pouvoir accepter votre petit gosse—votre fils—comme eleve; mais cette institution scolastique est des plus fashionables de Paris. Si vous aviez une petite couronne de Marquise sur votre carte de visite, si vous etiez descendue d'une voiture blasonnee aux chevaux fringants, avec cocher en perruque spun-glass, mes bras de pere spirituel se seraient ouverts avec effusion pour accueillir cet enfant. Mais vous portez sur votre oarte un nom suspect, et vous etes arrivee en voiture de place. Ainsi avec la plus haute consideration je dois vous prier de prendre la peine de debarrasser le plancher. Adieu, mon petit bonhomme. Tu as l'air scrofuleux mais charmant."
Madame COPPERFIELD, qui etait entree comme Zephire partit comme Boree. Sa robe de soie faisait un frou-frou prodigieux dans le vestibule. Elle monta dans la voiture au cheval etique, aux coussins moisis, tirant le petit JONNIE avec une violence hysterique.
"Parceque tu n'est pas fils de Marquis on m'outrage," elle dit, fondant en larmes. "Et pourquoi n'est-tu pas fils de Marquis, petite brute? Moi, je ne sais pas."
Le petit DOMBEY sautait sur les genoux de sa mere; il la consolait, et quelques instants plus tard mere et fils sucaient emsemble un grand morceau de butter-scotch, pendant que la petite ecervelee considerait le costume qu'elle devait porter le soir au Bal Bullier.
II.—UN GYMNASE A TOUTES LES COULEURS.
MADAME COPPERFIELD ne se tenait pas pour vaincue sur cette question d'une pension pour le petit. Sa cuisiniere lui soufflait le nom d'un Monsieur SQUEERS qui habitait dans les environs de Clichy, et cette fois c'etait la cuisiniere qui conduisait le petit JONNNIE chez son alumnus; et la cuisiniere ne faisait pas de facons; c'etait a prendre ou a laisser.
Le bon SQUEERS, qui avait habite auparavant le Yorkshire, avait developpe une goutte de sang negre, et s'etait etabli avec la seconde Madame SQUEERS (soeur cadette de la respectable Madame MICAWBER) dans les environs de Clichy. Malheureusement il n'avait pas oublie son systeme anglais, et quoiqu'il faisait bien des raffinements sur les rudes et franches pratiques de Dotheboys, le systeme etait au fond le meme. Il lui fallait toujours sa victime—son SMIKE. A Dotheboys le SMIKE etait blanc, et s'attachait a NICHOLAS, le pion; a Clichy le SMIKE etait noir, mais c'etait toujours bien SMIKE, qui entrait dans la pension bien vetu, ses frais payes ponctuellement, et qui tombait bien bas, jusqu'a balayer le plancher, et a servir a table. Et plus tard le SMIKE noir devait mourir accable de cruautes, d'une mort encore plus larmoyante et plus terrible que la douce phthisie du SMIKE blanc. Il est mort dans la seconde maniere de DICKENS, plus travaillee, plus tendue que le style jeune et fort de NICKLEBY.
III.—CE QU'ON APPELLE UN BEAU-PERE.
Il n'y a pas loin du premier chapitre dans la vie de JONNIE jusqu'a l'entree de MURDSTONE—le MURDSTONE francais, dur, mais poete, ainsi plus frivole que le MURDSTONE anglais. Mais, puisque pour le petit ARRIE tout ce qu'il y a de penible dans l'histoire de son petit cousin anglais doit s'augmenter, le MURDSTONE francais a des traits des NERON et des CALIGULA. Naturellement le jeune DOMBEY, se souvenant des escapades du cousin, fait son petit voyage d'enfant—une fuite de la pension jusqu'a la maison maternelle ou la petite dame s'est installee en secondes noces avec MURDSTONE D'ARGENTON, le poete. Alors commencent l'education de l'enfant par le beau-pere, les larmes de la mere, le martyre du petit. Que de gifles; que de dictionnaires lances a la tete du chetif bambin!
"Faut qu'il aille quelque part gagner sa vie," dit MURDSTONE, qui s'enrageait de plus en plus, a cause de deux incommodites dans leur vie de famille, la premiere que lui, MURDSTONE, n'avait pas le genie d'ALFRED DE MUSSET, la seconde que l'enfant avait un rhume de cerveau incurable. "Envoyez-le laver les bouteilles chez un marchand de vins," proposait un ami de la maison.
"Mais, non, cela ne serait pas assez dur," repondit le poete. "Je suis fache qu'il n'y ait plus a Londres ce bon systeme de ramoneurs-garcons qu'on faisait bruler vifs quelquefois dans les cheminees. Faute de cela je le mettrai sur la voie ferree, a graisser les roues avec son petit pot de pommade jaune—et si par hasard il se faisait ecraser par un train—tant pis pour lui."
Il etait grand garcon maintenant, ce joli petit JONNIE du premier chapitre, et avant de partir pour se perdre entre les Parias du pot a graisse sur la ligne d'Est, il s'enhardit jusqu'a questionner sa mere sur un sujet qu'elle avait approche de temps en temps gentillement du bout des levres, en lui soufflant des idees romanesques, des visions de ducs espagnols et de millionnaires anglais.
"Dis done, p'tite Maman, comment s'appelait-il, mon pere?"
"Mais, mon cheri, naturellement, il s'appelait COPPERFIELD."
"Mais, Maman, tu me disais autrefois qu'il etait DOMBEY, un grand financier, riche a millions. Se peut-il que de DOMBEY je sois devenu COPPERFIELD?"
La pauvre inconsequente sanglotait avec vehemence—"Mon JONNIE, je te trompais. DOMBEY, le financier raide et hautain, n'a jamais existe dans la vie reelle. C'etait un mannequin en bois. Ton pere etait DICKENS, le grand romancier anglais. Il est mort avant ta naissance. Sans lui tu ne serais pas."
* * * * *
TO A CORRESPONDENT.—We do not think you are wise to have asked a large circle of distinguished French sporting friends to bring their rods over with a view to salmon-fishing in the Serpentine. Trout, there may be; no doubt, there are, but we have some doubts about salmon. Your suggestion that if you can't get a rise you might perhaps "bang away" at the waterfowl, certainly has a more promising sound, but we would advise you to commence your sport early, for fear of hitting the bathers. You will require the permission of the Duke of CAMBRIDGE. This you will get through any Park-keeper.
* * * * *
MR. MANTALINI ON THE LINCOLN CASE.—"And both were right, and neither wrong, upon my life and soul, O demmit!"—Nicholas Nickleby.
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[Illustration: THE FINAL TEST.
Bellona (to the "Times" and Mr. Stanhope). "I SUPPOSE, GENTLEMEN, YOU DON'T WANT TO WAIT FOR ME TO SETTLE THE QUESTION!"
TOMMY ATKINS, loquitur:—
Oh, where and wot am I? A spindle-shank'd stripling, As blue-gilled old Tory ex-Colonels protest? Or a 'ero, as pictured by young RUDYARD KIPLING, Six foot in my socks, forty-inch round the chest? I'm blowed if I know arter all the discussion. But if I'm the cove as they're going to trust, To give good account of yer Frenchy or Russian, At least they'd best give me a gun as won't bust. They've bin fighting this battle of barrels and breeches,— Ah yus, from the days of our poor old Brown Bess, And wot's the result as their 'speriments teaches? They'd better jest settle it sharp-like, I guess. If once of a rattlin' good rifle I'm owner, A thing as won't jack-up or jam, I don't care. But if they stand squabblin' till Missis BELLONER Puts in 'er appearance, there'll be a big scare. Ah, she's the true "Expert"; wuth fifty Committees! But then 'er decision means money—and blood. Wot price TOMMY ATKINS, then? Everyone pities His fate, when he's snuffed it, and pity's no good. Whether STANHOPE is right, or the Times, I ain't sayin'; But here Marm BELLONER gives both a big hint, As it's rayther a touch-and-go game they are playin', And TOMMY, he thinks she is right,—plain as print!]
* * * * *
"SIC ITUR AD ASTRA!"
Look out for Mr. Punch Among the Planets! He is a Star of the first magnitude, and the above is the title of his Christmas Number. It will issue from, to use astrological language, the House of BRADBURY-AGNEW-&-CO., although the sidereal and celestial subjects of the forthcoming Christmas Number are suggestive of the old days of "BRADBURY and Heavens."
* * * * *
My pipe, he tastes of turpentine— He is a penny pipe— A taste that every pipe of mine Has when he is not ripe. I bought him at a little shop Where they sell fruit and cheese, Tobacco, toys, and ginger-pop, And said, "A cheap pipe, please."
It was a maiden sold him me, And she was proud and cold; She'd briar pipes at two-and-three For them that squandered gold; She'd one that had a leather case. Item, a curly stem; And cheap pipes make her shrug her face, She had such scorn of them.
My pipe he tastes of cherry now; Gone, like the foam of wine, Gone, like the mist from mountain-brow, Gone is that turpentine. With the pure herb I feel it blend— That charm of cherry-wood, And smoke him six times straight on end, Because he is so good.
And yet my aunt gets up, and sniffs, And therewith wags her head; And warns me in between the whiffs That I shall soon be dead; And says excessive smoking must Debase and bring me low, She makes herself offensive, just Because she loves me so.
My pipe, he tastes of chocolate, And he has grown so dear so dear, That I get up at half-past eight And smoke till night is here. My aunt informs me that the smell Is ranker than before— I could not love her half so well Loved I not baccy more.
The female mind! The female mind! How beautiful it is! And yet it has to sit behind When it's compared with this— This taste that falls upon my pipe, That calms when woman clacks, In the sweet season when he's ripe, And just before he cracks.
* * * * *
THE MAGIC HORSE.
(A PARALLEL NOT TO BE PUSHED TOO FAR.)
["You are likewise to understand that MALAMBRUNO told me that, whenever fortune should direct me to the knight who was to be our deliverer, he would send him a steed—not like the vicious jades let out for hire, for it should be that very wooden horse upon which PETER of Provence carried off the fair MAGALONA.... MALAMBRUNO, by his art, has now got possession of him, and by this means posts about to every port of the world."
"Hoodwink thyself, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "and get up.... And supposing the success of the adventure should not be equal to our hopes, yet of the glory of so brave an attempt no malice can deprive us.... The whole company raised their voices at once, calling out, 'Speed you well, valorous Knight! heaven guide thee, undaunted Squire! Now you fly aloft!'"—Adventures of Don Quixote.]
Yes, "Speed you well, most valorous Knight! Heaven guide you!"—and sound sense inspire you! Small marvel that our land's black blight Of want and misery should fire you, Or any man whose heart will mourn More for wrecked lives than broken crockery. This picture is not shaped in scorn, Nor meant in mockery.
La Mancha's Knight, though brave, was blind, Squire Sancho just a trifle credulous, But our dear Don was nobly kind, And in the cause of suffering sedulous. If, mounting MALAMBRUNO's steed, He showed more sanguine than sagacious, He was not moved by huckster greed, Or pride edacious.
But "with what bridle is he led? And with what halter is he guided?" Asked Sancho, rubbing his clown's head. So they who have the least derided Your plan for floating "the submerged," Colossal, costly, wide extending, Feel some few questions may be urged, Without offending.
Benevolence the crupper mounts, His arms, like Sancho's, from behind fold; But it would seem, from all accounts, He, like Don Quixote's Squire, rides blindfold; It may be to most glorious ends, It may be to disastrous spillings. Sense fain would know before it spends Its hard-earned shillings.
If all were genuine that is Big, If all were sound that's well intended, Quixote's wild jaunt and Sancho's jig Would very differently have ended. Zeal boldly mounts the Magic Horse, Charity on behind holds tightly, Who will not wish them skill and force To guide it rightly?
But Human Life's a complex maze, And Nature's laws are most despotic. Vice is not killed by kindly craze. Nor suffering quelled by zeal Quixotic. Big questions the Big Scheme beset. Bid Pity think, and do not ask it Too blindly all its eggs to get In one huge basket.
Philanthropy, which facts will school, Is not a theme for mocking merriment. As MORLEY says, he is the fool Who never ventures bold experiment. Against the ills our State that shake, The spectre Vice, Want the pale ogress, Punch hopes the Magic Horse may make Practical progress.
* * * * *
* * * * *
RIGHT-DOING ON THE RIALTO;
OR, THE MODERN SHYLOCK.
(A SHORT SHAKESPEARIAN SEQUEL.)
Enter the MODERN SHYLOCK and BARINGO BROTHERS.
Shylock. Five Millions sterling for three months? And this You say, they will advance, if you can show Sufficient guarantee?
Baringo. Indeed 'tis so.
Shy. Well, well! But how comes it about that you Whose honoured name has so long held the sway Of all safe dealing, that men only asked, "If a BARINGO backed it," to take up Unquestioning the newest stock,—should thus With sudden flash flare up and set in blaze The whole commercial world?
Bar. Oh! press me not, Nor question me too closely! "Argentines!" That fatal word sums up the evil spell That in these latter luckless days has fallen Upon our swaying House.
Shy. I see your case! A cry for gold finds you all unprepared, Your capital locked up beyond the seas. You cannot realise.
Bar. Alas! too true! That is the situation!
Shy. Badly done! Ah! it has been a sorry piece of work, Your "management."
Bar. I bow my head to that! But you will lend your aid? You'll pull us through?
Shy. Listen, BARINGO. Many a time and oft In this English land men have rated me About my moneys and my usuries. But that is long ago; the times have changed, And feeling in more righteous channel set, Now turns itself in flood to sweep away The wrongs of vanished years. Nay, more than this. But yesterday one of my ancient race, Filled, with his Christian colleagues' heartiest will, The civic throne; and at this very hour A protest from all classes in the land From low and high, from peasant and from peer, Goes forth to plead with the despotic power That 'neath brute persecution's iron heel Would trample out my brethren's life. So, there, Which way I look I meet a greeting hand. So, not repeating here the vengeful plot Of the old Shylock of the play; without My pound of flesh or pound of anything,— But solely for the bond of brotherhood That should link loyal workers in one field, Count on my help in this your stress—for I Will be your guarantee!
Bar. You will! Oh, thanks For such blest help!
Shy. Such help is only right,— So say no more!
Bar. (aside.) Thank Heaven! That Ends our plight!
[Dances wild fandango of delight as Curtain descends.
* * * * *
Here are some regular sea-breezy Nautical stories for our youthful Islanders. From Middy to Admiral of the Fleet, by Dr. MACAULAY, which is a good long step; but this is the life of Commodore ANSON. Up North in a Whaler, by EDWARD A. RAND; a pleasant little trip for the Summer holidays—not inviting now—but try it later. Messrs. HUTCHINSON & Co. also publish "The Low-Back'd Car," by SAMUEL LOVER—an old Song in a fresh setting of charming Illustrations, by W. MAGRATH. "We don't kill a pig every day!" But just for once and away get My Prague Pig, by S. BARING GOULD. W. CLARK RUSSELL's Master Rockafellar's Voyage, recommended.
To the ambitious young entertainer, Magic at Home, translated by Professor HOFFMAN, will be a source of delight, and if some of the experiments should lead to slight temporary inconvenience, it will only help to pass a more cheerful evening than usual.
For drawing-room plays apply to GEORGE ROUTLEDGE, who publishes a set, one of which, Acting Charades and Proverbs, by ANNE BOWMAN, will be found very useful. A Bowman hits the mark.
Those who know their London au bout des angles, can tell you of many quaint spots of beauty, which may be seen when it is not quite enveloped in a cheerful fog, though several of the more ancient landmarks are fast vanishing; yet in Picturesque London, by PERCY FITZGERALD, M.A., F.S.A., will be found a happy collection of all the most taking parts, both in odd corners, and interesting structures. Charming illustrations by HUME, NISBET, and HERBERT RAILTON.
Christmas special numbers are not exactly up to date; they are turned out so early that by the time they ought to be seasonable, they are almost ancient history. The Ladies' Pictorial is filled with short stories by popular authors, which are well illustrated.
The earlier part of My Life, by SIDNEY COOPER, R.A., is very interesting, as must almost always be the story of the early career of such an ancient mariner as is this well-known animal-painter. There must be a halo of romance about recollections which no one living can or cares to contradict. When these biographical reminiscences come within the memory of middle-aged men, then this said memory doth run somewhat to the contrary of that of the veteran painter who put the cart before the horse, so to speak, in his artistic career, seeing that he commenced with carriages and ended with cows. As far as Mr. Punch is concerned, the Baron has already denied that DOUGLAS JERROLD was ever the Editor of Mr. P.'s paper; and Mr. COOPER's account of the Punch dinners must be taken with the contents of a well-filled salt-cellar, as Mr. SIDNEY COOPER was never present at any one of them. Inaccurately he attributes a repartee of THACKERAY's to DOUGLAS JERROLD; and the well-known retort of JERROLD to ALBERT SMITH he gives so incorrectly, that in this instance the Attic salt has lost its savour. There is too much soft-soapiness in his reminiscences of personal interviews with Royalty to please robust readers. Judging from the latter portion of the second volume, wherein, as I should take it, there is considerable "padding," it would seem that "the aged P." has already secured an excellent position among "the immortals." Hitherto it was generally supposed that of the arts Music alone would survive in saecula saeculorum; but perhaps, after all, Painting has a chance, and especially animal painting, even though the animals may be allegorical. With its pardonable defects of memory, and its occasional touch of Royal Windsor Livery complaint, the reminiscences of SIDNEY COOPER, R.A., are pleasant and, of the first volume especially be it said, interesting reading.
The Auld Scotch Songs, arranged by SINCLAIR DUNN. Well, DUNN, sing clair!
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & CO.
* * * * *
HOW IT'S DONE.
(A HANDBOOK TO HONESTY.)
NO. VI.—"AN ALARMING SACRIFICE"—SOMEWHERE!
SCENE I.—A Suburban Drawing-room, old-fashionedly furnished; brightly-bound books scattered about a solid, sombre-covered table; oil portraits of elderly, stiffly attitudinising couple on the walls; a general atmosphere of simple, pietistic propriety. Present, EDWIN and ANGELINA, a modest, but deeply-enamoured pair, shortly about to be married.
Edwin (after the regulation ceremonial). My dearest ANGELINA, I have something here which I think will greatly simplify the business of house-furnishing, that has so deeply occupied us lately.
ANGELINA (flushing tenderly). Oh, EDWIN, have you? How nice, dear! And what is it?
Edwin (eagerly). Quite providential, I call it. You know, dearest, I've saved three hundred pounds for the express purpose; and here is an advertisement, according to which, for about that sum, we can secure a complete fit-out for our little villa, which, I think, will exactly suit us. Quite an exceptional chance, as the advertiser says. A gentleman, lately arrived in this country from India, is unexpectedly compelled to return immediately. Consequently he is obliged to dispose at once of his lately-purchased house of furniture, at a great sacrifice. It is as good as new, in fact, has hardly been used at all; is elegant and substantial, and can be seen any day at Vamp Villa, Barnsbury, upon presentation of visiting-card. Suppose, dearest ANGY, we run over to-morrow afternoon, and have a look at it? Such a chance—in the very nick of time, too—may never occur again!
Angelina. Oh, EDWIN, how fortunate! Should it suit us, what a lot of trouble it will save!
Edwin. And money, too, darling, for the prices seem to be very low. I'm so glad you agree, dear.
Angelina (with effusion). Of course I do, EDWIN. And (with tender glance at one of the oil pictures) how delighted dear Mamma will be! [Osculation, appointment, and exit.
SCENE II.—Mysterious-looking Villa at Barnsbury, permeated by strong smell of French-polish and fusty straw. Large "House to Let" boards and posters prominently disposed. Present. EDWIN and ANGELINA, and a blandly loquacious person, in black broadcloth, with a big foolscap-paper Inventory, and a blunt-pointed pencil.
Loquacious Person (fluently). Why you see, Madam, Mr. PAWNEE LIVERLESS 'ad to leave for Bombay early yesterday mornin', and was therefore obliged to leave the sale of his furniture in our hands. But he is an old client of ours, Mr. LIVERLESS is, and he has given us carte blanche as regards the disposition of his effects. Only they must be sold at once. A retired Colonel at Notting Hill, who seemed very sweet on the bargain, promised me a decided answer by twelve o'clock to-day. It has not come, and I am free to negotiate with the next comer for the furniture as it stands, provided an immediate settlement can be arrived at. Wait I cannot, but in any other pertikler I shall be only too 'appy to meet your views.
Edwin. I see the furniture is quite new?
L.P. (with cheery candour). Well, no Sir, not quite. Oh, I'll not deceive you! It has been in use a few months, and, as you see, is none the worse for that. Better, if anything, being fully tested as to seasoning. I need 'ardly tell you, Sir, that new furniture nowadays is a ticklish thing to invest in. Such tricks, my dear Sir, such nefarious dodges and artful fakements! (Sighs.) But—(taking up a chair and banging it vigorously but adroitly on the floor)—this is stuff you can depend on, and 'll be better three years hence than it is to-day. This saddle-bag sweet, Madam, is simply luxurious, good enough for any doocal dinin'-room; the carpets throughout are as elegantly hesthetick in design, as they are substantial in fabric, whilst the—ahem! sleeping apartments, are perfect pickters of combined solidity and chaste elegance. I always say, that as a real gentleman is known by his linen, so the 'ome of a party of true taste may be tested by the bed-rooms. You'll excuse me, Madam—(smirks)—but such are my sentiments, not as a salesman, but as a family man.
[L.P. takes EDWIN and ANGELINA the round of the house, expatiating glowingly but discreetly as he goes, and ultimately effects sale of the "furniture as it stands" for a liberally proffered "ten-pun note off the advertised sum tottle."
SCENE III.—Interior of Greengage Villa. ANGELINA (now Mrs. CANOODLE) discovered in tears over the wreck of a "Saddlebag" Sofa, very shaky as to legs, and shabby as to "pile."
Angelina (sobbing). And to think that dear EDWIN should have spent his long savings on such wretched stuff as this! Oh, that talkative but treacherous tout at Vamp Villa! Why, 'tis only six months since we were married—(bohoo!)—and there's scarcely a thing in the house that's not either shaky, or shabby, or both!
Edwin (entering with a flushed face, and clenched fists). ANGY, my darling, don't waste your tears over that vile combination of unseasoned timber and devil's-dust. Rather pluck up a spirit and pitch into me, who was fool enough to be tricked by a plausible advertisement, a scheming vendor of shoddy furniture, a hired villa, a verbose villain, and the thrice-told tale of a mythical "Indian gentleman," an imaginary "emergency," and a purely supposititious "sacrifice." [Left lamenting.
* * * * *
Years ago, when BRITON RIVIERE painted his picture of "Daniel in the Lions' Den," which foppishly-speaking men would speak of as "Deniel in the Lions' Dan," public curiosity was aroused by the fact that DANIEL was facing the lions with his back to the spectators. Of course, in this instance, the public mind is not exercised by the problem which was put to the Showman by an inquiring small boy, in the memorable formula of inquiry, "Please, Sir, which is DANIEL, and which is the Lions?" as never, for one moment, could there have existed, in the densest brain, the smallest doubt as to the identity of the Hebrew Seer. Should the question now be put by an intending purchaser, Mr. WILLIAM AGNEW has only to give an adaptation of the historic reply, and say, "Whichever you like, my little dear; if you pay your money, you may take your choice."
Now in this grand picture there is no sort of doubt, "no possible doubt whatever," as to which is DANIEL and which are the Lions; but there must arise in the spectator's mind the question, Who was the painter's model for this figure of DANIEL? To this there can be but one answer, "the G.O.M." This is the painter's model for DANIEL. Here he stands looking up towards the opening and seeing daylight. His hands are tied by the bonds of a majority against him. As for the Lions they may be Irish Lions, who may be thinking of another grand old DAN, The Liberator, but who, once upon a time, in the good old Kilmainham Gaol days, would have fallen upon this G.O.M. and torn him in pieces; not so now. It is a grand picture.
* * * * *
"WHO'S YOUR HATTER?" OR, SIDE-LIGHTS ON ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.—Years ago, the great Ritual Case was that of Mr. BENNETT, of St. Barnabas, Pimlico. Now the most recent is the Archbishop's decision in the Lincoln Case. The two may be quoted henceforth as "'The Lincoln and Bennett Cases,' which cover a variety of heads."
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"HERE WE GO UP, UP, UP!"—Mr. Punch with Time visits the Heavenly Bodies. Special Stars engaged for Christmas Entertainment. Look out for Mr. Punch's Christmas Number, entitled Punch Among the Planets. For once Toby will be Sirius.
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SHORTLY TO APPEAR.—Companion Volume to Oceana. New Work, by C.S. P-RN-LL, entitled, O'Sheana.
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* * * * *
THE PARLIAMENTARY "ANCIENT MARINER."
(FRAGMENTS FROM THE LATEST RENDERING OF THE OLD RIME.)
[Sidenote: An Ancient Mariner meeteth Three Guests bidden to St. Stephen's and detaineth one.]
It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three. "By thy scant gray looks and glittering eye, Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?"
"St. Stephen's doors are open wide, My duty lies within; M.P.'s are met, the programme's set, May'st hear the Irish din."
He holds him with his sinewy hand, "There was a ship," quoth he. "Hold off! unhand me, Ancient One!" Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
[Sidenote: St. Stephen's Guest is spell-bound by the eye of the Grand Old Seafaring Man, and constrained to hear his tale.]
He holds him with his glittering eye— St. Stephen's Guest stands still, And listens, like Midlothian's mob. The Mariner hath his will.
St. Stephen's Guest stands like a stone. He cannot chuse but hear; And thus outspeaks that ancient man, The bright-eyed Mariner.
Our ship was cheered, the harbour cleared Merrily did we drop Below the Kirk, Tory ill-will Our vessel might not stop.
[Sidenote: The Mariner tells how his new-launched Craft, after some adverse gales, sailed northward, with a good wind, and fair weather.]
The sun arose, that erst had left Our Home-Rule argosy, And he shone bright, our course was right, The "flowing tide" ran free.
Higher and higher every day Our sun shone bright and clear— St. Stephen's Guest here beat his breast, For he heard the loud "Hear! Hear!"
[Sidenote: St. Stephen's Guest heareth that business is toward within; but the monologuising Mariner continueth his tale.]
The Speaker hath paced into the House, Toward his lofty place; Gleaming like gold before him goes The merry, massive Mace.
St. Stephen's Guest he beat his breast, Yet he could not chuse but hear; And thus spake on that ancient man, The garrulous Mariner.
[But behold the tale that was told unto St. Stephen's Guest by the Ancient Mariner is now known unto all men, from repeated and prolix narrations; the tale to wit of the Mariner's startling adventure in unsailed seas on board his suddenly launched Home Rule Argo; how that the Ancient Mariner shot the Oof Bird (that made the (financial) mare to go, and the (party) breeze to blow); how that his shipmates cried out against the Ancient Mariner for killing the bird of good luck, which lay the golden eggs, but how, when the fog cleared off, they justified the same, and thus made themselves accomplices in the act; how "the spell began to break;" how "the Mariner hath been cast into a trance, and the angelic power" (of speech) "causeth the vessel to drive northward faster than" (ordinary) human "life could endure"; how in the Mariner's opinion the Home Rule Argo yet "stoppeth the way," and until it hath free course must impede the fair navigation of the (political) ocean; and how, finally, he, the Ancient Mariner, is constrained to "pop up" and repeat this tale of change and chance unto the appointed persons.]
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Forthwith this tongue of mine was stirred To quenchless fluency, Which forced me to begin my tale, As now I tell it thee.
Since then, at an uncertain hour, This ecstasy returns; And till my thrice-told tale is through The heart within me burns.
I pass, like Puck, from land to land, I have strange power of speech; That moment that his face I see I know the man that must hear me, To him my tale I teach.
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What loud uproar bursts from that door! They're at it hotly there: Will they be silenced by the tale Told by the Mariner? Bim! Boom! There goes Big Ben's deep bell! The Speaker's in the Chair!
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THE DEATH PENALTY; OR, WHO'S TO BLAME?
SCENE—House of Commons, rather sparsely attended, it being the occasion of a statement on the needs of the Army to be made by the Secretary for War.
Secretary for War (continuing his speech). And so, Mr. SPEAKER, I trust that I have justified the demand I have made for so many millions for building Barracks, and conclusively proved that the Authorities responsible for our military efficiency are thoroughly alive to the necessity not only of safeguarding the lives, but of increasing the comfort, of our gallant defenders. (Cheers.)
SCENE—Celebrated London Barracks. Fire just broken out in top storey of Married Soldiers' Quarters, crowded with women and children. Soldiers rushing for ladders. Some children handed up through a trap-door, which is supposed to lead to roof. No exit on to roof available, and children being slowly smothered. Screams. Great excitement.
Non-Commissioned Officer. Ha! Fire in the "Rookery!" And it'll burn like paper, being old and rotten! Now, where's the fellow who ought to have the key of the hydrant? (Exit in search of him.)
Labourer employed at Barracks (entering hastily). Hullo! A fire! Where's that key of mine for the hydrants? Can't attend to that, however, as there's my wife and family to be saved! (Rushes out, and hydrants cannot be unlocked for ten minutes. When they are, they are found to be without water!)
Colonel Commanding the Battalion (just arrived on scene). No water! Well, of course there isn't! Hasn't the War Office ordered it to be turned off at night, spite of my protests? Tell the Fire-Brigade men to get water wherever they can!
[Water eventually got in roads several hundred yards from burning building.
Non-Com. Officer (directing two soldiers, who have gallantly rescued a couple of children that have been burning and suffocating under roof). Yes, take 'em off to the hospital! Poor little creatures—not much hope for them, I'm afraid! (To Colonel.) A bad business, Sir!
Colonel. Would have been worse if the men hadn't behaved so well, and turned themselves into amateur firemen. No thanks to the War Office that there aren't twenty-two deaths, instead of two. Why, only six months ago, I warned 'em that the place was "unfit for human habitation," and a regular death-trap in case of fire, with only one narrow wooden staircase to the whole block. I wrote that, "if a fire occurred at night, there must be many deaths." Yet nothing has been done.
Non-Com. Officer. Shocking! There's a talk that the place had been condemned by the War Office.
Colonel. Condemned, but not pulled down! I wonder who'll be condemned at the Inquest. Shouldn't be surprised if it were the War-Office Authorities themselves!
[And so they have been—and quite right too.
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THE MODERN HERO;
OR, HOW TO DISCOURAGE CRIME.
HENRY LARRIKIN, who was recently convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a nursemaid and infant on Shooter's Hill, is now confined in —— Gaol, and is reported to be in excellent spirits. He passes his time in illuminating texts, which he presents to the Governor and Warders, and some of which have been disposed of for enormous sums. A petition has been circulated, and extensively signed, praying for a remission of his sentence, on the ground of provocation, it having since transpired that the infant put out its tongue in passing. Several Jurymen have said, that had this fact been brought before them at the trial, they would have returned a very different verdict. Much sympathy is expressed with LARRIKIN, who is quite a young man. He expresses himself as sanguine of a reprieve.
CENTRAL NEWS TELEGRAM.—LATER INTELLIGENCE.
Monday.—LARRIKIN was informed this afternoon, by the Governor of the Gaol, that the HOME SECRETARY saw no grounds for interfering with the course of the Law, and that the sentence would consequently be carried out on Friday next. Two of the Warders, with whom LARRIKIN is a great favourite, on account of the affability and singular modesty of his demeanour, were deeply affected, but the prisoner himself bore the news with extraordinary fortitude and composure. His sole comment upon the intelligence was, that it was "just his blooming luck." By special favour of the Authorities he is allowed to see the comments of the Press upon his case, in which he takes the keenest interest. A statement that he had on one occasion been introduced to the nursemaid, through whom his career has been so tragically cut short, has caused him the deepest irritation. He wishes it to be distinctly understood that both she and her infant charge were absolute strangers to him.
Wednesday Morning.—LARRIKIN continues wonderfully calm. He is writing his Memoirs, which he has already disposed of to a Newspaper Syndicate for a handsome consideration. Those who have been privileged to see the manuscript report that it reveals traces of unsuspected literary talent, and is marked in places by a genial and genuine humour. LARRIKIN's great regret is that he will be unable to have an opportunity of perusing the press-notices and reviews of this his first essay in authorship, for which he expects a wide popularity.
FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.
Thursday.—To-day LARRIKIN received a visit from an old friend, who was visibly moved during the interview, in spite of the prisoner's efforts to console him. "There's nothing to snivel about, old man," he said repeatedly, with a tranquil smile. He then inquired if it was true that there were portraits of him in several of the papers, and was anxious to know if they were like him. He has executed his will, leaving the copyright of his manuscript, his sole assets, to his father, who has been in a comparatively humble position of life, but who will now be raised to a condition of affluence. The father has been interviewed, and stated to a reporter that he has been much gratified by the expressions of sympathy which have been showered upon his son from all sides. This morning a local florist sent LARRIKIN a beautiful wreath, in which the prisoner's initials and those of his victims were tastefully intertwined in violets. LARRIKIN was much touched, and his eyes filled with tears, which, however, he succeeded in repressing by a strong effort. His self-control and courage are the admiration of the officials, by whom he will be greatly missed. All day he has been busy packing up the furniture with which, by special permission, his little cell has been provided by his many admirers, and the interior has already lost much of its late dainty and cosy appearance. LARRIKIN has been whistling a good deal,—though, as the day wore on, the tunes he executed became of a less lively character. Towards evening, however, he recovered his ordinary high spirits, and even danced a "cellar-flap" for the entertainment of his Warders. A telegram has just been handed to him from an anonymous sender, who is understood to be a person of some eminence in bird-stuffing circles, which contained these words—"You are to be hung on my Aunt's silver-wedding day. Keep your pecker up." On reading this message. LARRIKIN came more near to breaking down than he has done hitherto. He has selected the clothes he is to wear on his last semi-public appearance; they consist of a plain black Angora three-button lounge coat, a purple velvet waistcoat, soft doeskin trousers, a lay-down striped collar and dickey, and a light-blue necktie with a glass pin. He has presented his only other jewellery—an oroide ring, set with Bristol diamonds—to the Warder who has been most attentive and devoted to him during his stay in gaol. He is said to have stated that he freely forgave the infant whose insulting conduct provoked his outburst, as he did the nursemaid for not restraining her charge's vivacity. This intimation, at his express desire, will be conveyed to the parents of the deceased, and will doubtless afford them the highest consolation.
Thursday Night, Later.—LARRIKIN is sleeping peacefully. His features—refined by the mental anxiety, and the almost monastic seclusion to which he has been lately subjected—are extremely pleasing, and even handsome, set-off as they are by the clean collar which he has put on in anticipation of his approaching doom. Before sinking into childlike slumber, he listened with evident pleasure to a banjo which was being played outside a public-house in the vicinity of the gaol. The banjoist is now being interviewed, and believes that the air he must have been performing at the time was "The Lost Chord." The scaffold on which the unfortunate LARRIKIN is to expiate his imprudent act is now being erected, but the workmen's hammers have been considerately covered with felt to avoid disturbing the slumberer.
Friday Morning, 9 A.M.—All is now over. The prisoner rose early and made a hearty breakfast, and plainly enjoyed the cigar which he smoked afterwards with his friend the Governor, who seemed to regard the entrance of the executioner as an untimely interruption to the conversation. "You'll have to wait a bit for the rest of that story, Governor," was LARRIKIN's light-hearted comment. The unhappy man then—(Details follow which we prefer to leave to the reader's imagination—he will find them all in the very next special description of such a scene). LARRIKIN was most anxious that it should be widely known that, in his own words, "he was true to himself and the public, and game to the last."
Several reporters were present in the prison-yard, and also a number of persons of distinction, who were only admitted as a great favour. It is said that the prison Authorities were compelled to disappoint thousands who had applied for permission to view the last sad scene.
LARRIKIN's melancholy end will doubtless operate as a warning and an example to many romantic youths, who are only too easily led away by the morbid desire for notoriety, which is so prevalent nowadays, and which is so difficult either to account for, or discourage.—(Special Descriptive Report.)
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IN OUR GARDEN.
Monday, November 24.
Charmed to have a visit from OLD MORALITY to-day. Most kind of him to find time to run down, seeing all he has on hand. But he's a really good fellow, of the kind who in all circumstances find time to do a friendly thing. Always from the first taken a friendly interest in our little experiment. He is, indeed, indirectly personally responsible for its undertaking. If I hadn't come across him playing leapfrog before dinner with AKERS—DOUGLAS and JACKSON, as mentioned some weeks ago, SARK and I would never have tried this way of passing a Recess.
Hadn't heard OLD MORALITY was going to look in. Expect he wasn't sure he could get away from Cabinet Council, and so didn't write. When I came upon him he was standing absorbed in contemplation of ARPACHSHAD. ARPACHSHAD, himself, so engrossed in problem occupying his mind, that he did not notice our visitor. Had started yesterday cutting grass on lawn with machine. Getting on pretty well with it till, this morning, wind rose, blowing half a gale from Westward. ARPACHSHAD discovered that, starting with machine from the Westward, he, with wind blowing astern, got on capitally; but coming back, with wind ahead, there was decided addition to labour of propelling machine. When OLD MORALITY arrived, ARPACHSHAD had halted midway across the lawn, and was looking Westward with air of profound and troubled cogitation.
"I know what he's thinking of," said OLD MORALITY, whose Parliamentary experience has made him an adept at thought-reading; "he's wondering if it's possible to mow the lawn all from the Westward, so that he would have the wind behind him throughout the operation."
No doubt OLD MORALITY had fathomed depth of ARPACHSHAD's meditations. Pretty to see his manoeuvring: Went down full-sail with assistance of favouring gale; tried to tack back, bearing away to the North; when he'd got a little way, slewed round to the West, going off before the wind to edge of lawn. Finally borne in upon him that the position was inexorable. He couldn't go with the wind all the time; must retrace his steps; by tacking was really covering more ground than need be; was, in fact, doing more work than he had intended. Shocked at this discovery proceeded to follow ordinary course. Presently catching sight of solitary leaf careering down walk, fetched broom, and tenderly tickled the gravel in pursuit of the leaf.
"There is," SARK sharply observed, "nothing ARPACHSHAD enjoys more than dusting the walk with a broom. It is a process that combines the maximum of appearance of hard work with the minimum of exertion."
OLD MORALITY pretty lively in anticipation of Session, which opens to-morrow. Always inclined to take sanguine view of situation. Doesn't vary now. "Oh, you leave it to us, TOBY, dear boy." he said, when I expressed hope that he would not risk his precious life and health by overdoing it. "We've got a splendid programme, and mean to pull through every Bill. Didn't do much last year, it is true: but don't you see the advantage of that? If we'd passed all our Bills last Session, must have arranged a new programme this year, involving considerable labour. As it is we turn a handle, and there are all the old things once more; homely and friendly; as the poet says, 'All, all, are come, the old familiar faces.' There's the Irish Local Government Bill, the Tithes Bill, Employers' Liability, and a troop of others. All been brought in before; everybody knows about them; if we don't pass them this Session they must come up again next."
"Ha!" said SARK; "so there is to be a next Session."
"Certainly," said OLD MORALITY—"and we would have another, if we could. In fact, I'm not quite sure whether it may not be managed. We are always suspending Standing Orders, of one kind or another. It is a Standing Order of the Constitution that no Parliament shall sit longer than seven years. Very good—in an ordinary way, excellent; though, perhaps, a little too liberal in its arrangements when Mr. G. is in power. But as you, TOBY, may, in earlier years, diligently striving after improvement in caligraphy, have had occasion to note, Circumstances alter Cases. Here we are, a contented Government, with a Parliamentary majority always to be relied upon. Why disturb an ordered state of affairs, and plunge the country into the turmoil and expense of a General Election? Why not bring in a short Bill to suspend the Septennial Act, and let the present Parliament go on sitting indefinitely? Why should the Long Parliament remain a monopoly of the Seventeenth Century? I do not mind telling you (this, of course, in confidence) that we have talked the matter over in the Cabinet. It was the MARKISS who first started it; and, though one or two objections have been raised, the idea is rather growing upon us, and I should not wonder if it came to something. You will find no mention of it in the Queen's Speech—but that is neither there nor here."
"I have noticed," said SARK, "that of late it has happened that Bills mentioned in the Queen's Speech come to nothing, whilst the Session is largely taken up with discussion of Bills which find no place in that catalogue. Last year, for example, JOKIM's Compensation Bill wasn't mentioned in the Queen's Speech; and yet it filled a large part in the programme of the Session."
"Ah," said OLD MORALITY, changing the subject, "I see ARPACHSHAD has nearly come up with that leaf. He'll be going to his dinner now, I suppose, and I think I must be off. Shall see you at the House to-morrow. Sorry for you to break up the associations of your rural life; but that only temporary."
Saw OLD MORALITY off at the station. Came back to pack up our spade and hoe, and leave some general instructions with ARPACHSHAD. He seems much touched at the approaching separation. Quite unable to continue the lawn-mowing. Followed us about with his jack-knife open, clipping here and there a dead stem, so as to keep up an appearance of incessant labour.
"Ours is only a change of occupation, ARPACHSHAD," said SARK. "We cease to labour here, but we carry on our work in another field. We go to town, leaving, as the Poet GRAY might have said, the garden to solitude and you."
"Excuse me, Gents," said ARPACHSHAD. a look of anxiety crossing his mobile face, "but you can't leave it to me altogether. I could manage well enough when you were here, helpin' and workin'. But, when you're gone, I'll have to have at least one extry man." SARK pleased at this testimony to value of our assistance; but it really means that ARPACHSHAD intends to do less than ever, running us into the expense of a second gardener.
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PARS ABOUT PICTURES.
Arrive at Fine Art Society's Place, and there look at HOKUSAI's drawings and engravings. Who was HOKUSAI? Why, don't you know? He was our own LIKA-JOKO's great-grandfather. "Great-grandfather was a most wonderful man, There's none of 'em does what great-grandfather can," except LIKA JOKO, of course. Obliged to say this, because I know LIKA JOKO goes about with a Daimio's two-handed sword, and he would think nothing of giving me the cut direct. But to return to HOKUSAI—sounds like sneezing in a Dutch dialect, doesn't it?—his drawings are full of originality and humour; he was possessed of wondrous versatility and great industry. He began to draw at six, and continued till he was well-nigh ninety. Were he flourishing now, he might illustrate the lucubrations of
Yours par-tially, OLD PAR.
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"UP ABOVE THE WORLD SO HIGH!"—See Mr. Punch Among the Planets—his Christmas Number. In spite of its title, it is not "over the heads of the People." Look out below!
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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.