OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
November 8, 1890.
MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.
NO. V.—MIGNON'S MESS-ROOM.
(BY TOM RUM SUMMER, AUTHOR OF "MIGNON'S MA," "MIGNON'S HUB," "FOOTLE'S FATHER," "TOOTLE'S TOOTSIE," "UGLY TOM," "YOUR RICH RICHARD," "A BABY IN BARRACKS," "STUCK," "HOOP-LORE," "WENT FOR THAT PLEECEMAN," &C., &C., &C., &C., &C., &C., &C., &C.)
["This," writes the eminent Author, "is a real, true story of the life of soldiers and children. Soldiers are grand, noble fellows. They are so manly, and all smoke a great deal of tobacco. My drawl is the only genuine one. I could do a lot more of the same sort, but I charge extra for pathos. I'm a man.—T.R.S."]
"Three blind mice— See how they run." —Old Song,
The Officers of the Purple Dragoons were gathered together in their ante-room. It was a way they had. They were all there. Grand fellows, too, most of them—tall, broad-shouldered, and silky-haired, and as good as gold. That gets tiresome after a time, but everything can be set right with one downright rascally villain—a villain, mind you, that poor, weak women, know nothing about. GAVOR was that kind of man. Of course that was why he was to break his neck, and get smashed up generally. But I am anticipating, and a man should never anticipate. EMILY, for instance, never did. EMILY—Captain EMILY, of the Purple Dragoons—was the biggest fool in the Service. Everybody told him so; and EMILY, who had a trustful, loving nature, always believed what he was told.
"I nev-ah twry," he used to say—it was a difficult word to pronounce, but EMILY always stuck to it as only a soldier can. and got it out somehow—"I nev-ah twry to wremember things the wwrong way wround."
A roar of laughter greeted this sally. They all knew he meant "anticipate," but they all loved their EMILY far too well to set him right.
"'Pon my soul," he continued, "it's quite twrue. You fellows may wroawr wiv laughtewr if you like, but it's twrue, and you know it's twrne."
There was another explosion of what EMILY would have called "mewrwriment," at this, for it was well-known to be one of the gallant dragoon's most humorous efforts. A somewhat protracted silence followed. FOOTLES, however, took it in both hands, and broke it with no greater emotion than he would have shown if he had been called upon to charge a whole squadron of Leicestershire Bullfinches, or to command a Lord Mayor's escort on the 9th of November. Dear old FOOTLES! He wasn't clever, no Purple Dragoon could be, but he wasn't the biggest fool in the Service, like EMILY, and all the rest of them. Still he loved another's.
In fact, whenever a Purple Dragoon fell in love, the object of his affections immediately pretended to love someone else. Hard lines, but soldiers were born to suffer. It is so easy, so true, so usual to say, "there's another day to-morrow," but that never helped even a Purple Dragoon to worry through to-day any the quicker. Poor, brave, noble, drawling, manly, pipe-smoking fellows! On this particular occasion FOOTLES uttered only one word. It was short, and began with the fourth letter of the alphabet. But he may be pardoned, for some of the glowing embers from his magnificent briar-wood pipe had dropped on to his regulation overalls. The result was painful—to FOOTLES. All the others laughed as well as they could, with clays, meerschaums, briars, and asbestos pipes in their mouths. And through the thick cloud of scented smoke the mess-waiter came into the room, bearing in his hand a large registered letter, and coughing violently.
"The mouse ran up the clock." —Nursery Rhyme.
The waiter advanced slowly to FOOTLES, and handed him the letter. FOOTLES took it meditatively, and turned it over in both hands. The post-marks were illegible, and the envelope much crumpled. "Never mind," thought FOOTLES, to himself, "it will dry straight—it will dry straight." He always thought this twice, because it was one of his favourite phrases. At last he decided to open it. As he broke the seal a little cry was heard, and suddenly, before even EMILY had had time to say "I nev-ah!" a charming and beautifully dressed girl, of about fifteen summers, sprang lightly from the packet on to the mess-room floor, and kissed her pretty little hand to the astonished Dragoons.
"You're FOOTLES," she said, skipping up to the thunder-stricken owner of the name. "I know you very well. I'm going to be your daughter, and you're going to marry my mother. Oh, it's all right," she continued, as she observed FOOTLES press his right hand convulsively to the precise spot on his gorgeous mess-waistcoat under which he imagined his heart to be situated, "it's all right. Pa's going to be comfortably killed, and put out of the way, and then you'll marry darling Mamma. She'll be a thousand times more beautiful at thirty-three than she was at twenty-two, and ever so much more lovely at fifty-five than at thirty-three. So it's a good bargain, isn't it, EM?" This to EMILY, who appeared confused. She trotted up to him, and laid her soft blooming cheek against his blooming hard one. "Never mind, EM," she lisped, "everything is bound to come out right. I've settled it all"—this with a triumphant look on her baby-face—"with the author; such a splendid writer, none of your twaddling women-scribblers, but a real man, and a great friend of mine. I'm to marry you, EM. You don't know it, because you once loved NAOMI, who 'mawrwried the Wrevewrend SOLOMON'"—at this point most of the Purple Dragoons were rude enough to yawn openly. She paid no attention to them—"and now you love OLIVE, but she loves PARKACK, and he doesn't love her, so she has got to marry PARKOSS, whom she doesn't love. Their initials are the same, and everybody knows their caligraphy is exactly alike," she went on wearily, "so that's how the mistake arose. It's a bit far-fetched, but," and her arch smile as she said this would have melted a harder heart than Captain EMILY's, "we mustn't be too particular in a soldier's tale, you know."
As she concluded her remarks the door opened, and Colonel PURSER entered the room.
"Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker's man." —Old Ballad.
Colonel PURSER was a stout, plethoric man. He was five feet seven inches high, forty-five inches round the chest, fifty inches round the waist, and every inch of him was a soldier. He was, therefore, a host in himself. He gasped, and turned red, but, like a real soldier, at once grasped the situation. The Colonel was powerful, and the situation, in spite of all my pains, was not a strong one. The struggle was short.
"Pardon me," said the Colonel, when he had recovered his wind, "is your name MIGNON?"
"Yes," she replied, as the tears brimmed over in her lovely eyes, "it is. I am a simple soldier's child, but, oh, I can run so beautifully—through ever so many volumes, and lots of editions. In fact," she added, confidentially, "I don't see why I should stop at all, do you? EMILY must marry me. He can't marry OLIVE, because Dame Nature put in her eyes with a dirty finger. Ugh! I've got blue eyes."
"But," retorted the Colonel, quickly, "shall you never quarrel?"
"Oh yes," answered MIGNON, "there will come a rift in the hitherto perfect lute of our friendship (the rift's name will be DARKEY), but we shall manage to bridge it over—at least TOM RUM SUMMER says so." Here EMILY broke in. He could stand it no longer. "Dash it, you know, this is wewry extwraowrdinawry, wewry extwraowrdinawry indeed," he observed; "You'wre a most wremawrkable young woman, you know."
A shout of laughter followed this remark, and in the fog of tobacco-smoke Colonel PURSER could be dimly seen draining a magnum of champagne.
"Hey diddle, diddle." —Songs and Romances.
Everything fell out exactly as MIGNON prophesied. But if you think that you've come to the end of MIGNON, I can only say you're very much astray, or as EMILY, with his smooth silky voice, and his smoother silkier manners, would have said, "You'wre wewry much astwray." See my next dozen stories.
THE END. (Pro tem.)
* * * * *
AIR—"WAIT A LITTLE LONGER."
There's a good time coming, friends, That flood is flowing stronger; The reigning mode in failure ends, Wait a little longer! Fashion is ever on the wing, Arch-enemy of Beauty. Now, when we get a first-rate thing, To stick to it's our duty. But no, the whirling wheel must whirl, The zig-zag go zig-zagging; The wig to-day must crisply curl, That yesterday was bagging. But good things do come "bock agen." For banishment but stronger (With bonnets or with Grand Old Men), Wait a little longer!
From Eighty unto Eighty-Five These collars were the rage, friends; Didn't we keep the game alive, In spite of creeping age, friends? But oh, that horrid Eighty-Six! They deemed me fairly settled, As though just ferried o'er the Styx, But I was tougher mettled. I knew the fashion would return For just this size of collar. (And that's a lesson they'll soon learn, You bet your bottom dollar.) Bless you, I'm "popping up again," For four years' fighting stronger. Once more I'm here to fire the train— Wait a little longer!
I've told you all about BALFOUR, And his black Irish scandals; (With side-lights upon days of yore, My bachelor life, and candles.) I've touched on Disestablishment (I trust you'll not say thinly), On Eight Hours Bills a speech I've spent, And scarified M'KINLEY. And now, to wind up, I'll explain My favourite views on Fashion: Big Collars will come back again!!! 'Twill raise the Tories' passion. But, with these Collars, this Umbrella, I'd face them, though thrice stronger! Friends—trust once more your Grand Old Fella, And—wait a leetle longer!
* * * * *
A BOOTHIFUL IDEA!
Just finished my article on "Antediluvian Archaeology in its relation to Genesis and the Iliad," and now all that remains to do is to carry the rest of my books down to the new library, make catalogue, consider subjects for five more speeches, write thirty-six letters and postcards, and polish off the ten last clauses of the Home-Rule Bill. This idleness is oppressive. Not used to it. What shall I do?
Piles of correspondence by morning post! What can this be about? Ah! I remember now! Nineteenth Century just out, of course. Glad I thought of starting "Society of Universal Beneficence." Will keep me going after excitement of Midlothian. Wonder how many people will "bind themselves to give away a fixed proportion of their income,"—also what the proportion will be, if they do. Don't know if I should have thought of it, if it hadn't been for General BOOTH's book. Remarkable person, the General. Perhaps he'd order his Army to vote solid for Home Rule, if I offered him a place in my next Cabinet? Must sound him on the subject. Salvationists quite a power now. Can't cut Field-Marshal VON BOOTH up in a Magazine, so must cut him out instead!
Ha! Letter from LABOUCHERE, of all people. H—m! Says he's "glad to see I've started Universal Beneficence Society. Thought of doing so himself once." Congratulates me on turning my attention to "Social Reform." Says he thinks it's an "Ecclesent idea,"—he must mean "Excellent," surely!
"Inquirer"—(post-mark, Hatfield. Curious circumstance, rather)—writes to ask for details of the Society. "Prefers at present to remain anonymous," but an answer sent to "S., Hatfield House," will always find him! Meanwhile, encloses postal order for one pound ten shillings a "fixed proportion of his income," as he sees that I've "offered to make myself the careful recipient of any assents," by which he supposes that I mean cash. A little embarrassing!
Take stroll in Park to collect my thoughts. Find two leading Belfast linen-merchants busily gathering up sawdust, &c, round tree I felled yesterday. They explain that they've been "much interested in my novel idea of converting chips of wood into best cambric pocket-handkerchiefs," and think that it beats General BOOTH's notion of making children's toys out of old sardine-tins hollow. I should rather think it did! Still, have to confess that I'm not ready at present to "quote them my wholesale price for best oak-shavings delivered free on rail."
Telegram from—CHAMBERLAIN! Says he sees the new Society's one of "universal" beneficence, and supposes it includes him! Quite a mistake! Sends cheque for three pounds, and hopes I'll "keep a strict account of all sums received, and issue a report and balance-sheet shortly." Really, very injudicious of me to use word "universal"! Ought to have expressly excluded Liberal-Unionists (so-called), from my plan. That's where General BOOTH has advantage of me. He probably doesn't exclude anybody that wants to send him money. Perhaps, after all, he knows how to do this sort of thing better than I do.
Wire to him, and hand him over the money I've already received, also ask him to start a "universally beneficent" branch of Salvation Army. Receive reply, accepting my offer, in no time! General adds that he has a staff appointment in his Army waiting for me, and that he would like my good lady to become a Salvation Lass. Requires consideration and—hem—consultation!
* * * * *
* * * * *
AT THE PASTEL EXHIBITION.
IN THE ANTE-ROOM.
A Niece. Just one moment, Auntie, dear; do look and see what No. 295 is!
Her Aunt (with a Catalogue—and a conscience). Two hundred and ninety-five! Before we have even seen No. 1? No, my dear, no. Let us take things in their proper order—or not at all. (Perambulates the galleries for some minutes, refraining religiously from looking at anything but the numbers.) Ah, here it is—Number One! Now, ETHEL, I'm ready to tell you anything you please!
First Matter-of-Fact Person. Ah, here's another of the funny ones! [Is suddenly seized with depression.
Second M.-of-F.P. Y-yes. (Examines it gloomily.) What's it all about?
First M.-of-F.P. (blankly). Oh, well, it's a Pastel—I don't suppose it's meant to be about anything in particular, you know.
The Conscientious Aunt (before No. 129). "The Sprigged Frock"? Yes, that must be the one. I suppose those are meant for sprigs—but I can't make out the pattern. She might have made her hair a little tidier—such a bush! and I never do think blue and green go well together, myself.
[They come to a portrait of a charming lady in grey, by Mr. SOLOMON.
The Niece (with a sense of being on firm ground at last). Why, it's ELLEN TERRY! See if it isn't, Auntie.
The C.A. (referring to Catalogue).
"The leaves of Memory seemed to Make a mournful rustling."
—that's all it says about it.
The Niece (finding a certain vagueness in this as a description). Oh! But there are no leaves—unless it means the leaves in the book she's reading. Still I think it must be ELLEN TERRY; don't you?
The C.A. (cautiously.) Well, my dear, I always think it's as well not to be too positive about a portrait till you know who it was painted from.
[The Matter-of-Fact Persons have arrived at a Pastel representing several green and yellow ladies seated undraped around a fountain, with fiddles suspended to the branches above.
Second M.-of-F.P. "Marigolds," that's called. I don't see any though. [With a sense of being imposed upon.
First M.-of-F.P. I think I do—yes, those orange spots in the green. They're meant for Marigolds, but there aren't very many of them, are there? And why should they all be sitting on the grass like that? Enough to give them their deaths of cold!
Second M.-of-F.P. I expect they've been bathing.
First M.-of-F.P. They couldn't all bathe in that fountain, and then what do you make of their bringing out their violins?
[The other M.-of-F. Person making nothing of it, they pass on.
An Irritable Philistine. Nonsense, Sir, you can't admire them, don't tell me! Do you mean to say you ever saw all those blues, and greens, and yellows, in Nature, Sir?
His Companion. I mean to say that that is how Nature appears to an eye trained to see things in a true and not a merely conventional light.
The I.P.. Then all I can say is, that if things ever appeared to me as unconventionally as all that, I should go straight home and take a couple of liver pills, Sir. I should!
First Frivolous Old Lady. Here's another of them, my dear. It's no use, we've got to admire it, this is the kind of thing you and I must be educated up to in our old age!
Second F.O.L. It makes me feel as if I was on board a yacht, that's all I know—just look at the perspective in that room, all slanted up!
First F.O.L. That's your ignorance, my dear, it's quite the right perspective for a Pastel, it's our rooms that are all wrong—not these clever young gentlemen.
[They go about chuckling and poking old ladylike fun at all the more eccentric Pastels, and continue to enjoy themselves immensely.
First M.-of-F.P. (they have come to a Pastel depicting a young woman seated on the Crescent Moon, nursing an infant). H'm—very peculiar. I never saw Diana represented with a baby before—did you?
Second M.-of-F.P. No—(hopefully)—but perhaps it's intended for somebody else. But it's not the place I should choose to nurse an infant in. It doesn't look safe, and it can't be very comfortable.
[They go on into a smaller room, and come upon a sketch of a small child, with an immense red mouth, and no visible nose, eyes, or legs.
First M.-of-F.P. "Little Girl in Black"—what a very plain child, to be sure!
Second M.-of-F.P. What there is of it; but it looks to me as if the artist had spent so much time over the black that he forgot to put in the little girl—he's got her mouth, though.
First M.-of-F.P.. Well, if it was my child, I should insist upon having the poor little thing more finished than that—even if I had to pay extra for it.
[A Superior Person has entered the West Gallery, accompanied by a Responsive Lady, who has already grasped the fact that a taste for Pastels is the sure sign of a superior nature.
The R.L.. Isn't that portrait quite wonderful! Wouldn't you take it for an oil-painting?
The S.P.. One might—without some experience—which is just where it is so entirely wrong. A Pastel has no business to imitate the technique of any other medium.
The R.L. Oh, I think you are so right. Because, after all, it is only a Pastel, isn't it? and it oughtn't to pretend to be anything else. (She looks reproachfully at the too ambitious Pastel.) And it isn't as if it was successful, either—it won't bear being looked into at all closely.
The S.P. You should never look at a Pastel closely; they are meant to be seen from a distance.
The R.L. (brightly). Or else you miss the effect? I quite see. Now, I like this—(indicating a vague and streaky little picture)—don't you? That's what I call a real Pastel.
The S.P. (screwing up his eyes). H'm! Yes. Perhaps. Clever-ish. Suggestive.
The R.L. (shocked). Oh, do you think so? I don't see anything of that kind in it—at least, I don't think it can be intentional.
The S.P. The beauty of Art is to suggest, to give work for the imagination.
The R.L. (recovering herself). I know so exactly what you mean—just as one makes all sorts of things out of the patches of damp on an old ceiling?
The S.P. Hardly. I should define Damp as the product of Nature—not Art.
The R.L. Oh, yes; if you put it in that way, of course! I only meant it as an illustration—the two things are really as different as possible. (Changes the subject.) They don't seem to mind what coloured paper they use for Pastels, do they?
The S.P. (oracularly). It is—er—always advisable in Pastels to use a tone of paper to harmonise as nearly as possible with the particular tone you—er—want. Because, you see, as the colour doesn't always cover the whole of the paper, if the paper which shows through is different in tone, it—er—
The R.L. Won't match? I see. How clever! (She arrives at a highly eccentric composition, and ventures upon an independent opinion.) Now I can't say I care for that—there's so very little done to it, and what there is is so glaring and crude, don't you think? I call it stupid.
The S.P. I was just about to say that it is the cleverest thing in the Exhibition—from an artistic point of view. No special interest in it, but the scheme of colour very harmonious—and very decorative.
The R.L. Oh, isn't it? That's just the right word for it—it is so decorative! and I do like the scheme of colour. Yes, it's very clever. I quite feel that about it. (With a gush.) It is so nice looking at pictures with somebody who has exactly the same tastes as oneself. And I always was fond of pastilles!
A Pavement Pastellist (to a friend). Well, JIM, I dunno what you think, but I call it a shellin' clean chucked away, I do. I come in yere,—hearin' as all the subjicks was done in chorks, same as I do my own—I come in on the chance o' pickin' up a notion or two as might be useful to me in my perfession. But, Lor, they ain't got a ideer among 'em, that they ain't! They ain't took the measure of the popilar taste not by a nundred miles, they 'aven't. Why, I ain't seen a single thing as I'd reckincile it to my conscience to perduce before my public—there ain't 'ardly a droring in the 'ole bloomin' show as I'd be seen settin' down beyind! Put down some of these 'ere Pastellers to do a mouse a nibbling at a candle, or a battle in the Soudang, or a rat snifin' at a smashed hegg, and you'd soon see they was no good! Precious few coppers 'ud fall into their 'ats, I'll go bail! [Exit indignantly, as Scene closes.
* * * * *
In a recent trial for Breach of Promise, a letter was read from Defendant saying that "he must now get a monkey;" whereupon the "learned Under-Sheriff," as reported in the Daily Telegraph, exclaimed, "A Monkey! What the goodness does he mean?" Now, isn't that better than saying, "What the deuce?" Of course, no doubt the learned Under-Sheriff is suficiently learned to remember the old rhyme—
"There was an old man of Domingo Who'd a habit of swearing, 'By Jingo!' But a friend having come Who suggested 'By Gum!' He preferred it at once to 'By Jingo!'"
The goodness of the learned Under-Sheriff is worthy of all praise, and of general imitation.
* * * * *
SWEETS TO THE SWEET.—It is stated that one of the features of the Lord Mayor's Show this year is to be a Detachment of the Survivors of the Balaclava Charge. This is an excellent idea, that may be developed to almost any extent. Could we not have the Hero who had read every Novel that has been published during the last six months; the Brave Man who has been to every Dramatic Matinee since January; and the Scorner of Death, who has existed during an entire season in the odours (sweet, or otherwise) of Kensington and Tyburnia? The latter on the present occasion might immediately precede the Lord MAYOR Elect, for, by association of ideas, he would certainly serve as an excellent foil to Mr. Alderman SAVORY!
* * * * *
Monday.—Rentree of Miss MAGGIE MCINTYRE, appropriately enough as Margherita. "She's Macintyrely first-rate," says our blase young man, on being caught napping after the Opera, and interviewed on the spot, "but can't say much for the rest,"—except the rest he took himself.
Tuesday.—Our blase young man went to this, but as we only saw him for a moment passing in a cab, when he looked out, and bade us a "Good night," we can only suppose that it was "a good night" at the Opera. He writes to say that the performance of The Huguenots was excellent, GIULIA RAVOGLI being specially good, but the draughts too strong. What draughts?
Wednesday.—La Gioconda. A good performance all round. But the night specially memorable as being the first appearance of Miss GRACE DAMIAN on the stage of the Royal Italian Opera anywhere. It is a good omen for her that she appeared in Signor PONCHIELLI's Opera, the composer being a distant connection of the great ancient Italian family of the PONCINELLI, of which Mr. Punch is now the chief universal representative. It is a remarkable fact, too, showing the strong force of canine attachment, which centuries cannot obliterate, that the Libretto of La Gioconda, set to music by Signor PONCHIELLI (the "h" came in when the genuine liquid "n" was dropped) was written by TOBIA GORRIO. That an Opera, written by TOBIA, or TOBY, and composed by PUNCINELLO, should possess all the elements of success, goes without saying. We welcome Signor GALASSI (a sporting title, reminding us of Gay Lass), with MARIA PERI (who must appear in Il Paradiso), and GIULIA RAVOGLI. Her Grace of DAMIAN made a most successful debut as La Cieca, and was cheered to the echo. Thank Heaven, there isn't an echo in Covent Garden—but, if there had been, Echo would have repeated hospitably the "good cheer" a dozen times, as she does somewhere about Killarney. Signor LAGO stars "HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN" at the head of his bill, but it is only to say that Her Gracious MAJESTY has been graciously pleased to honour him by subscribing for the Royal Box during the present season, which is, in effect, saying that he has let the best box in the house for a Sovereign!
Thursday Night.—ALBANI as the unhappy Traviata. Big and enthusiastic House. Signor PADILLA, as the Elder Germont, excellent, and just contrived most gracefully to refuse the honour of an encore for his "Di Provenza." Since RONCONI, it is difficult to call to mind an artist equal histrionically to Signor PADILLA, who is so grave and impressive as that utter bore, "the Elder Germont," so gay and eccentric as Figaro, and so dashing and reckless as the unscrupulous Don Giovanni. That milksop, Germont Junior, known as Alfredo, was adequately played by Signor GIANNINI, whose name, were it spelt GIA-"NINNY," would partly describe the character he represented.
Friday Night.—Our blase young man writes to say, "I am suffering from effects of draughts at Opera. Think it must be some Operatic air which has given me cold. It's a gruel case for yours truly."
Saturday Night.—Occasion described as "popular;" and, consequently, Il Trovatore announced. A little old-fashioned, but what of that? VERDI just the composer "to keep your memory green." Alas! cold once more to the front. The blase one "still off duty, so no reliable report to hand." No doubt everything passed off pleasantly. Manrico obviously, when on the stage, more of a man than Germont Junior. The standing line has been, "large audience much pleased with the entertainment." Altogether a successful week.'
* * * * *
MEM. FOR VISITORS TO LONDON.—Don't forget to look in at the bird-pictures of STACEY MARKS, R.A. Stay, see Marks! See Marks! They are land-marks in the history of Modern Art.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.—NO. VI., "Thrums on the Auld String," next week.
* * * * *
TO ENGELBERG AND BACK.
BEING A FEW NOTES TAKEN EN ROUTE IN SEARCH OF A PERFECT CURE.
"Give him another month here, and he'll be giving you all the slip, and walking back to Calais on foot." Young JERRYMAN is commenting on the wonderful restoration that has taken place in the condition of the Dilapidated One, who has just been detected having a row on the lake, all by himself. Not that this is a very prodigious aquatic feat, seeing that three or four good strokes either way take you either into the bank, or on to the heels or tails of a couple of very ill-tempered, and irascible swans, who appear to think, and with some reason, that there's not too much waterway as it is, and resent the intrusion of the boat on their domain as a ridiculous superfluity. However, the effort is one that the Dilapidated One would not have ventured on at his arrival a month since, and as our time is up, and we are starting on our return journey home in about half-an-hour's time, we hail it as an indication that if he has not quite obtained the Perfect Cure, that his medical man promised him, as the result of a trip to this delightful spot, he is certainly not far off it.
But the best things must come to an end, and so we find ourselves at length, with much regret, taking our farewell of that excellent and capitally-conducted "Perfect Kurhaus" the Hotel Titlis. And this reminds me, that in justice to that establishment, I ought to state that some comments I made last week on German feeding in general, in no way were meant to refer to the table d'hote at the Hotel Titlis, which, served in a lofty and well-ventilated salon, lighted by electricity, to four hundred people daily, a capitally well-appointed meal, is one of the notable features of the place. The smoke-stifled children of the Fatherland, who shut every window they come across when they get a chance, though they would dearly like to, cannot carry their tricks on here. Sometimes, but not very often, they rally in force, and render the "Grosser Gesellschafts Saal" a sort of Tophet to the ordinary Briton; but the "Speise Saal", where smoking is "verboten," is happily beyond their reach. But the hour of departure has come, and quitting his comfortable establishment with much regret, we bid good-bye to the courteous Herr CATTANI, and with a crack of the whip we are off, dashing down the valley, and leaving Engelberg up on its heights as a pleasant dream behind us.
And what is Engelberg? There is, first and foremost, par excellence, the feature of the place—the Hotel Titlis; then the Monastery, with the Brethren of the Bell-rope; and the Street. This is unique. Set out with a Chalet here, a Swiss Pension there, a Chapel perched up on a little hill on one side, and a neatly new-made farmhouse stuck up on the other, with cattle (not omitting their dinner-bells) dotted about here and there in the bright green meadows that creep up to, and melt into, the pine-woods stretching from the base of the grand rugged snow-capped heights that tower in every direction above, you get thoroughly impressed with the idea that the whole place is nothing but a box of toys, set out for the season (probably by the Monks), who, you feel convinced, are only waiting for the departure of the last visitor, to get out the box, and carefully pack away Chalet, and Pension, Chapel and peasant for the winter months, with a view to keeping them fresh for production in the early summer of next year.
However, whatever its fate, Engelberg is left behind us, and we find ourselves tearing down the Practical Joking Engineers' Road at a break-neck pace, and hurrying on to Calais, once more to take our places on our steady old friend, the Calais-Douvres, that helps to deposit us finally at Charing Cross, where we are bound to admit that the air, whatever it is, is emphatically not the air of Engelberg. But everybody who has seen him, says the Dilapidated One has come back "twice the man he was". So we must take it that our journey has not been in vain.
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ADDITIONAL TITLE.—Sir EDWIN ARNOLD, after his brilliant letters in the D.T., worthy of The Light of the World, will be remembered in Japan as a "first-rate sort of Jap."
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WELLS, GARDNER, DARTON & Co. publish a very good selection of tales for young people. Among the best are Tom's Opinion, a boy whose ever readily-expressed opinion is made to change pretty often; and Halt! by the same author. The title is suggestive of military manoeuvres, but it's only a term for obeying quickly, which is hard to do sometimes. Gregory of the Foretop, Abbot's Cleeve, and Going for a Soldier, are three books containing several stories suitable to mere grown-up young people,—so the sooner they grow up the better for the sale of the books. They are all edited by J. ERSKINE CLARKE, M.A.
FREDERICK WARNE & CO. give us Young England's Nursery Tales, illustrated by CONSTANCE HASLEWOOD. Noah's Ark, by DARLBY DALE, which is not the Ark of the nursery, but a story of the Norfolk Broads. Perhaps "Norfolk Broads" would have suggested stories that could not be told in a drawing-room. As to Bits about Horses for Every Day, selected and illustrated by S. TURNER,—well, what would horses be without "bits?" These are not tit-bits. Might do for a Bridle gift.
The Love of a Lady, by Miss ANNIE THOMAS, otherwise Mrs. PENDER CUDLIP, like most of this authoress's novels, is full of interest. It is in the regulation three volumes, but appears as if it had wished to be in two, and would have been had not large type insisted upon the addition of a third tome. The love of a lady is transferred, during the course of the story, from an artist, who appears in the last chapter "in threadbare clothes, with broken, patched boots on his feet" (not on his Hands, bien entendu), to a "well-tailored" novelist. As the lady to whom "the love" originally belonged was "a popular illustrator," it was only natural that the question of appearances should play an important part in determining its ultimate destination.
Mr. W. OUTRAM TRISTRAM is never so much in his element as when he revels in gore and guilt. In Locusta, in one bulky volume, he tells of "the crime" and "the chastisement." The first is associated with "a house with curtained windows," "an Italian swordsman," "entombed," and "a maimed lion," and the second is developed in chapters headed, "The Hunter lets fly a Poisoned Shaft," "The Silver Dish of Tarts," "The First Victim Falls," "A Dreadful Accuser," and last, but not least, "The Vengeance is Crowned." As the story begins in 1612, and ends with the words, "HENRY, Prince of WALES, art thou not avenged?" it will be seen, that Mr. W. OUTRAM TRISTRAM has seized this opportunity to pleasantly illustrate an incident from English history.
My faithful "Co." has been revelling in the Land of Fancy. He expresses delight at two books called respectively, Dreams by French Firesides and English Fairy Tales. The first is supposed to have been written before Paris in 1870-71 by a German soldier who had turned his thoughts to his home and children in the far-off Fatherland. The second deals with British folk-lore, and is racy of the soil. Both works are full of capital illustrations. He has, moreover, read He Went for a Soldier, the WYNTER Annual of JOHN STRANGE of that ilk. But what had the soldier done, that "he" should "go for him"? The answer to this conundrum will be ascertained on reading the book. Nutshell Novels, by J. ASHBY STERRY, is also a volume that repays perusal. The Lazy Poet has turned his leisure to good account—the stories he tells are excellent.
Had the delightfully original Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass, never been written, I doubt much if we should ever have seen Maggie in Mythica, by F.B. DOVETON, who announces it apologetically, as "his first"—perhaps it maybe his "unique" fairy story,—and he adds, that he has "kept out of the beaten track as far as possible." "As far as possible" is good, for never was there such an example of the "sincerest flattery" than in this undeniable imitation of Alice in Wonderland. Some of the illustrations, by J. HARRINGTON WILSON, are not quite as weak as the text, while the best of them only serve to heighten our appreciation of "Our" Mr. TENNIEL's pictures in Alice, and its companion volume. But the very title, Maggie in Mythica, recalls at once Alice in Wonderland, but the lovers of Alice, who being attracted by this title may purchase this book under the impression that "it is the same concern," will soon find out their mistake, though it may perhaps amuse a very much younger generation who know not Alice, if such a generation exist, which muchly we beg to doubt. BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & Co.
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THE REAL GRIEVANCE OFFICE.
(BEFORE MR. COMMISSIONER PUNCH.)
AN OFFICER OF VOLUNTEERS INTRODUCED.
The Commissioner. Well, what can I do for you, Captain?
Officer of Volunteers. Hush, Sir! If you were heard to give me my military rank, you would be the cause of covering me with ridicule!
The Com. Ridicule! Are you not a Captain?
Off. Certainly, Sir. I hold Her Majesty's Commission, and am supposed to be one of the defenders of the country.
The Com. Then why should you not be credited with the rank to which you are entitled?
Off. Because, Sir, I am only a Captain of Volunteers.
The Com. But surely the British Army is composed entirely of Volunteers?
Off. That is the national boast, Sir. But then, you see, I receive no pay.
The Com. Which does not prevent you from working?
Off. On the contrary, Sir, nearly all my leisure is devoted to the study of what I may, perhaps, be permitted to call my supplementary profession.
The Com. What are your duties?
Off. Almost too numerous to enumerate. Before I received my Commission, I had to undertake to make myself proficient in everything appertaining to the rank to which I was appointed. This entailed a month's hard work (five or six hours a day in the barrack-square), at one of the Schools of Instruction.
The Com. Well, let us suppose that you have become duly qualified to command a company—what next?
Off. Having reached this point, I find myself called upon to work as hard as any Line officer on full pay. True, I have not (except when the battalion is camping out, or taking part in manoeuvres), to trouble myself with matters connected with the Commissariat, but in every other respect my position is exactly analogous to my brother officers in other branches of the QUEEN's Service. I have to attend numerous drills, and perform the duties, at stated intervals, of the Orderly Room. Besides this, I have to see that every parade is well attended by the men of my company. This entails, as you may imagine, time and trouble.
The Com. May I take it that it is less difficult to command Volunteers than Regulars?
Off. That is a matter of opinion. If a Volunteer officer can bring to bear his social position (for instance, should his men be his tenants, or in his employment), he may find the task of command an easy one. But should the battalion to which he belongs be composed of that large class of persons who consider "one man as good as another, and better," no little tact is required in keeping up discipline. Besides this, he starts at a disadvantage. Every retirement from the regiment means the loss of an earner of the capitation grant; and as the maintenance of a Volunteer corps is an exceedingly expensive matter, a "free and independent private" feels that if he withdraws, or is forced to withdraw, his officers are practically the pecuniary sufferers of the proceeding.
The Com. Am I to understand then that the cost of a battalion falls upon the commissioned rank?
Off. Almost entirely. The officers have generally to pay a heavy entrance fee, and subscription, and must, if they wish to be popular, contribute largely to prize funds, entertainments, and the cost of "marching out." Besides these charges they have to be particularly hospitable or benevolent (either word will do) to the companies to which they specially belong.
The Com. Well, certainly, it seems that an Officer of Volunteers has many responsibilities—what are his privileges?
Off. Only one is officially recognised—the right to be snubbed!
The Com. And the result?
Off. That there is scarcely a corps in the kingdom without vacancies. Men nowadays, fail to see the fun of all work and no pay, play, or anything else. This very week a meeting is being held at the Royal United Service Institution, to consider what can be done to advance the interests of the officers—another word for the interests of the whole force.
The Com. You have my sympathy, and if I can help you—
Off. Not another word, Sir. The good services of Mr. Punch for the last thirty years are appreciated by all of us, and we know we can rely upon him as confidently in the future as we have done with good reason in the past. [The Witness then retired.
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HOW IT'S DONE.
(A HANDBOOK TO HONESTY.)
NO. IV.—THE GRAND OLD (JOBBING) GARDENER.
SCENE—the Garden of a modest Suburban Villa. Present, Simple Citizen, with budding horticultural ambitions, and Jobbing Gardener, "highly recommended" for skill and low charges. The latter is a grizzled personage, very bowed as to back, and baggy as to breeches, but in his manner combining oracular "knowingness" and deferential plausibility in a remarkable degree.
Simple Citizen. You see SMUGGINS, things are a little bit in the rough here, at present.
Grand Old Gardener. Ah, you may well say that, Sir! Bin allowed to run to rack and ruin, this here pooty bit o' garding has. Want a lot o' clearing, scurryfunging, and topping and lopping, afore it'll look anythink like. But it's got the making of a puffeck parrydise in it, a puffeck parrydise it has—with my adwice.
S.C. Glad to hear you say so, SMUGGINS. Now what I propose is—
G.O.G. (laying a horny hand on S.C.'s coat-sleeve). If you'll ascuse me, Sir, I'll jest give yer my ideas. It'll save time. (Lays down artfully the lines of a plan involving radical alteration of paths, and lawns, and beds, shifting of shrubs, cutting down of trees, rooting up of trailers, and what he calls "toppin' an' loppin'" to a tremendous extent.) Then, Sir, you'll 'ave a bit o' garding as'll be the pride o' yer eye, and a tidy bit o' profit into the bargain, or I don't know my bizness. An' I oughter too, seeing as I wos 'ed gardener to the Dook of FITZ-FUZZ for close on twenty year, afore the rheumaticks took me like wot you see. Hu-a-a-h!!!
S.C. Yes; but, SMUGGINS, all these alterations will run into time and—expense, I'm afraid.
G.O.G. (confidentially). You leave that to me, Sir! The fust expense'll be the biggest, and a saving in the long run, take my word. And then you will 'ave a garding, you will, one as that 'ere muddled up bit o' greenery nex door won't be a patch on it, for all he's so proud of it.(Gets Simple Citizen into his clutches, and works him to his will.)
SCENE II.—The Same, six months later in the Season.
S.C. (returning from a fortnight's absence). What, SMUGGINS, still at it? And—eh—by Jove, what have you been up to? Why I hardly know the place again!
G.O.G. (complacently). I should 'ope not, Sir It is a bit different from when you last saw it, I flatter myself. Fact it is a garding, now. Then it wos a wildernidge!
S.C. Yes, but SMUGGINS, hang it all, you've cut almost every bit of greenery away!
G.O.G. (contemptuously). Greenery!!! And who wants greenery? Greenery ain't gardening, greenery ain't not by chorks. Any fool, even that cove nex door, can grow greenery!
S.C. Yes, but SMUGGINS, I don't like my limes to look like gouty posts, my branchy elms to show as bare as broom-sticks, and my fruit-trees to be trimmed into timber-screens!
G.O.G. (persuasively). No, Sir, cert'ny not. Fact is they'd bin let grow wild so long that cutting on 'em freely back wos the only way to save 'em. Jest wait till next year, Sir, and you'll see.
S.C. (doubtfully). Humph! Looks beastly now, anyhow. And you've altered all the paths, and nearly all the beds. I didn't tell you—
G.O.G. (emphatically). No, Sir, you didn't. You give me cart blarnch, you did, and I've done my level best. The Dook 'ad the same idees at first, but when he comes to know me, he says, says he, SMUGGINS, you're always right, he says. If you wos to run a reaping-machine through my horchids, or a traction-engine over my turf, I should know as you wos a-doing of the right thing—in the long run! Oh, you leave it to me, Sir, and you won't repent it. And—ahem—here's my little haccount, Sir,—hup to date.
[Presents dirty piece of blue paper, giving scanty details, and a spanking total. Simple Citizen pays, and tries to look pleasant.
_The Same, six months later. Present, Simple Citizen, and a Sympathetic Friend.
Sympathetic Friend. Well, well, it does look a waste, APPLEYARD.
Simple Citizen (purple). A waste! I should think it did. indeed! And to think of the pretty, green, bowery place it was when I took it! Unprofitable, perhaps, but pleasant. Now it is neither pleasant nor profitable.
S.F. And all through that rascally ravaging SMUGGINS?
S.C. (furiously). The scoundrel!—the sleek, insinuating, slaughtering scoundrel! He tore up my paths, he altered my beds, he mutilated my lawns, he stripped my trailers, he hacked my trees into bare hideousness, all to make work and money for himself and his partner in iniquity, that nefarious "florist" friend of his. I was a greenhorn, MUMPSON, a juggins, and I let them fool me to the top of my bent. He cut up the shrubbery into those horrible flat beds, in order that I might "grow my hown wegerbles," as he phrased it. He got money from me for the best and most expensive "ashleaf kidneys" and "Prooshian Blues," then planted cheap refuse from a small greengrocer's. My "ashleaf kidneys" turned out waxy marbles; my Prooshian Blues refused to pod; I spent—or rather he received—pounds upon my vinery and cucumber frames. My grape-bunches went mouldy, and I never got a cucumber more than six inches long. His "friend, the florist," did, no doubt. He stole my shrubs overnight, and sold 'em back to me next morning. He bled my maidservants for "beer and 'baccy." In fact, it was the same all round; he had, in every way, ruined my garden, run me up exorbitant bills, and then, when the day of detection was imminent—disappeared. If ever I catch sight of that mulberry nose of his, I shall be tempted to—
S.F. (soothingly). Ah, yes, just so. But let's hope that you'll never come across this particular Grand Old Gardener—or his like—again. (Waggishly.) By Jove, APPLEYARD, no wonder the world went wrong, seeing that "the first man" was—a Gardener!!!
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LEARNED BY ART.—"Beasts in Bond Street!" "Sheep in the Salon!" Messrs. DOWDESWELLS have taken the wind out of the sails of the Agricultural Hall, and Mr. DENOVAN ADAM has given us the opportunity of seeing a superb collection of Scottish Highland Cattle. Mountain, meadow, moss and moor have all been laid under contribution. The result is we can have the chance of studying these hornymental animals without being tossed, and staring at them without being gored. In the same gallery may be seen a series of pastels of Hampstead Heath, by Mr. HENRY MUHRMAN—a merman ought to be a sea-painter by rights, but no matter! The poet has told us that, "'Amsted am the place to ruralise on a summer's day!" The artist convinces us it is the place to "pastelise," and he seems to have pastelised to the tune of forty pictures very successfully.
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PARS ABOUT PICTURES.
PAR CI—PAR LA!
"A good par here, and a bad par there; here a par, and there a par, and everywhere a par!" Indeed, as an Irishman would say, it is the Judgment of Pars. Let us look in at the Institute, and see the Painters in Ile, and no doubt we shall be iley delighted. We go on the pre-private view day. Not that we are parsimonious, but we prefer to see the pictures without being scrouged.
"The Release" is a puzzler. We have taken stock of Mr. STOCK's picture, and fail to understand it. Is it LULU or ZAZEL? There seems to have been an explosion, and one person, lightly attired, is blown up; and another, more warmly clad, is blown down. They will both probably catch cold. Nothing hazy about Mr. HAYES's pictures. On the contrary, fresh and brilliant—notably, "A Grey Sunset." If you are subject to mal-de-mer, his seas will make you onaisy. The President, Sir JAMES LINTON, has only two small pictures, both cleverly painted, but each may be described as a little LINTON; so let us give him a little hint on the subject; like OLIVER TWIST, we ask for more. "Too Many Cooks," by BURTON BARBER—a Barber who knows how to dress hair. See the dogs' coats. Miss ETHEL WRIGHT is not very far wrong in her picture of a fair canoiste, and Mr. W.L. WYLLIE is both artful and wily in his rendering of a "A Sou' Wester." "An Old Harbour in Sussex" gives distinct evidence that LEWIS (C.J.) has been moved to the coast, and it seems to be a move in the right direction. In "The Red Canoe," Mr. ALFRED PARSONS delivers an eloquent sermon on the joys of life on the Thames.
The Royal Society of British Artists have fewer pictures than usual at their new show. Quality better than common. Mr. F. BRANGWYN's "Funeral at Sea" is excellent. Mr. R. MACHELL's "Lakshmi," not easy to understand. It might be "Lakshmi, or the Lost Bathing-dress." She might certainly say, "I lacks my costume de bain." "Durham"—good landscape by Mr. YGLESIAS. Mr. NELSON DAWSON in his "Sunset Breeze," gives us real sea and good seamanship. In "Trying it Over," Mr. LOMAX has tried it over to some purpose, and has produced a successful little picture of an enthusiastic flautist. Mr. G.F. WATTS sends "Lord Tennyson." But why in ermine? The Laureate is quite good enough for us without his Peer's robes. What did HARRY THE EIGHTH say concerning HOLBEIN? Anything more to see? Of course there is. But what is my text? "Pars about Pictures." And so I pass about. I mustn't linger, but remain
* * * * *
Sir Golf and Sir Tennis are fighting like mad— Now Sir Tennis is blown, and Sir Golf's right above him, And his face has a look that is weary and sad, As he hastily turns to the ladies, who love him, But the racket falls from him, he totters, and swirls, As he hears them cry, "Golf is the game for the girls!"
* * * * *
The girls crave for freedom, they cannot endure To be cramped up at Tennis in courts that are poky, And they're all of them certainly, perfectly sure That they'll never again touch "that horrible Croquet," Where it's quite on the cards that they play with Papa, And where all that goes on is surveyed by Mamma.
To Golf on the downs for the whole of the day Is "so awfully jolly," they keep on asserting, With a good-looking fellow to teach you the way, And to fill up the time with some innocent flirting, And it may be the maiden is wooed and is won, Ere the whole of the round is completed and done.
Henceforward, then, Golf is the game for the fair— At home, and abroad, or in pastures Colonial, And the shouts of the ladies will quite fill the air For the Links that will turn into bonds Matrimonial, And for husbands our daughters in future will seek With the powerful aid of the putter and cleek!
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CORRESPONDENCE SPECIAL.—KNOODEL, of Knoodel Court, writes to us:—"Sir,—I have recently come across the name 'bacteriologist.' Is it a new name for a person who writes ill of another behind his back? If so, the best remedy for the mischief he causes is a criminal action." [Our advice to KNOODEL is, "Consult a Solicitor."—ED.]
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"CARMEN UP TO DATE AT THE GAIETY."—"Approbation of Miss ALMA STANLEY is praise indeed." The correct quotation adapted a la fin du Siecle.
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Tuesday Morning.—Still in Edinburgh, but going home to-night. Just received telegram from Member for SARK. "Come home at once," he says; "the Peronospora Schleideniana has got at the onions."
Rather a shock to have news like this flashed upon one with that absence of deliberation that sometimes marks the telegraph service. But I cannot say I am surprised. I had, indeed, before leaving, called SARK's attention to what I recognised as the greyish mycelial threads of the fungus spreading upon the pipes and budding seed-heads. If SARK had steeped the seed in sulphate of copper before planting it, this wouldn't have happened. It's a pity, for I rather thought we would make something towards expenses out of that onion-bed. There's no more profitable crop than your pickling onions if well farmed. I know a man who made L150 an acre out of his onions. But then he wasn't hampered in his arrangements with a fellow like SARK.
Called on Mr. G. to say good-bye. He was sympathetic about the onion blight, but I could see that his mind was occupied with other and perhaps equally saddening thoughts.
"I suppose you have been made aware of the intelligence that has reached me through the usual sources?" he said. "I have had a pretty good time here. I have belaboured the Government from all points of attack. I think I managed pretty well with the Disestablishment Question. You don't think, TOBY," he said, with a passing look of deeper apprehension, "that I gave myself away at all on the matter? The worst of these fellows is that they keep a record of every word I say, a custom which seriously hampers one in his movements. What I should like, if it were permitted, would be to come quite fresh to a question year after year, and say upon it exactly what happened to be convenient, without having before my eyes the certainty that somebody would dig out what I said on the same subject last year, or five years ago."
I assured him that I thought not much could be made out of his remarks on Disestablishment Question. In fact it would be difficult to prove that he had said anything at all. Brightened up at this; but cloud again deepened over his mobile face.
"Yes, perhaps I've done pretty well," he said, with a sigh. "I have steered through a very difficult position without running ashore; I have had an immense popular reception; I have stirred up the constituency, and have, if I may say so, supplied with fresh oil the sacred lamp of Liberalism. Now, just when I was beginning in some modest measure to felicitate myself, there comes news of a crushing master-stroke devised by the Government. Though I do not disguise my discomfiture, I would not withhold my tribute of admiration at the brilliancy of the stroke, of the genius of its conception, and of the completeness with which it has been dealt. I have been here more than a week, and have delivered four speeches. The Government and their friends on the platform and in the press affect to sneer at my efforts and their influence. Still, they feel it is necessary to make a counter-demonstration, and to effectually undo whatever work I may have accomplished. What course do they adopt? Why, they send down ASHMEAD-BARTLETT. He was at Dalkeith last night, and, in a single speech, destroyed the effect of my great effort of Saturday. He will go to West Calder; he will come here; he will follow me step by step with relentless energy, tearing up, so to speak, the rails I have laid, and which I had hoped would have safely conducted the Liberal train into the Westminster station. Sic vos non vobis. It is cruel, it is crushing. If I had only foreseen it, I would have remained at Hawarden, and you might have averted the calamity that overshadows your Garden."
Quite distressed to see my venerated friend broken down. Bad for him to stop at home and brood over calamity. Best thing would be change of scene and thought. He had made engagement to-day to go to Pumpherston and inspect oil and candle works. Better keep it.
"No," said Mr. G., wearily, "oil comforts me not, nor candles either. Now, if it were pork, it would be different. Few things so interesting as pork. Not from a dietetic point of view, but regarded historically. As I mentioned to a Correspondent the other day, in the course of Homeric work I have examined into the use of pork by the ancients. A very curious subject. I shall make some references to it in the closing paper which I am writing for Good Words on the Old Testament. I am under the impression that the dangers which lurk beneath the integument of a leg (or sirloin) of pork, are specially connected with the heat of Southern climates."
Curious to see how rapidly his aspect changed as these thoughts pressed upon his mind. When I came in, he had been sitting in an arm-chair, with his head resting on his hand, and his brow painfully wrinkled. He looked quite old—at least seventy. Now he was up, walking about the room with springy stride, his mind actively engaged in framing theories on the use of pork by HOMER's contemporaries. If I could only keep him engaged, he would forget the blow that had descended upon him, and would regain his usual equanimity. A question as to whether he thought Achilles liked sage with his pork, cunningly led him on to a long disquisition, till, in a quarter of an hour, he was quite a changed man, and set out with great energy for Pumpherston.
Fine enthusiasm along the route. Immense reception from the working men. Splendid luncheon set out at one end of the shed where we were assembled; bill of fare included crude oil, sulphate of ammonia, various mineral oils, and candles made from paraffin. There was no wine, but plenty of ammonia-water. Manager presented Mrs. G. with bust in paraffin wax, which he said was Mr. G. Also handed her a packet of dips cunningly carved in the likeness of HERBERT, the wick combed out so as to represent a shock of hair. Mr. G. delighted; standing on a barrel of paraffin, he addressed the company in a luminous speech, tracing back the candle to the earliest times. That candles existed in the Mosaic era, he reminded them, was shown by the question which had puzzled succeeding ages—as to the precise locality in which the great Law-giver stood when the medium of illumination provided for his convenience was suddenly extinguished. This was a great hit; enthusiasm knew no bounds. Hospitality of the Pumpherston people really embarrassing; they filled our pockets with candles of all sizes and descriptions, and insisted upon each of us taking away a quart bottle of paraffin oil imperfectly corked.
Never shall I forget the radiant look of Mr. G. as he left the works loaded with candles and congratulations, whilst Mrs. G., walking by his side, carefully carried the bust in paraffin wax. He had evidently forgotten all about ASHMEAD-BARTLETT.
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DEATH-BALL; OR, A NEW NAME FOR IT.
Yesterday the celebrated Midland Spine-splitters met the Ribcracking Rovers at the prepared Ambulance Grounds recently opened in conjunction with the local County Hospital. A large staff of medical men, supplied with all the necessary surgical appliances, were in attendance. Play commenced effectively, the Rovers keeping the ball well before them, with only a few broken arms, a dislocated thigh, and a fractured jaw or two. Later, however, affairs moved more briskly, one of the Spine-splitter forwards getting the ball well down to goal; but, being met with "opposition," he was carried senseless from the field. A lively scrimmage followed, amid a general cracking of ribs and snapping of spines. The field now being covered with wounded, the Police interfered, and the play terminated in a draw.
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PIECE WITH HONOUR AT THE AVENUE.—The successful and pretty little play just produced at Mr. GEORGE ALEXANDER's theatre may be described as more "Shadow" than "Sunlight."
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A SAFE COURSE.—A German physician, Dr. KOCH, hopes to benefit humanity by his new cure for Consumption. At present he is reticent on the subject, and he won't speak till he is KOCH sure.
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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.