Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., October 25, 1890
Author: Various
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VOL. 99.

October 25, 1890.




[On the paper in which the MS. of this novel was wrapped, the following note was written in a bold feminine hand:—"This is a highly religious story. GEORGE ELIOT was unable to write properly about religion. The novel is certain to be well reviewed. It is calculated to adorn the study-table of a Bishop. The L1000 prize must be handed over at once to the Institute which is to be founded to encourage new religions in the alleys of St. Pancras.—H.J.W.P."]


It was evening—evening in Oxford. There are evenings in other places occasionally. Cambridge sometimes puts forward weak imitations. But, on the whole, there are no evenings which have so much of the true, inward, mystic spirit as Oxford evenings. A solemn hush broods over the grey quadrangles, and this, too, in spite of the happy laughter of the undergraduates playing touch last on the grass-plots, and leaping, like a merry army of marsh-dwellers, each over the back of the other, on their way to the deeply impressive services of their respective college chapels. Inside, the organs were pealing majestically, in response to the deft fingers of many highly respectable musicians, and all the proud traditions, the legendary struggles, the well-loved examinations, the affectionate memories of generations of proctorial officers, the innocent rustications, the warning appeals of authoritative Deans—all these seemed gathered together into one last loud trumpet-call, as a tall, impressionable youth, carrying with him a spasm of feeling, a Celtic temperament, a moved, flashing look, and a surplice many sizes too large for him, dashed with a kind of quivering, breathless sigh, into the chapel of St. Boniface's just as the porter was about to close the door. This was ROBERT, or, as his friends lovingly called him, BOB SILLIMERE. His mother had been an Irish lady, full of the best Irish humour; after a short trial, she was, however, found to be a superfluous character, and as she began to develop differences with CATHERINE, she caught an acute inflammation of the lungs, and died after a few days, in the eleventh chapter.

BOB sat still awhile, his agitation soothed by the comforting sense of the oaken seat beneath him. At school he had been called by his school-fellows "the Knitting-needle," a remarkable example of the well-known fondness of boys for sharp, short nicknames; but this did not trouble him now. He and his eagerness, his boundless curiosity, and his lovable mistakes, were now part and parcel of the new life of Oxford—new to him, but old as the ages, that, with their rhythmic recurrent flow, like the pulse of—[Two pages of fancy writing are here omitted. ED.] BRIGHAM and BLACK were in chapel, too. They were Dons, older than BOB, but his intimate friends. They had but little belief, but BLACK often preached, and BRIGHAM held undecided views on life and matrimony, having been brought up in the cramped atmosphere of a middle-class parlour. At Oxford, the two took pupils, and helped to shape BOB's life. Once BRIGHAM had pretended, as an act or pure benevolence, to be a Pro-Proctor, but as he had a sardonic scorn, and a face which could become a marble mask, the Vice-Chancellor called upon him to resign his position, and he never afterwards repeated the experiment.


One evening BOB was wandering dreamily on the banks of the Upper River. He sat down, and thought deeply. Opposite to him was a wide green expanse dotted with white patches of geese. There and then, by the gliding river, with a mass of reeds and a few poplars to fill in the landscape, he determined to become a clergyman. How strange that he should never have thought of this before; how sudden it was; how wonderful! But the die was cast; alea jacta est, as he had read yesterday in an early edition of St. Augustine; and, when BOB rose, there was a new brightness in his eye, and a fresh springiness in his steps. And at that moment the deep bell of St. Mary's—[Three pages omitted. ED.]


And thus BOB was ordained, and, having married CATHERINE, he accepted the family living of Wendover, though not before he had taken occasion to point out to BLACK that family livings were corrupt and indefensible institutions. Still, the thing had to be done; and bitterly as BOB pined for the bracing air of the East End of London, he acknowledged, with one of his quick, bright flashes, that, unless he went to Wendover, he could never meet Squire MUREWELL, whose powerful arguments were to drive him from positions he had never qualified himself, except by an irrational enthusiasm, to defend. Of CATHERINE a word must be said. Cold, with the delicate but austere firmness of a Westmoreland daisy, gifted with fatally sharp lines about the chin and mouth, and habitually wearing loose grey gowns, with bodices to match, she was admirably calculated, with her narrow, meat-tea proclivities, to embitter the amiable SILLIMERE's existence, and to produce, in conjunction with him, that storm and stress, that perpetual clashing of two estimates without which no modern religious novel could be written, and which not even her pale virginal grace of look and form could subdue. That is a long sentence, but, ah! how short is a merely mortal sentence, with its tyrannous full stop, against the immeasurable background of the December stars, by whose light BOB was now walking, with heightened colour, along the vast avenue that led to Wendover Hall, the residence of the ogre Squire.


The Squire was at home. On the door-step BOB was greeted by Mrs. FARCEY, the Squire's sister. She looked at him in her bird-like way. At other times she was elf-like, and played tricks with a lace handkerchief.

"You know," she whispered to BOB, "we're all mad here. I'm mad, and he," she continued, bobbing diminutively towards the Squire's study-door, "he's mad too—as mad as a hatter."

Before BOB had time to answer this strange remark, the study-door flew open, and Squire MUREWELL stepped forth. He rapped out an oath or two, which BOB noticed with faint politeness, and ordered his visitor to enter. The Squire was rough—very rough; but he had studied hard in Germany.

"So you're the young fool," he observed, "who intends to tackle me. Ha, ha, that's a good joke. I'll have you round my little finger in two twos. Here," he went on gruffly, "take this book of mine in your right hand. Throw your eyes up to the ceiling." ROBERT, wishing to conciliate him, did as he desired. The eyes stuck there, and looked down with a quick lovable look on the two men below. "Now," said the Squire, "you can't see. Pronounce the word 'testimony' twice, slowly. Think of a number, multiply by four, subtract the Thirty-nine Articles, add a Sunday School and a packet of buns. Result, you're a freethinker." And with that he bowed BOB out of the room.


A terrible storm was raging in the Rector's breast as he strode, regardless of the cold, along the verdant lanes of Wendover. "Fool that I was!" he muttered, pressing both hands convulsively to his sides. "Why did I not pay more attention to arithmetic at school? I could have crushed him, but I was ignorant. Was that result right?" He reflected awhile mournfully, but he could bring it out in no other way. "I must go through with it to the bitter end," he concluded, "and CATHERINE must be told." But the thought of CATHERINE knitting quietly at home, while she read Fox's Book of Martyrs, with a tender smile on her thin lips, unmanned him. He sobbed bitterly. The front-door of the Rectory was open. He walked in.—The rest is soon told. He resigned the Rectory, and made a brand-new religion. CATHERINE frowned, but it was useless. Thereupon she gave him cold bacon for lunch during a whole fortnight, and the brave young soul which had endured so much withered under this blight. And thus, acknowledging the novelist's artistic necessity, ROBERT died.—[THE END.]

* * * * *

WINTER SEASON AT COVENT GARDEN.—Opening of Italian Opera last Saturday, with Aida. Very well done. "Wait" between Second and Third Act too long: "Waiters" in Gallery whistling. Wind whistling, too, in Stalls. Operatic and rheumatic. Rugs and fur capes might be kept on hire by Stall-keepers. Airs in Aida delightful: draughts in Stalls awful. Signor LAGO called before Curtain to receive First Night congratulations. Signor LAGO ought to do good business "in front," as there's evidently no difficulty in "raising the wind."

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"No hardship would be inflicted upon manufacturers, if dangerous trades in general were subjected to such a supervision as would afford the largest attainable measure of security to all engaged in them. The case is one which urgently demands the consideration of Parliament, not only for the protection of work-people, but even for the protection of the Metropolis itself. It should never be forgotten that fire constitutes the gravest risk to which London is exposed."—The Times.

The Fire King one day rather furious felt, He mounted his steam-horse satanic; Its head and its tail were of steel, with a belt Of riveted boiler-plate proved not to melt With heat howsoever volcanic.

The sight of the King with that flame-face of his Was something exceedingly horrid; The rain, as it fell on his flight, gave a fizz Like unbottled champagne, and went off with a whizz As it sprinkled his rubicund forehead.

The sound of his voice as he soared to the sky Was that of a ghoul with the grumbles. His teeth were so hot, and his tongue was so dry, That his shout seemed us raucous as though one should try To play on a big drum with dumb-bells.

From his nostrils a naphthaline odour outflows, In his trail a petroleum-whiff lingers. With crude nitro-glycerine glitter his hose, Suggestions of dynamite hang round his nose, And gunpowder grimeth his fingers.

His hair is of flame fizzing over his head, As likewise his heard and eye-lashes; His drink's "low-test naphtha," his nag, it is said, Eats flaming tow soaked in combustibles dread, Which hot from the manger he gnashes.

The Fire King set spurs to the steed he bestrode, Intent to mix pleasure with profit. He was off to Vine Street in the Farringdon Road, And soon with the flames of fired naphtha it flowed As though 'twere the entry to Tophet.

He sought HARROD's Stores whence soon issued a blast Of oil-flame that lighted the City Then he turned to Cloth Fair. Hold, my Muse! not too fast! On the Fire King's last victims in silence we'll cast A look of respectfullest pity.

But the Fire King flames on; Now he pulls up to snatch Some fodder. The stable's in danger. His whip is a torch, and each spur is a match, And over the horse's left eye is a patch, To keep it from scorching the manger.

But who is the Ostler, and who is his lad, In fodder-supplying alliance, Who feed the Fire King and his Steed? 'Tis too bad That TRADE should feed Fire, and his henchman seem glad To set wholesome Law at defiance.

See, Trade stocks the manger, and there is the pail Full set by the imp Illegality! That fierce fiery Pegasus thus to regale, When he's danger and death from hot head to flame-tail, Is cruelly callous brutality.

Ah, Justice looks stern, and, indeed, well she may, With such a vile vision before her. The ignipotent nag and its rider to stay In their dangerous course is her duty to-day, And to do it the public implore her.

"By Jingo!" cries Punch, "you nefarious Two, Your alliance humanity jars on! If you feed the Fire Fiend, with disaster in view, And the chance of men's death, 'twere mere justice to do To have you indicted for arson!"

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Chorus of Arab Stall-keepers. Come and look! Alaha-ba-li-boo! Eet is verri cold to-day! I-ah-rish Brandi! 'Ere, Miss! you com' 'ere! No pay for lookin'. Alf a price! Verri pritti, verri nah-ice, verri cheap, verri moch! And so on.

Chorus of British Saleswomen. Will you allow me to show you this little novelty, Sir? 'Ave you seen the noo perfume sprinkler? Do come and try this noo puzzle—no 'arm in lookin', Sir. Very nice little novelties 'ere, Sir! 'Eard the noo French Worltz, Sir? every article is really very much reduced, &c, &c.


SCENE—A hall in the grounds. Several turnstiles leading to curtained entrances.

Showmen (shouting). Amphitrite, the Marvellous Floatin' Goddess. Just about to commence! This way for the Mystic Gallery—three Illusions for threepence! Atalanta, the Silver Queen of the Moon; the Oriental Beauty in the Table of the Sphinx, and the Wonderful Galatea, or Pygmalion's Dream. Only threepence! This way for the Mystic Marvel o' She! Now commencing!

A Female Sightseer (with the air of a person making an original suggestion). Shall we go in, just to see what it's like?

Male Ditto. May as well, now we are 'ere. (To preserve himself from any suspicion of credulity.) Sure to be a take-in o' some sort.

[They enter a dim apartment, in which two or three people are leaning over a barrier in front of a small Stage; the Curtain is lowered, and a Pianist is industriously pounding away at a Waltz.

The F.S. (with an uncomfortable giggle). Not much to see so far, is there?

Her Companion. Well, they ain't begun yet.

[The Waltz ends, and the Curtain rises, disclosing a Cavern Scene. Amphitrite, in blue tights, rises through the floor.

Amphitrite (in the Gallic tongue). Mesdarms et Messures, j'ai 'honnoor de vous sooayter le bong jour! (Floats, with no apparent support, in the air, and performs various graceful evolutions, concluding by reversing herself completely). Bong swore, Mesdarms et messures, mes remercimongs!

[She dives below, and the Curtain descends.

The F.S. Is that all? I don't see nothing in that!

Her Comp. (who, having paid for admission, resents this want of appreciation). Why, she was off the ground the 'ole of the time, wasn't she? I'd just like to see you turnin' and twisting about in the air as easy as she did with nothing to 'old on by!

The F.S. I didn't notice she was off the ground—yes, that was clever. I never thought o' that before. Let's go and see the other things now.

Her Comp. Well, if you don't see nothing surprising in 'em till they're all over, you might as well stop outside, I should ha' thought.

The F.S. Oh, but I'll notice more next time—you've got to get used to these things, you know.

[They enter the Mystic Gallery, and find themselves in a dim passage, opposite a partitioned compartment, in which is a glass case, supported on four pedestals, with a silver crescent at the back. The Illusions—to judge from a sound of scurrying behind the scenes—have apparently been taken somewhat unawares.

The Female Sightseer (anxious to please). They've done that 'alf-moon very well, haven't they?

Voice of Showman (addressing the Illusions). Now then, 'urry up there—we're all waiting for you.

[The face of "Atalanta, the Silver Queen of the Moon," appears, strongly illuminated, inside the glass-box, and regards the spectators with an impassive contempt—greatly to their confusion.

The Male S. (in a propitiatory tone). Not a bad-looking girl, is she? Atalanta, the Queen of the Moon (to the Oriental Beauty in next compartment). Polly, when these people are gone, I wish you'd fetch me my work!

[The Sightseers move on, feeling crushed. In the second compartment the upper portion of a female is discovered, calmly knitting in the centre of a small table, the legs of which are distinctly visible.

The Female S. Why, wherever has the rest of her got to?

The Oriental Beauty (with conscious superiority). That's what you've got to find out.

[They pass on to interview "Galatea, or Pygmalion's Dream," whose compartment is as yet enveloped in obscurity.

A Youthful Showman (apparently on familiar terms with all the Illusions). Ladies and Gentlemen, I shell now 'ave the honour of persentin' to you the wonderful Galatear, or Livin' Statue; you will 'ave an oppertoonity of 'andling the bust for yourselves, which will warm before your eyes into living flesh, and the lovely creecher live and speak. 'Ere, look sharp, carn't yer'! [To Galatea.

Pygmalion's Dream (from the mystic gloom). Wait a bit, till I've done warming my 'ands. Now you can turn the lights up ... there, you've bin and turned 'em out now, stoopid!

The Y.S. Don't you excite yourself. I know what I'm doin'.

(Turns the lights up, and reveals a large terra-cotta Bust.) At my request, this young lydy will now perceed to assoom the yew and kimplexion of life itself. Galatear, will you oblige us by kindly coming to life?

[The Bust vanishes, and is replaced by a decidedly earthly Young Woman in robust health.

The Y.S. Thenk you. That's all I wanted of yer. Now, will you kindly return to your former styte?

[The Young Woman transforms herself into a hideous Skull.

The Y.S. (in a tone of remonstrance). No—no, not that ridiklous fice! We don't want to see what yer will be—it's very loike yer, I know, but still—(The Skull changes to the Bust.) Ah, that's more the stoyle! (Takes the Bust by the neck and hands it round for inspection.) And now, thenking you for your kind attention, and on'y orskin' one little fyvour of you, that is, that you will not reveal 'ow it is done, I will now bid you a very good evenin', Lydies and Gentlemen!

The F.S. (outside). It's wonderful how they can do it all for threepence, isn't it? We haven't seen She yet!

Her Comp. What, 'aven't you seen wonders enough? Come on, then. But you are going it, you know!

[They enter a small room, at the further end of which are a barrier and proscenium with drawn hangings.

The Exhibitor (in a confidential tone, punctuated by bows). I will not keep you waiting, Ladies and Gentlemen, but at once proceed with a few preliminary remarks. Most of you, no doubt, have read that celebrated story by Mr. RIDER HAGGARD, about a certain She-who-must-be-obeyed, and who dwelt in a place called Kor, and you will also doubtless remember how she was in the 'abit of repairing, at certain intervals, to a cavern, and renooing her youth in a fiery piller. On one occasion, wishing to indooce her lover to foller her example, she stepped into the flame to encourage him—something went wrong with the works, and she was instantly redooced to a cinder. I fortunately 'appened to be near at the time (you will escuse a little wild fib from a showman, I'm sure!) I 'appened to be porsin by, and was thus enabled to secure the ashes of the Wonderful She, which—(draws hangings and reveals a shallow metal Urn suspended in the centre of scene), are now before you enclosed in that little urn. She—where are you?

She (in a full sweet voice, from below). I am 'ere!

Showman. Then appear!

[The upper portion of an exceedingly comely Young Person emerges from the mouth of the Urn.

The F.S. (startled). Lor, she give me quite a turn!

Showman. Some people think this is all done by mirrors, but it is not so; it is managed by a simple arrangement of light and shade. She will now turn slowly round, to convince you that she is really inside the urn and not merely beyind it. (She turns round condescendingly.) She will next pass her 'ands completely round her, thereby demonstrating the utter impossibility of there being any wires to support her. Now she will rap on the walls on each side of her, proving to you that she is no reflection, but a solid reality, after which she will tap the bottom of the urn beneath her, so that you may see it really is what it purports to be. (She performs all these actions in the most obliging manner.) She will now disappear for a moment. (She sinks into the Urn.) Are you still there, She?

She (from the recess of the Urn). Yes.

Showman. Then will you give us some sign of your presence! (A hand and arm are protruded, and waved gracefully.) Thank you. Now you can come up again. (She re-appears.) She will now answer any questions any lady or gentleman may like to put to her, always provided you won't ask her how it is done—for I'm sure she wouldn't give me away, would you, She?

She (with a slow bow and gracious smile). Certingly not.

The F.S. (to her Companion). Ask her something—do.

Her Comp. Go on! I ain't got anything to ask her—ask her yourself!

A Bolder Spirit (with interest). Are your feet warm?

She. Quite—thanks.

The Showman. How old are you, She?

She (impressively). Two theousand years.

'Arry. And quite a young thing, too!

A Spectator (who has read the Novel). 'Ave you 'eard from LEO VINCEY lately?

She (coldly). I don't know the gentleman.

Showman. If you have no more questions to ask her, She will now retire into her urn, thanking you all for your kind attendance this morning, which will conclude the entertainment.

[Final disappearance of She. The Audience pass out, feeling—with perfect justice—that they have "had their money's worth."

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SCENE I.—St. Stephen's. Sagacious Legislator on his legs advocating a new Anti-Adulteration Act. Few M.P.'s present, most of them drowsing.

Sagacious Legislator. As I was saying, Sir, the adulteration of Butter has been pushed to such abominable lengths that no British Workman knows whether what he is eating is the product of the Cow or of the Thames mud-banks. (A snigger.) Talk of a Free Breakfast Table! I would free the Briton's Breakfast Table from the unwholesome incubus of Adulteration. At any rate, if the customer chooses to purchase butter which is not butter, he shall do it knowingly, with his eyes open. (Feeble "Hear, hear!") Under this Act anything which is not absolutely unsophisticated milk-made Butter must be plainly marked, and openly vended as Adipocerene!

[Amidst considerable applause the Act is passed.

SCENE II.—Small Butterman's shop in a poor neighbourhood. Burly white-apron'd Proprietor behind counter. To him enter a pasty-faced Workman, with a greasy pat of something wrapped in a leaf from a ledger.

Workman. I say, Guv'nor, lookye here. This 'ere stuff as you sold my old woman, is simply beastly. I don't believe it's butter at all.

Butterman (sneeringly). And who said it was? What did your Missus buy it as?

Workman. Why, Adipo—whot's it, I believe. But that's only another name for butter of a cheaper sort, ain't it? Anyhow, it's no reason why it should be nasty.

Butterman (loftily). Now look here, my man, what do you expect? That's Adipocerene, that is, and sold as such. If you'll pay for Butter, you can have it; but if you ask for this here stuff, you must take yer chance.

Workman. But what's it made on?

Butterman. That's no business of mine. If you could anerlyse it—(mind, I don't say yer could)—into stale suet and sewer-scrapings, you couldn't prove as it warn't Adipocerene, same as it's sold for, could yer?

Workman (hotly). But hang it, I don't want stale suet and sewer-scrapings, whatsomever you may call it.

Butterman (decisively). Then buy Butter, and pay for it like a man, and don't come a-bothering me about things as I've nothink to do with. If Guv'ment will have it called Adipocerene, and your Missus will buy it becos it's cheap; don't you blame me if you find it nasty, that's all. Good morning!

[Retires up, "swelling visibly."

Workman. Humph! Betwixt Grandmotherly Government and Manufacturers of Mysteriousness, where am I? That's wot I want to know! [Left wanting to know.

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The Engineers who constructed the gradually ascending road which, slowly mounting the valley, finally takes you over the ridge, as it were, and deposits you at a height of 3800 feet, dusty but grateful, on the plain of Engelberg, must have been practical jokers of the first water. They lead you up in the right direction several thousand feet, then suddenly turn you round, and apparently take you clean back again. And this not once, but a dozen times. They seem to say, "You think you must reach the top this time, my fine fellow? Not a bit of it. Back you go again."

Still we kept turning and turning whither the Practical-joking Engineers led us, but seemed as far off from our journey's end as ever. A roadside inn for a moment deluded us with its light, but we only drew up in front of this while our gloomy charioteer sat down to a good square meal, the third he had had since three o'clock, over which he consumed exactly five-and-twenty minutes, keeping us waiting while he disposed of it at his leisure, in a fit of depressing but greedy sulks.

At length we moved on again, and in about another half-an-hour apparently reached the limit of the Practical-joking Engineers' work, for our surly charioteer suddenly jumped on the box, and cracking his whip furiously, got all the pace that was left in them out of our three sagacious horses, and in a few more minutes we were tearing along a level road past scattered chalets, little wooden toy-shops, and isolated pensions, towards a colossal-looking white palace that stood out a grateful sight in the distance before us, basking in the calm white-blue blaze shed upon it from a couple of lofty electric lights, that told us that up here in the mountains we were not coming to rough it, but to be welcomed by the latest luxuries and refinements of first-rate modern hotel accommodation. And this proved to be the case. Immediately he arrived in the large entrance-hall, the Dilapidated One was greeted by the Landlord of the Hotel et Kurhaus, Titlis, politely assisted to the lift, and finally deposited in the comfortable and electrically-lighted room which had been assigned to him.

"We are extremely full," announced the polite Herr to Dr. MELCHISIDEC; "and we just come from finishing the second dinner,"—which seemed to account for his being "extremely full,"—"but as soon as you will descend from your rooms, there will be supper ready at your disposition."

"You'll just come and look at the Bath-chair before you turn in?" inquired Dr. MELCHISIDEC, of the Dilapidated One, "It's arrived all right from Zurich. Come by post, apparently."

"Oh, that's nothing," continued young JERRYMAN, "why, there's nothing you can't send by post in Switzerland, from a house full of furniture, down to a grand piano or cage of canaries. You've only got to clap a postage-stamp on it, and there you are!" And the arrival of the Bath-chair certainly seemed to indicate that he was telling something very like the truth.

"I don't quite see how this guiding-wheel is to act," remarked Dr. MELCHISIDEC, examining the chair, which was of rather pantomimic proportions, critically; "but suppose you just get in and try it! 'Pon my word it almost looks like a 'trick-chair'!" which indeed it proved itself to be, jerking up in a most unaccountable fashion the moment the Dilapidated One put his foot into it, and unceremoniously sending him flying out on to his head forthwith. "A little awkward at first," he remarked, assisting the Dilapidated One on to his feet. "One has to get accustomed to these things, you see; but, bless you, in a day or two you won't want it at all. You'll find the air here like a continual draught of champagne. 'Pon my word, I believe you feel better already," and with this inspiriting assurance the Dilapidated One, who had not only covered himself with dust, but severely bruised his shins, saying that "he thought, perhaps, he did—just a little," was again assisted to the lift, and safely consigned to his room, where he was comfortably packed away for the night.

"I say," says young JERRYMAN, next morning, "what a place for bells!"

And young JERRYMAN was right, for I was awoke in the small hours of the morning by a loud peal from the Monastery, as if the Prior had suddenly said to himself, "What's the use of the bells if you don't ring 'em? By Jove, I will!" and had then and there jumped from his couch, seized hold of the ropes, and set to work with a right good will. Then the hotels and pensions took it up, and so, what with seven o'clock, eight o'clock, and nine o'clock breakfasts, first and second dejeuners, first and second dinners, interspersed with "Office Hours" sounded by the Monastery, and the sound of the dinner-bells carried by the cattle, Dingle-berg, rather than Engelberg, would be a highly appropriate name for this somewhat noisy, but otherwise delightful health-resort.

"I call this 'fatal dull' after Paris," remarked a fair Americaine to young JERRYMAN; and, perhaps, from a certain point of view, she may have been right; but, fatal dull, or lively, there can be no two opinions about the life-giving properties of the air.

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OLD JOE ENCORE.—Last Wednesday in the FARRAR v. Publisher discussion, a Correspondent, signing himself JOHN TAYLOR, of Dagnall Park, Selhurst, wrote to The Times to "quote an anecdote" about DOUGLAS JERROLD and "a Publisher." Rarely has a good old story been so spoilt in the telling as in this instance. The true story is of ALBERT SMITH and DOUGLAS JERROLD, and has been already told in the Times by a Correspondent signing himself "E.Y." It is of the same respectable age as that one of ALBERT SMITH signing his initials "A.S.," and JERROLD observing, "He only tells two-thirds of the truth." Perhaps Mr. JOHN TAYLOR, of Dagnall Park, Selhurst, is going to favour us with a little volume of "new sayings by old worthies" at Christmas time, and we shall hear how SHERIDAN once asked TOM B—— "why a miller wore a white hat?" And how ERSKINE, on hearing a witness's evidence about a door being open, explained to him that his evidence would be worthless, because a door could not be considered as a door "if it were a jar," and several other excellent stories, which, being told for the first time with the verve and local colouring of which the writer of the letter to The Times is evidently a past-master, will secure for the little work an enormous popularity.

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A SCOTT AND A LOT.—"Thirty Years at the Play" is the title of Mr. CLEMENT SCOTT's Lecture to be delivered next Saturday at the Garrick Theatre, for the benefit of the Actors' Benevolent Fund. Thirty years of Play-time! All play, and lots of work. Mr. IRVING is to introduce the lecturer to his audience, who, up to that moment, will have been "Strangers Yet," and this CLEMENT will be SCOTT-free to say what he likes, and to tell 'em all about it generally. "SCOTT" will be on the stage, and the "Lot" in the auditorium. Lot's Wife also.

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ETHER-DRINKING IN IRELAND.—Mr. ERNEST HART (bless his heart and earnestness!) lectured last week on "Ether-Drinking in Ireland." He lectured "The Society for the Study of Inebriety"—a Society which must be slightly "mixed"—on this bad habit, and no doubt implored them to give it up. The party sang, "How Happy could we be with Ether" and the discussion was continued until there was nothing more to be said.

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CLERGY IN PARLIAMENT.—As Bishops "sit" in the Upper House, why should not "the inferior clergy" "stand" for the Lower House? If they get in, why shouldn't they be seated? Surely what's right in the Bishop isn't wrong in the Rector?

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LITERARY ADVERTISEMENT.—The forthcoming work by the Vulnerable Archdeacon F-RR-R, will be entitled, The Pharrarsee and the Publisher.

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McGLADSTONE rose—his pallid cheek Was little wont his joy to speak, But then his colour rose. "Now, Scotland! shortly shalt thou see That age checks not McGLADSTONE's glee, Nor stints his swashing blows!"

Again that light has fired his eye, Again his form swells bold and high; The broken voice of age is gone, 'Tis vigorous manhood's lofty tone. The foe he menaces again, Thrice vanquished on Midlothian's plain; Then, scorning any longer stay, Embarks, lifts sail, and bears away.

Merrily, merrily bounds the bark, She bounds before the gale; The "flowing tide" is with her. Hark! How joyous in her sail Flutters the breeze like laughter hoarse! The cords and canvas strain, The waves divided by her force In rippling eddies, chase her course. As if they laughed again. 'Tis then that warlike signals wake Dalmeney's towers, and fair Beeslack.

And eke brave BALFOUR's walls (Q.C. And Scottish Dean of Faculty) Whose home shall house the great McG. A summons these to each stout clan That lives in far Midlothian, And, ready at the sight, Each warrior to his weapon sprung, And targe upon his shoulder flung, Impatient for the fight.

Merrily, merrily, bounds the bark On a breeze to the northward free. So shoots through the morning sky the lark, Or the swan through the summer sea. Merrily, merrily, goes the bark— Before the gale she bounds; So darts the dolphin from the shark, Or the deer before the hounds. McGLADSTONE stands upon the prow, The mountain breeze salutes his brow, He snuffs the breath of coming fight, His dark eyes blaze with battle-light, And memories of old, When thus he rallied to the fray Against the bold BUCCLEUCH's array, His clansmen. In the same old way He trusts to rally them to-day. Shall he succeed? Who, who shall say? But neither fear no doubt may stay His spirit keen and bold!

He cries, the Chieftain Old and Grand, "I fight once more for mine own hand; Meanwhile our vessel nears the land, Launch we the boat, and seek the land!"

To land McGLADSTONE lightly sprung, And thrice aloud his bugle rung With note prolonged, and varied strain, Till Edin dun replied again. When waked that horn the party bounds, Scotia responded to its sounds; Oft had she heard it fire the fight, Cheer the pursuit, or stop the flight. Dead were her heart, and deaf her ear, If it should call, and she not hear. The shout went up in loud Clan-Rad's tone, "That blast was winded by McGLADSTONE!"

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RUM FROM JAMAICA—VERY.—When "the bauble" was removed from the table of the House, by order of OLIVER CROMWELL, it was sent with somebody's compliments at a later date to Jamaica, and placed on the Parliament table. What became of it nobody knows. It is supposed that this ensign of ancient British Royalty was swallowed up by an earthquake of republican tendencies. Jamaica, of course, is a great place for spices; but, in spite of all the highly spiced stories, the origin of which is more or less aus-spice-ious, it is to be regretted that, up to the present moment, what gave them their peculiar flavour, i.e., the original Mace, cannot be found.

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When some years ago EDMUNDUS ED. MUNDI first introduced to London the gentle art of Interviewing, the idea was in a general way a novelty in this country. It "caught on," and achieved success. Some public men affected, privately, not to like the extra publicity given to their words and actions; but it was only an affectation, and in a general way a great many suddenly found themselves dubbed "Celebrities," hall-marked as such by The World, and able therefore to hand themselves down to posterity, in bound volumes containing this one invaluable number as having been recognised by the world at large as undoubted Celebrities, ignorance of whose existence would argue utter social insignificance. So great was the World's success in this particular line, that at once there sprang up a host of imitators, and the Celebrities were again tempted to make themselves still more celebrated by having good-natured caricatures of themselves made by "Age" and "Spy." After this, the deluge, of biographies, autobiographies, interviewings, photographic realities, portraits plain and coloured—many of them uncommonly plain, and some of them wonderfully coloured,—until a Celebrity who has not been done and served up, with or without a plate, is a Celebrity indeed.

"Celebrities" have hitherto been valuable to the interviewer, photographer, and proprietor of a Magazine in due proportion. Is it not high time that the Celebrities themselves have a slice or two out of the cake? If they consent to sit as models to the interviewer and photographer, let them price their own time. The Baron offers a model of correspondence on both sides, and, if his example is followed, up goes the price of "Celebrities," and, consequently, of interviewed and interviewers, there will be only a survival of the fittest.


SIR,—Messrs. TOWER, FONDLER, TROTTING & Co., are now engaged in bringing out a series of the leading Literary, Dramatic and Artistic Notabilities of the present day, and feeling that the work which has now reached its hundred-and-second number, would indeed be incomplete did it not include your name, the above-mentioned firm has commissioned me to request you to accord me an interview as soon as possible. I propose bringing with me an eminent photographer, and also an artist who will make a sketch of your surroundings, and so contribute towards producing a complete picture which cannot fail to interest and delight the thousands at home and abroad, to whom your name is as a household word, and who will be delighted to possess a portrait of one whose works have given them so much pleasure, and to obtain a closer and more intimate acquaintance with the modus operandi pursued by one of their most favourite authors.

I remain, Sir, yours truly,


To the BARON DE BOOK-WORMS, Vermoulen Lodge.


DEAB SIR,—Thanks. I quite appreciate your appreciation. My terms for an article in a Magazine, are twenty guineas the first hour, ten guineas the second, and so on. For dinner-table anecdotes, the property in which once made public is lost for ever to the originator, special terms. As to photographs, I will sign every copy, and take twopence on every copy. I'm a little pressed for time now, so if you can manage it, we will defer the visit for a week or two, and then I'm your man.

Yours truly,



MY DEAR BARON,—I'm afraid I didn't quite make myself understood. I did not ask you to write the article, being commissioned by the firm to do it myself. The photographs will not be sold apart from the Magazine. Awaiting your favourable response,—

I am, Sir, Yours,



DEAR SIR,—I quite understood. With the generous view of doing me a good turn by giving me the almost inestimable advantage of advertising myself in Messrs. TOWERS & Co.'s widely-circulated Magazine, you propose to interview me, and receive from me such orally given information as you may require concerning my life, history, work, and everything about myself which, in your opinion, would interest the readers of this Magazine. I quite appreciate all this. You propose to write the article, and I'm to find you the materials for it. Good. I don't venture to put any price on the admirable work which your talent will produce,—that's for you and your publishers to settle between you, and, as a matter of fact, it has been already settled, as you are in their employ. But I can put a price on my own, and I do. I collaborate with you in furnishing all the materials of which you are in need. Soit. For the use of my Pegasus, no matter what its breed, and, as it isn't a gift-horse, but a hired one, you can examine its mouth and legs critically whenever you are going to mount and guide it at your own sweet will, I charge twenty guineas for the first hour, and ten for the second. It may be dear, or it may be cheap. That's not my affair. C'est a laisser ou a prendre.

The Magazine in which the article is to appear is not given away with a pound of tea, or anything of that sort I presume, so that your strictly honourable and business-like firm of employers, and you also, Sir, in the regular course of your relations with them, intend making something out of me, more or less, but something, while I get nothing at all for my time, which is decidedly as valuable to me as, I presume, is yours to you. What have your publishers ever done for me that I should give them my work for nothing? Time is money; why should I make Messrs. TOWER, FONDLER & Co. a present of twenty pounds, or, for the matter of that, even ten shillings? If I misapprehend the situation, and you are doing your work gratis and for the love of the thing, then that is your affair, not mine: I'm glad to hear it, and regret my inability to join you in the luxury of giving away what it is an imperative necessity of my existence to sell at the best price I can. Do you honestly imagine, Sir, that my literary position will be one farthing's-worth improved by a memoir and a portrait of me appearing in your widely-circulated journal? If you do, I don't; and I prefer to be paid for my work, whether I dictate the material to a scribe, who is to serve it up in his own fashion, or whether I write it myself. And now I come to consider it, I should be inclined to make an additional charge for not writing it myself, Not to take you and your worthy firm of employers by surprise, I will make out beforehand a supposititious bill, and then Messrs. TOWER & Co. can close with my offer or not, as they please.

L. s. d. To preparing (in special costume) to receive Interviewer, for putting aside letters, refusing to see tradesmen, &c. 3 0 0 To receiving Interviewer, Photographer, and Artist, and talking about nothing in particular for ten minutes. 5 0 0 To cigars and light refreshments all round. 10 6 To giving an account of my life and works generally (this being the article itself). 20 0 0 To showing photographs, books, pictures, playbills, and various curios in my collection. 5 0 0 To being photographed in several attitudes in the back garden three times, and incurring the danger of catching a severe cold. 3 0 0 (***On the condition that I should sign all photos sold inspect books, and receive 10 per cent. of gross receipts.) To allowing black-and-white Artist to make a sketch of my study, also of myself. 0 0 0 (***On the condition that only this one picture is to be done, and that if sold separately, I must receive 10 per cent. of such sale.) Luncheon, with champagne for the lot, at 15s. per head 2 5 0 Cigars and liqueurs. 0 10 0 For time occupied at luncheon in giving further details of my life and history. 10 0 0 —————- Total L49 5 6

The refreshments are entirely optional, and therefore can be struck out beforehand.

Pray show the above to the eminent firm which has the advantage of your zealous services, and believe me to remain

Your most sincerely obliged


To the above a reply may be expected, and, if received, it will probably be in a different tone from Mr. SOPHTE SOPER's previous communications. No matter. There's an end of it. The Baron's advice to all "Celebrities," when asked to permit themselves to be interviewed, is, in the language of the poet,—

"Charge, Chester, charge!"

then they will have benefited other Celebrities all round, and the result will be that either only those authors will be interviewed who are worth the price of interviewing, or the professional biographical compilers will have to hunt up nobodies, dress up jays as peacocks, and so bring the legitimate business of "Interviewing" into well-deserved contempt.

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Two Men in a Boat. By Messrs. DILLON and O'BRIEN.

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[English ladies, conscious of conversational defects, and desirous of shining in Society, may be expected to imitate their American Cousins, who, according to The Daily News, employ a lady crammer who has made a study of the subject she teaches. Before a dinner or luncheon party, the crammer spends an hour or two with the pupil, and coaches her up in general conversation.]

It really took us by surprise, We thought her but a mere beginner, And widely opened were our eyes To hear her brilliant talk at dinner. She always knew just what to say, And said it well, nor for a minute Was ever at a loss,—I may As well confess—we men weren't in it!

The talk was of Roumania's Queen, And was she equal, say, to DANTE?— The way that race was won by Sheen, And not the horse called Alicante— Of how some charities were frauds, How some again were quite deserving— The beauties of the Norfolk broads— The latest hit of Mr. IRVING—

Does sap go up or down the stem?— The Boom of Mr. RUDYARD KIPLING— The speeches of the G.O.M.— The strength of Mr. MORLEY's "stripling" Was JONAH swallowed by the whale?— The price of jute—we wondered all if They'd have the heart to send to gaol Those heroes, SLAVIN and McAULIFFE.

"Oh, maiden fair," I said at last, "To hear you talk is most delightful; But yet the time, it's clear, you've passed In reading must be something frightful. Come—do you trouble thus your head Because you want to go to College By getting out of Mr. STEAD L300 for General Knowledge?"

"Kind Sir," she promptly then replied, "Your guess, I quite admit, was clever, And, if I now in you confide, You'll keep it dark, I'm sure, for ever. Yet do not get, I pray, enraged, For how I got my information Was simply this—I have engaged A Coach in General Conversation,"

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Will you allow me, as one who knows Russia by heart, to express my intense admiration for the new piece at the Shaftesbury Theatre, in which is given, in my opinion, the most faithful picture of the CZAR's dominions as yet exhibited to the British Public. ACT I. is devoted to "a Street near the Banks of the Neva, St. Petersburg," and here we have a splendid view of the Winter Palace, and what I took to be the Kremlin at Moscow. On one side is the house of a money-lender, and on the other the shelter afforded to a drosky-driver and his starving family. The author, whose name must be BUCHANANOFF (though he modestly drops the ultimate syllable), gives as a second title to this portion of his wonderful work, "The Dirge for the Dead." It is very appropriate. A student, whose funds are at the lowest ebb, commits a purposeless murder, and a "pope" who has been on the look-out no doubt for years, seizes the opportunity to rush into the murdered man's dwelling, and sing over his inanimate body a little thing of his own composition. Anyone who has been in Russia will immediately recognise this incident as absolutely true to life. Amongst my own acquaintance I know three priests who did precisely the same thing—they are called BROWNOFF, JONESKI, and ROBINSONOFF.

Next we have the Palace of the Princess Orenburg, and make the acquaintance of Anna Ivanovna, a young lady who is the sister of the aimless murderer, and owner of untold riches. We are also introduced to the Head of Police, who, as everyone knows, is a cross between a suburban inspector, a low-class inquiry agent, and a flaneur moving in the best Society. We find, too, naturally enough, an English attache, whose chief aim is to insult an aged Russian General, whose sobriquet is, "the Hero of Sebastopol." Then the aimless murderer reveals his crime, which, of course, escapes detection save at the hands of Prince Zosimoff, a nobleman, who I fancy, from his name, must have discovered a new kind of tooth-powder.

Next we have the "Interior of a Common Lodging House," the counterpart of which may be found in almost any street in the modern capital of Russia. There are the religious pictures, the cathedral immediately opposite, with its stained-glass windows and intermittent organ, and the air of sanctity without which no Russian Common Lodging House is complete. Needless to say that Prince Tooth-powder—I beg pardon—and Anna listen while Fedor Ivanovitch again confesses his crime, this time to the daughter of the drosky-driver, for whom he has a sincere regard, and I may add, affection. Although with a well-timed scream his sister might interrupt the awkward avowal, she prefers to listen to the bitter end. This reminds me of several cases recorded in the Newgatekoff Calendaroff, a miscellany of Russian crimes.

After this we come to the Gardens of the Palace Taurida, when Fedor is at length arrested and carted off to Siberia, an excellent picture of which is given in the last Act. Those who really know Russian Society-will not be surprised to find that the Chief of the Police (promoted to a new position and a fur-trimmed coat), and the principal characters of the drama have also found their way to the Military Outpost on the borders of the dreaded region. I say dreaded, but should have added, without cause. M. BUCHANANOFF shows us a very pleasant picture. The prisoners seem to have very little to do save to preserve the life of the Governor, and to talk heroics about liberty and other kindred subjects. Prince Zosimoff attempts, for the fourth or fifth time, to make Anna his own—he calls the pursuit "a caprice," and it is indeed a strange one—and is, in the nick of time, arrested, by order of the CZAR. After this pleasing and natural little incident, everyone prepares to go back to St. Petersburg, with the solitary exception of the Prince, who is ordered off to the Mines. No doubt the Emperor of RUSSIA had used the tooth-powder, and, finding it distasteful to him, had taken speedy vengeance upon its presumed inventor.

I have but one fault to find with the representation. The play is capital, the scenery excellent, and the acting beyond all praise. But I am not quite sure about the title. M. BUCHANANOFF calls his play "The Sixth Commandment"—he would have been, in my opinion, nearer the mark, had he brought it into closer association with the Ninth!

Believe me, dear Mr. Punch,

Yours, respectfully,


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"Suppose, TOBY dear boy," said the Member for Sark, "we start a garden, and work in it ourselves. TEMPLE did it, you know, when he was tired of affairs of State."

"Sir RICHARD?" I asked, never remembering to have seen the Member for Evesham in the company of a rake.

"No; CHARLES THE SECOND's Minister, who went down to Sheen two centuries before the Orleanist Princes, and grew roses. Of course I don't mean to be there much in the Session. The thing is to have something during Recess to gently engage the mind and fully occupy the body."

This conversation took place towards the end of last Session but one. By odd coincidence I had met the Member for Sark as I was coming from OLD MORALITY's room, where I had been quietly dining with him, JACKSON and AKERS-DOUGLAS made up party of four. It was second week of August; everybody tired to death. OLD MORALITY asked me to look in and join them about eight o'clock. Knocked at door; no answer; curious scurrying going round; somebody running and jumping; heard OLD MORALITY's voice, in gleeful notes, "Now then, DOUGLAS, tuck in your tuppenny! Here you are, JACKSON! keep the mill a goin'!" Knocked again; no answer; opened door gently; beheld strange sight. The Patronage Secretary was "giving a back" to the FIRST LORD of the TREASURY. OLD MORALITY, taking running jump, cleared it with surprising agility considering AKERS-DOUGLAS'S inches. Then he trotted on a few paces, folded his arms and bent his head; Financial Secretary to Treasury, clearing AKERS-DOUGLAS, took OLD MORALITY in his stride, and "tucked in his tuppenny" in turn.

Thought I had better retire. Seemed on the whole the proceedings demanded privacy; but OLD MORALITY, catching sight of me, called out, "Come along, TOBY! Only our little game. Fall in, and take your turn."

Rather afraid of falling over, but didn't like to spoil sport; cleared OLD MORALITY capitally; scrambled over AKERS-DOUGLAS; but couldn't manage JACKSON.

"I can't get over him," I said, apologetically.

"No," said AKERS-DOUGLAS, "he's a Yorkshireman."

"'Tis but a primitive pastime," observed OLD MORALITY, when, later, we sat down to dinner; "but remarkably refreshing; a great stimulant for the appetite. Indeed," he added, as he transferred a whole grouse to his plate, "I do not know anything that more forcibly brings home to the mind the truth underlying the old Greek aphorism, that a bird on your plate is worth two in the dish."

I gathered in conversation that when business gets a little heavy, when time presses, and leisure for exercise is curtailed, OLD MORALITY generally has ten minutes leap-frog before dinner.

"We used at first to play it in the corridor; an excellent place; apparently especially designed for the purpose; but we were always liable to interruption, and by putting the chairs on the table here we manage well enough. It's been the making of me, and I may add, has enabled my Right Hon. friends with increased vigour and ease to perform their duty to their QUEEN and Country. The great thing, dear TOBY, is to judiciously commingle physical exercise with mental activity. What says the great bard of Abydos? Mens sana in corpore sano, which being translated means, mens—or perhaps I should say, men—should incorporate bodily exercise with mental exercitation."

Of course I did not disclose to the Member for Sark, what had taken place in the privity of OLD MORALITY's room. That is not my way. The secret is ever sacred with me, and shall be carried with me to the silent tomb. But I was much impressed with the practical suggestions of my esteemed Leader, and allured by their evident effect upon his appetite.

"Men," continued the Member for Sark, moodily, "do all kinds of things in the Recess to make up for the inroads on the constitution suffered during the Session. They go to La Bourboule like the MARKISS and RAIKES; or they play Golf like Prince ARTHUR; or they pay visits to their Mothers-in-law in the United States, like CHAMBERLAIN and LYON PLAYFAIR; or they go to Switzerland, India, Russia, Australia, and Sierra Leone. Now if we had a garden, which we dug, and weeded, and clipped, and pruned ourselves, never eating a potato the sapling of which we had not planted, watered, and if necessary grafted, with our own hands, we should live happy, healthful lives for at least a month or two, coming back to our work having renewed our youth like the rhinoceros."

"But you don't know anything about gardening, do you?"

"That's just it. Anyone can keep a garden that has been brought up to the business. But look what chances there are before two statesmen of, I trust I may say without egotism, average intelligence, who take to gardening without, as you may say, knowing anything about it. Think of the charm of being able to call a spade a Hoe! without your companion, however contentious, capping the exclamation. Then think of the long vista of possible surprises. You dig a trench, and I gently sprinkle seed in it—"

"Excuse me," I said, "but supposing I sprinkle the seed, and you dig the trench?"

"—The seed is carrot, let us suppose," the Member for Sark continued, disregarding my interruption, his fine face aglow with honest enthusiasm. "I, not being an adept, feeling my way, as it were, towards the perfection of knowledge, put in the seed the wrong end up, and, instead of the carrots presenting themselves to the earnest inquirer in what is, I believe, the ordinary fashion, with the green tops showing above the generous earth, and the spiral, rosy-tinted, cylindrical form hidden in the soil, the limb were to grow out of the ground, its head downward; would that be nothing, do you think? I mention that only as a possibility that flashed across my mind. There are an illimitable series of possibilities that might grow out of Our Garden. Of course we don't mean to make money out of it. It's only fair to you, TOBY, that I should, at the outset, beg you to hustle out of your mind any sordid ideas of that kind. What we seek is, health and honest occupation, and here they lie open to our hand."

This conversation, as I mentioned, took place a little more than a year ago. I was carried away, as the House of Commons never is, by my Hon. friend's eloquence. We got the garden. We have it now; but I do not trust myself on this page to dwell on the subject.

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FEMININE AND A N-UTAH GENDER.—Plurality of wives is abolished in Utah. The husbands seem to have made no difficulty about it, but what have the wives said?

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"QUEEN'S WEATHER."—The weather is looking up. It was mentioned in the Court Circular last Wednesday week for the first time.

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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.


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