OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
September 13, 1890.
OUT FOR A HOLIDAY.
(BY OUR IMPARTIAL AND NOT-TO-BE-BIASSED CRITIC.)
I had often been told that St. Margaret's Bay, between Deal and Dover, was lovely beyond compare. Seen from the Channel, I had heard it described as "magnificent," and evidence of its charms nearer at hand, was adduced in the fact that Mr. ALMA TADEMA, R.A., had made it his headquarters during a portion of the recent summer.
So I determined to visit it. I had to take a ticket to Martin's Mill, a desolate spot, containing a railway station, a railway hotel, and (strange to say) a mill. I was told by an obliging official on my arrival, that St. Margaret's Bay was a mile and a half distant—"to the village." And a mile and a half—a very good mile and a half—it was! Up hill, down dale, along the dustiest of dusty roads, bordered by telegraph poles that suggested an endless lane without a turning. On climbing to the summit of each hill another long stretch of road presented itself. At length the village was reached, and I looked about me for the sea. A cheerful young person who was flirting with a middle-aged cyclist seemed surprised when I asked after it. "Oh, the sea!" she exclaimed, in a tone insinuating that the ocean was at a decided discount in her part of the world—"oh, you will find that a mile further on." I sighed wearily, and recommenced my plodding stumbles.
I passed two unhappy-looking stone eagles protecting a boarding-house, and a shed given over to the sale of lollipops and the hiring of a pony-chaise. The cottages seemed to me to be of the boat-turned-bottom-upwards order of architecture, and were adorned with placards, announcing "Apartments to Let." Everything seemed to let, except, perhaps, the church, which, however (on second thoughts), appeared to be let alone. But if the houses were not, in themselves, particularly inviting, their names were pleasing enough, although, truth to tell, a trifle misleading. For instance, there was a "Marine Lodge," which seemed a very considerable distance from the ocean, and a "Swiss chalet," that but faintly suggested the land renowned equally for mountains and merry juveniles. I did not notice any shops, although I fancy, from the appearance of a small barber's pole that I found in front of a cottage, that the hair-dressing interest must have had a local representative. For the rest, an air of hopefulness, if not precisely cheerfulness, was given to the place by the presence of a Convalescent Hospital. Leaving the village behind me, I came, footsore and staggering, at length to the Bay. I was cruelly disappointed. Below me was what appeared to be a small portion of Rosherville, augmented with two bathing-machines, and a residence for the Coast-guard. There was a hotel, (with a lawn-tennis ground), and several placards, telling of land to let. The descent to the sea was very steep, and, on the high road above it, painfully modern villas were putting in a disfiguring appearance. On the beach was a melancholy pic-nic party, engaged in a mild carouse. In the gloaming was a light-ship, marking the end of the Goodwin Sands.
On a beautiful day no doubt St. Margaret's Bay would look quite as lovely as Gravesend, but when it rained I question whether it would compare favourably with Southend under similar atmospheric circumstances. There was some shrubbery creeping up the white hill-side that may have been considered artistic, and possibly the great expanse of ocean (when completely free from mist) had to a certain extent a sort of charm. As I looked towards the coast of France I had an excellent view of a steamer, crammed with (presumably) noisy excursionists, coming from Margate. But when I have said this I have nothing more to add, save that you can get from Martin's Mill to St. Margaret's Bay by an omnibus. By catching this conveyance you avoid a tedious walk, which puts you out of temper for the rest of the day.
P.S.—I missed the omnibus!
* * * * *
GOOD YOUNG "ZUMMERSET!"
(CHAMPION IN CRICKET OF THE SECOND-CLASS COUNTIES.)
Eight matches played, and eight matches won! That's what none of the First-class Counties have done. 'Tis clear that Young Zummerset knows "how to do it." Bravo, PALAIRET, WOODS, TYLER, ROE, HEWITT! Go on in this fashion, and soon you'll be reckoned Among the First-Classers, instead of the Second. Wet wickets this season, boys, seldom a rummer set, But they anyhow seem to have suited Young Zummerset!
* * * * *
THE REAL GRIEVANCE OFFICE.
(BEFORE MR. COMMISSIONER PUNCH.)
A Medical Officer (with martial manner, and well set up) introduced.
The Commissioner. Well, Sir—may I call you Colonel?—what can I do for you?
Medical Officer (smiling). I am afraid, Sir, you may give me no military rank, as it would be contrary to the Regulations.
The Com. Have I not the pleasure of addressing a soldier?
Med. Off. Well, yes, Sir, I suppose I may claim that title. I am an Army Surgeon, and in that capacity have not only to risk my life equally with my comrades in the field, but have to brave the additional danger inseparable from the fever-wards of a hospital. As a matter of fact many of my colleagues have earned the V.C., and not a few taken command when their aid was needed. I hope you have not forgotten ANTHONY HOME WYLIE and MACKINNON.
The Com. Certainly not—they are gallant fellows. Well, I am sorry to see you here, Doctor—what can I do for you?
Med. Off. I would ask your good services, Sir, to get us greater recognition in the Army. Pray understand we do not wish to be called Captain, Major, or Colonel, merely to "peacock" before civilians, but because, without official recognition of our true status, we are treated as inferior beings by the youngest subaltern in any battalion to which we may be attached.
The Com. Surely, Doctor, the title you have secured by scientific attainments, takes precedence of all others more easily obtained?
Med. Off. Possibly, in a College common-room, but not at a mess-table of a depot centre. That I express the general opinion of members of my profession is proved by the fact that it is shared by Sir ANDREW CLARK, the President of the Royal College of Physicians.
The Com. Well, what would you propose?
Med. Off. That we should be put on the same footing so far as rank is concerned, with officers in the Commissariat and other non-actively-combatant branches of the Army. We are merely fighting the fight fought years ago by another scientific corps, the Royal Engineers.
The Com. But surely, Doctor, the officers you have mentioned know something of their drill?
Med. Off. If that is the difficulty, let us make ourselves equally proficient. The more we are in touch with the so-called combatant officers the better.
The Com. Well, certainly, if you are good drills (and have some knowledge of the internal economy of a regiment, and the rudiments of military law) I cannot see why you should not enjoy the rank to which you aspire. I wish you every success in your application. After all, you are masters of the situation. If your superior officers are unreasonable—physic them!
[The Witness after returning thanks, then withdrew.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.
AT A COUNTRY HOUSE.
"So glad you have a fine day for your garden-party. Was quite anxious about the weather;" i.e., "Hoped sincerely it would rain hard—hate garden-parties—can't think why I'm here."
"How good of you to undertake such a long drive!" i.e., "hoped it would choke her off."
"So sweet of you to have brought your dear children;" i.e., "Greedy little pigs!—gobble up everything before the real guests arrive."
"Must you really go?" i.e., "About time—you're the last but one."
"Now mind—this is Liberty Hall—I always think true hospitality is, letting people do just what they like;" i.e., "If he's late for breakfast—and IF he shirks driving with Mrs. MORSON!"
"We lunch at half-past one. But don't trouble to be punctual. Quite a moveable feast;" i.e., "If he's unpunctual, he won't forget it."
"Such a lovely drive I want to take you this afternoon;" i.e., "Must pay that call to-day."
"Going to-morrow? Oh, do stay—we had looked forward to quite a week more. Can't you alter it?" i.e., "Quite safe. Know he's got to go."
"Such a sweet girl to have in the house!" i.e., "Slaves for her from morning till night."
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
ALL THE YEAR ROUND;
OR, KEEPING UP THE BALL.
When September soaks the fields, And the leaves begin to fall, Cricket unto Football yields,— That is all!
Yes—in hot or humid weather, At all seasons of the year, Life is little without leather In a sphere.
In the scrimmage, at the stumps, 'Neath the goal, behind the sticks, Life's a ball, which Summer thumps, Winter kicks.
From NAUSICAA—classic girl! Unto RENSHAW, GUNN, and GRACE, Balls mankind must kick or hurl, "Slog" or "place."
Our "terrestrial ball" is round, (Is it an idea chimerical?) Man, by hidden instincts bound, Loves the spherical.
In rotund, elastic bounders, Plainly the great joy of men is, Witness cricket, billiards, rounders, And lawn-tennis.
Now the championship is fixed, Now the averages are settled, Spite of critics rather mixed, Slightly nettled.
Now the heroes of the Goal Brace themselves for kick and scrummage, Verily, upon the whole, 'Tis a "rum" age!
Wane the joys of Love, Art, Faction, Parties rise and Parties fall, The world's sure centre of attraction Is a Ball!
* * * * *
Says Professor Alfred Marshall, of Cambridge, the great English Economist, in his luminous Address at the British Association meeting:—
"Every year economic problems become more difficult, every year it is more manifest that we need to have more knowledge and to get it soon, in order to escape, on the one hand, from the cruelty and waste of irresponsible competition and the licentious use of wealth, and, on the other, from the tyranny and the spiritual death of an iron-bound Socialism."
Here be judicial truths, skilfully Marshalled into clear order, which may profitably be noted by the angry sciolistic skirmishers on one side and the other in the great Social War now raging.
The sniffing Laissez-faire man, the high and dry Economist, shrieks at the enthusiastic humanitarian Socialist, whom he would fain send to Anticyra,—or further; the headlong humanitarian Socialist howls at the high and dry Economist, whom he would like to despatch finally to Saturn, or "haply to some lower level," as BOB LOWE's epitaph had it. The result is cantankerous charivari!
Marshall does more and better. He emphasises "the cruelty and waste of irresponsible competition," he admits "the licentious use of wealth," but he also recognises "the tyranny and the spiritual death of an iron-bound Socialism," that violent and venomous form of Socialism, which Mr. Punch this week has represented under the apt symbol of a clinging, hampering, and suffocating Serpent.
Let the impetuous zealots who may probably demur to Mr. Punch's symbol—misunderstanding it—ponder Professor MARSHALL's words, and be not precipitate in judgment. There is Socialism and Socialism. The sort pictured by Professor MARSHALL, and Mr. Punch, is, like the Serpent of Old Myth, not the would-be friend of labour-cursed mankind, but a deceiving and glosingly deadly "incarnation of the Enemy."
* * * * *
THE STRAIGHT TIP.
["There is one national duty in this connection, and only one, that is worth insisting upon for a moment. That duty is to render it impossible for any enemy or combination of enemies to interrupt our supply of food or whatever else is necessary for our well-being."—The "Times" on Sir George Tryon's Scheme for National Insurance of Shipping in Time of War.]
Right, "Thunderer," and tersely put! Hammer this into BULL's big noddle, Until he just puts down his foot On temporising timid twaddle, And you will do a vast deal more To keep our drowsy British Lion In health, and strength and wakeful roar Than all the schemes Tryon may try on. Battle's not always to the strong; The race, though, must be to—the Fleet, With us at least. We can't go wrong In making safety there complete. And by St. George we can't go right On any other tack whatever, Until that Fleet is fit to fight With all our foes though strong and clever. Insurance may be all serene, But the insurance JOHN must measure Is safety on all roads marine For him, his men, his food, his treasure. And if our ships don't give us this On Neptune s high-road wild and wavy, JOHN BULL his chief straight tip will miss, And likewise soon may miss—his Navy!
* * * * *
* * * * *
CUPID AND MINERVA.
(FRAGMENT FROM AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY THAT IT IS HOPED WILL NEVER BE WRITTEN.)
I was most anxious that my past should be concealed from him, as I felt that once revealed, it would come between us as a barrier for ever! So I dissembled. I adapted my conversation to his capabilities. I learned to talk of lawn tennis, cricket, politics, even cookery. Only on one occasion did I betray myself. With self-abasement I was asking for an explanation of the electric telegraph. He gave me a somewhat faulty definition.
"Dear me!" I cried. "How did they ever come to think of such a clever thing?"
"Omne ignŏtum pro magnifico," he replied, with condescension.
I could not bear the false quantity even from his lips, and I asked, "Would not ignōtum be better, darling?"
I could have bitten out my tongue for such an indiscretion. He looked at me sharply, with a glance of covert distrust.
"What do you know about it?" he asked, somewhat brusquely.
"Nothing, nothing!" I said, confusedly. "I happened to be looking through an Explanatory Pronouncing Dictionary of Latin Quotations, and found the passage."
"Beware of consulting text-books," he returned, sententiously. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
For the moment I was safe, but I knew that the confidence that hitherto had existed between us was shaken and lessened. When he left me that day, he referred once more to the incident.
"Forgive me, SCHOLASTICA, I know I have been disagreeable. But I confess I am upset—the fact is a man doesn't care to be picked up sharp in his Latin."
"Forgive me!" I pleaded, "and you will love me?"
"Ad fĭnem!" he returned, making the first vowel short. I set my teeth and was silent. He looked at me with a keen glance, as if he would read my very soul, murmuring under his breath, "if she will stand that, she will stand anything," and we parted! Once alone, I gave vent to my feelings in a burst of passionate weeping. "Ad finem!" Oh, it was hard to bear!
At length the day arrived for our marriage. Just as I was starting for the Church a letter was handed to me. I recognised in the shaky superscription (which seemed to tremble in every stroke) his handwriting. The envelope contained a printed paper! It was the Oxford Class List! Then the truth in all its hideousness dawned upon me. He knew at last that I had taken a Double First!
* * * * *
This occurred many years ago. Well, time has brought its compensating comforts, and I am at least able to exclaim, "Quum multa injusta ac prava fiunt moribus!" without being guilty of using a false quantity!
* * * * *
"IN THE AIR!"
A PARABLE FOR THE PERIOD.
"A course precipitous, of dizzy speed Suspending thought and breath; a monstrous sight! For in the air do I behold indeed An Eagle and a Serpent wreathed in fight. —SHELLEY's Revolt of Islam.
A monstrous sight! Through SHELLEY's vision rare Of high Revolt one mighty image glows, This pregnant symbol of the struggling pair, So strangely matched, and wildly-warring foes, Filling the startled air with Titan throes. Interpret as you will that Winged Form, High-soaring, keen-eyed, of imperial pose, Or that close-clinging, coiled Colossal Worm; 'Tis an eternal type of strife amidst the storm.
The symbol speaks, though variously applied, Of snaking sleight that soaring strength assails, And strives to drag it from its place of pride, And, after cruel conflict, faints and fails. Sometimes it seems the air's strong monarch vails His crest awhile, as, hampering coil on coil, Insidious knot on pinion proud prevails; Yet towering greatness crawling hate shall foil, Nor shall the Bird of Jove be long the Python's spoil.
Strong-winged this Eagle, either wafter ready To buoy and to upbear that body great. Potent of beak and claw, of eye-glance steady, Lord of the air, and master of its fate, It seems, it seems, sailing in splendid state Athwart the stretches of the skyey blue. Yet what might be the fleet-winged wanderer's fate. Did either pinion fail? Its flight is true Only when level buoyed upon the plumy two.
"A shaft of light upon its wings descended. And every golden feather gleamed therein." Ay! and their fate's inextricably blended; Let either faint or flag, they shall not win Athwart the aerial azure clear and thin. Brothered in use are they, in use and need. See how the Serpent's many-coloured skin Writhes hither, thither, with insidious heed, Striving to maim one pinion. Shall the pest succeed?
Bred far below, in dank malarious slime, That Serpent hath no power to soar in air, Save clinging to winged creatures that can climb The empyrean; yet from its foul lair It sprang to the broad wings it would ensnare, Encoil, enshackle, hamper, break, drag down. How swept the Bird so low that it should dare, That Worm, to wriggle midst its plumes full grown, And with the Air's sole monarch thus dispute the crown?
Alas! the Eagle stooped; those well-poised pinions Faltered, and beat the air unevenly; Nor shall the Bird maintain its proud dominions If those wings lapse from rhythm, pulse awry. Vain power of beak and claw, keenness of eye, Or pride of crested head, if those broad vanes Beat without balance true the clouded sky. The lord of those etherial domains, Once wing-maimed, pitiless fate to the dull earth enchains.
That Serpent is a sinister birth of time, The likeness of the light 'twould fain take on, But 'tis engendered from the poisonous slime Of hate, and greed, and darkness. Though it don Apollo's guise, 'tis but Apollyon. To shackle, poison, palsy is its aim. Venom and violence never yet have won A victory truly worthy of the name. To call this thing Toil's friend is friendship to defame.
"An Eagle and a Serpent wreathed in fight!" There is the symbol he who runs may read. The Bird is Trade, with pinions balanced right; Labour and Capital in love agreed, All's well; the Serpent shall not then succeed In shackling that, or in destroying this. The snake, a venomous worm of poisonous breed, In vain shall coil and knot, shall strike and hiss. Mark, Wealth! mark, Toil! The moral's one you scarce can miss!
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
A WORD TO JOHN BURNS.
["He was in the unfortunate position of having probably to go to Parliament at the next election, but he would rather go to prison half-a-dozen times than to Parliament once, because Labour candidates in the past had either been thrown out or tied to the coat-tail of party politics. He wished it to be distinctly understood that there must be nothing of this, but their candidates must go forth as labour candidates, and labour candidates only. He must know on what terms he must do the dirty work of going to Parliament."—Mr. John Burns at the Trade Union Congress at Liverpool.]
Good gracious, how awful! The Trades were assembled, And they all yelled together, and tempers got brittle; And when Burns rose and thundered, all Liverpool trembled (Though Burns is perhaps Boanerges spelt little).
And he laid all about him, like mules who can kick hard, But kick without aim for the pleasure of kicking; And he trod upon Fenwick, and trampled on Pickard, And his friends shouted, "Death to political tricking!"
And on one side we heard all the Socialist gang wage A war against Broadhurst, who carried a hod once. And Broadhurst retorted on Burns and his language, That Burns might go back, since he languished in "quod" once.
And Burns ranted back; as the French say, the mustard Had gone to his nose, which was rather unfortunate. "St. Stephen's requires me, and I," so he blustered, "Must needs be a Member, since friends are importunate.
"But I'd rather," he added, "go six times to Holloway" (Will not language like this of J.B. make The Star lament?) "Than go (which is dirt) to St. Stephen's, or loll away My time and the People's as Member of Parliament."
Now, Burns, be advised; that is bunkum—you know it. You "must be a Member"? Pooh, pooh, John, I doubt you. Short answers are best, so Punch answers you, "Stow it. Stay away, and we'll try for salvation without you."
There's no "must" in the matter. The goose, John, who flaps his Vain wings, though at first very fearful he may be, If you face him at once, why, he promptly collapses; He may hiss as he runs, he won't frighten a baby.
Be warned in good time—why there isn't a man, Sir, Or at most one or two, whom the universe misses. You strut for a moment, and then, like poor Anser, You vanish, uncared-for, with splutter and hisses.
If a man cares to toil, if, like Broadhurst or Burt, he Puts his neck to the yoke for the good of his fellows, He will find work to do (though you scorn it as dirty), Without all this labour of trumpet and bellows.
Surely butter must cloy, though your friends do the churning— You are not the whole world, though you did win a tanner; And Punch thinks it well, when your head has done turning, You should turn a new leaf, and just soften your manner.
* * * * *
RAILWAY TIME-TABLE. APPLICABLE ALL THE YEAR ROUND.
6 Cabs—full of Passengers = 1 Dawdling Porter. 12 Dawdling Porters = 1 Train's Start. 2 Trains' Starts = 1 Danger Signal. 2 Danger Signals = 1 Stoppage on the Line. 3 Stoppages on the Line = 1 Late Arrival. 24 Late Arrivals = 1 Day's Unpunctuality. 365 Days' Unpunctuality = 1 Patient Public's Useless Grumble.
* * * * *
A Murderous Game.—(Example of "Beneficent Murder.")—Taking a Life at Pool.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE BETTER THE DAY, THE BETTER THE TALK!
SCENE—Any fashionable Watering Place where "Church Parade" is a recognised institution. TIME—Sunday, 1 P.M. Enter BROWN and Mrs. BROWN, who take chairs.
Mrs. Brown. Good Gracious! Look another way! Those odious people, the STIGGINGSES, are coming towards us!
Brown. Why odious? I think the girls rather nice.
Mrs. B. (contemptuously). Oh, you would, because men are so easily taken in! Nice, indeed! Why, here's Major BUTTONS.
B. (moving his head sharply to the right). Don't see him! Can't stand the fellow! I always avoid him at the Club!
Mrs. B. Why? Soldiers are always such pleasant men.
B. (contemptuously). BUTTONS a soldier! Years ago he was a Lieutenant in a marching regiment, and now holds honorary rank in the Volunteers! Soldier, indeed! Bless me! here's Mrs. FITZ-FLUMMERY—mind you don't cut her.
Mrs. B. Yes, I shall; the woman is insupportable. Did you ever see such a dress? And she has changed the colour of her hair—again!
B. Whether she has or hasn't, she looks particularly pleasing.
Mrs. B. (drily). You were always a little eccentric in your taste! Why, surely there must be Mr. PENNYFATHER ROBSON. How smart he looks! Where can he have come from?
B. The Bankruptcy Court! (Drily.) You were never particularly famous for discrimination. As I live, the SMITHS! [He bows with effusion.
Mrs. B. And the STUART JONESES! (She kisses her hand gushingly.) By the way, dear, didn't you say that the PLANTAGENET SMITHS were suspected of murdering their Uncle before they inherited his property?
B. So it is reported, darling. And didn't you tell me, my own, that the parents of Mr. STUART JONES were convicts before they became millionaires?
Mrs. B. So I have heard, loved one. (Starting up.) Come, CHARLEY, we must be off at once! The GOLDHARTS! If they catch us, she is sure to ask me to visit some of her sick poor!
B. And he to beg me to subscribe to an orphanage or a hospital! Here, take your prayer-book, or people won't know that we have come from church!
* * * * *
(A QUESTION FOR THE NEXT ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSEMBLY.)
["When we consider the vast amount of time comprised in the Tertiary period ... the chances that man as at present constituted, should be a survivor from that period seem remote, and against the species Homo Sapiens having existed in Miocene times almost incalculable."—Address of the President of the Anthropological Section, Dr. John Evans, at the Leeds Meeting of the British Association.]
When then did Homo Sapiens first appear? Upon whose speculations shall we bottom us? Contemporary he with the cave bear, But hardly with the earliest hippopotamus. The happy Eocene beheld him not; That cheerful epoch when a morning ramble Among the mammoths, without gun or shot, Must have been such a truly sportive scramble. The pleasant Pliocene preceded him. Apparently, poor bare, belated Homo; His spectre seems to haunt, despondent, dim, Lakes—how unlike Killarney, Wenham, Como!— Where dens called Dwellings may have left some trace. Before "quarternary times "—whatever they were— Homo appears not to have shown his face. And then its features far from gracefully gay were. So EVANS, who the mystery of Man's birth Into our Cosmos carefully unravels. He seems to view with sceptical calm mirth, Remains of Man among the river gravels. Well, we'll relinquish Tertiary man, Without immoderate grief, or lasting anguish. The Pliocene, if we can grasp its plan, Would seem an epoch when our race would languish. The skeletons, cut animal bones, and flints, Supposed to prove his presence, let's abandon; But on some subjects we should like some hints; When did he come, and what has Sapient Man done To justify his advent? Take him now, Apart from retrospection prehistoric, What is the being of the lifted brow Doing at present? Strange phantasmagoric Pictures of his proceedings flit before The vision of alert imagination; Playing the brute, buffoon, "bounder," or bore, In every climate, and in every nation! Homo—here wasting half his hard-earned gains Upon Leviathan Fleets and Mammoth Armies, Spending his boasted gifts of Tongue and Brains In Party spouting. Swearing potent charm is In grubbing muck-rake Money on the Mart, Or squandering it on Turf, or Gambling Table. Squabbling o'er the Morality of Art, Or fighting o'er the Genesis of Fable. You'll find him—as a Frank—in comic rage, Mouthing mad rant, fighting preposterous duels, Scattering ordures o'er Romance's page, And decking a swine's snout with Style's choice jewels. You'll see him—as a Teuton—trebly taxed, Mooning 'midst metaphysical supposes; Twirling a huge moustache, superbly waxed, And taking pride in slitting comrades' noses. You'll meet him—as a Muscovite—dead set On making civic life a sombre Hades, Shaking a knife with tyrant's blood red-wet, Or—aping "Paris-goods" in art, dress, ladies. You'll spy him—as a Yankee—gassing loud About his pride, and yet chin-deep in snobbery; Leaving State matters to corruption's crowd, And justifying (literary) robbery. Whilst as a Briton! Bless us, 'twould take time To picture Homo in his guise Britannic. Here he is making a fine art of crime, There he is fussing in a Puritan panic; Here with MCMUCK he plays the prurient spy, And there with OSCAR in a paroxysm Of puerile paradox spreads to Cultchaw's eye The fopperies of "Artistic Hedonism"! Oh, EVANS, noting Man (not Tertiary) In Church or State, the Studio or the Tavern, One wonders—not was he contemporary With Danish Kjoekkenmoeddings or Kent's Cavern,— No, thinking of his work with Swords, Tongues, Pens, Of most of which Wisdom would make a clearance, One wonders whether Homo Sapiens Has really truly yet made his appearance!
* * * * *
* * * * *
In consequence of the taking in or taking out of Nobodies' luggage, the train had been considerably delayed, and this delay had been protracted by the thirsty condition of the panting and enfeebled engine. Stopping to water the horses in the olden days took much less time, I should imagine, than stopping to supply the engine with water in our own day. Be this as it may, the stoppages had already been considerable, and the Baron was ruminating on the best method of passing his valuable time for the next two hours, when it occurred to him that in his bag he had been carrying about for some time past three books, in the hope that there might occur some opportunity, of which the Baron could avail himself, to peruse these works, and remark upon them for the benefit of the select reading public. He took up the first, read a few sketches of Our Churchwardens, but failing to appreciate the subject, returned it to the bag, and went in for Monsignor. Perhaps the weak state of health in which our engine found itself, had not been improved by the additional weight imposed on it, owing to having to carry Monsignor. "Uncommonly heavy," said the Baron, when he arrived at the hundredth page; "I will keep it in reserve for my lighter and gayer moments, when timely repression may be necessary." So saying, he restored this to the same receptacle, and made another dip in the lucky bag. This time he brought to the surface The Case of George Candlemas, by GEORGE SIMS. Very nearly giving it up was the Baron, on account of its title, so suggestive of the usual vein of shilling shockers, and very glad is he that he did not do so, as for the next hour and a quarter not only was the Baron really interested, but highly amused, and it would have done the heart of GEORGE SIMS, of Horrible London and other emotional tales, good to have seen the Baron chuckling over this capital short story, which is as ingenious as it is genuinely droll. It belongs to the same genus as the Danvers Jewels, though, in this latter, the idea of the character of the narrator is more humorously conceived than is Mr. SIMS's Baronet who acts as an amateur detective. The Baron highly recommends this story, as he also does a short tale in Blackwood, for this month, entitled, A Physiologist's Wife, by A. CONAN DOYLE.
The Baron's attention has been turned to five little volumes of Love Tales, English, Irish, Scotch, American, and German. They form a companion set to Weird Tales, published also by PATERSON & Co., and a pocketable size, most useful for travellers.
A propos of Travellers, why does not some English firm bring out a series of Guide-books, of the size, and written in the style of the Guides Conty, which, for travelling in France, are far and away the best Guide-books I know. The Guides Joanne are of course good, steady, trustworthy Guides, but they don't attract the traveller's attention to out-of-the-way places, and to the "things to do," in the same pleasant way as do the writers in the Guides Conty. Where to go, when to go, how to go, how to make the most of a short visit, what to ask for, what to look for, what to take, and what to avoid, these are details for which the Guides Conty go in. They might be better, perhaps, in the way of maps, but this is a fault of all Guides. Wishing, when at Havre, to visit Merville-sur-Mer, and the celebrated Corneville, with whose cloches we are all acquainted, in vain I searched the ordinary maps, and at last found quite a microscopical place, and without the "Sur Mer," as there wasn't room for it in a map of either the Guide Joanne or Conty, I forget which. Why it seems to be generally ignored I don't know, but in this respect it is a fellow-sufferer with Westgate-on-Sea, whose name is on no sign-post that ever I've seen in the Island of Thanet, though it may by this time figure on some recent maps. The village of "Garlinge," which is on the inland side of the L.C.&D. line, is to be found on every direction-post and on every map, and the fashionable Westgate is, so to speak, nowhere. BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
P.S.—Just attempted to read RUDYARD KIPLING's On Greenhow Hill, in this month's Macmillan. No doubt very clever, and will be greatly admired by Kiplingites, but, for me, time is too valuable and life too short to study and appreciate it. I can't even read it: dommage, but I can't.
In this month's number of The Cabinet Portrait Gallery (CASSELL & CO.) there is one of the best photographs of JOHN MORLEY I ever remember to have seen. Not easy to take: this one is by DOWNEY. No mistaking a photo by DOWNEY, and this one of JOHN MORLEY, the Nineteenth Century ST. JUST, has a thoroughly downy look about the face. Those of Lady DUDLEY and Sir FREDERICK LEIGHTON are not up to the DOWNEY standard, specially Lady DUDLEY's.
In the Fortnightly Mr. FRANK HARRIS has induced Mr. W.S. LILLY to give us some personal reminiscences of Cardinal NEWMAN, together with some letters of the Cardinal's to him. Interesting, but too brief. Oddly enough, a propos of "Reminiscences," there is in this same Number a very amusing article by J.M. BARRIE on the manufacturing of reminiscences. Very droll idea. "Read it," says the Baron.
In the Contemporary Mr. WILFRID MEYNELL gives an interesting Memoir of the great Cardinal and his contemporaries, and Mr. RUDYARD KIPLING writes a tale entitled The Enlightenment of Mr. Padgett, M.P.—of which more when I've read it. * * * I have read it. It isn't a story, so I was disappointed, and about as interesting to a story-seeker as The National Congress, of which it treats, to the majority of the Indian natives. But the dialogue is instructive and amusing, and will enlighten many Padgetts. B. DE B.-W.
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"UN PETTITT-HARRIS COMPLIMENT."—AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS and his colleague in the authorship of the new piece at the National Theatre are to be congratulated. As might have been anticipated from the title, "there is money in it."
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AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
IN THE SCULPTURE GALLERIES.
Sightseers discovered drifting languidly along in a state of depression, only tempered by the occasional exercise of the right of every free-born Briton to criticise whenever he fails to understand. The general tone is that of faintly amused and patronising superiority.
A Burly Sightseer, with a red face (inspecting group representing "Mithras Sacrificing a Bull"). H'm; that may be MITHRAS's notion o' making a clean job of it, but it ain't mine!
A Woman (examining a fragment from base of sculptured column with a puzzled expression, as she reads the inscription). "Lower portion of female figure—probably a Bacchante." Well, how they know who it's intended for, when there ain't more than a bit of her skirt left, beats me!
Her Companion. Oh, I s'pose they've got to put a name to it of some sort.
An Intelligent Artisan (out for the day with his Fiancee—reading from pedestal). "Part of a group of As-Astrala—no, Astraga—lizontes"—that's what they are, yer see.
Fiancee. But who were they?
The I.A. Well, I can't tell yer—not for certain; but I expect they 'd be the people who in'abited Astragalizontia.
Fiancee. Was that what they used to call Ostralia before it was discovered? (They come to the Clytie bust.) Why, if that isn't the same head Mrs. MEGGLES has under a glass shade in her front window, only smaller—and hers is alabaster, too! But fancy them going and copying it, and I daresay without so much as a "by your leave," or a "thank you!"
The I.A. (reading). "Portrait of ANTONIA, sister-in-law of the Emperor TIBERIUS, in the character of Clytie turning into a sunflower."
Fiancee. Lor! They did queer things in those days, didn't they? (Stopping before another bust.) Who's that?
The I.A. 'Ed of Ariadne.
Fiancee (slightly surprised). What!—not young ADNEY down our street? I didn't know as he'd been took in stone.
The I.A. How do you suppose they'd 'ave young ADNEY in among this lot—why, that's antique!
Fiancee. Well, I was thinking it looked more like a female. But if it's meant for old Mr. TEAK, the shipbuilder's daughter, it flatters her up considerable; and, besides, I always understood as her name was BETSY.
The I.A. No, no; what a girl you are for getting things wrong! that 'ed was cut out years and years ago!
Fiancee. Well, she's gone off since, that's all; but I wonder at old Mr. TEAK letting it go out of the family, instead of putting it on his mantelpiece along with the lustres and the two chiny dogs.
The I.A. (with ungallant candour). 'Ark at you! Why, you ain't much more sense nor a chiny dog yourself!
Moralising Matron (before the Venus of Ostia). And to think of the poor ignorant Greeks worshipping a shameless hussey like that; it's a pity they hadn't someone to teach them more respectable notions! Well, well! it ought to make us thankful we don't live in those benighted times, that it ought!
A Connoisseur (after staring at a colossal Greek lion). A lion, eh? Well, it's another proof to my mind that the ancients hadn't got very far in the statuary line. Now, if you want to see a stone lion done true to Nature, you've only to walk any day along the Euston Road.
A Practical Man. I dessay it's a fine collection enough, but it's a pity the things ain't more perfect. I should ha' thought, with so many odds and ends and rubbish lying about as is no use to nobody at present, they might ha' used it up in mending some that only requires a arm 'ere, or a leg there, or a 'ed and what not, to make 'em as good as ever. But ketch them (he means the Officials) taking any extra trouble if they can help it!
His Companion. Ah, but yer see it ain't so easy fitting on bits that belonged to something different. You've got to look at it that way!
The P.M. I don't see no difficulty about it. Why, any stonemason could cut down the odd pieces to fit well enough, and they wouldn't have such a neglected appearance as they do now.
A Group has collected round a Gigantic Arm in red granite.
First Sightseer. There's a arm for yer!
Second S. (a humorist). Yes; 'ow would yer like to 'ave that come a punching your 'ed?
Third S. (thoughtfully). I expect they've put it up 'ere as a sample, like.
The Moralising Matron. How it makes one realise that there were giants in those days!
Her Friend. But surely the size must be a little exaggerated, don't you think? Oh, is this the God Ptah?
[The M.M. says nothing, but clicks her tongue to express a grieved pity, after which she passes on.
The Intelligent Artisan and his Fiancee have entered the Nineveh Gallery, and are regarding an immense human-headed winged bull.
The I.A. (indulgently). Rum-looking sort o' beast that ere.
Fiancee. Ye-es—I wonder if it's a likeness of some animal they used to 'ave then?
The I.A. I did think you was wider than that!—it's on'y imaginative. What 'ud be the good o' wings to a bull?
Fiancee (on her defence). You think you know so much—but it's got a man's 'ed, hain't it? and I know there used to be 'orses with 'alf a man where the 'ed ought to be, because I've seen their pictures—so there!
The I.A. I dunno what you've got where your 'ed ought to be, torking such rot!
IN THE UPPER GALLERIES; ETHNOGRAPHICAL COLLECTION.
A Grim Governess (directing a scared small boy's attention to a particularly hideous mask). See, HENRY, that's the kind of mask worn by savages!
Henry. Always—or only on the fifth of November, Miss GOOLE?
[He records a mental vow never to visit a Savage Island on Guy Fawkes' Day, and makes a prolonged study of the mask, with a view to future nightmares.
A kind, but dense Uncle (to Niece). All these curious things were made by cannibals, ETHEL—savages who eat one another you know.
Ethel (suggestively). But, I suppose, Uncle, they wouldn't eat one another if they had anyone to give them buns, would they?
[Her Uncle discusses the suggestion elaborately, but without appreciating the hint; the Governess has caught sight of a huge and hideous Hawaiian Idol, with a furry orange-coloured head, big mother-o'-pearl eyes, with black balls for the pupils, and a grinning mouth picked out with shark's teeth, to which she introduces the horrified HENRY.
Miss Goole. Now, HENRY, you see the kind of idol the poor savages say their prayers to.
Harry (tremulously). But n-not just before they go to bed, do they, Miss GOOLE?
AMONG THE MUMMIES.
The Uncle. That's King RAMESES' mummy, ETHEL.
Ethel. And what was her name, Uncle?
The Governess (halting before a cast containing a partially unrolled mummy, the spine and thigh of which are exposed to view). Fancy, HENRY, that's part of an Egyptian who has been dead for thousands of years! Why, you're not frightened, are you?
Harry (shaking). No, I'm not frightened, Miss GOOLE—only, if you don't mind, I—I'd rather see a gentleman not quite so dead. And there's one over there with a gold face and glass eyes, and he looked at me, and—and please, I don't think this is the place to bring such a little boy as me to!
A Party is examining a Case of Mummied Animals.
The Leader. Here you are, you see, mummy cats—don't they look comical all stuck up in a row there?
First Woman. Dear, dear—to think o' going to all that expense when they might have had 'em stuffed on a cushion! And monkeys, and dogs too—well, I'm sure, fancy that, now!
Second Woman. And there's a mummied crocodile down there. I don't see what they 'd want with a mummy crocodile, do you?
The Leader (with an air of perfect comprehension of Egyptian customs). Well, you see, they took whatever they could get 'old of, they did.
IN THE PREHISTORIC GALLERY.
Old Lady (to Policeman). Oh, Policeman, can you tell me if there's any article here that's supposed to have belonged to ADAM?
Policeman (a wag in his way). Well, Mum, we 'ave 'ad the 'andle of his spade, and the brim of his garden 'at, but they wore out last year and 'ad to be thrown away—things won't last for ever—even 'ere, you know.
A Peevish Old Man. I ain't seen anything to call worth seeing, I ain't. In our museum at 'ome they've a lamb with six legs, and hairylight stones as big as cannon-balls; but there ain't none of that sort 'ere, and I'm dog-tired trapesing over these boards, I am!
His Daughter (a candid person). Ah, I ought to ha' known it warn't much good takin' you out to enjoy yourself—you're too old, you are!
Ethel's Uncle (cheerily). Well, ETHEL, I think we've seen all there is to be seen, eh?
Ethel. There's one room we haven't been into yet, Uncle dear.
Uncle. Ha—and what's that?
Ethel (persuasively). The Refreshment Room.
[The hint is accepted at last.
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