Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99, September 6, 1890
Author: Various
Home - Random Browse



VOL. 99.

September 6, 1890.




The race of daughters is large, but their characteristics, vocations, and aptitudes, are but little understood by the general public. It is expected of them by their mothers that they should be a comfort, by their fathers that they should be inexpensive and unlike their brothers, and by their brothers that they should be as slaves, submissively attached to the fraternal car of triumph. The outside public, the mothers and fathers, that is to say, of other daughters, look upon them vaguely, as mild and colourless beings, destitute alike of character, of desires and of aspirations. And it must be said that daughters themselves, before matrimony absorbs their daughterhood and relieves them of their mothers, seem to be in the main content with the calm and limited existence which their relations and the voice of tradition assign to them. Most of them after they have passed through the flashing brilliance of their first season, and the less radiant glow of their second, are happy enough to spend the time that must elapse ere the destined knight shall sound the trumpet of release at the gates of the fortress, in an atmosphere of quiet domestic usefulness. One becomes known to fame, and her friends, as being above all others, "such a comfort to her mother." She interviews the cook, she arranges the dinners, she devises light and favourite dishes to blunt the edge of paternal irritability by tickling the paternal palate, she writes out invitations, presides at the afternoon tea-table, and, in short, takes upon herself many of those smaller duties which are as last straws to the maternal back. Another becomes the sworn friend and ally of her brothers, whom she assists in their scrapes with a sympathy which is balm to the scraped soul, and with a wisdom in counsel, which can only spring from a deep regret at not having been herself born a boy, and capable of scrapes.

But there is often in families another and an Undomestic Daughter, who aspires to be in all things unlike the usual run of common or domestic daughters. From an early age she will have been noted in the family circle for romantic tendencies, which are a mockery to her Philistine brothers, and a reproach to her commonplace sisters. She will have elevated her father to a lofty pinnacle of imaginative and immaculate excellence, from which a tendency to shortness of temper in matters of domestic finance resulting in petty squabbles with her mother, and an irresistible desire for after-dinner somnolence, will have gradually displaced him. One after another her brothers will have been to her Knights of the Round Table of her fancy, armed by her enthusiasm for impossible conflicts, of which they themselves, absorbed as they are in the examination and pocket-money struggles of boyhood, have no conception whatever. The effort to plant the tree of romance in an ordinary middle-class household was predestined to failure. Her disappointments are constant and crushing. Desires and capacities which, with careful nurture, might have come to a fair fruit, are chilled and nipped by the frost of neglect and ridicule. Her mind becomes warped. The work that is ready to her hand, the ordinary round of family tasks and serviceableness, repels her. She turns from it with distaste, and thus widens still more the gulf between herself and her relatives. Hence she is thrown back upon herself for companionship and comfort. She dissects, for her own bitter enjoyment, her inmost heart. She becomes the subtle analyst of her own imaginary motives. She calls up accusing phantoms to charge her before the bar of her conscience, in order that she may have the qualified satisfaction of acquitting herself, whilst returning against her relatives a verdict of guilty on every count of the indictment. In short, she becomes a thoroughly morbid and hysterical young woman, suspicious, and resentful even of the sympathy which is rarely offered to her. In the meantime, two of her younger sisters are wooed and won in the orthodox manner by steady-going gentlemen, of good position and prospects. The congratulations showered upon them, and the rejoicings which attend them on their wedding days, only serve to add melancholy to the Undomestic Daughter, who has already begun to solace herself for her failure to attract men by the reflection that matrimony itself is a failure, and that there are higher and worthier things in life than the wearing of orange-blossoms, and going-away dresses. It must be said that her parents strive with but little vigour against their daughter's inclination. Her father having hinted at indigestion as the cause of her unhappiness, and finding that the hint is badly received, shrugs his inapprehensive shoulders, and ceases to notice her. Her mother, persuaded that sanity is to be found only on the maternal side of the family, lays the peculiarities of her daughter to the charge of some abnormal paternal ancestor. Having thus, by implication, cleared herself from all responsibility, she feels that she is better able to take a detached and impartial view of errors which, seeing they are those of her own flesh and blood, she professes herself utterly unable to understand or to correct.

The Undomestic Daughter thus acquires the conviction that she herself is the most miserably crushed member of a down-trodden sex. In this, and in the agreement which she exacts from two or three melancholy friends, she seeks a solace for her sufferings. After a time, however, she discovers that this is insufficient. It must be said to her credit that her energies find the outlet of a passive sorrow inadequate. She burns to prove that one who is misunderstood and despised cannot only find useful work to do, but can do it better than her humdrum domestic sisters. Unfortunately, however, she overlooks the obvious and easy duties of her home. She scans the remote corners of the world. Her bruised spirit flutters about the bye-ways of charitable effort, and at length she establishes herself as a visitor, a distributer of tracts and blankets, and an instructor of factory girls. It is unnecessary to insist that these occupations are useful and praiseworthy in the abstract. It may be doubted, however, whether they should be undertaken by one who has to neglect for them equally necessary but less attractive labours.

The Undomestic Daughter, however, rejoices in the performance of work, which, as it were, sets a seal to her wretchedness, and stamps her as a being apart from the ruck of her sex. She now takes her meals alone, and at her own hours. She probably breakfasts at half-past seven, and dashes out to interview the Secretary of the Society for Improving the Cultivation of Mustard and Cress on the Desert Patches of the Mile End District. After this she will hasten to Lambeth, in order that mothers residing in that teeming quarter of the town may be blessed with mittens and mob-caps, and returning thence she devotes an hour or so to lectures which are to make her expert in tending the ailments of humanity. Occasionally the family arrangements are upset, in order that she may have her dinner at an hour which will make it convenient to her to attend the meeting of an Institute for Reading Historical Novels to Working Girls, and her father will lose all his available stock of good temper on finding that the moments generally devoted by him to soup are occupied to his exclusion by the apple-tart provided for his busy daughter. Hence come more storms and misunderstandings. Paternal feet are put down—for a time, and neglected excellence pines in bed-rooms.

Shortly afterwards the Undomestic Daughter discovers that nature intended her to be a hospital nurse, and she takes advantage of a period when her mother, being occupied in tending a younger brother through scarlatina cannot offer a determined opposition, to wring an unwilling consent from her father, and to leave her home in order to carry out her plan. This phase, however, does not last many weeks, and she is soon back once more on the parental hands. Thus the years pass on, the monotony of neglecting her home being varied by occasional outbursts of enthusiasm which carry her on distant expeditions in strange company. During one of these she falls in with a lay-preacher, who to a powerful and convincing style adds the fascination of having been turned from an early life of undoubted dissipation. She sits at his feet, she flatters him as only a woman can flatter a preacher, and having eventually married him, she helps him to found a new religion during the intervals that she can spare from the foundation of a considerable family. Warned by her own experience, she will never allow her daughters to be seen without their sewing or their knitting. Her sons will all be forced to learn useful trades, and it is quite possible that as time passes she may irritate even her husband, by constantly holding herself up to her somewhat discontented family as a pattern of all the domestic virtues.

* * * * *



Bah! bah! Blackleg! Have you any pluck? Backing up the Masters when the Men have struck! You're for the Master, we're for the Man! "Picket" you, and "Boycott" you; that is BURNS's plan!

* * * * *

The Waterloo Monument at Brussels, in the suburban cemetery of Evere. Motto:—"For Evere and for Evere!"

* * * * *


"A deep impression," said the Standard, last Wednesday, "was made on the hearers" (i.e., Prince BISMARCK'S audience at Kissengen) "when, in reply to a remark by one of the guests" (remark and name of immortal guest not reported), "the Ex-Chancellor said, 'My only ambition now is a good epitaph. I hope and beg for this.'" May it be long ere necessity imperatively demands his epitaph, good or indifferent, say all of us. But in the meantime, and to come to business, how much will the Ex-Chancellor give? Why not advertise, "A prize of —— (we leave it to the Prince to fill up the blank) will be given for the best epitaph"? With characteristic modesty, Prince BISMARCK, as reported, only asks for "a good epitaph." Why shouldn't he have the best that money can buy, and brains sell? Correspondents have already commenced: here are a few:—

"Beneath this slab the bones of this great boss are. Can Ossa speak? And would they say 'Canossa?'"

A would-be Competitor sends this,—

"Here lies BISMARCK— He made his mark."

A Correspondent writes:—"I haven't an epitaph handy about BISMARCK, but here's one on a billiard-marker, buried, of course at Kew:—

"'Rem acu tetigi,' let this attest, Now he has gone away for his long rest."



"P.S.—I'll think over the BISMARCK one, specially if he offers a prize of anything over a sovereign, as of course it ought to be, since the Ex-Chancellor always went in for an Imperial policy, which, however, didn't insure his life. This is very nearly an epitaph—praps you'll arrange it for me."

Another says, "This is simple:—

"Ci git, P.B."

Yes, very simple, but not good enough. Perhaps our Correspondents will improve when the amount of the prize is fixed.

* * * * *

* * * * *

FOUND IN A RUM PLACE.—The Latest Spice discovered in Jamaica—the SPEAKER's Mace.

* * * * *



"Newhaven to Dieppe," he cried, but, on the voyage there, He felt appalling qualms of what the French call mal de mer; While, when the steward was not near, he struck Byronic attitudes, And made himself most popular by pretty little platitudes. And, while he wobbled on the waves, be sure they never slep', While waiting for their LIONEL, the Damsels of Dieppe.

He landed with a jaunty air, but feeling rather weak, While all the French and English girls cried out, "C'est magnifique!" They reck'd not of his bilious hue, but murmur'd quite ecstatical, "Blue coat, brass buttons, and straw hat,—c'est tout-a-fait piratical!" He hadn't got his land-legs, and he walked with faltering step, But still they thought it comme-il-faut, those Damsels of Dieppe.

The Douane found him circled round by all the fairest fair, The while he said, in lofty tones, he'd nothing to declare; He turned to one girl who stood near, and softly whisper'd, "Fly, O NELL!" But all the others wildly cried, "Give us a chance, O LIONEL!" And thus he came to shore from all the woes of Father Nep., With fatal fascinations for the Damsels of Dieppe.

He went to the Casino, whither mostly people go, And lost his tin at baccarat and eke petits chevaux; And still the maidens flocked around, and vowed he was amusing 'em, And borrowed five-franc pieces, just for fear he should be losing 'em; And then he'd sandwiches and bocks, which brought on bad dyspep- sia for LIONEL beloved by Damsels of Dieppe.

As bees will swarm around a hive, the maids of La belle France Went mad about our LIONEL and thirsted for his glance; In short they were reduced unto a state of used-up coffee lees By this mild, melancholic, maudlin, mournful Mephistopheles. He rallied them in French, in which he had the gift of rep- artee, and sunnily they smiled, the Damsels of Dieppe.

At last one day he had to go; they came upon the pier; The French girls sobbed, "Mon cher!" and then the English sighed, "My dear!" He looked at all the threatening waves, and cried, the while embracing 'em, (I mean the girls, not waves,) "Oh no! I don't feel quite like facing 'em!" And all the young things murmured, "Stay, and you will find sweet rep- aration for the folks at home in Damsels of Dieppe."

And day by day, and year by year, whene'er he sought the sea, The waves were running mountains high, the wind was blowing free. At last he died, and o'er his bier his sweethearts sang doxology, And vowed they saw his ghost, which came from dabbling in psychology. And to this hour that spook is seen upon the pier. If scep- tical, ask ancient ladies, once the Damsels of Dieppe.

* * * * *



"The Party which befriends the cause of the Working-Man;" i.e., "The Party which (at election-time) rather wishes it had done so."

"The Party which advocates economy and keeps down taxation;" i.e., "The Party which likes to make its opponents do the expenditure on Army, Navy, &c."


"I remember, years ago, I used to take exactly the same view myself;" i.e., "But, unlike you, I have made some use of my opportunities and experience since then."

"But there you see you are begging the whole question" or, "My good fellow, you're only arguing in a circle;" i.e., "Rather than admit that I am wrong, I would begin the argument over again."

"Of course you remember that splendid passage in ——;" i.e., "Decided score! Know you haven't ever heard of the book."

* * * * *

SHAKSPEARE's "deeds" going to America? The World is the richer for his words, and certainly to the country of his birth belong the records of his deeds.

* * * * *



Still endeavouring to earn an honest, but unpleasant, penny as a (temporary) Private Tutor. Begin to be vaguely conscious that my grasp of the Latin Grammar is not as firm as it might be. Will my classical training see me through, or will "ERNIE" see through my classical training?

ERNIE (before breakfast) offers to conduct me round the grounds. Must take the youngster down a peg or two. So, when he shows me the stables, rather proudly, I remark, pityingly—"What! Only three nags?"

"Oh, I ride a pony," he replies, airily. "What can you ride, Mr. JOYNSON? Do you know how to ride—or do you generally fall off?"

Explain to him elaborately that I am rather more at home on horseback than on my legs. He winks, as if he didn't quite believe me. I can't go on, as it's certainly infra dig. to be praising one's accomplishments, especially to a chit like this.

"We buried NERO here," the boy says, pointing to a damp mound. "He was our Newfoundland dog, and the gardener dropped a beam on him, and killed him as dead as JULIUS CAESAR. Oh, Mr. JOYNSON, when did JULIUS CAESAR die?"

Happily my presence of mind does not desert me. I reply, severely,—

"What! Don't you know your Roman History better than that?"

"No," he answers—"do you?" Then a sudden thought strikes him. "Oh, I'll ask Miss MYRTLE" (Miss MYRTLE is the Governess)—"she'll be sure to know. She isn't a muff."

Query—What is the best line to take with a remark like that? Before I decide the point, HERBIE rushes out into the garden, and is immediately sent spinning into a cucumber-frame by his kind elder brother, who then disappears into the house.

Yells from HERBIE. Go in and send the Governess to him. Relief from children for about ten minutes.

At Breakfast.—Mother cross. Seems to think that I ought to have prevented ERNIE from mutilating HERBIE. HERBIE appears with head bandaged, still sobbing. French again, thank Heaven!—so children silent. Never felt the advantage of foreign languages till now.

Mamma, with a courage worthy of a better cause, asks me, "What time lessons will begin?" I reply, evasively, "that I shall be in the library, and that I will ring for ERNEST (I lay stress on the word ERNEST, as excluding the two others) when I am ready for him."

I do, after a good preliminary smoke. HERBIE and JACK present themselves at the same time. I send them off to the Governess, and lock the door; Governess sends them back to me; result is, that they play about outside library all morning, so that we (ERNEST and I) can hardly hear ourselves speak.

Put ERNIE through his paces. Ask him what he knows. Process (I fear) incidentally reveals to him what I know. Hear him at lunch explaining to HERBIE (with whom he has made friends again) that I am "not bad at sums, but a shocking duffer at Latin." Pretend not to hear the remark.

Afternoon.—Find the three boys, and two girls, all waiting—apparently—to go out for a country walk with me!

What! Two-and-two! Never!

"But—er—" I say, addressing the little girls, in a pleasant tone, "aren't you going out with your Governess?"

"Oh, yes"—they both exclaim at once—"she's coming too!"

The situation is becoming more and more embarrassing. I can't, in politeness, refuse the Governess's society for a walk. I solve the problem, temporarily, by telling all five children to run up to Miss MYRTLE, and ask her which way she thinks we had better go.

They perform the commission with alacrity, which gives me the opportunity of slipping out at back-door, and taking quiet ramble by myself. When will Paterfamilias himself turn up? I have not seen or heard from Mr. BRISTOL MERCHANT yet.

I am fated, however, to hear from him pretty soon; and, when I do, his communication is surprising. It comes in the form of a telegram, addressed to me. It runs thus:—

"Just heard President asked you to take tutorship. Misunderstanding. Very sorry, but have myself engaged another tutor. He will arrive this evening. Shall I tell him not to come? Awkward! Wire reply."

Awkward! On the contrary, I feel it to be almost providential. Mamma doesn't apologise, but says, frankly—"Why, if he comes, there'll be two tutors—and one is quite enough!"

I telegraph briefly to the effect, that, under the circumstances, I will go at once.

Bid good-bye (after lunch) to ERNIE, in hall. He says—"I knew you would never do for the place," and ought to have his ears boxed by his fond Mamma, but hasn't. As I go down front walk, see him and HERBIE and JACK all putting out what I think I may appropriately call their "mother tongues" at me from a top window!

Moral—for my own consumption: Never go to an uncultivated family again.

So ends my Tutorship! And I've never once set eyes on my employer all through!

After this fiasco, the President certainly ought to do something handsome for me.

He does! Writes and says how sorry he is to hear of the stupid mistake that has been made. He knows of another very nice family, in Cheshire, who want a Private Tutor. Shall he mention my name to them? Not for worlds!

* * * * *

* * * * *


What means Train de Luxe? Peppery "PUNJAB" replies, Two dirty sleeping-oars wherein one lies Awaiting a breakfast; to feel disgust utter At coffee, two boiled eggs, and plain roll and butter, (Miscalled "Grub de Luxe," in the bitterest chaff,) At the humorous price of four francs and a-half! Item: Thirty-five francs for a bottle of brandy! (A thing that—at breakfast—of course comes in handy). A horrible dinner; no wine, and no beer, Not even a soda your spirits to cheer; No water to wash in at Turin—just think! On arrival in France, not a drop e'en to drink! What wonder poor "PUNJAB," who hails from the "Garrick," Got hungry as VASHTI, and dry as a hayrick? An Edition de Luxe, as a rule, is a sell, But a Train de Luxe sure as a fraud bears the bell, Which promises travel more cosy and quicker, And leaves you half starved, without money—or liquor!

* * * * *

KILLING NO MURDER!—A Correspondent of the Times, protesting against the assumption of combatant rank by the Army Surgeons, writes:—"A military doctor is armed, and like others is entitled to defend himself when attacked, but that is a very different thing from giving him full licence to kill." The Correspondent evidently overlooks the powers afforded by a medical diploma!

* * * * *

* * * * *



When on my Continental tour preparing to depart, I bought a Conversation-Book, and got it up by heart; A handy manual it seemed, convenient and neat, And gave for each contingency a dialogue complete.

Upon the weather—wet or fine—I could at will discourse, Or bargain for a bonnet, or a boot-jack, or a horse; Tell dentists, in three languages, which tooth it is that hurts; Or chide a laundress for the lack of starch upon my shirts.

I landed full of idioms, which I fondly hoped to air— But crushing disappointment met my efforts everywhere. The waiters I in fluent French addressed at each hotel Would answer me in English, and—confound 'em!—spoke it well.

Those phrases I was furnished with, for Germany or France, I realised, with bitterness, would never have a chance! I swore that they should hear me yet, and proudly turned my back On polyglots in swallowtails, and left the beaten track....

They spoke the native language now; but—it was too absurd— Of none of their own idioms they apparently had heard! My most colloquial phrases fell, I found, extremely flat. They may have come out wrong-side up, but none the worse for that.

I tried them with my Manual; it was but little good; For not one word of their replies I ever understood. They never said the sentences that should have followed next: I found it quite impossible to keep them to the text!

Besides, unblushing reference to a Conversation-Book Imparts to social intercourse an artificial look. So I let the beggars have their way. 'Twas everywhere the same; I led the proper openings—they wouldn't play the game.

Now I've pitched the Manual away that got me in this mess, And in ingenious pantomime my wishes I express. They take me for an idiot mute, an error I deplore: But still—I'm better understood than e'er I was before!

* * * * *



London at the end of August is not particularly inviting, save in one respect—it is negatively pleasant to find that Matinees are all but suspended. I should say quite, were it not that the Shaftesbury Theatre on the 27th opened its doors at a quarter to three o'clock in the afternoon, for the performance of The Violin Makers, an adaptation of Le Luthier de Cremone, and the production of a "new and original Comedy sketch," in two Acts, called The Deacon, by HENRY ARTHUR JONES. The first piece I had already seen at the Bushey Theatre, with Professor HERKOMER, R.A., in the principal character. I had now an opportunity of comparing the Artist-Actor with the Manager-Actor, and must confess that I liked the former better than the latter. Mr. WILLARD as Filippo, was Mr. WILLARD, but Professor HERKOMER, shaved for the occasion, seemed to be anyone other than Professor HERKOMER. The mounting of the piece at Bushey was also greatly to be preferred to the mise-en-scene in Shaftesbury Avenue, and as the accomplished Artist-Actor had also supplied some exceedingly touching music to his version of FRANCOIS COPPEE's Poetical Play, which was wanting two hundred yards from Piccadilly Circus, I was altogether better pleased with the entertainment served up with sauce a la Herkomer. I may be wrong in preferring the amateur to the professional, or I may be right—after all, it is merely a matter of opinion.

Mr. JONES is entirely justified in calling The Deacon a "sketch," as it can scarcely claim greater histrionic importance. I think I may take it for granted that a sausage-maker, from the nature of his employment, is usually presumed to be a man not absolutely without guile, and, therefore, Abraham Boothroyd, "Wholesale bacon-factor, Mayor of Chipping Padbury on the Wold, and Senior Deacon of Ebenezer Chapel," may perhaps be counted one of those exceptions that are said to prove the rule. According to Mr. JONES, this eccentric individual comes up to town to attend an indignation meeting held with a view to protesting against the conversion of Exeter Hall into a temple of the drama, and after dining with "a Juliet of fifteen years ago," and a new and quaint sort of Barrister, accompanies them to the play, and is so greatly pleased with the performances presented, to him, that, before the curtain falls, he announces his intention of repeating his visit to the theatre every evening until further notice! This may be true to human nature, because there is authority for believing that the said human nature is occasionally a "rum un"; but, without the precedent I have quoted, it is difficult to accept the sudden conversion of Mr. Boothroyd as quite convincing. I could scarcely have believed that Mr. JONES, who has done such excellent work in Judah, and The Middleman, could have been the author of The Deacon, had not his name appeared prominently on the playbill, and had not a rumour reached me that this "comedy sketch" had adorned for years, in MS. form, a corner of some book-shelves. I think, if the rumour is to be believed, that it is almost a pity that there was any interference with that corner—I fancy The Deacon might have rested in peace on the book-shelves indefinitely, without causing serious injury to anyone. But this is a fancy, and only a fancy.

I may add that Mr. WILLARD made the most of the materials provided for him; but whether that most was much or little is, and must remain, a matter of conjecture. On the whole, if I had understood aright what the sad sea waves were evidently attempting to say to me, I think I would not have attended on the 27th of August a London Matinee. But this is a thought, and nothing more. Believe me, dear Mr. Punch, yours, more in sorrow than in anger,


* * * * *

* * * * *


The Baron has recently been reading a new work, disinterestedly recommended to him by M. ROQUES, the French publisher and French bookseller of Bond Street, entitled L'Ame de Pierre, by GEORGES OHNET. It is a strangely fascinating story; the picturesque descriptions transport us to the very places; and the studies of life, are, specially of certain phases of French life, most interesting to an English reader. The cosmopolitan Baron DE B.W. wishes that Frenchmen, however manly they may be, were not so easily and so constantly moved to tears. This however, is only a matter of taste. What the purpose of the novel may be—for GEORGES OHNET has written this with a purpose—is not quite evident. Whether it is intended to chime in with the popular theme of hypnotism, and illustrate it in a peculiar way, or whether it is merely illustrating Hamlet's wise remark that, "There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy," the Baron is at a loss to determine. It is psychological, it is materialistic, it is idealistic, it is philosophical, it is ... French. The Vacuus Viator may have a worse companion on a long journey than L'Ame de Pierre.

Talking of materialistic, "let us," quoth the Baron, "be grateful to Mrs. DE SALIS for a bookful of 'Tempting Dishes for Small Incomes,' published by LONGMANS & Co." First of all get your small income, then purchase this book, for eighteenpence, or less with discount; or (a shorter and a cheaper way) borrow it from a friend. Let the Small Incomer cast his watery eye over Lobster cutlets, p. 19, and Lobster pancakes: let him reduce his small income to something still smaller in order to treat himself and family to a Rumpsteak a la bonne bouche, a Sausage pudding, and a Tomato curry. The sign over a Small-Income House is the picture of a Sheep's Head, usually despised as sheepish: but go to p. 28, and have a tete-a-tete (de mouton) with Mrs. DE SALIS about Sheep's head au Gratin.

Rabbit batter pudding, eh? with shalot a discretion. How's that for high? Let the Small Incomer get some dariole tins, mushrooms, chives, rabbits, tripe, onions, oil, ducks, eggs, and with egg kromeskies he'll dine like a millionnaire, and be able to appreciate a real epigram of Lamb (not CHARLES) and Peas. Don't let the Man with a Small Income be afraid of trying Un Fritot de Cervelle de Veau, simply because of the name, which might do honour to the menu of a LUCULLUS. "Blanch the Brains" for this dish—delicious!—"and fry till a nice golden colour." Beautiful! Nice golden colour like dear BLANCHE's hair: only often that's a BLANCHE without brains. And now your attention, my Small Incomer, to Eggs a la Bonne Femme. This work ought to be arranged as a catechism: in fact all cookery books, all receipt books, should be in the form of Question and Answer.

Question.—Now, Sir, how would you do Eggs a la Bonne Femme?

Perhaps this query might be preceded by general information as to who the particular "bonne femme" (for she must have been a very particular bonne femme) was to whom so many dishes are dedicated. [In the Scotch McCookery books, Broth o' the gude-wife would be a national name.]

Answer.—To make Eggs a la Bonne Femme, Mrs. DE SALIS says, "Get as many eggs as there are guests (they should all be the same size)—" Now this is a difficulty. It is not an easy matter to assemble round your table a party of guests "all the same size:" still more difficult is it to get together a lot of eggs all the same size as the guests. But, when this has been got over, read the remainder at p. 55, and then, as Squeers's pupils used to have to do, go and reduce the teaching to practice.

The receipt for Potatoes a la Lyonnaise begins with, "Mince an onion, and fry it in hot butter"—O rare! Why do more? Who wants potatoes after this? And, when you've had quite enough of it, smoke a pipe, drink a glass of whiskey-and-water, go to an evening party, and then, if you won't be one of the most remarkable advertisements for cette bonne femme Madame DE SALIS, why I don't live in Baronion Halls, and my name's no longer


P.S.—So many persons have sent in touching requests to the Baron only to notice their books with one little word, that his library table groans under their weight. To about a hundred of them that one little word might be "Bosh!"—but even then they'd be pleased.

* * * * *


[The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER has announced that the Treasury have decided to enable the small investor in Consols, upon a written request to the Bank of England, to have his dividends re-invested as they arise, and thus automatically accumulated without further trouble on his part.—Times.]

Oh, it was the old Lady of Threadneedle Street, And she held up her Stocking (ne'er used for her feet), And she ups, and says she, "I've an excellent notion; Leastways, 'tis one borrowed from COHEN by GOSCHEN; Which nobody can deny!

"The cash that you put in my Stocking, my dears, Will grow by degrees, if you leave it for years. By your dividends? Ah! you draw them, girls and boys, And spend 'em, the Times says, in sweets and in toys; Which nobody can deny!

"How very much better to let 'em remain; Re-invest 'em, in fact! An original brain Has hit on that capital notion, at length, And I'm game for to back him with all my old strength, Which nobody can deny!

"Leave your dividends in my—suppose we say hose— And the cash, snowball-like, gathers fast as it goes. So my—Stocking (I must use the word) will be seen, The latest and best Automatic Machine, Which nobody can deny!

"Think, children, of Ac-cu-mu-la-tive Con-sols! Much better than bull's eyes, and peg-tops, and dolls! Yes, this is the notion, exceedingly knowin', Which GOSCHEN, the Chancellor, borrows from COHEN, Which nobody can deny!

"To the Nation friend COHEN's idea's a great gift; It should lend such a "vigorous impulse to thrift;" Leave your coin in my Stocking—in time it will double, Without giving you, what a Briton hates, Trouble! Which nobody can deny!

"Then think of the saving in potions and pills, And the fall in that very bad stock—Doctor's Bills— When your Dividends no longer spoil girls and boys With per-ni-ci-ous sweets, and with re-dun-dant toys, Which nobody can deny!

"So, dear Little Investors, I trust you'll come flocking, Like bees to the hive, to my last style of Stocking, My new, automatic, self-mending, smart hose, In which cash, left alone, gathers fast as it goes, Which nobody can deny!"

* * * * *

* * * * *


[The Emperor of AUSTRIA will leave Voecklabruck on September 2 to attend the Army manoeuvres in Silesia. On the 17th he will go to attend the manoeuvres in Prussian Silesia, and will be the German EMPEROR's guest at Schloss Kohnstook, near Liegnitz.—Times.]

Imperial Victim sings:

"Here awa', there awa', wandering WILLIE." O WILHELM, my lad, you might well sing that song. This stir's getting troublesome, not to say silly, Our "Travelling EMPEROR"'s coming it strong. This playing at Soldiers, is't never to cease? There's no rest but the grave for the Pilgrim of—Peace!

Sub tegmine fagi, in holiday Autumn, E'en Emperors sometimes incline to take ease, But when once he has dropped in upon 'em, and caught 'em, The Tityrus role is all up. 'Tis a tease. I was just settling down to my pipe and my bock, When he bursts in like this! Gives a man quite a shock!

He has stirred them up pretty well all round already. Good Grandmother GUELPH! Well, with her, 'twas just "come and off!" (A true British "Summer" the wildest will steady), And then he drops in upon tired Cousin ROMANOFF. Ha! ha! How the CZAR must have laughed—in his sleeve— At that "capture," which WILHELM could scarcely believe!

Taken prisoner, the "Travelling EMPEROR!" Funny! Oh, could they have kept him till Autumn was o'er! No such luck! I must stir up, and spend time, and money, In playing the old game of Soldiers! Great bore! Ah, my youthful, alert, irrepressible KAISER, When just a bit older you'll be a bit wiser.

Voecklabruck's pleasant in genial September, And now I must start for Silesia. Ah me! That name gives a KAISER so much to remember— Would FREDERICK—THE GREAT—have "waltzed round" with such glee, Trotting out Europe's soldiers and ships in this way? Well, the KAISER's a "kid," I suppose it's his play.

I wonder what BISMARCK the blunt thinks about it. He hardly takes Kriegspiel views of the earth; He may be prepared to applaud, but I doubt it. I fancy him moved to a saturnine mirth. I wonder where next the young ruffler will go. I should like, if I dared, to suggest—Jericho!

"Come out, Cousin HAPSBURG, your uniform don, And let's play at Soldiers!" Ah, yes, that's his voice. How glad Grandma GUELPH must be now he has gone, And how at his leaving the CZAR must rejoice! And now I am in for it all, for awhile. Ah, well, I must dress, and endeavour to smile.

Only if he would off it to Stamboul or Cairo, Look up EMIN PASHA, survey Zanzibar, Or try butterfly hunting at Kilimi Njaro, The Crowned Heads of Europe were easier far. But Africa's "fauna and flora" would pall— He wants armies and fleets, or he can't rest at all.

Silesian manoeuvres! I know what they mean; Long hours in the saddle, much dust, many hails! An elderly Emperor's fancy might lean To idling, or hunting the chamois with WALES. Now, he would not worry—but grumbling's no use, So here's for Schloss Ronnstock, and endless Reviews!

* * * * *

OUR FAILURES.—"One man in his time plays many parts," and JOHN L. SULLIVAN, the great American "Slogger," having lately rather failed, perhaps, as a pugilistic "Champion," has done what Mr. HARRY NICHOLLS's lyric hero so yearned to do, viz., "gone on the Stage." Decline of the Drama, indeed! Recruited from the ranks of the Amateurs, on one side from the "Swells," on the other from the "Sports," the Stage ought to flourish. "Critics," said Dizzy, "are those who have failed in Literature." Will it by-and-by be said that Actors are those who have failed in "Sassiety" and the Prize Ring, as Mashers or as Bashers?

* * * * *

* * * * *

* * * * *





We sought it with search-lights, we sought it with care, We pursued it with ships and hope; But it seemed to have suddenly vanished in air From under the heaven's blue cope.

We shuddered to think that the chace might fail, And TRYON, excited at last, Went ramping like redskin in search of a trail, For the ten days were nearly past.

"There is Thingumbob shouting!" the Admiral said. "He is shouting like mad, only hark! He is waving his hands, he is wagging his head, He has certainly found the—Snark!"

We gazed in delight, whilst a Bo'sun exclaimed— (Your Bo'sun is always a wag!)— "In the East there's a wision, a mirage it's named! That the Snark? Put yer head in a bag!"

Then Admiral TRYON he ramped like a lion, In prospect of splendid success. But the Snark, with a spasm, plunged in a sea chasm; Of SEYMOUR one couldn't see less.

"It's the Snark!" was the sound that first fell on our ears, It seemed almost too good to be true. Then followed a torrent of laughter and jeers, Then the words, "It is all a Yah-Boo—"

Then silence. Some fancied they heard in the air A sigh (from the lips of J.D.?) That sounded like "——jum!" But some others declare It was more like a half-choked big D.!

We hunted ten days and ten nights, but we found Not so much as poor collier-barque. By which we might tell that we steamed o'er the ground Where CULM-SEYMOUR had handled the—Snark!

In the depths of that two thousand square miles, they say, 'Midst the world's mocking laughter and glee, SEYMOUR softly and silently vanished away— This Snark was a Yah-Booh-Jum, you see!

* * * * *


For the benefit of all tourists in Normandy, and visitors to Le Havre, Etretat, and all round and about that quarter, I gave an account, two weeks ago, of the excellent fare provided for us by La famille Aubourg at Gonneville. But on that occasion I made the great mistake of calling their curious old house—a perfect little museum of curiosities and works of Art—"a hotel." By my halidom! "Hotel," save the mark—and spend the shilling. "Hotel," quotha! "Hotel" is far too modern. Old English "Inn" more like. The kind of inn, good gossip, which was kept in SHAKSPEARE's time by "mine host," where everyone, with coin of the realm in his purse, could take his ease and be happy. So, to put me right on this matter, M. AUBOURG sends me a truelle of burnished metal, on which is inscribed, "Hostellerie des Vieux Plats, Souvenir d'Aubourg," which truelle, if not large, "yet will serve" to help fish, or pommes soufflees, or pommes Anna, and, mark ye, my masters, will also serve to recall to my memory a right merrie, even tho' 'twere an all too short, holiday.

* * * * *

* * * * *



"But when the swinging signs your ears offend, With creaking noise." GAY's Trivia; or, The Art of Walking the Streets of London.

Offend our ears? Pedestrian Muse of GAY, Had you foreseen the London of to-day, How had you shuddered with ashamed surprise At "swinging signs" which now offend our eyes! Long have Advertisement's obtrusive arts Pervaded our huge maze of malls and marts; But now the "swinging signs" of ogre Trade, Even the smoke-veiled vault of heaven invade, And sprawling legends of the tasteless crew Soar to the clouds and spread across the blue. See—if you can—where Paul's colossal dome Rises o'er realms that dwarf Imperial Rome. Cooped, cramped, half hid, the glorious work of WREN Lent grandeur once to huckstering haunts of men, Though on its splendour Shopdom's rule impinged, And plaster, had they power, kind heaven's clear vault With vulgar vaunts of Sausages or Salt. Picture the proud and spacious city given Wholly to Shopdom's hands! 'Twixt earth and heaven Forests of tall and spindly poles arise, With swinging signs that almost hide the skies. Huge letterings hang disfiguring all the blue To vaunt the grace of SNOBKINS's high-heel'd Shoe. A pair of gloves soar to a monstrous height, Long have its letterings large, its pictures vile, Possessed the mammoth city mile on mile; Made horrors of its hoardings, and its walls Disfigured from the Abbey to St. Paul's, And far beyond where'er a vacant space Allowed Boeotian Commerce to displace Scant Urban Beauty from its last frail hold, On a Metropolis given up to Gold. But till of late our sky at least was clear (Such sky as coal-reek leaves the civic year) If not of smoke at least of flaming lies, And florid vaunts of quacks who advertise. Not these sky-horrors, huge and noisy-hinged, Shamed the still air about it, or obscured Its every view. Is it to be endured, O much-enduring Briton? There be those Who'd scrawl advertisements of Hogs or Hose Across the sun-disc as it flames at noon, Or daub the praise of Pickles o'er the moon. Unmoved by civic pride, unchecked by taste, They 'd smear the general sky with poster's paste And at Dan Phoebus seem to "take a sight." Colossal bottles blot the air, to tell That MUCKSON's Temperance drink is a great sell. Here's a huge hat, as black as sombre Styx, Flanked by the winsome legend, "Ten and Six." Other Sky-signs praise Carpets, Ginghams, Socks, Mugg's Music-hall, and "Essence of the Ox." Bah! GAY's trim Muse might sicken of her rhymes Had she to read these Sky-signs of the Times!

* * * * *



I Was aware that Mr. J. was a semolina-brained impostor, but I should never have conceived that even he, the jelly-faced chief of the chowder-heads, could have attained to such a pitch of folly as to inform me that "the Prix Montyon is not a medal, and cannot be worn at Court." These are his words. Did I ever say it was a medal? I remarked that the QUEEN had given me permission to wear it at Court. That is true. But I never said that I would or could so wear it. As for Her Most Gracious Majesty's permission, it was conveyed to me in a document beginning, "VICTORIA, by the grace of," &c, and containing the signature of Lord HALSBURY, the Lord Chancellor—No, by the way, that is another Royal communication. The Permission begins, "To our right trusty and well-beloved." What beautiful, confiding, affectionate words are these! Who can wonder that a Queen who habitually makes use of them should reign in the hearts of her subjects?

Since I returned from France I have been on a further and more extensive Continental tour, and have received more marks of distinction from various Crowned Heads. Did you hear the strange story of what took place at the meeting of the German EMPEROR with the CZAR of Russia? It was the hour of the mid-day meal. The EMPEROR, at the head of his Wyborg Regiment, had performed prodigies of valour. Mounted on his fiery Tchinovick (a Circassian mustang) he had ridden into the heart of the hostile position, and with one stroke of his Pen (a sort of Russian scimetar with a jewelled hilt) he had captured a convoy containing three thousand Versts (a sort of condensed food), intended for the consumption of the opposing Army. Tired with his labours, he was now lying at full length beside his Imperial host on the banks of the torrential Narva. The CZAR, in attempting to open, a Champagne bottle, had just broken one of his Imperial nails, and had despatched his chief butler to Siberia, observing with pleasant irony, that he would no doubt find a corkscrew there. At this moment a tall and aristocratic stranger, mounted upon a high-spirited native Mokeoffskaia, dashed up at full gallop. To announce himself as Lieutenant-General POPOFF, to seize the refractory bottle, to draw the cork, and pour the foaming liquid into the Imperial glasses, was for him the work of a moment. That stranger was I. In recognition of my promptitude, the CZAR has conferred upon me the Stewardship of the Vistula Hundreds, with the command of a division of the Yeomanoff Cavalry, the most distinguished horse-soldiers in Europe.

The German EMPEROR was equally impressed. His Majesty smiled, and, turning to General CAPRIVI, told him to consider himself henceforth under my orders for everything that concerned the peace of the world. I could see that CAPRIVI did not relish this, but I soon made him know his place, and when I threatened to send for Prince BISMARCK—who, by the way, has granted me the unique honour of an interview—he became quite calm and reasonable. On my way home, I called in on Prince FERDINAND of Bulgaria, who offered me his Crown, telling me at the same time that he intended to take a course of German Baths. He said I should find STAMBOULOFF a very pleasant fellow; "but," he added, "you've got to know him first."

I, of course, refused His Highness's offer, and accepted instead the Cross for Valour on the Field of Battle. I then hurried off to Servia. King MILAN informed me that, if I wished to take a Queen back with me to England, he would dispose of one very cheaply. Having advised the Regents as to the best method of governing the country, I departed for Roumania. The Queen of ROUMANIA welcomed me as a literary man. She writes all the Roumanian sporting prophecies in verse. The King invested me at once with the Stonibroku Order in brilliants, with the Iohu Clasp for special promise shown in connection with turf literature. I may assure you in confidence that there will be no war for the next week or two. This result is entirely due to me.

Do you want to hear about the St. Leger? I need only say that my own Surefoot has brought me Alloway Heaume. Whilst in Russia I heard about plenty of Serfs, but they were not saints. Anybody who proposes to wear a Blue-green waistcoat on the Queen's Birthday ought to eat Sainfoin for the rest of his life, and be taken Right Away. Finally, if The Field is to Memoir as a window-sash is to a Duchess's flounces, what chance has a crack-brained Bedlamite of munching potatoes in St. James's Palace? Answers must he posted not later than Monday. All prizes genuine. No blanks.

Yours as always, GENERAL POPOFF.

* * * * *


Captain Therese, Comic Opera. Music by ROBERT PLANQUETTE, composer of Paul Jones and Les Cloches de Corneville. Book by Messrs. BISSON and BURNAND; GILBERT A BECKETT assisting in the lyrics. The Carl Rosa Company, DRURIOLANO IMPERATORE, wouldn't wait for the production of an Opera in Paris in order to bring it out here with the French cachet, but determined to have one done all for themselves, and to bring it out here first. So the French author began it, the English one finished it, and the Composer wrote music for original French and original English words. It is an international Opera; a new departure, and in the Operatic world an important one. It answers a question which was once the question of the day, "Why should London wait?" London, represented by Sheriff DRURIOLANUS, did not wait, and was served immediately with Captain Therese, produced Monday the 25th, at the Prince of Wales's Theatre; and the gratitude of London has justified the generosity of all concerned behind the Curtain, and in front of the house. Even in August the five million odd of those left in Town can appreciate good music, capital acting, magnificent dresses, and perfect mise-en-scene. The Prince of Wales's Theatre has a reputation for level excellence in Comic Opera—it is the specialite de la maison, and the new lyrical piece is a worthy successor to Dorothy, Marjorie, and Paul Jones. As Captain Therese, Miss ATTALLIE CLAIRE reminds mature playgoers of that "such a little Admiral" that was irresistible many years ago. She is bright, clever, and, above all, refined. Miss PHYLLIS BROUGHTON makes up for rather a weak voice by great strength in dancing, and Mr. HARRY MONKHOUSE is genuinely comic. Mr. HENRY ASHLEY, always conscientious even in his mirth, at the end of the Second Act, is suggestive of the Astley's of the Westminster Road. Like the piece, he is very well mounted. Madame AMADI is also excellent, a genuine lady-comedian—or should it be comedienne? Then there is Mr. JOSEPH TAPLEY, a capital tenor, and Mr. HAYDEN COFFIN, silver-voiced and graceful, the beau ideal of the hero of a Light Opera company. For the rest, the chorus and band could not be better, and the production is worthy of DRURIOLANUS, or, rather, CHARLES, his brother, and also his friend. So Messrs. BISSON and PLANQUETTE, and their English collaborateur, may toast one another, happy in the knowledge that the entente cordiale has once more received hearty confirmation at the hands of the London public; they may cry, with reason, Vive la France! and Hip, hip, BRITANNIA! feeling sure that, by their joint exertions, they have obtained for the Anglo-Saxon race that blessing to the public in general, and Theatrical Managers in particular, a lasting piece.

* * * * *


The sportive M.P., when the Session is done, Is off like a shot, with his eye on a gun. He's like Mr. Toots in the Session's hard press, Finding rest "of no consequence." Could he take less? But when all the long windy shindy is o'er, He, like Oliver Twist, is found "asking for Moor!"

* * * * *

JOTS AND TITLES.—The busy persons who, in a recent Mansion House list, had found quite "a Mayor's nest" in the highly important question of a Cardinal's precedence, have recently started another scare on discovering that the Ex-Empress's Chaplain at Chislehurst has described himself, or has been described, on a memorial tablet which he had put up in his own church, as a "Rector." Evidently a mistake. If he erected the Memorial, he should have been described as "The Erector."

* * * * *

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.


Home - Random Browse