OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
July 16, 1892.
TO THE FIRST BATHING-MACHINE.
O blank new-comer! I have seen, I see thee with a start: So gentle looking a Machine, Infernal one thou art!
When first the sun feels rather hot, Or even rather warm, From some dim, hibernating spot Rolls forth thy clumsy form.
Perhaps thou babblest to the sea Of sunshine and of flowers; Thou bringest but a thought to me Of such bad quarter hours.
I, grasping tightly, pale with fear, Thy very narrow bench, Thou, bounding on in wild career, All shake, and jolt, and wrench.
Till comes an unexpected stop; My forehead hits the door, And I, with cataclysmic flop, Lie on thy sandy floor.
Then, dressed in Nature's simplest style, I, blushing, venture out; And find the sea is still a mile Away, or thereabout.
Blithe little children on the sand Laugh out with childish glee; Their nurses, sitting near at hand, All giggling, stare at me.
Unnerved, unwashed, I rush again Within thy tranquil shade, And wait until the rising main Shall banish child and maid.
Thy doors I dare not open now, Thy windows give no view; 'Tis late; I will not bathe, I vow: I dress myself anew.
Set wide the door. All round is sea! "Hold tight, Sir!" voices call, And in the water, jerked from thee, I tumble, clothes and all!
O blessed thing! this earth we pace Thy haunt should never be, A quite unmentionable place That is fit home for thee!
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STUDIES IN THE NEW POETRY.
It is with the greatest possible pleasure that Mr. Punch presents to his readers the following example of the New Poetry. It is taken from a collection entitled "Rhymes of the Ropes" These Rhymes are intended to illustrate the everyday life of the British prize-fighter, his simple joys, his manly sorrows, his conversational excellences, and his indomitable pluck. The author has never been a prize-fighter himself, but he claims for these Rhymes the merit of absolute truth in every detail. In any case it is quite certain that every critic who reviews the volume will say of it, that no previous book has ever presented to us, with such complete fidelity, the British prize-fighter as he lives and moves, and has his being—not the gaudy, over-dressed and over-jewelled creature whom the imagination of the public pictures as haunting the giddy palaces of pleasure, and adored by the fairest of the fair, but the rough, uncouth, simple creature to whom we Britons owe our reputation for pluck and stamina. How the critic knows this, never having been a prize-fighter himself, and never having associated with them, is a question which it might be difficult to answer. But, nevertheless, the critic will guarantee the "Rhymes of the Ropes."
If some of Mr. Punch's readers, while recognising the force and go of the lines, shall think them tant soit peu coarse and brutal, the fault must not be ascribed to Mr. Punch, but to the brilliant young author. Moreover, Mr. Punch begs leave to say, that squeamishness of that kind is becoming more and more absurd every day under the influence of the New Poetry and its professors. Here then is—
BY MR. R*D**RD K*PL*NG.
Oh it's bully when I land 'em with a counter on the jaw, When the ruby's all a drippin' and the conks are red and raw; And it's bully when I've downed 'em, and the lords are standin' booze, Them lords with shiny shirt-fronts, and their patent-leather shoes. But you'd best look jolly meek When you're up afore the beak, For they hustle you, and bustle you, and treat you like a dog. And its 'Olloway for you For a month or may be two, Where the Widow keeps a mansion and purvides you with your prog.
It was 'ero 'ere and 'ero there, I might 'ave been a King, For to 'ear 'em 'ip 'urraying as I stepped into the ring, When I faced the Tipton Slasher, me and 'im in four-ounce gloves, Just to make us look as 'armless as a pair o' bloomin' doves. Then I bruises 'im and batters, And 'e cuts my lips to tatters, And I gives 'im 'alf a dozen where 'is peepers ought to be. And 'e flattens out my nose With a brace of bally blows, Which I 'ardly 'ad expected from a pug as couldn't see.
Next round the Slasher's groggy, 'e 'angs 'is 'ands and gropes (I'd knocked him orf 'is legs at last) a-feelin' for the ropes. And, lor, 'e looked so cheerful with 'is face a mask of red That I bust myself with laughin' when I bashed 'im on the 'ead. Then they counted up to ten, But 'e couldn't rise again; 'E gasped a bit, and puffed a bit, and laid there in a 'eap. And I copped a thousand pounds For a fight of seven rounds, Which was all the time it took me for to put my man to sleep.
Ah, the soft uns call it brutal; there's Mr. H.P. COBB, And 'is talk, which isn't pretty, about ruffians (meanin' us). I'd like to tap 'is claret when 'e's up and on the job, And send 'im 'ome a 'owlin' to 'is mammy or 'is nuss. But I'd rather take the chuck For a show of British pluck, And do my month in chockee, and eat my skilly free; And I'll leave the curs to snivel With their 'Ouse o' Commons drivel, Which may suit a pack of jaw-pots, but, by gosh, it don't suit me.
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"What I suffer from, at this time of year, when I go into the country," says Mrs. R., "is 'Flybites.'" She pronounced it as a word of three syllables, and then added, "I rather think the learned way of spelling it is 'Phlybites.'"
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"I would he had continu'd to his country As he began, and not unknit, himself, The noble knot he made."
Coriolanus, Act IV., Scene 2.
"His Majesty discriminates between the Prince BISMARCK of former times, and of to-day, and is anxious that his Government should avoid everything which might tend to diminish, in the eyes of the German nation, the familiar figure of its greatest Statesman."—Instructions to Imperial German Representatives abroad:—
Can this be he who "At the Gates" Of Janus' Temple stood of old, Protective, vigilant, and bold, As one who calmly dares—and waits?
"So fancy limns him, who'll not cease To watch o'er what his brain upbuilt," Punch sang. And now he lifts the hilt, Warlike, against a Patriot Peace.
Calm warder then, challenger now. The tower he reared would he attack, Because—they have not called him back Like CINCINNATUS from the plough?
"The wounds that he doth bear for Rome," Should speak wide-lipped against the change. The new Coriolanus! Strange, So great a past to this should come!
The imperious Roman, banished, bared Against Rome's walls a traitor blade. But you—revenge is scarce your trade, Hero, in faction's mazes snared.
The shirt of Nessus poisoned not, Nor angered Hercules as you Seem angered, poisoned. Yet you knew On ARNIM's shield to bare the blot.
What should it say, Count HARRY's ghost, Could it beside your couch appear, And whisper in his foeman's ear? Share you not that which shamed him most?
You flaunt the Press against the Throne? You bare State secrets to the crowd? You who against the Mob were loud, With mockery MARCIUS well might own?
It doth not fit a splendid past. The Sentinel in arms arrayed Against the Citadel, a shade Of gloom o'er glory's sheen will cast.
The illustrious name of BISMARCK blot With no such treason as could dim The Roman's glory, nor, like him. Yourself unknit your "noble knot"!
[Footnote 1: See Cartoon "At the Gates," p. 151, vol. 85, year 1883.]
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THAT DUTCHMAN OOMS.
AIR—"THE ADMIRAL'S BROOM."
[J.J.K. OOMS, an amateur sculler from Amsterdam, won easily the "Diamond Sculls" at Henley this year, beating V. NICKALS, and others of our crack oars.]
Oh, OOMS was a champion brave and bold, The Dutchman's pride was he; And he cried, "I can row on the Thames, I know, As well as the Zuyder Zee, As well as the Zuyder Zee!" And as his boat he set afloat, And looked o'er the Henley tide, He saw all England taking note, And he trimmed his sculls and cried:—(Bis.) "I'll win those 'Sculls!'" said he, "The 'Diamond Sculls' for me! That the world may know, wherever I go Thames yields to the Zuyder Zee!" (Bis.)
Cried JOHN BULL, "Here! You Dutchman queer. To-day you must row with me; For while I ride Thames' silver tide, I'll be second to none," said he; "I'll be second to none," said he. So they blazed away at that Dutchman gay, Stout NICKALS, brave BOYD, and all— But the Dutchman's ship our best did whip, And BULL cried to his merry men all, (bis) "We're whipped, boys, for once," said he, "It's a whip that's a licker to me." Right well OOMS pulls, and the 'Diamond Sculls' Are gone to the Zuyder Zee! VAN TROMP with his broom made free, But this OOMS has "swept" Hen-ley. Here's his health! But oh! those Sculls, you know, Must come back from the Zuyder Zee."
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SOME COMFORT.—Harrow beat Eton at Lords' last week. The Etonians have some consolation in the fact of the Head-Master of Harrow being an Etonian. Without doing violence to their feelings, they can simply pronounce the Head-Master's name, and say, "Well done, Harrow!"
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NEW READING OF AN OLD GREEK PROVERB (by a disappointed Author, whose Work has been recently cut up in the Press).—"[Greek: Kretai aei Pseustai]." I.e., "Critics are always liars."
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ON THE FLY-LEAF OF AN OLD BOOK.
It's long been loose; at last it's quite Come out—the very thing to write My laundry list on. Think what might Have been upon it! Some lines by GOLDSMITH, neatly planned, A verse by BYRON, mighty grand, Or even, penned by SHAKSPEARE's hand, A song or sonnet;
DA VINCI might have made a sketch, Or REMBRANDT drawn a head to etch, Or TURNER dashed some tints—'twould fetch A thousand guineas. Here might have been some notes, compiled By IBSEN, MAETERLINCK, or WILDE, On how some writers have beguiled Some simple ninnies;
Some words on Cooks, by RANDOLPH C., Or Greek Home Rule, by Grand Old G., Some Irish notes by A.J.B., A cheque from DILLON. How useless now to think what might Have been, for I have blacked the white! It is not even fit to write A washing-bill on!
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CHURCH AND BOOTH.—The Archbishop of CANTERBURY was recently a guest at the Munching House on the occasion of an Undenominational Banquet. His Grace, in a post-prandial speech, observed that the Salvation Army came "fluting" among us, but he thought that the Army's success would be as "fleeting" as it was "fluting." Neat this for his Grace-after-dinner. This was a nice after-dinner way of giving "caviare to the General." No "laughter" appears to have followed, so the caviare was not generally taken.
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LITERARY NOTE AND QUERY.—First volume of Tacitus translated into English by A.W. QUILL. Judging from a review in the Times of this instalment, it is the work of neither a soft nor hard Quill, but a medium Quill. With such a suggestive name, this author will show himself a Goose Quill if he does not at once turn his attention to the History of PENN.
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LADY GAY'S SELECTIONS.
The Bobolink, Henley.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,
The Election at Sheepsdoor being regarded as a "moral" for our Candidate—(what a delightful change from the im-moral way in which elections used to be conducted!)—I felt it was safe for me to wing my flight to fresh scenes and pastures new!—not that I wanted any "new pastures," having been a grass-widow for some time;—but having had enough of the "rolling billow"—(by the way, the rolling "Billow" at Stockbridge didn't roll fast enough)—I yearned for the silvery smoothness of Father Thames, so started for Henley with my faithful Eulalie—(I really must change her name, it sounds like a Swiss joedel); but, oh! my goodness!—talk about billows—the Channel passage is a fool to what we found at Henley! Waves mountain high!—(This of course is an exaggeration, but I've read it so often in sea-novels, that I've almost come to believe it possible—it would be nearer the truth, as dear Mrs. RAMSBOTHAM would pronounce it, I fancy—waves "mounting high.") I had to sit all day on the roof of the Bobolink, with a lifebelt or something round my waist!—and having made me acquaintance of a sweet youth who could swim, I implored him not to leave me!—and he didn't—the whole day long. Ah! he was very nice!—I need not tell you I didn't notice the racing much, but I did take an interest in two of the contests; viz.—(I don't know what "viz." means—but I do know I am using it correctly)—The Diamond Sculls, and The Ladies' Challenge. The Diamonds were walked off, or rowed off to Holland—(great place, I'm told, for diamonds)—by Mr. K. OOMS (who evidently "kooms" of an athletic stock), amid the generous cheers of our defeated Englishmen! The other—and naturally, from its title, the most important event—was competed for by two boat-loads from Cambridge University—Crews, I believe, they call them, but I always thought it was a sign of contempt to allude to any party of people as "a crew." However that may be, I was informed that "First Trinity had carried off the Ladies!" (just as if they were a pack of Sabine women), and I suppose it was true; though, in counting up the Ladies in sight, I only missed one—and she, I found, had fallen into the river, and been gallantly rescued by a spectator, who, I presume, was determined to have his share, in spite of the First Trinity Men!
Back to town, after all was over on Thursday, to find everybody wild with "election fever." A large group surrounding the "tape" at the Club (I belong to the "Amazon," of course), and ordering lemon squashes when a seat was lost, and whiskey and seltzer when the reverse was the case! Oh, this Election! Thank goodness, I'm off to Newmarket, to spend the week with Sir NEWMAN and Lady GATESHEAD, with a distinct feeling of relief at getting back to business after this fortnight of exciting relaxation!
Next week's racing furnishes quite a lengthy menu, with several attractive entrees, and some good "made-up-overnight" dishes; in fact, a programme which appeals strongly to every racy palate. I do not propose to work my way through the entire menu (not being an Alderman), and will only hint at a few of the side-dishes, which may be worth attention reserving my great effort for the "plat de resistance" at Sandown; so, at Newmarket—try just a mouthful of July Handicap a la Duke of DEVONSHIRE's "Selected;" should it choke you, have a pat on the "Bach" when attacking the Beaufort Stakes; and to wind up with dessert, worthy of a CHESTERFIELD, take a "Meddler." If this conglomeration of good things is not too much for you, travel back to town in time for the great race of the week; but, if upset, don't blame,
Yours devotedly, LADY GAY.
"ECLIPSE STAKES SELECTION."
With Gouverneur, Orme, and such giants to run, It needs the cool calm of a PLATO To fix on the horse that will "capture the bun!" But I think it will be "Orvieto."
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Tuesday.—Premiere of Elaine. BEMBERG Composer, LEON-JEHIN Conductor, and Sir DRURIOLANUS Producer. Full House, determined to give New Opera a fair hearing, and sit it out. Don't get a new Opera every day. Congratulations to BEMBERG in a general way. "In a first Opera" (if this be his first), to quote the Composer of the recent De-La-ra-Boom Buddha, who was complacently listening to the other Composer's new Opera, "originality breeds contempt." So a little bit here, and a little bit there, here a bit, and there a bit, and everywhere a bit, gets rid of all superfluity in the Composer's brain, and saves the listening critic much trouble. Then his next Opera—Ah!—that ought to be all genuinely new and original Sparkling BEMBERG Cabinet. "Elaine," observed a lady critic, "is graceful and airy"—which, in the lady's presence, the present listener was not prepared to deny.
Contented must have been Composer BEMBERG with such a cast as was made and provided for him by Sir DRURIOLANUS. MELBA, as the "Lily Maid of Astolat," charming, with a charming song, "L'Amour est pur." The audience was in an encoring humour, but, thank goodness, only a few encores were taken, and the others left, otherwise none of us would have been home till sunrise. In the swan-like dying scene the Composer wrings our heart-strings with his harp-strings, reminding everyone forcibly that, as Mr. Guppy observed, "There are chords!" Wagnerian, sometimes, is our BEMBERG, with his horns and brass. Fine chorus at beginning of Act II.—the Tournament Act—which shows, as a foolish person observed, "a Rummy lot at Camelot." At end of Third Act MELBA and JEAN DE RESZKE (who must have joined the Salvation Army, as he was, apparently, "saving himself" all the evening) were enthusiastically called. Engaged in curtseying her thanks, MELBA didn't notice—as, how should she?—property steps behind her, on which, at about her tenth curtsey, she suddenly sat down about two seconds before she could possibly realise that there was any chance of sitting down. But JEAN LAUNCELOT DE RESZKE was there, and rescued her! Good Knight! JEAN DE RESCUE! Then EDWARD, as Hermit, own brother to Friar Laurence, excellent. But so were they all, and the Opera will well repay several re-hearings.
Thursday.—Aida. Generally considered rather a heavy Opera by VERDI. "But to-night," says WAGSTAFF, "the Verdi-ict quite t'other way." MAUREL excellent as Amonasro, and MAGGIE MACINTYRE looked, acted, and sang Maggie-nificently. Uncommonly good was GIULIA RAVOGLI as Amneris, Aida's rival for the love of the small-sized Radames Dimitresco, or Dimi-nutive-Tresco (comparatively speaking), to whom EDWARD DE RESZKE, being quite a Ned and shoulders taller, might spare some of his superfluous inches.
EDWARD uncommonly good as Ramfis, which name, considering the peculiar make-up, might be appropriately changed to Rum Phiz, and nobody be any the worse. BEVIGNANI conducted himself and the orchestra admirably; M. PLANCON, in English Plain Song, did all well that as Il Re he had to do, looking every inch a Re, and not a bit Il. Mlle. BAUERMEISTER was Una Sacerdotissa, but she would be anything and do everything well. Signer RINALDINI was Un Messagiero. His costume might have been more effective had Sir AUGUSTUS brought him up to date as a Messenger Boy for the Telephonie-sol-fa Company. This can be amended. House good.
Friday.—Covent Garden, Elaine expected, but didn't appear. JOHN THE RISKY, the Launcelot of the Opera, unwell. "Not Launcelot, but another!" cried Sir DRURIOLANUS, only there wasn't another. So Carmen was played. "Not this Elaine," continued Sir AUGUSTUS, "but Drur-e-lane." So away! to hear the Trumpeter of the German Band. This Trompeter might be played as a trump in a small house, but 'tis trumpery for Drury Lane. One phrase of an old music-hall ditty, the words of which were, "She walked forward, I followed on, tra la la!" constantly recur. Who originated it? Unwonted excitement of going to two Operas told on shattered frame, so staggered to Maiden Lane, which, on account of its being the home for oysters, crabs, and lobsters, should be renamed Mer-maiden Lane. Behold! good Dr. BAYLIS "within the Rules" making up his evening prescriptions. "Quis supperabit?" asked the learned Dr. B. "Ego," replied I, like JEAMES, knowing the language. And "supper-a-bit" it was. "'84 wachterum unum pintum frigidum sumendum cum '92 chickeno," &c. "My benizon on thee!" said CRITICUS REDIVIVUS. "Dr. BAYLIS, I bay-liss thee!" with the accent on the "liss." So home. After all the chops and changes of this operatic life, I am with "chicken and champagne" content. Finis coronat opus.
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MORE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE ALCOHOLIC QUESTION.
(A FEW REMARKS ON DR. ROBSON ROOSE'S ARTICLE IN NEW REVIEW.)
1. Inebriates should be shut up in Alcoholloway Prison.
2. "Food-accessory" is a very pretty name for drink. Henceforth let the butler go round as "the merry toast goes round." Let butlers and footmen, in dining-rooms and places where they have various liquors, be instructed to inquire of each and every guest "What food-accessory will you take, Sir?"
3. "The use of Alcohol dates from very early times." But it is not recommended by the faculty as a good thing to be taken at 7 A.M., or at any time in the morning immediately on awaking.
As to when any one has had enough "alcohol," the old test first put forward many years ago by Mr. Punch, still holds good. If you can say "British Constitution" distinctly, and without effort, so that it shall not be all in one composite word sounding like "Bri'sh-conshushun," then, perhaps, you may go up-stairs (if you can) and join the ladies.
4. "The liver is very prone to become affected." The question is, first, Is "an evil liver" or "a good liver" here intended? But, apart from this, any affectation in a liver, good or bad, is objectionable. It must be taken for granted, in a serious discussion on the subject, that "a slave to his liver" is a synonym for "a livery servant." The one objection to a livery servant lies in this very fact; for a slave to liver is rarely in a good humour, and is generally sulky, lazy, and disobliging.
5. "Wine comes in, rubs off the acerbities, and brings all down to the same level of good humour." The end of such a happy party is, of course, all under the table, smiling, but speechless.
Smiling, but beautiful they lay, A gleam was in their half-closed eye, But still they murmured with a sigh, Hic-shelsher-wa'.
Dr. ROBERTS, as quoted by his confrere, ROBSON ROOSETEM PASHA, appears to be a very sensible person. Dr. ROBERTS—he is not Dr. ARTHUR ROBERTS, we believe—recommends the liqueur to be judiciously taken at meal-times. And, by the way, as the knowledge of when to cry, "Hold, enough!" is most useful, here is another test of sobriety in this very word "judicious," which some, after a couple of glasses (or more) of fine old cognac, will pronounce as though 'twere spelt "seducious," and some will swear it ought to be "jusidious." When nobody can pronounce "judicious" correctly, the arbiter bibendi, if himself absolutely sober as a judge ought to be,—a man quite "above-board," i.e., not yet under it,—such a one may pronounce that the guests have had quite enough. It is a pity that so excellent a writer on temperance should have the singular disadvantage of a plural name. If, after dinner, a worthy convivialist observed, "I see ROBERTS," would not the question naturally be, "How many of 'em?" The Doctor can omit the "s," and, as perhaps he is already a little singular in his carefully-advanced theories, why should he not de-pluralise his surname? Do the Doctors R.R. and R. differ on this? Then we must decide. In the meantime, to show our approval of this particular article of Dr. ROBSON ROOSTEM PASHA's faith, we, as a jovial company, drink his health, and then depart for our annual Alcoholiday trip.
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LAWN TENNIS INTELLIGENCE.—BADDELAY has taken the cake.
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OUT OF IT!
(THE LAY OF THE NON-ELECTED.)
Then a warm-faced functionary read the "Declaration"—when A sort of sinking sickness took SMITH in the abdomen; And he smiled a sickly sort of smile, and stalked out at the door, And the subsequent proceedings interested him no more!
Bret Harte adapted.
Pheugh! His poll was taken early (it was not on Saturday), And he lost by seven hundred, and is out of the fierce fray; And whether he rejoices, or internally repines, May be clear to the wiseacres who can "read between the lines."
It was hot, too, while it lasted, and of epidemic ills The Election Fever "takes the cake." 'Tis true it seldom kills, But for far and wide contagion, and for agony acute, Its supremacy is certain as its sway is absolute.
And he had it very badly. He looks convalescent now, But the frenzy of the meeting brought the crimson to his brow, And his thorax is still husky with his eloquent appeal To the mustered working-men at the hour of mid-day meal.
How they swarmed about his waggon! How their oily fustian filled The summer air with fragrance that his fine olfactories thrilled! How very loud their shouts were, and how very rude their jeers, And how very strong the bouquet of clay pipes and bitter beers!
His arguments amused them, and his peroration fine, About "standing for old England stoutly all along the line," Would have surely proved impressive, but for some sardonic ass, Who produced an anti-climax with the shouted comment "Gas!"
Then the mob broke up in laughter, to return to pipe and can, And—plumped for his opponent pretty nearly to a man; For of all ungrateful cynics, and of all impervious clowns, Commend me (says our wanderer), to the workmen of our towns.
Well, experientia docet. That confounded "local Club" (Blend of Institute and Chapel with a savour of the pub.) Where the pallid-faced cheesemongers, and the clammy-handed snobs, Swarmed around to "patronise" him, was the toughest of tough jobs.
Its rooms were wondrous stuffy and its members scarce "good form," For they mostly dropped their aitches, and they always looked so warm. Why political enthusiasts so run to noise and heat, And crude manners, and bad grammar, is a crux that's hard to beat.
But he bore it,—yes, he bore it; he shook heaps of 'orny 'ands, Heard the shindy of their shoutings, and the braying of their bands; Stood their "heckling," which was trying, and their praises, which were worse, All the claims upon his time, and taste, his patience, and his purse.
Then they "chucked" him by three figures! Well, he's "out of it," thanks be! And he "offs it by the Special" to the river or the sea. He heard the "Declaration," and the rival Party's roar, And—"the subsequent proceedings interested him no more."
"'Latest Results! Helections!!' Oh, confound the boy! Get out! Let the winners sum their winnings, let their blatant backers shout. What have I to do with pollings? Cease, cacophonous urchin, cease! I am going to read The Wrecker, and possess my soul in peace!"
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"D.G." and MRS. R.—Mr. Punch begs to congratulate the Daily Graphic on the electioneering ladder showing every day the position of the Parties. Very "Happy Thought." His ancient friend, Mrs. RAM, in speaking of this journal, observed, that "Daily Graphic was not by any means a new name, and the paper ought to have been purely theatrical, as the person after whom it is evidently called was the celebrated actor, you know, my dear, in the last century, whom Dr. JOHNSON used to call 'Little Daily Graphic.'"
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THE END OF HENLEY.
(FRAGMENT FROM A HISTORICAL SKETCH YET TO BE WRITTEN.)
It was shortly after the middle of July, 1892, that the Great Representative of the British Race stood upon the Victoria Embankment, watching the river-steamers as they passed to and fro. There were few persons about, for the General Election was over, and civilised London was out of Town. Some of civilised London had gone abroad, some were in Scotland, some by the Sea. So the Great Representative expected to see no one.
"Mr. Punch, I believe!" said some one, approaching the Great Representative. The speaker was a person who wore a garb peculiarly suitable to the autumnal sultriness of the weather. He had about a couple of yards of calico, and one good coating of serviceable paint. The Great Representative bowed his head, and by a gesture, invited further explanation.
"I am connected with the literary world, and am a Colonist. I am known, or used to be known (for I am getting a trifle out of date), as Lord MACAULAY's New-Zealander."
Again the Great Representative bowed. He knew his visitor, and bade him welcome. Then he asked him the cause of his visit.
"Well, I really don't know," replied the New-Zealander, with a short laugh. "I am afraid I must have been hoaxed. I was told that England was absolutely ruined, and was looking for a comfortable seat amongst the remains of London Bridge."
"You see you are slightly premature," returned the Great Representative, pointing towards a more or less majestic pile in the offing. "There was some talk of rebuilding the structure some short while ago, but a viaduct near the Tower was considered preferable. When it is opened, there will be Knighthoods for the Sheriffs, and a Baronetcy for the Lord MAYOR."
"And yet," pondered the New-Zealander, "I was certainly informed by wire, that the glory of Britain had vanished for ever."
"Very likely an Election cry," observed Mr. Punch, "In the midst of a contested polling, both sides think the success of their rivals must be followed by immediate disaster. But somehow or other, things settle down afterwards, and nothing comes of it. Whichever side wins, the old flag floats in the wind as gaily and as prosperously as ever."
"And yet I was certainly told that the sun of England had set never to rise again," persisted the Aboriginal, who seemed to be of an obstinate turn of mind. "Now I remember—the cause was something to do with Diamonds and Henley. Stay, the bright brains of the nation had disappeared. I recollect, the Diamond Sculls of the nation (once so great) had passed to foreigners."
"Ah, now I take your meaning." said the National Representative, with a smile, "and you must have heard of the result of the race for the Diamond Sculls at Henley."
"That must be it," acquiesced the New-Zealander. "I had forgotten to take into account possible errors in transmission. But tell me, has there been a national defeat?"
"Well, yes," admitted Mr. Punch, with a sigh—"we did not come out altogether satisfactorily. Even the second man was a Frenchman—albeit, his name was suggestive of dear old Scotland."
"And do you mean to say," said the New-Zealander, "that the best scullers of England were beaten by a boating-man from the Seine?"
"It is too true, and the Frenchman himself succumbed to a Dutchman—yes, we confess it, and with shame."
"I don't see why you should," returned the other, changing his tone to one of greater satisfaction. "As a New-Zealander, I observe nothing degrading in the superiority of Old Holland." And considering the prowess of VAN TROMP in the past, there was perhaps nothing so strange in the triumph of OOMS in the present.
* * * * *
"TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY, THAT IS THE BISLEYNESS."
MY DEAR MR. PUNCH,—I see that the receipts of the National Rifle Association have fallen off, and that there is a proposal to make the Bisley Meeting this year rather more attractive than its predecessors. The Camp is to be open, and there are to be Concerts and other distractions. But is this enough? Once confess that Rifle-shooting is not the sole business of the gathering, and the way is cleared for more amusing items. All that is wanted to convert a semi-failure into a triumphant success, is a Manager who could combine entertainment with instruction, thus:—
6 A.M.—Gun-fire. The Camp awakes, and, to the music of the band, gets up. Reserved seats in band-enclosure, sixpence extra.
7 A.M.—Balloon Ascent. Firing at the sun with revolvers by trained aeronauts. Seats in parachutes, five shillings a-piece.
8 A.M.—Early performance of BUFFALO BILL before his departure for Earl's Court. Prices as usual.
9 A.M.—Sham Fight, augmented by Menagerie from Travelling Circus. Cards to visit the stables, half-a-crown.
10 A.M.—Representation of Siege Scene from Venice in London, under the title of "The Bridge of Sighs within measuring distance of Woking Cemetery." Season tickets, half-a-guinea.
11 A.M.—Performance of the Battle of Waterloo by veterans, late of Astley's Theatre. Families and schools half-price.
12 NOON.—Visit of Royalty, and Presentation of Purses. No Purse accepted containing less than two pounds ten.
1 P.M.—Grand Luncheon, with speeches by the leading Military Authorities, followed by a Smoking Concert. One-and-sixpence.
2 P.M.—Variety Show, including several of the best Lion Comiques, and the astounding performances of the Bounding Brothers of Bohemia. Stalls, ten shillings. Soldiers in uniform admitted at a considerable reduction.
3 P.M.—Cricket Match between the famous Clown Eleven versus the Ladies' Sixteen. Grand Stand, three-and-six.
4 P.M.—Comic Carnival, entitled, "Rollicksome Riflemen, or the Vicissitudes of the Volunteers." Reserved Seats, ninepence.
There, my dear Sir, I think I have written enough. If there was any time to spare, the shooting programme might still be carried out; but business is business, and only by the means I have indicated (in my opinion) can Bisley be made to pay. Trusting that my suggestion may be accepted in the spirit in which it is offered, I remain,
Yours truly, DIVIDEND BEFORE DEFENCE. The Money Grubberies, the Twenty of Shillingsworth-in-the-Pound.
* * * * *
ON THE THRESHOLD OF THEMIS.
(A Sketch in the New Law Courts in anticipation of the very next "Cause Celebre" that may have the good fortune to enlist the sympathies of the British Public.)
SCENE—A Corridor outside the Courts appropriated to the Common Law Division of the High Court of Justice. At each of the doors of the Court where the Great Trial of Arkass v. Arkass and Ambo—which abounds in "scandalous revelations in High Life"—is proceeding, a group of would-be auditors has collected, waiting with the patience of respectable Peris for a chance of admission to the forensic Paradise within. The Paradise, at present, is full to overflowing, and the doors are guarded by a couple of particularly stern and stolid attendants. Each Peri is trying to wear out the endurance of the rest, and to propitiate the doorkeepers by exemplary behaviour.
A Meek Man (to Doorkeeper, after standing in hopeful silence for three-quarters of an hour). I suppose there'll be a chance of getting in presently, eh?
The Doorkeeper (placidly). None whatever, Sir.
The M.M. But they'll be rising for luncheon in an hour or so, and some will be coming out then, surely?
Doork. Not many; them as are in stays in, mostly.
The M.M. (with a sudden recollection that he is acquainted with one of the Counsel engaged in the case). Couldn't you take in my card to Mr. TANFIELD? I'm sure he'll do anything he could for me.
[The rest regard him with extreme disfavour, as one guilty of unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Doork. It won't be no use—there ain't room in there as it is for a billiard-cue—leastwise (conscientiously), a stoutish one—but I'll get it taken in for you, if you like.
[He opens the door a very little, and passes the card to an attendant within.
Junior Members of the Junior Bar (in very clean white wigs, with hauteur). Thought you had orders to let Counsel in before the general public? There ought to be some rule about that, if there isn't.
Doork. So we do, Sir; but if this gentleman's a friend of Mr. TANFIELD's, and he arsks me to admit him, why you see—
Junior Junior (witheringly). The convenience of mere Members of the Bar must give way, naturally!
[The inside Attendant returns with card, which the Doorkeeper unlocks the door to receive, and then shuts it to with a sharp click, like a wild-beast-tamer.
Doork. (to the M.M., after perusing card by the dim light). I told you it wouldn't be no use, Sir. "Please wait," it says.
[General movement of virtuous satisfaction at this well-merited rebuke.
The M.M. (wishing he had not put his trust in TANFIELD). I—I have waited—but it don't matter. (Addressing First White Wig, from a timid social impulse). The—er—Plaintiff made some remarkable admissions in the box yesterday—his cross-examination seemed pretty severe.
First White Wig (after a stare at his audacity). Cross-examination not unfrequently is. (To the other W.W.) See that extraordinary decision of old JUBBER's in Biling v. Bulgin? Of course they'll appeal!
[The couple converse in highly technical terms for some minutes.
The M.M. (at the next pause). It struck me that Colonel ARKASS rather contradicted himself on one or two points.
Second W.W. Very likely. (To First W.W.) What do you do when you're before one of these confounded Common Law Judges, and see he's looking up a point of Equity in a text-book during your argument? Do you wait for him?
First W.W. (with all the decision of a Counsel who was called the Term before last). Wait for him? No—go on talking about anything you like, till he's ready to listen to you again. That's what I always do!
An Important Stranger (bustling up; to Doorkeepers). Here, I say, let me in, will you!
Doork. You a Witness in this case, Sir?
The Imp. S. (after a tell-tale pause). Er—yes—in a sort of way, y'know.
Doork. Then your entrance is down below, Sir, in the Central 'All—you'll see it written up there.
The I.S. Haw—well, I'm not exactly a witness, but I'm interested in the case, y'know.
Doork. So are all these Gentlemen, Sir—but they can't get in.
The I.S. No—but look here. I know the criminals—'tleast I don't mean to call 'em that, y'know—hope they're all innocent, I'm sure. I like 'em all; danced with 'em, and all that, lots of times.
Doork. Ah, well, you see they ain't dancin' to-day, Sir. (The I.S. bustles away; there is a stir within; the portion of the crowd in Court that is visible through the glass-doors heaves convulsively, and presently produces a stout and struggling Q.C.). Make way there! Stand aside, gentlemen, please. Counsel coming out!
[Q.C. comes out, puffing, followed by his Clerk and a Client.
First W.W. (as the chasm in the crowd closes again). Now you can let us in!
Doork. (stolidly). Not yet, Sir. (To other Doork.) I see that party agen last night—you know—him as was here making all that shindy day afore yesterday. I went and 'ad a drink with 'im.
Second Doork. (interested). Ah, and 'ow was he?
First Doork. Oh, same as usual—boozed. Told me he'd come up from Glasgow for a week's spree—and he seems to be 'aving it, too. Going 'ome Saturday, so he sez.
Second Doork. (grimly). He'll be lucky if he gets there Saturday fortnight!
Murmurs (from the lucky Peris who can just see the witness-box through the glass panel). Who's that in the box? That's Colonel ARKASS—finishing his cross-examination.... Doesn't seem to be enjoying himself.... See how he's tugging at his moustache.... Got a nasty one just then, I expect.... I'd as soon believe 'im as I would 'er—now.... She ain't been in the box yet.... No, but she's a reg'lar bad lot, from what was said in the opening speech. They won't change my opinion of 'er, whichever way the case goes! Well, I 'aven't followed it closely myself.... Oh, no more have I—but still I've made up my mind long ago about it, (&c., &c.)
The I.S. (suddenly returning, indignant). I say, they're letting in all sorts of people—barristers, and so on—at that other door!
Doork. Can't 'elp that, Sir; this ain't the other door—you should speak to them about it!
The I.S. (naively). Well, I have—and they told me to come here!
[General snigger, amidst which he departs in disgust.
A Small Office-Boy (with a strip of paper, tied with red tape). Kin I see Sir HALFRID ALLABYE a moment?
Doork. Sir ALFRED ain't in this Court—he's engaged in another case.
The O.B. 'Is Clurk'll do—it's 'ighly important—you better lemme in, I tell yer!
Doork. Send in a message for yer, if that'll do. (The O.B. says it doesn't signify, and bolts.) Young Artful! thinks he'll sneak in, and spend his dinner-hour there—but he don't!
The M.M. (who has been examining his card under a gaslight). I say, I've just found out that it wasn't "Please wait" that Mr. TANFIELD wrote on my card—it's "Please Admit!"
[A general titter of incredulity.
First W.W. (to Second W.W.). Ingenious—but a trifle transparent that, eh?
[His friend smiles knowingly.
The M.M. (roused). Do you mean to suggest that I—
First W.W. Oh, not at all—I was speaking to my friend here. But you really must allow that, if any preference is shown at all, it should be given—equitably, and of right—to Members of the Bar!
Chorus from the other Peris. Yes, they've stood here nearly as long as you have. You must wait your turn, like the rest of us! No preferences 'ere! We've got as much right to go in as you.... If Mr. TANFIELD wants you admitted over our heads, let him come and let you in himself! If any one goes in first, it ought to be Barristers! (&c., &c.)
Doork. (impartially). Well, it ain't o' much consequence, Gentlemen, for I can't let none of you in at present!
[The M.M. simmers with suppressed rage; wonders if it is worth while to mention that he happens to be a Barrister himself, and wishes to enter for the serious and legitimate purpose of collecting material for an Essay he is contributing on "The Abuse of Cross-Examination" to the "Nineteenth Century." On reflection, he thinks he had better not.
Doork. (as the crowd in Court is again convulsed). Clear the way there! Court rising—Counsel coming out! Ah, this is Mr. TANFIELD.
The Peris (White Wigs and all). Now we shall see!
[They regard the M.M. with anticipatory triumph.
Mr. Tanfield (passing out, and recognising the M.M.). Why, my dear MUTTON, won't they let you in? Here, come along with me!
[He passes his arm through the M.M.'s, walks with him to the other door, murmurs a request for his admission, and the next moment the M.M. is safe in the haven of his desire.
The other Peris (looking after him enviously). Well, of all the brazen impudence!
[They are swept aside by the current of emerging Counsel, Spectators, &c. and re-assemble, to find the doors as pitilessly closed against them as ever. The White Wigs threaten to write to the "Law Times" on the subject, and are regarded with admiration by the rest as Champions of Popular Rights.
* * * * *
* * * * *
RACINE, WITH THE CHILL OFF.
Baffled by official prudery in the production of his poetic episode from Holy Writ, yet resolved that the names of SARAH and OSCAR shall be bracketted together on the muster-roll of genius, Mr. WILDE has undertaken to re-write RACINE's Phedre for that distinguished actress. In his version the smoothly-chaste and insipidly-correct verses which our grandmothers learnt to recite, and our grandfathers pretended to admire on the lips of the classic RACHEL, will give place to the school of BAUDELAIRE and VALLES. We have been fortunate in obtaining an echantillon of this great work.
ACTE I., SCENE 3. PHEDRE, OENONE.
Phedre. Je me meurs d'ennuie. Mon eventail, et vite!
Oenone. Madame, je devine votre mal. Vous aimez HIPPOLYTE!
Phedre. HIPPOLYTE! Imbecile, ce que j'aime est le vice, La rime sans raison, l'audace, l'immondice, L'horrible, l'eccentrique, le sens-dessus-dessous, La fanfaronnade, la reclame, le sang, et la boue; La bave fetide des bouches empoisonnees; L'horreur, le meurtre, et le "ta-ra-boum-de-ay!" Crois-tu que pour HIPPOLYTE j'ai le moindre estime? Du tout! C'est mon beau fils, et l'aimer est un crime, C'est un fat odieux, OENONE. Homme je le deteste, Mais comme fils de mon mari l'aimer c'est l'in—
Oenone. Peste! Que veut dire Madame?
Phedre. L'inconnu l'inconvenable. Tu me coupe la parole d'une facon execrable— Le vice, OENONE, sais-tu ce que c'est que le vice? Que la rose n'est pas rose avant qu'elle pourrisse? Esprit terre-a-terre, ame bornee d'epicier, Non, tu ne les connais pas, les delices du fumier. Tu ne sais pas trouver tes etoiles dans l'egout, Tes ivresses dans la fange, ton amour dans la boue.
Oenone. Madame radote. C'est Venus a sa proie attachee.
Phedre. Venus fin de siecle, qui se nomme Astarte, Diablesse gigantesque, aux boyaux d'airain, Trou rouge ou l'on jette des monceaux d'etres humains. Grille de fer ou la chair fume, les cheveux petillent, Choses claires qui noircissent, sombres choses qui brillent, Choses qu'on aime le plus pour ce qu'elles n'existent pas, Choses basses qui s'elevent, hautes choses qu'on mettent bas, Paradis de paradoxes—
This brief sample of Mr. WILDE's muse may be less erudite than the play tabooed by the LORD CHAMBERLAIN, and may show a bolder disregard of the stringent laws which govern French versification; but it is assuredly in harmony with the spirit of the age, and goes far to bring RACINE up to date.
[Footnote 2: The fact that this word is not to be found in the dictionary must be set down as the fault of the language rather than of the poet. If "convenable," why not "inconvenable"?]
* * * * *
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.