OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
August 15, 1891.
A TERRIBLE TALE.
Alas! it had of course to be! For weeks I had not left my room, When one fell day there came on me An awful doom.
A burly rough, who drank and swore, Without a word—I could not shout— Attacked me brutally, and tore My nails right out.
Then, dragging me out to the air— No well-conducted conscience pricked him— He mercilessly beat me there, His helpless victim.
With cruel zest he beat me well, He beat me till in parts I grew— I shudder as the tale I tell— All black and blue.
But what on earth he was about, I could not guess, do what I would; But when at length he cleaned me out I understood.
Yet do not shed a tear, because You've heard my story told in metre, For I'm a Carpet, and he was A Carpet-Beater.
* * * * *
LEAVES FROM A CANDIDATE'S DIARY.
Thursday, June 12.—Letters from Billsbury arrive by every post, Horticultural Societies, sea-side excursions, Sunday School pic-nics, cricket club fetes, all demand subscriptions, and, as a rule, get them. If this goes on much longer I shall be wound up in the Bankruptcy Court. Shall have to make a stand soon, but how to begin is the difficulty. Pretty certain in any case to put my foot down in the wrong place, and offend everybody. Amongst other letters came this one:—
4, Stone Street, Billsbury, June 10.
Sir,—I venture to appeal to your generosity in a matter which I am sure you will recognise to be of the highest importance. My services to the Conservative Party in Billsbury are well-known. I can safely say that no man has, during the last ten years, worked harder than I have to promote Conservative interests, and for a smaller reward. My exertions at the last election brought on a violent attack of malarial fever, which laid me up for some months, and from which I still suffer. The shaky character of my hand-writing attests the sufferings I have gone through, and the shattered condition of my bodily health at the present moment. I lost my situation as head-clerk in the Export Department of the Ironmongers' Association, and found myself, at the age of forty, compelled to begin life again with a wife and three children. Everything I have turned my hand to has failed, and I am in dire want. May I ask you, under these circumstances, to be so good as to advance me L500 for a few months. I will give any security you like. Perhaps I might repay some part of the loan by doing work for you during the election. This must be a small matter to a wealthy and generous man like you. To me it is a matter of life and death. Anxiously awaiting your early and favourable reply, and begging you to keep this application a secret,
I remain, Sir, Yours, faithfully, HENRY PIDGIN.
That sounded heart-breaking, but I happened to know that Mr. PIDGIN's "malarial fever" was nothing but delirium tremens, brought on by a prolonged course of drunkenness. Hence his shaky handwriting, &c. BLISSOP had warned me against him. Wrote back that, in view of the Corrupt Practices Act, it was impossible for me to relieve individual cases.
Called on the PENFOLDS this afternoon. They are up from Billsbury for their stay in London, and have got a house in Eaton Square. To my surprise found Mrs. BELLAMY and MARY there. That was awkward, especially as MARY looked at me, as I thought, very meaningly, and asked me if I didn't think SOPHY PENFOLD sweetly pretty. I muttered something about preferring a darker type of beauty (MARY's hair is as black as my hat), to which MARY replied that perhaps, after all, that kind of pink and white beauty with hair like tow was rather insipid. The BELLAMYS it seems met the PENFOLDS at a dinner last week, and the girls struck up a friendship, this call being the result. Young PENFOLD, whom I had never seen before, was there and was infernally attentive to MARY. He's in the 24th Lancers, and looks like a barber's block. Mrs. BELLAMY said to me, "I've been hearing so much about you from dear Lady PENFOLD. They all have the highest opinion of you. In fact, Lady PENFOLD said she felt quite like a mother to you. And how kind of you to buy so many things from Miss PENFOLD at the Bazaar. What are my father's noble lines?
"True kindness is no blustering rogue that struts With empty mouthings on the stage of life, But, like a tender, timid plant that shuts At every touch, it shrinks from noisy strife."
(And so forth, I've forgotten the rest.) "I love kindness," continued Mrs. BELLAMY, "in young men. By the way, will you excuse a short invitation, and dine with us the day after to-morrow? All the PENFOLDS are coming." I said yes, and made up my mind that I must settle matters with MARY one way or another before complications got worse, or young PENFOLD made any more progress. I felt all the afternoon as if I'd committed a crime.
Friday, June 13th.—Three cheers. I've done it. Called on the BELLAMYS to-day. Found MARY alone. She was very sarcastic, but at last I could stand it no longer, and told her I had never loved and never should love anybody but her. Then she burst into tears, and I—anyhow she's promised to marry me. Have to interview Mrs. BELLAMY to-morrow. No time to do it to-day, as she was out till late. Chuck her up!
Mother received the news very well. "Accepted you, my darling boy?" she said. "Of course she did. How could she do otherwise? Bring her to see me soon. She shall, of course, have all the family jewels immediately, and the dining-room furniture too. There'll be a few other trifles too, I daresay, that you'll be glad of." Dear Mother, she's the kindest soul in the world. Carlo has been informed of the news, and is said to have manifested an extraordinarily intelligent appreciation of it, by insisting on a second helping for supper. He's a remarkable dog.
* * * * *
["The position of the Jews in Russia becomes daily more terrible. An order that they are henceforth to work upon their Sabbath and holy festivals is about to be issued and put in force."—Standard.—"A most pertinent illustration of the falsity of repeated rumours and reports representing in some cases a strong disposition, and in others an actual decision, on the part of the CZAR and the Russian Government, to alleviate the miseries of the Jews."—Times.]
Who said the scourge should slacken? Who foretold The goad should cease, the shackle loose its hold? The wish, perchance, fathered once more the thought, Though long experience against it fought. Not so! The CZAR's in Muscovy, and all Is well with—Tyranny! The harried thrall Shall still be harried, though, a little while, The Autocrat on the Republic smile; The Jew shall be robbed, banished, outraged still, Although the tyrant, with a shuddering thrill Diplomacy scarce hides, for some brief days Must listen to the hated "Marseillaise!" Fear not, Fanatic! Despot do not doubt! The rule of Orthodoxy and the Knout Is not yet over wholly. France may woo, Columbia plead, the Jew is still the Jew; And, spite of weak humanitarian fuss, CAESAR be praised, the Russ is still the Russ!
* * * * *
A GROUSE OUTRAGE.—Shooting them before the Twelfth.
* * * * *
AIR—"ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN THE MORNING." IRISH SPORTSMAN SINGS:—
St. Patrick, they say, Kicked the snakes in the say, But, ochone! if he'd had such a hound-pack as mine, I fancy the Saint, (Without further complaint) Would have toed the whole troop of them into the brine. Once they shivered and stared, At my whip-cracking scared; Now the clayrics with mitre and crosier and book, Put the scumfish on me, And, so far as I see, There's scarce a dog-crayture But's changed in his nature. I must beat some game up by hook or by crook, But my chances of Sport Are cut terribly short On St. Grouse's Day in the morning!
With a thundering polthogue, And the toe of my brogue, I'd like to kick both of 'em divil knows where! Sure I broke 'em meself, And, so long "on the shelf" They ought to be docile, the dogs of my care. O'BRIEN mongrel villin, And as for cur DILLON Just look at him ranging afar at his will! I thought, true as steel, They would both come to heel, Making up for the pack Whistled off by false MAC, As though he'd ever shoot with my patience and skill! To me ye'll not stick, Sirs? What divil's elixirs Tempt ye on the Twelfth in the morning?
Plague on ye, come back! Och! ye villainous pack, Ye slaves of the Saxon, ye blind bastard bunch! Whelps weak and unstable, I only am able The Celt-hating Sassenach wholly to s-c-rr-unch! Yet for me ye won't work, But sneak homeward and shirk, Ye've an eye on the ould spider, GLADSTONE, a Saxon! He'll sell ye, no doubt. Sure, a pig with ring'd snout Is a far boulder baste Than such mongrels! The taste Of the triple-plied thong BULL will lay your base backs on Will soon make ye moan That ye left me alone On St. Grouse's Day in the morning!
* * * * *
TO LORD TENNYSON.
ON HIS EIGHTY-SECOND BIRTHDAY, AUGUST 6, 1891.
Ay! "After many a summer dies the Swan." But singing dies, if we may trust the Muse. And sweet thou singest as when fully ran Youth's flood-tide. Not to thee did Dawn refuse The dual gift. Our new Tithonus thou, On whom the indignant Hours work not their will, Seeing that, though old age may trench thy brow, It cannot chill thy soul, or mar thy skill. Aurora's rosy shadows bathe thee yet, Nor coldy. "Give me immortality!" Tithonus cried, and lingered to regret The careless given boon. Not so with thee. Such immortality is thine as clings To "happy men that have the power to die." The Singer lives on whilst the Song he sings Charms the world's heart. Such immortality Is better than unending lapse of years. For that the great god-gift, Eternal Youth, Accompanies it; the failures, the chill fears Tithonus knew thou may'st be spared in truth, Seeing that thine Aurora's quickening breath Lives in thee whilst thou livest, so that thou Needst neither dread nor pray for kindly Death, Like "that grey shadow once a man." And now, Great Singer, still we wish thee length of days, Song-power unslackened, and unfading bays!
[Footnote 1: "Tithonus."]
* * * * *
[Illustration: VICISSITUDES OF A RISING PERIODICAL.
The Proprietor. "I'LL TELL YOU WHAT IT IS, SHARDSON, I'M GETTING SICK OF THE 'OLE BLOOMIN' SHOW! THE KNACKER AIN'T SELLING A SCRAP—NO NOTICE TOOK OF US ANYWHERE—NOT A BLOOMIN' ADVERTISEMENT! AND YET THERE AIN'T 'ARDLY A LIVIN' ENGLISHMAN OF MARK, FROM TENNYSON DOWNWARDS, AS WE 'AVEN'T SHOWN UP AND PITCHED INTO, AND DRAGGED 'IS NAME IN THE MUD!"
The Editor. "DON'T LET'S THROW UP THE SPONGE YET, OLD MAN! LET'S GIVE THE DEAD 'UNS A TURN—LET'S HAVE A SHY AT THACKERAY, BROWNING, GEORGE ELIOT, OR, BETTER STILL, LET'S BESPATTER GENERAL GORDON AND CARDINAL NEWMAN A BIT,—THAT OUGHT TO FETCH 'EM A FEW, AND BRING US INTO NOTICE!"]
* * * * *
WHAT HOE! RAIKES!—When King RICHARD—no, beg his pardon, Mr. RICHARD KING—says, as quoted in the Times, "That he can only assume that Mr. RAIKES purposely availed himself of a technicality to cover a statement which was a palpable suggestio falsi," he throws something unpleasant into the teeth of RAIKES. It is as well to remember that rakes have teeth.
* * * * *
"LATINE DOCTUS."—A Cantab, neither a first-rate sailor nor a first-class classic, arrived at Calais after a rough passage, looking, as his friend, who met him on the quai, observed, "so changed he would hardly have known him." "That's it," replied the staggering graduate, "quantum mutatus ab billow!" Oh! he must have been bad!
* * * * *
THE SONG THAT BROKE MY HEART.
I paused in a crowded street, I only desired to ride— Only to wait for a Hammersmith 'bus With room for myself outside; When I caught the nastiest tune My ear had ever heard, And asked the Police to take it away, But never a man of them stirred.
So the singer still sang on; She would not, would not go; She sang a song of the year before last That struck me as rather low. She followed with one that was high, That made the tear-drops start, That was "Hi-tiddly-i-ti! Hi!-ti!-hi!" The song that broke my heart!
* * * * *
WHAT is A "DEMOGRAPHER"?—Those Londoners who ask this question will have already obtained a practical answer, as, this week, London is full of Demographers, to whom Mr. Punch, Grand Master of all Demographers (or "writers for the people"), gives a hearty welcome. All hail to "The New Demogracy!"
* * * * *
'ARRY ON A 'OUSE-BOAT.
Dear CHARLIE,—It's 'ot, and no error! Summer on us, at last, with a bust; Ninety odd in the shade as I write, I've a 'ed, and a thunderin' thust. Can't go on the trot at this tempryture, though I'm on 'oliday still; So I'll pull out my eskrytor, CHARLIE, and give you a touch of my quill.
If you find as my fist runs to size, set it down to that quill, dear old pal; Correspondents is on to me lately, complains as I write like a gal. Sixteen words to the page, and slopscrawly, all dashes and blobs. Well, it's true; But a quill and big sprawl is the fashion, so wot is a feller to do?
Didn't spot you at 'Enley, old oyster—I did 'ope you'd shove in your oar. We 'ad a rare barney, I tell you, although a bit spiled by the pour. 'Ad a invite to 'OPKINS's 'Ouse-boat, prime pitch, and swell party, yer know, Pooty girls, first-class lotion, and music. I tell yer we did let things go.
Who sez 'Enley ain't up to old form, that Society gives it the slip? Wish you could 'ave seen us—and heard us—old boy, when aboard of our ship. Peonies and poppies ain't in it for colour with our little lot, And with larfter and banjos permiskus we managed to mix it up 'ot.
My blazer was claret and mustard, my "stror" was a rainbow gone wrong; I ain't one who's ashamed of his colours, but likes 'em mixed middlingish strong. 'EMMY 'OPKINS, the fluffy-'aired daughter, a dab at a punt or canoe, Said I looked like a garden of dahlias, and showed up her neat navy blue.
Fair mashed on yours truly, Miss EMMY; but that's only jest by the way, 'ARRY ain't one to brag of bong four tunes; but wot I wos wanting to say Is about this here "spiling the River" which snarlers set down to our sort. Bosh! CHARLIE, extreme Tommy rot! It's these sniffers as want to spile sport.
Want things all to theirselves, these old jossers, and all on the strictest Q.T. Their idea of the Thames being "spiled" by the smallest suggestion of spree, Wy it's right down rediklus, old pal, gives a feller the ditherums, it do. I mean going for them a rare bat, and I'm game to wire in till all's blue.
Who are they, these stuckuppy snipsters, as jaw about quiet and peace, Who would silence the gay "constant-screamer" and line the Thames banks with perlice; Who sneer about "'ARRY at 'Enley," and sniff about "cads on the course," As though it meant "Satan in Eden"? I'll 'owl at sich oafs till I'm 'oarse!
Scrap o'sandwich-greased paper'll shock 'em, a ginger-beer bottle or "Bass," Wot 'appens to drop 'mong the lilies, or gets chucked aside on the grass, Makes 'em gasp like a frog in a frying-pan. Br-r-r-r! Wot old mivvies they are! Got nerves like a cobweb, I reckon, a smart Banjo-twang makes 'em jar.
I'm Toffy, you know, and no flies, CHARLIE; swim with the Swells, and all that, But I'm blowed if this bunkum don't make me inclined to turn Radical rat. "Riparian Rights," too! Oh Scissors! They'd block the Backwaters and Broads, Because me and my pals likes a lark! Serve 'em right if old BURNS busts their 'oards!
Rum blokes, these here Sosherlist spouters! There's DANNEL, the Dosser, old chap. As you've 'eard me elude to afore. Fair stone-broker, not wuth 'arf a rap,— Knows it's all Cooper's ducks with him, CHARLIE; won't run to a pint o' four 'arf, And yet he will slate me like sugar, and give me cold beans with his charf.
Sez DANNEL—and dash his darned cheek, CHARLIE!—"Monkeys like you"—meaning Me!— "Give the latter-day Mammon his chance. Your idea of a lark or a spree Is all Noise, Noodle-Nonsense, and Nastiness! Dives, who wants an excuse For exclusiveness, finds it in you, you contemptible coarse-cackling goose!
"Riparian rights? That's the patter of Ahab to Naboth, of course; But 'tis pickles like you make it plausible, louts such as you give it force. You make sweet Thames reaches Gehennas, the fair Norfolk Broads you befoul; You—you, who'd make Beulah a hell with your blatant Bank Holiday howl!
"Decent property-owners abhor you; you spread your coarse feasts on their lawns, And 'ARRY's a hog when he feeds, and an ugly Yahoo when he yawns; You litter, and ravage, and cock-sky; you romp like a satyr obscene, And the noise of you rises to heaven till earth might blush red through her green.
"You are moneyed, sometimes, and well-tailored; but come you from Oxford or Bow, You're a flaring offence when you lounge, and a blundering pest when you row; Your 'monkeyings' mar every pageant, your shindyings spoil every sport, And there isn't an Eden on earth but's destroyed when it's 'ARRY's resort.
"Then monopolist Mammon may chuckle, Riparian Ahabs rejoice; There's excuse in your Caliban aspect, your hoarse and ear-torturing voice, You pitiful Cockney-born Cloten, you slum-bred Silenus, 'tis you Spoil the silver-streamed Thames for Pan-lovers, and all the nymph-worshipping crew!"
I've "reported" as near as no matter! I don't hunderstand more than arf Of his patter; he's preciously given to potry and classical charf. But the cheek on it, CHARLIE! A Stone-broke! I should like to give him wot for, Only DANNEL the Dosser's a dab orf of whom t'ain't so easy to score.
But it's time that this bunkum was bunnicked, bin fur too much on it of late— Us on 'OPKINS's 'Ouse-boat, I tell yer, cared nix for the ink-spiller's "slate." I mean doin' them Broads later on, for free fishing and shooting, that's flat. If I don't give them dash'd Norfolk Dumplings a doing, I'll 'eat my old 'at.
Rooral quiet, and rest, and refinement? Oh, let 'em go home and eat coke. These fussy old footlers whose 'air stands on hend at a row-de-dow joke, The song of the skylark sounds pooty, but "skylarking" song's better fun, And you carn't do the rooral to-rights on a tract and a tuppenny bun.
As to colour, and kick-up, and sing-song, our party was fair to the front; But we wosn't alone; lots of toppers, in 'Ouse-Boat, or four-oar, or punt, Wos a doin' the rorty and rosy as lively as 'OPKINS's lot, Ah! the swells sling it out pooty thick; they ain't stashed by no ink-spiller's rot.
Bright blazers, and twingle-twang banjoes, and bottles of Bass, my dear boy, Lots of dashing, and splashing, and "mashing" are things every man must enjoy, And the petticoats ain't fur behind 'em, you bet. While top-ropes I can carry, It ain't soap-board slop about "Quiet" will put the clear kibosh on
* * * * *
HOW TO SPEND A HOLIDAY ON SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES.
(A PAGE FROM THE DIARY OF AN ENTHUSIAST IN SEARCH OF REST.)
["It is a good rule of practice to devote one portion of a short vacation to the serious and necessary business of doing nothing, and doing it very thoroughly too."—Letter to the Times.]
At last my time for rest has arrived. Musn't be idle, though. Dr. MORTIMER GRANVILLE says it would be most injurious to my health. Must hunt up precedents for leisure leading to no results. Let me see—why not try the British Museum? Sure to find something useful there—and useless, which will be more appropriate.
Take an omnibus. See one in the distance. Hail it. Conductor takes no notice! Shout and hurry after it. Try to attract attention of the driver. Failure. Capital commencement to my labours. Had my run for nothing!
Victory! Stopped one partially occupied. No room outside. Enter interior. Six passengers on one seat. Five on the other. The half dozen regard me with contemptuous indifference. The five make no room. Explain that I want a seat. Remark received in silence. Sit down on knee of small boy. Mother (next him) expostulates—angrily. Chorus of indignant beholders. Conductor is impertinent. Ask for his number, he asks for my fare. Pay him. While this is going on, young woman has entered omnibus, and taken vacant seat. Conductor counts places, says there is no room. Can't carry me. Won't give back fare—has torn off ticket. Says I must get out. Say I will report him. Impudent again. Getting out drop ticket. Incident subsequently (to my later satisfaction) leads to nothing!
Won't have anything more to do with the omnibuses. Enter hansom—old man (the driver) smiles civilly when I say "British Museum." Now, I must seriously rest. Go to sleep. Slumber until awakened by a jolt. Look out. Find myself near the river. Strikes me that the Thames is not close to the Museum. Appeal to cabman through the hole in the roof. Difficulty in attracting his attention. Stop him at last. Ask him why he did not take me to the Museum. He smiles and says he didn't hear me—he is deaf! Very angry. He expostulates, civilly. He saw I was asleep and didn't wish to disturb me! He has been driving up and down the Thames Embankment for the last three hours—charge seven and sixpence. Don't see my way out of the difficulty, except by payment. He thanks me, and suggests that he shall now drive me to the Museum for eighteen-pence. Very angry and refuse. He is hailed by someone else, and is off to pick up his new fare. On consideration it seems to me that my anger has led to nothing. Nothing—just what I wanted, but not exactly at the right moment.
Rather hungry. Enter a restaurant. Crowded with gentlemen wearing hats—who seem to be on intimate terms with the waiters. Get a bill of fare which is thrust into my hands by an attendant loaded with dishes. Let me see—what shall I have? "Lamb's head and peas." Have never tried this dish. Might be good. Waiter (who seems to be revolving, like the planetary system, in an orbit) reaches me, and I shout what I want. He replies, "Sorry, Sir, just off," and vanishes. Look up something else. "Liver and bacon." Not had it for years! Used to like it. On reappearance of the planetary waiter, give my order. He nods and vanishes. Wait patiently. Rather annoyed that my nearest neighbour has used my part of the table for a dish containing broad beans. Glare at him. No result. Planetary waiter has passed me twice—stop him angrily the third time. He is less busy now—he pauses. He thrusts bill of fare before me, and asks me "what I would please to want." Explode and shout in tones of thunder, "Liver and bacon!" He disappears, and comes back a few minutes later, saying, "Very sorry, but when I first ordered it, liver and bacon was on—now it's off. Will I have a chop?" Reply angrily, "No." Same answer to "Steak," "Duck and green peas," "A cut off the beef joint," and "Irish stew." Waiter asks (with forced civility), "What will I have!" I return, as I leave the restaurant, "Nothing!" On regaining the street (although hungry) I am pleased to think that I am still obeying Dr. MORTIMER GRANVILLE's directions!
No use trying cab or omnibus. Both failures. Why not walk? Good way of wasting time, so begin to go northward, and in due course get to Bloomsbury. Enter Museum. Umbrella seized. Approach Reading Room. Civil attendant informs me that the Library is closed—taking stock, or something! Then I have come all this way for nothing! Angry, but inwardly contented. Doing nothing "very thoroughly!"
Turn back. Why not go to a theatre? Certainly. Go to four in succession, and find them all closed! Well, good way of wasting time, Shall I visit one of the Exhibitions? Chelsea or Earl's Court? After consideration, come to the conclusion that this would be worse than doing nothing. Must draw the line somewhere!
After all, there is no place like home. Or shall I go to my Club? Yes. Get there. Find it is being repaired, and that the members are taken in somewhere else. Hate new scenes and new faces. Return to my first idea, and make for my private address; but feel that it may be rather dull, as my wife and the children are at the seaside. Still, somebody can get me a little supper. At least, I hope so. Find my latch-key is of no use, on account of the chain being up. Ring angrily, when a charwoman in a bonnet appears, and explains that the servants, not expecting me home so early, have gone to the play, having locked up the larder. Charwoman agrees with me that it is disgraceful—especially the locking up of the larder.
However, it can't be helped. Make up my mind to go to bed, and get fast asleep, thoroughly tired out with the labours of a day spent in doing absolutely nothing! Hope (in my dreams) that Dr. MORTIMER GRANVILLE will be satisfied!
* * * * *
"OUR CHILDREN'S EARS."
Whether they'll be as long as those of Midas, Or stand out salient from either side as A close-cropped ARRY's, at right angles set To his flat jowl, we cannot settle, yet; But in one thing, at least, a score they'll chalk— They will not hear the stuff their fathers talk!
* * * * *
DEFINITION.—"La haute Cuisine"—the kitchen on the top flat of a ten-storey'd mansion.
* * * * *
* * * * *
"HAVE WE FORGOTTEN GORDON?"
[Lord TENNYSON, under this heading, writes appealing to Englishmen for subscriptions to the funds of the "Gordon Boys' Home" at Woking, which is in want of L40,000. Contributions should be sent to the Treasurer, General Sir DIGHTON PROBYN, V.C., Marlborough House, Pall Mall.]
Are we sleeping? "Have we forgotten?" Like the thrust of an Arab spear Comes that conscience-piercing-question from the Singer of Haslemere. Have we indeed forgotten the hero we so be-sang, When across the far south sand-wastes the news of his murder rang?
Forgotten? So it had seemed to him, as alone afar he lay, With the Nile to watch for laggard friends, fierce foes to hold at bay; Though the tired red lines toiled onward up the Cataracts, and we Dreamed of the shout of the rescuing host his eyes should never see.
When chivalrous BURNABY lay slain, with a smile in the face of death, And for happy news from the hungry wastes men yearned with bated breath; When WILSON pushed his eager way past torrent-swirl and crag, Till they saw o'er GORDON's citadel wave high—the MAHDI's flag.
That shame was surely enough, enough, that sorrow had a sting Our England should not court again. The Laureate's accents ring With scorn suppressed, a scorn deserved indeed, if still our part Is to forget a purpose high that was dear to GORDON's heart.
"This earth has borne no simpler, nobler man." So then sang he Who sounds a keen reveille now. "Can you help us?" What say we? Oh, out on words, that come like WOLSELEY's host too late—too late! Do—do, in the simple silent way that made lost GORDON great.
Surely these Boys that GORDON loved in the Home with GORDON's name Should speak to every English heart that cares for our England's fame; And what be forty thousand pounds as an offering made to him Who held so high that same bright fame some do their worst to dim!
Fit task for patriot poet, this! TYRTAEUS never stood More worthily for heroic hearts or his home-land's highest good. Give! give! and with free hands! His spirit's poor, his soul is hard, Who heeds not our noblest Hero's appeal through the lips of our noblest Bard!
* * * * *
A REMINISCENCE AND A QUOTATION.—It is reported that two Gaiety burlesque-writers are about to re-do Black-Eye'd Susan "up to date," of course, as is now the fashion. As the typical melodramatic tragedian observes, "'Tis now some twenty-five years ago" that FRED DEWAR strutted the first of his five hundred nights or so on the stage as Captain Crosstree, that PATTY OLIVER sang with trilling effect her "Pretty Seeusan," and that DANVERS, as Dame Hatly, danced like a rag-doll in a fantoccini-show. To quote the Poet CRABBE, and to go some way back in doing so,—
"I see no more within our borough's bound The name of DANVERS!"
Which lines will be found in No. XVII. of the Poet's "Posthumous Tales."
* * * * *
THE MODERN TRAVELLER.
In a restaurant-Pullman he books His seat, a luxurious craze. Most travellers now take their Cooks, And everyone's going to Gaze.
* * * * *
IBERIAN-HIBERNIAN.—Sir,—In Ireland since the time when the Armada came to grief on its coasts, there have always existed Spanish names, either pure, as in the instance of Valencia, or slightly mixed. In Spain the Celtic names are found in the same way, and an instance occurs on the border-land of Spain and Southern France, in the name of the place to which the Spanish Premier has gone for his holiday, viz., Bagneres-de-Bigorre. If "Bigorre" isn't "Begorra," what is it? DON PATRICK DE CORQUEZ.
* * * * *
* * * * *
A LOVER'S COMPLAINT.
(THOROUGHLY NEW STYLE.)
Belinda dear, once on a time I doted on your every feature, I wrote you billets doux in rhyme In which I called you "charming creature." No lover half so keen as I, Than mine no ardent passion stronger, So I should like to tell you why I cannot love you any longer.
When I was yours and you were mine, Your hair, I thought, was most delightful, But now, through Fashion's last design, It looks, to my taste, simply frightful! Though why this should be I don't know, For I can think of nothing madder Than hair decked out in coils that go To make what seems to be a ladder.
Unhappy day, when first you dressed Your tresses thus—how you must rue it! For you yourself, you know, confessed It took you several hours to do it. Oh, tell me, is it but a snare Designed to captivate another, Or do you merely bind your hair Because you're bidden by your mother?
Again—you will not take it ill— You are, my dear, distinctly dumpy: A flowing cape it's certain will Well—not become one short and stumpy. Yet since, although you are not tall, You wear a cape, you may take my word That in the mouths of one and all You have become a very byword.
So this is why my love has fled— If ever there should come a season When you shall show some sense instead Of such an utter lack of reason, If I should still be fancy free, Why then it's only right to mention That, if you care to write to me, I'll give your claims my best attention.
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A NOTE.—In Black and White for August 8 there is a large picture representing a group of English Dramatists, amongst whom please specially notice a figure intended for Mr. W.S. GILBERT (it was thoughtful and kind of the artist to put the names below), who is apparently explaining to a select few why he has been compelled to come out in this strange old coat and these queer collars. All the Dramatists look as cheerful as mutes at a funeral, their troubled expression of countenance probably arising from the knowledge that somewhere hidden away is a certain eminently unbiassed Ibsenitish critic who has been engaged to do the lot in a lump. From this exhibition of collective wisdom turn to p. 203, and observe the single figure of a cabman, drawn by an artist who certainly has a Keene appreciation of the style of Mr. Punch's inimitable "C.K."
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A LESSON FROM THE R.N.E.
(FOR THE USE OF SAILORS PROPOSING TO JOIN THE ROYAL NAVY.)
Question. I think you have been to the Royal Naval Exhibition at Chelsea.
Answer. I have. I was induced to make the journey by an advertising placard posted on two official boards outside the Admiralty.
Q. What was your first impression on reaching the grounds usually open to the public, but now reserved for commercial purposes?
A. That the Public were extremely benevolent to permit so long an infringement of their right of way and other privileges.
Q. After you had entered the Exhibition, what was your initial impression?
A. That a great number of the exhibits were not very appropriate advertisements.
Q. Did you see Seamen of the Royal Navy making an exhibition of themselves in the Arena?
A. I did; and could not help contrasting with the feebly-histrionic display the recent order in Paris forbidding the French soldiers to take part in theatrical representations.
Q. Was the display of these seamen of the Royal Navy particularly impressive?
A. No, and I fancy that some of the audience who had paid an extra sixpence to see it from the Grand Stand, were slightly disappointed.
Q. Besides the cutlass and gun drill, did you see these seamen (wearing Her Majesty's uniform), take part in any other performance?
A. I did, and for this, too, an extra sixpence was charged for the use of the Grand Stand. They waded about in a sort of tank or large bath with models of ironclads on their heads.
Q. So far as you could see was this last display conducive to the maintenance of strict discipline?
A. I should say not, the more especially as I noticed towards the close of the display that the men seemed inclined to indulge in larking.
Q. Has this raree show caused you to wish to enlist in the Royal Navy?
A. Certainly not. The gun and cutlass drill before a paying audience reminded me of The Battle of Waterloo at Astley's.
Q. But would you not like to join the Royal Navy, so that you might be qualified to perform in a tank?
A. No; for on consideration I think if I wished to do anything in the "comic water-tournament line," I could make better terms with Mr. SANGER than the Lords of the Admiralty.
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QUEER QUERIES.—POPULAR PRICES.—Would any reader inform me what is the lowest price at which wholesome aerated waters are sold? I have been drinking some "Shadwell Seltzer, special cuvee," at a penny-halfpenny the syphon, and I fancy this may have something to do with my present symptoms, which include partial paralysis of the left side, violent spasms, an almost irresistible tendency to homicide, together with excruciating pain in every part of the body. My doctor says the lead in the syphons has "permeated my system." When I am better, I intend to prosecute the manufacturer. My doctor discourages the notion. He says he does not know if an action would "lie," but he is sure the manufacturer would!—TEETOTALLER.
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HELVETIAN SIXTH-CENTURY MOTTO.—"'Tell' est La Vie!"—en Suisse.
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OFF TO MASHERLAND.
(BY OUR OWN GRANDOLPH.)
A FEW REMINISCENCES.
Begin to regret dinners on board the Grantully Castle. The other day was regretting the Amphitryon. Don't go so far back as the Albemarle-Street Amphitryon, quite satisfied with a simple Donald Currie. [Mem.—The proverb hath much truth in it that saith, "Go farther and fare worse."] Sick of chicken. With poetic epigrammacy might say, "Quite sick Of chick." Stringy chickens, too! One has to tug at them; sort of game of "poulet-hauly"—as DRUMMY would say. Though were he here, I doubt if he would say anything. He certainly would eat nothing: probably would only open his mouth to observe, "I'm off!" and then we should see him no more. Quite right. So would I—but for "my oath, my Lord, my oath!" (N.B.—This is a quotation. Sure of it. Where from? Don't know. Tragedy probably; sounds tragic. No matter. Can give it with effect in a speech, and Members turn to one another and ask, "What's that from?" When they ask me confidentially afterwards, I reply with an air of intense surprise, "What! don't you know! Well!!" and I turn on my heel, leaving CHUCKLEHEAD, M.P., annoyed with himself,—"plante la" as DRUMMY would say,—for being so ignorant, and for having displayed his ignorance so palpably. Off he goes to British Museum and searches for quotation. This gives him opportunity of acquiring much useful knowledge, which, but for me, he would not have had. Rather a long parenthesis this. So—on we goes again.)
TO THE MINES.
A propos of exploring, the other day, a digger's assistant came up to me and inquired "If I had," as I understood him, "my gin pack'd." I returned that I never took spirits. Found out subsequently that word was spelt "mijinpacht," which is African-Dutch for "lease." Well, why didn't he say so before? Of course I have, and plenty of 'em; else why am I here?
To-day went to see the ore in the Robinson Crusoe Mines. As D.W. would say, "The site strikes me with ore!"
Much interested, of course, in inspecting the Salisbury Mine. Naturally, I put in my claim for the Salisbury. What's in a name and a family, if one can't get some good out of 'em? Intend to start the "Uncle Mine." Fine chance. Any place where there's a large and fluctuating Pop-ulation (with emphasis on the "Pop"), the Uncle Mine is a certainty." But Oh, for the "pop,"—I mean the dear old fizz,—and the older it is, the dearer it is,—at the Amphitryon.
"IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?"
The Transvaal's the place for living in. Here life is life, be it never so lively. The only nuisance is the Boer; and the Boer's a hass, or rather a mule. That's my opinion of Boers individually and collectively; I make no concessions to them; hang 'em, they've already got enough. If this country had been in the hands of Englishmen, or Americans, or both jointly (talking of jointly, we'd have had better dinners than we get now but of this anon—) with a certain person whom I can mention, and who is not a hundred miles distant from the present writer at this moment, as Head of affairs, an Imperial ruler, with power to add to his number (which number would be One, and would remain so), then this country, in a very short time, would have ruled the world. What ports, what champagnes, what railroads, what shipping, what commerce, what an Imperial Parliament, with the Despot in the Chair in both Houses, all speeches, except the Despot's, limited to five minutes apiece, and no reduction on talking a quantity. Oh, for one hour of this power, and the Amphitryon be blowed! Aha! Grandolphus Africanus Protector to begin with; Grandolphus Africanus Rex to go on with; and Grandolphus Africanissimmus Imperator to finish with!
REMORSE AND REGRET.
Now to dinner! On what? Yah! tough beef, woolly mutton and stringy chicken. And to think that but for the Boers, the beastly Boers, we should have had the finest teal, wild duck, venison, goslings, asparagus, French beans, best Welsh mutton, and real turtle soup every day au choix!! But what did the Boers do? Why, they ascertained that skins and feathers, and shells, were valuable, whereupon they went to work, shot everything everywhere, sold skins and feathers, and shells! So that deer and birds hadn't a chance. If they popped out, pop went the guns like the original weasel, which some years ago was always popping, and the poor dumb animals with the pleading eyes and the tender flesh were slaughtered wholesale. In this manner, too, the game soon came to an end, as it must do whenever the game is so one-sided as it was here. Then, as I have said, the shells were valuable! The shells! What chance had the tortoise and the turtle? "'Tis the voice of the turtle, I heard him complain." (What's that from? That's from WATTS—eh?) What chance had the peas, however wild? or a bean as broad as one of ——'s after-dinner stories? Ah! it makes me sad and angry, and once again I cry Oh, for an hour, and that the dinner-hour, aboard the Grantully Castle! Ay! even though the G.O.M. were on board; for he could appreciate the daily Currie which to me is now perdu. Well! so to dinner "with what appetite I may," and then on to Pretoria, of which place I think I shall change the name to Pre-radicallia or Pre-fourthpartia. You see Pre-toria implies one who was Toryer than a Tory. Aha! what is my scheme? Do you see the picture? GRANDOLPHUS IMPERATOR REX AURIFERORUM MEORUM (Latine for "Mines") surrounded by his Pretorian Guards.
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SPORT TO US!
Went out shooting before dinner. Killed one wild turkey, after an awful struggle, in which I very nearly got the worst of it; but fortunately the turkey was unarmed, though for all that he used his drumsticks in such a manner as in a little more would have brought flocks of other furious wild turkeys on to the scene, had I not, with great presence of mind and one small bullet out of my spring-pea rifle managed to crack the parchment-like skin which covers his drum, and at the same time broken one of his sticks. Then, he fell. Carried him home on my back. What larks! Killed four-and-twenty blackbirds at one shot as they were all sitting in a row on a rail. They were so frightened of me, it made 'em quail!! Wonderful transformation, wasn't it? But fact, all the same. Four-and-twenty quail All on a rail. Killed eighty "Koran," a Mahomedan bird, very scarce, and therefore bring in a considerable Mahomet, or, (ahem) profit? See? Shot a "Tittup"—so called on account of its peculiar action after drinking; also three early German Beerbirds, or, as the Dutchmen call them, "Spring-boks." There is another origin for this name, which is also likely, and that is that they don't appear when there's an early spring, but when the spring is rather backward then they come forward. Whichever you like, my little dear, you pays your money, &c., &c. After all these exciting adventures—"The game is cook'd, and now we'll go to dinner!"—quotation from early Dramatist, by Yours ever,
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O poor Mr. ATKINSON, victim of fate, Who bowed when you ought to have lifted your hat, When the Session is over it's far—far too late, To give notice of this and give notice of that. Your attempts to be funny are amazing to see, It's a dangerous venture to pose as a wit. Though the voters of Boston may love their M.P., It may end in their giving you notice—to quit!
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Short Papers in Magazines.—"A starry night Is the shepherd's delight," and as this sort of night is to the pastor, so are short stories in Monthly Magazines to the Baron. Moreover, his recommendation of them is, as he knows from numerous grateful Correspondents, "a boon and a blessing" to such as follow his lead. He owns to a partiality for the weird, and if he can come across a brief "curdler," he at once singles it out for the delectation of those whose taste is in the same direction. But no curdler has he come across for some considerable time; but for short essays and tales to be read by ladies in some quiet half-hour before toiletting or untoiletting, or by the weaker sex in the smoking-room, the Baron begs to commend "THACKERAY's Portraits of Himself," as interesting to Thackerayans, and "A Maiden Speech," in Murray, for August, the latter being rather too sketchy, though in its sketchiness artistic, as, like Sam Weller's love-letter, it makes you "wish as there was more of it."
Commended also by the Baron are "The Story of a Violin," by ERNEST DOWSON, and "Heera Nund," by F.A. STEEL, in Macmillan. If "A First Family of Tasajara" is continued as well as it is commenced in the same above-mentioned Mac-azine, it will be about as good a tale as BRET HARTE has ever written, and that is saying a good deal, mind you.
Unfinished Stories—that is, Stories finished in style, yet, as another contradiction in terms, short stories without any end, are rather the vogue nowadays in Magazines. Let me recommend as specimens "Francesca's Revenge" in Blackwood, and "Disillusioned" in London Society.
Don't tell the Baron that these hints are unappreciated. He knows better. He can produce letters imploring him to read and notice, letters asking him what to read, and letters complaining that his advice is not more frequently given. Aware of this responsibility, he never recommends what he has not himself read, or what some trusted partner in the Firm of BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & Co. has not read for him. Verb. sap.
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
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One or two of the especially well-informed dramatic critics who, of course, had seen the original piece Miss Helyett in Paris, asked why the English adapter had taken the trouble to invent nine sisters for the heroine; the nine sisters never being seen and having nothing whatever to do with the plot. Here the well-informed ones were to a certain extent wrong. In the original French piece, Miss Helyett,—whose name, as is suggested by Woman, is evidently a French rendering for "Miss ELLIOT," which M. BOUCHERON "concluded was her Christian name"—speaking of herself, says to her father, "Vous savez bien, mon pere, que vous n'avez pas de plus grande admiratrice que votre onzieme enfant." And the Reverend SMITHSON tells her, a little later, "J'ai case toutes tes soeurs tres jeunes—" and "Je ne devrais pourtant pas avoir de peine a trouver un onzieme gendre."
That is why he is travelling to get an "onzieme gendre" for his "onzieme enfant." The English adapter relieved Mr. SMITHSON of one of his family, and so Miss Helyett Smithson became Miss Decima Jackson, i.e., the tenth, instead of the eleventh, of the worthy pastor's family. The fact that all her sisters are married, makes single unblessedness a reproach to her. No sort of purpose would have been served by such a wholesale massacre of innocents as the extinction of all Pastor Smithson's, alias Jackson's, ten "pretty chicks at one fell swoop."
Miss NESVILLE, the foreign representative of Miss Decima at the Criterion, is uncommonly childlike and bland; moreover, she sings charmingly; while of Mr. DAVID JAMES as the pastor Jackson it may be said, "Sure such a pere was never seen!" The Irishman, Mr. CHAUNCEY OLCOTT, has a mighty purty voice, and gains a hearty encore for a ditty of which the music is not particularly striking. Mr. PERCY REEVE has written words which go glibly to AUDRAN's music, and fit the situations. The piece is capitally played and sung all round; and marvellous is Miss VICTOR as the Spanish mother. The mise-en-scene is far better here than it is in Paris, where this "musical-comedy" is still an attraction.
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HOW TO BE POPULAR.
(ADVICE TO AN ASPIRANT.)
Dear sir, if you long for the love of a nation, If you wish to be feted, applauded, caressed; If you hope for receptions, and want an ovation, By the populace cheered, by Town Councils addressed; I can give you succinctly a certain receipt— Be detected at once and denounced as a cheat.
It's as easy as lying; you eat all your cake, Sir, And you have it as well, which was never a sin, By adding a trifling amount to your stake, Sir, When the points of the cards show you're certain to win. You'll be slapped on the back by the "man in the street," Who delights to sing paeans in praise of a cheat.
They take the poor thief or the forger to jail, oh, Where he cleans out his cell and picks oakum all day; You pose as a martyr and get a cheap halo Ready-made by the public, with nothing to pay. Believe me, dear Sir, there is nothing can beat For triumph and joy the career of a cheat.
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EXIT LA CLAQUE.—"A partir d'apres demain samedi," says the Figaro for August 6:—"M. LEMONNIER, le Directeur d'ete et l'auteur de Madame la Marechale, supprime le service de la claque a 'Ambigu." When Madame la Marechale has finished her run, will the claque be re-admitted to start a new piece? This is snubbing your friends in a time of prosperity. If the claque has the courage of its opinions—but stay, can a claque have any opinions? No: it must follow its leader; and its leader obeys orders. If ever any set of men came into a theatre "with orders," the claque is that set. Poor claque! Summoned in adversity, banished in prosperity, why not do away with it altogether, and trust to public expression of opinion for applause?
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NOTICE.—Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS., Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.