PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
April 9th, 1892.
The Reader will kindly imagine that he has crossed Hammersmith Bridge, and is being carried along by a jostling stream of sightseers towards Mortlake. The banks are already occupied—although it still wants half an hour to the time fixed for the start—by a triple row of the more patient and prudent spectators. On the left of the path, various more or less Shady Characters have established their "pitches," and are doing their best to beguile the unsophisticated.
First Shady Character (presiding over a particoloured roulette board with a revolving and not unmanageable index). Three to one any colour you like! Fairest game in the world! I'm a backin' I'm a layin'.... Pop it on, you sportsmen! (Two Sportsmen—a couple of shop-boys—"pop it on," in coppers.) Yaller was your colour—and it is a yaller cap, sure enough! I'm a payin' this time. Try it again! (They do.) Blue's your fancy this turn, my lord. And green it is! Good ole Hireland for ever! Twenty can play at this game as well as one! Don't be afraid o' yer luck—'ave another go. Red did you put your coppers on? And it's yaller again—and you lose! (The Sportsmen pass on—with empty pockets.) Fairest game in the world!
Second S.C. (who has been conducting a Confidence Auction from a barrow and egg-box). Well, I 'ope you're all satisfied, and if you ain't —(candidly)—it don't make no bloomin' difference to me, for I'm orf—these premises is comin' down fur alterations. [He gets off the barrow, shoulders the egg-box, and departs in search of fresh dupes.
A Vendor. Now all you who are fond of a bit o' fun and amusement, jest you stop and invest a penny in this little article I am now about to introdooce to your notice, warranted to make yer proficient in the 'ole art and practice of Photography in the small space of five seconds and a arf—and I think you'll agree with me as it ain't possible to become an expert photographer at a smaller expense than the sum of one penny. 'Ere I 'old in my 'and a simple little machine, consistin' of a small sheet of glorss in a gilt frame. I've been vaccinated five 'underd-and-forty-one times, never been bit by a mad dog in my life, and all these articles have been thoroughly fumigated before leaving the factory, therefore you'll agree with me you needn't be afraid o' catchin' the Inflooenza. They tell me it's nearly died out now—and no wonder, with everythink a cure for it—but this article is a certain remedy. All you've got to do is to bite off a corner of the glorss, takin' care to be near a public 'ouse at the time, chew the glorss into small fragments, enter the public 'ouse, call for a pot o' four ale, and drink it orf quick. It operates in this way—the minoot portions of the glorss git between the jaws of the microbe, preventin' 'im from closin' 'is mouth, and thereby enablin' you to suffocate 'im with the four ale. (To the Reader.) Will you allow me to show you how this little invention takes a photograph, Sir? kindly 'old it in your 'and, breathe on it, and look steadily on the plate for the space of a few seconds. (All of which the Reader, being the soul of courtesy, obligingly does—and is immediately rewarded by observing the outline of a donkey's head produced upon the glass.) Now if you'll 'and that round, Sir, to allow the company to judge whether it ain't a correct likeness— [But here the Reader will probably prefer to pass on.
Third S.C. (who is crouching on ground by a tin case, half covered with a rug, and yelling). Ow-ow-ow-ow!... Come an' see the wonderful little popsy-wopsy Marmoseet, what kin tork five lengwidges, walk round, shake 'ands, tell yer 'is buthday, 'is percise age, and where he was keptured!
[Crowd collects to inspect this zoological phenomenon, which—as soon as an inconvenient Constable is out of hearing—reveals itself as an illicit lottery. Speculators purchase numbered tickets freely; balls are shaken up in the tin box—and the popsy-wopsy invariably gets distinctly the best of it.
Fourth S.C. (an extremely disreputable-looking old gentleman, with a cunningly curled piece of tape on a board), 'Ere, I'm ole BILLY FAIRPLAY, I am! Come an' try yer fortins at little 'Ide an' Find! Arf a crown yer don't prick the middle o' this bit o' tape. Bet arf a crown, to win five shillin's! (A school-boy sees his way to doubling his last tip, and speculates.) Wrong agin, my boy! It's old BILLY FAIRPLAY'S luck—for once in a way! [The School-boy departs, saddened by this most unexpected result.
Fifth S.C. (a fat, fair man, with an impudent frog-face, who is trying desperately hard to take in a sceptical crowd with the too familiar purse-trick). Now look 'ere, I don't mind tellin' yer all, fair an' frank, I'm 'ere to get a bit, if I can; but, if you kin ketch me on my merits, why, I shan't grumble—I'll promise yer that much! Well, now—(to a stolid and respectable young Clerk)—jest to show you don't know me, and I don't know you—(he throws three half-crowns into the purse). There, 'old that for me. Shut it. (The Clerk does so, grinning.) Thank you—you're a gentleman, though you mayn't look like it—but perhaps you're one in disguise. Now gimme 'arf a crown for it. Yer won't? Any one gimme arf a crown for it? Why—(unprintable language)—if ever I see sech a blanky lot o' mugs in my life! 'Ere, I'll try yer once more! (He does.) Now oo'll gimme arf a crown for it? (To a Genteel Onlooker, with an eyeglass, who has made an audible comment) "See 'ow it's done!" So yer orter, with a glazier's shop where yer eye orter be! Well, if anyone had 'a told me I should stand 'ere, on Boat-Race Day too, orferin' six bob for arf a crown, and no one with the ordinary pluck an' straightforwardness to take me at my word, I'd have suspected that man of tellin' me a untruth! (To a simple-looking spectator.) Will you 'old this purse for me? Yer will? Well. I like the manly way yer speak up! (Here the Gent. Onl., observing a seedy man slinking about outside, warns the company to "mind their pockets"—which excites the Purse-seller's just indignation.) "Ere!—(to the G.O.) you take your 'ook! I've 'ad enough o' you. I 'ave. You're a bloomin' sight too officious, you are! Not much in your pockets to mind—'cept the key o' the street, and a ticket o' leave, I'll lay! If you carn't beyave as a Gentleman among Gentlemen, go 'ome to where you 'ad your 'air cut last—to Pentonville! (The G.O. retires.) There, we shall get along better without 'im. 'Ow long are you goin' to keep me 'ere? Upon my word an' honour, it's enough to sicken a man to see what the world's come to! Where's yer courage? Where's yer own common sense? Where's your faith in 'umin nature? What do yer expect? (Scathingly.) Want me to wrop it up in a porcel, and send it 'ome for yer? Is that what yer waitin' for! Dammy, if this goes on, I shall git wild, and take and give the bloomin' purse a bath! (The Simple Spectator feels in his pockets—evidently for a half-crown.) 'Ere, you look more intelligent than the rest—I'll try yer jest this once. Jest to show yer don't know me, and—(Shouts of "They're off! They're coming!" from the bank; the Purse-seller's audience suddenly melts away, leaving him alone with the Seedy Slinker.) 'Ere, JIM, we may as well turn it up. 'Ere come them blanky boats!
A Juvenile Plunger (with rather a complicated book on the event). If Oxford wins, I've got ter git a penny out of 'im, and if Kimebridge wins, you've got ter git a penny outer me!
Crowd (as the Crews flash by). Go it, Oxford! Ox—ford! No, Kimebridge! Well rowed, Kimebridge!... Oxford wins! No, it don't. I'll lay it don't! Splendid rycin'. Which on 'em was Oxford? The inside one. No, it worn't— they was outside. Well, Oxford was leadin', anyway!... There, that's all over till next year! Not much to come out for, either—on'y just see 'em for a second or so. Oh, I come out for the lark of it, I do.... There goes the pidgins orf.... We shan't be long knowin' now.... 'Ere's the Press Boat comin' back.... There, wot did I tell yer, now? Well, they didn't orter ha' won. that's all—the others was the best crew.... 'Ere they are, all together on the launch, d'ye see? Seem friendly enough, too, considerin', torkin' to each other and all. Lor, they wouldn't bear no malice now it's over!
[Crowd disperse, and patronise "Popsy Wopsy," the Roulette, Ole Billy Fairplay, &c., &c., with renewed zest.
* * * * *
Mrs. RAMSBOTHAM is staying with her niece in the country. She is much delighted with the rich colour of the spring bulbs, and says she at last understands the meaning of "as rich as Crocus."
* * * * *
WILLIAM THE WHALER, AND HIS GREAT LONE WHALING EXPEDITION.
MODERN IMPERIAL GERMAN VERSION. (BY BIZZY THE PILOT.)
["The arrangements for the German Emperor's Whale-hunting excursion have been made."—The Times.]
'Twas arter he'd got rid o' Me, Brave boys. When Will-I-AM he did sa-a-a-ail, In a bit of a boat Which would scarcely float, And he went for to catch a Whale, Brave boys! All alone for to catch a Whale.
His Sire and his Grandsire trusted Me, Brave boys! Who was never known for to fa-a-a-il; But he thought he knew More than Cap'en and crew, In the matter o' catching a Whale, Brave boys! In the matter o' catching a Whale.
He'd inwented a new harpoon, Brave boys As was shaped on a whoppingish sca-a-a-le And he thought with delight, (The "magnanimous" mite!) He was going to catch that Whale, Brave boys! He made cocksure o' catching that Whale!
There were several Whales about, Brave boys! Here and there a twitching a ta-a-a-il; And he thinks, thinks he, "I will catch all three, But pertikler that big black Whale, Brave boys! Most pertikler that big black Whale."
Enraptured with his bit of a boat, Brave boys! He set forth to sea in a g-a-a-a-le; Which was altogether The wrong sort o'weather For a novice to capture a Whale, Brave boys! A mere nipper for to capture a Whale.
I gives him the best of adwice, Brave boys! For I knowed he was bound for to fa-a-a-il; But he ups, and he offs, And he snubs me, and he scoffs At the notion of a-missing that Whale, Brave boys! The mere notion of not catching that Whale.
And he bobbles about on the waves, Brave boys! And his stout heart doth not qua-a-a-ail; He's a foolish little chuck, But he's got a lot o' pluck, Still, he will not catch that Whale, Brave boys! He ain't going for to catch that Whale.
There was three whopping Whales in the offing, Brave boys! And them he did loudly h-a-a-ail; But to such a voice as his'n They worn't a-going to listen, Especially that big black Whale, Brave boys! Most especially that big black Whale.
He crept up with his big harpoon, Brave boys! That monster to impa-a-a-ale, And stubbornly he kep' on A hurling of his weapon, Till he managed to hit that Whale, Brave boys! He managed to prick that Whale.
Then he thought he'd done a mighty clever thing, Brave boys! But the Whale gave a fhwisk! with his ta-a-a-ail, And then vanished from his view, With the harpoon wot he threw, And WILL-I-AM nearly followed that Whale, Brave boys! Wos werry near to following that Whale:
Then WILL-I-AM the Whaler looked dumfoozled, Brave boys! And I sings out—a being within ha-a-a-il— "I told you, noble Cap'en, Exactly wot would happen!" So—he didn't catch that Whale, Brave boys! No—he never caught that Whale!
* * * * *
"NAMES AND THEIR MEANING."—A propos of some correspondence in the Morning Post under the above heading, we would ask, Why not make the Second Chief Commissioner for the Behring Straits Difficulty, Mr. SEALE HAYNE, M.P., with Lord SAY AND SELE to speak on the subject, and then sign the official documents?
* * * * *
MRS. R. has heard much lately about the "Sandringham Stud" and the "St. Andrews Links," both of which, she understands, are very large. She can't make out how gentlemen prefer them to nice, neat little shirt-buttons!
* * * * *
Gatekeeper (stopping squalid Stranger). "NOW THEN, WHAT DO YOU WANT?"
S.S. "COME TO SEE JIMMY'S SHOW." Gatekeeper. "ONE SHILLING, PLEASE!"
S.S. "NOT ME! I'M A ARTIST—CORNER O' BAKER STREET—CHALKS. LE'MME THROUGH!" [Chucked!]
* * * * *
"Signs" of the Times.
["He was brought up to speak in the ante-stumping era."—Lord Rosebery on Lord Granville."]
You do well, my dear Lord, to spread GRANVILLE'S renown. Knightly, loyal, and courteous to monarch or clown, He had pluck, and swift speech, though no mere Party Pump. To our late platform level he hardly worked down; But the popular sign of his day was "The Crown," Of ours 'tis "The Magpie and Stump."
* * * * *
A PROPHECY AS TO THE U.B.R.
When the Eights are reaching Chiswick, One will give the other physic.
* * * * *
TWO DROMIOS.—One day last week at Highgate, a certain or uncertain WILLIAM PEA, horsedealer, was summoned by the Police for furious driving. The Police knew him well by sight, but not well enough, as he clearly proved what Mr. Weller Senior called "a alleybi." Evidently Mr. PEA has a double, and "as like as two Peas" is peculiarly applicable in this case. For if the other one isn't a Pea, he has been taken for one by the Pee-lers.
* * * * *
QUESTION OF POLITENESS.—Except in the case of a man's father having been "a big gun" at any time, to call anyone "a Son of a Gun," has hitherto been considered a gross insult. Is it equally insulting to speak of a Lady as "a Daughter of a Canon?"
* * * * *
AN EMPTY TRIUMPH.
(A Story of Show Sunday.)
It was Show Sunday; lovers of Art were streaming in and out of every Studio they could hunt up, fired with a laudable ambition to break the record by the number they visited in the hours between luncheon and dusk.
The residence of so rising a painter as TINTORETTO TICKLER was naturally a place in which no person of any self-respect would neglect to be seen; and on this particular afternoon the entrance-hall, sitting-rooms, and studio were simply choked with an eager throng of friends, acquaintances, and utter strangers; for TINTORETTO'S lavish hospitality was well known, and no expense had been spared to give his guests as favourable an impression of his talent as possible. A couple of knights, clad in complete steel—the local greengrocer and an Italian model—took the guests' hats, and announced their names; there were daffodils and azaleas in profusion; the Red Roumanians performed national airs in the studio-gallery; Italian mandolinists sang and strummed on the staircase, and, in the dining-room, trim maid-servants, in becoming white caps and streamers, dispensed coffee, claret-cup, and ices to a swarm of well-conducted social locusts.
Just outside his painting-room stood TINTORETTO TICKLER, at the receipt of compliment, which was abundantly and cheerfully paid. Indeed, the torrent of congratulation and delicately-expressed eulogy was almost overwhelming. One lovely and enthusiastic person told him that the sight of his "Dryad Disturbing a Beanfeast" had just marked an epoch in her mental development, and that she considered it quite the supreme achievement of the Art of the Century. A ponderous man in spectacles, whom TICKLER had no recollection of having ever met before in his life, encouraged him by his solemn assurance that his "Jews Sitting in a Dentist's Waiting-room, in the reign of King John," was perfectly marvellous in its realism and historical accuracy, and that it ought to become the property of the Nation; while an elderly lady, in furs and a crimped front, declared that the pathos of his nursery subject—a child endeavouring to induce a mechanical rabbit to share its bread-and-milk—was sending her home with tears in her eyes. Some talked learnedly of his "values," his "atmosphere," and the subtlety of his modelling; all agreed that he had surpassed himself and every living artist by his last year's work, and no one made any mistake about the nature of his subjects, perhaps because—in consideration for the necessities of the British Art-patron—they had been fully announced and described in the artistic notes of several Sunday papers.
When they got outside, it is true, their enthusiasm slightly evaporated; TICKLER was going off, he was repeating himself, he had nothing that was likely to produce a sensation this year, and most of his pictures would probably never be seen again.
As, however, these last remarks were not made in TINTORETTO'S presence, it might have been thought that the unmistakable evidences of his success which he did hear would have rendered him a proud and happy painter,—but if he was, all that can be said was that he certainly did not look it. He accepted the most effusive tributes with the same ghastly and conventional smile; from feminine glances of unutterable gratitude and admiration he turned away with an inarticulate mumble and an averted eye; at times he almost seemed to be suppressing a squirm. If expression is any index to the thoughts, he was neither grateful nor gratified, and distinctly uncomfortable.
A painter-friend of his, who had been patiently watching his opportunity to get a word with him as he stood there exchanging handshakes, managed at last to get near enough for conversation. "Very glad to find there's no truth in it!" he began, cordially. "No truth in what!" said TICKLER, a little snappishly, for he was getting extremely fractious, "the compliments"?
"No, no, my dear boy. I mean in what a fellow told me outside just now—that some burglars broke into your studio last night, and carried off all your canvasses—a lie, of course!"
"Oh, that?" said TICKLER, "that's true enough—they left nothing behind 'em but the beastly frames!"
"Then what on earth——?" began the other, in perplexity, for another group was just coming up, beaming with an ecstasy that demanded the relief of instant expression.
"Well—er—fact is," explained poor TICKLER, in an undertone, "I did think of shutting the studio up and getting away somewhere—but my wife wouldn't hear of it, you know; said it would be such a pity to have had all the expense and trouble for nothing, and didn't believe the mere absence of pictures would make any particular difference. And—er—I'm bound to say that, as you can see for yourself, it hasn't!"
And even as he spoke, he had to resign himself once more to a farewell burst of positively fulsome appreciation.
* * * * *
THE KING AND THE CLOWN.
KING HERBERT CAMPBELL THE FIRST, and HARRY PAYNE, the Clown, were sitting together, quaffing, after hours, and when work was done, just as in the good old times was the wont of The King and the Cobbler, or The King and the Miller. To them entered a Constable, intent on duty, and no respecter of persons. Often had he seen the Clown maltreat a policeman on the stage, nay, had seen him unstuff him, cut his head off and blow him limb from limb from a gun, and then put him together again; the only mistake being that the unfortunate official's head was turned the wrong way. So this Constable, too, looking backwards, as had done the poor pantomimic policeman, remembered all the slights, insults, and injuries, publicly inflicted on his cloth for many years, and now rejoiced—Ha! ha!—at last at having the Clown, the original JOEY, nay, the last of the JOEYS, in his grasp.
Poor KING HERBERT the Merry Monarch the Constable pitied, but still "constabulary duty must be done," as he had heard sung; and remembering that my Lord Chief Justice, in days gone by, had sent off the Heir Apparent to prison, so now he the Constable, in the name of the Law, would hale KING HERBERT before the Magistrate. So King and Clown were had up accordingly. Did the Clown whimper, and cry, "Oh, please, Sir, it wasn't me, Sir; it was t'other boy, Sir!" and did the good King prepare to meet his fate like a man? and was he ready to put his head cheerfully on the wig-block and declare with his latest breath (up to 12.55 P.M.) that in his closing hours he died for the benefit of the Public? We know not—except that both delinquents were let off—like squibs—and Mine Host, the Boniface, had to pay all the fines. He at all events had a Fine old time of it! Sic transit! So fitly ends the long run of a good Pantomime. Finis coronat opus!
* * * * *
The Volunteer Review at Dover.
General Idea of Officers in Command.—To make as few mistakes as possible in handling some thousands of imperfectly-drilled and entirely undisciplined bodies of men.
The same of the Rank and File.—To spend an annual holiday in marching and counter-marching, and then, after thirty miles of moving over a heavy country, to return to London dead beat.
* * * * *
EFFECTIVELY SETTLING IT.—A "par" in the Daily Telegraph last Friday informed us that "The Bishop of EXETER administered, yesterday, the rite of confirmation to thirty-eight patients of the Western Counties' Idiot Asylum at Starcross. This is the first time such a rite has been conferred upon inmates of this institution." Very hard on these inmates, as, previous to the ceremony there might have been some hope of their recovery; but now they have become "confirmed idiots."
* * * * *
ODE TO A GIRAFFE.
(On hearing that the Solitary Specimen at the Zoo had just died.)
So Death has paid the Zoo a call, And claimed you for his own, Who "neck or nothing" had been left To bloom—and die—alone. From far I gazed into your face, I did not know your name, You looked uncomfortable, but I loved you all the same.
Your neck was just a trifle long, I think you must confess. I've often thought if, as a fact, You could have done with less. But we must take you all in all, And so I hear with pain That probably we shall not look Upon your like again.
I could have spared a buffalo Or elephant with ease, An armadillo, or a bear, A dozen chimpanzees. When Jumbo left for foreign skies, I did not shed a tear, For though his Alice mourned his loss, I knew that you were here.
You've gone to heaven, if that's where The good giraffes all go. I wonder if you'll ever see What happens down below. I hope, for your own comfort, not, But, if you ever do, Please recognise me as the Man Who sadly haunts the Zoo.
* * * * *
THE POET AND THE SONGS.
I HAD a thought, a dainty thought, A quaint and cunning fancy, I said, "A theme with humour fraught Within my grasp I can see. This thought will work into a set Of verses fit for singing." A voice rasped, "Oh, a deal o' wet!" And off that thought went winging.
And once again that thought returned, With yet more brightness on it— This time with the desire I burned To weave it in a sonnet. I'd get an artist chum to do The subject in a rare cut. Alas! before 'twas grasped it flew, Alarmed by, "Git yer 'air cut!"
I strayed in silent solitude That lost thought to recover, And, as my journey I pursued, 'Twould still around me hover. Almost I grasped, one fatal day, That fancy, quaint and clever, A cad shrieked, "Tara-boom-de-ay!" And off it flew—for ever!
* * * * *
WHAT a shocking state of things, Oh, my goodness, Mrs. GRUNDY! There's a man that plays and sings In a Blackpool hall on Sunday!
Oh, what wickedness, oh, dear! Sunday music! What a scandal! Folks might even go and hear Things by HAYDN or by HANDEL!
Rush and find some obsolete Act of wise and pious GEORGES, Which will help us to defeat Such abominable orgies!
But here's worse news, I declare; Gracious patience, Mrs. GRUNDY! Eastbourne people cannot bear Nice Salvation bands on Sunday!
Acts, not words, again we need, Just to show them they are silly. Sunday Music stopped? Indeed, They must like it, willy nilly!
* * * * *
THEATRES AND MUSIC HALLS COMMISSION.
(A Matinee, by Our Own Reporter.)
IN reply to Mr. WOODALL, Mr. J.L. TOOLE said he was happy to come there. Name is JOHN LAWRENCE TOOLE? Yes. "JACK with my familiars,"—hem!— SHAKSPEARE. Being in Witness-box,—JACK in the Box. What he would take? Nothing, thanks, not even his oath. He was quite prepared to kiss the book—in the absence of the belle. Little joke that—has heard of "bell, book, and candle." Couldn't bring the candle in,—would if he could, though, just to—ahem!—make it a light entertainment. Would they excuse his glove? What did they want to know? Whether the sanitary arrangements at his Theatre were good? Rather—he could only say they were "fust-rate." A 1, in fact, like the performance. The house held over two thousand pounds, and was crowded nightly to see Walker, London. Did he consider the structure safe? Of course he did—safe as Houses—that is, safe as his houses for Walker, London were going to be for the next three years and a half, when his tenancy would expire, and he should then be in the Army. Did the Committee want to know how it was that he would be in the Army? He'd tell them; because, when he gave up that Theatre, he would be a "Left Tenant." Not bad that, for a beginner. We're a getting on, we are. As to ventilation—well, he couldn't have too much ventilation for Walker, London. He should like it aired everywhere. Then the Committee might take it that he was satisfied with the structure? Well—if they put it in that way—yes—he thought the structure a bit faulty—-but what's the odds as long as the public like the piece? He didn't consider Walker, London, a model of dramatic construction, but he looked upon the House Boat built on the stage as quite a model of construction; the end of the piece was a bit hazy, and he didn't yet know why everybody allowed him to go off with the punt, which they wouldn't get back, unless his friend, Mr. SHELTON, who was splendidly made up as a riverside boatman, brought it back, and, begging the Committee's pardon if they'd excuse his glove, he couldn't tell; not that it was a secret, because the clever author, a very nice retiring chap called BARRIE, hadn't confided it to him,—but—what was he saying?—oh, yes—he couldn't tell how it was all the characters on board didn't see ELIZA JOHNSON as Sarah in the punt. But as Walker says, "Oh, that's nothing! that's nothing!" The Chairman wished to know if there is an egress at the back of the Theatre? He (Mr. TOOLE) did not remember ever having seen a negress there. There were two beautiful young ladies—Miss IRENE VANBRUGH and Miss MARY ANSELL—now playing, and, he might say it who shouldn't, playing charmingly in Walker, London. The Chairman didn't mean that. No? But he (Mr. TOOLE) did, and he might add, though "it was nothing, a mere nothing," that the performance of his three young men—Mr. C.M. LOWNE, as the sensible lover; Mr. SEYMOUR HICKS, as the young medical student; and Mr. CECIL RAMSEY, as "W.G.," a youthful athlete, was admirable. They were all in Walker, London. In reply to Mr. T.H. BOLTON, who wished to know if the Witness considered his Theatre a substantial edifice, Mr. TOOLE said that he certainly did, because, you see, the Theatre would never go to pieces as long as the pieces went to the Theatre, and as long as it was supported by the public. Have I any complaint? Nothing to speak of, except a touch of gout. Oh, beg pardon, you meant complaint as to the Theatre? Oh, no, except it's not large enough to hold the millions who can't be crammed in nightly. Has an excellent Acting Manager in Mr. GEORGE LEE, and as to friend BILLINGTON'S stage-management of the House Boat (the scene, he might say, was painted by Mr. HARKER, a name not unknown at the Mansion House), it is the best thing of the sort ever done. Any evening that Mr. PLUNKET, Mr. WOODALL, or Mr. BOLTON, or any other of the Honourable Gentlemen would like to look in and see Walker, London, they have only to send to the Box Office, or any of the Libraries, and book in advance—he couldn't say fairer than that—because it was advice that he always gave to "Friend IRVING," and which he had adopted. No more? Hope he doesn't intrude. Would the Committee excuse his glove? Yes? Then, remember, Walker, London.
Mr. J.L. TOOLE then hurried out. After his departure it was found that all the spectators had on their backs adhesive labels advertising Walker, London.
* * * * *
* * * * *
A WAITING GAME.
WARY WILLIAM, loquitur:—
Drat that dog! Dogs are mixed,—like men. Few know how to jog; Hasty tongue and pen, Many a bungler bog, Steady! I'll say when!
Lots of dogs I've bred. Most want whip, a deal. This one, be it said, Is more hot than leal; Wants to go ahead, Hates to come to heel!
Skies are overcast; Slowly comes the spring, Quarry's tracked—at last, Strong, though, on the wing. Steady! Not so fast! Waiting game's the thing.
'Tother WILLIAM'S style Rather spoiled this pup. Steady! Wait awhile! H-RC-RT's like a Krupp. I can stroll, and smile— Till the birds get up.
Half-bred dogs—well, well, Mustn't talk like that! Else they'll call me "swell." Down! What are you at? Scurry and pell-mell Do not 'bell the cat.'
Sport is not a mere Game of "Spill and pelt" Patience! End is near. Down! Brute wants a welt! Modern breed runs queer; That I long have felt.
'Tother WILLIAM snorts, L-BBY only grins; But at most all sports It is judgment wins. Breed, though, now consorts With mongrels—for its sins!
Long the sport I've loved, Mean to try again, I should be reproved Did I speak too plain: But—are dogs improved By that Irish strain?
Steady, my lad, steady! Nearly slipped me then! You're too hot and heady— (Like no end of men!—) Near!—but not quite ready. Steady! I'll say when!
* * * * *
VESTRYMEN CLIMBING DOWN.—Say the unfortunate Nonconformist Vestrymen of St. George's, Southwark,—"We won't pay the Rector's Rate; but we won't go to prison, at any rate."
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PRUDES AND NUDES.
[An "Officer of high rank" has written to Truth, complaining of the naked statues and pictures he saw at Londonderry House, at a sale on behalf of Irish Home Industries.]
ATTEND and hear the story of a most uncommon militaire, Whom the sight of naked statues caused to tingle to his boots, Who was seen to beat his breast, and (which was far more flat and silly) tear His hair by blushing handfuls from its shocked and modest roots.
It was dreadful! There were Duchesses (Heav'n bless their handsome faces!) And a host of pretty Countesses, and Maidens by the score, And they sold some Irish Industries—embroideries and laces— And MADGE described to AMY all the pretty frocks they wore.
But the statues and the paintings didn't seem at all to worry them, Having work to do they did it just as quiet as a mouse, Though this soldier took his daughter and his wife, and tried to hurry them In the cause of outraged virtue far from Londonderry House.
So when next he goes where statues are, we'll do our best to hide them, Since to prudes all things are prudish, lest his modesty take hurt. Though some one else, perhaps, may write, and say he can't abide them, When Apollo stands in trousers, or when Venus wears a skirt.
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FROM ROBERT.—"Sir, I'm proud of my furrin co-profeshunal LHEROT, the himminint Waiter, wot nobbled the bomb-ta-ra (hif I may so igspress my sentimenx) waggybun, RAVACHOL. This Waiter is wot my french frend calls a 'Tray bong Gassong,' and the wunnerful manner the french Waiters has of carryin a tray loded with drinkabels is worthy of the hippythep. He sez orlso has is name, hinsted of LHEROT, ort to be andid down to posterittory as 'L'HEROS'—wich word as rote down by hisself means 'The Hero.' He got a 1000 Franks, wich is rayther more nor wos ever got by one BOB."
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MR. PUNCH'S BOAT-RACE NOVEL.
IT was the eve of the University Boat-Race. In the remote East the gorgeous August sun was sinking to his rest behind the purple clouds, gilding with his expiring rays the elevated battlements of Aginanwater Court, the ancestral seat of His Grace the Duke of AVADRYNKE, K.C.B., G.I.N., whose Norman features might have been observed convulsively pressed against the plate-glass window of his alabaster dining-hall. There was in the atmosphere a strange electric hush, scarcely broken by the myriad voices of hoarse betting-men, raucously roaring out the market odds of "Fifty to one. Oxbridge!" or "Two ponies to a thick 'un, Camford!" Well would it have been for the Duke of AVADRYNKE had he never offered the hospitality of his famous river-side residence to the Oxbridge Crew. But the Duke had the courage of his ancient boating-race whose banner waved proudly upon the topmost turret, bearing upon its crimson folds the proud family motto, "Dum Vivo Bibo."
And the sun went down, and within Aginanwater Court the sounds of wild revelry shook the massive beams.
THE Oxbridge Crew still sat in the marble supper-room, amid the debris of the feast that the Duke's Seneschal had laid out for them. The floor was paved with Magnums and Maximums of the best Heidanseekerer champagne, most of them as empty as the foolish head of the Duchess of AVADRYNKE, which was at that moment reposing upon the brawny chest of Lord PODOPHLIN, the celebrated No. 5 of the Oxbridge Crew. On a raised dais at the end of the room the ladies of the Tarara corps de ballet were performing the final steps of the Sinuous Shadow-dance, specially dedicated to the Oxbridge Crew by the chef d'orchestre of Tarara's Halls.
"May I be jiggered," observed the Oxbridge President, Sir WELFORARD LONGSTROKE, as he selected his fourth regalia from the Duke's pearl- encrusted box, and lit it with all the abandon of a Society darling, "may I be jiggered if this is not ripping! What say you?" he continued, addressing young PULYER WRIGHT, the Coxswain, and tossing him playfully four times to the raftered ceiling—"shall we not beat the dastard foe from Camford to-morrow?" A roar of applause sprang from the smoking mouths of his seven companions.
But at this moment the Duchess of AVADRYNKE and Lord PODOPHLIN rose unobserved and quitted the room. In another minute the sound of hurrying wheels, gradually growing fainter in the distance, was heard by no one in the avenue. And the dance went on, and revelry rose to its maddest pitch. But no one, who, as has been recorded above, had heard the sound of the wheels, gave a thought to the Duke of AVADRYNKE, as he sat tearing his hair in the violet bedroom, having learnt from the faithful Seneschal the terrible news of the Duchess's elopement with the heir to the house of PODOPHLIN.
THE morn of the race dawned clear and sparkling. Far as the eye could reach, the banks of the river were rich with Millions, and firm enough to bear any run upon them however heavy. But Sir WELFORARD LONGSTROKE was ill at ease. His No. 5 had fled leaving no trace, and he had no one to fill the vacancy. He looked the very model of an aquatic hero. His broad chest was loosely clad in a pair of blue satin shorts, and his fair hair fell in waving masses over his muscular back. His thoughts were bitter. The Camford crew had started on the race some ten minutes ago, and the Oxbridge craft still waited idly in the docks for want of a No. 5.
"Surely," Sir WELFORARD thought to himself, "PODOPHLIN might have postponed the elopement for one day." A confused noise interrupted his meditations. Some ten yards from him a man roughly clad, but with the immense muscular development of the Arri Furnese Apollo, was engaged in fighting three bargees at once. As Sir WELFORARD stepped forward, this individual struck a terrible blow. His ponderous fist, urged by the force of a thirty-inch biceps, crashed through the chest of his first foe, severed the head of the second from his body, and struck the third, a tall man, full in the midriff, propelling him through the air into the middle of the river. "That's enough for one day," he said, as with an air of haughty melancholy he removed his clay-pipe from his mouth. His face seemed familiar to Sir WELFORARD. Who could he be? All doubt was removed when he advanced, grasped Sir WELFORARD by the hand, and, in tones broken with emotion, said, "Don't you recognise me? I am your old College chum, Viscount STONYBROKE."
"SAVED! Saved!" shouted Sir WELFORARD, joyously—"there is yet time!" Then, rushing into rhyme, he asked, "Will you row in the race, In PODOPHLIN'S place?"
"Will I row in the race?" repeated Lord STONYBROKE—"just won't I!" And, without removing his hobnails, or his corduroys, he sprang lightly into the Oxbridge racing-boat. The rest is soon told. In less time than it takes to narrate the story, the Camford lead was wiped out. The exertion proved too much for seven men in the Oxbridge Crew, but the gigantic strength of the eighth, Lord STONYBROKE, was sufficient of itself to win the race by fifty lengths. And that night, when the Prime Minister handed to him the reward of victory in the shape of a massive gold dessert service, he was also able to announce that the STONYBROKE estates and the STONYBROKE title had been, by the Monarch's command, restored to their original possessor, as a reward of conspicuous valour and strength. [THE END.]
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"The good grey Poet" gone! Brave, hopeful WALT! He might not be a singer without fault, And his large rough-hewn rhythm did not chime With dulcet daintiness of time and rhyme. He was no neater than wide Nature's wild, More metrical than sea-winds. Culture's child, Lapped in luxurious laws of line and lilt, Shrank from him shuddering, who was roughly built As cyclopean temples. Yet there rang True music through his rhapsodies, as he sang Of brotherhood, and freedom, love and hope, With strong wide sympathy which dared to cope With all life's phases, and call nought unclean. Whilst hearts are generous, and whilst woods are green, He shall find hearers, who, in a slack time Of puny bards and pessimistic rhyme, Dared to bid men adventure and rejoice. His "yawp barbaric" was a human voice; The singer was a man. America Is poorer by a stalwart soul to-day, And may feel pride that she hath given birth To this stout laureate of old Mother Earth.
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OUR CRICKETERS.—The English Cricketing Team came to the end of their Australian tour last week, where, under the leadership of Lord SHEFFIELD, out of twenty-six matches they won thirteen, lost two, and eleven were drawn. The Eleven of course were drawn over and over again, i.e., photographed. It will henceforth be a recommendation for any Cricketer to say he was out under this distinguished captaincy, as to this introduction the host will rejoin, "Ah, I know that man, he comes from SHEFFIELD." Not only were the English team successful playfully, but also artistically, as in every match they played with GRACE.
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BRAWLING AT HOME AND ABROAD.—On the same day in the papers appeared accounts of brawling in a Church in Paris, where a free fight ensued and no police interfered, and of a row in a Church in London Road, when the police walked off with an anti-curate and put an end to the disturbance. Some things we do manage better in England.
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COCKNEY CLASSICS.—Of the Guildhall Loan Collection, Mr. Deputy HORA is the Chairman. As a Deputy must be a representative officer—except, perhaps, in the case of a "Depitty Sawbones," vide Sam Weller—the temporary motto of the Deputy's Ward might well be, "Hora pro nobis."
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ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday. March 28.—Strange sight witnessed in House to-night. Subject of Debate, Indian Council Bill; Benches nearly full. Pup and dog, I've known the House for nineteen years, and never before saw the like. Explanation not found in fact of CURZON making his maiden speech as Minister in charge of Bill, though that had some influence at outset. Able speech it proved, our newest Minister having the great gift of lucidity. It was later than that when House filled, nearly two hours later, for in meantime SCHWANN had delivered Address as long as the Ganges, and MACLEAN (who was waiting his turn to speak) says, nearly as muddy.
Curious how India seems to affect eminent orators, making them for the time pointless, dull, and above all, verbose. Probably no subject other than India could unite such galaxy of born orators and debaters. SWIFT MACNEILL, RICHARD TEMPLE, SAMUEL SMITH, OCTAVIUS MORGAN, JULIUS 'ANNIBAL PICTON and SEYMOUR-KEAY—one followed the other as in a necklet of diamonds gem succeeds gem, till the wearied eyesight can scarce decide which is the more brilliant. SEYMOUR-KEAY was, indeed, too much for the SPEAKER, who thrice called him to order, the last time with stern voice and threatening brow that made SEYMOUR tremble from the altitude of his boot-heels.
It was none of these who filled the House with Members listening intently to a speech on internal affairs of India, It was Mr. G. who performed the miracle. No one expected to find him in this galley; being there, the banks were rapidly crowded with a throng lost in admiration of his strong, swift, graceful stroke. Difficult to say which the most admirable, the lofty height, far above the littleness of Party conflict, from which he surveyed the topic, the charm of his language or the dexterity with which, without seeming to rebuke the follower who had moved the Amendment and the eminent men who were prepared to support it, he sustained the Ministry in their effort to reconstruct the Indian Councils, and suggested that the Amendment should with all haste be put into the fire. Whilst SCHWANN appropriated an hour of the Sitting, and SEYMOUR-KEAY exceeded that time, twenty-five minutes served Mr. G. for a speech delivered without note, apparently without preparation, and which left nothing more to be said.
"Upon my word, Sir," I said, a little out of breath trying to keep pace with him running up the Duke of YORK'S steps going home to dinner, "you grow younger every year, and, if I may say so, mellower."
"You certainly may say so, TOBY, if you like," he smilingly replied, "but the calendar says otherwise."
"What," I asked—
"What has the calendar to do With Mr. G.? What Time's fruitless tooth With gay immortals such as you, Whose years but emphasise your youth?"
"Ah, I know that—with a slight difference. LOWELL wrote it to WENDEL HOLMES on his seventy-fifth birthday. I knew HOLMES too; he used to crow over me because he was just four months older, and yet, as he said, whilst I pleaded age as a reason why I could not visit the United States, he crossed the Atlantic at seventy-seven. Perhaps when I've got this Home-Rule question off my hands, I may find time to go to the United States."
"Yes," I said, "you'll be another year younger then, and more at leisure."
Business done.—Indian Council Bill read Second Time.
Tuesday.—Some sensation created at Morning Sitting by discovery of CUNINGHAME GRAHAM addressing House from Conservative Benches. There was a well-known Member of the Parliament of 1874 who hit upon new device for, as he reckoned, doubling his chance of catching SPEAKER'S eye. Noted that SPEAKER called alternately upon Members from either side. If debate were opened from Opposition Benches, SPEAKER would next turn to other side of House, and call on Ministerialist. Happy thought occurred to our old friend. After rising several times from his seat below Gangway on Opposition Benches, and been passed over by SPEAKER in favour of another, he, whilst Member was speaking, crossed floor of House, and, when speech concluded, jumped up from other side. Being again ignored by the startled SPEAKER, went back to own place again to try his chances there. Don't remember that the manoeuvre was a success. Certainly not been generally adopted.
GRAHAM seems now to have recurred to it; or can it be the case that he, too, has joined "the Gentlemen of England"? House so agitated by this problem, that it quite loses thread of debate; a thrilling discussion, to which FERGUSSON contributed a luminous speech, upon the Telephone.
WILFRID LAWSON much interested in new development of affairs.
"The Government," he says, "if only with the instincts of self- preservation, should hasten the Dissolution. If they go on a little longer, no saying what they may come to, with JOE as their principal champion in town and country, with JOHN REDMOND as their favourite orator; led into the Lobby the other day by BURT against the Eight Hours Bill, they only want to recruit CUNINGHAME GRAHAM to their ranks to make the medley complete. If they go on another three months, we shall see them some Sunday following CUNINGHAME GRAHAM'S red flag as he leads them to Trafalgar Square, there to be addressed by Alderman JOHN BURNS."
Business done.—Got into Committee on Civil Service Estimates.
Thursday.—Scotch Members made a night of it. Great muster of the Clans. Government have L265,000 to make over to Scotland in relief of Local Taxation and promotion of Education. Scotch Members don't object to the money, but take exception to its plan of distribution. Member after Member rises from Opposition Benches, biting at hand that proffers the boon. "Crude and wasteful," BUCHANAN calls this scheme, and Scotch Members lustily cheer.
A capital debate of its kind, but not picturesque; Benches empty, only the LORD-ADVOCATE on the Treasury Bench.
"I'll tell you how you can manage these fellows, my dear CASABLANCA," said JEMMY LOWTHER, crossing the Gangway, and seating himself for a moment by the solitary Minister.
"Beg your pardon, my name is PEARSON."
"Of course," said JEMMY, "I know very well; only a quotation; thinking of the Boy who stood on the burning deck, whence all but he had fled, doncha. Was going to tell you how you can get out of this trouble. Fellows opposite righteously indignant at your proposed disposition of money. Very well; you get up, say you're sorry to have offended; had no idea you'd made such a mistake; only atonement you can offer is to withdraw the proposed grant altogether. Then you'll see how they'll sit up."
"Excellent idea," said LORD-ADVOCATE. "Shall mention it to GOSCHEN when he comes back—if he ever does," he added with weary voice, looking down the deserted Bench. Scotch Members, all unconscious of JEMMY LOWTHER'S machination, went on talking till midnight, when debate stood adjourned.
Friday.—In Committee of Supply; SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE thinks opportunity favourable for Prince ARTHUR to tell all he knows about Dissolution. Prince ARTHUR quite agreeable, but really knows nothing. Radicals look angry at being thus put off; show signs of intention to discuss the matter. Mr. G. interposes; makes one of his bland speeches; wouldn't press question now (a suggestion that pleases Ministers); by-and-by time will come, then we shall see; whereat SAGE and his friends brighten up; Mr. G. sits down having pleased everybody; storm blown off.
Curious to note the altered condition in atmosphere of House since Mr. G. came back. Turmoil stopped; restlessness soothed; Ministerial work goes on smoothly, whilst the GRAND OLD PACIFICATOR looks on benevolently.
"Yes," said PRINCE ARTHUR, uneasily, "this is all very well. He holds back the curs that would snap at our heels; but it's only because he, a wilier tactician, knows that no practical advantage is to be gained from that kind of sport. Wait till he thinks the hour has struck, and you'll see he'll not only let slip the dogs of war, but lead the rush himself."
Business done.—In Committee of Supply.
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REMBRANDT, TITIEN, VELASQUEZ, ET CIE. WHISTLER, SUCCESSEUR.
Oh, what a catalogue! Whatever made you think Numbers should mix in a way never seen? 3, that's a flood of milk, 20, a flood of ink, Touching a gruel-like sea, that's 15.
Next time, to make a delightful variety, Hang upside down all the works in your show, Whilst, on their heads, the elite of Society, Gasp, "Fin de Siecle, quite chic, don't you know!"
Why play such pranks to draw people who scoff? It is They to whose critical words you are deaf. Though in your country you are not a prophet, is This how you make one, that's spelt with an F?
Strange that the only kind critic you mention Is French. He compares you with REMBRANDT & CO.; His words seem the sole ones that claim your attention: We'll end in his tongue, like the list of your show.
Cher Monsieur VISTLAIRE, allez chez la nation Voisine, et emportez ces oeuvres "splendides," "Destinees a l'eternite des admirations," Ainsi que dit ce critique candide!
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