PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI
OCTOBER 22, 1892
WILLIAM HARDWICK BRADBURY.
BORN, DEC. 3, 1832. DIED, OCT. 13, 1892.
Large-hearted man, most loyal friend, Art thou too gone—too early lost? Our comrade true, our tireless host! Prompt to inspire, console, defend! Gone! Hearts with grateful memories stored Ache for thy loss round the old board.
The well-loved board he loved so well, His pride, his care, his ceaseless thought; To him with life-long memories fraught; For him invested with the spell O'er a glad present ever cast By solemn shadows of the past.
That past for him, indeed, was filled With a proud spirit-retinue. Greatness long since his guest he knew. Whom THACKERAY's manly tones had thrilled; Who heard keen JERROLD's sparkling speech, And marked the genial grace of LEECH.
What changes had he known, who sat With our four chiefs, of each fast friend! And must such camaraderie end? Shall friendly counsel, cordial chat, Come nevermore again to us From lips with kindness tremulous?
No more shall those blue eyes ray out Swift sympathy, or sudden mirth; That ever mobile mouth give birth To frolic whim, or friendly flout? Our hearts will miss thee to the end, Amphitryon generous, faithful friend!
Miss thee? Alas! the void that's there No other form may hope to fill, For those who now with sorrow thrill In gazing on that vacant chair; Whither it seems he must return, For whose warm hand-clasp yet we yearn.
Tribute to genius all may give, Ours is the homage of the heart; For a friend lost our tears will start, Lost to our sight, yet who shall live, Whilst one who knew that bold frank face At the old board takes the old place.
For those, his closer kin, whose home Is darkened by the shadow grey, What can respectful love but pray That consolation thither come In that most sacred soothing guise Which natural sorrow sanctifies.
Bereavement's anguish to assuage Is a sore task that lies beyond The scope of friendship or most fond Affection's power. Yet may this page, True witness of our love and grief, To bowed hearts bring some scant relief!
* * * * *
COMPANION PARAGRAPH TO STORIES OF THE SAME KIND.
CURRAN, the celebrated Irish Patriot, was a man of intense wit and humour. On one occasion he was discussing with RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN the possibility of combining the interests of the two countries under one Crown. "It is a difficult matter to arrange," observed the brilliant author of the School for Scandal, "Right you are, darlint," acquiesced CURRAN, with the least taste of a brogue. "But where are ye to find the spalpeens for it? Ye may wake so poor a creature as a sow, but it takes a real gintleman to raise the rint!" Then, with a twinkle in his eyes, "But, for all that, ma cruiskeen, I'm not meself at all at all!"
* * * * *
THE LAY OF A SUCCESSFUL ANGLER.
The dainty artificial fly Designed to catch the wily trout, Full loud laudabunt alii, And I will join, at times, no doubt, But yet my praise, without pretence, Is not from great experience.
I talk as well as anyone About the different kinds of tackle, I praise the Gnat, the Olive Dun, Discuss the worth of wings and hackle; I've flies myself of each design, No book is better filled than mine.
But when I reach the river's side Alone, for none of these I wish. No victim to a foolish pride. My object is to capture fish; Let me confess, then, since you ask it— A worm it is which fills my basket!
O brown, unlovely, wriggling worm, On which with scorn the haughty look, It is thy fascinating squirm Which brings the fattest trout to book, From thee unable to refrain, Though flies are cast for him in vain!
Deep gratitude to thee I feel, And then, perhaps, it's chiefly keen, When rival anglers view my creel, And straightway turn a jealous green; And, should they ask me—"What's your fly?" "A fancy pattern," I reply!
* * * * *
SWORD AND PEN;
OR, THE RIVAL COMMANDERS.
(EXTRACT FROM A MILITARY STORY OF THE NEAR FUTURE.)
Captain Pipeclay was perplexed when his Company refused to obey him. He was considered a fairly good soldier, but not up to date. He might know his drill, he might have read his Queen's Regulations, but he had vague ideas of the power of the Press.
"You see, Sir," remonstrated his Colour-Sergeant; "if the rear rank think they should stand fast when you give the command 'Open order!' it is only a matter of opinion. You may be right, or you may be wrong. Speaking for myself, I am inclined to fancy that the men are making a mistake; but you can't always consider yourself omniscient."
"Sergeant," returned the officer, harshly; "it is not the business of men to argue, but to obey."
"Pardon me again, Sir, but isn't that slightly old-fashioned? I know that theoretically you have reason on your side; but then in these days of the latter end of the nineteenth century, we must not he bound too tightly to precedent."
The Captain bit his moustache for the fourth time, and then again gave the order. But there was no response. The Company moved not a muscle.
"This is mutiny!" cried the officer. "I will break everyone of you. I will put you all in the cells; and in the orderly room to-morrow morning, we will soon see if there is such a thing as discipline."
"Discipline!" repeated the Sergeant. "Beg your pardon, Sir, but I don't think the men understand what you mean. The word is not to be found in the most recent dictionaries."
And certainly things seemed to be reaching a climax, for however much the Commander might shout, not one of the rank and file stirred an inch. It was at this moment that a cloaked figure approached the parade-ground. The new-comer strode about with a bearing that suggested one accustomed to receive obedience.
"What is the matter?" asked the Disguised One.
"I can't get my men to obey me," explained the Captain. "I have been desiring them to take open order for the last ten minutes, and they remain as they were."
"What have they to say in their defence?" was the inquiry of the Man in the Cloak.
"He won't let us write to the newspapers!" was heard from the ranks.
"Is this really so?" asked the new-comer, in a tone more of sorrow than of anger.
"Well, Sir," returned the Captain, "as it is a rule of the Service that no communications shall be sent to the Press, I thought that—"
"You had no right to think, Sir!" was the sharp reply. "Are you so ignorant that you do not know that it is a birth-right of a true-born Briton to air his opinions in the organs of publicity? You will allow the men to go to their quarters at once, that they may state their grievances on paper. They are at perfect liberty to write what they please, and they may rest assured that their communications will escape the grave of the waste-paper basket."
Thus encouraged, the Company dismissed without further word of command.
"And who may you be?" asked the Captain, with some bitterness. "Are you the Commander-in-Chief?"
"I am one infinitely more powerful," was the reply. And then the speaker threw off his disguise-cloak, and appeared in morning-dress. "Behold in me the Editor of an influential Journal!"
A week later the Captain had sent in his papers, and every man in the Company he had once commanded wore the stripe of a Lance Corporal. And thus was the power of the Press once again sufficiently vindicated.
* * * * *
THE BATTLE OF THE BARDS; OR, THE LISTS FOR THE LAURELS.
Tan-ta-ra-ra-ra-ra! The trumpets blare! The rival Bards, wild-eyed, with windblown hair, And close-hugged harps, advance with fire-winged feet For the green Laureate Laurels to compete; The laurels vacant from the brows of him In whose fine light all lesser lustres dim. Tourney of Troubadours! The laurels lie On crimson velvet cushion couched on high, Whilst Punch, Lord-Warden of his country's fame, Attends the strains to hear, the victor-bard to name.
And first advances, as by right supreme, With frosted locks adrift, and eyes a-dream, With quick short footfalls, and an arm a-swing, As to some cosmic rhythm heard to ring From Putney to Parnassus, a brief bard. (In stature, not in song!) Though passion-scarred, Porphyrogenitus at least he looks; Haughty as one who rivalry scarce brooks; Unreminiscent now of youthful rage, Almost "respectable," and well-nigh sage, Dame GRUNDY owns her once redoubted foe, Whose polished paganry's erotic flow, And red anarchic wrath 'gainst priests, and kings, The virtues, and most other "proper" things, Once drew her frown where now her smile's bestowed. Such is the power of timely palinode! Soft twanged his lyre and loud his voice outrang, As the first Bard this moving measure sang:—
ON THE BAYS.
(To the tune—more or less—of "In the Bay.")
Beyond the bellowing onset of base war, Their latest wearer wendeth! With wild zest. Fulfilled of windy resonance, the rest Of the bard-mob must hotly joust and jar To win the wreath that he beyond the bar Bare not away athwart the bland sea's breast.
And sooth the soft sheen of that deathless bay Gleams glamorous! Amorous was I in my day, Clamorous were Gath's goose-critics. But my fire, Chastened from To-phet-fumes, burns purer, higher; My thoughts on courtier-wings might make their way Did my brow bear the laurels all these desire.
For I, to the proprieties reconciled. Who hymned Dolores, sing the "weanling child." At "home-made treacle" I made mocking mirth; That was before my better self had birth. At virtue's lilies and languors then I smiled, But Hertha's not thine only goddess, O Earth!
For surely brother, and master, and lord, and king, Though vice's roses and raptures did not spring In thy poetic garden's trim parterre; Though thou wert fond of sunshine and sweet air, More than of kisses, that burn, and bite, and sting; Some living love our England for thee bare.
Thou, too, couldst sing about her sweet salt sea, And trumpet paeans loud to Liberty, With clamour of all applausive throats. Thy feet, Not wine-press red, yet left the flowers more sweet, From the pure passage of the god to be; And then couldst thunder praises of England's Fleet.
I did not think to glorify gods and kings, Who scourged them ever with hate's sanguineous rods; But who with hope and faith may live at odds? And then these jingling jays with plume-plucked wings, Compete, and laureate laurels are lovely things, Though crowing lyric lauders of kings and gods!
Beshrew the blatant bleating of sheep-voiced mimes! True thunder shall strike dumb their chirping chimes. If there be laureate laurels, or bays, or palms, In these red, Radical, revelling, riotous times, They should be the true bard's, though mid-age calms His revolutionary fierce rolling rhymes, Fulfilled with clamour and clangour and storm of—psalms
That great lyre's golden echoes rolled away! Forth tripped another claimant of the bay. Trim, tittivated, tintinnabulant, His bosom aped the true Parnassian pant, As may a housemaid's leathern bellows mock The rock—whelmed Titan's breathings. He no shock Of bard-like shagginess shook to the breeze. A modern Cambrian Minstrel hopes to please By undishevelled dandy-daintiness, Whether of lays or locks, of rhymes or dress. Some bards pipe from Parnassus, some from Hermon; Room for the singer of the Sunday Sermon! His stimulant tepid tea, his theme a text, Carmarthen's cultured caroller comes next!
THE WORTH OF VERSE.
AIR—"The Birth of Verse."
Wild thoughts which occupy the brain, Vague prophecies which fill the ear, Dim perturbation, precious pain, A gleam of hope, a chill of fear,— These vex the poet's spirit. Moral:— Have a shy at the Laureate Laurel!
Some say no definite thought there is In my full flatulence of sound. Let National Observers quiz (H-NL-Y won't have it. I'll be bound!) Envy! O trumpery, O MORRIS! Could JUVENAL jealous be of HORACE?
I know the chambers of my soul Are filled with laudatory airs, Such as the salaried bard should troll When he the Laureate laurels wears. And I am he who opened Hades, To harmless parsons and to ladies!
For I can "moralise my song" More palpably than Mr. POPE; And I can touch the toiling throng: There is small doubt of that, I hope. I've piped for him who ploughs the furrows, And stood for the Carmarthen Boroughs.
I mayn't be strong, inspired, complete, But on the Liberal goose I'm sound. And I can count my (rhythmic) feet With any Pegasus around. I witch all women, and some men, GLADSTONE I've drawn, and written "Gwen."
If these be not sufficient claims, The worth of Verse is vastly small. I've called him various pretty names, The honoured Master of us all; "His place is with the Immortals." Yes! But I could fill it here, I guess!
His "chaste white Muse" could not object, For mine is white, and awfully chaste. Now ALGERNON has no respect For purity and public taste. EDWIN is given to allegory. Whilst ALFRED is a wicked Tory!!!
He ceased. Great PUNCHIUS rubbed his eagle beak. And said, "I think we'll take the rest next week!"
* * * * *
* * * * *
IN A GHOST-SHOW.
Warlock's "Celebrated Ghost-Exhibition and Deceptio Visus" has pitched its tent for the night on a Village Green, and the thrilling Drama of "Maria Martin, or, The Murder in the Red Barn, in three long Acts, with unrivalled Spectral Effects and Illusions," is about to begin. The Dramatis Personae are on the platform outside; the venerable Mr. MARTIN is exhorting the crowd to step up and witness his domestic tragedy, while the injured MARIA, is taking the twopences at the door; WILLIAM CORDER is finishing a pipe, and two of the Angelic Visions are dancing, in blue velveteen and silver braid, to the appropriate air of "The Bogie Man."
The front benches are occupied by Rustic Youths, who beguile the tedium of waiting by smoking short clays, and trying to pull off one another's caps.
First Youth (examining the decorative Shakspearian panels on the proscenium.) They three old wimmin be a-pokin' o' that old nipper, 'ooever he be.
[The "old nipper" in question is, of course, MACBETH.
Second Youth. Luk up at that 'un tother side—it's a Gineral's gho-ast a-frightenin' th' undertaker (A subject from "Hamlet") They've gi'en over dancin' outside—they'll be beginning soon. (The company descend the steps, and pass behind the scenes.) We shall see proper 'ere, we shall.
[The Curtain draws up, and reveals a small stage, with an inclined sheet of glass in a heavy frame in front; behind this glass is the Cottage Home of MARIA MARTIN.
Maria (coming out of Cottage, and speaking in an inaudible tone). At last—WILLIAM CORDER—to make me his wife—I know not why—strange misgiving 'as come over me.
[She is unfeelingly requested to speak up.
William Corder (whose villany is suggested at once by his wearing a heavy silver double watch-chain, with two coins appended, and no neck-tie—enters left). Yes, MARIA, as I have promised, I will take you to London, and make you my wife—but first meet me in disguise to-night, and in secret, at the Red Barn.
[MARIA is understood to demur, but finally agrees to the rendezvous, and retires into the Cottage. Old Mr. MARTIN comes out in a black frock-coat, and a white waistcoat—he has no neck-tie either, but the omission, in his case, merely suggests a virtuous economy. He feebly objects to MARIA being married in London, but admits that, "Perhaps he has no right to interfere with WILLIAM's arrangements," and goes indoors again. WILLIAM retires, and the scene changes to a 'very small street, which is presently invaded by a very large Comic Countryman, called "TIM," who is engaged to MARIA's sister NANNY.
Tim. They tell I, as how the streets o' Lunnon be paved wi' gold, and I be goin' 'oop to make ma fortune, I be.
[NANNY comes in and bribes him to remain by the promise of "cold pudden with plenty of gravy." Comic business, during which every reference to "cold pudden" (and there are several) is received with roars of laughter. WILLIAM CORDER, on the ingenious plea that he wishes to take some flowers up to London, borrows a spade and pickaxe from TIM, to whom it appears he owes ninepence, which he promises—like the villain he is—to repay "the very next time he sees him in Church."
William (going off with a flourish and a Shakspearian couplet). My mind's made up. Hence all thoughts that are good! Crimes once commenced, Must. End in—blood! [Act drop.
A Female Spect. They don't seem in no 'urry to come to th' Gho-ast part, seemin'ly.
Her Swain. Ye wudn't have 'em do th' Gho-ast afoor th' Murder, wud ye?
ACT II.—_The interior of the Red Barn. WILLIAM _discovered digging MARIA's grave in his shirt-sleeves, and thereby revealing that his shirt-front is as false as his heart. He announces that "Nothing can shake him, now, from his pre-determined purpose," and that "the grave gapes for its coming victim."_
Enter MARIA, disguised in a brown bowler hat and a very tight suit of tweed "dittoes," in which she looks very like the "Male Impersonator" at a Music-hall. The Audience receive her with derision and the recommendation to go and get her hair cut.
Maria. Here am I in disguise at the Red Barn. And yet something seems to whisper to me that danger is near. WILLIAM, where, where are you?
William (coming out of a corner). 'Ere, MARIA, 'ere! (Aside.) Now to 'url my victim to an early grave! (Aloud.) 'Ave you obeyed my instructions and avoided notice?
Maria. I have. Whenever I saw anyone approaching, I hid behind a hedge and ducked in the ditch.
William (with sombre approval). That was most discreet on your part, MARIA. No one saw you come in, and no one will ever see you go out. Be'old your open grave!
[After some pleading from MARIA, a desperate struggle takes place—that is, they catch one another's wrists, and walk up and down together. MARIA calls upon her Mother's spirit, whereupon a very youthful Angel is seen floating above the couple.
The Female S. (triumphantly). Theer now—theer ain't bin no murder yet, and theer's th' Gho-ast sure enough!
Swain (who is not going to own that he is mistaken). That ain't naw Gho-ast!
Female S. What is it, then?
Swain. Why, it's the "De-cep-ti-o Vissus," as was wrote up outside.
[_The Guardian Angel vanishes; WILLIAM _gets a spade, and aims at MARIA, who takes it away, and strikes him; he is then reduced to the pick-axe, but she wrests this from him too, and hits him in the face with it. He pulls her coat off, and her hair down—but she escapes from him a third time—on which he snatches up a pistol, and fires it._
William (with unreasonable surprise). Great Evans! What 'ave I done? I, am become a Murderer! The shot 'as taken effect! See, she staggers this way! (Which MARIA does, to die comfortably in WILLIAM's arms.) I 'ave slain the only woman who ever truly loved me; and I know not whether I loved her most while living, or hate her most now she's dead! (The Curtain falls, leaving WILLIAM with this nice point still unsolved, and the Audience profoundly unmoved by the tragedy, and evidently longing for more of the Comic Countryman.)
ACT III.—Interior of Old MARTIN's Cottage. He attempts to forget his anxiety about his daughter—who he fears, with only too much reason, has come to an untimely end—by going to sleep in a highly uncomfortable position on a kitchen-chair. The Murder is re-enacted in a vision, in dumb-show. The form of MARIA appears in the tweed suit, and urges him to search for her remains in the Red Barn.
Old Martin (awaking). I have 'ad a fearful dream, and I am under the impression that MARIA has been foully murdered in the Red Barn.
[He calls the Comic Countryman to help him "to commence a thorough investigation"—which he does, in a spirit of rollicking fun befitting the occasion, as the Scene changes to the Red Barn.
Old M. (finding the spade). What's this? A spade—and, by its appearance, it 'as recently been used, for there are marks of blood upon it! I now begin to be afraid my dream will come true.
[Roars of laughter when the Comic C. discovers the body, and implores it to "say summat!" Change of Scene. WILLIAM CORDER discovered At Home, in a long perspective of pillars and curtains, ending in a lawn and fountain.
William (moodily). 'Tis now exactly twelve months since MARIA MARTIN was done to death by these 'ands. Since then, I have married a young, rich, and beautiful wife—and yet I am not 'appy.
[Enter Old MARTIN, who, by the simple method of changing his hat and coat, has now become a Bow-street Officer; he puts questions to WILLIAM, who at once betrays himself, and has to be searched. As a pair of pistols exactly resembling one that was left in the Red Barn, are found in his coat-tail pockets; his guilt is conclusively proved, and he is led away. The next Scene shows him in the Condemned Cell, resolving to sleep away his few remaining hours on a kitchen-chair. He has a vision of MARIA in tweeds, who exhorts him to repent. Old MARTIN, who is now either the Governor of the Gaol or the Hangman, enters to conduct him to the scaffold, and on the way he is met—to the joy of the Audience—by the Comic, C., who duns him for the ninepence. WILLIAM shakes his head solemnly, points to the skies, and passes on. The Comic C. then goes to sleep in a chair and has a vision on his own account, in which he beholds the apotheosis of MARIA—still in the suit of dittoes—and piloted by a couple of obviously overweighted Angels; and also the last moments of WILLIAM CORDER, who, as he stands under an enlarged "Punch" gibbet, pronounces the following impressive farewell before disappearing through a trap.
Ye Youth, be warned by my Despair! Avoid bad women, false as they are fair. (This is just a little hard on poor MARIA by-the-way.) Be wise in time, if you would shun my fate, For oh! how wretched is the man who's wise too late!
[And with this the Drama comes to an end, and the Comic Countryman begs the Audience to give the performance a good word to their friends outside.
* * * * *
BETWEEN THE ACTS; OR, THE DRAMA IN LIQUOR.
SCENE—Refreshment Saloon at a London Theatre. A three-play bill forms the evening's entertainment. First Act over. Enter BROWN, JONES, and ROBINSON.
Brown. Well, really a very pleasant little piece. Quite amusing. Yes; I think I will have a cup of coffee or a glass of lemonade. Too soon after dinner for anything stronger.
Jones. Yes, and really, after laughing so much, one gets a thirst for what they call light refreshments. I will have some ginger-beer.
Robinson. Well, I think I will stick to iced-water. You know the Americans are very fond of that. They always take it at meal-times, and really after that capital equivoque one feels quite satisfied. (They are served by the Bar Attendant.) That was really very funny, where he hides behind the door when she is not looking.
[Laughs at the recollection.
Brown. And when the uncle sits down upon the band-box and crushes the canary-cage! [Chuckles.
Jones. Most clever. But there goes the bell, and the Curtain will be up directly. Rather clever, I am told. The Rose of Rouen—it is founded on the life of Joan of Arc. I am rather fond of these historical studies.
Brown. So am I. They are very interesting.
Robinson. Do you think so? Well, so far as I am concerned, I prefer Melodrama. Judging from the title, The Gory Hand should be uncommonly good.
[Exeunt into Theatre. After a pause they return to the Refreshment Room.
Brown. Well, it is very clever; but I confess it beats me. (To Bar Attendant.) We will all take soda-water. No, thanks, quite neat, and for these gentlemen too.
Jones. Well, I call it a most excellent psychological study. However, wants a clear head to understand it. (Sips his soda-water.) I don't see how she can take the flag from the Bishop, and yet want to marry the Englishman.
Robinson. Ah, but that was before the vision. If you think it over carefully, you will see it was natural enough. Of course, you must allow for the spirit of the period, and other surrounding circumstances.
Brown. Are you going to stay for The Gory Hand?
Jones. Not I. I am tired of play-acting, and think we have had enough of it.
Robinson. Well, I think I shall look in. I am rather fond of strong scenes, and it should be good, to judge from the programme.
Jones. Well, we will "sit out." It's rather gruesome. Quite different from the other plays.
Robinson. Well, I don't mind horrors—in fact, like them. There goes the bell. So I am off. Wait until I come back.
Brown. That depends how long you are away. Ta, ta!
Jones. Now, how a fellow can enjoy a piece like that, I cannot understand. It is full of murders, from the rise to the fall of the Curtain.
Brown. Yes—but ROBINSON likes that sort of thing. You will see by-and-by how the plot will affect him. It is rather jumpy, especially at the end, when the severed head tells the story of the murder to the assistant executioner. I would not see it again on any account.
Jones. No—it sent my Maiden Aunt in hysterics. However, it has the merit of being short. (Applause.) Ah, there it's over! Let's see how ROBINSON likes it. That tableau at the end, of the starving-coastguardsman expiring under the rack, is perfectly awful! (Enter ROBINSON, staggering in.) Why, my boy, what's the matter?
Brown. You do look scared! Have something to drink? That will set it all to-rights!
Robinson (with his eyes protruding from his head, from horror). Here, help! help! (After a long shudder.) Brandy! Brandy I: Brandy!
[At all the places at the bar there is a general demand for alcohol.
Brown. Yes. IRVING was right; soda-water does very well for SHAKSPEARE's histories, but when you come to a piece like The Bells, you require supporting. [Curtain and moral.
* * * * *
"IN A WINTER (COVENT) GARDEN."
That indefatigable Showman, Sir DRURIOLANUS, the Invincible Knight, commenced his Winter Operatic Season on Monday, the Tenth, at Covent Garden, so as to be well in advance of Signor LAGO, who may now boast of having La Donna, Her Most Gracious MAJESTY, for his patron.
Monday Night.—The two RAVOGLIS in good form in the Orfeo. Likewise the Player of the Big Drum made more than one big hit during the evening. "Che faro" was re-demanded. "Tired of 'Faro,'" quoth Mr. WAGGSTAFF—"why not make it 'Whisto,' or some other game?" Exit WAGGY. The Intermezzo of Cavalleria Rusticana of course encored enthusiastically. "Signor CREMONNINI," quoth WAGG, returning, "is not half the 'ninny' his name implies." And, indeed, from the moment he was heard singing "in his ambush" (as the Irish boy in the Gallery said of TOM HOHLER at the Dublin Theatre when he heard the Trovatore's voice behind the scenes) before the rise of the Curtain, everyone said, "This is the tenner for our money."
Tuesday.—The namesake of our own GEORGE AUGUSTUS, Mlle. ROSITA SALA, made a real hit as Leonora in Il Trovatore. "Handsome is as handsome does," and Mlle. SALA didn't act as "handsome" as she looked. Another "ninny" played to-night, namely GIANNINNI, all right vocally, but not much dramatically. "Il Balen" was encored when sung by a manly baritone with the feminine name of ANNA; i.e., Signor DE ANNA. He might advantageously alter DE-ANNA to APOLLO, that is if he could be sure of looking the part.
Wednesday.—Lohengrin. MELBA as Elsa. WAGGSTAFF tried to make his usual pun on the name of Ortruda, but was "countered" by Young JUMPER who protested that he had heard it before and never wanted to hear it again. "I know what you're going to say," he exclaimed; "it's something about 'aught ruder!' I know!" "I've no doubt you do," returned the defrauded WAGGY, sarcastically, "for you're uncommonly like Othello, 'Rude am I in speech'—only," added WAGGSTAFF, "he apologised for it." Young JUMPER sniggered, his friends laughed, and the incident terminated. The Chorus seemed to have become Wandering Minstrels, so very uncertain were they.
Altogether, Sir DRURIOLANUS OPERATICUS, with his successful Drury Lane Race-course, his Provincial Theatre, his Italian Opera, his Paper (not in the House, but his weekly one out of it), his Music-of-the-Future Hall, for which a temporary and limited licence has been granted, will—in a general-dealer kind of way—be having a good time of it till Pantomime Season slaps him on the back with a cheery "Here we are again!" and then he will have another and a better time. No doubt of Sir Gus's success, or in abbreviated proverbial Latin, "De Gus. non disputandum."
* * * * *
* * * * *
COLUMBUS! We read of him every day, In books, pamphlets, magazines, papers; Whilst Italy, Portugal, Spain, U.S.A., Cut constant, consecutive capers.
They started last month with reviews on the main; On the land with processions—a quaint row. Such the fetes, aptly called by the French "Fetes de Genes," Fait accompli, good luck, ca nous gene trop!
But never say die; now Huelva goes on, New York follows, steady and sober, And Chicago makes ready for more derned, dog gone Fetes to last till, at least, next October!
COLUMBUS, your search for a sort of New Cut Was meant for the best, we don't doubt it; No harm in discovering Continents, but You might have said nothing about it.
Still, had you not found a location for clam, Canvas back, buckwheat cakes, we should sorter Have missed the acquaintance of 'cute Uncle SAM, And his fearless, free, fragile, fair daughter.
COLUMBUS! The newspapers never will drop This subject; we wish, as months roll on, Some common bacillus had put a full stop Long ago to Don CHRISTOBAL COLON!
* * * * *
COMPANION PARAGRAPHS TO STORIES OF THE SAME KIND.
SIR WALTER SCOTT was never so well pleased as when meeting a brother author. One day he passed by a gauger, who was so careless in his duties that the author of Waverley was able to smuggle into Edinburgh some whiskey that was supposed never to have paid duty. On reaching Abbotsford, "the Wizard of the North" was informed that he had met one of the greatest poets of North Britain. "So I suspected," he replied. "It must have been BURNS." Sir WALTER was right—it was BURNS.
* * * * *
PITT, the younger, and FOX were both fond of port wine, and lost no opportunity of indulging in their favourite beverage. Meeting at CROCKFORD's one evening, PITT (being in straitened circumstances) proposed that they should play for a bottle of sherry. "No," said FOX, "if I must lose, I will lose in Claret!" and the rival Statesmen succumbed to intoxication.
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WILBERFORCE, the well-known philanthropist, was accustomed to visit the prisons. At Newgate one day he met a well-known forger, and asked him "What he was in for?" "For the same reason that you are out," was the smart, but uncourteous reply.
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NEW REGULATIONS FOR THE ENGLISH POLICE.
(FREELY ADAPTED FROM THE IRISH RULES.)
1. Constables who are required to interfere in a street-row must have fourteen days' notice before they can be expected on the spot of the disturbance.
2. Policemen will parade the streets from 12 A.M. to 4 P.M., but will make themselves scarce in the event of meeting a party procession, or noticing the holding of a public demonstration.
3. Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, and all other fashionable trysting-places, shall be considered without the sphere of Police influence at times of political excitement.
4. Constables shall not congregate on land set apart for workmen's gatherings, except to organise strikes amongst themselves.
5. The labours of the Police shall not commence before sunrise, or continue after sunset; and it will be left to the sagacity of the Public to guard their own property during the hours that the Constables are off duty.
6. In the absence of the Civil Power, it will be considered contrary to professional etiquette for any respectable member of the criminal classes to carry on his unimpeded vocation.
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THE GREAT UNKNOWN.
[The Rev. Dr. SMYTHE PALMER, of Trinity College, Dublin, has just compiled a Book of Extracts, entitled The Perfect Gentleman.]
A Gentleman must be liberal, not to say lavish, to servants, porters, gamekeepers, and others, or he is "no gent." At the same time the Perfect Gentleman is never extravagant.
He must not work. At the same time he must not be an idler.
He is known by his scrupulous attention to the minutiae of personal appearance, while "despising all outside show."
The Perfect Gentleman "never wilfully hurts anybody." No soldier, doctor, or schoolmaster can, therefore, ever be a P.G.
He is always perfectly open and frank. He is also sufficiently artful to conceal the fact that he considers the person he is talking to a mixture of a snob and a blockhead.
When his favourite corn is trodden on by a weighty stranger, he never utters any expression stronger than "Dear me!"
He never loses his temper.
He must know how to treat everyone according to their rank and situation in life, but show special courtesy to those who are his inferiors.
He must be well-born, although there are plenty of "Nature's Gentlemen" in the ranks of day-labourers.
He must be sufficiently wealthy to keep up a good position, while recognising the fact that money has nothing to do with true gentility.
He should also try and remember that no such jumble of contradictions as the Perfect Gentleman ever existed.
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* * * * *
EPIGRAMMATICALLY PUT.—An Asylums Board Manager wrote to the Times to complain of Mr. LITTLER, M.P., Q.C.'s charges against the Asylums and Fever Hospitals management. "Which is right, or which is wrong," to paraphrase Mr. Mantalini's words, is no business just now of ours, but the writer of the reply to the attack, might have summed up by saying "that to him, Mr. LITTLER, whatever his Christian names might be, appeared as a Be-Littler."
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"MR. GLADSTONE ON RENTS IN WALES."—What the Right Honble. Mr. G. omitted to say, when speaking on this subject, was that "but a comparatively small rent in Wales would be produced by Disestablishment, whenever that event should happen, and that this would soon be mended."
* * * * *
TEMPERANCE RIDDLE.—Why is a man who is thoroughly good-natured and ever ready to oblige, likely to end as a confirmed drunkard? Because he is always willing.
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A USEFUL EXPERIENCE.
I awoke at one in the morning, I had been two hours in bed, When—bang!—without any warning A joke came into my head. 'Twas brilliant, awfully funny, It flashed through my drowsy brain, It was worth—oh, a lot of money!— I chuckled again and again.
I thought how I might employ it, I laughed till the tears rolled down, Foreseeing how SMITH would enjoy it, And how it would tickle BROWN. I said, "I had best but hint it To them, or they might purloin This wonderful jest, then print it, And between them divide the coin."
Late in the morn I awoke,—I Puzzled with all my might In vain to recall the joke I Made in the silent night. What was it about? No dreamer Am I! No—I think—I frown— When next I make a screamer In bed—I will write it down.
By the side of the bed a taper Shall ever with matches be, A pencil and piece of paper, To note what occurs to me. * * * * * Since then I have tried, but the late joke, As seen in my bedside scrawl, Is always so poor,—that the great joke, I'm sure, was no joke at all!
* * * * *
YES OR NO?
["The hand-writing of well-educated Ladies is often disgracefully illegible."—A Ladies' Journal.]
Oh, never did lover in fable In such a predicament stand, A letter I wrote to my MABEL, To ask for her heart and her hand, With compliments worded so nicely, A lifelong devotion I swore; She's answered—and left me precisely As wise as before!
It is true that I begged, when inditing My note, a reply with all speed, And MABEL, to judge from the writing, Fulfilled my petition indeed! The drift of this scrawl, so erratic, I am wholly unable to guess— It may be refusal emphatic, Or can it be "Yes"?
"Affection" she'll feel for me "ever," But stay—if that blot is an "n" It turns it at once into "never," Or is it a slip of the pen? Her heart will a "truant (or true?) be," And what is the word just above? It looks like—it cannot be—"booby"! Perhaps it is "love."
A meeting must needs be awaited To render these mysteries plain; Perhaps in this letter she's stated She never will see me again; On one thing at least I've decided;— Should she be my partner for life, A type-writer shall be provided For the use of my wife!
* * * * *
THE GERMAN AND HORSE-TRYING RIDE.
["Most of the horses were standing, but propping themselves up against a wall or a post."—Standard, Wednesday, October 12th.]
Pity the sorrows of a worn-out horse, Whose trembling limbs support him 'gainst a wall; Who asks you,—fearing future trials worse— To kill him with a sudden shot,—that's all.
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A CORRESPONDENT signing "INNOCENTIA DOCET," wants to know if "the Hub of the Universe" is an official appointment that can only be held by a Mahommedan or a Mormon?
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CONVERSATIONAL HINTS TO YOUNG SHOOTERS.
(BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN GROUSE IN THE GUN-ROOM.)
And, next, my gallant young Sportsmen, just sharpen up your attention, and, if you have ears, prepare to lend them now. Be, in fact, all ears. At any rate, get yourselves as near as possible to that desirable condition, for we are going to discuss shooting-lunches, and all that pertains to them. Think of it! Are not some of your happiest memories, and your most delightful anticipations, bound up with the mid-day meal, at which the anxieties and disappointments of the morning, the birds you missed, the birds that, though they got up in front of you, were shot by your jealous neighbour, the wiped-eyes, the hands torn in the thorn-bushes, at which, as I say, all these are forgotten, when you lay aside your gun, and sit down to your short repose. Then it is that the talker shines supreme. All the conversation which may have been broken in upon during the morning by the necessity for posting yourself at the hot corner, or the grassy ride, or in the butt, or for polishing off a right and left of partridges, can then flow free and uninterrupted. Ah, happy moments, when the bad shot becomes as the good, and all distinctions are levelled! How well, how gratefully do I remember you! Still, in my waking fancies, there rises to my nose a savoury odour, telling of stew or hot-pot, and still the crisp succulence of the jam tartlet has honour in my memory. Ah, tempi passati, tempi passati! But away, fancy, and to our work, which is to speak of
in their relation to talk:—
(1.) Be extremely careful, unless you know exactly the ways of your host with regard to his shooting-lunch, not to express to him before lunch any very definite opinion as to what the best kind of lunch is. If, for instance, you rashly declare that, for your own part, you detest a solemn sit-down-in-a-farmhouse lunch, and that your ideal is a sandwich, a biscuit and a nip out of a flask, and if you then find yourself lunching off three courses at a comfortable table, why you'll be in a bit of a hole. Consistency would prompt you to abstain, appetite urges you to eat. What is a poor talker to do? Obviously, he must get out somehow. Here is a suggested method. Begin by admiring the room.
"By Jove, what a jolly little room this is. It's as spick and span as a model dairy. I wish you'd take me on as your tenant, CHALMERS, when you've got a vacancy."
CHALMERS will say, "It's not a bad little hole. Old Mrs. NUBBLES keeps things wonderfully spruce. This is one of the cottages I built five years ago."
There's your first move. Your next is as follows. Every rustic-cottage contains gruesome china-ornaments and excruciating-cheap German-prints of such subjects as "The Tryst" (always spelt "The Trist" on the German print), "The Saylor's Return," "The Warior's Dreem," "Napoleon at Arcola," and so forth. Point to a china-ornament and say, "I never knew cows in this part of the country were blue and green." Then after you've exhausted the cow, milked her dry, so to speak, you can take a turn at the engravings, and make a sly hit at the taste in art generated by modern education. Hereupon, someone is dead certain to chime in with the veteran grumble about farmers who educate their children above their station by allowing their daughters to learn to play the piano, and their sons to acquire the rudiments of Latin: "Give you my word of honour, the farmers' daughters about my uncle's place, get their dresses made by my aunt's dressmaker, and thump out old WAGNER all day long." This horrible picture of rural depravity will cause an animated discussion. When it is over, you can say, "This is the very best Irish-stew I've ever tasted. I must get your cook to give me the receipt."
"Ah, my boy," says CHALMERS, "you'll find there's nothing like a stew out shooting."
"Of course," you say, "nothing can beat it, if you've got a nice room to eat it in, and aren't pressed for time; but, if you've got no end of ground to cover, and not much time to do it in, I can always manage to do myself on a scrap of anything handy. Thanks, I don't mind if I do have a chunk of cake, and a whitewash of sherry."
Thus you have fetched a compass—I fancy the phrase is correct—and have wiped out the memory of your indiscretion. Of course the thing may happen the other way round. You may have expressed a preference for solid lunches, only to find yourself set down on a tuft of grass, with a beef sandwich and a digestive biscuit. In that case you can begin by declaring your delight in an open-air meal, go on to admire the scenery, and end by expressing a certain amount of judicious contempt for the Sybarite who cannot tear himself away from effeminate luxuries, and the trick's done.
But this subject is so great, and has so many varieties, that we must recur to it in our next.
* * * * *
* * * * *
TO OUR GUERNSEY CORRESPONDENTS.
MR. PUNCH is sorry to find that his fancy sketch of a Guernsey Car drive has been taken so seriously in some quarters as to give pain and offence which were very far from being intended. He begs to assure the honourable fraternity of Car-proprietors and drivers in the island, that he did not mean to suggest for a moment that there was the slightest real danger to the public who patronise those highly popular and excellently-conducted vehicles, or that any actual driver was either intemperate or incompetent; and that, should such an impression have been unfortunately produced—which he hopes is impossible—no one would regret so unjust an aspersion more sincerely than Mr. Punch himself.
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* * * * *
LADY GAY'S SELECTIONS.
Mount Street, Grosvenor Square.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—Your marvellous judgment in the selection of your "staff"—(I believe that is the correct term to use in speaking of those who write for the paper, though as a rule a staff is wooden-headed, which I am sure none of your contributors are!—I can answer for one!)—has again placed you in the position envied of all Journals, viz.,—(why do people put "viz.," and not "namely"?—it is silly!) that of affording "information" given by no other Journal! All of which preamble means,—(by the way, why "pre-amble"?—if one is a speedy writer, why not "pre-canter"?)—that Punch, in the person of LADY GAY—(that may seem a little mixed, but it isn't)—was the only Sporting Paper which tipped the winner of the Cesarewitch!
For confirmation of this I refer the sceptical to my last week's letter, in which I stated that in dreaming of the race I dreamt that "Burnaby came to the rescue"—and if this is not giving the winner, I should like to know what is! It is true I made Brandy my "verse selection," but that would only mislead the people who go no further than the surface (not of the brandy), as anyone who gave the matter a moment's thought would realise that Brandy is always applied after a rescue! I hear there was a "ton of money" for the winner just before the start, but I did not see anyone carrying it about, so I suppose it was what they call "covering money," which, I presume, is covered over for safety, as it would be risky to walk about a race-course with a ton of loose money—not that I suppose anyone who goes racing would touch it, but it might be lost! Anyhow, there was a ton of money for the winner after the race, which his owner had to take, willy-nilly, or HOBSON's choice!
The pleasantest feature of the meeting, however, was the re-appearance of H.R.H. the Prince of WALES, which was also pleasantly marked by one of his horses winning a race! The Public having anxiously "watched" for H.R.H., the success of The Vigil was received with enthusiasm!
Next week takes us to Gatwick and Sandown—(or rather the train takes us—another absurd expression)—the last day of the latter Meeting being devoted to "Jumping Races," which is the contemptuous way some people speak of the winter branch of our National Sport!—forgetting that it demands the two most desirable qualities in a horse, speed and endurance—whereas the modern flat-racing has degenerated, for the most part, into scrambles and gambles, where speed is the only requisite!—but more of this anon—but not anonymous, as I believe in signed articles, as the apprentice said! (Not BRADFORD!)
The most important race at Gatwick—(delightful place to go racing—lots of room to move about in)—is the Thousand Pound Handicap, in which race Brandy is worth keeping an eye on, as she ought to beat Burnaby at the difference in the weights—other horses that might make their mark during the week—(especially now the ground is soft)—are, Pilot, Golden Garter—(I never was guilty of such extravagance as that)—Queen of Navarre—(she might have been)—Meadow Brown, Terror, and Seawall, the last three in the "Jumping Races"—and, in conclusion, the inevitable rhythmical winner, from
Yours devotedly, LADY GAY.
ORLEANS NURSERY SELECTION.
The man who would back any other Appears but a gander to be, For the horse that all comers will smother Is certainly Tanderagee!
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* * * * *
MY SEASON TICKET.
Ever against my breast, Safe in my pocket pressed, Ready at my behest, Daintily pretty Gilt-printed piece of leather, Though fair or foul the weather, Daily we go together Up to the City. Yet, as I ride at ease, Papers strewn on my knees, And I hear "Seasons, please!" Shouted in warning: Pockets I search in vain All through and through again; "Pray do not stop the train— Lost it this morning. No, I have not a card, Nor can I pay you, Guard— Truly my lot is hard, This is the reason, Now I recall to mind Changing my clothes, I find I left them all behind,— Money, cards, 'Season.'"
* * * * *
WRITTEN A HUNDRED YEARS HENCE.
(FROM A COLLECTION OF COMMUNICATIONS SUPPLIED BY OUR PROPHETIC COMPILER.)
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—Pray protect the Griffin! Those Goths and Vandals, the Members of the Corporation of the City of London, will remove it, unless you intervene. This beautiful work of Art, that stands on the supposed site of the mythical Temple Bar, is to come down. What would our ancestors say if they were here? Would they not frown at their degenerate descendants? Every student of history knows that this Griffin was put up by universal consent, and considered one of the finest works of art of the nineteenth century. As, indeed, it was. It is full of historic memories. It was here that WELLINGTON met NAPOLEON after Waterloo; and here, again, was the Volunteer Movement inaugurated, when Mr. Alderman WAT TYLER, putting himself at the head of the citizens, called for "Three cheers for the Charter and the Anti-Corn-Law League!" The beautiful bas-reliefs that used to represent the occasions have disappeared, but their subjects are tenderly cherished. If the Corporation must pull down something, let them destroy the recently-erected Mansion House! but spare, oh spare, the Griffin!
Yours truly, A STUDENT OF THE LORE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
The Palace, Brixton.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—It is time for a protest! One of the most beautiful erections of the nineteenth century (the old South Kensington Railway Station of the District Railway) is to be removed! Instead of the picturesque iron roof, we are to have some abomination in stone! Can this be? It is said to be falling to pieces under the ravages of Time. If this be really the case, why not let it be restored? There was no more picturesque outcome from the nineteenth century than these pretty arrangements in metal. The last generation swept them away by scores, by hundreds, by thousands—they did not even spare the Brompton Boilers! Let not such a reproach be applicable to us. We pride ourselves upon our love of Art and veneration for the antique and the beautiful, and yet we would pull down a building that for a century has been the admiration of all with a soul for Art and a mind for appreciating the sublimest efforts of genius in its highest sense! This must not be.
Yours truly, A ROYAL ACADEMICIAN.
From 1 to 1000, Piccadilly.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—I have had the advantage of reading the above letters before publication, and am of opinion that they are not one whit more nonsensical than letters about the Foudroyant and the Emmanuel Hospital that were printed early in the nineties. You may make what use you please of this communication.
Yours respectfully, THE SPIRIT OF THE PAST.
The Earth (Branch Establishment, Mars and Jupiter).
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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.