PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI
APRIL 1, 1893.
edited by Sir Francis Burnand
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THE BUBBLE SHOP; OR, "ONLY HIS PLAY."
How many deserving persons besides dramatic authors are looking about for good situations, and are unable to find them! Mr. 'ENRY HAUTHOR JONES was sufficiently fortunate to obtain a good dramatic situation of tried strength, which, placed in the centre of novel and most improbable (not to say impossible) surroundings, has, in the hands of Mr. CHARLES WYNDHAM and his highly trained company of illusionists, achieved a remarkable success.
Within the last few years there have been notorious cases associated with the names of Members of Parliament, but as the House is a Legislative Assembly and not an inquisitorial tribunal instituted for the public investigation of private morality, no charge could be brought in the House itself against any one of its Members until after a Court of Law had pronounced its verdict, and, even then, a Member of Parliament, convicted of a criminal offence, would not cease ipso facto to belong to the House until after a motion for his expulsion had been carried. As Fritz in La Grande Duchesse expressed his wish to become a schoolmaster, in order that he might obtain some smattering of education, so an immoral M.P. (if any such there be) would be the very one to stand sponsor for a Bill for the Better Preservation of Public Morals, with a view to gaining that elementary knowledge of morality in which his education had been defective. But no one could have brought up some awkward case against him in the course of a debate in the House. In the parliamentary proceedings of Little Peddlington this might be done, but not in the House of Commons, which, by a very polite but necessary fiction, is supposed to be a House of Uncommons, far above the weaknesses of the ordinary human nature of mere Constituents.
Mr. Stoach (capitally played by Mr. J. VALENTINE—but everybody plays capitally in this piece) finds Lord Clivebrooke (Mr. CHARLES WYNDHAM—admirable also) between midnight and one in the morning alone with charming Jessie Keber (Miss MARY MOORE,—delightful!) in old Matthew Keber's toy-shop, Keber himself (another very clever impersonation by Mr. W. H. DAY) having gone out on the sly to get drunk on money supplied him by the aforesaid unscrupulous Stoach, M.P. So what would have to be said in the House should amount to this:—
Stoach. What! the Leader of the House bring in this Purity Bill!! Why I saw him myself with my own eyes in a toy-shop, all among the toys, alone at one in the morning with an attractive young person of the female persuasion.
"Look at that now," says an Irish M.P., following the example of Shaun the Post in The Colleen Bawn, when the scoundrelly lawyer brings a charge against the hero of the drama, "An' what might you be doin' about there at that same time?"
Supposing, for an instant, the impossible, Stoach would be called to order, and be severely reprimanded by the SPEAKER.
Had the much-heckled and long-suffering Clivebrooke been gifted by the Author with lively ready-wit, he would have replied to his father and supporters, who invade his room, in the pleasantest and Charliest-Wyndhamest manner, "Yes (lightly and airily). What could I be doing in a toy-shop with a young lady? Why (still more lightly and airily) of course I was 'toying with her!'" Whereupon his old father would have been immensely tickled, and the deputation, in fits of laughter, would have rushed back to the lobby to report "the last good thing said by that clever chap Clivebrooke! So like him!"
This Act would have ended with the triumph of ready-wit over disappointed malignity. Jessie Keber would have run in and embraced her hero, the Bill would have been carried (Cheers heard without), and all would have ended happily and pleasantly without any necessity having arisen for another Act, either of Parliament or of the piece.
"Yes," says this dramatist, "I admit the soft impeachment. I plead guilty, with extenuating circumstances. The play's the thing; and if the facts don't suit my play, so much the worse for the facts. Success has been achieved, and what more can any living author want? Credit and cash. Voila tout! 'Credit' for my own original invention in hitting upon the Parliamentary accessories to my picture; and 'cash,' which will be paid as long as the public take an interest in the play, and just so long shall I take my interest out of the public money."
To sum up in the words of the old-fashioned tag, "If our friends in front are pleased, then Manager and Author are satisfied." But, if objection be still taken to the unreality of the Parliamentary setting of the picture, then "please remember," apologises 'ENRY HAUTHOR, "that 'it's only my play.'"
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A Liberator Lay.
Three little roguey-boys said to Conscience—"Pooh!" Croydon made one its Mayor, and then there were two.
Two little roguey-boys thought that Fraud was fun; A Judge thought otherwise, and then there was one.
One little roguey-boy took the Chiltern Hun- dreds upon his road to Spain, and then there was none!
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WALKING ROUND HIS SUBJECT.—In TAY PAY'S interesting review of The Life of Lord Aberdeen, a Book of the Week in the Sun, there is a delightful chord which shows that "the harp that once thro' Tara's halls" still upon occasion twangs. "It is pleasant," says TAY PAY, writing of Mr. GLADSTONE, "to be able to project ourselves backward to the time, when the statesman we know as full of years and the idol of millions, was the bashful, self-distrustful youth." Now, if next week our young friend, whose sympathy with bashful, self-distrustful youth, is instinctive, will manage to withdraw himself forward, he may be said to have thoroughly reconnoitered his subject, an excellent thing in a reviewer.
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THE VILLAGE BEAUTY AND THE RIVAL SWAINS.
An Easter Eclogue.
Chloe Miss HODGE Corydon H. H. F-WL-R Strephon J. G. G-SCH-N.
Corydon (smirking). I have found out a gift for my fair, Such as sugary SHENSTONE ne'er found! Strephon (aside, sniffing). His bowpot's made up, I declare, Half of flowers he's filched from my ground! Chloe (pirouetting). Oh la! What a lovely bokay! That for me! Oh, you're awfully kyind! Corydon (ogling). Ah! I've loved you this many a day! Strephon (sighing). And for years you've been first in my mind! Chloe (aside). My! Isn't it nice to be courted like this? I believe I could buy 'em both up with a kiss!
Corydon (gloating). Love, you dance just as PERDITA danced! You must be a Princess in disguise. Strephon (aside). And not long since he swore that she pranced Likes a clown who contends for a prize. Chloe (bridling). Me a Princess? Oh la! that's your fun. You know that my feyther was HODGE! Strephon (aside). Of course; but, providing she's won, He'll descend to the paltriest dodge. Corydon (effusively). You're the Pride of the Village, and fashioned to rule In the Cottage, the Council, the Church, and the School!
Chloe (coyly). You're a flattering of me, young man! Corydon (ardently). If I am, maay I forfeit your—Vote! Chloe. Well, of course, I will do what I can, As the Parish-princess, to promote The—what is it you want me to do? Yes, the Poor—and the Ditches—and Drains, The Rates—I do hope they'll be few! The Allotments—I trust they'll be gains! But the Squire and the Parson? Oh! CORYDON mine, When they hear what you've done, won't they kick up a shine?
Corydon (brusquely). Oh! the Squire and the Parson be—blowed! All too long they've been cocks o' the walk. Strephon (eagerly). Quite right! How this buzzum has glowed Your twin tyrants to baffle and baulk! Corydon (contemptuously). You've dissembled your—hate for them well, Master STREPHON! It never leaked out Till we made PATIENT GRIZZEL a belle! Now you'd like to cut in, I've no doubt. Chloe (coquettishly). La sakes! do not quarrel! You're both very kyind, But—I fancy dear CORYDON'S most to my mind.
[Beams on him, and accepts the Bouquet.
Strephon (suppressing himself). Well, well, 'tis the fortune of war! As it's holiday season, let's sing, Should Shepherds at Eastertide jar? Suave SHENSTONE would scout such a thing. I wish you and CORYDON luck— The posy he's plucked you looks fine; Though I must say my fancy it struck, It was not wholly new—in design. However, dear CHLOE, you're sweet; 'tis fair weather; So, CORYDON, let's sing her praises—together—
Her charms—since she possessed the Vote— Are things on which the swains all dote. Fearing to flout or slight. She dances, having now her way, No bygone Easter holiday E'er saw so fine a sight!
Our village Belle with anyone Dares now to make comparison. Fair nymph, this Easter fun done, With proudest County Toast, though fair, You may compete or charms compare With the haughtiest "Pride of London!"
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ASTOUNDING REPORT.—There is no foundation whatever for the report of the resignation of Lord HERSCHELL. It probably arose from some incautious and slangy person speaking of him in his office of LORD CHANCELLOR as having "got the sack." Obviously the Wool-sack was intended.
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A GENUINE PHILANTHROPIST.
O PASSMORE EDWARDS, you, beyond contention, Are worthy Punch's "Honourable Mention." Whenever there be any boons a-brewing You're very sure, Sir, to be up and doing! There's scarce a project schemed with kindly sense, But profits by your large munificence. Punch won't forget to pray when passing bedwards, For you—and for more bricks like PASSMORE EDWARDS!
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ON THE SECOND READING OF THE HOME-RULE BILL.
(By a Rebellious Rad.)
BUTCHERED—to make an Easter Holiday, For Orangemen who yearn to have their say! They've got political delirium tremens. Orange? Nay, they're sour as unripe lemons!
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THE REAL "SPIRITUAL" (OR SHALL WE SAY SPIRITUOUS?) NEEDS OF LONDON.—Strict Supervision of Gin Palaces, and a rigid enforcement of the Adulteration Acts. (Licensing Authorities, Excise Officers, and Policemen, please take Notice!)
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A TIP IN TIME.
Country Vestrydom's called, by its new-fangled rival, (The smart "Parish Council") "decrepit survival." P. C., be not hard on the old form thou twittest! Thou yet hast to prove thy "Survival" the "fittest."
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AT THE CONFECTIONER'S.
(A Sketch on Saturday Afternoon.)
SCENE.—A Confectioner's Shop in a fashionable West-End thoroughfare. Close to the window is a counter, with the usual urns and appurtenances, laden with an assortment of richly decorated pastry, and presided over by an alert and short-tempered Manageress. The little tables are close together, and crowded with Customers, the majority of whom are ladies. A couple of over-worked Waitresses are endeavouring, with but indifferent success, to satisfy everybody at once.
Cries from Customers. Yes, two teas and one roll and butter—no, I mean, one roll and butter and two teas! "Have I ordered?" Why, the last time you said it was coming directly! Isn't that chocolate ready yet? We shall never catch our train! I say, Waitress, I ordered coffee and cakes a quarter of an hour ago, and all we've got yet is two empty cups and a bowl of sugar! Do make haste with that tea! I didn't say a cup of tea—I said a pot of tea, as plain as——! (&c., &c.)
Duet of Waitresses. Yes, Sir, attend to you in one moment. Are you the cup of tea, Madam? Oh, I'll bring you a fork for your pastry directly. There'll be some milk coming in a minute, Sir. Bread and butter? No, Sir, you can have a roll and butter, or cakes, if you prefer them. Excuse me, Madam, when I've done attending to this lady. No, Sir; it was the other young lady who took your order—not me. Would you mind letting me have the milk-jug, if you've finished with it, Madam? We're rather short of them. I'll see if I can get you a teaspoon, Sir. (&c., &c.)
The Manageress (all in one breath, without any stops). Now then Miss SIMPSON don't you see these cups standing here ready to be taken and there's that Gentleman in the corner waiting to be attended to and tell Mrs. BINKS we shall want more milk and there put out those fancy cakes do two chocolates Miss JONES well you can't have them yet because I've used all the hot water what does the girl want next butter it's no use coming to me for butter here take those cups to be washed up will you you leave me to look after everythink myself and customers leaving because they can't get served I declare I never saw such girls as you are in all my born days!
A Man from the Lyceum. I'm not sure, after all, that IRVING'S finest moment wasn't in that last scene. I mean, when Fitzurse and those fellows came in, and he——
First Lady (at adjoining table—from the Aquarium Theatre). Sat up on his dear tail, and struck out with those long hind legs of his, sweet thing; he took such an interest in it all, didn't he?
Second Lady (on opposite side of table—who has been to "Hypatia"). Oh, and didn't she look distractingly lovely just after she had finished lecturing; you know, when she——
Third L. (close by, fresh from "Charley's Aunt"). Stepped out of the gown, and walked about in the old Lady's cap and false front! I quite cried with laughing!
Second L. I liked the Proconsul—dear me, what was his name? So stupid of me—but it doesn't matter! I thought he looked so perfectly Byzantine when he came in with his lictors in the litter——
Third L. And played the piano so beautifully!
Second Hypatian L. And didn't you think TREE was very good?—that part where he found out about his daughter, and stood towering over her with a knife in his hand, and——
Third L. That enormous cigar stuck in his mouth—he was simply too killing! [And so on.
Miss Camille Leon (by voiceless motion of her lips, and expressive pantomime, for the guidance of her fiance, Mr. FRED FORRIDGE, who has gone to the counter to select dainties for her refection). No, not those—in the next dish—with chocolate outside ... no the long ones—oh, how stupid you are! Yes, if those are preserved cherries on the iced sugar. Very well, the pink one, then—that will do.
Mr. Forridge (returning with a loaded plate). I hope I've got what you wanted?
Miss C. L. Just what I like—how clever of you! (She helps herself, after dainty deliberation.) Quite delicious! Aren't you going to have any yourself?
Mr. Forr. (engaged in exploring his left-hand pocket surreptitiously, with a troubled expression). Oh, thanks—presently, perhaps. (To himself.) I must have more than that somewhere!
Miss C. L. (gaily). I advise you to make haste—or there'll be none left. They're too seductive for words. [She chooses another.
Mr. Forr. (to himself). It is one-and-sixpence. Fool I was to go and forget my sovereign-purse! However—(hopefully), two cups of tea at fourpence—eightpence; say three cakes at twopence—one-and-twopence—oh, I shall manage it easily, and leave a margin! (Aloud.) I think I won't have anything to eat—not hungry, don't you know.
Miss C. L. No more am I! (She takes a third cake.) This has got cream inside—aren't you tempted?
Mr. Forr. (to himself.) Only fourpence to the good now—mustn't risk it! (Aloud.) Couldn't indeed—spoil my appetite for dinner.
Miss C. L. (with superiority). Oh, I never have any appetite for dinner. I loathe the very sight of food, somehow! But I do wish you'd eat something—it's so piggish of you not to—really it is! You must take just this weeny little one—to please Me! (She places it on his plate.) Now you can't say no!
Mr. Forr. (to himself). She is the dearest darling! (Aloud.) I'd do anything in the world to please you, CAMILLE! (To himself.) After all, there's still twopence!
Miss C. L. Good boy! (As he eats.) Well, is it a success?
Mr. Forr. (munching). It isn't bad—got Marchpane, or something of the kind on it.
Miss C. L. How nice! I adore Marchpane! You may go and get me one just like it, if you're very good.
Mr. Forr. (to himself, as he obeys her behest). That cleans me out! Thank goodness, no gratuities are allowed here, or else—and this must be the last—she's had three already! If I'd only had another sixpence, I shouldn't care, but this is running it devilish close! (Aloud, as he returns.) This is the nearest I could get.
Miss C. L. Thanks, ever so much. Awfully nice tea this is. (Suggestively.) They might give one bigger cups, though!
Mr. Forr. (to himself, with pathos). I'd give my life for her, cheerfully—and I've got to deny her a second cup of tea! But hang it, I must. I can't ask her to lend me fourpence to pay the bill! (Aloud.) It's—er—just as well they don't. My sisters have sworn off afternoon tea altogether; some medical Johnny told them it—er—had a tendency to make the nose red!
Miss C. L. (to herself). FRED'S sisters! Very likely! (Aloud, coldly.) If you think there is any danger of that in my case, of course I won't risk another cup.
Mr. Forr. Oh—er—well, you never know, don't you know. I—er—wouldn't. (To himself.) Narrow shave that, by Jove!
Miss C. L. I think we'd better take a cab back, don't you?
Mr. Forr. (horrified). M—much jollier walking. Streets as dry as a bone!
Miss C. L. But I want to get home and arrange the table for dinner to-night. Mother always likes me to do the flowers.
Mr. Forr. Lots of time for that You c—can't judge of the effect till it's dark, can you? And it will be light for hours to come.
Miss C. L. Yes, that's true. Then suppose we go and see the BURNE-JONESES, now we're so near? They don't close till six.
Mr. Forr. (to himself). It would have been jolly; but, half-a-crown, when I can't even run to a catalogue! No! (Aloud.) It—it's getting so dark—can't do 'em justice by artificial light, do you think? And—well, to tell you the honest truth, CAMILLE, after the Old Masters, you know—I—I don't feel—and I have seen them, you know!
Miss C. L. (pouting). I thought you might have cared to see them again—with Me—but it doesn't in the least matter ... FRED, I don't care about this cake you got me—it's dull. I think I shall leave it, and try one of these white-and-green ones instead. [She does.
Mr. Forr. (to himself—with a beaded brow). Broke! And for an extra twopence! As likely as not, she hasn't even got her purse with her. And she'll think I'm so beastly mean! Why on earth didn't I let her go to the Aerated Bread-shop, as she wanted? It would have been all right then!
Miss C. L. I'm afraid you're rather bored, FRED—you don't seem to be enjoying yourself quite; do you?
Mr. Forr. (in agony). Oh, I am—I'm all right, CAMILLE, only I—I'm always like this after the Old Masters, you know.
Miss C. L. So sorry I made you bring me—don't you think we had better pay, and go home?
Mr. Forr. (to himself). Now for it! (He pulls himself together.) W—waitress, w—what have I to pay, please?
Waitress. Two teas, eightpence; one, two—six cakes you've had, I think, Sir? One-and-eightpence altogether.
Mr. Forr. (with a gasp). Oh! (He fetches up two coins abjectly from his pocket). I—I'm sorry to say that I—I've o—only one shilling and (with a start of intense relief) half-a-sovereign, so (with recovered dignity) I'm afraid I must ask you to give me change. (To Miss C. L.) I—I was only joking about the BURNE-JONESES, darling, I'd like to see them awfully—with you. And we can walk home through the Park, or take a cab afterwards, just as you feel about it. Do say you'll come!
[Miss LEON graciously consents, and Mr. FORRIDGE follows her out of the shop with restored equanimity, as Scene closes in.
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FASHIONABLE INTELLIGENCE.—The Dowager Lady CRUMBIE dined out one night last week, when the dinner was so cold that her Ladyship caught a severe chill, and next day the Cook caught it uncommonly hot.
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ADVICE GRATIS.—M. WORTH, of Paris, says of the costumes of The No-Connection "BRADLEY & CO," "You must take them for what they are——WORTH."
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ROBERT AT THE BOAT-RACE.
Well, as I've often said afore, and shall most probberly live to say it again, there ain't no acounting for taste, speshally among the hupper classes. Take last Wensday as a xampel. Here's a lot of about twenty of the most heminent Swells in our most heminent Huniwersitys, where they goes, as we all on us knows, to learn how to tork Greek, which they finds so wunderful useful when they growes up. Well, they has the hole year to choose from, save and xcept Sundays, and I'm jiggered, as I herd a real Gent say, if they don't go and select a day as goes and begins with a hawful heasterly wind, and a contemptible shower of rain, just enuff to make thowsands of our most loveliest Ladys at wunce risolve not to wenter out ewen to see such a site as two boats full of hansum young gennelmen, all drestin flannel, a pulling of them two boats a matter of four miles! And yet I'm told as there's a learned Gent as publishes a little book as tells you what the whether will be ewery day in the year, and he's werry offen rite.
However, it all turned out rite at larst, and we had a nice sunny day, tho' why they kep us all a waiting till arf-past fore o'clock I'm sure I don't kno, when there was thowsends of us waiting afore two. Another little misstery is, why they want no less than hayteen strong-looking gents to pull too little Botes along, sixteen on 'em a pulling with their skulls, and two on 'em a pulling with too little ropes apeace, I have never bin able to make out.
I was told as it was a lovely race, tho it seemed werry much as usual to me. One of the botes got a little in front of the other, and so got in fust, and that was all. But, sumhow, I don't quite think as that is all as so many thowsands goes out for. For instance, now, in the butiful ship as I was perfeshnally engaged in, we laid out a lovely lunshun with evry luckshury of the season, and all kinds of wine, at about 2 o'clock, and then, as we picked up our swell passengers at the warious peers, our Managing Gent says to them, says he, "If you please, Gents, lunch is laid out in the cabin, and will be continually laid out all day, so you can act accordin." And so they did! and that cabin was jest about comfertably occepied all day long, except for about ten minutes jest as the Botes was a cummin by. Ah! that's my highdeal of spending an appy day, and a pitty it is as it ony comes wunce a year!
BROWN, who was along with me, tried werry Hard to gammon me to bleeve as none of the pullers in the fust boat got nothink for winning, and that none of the pullers in the larst boat paid nothink for loosing! But I wasn't quite such a born fool as to beleeve that rubbish. I had jest the same good larf as usual in seeing how hard the three big steam-boats, as started jest after the racing-boats, tried their werry hardest to catch 'em up, but coudn't do it till they was past the winning post! And the best of the fun was, as they painted two of 'em Oxford and Cambridge, to make all poor greenhorns beleeve as they was the reel racing-boats, and the other was a going fust jest to show 'em the way. Lor, how heasy it is to gammon sum poor fellers! Like all trew waiters, hating any think at all like waste, me and BROWN, and the other two of us, seed all our Company hoff, and then we quietly took our seats, and I bleeves as I can truly say, that, neether in the eatable line, or the drinkable line, was there any waste in that there bootiful Steamer that there appy day.
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FROM MR. J. L. T**LE.—It is not true that Die Walkuere, about to be produced at the Grand Opera, in Paris, is either an adaptation, or a translation, of Walker—London. It's WAGNER, not WALKER.
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A DELICATE QUESTION.
[In the pages of the Author Mr. BESANT suggests, that "the Society of Authors should undertake the examination of journalists."]
O zealous Mr. BESANT, we have heard with consternation Of this, the latest project of your ever-busy band; Each journalist, apparently, must pass examination, Lest any deal with matters which he does not understand.
You're horrified to notice at performances dramatic A row of so-called critics, knowing nothing of the play; You mean to make essential an acquaintance with the Attic, In all allowed to comment on the drama of to-day.
With ample stock of history and other knowledge, clearly, The man who writes on politics must show himself supplied, The taste of all reviewers will be criticised severely, The Sporting Sage must qualify in papers on Ruff's Guide.
No doubt your plan is laudable, but then we find it printed That novelists to manage all the scheme will be allowed, And since they love reviewers not, it may, perhaps, be hinted, That every man alive of us is certain to be ploughed!
Moreover, on reflection, quite excusably one fancies That, if so great advantage in the system you discern, Its use should be extended to the weavers of romances, And you and other novelists should suffer in your turn!
And so, if we may venture on a practical suggestion, Assuming that your postulate's indubitably true, And all should be examined—there must yet remain the question, Custodes quis custodiet?—For who'll examine you?
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WINES OR MINES?—Mrs. R. has on several occasions heard gentlemen talking of "passing the Rubicon," and she wants to know whether this is a Bill in Parliament about the Ruby Mines, or whether it is a modern expression for what was many years ago, as she was informed by her grandfather, a slang after-dinner phrase—"Pass the Ruby," i.e., the wine?
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HOLIDAY TASKS FOR THE RECESS.
The Pr-m-r. To rest and sample (under the personal supervision of Mrs. G.) Home Rule.
The Marquis of S-l-sb-ry. To forget the speeches he had prepared for Loyal Ulster.
Sir W-ll-m H-rc-rt. To practise Local Option in the New Forest.
Lord R-s-b-ry. To make up his mind about Uganda.
Lord R-nd-lph Ch-rch-ll. To follow where he once led.
Mr. Arth-r B-lf-r. To lead where he once followed.
The Duke of D-v-nsh-re. To acquire a taste for "another place."
Sir A-g-st-s Dr-l-n-s. To grapple with the Opera difficulty.
Mr. H-nry Irv-ng. To run along with Becket.
Miss Ell-n T-rry. To continue the same movement.
Mr. J. L. T-le. To prepare to take Walker—London to "Castle, Windsor."
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LEGAL QUERY ANSWERED SATISFACTORILY.—In an Article on the Lecture on Cross-examination by Mr. FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., a D. T. Leader reminded its readers of the scene in The Village Lawyer, where Defendant is instructed by his Counsel to answer every question by simply saying, in an imbecile manner, "Ba-a-a!" Subsequently, on aforesaid Counsel asking for his fee, his client replied, "Ba-a-a!" "What," asks the D. T., "would Mr. FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., M.P., do with such a witness in cross-examination?" Why, 'tis evident that such a case would not arise, as professional etiquette would prevent one Barrister from taking a fee from a brother Barrister, that is as long as the latter stuck to the Ba-a-a!
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VERY APPROPRIATE.—At Drury Lane, on Easter Monday, will appear The Bohemian Girl, followed by the rivals in Rustic Chivalry. Very flattering to the dear old Bohemian Girl.
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TREACHEROUS WEATHER.—Lord SALISBURY has had a bad cold. He has been recommended, however, not to put on, but to put off, his Ulster.
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END OF THE COTTON STRIKE.—General rejoicings! All join in a reel!
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ACTING MANAGER H-RC-RT. "WELL, SIR, I THINK WE MAY SAY THAT,—IN SPITE OF THE ORGANISED OPPOSITION IN THE HOUSE,—THE FIRST ACT HAS REALLY GONE VERY WELL!"
MR. G. (Author and Manager). "H'M!—BUT THE RISKY SITUATION COMES IN THE NEXT ACT!"
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TO MOLLY—AN APRIL FOOL.
By a Bachelor-in-Love (with Himself.)
You never, MOLLY, plucked the chances Last Leap Year brought of wedded rapture, (Since Flattery wins, where Beauty's glances Have failed to perpetrate a capture)?
You never wrote to crave my fortune That February! Bashful, may be, Or over-fearful to importune A parti so renowned, you gaby!
Imprudent damsel, to let slip So much insouciance and money! I bear no malice now, and dip This goosequill not in gall, but honey,
I supplicate thee to be mine, Bewitching Fair, thy lode-star mocking: To sweetest vengeance I incline. (Great Scott! the sacrifice is shocking!)
With you to share a gem unique, My best possession, foolish MOLLY, This is the penalty I seek, Dear fool of Spring, dear spring of Folly!
Yet, ere I give myself away, And abdicate on foolscap flimsy, Let me implore you, mark the day— Time-honoured feast of prank and whimsy.
Of my pet self, I offer half— To gain it myriads have endeavoured, So take it, take my photograph Inclosed, and most adroitly severed.
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THE TELEPHONIC LOVE-SONG.
["Lovemaking by telephone has now become quite common."—Daily Paper.]
Love, are you there? Most patiently I've waited To hear the answering tinkle on my bell; Have then the central offices belated Not switched me on as yet to thy hotel? Or is—oh, bitter thought!—a rival hated Addressing thee by telephone as well? Love, are you there? Distracted I repine; Oh, hear thy humble four-nought-seven-nine!
Never three-five-nine-six have I addressed, The number registered for Mrs. JONES, Nor for six-eight-two-one the button pressed To woo Miss BROWN in telephonic tones; So grant, I pray, my moderate request, Nor keep me waiting thus with aching bones, My anxious ear pressed to the tube with care, While vainly I re-echo, "Are you there?"
The suitor in the happier days of old, When he would woo his lady-love divine, Beneath her window his affection told In skilful verse and neatly-balanced line; And even if he sometimes caught a cold, His was a less prosaic way than mine; Then they'd embrace—no doubt it was not proper, But I can only kiss a plate of copper!
Oh come, my love, and speak to me again, Say that you live for my unworthy sake, And kindly make each syllable quite plain, To guard against all subsequent mistake; And soon may fortune re-unite us twain, Communication never more to break! Take up your tube in answer to my prayer; Once more I speak my greeting—Are you there?
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GEE HO, GOSCHEN!
Jokim (singing his Agricultooral-looralist lay).
"O Flaxen-headed Ploughman, A whistling o'er the lee, Oh, do not you know how, man, I've ever loved thee!"
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EASTER REGULATIONS FOR VOLUNTEERS.
1. Volunteers shall be expected to be up by the dawn in the morning, be the weather rain or shine, fog, or otherwise. They will be marched for scores of miles all day long, and, on their arrival at their destination, shall consider themselves lucky if they find the most primitive accommodation.
2. Although they may be accompanied by their officers, the Volunteer rank and file will clearly understand that they are manoeuvring purely for the pleasure, if not improvement, of a few warriors connected with the Household troops.
3. They shall undertake the necessary duties at their own expense, and every detail supplied by the War Office shall form the matter of an angry altercation.
4. The convenience of Volunteers shall be ignored, so that the comforts of the Regular officers attached to the Citizen Force, may be secured at their expense.
5. Volunteer officers will be prepared to accept snubs and condescension with their customary humility, and will not presume to raise their voices in the presence of their superior (in quality if not in rank) commanders.
6. Volunteers of all ranks will work like niggers for nothing, save the barren honour of being told (subsequently in the public prints) that they have merely done their duty.
7. And, to conclude, Volunteers will be expected to say that they have thoroughly enjoyed their holiday, however difficult it may be to feel it.
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AN ELIGIBLE PARTI.
I know a man who manhood's name profanes,— Most Mayfair mothers own him rather wild; But, since he has more sovereigns than brains, Each tries to catch and tame him for her child.
He knows enough Arithmetic to keep A Betting-book, and lose his little bets, And though his sense of honour is not deep, He always pays his "honourable" debts.
Some scores of trowsers own him as their Lord, And endless ties and one unchanging sneer; He owes his tailor what would lodge and board And wash a brace of curates for a year.
His wit is not so pointed as his boots, Bright with the polish which his manners lack, Nor yet so chaste as those astounding suits Which deck his shrunken limbs and padded back.
His stays are always, he is often, "tight," His collar, like his birth, is sans reproche; He seldom does a thing because it's right, But, on the other hand, is never gauche.
The Music Hall hath charms to soothe his breast, But tries in vain to tinge his pallid cheek; And yet the print he knows and loves the best, Is that which duly blushes once a week.
He never dances since the law shut up His native haunt, where he could really go it, And romp the pas-de-quatre, and shout and sup— (Of course the Mayfair mothers did not know it).
He never dances—but he goes about, And you will always meet him "everywhere," And sometimes after supper he'll sit out A dance or two, provided she is fair.
Some day he'll stoop to raise her to his throne, Look tame and tired of wild oats—for a time; And, when They reap the whirlwind he has sown, We'll talk of his misfortune and her crime.
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THOSE SILENT BOOTS.
Burglar's Ballad. AIR—"Those Evening Bells."
Those Silent Boots! Those Silent Boots! When out upon our gay galoots, 'Twill give us coves the bloomin' jumps, If we carn't 'ear the Copper's clumps!
'Ave Bobby's Bluchers passed away? That there will bust the Burglar's lay! Wot, silent "Slops"—like evening swells? It's wus than them electric bells!
No, no! I 'opes, till I am gone, The Bobby's Boots will still clump on. Their warnin' sound our bizness soots, But bust the thought o' Silent Boots!
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SOME EVILL-MINDED PERSONS.—At the Royal Academy of Music the competition for the Evill Prize took place last Friday, which, to unsuccessful competitors was a day of Evill omen. This is one of the rare instances where "Out of Evill cometh good."
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"ART, HOW SHE IS LEARNED."
SCENE—London. Time—any day of the Week between Show Sunday and Academy Sunday. Present—two Art Critics a la Mode.
First A. C. (after a pause). Yes, met a crowd of people last Sunday. Bad memory myself, but hanged if I can remember why I went out on Sunday.
Second A. C. (after consideration). And I too. I hate going out on a Sunday as a rule, but I went last week. However, might have been worse fun. Met PEACOCK girls. Rather good form.
First A. C. Yes, Jolly. Going to meet 'em next Sunday,—Mulberry Road.
Second A. C. (lighting a cigarette). I'm going to the Mulberry Road too.
First A. C. (also lighting a cigarette). But why?
Second A. C. (after smoking for two minutes in silence). Haven't the faintest idea! Stay! Ah! (Producing tiny memorandum book.) Here it is, April 2nd—Mulberry Road—Academy Pictures.
First A. C. (with returning intelligence). Of course! Why, that's what we went about. To see the pictures!
Second A. C. (with further intelligence). Yes. Going next Sunday to Mulberry Road to see the pictures again. Rather fun, seeing pictures!
First C. (after a long pause). Yes, rather.
[Scene closes in upon their commencing to discuss some other subject.
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QUITE A CHIC CARGO!
A GROUP of "World's Women" belonging to all races, has set out from Southampton in the steamship Paris, en route to the World's Fair. There are English damsels, Scotch lassies, Tyrolese, Hungarian, Parisian, Chinese, and Japanese ladies. Instead of being called "World's Women," they ought, of course, to go as "World's Fair-ies." "Arrangements have been made for bringing them back;" but suppose they prefer to stay? America is a free country; Chicago is one of the freest parts of it. So, after their relative powers of fascinating the American male have been tested, their power of becoming his relatives may have to be counted with. Let us hope they will be accommodated with separate buildings at the Exposition; or a "Lady's Battle" may ensue, under Queensberry Rules. European versus Asiatic, or—say—Fraeulein versus Mademoiselle. This would be a great hit.
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TWEEDLEDUM AND TWEEDLEDEE.
The most cursory eye it must surely strike, That VOTE and VETO look much alike. Yet rival ranters are straining throat, To VOTE the VETO—or VETO the VOTE! On a slight transposition thus hinges the quarrel 'Twixt the fierce fanatics of Pump and Barrel.
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ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday, March 20.—"That's the best speech HARCOURT has made this Session," said GEORGE CURZON, as we walked into Lobby to support Government against onslaught of SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE, who disapproves its Uganda policy.
"Which speech?" I asked, eagerly, always anxious to learn. GEORGE CURZON just back from far East; has sat astride the Wall of China, and taken five-o'clock tea with the QUEEN OF COREA. ULYSSES, with his twenty-years' tramp, not in it with him. "Which speech?" I repeated. "The speech he didn't make just now in reply to CHAMBERLAIN," said CURZON, in that sententious tone, and with that grave manner he has learned among the Apaches of the Ural Mountains.
Wants thinking over, this; but is quite true. A great temptation for the SQUIRE; would have been irresistible at one time. JOSEPH had made a brilliant speech, scintillating with diamond dagger-points. Yielding to the habit of heredity, he had been more than usually disagreeable towards his Brethren. "The original JOSEPH," as the SQUIRE remarked, in a little aside, whilst the speech went on amid uproarious delight of the Gentlemen of England, "had one soft place in his resentful heart. But our JOE finds no BENJAMIN among us—unless, indeed, it be TREVELYAN, and, I believe, if, after filling up his sack, he had put in any extraneous substance, it would not have been a cup of silver."
Time was when the SQUIRE would have jumped at this opportunity. Benches crowded with jubilant gentlemen in dinner dress; excitement of cheers and counter-cheers filled House. Few things delight it more than encounter between these two brilliant swordsmen. Only half-past eleven; Twelve-o'clock Rule suspended; plenty of time for business by-and-by; half an hour's sport hurt nobody.
When SQUIRE rose, a ringing cheer went up from Ministerialists. Their turn now. JOE was "going to catch it." But SQUIRE knew better than that. Opportunity tempting; almost irresistible. But business first, pleasure after. With touching air of resignation, SQUIRE said they had listened to a very good speech, and now he hoped the Vote would be agreed to; at which point he meekly sat down. Shock so sudden and unexpected that no one but NOLAN moved, and he, finding himself on his legs, had no words ready. Whilst he was gasping in search of them, Closure moved; Chairman, who is getting well into the saddle, put question with lightning-like rapidity; before Committee quite knew where it was, it was dividing on the Uganda Vote.
Business done.—Supplementary Estimates concluded; Report of Supply agreed to; way cleared for Appropriation Bill.
Tuesday Night.—HENRY FOWLER explained Parish Council Bill in speech of equal force and lucidity. "Hands all round," as TENNYSON said, in applause of speech and approval of Bill. JESSE COLLINGS rather hinted that anything good in measure was conveyed from RITCHIE'S Bill, and everyone knows that RITCHIE was mere lay-figure behind which JESSE controlled policy of Local Government Board under last Administration. Even this criticism meant as compliment. No harsher note disturbed chorus of approval.
JOKIM, in effusion of moment, led into making interesting confession. As he says, only he put it stronger, general impression is that he is not particularly attached to Agricultural Labourer. BOBBY SPENCER, when he made his historic declaration—"Mr. SPEAKER, Sir, I am not an Agricultural Labourer"—understood to have JOKIM in his mind; endeavouring to ingratiate himself with the statesman who, at the time, was CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUER. JOKIM, certainly, through long and honourable career, never lost opportunity of hustling HODGE. Deductions drawn from this attitude entirely erroneous. Only been dissembling his love. Made clean breast of it to-day. Clasping his hands with genuine emotion, tear plainly tickling through his voice, he exclaimed, "It has been the dream of my life to educate the Agricultural Labourer in Parish affairs!"
"Well, I must say, I never would have thought it," said GRANDOLPH, regarding with new interest his Right Hon. friend.
Business done.—Parish Councils Bill brought in.
Thursday.—Pretty to watch Mr. G. in conversation with Prince ARTHUR on question of Vote of Censure. When CAMERON, "doing a bit of bounce," as BRODRICK said, asked PREMIER whether, supposing Opposition resolved to move Vote of Censure, a day wouldn't be found for them, Ministerialists cheered and Opposition responded. House never more like public school than when a fight is being got up. Now spirit rose to bubbling point; cheering and counter-cheering incessant. Only Mr. G. sat silent, apparently so deeply interested in Orders that he had not noticed what was forward. But he saw it all, saw a foot or two further into futurity than the jubilant throng behind him. CAMERON had unwittingly dealt trump card to Opposition avowedly bent on obstructing Home-Rule Bill. Had a pretty good go to-day. Two hours for Questions; two hours more to be used up on Motion for Adjournment. That would serve to throw Registration Bill over sitting and spoil Mr. G.'s little programme. But this suggestion of Vote of Censure coming from other side, worth at least couple of days. Mr. G. saw it all, and once glanced quickly across table in search of sign that anyone on Front Bench opposite had made the discovery. Thought he saw a gleam of intelligence in GRANDOLPH'S eye. Hoped things might blow over; but there was inconvenient questioner behind, with Scotch persistency waiting answer. Ministerialists cheering like mad; Opposition truculently responding; all waiting for him. Must do or say something. Wouldn't commit himself by saying anything. Half rose from seat and bowed assent.
By this time Prince ARTHUR began to see light. Some smart fencing followed; Prince ARTHUR pressed home Vote of Censure question; Mr. G., whilst carefully avoiding any movement that might seem like retreat, evaded the point. Later, when GRANDOLPH remarked that PRIME MINISTER had challenged them to move Vote of Censure, Mr. G. angrily retorted, "I did nothing of the sort." Too late now; Right Hon. Gentlemen on Front Opposition Bench having put their heads together, determined to ride in at gate CAMERON obligingly opened. Drew up Motion of Vote of Censure, and Mr. G. must needs, out of his diminishing hoard of days, find one for debating it; Opposition mean to make it two, or even three.
"I wish," said Mr. G., in those chest-notes that indicate profounder indignation, "my people would leave me to manage the business of House."
Business done.—Four hours wasted. Vote of Censure invited.
Friday Midnight.—Wonder to find SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE still at post of duty. Business rather heavy work; think it would be well that so precious a life should be cared for. Say this to him.
"You're very kind, TOBY," he answered, just a little wearily "but I never think of myself when the interests of my QUEEN and Country are at stake. Fact is, I have charge of a Bill drafted in the interests of our fellow-citizen the Sweep. He has thrown himself into my arms (of course I use the phrase in a Parliamentary sense) and I am resolved to do my best for him. I am told that the business which called the Judges into private consultation the other day was a proposal to place my bust, crowned with laurel, on a prominent pedestal in the Royal Courts of Justice. Well, I have done something in my time for justice; just now all my sympathies are with the Sweep. I receive deputations of them every day. No, they don't enter by the chimney, but come in by the front-door in ordinary fashion. When there are more than five of them, and they stay over twenty minutes, they leave a little smell lingering in the room. But that's nothing. I'm waiting now to move Second Reading of my Bill. Want Mr. G. to take it up. Have told him people really don't care for Home-Rule Bill, whereas, if he gave his mind to it, he might rouse the country on the question of the harmless necessary Sweep. But no use. He's too deeply rooted in his attachment to his Home-Rule scheme. Daresay I shall get my Bill through first."
Business done.—Patience of long-suffering SPEAKER breaks down at last. JEMMY LOWTHER did it. On Appropriation Bill moved incomprehensible Amendment, in unintelligble speech; SPEAKER came down on him "like cartload of bricks," as JOHN BURNS put it. JAMES only temporarily subdued; will probably come up smiling on Monday.
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Missing or illegible/damaged punctuation has been repaired.