PUNCH, or the LONDON CHARIVARI
Volume 104, April 22nd 1893
edited by Sir Francis Burnand
Two gentlemen of artistic and literary attainments, having studied the romances of VICTOR HUGO for the sake of being inspired by that Grand Old Master's style, determined to essay a "thriller" of most tragic type. These two single authors, Messrs. WYATT and ROSS, being rolled into one, wanted, like the Pickwickian Fat Boy, "to make our flesh creep." In their one-volume Hugoesque romance, The Earth Girl, bound in pale grass-green, with blood-red title, they have most unequivocally succeeded. The heroine, The Earth Girl, who, at the last, is sent back whence she came, and so ends by being the "Earth-to-Earth" Girl, is named Terra; she commences by being Terra Incognita, she is never Terra Firma, but her existence, in its consequences to all who come within her influence, is quite a reign of Terra. The authors are to be congratulated on not having yielded to a great temptation by styling their story The Earth Girl; or, Terra-ra-ra-Boom! The scene is laid chiefly in the Island of Breke—but to give too many details would spoil the intending-reader's pleasure. So, as Hamlet observes, "Breke, Breke my heart, for I must hold my tongue!" The Earth Girl first sees the light, such as it is, in a cavern, and is brought up on raw eggs fresh from the sea-bird's nest, uncooked herbs, and raw fish. No tea, coffee, milk, or liquors of any description, were within reach of this unhappy family of three, consisting of Pa, Ma, and the Infant Phenomenon. How they slaked their thirst is not clearly stated, unless a sort of aquarium, in which some amiable sharks reposed, was a fresh-water tank. This wild girl was elegantly brought up, as far as their somewhat straitened circumstances would permit, for she learned songs and ballads, French, English, and the Norman patois of the Channel Islands. In these peculiar troglodytian surroundings she had never learned the use of parasol or umbrella, and was entirely ignorant of harp, piano, and the "use of the globes." Coming up out of the caves and breathing once more the upper air, we naturally find ourselves in higher society, and are introduced to a handsome old Peer, Lord Netherdale, who has two sons, the half-brothers Royallet, one of whom gaily addresses his respected parent as "The Paladin of Paters," and is not at once locked up in Colney Hatch. The old Peer is as eccentric as he is handsome, and he takes up his residence on the Island of Breke, where "the fruit, the vegetables, the strange sea-creatures" (odd fish?), "which made their appearance on his table," (this sounds as if the strange sea-creatures walked in unasked. Queer place this Breke for a Breke-fast party!) "pleased him." He was easily pleased. Then "he began to think the island cider preferable to Pommery. In short, the eccentric Peer fell in love with Breke." Well! he must have been an eccentric Peer to prefer Channel Island cider, even from the best orchards, to the '84, '80, and '74—the last still existing in some exceptionally favoured spots—from the vinevards of Pommery. This eccentric nobleman on seeing the Island of Breke, observed the absence of a landing-stage, and jocosely remarked to himself, "They're in want of a pier; I will fix myself there." And so he did. But of all that happened to him there and elsewhere, and to the Earth-to-Earth Girl, and to the two sons, is it not to be read by the purchaser in the book itself, which, the Baron is pleased to add, will well repay perusal, and will hold the reader's attention to the very last line. At least, this was its effect on the not always easily pleased.
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
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A NEW "ARNOLD'S EXERCISE."
MY DEAR MR. DACRE,
I have seen your Play, and, since then, I have not seen any other like it. "When will I come again?" To see it twice within a week would be too ecstatic a joy for a dweller—may I say a Liver—in London, who is more at home as one of the Lights of Asia. So, for the present—to paraphrase what I believe were the words of a popular poet whose name has passed from my memory—such, alas! is popularity—I will say to you, "Not to-day. DACRE"—(I fancy the last word was "Baker" in the original Syriac)—but, some other day, when, as one of the Lights aforementioned, I shall, at a Matinee be day-lighted to re-witness your admirable performance.
Yours ever most sincerely sincere,
EDWIN TAILS-LOSE, C.B.
P.S.—"C.B." is not "Commander of the Bath," but stands for "Cox and Box," in which piece (have you ever played it? I forget—but how perfect you would be as Sergeant or Corporal Bouncer!) you will find the immortal quotation which precedes these descriptive initial letters.
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When Influenza pangs attack My tortured head and limbs and back, You soothe me, stretched upon the rack, My Doctor.
When, convalescent, I'm too weak To stand, or sit, or see, or speak, Your tonics make me tough as teak, My Doctor.
No symptoms seem to cause surprise; Though I turn green or blue, your eyes Are still impenetrably wise, My Doctor.
If grave or slight the case, you still Awe folks with look of learned skill; You cure them, whether well or ill, My Doctor.
One needs trepanning of the head, Another just one pill—of bread, And neither, thanks to you, is dead, My Doctor.
Long may you live to see the tongue, To listen to the wheezy lung, To feel the pulse of old and young, My Doctor!
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A BUTTON-HOLE FOR MR. CHAMBERLAIN.—At the sale of the Quorn House Orchids, Mr. G. HARDY purchased a Cattleyn Mendelli for 220 guas. Perhaps Mr. CHAMBERLAIN wouldn't bid, having mistaken "Mendelli" for "Mundella." But to have entered the house in a careless fashion, with a "glass (with care)" in his eye, and a two-hundred-and-twenty-guinea Orchid in his button-hole, would have been a great sight for "JOEY B"-IRMINGHAM.
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EARLY AND LATE.—A telegram in the Times, Wednesday 12, was headed—"Japan: Yokohama, March 30 (via Victoria, B.C., April 11)." This met the eye of our old friend, Mrs. R., who forthwith exclaimed, "'April 11, B.C.!' and only arrived here now—April 12, A.D.!"
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CHANGE OF NAME.—All congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Fife. Great alterations and improvements are, it is said, being made at Mar Lodge. The name also is to be altered, and henceforth it is to be known as "Mar and Pa' Lodge."
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THE MOAN OF THE TWO (EXCHEQUER) MISERS.
(After Quintin Matsys.)
First Exchequer Miser. Oh dear me! I desired to shape a Democratic Budget! But I fear 'twill be a fizzle, howsoe'er I fake and fudge it! Second E. M. Don't talk like that, my H-RC-T, for such cynic slang is shocking! But—the Revenue Returns, no doubt, our dearest hopes are mocking. First E. M. Oh, I know you ape the casuist, and love the pleonastic, But how tackle our taxation in a manner really drastic With a Revenue declining! From the task my courage blenches, But—what will be the consequence on those clamorous Rad Benches? They want Free Breakfast Tables, and are hot on Members' Payment, And if they cannot get 'em, will they curse and rend our raiment? The Death Duties, too! The failure to touch them might be the death of us! Second R. M. Yet we've been economical; it is the very breath of us. First E. M. Humph! How about your Home-Rule Bill's Finance Proposals—drat'em! Which e'en the Irish threaten to tear up—when they get at 'em! Second E. M. The Rads, of course, will want to eat their cake and have it, also. No, a Democratic Budget,—at least one the Rads would call so,— I fear's not on the cards, H., but—humph! listen! (Whispers in his ear.) For the rest of it I'll trust your ingenuity, and—we must make the best of it! [Left working it out.
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"PER DAMNA, PER CAEDES," PERAMBULATOR.
[See Mr. ASQUITH'S Speech on the "Temperance" demonstration.]
When Trafalgar Square is with human geese full, And fiercely fights the daft declamator, Undisturbed the nursemaid can push the peaceful Perambulator.
The wild teetotaller hurts not her, Nor does the publican's justificator. Unharmed she can push the peaceful Per- ambulator.
The Working Man, whether true or sham, Whether honest worker, or rough spectator, Leaves her to push the peaceful Peram- bulator.
Though in hostile faces and chests he ram beau— Tiful bright banners, the demonstrator Still lets her push the peaceful Perambu- lator.
Thus always, whoever may block the way, Though bones be broken and skulls be sore May she push the peaceful Perambula- tor.
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"Still a Non Est Man!"—J-B-Z SP-NC-R B-LF-R.
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To Mr. John Davitt.
(On his Maiden Speech in the House.)
"O si sic omnes!"
Surely sincerer speaker never talked! Surely a purer patriot never walked! Surely a fairer fighter never took field! The man who heard your speech on Ireland's cause Without warm sympathy, and frank applause, Must be a—BROOKFIELD!
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CHEAP AT ANY PRICE.
Mrs. Britannia (effusively). And now, my dear children, do you know the meaning of Imperial Federation?
Australia (promptly). Yes, dear Mamma. We are all to live as a happy family.
Mrs. Brit. (fondly). Quite right, sweetest. And can you tell me how this is to be managed?
Canada (with decision). By mutual defence, dear Mamma.
Mrs. Brit. (smilingly). My love, your answer is quite correct. And how shall we manage this mutual defence?
Cape Colony (in a business-like manner). By providing all sorts of things, dear Mamma.
Mrs. Brit. (proudly). Very good, little HOPE; you are always ready with an answer. And now, can any of you tell me what those things will be?
India (without hesitation). Money, and coal and gunpowder, dear Mamma.
Mrs. Brit. (affectionately). Certainly, darling; you have given exactly the proper reply. And now, will not all this cost a large sum of money?
Tasmania (with much decision). A very large sum of money, dear Mamma—an immense sum, dear Mamma.
Mrs. Brit. (kindly). Yes, my child, you are perfectly right. And now, my cherished daughters, one more question. Who will have to pay for all this expense? (A pause.) Why, surely you know? (Continued silence.) Who will have to find the money to secure this Imperial Federation?
All Britannia's Daughters (together). Why you, dear Mamma!
Mrs. Brit. (fondling them). Darlings!
[Scene closes in upon a picture very dear to Tax-payers.
* * * * *
The Heathen Chinee in the House.
(New Nursery Rhyme for Unionists.)
[Mr. LABOUCHERE recently presented a petition in the Chinese characters.]
LAB-BI, the cynic and cold, Was blackest sheep in the Liberal fold. He mocked the Old Man's eloquent tags, And let the cats out of all his bags; And when the cats ran loose, said he "I wonder how that suits dear G!"
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ELEVATING THE MASSES.
(A Purely Imaginary Sketch.)
ARGUMENT—Mrs. FLITTERMOUSE, having got up a party to assist her in giving an Entertainment at the East End, has called a meeting for the purpose of settling the items in the programme.
SCENE—Mrs. FLITTERMOUSE'S Drawing-room in Park Lane. Everybody discovered drinking tea, and chatting on matters totally unconnected with Philanthropy.
Mrs. Flittermouse (imploringly). Now, please, everybody, do attend! It's quite impossible to settle anything while you're all talking about something else. (Apologies, protests, constrained silence.) SELINA, dear, what do you think it would be best to begin with?
The Dowager Lady Dampier. My dear FRITILLA, I have no suggestion to offer. You know my opinion about the whole thing. The people don't want to be elevated, and—if they did—entertaining them is not the proper means to set about it. But I don't wish to discourage you.
Mrs. Flitt. Oh, but I think we could do so much to give them a taste for more rational and refined amusements, poor things, to wean them from the coarse pleasures which are all they have at present. Only we must really decide what each of us is going to do.
Mrs. Perse-Weaver. A violin solo is always popular. And my daughter CECILIA will be delighted to play for you. She has been taught by the best——
Cecilia. Oh, Mother, I couldn't, really! I've never played in public. I know I should break down!
Lady Damp. In that case, my dear, it would be certainly unwise on your part to attempt it.
Mrs. P.-W. Nonsense, CECILIA, nonsense. You won't break down, and it wouldn't matter in the least if you did. They wouldn't notice anything. And it will be such excellent practice for you to get accustomed to a platform, too. Of course she will play for you, dear Mrs. FLITTERMOUSE!
Mrs. Flitt. It will be so good of you, Miss WEAVER. And it won't be like playing to a real audience, you know—poor people are so easily pleased, poor dears. Then I will put that down to begin with. (She makes a note.) Now we must have something quite different for the next—a reading or something.
Lady Honor Hyndleggs. A—nothin' humorous, I hope. I do think we ought to avoid anythin' like descendin' to their level, don't you know.
Mr. Lovegroove. Might try something out of Pickwick. "Bob Sawyer's Party," you know. Can't go far wrong with anything out of DICKENS.
Miss Diova Rose. Can't endure him myself. All his characters are so fearfully common; still—(tolerantly) I daresay it might amuse—a—that class of persons.
Mrs. Flitt. I must say I agree with Lady HONOR. We should try and aim as high as possible—and well, I think not DICKENS, dear Mr. LOVEGROOVE. TENNYSON might do perhaps; he's written some charmin' pieces.
Mr. Lovegr. Well, fact is, I don't go in for poetry much myself. But I'll read anythin' of his you think I'm equal to.
Mrs. Flitt. Why—a—really, it's so long since I—and I'm afraid I haven't one of his poems in the house. I suppose they are down at Barn-end. But I could send to CUTT AND HAWTHORN'S. I daresay they would have a copy somewhere.
Miss Sibson-Gabler. Surely TENNYSON is rather—a—retrograde? Why not read them something to set them thinking? It would be an interesting experiment to try the effect of that marvellous Last Scene in the Doll's House. I'd love to read it. It would be like a breath of fresh air to them!
Mrs. P.-W. Oh! I've seen that at the Langham Hall. You remember, CECILIA, my taking you there? And CORNEY GRAIN played Noah. To be sure—we were quite amused by it all.
Miss S.-G. (coldly). This is not amusing—it's a play of IBSEN'S.
Mrs. Flitt. Is that the man who wrote the piece at the Criterion—what is it, The Toy Shop? WYNDHAM acted in it.
Lady Damp. No, no; IBSEN is the person there's been all this fuss about in the papers—he goes in for unconventionality and all that. I may be wrong, but I think it is such a mistake to have anything unconventional in an Entertainment for the People.
Mrs. Flitt. But if he's being talked about, dear Lady DAMPIER, people might like to know something about him. But perhaps we'd better leave IBSEN open, then. Now, what shall we have next?
Miss Skipworth. I tell you what would fetch them—a skirt-dance. I'll dance for you—like a shot. It would be no end of fun doin' it on a regular platform, and I've been studyin' FLOSSIE FRILLINGTON, at the Inanity, till I've caught her style exactly.
Mr. Kempton. Oh, I say, you can give her a stone and a beatin' any day, give you my word you can. She doesn't put anythin' like the go into it you do.
[Miss S. accepts this tribute with complacency.
Mrs. Flitt. A skirt-dance will be the very thing. It's sure to please the people we shall bring over for it—and of course they'll be in the front rows. Yes, I must put that down. We ought to have a song next. Mrs. TUBEROSE, you promised to come and sing for us—you will, won't you?
Mrs. Tuberose. Delighted! I rather thought of doing a dear little song STEPHAN OTIS has just brought out. It's called "Forbidden Fruit," and he wrote it expressly for me. It goes like this.
[She sits down at the piano, and sings, with infinite expression and tenderness.
"Only the moon espies our bliss, Through the conscious clusters of clematis, Shedding star-sweet showers. To-morrow the world will have gone amiss— Now we are face by face, love, I thrill to your kiss— So let us remember naught but this: That To-night is ours! Yes, this passionate, perilous, exquisite night—is Ours!"
Several Voices. Charmin'.... OTIS puts so much real feeling into all his songs ... quite a little gem! &c., &c.
Lady Damp. I should have thought myself that it was rather advanced—for an East-End audience——
Mrs. Tuberose (nettled). Really, dear Lady DAMPIER, if people see nothing to object in it here, I don't see why they should be more particular at the East-End!
Mrs. Flitt. Oh no,—and as if it matters what the words are in a song. I daresay if one heard their songs——Now we want another song—something as different as possible.
Mr. Gardinier. Heard a capital song at the "Pav." the other night—something about a Cock-eyed Kipper. Just suit my voice. I could easily get the words and music, and do that for you—if you like.
Several Voices. A Cock-eyed Kipper! It sounds too killing! Oh, we must have that!
Lady Damp. Might I ask what kind of creature a—a "Cock-eyed Kipper" may be?
Mr. Gard. Oh, well, I suppose it's a sort of a dried herring—with a squint, don't you know.
Lady Damp. I see no humour in making light of a personal deformity, I must say.
Mr. Gard. Oh, don't you? They will—it'll go with a scream there!
Miss Diova Rose. Yes, poor dears—and we mustn't mind being just a little vulgar for once—to cheer them up.
Lady Honor. I have been to the Pavilion and the Tivoli myself, and I heard nothing to object to. I know I was much more amused than I ever am at theatres—they bore me to death.
Mr. Bagotrix. We might finish up with Mrs. Jarley's Waxworks you know. Some of you can be the figures, and I'll come on in a bonnet and shawl as Mrs. Jarley, and wind you up and describe you. I've done it at lots of places in the country; brought in personal allusions and all that sort of thing, and made everybody roar.
Lady Damp. But will the East-Enders understand your personal allusions?
Mr. Bag. Well, you see, the people in the front rows will, which is all I want.
Lady Honor (suspiciously). Isn't Mrs. Jarley out of Pickwick, though? That's DICKENS surely!
Mr. Bag. (reassuringly). Nothing but the name, Lady HONOR. I make up all the patter myself, so that'll be all right—just good-natured chaff, you know; if any body's a offended—as I've known them to be—it's no fault of mine.
Mrs. Flitt. Oh! I'm sure you will make it funny,—and about getting someone to preside—I suppose we ought to ask the Vicar of the nearest church?
Lady Honor. Wouldn't it be better to get somebody—a—more in Society, don't you know?
Mrs. Flitt. Yes; and he might offer to pay for hiring the Hall, and the other expenses. I never thought of that. I'll see whom I can get. Really I think it ought to be great fun, and we shall have the satisfaction of feeling we are doing real good, which is such a comfort!
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* * * * *
A Tip to Teetotallers.
TEMPERANCE is good—but not alone in Drink! Good causes are not won, whate'er you think, By bullying indulgence in bad manners. A total abstinence from aught unfair Will serve you best. Your Standard raise in air, But Banners of Intemperance should not tear Passions to rags—nor Banners!
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THE Times of April 12 says:—"The Kachin (or Katchin) rising is stated to be serious, and likely to spread." Not to be wondered at, as it's "Katchin."
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A TELEGRAM from Fez ought to be considered as coming from Head-quarters.
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To the Editor of "The St-nd-rd."
SIR,—Allow me to mention, under all reserve, that I frequently preach a sermon of JEREMY TAYLOR'S, or the Judicious HOOKER'S, to my congregation, with excellent effect, and hitherto without any discovery on their part of the origin of the discourse. I, of course, alter the old-fashioned phrases, and bring the sermons up to date, so to speak. This plan saves the inconvenience of having to pay for sermons, which I could not do in cash in these days of clerical destitution, only in sermon paper, which I fear would not be accepted. If I am accused of "cribbing sermons," I deny the charge with indignation. I don't crib JEREMY, I adapt him. Does every dramatist, who adapts from the French, acknowledge the fact? Not at all! Neither does—
SIR,—My congregation is a rustic one. I have tried them with my own sermons, but my pewrents suffered so severely in consequence, that I have been obliged to give them up. Last Sunday (following the advice of a lay friend of mine in Town, in whom I have much confidence) I preached one of Prebendary SHEEPSHANKS' "Crampton Lectures" to them, and the farmers and labourers seemed much impressed. There was, in fact, hardly an open eye in Church during the hour and a half that the delivery lasted. The Charity-School children, too, who sat through the whole of it, only had to be physically admonished by their teacher about once in every half-minute. When an old village dame afterwards assured me that "she didn't know I was that larned," I felt—momentarily—rather like a wolf in SHEEPSHANKS' clothes. But I intend going through the course.
Yours, &c., PASTOR IGNOTUS.
* * * * *
TYRO.—You are quite right—a four-in-hand is worth two in the bush, which, as you justly observe, no good wine needs. To handle the reins correctly, proceed as follows. Divide the sum-total of all the reins measured to a millimetre by half a forefinger, no allowance being made for chalk-stones, or stiff knuckles. Multiply the quotient by the off-wheel-rein, and add the near leader's blinkers to the result. Then pass your left thumb under your right middle finger, taking care at the same time to tie the off-leading-rein round your neck in a sailor's knot. Add six yards of whipcord to the near leader's shoulders, subtract yourself from the box, and send us your doctor's bill, for purposes of comparison.
WHO'S WHO?—(1) Roundabout Sammy is a very promising horse, by Engineer, out of Little Joker. He was not bred in France, for, though there is a Parisian accent about some of his neighs, there is a distinctly British look about his nose. He is a trifle cobby, no doubt, but he is a capital feeder, and should go well in a double harness, with 84 'Pommery, his constant stable companion. (2.) Peat Moss Litter is not generally used for soup, or table decorations. (3.) The appearance you refer to is probably rubinosis brandiginiata. It is due to the absorption of liquor per haustum. The snakes you sent us are indigenous to the hill-country of Del Trementi.
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UNCLE TOBY AND WIDOW WADMAN.
(MODERN ULSTER VERSION.)
A Fragment after the Fashion of Sterne.
Uncle Toby Mr. J-HN B-LL. Widow Wadman Mrs. ULST-R.
"I AM half distracted, Captain SHANDY," said Mrs. WADMAN, holding up her cambric handkerchief to her left eye, as she approached the door of my Uncle TOBY'S Sentry-Box—"a mote, or sand, or small fly, or something, I know not what, has got into this eye of mine. The Gardener declares it is one of those Green Flies which are the pest of this Distressful Country. I refuse to believe that. There never was, never will, never can, never shall be any Green in my eye. But whatever it is, mote or beam, it is awfully irritating. Do look into it; it is not in the white, or perhaps I should say—for I am a brunette of olive complexion, you know—in the Yellow——"
In saying which, Mrs. WADMAN edged herself close in beside my Uncle TOBY, and squeezing herself down upon the corner of his bench, she gave him an opportunity of doing it without rising up "Do look into it!" said she.
Honest soul! Thou wast ever being adjured to "look into" things, all sorts of things, from Widow's eyes to matters of far wider scope, and infinitely less simplicity and clarity. And thou didst look into it with as much innocency and simple good-will as ever child looked into a raree show-box.
If a man will be prying, of his own accord, into things of such ticklish and troublesome, not to say perilous nature—I've nothing to say to it.
My Uncle TOBY never did, being naturally of an unobservant and easy-going nature; and I will answer for him, that he would have sat quietly in his seat in that Sentry Box or the House from February to September (which you know were his favourite months for serious Session) with an eye as fine and soft as the Thracian Rhodope's, or as threatening and commanding as that of Mars—even a hectoring fiery thrasonic Hibernian Mars—himself, without being able to tell whether it was a black or a blue one, or even a Green or a Yellow.
The difficulty was to get my Uncle TOBY to look into things at all.
'Tis surmounted. And——
I see him yonder, with his pipe pendulous in his hand, and the ashes falling out of it, looking, and looking, then rubbing his eyes and looking again, with twice the good-nature that ever GALILEO looked for a spot in the sun.
In vain! For by all the powers which animate the organ, Widow WADMAN'S left eye shines this moment as lucid as her right. 'Tis true the unfortunate, and something irate lady—and what lady would not be irate at the charge of having aught of Green in her eye?—hath with her cambric handkerchief rubbed the sinister orb into a state of roseate irritation—externally—but there is neither mote, nor sand, nor dust, nor chaff, nor speck, nor fly,—Green or otherwise—nor particle of solid opaque matter floating in it. 'Tis, indeed, pure optic illusion on the Widow's part, illusion born, perchance, partly of fear, partly of pique. There is nothing, my dear paternal Uncle, but one lambent, feverish fire, deliciously attractive, even in its angry heat, fascinating even whilst phlogistic, shooting out from every part of it, in all directions, into thine——
——If thou lookest, Uncle TOBY, in search of this imaginary mote one moment longer—thou art undone.
An eye is, for all the world, exactly like a cannon in this respect; that it is not so much the eye or the cannon, in themselves, as it is the carriage of the eye—and the carriage of the cannon, by which both the one and the other are enabled to do so much execution. The Widow's eye, owing mainly to the militant and menacing carriage thereof, looked as formidable as a whole park of artillery, ranged up to defend a final fortification, or, as it might be, Last Ditch of defence. Whether it were exactly as fierce or formidable as it seemed—well, that was a question which my Uncle TOBY had not yet fully "looked into"—as he was now doing into Widow WADMAN'S left eye.
"I protest, Madam," said my Uncle TOBY, "I can see nothing whatever in your eye!"
But this was not what the Widow wanted.
"It is not in the white, or yellow," said Mrs. WADMAN. My Uncle TOBY looked with might and main into the pupil.
Now there never, surely, was an eye so fitted to rob my Uncle TOBY of his repose as the very eye at which he was looking. It was not, Madam, a rolling eye, a dissatisfied or a revolutionary one—nor was it an eye wicked, wanton, or wandering—but it was an eye sparkling, petulant, and imperious, of high claims, and large exactions—an eye full of brisk challenges and sharp responses, an eye of satisfied strength and confident ascendancy—speaking, not like the dulcet appeal of a mellow flute, but like the trumpet stop of some powerful party organ. The cornea was perhaps a shade sallow or so, even verging on the Widow's favourite Yellow—(for the Widow, like some modern decorative artists, was sweet upon all tawny tints, from the most delicate buff to the most flamboyant Orange)—but as to any touch, tint, or tone of her chromatic antipathy, Green——!!!
"Now, dear Mr. SHANDY," cried the Widow, edging nearer, and opening the optic to its widest, "tell me—tell me truly, do you, can you detect the slightest suspicion of Green in my eye——?"
"I protest, Madam," said my Uncle TOBY, "I can see nothing whatever of the sort!"
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THE B. AND S. DRAMA AT THE ADELPHI.
"SOME one has blundered!" Who? The Messrs. GATTI, in sending to Messrs. BUCHANAN and SIMS ("B. & S.") for an Adelphi melodrama? Surely not! These two might have been trusted to turn out the right article. So the GATTIS leave the Court without a stain on their managerial character. Therefore, 'tis the brother-authors, "hoi Adelphoi," who have blundered. Undoubtedly. An Adelphi audience is not to be satisfied with a one-scene piece, when that scene is without any incident in it worth a melodramatic father's cuss. A fancy-dress ball at Covent Garden, however well put on the stage,—and, after all, it has not beaten the record of the Masked Ball at the Opera House in Paris, as given in Mr. IRVING'S revival of The Corsican Brothers,—will not carry a piece of far stronger calibre than The Black Domino, and it won't carry this. Neither will a charming "set," representing the terrace of the "Star and Garter," at Richmond, carry a piece to a successful finale, if the audience has lost all interest in the characters, and does not very much care what becomes of any one of them, male or female. To the play-goer it is not attractive; he has seen it all before. "He knows that man and that woman,—they come from Sheffield;" i.e., the persons and the incidents are taken out of a lot of dramas which dwell in his memory, from BOUCICAULT'S Formosa at Drury Lane, up to OSCAR'S Lady Windermere's Fan at the St. James's. Of course, my imaginary play-goer is the Bill of the play, who has "matured," and is not a junior member of the Play-goer's Club. Then, in the old blind German, there is a touch of TOM TAYLOR'S Helping Hands, and, as for all the rest of the characters, well, they can be found in the common stock-pot of the melodramatic authors of the last half-century, for, like SHAKSPEARE himself, these wicked lawyers and gamblers—the aiders and a-betters—are "not for an age" (would they were, and that age passed!) "but for all time!"
Nothing saves the piece from being absolutely dull, except the admirable acting, and, I may add, the scenery. It is impossible to count upon renewing such effects as those in Formosa, The Flying Scud, and in the Prodigal Daughter at Drury Lane, wherein the wrong horse was poisoned (in a really dramatic scene), and LEONARD BOYNE, riding the winner, cleared the brook, thus causing part-author DRURIOLANUS to clear—any amount of money. There are no two exciting scenes like these in this Adelphi drama. Its comic relief is "poor relief," and would go for nothing at all, were it not in the hands of Mr. DALE, who played and sang so well in Miss Decima at the Criterion, and of the vivacious Miss CLARA JECKS.
Mr. W. DENNIS, as the Earl of Arlington, is own brother to the old Peer in The Bauble Shop. Perhaps this is a tribute to the representative of the aristocracy at the Criterion, or it indicates with great subtlety that, like Members of Parliament, "Peers are, after all, human—very human," and that one old Peer is uncommonly like another old Peer. Miss EVELYN MILLARD, as the soprano heroine, and Mrs. PATRICK CAMPBELL as the base heroine, look handsome, and act excellently. They take the audience with them as far as the audience will go. As good as they possibly can be in such conventional puppet-parts are Messrs. GLENNY and ABINGDON, the first as the well-intentioned but weak-willed Lord Dashwood, and the second as that old-fashioned scoundrel, Captain Greville. Mr. ARTHUR WILLIAMS rather suggests Mr. BLAKELEY as the oily, scoundrelly lawyer, Joshua Honybun; and Mr. LE HAY gives variety to the entertainment (which is his special line) in the entirely new and original character part of an Irish Major, with nothing particularly humorous to say, and nothing at all, humorous, or otherwise, to do.
Something new in Melodrama is wanted, and Melodrama "all of the modern time" is played out, unless a genius can hit on a new sensation. The Adelphi piece, however, has its advantages, and among these its chiefest is, that it necessitates the taking of light refreshment immediately afterwards. Fortunately, the Adelphi is close to our old friend RULE'S in Maiden Lane, and for this hospitable shelter our party made in haste; and, before the arrival of the crowd of supper-numeraries, gained a table, on which were soon placed appetising and drinkatising oysters, followed by the grateful stout. "Pretty to see," as PEPYS hath it, at the very next table to us, the good hero of the drama welcoming the double-dyed villain, chiding him for being a few minutes late, and then drowning all past dramatic animosities in the flowing bowl. "See how these players love one another!" So have I seen politicians, mortal enemies in the House, hob-nobbing together at the dinner-table of some hospitable Impartial. "And thus it is," said I to myself, said I, "that 'all the world's a stage, and men and women' like to have supper after the play and enjoy themselves generally." So philosophising, we, my companion and I, lighted the pipe of peace—I should say a cigar a-piece—and returned home satisfied with our excellent supper. Vive BAYLISS! BRITANNIA rules the waves, and this is the last month for oysters till the arrival of another month with an "r" in it; but, en attendant, there will appear some very small, very sweet, and very digestible lobsters! "Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle?" But an indifferent play is well worth a first-rate supper, which may be a shell-fish view, but at all events, if (like the jest) it be "a poor thing," yet 'tis mine own (for the time being), and thereto I sign my hand.
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SIR JOHN GILBERT, R.A., has given his pictures to Liverpool to be arranged in "The Walker Gallery." This is rather like saying "Walker" to any Gallery, London. Great opportunity for advertisement to J. L. T. of T**LE'S Theatre.
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ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday, April 10.—"Quite refreshing," murmured GRANDOLPH, looking round at the Party, to which, as he said at Liverpool the other day, he is thoroughly attached, "to see how good Conservatives enjoy CHAMBERLAIN'S Speech. They are as jubilant now as they were a few years ago, when I attacked JOSEPH in connection with Aston-Park Riots. A topsy-turvy world; most of us where we never thought to find ourselves, or be found; oddest of all, surely, is to hear CHAMBERLAIN of Birmingham enthusiastically cheered in House of Commons by great Conservative Party. They mean it, too," GRANDOLPH added, still scanning the beaming faces on the Benches behind. "It is almost an intellectual delight to them."
"Yes," said PLUNKET, "they are acutely pleased to hear so smartly said what they think they thought."
Truly a stirring of the sluggish pool during hour and half that CHAMBERLAIN stepped in. Speech full of bitterness; effect immeasurably increased by perfect equability of manner, and the utterance of a voice ever soft and low—a beautiful thing in a man who says nasty things of parted friends. If one stone deaf had sat in Gallery and watched JOSEPH, as he gracefully bent over towards Treasury Bench, whereon sat his one-time revered Leader and the still faithful band of followers, he would naturally have imagined JOSEPH was complimenting him and them upon the perfectness of their measure, and the prospect of the Irish wilderness, under its beneficent influence, blossoming like the rose. Deaf man would have been mistaken; JOSEPH saying nothing of the kind; indeed, quite the reverse, as deaf man, turning his eyes on Mr. G., would begin to suspect.
Wide differences between Mr. G. and J. C.; none so marked as their demeanour throughout debate. The wilder the storm of interruption rages round JOSEPH, the more urbane he becomes, and the more dangerous. Mr. G., standing on the commanding eminence he has built for himself in the House of Commons, is the sport of most inconsiderable Member. Anyone, with whatever bungling hand, can "draw" him. To-night, whilst JOSEPH smiled his way through all the spiteful things he had stored up for gratification of old friends, Mr. G. sat restless, with clouded brow, face pale with anger, every now and then springing up with hot correction. Which was just what JOSEPH wanted to achieve.
Business done.—Third Day Debate on Second Reading Home-Rule Bill.
Tuesday.—ELLIS ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Knight) back again. "He's Knight and Morning," said leal TOM SUTHERLAND, of the P. & O., looking on admiringly from the starboard poop. In a sense this is true, for ASHMEAD gave us a full hour's discourse last night, and here in broad day, on threshold of another sitting, proposes to add another forty minutes. PRINCE ARTHUR had quite a time with him last night. He was, so to speak, the Boy left on the Burning Deck whence all but he Had Fled. Right Hon. Gentlemen on Front Opposition Bench, following example set in other parts of House, cleared out when ASHMEAD appeared at table with prodigious roll of manuscript in red right hand. PRINCE ARTHUR looked wistfully towards door, but, remembering leading precept of OLD MORALITY, determined to stay, and do duty to QUEEN and Country. So sat it out till midnight struck; Debate automatically closed, and SPEAKER called on next Order of the Day.
ASHMEAD, pleased with his success, and pondering on fresh delights in store for House when it met again, remained standing at table, reflectively arranging his papers. Horrible thought suddenly struck him; froze his veins, and paled his brow. With generous desire that country should fully share advantages of House, he had his speech printed in advance. Copies sent to newspapers. Suppose they printed it all, whereas he had not found opportunity to deliver more than half of it! Awakened from reverie by violent tugging at coat-tails. This was PRINCE ARTHUR, signalling him to sit down, with perhaps unnecessary vigour. But PRINCE ARTHUR had a long score (fully an hour long) to pay off.
Great speech finished at to-day's sitting; another hour saw it through. "I think I had my hour last night," said PRINCE ARTHUR, as, on rising of his esteemed colleague, he hastily passed out. Example again contagious; Benches emptied; but ELLIS ASHMEAD pounded along. There was the speech reproachfully facing him in its portentous-printed length; must be reeled off, though the glass roof fell. Did it at last; sat down, flushed, and triumphant. Members, warily assuring themselves speech really finished, began to stream back again, till all the Benches filled to hear DAVITT. Excellent speech; full of human nature; illumined by gleams of grim, humour; better if it had been shorter by a third; but quality so good, that House, now crowded, sat it all out.
"Curious to think," said the Squire of Malwood, who just now has unusually full opportunities for reflection, "that a few years ago DAVITT was working out the Irish Question with a rope over his shoulder, dragging a cart of stones through the court-yard of one of Her Majesty's prisons. No one, casually coming across him at Portland, would have ventured to forecast the hour when, standing up, the centre of interest in an applauding House of Commons, he should have had an opportunity of reasoning with the only occasionally DUM BARTON, warning him against the practice of treason-felony, and reminding him that the pathway to the Bench does not lie by way of the dock. No parallel in politics to the Irish Question. Some of us have our earlier studies interrupted by a sentence of imprisonment; others, I daresay, will, later on, find in similar chaste repose opportunity of reviewing our connection with it."
Involuntarily the eye of the Great Philosopher rested on the graceful figure of PRINCE ARTHUR, whose speech at Belfast, on the Philosophy of Rebellion, DAVITT just now cited in justification of the overt acts that led him to Portland.
Business done.—Fourth Night Home-Rule Debate.
Thursday.—"In spite of all temptation, I have hitherto remained a Member of House of Commons," CHAPLIN said to me just now. "I might by this time, had I pleased, been a Duke, and my most unscrupulous detractor will not deny that is a position I could fill with pictorial effect; but I've stuck to the Commons, and this is my reward."
Truly a striking episode. CHAPLIN delivered oration on Home-Rule Bill hour and half long. Had sat up night and day with it, polishing its rotund periods, till, as PRINCE ARTHUR whispers, "CHAPLIN, gazing upon their surface, saw not himself, but DEMOSTHENES." Fortune favoured him in opportunity. Member for Sunderland had secured privilege of resuming Debate after Questions. Resolved to make long STOREY short, he sacrificed his position. CHAPLIN nimbly stepped in, and reasonably looked forward to crowning epoch in shining Parliamentary career. To open or resume Debate between four and five in afternoon is a prized opportunity; accident had placed it within CHAPLIN'S grasp; the hour had struck, and here, at the table, was the Man.
Alack, for the instability of human prospects! When the House, fairly full, beheld the sunny presence at the table, watched it produce the vaporous folds of manuscript, noted the shrug of satisfaction with which it set about its self-appointed task, it folded its tent like the Arab, and, though not as silently, stole away. Trundled and bundled out, with ostentatious indifference to great orator, the fund of information he had garnered, the counsel with which he was charged. CHAPLIN had brought statesmanship and literature of Europe into review, picking out from encyclopaedic stores testimony to destruction of Mr. G.'s pet scheme. The very names quoted were a liberal education—Mr. LECKY, Count BEUST, CAVOUR, Dr. GEFFCKEN, M. DE MOLINARIS. And then interposes the SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE with bland deferential inquiry—
"I beg the Right Hon. Gentleman's pardon, I did not catch the name. Was it M. APOLLINARIS?"
CHAPLIN stared haughtily over SAGE'S head, and went on. So did fragments of audience, the latter towards the door, till, almost in solitude, there rolled forth the treasured peroration. This bad, but worse followed, when immediately succeeded an obscure Irishman, whom CHAPLIN vaguely remembers a few years back as a Committee Clerk, or something of that kind. Benches swiftly filled up, and an assembly that vaunts itself most critical audience in the world followed, with rapt attention, the simple sentences of obscure JOHN REDMOND, Ex-Committee Clerk—this same audience that had scornfully treated the portentous periods of the Right Hon. HENRY CHAPLIN, sometime Cabinet Minister.
Business done.—Fifth Night's Debate.
Friday.—Prince ARTHUR, enumerating Statesmen anxious to speak in Debate, doling them out at the rate of one a day, omitted Cousin CRANBORNE. Doubtless accidental; Noble Lord has his revenge; worked off his speech to-night whilst ASQUITH addressing House. Consisted of only single word; effect instantaneous, startling. Into ASQUITH'S fervent eulogium on DAVITT, CRANBORNE dropped the additional description, "Murderer." Was only thinking aloud as he explained to House; just talking genially to himself; regretted he was overheard, and begged to apologise.
"It's the principle of heredity," said TIM HEALY; "the father calls us all Hottentots; the son accuses one of us of murder."
Business done.—Sixth Night's Debate on Home-Rule Bill.
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