PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI
FEBRUARY 11, 1893
THE LAST WOMAN.
(A contemporary Pendant to "The Last Man.")
[It is stated that the dreaded Crinoline has actually made its appearance in one or two quarters.]
All modish shapes must melt in gloom, Great WORTH himself must die, Before the Sex again assume EVE'S sweet simplicity! I saw a vision in my sleep, Which made me bow my head and weep As one aghast, accurst! Was it a spook before me past? Of women I beheld the last, As ADAM saw the first.
Regent Street seemed "No Thoroughfare," Bond Street looked weird, inhuman; The spectres of past fashions were Around that lonely Woman. Some were the work of native hands, Some had arrived from foreign lands, Nondescript jumbles some! Pall-Mall had now nor sound nor tread, Park Lane was silent as the dead, Belgravia was dumb.
Yet, lighthouse-like, that lone one stood, Or whisked her skirts around, Like a wild wind that sweeps the wood, And strews with leaves the ground. Singing, "Our hour is come, O Sun Of Fashion! We'll have no more fun. Solitude is too slow! True thou hast worn ten thousand shapes (In spite of man's sour gibes and japes), But—now the thing lacks go.
"What though the grumbler Man put forth His pompous power and skill! He could not make Woman and WORTH The vassals of his will;— Fashion, I mourn thy parted sway, Thou dim discrowned Queen! To play To empty box and stall; To dress—when not another She Exists to quicken rivalry— No, it won't pay at all!
"Go, let oblivion's curtain fall Upon the works of men! Nothing they did that's worth recall, With sword, or spade, or pen. Their bumptious bunglings bring not back! Man always was a noisy quack Who thought himself a god; But when he fancied he had scored Prodigiously, the Sex he bored Subdued him with a nod.
"Now I am weary. No one tries The fit of new attire! Doom, that the joys of Dress denies, Bids Woman's bliss expire. But shall La Mode know final death? Forbid it Woman's latest breath! Death—who is male—shan't boast The eclipse of Fashion. Such a pall Shall not like Darkness cover all— Till I give up the ghost!
"What would most vex and worry him, Dull, modeless Man, whose spark Long (beside Woman's) burning dim, Has now gone down in dark? Ha! He'd kick up the greatest shine (If he could kick) at—CRINOLINE. Were he recalled to breath, I'll have one last man-mocking spree By donning hooped skirts. Victory! This takes all sting from Death!
"Go, Sun, while Fashion holds me up, Swollen skirt and skimpy waist Shall fill—male—sorrow's bitter cup, And mortify—male—taste! Go, tell the spheres that sweep through space, Thou saw'st the last of EVE'S fair race, In high ecstatic passion; The darkening universe defy, To quench her taste for Toggery, Or shake her faith in Fashion!"
* * * * *
* * * * *
A PLAINT FROM PARNASSUS.
(By an "Unrecommended" Resident.)
[Mr. GLADSTONE (replying to Mr. JOHNSTON, of Ballykilbeg) announced that no recommendation had been submitted to Her MAJESTY upon the subject of the succession to the office of Poet Laureate, and that there was no immediate intention of submitting one.]
Glorious Apollo! This is wondrous hard! Fancy JOHN BULL without Official Bard! His plight is sad as that of the great men Who lived, unmarked by the Poetic Pen, Before great AGAMEMNON. Ah, my HORACE, Britons are a Boeotian, heavy, slow race! As for the "Statesman" who treats bards so shabbily, 'Twill serve him right if thine "illacrimabile" Applies to him. A Premier, but no Poet? England, you are dishonoured, and don't know it. Void of a Sacer Vates to enshrine In gorgeous trope and long-resounding line, Thy Victories, and Weddings, Shows and Valour? Parnassus shakes, the Muses pine in pallor. When foreign princelings mate our sweet princesses, When Rads of fleets and armies made sad messes, And stand in need of verbal calcitration; When—let's say ASHMEAD-BARTLETT—saves the nation In the great name of glorious Saint Jingo; When BULL gives toko or delivers stingo. To Fuzzy-Wuzzy, or such foolish savages; When our great guns commit most gallant ravages Among the huts of some unhappy village, Where naughty "niggers" have gone in for pillage; When SOMEONE condescends to be high-born, Or deigns to die, who now shall toot the horn, Or twang the lyre, emitting verse divine, For Fame and—say, about a pound per line? I must submit. I have not been "submitted," But poetless JOHN BULL is to be pitied. Of course self-praise is no "recommendation," (In GLADSTONE'S sense) or else, unhappy nation, I, even I, could spare you natural worry at, Your non-possession of a Poet-Laureate!
* * * * *
IN A PICKWICKIAN SENSE.—When "a nate Irishman" (as the song has it) "meets with a friend," he incontinently "for love knocks him down," whether with a "sprig of shillelagh" or a "flower of speech," depends upon circumstances. In either case he "means no harm," or at any rate far less harm than the phlegmatic and matter-of-fact Saxon is apt to fancy. Probably, therefore, an "Irish Phrase Book," giving the real "meaning" of Hibernian rhetorical epithets, would prove a great peacemaker, in Parliament and out. Colonel SAUNDERSON, when he had recovered his temper, and with it his wit, "toned down" the provocative "murderous ruffian," into the inoffensive "excited politician." But what a pity it is that "excited politicians" so often string themselves up to (verbal) "ruffianism."
* * * * *
THE LAST LIGHT.
It scarce can be thou art the last To fade before my watchful gaze; So short the part that each one plays, A flickering flame, and life is past.
And thou wert clothed in robe of snow, A crimson veil around thy head, And now thou liest, charred and dead, Erstwhile with ruddy fire aglow.
I held thee in a fond embrace To guard thee from the whistling wind; And not another can I find To comfort me and take thy place.
And though I lay aside my weeds, Yet like a widow I bemoan; Nor all the wealth the Indies own, Could satisfy my present needs.
Thy spark has vanished from my sight, Useless cigar, tobacco, pipe; Of perfect misery the type, A man without another light.
* * * * *
EMPLOYMENT FOR THE UNEMPLOYED.—On Tuesday, in last week, the Unemployed had their hands full, when at Temple Avenue they unsuccessfully attempted to overcome the effective resistance of the Police. The Unemployed might have been better employed.
* * * * *
THE STAR OF HOPE.
(A New Naval Ode.)
[The Royal Commission on Telegraphic Communication between Lighthouses and Lightships and the Shore, have issued their first report recommending immediate action in the more urgent cases. Dealing with the same subject, on November 28, 1891, Mr. Punch said:—
"Punch pictures with prophetic pen, a brighter, cheerier page, Which must be turned, and speedily."—See "The Sweet Little Cherub that Sits up Aloft," (Modern Version as it Must Be) Vol. ci., p. 254.
Mr. Punch is mightily pleased that his injunction has been obeyed, and that his prophecy is in process of fulfilment.]
Ye Mariners of England, Shipwrecked in our home seas, How this will calm your wives' wild fears, And give your stout hearts ease! Hope's blue eyes gleam above the main, Her lifted light will glow, And sweep o'er the deep, When the stormy winds do blow; When the tempest rages loud and long, And the stormy winds do blow.
The spirit comfort gathers, From schemes designed to save Brave fellows, who have dared the deep, Near home to find a grave. See how o'er rock and quicksand fell, The Electric ray doth glow, And sweep o'er the deep, While the stormy winds do blow; While the tempest rages loud and long, And the stormy winds do blow!
BRITANNIA needs as bulwarks Light-towers along the steep, To save her gallant sons from graves Near home, though on the deep. With levin as from Jovian hand She'll light the floods below, As they roar on the shore, When the stormy winds do blow; When the tempest rages loud and long, And the stormy winds do blow.
The Mariners of England Glad eyes shall shoreward turn In danger's night. Behold, brave hearts, Where the Star of Hope doth burn! Science, tired by Humanity, Their grateful song shall flow To the fame of your name, When the storm has ceased to blow; When the storm is o'er, and they're safe ashore, Thanks to Hope's beacon-glow!
* * * * *
Q. Are there any Lighthouses away from the Coast?—A. Certainly. Q. Where?—A. In London. Q. Name them.—A. The Comedy, Toole's, the Opera Comique, and Strand. All Light-and-leading Houses.
* * * * *
* * * * *
A METROPOLITAN MAYOR'S NEST.
["The Common Council is stated to have appointed a 'Fighting Committee' to oppose the Unification of London, and to take steps for the formation of separate Municipalities in different parts of the Metropolis."—Daily Paper.]
Lord Mayor's Day.—Ah, if only we had not got Parliament to sanction the plan of splitting London up into distinct Municipalities, what a proud day this would be for me! As it is, must try and remember that I am not LORD MAYOR of London at all, but only Mayor of the new Corporate Borough of Cripplegate Without, one of the half-dozen boroughs into which the old City has been divided.
The Show.—Well, thank goodness, we do keep that up! All the 674 Mayors of all the different districts of London take part in it. That reminds me that I must put on my Civic robes, edged with imitation ermine, and my aluminium chain of office, and prepare to start. A little hitch to begin with. Mayors all assembled outside Guildhall. Mayor of South-South-West Hammersmith tries to join us. Nobody seems to know him. Very suspicious, especially as, on referring to official records, we find that there is no such borough as South-South-West Hammersmith! We tell him so. He replies, sulkily, that it was created last night by a Special Vote of the South-West Hammersmith Town Council, who found the work getting too much for them, and that, anyhow, "he intends to take part in the procession." Awkward—but we have to yield.
In the Streets.—The 675 Mayors don't inspire as much respect as I should like. Perhaps it is due to the fact that a regular scramble took place for seats in the old LORD MAYOR'S Coach, in the course of which the Mayor of Tottenham Court Road was badly pommeled by the Mayor of Battersea Rise, and the coach itself had one side knocked out of it. Also that we other Mayors have to follow on foot, and are repeatedly asked if we are a procession of the Unemployed!
At the Law Courts.—In the good old days Lord Chief Justice used to deliver a flowery harangue congratulating the Chief Magistrate on his elevation. But who is the Chief Magistrate now? To-day a free fight among the Mayors to get first into the Court. In consequence, Chief Justice angrily orders Court to be cleared, and threatens to commit us for contempt! Yet surely in former days a Judge would have been imprisoned in the deepest dungeons of the Mansion House for much less.
Evening.—The hospitable custom of the Ministerial banquet still retained. Prime Minister adopts tactics of the Music Hall "Lion Comique," and, after addressing a few genial words to the guests assembled at the table of the Mayor of West Ham, jumps into brougham, and appears a few minutes later at Mayor of Shadwell's banquet, and so on to Poplar and Whitechapel, and as many as he can crowd in. Other Ministers do the same. Still, not enough Cabinet Councillors to go round, and to-night I am horrified to find that the assistant Under-Secretary to the deputy Labour Commissioner had been chosen to reply to the toast of the health of the Ministry at my banquet! Ichabod, indeed! [By the way, what a good name for a new Lord Mayor, "Ichabod," say, if knighted, "Sir THOMAS ICHABOD." Air to be played by band on his entering Guildhall, "Ichabody meet a body." But alas! these are dreams! Ichabod!] Yet, as the only building in which the Mayor of Cripplegate Without can entertain his guest is the fourth floor of an unused warehouse, perhaps we really don't deserve a higher official. Still, one can't help regretting that the City, in its natural dread of the so-called "Unification of London," persuaded the Government to agree to this sort of "Punification of London."
* * * * *
TOAST FOR THE NEXT "QUEENSLAND MEAT" BANQUET.—"The Army, the Gravy, and the Preserved Forces!"
* * * * *
THE MAN FROM BLANKLEY'S.
A STORY IN SCENES.
SCENE V.—The Dining-room; walls distempered chocolate; gaselier with opal-tinted globes; two cast-iron Cavaliers holding gas-lamps on the mantel-piece. Oil-portrait, enlarged from photograph, of Mrs. TIDMARSH, over side-board; on other walls, engravings—"Belshazzar's Feast," "The Wall of Wailing at Jerusalem," and DORE'S "Christian Martyrs." The guests have just sat down; Lord STRATHSPORRAN is placed between Miss SEATON and his hostess, and opposite Mr. GILWATTLE.
Lord Strath. (to himself). Deuced quaint-looking people—wish they wouldn't all eat their soup at me! Why can't somebody say something? Wonder who's the Lady in black, all over big silver tears—like a foreign funeral. Don't feel equal to talking to MARJORY again till I've had some Sherry. (After sipping it.) Wormwood, by Jove! Champagne will probably be syrup—touch old GILWATTLE up if he isn't careful—ah, he jibs at the Sherry!
Uncle Gab. Where the dickens did MONTY get this stuff, MARIA? Most 'strordinary bitter taste!
Mrs. Tid. (to herself, in an agony). I knew that bottle of GWENNIE'S Quinine Wine had got down into the cellar somehow! (Aloud.) Don't drink it, Uncle, please, if it isn't quite what you like!
Uncle Gab. I'll take his Lordship's opinion. What do you think of this Sherry, my Lord? Don't you find it rather—eh?
Lord Strath. (observing his hostess frown at him imperiously). Oh, excellent, Sir—very—er—mellow and agreeable!
Uncle Gab. Ha—yes—now your Lordship mentions it, there's a sort of nuttiness about it.
[He empties his glass.
Lord Strath. (to himself). There is—a rotten-nuttiness! I'm hanged if he hasn't bolted it! Wonderful old Johnny!
Mrs. Tid. (to him, in an under-tone). You said quite the right thing!
Lord Strath. (ambiguously). Oh, not at all!
[Turbot and lobster-sauce are taken round, and conversation becomes general.
Conversational Scraps. Assure you if I touch the smallest particle of lobster it instantly flies to my.... Yes, alive. A dear friend of mine positively had to leave her lodgings at the seaside—she was so disturbed by the screams of the lobsters being boiled in the back-kitchen.... I was reading only the other day that oysters' hearts continue to beat down to the very moment they are being assimilated.... What they must suffer, poor dears! Couldn't there be a law that they should only be eaten under chloroform, or something?... I never get tired of turbot—cod, now, I don't care for, and salmon I like—but I can't digest—why, is more than I can tell you.—(&c.)
Miss Seaton. (to herself.) To see DOUGLAS here a—a paid parasite—and actually seeming to enjoy his food—it's like some dreadful nightmare—I can't believe it! But I'm glad he hasn't the face to speak to me!
Lord Strath. (to SEAKALE offering Hock.) If you please. (To himself, after tasting.) Why, it's quite decent! I begin to feel up to having this out with MARJORY. (Aloud.) Miss SEATON, isn't it rather ridiculous for two such old friends as we are to sit through dinner in deadly silence? Can't you bring yourself to talk to me? we shan't be overheard. You might tell me why you think me such a ruffian—it would start us, at any rate!
Miss Seaton. I don't want to be started—and if you really don't know why I hate your coming here in this way, Lord STRATHSPORRAN, it's useless to explain!
Lord Strath. Oh, we got as far as that upstairs, didn't we? And I may be very dense, but for the life of me I can't see yet why I shouldn't have come! Of course, I didn't know I was in for this exactly, but, to tell you the truth, I'm by way of being here on business, and I didn't care much whether they were cheery or not, so long as I got what I came for, don't you know!
Miss Seaton. Of course, that is the main thing in your eyes—but I didn't think you would confess it!
Lord Strath. Why, you know how keen I used to be about my Egyptian work—you remember the book on Hieroglyphs I always meant to write? I'm getting on with it, though of course my time's a good deal taken up just now. And, whether I get anything out of these people or not, I've met you again, MARJORY—I don't mind anything else!
Miss Seaton. Don't remind me of—of what you used to be, and—and you are not to call me MARJORY any more. We have met—and I only hope and pray we may never meet again. Please don't talk any more!
Lord Strath. (to himself.) That's a facer! I wonder if MARJORY'S quite—is this the effect of that infernal influenza?
Mrs. Tid. (to him in an under-tone). You and Miss SEATON appear to be on very familiar terms. I really feel it my duty to ask you when and how you made the acquaintance of my daughter's governess.
Lord Strath. (to himself). The governess! That explains a lot. Poor little MARJORY! (Aloud.) Really? I congratulate you. I had the honour of knowing Miss SEATON in Scotland a year or two ago, and this is the first time we have met since.
Mrs. Tid. Indeed? That is so far satisfactory. I hope you will understand that, so long as Miss SEATON is in my employment, I cannot allow her to—er—continue your acquaintanceship—it is not as if you were in a position——
Lord Strath. (with suppressed wrath.) Forgive me—but, as Miss SEATON shows no desire whatever to renew my acquaintance, I don't see that we need discuss my position, or hers either. And I must decline to do so.
Mrs. Tid. (crimsoning.) Oh, very well. I am not accustomed to be told what subjects I am to discuss at my own table, but (scathingly) no doubt your position here gives you the right to be independent—ahoo!
Lord Strath. I venture to think so. (To himself.) Can't make this woman out—is she trying to be rude, or what?
Uncle Gab. Hullo, your Lordship's got no Champagne! How's that? It's all right—"FIZZLER, '84," my Lord!
Lord Strath. I daresay—but the fact is, I am strictly forbidden to touch it.
Uncle Gab. Pooh!—if your Lordship will excuse the remark—this won't do you any harm—comes out of my own cellar, so I ought to know. (To SEAKALE.) Here, you, fill his Lordship's glass, d'ye hear?
Mrs. Tid. (in a rapid whisper.) Don't make a fuss—you can take one glass as he wishes it!
Lord Strath. (to himself.) Can I though? If she imagines I'm going to poison myself to please her uncle! (SEAKALE gives him half a glass, after receiving a signal from Mrs. T.) I suppose I must just——(After tasting.) Why it's dry! Then why the deuce was I cautioned not to——?
Uncle Gab. That's a fine wine, isn't it, my Lord? Not much of that in the market nowadays, I can tell you!
Lord Strath. (to himself.) Precious little here. (Aloud.) So I should imagine, Sir.
Uncle Gab. Your Lordship mustn't pass this entree. My niece's cook knows her business, I will say that for her.
Lord Strath. (as he helps himself.) I have already discovered that she is an artist.
Mrs. Tid. (in displeased surprise.) Then you know my cook too? An artist? and she seems such a respectable person! Pray what sort of pictures does she paint?
Lord Strath. Pictures? Oh, really I don't know—potboilers probably.
[Mrs. TID. glares at him suspiciously.
Conversational Scraps. And when I got into the hall and saw them all sitting in a row with their faces blacked, I said "I'm sure they can't be the Young Men's Christian Association!"... Hysteria? my poor dear wife is a dreadful sufferer from it—I've known her unable to sleep at all except with one foot curled round her neck!... (&c. &c.)
Lord Strath. (to himself.) There's no doubt about it—this woman is trying to snub me—hardly brings herself to talk at all—and then she's beastly rude! What did she ask me here for if she can't be civil! If she wasn't my hostess—I'll try her once more, she may know something about antiquities—(Aloud.) I suppose Mr. CARTOUCHE keeps his collection in a separate room? I was told he has some hunting scarabs of the Amenhoteps that I am very curious to see.
Mrs. Tid. (stiffly). Mr. CARTOUCHE may keep all sorts of disagreeable pets, for anything I know to the contrary.
Lord Strath. (to himself, in amazement). Pets! I'm hanged if I let myself be snubbed like this! (Aloud.) I'm afraid you have very little sympathy with his tastes?
Mrs. Tid. Sympathy, indeed! I don't even know if he has any tastes. I am not in the habit of troubling myself about my next-door neighbour's affairs.
Lord Strath. (with a gasp). Your next-door——! (He pulls himself together.) To be sure—of course not—stupid of me to ask! (To himself.) Good Heavens!—these aren't the CARTOUCHES! I'm at the wrong dinner-party—and this awful woman thinks I've done it on purpose! No wonder she's so confoundedly uncivil!... And MARJORY knows it, too, and won't speak to me! Perhaps they all know it.... What on earth am I to do?... I feel such a fool!
Miss Seaton (to herself). How perfectly ghastly DOUGLAS is looking! Didn't he really know the CARTOUCHES lived next door?... Then—oh, what an idiot I've been! It's a mistake—he doesn't come from BLANKLEY'S at all! I must speak to him—I must tell him how——no, I can't—I forgot how horrid I've been to him! I should have to tell him I believed that—and I'd rather die! No, it's too late—it's too late now!
[Miss SEATON and Lord STRATHSPORRAN sit regarding the tablecloth with downcast eyes, and expressions of the deepest gloom and confusion.
(End of Scene V.)
* * * * *
Rhyme by a Rad.
[The question where the Liberal-Unionists shall sit has excited some discussion.]
They have stolen the old Tory togs bit by bit, And we wish they would openly don them. However, it matters not much where they sit, For wherever it be we'll sit on them!
* * * * *
"RAILWAY RATES."—Whatever question there may be on this subject, there can be none whatever as to the rates at which "The Bournemouth Express," "The Granville L. C. & D.," and "The Flying Dutchman," severally travel. Such rates are first rate.
* * * * *
CON. FOR THE CONSOLATION OF THE MANY SUFFERERS FROM A CURRENT CATCH-WORD.—Q. What is the only thing that is really "up-to-date"?—A. A palm-tree.
* * * * *
MEM. FOR MR. VIVIAN AND THE ROYALISTS.—The Last of the STUARTS,—STUART KNILL. There can be none after Nil.
* * * * *
DRAMATIC WITHOUT BEING STAGEY.
The plan, successfully inaugurated, and, within the last fortnight, still more successfully carried out by Sir DRURIOLANUS OPERATICUS BALMASCUS PANTOMIMICUS, of giving what may be called "unstagey representations" of popular Operas—that is, popular Operas sung and acted without the aid of scenes or properties (though "substitutes" may be permitted, as, for example, a chair with four legs complete would represent a horse, and a round table a tower); the singers, however, being in costume, may work an extensive "Transformation" Scene (which is quite in Sir DRURIO'S line) in the Dramatic and Operatic world, and may effect such a change as will save thousands to a Manager. Why not go a step further? Why have "costumes," or even "hand-properties"? Why not leave everything, except the perfection of the singing and the dramatic action, to the imagination of the audience? The prices of admission would be proportionately lowered, and the numbers admitted, in all probability, would be trebled, on which hypothesis a calculation may be based. What an exercise it would be for the imagination of the audience, were the Statue Scene from Don Giovanni to be given with the Basso Profondo in evening dress, who represents the Stony Commendatore, seated astride a plank resting on tressels placed on a table which would have been substituted for the stone pedestal, while the Don or Leporello (it doesn't much matter which) sings his asides to the audience! Here is novelty, and a great attraction! It is returning to Elizabethan days, when Managers called a spade a spade, and then so labelled it to prevent mistakes.
* * * * *
SONG FROM "AS YOU LIKE IT" (for the Member for East Galway, arranged by Colonel Saunderson, M.P.).—"What shall he have who shot the Deer?"
* * * * *
A BANK NOTE.—The most likely time for obtaining payment "in hard cash," is when the Money Market "hardens a little," as was the case, so The Times Money Article informed us, last Friday.
* * * * *
* * * * *
"A STIFF JOB."
Grand Old Ploughman sings:—
Speed the Plough! Ah, that's all mighty fine, And I like the old saying's suggestion; But—wi' a small crock such as mine, The speed may be matter o' question. I've set my hand to 'un, o' course, And munna look back, there's no doubt o' it: Yet I wish I'd a handier horse For the job, or that I were well out o' it!
Stiff clay on a slaantin' hill-side, Would tax a strong team. Steady, steady! The little 'un goes a bit wide, And seems to be shirkin' already. To keep a straight furrow this go Will strain the old ploughman's slack muscle; And yet my new measters, I know, Will expect I to keep on the bustle.
Stiff job for a little 'un? Yes! If he doesn't pull straight there'll be bother, Must make the best of 'un I guess, This time, for I sha'an't get no other. Gee up! I shall have a good try, On that they may bet their last dollar. It's do, poor old crook, now, or die! But—I must keep 'un oop to the collar!
* * * * *
"This room is very close!" said Mrs. R., settling herself down to her knitting, which her nephew had furtively unravelled. "Open the window, TOM, and let out the asphyxia."
* * * * *
LINES ON THE AUTHOR OF THE LABOUR BUREAU.
(By a Labourer.)
'Ooray for Mister MUNDELLA, (Who's under Old GLADDY'S umbrella.) For he's a jolly good fella, And so say all of hus! With a 'ip, 'ip, 'ip, 'ooray! We hope the Bureau may pay. Of course it might well have been better, But then—it might have been wus!
* * * * *
EMPHASIS GRATIA.—What a difference a slight emphasis makes in an ordinary sentence! The D. T. when giving, in advance, an account of a marriage to be solemnised the same afternoon, spoke thus concerning the costumes of the very youthful bridesmaids. "They will wear dresses of very pale blue silk, made up with ivory-hued lace." Now, had the second word been in italics, it would have read thus, "They will wear," &c., as if everything had been done to prevent them from so arraying themselves, "but, in spite of all efforts, they will wear dresses of very pale blue!" So obstinate of them! Such nice little ladies, too!
* * * * *
"The Liberal-Unionists have resolved to abstain from pairing during the present Session." So The Times. "Birds in their little nests agree," quoth the eminent Dr. WATTS; but these Parliamentary Birds will belie their name of "Unionists" if they refuse to "pair."
* * * * *
TELEGRAM FROM HAWAIANS TO AMERICAN PRESIDENT.—"WE would be U.S."
* * * * *
Your aid let me ask in a difficult task, Mr. Punch, with the greatest submission; To win for my name a well-merited fame was always my ardent ambition, And clearly to-day the least difficult way is to send an appeal to the papers, To form an intrigue for creating a league against fashion-designers and drapers.
Thereby shall I reap an advertisement cheap, and writers, with much perseverance, Will furnish as news their apocryphal views on my appetite, age, and appearance; They all will revere my conviction sincere, and loudly re-echo my praises, But the thing which, as yet, I'm unable to get, is a novel departure in crazes
The idea shall we float that a swallow-tail coat is only adapted for Vandals? Write pamphlets, designed to enlighten mankind on the duty of taking to sandals? Would a hatred of hats, or crusade on cravats, secure us a sympathy louder? Or shall we assert it is time to revert to patches, knee-breeches, and powder?
Meanwhile, your applause we invite for our Cause—you notice the capital letter— Subscriptions and fees you may send when you please to the writer, the sooner the better. But as to the theme of this notable scheme, I wait for a timely suggestion; Its worth's beyond doubt, but what it's about remains, for the present, a question!
* * * * *
The Bishop of CHESTER trembles. He is marked with the brand of "CAINE"!
* * * * *
* * * * *
CONVERSATIONAL HINTS FOR YOUNG SHOOTERS.
"Dear Punch," writes a valued Correspondent, "I wish you'd tip me the wink how I'm to talk to my hosts. I'm a poor man, but not a poor shot. So I get asked about a good deal to different places, and as I'm not the sort that turns on the talking-tap very easily, I often get stuck up. Just as I've got fairly into the swim with one of them I leave him, and have to think of talk for quite a different kind of chap, and so on all through the season. For instance, last December I did three shoots in as many weeks. The first was with old CALLABY, the rich manufacturer, who's turned sportsman late in life. I thought he'd like a talk about bimetallism, so I sweated it up a bit, and started off with a burst as soon as I got a look in. All no go. Nothing would please him but to talk of birds, and rabbits, and hares, and farming, and crops, and who was going to be High Sheriff, and all that. So I got a little left at the first go off.
"Next week I shot with BLOSSOM, another new friend, who's come into money lately, after knocking about all over America the greater part of his life. I tried him with the Chicago Exposition, and ranching as a business for younger sons; did it delicately, of course, and with any amount of deference, but he only looked at me blankly, and began talking about the Bank-rate. After that, I settled with myself I wouldn't talk to any more of them about things that they might be expected to feel an interest in.
"In the following week I was due at WHICHELLO'S. He's been a perfect lunatic all his life for music. He got up an orchestra in his nursery, which came to smash because his younger brother filled all the wind instruments with soap-suds. Later on he was always scraping, or blowing, or thumping, scooting about from one concert to another, making expeditions to the shrine of WAGNER as he called it, composing songs, and symphonies, and operas, and Heaven only knows what besides. He came into the old place in Essex when his brother died, about a year ago, and this was his first pheasant-shoot. I thought to myself, 'If you're anything like these other Johnnies, it's no good pulling out the music-stop with you.' On the first morning he seemed a shade anxious at breakfast, and said he was going to try a new plan of beating his coverts, which it had given him a lot of trouble to arrange as he wanted. Off we went after breakfast. We had about half a mile to walk before we got to the first wood, and I kept puzzling my brains the whole way about this blessed new dodge of beating.
"'Where are the beaters?' I said to WHICHELLO, when we got there, for devil a bit of one did I see.
"'You'll find them out directly,' says WHICHELLO, looking sly and triumphant; 'just you stand here, and wait. You'll get some shooting, I warrant you;' and, with that, he posted the other guns at the far end of the covert, told me and another chap we were to walk outside, in line with the beaters, and walked off. Suddenly he gave a whistle. Then what do you think happened? I'll give you a hundred guesses, and you won't be on it. Out of a little planting, about fifty yards off the piece we were to shoot, came marching a troop of rustics, dressed as rustic beaters usually are, but each of them carrying, in place of the ordinary beater's stick, a musical instrument of some sort. They were headed by the keeper, who waved a kind of baton. When they got to our covert, they arranged themselves in line, and then, on a signal from WHICHELLO, crash, bang! they struck up the Tannhaeuser March, and disappeared into the wood.
"'Line up, Trombone!' shouted the keeper—I heard his stentorian roar above the din—'Come, hurry along with the Bombardon; Ophicleide, you're too far in front. Keep it going, Clarinets. Now then, all together! What are you up to, Cymbals? Let 'em have it!' And thus they came banging and booming and blowing through the covert. The bassoon tripped into a thorn-bush, the big-drum rolled over the trunk of a tree and smashed his instrument, the hautboy threw his at an escaping rabbit, while the flute-man walked straight into a pool of water, and had to be pulled out by the triangle. But the rest of them got through somehow with that infernal idiot of a conducting keeper, still backing and twisting and waving like mad in the front. That was WHICHELLO'S idea of beating his coverts. 'Combining aesthetic pleasure with sporting pursuits,' he called it. Somehow we had managed to bring down a brace of pheasants, which, with three rabbits, made up our total, out of a covert which ought to have yielded ten times as many.
"I daresay you won't believe this story, but it's true all the same. If you don't believe it, write to WHICHELLO himself. I never saw anyone half so pleased as that fool was. He had given up all his time to teaching his rustics music, with a view to this performance, and had shoved in, as one of his keepers, a sporting third violin from the Drury Lane orchestra. They said it was glorious, and congratulated one another all round, with as much enthusiasm as if they'd repelled a foreign invasion. On the next beat they played the March in Scipio, and after that came a Pot-Pourri of Popular Melodies, arranged by the keeper. They played a selection from The Pirates of Penzance while we lunched, and took the big wood to the tunes of 'Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay' and 'Up-rouse ye then, my merry, merry Men!' 'Rule Britannia' and 'Home, Sweet Home,' played us back to the house. I never heard such a confounded Babel of brass and wood in all my life. A German band in a country town couldn't come near it. Curiously enough, we most of us got urgent letters by next morning's post, summoning us home at once to attend to business, or to be present at the death-beds of relatives. I thought you'd like to hear this story, old cock. If you like, you're very welcome to shove it in your shooting series. I've seen a lot of rum goes in my life, but this was the rummest of the lot. And don't forget to let me have a word or two about talking to one's host. I know what I thought of that maniac WHICHELLO, but I shouldn't have liked to say that to him.
"Yours to a turn, A SPORTSMAN."
For the present I must leave this striking letter to the judgment of my readers. Space fails me to deal with it adequately. On another occasion I may be able to set down some ideas on the difficult subject suggested by my polite Correspondent.
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THE APPRECIATION OF GOLD.—"Why all this fuss?" writes a Correspondent. "Is there a difficulty in finding persons who properly appreciate gold? If so, I, Sir, am not of that number. I will be happy to receive from the Bank any quantity of sovereigns; and, further, I will undertake to show and honestly express my appreciation of this generosity on the part of the Bank. Ah! I should like to possess any number of those 'promises of May.'
"Yours, A MUNNIE GRUBBER."
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ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Tuesday, Jan. 31st.—"Members desiring to take their seats will please come to the Table."
'Twas the voice of the SPEAKER; one could hear him declaim just as Big Ben tolled four o'clock this afternoon. House crowded in every part, throbbing with excitement; crowds everywhere. In Centre Hall some vainly hoping for impossible places; others content to see the men go by whose names they read in the papers. Outside Palace Yard multitude standing patiently for hours, happy if only they saw the tip of Mr. G.'s hat as he drove in at the gate, or imagined the buttons on the Squire of MALWOOD'S gaiters. Never, in recent times, such a rush on opening days.
And Colonel SAUNDERSON, comfortably seated on Front Bench below Gangway, in choice companionship with Dr. TANNER, actually yawning!
"All very well for you, TOBY, dear boy," he said, responsive to my polite stare. "You come down here leisurely in afternoon, and take your seat. I've been on war-path since before daybreak. Knew the wild Irishmen meant to open proceedings of Session by appropriating our seats. Have not served in Royal Irish Fusiliers for nothing. Session opened by Royal Commission at two o'clock this afternoon. Thought if I arrived on spot at seven in morning would be in moderately good time. Here before seven: place in utter darkness; found friendly policeman with bull's-eye light; tightened my belt; cocked my pistol; requisitioned Bobby and his lantern. You should have seen us groping our way into House; Bobby first, with bull's-eye lantern professionally flashing to right and left, under seats, into dark corners. Made straight for my old corner-seat below Gangway; something white gleaming on front bench; with supple turn of wrist Bobby brought flambeau to bear upon it; found it was TANNER—TANNER, hatless, coatless, without even a waistcoat on! You might have knocked me down with much less than bayonet-prod. 'Morning, Colonel,' says he. 'Been here all night?' I gasped. 'Oh, no,' says he; 'had cup of coffee at stall by Westminster Bridge, bought a few hats in the New Cut, and, you see, I've planted them out.' So he had, by Gad! Every corner-seat taken, and he prone in JEMMY LOWTHER'S. 'Weren't enough o' them,' TANNER said, with his sixpenny snigger; 'couldn't leave put our revered leaders, TIM HEALY and O'BRIEN, you know. So just took off my coat, flopped it down for TIM, hung the waist-coast on a knob, and there's WILLIAM O'BRIEN'S place secured for the night. Now, if you'd like a seat, you'll find one above the Gangway; or if you want to come and sit by me, here you are. I've got a necktie, a collar, and a pair of braces to spare; if you've any particular friends in your mind, why, we'll get seats for them.' No knowing what a fellow like TANNER would do in these circumstances. Even his trowsers not sacred. So made best of bad job, and here I am. At least, better off than JEMMY LOWTHER, evicted without compensation for disturbance."
Conversation interrupted by loud cheer. Mr. G. marching with head erect, and swinging stride, to take the Oath and his seat. Necessary by Standing Orders that two Members shall accompany new Member on these occasions to certify identity and prevent guilty impersonation. It's a wise child that knows his own father, but HERBERT, walking on one side of Premier, with MARJORIBANKS on other, ready to testify. Clerk at table, thus assured all was right, administered Oath and then conducted Premier up to SPEAKER, presenting the new Member.
"Mr. GLADSTONE, I presume," said SPEAKER, making a motion towards extending his hand.
"Yes, Sir," said the new Member, nervously.
"Dear me!" said the SPEAKER, now shaking hands. "I've often heard of you. I daresay you'll soon get accustomed to the place, and will, I hope, be comfortable." Mr. G. bowed, and retired to his seat. SPEAKER suffered succession of shocks as in same way were brought up and introduced to him, SQUIRE OF MALWOOD, JOHN MORLEY, CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN, the Count MUNDELLANI, GEORGE TREVELYAN, The Boy ASQUITH, and quite a host of new acquaintances.
Business done.—New Members took their seats. Address moved.
Thursday Night.—Something like flash of old times to-night. Of course, it came from Irish quarter, and it was SAUNDERSON who kindled the torch. Colonel presented himself early in sitting on corner bench below Gangway. This apparently reverted to possession of JEMMY LOWTHER. He lent it to Colonel for an hour, sitting on other side of him. How they secured the place is a mystery, darkened by temporary disappearance of TANNER. "Where is TANNER?" Members ask, looking, not without suspicion, on placid face and generally respectable appearance of JEMMY LOWTHER. Last seen, not exactly in company of JEMMY and the Colonel, rather in conflict for the corner-seat. LOWTHER has the seat; lends it to SAUNDERSON. But where is TANNER?
"Oh, he's all right," said LOWTHER, with forced smile, when JUSTIN MCCARTHY, with ill-feigned indifference, inquired after the lamb missing from his fold. "Bad sixpence, you know; always turns up," JEMMY added. But his merriment forced, and SAUNDERSON abruptly changed subject.
Evidently a case for SHERLOCK HOLMES; must place it in his hands.
Doubtless it was with object of diverting attention from a ghastly subject that SAUNDERSON led up to row alluded to. In course of remarks on release of Gweedore prisoners, he alluded to Father MCFADDEN as "a ruffian." Irish Members not used to language of that kind. Howled in pained indignation; the Colonel, astonished at his own moderation, varied the phrase by calling the respected P.P. "a murderous ruffian." Shouts of horror from compatriots closely massed behind. TIM HEALY, in particular, boiling with indignation at use of language of this character addressed to gentlemen from whom one had difference of opinion on public matters. Nothing would content them short of absolute and immediate withdrawal. Colonel declined to withdraw. Uproar rose in ungovernable fury. Every time Colonel opened his mouth to continue his remarks, an Irish Member (so to speak) jumped down his throat.
Considerable proportion of Ministerial majority had disappeared in this fashion, when happy thought occurred to JOHN DILLON. Hotly moved that SAUNDERSON "be no longer heard." Considering he had not been heard for fully five minutes, this joke excellent. SPEAKER, however, wouldn't see it. COLONEL trumped the card by moving Adjournment of Debate. Mr. G. interposed, adjured SAUNDERSON to put end to scene by withdrawing expression objected to.
Colonel, hitherto obdurate, found irresistible the stately appeal from Premier. "Certainly," said he, ever ready to oblige; "I will withdraw the words 'murderous ruffian,' and substitute the expression, excited politician." This accepted as perfectly satisfactory. Terms apparently synonymous; but the latter, on the whole, less irritating to susceptible nerves. Irish members round about fell on Colonel's neck; embraced him with tears; gently disengaging himself, he proceeded uninterrupted to the end of his address.
"Capital title that," said GEORGE NEWNES, who always has eye to business. "Shall start a new Weekly; lead off with serial Novel by Colonel SAUNDERSON, entitled The Murderous Ruffian; or, the Excited Politician. Sure to take."
All very well, this cleverly conceived diversion. But where is Dr. TANNER? Business done.—Debate on Address.
Friday Night.—Still harping on Ireland. Began with row round issue of Writ for South Meath. ESMONDE, one of innumerable Whips present House possesses, says the business was his. "Then why didn't you do it?" asked NOLAN. "As you didn't seem disposed to move, I do." Nationalists want to get North Meath Election finished first; Parnellites don't. So ESMONDE is in no hurry to move Writ, and Colonel NOLAN is. Pretty, in these circumstances to hear NOLAN with his indignant inquiry, "Is the moving of Writs to be taken as an Election dodge?"
After Ireland, Uganda. SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE talked for hour and half. Later, rose to blandly explain that this was only half his speech; rest will be delivered when he brings question up again on Supplementary Vote. As Mr. G. says, this is fair notice, and every Member may determine for himself whether he will forego a portion of the promised treat. Business done.—Talking.
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Everyone knows Mr. AUSTIN DOBSON'S dainty verse. In Eighteenth Century Vignettes (CHATTO AND WINDUS) everyone has an opportunity, which he will do well to seize, to enjoy his equally charming prose. Mr. DOBSON is one of those enviable men who have time to read. He spends an appreciable portion of his days and nights not only with ADDISON, but with STEELE, PRIOR, JOHNSON, GOLDSMITH, and others, whom a generation that read newspapers and subscribe to MUDIE'S, know only by name. Mr. DOBSON is so omnivorous, that he has read right through JONAS HANWAY'S Journal of Eight Days' Journey from Portsmouth to Kingston-upon-Thames, the book which drew from JOHNSON the genial remark that HANWAY "had acquired some reputation by travelling abroad, but lost it all by travelling at home." A man that would read that, would read anything. Mr. DOBSON, happily, survived it, living to write a paper in which, within the limit of a few pages, we become thoroughly acquainted with JONAS, his travels in Persia, his discreet flirtations, his umbrella (the first under which man ever walked in the streets of London), his suit of rich dark brown, lined with ermine, his chapeau bras with gold button, his gold-hilted sword, and his three pairs of stockings. JONAS always thought there was safety in numbers, whether odd or even. When he travelled, his "Partie" consisted of Mrs. D. and Mrs. O. When he dedicated a book (which Mr. DOBSON found, more than a hundred years later, in a second-hand book-shop in Holborn), he inscribed it to the "Twin Sisters, Miss ELIZABETH & Miss CAROLINE GRIGG." When he took his walks abroad, he wore three pairs of stockings. JONAS HANWAY, under Mr. DOBSON'S care, is unexpectedly delightful. With the same magic touch he brings upon the stage STEELE, FIELDING, GOLDSMITH, GRAY, HOGARTH'S SIGISMUNDA, and Dr. JOHNSON, who lives for us again in his garret in Gough Square. These Vignettes should be framed in the private room of every man and woman who loves books.
(Signed), "Non obstat," BARON DE B.-W.
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Discovered in Drury Lane
Near the new Baker Street Lodging House established by the County Council.
I 'old it true wote'er befall; I feel it when things go most cross; Better to do a fi'penny doss, Than never do a doss at all!
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"WAITE FOR THE END."—On Friday last, at another Unemployed Meeting, a certain person, whose name is never mentioned in ears polite, "found mischief still," as wrote the immortal Dr. WATTS, "for idle hands to do," and set one WAITE, whether a light or heavy weight is not stated, and one SULLIVAN, by the ears. It was a hand-to-hand fight, and WAITE was subsequently captured and brought before the Magistrate. Mem. for WAITE, in the words of a recently popular song, "Never hit a Man of the name of Sullivan."
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FALLEN FORTUNES.—Quoth The Observer of a certain celebrity, "The family to which he belongs can trace an uninterrupted descent for a period of six centuries." What an awful "come-down"! Quelle degringolade!
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BETWEEN TWO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.—"What do you think of CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN'S choice of an assistant private secretary? Odd? eh?" "Not odd! Strange."
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PROVERB FOR MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT WHO WISH TO SECURE SEATS.—"Two Hats are better than one."
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THE INFANT'S GUIDE TO KNOWLEDGE.
Question. What is cash?
Answer. Cash may be described as comfort in the concrete.
Q. Is it not sometimes called "the root of all evil"?
A. Yes, by those who do not possess it.
Q. Is it possible to live without cash?
A. Certainly—upon credit.
Q. Can you tell me what is credit?
A. Credit is the motive power which induces persons who have cash, to part with some of it to those who have it not.
Q. Can you give me an instance of credit?
A. Certainly. A young man who is able to live at the rate of a thousand a-year, with an income not exceeding nothing a month, is a case of credit.
Q. Would it be right to describe such a transaction "as much to his credit"?
A. It would be more precise to say, "much by his credit;" although the former phrase would be accepted by a large class of the community as absolutely accurate.
Q. What is bimetallism?
A. Bimetallism is a subject that is frequently discussed by amateur financiers, after a good dinner, on the near approach of the coffee.
Q. Can you give me your impression of the theory of bimetallism?
A. My impression of bimetallism is the advisability of obtaining silver, if you cannot get gold.
Q. What is the best way of securing gold?
A. The safest way is to borrow it.
Q. Can money be obtained in any other way?
A. In the olden time it was gathered on Hounslow Heath and other deserted spots, by mounted horsemen wearing masks and carrying pistols.
Q. What is the modern way of securing funds, on the same principles, but with smaller risk?
A. By promoting Companies and other expedients known to the members of the Stock Exchange.
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FOREIGN CLERKS.—I should be grateful for any information as to where I could acquire a knowledge of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian, without leaving the neighbourhood of Camberwell New Road, and at a merely nominal cost. I find that, unless I know those languages, I have no chance of competing with German Clerks; whereas, if I did know them, I should be nearly sure of obtaining a berth in a London Firm at not less than fifteen shillings a week, rising, by half centuries, to fifteen and sixpence, and even to sixteen shillings. Also, what is the least amount of porridge (without milk or sugar), haricot beans, or lentil soup, that will preserve a person from starvation, if he takes nothing else, and works fourteen hours a day? I intend imitating my Teutonic rivals in frugality, as well as in languages; any dietetic hints (especially from Scotchmen), would therefore be welcomed by NO POLYGLOT.
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A DELICATE REQUEST.—On Wednesday—that day in every week which is kept as a whole holiday in honour of Mr. Punch—the 8th Feb., there is to be "a meeting of Old Paulines" at Anderton's Hotel, when "the attendance of all Old Paulines is requested." Ahem! The aged representatives of the heroine of the Lady of Lyons will not be attracted by the wording of this rather un-paulite announcement. Why was not the invitation extended to the old Claude Melnottes as well? There must be a lot of them about.
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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