PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI
MARCH 11, 1893.
No. VI.—REGISTRATION REFORM.
(Scene and Persons as Usual.)
First Well-Informed Man (bristling with indignation, as he lays down his newspaper). Well, I'm dashed!
Inquirer (nervously). What's up?
First W. I. M. What's up! Everything's up. Up the spout, that's where this blessed country will be if this kind of thing's going on.
Inquirer. What kind of thing?
First W. I. M. Why, all this gerrymandering kind of business.
Inquirer. Oh, by the way, that reminds me. I came on that word the other day. Can any of you chaps tell me what it means?
First W. I. M. It's as plain as a pikestaff. It means playing ducks and drakes with things all round, and letting the whole business go thoroughly rotten.
Inquirer. Has it got anything to do with jerry-builders?
First W. I. M. It's the same thing precisely.
Inquirer (insisting). But what's the point of calling 'em jerry? Where does that come in?
First W. I. M. It's a French word.
Second W. I. M. It isn't. It's German.
First W. I. M. Bosh, it's French.
Second W. I. M. I bet you a dollar it's German.
First W. I. M. And I bet you a dollar it's French. (To Average Man.) Here, you decide. Which is it?
Average Man. Well, I'm sure it isn't French——
Second W. I. M. (interrupting). Of course it isn't. Pay up, my boy!
Average Man (continuing). But, on the other hand, it isn't German.
First W. I. M. Oh, rot! It must be one or the other, you know. (Scornfully.) You'll be telling us it's Greek next.
Average Man. Well, of course, it might be; but, as a matter of fact, I fancy it's English.
First W. I. M., Second W. I. M. (together). Oh, you tell that to the Marines! It won't wash here.
Inquirer (doubtfully). Perhaps it's American.
Average Man (resignedly). Well I daresay it is. Any way, you can have it so if you like, It may be Sanskrit for all I care.
[Retires to his paper. A pause.
Inquirer (to First W. I. M.). But, look here, what made you lose your hair, just now? You looked as angry as blazes about something.
First W. I. M. (with dignity). Did I? Well, isn't it enough to make anybody, who loves his country, angry when he sees what's going on. Why, the Government's going to turn everything inside out, with some blessed new law about elections. Registration Bill, they call it, or something of that sort. Just as if we hadn't had enough tinkering and pottering lately. It's all through this confounded County Council interfering with everything.
Second W. I. M. (aggressive). What the dickens has the County Council got to do with it? You're always dropping on the County Council.
First W. I. M. Oh, they've got their finger in every pie. I'm pretty certain this is their job.
Second W. I. M. Well, you're wrong this time, that's all. You're thinking of the Employers' Liability Bill.
First W. I. M. No, I'm not. I never even heard of it. So that's where you're wrong. What has the Employers' Liabill got——I mean the Employers' (steadily, and with determination) Li-a-bil-ity Bill got to do with the County Council?
Second W. I. M. Everything. Didn't you read JOHN BURNS'S speech about it?
First W. I. M. No—and I don't mean to. Ask me another.
Second W. I. M. All right—I will. Do you mean to deny that our present Registration System is a ridiculous one?
First W. I. M. (hotly). Yes, I do.
Second W. I. M. (with triumph). Ah, I've got you now. You said, only yesterday, that any system by which a Government like this got into power must be ridiculous. (To Inquirer.) Didn't he?
Inquirer (hesitating). Well, I'm not quite sure. I rather fancy he did say something of that kind. But—(deprecatingly)—perhaps he meant something else.
First W. I. M. No, I didn't. I meant what I said—and I stick to it. But that isn't the same thing as the Registration System.
Second W. I. M. Perhaps you'll tell us, then, what the Registration System is?
Inquirer (eagerly). Yes, do. I should like to get to the bottom of it, because I'm constantly meeting a sort of third cousin of mine, who's a Registrar of something or other, and I never quite know what he does. All I know is, that he isn't a Registrar in Bankruptcy.
First W. I. M. Let me see—how can I put it shortly? It's just this—you chaps have got votes.
Inquirer (decisively). No, I haven't.
First W. I. M. (put out). Ah, but you ought to have.
Second W. I. M. (cutting in). There you are again. That's just what I've been saying all along. He ought to have—but he hasn't; so where's your beautiful system now?
First W. I. M. (retreating strategically). I never said it was perfect, did I? But I'll come to that afterwards. (To Inquirer.) Now why haven't you got a vote?
Inquirer (with a painful sense of inferiority). I'm sure I don't know. I suppose the old Johnny, whoever he is, didn't chalk me down when he went round last time.
First W. I. M. Probably you haven't lived in your house long enough. You haven't got a qualifying period.
Inquirer. Haven't I? How long ought I to have lived there?
First W. I. M. (vaguely). Oh, it's something between three and four years. I can't tell you the exact number; they alter it every year.
Second W. I. M. Who alter it?
First W. I. M. The Revising Barristers, or somebody.
Second W. I. M. Well, my brother-in-law's a Revising Barrister, and I never heard of him doing that.
First W. I. M. (sarcastic). But you don't suppose he'd tell you everything he does, do you?
Inquirer. But I've lived in my house six years.
First W. I. M. Ah! but aren't you a lodger?
Second W. I. M. What's the odds if he is? My brother's a lodger, and I know he's got a vote.
First W. I. M. But that's a different franchise altogether.
Second W. I. M. How do you mean? They're both lodgers.
First W. I. M. But they don't live in the same district. Perhaps they don't give him a latch-key.
Inquirer (producing it). Yes they do. Here it is. (Chuckles.) I think I jolly well see myself without a latch-key. But, I say, about this vote. I don't half like not having got one. What shall I do about it?
First W. I. M. You'd better see somebody about it.
Inquirer. Somebody was talking about Leasehold Franchise the other day. Perhaps I could get in on that.
First W. I. M. Ah! I daresay that might help you. [Terminus.
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NEW NOVEL BY Mr. G.—The Art of Midlothian.
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Time and the Woman. By RICHARD PRYCE. Not by any means a pearl of Pryce, and certainly not likely to make so great noise in the novel-reading world as did The Quiet Mrs. Fleming, by the same author. METHUEN & CO. publish it.
The Baron heartily recommends FRANK BARRETT'S novel, in three vols., entitled, Kitty's Father. A thoroughly absorbing plot, well worked out, and interesting right up to the last page. Kitty's father is a mysterious person, and she, not being a wise child, for she doesn't know him, does several foolish things, and says several wise ones. Kitty's uncle is a necessary nuisance, but a cleverly and consistently drawn character, while Kitty herself is delightfully made out of good home-spun material. But the villanous Curate is just a bit too grotesque, too Uriah-Heepish for the awfully tragic situation in which he is placed. When the imaginative author shifts the scene to Dublin, why did he not represent an Irish Cardinal-Archbishop as waiting at the stage-door to escort home the light-and-leading lady? But "for a' that and a' that," most decidedly "read it," quoth the Baron, and on he goes again.
MARION CRAUFORD'S Children of the King, published by MACMILLAN, is a tragic story, told in most simple and most fascinating style. It is all colour and character: the colours and the characters being those of Southern Italy.
Out of regard to the importunities of numerous correspondents, the Baron has read IBSEN'S Master Builder, translated by two of the Ibsenitish cult. "Only fancy!" Of all the weak-knee'd, wandering, effeminate, unwholesome, immoral, dashed "rot," to quote Lord Arthur in the Pantomime Rehearsal, this is the weak-knee'dest, effeminatest, and all the epithets as above superlatived. Read it by all means, and see it, too, if you will, but if the honest English play-goer's verdict is worth a "big, big, D" (I thank thee, W. S. G., for teaching me that abbreviated form of dashed expressiveness!) he will give IBSEN'S Master Builder the benefit of the "D," and "D" it once and for ever. And that, at your service, my masters, is the rough-and-ready opinion expressed by,
Yours truly, THE BARON DE B.-W.
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A RACY READING OF AN OLD QUOTATION FROM SCOTT.
(Suggested by Burns.)
"My foot is on Newmarket Heath! My name, JEM LOWTHER!"
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The benefits that Sir JOHN LAWES has been able and will yet be able to confer on agriculturists everywhere, including those in his immediate neighbourhood, cause him to be regarded as a living exception to the rule about a prophet in his own country. So, in that part of England, "Profit and LAWES" are synonymous terms, meaning the same person.
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["He said, 'Go and be——' I accordingly went and stayed at Folkestone."
See last Thursday's "Daily News;" Evidence in the De Walden Case.]
Thrice happy Town Council! when pestered to pave, Remember this fact that her Ladyship mentions. Intend, but do nothing; your rates you can save By paving your streets with the best of intentions.
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HITHERTO UNREPORTED.—Mr. GLADSTONE and Mr. ASQUITH received deputations on the Eight Hours' Question last Friday. The chief speakers were Mr. PARROT and Mr. ONIONS. Mr. G. observed that in all his vast experience, frequently as he had tasted a savoury dish of rabbit and onions, yet the combination of Parrot with Onions was something really novel. Perhaps Mr. PARROT would be useful at any bye-election, and would give them the state of the poll. As to Mr. ONIONS, well, he (Mr. G.) hadn't words of welcome sufficiently strong for him. Why hadn't he brought "BRER RABBIT" with him? In approaching the Eight Hours' Question, no time must be lost, so he would at once proceed to business.
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At a recent Monday Pop Concert, Mr. BORWICK put any amount of powder—everyone has seen or heard of Borwick's Powder—into his performance of "Suite Anglaise." As a pretty lady observed, "He might just as well, or better, have put the name in English, and called it, 'The Sweet English Girl.'" Messrs. JOACHIM, RIES, STRAUSS, and PIATTI, played a string-quartette in C Sharp Minor, and out of respect to the Ecclesiastical Season of the year, they gave marked prominence to the "Lento" in G. Flat.
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A GENUINE BUILDING SOCIETY.—The Birds, just now. And its members are not even waiting for a Re-leaf Fund, which will, however, soon come, with "the flowers that bloom in the Spring, tra-la!"
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THE G. O. M. FROM A MUSICAL POINT OF VIEW.—When preternaturally alert, he is "Mr. G. Sharp." When depressed, he is "Mr. G. Flat." When himself again, he is "Mr. G. Natural." As being second son, he is "G. Minor." He is also hors ligne. But he refuses to be musically translated to the House of Lords, and become "The Upper G."
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Q. What is the difference between a lover asking the object of his affections to marry him, and a guest who ventures to hint to his host that the Pommery '80 is rather corked?
A. The one pops the question, the other questions the pop.
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Mrs. R. saw the heading of a paragraph in the Times, of Monday. Feb. 27, "Jade in Upper Burmah." She laid the paper down, and exclaimed, "Dear me! I wonder who she is!"
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If we ever do adopt Bimetallism, it is evident, from Mr. GLADSTONE'S masterly speech, that holders of Consols will obtain very little consol-ation.
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(Translated from the Original Norwegian by Mr. Punch)
[PREFATORY NOTE. The original title, Mester-Pijl-droegster Herdal, would sound a trifle too uncouth to the Philistine ear, and is therefore modified as above, although the term "droegster," strictly speaking, denotes a practitioner who has not received a regular diploma.]
An elegantly furnished Drawing-room at Dr. HERDAL'S. In front, on the left, a Console-table, on which is a large round bottle full of coloured water. On the right a stove, with a banner-screen made out of a richly-embroidered chest-protector. On the stove, a stethoscope and a small galvanic battery. In one corner, a hat and umbrella stand; in another, a desk, at which stands SENNA BLAKDRAF, making out the quarterly accounts. Through a glass-door at the back is seen the Dispensary, where RUeBUB KALOMEL is seated, occupied in rolling a pill. Both go on working in perfect silence for four minutes and a half.
Dr. Haustus Herdal (enters through hall-door; he is elderly, with a plain sensible countenance, but slightly weak hair and expression). Come here, Miss BLAKDRAF. (Hangs up hat, and throws his mackintosh on a divan.) Have you made out all those bills yet? [Looks sternly at her.
Senna (in a low hesitating voice). Almost. I have charged each patient with three attendances daily. Even when you only dropped in for a cup of tea and a chat. (Passionately.) I felt I must—I must!
Dr. Herd. (alters his tone, clasps her head in his hands, and whispers). I wish you could make out the bills for me, always.
Senna (in nervous exaltation). How lovely that would be! Oh, you are so unspeakably good to me! It is too enthralling to be here!
[Sinks down and embraces his knees.
Dr. Herd. So I've understood. (With suppressed irritation.) For goodness' sake, let go my legs! I do wish you wouldn't be so confoundedly neurotic!
Ruebub (has risen, and comes in through glass-door, breathing with difficulty; he is a prematurely bald young man of fifty-five, with a harelip and squints slightly). I beg pardon, Dr. HERDAL, I see I interrupt you. (As SENNA rises.) I have just completed this pill. Have you looked at it?
[He offers it for inspection diffidently.
Dr. Herd. (evasively). It appears to be a pill of the usual dimensions.
Ruebub (cast down). All these years you have never given me one encouraging word! Can't you praise my pill?
Dr. Herd. (struggles with himself). I—I cannot. You should not attempt to compound pills on your own account.
Ruebub (breathing laboriously). And yet there was a time when you, too——
Dr. Herd. (complacently). Yes, it was certainly a pill that came as a lucky stepping-stone—but not a pill like that!
Ruebub (vehemently). Listen! Is that your last word? Is my aged mother to pass out of this world without ever knowing whether I am competent to construct an effective pill or not?
Dr. Herd. (as if in desperation). You had better try it upon your mother—it will enable her to form an opinion. Only mind—I will not be responsible for the result.
Ruebub. I understand. Exactly as you tried your pill, all those years ago, upon Dr. RYVAL. [He bows, and goes out.
Dr. Herd. (uneasily). He said that so strangely, SENNA. But tell me now—when are you going to marry him?
Senna (starts—half glancing up at him). I—I don't know. This year—next-year—now—never! I cannot marry him ... I cannot—I cannot—it is so utterly impossible to leave you!
Dr. Herd. Yes, I can understand that. But, my poor SENNA, hadn't you better take a little walk?
Senna (clasps her hands gratefully). How sweet and thoughtful you are to me! I will take a walk.
Dr. Herd. (with a suppressed smile). Do! And—h'm!—you needn't trouble to come back. I have advertised for a male book-keeper—they are less emotional. Good-night, my little SENNA!
Senna (softly, and quiveringly). Good-night, Dr. HERDAL!
[Staggers out of the hall-door, blowing kisses.
Mrs. Herdal (enters through the window, plaintively). Quite an acquisition for you, HAUSTUS, this Miss BLAKDRAF!
Dr. Herd. She's—h'm!—extremely civil and obliging. But I am parting with her, ALINE—mainly on your account.
Mrs. Herd. (evades him). Was it on my account, indeed, HAUSTUS? You have parted with so many young persons on my account—so you tell me!
Dr. Herd. (depressed). Oh, but this is hopeless! When I have tried so hard to bring a ray of sunlight into your desolate life! I must give RUeBUB KALOMEL notice too—his pill is really too preposterous!
Mrs. Herd. (feels gropingly for a chair, and sits down on the floor). Him, too! Ah, HAUSTUS, you will never make my home a real home for me. My poor first husband, HALVARD SOLNESS, tried—and he couldn't! When one has had such misfortunes as I have—all the family portraits burnt, and the silk dresses, too, and a pair of twins, and nine lovely dolls.
[Chokes with tears.
Dr. Herd. (as if to lead her away from the subject). Yes, yes, yes, that must have been a heavy blow for you, my poor ALINE. I can understand that your spirits can never be really high again. And then for poor Master Builder SOLNESS to be so taken up with that Miss WANGEL as he was—that, too, was so wretched for you. To see him topple off the tower, as he did that day ten years ago——
Mrs. Herd. Yes, that too, HAUSTUS. But I did not mind it so much—it all seemed so perfectly natural in both of them.
Dr. Herd. Natural! For a girl of twenty-three to taunt a middle-aged architect, whom she knew to be constitutionally liable to giddiness, never to let him have any peace till he had climbed a spire as dizzy as himself—and all for the fun of seeing him fall off—how in the world——!
Mrs. Herd. (laying the table for supper with dried fish and punch). The younger generation have a keener sense of humour than we elder ones, HAUSTUS, and perhaps, after all, she was only a perplexing sort of allegory.
Dr. Herd. Yes, that would explain her to some extent, no doubt. But how he could be such an old fool!
Mrs. Herd. That Miss WANGEL was a strangely fascinating type of girl. Why, even I myself——
Dr. Herd. (sits down and takes some fish). Fascinating? Well, goodness knows, I couldn't see that at all. (Seriously.) Has it never struck you, ALINE, that elderly Norwegians are so deucedly impressionable—mere bundles of overstrained nerves, hypersensitive ganglia. Except, of course, the Medical Profession.
Mrs. Herd. Yes, of course; those in that profession are not so inclined to gangle. And when one has succeeded by such a stroke of luck as you have——
Dr. Herd. (drinks a glass of punch). You're right enough there. If I had not been called in to prescribe for Dr. RYVAL, who used to have the leading practice here, I should never have stepped so wonderfully into his shoes as I did. (Changes to a tone of quiet chuckling merriment.) Let me tell you a funny story, ALINE; it sounds a ludicrous thing—but all my good fortune here was based upon a simple little pill. For if Dr. RYVAL had never taken it——
Mrs. Herd. (anxiously). Then you do think it was the pill that caused him to——?
Dr. Herd. On the contrary; I am perfectly sure the pill had nothing whatever to do with it—the inquest made it quite clear that it was really the liniment. But don't you see, ALINE, what tortures me night and day is the thought that it might unconsciously have been the pill which——Never to be free from that! To have such a thought gnawing and burning always—always, like a moral mustard poultice! (He takes more punch.)
Mrs. Herd. Yes; I suppose there is a poultice of that sort burning on every breast—and we must never take it off either—it is our simple duty to keep it on. I too, HAUSTUS, am haunted by a fancy that if this Miss WANGEL were to ring at our bell now——
Dr. Herd. After she has been lost sight of for ten years? She is safe enough in some Sanatorium, depend upon it. And what if she did come? Do you think, my dear good woman, that I—a sensible clear-headed general practitioner, who have found out all I know for myself—would let her play the deuce with me as she did with poor HALVARD? No, general practitioners don't do such things—even in Norway!
Mrs. Herd. Don't they indeed, HAUSTUS? (The Surgery-bell rings loudly.) Did you hear that? There she is! I will go and put on my best cap. It is my duty to show her that small attention.
Dr. Herd. (laughing nervously). Why, what on earth!——It's the night-bell. It is most probably the new book-keeper! (Mrs. HERDAL goes out; Dr. HERDAL rises with difficulty, and opens the door.) Goodness gracious!—it is that girl, after all!
Hilda Wangel (enters through the Dispensary door. She wears a divided skirt, thick boots, and a Tam o'Shanter, with an eagle's wing in it. Somewhat freckled. Carries a green tin cylinder slung round her, and a rug in a strap. Goes straight up to HERDAL, her eyes sparkling with happiness). How are you? I've run you down, you see! The ten years are up. Isn't it scrumptiously thrilling, to see me like this?
Dr. Herd. (politely retreating). It is—very much so—but still I don't in the least understand——
Hilda (measures him with a glance). Oh, you will. I have come to be of use to you. I've no luggage, and no money. Not that that makes any difference. I never have. And I've been allured and attracted here. You surely know how these things come about? [Throws her arms round him.
Dr. Herd. What the deuce! Miss WANGEL, you mustn't. I'm a married man! There's my wife! [Mrs. HERD. enters.
Hilda. As if that mattered—it's only dear, sweet Mrs. SOLNESS. She doesn't mind—do you, dear Mrs. SOLNESS?
Mrs. Herd. It does not seem to be of much use minding, Miss WANGEL. I presume you have come to stay?
Hilda (in amused surprise). Why, of course—what else should I come for? I always come to stay, until—h'm!
[Nods slowly, and sits down at table.
Dr. Herd. (involuntarily). She's drinking my punch! If she thinks I'm going to stand this sort of thing, she's mistaken. I'll soon show her a Pill-Doctor is a very different kind of person from a mere Master Builder!
[HILDA finishes the punch with an indefinable expression in her eyes, and Dr. HERDAL looks on gloomily as the Curtain falls. End of First Act.
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"AMONG THE MEMORABLE BOOKS OF THE PRESENT RAINE."—Canon RAINE has just published (per LONGMANS) his York, as one of the series of Historic Towns. The proofs of RAINE on York of course came very moist from the press. Is there a frontispiece to it of "RAINE poring over his own book?" The work is highly spoken of,—so disons, "Vive le Raine!"
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Mr. WILSON BARRETT is to appear in a play called Pharaoh—"What the plague!"—Is he coming out as an Egyptian Mummer? Will the drama prove interesting to plague-goers?
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A FULL MEASURE OF JUSTICE.
(According to the Modern Method.)
SCENE—The Old Bailey. Judge seated on the Bench, thoroughly enjoying himself. Prisoner in the Dock. Jurymen in the Box. Counsel, Solicitors, and Public, in attendance.
Judge. Now I will swear the Jury.
Officer of the Court. I beg your Lordship's pardon, but I have always been accustomed to——
Judge (interrupting). Not at all; I will do it myself. You can't give me too much work. (Swears the Jury.) And now, Prisoner, what do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
Prisoner. Well, my Lord, I should say——
Judge. Not guilty. Quite right, always give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You can't imagine what stupid Jurymen we have sometimes. Quite right to say Not guilty. And now who appears for the prosecution?
Counsel. I do, my Lord, I——
Judge. Glad to see the eminent counsel here, and I know of no one who can better conduct a case. Still, with my learned friend's or rather my learned brother's, I should say the learned Counsel's permission, I will just open for the Crown myself. (Opens for the Crown with brilliant effect. Applause.) No; I cannot allow any demonstration of that sort. By the way (to Counsel for the Prosecution), Have we any witnesses?
Counsel. Yes, my Lord, a Police Sergeant.
Judge. Oh, indeed, I will soon settle him. (Witness enters box and is sworn.) And now, you Sir, I am not going to allow any speeches—so be on your guard. (Examines and cross-examines him.) Have we any more witnesses?
Counsel. No, my Lord—that is our case.
Judge. Quite so. The face of the learned Counsel, who is retained for the defence, is new to me, but if he has no objection, I will open for him.
Counsel. As your Lordship pleases.
Judge. Thank you. (Addresses the Jury.) And now, if we have no witnesses, I think I will sum up. (To Counsel for the Defence.) Have we any witnesses?
Counsel. As your Lordship pleases.
Judge. Well, I think we won't call any witnesses, because then the Prosecution won't have a reply.
Counsel. As your Lordship pleases.
Judge. Quite so. And now, Gentlemen of the Jury, I have now my own special functions to perform. I will sum up the case in my judicial capacity. You must know then——(Sums up.) And now I will leave you to decide upon your verdict. (Jury consults.) Or perhaps you would like to leave the matter to me?
Foreman of the Jury. As your Lordship pleases.
Judge. Thank you. Then I think we may say "Guilty." Prisoner at the Bar, it is now my duty to sentence you. I think, under all the circumstances of the case, that I need not treat you too harshly. There is no doubt that the prosecution has been conducted in a very able manner; and this remark is equally applicable to the manner in which the defence has been carried out. I think a month's imprisonment will be sufficient. Prisoner, you are sentenced to a month's imprisonment.
Prisoner. As your Lordship pleases.
Judge. But, as I have had a good deal to do with this case, I think I may as well remain in it to the end. So, with the consent of the convict, the Counsel, and the Jury, I will go to prison myself.
The Entire Court. As your Lordship pleases.
Judge. Thank you all very much. I hope, after a month's retirement, to have the pleasure of meeting you again.
[Exit, in custody. Curtain.
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FOR A FEW NIGHTS OHNET.—Mr. and Mrs. KENDAL have revived The Ironmaster. As may be imagined, the dialogue is full of irony.
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BETWEEN THE ROUNDS.
["The record of the Opposition, so far, is one of wasted opportunities and ill-conceived tactics. They have been beaten, out-manoeuvred and discredited by a foe on whom, with proper management, they might often have turned the tables.... These are no days for punctilious or overstrained courtesy in dealing with political opponents.... Conservatives and Unionists may be tolerably certain that they will gain nothing by this misplaced delicacy."—The Standard.]
Perturbed Old Party loquitur:—
Wich, ARTHUR, I'm puffeck aweer as a fighter you're truly tip-top, Our party's pecooliar pride, and our cause's particular prop! You can "pop in a slommacking wunner," if ever a lad could, dear boy: But—well, there, you ain't scored this round; and yer foes is a-chortling with joy! 'Ow is it, my ARTHUR, 'ow is it! I've nurriged you up from a kid, And if ever a lathy young scrapper showed pluck and fair promidge, boy, you did; Wich I've cheridged and cracked you up constant, and backed you in all of your fights. And I've swore it was you, right as rain, as would do the Grand Ould 'Un to rights! But he's turned up more younger than ever—O drabbit him; 'ow he do wear!— I thought he'd be knocked out at once, the fust round, and he ain't turned a hair! He hits hard and fast as the "TINMAN," he's nimble as poor "Young DUCROW." And now this round's over, where are we? I'm jiggered, dear boy, if I know! Look at 'im! As perky as pickles! Weaves in like a young 'un, he do, Jest as limber of limb as a kitten; pops in that perdigious one—two, Like a new Eighty-tonner. Good gracious, the wetterun's all over the shop! He can mill you, or throw you a burster; feint, parry, duck, counter, or stop! Reglar mixture of MACE, Young DUTCH SAM, and a Old Pugilistical 'And! 'Ow the dooce does he do it, I wonder? I don't mind admitting it's grand. But—wot price our Party, my ARTHUR? He's scoring two points to our one; And I don't see the fun of it, ARTHUR, I certinly don't see the fun.
Mustn't take it to heart overmuch, 'ARTY! 'Taint as I wants for to scold; But—you play him too light—entry noo! 'Taint acos you are young, and he's old. As you need be so precious "punctilious." Delicate 'andling of him Won't pay; it's misplaced altogether. Go at him, lad! Lam the old limb! His bellows can't be as they used to wos. Youth will be served—that's your chance; But, if you play light with Old Shifty, he'll lead you no end of a dance. Think of BENJY, dear boy, my old champion, bless his black curls! He wired in, Never thinking of manners or taste, wich is muck when you're fighting to win. Look at GRANDOLPH, the Marlborough Midget, as often reminds me of BEN! There—there! Don't turn touchy, and tiff; we all need a straight tip now and then. You can do him, next round, I've no doubt, if you'll only fight up to your form. Pull yourself well together, 'it 'ard, bustle up the old boy, make it warm!— Remember wot JOHNNY BROOME'S mother once wrote to her boy—mark, and mind!— "Be sure you make use of your left; keep away from your man till you find You can reach him in safety, and then—give him pepper. Avoid being thrown. But give 'im all the bursters you can!" Wich that Ammyzon, who is beknown To the fistical world, gave her son—as you're mine—werry proper advice. When time's called, my ARTHUR, wire in; and wotever you do, don't be nice! No "overstrained courtesy" this time! It's blessed nigh bunnicked your chance. Let me fan you, dear boy, let me fan you! And when it is time to hadvance Go at 'im for all you are wuth! Bless yer, him and his low Irish lot Won't be in it with GENTLEMAN ARTHUR—if only you'll give it him hot!
[Left fanning and fuming.
* * * * *
SHAKSPEARII JUNIORES.—Sir AUGUSTUS HARRIS'S and PETTITT'S Prodigal Daughter is going all over the shop. She is coming out in France, in Germany, also, of course, in the Horse-tryin' capital, and will appear, as a matter-of-Corso, in Rome. This for the original English authors is a dramatic triumph which for the universality of their work is second only to that of SHAKSPEARE.
* * * * *
* * * * *
POPULAR SONGS RE-SUNG.
THE MAN THAT SMOKES THE RANK TWO-D CIGAR, OH!
AIR—"The Man that broke the Bank at Monte Carlo."
[Pardon, good GILBERT, pardon, genial COBORN, That from the Bois Boolong. Unto the Cockney purlieus of 'Igh 'Olborn, We shift your famous song.]
I'm just "all there," no 'ARRY; I've the money, so I score! To a Race last week I went, And there staked a quarter's rent. Dame Fortune smiled upon me as she never done before: And now I've copped the ochre I'm a gent! Yus, now I've piled the pieces, I'm a gent!
As I mash and lark in Finsbury Park, With a free an' heasy hair, You can twig the donahs stare. "BOB must be a millionnaire!" You can 'ear 'em cry, "Oh, ain't 'e fly? And carn't 'e wink the hother heye?" The man wot smokes the prime Two-D cigar, oh!
I've chucked my crib, and two-quid-screw, for betting's now my walk; I do my mornin' march Down to the Marble Arch. I'm bound to spot more winners; I've a eye that's like a 'awk; I'm a mass of oof and 'air-oil, shine and starch; Yus, a reg'lar mass of ochre, shine and starch.
As I walk along, still "going strong," With my Tuppenny all a-flare, You can 'ear old buffers swear, As my baccy scents the air. You can hear 'em sigh, And moan, "Oh my!" You can see 'em choke, and blink the heye At "the man wot smokes the rank Two-D cigar, oh!"
I paternise the Promenards on a Sunday, with the Swells, With my topper on the skew, And my cloud a-blowin' blue; For a tuppenny smoke and a leary joke they nobble the mam'selles, And if they're nuts on me, wot can I do? Yus, if they're arter me, wot can I do?
As I swagger and swell along Pell-Mell, With a reg'lar oof-bird air, You can 'ear sour swells declare, "A Whitechapel weed!"—and swear. But their narsty cry Means—jealousy. So I puff, and wink the hother heye— "The man wot smokes the rank Two-D Cigar, oh!"
* * * * *
Nuts for Knutsford.
In the City Article of last Saturday's Times, we read that Lord KNUTSFORD has joined the London Board of "CHAFFEY, BROS., Limited." What a festive board! What a rivalry must exist among the CHAFFEY Brothers as to who shall be the chaffiest and the wheatiest of the family!
* * * * *
WOMEN'S WRONGS IN JAPAN.
[The new Japanese Press Bill prohibits women from becoming Publishers or Editors.—Daily Graphic.]
A Land of flowers and of Art, Which lived for centuries apart, Some years ago woke with a start; Folks, simply dressed by wrappin' knees In silken robes of dainty hue, Began to long for something new The good, the beautiful, the true No longer charmed the Japanese.
So Western Art improved their lot; A House of Commons grew. Each got Boots, trousers, frock-coat, chimney-pot. "Art? 'E don't care a rap, an' 'e's," Saus 'ARRY, "sich a swell! I'm blowed 'E'd knock 'em in the Old Kent Road." You are a sight, dressed a la mode O too-progressive Japanese!
And yet, to Madame Chrysantheme, Divided Skirter, Primrose Dame, And all the rest, are but a name; It therefore cannot happen ease Is yours, although men dress like frights, And even have election fights; One thing is wanting—Women's Rights, O fin-de-siecle Japanese!
* * * * *
THE COMING COAL-SCUTTLE.
Sweet Maiden, what is this you wear, This most eccentric sort of bonnet, That stands erect upon your hair As though a coal-scoop fixed upon it?
A very funny shape it seems, Flat, oval, rather like a shuttle, Or, like some Statesmen's foreign schemes, A sort of undecided scuttle.
And yet not wholly of the kind Beloved by loud Salvation lasses, Which brings the coal-box to one's mind— BOOTH'S fashions would not suit the Classes.
There's some resemblance to a spoon, But you are not considered "spooney"— Word coined by some low buffoon, Romantic, quite, as "Annie Rooney."
It's rather like the ace of spades, And yet it plays the deuce with features, O Queen of hearts, of pretty maids, So say we knaves of clubs, male creatures;
Who look askance at what may shade— When larger grown—the face that charms us. If scoop or scuttle, spoon or spade, No matter; each of them alarms us.
* * * * *
A POSSIBLE BUNGLER.—Through REUTER'S Agency last Friday, we learn that "BUNGLE KHAN is in Afghan territory." Capital man to be opposed to us. We shall be ready to take any advantage of him, as, if BUNGLE KHAN can bungle, he will of course do so.
* * * * *
ONE FOR THE OTHER SIDE.—Mrs. R. cannot understand how Mr. GLADSTONE can advocate Monometallism in the House of Commons, as, she says, she has always heard that "Words are silver, and silence is gold."
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* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday, February 27.—"Am thinking, TOBY," said RIGBY, just now, "of applying for Chiltern Hundreds. Parliament isn't quite the place I pictured to myself when I fought for a seat. Of course I've done pretty well. To be made SOLICITOR-GENERAL right off, with WADDY around, and WILLIS still in prime of life and energy, was a fine thing. But House seems perversely inclined to accept me as a joke, and that's not the sort of thing I'm accustomed to at Chancery Bar. Look what happened the other night, when, in my learned brother RUSSELL'S absence, I answered questions. Did it in my best, most imposing, and conclusive style. Kept my eye on SPEAKER throughout, to see how he'd take it. Effect most satisfactory. You know I make CHITTY sit up, and NORTH tremble. They, to certain extent, used to it; all new to SPEAKER, and told accordingly. Was really fascinated myself. I frowned at him, pursed my mouth, wrinkled my forehead, squared my jaw, sometimes lowered my voice into my boots, anon uplifted it above where my wig ought to have been. Being my first appearance at table, thought it worth while to make an effort. Judging from SPEAKER'S limp appearance towards conclusion of my remarks, felt I had done it. Suddenly curious noise, that I'm told is known as a titter, interrupted me, and, before I had quite finished, there was a boisterous roar of laughter."
"Oh, come," I said, "you mustn't take that too much to heart. House will have its joke, and, if you won't make it, it sometimes makes it round you, using you as lay-figure. Your voice and manner in answering simple matter-of-fact question, were perhaps a size or so too large. But you'll get the hang of the place by-and-by, and will be all right."
"I don't think so," said SOLICITOR-GENERAL, sadly. "Look again what happened just now. House unexpectedly goes into Committee. Can't find MELLOR. 'You take the Chair,' says the SQUIRE; 'you'll fill it admirably.' No time for hesitation; I take the Chair; Clerk claps Bill into my hand. I say, 'Question is, that I do report progress, and ask leave to sit again.' Shouts of 'Aye,' and 'No.' 'I think the Ayes have it,' I say, in deep chest-notes, with persuasive fall of eyebrows. 'The Noes have it!' they shout. Very well; first duty of Chairman is to be impartial; so I say, 'The Noes have it.' Again they roar with laughter. WOODALL, in charge of Bill, feels for sword of Financial Secretary to War Office. Fortunately, can't find it. Otherwise, Chair of Committees might have been steepled with my gore. What shall I do next? 'Put question again,' Clerk hoarsely whispered. 'Question is, that I do report progress, and ask leave to sit again. Those who are of that opinion say Aye; the contrary, No. I think the Ayes have it.' That would at least get me out of the Chair, and you certainly won't find me asking for leave to sit again. But what follows? In all parts of the House, just now opposing progress, hilarious shout of 'No! No!' rises up. That means I'm to go on with the Bill; but I know if I declare 'the Noes have it,' they'll turn round to the 'Ayes.' So, after standing for moment irresolutely, Bill in hand, I'm not ashamed to say I bolted from table, taking Bill with me. House roared louder than ever. Seem to have discovered excellent joke. But I don't see it, TOBY. If this is House of Commons life, give me the dignity and quiet of the Chancery Bar."
Quite a procession of new Members took their seats on election. Honours of the day with HARRY LAWSON, who, after stubborn fight, has won Cirencester. As young HARRY, with his beaver on, marched to table, Liberals temporarily relieved themselves from imputation that they don't know how to cheer.
Business done.—Local Veto Bill brought in.
* * * * *
Tuesday Night.—"It's a natural temptation," said CHARLES RUSSELL, "for the human mind to believe that Mr. G.'s latest performance at table of House of Commons excels all he has done before. There is a phrase—you are probably familiar with it in HORACE—which speaks of the Laudator temporis acti. But the other impulse is certainly, in this connection, quite as strong, I, therefore, hesitate to affirm that that's the best speech Mr. G. ever made; but certainly it's among the best."
It was on Bimetallism. Like olives and claret, Bimetallism quite an acquired taste; ordinary Member will have none of it; flees House when subject announced. In the Parliamentary world, Bimetallism supplies part of the BROWNING or IBSEN cult known out-of-doors. Analogy accurate inasmuch, that whilst mass of mankind are averse to contemplation of topic, the few faithful pass all ordinary bounds in the enthusiasm of their worship. Thus, for upwards of hour to-night, MEYSEY-THOMPSON handled it as if he loved it. MONTAGU, whilst musically jingling in trowser-pocket handful of newly-minted sovereigns, equally adulatory. Then Mr. G. walked in. It was reasonably thought in advance that Bimetallism would prove too much even for the charm of his oratory. Had evidently come down unprepared for special effort; neither sheaf of notes nor pomatum-pot. He listened to mover and seconder, and then just talked to entranced House, crowding up in every corner. Quite surprised, as Mr. G. was himself when he sat down, to find he'd been talking for an hour.
Business done.—House declares by 229 votes against 148, will have nothing to do with Bimetallism.
* * * * *
Wednesday.—Hear a very pleasant thing in connection with an old friend. Am told that as soon as Local Veto Bill passes into law, WILFRID LAWSON is to be raised to the Peerage.
"Why not?" asks SQUIRE OF MALWOOD. "On the principle that the Devil shouldn't have all the good tunes suitable for WESLEY'S hymns, why should the Trade have the monopoly of the Peerage? Why shouldn't there be a Viscount APPOLINARIS as well as a Baron BASS, a Lord BARLEYWATER to pair off with a Baron BARLEYCORN? Let us drink (in toast-and-water), health and long life to Lord BARLEYWATER of Brayton!"
Business done.—In discussion on Irish National Education Bill GRANDOLPH effects little surprise. Been running admirably in double harness with Prince ARTHUR. This afternoon suddenly jibs; nearly upsets coach.
* * * * *
Friday, 1 A.M.—"Begin to think, TOBY," said Prince ARTHUR, as we walked home together in the moonlight, "that we shall scotch this Home-Rule Bill yet. Expectation only just dawned on me. When I went down to House in the afternoon, was of different opinion. Had philosophically settled down to acceptance of inevitable. Might maim it a bit in Committee; play with it so as to block off other business, and send it up to Lords at so late period of Session that they would seem justified in throwing it out, on score of inadequate time to discuss it. Now I think we shall go one better. COURTNEY thought he could serve Unionist cause better from standpoint below Gangway. The supremest service he could render to that cause was effected when he created vacancy in Chair."
"Don't you think," I said, "they were a little hard on MELLOR? Wasn't the sport something after the fashion of the gallant emprise in Windsor Park with the carted stag? And then the merry sportsmen didn't give the new Chairman the ordinary courtesy of a fair start and a little run."
"Oh," said Prince ARTHUR, "if you put it in that way, of course there's something to be said. But all is fair in hate and war. Mr. G. should have thought of that before he got rid of COURTNEY. Our business is to stop Home-Rule Bill from passing, and after to-night the way is clear, and the goal certain."
Business done.—New Chairman baited for an hour by Westminster Clock. Before the lawless, disorderly squabble about Law and Order in County Clare, regular foot-ball scrimmage, in which SAUNDERSON naturally turned up. In one of the pauses the Colonel dropped into poetry? could hear him crooning to himself:—
There's Justice O'BRIEN of Clare, How rare! 'Tis little for justice they care Down there!
They're choke full of crimes, (So at least says the Times), And they've got no policemen to spare, How quare! They've got no policemen to spare.
Friday Night.—Seems, after all, MELLOR quite right in his ruling yesterday. Point was that, on supplementary Estimate, you may not debate questions of policy settled when original vote agreed to. Prince ARTHUR denounced this as absolutely novel principle. CHAMBERLAIN kept game up from other side, and for full hour conviction borne in upon new Chairman that life not worth living. SPEAKER, appealed to to-day, declares MELLOR to have been in the right. Report of Select Committee on Estimates. Procedure cited to show COURTNEY categorically laid down the principle challenged, and systematically acted upon it.
"Yes," said SQUIRE OF MALWOOD, reflectively stroking his chin, "and COURTNEY might have got up and said so last night. Only his fatal bashfulness, his irreclaimably retiring disposition, could have kept him silent in such circumstances. True, his interposition would have spoiled the little game of his friends. It would not have been War, but it would have been Magnanimous."
Business done.—ALBERT ROLLIT, and Ex-Lord Mayor WHITEHEAD, carry Resolution declaring Revised Railway Rates prejudicial to commercial interests of country.