PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI
VOLUME 104, MAY 13TH 1893
edited by Sir Francis Burnand
No. X.—THE BEHRING-SEA ARBITRATION.
(Scene and Persons as usual. The Conversation has already begun.)
First Well-informed Man (concluding a tirade). —— so what I want to know is this: are we or are we not to submit to the Yankees? It's all very well talking about Chicago Exhibitions and all that, but if they're going to capture our ships and prevent us killing seals, why, the sooner we tell 'em to go to blue blazes the better. And as for its being a mare clausum——
Inquirer (interrupting). Who was she? What's she got to do with it?
First W. I. M. (laughing vigorously). Ha! ha! that's a good 'un.
Inquirer (nettled). Oh, laugh away, laugh away. That's you all over.
First W. I. M. My dear chap, I'm very sorry, but I really couldn't help it. There's no woman in the business at all. Mare clausum merely means the place where they catch the seals, you know; mare, Latin for sea.
Inquirer. Oh! I should have known that directly, if you'd only pronounced it properly. But what does clausum mean?
First W. I. M. Well, of course, that means—well, a clause, don't you know. It's in the treaty.
Average Man (looking up from his paper). It used to be the Latin for "closed," but I suppose it's altered now.
First W. I. M. (incredulously). It can't mean that, anyhow. Who ever heard of a closed sea, I should like to know?
Second W. I. M. (hazarding a suggestion). It might mean a harbour, you know, or something of that sort.
Average Man. I daresay it might mean that, but it doesn't happen to be a harbour (relapses into paper).
Second W. I. M. Oh, well, I only made the suggestion.
Inquirer. But what are they arbitrating about in Paris? It says (reading from newspaper) "When Mr. CARTER, the United States Counsel, had concluded his speech, he was complimented by the President, the Baron DE COURCEL, who told him he had spoken on behalf of humanity." I thought old CARNOT was President of the French Republic.
First W. I. M. So he is.
Inquirer. But this paper says Baron DE COURCEL is President.
Second W. I. M. Oh, I suppose that's one of CARNOT's titles, All these blessed foreigners are Barons, or something of that sort.
Inquirer. Ah, I suppose that must be it. But what have the French got to do with the Behring Sea? I thought it was all between us and the Yankees.
First W. I. M. So it is—but the French are arbitrating. That's how they come into the business. I can't say, personally, I like these arbitrations. We're always arbitrating now, and giving everything away. If we think we're right, why can't we say so, and stick to it, and let the French, and the Yankees, and the Russians, and all the rest of 'em, take it from us, if they can?
Second W. I. M. Take what from us?
First W. I. M. Why, whatever it happens to be, the Behring Sea, or anything else. We're so deuced afraid of everybody now, we never show fight; it's perfectly sickening. But of course you can't expect anything else from old GLADSTONE.
Second W. I. M. That's right—shove it all on to old GLADSTONE. But you're wrong this time. It was JO CHAMBERLAIN, one of your own blessed Unionists, that you're so proud of, who arranged this arbitration.
First W. I. M. I know that, my dear boy; but CHAMBERLAIN was a Radical then; so where are you now?
Inquirer (who has continued his reading, suddenly, with a puzzled air). I say, you know, this is too much of a good thing, bringing the Russians into the business. It says—(reads)—"documents were submitted, on behalf of the United States, to prove that Russia had never abandoned her sovereign rights in the manner suggested by Great Britain." How, on earth, does Russia manage to crop up everywhere? And where is this confounded Behring Sea?
Second W. I. M. (vaguely). It's somewhere in America, or Newfoundland, or thereabouts.
Inquirer. But how about Russia?
Second W. I. M. Oh, Russia shoves her oar in whenever we get into a difficulty of any kind anywhere.
Inquirer (persisting). Yes—but how can she have any "sovereign rights" in America?
Second W. I. M. (haughtily, but evasively). My dear fellow, if you had followed the thing properly, you wouldn't ask the question. There's no time now to explain it all to you, as it's very complicated, and goes back a long way. But you may take it from me that Russia has got certain rights, and that she means to make things as disagreeable for us as she can.
Inquirer. It's rather a rum start, isn't it? sending out Sir CHARLES RUSSELL and Sir RICHARD WEBSTER. They're on opposite sides of politics.
First W. I. M. That's just why they send 'em. RUSSELL has got to put the Liberal view, and WEBSTER the Conservative.
Inquirer. Of course, of course; I never thought of that. By the way, have you ever seen a seal?
First W. I. M. They've got one at the Zoo. Catches fish, and kisses the keeper, and all that sort of game.
Inquirer. What, that big beast that looks as if it was made of india-rubber, with long whiskers and a sort of fish-tail?
First W. I. M. That's it.
Inquirer (with profound disgust). Well, I am blessed! Is that all they're jawing about?
* * * * *
IN MEMORIAM—"THE DEVIL'S OWN."
["Notwithstanding the efforts made by the Inns of Court Rifles, supported by the Authorities of the Inns, to increase the strength of the corps, the additional enrolments lately made have been judged by the War Office not sufficient to warrant the continued maintenance of the corps as an independent battalion; and orders have been given for its reduction from six to four companies, for the withdrawal of the Adjutant, and for the attachment of the corps to the 4th Middlesex Rifles."—Daily Paper.]
Oh, how bright were the days when we all of us saw In their martial equipment the limbs of the Law. With their helmets and rifles, and pouches complete, (May I quote from the ladies), they "really looked sweet." The Colonel, the Major, and all their attendants, Appeared not as counsel, since all were defendants; And no soldierly spirit could equal the Bar's, When Themis, its goddess, was mated with Mars.
No more shall they charm us; harsh Fate with her shears Has severed the thread of the Law's Volunteers. And, whatever the cause was, 'twas certainly true That these fee-less defenders at last were too few. So now they're absorbed, and, no longer the same, They lose by attachment their being and name. And the old Devil's Own, from their discipline loosed, Have gone to their owner; i.e., they're re-duced.
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ENGLISH AS SHE IS SPOKE.
(In the House and out of it.)
The Parliamentary Committee appointed to consider the best mode of reporting in the House, have decided that it will be advisable to allow Members to have an opportunity of revising their speeches after they have been "taken down" verbatim. The result of this suggestion will probably be as follows:—
MR. SYMPLE-STUTTER'S SPEECH.
Mr. SPEAKER, Sir, What I mean to say, I venture to think is that the British Empire—yes Sir—that is what I venture to think, and I am a young Member. For I do not believe—no not now—or in fact, when otherwise. For envy and malice are together. I venture to think that sometimes the British Empire. Yes Sir, for the enemies are at our gates with the past and the future. When the sun sinks—not that it follows—at least so I venture to think. You may believe me, Sir, that it is farthest from my thoughts when the British Empire and the sinking sun which I venture to think is—in point of fact the setting sun, and I venture to think the British Empire, and that is I venture to think was my proposal in the past—which has the terrors of the present from generation to generation.
Mr. SPEAKER, Sir, at a time like the present—when the enemies of the Empire are clamouring at our gates, when envy walks hand-in-hand with malice, and our fate is in our own hands—we should be bold and resolute. It is not for a young Member like myself to point out the course that we should pursue, but I venture to think that, by ignoring the terrors of the past with the courage of the present, we shall avert the dangers of the future. It has been said—and truly said—that the sun never sets upon the British Empire. Let us believe in that sun, and find in its rays an earnest of that glory which was the birthright of our ancestors, and which, should be the birthright of our descendants from generation to generation.
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[Illustration: ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
Antony ... JOHN BULL. Cleopatra ... EGYPT. Mecaenas ... H. L-B-CH-RE. Enobarbus ... GL-DST-NE.
Mecaenas (aside to ENOBARBUS). "NOW ANTONY MUST LEAVE HER UTTERLY."
Enobarbus (aside to MECAENAS). "NEVER; HE WILL NOT." (Apart.) "AT LEAST, NOT YET."
Ant. and Cleo., Act II. Scene 2, adapted.
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MR. GLADSTONE'S CHANGE OF NAME.
He was "The People's WILLIAM." He will Be known in future as "Our Home-Rule BILL."
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HIGH NOTES FOR A VIOLIN.—Last week a Stradivarius (vide Daily News), a real genuine "Strad," sold at PUTTICK AND SIMPSON'S for L860. Fiddle de L. S. Dee!
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IN THE TIME OF THE RESTAURATION.—They're going it! Feeding, feeding everywhere, and not a bit to eat—without paying for it pretty heavily. We gather from a note in Sala's Journal, that LONG'S Hotel now possesses a "Restauration." Of course, those who live in "Short's Gardens," won't be able to patronise "LONG'S." The management is announced as under the direction of a "M. DIETTE," and, as he has obtained no inconsiderable renown (so we are informed) at the Berkeley and Bristol, patrons of LONG'S may expect something superior, by way of "DIETTE-ary."
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MR. PUNCH TO THE BETROTHED PAIR.
(The Duke of York and the Princess May of Teck.)
MAY 3, 1893.
'Mid the bird-chorus of the May, From glade and garden madly ringing, There sounds one welcome note to-day, Round the glad world its way 'tis winging. You hear—you hear the general cheer That greets it! 'Twill suffice to show you That all who love you joy to hear. And all who love are all who know you!
Soft music of the marriage-bell Seems woven 'midst the world's Spring Voices. In truth, there's little need to tell How in the prospect Punch rejoices. His well-pleased eye has watched your way; His loyal heart has shared your sadness; Now on this bright Betrothal-Day Your gladness he acclaims—with gladness!
* * * * *
How is Mr. F. LUKE FILDES, R.A.?—In excellent health we sincerely hope, but from seeing daily, in the front sheet of the Times, an advertisement commencing "The Doctor after LUKE FILDES, R.A." Many friends began to feel anxious. We are glad to be able to add, that, in answer to the numerous inquiries made at 39, Old Bond Street, a most satisfactory report has been obtained.
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MUSE v. MECHANIC.
["Mr. NORMAN GALE—the Muse of orchards and pretty girls with polished knees; a charm often left unsung."—Mr. Andrew Lang on the Poems of "A Country Muse."]
"A Country Muse" sings, if you please, Of pretty girls "with polished knees"! One would not quite demolish The graphic rhymester's stock-in-trade, But if bare knees must be displayed, He might forego the polish.
It smacks of fustian! Workmen's "bags" Are very "polished" where the "sags" From salient joints protuberant, Grow shiny with continual friction; But "polished knees" in poet's diction Strike one as too exuberant.
Say varnished elbows, burnished knuckles, And you'll elicit scornful chuckles From Muse and from Mechanic! Selections from the terms of trade Would put, I'm very much afraid, Parnassus in a panic.
The bards are sometimes rather free With feminine anatomy; Their catalogues erotic Of pretty girls' peculiar "points," Their eyes and limbs, and curves and joints, Are often idiotic.
But if we must be told, sometimes, Ladies have limbs, then that your rhymes May not offend or fog any, Don't mechanise a maiden's charms; Leave "polishing" to legs and arms Of walnut or mahogany.
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RHYMES ON THE DECAY OF ROMANCE.
(Suggested by Mr. Frederic Harrison's recent Article in "The Forum.")
Oh, list to Mr. HARRISON lamenting from The Forum, Imagination done to death by latter-day decorum! "Good boys and girls" we've all become, and modern men and maidens see The world with such prosaic eyes, Romance is in decadency!
We're too absorbed in Politics, enamoured of Monotony, To give an ear to Geniuses (supposing we had got any!) But First-Class in our Fiction Mr. HARRISON abolishes, Indeed most Authors travel Third, their talent so toll-lollish is.
It's all the Fin-de-Siecle's fault—and this, of course, a true bill is; For Genius puts its shutters up when centuries pass their jubilees! As Mr. HARRISON can prove by references historical,— And any utterance of his is equal to an oracle.
We cannot stand a novel now, he says, if there's a shock in it; Prefer our heroine angular, her eye must have a cock in it, Unless she's dull and middle-aged, no sympathy have we with her, Her sole excitement is to ask a plainer friend to tea with her!
He thinks, were Pickwick written now, we'd view it with a cooler eye, And term the Trial Scene a piece of "riotous tomfoolery;" While Jane Eyre's thrilling narrative of Rochester's sad revelries Of "shilling shockers" scarcely would to-day above the level rise!
An age that's given up its gas to read by Electricity Would naturally be repelled by THACKERAY'S causticity, And scorn the characters of SCOTT, because they had Glengarries on, An inference which is obvious—to Mr. FREDERIC HARRISON!
How scathingly does he denounce our Literature degenerate, With not a real Romancer left—or only two at any rate! By "desperate expedients," each the old tradition carries on— "But it's no good"—as they're informed by Mr. FREDERIC HARRISON.
For Mr. STEVENSON can write no stories worth hurraying at, While he upon Pacific Isle persists in Crusoe playing at! And Mr. KIPLING's ceased to count—no heart in what he does is there— He longs for death in far Soudan, a-fighting Fuzzy-Wuzzies there!
So we've only Mr. MEREDITH—(oh, what a sad disgrace it is!) Though Mr. BLACKMORE writes romance—how poor and commonplace it is! While Messrs. THOMAS HARDY, BLACK, and BESANT, it would seem, are all Unworthy serious notice, mere nonentities ephemeral!
Some people like Miss BRADDON, Mrs. OLIPHANT, Miss BROUGHTON, too. They're only lady-novelists—so serious readers oughtn't to, And those who've been convinced by his invidious comparisons, In future will eschew romance—excepting Mr. HARRISON'S.
* * * * *
THE DARWINIAN THEORY EXEMPLIFIED.—At the Zoo is now being exhibited "Three White-tailed Gnus,"—"The Latest Gnus." with the best possible intelligence,—"and a Black-capped Gibbon." This last is evidently a descendant of the great historian; though, if this exemplifies "the survival of the fittest," where are the others of the race? Then "Black-capped" sounds ominous, as if this particular Gibbon stood self-condemned, and was soon to disappear. Should this be the case, the Zoo Authorities ought to advertise the fact, and give visitors a chance before it is too late.
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday Night May 1.—Demonstrated in Debate on Second Reading Home-Rule Bill that House may talk and talk through twelve long nights, and not affect single vote—not even SAUNDERS'S. To-night shown how a single speech may cause to collapse what was expected and intended to be big Debate. It was Mr. G. performed the miracle. Looked in at House on his way from Downing Street, where he had received deputation on Eight Hours Question, and delivered important speech. That might have served as day's work for ordinary man, Mr. G., not to put too fine a point upon it, is not ordinary man. Being here, sat listening to DILKE with close attention. DILKE thinks time has come to evacuate Egypt. Stated his case in luminous speech; sustained his reputation of knowing more about Egyptian Question than most men except perhaps TOMMY BOWLES.
Mr. G. made no outward and visible sign of intention to follow; took no notes, and sometimes, as he sat with drooping arms and closed eyes, seemed to sleep. DILKE done and down, he sat bolt upright, looked round with almost startled air, "Well, really," he seemed to be saying to himself, "since I am here, and no one else is disposed to follow, I might as well say a few words."
Spoke for half an hour, without reference to a note, and without faltering for a word. Preserved throughout that studious assumption of having accidentally looked in which marked his appearance at table. Evidently desired to minimise as much as possible importance of occasion. Subject broached, he was, possibly, expected to say something; certainly not going to make a speech, much less deliver oration. Carried out this subtle fancy to such extent that, pitching voice on low conversational tone, sometimes difficult to catch full length of sentences. This added to impressiveness of scene. Crowded House sitting breathless; Members opposite leaning forward lest they might miss a phrase. Everyone conscious that at the door also listening were jealous France, the wily Turk, the interested Egyptian, the not entirely disinterested CZAR, and the other Great Powers concerned for peace of Europe.
Mr. G., for all his affectation of unpremeditation, evidently had in mind these listeners at the door. To their shadowy presence was, for him, added consciousness of keen eyes watching him from all quarters of the House; some of his friends waiting for sign of readiness to quit Egypt; the Opposition ready to catch at any token of tendency to scuttle. Occasional passages he delivered at rapid rate; but you could see him weighing every word with due consideration of these manifold and conflicting interests and influences.
When he sat down, there was consciousness that the massive figure of important Debate that had loomed over House whilst DILKE was speaking had melted away. JOKIM and GORST had intended to speak from Front Bench; great authorities on Foreign Policy in other parts of House had proposed to say something, more or less soothing. Mr. G. had left nothing for anyone to say, unless it were ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS, and the TALENTED TOMMY, who, sitting immediately opposite the PREMIER, had, whilst he spoke, taken voluminous notes, only occasionally withdrawing eyes from manuscript to fix them with look of calm distrust upon the aged and unconscious statesman.
"I always like, when I look in," said MARJORIBANKS, smiling beneficently from the Bar, "to find TOMMY in his place, taking notes. Gives one a sense of security. I feel, when I'm in the Lobby, looking after things, it's all right in the House. BROWNING said something of that sort. Don't remember exactly how it ran; something in this way:
TOMMY BOWLES is in his place; It's all right with the Empire."
Business done.—Mr. G. excelled himself.
Tuesday.—Seven-leagued Boots not needed by TALENTED TOMMY. He moves about universe with ease and grace, unmindful of mountains, regardless of ravines, reckless of rivers, oblivious of oceans. Last night, Forty Centuries looked down upon him whilst he showed how, in Egypt, Mr. G. is wrong, and DILKE, who criticised Ministerial policy, is not right. To-night he stands on the Roof of the World, a solitary, colossal figure upright on the lone Pamirs. His attitude is of manifold mien. Defiant of Russia, suspicious of ROSEBERY, patronising towards Afghanistan, he takes young China familiarly by the elbow, and bids it be of good cheer, for TOMMY BOWLES is its friend. Since NAPOLEON crossed the Alps, and was caught in the act by the brush of the painter, the world has not seen so moving a picture as TOMMY throned on the grandly desolate Pamirs.
* * * * *
* * * * *
House almost empty whilst the Talented One discoursed on the subject. Mr. G., who misses nothing, happily in his place, listening with eager hand at ear whilst TOMMY spoke familiarly of Asiatic rivers and mountains, not one with name of less than five syllables. DICKY TEMPLE, who really knows something about this mysterious region, looked on in blank amazement at TOMMY'S erudition. EDWARD GREY, who would presently have to answer this damaging attack, tried to seem indifferent. But his young cheek paled when TOMMY put his ruthless finger on that Foreign Office dispatch, out of which a line of print had been dropped. This a Machiavellian device that had hitherto escaped detection. TOMMY'S falcon eye had noted it, his relentless foot had followed up the tracks, and he had discovered, on reference to the original, that the criminally-deleted line of print embodied a reference to the Oxus. That was all. "Only the Oxus!" he said, with withering sarcasm. Then changing his tone and manner, he shook a minatory forefinger at the shrinking form of the PREMIER, and cried aloud, in voice strengthened with long warring with the winds on the Pamirs: "Sir, the stream of the Oxus has been entirely omitted from this paragraph."
"Poor Mr. G.!" said W. J. LOWTHER, present in his capacity as Ex-Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. "What with LABBY one night and TOMMY BOWLES the next, he has a sad time of it."
"Yes," said PLUNKET, sole companion on the Front Bench. "It's a hard fate for a Prime Minister to stand between L. and TOMMY."
Business done.—Miscellaneous talk on going into Committee of Supply.
Thursday.—Little difficulty arisen in connection with Budget. SQUIRE faced by deficit of million and half. This he met by expedient that will be historical, as affording JOKIM opportunity for a popular jape. The SQUIRE has dropped his penny in the slot, in accordance with directions, pulls out the drawer, and finds there is something more than the sum necessary to balance the year's account. That is all very well; but there are some amateur CHANCELLORS of the EXCHEQUER who would do great things with the odd L20,000 or L30,000 which remains as surplus. CLARK wants Graduated Income-tax; BARTLEY proposes Abatement on Incomes below L200; whilst GRANT LAWSON would let farmers off with half the proposed increase. Best of all is, ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS, who would straightway abolish the tax on tea. The keen insight of ALPHEUS notes the little difficulty about the deficit.
"The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER," he observed, in his most judicial manner, "may ask me to suggest another source of revenue." The SQUIRE pricked up his ears; the Committee sat attentive. If ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS had given his great mind to consideration of the subject, it might be regarded as settled. All waited for his next utterances. "That," he continued, in steely tones, "is the CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER'S business. Mine is to carry out the Newcastle Programme." ALPHEUS CLEOPHAS thereupon resumed his seat, leaving the SQUIRE gloomily facing the dead wall of his deficit.
Business done.—Budget Bill passed report stage.
Friday Night.—Some young bloods below Gangway, on Ministerial side, in distinctly low spirits. On Tuesday night, stage of Budget Bill being taken, with ten minutes to spare, ASQUITH nimbly moved reference of Employers' Liability Bill to Grand Committee. Opposition, who want it referred to Select Committee, were under impression Mr. G. had promised discussion should not be taken till Thursday or Friday. Last night CHAMBERLAIN protested that they had been betrayed, and deceived. Young bloods below Gangway disposed to chuckle over this spectacle. Mr. G., on contrary, takes it seriously to heart. Having got Bill referred to Grand Committee, positively agrees to rescind Order, and begin all over again.
"It's very seldom," says the SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE, in most melancholy mood, "that our side show themselves capable of doing a smart thing. When, by chance, it is accomplished, Mr. G. comes along, and coolly undoes it."
To-day, nearly two hours spent in discussing question; Bill, eventually, remitted to Grand Committee, as it had been left at midnight on Tuesday.
"Shan't play!" cries CHAMBERLAIN. "All very well for you, with your majority, to bowl us over, but you won't gain any time by it. You may take a horse to the Grand Committee, but you can't make him discuss your Bill."
Business done.—Budget Bill through.
* * * * *
Q. E. D.
(By a Grumpy Old Bachelor.)
"'Tis a mad world, my masters!" Grim LOMBROSO Corroborates mild SHAKSPEARE in this matter. And, though his demonstration seems but so-and-so, No doubt the world's as mad as any hatter, The sweeter sex especially! 'Tis sad, But that rule's absolute, depend upon it! 'Tis obvious all women must be mad, Because—there is a "b" in every bonnet!
* * * * *
Or, Conversation as she is spoken at the Haymarket.
The Disciple. Ah, that supper after the Theatre! It was the unspeakable following the unplayable. I feel so seedy!
The Master. Nay, but have I not told you that the two letters to follow "X. S." are "S. and B.?" And you have yourself said that "Soda and Brandy is the last refuge of the—digestion."
The Disciple. Hang it! I can survive everything—except the cast-off clothes of my own epigrams,—or, by the bye, death.
[Exit from this life, to prove it.
* * * * *
Mem. on the Behring-Sea Business.
A Forty-hours' speech by magniloquent CARTER! That Behring Tribunal has caught a Tartar! Whatever the upshot one cannot but feel 'Tis a fine illustration of "Say and Seal!" Though Bunsby might say of this lengthy oration, "The Behring will lie in the application."
* * * * *
APPROPRIATE SONG (for anybody connected with the Tourist-Managing firm of Gaze, on hearing a Lady say that she was "going to try a Cook.")
"Ah me! she has gone from our Gaze, That beautiful girl from our door!"
(The remainder can be added ad libitum, and sung whenever opportunity permits.)
* * * * *
"A MOVE ON THE BOARD" IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.—Our Surprising School-Board has voted in favour of allowing its Industrial School youths to enjoy "reasonable recreation" on Sundays. Its version of Sir WILLIAM JONES'S distich would be something as follows:—
The morn at Church, the afternoon at play, Will serve to while the Day of Rest away.
Apparently it looks favourably on a modicum of Sunday Cricket or Football, and does not taboo even the enormity of Lawn-tennis. As against that eminently strict Sabbatarian, Mrs. GRUNDY, the tennis-player may defend himself by a reference to the "services" in which he is engaged.
* * * * *
* * * * *
(See "Nineteenth Century.")
Three times one are always three; Waves are stormy on the sea; Bonnets oft contain a bee; Bear delights in bun. The ALGERNON, that ever Is linked to CHARLES, shall never From poet SWINBURNE sever, The three appear as one.
Once he lashed and slashed the Priest, Chopped him up to make a feast, Called him brute and called him beast, Black as crows are black. But now he rhymes "together" (See CALVERLY) with "weather": He might have thrown in "heather," A rhyme that men call "hack."
Clash the cymbal, beat the gong; Sense is weak, but sound is strong; Such is SWINBURNE'S latest song, Made by him alone. See WATTS and KNOWLES around us,— JAMES KNOWLES with cheques hath bound us To write; the Muse hath found us With Putney Hill as throne.
When the wind's Nor-West by West, Man and beast are rarely blessed. Sometimes I like mutton best, Often I like veal. A poet (not a puny 'un) Who raves about the Union, And hymns the States Communion, Takes none the less his meal.
* * * * *
In the City. Thursday Last.
First Member of Stock Exchange (Unionist). I say, JONES, you weren't in it! Why didn't you join us marching in procession, with CLARKE carrying the Union Jack, eh?
Second Member of the House. Why didn't I join you? Because I didn't want to make a Union-Jack-ass of myself!
[Exit, before the retort is possible.
* * * * *
A Pair of Spectacles.
(After hearing a much interrupted Speech in the Commons.)
When a batsman has to go To the tent with a "round O," He knows he's not made a hit. When a Statesman's hitting well, The round "Oh's" around him swell (Dullards' substitutes for wit). In debate or cricket score, The "round O" means nought—no more!
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* * * * *
May 10, 1893.
MR. PUNCH'S VISION AT THE OPENING OF THE IMPERIAL INSTITUTE.
This Spring's soft beauty is a joy for ever; Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass to forgetfulness; we still must keep Fond memories of this Maytime, calm as sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. Therefore, on this May morning are we wreathing A flowery band, to bind us round the earth, Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth Of patriot natures, Mammen-ridden days, And Toil's unhealthy and o'erdarkened ways Made for our mending: yes, in spite of all This Mayday Vision moves away the pall From our dark spirits!
KEATS adapted to the occasion.
Thy pardon, Adonais, pray, That on this memorable morning We twist those lovely lines astray, As modish maid, her charms adorning A trail may twine of eglantine Into the formal "set" of Fashion. Yet wouldst thou gladly lend thy line To present need; for patriot passion, Love of the little sea-girt land, Has ever fired our English singers. Of England's fame, from strand to strand, Their songs have been the widest wingers. So, Adonais, this great day Were "Welcome as the flowers in May!"
The "flowery band" of KEATS'S song Our Empire's sons to-day are wreathing; Long may it bind, and blossom long. The May-flower's fragrance round us breathing Is nothing sweeter than the thought To patriot hearts of loyal union. Together we have toiled and fought, But gay to-day is our communion. BRITANNIA'S helm is crowned with flowers, BRITANNIA'S trident's wreathed with posies, And Fancy sees in Flora's showers Thistles and Shamrocks blent with Roses. The Indian Lotus let us twine With gorgeous bloom from Afric's jungles Canadian Birch with Austral Pine. Tape-bound Officialdom oft bungles; Some blow too hot, some breathe too cold, O'er-chill are some, and some o'er-gushing; But the same blood-stream, warm and bold, Through all our veins is ever rushing; And so to all true hearts to-day Comes "Welcome as the flowers in May!"
A QUEEN is with us, to evince Imperial sympathy unfailing; And pleasant to our genial PRINCE This proof that all seems now plainsailing; With his great purpose. Some sneered, "Whim!" But general shouts now drown their sneering. A special salvo's due to him Amidst to-day's exuberant cheering. Hail the Imperial Institute! And hail the patient Prince promoter! The man who's neither cynic brute, Nor phrase-led sycophantic doter, May echo that. Our patriot tap Is old, well-kept and genuine stingo; Not the chill quidnunc's cold cat-lap, Nor crude fire-water of the Jingo, But sound as good old English ale, Full-bodied, fragrant, mild, and mellow. To try that tap Punch will not fail, Nor any other right good fellow. A bumper of that draught to-day Is "Welcome as the flowers in May!"
Weave on! And may that "flowery band" Be surer bond than forged steel fetters. Ho! Hands all round! Whilst hand-in-hand We need not fear the fierce sword-whetters Who'd make the pleasant earth a camp, And stain blood-red the white May-flowers. May echoes of no mailed tramp Disturb ye in your Spring-deck'd bowers, Glad garland-weavers! Heaven bestow "Sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing," One thing above all others know, Ye who the earth-round band are wreathing, To-day, to-morrow, any day, You're "Welcome as the flowers in May!"
* * * * *
"PLAYING THE DUSE."—MR. HORACE SEDGER announces the engagement at the Lyric of Mlle. DUSE. The Manager must be prosperous; at all events, he is not going to the Duse, but the Duse is coming to him. And as to the Theatre—well, if it isn't a success, the Duse is in it!
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"SHE ANSWERED 'YUSS'!"—The most recent and most important change of name is from "I MAY" to "I WILL."
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* * * * *
(For a Photograph, inscribed "With Ethel Travers's kind regards.")
It was only a week in the brightest of summers, We played tennis and golf, and, when ended the day, We made furious love as two amateur mummers, Whilst Act IV. saw us One in the orthodox way.
So my holiday ended. I begged a reminder, I asked you to send me a portrait that should Be a sweet recollection, and you, who were kinder Than I ever deserved or dared hope, said you would.
Then we parted. Life seemed to be painfully lonely, Though I dreamt of a future with you by my side, Till my common-sense seemed to say, "You, who are only, Just a poor needy teacher, have Her for a bride!"
It was true, and I knew it. Yet why had I met you? Why had Fate kept such bitter-sweet fortune in store? So determined I set myself then to forget you, And to let my thoughts dwell on yourself nevermore.
First your hair with its gold, next your eyes with their laughter, I forgot in a thoroughly workman-like style. Persevering, I never desisted till after Many months I but faintly remembered your smile.
I completely forgot you (I thought) and the warning Was to save me, I chortled, a future of pain, But you undid it all with your picture this morning, And the same old, old trouble starts over again.
The Fates are a trifle hard, putting it mildly, For they well might have spared me this finishing touch Of your portrait, which speaking quite calmly yet Wildely, I admire all the more since I hate it so much.
I shall treasure it, though. Thanks—a thousand—to you, dear. When in sweet meditation your fancy runs free, Is it asking too much that a stray thought or two, dear, From your kindness of heart may come straying to me?
* * * * *
POLITICS AND POLITENESS.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—I see that the Duke of ARGYLL, when he received the freedom of the Burgh of Paisley, the other day, told the following interesting story:—
"I was going once to call on a lady in London, and when the door was opened and the servant announced my name, I saw the lady advancing to the door with a look of absolute consternation on her face. I could not conceive what had happened, and thought I had entered her room at some inconvenient moment, but, on looking over her shoulder, I perceived Mr. and Mrs. GLADSTONE sitting at the tea-table, and she evidently thought that there would be some great explosion when we met. She was greatly gratified when nothing of the kind occurred, and we enjoyed a cup of tea as greatly as we had ever done in our lives."
Now, my dear Mr. Punch, I have great sympathy with "the Lady," and think (with her) the meeting, as described by his Grace of ARGYLL, was mild in the extreme. If something out of the common had taken place, it would have been far more satisfactory. To make my meaning plainer, I give roughly (in dramatic form) what should have happened to have made the action worthy of the occasion.
SCENE—A Drawing-room. Lady entertaining Mr. and Mrs. G. at tea. A loud knock heard without.
Mrs. G. (greatly agitated). Oh dear, I am sure it is he!
Mr. G. (with calm dignity). Do not fear—if he appears, I shall know how to deal with him.
Lady (pale but calm). Nay, my good, kind friends, believe me, you shall not suffer from the indiscretion of the servant.
Mrs. G. (pushing her husband into a cupboard). Nay, WILLIAM, for my sake! And now to conceal myself, so that he may not suspect his presence by my proximity. [Hides behind the curtains.
The Duke of Argyll (breaking open the door, and entering hurriedly). And now, Madam, where is my hated foe? I have tracked him to this house. It is useless to attempt to conceal him.
The Lady (laughing uneasily). Nay, your Grace, you are too facetious! Trace the PREMIER here! Next you will be saying that he and his good lady were taking tea with me.
The Duke (suspiciously). And, no doubt, so they were! This empty cup, that half-devoured muffin—to whom do they belong?
The Lady (with forced gaiety). Might I not have entertained Mr. and Mrs. JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN, my Lord Duke?
The Duke (aside). Can I believe her? (Aloud.) But if it is as you say, I will send away my clansmen who throng the street without. (Opens window and calls.) Gang a waddy Caller Herring! They will now depart. (A sneeze heard off.) What was that?
The Lady (terrified). I fancy it was the wind—the cold wind—and now, believe me, Mr. GLADSTONE will abandon Home Rule.
Mr. G. (suddenly appearing). Never! I tell you to your face that you are a traitor! [Sneezes, and hurriedly closes the window.
The Duke (savagely). That sneeze shall be your last!
[Takes up a knife lying on the table.
Mr. G. (repeating the action). I am ready, Sir!
Mrs. G. (rushing between them). Oh, WILLIAM! Do not fight!
The Lady (falling on her knees). I prithee stay!
Mr. G. Never! May the better man win!
The Duke. So be it!
[The Scene closes in upon a desperate duel. Curtain.
There, Mr. Punch! What do you think of that? Still, perhaps, under the circumstances of the case, it is better as it is.
Yours most truly, ONE WHO NEVER PAID TWOPENCE FOR MANNERS.
* * * * *
THE LITIGANT'S VADE MECUM.
Question. Can you tell me the best possible regulations in the universe?
Answer. Certainly English Common Law.
Q. Is English Common Law accessible to everyone?
A. Certainly, and if a litigant please, he or she (for sex makes no difference) can become his or her own advocate.
Q. When a litigant prefers to conduct a case in person, does the proceeding invariably save expense?
A. Not invariably, because a litigant may have odd views about the importance of evidence and the time of professional advisers.
Q. When a litigant is afflicted with this lack of knowledge what is the customary result?
A. That the defendants have to undergo the expense of a several-days' trial with counsel to match.
Q. Supposing that a journalist, sharply but justly, criticises the actions of a man of straw—what can the man of straw do?
A. With the aid of some speculative Solicitor, he can commence an action for libel.
Q. What benefit does the speculative Solicitor obtain?
A. The speculative Solicitor, if he can persuade a judge and jury to agree, will get his costs, and if the journalist wins he will find that the prosecutor or plaintiff is, indeed, a man of straw.
Q. Is there any redress?
A. None; but a wise journalist will never criticise sharply.
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THE PICK OF THE R.A. PICTURES. No. 2.
No. 139. Ca donne a penser. Not a more suggestive pose does any portrait possess throughout the Galleries. It is described tout court as "ALBERT BRASSEY, Esq.," and 'tis the work (and the pleasure) of W. W. OULESS, R.A. "'Tis a fine work!" says BOB to 'ARRY. "O' course," returns 'ARRY JOKER. "Great! 'Ow less could be expected of 'im tho', I dun no." It represents an undecided moment in Mr. ALBERT BRASSEY'S life. It is as if he were Mr. "All but" BRASSEY, and wasn't quite certain of what he should do next. There is the writing-desk,—shall he indite a letter? If he does so, shall he take off his thick-fur coat? Or shall he go hunting, since he has on, underneath the furrin' fur, the pink of hunting perfection? Likewise he has his whip and his horn, also his boots! He's "got 'em on!" He's "got 'em all on!" Or shall he hail the 5,000-ton yacht that's lying in the roads just a few yards from his open window, and go out for a cruise? He looks happy, but puzzled.
No. 167. The Right Hon. H. H. Fowler, M.P. "Presentation Portrait," painted by ARTHUR S. COPE. "When the Right Hon. Gentleman rose to speak, the House, with the exception of a clerk at the table and two small boys (whose presence within the precincts has never been satisfactorily accounted for) was empty."—Extract from The Imaginary Times Parliamentary Report of that date.
No. 350. Mrs. Keeley at the age of Eighty-six. Looking so well and sprightly, that the Artist must have been at considerable pains to induce her to sit still just one moment for her portrait. Long may she remain with us! Our compliments to the Artist, JULIA B. FOLKARD.
No. 434. Mr. SOMERSCALES has given us the best sea-piece of the year. It shows a "Corvette shortening sail to pick up a shipwrecked crew." "A sale in sight appeared!"—and as the picture, so it is said, was immediately sold, so also were those who came too late to make a bid.
No. 524. Gentleman writing. "A nice quiet corner for a little composition away from all those speaking likenesses." J. W. FORSTER.
No. 533. This is a sad-looking little girl, painted by WILLIAM CARTER. She has an unsettled expression. Is she suffering from what the Clown calls "teezy-weezies-in-the-pandenoodles," and, as Sir JOHN MILLAIS'S "Bubbles" served P**RS for an advertisement, is it beyond the range of probability that this, being associated with the name of "CARTER," should be intended as a pictorial advertisement for the well-known "L-ttle L-v-r P-lls"?
No. 535. Portrait (presumably) of C. R. Fletcher Lutwidge, Esq. By ST. GEORGE HARE. Ha! Ha! Ha! By St. George you Ha're bound to laugh directly you look at it. You can't help it. "C. R. F. L." is chuckling to himself and saying, "Ha! Ha! I've just thought of such a funny thing! Ha! Ha! Ha!" And he is enjoying it so! As the song says, "O Mister (I forget the name), what a funny little man you are!"
No. 553. This, by Mr. MARKHAM SKIPWORTH, is a portrait of Dr. E. Ker Gray, LL.D of St. George's Chapel, Mayfair. "KER GRAY!" it ought to be "Ker Scarlet."
No. 862. Portrait of a Gentleman, by PHIL R. MORRIS, A. The Portrait, annoyed at being next to SIDNEY COOPER'S, R A., "Be it ever so humble, &c.," representing head of a jackass, and some sheepish sheep, is evidently saying to itself, "Hang the Hanging Committee! They show me as next door to a donkey."
No. 888. The Wedding Gifts. The pretty Bride is a bit frightened at seeing the Groom leading up two bare-back'd steeds. "Oh!" she cries, "I can't ride them! Why (to her husband) did you give me these?" "My dear," says he, "why not? Here are the bare-backed steeds, and you've already got the Ring." S. E. WALLER.
No. 892. "Your Health!" A Birthday Party at Mr. ERNEST HART'S. Painted by S. J. SOLOMON. As a subject, the wisdom of SOLOMON is questionable as a specimen of Hacademie Hart—ahem! However, to the toast of "Your Health!" as addressed to Mr. ERNEST HART, Master SOL might have added the words, "Most Ernestly and Hartily."
No. 928. Exhibition of Miss Biffin, "who has no legs to speak of." "If you saw my ancles," said Miss Mowcher, "I should go home and kill myself." But ARTHUR HACKER, whose capital work it is, calls it "Circe."
No. 937. "It might have been," by F. STUART SINDICI, represents NAPOLEON and WELLINGTON out walking together, in 1847, near the Horse Guards. "It might have been" if .... But it wasn't—though F. STUART SINDICI went nap on it, and dreamt it. Why shouldn't JULIUS CAESAR and Lord BROUGHAM have hobnobbed together over Pommery '74 at FRASCATI'S in Regent Street, or why shouldn't the Great Duke of MARLBOROUGH and Admiral HAMILCAR of Carthage, after leaving Hoi Adelphoi at the theatre, have taken supper at RULE'S in Maiden Lane? Why not? "It might have been"—of course; why, when you come to think of it, there's hardly anything that mightn't have been, if it had only taken place. Such possible subjects would fill the most vast picture gallery in the Chateau d'If.
* * * * *
PICK OF THE PICTURES.
No. 11. "Her First Ball;" or, "Train 'em up in the way she should bowl." Portrait of little girl preparing to be a Lady-Cricketer. She has the ball in her hands, and is only waiting to cry out "Play!" G. P. JACOMB-HOOD.
No. 15. Charming Picture of Nobody Nowhere, Miss ANNA ALMA-TADEMA.
No. 20. Portrait of W. Matthew Hale, Esq. By JOHN PARKER. "All Hale!"
No. 37. "Silver Mist." This ought to have been the picture of a gentleman in search of a threepenny piece; but it isn't. FRED HALL.
No. 66. The Departing Guest. E. BURNE-JONES.
The ending of the party see, "O let us get a cab for thee!" "Nay," quoth the guest, "I've wings! so I, Like to the trout, will take a fly."
No. 112. Alderman J. Stone-Wigg. First Mayor of Tunbridge Wells.
Indeed you look an Alderman, 'Tis true I've seen a balder man. "J. STONE-WIGG" is the name I see, Which "Lost or Stolen-Wig" should be.
No. 160. Portrait of Lady Simpson. Bravo, Mr. VAL PRINSEP, A.R.A. Uncommonly good. A parody of the old song should have been selected by the Artist as a motto for the picture:—
Lady SIMPSON has a dog— I don't know its name— Pretty tail has dog, incog. Ribands round the same.
No. 170. "The Spirit of Life." By ARCHIE MACGREGOR. "Eh, ARCHIE mon! aiblins, 'tis just the whusky-still the Leddie's at, takin' a wee drappit i' the 'ee. And why did ye nae ca' it, 'Still Life'"?
No. 177. Portrait of Mrs. George Lewis. Excellent, Mr. Colour-SARGENT! N.B.—Very few "Sergeants" left; but Mr. GEORGE LEWIS has secured the best of them to paint this portrait.
No. 194. Very charming is "The Closing of an October Day." By GEORGE H. BROUGHTON, A.R.A. He has caught the "Early Closing Movement" to the life.
No. 242. "In the Grip of the Sea-Wolf"; or, "Early Bathing at Boulogne." E. M. HALE.
No. 324. And a good Judge too! Portrait of Sir Douglas Straight. The DOUGLAS, "bearded in his den"! Quarter (Sessions) Length. Sad end to a distinguished career to be "quartered, drawn, and hung"! Congratulate Artist, Miss VERA CHRISTIE, on good likeness.
* * * * *
* * * * *
(Being Summary of Robson Roosetem Pasha's Article in New Review.)
Boil Bacillus, Or he'll kill us. From Filter filthy grown Don't drink water, Save rates per quarter, And so "Leave well alone."
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COMPANION WORKS.—Shortly to appear: My Wife's Bodice. By the Author of His Wife's Soul.
* * * * *
TO MY UMBRELLA.
Good, faithful friend, it seems an age Since last we met and walked together! Upon the Daily Graphic's page For weeks I've watched the coming weather;
The meteorologic girl, Despite cold arms, seemed almost jolly, And made no effort to unfurl That wonderful archaic brolly.
So I, grown reckless, did as she. And gave you quite a Long Vacation; Such weather cannot always be, Or you would lose your occupation.
Think how I've treated you! A pet Might envy all the care I gave you; When worn-out with work and wet, Think how I did my best to save you!
You soon looked well, and eased my fears— Recovered after over-pressure. When you "took silk" in other years, Think what I paid for each "refresher"!
When last it rained I had to roll You up quite wet; you've been forgotten. It rains once more. What's this? A hole? By Jove, the silk's completely rotten!
* * * * *
THE STAGE-COACH FIASCO.—The Meet, which was ordered for 11:30 last Thursday, wasn't done, and so there was no Lunch.
* * * * *
ON THE INCOME-TAX.
[By an already over-burdened tax-payer who derived neither enlightenment nor comfort from the wordy war about a "Graduated Income-Tax" between Mr. BARTLEY and Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT.]
"Graduation" seems vexation, "Differentiation" looks as bad. Their the-o-rie It puzzles me. But their practice drives me mad!
* * * * *
"THAT'S SWEAR IT IS!"—In bygone days, when the Princess's was under the management of Mr. and Mrs. CHARLES KEAN, there was a fine imposed on any member of the company who should make use of bad language in the Green-Room. One evening a distinguished actor so far forgot himself as to let slip an expletive of three simple letters, whereat Mrs. KEAN held up her hands in horror and quitted the room, followed by the actresses who happened to be present. Subsequently some wag at the Garrick Club wrote a song whereof the burden was "The Man who said 'dam' in the Green-Room." Tempora mutantur, and now, at the Avenue Theatre, under the management of Mr. and Mrs. KENDAL in the Green-Room and behind the scenes, as well as on the stage, "DAM" will be in everyone's mouth, as this happens to be the name of the Author of their latest successful production.
* * * * *
THE NEWEST TALE OF A TUB.
(By a Sufferer from the Modern Laundry System.)
Rub-a-rub-rub! Three ghouls at a tub: Our shirts and our collars they savagely scrub. The fronts they make bagged, The wristbands quite jagged, And send home our linen all rotten and ragged!
Scrub-a-scrub-scrub! Three fiends at a tub: In chemical bleachings they dabble and grub. Our shirts each bespatters Then brush them to tatters. The wearers get mad as March hares or as hatters!
Rub-a-scrub-scrub! Three hags at a tub: They scrape with a wire-brush, and pound with a club! Smash buttons, burst stitches, And—swell Laundry riches! Who'll save us from this cauldron-tub's dread Three Witches?
* * * * *
The Stock Exchange, Mr. Punch understands, has gone into politics. With a view to test the knowledge of the brokers who "proceshed" to the Guildhall, he asks them,—What is the Commission upon Evicted Tenants? All sellers, no buyers.
* * * * *
Sundry broken punctuation has been corrected.