PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI
VOLUME 104, MAY 20TH 1893
edited by Sir Francis Burnand
OPENING OF THE IMPERIAL INSTITUTE.
Another Show! A splendid Imperial Show! Magnificent weather! Real QUEEN'S weather, and consequently a big success. The grandeur, the solidarity of the British Empire—[&c., &c. *.* Editor regrets that for lack of space he is compelled to omit the remainder of this remarkably fine panegyric. He suggests to Author that it would come out well in pamphlet form, price one shilling, or it might be given away with a pound of Indian tea.—ED.] Obedient to the call of duty I was myself present as one of the 'umblest of the distinguished guests assembled to welcome Her Imperial MAJESTY on this auspicious occasion. It was my good fortune to be immediately in front of a charming Young Lady and her delightful Grandmother. The latter was a trifle deaf, and her Granddaughter being a wonderfully well-informed young lady, I had quite an enjoyable time of it; as had also my neighbours, though I regret to say that some of them after the first three-quarters of an hour seemed rather to resent the gratuitous information given with astonishing volubility by the amiable Young Lady to her confiding relative. For example, up came his Grace the Archbishop of CANTERBURY. "That's the LORD CHANCELLOR," our well-informed Young Lady told her Grandmother. Much cheering greets Lord SALISBURY. "That's General ROBERTS," said the Young Lady, adding, as if rather doubting her own accuracy, "though why he wears a naval uniform I am unable to say." It didn't matter; her Grandmother was equally pleased. "Which is Mr. GLADSTONE?" asked the Old Lady. The Young Lady used her opera-glass. "I don't see him," she returned slowly. "Of course he can't be in a turban. I know he has no whiskers or moustache—ah! there he is!—there, talking to Sir EDWARD LEIGHTON!" She hadn't got even the Christian names correct. I looked in the direction she had indicated and saw Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT in close proximity to Sir RICHARD TEMPLE. But why should I turn and dispel the harmless illusion? Was it for me to bring discord into a family, and cause the Granddaughter to be cut out of the Grandmother's will? Never! So, "from information received," the Old Lady went on implicitly believing in her informant, and treasuring up the particulars for the benefit of her other Grandchildren. "Lord ROBERTS is somewhere here," observed the Young Lady, sweeping the horizon (so to speak, with apologies to "the horizon") with her lorgnette. "Oh, I should like to see him!" exclaimed the Old Lady, enthusiastically. "Where is he?" "Oh, I think—" replied the Granddaughter, hesitatingly, "I rather—think —I've only seen him once—but—oh yes," she added, with wonderful confidence on finding she was commanding an interested audience of simple neighbours—"Oh yes—there—in a General's uniform,—he has just come in—and he is looking for his place,"—and, following guidance, I, too, craned forward, and was rewarded by catching a glimpse of Mr. FREDERICK GORDON, Chairman of the Grand Hotels Co., Limited, who was good enough to salute me with that air of conscious power which becomes part and parcel of a man who has the command of countless battalions in waiting. Encouraged by this incident (for I had not rounded on her and said, "that is not Lord ROBERTS") the Young Lady urged on her mistaken career more wildly than ever. She pointed out the wrong Princess MAY, the Duke of FIFE became H.R.H. the Duke of YORK, the TECKS were the MECKLENBURG-STRELITZES, the Gentlemen-at-Arms were dismounted Chelsea Pensioners in Court dress; the Chinese ladies were Japanese (for they couldn't get even these correct,—and of course these Orientals are most correct), and finally, looking up to the gallery where the Orchestra was, she crowned the edifice by loudly announcing that Sir ARTHUR SULLIVAN was Sir ARTHUR BALFOUR, and added that he was only performing his official duty as Leader of the House of Commons. "Then," asked the simple Old Lady, "are the musicians all obliged to be Members of Parliament?" Her Granddaughter was equal to the occasion, and answered unhesitatingly, "Yes, dear, all."
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* * * * *
After this, what was the show! Everybody was somebody else. Only the QUEEN and the PRINCE were beyond the power of error. She found them out at once. She was enthusiastic about the distinctness of the PRINCE's voice in reading the Address, and she bent forward so as not to lose a syllable of the QUEEN's gracious reply. She explained everything wrong. A few ladies looked at her, mutely beseeching some respite for their ears; would she only give herself ten minutes' rest? No—it was a great chance for the well-informed young woman, and she made the most of it. Even the heat didn't affect her. Processions might come, and processions might go, but like the babbling brook, she could and would "go on for ever." I have forgotten to add that she also knew how everyone arrived, and her Grandmother was much interested at hearing how Her Majesty's Judges all came in an omnibus, driven and conducted by eminent judicial functionaries.
A grand show, "Abely worked by our Secretary," says Sir Early-Springs-and-SOMERS VINE, C.M.G., Assistant Secretary, and to both of them great praise is due. Now, then, to adapt the title of Lord LYTTON's novel, "What will we do with it?"
THE MAN WHO WENT.
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In the Song of the Sword and Other Verses, Mr. HENLEY incidentally asks, "What have I done for you, England, my England?" Since the question is put so pointedly, my Baronite, who has been looking through the little volume of verse, is bound to reply that, what Mr. HENLEY has done for England is to make it as ridiculous as is possible to a man with a limited audience. Mr. HENLEY has a pretty gift of versification, but it is spoiled by a wearisome proneness to smartness, and an assumption of personal superiority that occasionally reaches the heights of the ludicrous. If 'ARRY had been at the University, and had bent what he calls his mind upon verse-making, some of the truculent rhyme in this book is the sort of stuff he would have turned out. It seems at first hearing a far cry from 'ARRY to HENLEY. But the dispassionate reader, turning over these sulphurous leaves, will perceive deeply-rooted similarity in that narrowness of view, and that undisturbed consciousness that it alone is right, which distinguish the reflections, and are found in the observations, of 'ARRY when he views society from his lower standpoint.
Messrs. HUTCHINSON & Co. have published a Book of Wise Sayings, by W. A. CLOUSTON. Not that W. A. CLOUSTON said them all, or any of them, but he selected them. One fault has the Baron to find with the selecting collector, and that is that his references are incomplete. He affixes the name of the author to every wise saying, but as he does not give chapter and verse, it is impossible for the ordinary unlearned reader to ascertain when and where the wise saying was uttered. Perhaps this omission is wise on the part of Mr. CLOUSTON. However, here is a happy example for the time present:—
"Safe in thy breast close lock up thy intents, For he that knows thy purpose best prevents."—Randolph.
Isn't that good? Isn't it "RANDOLPH" to the life? Is anyone quite certain as to the course our RANDOLPH will take?
There are, too, quotations from "R. CHAMBERLAIN"—not from JOSEPH—with whose works the Baron is not so conversant as he might be. Saith R. CHAMBERLAIN:—
"A foolish man in wealth and authority is like a weak-timbered house with a too-ponderous roof."—R. Chamberlain.
The Baron strongly recommends the study of this volume to Mr. OSCAR WILDE; it will save him hours of painful cogitation during the incubation of his next play.
THE BARON DE B.-W. & CO.
* * * * *
ANOTHER HOME-RULE QUESTION.—Ulster objects. Ulster threatens. If Home Rule becomes the law of the land, the Ulstermen will resist vi et armis. Do they propose to set up an Opposition Sovereignty? If so, they have a monarch at hand with the very title to suit them. He is to be found at the Heralds' College, and he is the, par excellence, "Ulster King-at-Arms!"
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STAGE WHISPER AT WESTMINSTER.—The Comedy of Committee now tends towards becoming Mellor-drama.
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"NANA WOULD NOT GIVE ME A BOW-WOW!"
A PRETTY LITTLE SONG FOR PETTISH LITTLE EMPERORS. (Latest Teutonic Version of Mr. Joseph Tabrar's Popular Song.)
[The German Emperor is reported to have said, "It was impossible for me to anticipate the rejection of the Army Bills, so fully did I rely upon the patriotism of the Imperial Diet to accept them unreservedly. A patriotic minority has been unable to prevail against the majority.... I was compelled to resort to a dissolution, and I look forward to the acceptance of the Bills by the new Reichstag. Should this expectation be again disappointed, I am determined to use every means in my power to achieve my purpose."—The Times.]
Wilful Wilhelm sings:—
You ask me why I do not smile; the reason you shall know; I had a disappointment huge a day or two ago; I asked my venerable Nurse to give me no more toys, But just a little Dog of War to bite the other boys. Spoken. But oh! Audience (of Generals and Staff Officers). What? Nana wouldn't give me that bow-wow Wow-wow! The Reichstag wouldn't grant me that bow-wow! Wow-wow! No; she denied me—flat. Now, what do you think of that? And I'd set my mind on that bow-wow-wow! Wow-wow-wow!
Some years ago she did the same, the greedy bad old girl! But I've set my mind upon that dog, sharp teeth and coat a-curl. The other boys have got such tykes, and I should be a mug, If when they run to mastiffs I'm put off with a small pug. Audience. Well? Spoken. Well, I mean to make her give me that bow-wow! Wow-wow! I'll worry her until she buys that bow-wow! Wow-wow! I'll dissolve the Imperial Diet, And I never will be quiet Until I get that bow-wow-wow! Wow-wow-wow!
I always meant when I grew old to do just as I pleased, I'd have a dozen bow-wows then, and if the old Trot teased I'd shut her up, and everyone who backed her, like a shot; For no one who opposes Me can be a pat-ri-ot! Audience. Why? Spoken. Because France has got ahead with her bow-wow! Wow-wow! Russia makes me jealous with her bow-wow! Wow-wow! And now it is my turn To leave them well astern, And I can't without that bow-wow-wow! Wow-wow-wow!
I didn't shake old BIZZY off to take CAPRIVI up, To let my old Nurse thwart me in my longing for this pup. 'Tis true that I have other tykes, a pack of 'em indeed— But what of that? I want one more, of this particular breed. Audience. Well? Spoken. Well, I will, whatever happens, have this bow-wow! Wow-wow! I'll have it very soon, if not just now-now! Wow-wow! My purpose I'll achieve, And the Reichstag never leave Until I get possession of that bow-wow-wow! Wow-wow-wow!
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A QUESTION OF TITLE.—A recent speech by Mr. LOCKWOOD, Q.C., M.P., on the Art of Cross-Examination has been called "deliciously frank." Henceforth, the genial Recorder of York is to be known as Mr. DELICIOUSLY FRANK LOCKWOOD.
* * * * *
A SOVEREIGN MAXIM.
He who risks the answer Nay, When he asks he shall have MAY.
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* * * * *
IN SHEFFIELD PARK.
MONDAY, MAY 5, 1893.
First Match of the Australian Cricketers against Lord Sheffield's English Eleven.
In Sheffield Park, in budding May! True English scene, true cricket day, A generous host, and glorious play! A date to mark! A well-fought match, the Cornstalks' first! A summer sun, a noble thirst! The Season's on us with a burst, In Sheffield Park!
The wondrous veteran W. G., At forty-five scores sixty-three! (At sixty-three GRACE may we see Score forty-five!) Pleasant once more to have a peep At those sharp eyes that never sleep, Those bear's-paws that know how to keep The game alive!
Safe SHREWSBURY and giant GUNN At it once more! Oh Lords, what fun To see them drive, and cut, and run! A May-day lark For elderly and paunchy lads! Ah, Time his annual inches adds. We cannot buckle on the pads In Sheffield Park!
Yet genuine pleasure still 'twill yield To sit and watch, with noses peeled, CONINGHAM smite and GREGORY field. How's that, Sir! Hark! Thanks to GRACE, SHREWSBURY, and GUNN, LOCKWOOD and BRIGGS—what glorious fun!— The first big match we've neatly won In Sheffield Park!
Now for a wet after our roast! Lords no, there is no call to boast! But in Lord SHEFFIELD what a host Cricketers mark! Who will forget that lovely day, 'Midst lovely scenery in mid-May, Who had the luck to watch the play In Sheffield Park!
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(EXETER) HALL RIGHT.—It is reported on the highest authority that Prince GEORGE has been recently engaged in May Meetings, and has expressed himself as having been extremely charmed and interested.
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MORE POWER TO MISS COBBE!
"You say that you've a sovereign way To end the placard pest; Oh, Mistress COBBE, reveal it, pray, And give my spirit rest!"
"You're very green, that may be seen," Th' aggressive dame did shout; "The way to kill a noxious Bill Is—just to throw it out.
"Mid hills, in towns,—that's not so bad,— And in the quiet lane, We let the advertising cad Tyrannically reign.
"So in my walks I take a brush, Also a watering-can, And on the hideous foe I rush, And that's my little plan!
"Without compunction, without haste, Though passers-by may stare, I strip the paper from its paste, And leave the fragments there."
"That plan," I said, "I've never tried; It shows, no doubt, devotion; But is it legal?" She replied, "I've not the slightest notion!"
* * * * *
WAITING FOR THE PROCESSIONS.
(A Reminiscence of the Opening of the Imperial Institute.)
SCENE—The Hyde Park South Road, opposite the Cavalry Barracks. Closely-packed ranks of Sightseers have formed in front of the long line of unharnessed carriages under the trees. Outside this line the feebler folk, who invariably come on such occasions, and never find the courage to trust themselves in the crowd, are wistfully wandering, in the hope of procuring a place by some miraculous interposition.
Lament of Feeble Females. I told you how it would be—not the slightest use staying here!... I can't see anything except a lamp-post and the top of a soldier's bearskin!... We might just as well have stopped at home! (Viciously.) Where all the people come from, I don't know! I'm sure we were here early enough!
Comments by Feeble Males. No—not much to be seen where we are, certainly, but—um—I don't know that we're likely to do better anywhere else.... Not the least good attempting to get in there. Well, we can try lower down, of course, but it'll be just the same. They ought to arrange these things better!
[They drift on discontentedly.
The Self-Helper (squeezing between the wheels, and elbowing himself past the people who have been standing patiently there for hours). By your leave—'ere, just allow me to pass, please. Thenk you. One moment, Mum. "No right to push in 'ere," 'aven't I? I've as much right as what you 'ave. Think the ole Park b'longs to you, I suppose? You orter 'ave a space roped in a-purpose for you, you ought! Tork about selfishness!
[He arrives triumphantly in the foremost row, and obtains the tolerance, if not the sympathy, of all who are not near enough to be inconvenienced by his presence.
Contented People in the Crowd. Oh, we shall do well enough 'ere. They'll put their sunshades down when the QUEEN passes ... I can ketch a view between the 'eads like. And you don't get the sun under the trees ... Sha'n't have much longer to wait now. She'll be starting in another arf hour—(&c., &c.)
A Lady in a Landau (to her husband). I don't think we could have done better, Horace—we shall see everything; and it's quite amusing to be close to the crowd, and hear their remarks—much nicer than being in one of the Stands!
[Her self-congratulations are cut short by the arrival of three Humorous Artisans, who have taken a day off, and are in the highest animal spirits.
Joe (first Humorous Artisan). You shove in first, BILL—push along, JOE; there's room for three little 'uns! Don't you mind about me—I'll git up 'ere, and see over your 'eds. [He mounts on one of the front wheels of the landau, and holds on by the lamp.) I can see proper where I am. There's a lady fainted down there!
Bill (the leading Buffoon of the Party). I wonder if she's got any money. If she 'as, I'll go and 'elp 'er!
Joe. She's all right now. The ambulance 'as come up—they're standin' 'er on 'er 'ed!
The Lady in the Landau (in an undertone). HORACE, we can't have this horrible man here—do make him get down!
Horace (to Joe). Here, I say, my friend, don't you think you'd be more comfortable somewhere else?—that wheel is—er—not exactly the place——
Joe. No offence, Guv'nor. Yer see, I ain't brought out my brawm to-day, 'cos I'm 'avin' it varnished, and——
Bill. Why, don't yer see, JOE?—the lady's put 'er 'usband up to invitin' you on the box-seat of 'er kerridge!—it all comes o' bein so good lookin'—but take care what yer about, or your missus may come by and ketch yer—which'll be unpleasant for all parties!
Joe (to the owner of the Landau, with easy affability). It's very 'orspitable of you and your good lady, Mister, but I'm very well where I am—if I should want to set down later on, I'll tell yer. (To BILL.) I can't think what they all see in me. I don't encourage 'em!
The Lady (in a rapid whisper). No, HORACE, for goodness sake don't—you'll only make them worse—we must put up with it. (They do.)
Bill (affecting to recognise an imaginary friend across the road). 'Ullo, if there ain't little ALEXANDER! I knoo 'e'd be 'ere. What cher, ALEC, ole pal?
Joe (playing up to him). Ah, and there goes JACK GAYNER! You can spot 'im anywhere by 'is eye-glass.
Bill. That's ole JACK all over, that is. 'E wouldn't come out—not on a day like this—without a eyeglass, JACK wouldn't. If it 'ad ha' bin a Saturday now, 'e'd ha' 'ad two, to see 'is way 'ome by. (A gorgeous official passes on horseback.) There y'ar—there's DAN LENO. Way oh, DANNY!
Dick. It's time 'Er Most Gracious come along, if she's goin' to keep 'er character. If she don't make 'aste, I shan't 'ave time to get 'alf a pint afore I go 'ome!
Bill (sentimentally). Ah, if she on'y knoo the anxious arts she's causin'! 'Ullo, see that bloke tryin' to climb up on the wall there? If I was one o' them sojers, I'd draw my sword and do a noble deed against 'im, I would. He wouldn't want to set down on no wall arter I'd done with him!
[By this time the two have secured a delighted audience—of which they are fully conscious.
Joe. Time 's very near up. 'ER MAJESTY ain't 'urryin 'erself.
Bill (magnanimously). Never mind. Now I am 'ere, I'll stop 'Er time. I shouldn't like 'Er to feel that there was somethink wantin' to the success of the perceedins. They say Royalty never forgets a face!
Joe (with the candour of intimacy). She won't see enough o' yours to forgit, ole feller—you ain't used much o' Pears' Soap this mornin', you ain't!
Bill (in nowise pained by this personality—which is only too well founded). Ah, it 'ud take "Monkey Brand" and Fuller's Earth to git it all orf o' me! (There is a stir in the crowd; a Mounted Police-sergeant trots past). There's somethink up now. They're comin'. I will 'oller when the QUEEN passes. She's costed me a deal already, but she ain't got all the money. I got three 'apence of it in my pocket—though, come to think of it, three 'apence laid out in pots o' four ale among three with thusts for thirty and loyalty laid on 'ot and cold all over the premises—why, it don't go so bloomin' fur, and don't you forgit it!
Dick. 'Ere come the Life Guards! smart lookin' lot o' chaps, ain't they?
Bill (philosophically). Ah, and when they done their time, them fellers 'll be glad to turn to plarsterin' or wood-choppin'—anythink to gain their liveli'ood by. There's the Royalties. I can see the people wavin' their 'ankerchiefs—them that's got em. I want to wave somethink—'ere, lend me your bacco-pipe, will yer.
[An open carriaqe passes, containing personages in uniform.
Dick. 'Oo'll that lot be?
Bill. Why, that's the Markiss o' BRICKDUST—don't yer know 'im? And the one in front is the Dook o' DRIPPIN'. Look at 'im a larfin. Ain't 'e a gay ole chicking? 'Ere's some more o' them.
The Crowd. That is the Dook o' CAMBRIDGE. No, it ain't—that was 'im in the fust kerridge. Go on—that was the EDINGBOROS!... Why, I tell yer, I see 'is white whiskers! There's the Princess MAY! Which? 'Ooray! Lor, it's no good 'oorayin' now—she's gone by long ago. Well, I am glad I 've seen 'er, any'ow! Who are them in the white 'elmets? Ostralians, I fancy. No, they ain't—they're Canadians. Then who is it in the fancy dress, with slouch 'ats an' feathers on? Forriners o' some sort. Ain't them Indians dressed up fine? Here come the creams. Now we shall see 'Er!
Bill (with enthusiasm). Brayvo! SANGER'S ain't in it! 'Ooray, 'ooray! Lor, I could do with a ap'ny ice! Did yer see 'Er, Joe? I caught 'Er Royal eye, I did. She didn't bow—'cos we ain't on those terms—but she tipped me a wink, ser much as to say, "'Ullo, BILL, ole feller, 'ow is it you ain't in the Institoot?" Quite forgittin' she never sent me no ticket. But there, I dessay she's lots to think about!
Joe (to the occupants of the Landau). You'll excuse me leavin' yer for a bit, just to git a drink, won't yer? I'll be back in time to see 'em return—if yer won't mind keepin' my place.
[Exit, leaving them glaring in speechless indignation.
The Crowd (breaking up). Oh, I see it beautiful! She did look pleased, didn't she? I didn't notice partickler. I was lookin' at the Percession.... Come along, that's all there is to be seen.... Where's that silly ole man got to? I told 'im to be 'ere under this tree; he wants more lookin' after than any—oh, 'ere you are! Well, you should ha' kept along with us, and you'd ha' seen well enough! It was a pity our leavin' the whisky at 'ome—'tain't often I come out without it—and on a warm day like this, a drop 'ud ha' done us all good!
A Loyal Old Lady. Ah, depend upon it, this Imperial Institoot 'ull do good to Trade. Why, there's one o' them men with the iced lemonade cans sold out a'ready!
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HOW'S THAT FOR—HIGH-TEA?
[A learned Judge is recently reported to have anxiously inquired the meaning of "high-tea."]
His Lordship looked puzzled. He ransacked his brain; His once beaming brow was contracted with pain. Till my Lord stopped the Counsel, in saying, "Let's see, Before you proceed, what is meant by 'high-tea'?
"I was called to the Bar such a long time ago! But I flatter myself that I've learnt now to know All the ropes pretty well, yet completely at sea I confess that I am with this curious 'high-tea.'
"Now I own that I know an Oxonian 'wine,' Though a 'cocoa' at Newnham is more in my line, Whilst dinner and lunch are familiar to me. So is supper. But what—tell me, what is 'high-tea'?"
The Counsel explained in his very best style, (Though he often indulged, on the sly, in a smile,) And the Judge was as eager as eager could be To learn all the rites that belong to "high-tea."
But the sequel to all was a square little note Next day from a blue-blooded Duchess who wrote To the Judge, and this Dame of the highest degree Had invited his Lordship to come to—HIGH-TEA!
* * * * *
DIARY OF A "H. D."
(At the Service of the Departmental Committee on the Treatment of Inebriates.)
Monday.—I am afraid that I can no longer resist the temptation to return to my customary diet. This morning my breakfast was spoiled by finding that the piece de resistance was corked. And this when I pay 96s. a dozen, and the vintage is 1884! However, it could not be helped, and I managed to exist until lunch. Then came another disappointment. I had purposely ordered a light repast, as I had not much appetite. But I did intend to take it with soda-water—not neat. At dinner I managed to get through a biscuit, and as it was "devilled," it gave me renewed relish for the morning's champagne. This time the bottles were in excellent condition, and I quite forgot that earlier in the day one of them had been corked. All in the half-dozen were in perfect condition—especially the last magnum. I do not know how I got to bed.
Tuesday.—When I find that I have not removed my boots overnight, I know that I require a pick-me-up. A friend joined me at breakfast, and we both thought the champagne excellent. My friend BROWN, or perhaps it was JONES, and now I come to think of it, it may have been ROBINSON. And yet, when I consider the matter, there may have been three of them. I tried to count them, and it took me half the morning. Well, BROWN, or whoever he was, is a very good fellow. Most amusing, and an excellent audience. He laughs at everything. Whether you mean it to be funny or not, he laughs. I like him as a brother. A thoroughly good fellow. We had a most interesting discussion about the right pronunciation of Constitution. He said it was in two syllables. I said it was in one. I think I was right. We had a long chat about it after dinner. First we talked about it over the port, and then under the table. I don't know how I managed to get home, but I have a firm belief that it was all right—quite all right.
Wednesday.—Found my boots again on my feet when recovering consciousness. So this is the second time I must have slept in them. I feel excessively melancholy. I have wept very much, and were it not for the supporting-powers of whiskey, I am sure I should he much worse. However, there is only one thing to be done—to keep at it. One bottle down, another come on. I have floored no end of a lot of them. Strange to say that I am now happy after all my sorrow of this morning. Everything is right but the lamp-posts. They are all wrong. Getting in my way on my road home. I feel awfully tired. However, seems to be my duty to interfere in a street-row.
Thursday.—It appears I had an altercation with the police last night. I am free, but sorrowful. I really must put myself under restraint. I feel almost certain that I have given way to intemperance. On appealing to BROWN (or whoever he is), he says I have been as drunk as a fly for ages. This hurts me very much. Only thing to do is to retire into a retreat. Have, with the assistance of BROWN (or whoever he is), drawn up the application. It looks right enough. And, as this is my last chance for some time to come, I and BROWN (or whoever he is) are going to make a night of it.
Friday.—Boots again! BROWN (or whoever he is) called with two doctors. I said I couldn't be bothered with them. BROWN (or whoever he is) said I must. So I saw them. They say that the Act requires that I must understand what I am doing. All right—going into retreat. Word "retreat" should be pronounced as one syllable. All right, they have made the statutory declaration.
Saturday.—Here I am. Charming place, away from drink, and ought to do well for the next fortnight. Can't remember how long I promised to stay, but know it was for some considerable time. I have just seen the Superintendent. He says he is very sorry, but I cannot stay any longer. This, in spite of it appearing that I have signed an application undertaking to remain for life. Can't make it out. Rather vague about what I have been doing during the week, but know I wanted to cure myself from habitual inebriety. Superintendent says he must turn me out under the statute. Appears that I signed the application for admission when I was not absolutely sober. Can't be helped. Out I go. Well, there are worse things in the world than whiskey and port. I have a notion that I am booked for another night in my boots!
* * * * *
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THE RECENTLY-ELECTED R.A.'S.
The pictures these talented gentlemen show Monotonous never appear; Waves, woods, and (say) Wenice, MACWHIRTER & Co. Depict for us year after year.
WOODS always paints Venice, the place that brought forth A Moor, but MOORE'S chattels and goods Are seas, not calm south ones, but those of the north, Whilst NORTH and MACWHIRTER paint woods.
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A DEBT OF HONOUR.—Will the verse described as Ode by Mr. WILLIAM MORRIS be paid with the Poet Laureateship?
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* * * * *
OUR OWN AMBASSADOR.
Mr. Punch, meeting Columbia at the World's Fair, thus greeteth her:—
COLUMBIA by Lake Michigan A treasure-dome did late decree; And all the world, in summer, ran, In numbers measureless by man, The Wondrous Show to see! There many miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills Surrounding halls of vast machinery. And all earth's products, from fine arts to pills, Massed in that maze by that great inland sea.
Fast, from that deep romantic chasm which slanted Through Colorado, the Grand Canon; over Yellowstone's marvel—teeming miles enchanted; Far-sweeping prairies erst by redskins haunted; Steaming and railing, like bee-swarms to clover, The world-crowd swept, with ceaseless turmoil seething; It seemed the earth in eager pants was breathing In a great race to see who should be first Into that many-acred Show to burst, And conquering COLUMBIA there to hail Creation-licker on colossal scale. By Michigan's large lake, once and for ever, Surpassing other Shows, in park, by river, O'er miles meandering, this last Yankee Notion Through wood and meadow like a river ran, Vast Exposition of the Arts of Man! Hyde Park compared therewith stirred small emotion, And proud COLUMBIA, waving Stripes and Stars, Cried, "The White City whips the Champ de Mars!"
The shadow of that dome of treasure Floated midway on the wave. (See CASTAIGNE'S drawings—they're a pleasure— In the May Century pictured brave.) It was a miracle of rare device, Costing "a pile," but cheap at any price! A damsel with a five-stringed "Jo" In a vision once I saw; It was an Alabama maid, And on her banjo light she played, Singing of sweet Su-san-nah! Could I revive within me Amphion's lyric song, To such a deep delight 'twould win me As the music loud and long That sure did raise this dome in air, That mighty dome!—those halls of price! COLUMBIA'S magic set them there, And all who see cry, "Rare! O rare! This beats great KUBLA KHAN'S device! Chicago outsoars Xanadu! COLUMBIA'S World's Fair here on view Eclipses SHEDAD'S Paradise!"
There, Madam! The British Ambassador, Punch, Has borrowed the lyre of the Opium-eater To praise your unparalleled feat! By his hunch 'Twould tax that great master of magic and metre To do it full justice. To paint such a vision The limner need call on the aid of the Poppy. It is a Big Blend of the Truly Elysian, And (you'll comprehend!) the Colossally Shoppy! Mix HAROUN ALRASCHID with Mr. MCKINLEY, And Yellowstone Park with a Persian Bazaar, And then the ensemble is sketched in but thinly. For brush and for pen 'tis too mighty by far. The fragment of COLERIDGE hinted at wonders His Dream might have shown, had it ever been finished. COLUMBIA, I bear o'er the ocean that sunders But cannot un-kin us, the love undiminished Of all whom I speak for—that's England all over— Here's luck, in a bumper, to you and your Show! Ambassador Punch, your Admirer and Lover, Believes the World's Fair will turn out a Great Go!
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MUSIC IN MAY.—Albert Hall gave a good Concert last Wednesday night. C. V. STANFORD'S "East to West," libretto by Poet SWINBURNE, is cleverish. To encores Sir JOSEPH BARNBY says, as a rule, "Not for Sir JOSEPH." Quite right. Miss PALLISER, known as Miss BUCKINGHAM PALLISER, because she sang at a Court Concert, charming; and Mr. E. J. LLOYD as The Old Obadiah, excellent. Chorus, like the weather, very fine; Orchestra set fair, or fair set. Hall full, but, now and again, it's a Hall-full place for sound.
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(After Tennyson's "Adeline.")
All around one daily sees Dreadful dyes of Aniline. Worn by women fat and thin, Bonnet, bodice, back and breast. One can hardly call thee fair, With thy fierce magenta glare, With thy green, the green of peas, Violet, and all the rest. What appalling tints are thine, Showy, glowy Aniline!
Whence did modern women get Such a gorgeous array? Dear to 'ARRY'S 'ARRIET On a 'appy 'oliday, 'Owlin', out on 'Ampstead 'Eath, From the 'ill to 'im beneath. Also dear to girls who sell Flowers in the London street, They have always loved thee well In their frocks and feathers neat. Why revive those tints of thine, Antiquated Aniline?
Thou hast almost made us blind Under England's cloudless skies; Low-toned tints of Orient, Such as Turkish rugs adorn, Would be better for our eyes— Now upon the pavement bent Since such blazers have been worn. Say, has Paris sent to us Dyes so dreadfully defined? Do the tyrant modistes bring Colours so calamitous, Mixed in ways more fearful still, In this strangely sunny spring? Oh, before thou mak'st us ill, Take away that glare of thine, Unaesthetic Aniline!
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SALE OF THE CLIFDEN AND HIGH PRICE PICTURES.
—"The Wife of Burgomaster Six" went for over L7000. This wife of Burgomaster Half-a-dozen was a marvellous specimen of a woman. The Burgomaster was so faithful a husband that "Six to One" has long since become a homely proverb.
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A USEFUL TOOLE.—Mr. Punch was much surprised one day last week to see on the evening newspaper placards:—
TOOLE IN THE BOX. A LUCKY DOG.
Was "the Box" a new piece to be put on at the distant period when Walker, London, fails to attract? No! The hero of Homburg had only been helping in the Lucky Dog Fight—merely a case of Verbum Sapte et Alport, or a Word for SAPTE and ALPORT.
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THE SHORTEST PASSAGE ON RECORD.—Aberdeen to Canada at a pen-stroke.
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SIC ITUR AD—ASTOR!
[The American Millionnaire has purchased Cliveden.]
RULE, BRITANNIA! 'Twas Cliveden's fair walls which first heard That stout patriot strain—which may now sound absurd "Yankee Doodle" indeed might more fittingly ring "In Cliveden's proud alcove," which POPE stooped to sing. O Picknickers muse; and, O oarsmen, repine! Those fair hanging woods, BULL, no longer are thine. Our high-mettled racers may pass o'er the sea— Shall sentiment challenge thy claims, L. S. D.? Our pictures may go without serious plaint— What are the best pictures but canvas and paint? Our Press? Let the alien toff take his pick. When the Dollar dictates shall mere patriots kick? Our hills and our forests? If Oil-kings appear, And want them—for cash—as preserves for their deer. Down, down with mere pride—so they're down with the dust! Mammon's word is the great categorical Must! The Dollar's Almighty, the Millionnaire's King! Sell, sell anyone who'll bid high—anything. What offers for—London? Who bids for—the Thames? Cracks go, Cliveden follows. What Briton condemns? Cash rules. For the Dollar-King BULL shies his castor. Buy! Buy! That's the cry, JOHN. Sic itur ad—ASTOR!
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BOOKED AT THE LYCEUM BOX-OFFICE.—Four nights a week Becket is given. Programme is varied on the other two nights. A simple gentleman said to the Clerk at the Box-Office, "I want two stalls." The Clerk. "For Becket?" "No," returned the simple one; "for me."
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SOMETHING FOR NOTHING.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—From a communication to one of the daily papers, it appears that "a hundred ladies and gentlemen who find the works of HENDRIK IBSEN (perhaps not all for exactly the same reasons, but who agree in finding them) among the most interesting productions of the modern theatre, have guaranteed the estimated expenses of a series of twelve performances, at which three of IBSEN'S plays will be presented." This arrangement is carried out by "each guarantor receiving in seats at the current theatrical prices the full value of his subscription," as "the State will not subsidize a theatre, and no millionnaire seems inclined to endow one."
This is clear enough, but it has occurred to me that, as after the first few performances there may be a goodly number of untenanted seats, it would be as well to provide auxiliary aid to fill them. It would scarcely be fair to call upon the guarantors to pay the audience to be present at the "entertainments" provided for their amusement. And yet, unless the houses are good, the actors will not do themselves justice, and the plays of HENDRIK IBSEN will suffer in consequence. I fear that it would be revolting to humanity to insist upon the attendance of the less intelligent inmates of the Asylum for Idiots, and yet here would be an appropriate path out of the difficulty. Under the circumstances, could not the State (with the aid of a short Act of Parliament) still render assistance? I see no reason why thieves and other dishonest characters should not have a portion of their sentences remitted on condition that they attended the IBSEN performances. Such an arrangement would save the rate-payers the expense of the prisoners' keep. The audience I have suggested would also be free from temptation, for when they were assisting at a representation of one of IBSEN'S plays, I venture to believe they would find nothing worth stealing.
A PRACTICAL MAN.
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ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, May 8.—"What a day we are having, to be sure!" said CHAMBERLAIN, rubbing his hands and smiling delightedly. Things certainly pretty lively to begin with; just got into Committee on Home-Rule Bill; CHARLIE (my DARLING) was to have opened Debate with Amendment on first line of First Clause; but, as he subsequently explained to sympathetic Committee, he was weighed down with feeling of diffidence. House, touched with this unusual weakness on part of Member for Deptford, readily accepted volunteered service of CHAMBERLAIN, who undertook to say a few words on another Amendment whilst DARLING was recovering.
No diffidence about JOSEPH. As he observed in stormiest epoch of sitting, he was as cool as a cucumber. "A cucumber with full allowance of vinegar and pepper," SQUIRE of MALWOOD added, in one of those asides with which he varies the silence of Treasury Bench. Well there was someone at that temperature. Committee, take it all together, in volcanic mood. Peculiarity of situation, as SAUNDERSON put it, with some mixing of metaphor, was that "it was the cucumber that kept the pot a-boiling." Whenever any sign of placidity was visible, JOSEPH sure to appear on scene, rub someone's hair the wrong way, or stir up some slumbering lion with long pole.
"Ever stop to watch the Punch show in the streets, TOBY?" said PLUNKET. "No, I suppose not; rather personal; recall days before you went into politics. Confess I always do; been chuckling just now over idea that here we have the whole thing played out. There's Mr. Punch in person of Mr. G. Up comes a head, GRANDOLPH'S, or someone else's; down comes the baton in the form of the Closure. Everyone supposes that Law and Order are established and things will go smoothly, when suddenly up springs JOEY, cool as a cucumber, and upsets everything again. There's nothing new under the sun, not even proceedings in obstruction of Home-Rule Bill."
After dinner SOLICITOR-GENERAL discovered seated on Treasury Bench. A great thirst for speech from him suddenly afflicted Opposition. Mr. G. spoke, and JOHN MORLEY moved the Closure, but nothing would satisfy them save speech from RIGBY. Pauses in conversation were filled by cries upon his name. He sat unresponsive, looking wiser than ever, but still unspeakably wise.
DARLING'S Amendment got rid of with assistance of Closure. GRANDOLPH rushed in; hotly moved to report progress. Only ten o'clock; two hours more before Debate adjourned. This merrily filled up with divisions, shouting, and scenes. GRANDOLPH'S motion to Report Progress being negatived on division. PRINCE ARTHUR moved that Chairman leave the Chair, division on which just tided Committee over twelve o'clock, without chance of doing more work.
"I feel twelve years younger," said GRANDOLPH, coming in from last division. "Reminds me of first Session of 1880 Parliament, when we sat below Gangway there, and bandied about these alternative resolutuions, me moving to Report Progress; then, when we came back again, WOLFFY, GORST, or sometimes, to give the boy a turn, PRINCE ARTHUR moved that Chairman leave the Chair. That was long before he came into his princedom. House of Commons pretty dull these six years back. After all, it's the same old place, and, if we give our mind to it, we can have the same old game."
Business done.—Got into Committee on Home Rule Bill.
Thursday.—Noisiest evening we have enjoyed since Parliament elected. Peculiarity of situation was that everybody, not excluding Chairman of Committees, strenuously anxious to preserve order. Quiet enough till CHAMBERLAIN appeared on scene, then followed the ordinary cool-cucumbery results. TIM HEALY torn with anxiety that JOSEPH should limit himself strictly to Motion before Committee. Sort of triangular duel; JOSEPH at corner Bench below Gangway to right of Chair; TIM in corresponding position opposite; MELLOR in (and out of) Chair; all three on their feet simultaneously; Committee assisting in general desire for peace and order by tumultuous shouting. TIM fired furiously at JOSEPH; JOSEPH answered shot for shot; Chairman pegged away alternately at both.
Then GRANDOLPH, finding temptation irresistible, romped in. "I move," he said, "that the words be taken down." Very well; quite so; but what words? The Chamber was full of words, surging like the waters at Lodore. Which particular ones would GRANDOLPH like taken down? Turned out that his desire centred upon almost the only words that had not been uttered. "I distinctly heard the Member for Louth say, 'You are knocked up.'" So GRANDOLPH solemnly declared, standing at table. Whilst Irish Members popped up like parched peas on Benches below Gangway, CHAMBERLAIN took opportunity of looking over his notes, and Chairman, standing at table, forlornly wrung his hands, TIM HEALY sat a model of Injured Innocence. As it turned out he, by rare chance, had not spoken at all. This made clear upon testimony of MACARTNEY and JOHNSTON of Ballykilbeg. What TIM felt most acutely was, not being thus groundlessly charged with disorderly speech, but that GRANDOLPH, for whom he has a warm respect, should imagine that if he had an observation to offer in the circumstances, it would be one so frivolously harmless as that cited. To observe to somebody "You are knocked up," might, with tone of commiseration thrown in, be a friendly, almost an affectionate, remark. Why the words, if uttered at all, should be taken down, no one could even guess. TIM sat in deep dejection, overborne by this unexpected and undeserved contumely. Parched-pea business on Benches round him became contagious; MELLOR up and down in the Chair with corresponding motion; SWIFT MACNEILL shouting something at top of his voice; Ross rising to explain; JOHNSTON of Ballykilbeg actually explaining; MACARTNEY saying something; TOMMY BOWLES, not to be out of it, moving that somebody else's words be taken down. At length, in comparative lull in storm, Chairman adroitly signalled to CHAMBERLAIN, who continued his speech. Members, generally, gratefully availed themselves of his interposition to take their breath.
"Do you know, TOBY, what this reminds me of?" said Earl SPENCER, looking down on turbulent scene from Peers' Gallery. "Carries me back to boyhood's days, and what used to happen when, in temporary absence of head-master, French usher took charge of the school."
J. G. LAWSON, on spending time in Library, looking up native name for proposed Legislative Assembly in Dublin. Found what it used to be called when BRIAN was King; written name down, tries to pronounce it. TIM HEALY says, as far as he can make out, LAWSON is speaking Welsh; it is suggested that Chairman shall put Question. MELLOR says he's quite enough to do to put Amendments in English; declines to attempt the Irish. LAWSON withdraws, using awful language, which he insists is Irish. It sounds even worse.
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Saturday Morning.—Another afternoon in Committee on Home-Rule Bill. Not so lively as yesterday, but equal amount of business not done, which, after all is the thing. House fairly full; gunpowder lying about in all directions, as shown by occasional flash; and one regular explosion. Went off to Library; sat in quiet corner with PRINCE ARTHUR'S last book in hand. Fancy I must have fallen asleep; found tall figure sitting next to me; drowsily recognised RAIKES. Couldn't be RAIKES, you know; long ago gone to another place. Yet figure unmistakeable, and voice well remembered. Seem to have been asking him question.
"What do I think about new Chairman?" he was saying. "Well, of course, that is a delicate question to put to me; was Chairman myself for many sessions; know every thorn in the cushion of the seat. It is, I should say, the most difficult post in House; far more so than SPEAKER'S. SPEAKER is robed about with authority that does not pertain to Chairman. Observations which, addressed to SPEAKER, would be flat blasphemy, are, when flung at Chairman of Ways and Means, merely choleric words. Apart from that, position is, through long stretches of sitting, more arduous. When full-dress debate going on, SPEAKER of judgment and experience can go easy; may even, upon occasion, strategically doze. One did in times not so long ago, and was caught flagrante asleepoh. MACKWORTH PRAED was Member of the House then; made little speech in verse on incident. You remember it?
Sleep, Mr. SPEAKER; it's surely fair, If you don't in your bed, that you should in your Chair; Longer and longer still they grow, Tory and Radical, Aye and No Talking by night, and talking by day. Sleep, Mr. SPEAKER; sleep, sleep, while you may.
"Chairman must be on alert every moment in Committee. Rule under his jurisdiction is conversation as opposed to speech-making when SPEAKER in Chair. Any moment out of depths of dulness may suddenly rise a whirlwind, which he is expected forthwith to ride. Especially in connection with Bill like this now before Committee, Chairman is in state of tension from time he takes Chair till he leaves. Don't forget all this when you criticise MELLOR, still new to place. He's a good fellow, and a shrewd one; but has, among other difficulties, to fight against proneness to good-nature. Good-nature out of place in the Chair. COURTNEY knew that, and successfully overcame his natural tendencies. MELLOR too anxious to oblige. Must get over that. Above all, should never explain. Suddenly called upon for decision on knotty point, must needs make mistake sometimes. If he does, unless it be very serious, he should stick to it. For Chairman of Committees, better to be in the wrong and uphold authority of Chair, than to wriggle into the right at its expense. MELLOR should be more monosyllabic in his style, more ruthless in his dealing with disorderly interruption, more wary about putting his foot down, but, being planted, it should be immovable. It would make his fortune if he could only name CHAMBERLAIN. That would be difficult, I know, for JOEY C. is sly, dev'lish sly. He should begin with JEMMY LOWTHER, who gives plenty of chances. Thence he might work upwards. Is that a bell ringing? Yes. Must be off, or I'll get shut out. We've lately adopted the Early Closing Movement."
Certainly bell was ringing; it was for Division on Clause I. Still fact seems to run on all fours with what I remember RAIKES talking of just now. Yet, again, when one comes to think of it, can a bell run on all fours? Everything very strange. Shall go and vote.
Business done.—Clause I. agreed to.
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TO THE WOOLSACK.
Sincere congratulations for Our conscience-keeping Chancellor. Whom lawyers know as HERSCHELL, C. Is now Lord HERSCHELL, G.C.B.
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AN ADDITION TO THE CALENDAR.—Sir SOMERS VINE, in recognition of his services in connection with the Imperial Institute, has been appointed a Companion of St. Michael and St. George. And why not? He will be found excellent company.
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Missing and illegible/damaged punctuation has been repaired.
Page 240: 'dulness' is correct—
from Oxford Online Dictionary:
dull ... — DERIVATIVES dullness (also dulness).