OR, THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
MAY 10, 1890.
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EIGHT HOURS ONLY.
(A Fancy Sketch of the Possible.)
It was the first day under the operation of the new Act. Everyone was a little nervous about the outcome, and JOHN JONES, the Barrister, was no exception to the general rule. At three o'clock he was in the full swing of an impassioned appeal to the Jury.
"I beg your pardon, Mr. JONES," said the Judge, glancing at the clock, "but I am afraid I must interrupt you. I cannot hear you any longer."
"But, my Lord, I have not touched upon a third of the case. I can assure you my remarks shall be as brief as possible."
"That is not the point, Mr. JONES," replied his Lordship. "I am following your argument with the liveliest interest, and I am sure that all you would wish to say would be of the greatest possible service to your client; but unfortunately I happen to know that you prepare your cases in the early hours of the morning. Now, you know the law as well I do. If you have not been at work to-day for eight hours, of course I shall be happy to hear; but if you have——"
"As your Lordship pleases," said poor JONES, and he gathered up his papers, and left the Court.
"Just in time, Sir," observed the attendant in the robing-room, as he put the Barrister's wig in its box, and assisted him to divest himself of his gown. "Had you come five minutes later, we should have gone."
"Really! How would that have suited silk and stuff?"
"Caused a fearful row, I am afraid, Sir. But we daren't exceed the eight hours' limit, and we must keep two or three of them for some work we have in the evening."
When JONES found himself in the Strand he noticed that the traffic was considerably less than usual. The omnibuses were few and far between, and he did not see a cab in any direction.
"Yes, Sir," replied a policeman, who was removing his band of office, preparatory to going home; "you won't find many. Eight hours' limit, Sir. Good-day, Sir. I am off myself."
The boats had ceased running; there were no trams. To pass the time he thought he would call upon the Editor, whose rooms were in Fleet Street.
"I hope I am not interrupting you," he said, as he entered the sanctum.
"Interrupting me! Why, I am delighted to see you. We have nothing to do. Mustn't exceed the eight hours, and they were up at two o'clock. But how did you get in?"
"Oh, the Publisher opened the door, and then returned to a rubber of whist he was playing with the Reader, the Manager, and the Head of the Advertisement Department. I was introduced to them all. Then I watched a tug of war going on in the composing-room between the Compositors on the one side, and the Machinists and Foundry-men on the other, and came up here."
"Very glad to see you, my dear fellow!" and the Editor once again shook hands.
A little later JONES entered a restaurant, but he was refused dinner. The eight hours' limit had cleared off the cooks and the waiters. Half-starving, he purchased a stall for the theatre. For a while his thoughts were distracted by the excellence of the performance. Suddenly, in the most interesting part of the play, the curtain was prematurely dropped.
"Very sorry," said the Stage Manager, addressing the audience from behind the footlights, "but, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have no option. We had a rehearsal this morning of the new piece, and, taking this into consideration, our limit is reached. I may seize this opportunity for regretfully announcing that as two performances take more than eight hours, the customary Saturday Matinee will for the future be discontinued."
The orchestra played a few bars of the National Anthem, and the theatre cleared. JONES strolled on to the Embankment, and, the evening being pleasant, took a seat. Beside him was a student reading for examination, a clergyman thinking out a sermon, and an artist taking a rough sketch. JONES took out a brief himself and opened it.
"It's no business of mine," said a policeman off duty, who happened to be passing, "but you gents will get yourselves into trouble if you exceed the limit."
"I will go home," exclaimed JONES; and he walked to his suburban villa. But the place was locked up, and the servants did not dare to open the door to him, as they had finished their legal spell of labour hours before.
"Don't feel well," he murmured. "Will call upon my Doctor."
"Now, my dear Sir," said the medical man, as JONES appeared before him, "you know I must not prescribe for you. The eight hours' limit was reached at four."
"Then, I suppose I must die. Will the Act allow me to do that?"
"You, as a Barrister, ought to know best, my dear Sir. What is your idea?"
"My idea?" echoed the considering JONES. "Well, I should say——But, stay; I am not entitled to give a professional opinion until to-morrow morning! Still, offhand I may observe, that such an illegal death would savour of positive suicide; but it would not matter very much, as under existing circumstances suicide in some form or other seems to me inevitable!" And JONES was right!
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IN THE KNOW.
(By Mr. Punch's Own Prophet.)
Those who have carefully read the remarks which I have thought it my duty to make in these columns from time to time, must have reaped a golden harvest at Newmarket last week. It is not easy, of course, in these milk-and-water days to say what one means in sufficiently plain words. Personally, I have always been mild in my language, and have often been reproached on this score. But I have always found it possible, without using vulgar and exaggerated abuse, to express the contempt which, in common with every right-minded man, I feel for the grovelling herd of incompetent boobies, whose minds are as muddy as the Rowley Mile after a thunderstorm. Surefoot was always a favourite of mine. Two months ago I said, "if Surefoot can only face the starter for the Two Thousand firmly, he will probably get off well, and ought not to be far behind the first six at the finish. As to Le Nord, though he is not my colour, he is not likely to be last." Only a mooncalf, with a porridge-bowl instead of a head, could have mistaken these remarks.
So Sir THOMAS CHUCKS has joined the ranks of aristocratic owners. Here is a chance for the dilly-dallying professors of humbug to distinguish themselves. What can be expected from a stable which always runs its trials at one o'clock in the morning, with nobody but Mr. JEREMY to look on? No doubt we shall hear all about it in the columns which Mr. J. devotes to the edification of dough-faced, gruel-brained noodles who accept him as their prophet.
Catawampus ran well last week. With two stone less and a Calyx-eyed saddle-bar, he would have shown up even better. Whenever the barometer goes up two points Catawampus must be remembered. He was foaled in a ditch on the old North Road, somewhere between London and York, and having remained there or thereabouts for a month, may be considered a good stayer.
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THE EMPIRE IN THE TIME OF SEVERUS.—Wonderful Juggler at the Empire, with a name that's not to be trifled with, SEVERUS. Some nights he may be better than on others, but you'll be delighted if you just catch him in the Juggler vein.
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The Over-rated Rate-payers who fear the rising of the Rates more than almost any other rising, express a hope that the L. C. C. will be economical, and that FARRER may be "Nearer."
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(Vide Lord Rosebery's resume of the year's work of the London County Council.)
MASTER BULL loquitur:—
Humph! Show is very passable, no doubt; And as you pull the strings, my clever Showman, 'Tis clear that you know what you are about, Sense's sworn friend, and babbling folly's foeman. The slides, as worked by you, seem mighty fine, A trifle vague, perhaps, in composition, Sloppy in colouring, and weak in line, As is the civic peep-show's old tradition; Still there is graphic vigour here and there, Perspective, and a general sense of "movement." On the old "Shirker" Show, 'tis only fair To own, it evidences some improvement. Plenty of slides! there is no doubt of that; In fact one questions if there are too many. Yes, I shall find when you pass round the hat, The price is more than the old-fashioned Penny. I pay my money and I take my—choice? Well no, it won't quite fit, that fine old patter. Still, if your Show proves good, I shall rejoice; A trifling rise in fee won't greatly matter, If 'tis not too "progressive" (as you say). To stump up for sound work I'm always willing; But though, of course, a Penny may not pay, One wants a first-class Peep-Show for a Shilling! Some of your novel slides are rather nice, Some of them, on the other hand, look funny. I felt grave doubts about 'em once or twice. I don't want muddlers to absorb my money. However, as I said, 'tis very clear As puller of the strings you yield to no man. The Show seems promising, if rather dear, But anyhow it has a first-rate Showman!
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"So Engelish you know!" exclaims the BARON DE B. W., on seeing the advertisement of Dr. LOUIS ENGEL's new book from Handel to Halle. "It will be interesting," says the Baron, "to note how much of HANDEL's popularity was due to that particular inspiration of genius which caused him to use the name of the future composer and pianist in one of his greatest works, namely, the celebrated 'Hallelujah Chorus.' For this magnificent effort would have been only half the chorus it is without 'HALLE' to commence it."
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OR, PUCK AT THE SPIGOT.
(Shakspeare adapted to the situation)
Bung. Either I mistake your shape and making quite, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite Called GRANDOLPH GOODFELLOW. Are you not he That did your best to spill Lord S-L-SB-RY? Gave the Old Tory party quite a turn, And office with snug perquisites did spurn? And now you'd make Strong Drink to bear no barm (Or proper profit.) You would do us harm. Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sly PUCK, Are right; you always bring your friends bad luck. Are you not he?
Puck. By Jove, thou speak'st aright; I am that merry wanderer full of spite. I jest unto the Plebs and make it smile. Old, fat, and bean-fed Tories I beguile, And lead them to a Democratic goal. Now I am "going for" the flowing bowl. E'en W-LFR-D owns I am "upon the job". I mean to save the workman many a "bob". But, lessening his chance of toping ale, The Witler tells his pals the saddest tale. Bacchus for his true friend mistaketh me, Then step I from his side, down topples he, And "Traitor!" cries, and swears I did but chaff, And the Teetotallers hold their sides and laugh, And chortle in their joy, and shout, and swear That GRANDOLPH GOODFELLOW's a spirit rare. But room, old boy, the Second Reading's on.
Bung. He is a trickster:—Would that he were gone!
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MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.
"Dear me, how surprisingly your voice has strengthened since I last heard you sing;" i.e., "Roars like a town-bull, and fancies himself a LABLACHE!"
"I saw quite a ring round your picture at the Academy to-day;" i.e., "If only he had heard them laugh!"
"Won't you stop and have some lunch?" i.e., "Couldn't help asking him, as the confounded luncheon-bell rang a peal; but if he has any manners or consideration he'll say, 'No, thank you,' and go."
"I know your face so well—but I am such a bad hand at names;" i.e., "Never saw him before in my life!"
"Pray allow me to get it;" i.e., "Catch me moving!"
"You know you can trust me implicitly;" i.e., "May be a good story to tell."
"He has such wonderful wit;" i.e., "An unfailing flow of rudeness which he calls repartee."
"Rather satirical, yes: but she has marvellous insight into character;" i.e., "She has been complimenting me."
"These, then, are the arguments;" i.e., "They're all yawning—must end somehow."
"A crushing reply;" i.e., a retort discourteous, in which all the points of the attack are adroitly evaded.
"After the magnificent oration to which we have just listened with so much delight, I feel that anything that I can say must be in the nature of an anti-climax;" i.e., "Confound him! Why will he take all the 'fat' to himself, and cut the ground from under a fellow's feet?"
"I have the greatest possible pleasure in presiding over this magnificent assembly on this memorable occasion;" i.e., "Place is like a malodorous oven, and I wish to goodness it were all over."
"I appeal to that consideration which the House always extends to a new Member, &c.;" i.e., "Mean to make them sit up a bit, but must come the conventional modest."
"The Honourable and Gallant Gentleman has fulfilled his task with all the ability that might naturally be expected;" i.e., "With none worth mentioning."
"I rise to order;" i.e., "To raise disorder."
"Let me be the first, dear, to congratulate you on your well-merited good fortune;" i.e., "She has the deuce's own luck, and doesn't deserve it."
"Thank you so much for your beautiful present, which I shall value for its own sake as well as for the giver's;" i.e., "Wouldn't give twopence for the two of 'em."
"So good of you to send me your new book. I shall lose no time in reading it;" i.e., "No; not a single second."
AT A DANCE.
"So you prefer to stand out of this dance, dear?" i.e., "Trust her for being a willing 'Wallflower.'"
"Shall we sit this out on the stairs?" i.e., "I don't want to dance, and I do want to spoon."
A LITTLE MUSIC.
"Well, dear, the only song I can remember, without music, is 'Gasping'—but I'll try that, if you like;" i.e., "Her great song, which she has been grinding up to sing to—or rather at—young FITZ-FLOSS. Won't she be wild?"
"Well, your Beethoven bits are lovely, dear, we know; but suppose you give us something lighter, for once;" i.e., "BEETHOVEN, indeed! BESSIE BELLWOOD is more her style."
"Well, it may be a bit lively when we get out;" i.e., "You won't know whether you are on your head or your heels in ten minutes."
"I've never seen such a collection of curios in my life!" i.e., "Hope I never may again!"
"I'm no great judge of such things, but I should say this specimen is unique;" i.e., "It is to be hoped so!"
"Ex-qui-site!!!" i.e., "Rubbish!"
"Awfully noisy carriages on this line;" i.e., "Thank goodness! The clatter has tired even his stentor throat."
"Good-bye! So sorry we don't travel farther together;" i.e., "Hooray! Now for feet up and forty winks!"
PREPARING FOR PRIVATE THEATRICALS.
"I'm sure you will be a great acquisition to my little company;" i.e., "Awful stick, but a pis aller I'm afraid."
"Now if there's anything you notice not quite the thing, pray mention it. I'm not above taking a hint;" i.e., "Nor you up to giving one—of any value."
"Oh, no doubt you're right, though it's not the way CHARLES MATHEWS did it;" i.e., "That's a nasty one for you, Mr. MEDDLER."
"Ah, yes, I was a little off colour, perhaps; but I shall be all right on the night, you bet!" i.e., "Not going to be dictated to by you anyhow."
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"STANDS SCOTLAND (YARD) WHERE IT DID?"—Yes; only more so. And how kind and thoughtful of the Government to order that the materials for building the new Police Offices should be found and fashioned by the Dartmore convicts. Quite a labour of love!
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Correspondent, in Times of Saturday, showed that, in Spite of increase of population, there has been a decrease of drunkenness. In 1884-85 there were 183,221 drunken Police-court cases; but in 1887-88 only 166,366. Anti-temperance persons will look upon this as "a Drop too much."
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PICTURES OF THE YEAR THAT NO PATRON OF ART CAN POSSIBLY OVERLOOK.—Those that are sky'd.
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"SCOTS, WHA HAE."
(New Version. Sung at the Opening of the Edinburgh International Exhibition, May 1.)
Scots, wha hae at Paris bled, Scots, wham COOK hath aften led, Welcome to the white, green, red, Of your ain Great Exhibition.
Now's the day and now's the hour; Though you have no Eiffel Tower! See the bawbees pile and pour; All the world shall crowd to see!
Wha will want to pinch and save? Wha to see it will not crave? Wha will not declare it brave? Far from Edinbro' let him flee!
Wha will wish to see the sight Of the graund electric light, And the "Kiowatt" of might? Caledonian! on wi' me!
Ninety acres on the plain! Almost apes the Show by Seine. Won't folk flock by tram and train To our International Show.
Let the Incandescents glow, Sixteen thousand, row on row! SANDY all the world will show He will beat the best—or die!
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(By Mr. Punch's Own Type-Writer.)
No. XI.—THE YOUNG GUARDSMAN.
The Young Guardsman believes himself to be not only the backbone of the British Army, its vital centre and support, but also its decorative master-piece. Other officers, of whom the Guardsman is wont to speak with a vague pity as belonging to "some line regiment," are not apt to sympathise with him in this exalted estimate of his military position and functions. They are accustomed to urge, that he is to the general body of officers as gold lace is to the uniform he wears, a gaudy ornament fashioned for show and useless for the practical work of the military profession. Doubtless "these are the forgeries of jealousy," or, if true at all, they are true only for that limited period of the Guardsman's existence, during which he pays more attention to his own dressing than to that of his men, and imagines that the serious objects of life are attained when he has raised the height of his collar by half an inch, or invented a new fashion of transfixing a silk scarf with a diamond pin. In fact it is during the first flush of his youth that he displays those characteristics which have specialised the Guardsman amongst the golden lads who afterwards come to the dust of middle-age and a colonelcy.
It is by no means necessary that the Young Guardsman should enjoy an aristocratic parentage, provided it be a wealthy one; nor is it essential that he should have made his mark at school as a scholar, an athlete, or a social success. Indeed, nothing is more common than to hear a former school-fellow express himself in terms of derisive amazement when he is informed that So-and-So is now in the Guards. "What, that scug?" he will observe with immeasurable contempt, and will proceed to express his surprise how one who neither played cricket, nor football, nor rowed to any purpose can possibly add distinction to Her Majesty's Brigade of Guards. These observations, it should be said, however disrespectful they may be towards a particular individual, undoubtedly show a strong feeling of veneration for the repute of the Guards in general. It must be added too that on his side the Young Guardsman is not slow to repay, and in doing so to aggravate, the contempt of the burly athlete who may have kicked him at school, and towards whom he now assumes a lordly air of irritating patronage hardly endurable, but not easily to be resented, by one who feels it to be totally unwarranted.
The Guardsman, then, will have passed through school without emerging in any way from the common ruck of ordinary boys. He will have left at a comparatively early age in order that his education may no longer be neglected, and will have betaken himself to the fostering care of one of the numerous establishments which exist to prove that the private coach Codlin is superior to the public school Short. Hence, if his abilities are exceptionally brilliant, he will have passed into Sandhurst. Failing this, however, the Militia is a refuge and a stepping-stone. In any case he will find himself in due time the owner of Her Majesty's Commission and the largest head-dress in the British Army. In short he will become a Guardsman in full bloom.
And now he begins to reap a plentiful harvest of easy social distinctions, in the sowing of which he himself has borne no part. He may be, though to be sure he is not always, the feeblest and most vapid of created beings, but he will be none the less courted and flattered by the numerous band who fix their eyes and their hearts on social position without any regard to the particular atom of humanity by which it may chance to be filled. Hostesses shower invitations upon him, he slides easily into the membership of many Clubs both social and sporting, tradesmen and money-lenders solicit with humility the supreme honour of being his creditors, and all the world, as he counts it, smiles upon him and is ready to make much of him. A man would require to be made of exceptionally stern stuff not to yield to many of the temptations thus spread before him, and the Young Guardsman, although he is as martial as the occasional wearing of his uniform can make him, is by no means stern. He yields, however, with an admirable grace, and although his nationality and his profession both forbid him to display an excess of enthusiasm, it may be said of him that he tolerates his pleasures and does not despise the amusements for which a musketry course at Hythe or an occasional encampment at Pirbright seems to give him an additional zest.
He is often to be seen at dances, and although he does not dance much and is not much of a dancer, it is impossible to complain of any lack of vigour in his steps as he tears round the room with his partner in double-quick time. Having done this he will descend to supper with a young married lady whom he is temporarily honouring with his attentions, and will impress her with the maturity of his views of the world. He will hint to her that, after all, there is more to be said for Don Juan than is commonly supposed, and that "by Gad, a feller who chucks away his chances when there are no end of 'em runnin' after him is a fool dontcherknow, and you may tell 'em I said so." After he has imparted this information he will re-conduct her upstairs, and will then leave in a hansom preceded by a tall cigar, for which he has paid half-a-crown.
At Maidenhead, too, on Sundays during the summer the Young Guardsman is a conspicuous object. Robed in spotless flannels, with the Brigade Colours round his straw hat and his neck, he may be seen propelling a punt with much perseverance and some accuracy to Boulter's Lock and back. Afterwards he will dine with the comfortable conviction that he has had very violent exercise.
Of the Young Guardsman's dress much might be said. It is spotless and careful and is evidently the result of deep thought. Yet, if a fault may be hinted, it errs like his cigar on the side of exaggeration. A frock-coat should fit well, but his is too tight. Fashion no doubt demands that in the daytime a cascade of silk or satin should pour itself into a lake of shirt-front, but the cascade need not be a Niagara nor the lake an Ontario. It is true of course that at night no young man who respects himself and values the opinion of his friends would dream of wearing a white tie of any but the butterfly pattern. Still there are butterflies and butterflies, and the Young Guardsman's model would seem to be rather one of the huge tropical varieties than any known to our northern climate. These, however, are but trifling defects which scarcely detract from the shining and ornamental completeness of his appearance.
It is remarkable how readily the Young Guardsman imagines himself to be an adept in the mysteries of the turf. With a light heart and a heavy betting-book he faces the hoary sinners who lay the odds. Nor is it until he has lost more money than his father can well afford that he discovers that the raw inexperience even of a Young Guardsman is unequally matched against the cool head, and the long purse, of the professional book-maker. In vain does he call in the aid of the venal tipster. The result is always the same, and he returns home from every race-meeting without ever, to use his own phrase, "getting home" at all. Indeed, if they may be believed, the subalterns of "the Brigade" never vary from a condition which they always describe as stony-broke.
A little later in his career the Young Guardsman will find himself temporarily on the staff of a General appointed to command a force of Volunteers during some Easter man[oe]uvres. He will wear a white belt, the frock-coat of his undress uniform and a cocked hat, and will believe himself to be a Staff officer. He will perform his duties not without efficiency, but will scarcely take enough trouble to remove from the minds of the Volunteers to whom he issues orders, that idea of patronage which is to a rightly constituted Volunteer what a red rag is said to be to a bull. Soon after this, a war having broken out in Africa, he will volunteer for active service and will be accepted. Being after all a young man of pluck and spirit, he will pass with distinction through the hardships and dangers of the campaign. Amid the stern realities of the bivouac and the battlefield his swagger and his affectations will vanish. Returning home in this altered condition it is as likely as not that he will marry, and having served his Queen with solid credit for many years, will eventually retire with the rank of General and the well-earned respect of all who know him.
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THE LAST OF THE BACILLI.
(Feuilleton of the "Medical Record," April, 1900.)
In a gloomy and inaccessible cavity, situated in the diaphragm of the human body in which he had made his home, stood the last of the Bacilli. His friends and his brothers, the companions of his innocent childhood, the associates of his boyish days, his fellow-adventurers in manhood's prime—all, all had perished. Some had been ruthlessly hunted down by a skilled body of German assassins; others had died under the cruel attacks of the pestilent Frenchman. The Cholera Bacillus, the king of them all, was the first to fall; typhoid and typhus, small-pox and measles, fits of convulsions or of sneezing, coughs and catarrhs, had all been deprived of Bacilli and slain. The Wart Bacillus had fought hard and maintained himself for a long time on a precarious footing of fingers and thumbs; but he too had been extirpated. The Thirst Bacillus had given up the ghost yesterday, after keeping up for years a guerilla warfare disguised either as a green rat or a striped snake. And now the mighty Hunger Bacillus stood alone, gloomy and defiant. But he knew his hour had come. "Better death," he shouted, "than the microscope!" and with these words drew his sword and dashed forth into the darkness. There was a yell, followed by the sound of steel beaten against steel, then a blood-curdling gurgle, and all grew still.
"He was a gallant scoundrel, but my quick riposte confused him," observed Signor SUCCI, who entered the apartment, wiping his blade on the advertisement of a new beef-essence, and taking copious draughts of his elixir.
Thus died, as he had lived, dismal, desperate, degraded, the Hunger Bacillus, the last of his race.
(From another Column of the same Paper.)
We rejoice to hear that the Act for making Succination compulsory is to be energetically enforced. Public Succinators have now been appointed to every district, and every parent omitting to have the operation performed upon his infant within two months after birth is to be rigorously prosecuted. Henceforth, as we may remind our readers, anybody "complaining of hunger shall be liable on conviction to be imprisoned for not less than six calendar months, with or without hard labour." We quote the words of clause 3 of the Act.
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Mr. JAMES PAYN has the peculiar gift of writing a novel as if he were telling you a story viva voce and interesting you in it, not only by reason of its plot, but also by his way of narrating it. There is a spontaneity about his style which to the Baron is most refreshing: it is like listening to two clever men, one of whom is telling the story, and the other is enlivening it with his sharp and appropriate comments, always dropped in parenthetically. Mr. PAYN is a good hand at keeping a secret, and it is not for the BARON DE B. W. to tell beforehand what the novelist keeps as a little bit up his sleeve till the last moment. Why call it The Burnt Million? To what tremendous conflagration involving such a fearful loss of life does the title point? The story will interest the Million and delight Thousands. Excellent as is the dialogue generally, the Baron ventures to doubt whether any ordinary person (and no one of these characters is a genius) ever begins a sentence with "Nay." Anent The Burnt Million, the Baron's advice to persons in search of a novel is, "Tolle, lege!" Also the Baron says, get La Revue de Famille at HACHETTE's. Un Foyer de Theatre, by M. AUDEBRAND, for all interested in the history of the French Drama, is delightful reading. Don't miss Causerie Litteraire, by Mr. CHARLES BENOIST.
The Baroness says, read "Poor Mr. Carrington" in Temple Bar.
Lippincott's Magazine this month is heartily welcome,—we should say, BRET HARTE-ily welcome. Capital story, by B. H., "A Sappho of Green Sprigs."
(Signed) BARON DE BOOK WORMS & CO.
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ODDS ON THE BEDMAKERS.
[A proposal for the abolition of Bedmakers is being discussed in Cambridge.]
Chorus of Undergraduates:—
There are things we could spare; we could watch without weeping A Tutor's extinction, a Dean's disappearance. And Professors who drone while their pupils are sleeping, Though they went at a loss, we should welcome the clearance.
And Proctors who blandly demand six-and-eightpence, And, while toiling themselves, send all petticoats spinning; And Porters who tick off our names for our gate-pence; And Bull-dogs who help to withhold us from sinning.
And the juvenile Don who thinks "Dons should be firmer," And the elderly Don who is painfully nervous— We could see them depart without even a murmur, So our Bedmakers stay to amuse and to serve us.
We have watched, while we trembled, the pomps and the maces, Stern emblems of rule, with the Esquire Bedell come; We have heard of the Senate, its edicts and graces,— Take the lot, if you like, you may have them and welcome.
But the "Bedder"? No, no. Come, we offer a wager: We will bet she survives who of beds is the maker! Any answer? Not one; for, in spite of her age, her Attractions are such that there isn't a taker.
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MEASURES AND MEN.—M. JACQUES BERTILLON has been lecturing before the Anthropological Society—(the only Society where anthropoi are logical)—on his method of "identifying criminals by comparing their measures with those of convicted prisoners on the prison registers." Ahem! How about novel Home Rule Measures compared with those of past Kilmainhamites?
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Chorus of Passengers, expostulating:—
Stop, WILLIAM, stop! Your game is not a game we can enjoy! Your father's son should not thus play the Little Vulgar Boy! This is not Margate, WILLIAM mine, and ours is not a crew Of ordinary trippers, packed aboard the Lively Loo For a shillingsworth of suffering on a wild and wobbling sea. Stop, WILLIAM! You'll upset the boat! Why can't you let it be?
Our boat has braved a many storms. It's old and may be crank; But though it sometimes sprang a leak, it never wholly sank. We are not packed so close to-day as we have oft been packed. Against some stiffer gales than this we've weathered and we've tacked; But, WILLIAM, though our craft tossed wild, though loud the winds have roared, We've never, never had so bad a boy as you on board!
Sit down, now do, you pickle, you! Don't dance upon that thwart, And see-saw in that sort of way. We want to get to port, Not Davy Jones's Locker, Sir. "These roarers" are wild things, As SHAKSPEARE in The Tempest says, and do not care for Kings; To keep them down and bale them out has always been our aim; But you, you just play larks with them. What is your little game? You, young, the latest chap on board, but of a sound old stock Of Royal navigators, do you think it right to mock All nautical traditions in this reckless kind of way, And greet these waves, as BYRON did, as though with them you'd play? They're dangerous playfellows, boy; tiger-cubs hardly in it For riskiness! I say, do stop! You'll swamp us in a minute. Look at your Crown! Such head-gear, boy, is seldom a tight fit, And oscillations sometimes act as Notices to Quit!
What would your grandfather have said to see you sway and prance? Sit still, lad, you alarm us all. Just look at Madame FRANCE! She's thought a fairish sailor, and has doffed her Crown, but see, She's clutching at the gunwale, too, as nervous as can be. Whilst, as for dear Senora SPAIN and her poor little charge, I guess she wishes this same tub were CLEOPATRA's barge, Or something broad and beamy that won't easily capsize. AUSTRIA's staring with a look of agonized surprise. And ITALY's dumfoundered. Sit down, boy! you're tempting fate. These days are trying ones, for us, 'tis worse than Forty-Eight. Then there were winds and whirlpools, but no Socialistic Sea Sweeping all shores, and threatening International anarchy. And with its waves you're wantoning, and wobbling up and down, Indifferent to our stomachs,—as regardless of your Crown. Upon my honour it's too bad. Noblesse oblige, you know, 'Tis not a Hohenzollern we'd expect to serve us so. You've sacked our safest Pilot, who objected to your pranks, And now you are coquetting with mad mutiny in the ranks, Eh? You'll suppress it when you please, you'll smash up all your foes? 'Tis a new game, for Royalty, and risky, goodness knows. Meanwhile, don't sway the boat like that, into the sea you'll fall; Or, what's more likely, just capsize the craft and drown us all!
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* * * * *
THE ROYAL ACADEMY BANQUET.
Exceptionally good in food for body and mind. "First person present in indicative mood" is Sir FREDERICK, the courteous President, pointing out to Royal Highnesses the beauties of Burlington House. Stars, ribands, and garters everywhere. Exceptionally distinguished personages come in with invitations only, and no orders. Pretty to see Cardinal MANNING's bright scarlet scull-cap, quite eclipsing RUSTEM PASHA's fez. Cardinal distinctly observed to smile during MARKISS's humorous observations. "MARKISS is ready," sounds like twin phrase to "Barkis is willin'." H.R.H.'s speech shorter than ever. Wonderful, too, how eloquent Sir FREDERICK contrives to spread fresh butter on dry old toasts, so that everyone relishes them as choice morsels. All speeches shorter, except Admiralty Lord's, who, being among portrait-painters, goes in for figures. But where is—"Mr. STANLEY, I presume?" Not here. Invited, but perhaps exploring neighbourhood, and unable to discover Burlington House. Altogether an exceptionally brilliant evening.
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* * * * *
TO THE NEW SCRIBE AND POET.
AIR—"O Ruddier than the Cherry!"
O RUDYARD, in this sherry, I drink your very, very Good health. I would That write I could Like KIPLING, sad or merry.
(Signed) INVIDIUS NASO.
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THE NELL OF CHELSEA.
(A Legend of the Opening of the Royal Military Exhibition.)
The Lady got out of her picture in the Morning Room, and glanced at herself in the Club glass. She had been painted by Sir PETER LELY, and consequently was scarcely in a costume suitable to a May Day at the close of the Nineteenth Century.
"I' faith," said the Lady, "but I must get me a cloak to cover me, otherwise I shall have a crowd a following me."
It will be seen from this observation that, although the Lady had flourished (very considerably) in the time of CHARLES THE SECOND, she had not kept up her Carolian English. It is possible that the chit-chat under her frame by the fire-place had corrupted the purity of her—to an antiquary—interesting lingo. Be this as it may, she glided down the large and handsome staircase, and selecting the furred and hooded coat of a member who had just returned from abroad, annexed it.
"This will do nicely," she murmured; "quite the mode," a remark which proved that she had seen no fashion-plates lying on the Club table, and, therefore, was entirely ignorant of the modern mysteries of ladies' dress. However, she passed in the crowd—partly because no one appeared to notice her. A Lady from a portrait by Sir PETER LELY without her frame and background, after all, is rather a shadowy creation.
When she had turned from Garrick Street into St. Martin's Lane, she looked about her in surprise. What had been fields when she was in the flesh were now sites of houses. She glided along, perplexed to a degree, until she got to Charing Cross; then she recognised the statue of CHARLES THE FIRST, and what was standing of White Hall.
"By my troth, this is not an improvement! Houses, houses, nothing but houses! I will e'en take the water to Chelsea, and see the hospital I persuaded ROWLEY to give to his poor soldiers. There should be some stairs hereabouts."
But if the Lady did not find stairs, she came across a landing-stage. She got on to the Westminster Pier, and was soon aboard one of the best vessels of the Victoria Steamboat Association, Limited. Within half an hour or so she was landed opposite the building it had been her privilege to secure for the benefit of the British Army. The place was brave with bunting. There were enormous sheds full of battle pictures and portraits, and in the grounds was an arena suitable for the holding of military sports. Then there was a huge band-stand, and the electric light was laid on with great liberality in the gardens.
"Gad'sooks!" exclaimed the Lady of the Picture; "and what are they doing in the precincts of Chelsea Hospital?"
She was immediately supplied with information. A Military Exhibition was being held in aid of the Church of England Institutes—establishments (so she was told) of a strictly unsectarian character. The entertainments would be of a most popular character,—weather permitting, al fresco. The commissariat would be excellent. In one place only temperance beverages would be served, but elsewhere there would be—well—there would be drinks. At that very moment the Exhibition was being opened by the Most Illustrious Gentleman in the Land accompanied by H.R.H.'s most charming and most beautiful partner. Would the Lady like to see the place?
"Another time," she replied. "Stay, I would like to see myself. Have you a picture of me? I am Mistress NELLIE GWYNNE."
Her courteous informant bowed, and shook his head. He had heard it suggested at the inaugural lunch that she should be represented, but there were so many things to do—the Military Sports, the eating and drinking, the Royal Patronage, and the Church of England Institutes,—that, in point of fact, the matter had been overlooked.
"Well, never mind," said good-natured NELLIE, "I daresay you will get on very well without me. But look to this, my master. Here we are very near the site of old Cremorne, and a part of the grounds over yonder is called Ranelagh. You have lights and bands, and subtle beverages, some of which will cheer but not inebriate,—and others that may possibly reverse the operation. Well, well, my portrait is not in your collection,—the best I can wish you is that you may keep your night fetes as select as your picture-gallery."
And with this the Lady returned to her frame beside the fire-place in the Club Morning Room.
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"NUTS" FOR THE COAL TRADE.
[Under the 29th Section of the Weights and Measures Act "the person in charge of the vehicle," when coal-frauds are perpetrated, seems to be alone punishable.]
Not a sack was full, not a weight was true, As the coals to their cellar we hurried; Not an eye could see were they many or few In the crypt where our cobbles we buried.
We buried them gaily, at luncheon time, All Acts of Parliament spurning; There were "Kitchens," composed of slate and slime, And Wallsend, "dimly burning."
No fussing servants surveyed our cart— (If they had, we'd have kept them shivering) —They were busy serving the family tart At our chosen hour for delivering!
Few and brief the remarks we made; Not of coals, but of beer, we chattered; And we thought of the tricks of an opulent trade As the coal-dust we liberally scattered.
We thought of our "dealer," our wealthy boss, How he's spared by the law just created; How we carmen are made to suffer the loss When for fraud by a Court we are "slated."
Lightly they'll talk of his "ha'porth of sack," On his weights make unhandsome reflection; But little he'll reck, as fines fall on our back, And he's "doubly-screened" from detection!
But half of our "heavy task" was done When a spy of the Council—drat it!— Came pushing his nose in our sacks, every one, Tried our weights, and our bill—looked at it!
Slowly and sadly we slunk out of sight, Objecting to get into hobbles; We breathed no farewell, and we said no good-night, But we left him alone with the cobbles!
* * * * *
LAST REPORT.—The Dean and Chapter of Westminster have discharged a Canon. No one was seriously injured.
* * * * *
THE PICK OF THE PICTURES.—No. 1. ROYAL ACADEMY.
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No. 5. The First Storey in the Royal Academy Annual is entitled, The Hungry Messenger. Good STOREY.
No. 44. Never put off till to MORO PHILLIPS what you can put on to-day. Illustration of an elderly Blue-coat Boy unable to leave off an old habit.
No. 53, with No. 98 and No. 91. Ought to have been hung together, portraits "en soot."
No. 202. Ethereal Football.
No. 224. Boy and Dog. BRITON RIVIERE, R.A. Dog unmuzzled, boy hears policeman's footstep.
No. 235. "Every dog has his Washing-day." Pet just been cleaned and brought into drawing-room. Doubtful reception by Papa and other sisters. Hardly up to the usual form of W. Q. ORCHARDSON, R.A.
No. 292. Mr. PHIL. A. MORRIS, A. calls this "La Belle Americaine." Is she? The tone of this belle is rather loud.
No. 303. A wonderful picture and portrait, by LUKE FILDES, R.A. "LUKE on this picture and on——" any other portrait, and you'll find this hard to beat. Wealth of colour, colour of wealth, affaire de Luke's.
No. 318. Major E. R. Burke. Admirable portrait, by HUBERT HERKOMER, A. See how the Master of Bushey has dealt with the Hair! As might be expected from a Hair-comber with a brush in his hand. Will be remembered as "Burke and Hair."
No. 411. Mrs. Arthur Sassoon. Charming. Sweet simplicity.
You'll say this as soon as you see it. HUBERT HERKOMER, A(ngcore).
No. 463. Sir Oscar Clayton, C.M.E. Bravo Mr. F. GOODALL, R.A. Good entirely. Artist was thinking of adapting refrain of popular comic song, "Ask a P'liceman," and writing under portrait legend—
If you want to know who's this,— "OSCAR CLAYTON."
But it was unnecessary, as the portrait speaks for itself.
No. 473. D-T-erioration; or, Sir EDWIN ARNOLD, K.C.S.I., commencing as a book-maker, and laying "two to one bar one." "ARNOLD'S first exercise" in this character is depicted by JAMES ARCHER.
No. 600. Tum-Tum The Melancholy, By JOSEPH MORDECAI. Is HAMAN hung too?
No. 703. "Nobody looking, Mother, You can prig something out of the Money-box." But the vigilant Verger has his eye on them. Such is the story told by BLANDFORD FLETCHER.
No. 744. Coming home late in the Olden Time. By RALPH HEDLEY. No latch-key. Rousing the neighbourhood with pantomime door-knocker. Situation graphically depicted.
No. 759. By the Linn Pool. By NOBLE. Charming. Must be of course; Noblesse oblige.
No. 794. "Out shooting." Very much out, shooting. Nothing to CROWE about.
No. 886. A Smile. Delightful. This Miss is as good as her smile. JAN VAN BEERS.
No. 1028. "Please to remember the Ninth of November." Lord Mayor's Procession stopped by photographer. "Now, then—wait—where you are—when I say three!" And as they were taken, so they are cleverly represented by WILLIAM LOGSDAIL.
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday, April 28.—Irish Land Purchase Bill again. CHAMBERLAIN lifts debate out of somewhat tedious trough into which it had fallen. Remarkable speech; bold in conception; adroit in arrangement; forcible in argument; lucid in exposition. Spoke for over an hour, and though his discourse, full of intricate points, the marshalling of which was frequently interrupted by angry or scornful cries from below Gangway, JOSEPH had not a scrap of paper in his hand, did not once refer to a note.
"Admirable," said GRANDOLPH, looking on with appreciative, though not loving eyes. "If he had lived in the time of his father JACOB, it would have been no use his brothers putting him in the pit; he would have argued himself clean out before they were half a mile on their way back to the family place in Canaan. Weak part of his position is that he is trying to serve two Bills, BALFOUR'S and PARNELL'S. Can't recommend BALFOUR'S scheme without belittling PARNELL'S; same thing other way about. Reminds me, TOBY, of a passage in WORDSWORTH'S prose writings; not so much read as his poetry; but daresay you remember it. There was a Bishop WATSON who began his official career as a Liberal. He was frightened into Conservatism, and WORDSWORTH, then a hot young youth, goes for him as youth does sometimes gird at Respectability. 'Upon what principle,' he asked the Bishop, 'is your conduct to be explained? In some parts of England it is quaintly said when a drunken man is seen reeling home, that he has business on both sides of the road. Observing your Lordship's tortuous path, the spectators will be far from insinuating that you have partaken of Mr. BOURKE'S intoxicating bowl. They will content themselves, shaking their heads as you stagger along, with saying that you have business on both sides of the road.' That's what's the matter with CHAMBERLAIN. He's very smart, very clever, very capable; but in politics, dear TOBY, no one ever succeeds who has business on both sides of the road."
"What do you think?" I asked CHRISTOPHER SYKES, who stood looking on with familiar aspect of unutterable wisdom.
"I wasn't thinking of that at all," he answered, gloomily. "Haven't yet got over what GEORGE LEWIS said in Court on Saturday. You've heard or read about it, of course? Took opportunity of observing, that though I was near sixty years of age, I was very innocent. I may be getting on for sixty, but I'll tell you what, TOBY, I'm not nearly so innocent as I look."
CHRISTOPHER really hurt with GEORGE LEWIS'S aspersion. Comforted him by hinting that I knew some dreadful things about him.
"We remember your Crabs and Lobsters Bill," I said, soothingly. "There was much more in that than met the eye. You're a crafty old CHRISTOPHER; just the sort of man to take in a fellow like GEORGE LEWIS, who thinks he knows everything."
CHRISTOPHER smiled a deep and wicked smile, and strode off in better spirits. Always like to say a kind word to a man when I can.
Business done.—Land Purchase Bill again.
Tuesday.—Fight on Land Purchase Bill been going forward again at Morning Sitting; rather dull, though enlivened by speech from PLUNKET, who once more reminded House how much it loses by his habitual silence. At Evening Sitting GRANDOLPH came on with his Licensing Bill. Let eager politicians and ambitious statesmen arm themselves for combat in the field of high politics; GRANDOLPH'S only desire is to do a little good in the world whilst yet he lingers on this level. Nothing new in crusade against drink. No kudos to be gained; no acclaim of the multitude to ring in the pleased ear; no cheering clash of party conflict. GRANDOLPH gives a deprecating twirl to his modest moustache, and takes up his homely parable. Possibly he does this with the larger content, since he had his go at the Land Purchase Bill before Debate on Second Reading opened. His letters, published on eve of Easter recess, hurtled pleasantly around the heads of his esteemed friends on Treasury Bench. Could not say anything more or anything better if he joined in debate; so sits silent through Morning Sitting, and when the shades of evening fall, he meekly lifts up his voice, expounding a measure of domestic legislation fraught with permanent interest to the masses.
"A most promising member of the Band of Hope," says WILFRED LAWSON, regarding GRANDOLPH with fatherly kindness. "Wonder if I might ask him to crack a bottle of ginger-beer with me. Will certainly proffer the hospitality if I get a chance."
The grand young GARDNER (and his wife; can complete quotation now) back again after wedding trip. Doesn't look quite so brisk as the average bridegroom. "Fact is, old fellow," he said, as I condoled with him, "when I said I would die a bachelor, I never thought I would live to be married, go off on a wedding trip, catch the influenza at Innsbruck, the measles at Milan, the scarlatina at Samarcand, and the malaria at Mentone."
Business done.—Morning Sitting, Irish Land Purchase Bill; Evening, GRANDOLPH'S Licensing Bill read First Time.
Thursday.—Ordinarily amicable proceedings in debate on Irish Land Purchase Bill varied by accidental but unhappy circumstances. Prince ARTHUR in course of speech happened to say, that "under Bill of 1886 Irish Government was supposed to be a buffer between the English Government and the Irish tenant." Mr. G., sitting attentive, suddenly sprang up when this insult fell on his ear. Bill of 1886 not a tempting topic; led to downfall of his Ministry; but to hear it publicly called a "buffer," more than he could stand—or, rather, sit. Leaped to feet, and, with thrilling energy, repudiated gross imputation. Prince ARTHUR taken aback; hadn't meant anything particular. To call a thing or a person a buffer not necessarily a term of opprobrium. Everything depends on inflection of tone. Suppose, now, leaning across the table, he had addressed Mr. G. as "old buffer," that would perhaps have been a little familiar, but not vindictive.
This he tried to make clear. Having, as he thought, averted the thunder, repeated remarks about Bill of 1886 being a buffer. Didn't even put it in that direct form.
"I said," he observed with seraphic smile and deferential manner, "that the Irish Government under the Right Hon. Gentleman's Bill was supposed to occupy the position, more or less, of a buffer between the English Government and the Irish tenant."
Mr. G. up again with catapultic force and suddenness. "Not in the least," he angrily protested. "A buffer is between two things."
Expected that would floor Prince ARTHUR; but he came back again, and sheltering himself behind the brass-bound box, called out, "Yes, but a buffer might be between two persons as well as between two things."
Mr. G. angrily shook his head; a Jove-like frown mantled his countenance. But disdained to pursue controversy further, and Prince ARTHUR, carefully avoiding further reference to buffers, went his way. Difference of opinion as to how question was left; Conservatives insist that Prince ARTHUR had best of it; Liberals stand by Mr. G. Many wonder why SPEAKER did not interfere; as he did not, it is assumed that buffer is a Parliamentary word, at least when applied to inanimate creation.
Business done.—Second Heading of Irish Land Purchase Bill carried by 348 Votes against 268.
Friday.—HARTINGTON suddenly, unexpectedly, surprisingly, blossomed into effective speech. Of all subjects in world was Disestablishment of Kirk in Scotland! Calculated to depress most people; brightened HARTINGTON up beyond all knowledge. His little hit at GLADSTONE, sheltering himself behind his (HARTINGTON'S) familiar and convenient declaration, that on Disestablishment Question he would be guided by the opinion of the majority of the Scotch people, neatly and dexterously made. Also his reference to the short time when he had honour of being "at least the nominal Leader of the Liberal Party," and found Mr. G. a somewhat unruly follower. Most excellent. HARTINGTON should try this line again.
Business done.—Motion for Scotch Disestablishment negatived by 256 Votes against 218.
* * * * *
WEEK BY WEEK.
Wednesday, May 7.—Mr. Punch out. Everybody's at home to him.
Friday 9.—Mrs. DUFFER'S first dance if she knows the step.
Saturday 10.—Rehearsal of Crystal Palace fireworks, 2 P.M. Admission by entrance gates only.
Monday 12.—Breakfast to Mr. H. M. STANLEY, at whatever time he orders it.
First Meet of H.S. Drags, Serpentine.
Foot-ball in Rotten Row, by kind permission of GEORGE RANGER and the Commissioner of Police.
Mrs. NOODLE'S second dance postponed, as she hasn't given her first yet.
Tuesday 13.—Holiday at Zoological Gardens. Cages all open. Admission free. Banquets, Excursions, and Alarums.
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LADY HENRIETTA SISKIN'S Charity Dance has been postponed until the following week. A large and distinguished company is expected to grace the mezzotint hall of her ladyship's new mansion in Belgravia on the occasion. No expense is to be spared in the general decoration of the supper-room, which was built, it will be remembered, by her ladyship's great-grandfather in the reign of GEORGE THE THIRD.
* * *
A Correspondent furnishes us with the following curious observations:—"I have noticed," he writes, "that those who walk or ride in the Park are, generally speaking, of two sexes, and possess, as a rule, four fingers and a thumb on each hand. By a curious freak of fashion, a frock-coat is not now worn with a muslin skirt; and a moustache may be sought for in vain under a sun-bonnet. Horses are ridden with four legs, and, in some cases, with a tail, although this is not essential."
* * *
It is strange to notice how much the tastes of theatre-goers vary at the present day. Some prefer the Haymarket, some the Strand, others flock to the Lyceum, and some are turned away from the Savoy, the Garrick, or the Avenue. Philosophers have, as yet, paid too little attention to this matter. Would Mr. HERBERT SPENCER or Mr. LANG oblige?
* * *
It has been calculated by the Society for the Collection of Domestic Data, that if three-fourths of the Cooks of the Metropolis struck work on any given day, exactly nine-twelfths of the resident employers of servants would be seriously inconvenienced.
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There is but very slight foundation for the report that, if AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS (first so styled in the burlesque on Claudian) should be elected to the Shrievalty, Messrs. HARRY NICHOLLS and HERBERT CAMPBELL will be the Under-Sheriffs.
* * *
A Correspondent lately drew Mr. GL-DST-NE'S attention to the prevalence of mud after rain, and the consequent injury to carts, collars, and carriages. The veteran Statesman has found time to send the following post-card reply, which will be perused with interest:—
SIR,—The subject to which you direct my attention is no doubt of peculiar interest to those in any way connected with the vehicular traffic by which so much of the commerce and pleasure of the Metropolis is carried on. In view, however, of the pressing exigencies of the Irish Question, I cannot do more than take a note of your objections to mud-spots, leaving to those who may come after me the duty of dealing practically with your recommendations.
I am, faithfully yours, W. E. GL-DST-NE.
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On the evening when Mr. STANLEY dines with the Turners' Company, where he is entertained as a Re-Turner, it is hoped that the authorities of the National Gallery will kindly allow all their Turners to attend. The history of the Turners' Company is interesting, commencing as it does with WHITTINGTON, who was the first person (before HENRY IRVING played it) to hear The Bells, and to obey their injunction "to turn again."
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NOTICE.—Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS., Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.
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