OR, THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
APRIL 19, 1890.
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IN THE LANE.
Monday.—Carmen exceptionally excellent. Miss ZELIE DE LUSSAN, gifted with a light, pleasant voice, sang admirably. Can't have "Trop de Zelie." Mr. BARTON McGUCKIN, as Don Jim-along-Jose, did all that can be done with this weak-minded soldier. No holes to be picked in Mr. McG.'s performance, though there was a portion of his costume that would have been the better for the attention of Signor SOANSO, the Spanish tailor. Perhaps he is one of the "Renters" of Drury Lane. The strongest and most novel situation was the entrance of a horse, which, like the old woman who "lived on nothing but victuals and drink," "wouldn't be quiet," and nearly gave poor Carmen fits. If it had given Mr. BARTON McGUCKIN fits—a pair of them—my previous allusion to the tailor would have lacked a tangible basis of fact. Fancy Carmen frightened by an ordinary horse, not even a dray-horse, of which no Carmen would have been afraid!
Tuesday and Friday.—Faust. Signor RUNCIO, as Faust, up to the mark. Military band of soldiers returned from the wars had apparently conquered the drum of a British regiment. Signor ABRAMOFF (good as Mephistopheles) showed his generous disposition by sharing his red light with Martha when he was talking to her.
Wednesday.—Romeo and Juliet, repetition of last week when the season commenced with GONOUD'S masterpiece. Scenery tested the resources of some of the greatest Drury Lane successes. The pantomime in the ball-room was particularly excellent and noticeable.
Thursday.—Mignon, represented by charming Miss MOODY. Supported by the dullest of Lotharios, Mr. F. H. CELLI. Wilhelm played by a very small tenor—in fact one who looked like a CHILD. The cast good all round, and a crowded house enthusiastic. One of the best revivals of the season.
Saturday.—WALLACE'S Lurline in the evening, after Carmen in the morning. "Troubador" just as enchanting as he was twenty years ago. "The silver river," too, "flows on" as sweetly as ever. Good house testifies to the love we all have for home-made music. On the whole a satisfactory week from every point of view. So far—all's well.
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"A SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF INEBRIETY."
(Notes by Mr. Punch's Own Reporter.)
ON the last occasion of the Meeting of the above Society a most interesting paper was read by Professor JAMES JAMBES, F.R.Z.S., describing a series of experiments to which, in the cause of Science, he had recently submitted himself. Commencing by comparatively small quantities of alcoholic stimulant, he gradually increased the doses until he reached a maximum of three bottles of Brandy and one of Green Chartreuse per diem, abandoning all other work during the period embraced by the experiments. After a fortnight of patient research he was rewarded by the discovery in his immediate neighbourhood of an abundance of blackbeetles, which he was unable to refer to any known species of Orthoptera. These were succeeded by reptiles and beasts of various kinds and colours, specimens of which, owing to their evasiveness, he much regretted to have been unsuccessful in securing. After increasing the dose to two bottles daily, he was able to detect the presence of rodents in large quantities. Subsequently these creatures assumed the most surprising shapes, while their colouring was frequently gorgeous in the extreme. He had made some brandy-and-water sketches of the most remarkable—though he had to apologise for the drawing being less accurate and clear than he could have wished, as the conditions were generally unfavourable for scientific observation. Still, they afforded a very fair idea of the principal phenomena which he had met. (Cheers.) The Professor, in concluding, remarked that he himself had never been a Materialist, and that, after the experiences that attended the addition of the third bottle of brandy and the Green Chartreuse to his diurnal allowance, he could only confess that, in the words of the Poet, there were more—many more—things in heaven and earth than had been dreamed of in his philosophy. Some of the imps, for instance, that he had noticed on the foot of his bed, he should never forget. He must ask indulgence for any short-comings both in the manner and matter of his contribution, on the ground that he was still suffering from severe indisposition, in consequence of the ardour with which his researches had been pursued. He felt that he was still only on the threshold, but he was fascinated by the glimpses he had already obtained of the strange and wonderful things with which the study of Advanced Inebriety would make the humblest of us increasingly familiar. (Great cheering.)
The reading of the paper was followed by a discussion, in which Dr. LOSCHEN said, that he was in a position from his own experience to corroborate most of the statements in the very interesting account to which they had just listened. He thought the learned Professor had, if anything, rather underrated the dimensions of some of the snakes. He could see a particularly fine specimen at that moment under the Chairman's table, and would postpone any further remarks he was about to make.
Professor SQUIFFIE said he had not as yet brought his experiments so far as the last speakers. He was not a Naturalist himself. His line was Optics. He described some interesting cases of Double Refraction, Mock Suns, and Lunar Rainbows, that had come under his notice, before sitting down with some suddenness on the floor.
Mr. STAGGERS, F.H.S., R.C.V.S., said that most of his time had been devoted to the study of Seismatics. It was a fact not generally known that "earth tremors" were of almost nightly occurrence after eleven P.M. Some persons refused to believe that the world went round the sun, but he had seen it do so several times in the course of a single minute.
Mr. ORRERS wished to know whether any member present had formed any theory respecting the fantastic attire, particularly in the matter of head-dresses, affected by the fauna encountered in the more advanced stages of Inebriety. Why, for example, should kangaroos, especially in Piccadilly, present themselves in the bonnets usually worn by Salvation lasses? And again, what natural affinity was there between the common rabbit and a fez cap? He asked the question because it had been upon his mind a good deal of late.
Mr. D. T. JUMPER said he merely desired to make one remark with regard to the pink rhinoceros, which Professor JAMES—or, if he might take the liberty of so describing him, "dear old JEM JAMBES"—had mentioned as having found in his bath. Speaking personally, he had never come across the pink variety of these interesting pachyderms. He had seen them green, or striped,—but not pink. Was it not just possible that his distinguished and excellent friend had been misled by some deficiency in his eyesight or the light on this occasion? With regard to imps, both blue and spotted, he could only say——but he was compelled to stop here, as he had barely time to catch the last train to his Retreat.
Mr. BOOSER said he wasn't scientific fler, like some other flers, still he flattered himself he was fler that knew as much about Inebriety as most flers, and if there was any fler there liked doubt his word, give him the lie—they understood what give him the lie meant—he repeated—give him the lie, why, what he wanted to know was, why didn't they have courage of their opinions? They knew where find him, and if they didn't—he knew where find them. (Uproar.)
The Meeting then broke up in some confusion, as the Chairman, having removed his boots during the proceedings, was unable to propose the customary vote of thanks to Professor JAMBES, who left the hall in a state of considerable excitement in consequence.
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The Art Kaleidoscope may undoubtedly be found at 160, New Bond Street, where the Messrs. DOWDESWELLS are everlastingly giving it a turn. Before you have time to get tired of one show, the turn is made, and another reigns in its place. Yesterday it was Royal Berkshire, to-day it is pictures principally of the French School. There are some fine works by COROT, which, however, did not justify a weak-minded critic in calling the show "the Corotid Art-ery." Also examples of MONTICELLI, SEGANTINI the Italian, DAUBIGNY, TROYON, MUHRMAN, and other notable painters.
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THE ONLY REMEDY.
Pity a poor Home Secretary! Verily His days are hard, his nights can scarce wag merrily; But of all burdens on his mind distracted, Greatest must be that dread responsibility Where sense of justice wars with sensibility. Punch hardly thinks the two have interacted This time with quite ideal force and fitness, And that the Public doubts, let the Press witness!
A loathsome story, sordid, brutal, sickening! Dull callousness to smug contrition quickening Under the spur of an ignoble terror, A hope scarce less ignoble—in expression, At least. Yes, calm judicial self-possession Is difficult, most easy trimming error; But compromise with claims conflicting here, Is scarce the course of equity one must fear.
The logic of it does not stand forth clearly; The public conscience fidgets, and feels queerly. Yes, to be arbiter, by law's compulsion, In such a case, with issues so immense, Is hard, no doubt; the public common sense Against the arrangement turns with strong revulsion; And the right remedy, as all must feel, Is in a Court of Criminal Appeal!
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(A Delightful "All-the-Year-Round" Resort for the Fashionable Composer.)
EXAMPLE III.—CONCERNING THE LOVER'S OBJECTION TO BEING HARD ON A PERSON.
I love you so! I love you so! It's funny, but I do— In spite of what my parents know, And what they say, of you! No honest folks will near you go— But wherefore should I shrink? I only know I love you so, Whatever they may think!
I love you so! I love you so! As I have sung before— Although the heart you have to show Is rotten to the core! They say you oft to prison go; But wherefore my dismay? I only know I love you so! I don't care what they say!
I love you so! I love you so! As I will sing again. (In face of all the bills you owe, It's awfully insane!) What boots it that you are my foe? Should that my passion mar? I only know I love you so!— No matter what you are!
I love you so! I love you so! As still again I'll sing, And sing a thousand times, although You stole my ruby ring! But what care I for suchlike show, So long as I have thee? I love you so! I love you so! That's good enough for Me!
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FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE SWISS-BACK RAILWAY.
(By Our Easter Eggsperimentalist.)
I have no hesitation in asserting that Lynton and Lynmouth are frequently called the English Switzerland. I have seen such an announcement made in the local Guide-books, and heard the opinion adopted by many of the inhabitants. I am inclined to think that the name is not a misnomer, for certainly the twin villages, with their miniature manor-houses and cottage-like country-seats, are not unsuggestive of a German box of toys. But there is very little of the foreigner in the inhabitants. Rarely have I seen so much enthusiasm exhibited as on the occasion of the opening of the Cliff Railway, an event which came off on Easter Monday. The conveyance in question was suggestive of the Switchback, or perhaps of the Swissback, when local surroundings are taken into consideration. The inaugural programme was a long one. We had a procession, with some eccentric mummers garbed as "Ancient Foresters," an opening ceremony, with a Royal salute, fired by three Coastguardsmen, a banquet at the Valley of Rocks Hotel, life-boat exercise, and, finally, a grand display of fireworks. I took part in every function. I applauded the Ancient Foresters, in white beards and brown heads of hair. I was the earliest to use the railway. I made a speech at the banquet, I helped to man the life-boat, and, finally, I was the first to cry "O-o-o-o-o-h!" at the initial rocket of the grand display. So I think I may be allowed to say that I know something about the place and its inhabitants. Imprimis, Lynton has an excellent hotel, in the shape of the one to which I have already referred. Secondly, it has a great benefactor in the person of worthy Mr. NEWNES, M. P., the genial and clever Chairman of the Cliff Railway Company. Thirdly, the loveliness of the scenery is greatly enhanced by the fact that practically there are no residents (probably not half a dozen) in the neighbourhood. It is true that there is a villa here and there, but none of them is large enough in itself to spoil the effect of the rocks, the cascades, and the mountain passes. I admit that when I went to Lynton I was under the impression that I was going to take part in the inauguration of some score miles of railway, opening out a new route to the Far West. That this was an erroneous idea was more my fault than my misfortune. After trying on foot an ascent from Lynmouth to Lynton, I came to the conclusion that this line of railway was of far greater importance than any other in existence. That the track was rather less than a thousand feet, instead of being rather more than a million miles, I considered merely a matter of detail. Should it be necessary some day to dispense with the coach-journey from Barnstaple to Lynton—a journey which, on account of the exercise in which the travellers are encouraged to indulge on foot, must be of the greatest possible benefit to their health—why then the railway could be extended from point to point. All that would be required would be proportionately computed additional capital. The formula would run as follows:—If 900 feet of railway from Lynmouth to Lynton costs so much, 18 miles of railway from Lynton to Barnstaple will cost so much more. The simplest thing in the world! And with this practical suggestion for the future I conclude my report, with the observation that the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth deserve the greatest possible prosperity. Nature, represented by "Ragged Jack," the "Devil's Cheese Wring," and Watersmeet, is lovely beyond compare; and Art could have no better illustration than that furnished by the unsurpassed resources of the Valley of Rocks Hotel.
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HUGHIE AND REGIE.—"On what sort of paper should a fellah who's awfully gone on a gal, don'tcher-know, write to his mash, eh?" "Why—on—papier mashe, of course." "Thanks awfully." (Goes off to get some.)
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"It's going to rain to-morrow," said Mrs. R., confidently—"I am sure of it, because I always read Professor BEN NEVIS'S remarks in the Times. What a clever man he is, and how useful!"
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NOMENCLATURE.—Isn't it the place par excellence where umbrellas and waterproofs are in request? If not, why call it, Hayling Island?
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"IN THE KNOW."
(By Mr. Punch's Prophet.)
The collapse of Gasbag can have surprised no careful reader of these columns. His public performances have been uniformly wretched, save and except on the one occasion when he defeated Ranunculus in the Decennial Pedigree Stakes at Newmarket last year, and any fool could have seen that Ranunculus had an off hind fetlock as big as an elephant's. That comes of training a good horse on Seidlitz powders and bran-mash. The muddy-minded moon-calves who chatter in their usual addle-pated fashion about the chances of Jimjams, ought to deceive nobody now that their insane folly has been exposed by me for about the thousandth time; but the general public is such a blathering dunderheaded ass that it prefers to trust itself to the guidance of men like Mr. JEREMY, who knows as much about a horse as he does about the Thirty-nine Articles. If Jimjams, with 9 lbs. advantage and a thousand sovereigns of added money, could only run a bad second to Blue Ruin, who, on the following day, romped in from The Ratcatcher in a common canter,—The Ratcatcher having simply spread-eagled The Parson over the old D. T. course, when the ground was as heavy as Rotten Row in April,—how in the name of common sense can Jimjams be expected to show up against high-class yearlings like Ballarat and Tifftoff on the Goodwin Sands, T. Y. C.? The whole thing is only another instance of the hare-brained imbecility and downright puddling folly with which the cackling herd will follow any brazen-headed nincompoop who sets up to advise them on turf matters. Jimjams has just as much chance of winning this race as Mr. JEREMY has of being Archbishop of Canterbury. Verb. sap. At any rate my readers will not be able to reproach me with not warning them in time.
The latest rumour is that Mrs. Grundy has gone lame after her trial with The Vicar. As I always predicted her break-down, I cannot say I am surprised, though I must own I should like to know what the pestilential pantaloons think of themselves who have been for months advising us to invest our money upon her. All BOOZING BILLY'S stock have come to grief, sooner or later. I thought Lord SOFTED was a fool to give L5,000 for such a mangy-coated weed as Mrs. Grundy. Now I know it.
Those who want a good thing ought to keep their eyes on Toothpick. When he met Pepperpot, at a stone less than weight for age, with a baby on his back, at Esher last year, the betting being then 20 to 7 against the Harkaway filly, he showed what his true form was. Pepperpot, of course, is a rank impostor, but a careful man might do worse than put a spare threepenny-bit on Toothpick, who always runs better in a snow-storm. As for Dutchman, everybody knows he's not a flyer, and only a man whose brains are made of fish-sauce could recommend him.
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"WANTED A WORD!"—Lord BURY wants a word to express electric action. Anything Lord BURY deals with should be of grave import. Attempting to find a new verb is quite an undertaking—to BURY. How would "bury" do? "We buried him;" meaning, "we electrified him." "We went along Bury well;" meaning, "the progress caused by electricity was satisfactory." "We 'Buried along' at a great rate," and so forth.
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SIR,—Perhaps you have read the stories now being told in the Spectator about rooks and wasps as Policemen. "W.H.W.H." says that a pair of rooks were persecuted while building their nest, and that a big rook was deputed to guard them from attack—which he did, like other policemen, by employing the "beak." There is really nothing at all remarkable about this tale. Rooks are much more wonderful creatures than anybody knows about. In my own garden, for instance, there is a rook who acts as chaplain to a whole rookery. He might almost be called a "bird of pray." Every Saturday he assembles all the rooks on one large tree, and caws solemnly to them for ten minutes. I have noticed (through an opera-glass) that the congregation wears a very devout appearance. Churchwarden rooks go round while the service is proceeding, and peck any birds that seem inattentive. At the close there is a universal caw, which I believe stands for "Amen." It is a curious fact that the chaplain rook on these occasions always ornaments himself with a wisp of white grass tied round his neck, which increases his clerical aspect. I have tried to induce the rooks—by firing at them with small shot—to adopt Sunday instead of Saturday as their day of devotions, but hitherto without success. You may think the above worth publishing. It is quite true.
Yours, &c., LONGBOW.
SIR,—Here is a fact which beats "W.H.W.H.'s" rook story hollow. Rooks are keen politicians. I once saw an assembly of them—I don't know if it was the local Caw-cus or not—divide into two portions, one going to one tree, another to another, and then two elderly rooks went round, and counted both batches. After the counting was over they returned from the lobbies, and business proceeded as before. I have seen the closure very effectually put on a talkative rook.
SIR,—I can confirm these tales of animal Policemen in every particular—indeed, I am able to add to them. I have often seen a couple of tom-tits, on leaving their nests for an outing, put a tom-tit constable on guard till they came back. But here is a still more remarkable circumstance. On one occasion several other tom-tits wanted to rob this deserted nest, and they actually came up to the constable and put something in his claw, after which he looked the other way while they were rifling the nest. They had bribed him! Comment is superfluous.
Yours, KEEN OBSERVER.
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Your Purchase Bill is bad from top to toe— Drop it, dear boys, then to the country go, And say 'twas through Gladstonian ill-will It lost that blessed boon, your bad, bad Bill!
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LIVING AND LEARNING.—Sir, from a paragraph in The Times about the Newfoundland Fisheries, I gather the existence of "Lobster Factories." Never knew this was an industry. Had always thought that Lobsters, like poets, were born, not made.
Yours, A NATURALIST.
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L'ABBE INCONSTANTIN PARSONIFIED.
THE first impression of A Village Priest is that, in one respect, Mr. GRUNDY has done well to choose the historical name of the execrable "Abbe DUBOIS," and bestow it on the Cure, who is meant to be the interesting hero of what, without him, would have been a sufficiently strong melodrama. The very A B C of the practice of the confessional being that everything between Priest and Penitent (even when the Penitent is impenitent) is sub sigillo, this Abbe can have, as the Grand Inquisitor in the Gondoliers sings, "No possible probable shadow of doubt, No possible doubt whatever," as to his plain duty; and yet he demands of Heaven a miracle to show him how not to do it. And to this pious request comes an answer (by limelight) which demonstrates once more how the Devil can quote Scripture to his purpose.
Frankly, Mr. GRUNDY has written three Acts of a play which must have been powerful had he not extended it to five, and, had he not attempted to centre the interest on a character which, charming as an incidental sketch, is, as an essential, an excrescence. Practically the play is at an end with the finish of the Third Act. Why lug in the Abbe Constantin? And what an Abbe!!
Where are the familiar details? Where the ancient snuffbox, where his snuffy old pocket-handkerchief? And where the old well-thumbed breviary from which he is inseparable? M. LAFONTAINE as the Abbe Constantin, the man to the life, was never without the "old black book," under his arm. The Haymarket Abbe takes his meals without blessing himself, by way of saying grace, and fumbles about the heads of people who ask his benison, like an awkward phrenologist feeling for bumps. And what kind of an Abbe would he be who would tell a young girl that, "when she comes to be as old as he is, she will have learnt to doubt everything?" Is it characteristic of a French Abbe to complain of his housekeeper "lighting his fire with his sermons?" It would be quite in keeping with the type of an English Clergyman, who, as a rule, preaches from a written sermon; but not of a French Priest, who preaches without book or manuscript. No; the Abbe Dubois is the Abbe Constantin spoilt, a French Cure Anglicised into a pet Ritualistic Clergyman, ROBERT-ELSMERE'd-all-over by Mr. GRUNDY, and finally im-parson-ated by Mr. BEERBOHM TREE. Wasn't it Mr. BEERBOHM TREE who, years ago, created the original of the Bath-bun-eating comical Curate, in The Private Secretary? Well, this is the same comical Clergyman grown older, and with the burden on, what he is pleased to call, his mind of a dying scoundrel's last speech and confession. The strongest objection he has to violate his sacred trust arises from the fear that such a revelation would break the heart of an exemplary old Goody Two-Shoes, for whom he has all his life long cherished a youthful love, the thought of which, and not his supernatural vocation, has sustained him, so I understood him to say, throughout his priestly career. All very pretty and "pale young Curatey," and theatrically sentimental, but don't put this man forward as the self-sacrificing hero of a Melodrama. No; the subject is best let alone. Mr. GRUNDY seems to have rushed in where wiser men have feared to tread, and thoroughly to have "put his foot in it," all for the sake of transplanting L'Abbe Constantin, whom he has transformed into L'Abbe In-Constantin.
The piece is beautifully put on the stage, and accepting the story as worked out by Mr. GRUNDY'S characters, the acting is excellent all round. There are two powerful situations, one in the First Act between the Judge's son, Mr. FRED TERRY, and the innocent victim, Mr. FERNANDEZ, admirably played; and another in the Second between Mr. TERRY and Miss LECLERCQ, also rendered with considerable power. Little Miss NORREY'S shrill squeak, or scream, or whatever it is, at the end of the First Act, imperils the situation, and might be toned down with advantage, as also might her spasmodic melodramatic acting later in the piece. Mrs. TREE'S is a pretty part, but not a strong one. To sum up, apart from the two situations I have cited, I should say, that what will linger in the memory of man when it runneth not to the contrary, is not the false sentiment, but the real water which fills the real watering-pot, the blossoming apple-tree, and, above all, the stolidly-chivalrous Mr. ALLEN as Captain of Gendarmes. By the way, the exterior of the presbytery is that of a small cottage. Excellent. The interior, representing the Abbe's sitting-room, is a large and lofty Gothic cell—a regular cell—capable of holding two such presbyteries as we have just seen from outside. But there—it is another lesson—never judge by appearances.
To return for the last time to the dramatis personae, everyone who sees this play will regret that the Author has not bestowed as much pains on the character of the Captain of Gendarmes as he has on the maudlin water-pottering old Cure. The drama, after the Third Act, is lugubrious. Why not lighten the general depression by bringing on the Captain of Gendarmes to the "Boulanger March," and making him as amusing as Sergeant Lupin in Robert Macaire? The piece is well mounted, why should not the Gendarmes be also mounted? There are four or six of them. What an effect has been missed by not bringing them in on real horses, and giving them a quartette or a sestette a cheval, with a solo for the Captain! Then the Captain might know all about the murder, and he would reveal it without breaking the seal—unless it were to crack a bottle—and all would end happily. As it is, all ends miserably, or would so end, but for the Captain, whose last words before the fall of the Curtain, uttered in his best French, are "Ong Avong! Marsh!" From which it may be inferred that they are going into a dismal swamp, but it is magnificent, if not la guerre, and this cry of the Captain has a true military ring about it that gladdens the heart of
Yours ever, PRIVATE BOX.
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A CHANT FOR THE COLLEGE OF SURGEONS.
[Lord DUNRAVEN is going to introduce a Bill to reform the College of Surgeons.]
Lo! they raise the gleaming scalpels, and the fearsome feuds begin 'Twixt the Members of the College that is hard by Lincoln's Inn.
College once of Barber Surgeons, but the Barbers left the Guild To the "Company of Surgeons," by whom we are cured or killed.
And the College grants diplomas two-and-twenty inches long; After which, in cutting limbs off, sure the tyro can't go wrong.
He can practise all the Surgeons' art and science; worded thus Is the motto, "Arts," the College says, "quae prosunt omnibus."
But unless by operations he amasses store of pelf, It is clear the arts in question will not benefit himself.
Yet the Members are not happy, and with energy they say, They should have a voice in choosing those who over them hold sway.
Sir MORELL MACKENZIE slashes at the College with a will; Lord DUNRAVEN to his rescue comes with promise of a Bill.
Haply from this AEsculapian combat we may chance to see Fairer future for the College, though the Doctors disagree.
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NEWS OF THE EMIN-ENT TRAVELLER.—Mr. STANLEY was received at Rome by the Marquis de VITELLESCHI, who gave him some "vitels," and by the Duke de SERMONETA, who gave him a sermon. How nice to be H. M. STANLEY!
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FROM CERTAIN WORKING-MEN TO GRANDOLPH.——"We don't like these 'ere erpinions o' yourn, and we 'opes as you won't 'Old'em."
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"A CUT OFF THE JOINT."
Swish! swish! Sweet is the sound of steel 'gainst steel To him who's hungering for a good square meal. This joint is juicy, and the carver skilled, But many plates are waiting to be filled. The Restaurant is famed for popular prices, A clever Cook, and oh! such whopping slices! What wonder then that customers are clamorous, That appetites, of good cheap victuals amorous, Sharpen at sight of that big toothsome joint? The carver does not wish to disappoint; He is no Union Bumble, stingy, truculent, He knows his dish is savoury and succulent, That "Cut and Come again's" a pleasant motto, But deal out "portions" all this hungry lot to? Amphitryon feels the thing cannot be done, Though he should slice the saddle to the bone With all the deftness of a Vauxhall Waiter. First come first serve! some claims are less, some greater; Some of them may secure a well-piled plateful, Others, though the necessity be hateful, Empty away must go. Won't there be grumblings, Waterings of mouths and hunger-gendered rumblings! But the great Surplus-Joint, although a spanker, Won't satiate all the appetites that hanker After a solid slice of it. Cook GOSCHEN Of careful carving has a neatish notion, Yet, though his skill be great, his judgment sound, He will not make that whopping joint "go round."
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A BABE O' GRACE.
[MR. CHAMBERLAIN says that "MR. GLADSTONE'S Home Rule Policy was conceived in secresy, was born in deceit, and was nurtured on evasion."]
Poor Babe (whom kind Nurse C. so fain would throttle) Ill was thy fate, fed from the GLADSTONE bottle! Nurture less harsh had ROMULUS and REMUS. Nurse C. would, oh! so gladly, "NICODEMUS The bantling into Nothing." Yet it lives And kicks and crows, and lots of trouble gives, This happy Baby on the tree-top dangling Whilst friends and foes about thy fate are wrangling! When the wind blows—ah! then the world shall see What a prophetic soul has kind Nurse C. Its face, perchance, had been more bright and bland Could kind Nurse C. have "brought it up by hand," As Mrs. Gargery did the infant "Pip." Nay, there are some who on the hint let slip That kind Nurse C. had never wished it slain Had it but in another Chamber lain!
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Look at Home!
GRANDOLPH says that "Local Self-Government" should precede "Purchase." Probably he may find a little "Local Self-Government" (of tongue and temper) necessary to enable him to "purchase" the continued support of the Voters of South Paddington!
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EXIT IN FUMO.
[The birthday gifts from the Emperor to Prince BISMARCK include, besides his portrait, a long and valuable pipe.]
O solace of sore hearts, soul-soothing pipe! Was ever trail-exhausted Indian, Tired mariner, or hungry working-man, Or sore-tried toiler, of whatever type, More needed comfort from thy blessed bowl Than brooding BISMARCK in his exiled hour? He who, when storms about his land did lour, Faced them, and rode them out, and to the goal Of glory, and to safety's haven brought His mighty charge! Memories of foes outfought, And rivals out-manoeuvred, stir his soul, His strong stark soul, as there he sits and shrouds That granite face in thick tobacco-clouds Blown from the "long, and valuable" gift Wherewith a grateful Master's genial thrift Rewards the service, "long and valuable," Of such a Servant! Later time shall tell The tale of that strange parting, of the schemes That set asunder autocratic youth And age, perchance, imperious. But, in truth, Wise age discounts the worth of boyish dreams; 'Tis well that youth, betimes, should bear the yoke! Maybe the Mighty Chancellor's career Is far less like, whatever may appear, Than the proud Emperor's plans to—end in smoke!
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"Will you walk into my parlour?" Said the spider to the fly. 'Twas the money-lending spider, And "Oh no!" was the reply. "I've read the Globe, and I'm secure, With legs and wings still free! No buzzi-ness with you. No! Your 'Fly-paper' won't catch me."
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In The Splendid Spur, "Q." has given his Pegasus his head—(Queer appearance this Pegasus with Q.'s head; but, as that's not my meaning, I must mind my P's and Q's)—and has spared neither whip nor splendid spur in his wild ride. Up behind, and clinging to "Q.," we are carried onward, amid clashing of arms, booming of cannon, pealing of bells, flashing of steel; anon we stumble over rocks, tumble over cliffs, hide in secret caves, secrete ourselves, like mad Lord High Chancellors, among Woolsacks; then after fainting, stabbing, dying, crying, sighing, "JACK'S all alive again," and away we gallop, like DICK TURPIN on Black Bess, and we leave girls dressed as boys behind us, and provincial JOANS OF ARC going out fighting for Church and King; and then, just as we are hanging suspended in mid-air over an awful precipice, there is a last gallant effort, and we awake to find ourselves gasping for breath, and awake to the fact that "Q.'s Pegasus" is a nightmare. It recalls memories of LOUIS STEVENSON'S Black Arrow, but distances it by miles, while here and there its vivid descriptions are equal to some of the glowing pictures in SHORTHOUSE'S John Inglesant. The Baron hereby recommends it as a stirring work for the novel-skipper in an idle hour.
By the way, it would be difficult, to say the least of it, to prove that the slang phrase "shut up" and the Americanism "say" were never used in A.D. 1642, in the sense in which they are used in 1890, but they are scarcely characteristic of the modes of expression at that particular period.
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
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A SONG WITH WORDS.
(Suggestively dedicated to Lord Bury.)
Oh! tell me not that you will "clic" When I can but "electricate," Or, "propelected," merely "tric" A distance I might well "volate." For if to "Faradate" or "Volt" In "motored" motion I may "glide," I wonder why I may not "bolt," When called on to "electricide." Yet as each word I clip and splice, I'm more than half inclined to "trice."
Let others "elk" until they're wild, I will not "lectroceed" or "glint," And though their trip be "poled" or "piled" I need not "coil," or "spark," or "scint." No, if "electroflected" force They use to "clash" along their way, I p'raps might "ohm" upon my course Or even "squirm," if "clicked" to-day. "But no! the Times gives sound advice, As matters stand, I think I'll "trice"!
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THE DON JOSE GIANT GRAPE GINGER BEER.—Don JOSE DI GOMEZ, Marquis of MAXILLO, Duke of BAGOTA, Grandee of Spain, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Purple Alligator, G.R.M.C.S.S., &c., &c., having, owing to some recent financial losses in connection with his ancestral estates in South Patagonia, determined to listen to the advice of experts and friends, who assure him that he possesses a complete mine of wealth in the Giant Grape Vineyards, for which his Sicilian property has long been celebrated, has made all the necessary arrangements for the manufacture of a sound and serviceable sparkling Wine, which, under the title of the DON JOSE GIANT GRAPE GINGER BEER, he is now prepared to supply to the general public at a moderate cost.
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THE DON JOSE GIANT GRAPE GINGER BEER.—Is a delicious light sparkling wine, soft and smooth on the palate, of a Madeira flavour, possessing a bottled stout character, and if mixed with water strongly resembling the choicest brands of Old Burgundy, Hock, and Californian Claret, shipped from the estate direct, in cases containing one dozen, at 7s.
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THE DON JOSE GIANT GRAPE GINGER BEER.—This exquisite beverage is also possessed of valuable medicinal advantages, and is highly recommended by the faculty as a most successful and beneficial cough mixture.
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"THE LATEST SPRING NOVELTY."—A Fine Day.
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THOUGHTS ON HIS WINE-MERCHANT.
I love my Wine-merchant—he talks with a charm That robs his most dubious vintage of harm. And the choicest Havanas less comforting are Than the fumes of his special commended cigar.
I'm a reticent man, with a palate of wood, And I judge by results if a vintage be good. But I own to the charm of my Wine-merchant's worst, If he gives me his comforting flattery first.
He proffers me samples to praise or to blame, And I strongly suspect they're exactly the same. But we gaze at each other with critical eye, And I wish he would hint if it's fruity or dry.
I want, say, a dozen of average stuff (Though a couple of bottles were really enough), And I enter his portals, reluctant and slow, Resolved just to give him the order and go.
But he takes me in hand in his soothering style, Suggests in a whisper, and "books" with a smile; And I vainly dissemble the joy in my face When he ceases to ply me with bottle and case.
The talk drifts away to affairs of the State, And I ought to escape, but I palter and wait; And he opens a box in the midst of his chat, And asks, like a flash, my opinion of "that"?
I sniff the tobacco, and turn it about With an air that is really of genuine doubt, And knowing so little what judges would say, I meekly consent to a hundred—and pay.
There's a charm, when the varied consignment arrives, To men who are blest with amenable wives; But I watch my AMANDA with covert alarm, And wait till she severs the Wine-merchant's charm.
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MRS. R. is always instructing herself. She has been reading up legal technicalities. "The names," she says, "in some cases are so appropriate. I am informed that in a Divorce case, where the husband is the petitioner, the Judge issues a writ of 'Fie Fie' against the wife."
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MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.
"At the Duchess of Drinkwater's fashionable reunion, held last night, I noticed among the first-comers, &c.;" i.e., I got all my information, when it was over, as well as I could, from an inebriated linkman.
"What is this we hear about a certain——?" We're not certain of our authority, but can't miss the opportunity of being first in the field with the rumour of a scandal, so we put it into an interrogatory form, which can't do any harm to us.
"The greatest excitement prevails;" i.e., Two men who were not present on the occasion discuss it under a lamp-post and the influence of liquor.
"You must come and dine with me one night;" i.e., "It sounds hearty, but as a fixture I'll relegate it to the Greek Kalends."
"How well you are looking!" (to a Gentleman); i.e., "You are getting awfully stout, and must drink more than is good for you." Ditto, ditto (to a Lady); i.e., "Your figure and complexion are entirely gone."
"Old Historic House;" i.e., Dormer windows, dark rooms, and the dry rot.
"High-class Furniture;" Another term for mahogany.
"Superior Ditto;" An adjective reserved for walnut.
"Solid Ditto;" When there is no other epithet possible.
"Elegant Modern Ditto;" In the gimcrack pseudo-aesthetic style.
"Handsome Ditto;" i.e., Consoles, any amount of mirrors, gilding, crimson silk, ormolu—all a little "off colour."
OF A FRIEND'S NEW HORSE.
"Ah! Well put together;" i.e., "He's screwed all round."
"We have no personal quarrel with our opponents;" i.e., "They said some dreadfully rude things about me last night. Hope one of the local speakers will give them a trouncing afterwards, I'm expected to be polite."
"I congratulate you upon the growth of your Association, and the excellent political work it is doing in this district;" i.e., "Know nothing about it, except what the pasty-faced Secretary has just crammed me with, but must butter them a bit."
"Your admirable Member, whose voice we hear only too seldom in the House;" i.e., "A silent 'stick' whose silence is his only merit."
"No words of mine are necessary to commend this vote of thanks to your good will. You all know your Chairman;" i.e., How long will that stammering idiot be allowed to preside at these meetings?
"Of course I withdraw;" i.e., "Of course I don't."
"Of course, Sir, I bow to your ruling;" i.e., "I'm sure you're wrong."
"Of course I accept the Honourable Gentleman's explanation;" i.e., "Can't tell him he's a liar!"
"When I entered the House to-night it was with no thought of being called upon to address you;" i.e., "I should have been mad if I'd missed the chance of letting off my long-stored rhetorical fireworks!"
AT A DANCE.
"May I have the pleasure?" i.e., "Wish to goodness she'd refuse, but no such luck!"
"Delighted!" i.e., "I'd as soon dance with a tipsy Mammoth."
"Awfully sorry, but I haven't one dance left;" i.e., "I've three, but if I'd thirty, he shouldn't have one, the lemon-headed little cad!"
"I think I see Mamma looking for me;" i.e., "Must get rid of the bore somehow."
A LITTLE MUSIC.
"Oh, will you play us that sweet little thing of yours in five flats?" i.e., "It isn't sweet, but it is short, which is something—with him!"
"Won't you give us just one song, Mr. Howler? I won't ask you for more;" i.e., "Wouldn't for that, if I could help it."
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(By Mr. Punch's Own Type-writer.)
No. IX.—THE ADVERTISING BARRISTER.
The Advertising Barrister may best be defined as the living and pushing embodiment of self-assertion and impudence. He is not of those who by a life of steady and honourable toil attain eventually to the high places of their profession, whether at the Bar or in Parliament, without losing the respect and friendship of their fellows. These too in the race of life must pass many of the feebler runners, and force themselves by their own merit into places that others would fain have occupied, but they always run straight, their practice and their performance are disfigured by no trick, and in the end they bring their honour untarnished to the goal, and receive the applause even of their vanquished rivals. With them the Advertising Barrister has no point in common, save the robes he wears in virtue of his call. For his ambition is as sordid as the means whereby he attempts to fulfil it are questionable. He must be credited with the knowledge that his natural abilities are by themselves insufficient to assure him either fame or wealth. But he consoles himself by reflecting that if only impudence, reclame, and a taste for the arts of a cadger, be protected by the hide of a rhinoceros, they are certain to prevail up to a certain point against the humdrum industry of those inferior beings who hamper themselves with considerations of honour and good-feeling. It must not be understood that the Advertiser puffs himself in a literal sense in the advertising columns of the press. The rules of his profession, to which even he pays an open deference, forbid this enormity; but in the subtler methods of gaining a certain attention, and of keeping his name under the public eye, he has no equal even in the ranks of those who spend thousands in order that the million may be made happy with soap.
The boyhood and youth of the Advertising Barrister will have been passed in comparative obscurity. The merchant who relieved the monotony of a large and profitable wholesale business by treating him as a son, impressed upon him at an early age the necessity of making the family history illustrious by soaring beyond commerce to professional distinction and a fixed income. In furtherance of this scheme the son was sent to pick up a precarious education at a neighbouring day-school, where he astonished his companions by his ease in mastering the polite literature of the ancients and the vulgar fractions of Mr. BARNARD SMITH, and delighted his masters by the zeal with which he generally took his stand on the side of authority. Having, however, in the course of a school examination been detected in the illicit use of a volume of Bohn's Library, he was called upon for an explanation, and, after failing to satisfy his examiners that he meant only to reflect credit upon the school by the accuracy of his translations, he was advised to leave at the end of the term. After a short interval spent in the society of a coach, he entered a fast College at one of our ancient Universities, and, being possessed of a fairly comfortable allowance, soon distinguished himself by the calculating ardour with which he affected the acquaintance of young men of rank, and shared in the fashionable pleasures of the place. Recognising that amidst the careless and easy-going generosity of undergraduate society, he who has a cool and scheming head is usually able to tip the balance of good luck in his own favour, he lost no opportunity of ingratiating himself with those who might be of service to him. He cultivated a fluent style of platitudes and claptrap at his college debating society, and at the Union, to the committee of which he was elected after prolonged and assiduous canvassing. Having managed to be proctorised in company with the eldest son of a peer, whom he delighted by the studied impertinence of his answers to the Proctor, he eventually went down with a pass degree and a mixed reputation, and, after the orthodox number of dinners, and the regulation examination, had the satisfaction of seeing his name published in the list of those who, having acquired a smattering of Roman and English law, were entitled, for a consideration, to aid litigants with their counsel.
For the next few years little was heard of him. He read in chambers, drew pleadings and indictments, and gathered many useful tricks from the criminal advocate to whom he attached himself like a leech. During this period he also made the acquaintance of a Solicitor who had retired from the noon-day glare of professional rectitude to the congenial atmosphere of shady cases. He also struck up a friendship with two or three struggling journalists, who were occupied in hanging on to the paragraphic fringe of their profession, and who might be trusted afterwards to lend a hand to an intimate engaged in a similar, but not identical line of business. Helped by a shrewd, and not over-scrupulous clerk, he gradually picked up a practice, a thing mainly of shreds and patches, but still a practice of a sort. At the Middlesex Sessions, and at the Central Criminal Court, his name began to be mentioned; and in a certain money-lending case it was acknowledged that his astuteness had prevented the exposure of his client from being as crushing and complete as the rate of per-centage had seemed to warrant.
Soon afterwards, one of his richer college companions, whose convictions were stronger than his power of expressing them, was selected as Candidate for a remote constituency, where speakers were not easily obtained. The glib Barrister was remembered, and appealed to. At an immense sacrifice of time and money, he rushed to the rescue, his travelling and hotel expenses being defrayed by the Candidate. He spoke much, he spoke triumphantly; he referred, in touching terms, to the ties of ancient friendship that bound him to the noblest and best of men, the Candidate; and, when the latter was eventually elected, it was stated in every Metropolitan evening paper that he owed his success chiefly to the eloquence and energy of the able Barrister who had pleaded his cause. Henceforward there was no peace, politically speaking, for the Barrister. Swifter than swift CAMILLA he scoured the plain facts of political controversy at meeting after meeting, until they glowed under the dazzled eyes of innumerable electors. Where Leagues congregated, or Unions met, or Associations resolved, there he was to be found, always eager, in the fore-front of the battle. He became the cheap jackal of the large political lions who roar after their food throughout the length and breadth of the land, and picked up scraps in the shape of votes of thanks to chairmen. He figured at political receptions, and eventually contested a hopeless Constituency, with the assistance of the party funds. Having, by his complete defeat, established a claim on the gratitude of his party, he applied successively for a Recordership, a Police Magistracy, and a County Court Judgeship, but was compelled to be satisfied temporarily with the post of Revising Barrister. Yet, though he was disgusted with the base ingratitude of time-serving politicians, he was by no means disheartened, for he had long since become convinced that the best method of self-seeking was to seek office, and to clamour if that should be refused. Finally, after having paid to have his portrait engraved in a struggling party journal, and having appended to it a description, in which he compared himself to ERSKINE and the younger PITT, he became an annoyance to those who were his leaders at the Bar, or in politics. He was, therefore, appointed Chief Justice of the Soudan; and after distributing British justice to savages, at a cheap rate, for several years, he retired upon a pension, and was heard of no more.
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ROBERT'S LITTLE HOLLERDAY.
Easter Munday I dewoted to Epping Forrest. I draws a whale over my feelings when I looked out of my bed-room winder and seed the rain a cumming down in bucket-fulls! But a true Waiter can allus afford to Wait.
"Late as you likes, but never hurly, Seldom cross, and never surly, The jowial Waiter gos to his work, And enwys no Hethun nor yet no Turk!"
And I had my reward, for at 12.20 A.M. the jolly old sun bust forth, as much as to say, "it was only my fun!" So off I started by Rail, along with about a thowsand others, in such a jolly, rattling Nor-Wester, that the River Lea looked more like a arm of the foming Hocean than a mere tuppenny riwer. But the sun was nice and warm till about 1.30, when, just for a change, I suppose, down came a nice little shower of snow! and then more warm sun, and then plenty more cold wind, and then lots of rain. So them as likes wariety had plenty of it that day. And what a lovely wision was Epping Forest when we all got there! Ewerything as coud assist in emusing, and eddicating, and refining about a hundred thowsand peeple was there in such abundans that I myself heard a properioter of no less than 6 lofty swings a complaining, in werry powerful langwidge, that things in the swinging line are not as they used to be three or four years ago, for lots of the peeple are such fools that they acshally prefers taking a quiet walk through the Forest, to being either swung, or roundabouted, or cokernutted, or ewen Aunt-Salleyed! But the wise Filosopher will probbably say, if you wants to make peeple happy, speshally them as don't werry often get the chance, give 'em not what you likes, but what they likes, and leave it to Old Father Time to teach 'em better sum day. ROBERT.
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LEGAL AND PERSONAL (by an envious Barrister).—Why is BUZFUZ, Q.C., like Necessity? Ans. Because he knows no law.
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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.