PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
FEBRUARY 22, 1890.
"If ever I have to choose.... I shall, without hesitation, shoulder my rifle with the Orangeman."—See Professor Tyndall's Reply to Sir W. V. Harcourt. "Times," Feb. 13, 1890.
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'ARRY ON EQUALITY.
DEAR CHARLIE,—Bin down as a dab with that dashed heppydemick, dear boy. I 'ave bloomin' nigh sneezed my poor head orf. You know that there specie of toy Wot they call cup-and-ball! That's me, CHARLIE! My back seemed to open and shut, As the grippe-demon danced on my innards, and played pitch-and-toss with my nut.
Hinfluenza be blowed! It licks hague and cholera rolled into one. The Sawbones have give it that name, I'm aware, but of course that's their fun. I've 'ad colds in the head by the hunderd, but this weren't no cold, leastways mine. Howsomever, I'm jest coming round a bit, thanks to warm slops and QyNine.
Took to reading, I did as I mended; that's mostly a practice with me. When I'm down on my back that's the time for a turn at my dear old D. T. A party named ROBERT BUCHANAN, as always appears on the job, Was a slating a chappie called HUXLEY. Thinks I, I'll take stock of friend BOB.
Well, he ain't much account, that's a moral; a ramblinger Rad never wos. Old HUXLEY's wuth ten on him, CHARLIE, though he's rather huppish and poz. Are men really born free and equal? Ah! that's wot they're harguing hout. BOB B., he says "Yus;" HUXLEY, "No;" and BOB'S wrong, there's no manner of doubt.
"Free and equal?" Oh, NEBUCHADNEZZAR! how can they talk sech tommy-rot? Might as well say as Fiz and Four-Arf should be equally fourpence a pot. Nice hidea, but taint so, that's the wust on it. There's where these dreamers go wrong. Ought's nothink, and that as is, is; all the rest isn't wuth a old Song.
Bad as BUGGINS, the Radical Cobbler, these mugs are. Sez BUGGINS, sez he, Wos it Nature give Mudford his millions, and three bob a day to poor me? Not a bit on it. Nature's a mother, and meant all her gifts for us all. It's a Law as gives Mudford his Castle, and leaves me a poor Cobbler's Stall.
All I've got to say, CHARLIE, is this. If so be Nature meant all that there, She must be a fair "J." as a mater. I've bin bested out of my share. So has BUGGINS, and nine out o' ten on us. If the few nobble the quids Spite of Nature, wy Nature's a noodle as cannot purtect her own kids.
Poor BUGGINS! He's nuts upon HENERY GEORGE, WILLIAM MORRIS, and such. He's got a white face, and is humpy, and lives in a sort of a hutch Smellin' strong of wax-end and stale dubbin. Him born free and equal? Great Scott! 'Bout as free as a trained flea in harness, or sueties piled in a pot.
Nature's nothink, dear boy, simply nothink, and natural right don't exist, Unless it means natural flyness, or natural power of fist. It's brains and big biceps, wot wins. Is men equal in muscle and pith? Arsk BISMARCK and DERBY, dear boy, or arsk JACKSON the Black and JEM SMITH.
There'd be precious few larks if they wos, CHARLIE—where'd be the chance of a spree If every pious old pump or young mug was the equal of Me? It's the up-and-down bizness of life, mate, as makes it such fun—for the ups. Equal? Yus, as old BARNUM and BUGGINS, or tigers and tarrier pups.
He's a long-winded lot, is BUCHANAN, slops over tremenjous, he do; Kinder poet, dear boy, I believe, and they always do flop round a few, Make a rare lot o' splash and no progress, like ducks in a tub, dontcher know, But cackle and splutter ain't swimming; so ROBERT, my nabs, it's no go.
Men ain't equal a mite, that's a moral, and patter won't level 'em up. Wy yer might as well talk of a popgun a holding its own with a Krupp. 'Ow the brains and the ochre got fust ladled hout is a bit beyond me, But to fancy as them as has got 'em will part is dashed fiddle-de-dee.
Normans nicked? Landlords copped? Lawyers fiddled? Quite likely; I dessay they did. Are they going to hand back the swag arter years? Not a hacre or quid! Finding's keeping, and 'olding means 'aving. I wish I'd a spanking estate Wot my hancestors nailed on the ready. They wouldn't wipe me orf the slate.
No fear, CHARLIE, my boy! I'd hang on by my eyelids; and so will the nobs, Despite Mounseer Roosso's palaver or rattletrap rubbish like BOB'S. As HUXLEY sez, Robbery's whitewashed by centries of toffdom, dear boy. Poor pilgarlicks whose forbears wos honest rich perks earn't expect to enjoy.
Life's a great game of grab, fur's I see, CHARLIE. Robbery? Well, call it that. If you only lay hands on your own, mate, you won't git remarkable fat. There isn't enough to go round and yet give a fair dollop to each, It's a fight for front place, and he's lucky who gets the first bite at the peach.
High priori hideas about Justice, as HUXLEY declares, is all rot. Fancy tigers dividing a carcase, and portioning each his fair lot! "Aren't men better than tigers?" cries BUGGINS. Well, yus, there's religion and law; Pooty fakes! But when sharing's the word they ain't in it with sheer tooth and claw.
Orful nice to see Science confirming wot I always held. Blow me tight, If I don't rayther cotton to HUXLEY; he's racy, old pal, and he's right. The skim-milk of life's for the many, the lardy few lap up the cream, And all talk about trimming the balance is rubbish, a mere Roosso's Dream!
Philanterpy's all very nice as a plaything for soft-'arted toffs, Kep in bounds it don't do no great 'arm. Poor old BUGGINS, he flushes and coughs; Gets hangry, he do, at my talk. I sez, keep on your hair, my good bloke, Hindignation ain't good for your chest; cut this Sosherlist cant, or you'll choke.
Philanterpy squared in a system would play up Old Nick with the Great, As 'cute Bishop MAGEE sez Religion would do—carried out—with the State. Oh, when Science and Saintship shake hands, in a sperret of sound common sense, To chuck over the cant of the Pulpit, by Jingo, old pal, it's Himmense!
All cop and no blue ain't my motter; I likes to stand treat to a chum; And if I wos flush of the ochre, I tell yer I'd make the thing hum. And there's lots o' the rich is good parters; bit here and bit there, dontcher know; But shake up the Bag and share round, like good pals a pot-lucking? Oh no!
Wot these jokers call Justice means knocking all 'andicap out of life's race; "Equal chances all round," they declare, wouldn't give equal power and pace! Wy, no; but if things weren't made nice for the few with the power and the tin, The 'andicapped many would be in the 'unt, and some on 'em might win.
Pooty nice state o' things for the perkers! Luck, Law, and the Longheads, dear boy, Have arranged the world so that the many must work that the few may enjoy. These "Equality" jossers would spile it; if arf their reforms they can carry, The enjoyers will 'ave a rough time, and there won't be a look in for 'ARRY.
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LE PETIT DUC.
"BRAVO Monseigneur!" Quite a natural cry, For he looks picturesque, and appears to be plucky, The Roscius role the young actor would try; His debut "gets a hand," which is certainly lucky. These Infant Phenomena frequently fail To rouse anything more than good-natured derision; But clappings and cheers this boy histrion hail. What then is his Vision?
"The thoughts of youth, they are long, long thoughts;" Exceedingly true, most mellifluous LONGFELLOW! But later come crosses, oft leading to noughts, And "l'homme necessaire" often finds he's the wrong fellow. How many debuts have occurred on the Stage With various set scenes, and with properties varied? Sensationalism, the vice of the age, To extremes has been carried.
A good situation all actors desire, All playrights approve, and all managers glory in. He has struck out his own with decision and fire. What part will he play a more serious story in? Who knows? For the moment the cue is applause. "Vive, ROSCIUS!" It may mean mere claque, empty chatter. And whether the youngster will further the Cause Is a different matter.
A coup de theatre is not everything, As well he's aware, that tragedian troubled Who is gliding so gloomily off at the wing. Hope's cup at his lips lately brimmingly bubbled, Now "foiled by a novice, eclipsed by a boy!" Is the thought in his mind. The reflection is bitter— Theatrical taste often craves a fresh toy, And is captured by glitter.
What thinks Madame France of the attitude struck By this confident slip of good stock histrionic? Though dames swear their dear Petit Duc is a duck, The smile of old stagers is somewhat ironic. But "Bravas!" resound. A lad's "resolute will," The "wisdom of twenty years," stir admiration, The political Cafe Chantant pluck will thrill In a stage-loving nation.
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ROYAL BERKSHIRE.—Go to DOWDESWELL'S, in Bond Street, and they will show you how County-history is written in the present day. It is altogether different to the dull, old, dry volumes, "the musty histories," which our grandfathers exhibited on their shelves, but never took down to read; and these County-historians are of a much more entertaining character. Those who know Royal Berkshire well—as most of us do—will be glad to have their memory refreshed by the fresh, bright, breezy pictures by YEEND KING, JOHN M. BROMLEY, and J. M. MACKINTOSH. KEELEY HALSWELLE'S superb painting of "Royal Windsor" occupies the place of honour in the room. It is one of the best pictures—and at the same time one of the most unconventional—ever produced of this oft-painted subject.
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THE ROOT OF THE MATTER.
(The Typical Woman's Reply to the Arguments of the Rational Dress Society.)
My dear LENNOX BROWNE, and my good Dr. SMITH, There is probably truth, there is certainly pith, In your Kensington talk about Rational Dress. Dr. GARSON and Miss LEFFLER-ARNIM also, Talk sound common sense, but they'll find it no go; The Crusade they have started can't meet with success.
No, sage Viscountess HARBERTON, sweet Mrs. STOPES, You had better not nourish ridiculous hopes About "rationalising" our frocks and our shoes. There is just one invincible thing, and that's Fashion! That object of every true woman's chief passion, 'Tis vain to attack, and absurd to abuse.
You may say what you please about feminine "togs," That they're ugly, unhealthy, are burdens or clogs, Too high, or too low, or too loose, or too tight, There is just one reply (but 'tis more than enough) To such "rational," but most irrelevant stuff:— If not in the Fashion, a Woman's a Fright!!!
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FROM THE ZOO.—The Tapir, the Daily Telegraph stated in one of the paragraphs of its useful and amusing diary of "London Day by Day,"—"The Tapir," at the Zoological Gardens, is a specimen of a species now "verging on the brink of extinction. He was an old Tory; the world changes, but change he would not." He should be known as the "Red Tape-ir."
THE SEAS-ON.—Mr. J. L. TOOLE, until he reaches Australia.
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Cousin Jack. "Then why did you Marry him, Effie?"
Effie. "Oh, well—I wanted to see the Paris Exhibition, you know!"
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SHOOTING ARROWS AT A SONG.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—I observe, that a gentleman has written, in a book called In Tennyson Land, an account of the exact localities of "the Moated Grange," and other well-advertised places—statements, which however, have been promptly challenged by the Poet's son in the Athenaeum. As there seems to be some doubt upon this subject, perhaps, you will allow me to give a few notes anent the interesting objects which Lord TENNYSON has so obligingly immortalised in song.
The Owl.—The name of a bright little newspaper which, amongst other items of news and flashes of humour, gave a list of proposed marriages—hence, no doubt, the refrain of "To wit and to woo." It owed its temporary success both to its fun and its matrimonial intelligence.
The Dying Swan.—Probably, suggested by the condition of one of these interesting creatures on the Thames, whose plumage had changed from white to blue, owing to the River being made the temporary repository for the outcome of some chemical works.
Oriana.—This name, there is every reason to believe, was suggested by a character in the opening of a pantomime at one of the minor theatres, very popular some twenty or thirty years ago.
The Miller's Daughter.—A very touching reference to the domestic life of a hero of the Prize Ring.
Lady Clara Vere de Vere.—Tradition has it that this aristocratic sounding title was originally intended for a new sort of velveteen, that would have been sold at a profit at three-and-sixpence a yard, double width.
The May Queen.—Believed to have been changed at the last moment from "The Jack-in-the-Green," a subject that had already been used by a poet of smaller fame than ALFRED TENNYSON.
The Lotos Eaters.—No doubt adapted from the English translation to a German picture of some children playing at a once well-known game called "The Loto Seaters."
The Northern Cobbler.—Suggested by a favourite coal, supplied to this day from Newcastle.
The Moated Grange.—The site of the original still exists at Haverstock Hill, and was fifty years ago more remote than it is now. Hence the title of one of the most pleasing little poems of comparatively modern times.
Trusting that these hints may be of service to those who take an interest in Lord TENNYSON'S very entertaining works, I remain, my dear Mr. Punch, yours sincerely, A SCOTCH COUSIN (THRICE REMOVED AGAINST HIS WILL) OF Brain Cobwebby, Hatchley Colwell. BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
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MR. PUNCH'S MORAL MUSIC-HALL DRAMAS.
Or, How Little Elfie taught her Grandmother.
Lady Belledame (a Dowager of the deepest dye). Monkshood (her Steward, and confidential Minion). Little Elfie (an Angel Child). This part has been specially constructed for that celebrated Infant Actress, Banjoist, and Variety Comedienne, Miss BIRDIE CALLOWCHICK.
SCENE—The Panelled Room at Nightshade Hall.
Lady Belledame (discovered preparing parcels). Old and unloved!—yes, the longer I live, the more plainly do I perceive that I am not a popular old woman. Have I not acquired the reputation in the county of being a witch? My neighbour, Sir VEVEY LONG, asked me publicly only the other day "when I would like my broom ordered," and that minx, Lady VIOLET POWDRAY, has pointedly mentioned old cats in my hearing! PERGAMENT, my family lawyer, has declined to act for me any longer, merely because MONKSHOOD rack-rented some of the tenants a little too energetically in the Torture Chamber—as if in these hard times one was not justified in putting the screw on! Then the villagers scowl when I pass; the very children shrink from me—[A childish voice outside window: "Yah, 'oo sold 'erself to Old Bogie for a pound o' tea an' a set o' noo teeth?"]—that is, when they do not insult me by suggestions of bargains that are not even businesslike! No matter—I will be avenged upon them all—ay, all! 'Tis Christmas-time—the season at which sentimental fools exchange gifts and good wishes. For once I, too, will distribute a few seasonable presents.... (Inspecting parcels.) Are my arrangements complete? The bundle of choice cigars, in each of which a charge of nitro-glycerine has been dexterously inserted? The lip-salve, made up from my own prescription with corrosive sublimate by a venal chemist in the vicinity? The art flower-pot, containing a fine specimen of the Upas plant, swathed in impermeable sacking? The sweets compounded with sugar of lead? The packet of best ratsbane? Yes, nothing has been omitted. Now to summon my faithful MONKSHOOD.... Ha! he is already at hand.
[Chord as MONKSHOOD enters.
Monkshood. Your Ladyship, a child, whose sole luggage is a small bandbox and a large banjo, is without, and requests the favour of a personal interview.
Lady B. (reproachfully). And you, who have been with me all these years, and know my ways, omitted to let loose the bloodhounds? You grow careless, MONKSHOOD!
Monks. (wounded). Your Ladyship is unjust—I did unloose the bloodhounds; but the ferocious animals merely sat up and begged. The child had took the precaution to provide herself with a bun!
Lady B. No matter, she must be removed—I care not how.
Monks. There may be room for one more—a little one—in the old well. The child mentioned that she was your Ladyship's granddaughter, but I presume that will make no difference?
Lady B. (disquieted). What!—then she must be the child of my only son POLDOODLE, whom, for refusing to cut off the entail, I had falsely accused of adulterating milk, and transported beyond the seas! She comes hither to denounce and reproach me! MONKSHOOD, she must not leave this place alive—you hear?
Monks. I require no second bidding—ha, the child ... she comes!
[Chord. Little ELFIE trips in with touching self-confidence.
Elfie (in a charming little Cockney accent). Yes, Grandma, it's me—little ELFIE, come all the way from Australia to see you, because I thought you must be sow lownly all by yourself! My Papa often told me what a long score he owed you, and how he hoped to pay you off if he lived. But he went out to business one day—Pa was a bushranger, you know, and worked—oh, so hard; and never came back to his little ELFIE, so poor little ELFIE has come to live with you!
Monks. Will you have the child removed now, my Lady?
Lady B. (undecidedly). Not now—not yet; I have other work for you. These Christmas gifts, to be distributed amongst my good friends and neighbours (handing parcels). First, this bundle of cigars to Sir VEVEY LONG, with my best wishes that such a connoisseur in tobacco may find them sufficiently strong. The salve for Lady VIOLET POWDRAY, with my love, and it should be rubbed on the last thing at night. The plant you will take to the little PERGAMENTS—'twill serve them for a Christmas tree. This packet to be diluted in a barrel of beer, which you will see broached upon the village green; these sweetmeats for distribution among the most deserving of the school-children.
Elfie (throwing her arms around Lady B.'s neck). I do like you, Grandma; you have such a kind face! And oh, what pains you must have taken to find something that will do for everybody!
Lady B. (disengaging herself peevishly). Yes, yes, child. I trust that what I have chosen will indeed do for everybody,—but I do not like to be messed about. MONKSHOOD, you know what you have to do.
Elfie. Oh, I am sure he does, Grandma! See how benevolently he smiles. You're such a good old man, you will take care that all the poor people are fed, won't you?
Monks. (with a sinister smile). Ah! Missie, I've 'elped to settle a many people's 'ash in my time!
Elfie (innocently). What, do they all get hash? How nice! I like hash,—but what else do you give them?
Monks. (grimly). Gruel, Missie. (Aside.) I must get out of this, or this innocent child's prattle will unman me!
[Exit with parcels.
Elfie. You seem so sad and troubled, Grandma. Let me sing you one of the songs with which I drew a smile from poor dear Pa in happier days.
Lady B. No, no, some other time. (Aside.) Pshaw! why should I dread the effect of her simple melodies? Sing, child, if you will.
Elfie. How glad I am that I brought my banjo! [Sings. Dar is a lubly yaller gal that tickles me to deff; She'll dance de room ob darkies down, and take away deir breff. When she sits down to supper, ebery coloured gemple-man, As she gets her upper lip o'er a plate o' "possum dip," cries, "Woa, LUCINDY ANN!" (Chorus, dear Granny!) Woa, LUCINDY! Woa, LUCINDY! Woa, LUCINDY ANN! At de rate dat you are stuffin, you will nebber leave us nuffin; so woa, Miss SINDY ANN!
To Lady B. (who, after joining in chorus with deep emotion, has burst into tears). Why, you are weeping, dear Grandmother!
Lady B. Nay, 'tis nothing, child—but have you no songs which are less sad?
Elfie. Oh, yes, I know plenty of plantation ditties more cheerful than that. (Sings.)
Oh, I hear a gentle whisper from de days ob long ago, When I used to be a happy darkie slave. (Trump-a-trump.) But now I'se got to labour wif de shovel an' de hoe— For ole Massa lies a sleepin' in his grave! (Trump-trump.)
Poor ole Massa! Poor ole Massa! (Pianissimo.) Poor ole Massa, dat I nebber more shall see! He was let off by de Jury, Way down in ole Missouri—But dey lynched him on a persimmon tree.
Elfie. You smile at last, dear Grandma! I would sing to you again, but I am so very, very sleepy!
Lady B. Poor child, you have had a long journey. Rest awhile on this couch, and I will arrange this screen so as to protect your slumbers. [Leads little ELFIE to couch.
Elfie (sleepily). Thanks, dear Grandma, thanks.... Now I shall go to sleep, and dream of you, and the dogs, and angels. I so often dream about angels—but that is generally after supper, and to-night I have had no supper.... But never mind.... Good night, Grannie, good night ... goo'ni' ... goo ... goo! [She sinks softly to sleep.
Lady B. And I was about to set the bloodhounds upon this little sunbeam! 'Tis long since these grim walls have echoed strains so sweet as hers. (Croons.) "Woa, LUCINDY," &c. "Dey tried him by a jury, way down in ole Missouri, an' dey hung him to a possum-dip tree!" (Goes to couch, and gazes on the little sleeper.) How peacefully she slumbers! What a change has come over me in one short hour!—my withered heart is sending up green shoots of tenderness, of love, and hope! Let me try henceforth to be worthy of this dear child's affection and respect. (Turns, and sees MONKSHOOD.) Ha, MONKSHOOD! Then there is time yet! Those parcels ... quick, quick!—the parcels!——
Monks. (impassively). Have been left as you instructed, my Lady.
[Chord: Lady B. staggers lack, gasping, into chair. Little ELFIE awakes behind screen, and rubs her eyes.
[N.B.—The reformation of a Grandmother being necessarily a process of some length, the conclusion of this touching little Drama is unavoidably deferred to a future number.]
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(By Mr. Punch's Own Type-writer.)
No. I.—THE DULL ROYSTERER.
The Dull Roysterer, or, as he is termed by the slangiest of his intimates, the "Bluff Boozer," is ordinarily the son of a wealthy, but injudicious father, who, having sent him to a good public school, furnished him with an income that would keep a curate in luxury. He developes an early inclination for check trousers, and the pleasures of the table. Appalled by the difficulties of English spelling, he seeks comfort in Scotch whiskey, and atones for a profound distaste for the tongues of ancient Greece and Rome by cultivating an appreciative palate for the vintages of Modern France. His burly frame, and a certain brute courage, gain for him a place in the School Football team, and a considerable amount of popularity, which he increases by the lavish waste of his excessive allowance. He has a fine contempt, which he never fails to express, for those boys who attempt to cultivate their minds by the reading of books, and, naturally, does not hesitate to degrade his own by the immoderate absorption of strong drinks.
Having, however, been discovered in a state of intoxication, he leaves school hurriedly and betakes himself to an Army-crammer's where discipline is lax and dissipation easy. Here he keeps half-a-dozen fox-terriers, and busies himself about the destruction of domestic cats. Yet, by dint of much forcing on the part of his Coach, he succeeds in passing into Sandhurst, and eventually obtains a commission in a Cavalry Regiment. During this stage of his career he frequents race-courses and worships earnestly at the shrine of Bacchus. He entangles himself with the wife of a brother officer, and, after figuring as the co-respondent in an undefended case, marries her. In the meantime he sends in his papers, and retires from the Army. Shortly afterwards he enlists in the ranks of those who seek pleasure in the night-resorts of the town. He soon becomes the boon companion of shady sporting men, latter-day coachmen, pink and paragraphic journalists, and middle-aged ladies, who, having once been, or been once, on the stage, still affect the skittish manners of a ballet-dancer. He is a man of short speech, but his humour is as broad as his drinks are long. He affects a rowdy geniality and a swaggering gait, by which he seeks to overawe the inoffensive. Though he has but a small stock of intelligence, he passes for a wit amongst his associates by dint of perpetually repeating an inane catch-word. With this, and a stamp of the foot, he will greet a friend who may meet him before lunch. Amongst his intimates such a welcome is held to be intensely humorous. He scatters the same sort of stamp and the identical remark broadcast over the loungers who congregate in front of HATCHETT's; by these signs and tokens he announces his presence at a Sporting Restaurant, and to the same accompaniment he sups at the Camellia, or looks on, in a heavy, sodden sort of way, while others dance, at the ball of a demi-mondaine.
Yet his general ignorance leads him into perpetual pitfalls, and makes him the butt of those of his associates who are cleverer than himself. Having on a certain occasion been addressed as Falstaff, in delicate allusion to his size and capacity for drink, he is easily persuaded that the original owner of this name was celebrated in history for his grace and sobriety. He takes much pride in recounting the incident ever afterwards.
Though the Roysterer is generally fuddled, he is rarely glorious. Having once driven a tandem, he is credited with a complete knowledge of horses, which, however, he invariably fails to turn to any profitable account. He begins his day with whiskey cock-tails, continues it with a series of brandy-and-sodas, followed by unlimited magnums of brut Champagne, and concludes it with more Champagne, a liberal allowance of liqueur brandies, and two or three tumblers of whiskey-and-seltzer to round off the night. As the hours advance, his face assumes a ruddier glow. With the progress of years, being compelled to conceal the increasing girth of his lower chest by the constant inflation of his upper, he wears frock-coats. The point which is lacking in his conversation is conspicuous in his boots, whilst his collars possess an elevation entirely denied to his manners.
He suffers from no restraint in consequence of his marriage. He is adored by a certain class of burlesque actresses. He flatters them by adoring himself. He owns a small house in Belgravia, but he frequently lives elsewhere. No pigeon-shooting matches, and few poker parties, amongst a certain set, are complete without him. Having benefited only to a limited extent under the will of his father, he is not generally reputed to be wealthy, but he is always extravagant. Yet he manages to steer clear of the painful consequences of writs with some astuteness. In middle-age he becomes obese, and cannot go the pace as formerly. His friends therefore abandon him, and he dies before he is fifty, in reduced circumstances, of an enlarged liver.
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"JOHNNYKIN AND THE GOBLINGS."
Two hundred and fifty Goblings in the Grand Banquet room of the Hotel Metropole assembled, as all the world knows by this time, to bid "Farewell, but not good-bye," as CLEMENT SCOTT's admirable verses have it, to JOHNNYKIN; that is, to Mr. J. L. TOOLE, usually and popularly spoken of as "JOHNNIE TOOLE," and generally endeared to his private friends as, simply, "JOHNNIE." Quite the best specimen of a "JOHNNIE," among all the "Johnnies" of the present time. Mr. Punch, for the first time in his life, permitted his merry men, The Knights of His Own Round Table, to convert their usual Wednesday dinner into a "movable feast," and to transfer it to the day beforehand, in order to do honour to the unique occasion, and the exceptional guest of the evening. No wonder there were two hundred and fifty acceptances to the bill of fare, and two hundred and fifty more ready to sign, seeing that the invitations came in effect from the President, the Solicitor-General, who could not solicit in vain.
Mr. FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., M.P., excelled himself in proposing the toast of "The Drama." He contemned the ancient Greek Drama, but was of opinion—Counsel's opinion—or, as he was speaking of the Romans, "Consul's opinion"—that there was "more money in the Latin Drama." Mr. Punch, regretted he was not at his learned friend's elbow to suggest, that an apt illustration of the truth of his remark might be found in the success of AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS, IMPERATOR.
Mr. HENRY IRVING proved, by his perfect recital of CLEMENT SCOTT's verses, how thoroughly "by heart" he had got them. HENRY's "heart is" not "dead" when JOHNNIE is concerned. Sir EDWARD CLARKE, as we learnt from the speeches made by himself, Mr. IRVING, and Mr. TOOLE, seems to have been at school with all the leading Actors; and it was a miracle that he escaped the attractions of the sock and buskin. Pity that the song, "When we were boys, Merry merry boys, When we were boys together," had not been arranged as a trio for them. JOHNNIE was in his best form; very detached, casual, and uncommonly funny. Lord ROSEBERY apologised by letter for not being able to be in Scotland and London at the same time; and the Wicked Abbe BANCROFT in replying to the toast of the Drama, pathetically represented his hard case of being called upon to make an after-dinner speech, when he hadn't had any dinner. The Actor's lot is evidently, not always a happy one. He wanted a "feeding-part" and didn't get it. The dinner was excellent, and the waiting of the waiters was, as far as I could ascertain, exceptionally good. Certainly the Metropole, or the New "Holland" House,—as it might be termed, after its manager,—holds first rank for this sort of business. We present Mr. HOLLAND, the Metropole Caterer, with this suggestion:—
The Only Condiment for a Farewell Banquet—"Sauce Ta Ta!"
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AVENUE THEATRE.—ALEXANDER the Growing, not yet the Great, finds that for some weeks to come there will be no necessity to doctor his Bill. He will be wise, however, not to reject any proffered assistance, as, from his present success, it is evident he cannot get on un-Aide-d.
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"OH, I SAY, OLD MAN, I WISH YOU'D RUN UPSTAIRS AND HUNT FOR MY AUNT, AND BRING HER DOWN TO SUPPER. SHE'S AN OLD LADY, IN A RED BODY, AND A GREEN SKIRT, AND A BLUE AND YELLOW TRAIN, WITH AN ORANGE BIRD OF PARADISE IN HER CAP. YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY MISTAKE HER. SAY I SENT YOU!"
"AWFULLY SORRY, OLD MAN, BUT—A—I'M TOTALLY COLOUR-BLIND, YOU KNOW. JUST BEEN TESTED!" [Exit in a hurry.
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THE INCANTATION SCENE.
Freely Adapted from "Der Freischuetz."
Caspar, Mr. L-B-CH-RE. Zamiel, Mr. P-RN-LL.
SCENE—Stage in complete shadow. An Irish Glen surrounded by bare mountains covered with dwarf oaks, overhanging a big bog. The Moon is shining dimly. CASPAR discovered with a pouch and hanger, busily engaged in making a Circle of fairy lanterns, in the middle of which is placed a turnip-skull, a shillelagh, a bunch of shamrock, a crucible, and a bullet-mould. Distant mutterings heard.
Chorus of Distant Party-Spirits.
Shindy now would be a boon, ("Hear, hear! Hear, hear!") Interest in M-tch-llst-wn hath died, ("Hear, hear! Hear, hear!") Mischief must be stirred up soon. ("Hear, hear! Hear, hear!") And Obstruction once more tried. ("Hear, hear! Hear, hear!") Ere this S-ss-n's course is run We must really have some fun. ("Hear, hear! Hear, hear!")
[At the end of chorus, a Big Bell booms twelve times; the Circle being finished, CASPAR within it, draws his hanger round the lanterns, and at the twelfth stroke strikes it into the turnip-skull.
Caspar (kneeling, and raising the skull on the hanger at arm's length). ZAMIEL, ZAMIEL, hear me, hear! By this bogey-skull appear! ZAMIEL, rise, for things look queer!
[A confused noise is heard, a Meteor (looking rather like a long-expected Blue-Book) falls on the Circle, and ZAMIEL, looking coldly triumphant, appears.
Zamiel. Why callest thou?
Caspar. Well, hang it! I like that! But, by St. Patrick's beard, your advent's pat, Our foes boast three years longer they may live.
Caspar. Then good reason you and I must give.
Zamiel. Who says so?
Caspar. One who hardly dared—till now— To face thy really rayther freezing brow; But, moved by reason, and a late Report, He's on the job; and we shall have some sport.
Zamiel. What doth he seek?
Caspar. To be supplied With bullets which thy skill shall guide.
Zamiel. Six shall obey, The seventh—who'll say?
Caspar. Lord of the mystic League, I hope, by sly intrigue, To rule the seventh also, And let it kill—you know!
Zamiel. Too risky.
Caspar. Oh, I say, Let's have no more delay. Three long years yet to sway? Pooh, ZAMIEL! It's child's-play.
Zamiel. Enough—no more! I'll tell thee now By this day month there'll be—a row?
[More mutterings are heard and repeated in chorus. The skull and hanger sink, and in their place a hearth with lighted coals and faggots, rise out of the earth, within the Circle. The Moon becomes red.
Caspar. Well served! Bless thee, ZAMIEL! The day will be ours!
[CASPAR moves to and fro, places faggots on the coals, blows the fire, which blazes and fumes. In the smoke certain cabalistic letters appear.
Now for it! Every moment is precious. "Every bullet hath its billet," saith the old saw. Rather! Black C-C-L, beware! Bland WILLIAM H., look out! Brutal B-LF-R, mind your eye! Shrewish G-SCH-N, be warned! Haughty H-RT-NGT-N, take care! Perfidious J-S-PH, watch it! That accounts for Six out of the fatal Seven. 'Twill suffice, even if the seventh—bah! that's silly superstition. Here goes! First this lead—heavy as SM-TH's speeches; then this glass, brittle as the bond between the Unionists; some quicksilver of Randolphian shiftiness; three charmed balls which have already hit their mark. See, they are marked. "P-G-TT," "P-RN-LL," "C-mm-ss-n"!!! Probatum est! Now for the blessing of the balls.
[CASPAR bowing down his head three separate times (as to three Judges) before he commences his incantation.
Thou who hast Fate's mystic dower, ZAMIEL, ZAMIEL, work thy power! Spirit of the evil dead (At Madrid), bless, bless the lead! May they be as featly sped As the one that pierced his head. I am sick of shilly-shally, May they—metaphorically, For, of course, I don't mean murder, Nothing could be—well, absurder— May they spifflicate our foes. Neither progress nor repose, On Bench or in Cabinet, May they any of them get Till they get their last quietus From these bullets (That will seat us Comfortably in their places, To the rapture of three races) How the fire fumes! There'll be ruction. Characters look like OBSTRUCTION! But they mean—and that's their beauty!— Merely, simply, purely DUTY! Therefore, 'tis my occupation So at present, Incantation! G. O. M. won't take a part; He objects to the Black Art. Though he rather shirks my cult, He will relish the result. ZAMIEL! you're the chap I like, Charm the bullets that they strike. ZAMIEL, lend thy might to kill To each burning drop we spill! Now then for it! Out on fear! ZAMIEL, ZAMIEL, be thou near!
[Sets to work at—THE CASTING OF THE BULLETS. Music.
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* * * * *
Squire Roadster. "WHERE ARE THE HOUNDS, MY MAN?"
Yokel. "GAR ON WITH YER! DON'T KNAW WHEER THE 'OUNDS BE, AND GOT A RED COAT AND A BIG 'OSS! YER OUGHTER BE ASHAMED OF YERSELF!"
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THE LATEST CATCH-LINE.—Good DAY! Have you read the Report of the Special Commission?
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Leaves of a Life. So MONTAGU WILLIAMS, Q.C., and Worthy Beak, styles his Reminiscences. The Leaves are fresh, and will be Evergreen. Nothing in his Life has become him so well as his leave-ing it. I fancy that the most popular part of it will be the early days—his salad days—when his leaves were at their greenest. Certainly, to all old Etonians, the opening of Volume One must prove the most interesting part of the two books; and after this, in point of interest to the general reader, will rank all the stories about persons whose names, for evident reasons, the learned Reminiscenser cannot give in full. When you read about what enormities "C——" committed, and what an unmitigated scoundrel "D——'s" brother was, there is in the narrative a delightful element of mystery, and an inducement to guess, which will excite in many a strong desire for a private key, which, of course, could not be placed in any publisher's hands, except under such conditions as hamper the trustee of the Talleyrand Memoirs.
Mr. WILLIAMS has better stories of Sergeant BALLANTINE than the latter had of himself in his own book. But I should like more of the MONTAGU out of Court—more of the behind-the-scenes of the cases in which he was engaged or interested. All his book is written in a dashing style, and there would be an enormous demand for a third volume, which might be all dash—C—— D—— E——; every letter of the alphabet dash—a dash'd good book, in fact, giving us the toothsome fond d'artichaut after the "leaves" have been disposed of. But that this should be the strong feeling expressed not alone by the Baron DE B.-W., but by very many readers, is proof sufficient of the art with which these Reminiscences have been compiled, so as, according to Sam Weller's prescription for a love-letter, to make us "wish there was more of it." By the way, I doubt whether WHATELEY'S Evidences of Christianity was the work that MONTAGU WILLIAMS was dozing over during "Sunday Private" in pupil-room; doesn't he mean PALEY's Evidences? Also, wasn't the old College Fellow's name spelt PLUMTRE, or PLUMPTRE, not PLUMPTREE? However, the Baron is less likely to be right than the Magistrate, who is evidently blessed with a wonderfully retentive memory.
My faithful Co. reports that he has read On the Children, a not very interesting novel, by ANNIE THOMAS, otherwise Mrs. PENDER CUDLIP. The story deals with a young girl, who, after serving in a village newspaper shop, marries the local nobleman, and no doubt lives happily ever afterwards. Persons who are interested in the doings of the class JEAMES calls the "hupper suckles," will perhaps be a little disappointed, as, truth to tell, the narrative is rather homely. Many of the characters seem to have that exaggerated awe of rank which used to be characteristic of the tales in the London Journal. The book should, however, be welcome in the homes of some of the lower middle class.
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & Co.
* * * * *
MR. PARKER SMITH, the recently elected M.P., appeared in the House looking Partickularly happy.
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT, EXTRACTED FROM the DIARY of TOBY M.P.
House of Commons, Tuesday, February 11.—"Rather slow this," said Commandant (of the Yeomanry Cavalry) Lord BROOKE to Admiral (in black velvet suit, with silver buckles) ROYDEN.
They were locked up in a room adjoining OLD MORALITY'S private apartment, at back of SPEAKER's chair. Both dressed in warlike costumes, both uniforms new, unaccustomed, and uncomfortable. Both warriors had waked in the morning full of joy and proud anticipation. "If you're waking call me early," Quartermaster-General Lord BROOKE had said to his man; "this is the happiest day of all the bright new year; for I'm to Second the Address. Yes, I'm to Second the Address."
Captain ROYDEN had made a remark of a similar purport to his body servant, though he had kept more closely to prose. Now here they were locked in, with a glass of sherry wine and a sponge cake, waiting for the signal that might never come. Ordinary course on opening night of Session is, for SPEAKER to take Chair; Notices of Motion to be worked off; Queen's Speech read; then Mover and Seconder of Address march into seats immediately behind Ministers, especially kept for them; dexterously dodge tendency of sword to get between their knees; sit down with the consciousness that they are the cynosure of every eye, including those of JOSEPH GILLIS, regarding them across House through horn-bound spectacles. To-day everything upside down. Instead of moving the Address, HARCOURT on with question of Privilege—HARCOURT, a plain man, in civilian costume! Worst of it was, they could not go away and change their clothes. No one knows what may happen from hour to hour in House of Commons; debate on Privilege might break down; Address brought on, and what would happen to British Constitution if Mover and Seconder were dragged in in their dressing-gowns?
"Dem'd dull," said Captain of Yeomanry Cavalry Lord BROOKE, toying with his sword-tassel.
"Trenormous!" yawned Bosun's Mate ROYDEN, loosening his belt, for he had been beguiled into taking another sponge-cake. "If they'd only let us walk about the corridors, or lounge in the House, it would be better. But to sit cooped up here is terrible. Worst of it is I've conned my speech over so often, got it mixed up; end turning up in middle; exordium marching in with rear-guard; was just right to go off at half-past six; now it's eight, and we won't be off duty till twelve."
Vice-Admiral ROYDEN feebly hitched up his trousers; sadly sipped his sherry wine, and deep silence fell on the forlorn company.
No one in crowded House thought of these miserable men. HARCOURT made his speech; GORST demonstrated that Motion was indefensible, being both too late and too soon; the Mouse came and went amid a spasm of thrilled interest; GLADSTONE delivered oration in dinner-hour; PARNELL fired up at midnight; House divided, and SPEAKER left the Chair. Then was heard the rattling of keys in the door by OLD MORALITY's room; two limp warriors were led forth; conducted to four-wheel cab; delivered at their own doorways, to spend night in pleased reflection on the distinction of Moving and Seconding the Address.
Business done.—Charge of Breach of Privilege against Times, negatived by 260 Votes against 212.
Wednesday.—House met at Noon as usual on Wednesdays; the two men of war in their places in full uniform, which looked a little creased as if they had slept in it. The eye that has sternly reviewed the Warwickshire Yeomanry Cavalry, lacks something of its wonted brightness; whilst ROYDEN's black velvet suit sets off the added pallor of a countenance that tells of sleepless vigil.
House nearly empty; Members won't turn up at Noon even to hear the thrilling eloquence clothing the original thoughts of the Mover and Seconder of the Address. Amid the dreary space the stalwart figure of GEORGE HAWKESWORTH BOND, Member for the East Division of Dorset, stands forth like a monument. Curious to see how BOND avoids vicinity of Cross Benches. Was standing there in contemplative attitude last night, whilst GORST was demonstrating that HARCOURT's Motion on Breach of Privilege was, (1) too late, and (2) that it was too soon. It was at this moment that the Mouse appeared on the scene, leisurely strolling down floor apparently going to join the majority. A view-halloa started him; doubled and made for Cross Benches; BOND, awakened out of reverie by the shout, looked down and saw the strange apparition. Never believed a man of his weight could get so high up into the air by sudden swift gyration. Mouse, more frightened even than the man, dodged round the Benches and disappeared. "All very well once in a way," said BOND this afternoon, sinking into a seat far removed from the Cross Benches; "but it is foolish unnecessarily to court danger; won't catch me standing at the bar any more when GORST is orating."
And his word is as good as his Bond.
After Mover and Seconder had completed their story, Grand Old Man appeared at the table, and talked for nearly an hour. Few to listen, but that no matter. A rapt auditor in OLD MORALITY, sitting forward with hands on knees, eyes reverently fixed on orator, drinking in his honeyed words. Something paternal in his attitude towards Ministers. Here and there they had done not quite the right thing. The MARKISS, in particular, had been particularly harsh to Portugal; but, on the whole, things might have been worse.
"Bless you, my children; bless you!" were the last words of the Grand Old Man as he stretched forth his hands across the table. Not a dry eye on the Treasury Bench. OLD MORALITY deeply touched, but through his sobs managed to make acknowledgment of the unexpected clemency. Business done.—Address Moved.
Thursday.—The languor in which House steeped since Debate on Address opened, not varied to-night till, at ten o'clock, copies of Report of Parnell Commission brought to Vote Office. Then such a scrimmage as never before seen.
At re-opening of Debate, HOWORTH started off with reference to Portugal. Immediately Members, with one consent, went forth, discovering that they had special business in the Lobby, the Library, the Tea-room, anywhere out of the House. The SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE's GATE had not even waited for resumption of Debate to quit the scene; was comfortably ensconsed in Smoking-room, distilling words of wisdom to listening circle. Someone dropping in, accidentally mentioned that HOWORTH had brought on Portugal business. SAGE jumped up nearly as high as BOND when he saw the Mouse. Had an Amendment on the paper referring to Portugal; had prepared a few paragraphs elucidating it. If opportunity missed, speech would be lost. So bolted off; arrived just in time to follow HOWORTH. Whilst discoursing, Our Latest Duke came in, fresh from the pageant of his installation in House of Lords. Seated in Peers' Gallery, toying with his walking-stick, thinking no evil, started to hear his name mentioned. SAGE's quick eye had caught sight of him.
"Halloa!" said the SAGE to himself, "here's a Duke; let's throw arf a brick at him!"
So, with innocent manner and pretty assumption of ignorance of the presence in Peers' Gallery of the highly favoured young gentleman with the walking-stick, the SAGE traced all the evils of Central Africa, leading directly up to the quarrel with Portugal, to the action of the British South Africa Company, of which the Duke of FIFE, he said, was a Promoter and Director.
"Very odd thing that, TOBY," said the Duke, under his breath, as he left the Gallery on tip-toe; "most remarkable coincidence; odds seemed to be a thousand to one against it; and yet it came off. Don't look into Peers' Gallery twice a year; yet on very night I happened to be there for five minutes, LABBY on his legs and talking about ME!"
Business done.—Debate on Address.
Friday.—A dull night, uplifted, at outset, by powerful speech from PARNELL, and, towards finish, by Colonel SAUNDERSON riding in, and slashing off heads all round. After him came SHEEHY. Splendid fellow, SHEEHY; must see more of him.
"What you want is blood!" SHEEHY shouted across the House at BALFOUR, lounging, dull and depressed, on Treasury Bench; "I repeat the phrase—Blood!"
"Blood," said SAUNDERSON, carelessly passing his hand through the black locks that crown his lofty brow, "is not exactly a phrase. Besides, after eight hours of this, a cup of black coffee would be more in BALFOUR'S way. But a good deal must be conceded to SHEEHY. What a nation we are for genders! We had an O'SHEA, we have an O'HEA; and here's a SHEE-HE. I have occasional differences with some of my countrymen; but I am proud of my country."
Business done.—Debate on Address.
* * * * *
Country Editor's Wife. "OH, JOHN DEAR! SOMEBODY'S SENT US SUCH A SPLENDID SALMON!"
Editor (after a moment's thought). "AH, YES—I KNOW—AND CHEAP TOO! ON'Y HALF A COLUMN!"
* * * * *
FIFTY YEARS OF RAILWAY PROGRESS—FIFTY YEARS HENCE.
A large and attentive audience assembled yesterday evening to hear Mr. FAIRWEATHER'S discourse on the highly interesting and instructive subject of the progress made in the matter of Railway Travelling in the course of the last fifty years.
The lecturer commenced by reminding his audience that, in the days of their fathers and grandfathers, fifty years ago, towards the close of the Nineteenth Century, the wretched Public had to content themselves with a miserable conveyance called a Pullman Car, that they in those days considered a triumph of elegant and convenient locomotion, because they could get tucked away on a shelf at night as a sort of apology for a bed, and be served with a mutton-chop by day, as a makeshift for lunch, and this they considered wonderful, because they were being dragged over their road at the marvellous, soul-thrilling pace of sixty miles an hour. (Loud laughter.) What would the poor benighted travellers of those days say to their present Grand Circular Express, that ran from London to York in two-and-twenty minutes, and ran up to the most northern point in Scotland, then down the Western Coast to Land's End, and back again to London all along the Channel Shore, doing the entire circuit in four hours and a quarter, and this while you reclined on the rich red velvet cushions of the lofty and sumptuously decorated third-class carriage at a one-and-ninepenny fare? No wonder that people took monthly tickets, and went round, and round, and round the two kingdoms; living, in fact, in the train, and being thus perpetually on the move. Look at the advantages offered by the Company, on their new extra-triple width line. A Brass Band, a Theatrical Company, a Doctor, Dancing-Master, Teacher of Elocution, Solicitor, Dentist, and Police Magistrate, accompanied every train, which was, moreover, provided with Turkish Shower and Swimming Baths, Billiard-rooms, Circulating Library, and offered attractive advantages to families wishing, either at their doctor's orders or for the mere sake of the run on its own account, continual change of air, complete sets of handsomely furnished apartments not fitted up with sleeping shelves—(laughter)—but supplied with regular six foot four-posters, such as would have delighted the eyes of their great grandfathers a hundred years ago. The law, too, recently passed, which consigned a Director to penal servitude, in the event of a train being ten minutes after its time, which had been passed owing to the persistent unpunctuality of the South-Eastern Company, had worked admirably, and to it, no doubt, they owed the present orderly management of all the lines in the three kingdoms. What would be the next development of Railway travelling he could not venture to predict, but he thought that if, in the next fifty years, they made as much progress as they had in the fifty years just expired, he was of opinion, that though the shareholders might possibly receive a smaller dividend even than that they were drawing to-day—(loud laughter)—the Railway, as an institution in the country, could not be regarded but as being in a highly flourishing condition.
A vote of thanks having been passed to the Lecturer for his lively and instructive discourse, which he briefly acknowledged, the proceedings terminated.
* * * * *
Why have we no Exams, for our M.P.'s.? Why not give marks for intellectual variance? And range each class according to degrees— Here the Tomfoolites—there the Noodeletarians?
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