OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
August 2, 1890.
* * * * *
PUNCH TO THE SECOND BATTALION.
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"—JUVENAL.
You're off, boys, to Bermuda (Like "the Bermoothes," "vexed"). The Guards rebel? Proh pudor! What next—and next—and next? Who'll guard the Guards, if they guard not The fame they should revere? Fie on the row, row, row, row, Of the British Grenadier!
Your Punch is sorry for you, And for these lads "in quod;" But Discipline's a parent That must not spare the rod. May you right soon redeem your name, And no more may Punch hear Of the row, row, row, row, row, row, Of the British Grenadier!
If you have been o'er-worried By ultra-Martinet; Into unwisdom hurried, Be sure Bull won't forget. But England's Redcoats must not ape The Hyde Park howl, that's clear; So no more row, row, row, row, From the British Grenadier!
* * * * *
ROBERT'S AMERICAN ACQUAINTANCE.
My akwaintance among eminent selebraties seems to be rapidly encreasing. Within what Amlet calls a week, a little week, after my larst intervue with the emenent young Swell as amost lost his art to the pretty Bridesmade, I have been onored with the most cordial notice of a werry emenent Amerrycane, who cums to Lundon wunce ewery year, and makes a good long stay, and allus cums to one or other of our Grand Otels. He says he's taken quite a fansy to me, and for this most singler reason. He says as I'm the ony Englishman as he has ewer known who can allus giv a answer rite off to ewery question as he arsks me! So much so, that he says as how as I ort to be apinted the Guide, Feelosofer, and Frend of ewery one of the many Wisiters as we allus has a staying here!
Well, all I can say is, that if I affords the heminent Amerrycane jest about harf the fun and emusement as he does me, I must be a much cleverer feller than I ewer thort myself, or than my better harf ewer told me as I was. Ah, wouldn't he jest make her stare a bit if she herd sum of his most owdacious sayings. Why, he acshally says, that the hole system of marrying for life is all a mistake, and not consistent with our changable nature! And that we ort to take our Wives on lease, as we does our houses, wiz., for sewen or fourteen years, and that in a great majority of cases they woud both be preshus glad when the end of the lease came! And he tries werry hard to make me bleeve, tho in course he doesn't succeed, that in one part of his grate and staggering Country, ewerybody does jest as he likes in these rayther himportant matters, and has jest as many Wives as he can afford to keep, and that the King of that place has about a dozen of 'em! Ah, if you wants to hear a Teel downright staggerer as nobody carnt posserbly bleeve, don't "ask the Pleaceman," but arsk an Amerrycane!
He wanted werry much to go to Brighton, and see our new Grand Metropole Otel opened last Satterday; so I spoke to our most gentlemanly Manager, and he gave him a ticket that took him down first-class, and brort him back, and took him into the Otel, and supplied him with heverythink as art coud wish for, or supply, and as much Shampane as he could posserbly drink—and, when there ain't nothink to pay for it, it's reelly estonishing what a quantity a gennelman can dispose of—; and the way in which he afterwards told me as he showed his grattitude for what he called a reel first-class heavening's enjoyment was, to engage a delicious little sweet of apartments for a fortnite, so we shall see him no more for that length of time. He told me as he had seen all the great Otels of Urope and Amerrykey, but he was obligated to confess, in his own emphatic langwidge, that the Brighton Metropole "licked all creation!" I didn't quite understand him, but I've no doubt it was intended as rayther complimentary. He rayther staggered me by asking what it cost, but I was reddy with my anser, and boldly said, jest exaoly a quarter of a million.
He told me that, in his own grand country, he was ginerally regarded as a werry truthful man, which, of course, I was pleased to hear, for sum of his statements was that staggering as wood have made me dowt it in a feller-countryman. For hinstance, he acshally tried to make me bleeve that his Country is about 20 times as big as ours! Well, in course, common politeness made me pretend to bleeve him, speshally as he's remarkable liberal to me, as most of his countrymen is, but I coudn't help thinking as it woud have been wiser of him if he had made his werry long Bow jest a leetle shorter. He's a remarkabel fine-looking gennelman, and his manners quite comes up to my description. ROBERT.
* * * * *
A LYRIC FOR LOWESTOFT.
[Mr. HENRY IRVING is studying for his new piece at Lowestoft.]
Henry Irving, will the Master feel the fierce and bracing breeze, As you wander by the margin of the restless Eastern seas?
Save the seagull slowly swirling none shall hear the tale of woe, Learn how dark the life that ended in the fatal "Kelpie's Flow."
'Mid the murmur of the ocean you will tell how Edgar felt When his Lucy broke her troth-plight, and he flung down Craigengelt,
Fitting place for actor's study, all that long and lonely shore; Yonder point methinks as Wolf's Crag should be known for evermore.
Henceforth will the place be haunted when the midnight hour draws nigh: Men shall see the Master standing stern against the stormy sky.
Faint, impalpable as shadow from the cloudland, Lucy there Shall keep tryst; the moon's effulgence not more golden than her hair.
And, in coming nights of Autumn, when the vast Lyceum rings With reverberating plaudits, and the town thy praises sings,
Memories of the sands at Lowestoft shall be with you ere you sleep; In your ears once more shall echo diapason of the deep.
* * * * *
I read, before my eyelids dropt their shade, A leader on weak women and their woe, In toil and industry, in art and trade, In this hard world below.
And for awhile the thought of the sad part Played by them and of Fate's ill-balanced scales, Moistened mine eyelids, and made ache mine heart, Remembering these strange tales
Of woman's miseries in every land, I saw wherever poverty draws breath Woman and anguish walking hand in hand, The dreary road to death.
Those pallid sempstresses of HOOD'S great song Peopled the hollow dark, not now alone, And I heard sounds of insult, shame, and wrong, And grief's sad monotone,
From hearts, like flints, beaten by tyrant hoofs; And I saw crowds in sombre sweating-dens, With reeking walls and dank and dripping roofs— Fit scarce for styes or pens.
Death at home's sin-stained threshold; honour's fall Dislodging from her throne love's household pet, And wan-faced purity a tyrant's thrall, With wild eyes sorrow-wet.
And unsexed women facing heated blasts And Tophet fumes, and fluttering tongues of fire; And virtue staked on most unholy casts, And honour sold for hire:
Squadrons and troops of girls of brazen air, Tramping the tainted city to and fro, With feverish flauntings veiling chill despair And deeply-centred woe.
So shape chased shape. I saw a neat-garbed nurse, Wan with excessive work; and, bowed with toil, A shop-girl sickly, of the primal curse Each looked the helpless spoil.
Anon I saw a lady, at night's fall Stiller than chiseled marble, standing there; A daughter of compassion, slender, tall, And delicately fair.
Her weariness with shame and with surprise My spirit shocked: she turning on my face The heavy glances of unrested eyes, Spoke mildly in her place.
"I have long duties; ask thou not my name Some say I fret at a fair destiny. Many I have to tend; to make my claim Some venture: we shall see."
"I trust, good lady, that in a fair field, The case 'twixt you and tyranny will be tried," I said; then turning promptly I appealed To one who stood beside.
She said, "Poor pay, and plenteous fines, and worse, Made me rebel amidst my mates' applause. To insubordination I'm averse, But have I not good cause?
"We are cut off from hope in our hard place, Sweet factory? Ah, well, our sweets are few. We strike for justice. Man might show some grace, I think, Sir; do not you?"
Turning I saw, ranging a flowery pile, One sitting in an entry dark and cold; A girl with hectic cheeks, and hollow smile; Wired roses there she sold,
Or strove to sell; but often on her ear The harrying voice of stern policedom struck, And chased her from her vantage, till a tear Fell at her "wretched luck."
Again I saw a wan domestic drudge Scuttering across a smug suburban lawn; Tired with the nightly watch, the morning trudge, The toil at early dawn.
And then a frail and thin-clad governess, Hurrying to daily misery through the rain. Toiling, with scanty food, and scanty dress, Long hours for little gain.
Anon a spectral shop-girl creeping back To her dull garret-home through the chill night, Bowed, heart-sick, spirit-crushed, poor ill-paid hack Of harsh commercial might!
These I beheld, the world's sad woman-throng, Work-ridden vassals of its Mammon-god, Their destiny to creep and drudge along, And kiss grief's chastening rod.
And then I saw a spirit surface-fair, A Maenad-masked betrayer, base, impure, But with sin's glittering garb, and radiant air, Gay laugh, and golden lure.
It smiled, it beckoned—whither? To the abyss! But of that throng how many may be drawn By the gay glamour and the siren kiss To where sin's soul-gulfs yawn?
How many? No response my vision gave. Make answer, if ye may, ye lords of gain! Make answer, if ye know, ye chiders grave Of late revolt, and vain!
Dream of Fair Women? Nay, for work and want Mar maiden comeliness and matron grace. Let sober judgment, clear of gush and cant, The bitter problem face!
* * * * *
ERIN AVENGED.—The Irish champions, HAMILTON, PIM, and STOKER, have won the "All-England" (it should be All-Irish) Tennis Championship, both Single and Double, beating the hitherto invincible Brothers RENSHAW, and other lesser Lights of the Lawn. And now at Bisley the Irish Team have, for the third time in succession, won the Elcho Challenge Shield. The old caveat will have to be changed into "No non-Irish need apply!"
* * * * *
QUITE THE NEWEST SONGS.—"Over the Sparkling Serpentine." By the author and composer of "Across the Still Lagoon." "Five Men in a Cab." By the ditto ditto of "Three Men in a Boat;" "Hates Copper Nightmare" to follow "Love's Golden Dream;" and the "General's Dustpan;" also, shortly; a companion song to the popular "Admiral's Broom."
* * * * *
"A GATHERING OF THE CLAN."—According to Debrett, the Earl of CLANCARTY (by the way, the Patent of Nobility granted to this family in 1793, is consequently not a hundred years old) bears on his arms "A Sun in splendour." The authority is too good to imagine for a moment that this can be a misprint!
* * * * *
WEEK BY WEEK.
Monday.—Colney Hatch Hussars' Annual private Introspection. Balloon rises at Chelsea. Sets to partners after midnight.
Tuesday.—Beadle of Burlington Arcade's Copper Wedding Festivities commence. Kangaroo Shooting in Fleet Street begins.
Wednesday.—Mr. Punch up and out with the lark. Afternoon Fireworks on the Stock Exchange. Hippopotamus-washing in the Serpentine commences.
Thursday.—Billiard Championship contest in the Pool below London Bridge. Cannons supplied by the Tower. Anniversary Festivity to celebrate the Discovery of cheap Ginger Beer by the Chinese B.C. 3700.
Friday.—Opening of the "Wash and Brush you up" Company's Automatic Machine, by Prince HENRY of BATTENBERG. Total Eclipse of the Moon, invisible at Herne Bay and Pekin.
Saturday.—Tinned Oyster Season commences. Fancy Dress Ball at Bedlam. Close time for Hyaenas in Belgrave Square.
* * * * *
The Austrian Inventor, who has just designed his ship of a mile in length that is to travel through the water at eighty-seven miles an hour, and cross the Atlantic in something under a day and a half, is, I am told, only waiting the requisite capital to enable him at once to set about carrying his project into effect. Each vessel will be provided with an Opera House a Cathedral, including a Bishop, who will be one of the ship's salaried officers; a Circus, Cricket-ground, Cemetery, Race-course, Gambling-saloon, and a couple of lines of Electric Tram-cars. The total charge for board and transit will be only 10s. 6d. a day, which will bring the fare to New York to something like 16s. As it is calculated that at least 100,000 passengers will cross the Atlantic on each journey, the financial aspect of the whole concern seems sound. As I said before, the only difficulty is the capital. Surely some enterprising Croesus who has thirty millions lying idle in the Two-and-a-half per Cents, might look at the matter.
* * * * *
"A SPORTING TIPSTER" writes:—"Perhaps you are not aware that the feature of next Season's Foot-ball will be the arrival of a strong team of the Kajawee Cannibal Islanders, a ferocious race, who have been instructed in the game by a celebrated Midland half-back. As in practice they invariably, instead of a foot-ball, use a fresh human head, and in a scrimmage leave half their number dead on the field, by having recourse to the 'Kogo' or 'Spine Splitting Stroke,' introduced from a local athletic game, some excitement will no doubt be manifested in sporting circles when they meet the Clapham Rovers, as, I believe, it is arranged they shall do at the Oval, early in November next."
* * * * *
Hats of the style of the earliest portion of the Saxon Heptarchy will not, after all, be seen in the Row during this Season, though several male leaders of fashion are stated to have given orders for them on an approved model.
* * * * *
* * * * *
MINE AND THINE.
[In a recent case, a promoter of Gold Mining Companies was asked if any of his Companies had ever paid a penny of dividend. His answer was, "You cannot know much about gold mines to ask such a question." He admitted, however, that he himself had made some L50 000 out of them. "This," he said, "is not profit; it is the realisation of property."]
Take a patch of land in Africa and multiply by ten, Then extract a ton of metal from an ounce or two of sand; Write a roseate prospectus with a magnifying pen, Making deserts flow with honey in a rich and smiling land.
Take some crumbs of truth, and spread them with a covering of bosh, And conceal them in a pie-crust labelled "Promises to pay"; Hide away all dirty linen, or remove it home to wash, And then begin the process which the wise ones call "Convey."
Next collect a band of brothers, all inspired by one desire. To subserve the public interest, single-hearted men and true; Stuff with shares, and thus permit them in your kindness to acquire, At a price, the vendor's property,—the vendor being you.
Then, since you must make a profit, call the public to your aid; Let them give you all their money, which they think they only lend: And of course you mustn't tell them, till the fools have safely paid, Mines were made for sinking money, not for raising dividend.
And the clergy bring their savings, the widows bring their store, And they push to reach your presence, and they jostle and they fall, And at last they pile their money in a heap before your door; And, just to make them happy, you accept and keep it all.
So you make your mine by begging—(modern miners never dig),— And you float a gorgeous Company. The shares go spinning up; But you never "rig the market." (What an awkward word is "rig"!) And you drain success in bumpers from an overflowing cup.
Then one day the thing gets shaky, and it goes from bad to worse, And the public grasps a shadow where it tried to hold a share; And in vain the country clergy most unclerically curse, You have "realised your property," and end a millionnaire.
* * * * *
COMING SEA-SCRAPES AT CHELSEA.
(DRAWN BY AN INSIDER.)
MR. PUNCH, SIR,
That the sister Service should also have its turn at Chelsea I reckon I can understand, and the Show ought to be popular; but if the Admiralty want to make a further "exhibition" of themselves, they won't have to go very far a-field for material. Here are one or two exhibits that come to hand at once. First, there's those big guns which it ain't safe to fire nohow, and which, if you do load with half a charge, crack, bend, and get sent back to be "ringed" up, whatever that means, and are not safe, even for a salute, ever afterwards. Then, in another case, they might show a foot or two of that blessed boiler-piping which is always leaking, or splitting, or bursting, just when it shouldn't. In a third they might display a chop that had been cooked from lying exposed in one of those famous stokeholes where the poor beggars of sailors are expected to pass their time without getting roasted too. Then there might be, as a sort of prize puzzle, a plan of these here recent manoeuvres, with the Umpire's opinion of the whole blessed jumble tacked on to it. Then, to enliven the proceedings. Lord GEORGE might take his turn with the rest of the Admiralty Board, and give us, every half hour or so, a figure or two of the Hornpipe, just to let the public see that they have got some sort of nautical "go" about them to warrant them in drawing their big screw. Bless you, Mr. Punch, there's lots to make an Exhibition of at Chelsea next year if you come to calculate. Leastways that's the opinion of your humble servant and admirer,
A TAX-PAYING LANDLUBBER.
* * * * *
THE BAD FORM OF THE PAST.
There he stood in his evening dress, with a half-smoked cigarette between his lips. He had been knocking about Piccadilly all day, had dined at the Junior, looked in at the Opera, and finished at the Steak. He seemed a civilian of civilians. The most casual observer would have declared that he could never have seen the inside of a barrack-yard. So no surprise was expressed when the question was asked him.
"What am I?" he repeated, languidly, and then he replied, with a yawn, "Can't you see, old Chappie? Why, an Officer in the Guards!"
THE GOOD FORM OF THE FUTURE.
There he stood in his neat, serviceable undress uniform, with a cigar between his lips. He had abandoned the swagger frogged coat and silk sash for the unpretending patrol jacket of his brethren in the Line. He had been hard at work all day in barracks, inspecting meals, visiting the hospital, attending parades. He had paid his company personally, had seen every man, and found that there were no complaints. He had attended a mess meeting, and had dined at mess, playing a rubber afterwards (sixpenny points) in the ante-room. He knew as much about the internal economy of the Battalion as the Colonel, the Adjutant, or the Sergeant-Major. He seemed a soldier of soldiers. The most casual observer would have declared that he was acquainted with every inch of the barrack-yard. So general surprise was expressed when the question was asked him.
"What am I?" he repeated, briskly; and then he replied, with a smile, "Can't you see, stupid? Why, an Officer in the Guards!"
* * * * *
AT A GARDEN-PARTY.
SCENE—A London Lawn. A Band in a costume half-way between the uniforms of a stage hussar and a circus groom, is performing under a tree. Guests discovered slowly pacing the turf, or standing and sitting about in groups.
Mrs. Maynard Gery (to her Brother-in-law—who is thoroughly aware of her little weaknesses). Oh, PHIL,—you know everybody—do tell me! Who is that common-looking, little man with the scrubby beard, and the very yellow gloves—how does he come to be here?
Phil. Where? Oh, I see him. Well—have you read Sabrina's Uncle's Other Niece?
Mrs. M.G. No—ought I to have? I never even heard of it!
Phil. Really? I wonder at that—tremendous hit—you must order it—though I doubt if you'll be able to get it.
Mrs. M.G. Oh, I shall insist on having it. And he wrote it? Really, PHIL, now I come to look at him, there's something rather striking about his face. Did you say Sabrina's Niece's Other Aunt—or what?
Phil. Sabrina's Uncle's Other Niece was what I said—not that it signifies.
Mrs. M.G. Oh, but I always attach the greatest importance to names, myself. And do you know him?
Phil. What, TABLETT? Oh, yes—decent little chap; not much to say for himself, you know.
Mrs. M.G. I don't mind that when a man is clever—do you think you could bring him up and introduce him?
Phil. Oh, I could—but I won't answer for your not being disappointed in him.
Mrs. M.G. I have never been disappointed in any genius yet—perhaps, because I don't expect too much—so go, dear boy; he may be surrounded unless you get hold of him soon. [PHIL obeys.
Phil (accosting the Scrubby Man). Well, TABLETT, old fellow, how are things going with you? Sabrina flourishing?
Mr. Tablett (enthusiastically). It's a tremendous hit, my boy; orders coming in so fast they don't know how to execute 'em—there's a fortune in it, as I always told you!
Phil. Capital!—but you've such luck. By the way, my sister-in-law is most anxious to know you.
Mr. T. (flattered). Very kind of her. I shall be delighted. I was just thinking I felt quite a stranger here.
Phil. Come along then, and I'll introduce you. If she asks you to her parties by any chance, mind you go—sure to meet a lot of interesting people.
Mr. T. (pulling up his collar). Just what I enjoy—meeting interesting people—the only society worth cultivating, to my mind, Sir. Give me intellect—it's of more value than wealth!
[They go in search of Mrs. M.G.
First Lady on Chair. Look at the dear Vicar, getting that poor Lady PAWPERSE an ice. What a very spiritual expression he has, to be sure—really quite apostolic!
Second Lady. We are not in his parish, but I have always heard him spoken of as a most excellent man.
First Lady. Excellent! My dear, that man is a perfect Saint! I don't believe he knows what it is to have a single worldly thought! And such trials as he has to bear, too! With that dreadful wife of his!
Second Lady. That's the wife, isn't it?—the dowdy little woman, all alone, over there? Dear me, what could he have married her for?
First Lady. Oh, for her money, of course, my dear!
Mrs. Pattallons (to Mrs. ST. MARTIN SOMERVILLE). Why, it really is you! I absolutely didn't know you at first. I was just thinking, "Now who is that young and lovely person coming along the path?" You see—I came out without my glasses to-day, which accounts for it!
Mr. Chuck (meeting a youthful Matron and Child). Ah, Mrs. SHARPE, how de do! I'm all right. Hullo, TOTO, how are you, eh, young lady?
Toto (primly). I'm very well indeed, thank you. (With sudden interest). How's the idiot? Have you seen him lately?
Mr. C. (mystified). The idiot, eh? Why, fact is, I don't know any idiot!—give you my word!
Toto (impatiently). Yes, you do—you know. The one Mummy says you're next door to—you must see him sometimes! You did say Mr. CHUCK was next door to an idiot, didn't you, Mummy?
Mrs. Prattleton. Let me see—did we have a fine Summer in '87? Yes, of course—I always remember the weather by the clothes we wore, and that June and July we wore scarcely anything—some filmy stuff that belonged to one's ancestress, don't you know. Such fun! By the way, what has become of Lucy?
Mrs. St. Patticker. Oh, I've quite lost sight of her lately—you see she's so perfectly happy now, that she's ceased to be in the least interesting!
Mrs. Hussiffe (to Mr. DE MURE). Perhaps you can tell me of a good coal merchant? The people who supply me now are perfect fiends, and I really must go somewhere else.
Mr. De Mure. Then I'm afraid you must be rather difficult to please.
Mr. TABLETT has been introduced to Mrs. MAYNARD GERY—with the following result.
Mrs. M.G. (enthusiastically). I'm so delighted to make your acquaintance. When my brother-in-law told me who you were, I positively very nearly shrieked. I am such an admirer of your—(thinks she won't commit herself to the whole title—and so compounds)—your delightful Sabrina!
Mr. T. Most gratified to hear it, I'm sure, I'm told there's a growing demand for it.
Mrs. M.G. Such a hopeful sign—when one was beginning quite to despair of the public taste!
Mr. T. Well, I've always said—So long as you give the Public a really first-rate article, and are prepared to spend any amount of money on pushing it, you know, you're sure to see a handsome return for your outlay—in the long run. And you see, I've had this carefully analysed, by competent judges—
Mrs. M.G. Ah, but you can feel independent of criticism, can't you?
Mr. T. Oh, I defy anyone to find anything unwholesome in it—it's as suitable for the most delicate child as it is for adults—nothing to irritate the most sensitive—
Mrs. M.G. Ah, you mean certain critics are so thin-skinned—they are indeed!
Mr. T. (warming to his subject). But the beauty of this particular composition is that it causes absolutely no unpleasantness or inconvenience afterwards. In some cases, indeed, it acts like a charm. I've known of two cases of long-standing erysipelas it has completely cured.
Mrs. M.G. (rather at sea). How gratifying that must be. But that is the magic of all truly great work, it is such an anodyne—it takes people so completely out of themselves—doesn't it?
Mr. T. It takes anything of that sort out of them, Ma'am. It's the finest discovery of the age, no household will be without it in a few months—though perhaps I say it who shouldn't.
Mrs. M.G. (still more astonished). Oh, but I like to hear you. I'm so tired of hearing people pretending to disparage what they have done, it's such a pose, and I hate posing. Real genius is never modest. (If he had been more retiring, she would have, of course, reversed this axiom.) I wish you would come and see me on one of my Tuesdays, Mr. TABLETT, I should feel so honoured, and I think you would meet some congenial spirits—do look in some evening—I will send you a card if I may—let me see—could you come and lunch next Sunday? I've got a little man coming who was very nearly eaten up by cannibals. I think he would interest you.
Mr. T. I shall be proud to meet him. Er—did they eat much of him?
Mrs. M.G. (who privately thinks this rather vulgar). How witty you are! That's quite worthy of a—Sabrina, really! Then you will come? So glad. And now I mustn't keep you from your other admirers any longer. [She dismisses him.
Mrs. M.G. (to her Brother-in-law). How could you say that dear Mr. TABLETT was dull, PHIL? I found him perfectly charming—so original and unconventional! He's promised to come to me. By the way, what did you say the name of his book was?
Phil. I never said he had written a book.
Mrs. M.G. PHIL—you did!—Sabrina's Other—Something. Why, I've been praising it to him, entirely on your recommendation.
Phil. No, no—your mistake. I only asked you if you'd read Sabrina's Uncle's Other Niece, and, as I made up the title on the spur of the moment, I should have been rather surprised if you had. He never wrote a line in his life.
Mrs. M.G. How abominable of you! But surely he's famous for something? He talks like it. [With reviving hope.
Phil. Oh, yes, he's the inventor and patentee of the new "Sabrina" Soap—he says he'll make a fortune over it.
Mrs. M.G. But he hasn't even done that yet! PHIL, I'll never forgive you for letting me make such an idiot of myself. What am I to do now? I can't have him coming to me—he's really too impossible!
Phil. Do? Oh, order some of the soap, and wash your hands of him, I suppose—not that he isn't a good deal more presentable than some of your lions, after all's said and done!
[Mrs. M.G., before she takes her leave, contrives to inform Mr. TABLETT, with her prettiest penitence, that she has only just recollected that her luncheon party is put off, and that her Tuesdays are over for the Season. Directly she returns to Town, she promises to let him hear from her; in the meantime, he is not to think of troubling himself to call. So there is no harm done, after all.
* * * * *
THE OPERA-GOER'S DIARY.
(LAST WEEK OF OPERA.)
Monday.—Hamlet. Music by AMBROISE THOMAS, and libretto by Messieurs CARRE and BARBIER, who seem to have read Hamlet once through, after which they wrote down as a libretto what they remembered, of the story. It would be difficult to mention any Opera less dramatic than this. The question arises at once, adapting the immortal phrase of JAMES LE SIFFLEUR, "Why lug in Hamlet?" Why not have called it Ophelia? Whatever interest there may be in the Opera—and there is very little—is centred entirely in Ophelia. The Ghost is utterly purposeless, but of distinguished appearance as a robust spectre, marching in at one gate, and out at another, or hiding behind a sofa, and popping up suddenly, in order to frighten an equally purposeless Hamlet. Like father, like son. M. LASSALLE is a fine, substantial, baritonial Hamlet, who is always posturing, weeping, calling out ma mere, and blubbering on the ample matronly bosom of his mother, Madame RICHARD ("O RICHARD! O ma Reine!") like a big, blubbering, overgrown schoolboy. Were I inclined to disquisitionise, I should say that Messieurs CARRE and BARBIER have actually realised SHAKSPEARE's own description of his jelly-fleshed hero, whose mind is as shaky as his well-covered body. Hamlet was—as SHAKSPEARE took care to emphasise—"fat, and scant of breath"—which was the physical description of the actor who first impersonated the leading role of this play; and the French author's idea of Hamlet was, accordingly, a fat youth, very much out of condition, home from Wittenberg College, in consequence of his father's recent decease.
Some of the lighter musical portions of the Opera are charming, and the Chorus at the end of Act I, might have been written by OFFENBACH. But what is there of the story? Nothing. The King is not killed: the Queen isn't poisoned: Polonius is not stabbed behind the arras, having been, perhaps, killed before the Opera commenced, since his name appears in the book but not in the programme, and the only person on the stage that I could possibly associate with that dear old Lord Chamberlain was M. MIRANDA, who had donned a white beard and a different robe from what he had been previously wearing as Horatio in the First and Second Acts, in order to enter and lead the King away, in an interpolated and ineffective scene which was not in the book. A very hard-working Opera for the principals, and a thankless task. Hamlet's drinking song fine, and finely sung. But the whole point of the Opera is in the last Act, where there is a ballet that has nothing to do with the piece, but pretty to see little PALLADINO in short white skirts, dancing merrily in a forest glade, among the happy peasantry, to whom comes Ophelia, mad as several hatters, and after a lunatic scene, charming, both musically and dramatically, throws herself into the water, and dies singing.
Here is a suggestion for the effective compression and reduction of the Opera, and if my plan be accepted, DRURIOLANUS will earn the eternal gratitude of those who would like to hear all that is good in it, and to skip, as PALLADINO does, the rest. Thus:—
ACT I.—Enter HAMLET. Solo. Exit. Enter OPHELIA. Solo. Re-enter HAMLET. OPHELIA and HAMLET love-duet. Exit OPHELIA. HAMLET'S Friends come in, and he sings them a Drinking Song with Chorus. All join in Chorus and Dance. Curtain.
ACT II.—Opening Chorus (anything; it doesn't matter if it's only pretty and bright). Enter HAMLET. Solo. "Etre, ou ne pas etre." Enter OPHELIA with book, pretends not to see HAMLET. Solo. Enter Queen. OPHELIA complains to her that HAMLET isn't behaving like a gentleman. Queen upbraids HAMLET: So does OPHELIA: HAMLET depressed, Exit Queen R.H. Exit OPHELIA L.H. HAMLET remains, evidently going mad. PALLADINO looks in. Dances. HAMLET joins her. Enter Friends, Courtiers, Peasants, and other Friends. All join in ballet, HAMLET included. Enter Keepers, and HAMLET is taken off to Hanwellhagen. OPHELIA rushes in, faints. Curtain.
ACT III.—Meadows near Hanwellhagen, in Denmark. Dance of Lunatics, out for a holiday. To them enter OPHELIA. All the charming music, delightful, and, this being finished, she chucks herself away into the stream. Curtain.
Great call for everybody concerned. And, if the above scheme be adopted, the Opera would be over before eleven, having begun at nine. I present this with my compliments to DRURIOLANUS and AMBROISE THOMAS; and, if he is not "a doubting THOMAS," he will try this plan.
The remainder of the week passed away happily, so I hear, but was not able to be in my place, as I was at somebody else's place far, far away. The Opera has been, from the first, a big success. Should like to hear Masaniello once again. Perhaps that is a treat in store for all of us. Thus ends the Opera-goer's Diary for 1890, and everybody is highly satisfied and delighted. Curtain.
* * * * *
When Autumn comes, our womenfolk prepare To grind the "old old tune" called "change of air."
* * * * *
* * * * *
"OUR TURN NOW!"
OR, MR. BULL AND THE WANDERING MINSTRELS.
Mr. Bull. Confound these Wandering Minstrels! Oh, the bore of them! Only just settled with yon tow-hair'd fellow Turning the corner, and behold two more of them, Prepared to grind and tootle, blow and bellow, Until I tip them in a liberal fashion. Upon my word, their noise is something shocking; Enough to put a person in a passion. Menaces slighting and remonstrance mocking, They stand and twangle, tootle, grind, and gurgle Their horrible cacophony. Find it funny, Ye grinners? Might as well my mansion burgle, As "row" me forcibly out of my money. The Teuton tootler, being tipped, is "sloping," Patting his pocket with a smile complacent. The Gallic blower, for like treatment hoping, Grins at the Portuguese who grinds adjacent. What a charivari! Oh, I must stop it! I say, you rascal with the hurdy-gurdy, More than enough of that vile shindy; drop it! And you, my brazen, blatant, would-be VERDI, Hush that confounded horn, or go and blow it At—Jericho. My walls you will not tumble By windy shindy, and you ought to know it.
Horn-Player. Bah! ze old hombogs! He sall growl and grumble But he vill pay ven it come to ze pinches; I know him, ze cantankerous vieux chappie. Ze German yonder, vy he take ze inches, And get ze Hel-igoland! Now he quite happy. I do ze same. Pom! Pom! Zat blast vos thunder! How he do tear his hair and tvist his features. He svear, but he vill vat you call "knock under."
Mr. Bull. I say, you Portugee, smallest of creatures, And noisiest for your size, shut up, and hook it!
Hurdy-gurdy. Gr-r-r-r! Gr-r-r-r! Zey say zat ze old fool is skveezable, Melting in his own heat. Py gar, he look it. Ze Teuton yonder find zat he vas teaseable Out of ze "tip," ze big pour-boire. He got him, He go, he grin! Sall I not take ze hint too? I get him too—I go. But I no let him Drive me away, as he did SERPA PINTO. Gr-r-r-r! Gr-r-r-r! I see zat he no like ze grinding. Soo mooch ze bettare! He sall give mooch money; Ze pour-boire, someveres, he sall soon be finding, If I keep on. Zeese Eenglish are so funny.
Tutto. Ze money for ze Minstrels! Kvick! So sall you Get rid of us. Like to ze artful gloser In Mistare SEYMOUR'S sketch, ve "know ze value Of peace and kvie'ness." Pay us, ve go, Sir! [Left tootling.
* * * * *
IN THE KNOW.
(BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN PROPHET.)
Am I going to Goodwood? I answer that question by another. Is it likely that a race-meeting of any pretensions can possibly do without one whom even his enemies acknowledge to be the only accurate and high-minded sporting writer in the world? Those who care (and I devoutly hope that Mr. J., whose brains equal those of a newly-born tadpole, will not be amongst the number) can see me at any moment on pronouncing the password, "mealy-mouth," in my old place, close to the space devoted to Royalty. Yes, I shall be there. In the meantime, I propose to treat of the horses as only I can treat of them. I have nothing to say against Pioneer, except that the name promises very well for one who means to lead the way. Nous verrons, as RACINE said, on a celebrated occasion. As for The Imp, I cannot too strongly lay it down that only blue devils are bad for the digestion, and Galloping Queen may gallop farther than or not so far as Miss Ethel. A miss must be better than a mile to win. If Theophilus were Formidable, or if Imogene possessed a Grecian Bend, it might be necessary to sound Reveille in Rotten Row, which would certainly be a Marvel. Not being a roadster, I sometimes like The Field.
The above information ought to be sufficient to guide anybody whose brains are calculated to fill an egg-cup. All others may go to Earlswood, where they will probably meet Mr. J.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE REAL GRIEVANCE OFFICE.
(BEFORE MR. COMMISSIONER PUNCH.)
AN ANGLO-INDIAN GENTLEMAN INTRODUCED.
The Commissioner. Well, Sir, What can I do for you?
Anglo-Indian. I wish respectfully to call your attention, Sir, to our case, which is now before a Parliamentary Committee. I am an Indian Civil Servant. I am called a member of the Uncovenanted Service, but I contend that such a term is a misnomer. Originally the Uncovenanted Service consisted of Natives of India, who were employed, without covenant, to do subordinate official work, under the direction of the Covenanted Civil Service. The bulk of these persons were overseers and tax-collectors.
The Com. Has there been any alteration of late years? I see you lay a stress upon originally.
Anglo-In. At this moment there are in the Service, in one department alone—the Educational—a Senior Classic, a Second Wrangler, several other Wranglers, and many Fellows of Oxford and Cambridge, who took high honours with their degrees. The Service now requires great technical knowledge, as it has to deal with Archaeology, Finance, Geological Survey, Public Works, and Telegraphy, and can only be entered by Europeans, who have been selected by nomination, or after competition, either by the Secretary of State for India, or the Government of India. It is not an Uncovenanted Service, as we now enter it with the prospect of pension; and one of our grievances is, that that prospect has become less favourable through the recent action of our employers.
The Com. Be kind enough to explain.
Anglo-In. Certainly, Sir. When we entered the Service our pension, after serving thirty years, was stated by the Secretary of State to be L500. Naturally this was taken to mean gold, but because years ago the Service consisted of Natives, the Government hit upon the plan of paying us in silver, which at the present rate means a loss of L150 in the L500.
The Com. Are the members of the other Indian Services, Civil and Military, treated in like manner?
Anglo-In. No, they are paid their pensions in gold.
The Com. Well, considering the class of men who now enter your Service I do not see why you should be put at so great a disadvantage. Have you any other grievances?
Anglo-In. Well, thirty years is a long time to have to serve in a climate as trying as the tropics, especially when we are not allowed to count furlough as service.
The Com. I think so, too. Then I may sum up your grievances thus. You are educated men, and therefore deserve fair treatment. You would consider fair treatment, payment of pensions in gold, and the lessening of the years of service necessary to earn the right of retirement?
Anglo-In. Exactly, Sir; and I cannot thank you sufficiently for putting our case so plainly.
The Com. Not at all. Should you receive no redress within a reasonable time, you may mention the matter to me again.
[The Witness with a grateful bow then withdrew.
* * * * *
THE SHADOW OF A CASE!
(TO THE EDITOR OF PUNCH.)
DEAR SIR,—As the leading forensic journal of this great country (your contemporary Weekly Notes runs you pretty close occasionally in some of its reports), I address you. It was my painful duty a few days ago (I had to "take a note" for a colleague, an occupation more honourable than lucrative), to be present at a cause that was heard before the President of the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice and a Special Jury. The trial created considerable interest, not only amongst the general public, but amongst that branch of our honourable Profession represented by the Junior Bar, no doubt, because certain points of law, not easily recognisable—I frankly confess, I myself, am unable to recount them—were no doubt in question, and had to be decided by competent authority. The Counsel directly engaged were some of the brightest ornaments of Silk and Stuff. Amongst the rest were my eloquent and learned friend, Sir CHARLES RUSSELL, my erudite and learned friend Mr. INDERWICK (whose Side-lights upon the Stuarts, is a marvel of antiquarian research), and my mirth-compelling and learned friend Mr. FRANK LOCKWOOD, whose law is only equalled (if, indeed, it is equalled) by his comic draughtmanship. As the details of the trial have been fully reported, there is no necessity to go into particulars. However, there was a feature in the case that the passing notice of an article in one or more of the leading journals is scarcely sufficient to meet.
It was proved that the detective part of divorce (if I may use the expression) may be conducted in a fashion, to say the least, of not the most entirely satisfactory character. A talented family were called before us, whose performances were, from one point of view, extremely amusing. But, Sir, although (as you will be the first to admit) laughter is a most excellent thing in its proper place, the sound of cachinnation is seldom pleasing in the Divorce Court. Under these circumstances I would propose that, in future, Divorce Shadowing should be put under the protection of the State. There should be a special department, and the Shadowers should be of the distinguished position of Mr. MCDOUGALL of the London County Council, and the like. The office of the rank and file of the Shadowers should be honorary, as the pleasure of following in (possibly) unsavoury steps in the cause of virtue, would be to them, I presume, ample reward for any trouble the labour might entail. I would willingly myself undertake the responsibilities attaching to the post of Director-General, of course on the understanding that a suitable provision were made, not only as compensation for the loss of my practice, but also that I might perform the duties of the office with suitable dignity. But when I say this, I would add, that I should reserve to myself the right of seeking the supplementary services of the Archbishop of CANTERBURY, and Mr. Sheriff AUGUSTUS HARRIS, as assessors in assisting me to distinguish between innocence and vice, and guilt and virtue.
Believe me, with an expression of all necessary respect for "the Nobility" connected with the case to which I have referred, and admiration for the courage of a certain Militiaman, exhibited by his entering the witness-box, and there facing the cross-examination he so richly deserved, I remain, Yours truly,
(Signed) A BRIEFLESS, JUNIOR.
Pump-handle Court, July 29, 1890.
* * * * *
Poet and Prophet are nearly allied. Mr. ALFRED AUSTIN is an illustration of this, in his recently published English Lyrics (MACMILLAN) all of which he must have written in utter ignorance of the doings of the Chairman of the County Council. Yet, hath the Prophetic Poet these lines:—
"Primrose, why do you pass away?"
And the Primrose's return:
"Nay, rather, why should we longer stay?"
But the Conservative bias of the Poet is shown in the next line:
"We are not needed," &c.
The commencement of the poem, however, as here quoted, is evidently an inspiration for which the Poet was not responsible. It is a charming little volume of charming verse. It is good poetic wine, which needs not the bush provided by Mr. WILLIAM WATSON in the shape of a thickset introduction. What, asks W.W., is the attitude of ALFRED AUSTIN towards Nature? This recalls a well-known scene in Nicholas Nickleby—"She's a rum 'un, is Natur'," said Mr. Squeers. "She is a holy thing, Sir," remarked Mr. Snawley. "Natur'," said Mr. Squeers, solemnly, "is more easier conceived than described. Oh, what a blessed thing, Sir, to be in a state of natur'!" And these observations of Messrs. Snawley and Squeers pretty accurately sum up all that the ingenious WILLIAM WATSON has to say about Natur' and ALFRED AUSTIN. The moral of which lies in the application of it, which is,—skip the preface, and make plunge into the poetry.
A good deal has been written in olden time and of late about the Oberammergau Passion Play. Nothing has been better done than the work by Mr. EDWARD R. RUSSELL, formerly M.P. for Glasgae, who visited Oberammergau this year. His account is instinct with keen criticism, fine feeling, and reasoning reverence. Moreover, whilst other works are padded out into bulky volumes, he says all that need be said in fifteen pages of a pleasantly-printed booklet—price sixpence. It is a reprint from letters which the errant Editor contributed to his journal, the Liverpool Daily Post, at the sign of which copies may be had. THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS & Co.
* * * * *
Art's Friends and Foe!
TATE, WALLACE, AGNEW! Here be three good names, Friends of true Art, and furtherers of her aims; Munificence but waits to take sound shape; Say, shall it be frustrated by—Red Tape?
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
JOHNNY, MAKE ROOM FOR DELONCLE!
(NEW NORTH AFRICAN VERSION OF AN OLD SONG.)
"M. DELONCLE, in his conversation with a Belgian reporter, puts in a claim for practically the whole of the northern half of Africa, with the possible exception of Egypt."—The Times.
AIR—"Tommy, make room for your Uncle."
Deputy DELONCLE (addressing JOHNNY BULL) sings:—
Nothing but deserts now left for France! Hang it! That will not do! Therefore DELONCLE her claims must advance, Mighty they are, nor few. Right from Oubanghi unto Lake Tchad, Through Wadai and Ba-gir-mi! JOHNNY, my lad, I shall be glad If you'll make room for ME!
JOHNNY, make room for DELONCLE, There's a little dear! JOHNNY, make room for DELONCLE, He wants to stay here. He needs the whole of North Africa! (The rest he may leave to you), Do not annoy, there's a good boy! Make room for DELONCLE, do!
To So-ko-to and the Gan-do, Your claims you must resign. If France goes far from Zanzibar, I'll draw a new boundary line. To the east of the Niger by latitude ten! That is our mi-ni-mum! Ours the Sahara! Yes, che sara sara! Therefore don't you look glum!
JOHNNY, make room for DELONCLE! The Niger is ours, that's clear. JOHNNY, make room for DELONCLE! He doesn't want you here. France must take up her traditional role (Of grabbing all she can do) So, JOHNNY, my boy, don't you annoy; Make room for DELONCLE, do!
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
House of Commons, Monday, July 21.—RITCHIE got another Bill through; not a measure of high imperial policy; nothing to do either with Heligoland or Zanzibar; only proposes to improve in various ways the dwellings of the industrial classes. Still, as JOKIM has shown in connection with one or two of his little Bills, it is quite possible nearly to wreck a Ministry even on matter-of-fact business arrangements. But RITCHIE isn't JOKIM, and so his Bill passes to-night, taking two steps at a time, both sides uniting in congratulation and cheers. WALTER FOSTER, rising, salutes the Minister with a quite touching bless-you-my-child attitude. FOSTER rather hints that the Bill everyone is so pleased with, is really his. True, RITCHIE'S name is on back, and he took charge of it in its passage through Committee and House. But the real man was FOSTER; his Amendments had made the Bill; he had moulded it in Committee, and now here he was to give it his blessing. Rather delicate position; sort of cracking up himself, which FOSTER would not do for the world; blushed a little, as he praised the Bill; otherwise accomplished his task with ease and grace, whilst RITCHIE, listening, twitched his eyebrows, and thought unutterable things.
"I wish," said OLD MORALITY, "we had an embarrassment of RITCHIES, or even two or three more like him."
OLD MORALITY been rather worried to-night; a hail-storm of questions on all sorts of subjects; amongst others, TIM HEALY and WILFRID LAWSON badgering him about the Local Taxation Bill. When is it really intended to take it? LAWSON asks OLD MORALITY back at the table again for twentieth time; literally gasping for breath; looked round House with anguished expression; then happy thought strikes him; "Mr. SPEAKER, Sir," he says, "it is really impossible to do more than one thing at a time."
The pathetic earnestness with which this axiom was advanced, the sudden swift spasm of conviction that had flashed it across his mind, his certainty of the soundness of the assertion (paradoxical though it might appear), and his hasty, anxious glance below the Gangway opposite, apprehensive that that quarter would peradventure furnish a person capable of controverting it, all filled the House with keen delight. Laughed for full sixty seconds by Westminster clock; OLD MORALITY standing at table looking round and wondering what on earth he'd said now.
Business done.—Census Bills read Second Time.
Tuesday.—Pretty quiet sitting, till DIMSDALE craftily crept upon the scene. Don't often hear from this distinguished member of the Order of Noble Barons; generally content to serve his country by voting for the Government. To-night stirred in sluggish depths by omission of Government in preparing Census Bill to provide for Religious Census; so the Noble Baron moves Amendment designed to authorise Religious Census. Opposition Benches nearly empty; those present listen listlessly; know it's all right; Government are pledged against Religious Census; no harm in the Noble Baron moving his Amendment and making his speech; the Bill as introduced is safe.
Then up gets RITCHIE; drops remark, in off-hand manner, as if it did not signify, that Members on Ministerial side are free to vote as they please. Sudden change of attitude in Opposition Benches. Listlessness vanishes; a whisper of treachery goes round; CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN makes hot protest; HARCOURT sent for; comes in gleefully; matters been going so quietly, place unbearable for him; now a row imminent, HARCOURT joyously returns to Front Bench. Seats fill up on both sides; OLD MORALITY hurries in; situation explained to him; dolefully shakes his head; HARCOURT thunders denunciation of a Ministry that plays fast and loose with House; then OLD MORALITY gets up, and publicly abjures DIMSDALE and his Amendment. It was, he explained, only RITCHIE'S fun in saying Ministerialists were free to vote as they pleased on this matter. The Government were against the Amendment, and of course good Ministerialists would vote with Ministers. So they did, and DIMSDALE'S rising hopes crushed by majority of 288 against 69.
Business done.—English Census Bill passed through Committee.
Wednesday.—Came across NICHOLAS WOOD in remote corner of Corridor; had the depressed look familiar when he has been wrestling with great mental problems and finds himself worsted.
"What's the matter now, NICHOLAS? Thinking over what OLD MORALITY said yesterday about impossibility of doing more than one thing at a time?"
"No, TOBY," he said, wearily; "it's not that; gave that up at once. OLD MORALITY's a good fellow, but he's too subtle for me. It's this Police Question that bothers me; give up a good deal of time to mastering it. Sort of thing seemed likely to suit me; heard all MATTHEWS' speeches; tried to follow CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM; courted CONYBEARE'S company, and pursued PICKERSGILL with inquiries. Thought I'd got a pretty clear notion of what it all meant; and now it turns out all to have led up to making PULESTON Constable of Carnarvon. Never heard his name before in connection with the Police Question. He took no part in discussions; had nothing to do with it I ever heard of; just when I was comfortably getting on another tack, the whole question centres on PULESTON. It seems he was the Police Question, and now he's Constable of Carnarvon. Why Carnarvon? Why not stationed in the Lobby or the Central Hall where he would be with old friends? Suppose he'll wear a blue coat, bright buttons, and a belt, and will shadow LOYD-GEORGE who now sits for Carnarvon? If you write to him must you address your letters "P.C. PULESTON"? and shall we have to change refrain of our latest National Hymn? instead of singing 'Ask a Policeman?' shall we have to chant 'Ask a PULESTON?' These are the new problems; suddenly rushed in, bothering me to death when I thought I'd got pretty well through Session, Recess close at hand and no more difficult points coming up. Don't think, TOBY, I was cut out for politics; perhaps I take them too seriously; but like to know things, and there are so many things to know."
Try to cheer up NICHOLAS; suggest to him that he should put his questions down on the paper; might address them to FERGUSON; a little out of the way of Foreign Affairs; but a conversation publicly conducted between NICHOLAS and FERGUSON would be interesting.
Business done.—Votes in Supply.
Friday.—House in rather strange condition to-night; things all sevens and sixes; Motion is that Anglo-German Agreement Bill be read Second Time. Opinion very mixed on merits of measure; on the whole, no particular objection to it, even though with it goes Heligoland. Still, an Opposition must oppose; but where is the Opposition? Mr. G. came down last night; said he'd no particular objection to Treaty, but didn't like the process of confirming it; so publicly washed his hands of the business. Since the announcement appeared in papers, HERBERT tells me his illustrious father's life has been a burden to him. Every post brings him letters from rival advertising soap manufacturers, making overtures of business transactions.
"Sir," runs one of these epistles, "alluding to your statement in the House of Commons last night that you publicly washed your hands of participation in the Anglo-German Treaty, would you have any objection to our stating that the substance used was our celebrated Salubrious Savon? Anticipating your favourable reply, we assume that you would have no objection to our publishing a portrait of you using our soap, with its familiar label, 'Does not wash collars.' We have only to add that in the event of your favourably accepting this suggestion, we shall esteem it a favour to be allowed to gratuitously supply you and your family with specimens of our art for the term of your natural lives."
This is merely an incident in the struggle, illustrating one of the embarrassments it has evolved. Only man thoroughly happy is HARCOURT. He invented the line of attack on ground of breach of constitutional usages; put up Mr. G. to make his speech; supplied him with authorities, and in supplementary speech amazed House with his erudition. Made stupendous speech last night; literally gorged the House; to-night picks up fragments and provides another feast: six baskets wouldn't hold it.
"Wish, TOBY, dear boy," he said, sinking back in his seat after delivering his second speech, cunningly grafted on an Amendment, "we could carry this over next week. I could easily make a speech a day. Remember when I was once in Ireland, asked a tenant how he liked the new agent, who was reputed to be very able business man. 'Well,' said my acquaintance, 'I don't know about his business daylings, but for blasphaymious language, he's au revoir.' On constitutional questions, TOBY, I may, with all modesty, say I'm au revoir."
Business done.—Anglo-German Treaty agreed to.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.
FRIENDLY COMMENTS ON CHARACTER AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
"She is never at a loss for a clever answer;" i.e., "A cat whose claws are always out."
"A little stand-offish to strangers, but wonderfully winning when one really knows him;" i.e., "Which one need never do, thank goodness!"
"As your Lordship pleases;" i.e., "As a Judge, you are a stupid, self-sufficient dolt; but so long as my client, the solicitor, gets his costs, it doesn't matter a jot to me or him what you decide!"
"With your Lordship's permission, my Junior will settle the minutes;" i.e., "And so save us both the trouble of apportioning, in the customary perfunctory fashion, the oyster to the solicitors, and the shells to the clients."
IN THE SMOKING-ROOM.
"You don't mind my telling you exactly where I think you're wrong?" i.e., "You obviously want setting down, and I may as well do it."
"Do you mind just stating that over again?" i.e., "While I think of something to say in reply."
"Of course you know more about the subject than I do;" i.e., "I am pretty sure you never gave it a thought till this minute."
"If you care for my candid opinion;" i.e., "I am now about to be annoying, and perhaps rude."
"All right, I'm not deaf!" i.e., "Keep your confounded temper."
* * * * *
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.