PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
August 30, 1890.
"WHY NOT LIVE OUT OF LONDON?"
SIR,—Capital subject recently started Daily Telegraph, with the above title. Just what I've been saying to my wife for years past. "Why don't you and the family live out of London," I have asked. And she has invariably replied, "Oh, yes, and what would you be doing in London?" I impress upon her that being the "bread-winner" (beautiful word, this!) my duty is to be on the spot where the bread is won. I prove to her, in figures, that it is much cheaper for her and the family to live out of town, and for me to come down and see them, occasionally. Isn't it cheaper for one to go to a theatre than four? Well, this applies everywhere all round. With my Club and a good room I could get on very well and very reasonably in London, and in the country my wife and family would positively save enormously by my absence, as only the necessaries of life would be required. Dressing would be next to nothing, so to speak, and they'd be out of reach of the temptations which London offers to those who love theatre entertainments, lunches at pastrycooks', shows, and shopping. Yes, emphatically, I repeat, "Why not live out of London?" But she won't.
ONE IN A THOUSAND.
SIR,—"Why not live out of London?" Of course. I do live "out of London," and make a precious good living too out of London. My friends the Butcher, the Baker, the Greengrocer (not a very green grocer either), the Tailor, the Shoemaker, &c., &c., all say the same as
CHARLES CHEDDAR (Cheesemonger).
SIR,—I only wish everybody I don't want to see in London would live out of it. What a thrice blessed time August would be then! Though indeed I infinitely appreciate small mercies now. At all events, most people are away, my Club is not closed, and I can enjoy myself pretty thoroughly.
Elbow Room Club.
SIR,—"Why not live out of London?" Because one can't. Out of London there is only "existence." Is life worth living anywhere except in London—and Paris; if you happen to be there? No, no; those who like living "out of London," had better not live at all.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.
"Tisn't a part that I feel, and I fear I shall make a failure;" i.e., "Easy as be blowed, but I'm thrown away upon it."
"The Ching-Twangs Central China Tea Company's selected growth of Early Green Leaf Spring Pickings;" i.e., "A damaged cargo and last year's rotten sweepings, mingled with chipped broom, dried cabbage, and other equally suitable and inviting ingredients."
"No more, indeed, really;" i.e., "Had nothing to eat—but more of that stuff? No, thank you."
"The Leaders to whom the Nation owes its recent period of prosperity": i.e., "Gentlemen who have unavoidably remained in Office during the revival of Trade."
"Having every personal respect for my opponent;" i.e., "I now proceed to blacken his political character."
IN THE SMOKING-ROOM.
"You know I always hate long arguments;" i.e., "Don't deprive me of my pet diversion."
"No; I don't exactly see what you mean;" i.e., "You don't; but the admission on my part looks candid."
"My dear fellow, ask anyone who really knows anything;" i.e. "You appear to live among a half-educated set of local faddists."
* * * * *
'ARRY ON 'ARRISON AND THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH.
DEAR CHARLIE,—No Parry for me, mate, not this season leastways—wus luck! At the shop I'm employed in at present, the hands has all bloomin' well struck. It's hupset all our 'olidays, CHARLIE, and as to my chance of a rise Wot do you think, old pal? I'm fair flummoxed, and singing, Oh, what a surprise!
These Strikes is becoming rare noosances, dashed if they ain't, dear old boy. They're all over the shop, like Miss ZAEO, wot street-kids seems so to enjoy. Mugs' game! They'll soon find as the Marsters ain't goin' to be worried and welched, And when they rob coves of their 'olidays, 'ang it, they ought to be squelched.
'Owsomever, I'm mucked, that's a moral. This doosid dead-set against Wealth Is a sign o' the times as looks orkud, and bad for the national 'ealth. There ain't nothink the nobs is fair nuts on but wot these 'ere bellerers ban. Wy, they're down upon Sport, now, a pelter. Perposterous, ain't it, old man?
Bin a reading FRED 'ARRISON'S kibosh along o' "The Feast of St. Grouse," On the "Glorious Twelfth," as he calls it; wen swells is fair shut of the 'Ouse, Its Obstruction, and similar 'orrors, in course they hikes off to the Moors. Small blame to 'em, CHARLIE, small blame to 'em, spite of the prigs and the boors!
Yet this 'ARRISON he sets his back up. Dry smug as can't 'andle a gun, I'll bet Marlboro' 'Ouse to a broomstick, and ain't got no notion of Fun. "Loves the Moors much too well for to carry one;" that's wot he says, sour old sap Bet my boots as he can't 'it a 'aystack at twenty yards rise—eh, old chap?
Him sweet on the heather, my pippin, or partial to feather and fur, So long as yer never kills nothink? Sech tommy-rot gives me the spur. Yah! Scenery's all very proper, but where is the genuine pot Who'd pad the 'oof over the Moors, if it weren't for the things to be shot?
"This swagger about killing birds is mere cant," sez this wobbling old wag. From Arran he'd tramp to Dunrobin without the least chance of a bag! "Peaceful hills," that's his patter, my pippin; no gillies, no luncheons, no game! Wy, he ought to be tossed in a blanket; it fills a true Briton with shame.
No Moors for yours truly, wus luck! It won't run to it, CHARLIE, this round; But give me my gun, and a chance, and I'll be in the swim, I'll be bound. I did 'ave a turn some years back, though I only went out with 'em once, And I shot a bit wild, as was likely, fust off, though yer mayn't be a dunce.
My rig out was a picter they told me—deer-stalker and knickers O.K.— "BRIGGS, Junior," a lobsculler called me; I wasn't quite fly to his lay; But BRIGGS or no BRIGGS I shaped spiffin, in mustard-and-mud-colour checks. Ah! them Moors is the spots for cold Irish, and gives yer the primest of pecks.
Talk of sandwiges, CHARLIE, oh scissors, I'd soon ha' cleaned out Charing Cross, With St. Pancrust and Ludgit chucked in; fairly hopened the eye of the boss; Him as rented the shootings, yer know, big dry-salter in Thames Street, bit warm In his langwige occasional, CHARLIE, but 'arty and reglar good form.
Swells will pal in most anywhere now on the chance of a gratis Big Shoot, And there wos some Swells with hus, I tell yer, I felt on the good gay galoot, But I fancy I got jest a morsel screwdnoodleous late in the day, For I peppered a bloke in the breeks; he swore bad, but 'twas only his play.
Bagged a brace and a arf, I did, CHARLIE; not bad for a novice like me. Jest a bit blown about the fust two; wanted gathering up like, yer see. A bird do look best with his 'ed on, dear boy, as a matter of taste; And the gillies got jest a mite scoffy along of my natural 'aste.
Never arsked me no more, for some reason. But wot I would say is this here, 'ARRY's bin in this boat in his time, as in every prime lark pooty near, And when 'ARRISON talks blooming bunkum, with hadjectives spicy and strong, About Sport being stupid, and noisy, and vulgar; wy, 'ARRISON'S wrong!
He would rather shoot broken-down cab-horses,—so the mug tells us—than birds. Well, they're more in his line very likely; that means, in his own chosen words, He's more fit for a hammytoor knacker than for that great boast of our land, A true British Sportsman! Great Scott! It's a taste as I carnt understand.
Fact is this here FRED is a Demmycrat, Positivist, and all that. There's the nick o' the matter, the reason of all this un-English wild chat. He is down on the Aristos, CHARLIE, this 'ARRISON is. It's the Court And the pick o' the Peerage Sport nobbles, and that's wy he sputters at Sport.
All a part of the game, dear old pal, the dead-set at the noble and rich. "Smart people" are "Sports," mostly always, and 'ARRISON slates them as sich. 'Ates killing of "beautiful creatures," and spiling "the Tummel in spate" With "drives," champagne luncheons, and gillies? That's not wot sich slab-dabbers 'ate.
It's "Privileged Classes," my pippin, they loathes. Yer can't own a big Moor, Or even rent one like my dry-salter friend, if yer 'umble and poor. Don't 'ARRISON never eat grouse? Ah, you bet, much as ever he'll carry. There's "poz" for a Posit'vist, mate, there's 'ARRISON kiboshed by 'ARRY.
* * * * *
Oh dear! oh dear! What perils I have been through! You'll see me again shortly; but there have been momentums in my career when I said to myself, "Shall I ever aller out of this alive!" I escaped the Petersburg police; they punched out your Cartoon, and all the lines about the Czar and the Jews; that's why I was so persecuted, and why I was watched. I wish to Heaven you wouldn't have Cartoons about Czars and Jews just when I'm at Peterborough, I mean Petersburg; same name, different place. But there, that's all over now, and jamais will I go and put myself within the clutches of the Russian Bear again. The midnight sun must do without me in future. I send you a sketch I made of a gargle—I think that's the name—on a church-door in Lapland. Isn't it really droll? You're always bothering me for something droll, and now you've got it. Then, Mr. Punch, riding a reindeer at half-a-crown an hour. Then here are the little Lapps offering our sailors a lap of liquor; and I said to myself, "One touch of Nature," which struck me as just the very motto for the picture. I roared with laughter at it. "This'll do for 'em at home," I said, and so here it is. And look at the "Lapps of Luxury"! You know that "Lap of Luxury" is a proverbial phrase; and, as you told me to make some comic sketches of the manners and customs of the country, why, I've done so; and, if they ain't funny, I don't know what humour is. Voila!
But you really must not expect me to grimace and buffoon. You must take me seriatim or not at all. I can't stand on my head to sketch. I can't do it. I nearly did do it, though, for when I had my sketching-book in my hand on board, the spanker-boom, or some such thing, came over suddenly and hit me such a whack on the head, that for two minutes I lay insensible, and thought I should never become sensible again. Rightly is it called "spanker-boom,"—that is if it is called so, or some name very like it,—for I never got such a whack on the head in all my life before. I hear the Booming still in my ears.
You can't expect a fellow to be funny, however funny he may feel (and I did feel uncommonly funny, you may take your oath!), under such circumstances. However, as the song says, "Home once more," and many a yarn shall I have to tell when I gather myself round the fireside, pipe all hands for grog, and sing you an old Norse song with real humour in it—though I dare say you'll say you don't see it—and so no more a present from yours seasickly (I am quite well, but I mean I'm sick of the sea),
* * * * *
JOURNAL OF A ROLLING STONE.
Curious thing that to-day—after disappointment of failure for the Bar—letter comes from President of my old College, asking me "if I would accept a nice Tutorship for a time?" If so, "I had better come down and talk to him about it."
Decided a little time ago not to try "Scholastic Profession"—thought it would try me too much. Feel tempted now. Query—am I losing my old pluck? In consequence of my new "pluck,"—in the Bar Exam?
"Um!" remarks the President (I have run down and got a vacant bed-room in College). "Glad to see you. Oh, yes, about that tutorship. Um, um! The family live in Somerset." He mentions the county apologetically, as if he expected me to reply—"Oh, Somerset! Couldn't dream of going there. Not very particular, but must have a place within ten miles of Charing Cross." As I don't object to Somerset, at least audibly, he goes on more cheerfully—
"Boy doesn't want to be taught much, so perhaps, it would suit you."—(Query—is this insulting?)—"He wants a companion more—somebody to keep him steady, have a good influence and all that, and give him a little classics and so on for about an hour a day."
It did not sound as bad as I expected.
"Rich people—um—merchants at Bristol, I think. Not very cultivated, though." Here President pauses again, and looks as if he would not be at all astonished if I rose from my chair, put on my hat, and said, "Not very cultivated! That won't suit me! You see how tremendously cultivated I am." But I don't, and he proceeds calmly to another head of his discourse.
"They haven't mentioned terms, but I'm sure they will be satisfactory—give you what you ask, in fact." (Rather a nice trait in their character, this.)—"Now, will you—um—take it? They want somebody at once."
"Yes," I reply; "I'll go and see how I fancy it. Have they got a billiard-table, do you happen to know?"
The President says, "he doesn't know anything about that," and looks a little surprised, as if I had proposed a game of skittles.
On way down (next day) I feel rather like a Governess going to her first situation. Get to house late. Too dark to see what it's like. Have to drive up in a village fly. Query—Oughtn't they to have sent their carriage for me?
My reception is peculiar. A stout, masculine-looking female with a strident voice, is presumably Mrs. BRISTOL MERCHANT.
Sends me up to my bed-room as if I were my own luggage. Evidently very "uncultivated."
In my bed-room. Above are the sounds of a small pandemonium, apparently. Stamping, falling, shouting, bumping, crying. What a lot of them there must be!
There are! At supper—they appear to have early dinners, which I detest—three boys and one girl present, as a sample. Eldest a youth about ten, who puts out his tongue at me, when he thinks I'm not looking, and kicks his brothers beneath the table to make them cry, which they do. I begin to wonder when my real pupil will appear.
Governess talks to me as if I were a brother professional. Query—infra dig. again?
Children, being forbidden to talk in anything but French at meals, say nothing at all; at the end I am astounded at Materfamilias catching hold of the boy of ten, and bringing him round to me, with the remark,—
"Perhaps you'd like to talk to ERNIE about lessons."
Heavens! This nursery fledgling to be my pupil! And I am to be his "companion"! Fledgling, while standing in front of me for inspection, has the audacity to stretch out his leg, and trip up a little sister who is passing. Howls ensue.
A nicely-mannered youth!
"You will have to behave yourself with me, young man!" I warn him, in a tone which ought to abash him, but doesn't in the least.
"Ah, but perhaps you won't stay here long," is his rather able rejoinder. "Our Governesses never—"
"ERNIE!" shrieks his mother, threateningly. ERNIE stops; and I have time to regret my folly in not inquiring of the President the precise age of my promising disciple, very likely President didn't know himself.
The other boys who were at supper are now presented to me. One is about eight, the other not more than six.
"These are HERBIE and JACK," says their mother, who ought to know. Thank Heaven, they are not my pupils!
Mrs. BRISTOL MERCHANT horrifies me by saying—
"I thought it would be so nice, when you were teaching ERNIE, if HERBIE and JACK could be taught too! And after lessons you will be able to take them such nice long walks in the neighbourhood! It's really very pretty country, Mr.—I forget your name."
Oh, certainly, the President was quite right. She is very uncultivated. That ever I was born to cultivate her—or her precious offspring! But was I? Time must show.
* * * * *
AN ARGUMENTUM AD POCKETUM.
[The Rev. B. MEREDYTH-KITSON called the attention of the London School Board to the action of Mr. MONTAGU WILLIAMS, who, being appealed to by "a respectable-looking woman" for the remission of a fine of five shillings imposed upon her husband for neglecting to send their children to school, gave her five shillings out of the poor-box to pay it, on finding that she had nine children, the eldest fifteen years, the youngest five months, a husband out of work, and "no boots for her children to go to school in." The Rev. STEWART HEADLAM said that in East London they suffered a good deal through the decisions of Mr. MONTAGU WILLIAMS, who constantly paid the fines from the poor-box, or out of his own pocket!]
Oh, MONTAGU, this conduct is nefarious! You are, indeed, a pretty Magistrate! Better the judgments, generous, if precarious, Of the old Cadi at an Eastern gate. No wonder that you madden MEREDTTH-KITSON, And stir the bitter bile of STEWART HEADLAM. When Justice, School-Board ruling simply "sits on," School-Boards become a mere annexe of—Bedlam! Nine children! Husband out of work! No boots! And do you really think that these are reasons For fine-remission? This strikes at the roots Of Law, which ought to rule us at all seasons. Oh, how shall KITSON educate the "kids," Or how shall HEADLAM discipline the mothers, If you, instead of doing what Law bids, Pay the poor creatures' fines and raise up bothers? Law, Sir, is Law, even to Magistrates, Not a mere chopping-block for maudlin charity. Fining the impecunious doubtless grates On feelings such as yours; there's some disparity 'Twixt School-Board Draconism, and regard For parents penniless, and children bootless; But pedagogues—ask HEADLAM—must be hard, Or pedagogy's purposes are fruitless. Poor creatures? Humph! Compassion's mighty fine; A gentle feeling, who would wish to shock it? But husbands out of work with children nine, Should pay their fines themselves—not from your pocket.
* * * * *
KEPT IN TOWN.-A LAMENT.
The Season's ended; in the Park the vehicles are far and few, And down the lately-crowded Row one horseman canters on a screw By stacks of unperceptive chairs; the turf is burnt, the leaves are brown, stagnant sultriness prevails—the very air's gone out of town!
Belgravia's drawn her blinds, and let her window-boxes run to seed; Street-urchins play in porticoes—no powdered menial there to heed; Now fainter grows the lumbering roll of luggage-cumbered omnibus: Bayswater's children all are off upon their annual exodus.
On every hoarding posters flaunt the charms of peak, and loch, and sea, To madden those unfortunates who have to stay in town—like me! Gone are the inconsiderate friends who tell one airily, "They're off!" And ask "what you propose to do—yacht, shoot, or fish, or walk, or golf?"
On many a door which opened wide in welcome but the other day, The knocker basks in calm repose—conscious "the family's away." I scan the windows—half in hope I may some friendly face detect— To meet their blank brown-papered stare, depressing as the cut direct!
I pass the house where She is not, to feel an unfamiliar chill; That door is disenchanted now, that number powerless to thrill! 'Twas there, in yonder balcony, that last July she used to stand; Upon some balcony, more blest, she's leaning now, in Switzerland,
Her eyes upon rose-tinted peaks—but no, of sense I 'm quite bereft! The hour is full early yet, and table d hote she'll scarce have left. Some happy neighbour's handing her the salad—But I'll move, I think; I see a grim caretaker's eye regard me through the shutter's chink.
Yes, I'll away,—no longer be the sport of sentiment forlorn, But scale the heights of Primrose Hill, pretending it's the Matterhorn; Or hie me through the dusk to sit beside the shimmering Serpentine, And, with a little make-believe, imagine I am up the Rhine.
Alas! the poor device, I know, my restlessness will ne'er assuage: Still Fanny beats, with pinions clipped, the wires of its Cockney cage! No inch of turf to prisoned larks can represent the boundless moor; And neither Hyde nor Regent's Park suggests a Continental Tour!
* * * * *
IN AN OMNIBUS.
The majority of the inside passengers, as usual, sit in solemn silence, and gaze past their opposite neighbours into vacancy. A couple of Matrons converse in wheezy whispers.
First Matron. Well, I must say a bus is pleasanter riding than what they used to be not many years back, and then so much cheaper, too. Why, you can go all the way right from here to Mile End Road for threepence!
Second Matron. What, all that way for threepence—(with an impulse of vague humanity.) The poor 'orses!
First Matron. Ah, well, my dear, it's Competition, you know,—it don't do to think too much of it.
Conductor (stopping the bus). Orchard Street, Lady.
To Second Matron, who had desired to be put down there.
Second Matron (to Conductor). Just move on a few doors further, opposite the boot-shop. (To First Matron.) It will save us walking.
Conductor. Cert'inly, Mum, we'll drive in and wait while you 're tryin' 'em on, if you like—we ain't in no 'urry!
The Matrons get out, and their places are taken by two young girls, who are in the middle of a conversation of thrilling interest.
First Girl. I never liked her myself—ever since the way she behaved at his Mother's that Sunday.
Second Girl. How did she behave?
_[A faint curiosity is discernible amongst the other passengers to learn how she—whoever she is—behaved that Sunday.
First Girl._ Why, it was you _told_ me! _You_ remember. That night JOE let out about her and the automatic scent fountain.
Second Girl. Oh, yes, I remember now. (General disappointment. ) I couldn't help laughing myself. Joe didn't ought to have told—but she needn't have got into such a state over it, need she?
First Girl, That was ELIZA all over. If GEORGE had been sensible, he'd have broken it off then and there—but no, he wouldn't hear a word against her, not at that time—it was the button-hook opened his eyes!
_[The other passengers strive to dissemble a frantic desire to know how and why this delicate operation was performed._ Second Girl (mysteriously)_. And enough too! But what put GEORGE off most was her keeping that bag so quiet.
[The general imagination is once more stirred to its depths by this mysterious allusion.
First Girl. Yes, he did feel that, I know, he used to come and go on about it to me by the hour together. "I shouldn't have minded so much," he told me over and over again, with the tears standing in his eyes,—"if it hadn't been that the bottles was all silver-mounted!"
Second Girl. Silver-mounted? I never heard of that before—no wonder he felt hurt!
First Girl (impressively). Silver tops to everyone of them—and that girl to turn round as she did, and her with an Uncle in the oil and colour line, too—it nearly broke GEORGE'S 'art!
Second Girl. He's such a one to take on about things—but, as I said to him, "GEORGE," I says, "You must remember it might have been worse. Suppose you'd been married to that girl, and then found out about ALF and the Jubilee sixpence—how would that have been?"
First Girl (unconsciously acting as the mouth-piece of the other passengers). And what did he say to that?
Second Girl. Oh, nothing—there was nothing he could say, but I could see he was struck. She behaved very mean to the last—she wouldn't send back the German concertina.
First Girl. You don't say so! Well, I wouldn't have thought that of her, bad as she is.
Second Girl. No, she stuck to it that it wasn't like a regular present, being got through a grocer, and as she couldn't send him back the tea, being drunk,—but did you hear how she treated EMMA over the crinoline 'at she got for her?
First Girl (to the immense relief of the rest). No, what was that?
Second Girl. Well, I had it from EMMA her own self. ELIZA wrote up to her and says, in a postscript like,—Why, this is Tottenham Court Road, I get out here. Good-bye, dear, I must tell you the rest another day.
[Gets out, leaving the tantalised audience inconsolable, and longing for courage to question her companion as to the precise details of ELIZA'S heartless behaviour to GEORGE. The companion, however, relapses into a stony reserve. Enter a Chatty Old Gentleman who has no secrets from anybody, and of course selects as the first recipient of his confidence the one person who hates to be talked to in an omnibus.
The Chatty O.G. I've just been having a talk with the policeman at the corner there—what do you think I said to him?
His Opposite Neighbour. I—I really don't know.
The C.O.G. Well, I told him he was a rich man compared to me. He said, "I only get thirty shillings a week, Sir." "Ah," I said, "but look at your expenses, compared to mine. What would you do if you had to spend eight hundred a year on your children's education? I spend that—every penny of it, Sir.
His Opp. N. (utterly uninterested). Do you indeed?—dear me!
_C.O.G._ Not that I grudge it—a good education is a fortune in itself, and as I've always told my boys, they must make the best of it, for it's all they'll get. They're good enough lads, but I've had a deal of trouble with them one way and another—a _deal_ of trouble. _(Pauses for some expression of sympathy—which does not come—and he continues:)_ There are my two eldest sons—what must they do but fall in love with the same lady—the same lady. Sir! _(No one seems to care much for these domestic revelations—possibly because they are too obviously addressed to the general ear.)_ And, to make matters worse, she was a married woman—_(his principal hearer looks another way uneasily)_—the wife of a godson of mine, which made it all the more awkward, y'know. (His Opposite Neighbour _giving no sign, the_ C. O. G. _tries one Passenger after another.)_ Well, I went to him—(here he fixes an old Lady, who immediately passes up coppers out of her glove to the_ Conductor)—went to him, and said—_(addressing a smartly dressed young Lady with a parcel, who giggles)_—I said, "You're a man of the world—so am I. Don't you take any notice," I told him—_(this to a callow young man, who blushes)_—"they're a Couple of young fools," I said, "but you tell your dear wife from me not to mind those boys of mine—they'll soon get tired of it if they're only let alone." And so they would have, long ago, it's my belief, if they'd met with no encouragement—but what can _I_ do—it's a heavy trial to a father, you know. Then there's my third son—he must needs go and marry—_(to a Lady at his side with a reticule, who gasps faintly)_—some young woman who dances at a Music-hall—nice daughter-in-law that for a man in my position, eh? I've forbidden him the house of course, and told his mother not to have any communication with him—but I know, Sir,—_(violently, to a Man on his other side, who coughs in much embarrassment)_—I _know_ she meets him once a week under the eagle in Orme Square, and _I_ can't stop her! Then I'm worried about my daughters—one of 'em gave me no peace till I let her have some painting lessons—of course, I naturally thought the drawing-master would be an elderly man—whereas, as things turned out,—
A Quiet Man in a Corner. I 'ope you told all this to the Policeman, Sir?
The C.O.G. (flaming unexpectedly). No, Sir, I did not. I am not in the habit—whatever you may be—of discussing my private affairs with strangers. I consider your remark highly impertinent, Sir.
[_Fumes in silence for the rest of the journey.
The Young Lady with the Parcel (to her friend—for the sake of vindicating her gentility)._ Oh, my dear, I do feel so funny, carrying a great brown-paper parcel, in a bus, too! Anyone would take me for a shop-girl!
A Grim Old Lady opposite. And I only hope, my dear, you'll never be taken for anyone less respectable.
[Collapse of Genteel Y. L.
The Conductor. Benk, benk! (he means "Bank") 'Oborn, benk! 'Igher up there, BILL, can't you?
A Dingy Man smoking, in a Van. Want to block up the ole o' the road, eh? That's right!
The Conductor (roused to personality). Go 'ome, Dirty DICK! syme old soign, I see,—"Monkey an' Pipe!" (To Coachman of smart brougham which is pressing rather closely behind.) I say, old man, don't you race after my bus like this—you'll only tire your 'orse. [The Coachman affects not to have heard.
The Conductor (addressing the brougham horse, whose head is almost through the door of the omnibus). 'Ere, 'ang it all!—step insoide, if yer want to!
[Brougham falls to rear—triumph of Conductor as Scene closes.
* * * * *
IN THE KNOW.
(By Mr. Punch's Own Prophet.)
Readers of this journal will be surprised to learn that I am penning these lines from Blancheville, which as everybody, except the chief of the chowder-heads, knows is the most important town of one of the principal departments of France. Nothing but an overwhelming sense of what is due to myself, to my readers, and to my country, would have dragged me from the Metropolis at this season of the year. But a distinction was offered to me, a distinction so unique and so dazzling that I felt that it would not be fair to my fellow countrymen, of all ages, and of every party, if I failed to take advantage of it, and thus to present to the envious world the proud spectacle of an Englishman honoured by the great French nation. I will narrate the matter as briefly as is consistent with my respect for accuracy, and with my contempt for the tapioca-brained nincompoops who snarl, and chatter, and cackle at me in the organ of Mr. J. Last Friday I received this telegram:—
The inhabitants of Blancheville, in public meeting assembled, felicitate you on stupendous success of all your prophecies. Desiring to honour you in the name of France, the mother of glorious heroes, and the eldest daughter of Liberty, they have awarded to you the Montyon prize for virtue, and have selected you as Rosier en perpetuite de Blancheville, a new post never before held by a man. Presentation on Sunday. Come at once.
CARAMEL, Maire de Blancheville.
I started that evening. In the course of the following day I reached Blancheville. The people, in their holiday attire, were gathered in thousands at the railway station. M. CARAMEL, accompanied by the Prefet and the Sous-Prefet, all in their tricolor sashes, was the first to greet me. Saluting me on both cheeks, he called upon the world to witness that this was indeed a great day for Blancheville. My escort, under the command of General Count CROUTAUPOT, then formed up. I mounted the gilded Car of Victory, specially provided for the celebration, and, amidst the plaudits of the assembled millions, I was drawn by a specially-selected band of Enfants de la Patrie (a sort of body-guard, composed entirely of the French aristocracy) to the palace, which had been prepared for my reception. At the banquet, in the Town Hall, the healths of the QUEEN and of M. CARNOT were followed by a lengthy speech, in English, from my brother CARAMEL (we have sworn fraternity), in which he declared that the centuries looked down and redazed in this joice, and that it was a delight for him to carry a toast to the illustrious visitor who had deigned to come to Blancheville. On the following day the ceremony took place. I transcribe and translate from Le Petit Colporteur de Blancheville, the chief local journal, an account of what took place.
"On this day, so great and glorious for our France, it is not possible to refrain from tears of joy and satisfaction. We have made him Rosier en perpetuite de Blancheville, him the proudest and most sympathetic writer who has dazzled Europe since the great and illustrious PLUMEAU" (a local author of repute) "departed from us. The history of this day must be written. Let us essay to do it as it should be done. In the early morning twelve selected maidens, robed in muslin and lilies, sang the Tocsin de la Patrie outside the Palace where our guest reposed. Soon afterwards he himself appeared in flowing white garments, and showered blessings upon their heads. He descended. He entered the four-in-hand-teams which the Maire had, as a compliment to England, made up with a char-a-banc of the neighbourhood. Thus he was drawn to the Market Place, where some of our bravest veterans fired in his honour a thundering salute. The beautiful and admirable Madame CARAMEL then advanced to him with a wreath of roses in her hand. She crowned him with it, saying, 'Wear this for Blancheville. Nobly hast thou earned it.' With difficulty the illustrious author preserved his calm. A tear sparkled in his eye. He bent low, and in a voice choked with emotion, thanked the citizens of our town. Then mounting on a milk-white steed, and surrounded by the young men of the district, he received from the Prefet the Prix Montyon for virtue."
The rest is too flattering. I am hastening home. The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to permit me to wear the Prix Montyon at Court. Can a man want more? Yours, in all humility,
LE ROSIER DE BLANCHEVILLE.
* * * * *
A PUFF AT WHITEHALL.
(A piece of extravagance faintly suggestive of a Scene from "The Critic.")
Lord GEORGE PUFF and Sir JOHN BULL discovered attending a rehearsal of the Naval Estimates.
Lord George. And now I pray your particular attention, Sir JOHN, as this is the best thing in my play—it is a spectacular effect called the Summer Manoeuvres.
Sir John. And no doubt costly, Lord GEORGE?
Lord George. You are right, Sir JOHN, as you will have an opportunity of finding out—hereafter. But to the argument. It is supposed that the British Fleet is at war with, indeed, the British Fleet.
Sir John. A very clever idea.
Lord George. I flatter myself it is, and novel too. It is true that occasionally the ships comprising the British Fleet have run into one another in the past just as if they had been at war, but then they were avowedly at peace, and now they are undoubtedly the reverse. Do you take my meaning?
Sir John. Well, not clearly. How do you show that the British Fleet is at war with the British Fleet?
Lord George. Ah, there comes in my art, and I think you will confess I have a very pretty wit. You see I divide the British Fleet into two parts—one part represents the enemy and the other part represents itself like the House of Commons, a most representative body. That is clear, I hope?
Sir John. Certainly—one is the British Fleet, and the other is not the British Fleet. But is there no bond of union?
Lord George. Most assuredly there is—you pay for both. But, pardon me, I beg you will not further interrupt me. So, now that we have the two Fleets face to face, or, I should say, bow to starn, we proceed exactly as if there were a real quarrel between them. We spend money on coal, we spend money on pay, we spend money on ammunition. Nay, by my life, we spend money on everything—just as we should do if war were really declared! That's simple enough.
Sir John. I confess your plan does seem simple.
Lord George. And there is more behind. We are not satisfied with merely spending money—we learn a lesson as well. Come, you must confess that surprises you?
Sir John. Well, I admit that generally, where there is any spending of money, it is I who learn the lesson.
Lord George. Good—distinctly good! But let us be serious. Well, when we are carrying on a war by every means in our power, we fancy that one Fleet is chasing the other. They both have equal speed, and we give one Fleet twenty-four hours' start of the other, and will you believe me that, although the first follows the second as fast as may be from the beginning to the end of the manoeuvring, they never see one another! On my life—never! They never see the British Fleet, because it's not in sight!
Sir John. But could you not have learned all this without so great an expenditure of money?
Lord George. Well, no, Sir JOHN—not at the Admiralty!
Sir John. And how do you end the farce?
Lord George. In the usual fashion, Sir JOHN (ignites blue fire)—in smoke!
[The characters are lost in the fog customary to the occasion. Curtain.
* * * * *
* * * * *
Shadowed! Ay, even in the holiday season, The Statesman, in his hard-earned hour of ease, Is haunted by forebodings, and with reason. What is that spectre the tired slumberer sees? The foul familiar lineaments affright him; Its pose of menace and its pointing hand To caution urge, to providence invite him, To foil this scourge of the Distressful Land.
Who does not fear to speak of Forty-Seven, When that same Shadow darkened all the isle? Is it abroad once more? Avert it, Heaven! On Order's lips it chills the dawning smile; Awakener of hushed fears and hatreds dying, Blighter of more than Nature's genial growth, Herald of hungering lips, of children crying, To hold thee imminent all hearts are loth.
Vain holiday nepenthe, sport's unbending, The Statesman's burdened brain may not forget. His cares are ceaseless and his toils unending, Memories embarrass and forebodings fret. The gun, the golf-club, and the rod avail not In his tired heart to make full holiday; E'en amidst pastime he must watch, and fail not, Approaching ills, the shadows on the way.
Shadowed! And not by common gloom, poor Minister! The passing shades that chequer every course. This spectral presence is as stern and sinister As atra cura on the rider's horse. Before, the vision of the helpless peasant! Behind, the famine phantom black and grim! How should the holiday-hour, to all so pleasant, Bring gladness true or genuine rest to him?
Wake! There is need for provident prevision, For watchful eye, and for most wary hand. In mellow Autumn's interlude Elysian The old grim Shadow strikes across the land. May Heaven arrest its course, avert its terror, And keep the Statesman who this foe must fight From careless blindness and from blundering error, Such as of old lent aid to the Black Blight.
* * * * *
"JACK SHEPPARD REVERSED."
This is the title of an amusing article in last week's Saturday Review. It is not the story of JACK SHEPPARD once more done into rhyme. The title so happily selected is thoroughly justified by the doings of an eccentric and original burglar, who, broke into a prison! This certainly was JACK SHEPPARD reversed with a vengeance! The hero of the escapade is said to be a tinted native of Barbadoes—his portrait should be published as a companion to the "penny plain" of his prototype as "twopence coloured."
* * * * *
CARDINAL MANNING'S PRECEDENCE.
It does not need heraldic lore The Cardinal's place to find. Of course he'll always come before The ones who are behind.
* * * * *
(The Story of a Blood Feud.)
[A microscopist has found an organism called the Phagocyte in the blood, which pursues and devours the Bacilli.]
Strange the tale that Science tells. Here are some devouring cells: Ever watchful night and day, They the vile Bacillus slay; Wot we well he fears the bite Of the guardian Phagocyte.
Hour by hour the fight goes on, Till the silent battle's won; Vainly do Bacilli shirk When their deadly foe's at work; Every microbe faints with fright At the fearsome Phagocyte.
Should the Phagocyte not keep Faithful ward, but go to sleep; Then Bacillus, in high glee, Works his will on you and me; Danger would be ours to-night, But for that same Phagocyte.
Such a tale of Science seems Like the offspring of wild dreams; Fiction surely, in good sooth, Can invent no tale like truth. Stranger story none could write Than this of the Phagocyte.
The Astronomer descries Worlds on worlds beyond our eyes; 'Neath the microscope weird things Erst unseen whirl round in rings; Hence it is that we indite Stanzas to the Phagocyte.
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S SWIM ROUND THE WORLD.
(From his own Prophetic Log-book.)
Herne Bay.—The weather being extremely favourable, I jumped off the end of the new pier, and, getting the benefit of the flood tide, passed the Nore and inspected Southend. Swimming quite easily, assisted by one or two short rests.
Margate.—Beached this popular seaside place a few hours later. Swam out of sight of the sands to rid myself of a view of the excursion riff-raff thereon congregated. Sea completely smooth, but cold. Took a nip of ——'s English Cognac.
Ramsgate.—Very pleased to find myself abreast of the Royal Crescent, which seemed delightful. Cape Grisnez still bearing N.E. by E. Munched one of ——'s excellent Birchrod Biscuits.
Dover.—Just had a good long rest in front of Clarence Lawn, which glistened in the sunlight. Greatly refreshed after a drink of ——'s Essence of Gravy beef.
Calais.—A shower of rain came on at this point. However, one of ——'s excellent umbrellas kept my head dry, and, being easy to hold, did not prevent me from swimming and writing up my log.
Gibraltar.—I felt very fatigued going through the Bay of Biscay, but recovered much of my strength off the fortress by sucking one of ——'s capital Kill-cough Lozenges.
Malta.—I have now been in the water six days and three nights continuously, and yet am nearly as fresh as when I started. I attribute this marvellous fact to my practice of sipping ——'s Essence of Coffeetine.
Aden.—Water extremely hot, but am still confident of success. Went to sleep for an hour in the Red Sea, smoking one of ——'s Anti-alligator cigarettes, which are a real preventive against crocodile annoyance.
Madras.—Am continuing my side-stroke but somewhat languidly. I half regretted that I was unable to go on shore to see the Indian curiosities. Much refreshed after partaking of the contents of ——'s Patent Luncheon Basket.
Singapore.—Have now been continually in the water for six weeks. Regret that my log should be so "scrappy," but my time just now is very much occupied by other things. Tired, but confident of success. During the last fortnight have fed with great relish upon ——'s Puree de foies gras. It is not only cheap, but excellent.
New Hebrides.—Am now within measurable distance of the end of my journey. Quite accustomed to the water. However, greatly fatigued, and very pleased to eat some of ——'s Alimentary Condiment.
Pitcairn Island.—Glad to be again in these latitudes. My strokes are now very feeble. I should have to give in were it not for ——'s Medicated Mutton Broth, which seems to be most nourishing.
Cape Town.—In a fainting condition. Scarcely able to hold this pen. Became better after eating ——'s Digestible Plum Puddings, sold in tin canisters at 1s. 10d. per pound.
Rio Janeiro.—Terribly hot and exhausted. I have now been three months continuously in the water, which is certainly a long time. Much amused with a toy called ——'s Mechanical Rabbit.
Cape Verde Islands.—Almost unconscious from fatigue. However, I can swim more easily after I have drunk a glass or two of ——'s Cabbage Rose Temperance Non-Intoxicating Sherry. It is a most admirable beverage.
Madeira.—I move with the greatest difficulty, and fear I must be sinking. I obtain great strength from an occasional sip of ——'s "Beef-fibre" (title registered) which seems to me worth twice its weight in gold.
Dublin.—Have now been in the water continuously for nearly half a year. Too feeble to look at Dublin. I am evidently sinking, and can only keep off a relapse by eating ——'s Patent Vegetable Substitute for Roast Pork.
Herne Bay.—Returned dead—quite dead! Restored to life by inhaling ——'s Vitality Producer.
N.B.—The above blanks will be filled up with real names. For particulars apply at 85, Fleet Street Advertisement Department.
* * * * *
A BLACK BUSINESS.
As stated in the Daily Telegraph of Thursday last, the Russian Censor stamped out Mr. Punch's Cartoon, "From Nile to Neva," and obliterated the verses. The St. James's Gazette suggested that the Cartoon was thus reproduced in Whistlerian fashion. It certainly is a study in black, without any relief whatever. A Black business indeed! Who shall correct the Censor Incensed? Even Mr. Punch himself would be chary about visiting Petersburg, lest he should be "bound in Russia,"—and sent to Siberia.
* * * * *
* * * * *
WHAT THE TAME RABBIT SAID TO THE GRAND OLD GARDENER.
(Some way after "Alice in Wonderland.")
"The work of Major MORANT is headed Profitable Rabbit Farming. (Laughter.) Yes, that is a subject for merriment, probably, on account of its comparative novelty, but it is also a subject of satisfaction, which is akin to merriment, because this rabbit-farming appears to be a very good and promising description of pursuit.... That is the raising of tame rabbits."—Mr. Gladstone at the Hawarden Floral and Horticultural Society's Show.
These were the verses the Tame Rabbit recited:—
The Grand Old Man was on the stir; MORANT named me to him; He gave me a good character; I thought his meaning dim.
He held me up; they thought it fun! And laughed; he chid their glee. If he should push this matter on, What will become of Me?
He said I was a paying game, Commending me as such. That's the result of being tame, And living in a hutch.
My notion is that it is vain For you, you Grand Old Fella, To rave of rabbits in the rain, Beneath a big umbrella.
Don't let them know we fatten best, For this should ever be A secret kept from all the rest, Between yourself and me!
* * * * *
* * * * *
LITERATURE AND LOTTERY.
(By a Patron of the Popular Press.)
Yes, I've "a literary taste," And patronise a weekly journal; 'Tis what is called Scissors and Paste, The paper's poor, the print's infernal. But what of that, when, week by week, High at the sight of it hope rises? What in my Magazine I seek Is just—a medium for Prizes! I can't be bothered to read much, I like my literature in snippets. My hope is, with good luck, to clutch Villas, gold watches, sable tippets. A coupon and some weekly pence Give me a chance of an annuity. Oh, the excitement is intense! I read with ardent assiduity, Not what the poor ink-spillers say In sparkling "par," or essay solemn; No, what I read, with triumph gay Or hope deferred, is—the Prize Column! On prose my time I seldom waste, And poetry is poor and pottery. But oh! I have an ardent taste For Literature when linked with Lottery!
* * * * *
ROBERT'S LITTLE HOLLERDAY.
My hollerday, or sum of it, was spent in Hopen Spaces. Hif anybody as has got two eyes in his hed, and a hart in his buzzom, wants for to see what can be done with about 40 hakers of land—witch the most respecfool Gardiner told me was about the size of the Queen's Park at Kilburn—let him go there on a fine Summer's Arternoon, and see jest about five thowsen children a playing about there, all free, and hindependent, and appy, with two fountings to drink when they're ot and thirsty, and a nice littel Jim Nasyum to climb up and down. They ain't allowed to play at Cricket coz there ain't not room enuf, but I did see two bold littel chaps, about six a peace, a breaking of the Law, and a playing at the forbidden game, with a jacket for the wicket and a stick for a Bat, and the kind-arted Gardiner hadn't got hart enuff to stop 'em.
He told me as how, when the Copperashun fust took possesshun of it, it was nothink but a Baron Swomp, but that, what with the spending of lots of money, and the souperintending genus of Major MAKENZIE, in two years it was maid to blossom like a rose. I spent a werry plessant arternoon there, and drove home in style on the Box Seat of a reel Company's Bus. The nex day I went to Higate Wood, another of the grate works of the good old Copperashun. And lawks, what a difference! No swarms of children a playing about on the grass, but lots and lots on 'em a racing about among the hundreds of trees, and their warious fathers and mothers a looking on with smiling faces and prowd looks. There is one place in the werry middle of the Wood where no less than sewen parths meets, and there the Copperashun Committee has bilt up a bewtifool Founting, and a long hinskripshun in praise of Water, tho I shood dout if they speaks from werry much pussonal xperience. I was told as how, when they fust hopened the Founting, the Chairman made a bewtifool speech, and ended by saying, "Water, brite Water for me, and Wine for the trembling Debborshee," and then they all went off to a jolly good dinner.
With that artistick taste as so distinguishes 'em, they have crissened the place where the seven roads meets, "The Seven Dials." There was crowds of peeple there, all enjoying of themselves in a nice quiet way, and altogether it was a werry werry nice site.
The werry next day I started in the warm sunshine for pretty West Ham Park, and had a leetle adwenture as ushal, for jest as I got there who shoud I meet but the rayther sillybrated Parson of the Parish—tho' judgin by aperiences I shoud have took him for the Bishop of ESSEX—and seeing me in my new Hat and my best black Coat, he werry naterally took me for a inquiring Wisitor, and told me all about the good deed of the Copperashun in saving the Park for the good of the Peeple. There was some werry little chaps a playing Cricket as before despite of the Law, and they had a reel bat too, and one on 'em, seeing me a looking on apruvingly, gave the ball such a tremenjus blow that he got a tooer, so I called out braywo!
There seemed a lot of washing going on jest outside the Park, the white shirts and settera, flustering gaily in the breeze. But, as the Poet says, "they're allus Washing somewheres in the World!" The common peeple was orderd to walk on the footpaths, but a gardiner told me as them orders was not ment for such as me. I had a most copious Lunch for tuppense in the helegant Pawillion, and being in a jowial and ginerus mood, I treated six of the jewwenile natives to a simmeler Bankwet. Then there is the sillibrated Band as the Copperashun perwides twice a week, on which occasions reserwed seats is charged a penny each. The werry adwanced state of the musical taste of the nayberhood may be judged by the fact, that at a Concert close by, a "Ode to a Butterfly" was to be played on a base Trombone!
The Gardiner told me as there was such a crowd of children on larst Bank Hollerday that there was hardly room to move about, tho' the Park is 80 hakers big; but as I am told that such a space wood hold about 80 thousand, quite cumferal, I thinks as he must have slitely xadgerated.
* * * * *
A STRIKING NURSERY RHYME.
(With a Moral.)
Tilbury, Tilbury Dock! The men struck—on a rock; For their U-ni-on Said, "Wrong you have done!" Tilbury, Tilbury Dock!
Tilbury, Tilbury scare! This "Striking" seems in the air. Conciliation Should free the nation From Tilbury, Tilbury scare!
* * * * *
THE PROFESSIONAL GUEST.
AT THE SEA-SIDE.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,—When I last wrote to you I was anticipatorily revelling in the sea-bathing, tennis tournaments, pier band, and evening promenades of Flatsands. Alas! that I must confess it, but, after a fortnight's visit to that "salubrious spot" (vide highly-coloured advertisements), I give it as my opinion that Flatsands is a failure; and I think that, when you have listened to, or rather perused, my tale of woe, you will agree with me that it is a place to be avoided at all costs.
On the difficulties and length of my journey thither (I changed five times, and spent nine hours in doing so), I will not dwell, neither will I lay stress on the fact that, when I did at last reach my destination, a prospect void of either Aunt, or conveyance of any kind, met my view, or that a heavy sea-mist had gathered, and was falling in the guise of penetrating, if fine, rain. After parleying with the station-master for some time, I ascertained that the station 'bus never put in an appearance in wet weather, and that I could not get a closed fly, because the Flatsands' conveyances were all pony-traps, and therefore hoodless. He, however, directed me towards Balmoral, which was my Aunt's address, and told me that ten minutes' walk would take me, and that my luggage should be sent after me, on a truck.
After some difficulty, for the sea-fog was very thick, I discovered Balmoral, but not my Aunt. The truculent-looking proprietor of the house, who answered the door, condescended to inform me that my relative "was the difficultest lady he'd ever had to do for. And that she'd left two days a-gone." But where she had betaken herself to, he either would not or could not tell me. "You'd best try along this row," he said, and then slammed the door in my face. Having nothing better to do, I followed his advice, and "tried along the row." I rang at Osborne, Sandringham, and Windsor. I knocked at Claremont (the bell was broken there), and walked boldly into Marlborough House, for that royal residence in particular was devoid of all ordinary means of heralding one's approach. I was just giving up my quest in despair, when through the rain, which was now falling heavily, I spied a small stucco villa standing shrinkingly back behind a row of palings, which, in spite of their green paint, looked more like domestic fire-sticks than anything else. The somewhat suggestive name of Frogmore was inscribed on the small gate, and I remembered that I quite shivered as I walked up the sloppy path, with my usual inquiry ready to hand. This time, though, I was right, and when, a few minutes later, I was sitting before a roaring fire, imbibing hot tea, and listening to my Aunt's account of her latest complaint (did I tell you she was hypochondriacal?) I felt that really and at last I was in for a pleasant visit.
The evening proved a short one, for Aunt retired at nine, for which I was not sorry, as by that time the atmosphere of the sitting-room was distinctly stuffy, and neither dinner, nor the fumes of the invalid's hot-and-strong "night-cap" improved it. Next morning I sympathised with her on the fact that, soon after she had gone to bed, the young lady on the drawing-room floor (for two other families shared Frogmore's roof with us) had begun to sing, and had continued her performances till midnight; but I found my commiseration wasted, for she said that it had soothed her, which was considerably more than it had done me. After breakfast—which was late, on account of Aunt's health—I proposed a stroll on the Promenade, or an inspection of the tennis courts. "Bless my soul!" cried Auntie, "a person in my state of health does not go to places all over promenades and tennis courts. You won't find any such things at a nice quiet resort like Flatsands." I felt a little dashed, but replied "that perhaps she was right, and that it was a nice change to be without tennis; and that, as to promenades, they were quite superfluous where there was a pier, and a good band." "A pier, child!" she screamed. "You won't find any such abominations as piers here, or German bands either. Do you think that I should come anywhere where there was a pier?" I felt the smile on my face becoming fixed, but I mastered my feelings sufficiently to murmur something about bathing before lunch.
"You can't bathe here," snapped Aunt—"they don't allow it. The shore is too dangerous. But you can come out with me, if you like, to the tradespeople—I see my bath-chair coming along the road."
And that, Mr. Punch, is how I spent my fortnight at Flatsands. Walking by the side of my Aunt's chair, and giving orders to the tradespeople in the morning; walking beside the same chair and blowing up the tradespeople for not having carried out the orders, in the afternoon; sitting in a hot room from five to nine o'clock, then lying awake till midnight, listening to the drawing-room young lady singing Italian and German songs out of tune, and with an English accent.
Three things only occurred to in any way vary the monotony of my existence. The first was the arrival of the singing young lady's brother. He was seventeen, and his lungs were as thick as his boots. He tobogganed down-stairs on a tea-tray the first day he arrived; the second day he passed me in the hall and asked, with a grin, "if I was one of the mummies in this old mausoleum?" the third day he left, saying that the place was "too jolly beastly slow" for him. The second event was the sudden extraordinary mania that Aunt (did I tell you she was rich?) took for the singing lady. I discovered, much to my chagrin, I must say, that often, instead of going to bed at nine, as I believed she did, she used to ensconce herself in the drawing-room, and there sit and listen to indifferent music till all hours. It was this second event which brought about the third excitement. For having been a little imprudent one night, in the matter of "night-caps," or careless as to draughts, my Aunt was taken seriously ill. At least she chose to think herself so, though I now have vague suspicions that the singing lady knew more about it all than she cared to tell. All I know is that the doctor was sent for, and that, after a long confab in the sick room, he came to me and ordered my immediate return home. "Your poor Aunt requires perfect quiet," he said.
Having no choice in the matter, I packed my boxes; not exactly with reluctance, but still with an uncomfortable feeling of being wanted out of the way. Aunt's last words to me rather confirmed my suspicions. "Ah! you are off, are you? Well, I may pull through this time—I think I feel better already." Then, with a pecking kiss, and an inaudible remark anent the ingratitude of relations, she dismissed me. As I left the house I distinctly heard that singing creature run up-stairs and into Aunt's room.
On the way back to town I decided that she (Aunt I mean) was right—relations are disgustingly ungrateful.
Yours, much hurt,
THE ODD GIRL OUT.
* * * * *
TO THE CHAMPION (CRICKET) COUNTY.
"Skilful Surrey's sage commands." There is a cue from WALTER SCOTT! (Not Surrey's "WALTER.") Punch claps hands, And sings out, "Bravo, SHUTER'S Lot!"
* * * * *
New pieces by HENRY AUTHOR JONES, author of Judah, The Deacon, &c.:—The Archbishop; The Salvationist, or Boothiful for Ever! The Rural Dean (a pastoral play); The Chorister, a stirring drama, showing how a Chorister struggled with his conscience. Of course the Rev. Mr. WILLARD will have the principal part in each piece. Then there will be special nights for the Ministers of all denominations. There will be a Matinee of Precedence, to which Cardinal MANNING and all his clergy will be invited. After the play is over, the Right Reverend Dr. WILLARD will preach a sermon to the Cardinal, on his duties generally.
As long as only the orthodox witness these performances all will go well. But what a first night that will be when the Right Reverend Dr. WILLARD and the Reverend HENRY AUTHOR JONES find that some play has been produced in the presence of an audience composed entirely of Dissenters! Absit omen! This may never happen if only serious persons in orders, or rather with orders, are admitted.
* * * * *
—-> 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.