OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
JANUARY 7th 1893.
LONDON: PUBLISHED AT THE OFFICE, 85, FLEET STREET, AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
LONDON: BRADBURY, AGNEW, & CO. LD., PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.
* * * * *
SCENE—The Elysian Fields, a flower-gemmed bank, by a flowing stream, beneath the sylvan shade of unfading foliage. Mr. PUNCH—who is free of all places, from Fleet Street to Parnassus—discovered, in Arcadian attire, attempting "numerous verse" on a subject of National importance—to wit, the approaching Royal Marriage.
Mr. Punch. Propt on this "bank of amaranth and moly," Beneath the shade of boughs unmelancholy, I meditate on AEstas and on Hymen! Pheugh! What a Summer! Torrid drought doth try men,— And fields and farms; yet when our Royal MAY Weds—in July—'tis fit that Phoebus stay His fiery car to welcome her! By Jove, That sounds Spenserian! Illustrious Love Epithalamion demands, and lo! We've no official Laureate, to let flow, With Tennysonian dignity and sweetness, Courtly congratulation. DRYDEN's neatness, Even the gush of NAHUM TATE or PYE Are not available, so PUNCH must try His unofficial pen. My tablets, TOBY! This heat's enough to give you hydrophoby! Talk about Dog-days! Is that nectar iced? Then just one gulp! It beats the highest priced And creamiest champagne. Now, silence, Dog, And let me give my lagging Muse a jog!
[Writes, with one eye on the portraits of the Duke of YORK and the Princess MAY, the other on the iced nectar-cup.
Humph! I do hope the happy Royal Pair (Whose counterfeit presentments front me there, Inspiring, in young manhood and frank beauty) Will think their Laureate hath fulfilled his duty, His labour of most loyal love, discreetly. Compliments delicate, piled not sickly-sweetly, Like washy WARTON's, nor so loud thrasonical— Like Glorious JOHN's—that they sound half ironical! 'Tis hard indeed for loyal love to hit The medium just 'twixt sentiment and wit——
[TOBY barks, and a mellifluous voice soundeth, courteously intervenient, as two splendid Shades steal silently through the verdurous shadows.
First Voice. But you have hit it, never-missing-One!
Second Voice. For fulsome twaddle finds best check in Fun!
Mr. Punch (with respectful heartiness). What! Sweet-voiced SPENSER! Chivalrous-souled SIDNEY!! This is a joy! For heroes of your kidney PUNCH hath a heartier homage, as he hopes, Than the most thundering Swinburnian tropes Could all express!
Spenser (smiling mildly). ALGERNON's one of Us! In fierce superlatives, and foam and fuss, He deals o'ermuch, but proof lies in his page. He's of the true Parnassian lineage, And should be Laureate—if he care to be so.
Sidney. Would he but heed what HORACE wrote to PISO! "The singing-skill of god APOLLO's giving" Is his, however, and no lyrist living Hath such a stretch of finger, or such tone.
Mr. Punch. Faith, but he sings immortal Fames—your own, My PHILIP, latest and not least—in strains That thrill our nerves and mount into our brains. If he would study less in GOSSON's "School" (That of "Abuse," o'er which you laid the rule In your "Defence of Poesy"), and stay Less in dim Orcus than Arcadia, Then—well, I might have well been spared this task. SPENSER, you penned your own; now may I ask Epithalamion-recipes from you?
Spenser (smiling). Yes—when you need them! I was Laureate too! There's enough inspiration in those faces [Pointing to portraits of the Duke of YORK and the Princess MAY. To bring the needful Muses, and the Graces, All to your aid!
Mr. Punch. By Jove! That "takes the cake." You great Elizabethans had the knack Of courtly compliment. Young GEORGE, fair MAY, Shall have your mot upon their marriage day, As a choice wedding gift, to pair with mine!
Spenser and Sidney (together). What's that?
Mr. Punch (politely). One you may share, if you incline. TOBIAS, hand the new-bound Oracle here! Take it, brave SIDNEY, take it, SPENSER dear! It may enliven e'en this amaranth shore; It is my new
VOLUME ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR!!!
* * * * *
["The Private View was not a success.... The dresses which we noticed were very ordinary indeed."—"Art Notes" in a Ladies' Paper.]
NOT a success—for every toilet there Was commonplace and stupid, more or less; A fact which clearly made the whole affair, Not a success.
"Were not the pictures good?" Well, we confess We know not, neither do we greatly care; As writers for the fashionable Press, Artistic knowledge falls not to our share; We saw no novelties in hat or dress; Therefore the Show is plainly, we declare, "Not a success."
* * * * *
Illustration: "LIGHT AND LEADING."
* * * * *
"BANG WENT SAX-PENCE!"—A propos of the New Coinage, the Pall Mall Gazette is our authority for saying, that "The design for the reverse of the half-crown has been prepared by Mr. BROCK." BROCK is a name hitherto associated in the popular mind with fireworks; and if the work be entrusted to this cunning artificer, he will make the New Coinage go off splendidly. He has, we believe, already submitted illuminated designs to the QUEEN.
THE KENDALS are announced to appear at the Avenue Theatre. They start with A White Lie. This is the truth. Free admissions will not be heard of, except when they give A Scrap of Paper. They are also going to produce a new play entitled, Prince Karatoff. The plot, to judge by the name, will be of interest to Vegetarians, as it is whispered that the hero, Prince Karatoff, falls in love with Princess Turnipon.
CURIOUSLY APPROPRIATE CONJUNCTION OF NAMES.—On Friday last the Times published an important letter on a certain fishery. The fish was the Salmon, and the writer of the letter was FFENNELL. We do not remember ever having seen Salmon on table without FFENNELL, which is a fanciful way of spelling it. All information concerning Salmon may now be obtained from a "FFENNELL source."
* * * * *
Illustration: THE SONG OF THE SHIRT.
THE SONG OF THE SHIRT.
(Very Latest Version.)
["There is a grievance which has taken hold in the last few years, under which we are all groaning and complaining, without, as far as I can see, any present remedy. I allude to the shameful way in which our linen is destroyed and knocked about by the existing race of Washerwomen in the Metropolis."—M. J. G.'s Letter on "London Laundries," in the Daily Telegraph.]
With wristbands grubby and worn, With collars ragged and frayed, A man moaned over a shirt all rags, Cursing the laundress trade. "Scrub! Scrub! Scrub! With lime for extracting the dirt; With chemicals rot, and with wire-brushes rub!"— That's the new Song of the Shirt.
Buy! Buy! Buy! Though I'm but a poor Clerk, with scant "oof," Yet it's buy—buy—buy! (My hosier's bills furnish full proof), And it's O! to be a slave To my Laundress, who's worse than a Turk. I seldom look nice, and I never can save; And this is woman's work!
Rub! Rub! Rub! Till they're rugged at edge and at rim; Scrub! Scrub! Scrub! Till with scissors the cuffs I must trim. Seam, and gusset, and band, Band, and gusset, and seam; And all the buttonholes gape, and the studs Drop out in a golden stream.
O Men with sisters who wash, With housewifely mothers or wives, Who "do up" your linen, and don't "put it out," You lead endurable lives! Wash—Starch—Iron! That may mean home dampness and dirt; But at least your collars won't chafe your neck, And you'll boast a wearable shirt!
But why do I dream of soap, Or of honest knuckle-bone? Now most men's shirts come home in a shape That's dreadfully like my own— That's dismally like my own, Unless a home laundry they keep; Great Scott! that shirts should be so dear, And chloride and wire so cheap!
Scrub! Scrub! Scrub! The wire-brush never flags; And what's the result? A collar that's rough, And a front that's ever in rags! That frayed-out wristband worries me sore, It catches—and shows—the dirt. And as for the collar!!!—I'll bet you a dollar You've never one clean to your shirt.
Oh! but to breathe the breath Of old country linen so sweet, Wherein lavender was spread, Which was dried on the grass at our feet! For only one short week To feel as I used to feel, Before women washed with chloride of lime, And scrubbed with brushes of steel!
Oh! but for one short week Of the good old-fashioned wash, Before a laundry meant utter rot, Lime, wax, and such chemical bosh! A little swearing would ease my heart, At that ogress, false, inhuman; So to the papers a line I'll drop, On the Modern Washerwoman!
With fingers ready and fleet, With features indignantly red, A poor Clerk wrote of his linen in rags, And this is what he said:— "Stitch! Stitch! Stitch! Yet I can't keep a decent shirt! The thing has reached an unbearable pitch, So—as an appeal to the poor and the rich— I sing the new Song of the Shirt!"
* * * * *
Cab Tout (exasperated by the persistent attentions of Constable).
"LOOK 'ERE, OLE LIGHTNIN'-KETCHER, W'ERE THE MISSIN' WORD ARE YER SHOVIN' US TO?"
* * * * *
ROBERT ON THE GREAT QUESTION OF THE DAY.
JOLLY old Crismus being cum round agen, as ushal, we had our Crismus-Heve supper, as ushal, and henjoyed owrselves till a rayther latish hour, as ushal. Upon cumpareing notes, we didn't find as we had werry much to complane about, the grand and nobel old wirtue of horsepitality perwailing much as ushal.
Howsumdever, upon cumparin notes a second time as to the most poplar subjecks of conwersashun at the warious Eleckshun Dinners, on Saint Tommas' Day, or the day when the hole of the Common Counselmen has to go to their Constittuents for to be elected—though what St. Tommas ewer had to do with it I never could dishcover, no more can BROWN—we found as they was amost all on 'em a torkin about sum grate change, as a lot of outsiders called County Counsellors was a going for to try to get made; the werry principellist being, BROWN said, that they might have occashonal use of the Manshun Ouse, and so give grand Dinners to the West-End Swells, and so get them to wote for their having jolly hansum allowences with which to pay for 'em! But quiet ole JOE, who's one of them rum fellers as don't say much, but thinks a deal, says, in his quiet way, as how as it's werry much wus than that, for, from what a werry ancient Deputty said, as he was a helping him to his jugged air, he had werry little dowt but that County Counsellors was acshally a going in for erbollishing the hold Copperashun altogether! if they can git the Goverment to be fools enuff for to promise to 'elp 'em. And then, from what he heard from others, they are a going to rob the nobel and Charytable Liwery Companys of all the money as they spends so nobly; and then, not contented with that, they are a going for to ask Parlyment to give them the command of all the sixteen thowsand Policemen as there is in the hole of London; and then, not content with that, they are a going for to erbolish all the eight Water Companys, and manage it all theirselves; and then, not content with that, they are a going to take all the Meet Markets, and the Fish Markets, includin Ancient Billingsgate, and the Fruit and Wegeral Markets; and then, just to fill up sum of their lezzur time, they are a going to erbolish the Thames Conserwaters, and manage the River theirselves; and then, as they think as them little trifles ain't quite enuff for 'em, they are a going to arsk to be aloud to take charge of all the Docks and Wharfs on the River! And then, as they will naterally want plenty of emusement after their ard work, they arsks to be aloud to take over the control of All the London Theaters!
I had a chat the other day with one of the LORD MARE's Footmen, as I allers likes to go to the werry hiest orthorities, and he finished by saying, most emfatically,—"Mr. ROBERT, I arsks you this simple quesshun—If it takes about two hunderd and thirty gents to keep the grand old Citty in the bootiful condishun as it allus is, and to keep us all in the helthy condishun as we allus is, and with the remarkabel fine happytites as we allus has, its size being ony one square mile, and our number ony about fifty thowsand sleepers, and about ten times as many, as cums ewery day to hearn their living, how is it possibel for a much smaller number of Gents, with werry littel hexperiens, to do the same with a plaice about a hunderd and twenty times as big, and with about five millions of peepel in it? And you may trust what I says, for I had it from our Chapling."
"Why," I says, boldly, "I says at once as I don't beleeve as it's posserbel for 'em to do a quorter of it."
"Rite you are, Mr. ROBERT!" says he. And so we parted.
* * * * *
AT ANCIENT DRURY.
DRURIOLANUS MAGNIFICUS has given us something gorgeous this year in "The Hall of a Million Mirrors," the tenth Scene of his Pantomime entitled Little Bo-Peep, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hop o' My Thumb, who are three very small people,—"small by degrees and beautifully less"—to make so big a Show. In the Hall of Mirrors appear all the well-known representatives of ancient Nursery Rhymes, and all the heroes and heroines of the universally familiar Fairy Stories. Down the Palace stairs they come, group after group, until the Stage, even of Old Drury, can hold no more, and there is scarcely room for them all to move, much less to indulge in any "kicking up ahind and afore," as was the wont of the Ancient JOSEPH, whose fame is hymned in Nigger Minstrelsy. A most brilliant scene, never to be forgotten!—that is, until next Pantomime Season, when Sir DRURIOLANUS will, in all probability, show us something equally magnificent, and as perfect in design and colour.
There is such a galaxy of talent, specially of Music-hall talent, with the two MARIES, LOFTUS and LLOYD, the CAMPBELL of that ilk, comical DAN LENO (who looks so comically Thin O), and the amusing Brothers GRIFFITHS, but without the donkey, and with no quadruped to equal him, though they do make beasts of themselves by appearing as wolves, who will not be kept from the door of Granny Green, Mr. JOHN D'AUBAN, utterly unrecognisable. Besides these is a Variety Show of other Stars, including ever-graceful EMMA D'AUBAN, and Miss MABEL LOVE, of the "skirts-so movement," both rightly reckoned in the programme as among "the Immortals." Only one fault can be found with the Pantomime, and that is, that there are too many brilliant Stars in it. They can't all of them, each and severally, get an opportunity of showing how he or she can shine in his or her own particular bright way; and so it happens that the earliest scenes, which are less crowded, are the best for fun, though in the latter, and specially in the one just preceding the transformation, there is some capital comic business, and "LITTLE TICH" is at his best in his burlesque of the Skirt Dance. We wonder that this clever diminutive person has never appeared as "the Claimant par excellence." But perhaps his name is not "TICH" at all, and so, on his first appearance on the world's stage, he was not a "Tich-born."
The Extravaganza portion of the Pantomime—formerly styled the "Opening"—gave us great pleasure, and the two "Comic Scenes"—(what are all the preceding ones? Are CAMPBELL, LENO, WILLIAMS, and "LITTLE TICH," all tragedians?)—gave us Great PAYNE—yclept HARRY PAYNE, the good old Conservative "JOEY."
If the possibilities, "per variation et mutation" of gorgeous modern Pantomime, are exhausted—"which," as EUCLID observes, "is impossible"—except we may "add a rider" (as the Clown in the Circle might observe) that Pantomime is, in itself, a reductio ad absurdum—then, perchance, Sir DRURIOLANUS MAGNIFICUS may give us next Christmas a Shorter Opening, say ten Scenes, to be followed by six Harlequinade Scenes, treating, by way of "Review," all the leading topics of Ninety-Three. Nous verrons—at least, such is our hope. And so a Prosperous New Year to Sir DRURIOLANUS, and all his works.
* * * * *
NOVEL, BUT NOT NEW.
(A Story of Romance in Town and Country.)
SCENE I.—Publisher's Sanctum. Amateur Author discovered in consultation with Enterprising Publisher.
Enterprising Publisher. Yes, my dear Sir, I think, if you pay all the expenses, we can see our way to giving An Oppressed Ophelia a chance.
Amateur Author. You would not take a small risk?
Ent. Publisher. Why no, my dear Sir. I do not see how An Oppressed Ophelia can be made a safe investment without your entire assistance. Possibly we may treat about your next novel, which I understand you to say is called An English Hamlet, on other terms. In the meanwhile, let us hope that An Oppressed Ophelia will be successful.
[Exeunt Author and Publisher severally.
SCENE II.—The Same. Three months have passed. Publisher and Author are discovered discussing the situation.
Author (gloomily). And so you say that An Oppressed Ophelia is a dead failure?
Publisher (more cheerfully). Yes, my dear Sir, but do not be distressed. Thanks to my foresight, and your acquiescence in a business-like arrangement, my firm has lost nothing by the transaction.
Author (dryly). That I can readily understand! Well, I suppose you have plenty of copies you can give back to me?
Publisher. Well, scarcely. You see the Londoners did not take up your book very warmly; but we have made an arrangement to dispose of the rest of the issue in the country at a considerable reduction.
Author. And An English Hamlet?
Publisher. We shall be glad to produce on the same terms!
[Exeunt Author and Publisher severally.
SCENE III.—Interior of the Circulating Library at Slocum-Pogis-on-the-Stodge. Author and Female Librarian discovered.
Author. Well, if you haven't got the popular novels I have already mentioned, I will have a book by RIDER HAGGARD, STEVENSON, MEREDITH, or RUDYARD KIPLING.
Librarian. All out, Sir. Won't you have something else?
Author. Well, an amusing volume of travels or recollections. Can you recommend one?
Librarian. We did have several books of that kind in the Season, Sir, but just now our stock is a little low.
Author (nettled). Why, I don't believe you have a book in the shop. You seem to be out of everything!
Librarian. Oh, yes, we have, Sir. Here, for instance, is one of this year's novels. It's called An Oppressed Ophelia.
Author (pleased). Oh, you have got that, have you?
Librarian. Got it! Why, the whole place is full of them! To tell you the truth, Sir, it came down by mistake. We ordered books by BLACK, MEREDITH, STEVENSON, and the rest of them, and they sent us back, by accident, I suppose, a dozen copies of An Oppressed Ophelia. If you would like it, Sir, I will look you out a copy with some of the leaves cut.
Author (shortly). No, thankee, I've read it!
Librarian. Dear me, what an odd gentleman! He's the first as has read An Oppressed Ophelia, although I have had it in the shop these six months!
[Scene closes in upon her astonishment.
* * * * *
Illustration: A Man of Letters.
Illustration: "Question time."
Illustration: The "Seasonable" Lawyer.
"SOME TALK OF ALEXANDER."
If my memory serves me faithfully, the above heading is a quotation from the first verse of "The British Grenadiers," and is peculiarly applicable just now to the Lessee of the St. James's Theatre, Mr. GEORGE ALEXANDER, who has got a decided success in the original Comedy, written by Mr. R. C. CARTON, entitled Liberty Hall, an excellent and a catching name, that perhaps might have been better bestowed on a larger picture. To play with "reserved force" until the passionate moment arrives, is all that Mr. ALEXANDER has to do; but this he does admirably, never under-acting, never over-acting, always as natural as a quiet gentleman, of a peculiarly romantic turn of mind, yet with a keen but chastened appreciation of a practical joke, kept all to himself for five months, should be. Had he been compelled by circumstances to sustain the alias, and to continue playing the part of a Burchell in GOLDSMITH's Vicar of Wakefield for one month longer, could he have done it? However, as the piece has "caught on," it may be that Mr. ALEXANDER will have to play the part of Mr. Burchell alias Owen for even longer than half a year; and, as he selected the piece, and as he plays this part excellently, it is mainly owin' to ALEXANDER that the piece is payin.' Mr. BEN WEBSTER is good as the somewhat gentlemanly-caddish mixture called The Hon. Gould Harringay. Mr. NUTCOMBE GOULD, as a Family Solicitor, deeply interests everybody in the First Act; "and then," like Macbeth's "poor player,"—which Mr. N. G. isn't, far from it,—"is heard no more." Perhaps, during the Pantomime season, he might re-appear at the finish with a slight addition to his head-gear, as intimated in this little sketch of him, when he could observe confidentially to the audience, "Here we are again!" But this is only a hint, to the practical use of which, Mr. GOULD, by the kind permission of Mr. ALEXANDER, is heartily welcome.
Capital is Miss FANNY COLEMAN as the housekeeper and maid-of-all-work; and, in the small part of Todman's shop-boy, Master RICHARD SAKER shows that, as Mr. Wardle said of Mr. Tupman, when he brought down the birds with his eyes shut, he is "an older hand at this than we thought for." If he works at his profession, he will show himself "a wise-SAKER." Mr. HOLLES and Miss AILSA CRAIG, in two very small but strongly-marked character-parts, add to the general efficiency of an exceptionally complete cast. Miss MAUDE MILLETT makes the indiscreet Amy Chilworth a very sweet person, but it is Miss MARION TERRY who has in her hands the one strong dramatic situation at the end of the Third Act. It is a situation which, no matter what might have been the author's conception of it, depends for its effect solely and only on the actress; and Miss MARION TERRY, as she sits, rises to the occasion. It is long since Mr. RIGHTON has had such a part as that of Todman, the quaint little old-fashioned bookshop-keeper, and to this quite Dickensian character, the actor does thorough justice; as also does Mr. H. VINCENT to the somewhat highly coloured blusterous part of Briginshaw. Mr. ALEXANDER commences the new year well. "Prosit!" chirps THE CRITIC OFF THE HEARTH.
Illustration: "Put a penny in the hat, and the figure will work."
* * * * *
A MOAN OF MERRY CHRISTMAS.
(By Our Own Dismal Dyspeptic.)
Oh, Christmas is a season when this melancholy earth Has to put on the appearance of ungovernable mirth— When you substitute a chuckle for your ordinary sigh, And you give each other presents that you can't afford to buy— When the little boys with snowballs are so shockingly unkind, And improve on the occasion to attack you from behind— When the mistletoe its terrors at the bashful person hurls, And you have to kiss a number of unpleasant-looking girls!
Oh, Christmas is a season when the children make a row, And you have to bear it patiently—although you don't know how— When they will not let you slumber in your comfortable chair, But crawl and tumble over you and ruffle up your hair— When TOM and DICK are home from school with all their nasty tricks, And have terrific combats with a pair of single-sticks— When Auntie comes to stay with us, and always takes their parts. And you smile a sickly smile, and murmur, "Bless their little hearts!"
Oh, Christmas is a season when the beef is very fat, (And it turns me topsy-turvey at the simple thought of that!)— When it seems as if your relatives could never eat enough, And you have to look contented as you sit and watch them stuff— When they give you Christmas pudding, and consider it a treat, Though they know that you are feeling far too bilious to eat— When the very house reverberates with tradesmen's constant knocks, As they call in quick succession to demand a Christmas-box!
Oh, Christmas is a season, when I long to sit alone, In some clean and quiet garret, I can really call my own; Where no Christmas Cards can reach me with their idiotic rhymes— Where I never hear of HARRIS, and his splendid Pantomimes. Where the turkey and the goose would feel distinctly out of place, Where no pallid pie of mincemeat, dares to look me in the face; Where I don't see coloured plates from Christmas Numbers on the wall, Where, in fact, I can forget that it is Christmas-time at all!
* * * * *
Illustration: A REMINISCENCE.
Aunt Molly (on hospitable thoughts intent). "YOU SHALL HAVE THIS BEDROOM, MIKE—THE SAME THAT YOU HAD LAST CHRISTMAS!"
Mike. "OH, NOT THAT BEDROOM, AUNT MOLLY!—IT'S CHOKE FULL OF DREAMS!"
* * * * *
THE FRENCH "SERPENTINE DANCE" OR, PAS DE PANAMA.
The Minuet's cold and modish grace, Delirium of the Carmagnole, Fair France has known. How will she pace This frantic dance, and to what goal? Beginning in triumphant sport, She's tremulous now, with terror cold. The whirl so dizzies, she breathes short; The serpent spirals seem to fold Laocoon-like about her limbs. Tarantula-bitten victims so Whirl madly. Shrinks her head and swims; This is not glory's ardent glow, But fever's hectic, herald sure Of dread corruption, if unstayed. Dance on the footing insecure Of the keen edge of War's red blade, Rather than this mad dervish spin, Drunk with that poison-breath; The music is the devil's din, The dance—the modern Dance of Death!
* * * * *
Illustration: THE FRENCH "SERPENTINE DANCE;" OR, PAS DE PANAMA.
* * * * *
LATEST FROM "THE GILBERT ISLANDS."—Sir ARTHUR SULLIVAN will probably stay in these islands while writing his new Opera. If successful, these islands will then be annexed by Manager D'OYLY CARTE under the style and title of "The Gilbert and Sullivan Islands."
* * * * *
ON A NEW YEAR'S CARD.
["With kind regards and best wishes for 1893, from Mr. and Mrs. T. BROWN-SMITH and family."]
FROM TOM! It's thirty years ago Or more, since, destined to talk Tamil, he Set sail for foreign lands. And so To-day he boasts a wife and family.
Yes, TOM and I were chums at school, The Matron—how we used to fool her! We broke the very self-same rule, We felt the very self-same ruler.
We gladly in those classic groves Accepted all the Fates provided, And even in our school-boy loves We did not care to be divided.
Three years at Cambridge—where we spent Our money, "linked in friendly tether," Three years that all too quickly went, Then we went down, and went together.
Next year 'twas TOM who went abroad; He vowed that he'd be married—never! But I was then engaged to MAUDE, To MAUDE, who swore to love me ever.
Perhaps she kept her plighted word— But, if she did, she chose as funny A way as I have ever heard— She married Some One Else and Money.
Maybe she did not feel inclined To risk the bread-and-cheese and kisses, Or else her calculating mind Preferred "Her Ladyship" to "Mrs."
So I'm unmarried to this day, And live without the great felicity Which, as TOM used of old to say, Can't fail to wait on domesticity.
That joy is his alone, not mine, Misogynist he liked to call himself, Whilst I thought every girl divine— Yet TOM has been the first to fall himself.
I've missed the sweets of married life, The bills, the coos, and all the rest of it! I cannot boast, like TOM, a wife, I wonder, tho', who's got the best of it?
Fair MAUDE, I willingly allow I thought my heart for ever riven. It wasn't so at all, and now Your Ladyship is quite forgiven.
And TOM, old friend—tried, trusty, true, Across the seas these lines will carry All New-Year greetings, TOM, to you And yours, from Yours, as ever, HARRY.
* * * * *
Should there be a hard frost, lady-skaters in Hyde Park will be able to give quite a new turn to the "Serpentine Dance."
* * * * *
CRINOLINE is gradually coming in again. She re-enters to the air of "Steel so gently o'er Me steeling."
* * * * *
BORN, 1834. DIED, DEC. 23, 1892.
["He will be missed far more by lawyers and the world at large than many men who hold more important offices in his profession."—The Times.]
Companions of his ardent youth, Or comrades of his riper years; The poor who felt his kindly ruth, And mourn him with unpurchased tears; Men of the world whose mordant sense Shorn of all maudlin sentiment Seemed the sharp touchstone of pretence; Soft hearts on swift world-bettering bent, All miss, all mourn the man whom all Responsive found to each high call.
Old long-dead days of boisterous mirth, Far dim-seen hours of arduous fight When gaiety possessed the earth, When morning felt no fear of night; School-form, field, footlights, club! Eheu Fugaces! These, indeed, are fled, But thoughts of dashing MONTAGU, That dauntless soul now lying dead, After long fight with pitiless pain Make the old memories live again.
Before the triumphs of the Court, Before the honours of the Bench, Wild days there were of toil and sport, Long ere our brows had learned to blench At threatenings of the first grey hair. Ah! cordial comrade, champion stout, The fierce ordeal you had to bear Is ended; fortune's final flout Has fallen, and that gallant breast Is still at last in well-earned rest.
It was your happy lot to blend Sound brain and sympathetic heart; The loyal service of a friend, With worldly wisdom keen and tart. Shrewd advocate and councillor keen, You knew the world, yet pitied it; Compassion mild, not cynic spleen Tempered the edge of caustic wit. Farewell! It dims much pomp and state, Your title—"Poor Man's Magistrate!"
* * * * *
AN IDYLL OF THE CROWD.
(A Tip (after Tennyson) to Tory Topsawyers.)
Come down, O Scribe, from yonder sniffy height; What pleasure lives in "sniff" (the Councillor sang), In sniff and scorn, the weakness of the "swells"? But cease to move so near the clouds, and cease To sit a votary of the "Great Pooh-Pooh"; And come, for Labour's in the valley, come, For Toil dwells in the valley, come thou down And watch him; by the dim slum threshold, he, Or hand in hand with poverty in the docks, Or black with stithy-swartness by the forge, Or troll-like in the mine; nor cares to walk With Wealth and Fashion in the parks and squares; But follow! Come thou down, and let the cold Cramp-headed cynics yelp alone, and leave The mugwump scoffers there to shape and sleek Their thousand paragraphs of acrid joke That like a squirting fountain waste in air: So waste thou not; but come; for hunger pale Awaits thee; haggard pillars of the hearth Appeal to thee; slum children call, and now The Crowd's astir, with every man a Vote To give him voice, and in that voice you'll hear Myriads of "movements" hurrying into "laws," The moan of men at immemorial ills, And murmuring of innumerable shes.
* * * * *
Calm sea, the mirror of a cloudless sky, Blue mountains, in the purple distance fading, Tall, dark-hued pines, through which faint zephyrs sigh, A garden shading.
A view that might inspire a poet's voice, Or minstrel's lute to sweetest music waken— I came to paint this subject of my choice; My place was taken!
I muttered angry words between my teeth; I could not see the features of la bella, I only saw a dress and cloak beneath A great umbrella.
Perhaps some girl, her hair a touzled mop, Plain-featured, round in shoulder, unpoetic, With hygienic boots that flatly flop— Old style aesthetic.
I came a little closer, just to see. Ye gods, her looks and form were not alarming! A graceful, sweet-faced, dainty maiden she, Completely charming.
The landscape that I loved was what she drew. I felt my coolness towards her quickly thawing; I also stayed to sketch that charming view— Here is my drawing.
Illustration: MY LANDSCAPE.
* * * * *
Illustration: "SIC ITUR."
The Old Year flits, the New Year comes, And, through such severance, man contrives To parcel out in little sums The little measurements of lives. We feign the one a different year, Outworn, by solemn bells outrung— The other, foundling of our sphere, As radiant, innocent, and young.
Farewell! we cry, to Ninety-Two, Its lapses and encompassings, We bid them all a fond adieu, And fix our gaze on fresher things; What has not been we dream will be, The wounds will heal, the flaws will mend, And hopes be born of Ninety-Three That older, cherished hopes transcend.
It is not thus; Time mocks at pause, In march continual onward goes; Th' unfailing progress of his laws, No respite nor effacement knows; This year is but the force of last, Not something new to mortal ken; Heredity's enchainment vast Enthrals the moments as the men.
Yet welcome still, our childish trust, Which breathes a truth that Science mars; Our ladder, based upon the dust, Mounts ever nearer steadfast stars; And, though the rungs be still the same, The glimpses, as we strive to rise, Are, 'spite our mists of sin and shame, More closely neighbouring the skies.
* * * * *
SCENE, and persons as before—namely, two Well-informed Men, an Inquirer, and an AVERAGE MAN, travelling up together in a suburban morning-train to London.
First Well-informed Man. Jolly old mess they seem to have got into in Paris over this Panama business. I see they arrested half-a-dozen more of them yesterday.
Second W. I. M. Yes—and they haven't done yet. I knew, months and months ago, the crash must come. That French chap, LAMPION told me all about it. He says it'll bust up the Republic before they've done with it.
First W. I. M. And a good thing too. That kind of corruption only flourishes under a Republican form of government. They want a strong man in France, that's what they want.
Average Man. I don't believe much in your strong men. I suppose the last Emperor was a pretty fair specimen; but they seem to have had some high old ramps under him, too. Besides, look at Russia.
First W. I. M. You can't bring Russia forward as an example.
Second W. I. M. Of course not. Russia don't count.
A. M. Why not? I don't suppose you can make a man much stronger than the CZAR; but, if we're to believe what we're told, the whole place is honeycombed with corruption. Why—(to First W. I. M.)—you were saying yourself, only the other day, that Russia was corrupt to the core.
First W. I. M. Oh, but I was speaking of something quite different. Russia is a country per se.
Inquirer. I thought Russia was an Autocracy.
First W. I. M. It's the same thing.
Second W. I. M. (after a pause). Well, anyhow, we in England haven't done anything of the kind. You can't deny that.
A. M. No, we haven't done anything quite on the same scale lately, I admit that. But we've done our best with worthless mines, and bogus Companies of all kinds, and financial papers, and Building Societies. Seems to me we've no right to chuck stones at poor old LESSEPS.
Inquirer. Is that the same old chap who did something in Egypt some years ago?
Second W. I. M. (smiling, and superior). Yes, the very same. He made the Suez Canal.
Inquirer. Of course—so he did. That was what we went to the Soudan for, wasn't it?
Second W. I. M. (dubiously). Well, it had something to do with it, of course. As we'd got four million pounds' worth of shares in the Canal, we couldn't afford to see it upset. And then (brightening) there was the Dual Control. That was really at the bottom of the whole business.
Inquirer. The Dual Control? I don't remember what that was.
Second W. I. M. Why, don't you remember ARABI setting himself up against the KHEDIVE? Well, naturally, we couldn't stand the two of them playing their games there; so we just had to nip in, and smash old ARABI.
Inquirer. Of course, I remember the whole business now; Khartoum, and the MAHDI, and all the rest of it. [A pause.
Inquirer (returning to the charge). I wonder why they called it the Panama Canal?
First W. I. M. Why shouldn't they? It happens to be its name.
Inquirer. Yes, I know that's its name now. But why call it after a straw hat?
First W. I. M. (amazed). After a what?
Inquirer. After a straw hat.
First W. I. M. (calmly, but firmly). It isn't called after a straw hat. The straw hat's called after it. That's all.
Inquirer (dogged, and unconvinced). Well, anyhow, I know I bought a Panama hat last summer—and deuced expensive it was, too.
First W. I. M. My dear boy, it was made in Panama. Panama's a place.
Inquirer. Well, I'm dashed! I never knew that. But what on earth do they want a Canal there for?
First W. I. M. Oh, well, I'm bound to admit it would be a convenience. Just think how it would shorten the sea-route. Instead of having to go all the way round Cape What's-his-name—what is that blessed Cape's name?
Second W. I. M. (tentatively). Cape of Good Hope?
First W. I. M. No, no—they're building the Nicaragua Canal for that. Cape—Cape—why, dash it, I shall be forgetting my own name next!
Inquirer (brilliantly). Capricorn.
First W. I. M. Yes, that's it! Well, instead of having to go all round Cape Ricorn, all we've got to do is to sail to Panama, and—(impotently concluding)—there we are!
Second W. I. M. Ah, but I don't think they'll ever finish it.
First W. I. M. I'm not so sure about that; but, of course, the French couldn't do it.
Second W. I. M. Of course not. [Terminus.
* * * * *
Illustration: "CREDE EXPERTO."
Q.C. "YES; I LIKE THE ARMY AS A PROFESSION. I MEAN TO PUT MY SON INTO IT."
Little Snooks (who was Gazetted the week before last). "AH, YOU TAKE THE ADVICE OF A MAN WHO KNOWS ALL ABOUT IT—AND DON'T!"
* * * * *
VERY CIVIL LAW.
(With Mr. Punch's Compliments to the London County Council.)
SCENE—The Interior of the Court under the Patronage of the London County Council. Judge, appointed according to the popular view, discovered in the act of passing sentence.
Judge. Prisoner in the dock, or I should say, my good friend—for are we not all liable to err?—I have no wish to increase the natural embarrassment of your position. I am here, as you know, to dispense judgment. This I tell you judicially. I am, when I make this statement, merely the mouthpiece of the Law. In my private capacity, I am deeply sorry for you.
Prisoner (much affected). Thank you kindly, Sir.
Judge. My dear friend, I feel for your misfortunes. I make every allowance for them. By the Statute under whose provisions both of us are here, I notice that I have the power to sentence you to seven years' penal servitude.
Prisoner (startled). Seven years! But you ain't going to do it?
Judge. My dear friend, I will do nothing that is unjust.
Prisoner (angrily). You'd better not, or you'll 'ear of it again!
Judge. I hope, I do hope that is not intended as a threat! My object is to treat you courteously, and even considerately, but, as I have already remarked, the Law is, in fact, the Law. Although I represent the London County Council to a very large extent, still I am a Member of the Bar, and, by virtue of my office, a gentleman. Under these circumstances, I shall only be doing my duty—painful as its performance may be—when I sentence you to be kept in penal servitude for seven years.
Prisoner (indignantly). What, seven years! Why, you——
[Scene closes in hurriedly upon a flood of language more forcible than polite. Curtain.
* * * * *
Illustration: THE GRAND OLD PRINTER.
SEVERAL REPORTS HAVE APPEARED IN THE PAPERS ABOUT THE PRINTING OF THE NEW HOME-RULE BILL BY AN OLD EXPERIENCED HAND WORKING IN SECRET.
* * * * *
Illustration: AN UNDERGROUND SELL.
First Passenger. "THEY SAY THEY'VE PUT ON DETECTIVES 'ERE, TO CATCH COVES AS TRAVELS WITHOUT TICKETS."
Second Passenger. "'AVE THEY? WELL, ALL I CAN SAY IS, I CAN TRAVEL AS OFTEN AS I LIKE FROM CANNON STREET TO VICTORIA, AND NOT PAY A 'APENNY!"
Detective. "SEE HERE MATE; I'LL GIVE YOU HALF-A-CROWN IF YOU TELL ME HOW YOU DO IT."
Second Passenger (after pocketing the Half-Crown). "WELL,—WHEN I WANTS TO GIT FROM CANNON STREET TO VICTORIA WITHOUT PAYIN'—I WALKS!"
* * * * *
"CUT AND COME AGAIN."
The Annual New-Year's Dinner of Anti-Vivisectionists took place yesterday. The following was the menu:—
Turtle Soup—the Turtle having been exhibited for several days previously in a Confectioner's window.
Stewed Eels—chopped up wriggling.
Pates de Foies Gras.
Roast Pork—Prize Pig, suffocated at a show.
Roast Veal—Calf bled to death to secure an elegant whiteness.
* * * * *
PROBLEM.—At the stranding-of-the-Howe trial there appeared a Witness, whose official position, it appears, is "Hydrographer of the Navy." What is a hydrographer? clearly, by derivation, "a drawer of water." But a ship also "draws water." Therefore, logically, a Hydrographer is a ship. But a ship is never put into a witness-box, where it would be quite at sea, but in the dock, where it could be quite at home. "Truly," writes our Puzzled Correspondent, "there is a muddle somewhere." Q. E. D.
* * * * *
A CHEERFUL INVESTMENT.—A Laughing-Stock.
* * * * *
SAFE PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR.
Someone will write about the extraordinary characteristic of the Season, whether it be warm or cold.
There will be a Political Crisis in Paris on the average of once in every six weeks.
The German Emperor will continue his tours, to the great inconvenience of the Crowned Heads he favours with a visit.
Mr. GLADSTONE will lecture, write articles to the Magazines, fell trees, and govern the country, as per usual.
Someone will get a trifle tired of Home Rule, the Channel Tunnel, and General BOOTH.
A few persons will leave Europe for America, to see the Chicago Exhibition.
A crowd (more or less) will attend the Oxford and Cambridge Boat-race, the Derby, and the Private View at the Royal Academy.
Mrs. SMITH (after having been presented by My Lady BROWN) will present Miss SMITH, Miss ELFRIDA SMITH, and Miss VICTORIA ALEXANDRA SMITH, at Her MAJESTY'S Drawing-Room.
Mr. and Mrs. PORTLAND SNOOKS will give a dinner-party, which will be reported in the Society papers.
The First Nights at the Lyceum will be amongst the features of the Season.
There will be several failures at the Theatres, and also a success or two.
There will be half a dozen full-dress debates in the House of Commons, and as many important divisions.
The "Popular Budget" is sure, with some people, to be exceedingly unpopular.
The London County Council and the School Board will be censured by the Press.
There will be any number of railway "accidents," and avoidable "deaths by misadventure."
It will be discovered that the British Army is a myth, and that the British Navy is a snare and a delusion.
Parliament will be up in time for the partridges, even if a little late for the grouse.
Everyone will praise the United Kingdom as the land of the tourist, and promptly go abroad.
A subject of deep domestic importance will be discussed in the columns devoted to correspondence in the daily papers during the Silly Season.
A new Author will be discovered, and spring into great popularity with the Publishers, if not with the Public.
Out of every hundred novels, ten per cent. will be absorbed by the London Libraries, and the remainder carted off to the "Circulating Book Emporiums" at the seaside.
A new Magazine will be started, to supply a want hitherto unsuspected.
Someone will write his experiences, and expect someone else to read them.
The children (periodically) will return to school after the holidays, and "men" will go to Oxford and Cambridge, as occasion requires.
Calls to the Bar by the Benchers of the Inns of Court will add materially to the numbers of the Unemployed.
Several social failures will go to the Colonies, and (like a bad shilling) return again.
Professor JONES will call black white, while Professor ROBINSON insists that it is grey.
There will be bags on the moors, and sales at the poulterers'.
The Christmas Numbers will be prepared in May and published in October.
The Divorce Court will be open for the Season, and the Season will amply avail itself of the opportunity.
The year will pass in less than no time, and the Yule-tide greetings will be heard, as it were, shortly after Easter.
* * * * *
Illustration: Going with the Times.
* * * * *
SUBJECT FOR FANCY PICTURE.—Fined five shillings for swearing. A bench of Magisterial Salmon from the River Tees, after considerable consultation, deciding that they cannot pass over the Dinsdale Dam, but admitted that it was quite allowable for a ladylike Salmon to say to the river, "O you Tees!"
* * * * *
"THE PRESENT TIMES."—Christmas and New Year.
* * * * *
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.