Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 100, May 30, 1891
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
May 30, 1891.
MR. PUNCH'S POCKET IBSEN.
(_CONDENSED AND REVISED VERSION BY MR. P.'S OWN HARMLESS IBSENITE._)
NO. IV.--THE WILD DUCK.
_HIALMAR's Studio. A photograph has just been taken, GINA
and HEDVIG are tidying up._
_Gina_ (_apologetically_). There _should_ have been a luncheon-party
in this Act, with Dr. RELLING and MOeLVIK, who would have been in a
state of comic "chippiness," after his excesses overnight. But, as it
hadn't much to do with such plot as there is, we cut it out. It came
cheaper. Here comes your father back from his walk with that lunatic,
Young WERLE--you had better go and play with the Wild Duck. [_HEDVIG
_Hialmar_ (_coming in_). I have been for a walk with GREGERS; he meant
well--but it was tiring. GINA, he has told me that, fifteen years
ago, before I married you, you were rather a Wild Duck, so to speak.
(_Severely._) Why haven't you been writhing in penitence and remorse
all these years, eh?
_Gina_ (_sensibly_). Why? Because I have had other things to do. _You_
wouldn't take any photographs, so I _had_ to.
_Hialmar_. All the same--it was a swamp of deceit. And where am I to
find elasticity of spirit to bring out my grand invention now? I used
to shut myself up in the parlour, and ponder and cry, when I
thought that the effort of inventing anything would sap my vitality.
(_Pathetically._) I _did_ want to leave you an inventor's widow; but
I never shall now, particularly as I haven't made up my mind what to
invent yet. Yes, it's all over. Rabbits are trash, and even poultry
palls. And I'll wring that cursed Wild Duck's neck!
_Gregers_ (_coming in beaming_). Well, so you've got it over. _Wasn't_
it soothing and ennobling, eh? and _ain't_ you both obliged to me?
_Gina_. No; it's my opinion you'd better have minded your own
_Gregers_ (_in great surprise_). Bless me! Pardon my Norwegian
_naivete_ but this ought really to be quite a new starting-point. Why,
I confidently expected to have found you both beaming!--Mrs. EKDAL,
being so illiterate, may take some little time to see it--but you,
HIALMAR, with your deep mind, surely _you_ feel a new consecration,
_Hialmar_ (_dubiously_). Oh--er--yes. I suppose so--in a sort of way.
[_HEDVIG runs in, overjoyed._
_Hedvig_. Father, only see what Mrs. SOeRBY has given, me for a
birthday present--a beautiful deed of gift! [_Shows it._
_Hialmar_ (_eluding her_). Ha! Mrs. SOeRBY, the family Housekeeper.
My father's sight failing! HEDVIG in goggles! What vistas of heredity
these astonishing coincidences open up! _I_ am not short-sighted, at
all events, and I see it all--all! _This_ is my answer. (_He takes
the deed, and tears it across._) Now I have nothing more to do in this
house. (_Puts on overcoat._) My home has fallen in ruins about me.
(_Bursts into tears._) My hat!
_Gregers_. Oh, but you _mustn't_ go. You must be all three together,
to attain the true frame of mind for self-sacrificing forgiveness, you
_Hialmar_. Self-sacrificing forgiveness be blowed!
[_He tears himself away, and goes out._
_Hedvig_ (_with despairing eyes_). Oh, he said it might be blowed! Now
he'll _never_ come home any more!
_Gregers_. Shall I tell you how to regain your father's confidence,
and bring him home surely? Sacrifice the Wild Duck.
_Hedvig_. Do you think that will do any good?
_Gregers_. You just _try_ it! [_Curtain._
_Same Scene. GREGERS enters, and finds GINA retouching
_Gregers_ (_pleasantly_). HIALMAR not come in yet, after last night, I
_Gina_. Not he! He's been out on the loose all night with RELLING and
MOeLVIK. Now he's snoring on their sofa.
_Gregers_ (_disappointed._) Dear!--dear!--when he ought to be yearning
to wrestle in solitude and self-examination!
_Gina_ (_rudely_). Self-examine your grandmother!
[_She goes out; HEDVIG comes in._
_Gregers_ (_to Hedvig_). Ah, I see you haven't found courage to settle
the Wild Duck yet!
_Hedvig_. No--it seemed such a delightful idea at first. Now it
strikes me as a trifle--well, _Ibsenish_.
_Gregers_ (_reprovingly_). I _thought_ you hadn't grown up quite
unharmed in this house! But if you really had the true, joyous spirit
of self-sacrifice, you'd have a shot at that Wild Duck, if you died
_Hedvig_ (_slowly_). I see; you mean that my constitution's changing,
and I ought to behave as such?
_Gregers_. Exactly, I'm what Americans would term a "crank"--but _I_
believe in you, HEDVIG.
[_HEDVIG takes down the pistol from the mantelpiece, and goes
into the garret with flashing eyes; GINA comes in._
_Hialmar_ (_looking in at door with hesitation; he is unwashed and
dishevelled_). Has anybody happened to see my hat?
_Gina_. Gracious, what a sight you are! Sit down and have some
breakfast, do. [_She brings it._
_Hialmar_ (_indignantly_). What! touch food under _this_ roof? Never!
(_Helps himself to bread-and-butter and coffee._) Go and pack up my
scientific uncut books, my manuscripts, and all the best rabbits, in
my portmanteau. I am going away for ever. On second thoughts, I shall
stay in the spare room for another day or two--it won't be the same as
living with you!
[_He takes some salt meat._
_Gregers_. _Must_ you go? Just when you've got nice firm ground to
build upon--thanks to me! Then there's your great invention, too.
_Hialmar_. Everything's invented already. And I only cared about my
invention because, although it doesn't exist yet, I thought HEDVIG
believed in it, with all the strength of her sweet little shortsighted
eyes! But now I don't believe in HEDVIG!
[_He pours himself out another cup of coffee._
_Gregers_ (_earnestly_). But, HIALMAR, if I can prove to you that she
is ready to sacrifice her cherished Wild Duck? See!
[_He pushes back sliding-door, and discovers HEDVIG aiming
at the Wild Duck with the butt-end of the pistol. Tableau._
_Gina_ (_excitedly_). But don't you _see_? It's the pigstol--that
fatal Norwegian weapon which, in Ibsenian dramas, _never_ shoots
straight! And she has got it by the wrong end too. She will shoot
_Gregers_ (_quietly_). She will! Let the child make amends. It will be
a most realistic and impressive finale!
_Gina_. No, no--put down the pigstol, HEDVIG. Do you hear, child?
_Hedvig_ (_still aiming_). I hear--but I shan't unless father tells me
_Gregers_. HIALMAR, show the great soul I always _said_ you had.
This sorrow will set free what is noble in you. Don't spoil a fine
situation. Be a man! Let the child shoot herself!
_Hialmar_ (_irresolutely_). Well, really I don't know. There's a good
deal in what GREGERS says. Hm!
_Gina_. A good deal of tomfool rubbish! I'm illiterate, I know. I've
been a Wild Duck in my time, and I waddle. But for all that, I'm
the only person in the play with a grain of common-sense. And I'm
sure--whatever Mr. IBSEN or GREGERS choose to say--that a screaming
burlesque like this ought _not_ to end like a tragedy--even in this
queer Norway of ours! And it shan't, either! Tell the child to put
that nasty pigstol down and come away, do!
_Hialmar_ (_yielding_). Ah, well, I am a farcical character myself,
after all. Don't touch a hair of that duck's head, HEDVIG. Come to my
arms and all shall be forgiven!
[_HEDVIG throws down the pistol,--which goes off and kills a
rabbit--and rushes into her father's arms. Old EKDAL comes
out of a corner with a fowl on each shoulder, and bursts into
tears. Affecting family picture._
_Gregers_ (_annoyed_). It's all very pretty, I dare say--but it's not
IBSEN! My real mission is to be the thirteenth at table. I don't know
what I mean--but I fly to fulfil it! [_He goes._
_Hialmar_. And now we've got rid of _him_, HEDVIG, fetch me the deed
of gift I tore up, and a slip of paper, and a penny bottle of gum, and
we'll soon make a valid instrument of it again!
[_He pastes the torn deed together as the Curtain slowly
THE END (_with apologies as before_.)
* * * * *
WHY SHOULD LONDON WAIT?
OR, THE SLIGHTED METROPOLIS AND THE DISAPPOINTED MEDICAL STUDENT.
[Sir RICHARD QUAIN (seconding the proposal of Lord HERSCHELL
"that the draft Supplemental Charter for the University
of London be approved") said that with respect to Medical
Degrees, those who were not in the profession could not
realise the grievance which the Medical Students of London
felt themselves to be sustaining by not being able to obtain
their Degrees in the Metropolis. Hundreds of capable men were
driven to seek in Scotland, at Newcastle, and elsewhere the
Medical Degrees which they ought to have obtained in London.]
AIR--"_The University of Gottingen." London, loquitur_:--
Whene'er with longing eyes you view
Degrees, I feel I'm _un_done, Sir,
And so do the companions true
Who studied with you at the U-
-niversity of London, Sir--
-niversity of London, Sir!
[_Weeps, and pulls out report of stormy meeting of Convocation
of University of London, where new draft charter (of which_
Lord HERSCHELL _and_ Lord Justice FRY _were the most prominent
advocates) was rejected by 461 votes against 197._
Report! It saddens me--and you.
Was it in cruel fun done, Sir!
What QUAIN and HERSCHELL, said was true!
Durham can crow it o'er the U-
-niversity of London, Sir!
-niversity of London, Sir!
[_At the repetition of this line young--but degreeless--Medical
Student groans in cadence._
Degrees! _I_ cannot grant them--true!
Or it were with a run done, Sir.
I'm _only_ the Metropolis. Pooh!
Provincial pedants flout the U-
-niversity of London, Sir!
-niversity of London, Sir!
Talk of Home Rule? It's all askew!
I have it not, for one done, Sir.
I've taught you; your "trademark"--boohoo!--
I cannot give you at the U-
-niversity of London, Sir!
-niversity of London, Sir!
To knowledge in my halls you grew;
But now you are--dear son, done, Sir!
You're only a mere Medical Stu-
-dent at the sorely slighted U-
-niversity of London, Sir.
-niversity of London, Sir!
Off--to Newcastle, boy! Adieu!
By that big vote we're undone, Sir.
Provincial Colleges have exclu-
-sive rights denied to the poor U-
-niversity of London, Sir?
-niversity of London, Sir!
[_During the last stanza, M.S. beats his breast with his
stethoscope and goes off--like coals--to Newcastle, or like
mustard--to Durham--to waste valuable time in getting in those
colossal provincial centres what "Poor Little London" cannot
* * * * *
(_FROM EDISON'S PHRASE-BOOK._)
Good gracious! what was that horrible noise? It sounded like the
falling of a leg of mutton!
Oh! that was only the blow delivered by the Hackney Cockchafer on the
eye of the Midland Wrap-Rascal. It's the best fight I've seen for a
I wish, then, you would take it with you into another room. I can
scarcely catch a single word of the Rev. JABEZ FISHE's delightful
sermon, to which I am endeavouring to listen.
Heavens! why all the windows are broken! And the mirrors are
shattered! And the chandelier has come down!
Well, my dear, I am very sorry, but I was much interested in the
firing of this new 137-ton gun, and they have just let it off. That's
* * * * *
"Low-lying" districts are much talked about just now as
breeding-grounds for the pestiferous Influenza microbe. The worst
"low-lying" districts _Punch_ knows are the editorial offices of
certain scurrilous journals, and the social pestilences they engender
and disseminate sorely need abatement. Perhaps when they have duly
fumigated the House, they will turn their attention to the Office.
* * * * *
[Illustration: A JUDGE OF CHARACTER.
_Sympathetic Friend_ (_to Sweeper_). "WHAT'S THE USE O' ARSTIN' _'IM_,
BILL? _'E_ DON'T GIVE AWAY NOTHINK LESS THAN A GOVER'MENT APPOINTMENT,
* * * * *
THE BITTER CRY OF OUTCAST COMPETITION.
"The breakfast at St. James's Hall, which we reported
yesterday, and which was held in order to allow those who
partook of it to discuss the possibility of establishing
in this country a 'non-competitive system of university
examination,' was, in some respects, a natural outcome of the
revolt against competition which has of late years made itself
felt in many different quarters."--_The Times_.
I'm in a pretty pickle!
The world is wondrous fickle;
But lately it would stickle
For Progress by Exam.
And now, in Trade and Learning,
Against me they seem turning,
In me a noxious sham!
The _Laissez-faire_ philosopher
My enemies grew gross over;
But now Economists toss over
Their idol of old days.
They swear "Free Competition"
Leads to Trade inanition:
That I'm a superstition,
A cruel vampire craze.
And now Big Wigs scholastic,
To modern movements plastic,
Would try reform most drastic
Upon the School Exam.
The ways my nerves that jar on
AUBERON HERBERT's far on;
E'en Dr. WARRE makes war on
Dear old Competitive Cram!
If pundits thus--at breakfast--
Neologise, neck-and-neck, fast,
My kingdom they will wreck fast!
The Army loves me not;
Socialists whet their soul-edge
Against me; now the College
Swears that my road to knowledge
Is simply--Tommy rot.
Revolt? It's most revolting!
_My_ road might yield some jolting,
But boobies from it bolting
Will probably get bogged,
And, lost in some dim bye-way,
Regret the well-paved highway
Along which long in _my_ way
Contentedly they jogged.
* * * * *
OUR PARTICULAR TIP FOR THE DERBY.
(_FURNISHED BY THE ODD MAN OUT._)
Looking through the List of Probable Starters (who are all coming
on well, and might therefore be called, in the quaint turf Italian,
"_comeystarters_"), I cannot help feeling that this year the Blue
Riband of the Turf will fall to the flower of the flock--as, indeed,
it should. But if it does not, why, there are other really sound
horses that are sure to give a good account of themselves. We may take
it, that the winner will be out of the common. As the glorious animal
passes the post, the cheers will be so deafening, that there will be
a universal cry, "This must be ordinance!" As the fun of the Derby
of late times has seen some revival, the hero of the hour will, _par
excellence_, be the doll, which, in spite of many rivals, has never
ceased to be popular. Not that the fun will be fast and furious--not
at all; the days of the Mohawks are over, and I am, therefore, in a
position to declare, that the day when it is past and gone, will be
appropriately called a dorcas meeting. And this I can say with the
less hesitation as I rely on the power of a deemster. To everyone the
occasion will be pleasant, both to wise men and persons of a simple
sort; to adopt the words of the historical Pieman, "for this meeting
fits Simon." And here let me remark, that I am an enthusiastic admirer
of the perambulating gentleman who outwitted the pastie purchaser;
in fact, "I go solid for the Simonian." If the field is dusty on the
morning of the race, it will be following precedent. When I think of
the Derby, I cannot help remembering HENRY THE EIGHTH, for it was to
hold the Field of the Cloth of Gold that that eminent monarch had to
raise the dust. Well might FRANCOIS PREMIER have observed (as I do),
"_Bravo, Gouverneur!"_ If DICKENS's naval hero, the Captain whose
words were always worth "making a note of," were to use the belt of
Orion as a support in a sea of trouble, I should applaud his wisdom.
In fact, I should observe, that the occasion was worthy of the
Cuttle's tone. And now to come to business. For after all, what I
have written above is merely a hint to those who require no telling.
A prophet to be believed must be mysterious. But that the simplest
understanding may comprehend, I give my final tip. Here it is. This
year's Derby will be won by one of two. It will either fall to the
Favourite or--the Field!
* * * * *
_Tuesday, May_ 19.--With pleasant recollections of MARIE ROZE and
BARTON McGUCKIN, and, as I think, a Mr. SCOBELL playing the swaggering
relative, I went to see _Manon_, at Covent Garden, Miss SIBYL
SANDERSON being the Heroine, and M. VAN DYCK the Hero.
[Illustration: _M. Van Dyck des Grieux et Mlle. Manon Sanderson._
(_Ensemble._) "Nous irons au Guildhall!"
_M. Van D._ "Voila la voiture du Lor' Maire, grace a M. Le Sheriff
_Manon_. "Comme il est gentil! Je n'attendais qu'un '_Van_.'"]
The new _prima donna_ has everything in her favour, and very soon she
was in favour with the audience, but not in such high favour as was
the tenor with the artistic name, who, fairly taking the audience by
assault, constituted himself, _pro tem._, the man in possession of the
ear of the House. He is a success; as a young master bearing the name
of so distinguished an Old Master should be. [_Query_, would it be
rude to say to a really good Van Dyck, "You go and be hung!" Perhaps
the learned Editor of _Musical Notes and Queries_ will reply. Of
course much depends on the frame.] As for the new soprano SIBYL--more
power to her organ! Her acting was good, but not great, and what
ought to be her song _par excellence_ went for nothing, or, at least,
it could have been bought very cheap. There is far more dialogue in
_Manon_ than a Covent Garden audience is accustomed to, and this
superfluity is resented by those who come for the singing, and who, if
any talking is to be done, like to do it themselves. The three young
ladies who go about together as a perpetual trio, suggest the notion
of a light and airy version, feminine gender, of the three Anabaptists
in the _Prophete_. M. ISNARDON as _Des Grieux, pere_, a character
that might be operatically nearly related to _Germont, pere_, in _La
Traviata_, was impressively dramatic, but decidedly disappointing in
his one great song, which ought to be a certain _encore_. It may be
true that an opera intended for a small stage does not stand a fair
chance of success on a large one, and _vice versa_, as no doubt the
LORD MAYOR's coach provided by DRURIOLANUS SHERIFFUS for the occasion
would look absurd on the stage of the Opera Comique, while here when
it comes round to the gate to fetch _Des Grieux_, it creates as
great a sensation as ever it would do in the Strand on the Ninth of
November, even with the Sheriff inside it.
[Illustration: Rehearsing for an amateur performance of the Christy
Minstrels, under the direction of Count Four-in-a-bar. "Now then,
Gentlemen, all together!"]
_Wednesday._--Speaking as an opera-goer of some thirty years' sitting,
I am inclined to assert that the performance last Wednesday of _Les
Huguenots_ beats the record, as will be allowed by all whose memory
runneth not to the contrary, "nevertheless" and "notwithstanding"
being included. Except MARIO, as _Raoul_, and some add, except DORUS
GRAS as the Queen, never was seen and heard so fine a performance as
is this to-night; and this deponent witnesseth that no such _ensemble_
has ever been seen for this really grand Opera. Strange to hear sweet
little _Manon_ one night, and the next these overpowering _Huguenots_.
It is well worth the while, in _Mr. Punch's_ pages, to record this
exceptionally brilliant cast. First, Madame ALBANI for the heroine
_Valentina_, superb alike in singing and in acting; GIULIA RAVOGLI as
_Urbano_, the page, a memorable page in operatic history; _Conte di
San Bris_, by M. LASSALLE, not to be bettered, as may be also said of
Signor MIRANDA (by kind permission of SHAKSPEARE's _Tempest_, probably
a descendant) as _De Retz_, afterwards converted, and appearing as _Il
Padre Basso_, Superior of a Theatrical Order, one of the exceptional
Orders admitted after seven. Then M. MAUREL, with his highly _Maurel_
tone, cannot be beaten as the high-minded _Conte de Nevers_; and
EDOUARD DE RESZKE, taken altogether--and there's a lot of him--is
quite the best _Marcello_ that has been heard and seen for some
considerable time. Herr FORMES and MABINI were the rugged Huguenot
soldier to the life, but they weren't the Harmonious Blacksmith
that NED DE RESZKE is. JEAN DE RESZKE methinks lacketh impassioned
tenderness in the great duet scene, where ALBANI is inimitable;
otherwise JEAN is a gallant _Raoul_. _Ensemble_ as already said,
which term includes chorus, _mise-en-scene_, and orchestra under
the energetic rule of Signor BEVIGNANI, simply perfect. Those who
this season miss seeing _Les Huguenots_ with this unexampled cast,
will be justly upbraided by their children and grandchildren. Mr.
COVENT-GARDENIA HALL with the Gladstone flower in his button-hole,
almost weeps to think that his much-loved leader is unable to come
from Dollis Hill and bestow his liberal praise upon _Les Huguenots_.
DRURIOLANUS may well beam upon the crammed house, viewing a portion of
it with his nose over the ledge of the stall gangway portal; well may
he smile, hum the melodies to himself (what better audience can he
have for the performance!) expand in full bloom and speak joyously
out of the very fulness of his heart and pocket; nay, for the moment
he may even look upon the sheriffship and all its glory as a mere
vanity of vanities, in comparison with the proud position of being
DRURIOLANUS OPERATICUS MAGNIFICISSIMUS, who has given opera-goers
this new and rare edition of _Les Huguenots_. The gloved hand and
the lorgnette of H.R.H. are visible in the omnibus-box, where our
music-loving Prince is happily congratulating himself on another
little FIFE being added to the harmonious Royal Band, while the
loyal public is mightily pleased thus to have it proved to ocular
demonstration, that the subtle villain, Influenza, has been baulked in
his traitorous attempt on the Royal Personage, and they sincerely hope
that the insidious poisoner, being thus arrested in his course, may,
with all his treacherous _bacilli_, be for ever banished this happy
and generally healthy realm.
* * * * *
COMPETITION IN THE FUTURE.
SCENE--_A Barrack-Room_. PRESENT--_President and Members of a
Board of Examiners, sitting to pass Candidates for Commissions
in the Line._
_President_. Now, Gentlemen, I think we are agreed that cramming is to
be discouraged. We want an officer who can command a company, and not
a scholar who can floor a paper for high-class honours--that is the
general idea, Gentlemen, isn't it?
_Chorus of Members_. Quite so.
_Pres._ Exactly. Orderly, pass the word that we will see Mr. MUGGER.
(_The word is passed, when enter First Candidate._) Glad to see you,
Sir. Pray sit down. I think you were at school?
_First Candidate_ (_nervously_). Yes, Sir, at Eton.
_Pres._ Humph! (_Aside, to his Colleagues._) Rather an unpromising
commencement. However, he may have devoted more of his time to cricket
or football in the Playing Fields than to anything else. (_Aloud._) I
hope you have not been to the University?
_First Can._ (_almost moved to tears_). Alas, Gentlemen, my father
_would_ send me to Christchurch, and I am sorry to say I took a Double
_Pres._ (_courteous, but sad_). I am afraid that will do. (_Exit First
Candidate, striving in vain to suppress a burst of unmanly emotion._)
I am deeply grieved, Gentlemen, but I fear that we can do nothing
further in this matter?
_Chorus of Members_. Utterly impossible!
_Pres._ Exactly. Orderly, call Mr. SHIRKWORKS. (_Second Candidate
enters._) Glad to see you, Sir. Pray sit down. I think you were at
_Second Can._ (_with confidence_). Never, Sir, and allow me to add
that I can scarcely read, don't know how to spell, and have a firm
impression that two and two make either three or five--I forget which.
_Pres._ (_beaming_). Excellent! (_After a brief consultation with his
colleagues._) Mr. SHIRKWORKS, I have much pleasure in informing you
that we shall be glad to recommend you for a Commission. (_Curtain._)
* * * * *
[Illustration: A RARE CHANCE.
_Mr. Snobbin hiring a Hack to ride down to the Derby._
_Horse-Owner_. "I'LL CHARGE YOU THIRTY BOB FOR THE DAY, GUV'NOR;
OR--LOOK HERE!--GIMME TWO POUND, AND YOU MAY KEEP HIM!"]
* * * * *
OR, A CHIP OF THE OLD BLOCK.
_BEING FRAGMENTS OF A FORTHCOMING POLITICAL PRIZE NOVEL._
[In a letter to _The Times_ on "Party Organisation," Mr.
CONINGSBY DISRAELI vigorously rallies the Tory Party on
their "eternal and infernal apathy." He says, "Since we have
borrowed some Liberal principles, let us borrow some Liberal
tactics, and introduce what I would call the Schnadhorstian
methods into our councils of war. They, at least, have the
merit of success."]
* * * * *
It was CODLINGSBY JUNIOR, who saved the Vraibleusian Party after the
battle of Bahborough. By sending a stern and _staccato_ epistle to the
"Jupiter Tonans"; by praising (and imitating) Colonel DE CAUCUSINE,
the real inspiring spirit in the camp of the victorious GRANDOLMAN,
the march of the Hubbabub army was stopped--the menaced empire of
Vraibleusia was saved from the flowing tide of Radical ruin; the
Marquis of STROKEFOGIES appeared in a blaze of triumph that outblazed
even the Berlin "Peace with Honour" business, and CODLINGSBY JUNIOR
"took the cake."
* * * * *
The dinner over, the young men rushed from their Club (White's),
flushed, full fed, and eager for battle. If the Blues were angry, the
Buffs were also on the alert.
"I can have a dinner at any hour," said CODLINGSBY JUNIOR; "but a Blue
and Buff row"--(a shillelagh here flying through the window crashed
"the cake" from CODLINGSBY's hand)--"a Blue and Buff row is a novelty
to me. The Buffs have the best of it, clearly, though; the Cads
outnumber the Swells. Ha! a good blow! How that burly Caucusite went
down before yonder slim young fellow in the primrose pants!"
"That is the Lord TIDDLEMPOPS," said a companion. "A light weight, but
a pretty fighter," CODLINGSBY remarked. "Well hit with your left, Lord
TIDDLEMPOPS; well parried, Lord TIDDLEMPOPS; claret drawn, by Jingo!"
"He never can be going to match himself against that Wirepuller!"
CODLINGSBY exclaimed, as an enormous Caucusite--no other than
SCHNADDY, indeed, the famous ex-Brummagem bruiser, before whose fists
the Blues went down like ninepins--fought his way up to the spot
where, pluckily, but a little too negligently, TIDDLEMPOPS and one or
two of his young friends were bringing aristocratic _laissez faire_ to
bear against the _fortiter in re_ of the fighting Caucusite Cads.
The young noble faced the huge champion with the languid gallantry
of his race, but was no match for the enemy's brawn and biceps, and
went down in every round. His organisation, in fact, though fine, was
not sufficiently firm and well-knit to face the sinewy and skilful
SCHNADDY. The brutal fellow, who meant business, had no mercy on the
lad, who meant larks. His savage treatment chafed CODLINGSBY JUNIOR,
as he viewed the unequal combat from White's window.
"Hold your hand!" he cried to the Goliath. "Don't you see he's but a
"Down he goes again!" the wiry Wirepuller cried, not heeding the
interruption. "Down he goes again! I like whopping a swell!"
"Coward!" shouted CODLINGSBY. "The sight makes me feel quite Dizzy.
A CODLINGSBY to the rescue!" and to fling open the window, amidst a
shower of malodorous missiles, to vault over the balcony, and slide
down one of the pillars to the ground, baring his steely biceps in
the process, and shying the "castor" from his curly looks with all the
virile grace of the Great Earl, was the work of exactly five-sixths of
At the sixth-sixth he stood before the enormous Wirepuller.
"SCHNADDY, my boy," he exclaimed, "I'm going to fight you with your
own weapon--and wallop you. Look to yourself, churl Caucusite!"
"DIZZY's _Double, by all that's theosophical!_" faltered SCHNADDY,
shrinking at once to half his previous size, under the influence of
the startling sight, and the yet more startling "spank" from young
DIZZY's dexter bunch-of-fives.
* * * * *
When SCHNADDY, after six weeks' bed and bandaging, at last came out of
hospital, his occupation as Wirepuller was gone. CODLINGSBY JUNIOR had
stepped into his shoes, and the late "Organiser of Victory" and his
Party had not "the least little bit of a look in."
* * * * *
The Baron's Assistant Reader has been dipping into _Robert
Browning--Essays and Thoughts_, by JOHN T. NETTLESHIP. (ELKIN MATHEWS,
Vigo Street.) He advises all other readers to grasp his nettleship
boldly. At last the Baron's A.R. thinks he understands "Childe
Roland," after reading the twenty-five pages which Mr. NETTLESHIP
devotes to the explanation of this noble but tantalising poem. Mr.
NETTLESHIP's attitude is that of a fervent, but humble disciple, for
whom his Master's every word possesses deep and subtle meanings. He
believes with GEORGE ELIOT that "the words of genius bear a wider
meaning than the thought which prompted them." That of course gives
him unlimited scope, and sometimes makes the explanations long; but
every lover of BROWNING will find in the book a great deal of sound
and helpful criticism well expressed. Buy the book and see for
yourself, says the Baron's A.R.
[Illustration: The Art of Lying.]
Fascinating is OSCAR WILDE's paper "On the Decay of Lying," which is
the first essay in a book of his entitled _Intentions_. If it be true
that the art of lying is decaying--but, stay! how can anyone take the
word of a professor of the art of lying for this or any other fact?
No, his motto must be, "See me reverse." Not that by suggesting this
motto I would for a moment be understood as expressing a wish for
OSCAR's once again dropping into poetry--that OSCAR should once again
take to the other sort of Lyre; far from it. No; let him remain the
head professor of the gay science of mendacity in the Cretan College.
Now, when a Professor and double M.A., i.e., Master of the Mendacious
Art in the Cretan College, says or writes one thing, he must be taken
as meaning exactly the opposite. Otherwise he is no Cretan, and must
be degraded from his Professorship. Bearing this in mind, the essay
is, as I have said, in matter most amusing, and in style charming.
Remember, my reader, that whosoever and whatsoever is blamed, abused,
or flouted in this essay, is really being praised, lauded, and
adulated to the skies by the Cretan critic. But when the M.M.A. writes
on other subjects, are we to trust him? there's the difficulty. So
after the first essay, which is hereby recommended by the Faculty, the
Baron puts the book aside. "_Caute legendum_," says
THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
AN OLD-FASHIONED BUFFER ON BALFOUR'S BILL.
State-aided purchase? That sounds mighty well
_I_ look on it as a State-aided _Sell_!
* * * * *
[Illustration: OUR ARTISTS ARE SOMETIMES COMPENSATED FOR ALL THEY HAVE
TO PUT UP WITH.
_Young R.A._ (_newly-elected_). "WHAT, NOT SEEN OUR ROYAL ACADEMY YET,
MISS VON THUMP! DON'T YOU CARE FOR PICTURES, THEN?" _Fair American_.
"WELL, SOME. BUT YOUR ROYAL ACADEMY'S RATHER CROWDED, YOU KNOW!"
_Pictor Ignotus_ (_who hates the Academy like poison_), "PERHAPS MISS
VON TRUMP PREFERS OUR NATIONAL GALLERY. _THAT'S_ NOT INCONVENIENTLY
_Fair American_. "WELL, YES. I LIKE TO GO AND SIT IN A NICE, COOL,
QUIET, DESERTED SPOT, LIKE YOUR NATIONAL GALLERY,--WITH A BOUND-UP
VOLUME OF _PUNCH_! THAT'S MY IDEA OF PICTURES!"]
* * * * *
"GENERAL ELECTION STAKES."
A COLLOQUY ON THE COURSE.
_Mr. Punch_. Your Stable, no doubt, has of late been a winning one;
Horses and Jockeys have both done their best.
_Trainer_. Yes; Guv'nor's black phiz--bless his heart!--is a grinning one;
_All_ our nags answer when put to the test.
_Mr. Punch_. All? That's a bit of a stretch, my dear fellow.
_Wheel Tax_ went wrong. _Compensation_ came down.
Hasn't MATT's riding at times turned you yellow,
And RAIKES's wild steering almost done you brown?
_Trainer_. Maybe, Sir, maybe! We can't _always_ spot 'em,
But average winnings come out very well.
On this next race, now, I fancy we've got 'em,
Ah, fairly on toast, far as I can hear tell.
_Mr. Punch_. The Sanguine Old Man--is _he_ of your opinion?
And SOLLY, the owner, is he at his ease?
_Trainer_. Oh, dash the doldrums! I scorn their dominion.
There are some people no fellow can please.
What I say, Mister, is, look at their Stable,
The old Opposition shop. Lot of old crocks!
_Flowing-Tide?_ Faugh! Half his doings are fable.
_Home Rule?_ The deadest of utter dead-locks!
_Socialist?_ Why, half the Party won't back him.
_Eight Hour?_ A roarer, all noise and no pace!
Eh? _Local Option?_ Won't win; though they whack him!
What _have_ they got, that can score the Big Race?
_Mr. Punch_. Well, I must own they do seem a bit out of it.
Still, the Big Race for surprises is famed.
_Trainer_. Bah! It's a moral for us, not a doubt of it.
Horse that can lick us is not foaled or named.
_Mr. Punch_. Glad you're so cock-sure, dear JOKIM. Still lately
They've scored some small handicaps, that you'll allow.
_Trainer_. Oh! Harborough Stakes! Well, that don't scare me greatly,
Mere fluke after all, though they raised a big row.
_Mr. Punch_. It's mostly "a fluke" when opponents go by us;
But flukes, you know, count, at the end of the game.
_Trainer_. Well, look at the betting! Although they decry us,
They'd like to have money on us all the same.
Their best horse is "aged," their best jockey oldish,
He's plucky, but years, Sir, will tell on the nerve.
Some of 'em who've backed him the longest grow coldish,
Whilst others do hint that he seems on the swerve.
The lot who are sweet on that leggy colt, _Labour_,
Would like a new "mount," if they dared to speak out.
There isn't a man of 'em quite trusts his neighbour,
_Home Rule_ with BILL up! That inspires 'em with doubt!
(Ask H-RC-RT or R-S-B-RY--on the Q.T., Sir.)
The Old Jock is obstinate, new 'uns can't ride.
Funk M-RL-Y, or L-BBY and that lot! Not _me_, Sir!
I tell you the chances are all on our side.
_Mr. Punch_. Well, luck goes with them who're not shirkers or shrinkers.
Ah! here comes your crack--rather restive, I fear.
By Jove, are you going to run him in blinkers?
And who's your new Jock? His seat seems a bit queer.
_Trainer_. Well, Sir, don't you see, it's just this way. He's borrowed,
That Jock is; a wonderful pet of Brum JOE's
Must work with his Party; some of us have sorrowed
To make such close pals of such reglar old foes;
The horse don't half like him, I'm bound to admit it,
Between you and me I don't like it myself,
For me and dear JOSEPH have not always hit it.
But then, he stands in; we must look to the pelf;
Can't afford to offend him, our Stable can't--blow it!
Eh! What? You have heard me disparage Boy Bill
As too Free in his ways by long chalks. Well, I know it;
But JOE is dead nuts on his go and his skill--
The Blinkers? Oh yes! Horse not used to him yet, Sir,
And if he should spot him, might throw the young pup--
We _must_ "go it blind," only square chance, you bet, Sir,
Of winning,--espesh'lly with JOE's jockey up!
* * * * *
[Illustration C100-259: "GENERAL ELECTION STAKES."
MR. P. "WHAT! RUNNING HIM IN BLINKERS?"
G-SCH-N (_Trainer_). "YES; IT'S THE ONLY CHANCE OF A WIN.--ESPECIALLY
WITH _THAT JOCKEY_ UP!"]
* * * * *
[Illustration: IT'S A GREAT THING FOR A MAN TO KNOW WHEN HE'S WELL
* * * * *
(_SEE THE PREMIER'S SPEECH AT GLASGOW._)
War is a game
Which, if Kings have their will,
Peoples won't play at.
* * * * *
"FRENCH AS SHE IS SPOKE."--The indefatigable international
_entrepreneur_, Mr. M.L. MAYER,--who announces himself as "Sole
Manager," evidently, therefore, a fishmonger, and, according to
_Hamlet_, a representatively "honest man,"--intends to save Londoners
the trouble and expense of visiting Paris by giving them three weeks,
from June 15th to July 4th, of French plays, performed by the Theatre
Francais Company, including Mesdames REICHENBERG and DUDLEY, three
COQUELINS, one FEBVRE, and one MOUNET SULLY, at the Royalty Theatre.
Those whose hobby is the French Theatre, will be delighted to assist
at the start of the well-trained MAYER, who has achieved the curious
feat of "saddling himself" with this responsibility.
* * * * *
PARLIAMENTARY DIAGNOSIS.--"Inflammation"--of temper--is the
preliminary of "Congestion"--of business, and these threaten to
culminate in "Collapse"--of credit.
* * * * *
LEAVES FROM A CANDIDATE'S DIARY.
_May 13th._--Expenses keep mounting up. On Saturday received a letter
from BLISSOP (Secretary of the Association), stating that it was
deemed necessary to take a new Committee-room in Main Street, and
asking me if they might draw on me for the cost of furnishing it, a
matter of about L15. Replied that I must take time to consider whether
such expenditure was proper. Three more charitable institutions claim
me as an annual subscriber, and the Billsbury Free Hospital Committee
have informed me that CHUBSON always gives them L10 a year. Have had
to do ditto.
_May 14th._--Had an extraordinary letter from VULLIAMY this morning.
He is staying at Billsbury--but the letter explains itself. Here it
MY DEAR PATTLE, (_Confidential._)
I am asked to let you know that a Committee Meeting has been
called for Friday 16th, and it is hoped that, at all costs,
you will make it convenient to attend. You know how great
an interest I have always taken in your career. I have
always told you that any experience I may have gained in
electioneering matters (and I have been at it for about twenty
years now) is entirely at your service. You will therefore
forgive me if I speak quite frankly to you on some questions
which intimately concern your Candidature. I don't meet you as
often as I should wish, and I am therefore impelled to write
to you on matters which require your serious consideration,
and on which you ought to be prepared to make a definite
statement on Friday next. I have used the opportunity of my
stay here to see how the land lay with regard to you. Hitherto
you have done very well, but mere public meetings will not
win an election, and you must make up your mind ere very long
to come and stay here, so as to canvass each ward, under the
guidance of the proper "officers."
Then there is the question of money! The Registration _must_
he paid for by the Candidate. It will be heavy this year. You
can talk it over with the Committee, but certainly L100 to
L150 will be absolutely necessary. Whatever the sum is, you
must be prepared to pay it. I trust you will excuse my being
candid with you, both for your own sake and the Party's. If
L200 or L300 more or less is any object to you, and if you
(_or your friends_) are not prepared to do certain things,
such as bringing up voters, &c., it is useless your hoping
to win. I don't suggest bribery and corruption, but certain
things not immoral, though perhaps illegal, must be done. That
is why I once suggested to you that someone from here should
have an interview with some friend who might represent you.
You did not respond to this. You do not appear willing to be
guided by your Committee even in the expenditure of L15 for
chairs and tables for your new Committee-room; and I must
repeat that such excessive caution will not be followed by
success. You will only waste your time, and the Party here
will be defeated. If you do not feel willing to be guided by
the old Leaders of the Party here, who know what is needed,
far better reconsider your position, and resign while there
is yet time.
Now, in addition to your _legal election expenses_ (between
L500 and L600), there will be the Registration which, however,
is a permissible payment. But, above all, railway fares,
conveyances, and sundry other expenses which are forbidden by
the Act, must be met by your friends, or success is hopeless.
Young HARRISON is standing at Chursfield. His father intends
him to win, and he will see to the needful!! That is the way
to work it, and to win. You must be prepared to pay at least
L150 (or to get someone to pay it for you) _for sundries_.
Even thus your expenditure will not reach L1000; dirt cheap
for a safe borough. Formerly a borough contest used to mean
L3,000, and a county anything up to L50,000!
I know you will believe me when I say that I have written
entirely in your own interest. Yours sincerely,
HENRY PARKINSON VULLIAMY.
What an old rascal! I answered very shortly, merely stating my
intention of coming to Billsbury on the 16th, in order to interview
the Committee. I must nip all this in the bud, or chuck the whole
_Friday, May 16th, "George Hotel," Billsbury._--Came down to Billsbury
this afternoon. Had interview with a delegation from the Committee
in the Hotel. MOFFAT, BLISSOP, and JERRAM were there. They laid their
views before me. Much the same as VULLIAMY's letter. "Shame to wreck
the ship for want of a ha'porth of tar," said BLISSOP. "Gentlemen,"
I said, "if you think I'm going to handle any of this tar, or do any
dirty work, you are mistaken. I am willing to help in the Registration
and to pay proper subscriptions, but I won't budge a step outside the
Corrupt Practices Act, so far as my election expenses are concerned.
If you want someone who will make illegal payments, go somewhere else.
I'm quite willing to resign. Now you know my opinion, and I leave you
to confer with your colleagues." With that I left them. Met them again
two hours later. All three looking thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
Said they had reconsidered the matter, and begged me to think no more
about it. They were determined, they said, to use only legal means in
fighting the election. So that blew over. Afterwards each of them came
to me in private, to beg my pardon, and put the fault on the others.
MOFFAT said it was BLISSOP, BLISSOP declared it was JERRAM, and JERRAM
swore that such a thing would never have entered his mind if MOFFAT
hadn't insisted on it.
Wrote to VULLIAMY that I found he had entirely misjudged the
local feeling, and that, in any case, his suggestions were quite
impracticable. He'll detest me, but I don't care a brass farthing.
* * * * *
[Illustration: ALL-ROUND POLITICIANS--SAMPLES OF SALISBURY.]
* * * * *
THE NEWEST NOSTRUM.
[Mr. AUBERON HERBERT and other amiable enthusiasts held a
"Breakfast" at St. James's Hall, over which Sir NATHANIEL
STAPLES presided, to advocate the principle of Voluntary
Oh, AUBERON, in fairy land
You must (like _Oberon_) be dwelling!
Your notion's lovely, winning, grand,
The fiscal cat most bravely belling;
Guileless NATHANIEL, too, affects
World-hardened hearts--almost to weeping,
Volunteer taxes who expects
To draw from Mammon's harpy keeping.
Go, lure the tomtit from the twig,
Go, coax the tiger from his quarry,
The toper from his thirsty swig,
The swindler from his schemings sorry:
"Persuade" the Sweater to be just,
The 'cute Monopolist to be kindly;
Tempt hunger to resign his crust,
The niggard churl to lavish blindly:
Make--by soft words--the ruthless wrecker
Subscribe for life-boats, ropes and rockets;
_Then_ plump the National Exchequer
By willing doles from well-filled pockets!
* * * * *
CENTRAL AFRICA.--I have a longing to be an Explorer in the wildest
and densest jungles of the Dark Continent. I feel certain that this
is my true _role_ in life, although some of my relatives, acting--I
believe--purely from jealousy, try to discourage me. Unfortunately I
have no money, and only a vague idea of how to get there. The voyage
out would probably do wonders for my health, which is not strong; in
fact at present I can hardly walk upstairs, and the Doctor says I
need a warm climate. I fancy Africa would be warm enough to suit me.
I should be glad to be told of any Capitalist who would advance a few
hundred pounds to enable me to carry out my design. He would not lose
his money, as I would repay him by sending home the skins of all
the lions and tigers that I shot--also ivory,--as well as realistic
accounts of slave caravans, &c., which any Publisher would be glad to
buy. LIVINGSTONE JUNIOR.
* * * * *
[Illustration: OUR BORES, NATIVE AND FOREIGN.
"ACH! I SCHBEAGUE ENKLISH NOT VELL, NOT VELL AT ALL! POT, PY A LEADLE
BRACTICE, I IMBROVE VER KVK K! VAIT TILL I HAF TALK TO YOU FOR A
GOPPLE OF HOURS, AND YOU SHALL SEE!"]
* * * * *
ROBERT AT THE ACADEMY.
Witsuntide being a rayther slack time with us Hed Waiters, coz our
principle paytrons is all out of Town, I naterally slected that week
for my annewal yearly wisit to the Royal Academy. I never coud quite
hunderstand why it was called a Academy, which I bleeves is a rayther
swell name for a Skool, but I hadn't bin there long larst week afore
I soon dishcovered the reason. In course it stands to reason that
lots of the werry wust of the bad picturs is the work of werry young
pupils, who haven't yet left skool, so that's why they calls it a
Academy insted of a Hinstitooshun or a Hexebishun.
The fust thing as struck me wos the emense number of portraits of
peeple as noboddy never heard of, and therefore didn't want for to
see, and I wunders how the poor peeple woud like for to be obliged to
wark about the rooms and hear the fun as the peeple makes on 'em. One
on 'em looks so werry cross, that a Gent by me said as how he must ha'
bin taken when the bad news came from India. Another looks so savage,
that amost everybody asks him why he don't have it out and done with
it! Another werry savage sojer looked at me as much as to say, "What
are you staring at, Stupid?" which wasn't at all perlite. Professor
HUXLEY, I am told, is a werry great man, and so he most suttenly seems
for to think by the looks on him, and ain't he jist got a lot of big
books for to read! I was surprised to find as there wasn't not no Lord
Mare among the lot. His Lordship's state robes wood have lighted up
the hole place. And now for the reel picters.
Fust and foremost of all the lot stands "_The Flock of Sheep_," by
Mr. COOPER, and as this happens to be one of the things as I does
understand, I makes no hesitation in saying, that there's about a
dozen of the werry finest saddles of mutton there as I ewer seed, ewen
at the honored Manshun House! Next comes the grand pictur called "_One
and Twenty_." Ah! ain't they jest a jolly set, and ain't they all a
drinking the young swell's health, and manny appy returns of the day?
Why you can amost hear 'em.
And now jest a word and a hint to all our great Painters. Pray what
is picters painted for? Is it to make peeple werry sollem, and werry
sorry, and werry unappy? Ain't we got reel trubbles, and reel sorrows
enuff in the world, without painting sham ones? And yet I do declare
that, arter looking at them two wundurful picters of "_The Crisis_,"
and "_The Doctor_," and feeling as there wasn't not no chance for
either of the poor things to recover, that the kind Doctor's trubble
was all in wain, and that the poor Mother wood soon have to bear the
awfullest trubble as she coud ewer know, I left the place as fast as
I coud get out, for fear the peeple shoud notice the big round tears
as woud run down my silly old cheeks. Oh, Mr. FILDES, Mr. FILDES, to
think that jest a few little delicate touches of your magic brush
woud have sent away thousands of appy hearts, instead of hundreds of
miserable ones, ort to make you resolve always to put jest a gleam of
hope in your wunderful pictures in future.
There was about the same number of staggerers as ushal, and I again
arsks, who has the hordacity to buy 'em? I wunder what Mrs. ROBERT
woud say if I took one home to my sober dwelling! But, jest as I was a
coming away, I seed one of the most howdacions of the lot, and it was
named "_The Judgment of Paris"!_ I had often heard as the French was
werry free and bold in all these sort of things, but I newer coud have
thort that our Royal Academy swells coud have so lowered theirselves
as to condescend to submit the whole of the Picters in the Exhibition
to the judgment of the Paris Painters, or that they wood have slected
the greatest staggerer as the one in their judgment the most worthy of
the werry fust prize. I don't think as it says much for their taste.
* * * * *
The _Times_ says, sagely, "There is a good deal of human nature
in Ireland." That would not so much matter if there were less of
_in_human nature--as exemplified in "carding" women, "houghing"
cattle--and ruthlessly evicting rack-rented tenants.
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
_House of Commons, Thursday, May 21._--House resumed to-day, after
so-called Whitsun holidays. Weren't to have come back till Monday. OLD
MORALITY settled that before he went off to Southern climes. But next
day WINDBAG SEXTON and JOKIM got to loggerheads. WINDBAG insisted
that Committee should specially sit to hear him move new Clause. JOKIM
demurred; pointed out that luxury might be enjoyed by House only upon
condition of shortening holidays. WINDBAG didn't see any objection to
that; sure House only too glad to give up half its holiday in order to
hear few more speeches from him. JOKIM, meaning to frighten WINDBAG,
said, "Very well; then we'll adjourn till Thursday." WINDBAG, not
believing JOKIM was serious, said he didn't care; game of bluff
commenced; played so awkwardly that, in end, House jockeyed out of
half its holiday.
[Illustration: Toby's Remedy for Influenza.]
But OLD MORALITY got all his; off before this blundering business took
place; too far gone to be called back. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN suggests
that we shall change his name; call him "The JUDICIOUS HOOKER."
Certainly he "hooked it" a day before holidays commenced, and won't
return till several days after they have prematurely closed. Still
remnant of House here to-night, though growling and discontented, does
not grudge him his holiday.
More than half Members on both sides away ill. The Whips severely hit;
MARJORIBANKS here as usual, making a bright space in the lobby with
his genial presence and his smiling countenance. But AKERS-DOUGLAS
still away with most of his men, including the Mountainous HILL.
"Yes," his man is reported to have said, in reply to inquiries, "Lord
ARTHUR is still HILL, but gettin' better."
[Illustration: Lord Arthur 'Ill--but getting better.]
Only cheerful man on the premises is PLUNKET. Beaming with health;
glowing with vitality.
"The secret of it?" he said, when I asked him how he managed to look
so well. "Why, it's exercise and fumigation. Whilst you fellows have
been making holiday, I've stuck to the House night and day. I've
fumigated every chamber with sulphur; I've sprinkled every wall with
eucalyptozone. The tiled floors I have washed with carbolic-soap, and
the libraries I have purified with Thiocamp. It was a little stiff
at first; but, as Mr. G. says, there's no rest like variety of
occupation. When I got tired of Eucalyptozone, I turned to with
Thiocamp, and then went through a course of taking up carpets and
thumping hair-cushions. Quite sorry it's over."
_Business done._--In Committee on Land Purchase Bill.
_Friday_.--"Do you like IBSEN?" ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND asked
Prince ARTHUR just now, _a propos_ of new Clause moved by SEXTON.
Curious man is MADDEN. Lives a sort of dual life. In House regarded
as serious person, steeped in knowledge of Irish Question in its
multiform aspects. Really a _fin-de-siecle_ Attorney-General; knows
everything; is in everything; acquainted with IBSEN, misses few
bazaars or drawing-room concerts, and was on speaking terms with the
late Madame BLAVATSKY.
"Do you like _Hedda Gabler_?" he continued, nudging Prince ARTHUR, who
on this, the hundred-and-third night in Committee on the Irish Land
Bill, showed signs of drowsiness.
"Haven't time to go to the theatre," said Prince ARTHUR. "Never
perform out of Westminster, where we keep our own HEADACHE GABBLER
on the premises"; and he looked wearily across at SEXTON monotonously
piping, not without dread suspicion of the WINDBAG having been newly
But the end comes to the man who lives to wait, and to-night, at
twenty minutes past ten, LEWIS PELLY sitting bolt upright, awakened
out of peaceful slumber by a sudden cheer; knew that the Land Bill was
at last through Committee.
_Business done._--Land Bill through Committee.
* * * * *
NOTES ON THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF 2091.
"_Richard, Duke of Gloucester, refusing the Crown_." This picture will
be interesting to the historical student, as it affords a solution
to a knotty point that has puzzled commentators for the last five
centuries. The wily humpback is represented in his dressing-gown and
slippers, having evidently been called from his bath to listen to
the suggestion of the courtiers, who desire him to accept the regal
dignity. The umbrella of the Lord Mayor, we fancy, is of a later date
than the supposed period of the painting, but no doubt the artist has
authority for the introduction of the quaint old lamp-post illumined
with the electric light, which began to be used some little time after
the Battle of the Roses.
"_Charles the Second in the Oak_." This is also interesting to those
who delight in folklore. According to the legend (for no doubt the
story was merely a legend), the deposed monarch was escaping from the
Parliamentary troops, when he had to seek shelter in the spreading
branches of the tree that still is emblematic of England. The artist
has placed the leafy refuge near a stream, where CHARLES seems to
have been bathing. A tragic side (not entirely free from quaintness)
is given to the tale by the discovery of the temporarily discarded
wearing apparel of the STUART by the soldiers, who are hunting him to
the death. CHARLES, with his traditional good humour, is smiling at an
accident which causes him seemingly more amusement than apprehension.
"_The Battle of Trafalgar_." The very clever arrangement of smoke in
this painting prevents the flesh-tints of the sailors from assuming
a prominence that might be objectionable to persons of fastidious
tastes. No doubt the artist felt that, if he had studied the
traditions of the British Navy at the commencement of the nineteenth
or twentieth century (the battle was fought in that period), he would
have shown the gallant tars serving the guns in a costume not more
elaborate than that assumed by the nude inhabitants of the North Pole.
It is amusing to note in this connection that, until the discovery of
the summit of the earth, it was supposed that the centre of the Arctic
Regions was bitterly cold. Our ancestors in the remote ages had no
idea that that fiery region was, in reality, hotter than the tropics!
[Illustration: "Hullo, Sunny! where were you on Whit Monday?"
"Why, off for MY Bank Holiday, to be sure!"]
"_Portrait of an English Gentleman of the Nineteenth Century_."--We
are not quite sure that we like the unconventional treatment of the
accessories in this picture. It is perfectly true that we find from
contemporary records that an invitation to dinner was frequently
accompanied by the expressed wish that the guest "was not to dress;"
but still such hints at the strange manners and customs of a bygone
age may be carried out too literally.
* * * * *
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.
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