Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., September 20, 1890
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
September 20, 1890.
OUT FOR ANOTHER HOLIDAY.
(_BY OUR IMPARTIAL AND NOT-TO-BE-BIASSED CRITIC._)
I had been told that Ostend was an excellent place. "Quite a Town of
Palaces!" was the enthusiastic description that had reached me. So I
determined to leave "Delicious Dover" (as the holiday Leader-writer
in the daily papers would call it), and take boat for the Belgian
coast. The sea was as calm as a lake, and the sun lazily touched up
the noses of those who slumbered on the beach. There is an excellent
service of steamers between England and Belgium. This service has
but one drawback--a slight one: the vessels have a way with them
of perpetrating practical jokes. Only a week or so ago one lively
mail-carrier started prematurely, smashing a gangway, and dropping a
portmanteau quietly into the ocean. On my return from foreign shores,
I passed the same cheerful ship lying in mid-channel as helpless as an
infant. However, the accident (something, I fancy, had gone wrong with
the engines) appeared to be treated as more amusing than important.
Still, perhaps, it would be better were the name of this luckless boat
changed to _Le Farceur_; then travellers would know what to expect.
But I must confess that my experiences were perfectly pleasant. The
steamer in which I journeyed crossed the Channel in the advertised
time, and if I wished to be hypercritical, I would merely hint that
the official tariff of the refreshments sold on board is tantalising.
When I wanted cutlets, I was told they were "off," and when I asked
for "cold rosbif," that was "off" too. The _garcon_ (who looked more
like a midshipman than a cabin-boy) took ten minutes to discover this
fact. And as I had to rely upon him for information, I had to wait
even longer before the desired (or rather undesired) intelligence was
conveyed to me. I pride myself upon caring nothing about food, but
this failure to obtain my heart's (or thereabouts') yearning caused me
Well, I reached Ostend. The town of palaces contained a Kursaal and a
Casino. There were also a number of large hotels of the King's Road,
Brighton, _plus_ Northumberland Avenue type. Further, there were
several _maisons meublees_ let out in flats, and (to judge from the
prices demanded and obtained for them) _to_ flats. The _suite_ of
apartments on the ground floor consisted of a small bed-room, a tiny
drawing-room, and a balcony. The balcony was used, as a _salle a
manger_ in fine weather, and a place for the utterance of strong
expressions (so I was informed) when the rain interfered with _al
fresco_ comfort. There was a steam tramway, and some bathing-machines
of the springless throw-you-down-when-you-least-expect-it sort. The
streets, omitting the walk in front of the sea, were narrow, and the
shops about as interesting as those at the poorer end of the Tottenham
Court Road. But these were merely details, the pride of Ostend being
the Kursaal, which reminded me of an engine-house near a London
terminus. I purchased a ticket for the Kursaal and the Casino. There
was to be a concert at the first and a ball at the last. I soon had
enough of the concert, and started for the ball.
It was then that I found a regulation in force that made my cheeks
tingle with indignation as an Englishman. Although the tickets
costing three francs a piece, were said to secure admittance to the
Kursaal and the Casino, I noticed that children--good and amiable
children--were not allowed to enter the latter place. I could
understand the feelings of a gentleman who attempted to obtain access
for his eldest lad--a gallant boy of some fourteen summers, and a
baker's dozen of winters. My heart went out to that British Father
as he disputed with the Commissaires at the doorway, and called the
attention of the Representative of "the Control" to the fact that
his _billet_ was misleading. "You are an Englishman," said the
Representative of the Control, "and the English observe the law."
"Yes," returned the angry Father; "but in England the Law would
support one in obtaining that for which one had paid. My son has
paid for admission to the Kursaal and the Casino! He is refused
admittance to the Casino, therefore this ticket of his spreads false
intelligence! It is a liar! It is a miserable! It should be called the
traitor ticket!" But all was useless. The gallant lad had to remain
with the umbrellas! I could not help sympathising with that father.
I could not refrain from agreeing with him, that where such a thing
was possible, something must be entirely wrong. I could not deny that
under the circumstances Ostend was a sham, a delusion, and a snare!
When he observed that Ostend was grotesquely expensive, I admitted
that he was right. When he said that it was not a patch upon Boulogne
or Dieppe, I again acquiesced. When he asserted that every English
tourist would be wise to avoid the place, I acknowledged that there
was the genuine ring of truth in his declaration. When he appealed to
me, as a dispassionate observer, to say whether I did not consider the
conduct of the authorities arbitrary, unjust, and absurd, I was forced
to admit that I _did_ consider that conduct absolutely indefensible.
Lastly, when he announced that he intended never to say another word
in praise of Ostend, I confessed that I had come in my own mind to the
P.S.--I may add that I was accompanied by my son, who was also refused
admittance. But this is a matter of purely personal interest, and has
nothing whatever to do with it.
* * * * *
THE CACHET OF CASH AT DRURY LANE.
[Illustration: Medal found in the Neighbourhood of Drury Lane.]
_A Million of Money_, "a new military, sporting, and spectacular
Drama," is a marvel of stage management. No better things than the
_tableaux_ of the Derby Day, the grounds of the Welcome Club, and the
departure of the Guards from Wellington Barracks for foreign parts
have been seen for many a long year. In such a piece the dialogue is
a matter of secondary consideration, and even the story is of no great
importance. That the plot should remind one of Drury Lane successes
in the past is not surprising, considering that one of the authors
(who modestly places his name second on the programme, when everyone
feels that it should come first) has been invariably associated with
those triumphs of scenic art. AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS has beaten his
own record, and the _Million of Money_ so lavishly displayed behind
the scenes, is likely to be rivaled by the takings in front of the
Curtain--or to be more exact, at the Box-office. The Authors, in more
senses than one, have carried money into the house. But they have done
more--they have inculcated a healthy moral. While Mr. HENRY ARTHUR
JONES is teaching audiences a lessen in _Judah_, that would have
received the enthusiastic approval of the philanthropic Earl of
SHAFTESBURY, after whom Shaftesbury Theatre is, no doubt, called, the
great HARRIS and the lesser PETTIT are showing us in the character of
the _Rev. Gabriel Maythorne_, a Parson that would as certainly have
secured the like hearty good-will at the same shadowy hands. The Rev.
Gentleman is a clergyman that extorts the admiration of everyone
whose good opinion is worth securing. He apparently is a "coach,"
and (seemingly) allows his pupils so much latitude that one of them,
_Harry Dunstable_ (Mr. WARNER), is able to run up to town with his
(the Reverend's) daughter secretly, marry her, and stay in London for
an indefinite period. And he (the Parson) has no absurd prejudices--no
narrow-mindedness. He goes to the Derby, where he appears to be
extremely popular at luncheon-time amongst the fair ladies who
patronise the tops of the drags, and later on becomes quite at home
at an illuminated _fete_ at the Exhibition, amidst the moonlight, and
a thousand additional lamps. It is felt that the Derby is run with
this good man's blessing; and everyone is glad, for, without it, in
spite of the horses, jockeys, carriages, acrobats, gipsies, niggers,
grooms, stable-helps, and pleasure-seekers, the _tableau_ would be
aesthetically incomplete. And the daughter of the Reverend is quite as
interesting as her large-hearted sire. She, too, has no prejudices (as
instance, the little matrimonial trip to London); and when she has to
part with her husband, on his departure (presumably _en route_ to the
Bermudas), she requires the vigorous assistance' of a large detachment
of Her Majesty's Guards to support her in her bereavement. Of the
actors, Mr. CHARLES GLENNEY, as a broken-down gentleman, is certainly
the hero of the three hours and a half. In Act III., on the night
of the first performance, he brought down the house, and received
two calls before the footlights after the Curtain had descended.
He has many worthy colleagues, for instance, Mr. HARRY NICHOLLS,
Miss MILLWARD, Mr. CHARLES WARNER, and Miss FANNY BROUGH, are all
that could be desired in their respective lines. But, well cast as
it undoubtedly is, the play has vitality within it that does not
depend for existence upon the efforts of the company. It is good all
round--scenery, dresses, properties, and effects--and will keep its
place at Drury Lane until dislodged by the Pantomime at Christmas.
* * * * *
CHANGE OF NAME A LA SUISSE.--Tessin and its quarrelsome inhabitants
to be known in future as a Can't-get-on instead of a Canton.
* * * * *
MORE FROM OUR YOTTING YORICK.
[Illustration: Swedish Politeness.]
STOCKHOLM approached by lovely river (that is, we approached Stockholm
by lovely river), with banks and hills covered with pine and birch
trees, and studded with villas, where the Stockholm people live away
from the town. "Studded" is a good word, but phrase sounds too much
like "studied with SASS," as so many of our best artists did. Lovely
for boating. Why don't the Swedes row? _They don't._ Lots of islands,
and everybody as jolly as sand-boys, especially on Sanday. By the way,
what's a "sand-boy"? Why _toujours_ jolly?
Stockholm a stunning place, all built round a huge palace, copy of
the Pitti Palace in Florence. Lifts to take the people up-hill, and a
circular tramway all round the town for one penny. Lots of soldiers in
uniforms like Prussians or Russians, whichever you like. Such swagger
policemen, all tall and handsome, with beautiful helmets and lovely
coats. What would an English cook say to them?
Cathedral with tombs of GUSTAVUS VASA, GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS, and
BERNADOTTE. What was BERNADOTTE doing here? Didn't like to ask. Piled
up with kettledrums and flags taken from the Russians. I noticed in
Russia their churches were equally piled up with drums and flags taken
from the Swedes. Exchange is no robbery.
[Illustration: Snack Sideboard. "Lax and Snax."]
Lunch. First view of the Swedish snacks before lunch and dinner. A
side-table with caviare Lax, cut reindeer tongue, sausages, brown
bread, prawns, kippered herrings, radishes, sardines, crawfish,
cheeses. Should spell it "Lax and Snax." Three silver tubs of
spirit--Pommerans, Renadt, and Kummin--tried 'em all. All good. "We
had a good time--Kummin." The Kummin was goin',--rather. Ceiling of
_restaurant_ all mirrors--self keeping an eye on self.
National Museum. Splendid collection. Stone, bronze, and iron periods.
Poor pictures. No end of palaces to see, till one is sick of 'em.
[Illustration: Fete in Honour of the Poet Bellman.]
Swedes have a poet, BELLMAN, evidently who wrote Bacchanalian songs.
They have a national holiday on July the 26th, and go to _Fete_ in
a Wood, where bronze head of BELLMAN is, cover it with garlands and
roses, and sing and have a good time before it, just like an old Greek
offering to Bacchus. I saw it. And in the evening a _fete_ where
they carry a child got up as Bacchus, and seated on a barrel with a
wine-cup. A regular jolly drinking procession. They have a wonderful
open air _restaurant_ called The Hasselbacken, where you dine in
delightful little green arbours, and lots of Swedish girls about.
Capital dinners, A 1 wine, and first-rate music with full band. No
charge to go in; you pay before leaving, though. Very good waiting.
[Illustration: Dinner in the Arbour.]
The Swedes are very polite, and take their hats off on the slightest
provocation, and keep them off a long time, specially whilst talking
to a lady. When talking to _two_ ladies, of course they keep 'em off
double the time.
Altogether a delightful place. But they all say you should come in the
_winter_. Wish I could. FLOTSAM, Y.A.
P.S.--The Swedish girls are as a rule very handsome. Tall, with long
legs. Men good-looking also.
I can't very well do myself; I can "do myself" remarkably well, but I
mean I cannot sketch myself in a cut; but _Mr. Punch_, in cuts I have
done, is far more expressive than I can make anyone else.
* * * * *
THE COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON (_with Mr. Punch's kind regards_).--The
most Popular of Colonial Strikers--Our illustrious guests, the
* * * * *
WANTED, by a well-travelled lady, of aesthetic and refined tastes, a
comfortable and congenial home with a Duchess. The Advertiser, who is
a person of much intelligence, and a most agreeable gossip, regards
her pleasant companionship as an equivalent for the social advantages
(including carriage-drives, and an introduction to the very best
society), for which she is prepared to offer the very handsome
remuneration of ten shillings a week.
* * * * *
HORSE WANTED.--Must have been placed in a recent Derby, and show a
good racing record. Thoroughly sound in wind and limb, expected to
be equal to carrying 13 stone in the Park, or to doing any work from
a four-in-hand down to single harness in a hearse. On the advertiser
being furnished with a suitable beast, he will be prepared to put
down a five-pound note for him, payable by ten-shilling monthly
* * * * *
HOME REQUIRED FOR AN INDIAN CHIEF.--The Advertiser, who has recently
received a consignment of Savages from Patagonia, and has had to
entertain their Monarch in his residence at Bayswater, as he is
about to pay a four weeks' visit to the Continent, is anxious in
the meantime to find a suitable home for him in some quiet suburban
family, who would not object to some fresh and lively experience
introduced into the routine of their domestic circle, in consideration
for a small payment to defray the slight extra cost involved in his
support. He will give little trouble, an empty attic furnished with a
hearth-rug supplying him with all the accommodation he will require,
while his food has hitherto consisted of tripe, shovelled to him on a
pitchfork, and stout mixed with inferior rum, of which he gets through
about a horse-pailful a day. His chief recreation being a "Demon's
War Dance," in which he will, if one be handy, hack a clothes-horse to
pieces with his "baloo," or two-edged chopper-axe, he might be found
an agreeable inmate by an aged and invalid couple, who would relish a
little unusual after-dinner excitement, as a means of passing away a
quiet evening or two. Applicants anxious to secure the Chief should
write at once. Three-and-sixpence a-week will be paid for his keep,
which, supplying the place of the rum in his drink (which has been
tried with effect) with methylated spirit mixed with treacle, affords
an ample margin for a handsome profit on the undertaking.
* * * * *
[Illustration: MUCH MORE SUITABLE.
NEW UNIFORM FOR HER MAJESTY'S HORSE GUARDS, SUGGESTED TO MR. PUNCH BY
RECENT CAVALRY EVOLUTIONS ON THE THAMES.]
* * * * *
(_WITH ACKNOWLEDGMENTS TO THE AUTHOR OF "PATIENCE."_)
["Even a colour-sense is more important in the development
of the individual than a sense of right and wrong."--OSCAR
If you're anxious to develop to a true hedonic "swell," hop on a
Like a monkey on a stick, and your phrases quaintly pick, and then
prattle about Art.
Take some laboured paradoxes, and, like Samson's flaming foxes, let
them loose amidst the corn
(Or the honest commonplaces) of the Philistines whose graces you
regard with lofty scorn.
And every one will say,
As you squirm your wormy way,
"If this young man expresses himself in terms that stagger _me_,
What a very singularly smart young man this smart young man must be!"
You may be a flabby fellow, and lymphatically yellow, that will
matter not a mite.
If you take yourself in hand, in a way you'll understand, to become
a Son of Light.
On your crassness superimposing the peculiar art of glosing in sleek
phrases about Sin.
If you aim to be a Shocker, carnal theories to cocker is _the_ best way
And every one will say,
As you worm your wicked way,
"If that's allowable for _him_ which were criminal in _me_,
What a very emancipated kind of youth this kind of youth must be."
Human virtues you'll abhor all, and be down upon the Moral in
Your critical analysis will reduce to prompt paralysis every _motor_
that's not vile.
You will show there's naught save virtue that can seriously hurt you,
or your liberty enmesh;
And you'll find excitement, plenty, in Art's _dolce far niente_, with a
flavour of the flesh.
And every one will say,
As you lounge your upward way,
"If he's content with a do-nothing life, which would certainly not
What a most particularly subtle young man this subtle young man must be!"
Then having swamped morality in "intensified personality" (which,
of course, must mean your own),
And the "rational" abolished and "sincerity" demolished, you will
find that you have _grown_
With a "colour-sense" fresh handselled (whilst the moral ditto's
cancelled) you'll develop into--well,
What Philistia's fools malicious might esteem a _vaurien_ vicious
(_alias_ "hedonic swell").
And every one will say,
As you writhe your sinuous way.
"If the highest result of the true 'Development' is decomposition,
What a very perfectly developed young man this developed young man
With your perky paradoxes, and your talk of "crinkled ox-eyes," and
of books in "Nile-green skin."
That show forth unholy histories, and display the "deeper mysteries"
of strange and subtle Sin.
You can squirm, and glose, and hiss on, and awake that _nouveau_
_frisson_ which is Art's best gift to life.
And "develop"--like some cancer (in the Art-sphere) whose best answer
is the silent surgeon's knife!
And every _man_ will say,
As you wriggle on your way,
"If 'emotion for the sake of emotion _is_ the aim of Art,' dear me!
What a morbidly muckily emotional young man the 'developed' young
man must be!"
* * * * *
THE AMERICAN GIRL.
[An American Correspondent of _The Galignani Messenger_ is
very severe on the manners of his fair countrywomen.]
She "guesses" and she "calculates," she wears all sorts o' collars,
Her yellow hair is not without suspicion of a dye;
Her "Pappa" is a dull old man who turned pork into dollars.
But everyone admits that she's indubitably spry.
She did Rome in a swift two days, gave half the time to Venice,
But vows that she saw everything, although in awful haste;
She's fond of dancing, but she seems to fight shy of lawn-tennis,
Because it might endanger the proportions of her waist.
Her manner might be well defined as elegantly skittish;
She loves a Lord as only a Republican can do;
And quite the best of titles she's persuaded are the British,
And well she knows the Peerage, for she reads it through and through.
She's bediamonded superbly, and shines like a constellation,
You scarce can see her fingers for the multitude of rings;
She's just a shade too conscious, so it seems, of admiration,
With irritating tendencies to wriggle when she sings.
She owns she is "Amur'can," and her accent is alarming;
Her birthplace has an awful name you pray you may forget;
Yet, after all, we own "_La Belle Americaine_" is charming,
So let us hope she'll win at last her long-sought coronet.
* * * * *
TIPS FROM THE TAPE.
(_PICKED UP IN MR. PUNCH'S OWN SPECIAL CITY CORNER._)
In my last I announced that I was busily giving my mind to the
launching of a new "Combination Pool" over the satisfactory results
of which to all concerned in it, under certain contingencies, I had no
shadow of a doubt. This I have since managed to float on the market,
and, though I worked it on a principle of my own, which, for want of
a better description, I have styled amalgamated "Profit and Loss,"
I regret to have to inform those clients who have entrusted me with
their cheques in the hopes of getting, _as I really fully believed
they would_, 700 per cent. for their money in three days, that I
have had to close the speculation rather suddenly, and I fear, as the
following illustrative figures will show in a fashion that not only
deprives me of the pleasure of enclosing them a cheque for Profits,
but obliges me to announce to them that their cover has disappeared.
The Stocks with which I operated were "Drachenfonteim Catapults,"
"Catawanga Thirty-fives," and "Blinker's Submarine Explosives." The
ILLUSTRATION, I hoped, _would have stood as follows_:--
L100 invested in Drachenfonteim Catatpults,
showing profit of 1 per cent....L100
L100 invested in Catawanga Thirty-fives,
showing profit of 21/2 per cent....L250
L300 invested in Blinker's Submarine Explosives,
showing profit of 3 per cent....L900
Unfortunately, however, the real figures came out rather differently,
for they stood, I regret to say, as under:--
L100 invested in Drachenfonteim Catapults,
at a loss of 5 per cent....L500
L100 invested in Catawanga Thirty-fives,
at a loss of 7 per cent....L700
L300 invested in Blinker's Submarine Explosives,
at a loss of 4 per cent....L1200
This, I need scarcely say, has at present not only eaten up every
halfpenny of cover, but a great deal besides; and I am not sure that I
shall not have to come down on my clients to make good the balance. I
cannot account for the result, except from the fact that a new clerk
read out the wrong tape; and when I telephoned to my West-End Private
Inquiry Agent about these very three Stocks, he appears not to have
heard me distinctly, and thought I was asking him about Goschens, the
old Three-per-Cents., and Bank Stock, about which, of course, he could
only report favourably. It is an awkward mistake, but, as I point out
to all my clients, one must not regard the Dealer as infallible. These
things will occur. However, I am going to be more careful in future;
and I may as well announce now, that on Monday next I am about to open
a new Syndicate Combination Pool, with a Stock about which I have made
the most thorough and exhaustive inquiries, with the result that I
am convinced an enormous fortune will be at the command of anyone who
will entrust me with a sufficiently large cheque in the shape of cover
to enable me to realise it.
For obvious reasons I keep the name of this Stock at present a dead
secret. Suffice it to say, that the operation in question is connected
with an old South-American Gold Mine, about to be reworked under the
auspices of a new company who have bought it for a mere song. When I
tell my clients that I have got all my information from the Chairman,
_who took down under his greatcoat a carpet-bag full of crushed quartz
carefully mixed with five ounces of gold nuggets_, and emptied this
out at the bottom of a disused shaft, and then got a Yankee engineer
to report the discovery of ore in "lumps as big as your fist," and
state this in the new prospectus, they will at once see what a solid
foundation I have for this new venture, which must inevitably fly
upwards by leaps and bounds as soon as the shares are placed upon the
market. Of course, when the truth comes out, there will be a reaction,
but my clients may trust me to be on the look-out for that, and, after
floating with all their investments to the top of the tide, to get
out of the concern with enormous profits before the bubble eventually
bursts. It is by a command of information of this kind that I hope to
ensure the confidence and merit the support of my friends and patrons.
Remember Monday next, and bear in mind a cheque for three-and-sixpence
covers L5000. The subjoined is from my correspondence:--
Sir,--I have as trustee for five orphan nieces to invest for each
of them L3 18s. 9d., left them by a deceased maternal cousin. How
ought I to invest this to the greatest advantage with a due regard
to security. What do you say to Goschens? Or would you recommend Rio
Diavolos Galvanics? These promise a dividend of 70 per cent., and
although they have not paid one for some time, are a particularly
cheap stock at the present market price, the scrip of the Five per
Cent. Debenture Stock being purchased by a local butterman at seven
pounds for a halfpenny. A Spanish Nobleman who holds some of this,
will let me have it even cheaper. What would you advise me to do?
Yours, &c. A TRUSTEE IN A FOG.
Don't touch Goschens, they are not a speculative Stock. You certainly
might do worse than the Rio Diavolos Galvanics. Do not hesitate, but
put the little all of your five orphan nieces into them at once, and
_wait for the rise_.
* * * * *
ON THE CARDS.
(_BY A WHIST-LOVING MALADE-IMAGINAIRE._)
Oh, where shall I hit on a "perfect cure"?
(What ails me I am not quite sure that I'm sure)
To Nice, where the weather is nice--with vagaries?
The Engadine soft or the sunny Canaries?
To Bonn or Wiesbaden? My doctor laconic
Declares that the Teutonic air is too tonic.
Shall I do Davos-Platz or go rove the Riviera?
Or moon for a month in romantic Madeira?
St. Moritz or Malaga, Aix, La Bourboule?
Bah! My doctor's a _farceur_ and I am--a fool.
I will _not_ try Switzerland, Norway, or Rome.
I'll go in for a rest and a rubber--at home.
A Windermere wander, _and_ Whist, I feel sure,
Will give what I'm seeking, a true "Perfect Cure."
* * * * *
A BUBBLE FROM THE SUDS.--A Firm of Soap-boilers have been sending
round a circular to "Dramatic Authors" of established reputation, and
(no doubt) others, offering to produce gratis the best piece submitted
to them at a "_Matinee_ performance at a West End Theatre." The only
formality necessary to obtain this sweet boon is the purchase of a box
of the Firm's soap, which will further contain a coupon "entitling
the owner to send in one new and original play for reading." The idea
that a Dramatic Author of any standing would submit his work to such a
tribunal, even with the dazzling prospect of a _Matinee in futuro_, is
too refreshing! However, as literary men nowadays fully appreciate the
value of their labour, the idea, in spite of the soap with which it is
associated, may be dismissed with the words, "Won't Wash!"
* * * * *
Why doesn't some publisher bring out _The Utterbosh Series_, for, upon
my word, says the Baron, the greater part of the books sent in for
"notice" are simply beneath it. Here's one on which I made notes as
I went on, as far as I could get through it. It is called _Nemesis:
a Moral Story_, by SETON CREWE. Its sole merit would have been its
being in one volume, were it not that this form, being a bait to the
unwary, aggravates the offence. The heroine is _Lucinda_, a milliner's
apprentice. Being compromised by a young gentleman under age, who
suddenly quits the country, she goes to confess her sin to the
simple-minded Curate, who sees no way out of the difficulty except
by marrying his penitent, which he does, and after the christening
of her first-born, a joyous event that occurs at no great interval
after the happy wedding-day, the Curate, the _Reverend Mr. Smith_,
is transferred by his Bishop from this parish to somewhere else a
considerable distance off, whence, after a variety of troubles, he
goes abroad as a travelling watering-place clergyman. After this,
his wife becomes a Roman Catholic for six months, and then developes
into a thoroughpaced infidel of generally loose character. She takes
up with a Lion Comique of the Music-Halls, who is summarily kicked
down-stairs by the _Reverend Mr. Smith_ on his return home one
evening. And at this point I closed the book, not caring one dump what
became of any of the characters, or of the book, or of the writer,
and unable to wait for the moral of this highly "moral story," which,
I dare say, might have done me a great deal of good. So I turned to
_Vanity Fair_, and re-read for the hundredth time, and with increased
pleasure, the great scene where _Rawdon Crawley_, returning home
suddenly, surprises _Becky_ in her celebrated _tete-a-tete_ with my
With pleasure the Baron welcomes Vol. No. IV. of ROUTLEDGE's
_Carisbrooke Library_, which contains certain _Early Prose Romances_,
the first and foremost among them being the delightful fable of
_Reynart the Fox_. Have patience with the old English, refer to the
explanatory notes, and its perusal will well repay every reader. How
came it about that modern _Uncle Remus_ had caught so thoroughly the
true spirit of this Mediaeval romance? I forget, at this moment, who
wrote _Uncle Remus_--and I beg his pardon for so doing--but whoever
it was, he professed only to dress up and record what he had actually
heard from a veritable _Uncle Remus_. _Brer Rabbit_, _Brer Fox_, and
_Old Man Bar_, are not the creatures of _AEsop's Fables_; they are the
characters in _Reynart the Fox_. The tricks, the cunning, the villany
of _Reynart_, unredeemed by aught except his affection for his wife
and family, are thoroughly amusing, and his ultimate success, and
increased prosperity; present a truer picture of actual life than
novels in which vice is visibly punished, and virtue patiently
rewarded. And once more I call to mind the latter days of _Becky's_
Speaking of THACKERAY, Messrs. CASSELL & Co. have just brought out
a one-and-threepenny edition ("the threepence be demmed!") of the
_Yellowplush Papers_, with a dainty canary-coloured _Jeames_ on the
cover. At the same time the same firm produce, in the same form, _The
Last Days of Pompeii_, _The Last Days of Palmyra_, and _The Last of
the Mohicans_. Odd, that the first issue of this new series should
be nearly all "Lasts." _The Yellowplush Papers_ might have been kept
back, and _The Last of the Barons_ been substituted, just to make the
set of lasts perfect. The expression is suggestive of Messrs. CASSELL
going in for the shoemaking trade. _The Last Days of Palmyra_ I have
never read. "I will try it," says the bold Baron.
But what means this new style of printing on thin double sheets? One
advantage is that no cutting is required. If this form become the
fashion, better thus to bring out the _Utterbosh Series_, which shall
then escape the critics' hands,--no cutting being required. There are,
as those who use the paper-knife to these volumes will discover, in
this new issue of Messrs. CASSELL's, two blank pages for every two
printed ones, so that a new novel might be written in MS. inside the
printed one. The paper is good and clean to the touch; but I prefer
the stiff cover to the limp, "there's more backbone about it," says
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
Scarcely time to bring out a pocket edition (like those genuine
pocketable and portable editions, the red-backed ROUTLEDGES) of _The
Bride of Lammermoor_, between now and the date of its production, next
Saturday, at the Lyceum. But worth while doing it as soon as possible.
_Advice gratis_. B. DE B.-W.
P.S.--(_Important to Authors and Scribblers_.)--Unfortunately the
Baron has been compelled to take to his bed (which he doesn't "take
to" at all--but this by the way), and there write. Once more he begs
to testify to the excellence both of _The Hairless Author's Pad_--no
_The Author's Hairless Pad_--and of the wooden rest and frame into
which it fits. Nothing better for an invalid than rest for his frame,
and here are rest and frame in one. Given these (or, if not "given,"
purchased), and a patent indelible-ink-lead pencil (whose patent
I don't know, as, with much use, the gold-lettering is almost
obliterated from mine, and all I can make out is the word "Eagle"),
and the convalescent author may do all his work in comfort, without
mess or muddle; and hereto, once again, I set my hand and seal, so
know all men by these presents, all to the contrary nevertheless and
notwithstanding. B. DE B.-W.
* * * * *
GREEN PASTURES _OR_ PICCADILLY?
_TO THE EDITOR._
Sir,--I see that you have opened your columns to a discussion of the
relative advantages of life in London and the Suburbs. I don't think
that really the two can be compared. If you want _perfect quietude_
can you get it better than in a place where, between nine and six, not
a single male human being is visible, all of them being in town? Some
people may call this dull; but I like it. Then everything is so cheap
in the Suburbs! I only pay L100 a year for a nice house in a street,
with a small bath-room, and a garden quite as large as a full-sized
billiard-table. People tell me I could get the same thing in London,
but of course a suburban street must be nicer than a London one.
We are just outside the Metropolitan main drainage system, and our
death-rate is rather heavy, but then our rates are light. My butcher
only charges me one-and-twopence a pound for best joints, and though
this is a little dearer than London, the meat is probably more
wholesome from being in such good air as we enjoy. In wintertime the
journey to town, half-an-hour by train, has a most bracing effect on
those capable of bearing severe cold. For the rest, the incapables
are a real blessing to those who sell mustard-plasters and extra-sized
pocket-handkerchiefs. Our society is so select and refined that I
verily believe Belgravia can show nothing like it! Yours obediently,
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.
Sir,--The Suburbs are certainly delightful, if you have a good train
service; but this you seldom get. I do not complain of our Company
taking three-quarters of an hour to perform the distance of eight and
a half miles to the City, as this seems a good, average suburban rate,
but I do think the "fast" train (which performs the distance in that
time) might start a little later than 8.30 A.M. Going in to business
at 10.30 by an "ordinary" train, which stops at sixteen stations, and
takes an hour and a half, becomes after a time rather monotonous. It
involves a painful "Rush in Urbe" to get through business in time to
catch the 4.30 "express" back, a train which (theoretically) stops
Sir,--No more London for me! I've tried it, and know what it's like.
I have found a delightful cottage, twenty miles from town, and mean to
live in it always. Do we ever have one of your nasty yellow fogs here?
Never! Nothing more than a thick white mist, which rises from the
fields and envelopes the house every night. It is true that several
of our family complain of rheumatism, and when I had rheumatic fever
myself a month ago, I found it a little inconvenient being six
miles from a doctor and a chemist's shop. But then my house is so
picturesque, with an Early English wooden porch (which can be kept
from falling to pieces quite easily by hammering a few nails in now
and then, and re-painting once a week), and no end of gables, which
only let the water into the bedrooms in case of a _very_ heavy shower.
Then think of the delights of a garden, and a field (for which I pay
L20 a year, and repair the hedges), and chickens! I don't think I have
spent more than L50 above what I should have done in London, owing to
the necessity of fitting up chicken-runs and buying a conservatory
for my wife, who is passionately fond of flowers. Unfortunately my
chickens are now moulting, and decline to lay again before next March;
so I bring back fresh eggs from town, and, as my conservatory is
not yet full, flowers from Covent Garden; and I can assure you that,
until you try it, you cannot tell the amount of pleasure and exercise
which walking a couple of miles (the distance of my cottage from the
station), laden with groceries and other eatables, can be made to
afford. Yours chirpily,
* * * * *
GOOD FOR SPORT!--A well-known chartered accountant, with a vulpine
patronymic, complains of the unkind treatment he recently received in
Cologne at the hands of the German police. He should be consoled
by the thought, that his persecution marked in those latitudes the
introduction of Fox-hunting.
* * * * *
[Illustration: YANKEE EXCLUSIVENESS.
_Young Britisher_. "YOUR FATHER'S NOT WITH YOU THEN, MISS VAN TROMP?"
_Fair New York Millionnairess_ (_one of three_). "WHY, NO--PA'S MUCH
TOO VULGAR! IT'S AS MUCH AS WE CAN DO TO STAND MA!"]
* * * * *
Is this the Eagle-hunter,
The valiant fate-confronter,
The soldier brave, and blunter
Of speech than BISMARCK's self?
This bungler all-disgracing,
This braggart all-debasing.
This spurious sportsman, chasing
No nobler prey than pelf?
The merest "fly in amber,"
_He_ after eagles clamber?
Nay, faction's ante-chamber
Were fitter place for him,
A trifler transitory,
To gasconade of "glory"!
He'd foul fair France's story,
Her lustre pale and dim.
_Les Coulisses?_ Ah, precisely!
They suit his nature nicely,
Who bravely, nobly, wisely,
Can hardly even "act."
_Histrio_ all _blague_ and blather,
Is it not pity, rather,
One Frenchman should foregather
With him in selfish pact?
In selfish pact--but silly.
_His_ neighbouring, willy-nilly,
Must smirch the Bee, the Lily,
Or stain the snow-white flag.
Wielder of mere stage-dagger,
Loud lord of empty swagger,
In peril's hour a lagger.
A Paladin of Brag!
And now his venture faileth,
And now his valour paleth;
_Et apres?_ What availeth
His aid to those who'd use him?
Imperial or Royal,
What "patron" will prove loyal
Unto this "dupe"? They'll joy all
To mock, expose, abuse him!
But from the contest shrinking,
The draught of failure drinking,
In trickery's quicksand sinking,
Pulls he not others down?
Will PLON-PLON stand securely,
The COMTE pose proudly, purely,
Whilst slowly but most surely
Their tool must choke or drown?
Indifferent France sits smiling.
And what avails reviling?
Such pitch without defiling
Can "Prince" or "Patriot" touch?
This quicksand unromantic
Closes on him, the Antic,
Whose hands with gestures frantic
Contiguous coat-tails clutch.
The furious factions splutter,
Power's cheated claimants mutter,
And foiled fire-eaters utter
Most sanguinary threats.
"_He_ Freedom's fated suckler?
The traitor, trickster, truckler!"
So fumes the fierce swash-buckler,
And his toy-rapier whets.
But will that quicksand only
Engulph _him_ lost and lonely?
The fraud exposed, the known lie,
The bribe at length betrayed,
Must whelm this sham detected,
But what may be expected
From "Honour" shame-infected,
And "Kingship" in the shade?
* * * * *
[Mr. RAVENSTEIN, at the British Association, considered
the question, how long it will be before the world becomes
_Punch to the Prophet_.
Prophet of o'er-population, your ingenious calculation,
Causeth discombobulation only in the anxious mind
That forecasts exhausted fuel, or the period when the duel
Will have given their final gruel to French journalists; a kind
Of cantankerous, rancorous spitfires, blusterous, braggart, boyish, blind,
Who much mourning scarce would find.
Prophet of o'er-population, when the centuries in rotation
Shall have filled our little planet till it tends to running o'er,
Will this world, with souls o'erladen, be a Hades or an Aidenn?
Will man, woman, boy and maiden, be less civilised, or more?
_That's_ the question, RAVENSTEIN! What boots a billion, less or more,
If Man still is fool or boor?
"Seek not to proticipate" is _Mrs. Gamp's_ wise maxim. Great is
Mankind's number _now_, but "take 'em as they come, and as they go,"
Like the philosophic _Sairey_; and though the sum total vary,
Other things may vary likewise, things we dream not, much less know,
Don't you think, my RAVENSTEIN, our state ten centuries hence or so
We may prudently--let go?
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE QUICKSAND!]
* * * * *
[Illustration: PREPARING FOR BLACK MONDAY.
_Paterfamilias_ (_reading School Report_). "AH, MY BOY, THIS ISN'T SO
GOOD AS IT MIGHT BE. 'LATIN INDIFFERENT,' 'FRENCH POOR,' 'ARITHMETIC
_Tommy._ "AH, BUT LOOK DOWN THERE, PAPA. '_HEALTH EXCELLENT'!_"]
* * * * *
TO A TRUMPETING DEMOCRAT.
[MR. ANDREW CARNEGIE, the Iron King and millionnaire of
Pittsburg, has been addressing big audiences in Scotland.
Amongst his remarks were the following:--"It is said that in
America, although we have no aristocracy, we are cursed with
a plutarchy. Let me tell you about that. A man who carries a
million dollars on his back carries a load.... When I speak
against the Royal Family I do not condescend to speak of
the creatures who form the Royal Family--persons are so
insignificant.... We laugh at your ideas in this petty little
country having anything to say to the free and independent
citizens who walk through Canada, Australia, and America.
You know how to get rid of a Monarchy. Brazil has taught
CARNEGIE, pray take notice, since I know that it would blister
The thin skin of a democrat, I drop the title "Mr.,"
You have talked a lot of bunkum, all mixed up with most terrific cant.
But you truly said that "persons are so very insignificant;"
And the author of a speech I read, part scum and partly dreggy,
Is perhaps the least significant--that windbag named CARNEGIE.
But your kindness most appals me, Sir; how really, truly gracious,
For one whose home is in the States, free, great, and most capacious,
To come to poor old England (where the laws but make the many fit
To lick a Royal person's boots), and all for England's benefit.
To preach to us, and talk to us, to tell us how effete we are,
How like a flock of silly sheep who merely baa and bleat we are.
And how "this petty little land," which prates so much of loyalty,
Is nothing but a laughing-stock to Pittsburg Iron-Royalty.
How titles make a man a rake, a drunkard, and the rest of it,
While plain (but wealthy) democrats in Pittsburg have the best of it.
How, out in Pennsylvania, the millionnaires are panting
(Though there's something always keeps them fat) for monetary banting.
How free-born citizens complain, with many Yankee curses,
Of fate which fills, in spite of them, their coffers and their purses.
How, if the man be only poor, there's nothing that can stop a cit
In Yankeeland, while here with us the case is just the opposite.
How honest British working-men who fail to fill their larder
Should sail for peace and plenty by the very next Cunarder.
And how, in short, if Britishers want freedom gilt with millions,
They can't do wrong to imitate the chivalrous Brazilians.
Well, well, I know we have our faults, quite possibly a crowd of them,
And sometimes we deceive ourselves by thinking we are proud of them;
But we never can have merited that _you_ should set the law to us,
And rail at us, and sneer at us, and preach to us, and "jaw" to us.
We're much more tolerant than some; let those who hate the law go
And spout sedition in the streets of anarchist Chicago;
And, after that, I guarantee they'll never want to roam again,
Until they get a first-class hearse to take their bodies home again.
But stay, I've hit upon a plan: We'll, first of all, relieve you
Of all your million dollars that so onerously grieve you;
Then, if some loud, conceited fool wants taking down a peg, he
Shall spend an hour or so in talk with democrat CARNEGIE.
For all men must admit 'twould be an act of mere insanity
To try to match this Pittsburger in bluster or in vanity.
And oh, when next our Chancellor is anxious for a loan, Sir,
He'll buy you in at our price, and he'll sell you at your own, Sir.
And if you don't like English air, why, dash it, you may lump it,
Or go and blow in other climes your most offensive trumpet!
* * * * *
ROBERT UP THE RIVER.
I atended on a Party larst week as went up the River (our nice little
Stream, as the aughty Amerrycanes calls it) to Ship Lake, tho' why
it's called so I coodn't at all make out, as there ain't no Ship nor
no Lake to be seen there, ony a werry little Werry, and a werry littel
River, and a werry littel Hiland; and it was prinsepally to see how
the appy yung Gents who sumtimes lives on the same littel Hiland, in
littel Tents, was a gitting on, as injuced all on us, me and all, to
go there. It seems that for years parst quite a littel Collony of
yung Gents as gets their living in the grand old Citty has been in the
habit of spending their littel summer Hollydays there, but, somehows
or other, as I coodn't quite understand, the master of the littel
Hiland made up his mind for to sell it, and all the yung Gents was in
dispair, and wundered where on airth they shood spend their Hollydays
in future. But they needn't have been afeard--there was a grand old
hinstitushun called "The Copperashun!" as had both their ears and both
their eyes open when they heard about it. So when the time came for it
to be sold, they jest quietly says to one of their principel Chairmen
(who is sich a King of Good Fellers that they all calls him by that
name, and he arnsers to it jest as if it was the werry name as was guv
him by his Godfathers and his Godmothers, as I myself heard with my
own ears), "Go and buy it!" So off he goes at wunce and buys it, and
the kindly Copperashun Gents as I went with larst week, went to take
possesshun on it acordingly, and to see if anythink coud be done to
make the yung Campers-out ewen more cumferabel than they ewer was
afore! Ah, that's what I calls trew Pattriotizm, and trew Libberality,
if you likes, and that's what makes 'em so much respeckted.
Our Gents was all considrably surprized at the lots of Tents as was
all a standing on Ship Lake Island; one on 'em, who was got up quite
in a naughtical style, said as he was estonished to see so many on 'em
pitched, but I think as he must ha' bin mistaken, for I didn t see not
none on 'em pitched, tho' I dessay it might ha' been werry usefool in
keeping out the rain on a remarkabel wet night.
By sum mistake on sumboddy's part, there wasn't not no yung
Campers-out to receeve us, and so fears was hentertaned that they wood
have to cum again shortly; but they are bold plucky gents, is the men
of the Copperashun, and they one and all xpressed their reddiness to
do it at the call of dooty. Besides, we had sich a reel Commodore a
board as made us all quite reddy to brave the foaming waves again.
Why, he guv out the word of command, whether it was to "Port the
Helem," or to "Titen the mane braces," as if he had bin a Hadmiral
at the werry least, and his galliant crew obeyed him without not no
grumbling or ewen thretening to strike!
By one of them striking and remarkabel ocurrences as happens so
offen, who shood we appen to find at Ship Lake, but one of the werry
poplarest of the Court of Haldermen, and what shood he do but ask
'em all in to lunch at his splendid manshun, and what shood they
all do but jump at the hoffer, and what does he do, for a lark, I
serppose--if so be as a reel Poplar Alderman ewer does have sich
a thing as a lark--and give 'em all sich a gloryous spread, as I
owerheard one henergetick Deperty describe it, as hutterly deprived
'em all of the power of heating a bit of dinner till the werry next
day, to which time they wisely put it off, and then thorowly injoyed
In course, I'm not allowed to menshun not no names on these
conferdential ocasions, but I did hear "the Commodore" shout to "the
King" sumthink about "Hansum is as Hansum does," but it was rayther
too late in the heavening for me to be able to quite unnerstand his
I am 'appy to be able to report that we every one on us arrived in
Town quite safe and quite happy, xcep sum of the pore hard-working
crew who are left at Marlow till further orders. ROBERT.
* * * * *
[Illustration: MEETING OF THE B.A. FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.
* * * * *
[Illustration: FAIR PROPOSAL.
_Johnson_ (_at window--having offered to tame a vicious Horse for his
Friend_). "NOW, TOM, JUST COLLAR HOLD OF HIS HEAD, AND I'LL PUT THE
* * * * *
A SPORTING STYLE.
Two examples of a correct sporting style have been already laid before
the public. For convenience of reference they may be defined as the
mixed-pugilistic and the insolent. There is, however, a third variety,
the equine, in which everyone who aspires to wield the pen of a
sporting reporter must necessarily be a proficient. It may be well to
warn a beginner that he must not attempt this style until he has laid
in a large stock of variegated metaphoric expressions. As a matter of
fact one horse-race is very much like another in its main incidents,
and the process of betting against or in favour of one horse
resembles, more or less, the process of betting about any other. The
point is, however, to impart to monotonous incidents a variety they
do not possess; and to do this properly a luxuriant vocabulary is
essential. For instance, in the course of a race, some horses tire,
or, to put it less offensively, go less rapidly than others. The
reporter will say of such a horse that he (1) "shot his bolt," or
(2) "cried _peccavi_," or (3) "cried a go," or (4) "compounded," or
(5) "exhibited signals of distress," or (6) "fired minute guns," or
(7) "fell back to mend his bellows," or (8) "seemed to pause for
Again, in recording the upward progress of horses in the betting
market, it would be ridiculous to say of all of them merely that they
became hot favourites. Vary, therefore, occasionally, by saying of
one, for example, that "here was another case of one being eventually
served up warm"; of another, that "plenty of the talent took 7 to 4
about _Mousetrap_;" of a third, that "_Paradox_ had the call at 4 to
1;" and of a fourth, that "a heap of money, and good money too, went
on _Backslide_." After these preliminary instructions, _Mr. Punch_
_Third Example_.--Event to be described: A horse-race. Names of horses
and jockeys, weights, &c., supplied.
Considerable delay took place. _Little Benjy_ made a complete hole
in his manners by bolting. Eventually, however, the flag tell to a
capital start. _Burglar Bill_ on the right cut out the work from
_Paladin_, who soon began to blow great guns, and after a quarter of a
mile had been negotiated yielded his pride of place to _Cudlums_ with
_The P'liceman_ in attendance, _Sobriety_ lying fourth, and _D. T._
close behind. Thus they raced to the bend, where _Burglar Bill_ cried
_peccavi_, and _Cudlums_ having shot her bolt, _Sobriety_ was left in
front, only to be challenged by _Cropeared Sue_, who had been coming
through her horses with a wet sail. Bounding the bend SIMPSON called
upon _Mrs. Brady_ and literally took tea with her rivals, whom he
nailed to the counter one after another. The favourite compounded at
the distance, and _Mrs. Brady_ romped home the easiest of winners,
four lengths ahead of _Cropeared Sue_; a bad third. The rest
were whipped in by _Flyaway_, who once more failed to justify the
appellation bestowed upon him.
_Mr. Punch_ flatters himself that, upon the above model, the report of
any race-meeting could be accurately constructed at home. In future,
therefore, no reporter should go to the expense of leaving London for
Epsom, Newmarket, Ascot, or Goodwood.
[Footnote 1: Note this sentence. It is essential.]
[Footnote 2: At first sight it would appear more natural that SIMPSON
(presumably a jockey) having called upon _Mrs. Brady_, should take tea
with _her_ rather than with her rivals. But a sporting style involves
us in puzzles.]
* * * * *
"This is the centenary of the tall hat."--_Daily News_.
A hundred years of hideousness,
Constricted brows, and strain, and stress!
And still, despite humanity's groan,
The torturing, "tall-hat" holds its own!
What proof more sure and melancholy
Of the dire depths of mortal folly?
Mad was the hatter who invented
The demon "topper," and demented
The race that, spite of pain and jeers,
Has borne it--for One Hundred Years!
* * * * *
HAMLET AT THE VEGETARIAN CONGRESS.
Yea, from the table of my dining-room,
I'll take away all tasty joints and _entrees_.
All sorts of meat, all forms of animal diet
That the carnivorous cook hath gathered there:
And, by commandment, will entirely live
Within the bounds of vegetable food,
Unmixed with savoury matters. Yes, by heaven!
O most pernicious Meat!
O Mutton, beef, and pork, digestion-spoiling!
My tables, my tables! Meat? I'll put it down;
For men may dine, and dine, and do no killing,
At least I'm sure it may be so--on lentils.
So, _gourmand_, there you are! Now to my _menu_;
It is, "_All Vegetables and no Meat!_"
I have sworn't!
* * * * *
INTERVIEWING A LA MODE.
(_QUITE AT THE SERVICE OF SOME OF MR. PUNCH'S CONTEMPORARIES._)
One of our Representatives called a few days since upon Mr. BROWN,
senior member of the well-known firm of Messrs. BROWN, JONES,
AND ROBINSON. The Eminent General Dealer was seated "in his
counting-house," as the nursery-song hath it, "counting out his
"Come in, come in!" said Mr. BROWN, cordially, as he somewhat
hurriedly looked up the coin in a safe out of our reach. "I am
delighted to see you."
"Glad to hear it," we replied, rather drily. "We want to put a few
questions to you, in the interest of the public."
"As many as you please. I am, as you know, a man of business; still,
the resources of our establishment are so vast, that my place can be
supplied without inconvenience to our thousands, I may say millions of
customers. And now, Sir, what can I do for you?"
"Well, Mr. BROWN, speaking in the name of civilisation, I would wish
to ask you if you have much sale for SMASHUP's Concentrated Essence of
Cucumbers (registered), in the larger bottles?"
"Yes, Sir, we have; although the smaller sizes are, possibly, a trifle
"What do you think of COTTONBACK's Fleur de Lyons Putney Satin?"
"A most admirable material for home wear, although we do not recommend
it for use at a party, a ball, or a reception. For festive occasions
we do a very large trade in GIGGLEWATER's Superfine Velvet South
American _Moire Antique_ as advertised."
"Indeed! Perhaps, you can mention a few more articles that in your
judgment you believe it will interest our readers to learn about."
"Pardon me, but don't you put that sentence a trifle clumsily?"
Our Representative smiled and blushed. Then he admitted that Mr. BROWN
might be right.
"Ha! ha! ha!" laughed the Senior Partner, in great glee. "You see I
have my head screwed on the right way! But to answer you. GOTEMON's
Patent Alligator's Skin Braces are attracting much attention just
now, so is WIPE's Castle 2 Imperial William Champagne, which finds
(I may observe confidentially) a ready sale at thirty-two shillings
the dozen. Then there are AKE's Electric Tooth-brushes, and CRAX's
Stained-glass Solid Mahogany Brass-mounted Elizabethan Mantel-boards.
Then, of course, I must not forget BOLTER's Washhandstands and
BOUNDER's Anti-agony Aromatic Pills."
"And all these articles sell largely?"
"Very largely, indeed. And so they should; for they are well worth
the money they cost."
"Indeed they are, or I should not find them in your establishment."
"You are very good. And now, _a propos_ of your journal, will you
permit me to pay a return compliment?"
"Certainly," we replied. "You have noticed an improvement in our
"Unquestionably I have," returned Mr. BROWN, emphatically. "I have
observed that of late you have given much interesting matter in the
body of your paper that heretofore used to be reserved for the pages
exclusively devoted to advertisements. I congratulate you!"
And with a courteous wave of his hand and a bow of dismissal, the
Eminent Pillar of Commerce delicately intimated to us that our
interview was at an end.
* * * * *
'ARRY ON THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY.
DEAR CHARLIE,--Your faviour to 'and in doo course, as the quill-drivers
Likeways also the newspaper cuttins enclosed. You're on Rummikey's lay.
Awful good on yer, CHARLIE, old chummy, to take so much trouble for me;
But do keep on yer 'air, dear old pal; _I_ am still right end uppards,
You are needled along of some parties,--er course you ain't fly to their
As has bin himitating Yours Truly. Way-oh! It's the oldest o' games,
Himitation is, CHARLIE. It makes one think DARWIN was right, anyhow,
And that most on us did come from monkeys, which some ain't so fur from
You start a smart game, or a paying one--something as knocks 'em, dear
No matter, mate, whether it's mustard, or rhymes, or a sixpenny toy;
They'll be arter you, nick over nozzle, the smuggers of notions and nips,
For the mugs is as 'ungry for wrinkles as broken-down bookies for tips.
Look at DICKENS, dear boy, and Lord TENNYSON--ain't they bin copied all
Wy, I'm told some as liked ALFRED's verses at fust, is now sick of the
All along o' the parrots, my pippin. Ah, that's jest the wust o' sech
People puke at the shams till they think the originals ain't no great
'Tain't fair, CHARLIE, not by a jugful, but anger's all fiddle-de-dee;
They may copy my style till all's blue, but they won't discombobulate me.
Names and metres is anyone's props; but of one thing they don't get the
They ain't fly to good patter, old pal, they ain't copped the straight
griffin on slang.
'Tisn't grammar and spellin' makes patter, nor yet snips and snaps of
You may cut a moke out o' pitch-pine, mate, and paint it, but can't make
You may chuck a whole Slang Dixionary by chunks in a stodge-pot of chat,
But if 'tisn't _alive_, 'tain't chin-music, but kibosh, and corpsey at
Kerrectness be jolly well jiggered! Street slang isn't Science, dear pal,
And it don't need no "glossery" tips to hinterpret my chat to my gal.
I take wot comes 'andy permiskus, wotever runs sliok and fits in,
And when smugs makes me out a "philolergist,"--snuffers! it do make me
Still there's fitness, dear boy, and unfitness, and some of these jossers,
Who himitate 'ARRY's few letters with weekly slapdabs of bow-wow,
'Ave about as much "fit" in their "slang" as a slop-tailor's six-and-six
No, Yours Truly writes only to you, and don't spread _hisself_ out in the
_Mister P._ prints my letters, occasional, once in a while like, dear boy;
For patter's like love-letters, CHARLIE, too long and too frequent, they
I agree there with _Samivel Veller_. My echoes I've no wish to stop,
But I'd jest like to say 'tisn't _me_ as is slopping' all over the shop.
It do give me the ditherums, CHARLIE, it makes me feel quite quisby snitch,
To see the fair rush for a feller as soon as he's found a good pitch.
Jest like anglers, old man, on the river; if one on 'em spots a prime swim,
And is landing 'em proper, you bet arf the others'll crowd about _him_.
But there's law for the rodsters, I'm told, CHARLIE; so many foot left and
And you'll see the punts spotted at distance, like squodrons of troops at
But in Trade, Art, and Littery lines, CHARLIE, 'anged if there's any fair
And the "cullerable himitation" is jest the disgrace of the day.
Sech scoots scurryfunging around on the gay old galoot, to go snacks
In the profits of other folks' notions, have put you, old pal, in a wax.
Never mind their shenanigan, CHARLIE; it don't do much hurt, anyhow;
I was needled a trifle at fust, but I'm pooty scroodnoodleous now.
I'm all right and a arf, mate, I am, and ain't going' to rough up, no
Becos two or three second-hand 'ARRIES is tipping the public stale beer.
The old tap'll turn on now and then, not too often, and as for the rest,
The B.P. has a taste for sound tipple, and knows when it's served with
If mine don't 'old its own on its merits, then way-oh! for someone's
All cop and no blue ain't my motter; that's all tommy-rot and buz-wuz.
The pace of a yot must depend on her lines and the canvas she'll carry;
If rivals can crowd on more sail, wy they're welcome to overhaul 'ARRY.
* * * * *
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.
Back to Full Books