Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99., October 11, 1890
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
October 11, 1890.
(_BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN TYPE WRITER._)
NO. XX.--THE DIVORCEE.
The Court over which Sir JAMES HANNEN presides was instituted for
the purification of morals by the separation of ill-assorted couples.
Matrimonial errors, which had hitherto stood upon the level of
political grievances, capable of redress only after the careful and
unbiassed attention of British legislators had been, at much expense
both of time and money, devoted to them, were henceforth to form the
subject of a special procedure in a division of the Courts of Law
created for the purpose, and honestly calculated to bring separation
and divorce within the reach even of the most modest incomes. The
tyrant man, as usual, favoured himself by the rules he laid down for
the playing of the game. For whereas infidelity on the part of the
wife is held to be, in itself, a sufficient cause for pronouncing a
decree in favour of the husband, a kind, though constantly unfaithful
husband, is protected from divorce, and only punished by separation
from the wife he has wronged. It is necessary for a man to add either
cruelty or desertion to his other offence, in order that his wife
may obtain from the laws of her country the opportunity of marrying
someone else. But the wit of woman has proved equal to the emergency.
Nowhere, it may be safely stated, have more tales of purely
imaginative atrocity been listened to with greater attention, or with
more favourable results, than in the Divorce Court. On an incautious
handshake a sprained wrist and an arm bruised into all the colours of
the rainbow have been not infrequently grafted. A British imprecation,
and a banged door, have often become floods of invective and a
knock-down blow; and a molehill of a pinch has, under favourable
cultivation, been developed into a mountain of ill-treatment, on the
top of which a victorious wife has in the end, triumphantly planted
the banner of freedom.
Hence the Divorce Court, after some years of suspicion, has gradually
come to be looked upon as one of the sacred institutions of
the country. And, speaking generally, those who make use of its
facilities, however much certain of the more strait-laced may frown,
are considered by society at large to have done a thing which is
surprisingly right and often enviable. The result at any rate is that
the number of the divorced increases year by year, and that a lady
whose failings have been established against her by a judicial decree,
may be quite sure of a hand of ardent sympathisers of both sexes,
amongst whom she can hold her head as high as her inclination prompts
her without exciting a larger number of spiteful comments than are
allotted to her immaculate and undecreed sisters. She may not have
been able to abide the question of the Counsel who cross-examined
her, but she is certainly free, even in a wider sense than before.
She may not, perhaps, stand on so lofty a social pinnacle as the
merely-separated lady whose husband still lives, and to whose male
friends the fact that she in practically husbandless, and at the same
time disabled from marriage, gives a delightful sense both of zest and
security. On the other hand, the separated lady must be to a certain
extent circumspect, lest she should place a weapon for further
punishment in the hands of her husband. But to the Divorcee all things
apparently, are permitted.
When she left the Court in which, to use her own words, "all her
budding hopes had been crushed by the triumph of injustice," the
beautiful Divorcee (for in order to be truly typical the Divorcee is
necessarily beautiful) might have proceeded immediately to plant them
afresh in the old soil. The various gentlemen who had sustained their
reputation as men of honour by tampering on her behalf and on their
own, with the strict letter of the truth, naturally felt that the
boldness of their denials entitled them to her lasting regard, and
showed themselves ready to aid her with their counsel. But, though she
never ceased to protest her innocence of all that had been laid to her
charge and proved against her, she was sufficiently sensible to give
them to understand that for a time, at least, her path in the world
would be easier if they ceased to accompany her. They accepted the
sentence of banishment with a good grace, knowing perfectly well
that it was not for long. The Divorcee then withdrew from the flaming
placards of the daily papers, on which she had figured during the past
week, and betook herself to the seclusion of her bijou residence in
the heart of the most fashionable quarter. Here she pondered for a
short time upon the doubtful unkindness of fate which had deprived her
of a husband whom she despised, and of a home which his presence had
made insupportable. But she soon roused herself to face her new lack
of responsibility, and to enjoy it. At first, she moved cautiously.
There were numerous sympathisers who urged her to defy the world, such
as it is, and to show herself everywhere entirely careless of what
people might say. Such conduct might possibly have been successful,
but the Divorcee foresaw a possible risk to her reputation, and
abstained. She began, therefore, by making her public appearances
infrequent. In company with the devoted widow, whose evidence
had almost saved her from an adverse verdict, she arranged placid
tea-parties at which the casual observer might have imagined that
the rules of social decorum were more strictly enforced than in the
household of an archbishop. Inquiry, however, might have revealed the
fact that a large proportion of the ladies present at these gatherings
had either shaken off the matrimonial shackles, or proposed to do
so, whether as plaintiffs or as defendants, whenever a favourable
opportunity presented itself. The men, too, who were, after a time,
admitted to these staid feasts, were not altogether archiepiscopal,
though they behaved as they were dressed, quite irreproachably. To
counter-balance them to some extent, the Divorcee determined to secure
the presence and the countenance of a clergyman.
After some search, she discovered one who was enthusiastic, deficient
in worldly knowledge, and susceptible. To him she related her own
private version of her wrongs, which she seasoned with quite a
pretty flow of tears. The amiable cleric yielded without a struggle,
and readily placed at her service the protection of his white
tie. Thus strengthened, she moved forward a little further. She
revisited theatres; she was heard of at Clubs; she shone again at
dinner-parties, and in a year or so had organised for herself a
social circle which entirely satisfied her desires. Sometimes she even
allowed herself to dabble in good works. She was accused of having
written a religious poem for a serious Magazine; but all that was ever
proved against her was, that a remarkable series of articles on _The
Homes of the Poor_ bore traces of a style that was said to be hers.
Evil tongues still whispered in corners, and cynics were heard to
scoff occasionally; but the larger world, which abhors cynics, and
only believes what is good, began to smile upon her. She did not
appear to value its smiles,--but they were useful. Whenever London
tired her, she flitted to Paris, or to the Riviera, or even to
Egypt or Algiers. She subscribed to charities, and acted in Amateur
Theatricals. Finally, she married a gentleman who was believed by his
friends to be a poet, and who certainly qualified for the title by the
romance he had woven about her. With him she lived for many years a
poetic and untrammelled existence, and, when she died, many dowagers
sent wreaths as tokens of their sorrow at the loss of an admirable
* * * * *
VERSES FOR A VIOLINIST.
"The violin has now fairly taken its place as an instrument
for girls."--_Daily News_.
In old days of Art the painter much applause would surely win,
When he showed us Saint Cecilia playing on the violin.
I've no skill of brush and palette like those unforgotten men;
My Cecilia must content herself with an unworthy pen.
Fairy fingers flash before me as the bow sweeps o'er each string;
Like the organ's _vox humana_, Hark! the instrument can sing.
That _sonata_ of TARTINI's in my ears will linger long;
It might be some _prima donna_ scaling all the heights of song.
Every string a different language speaks beneath her skilful sway.
Does the shade of PAGANINI hover over her to-day?
All can feel the passion throbbing through the music fraught with pain:
Then, with feminine mutation, comes a soft and tender strain.
Gracious curve of neck, and fiddle tucked 'neath that entrancing chin--
Fain with you would I change places, O thrice happy violin!
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE TOURNEY.
["Golf is superseding Lawn-Tennis."--_Daily Paper_.]]
The Champions are mounted, a wonderful pair,
And the boldest who sees them must e'en hold his breath.
Their breastplates and greaves glitter bright in the air;
They have sworn ere they met they would fight to the death.
And the heart of the Queen of the Tournament sinks
At the might of Sir GOLF, the Red Knight of the Links.
But her Champion, Sir TENNIS, the Knight of the Lawn,
At the throne of the lady who loves him bows low:
He fears not the fight, for his racket is drawn,
And he spurs his great steed as he charges the foe.
And the sound of his war-cry is heard in the din,
"Fifteen, thirty, forty, deuce, vantage, I win!"
But the Red Knight, Sir GOLF, smiles a smile that is grim,
And a flash as of triumph has mantled his cheek;
And he shouts, "I would scorn to be vanquished by _him_,
With my driver, my iron, my niblick and cleek.
Now, TENNIS, I have thee; I charge from the Tee,
To the deuce with thy racket, thy scoring, and thee!"
And the ladies all cry, "Oh, Sir TENNIS, our own,
Drive him back whence he came to his bunkers and gorse."
And the men shake their heads, for Sir TENNIS seems blown,
There are cracks in his armour, and wounds on his horse.
But the Umpire, Sir PUNCH, as he watches says, "Pooh!
Let them fight and be friends; _there is room for the two_."
* * * * *
A LAMB-LIKE GAMBOL.
Some little time ago we noticed with great satisfaction, that the
Committee of the Sunday School Union had advertised in the _Athenaeum_
for the "best Tale on Gambling," for which they were anxious to
pay One Hundred Pounds sterling. The principal "condition" that the
C.S.S.U. attached to their competition was that "the tale must be
drawn as far as possible from actual life, and must vividly depict
the evils of gambling, setting forth its ruinous effects sociably and
morally on the young people of our land." Perhaps the following short
story may serve as a model to the candidates. This romance must be
considered "outside the competition." Here it is.
PLEASANT POVERTY BETTER THAN WICKED WEALTH!
PETER was a good boy. He went to Sunday school regularly, and always
took off his hat to his superiors--he so objected to gambling that
he never called them "betters." One day PETER found a sovereign, and
fearing, lest it might be a gilded jubilee shilling, decided to spend
it upon himself, rather than run the risk of possibly causing the
Police to put it in circulation, under the impression that it was
a coin of the higher value. He spent ten shillings on a ticket to
Boulogne-sur-Mer, and with the remaining half-sovereign played at
_Chemin de Fer_ at the Casino. And, alas! this was his first straying
from the path of virtue. Unfortunately he was most unlucky (from a
moral point of view) in his venture, leaving the tables with a sum
exceeding forty pounds. Feeling reluctant that money so ill-gained
should remain for very long in his possession, he spent a large slice
of it in securing a ticket for Monte Carlo.
Arrived at this dreadful place he backed Zero fifteen times running,
was unhappy enough to break the bank, and retired to rest with over
ten thousand pounds. He now decided, that he had best return to
England, where he felt sure he would be safe from further temptation.
When he was once more in London, he could not make up his mind whether
he should contribute his greatly scorned fortune to the Committee of
the Sunday School Union, or plank his last dollar on a rank outsider
for a place in the Derby. From a feeling of delicacy, he adopted the
latter course, and was indescribably shocked to pull off his fancy
at Epsom. Thinking that the Committee of the same useful body would
refuse to receive money obtained under such painful circumstances, he
plunged deeply on the Stock Exchange, and again added considerably
to his much-hated store. It was at this period in his history that
he married, and then the punishment he had so justly merited overtook
him. His wife was a pushing young woman, whose great delight was
to see her name in the Society papers. This pleasure she managed to
secure by taking a large house, and giving costly entertainments to
all sorts and conditions of individuals. Poor PETER soon found this
mode of life intolerably wearisome. He now never knew an hour's
peace, until one day he determined to run away from home, leaving in
the hands of his wife all that he possessed. His absence made no
perceptible difference in Mrs. PETER's _menage_. It was generally
supposed that he was living abroad. However, on one winter night there
was a large gathering at his wife's house, and, it being very cold,
the guests eagerly availed themselves of the services of the linkman,
who had told himself off to fetch their carriages.
And, when everyone was gone, the poor linkman asked the mistress of
the house for some broken victuals.
"Good gracious!" exclaimed that Lady, "if it isn't my husband! What do
you mean, PETER, by so disgracing me?"
"Disgrace you!--not I!" returned PETER. "No one recognises me. Of all
the guests that throng my house, and eat my suppers, I don't believe
there is a solitary individual who knows me by sight."
And PETER was right. Ah, how much better would it have been had PETER
remained at school, and not found that sovereign! Had he remained at
school, he would some day have acquired a mass of information that
would have been of immense assistance to him when his father died, and
he succeeded to the paternal broom, and the right of sweep over the
* * * * *
[Illustration: TOO MUCH GENIUS.
_Poet_. "OH--A--I ALWAYS WRITE MY POEMS RIGHT OFF, WITHOUT ANY
CORRECTIONS, YOU KNOW, AND SEND THEM STRAIGHT TO THE PRINTER. I NEVER
LOOK AT 'EM A SECOND TIME."
_Critic_. "NO MORE DO YOUR READERS, MY BOY!"]
* * * * *
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
OSTRICH "FARMING."--We are afraid we cannot give you any sound
or useful information to assist you in your project of keeping an
ostrich-farm in a retired street in Bayswater; but that you should
have already received a consignment of fifty "fine, full-grown birds,"
and managed, with the aid of five railway porters, and all the local
police available, to get them from the van in which they arrived
up two flights of stairs, and locate them temporarily in your back
drawing-room, augurs at least for a good start to your undertaking.
That three should have escaped, and, after severely kicking the Vicar,
who happened to be dining with you, terrified the whole neighbourhood,
and effected an entrance into an adjacent public-house, where they
appear to have done a good deal of damage to the glass and crockery,
upsetting a ten-gallon cask of gin, and frightening the barmaid into
a fit of hysterics, being only finally captured by the device of
getting a coal-sack over their heads, was, after all, but a slight
_contretemps_, and not one to be taken into account when measured
against the grand fact that you have got _all your birds safely lodged
for the night_. A little arnica, and a fortnight in bed, will, in all
probability, set the Vicar all right. With regard to their food, we
should advise you to continue the tinned lobster and muffins, which
they seem to relish. You appear to be alarmed at their swallowing the
tins. There is no occasion for any anxiety on this point, the tin,
doubtless, serving as the proverbial "digestive" pebble with which
all birds, we believe, accompany a hearty meal. We fear we cannot
enlighten you as to how you make your profits out of an ostrich-farm;
but, speaking at random, we should say they would probably arise by
pulling the feathers out of the tails of the birds and selling them to
Court Milliners. Your idea of trying them in harness in a Hansom seems
to have something in it. Turn it over, by all means. Meantime, get
a Shilling Handbook on the Management of the Ostrich. We think you
will have to cover in your garden with a tarpaulin as you suggest.
You cannot expect the fifty birds to stay for ever in your back
drawing-room; and the fact that you mention, of their having already
kicked down and eaten one folding-door, is significant. They will be
escaping from your balcony all over the neighbourhood if you do not
take care to secure them; and as they seem fresh, very aggressive, and
strong in the leg, such a catastrophe might lead you into a good deal
of unpleasantness. Take our advice, and get them downstairs, tight
under a stout tarpaulin, as soon as possible.
* * * * *
HOW IT'S DONE.
_A HANDBOOK TO HONESTY._
NO. I.--"I'M MONARCH OF ALL I _SURVEY_!"
SCENE--_Interior of newly-erected building. Present, the
Builder and a Surveyor, the former looking timidly foxy,
the latter knowingly pompous, and floridly self-important;
Builder, in dusty suit of dittoes, carries one hand in
his breeches-pocket, where he chinks certain metallic
substances--which may be coins or keys--nervously and
intermittently. Surveyor, a burly mass of broadcloth and big
watch-chain, carries an intimidating note-book, and a menacing
pencil, making mems. in a staccato and stabbing fashion, which
is singularly nerve-shaking._
_Surveyor_ (_speaking with his pencil in his mouth_). Well,
Mister--er--er--WOTSERNAME, I--er--think--'m, 'm, 'm--things seem to
be _pretty_ right as far's I can see; though of course--
_Builder_ (_hastily_). Oh, I assure you I've taken the _greatest_
pains to conform to--er--rules in--er--in _every_ way; though if there
_should_ be any little thing that ketches your eye, why, you've only
_Surveyor_. Oh, of course, of course! _We_ know all about that. You
see _I_ can only go by rule. What's right's right; what's wrong's
wrong; that's about the size of it. _I've_ nothing to do with it, one
way or another, except to see the law carried out.
_Builder_. Ex-ack-ly! However, if you've seen all you want to, we may
as well step over to the "Crown and Thistle," and--
_Surveyor_ (_suddenly_). By the way, I suppose this wall is properly
_Builder_ (_nervously_). Well--er--not exackly--but, 'er, 'er--well,
the fact is I thought--
_Surveyor_ (_sternly_). What you _thought_, Sir, doesn't affect the
matter. The question is, what the Building Act _says_. The whole thing
must come down!
_Builder_. But, I say, that'll run me into ten pounds, at least, and
really the thing's as safe as--
_Surveyor_. Maybe, maybe--in fact, I don't say it isn't. But the Act
says it's got to be done.
_Builder_. Well, well, if there's no help for it, I must _do_ it, of
_Surveyor_ (_looking somehow disappointed_). Very sorry, of course,
but you see what must be must.
_Builder_ (_sadly_). Yes, yes, no doubt. Well (_brightening_), anyhow,
we may as well step over to the "Crown and Thistle," and crack a
bottle of champagne.
_Surveyor_ (_also brightening_). Well, ours is a dusty job, and I
don't care if I do.
[_They do so. Surveyor drinks his full share of Heidsieck,
and smokes a cigar of full size and flavour. He and
Builder exchange reminiscences concerning past professional
experiences, the "tricks of trade," diverse devices for
"dodging the Act," &c., &c. Surveyor explains how stubborn
builders ("not like you, you know"), who don't do the thing
handsome, often suffer by having to run themselves to expenses
that might have been avoided--and serve 'em right too! Also,
how others, without a temper above "tips," and of a generally
gentlemanly tone of mind, save themselves lots of little
extras, which, maybe, the letter of the law would exact,
but which a Surveyor of sense and good feeling can get
over, "and no harm done, neither, to nobody." As the wine
circulates, it is noticeable that good-fellowship grows almost
boisterous, and facetiousness mellows into chuckling cynicism
of the winking, waggish, "we all do it" sort._
_Surveyor_ (_tossing off last glass, and smacking his lips_). Well,
well, the best of friends must part, and I guess I must be toddling.
Very glad to have met you, I'm sure, and a better bit of building than
yours yonder I haven't seen for some time. Seems a pity, hanged if
it don't, that you should have to put yourself to such an additional
outlay--ah, by the way, _what_ did you say it would cost you?
_Builder_. Oh, about ten pounds, I suppose.
_Surveyor_ (_lighting another cigar_). Humph! (_Puff'
puff!_) Pity--pity! (_Puff! puff!_) Now look here, my
boy--(_confidentially_)--suppose you and me just divide that
tenner between us, five to you, and five to me; and, as to the
"underpinning"--well, nobody'll be a bit the wiser, and the building
won't be a halfpenny the worse, _I'll_ bet my boots. Come, is it a
[_After a little beating about the bush, the little "job" is
arranged amicably, on the practical basis of "a fiver each,
and mum's the word on both sides," thus evading the law,
saving the Builder a few pounds, and supplementing the
salary of the Surveyor. Ulterior results, unsanitary or
otherwise, do not come within the compass of this sketch._
* * * * *
STRANGER THAN FICTION!
(_POSTMARKS--LEEDS, HULL, AND ELSEWHERE._)
Mr. Punch was assisting at a Congress. The large room in which that
Congress was being held was crowded, and consequently the heat was
oppressive. The speeches, too, were not particularly interesting,
and the Sage became drowsy. It was fortunate, therefore, that a fair
maiden in a classical garb (who suddenly appeared seated beside him)
should have addressed him. The interruption reassembled in their
proper home his wandering senses.
"I fear, _Mr. Punch_," said the fair maiden, looking at herself in a
small mirror which she was holding in her right hand, "that you are
inclined to go to sleep."
"Well, I am," replied the Sage, with unaccountable bluntness; "truth
to tell, these orations about nothing in particular, spouted by
persons with an imperfect knowledge of, I should say, almost any
subject, bore me."
"The information is unnecessary," observed the young lady; with a
smile. "I share your feelings. But if you will be so kind as to pay a
little attention to the speakers while they are under my influence, I
think you will discover a new interest in their utterances."
"Are you an hypnotist, Madam?" asked _Mr. Punch_.
"Well, not exactly. But, when I have the chance, I can make people
speak the Truth."
Then _Mr. Punch_ listened, and was surprised at the strange things
that next happened.
"I wish to be perfectly frank with you," said a gentleman on the
platform; "I am here because I wish to see my name in the papers, and
all the observations I have made up to date have been addressed to the
reporters. I am glad I can control my thoughts, because I would not
for worlds let you know the truth. It is my ambition to figure as a
philanthropist, and on my word, I think this is the cheapest and most
effective mode of carrying out my intention."
Then the gentleman resumed his seat with a smile that suggested that
he was under the impression that he had just delivered himself of
sentiments bound to extort universal admiration.
"That is not exactly my case," observed a second speaker, "because I
do not care two pins for anything save the entertainments which are
invariably associated with scientific research, or philanthropical
inquiry. I pay my guinea, after considerable delay, and then expect
to take out five times that amount in grudgingly bestowed, but
competitionally provoked (if I may be pardoned the expression)
hospitality. I attend a portion--a small portion--of a lecture, and
then hurry off to the nearest free luncheon, or gratuitous dinner, in
the neighbourhood. I should be a tax upon my friends if I dropped in
at half-past one, or at a quarter to eight, punctually, and my motives
would be too wisely interpreted to a desire on my part to reduce the
sum total of my butcher's book. So I merely drop in upon a place where
a Congress is being held, and make the most of my membership."
"These startling statements are decidedly unconventional," said _Mr.
Punch_, turning towards his fair companion, "and that your influence
should cause them to be made, astounds me. I trust you will not
consider me indiscreet if I ask for--"
"My name and address," returned the fair maiden, smilingly, completing
the sentence; "Learn, then, that I live at the bottom of a well, to
which rather damp resting-place I am about to return; and that in
England I am called Truth."
And as the lady disappeared, _Mr. Punch_ fell from his chair, and
"Dear me, I have been dreaming!" exclaimed the Sage, as he left
the meeting. "Well, as everyone knows, dreams are not in the least
like reality! But the strangest thing of all was to find Truth in a
And it was strange, indeed.
* * * * *
AT THE THEATRE!
_THE LYCEUM AGAIN. THE HAYMARKET ONCE MORE._
"Great Scott!" we exclaim,--not Critical CLEMENT of that ilk, but Sir
WALTER,--on again seeing _Ravenswood_. Since then an alteration in
the _modus shootendi_ has been made, and _Edgar_ no longer takes a
pot-shot at the bull from the window, but, ascertaining from _Sir
William Ashton Bishop_ that _Ellen Lucy Terry_ is being Terryfied by
an Irish bull which has got mixed up with the Scotch "herd without,"
_Henry Edgar Irving_ rushes off, gun in hand; then the report of the
gun is, like the Scotch oxen, also "_heard_ without," and _Henry_
reappears on the scene, having saved _Ellen Lucy Ashton_ by reducing
the fierce bull to potted beef.
"What shall he have who kills the bull?" "The Dear! the Dear!"
meaning, of course, _Ellen Lucy Ashton_ aforesaid. After this all
goes well. Acting excellent all round--or nearly all round, the one
exception being, however, the very much "all-round" representative
of _Lady Ashton_, whose misfortune it is to have been selected for
this particular part. Scenery lovely, and again and again must HAWES
MCCHAVEN be congratulated on the beautiful scene of The Mermaiden's
Well (never better, in fact), Act III. The love-making bit in this
Act is charming, and the classic Sibyl, _Ailsie_, superb. Nothing in
stage effect within our memory has equalled the pathos of the final
_tableau_. It is most touching through its extreme simplicity.
The Haymarket has re-opened with the odd mixture of the
excellent French _Abbe Constantin_ and the weak, muddle-headed,
Tree-and-Grundy-ised "village Priest," known as the _Abbe Dubois_,
or "_Abbe Do Bore_," as 'ARRY might call him. Changes are in
contemplation, and may have been already announced. Whatever they may
be, it is some consolation to learn that this Tree-and-Grundy-ised
French Abbe is not likely to be a "perpetual Curate."
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.
NO. II.--BURRA MURRA BOKO.
(_BY_ KIPPIERD HERRING, _AUTHOR OF "SOLDIERS' TEA," "OVER THE
DARODEES," "HANDSOME HEADS ON THE VALETS," "MORE BLACK THAN WHITE,"
"EXPERIMENTAL DITTOS," &C., &C._)
[NOTE.--The MS. of this story arrived from India by pneumatic
despatch, a few puffs having been apparently sufficient.
In a letter which was enclosed with it the author modestly
apologises for its innumerable merits. "But," he adds, "I have
several hundred of the same sort in stock, and can supply them
at a moment's notice. Kindly send L1000 in Bank of England
notes, by registered letter, to K. HERRING. No farther address
will be required."]
_Polla dan anta cat anta._ What will you have, Sahib? My heart is
made fat, and my eyes run with the water of joy. _Kni vestog rind.
Scis sorstog rind_, the Sahib is as a brother to the needy, and the
afflicted at the sound of his voice become as a warming-pan in a _for
postah_. Ahoo! Ahoo! I have lied unto the Sahib. _Mi ais an dlims_, I
am a servant of sin. _Burra Murra Boko! Burra Murra Boko!_
There came a sound in the night as of an elephant-herd trumpeting in
anger, and my liver was dissolved, and the heart within me became as
a _Patoph But'ah_ under the noon-day sun. I made haste, for there was
fear in the air, Sahib, and the _Pleez Mahn_ that walketh by night
was upon me. But, oh, Sahib, the cunning of the serpent was with me,
and as he passed I tripped him up, and the raging river received him.
Twice he rose, and the gleam of his eyes spake in vain for help. And
at last there came a bubble where the man had been, and he was seen no
more. _Burra Murra Boko! Burra Murra Boko!_
That night I spake unto her as she stood in the moonlight. "Oh, sister
of an oil-jar, and daughter of pig-troughs, what is it thou hast
done?" And she, laughing, spake naught in reply, but gave me the
_Tcheke Slahp_ of her tribe, and her fingers fell upon my face, and my
teeth rattled within my mouth. But I, for my blood was made hot within
me, sped swiftly from her, making no halt, and the noise of fifty
thousand devils was in my ears, and the rage of the _Smak duns_ burnt
fierce within the breast of me, and my tongue was as a fresh fig that
grows upon a southern wall. _Auggrh!_ pass me the peg, for my mouth is
dry. _Burra Murra Boko! Burra Murra Boko!_ Then came the Yunkum Sahib,
and the Bunkum Sahib, and they spake awhile together. But I, like unto
a _Brerra-bit_, lay low, and my breath came softly, and they knew not
that I watched them as they spake. And they joked much together, and
told each to the other how that the wives of their friends were to
them as mice in the sight of the crouching _Tabbikat_, and that the
honour of a man was as sand, that is blown afar by the storm-wind
of the desert, which maketh blind the faithful, and stoppeth their
mouths. Such are all of them, Sahib, since I that speak unto you know
them for what they are, and thus I set forth the tale that all men may
read, and understand. _Burra Murra Boko! Burra Murra Boko!_
'"Twas the most ondacint bedivilmint ever I set eyes on, Sorr. There
was I, blandandhering widout"--
"Pardon me," I said, "this is rather puzzling. A moment back you
were a Mahajun of Puli, in Marwur, or a Delhi Pathan, or a Wali Dad,
or something of that sort, and now you seem to have turned into an
Irishman. Can you tell me how it is done?"
"Whist, ye oncivilised, backslidhering pagin!" said my friend, Private
O'RAMMIS, for it was indeed he. "Hould on there till I've tould ye.
Fwhat was I sayin'? Eyah, eyah, them was the bhoys for the dhrink.
When the sun kem out wid a blink in his oi, an' the belly-band av his
new shoot tied round him, there was PORTERS and ATHUS lyin' mixed up
wid the brandy-kegs, and the houl of the rigimint tearin' round like
all the divils from hell bruk loose.
"Thin I knew there'd be thrubble, for ye must know, Sorr, there was a
little orf'cer bhoy cryin' as tho' his little heart was breakin', an'
the Colonel's wife's sister, wid her minowderin' voice--"
"Look here, O'RAMMIS," I said, "I don't like to stop you; but isn't it
just a trifle rash--I mean," I added hastily, for I saw him fingering
his bayonet, "is it quite as wise as it might be to use up all your
materials at once? Besides, I seem to have met that little Orf'cer
bhoy and the Colonel's wife's sister before. I merely mention it as
"You let 'im go, Sir," put in PORTERS, with his cockney accent. "Lor,
Sir, TERENCE knows bloomin' well wot 'e's torkin' about, an' wen
'e's got a story to tell you know there ain't one o' us wot'll get a
bloomin' word in; or leastways, Hi carn't."
"Sitha," added JOCK ATHUS. "I never gotten but one story told mysen,
and he joomped down my throaat for that. Let un taalk, Sir, let un
"Very well," I said, producing one of the half-dozen bottles of
champagne that I always carried in my coat-tail pockets whenever I
went up to the Barracks to visit my friend O'RAMMIS, "very well. Fire
away, TERENCE, and let us have your story."
"I'm an ould fool," continued O'RAMMIS, in a convinced tone. "But
ye know, JOCK, how 'twas. I misremember fwhat I said to her, but she
never stirred, and only luked at me wid her melancolious ois, and
wid that my arm was round her waist, for bedad, it was pretty, she
was under the moon in the ould barrick square. 'Hould on there,' she
says, 'ye boiled thief of Deuteronomy. D'ye think I've kem here to be
philandhering afther you. I'd make a better man than you out av empty
kyartridges and putty.' Wid that she turned on her heel, and was for
marching away. But I was at her soide agin before she'd got her left
fut on the beat. 'That's quare,' thinks I to myself; 'but, TERENCE,
me bhoy, 'tis you know the thricks av the women. Shoulder arrums,' I
thinks, 'and let fly wid the back sight.' Wid that I just squeezed her
hand wid the most dellikit av all squeezings, and, sez I, 'MARY, me
darlint,' I sez, 'ye're not vexed wid TERENCE, I know;' but you never
can tell the way av a woman, for before the words was over the tongue
av me, the bhoys kem raging an' ramshackling--"
"Really, O'RAMMIS," I ventured to observe, for I noticed that he
and his two friends had pulled all the other five bottles out of my
pocket, and had finished them, "I'm a little disappointed with you
to-day. I came out here for a little quiet blood-and-thunder before
going to bed, and you are mixing up your stories like the regimental
laundress's soapsuds. It's not right of you. Now, honestly, is it?"
But the Three Musketeers had vanished. Perhaps they may reappear,
bound in blue-grey on the railway bookstalls. Perhaps not. And the
worst of it is, that the Colonel will never understand them, and the
gentlemen who write articles will never understand them. There is
only one man who knows all about them, and even he is sometimes what
my friend O'RAMMIS calls "a blandandhering, philandhering,
misundherstandhering civilian man."
Which his name is KIPPIERD HERRING. And that is perfectly true.
* * * * *
SO MUCH FOR KNOTTING'EM.--The Dean of Rochester to be henceforth known
as The Dean of Knotting'em. His new motto,--
"Whack a 'Shack'
Smack on his back."
Perhaps the Dean would then like to make a Moslem of the lolloping
do-nothing offender, and call him "Shackaback."
* * * * *
[Illustration: WAITING FOR THE EXPRESS. (NOUS AVONS CHANGE TOUT CELA.)
FIRST-CLASS PASSENGERS:--SIR GORGIUS MIDAS, LADY MIDAS, AND GORGIUS
MIDAS, ESQ., JUNR.
SECOND-CLASS DITTO:--BUTLERS, FOOTMEN, GROOMS, MAIDS, &C, OF THE HOUSE
THIRD-CLASS DITTO:--THE HON. AND REV. JAMES AND LADY SUSAN DE VERE,
GENERAL SIR JOHN AND LADY HAUTCASTLE, F. MADDER LAKE, ESQ., R.A., AND
DAUGHTERS, PROFESSOR PARALLAX, F.R.S., &C., &C., &C.]
* * * * *
"HERCULES (COUNTY) CONCILIANS;"
_OR, "APPROACHING" THE HYDRA._
[The London County Council adopted the Report of a Committee:
"That the Committee be authorised to enter into tentative
negotiations with the Water Companies, for the purpose of
ascertaining upon what terms the Companies will be prepared
to dispose of their undertakings to the Council." The
Vice-Chairman (Sir T. FARRER) thought that the Committee
"would be as wax in the hands of the clever agents of the
Companies." The Chairman (Sir JOHN LUBBOCK) was in favour
of deferring the question.]
That Hydra again! Monster huge, hydro-cephalous,
Haunting our city of blunders and jobs,
Born, it would seem, to bewilder and baffle us,
_Who_'ll give you "one" for your numerous nobs.
Many have menaced you, some had a shy at you;
SALISBURY stout, and bespectacled CROSS,
Each in his season has joined in the cry at you,
Little, 'twould seem, to your damage or loss.
Still you eight-headed and lanky-limbed monster, you
Sprawl and monopolise, spread and devour.
Many assail you, but hitherto, none stir you.
Say, _has_ the hero arrived, and the hour?
No Infant Hercules, surely, can tackle you,
Ancient abortion, with hope of success.
It needeth a true full-grown hero to shackle you,
Jupiter's son, and Alcmene's, no less!
Our civic Hercules smacks of the nursery,
Not three years old, though ambitious, no doubt;
_You_'ll scarce be captured by tentatives cursory.
Snared by a "motion," or scared by a "spout,"
Hera's pet, offspring of Typhon, the lion-clad
Hero assailed, _con amore_; but _you_,
Callous as Behemoth, hard as an iron-clad,
"Conciliation" with coldness will view
Fancy "approaching" the Hydra with honey-bait,
Tempting the monster to parley and purr!
How will Monopoly look on a money-bait?
Hercules, too, who would "like to defer?"
Not quite a true hard-shell hero--in attitude--
Hercules (County) Concilians looks;
Thinks he to move a true Hydra to gratitude?
Real Leviathan chortles at hooks!
"Come, pretty Hydra! 'Agreement provisional,'
Properly baited with sound _L.S.D._,
Ought to entice you!" He's scorn and derision all,
Hydra, if true to his breed. We shall see!
Just so a groom, with the bridle behind him,
Tempts a free horse with some corn in a sieve.
Will London's Hydra let "tentatives" blind him,
Snap at the bait, and the tempter believe?
Or will the "hero"--in form of Committee--
Really prove wax for the Hydra to mould?
Yes, there's the club, but it's rather a pity
Hercules seems a bit feeble of hold.
Tentative heroes may suit modern urgency,
LUBBOCK may win where a Hercules fails.
If we now hunt, upon public emergency,
Stymphalian Birds, 'tis with salt for their tails!
* * * * *
"YE GODS, WHAT A TERRIBLE TWIST!"
Statistics are sweet things, and full of startling surprises. Like the
Frenchman in "_Killaloe_" "you never know what they'll be up to next."
Here, for instance, is a "statement showing the decrease in price in
the United States of many articles within the past ten years _largely
consumed_ by the agricultural community." And among these "many
articles" "largely consumed," are "mowing machines, barb fence-wire,
horseshoes, forks, wire-cloth, slop-buckets, wheelbarrows, and
putty." No wonder dyspepsia is the national disease in America. Fancy
"consuming" French staples, pie-plates (though _they_ sound almost
edible), and putty!!! The ostrich is supposed to be capable of
digesting such dainties as broken bottles, and tenpenny nails, but
that voracious fowl is evidently not "in it" with the "Agricultural
community" of America.
* * * * *
ODD.--A Correspondent says he found this advertisement in the
RECTOR of S. Michael's, Lichfield, requires help of a
LAY-READER. Visiting, S.-school, cottage services, ass. in
choir, &c. Good salary.
The explanation, we believe, is, that "ass." is the abbreviated form
of "assisting." The Rector had better have the unabbreviated assistant
in choir, particularly if he be already short of choristers; unless
the Rector should be also Vicar of Bray, in which case the "ass."
could be transferred from Lichfield to the more appropriate living.
* * * * *
[Illustration: "HERCULES (COUNTY) CONCILIANS."
"The Special Committee on Water Supply, appointed by the London County
Council, said, in their Report, 'Before entering upon the inquiry,
the Committee thought it would be desirable to approach the Water
Companies with a view to ascertaining whether it would be possible
for the Companies and the Council to make some provisional agreement
as to the terms upon which the Companies' Water undertakings should
be transferred to the Council, if Parliament gave the necessary
authority.'"--_The Times' Report_.]
* * * * *
[Illustration: MOSSOO IN EGYPT.
_Mr. Punch_ (_to French Guardian of Egyptian Monuments_). "COME, I
SAY, SIR! DO YOU CALL THIS LOOKING AFTER THE MONUMENTS? WAKE UP, OR
YOU'LL HAVE TO GO!"--_See "Times" Leader, Oct. 3rd, 1890._]
* * * * *
JOURNAL OF A ROLLING STONE.
To my intense surprise--shared, as far as I can see, by all my friends
and relatives--I have managed to pass the "Bar Final"! I attribute
the portentous fact to the Examiners having discreetly avoided all
reference to the "Rule in SHELLEY's Case."
Find that the Students who are going to be "called within the Bar,"
have to be presented to the Benchers on one special evening, after
dinner, in Hall. Ceremony rather funereal, at _my_ Inn--but not the
same at all Inns. About twenty of us summoned one by one to the
High Table; several go up before me, and as there is a big screen I
can't see what happens to them. Only--most remarkable circumstance
this--_not one of them comes back_! Have the Benchers decided to
sternly limit the numbers of the Profession? Perhaps they are "putting
in an execution." Just thinking of escape, when my name called
out. March up to Table, determined not to perish without a spirited
To complete the idea of its being an Execution, here is the Chaplain!
Will he say a "few last words" to the culprit--myself--prior to my
As matter of fact, Bencher at head of Table (portly old gentleman, who
looks as if he might be described as a "bottle-a-day-of-port-ly" old
gentleman) shakes hands, coldly, and that's all. Not even a Queen's
Shilling given me, as I am conducted off to another table close by.
Mystery of disappearance of other candidates explained. Here they
are--all at this table--"all silent, and all called"! It seems that
this is the Barristers' part of the Hall, other the Students'.
Ceremony not over yet. After dinner we are invited, all twenty,
to dessert and wine with the Benchers--or rather, at the Benchers'
expense, because we don't really see and chat with these great men,
only a single representative, who presides at table in a long bare
room downstairs, resembling a cellar. Benchers' own Common-room above.
Why don't they invite us up there? Bencher, who has come down to
preside over this entertainment, has a rather forbidding air about
him. Seems to be thinking--"I don't care much for this sort of
function. Stupid old custom. But must keep it up, I suppose, for good
of Inn; and Benchers (hang them!) have deputed _me_ to take head of
the table to-night--probably because I look so desperately lively."
There _is_ a sort of "disinterred liveliness" (to quote Bishop
WILBERFORCE) about him, after all. Tries to joke. No doubt regards us
all as a pack of fools to join over-crowded profession--still, as we
_are_ here, he will try and forget that, in a few years, the majority
of us will probably be starving.
After an interval, Bored Bencher thinks it necessary to rise and
make little speech. Assures us (_Query_--hyprocrisy?) that we are
all extremely likely to attain to high positions at the Bar. Says
something feebly humorous about Woolsack. Bad taste, because we can't
_all_ sit on Woolsack at once; and mention of it excites feelings of
emulation, almost of animosity, towards other new-fledged Barristers.
I am conscious, for instance, of distinct repulsion towards man on my
right, who is cracking nuts, and who must be a son or nephew of our
Chairman, judging by the familiarity with which he treats latter.
Probably his uncle will flood him with briefs--and that will be called
"making his own way in the world." Pshaw!
Wine-and-dessert entertainment only lasts an hour. Forbidding Bencher
evidently feels that an hour is as much as he can possibly stand. So
we all depart, except the favoured nephew (or son), who, as I suspect,
"remains to prey" on his uncle (or father), and probably to be invited
in to the _real_ feast which no doubt the Inn worthies are enjoying
Next morning meet a legal friend, who asks, "When are you to be
presented at Court?"
"Presented at Court?"--I ask in surprise.
"Yes--Court of Queen's Bench--ha! ha! You'll have to go one of these
days in wig and gown to the Q.B.D., and inscribe your name in a big
book, and bow to the Judges, and come out."
"What's the good of doing that?" I want to know.
"None whatever. An old custom, that's all. A sort of legal fiction,
you know." (_Query_--If a Queen's Counsel writes a novel, isn't _that_
a real legal fiction?) "You'll feel rather like a little boy going
to a new school. Judges look at you with an air of 'I say, you new
feller, what's your name? Where do you come from? What House are
you in?--then a good kick. They can't kick you, so they glare at you
instead. Interesting ceremony. Ta, ta!"
It turns out as my friend says. But previously there is the
other little formality of purchasing the trailing garments of the
Profession. Go to a wig-and-gown-maker near the Law Courts. Ask to see
different kinds of wigs.
"We only make one kind," replies the wig-man, pityingly. "The Patent
Ventilating Anticalvitium. You'll find it as light as a feather,
almost. Made of superfine 'orse-'air." He says this as if he never
got his material from anything below the value of a Derby Winner.
"Why do you call it the Anticalvitium?" I ask.
"Because it don't make the 'air fall off, Sir, as all other wigs do."
Do they? Another objection to the profession. Wish I had known this
before I began to grind for the Bar Exam. Wig-man measures my head.
"Rather large size, Sir," he remarks. Says it as if I must have
water on the brain at the very least. "Middle Temple, I suppose?"--he
queries. Why? Somehow it would _sound_ more flattering if he had
supposed Inner Temple, instead of Middle. Wonder if I shall ever be
described as an "Outer barrister, of the Inner Temple, with Middling
abilities." Is there a special cut of face belonging to the Inner
Temple, another for the Middle (there _is_ a "middle cut" in salmon,
why not in the law?) and a third for Lincoln's Inn?
Find, while I am meditating these problems, that I have been "suited"
with a gown, also with a stock of ridiculous little linen flaps, which
are called "bands." Think about "forbidding the bands," but don't know
* * * * *
NOTE FOR THE NEW UNIONISM.
"Union is Strength." Let lovers of communion
Remember Strength (of language) is _not_ Union!
* * * * *
NEW DEFINITION OF A "FEATHER-BED FIGHTER."--A Boxer with gloves over
four ounces in weight. And anything over that, we suppose, must be
considered a "feather-weight." This gives a new significance to the
saying, "You might have knocked me down with a feather."
* * * * *
[Illustration: OUR M.P. MAKES A LITTLE TOUR IN IRELAND.]
* * * * *
[Illustration: MR. TYMS HIRED A MOUNT WITH THE STAGHOUNDS, BUT QUICKLY
CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT WAS A BRUTAL SHAME TO CHASE THE POOR
DEER UP AND DOWN THOSE HORRIBLE BANKS.]
* * * * *
A TALE OF THE TELEPHONE.
(_A STORY OF WHAT MAY HAPPEN SOME DAY IN GEORGE STREET, HANOVER
There were a few minutes unoccupied before the time appointed for the
ceremony, and so the Pew-opener thought he could not do better than
point out the many excellences of the church to the Bridegroom.
"You see, Sir," he said, "our pulpit is occupied by the best possible
talent. The Vicar takes the greatest interest in securing every rising
preacher, and thus, Sunday after Sunday, we have the most startling
The Bridegroom (slightly bored) said that if he had happened to live
in the neighbourhood, he should certainly have taken sittings.
"But living in the neighbourhood is not necessary, Sir," persisted the
Pew-opener. "Let into the sounding-board is a telephone, and so our
Vicar can supply the sermons preached here, hot and hot, to residents
in the London Postal District. Considering the quality of the
discourses, he charges a very low rate. The system has been largely
adopted. As a matter of fact the whole service, and not only the
pulpit, has been laid on to the principal Hotels and Clubs."
But further conversation was here cut short by the arrival of the
Bride, who, led by her brother, advanced towards the altar with an air
of confidence that charmed all beholders. This self-possession was
the outcome of the lady being--as her grey moire-antique indicated--a
widow. Congratulations passed round amongst the friends and relatives,
and then the bridal party was arranged in front of the good old Vicar.
"Have you switched us on?" said he to the Clerk.
"Yes, Sir," was the reply. "We are now in communication with all the
principal Hotels and Clubs."
"That's right. I am always anxious that my clients shall have their
full money's-worth." And then the Vicar read with much emphasis the
exhortation to the public to declare any "just cause or impediment" to
the marriage. Naturally there was no response, and an opening hymn was
sung by the choir, which, containing some half-dozen verses, lasted
quite a quarter of an hour. At its conclusion the Vicar, who had
allowed his attention to become distracted, instead of going on with
the service, again read the exhortation. He once more gave the names
of "HARRY SMITH, bachelor," and "AMY JONES, widow."
"If anyone knows any just cause or impediment," he continued.
"Stop; I do!" interrupted a gentleman in a dressing-gown, who had
hurriedly entered the Church. "I heard you about a quarter of an hour
ago, while I was breakfasting at the Shaftesbury Avenue Hotel, ask the
same question, and came here without changing my coat. Very sorry to
interrupt the ceremony, but this lady is my wife! Well, AMY, how are
"What, JOEY!" exclaimed the (now) ex-Bride, delightedly. "We _are_
glad to see you! We thought you were dead!"
Then the gentleman in the dressing-gown was heartily greeted on all
sides. He seemed to be a very popular personage.
"But where do I come in?" asked Mr. BROWN, the ex-Bridegroom, who had,
during this scene, shown signs of embarrassment.
"O JOEY, I quite forgot to introduce you to HARRY," said the ex-Bride.
"You must know one another. I was going to marry him when you,
darling, turned up just in the nick of time, like a dear good old
"Delighted to make your acquaintance, Sir," said Mr. JONES, shaking
Mr. BROWN warmly by the hand. "And now I must go back to finish my
"Yes, with me," said the ex-Bride. "You must sit, darling, in the seat
intended for poor HARRY. I know you won't mind, HARRY (or, perhaps, I
ought to call you Mr. BROWN now?), as I have _so_ much to say to dear
JOEY. And you can have your breakfast at a side-table--now won't you,
just to please me? You always are _so_ kind and considerate!"
And, as the wedding-party left the Church, the Clerk hastily
unswitched the electric communication.
"Be quiet, Sir!" he whispered, sternly, to Mr. BROWN, who had been
talking to himself. "If our clients heard you, we should be ruined! We
guarantee that our telephonic supply shall be perfectly free from bad
* * * * *
PROPHET AND LOSS.--Good Mussulmen, so it is said, object to a play
entitled _Mahomet_ being produced in London. The objection was
successful in Paris. London Managers (except, perhaps, Sheriff
DRURIOLANUS, who revived _Le Prophete_ this season) will be on the
side of the objectors, as they would rather have to do with a genuine
profit than a fictitious one. Perhaps the non-production of _Mahomet_
may be a loss to Literature and the Drama.
* * * * *
A BACHELOR'S IDYL.
I am not married, but I see
No life so pleasant as my own;
I think it's good for man to be
Some marry not who once have been--
A curious process--crossed in love,
Who find a life's experience in
Or else will sentimental grow
At recollections of a dance;
But, luckily for me, I've no
Of course I know "love in a cot,"--
The little wife who calls you "hub,"--
But I'm content whilst I have got
In some fine way, I don't know how,
Some fool, some idiot, who lacks
A grain of sense, proposes now
A Tax on Bachelors! Ah, well,
If this becomes the law's decree,
I cheerfully shall pay the _L._
Quite happy with my single lot,
Convinced beyond a doubt that life
Is just worth living it you've not
(A LITTLE LATER.)
I'll sing exaltedly no more,
But sadly in a minor key
Will tell what fortune had in store
I rather think, the other day,
That someone asked, "Should women woo?"
I'll answer that without delay--
She came--I foolishly was glad--
She took me captive with a glance,
Of course I never really had
And when she bent her pretty head
To ask the question, I confess
That what at once with joy I said
She says our wedding is to be
On Monday--quite a swell affair.
My wife and I shall hope to see
* * * * *
"IS THIS THE HEND?"
The following, headed _Scottish Leader_, was sent to us as a
"The Duke of FIFE has sold the estate of Eden, near Banff,
to Mr. THOMAS ADAM, Deputy Chairman of the Great North of
Scotland Railway Company."
If the above information be correct, this transfer of "Eden" to "ADAM"
looks uncommonly like "Paradise Regained."
* * * * *
[Illustration: The Learned Baron.]
The Baron must say a word about _Voces Populi_, by F. ANSTEY, author
of the immortal _Vice Versa_. That the series contained in this
volume appeared in _Mr. Punch's_ pages is sufficient guarantee for
the excellence of its quality, and more than this it would not become
the Baron to say; but of the illustrations by J. BERNARD PARTRIDGE
the Baron can speak--and speak in terms of the highest admiration
of them--as works of genuinely artistic humour. There are twenty
illustrations, that is, ten brace of Partridges, if he will allow the
Baron so far to make game of him. The book is published by LONGMANS,
GREEN & Co.
The Leadenhall Press has brought out, in Pocket form, _Prince Dorus_,
by CHARLES LAMB, with nine coloured illustrations, following the
original Edition of 1811. The lines are not very Lamb-like, but the
illustrations are very quaint, and the Pocket Volume is a curiosity of
BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
A REALLY VALUABLE SUGGESTION.
(_TO THE EDITOR OF PUNCH._)
DEAR SIR,--As the conductor of the recognised organ of the legal
profession, I have the honour to address you. My learned and
accomplished friend. Mr. MONTAGU WILLIAMS, Q.C., complained the other
day that there was a right of appeal from the Police Court to the
Bench of Middlesex Magistrates. He said that his colleagues were
barristers and gentlemen of considerable eminence, and in those
characters were better able to decide upon the merits of a case
than the persons who compose the Tribunal to which appeal from their
decision is permissible. I have not recently looked through the list
of Metropolitan Police Magistrates, but, if they have been chosen from
the ranks of literature and law, as they were thirty years ago, I can
well understand that they are an exceedingly capable body of men.
That so accomplished a _litterateur_ and admirable an advocate as my
friend Mr. MONTAGU WILLIAMS himself should have been raised to the
Magisterial bench, is a proof that the standard has been maintained.
But, Sir, can nothing be done for the other tribunal?
Would it not be possible to appoint a certain proportion of
stipendiaries, with ample salaries, to that body? What is wanted are
men with a perfect knowledge of the law, and a large experience of
the adversities as well as the pleasures of life. If they occasionally
dabble in literature, so much the better. But, it may be said, where
are such men to be found? I answer, in very many places, and, to
encourage the authorities in their search, shall be most happy to
personally head the list.
Yours, very faithfully,
(_Signed_) A. BRIEFLESS, JUNIOR. _Pump-handle Court, Oct. 4th, 1890._
* * * * *
THE GROAN OF THE GUSHLESS.
(_A SONG A LA SHENSTONE._)
["What is described as an Anti-Gush Society has, according
to a Pittsburg paper, been formed in New York, its object
being to check the growing tendency, especially noticeable
among young people of the period, to express themselves in
_Girl Member of the A.G.S. loq._:--
Ye maidens, so cheerful and gay,
Whose words ever fulsomely fall,
Oh, pity your friend, who to-day
Has become a Society's thrall.
Allow me to muse and to sigh,
Nor talk of the change that ye find;
None once was more happy than I;
But, alas! I've left Gushing behind!
Now I know what it is to have strove
With the tortures of verbal desire.
I must use measured terms, where I love,
And be moderate, when I admire.
No slang must my diction adorn,
I must never say "awfully swell."
Alas! I feel flat and forlorn,
I have bidden Girl-Gushing farewell!
Since I put down my name in that book
I have never called bonnets "divine,"
For our Sec. with a soul-shaking look,
Would be down on your friend with a fine.
So the milliners now I pass by;
Though dearly they pleased me of yore;
If a girl musn't gush, squirm, and sigh,
Even shopping becomes quite a bore.
For "gorgeous" I languish in vain,
And I pine for a "love"--and a "dear."
Oh! why did I vow to be plain--
In my speech? It sounds awfully queer!
Stop! "Awfully" is not allowed.
Though it _will_ slip out sometimes, I own.
Oh, I might as well sit in my shroud,
As use moderate language alone.
To force us fair nymphs to forego
The hyperbole dear to our heart,
And the slang without which speech is "slow,"
Is to make us a "people apart."
Oh, to say (without fines) "quite too-too!"
For dear "awfully jolly" I yearn.
I would "chuck" all my friends, sweet--save you--
To the pathways of Gush to return.
Eh? "_Chuck_" did I say? That is Slang!
And "_Sweet_?" That's decidedly Gush!
Oh, let the A.G.S. go hang!
My old love returns with a rush.
It is "gorgeous" once more to be free,
O'er a frock or a first night to glow.
Come to-morrow! Go shopping with me,
_Ownest own_--and we'll gush as we go!
[Footnote 1: SHENSTONE, not _Mr. Punch_, is responsible for the
* * * * *
THE MODERN NELSON MOTTO.--At the Church Congress. Lord NELSON
expressed a strong desire for the union of Dissenters with Churchmen.
If his Lordship's reading of the old Nelsonian motto is "England
expects that every clergyman (Dissenter or Churchman) should do
somebody else's duty," then England will have to wait a considerable
time for the Utopian realisation of this pious wish.
* * * * *
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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