Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99, September 13, 1890
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
September 13, 1890.
OUT FOR A HOLIDAY.
(_BY OUR IMPARTIAL AND NOT-TO-BE-BIASSED CRITIC._)
I had often been told that St. Margaret's Bay, between Deal and Dover,
was lovely beyond compare. Seen from the Channel, I had heard it
described as "magnificent," and evidence of its charms nearer at hand,
was adduced in the fact that Mr. ALMA TADEMA, R.A., had made it his
headquarters during a portion of the recent summer.
So I determined to visit it. I had to take a ticket to Martin's Mill,
a desolate spot, containing a railway station, a railway hotel, and
(strange to say) a mill. I was told by an obliging official on my
arrival, that St. Margaret's Bay was a mile and a half distant--"to
the village." And a mile and a half--a very good mile and a half--it
was! Up hill, down dale, along the dustiest of dusty roads, bordered
by telegraph poles that suggested an endless lane without a turning.
On climbing to the summit of each hill another long stretch of road
presented itself. At length the village was reached, and I looked
about me for the sea. A cheerful young person who was flirting with a
middle-aged cyclist seemed surprised when I asked after it. "Oh, the
sea!" she exclaimed, in a tone insinuating that the ocean was at a
decided discount in her part of the world--"oh, you will find _that_
a mile further on." I sighed wearily, and recommenced my plodding
I passed two unhappy-looking stone eagles protecting a boarding-house,
and a shed given over to the sale of lollipops and the hiring
of a pony-chaise. The cottages seemed to me to be of the
boat-turned-bottom-upwards order of architecture, and were adorned
with placards, announcing "Apartments to Let." Everything seemed to
let, except, perhaps, the church, which, however (on second thoughts),
appeared to be let alone. But if the houses were not, in themselves,
particularly inviting, their names were pleasing enough, although,
truth to tell, a trifle misleading. For instance, there was a "Marine
Lodge," which seemed a very considerable distance from the ocean,
and a "Swiss _chalet_," that but faintly suggested the land renowned
equally for mountains and merry juveniles. I did not notice any shops,
although I fancy, from the appearance of a small barber's pole that I
found in front of a cottage, that the hair-dressing interest must have
had a local representative. For the rest, an air of hopefulness, if
not precisely cheerfulness, was given to the place by the presence
of a Convalescent Hospital. Leaving the village behind me, I
came, footsore and staggering, at length to the Bay. I was cruelly
disappointed. Below me was what appeared to be a small portion of
Rosherville, augmented with two bathing-machines, and a residence
for the Coast-guard. There was a hotel, (with a lawn-tennis ground),
and several placards, telling of land to let. The descent to the sea
was very steep, and, on the high road above it, painfully modern
villas were putting in a disfiguring appearance. On the beach was a
melancholy pic-nic party, engaged in a mild carouse. In the gloaming
was a light-ship, marking the end of the Goodwin Sands.
On a beautiful day no doubt St. Margaret's Bay would look quite
as lovely as Gravesend, but when it rained I question whether it
would compare favourably with Southend under similar atmospheric
circumstances. There was some shrubbery creeping up the white
hill-side that may have been considered artistic, and possibly the
great expanse of ocean (when completely free from mist) had to a
certain extent a sort of charm. As I looked towards the coast of
France I had an excellent view of a steamer, crammed with (presumably)
noisy excursionists, coming from Margate. But when I have said this I
have nothing more to add, save that you can get from Martin's Mill
to St. Margaret's Bay by an omnibus. By catching this conveyance you
avoid a tedious walk, which puts you out of temper for the rest of the
P.S.--I missed the omnibus!
* * * * *
GOOD YOUNG "ZUMMERSET!"
(_CHAMPION IN CRICKET OF THE SECOND-CLASS COUNTIES._)
Eight matches played, and eight matches won!
_That_'s what none of the First-class Counties have done.
'Tis clear that Young Zummerset knows "how to do it."
Bravo, PALAIRET, WOODS, TYLER, ROE, HEWITT!
Go on in this fashion, and soon you'll be reckoned
Among the First-Classers, instead of the Second.
Wet wickets this season, boys, seldom a rummer set,
But they anyhow seem to have suited Young Zummerset!
* * * * *
THE REAL GRIEVANCE OFFICE.
(_BEFORE_ MR. COMMISSIONER PUNCH.)
_A Medical Officer (with martial manner, and well set up)
_The Commissioner_. Well, Sir--may I call you Colonel?--what can I do
_Medical Officer_ (_smiling_). I am afraid, Sir, you may give me no
military rank, as it would be contrary to the Regulations.
_The Com._ Have I not the pleasure of addressing a soldier?
_Med. Off._ Well, yes, Sir, I suppose I may claim that title. I
am an Army Surgeon, and in that capacity have not only to risk my
life equally with my comrades in the field, but have to brave the
additional danger inseparable from the fever-wards of a hospital. As
a matter of fact many of my colleagues have earned the V.C., and not
a few taken command when their aid was needed. I hope you have not
forgotten ANTHONY HOME WYLIE and MACKINNON.
_The Com._ Certainly not--they are gallant fellows. Well, I am sorry
to see you here, Doctor--what can I do for you?
_Med. Off._ I would ask your good services, Sir, to get us greater
recognition in the Army. Pray understand we do not wish to be called
Captain, Major, or Colonel, merely to "peacock" before civilians,
but because, without official recognition of our true status, we are
treated as inferior beings by the youngest subaltern in any battalion
to which we may be attached.
_The Com._ Surely, Doctor, the title you have secured by scientific
attainments, takes precedence of all others more easily obtained?
_Med. Off._ Possibly, in a College common-room, but not at a
mess-table of a _depot_ centre. That I express the general opinion of
members of my profession is proved by the fact that it is shared by
Sir ANDREW CLARK, the President of the Royal College of Physicians.
_The Com._ Well, what would you propose?
_Med. Off._ That we should be put on the same footing so far as
rank is concerned, with officers in the Commissariat and other
non-actively-combatant branches of the Army. We are merely fighting
the fight fought years ago by another scientific corps, the Royal
_The Com._ But surely, Doctor, the officers you have mentioned know
something of their drill?
_Med. Off._ If that is the difficulty, let us make ourselves equally
proficient. The more we are in touch with the so-called combatant
officers the better.
_The Com._ Well, certainly, if you are good drills (and have some
knowledge of the internal economy of a regiment, and the rudiments
of military law) I cannot see why you should not enjoy the rank to
which you aspire. I wish you every success in your application. After
all, you are masters of the situation. If your superior officers are
[_The Witness after returning thanks, then withdrew._
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.
AT A COUNTRY HOUSE.
"_So glad you have a fine day for your garden-party. Was quite anxious
about the weather;_" i.e., "Hoped sincerely it would rain hard--hate
garden-parties--can't think why I'm here."
"_How good of you to undertake such a long drive!_" i.e., "hoped it
would choke her off."
"_So sweet of you to have brought your dear children;_" i.e., "Greedy
little pigs!--gobble up everything before the real guests arrive."
"_Must you_ really _go?_" i.e., "About time--you're the last but one."
"_Now mind--this is Liberty Hall--I always think true hospitality is,
letting people do just what they like;_" i.e., "_If_ he's late for
breakfast--and IF he shirks driving with Mrs. MORSON!"
"_We lunch at half-past one. But don't trouble to be punctual. Quite a
moveable feast;_" i.e., "If he's unpunctual, he won't forget it."
"_Such a lovely drive I want to take you this afternoon;_" i.e.,
"_Must_ pay that call to-day."
"_Going to-morrow? Oh_, do _stay--we had looked forward to quite a
week more._ Can't _you alter it?_" i.e., "Quite safe. Know he's _got_
"_Such a sweet girl to have in the house!_" i.e., "Slaves for her from
morning till night."
* * * * *
[Illustration: A SEASIDE REGATTA.]
* * * * *
[Illustration: HAPPY THOUGHT.--DAVID COX REDIVIVUS!]
* * * * *
ALL THE YEAR ROUND;
_OR, KEEPING UP THE BALL._
When September soaks the fields,
And the leaves begin to fall,
Cricket unto Football yields,--
That is all!
Yes--in hot or humid weather,
At all seasons of the year,
Life is little without leather
In a sphere.
In the scrimmage, at the stumps,
'Neath the goal, behind the sticks,
Life's a ball, which Summer thumps,
From NAUSICAA--classic girl!
Unto RENSHAW, GUNN, and GRACE,
Balls mankind _must_ kick or hurl,
"Slog" or "place."
Our "terrestrial ball" is round,
(Is it an idea chimerical?)
Man, by hidden instincts bound,
Loves the spherical.
In rotund, elastic bounders,
Plainly the great joy of men is,
Witness cricket, billiards, rounders,
Now the championship is fixed,
Now the averages are settled,
Spite of critics rather mixed,
Now the heroes of the Goal
Brace themselves for kick and scrummage,
Verily, upon the whole,
'Tis a "rum" age!
Wane the joys of Love, Art, Faction,
Parties rise and Parties fall,
The world's sure centre of attraction
Is a Ball!
* * * * *
Says Professor Alfred Marshall, of Cambridge, the great English
Economist, in his luminous Address at the British Association
"Every year economic problems become more difficult, every
year it is more manifest that we need to have more knowledge
and to get it soon, in order to escape, on the one hand, from
the cruelty and waste of irresponsible competition and the
licentious use of wealth, and, on the other, from the tyranny
and the spiritual death of an iron-bound Socialism."
Here be judicial truths, skilfully _Marshalled_ into clear order,
which may profitably be noted by the angry sciolistic skirmishers on
one side and the other in the great Social War now raging.
The sniffing _Laissez-faire_ man, the high and dry Economist, shrieks
at the enthusiastic humanitarian Socialist, whom he would fain send
to Anticyra,--or further; the headlong humanitarian Socialist howls at
the high and dry Economist, whom he would like to despatch finally to
Saturn, or "haply to some lower level," as BOB LOWE's epitaph had it.
The result is cantankerous charivari!
Marshall does more and better. He emphasises "the cruelty and waste of
irresponsible competition," he admits "the licentious use of wealth,"
but he also recognises "the tyranny and the spiritual death of an
iron-bound Socialism," that violent and venomous form of Socialism,
which _Mr. Punch_ this week has represented under the apt symbol of a
clinging, hampering, and suffocating Serpent.
Let the impetuous zealots who may probably demur to _Mr. Punch's_
symbol--misunderstanding it--ponder Professor MARSHALL's words, and be
not precipitate in judgment. There is Socialism _and_ Socialism. The
sort pictured by Professor MARSHALL, and _Mr. Punch_, is, like the
Serpent of Old Myth, not the would-be friend of labour-cursed mankind,
but a deceiving and glosingly deadly "incarnation of the Enemy."
* * * * *
THE STRAIGHT TIP.
["There is one national duty in this connection, and only one,
that is worth insisting upon for a moment. That duty is to
render it impossible for any enemy or combination of enemies
to interrupt our supply of food or whatever else is necessary
for our well-being."--_The "Times" on Sir George Tryon's
Scheme for National Insurance of Shipping in Time of War_.]
Right, "Thunderer," and tersely put!
Hammer _this_ into BULL's big noddle,
Until he just puts down his foot
On temporising timid twaddle,
And you will do a vast deal more
To keep our drowsy British Lion
In health, and strength and wakeful roar
Than all the schemes Tryon may try on.
Battle's not always to the strong;
The race, though, must be to--the Fleet,
With us at least. We can't go wrong
In making safety there complete.
And by St. George we can't go right
On any other tack whatever,
Until that Fleet is fit to fight
With all our foes though strong and clever.
Insurance may be all serene,
But _the_ insurance JOHN must measure
Is safety on all roads marine
For him, his men, his food, his treasure.
And if our ships don't give us this
On Neptune s high-road wild and wavy,
JOHN BULL his chief straight tip will miss,
And likewise soon may miss--his Navy!
* * * * *
[Illustration: PROFESSOR MARSH'S PRIMEVAL TROUPE.
HE SHOWS HIS PERFECT MASTERY OVER THE CERATOPSIDAE.
(_See Proceedings of the British Association at Leeds._)]
* * * * *
CUPID AND MINERVA.
(_FRAGMENT FROM AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY THAT IT IS HOPED WILL NEVER BE
I was most anxious that my past should be concealed from him, as I
felt that once revealed, it would come between us as a barrier for
ever! So I dissembled. I adapted my conversation to his capabilities.
I learned to talk of lawn tennis, cricket, politics, even cookery.
Only on one occasion did I betray myself. With self-abasement I was
asking for an explanation of the electric telegraph. He gave me a
somewhat faulty definition.
"Dear me!" I cried. "How did they ever come to think of such a clever
"_Omne ign[)o]tum pro magnifico_," he replied, with condescension.
I could not bear the false quantity even from _his_ lips, and I asked,
"Would not _ign[=o]tum_ be better, darling?"
I could have bitten out my tongue for such an indiscretion. He looked
at me sharply, with a glance of covert distrust.
"What do _you_ know about it?" he asked, somewhat brusquely.
"Nothing, nothing!" I said, confusedly. "I happened to be looking
through an Explanatory Pronouncing Dictionary of Latin Quotations, and
found the passage."
"Beware of consulting text-books," he returned, sententiously. "A
little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
For the moment I was safe, but I knew that the confidence that
hitherto had existed between us was shaken and lessened. When he left
me that day, he referred once more to the incident.
"Forgive me, SCHOLASTICA, I know I have been disagreeable. But I
confess I am upset--the fact is a man doesn't care to be picked up
sharp in his Latin."
"Forgive me!" I pleaded, "and you will love me?"
"_Ad f[)i]nem_!" he returned, making the first vowel short. I set my
teeth and was silent. He looked at me with a keen glance, as if he
would read my very soul, murmuring under his breath, "if she will
stand _that_, she will stand anything," and we parted! Once alone,
I gave vent to my feelings in a burst of passionate weeping. "_Ad
finem_!" Oh, it was hard to bear!
At length the day arrived for our marriage. Just as I was starting
for the Church a letter was handed to me. I recognised in the
shaky superscription (which seemed to tremble in every stroke) his
handwriting. The envelope contained a printed paper! It was the Oxford
Class List! Then the truth in all its hideousness dawned upon me. He
knew at last that I had taken a Double First!
* * * * *
This occurred many years ago. Well, time has brought its compensating
comforts, and I am at least able to exclaim, "_Quum multa injusta ac
prava fiunt moribus!_" without being guilty of using a false quantity!
* * * * *
"IN THE AIR!"
A PARABLE FOR THE PERIOD.
"A course precipitous, of dizzy speed
Suspending thought and breath; a monstrous sight!
For in the air do I behold indeed
An Eagle and a Serpent wreathed in fight.
--SHELLEY's _Revolt of Islam_.
A monstrous sight! Through SHELLEY's vision rare
Of high Revolt one mighty image glows,
This pregnant symbol of the struggling pair,
So strangely matched, and wildly-warring foes,
Filling the startled air with Titan throes.
Interpret as you will that Winged Form,
High-soaring, keen-eyed, of imperial pose,
Or that close-clinging, coiled Colossal Worm;
'Tis an eternal type of strife amidst the storm.
The symbol speaks, though variously applied,
Of snaking sleight that soaring strength assails,
And strives to drag it from its place of pride,
And, after cruel conflict, faints and fails.
Sometimes it seems the air's strong monarch vails
His crest awhile, as, hampering coil on coil,
Insidious knot on pinion proud prevails;
Yet towering greatness crawling hate shall foil,
Nor shall the Bird of Jove be long the Python's spoil.
Strong-winged _this_ Eagle, either wafter ready
To buoy and to upbear that body great.
Potent of beak and claw, of eye-glance steady,
Lord of the air, and master of its fate,
It seems, it seems, sailing in splendid state
Athwart the stretches of the skyey blue.
Yet what might be the fleet-winged wanderer's fate.
Did either pinion fail? Its flight is true
Only when level buoyed upon the plumy two.
"A shaft of light upon its wings descended.
And every golden feather gleamed therein."
Ay! and their fate's inextricably blended;
Let either faint or flag, they shall not win
Athwart the aerial azure clear and thin.
Brothered in use are they, in use and need.
See how the Serpent's many-coloured skin
Writhes hither, thither, with insidious heed,
Striving to maim _one_ pinion. Shall the pest succeed?
Bred far below, in dank malarious slime,
That Serpent hath no power to soar in air,
Save clinging to winged creatures that can climb
The empyrean; yet from its foul lair
It sprang to the broad wings it would ensnare,
Encoil, enshackle, hamper, break, drag down.
How swept the Bird so low that it should dare,
That Worm, to wriggle midst its plumes full grown,
And with the Air's sole monarch thus dispute the crown?
Alas! the Eagle stooped; those well-poised pinions
Faltered, and beat the air unevenly;
Nor shall the Bird maintain its proud dominions
If those wings lapse from rhythm, pulse awry.
Vain power of beak and claw, keenness of eye,
Or pride of crested head, if those broad vanes
Beat without balance true the clouded sky.
The lord of those etherial domains,
Once wing-maimed, pitiless fate to the dull earth enchains.
That Serpent is a sinister birth of time,
The likeness of the light 'twould fain take on,
But 'tis engendered from the poisonous slime
Of hate, and greed, and darkness. Though it don
Apollo's guise, 'tis but Apollyon.
To shackle, poison, palsy is its aim.
Venom and violence never yet have won
A victory truly worthy of the name.
To call this thing Toil's friend is friendship to defame.
"An Eagle and a Serpent wreathed in fight!"
There is the symbol he who runs may read.
The Bird is Trade, with pinions balanced right;
Labour and Capital in love agreed,
All's well; the Serpent shall not then succeed
In shackling that, or in destroying this.
The snake, a venomous worm of poisonous breed,
In vain shall coil and knot, shall strike and hiss.
Mark, Wealth! mark, Toil! The moral's one you scarce can miss!
* * * * *
[Illustration: "IN THE AIR!"
"AN EAGLE AND A SERPENT WREATHED IN FIGHT!"
THERE IS THE SYMBOL HE WHO RUNS MAY READ.
THE BIRD IS TRADE, WITH PINIONS BALANCED RIGHT;
LABOUR AND CAPITAL IN LOVE AGREED,
ALL'S WELL; THE SERPENT SHALL NOT THEN SUCCEED
IN SHACKLING THAT, OR IN DESTROYING THIS.
THE SNAKE, A VENOMOUS WORM OF POISONOUS BREED,
IN VAIN SHALL COIL AND KNOT, SHALL STRIKE AND HISS.
MARK, WEALTH! MARK, TOIL! THE MORAL'S ONE YOU SCARCE CAN MISS!]
* * * * *
[Illustration: SEA ON LAND.
(_A STORY IN SIX CHAPTERS AND TWO VOLUMES._)
VOL. I.--CHAP. I.--Captain Bulkhead (P. & O.), home on leave, buys
CHAP. II.--Which bolts on the first opportunity.
CHAP. III.--"I'll teach him!" said the Captain, taking an anchor
VOL. II--CHAP. IV.--Off again! Casting anchor!
* * * * *
A WORD TO JOHN BURNS.
["He was in the unfortunate position of having probably to go
to Parliament at the next election, but he would rather go
to prison half-a-dozen times than to Parliament once, because
Labour candidates in the past had either been thrown out or
tied to the coat-tail of party politics. He wished it to be
distinctly understood that there must be nothing of this,
but their candidates must go forth as labour candidates, and
labour candidates only. He must know on what terms he must do
the dirty work of going to Parliament."--_Mr. John Burns at
the Trade Union Congress at Liverpool_.]
Good gracious, how awful! The Trades were assembled,
And they all yelled together, and tempers got brittle;
And when Burns rose and thundered, all Liverpool trembled
(Though Burns is perhaps Boanerges spelt little).
And he laid all about him, like mules who can kick hard,
But kick without aim for the pleasure of kicking;
And he trod upon Fenwick, and trampled on Pickard,
And his friends shouted, "Death to political tricking!"
And on one side we heard all the Socialist gang wage
A war against Broadhurst, who carried a hod once.
And Broadhurst retorted on Burns and his language,
That Burns might go back, since he languished in "quod" once.
And Burns ranted back; as the French say, the mustard
Had gone to his nose, which was rather unfortunate.
"St. Stephen's requires me, and I," so he blustered,
"Must needs be a Member, since friends are importunate.
"But I'd rather," he added, "go six times to Holloway"
(Will not language like this of J.B. make _The Star_ lament?)
"Than go (which is dirt) to St. Stephen's, or loll away
My time and the People's as Member of Parliament."
Now, Burns, be advised; that is bunkum--you know it.
You "_must_ be a Member"? Pooh, pooh, John, I doubt you.
Short answers are best, so _Punch_ answers you, "Stow it.
Stay away, and we'll try for salvation without you."
There's no "must" in the matter. The goose, John, who flaps his
Vain wings, though at first very fearful he may be,
If you face him at once, why, he promptly collapses;
He may hiss as he runs, he won't frighten a baby.
Be warned in good time--why there isn't a man, Sir,
Or at most one or two, whom the universe misses.
You strut for a moment, and then, like poor _Anser_,
You vanish, uncared-for, with splutter and hisses.
If a man cares to toil, if, like Broadhurst or Burt, he
Puts his neck to the yoke for the good of his fellows,
He will find work to do (though you scorn it as dirty),
Without all this labour of trumpet and bellows.
Surely butter must cloy, though your friends do the churning--
You are _not_ the whole world, though you did win a tanner;
And _Punch_ thinks it well, when your head has done turning,
You should turn a new leaf, and just soften your manner.
* * * * *
RAILWAY TIME-TABLE. APPLICABLE ALL THE YEAR ROUND.
6 Cabs--full of Passengers = 1 Dawdling Porter.
12 Dawdling Porters = 1 Train's Start.
2 Trains' Starts = 1 Danger Signal.
2 Danger Signals = 1 Stoppage on the Line.
3 Stoppages on the Line = 1 Late Arrival.
24 Late Arrivals = 1 Day's Unpunctuality.
365 Days' Unpunctuality = 1 Patient Public's Useless Grumble.
* * * * *
A Murderous Game.--(_Example of "Beneficent Murder."_)--Taking a Life
* * * * *
[Illustration: INFELICITOUS QUOTATIONS.
"HOW GOOD OF YOU TO COME, DOCTOR. I DIDN'T EXPECT YOU THIS MORNING."
"NO, BUT I WAS CALLED TO YOUR OPPOSITE NEIGHBOUR, POOR MRS. BROWN, AND
THOUGHT I MIGHT AS WELL KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE."]
* * * * *
THE BETTER THE DAY, THE BETTER THE TALK!
SCENE--_Any fashionable Watering Place where "Church Parade"
is a recognised institution. TIME--Sunday, 1 P.M. Enter
BROWN and Mrs. BROWN, who take chairs._
_Mrs. Brown_. Good Gracious! Look another way! Those odious people,
the STIGGINGSES, are coming towards us!
_Brown_. Why odious? I think the girls rather nice.
_Mrs. B._ (_contemptuously_). Oh, _you_ would, because men are so
easily taken in! Nice, indeed! Why, here's Major BUTTONS.
_B._ (_moving his head sharply to the right_). Don't see him! Can't
stand the fellow! I always avoid him at the Club!
_Mrs. B._ Why? Soldiers are always such pleasant men.
_B._ (_contemptuously_). BUTTONS a soldier! Years ago he was a
Lieutenant in a marching regiment, and now holds honorary rank in the
Volunteers! Soldier, indeed! Bless me! here's Mrs. FITZ-FLUMMERY--mind
you don't cut her.
_Mrs. B._ Yes, I shall; the woman is insupportable. Did you ever see
_such_ a dress? And she has changed the colour of her hair--again!
_B._ Whether she has or hasn't, she looks particularly pleasing.
_Mrs. B._ (_drily_). You were always a little eccentric in your taste!
Why, surely there must be Mr. PENNYFATHER ROBSON. How smart he looks!
Where _can_ he have come from?
_B._ The Bankruptcy Court! (_Drily._) You were never particularly
famous for discrimination. As I live, the SMITHS! [_He bows with
_Mrs. B._ And the STUART JONESES! (_She kisses her hand gushingly._)
By the way, dear, didn't you say that the PLANTAGENET SMITHS were
suspected of murdering their Uncle before they inherited his property?
_B._ So it is reported, darling. And didn't you tell me, my own,
that the parents of Mr. STUART JONES were convicts before they became
_Mrs. B._ So I have heard, loved one. (_Starting up._) Come, CHARLEY,
we must be off at once! The GOLDHARTS! If they catch us, _she_ is sure
to ask me to visit some of her sick poor!
_B._ And _he_ to beg me to subscribe to an orphanage or a hospital!
Here, take your prayer-book, or people won't know that we have come
* * * * *
(_A QUESTION FOR THE NEXT ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSEMBLY._)
["When we consider the vast amount of time comprised in
the Tertiary period ... the chances that man as at present
constituted, should be a survivor from that period seem
remote, and against the species _Homo Sapiens_ having existed
in Miocene times almost incalculable."--_Address of the
President of the Anthropological Section, Dr. John Evans, at
the Leeds Meeting of the British Association_.]
When then did _Homo Sapiens_ first appear?
Upon whose speculations shall we bottom us?
Contemporary he with the cave bear,
But hardly with the earliest hippopotamus.
The happy Eocene beheld him not;
That cheerful epoch when a morning ramble
Among the mammoths, without gun or shot,
Must have been such a truly sportive scramble.
The pleasant Pliocene preceded him.
Apparently, poor bare, belated _Homo_;
His spectre seems to haunt, despondent, dim,
Lakes--how unlike Killarney, Wenham, Como!--
Where dens called Dwellings may have left some trace.
Before "quarternary times "--whatever _they_ were--
_Homo_ appears not to have shown his face.
And then its features far from gracefully gay were.
So EVANS, who the mystery of Man's birth
Into our Cosmos carefully unravels.
He seems to view with sceptical calm mirth,
Remains of Man among the river gravels.
Well, we'll relinquish Tertiary man,
Without immoderate grief, or lasting anguish.
The Pliocene, if we can grasp its plan,
Would seem an epoch when our race would languish.
The skeletons, cut animal bones, and flints,
Supposed to prove his presence, let's abandon;
But on some subjects we should like some hints;
When _did_ he come, and what has Sapient Man done
To justify his advent? Take him _now_,
Apart from retrospection prehistoric,
What is the being of the lifted brow
Doing at present? Strange phantasmagoric
Pictures of his proceedings flit before
The vision of alert imagination;
Playing the brute, buffoon, "bounder," or bore,
In every climate, and in every nation!
_Homo_--here wasting half his hard-earned gains
Upon Leviathan Fleets and Mammoth Armies,
Spending his boasted gifts of Tongue and Brains
In Party spouting. Swearing potent charm is
In grubbing muck-rake Money on the Mart,
Or squandering it on Turf, or Gambling Table.
Squabbling o'er the Morality of Art,
Or fighting o'er the Genesis of Fable.
You'll find him--as a Frank--in comic rage,
Mouthing mad rant, fighting preposterous duels,
Scattering ordures o'er Romance's page,
And decking a swine's snout with Style's choice jewels.
You'll see him--as a Teuton--trebly taxed,
Mooning 'midst metaphysical supposes;
Twirling a huge moustache, superbly waxed,
And taking pride in slitting comrades' noses.
You'll meet him--as a Muscovite--dead set
On making civic life a sombre Hades,
Shaking a knife with tyrant's blood red-wet,
Or--aping "Paris-goods" in art, dress, ladies.
You'll spy him--as a Yankee--gassing loud
About his pride, and yet chin-deep in snobbery;
Leaving State matters to corruption's crowd,
And justifying (literary) robbery.
Whilst as a Briton! Bless us, 'twould take time
To picture _Homo_ in his guise Britannic.
Here he is making a fine art of crime,
There he is fussing in a Puritan panic;
Here with MCMUCK he plays the prurient spy,
And there with OSCAR in a paroxysm
Of puerile paradox spreads to Cultchaw's eye
The fopperies of "Artistic Hedonism"!
Oh, EVANS, noting Man (_not_ Tertiary)
In Church or State, the Studio or the Tavern,
One wonders--not was he contemporary
With Danish Kjoekkenmoeddings or Kent's Cavern,--
No, thinking of his work with Swords, Tongues, Pens,
Of most of which Wisdom would make a clearance,
One wonders whether _Homo Sapiens_
Has really truly _yet_ made his appearance!
* * * * *
[Illustration: COLLAPSE OF "CORNER MEN."
(_As understood by Our Christy Minstrel Artist in Black and White._)
[Mr. ---- was a prominent operator on the Market, in connection
with an attempted great "Cotton Corner." ... The Corner ended in
* * * * *
In consequence of the taking in or taking out of Nobodies' luggage,
the train had been considerably delayed, and this delay had been
protracted by the thirsty condition of the panting and enfeebled
engine. Stopping to water the horses in the olden days took much less
time, I should imagine, than stopping to supply the engine with water
in our own day. Be this as it may, the stoppages had already been
considerable, and the Baron was ruminating on the best method of
passing his valuable time for the next two hours, when it occurred
to him that in his bag he had been carrying about for some time past
three books, in the hope that there might occur some opportunity, of
which the Baron could avail himself, to peruse these works, and remark
upon them for the benefit of the select reading public. He took up
the first, read a few sketches of _Our Churchwardens_, but failing
to appreciate the subject, returned it to the bag, and went in for
_Monsignor_. Perhaps the weak state of health in which our engine
found itself, had not been improved by the additional weight imposed
on it, owing to having to carry _Monsignor_. "Uncommonly heavy," said
the Baron, when he arrived at the hundredth page; "I will keep it in
reserve for my lighter and gayer moments, when timely repression may
be necessary." So saying, he restored this to the same receptacle, and
made another dip in the lucky bag. This time he brought to the surface
_The Case of George Candlemas_, by GEORGE SIMS. Very nearly giving it
up was the Baron, on account of its title, so suggestive of the usual
vein of shilling shockers, and very glad is he that he did not do
so, as for the next hour and a quarter not only was the Baron really
interested, but highly amused, and it would have done the heart of
GEORGE SIMS, of _Horrible London_ and other emotional tales, good to
have seen the Baron chuckling over this capital short story, which is
as ingenious as it is genuinely droll. It belongs to the same genus
as the _Danvers Jewels_, though, in this latter, the idea of the
character of the narrator is more humorously conceived than is Mr.
SIMS's Baronet who acts as an amateur detective. The Baron highly
recommends this story, as he also does a short tale in _Blackwood_,
for this month, entitled, _A Physiologist's Wife_, by A. CONAN DOYLE.
The Baron's attention has been turned to five little volumes of _Love
Tales_, English, Irish, Scotch, American, and German. They form a
companion set to _Weird Tales_, published also by PATERSON & Co., and
a pocketable size, most useful for travellers.
_A propos_ of Travellers, why does not some English firm bring out a
series of Guide-books, of the size, and written in the style of the
_Guides Conty_, which, for travelling in France, are far and away
the best Guide-books I know. The _Guides Joanne_ are of course good,
steady, trustworthy Guides, but they don't attract the traveller's
attention to out-of-the-way places, and to the "things to do," in the
same pleasant way as do the writers in the _Guides Conty_. Where to
go, when to go, how to go, how to make the most of a short visit, what
to ask for, what to look for, what to take, and what to avoid, these
are details for which the _Guides Conty_ go in. They might be better,
perhaps, in the way of maps, but this is a fault of all Guides.
Wishing, when at Havre, to visit Merville-sur-Mer, and the celebrated
Corneville, with whose _cloches_ we are all acquainted, in vain I
searched the ordinary maps, and at last found quite a microscopical
place, and without the "Sur Mer," as there wasn't room for it in a map
of either the _Guide Joanne_ or _Conty_, I forget which. Why it seems
to be generally ignored I don't know, but in this respect it is a
fellow-sufferer with Westgate-on-Sea, whose name is on no sign-post
that ever I've seen in the Island of Thanet, though it may by this
time figure on some recent maps. The village of "Garlinge," which
is on the inland side of the L.C.&D. line, is to be found on every
direction-post and on every map, and the fashionable Westgate is, so
to speak, nowhere. BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
P.S.--Just attempted to read RUDYARD KIPLING's _On Greenhow Hill_, in
this month's _Macmillan_. No doubt very clever, and will be greatly
admired by Kiplingites, but, for me, time is too valuable and life too
short to study and appreciate it. I can't even read it: _dommage_, but
In this month's number of _The Cabinet Portrait Gallery_ (CASSELL
& CO.) there is one of the best photographs of JOHN MORLEY I ever
remember to have seen. Not easy to take: this one is by DOWNEY.
No mistaking a photo by DOWNEY, and this one of JOHN MORLEY, the
Nineteenth Century ST. JUST, has a thoroughly downy look about the
face. Those of Lady DUDLEY and Sir FREDERICK LEIGHTON are not up to
the DOWNEY standard, specially Lady DUDLEY's.
In the _Fortnightly_ Mr. FRANK HARRIS has induced Mr. W.S. LILLY to
give us some personal reminiscences of Cardinal NEWMAN, together with
some letters of the Cardinal's to him. Interesting, but too brief.
Oddly enough, _a propos_ of "Reminiscences," there is in this same
Number a very amusing article by J.M. BARRIE on the manufacturing of
reminiscences. Very droll idea. "Read it," says the Baron.
In the _Contemporary_ Mr. WILFRID MEYNELL gives an interesting Memoir
of the great Cardinal and his contemporaries, and Mr. RUDYARD KIPLING
writes a tale entitled _The Enlightenment of Mr. Padgett, M.P._--of
which more when I've read it. * * * I have read it. It isn't a story,
so I was disappointed, and about as interesting to a story-seeker as
_The National Congress_, of which it treats, to the majority of the
Indian natives. But the dialogue is instructive and amusing, and will
enlighten many Padgetts. B. DE B.-W.
* * * * *
"UN PETTITT-HARRIS COMPLIMENT."--AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS and his
colleague in the authorship of the new piece at the National Theatre
are to be congratulated. As might have been anticipated from the
title, "there is money in it."
* * * * *
AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
IN THE SCULPTURE GALLERIES.
_Sightseers discovered drifting languidly along in a state of
depression, only tempered by the occasional exercise of the right of
every free-born Briton to criticise whenever he fails to understand.
The general tone is that of faintly amused and patronising
[Illustration: Refused Admittance.]
_A Burly Sightseer, with a red face_ (_inspecting group representing
"Mithras Sacrificing a Bull"_). H'm; that may be MITHRAS's notion o'
making a clean job of it, but it ain't _mine_!
_A Woman_ (_examining a fragment from base of sculptured column with
a puzzled expression, as she reads the inscription_). "Lower portion
of female figure--probably a Bacchante." Well, how they know who it's
intended for, when there ain't more than a bit of her skirt left,
_Her Companion_. Oh, I s'pose they've got to put a name to it of
_An Intelligent Artisan_ (_out for the day with his Fiancee--reading
from pedestal_). "Part of a group of As-Astrala--no,
As_traga_--lizontes"--that's what _they_ are, yer see.
_Fiancee_. But who _were_ they?
_The I.A._ Well, I can't tell yer--not for certain; but I expect they
'd be the people who in'abited Astragalizontia.
_Fiancee_. Was that what they used to call Ostralia before it was
discovered? (_They come to the Clytie bust._) Why, if that isn't the
same head Mrs. MEGGLES has under a glass shade in her front window,
only smaller--and hers is alabaster, too! But fancy them going and
copying it, and I daresay without so much as a "by your leave," or a
_The I.A._ (_reading_). "Portrait of ANTONIA, sister-in-law of
the Emperor TIBERIUS, in the character of Clytie turning into a
_Fiancee_. Lor! They did queer things in those days, didn't they?
(_Stopping before another bust._) Who's that?
_The I.A._ 'Ed of Ariadne.
_Fiancee_ (_slightly surprised_). What!--not young ADNEY down our
street? I didn't know as he'd been took in stone.
_The I.A._ How do you suppose they'd 'ave young ADNEY in among this
lot--why, that's antique!
_Fiancee_. Well, I was _thinking_ it looked more like a female. But if
it's meant for old Mr. TEAK, the shipbuilder's daughter, it flatters
her up considerable; and, besides, _I_ always understood as her name
_The I.A._ No, no; what a girl you are for getting things wrong! that
'ed was cut out years and years ago!
_Fiancee_. Well, she's gone off _since_, that's all; but I wonder at
old Mr. TEAK letting it go out of the family, instead of putting it on
his mantelpiece along with the lustres and the two chiny dogs.
_The I.A._ (_with ungallant candour_). 'Ark at you! Why, you ain't
much more sense nor a chiny dog yourself!
_Moralising Matron_ (_before the Venus of Ostia_). And to think of the
poor ignorant Greeks worshipping a shameless hussey like that; it's a
pity they hadn't someone to teach them more respectable notions! Well,
well! it ought to make us thankful _we_ don't live in those benighted
times, that it ought!
_A Connoisseur_ (_after staring at a colossal Greek lion_). A lion,
eh? Well, it's another proof to my mind that the ancients hadn't got
very far in the statuary line. Now, if you _want_ to see a stone lion
done true to Nature, you've only to walk any day along the Euston
_A Practical Man_. I dessay it's a fine collection enough, but it's
a pity the things ain't more perfect. _I_ should ha' thought, with so
many odds and ends and rubbish lying about as is no use to nobody at
present, they might ha' used it up in mending some that only requires
a arm 'ere, or a leg there, or a 'ed and what not, to make 'em as good
as ever. But ketch _them_ (_he means the Officials_) taking any extra
trouble if they can help it!
_His Companion_. Ah, but yer see it ain't so easy fitting on bits that
belonged to something different. You've got to look at it _that_ way!
_The P.M._ _I_ don't see no difficulty about it. Why, any stonemason
could cut down the odd pieces to fit well enough, and they wouldn't
have such a neglected appearance as they do now.
_A Group has collected round a Gigantic Arm in red granite._
_First Sightseer_. There's a _arm_ for yer!
_Second S._ (_a humorist_). Yes; 'ow would yer like to 'ave _that_
come a punching your 'ed?
_Third S._ (_thoughtfully_). I expect they've put it up 'ere as a
_The Moralising Matron_. How it makes one realise that there were
giants in those days!
_Her Friend_. But surely the size must be a _little_ exaggerated,
don't you think? Oh, is _this_ the God Ptah?
[_The M.M. says nothing, but clicks her tongue to express a
grieved pity, after which she passes on._
_The_ Intelligent Artisan _and his_ Fiancee _have entered the Nineveh
Gallery, and are regarding an immense human-headed winged bull._
_The I.A._ (_indulgently_). Rum-looking sort o' beast that ere.
_Fiancee_. Ye-es--I wonder if it's a likeness of some animal they used
to 'ave then?
_The I.A._ I _did_ think you was wider than _that_!--it's on'y
imaginative. What 'ud be the good o' wings to a bull?
_Fiancee_ (_on her defence_). You think you know so much--but it's got
a man's 'ed, hain't it? and I know there used to be _'orses_ with 'alf
a man where the 'ed ought to be, because I've seen their pictures--so
_The I.A._ I dunno what you've got where _your_ 'ed ought to be,
torking such rot!
IN THE UPPER GALLERIES; ETHNOGRAPHICAL COLLECTION.
_A Grim Governess_ (_directing a scared small boy's attention to a
particularly hideous mask_). See, HENRY, that's the kind of mask worn
_Henry_. Always--or only on the fifth of November, Miss GOOLE?
[_He records a mental vow never to visit a Savage Island on
Guy Fawkes' Day, and makes a prolonged study of the mask, with
a view to future nightmares._
_A kind, but dense Uncle_ (_to Niece_). All these curious things were
made by cannibals, ETHEL--savages who eat one another you know.
_Ethel_ (_suggestively_). But, I suppose, Uncle, they wouldn't eat one
another if they had anyone to give them _buns_, would they?
[_Her Uncle discusses the suggestion elaborately, but without
appreciating the hint; the Governess has caught sight of a
huge and hideous Hawaiian Idol, with a furry orange-coloured
head, big mother-o'-pearl eyes, with black balls for the
pupils, and a grinning mouth picked out with shark's teeth, to
which she introduces the horrified HENRY._
_Miss Goole_. Now, HENRY, you see the kind of idol the poor savages
say their prayers to.
_Harry_ (_tremulously_). But n-not just before they go to bed, do
they, Miss GOOLE?
AMONG THE MUMMIES.
_The Uncle_. That's King RAMESES' mummy, ETHEL.
_Ethel_. And what was _her_ name, Uncle?
_The Governess_ (_halting before a cast containing a partially
unrolled mummy, the spine and thigh of which are exposed to view_).
Fancy, HENRY, that's part of an Egyptian who has been dead for
thousands of years! Why, you're not _frightened_, are you?
_Harry_ (_shaking_). No, I'm not frightened, Miss GOOLE--only, if you
don't mind, I--I'd rather see a gentleman not _quite_ so dead. And
there's one over there with a gold face and glass eyes, and he looked
at me, and--and please, I _don't_ think this is the place to bring
such a little boy as me to!
_A Party is examining a Case of Mummied Animals._
_The Leader_. Here you are, you see, mummy cats--don't they look
comical all stuck up in a row there?
_First Woman_. Dear, dear--to think o' going to all that expense when
they might have had 'em stuffed on a cushion! And monkeys, and dogs
too--well, I'm sure, fancy _that_, now!
_Second Woman_. And there's a mummied crocodile down there. I _don't_
see what they 'd want with a mummy _crocodile_, do you?
_The Leader_ (_with an air of perfect comprehension of Egyptian
customs_). Well, you see, they took whatever they could get 'old of,
IN THE PREHISTORIC GALLERY.
_Old Lady_ (_to_ Policeman). Oh, Policeman, can you tell me if there's
any article here that's supposed to have belonged to ADAM?
_Policeman_ (_a wag in his way_). Well, Mum, we _'ave_ 'ad the 'andle
of his spade, and the brim of his garden 'at, but they wore out last
year and 'ad to be thrown away--things won't last for ever--even
_'ere_, you know.
_A Peevish Old Man_. I ain't seen anything to call worth seeing,
_I_ ain't. In our museum at 'ome they've a lamb with six legs, and
hairylight stones as big as cannon-balls; but there ain't none of that
sort 'ere, and I'm dog-tired trapesing over these boards, I am!
_His Daughter_ (_a candid person_). Ah, I ought to ha' known it warn't
much good takin' _you_ out to enjoy yourself--you're too old, _you_
_Ethel's Uncle_ (_cheerily_). Well, ETHEL, I think we've seen all
there is to be seen, eh?
_Ethel_. There's _one_ room we haven't been into yet, Uncle dear.
_Uncle_. Ha--and what's that?
_Ethel_ (_persuasively_). The _Refreshment_ Room.
[_The hint is accepted at last._
* * * * *
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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