Punch, Vol. 99., July 26, 1890.
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis and the Online Distributed
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
July 26, 1890.
(_BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN TYPE WRITER._)
NO. XVI.--THE HURLINGHAM GIRL.
It is not so easy as it might appear to define the Hurlingham Girl
with complete accuracy. To say of her that she is one whose spirits
are higher than her aspirations, would be true but inadequate. For, at
the best, aspirations are etherial things, and those of the Hurlingham
Girl, if they ever existed, have been so recklessly puffed into space
as to vanish almost entirely from view. In any case they afford a very
unsubstantial basis of comparison to the student who seeks to infer
from them her general character. Yet it would be wrong to assume that
she has dispensed with the etherial on account of her devotion to what
is solid. Indeed nothing is more certain about her than the contempt
with which she has been willingly taught to look upon all the
attainments that are usually dignified with this epithet. History and
geography, classics and mathematics, modern languages (her own and
those of foreign nations), all these she candidly despises. Let others
make their nests upon the shady branches of the tree of learning. For
herself she is fain to soar into the empyrean of society, and to gaze
with undazzled eyes into the sun of the smart set. She has of course
had the advantage of teachers of all sorts, but the claims made upon
her time by thoughtless parents have usually been so great as to leave
her at the end of her school-room period with a few brittle fragments
of knowledge, which shift and change in her mind as the bits of glass
might shift in a kaleidoscope from which the looking-glass had been
omitted. It is enough for her if, in place of historical dates, she
knows the fashionable fixtures, whilst Sandown and Kempton, Ascot and
Goodwood, Hurlingham, and the Ranelagh, supply her with a variety
of knowledge infinitely more interesting and "actual" than the dry
details of population, area, climate, and capital towns, which may be
learnt (by others) from primers of geography.
Although it is, from their and her point of view, eminently desirable
that the parents of the Hurlingham Girl should be rich, yet it is by
no means absolutely necessary. It is, however, essential that they
should possess a social position which will ensure to them and to
their daughter an easy entrance into that world which considers
itself, not perhaps better, but certainly good. Her mother has
probably discovered long since that the task of being thwarted by
her daughter is an intolerable addition to her social burdens. She
therefore permits her, with as much resignation as she can command, to
take her own course in all those matters that do not conflict directly
with the maternal plans, and she may even come to take a pride in the
bold and dashing independence by which her daughter seeks to relieve
her of all responsibility, if not of all anxiety.
It is naturally during the London Season that the life of the
Hurlingham Girl is at its fullest and best. On week-day mornings she
is a frequent attendant in the Row, the means of her father being
apparently sufficient to provide her with a sleek and showy Park
hack and an irreproachable groom. Thence she hastens home to rest
and dawdle until the hour arrives for luncheon, to which meal she has
invited the youth who happens to be temporarily dancing attendance
upon her, for it is understood in many houses that luncheon is an open
meal for which no formal invitation from a parent is necessary. In the
afternoon there is always a bazaar, an amateur concert, an exhibition,
a fashionable _matinee_ or a Society tea-party to be visited. For the
evening there are dinners, and theatres, and an endless succession of
dances, at which the flowers, the suppers, and the general decorations
possess as much or as little variety as the conversation of those who
overcrowd the rooms to an accompaniment of dance-music that may once
have been new.
But of course there are distractions. Now and again Society seeks
relief from its load of care by emigrating _en masse_ for the day to
a race-meeting at Sandown or Kempton. There the Hurlingham Girl is
as much at home as though she were native to the spot, sprung, as it
were, from the very turf itself. The interest she takes or pretends to
take in racing is something astounding. For in truth she knows nothing
about horses, their points, their pedigrees, or their performances.
Yet she chatters about them and their races, their jockeys, their
owners, the weight they carry, their tempers, and the state of the
betting market, with a glib assurance which is apt to put to shame
even those of her male companions who have devoted a lifetime to
the earnest study of these supreme matters. In imitation of these
gentlemen she will assure those who care to listen to her, that she
has had a real bad day, not having managed to get on to a single
winner, and that if it hadn't been for a fluke in backing _Tantivy_,
one, two, three, she would have been reduced to a twopence in the
pound condition of beggary. She will then forget her imaginary losses,
and will listen with amusement and interest while a smooth-faced lad
criticises with as much severity as he can command in the intervals of
his cigarettes the dress, appearance, and general character of a
lady whom she happens to dislike. On the following day she will visit
Hurlingham in order to be looked at as a spectator at a polo match, in
which she has no interest whatever. After this she is entertained at
dinner together with a select party, which includes the young married
lady who is her bosom friend and occasional chaperon, by a middle-aged
dandy of somewhat shady antecedents, but of great wealth and undoubted
position. On Sunday mornings she may not always go to Church, but she
makes up for this neglect by the perfect regularity of her attendance
at Church parade. In the afternoon she will go to Tattersall's to
inspect horses. Ascot could not continue without her, and Goodwood
would crumble into ruins if she were absent. This at least is her
opinion, and thus the months flit by and leave her just as wise
as they found her. For she never reads a book, and illustrates by
constant practice her belief that the fashionable intelligence of the
_Morning Post_ is a sufficient mental pabulum for a grown-up woman.
It is unnecessary to describe further the pursuits and occupations of
the Hurlingham Girl. With regard to her appearance and dress, it must
be admitted that she displays considerable taste. She is always neat,
polished, perfectly groomed--in a word, smart. It may be that it takes
nine tailors to make a man. It is certain that it takes only one to
make a well-dressed woman. Yet she does not always, of course, wear
tailor-made costumes, for on the Sundays that she spends on the
river, her impertinently poised straw hats, her tasteful ribbons,
her sailor's knots, her collars, her manly shirts, and the general
appropriateness of her dress, excite the envy of those who declare
that they would not imitate her for worlds, merely because nature
has made it impossible for them to be like her. Handsome she is
undoubtedly, with the beauty that comes of perfect health undisturbed
by thoughts of the why and the wherefore, or by anticipations of a
troublesome to-morrow. Yet to the casual observer who beholds this
admirably decorated creature, her conversation is disappointing. She
revels in slang. Catch-words and phrases which are not called vulgar
only because the better classes use them, come trippingly, but never
with a pleasant effect from her lips. Nor has she that sense of
reticence which is said to have been the distinguishing mark of
unmarried girlhood at some former period. That she should talk
frivolously on great subjects, if she talks on them at all, is only
to be expected. It would be well if her curiosity and her conversation
left untouched delicate matters, the existence of which she may
suspect but ought certainly to ignore.
After she has thus flaunted her brilliant health and beauty through
several Seasons, she may begin to tire of an existence, which in
spite of its general freedom, is subject to certain restraints. She
therefore decides to emancipate herself by submitting to a husband.
She finds no difficulty, with the assistance of her mother, in
discarding the penniless subaltern who has devoted himself to her, and
whom she has induced to believe that she preferred to the whole world.
Having received an offer from a gentleman of presentable looks and
immense possessions, she promptly accepts it, and gains to her own
surprise a considerable reputation for judgment and discretion. It is
quite possible that after a year or two of giddy married life she may
decline gradually into a British Matron, respected alike on account of
her increasing family, and her substantial appearance.
* * * * *
THE BOY THE FATHER OF THE MAN.--The Chairman of the Infant Insurance
Committee, asked a skilled witness, "Is a man his own child, or
another person's child?" This led to an altercation, and the room had
to be cleared while the question was debated. On the return of the
Public, the query was repeated without a satisfactory result. And yet
the evident answer is, that he is another person's child, except when
he is "a self-made man."
* * * * *
PUNCH TO PRIMROSE.
"A good one to follow, a bad one to beat!"
Don't envy the man who succeeds to _your_ seat,
My clever ex-L.C.C. Chairman.
Fanatics and faddists will mar the best schemes,
Unless they're restrained from unholy extremes
By the hand of a strong and a fair man.
Your lubber, when first he adventures on wheels,
Has little control of his head or his heels.
With knees on the shake, and arms shrinking,
He scrambles about on the slippery floor,
Like a toper at large, or a mad semaphore,
Half wishing he hadn't gone rinking.
But, guided discreetly, supported at need,
The clumsiest novice at last may succeed,
His knees and his elbows controlling;
And you, my dear PRIMOSE, have played such a part.
You have given your promising pupil a start,
And--so to speak--set the wheels rolling.
He ought to do now; let us hope that he will.
The thanks mainly due to your judgment and skill
_Mr. Punch_, for the Public, here offers,
The boy's a bit clumsy,--most novices are;
But, give him fair play, and he may prove a "star,"
In spite of the sneerers and scoffers.
* * * * *
[Illustration: OFF DUTY.
_Punch_ (_to Primrose_). "YOU'VE SHOWN HIM THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT. HE
OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO GET ALONG NOW."]
* * * * *
ON WITH THE NEW LOVE.
(_MR. PUNCH TO HIS BOYS AT BISLEY._)
Well, here you are, my bonny boys!
No doubt you felt regret at parting
With well-known Wimbledonian joys.
But here you look all right, at starting.
You've not been _quite_ deranged by RANGER;
Of that there never was much danger.
Small thanks to _him_! Well, well, perhaps;
But never mind. Anger's too grisly
To be long held by such smart chaps;
And you can make Bulls'-eyes at Bisley;
And "sheep's'-eyes" seem to show you're "on
With that New Love"--New Wimbledon!
'Tis _Juliet_ now--not _Rosaline_;
Well, _Romeo_, take my benediction.
The Maid is fair, her dwelling fine.
And here you need not fear "Eviction."
"Disturbance" caused some indignation,
But, after all, there's "Compensation."
Your New Love's fair, furze-garmented,
And brightly crowned with golden bracken.
Your loyalty of heart and head,
Of love (and lead) I'm sure won't slacken.
"Bless ye, my children! May your New Love
Be firm and lasting as 'tis true love!"
* * * * *
THE PROFESSIONAL GUEST.
ON A HOUSE-BOAT AT HENLEY.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,
When I received a wire from an old and dear school-friend,
saying, "LUCY disappointed; come for week; wire me, _Goldfields_,
Henley--KITTY," I felt that the Art which I had been so assiduously
cultivating for some time past was to be put in practice at last. I
had long decided that there was a grand opening for girls (the true
unemployed) in the idea, and I had determined to make a good thing
out of it myself. KITTY' S telegram was somewhat vague, I admit; but
gossip having thrown a side-light on it, I knew that it came from
Henley, where she and her husband (whom I had never yet seen) had a
House-boat for the Regatta week. To answer in the affirmative, pack
my box, and catch the next train to Henley, was small work to a
When I arrived, I walked straight out of the station to the nearest
wharf, and, chartering a punt, had my luggage and myself placed on
board, and then told the small boy, who "manned" the craft, to take me
to the _Goldfields_. I was not too well pleased when he threw doubts,
not only on her whereabouts, but on her existence. Neither the small
boy nor a big man, nor an old woman standing by, knew anything about
it; and I had determined to take the next train to Town, when a
flannel-clad young man, with a heavy face and a peevish voice, called
out from the bank, "I've been looking for you everywhere." It proved
to be KITTY'S husband, but, as we were totally unacquainted with each
other's appearances, it was not wonderful that his search for me had
been ineffectual. He seemed much annoyed, however, and only vouchsafed
one remark as we punted, or, rather, waltzed (for the small boy was a
"dry bob," I think), down stream towards the _Goldfields_. "It's all
KITTY'S fault,--LUCY'S come." Of course this was awkward, but, on
arrival, KITTY was so hospitable, and LUCY so pretty, that, though our
sleeping and dressing apartment was astonishingly small, and I made
the odd girl out at dinner, I felt I could not mind much, and I also
got over the little _contretemps_ of my dressing-bag being dropped
into the river--"by accident," said KITTY'S husband.
Owing to the heat and the unaccustomed noise of the river, neither
LUCY nor I slept much; and, though we were told next morning we could
not have any baths, the whole scene was so bright and sparkling that
nobody (except KITTY'S husband, who seemed of a morose disposition)
could with reason have complained of anything. It continued to sparkle
till the first train came down from town, when our guests and the rain
arrived together. It was a dreadful nuisance, as the awning, which,
with the flowers, had cost us hours to arrange, speedily got soaked,
and had to be taken down. Then, of course, the sun came out again,
and for a time the heat was intense. In fact, one lady, who would eat
her lunch on the roof, grew quite faint, and had to be helped down to
KITTY'S husband's room. After lunch, we all ventured out in various
small craft, and again I was unlucky in my waterman. I was sure he had
never punted before, and it proved to be so; for when I asked him if
he had had much practice this season, he answered, the while he wrung
the water from his garments, that "he'd only seen it done, and it
looked easy." We managed, however, by dint of banging on to other
people's boats, to get along very well, until an ill-judged "shove"
sent us right out into the course, just as _the_ race of the day was
coming along. I am not quite clear as to what then took place; only I
know that everything was "fouled." KITTY'S husband, who had a bet on,
was furious, and glared at me for the rest of the day--a condition of
things I pretended not to see. That night we had a rat-hunt on board,
but we lost the animal, as LUCY diverted our attention by falling into
the river. It was most inconvenient of her, as she wetted our mutual
sleeping apartment dreadfully.
The second day was almost a _replica_ of the first, varied only by
KITTY'S husband fancying he had a sunstroke. The third and last day
was, however, not the success we could have wished. During the night
the weather turned hot, and the food turned--well, not good,--and next
morning the obligatory sacrifice to Father Thames was appalling. Then
when the necessary viands did not arrive from London, I in my capacity
of "professional guest," and of being always ready for any emergency,
volunteered to forage in Henley town. Oh! that expedition. I fought
at the fishmonger's, battled at the butcher's and baker's, grovelled
at the grocer's, and finally ended by committing a theft at the
butterman's. The number of our visitors was large, and was much
augmented by friends' friends, who came in battalions. It may have
been the extra weight on board, or it may be that the hunted rat had
designed a base revenge, but during lunch, and just as KITTY'S husband
was beginning to be genial, an odd idea seized me that the river was
rising. Yes! And the bank behind us was rising too. And gracious! the
water was flowing over the little promenade place, and running about
the floor of the saloon; and then the _Goldfields_ gave a lurch and a
shiver, and settled down in the mud, with a foot-and-a-half of dirty
water downstairs, and nothing but the roof left us to perch upon.
How we ever recovered our belongings I don't know. All I remember is,
being taken to the station in an old green wherry, and coming back to
town seventeen in a second-class carriage. My last view of the wreck
embraced KITTY, propped up against the railing of the roof, and making
tea on a table, which looked more like tipping over than standing
straight. KITTY'S husband was muttering to himself as he handed round
the cups; and, as I moved off through the crush of boats, I fancied
I caught the word "JONAH." Of course I may have been mistaken, as my
name is not that, but
THE ODD GIRL OUT.
* * * * *
ODE TO MONEY.
(_BY A POPTIMIST._)
Hair that is golden grows olden,
Hopes that are golden decay;
Suns that are bright, and embolden
The tourist to go on his way,
Leaving his gingham tight folden,
Turn to a drizzling grey.
But gold of the Mint is all-golden,
Safe in the strictest assay.
Cynics may rail against money,
Spurn its beneficent power;
Bears spurn impossible honey,
Foxes the grapes that are sour.
Men, who can never be funny,
Scoff at the funny man's dower;
Lands where it seldom is sunny
Find little praise for a flower.
When a man's safe at his bankers,
What does it mean, let us think--
Freedom from care and its cankers,
Plenty of victuals and drink?
Nay, but it opens the garden
Of tender illusion and joy,
Where faults find immediate pardon,
And worrying ways don't annoy.
In the light of futurity's favours
Fair gratitude burgeons amain,
And the flittermouse Love never wavers
In truth to the Psyche of gain.
Bountiful Money! 'Twill make you
Worthy in manners and birth;
Beauty for better will take you
(Little as that may be worth),
Hosts by the hand kindly shake you,
Crowds, when you wish to be funny,
Mind doing homage to Money,
Laugh with inordinate mirth.
Sages and moralists blame thee,
Stoics stand gloomy above thee,
Preachers with obloquy name thee,
Hermits and anchorites shame thee,
But symbol of all that is sunny,
Coy, courteous, flattering Money,
I love thee, I love thee, I love thee!
* * * * *
"BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!"
(_AN OPEN LETTER TO SOMEBODY._)
DEAR NOBLE CORRESPONDENT TO THE _TIMES_,--We see that you are doing
your best to defend the proposed destruction of the Lincoln's Inn
Gateway in Chancery Lane. In the course of your exertions, you have
been not too civil to several worthy persons, and inaccurate in your
description of the Society of Antiquaries. Now, do take our advice.
We know you were a clever "Silk" when you practised at the Bar, and
we have heard that your forefathers (for a generation or so) were
excellent hands at Banking; but, in the name of Lombard Street, do
let Archaeology alone!
With the best of wishes,
* * * * *
CHANCE FOR BUYERS.--Last week, among the Tuesday's arrangements in the
_Daily Telegraph_, was announced:--"Bath Horse Show." Did this include
"Bath Towel-Horse Show?" Fine chance for sporting Mr. BLUNDEL MAPLE.
M.P., as a Towel-Horse dealer. "Great Towel-Horse Show in Tottenham
Court Road!" The sale of yearlings and the pedigrees would be
* * * * *
[Illustration: LATEST INTELLIGENCE.
"BY THE WAY, WHERE _IS_ THAT PLACE, HELIGOLAND, THEY'RE ALL TALKING SO
"OH--DON'T YOU KNOW, DEAR? IT'S ONE OF THE PLACES LATELY DISCOVERED BY
* * * * *
THE TOMATO-CURE FOR DYSPEPSIA.
Don't talk to me of colocynth or famed cerulean pill,
Don't mention hyoscyamus or aloes when I'm ill;
The very word podophyllin is odious in mine ears,
The thought of all the drugs I've ta'en calls up the blinding tears;
The Demon of Dyspepsia, a sufferer writes to say,
At sight of the Tomato-plant will vanish quite away.
The Faculty will diet you till indigestion stops,
On what have always seemed to me interminable slops;
A dainty dish is sure to be the worst thing you can eat;
The bismuth and the charcoal come like nightmares after meat.
Away with all restrictions now, bring mutton, beef, and veal,
As long as ripe Tomatoes come to supplement a meal.
Hepatic action, doctors say, is very hard to start,
And if you have too much of it, that also makes you smart;
And so the fate of many folks, especially in town,
Is first to stir the liver up, and then to calm him down.
Now he can trouble us no more, although we go the pace;
A diet of Tomatoes keeps the tyrant in his place.
Away with deleterious drugs, for here's a plant been found,
Worth all the weird concoctions that dispensers can compound:
Get fresh Tomatoes, red and ripe, and slice and eat, and then--
You'll find that you are liver-less, and not like other men.
Come ye who dire dyspepsia's pangs impatiently endure,
It cannot hurt, and may do good, this new Tomato-Cure.
* * * * *
SWEETS TO THE ACID.--In an excellent speech, last week, Mr. HENRY
IRVING suggested that a Charitable Organisation Society should be
established for the Distribution of Art Relief. He rightly contended
that the Beautiful was as necessary to perfect happiness as the
Severely Useful. Drains (excellent things in their way) are scarcely
on a level with Pictures. This is an idea that the so-called
"goody-goody folk" find a difficulty in accepting; possibly because
most of them personally represent everything that is unlovely.
* * * * *
"WAX TO RECEIVE, AND MARBLE TO RETAIN."
[Illustration: "Whacks to Receive."]
According to an evening paper, the wedding-present of Colonel GOURAUD
to a distinguished couple took the novel and charming form of a
phonograph, recording, for all time, the musical portion of the
marriage ceremony. In all probability, this precedent will be widely
followed, and a set of waxen phonographic cylinders will be a familiar
feature in the list of presents at every wedding of any pretensions
to smartness. Still, there _may_ be cases in which those who intend
to imitate Colonel GOURAUD'S example would do well to consider first
whether the conditions are equally appropriate. For instance, young
JACK RIVENLUTE is not a bad fellow, though he may not be given to
sentiment, and VIOLA MANDOLINE is a very charming girl, if she
_is_ apt to be a trifle high-flown and exacting at times. When they
marry--(they have not even met at present, but they _will_ marry,
the year after next, unless _Mr. Punch's_ Own Second-sighted Seer
grossly deceives himself)--when they marry, VIOLA'S Uncle JOHN will
be the person to present them with the then orthodox phonograph and
appurtenances. But if he could foresee the future as distinctly as
_Mr. Punch's_ Seer has done in the following prophetic visions, he
might substitute a biscuit-box, or a fish-slice and fork, a Tantalus
spirit-case, or even a dumb-waiter, as likely, on the whole, to
inspire a more permanent gratitude.
FIRST ANNIVERSARY--SAY, IN 1893.
SCENE--_A CHARMING DRAWING-ROOM._ TIME--_ABOUT 9:30 P.M._
Mr. RIVENLUTE _is on a chair by the open window_; Mrs.
RIVENLUTE _on a low stool by his side_.
_Mrs. R._ (_for the fiftieth time_). I can't _ever_ thank you _nearly_
enough for this _lovely_ ring, JACK dear!
_Jack_ (_rather gruffly_). Oh, it's all right, Pussy. Glad you like
it, I'm sure. Do they mean to bring in the lamps? It's pitch dark.
_Mrs. R._ I'll ring presently--not just yet. It was so _dear_ of you
to remember what day it was!
_Jack_ (_who only just remembered it in time, as he was driving
home_). Been a brute if I hadn't!
_Mrs. R._ You _couldn't_ be a brute, JACK, if you tried--not to _me._
I'm so glad we haven't got to go out anywhere to-night, aren't _you_?
_Jack_ (_heartily_). Rather! Beastly bore turning out after dinner.
What on earth are you up to over there?
_Mrs. R._ (_who has risen, and has apparently been winding up some
instrument in the corner--as she returns_). Oh, it's only something I
wanted to do this evening.... Now, JACK, listen!
[_The phonograph begins to click and whirr._
_Jack_. That beastly cat in the room again! Turn it out quick--it's
going to be ill.
_Mrs. R._ (_laughing a little hysterically_). No--no, JACK, it isn't
poor Snowball this time! Wait, and you will hear something.
[_The "Voice that Breathed o'er Eden" is suddenly rendered by an organ
and full choir: the remarks of two choristers (who are having a
little difference over a hymn-book), and the subdued sniffs of MRS.
MANDOLINE, being distinctly audible between the verses._
_Mrs. R._ (_breaking down_). Oh, JACK, isn't it beautiful? Wasn't it
_sweet_ of Uncle JOHN to give it to us!
_Jack_ (_who, privately, would have infinitely preferred a small
cheque_). Yes--he's a good old buffer at bottom.
_Mrs. R._ He's a perfect old _love_! Tell me, JACK, you're not _sorry_
you married me, _are_ you?
_Jack._ What a thing to ask a fellow Of _course_ I'm not!
_Mrs. R._ (_softly_). Do you know, JACK, I'm sometimes sorry I married
_Jack_ (_uneasily_). Come, I _say_, you know--what on earth for?
_Mrs. R._ Because I should like to marry you all over again!... Ah,
I _knew_ I should frighten you! (_The final "Amen" of the Choir dies
away, amid the coughing, rustling, and nasal trumpeting of last year's
Congregation._) There are some more cylinders, JACK--shall we put them
_Jack_ (_who feels sufficiently solemnised_). Well, if you ask me, I
think they'll keep till next year. Pity to disturb the effect of that
_SAME SCENE AND TIME. MRS. RIVENLUTE DISCOVERED ALONE_.
_Mrs. R._ He might at _least_ have made _some_ allusion to the day--it
would have been only _decent_! He can't possibly have _forgotten_! I
don't know, though, very likely he has.... Well, _I'm_ not going to
remind him! I suppose he means to stay downstairs, smoking, as usual,
all the evening. Oh, if I could only make him ashamed of himself just
_once_!... _I_ know! Uncle JOHN'S phonograph! He can't help hearing
_that_. (_She winds it up, as JACK R. enters, yawning._) Dear me, this
_is_ an unexpected honour. (_Softening slightly._) Have you come up to
keep me company--for once?
_Jack._ Well, to tell you the truth, my dear, I fancy I left the
evening paper here. An, there it is.
[_He seizes it, and prepares to go._
_Mrs. R._ You can read it here, if you _like_, you know--I don't mind
_Jack._ Thanks--but it's cosier in the study.
_Mrs. R._ Of course I know that any place where I don't happen to be
is cosier in _your_ opinion.
_Jack._ Oh, hang it, don't begin all that again--there, _I_'ll stay!
(_He chooses a comfortable chair._) What the doose is that?
[_The phonograph has begun to buzz and hum._
_Mrs. R._ Hush!--it's Uncle JOHN'S present.
[_The "Wedding March" strikes up with a deafening blare._
_Jack_ (_startled_). Bless my soul! I thought something had blown up.
"_Hallelujah Chorus_," is it--or what?
_Mrs. R._ (_coldly_). As it happens, it is MENDELSSOHN'S "_Wedding
_Jack._ Sounded familiar somehow. 'Jove! MENDELSSOHN was determined to
let 'em know _he_ was married!
_Mrs. R._ That was intended to let people know _we_ were married. It
is our Wedding March.
_Jack._ Ours? You said it was _MENDELSSOHN'S_ just now! But what are
you turning it on _now_, for?
_Mrs. R._ Do you remember what day this is, by any chance?
_Jack._ Haven't an idea. Isn't there a calendar on your
writing-table?--that ought to tell you, if you want to know.
_Mrs. R._ Thank you, _I_ don't require a calendar. To-day is the
twenty-third--the day you and I were married. [_Sighs._
_Jack._ 'Pon my word I believe you're right. The twenty-third--so it
is! [_He becomes silent._
_Mrs. R._ (_to herself, as the "Wedding March" continues jubilantly_).
He _is_ ashamed of himself. I _knew_ he would be--only he doesn't
quite know how to tell me so; he will presently.... I wish I could
see his face.... If he is only sorry enough, I _think_ I shall
forgive him. JACK! (_Softly._) JACK dear! (_A prolonged snore from the
arm-chair. She goes to him and touches his arm._) You had better go
down-stairs and have your cigar, hadn't you? It may keep you awake!
_Jack_ (_opening his eyes_). Eh?--oh! Well, if you're sure you don't
mind being alone, I rather think I will.
_Mrs. R._ I should infinitely _prefer_ being alone--I am so used to
[_Exit JACK, as the "Wedding March" comes to a triumphant conclusion._
_SAME SCENE. TIME, 11:30 P.M. MRS. MANDOLINE DISCOVERED WITH HER
_Mrs. M._ Nearly twelve, and JACK not in yet--on this of all days,
too! VIOLA, you will be weak, _culpably_ weak, if you don't speak to
him, very seriously, when he _does_ come in.
_Mrs. R._ (_ruefully_). I _can't_, Mother. We're not on speaking terms
just now, you know.
_Mrs. M._ Then I _shall_. Fortunately, _I_ am on speaking terms with
him--as he will find out! (_A ring._) There he is, at last! Go, my
poor darling, leave me to bring him to a sense of his disgraceful
conduct. (_Mrs. R. retires by the back drawing-room._) How shall
I begin? Ah, poor JOHN'S phonograph! How lucky _I_ remembered it!
(_Selecting a cylinder._) There, if _anything_ can pierce his hard
heart, _that_ will!
[_Winds up machine, which breaks into a merry marriage peal as JACK
enters in evening dress._
_Jack_ (_sullenly_). Now just look here, VIOLA--(_recognising Mrs.
M._) Hullo, the Mum!
_Mrs. M._ (_raising her voice above the clamour_). Mum no longer, Sir.
Do you hear those bells?
_Jack_. _Do I hear those bells?_ Am I deaf? The whole Parish can hear
them, I should think!
_Mrs. M._ I don't care if they do. I want to touch your conscience, if
I can, and I still hope--bad as you are--that when the voices of those
bells--so long silent--rung in anticipation of such a very different
future--fall upon your ear once more, they may--
_Jack_ (_with a sardonic laugh_). "So long silent!" I like that. Sorry
to disappoint you, my dear Mamma, but that phonograph, as a domestic
stimulant, was played out long ago--it has played _me_ out often
enough! Perhaps you don't know it, but really VIOLA has rather
overdone it. Whenever we have a tiff, she sets the "_Voice from Eden_"
at me; if she chooses to consider herself ill-used, I am treated to
a preserved echo of our marriage vows, and the Bishop's address; when
she is in the sulks, I get the congratulations in the vestry; and
if ever I grumble at the weekly bills, it's drowned in the "_Wedding
March_!" As for your precious bells, I can't dine with a man at the
Club without hearing the confounded things pealing out the moment
I let myself in. That infernal phonograph, which you seem to fondly
imagine will make me burst into tears, and live happy ever after, has
driven me out of the house many a time when I was willing enough to
stay at home; but to be put through one's wedding ceremony three times
a week is enough to send any fellow to the Club, or out of his mind.
I'd smash the d----d thing with pleasure, only it seems to afford VI
some consolation. I can't say I find it soothing myself.
[_Before Mr. MANDOLINE can think of a suitable reply, Mrs. R. enters
from the inner room, where she has remained till now. She is carrying
a small steel poker, which she silently places in the hand of her
_Jack._ Hullo! _you_ here? What's _this_ for?
[_Staring blankly at the poker._
_Mrs. R._ (_meekly_). To--to smash the d----d thing with.
[_The marriage peal ceases abruptly, as Mrs. MANDOLINE, comparatively
reassured, discreetly leaves the couple to come to a better
understanding without further assistance._
* * * * *
OUR BOOKING OFFICE.
_The Gentlewoman_, No. 1, has appeared. It gives, or rather sells, an
overwhelming lot for the money, which is sixpence. Sixpenn'orth of
all sorts. Plenty of readable information. Illustrations not the best
feature in it. Crowds of advertisements. The _menus_, if carefully
sustained, may prove very useful to those who "dinna ken." As to the
type of _The Gentlewoman_, well, the first picture is of Her Imperial
Majesty the QUEEN, and with this type of the Gentlewoman we shall all
be satisfied, _dicit_ BARONIUS DE BOOK-WORMS.
"What a sight o' Books!" cries the Baron, remembering the clever
Parrot who uttered a similar exclamation at a Parrot Competition.
First, here is _Blossom Land and Fallen Leaves_, by CLEMENT SCOTT,
published by HUTCHINSON & CO., which is an interesting and useful book
to those who are able to take a holiday in Cromer, and marvel at the
sunset, and notice how "in the far distance a couple of lovers advance
towards the fading light"--I'll be bound that deeply engaged couple
didn't catch sight of the "chiel takin' notes"--and how did _he_ know
for certain they were a couple of lovers? Why not brother and sister?
Why not husband and wife? Why not uncle and aunt?--but with an
experienced eye the canny SCOTT made a pretty shrewd guess--and it
is a pleasant companion, is this book, to those who cannot visit
Cromer, or any of the other places mentioned in _Blossom Land_, and
who reading it at home will only wish they could do so, and will
promptly make arrangements for paying (the "paying" _is_ the
difficult part) a visit not only to Cromer but also to Caen, Etretat,
Cabourg,--carefully noting C.S.'s account of his "cruise upon wheels,"
and his sensible remarks on Parisianising these otherwise tranquil
resorts. From Havre to Hammersmith is a bit of a jump, but it is from
a bustling port to a peaceful spot--"a Harbour of Refuge" at Nazareth,
where the Baron sincerely trusts the good Little Sisters of the Poor
are no longer Poor-rated L120 per annum, just by way of parochial
encouragement, I suppose, to other charitable persons for relieving
the parish "of an incubus of four hundred." The work of these
self-sacrificing women cannot be over-rated in one sense, but in the
parochial sense (if parochials have any) they can hardly be rated
enough. Really a delightful book for all comers and goers.
"What have we here?" inquires the Baron--_Seven Summers, An Eton
Medley, by the Editors of the Parachute and Present Etonian_. Now,
Heaven forgive my ignorance, but I have never seen the _Parachute_
nor the _Present Etonian_, so without prejudice I dip into this book,
and am at once much interested and amused by a paper "On Getting Up."
Not "getting up" linen, or "getting up lessons," but getting up in
the morning, ever a hard-worker's hardest task. It will remind many
a middle-aged Etonian of the days when he was very young, and early
school was very early. "The Inner Man" is another amusing paper, and
forty years has made no alteration in the "sock-cad." American slang
has evidently tinged Etonian style. "What in the name of purple
thunder," and "in the name of spotted Moses," and so forth, are
Americanisms, and the tone of these two smart Etonian writers has a
certain Yankee ring in it. Why not leave this sort of thing to MARK
TWAIN, BRET HARTE & CO., who are past masters of their own native
slang? _Seven Summers_ will interest and amuse Etonians of all ages.
And here, attracted by a quaintly-designed cover, the Baron takes up
_Ballads from Punch, and other Poems_, by WARHAM ST. LEGER, published
by DAVID STOTT. That a considerable number of these have appeared in
_Mr. Punch's_ pages, by whose kind permission they are reprinted, is
quite sufficient guarantee for their excellence. _The Lay of the Lost
Critic, The Plaint of the Grand Piano_, are capital specimens of the
author's humour, and _Christmas Eve_ of his true pathos. No influence
of American humour visible in any of these. As a rule, the Baron
doesn't recommend betting, but advises his readers to go in for this
The contents of _The Universal Review_ this month are varied,
interesting, but not sensational. The article on Westminster Abbey, by
FREDERICK GEORGE LEE, D.D., with its humorous notes and observations,
will have a charm for many readers, and so will that on the painter
BERNADINO LUINI. The novel entitled, _The Wages of Sin_, is now at
the first chapter of the fifth book, and there is an illustration
representing a lady in a Victoria pulling up in Waterloo Place.
Underneath is the legend--"She leaned forward smiling, beckoning as
the Victoria drew up against the curb." First, she is not leaning
forward; secondly, she doesn't appear to be "smiling;" thirdly, she
doesn't seem to be "beckoning;" and, fourthly, though the horse is
being pulled back, probably on the "curb," yet, if the author means
that the carriage is being pulled up against the pavement, then
why didn't he say so, and write it "kerb?" I like being a trifle
hypercritical just now and then, says THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
AN INTERNATIONAL HERO.
There has been recently a discussion in _The World_ as to where _Cox
and Box_ (for which Sir ARTHUR wrote some of his best music) first
saw the light. It was decided in favour of the Librettist at whose
residence the Triumviretta was given privately, in presence of a
distinguished audience. But there was one person who might have given
invaluable evidence, and that was _Box_ himself. Why did he not step
forward? Where was he? The explanation is given in the Paris _Figaro_
of Thursday, July 17:--
"M. Box, le nouveau Ministre d'Haiti a Paris, a ete recu hier
matin par le President de la Republique."
Of course, Cox will receive an appointment. Perhaps M. Box banks
at Cox's. Will Sergeant-Major BOUNCER be gazetted to the Hayti'eth
Regiment? Whatever may be in store for these immortal personages,
it is satisfactory to know that, for the present, _Box_ at least is
provided for. It was like his true British nature not to disguise
his identity under some such gallicised form of his name as BOITE, or
LOGE. There is, perhaps, no surname in our language so truly national
as _Box_. "JOHN BOX" might well be substituted for "JOHN BULL." It is
characteristic of our British pugilism. _Vive M. Box!_
* * * * *
IN THE KNOW.
(_BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN PROPHET_.)
Various events are approaching, and it is only fair that I should give
the readers of this journal the benefit of my advice and my opinions.
In good time I shall have something to say about Goodwood--something
that will make the palaeolithic cauliflower-headed dispensers of
buncombe and bombast sit up and curse the day on which fate allowed
them to be born. There are some who profess to attach importance to
the goose-billed mouthings and vapourings of the butter-brained crew
who follow in the wake of the most notorious professor of humbugging
pomposity that even this age, rich as it is in putty-faced impostors,
has ever produced. Well, let them. For my own part I follow the advice
of the French King to the beautiful Marquise DE CENTAMOURS. "_Sire_,"
the _Marquise_ is reported to have said, "_quelle heure est-il?_" To
which the witty monarch at once replied, "_Madame, si vous avez besoin
de savoir l'heure, allez done la demander au premier gendarme?_" The
story may be found with others in the lately published memoirs of
Madame DE SANSFACON. In a similar spirit I answer those who pester me
I understand that _Barrister Bill_, _Sidesplitter_, and _Fiery Harry_,
showed up excellently at Newmarket last week. I have always prophesied
well of these three splendid animals, who take their feeds as
regularly, and with as much gusto as they gallop a mile on heather
when the barometer points to set fair. At the same time I consider
that only a papoose, made of string and sawdust, would give more than
L10,000 for any one of them.
Complaints have reached me that some of my remarks have given pain in
an exalted quarter. It is the common lot of those who are honest to be
misunderstood, and, for myself, I wish to claim no exemption from the
rule. My one aim is to benefit my readers, and to advance truth. For
this I would sacrifice the smiles of Courts, and incur the shallow
sneers of the grovelling, chowder-headed horde of flunkeys who sit in
high places. My work bears witness to my merit. Need I say more?
* * * * *
[Illustration: SERIOUS BALL-ROOM FLIRTATIONS.
_Lord Algernon_. "I CAN SAFELY RECOMMEND OUR TUSSORE SILKS, MRS.
GREEN. _WON'T_ YOU GIVE THEM A TRIAL? WE ALLOW A DISCOUNT OF FIFTEEN
PER CENT, FOR CASH, YOU KNOW."
_Sir Reginald_. "NOW _DO_ LET ME SEND YOU A COUPLE OF DOZEN OF OUR
EXTRA DRY CHAMPAGNE AT SEVENTY-TWO SHILLINGS, DEAR LADY MIDAS. I'M
_SURE_ SIR GORGIUS WILL LIKE IT."
_Captain de la Vere de Vere_. "OH, IF I _COULD_ BUT INDUCE YOU TO GET
YOUR HUSBAND TO INSURE HIS LIFE IN OUR OFFICE, MRS. VAN TRONCK!--THE
BONUSES ARE QUITE EXCEPTIONAL."]
* * * * *
"TOO MANY COOKS--!"
_A BRET-HARTEISH BALLAD._
MORAL BILL BUTTONS _SINGS_:--
I reside at Greenlands (Henley), and my name is MORAL BILL;
I'm a model of well-meaning, which makes up for want of skill;
And I'll tell, in simple language, what I know about the shine
Which demoralised our kitchen, and which bust up our Big Dine.
But first I would remark that it is not a prudent plan
For any culinary gent to flout his fellow-man;
And, if a colleague can't agree with his peculiar whim,
To wait on that same colleague, and trip up the heels of him.
Now nothing could be nicer, or more beautiful to see.
Than the first three years' proceedings of our Cooks (and we had three),
Till JOACHIM (of Goshen) made a dish (of devilled bones),
Which he flaunted in the face of ARTHUR B. with swelling tones.
Then ARTHUR made an _entree_; he constructed it with care,
And he vowed that e'en APICIUS would have owned it rich and rare.
And when JOACHIM protested that "soup first" was a fixed rule,
ARTHUR B. insinuated that his colleague was a mule.
And then he smiled a languid smile; sneering was ARTHUR'S fault,
And he had one squirmy snigger which was worse than an assault.
He was a most sarcastic man, this languid ARTHUR B.,
And he aimed at being _Chef_, which JOKIM said was fiddlededee.
Now I hold it's not the duty of a culinary gent
To say his colleague is a Moke--at least to all intent;
Nor should the individual who happens to be meant
Reply by chucking crockery to any great extent.
Then Number Three Cook tried to raise an ill-done _roti_, when
He tripped o'er ARTHUR'S heels, and fell upon his abdomen;
And presently the various _plats_ were mingled on the floor;
And the subsequent proceedings let us draw a curtain o'er.
For in less time than I write it every Cooky dropped his dish,
And our _menu_ was as mucked as our worst enemy could wish;
And the way those Cookies chivied in their anger was a sin,
And the only dinner left 'em was the cheese--which _I_ took in.
And this is all I have to say concerning this sad spill;
For I live at Greenlands (Henley), and my name is Moral BILL;
And I've told in simple language all I know about the shine
That demoralised our kitchen, and upset the year's Big Dine!
* * * * *
A SWEET HOME FOR NANCY.
DEAR MR. PUNCH,--The other evening, wishing to enjoy a little music,
I went to the Lyric Theatre, and found that the opera chosen for
performance was called _Sweet Nancy_, founded upon a novel with some
similar title by Miss RHODA BROUGHTON. The prettiest tune I heard was
one that I fancy had been played before, and my belief is the stronger
as Mr. HENRY NEVILLE referred to it as "a dear old song." It had to do
with "_Darby and Joan_," and reminded me of J.L. MOLLOY'S delightful
song with that title. The rest of the music was not very striking.
Even to those who hold that the plot of an Opera is only of secondary
importance, _Sweet Nancy_ could not have appeared to be exactly
teeming with incidents. However, it was very nicely played by Miss
HUGHES, and that now mature Lancashire Lad, the aforesaid HENRY
NEVILLE. Without declaring that I should like to see it every evening
for a thousand years (which I believe is a _facon de parler_ even
in China), I certainly could sit it out again. If I wished to be a
fault-finder I should say that the piece is too long, and seems all
the longer because some of the characters are supposed to represent
schoolboys, and a girl of thirteen. The adapter is Mr. BUCHANAN--a
poet and a playwright. This gentleman, I believe, has made many other
pieces (more or less) his own, with (more or less) success. He seems
to have a knack of turning old plays into new ones. I live in hope
that when I next visit this great Metropolis I shall find that he has
re-written the _School for Scandal_, and brought _Hamlet_ up to date.
Yours always, A CRITIC FROM THE COUNTRY.
* * * * *
[Illustration: "TOO MANY COOKS--!"
THE PAGE-BOY (W.H. SM-TH). "AT ANY RATE, I'VE SAVED THE _CHEESE_!!"]
* * * * *
THE OPERA-GOER'S DIARY.
[Illustration: The Hanging Committee.]
_Monday to Saturday_.--Nothing particular this week. Second July
Meeting at Newmarket took a lot of people away, and the thunder,
hail and rain frightened a lot more away on Thursday, so may as well
discuss _Esmeralda_, which I hadn't time to do last week. Rather
a mixed affair to start with when you have a French _libretto_,
set by an English Composer, and played at the Royal Italian Opera,
Covent Garden. No matter. A big success for everyone concerned,
from DRURIOLANUS downwards. No one could have wished for a better
_Esmeralda_ than Madame MELBA, though she did not make the most of
that first charming song, "_L'Hirondelle_." One Swallow, however,
doesn't make an Opera, and Madame MELBA soon pulled herself together,
and threw herself into the work when she saw Mons. JEAN DE RESZKE, as
_Phoebus_, winning fresh laurels.
The _Quasimodo_ of M. DUFRICHE, of the Vibrato school, was
dramatically good, but not great; but _Claude Frollo_ was both
great and good. These two have been defrauded of their rights by the
undramatic Librettist, who has done about as little as possible with
the excellent materials at his command. What a scene might have been
the final one between _Quasimodo_ and _Claude_, when _Claude Frollo_
is pitched over the battlements. I forget what becomes of _Quasi_; but
if he stabs himself, or is stabbed, that would be quite sufficient
for dramatic justice and effect. Then, of course, the absurd ceremony
used by _Clopin_, and the real unwillingness of _Esmeralda_ to become
_Gringoire's_ wife, would dispose of the marriage, unless _Gringoire_
were previously got rid of (for I don't remember how the novel ends)
and _Esmeralda_ would be united to _Phoebus_, while _Fleur-de-Lys_
could marry _De Chevreuse_, or anybody else.
[Illustration: HOW IT OUGHT TO HAVE ENDED.
Mr. Justice Butt pronounces a decree of divorce. Phoebus marries
Esmeralda. Claude Frollo is smashed, and Quasimodo is stabbed.]
The Goat, too, has a wretched part: to be left out after the first
scene is too bad. Something might have been done with him, if he had
only been put into a chaise; but perhaps _Esmeralda_ and _Phoebus_
reserve him for further use in the course of a couple of years or so,
when _Djali_, drawing a goat-chaise containing a little _Esmeralda_
and a little _Phoebus_, followed by a nurse and Papa and Mamma, would
make a sensation at some fashionable seaside resort.
[Illustration: _The Goat_. "I ought to have the second principal part
in this Opera. If they don't produce _Dinorah_, I shall give notice.
Too bad of Goring Thomas. If I see him alone I'll show him what
'Butting' Thomas is."]
Mons. MONTARIOL played and sang well as _Gringoire_, and Mons.
WINOGRADOFF was most artistic as _Clopin_, Amusing to see Mons.
LASSALLE as _Claude Frollo_, melodramatically hiding behind the
window-curtains, just as _Phoebus_ enters the room followed by
_Esmeralda_. So evidently was the curtain shaken, that _Phoebus_
would most certainly have detected the sneak, or he might have asked
_Esmeralda_, "What's that?" and have asserted his belief that it could
not possibly be the cat, but he might have accepted her explanation
had she informed him that it was the Goat. What a chance here lost
for a situation of the Goat behind curtains butting _Claude Frollo_!
However, it was all "purtendin'," and JEAN DE RESZKE as _Phoebus_
didn't see what he would most certainly have noticed immediately had
he been himself. Magnificently got up; _mise-en-scene_ excellent; band
and chorus all that could be wished.
* * * * *
BULLY FOR THE COLONEL!
"The Hon. Member had availed himself of the privilege accorded
to Members of Parliament in debate to fire a shameful barbed
arrow at Colonel CADDELL, in order that some of the mud might
stick."--_Colonel Saunderson in the House of Commons_.
Come, listen to my story: it's a sort of shilling-shock tale,
With no end of fire and fury, and a modicum of blood,
And a Colonel who mixed metaphors as Yankees mix a cocktail,
And a quiverful of arrows, shameful arrows, barbed with mud.
It was DILLON who had used them, and he spoke of Tipperary,
Tipperary new and rentless, where the tenants have combined.
And the Parnellites were gathered like the chicks of Mother CAREY,
When they feel the tempest rising, and give warning of the wind.
And the pale and angry Tories sat impatient of the battle.
And the benches of the Commons, where they love a fight, grew full;
And, although they knew 'twas better not to hurry people's cattle,
They implored their fiery Colonel to oblige them with a bull.
But the Colonel needs no prompting, straight rises to address them,
And his eye now flames in fury, and now twinkles like a star;
And he turned on Mr. PARNELL'S men, and didn't rightly bless them,
This flashing, dashing, slashing _militaire_ from North Armagh.
And before a man could whistle there were ructions and denials,
Shouts and countershouts of anger--quite a House of Commons scene;
While the Colonel, who had bottled all his wrath, poured out the vials
On the heads of Irish gentlemen whose wigs were on the green.
'Twas in vain they sought to daunt him; like a flock of noisy sparrows
When a hawk comes grimly swooping, or like moths that tempt the wick,
So they scattered when the Colonel told the House of shameful arrows,
Which were fired (I quote the Colonel) in the hope that mud might stick.
When Sir BOYLE, the ever famous, smelt a rat (you've heard the story)--
Saw it floating in the air, he promptly nipped it in the bud;
But I think our modern Colonel gets the greater share of glory
For inventing shameful arrows that could only spatter mud.
And, oh, ye sons of Erin, when the coat-tails next are trailing,
Make your weapons on this pattern, think of SAUNDERSON, his bull;
And no mother's son will suffer, though the missiles should come hailing,
If you only use mud-arrows, or shillelaghs made of wool
* * * * *
DEVOUT WISH OF IRISH LANDLORDS FOR MR. BALFOUR.--"May his shadowing
never grow less!"
* * * * *
[Illustration: "FIGURES OF SPEECH."
_Balfour_ (_the Showman_). "NOW, YOU'D LIKE TO SEE SIR WILLIAM V.
HARCOURT IN FOUR REMARKABLE SITUATIONS."]
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
[Illustration: A New Subscriber to _The Morning Post_.]
_House of Commons, Monday, July 14._--Government again narrowly
escaped defeat. Last time it was Ascot; this time Marlborough House
Garden Party. "This Session," says T. HARRINGTON, "I've taken to
subscribing to _The Morning Post_; study its fashionable news; look
out for arrangements likely to draw men away from House; then me and
SAGE put our heads together; arrange for Division; take it smart, and
Government left in lurch."
To-day opportunity found in Motion for Select Committee on
constitution of Scotch Committee. AKERS-DOUGLAS proposed twenty-one
members, all Scotch but one. "Let us have the lot Scotch," says
ROBERTSON; moves Amendment accordingly. House pretty full, knowing
crisis at hand; Government Whips scouting for Members.
"Tell you what I'll do," says PENROSE FITZGERALD to AKERS-DOUGLAS;
"I hate garden-parties and that sort of thing, but as we shall be in
a hole if Division now rushed, I'll take cab, run up to Marlborough
House, fetch down some men; inconvenient, you know; works against
grain; would rather be down here helping you than mingling in
glittering throng; but, as the Governor says, duty is our loadstar;
say the word, and I'll go off to Pall Mall and fetch a lot down."
"FITZGERALD," said AKERS-DOUGLAS, wringing his hand, "you're a brick.
You always think of the right thing, and are ready to do it."
DOUGLAS paused to wipe away tear drawn from his sensitive glands by
this evidence of self-sacrifice. When he'd done it, looking again
at FITZGERALD'S briskly-retreating figure, couldn't help noting
how smartly he was got up; summer pants; white waistcoat; the short
"reefer," familiar in the Lobby, cast aside for the courtly frock
coat; observed him as he strode forth, producing pair of lavender
"Odd," said DOUGLAS, reflectively. "FITZGERALD never expected to go
to Garden Party; down here to help me; sudden emergency, and spirit
of self-devotion, suggested to him to run over, and see what could
be done; happy chance to find him, by exception, in the right rig.
It would never have done for him to rush over to Marlborough House to
meet the QUEEN in his 'reefer.' Curious, when I come to think of it.
Hope there's not more in it than meets the eye."
_But there was._
Debate on ROBERTSON'S Amendment abruptly closed; Division rushed;
position of Government critical; AKERS-DOUGLAS anxiously on look-out
for FITZGERALD and the Marlborough House relief party; but they came
not, and on Division Government saved by skin of teeth and eight
votes. An hour later, PENROSE FITZGERALD returned to Lobby with
guilty look; carefully avoided AKERS-DOUGLAS; that able captain too
broken-hearted at the perfidy to be angry; "NOAH'S dove didn't treat
him so," he said to himself; but all he said to FITZGERALD was,
"Pleasant Party at Marlborough House, I suppose?" "Yee-es," said
FITZGERALD; "rather; couldn't get back quite as soon as I expected."
_Business done._--Irish Votes in Supply.
[Illustration: Haste to the Wedding.]
_Tuesday._--Regular set-to of Irish Members on Prince ARTHUR. MADDEN
gallantly threw himself across body of his chief, but got such fearful
pummelling retired into silence for rest of sitting. What made it
worse for ARTHUR was Chairman's ruling; pulled him up more than
once amid loud cheers from Opposition. TIM HEALY on war-path; quotes
TENNYSON with odd variation; represents Prince ARTHUR as saying of
Irish Members, "You have not got the pose that marks the cast of VERE
DE VERE." Proceedings occasionally lively; grow a little monotonous
after first five hours. Met STUART hurrying off, humming to himself
the air, "_Haste to the Wedding_."
"Aren't you going to stay for division?" I asked.
"No," said he. "I mustered; strikes only on the box; when you ask
for it, see that you get it; none other genuine. Have an important
engagement to-morrow morning. If you're waking COLMAN early, COLMAN
early, TOBY dear."
Stared at this incoherent speech; thought at first he was mad or had
dined. Then I remembered that to-morrow, at Norfolk, he marries Miss
_Business done._--More Irish Votes.
_Thursday._--_E pur si muove_; that is to say, it _will_ move; they'll
all move, in spite of BRAMWELL. London, probably, the only population
in the world that possesses the supernatural patience necessary to
submit to having its movements obstructed by bars and gates put
up across some of its principal thoroughfares. Oddly enough, they
congregate round congeries of Railway Stations in the North. To-day,
ROSEBERY in Lords moves Second Reading of Bill designed to have them
swept away. BRAMWELL protests. "Speaking," he said, "in name of over
two hundred people who live in district affected by the Bill, I ask
your Lordships to reject it." This too much even for House of Lords.
That alleged luxury of two hundred people should weigh against
convenience of the population of London was a little monstrous.
BRAMWELL kept his countenance admirably. LORD CHANCELLOR looked on
"That's the man for _me_, TOBY," he said. "If we could only have
a House of Lords all BRAMWELLS, with me on Woolsack, we'd make Old
England once more a merry spot."
Rest of House, however, would not enter into joke. MARKISS admitted
that, being a constant passenger by Great Northern Railway, he
generally "said a dam" when passing these gates. This felt to be a
shocking state of things. Gates and bars must be bundled off, if only
to prevent use of bad language by PRIME MINISTER. BRAMWELL reluctantly
admitted this, still pleading with touching eloquence for preservation
of the obstruction.
"My Lords," he said, "think of what you're doing to this great
capital, of which we are all so justly proud. The Tower has become a
disused place, and its historic hill no more reverberates to the merry
chopping of the headsman's axe. Temple Bar has gone, and long ago have
vanished the heads that used to look wistfully down on the passing
chairmen. The chairmen themselves have sped into eternity, and in
their place circles the Hansom cab. No more does the lovely, lonely
oil lamp swing at the corners of our streets. Your Lordships can
wend your way homeward as far West as Kensington, or as far North as
Highbury, without meeting the casual footpad. The town is drained; the
river is embanked; our streets are paved; and we have a penny post.
Almost all that is left to us of the good old times are these bars,
arbitrarily set up across our thoroughfare, watched by a gentleman in
a seedy suit, and a rain-beaten hat girt with tarnished golden lace.
I beseech your Lordships, by your memories of infancy, by your love of
our old Constitution, by the faith of your Order, by your fidelity
to your Sovereign, to spare these last lingering relics of the London
that helped to make our Empire great."
[Illustration: "As if in Church."]
House plainly touched at this outburst of eloquence. Lord BANGOR
closed his eyes, and clasped his hands, as if in Church. If there
can be any arrangement made in Committee by which the gates and bars,
after removal, may be placed in convenient order round BRAMWELL'S
residence, so that he shall be forced to make _detours_ as he goes
about his daily business, it shall be done. With this understanding,
Amendment withdrawn, and Bill read Second Time.
_Business done._--In Commons, more about Irish Votes.
_Friday._--Vote for Irish Prisons Board on in Committee of Supply.
Interesting conversation between Prince ARTHUR and recent inmates
of the prisons. O'BRIEN protests that the treatment was abominable.
Prince ARTHUR cites O'B.'s personal appearance in proof that things
are not so bad as they are painted. "Four times you've been in
prison," he urged, "and see how well you look." DILLON takes objection
to the prison garb; discloses strong yearning to see Prince ARTHUR
arrayed in it. ARTHUR quite content with his present tailor.
SHAW-LEFEVRE joins in conversation; ARTHUR looks at him longingly.
"They say we shan't be in office another year, TOBY," he observed, as
SHAW-LEFEVRE proceeded at some length; "but I should like to be CHIEF
SECRETARY long enough to get a chance of running SHAW-LEFEVRE in. He's
very slippery; knows how near he may go without incurring actual risk;
but I'll have him some day." _Business done_.--Irish Votes happily
* * * * *
A SPORTING STYLE.
_Prefatory Note._--It is a common mistake to suppose that the present
generation frowns upon the literary achievements of the descriptive
reporter who chronicles the great deeds of athletes, oarsmen,
pugilists, and sportsmen generally. On the contrary, if we may pretend
to judge from a wide and long-continued study, we should say that
the _vates sacer_ of the present day, though he may not rival his
predecessors in refinement and classical allusion, is by no means
inferior to them in wealth of language and picturesque irrelevancy.
Sporting reporting, in fact, was never more of a fine art, and on the
whole has rarely been better paid, than it is at the present day. In
the hope that many a young journalist may be helped in his struggle
for fame and fortune, _Mr. Punch_ proposes to publish a short manual
of sporting reports, with examples and short notes, that may explain
the _technique_ of the business to the aspirant.
1. Always remember that you are a sporting reporter, and be as
sportive as you can. The dig-in-the-ribs and chuck-her-under-the-chin
style is always effective.
2. Speak of everybody by his Christian name or his nick-name.
3. If you think a man ought to have a nickname, invent one for him.
4. Employ stock quotations wherever they are least required, and give
a music-hall flavour to every report.
5. If possible, misquote.
6. Avoid all simple language.
7. Patronise all titled sportsmen, and pat wealthy bookmakers on the
8. Never miss an opportunity of showing that you are on familiar terms
with the sun, moon, rain, wind, and weather in general. Do this, as
a rule, by means of classical tags vulgarised down to the level of a
9. Spin out your sentences.
10. Mix up your metaphors, moods, tenses, singulars, plurals, and the
11. Refer often to "the good old days" you don't remember, and bewail
the decadence of sport of all kinds.
12. Occasionally be haughty and contemptuous, and make a parade of
rugged and incorruptible honesty. In short, be as vain and offensive
as you can.
13. Set yourself up as an infallible judge of every branch of sport
_First Example_.--Event to be reported: An American pugilist arrives
at Euston, and is received by his English friends and sympathisers.
O'FLAHERTY IN ENGLAND.
ARRIVAL OF THE CHAMPION. HIS RECEPTION. WHAT HE THINKS OF ENGLAND.
It was somewhere towards "the witching hour of noon" that the broad
and splendid artery of commerce, to wit, the Euston Road, became, for
the nonce, a scene of unwonted, and ever-increasing excitement. Old
Plu had promised, as per Admiral FITZROY'S patent hocus-pocusser,
to give us a taste of his quality; and it is unnecessary, in this
connection, to observe that the venerable disciple of Swithin the
Saint was as good as his word. But Britons never never shall be
slaves. England expected every man to do his duty. Forward the Light
Brigade, and so on to where glory and an express train were waiting,
or would be waiting, before you had time to knock a tenpenny nail on
the head twice. The company on the platform comprised the _elite_ of
the sporting world. "Bluff" TOMMY POPPIN, the ever courteous host of
"The Chequers," "BILL" TOOTWON, by his friends yclept the Masher, JAKE
RUMBELO, the middle-weight World's Champion, were all there, wreathed
in silvery smiles, and all on the nod, on the nod, on the nod, as the
poet hath it, though why "hath it" no man can tell, in words that will
last while Old Sol, the shiner, drives his spanking tits along the
azure road. Punctual to the moment the train steamed into the station,
and the giant form of O'FLAHERTY, the "man in a million," leaped out
of the railway carriage, amid the plaudits of all the blue blood of
England's sports. In answer to inquiries the Champion laughingly
said, "he guessed this was a mighty wet country for a dry man," and
proceeded to the refreshment-room, where he "asked a p'leece-man"--oh
no, not at all, but, "Deep as the rolling Zuyder Zee, he drank the
foaming juice of Grapes." Thence a move was made to the palatial
office of the _Sporting Standard_, where the Champion was introduced
to the Staff. Hands all round followed, and a glorious day wound up
with a visit to the theatrical resorts of the latter-day Babylon,
in company with some of the right sort, though these be getting both
fewer and farther between than in the good old days.
[Footnote 1: An agreeable variant for this is Ju. P.]
* * * * *
AUSTRALIA AT ST. PAUL'S.
[On the 17th of July the Earl of ROSEBERY unveiled a Memorial
erected in St. Paul's Cathedral to the late Right Hon. WILLIAM
BEDE DALLEY, of New South Wales, mainly through whose personal
exertions, when Chief Secretary to the Ministry there, the
Colonial Contingent was dispatched to the aid of England in
the Soudan. This, as Lord ROSEBERY said, is the first Memorial
which has been erected to a Colonist in our Metropolitan
The mighty Empire reared upon the main,
He "cherished, served, and laboured to maintain."
And who will doubt the claim by this made good
To neighbouring NELSON, and our COLLINGWOOD?
His country holds her loyal son's remains;
But here, whilst WREN'S huge dome rolls back the strains
Of the great organ's golden mouths, or while
Paean or requiem sounds along the aisle
Sacred to mighty memories, DALLEY'S name
Inscribed amongst our home-born heirs of fame
Shall stand, and show to all our Island brood
Australia's love, and England's gratitude.
* * * * *
VERY MUCH AT SEA.
As there appears to be some confusion with regard to the exact nature
of the programme scheme for the forthcoming Naval Autumn Manoeuvres,
the following sketch, gleaned from recent inquiry on the subject made
at Whitehall, may, if he can manage to follow it, possibly serve to
enlighten the uninitiated outsider.
An enemy's fleet, having, it is supposed, escaped the vigilance of
the Channel Squadron, consisting of H.M. First-class Battle-ship
_Blunderer_, accompanied by the third-class cruiser _Jack-ass_, and
the torpedo-boats _Corkscrew_ and _Tooth-brush_, which, also it is
supposed, represent a fleet of thirty-six iron-clads, twenty-six
armoured cruisers, attended by fifty torpedo vessels, have sailed
victoriously up the Thames, and, having seized the Serpentine, command
the, equally supposed, Milk Supply of Bayswater, Paddington, and
the whole of the North of London. This news having been conveyed to
another fancied fleet that is covering a convoy of ships, imagined to
be attempting to land corn, that they have brought from ports across
the Atlantic, simultaneously at Pegwell Bay, Margate, and the Isle
of Dogs, it is again supposed that, acting under sealed orders,
they elude the enemy, and dividing their forces, make for Gravesend,
Liverpool, Dundee, "The Welsh Harp" at Hendon, and Yarmouth. The
problem, therefore, presented to Admiral FLYOFF, who is in command of
the defending squadrons, will be, after utilising the supposed coast
defences, and mining the Serpentine, to force the enemy to accept
the issue of an open action on the Regent's Canal, and the Ornamental
Water at the Crystal Palace. Failing this, it will be left to the
Umpires, who, being supposed to be in several places at the same time,
will be provided with a tricycle, fog-horn, and telescope, to enable
them to adjudge the exact amount of success or failure following
respectively on each effort, with as near a resemblance as is possible
to the probable issues in real warfare. Any matters remaining in
dispute and undecided, will be ultimately settled by the First Lord,
who will toss up with a two-headed halfpenny, specially provided for,
in the Estimates, for the purpose.
A glance at the above will show that the scheme, though simple in
conception, may easily become complicated; but if kept in view, with
an accompanying reference to the daily letters of the Correspondents
of five Penny Papers, by anyone, who will further pick out the names
and positions of places named, and mark them with pins on the Railway
Map attached to _Bradshaw's Guide_, it may serve to throw some light
on the course of events, and leave the inquiring investigator, though
still very much at sea, yet in possession of some scraps of useful
* * * * *
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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