Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, August 16, 1890
Produced by Malcolm Farmer, Punch, or the London Charivari, William
Flis, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
August 16, 1890.
(_BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN TYPE WRITER._)
NO. XVII.--THE SPURIOUS SPORTSMAN.
There is in sport, as in Society, a class of men who aspire
perpetually towards something as perpetually elusive, which appears
to them, rightly or wrongly, to be higher and nobler than their actual
selves. But whereas a man may be of and in Society, without effort, by
the mere accident of birth or wealth, in sport, properly understood,
achievement of some kind is necessary before admission can be had
to the sacred circle of the elect. What the snob is to Society, the
Spurious Sportsman is to sport; and thus where the former seeks
to persuade the world that he is familiar with the manners, and
accustomed to the intimate friendship of the great and highly placed,
the latter will hold himself out as one who, in every branch of sport
has achieved many notable feats on innumerable occasions.
Such a man, of course, is not without knowledge on the matters
of which he speaks. He has probably hunted several times without
pleasure, or fished or shot here and there without success. But upon
these slender foundations he could not rear the stupendous fabric
of his deeds unless he had read much, and listened carefully to
the narrations of others. By the aid of a lively and unscrupulous
imagination, he gradually transmutes their experiences into his own.
What he has read becomes, in the end, what he has done, and thus, in
time, the Spurious Sportsman is sent forth into the world equipped
in a dazzling armour of sporting mendacity. And yet mendacity is,
perhaps, too harsh a word; for it is of the essence of true falsehood
that it should hope to be believed, in order that it may deceive. But,
in the Spurious Sportsman's ventures into the marvellous, there is
generally something that gives ground for the exercise of charity,
and the appalled listener may hope that even the narrator is not
so thoroughly convinced of the reality of his exploits as he would,
apparently, desire others to be. And there is this also to be said
in excuse, that sport, which calls for the exercise of some of the
noblest attributes of man's nature, not infrequently leads him into
mean traps and pitfalls. For there are few men who can aver, with
perfect accuracy, that they have never added a foot or two to their
longest shot, or to the highest jump of their favourite horse, and
have never, in short, exaggerated a difficulty in order to increase
the triumph of overcoming it. But the modesty that confines most men
within reasonable limits of untruthfulness has no restraining power
over the Spurious Sportsman, to whom somewhat, therefore, may be
forgiven for the sake of the warning he affords.
He is, as a rule, a dweller in London, for it is there that he finds
the largest stock of credulity and tolerance. To walk with him in the
streets, or to travel with him in a train, is to receive for nothing
a liberal education in sport. No man has ever shot a greater number
of rocketing pheasants with a more unerring accuracy than he has--in
Pall Mall, St. James's Street, or Piccadilly. He will point out to you
the exact spot where he would post himself if the birds were being
driven from St. James's Square over the Junior Carlton Club. He will
then expatiate learnedly on angle, and swing, and line of flight,
and having raised his stick suddenly to his shoulder, by way of an
example, will knock off the hat of an inoffensive passer-by. This
incident will remind him of an adventure he had while shooting with
Lord X.--"A deuced good chap at bottom; a bit stiff at first, but the
best fellow going when you really know him"--through the well-known
coverts of his lordship's estate. When travelling safely in a
railway-carriage, he is the boldest cross-country rider in existence.
He will indicate to you a fence full of dangers, and having taught you
how it may best be cleared, will add, that it is nothing to one that
he jumped last season with the Quytchley. "My dear Sir," he will say,
"a man who was riding behind me was so astounded that he measured it
then and there with a tape he happened to have with him; Six foot of
post and rail as stiff as an iron-clad, and twenty foot of gravel-pit
beyond." He will also speak with infinite contempt of those who
"crane" or stick to the roads. It will sometimes happen to him to
get invited--really invited--to an actual country house where genuine
sport is carried on. Here, however, he will generally have brought
with him his wrong gun, or his "idiot of a man" will have packed the
wrong kind of cartridges, or his horse will have suddenly developed an
unaccountable trick of refusing, which results in a crushed hat and
a mud-stained coat for his rider. These little accidents will by no
means dash his spirits, or impair his volubility in the smoking-room,
where he may be heard conducting a dull discussion on sporting
records, or carrying on an animated controversy about powder, size of
shot or bore, choke, the proper kind of gaiter, or the right stamp of
horse for the country. Having shot with indifferent results on a very
big day through coverts, he will afterwards aver that such sport is
very poor fun, and that what he really cares about is a tramp over
heather or turnips, and a small bag at the end of the day; but if he
should ever be found on a grouse moor, or a partridge shooting, he
will sneer at the inferior quality of a sport which requires that a
man should exhaust himself with useless walking exercise before he
gets near his birds. "Covert-shooting is the game, my boy;" he will
say, "most difficult thing in the world when the pheasants are tall,
and the finest test of a real sportsman," and with that he will miss
his twentieth grouse, and call down imprecations on the dogs, the
light, the keeper, and his own companions.
The Spurious Sportsman is often an officer of the auxiliary forces.
He knows by heart every button of the British Army, talks much upon
questions of discipline, and has a more sharply defined and more
permanent mark of sunburn across his forehead than any regular
officer. He is also a great stickler for etiquette, and prefers to be
addressed as Major or Colonel, as the case may be. He bears his rank
upon his visiting-cards, and frequents a military Club. In the society
of other Spurious Sportsmen he is at his best and noblest. They gather
together at their resorts, each with the sincere conviction that
every other member of the little coterie is a confirmed humbug. Yet
they never fail to bring their store of goods, their anecdotes, their
experiences, their adventures, and their feats, to a market where
admiration and applause are paid down with a liberal hand; for though
all know their fellows to be impostors, they are content to sink
this knowledge in the desire to gain acceptance and credence for
themselves, and thus there never comes a whisper of doubt, hesitation,
or disbelief to mar the perfect harmony in which the Spurious
Sportsmen live amongst themselves. Yet, when they have separated,
they never fail to hold one another up to ridicule and contempt.
The Spurious Sportsman thus spends the greater part of his life in
building up a reputation out of nothing. As time goes on, he becomes
more and more anecdotically experienced, and, if possible, even less
actual. He will have lost his nerve for riding, and a sight which
gets daily weaker will have caused him to abandon even the pretence of
handling his gun; but he will seek a recompense by becoming a sporting
authority, and will pass a doddering old age in lamenting over
the decay of all those qualities which formerly made a sportsman a
sportsman, and a man a man.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASES.
"_My right honourable and learned friend;_" i.e., "A professional
politician, devoid alike of principle and capacity."
"_I pass from that matter;_" i.e., "Find it somewhat embarrassing."
"_I don't know where my honourable friend gets his facts from;_" i.e.,
"He should try and get out of his inveterate habit of lying."
"_A monument of antiquated Norman tyranny_," or, "_A relic of early
English fraud and ignorance;_" i.e., "A statute which I and my Party
wish to repeal."
"_The most precious constitutional legacy of those who fought and
bled,_" &c., &c.; i.e., Ditto ditto impugned by the opposite Party.
"_I am instructed, my Lord, that this is, in fact, the case;_" i.e.,
"I see that, as usual, you have got upon a false scent; but as this
suits the book of my client, the solicitor (whose nod at this moment
may mean anything, and, therefore, why not approval?), I encourage the
LECTURER AT A BATTLE PANORAMA.
"_It is a well-known historical fact that--;_" i.e., "You needn't
believe a word of it."
"_A bank of heavy clouds lowers in the horizon;_" i.e., "The black
paint has been laid on thick."
"_The plain stretches far away;_" i.e., "About five yards."
* * * * *
'ARRY ON THE 'OLIDAY SEASON.
Dear CHARLIE,--'Ow are yer, my pippin? 'Ere's 'oliday season come round,
And I'm off on the galoot somewheres, and that pooty soon, you be bound;
But afore I make tracks for dear Parry, or slope for the Scheldt or the
My 'art turns to turmuts and you, and I feel I _must_ drop yer a line.
_You_ gave me a invite this season, I know, my dear boy. Well, yer see
It's _this_ way. The green tooral-looral's all right, but it 'ardly suits
When you're well in the swim, my dear CHARLIE, along o' the reglar
You must do as they do, for a swell, like a Bobby, must stick to his
[Illustration: 'ARRY ON THE BOULEVARDS.]
It's expected, old man, it's expected. Jest fancy me slinging my 'ook
For old Turmutshire, going out nuttin', or bobbing for fish in a brook!
Not _der wriggle_, dear boy, I assure you. Could stars of Mayfair be
To round upon Rome or the Riggi, and smug up in Surrey or Kent?
No fear! Cherry orchards is pooty, and 'ops 'as admirers, no doubt;
But it's only when sport is afoot as the country's worth fussin' about.
Your toff likes the turmuts or stubbles when poultry is there to be shot.
But corn-fields and cabbage-beds, CHARLIE? Way oh! that's all
There wos a time, CHARLIE, I own it, when Richmond 'ud do me to rights.
And a fortnight at Margit meant yum-yum to look for and dream on o'
I was innercent then, a young geeser, too modest for this world, dear
Didn't know you'd to do wot was proper, and not what you think you'd
Ah! _Nobbles obliges_, old pardner, and great is the power of "form";
Rads may rail at "the clarses" like ginger, but all on us likes to be
And rub shoulders with suckles more shiny. Wy, life's greatest pulls,
Are to look up to sparklers above us, and down on poor duffers below.
'Ardly know wich is lummiest, swelp me! It's nuts to 'ook on to a swell,
Like I did at a Primrose meet lately with sweet Lady CLARE CARAMEL.
When her sunshade shone red on my face, mate, me givin' my arm through
Wy I felt like Mong Blong in the mornin', and looked like a bride, one
NODDY SPRIGGINS, _he_ spotted me, CHARLIE,--him being left out in the
And to see him sit down on his topper, and turn off as yaller as gold,
Wos as good as a pantermime. Oh! if there's one thing more nicer than
It's to soar like a bird in the sight of the flats as can't git on the
But I'm wandering, CHARLIE, I'm wandering. 'Oliday form is my text.
Last year it was Parry and Switzerland; 'ardly know where to go next.
I should much like to try Monty Carlo, and 'ave a fair flutter for once,
But I fear it won't run to it, pardner; my boss is the dashdest old
_Won't_ raise me to three quid a week, the old skinflint. Though
It do scatter the stamps jest a few, if you don't care to go on the
Roolette might jest set me up proper, but then, dontcherknow, it might
And I fear I should come back cleared out, if my luck didn't land me a
Oh, dash them spondulicks! The pieces is all as I wants for _my_ 'elth.
And then them darned Sosherlist jugginses 'owl till all's blue agin
It gives me the ditherums, CHARLIE; it do, dear old man, and no kid.
Wy, they 'd queer the best pitches in life, if they kiboshed the Power
of the Quid!
There's Venice again! I could start this next week with a couple o' pals;
But yer gondoler's 'ardly my form, and I never wos nuts on canals.
WAGGLES says _they_'re not like the Grand Junction, as creeps sewer-like
through our parks;
Well, WAGGLES may sniff; I'm not sure, up to now, mate, as Venice means
'Arf a mind to try Parry once more. It's a place as you soon git to love;
There is always some fun afoot there, as will keep a chap fair on the
Pooty scenery's all very proper, but glaciers and snow-peaks do pall,
And as to yer bloomin' Black Forests, the _Bor der Boolong_ beats 'em
After all, there is something quite 'ome-like in Parry--so leastways I
It's a place where you don't seem afraid to larf 'arty, or tip gals the
Sort o' _san janey_ feeling about it, my pippin'--you know wot I mean.
You don't feel _too_ fur from old Fleet Street, steaks, "bitter," and
"_God Save the Queen!_"
When your Britisher travels, he travels, but likes to be Britisher still;
With his _Times_ and his "tub" he is 'appy; without 'em he's apt to feel
Wy, when I was last year in Parry, I went for a Bullyvard crawl
One night arter supper, when who should I spot but my pal BOBBY BALL.
He wos doin' the gay at a Caffy, was BOB, _petty vair_, and all that,
Togged up to the nines with his claw-hammer, cuff-shooters, gloves, and
"Wot cheer, BOBBY, old buster!" I bellered; and up from his paper he
Ah! and didn't we 'ave a rare night on it, CHARLIE! We both know _our_
But wot do you think BOB was reading? _The Times_! I could twig it at
He might 'ave 'ung on to _Gil Blars_, or the _Figgero_,--BOB ain't a
But lor! not a bit on it, CHARLIE; the Britisher stuck out to rights;
'Twas JOHN BULL's big, well-printed old broad-sheet! Jest one of the
TORTONI'S is all very spiffing, the Bullyvard life is A 1,
And the smart little journals of Parry, though tea-paper rags, is good
But a Briton abroad _is_ a Briton; _chic_, spice, azure pictures, rum
Is all very good biz in their way, but they do not make up for our
Well, I'm not on for Turmutshire, CHARLIE, not this time; and now you
Carn't yer jest turn the tables, old hoyster, and come for a bit of a
Cut the chawbacons, run up to London, jine _me_, and we'll pal off to
And if yer don't find it a 'Oliday Skylark, wy, never trust.
* * * * *
VICE VERSA.--The French Ministers are away from Paris for their
vacation. M. DEVELLE, it is said, has gone to La Bourboule. This is
better for the place than La Bourboule going to the Develle.
* * * * *
[Illustration: HER FIRST WASP.
_Poor Effie_ (_who has been stung_). "FIRST IT WALKED ABOUT ALL OVER
MY HAND, AND IT _WAS_ SO NICE! BUT OH!--_WHEN IT SAT DOWN!_"]
* * * * *
THE GERMAN HINTERLAND.
(_NEW SONG TO AN OLD TUNE._)
Where is the German _Hinterland_?
Wherever on a foreign strand
There lies a handy sea-coast track,
With fertile country at its back,
On which to lay a Teuton hand;
_There_ is the German _Hinterland_!
Where is the German _Hinterland_?
Wherever commerce can expand,
Without much danger or expense,
O'er someone's "sphere of influence,"--
That "someone" failing to withstand--
_There_ is the German _Hinterland_!
* * * * *
A PUZZLE.--The Dunlo case came to an end. Miss BELLE BILTON remains
Lady DUNLO--and quite right too. Yet, if she is still the wife of Lord
DUNLO, how is it that she is engaged to AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS? Yet
such is the fact. Is she to be the Belle of the Beauty and the Beast
(Pantomime)? If so, her Ladyship will look splendid, as she is a Belle
* * * * *
PROVERBIAL PARLIAMENTARY PHILOSOPHY.--"The course of business never
did run smooth."--W.H. SMITH.
* * * * *
The paper on "Old Q.," in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, by EDWARD
WALFORD, M.A., is interesting up to a certain point, but after that
disappointing. "_Oliver_," says the Baron, impersonating _Oliver_ for
the time being, "asks for more." And much the same observation have I
to make on another paper about _Irish Characters in English Dramatic
Literature_, by W.J. LAWRENCE. Although the writer ranges from
SHAKESPEARE to BOUCICAULT, and mentions authors, plays, and actors,
yet he has omitted HUDSON who, after POWER and, before BOUCICAULT,
was, in his own particular line, one of the best delineators of Irish
character on the stage. He played chivalrous parts that BOUCICAULT
would not have attempted. There are historical Irish types still to be
represented; and when Irish melodrama, with its secret plots, murders,
wicked land-agents, jovial muscular-christian priests, comic male
peasants, and pretty and virtuous female ditto, shall have taken a
rest for a while, Irish Comedy may yet have its day.
[Illustration: "_Scin Loeca_."]
The very best letter I have ever seen on this important subject
appeared August 9th, written by that eminent author, who makes a
vain attempt at concealing his identity under the signature of
"ARCHIMILLION," and addressed to the Great Journalistic Twin
Brethren, the Editorial Proprietors and Proprietorial Editors of
_The Whirlwind_, whose Court Circular reporter (this by the way)
might appropriately adopt the historic name of "BLASTUS, the King's
Chamberlain." The argument in ARCHIMILLION'S remarkable letter is
decidedly sound. But surely he is wrong in supposing that the
_astral reverberation of the podasma_ (one in six) _could possibly be
ratiocinated on the coleoptic intensity!_ Perhaps he will deny that
he ever said so. _But did he mean it?_ To me this has been the sweet
familiar study of a lifetime, and, without boastful egoism, I may
say I am considered, by all who know anything about the matter, a
first-rate authority on this subject, or on any other, says
THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
TIT FOR TAT!
(_FROM A HISTORY OF ENGLAND, TO BE WRITTEN IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY._)
The Intelligent Foreigner carefully picked his way amongst the ruins
to Downing Street, and was soon in consultation with the Premier.
"This merely is a call of courtesy," he observed; "of course I am not
in the least bound to give you notice, but think it civil to do so."
The British Premier bowed, as if inviting farther particulars.
"Well, O-HANG-HIT and I have settled everything," continued the
Visitor; "he takes the Isle of Wight, while I assume the Protectorate
of Scotland, India, and the Channel Islands."
"What!" exclaimed the British Premier, aghast at the information. "And
what if we resist?"
"Resist!" laughed the New Zealander, "Why that would cost a halfpenny
in the pound more Income Tax, and your rate-payers would never submit
to that! Besides, our disease-spreading torpedoes (to which our own
people are acclimatised) would soon silence opposition!"
"Very true," returned the British Premier, sorrowfully, "very true,
indeed. Well, and what next?"
"Then O-HANG-HIT has a monopoly of English Beer, and we consent to the
cession of Gibraltar to DUNT-KAR-ACUSSER. The simplest thing in the
"But where do I come in?" asked the Briton.
"Oh, _you_ don't come in at all. But don't be alarmed, we are only
contributing our quota to the glorious cause of Peace!" And the
Intelligent Foreigner showed the British Premier a report of a speech
made by Lord SALISBURY, at the Mansion House, on August 6, 1890.
* * * * *
TRANSCENDENTAL NEOPHYTE.--Mr. JOHN BURNS has joined the Kabbylists.
* * * * *
OUR YOTTING YORICK.
How can I send you "a sketch of anything I see," when I haven't
seen anything for the last twenty-four hours. Impossible! utterly
impossible! You simply want me to do impossibilities, and I am only
mortal. _Voila_! I don't complain; I only say I can't draw what
I don't see; and as to sending funny sketches when it's raining
in torrents, and been doing so for the last forty-eight hours
three minutes and twenty-one and a-half seconds, I'm--well, I
can't--_simplement_. Torrents of rain. Anyone can draw water--but draw
rain! Yes, when on horseback, I can draw rein. Good that, "when you
come to think of it,"--considering that I'm 1900 miles from an English
joke, so that this you may say is far-fetched, only 'tisn't fetched
at all, as I send it. Think I've left out an "0," and it's 19,000. _It
seems like it_. Here we are in Petersburg. Mist's cleared off. We're
anchored close to Winter Palace, and I've just seen a droschki-driver,
whom I sketch. Not unlike old toy Noah's-Ark man, eh? Something
humorous at last, thank Heaven! But did I come 1900 miles to see this?
Well, "Neva no more!"
Mister Skipper says I ought to go to the _Petershoff_. All very well
to say so, but where is _Peter_, and now far is he "hoff"? That's
humorous, I think, eh? You told me to go and "pick up bits of Russian
life," and so I'm going to do it at the risk of my own, I feel sure,
for I never saw such chaps as these soldiers, six feet three at the
least, every man Jackski of 'em, and broad out of all proportion.
However, I'll go on shore, and try to get some fun out of the
Russians, if there's any _in_ them. If I'm caught making fun of
these soldiers, _I shouldn't have a word to say for myself_! The
Skipper says that he's heard that the persecution of the Jews has
just begun again. Cruel shame, but I daren't say this aloud, _in
case_ anyone should understand just that amount of English, and
_then_--whoopski!--the knout and Siberia! So I'll say "_nowt_." Really
humorous _that_, I'm sure, and 19,000 miles from England.
To-day--I don't know what to-day is, having lost all count of time--is
a great day with the Russians. I don't understand one word they
say, and as to reading their letters--I mean the letters of their
alphabet--that is if they've got one, which I very much doubt,--why I
might as well be a blind man for all I can make out. Somehow I rather
think that it's the Emperor's birthday. Guns and bells all over the
place. Guns going off, bells going on. Tremendous crowds everywhere.
"I am never so lonely," as somebody said, "as when I'm in a
crowd." That's just what I feel, especially when the crowd doesn't
talk a single word of English. The Russians are not ill-favoured
but ill-flavoured, that is, in a crowd. I cheered with them,
"Hiphiphurrahski! Hipski! Hurrah-ski!" What I was cheering at I
don't know, but I like to be in it, and when at Petersburg do as the
Having strayed away from our yachting party, or yachting party having
strayed away from me, I found myself (_they_ didn't find me though;
they _have_ been finding me in wittles and drink during the whole
of the voyage,--humorous again, eh? It's _in_ me, only there's a
depression in the Baltic. Why call it Baltic? Nobody on board knows)
outside the fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul. I daresay there's
some legend about their having built it, but, as I remarked before,
my knowledge of the Russian tongue is limited to what I get _dried
for breakfast_, and that doesn't go far when there are many more
than myself alongside the festive board--and so I couldn't get
any explanation. But I managed to sneak inside the fortress--and
then,--_lost my way_!!! Couldn't get out. "If you want to know
your way, ask a Policeman" in London, and, in St. Petersburg, ask a
Bobbiski. Here's one with a sword--at least, I think he's one. I said,
"Please, Sir, which way?" Then I tried him with French--"_Ou est_,"
says I, "_le chemin pour aller_ out of (I couldn't remember the French
for 'out of') _cette_ confounded fortress?" He wouldn't understand
me. I tipped him a wink--I tipped him a two-shilling piece. It wasn't
enough I suppose, as he called another fellow. The other chap came
up,--what _he_ was I don't know--but suddenly, from their awful
manner, their frowns, and violent expressions, it occurred to me,
"Hang it all! they take me for a Jew!" Never was so alarmed. With
great presence of mind I pointed to my nose--they saw the point at
once. Then the pair of them marched me off ("to Siberia," thinks I!
and I wondered how far we should have to walk!) to the courtyard,
where I had entered, and then passed me through the gate on to the
road again. Then I fled to the yacht!! Away! Away!
Never will I venture out of the yacht again, until I can do so safely.
Expect me back soon. Ah, what an escape!--to think I might have
languished for the best of my days in irons or in the mines out in
Siberia, like _Rip Van Winkle_, or the Prisoner of Chillon, who dug
himself out with his nails (when I was a boy I remember it, and tried
to do it in the garden), and came up with a long beard when everyone
was dead and gone. I may return as a stowaway, but anyhow expect me,
and prepare the fatted outlet. That's humorous, isn't it, eh?
[Illustration: "Suddenly from their awful manner, their frowns, and
violent expressions, it occurred to me, 'Hang it all! They take me for
a Jew!"'--_Extract from Letter from Our Yotting Yorick_.]
Yours, JETSAM, THE Y.Y.
19,000 miles away too! Just imagine!
* * * * *
The Proprietors of the "Automatic Chair" having had reason to think
their invention such a success that they have turned it into a
Company, a stimulus has been given to ingenuity in this direction,
with the result that the following prospective advertisement, or
something very much like it, may shortly be expected to see the
THE AUTOMATIC FURNITURE SUPPLY ASSOCIATION, started for the purpose of
meeting the daily-increasing demand for self-acting and trouble-saving
appliances in the domestic arrangements of the modern household, beg
to inform their patrons that they are now able to supply them with
THE AUTOMATIC FOUR-POSTER.--This ingeniously constructed piece of
furniture will tuck up the occupant, rock him to sleep, and pitch him
out on to the floor at a given hour in the morning, thoroughly waking
him by the operation, when it will of its own accord fold itself
up into a conveniently-shaped parcel, not bigger than an ordinary
carriage umbrella. The Association further desire to inform their
patrons that they have also invented a
PATENT AUTOMATIC SHOWER-BATH AND WASH-HAND-STAND, that will forcibly
seize the user, thoroughly souse him from head to foot, scrub, wash,
and dry him. Finally folding itself up into a convenient lounge, on
which he can complete his toilette at leisure. They also are prepared
to supply their
AUTOMATIC DINNER-TABLE AND APPETITE COMBINED, upon taking a seat at
which, the diner will be immediately served with a course consisting
of soup, fish, joint, and vegetables, choice of _entrees_, sweets,
cheese, and celery, with an appetite to enable him to relish the
repast as it proceeds. After-dinner speeches, phonographically
introduced, can be supplied at a slight additional charge. They,
moreover, have in hand an
AUTOMATIC BUTLER-DETECTING SIDEBOARD, which, by an ingenious
contrivance, on the Butler opening it for the purpose of helping
himself to a glass of wine, instantly blows up with a loud explosion,
that obliges him to desist in his design. But their chief triumph is
AUTOMATIC AND MECHANICAL SHAREHOLDER, who, immediately on being shown
the Prospectus, puts his name down for the required number of Shares
as indicated to him. This last the Association regard as a great
success, but they have several other startling novelties in active
* * * * *
[Illustration: RISING TO THE SITUATION!
(_Scene from a well-mounted Drama._)]
* * * * *
STARS IN THE STRAND; OR, THE HORSE AND THE LADY.
MY DEAR MR. PUNCH,
One of the greatest attractions in Town to the Country Cousin I need
scarcely say is the Theatre. Speaking for myself, it is the place
I earliest visit when I get to London, and consequently I was not
surprised to find myself the other evening in the Adelphi, on the
first night of a new play. As an Irishman might guess, from its name
(_The English Rose_), the piece is all about Ireland. Both State and
Church are represented therein--the former by a comic sergeant of the
Royal Constabulary, and the latter by a priest, who wears a hat in the
first Act that would have entirely justified his being Boycotted. The
plot is not very strong, and suggests recollections of the _Flying
Scud, Arrah Na Pogue_, and _The Silver King_. The acting is fairly
satisfactory, the cast including a star, supported by an efficient
company. The star is a horse that pranced about the stage in the most
natural manner possible, carefully avoiding the orchestra. In spite,
however, of his anxiety to keep out of the stalls, suggestive as they
were (but only in name) of the stable, some little alarm was created
in the neighbourhood of the Conductor, which did not entirely subside
until the fall of the curtain. But the sagacious steed knew its
business thoroughly well, and was indeed an admirable histrion.
Only once, at the initial performance, did this intelligent creature
remember its personality, and drop the public actor in the private
individual. The occasion was when it had to put its head out of a
loose-box to listen to the singing of a serio-comic song by a lady,
dressed as a "gossoon." For a few minutes the talented brute made a
pretence of eating some property foliage, and then, catching sight
of the audience, it deliberately _counted the house!_ I regret to
add that, in spite of the valuable support afforded by this useful
member of the Messrs. GATTI's Company, its name did not appear in the
[Illustration: A BREAKDOWN AT THE LYCEUM!
(_Imported from the Gaiety._)]
A few evenings later I had a second time the advantage of being
present at a first night's performance. The occasion was, the
production of _The Great Unknown_, by AUGUSTIN DALY's Company of
Comedians. I found the piece described as a "new eccentric Comedy,"
but, beyond a certain oddness in the distribution of the characters
of the cast, did not notice much novelty or eccentricity. The life
and soul of the evening's entertainment was Miss ADA REHAN, a talented
lady, who (so I was told) has made her mark in _Rosalind_, in _As You
Like It_, and _Katharina_, in the _Taming of the Shrew._ I can quite
believe that Miss REHAN is a great success in parts of the calibre
of the Shakspearian heroines I have mentioned; nay, more, I fancy she
would do something with _Lady Macbeth_, and be quite in her element
as _Emilia_, in _Othello_. But, as she had to play an _ingenue_, aged
eighteen, in _The Great Unknown_, she was not quite convincing. It
was a very good part. In the First Act she had to coax her papa, and
flirt with her cousin; in the second, to respond to a declaration of
love with a burst of womanly feeling; and, in the third, to play the
hoyden, and dance a breakdown. All this was done to perfection, but
not by a young lady of eighteen. Miss ADA REHAN was charming, but
looked, and I fancy felt, many years older than her legal majority.
I question whether she was an _ingenue_ at all, but, if she were, she
was an _ingenue_ of great and varied experience. When Mrs. BANCROFT
appeared as the girl-pupil in _School_, she was the character to the
life; but when Miss REHAN calls herself _Etna_, throws herself on
sofas, and hugs a man with less inches than herself, we cannot but
feel that it is very superior play-acting, but still play-acting. Take
it all round, I was delighted with the lady at the Lyceum, and the
horse at the Adelphi, and nearly regret that, having to leave town, I
shall not have the opportunity of seeing either of them again.
Yours faithfully. A CRITIC FROM THE COUNTRY.
* * * * *
A HOLIDAY APPEAL.
[Last year Mrs. JEUNE'S "Country Holiday Fund" was the means
of sending 1,075 poor, sickly, London children for a few weeks
into the country, averting many illnesses saving many lives,
and imparting incalculable happiness. Mrs. JEUNE makes appeal
for pecuniary assistance to enable her to continue this
unquestionably excellent work.]
It is Holiday Time, and all such as can _pay_,
For the Summer-green country are up and away;
But what of the poor pale-faced waifs of the slums?
Oh, the butterfly flits, and the honey-bee hums
O'er the holt and the heather, the hill and the plain,
But they flit and they hum for Town's children in vain;
Unless--ah! _unless_--there is hope in that word!--
Mrs. JEUNE'S kindly plea by the Public is heard.
Heard? Everyone feels 'tis a duty to listen.
The eyes of the children will sparkle and glisten,
In hope of the beauty, at thought of the fun,
For they know their kind champion, and what she has done,
And is ready to do for them all once again,
If folks heed her appeal. Shall she make it in vain?
Three weeks in the country for poor BOB and BESS!
Do you know what _that_ means, wealthy cit? Can you guess,
Dainty lady of fashion, with "dots" of your own,
Bright-eyed and trim-vestured, well-fed and well-grown?
Well, BOBBY'S a cripple, and BESS has a cough,
Which, untended, next winter may "carry her off,"
As her folks in their unrefined diction declare;
They are dying, these children, for food and fresh air,
And their slum is much more like a sewer than a street,
Whilst their food is--not such as your servants would eat;
Were they housed like your horses, or fed like your dogs.
They would think themselves lucky; _that's_ how the world jogs!
But three weeks in the country! Why, that would mean joy,
And new life for the girl, and fresh strength for the boy.
The meadow would heal them, the mountain might save,
_Won't_ you give them a chance on the moor, by the wave?
Why, of course! _You_ have only to know, _Punch_ to ask,
And you'll jump at the job as a joy, not a task!
Come, delicate dame, City CROESUS rotund,
And assist Mrs. JEUNE'S "Country Holiday Fund!"
_Mr. Punch_ asks, _for her_, your spare cash, and will trouble you
_To send it to Thirty-seven, Wimpole Street, W.!_
* * * * *
THE EMPIRE IS PIECE, OR, RATHER, BALLET.
Now that the weather is so uncertain, that one day it may be as sultry
as the tropics, and the next suggestive of Siberia, it is as well
to know where to go, especially when _al fresco_ entertainments are
impossible. To those who are fond of glitter tempered with good
taste, something suitable to their requirements is sure to be found
at the Empire. At this moment (or, rather, every evening at 10:30
and 9) there are two excellent ballets being played there, called
respectively _Cecile_ and the _Dream of Wealth_. The first is dramatic
in the extreme, and the last, with its precious metals and harmonious
setting, is worth its weight in notes--musical notes. There is plenty
of poetry in both spectacles--the poetry of motion. Further, as
containing an excellent moral, it may be said that this pair of
spectacles is suitable to the sight of everyone, from Materfamilias
up from the country to Master JACKY home for his Midsummer holidays.
* * * * *
[Illustration: BANK HOLIDAY SPORTS. "KISS-IN-THE-RING."
"NONE BUT THE FAIR DESERVE THE BRAVE."]
* * * * *
THE CLOSE OF THE INNINGS.
_Bowler_. Over at last!
_Wicket-keeper._ Humph! Yes, but not "all out!"
Time's up! All glad to leave the field, no doubt;
But _I_'m not satisfied.
_Bowler._ You never are!
_Wicket-keeper._ Some thought you, when you joined the team, a star,
Equal, at least, to SPOFFORTH, FERRIS, TURNER,
Yet sometimes you have bowled like a school-learner.
_Bowler._ That's most discouraging! Come now, I say,
You know that every Cricketer has "his day,"
Whilst the best bat or trundler may be stuck.
And, though he try his best, be "out of luck."
Ask W.G. himself! Early this season
He couldn't score, for no apparent reason.
Now look at him! Almost as good as ever!
_Wicket-keeper._ Well, ye-e-s! But you were thought so jolly clever.
To me it seems 'tis your idea of Cricket
To smash the wicket-keeper--not the wicket.
Look at my hands! They're mostly good to cover me;
With _you_, by Jingo, I need pads all over me!
_Bowler._ Oh, well, you know, fast bowling, with a break,
Not every wicket-keeper's game to take.
You are not quite a SHERWIN or a WOOD,
Or even a McGREGOR. You're no good
At bowling that has real "devil" in it.
_Wicket-keeper._ The--dickens I am not! Just wait a minute!
I have stood up to GRANDOLPH at his wildest.
You know _his_ pitch and pace; not quite the mildest,
Scarce equal, certainly, to "demon" DIZZY,
But when he's on the spot he keeps one busy.
It's not your "devil," JOKIM, that I dread;
That's easy, when you're "bowling with your head,"
But when you sling them in, as you've done lately,
Swift but _not_ straight, why, then you vex me greatly.
Your pet fast bumpy ones, wide of the wicket,
Perhaps look showy, but they are not Cricket.
_Bowler._ Oh, bother! You're the crossest of old frumps.
Why, bless you, SMITH, I stood behind the stumps
Long before you put gloves on!
_Wicket-keeper._ I dare say,
But when we took you in our team to play
'Twas for your bowling. I don't want to scoff
At chance bad luck, but you have not come off!
Now, BALFOUR doesn't give "no balls" and "wides,"
Or make it hot for knuckles, shins, and sides,
As you've been doing lately. "Extras" mount
When you are bowling, and your blunders count
To our opponents,--not to mention _me_.
Although two broken fingers, a bruised knee,
A chin knocked out of shape, and one lost tooth
Are trying little items, to tell truth.
_Bowler._ Hang it! If you're so sweet on ARTHUR B.,
Try him next Season, but don't chivey _me_!
[_Goes off huffily._
_Wicket-keeper_ (_to Umpire_). I take them without flinching. Umpire,
I'll do my duty to my Team and County
As long as I've a knuckle in its place;
I have not many--look! And see my face!
No, when the game's renewed, JOKIM must try
To keep the wicket clearly in his eye,
Not the poor wicket-keeper, or you'll see
"Retired, hurt" will be the end of Me!
* * * * *
AN OLD RAILWAY AND A NEW LINE.
At the last General Meeting of the L.C. & D., their Chairman made one
of his best speeches. Prospects were bright, and hearts were light,
just to drop into poetry. Sir E. WATKIN, _alias_ S. Eastern WATKIN,
had some time ago been assured judicially of the fact that Folkestone
meant Folkestone as clearly as Brighton means Brighton, or Ramsgate
means Ramsgate, and the two great Companies were, it was hoped, soon
to come to an agreement and live happily ever afterwards. Among other
plans for the future, the popular and astute Chairman more than
hinted that the day was not far distant when, in consequence of the
increasing patronage bestowed on the improved third-class carriages,
the trains of the L.C. & D. Company would be made up of first and
third, and the middle class would be out of it altogether. This will
be a blow to those whose travelling motto has hitherto been "_In medio
tutissimus ibis._" But, on the other hand, if the second-class be
dropped, the L.C. & D. can adopt the proud motto, "_Nulli Secundus_."
_Mr. Punch_, Universal Managing Director, in charge of thousands of
lines, wishes them the benefit of the omen.
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE CLOSE OF THE INNINGS.
W.H.S. (_Wicket-keeper_). "TELL YOU WHAT IT IS, UMPIRE:--IF THE
BOWLING'S GOING TO BE AS WILD--NEXT INNINGS--AS THIS, I SHALL '_RETIRE
* * * * *
"LEBE WOHL! HELGOLAND!"
(_AN INCIDENT OF THE CESSION--HITHERTO UNREPORTED_.)
The Representative of BRITANNIA'S Might had departed in appropriate
state, and the German Emperor had reached his destination. The new
landlord was most anxious to take possession. He was all impatience
to appear before his recently-acquired subjects, to show to them the
Military Uniform he had assumed after discarding that garb he loved
so well--the _grande tenue_ of an Honorary Admiral of the Fleet in
the service of VICTORIA, Queen, Empress, and Grandmother. There was
a consultation on board the _Hohenzollern_, and then a subdued German
cheer. The Chief Naval Officer approached His Majesty, cocked-hat in
"Sire," he said, falling on one knee; "all is now ready."
"But why has there been this delay?" asked WILLIAM THE SECOND, in a
tone of imperial command.
"Sire, we could not find the island. Unhappily we had mislaid--" and
then the naval officer paused--
"Your charts and field-glasses?" queried His Majesty.
"No, Sire," was the reply. Then, after some hesitation, the chief of
the German sailors continued, "The fact is, Your Majesty, I had lost
my microscope, and--" But further explanation was drowned in the sound
of saluting artillery. And the remainder of the day was devoted (by
those who could find room on the island) in equal proportions to smoke
* * * * *
IN THE KNOW.
(_BY MR. PUNCH'S OWN PROPHET._)
Last week I published a dispatch conveying to me the exalted approval
of H.S.H. the Grand Duke of PFEIFENTOPF. The closing words of
His Serene Highness's gracious letter informed me that I had been
appointed a Knight of the Honigthau Order, one of the most ancient
and splendid orders known to chivalry.
When HUNDSVETTER VON VOGELANG, of whom the ancient Minnesingers relate
that in his anger he was wont to breathe forth fire from his mouth
and smoke from his nostrils, when, as I say, the valiant and gigantic
HUNDSVETTER, with his band of faithful retainers (amongst whom one
of our own CAVENDISHES--_der Zerschnittens_ as they called him, found
a place), was assailed in his ancestral Castle of Meerschaum by the
wild hordes of the Turkish Zig-'arets, it is said that, with one
aged attendant, he mounted the topmost tower, prepared, if no sign of
succour showed itself, to cast himself to the ground or perish in the
attempt. But just as he had hurled his seneschal over the battlements,
in order, as he playfully observed, to make the falling softer, his
eye was arrested by a wreath of smoke in the middle distance. "May I
perish," said the gallant but sorely-reduced Teuton warrior, "if that
be not the war-sign of my uncle PFEIFENTOPF." Hastening downstairs, he
apprised his followers that succour was at hand. Armed with _klehs_,
they made a desperate sally, and, having taken the Zig-'arets between
two fires, utterly extinguished them. That night HUNDSVETTER'S only
daughter, the lovely and accomplished BREIA, was solemnly married
by the Archbishop of TAeNDSTICKOR, assisted by the Rev. WILHELM
SCHWANZPUDEL and the Rev. CONRAD RATTENZAHN, cousin of the bride, to
the K.K. OBERPOTZTAUSENDER VON THUTWEH, the leader of PFEIFENTOPF'S
advance-guard. The bride's going-away dress was composed of a simple
bodice of best Sheffield steel, with a gown of Bessemer composite
to match, and, in honour of the event, the Honigthau Order was
I have cited this tale at length, because some carping, malevolent
scribes have dared to insinuate, actually to insinuate in print, that
the Grand Duke and his Order have no existence. To these jelly-faced
purveyors of balderdash I only say this:--_How, if His Serene Highness
be a myth, could I receive from him the letter I published last week?_
But, to make assurance doubly sure, I sent the following dispatch
to the Grand Duke:--"Mooncalves cast anserous doubts on your serene
existence, and on that of Order. Kindly make me Grand Cross, and
send decoration in diamonds.". To this I have received the following
reply:--"You are Grand Cross made. Order _mit diamenten und
perlen_ now is being at the post-office by my Grand Chamberlain for
transmission abroad registered."
This should strike detraction dumb, I propose also to publish a
selection of congratulations from other Continental potentates, but
of this, as SHAKSPEARE says, Anon, anon!
Permit me, in the meantime, to go half-way towards revealing my
identity by adopting a pseudonym drawn from an immortal work, and
subscribing myself prophetically yours (and the public's),
* * * * *
A NEW PLAGUE.
SIR,--I understand that those who suffer oppression are permitted
to turn to you for relief, and I am told, further, that there is no
wrong which you are unable to remedy. Listen for a few moments to my
tale of woe, and then say if you can strike a blow on my behalf. I
am an author, that is to say, I have written a book, and have lately
published it at my own expense. I was told by a friend of mine, who
has some experience in these matters (he is the Sporting Correspondent
of the _Fortnightly Glass of Fashion_), that it would be well for me
to make some arrangement with my publishers as to Royalty. I therefore
gave orders that presentation copies, suitably bound, were to be
forwarded to Her Gracious MAJESTY and the rest of the Royal Family,
including, of course, the Duke of CLARENCE. My publisher seemed
surprised, but offered no objection, and I was therefore able to
congratulate myself on having successfully smoothed over a difficulty
which, if I am to believe Mr. WALTER BESANT, too often troubles the
young author. This, however, is neither here nor there. I merely
mention the incident to show that I am not altogether lacking in
As I said, I am an author. My book is a romance entitled, _The
Foundling's Farewell_. Of course you have heard of it. It is
blood-curdling but sympathetic, romantic but realistic, pathetic and
sublime. The passage, for instance, in which the Duke of BARTLEMY
repels the advances of the orphan charwoman is--but you have read it,
and I need not therefore enlarge further upon it. After it had been
published two days, I began to look eagerly into all the daily and
weekly papers for critical notices of my _magnum opus_. I persisted
for a fortnight, and failing to see any, wrote an angry letter to my
publishers. On that very day the last post brought me three letters
in unknown hands. I opened the first listlessly, I read what it
contained, and (may an author confess his weakness?) gave a wild shout
of triumph when I found that one of the enclosures was a newspaper
extract referring to my work. Here it is, as it appeared on the form
_THE UNITED ASSOCIATION OF COMBINED PARAGRAPHISTS_.
MR. WILLIAM WHORBOYS.
(_FROM THE PIMLICO POTTERER. JULY 6TH_.)
"Amongst the books of the month we may notice _The Foundling's
Farewell_, by MR. WILLIAM WHORBOYS, an author whose name we have not
hitherto met with. It is a romance of surpassing interest, the subject
being treated with all the convincing power of a master-hand. We shall
look forward eagerly to MR. WHORBOY'S next work."
With this there came a polite letter from the U.A.C.P., asking me to
allow them to supply me with all newspaper cuttings referring to me or
to my book from "the entire English, American, and Continental Press."
Another leaflet stated the terms on which they were prepared to take
this immense trouble on my behalf.
Here, at last, thought I to myself, is Fame. The other two letters
contained the same extract, and similar requests from "The Universal
Notice-Mongers," and "The British Cutting Company (Limited)." I
decided in favour of the U.A.C.P., sent them two guineas, and waited.
Three days afterwards there came a scrubby little roll of paper, with
a halfpenny stamp on it. I saw the magic letters U.A.C.P. upon it, and
tore it open. It contained a newspaper cutting, which nothing but my
desire to be truthful would force me to publish. But here it is:--"The
stuff that is palmed off upon a hapless public by aspiring idiots, who
are vain enough to imagine that they are novelists, is astounding.
The latest of these is a certain WILLIAM WHORBOYS, whose book, _The
Foundling's Farewell_, is remarkable only for its ungrammatical
dulness, &c, &c." The next post brought me the same cutting, sent
gratuitously, out of spite, I suppose, by the two Extract Companies to
whom I had preferred the U.A.C.P., and from four others who desired
my custom. During the following week not a day passed without the
receipt of that accursed cutting from some new extract company. Since
then I have waited some months, but nothing more has appeared. My
subscription, I find, has only a year to run. The question is, what
can I do? My life has been blighted by the U.A.C.P., poisoned by "The
Universal Notice-Mongers," and the cup of happiness has been dashed
from my lips by "The British Cutting Company (Limited)."
I know I am not alone in this. My friend HARTVIG, who is an actor, has
been similarly treated. He gets all the insulting notices of his great
performances with extraordinary regularity, but never a favourable
one. BUNCOMBE, who is standing for Parliament, receives bushels of
extracts from the local Radical paper, he being a Tory Democrat.
We intend to combine and do something desperate. Is there not some
method of winding up Companies, or putting them into liquidation, or
appointing receivers? Pray let me know, and oblige yours in misery,
_Author of "The Foundling's Farewell."_
* * * * *
[Illustration: "HAD ENOUGH OF IT."
MISS PARLIAMENTINA PUTTING AWAY HER PUPPETS.]
* * * * *
RUMOURS FOR THE RECESS.
_Monday_.--We hear, from a source which cannot possibly be mistaken,
that a _thorough reconstruction of the Cabinet_ is imminent. Mr.
SM-TH goes at once to the Upper House. Mr. B-LF-R becomes First Lord,
and Leader of the Commons. A position will be found for Mr. G-SCH-N
somewhere on the Gold Coast, and thus room will be made for Lord
R-ND-LPH CH-RCH-LL, whose popularity in official Conservative circles
is undiminished. Lord H-RT-NGT-N will probably not become Prime
Minister just yet.
_Tuesday_.--Since yesterday, some slight modifications in Ministerial
arrangements have been made. Mr. SM-TH, for example, does not go to
the House of Lords, nor Mr. G-SCH-N to the Gold Coast. Moreover, no
attempt has been made to induce Lord R-ND-LPH to enter the Cabinet,
and Mr. B-LF-R is not to be Leader of the House. Otherwise, the
rumoured reconstruction was quite correct. Lord H-RT-NGT-N'S
acceptance of the post of Prime Minister is considered to be merely
a matter of time.
_Wednesday_.--No fresh reconstruction is announced to-day, as
Ministers are mostly out of Town. Lord H-RT-NGT-N declines to be
interviewed on the subject of the Premiership.
_Thursday_.--An entirely fresh readjustment of Ministerial forces
is on the _tapis_. Great excitement prevails at Westminster. Nobody
exactly knows why, but it is expected that substitutes will be found
for Mr. G-SCH-N, Mr. SM-TH, Mr. B-LF-R, Mr. M-TTH-WS, Mr. R-TCH-E, and
Lord H-LSB-RY. Lord H-RT-NGT-N is said to have referred all persons
who questioned him about his acceptance of the Premiership, to Lord
_Friday_.--Mr. M-TTH-WS has been offered the Governorship of Madras,
and has declined. He has been sounded as to whether he would accept
the High Commissionership of the unexplored parts of Central Africa,
and has replied evasively. Two prominent Members of the Cabinet are
said not to be on speaking terms, and are practising the dumb alphabet
in consequence. It is positively asserted, that the Lord Advocate will
be the next Leader of the House of Commons. Lord H-RT-NGT-N'S chances
of the Premiership have not improved.
_Saturday_.--A total and absolutely fresh reconstruction of the
Cabinet, giving everybody a new place, and every place a new holder,
is expected immediately. Details will follow shortly. For the
present Lord H-RT-NGT-N remains outside the Cabinet, and has gone
* * * * *
WEEK BY WEEK.
We have often been asked how we contrive to put together every week
the delightful paragraphs which appear in this column. The system is
really wonderfully easy, and, with proper instruction, a child could
do it. The first point is to select an item of intelligence about
which few people care to hear. This must be spun out very thin and
long, and adorned with easy extracts from TUPPER, the copy-books, or
Mr. W.H. SMITH'S speeches. Then wrap it up in a blanket of humour,
sprinkle with fatuousness, and serve cold.
* * * * *
For instance, you hear that grey frock-coats are very much worn. On
the system indicated above you proceed as follows:--It is curious to
observe how from year to year the customs and fashions of men with
regard to their wearing apparel change. Last year black frock coats
were _de rigueur_. This year, we are informed by a Correspondent who
has special opportunities of knowing what he is writing about, various
shades of grey have driven out the black. No doubt it is every man's
duty to himself and his neighbours to array himself becomingly,
according to the fashion of the hour, but we are inclined to doubt
the wisdom of this latest move. It is often said, that the grey mare
is the better horse, but when the horse itself has a grey coat, the
proverb seems inapplicable.
* * * * *
The rest of the space allotted can be filled with political gossip
and personal items, with here and there some inspired twaddle about
foreign personages, of whom no one has ever heard before or desires to
* * * * *
We beg to state that we offer this information gratis to all intending
journalists. If they follow our system they _must_ succeed.
* * * * *
"SAY!"--Speaking of the relations between England and France in
Africa, and of the proposed Bill for a Sahara railway, connecting
Algeria with Lake Tchad, the _Times_' Paris Correspondent
says:--"England, it is explained, agrees not to go beyond Say, on the
Niger." This sounds ominous. It was Lord GRANVILLE'S indisposition
to go beyond "Say" (and to shrink when it came to "Do") which got
us into hot water in Africa before. _Mr. Punch_ hopes, despite this
disquieting sentence, that Lord SALISBURY, after his excellent speech
at the Mansion House, is unlikely to fall into the same fatal error.
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
_House of Commons, Monday, August_ 4.--GEORGE CAMPBELL been with us
many Sessions; heard and seen a good deal of him, but really seems
only now to be coming out. Has taken up the Police Bill, "and I
wish," says HENRY MATTHEWS, _sotto voce_, "the Police would in return
take _him_ up." GEORGE literally overwhelms the place, breaks out
everywhere; began at earliest moment with question of precedence.
Cardinal MANNING been granted precedence on certain Royal Commissions.
"Why should the Cardinal be thus honoured?" GEORGE wants to know.
"There is the Moderator of the Scotch Free Church. Why shouldn't he,
too, have princely rank?"
The Campbell is speaking, oh dear, oh dear!
The Campbell is speaking, oh dear, oh dear!
And nobody ever cries, "Hear, hear, hear!"
When the Campbell is speaking! Oh dear, oh dear!]
LORD ADVOCATE snubs CAMPBELL, and he momentarily resumes his seat.
Ten minutes later shrill cry of pibroch heard again. Everyone knows
that CAMPBELL is coming, and here he is, tall, gaunt, keen-faced,
shrill-voiced, wanting to know at the top of it which of HER MAJESTY'S
Ministers advises HER MAJESTY on questions of precedence?
"There is," said GORST, reflectively gazing on his manly form, "one
precedence we would all concede to CAMPBELL. We would gladly write on
the bench where he usually sits--
'Not lost, but gone before.'"
[Illustration: FANCY PORTRAIT OF ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.
On reading the Parliamentary report in Wednesday's _Times_.
"_Mr. W.H. Smith_. I asked my colleagues near me whether they had seen
or read the publication--(Mr. A.C. Swinburne's poem about Russia) and
none of them had."
"And this," exclaimed Algernon Charles Swinburne, the poet, "_this_ is
But which _is_ his seat? Usually the lank form and the shrill voice
simultaneously uprise from the middle of the second Bench behind Mr.
G.; but GEORGE has a little way of pleasantly surprising the House.
Members looking across see this Bench empty. "Ah! ah!" they say to
themselves, "the CAMPBELLS are gone. Now we'll have a few minutes'
peace and get on with business." Suddenly, _a propos_ of anything that
may be going on, or of nothing at all, the unmistakeable voice breaks
on the ear from under the shadow of the Gallery, from the corner of
the Bench, sometimes from below the Gangway, and a deep low groan
makes answer. Again a little while and this seat is vacated; the
Minister in charge of Bill, looking hastily round, flatters himself
that CAMPBELL really has gone, when lo! from some other remote and
unfrequented spot the terrible cry is uplifted, and, without looking
up, men know CAMPBELL is making his fifteenth speech.
"On the whole," says PLUNKET, "I'm not sure that the habits of POE'S
raven were not less irritating. It is true that on its first arrival
it hopped about the floor, wherein it resembles our honourable friend;
but afterwards, having once perched upon the pallid bust of Pallas, it
was good enough to remain there. Bad enough, I admit; but surely that
situation preferable to ours, not knowing from moment to moment from
what particular quarter CAMPBELL may next present himself."
_Business done._--Police Bill obstructed.
_Tuesday_.--HANBURY came down to-day full of virtuous resolution and
stern resolve. Privileges of House of Commons have been struck at,
and through him; DARTMOUTH, Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, has
been writing things in the papers; rebukes HANBURY, "as a Magistrate
for Staffordshire," for having made certain speech in. Commons
about Grenadier Guards. HANBURY hitherto said nothing in public on
the matter; has been in communication with DARTMOUTH by post and
telegram; has boldly vindicated privileges of Commons; has brought the
insolent Lord Lieutenant to his knees; but till this moment has made
no public reference to the part he played. Has borne, unsoothed by
companionship, the sorrow of the House of Commons.
Now hour has struck; he may come to the front, and, with habitual
modesty of men, indicate rather than describe the imperishable service
he has done the Commons. House, all unconscious of what is in store
for it, wantons at play. Innumerable questions on paper. SUMMERS
coming up fresh with batch of new conundrums. PATRICK O'BRIEN "having
had his attention called" to some verses by SWINBURNE, proposes
to read them. House wickedly delighted at prospect of SWINBURNE
being haltingly declaimed with North Tipperary accent localised by
companionship with the Town Commissioners of Nenagh; SPEAKER thinks
it might be funny, but wouldn't be business; so PATRICK: having begun,
"Night brings but one red star--Tyrannicide," is sternly pulled up.
OLD MORALITY says he's never seen "the publication;" has asked friends
near him, and everyone says he has neither seen, heard, nor read of
it. "The House," says the SPEAKER, by way of crushing ignominy, "has
no control over the poet SWINBURNE."
[Illustration: W.H. SMITH AS "THE ROVER OF THE SEAS."
"ONCE MORE ON BOARD THE LUGGER, AND I AM FREE!"]
So House deprived of its anticipated lark; all the while HANBURY,
with hands in pockets, sits staring gloomily forth, rather pitying
than resentful. House of course does not know what is in store
for it; still this trifling at the very moment when, though all
inconspicuously, the Commons have been saved from contumelious
outrage, racks the soul that carries with it the momentous secret.
At last HANBURY'S opportunity comes! Rises slowly, solemnly, to
full height; in deep base tones, asks permission to make personal
statement. House instantly alert, and attentive; baulked of its fun
with PATRICK, here is promise of fresh larks. HANBURY, his profound
base notes sometimes trembling with emotion, proceeds to unfold his
story; reads long letter from Dartmouth; Members, discovering that
the portentous business relates to some trumpery correspondence in the
newspapers, begin to cough, shuffle their feet, and even cry "Agreed!"
HANBURY stops aghast. Can it be possible? When he has been vindicating
privileges of Commons, can Members thus lightly treat incident? But
he will read them another letter, one he wrote to Lord DARTMOUTH.
Anguished roar burst forth from House; louder cries of "Agreed!
Agreed!" HANBURY, gasping for breath, looks round from side to side.
They cannot understand; will read them another letter; begins; storm
increases; HANBURY persists. Surely House will be delighted to hear
his final rejoinder to DARTMOUTH? On the contrary, House will have no
more; and HANBURY, pained and panting, resumes his seat, and business
goes forward as if he had not interposed.
_Business done._--A sudden rush. All contentious Bills through final
_Saturday_.--Session suddenly collapsed. "Like over-ripe tree,"
says Prince ARTHUR, dropping into poetry, "the fruit has fallen in a
night." Benches nearly empty; Votes passing in basketsful; prorogue
next week; to-day, practically, last working time. OLD MORALITY just
come in, in serge suit; left his straw hat in his room; off shortly
on cruise in _Pandora_; already shipped store of nautical phrases.
Putting his open hand to the side of his mouth, he (when GEORGE
CAMPBELL was making one of his last speeches), shouted out, "Belay
there!" SPEAKER pointed out that this was not Parliamentary phrase.
If Right Hon. Gentleman wanted to move the Closure, he should do so in
the form provided. OLD MORALITY, standing up, hitching his trousers
at the belt, scraping his right foot behind him, and pulling his
"I ask your honour's pardon; but these lubbers are so long-winded."
"Order! Order!" said SPEAKER.
Said good-bye, wishing him luck on the voyage; at parting pressed on
my acceptance a little book; found it a copy of the Golden Treasury
Edition of Sir THOMAS BROWN'S _Religio Medici_; page 167 turned down;
passage marked; read these words:--
"Though vicious times invert the opinions of things and set up a new
ethics against virtue, _yet hold thou fast to_ OLD MORALITY."
"I will," I said; and pressing his hand sheered off.
* * * * *
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
INVALID TOURING OPPORTUNITY.--Your idea of personally conducting
a party of paralytics, cripples, and other helpless invalids on a
"flying Continental trip," in which you propose including visits to
all the recognised "Cures," either by baths or drinking waters in
Europe, strikes us as quite admirable, and the further advantages you
offer in the shape of your being accompanied by six Bath-chairs, a
donkey, a massage doctor, a galvanising machine, fire-escape, and
a hearse, seem to meet the demands of the most nervous and exacting
patients more than half way. Your provision, too, for the recreation
of your party--such an important consideration where the nerves have
been shattered and the health feeble--by the engagement of a Learned
Musical and Calculating Pig, and a couple of Ethiopian Pashas, who
can munch and swallow half-a-dozen wine-glasses, and, if requested,
remove their eye-balls, seems to offer a prospect of many an evening's
startling and even boisterous amusement; and if the Pig should have
been palmed off on you by fraud, you not having found it able to
"calculate" at all, or even select with its snout a number _not
previously fastened to a piece of onion_, though assisted in its
selection, according to the directions, "with a smart prod with a
carving-fork," there still, as you truly say, remains the alternative
of disposing of it advantageously to some German sausage-maker. As to
the Ethiopian Pashas, if their feats, as is just possible, shock and
horrify, rather than divert and amuse your invalid audience, you can,
as you suggest, easily leave them behind on your way, in settlement
of one of your largest hotel bills. Let us know when you start. Your
"half-dozen paralytics" being let down in a horse-box by a crane on to
the boat, ought to create quite a sensation, and we shall certainly be
on the look-out for it.
* * * * *
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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