Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 99, October 18, 1890

Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team.



VOL. 99.

October 18, 1890.




SCENE--_Sanctum of "Large Wholesale House." Present, one
of the_ Principals, _a pompous personage, with imposing
watch-chain, and abundant space for it to meander over, and
a sleekly subservient_ "Head of Department." Principal _looks
irritated_, Head of Department _apprehensive, the former
angrily shuffling some papers, the latter nervously "washing
his hands with invisible soap, in imperceptible water._"

_Principal_. Well, Mr.--er--er--SCROOP, we--er--my partners and
self, are not quite satisfied with the way in which things are going
in--er--in your department.

_Head of Department_. Indeed, Sir. Sorry to hear that, Sir. May I ask,
Sir, in--er--in what particular I have--er--failed to give complete
satisfaction. (_Aside._) On the screw again, the old skinflint--I know


_Principal._ Well, in point of fact, the profits on your branch have
lately been very--have seemed--er--have been by no means--what we
could wish, Mr. SCROOP, what we could wish, Sir.

_H. of D._ Really, Sir, I--ah, am grieved to hear it, for, upon my
word, I hardly know--

_Principal_ (_abruptly_). There must be cutting down somewhere--I say
_somewhere_, Mr. SCROOP--_where_, I must leave to you. By the way, it
seems to me that PUDDICOMBE's prices are a bit high for a beginner
in the trade as he is. I think his "lines" ought to run a little

_H. of D._ Well, Sir, I've suggested it to him myself, but he
protested there was hardly a margin left. However, since you name it,
Sir, I'll see what I can do with him. _(Aside._) Ruthless old grinder,
_that's_ his game, is it? Wants a few "extra" pounds to play with, and
means squeezing them out of PUDDICOMBE. Poor PUDDICOMBE, I've already
put the screw on him pretty tightly. However, I must give it another
turn, I suppose.

SCENE II.--Head of Department _and_ PUDDICOMBE, _a
hard-working, struggling manufacturer, who has schemed and
screwed for years to keep in with the Big House._

_Puddicombe_. Upon my word, Mr. SCROOP, I can't--I really can't,
knock off another quarter per cent. It's a tight fight already, and I
_can't_ do it.

_H. of D._ (_airily_). All right, PUDDICOMBE my boy,--as you please.
Plenty who will, you know.

_Puddicombe_. Really, Mr. SCROOP, I don't see how they can--

_H. of D._ (_rudely_). That's _their_ business. I only know they
_will_, and jump at it.

_Puddicombe_ (_hesitatingly_). But--er--I thought, when I made that
little arrangement with you, a year ago, about the trifling bonus to
you, you know, I thought you as good as promised--

_H. of D._ (_severely_). Mr. PUDDICOMBE, you surprise me. I am here,
Sir, to do the best I can for the Firm--and _I shall do it._ If
somebody else's prices are better than yours, somebody else gets the
line, that's all. Good day, Mr. PUDDICOMBE. (_Aside._) Confound his
impudence!--he shan't have another order if _I_ can help it! Trifling
bonus, indeed! One thing, he daren't split--so _I_'m safe.

[_Exit_ PUDDICOMBE, _despondently. Enter, presently, a
hopeful-looking person, with a sample-bag._

_H. of D._ (_cheerily_). Ah, Mr. PINCHER, how do--how do? Haven't seen
you for an age.

_Mr. Pincher_. Good day, Mr. SCROOP. I heard you wanted to see me,
and, as I've a _very_ cheap line in your way, I thought, as I was
passing, I'd venture to look in.

_H. of D._ Quite right, PINCHER. What's the figure, my boy?

_Pincher_ (_slily_). A shade lower than the lowest you've been giving.
Is that good enough?

_H. of D._ Well--ahem!--yes--of course, if the _quality_ is right.

_Pincher_. O.K., I assure you, Sir!

_H. of D._ Well, we're quoted as low as forty-five. If you can beat
that, I think I can place the order with you.

_Pincher_ (_aside_). Liar! Even poor PUDDICOMBE wouldn't go under
fifty. However, here goes! (_Aloud._) Will five off meet your views?

_H. of D._ Say seven and a half, and I'm on.

_Pincher_. Done with you, Sir. (_Aside._) With what he'll want for
himself, there's "nothing in it!"--_this_ time.

_H. of D._ Well--subject, of course, to our Principal's approval, I
think I may say the line is yours, PINCHER. (_Aside._) Don't know
how the doose he does it! Well, that's none o' my business. Won't old
SKINFLINT be pleased? Must try and spring him for a holiday, on the
strength of it.

_Pincher_. Thanks--many thanks. (_Books it._) Hope we shall do
more business together,--to our mutual advantage. By the way, Mr.
SCROOP--(_in a low voice_)--if there _is_ any little thing I can put
in your way, you know, I, er--er!--

_H. of D._ Oh, don't mention it, PINCHER. Give me a look up on Tuesday
evening, at home. You know my little place at Peckham. My good lady'll
give you a little music.

_Pincher_. Ah, I've a good deal of influence in that line. Now, if
there's anything Mrs. SCROOP might fancy--I know "perks" are not in
_your_ line, but the ladies, my boy, the ladies!

_H. of D._ (_laughing_). You will have your joke, PINCHER. Well,
oddly enough, the Missis was only saying last night she wanted a new
piano--one of BROADWOOD's grands, for choice--and if you--

_Pincher_ (_mysteriously_). Leave it to me, my dear Sir, leave it to
me. If Mrs. SCROOP isn't satisfied by this day week, why--never give
me another line. Ha! ha! _Good_ day, Mr. SCROOP!

[_Exit, chuckling_.

* * * * *


I've bin jolly cumferal lately at the Grand Hotel, as ewerybody in fac
seems to be, for they cums in a smilin with hope, and gos away smilin
with satisfacshun, and with the thorow conwicshun of soom cumming
again, and sum on 'em says to me, says they, "Oh rewor! Mr. ROBERT!"
and others says, "Oh Plezzeer! Mr. ROBERT!" which both means, as my
yung French frend tells me, "Here's to our nex merry meeting!" but
that sounds more like a parting Toast with a bumper of good old Port
to drink it in, but I dezzay as he's right. But larst week I receeves
a most prumptery order from the LORD MARE, "to cum back to the City,
if it were ony for a week." So in coarse back I cums, and a grand
sort of a week we has all had on it! I shall fust begin with a reglar
staggerer of a dinner at the Manshun House on Munday, given, as I was
told, to all the Horthers and Hartists of Urope, who had jest bin a
holding of a Meeting to let ewerybody kno as how as they ment for to
have their rites in their hone ritings and picters, or they woodn't
rite no more, nor paint no more!


My prefound estonishment may be more heasily described than conseeved
when I says as they was amost all Forreners of warious countries! so
that when I handed anythink werry speshal to sum on 'em they would
shake their heds and say, "No mercy!" or "Nine darnker!" as the case
mite be.

Well, so much for Monday. On Toosday I spent nearly the hole day at
Gildhall in surveyin, and criticisin, hay, and in one case, acshally
_tasting_ the wundrus collecshun of all kinds and condishuns of Frute
that the hole Country can perduce, that had been colleckted there!
I wunders how many of the tens of thousands who came to Gildhall to
see the temting sight, can say the same. But ewery wise perducer of
heatables or drinkables allus tries to captiwate the good opinyon of a
Hed Waiter. The hidear jest ocurs to my mind to ask at about what part
of the next Sentry the County Counsil will be a dewoting of their time
and money to a similar usefool purpuss! And hecco answers, Wen! The
uniwersal werdick of heverybody as was there agreed in saying, that
nothink like it in buty, and wariety, and size, wasn't never seen
nowheres before. And then came the werry natural enquiry, what on
airth's a going to be done with it all? And then came the equally
nateral answer, "The Fruiterers' Company is a going to send all the
werry best of it to the LORD MARE?" And then, "Hey, Presto!" as the
cunjurer says, and on Wensday evening there it was on the table at
another Grand Bankwet at the Manshun House, and quite a number of the
Fruiterers' Company a sitting a smiling at the LORD MARE's horspitable
table, and the werry head on 'em all, Sir JAMES WHITEHEAD, giving the
distingwished compny sitch a delightful acount of what they had bin
and gone and done, and was a going to do, as made ewerybody rejoice to
think that we had such a nobel Company as the Fruiterers' Company, and
such a prince of Masters to govern 'em. And I feels bound in honor to
say, that the black grapes was about the werry finest as ewer I ewer
tasted. ROBERT.

* * * * *


* * * * *



* * * * *


["Before the 'silent millions' who make up the rank and file
of Hindoos discard the cruelties of their marriage system,
their opinions, prejudices, and habits of thought must change.
Nothing is more certain than that they will change slowly; but
we hold to the belief that judicious legislation will hasten
the process more powerfully than anything else."--_The "Times"
on Child-Marriage and Enforced Widowhood in India_.]

Yes, compassion is due to thee, India's young daughter;
The sound of thy sorrow, thy plaint of despair
Have reached English ears o'er the wide westward water,
And sympathy stirred, seldom slumbering there.

Child-Wife, or Child-Widow, in agony kneeling
And clasping the skirts of the armed Island Queen,
Her heart is not cold to thine urgent appealing;
Considerate care in her glances is seen.

Not hot as the urgings of zealotry heady
The action of her who's protectrice and guide.
Her stroke must be measured, her sympathy steady,
Whose burden's as great as her power is wide.

She stands, AEgis-armed, looked forth calm, reflective,
Across the wide stretches of old Hindostan.
The plains now subdued to her power protective,
Saw politic AKBAR and sage SHAH JEHAN.

If AKBAR was pitiful, Islam's great sworder,
Shall she of the AEgis be less so than he?
The marriage of widows he sanctioned, his order
Three centuries since laid the ban on Suttee.

And she, his successor, has rescued already
The widow from fire, and the child from the flood;
For mercy's her impulse, her policy steady
Opposes the creed-thralls whose chrism is blood.

And now the appeal of the Child-Widow reaches
The ears ever open to misery's plaint.
She _thinks_--for the sway of long centuries teaches
That zeal should not hasten, and patience not faint.

The child kneeling there at her skirts is the creature
Of tyrannous ages of creed and of caste;
She bears, helpless prey of the priest, on each feature.
The pitiful brand of a pitiless past.

Long-wrought, closely knit, subtly swaying, deep-rooted,
The system whose shadow is over the child;
By grey superstition debased and imbruted,
By craft's callous cruelty deeply defiled.

But long-swaying custom hath far-reaching issues,
The hand that assails it doth ill to show haste.
The knife that would search poor humanity's tissues,
Hath healing for object, not ravage or waste.

Not coldness, but coolness, sound policy pleads for,
But, subject to that, human sympathies yearn
To aid the child-victim the woman's heart bleeds for,
For whom a man's breast with compassion must burn.

Poor child! The dark shadow that closely pursues her
Means menacing Terror; she sues for a shield,
And how shall the strong AEgis-bearer refuse her?
The bondage of caste to calm justice must yield.

We dare not be deaf to the voice of the pleader
For freedom and purity, nature and right;
Let Wisdom, high-throned as controller and leader,
Meet cruelty's steel with the shield of calm might!

* * * * *


[Auburn is said to be the present fashionable colour in hair.]

[Illustration: The Hazard of the Dye.]

My Mother bids me dye my hair
A lovely auburn hue,
She says I ought to be aware
It's quite the thing to do.

"Why sit," she cries, "without a smile,
Whilst others dance instead?"
Alas! no partners ask me while
My tresses are not red.

When no one else at all is near,
And I am quite alone,
I sadly shed a bitter tear
To think the Season's gone.

But when the time again draws nigh,
The time when maidens wed,
I'm quite resolved to "do _and_ dye"--
My tresses _shall_ be red!

* * * * *



I don't exactly know how I got mixed up with it, but I found myself
somehow "fixed," as our American cousins would say, to join a party
who were going to see Old JEPHSON (the Q.C.), who had broken "down,"
or broken "up," or had gone through some mental and physical smashing
process or other, that necessitated an immediate recourse to mountain
air,--to where he could get it of the right sort and quality with
as little strain or tax on his somewhat shattered nerves as might be
compatible with a dash into the heart of Switzerland at the fag-end
of the swarming tourists' season. "Murren will be too high for him:
distinctly too high for him," thoughtfully observed the distinguished
specialist who had been called in, and had at once prescribed the
"air tonic" in question; "and the Burgenstock would be too low. His
condition requires an elevation of about 3500 feet. Let me see.
Ha! Engelberg is the place for him. My dear lady," he continued,
addressing Mrs. JEPHSON, who had already imbibed the theory that
every altitude, from Primrose Hill to Mont Blanc, suited its special
ailment, the only thing necessary being to hit on the right one, "My
dear lady, get your good husband to Engelberg at once. Write to HERR
CATTANI, Hotel Titlis, Engelberg, Unterwalden, asking what day he can
receive you (use my name), and then, as soon as you can possibly get
off, start. I can promise you it will do wonders for our patient."

[Illustration: Lit de Luxe!]

So, in about five days, we found ourselves, a party of six (including
young JERRYMAN, who said that, though he saw no difference between
Lucerne and Bayswater, except that Bayswater was a "howling
site bigger," he would come, "if only for the lark of seeing the
dilapidated old boy" (his way of referring to his invalid Q.C.
Uncle) "shovelled about the Bernese Oberland like a seedy Guy
Faux,") crossing the silver streak on that valued, steady-going,
and excellently well-found Channel friend, the _Calais-Douvres_. Of
course we made a fresh friend for life on board--one always does. We
counted up fifty-seven fresh friends for life we had made, one way
and another, on our way, before we got home again. This was a Dr.
MELCHISIDEC, who at once yielded his folding-chair to the Dilapidated
One, and, finding himself bound also for Engelberg, attached himself
as a sort of General-Director and Personal Conductor to our party.
"Had we got our tickets through COOK, and asked him to secure our
places in the train?" he inquired. "We had." "Ha! then it would be
all right." And it was. On our arriving at Calais, no crush, or
excitement, and fighting for places. We were met by three courteous,
military-looking officials, who talked four languages between them,
and ushered us to our "reserved" places. Royalty could not have fared
better. "You're all right with COOK," observed Dr. MELCHISIDEC. "He's
got a man everywhere; and, if there's any hitch, you've only got
to call him in. A clear case of too many Cooks _not_ spoiling the
broth." And so we found it. I had always hitherto considered Cook's
Excursionists as rather a comic institution, and as something to be
laughed at. Nothing of the sort. "Blessed be COOK!" say I. All I
know is, that we found his name a perfect tower of strength along
the entire route we traversed.

And now we were whirling along towards Basle in the rather stuffy
splendours provided for us by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons
Lits, that reminded one, as much as anything of being fixed into
one's allotted place in a sort of gigantic Gladstone Bag--an illusion
assisted, no doubt, by the prominence of a deal of silver-plated
fittings, in the shape of knobs and door-handles, all somewhat
tarnished and dusty. True, the compartment, which gave on to a
corridor running the whole length of the carriage, was provided with
a table, an inkstand, a large pan for cigar-ash, and a colossal
spittoon; but as one had no immediate need of any of these things,
and they filled up the already sufficiently limited space, one was
strongly disposed, but for the presence of the military official of
the Wagons Lits who paced the corridor before alluded to, to pitch
them all out of the window then and there. But it was drawing on
towards seven o'clock, and the question of feeding naturally came to
the fore. How was the Dilapidated One to get his meal at Tergnier,
the place where the military official informed us we should find "an
excellent repast, 'ot, and ready, with plenty of time to dispose of
'im with every facility," waiting for us.

[Illustration: "C'est tout, Monsieur?"]

Young JERRYMAN suggested the luncheon-basket, which he saw an American
get through the other day, containing two pork sandwiches, nine
inches long; half a fowl, a couple of rolls, three peaches, a bunch
of grapes, a jam-tart, and a bottle of wine; but Dr. MELCHISIDEC put
his veto on this, and, looking at the Dilapidated One critically, as
if he was wondering how much he weighed, if it came to carrying him,
came in with a judicial "No! no! I think we can manage to get him to
the Buffet," which settled the matter; and with the announcement that
we had all of us "_vingt-trois minutes d'arret_," we found ourselves
stepping across the growing dusk of the platform, into the cheerful
and brightly-lighted Station _Restaurant_, where a capital and
comfortable meal, excellently served, was awaiting us. And, O ye
shades of Rugby, Swindon, Crewe, Grantham, and I know not what other
British Railway feeding centres, at which I have been harassed,
scalded, and finally hurried away unfed, would that you could take a
lesson from the admirable management, consideration for the digestion
of the hungry passengers, and general all-round thoughtfulness that
characterises the taking of that meal "_de voyage_" at Tergnier.

[Illustration: Nach Engelberg!

* To be continued till further notice.]

To begin with, you have about finished your soup, when a station
official appears at the door and informs all the feeding passengers
in an assuring and encouraging voice that they have "_encore dix-huit
minutes_"--as much as to say, "Pray, my dear Monsieur, or Madame,
as the case may be, do not hurry over that capital portion of _boeuf
braise a l'Imperiale_, but enjoy its full flavour at your perfect
leisure. There is not, pray believe me, the remotest occasion for any
excitement or hurry." A little later on, in your repast, when you are
just, perhaps, beginning to wonder whether you oughtn't to be thinking
about returning to the train, the good fairy official again appears at
the door, this time announcing that you have "_encore douze minutes_"
in the same encouraging tones, that seem to say, "Now, I beg you will
quite finish that excellent '_poulet_' and '_salade_.' Believe me, you
have ample time. Trust to me. I charge myself with the responsibility
of seeing that you catch your train calmly and comfortably;" which he
certainly does, looking in again as Madame comes round, and you pay
her her modest demand of three francs fifty for her excellently-cooked
and well-served repast (_vin compris_), with the final announcement
of, "_Maintenant en voiture, Mesdames et Messieurs_," that find you
comfortably seated in your place again, with three minutes to spare
before the departure of the train. But perhaps the best testimony to
the excellence of the management may be found in the fact that the
Dilapidated One was not only got out, but well fed, and put back in
his place, with a whole minute to spare, without any excitement,
or more than the usual expenditure of nerve-force required for the

"I will, when Monsieur desires it, make up the bed for 'im,"
volunteers the military officer, towards eleven o'clock; and, as
there isn't much going on, we say, "All right--we'll have it now;"
and we disport ourselves in the corridor, while he works a sort of
transformation in our Gladstone Bag compartment, which seems greatly
to diminish its "containing" capacity. Indeed, if it were not for the
floor, the ceiling, and the walls, one would hardly know where to stow
one's packages. _Le train de Luxe_ I know has come in, of late, for
some abuse, and some grumblers have made a dead set at it. I don't
know what their experience of a _lit de luxe_ may have been, but,
if it was anything like mine, they must have experienced a general
feeling of wanting about a foot more room every way, coupled with a
strong and morbid inclination to kick off roof, sides, back, and, in
fact, everything, so as, somehow, to secure it.

However, the night passed, the unceasing rattle of the train being
occasionally changed for the momentary dead stillness, when it
stopped, as it did now and then, at some small place on the way, for
apparently no better reason than that of pulling the station-master
out of bed to report it. Practically I was undisturbed, except at,
I think, a place called _Delle_, where, in the very small hours of
the morning, a gentleman opened the door of my bedroom _de Luxe_,
and asked me in a voice, in which melancholy and sleep seemed to be
struggling for the mastery, whether "I had any declaration I wished to
make to the Swiss _Douanes_," and on my assuring him that I had "none
whatever," he sadly and silently withdrew.

Nothing further till Basle, where we halted at 6 A.M. for breakfast
and a change of trains, and where I was much impressed with the
carrying power of the local porter, whom I met loaded with the
Dilapidated One's effects, apparently surprised that that "was all" he
was expected to take charge of. Lucerne in a blaze of stifling heat,
with struggling Yankee and British tourists being turned away from
the doors of all the hotels, so we were glad to get our telegram from
Herr CATTANI announcing that he was able to offer us rooms that he
had "disponible;" and at 3 P.M. we commenced our carriage-drive to
Engelberg. Towards five we quitted the plain and began the ascent.

* * * * *


A promising series, so far, is this re-issue by Messrs. CHATTO
AND WINDUS of "_The Barber's Chair, Etc._," by DOUGLAS JERROLD;
"_Gulliver's Travels_, by DEAN SWIFT, _Etc._;" and SHERIDAN's Plays.
"Etc.," in both the first-mentioned books, forms a considerable
portion of each volume. "Etc.," in the first includes the _Hedgehog
Letters_, which are very Jerroldian; and in the second it means the
immortal _Tale of a Tub_, the _Battle of the Books_, and a fragment
from the Dean's correspondence.

[Illustration: Bound in Boards.]

The Baron begs to return thanks for an odd volume, one of privately
printed _opuscula_ of "_The Sette of Odd Volumes_," which has been
presented to him by the Author, Mr. WALTER HAMILTON, F.R.G.S.,
and F.R.H.S., who has the honour of filling the important post of
"Parodist" in the above-mentioned society or "Sette." This little odd
volume epitomises the Drama of England within the last three centuries
in most interesting fashion, without losing a single important point.
Why it should have fallen to the lot of the "Parodist to the Sette"
to do this, is only explained by the Sette being made up of Odd, very
odd, Volumes. What are their rules? Do they go "odd man out" to decide
who shall pay for the banquet? Must they dine in the daytime, because,
being an odd lot, they cannot sit down to dinner at eventide?

A list of the Odd members is given in the little book; but who cares
what, or who, the Odds are, as long as they each and all are happy?
'Tis a pity that, in this _multum in parvo_ of a book, the author
should have spoken disparagingly of "Glorious JOHN." It would be worth
while to refer to MACAULAY's _Dramatists of the Restoration_, and to
compare the licence of that age with that of SHAKSPEARE's time, when
a Virgin Queen, and not a Merry Monarch, was on the throne. And, when
we come to SHERIDAN's time, how about _The Duenna_, and _The Trip to
Scarborough_, which was supposed to be an improvement on the original?
However, _puris pura puerisque puellis_, as my excellent friend, Miss
MAXIMA DE BETUR observes. But one ought not to look a gift pony in the
mouth any more than one ought to critically examine a jest which is
passed off in good company. The jest was not meant to be criticised,
and the pony wasn't given you in order that you might critically
express an opinion on its age. If a pony--a very quiet, steady grey
pony--were presented as a mark of affection and esteem to the Baron,
he most certainly would _not_ inspect its mouth, seeing that he would
not be a tooth the wiser for the operation; but, if the Baron had
a friendly vet. or a hipposcientist at hand, he would certainly ask
_him_ to examine the gift cob before the Baron either drove or rode

_Quo tendimus? In Latium?_ Verily, for the next work at hand is Mr.
HUTTON's _Monograph on Cardinal Newman_, which, of all the writings
about his Eminence that I've lately read, I can (says the Baron, in
one of his more severely sedate moods,) most confidently recommend to
general readers of all denominations, and of all shades of opinion,
whom Mr. HUTTON may address as "Friends, Romans, Countrymen!" That
learned Theban, "JOHN OLDCASTLE," has written an interesting Biography
of "The noblest Roman of them all," which forms a special number of
the _Merry England_ Magazine.

_Margaret Byng_, by F.C. PHILLIPS and FENDALL, is a clever sensational
story, spun out into two volumes, which can be devoured by the
accomplished novel-swallower in any two hours' train journey, and can
be highly recommended for this particular purpose. It would have been
better, because less expensive and more portable, had it been in one
volume; but the Baron strongly recommends it for the above space of
time in a train, or whenever you've nothing better to do, which will
happen occasionally even to the wisest and best of us. The secret is
very well kept to the end; and an expert in novel-reading can do the
first volume in three-quarters of an hour, and the next in half an
hour easily, and be none the worse for the _tour de force_, as he will
have amused and interested himself for the time being, will forget all
about it in an hour or so, and wonder what it was all about if at any
future time the name of the book should be mentioned in his hearing.
It's the sort of book that ought to be the size of a Tauchnitz
edition, in one volume only, and sold for a couple of shillings.

The facsimile of DICKENS's MS. of the _Christmas Carol_, published by
Messrs. ELLIOTT STOCK, is a happy thought for the coming Christmas,
and that Christmas _is_ coming is a matter about which publishers
within the next six weeks will not allow anyone to entertain the
shadow or the ghost of a doubt. What a good subject for a Christmas
story, _The Ghost of a Doubt; or, The Shadow of a Reason_! "Methinks,"
quoth the Baron, "it would be as well to register these two titles
and couple of subjects before anyone seizes them as his own." Most
interesting is this facsimile MS., showing how DICKENS wrote it,
corrected it, and polished it up. Though, that this was the only MS.
of this work, the Baron doubts. It may have been the only complete
MS., but where are all the notes, rough or smooth, of the inspirations
as they occurred? Those, the germs of this story or of any story,
would be the most interesting of all; that is, to the confraternity of
Authors. There is a pleasant preface, lively, of course, it should be,
as coming from a Kitten who might have given us a catty-logue of the
works of DICKENS in his possession.

"Thank you, Mr. B.L. FARJEON," says the Baron, "for a clever little
novel called _A Very Young Couple_." Perhaps it might have been
a trifle shorter than it is with advantage; and, if it had been
published in that still more pocketable form which has made the
Routledgean series of portable-readables so popular with the Baron,
and those who are guided by his advice, the book would be still
better. As it is, it is clever, because the astute novel-reader at
once discards the real and only solution of the mystery as far too
commonplace, and this solution is _the_ one which Mr. FARJEON has
adopted. It is the expected-unexpected that happens in this case, and
the astute reader is particularly pleased with himself, because he
finishes by saying, "I knew how it would be, all along."


* * * * *



"_Pray don't move;_" i.e., "He will be a brute if he doesn't."

"_I hope I am not disturbing you;_" i.e., "I don't care the least if
I am."

"_What a delightful volume of poems your last is!_" i.e., "Haven't
read one of them; but he won't find it out."

"_So much in your new book that is interesting about those dear
Japanese;_" i.e., "Glad I happened to glance at that page."

"_Do tell me when you next lecture. Wouldn't miss it for worlds!_"
i.e., "Wild horses would not drag me there."

"So _sorry you are going. Mind you come and stay with us again_ very
_soon;_" i.e., "Unless she comes without an invitation, she is not
likely to cross _this_ threshold again."

* * * * *

INCOMPREHENSIBLE!--At the dinner given by the LORD MAYOR, a few days
since, to the representatives of Art and Literature of all nations,
a linguist, who is believed to understand seventeen languages, made a
speech in the eighteenth!

* * * * *


SCENE--_A Table d'hote._

_Aristocratic English Lady_ (_full of diplomatic relations_). "A--CAN


* * * * *




MCKINLEY, brave and bold, as the universe is told,
Brought forth his Tariff Bill so neat and handy, O!
And true patriots, everyone thought the business splendid fun,
With their music playing Yankee-doodle dandy, O!
Yankee-doodle, Yankee-doodle dandy. O!
The patriots came running, and admired MCKINLEY's cunning,
In the interests of Yankee-doodle dandy, O!

The Britisher might blame the new Economic game,
_That_ only fired the Yankee like neat brandy, O!
If J.B. should be stone-broke by MCKINLEY's master-stroke,
_Tant mieux_, my boys, for Yankee-doodle dandy, O!
Yankee-doodle, Yankee-doodle dandy, O!
The measure is a lark, it _may_ transfer the British market
To the able hands of Yankee-doodle dandy, O!

The fight has scarce begun, and the Yank has seen the fun
Of the rush of freighted vessels to be handy, O!
Just in time for the old duties; they competed, like young beauties
For the smile of some young roving Royal dandy, O!
Yankee-doodle, Yankee-doodle dandy, O!
They knew there'd be a scare if the ships didn't dodge the Tariff,
The New Tariff dear to Yankee-doodle dandy, O!

The _Etruria_ and _Zaandam_ found the business quite a flam,
The _Thingvalla_, in good time, was not quite handy, O!
Whilst some sugar-laden ships found they'd wholly missed their tips,
To the merriment of Yankee-doodle dandy, O!
Yankee-doodle, Yankee-doodle dandy, O!
Yet the prudent thoughts are giving to the "increased cost of living,"
Home-expenses burden Yankee-doodle dandy, O!

Miss COLUMBIA and her "Ma" have a fancy that Pap-pa,
At raising "worsted-stuffs" has been too handy, O!
Fifty per cent. on frocks, upon petticoats and socks,
Scares the women-folk of Yankee doodle dandy, O!
Yankee doodle, Yankee doodle dandy, O!
"Taxing the Briti_sher_" may yet create a stir
In the Home-affairs of Yankee doodle dandy, O!

Pennsylvania will rejoice, but a sort of still small voice
In the ear of Uncle SAM may sound quite handy, O!
Wall Street may feel smart shocks at the lowering of Stocks,
And _will_ "Tin-plates" comfort Yankee doodle dandy, O?
Yankee doodle, Yankee doodle, dandy O!
Lower Stocks by raising "Stockings" Ah, methinks I hear the "Shockings"!
Of the women-folk of Yankee-doodle dandy, O!

Howsoever that may fare, let JOHN BULL keep on his hair,
And Miss CANADA with flouts be not too handy, O!
Common sense is safe commander, and we need not raise our dander
At the Tariff tricks of Yankee doodle dandy, O!
Yankee doodle! Yankee doodle dandy, O!
And may it ever prove in trade fights, _or_ brotherly love,
BULL can keep upsides with Yankee doodle dandy, O!

* * * * *

"CHARGE, CHESTER, CHARGE!"--The _Times_ reports that at Chester
County Court last week, Mr. STAVELEY HILL, Q.C, M.P., Judge Advocate
of the Fleet, was summoned for L25--for goods supplied, and that the
claim was unsuccessfully contested on the score that it was barred by
the Statute of Limitations. Mr. SEGAR, who represented the Plaintiff,
said that the Defendant was "wrong in his law," and Judge Sir HORATIO
LLOYD assented to the proposition by giving a verdict for the full
amount claimed. From this it would appear that there was "no valley"
(as a Cockney would say) in the point of the Hill--the Judge Advocate
of the Fleet being on this occasion, if not in his native element, at
any rate, "quite at sea!"

* * * * *

[Illustration: A FAMILY QUESTION.


* * * * *


STEAM-ROLLING EXPERIENCES.--That you should have endeavoured to have
turned the birthday-gift of your eccentric nephews to account, and
made an offer to the Municipality of West Bloxham to "set" the High
Street for them by going over it with the seventeen-ton steam-roller,
with which your youthful relatives had presented you, was only a
nice and generous impulse on your part; and it is undeniably a great
pity that, owing to your not fully understanding the working of the
machine, you should have torn away the front of three of the principal
shops, finally going through the floor of a fourth, and getting
yourself apparently permanently embedded in a position from which
you cannot extricate yourself, in the very centre of the leading
thoroughfare. Your idea of getting out of the difficulty by presenting
the steam-roller then and there to the Borough was a happy one, and
it is to be regretted that, under the circumstances, they felt no
inclination to accept your offer. Their threat of further proceedings
against you unless you take immediate steps to remove your machine,
though, perhaps, to be expected, is certainly a little unhandsome.
Perhaps your best plan will be to try and start your Steam-roller as a
"Suburban Omnibus Company," as you propose. Certainly secure that Duke
you mention for Chairman, and, with one or two good City names on the
Directorate, it is possible you may be successful in your efforts to
float the affair.

Meantime, since the proprietor of the premises in which your
Steam-roller has fixed itself refuses to allow you to try to remove it
by dynamite, leave it where it is. Put the whole matter into the hands
of a sharp local lawyer, and go on to the Continent until it has blown

* * * * *

[Illustration: A HERO "FIN DE SIECLE."

_Podgers_ (_of Sandboys Golf Club_). "MY DEAR MISS ROBINSON, GOLF'S

* * * * *


There is evidently all the difference in the world between "The King's
Highway"--of song--and the Kingsland highway--of fact. Song says all
is equal to--

"High and low on the King's highway."

Experience teaches that a sober citizen traversing the highway
unfavourably known as the Kingsland Road, is liable to be tripped
up, robbed and thumped senseless by organised gangs of Kingsland
roughs. It seems doubtful whether Neapolitan banditti or Australian
bush-whackers are much worse than these Cockney ruffians, these
vulgar, vicious and villanous "Knights of the (Kingsland) Road." Is it
not high time that the local authorities--and the local police--looked
to this particular "highway," which seems so much more like a "byway"
not to say a "by-word and a reproach" to a city suburb?

* * * * *

A CASE FOR THE SURGEONS.--Mrs. Ramsbotham, who has a great respect
for the attainments of Members of the Medical profession, cannot
understand why Army Doctors should be called "non-competents."

* * * * *




_Piscator_, MAUDLIN, I pray you, do us the courtesy to sing a song
concerning your late visit to London.

MAUDLIN _sings_:--

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That come in competition's field
From reckoning up the Shorthorn's "yield."

To Town we'll come in modish frocks,
Where swells appraise our herds and flocks,
By days "in profit" great or small,
All in the Agricultural Hall.

Cockneys shall come and poke their noses
Into our churns as sweet as roses;
And to quiz MAUDLIN in clean kirtle
The toffs of Town will crush and hurtle.

You'll see the Queen, of pride chock-full,
Take first prize with her Shorthorn bull;
Dr. H. WATNEY, of Buckhold,
With "Cleopatra" hit the gold.

A medal or a champion cup
For cheese to munch, or cream to sup,
Are pleasures rural souls to move,
So live with me and be my love.

Butter and eggs, milch cows and churns,
With cattle foods shall take their turns;
If Dairy Shows thy mind have won,
Then come with me to Islington.

_Viator_. Trust me, Master, it is an apt song, and archly sung by
modish MAUDLIN. I'll bestow a bucolic Cockney's wish upon her, _that
she may live to marry a Competitive Dairyman, and have good store of
champion cups and first prizes stuck about her best parlour._

* * * * *


[At the Blackheath Petty Sessions, Mr. LAWLESS, stated that
the Trafalgar Hotel, belonged to the Lords of the Admiralty,
and asked the Bench to transfer the licence to the resident

Captain ROBERTSON-SHERSBY, J.P.: Why not transfer it to the
First Lord of the Admiralty? Are there no whitebait dinners
held there?

Mr. LAWLESS said that he was afraid that the days of whitebait
dinners were over.

The Bench, finding the Admiralty held the hotel for charitable
purposes, granted the application.]

Come, landsmen, give ear to my ditty,
I'll make it as short as I can.
There was once--was it London?--a city
Which stretched from Beersheba to Dan.
Of course that is gammon and spinach,
Or, to put it correctly, a joke.
It extended from Richmond to Greenwich,
This city of darkness and smoke.

It had sailors who ruled o'er the ocean,
And sat all the day upon Boards,
And described, with delightful emotion,
Themselves and their colleagues as "Lords."
They had tubes that were always exploding,
And boilers that never were right,
But had all got a trick of exploding,
And blowing a crew out of sight.

They had docks (and, alas! they had dockers),
They had ships that kept sinking like stones,
Which resulted in filling the lockers
Provided below by D. JONES.
Of their country these lineal successors
Of NELSON deserved very well,
When at last they became the possessors
Of an old fully-licensed hotel.

And they made up a case which was flawless,
For the Sessions that sat at Blackheath,
And they sent--which was strange--Mr. LAWLESS,
Who was crammed full of law to the teeth.
"The days when we all lived in clover,
With whitebait, can never revive,
I assure you," said LAWLESS, "they're over,
But, oh, keep the licence alive."

But the Bench, when they heard him, grew bolder--
"Make it out to George Hamilton--he
Is the man who should figure as holder,"
Just to think of the head of the Navy,
The proudest and strongest afloat,
Cutting joints or distributing gravy,
First Lord of his own _table d'hote!_

Will their Charity be a beginner
At home? Will they dine there each day,
These Lords, on a succulent dinner,
Free, gratis, and nothing to pay?
Well, well, though we'd rather prefer ships
That burst not, we'll take what they give.
So we offer our thanks to their Worships
For permitting the licence to live.

* * * * *


* * * * *


* * * * *




[With this story came a long, explanatory letter. The story,
however, is itself so clear and easy to understand (as is all
the work of this master), that the accompanying commentary is


In the earlier portion of the lives of all of us there is a time,
heaven-given without doubt, for all things, as we know, draw their
origin thence, if only in our blundering, ill-conditioned way we trace
them back far enough with the finger of fate pointing to us as in
mockery of all striving of ours on this rough bosom of our mother
earth, a time there comes when the senses rebel, first faintly, and
then with ever-increasing vehemence, panting, beating, buffeting and
breasting the torrent of necessity, against the parental decree that
would drench our inmost being in the remedial powder of a Gregorian
doctor, famous, I doubt not, in his day, and much bepraised by them
that walked delicately in the light of pure reason and the healthful
flow of an untainted soul, but now cast out and abhorred of childhood
soaring on uplifted wing through the vast blue of the modern
pharmacopoeia. Yet to them is there not comfort too in the symbolic
outpourings of a primaeval wisdom which, embodied for all time in
imperishable verse, are chanted in the haunts of the very young like
the soft lappings of the incoming tide on a beach where rounded pebble
disputes with shining sand the mastery of the foreshore?


So, too, while the infant chariot with its slow motion of treble
wheels advances obedient to the hand of the wimpled maid who from
the rear directs its ambiguous progress, the dozing occupant may not
always understand, but, hearing, cannot fail to be moved to tears by
the simple tale of JOANNA crossed in all her depth and scope of free
vigorous life by him that should have stood her friend. For the man
had wedded her. Of that there can be no doubt, since the chronicles
have handed down the date of it. Wedded her with the fatal "yes" that
binds a trusting soul in the world's chains. A man, too. A reckless,
mutton-munching, beer-swilling animal! And yet a man. A dear,
brave, human heart, as it should have been; capable, it may be,
of unselfishness and devotion; but, alas! how sadly twisted to the
devil's purposes on earth, an image of perpetual chatter, like the
putty-faced street-pictures of morning soapsuds. His names stand in
full in the verse. JOHN, shortened familiarly, but not without a hint
of contempt, to JACK, stares at you in all the bravery of a Christian
name. And SPRATT follows with a breath of musty antiquity. SPRATT
that is indeed a SPRATT, sunk in the oil of a slothful imagination
and bearing no impress of the sirname that should raise its owner to
cloudy peaks of despotic magnificence.

But of the lady's names no hint is given. We may conjecture SPRATT
to have been hers too, poor young soul that should have been dancing
instead of fastened to a table in front of an eternal platter. And of
all names to precede it the fittest surely is JOANNA. For what is that
but the glorification with many feminine thrills of the unromantic
chawbacon JOHN masticating at home in semi-privacy the husks of
contentment, the lean scrapings of the divine dish which is offered
once in every life to all. So JOANNA she shall be and is, and as
JOANNA shall her story be told.


Many are the tales concerning JOANNA's flashing wit. There appeared
many years back, in a modest shape that excited small interest amongst
the reviewing herd, a booklet whereof the title furnished little
if any indication to the contents. _The Spinster's Reticule_, for
so the name ran, came forth with no blare of journalistic trumpets
challenging approval from the towers of critical sagacity. It appeared
and lived. But between its cardboard covers the bruised heart of
JOANNA beats before the world. She shines most in these aphorisms. Her
private talk, too, has its own brilliancy, spun, as it was here and
there, out of a museful mind at the cooking of the dinner or of the
family accounts. She said of love that "it is the sputter of grease
in a frying-pan; where it falls the fire burns with a higher flame
to consume it."[1] Of man, that "he may navigate Mormon Bay, but he
cannot sail to Khiva Point." The meaning is too obvious it may be, but
the thought is well imaged.

She is delightful when she touches on life. "Two," she says, "may
sit at a feast, but the feast is not thereby doubled." And, again,
"Passion may lift us to Himalaya heights, but the hams are smoked in a
chimney." And this of the soul, "He who fashions a waterproof prevents
not the clouds from dripping moisture." Of stockings she observes
that, "The knitting-needles are long, but the turn of the heel is a
teaser." Here there is a delightful irony of which matrons and maids
may take note.

Such, then, was our JOANNA--JOANNA MERESIA SPRATT, to give her that
full name by which posterity is to know her--an ardent, bubbling,
bacon-loving girl-nature, with hands reaching from earth to the stars,
that blinked egregiously at the sight of her innocent beauty, and hid
themselves in winding clouds for very love of her.


Sir JOHN SPRATT had fashions that were peculiarly his own. Vain it
were to inquire how, from the long-perished SPRATTS that went before
him, he drew that form of human mind which was his. Laws that are
hidden from our prying eyes ordain that a man shall be the visible
exemplar of vanished ages, offering here and there a hook of
remembrance, on which a philosopher may hang a theory for the world's
admiring gaze. Far back in the misty past, of which the fabulists
bear record, there have swum SPRATTS within this human ocean, and of
these the ultimate and proudest was he with whose life-story we are
concerned. It was his habit to carry with him on all journeys a bulky
note-book, the store in which he laid by for occasions of use the
thoughts that thronged upon him, now feverishly, as with the exultant
leap of a rough-coated canine companion, released from the thraldom
of chain and kennel, and eager to seek the Serpentine haunts of
water-nymphs, and of sticks that fell with a splash, and are brought
back time and again whilst the shaken spray bedews the onlookers; now
with the staid and solemn progression that is beloved of the equine
drawers of four-wheeled chariots, protesting with many growls against
a load of occupants.

He had met JOANNA. They had conversed. "An empty table, is it not?"
said she. "Nowhere!" said he, and they proceeded. His "Nowhere!" had
a penetrating significance--the more significant for the sense that it
left vague.

And so the marriage was arranged, the word that was to make one of
those who had hitherto been two had been spoken, and the celebrating
gifts came pouring in to the pair.

Sir JOHN walked home with triumph swelling high in his heart. Overhead
the storm-clouds gathered ominously. First with a patter, then with
a drenching flood, the prisoned rain burst its bars, and dashed
clamouring down to the free earth. He paused, umbrellaless, under
a glimmering lamp-post. The hurrying steeds of a carriage, passing
at great speed, dashed the gathered slush of the street over his
dark-blue Melton over-coat. The imprecations of the coachman and his
jeers mingled strangely with the elemental roar. Sir JOHN heeded
them not. He stood moveless for a space, then slowly drawing forth
his note-book, and sharpening his pencil, he wrote the following
phrase:--"Laid _Brother to Banjo_, one, two, three, 5 to 4."


A year had gone by, and with the spring that whispered softly in
the blossoming hedge-rows, and the melancholy cry of the female
fowl calling to her downy brood, JOANNA had learnt new lessons of a
beneficent life, and had crystallised them in aphorisms, shaken like
dew from the morning leaf of her teeming fancy.

They sat at table together. BINNS, the butler, who himself dabbled in
aphorism, and had sucked wisdom from the privy perusal of Sir JOHN's
note-book, had laid before them a dish on which reposed a small but
well-boiled leg of one that had trod the Southdowns but a week before
in all the pride of lusty life. There was a silence for a moment.

"You will, as usual, take the fat?" queried Sir JOHN.

"Lean for me to-day," retorted JOANNA, with one of her bright flashes.

"Nay, nay," said her husband, "that were against tradition, which
assigns to you the fat."

JOANNA pouted. Her mind rebelled against dictation. Besides, were not
her aphorisms superior to those of her husband? The cold face of Sir
JOHN grew eloquent in protest. She paused, and then with one wave of
her stately arm swept mutton, platter, knife, fork, and caper sauce
into the lap of Sir JOHN, whence the astonished BINNS, gasping in
pain, with much labour rescued them. JOANNA had disappeared in a
flame of mocking laughter, and was heard above calling on her maid
for salts. But Sir JOHN ere yet the sauce had been fairly scraped
from him, unclasped his note-book, and with trembling fingers wrote
therein, "POOLE's master-pieces are ever at the mercy of an angry


But the world is hard, and there was little mercy shown for JOANNA's
freak. Her husband had slain her. That was all. She with her flashes,
her gaiety, her laughter, was consigned to dust. But in Sir JOHN's
note-book it was written that, "The hob-nailed boot is but a bungling
weapon. The drawing-room poker is better."


[Footnote 1: I guarantee all these remarks to be intensely humorous
and brilliant. If you can't see it, so much the worse for you. They
are _screamers_.--G.V.]

* * * * *


[Illustration: "Turned on the Toe."--_Shakspeare_.]

Nothing prettier than _La Cigale_ at the Lyric Theatre has been seen
in London for a very long time. The dresses are perfect, and the
three stage pictures which illustrate the graceful story could not be
better. Then the book is admittedly a model libretto, set to music
at once fresh and charming. What more could be desired? Why capable
exponents. Here, again, Mr. SEDGER is in luck's way. With Miss
GERALDINE ULMAR as the Grasshopper, and Miss EFFIE CLEMENTS as the
Ant, who could ask for more? Without replying to the question, it may
be said at once that "more" is excellently represented by Mr. ERIC
LEWIS as a Duke, Mr. LIONEL BROUGH as a Landlord (by the way the Uncle
of the Ant), and Mr. E.W. GARDEN as the Bill of the Play. Perhaps on
the first night the CHEVALIER SCOVEL as the _Chevalier de Bernheim_
was not quite at home in his new surroundings. Accustomed to a more
serious kind of entertainment, he appeared a trifle heavy, and his
tenor notes (not unsuggestive of the Bank of Elegance) were sometimes
of doubtful value. By this time, however, no doubt, he has regained
his normal composure, and sings as successfully as any of his

After the last Act everyone was called, inclusive of the composers
and the author; the latter, being at that very moment on his way to
France, could not respond to the hearty applause with which his name
was greeted, and must accordingly await the personal congratulations
of the audience until his return from foreign parts. Mr. CARYLL who
had done so much to musically illustrate the Christmas Tree Scene
(thus meriting the title of Mr. CHRISTMAS CARYLL), was also not to be
found when wanted, and so the Sole Lessee and Manager had nothing more
to do than return thanks for all concerned, and make up his mind to a
run that seems likely to keep him on his legs until Easter.

* * * * *


[At a meeting of the Cardiff Corporation on Tuesday, October
7, a letter was read from Mr. H.M. STANLEY stating, that he
would be unable to fulfil his engagement to visit Cardiff and
accept the freedom of the borough. All preparation for the
ceremony had been made, and a costly silver casket, which
is now useless, was specially ordered. Mr. STANLEY's excuse
was pressure of business in preparing for his American
tour.--_Daily Paper_.]

The Council at Cardiff looked angry and glum,
Their chagrin was so great it was useless to mask it,
They had only just heard you were not going to come,
And alack! and alas! they had ordered the casket!

The address had been settled; the language was tall,
The phrases were apt and so beautifully rounded,
They had told of your pluck so well known to us all,
And your praises, of course, they had suitably sounded.

And then you can't come!--But it scarcely avails
To become of excuses a common concocter,
For if "pressure of business" will keep you from Wales,
Why go down to Cambridge to pose as a Doctor?

Yes, think once again of your promise, and so
Just alter your mind, it would be much too hard if
You left unfulfilled your engagement to go
And receive (in a casket) the Freedom of Cardiff.

* * * * *

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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