The Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, December 2, 1893

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, December 2, 1893

Author: Various

Editor: F. C. Burnand

Release date: April 22, 2012 [eBook #39505]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Malcolm Farmer, Lesley Halamek, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
book was created from images of public domain material
made available by the University of Toronto Libraries


[pg 253]

Punch, or the London Charivari

Volume 105, December 2, 1893.

edited by Sir Francis Burnand


(Whose "Fringe" has fallen off at a Ball.)

Alas! those waving curls,

That parting on your brow,

Had been some other girl's!

"Vhere ish dot barting now?"

Like Breitmann's barty gone

Avay in ewigkeit,

Those curls which you put on

To grace the ball to-night.

Too feeble were the pins,

Too frisky were your hops;

Derisive are the grins,

Departing parting drops.

A parting, this, that shocks

Beholders evermore;

You dare not claim those locks

Now lying on the floor.

I used to think them fair,

I find them false instead;

If thus you lose your hair,

I shall not lose my head.

Nor certainly my heart—

With that I should not care

So readily to part

As you with purchased hair.

We kick those curls aside.

Your looks and locks have fled,

Then hasten home to hide

Your much diminished head.

Don Pedro d'Alcantara le Comte d'Eu is eighteen. He is pursuing his studies at a Military Academy, speaks German fairly well, and in his leisure hours is, we are informed, "studying Polish." The latter being acquired, he will become a most polish'd Prince. He is so very well off that he will not have to go to Brazil for a crown.



SceneEntrance-hall at the Browns, after one of their Parties.

Jones (the last to depart, as usual). "What a delicious Drink, Waiter! What is it!"

Waiter. "The Leavings, Sir!"


Europe's Prince Charming, lion-like, born to dare,

Betrayed by the black treacherous Northern Bear!

Soldier successful vainly, patriot foiled,

Wooer discomfited, and hero spoiled!

Triumphant champion of Slivnitza's field,

To sordid treachery yet doomed to yield;

Of gallant heart and high-enduring strain,

Valiant resultlessly, victor in vain!

Motley career of mingled shine and shame,

Material fashioned for romantic fame!

An age more chivalrous you should have seen,

When brutal brokers, and when bagmen keen,

Shamed not the sword and blunted not the lance.

Then had you been true Hero of Romance.

Now, when to Mammon Mars must bow his crest,

King-errantry seems a Quixotic quest,

And "unfulfilled renown" finds only—early rest!


Evening red and morning grey

Makes me by the fireside stay.

Evening grey and morning red

Finds me tucked up all day in bed!

Curious but True.—So particular are the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers to have everything in order, that they have this year elected as Prime Warden a fine Salmon (Robert H.).


"With the New Year," says a Baronite, "there is a great desire to turn over a new leaf." Such intentions are easily satisfied by the Back-Loop Pocket Diaries, where leaves for this purpose are plentifully supplied by John Walker & Co. Likewise De La Rue & Co. offer Diaries and Memorandum Books in every size and form, and this year they have a patent clip to keep the leaf down. Ought to be advertised as "clipping!"

The Baron's Baronites look into a box of Christmas books and find, first—Westward with Columbus. By Gordon Stables, M.D.C.M. Graphic account. "Stables must have been in excellent form when writing this," observes a Baronite; "evidently he was not Livery Stables."—Wreck of the Golden Fleece. By Robert Leighton. A capital sea story, plenty of rocks and wrecks, hardships and plague-ships, and all sorts of wonderful adventures.—The White Conquerors of Mexico, by Kirk Munroe, tells how Cortes and his Spaniards, being white, did Montezuma and his Aztic natives brown.—With the Sea Kings. F. H. Winder. The youthful amateur salt will find everything here to satisfy all his cravings and See-kings. "Winder has taken great panes with this," says Baronitess.

"My clients," quoth the Baron, "will do well to read Baring-Gould's cheap Jack Zita." Fascinating book by reason of its picturesque effects and its description of life in the Fens at the commencement of the present century. "I wonder," muses the Baron, "whether any of my readers, being Cantabs, will call to mind how some thirty-five years ago the names of those eminent amateur pugilists J-ck Sh-ff-ld, F-rg-ss-n D-v-e, L-nn-x C-nn-ngh-m, and others were associated with life in the Fens as it existed at that time, and how these pupils of Nat Langham's now and again disputed the championship of a certain Fen Tavern, won it, and for a time held it? Some undergraduates were hand and glove with the Fenners—not the cricket-ground, so styled, but the dwellers in Fen-land; and on occasion they were hand to hand without the 'glove.'" Why this question? "Because," says the Baron, "one of the scenes so graphically described in the chapter, headed 'Burnt Hats,' might have been witnessed at the time I have referred to by any undergraduate sufficiently venturesome to accompany those fisticuffers." As for the plot, well, 'tis a good plot, and has always been a good plot, and "twill serve, 'twill serve." But it is the Baring-Gould flavouring that makes the dish acceptable to the jaded palate of oldest novel-devourer.

Baron de B.-W.


(To Mr. Caine and his Bill prohibiting advertisements in rural places.)

Oh, Mr. Caine, for this relief much thanks.

As most benignant benefactor ranks

The man who saves our own sweet countryside—

At once our chiefest glory and our pride—

From all the many nauseating ills

Which come out of advertisements of pills!

Pills there must be, but when we chance to pass

Through meadows and would rest our eyes on grass,

Or pleasantly meander by the river,

We would forget we've even got a liver.

So here's success to you, Sir, in your Bill

To make it wrong to advertise a pill

In rural spots in which we fondly now

Associate "three acres and a cow!"

And when success this rural venture yields,

Do for the beaches what's done for the fields!

"Invisible Trouser Stretchers."—Legs.

[pg 254]


(With Mr. Punch's Thanks to Mr. Courtney for the Suggestion. Vide Times, Parliamentary Report, Wednesday, November 22.)

[pg 255]


Ignorant Bachelor Visitor. "Hullo, Throgmorton; what the deuce are your Twins up to with that Contrivance?"

Proud Father (of Throgmorton, Threadneedle & Co.; Telephone 123456-1/4). "Ha! There you are, my Boy—marvellous example of inherited business instinct! They're trying to Telephone to each other!"


["The leader of the Opposition had treated them to good logic, but why administer such strong meat to the babes on the Treasury bench?"—Mr. Courtney on the Parish Councils Bill.]

We have heard of the Babes in the Wood,

And the ruffians greedy and cruel,

Who (as Ingoldsby said in gay mood)

Conspired for to "give them their gruel";

But pitiful bosoms will blench

At this vision of Balfour the sinister,

To Babes on the Treasury Bench

Presuming his dose to administer!

They find Doctor Balfour, one fears,

Worse than poor Davy Copperfield's Creakle;

As awful as grim Mrs. Squeers

With her jorum of brimstone and treacle.

Ah, Courtney, how could you conceive

A picture so Mephistophelian?

Your buzzum is stone, I believe,

And your heart must be truly a steely 'un!

Sweet Babes! They seem likely to choke!

Poor Gladdy! Poor Johnnie! Poor Willy!

Arthur's "logic" is tougher than "toke,"

And much more insipid than "skilly."

Strong meat? How your irony you barb,

Your humour's as grim as the gallows.

Your dose is as drastic as rhubarb,

And almost as bitter as aloes.

Logic? For Babes? On that Bench?

You're as hard as the Poles' "whiskered pandour."

You might as well set out to drench

Your own Opposition with—candour!

The Treasury Babes may object

To prescriptions from Mill or from Whewell,

And logical draughts, I expect,

Would very soon give you your gruel.

If Courtney could physic himself,

Or Balfour and he dose each other,

How soon both would lay on the shelf

This prescription, and try quite another!

No; Reason, as party-strife goes,

As food is attractive to no men:

And Logic's a nauseous dose,

To be given—as physic—to foemen!

"What author was it," inquired Mrs. R. of a literary friend, "who wrote the line describing going to bed as 'that last infirmity of noble minds'?"


["There are still five of the road-coaches running out of London."—Daily News, Nov. 18.]

If drooping with toil, or aught else, I or

You may spring up with "Excelsior!"

As up to the box-seat one climbs,

"How pleasant," one murmurs, "'Old Times!'"

Times equally good, we'll engage,

Have others who go with "The Age."

Though outlooks to-morrow be livid,

Hold tight now a joy that is "Vivid."

"Post equitem?" Ah! his reliance,

At least, wasn't placed on "Defiance."

Rather Familiar!—It was announced in the Times that "Canon G. F. Browne will lecture at St. Paul's, in January," on "The Christian Church before the coming of Augustus." The Canon ought to have said "Sir Augustus." Of course there is only one "Augustus," i.e. our "Druriolanus."

[pg 256]


(A Story in Scenes.)

Scene XVII.The Drawing-room at Hornbeam Lodge. Curphew and Althea are standing at some distance from one another, in evident constraint.

Curphew (sadly). It's only what I expected, and yet—tell me this—is it entirely because of—of what you saw at the Eldorado last Saturday?

Althea. Ah, you know, then! but what does it matter now? I was mistaken—isn't that enough?

Curph. Don't judge me by what you saw of Walter Wildfire. I can do better things than that. I can make you forget him—forget that he ever existed, if only you will trust me!

Alth. (indignantly). Do you really suppose that he—that I—oh, it's too insulting! And you will do no good by disparaging him. The man who could write those songs, and sing them like that——

Curph. (wincing). Don't! I know how they must have struck you. I would have prepared you, if I could. I did try—that afternoon at the station, but I was interrupted. And now it's too late, and the harm's done. But at least you will never see Walter Wildfire again!

Alth. (exasperated). Have I ever said that I wanted to? Why will you persist in talking as if——? Once for all, I can't care for you; whatever I may have thought once, I know now that I can have no sympathy with the sort of life you lead; the pleasures you are content with would not satisfy me; I should want more than you could ever give me. We should have nothing in common—nothing——There, now do you understand?

Curph. Yes, I think I do. I suppose it's natural, and yet—don't think too hardly of me if you can help it. I might have chosen a higher walk than I did, but at least I've kept out of the mire, and now at last I see my way to——But that wouldn't interest you. There, I had better say good-bye: you won't refuse to give me your hand at parting, will you?

[As he takes her hand, Mrs. Toovey enters with Charles, and stands transfixed.

Mrs. Toovey. Althea, don't tell me I'm too late! You have not accepted that man?

Curph. (releasing Althea's hand). On the contrary, I have just had my dismissal, Mrs. Toovey; we were merely saying good-bye.

Mrs. Toov. Thank Heaven! But I knew I could trust my daughter to detect instinctively the designing serpent in wolf's clothing—(correcting herself angrily)—the sheep in dove's plumage, I should say.

Charles (sotto voce). Similes are cheap to-day!

Mrs. Toov. (more angrily still). Well, I know what I mean, and so does he! (Mr. Toovey enters.) And how a person with Mr. Curphew's antecedents could ever have the face to thrust himself into such a household as this——

Mr. Toov. (coming forward). Cornelia, my love! Such language to our dear young friend! Surely, surely, there must be some sad mistake!

Mrs. Toov. There has been indeed, Pa, and so you will say when you hear who and what he really is!

Curph. Mr. Toovey has been quite aware of it for the last week, and was kind enough to say he saw no insuperable objection.

Mrs. Toov. Pa, is this true? You knew who Mr. Curphew was and never told me!

Mr Toov. My dear, I've no more notion who he is, if he's not Mr. Curphew, than a babe un——

Curph. But surely, Sir, you forget our conversation at Clapham Junction this day week? You certainly knew everything then. I thought your nephew had probably——

Charles. I'd no idea of it myself till last Saturday, so it couldn't have been me!

Alth. (impatiently). No idea of what? Who is Mr. Curphew, Papa?

Curph. (to her, in astonishment). But you know! surely you know? What else have we been talking about?

Mr. Toov. (helplessly). I think we might try to be a little more clear, all of us. I do indeed. I'm in a perfect fog myself.

Mrs. Toov. Then, Pa, let me inform you that you have been encouraging the acquaintance of a person who gains his living by singing ribald songs at music-halls under the name of Walter Wildfire!

Alth. (to herself). Walter Wildfire! Then it was——Oh, if I had known!

Mr. Toov. A—a music-hall singer! He! Oh, dear, dear me; how one may be deceived in people!

Curph. Really, Sir, this can hardly be news to you, when you allowed me to send you a box for the Eldorado for the express purpose of——

Mrs. Toov. Don't deny you were sent the box, Pa, because I know better. The question is—what you wanted one at all for?

Mr. Toov. (to himself). There's no occasion to say anything about those shares now! (Aloud.) To be sure. I was sent a ticket, my love; I could not help that, but (drawing himself up) it was not likely that I should compromise myself by visiting such a place, even from the best of motives, and I did not use the ticket myself, though I believe some other person did.

Mrs. Toov. (in some distress). Well, well, never mind that now, Pa. What you have to do is to ask this Mr. Wildfire to oblige us all by walking out of this house—for ever.

Curph. I should not have stayed so long as this, only I hoped that Mr. Toovey at least would have done me the justice—— However, I've nothing to keep me here any longer now.

[He moves towards the door.

Alth. (coming forward and intercepting him). Yes, you have—you've me. Oh, do you think I'll let you go like this—now I know? Can't you understand what a difference it makes?

[She clings to his arm.

'Can't you understand what a difference it makes?'

"Can't you understand what a difference it makes?"

Charles. Bravo, Thea! I always knew you were a sensible girl!

Curph. (utterly bewildered). Then you weren't—you don't——? I wonder if I can be awake!

Mrs. Toov. Althea, if you had the remotest conception of what a music-hall singer is, you would never——

Alth. I know what Mr. Curphew is, Mamma. He is a great artist, a genius; he can hold a mixed crowd of careless people spell-bound while he sings, make them laugh, cry, shudder, just as he chooses, and whatever he does is all so natural and human and real, and—oh, I can't put it into proper words, but one goes away thinking better of the whole world after it—and to hear him treated as if he were some outcast—oh, I can't bear it!

[She breaks down.

Curph. (to himself). I don't care what happens now. They can't take this away!

Mrs. Toov. Upon my word! And pray where did you learn all this about Mr. Wildfire's performances?

Alth. (boldly). Where, Mamma? Why, at the Eldorado, last Saturday evening.

[Sudden collapse of Mrs. Toovey.

Mr. Toov. (electrified). A daughter of mine at the Eldorado! Thea, my child, you can't know what you are talking about; look at the effect on your poor mother!

Alth. (desperately). But indeed, Papa, there was no harm in it, I went with the Merridews. And—and I may be mistaken, of course, but I—I thought I saw Mamma there too!


Charles. Oh, I say, Thea; aren't you coming it rather strong? Aunt at the Eldorado! Why, Aunt thought Uncle was there!

Mr. Toov. Cornelia, my love, don't pay any attention to her; the child must be stark staring mad to say such things. It's bad enough that she should have gone; but to think of you in such a scene! (To Althea.) Why, it was that very Saturday evening that your dear mother went to the Zenana Meeting at Mrs. Cumberbatch's—yes, to be sure. (To Mrs. T.) You remember, my dear, how you came home so late, in a cab the driver had been smoking in, and how the moment you entered the room I——

Mrs. Toov. (hastily). My dear Theophilus, I remember the circumstances [pg 257] perfectly, but I should not condescend to answer so preposterous a charge; especially when it is my own daughter who brings it!

Alth. (in distress). But indeed I don't Mamma. I only fancied it might have been you, and of course, if you were at the Cumberbatches——

Mrs. Toov. (to herself). I must put a stop to this once and for all. (Aloud.) If I was at the Cumberbatches! When your father has just told you I was there—really, Althea! Did I hear wheels outside? Just look, Pa. I haven't seen my spectacles since Saturday.

Mr. Toov. (at the window). Why, really, my love, it does seem to be a carriage, indeed. I wonder who can be calling at such a——Now, it's quite a coincidence, truly—it's dear Mrs. Cumberbatch! I hope she'll come in, because I really think it's a duty to warn her against employing that particular cabman again. A driver who permits himself to smoke inside his own vehicle to that extent——

[Mrs. Toovey makes ineffectual efforts to speak.

Alth. (in a whisper, to Curphew). Do look at Mamma! You don't think she could really——?

Curph. I don't know what to think yet; but we shall all know in a very few seconds now.

[The hall-door is heard to open; Mrs. Toovey attempts to rise, but has to remain in her seat, dumb and paralysed.

End of Scene XVII.


(Post-mark, Regent's Park.) Shall be glad to engage you for the Gardens. You will be expected to look after the elephants and to make yourself generally useful with the lions and tigers. As the Christmas holidays are approaching, perhaps you might invent a little comic scene with the crocodiles. A similar feature was supplied years ago by the French sailor in charge of the seals with much effect. Of course we shall be glad if your knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of the ourang-outang enables you to suggest anything that could be worked up into a comic interlude. Please bear in mind that the Gardens want waking up, and you have a big opportunity. You would have Sunday off every other week. The Gardens would reserve to themselves the right of regulating your costume. Your boots and straw-hat may be ample in Africa, but in the Regent's Park would be considered inappropriate. We think we can clothe you in the very thing, if we can find a size large enough for you. It is called "the boy's home-for-the-holidays lounging suit," and is largely advertised. Shall expect you by next boat.

(Post-mark, Westminster). Glad to engage you for a month certain, with power to increase the time to six weeks or longer. Could you bring with you a pugilistic hippopotamus? It must be a young one, as there is not much room for any side-shows. If you can jump, and don't mind water, so much the better. If you would leap from the organ-loft into a tank on to the stage, carrying on your back the boxing-kangaroo, the feat might be accepted, and prove a feature. Think this over on the journey to England. Perhaps something may occur to you. If so, mind that we are deeply respected, and are highly popular with the L. C. C. So please let your suggestions be as refined as possible.

(Post-mark, Paternoster Row). Shall be glad to arrange with you for the immediate production of your Recollections. Would be glad if they were written in a bright, chatty style. You might give an account of your connection with literary celebrities, torturers, scientific expeditions, executions, sport in the far East, native war, and other topics of interest that may have come under your personal observation. If you could write up to some electros we have of a comic German Christmas party so much the better. As the success of the book is doubtful, we do not wish to incur unnecessary expense, and therefore would be glad if you could see your way to introducing the following blocks, of which we hold the copyright:—Covent Garden by Moonlight, A Spanish Bull Fight, An Execution in front of the Old Bailey, A Students' Ball in the Quartier Latin, H.R.H. opening a Newly-erected Board-School, Snipe Shooting on the Norfolk Broads, Christmas in a Storm at Sea, Hampstead Heath on Bank Holiday, Portrait of John Wesley, A Lecture on Chemistry at the Royal Polytechnic Institution, Exterior of the new Police Court at Bow Street, An Incident in the Lord Mayor's Show, "Oxford wins," Van Tromp sailing up the Thames, Paris Fashions for February, Christmas Eve—the Last Omnibus, Hop Pickers on the March, The new Uniform of the Grenadier Guards, and the late Fire at the Borough Brewery. We shall be glad if you will put the book in hand at once, as it is scarcely necessary to say that the sale of a work of reminiscences depends to a large extent upon the popularity of its author at the moment of publication. Terms, after the sale of 5000 copies, one penny a volume royalty.

(Post-mark, Drury Lane.) Engage you at once for ten years. Probably shall not require you for more than three or four months, but shall retain you for the rest of the time. May come in useful later on. Place waiting for you in the Pantomime. Minute and a half in English History in twenty minutes. Also comic scene with the Clown. The engagement must have clause allowing transference. Can find places for your wives (if they are really nice ones) in the Transformation Scene. If you can imitate the cries &c., of wild beasts, &c., think I can get you a turn at the Palace. Writing a first-rate part for you in Autumn drama. A sort of gentlemanly demon, who appears in the West End during the first and third Acts, and in the last scene, appears in national costume with a real army and the whole bag of tricks. Bring as many of your army with you as you can. Can find something for them to do until the production of the Autumn drama. Collect a good lot of assegais and other useful props. May see way to working you into the Opera season. If you can sing, can give you a show at a concert. Might do for German series. Terms as per usual. Special arrangement if wanted at Windsor. Come over at once. On second thoughts, remain where you are. Will run over to have a chat. Third, and last thought, come over yourself. Find myself, with my engagements, just now a little pressed for time. Au revoir!



Mr. Cylinder (who always uses his Host's cartridges). "What Powder are these loaded with, my Boy?"

Beater. "Ar doan't rightly know; but ar think they calls it Serdlitz Pooder!"

Coal and Wood.

["That a Board of Conciliation be constituted forthwith, to last for one year at least, consisting of an equal number of coalowners and miners' representatives, fourteen of each."—Terms of the Collieries Strike Conference.]

Hooray for happy harmony so readily restored!

Thanks chiefly to young Rosebery, that shrewd and genial lord.

And Mr. Punch is thankful, for such strikes we can't afford,

That in the Labour platform the newest plank's a Board!


["A specimen of the rare white-tailed eagle has just been shot at Bude Haven, Cornwall."—Daily Paper, Nov. 24.]

Ah! shades of Yarrell, Morris, Bewick, Wood,

Swoop down from Nephelococcygian eyrie

With legions of bird-phantoms,

Roc-ghosts and spectral bantams,

And venge the Vandal sporting-man's vagary,

Wrought on your race in Cornwall's bay of Bude!

A Haliaëtus he's done to death!

Haunt him and harry, ossifrage and osprey!

Hoot, owl! Croak havoc, raven!

He of that wave-beat haven

Should—like the Ancient, of the Albatross—pray

For tardy pardon till his latest breath!

Soon will the Sea-earn join the vanished band

Of Garefowl, Æpyornis, Dodo, Moa!

And e'en the merry mavis

Will rank as rara avis

The sparrow, sole of all that sailed with Noah,

Will learn the casual pot-shot to withstand!

Why surely, when rare birds are rarer made

By 'Arry, or by 'Arriet's hat-adorner,

These gentry should be tethered

To posts, and tarred and feathered!

To see the balance thus redressed a mourner

Would not be he who has these lines essayed!

[pg 258]


"A—I've no doubt you're quite right in Theory, Lady Hypatia. But I'm afraid that in Practice the World at large won't agree with you." "Won't it? Then it oughtn't to be at large!"


(Latest Parliamentary Version.)

Mr. H. Fowler sings. (Air—"Daisy Bell.")

There's mazy misgiving upon my part,

Hazy, hazy,

Women, by Walter M'Laren's art,

Muddle my "Mazy Bill."

Whether I love it or love it not,

Down I must gulp this pill.

She-suffrage complicates the plot,

Much, of my "Mazy Bill"!


Mazy! Mazy!

She-Voter, sit up, do!

I'm half crazy,

All with the weight of you!

You will not be robbed by marriage

Of a ride on this bi-wheeled carriage.

You look so sweet

(So you think) on the seat

Of a Bicycle built for Two!

We must go "tandem," like man and wife!—

Aisy! Aisy!—

Am I not working away for life,

Driving my "Mazy Bill"?

Taking you up, as an extra load,

Taxes my strength and skill.

Rough and up-hill is the country road,

Run by the "Mazy Bill."


Lazy! Lazy!—

Spin like a "Scorcher"—do!

I'm half crazy

With the dead weight of you!

Spinster or bound in marriage,

You claim gratuitous carriage;

But—use your feet

If you must have a seat,

On this Bicycle built for Two!

I must stand by you? Oh yes, I know!

They see, they see,—

M'Laren and Stansfeld, Jesse and Joe,—

I'm bound to my "Mazy Bill."

You'll take the lead, if I don't mistake.

Then, if you work your will,

Who will there be to put on the brake,

Working my "Mazy Bill"?


Hazy! Hazy!

Such is the country view!

Squires half crazy,

All for sheer dread of you!

Maidens or marred by marriage,

Your sex means claiming their carriage;

But, I feel dead beat

With your weight on the seat

Of this Bicycle—built for Two!


(When the Ladies have the Franchise.)


["In my old Radical days."—Mr. Chamberlain.]

Yes, I once was a smart little Rad

Who talked about "lilies" and "ransom."

Those views, which were shallow and mad,

I retract, in a manner most handsome.

Eh? "Skeletons," "Armchairs"? Oh no!

I hold they are traitors or sillies,

Who talk (like the juvenile Joe)

About skeletons, ransom, and lilies!

Ri fol de rol liddle lol dol!

I might be indulging to-day

In the rampant and rancorous Rad's tone,

Swearing "lilies" full "ransom" must pay,

If it hadn't a-been for that Gladstone!

He serves as a warning to me,

A sort of political helot;

But, thanks to old W. G.,

I'm no longer a radical zealot!

Ri fol de rol liddle lol dol!

[pg 259]


["If he (Mr. Fowler) understood the decision of the House correctly on this subject, it was this—that the disqualification of married women should cease, that was to say, where a woman was otherwise qualified, and was on an existing register, and, as such, entitled to vote, she should not be disqualified by reason of being a married woman.... It was a decision which the Government would endeavour to carry out.... He should propose to insert a new clause removing the disqualification of married women altogether."—Mr. H. Fowler in the Debate on the Parish Councils Bill.]

[pg 260]

[pg 261]


I've had a Puzzel put into my hands by a heminent Common Councilman which has puzzeld me orfully, but which he says is as plane as the hobjects of a County Counsellor. It is as follows:—

"Amalgamation is Wexation,

Unefecation is as Bad,

The Royal Commission puzzels me,

And their practises drives me Mad!"

In course the hole thing is a Commondrum to a pore Waiter like me; but my frend tells me that it all means, that as the City Copperation is the popularest body in all the hole Country, and the London County Counsel about the most unpopularest, as they are allers a hinterfering unnessasarily with the comforts and amusements of some class or other of the peeple, they acshally has the hordasity to propose that the grand old Copperation shoud be abolished altogether, and ancient Gildhall and the honored Manshun House, with all their sacred contents, handed over to the County Counsellors! and that in future there shoud be no reel City of London, but that all the hole place, with its five millions of peeple, shoud be muddled up together, and put under the loving care of the London County Counsel!

Well, I do happen to have a pretty large acquaintance one way and another, and I wentures to say, most truthfully, that I haven't come across one singel one on 'em but what has ether amost bust hisself with larfter, or amost screamed hisself hoarse with hindignation, when I have told him my almost unposserbel tail!

I did wenture to ask the Common Councilman, the other day, whether he reelly thort as there was any possibility of such a hideous skeme a being carried out, when we all knowd what a splendid caracter the old Copperation had borne for ages past for Generossity, for Horsepitallerty, and for Eddication. His arnser was, "My dear ROBERT, we lives in sitch rum times that one hesitates to say that any habsurdity is impossible, but the great trust of all of us is, that should things get to the werry worst, and ewen the House of Commons throw us over—tho I have heard their great Leader himself declare, in Gildhall itself, that the history of the City Copperation reflected an amount of credit upon those who had governed it for generations that it would be differcult to surpass—the same nobel and hindependent Body as only a few munse ago saved the country from disruption, and thereby raised themselves greatly in the estimation of all thinking men, would again step forward and save the grate Capital from such a ridickulus, and contemtible, and silly absurditty as was never equaled in the history of the world!"

Ah, well, these was nice comforting words for me to hear, and sent me about my ofishal dooties with quite renewed wiggour, and when shortly afterwards I wentured to repeat them to one of the most importantest of our gests, he turned round and acshally shook my hand, and exclaimed, "Ah, my good Robert, we may trust to them, for many and many a time have I heard some of our gratest men exclaim, 'Thank God we have a House of Lords!'"



Old and New.

Old and New.

"Think of the glorious Mottoes," said a Major of the old school. "'Nil Desperandum,' 'Death or Victory,' 'England Expects,' and so forth!" Replied his friend, the modern Captain, "Bother your Mottoes! Give us the 'Maxims'!"


The fiend that now urges to—pen flippant novels

Is modern Poor Tom's modish Modo,*

The work that in cynical worldliness grovels

Will soon be extinct as the Dodo!

*See King Lear.


(A Peep into the Future.)

There was a general strike. The playing fields were deserted, and trade was at a standstill. Not a cricket-ball or a foot-ball had been made for months, and the lawn-tennis industry was paralyzed. The papers of the day urged the Government to intervene. "After all, it was only a matter of figures. Surely a compromise might be reached. If players would only meet payers, all would be well." So a Cabinet Council was held, and the most popular Member of the Ministry was selected as arbitrator. The name was well-received by both sides, and all seemed en train for a satisfactory settlement.

"We must have a proper salary," said a representative of the foot-ball profession: "if we don't, we shall have to give it up, and take to soldiering, doctoring, brief-accepting, and the rest of it."

There was a murmur of disapproval at this suggestion. Was foot-ball to perish because its professors could not get a "living wage"? No, a thousand times no!

Then the Minister suggested that he had better hear the complaints of the men, the women, and the children. So the cricketers, the golfers, the polo-players, and the lovers of lawn-tennis spoke at length.

"And what may you want young lady?" asked the arbitrator, with a smile.

"I must be paid for taking my doll for a walk," replied a small girl of six or seven. "I have to keep the toy perambulator in repair, and when Rose falls on her nose, I have to get her face replaced. How am I to bear these expenses if I receive nothing? It is impossible, unreasonable!"

"And I, too," cried a schoolboy. "How can I trundle my hoop or play at marbles if I am not allowed something for my time?"

And there were other complaints. Everyone wanted a wage, and the cries for salaries waxed louder and louder.

Then the Minister asked for a few minutes' grace, and began writing. After he had finished his despatch, he put it in an envelope, and requested someone to read it when he had taken his departure. Then he went away.

"Dear me!" said the person to whom the despatch had been entrusted. "This is highly unsatisfactory. I find the arbitrator has resigned without making an award, and has left the matter in the hands of Lord Rosebery."

Then there was a cry of sorrow. For it was known that as Lord Rosebery had had quite enough of conflicts between capital and labour, he would certainly refuse to be dragged into another quarrel.

So the war went on between players and payers, and "Merrie England" became a byword of reproach in the comity of nations.

Popular Idea of the Costume

Popular Idea of the Costume of a Member of the Bar on "Grand Day."


Maiden slim and fair, with the golden hair,

So eager to snare with the knowing glance

Of your eyes so bright, and to waltz all night

With that step so light in the mazy dance,

Years ago, I swear, we once met somewhere;

We danced—you take care to forget that ball—

And my arm embraced that wasp's whalebone waist,

So cruelly laced, so absurdly small!

But then I declare you had nut-brown hair,

The colour's still there just down at the roots;

You are "fancy free," full of girlish glee,

But you're forty-three I would bet my boots.

Your beauty is rare, but I am aware

That face you prepare, that vile waist you buy,

Which corsets to civilised women give,

And hairdressers live so that you may dye.

[pg 262]


Slim nervous Gent (pulling up at a regular facer). "Hold hard, you Brute! 'Ladies first!'"


I wish I could write romantic rot,

Like the beautiful songs they sing

At Ballad Concerts; why should I not

Attempt such a simple thing?

This metre's just right. Here goes!—The moon

Shone sad o'er the silvered waves,

The nightingale trilled 'neath that night of June,

Where the river the primrose laves.

(That's good, though hazy the sense may seem,

No primrose would bloom at the time;

The river "laves" it, not it the stream;

"Moon" and "June" makes a clumsy rhyme.)

Upon the terrace a maiden fair

Was gazing the waters o'er,

And dreaming of vows of love she ne'er

Would hear, as in days of yore.

("Days of yore," that's fine.) And her soft, sad eyes

Looked up at the starry night,

She kissed a fair ruby ring, with sighs,

Which shone on her fingers white.

(You put the words as it suits you best;

The adjective need not be

Before the noun.) On her heaving breast

A red, red rose you could see.

(That is if you had been there.) She wept;

To-night must her lover go.

The rose was awake, though the pimpernel slept.

(Bagged from Tennyson, don't you know?)

The silent stream whispered scarce a sign,

Ere it swept past the willows grey.

(The sense is vague, though the sound is fine;

What it means even I can't say.)

Alas! alas! red, red rose, bright ring!

Red rose, cherished ring, alas!

(Such bosh sounds beautiful when you sing.)

A hush lay over the grass.

(I'm hanged if I know what a "hush" may be.

It's something pathetic, sublime.)

The nightingale warbled upon the tree.

O rose-scented summertime!

He came, and pressed to his manly heart

The maid 'neath the pale moonbeams

(Don't mind if accents are wrong); they part!

In (excellent rhyme) her dreams

The joy of that passionate farewell kiss

To the silent tomb she bore.

(I could easily write you a mile of this,

But you probably want no more.)

"La Fin du Sea-Aigle(!!)."—The Standard informs us that—

"A specimen of the white-tailed, or sea eagle, has just been shot at Bude Haven, Cornwall. The bird weighed nearly eight pounds, and the extended wings measure between seven and eight feet from tip to tip."

Now, "next please," and let us have the "Very last of the Sea Serpent!"


Extracted from the Diary of Toby, M.P.

Johnson of Ballykilbeg escorting the Duke of York.

Johnson of Ballykilbeg escorting the Duke of York.

House of Commons, Monday Night, November 20.—Rumour current to-night that Ballykilbeg is in the market. Ballykilbeg is the manorial seat of one of the most ancient and honourable Irish families, long settled in County Down. The O'Hnstons were in the train of Borrhoimi when he first essayed, and succeeded in, the difficult task of forming a United Ireland. Jake O'Hnston is a name that lingers lovingly in tradition of Youngest Ireland. Gradually, being always on the people's lips, it began to take a new form. J. O'Hnston naturally became Johnston; but Ballykilbeg was always there. To-day House of Commons contains no more esteemed Member than he who is known as Johnston of Ballykilbeg. A man of war breathing battle, ever ready to take his place amongst the corpses in the last ditch, Johnston of Ballykilbeg off the platform in Ulster, or off his legs in House of Commons, is the mildest-mannered man that ever proposed to broil a brother for conscience' sake.

Quite a sensation at prospect of dissevering Johnston from Ballykilbeg. Glad to hear there's nothing, or little, in it. Arises out of circumstance that Johnston has approached Mr. G. with suggestion that Treasury shall purchase an estate in Ireland, and there plant out the Duke of York. If the Duke, making a survey of Ireland, should find no more attractive place than Ballykilbeg, the descendant of the O'Hnstons is not the man to allow personal predilections or old associations to stand in the way of gratification of Royal desire. It might come to pass that the Crowned Heads of Europe would welcome at their courts York of Ballykilbeg, whilst the last of the O'Hnstons would be content to house his loyal head under alien roof. That, however, not a prospect in view when he moved in the matter. There is surely room between the seas that circle Ireland for the Duke of York and Johnston still at Ballykilbeg.

Business done.—Clause I. added to Parish Councils Bill.

[pg 263]


[pg 264]

Tuesday.—Parish Councils on again. That was order of day, but human ingenuity dragged in other matters. First Woman's Suffrage, on which there was livelier debate than has yet arisen in Committee on this Bill. Last Thursday Walter M'Laren raised question in form of an Instruction. Government resisting were beaten, the Opposition coalescing with revolting Radicals. Now, as Squire of Malwood puts it, the Government, kissing the rod, accept injunction; undertake to embody M'Laren's Amendment in Bill. Pretty to see air of doubt and hesitation that hereupon comes over ingenuous faces on Opposition benches. If Henry Fowler had put his back up, declared that Woman delighted him not, nor Walter M'Laren either, Opposition would again have joined forces with Radicals, and Government would once more have suffered defeat. Since they resolved to obey Instruction carried by majority last Thursday, Prince Arthur shakes his head; Edward Stanhope shows this is quite another pair of sleeves; whilst Joseph, back bronzed from breezy Bahamas, bluntly says he will oppose new Clause Henry Fowler has promised to bring in.

"It is the duty of an Opposition to oppose," says Prince Arthur; "and I did not for several Sessions sit at feet of Old Morality without being impressed with imperative sense of duty."

Mr. Courtney explains the Puzzle.

Mr. Courtney explains the Puzzle.

Later, when this difficulty temporarily out of way and it seemed progress with Clause might be made. Proportional Representation was dragged in neck and crop. Courtney took charge of the puzzle business, and tried to explain it. No prizes offered, and attention a little slack. Squire of Malwood defined the theory in admirable phrase. "It is," he said, "an ingenious system by which a man is to vote for a person he does not prefer in order to secure a majority for some purpose he does not understand." Can't better that; leaves nothing else to say. Nevertheless, much was said; talked by the hour; finally a division, in which Government majority, rarely falling below three score and ten, stood at 72.

Business done.—Something of the debating society order.

Thursday night.—Things coming to a pretty pass if Tomlinson is not to offer a few observations on third reading of Employers' Liability Bill without an arrogant Minister moving the Closure. Apart from consideration of individual liberty and freedom of speech, House would have suffered special disappointment if Speaker had accepted Asquith's suggestion and submitted question of Closure. Finding Tomlinson on his feet at this juncture it naturally thought he had, in interval, discovered what his amendments moved last week in Committee on Bill meant, and was seizing this opportunity of explaining them. He didn't; but that was all Asquith's fault. Enough to cow any man rising at ten minutes to twelve and having pistol held to his head in shape of motion for the Closure.

Just at the time when Tomlinson was coming to his explanation, hand of clock touched five minutes to twelve. He might still have used up at least four minutes; being flurried, he sat down; and now we shall never know what his amendments were designed to accomplish. Happily there was time left for Matthews to soundly rate Asquith for his attempt to Closure Tomlinson. Right hon. gentleman could scarcely control his tongue in the emotion under which he laboured, in contemplation of the attempted outrage. It would have been bad enough with an ordinary member. That the weighty and sententious speech of so eminent a statesman as the Member for Preston should have been broken in upon by a motion for the Closure only showed, in the ex-Home Secretary's opinion, how bad was the case of the Government, how reckless the tactics to which desperation drove them. A beautiful speech; almost, as Tomlinson says, worth being snubbed by Asquith in order to elicit this eloquent testimony to modest merit.

Business done.—Employers' Liability Bill read a third time.

Friday Night.—Great advantage of habit of foreign travel ingrained with Members of Commons is that when erudite question comes up sure to be someone present who can illustrate its bearings from experience gained in more or less remote portions of the planet. Just now Henry Fowler moved provision in Parish Councils Bill, making it possible for Lovely Woman, whether married or single, to stoop to folly of being elected on Parish Council Board. Up jumps Horace Plunkett with some charming reminiscences brightly told of residence in the State of Wyoming. In that happy land women enjoy equal political and municipal privileges with their brother men.

"I was," said Plunkett, "well acquainted with a female Justice of the Peace. She discharged her duties, and, when necessary, a revolver."

Another of Plunkett's lady friends in far-off Wyoming had her domestic duties broken in upon by summons to attend a jury. Case proved protracted; husband had to stay at home and mind the baby, whilst she was locked up all-night with eleven good men and true.

After hearing this, Committee unanimously, without division being challenged, agreed to Fowler's Amendment.

Business done.—On Clause III. Parish Council Bill.


Buy no more, Ladies; buy no more;

Shops were deceivers ever:

One price in season, one before,

And reasonable never.

Then buy not so,

But let them go,

And be you blithe and bonny,

Converting "Robes, modes, et manteaux"

Into—"Pas, si je connais!"

Bring no more bargains—sales are low,

And bills are dull and heavy;

(The shopmen drew their longest bow

For Summer's rout and levée.)

Then buy not so,

But let them "show"

And be you shrewd and bonny,

Converting all their "Tout ce qu'il faut"

Into—"Pas, si je connais!"


Punch's picture, "When the Cat's Away!"

Seems to have effect! The brutal "play"

Of young ruffians, in at least two cases,

Whipping has rewarded. What long faces

Trotter pulls! With his mild creed it clashes.

Sentiment's eyes are wet—about the lashes!

Howling brutes make mollycoddles snivel.

Let the ruffians rail, their champions drivel.

Brutalising to chastise brutality?

'Tis the merest blind sentimentality.

Feeble men and helpless women save

From the roughs, and let the weepers rave!