The Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 108, April 13, 1895

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 108, April 13, 1895

Author: Various

Editor: F. C. Burnand

Release date: January 19, 2014 [eBook #44706]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Malcolm Farmer, Lesley Halamek and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at


[pg 169]

Volume 108, April 13, 1895
edited by Sir Francis Burnand




In Praise of Try Angle.

Ye countless stars, both great and small,

The poetic sky who spangle,

Not one of you, that I recall,

Has hymned the sweet triangle!

With lyre and lute too long, too much,

Ye've thrid love's mazy tangle,

Yet unresponsive to your touch

Have left the sweet triangle.

In Praise of Try Angle.

And so the Muse commissions me

A lay to newly fangle—

I play the instrument, you see—

In praise of my triangle.

No tambourine, no minstrel bones

Give forth what Hilda Wangel

Would call such "frightfully thrilling" tones

As those of my triangle.

No self-respecting band may try

To play—'twould simply mangle—

Good music, unassisted by

The silver-tongued triangle.

In vain does Strephon with a lute

Round Phyllis always dangle;

She'd have him, if he urged his suit

With passionate triangle.

Full brave may bray the loud trombone,

Full sweet the cymbals jangle,

The bagpipes till they burst may drone,

So I have my triangle.

The stately cold piano may

All depth of feeling strangle;

To rouse deep feeling I essay,

Nor fail, on my triangle!

O'er rival claims of violin

And 'cello some may wrangle—

For pure expression nothing's in

The hunt with my triangle.

The diamond bracelet must exceed

In worth the silver bangle—

No instrument, string, wind, or reed,

Compares with my triangle!


(By Calverlerius Rusticanus.)

Griffin, who benignly beamest

(So to speak) upon the Strand,

To the rustic eye thou seemest

Quite superlatively grand.

Griffin, grim and grimy Griffin,

Few, Joe tells me, will agree

With my artless numbers, if in

Undiluted praise of thee.


Critics, so he says, by dozens

Swear thou couldst not well be worse,

Yet from one poor country cousin's

Pen accept a tribute verse.

Some of London's statues now are

Fêted richly once a year;

Some—it seems a shame, I vow—are

Fated to oblivion there.

Once a year a primrose bower

Draws the folks around for miles,

Dizzy blossoms into flower,

Almost into "wreathèd smiles."

Once a year by all the town o'er-

-whelmed in bays is Gordon seen,

Countless wreaths recording "Brown (or

Jones) thus keeps thy memory green."

Once a year King Charles's statue

Paragraphs jocose invites,

Wreathed with flowers by infatu-

-ated modern Jacobites.

Thus their substance people waste on

This queer decorative fit—

Wreaths are sometimes even placed on

Mere nonentities like Pitt.

But—I cannot think what Joe meant—!

No one—so he said to me—

In his most expansive moment

E'er has twined a wreath for thee!

So I cast—in no derision—

From my 'bus-top garden-seat

These few violets, with precision,

At what I must call thy feet.

'Tis not that thy mien is stately,

'Tis not that thy grace is rare,

'Tis not that I care so greatly

For thy quaint heraldic air;

But contemptuous men neglect thee,

Load thee with invective strange,

So with violets I have decked thee,

And with verses, as a change.

The New Discovery.—"Argon" is described as "a gaseous constituent." In most constituencies can be found plenty of "Argons."

[pg 170]



"The people (the Libyans) deeming themselves not Egyptians, and being discontented with the institutions, sent to the Oracle of Ammon, saying that they had no relation to the Egyptians. The god, however, said, 'that all the country which the Nile irrigated was Egypt.'"—Herodotus, II., 15. B.C. 452.

"I stated that, in consequence of these claims of ours and the claims of Egypt in the Nile Valley, the British sphere of influence covered the whole of the Nile waterway."—Sir E. Grey in House of Commons, A.D. 1895.

John Bull. "You see, Nilus, the Father of History and I are of the same way of thinking. So you're all right, my Boy, while I'm here!"

[pg 171]


Or, The Modern Oracle of Ammon.

Nilus (referring to Parisian Press).

But—won't it make our French friends furious?

Mr. Bull.                      Gammon!

Nilus. Are you, then, the new Oracle of Ammon?

Mr. Bull. Well, Alexander claimed the god his sire.

So why not I?

Nilus. I own I rather tire

Of all these squabbles. Peace is what I want.

Oh why did your intrusive Speke and Grant*

Disturb my forty centuries of quiet?

Since then it's been all rumpus, and red riot.

Mr. Bull. How about Rameses, old cockalorum?

Nilus. Oh! better all the Pharoahs in full quorum

Than Condominiums. The Control called Dual——

Mr. Bull. Oh, don't you bother! That has got its gruel.

Nilus. But these Exploring Expeditions?

Mr. Bull. Bogey!

Young Grey should reassure you, my old fogey.

His words don't speak scuttle or shilly-shally

"My 'sphere of influence' covers the Nile Valley."

Isn't that plain enough? God Ammon's nod

Was hardly more decisive. It is odd

How very like the Oracle's straight tip

Was to Sir Edward's. A stiff upper lip

Saves lots of talk. "Explorers" will prove skittish

But the whole Nile's Egyptian (and thus British).

Just as Herodotus tells us Ammon said.

Sir Edward, my dear Nile, has an old head

Upon young shoulders; courteous as a Granville,

He comes down like a hammer on an anvil—

Or Ammon on the Libyans—when 'tis needful.

Of rumoured expeditions he is heedful

But not afraid. Effective occupation?

Why that's a ticklish point—for many a nation.

But why define it? Edward has a shorter way;

He claims for me the whole of your long waterway,

And plainly says intrusion would be viewed

As—well, "unfriendly." Should the Frank intrude——

Nilus. Ah! by the way, friend John, whose head is yonder

Protruding through the reeds?

Mr. Bull (loudly). Humph! Let him ponder

What he, perchance, has overheard. No mystery!

I simply hold with the great Sire of History.

The Times and old Herodotus quite agree.

And both speak for the Oracle—J. B.,

Or Jupiter Ammon. The Débats may differ

(At the French Press, at best, I am no sniffer),

But don't you be alarmed by spleenful splutter,

Or what mere bouncing boulevardiers utter.

From all intruders you'll be safe, if you

But trust to the Old Oracle—and the New!

Far cry, old boy, from Pharoah to the Guelph.

Funny how History does repeat itself!

* See Cartoon "Britannia Discovering the Source of the Nile," p. 233, Vol. XLIV., June 6, 1863.



Quotation from the Right Hon. Arth-r B-lf-r's Speech on this subject last week.— "A general fall in Prices was said to be good for the Consumer."

Does it look like it in this instance?  [ ***  So far the Court is with Mr. A. B-lf-r.]

To Corinna, angry.

The fault was mine. With piercing pang

My trespass I deplore;

But, when 'tis I you ought to bang,

Why do you bang the door?

Q. E. D.—There is said to be a good deal of illness and absence from lessons of the schoolboy population of London at present. Can there be any connection between this phenomenon and a paragraph which is going the round of the papers, headed, "An objection to Euclid"? What is sport to us may be death to them!

The Long and Short of It.

Ars longa est! All know what once that meant;

But cranks corrupt so sickeningly have shindied

About their Art of late, 'tis evident

The rendering now must be, "Art is long-winded!"

For Vita brevis,—all true men must hope,

Brief life for such base Art—and a short rope!

Motto—slightly modified from Gray's "Elegy"—for Stoddart's Eleven.—"Still in those 'ashes' live their wonted fire."

[pg 172]


For over half a mile the pavement on the East side of the road is thronged with promenaders, and the curbstone lined with stalls and barrows, and hawkers of various wares. Marketing housewives with covered baskets oscillate undecidedly from stalls to shops, and put off purchasing to the last possible moment. Maids-of-all-work perambulate arm in arm, exchanging airy badinage with youths of their acquaintance, though the latter seem to prefer the society of their own sex. A man with a switchback skittle-board plays gloomy games by himself to an unspeculative group of small boys. The tradesmen stand outside their shops and conduct their business with a happy blend of the methods of a travelling showman and a clown.

Burlesque Butcher. Now then all o' you there! Buy, buy, buy! Jest give yer minds to spendin' yer money! (In a tone of artless wonder.) Where does the Butcher git this luverly meat? What can I do fur you now, Marm? (Triumphantly, after selling the scrag-end of a neck of mutton.) Now we're busy!

Farcical Fishmonger (with two Comic Assistants). Ahar! (To crowd.) Come 'ere, you silly young snorkers! I've the qualitee! I've the qualitay! Keep takin' money!

First Comic Assistant. Ahye! Foppence a pound nice plaice! Kippers two fur three 'apence. We're the Perfeshnal Curers! What are yer all goin' to do? Sort 'em out cheap!

Second C. A. I don't mind. What care I? (Bursting into song.) "'Ow, she rowled me 'ed, and rumbled in the 'ay!" On me word, she did, ladies!

[He executes a double shuffle, and knocks over several boxes of bloaters in the gaiety of his heart.

A Hawker of Penny Memorandum Books (to an audience of small boys). Those among you 'oo are not mechanics, decidedly you 'ave mechanical hideers!

[He enlarges upon the convenience of having a note-book in which to jot down any inspirations of this kind; but his hearers do not appear to agree with him.

A Lugubrious Vendor. One penny for six comic pypers. Hevery one different!

A Rude Boy. You ain't bin readin' o' any on 'em, 'ave yer, guv'nor?

'You ain't bin a readin' o' any on 'em, 'ave yer,

'You ain't bin a readin' o' any on 'em, 'ave yer, guv'nor?"

A Crockery Merchant (as he unpacks a variety of vases of appalling hideousness). I don't care—it's self-sacrifice to give away! Understand, you ain't buyin' common things, you're buyin' suthin' good! It 'appens to be my buthday to-night, so I'm goin' to let you people 'ave the benefit of the doubt. Come on 'ere. I don't ask you to b'lieve me—ony to jedge fur yerselves. I'm not 'ere to tell you no fairy tales; and the reason why I'm in a position to orfer up these vawses—all richly gilt, and decorated in three colours, the most expensive ever made—the reason I'm able to sell them so cheap as I'm doin' is this—(he lowers his voice mysteriously)—arf the stuff I 'ave 'ere we git in very funny ways!

[This ingeniously suggestive hint enhances the natural charm of his ware to such a degree that the vases are bought up briskly, as calculated to brighten the humblest home.

A Sanctimonious Young Man (with a tongue too large for his mouth, who has just succeeded in collecting a circle round him). I am only 'ere to-night, my friends, as a paid servant—for the purpose of deciding a wager. Some o' you may have noticed an advertisement lately in the Daily Telegrawf, asking for men to stand on Southwark Bridge and orfer arf-suverings for a penny apiece. You are equally well aware that it is illegal to orfer the Queen's coinage for money: and that is not my intention this evening. But I 'ave 'ere several pieces of gold, guaranteed to be of the exact weight of arf a suvering, and 'all-marked, which, in order to decide the wager I 'ave spoken of, I shall now perceed to charge you the sum of one penny for, and no more. I am not allowed to sell more than one to each person——

[Here a constable comes up, and the decision of the wager is postponed until a more favourable opportunity.

First "General" (looking into a draper's window). Look at them coloured felt 'ats—all shades, and on'y sixpence three-fardens!

Second "G." They are reasonable; but I've 'eard as felt 'ats is gone out o' fashion now.

First "G." Don't you believe it, Sarah. Why, my married sister bought one on'y last week!

Coster (to an old lady who has repudiated a bunch of onions after a prolonged scrutiny). Frorsty? So would you be if your onion 'ad bin layin' out in the fields all night as long as these 'ave!

First Itinerant Physician (as he screws up fragments of candy in pieces of newspaper). That is Frog in your Froat what I'm doin' up now. I arsk you to try it. It's given to me to give away, and I'm goin' to give it away—you understand?—that's all. And now I'm goin' to tork to you about suthink else. You see this small bottle what I 'old up. I tell you there's 'undreds layin' in bed at this present moment as 'ud give a shillin' fur one of these—and I offer it to you at one penny! It corrects all nerve-pains connected with the 'ed, cures earache, toothache, neuralgy, noomonia, 'art-complaint, fits, an' syhatica. Each bottle is charged with helectricity, forming a complete galvanic-battery. Hall you 'ave to do is to place the bottle to one o' your nawstrils, first closing the other with your finger. You will find it compels you to sniff. The moment you tyke that sniff, you'll find the worter comin' into your heyes—and that's the helectricity. You'll say, "I always 'eard helectricity was a fluid." (With withering scorn.) Very likely! You 'ave! An' why? Be-cawse o' the hignirant notions prevailin' about scientific affairs! Hevery one o' these bottles contains a battery, and to heach purchaser I myke 'im a present—a present, mind yer—of Frog in 'is Froat!

Susan Jane (to Lizerann, before a stall where "Novelettes, three a penny," are to be procured by the literary). Shall we 'ave a penn'orth, an' you go 'alves along o' me?

Lizerann. Not me. I ain't got no time to go improvin' o' my mind, whatever you 'ave!

A Vendor of "'Ore'ound Tablets" (he is a voluble young man, with considerable lung-power, and a tendency to regard his cough-lozenges as not only physical but moral specifics). I'm on'y a young feller, as you see, and yet 'ere I am, with my four burnin' lamps, and a lassoo-soot as belonged to my Uncle Bill, doin' wunnerful well. Why, I've took over two pound in coppers a'ready! Mind you, I don't deceive you; you may all on you do as well as me; on'y you'll 'ave to git two good ref'rences fust, and belong to a temp'rance society, like I do. This is the badge as I've got on me at this minnit. I ain't always bin like I am now. I started business four year ago, and was doin' wunnerful well, too, till I got among 'orse-copers an' [pg 173] dealers and went on the booze, and lost the lot. Then I turned up the drink and got a berth sellin' these 'ere Wangoo Tablets—and now I've got a neat little missus, and a nice 'ome, goin' on wunnerful comfortable. Never a week passes but what I buy myself something. Last week it was a pair o' noo socks. Soon as the sun peeps out and the doo dries up, I'm orf to Yarmouth. And what's the reason? I've enjoyed myself there. My Uncle Bill, as lives at Lowestoft, and keeps six fine 'orses and a light waggon, he's doin' wunnerful well, and he'd take me into partnership to-morrow, he would. But no—I'm 'appier as I am. What's the reason I kin go on torkin' to you like this night after night, without injury to my voice? Shall I tell yer? Because, every night o' my life, afore I go to bed, I take four o' these Wangoo Tablets—compounded o' the purest 'erbs. You take them to the nearest doctor's and arsk 'im to analyse an' test them as he will, and you 'ear what he says of them! Take one o' them tablets—after your pipe; after your cigaw; after your cigarette. You won't want no more drink, you'll find they make you come 'ome reglar every evening, and be able to buy a noo 'at every week. You've ony to persevere for a bit with these 'ere lawzengers to be like I am myself, doin' wunnerful well! You see this young feller 'ere? (Indicating a sheepish head in a pot-hat which is visible over the back of his stall.) Born and bred in Kenada, 'e was. And quite right! Bin over 'ere six year, so o' course 'e speaks the lengwidge. And quite right. Now I'm no Amerikin myself, but they're a wunnerful clever people, the Amerikins are, allays inventin' or suthink o' that there. And you're at liberty to go and arsk 'im for yourselves whether this is a real Amerikin invention or not—as he'll tell yer it is—and quite right, too! An' it stands to reason as he orter to know, seein' he interdooced it 'imself and doin' wunnerful well with it ever since. I ain't come 'ere to rob yer. Lady come and give me a two-shillin' piece just now. I give it her back. She didn't know—thort it was a penny, till I told her. Well, that just shows yer what these 'ere Wangoo 'Ore'ound Tablets are!

[After this practical illustration of their efficacy, he pauses for oratorical effect, and a hard-worked-looking matron purchases three packets, in the apparent hope that a similar halo of the best horehound will shortly irradiate the head of her household.

Lizerann (to Susan Jane, as they walk homewards). On'y fancy—the other evenin', as I was walkin' along this very pavement, a cab-'orse come up beyind me, unbeknown like, and put 'is 'ed over my shoulder and breathed right in my ear!

Susan Jane (awestruck). You must ha' bin a bad gell!

[Lizerann is clearly disquieted by so mystical an interpretation, even while she denies having done anything deserving of a supernatural rebuke.


General Adye has added to our national war story Recollections of a Military Life (Smith, Elder & Co.). Sir John has not been in a hurry. He began fighting more than forty years ago, and has since filled up opportunity as it presented itself. These particular recollections are chiefly occupied with the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny, though the old soldier has something to say about the Afghan War of 1878-9, and the Egyptian War of 1882. My Baronite finds most interesting the chapters about the Crimean War, certain incidents and episodes of which are narrated with soldierlike directness and simplicity. The story of the Balaclava Charge has been told in verse and prose innumerable times. General Adye did not actually see it, "a ridge of intervening hills intercepting the view" as he rode back to the camp from Balaclava. But he manages in a sentence or two vividly to impress the scene on the mind of the reader. Among many good stories is one about General Harry Jones. Pelissier, with a Frenchman's scorn of any language but his own, got as near as he could to ordinary pronunciation when he called him "General Hairy-Joze." He did better when the gallant General was knighted, and was alluded to respectfully by the French Commander-in-Chief as "Sairey-Joze" (Sir Harry Jones).

The Baron de Book-Worms.

A Quip.

Mr. Arthur Toller has been appointed to the Recordership of Leicester. He is an able man. "Argal," as the Shakspearian Clown would say, "the appointment is just Toller-able."



Peter. "Na, Laddie, this is ane o' thae things a Body can never Learn. There's no nae use in a Man takin' tae this job unless he has a naiteral born Aptitude for 'd!"


(By a Confirmed Pessimist.)

Plan the First.—Take to Volunteering. Be up at daybreak. Leave your home after snatching a hasty breakfast of lukewarm tea and stale bread-and-butter. Crowd into a railway-carriage, and travel a hundred miles or so in the greatest discomfort. Fall in with your company. March, counter-march, and stand at ease for ten hours or so in sunshine, rain, fog, or snow. Stave off starvation with a packet of sandwiches and a bottle of ginger ale. Dead beat, enter crowded train a second time, and again travel a hundred miles or so in the greatest discomfort. More dead than alive, stagger home, and wearily roll into bed.

Plan the Second.—Try a trip to the sea-side. Share a first-class compartment with a dozen third-class passengers. Travel to Shrimpington with the accompaniment of rank tobacco-smoke, comic songs, and solos on the concertina. Get to your destination with a splitting headache. Find that all the shops are shut, and all the taverns open. Learn that Shrimpington, as represented by its respectable inhabitants, goes away en masse on a bank holiday. Discover that there is but one hotel in the place. Ascertain that at the solitary hostelry the rooms are filled with noisy excursionists, greedily devouring "the shilling tea." Search for nourishment, and fail in your search. Fall back upon stale buns at a third-rate sweet-stuff shop. Catch your train back, and endure the torture of the morning. Travel amongst the same company, under the like conditions. Reach home hours later than you proposed on starting, and consider whether the holiday has been a triumphant success or a dismal failure.

Plan the Third (highly recommended).—Although desiring change, remain at home, choosing the lesser of two evils.

Mr. Gully.—"William Court Gully, M.P."—certainly "Caught Gully" at last. Now the question is, "Will Gully" be acceptable to all parties "E-gully"?

[pg 174]



'Bus Driver (to ill-favoured Policeman, who has stopped him at a crossing). "When are yer goin' to let me 'ave that Photo?"


A Song of St. Stephen's School.

(To the Air of the Harrow Song, "Fairies.")

When in the Springtime cold and bleak,

In spite of wind and weather,

The Blues and Buffs, the strong and weak

Throng out of school together;

Off to their homes alert and gay

From long sederunts risen,

Majors and minors rush to play,

Live lags let loose from prison.

There you behold "Big Bill," the bold!

Hear how his heart rejoices—

"Ho ho! ha ha! Tra-la-la-la!"—

Booms his most bass of voices.

He cocks a snook at slate and book.

He's had his work this term, boys,

But has contrived, by hook or crook,

To keep his footing firm, boys.

He's had to fight, like Dibdin's tar,

'Gainst many a would-be boarder.

It needed wit as well as war

To keep the school in order.

But he has shown both wit and grit,

And patience linked about it.

"Ho ho! ha ha! Tra-la-la-la!"—

Young Arty hears him shout it.

Arty had hoped he could have coped

With Bill, and licked him hollow;

That Jack had kicked, and Sandy moped,

And Pat refused to follow.

But Bill has proved a dodgy one,

As well as a hard hitter;

And that has somewhat marred the fun,

And disappointment's bitter.

What wonder then Bill's Tra-la-la

Sets Arty shouting shrilly,

"Boohoo and pah! Yah-boo-yah-bah!

You wait a bit, Big Billy!

"With spur and rein, whip-stroke and strain,

Jehu plus artful jockey,

You've kept your team in tow again,

And you look blessed cocky.

Wait till the way shows sludge and clay,

And you the pace would quicken!

Over you'll roll long ere the goal,

And then the fun will thicken!"—

Bill cocks his chins, and skips and grins

Like any Jumping-Jingle.

His loud Ha, ha! Tra-la-la-la!

Sets Arty's blood a-tingle.

"Bah! You've done fairly well this half:

Think you'll survive another

As the school's 'Cock,' you great fat calf?

Look out for my Big Brother!

When he gets hold of you,—my eye!—

You won't look quite so jolly.

Think you've licked me! Wait till you try

A round or two with Solly!

He's waiting for a turn at you!

You think you're a smart smiter?

'Tra-la-la-la'? Yah! bully! yah!

He'll show you who's cock fighter!"

To Tara, My (Un-)Fair Neighbour.

("Moore"—where this comes from.)

"The harp that once through Tara's walls"

Poor me disturbed in bed,

Is nightly twang'd to feline squalls

That wrack my aching head.

I sleep not as in former days,

Her voice cries "Sleep no more!"

Ah, would she hadn't got this craze,

And did not live next door!

A New Literary Venture.—In distinct opposition to the "Key-note series" will be started a "Wed-lock-and-Key note series."


["Canada, unlike the mother-country, has the sense to be proud of its minor poets."—Mr. Le Gallienne in "The Realm."]

Really this bitter and bold accusation of

Conduct so culpable cannot be borne;

Are we indeed but a barbarous nation of

Philistines treating our poets with scorn?

Are we contemptuous, then, in reality,

Of the effusions our lyricists write—

Singing sweet songs of the Modern Morality,

Praising each other from morning to night?

Modesty, clearly, is somehow availing to

Burke them of glory which should be their own,

Modesty, morbid, excessive—a failing to

Which, it's notorious, poets are prone.

Only, he tells us, in Canada's latitude

Honour to singers is duly allowed:

Nay, how can Britons be backward in gratitude,

Having Le Gallienne, are they not proud?

Yes, when we Englishmen boast of our national

Glories and deeds, though the scoffers deride,

This is the greatest and really most rational

Source of supreme and legitimate pride—

Not in the struggles or deeds of iniquity

Wrought by our sires in desperate fray,

Still less in Shakspeare, or bards of antiquity,

But in the poets amongst us to-day!

Might we suggest, though, if, in the opinion of

Mr. Le Gallienne, England's to blame,

He and his comrades should seek the Dominion of

Canada, where they'll be certain of fame?

[pg 175]




[pg 176]
[pg 177]



Stout Coster. "Where are yer goin' to, Bill?"

Bill. "Inter the Country for a nice Drive, bein' Bank 'Olidy."

Stout Coster. "Same 'ere. I sy! don't yer think we might swop Misseses just for a few Hours? It would be so much kinder to the Hanimile!"


viz., "Art" as recently applied to a certain form of Literature.

Is this, then, "Art"—ineffable conceit,

Plus worship of the Sadi-tainted phrase,

Of pseud-Hellenic decadence, effete,

Unvirile, of debased Petronian ways?

Is this your "Culture," to asphyxiate

With upas-perfume sons of English race,

With manhood-blighting cant-of-art to prate,

The jargon of an epicene disgrace?

Shall worse than pornographic stain degrade

The name of "Beauty," Heav'n-imparted dower?

Are they fit devotees, who late displayed

The symbol of a vitriol-tinted flower?

And shall the sweet and kindly Muse be shamed

By unsexed "Poetry" that defiles your page?

Has Art a mission that may not be named,

With "scarlet sins" to enervate the age?

All honour to the rare and cleanly prints,

Which have not filled our homes from day to day

With garbage-epigrams and pois'nous hints

How æsthete-hierophants fair Art betray!

If such be "Artists," then may Philistines

Arise, plain sturdy Britons as of yore,

And sweep them off and purge away the signs

That England e'er such noxious offspring bore!

The Cry of the Free Library Frequenter.—A Cheap Loaf.


["It is impossible to bribe a French paper."—Times, April 5, 1895.]

SceneSanctum of the Rédacteur en chef of "Le Gamin de Paris." Rédacteur discovered reading latest issue.

Rédacteur. Dear me, this note about the pacific intentions of the German Emperor is most interesting! I wonder how it got in. I did not notice it when I glanced through the pages. Still, I have the most unlimited confidence in my staff. (Quoting from his paper.) "There is no doubt that we can safely disarm, as Germany is our friend—the best of our friends." Dear me! Most interesting!

[Enter menial, ushering in mysterious stranger.

Stranger. I trust I am not intruding?

Rédacteur. Certainly not. It is the duty of an editor to be always at the service of those who seek his advice. No doubt you desire my opinion upon some matter of importance?

Stranger. You have guessed rightly. Which do you prefer, a mansion in town or a castle in the country?

Rédacteur (smiling). Well, I am scarcely qualified to judge, for I only possess a mansion in town. I have no castle in the country.

Stranger. Pardon me. You have one now.

[Gives Editor title-deeds.

Rédacteur (glancing at the documents). What, the Château de St. Querecs! One of the finest places in Brittany! You are really too amiable!

Stranger. Not at all. And now tell me, do you prefer Wagner to Verdi, or Mascagni to Mozart?

Rédacteur. Again I am at a disadvantage. You see I go so seldom to the Opera. The expense is——

Stranger. The expense is inconsiderable when you possess a loge on the grand tier. (Giving paper.) Allow me to present you with a perpetual box.

Rédacteur. Your courtesy is simply charming! But why do you overwhelm me with these obligations? We are unknown to one another.

Stranger (with a bow). Not at all. You are famous. As for me—why I am nothing. I am absolutely valueless.

Rédacteur (politely). You do not do yourself justice. I will be bound you are most valuable.

Stranger. Well, perhaps you are right. At any rate I can fill in a cheque—yes, and with four or five figures! I will show you. Permit me.

[Approaches writing materials, and rapidly completes draft.

Rédacteur. And for whom is that cheque?

Stranger. Read the name to whose order it is made payable.

Rédacteur (surprised but admiring). Mine! This is simply marvellous. And are you clever enough to write a leader?

Stranger. Assuredly. See I will compose one at once. (Sits at table, knocks off an article and hands it to Rédacteur). What do you think of it?

Rédacteur (smiling). I will give you my opinion when I see it in type. You will find it in the Gamin to-morrow. Good day!

[Scene closes in upon a tableau suggesting at once delicacy and the right understanding of commercial principles.

Her Latest.—"The silence was so great," said Mrs. R., "you could have picked up a pin!"

[pg 178]


A candid M.P. showeth cause.

Fair Waitress at the A. B. C.,

To which I most resort,

Bring me a roll and cup of tea—

No longer bards drink port.

No more the lusty, generous vine

In bardic veins makes summer;

That's why Apollo's lyre divine

Knows but the sorry strummer.

No rich libation at the "Cock,"

Degenerate race, we pour,

And tea, not port, at five o'clock,

Is what we all adore.

In coffee, tea, and lemon squash

The Muse ne'er dips her laurel,

So what we write is either "wash,"

Or hopelessly immoral.

When life, each quarter, is made out

Of still more jaundiced hue,

The needy bard must join the shout,

His verse be jaundiced too:

But tea's the spell, these latter times,

As of some fell narcotic,

That makes us weave our random rhymes

All rotten, or neurotic.

We modern bardlets, tea-inspired,

Condemn th' "old-fashioned gang,"

And yet we miss the spark that fired

The songs our fathers sang:

Their tastes were healthier than their sons',

Their rhymes were "none so dusty,"

When bards ate beef instead of buns,

And loved their fine old "crusty."

This sere and yellow poesy

Faint draws its sickly breath,

And—doctors say—Society

Will soon acclaim its death:

No stone upon its grave we'll place,

But tea-pots at each corner—

Fair Waitress, you the scene shall grace

As chief, and only, mourner.

Le 'Yellow Book'

"M. Hanotaux, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will shortly have distributed in the Chamber and the Senate a Yellow Book relative to the conventions recently concluded between France and Great Britain for the delimitation of their respective possessions on the West Coast of Africa."

Our Artist could not be restrained from designing a Cover, which we respectfully offer to M. Hanotaux.

The Jabez is Coming.

The Jabez is coming! Oh dear! how queer!

Is Jabez a-coming? What cheer? what cheer?

There's nothing much left though to hear We fear.

We'll believe he has come when he's here.

Hear! Hear!

Note by a Highly Cultivated but Unsuccessful Dramatist.—About the most fatal opinion that can be given on any play is to say that "it reads well." A play that is "a treat to read" is, as a rule, utter boredom to see; for in proportion to the success in the study is, in the majority of cases, the failure on the stage.

Gamp Triumphant, and Justice to an Old Friend at last!!—In the Times' "Court Circular" lately appeared the information that "Mrs. Harris had the honour of dining with the Queen yesterday." Now, and henceforth, the immortal Mrs. Gamp, rising "morally and physically," can denounce any "bage creetur" who would dare to repeat Mrs. Prig's "memorable and tremendous words," spoken of Mrs. Harris, the dear friend of "Sairey," "I don't believe there's no sich a person."



Air—"Drink of this Cup."

Drink of this Cup.

Swig up this cup—you will find there's a spell in

Its depths for the ills and the aches of mortality.

Drink! Of dyspepsia's dire woes you'll be well in

A Yankee split second! (No fudge, but reality).

Would you forget wine, or whiskey, or gin?

Only skim off the film that will gather a-top of it,

('Tis merely the milk in coagulate skin,)

Then stir it up briskly and drain every drop of it!

Swig up this cup, &c.

Never was nectar-cup brewed with such power,

Or philtre; while here nought to injure or hurt is meant.

Of Cocoa this is the pure pick and fine flower.

There's no starch or fat in it (vide Advertisement!).

They who with this have their stomachs well filled,

Are proof against hunger, fatigue, and bad weather.

This wonderful draught is not brewed or distilled,

But it licks all the liquors and cordials together.

Swig up this cup, &c.

And though, perhaps,—but oh! breathe it to no one!—

'Tis stodgy and runs to obesity awfully.

If you've no coat to your tum-tum, you'll grow one!

(The rival advertisements tell us so—jawfully.)

What though it tasteth insipid and tame?

When tea is taboo, and when coffee's forbidden,

Try cocoa from—well, let each fill up the name,

There are fifty at least, and their light is not hidden!

Swig up this cup, &c.

So swig up the cup of—each "'Tiser" is telling

In every paper, with great actuality,

The fame of his brand, with much swagger and swelling,

Other ads. may be fiction, but his is reality.

So swig up the cup when you breakfast, tea, sup,

Of so-and-so's (string of superlatives) cocoa!

(I'd "give it a name," but I daren't try that game,

For fear of severe (editorial) Toko).

Swig up this cup, &c.

Latest From Paris.

Latest From Paris.—"Moore of Moore Hall, with nothing at at all," has not "slain," nor has he "foughten with," nor given any kind of "satisfaction" to, the Dragon of Wantley, represented (as the incident is to be "relegated to the realms of comic opera") on this occasion by the Wictorious "Whistler Coon." It is, however, reported that the impressionist artist, animated by the sportsmanlike desire of getting a shot at something or somebody, the McNeil, or Jacques le Siffleur, would like to engage a Moore for the shooting season. The most recent wire reports, "No Moore at present. J. McN. W." And, probably, here closes the incident.

Last Week's Business.—Everything very much up in the City—especially the pavement in Cannon Street.

[pg 179]


(To the Editor of "Punch.")

Sir,—A most excellent institution, run on moral lines, has recently been advertising "A tour on the Continent" for £5. This modest sum is to cover travelling and hotel expenses, and no doubt has been worked out on the most virtuous principles. In these days of rapid progress, however, we can never stand still, and the question arises, Cannot the holiday be cheapened? I contend it can, and as your paper represents the human race in general and the British public in particular, I desire to make known my discovery through your columns. Of course "Trips for nothing"—the journeys I wish to organise—cannot be managed without a little thought and arrangement. For my purpose it is best not to insist too harshly upon the importance of truth and honesty. After all, both these words represent abstract ideas, that may be necessary for publication, but need not be absolutely accepted as a guarantee of good faith.

Without further preface I jot down my programme. Say that a would-be traveller without means desires to visit the Capital of France gratuitously. I would have him present himself at the Victoria Station garbed in the uniform of a guard. The necessary costume, on application, would be supplied to him by one of the agents of the Unprincipled Touring Company—the institution it is my aim to establish. Just as the night mail was starting for Dover he would enter the luggage-van, and then all would be clear until he reached Paris. He would accompany the boxes and portmanteaus to Calais, and be transferred (being registered) to the Chemin de Fer du Nord, and remain undisturbed until he reached the terminus.

On coming out of the van he would be met by one of the agents of the Unprincipled Touring Company, and be accused of being a spy. This would immediately secure his arrest and safe custody in a Parisian police-station. The agent, having played his part, would disappear. It would now become the duty (and I trust the pleasure) of the would-be traveller to look after himself without further assistance. He would appeal to the British Ambassador. He would tell his simple tale, how he had been drugged and conveyed in a state of coma to the luggage-van; how he had no money, and had been so affected by the narcotics, that his mind had become a perfect blank. The British Minister would, doubtless, secure his release, and supply him with funds. He would see some of the cheaper sights for which Paris is celebrated, and then return home by an inexpensive route, highly delighted with his adventures.

It will doubtless occur, in this practical age, to persons having even the most moderate amount of brains, that hitherto the profits of the Unprincipled Touring Company have remained unmentioned. "Where do they come in?" will be the universal question. My answer is simply, "Hush money." The would-be traveller, having availed himself of the services of the proposed organisation, would, for the remainder of his existence, be under an obligation to pay as much as he could conveniently (or even inconveniently) spare to a society which had secured for him so much semi-innocent recreation.

It may be advanced by ultra purists that the system of business that would be inaugurated by the U. T. C. would be immoral. To this I triumphantly reply, not more immoral than other systems in full working order in many companies of the highest respectability compatible with limited liability.

I remain, yours respectfully,

A Promising Promoter.


In The Theatre, a "review and magazine" most useful as well as entertaining to all interested in the drama at home and abroad, there appears, in the critical notice of what is just now successful on the Parisian stage, a short account of a piece called M. le Directeur. "It is," says the writer, "an amusing but not very savoury skit upon the life of the petty official, and the advantage taken by the head of a public office to subserve his amorous propensities in the management of his department and the promotion of his subordinates." Quite evident from this what sort of a farcical comedy it must be. This appears at p. 238. But at p. 246, among "The Echoes from the Green Room," we find that this piece, M. le Directeur, which is at present "drawing all Paris to the Vaudeville Theatre, is certainly one of the most amusing plays," &c. &c., "and it depends for its success more upon genuine humour and innocently comic incident than upon salaciousness of situation or untranslatable wit." Which of these accounts of the same play is the correct one?



"When are you coming out with me, Mummy?"

"Not this Morning, Darling, I've too much to do!"

"Oh, but you must, Mummy. I've already put it in my new Diary that you did!"



House of Commons, Monday, April 1.—There is about John Aird an artlessness of look and manner the price whereof is beyond rubies. Sark fancies it is the beard that has much to do with it. When you get a man light-hearted as a boy endowed with long grey beard, complications certain to ensue. Aird's beard has precisely same preternaturally proper look whether he is sitting in parish church listening to sermon, or dancing a hornpipe on the white deck of the P. & O. Caledonia. Only he dances better than the average rector preaches.

Just the man to take part in the old Parliamentary game known as asking friendly question. Usually played with Minister taking a hand. If Treasury Bench wants to bring out some fact or appearance of fact Whip gets Member on back bench to put question on subject. Pretty to see Minister on such occasions; his startled look on hearing himself addressed; his glance round to see if this is really his hon. friend who is presuming to trouble him with what might be awkward inquiry; then his slow, almost hesitating answer which effectually corrects a calumny or nips a slander i' th' bud.

To-night, in view of pending division on second reading Welsh Disestablishment Bill it was felt desirable to produce effect of overwhelming national indignation at threatened spoliation of the Church. Since Bill introduced petitions against it been dribbling in from teeming population of English hamlets sternly saying This thing shall not be. Apart from political importance of question, petitions have peculiar interest as revealing existence of unknown clusters of cottage homes. Thomas Hardy never invented such quaint, charming names as the industry of compilers of petitions against this Bill have brought to light. St. Dogmaels, St. Twynnel's, Pattiswick, Neen Sollars, Chittlehamholt, Hampton Poyle. Woodeaton, Pawler's Pury, Abbey Dore, Penwortham, Lillingstone Lovell, Crockham Hill, Weston-under-Penyard, Itchen Stoke, Dunton Green—names musical with the sound of church bells, sweet with the scent of newly mown hay, the breath of cowslips.

This upheaval of the people on behalf of Mother Church loses its [pg 180] effect by reason of ordinary procedure whereby petitions presented at the Table are straightway thrust into a sack, and carted off to a lumber room. Thing to do was to get Member to publicly inquire from Chairman of Petitions Committee how the matter stood in the ledger; how many petitions against Bill, how many in favour. Who could do this better than John Aird? So he put question to Dalrymple, and learned with dramatically ill-concealed surprise that whilst over a thousand petitions against the Bill have poured in on the House, not one had been received in its favour. It is true that another question from opposite side of House brought out fact that at least one of these State documents was result of labours of wife of Clerk to Guardians of St. Asaph Union, who had been instrumental in obtaining the unbiassed opinion of the resident paupers on question at issue. But that a mere detail.

Business done.—Second Reading Welsh Disestablishment Bill carried by majority of 44 in House of 564 Members. "Clwych! Clwych!" roared Mabon, and was with difficulty restrained from singing "The March of the Men of Harlech."

Tuesday.—Evidently in for another dull time. Welsh Disestablishment Bill off, enter Irish Land Bill. Time precious; business pressing; every quarter of hour worth a Chancellor of the Exchequer's ransom. Ministers anxious above all things to get along with business. John Morley, accordingly, sets useful example by delivering speech an hour and twenty minutes long. This, as he mentioned, followed upon exorbitant demands on patience of House when he introduced the Bill. Carson, not to be outdone, certainly not to be blamed, took up about as much time. Later came St. John Brodrick, astonished at his own moderation in speaking for only seventy minutes.

"This is not debating," Sark says. "It is just making speeches by the yard. Hasn't the remotest effect upon the human mind, still less upon deliberate action of House. Isn't even pretence of a fight; second reading will be passed without division; Bill will go to Committee in precisely same state as would have been the case had it been read a second time before dinner, and Members spent rest of evening in bosom of their families. Towards end of Session there will be complaint of nothing done. At least Treasury Bench mustn't lift up its voice in reproach at such conclusion. If right hon. gentlemen set us such evil example, they mustn't complain if we follow it."

House in desolate state throughout spirit-sapping performance. Tim Healy sat it all out. Contributed almost only token of life to the dull monotony. In dangerously explosive state. If anybody had sat on safety-valve would have burst to dead certainty. Happily got off a few life-saving grunts and groans. Played sort of chorus to Carson's speech and Brodrick's monologue. They severely ignored him—treatment which had no effect on his exuberance of spirits.

"Who are these Irish owners," Brodrick asked, looking severely across table at John Morley, "who want to buy their tenants' interest in order to sell it at a higher price?"

"I'll give you their names," cried Tim, after the fashion of the naughty boy safe at the outer edge of a crowd.

"I defy the right hon. gentleman to produce a single instance," Brodrick continued, taking no notice of Tim.

"I'll give you half a dozen," shouted Tim, ever ready to oblige, though leaving it in doubt whether the half dozen he offered were lashes or other instances. Then the policeman, in shape of Speaker, appeared on scene, and for awhile there was silence on the back benches, and dullness regained its sway.

Business done.—Second Reading Irish Land Bill moved.

Campbell-Bannerman and his National

Campbell-Bannerman and his National Emblem (Unsuited to the Convenience of a Button-hole).

Thursday.—For illustration of soft answer that turneth away wrath, Cawmel-Bannerman's reply just now on the shamrock incident perfect in its way. The heart of Ireland stirred by fresh stories of how her sons, turning up on parade on St. Patrick's Day proudly wearing shamrock, were ordered by brutal Saxon officers to "fling it on the ground." Tim Healy had cases brought under his notice. Never do for this branch of United Ireland to appear as sole champion of national rights in this matter. So wearisome Willie Redmond swaggers on scene with another case.

T. W. Russell between Landlord and Tenant.

T. W. Russell between Landlord and Tenant.

A delicate subject for Secretary of State for War to handle. On one hand, discipline must be maintained. On the other, national sentiment must not be affronted, especially when represented in House by sufficient votes to turn the scale in any division. Cawmel-Bannerman not only said right thing, but said it in right way. "I myself," he murmured with prettily apologetic air, "stand in a somewhat neutral position, because I belong to a country whose national emblem does not lend itself to the convenience of the button-hole."

House laughed at idea of Cawmel-Bannerman bustling in on St. Andrew's Day with bunch of thistles in his button-hole. With the laugh the battle was won; what might have been in less skilful hands an awkward incident passed off amid genial laughter.

Business done.—Still explaining why we are not going to oppose Second Reading Irish Land Bill, though we regard it as most revolutionary and dangerous measure of recent times.

Friday.—Second reading Irish Land Bill through at last. Passed stage without division, which seems odd considering apprehension with which Opposition regard it. Situation largely due to Boanerges Russell, one of few men who understand Bill. Explained it in luminous speech, like some others thrown away on scanty audience. Boanerges later indicated his impartial attitude by seating himself between landlord and tenant, represented by Joseph of Birmingham and son Austen. Joe incidentally mentions he has only one tenant, that is Austen, "who," he added, with plaintive note, which found echo with the Irish landlords, "pays no rent, and is always coming down on me for compensation."

Business done.—Irish Land Bill read second time.


The present generation affirms that it cannot away with Pickwick, and is not attracted by Vanity Fair. The balance of modern opinion would be rather in favour of Thackeray than of Dickens. Take, for example, the two works already quoted, Pickwick and Vanity Fair. A common modern objection made to Pickwick is, that the characters in Pickwick are perpetually guttling or imbibing, or both simultaneously. This is, to a certain extent, true. But how about Thackeray's characters in Vanity Fair? A careful student has sent us a list of the numerous eatings and drinkings in both novels. In Pickwick, reckoning from the brandy-and-water partaken of by Mr. Jingle, at the Pickwickians' expense, after the scene with the pugnacious hackney-coachman, and finishing with the breakfast that celebrated the marriage of Mr. Snodgrass with Miss Emily Wardle, there are exactly (so we are informed) one hundred and one instances of drinking and eating; some of them being of drinking only, unqualified.

In Vanity Fair, from the introduction of Miss Pinkerton's "seed cake," to Becky taking Amelia a cup of tea, vide chapter sixty-seven, we learn, on the same authority, that there are one hundred and fifteen cases "allowed for refreshment" in some form or other.

A collection of the meals of heroes and heroines in the most popular works of fiction, and menus compiled therefrom, might be found interesting, especially if carefully criticised by Sir Henry Thompson in a separate chapter to be added to the next edition of his really invaluable work, namely, Food and Feeding. Do the modern novelists feed their characters as plentifully as did Dickens and Thackeray theirs? Be this as it may, these two great Twin Brethren—so utterly dissimilar in every thing except in the possession of the gift of genius—fed their readers well and bountifully.