The Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, November
4th 1893, by Various

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, November 4th 1893

Author: Various

Editor: Sir Francis Burnand

Release Date: April 5, 2012 [EBook #39381]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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[pg 205]

Punch, or the London Charivari

Volume 105, November 4th 1893

edited by Sir Francis Burnand


Monday.—Am sick of paying all these doctor's bills. Have just seen an advertisement of The Domestic Doctor, a Dictionary of Medicine, issued in monthly parts. The very thing for a man like me, somewhat delicate. Hasten to secure Part I. Shall now be able to doctor myself and save all fees. Delightful! To celebrate emancipation ask Jones and Robinson to dinner at club. No need for economy now. Jolly good dinner. That club port is excellent.

Tuesday.—Feel rather seedy. Pain in head. No appetite. Just the time to make use of Domestic Doctor. Capital book. Hullo! Well, I'll be hanged! Never thought of that. The beastly thing's alphabetical, and only gets to "Chilblain." No good to look out "Headache." Ah, perhaps "Ache." No go. "Appetite?" But appetite isn't a disease, except in men like Banting. Absolutely no use whatever. Still, will not be conquered. Shall get another part in a month. Until then take great care only to have complaints up to Ch. Can always fall back on Chilblain. Take it easy, with B. and S. in moderate doses when required, and begin to feel better.

Wednesday.—Just cut my finger. Feel somewhat nervous. Remember vaguely that lock-jaw often follows a wound on the hand. Ha! My dictionary. "Cuts." Ah, no. "Cuts" come after "Chilblain." They will be in Part II. Bandage wound, and prepare for the worst. Sit with mouth wide open as best attitude for approaching lockjaw. Can then at least be fed. If, however, it really comes, shall be dead before Part VII. of the Dictionary is out. Anyhow, will not send for a doctor.

Thursday.—Hooray! Finger and jaw both well. Somehow left boot feels uncommonly tight. Can't walk at all. That fool Phust has made this pair too narrow. Feels as though there were something on my toe. By Jove, so there is! Where's the Dictionary? Chilblain? Can't be a chilblain this mild weather. Of course not; it's a corn. Look out "Corn." Oh, hang it, just too far! But, bright idea, perhaps it's a bunion. Look out "Bunion." Hullo, what's this? "Bunion, see Corn." Well, of all the confounded——Positively can't walk till next month. Lie on sofa under open window to get as much air as possible. Fall asleep. Heavy shower comes on. Get quite wet.

Friday.—Sneezing like mad, and coughing. Blow my cough! Blow my nose! No good looking out "Cold" or "Cough" in Dictionary, unless—of course "Catarrh." Seize my priceless treasure, and read, "Catarrh, Latin catarrhus, from Greek"—oh, hang the derivation!—"an affection of the mucous membrane, commonly called a cold. See Cold." Foiled again! Must do what I can with domestic remedies till Part II. comes out. Fires, hot grog, hot bath, hot gruel, lots of blankets. Nearly suffocated.

Saturday.—Very much worse. Awful cough. Sit close to fire wrapped in thick dressing-gown. Jones looks in. "Hullo, old man," he says, "what's wrong? Seedy?" I choke out some answer. "Why don't you send for the doctor?" In my indignation nearly burst my head with coughing. At last show him Dictionary, and write on scrap of paper, "Can you suggest some complaint like mine beginning with A or B, or C up to Ch?" Impetuous fellow, Jones. Starts off wildly—"Influenza, Pneumonia, Pleurisy, Diphtheria, Sore Throat, Inflammation of the Lungs——" Then I manage to stop him, and to gasp, "Up to C." "No difficulty about that," says he. "Cold. Cough——" I shake my head feebly. "Well, then, Bronchitis." Of course. The very thing. Look it out. "Bronchitis, from Greek"—blow the derivation!—"inflammation of the membrane of the bronchia. This serious disease requires skilled attention. Keep the patient warm, and send at once for a medical man." What a miserable swindle, when I hoped to save all doctor's fees! Was warm before. Simply boiling with indignation now. Pass the book to Jones in speechless disgust. "Quite right too," he remarks; "just what I said. Capital book! I'll send the doctor as I go home." And so he does, in spite of my protests. Doctor comes and lays his head on my chest. Then he says, cheerfully, "Only a little cough. You'll be all right to-morrow. What's that you say? Bronchitis? Bosh!"

Horsey Party. 'I want your Table d'Oat Dinner!'

Horsey Party. "Aw—I want your Table d'Oat Dinner!"


(A long way after "The Throstle.")

Vacation is over, vacation is over,

I know it, I know it, I know it.

Back to the Strand again, home to the Courts again,

Come counsel and clients to go it.

Welcome awaits you, High Court of Justice,

Thousands will flock to you daily.

"You, you, you, you." Is it then for you,

That we forget the Old Bailey?

Jostling and squeezing and struggling and shoving,

What else were the Courts ever made for?

The Courts 'twixt the Temple and grey Lincoln's Inn,

They're not yet entirely paid for!

Now till next year, all of us cry,

We'll say (for a fee) what we're bidden.

Vacation is over, is over, hurrah!

And all past sorrow is hidden.

The Pickwickian Examination Paper.—Pickwickian students are well to the front. The first answer to our question in last week's number was sent from Maidstone. Fitting that it should come from Dickens's favourite county, Kent. Yes. The only mention of champagne in Pickwick is when Mr. Tupman drank a bottle of it after an exhilarating quadrille.


Here is the lovely summer going by,

And we know nought about it, you and I,

Being so far away

One from the other; yet to outward eye

We both are summer gay.

And people talk; although no pulses stir

However much I laugh and dance with her,

My temporary fate;

And you, perhaps as carelessly, prefer

That one your will to wait,

Who, the dance over, from his strict embrace

Gallantly frees you, mops his sun-tanned face,

And asks in accents low

Whether you'd like an ice, or what, in case

You breathe a doubtful "No."

Oh, the striped awning and the fairy lamp,

The cool night fragrance, the insidious damp,

And, more insidious still,

The sweet effrontery of the beardless scamp

Who babbles at his will.

Here, by the sea, which in the darkness sings,

On the free breeze I give my fancy wings,

And in a sudden shrine

Your image throned appears, while the wind swings

Its sea-incense divine.

Breathless I worship in the waiting night

The sparkling eyes, that sometimes seem all light,

The cheek so purely pale,

The sacred breast, than whitest dress more white,

Where whitest thought must fail.

Thin arms, with dimpled shadows here and there,

The curl'd luxuriance of your soft, dark hair

Its own bewitching wreath,

And perfect mouth that shows, in smiles too rare,

The radiant little teeth.

You cannot live on dances and delights,

Or fêtes by day and dance-music by nights.

Time foots it fleeter far

Than all the surging crowd your beauty smites

Like some coruscant star.

The ruthless social dragon will not spare

Your sweet girl nature, withering in the glare,

Or peeping out by stealth.

Wealth's prize is beauty, and to make all fair,

Beauty's desire is wealth.

I cannot keep a carriage for you, dear;

No horses on three hundred pounds a year

My lacking stables grace.

Yet the swift Hansom to the whistle clear

Will always speed apace.

I cannot give you wines of vintage rare,

There is no room for them beneath the stair

Which is my cellar's space.

Yet with Duke Humphrey we could often fare

With more than ducal grace.

Ah, loves, like books, are fated from the first,

One gets no cup of water for the thirst

The whole stream would not slake;

Another dims with tears the springs that burst

To sunshine for his sake.

When this vain fervour sadly sobers down,

I'll love you still, white maid, with eyes so brown

And voice so passing sweet,

And haply with Apollo's laurel crown

My love's foredoomed defeat.

[pg 206]


Air—"The Sergeant's Song."


When the "Cat" is not engaged in its employment—

Right employment,

Of laying its nine tails on brutal backs—

Brutal backs,

Street gangs of roughs are free to find employment—

Bad employment,

In beleaguering the cit's returning tracks—

Homeward tracks.

Our feelings we with difficulty smother—!

'Culty smother,

At finding ruffian hordes at rowdy "fun"—

Rowdy fun.

Taking one consideration with another—

With another,

One feels that something stringent should be done—

Promptly done!

[pg 207]

There's the pistol-bearing burglar boldly burgling—

Boldly burgling,

There's the female fiend engaged in cruel crime—

Cruel crime.

There's the bashed, half-throttled traveller lying gurgling—

Faintly gurgling,

And the "Cat" is lying idle all the time—

All the time.

There's the brutal bully kicking wife or mother—

Wife or mother,

The unnatural father torturing his son—

Childish son!

Ah, take one consideration with another—

With another,

It's surely time that something stern were done—

Quickly done!

When the "Cat" was laid about the brute garrotter—

Cur garrotter,

He soon found it inadvisable to choke—

'Ble to choke.

And the lout who of street-outrage is a plotter—

Callous plotter,

Would not deem the nine-tailed lash a little joke—

Pleasant joke.

The woman-beating brute would hardly smother—

Scarcely smother,

His howlings when the lash was well laid on—

Well laid on.

So, take one consideration with another—

With another,

The "Cat" should once again be called upon—

Called upon.

The "corner-boys," and larrikins, and suchlike—

Louts and suchlike,

Who rove the streets at night in rowdy gangs—


The tingling o' the nine tails might not much like—

Would not much like,

But that need not stir sentimental pangs—

Maudlin pangs.

"Gang-boy" to brute Garrotter is just brother—

Simply brother.

The "Cat" away such vermin prowl—for "fun"—

Savage fun!

Yes, take one consideration with another—

With another,

The "Cat" should wake again, says Punch for one—

Punch for one!

The policeman seems unequal to the job—

Toughish job.

The constabulary fails to quell the mob—

Rowdy mob.

So, as, very plainly, something must be done—

Promptly done,

The suggestion of the "Cat"'s a happy one—

Happy one!

[And Mr. Punch, with picture and poem (grimly earnest, though of Gilbertian tone) urges its application energetically home, upon the powers that be.



SceneHounds running across Land occupied by Non-sporting Tenant.

Sportswoman. "Now, my Boy, open the Gate, please, and let me through."

Young Hodge. "My Orthers is—'Jim, you oppens that there Gāate for no man!' And ar'm denged if ar dis for a Woman!"


The breakfast-eating practical joker, who can be credited with the humorous invention of placing the shell of an egg (the edible contents of which he has previously extracted and swallowed) inverted in an egg-cup, so as to deceive the first hungry person arriving late into fancying that the others have considerately deprived themselves in order that he may not be without his favourite delicacy, this originator, I say, was decidedly a genius. His work after hundreds, nay, thousands of years, remains, fresh as is the new laid egg itself! After being used a million billion times, it gives now the same pleasure as ever it did when it first issued from the brain of its brilliant creator! Such a practical joke as this is "not for an age, but for all time," until there shall be no longer left a hen to lay an egg, or, if there be an egg left by the expiring hen, there shall be no longer a person remaining to eat the egg left by the egg-spiring hen; or, if the person and the egg be there, the last man and the last egg, there shall be no ten minutes allowed for refreshment, as there will be no more time for anything!! Socrates, Homer, Ovid, Horace, Plautus, Terence, Shakspeare, Watt, Sir Isaac Newton, cum multis aliis! their names are remembered, and their fame is to the end of the world! While, alas, the name of the True Wit who first chuckled over his stroke of genius, is lost for ever, no work of art perpetuates his name. But his humour is usque ad finem omnium rerum!

Mrs. R. is not surprised that the Valkyrie did not win, when it broke its pinnacle and did not have a centipede.

[pg 208]


(A Story in Scenes.)

Scene XII.—Another box at the Eldorado. TimeAbout 9.30 P.M.

Enter Mrs. Merridew and Althea, followed by Colonel Merridew and Captain Alchin.

Mrs. Merridew. Frank, the man did say Walter Wildfire hasn't sung yet, didn't he? Yes? then that's all right! Oughtn't you and I to sit at the back, Thea? Well, you shall have this corner at any rate, and then the curtain will hide you. Captain Alchin, will you come between us, please, and then you can explain any of the jokes we don't understand.

[They settle down.

Captain Alchin. Pleasure! (To himself.) Think I see myself explainin' the jokes and that! (Aloud.) Afraid I shan't be of much use, really. Rather out of my line this sort of thing, you know!

Mrs. M. I'm sure you must know more about it than Miss Toovey and I do. Tell me who is this rather good-looking girl in kneebreeches with the horrid voice and the blue eyelids, and why does she walk like that?

'See us lurch along in line, with a straggle serpentine.'

"See us lurch along in line, with a straggle serpentine."

Capt. Alch. (off his guard). Oh, that's Miss Lardie Lushboy; it's her usual business—drinkin' song, young man about town, and all that.

Mrs. M. There, you see, you know all about her!

[Capt. A. hastens to explain that her name is on the programme.

Miss Lardie (sings)—

See us lurch along in line, with a straggle serpentine,

[She suits the action to the word.

For we've done a heavy fuddle, and we never pass a "pub"!

And if you want a proof how we chuck about our "oof"—

Why, come along and have a drink with the Rowdy Razzle Club!

Mrs. M. I suppose that's intended as a satire on noisy young men, isn't it, Captain Alchin?

Captain Alch. (who hadn't thought of it in that light). Well—ha—that depends on how you take it, don't you know.

Mrs. M. That's the way I shall take it, and then it's quite moral. (A Low Comedian, in a broad-brimmed hat and a rough black wig, makes his appearance.) This must be Walter Wildfire, I suppose. Thea, do you see? he looks quite nice, and not really vulgar. Now he's going to sing. Isn't he too delightfully funny! What, Frank? Not Wildfire? Mr. Alf Redbeak. Are you sure? I was wondering what there could possibly be in such a common little man as that to make such a fuss about. And what language? Captain Alchin, what does he mean by saying that he was "dotted on the crust by a copper," and "went off his onion"?

Capt. Alch. (who foresees rocks ahead if he once undertakes to interpret). Oh, well, they're always inventin' some new slang, you know, Mrs. Merridew; no use tryin' to keep up with it.

[Miss Cissie Cinders appears as a bedraggled maid of all work, and sings a doleful ditty to the effect that—"Her missis will not let her wear no feathers in her 'at, so her sojer's gone and given 'er the chuck."

Mrs. M. (delighted). Isn't she refreshing—so deliciously vulgar! I do hope she hasn't finished. Thea, you're sitting as quiet as a little mouse in that corner. I hope you're not too dreadfully shocked? I'm not—at least of course I am, really; but it's not nearly so bad as I expected.

Althea. Oh, I'm not in the least shocked, Cissie, thanks; only I don't quite understand it all.

Mrs. M. My dear, no more do I. I don't understand any of it—but that makes no difference!

Alth. (To herself). I don't like to say so, but I am disappointed. Mr. Curphew said it would be like a Penny Reading; but it's not a bit, it's ever so much stupider. But he never goes himself, so of course——

Mrs. M. It's quite a respectable audience; I thought we should be the only people in evening dress, but we're not. I do wish they wouldn't allow quite so much smoking, though; the atmosphere's getting something too awful. Oh, Thea, do look in that box just opposite. Can you see through that lace curtain? Ah, you can't see now!

Alth. (looking round the edge of the curtain). Where, Cissie, who is it?

Mrs. M. Why, quite the typical British Matron—the most tremendously proper-looking person; so if she doesn't see any harm in being here, I'm sure we needn't. I'll tell you when she pops her her head out again. There, quick! Thea, quick! Did you see her that time?

Alth. (faintly). Y—yes. I—I saw her that time. (To herself.) Is this a wicked conscience—or what? It was so like Mamma! But how could it be?

Mrs. M. Did you ever see such a grim old frump, Thea? I wonder what possessed her to come to a place like this? She doesn't look as if it was amusing her much.

Alth. (distractedly). Doesn't she? (To herself.) If it should be Mamma! If she has found out in some way that we were to be here to-night and followed us! But how could she know? Suppose she were to see me, and—and come round and fetch me away; how awful it would be! But she can't see me through these curtains. I don't believe it is Mamma. I—I wish I dared look again. Oh, why did I get Cissie to bring me here?

Capt. Alch. May I borrow your opera glass for a moment, Mrs. Merridew? Thanks, awf'ly. (As he looks through it.) There's goin' to be a row in that opposite box. Your British Matron's gettin' her quills up—give you my word she is.

Mrs. M. Oh, do let me see! (She holds out her hand for the glass, which Capt. A. surrenders.) Yes, I do believe you're right. Somebody's just come in and——Now there's another, a young man, and—oh, Thea!

Alth. (in an agony). What is it, Cissie? do tell me! (To herself.) It must be Charles—I'm sure it's Charles. Then that's why—and it is Mamma! (Aloud.) Mayn't I have the glass?

Mrs. M. I think you had better not, dear. The British Matron has boxed the poor young man's ears—she has really. I wonder what—but well, it doesn't matter. Now she's turned him out of the box. He's coming back—alone. Yes, the old lady has certainly gone—it's all over. I'm so sorry; it was ever so much more interesting than that big fat man who's singing!

Alth. (tremulously). Mayn't I look now, Cissie, if it's all over? (She almost snatches the glass, and directs it at the young man in Box C—then to herself, with relief.) Why, it isn't Charles—it's not even like him. Then—oh, what a goose I've been! It wasn't Mamma either. It was all my fancy, and she had on rather the same kind of bonnet. As if Mamma would come to a music-hall and box the ears of somebody she didn't know! But what a fright it gave me!

[She begins to feel capable of enjoying the performance.

[pg 209]

Col. Merridew (later). Now we're going to see the great man, Cecilia. Wildfire's down to sing next.

Capt. Alch. Don't you be too sure, Frank. They haven't put the number up yet, you see. As likely as not they'll put in an "extra turn," and he won't come at all. I've known that happen lots of times when you come on purpose to see somethin', don't you know.

Mrs. M. Really, Captain Alchin, I shall begin to suspect that you are more of an authority about music-halls than your modesty would admit at first.

Capt. Alch. (in some confusion). No, really now, Mrs. Merridew, all I mean is Wildfire's bringin' out a play or somethin' to-night at the Hilarity, so he mayn't be able to turn up here, don't you see.

Mrs. M. I won't have you predicting evil like that; it's not at all nice of you, and you're quite wrong, too; for there's his number in the frame now!

[The Scene on the Stage changes once more from an Oriental Palace to a London Street; a bell tingles; the Orchestra dashes into the air of "The Hansom Cabman," which the bulk of the audience hail with delight; then a stream of limelight is thrown on the boards, and Walter Wildfire appears.

Mrs. M. (after the first verse). I don't know what it is, but there's something about him very different from all the others. And they say he writes all his own songs and music—so clever of him! Quite a striking face he has, rather handsome, with that drooping moustache. Don't you think he's handsome, Thea? (Althea does not answer; Wildfire sings the last verse; as he concludes, the house is hushed for an instant, and then breaks into a thunder of applause.) It's quite beautiful that last verse; poor, poor fellow! it all seemed so real, somehow! Ah, he's not going to sing the last verse again. I'm rather glad, for I very nearly howled, and it would be too silly to cry at a music-hall. (Interval.) Here he is again; how different he looks. I suppose it's the sandwich-boards. (Wildfire goes through the second song with the small child; in the midst of the second stanza, he suddenly falters, and only recovers himself by a violent effort; Althea has bent forward out of the shadow of the curtain.) It's too frightfully pathetic; he's such a dear, isn't he? (The applause is more rapturous than ever; an encore is clamoured for; Wildfire reappears, looking ghastly pale, and makes a mute plea for indulgence; after he has finally retired, the clamour still continues, until the scene and the number are shifted.) He won't sing any more—how sad! Wasn't he charming with that child? (In an undertone.) Why, Althea, darling!

Alth. (in a shaken voice). D—don't speak to me just yet, Cissie. I know it's very foolish of me; but I can't bear it.

Capt. Alch. (to himself). Gad, I'd give somethin' to sing like that Johnny, and make her eyes shine like that!

Mrs. M. Frank, we may as well go now, there's nothing else worth staying for, and I'm sure this horrid tobacco is ruining my poor pearls; or would you rather stay a little longer, Thea?

Alth. Oh, no, no; I don't want to hear anybody else—after that. (To herself, as Capt. A. helps her on with her cloak.) And that is the man Mr. Curphew said nothing would induce him to go and see. And I actually persuaded myself that—— But I am wiser now. He can never be anything to me!

[She leaves the box with her party.



Colonel Colvile chivalrously takes upon himself responsibility for the title of the volume in which his wife has recorded their joint experience of a trip round the coast of Africa. Round the Black Man's Garden is about as bad a title as a book could have. Happily, Mrs. Colvile's clever travel notes triumphantly carry the weight. The travellers commenced their journey at Suez, visiting places in the Red Sea which voyagers by the P. and O. steamers pass by on the other side. They made their way down the west coast by all the most uncomfortable means of conveyance attainable, culminating in the filanzana, in which instrument of torture they were carried across the hills and through the swamps of Madagascar. Colonel Colvile, just now enjoying himself amid the privations of the journey up country to Uganda, is well known as an indomitable traveller. In Mrs. Colvile he found a worthy companion. On a merry page of the narrative of life in Madagascar, it is incidentally mentioned that the travellers arrive at Malatsy with their luggage soaking after a dip in the river. They dine in a whitewashed hut, with an army of big cockroaches overrunning the walls. Resuming their journey next morning they "entered a dense cloud of singularly malignant little black flies." The half-naked porters were soon streaming with blood, and the passengers' faces were in a similar condition. "Luckily," writes Mrs. Colvile, in her cheery way, "we were soon clear of the infested belt, to move in the course of half-an-hour into a flight of locusts." Mrs. Colvile takes as the motto of her book the proverb, Qui suit son chemin arrive à la fin. My Baronite arrived at the end of Mrs. Colvile's fascinating narrative full of admiration for her courage and good temper. But as long as Piccadilly and Pall Mall are not "up," he will be content with them, and would rather not follow her road.

Baron de Book-Worms & Co.


(In short, easy Lessons, arranged after the fashion of the Child's Handbook to Useful Knowledge.)


[pg 210]


"Don't go, Canon; I want to introduce you to a Lady who wishes to make your acquaintance."

"Oh—er—I'm rather in a hurry; some other day, perhaps—er—er."

"It's my Wife, you know."

"Oh, that's different. I thought you said a Lady! I shall be charmed!"


We're near to the gloomy Guy Faux anniversary,

Nigh to the gorging of Lord Mayor's Day,

But though 'tis November, there's joy in the Nursery

Ruled by Nurse Gladstone out Westminster way.

The summer's long troubles are laid on the shelf

And "Nana" looks quite like enjoying herself.

That bothersome bantling, the big Irish baby,

Is tucked up in bed for a long forty winks.

(Though its shrill Banshee howl will be heard again, maybe,

From waking it, yet, even Nana G. shrinks.)

So now for a nice quiet time, if you please,

With the brace of most sweet-tempered bairns on her knees.

They're English—quite English, and easy to handle,

Won't raise horrid noises and anger the House.

They're pleasant to see and delightful to dandle,

And Nana opines that, with nursery nous,

They'll be got "nicely off"—if she makes no mistakes—

Before that Hibernian worry awakes.

"To market, to market, to buy a fat piggy!

(But O, not a poor Irish pig—in a poke!)"

So pipes Nana Gladstone so jocund and jiggy

She ekes out her Nursery lilt with a joke.

"We've done, for a season, with row-de-dow-dow,

And there's no 'Bogey Man,' dears, to bother us now!"

Nurses, we know, find the "Black Man" most handy

To frighten their charges to quiet at times;

But now 'tis all "Hush-a-bye, Babes!" "Handy-pandy!"

And such soothing carols and quieting rhymes,

No need for a "black ugly thing in the garden"

To quiet these babes, thinks old Nana from Hawarden!

Alas, and alas! Bogey Men are such rum 'uns,

And some Ugly Things are "too previous," or worse.

How oft the Black Shadow appears without summons,

And terrifies not the poor babes, but their Nurse!

Nana's not disturbed—yet—by the Irish babe's squall,

But—what means that black-boding shade on the wall?

The African Bogey! Inopportune, very!

It's really a nuisance, it does seem a shame

That just as Nurse G. is prepared to make merry

With two such sweet bantlings this Spook spoils the game!

Uganda! Mashonaland!! Nurse, I'm afraid

The Dark Continent casts o'er your babes a Black Shade!


(Voice, Vote, and Veto.)

[What the brewers want is a Reform Bill by which "every adult resident with a throat should have a vote."

Westminster Gazette.]

"When wine is in the wit is out"

Was once held wisdom past all doubt;

But now 'twould seem that every throttle

That hath capacity for the bottle,

Must have it also for the suffrage.

No more need rowdy Rad or rough rage.

Throat-suffrage should please everybody

Who lets out noise or takes in toddy,

By way of a capacious throat

Can drink and shout—One Throat, one Vote!

From Mr. Cormorant, St. James's Park.—"Thank you, Sir. Mother and child, Master Cormorant and Mrs. Cormorant, are doing uncommonly well. Hope for the best. But permit me, accidents will happen, and I should like to make provision—you understand. How? In my newspaper I see advertised 'Eagle Insurance Co.,' 'Pelican Life Insurance Co.' Why are the Eagle and the Pelican to be benefited, and not the Cormorant—and others? But never mind the others. I speak for myself, and am yours Devouringly, Captain Cormorant."

Something in a Name.—Most appropriate official to make a "Budget Statement"—Sir George "Dibbs."

A Strike Motto.—"'Tis true, 'tis pitty; and pitty 'tis, 'tis true."

[pg 211]



"Uganda! Mashonaland!! Nurse, I'm afraid The Dark Continent casts o'er your Babes a Black Shade!"

[pg 212]
[pg 213]


(By Cunnin Toil.)


During one of my short summer holidays I happened to be spending a few days at the delightful riverside residence of my friend James Silver, the extent of whose hospitality is only to be measured by the excellence of the fare that he sets before his guests, or by the varied amusements that he provides for them. The beauties of Umbrosa (for that is the attractive name of his house) are known to all those who during the summer months pass up (or down) the winding reaches of the Upper Thames. It was there that I witnessed a series of startling events which threw the whole county into a temporary turmoil. Had it not been for the unparalleled coolness and sagacity of Picklock Holes the results might have been fraught with disaster to many distinguished families, but the acumen of Holes saved the situation and the family-plate, and restored the peace of mind of one of the best fellows in the world.

The party at Umbrosa consisted of the various members of the Silver family, including, besides Mr. and Mrs. Silver, three high-spirited and unmarried youths and two charming girls. Picklock Holes was of course one of the guests. In fact, it had long since come to be an understood thing that wherever I went Holes should accompany me in the character of a professional detective on the lookout for business; and James Silver though he may have at first resented the calm unmuscularity of my marvellous friend's immovable face would have been the last man in the world to spoil any chance of sport or excitement by refraining from offering a cordial invitation to Holes. The party was completed by Peter Bowman, a lad of eighteen, who to an extraordinary capacity for mischief, added an imperturbable cheerfulness of manner. He was generally known as Shock-headed Peter, in allusion to the brush-like appearance of his delicate auburn hair, but his intimate friends sometimes addressed him as Venus, a nickname which he thoroughly deserved by the almost classic irregularity of his Saxon features.

Propelled by an athletic young fellow.

"Propelled by an athletic young fellow."

We were all sitting, I remember, on the riverbank, watching the countless craft go past, and enjoying that pleasant industrious indolence which is one of the chief charms of life on the Thames. A punt had just skimmed by, propelled by an athletic young fellow in boating costume. Suddenly Holes spoke.

"It is strange," he said, "that the man should be still at large."

"What man? Where? How?" we all exclaimed breathlessly.

"The young puntsman," said Holes, with an almost aggravating coolness. "He is a bigamist, and has murdered his great aunt."

"It cannot be," said Mr. Silver, with evident distress. "I know the lad well, and a better fellow never breathed."

"I speak the truth," said Holes, unemotionally. "The induction is perfect. He is wearing a red tie. That tie was not always red. It was, therefore, stained by something. Blood is red. It was, therefore, stained by blood. Now it is well known that the blood of great aunts is of a lighter shade, and the colour of that tie has a lighter shade. The blood that stained it was, therefore, the blood of his great aunt. As for the bigamy, you will have noticed that as he passed he blew two rings of cigarette-smoke, and they both floated in the air at the same time. A ring is a symbol of matrimony. Two rings together mean bigamy. He is, therefore, a bigamist."

For a moment we were silent, struck with horror at this dreadful, this convincing revelation of criminal infamy. Then I broke out:

"Holes," I said, "you deserve the thanks of the whole community. You will of course communicate with the police."

"No," said Holes, "they are fools, and I do not care to mix myself up with them. Besides, I have other fish to fry."

Saying this, he led me to a secluded part of the grounds, and whispered in my ear.

"Not a word of what I am about to tell you. There will be a burglary here to-night."

"But, Holes," I said, startled in spite of myself at the calm omniscience of my friend, "had we not better do something; arm the servants, warn the police, bolt the doors and bar the windows, and sit up with blunderbusses—anything would be better than this state of dreadful expectancy. May I not tell Mr. Silver?"

"Potson, you are amiable, but you will never learn my methods." And with that enigmatic reply I had to be content in the meantime.

The evening had passed as pleasantly as evenings at Umbrosa always pass. There had been music; the Umbrosa choir, composed of members of the family and guests, had performed in the drawing-room, and Peter had drawn tears from the eyes of every one by his touching rendering of the well-known songs of "The Dutiful Son" and "The Cartridge-bearer." Shortly afterwards, the ladies retired to bed, and the gentlemen, after the customary interval in the smoking-room, followed. We were in high good-humour, and had made many plans for the morrow. Only Holes seemed pre-occupied. Once I heard him muttering to himself, "It's bound to come off properly; never failed yet. They wired to say they'd be here by the late train. Well, let them come. I shall be ready for them." I did not venture at the time to ask him the meaning of these mysterious words.

I had been sleeping for about an hour, when I was suddenly awakened with a start. In the passage outside I heard the voices of the youngest Silver boy and of Peter.

"Peter, old chap," said Johnny Silver, "I believe there's burglars in the house. Isn't it a lark?"

"Ripping," said Peter. "Have you told your people?"

"Oh, it's no use waking the governor and the mater; we'll do the job ourselves. I told the girls, and they've all locked themselves in and got under their beds, so they're safe. Are you ready?"


"Come on then."

With that they went along the passage and down the stairs. My mind was made up, and my trousers and boots were on in less time than it takes to tell it. I went to Holes's room and entered. He was lying on his bed, fully awake, dressed in his best detective suit, with his fingers meditatively extended, and touching one another.

"They're here," I said.


"The burglars."

"As I thought," said Holes, selecting his best basket-hilted life-preserver from a heap in the middle of the room. "Follow me silently."

I did so. No sooner had we reached the landing, however, than the silence was broken by a series of blood-curdling screams.

"Good Heavens!" was all I could say.

"Hush," said Holes. I obeyed him. The screams subsided, and I heard the voices of my two young friends, evidently in great triumph.

"Lie still, you brute," said Peter, "or I'll punch your blooming head. Give the rope another twist, Johnny. That's it. Now you cut and tell your governor and old Holes that we've nabbed the beggar."

By this time the household was thoroughly roused. Agitated females and inquisitive males streamed downstairs. Lights were lit, and a remarkable sight met our eyes. In the middle of the drawing-room lay an undersized burglar, securely bound, with Peter sitting on his head.

"Johnny and I collared the beggar," said Peter, "and bowled him over. Thanks, I think I could do a ginger-beer."

The man was of course tried and convicted, and Holes, who had explained how he had been certain that the burglary was contemplated and had taken his measures accordingly, received the thanks of the County Council.

"That fellow," said the great detective to me, "was the best and cleverest of my tame team of country-house burglars. Through him and his associates I have fostered and foiled more thefts than I care to count. Those infernal boys nearly spoilt everything. Potson, take my advice, never attempt a master-stroke in a house full of boys. They can't understand scientific induction. Had they not interfered I should have caught the fellow myself. He had wired to tell me where I should find him."

Precept and Practice.—It's not sufficiently recognised that a Bishop is bound to side with the masters, as by the terms of his contract he engages to be "no striker."

"How To Make England Sober."—"It can't be done," says the Bishop of Chester, "sans Jayne."

A Striking Headline (all rights reserved).—Loch Out in Matabeleland!

A Jingo Paradox.—We pot the natives to preserve ourselves.

[pg 214]


Darlings, I am growing old,

Silver threads among the gold.

Cannot see beyond my nose,

Must have glasses I suppose.

At the fair I bought a pair,

Golden rimmed, of pebbles rare,

Paid the money then and there,

Glad my spectacles to wear.

But, how strange! I could not see

What was just in front of me!

Took them off and rubbed them well;

Cleaned they seemed; but, strange to tell,

When I put them on again

Everything was plain as plain,

But reflected from behind!

Then I found that tho' so blind,

Many little things I saw

Which I had not seen before.

First, my page, of doubtful age,

Put me in a dreadful rage;

Dipped his fingers in the cream;

(Turned and faced him—made him scream!)

Dropped the pot, upset a lot—

Caught it from me pretty hot.

Next the footman kicked my cat

Sleeping on its lamb's-wool mat.

Loosed my dicky from its cage

(Shall deduct this from his wage).

When the housemaid scrubbed the floor,

Watched her through the open door

At my eldest making eyes.

Packed her off to her surprise,

Heeding not her tears and cries.

Truly blindness makes one wise!

Then I caught my little son

Putting mustard in a bun;

Going to give it to the pug.

Seized him by the nearest lug,

Boxed it hard. He howled with pain;

Never teased the dog again.

Saw my girl of twenty-three

Kiss the curate, after tea.

Sent the pair to right about.

(Wondered how I found them out!)

So, you see, I really find

Much amusement of a kind.

Eyes before and eyes behind,

Is there anyone would mind

Being just a little blind?



Young Hopeful (who has been celebrating, not wisely but too well, the last day of his Exam.). "Look here, Major! If You don't tell my Father of my D'sgrasheful Conduck, I shall!"

N.B. !

[In the "Report of the Royal Commission on Labour" it is said that "domestic economy is not now practised among the Scotch peasants with such closeness as formerly; wives have ceased to use oatmeal and other simple fare, and buy from the passing cart inferior goods which they could very well prepare at home." The married labourer's clothing is "finer, but less durable," and he himself is "less unknown in places of amusement."]

Scots, wha hae on parritch fed!

Scots, in thrifty habits bred!

Air ye leavin' barley bread,

And frugality?

Now's the day, much more the night,

For stickin' to your bawbees tight!

See approach proud Fashion's might,

Chains o' luxury!

Wha will to the flesher's wend,

Buy thin breeks that will na mend,

Wha sae base as saxpence spend

On an evenin' spree?

Wha for Scotland's knitted hose,

Oaten cakes and homespun clo'es,

Now will deal some auld-warld blows?

He will live, not dee!

By each braw and kilted laddie,

Gudeman douce, and gude-boy caddie,

Ye may weel at once eradi-

-cate frivolity!

Strike, and break amusement's yoke,

Or your ainsells may be broke!

Siller's saved in every stroke

Of economy!

First-rate Foreign Advertisement for a Medical Friend of Ours.—Every dinner in France is now served "à la Roose."



Notes from the Travel Diary of Toby, M.P.

The Cottage, Burrow-in-the-Corner, Devon.

Very awkward to have missed the Post; being Saturday night means delay of twenty-four hours.

"Seen the postman?" I asked Old Gentleman.

"Seed ee two minits ago. Gone up the hill. I'll call him back."

New idea this. Never remember when just too late for last pillar-box clearance in London suburb running after postman, bringing him back, and getting him to make special clearance. Old Gentleman evidently thought nothing of it; skipped out of garden with remarkable agility; in middle of road in a twinkling; shouting "Hi! hi!" and waving green umbrella wildly over his narrow-brimmed top hat, round which the rime of age modestly lurked. Postman did not seem at all annoyed; came back promptly, unlocked box, and trudged off again on his rounds.

Here's where my misfortune began. Way back clear by the road I had come; inviting lane passed Old Gentleman's house; was there anyway along it to Burrow-in-the-Corner? "Why, yes," said Old Gentleman, whose desire to accommodate was illimitable. "Follow this lane till you come to four cross roads, then turn to left, and keep on." Nothing plainer than this: getting used to four cross roads in these parts; came upon this particular assortment after quarter of an hour's walk; a sign-post too; so thoughtful; no difficulty about four cross roads when there's a sign-post. Walked up to it and round it; not a single letter remaining intact of the direction. Sign-post older than Old Gentleman with the umbrella, and not nearly in such state of preservation. Not a soul in sight; "no footfall breaking silence of closing day." Old Gentleman said turn to left; so left must be right; take it, and walk on.

Pretty broad highway; must be main road leading somewhere. Why not to Burrow-in-the-Corner? Quarter mile off come upon bifurcation. Which is main road? Instincts of trapper assert themselves; carefully examine which way traffic mostly goes; not many cart-ruts, but majority turn to left; that must be the way to Burrow-in-the-Corner. Take it; find it a ditch between lofty hedges going up a hill, and then, like the late Duke of York, going down again. Half a mile of this; then another bifurcation; a gentle curve, insidious, but unmistakable, one horn of my dilemma leading to right, the other to left. Take the right this time, by way of change; leads into a road running at right angles. Should I turn right or left? Do a little of both in succession; can see nothing of the lay of country, by reason of wall-like hedges; presently come to gate in field; country chillingly unfamiliar.

Situation beginning to grow serious; dusk closing in apace. In spite of it I see my mistake; took the wrong turning when I examined the traffic-mark; must turn back there, and peg along the other road; get into narrow lane again; this time, varying manœuvre of Duke of York, go down a hill, and then go up again.

[pg 215]


[pg 216]

Trapper instinct, before alluded to, made me note heap of broken stones at this particular bifurcation. Here it is; no mistake about that; take other turning, and press on full speed; can't be more than two miles now; straight road, and there you are. Can do it under half-an-hour. Nothing so delightful as walk in country lane in cool of evening. This particular lane rather long; roads and lanes cutting off to right and left; at least no bifurcation. Not a house in sight; every soul in the country apparently turned in. Cottar's Saturday night, of course; should have thought of that before; explains everything.

Apparently no end to this road; suddenly seems to disappear; only a dip down a hill; think at first, from steepness, it must be road into Tipperton; but Tipperton is miles away. Getting on for dinner-time; better run down hill; do so; see light flickering at end; probably The Cottage windows; hum "A light in the window for me"; find I've no breath to spare for musical entertainments; shut up, and run. Light comes from farm-house; enter yard cautiously in case of another dog being there. In the twilight see second Old Gentleman; this time in his shirt-sleeves, sitting meditatively on an upturned bucket set on a barn floor. "Is this the way to Burrow-in-the-Corner?" I ask, a little out of breath. Old Gentleman stares; perhaps he is deaf; looks deaf, but find he is only chuckling; repeat question louder. "No," says he, "but that be;" and he waves a horny hand up the wall of a hill down which I had scrambled.

For the last twenty minutes I'd been running away from Burrow-in-the-Corner as if we didn't dine at 7.30.

Old Gentleman not accustomed to seeing joke; made most of this; when he recovered I learned that if I walked back up hill a mile, and took first turning to right, I should be on the road to Burrow-in-the-Corner. Nice pull up hill; kept keen look out for turn to right; after quarter of hour's rapid walking passed on left openings of two lanes in close contiguity. Through one I had forty minutes earlier walked on to this very road. If I had then turned to left instead of going back I should have been at The Cottage by this time—supposing, of course, the road leads thither.

No use repining; must get on; feeling peckish; walk in middle of road to make most of twilight shut out by hedges; can't see time by watch; doing something more than four miles an hour. At end of what seems half-hour am apparently no forrader; no house; no passer-by; no friendly light over ghostly expanse peeped at through occasional gates.

Begin to think of story heard the other day. Belated parson went to take evening service for friend at church close by post-office where I made acquaintance of first Old Gentleman. Only three miles from his own house; after sermon set off to walk home; thinking of many things, turned off at wrong point; knew country pretty well, but darkness came on; hopelessly lost; found forlornly sitting on a gate at eleven o'clock by farmer's son fortuitously delayed on his return home; took stranger home with him; woke up family, and gave him shakedown for night.

"It was bad enough, Toby," rev. gentleman said, "and might have been worse. But what rankles most bitterly in my breast at present day is remark of farmer's wife when her son shouted up at open window that he had brought home a clergyman who had lost his way and wanted a bed. 'Clergyman!' she cried, with cruel scorn. 'Get away with you. No clergyman would be out at this time of night.'"

One comfort it's not raining; rained in torrents when my friend the parson had his Sunday night out. Road evidently not leading towards The Cottage; suppose that once more I am walking away from it! Trapper instincts already alluded to have evolved a plan which I hold in reserve. Remember (or think I remember) the turns on the way back to post-office where I made acquaintance of first Old Gentleman; terrible trudge, but better than sleeping in ditch or shed; shall turn back and face it. Halt and hesitate; no sign of Cottage or other light; hedges are black shadows; a few feet in front and an equal distance behind is wall of darkness; decide to take a hundred paces forward. If then no sign of habitation shall turn back and grope way by post-office.

At eightieth pace a turn in the road; a light across the roadway; then The Cottage, and through the open window, into the dark still night, floats the music of Schumann's "Frühlingsnacht." It is the Cook singing, while the Housemaid spreads the cloth for dinner.



Sir Harry Hardman, mounted on "Behemoth," created rather a stir at the Meet. He said he didn't care a hang for the Barbed or any other kind of Wire.


["The custom of dancing, I am informed on good authority, has of late years lost its popularity with our gilded youth!"—Mr. James Payn.]

A Singing-bird which will not sing, a watch that will not go,

A working-man who scorns to work, a needle that won't sew,

Are things whose inutility are obvious at a glance,

But what are they compared with "gilded youth" who do not dance?

Mystified.—Somebody at Mrs. R.'s was saying that a certain friend of theirs, a well-known Queen's Counsel, was a first-rate pianist. "By the way," inquired a young barrister, "doesn't he usually practice in Mr. Justice Romer's court?" Mrs. R. held up her hands in amazement. "Well," she exclaimed; "I had no idea that music was allowed in a law court. But I suppose it's in the interval, while the Judge is at luncheon."

An Expostulation.

(On the recent revision of "The Tempter.")

Mr. Tree, what have you done?

Hang it all! there's no exempting

You from blame for risks we run

With The Tempter yet more tempting.

Query.—Has the want of rain this summer, and consequent failure of the hay crops, affected the market for Grass Widows?

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari,
November 4th 1893, by Various


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