The Project Gutenberg eBook, Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 107, October 20, 1894, by Various, Edited by F. C. (Francis Cowley) Burnand

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 107, October 20, 1894

Author: Various

Editor: F. C. (Francis Cowley) Burnand

Release Date: June 20, 2012 [eBook #40047]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



E-text prepared by Malcolm Farmer, Ernest Schaal,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team



Vol. 107.

OCTOBER 20, 1894.

[pg 181]


The Assistant-Reader has been at work, and makes the following report:—

A pretty little volume is Mr. Anthony C. Deane's Holiday Rhymes (Henry & Co). That its merits are high may be safely inferred from the fact that the largest instalment of its verses came from the columns of Mr. Punch. Mr. Deane handles his varied metres with great skill, his style is neat and pointed, his rhymes are above reproach, and his satire, especially when he deals with literary and academic matters, hits hard and straight. And, though the author is a Deane, he never sermonises. But why not sermons in verse? I commend the idea to Mr. Deane. He could carry it out excellently, and earn the thanks of countless congregations.

Messrs. Methuen are publishing a series of English Classics, edited by Mr. W. E. Henley. They have started with Tristram Shandy, and have persuaded a Mr. Charles Whibley to introduce Laurence Sterne to the reading public of the present day. "Permit me," says Mr. Whibley, in effect, "to present to your notice Laurence Sterne, plagiarist, sentimentalist, and dealer in the obscene," a right pleasant and comfortable introduction, setting us all at our ease, and predisposing us at once in favour of the humble candidate for fame, whom Mr. Whibley alternately kicks and patronises. 'Tis pity (I have caught Mr. Whibley's own trick) that Mr. Whibley had not the writing of Tristram Shandy. He, at any rate—so he seems to think—would never have outraged our sense of decency, or moved us to "thrills of æsthetic disgust" by such platitudes as My Uncle Toby's address to the fly. Rabelais, it appears (Mr. Whibley has got Rabelais on the brain, he is Pantagruelocephalous), Rabelais may steal a horse, but Sterne must not look over a hedge. One may have no wish to defend the "indecencies" of Sterne, but to condemn them by contrasting them with the efforts of Rabelais is a highly modernised form of criticism, of which I should scarcely have supposed even a Whibley capable. On the whole, I cannot commend this introduction, with its jingling, tin-pot, sham-fantastic style. I feel inclined to cry out aloud with Master Peter, "Plainness, good boy; do not you soar so high; this affectation is scurvy." And why is Mr. Whibley so hard upon the suburbs? His own manner of writing is excellently calculated to fascinate Clapham, and move Peckham Rye to an enthusiasm of admiration.

Messrs. Chatto and Windus have brought to a happy conclusion their monumental work of republishing the Campbell and Stebbing translation of Thiers' History of the Consulate and Empire. It is in twelve neatly bound, conveniently sized, admirably printed volumes, illustrated with many steel engravings. A little soon, perhaps, to talk of Christmas presents. But if there be any amiable uncle or fairy godmother kept awake o' nights wondering what they shall give for Christmas box to Dick, Tom or Harry, here's the very thing for him, her and them. The volumes comprise a library in themselves, and their study is a liberal education. Since the world began there is no human life that possesses for humanity an interest keener or more abiding than that of Napoleon. Sometimes for a while it seems to sleep, only to awaken with freshened vigour. The Napoleon cult is one of the most prominent features of to-day. The Presses of Paris, London and New York teem with new volumes of reminiscences, letters or diaries, all about Napoleon. Thiers' massive work has stood the test of time and will ever remain a classic. To us who read it to-day it has the added interest of its author's personality, and the sad labour of his closing years. It is pretty to note how Thiers, writing before the creation of the Third Empire, for which this book did much to pave the way, shrinks from mentioning Waterloo. For him it is "the battle after the day of Ligny and Quatre Bras." We are well into his detailed account of the great fight before we recognise the plains of Waterloo. Thiers does not disguise his effort to extol the Prussians at the expense of the English. It was Blucher, not Wellington, who won the fight the Prussians call the Battle of La Belle Alliance, Napoleon the Battle of Mont St. Jean, and the presumptuous English Waterloo. The patriotic and therefore irascible Frenchman little thought the day would dawn on France when it would learn of a battle more calamitous even than Waterloo. Still less did he perpend that he himself would make the personal acquaintance of the Prussians in circumstances analagous to those amid which, on a July day in 1815, three plenipotentiaries set forth from Paris to meet the foreign invaders, and sue for terms that should, as far as possible, lessen the humiliation of the occupation of the French capital.

I confess I am disappointed with Anthony Hope's The God in the Car. Some of the dialogue is in his very best "Dolly" comedy-vein. The last interview between hero and heroine is admirably written. But it is not "in it" with his most originally conceived story of The Prisoner of Zenda. The title requires explanation, and you don't get the explanation until the climax, which explanation is as unsatisfactory as the title. "The hazy finish is," quoth the Baron, "to my thinking, artistic." "What becomes of the lady? what becomes of the lover?" are questions the regular romance-reader will put. And the reply is evidently the old one, on which no improvement is possible, "Whatever you please my little dear, you pays your money and you takes your choice." But it is well worth reading, and our friend "the Skipper," who "knows the ropes," will find there are some, though not very frequent, opportunities for his mental gymnastic exercise.

The Baron de Book-Worms.


My Queen, Mayonnaise! Oh, give ear to thy lover—

Oh, pity his passion, my sweet Mayonnaise!

Just one glance from those eyes which (like eggs of the plover!)

Can kill—(or be cooked)—in a hundred of ways!

When first I beheld thee my thoughts flew unbidden

To dishes I'd eaten—so fair to the eye.

That I've looked and I've looked till the flavour they've hidden

Was forgot at the sight of the dish, or the pie.

Oh, grant that our loves, like potage à la crême,

Flow gently and smoothly along through the days.

(To me it's the same, for though Mabel's thy name,

To me thou art ever my sweet "Mayonnaise.")

White as snow are thy teeth that, like riz à l'Anglaise,

Shine forth between lips red as sauce écrevisse;

And the truffle-like beauty-spot nestles and says,

"Come and kiss next the dimple and taste, dear, of bliss!"

Dinde de Bresse is not plumper nor fairer than thee;

And thy gown and its trimmings thy beauties enhance.

None so sweet in the country of Gruyère and Brie,

Where St. Sauce counts for more than St. Louis of France.

Nay, turn not your head. Never blush portugaise,

Be tender as chaufroid of veal à la reine

(A dish for the gods!—not what Englishmen praise,

Indigestible veal qui ne "veau" pas la pain!)

Hot as sauce rémoulade though thy temper may be—

Though caprice gall thy thoughts till thy brain's panaché

I'll love thee and love thee—I swear it by THEE!—

The roast thou shalt rule, by night and by day!

My Queen, Mayonnaise, oh give ear to my prayer!

Be my love—be my wife! Come, Mayonnaise dear,

And to Paris we'll fly, and at Bignon's we'll fare,

And the evening we'll spend at the Menus-Plaisirs!

Though Tortoni's no more, we may still taste of joy,

For I wot of a house where a goddess might eat—

Where the palate's not worried, the dishes don't cloy,

Where to eat is to live, and to drink is a treat!

Behold, Mayonnaise, I'm the slave of thy wishes—

A lover devoted who cannot do less

Than to set on thy table the daintiest dishes;

So the man thou mayst love, while the cook thou dost bless.

New Arrangement of Motto for the French (Suggested Gallus Anti-Gallicanus).—"Liberté, Ill-égalité, Fraternité!"

[pg 183]


The Special Correspondent "doing" the Church Congress at Exeter for the Morning Post, when remarking on the clerical costumes in the procession to the Cathedral, told us that among the "college caps" i.e. "mortar-boards," (which of course go with the university gown or clerical surplice,) and "birettas," (which, being Italian, are not certainly part of English academical or ecclesiastical costume,) there appeared a "tall hat," i.e. the topper of private life, which, as it happens, is part of the Academical Master of Arts costume, and therefore, though unbecoming in a procession of mortar-boards and birettas, is yet unassailable from a purely academic and Cantabrigian point of view. It may not be "Oxonian," by the way; but if the wearer were an Oxford man he would know best. Now, if the hat, presumably black, had been a white one? White is the surplice: why not the hat? White is the emblem of purity, although, sad to say, when associated with a hat, it used at one time to be provocative of an inquiry as to the honesty of the wearer in regard to the surreptitious possesion of a donkey. Has anybody anywhere ever seen a parson, whether M.A. or not, in a white hat? Surely such a phenomenon must rank with the defunct postboy and dead donkey. This will be one of the inquiries to which clerical costume at ecclesiastical Exeter must naturally give rise. Perhaps the top-hatted clergyman was a Freemason, wearing this as emblematic of a "tiled lodge."


Hungry Saxon (just arrived, with equally hungry family). "Well, now—er—what can you give us for Dinner, as soon as we've had a Wash?"

Scotch Lassie. "Oh, jist onything!"

H. S. (rubbing his hands in anticipation). "Ah! Now we'll have a nice juicy steak."

Lassie. "A—weel. We'll be haein' some Steak here maybe by the Boat i' the Morn's morn!"

H. S. (a little crestfallen). "Oh—well—Chops then. We'll say Mutton Chops."

Lassie. "Oh, ay, but we've no been killin' a Sheep the day!"

[Ends up with boiled eggs, and vows to remain at home for the future.


This is a dreadful cry to raise. Let's hope it is not anywhere near the truth. Says the Emperor, i.e. the chairman of the Empire (Theatre), "There will be only one effect should the County Council endorse the decision of its Licensing Committee. The Empire Theatre will be at once closed, as it would be impossible to carry it on under such absurd restrictions." Such is the Imperial ukase issuing from Leicester Square. And the Emperor is right. This "grandmotherly legislation," however well-intentioned the grandmothers, may be all very well for "babes and sucklings," but then babies in arms are not admitted to the Empire, and those babes of older growth who have evidently been partaking too freely of "the bottle" are strictly excluded by the I. C. O. or Imperial Chuckers Out. No doubt London common sense will ultimately prevail, even in the Court of the London County Council, and the Empire will soon be going stronger than ever.

Motley Reflection.—What better name for an historian than "Motley"? Not in the buffoonic sense of the term; not when, to change the spelling, "Motley is your only ware"; but as implying a variety of talents as equal as the patches in the perfect dress of a harlequin. Of course the pen is the wand. What transformations cannot the Motley historian bring about! A monster becomes a man, and a man a monster.



Or the Chinee Boy and the Japanese Butterfly Bumblebee.

Air—"Little Ah Sid." (With Apologies to Mr. Louis Meyer.)

Little Ah Sid

Was a lemon-faced kid,

With a visage as old as an ape's;

Saffron son-of-a-gun,

He was fond of his fun,

And much given to frolics and japes.

Once in his way,

As Ah Sid was at play,

A big bumblebee flew in the spring.

"Jap butterfly!"

Cried he, winking his eye;

"Me catchee and pull off um wing!"


"Kiya, kiya, kyipye, yukakan!

Kiya, kiya, yukakan!"

Sang little Ah Sid,

That elderly kid,

As he went for that bee from Japan.

He made a sharp snap

At the golden-ring'd chap,

That innocent butterfly-bee,

Which buzzed and which bummed,

And circled and hummed

Round the head of that little Chinee.

He guessed not the thing

Had no end of a sting,

As he chased him in malice secure,

And he cried with a grin,—

"Buzzy-wuzzy no win!

Me mashee um buttlefly, sure!"


"Kiya, kiya, kyipye, yukakan!

Kiya, kiya yukakan!"

Sang little Ah Sid,

The Celestial kid,

As he after "um buttlefly" ran.

Little Ah Sid

Was a pig-headed kid

(As well as pig-tailed). Could he guess

What kind of a fly

Was buzz-wuzzing hard by,

Till he grabbed him—with stinging success.

"Kiya, kyipye!"

Yelled Ah Sid, as that bee

Stung him hard in a sensitive spot.

"Kiya yukakan!

Hang um Japanese man,

Um buttlefly velly much hot!"


"Kiya, kiya, kyipye yukakan!

Kiya, kiya, yukakan!"

Howled hopping Ah Sid,

"Um hurt me, um did,

Um buttlefly bites—in Japan!!!"

Modern Mangers.—Nearly all hotel advertisements prominently announce as among the principal attractions of each establishment "separate tables." It looks as if the "all-together-table-d'hôte-system" had failed by reason of "incompatibility of temper." Hence the divorce a mensâ. The long table with all the noses in a row down in the feeding-trough is by this time a remnant of barbarism. Yet the "boxes" common to the old eating-houses, such for example, as may still be seen in some parts of London both east and west, were "pernicious snug" and sufficiently private, too, for business conversation and confidential communications.

Serious, Very! Latest from China.—The Emperor has been consulting his physician, who, after careful diagnosis, has pronounced "Tung in bad condition, and Lung queer."

[pg 184]


(A Story in Scenes.)


Scene XXV.The Chinese Drawing Room. TimeAbout 9.45 P.M.

Mrs. Earwaker. Yes, dear Lady Lullington, I've always insisted on each of my girls adopting a distinct line of her own, and the result has been most satisfactory. Louisa, my eldest, is literary; she had a little story accepted not long ago by The Milky Way; then Maria is musical; practises regularly three hours every day on her violin. Fanny has become quite an expert in photography—kodaked her father the other day in the act of trying a difficult stroke at billiards; a back view—but so clever and characteristic!

Lady Lullington (absently). A back view? How nice!

Mrs. Earw. He was the only one of the family who didn't recognise it at once. Then my youngest, Caroline—well, I must say that for a long time I was quite in despair about Caroline. It really looked as if there was no single thing that she had the slightest bent or inclination for. So at last I thought she had better take up Religion, and make that her speciality.

Lady Lull. (languidly). Religion! How very nice!

Mrs. Earw. Well, I got her a Christian Year and a covered basket, and quantities of tracts, and so on; but, somehow, she didn't seem to get on with it. So I let her give it up; and now she's gone in for poker-etching instead.

Lady Lull. (by an act of unconscious cerebration). Poker-etching! How very very nice!

[Her eyelids close gently.

Lady Rhoda. Oh, but indeed, Lady Culverin, I thought he was perfectly charmin'; not a bit booky, you know, but as clever as he can stick; knows more about terriers than any man I ever met!

Lady Culverin. So glad you found him agreeable, my dear. I was half afraid he might strike you as—well, just a little bit common in his way of talking.

Lady Rhoda. Pr'aps—but, after all, one can't expect those sort of people to talk quite like we do ourselves, can one?

Lady Cantire. Is that Mr. Spurrell you are finding fault with, Albinia? It is curious that you should be the one person here who——I consider him a very worthy and talented young man, and I shall most certainly ask him to dinner—or lunch, at all events—as soon as we return. I daresay Lady Rhoda will not object to come and meet him.

Lady Rhoda. Rather not. I'll come, like a shot!

Lady Culv. (to herself). I suppose it's very silly of me to be so prejudiced. Nobody else seems to mind him!

Miss Spelwane (crossing over to them). Oh, Lady Culverin, Lady Lullington has such a delightful idea—she's just been saying how very very nice it would be if Mr. Spurrell could be persuaded to read some of his poetry aloud to us presently. Do you think it could be managed?

Lady Culv. (in distress). Really, my dear Vivien, I—I don't know what to say. I fancy people would so much rather talk—don't you think so, Rohesia?

Lady Cant. Probably they would, Albinia. It is most unlikely that they would care to hear anything more intellectual and instructive than the sound of their own voices.

Miss Spelw. I told Lady Lullington that I was afraid you would think it a bore, Lady Cantire.

Lady Cant. You are perfectly mistaken, Miss Spelwane. I flatter myself I am quite as capable of appreciating a literary privilege as anybody here. But I cannot answer for its being acceptable to the majority.

Lady Culv. No, it wouldn't do at all. And it would be making this young man so much too conspicuous.

Lady Cant. You are talking nonsense, my dear. When you are fortunate enough to secure a celebrity at Wyvern, you can't make him too conspicuous. I never knew that Laura Lullington had any taste for literature before, but there's something to be said for her suggestion—if it can be carried out; it would at least provide a welcome relief from the usual after-dinner dullness of this sort of gathering.

Miss Spelw. Then—would you ask him, Lady Cantire?

Lady Cant. I, my dear? You forget that I am not hostess here. My sister-in-law is the proper person to do that.

Lady Culv. Indeed I couldn't. But perhaps, Vivien, if you liked to suggest it to him, he might——

Miss Spelw. I'll try, dear Lady Culverin. And if my poor little persuasions have no effect, I shall fall back on Lady Cantire, and then he can't refuse. I must go and tell dear Lady Lullington—she'll be so pleased! (To herself, as she skims away.) I generally do get my own way. But I mean him to do it to please Me!

Mrs. Chatteris (a little later, to Lady Maisie). Have you heard what a treat is in store for us? That delightful Mr. Spurrell is going to give us a reading or a recitation, or something, from his own poems; at least, Miss Spelwane is to ask him as soon as the men come in. Only I should have thought that he would be much more likely to consent if you asked him.

Lady Maisie. Would you? I'm sure I don't know why.

Mrs. Chatt. (archly). Oh, he took me in to dinner, you know, and it's quite wonderful how people confide in me, but I suppose they feel I can be trusted. He mentioned a little fact, which gave me the impression that a certain fair lady's wishes would be supreme with him.

Lady Maisie (to herself). The wretch! He has been boasting of my unfortunate letter! (Aloud.) Mr. Spurrell had no business to give you any impression of the kind. And the mere fact that I—that I happened to admire his verses——

Mrs. Chatt. Exactly! Poets' heads are so easily turned; and, as I said to Captain Thicknesse——

Lady Maisie. Captain Thicknesse! You have been talking about it—to him!

Mrs. Chatt. I'd no idea you would mind anybody knowing, or I would never have dreamed of——I've such a perfect horror of gossip! It took me so much by surprise, that I simply couldn't resist; but I can easily tell Captain Thicknesse it was all a mistake; he knows how fearfully inaccurate I always am.

Lady Maisie. I would rather you said nothing more about it, please; it is really not worth while contradicting anything so utterly absurd. (To herself.) That Gerald—Captain Thicknesse—of all people, should know of my letter! And goodness only knows what story she may have made out of it!

Mrs. Chatt. (to herself, as she moves away). I've been letting my tongue run away with me, as usual. She's not the original of "Lady Grisoline," after all. Perhaps he meant Vivien Spelwane—the description was much more like her!

Pilliner (who has just entered with some of the younger men, to Miss Spelwane). What are you doing with these chairs? Why are we all to sit in a circle, like Moore and Burgess people? You're not going to set the poor dear Bishop down to play baby-games? How perfectly barbarous of you!

Miss Spelw. The chairs are being arranged for something much more intellectual. We are going to get Mr. Spurrell to read a poem to us, if you want to know. I told you I should manage it.

Pill. There's only one drawback to that highly desirable arrangement. The bard, with prophetic foreknowledge of your designs, has unostentatiously retired to roost. So I'm afraid you'll have to do without your poetry this evening—that is, unless you care to avail yourself again of my services?

Miss Spelw. (indignantly). It is too mean of you. You must have told him!

[He protests his innocence.

Lady Rhoda. Archie, what's become of Mr. Spurrell? I particularly want to ask him something.

Bearpark. The poet? He nipped upstairs—as I told you all along he meant to—to scribble some of his democratic drivel, and (with a suppressed grin) I don't think you'll see him again this evening.

Captain Thicknesse (to himself, as he enters). She's keepin' a chair next hers in the corner there for somebody. Can it be for that poet [pg 185] chap?... (He meets Lady Maisie's eye suddenly.) Great Scott! If she means it for me!... I've half a mind not to——No, I shall be a fool if I lose such a chance! (He crosses, and drops into the vacant chair next hers.) I may sit here, mayn't I?

Lady Maisie (simply). I meant you to. We used to be such good friends; it's a pity to have misunderstandings. And—and I want to ask you what that silly little Mrs. Chatteris has been telling you at dinner about me.

Capt. Thick. Well, she was sayin'—and I must say I don't understand it, after your tellin' me you knew nothing about this Mr. Spurrell till this afternoon——

Lady Maisie. But I don't. And I—I did offer to explain, but you said you weren't curious!

Capt. Thick. Didn't want you to tell me anything that perhaps you'd rather not, don't you know. Still, I should like to know how this poet chap came to write a poem all about you, and call it "Lady Grisoline." if he never——

Lady Maisie. But it's too ridiculous! How could he? When he never saw me, that I know of, in all his life before!

Capt. Thick. He told Mrs. Chatteris you were the original of his "Lady Grisoline" anyway, and really——

Lady Maisie. He dared to tell her that? How disgracefully impertinent of him. (To herself.) So long as he hasn't talked about my letter, he may say what he pleases!

Capt. Thick. But what was it you were goin' to explain to me? You said there was somethin'——

Lady Maisie (to herself). It's no use; I'd sooner die than tell him about that letter now! (Aloud.) I—I only wished you to understand that, whatever I think about poetry—I detest poets!

Lady Cant. Yes, as you say, Bishop, a truly Augustan mode of recreation. Still, Mr. Spurrell doesn't seem to have come in yet, so I shall have time to hear anything you have to say in defence of your opposition to Parish Councils.

[The Bishop resigns himself to the inevitable.

Archie (in Pilliner's ear). Ink and flour—couldn't possibly miss him; the bard's got a matted head this time, and no mistake.

"Ink and flour—couldn't possibly miss him."

Pill. Beastly bad form, I call it—with a fellow you don't know. You'll get yourself into trouble some day. And you couldn't even manage your ridiculous booby-trap, for here the beggar comes, as if nothing had happened.

Archie (disconcerted). Confound him! The best booby-trap I ever made!

The Bishop. My dear Lady Cantire, here is our youthful poet, at the eleventh hour. (To himself.) "Sic me servavit Apollo!"

[Miss Spelwane advances to meet Spurrell, who stands surveying the array of chairs in blank bewilderment.


["Poor Mrs. Leo Hunter has fallen on evil days.... It is the lions themselves that are lacking.... We have fallen upon an age of prancing mediocrity."—The World, October 10.]

O dire is our extremity, whose laudable persistence

In tracking down celebrities is undiminished still,

We're quick enough to mark our prey, we scent him at a distance,

But seldom is our watchfulness rewarded by a "kill."

There are bears indeed in plenty, there are owls with strident voices,

And jackanapes in modern days are seldom hard to find,

But the genuine British Lion, in whom our heart rejoices,

Seems almost to have vanished from the dwellings of mankind!

And even if we find him, after herculean labour,

Apart from festive drawing-rooms he resolutely roams,

Disgracefully forgetful of his duty to his neighbour

He quite declines to dignify our dinners and At Homes.

Too often those we ask are unaccountably prevented

From hastening, as we wanted them, "to come and join the dance,"

And so, in these degraded times, we have to be contented

With quite inferior persons, mediocrities who "prance."

Yes, "prancing mediocrity"—sweet phrase!—no doubt expresses

The decadent young poet, with the limp and languid air,

The very last pianist with the too-abundant tresses,

Whose playing is—well, only less eccentric than his hair.

So, Mr. Punch, we hostesses regard you with affection,

And now that our calamity and trouble you have heard,

If any happy circumstance should bring in your direction

A really nice young lion—would you kindly send us word?

New Novel by the Author of "The Manxman."The Minx-woman.

[Not yet ready.


(A Colourable Imitation.)

It was a splendid scarlet afternoon, and the little garden looked its gayest in the midsummer sunshine which streamed down its tiny paths. Yellow asters grew golden in the pale lemon light, whilst the green carnations which abounded everywhere seemed so natural that it was difficult to believe they had been wired on to the plants that morning by a London firm of florists. That was a plan on which Cecil Paragraph always insisted. As he was so fond of saying, Nature was a dear old thing, but she lacked inventiveness. It was only an outworn convention which objected to gilding the lily, or colouring the carnation. So the London florists always came each morning to convert the garden into a pink rhapsody.

Lord Archie (he was not a Lord really, but Cecil always insisted that a title was a matter of temperament) and Cecil were sitting out on the lawn. Clever conversation always takes place on the lawn. Cecil and Lord Archie smoked high-priced cigarettes. The witty characters always do.

"My dear Archie," said Cecil, "I have something important to tell you."

"If you were not Cecil Paragraph, that would mean that the milkman had called to have his account paid, or that Mary—or is it Martha?—had given notice. It's like letters headed 'Important,'—a prospectus of a gold mine, or a letter from a distant relative to say he's coming to stay the week-end. Saying 'week-end' always reminds me of the Baron de Book-Worms. I fancy myself haggling for a cheap ticket at a booking-office."

"Archie, you've prattled enough. Remember it is I who am expected to fill the bill. Archie, I am writing a book."

"A book? You will let me collaborate with you?"

"Collaboration is the modern method of evading responsibility. A genius moves in a cycle of masterpieces, but it is never a cycle made for two. It reminds me of the book by Mr. Rider Haggard and Mr. Lang. Too late Mr. Haggard found that he had killed the goose which laid the golden eggs. He had lost the notices which his collaborator could no longer write."

"But it is so much trouble to write a book. Would not a purple newspaper article effect your purpose?"

"One would think I was Mr. Athelstan Riley, or the Independent Labour Party, to hear you talk of effecting my purpose. But in any case the book's the thing."

"Tell me, Cecil, tell me about your book," said Lord Archie, with the ardour of a disciple of Cecil's.

"It will be called The Blue Gardenia. The title is one of the unemployed; it has nothing to do with the story."

"I fancy I remember that Mr. Barry Pain said that once before."

"No doubt. The clumsiness of acknowledgment is what makes the artist into an artisan. I am like Mr. Balfour, I do not hesitate to shoot—into my treasury the pearls of speech I have gathered from others, and then, Archie, I shall not lack the art of personal allusion. If my characters go out into the village and see the village clergymen, I shall make him the Archbishop of Canterbury. People like it. They say it's rude, but they read the book and repeat the rudeness. I shall be frankly rude. Minor poets and authors and actors will all be fair game. You suggest the publisher may object. To tell you the truth, ANY MAN will publish for me. The book will succeed—it is only mediocrities who indulge in failure—and the public will tumble over one another in their mad rush to be dosed with epigrams of genius."

"And I will write a flaming favourable notice in the Dodo."

"You will do me no such unkindness, I am sure, my dear Archie. To be appreciated is to be found out."

And so plucking as they went the green carnations of a blameless life, they went in to dinner.

The Tale of J. B.; or, "The Prisoner of Salta."—"J. B. is sly, Sir—devilish sly;" but the present J. B., not the Major Bagstock of Dombey and Son, but the minor Jabez Balfour, has not yet, as reported, managed to escape from the prison of Salta, the authorities having contrived to put a little Salt-a'pon his tail. Il y est, il y reste.

[pg 186]


Hostess (of Upper Tooting, showing new house to Friend). "We're very proud of this Room, Mrs. Hominy. Our own little Upholsterer did it up just as you see it, and all our Friends think it was Liberty!"

Visitor (sotto voce). "'Oh, Liberty, Liberty, how many Crimes are committed in thy Name!'"




Lady in Possession loquitur:—

Ah, well! They keeps a rouging up, these papers, or a trying to,

But I don't think they'll oust us yet, as hobvious they're a-dying to.

Their Rogeberries, and their Haskwidges and 'Erbert Gladstings 'urry up,

As per wire-pulling horders; and they tries to keep the flurry up,

But somehow it's a fizzle, like a fire as keeps on smouldery,

And the public, when they'd poke it up, looks chilly and cold-shouldery.

Drat 'em, what do they want to do? Their "demmycratic polity"

Means nothink more nor less than sheer upsetting of the Quality!

They'd treat the Hupper Ten like srimps, pull off their 'eds and swoller 'em;

And when they raves agin our perks, they only longs to collar 'em.

Down with all priwilege indeed? Wy, priwilege is the honly thing

As keeps hus from the wildernedge. I'm but a poor, old, lonely thing,

But if they mends or ends the Lords—wich 'evvin forbid they ever do!—

They'll take my livelyhood away! No, drat it, that will never do!

A world without no priwilege, no pickings, and no perks in it,

Wy—'twould be like Big Ben up there if it 'ad got no works in it.

These demmycratic levellers is the butchers of Society,

They'd take its tops and innards off and hout. I loves wariety.

Them Commons is a common lot, as like all round as winkleses,

But Marquiges—lord bless 'em!—they is like bright stars as twinkleses

And makes the sky respectable; and its a old, old story

As stars—and likeways garters—must 'ave differences in glory.

Wy, even street lamps wary, and I says the harrystocracy

Is like to 'eavenly 'lectric lights outshining the democracy

As the Clock-tower's 'fulgence do the flare at some fried-fish shop, Mum.

Oh, there's a somethink soothing in a Dook, or Earl, or Bishop, Mum,

As makes yer mere M.P.'s sing small, as may be taller-chandlerses.

Its henvy, Mum, that's wot it is, they've got the yaller janderses

Along o' bilious jealousy; though wy young Rogeberry ever did

Allow hisself to herd with them—well, drat it, there, I never did!—

As long as I can twirl a mop or sluice a floor or ceiling for

The blessed Peers, I'll 'old with 'em, as I've a feller feeling for.

Birds of a feather flock—well, well! I 'ope I knows my place, I do;

Likeways that I shall keep it. Wich I think it a 'ard case, I do,

This downing on Old Women!

'Owsomever, Mister Morley is

A long ways from his hobject yet. The House o' Lords, Mum, surely is

Most different from Jericho, it will not fall with shouting, Mum,

Nor yet no platform trumpets will not down it, there's no doubting, Mum.

Their tongues and loud Rad ram's-horns do their level best to win it, Mum.

But—they ain't got rid of Hus—not yet,—nor won't direckly-minute, Mum!

From the Birmingham Festival.—An eminent musician sends us this note:—Nothing Brummagem about the Birmingham Festival. Dr. Parry's oratorio, King Saul, a big success. Of course this subject has been Handel'd before; but the composer of King Saul, Junior, (so to be termed for sake of distinction, and distinction it has certainly attained,) need fear no com-parry-songs. Perhaps another title might be, "Le Roi Saul à la mode de Parry." (Private, to Ed.—Shall be much pleased if you'll admit this as a Parry-graph.)

Hope Dispelled.—The music-hall proprietors must have been in high spirits at the commencement of the sittings of the Licensing Committee when they heard that "Mr. Roberts" was to be the chairman. Of course, to them there is but one "Roberts," which his prénom is "Arthur"—and unfortunately there appeared as chairman "not this Arthur, but another."

In the course of conversation, the other evening, Mrs. R. remembered that "The Margarine" is a German title. "Isn't there," she asked, "a Margarine of Hesse?"

Anti-fatness.—Excellent receipt for getting thin. Back horses, and you will lose many pounds in no time. (Advice gratis by one who has tried it.)

[pg 189]


(By a Commoner of the Nation.)

As licensing day was approaching, I thought it my duty to visit the Empire Theatre of Varieties in Leicester Square, so that if needs be I could appear as a witness either for the prosecution or the defence. I am happy to say that my expedition has put me in a position to join the garrison. From first to last—from item No. 1 to item No. 10—the entertainments at the Empire are excellent. And in the general praise I am able to include "Living Pictures," which are all that even an archbishop could wish that they should be. But the chief attraction of the evening is a new ballet divertissement in one tableau, called On Brighton Pier, which has evidently been put up to teach the members of the L. C. C. how much better things are done in the Sussex watering place than in the great metropolis. According to "the Argument," when the scene opens, people are promenading in the sun, and "some gentlemen bribe the bath chairmen to give up their places in the evening so that they may flirt with the girls accompanying the invalids." But possibly as an afterthought this was thought a little too strong for the Censor of Spring Gardens. I found the "gentlemen" (most of them in high white hats), and then I discovered the bath chairmen, but there was nothing to lead me to believe that the connecting links between the two were bribery and corruption. In addition to this plat à la Don Giovanni there were an entrée in the shape of a gathering of schoolboys and schoolgirls, a soufflé in some military plus naval drill, and a pièce de résistance in a change of scene from the deck of the Pier to the depths of the sea beneath it. And here let me say that I use résistance in a purely culinary sense, as nothing could have worked more smoothly than the transformation.

"I can conscientiously recommend it."

Madame Katti Lanner, by whom the ballet has been invented, is a past mistress in the art of concocting terpsichorean trifles, and never admits any difficulty in combining the poetry of fancy with the actuality of fact. In her latest production she finds that after a while a change of scene is necessary. The public, after admiring the refreshment stalls and the distant view of the Grand Hotel, want something more. Certainly, why not? The daughter of an American millionaire, who has met a rather effeminate gentleman for the first time, overcome by the heat, falls asleep. Then, to quote from "the Argument," in her dream she sees sirens and sea-nymphs, led by the Queen Coralie (Signorina Bice Porro), unsuccessfully attempt to lure away her lover, but—awaking from her sleep—the vision disappears, and she finds him at her feet. All this was very pretty, and the scruples of the L. C. C. were considered by the lack of success of Queen Coralie to shake the swain's fidelity to his betrothed. Although evidently interested in the dances of the sirens and sea-nymphs—in spite of their treating him with little or no attention—he was ultra discreet in making the acquaintance of her submarine majesty. When the Queen stood on one toe he merely accepted her invitation to hold her hand, and thus enable her to revolve on the tip of her right toe—but went no further. And really and truly, as a gentleman, it was impossible for him to do less. At any rate his conduct was so unexceptional in Grace Dollar's dream, that his fiancée, who, according to "the Argument," had had "a slight quarrel with him," immediately sought reconciliation. Besides the submarine interlude, On Brighton Pier has a serious underplot. Senora Dolares (Signorina Cavallazzi), who has been searching all over the world for her daughter, who had been stolen from her ten years ago, is personally conducted to the pleasant promenade off the beach. Husband and wife seemingly spend the entire day on the Pier. They are here in the morning, in the sunshine, and here when the variegated lamps are lighted at night. The Senora is pleased at nothing. She regards the vagaries of a negro comedian with indifference, and does not even smile at the gambols of a clown dog. Suddenly a girl called Dora appears. And now once more to quote the Argument. "Dora plays upon her mandoline some melody the Senora Dolares recognises. She quickly asks the girl where she first heard it; and Dora says that a lady used to sing it to her in her early days and that the same lady gave her a cross, which she produces. The Senora, by means of the cross, recognises in Dora her long-lost child. Amid great excitement she leads her tenderly away [in the direction of the Hotel Metropole], and, after some further dances, the curtain falls." Nothing can be prettier, and more truly moral, than On Brighton Pier. I can conscientiously recommend it to every member of the L. C. C.; some will smile at the eccentric dance of Major Spooner (Mr. Will Bishop); others will grin at the more boisterous humour of Christopher Dollar (Mr. John Ridley); and all must weep at the depressed velvet coat of Don Diego (Mr. George Ashton), the husband of Senora Dolares, in search of a (comparatively) long-lost daughter. Judging from the reception the ballet received the other evening, I fancy that On Brighton Pier will remain on London boards for any length of time.


["Autolycus," in the Pall Mall Gazette of October 11, inveighs against the necessity of conversation between friends:—"If I find a girl nice to look at, and she has taken great pains to make herself nice to look at, why cannot we pass the evening, I looking at her, and she being looked at? But no, we must talk."]

Undoubtedly, if conversation were abolished, "short stories" in the future would be still further abbreviated. Here is a beautiful specimen of blank—or Anthony Hope-less—dialogue:—


"!" exclaimed Miss Nelly Eaton, suddenly, with her quivering nostril.

"?" I asked with my right eyebrow, rousing myself from a fit of abstraction.

She pointed at a young man who had just strolled past our seats in the Row without noticing her. He was dressed in the height of fashion, and was accompanied by a lady in very smart attire.

"..." explained Nelly, with her mouth tightly shut.

"Taught him to smoke."

I looked at her, and gathered by a swift process of intuition that she had made that boy, and taught him to drink and smoke—of course, in moderation; had got his hair cut, and had rescued him from an adventuress. From her he had learnt not to go to Monday Pops, nor to carry things about in brown paper—in fact, he owed everything to her.... And now——!

"§" I visibly commented, not knowing for the moment how else to express myself. In fact I was getting just a trifle out of my depth. However, I gazed again at her.... Yes, she had deeply eloquent blue eyes, fringed with dark eyelashes, that voiced forth every emotion! Stay, I am afraid that in my admiration my speechless remarks had wandered from the topic of our mute discussion.

"†" interjected her pitying but impatient glance, telling me that my devotion was useless.

I looked very miserable. It is generally understood that I am the most miserable of men since Miss Eaton's engagement to an American millionaire.

[Here I am sorry to say that our dialogue becomes somewhat elliptical, owing to the difficulty of finding enough unappropriated printers' symbols to represent our different shades of silence. However, with luck, I may be able to scrape together a few more, and come to some sort of conclusion.]

Let me see—where were we?... Oh, on the subject of the boy and his companion, who, it seems, were engaged.

"* * *" resumed Nelly, in a look which spoke three volumes. I divined at once that she had thrown him over, that there had been an awful scene, and his mother had written a horrid letter, that he had come back and abjectly apologised, that he said she had destroyed his faith in women (the usual thing), that he went on sending letters for a whole year: in fact, that it made her quite uncomfortable.... Really, Nelly can give points to Lord Burleigh's nod!

"?" inquired my right eye, meaning, had she not been in love with him a little bit?

Miss Nelly prodded the path with her parasol.

"¿" I asked again, referring to a different person, and, I am afraid, squinting.

Miss Nelly looked for the fraction of an instant in my direction.

"¿¿" I repeated.

Miss Nelly looked straight in front of her. There was her fiancé, the American millionaire!

"——! ——!" That is, I smilingly withdrew.

Satisfactory Reports as to the Ameer.—It was not an illness, it was "A mere indisposition."

[pg 190]


The Annual Football Match between the Old Red Sandstone Rovers and the Pliocene Wanderers was immensely and deservedly Popular!!

[pg 191]

"Hymen Hymenæe!" (À propos of a Public Favourite).—Mr. Punch wishes health and happiness to the bride of Sir William Gregory, known to us all, during a long and honourable theatrical career in the very first line of Dramatic Art, as Mrs. Stirling the incomparable, always of sterling worth in any piece wherein she took a part. She was always at her best. Latterly she has been chiefly associated with the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, and no better representative of the character could ever have been seen on any stage. Her recent marriage has in it somewhat of a Shaksperian association, for were not the Nurse and Gregory both together in the same establishment, yclept the noble House of Capulet? And what more natural that these two should come together, and "the Nurse to Juliet" should become the "wife to Gregory"?

"Stopping" the Way in the Colonies.—Where British Colonists are first in the field, be the field where it may, it is unwise to allow any non-Britishers to get as far as a semi-colony, but at once they should be made to come to a full-stop. As it is, Great Britain looks on in a state of com(m)a, only to wake up with a note of exclamation, but not of admiration, when it is too late to put a note of interrogation.


"What's Volapuk, Doctor Schmitz?"

"It is ze Unifersal Langvage!"

"And who Speaks it?"


"City Improvements."—The City isn't likely to lose any chance of a dig at the L. C. C. Last week, at a meeting of City Commissioners of Sewers at Guildhall, Alderman Green,—not so verdant by any means as the name would seem to imply,—protested against the great delay on the part of the L. C. C. in regard to the improvements in Upper Thames Street. So the London County Council is sitting considering "dum defluit ANNUS"—representing the "amnis ævi"—and while Upper Thames Street is, pace the ever Green Alderman, in a state of stagnation as far as "improvements" are concerned.

A Drouth-and-Mouth-Disease.—A curious disease, originating, it is said, in the East, has lately baffled medical men. It is called "beriberi." Introduce another "e" into the first and third syllable, and the name might serve for that thirsty kind of feverish state with which no Anti-closing-of-the-public-at-any-time-Society is able to cope.

"Prematuer?"—Per the Leadenhall Press, Mr. Tuer is bringing out a real old Horn-book, that is, a facsimile of the ancient Horn-book. For years have we longed to see the genuine article. It will be in Hornamental cover, of course. "Succès au livre de la corne!"



Born 1809. Died October 7, 1894.

"The Last Leaf!" Can it be true,

We have turned it, and on you

Friend of all?

That the years at last have power?

That life's foliage and its flower

Fade and fall?

Was there one who ever took

From its shelf, by chance, a book

Penned by you,

But was fast your friend, for life,

With one refuge from its strife

Safe and true?

Even gentle Elia's self

Might be proud to share that shelf,

Leaf to leaf,

With a soul of kindred sort,

Who could bind strong sense and sport

In one sheaf.

From that Boston breakfast table

Wit and wisdom, fun and fable,


Through all English-speaking places.

When were Science and the Graces

So well mated?

Of sweet singers the most sane,

Of keen wits the most humane,

Wide yet clear,

Like the blue, above us bent;

Giving sense and sentiment

Each its sphere;

With a manly breadth of soul,

And a fancy quaint and droll;

Ripe and mellow:

With a virile power of "hit,"

Finished scholar, poet, wit,

And good fellow!

Sturdy patriot, and yet;

True world's citizen! Regret

Dims our eyes

As we turn each well-thumbed leaf;

Yet a glory 'midst our grief

Will arise.

Years your spirit could not tame,

And they will not dim your fame;

England joys

In your songs all strength and ease,

And the "dreams" you "wrote to please

Grey-haired boys."

And of such were you not one?

Age chilled not your fire or fun.

Heart alive

Makes a boy of a grey bard,

Though his years be—"by the card"—



Young, dark-eyed beauties, graceful, gay,

So I expected you to be,

Adorning in a charming way

This silent City of the Sea.

But you are very far from that;

You're forty—sometimes more—and fat.

Oh, girls of Venice! Woods, R.A.,

Has frequently depicted you,

Idealising, I should say—

A thing that painters often do;

Still, though your charms have left me cold,

At least you are not fat and old!

Why should you, flower-sellers, then,

Be so advanced in age and size?

You cannot charm the foreign men,

Who gaze at you in blank surprise.

You hover round me—like a gnat,

Each of you, but old and fat.

Extremely troublesome you are,

No gnats were ever half so bad,

You dart upon me from afar,

And do your best to drive me mad.

Oh bother you, so overbold,

Preposterously fat and old!

You buttonhole me as I drink

My caffe nero on the square,

Stick flowers in my coat, and think

I can't refuse them. I don't care.

I'd buy them, just to have a chat,

If you were not so old and fat.

Oh go away! I hate the sight

Of flowers since that afternoon

When first we met. I think of flight,

Or drowning in the still lagoon.

I am, unlike your flowers, sold,

You are so very fat and old.


.... "His sleep

Was aëry light, from pure digestion bred."

Paradise Lost, B. V., line 4.

[pg 192]


There is no doubt that one's first impressions are always the brightest and the best; therefore I resolve to record the first impressions of a first visit to the Italian lakes.

British Bellagio.—"Hôtel Victoria, Prince de Galles et des Iles Britanniques," or some such name, is usually, as Baedeker says, "frequented by the English." They are here certainly, and one hears one's native language everywhere. There are the honeymoon couples, silent and reserved, who glare fiercely at anyone who might be supposed to imagine for a moment that they are newly married; there are people who converse in low monotonous voices about the weather, which changes every hour; there is an old lady, who gives one startling information, telling one, for instance, that Paul Veronese was born at Verona; and there are two or three British menservants, gazing with superb disdain at the poor foreigners. The hotel is very quiet. The evening of a week-day is like Sunday evening, and Sunday evening is——!!! If only the weather were not also English, or even worse. On the last day of September the only warm place is by the fire in the fumoir. So let us hurry off from this wintry climate to somewhere, to anywhere. By the first boat we go.

Still English everywhere. At Bellagio a great crowd, and heaps of luggage. At Cadenabbia a greater crowd, and more heaps of luggage. Here they come, struggling along the gangway in the wind. There is a sad-faced Englishman, his hands full of packages, his pockets stuffed with others, carrying under his arm a little old picture wrapped loosely in pink tissue paper, which the wind blows here and there. He is a forgetful man, for he wanders to and fro collecting his possessions. With him is another forgetful Englishman in very shabby clothes, who also carries packages in paper, and who drags after him an immensely fat bull-dog at the end of a cord five yards long, which winds round posts and human legs and other obstacles. At last they are all on board—the forgetful Englishmen have darted back for the last time to fetch in an ice-axe and an old umbrella—and on we go over the grey water, past the grey hills, under the grey sky, towards Como. At Cernobbio the shabby Englishman lands, dragging his bull-dog at the end of the cord, and carrying in his arms two rolls of rugs, a bag, and other trifles. His sad-faced companion, still holding his tiny Old Master in the ever-diminishing pink paper, wanders in and out seeking forgotten treasures, an ice-axe, a bag, another paper parcel. Finally all are landed; the gangway is withdrawn, the steamer begins to move. Suddenly there is a shout. The shabby Englishman has forgotten something. The sympathetic passengers look round. There is a solitary umbrella on a seat. No doubt that is his. A friendly stranger cries, "Is this yours?" and tosses it to him on the quay. Then there is another shout. "Ach Himmel, dat is mine!" The frantic German waves his arms, the umbrella is tossed back, he catches it and is happy. But meanwhile another English man, the most egregious ass that ever lived, has discovered yet another solitary umbrella, which he casts wildly into space. For one moment the captain, the passengers, the people on the quay, gaze breathless as it whirls through the air. It falls just short of the landing-stage, and sinks into the grey waters of that chilly lake, never more to be recovered, in any sense of the word. In those immeasurable depths its neat silk covering will decay, its slender frame will fall to pieces. It has gone for ever. Beneath this grey Italian sky some Italian gamp must keep off these Italian showers. Then the captain, the passengers, and the people smile and laugh. I, who write this, am the only one on whose face there is not a grin, for that umbrella was mine.

A First Impressionist.


(By a Constant Admirer.)

Your pretty face I saw two years ago,

You looked divine—if I'm not wrong, in lace.

I noticed you, and thus I got to know

Your pretty face.

To-day I travelled to a distant place.

We stopped at Bath. I read my Punch, when lo!

You came into my carriage and Your Grace

Rode with me for a dozen miles or so.

Tell me, should we in this Fate's finger trace?

I care not since you had the heart to show

Your pretty face.


'Tis November makes the (Lord) Mayor to go. As the ninth approaches, the year's tenant of the Mansion House packs up and says farewell to all his greatness. On the principle that attributes happiness to a country that has no annals, the outgoing Lord Mayor is to be congratulated on his year of office. It is probable that out of aldermanic circles not one man of a hundred in the street could straight off say what is his Lordship's name. Mr. Punch, who knows most things, only ventures to believe that the good alderman is known in the family circle as Sir Edward Tyler. And a very good name, too. In the occult ceremonies pertaining to freemasonry it is understood there is an official known as the Tiler, whose duty is to guard the door, strictly excluding all but those whose right of entrance is peremptory. Our Sir Edward has indeed been the Tiler of the traditionally hospitable Mansion House.


It is curious to observe the attitude of Western Powers towards the life-and-death struggle going on in the far East. We of course regret the loss of life, but are mainly interested in observing the effect in actual work of ships and guns identical with our own. It is a sort of gigantic test got up for our benefit at somebody else's expense. That an ancient empire seems tottering to a fall moves no emotion. "Yes," said the Member for Sark, to whom these recondite remarks were addressed; "Pope wasn't far out of it when he very nearly said 'Europe is mistress of herself though China fall.'"


(By a prejudiced but puzzled Victim of Teacaddies and Ginger-jars.)

I suppose there's a war in the East,

(I am deluged with pictures about it,)

But I can't realise it—no, not in the least,

And, in spite of the papers, I doubt it.

A Chinaman seems such a nebulous chap,

And I can't fancy shedding the gore of a Jap.

Those parchmenty fellows have fleets?

Big Iron-clads, each worth a million?

I cannot conceive it, my reason it beats.

The lord of the pencil vermilion

Fits in with a teacaddy, not a torpedo.

Just picture a Ram in that queer bay of Yedo!

It seems the right place for a junk,

(With a fine flight of storks in the offing),

But think of a battle-ship there being sunk

By a Krupp! 'Tis suggestive of scoffing.

I try to believe, but 'tis merely bravado.

It all seems as funny as Gilbert's Mikado.

And then those preposterous names,

Like a lot of cracked bells all a-tinkling!

I try to imagine their militant games,

But at present I can't get an inkling

Of what it can mean when a fellow named Hong

And one Ting (Lord High Admiral!) go it ding-dong!

A Nelson whose nomen is Whang

To me, I admit's, inconceivable.

And war between Wo-Hung and Ching-a-Ring Chang,

Sounds funny, but quite unbelievable.

And can you conceive Maxim bullets a-sing

Round a saffron-hued hero called Pong, or Ping-Wing?

A ship called Kow-Shing, I am sure,

Can be only a warship pour rire.

And Count Yamagata—he must be a cure!

No, no, friends, I very much fear

That in spite of the pictures, and portraits, and maps,

I can't make live heroes of Johnnies and Japs!


Transcriber's Note:

Throughout the dialogues, there were words used to mimic accents of the speakers. Those words were retained as-is.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up paragraphs and so that they are next to the text they illustrate.

Errors in punctuation and inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected unless otherwise noted.

On page 181, a period was added after "thou dost bless".

On page 182, "he meet" was replaced with "he meets".

On page 185, a period was added after "At Homes".



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