The Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 107,
August 18, 1894, by Various

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 107, August 18, 1894

Author: Various

Release Date: September 12, 2012 [EBook #40738]

Language: English

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[Pg 73]


VOL. 107.

August 18, 1894.


(A Legend of the Results of the School Board.)

The Committee sat waiting patiently for candidates. Although the papers had been full of advertisements describing the appointments the réclames had had no effect. There were certainly a number of persons in the waiting-room, but the usher had declared that they did not possess the elementary qualifications for the post that the Committee were seeking to fill with a suitable official.

"Usher," cried the Chairman at length with some impatience; "I am sure you must be wrong. Let us see some of the occupants of the adjoining office."

The usher bowed with a grace that had been acquired by several years study in deportment in the Board School, and replied that he fancied that most of the applicants were too highly educated for the coveted position.

"Too highly educated!" exclaimed the representative of municipal progress. "It is impossible to be too highly educated! You don't know what you're talking about!"

"Pardon me, Sir," returned the Usher, with another graceful inclination of the head, "but would not 'imperfectly acquainted with the subject of your discourse' be more polished? But, with your permission, I will obey you."

And then the official returned to usher in an aged man wearing spectacles. The veteran immediately fell upon his knees and began to implore the Committee to appoint him to the vacant post.

"I can assure you, Gentlemen, that, thanks to the School Board, I am a first-rate Latin and Greek scholar. I am intimately acquainted with the Hebrew language, and have the greatest possible respect for the Union Jack. I know all that can be known about mathematics, and can play several musical instruments. I am also an accomplished waltzer; I know the use of the globes, and can play the overture to Zampa on the musical-glasses. I know the works of Shakspeare backwards, and——"

"Stop, stop!" interrupted the Chairman. "You may do all this, and more; but have you any knowledge of the modus operandi of the labour required of you?"

"Alas, no!" returned the applicant; "but if a man of education——"

"Remove him, Usher!" cried the Chairman; and the veteran was removed in tears.

A second, a third, and a fourth made their appearance, and disappeared, and none of them would do. They were all singularly accomplished.

At length a rough man, who had been lounging down the street, walked into the Council-chamber.

"What may you want, Sir?" asked the Chairman, indignantly.

"What's that to you?" was the prompt reply. "I ain't a going to tell everyone my business—not me—you bet!"

"Ungrammatical!" said Committee Man No. One. "Very promising."

"Uncouth and vulgar!" murmured Committee Man No. Two.

"Where were you educated?" queried the Chairman.

"Nowheres in particular. I was brought up in the wilds of Canada. There's not much book learning over there," and the rough fellow indulged in a loud hoarse laugh.

"Ah! that accounts for your not having enjoyed the great advantages of the School Board. Have you seen the circular—have you read the details of the proposed appointment?"

"Me read!" cried the uncouth one; "oh, that is a game! Why I can't read nor yet write!"

"Better and better," said Committee Man No. One.

"First rate," murmured Committee Man No. Two. "I think we have at length found our ideal."

Then the usher read the advertisement.

"What! shake the hall mat!" cried the candidate. "Why I could do that little job on my head!"

So there being no other applicant for the post, the backwoods' ignoramus was appointed office-sweeper at a couple of hundred pounds a year.

"Rather high wages," said the Chairman to himself, as he went home on the top of an omnibus; "but what can one expect when we educate all the children at the cost of the rates. Last year there was an additional farthing; this year we have to pay five shillings, and goodness only knows how much it will be hereafter!"

And as he thought this, the Chairman (in the names of the rest of the ratepayers) heartily cursed the School Board.



Old Mayfly (who had dropped his Flask further down stream, and has just had it returned to him by Honest Rustic). "Dear me! Thank you! Thank you!" (Gives him a Shilling.) "Don't know what I should ha' done without it!" (Begins to unscrew top.) "May I offer you a——"

Honest Rustic. "Well, thank y', Sir, but me and my Mate, not seein' a Howner about, we've ta'en what there were inside."


[A writer in the Lancet draws attention to the fact that the regular hospital nurse's uniform is now worn as ordinary ladies' attire.]

There's no doubt my new costume is very becoming. I like the idea or the cape, and the apron is just perfect, while the little bonnet suits me to a T. Met cousin Fred, who said it was "fetching," and that "they wanted some of my sort at the hospitals." I said I thought the patients had good enough nurses at present; he replied "he didn't mean the patients—he meant the doctors." Of course I couldn't stand the drudgery of a nurse's life; but that's no reason why I shouldn't appropriate the uniform, is it?

Walking down street. Met another nurse—a real one, I suppose. She stared, turned red, and then looked horribly offended. I believe she must have made some sign to me that I didn't understand. Are Nurses Freemasons, I wonder? Quite a secret society, it seems. Really that sort of thing oughtn't to be allowed. It makes things so awkward for the impost—the imitators, I mean.

Just got home after dreadful incident! I was in a Bayswater Square, when suddenly a man driving round a corner in a cart got upset, and was pitched on to the road close to me. A small crowd gathered immediately, and evidently expected me to help. One man shouted "Hi! Come and bind up his head, Miss!" And his head was actually bleeding! I couldn't do anything, except feel awfully inclined to faint, and then the mob began to hiss and jeer! Somebody said I must know how to render "first aid to the injured," and if I didn't come quick the man would bleed to death. I was so frightened I ran away, and the mob ran after me, and I had to take shelter in a shop, and ask the shopman to explain to the crowd that I was not really a nurse at all. Then they used dreadful expressions, and I had to be got out by a back way. I don't think the costume is half as becoming as it seemed this morning; I'm going to sell it as a "cast-off garment." Lucky for me it wasn't a torn-off garment!

Scott on the New Woman.

(As the Wizard of the North would have written now.)

New Woman! in our hours of ease
A smoking rival hard to please,
Wishing to put Man in the shade,
Collar his togs and take his trade;
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A swaggering, "spanking" Pipchin thou!

[Pg 74]



"Arf a pound er Margarine, please; an' Mother says will yer put the Cow on it, 'cos she's got Company!"


(Adapted freely from the Old Royal Repartee.)

Middle-aged would-be Mountaineer (loq.).

Fain would I climb, but,—well, my belt's too small.

Mr. Punch (in reply).

If your girth grows, Sir, do not climb at all!
Your Alpen-stock put by, ere the world mock.
And you become an (Alpine) Laughing-stock.
Though Alps on Alps arise you stop in bed,
And let a younger man yon glaciers tread.
The dangers of steep slides and deep crevasses
Are not for elderly donkeys, but young asses.
The Himalayas woo you still to pant on?
Well, treat 'em as you would an arch young wanton,
Think of your legs, the boys, the girls, the Missus,
And do not play the elderly Narcissus.
To witch the world with noble "Icemanship"
Is tempting, yes, but if you chance to slip,
Your bones a fathomless abyss may strew,
An Alpine death,—and they'll all pine for you.
Man after fifty fits not the sublime,
So stay at home nor seek a foreign climb.
The plague of guide, and chum, and wife and daughter,
Is Senex who will climb and didn't oughter.
Stick to your Alpine Club, but like old foodles,
Pay, stop at home, and play at whist at Boodles'.
Decline with the old mania to be bitten,
And you will own this tip is diamond-written
(Like good Queen Bess's repartee on glass),
And that you're saved from being an old ass!


VI.—Kew Gardens.

In the gardens at Kew
It were certainly sweet
To be wand'ring with you,
Far from city and street;
'Twere the one thing, dear Nellie, my joy and content to complete
In the gardens at Kew.

In the gardens at Kew,
If my way I might take
By the water with you,
Oh! how merry we'd make,—
I am sure you would dote on the dear little ducks in the lake
In the gardens at Kew.

In the gardens at Kew,
Having tea à la fraises,
We would cheerfully stew
'Neath the fierce solar rays,
And in "eloquent silence" you'd meet my affectionate gaze
In the gardens at Kew.

In the gardens at Kew
We would sit in the shade
For an hour or two,
Without chaperone's aid,
And your head on my shoulder (who knows?) might be lovingly laid
In the gardens at Kew.

In the gardens at Kew,
Far away from the crowd,
Though I'm longing for you,
To stern Fate I have bowed:
For it grieves me, dear Nellie, to tell you, "No dogs are allowed"
In the gardens at Kew!


["The Emperor (of China) is still cursed with the violent temper of his adolescence, and "breaks things."—"Times" Correspondent at Pekin.

Oh! is this announcement plain truth?
Or is it mere genial mockery?
And what does this choleric youth
Of China thus break—is it crockery?
It does seem unfitting, you know—
At least as we Westerners see things—
That the lord of Souchong and Pekoe
Should be guilty of smashing up tea-things!
Of course, if he had an idea
Of breaking the Japanese bondage,
Or breaking their hold on Korea,—
Well, youth is a fiery and fond age,
And old age might find an excuse
For breaking the peace; but kind wishes
Can hardly invent an excuse
For breaking the plates and the dishes.
He is youthful, like little Ah Sid,
It would be very mean to malign a
Mere boy; yet a true Chinese kid
Should not start with the smashing of China!

The Cry of the (Literary) Croakers.

Batrachians may doubt if King Stork or King Log
Be the Frog-pond's most suitable lord and controller;
But Grub Street's unfortunate unlauded frog
Loathes the rule of the new King Log-Roller!


With "brain-fag" our swift, feverish age is rife,
And death is oft the mere "fag-end" of life.

Something like a "Packed Meeting."—The meeting of the various Arctic Expeditions in the Polar Ice Pack. [Pg 75]




Dear Mr. Punch,—Now that we are close upon the silly season, when it is most difficult to get interesting "copy" for the columns of the daily papers, may I be permitted to make a suggestion? No doubt you have seen an account of the examination of Caserio Santo by the President of the Court on the occasion of his trial. Could not the idea be naturalised in London by the Metropolitan Police Magistrates? I would not, of course, propose to apply the method in cases of a serious character, but used in what are known as "the night charges," the practice would become very interesting. To better explain my meaning. I will imagine that a prisoner who has been arrested on a charge of being "drunk and incapable" is standing in front of his worship.

Magistrate (with sarcasm). You are sober now.

Prisoner (in the same tone). As a judge.

Magistrate (indignantly). Judges are always sober.

Prisoner (with a laugh). How should you know?—you, who are only a magistrate!


Magistrate. You insult me! But that will not serve you. Drink is the curse of the country!

Prisoner. You have tried it? It has been a curse to you!

[Cries of disapproval.

Magistrate. You are young to bandy words with one old enough to be your father!

Prisoner. My father! You my father! What an honour!

Magistrate. I do not envy him! Nor your mother!

Prisoner (excitedly). You shall not speak of my mother. My mother is sacred. She shall not be referred to in the tainted atmosphere of a Court of Justice.


Magistrate. This hypocrisy shall not serve you. You never loved your mother!

[Prolonged sensation.

Prisoner. Your worship, you are a liar!

[Loud cheers.

Magistrate. This to the Bench from the gutter! For you know you were found drunk and incapable in the gutter. What were you doing there?

Prisoner (tearfully). I was dreaming of my mother, my loved mother.

[Sympathetic applause.

Magistrate. You do not deserve to have a mother!

[Prolonged sensation.

Prisoner (scornfully]. Only a magistrate could make such a cold-blooded observation!


Magistrate. For all that you are fined five shillings and costs! Remove the wretched prisoner!

[The accused was then removed amidst expressions of sympathy from the body of the Court.

There, Sir, would not that be far better reading than paragraphs about gigantic gooseberries and leaders upon the sea serpent? Perhaps my suggestion may be adopted in the proper quarter. Hoping that this may be the case, the police case,

I remain, Yours respectfully,
The Man in the Reporter's Box.


(New Version.)

"Let Art and Commerce, Laws and Learning die,
But leave us still our Old Nobility!"
Without them, in our democratic day,
Who will the part of princely patriot play?
Who else will keep a splendid Family Seat,
And claim—for its defence—a mighty Fleet?
Who else will make Bank Holidays a joy
To wandering workman and to wondering boy?
Who else will rear big fortunes upon Rent,
Or palaces on Unearned Increment?
Monopolise art's treasures and life's pleasures,
And throw out dangerous democratic measures?
Who else will keep up England's glorious name?
Who else preserve her prestige—and her game?
Who else will wear the purple and the ermine,
And proudly stamp out Socialistic vermin?
Who else in one grand field-day, 'midst the Peers,
Undo the labours of ignoble years?
Who else in solemn ranks, like three-tailed Turks,
Defend the power of Privilege and Perks?
And 'tis these most magnanimous Mamelukes,
Our patriot Earls and foe-defying Dukes,
A traitorous Chancellor would dare to—Tax!!!
Ah! where's the dungeon, and oh! where's the axe?
Noblesse oblige! But sure the obligation
Cannot involve that horror, Graduation!
Is't not enough to rule, and guide, and bless,
And soar as shining samples of Success?
While with our Nobles England's glory waxes,
The Proletariat's proud to—pay the Taxes!

[Pg 76]


(A Story in Scenes.)


Scene XII.The Amber Boudoir at Wyvern—immediately after Lady Cantire and her daughter have entered.

Lady Cantire (in reply to Lady Culverin). Tea? oh yes, my dear; anything warm! I'm positively perished—that tedious cold journey and the long drive afterwards! I always tell Rupert he would see me far oftener at Wyvern if he would only get the Company to bring the line round close to the Park Gates, but it has no effect upon him! (As Tredwell announces Spurrell, who enters in trepidation.) Mr. James Spurrell! Who's Mr.——? Oh, to be sure; that's the name of my interesting young poet—Andromeda, you know, my dear! Go and be pleasant to him, Albinia, he wants reassuring.

Lady Culverin (a trifle nervous). How do you do, Mr.—ah—Spurrell? (To herself.) I said he ended in "'ell"! (Aloud.) So pleased to see you! We think so much of your Andromeda here, you know. Quite delightful of you to find time to run down!

Spurrell (to himself). Why she's chummy, too! Old Drummy pulls me through everything! (Aloud.) Don't name it, my la—hum—Lady Culverin. No trouble at all; only too proud to get your summons!

Lady Culv. (to herself). He doesn't seem very revolutionary! (Aloud.) That's so sweet of you; when so many must be absolutely fighting to get you!

Spurr. Oh, as for that, there is rather a run on me just now, but I put everything else aside for you, of course!

Lady Culv. (to herself). He's soon reassured. (Aloud, with a touch of frost.) I am sure we must consider ourselves most fortunate. (Turning to the Countess.) You did say cream, Rohesia? Sugar, Maisie dearest?

Spurr. (to himself). I'm all right up to now! I suppose I'd better say nothing about the horse till they do. I feel rather out of it among these nobs, though. I'll try and chum on to little Lady Maisie again; she may have got over her temper by this time, and she's the only one I know. (He approaches her.) Well, Lady Maisie, here I am, you see. I'd really no idea your aunt would be so friendly! I say, you know, you don't mind speaking to a fellow, do you? I've no one else I can go to—and—and it's a bit strange at first, you know!

Lady Maisie (coloured with mingled apprehension, vexation, and pity). If I can be of any help to you, Mr. Spurrell——!

Spurr. Well, if you'd only tell me what I ought to do!

My Keys!

"My keys! Why, what do you want them for?"

Lady Maisie. Surely that's very simple; do nothing; just take everything quietly as it comes, and you can't make any mistakes.

Spurr. (anxiously). And you don't think anybody'll see anything odd in my being here like this?

Lady Maisie (to herself). I'm only too afraid they will! (Aloud.) You really must have a little self-confidence. Just remember that no one here could produce anything a millionth part as splendid as your Andromeda! It's too distressing to see you so appallingly humble! (To herself.) There's Captain Thicknesse over there—he might come and rescue me; but he doesn't seem to care to!

Spurr. Well, you do put some heart into me, Lady Maisie. I feel equal to the lot of 'em now!

Pilliner (to Miss Spelwane). Is that the Poet? Why, but I say—he's a fraud! Where's his matted head? He's not a bit ragged, or rusty either. And why don't he dabble? Don't seem to know what to do with his hands quite, though, does he?

Miss Spelwane (coldly). He knows how to do some very exquisite poetry with one of them, at all events. I've been reading it, and I think it perfectly marvellous!

Pill. I see what it is, you're preparing to turn his matted head for him? I warn you you'll only waste your sweetness. That pretty little Lady Maisie's annexed him. Can't you content yourself with one victim?

Miss Spelw. Don't be so utterly idiotic! (To herself.) If Maisie imagines she's to be allowed to monopolise the only man in the room worth talking to!——

Captain Thicknesse (to himself, as he watches Lady Maisie). She is lookin' prettier than ever! Forgotten me. Used to be friendly enough once, though, till her mother warned me off. Seems to have a good deal to say to that Poet fellow; saw her colour up from here the moment he came near; he's begun Petrarchin', hang him! I'd cross over and speak to her if I could catch her eye. Don't know, though; what's the use? She wouldn't thank me for interruptin'. She likes these clever chaps; don't signify to her if they are bounders, I suppose. I'm not intellectual. Gad, I wish I'd gone back to Aldershot!

Lady Cant. (by the tea-table). Why don't you make that woman of yours send you up decent cakes, my dear? These are cinders. I'm afraid you let her have too much of her own way. Now, tell me—who are your party? Vivien Spelwane! Never have that girl to meet me again, I can't endure her; and that affected little ape of a Mr. Pilliner—h'm! Do I see Captain Thicknesse? Now, I don't object to him. Maisie and he used to be great friends.... Ah, how do you do, Captain Thicknesse? Quite pleasant finding you here; such ages since we saw anything of you! Why haven't you been near us all this time?... Oh, I may have been out once or twice when you called; but you might have tried again, mightn't you? There, I forgive you; you had better go and see if you can make your peace with Maisie!

Capt. Thick. (to himself, as he obeys). Doosid odd, the Countess comin' round like this. Wish she'd thought of it before.

Lady Cant. (in a whisper). He's always been such a favourite of mine. They tell me his uncle, poor dear Lord Dunderhead, is so ill—felt the loss of his only son so terribly. Of course it will make a great difference—in many ways.

Capt. Thick. (constrainedly to Lady Maisie). How do you do? Afraid you've forgotten me.

Lady Maisie. Oh no, indeed! (Hurriedly.) You—you don't know Mr. Spurrell, I think? (Introducing them.) Captain Thicknesse.

Capt. Thick. How are you? Been hearin' a lot about you lately. Andromeda, don't you know; and that kind of thing.

Spurr. It's wonderful what a hit she seems to have made—not that I'm surprised at it, either; I always knew——

Lady Maisie (hastily). Oh, Mr. Spurrell, you haven't had any tea! Do go and get some before it's taken away.

[Spurrell goes.

Capt. Thick. Been tryin' to get you to notice me ever since you came; but you were so awfully absorbed, you know!

Lady Maisie. Was I? So absorbed as all that! What with?

Capt. Thick. Well, it looked like it—with talkin' to your poetical friend.

Lady Maisie (flushing). He is not my friend in particular; I—I admire his poetry, of course.

Capt. Thick. (to himself). Can't even speak of him without a change of colour. Bad sign that! (Aloud.) You always were keen about poetry and literature and that in the old days, weren't you? Used to rag me for not readin' enough. But I do now. I was readin' a book only last week. I'll tell you the name if you give me a minute to think—book everybody's readin' just now—no end of a clever book.

[Miss Spelwane rushes across to Lady Maisie.

Miss Spelw. Maisie, dear, how are you? You look so tired! That's the journey, I suppose. (Whispering.) Do tell me—is that really the author of Andromeda drinking tea close by? You're a great friend of his, I know. Do be a dear, and introduce him to me! I declare the dogs have made friends with him already. Poets have such a wonderful attraction for animals, haven't they?

[Lady Maisie has to bring Spurrell up and introduce him: Captain Thicknesse chooses to consider himself dismissed.

[Pg 77]

Miss Spelw. (with shy adoration). Oh, Mr. Spurrell, I feel as if I must talk to you about Andromeda. I did so admire it!

Spurr. (to himself). Another of 'em! They seem uncommonly sweet on "bulls" in this house! (Aloud.) Very glad to hear you say so, I'm sure. I've seen nothing to touch her myself. I don't know if you noticed all her points——?

Miss Spelw. Indeed, I believe none of them were lost upon me; but my poor little praise must seem so worthless and ignorant!

Spurr. (indulgently). Oh, I wouldn't say that. I find some ladies very knowing about these things. I'm having a picture done of her.

Miss Spelw. Are you really? How delightful! As a frontispiece?

Spurr. Eh? Oh no—full length, and sideways—so as to show her legs, you know.

Miss Spelw. Her legs? Oh, of course—with "her roseal toes cramped." I thought that such a wonderful touch!

Spurr. They're not more cramped than they ought to be; she never turned them in, you know!

Miss Spelw. (mystified). I didn't mean that. And now tell me—if it's not an indiscreet question—when do you expect there'll be another edition?

Spurr. (to himself). Another addition! She's cadging for a pup now! (Aloud.) Oh—er—really—couldn't say.

Miss Spelw. I'm sure the first must be disposed of by this time. I shall look out for the next so eagerly!

Spurr. (to himself). Time I "off"ed it. (Aloud.) Afraid I can't say anything definite—and, excuse me leaving you, but I think Lady Culverin is looking my way.

Miss Spelw. Oh, by all means! (To herself.) I might as well praise a pillar-post! And after spending quite half an hour reading him up, too! I wonder if Bertie Pilliner was right; but I shall have him all to myself at dinner.

Lady Cant. And where is Rupert? too busy of course to come and say a word! Well, some day he may understand what a sister is—when it's too late. Ah, here's our nice unassuming young poet coming up to talk to you. Don't repel him, my dear!

Spurr. (to himself). Better give her the chance of telling me what's wrong with the horse, I suppose. (Aloud.) Er—nice old-fashioned sort of house this, Lady Culverin. (To himself.) I'll work round to the stabling presently.

Lady Culv. (coldly). I believe it dates from the Tudors—if that is what you mean.

Lady Cant. My dear Albinia, I quite understand him; "old-fashioned" is exactly the epithet. And I was born and brought up here, so perhaps I should know.

[A footman enters, and comes up to Spurrell mysteriously.

Footman. Will you let me have your keys, if you please, Sir?

Spurr. (in some alarm). My keys! (Suspiciously.) Why, what do you want them for?

Lady Cant. (in a whisper). Isn't he deliciously unsophisticated? Quite a child of nature! (Aloud.) My dear Mr. Spurrell, he wants your keys to unlock your portmanteau and put out your things; you'll be able to dress for dinner all the quicker.

Spurr. Do you mean—am I to have the honour of sitting down with all of you?

Lady Culv. (to herself). Oh, my goodness, what will Rupert say? (Aloud.) Why, of course, Mr. Spurrell; how can you ask?

Spurr. (feebly). I—I didn't know, that was all. (To Footman). Here you are, then. (To himself.) Put out my things? he'll find nothing to put out except a nightgown, sponge bag, and a couple of brushes! If I'd only known I should be let in for this, I'd have brought dress-clothes. But how could I? I—I wonder if it would be any good telling 'em quietly how it is. I shouldn't like 'em to think I hadn't got any. (He looks at Lady Cantire and her sister-in-law, who are talking in an undertone.) No, perhaps I'd better let it alone. I—I can allude to it in a joky sort of way when I come down!


(By Our Dyspeptic Poet.)

When the doctor's stern decree
Rings the knell of libertee,
And dismisses from my sight
All the dishes that delight;
When my temperature is high—
When to pastry and to pie
Duty bids me say farewell,
Then I hail thy fragrant smell!

When the doctor shakes his head,
Banning wine or white or red,
And at all my well-loved joints
Disapproving finger points;
When my poultry too he stops,
Then, reduced to taking "slops,"
I, for solace and relief,
Fly to thee, O Tea of Beef!

But—if simple truth I tell—
I can brook thee none too well;
Thy delights, O Bovine Tea,
Have no special charm for me!
Though thou comest piping hot,
Oh, believe I love thee not!
Weary of thy gentle reign—
Give me oysters and champagne!


["Fry of Wadham," illustrious all-round athlete of Oxford, holds that Golf is no better than "glorified Croquet."]

Oh, Fry of Wadham, you've opened your mouth,
And "put your foot in it!" Here in the South,
Talked to death by wild golfers, we're likely to cry
Hooray, to see Link-lovers roasted by Fry.
Golf-glorification's a terrible tax on
The muscular Cricketing, Footballing Saxon,
To whom the game seems just a little bit pokey.
But Fry of Wadham, Sir, "glorified Croquet"!
Champion of Champions, you're going to catch it!
Each man loves his sport, swears no other can match it
Chacun à son goût! And he's rather to blame
Who's prompt to make game of another man's Game!


Dear Mr. Punch,—Thanks to the action of the Circulating Libraries, it seems that the old-fashioned three-volume novel is doomed to become a work of the past. Most of the popular writers have abandoned it, and now the publishers are beginning to fight shy of it. The principal argument, I believe, in favour of its retention is that it gives a chance to "the little read." The Circulating Libraries are called upon to fill boxes intended for the edification of subscribers in the country, and in these receptacles of light literature I believe the unpopular authors have their greatest chance. But as a matter of fact, although a romance may be sent to a peruser, it is not within the scope of civilisation to cause that romance to be read. According to statistics I believe about sixty per cent of the second and third rate is only sampled by the recipients of the aforesaid boxes. The last couple of pages of the third volume are largely read, whilst the remainder of the work is saved from the labours of the paper-knife. As this is so, would it not be as well to give a "common form" finale to serve as a model for novels in extremis? To make my meaning plainer I will give an example.


Let me suppose that the country subscriber has received a novel per parcels post called The Deed in Drab. Instead of having to cut some nine hundred pages, he finds gummed to the inside of the cover what I may call

The Last Chapter.

And so amidst the joy bells of the old church and the songs of the nightingales, and the pleasant laughter of the little children, Edwin and Angelina were married. As they passed under the oaken porch the Duke gave them his blessing. Need it be said they lived happily—like a prince and a princess in fairy tale—for ever after?

Captain Montmorency Guilt, kicked out of his club and warned off the Turf at Newmarket, left England with his ill-gotten gains for Cairo. Arrived in Egypt, he disappeared into the Soudan. Those of the Arabs who came from the desert declare that there is a white ruler in Khartoum. Whether it be he, who knows? Still, the stories of cruelty brought back by the swarthy traders are not unsuggestive of the man who brought poor Pauline to her grave and broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.

Edward Watts did marry Mary Beetles, and they are now doing well at Little Pannington. The village all-sorts shop has grown into a "Stores," and those who are in the know say that at a near date it will be converted into a "Company, Limited." Be this as it may, Edward and Mary drive to chapel in their own gig.

And what became of Paul Peterson? Overwhelmed with the secret sorrow that could never be shared by another, he went his way to the wilds of Australia. And there, under the starlight influence of the Southern Cross, and amidst the glorious glaciers of the Boomerang Mountains, he tries to forget the terrible and half-forgiven details of the "Deed in Drab."

The End.

There, Sir, you have the ending of ninety-nine novels out of a possible hundred. In the hands of an experienced writer the sentences might be so adapted as to meet the requirements of the book completing the century. Surely the suggestion is worthy of the attention of a Mudie, and the consideration of a W. H. Smith.

Yours faithfully,Multum in Parvo.

[Pg 78]



Mr. "And how old are you, dear Child?"

Little Miss. "I should like to say I'm eight—but Mamma won't let me!"


An Ode to the Dutch Cricketers.

Air—"Ye Mariners of England."


Ye Gentlemen of Holland
That guard your native stumps,
Ye come to bat on wickets damp,
And block the ball that bumps.
The "glorious game" you play amain,
And may you match the foe;
And smite left and right,
While the balls for "boundaries" go;
While your batsmen run 'em fast and long,
And the balls for "boundaries" go!


The spirits of your fathers
Should watch you from the wave!—
The brine, it was their field of fame;
On turf you're just as brave.
As Van Tromp's and De Ruyter's did
Your manly breasts must glow
As you smite left and right,
While the balls for "boundaries" go;
Whilst the batsmen run 'em fast and long,
And the balls for "boundaries" go!


Britannia loves to encounter
Her ancient foes—in peace.
Our march is to the wickets green,
Our home is at the crease.
With volleys from her native wood
She meets the friendly foe,
As they smite left and right,
And the balls for "boundaries" go;
While the batsmen run 'em fast and long,
And the balls for "boundaries" go!


The willows of old England,
Dutch willows shall not spurn!
Your team we'll cheer when they depart,
We'll welcome their return!
Then, then ye willow-warriors,
Our song and feast shall flow
To the fame of your name,
When to Holland back ye go;
When the shout "How's that?" is heard no more,
And to Dutchland back ye go!


Or, The Wilful Markee.

["The House of Lords, for some reason, always assumes special care of Ireland, a fact which may account for a few of the curiosities of Irish political and domestic economy."—Mr. Punch's Essence of Parliament, June 3, 1861.]

Air—"Widow Machree."

Wilful Markee, it's loike thunder ye frown,
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
Faith ye'd plase yer proud Parthy by kicking me down,
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
How haughty your air,
As you kick me down-stair!
Faix, I wondher ye dare
In this oisle of the free!
Och, ye autocrat churl,
Me poor head's in a whirl.
Ochone! Wilful Markee!

Wilful Markee, Oireland's chance is now come,
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
Whin everything smoiles must the Tories look glum?
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
Sure the Commons, wid prayers,
Have sint me upstairs;
Who is it that dares
Wid me form disagree?
Don't haughtily pish
At ould Oireland's last wish!
Ochone! Wilful Markee!

Wilful Markee, whin a Bill enters in.
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
To be kicking it out in this stoyle is a sin.
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
Surely hammer and tongs
To bad ould days belongs;
Far betther sing songs
Full of family glee.
Oireland's bad bitter cup
Do not harshly fill up,
Ochone! Wilful Markee!

And do ye not know wid yer bearing so bould,—
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
How ye're kaping the poor tinants out in the could?
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
Wid such sins on your head,
Sure your peace will be fled;
Could you slape in your bed
Widout thinking to see
My ghost or my sprite
That will wake ye each night
Groaning Ochone! Wilful Markee!

Then take my advice haughty Wilful Markee,
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
And loike "Compensation Bill" do not trate me!
Ochone! Wilful Markee!
Of stroife we all tire,
Then why stir the ould fire?
Sure hope is no liar
In whisperin' to me,
Hate's ould ghost will depart
When you win Oireland's heart!
Ochone! Wilful Markee!

[Pg 79]



[Pg 80]   [Pg 81]




(Per favour of Mr. Punch.)

Mr. Punch. So you've not been signalling to Mother Earth, after all, my noble Warrior?

Mars (with a wink). What do you think? Why should I dig canals 100 miles wide, and 2,000 miles long, or build bonfires as big as Scotland, when I can always communicate what I may have to say through you?

Because Mars looks spotty or misty,
Some dreamers, with intellects twisty,
Imagine, old horse,
Mars is playing at Morse!
All bosh! You ask Dyson or Christie.

Mr. Punch. Mr. Maunder "has you under his special charge," hasn't he?

Mars. Much obliged to Mr. Maunder, I'm sure! Wants to take my photo, doesn't he? As if I were a mere politician, a popular comedian, or 'Arriet at the seaside on a Bank Holiday!

Mr. Punch. Have you any Bank Holidays in your planet?

Mars. Thank Sol, Mr. Punch, we have outlived the epoch of taking our pleasure in spasms, like your cockney victims of the vulgar voluptuary's St. Vitus's dance!

Mr. Punch. Don't be uppish, old man! 'Tis an ill-bred age of Kodaks, and Interviews, and other phases of popular Paul Pryism. But you've had your ignominious moments, Mars. If a "snap-shot" could have been taken at you when held prostrate, chained, and captive, at the feet of Otus and Ephialtes, or, still worse, when caught with Venus in the iron net of Vulcan:—

All heaven beholds, imprison'd as they lie,
And unextinguish'd laughter shakes the sky.

Mars. Spare me, excellent Punch. Eugh! Thank heaven Olympus knew no Kodaks then, or "the gay Apollo" would yet longer have had the laugh of me.

Mr. Punch. Pardon me for awaking unpleasant memories! But even gods should not be bumptious, especially when, like the Second Mrs. Tanqueray, they "have a past."

Mars. Well, anyhow I've been able to baffle the camera-wielders up to now. My ruddy countenance and "bluish radiance" have beaten Greenwich, and even licked the Lick! As they themselves admit, "Mars up to the present has defied cameral detection."

Mr. Punch. But what about those "bright spots"?

Mars. Have you no "bright spots" even on your dull and foggy old planet? I have often noticed one at 85, Fleet Street. In June and December it emits thousands of brilliant sparks of a "bluish radiance," too. But I don't jump to the conclusion that you are "signalling" to me. Look, the naked eye can see the Punchian "projection lumineuse" even from here!

Mr. Punch. I do not have to "signal" my messages to "Hellas" or "Lockyer's Land" by canals or "ten million arc lights of 100,000 candle-power apiece." Like the Sun, I am self-luminous, and do not, like the finest planets, shine by reflected light.

Mars. True for you. And from your own intellectual observatory, like Teufelsdroeckh "alone with the stars," you ofttimes scan the heavens when, as Longfellow says:—

"——the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars."

Mr. Punch. Precisely!

[Murmurs musingly.

And earnest thoughts within me rise
When I behold afar,
Suspended in the evening skies
The shield of that red star.

A star of strength! I see thee stand
And smile upon my pain;
Thou beckonest with thy mailéd hand,
And I am strong again.

The star of the unconquered will
He rises in my breast.
Serene, and resolute and still,
And calm, and self-possessed.

Mars. Ah yes! that's all very pretty and poetical, and I'm much obliged to Henry Wadsworth and the other bards who have lyrically glorified me. But Punch, old man, you and I know better! Mother Earth has ever paid, and payeth still, far too much worship to Mars—the Mars of her own militant fancy. To tell you the truth, Punch, I'm sick of my old métier, especially since Science stepped in and bedevilled it past bearing with her big guns, and dynamite-bombs, and treacherous torpedoes; weapons more fit for grubby Vulcan's subterranean Cyclops than a god, a gentleman and a soldier like me.

Mr. Punch. Hoho! That's the way the (Lockyer's) land lies, eh?

Mars. Exactly, I wasn't signalling to your stupid, conservative, bellicose old world, which, like the Bourbons, learns nothing and forgets nothing. Could I write in plain Titanic capitals across a thousand square miles of my smoothest surface Mars's Straight Tip to Mother Earth, viz.:—


what effect would it have on any of you, from civilised England, with you to enlighten it, to the furious fighting dragons who are tearing each other in the eastern seas? None! But if any of your quidnuncs really want to know what I would say if I did signal, tell them old Mars, grown wiser, has turned up War; has nailed his raven to a barn-door as a warning; has made a pet of Peace's soft-plumed dove; and strongly advises the belligerent boobies on earth who take his old name in vain, and play his abandoned game still, to—go and do likewise!!!

Mr. Punch. By the cestus of Venus, and so I will!!! [Pg 82]


(By a Sympathetic, but Superficial Observer.)

Oh! the hardest of hearts some compassion must feel
For that modern Ixion, the Man on the Wheel!
See him scouring the roads on his spindly-spoked spider,
Dust-hid till you scarce tell the "bike" from its rider;
His abdomen shrunken, his shoulders up-humped,
With the gaping parched lips of one awfully pumped.
Could a camel condemned to the treadmill look worse?
Sure those lips, could he close them, would shape to a curse
On his horrible doom! As I gaze and stand by,
With a pang at my heart, and a tear in my eye,
I think of Ixion, the Wandering Jew,
That Cork-leggèd Dutchman—the Flying One, too,
And other poor victims of pitiless speed;
And I own, while their cases were frightful indeed,
The Bicyclist's fate is the worser by far.
Poor soul!!! The small "pub," and a "pull" at the "bar,"
Appear your best comfort. Imagine the cheer
Of a slave of the "bike" whose sole solace is beer!
You can't see the prospect; your eyes are cast down
Like Bunyan's Muck-raker; your brows in a frown
Of purposeless effort are woefully knit;
Of Nature's best charms you perceive not a bit.
The hedge your horizon, the long, dusty road
Is your sole point of sight. Wretched victim, what goad
Of Fate, or sheer folly, thus urges you on?
Old torments—like poor Io's gadfly—are gone,
And yet, like Orestes, the Fury-whipped, you
Wheel on, as some comet wheels on through the blue
In billion-leagued cycles less dreary than is
The cycle on which round the wide world you whiz!
Eh? Cutting a record? You like it? The goose!!!
A task without pleasure, a toil without use!
Poor soul! You are worse than Ixion, I feel,
For he was not tied by himself to the wheel!



"What a stupid Paper this is, Robert! Not a word about You in it!"

The Plaint of the Unwilling Peer.

From my M.P.'s seat I—oh, the pity!—must move.
I am one of Rank's sorrowful heirs;
For the Commons Fate bids me dissemble my love,
But why did she kick me upstairs?

On Tick.—The Modern Novel is a blend of the Erotic, the Neurotic, and the Tommy-rotic.



Antwerp—if you are not tired of Exhibitions.
Boulogne—if you don't mind the mud of the port.
Cologne—if you are not particular about the comfort of your nose.
Dieppe—if you like bathing in the foreign fashion.
Etretat—if solitude has commanding charms.
Florence—if you are partial to 100° in the shade.
Genoa—if you have no objection to mosquitoes.
Heidelberg—if you are not tired of the everlasting castle.
Interlacken—if the Jungfrau has the advantage of novelty.
Java—if you wish to eat its jelly on the spot.
Kandahar—if you are not afraid of Afghan treachery.
Lyons—if you are fond of riots and émeutes.
Marseilles—if you are determined to do the Château D'If.
Naples—if you are anxious to perform an ante-mortem duty.
Ouchy—if you like it better than Lausanne.
Paris—if you have not been there for at least a fortnight.
Quebec—if you are qualifying for admission to a lunatic asylum.
Rome—if you have never had the local fever and want to try it.
Strasbourg—if you are hard up for an appropriate destination.
Turin—if it is the only town you have not seen in Italy.
Uig—if you affect the Isle of Skye in a thunder-storm.
Venice—if you scorn stings and evil odours.
Wiesbaden—if you can enjoy scenery minus gambling.
Yokohama—if you are willing to risk assault and battery.
Zurich—if you can think of no other place to visit.

N.B.—The above places are where to go on the keep-moving-tourist plan. But when you want to know "Where to Stay,"—we reply, "At Home."


(To be Translated as Required.)

Why have you thrown my boxes down with such violence that their contents have become distributed on the platform?

Why is it necessary to strike me on the head with a stick because I am taking my proper place at the ticket-office?


Why have you refused to give me change for a sovereign, minus the eighteenpence you have the right to charge for my fare?

Why do you close the door of communication when I offer a remonstrance?

Why can I not obtain redress upon complaint to the station-master?

Why am I chased off the premises by a private policeman when I am anxious to catch the next train?

Why is my luggage being placarded with places that certainly do not correspond with my desired destination?

Why can I not have my tea cool enough to drink? and why I am hurried out of the refreshment-room before I can discuss my bread and butter?

Why must I pay half-a-crown for comestibles valued on the card at less than a shilling?

Why am I forced into a carriage already overcrowded with aged females, sickly children, and snarling spaniels?

Why can I not have a seat, considering I have paid the full fare, and amply tipped the guard?

Why can I not have a window open, considering that the glass stands at ninety in the shade?

Why can I not smoke, having chosen a smoking carriage?

Why should I be dictated to by a disagreeable and elderly stranger, who snores half the journey, and helps herself to ardent spirits in the tunnels?

Why should I be threatened with imprisonment, and be only pardoned by repaying my fare because I have lost my ticket?

And, lastly (for the present), why have I been carried to Little Peddlington-on-the-Ditch when I desired to reach the British Coast en route for Paris? [Pg 83]


III.—The Rime of the Ancient Sawbath-Breaker.

(Being a Record of the 12th.)

It was an ancient poacher-man,
Bronzed as a penny-bun;—
"By thy beady eye, now tell me why,
Thou offspring of a gun,

O tell me why beneath thy
Exceeding hoary tuft
Precisely half a brace of grouse chin's
Hangs, admirably stuffed?"

He blinked his beady eye; his voice
Was singularly clear;
And as I listened to his tale
I could not choose but hear.

"Mon, ye mun ken I have not aye
Been sec a feckless loon;
In me behold the wreck of what
Was once The McAroon.

Oft have I made a merrie bag
Across my native heath;
Shot o'er my ain ancestral dawgs
Or aiblins underneath.

Until lang syne, a monie year—
Ye couldna weel be born—
The blessed twalfth of August fell
Upon a Sawbath morn.

Braw were the birds, my gun was braw,
My bluid was pipin' hot;
I thocht it crime to gie 'em time—
Allowance like a yacht.

Scarce had I bagged but ane wee bird,
There was the de'il to pay:
It's unco deadly skaith wi' Scots
To break the Sawbath day.

The billies wha the nicht before
Were fou at my expense,
They deaved the meenister aboot
My verra bad offence.

An' a' the Kirk declared the work
Was perfect deevilrie,
An' hung the bird by this absurd
Arrangement whilk ye see.

Twal' month an' mair my shame I bear
Beneath the curse o' noon,
A paltry wraith of what was once
The Laird o' McAroon.

An' aye when fa's the blessed twalfth
Upo' the Sawbath day,
I bear the bird in this absurd
An' aggravatin' way."

The ancient ceased his sorry tale,
And craved a trifling boon,
To wet the whistle of what was once
The Laird o' McAroon.



Emily Jane. "Yes, I'm always a-sayin' to Father as 'e oughter retire from the Crossin', but keep at it 'e will, though it ain't just no more 'n the Broom as 'olds 'im up!"

Ditto to Mr. Courtney.

As after jackdaw chatter and owl-hooting,
Gratefully follows Philomel's dulcet fluting;
So, after Hanbury'S gibes and Healy's jeers,
Courtney's cool reason gladdens patriot ears.
O, si sic omnes! But though his sole voice
Sound "in the wilderness," yet some rejoice
To hear, 'midst blare of venomed wrath and vanity,
The moving tones of brave, sound-hearted sanity.


(By Our Imaginary Interviewer.)

I found The great man surrounded by plans and models of any number of wonderful inventions. Here was a clever scheme for spending a week's holiday in the Mountains of the Moon, there a recipe for removing the spots from the face of the sun. It would take too long to give an inventory of all the marvels. Enough to say their name was legion.

"And so you have discovered the secret of aërial navigation?" I asked, after I was comfortably seated.

The great man smiled. He evidently had solved the difficult problem.

"I suppose that now you and all will be able to do without ships and railways? I presume we shall be independent of cabs and omnibuses?"


Once more there was a smile. I was answered. "Of course," I continued, "you will be able to take your aërial contrivances to all the countries of the earth? What is there to prevent you from starting flying-machines from London to Paris, or Berlin, or even Timbuctoo?" Again there was a pleasant smile. Evidently my guess was a good one.

"You will be able to travel thousands of miles without the assistance of rails? You will dispense with land and water? All you will require will be the atmosphere, and that is always with us—always at our service."

Again my suggestions remained uncontradicted.

"It is truly marvellous," I remarked; "truly marvellous! And you have commenced? You have been able to float through the air for a dozen, a hundred feet?" There was a smile once again.

"And yet, perhaps, as railways and steamships are still 'firm' on the Stock Exchange, it may be just as well to allow our holdings in those securities to remain undisturbed? What do you think? It is scarcely time to speculate for a fall?" Once more he smiled, and as smiling is infectious, I joined him in his merriment.


[At Clifton, on Aug. 9, in Gloucestershire v. Middlesex, Dr. W. G. Grace completed his 1000 runs in first-class matches this summer. The other players who share this distinction are Abel, Albert Ward, and Brockwell.]

Well hit! Mr. Punch chalks it up once more—
Your ten-hundredth run between the "creases"!
Why, this (at twenty-two yards apiece) is
Twelve-miles-and-a half for this season's score!

But stay! we've no business to "notch" each mile!
With your cuts and draws, and your drives and trick hits,
You've only to stand still before the wickets,
And straight to the boundary "fours" compile!

With Abel, Ward, Brockwell, you hold your own,
As '94 cricket now nears its finish;
We'll hope your four figures will ne'er diminish—
As "Grand Old Bat" you shall e'er be known!

QUEER QUERIES.—The Law and the Lady.—Can it really be true that at a place called Onehunga, in New Zealand, they have a lady as Mayor? Surely this is altogether "ultra vires," as well as being ultra-virile! My legal knowledge—which is considerable—convinces me that there is a fatal flaw in the so-called election of a woman to the chief post in a municipality, even in New Sheland—I mean New Zealand. It's quite settled law that a femme sole cannot be a Corporation; then how, I should like to know, can she preside over a Corporation? Possibly some legal readers will say if their opinion coincides with mine.

Barrister (uncalled for).

[Pg 84]



House of Lords, Monday Night, August 6.Markiss expected to continue to-night that speech around the Budget he didn't commence on second reading of the Bill. Sat mysteriously quiet on that occasion. Unexpectedly broke out at following sitting, wanting to know what Herschell meant by saying Judicial Committee of Privy Council had arrived at conclusion that Lords had no power to amend a money bill. "Where's your report?" he asked. "Produce it."


The Macgregor proposes to "toss the Caber"—next Session!

Lord Chancellor didn't happen to have it in his waistcoat pocket or secreted in wig. Markiss gave notice that he would to-night formally move for production of report. Flutter of interest in House. Commons flocked in prepared for some fresh "blazing indiscretion." Found the Markiss sitting on woolsack chatting with Lord Chancellor. Held book between them, as young persons about to marry are wont to do when attending morning or evening service. Vague idea that presently they would rise and sing a hymn. Lord Chancellor quite equal to it, being a big gun at the Bar Musical Society and very fond of the Opera. Nothing however came of it, at least, not in that direction. When hour for public business arrived Markiss left woolsack carrying the tune book with him. His motion for report of Judicial Committee stood half way down Orders of the Day. When it was reached Markiss said nothing. Naturally other peers were silent, and whilst commoners accustomed to other ways of transacting business were marvelling as to what had happened, and what would follow, House adjourned, practically for a week.

"Well," said Sark for once nonplussed; "certainly if there is a place in the world where 'e don't know where 'e are, it's the House of Lords. When a peer is expected to speak he sits dumb. When arrangements have been made for a quiet sitting, the Markiss or some other big gun is sure to go off unexpectedly with alarming consequences."

Business done.—Irish Evicted Tenants Bill passed Report Stage in Commons.

Tuesday.—It is the unexpected that happens in the House of Commons. Befel to-night with dramatic suddenness. Third reading of Evicted Tenants Bill moved. At eleven o'clock Joseph resumed his seat with pleased consciousness of having cast some balm, in the shape of vitriol, over Irish Question. House crowded; Devonshire, in depression and dinner dress, looked down from Peers' Gallery. Over the clock sat Sandhurst, presently to move first reading of Bill in House of Lords. Arranged Bill should finally leave Commons to-night. Only one hour in which Prince Arthur might speak, and John Morley reply. Joseph having despatched his final arrow at his old friends the Irish Members, the shaft being barbed with points composing pleasing legend, "Violence, Agitation, Dishonesty," Prince Arthur rose, with evident intent of showing, as has happened several times this Session, how the same sort of thing may be said with better effect in quite another way.

Simultaneously from below gangway uprose the tall figure of John Dillon. Opposition roared with despairing indignation. Everything settled, to last button on the gaiter; Joseph had had his half-hour; Prince Arthur would take his, honourably leaving John Morley his thirty minutes. Then Division called; Bill read third time; sent on to Lords; Commons comfortably home by half-past twelve. And here was John Dillon claiming the right to reply to attacks and inuendos of the genial Joseph!

Tumult rose; Dillon folded his arms and faced it. A bad sign that gesture. Remember it in years gone by, when all things were topsy-turvey; when Forster was Chief Secretary, and, next to Parnell, the hope of the Irish Members fighting for Home Rule was Joseph Chamberlain.

Dillon in that attitude evidently immoveable; various suggestions offered. Evade the Twelve o'Clock Rule, and sit till all was over; adjourn the Debate. Finally agreed that Debate should be adjourned till to-morrow—to-morrow, the day on which, at end of last real fight of Session, most Members were off on the delayed holiday.

Out of this dilemma Prince Arthur delivered a grateful House. Had prepared his speech through long sitting; doubtless had many bright things to say; but what was one speech among so many? Perish his speech, rather than the whole arrangements of Parliamentary week be upset. So gracefully stood aside; Dillon took his half hour; John Morley followed in vigorous fighting form, marking fresh step in steady improvement as Parliamentary debater; and before midnight all was over.

Business done.—Evicted Tenants Bill read third time by 199 votes against 167.

Wednesday.—M. de Londres—the Hangman, as blunt Britons put it—called to-day. House engaged on Committee of Equalisation of Rates Bill; seat found for Monsieur under Gallery, where private secretaries of ministers and heads of public offices sit when Bills affecting their departments are under discussion.

"Monsieur has something to do with the Home Office, n'est ce pas?" I asked Sark. "Looked in, I suppose, to help Asquith?"

"No," said the Member for Sark. "It's not that. He's heard House intends to suspend the Standing Orders. Wants to see how we go to work. Not above taking a wrinkle even from amateurs."

"Ah," said W. P. Jackson, throwing up his hands with gesture of despair. "Knew it would come to this under present Government. First the guillotine, then the gallows."

Business done.—Quite a lot.

Thursday.—Southerners long heard of pleasurable hours spent in Committee-room upstairs, where Scotch Members been engaged for weeks in Grand Committee on their Local Government Bill. Such badinage! such persiflage! not omitting refreshing influences of another kind familiar in Noctes Ambrosianæ. 'Tis said, when conversation flagged quite usual thing for J. B. Balfour and Charles Pearson to strip off coats and waistcoats, place two umbrellas crosswise on floor, and go through sword-dance, Trevelyan in the chair leading off colourable imitation of bagpipe accompaniment, in which Committee joined in mad chorus.

Not sure about that. Absolutely no doubt that on last day of meeting all the members stood on chairs, with one foot on the table, and, holding hands, sang "Auld Lang Syne." Bound to say they seem to have exhausted all their hilarity in Committee-room. Parker Smith still a good deal to say; Hozier not uncommunicative; and Walter M'Laren enjoys keen satisfaction of insisting on Division that presents smallest minority of the series. But, on the whole, House seems filled with what Sark tell me Edinburgh, occasionally suffering from the visitation, calls "an easterly haar."

Through the cold, wet, white fog, comes one gleam of light. John Morley brings in a Bill making further provision with respect to Irish Congested Districts Board. Speaker puts customary question, "Who is prepared to bring in this Bill?" "Mr. Arthur Balfour and myself," responds the Chief Secretary; and the House gratefully goes off into a fit of laughter.

"Lovely in life," exclaims David Plunket, looking with almost equal affection on his two right hon. friends, "on the Congested Districts Board (Ireland) Bill they are not divided."

Business done.—Scotch Local Government Bill.

Friday.—Another "Nicht wi' Burns." Sadder even than the last. But sooner over. By eleven o'clock report stage agreed to. "Shall we take third reading now, or would you like a third night with the Bill?" asked Trevelyan.

A shudder ran through the House; when it was over Bill hurried past final stage.

Business done.—Winding-up rapidly.


"There is nothing new under the sun."
So said the proverbial preacher.
But surely 'twas only his fun!
A modern and up-to-date teacher
Would tell him that Humour, and Art,
And Daughters, and Wives, and Morality,
All aim to make a fresh start
In novel (and nauseous) reality;
And the wail of the Wise Man will be, pretty soon,
"There is nothing old under the sun—or the moon!"

Transcriber's Note:

Alternative spellings retained.

Punctuation normalized without comment.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume
107, August 18, 1894, by Various


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