The Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari Volume 107,
August 25, 1894, by Various

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari Volume 107, August 25, 1894

Author: Various

Editor: Francis Burnand

Release Date: July 24, 2014 [EBook #46395]

Language: English

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cover

85

Punch, or the London Charivari
Volume 107, August 25, 1894
edited by Sir Francis Burnand


TO A SURREY HOSTESS.

(A Parodic Vote of Thanks to a Town Matron, who took a House in the Country.)

Illustration
Lady Clara Shere de Shere
,
Through me you now shall win renown;
It nearly broke my country heart
To come back to the dusty town.
In kindliest way, you bade me stay
And nothing better I desired,
But Duty with a great big D
Called far too loud, and I retired.
Lady Clara Shere de Shere
I wonder if you'll like your name!
Oh! how you all began to chaff
And laugh the moment that I came.
Yet would I take more for the sake
Of your dear daughter's girlish charms.
A simple maiden not yet four
Is good to take up in one's arms.
Lady Clara Shere de Shere,
Some newer pupil you must find,
Who, when you pile his plate sky-high,
Will meekly say he does not mind.
You sought to beat my power to eat,
An empty plate was my reply.
The cat you left in Grosvenor Square
Is not more hungry now than I.
Lady Clara Shere de Shere,
You sometimes took a mother's view,
And feared lest winsome Dorothy
Should learn too much from me—or you.
Indeed I heard one bitter word
That scarce were fit for her to hear;
Our language had not that repose
Which rightly fits a Shere de Shere.
Lady Clara Shere de Shere,
The marriage bells rang for the Hall.
The flags were flying at your door;
You spoke of them with curious gall.
How you decried the pretty bride
And swore her dresses weren't by Worth,
And gaily went to church to stare
At her of far too noble birth.
Trust me, Clara Shere de Shere,
The man I saw who's rather bent,
The grand old gardener at your house
Prefers the bride of high descent.
Howe'er that be, it seems to me
'Tis all important what one eats.
Milk pudding's more than caviare,
And simple food than coloured sweets.
Clara, Clara Shere de Shere,
If time be heavy on your hands,
And there are none within your reach
To play at tennis on your lands,
Oh! see the tennis court is marked,
And take care that it doesn't rain,
Then stay at Shere another month
And ask me down to stay again.

A VOICE FROM "THE UPPER SUCKLES."

My Good Mr. Punch,—I notice that in spite of all London being out of town, a number of persons have been holding, or propose holding, a meeting condemnatory of the House of Lords. I fancy, regardless of the close of the season, the site chosen has been or will be Hyde Park. Perhaps, under these circumstances, you, as the representative of the nation—equally of the aristocracy and the democracy—will allow me a few lines' space in which to express my sentiments.

My good Sir, I am considerably past middle age, and yet, man and boy, have been in the House of Peers quite half-a-dozen years. I cannot say that I was added to the number of my colleagues because I was an eminent lawyer, or a successful general, or a great statesman. I believe my claim to the distinction that was conferred upon me,—now many summers since,—was the very considerable services I was able to afford that most useful industry the paper decoration of what may be aptly termed "the wooden walls of London." When called upon to select an appropriate territorial title, I selected, without hesitation, the Barony of Savon de Soapleigh. Savon is a word of French extraction, and denotes the Norman origin of my illustrious race. Not only was I able to assist at the regeneration of the "great unwashed," but also to do considerable service to the grand cause with which my party in politics is honourably associated. I was able to contribute a very large sum to the election purse, and having fought and lost several important constituencies, was amply rewarded by the coronet that becomes me so well, the more especially when displayed upon the panels of my carriage.

You will ask me, no doubt (for this is an age of questions), what I have done since I entered the Upper Chamber? I will reply that I have secured a page in Burke, abstained from voting, except to oblige the party whips, and, before all and above all, pleased my lady wife. And yet there are those who would wish to abolish the House of Peers! There are those who would do away with our ancient nobility! Perish the thought! for in the House of Peers I see the reflection of the nation's greatness.

But you may ask me, "Would I do anything to improve that Chamber?" And I would answer, "Yes." I would say, "Do not increase its numbers; it is already large enough."

It is common knowledge that a gentleman of semi-medicinal reputation, who has been as beneficial, or nearly as beneficial, to the proprietors of hoardings as myself, wishes to be created Viscount Cough of Mixture. Yet another of the same class desires to be known to generations yet unborn as Lord Tobacco of Cigarettes; whilst a third, on account of the attention he has paid to the "understandings" (pardon the plaisanterie) of the people, is anxious to figure on the roll of honour as "Baron de Boots."

My good Mr. Punch, such an extension of the House of Peers merely for the satisfaction of the vanity of a number of vulgar and puffing men would be a scandal to our civilisation. No, my good Sir, our noble order is large enough. I am satisfied that it should not be extended, and when I am satisfied the opinions of every one else are (and here I take a simile from an industry that has given me my wealth) "merely bubbles—bubbles of soap."

And now I sign myself, not as of old, plain Joe Snooks, but Yours very faithfully,

Savon de Soapleigh.

P.S.—I am sure my long line of ancestors would agree with me. When that long line is discovered you shall hear the result.


BYGONES.

The midsummer twilight is dying,
The golden is turning to gray,
And my troublesome thoughts are a-flying
To the days that have vanished away,
When life had no crosses for me, love,
But Proctors and  bulldogs and dons,
And I used to write sonnets to thee, love,
In the dreamy old garden of John's.
By Jove! What a time we just had, love,
That week you were up for Commem.!
The dances and picnics—egad, love,
How strange to be thinking of them!
How we laughed at the dusty old doctors,
And the Vice with his gorgeous gold gown,
And you thought it a shame that the Proctors
Were constantly sending me down.
We danced and we dined and we boated,
Did the lions all quite comme il faut,
And I felt a strange thrill when you voted
Old Johnnie's the best of the show.
I remember your eager delight, love,
With our garden and chapel and hall—
And oh, for that glorious night, love,
When we went to the Balliol ball!
There is very poor pleasure in dancing
In a stuffy hot ball-room in June—
And the Balliol lawn looked entrancing
In the silvery light of the moon.
I fancy the thought had occurred, love,
To somebody else besides me,
For I managed, with scarcely a word, love,
To get you to smile and agree.
We sat on the Balliol lawn, love,
And the hours flew as fast as you please,
Till the rosy-tipped fingers of dawn, love,
Crept over the Trinity trees.
A stranger might say he had never
Heard trash in a vapider key;
But no conversation has ever
Been half so delicious to me.
I seemed to be walking on air, love;
And oh, how I quivered when you
Snipped off a wee lock of your hair, love,
And said you were fond of me too.
I clasped it again and again, love,
To my breast with a passionate vow.
There ever since it has lain, love,
And there it is lying just now.
—But my heart gives a horrible thump, love,
I find myself gasping for air,
For my throat is choked up with a lump, love,
Which surely should never be there.
And I sadly bethink me that life, love,
Won't always run just as we will—
For you are another man's wife, love,
And I am a bachelor still.

Common (Gas) Metre.

"Light metres" there are many,
The lightest of the lot
Is what is called "the Penny-in-the-Slot!"

86 87


EMBARRAS DE RICHESSES.

["The Bank Return shows considerable additions to the reserve and the stock of bullion."—"Times," on "Money Market."]

Richer Old Lady you'll not meet,
Than this one, of Threadneedle Street.
Nicer Old Lady none, nor neater,
But, like the boy in Struwwelpeter,
That whilom chubby, ruddy lad,
The dear old dame looks sour and sad;
Nay, long time hath she seemed dejected,
And her once fancied fare rejected.
She screams out—"Take the gold away!
Oh, take the nasty stuff away!
I won't have any gold to-day."
This Dame, like DanaŽ of old
Has long been wooed in showers of gold,
By Jupiters of high finance;
But, sick of that cold sustenance,
Or surfeited, or cross, or ill,
The dear Old Lady cries out still—
"Not any gold for me, I say!
Oh, take the nasty stuff away!!
I won't have any more to-day!!!"
And on my word it is small wonder,
For in her spacious house, and under,
Of bullion she hath boundless store,
And scarcely can find room for more.
Filled every pocket, purse, safe, coffer,
And still the crowds crush round and offer
Their useless, troublesome deposits,
To cram her cupboards, choke her closets.
What marvel then that she should say—
"Oh, take the nasty stuff away!
I won't have any more to-day!!"
The poor Old Lady once felt pride as
A sort of modern Mrs. Midas;
For all she touches turns to gold
Within her all-embracing hold;
Gold solid as the golden leg
Of opulent Miss Kilmansegge,
But, like that lady, poor-rich, luckless,
She values now the yellow muck less,
Though once scraped up with assiduity,
Because of its sheer superfluity.
It blocks her way, it checks the breath of her;
She dreads lest it should be the death of her.
With bullion she could build a Babel,
So screams, as loud as she is able,—
"Not any more, good friends, I say!
For goodness gracious go away!!
I won't take any more to day!!!"
They beg, they pray, they strive to wheedle
The Old Lady of the Street Threadneedle.
The cry is still they come! they come!
Men worth a "million" or a "plum,"
The "goblin," or the "merry monk";
Constantly chinketh, chink-chank-chunk!
In "Gladstone" or in canvas bag;
But sourly she doth eye the "swag,"
Peevishly gathers round her skirt,
As though the gold were yellow dirt.
Crying, "Oh, get away now, do!
I'm really getting sick of you.
The proffered 'stuff' I must refuse;
I have far more than I can use.
I've no more need or wish for money
Than a surfeited bee for honey.
Money's a drug, a nauseous dose.
At cash the Market cocks its nose.
'Tis useless as the buried talent,
Or the half-crown to a poor pal lent;
As gilded oats to hungry nag.
Away with bulging purse and bag!
They are a bother and a pest.
I will not store, I can't invest.
With your 'old stocking' be content,
I can't afford you One per Cent.
Bullion's a burden and a bore.
I cannot do with any more!
Not any more for me, I say
Oh, take the nasty stuff away
I won't have any gold to-day!!!"

EMBARRAS DE RICHESSES.

The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. "Go away! Go away with your nasty Money! I can't do with any more of it!"


ON THE SAFE SIDE.

Brown. "By George, Jones, that's a handsome Umbrella! Where did you get it?"

Jones. "I decline to answer until I've consulted my Lawyer!"


THE NEW AIR.

(To an Old Tune.)

O Rayleigh now, this raelly strange is
This New Nitrogen!
Air that into water changes
Seem not new to men,
(All our atmosphere this summer
Has been "heavy wet,")
But sheer solid air seems rummer,
More Munchausenish yet!
New things now are awfully common;
And it seems but fair,
With New Humour, Art, and Woman,
We should have New Air.
"Lazy air," one calls it gaily;
Seasonable, very!
Will it quiet us, dear Rayleigh,
Soothe us, make us merry?
Still the flurry, cool the fever,
Calm the nervous stress?
If it be so, you for ever
Punch will praise and bless.
Will the New Air set—oh! grand Sir!—
Life to a new tune?
Lead us to a Lotos-Land, Sir,
Always afternoon?
One per cent. seems rather little!
Can't you make it more?
When 'tis solid is it brittle?
Liquid, does it pour?
Rayleigh? No? You don't say so!
What lots of funny things you know!

The Difference between a bad German Band and a beaten Cricket Team.—One fails to play in time and the other to "play out time." 88


LYRE AND LANCET.

(A Story in Scenes.)

PART VIII.—SURPRISES—AGREEABLE AND OTHERWISE.

Scene XIII.The Amber Boudoir. Sir Rupert has just entered.

Sir Rupert. Ha, Maisie, my dear, glad to see you. Well, Rohesia, how are you, eh? You're looking uncommonly well! No idea you were here!

Spurrell (to himself). Sir Rupert! He'll have me out of this pretty soon, I expect!

Lady Cantire (aggrieved). We have been in the house for the best part of an hour, Rupert—as you might have discovered by inquiring—but no doubt you preferred your comfort to welcoming a guest who was merely your sister!

Sir Rup. (to himself). Beginning already! (Aloud.) Very sorry—got rather wet riding—had to change everything. And I knew Albinia was here.

Lady Cant. (magnanimously). Well, we won't begin to quarrel the moment we meet; and you are forgetting your other guest. (In an undertone.) Mr. Spurrell—the Poet—wrote Andromeda. (Aloud.) Mr. Spurrell, come and let me present you to my brother.

Sir Rup. Ah, how d'ye do? (To himself, as he shakes hands.) What the deuce am I to say to this fellow? (Aloud.) Glad to see you here, Mr. Spurrell—heard all about you—Andromeda, eh? Hope you'll manage to amuse yourself while you're with us; afraid there's not much you can do now though.

Spurr. (to himself). Horse in a bad way; time they let me see it. (Aloud.) Well, we must see, Sir; I'll do all I can.

Sir Rup. You see, the shooting's done now.

Spurr. (to himself, professionally piqued). They might have waited till I'd seen the horse before they shot him! After calling me in like this! (Aloud.) Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, Sir Rupert. I wish I could have got here earlier, I'm sure.

Sir Rup. Wish we'd asked you a month ago, if you're fond of shooting. Thought you might look down on Sport, perhaps.

Spurr. (to himself). Sport? Why, he's talking of birds—not the horse! (Aloud.) Me, Sir Rupert? Not much! I'm as keen on a day's gunning as any man, though I don't often get the chance now.

Sir Rup. (to himself, pleased). Come, he don't seem strong against the Game Laws! (Aloud.) Thought you didn't look as if you sat over your desk all day! There's hunting still, of course. Don't know whether you ride?

Spurr. Rather so, Sir! Why, I was born and bred in a sporting county, and as long as my old uncle was alive, I could go down to his farm and get a run with the hounds now and again.

Sir Rup. (delighted). Capital! Well, our next meet is on Tuesday—best part of the country; nearly all grass, and nice clean post and rails. You must stay over for it. Got a mare that will carry your weight perfectly, and I think I can promise you a run—eh, what do you say?

Spurr. (to himself, in surprise). He is a chummy old cock! I'll wire old Spavin that I'm detained on biz; and I'll tell 'em to send my riding-breeches down! (Aloud.) It's uncommonly kind of you, Sir, and I think I can manage to stop on a bit.

Lady Culverin (to herself). Rupert must be out of his senses! It's bad enough to have him here till Monday! (Aloud.) We mustn't forget, Rupert, how valuable Mr. Spurrell's time is; it would be too selfish of us to detain him here a day longer than——

Lady Cant. My dear, Mr. Spurrell has already said he can manage it; so we may all enjoy his society with a clear conscience. (Lady Culverin conceals her sentiments with difficulty.) And now, Albinia, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go to my room and rest a little, as I'm rather fatigued, and you have all these tiresome people coming to dinner to-night.

[She rises, and leaves the room; the other ladies follow her example.

Lady Culv. Rupert, I'm going up now with Rohesia. You know where we've put Mr. Spurrell, don't you? The Verney Chamber.

[She goes out.

Sir Rup. Take you up now, if you like, Mr. Spurrell—it's only just seven, though. Suppose you don't take an hour to dress, eh?

Spurr. Oh dear no, Sir, nothing like it! (To himself.) Won't take me two minutes as I am now! I'd better tell him—I can say my bag hasn't come. I don't believe it has, and, any way, it's a good excuse. (Aloud.) The—the fact is, Sir Rupert, I'm afraid that my luggage has been unfortunately left behind.

Sir Rup. No luggage, eh? Well, well, it's of no consequence. But I'll ask about it—I daresay it's all right.

[He goes out.

Captain Thicknesse (to Spurrell). Sure to have turned up, you know—man will have seen to that. Shouldn't altogether object to a glass of sherry and bitters before dinner. Don't know how you feel—suppose you've a soul above sherry and bitters, though?

Spurr. Not at this moment. But I'd soon put my soul above a sherry and bitters if I got a chance!

Capt. Thick. (after reflection). I say, you know, that's rather smart, eh? (To himself.) Aw'fly clever sort of chap, this, but not stuck up—not half a bad sort, if he is a bit of a bounder. (Aloud.) Anythin' in the evenin' paper? Don't get 'em down here.

Spurr. Nothing much. I see there's an objection to Monkey-tricks for the Grand National.

Capt. Thick. (interested). No, by Jove! Hope they won't carry it—meant to have something on him.

Spurr. I wouldn't back him myself. I know something that's safe to win, bar accidents—a dead cert, Sir! Got the tip straight from the stables. You just take my advice, and pile all you can on Jumping Joan.

Capt. Thick. (later, to himself, after a long and highly interesting conversation). Thunderin' clever chap—never knew poets were such clever chaps. Might be a "bookie," by Gad! No wonder Maisie thinks such a lot of him!

[He sighs.

Sir Rup. (returning). Now, Mr. Spurrell, if you'll come upstairs with me, I'll show you your quarters. By the way, I've made inquiries about your luggage, and I think you'll find it's all right. (As he leads the way up the staircase.) Rather awkward for you if you'd had to come down to dinner just as you are, eh?

Spurr. (to himself). Oh, lor, my beastly bag has come after all! Now they'll know I didn't bring a dress suit. What an owl I was to tell him! (Aloud, feebly.) Oh—er—very awkward indeed, Sir Rupert!

Sir Rup. (stopping at a bedroom door). Verney Chamber—here you are. Ah, my wife forgot to have your name put up on the door—better do it now, eh? (He writes it on the card in the door-plate.) There—well, hope you'll find it all comfortable—we dine at eight, you know. You've plenty of time for all you've got to do!

Spurr. (to himself). If I only knew what to do! I shall never have the cheek to come down as I am!

[He enters the Verney Chamber dejectedly.

Scene XIV.An Upper Corridor in the East Wing.

Steward's Room Boy (to Undershell). This is your room, Sir—you'll find a fire lit and all.

Undershell (scathingly). A fire? For me! I scarcely expected such an indulgence. You are sure there's no mistake?

Boy. This is the room I was told, Sir. You'll find candles on the mantelpiece, and matches.

Und. Every luxury indeed! I am pampered—pampered!

Boy. Yes, Sir. And I was to say as supper's at ar-past nine, but Mrs. Pomfret would be 'appy to see you in the Pugs' Parlour whenever you pleased to come down and set there.

Und. The Pugs' Parlour?

Boy. What we call the 'Ousekeeper's Room, among ourselves, Sir.

Und. Mrs. Pomfret does me too much honour. And shall I have the satisfaction of seeing your intelligent countenance at the festive board, my lad?

Boy (giggling). Lor, Sir, I don't set down to meals along with the upper servants, Sir!

Und. And I—a mere man of genius—do! These distinctions must strike you as most arbitrary; but restrain any natural envy, my young friend. I assure you I am not puffed up by this promotion!

Boy. No, sir. (To himself, as he goes out.) I believe he's a bit dotty, I do. I don't understand a word he's been talking of!

Und. (alone, surveying the surroundings). A cockloft, with a painted iron bedstead, a smoky chimney, no bell, and a text over the mantelpiece! Thank Heaven, that fellow Drysdale can't see me here! But I will not sleep in this place, my pride will only just bear the strain of staying to supper—no more. And I'm hanged if I go down to the Housekeeper's Room till hunger drives me. It's not eight yet—how shall I pass the time? Ha, I see they've favoured me with pen and ink. I will invoke the Muse. Indignation should make verses, as it did for Juvenal; and he was never set down to sup with slaves!

[He writes.

Scene XV.The Verney Chamber.

Spurr. (to himself). My word, what a room! Carpet all over the 89 walls, big fourposter, carved ceiling, great fireplace with blazing logs,—if this is how they do a vet here, what price the other fellows' rooms? And to think I shall have to do without dinner, just when I was getting on with 'em all so swimmingly! I must. I can't, for the credit of the profession—to say nothing of the firm—turn up in a monkey jacket and tweed bags, and that's all I've got except a nightgown!... It's all very well for Lady Maisie to say "Take everything as it comes," but if she was in my fix!... And it isn't as if I hadn't got dress things either. If only I'd brought 'em down, I'd have marched in to dinner as cool as a——(he lights a pair of candles.) Hullo! What's that on the bed? (He approaches it.) Shirt! white tie! socks! coat, waistcoat, trousers—they are dress clothes!... And here's a pair of brushes on the table! I'll swear they're not mine—there's a monogram on them—"U.G." What does it all mean? Why, of course! regular old trump, Sir Rupert, and naturally he wants me to do him credit. He saw how it was, and he's gone and rigged me out! In a house like this, they're ready for emergencies—keep all sizes in stock, I daresay.... It isn't "U. G." on the brushes—it's "G. U."—"Guest's Use." Well, this is what I call doing the thing in style! Cinderella's nothing to it! Only hope they're a decent fit. (Later, as he dresses.) Come, the shirt's all right; trousers a trifle short—but they'll let down; waistcoat—whew, must undo the buckle—hang it, it is undone! I feel like a hooped barrel in it! Now the coat—easy does it. Well, it's on; but I shall have to be peeled like a walnut to get it off again.... Shoes? ah, here they are—pair of pumps. Phew—must have come from the Torture Exhibition in Leicester Square; glass slippers nothing to 'em! But they'll have to do at a pinch; and they do pinch like blazes! Ha, ha, that's good! I must tell that to the Captain. (He looks at himself in a mirror.) Well, I can't say they're up to mine for cut and general style; but they're passable. And now I'll go down to the Drawing Room and get on terms with all the smarties!

[He saunters out with restored complacency.

"I say, you know, that's rather smart, eh?"


SOCIETY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LITERATURE

The first annual meeting of this society, which, as our readers will remember, has been in process of formation for some years past, was held yesterday. We cannot congratulate the society on its decision to exclude reporters. It is true that our representative, on seeking admission, was informed that his presence would be unnecessary, as members of the society, having for some time past done their own reviewing, intended for the future to report themselves. The public, however, whose eager interest in literature is sufficiently attested not only by the literary page of democratic newspapers, but by the columns which even reactionary journals devote to higher criticism and literary snippets—the public, we say, will not brook this absurd plea, and will refuse to accept any but an impartial report of a gathering such as was held yesterday. This we have obtained, and we now proceed to publish it for the benefit of the world.

The meeting opened with a prayer of two thousand words specially written for the occasion by Mr. Richard L- G-lli-nne in collaboration with Mr. Robert B-ch-n-n. As this is shortly to be published in the form of a joint letter to the Daily Chronicle it is only necessary to say at present that it combines vigour of expression with delicacy of sentiment and grace of style in the very highest degree. By the way, we may mention that the new Prayer-book of the Society is to be published by Messrs. E-k-n m-tth-ws and J-hn L-ne, at the "Bodley Head," before the end of the year. It will be profusely illustrated by MESSRS. A-br-y B-ard-l-y and W-lt-r S-ck-rt, who have also designed for it a special fancy cover. Only three hundred copies will be issued. To return, however, to the meeting.

After harmony had been restored, Mr. W-lt-r B-s-nt asked leave to say a few words. His remarks, in which he was understood to advocate the compulsory expropriation of publishers, were at first listened to with favour. Happening incautiously to say a word or two in praise of a Mr. Dickens and a Mr. Thackeray he was groaned down after a sturdy struggle. Mr. Dickens and Mr. Thackeray were not, we understand, present in the room at the time.

Mr. H-b-rt Cr-ck-nth-rpe rose and denounced the previous speaker. Literature, he declared, must be vague. What was the use of knowing what you were driving at? What was the use of anyone knowing anything? Personally he didn't mean to know more than he could help, and he could assure the meeting that he could help a great deal; yes, he could help his fellow-creatures to a right understanding of the value of patchwork and jerks. That was the religion of humanity.

Mr. N-rm-n G-le said he wasn't much good speaking, but he could do something in the dairy and orchard style. He then gave the following example:—

Enter Celia, robed in white,
Celia's been a-milking.
Celia daily doth indite
Praises to the Pill-king.
Celia's flocks and Celia's herds
(Only she can teach 'em)
All produce their cream and curds,
Helped by Mr. B-ch-m.

A loud cheer greeted the recital of this charming pastoral, and one editor, who is not often a victim to mere sentiment, said it reminded him of his happy childhood, when he used to take Dr. Gregory's powders after a day spent in the neighbouring farmer's orchard.

The next speaker was G-orge Eg-rt-n. All women, she said, must be Georges. George Sand and George Eliot were women she believed. George Meredith was an exception, but that only proved her rule. Women were a miserable lot: it was their own fault. Why marry? ("Hear, hear," from Mrs. Mona Caird.) Why be born at all? She paused for a reply.

At this point Mr. W. T. St-ad entered the room and offered to talk about "Julia in Chicago," but the meeting broke up in confusion, without the customary vote of thanks to the Chair.


HOW IT WILL BE DONE HEREAFTER.

(A Serene Ducal Romance of the Future.)

His Highness was smoking a pipe at the close of the day in the fair realm of Utopia. He had finished dinner, and was discussing his lager beer, which had quite taken the place of coffee.

"Dear me," said the Duke, rather anxiously, as he noticed the Premier was seating himself in a chair in his near neighbourhood; "I am afraid I am in disgrace."

"Not at all, Sir," replied the Minister, graciously. "On the contrary, in the name of the people of Utopia, I beg to offer you my sincere thanks."

"For what?" queried the Duke.

"For doing your duty, my liege. Not that that is a novelty, for, as a matter of fact, you are always doing it."

"I am pleased to hear you say so," observed His Highness; "as I was under the impression that I had rather shirked my engagements."

"Not at all, Sir—not at all. If you consult your memory, you will find you carried out to-day's programme to the letter."

"Had I not to lay a foundation stone, or something, this morning?"

"Assuredly; and you touched a cord as you were getting up, and immediately the machinery was set in motion, and the stone was duly laid. Much better than driving miles to have to stand in a drafty marquee."

"And had I not to open an exhibition?"

"Why, yes. And you opened it in due course. Your equerry represented you and ground out your speech from the portable phonograph."

"Well, really, that was very ingenious," remarked His Highness. "But was I not missed?"

"You would have been, Sir," returned the Premier, "had we not had the forethought to send down the lantern that gives you in a thousand different attitudes. By revolving the disc rapidly the most life-like presentment was offered immediately."

"Excellent! and did I do anything else?"

"Why your Highness has been hard at work all day attending reviews, opening canals, and even presiding at public dinners. Thanks to science we can reproduce your person, your speech, your very presence at a moment's notice."

"Exceedingly clever!" exclaimed His Highness. "Ah, how much better is the twentieth century than its predecessor!"

And no doubt the sentiment of His Highness will be approved by posterity. 90


HOLIDAY CHARACTER SKETCHES.

Little Binks loves Clara Purkiss, who loves Big Stanley Jones, who loves himself and nobody else in the World!
Which is the most to be pitied of the three?


COUNTING THE CATCH.

A Waltonian Fragment.

First Piscator, R-s-b-ry. Second Piscator, H-rc-rt.

First Piscator. Oh me, look you, master, a fish, a fish!

[Loses it.

Second Piscator. Aye, marry, Sir, that was a good fish; if I had had the luck to handle that rod, 'tis twenty to one he should not have broken my line as you suffered him; I would have held him, as you will learn to do hereafter; for I tell you, scholer, fishing is an art, or at least it is an art to catch fish. Verily that is the second brave Salmon you have lost in that pool!

First Piscator. Oh me, he has broke all; there's half a line and a good flie lost. I have no fortune, and that Peers' Pool is fatal fishing.

Second Piscator. Marry, brother, so it seemes—to you at least! Wel, wel, 'tis as small use crying over lost fish as spilt milk; the sunne hath sunk, the daye draweth anigh its ende; let us up tackle, and away!

First Piscator. Look also how it begins to rain, and by the clouds (if I mistake not) we shal presently have a smoaking showre. Truly it has been a long, rough day, and but poorish sport.

Second Piscator. Humph! I am fairly content with my catch, and had all been landed that have been hookt—but no matter! "Fishers must not rangle," as the Angler's song hath it.

First Piscator. Marry, no indeed! (Sings.)

O the brave fisher's life
It is the best of any!
He who'd mar it with mere strife
Sure must be a zany.
Other men,
Now and then,
Have their wars,
And their jars;
Our rule still
Is goodwill
As we gaily angle.
We have hooks about our hat,
We have rod and gaff too;
We can cast and we can chat,
Play our fish and chaff too.
None do here
Use to swear,
Oathes do fray
Fish away.
Our rule stil
Is goodwill.
Fishers must not rangle.

Second Piscator. Well sung, brother! Oh me, but even at our peaceful and vertuous pastime, there bee certain contentious and obstructive spoil-sports now. These abide not good old Anglers' Law, but bob and splash in other people's swims, fray away the fish they cannot catch, and desire not that experter anglers should, do muddy the stream and block its course, do net and poach and foul-hook in such noisy, conscienceless, unmannerly sort, that even honest angling becometh a bitter labour and aggravation.

First Piscator. Marry, yes brother! the Contemplative Man's Recreation is verily not what it once was. What would the sweet singer, Mr. William Basse, say to the busy B's of our day; Dubartas to B-rtl-y, or Mr. Thomas Barker, of pleasant report, to Tommy B-wl-s?

Second Piscator. Or worthy old Cotton to the cocky Macullum More?

First Piscator. Or the equally cocky Brummagem Boy?

Second Piscator. Or Dame Juliana Berners to B-lf-ur?

First Piscator. Or Sir Humphrey Davy to the haughty autocrat of H-tf-ld?

Second Piscator. Wel, wel, I hate contention and obstruction and all unsportsmanlike devices—when I am fishing.

First Piscator. And so say I. (Sings.)

The Peers are full of prejudice,
As hath too oft been tri'd;
High trolollie lollie loe,
high trolollie lee!

Second Piscator. The Commons full of opulence,

And both are full of pride.
Then care away
and fish along with me!

First Piscator. Marry, brother, and would that I could always do so. But doomed as we often are to angle in different swims, I may not always land the big fish that you hook, or even——

Second Piscator. Wel, honest scholer, say no more about it, but let us count and weigh our day's catch. By Jove, but that bigge one I landed after soe long a fight, and which you were so luckie as to gaff in that verie snaggy and swirly pool itselfe, maketh a right brave show on the grassie bank! And harkye, scholer, 'tis a far finer and rarer fish than manie woule suppose at first sight!

[Chuckleth inwardly.

First Piscator. You say true, master. And indeed the other fish, though of lesser bigness, bee by no manner of meanes to be sneezed at. Marry, Master, 'tis none so poor a day's sport after all—considering the weather and the much obstruction, eh?

Second Piscator. May bee not, may bee not! Stil, I could fain wish, honest scholer, you had safely landed those two bigge ones you lost in Peers' Pool, out of which awkward bit of water, indeed, I could fain desire we might keep all our fish! 91


COUNTING THE CATCH.

Rosebery. "NOT SUCH A BAD DAY AFTER ALL!"
Harcourt. "NO! WISH YOU'D LANDED THOSE OTHERS ALL THE SAME!!"

92 93


TO A WOULD-BE AUTHORESS.

Though, Maud, I respect your ambition,
I fear, to be brutally plain,
No proud and exalted position
Your stories are likely to gain;
And, frankly, I cannot pretend I
Regard with the smallest delight
The vile cacoŽthes scribendi
Which led you to write.
Your talk is most charming, I know it,
You readily fascinate all,
But yet as a serious poet
Your worth, I'm afraid, is but small;
Your features, though well-nigh perfection,
Of the obstacle hardly dispose
That you haven't the faintest conception
Of how to write prose!
You think it would be so delightful
To see your productions in print?
Well, do not consider me spiteful
For daring discreetly to hint
That in this too-crowded profession,
Where prizes are fewer than blanks,
You'll find the laconic expression,
"Rejected—with thanks."
And so, since you do me the pleasure
To ask for my candid advice,
Allow for your moments of leisure
Some other pursuit to suffice;
And, if you would really befriend me,
One wish I will humbly confess,—
Oh, do not continue to send me
Those reams of MS.!

A MODERN TRAGEDY.

Our hostess told us off in pairs,
I had not caught my partner's name,
But learned, when half way down the stairs,
She long had been a Primrose Dame;
And, ere the soup was out of sight,
She'd found, and left behind, her text on
A speech, if I remember right,
Attributed to Mr. Sexton.
And I—I sat and gasped awhile,
And only when we reached the pheasant,
Assuming my politest smile,
And with an air distinctly pleasant,
Attempted firmly to direct
Her flow of talk to other channels,
Books—shops—the latest stage-effect—
The newest ways of painting panels.
I tried in vain. "Ah, yes," she said,
"And that reminds me—this Dissent"—
And thereupon began, instead,
Discussing Disestablishment!
The case was clearly hopeless, so
I hazarded no more suggestions,
But merely answered Yes or No
At random, to her frequent questions.
Yet, while that gushing torrent ran,
I made a solemn private vow
That, though no ardent partisan,
Those Ministers I'll vote for now
Who'll introduce a drastic bill
To bring about her abolition,
To banish utterly, or kill
The modern lady-politician!

THE OYSTER AND THE SPARROW.

A Pessimistic Tale.

At Whitstable one summer day,
An oyster gave his fancy wings;
He very indolently lay
In bed, and thought of many things;
Of what his life had been; of weeks
All spent in having forty winks—
You know an oyster never speaks,
But lies awake in bed, and thinks.
He thought, with pardonable pride,
That he had never worked—a plan
Which showed, it cannot be denied,
That he was quite a gentleman.
He lived more calmly in his sea
Than any Bishop; never crossed
In any sort of wishes, he
Had never loved, and never lost.
No cruel maid had ever spurned
His heart, such grief no oyster knows;
Nor hatred ever in him burned
Against the rival whom she chose.
Yet, when considered, all appeared
Too softly calm, too free from strife;
He thought, and, sighing, stroked his beard,
"There does not seem much use in life."
By chance, upon this very day
A London sparrow, for a minute,
Was thinking somewhat in this way
Of life, and what the deuce was in it,
And how he fluttered up and down,
Like Berthas, Doras, Trunks, or Yankees—
His nest was far above the town,
Upon the buildings known as Hankey's.
He thought, with pardonable pride,
Unlike a pampered, gay canary,
He worked—it cannot be denied
That "Laborare est orare."
He worked with all his might and main,
Yet now he chirped with some misgiving,
"Shoot me if I know what I gain,
There does not seem much use in living."
Soon after this the bird and fish
Were slain by old, relentless foes,
When death was near, each seemed to wish!
To keep his life—why, no one knows.
The bird was knocked upon the head—
A crack no gluing could repair;
The oyster rudely dragged from bed,
Died from exposure to the air.
They helped in one great work, at least,
To make some greedy beings fat;
The oyster graced a City feast,
The bird was eaten by the cat.
Thus, though they led such different lives,
One fat from sloth, from work one thinner,
Their end was that for which man strives,
And mostly ends his days with—dinner!

VERSES TO THE WEATHER MAIDEN.

Lady, the best and brightest of the sex,
Whose smile we value, and whose frown we fear,
Let me proclaim the miseries that vex
The numerous throng who all esteem you dear;
'Tis not that you habitually appear
Serenely contemplating the Atlantic
In raiment which, if fashionable here,
Would greatly shock the properly pedantic,
Make Glasgow green with rage, and Mrs. Grundy frantic;
Your classical costume a true delight is
To all who study you from day to day,
And even if it hastens on bronchitis
It serves your graceful figure to display:
But now your thousand fond admirers pray
Amid the tumult of the London traffic
And in each rural unfrequented way—
"O weather-goddess, look with smile seraphic
And prophesy 'Set Fair' within the Daily Graphic!"
Too long, too long, each worshipper relates,
You've told of woe with melancholy glance,
Predicted new "depressions" from the States,
Or "V-shaped cyclones" nearing us from France;
Our summer flies, oh, herald the advance
Of decent weather ere its course be ended,
Put your umbrella down, and if by chance
Piscator grumble, let him go unfriended,
Heed not his selfish moan, but give us sunshine splendid!
Our confidence towards you never flinches,
Let others be unceasingly employed
In working out the barometric inches,
Or tapping at the fickle aneroid,
Wet bulb and dry we equally avoid,
In you, and you alone, our hopes remain,
Then be not by our forwardness annoyed,
Nor let our supplications rise in vain,—
Oh, Daily Graphic maid, smile, smile on us again!

94


THE YELLOW RIDING-HABIT.

Chang, he had a yellow jacket
Fitting rather nice and slick;
When the garment got the sack, it
Made him simply deathly sick;
And he swore, with objurgations,
It was due—or he'd be hung—
To the fiendish machinations
Of a man who rhymed with Bung.
But his lord in mild, celestial,
Manner moralised and said—
"There are other really bestial
Things I might have done instead;
Might, in point of fact, have tied you
To a poplar with a splice,
And explicitly denied you
Every claim to Paradise.
Nay, I even wondered whether
I should play another card,
And reduce your dorsal tether
By a matter of a yard;
Or curtail your nether raiment,
(This I waived as rather coarse,)
Or appropriate your payment
As a marshal of the force.
But I gave you just a gentle,
If humiliating, shock,
Much as any Occidental
Castigates the erring jock,
Who in place of freely plugging
At a reasonable rate,
By irregularly lugging
Lets a rival take the plate.
Thus I delicately hinted
It was time to jog your gee;
And the proper view is printed,
In the pagan P. M. G.,
Namely, that you might be chary
Of a deal of sultry dirt,
And do better in an airy
Waistcoat with a cotton shirt.
Doubtless habits have a lot to
Do with character as such,
Yet the prophet warns us not to
Trust in colour very much;
And indeed your yellow custard
Came to smack of rotten cheese,
Since they took to making mustard
Books and Asters over-seas."

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.

The Vicar. "What do you think of that Burgundy? It's the last Bottle of some the dear Bishop gave me. It cost him Eighteen Shillings a Bottle!"

The Major. "Very nice! But I should just like you to try some I gave Twelve Shillings a Dozen for!"


Noble Half Hundred!!!

"We mean to keep our Empire in the East!"
So sang the music halls with noisy nous,
Well, one thing now is very clear at least,
Our Empire in the East can't keep—a House!
Is our Indian Government fairly cheap? men ask
Are Anglo-Indian rulers wise and thrifty?
The Commons meet to tackle that big task,
And Fowler's speech is listened to by—Fifty!

ROBERT AT GRINNIDGE.

How werry particklar sum peeple is in having it adwertised where they have gone to spend their summer holliday. I wunce saw it stated, sum years ago, that the Markis of Sorlsberry had gone with the Marchoness to Deep, I think it was, and then follered the staggering annowncement that Mr. Deputy Muggins and Mrs. Muggins was a spending a hole week at Gravesend! I'm a having mine at Grinnidge, and had the honner last week of waiting upon the Ministerial Gents from Westminster, and a werry jowial lot of Gents they suttenly seems to be.

I likes Grinnidge somehow; it brings back to fond memmory the appy days when I fust preposed to my Misses Robert in Grinnidge Park, and won from her blushing lips a fond awowal of her loving detachment for me!

Ah! them was appy days, them was, and never cums more than wunce to us; no, not ewen in Grinnidge Park.

I'm told as how as Appy Amsted is not at all a bad place for this sort of thing; but I cannot speak from werry much pussonal xperience there myself.

Having a nour or two to spare before the Westminster Dinner, I took a strol in the butiful Park. Not quite the place for adwenters, but I had a little one there on that werry particklar day as I shant soon forget.

I was a setting down werry cumferal on a nice cumferal seat, when a nice looking Lady came up to me, and setting herself down beside me asked me wery quietly if I coud lend her such a thing as harf a crown! I was that estonished that I ardly knew what to say, when to my great surprise she bust out a crying, and told me as how as she had bin robbed, and had not a penny to take her home to London! What on airth coud I do? I coudn't say as I hadn't no harf crown coz I had one, and I carnt werry well tell a hunblushing lie coz I allers blushes if I tries one, so I said as how as it was the only one as I had, and so I hoped as she woud return it to me to-morrow, and I told her my adress, when she suddenly threw her arms round my neck and acshally kist me, and then got up and ran away! and I have lived ever since in a dredful state of dowt and unsertenty for fear as she shoud call when I was out and tell Mrs. Robert the hole particklers! and ewen expect her to believe it!

Robert.


THE NEXT WAR.

(Fragment from a Romance of the Future.)

The successful General, after winning the great victory, acted with decision. He cut all the telegraph wires with his own hands, until there was but one left in the camp—that which had its outlet in his own tent. He called for the special correspondents. They came reluctantly, writing in their note-books as they approached him.

"Gentlemen," said he, with polite severity, "I have no wish to deal harshly with the Press. I am fully aware of the services it does to the country. But, gentlemen, I have a duty to perform. I cannot allow you to communicate to your respective editors the glorious result of this day's fighting. For a couple of hours you must be satisfied to restrain your impatience."

"It will yet be in time for the five o'clock edition," murmured one of the scribes.

"And I shall be able to get it into the Special," murmured another.

Then the General bowed and retired to his own tent. At last he was alone. Over the receiver to the telephone was a board inscribed with various numbers, with names attached thereto. He saw that 114 stood for "Wife," 12,017 for "Mother-in-law," and 10 for "Junior United Service Club." But he selected none of these.

"No. 7," he cried, suddenly applying his lips to the receiver and ringing up, "are you there?"

"Why, certainly; what shall I do?"

"Why, buy 30,000 Consols for me," was the prompt reply. And then the General a few minutes later added, "Have you done it?"

"I have—for the next account."

And then the warrior smiled and released the Press-men. Nay, more, he ordered the telegraph wires to be repaired. All was joy and satisfaction. The glorious news was flashed in a thousand different directions. The name of the general received immediate immortality.

And the great commander was more than satisfied. His fortune was assured. Before allowing the news to be spread abroad he had taken the precaution to do a preliminary deal with his stockbroker! 95


AN ALPINE RAILWAY.

Abominable work of man,
Defacing nature where he can
With engineering;
On plain or hill he never fails
To run his execrable rails;
Coals, dirt, smoke, passengers and mails,
At once appearing.
To Alpine summits daily go
The locomotives to and fro.
What desecration!
Where playful kids once blithely skipped,
Where rustic goatherds gaily tripped,
Where clumsy climbers sometimes slipped,
He builds a station.
Up there, where once upon a time
Determined mountaineers would climb
To some far ch‚let;
Up there, above the carved wood toys,
Above the beggars, and the boys
Who play the Ranz des Vaches—such noise
Down in the Thal, eh?
Up there at sunset, rosy red,
And sunrise—if you're out of bed—
You see the summit,
Majestic, high above the vale.
It is not difficult to scale—
The fattest folk can go by rail
To overcome it.
For nothing, one may often hear,
Is sacred to the engineer;
He's much too clever.
Well, I must hurry on again,
That mountain summit to attain,
Good-bye. I'm going by the train.
I climb it? Never!

"FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD."

Tourist from London (to young local Minister). "How quiet and peaceful it seems here!"

Minister. "Eh, Friend, it seems peacefu'. Wha wad think we were within Seven Miles o' Peebles!"


AN ANGLO-RUSSIAN ECHO.

[At Baku, on the Caspian, a Society has been formed to abolish hand-shaking and kissing, on the ground that bacilli are propagated by such personal contact. The ladies, however, have protested against this to the Governor-General.

Daily Telegraph.

Baku is a place that is pretty well Grundyfied,
Where the good folks have all frolic and fun defied,
Where I'd be shunned, if I'd
Play at Whit-Mondayfied
Games such as "Catch-can" and Kiss-in-the-ring!
For the greybeards, it seems, of this naptha-metropolis
(Really, their reason about to o'ertopple is)
All o'er the shop'll hiss,
Hollering, "Stop! Police!
Hi, there! hand-shaking the mischief will bring!"
And kissing, they think, only leads to diphtheria—
Well, I should say, such a dread of bacteria
Quite beyond query, amounts to hysteria!
No, it won't "wash"—they don't either, I fear!
But Sonia and Olga and Vera are mutinous,
Rightly, I think, at such nonsense o'erscrutinous.
"This rot take root in us?
No, keep salutin' us!"
Echo our Mabels and Mauds over here!

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TORY, M.P.

House of Lords. Monday, August 13.—Sorry I didn't hear the Duke of Argyll. Have been told he is one of finest orators in House; a type of the antique; something to be cherished and honoured.

"Were you ever," Sark asked, "at Oban when the games were going on? Very well then, you would see the contest among the pipers. You have watched them strutting up and down with head thrown back, toes turned out, cheeks extended, and high notes thrilling through the shrinking air. There you have Duke of Argyll—God bless him!—addressing House of Lords. He is not one piper, but many. As he proceeds, intoxicated with sound of his own voice, ecstatic in clearness of his own vision, he competes with himself as the pipers struggle with each other until at last he has, in a Parliamentary sense of course, swollen to such a size that there is no room in the stately chamber for other Peers. Nothing and nobody left but His Grace the Duke of Argyll. Towards end of sixty minutes spectacle begins to pall on wearied senses; but to begin with, it is almost sublime. For thirty-two years, he told Rosebery just now, he had sat on the opposite benches, a Member of the Liberal Party. He sat elsewhere now, but why? Because he was the Liberal Party; all the rest like sheep had gone astray. Pretty to see the Markiss with blushing head downcast when Argyll turned round to him and, with patronising tone and manner, hailed him and his friends as the only party with whom a true Liberal might collogue. In some circumstances, this bearing would be insupportably bumptious. In the Duke, with the time limit hinted at, it is delightful. He really unfeignedly believes it all. Sometimes in the dead unhappy night, when the rain is on the roof (not an uncommon thing in Inverary) he thinks in sorrow rather than in anger of multitudes of men hopelessly in the wrong; that is to say, who differ from his view on particular subjects at given times."

Business done.—Second Reading of Evicted Tenants Bill moved in Lords.

Tuesday.—For awhile last night, whilst Lansdowne speaking, Clanricarde sat on rear Cross Bench immediately in front of Bar where mere Commoners are permitted to stand. Amongst them at this moment were Tim Healy, O'Brien, and Sexton, leaning over rail to catch Lansdowne's remarks. Before them, almost within hand reach, certainly approachable at arm's length with a good shillalegh, was the bald pate of the man who, from some points of view, is The Irish Question. Clanricarde sat long unconscious of the proximity. Sark, not usually a squeamish person, after breathlessly watching this strange suggestive contiguity, moved hastily away. This is a land of law and order. Differences, if they exist, are settled by judicial processes. But human nature, especially Celtic nature, is weak. The bald pate rested so conveniently on the edge of the bench. It was so near; it had schemed so much for the undoing of hapless friends in Ireland. What if * * *

To-night Clanricarde instinctively moved away from this locality. Discovered on back bench below gangway, from which safe quarter he delivered speech, showing how blessed is the lot of the light-hearted peasant on what he called "my campaign estates."

The Markiss and Clanricarde rose together. It was ten o'clock, the hour appointed for Leader of Opposition to interpose; in anticipation of that event the House crowded from floor to side galleries garlanded with fair ladies. Privy Councillors jostled each other on steps of Throne; at the Bar stood the Commons closely packed; Tim Healy, anxious not again to be led into temptation, deserted this quarter; surveyed scene from end of Gallery over the Bar. The Markiss stood for a moment at the table manifestly surprised that any should question his right to speak. According to Plan of Campaign prepared beforehand by Whips now was his time; Rosebery to follow; and Division taken so as to clear House before midnight. Clanricarde recks little of Plans of Campaign: stood his ground and finally evicted the Markiss; cast him out by the roadside with no other compensation than the sympathy of Halsbury and of Rutland, who sat on either side of him.

When opportunity came the Markiss rose to it. Speech delightful 96 to hear; every sentence a lesson in style. Hard task for young Premier to follow so old and so perfect a Parliamentary hand. Markiss spoke to enthusiastically friendly audience. Rosebery recognised in himself the representative of miserable minority of thirty; undaunted, undismayed, he played lightly with the ponderous personalities of Argyll, and looking beyond the heads of the crowd of icily indifferent Peers before him, seemed to see the multitude in the street, and to hear the murmur of angry voices.

Business done.—Lords throw out Evicted Tenants Bill by 249 votes against 30.

Thursday, Midnight.—Spent restful evening with Indian Budget. There is nothing exceeds indignation with which Members resent postponement of opportunity to consider Indian Budget, except the unanimity with which they stop away when it is presented. Number present during Fowler's masterly exposition not equal to one per ten million of the population concerned. Later, Chaplin endeavoured to raise drooping spirits by few remarks on bi-metallism. Success only partial. Clark did much better. Genially began evening by accusing Squire of Malwood of humbugging House. That worth at least a dozen votes to Government in Division that followed. Tim Healy, who can't abear strong language, was one who meant to vote against proposal to take remaining time of Session for Ministers. After Clark's speech, voted with and for the Squire.

Clark closed pleasant evening by insisting on Division upon Statute Law Revision Bill running through Committee.

"Will the hon. Member name a teller," said Chairman, blandly.

"Mr. Conybeare," responded Clark, instinctively thinking of Member for Camborne as most likely to help in the job he had in hand.

But Conybeare is a reformed character. Even at his worst must draw line somewhere. Drew it sharply at Clark. Appeared as if game was up. On the contrary it was Weir. Deliberately fixing a pair of cantankerous pince-nez that seem to be in chronic condition of strike, Weir gazed round angered Committee. With slowest enunciation in profoundest chest notes he said, "I will tell with the hon. Member."

Committee roared with anguished despair; but, since procedure in case of frivolous and vexatious Division seems forgotten by Chair, no help for it. If there are two Members to "tell," House must be "told." But there tyranny of two ceases. You may take horse to water but cannot make him drink. Similarly you may divide House, but cannot compel Members to vote with you. Thus it came to pass that after Division Clark and Weir marched up to table with confession that they had not taken a single man into the Lobby with them. They had told, but they had nothing to tell.

"They're worse off by a moiety than the Squire in the Canterbury Tales," said Sark

"Him who left half told
The story of Cambuscan bold."

"Yes, poor needy Knife-grinders," said the other Squire; "if they'd only thought of it when asked by the Clerk, 'How many?' they might have answered, Members, God bless you, we have none to tell.'"

Business done.—Indian Budget through Committee.

Friday.—Something notable in question addressed by Bryn Roberts to Home Secretary. Wants to know "whether he is aware that the Mr. Williams, the recently appointed assistant inspector, who is said to have worked at an open quarry, never worked at the rock but simply, when a young man, used to pick up slabs cast aside by the regular quarrymen, and split them into slates; and that, ever since, he has been engaged as a pupil teacher and a schoolmaster."

Shall put notice on paper to ask Bryn Roberts whether the sequence therein set forth is usual in Wales, and whether picking up slabs and splitting them into slates is the customary pathway to pupil teachership.

Long night in Committee of Supply; fair progress in spite of Weir and Clark. Tim Healy sprang ambush on House of Lords: moved to stop supplies for meeting their household expenses. Nearly carried proposal, too. Vote sanctioned by majority of nine, and these drawn from Opposition.

Business done.—Supply.


A HAWARDEN PASTORAL;

Or, The Grand Old Georgic.

["The whole care of poultry, the production of eggs, care of bees, and the manufacture of butter—of itself a most important branch of commerce—are really included within the purposes of this little institution."—Mr. Gladstone on "Small Culture," at the Hawarden Agricultural and Horticultural FÍte, August 14, 1894.]

G. O. Melibœus sings:

What am I piping about to-day?
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
What shall I praise in my pastoral way?
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Here I am, smiling, afar from strife,
(Indifferent substitute, true, for my wife!)
Discussing, as though they'd absorbed my life:
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
A Georgic, my lads, is my task this time,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Horace I've Englished in so-so rhyme,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
To-day I am in a Virgilian vein,
My pastoral ardour I cannot restrain;
And so I will sing, like some Mantuan swain,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Home Rule? Dear me, no! Not at all in the mood!
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
(Though Irish butter, you know, is good.)
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
I hear they're yet wrangling down Westminster way;
The "Busy B's" there are still having their say.
Now the care of those B's—but that is not my lay.
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
"The frugal bee," (as the Mantuan sings),
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Is valued for honey, and not for stings,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Poor Harcourt's hive has a good many drones,
And more sting than honey. Eh! Who's that groans?
Well, well, let me sing, in mellifluous tones,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
The ladies have taken to speeches of late,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Serious matter, dear friends,—for the State!
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
On Female Suffrage I hardly dote,
But ladies may speak, while they have not the vote.—
Beg pardon! That's hardly the pastoral note!
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Not only to flowers we look, but fruits;
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Nay, not to them only, but also to roots.
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
The root of the matter, in Irish affairs,
Of course is Home Rule—but there, nobody cares
For such subjects here! Let's sing poultry, and pears,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
This "little culture"'s the theme I'd touch,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
(Tories pooh-pooh it!—they've none too much!)
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
But "mickles" soon merge into "muckles" you know,
And from "little cultures" big aggregates grow,
Just as small majorities—Woa, there, woa!—
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Hawarden's example will do much good,—
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
Nay, friends, I am not in a militant mood,—
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
So I don't mean mine, but your own example.
The powers of the soil are abundant and ample;
You'll teach men to furnish—and up to sample—
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
I'm a little bit tired—in a physical sense—
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
But my pleasure in pastoral things is immense,
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!
My Georgic to-day I must cut short, I fear,
But—if you desire—and we're all of us here,
I may give you a much longer Eclogue—next year!
Butter, and eggs, and the care of bees!

RHYME TO ROSEBERY.

(On his Revival of the Ministerial Whitebait Dinner at the "Ship," Greenwich, Wednesday, August 15, 1894.)

Good, Primrose! If not a fanatical "Saint,"
At least you're a genial "Sinner."
At the thought of a Race—and a Win—you won't faint,
Nor squirm at a loss—with a Dinner!
Pluck, patience, and cheer make good Statesmanlike form.
We trust that you relished the trip, Sir!
If not—yet—"the Pilot who weathered the Storm,"
You're the Skipper who stuck by the "Ship," Sir!

The Old (Parliamentary) Adam.

(On the Eve of Prorogation.)

Would-be Abdiel (M.P.) loquitur:

With rest-thirst and holiday-yearning to grapple
I strive, but in August begin to despair.
I pity poor Eve with the thirst at her thrapple,
Though what tempted her was a snake and an apple,
My lures are "a brace" and a "pair."

Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.






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