The Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93., October 22, 1887

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93., October 22, 1887

Author: Various

Release date: August 14, 2011 [eBook #37078]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Punch, or the London Charivari, Malcolm Farmer,
Nigel Blower and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team



Vol. 93.

October 22nd, 1887.

[pg 181]


As has been observed earlier in this series, the Amateur Reciter is influenced by a natural ambition to harrow his audience to the best of his ability.

And, be it said, the average audience is not at all averse to being harrowed—provided this is done with any science and refinement. When persons are met together for social enjoyment, nothing apparently affords them keener pleasure than a performance which produces certain peculiar sensations, such as the feeling of partial want of control over the facial nerves, smarting behind the eyes, increasing obstruction in the throat, and a general conviction that, unless something occurs to make them laugh at once, they will be irresistibly compelled to sob like so many seals. It is, perhaps, a little odd—but the taste exists, and must be taken into account. The sole drawbacks are that, too often, the means adopted to secure the desired result depend more than should be upon sentiment which might almost be described as false; that the incidents occasionally have too little relation to real life; and that, what might have proved eminently touching, is marred by some involuntary association with the ludicrous and grotesque. In his anxiety to preserve his pupils from such pitfalls as these, Mr. Punch offers an example in which the blemishes he has hinted at have been sedulously avoided. It is at once homely, wholesome, and tear-compelling—like the common onion. You will find you produce a favourable impression at once by announcing it as,—

Positively the Last Performance!

(You must come on with a general suggestion in your manner that you are supposed to be the proprietor of an itinerant Cat and Canary Troupe. Begin with a slow and somewhat depressed shake of the head, as if in answer to imaginary inquirer.)

No, we ain’t performin’ to-day, Sir, and the boys are all on the gape

At seem’ the mice in mournin’, and the cats in chokers o’ crape;

But I’m giving the Show a rest, d’ye see? for I didn’t feel up to the job,

(Pause—then subdued) For my leadin’ comejian’s left me, Sir—

(Explanatory, perceiving you are not understood)—the brindle kinairy—(more impatiently) Bob!

What, ye don’t remember? (Surprise.) Not him as wore the toonic o’ Turkey red?

What rode in a gilded kerridge with a ’at an’ plumes on his ’ed?

And, as soon as we’d taken a tanner, ’ud fire a saloot from the gun? [Excitedly.

There was Talent inside o’ that bird, there was, or I never see it in one!

(Philosophic bitterness.) Well, he’s soon forgot—but I’ve often thought as a

fish keeps longer than Fame!

(Sudden comprehension and restored cordiality.) Oh, ye didn’t know him as Bob?... I see—no, that were his private name.

I used to announce him in public on a more long-winded-er scale—

I christened him “Gineral Moultky,” (apologetically) which he ’ad rather gone at the tail;

And a bird more popilar never performed on a peripathetic stage,

He was allers sure of a round of applause as soon as he quitted the cage!

For he thoroughly hentered into the part he was down for to play,

And he never got “fluffy” nor “queered the pitch,”—leastwise, till the hother day.

I thought he’d bin hoverexertin’ hisself, and ’ud better be out of the bill,

But it wasn’t till yesterday hevenin I’d any ideer he was ill!

Then I see he was rough on the top of his ’ed, and his tongue looked dry at the tip,

And it dawned on me like a thunderbolt—“Great Evings!” I groaned,—“the Pip!” (Pause here, to emphasise the tremendous gravity of this discovery.)

Well, I ’ad bin trainin’ a siskin to hunderstudy the part, (more ordinary tone for this)

And I sent him on—(tolerantly)—which he done his best, but he ’adn’t no notion o’ Hart!

So I left the pitch as soon as I could, and (meanin’ to make more ’aste)

I cut across one o’ them buildin’ sites as was left a runnin’ to waste.

There was yawning pits by the flinty road, as rendered the prospeck dull,

And ’ere and there a winderless ’ouse, with the look of a grinning skull,

(Try to paint this scene visibly for the audience; background is essential for what is to come.)

A storm had bin ’anging about all day (and it broke, you’ll remember, at last!)

So I ’urried on, it was gettin’ late—and the Gineral sinking fast!

(You are now approaching the harrowing part, but keep yourself in reserve for the present.)

But all on a sudding I ’eard him give a kind of a feeble flap,

And I stops, and sez in a ’opeful way, “Why, you’re up in yer sterrups, old chap.”

(A bold metapher applied to a bird, but characteristic in the speaker.)

(Sink your voice.) Then I see by the look of his sorrowful eye he was thinkin’: “Afore I go,

I’d like to see one performance—for the last—of the dear old Show!”

(Note, and make your audience feel, the touch of Nature here.)

And I sez, with a ketch in my voice, “You shall!” and I whipped the sheet off the board,

I stuck up the pair o’ trestles, and fastened the tightrope cord;

Then I propped the Gineral up in a place from which he could see the ’ole,

And I set the tabbies a-sparring, and the mice a-climbing the pole.

(Build up the whole scene gradually; the dreary neighbourhood, the total absence of bystanders, the lurid threatening sky, and the humble entertainment proceeding in the foreground.)

I put my company through their tricks—and they made my hold eyes dim,

For they never performed for no orjence like they did last night for him!

Them tabbies sparred with a science you’d ’ardly expect from sich,

And the mouse (what usually boggles) fetched flags with never no ’itch!

Aye, we worked the Show in that lonely place to the sound o’ the mutterin’ storm,

Right through till we come to the finish—the part he used to perform.

He was out of the cage in a minnit—egged on by puffessional pride,

He pecked that incompitent siskin till he made him stand o’ one side!

Well, I felt like ’aving a good cry then—but the time

’adn’t come for that,

So I slipped his uniform over his ’ed, and tied on his little cock-hat. [With great tenderness.

And he set in his tiny kerridge, and was drored along by the mice,

A-looking that ’appy and pleased with hisself, I got ’em to do it twice! [Tone of affectionate retrospection.

The very tabbies they gazed on him then with their heyes dilatin’ in haw,

As he ’obbled along to the cannon, with the match in his wasted claw!

I never ’eard that cannon afore give sech a tremenjious pop—

(Solemnly.) And a peal o’ thunder responded, as seemed all over the shop!

For a second Bob stood in the lightning, so noble, and bold, and big;—

Then ... a stagger ... a flutter ... a broken chirp— (you can add immensely to the effect here by a little appropriate action. Pause, and give time for a solemn hush to fall upon the audience, then, with a forced calm, as if you were doing violence to your own feelings)—he was orf, Sir,—(a slight gulp)—he’d ’opped the twig!

(Second Pause: then more briskly, but still with strong emotion to the close)

So now you’ve the hexplanation of the crape round the tabbies’ necks,

And kin understand why we close to-day “in token of our respecks.”

The time has now come for Mr. Punch to bid his pupils farewell, which he does with a pleasure that he has some reason to hope will be not unreciprocated. During the few months over which this course has extended, he has made it his aim to furnish the young carpet-knight for the fray as completely as possible, and, if the Amateur Reciter be not (as some hold) already invulnerable, the panoply of pieces with which he has been armed here should go far to render him so.

All Mr. Punch would ask in return is that, when any one of his young friends is retiring, flushed with triumph, amidst an intoxicating murmur of faint applause and renewed conversation, after delivering some composition of his Preceptor’s, he will not suffer himself to be completely dazzled by success, but will remember the means which have contributed thereto with such gratitude as he may be able to command.

Discoveries at Pompeii.”—Under this heading we read in the Times that four silver urns of fair size were found, also four smaller vessels, eight open vases, four cups ornamented with leaves, &c. “Urns” for hot water: “smaller vessels,” tea-pots; “eight open vases,” sugar-basins; “four cups,” tea-cups, “ornamented with leaves,”—very fanciful design, probably tea-leaves,—and there we have before us “Five o’clock Tea, as known to the Ladies of Pompeii.”

[pg 182]


The Modern Autolycus sings:—

When parvenus begin to peer,

With heigh! the ribbon on the coat!

Why, then the love of rank shines clear,

In base-blood, spite of the People’s vote.

The medal gleaming on the breast!

With heigh! the red coins how they ring!

The Citizens clamour with eager zest,

Despite their hate of crown and king!

The bourgeois soul star-honours wants,

With heigh! the peacock-aping jay!

The hunger for honours finds singular haunts,

Their sale is a traffic that’s bound to pay.

I have served Princes, and, in my time, worn Imperial livery, but now I am in the Republic’s service.

But shall I mourn for that, or fear?

Gold glitters, silver’s bright,

And decorations not too dear

Citizen-souls delight.

If pedlars may have leave to live,

Though “honours” cram their budget,

A good account I yet may give;

If caught,—I can but trudge it!

Ribbons of all colours, lo!

Crosses—mark their gleam and glow!

Blue as violets, red as roses,

Buy them swift whilst power dozes!

Decorated thus you’ll clamber

To court-height or lady’s chamber.

Golden talismans are these.

Parvenus may pass with ease

With these gauds to heights the leal

Buy with brain or stainless steel.

Come buy of me, come buy, come buy!

Cheap “honours” now is all the cry!

Buy ribbons—like tape,

Blue blood you may ape,

They’re dainty, and not too dear-a!

With peers you may tread,

Yet hold up your head,

[pg 183]

They’re the newest and finest of wear-a!

Come to the pedlar,

Money’s a meddler,

That gets all men by the ear-a!

[Has HIS ear suddenly pulled by Madame La République.



Cabby.Wha’s this for, Lady? Which my Fare’s Two Shill——”

Old Lady (quite able to take care of herself).I beg your pardon, Cabman. I know the Distance—it’s not Three Miles by Two Hundred Yards. Please knock at the——”

Cabby.Ugh! Y’ ’on’t hev a Double Knock, I can tell yer that!


I’ve bin informed, on such orthority as I carnt for a moment dout, wiz., Professor Bassingham of the White Cross Brigade, that a cumpany has bin formed in Amerrikey to perswade hewerybody as writes English to spell it as I does. I never knowd afore but what I spelt my spelling like other littery gennelmen, but I’m told now that I don’t, but that I spells it more nateral like, and so it appears that after about 2 years thinkin of it over, the gratest Orthers in Amerrykey has all resolved to follow my nobel xample and do as I does, as neer as they can git to it. So they has formed theirselves into the “Spelling Reform Association,” and has got a Presedent, and Wise Presidents, and a Counsel, and a Seketerry, and all the blooming luxurys of a rich Cumpany, and has jest published their fust Number and charges fore shillins for it, as I nose to my corst, cos I’ve jest bin and bort one.

Well, having jest a lezzure hour or 2, I’ve bin a trying to read my noo book, witch is suttenly to me a dear book, but I greeves to say as I don’t find werry much in it, as I understands. They suttenly uses sum werry powerful words, and sez sum werry powerful things, and tries their werry best to spell like me, but I don’t think as I can troothfully say as they always suckeeds. They spels hed like me, and helth, and dropt, and enuf; but who ever seed me use sitch words as thru, or cof, or thuro, or tuf, or ughly?

Professor Chadband, L.L.D., says that “our senseless spelling makes him ashamed of his language, and yet thru habit he continues it.” David D. Field, L.L.D., of New York, talks of our Nobel English Tung “being disfigured,” and says I ought to be haild as a deliverer!

Professor Hadley says, “our language is shockingly speld.” Lord Lytton says, “it is a lying round-about puzl-heded delusion!” and our own heloqwent Sir C. E. Trevelyan, K.C.B., says, “it is a labyrinth, a chaos, an absurdity, and a disgrace!” and the Hedditer of the book winds it all up by saying that “it is the wurst there is!” Poor old English Langwidge! I ony wonders how Shakespear and Milton, and Burns managed to get on with it, tho suttenly Burns was a dredful bad speller. Why he used to spell “who” wha, and “have” hae, and “whom” wham! But then he was only a poor plowman, and not an Hed Waiter. I of coarse little thort wen I fust commenced my umbel efforts to instruckt and enliten the world with skimmings from my daily dairy, that I shood ever be held up to the admirashun and gratitood of English mankind as a deliverer of our nobel English Tung from its many defecks, but I of course acceps the pursishun, and, I ope, with becoming umility, and if the Spelling Reform Association chooses, as seems ony nateral, to elect me as one of their Wice Presidents, with a nice cumferal little salary paid quarterly, in adwance, I shall not at all object to become also one of their regular contribbuters, or ewen to hedit sum of their harticles as is really not quite hup to the mark in the spelling line.

Professor F. J. Child, P.D., L.H.D., cums it rayther strong when he says, “Sum hav a religious aw, and sum hay an erth-born passion for our establisht spelling. I don’t much care how anybody spells, so he spels different from that.” But praps one of the werry greatest staggerers in my four-shilling staggering book, is what the Heditter says, wiz., “A filologist who should uphold our present mode of spelling, would be like an astronomer who should teach that the Erth is based on a Turtl.”

I think that’s about the most wunderfullest sentense as ewen a Hedhitter ever wrote, and they does sumtimes cum out with a startler or 2. Fust with regard to the spelling. As I don’t in the least know what a Filologist means I carnt of course say much as to that, but if there is one mortal thing in this butiful world of ours as I does know sumthink about, I should think as all the ciwilized world woud agree as it was Turtle, and I refuses at once, without no manner of dowt, to pardon the man who coud carmly and cooly sit down and write that almost sacred name without his final Hee! Turtl, indeed! why it amost makes me shudder as I rites it down; and jest before Lord Mare’s Day too, why it’s hadding hinsult to hinjury. But ewen that isn’t all the marwels of this most egstrordinary sentense. What in the world can he mean by saying as the world is based on a Turtl?

Of course no one can posserbly know better nor me, that without that glorious addition to a gorgeous Manu, the werry hiest classes of society, such as Princes, and Lord Mares, and Bishops, and Aldermen, woud find it remarkabel difficult to git through their harduous dooties, but ewen I should never have once thort of saying that the hole world is based upon it, which I spose means, carnt posserbly git on without it. No, if there’s one thing as I strongly objecs to, it’s xaggerashun, and in this werry partickler case I boldly charges it against the Hedhitter of “Spelling,” price four shillings, even though he and his frends does do me the hi honour of holding me hup as a bennyfacter to all English spelling races.


Pose Cript.—I sees as how a gent of the xstrordinary name of “Eizak Pitman” has been and gorn and rote to the Times on this werry same subjeck as me; but I’m two busy jest now with prepperrations for the himportantest of all days—need I say the Ninth of Nowember—to be abel to give all my hole mind to it, as it seems to require. But I at once, without not no hezzytation and dowt, gives my caudial assent to his Golden Rule, wiz: “When in dout, selekt the werry simpletonest spelling.”


Irish Prosecutions.”—In the Times of Friday last, under the foregoing heading, that most contentious and sledge-hammering correspondent, Lord Bramwell, came down heavily, very heavily, on the unfortunate “American Lawyer,” Mr. Mundy, who had presumed to express an opinion opposed to that of my Lord Bramwell. Of course, after this, there’s an end of the American Lawyer, and, at all events, up to the date abovementioned, Lord Bramwell may say, triumphantly, “Sic transit gloria Mundy!

[pg 184]


From a Young Man Still in the Country.

Eaton Hall, Saturday.

Dear Toby,—I write to you from here where I stay a day or two on my way to Dublin. I expect by the time it reaches you I will be installed in the Chief Secretary’s Lodge, and the National League may prepare to sit up. I have been spending a week or two very agreeably in Scotland, a little out of the way of letters or newspapers. I am told there has been quite a demand for me, a sort of popular outcry that I should forthwith proceed to Ireland. This is, of course, not unflattering. It indicates a general belief which I, for one, am not disposed to contest, that if Ireland is to be saved, I’m the man to do it. That’s all very well; but it is, doncha know, something of a boah to be thus bothered at a time when one had two or three pleasant engagements on hand. It used to be just the same in the House last Session. If I did not really live there, entering with the Mace and the Speaker, and leaving only at the cry of “Who goes home?” there were impetuous protests. I put in King-Harman at Question time, but they wouldn’t have him. Often, as I lay on the sofa in the Chief Secretary’s room, looking over Punch, or reading the proofs of the forthcoming new edition of my Defence of Philosophic Doubt, I have heard the distant growls of the Irish Members when King-Harman rose to answer a question addressed to me. Quite touching this personal attachment. At the same time a little embarrassing.

Now I am really going to Dublin, and shall spend a cheerful November there. Grandolph, in his genial way, has tried to make things pleasant by reminding me that from the drawing-room window of the Chief Secretary’s Lodge I can see the place where poor Freddy Cavendish fell. “They’re sure to take a pot shot at you,” he says; “but you’re all right. Unless a man can make sure of hitting a lamp-post at fifty paces, it will be no use his trying to bring you down.” A nice companionable man Grandolph. Always tries to say something pleasant. But really I don’t pay much attention to his kindly apprehensions. I shall be boahed, I daresay; but not by the passage of a bullet, or the thrust of a knife.

People evidently expect great things to follow on my arrival in Dublin. To the accident of my holiday absence in Scotland they attribute all the failures of the Executive. “If Balfour had been there,” they say, “W. O’Brien would now be comfortably in gaol and T. D. S., Lord Mayor, would be laid by the heels.” I weally don’t know. Fact is, I have not closely followed up affairs either in the newspapers or despatches. There have been some rows, I understand. But that is not unusual in Ireland. Where people are right in kindly looking to me to restore peace and order in Ireland is in the supposition that I have a plan. That is true, though I cannot claim personal and private property in it. Fact is the plan is Cromwell’s. It worked admirably when originally put in practice, and I do not see any reason why it should fail now. There are, of course, difficulties in the way; prejudice to be overcome, legal forms to be dealt with, and that sort of thing. There is also, next Session of Parliament to be met, and awkward questions by Tim Healy and the rest. But they need not think to intimidate me by such reflections. I shall put up King-Harman to answer all inconvenient questions. Besides, it is exceedingly probable that in the full development of my plan the Irish Members who last Session distinguished themselves by “wanting to know” will be unavoidably absent from their places. It is an awful nuisance breaking in upon a man’s holiday; but it is a difficulty that has to be faced, and as there seems a popular inclination to look to me to settle it, I suppose there is nothing to be done but to grapple with it.

One additional drawback from a quite unexpected source makes itself known by correspondence with my colleagues. They are all in a dreadful state of fussy alarm. My uncle the Markiss begs me to be careful. “Firmness without Rashness” is an excellent copy-head, which W. H. Smith sends me in fine round-hand from the distant Mediterranean. I wish they’d all mind their own affairs. In the intervals of my other occupations I can answer for Ireland, and if any awkwardness arises, I can put up King-Harman to answer for me. So, dear Toby, don’t you have any anxiety on my account. Some half-hour after dinner, with the contemplative toothpick at hand, and my heels on the table, I will, if the subject occurs to me, settle the Irish Question.

Yours faithfully,

Arth-r B-lf-r.


That a child prodigy should have been able twice last week to fill St. James’s Hall to overflowing, may not perhaps speak at the first glance very highly for the artistic instincts of the British Public, who, as a thoughtful musical critic remarks in the pages of a contemporary, are sometimes “more impressed by a little boy in an Eton jacket than by the finest music that might be played in less exciting circumstances;” still it cannot be denied that the couple of recitals referred to, given by Master Josef Hofmann, were altogether two exceptionally brilliant performances. Commenting, however, on the little fellow’s efforts to give a good rendering of a slow movement, the critic already alluded to asks how, in a long-drawn melody which is a matter of passion and of feeling, “a child of eleven can have much feeling or any passion?” Surely this is hypercriticism. Ask any boy of eleven who has had a whipping, or has come off second best in a fight with his little sister, whether he hasn’t much feeling;—and as for passion! Well: but, perhaps this is not exactly what the critic means. Nevertheless, he proceeds rather pertinently to ask whether this singularly gifted young artist will be suffered, “when he has served the immediate purposes of those who have control over him, to continue his studies in a rational manner and far from the fierce light and the hot-house temperature pertaining to the concert platform?” As Master Josef Hofmann is already booked for an American tour, there does not seem any prospect of this highly desirable consummation, at least in the near future. Judging, therefore, from little Master Josef’s present arrangements, one would be disposed to apostrophise him sympathetically in the language of Dr. Watts, and say:—

“Night after night, you’ll prove a sight

To draw the cute Yankee,

Because your little hands were made

To stretch from C to C!”

Still, as he is an unquestionable genius who has a future before him, it is to be hoped that he won’t be “worked out” early at high pressure, and stimulated by a success that will only blunt his powers by depriving him of that desire for true progress in his art by which alone they can be legitimately developed. “Not too much gaslight, some practice, and plenty of battledore and shuttlecock,” is the proper recipe for little Master Josef. With this he can’t go wrong, and will, without doubt, if he stick to it, command the musical world of the future as surely as he has astonished that of to-day.

“NO MORE SEA-SICKNESS!” No More “bad quarters-of-an-hour” in Crossing the Channel! Try Mons. M. L. Mayer’s Remedy, to be provided on October 24 up to the middle of November, and probably longer, if all goes well, at the Remedy Theatre—no—at the Royalty Theatre, where he intends giving a season of French plays, and brings M. Coquelin, Mmes. Chaumont and Jane May,—not all at once but one at a time,—over to afford amusement to those Londoners who can’t afford amusement in Paris, or who object to the sea-passage, or who cannot spare sufficient time for the trip. M. Coquelin has with him a fair-sized bag of tricks which includes, among other things, Don Cæsar de Bazan, and he means to devote three-fourths of one evening’s entertainment to monologues, among which, Mr. Beerbohm Tree will be delighted to hear, is announced Gringoire. M. Mayer, will of course, see that his stars are well supported, and the public, delighted to save the sea-voyage, will support M. Mayer.

[pg 185]


By Victor Who-goes-Everywhere.

THE suggestion made a month ago by a “Salubrity Abroad,” (now happily a “Salubrity at home”) that the above title would make a good heading for an all-round-about theatrical and entertainment article in Mr. Punch’s pages, is at length carried out. In the character of a hero conquering difficulties, I have been here, there, and everywhere. My first triumph was at the Gaiety Theatre, where (after surmounting all obstruction) I secured a place from whence Miss Esmeralda could be watched in comfort. This piece is called a “melodramatic burlesque,” in two Acts, but I confess I failed to distinguish either the melodrama or the burlesque. It was, however, well mounted with good scenery and pretty dresses. It had further the advantage of an excellent stage-manager in Mr. Charles Harris, and a no less excellent dance inventor in Mr. John D’Auban, but of the book the less that is said the better. Frankly, it is not amusing. This being the case I was not surprised to find the names of its authors printed in the programme in a type just half the size accorded to the style and title of “the producer.” The acting calls for no particular comment. Mr. Lonnen sings an Irish song excellently well, but is less diverting when he trusts to attitudinising as a provocative to merriment. Miss Marion Hood’s charming face is sweeter than her voice, and Miss Fannie Leslie’s singing is as welcome now as ever it was—it recalls many a vocal triumph of the past. Mr. George Stone as Gringoire is more broadly comic than Mr. Beerbohm Tree in a somewhat similar rôle in the Ballad Monger. Both the Misses Blanche are all that could be desired in two subordinate characters. In the last Act there is a “Pyramid Ballet,”—which is slightly perplexing. Until my attention was pointedly called to the fact that I was watching a terpischorean demonstration of a game of billiards, I was under the impression that some of the intricacies of the plot of Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame were being very cleverly explained to me in easily followed dumb show. Perhaps the best thing (barring the Irish song) in the whole piece is an ingenious dance of Warders and Prisoners in Scene I., Act 2. In alluding to the list of the company I should not have forgotten to say that the names of that admirable comedian Mr. H. Leslie and that evergreen queen of burlesque, Miss E. Farren, are conspicuous by their absence. In spite of this very serious drawback, no doubt Miss Esmeralda will be as successful as it deserves to be. The scenery, dresses, and music, are alone worth a visit. And when I say this I leave out the acting, the singing and the dancing.

I also went to the Royal Aquarium the other afternoon, and witnessed the performances of a troupe of genuine Russian Wolves. If I had to appear in public myself with a company of performing animals, I think I should prefer poodles, or white mice, though, as a spectacle, wolves are undoubtedly more thrilling. I don’t know that these particular wolves did much; but the really striking fact, of course, was their condescension in doing anything, and it was certainly “pretty to see” them jumping a gate, and arranging themselves picturesquely on chairs, with just sufficient display of grinning jaws to make the audience congratulate themselves that the stage was fenced round by temporary iron railings. The creatures are evidently deeply attached to the Professor, who has so ably prepared them for public life. I was convinced of this by the effusion with which one after another advanced and kissed his forehead, on receiving a slight hint to that effect from a whip. But to be kissed—however tenderly—by a wolf, must be a creepy sensation. On the occasion when I was present we were afforded an additional, and I may say an unrehearsed, sensation after the act-drop fell. There was a scurry behind, a shout, and then—a great jagged rent in the curtain. People in the front row of stalls looked uncomfortable—it did seem very much as if one of the wolves had determined to “take a call” on his own account, but it was merely a little mishap with one of the railings. However, there was no real cause for alarm in any case, for an audience would have had ample time to escape while the wolf was amusing himself with the orchestra, which, fortunately, is a remarkably good one.

After the Wolves, by way of contrast, I paid a visit to La Belle Fatma. On delivery of a shilling, I, with other members of the Public, was passed in to a screened-off portion of the Imperial Theatre. A stout French gentleman seated himself at a piano below the stage, and the curtain rose presently, disclosing the fair Fatma and her troupe seated in a row, like a new variety of Christy Minstrels. With regard to the principal lady, I am bound to say that her charms did not seem to me to have been at all overestimated, and her portraits upon the posters actually do her less than justice. But this is a matter of opinion; and I must confess that, after all, it was not upon the peerless Fatma that my eyes were most riveted. There was a stout old lady in a turban, two places from her—such an old lady! with immense black eyebrows, meeting over flashing dark eyes, and a massive Oriental nose, a wide sternly compressed mouth, and three chins. Upon her knees she held a gourd-shaped drum, which she smacked severely at intervals; she might have sat for Cornelia polishing one of her “jewels”; and when she sang, the illusion was complete!

As to the performance, it was Oriental; and no description can convey much more. We had an Overture on the familiar “Rum-tum-tum, tum-a-tum-tum-tum, tum-a-tum” theme, which revealed considerable “staying power” on both sides of the footlights. Then one member of the troupe after another advanced, and, if a lady, chassé’d and revolved with slowly waving arms, and an expression that seemed to imply that she would take more pains if it were only worth while; if a man, he capered and grinned and shouted in a manner which, at all events, infinitely amused the performer himself. While this was going on, the old lady continued to “spank”—there really is no better term for it—her drum in a sort of grim rêverie, and a young person by her side emitted piercing shrieks by way of enlivening the proceedings. There was a mysterious One on the stage, who reminded me of an immense dice-box muffled in muslin; this, it turned out, was the Colossus of Sousse, to whom was entrusted the function of “presenting” Mademoiselle Fatma at the close of the performance. This seemed superfluous, particularly as the excellent Colossus had no notion of doing more than taking her by the hand and stalking two paces forward. It was all over in a quarter of an hour or so; and, for my own part, I considered the old lady in the turban alone worth the paltry shilling charged for admission.

I have also been to Terry’s Theatre, where great precautions are taken to prevent fire. Everything, more or less, is labelled “Exit,” and, instead of doors, in several parts of the house there are curtains. On the whole it must be a good theatre to escape from. This is worth noting, if the performances are wearisome.


(To Angelica, who bids him publish.)

In Memory’s mystical hazes

I see a vast Gander and grey,

I see the small boy that he chases

At the head of a hissing array:

How I wept when they brought me to bay,

How I pleaded in vain for a truce!

Too frightened to shoo them away,

I could never say Boh to a Goose!

I have lived through a number of phases,

I have rhymed of the grave and the gay,

But the clatter of critical phrases,

But the moralist armed for the fray,

I have fled in unseemly dismay,

Since the Gander—’tis all my excuse—

For, in brief, since that terrible day—

I could never say Boh to a Goose!

It was fabled of old that in places

Grow goose-bearing trees by the way,

Where bough within bough interlaces

Green geese flutter down from the spray;

In reviews, at first nights of the play,

These shrubs are in general use,

And I would not encounter them, nay,

I could never say Boh to a Goose!


Angelica! bid me essay

The deeds of a Wallace or Bruce,

But talk not of publishing, pray—

I could never say Boh to a Goose!

Irish Appointment Extraordinary (subject to the kind permission of Sir Bernard Burke, C.B., LL.D.).—The Right Hon. Joseph O’Chamberlain, M.P., to be Ulster-King-of-Arms.

Note by Augustus Druriolanus, after the Granting of the Licence to the Empire Theatre.—“L’Empire c’est la pay 46 per cent.—like the Alhambra.”

[pg 186]



Professor Chatterleigh.By George! I’m so Hungry I can’t Talk!

Fair Hostess (on hospitable thoughts intent).Oh, I’m so Glad!


(With apologies to the Shade of the Author of “Al Aarof.”)

[I have read ... that I have come to Ulster to revive religious bigotry, to rekindle the embers of party strife, and to revive ancient feuds which are now in a fair way to be forgotten. I can assure you that these are not the objects which I propose to myself. (Laughter.)—Report of Mr. Chamberlain’s Speech in Belfast.]

Erin’s Guardian Angel sings:—

I came (by the steamer)

A cross the wild spray.

No bigot, no dreamer,

To moon time away.

Bright lingers to ponder,

And make tart replies;

But I come, from yonder,

Drawn down from the skies.

With love I am laden,

Peace sits on my brow.

No, sweet Ulster maiden,

My game is not row!

Arise! from your dreaming,

In bright Orange bowers,

To duties beseeming,

Your fame and past powers.

My presence expresses

My fondness for you;

(My game no one guesses,

They read it askew)

Oh, how without you, love,

Can Ireland be blest?

You’re loyal, you’re true, love,

Mad traitors the rest.

I shake from my wing

Each hindering thing.

The black Parnellite

Would weigh down my flight.

The G. O. M.’s messes,

I leave them apart,

His lures and his jesses,

His tricks and his art.

W. G.! W. G.! Ah!

My old artful one,

You had an idea

With you I should run.

No! it is my will

On the breezes to toss

At caprice, or be still

Like a lone albatross.

Daring duckling? That’s past!

Stormy petrel? That’s flown!

I’m a halcyon at last,

A new rôle,—and my own!

W. G. Ah! Whoever

Thine “items” may be,

For ever I sever

My fortunes from thee.

Thou hast bound many eyes

In sophistical sleep,

But the angel that flies

Will thy vigilance keep?

O Walker! (Again

A rhetorical flower

From thy full-teeming brain!)

I have passed a brief hour

In those same cipherings

Which you fudge—let that pass!

But my own view of things

Is not modell’d, alas!

On yours—none of the clearest—

But then, that’s your way—

’Tis one of the queerest;

Do you find it pay?

Ah! love moved the smiles

That beamed forth on my rest

On the greenest of Isles.

Its Scotch natives are best,

For they have in their keeping

Its wealth and its trade,

And Sedition, unsleeping,

Has spoilt, I’m afraid,

The true Pat of the Island.

He burns to be free,

His bosom holds guile, and

His bonnet a bee.

Go to! Let them slumber,

The Home-Ruling lot

Are not the huge number

They tell us—that’s rot!

I came to awaken,

An Angel of Peace!

I’m bound to be taken

For such ere I cease.

Parnell’s spell makes Pat slumber,

Its witchery is test,

And your Orange-host’s number

Must manage the rest!


Dear Mr. Punch,—Will you please ask the Times not to allow such unpleasant subjects to be introduced into its columns as there was last Wednesday,—that is, judging by the heading on page 8, “The Birch and the Primitive Seat,” which of course none of us fellows read (one line of it was enough for me), and if there is another of the sort, we shall vote that the Times isn’t taken in here in future, and I don’t think the Times would like that. A word from you will be sufficient, I am sure.

Your Constant Reader,
Upper Lower Middleton.
Eton College, Bucks, near Windsor, England.

Mrs. Ram says she couldn’t stop in an out-of-the-way country-place, give up society, and live like a Helmet in the desert.

[pg 187]



[pg 189]



Emily.Ask her to give us some more of her Sacred Music, George!

George (a linguist).Oh, Mademoiselle, donnez-nous encore de votre Sacrée Musique.


Off to Ireland!—At last. Collings with me, of course:—rather grumpy, because Salisbury’s got the credit of passing the Allotments Bill, instead of himself. Still, Jesse better than nobody. Would create bad impression to visit Belfast without an entourage.

In Steamer.—Look up my Irish History—or rather, Jesse’s Irish History, which he’s borrowed from Birmingham Free Library. An Alderman can do that sort of thing. Also examine revolver. Not accustomed to carrying one. What is the best place for it? Jesse says, “left-hand coat-tail pocket, decidedly, because then you can whip it out in a twinkling.” Jesse’s confidence contagious—he talks as if he had always been in the habit of “whipping-out” revolvers, like a cow-boy,—or a “three-acres-and-a-cow-boy.” Do as he advises. Very uncomfortable feeling. Sit down on revolver in a moment of forgetfulness, and nearly blow Captain’s head off. Captain irritated. Asks me for “ransom.” Ridiculous!

Belfast.—No end of a reception. Drive through the principal streets. Enthusiastic populace insist on taking horses out of carriage and pulling it themselves. Gratifying, but should feel safer with the horses. Why will Collings bow? I’m the person to bow, obviously. Bad taste, but don’t like to stop him. Believe the mob take him for me—or why do they cheer him so?

At Hotel.—Just found out reason of enthusiasm evoked by appearance of Jesse. He’s got on an Orange tie! Ask him, reproachfully, why he did this? Pretends it was a mere accident—forgot that orange was favourite Ulster colour. Don’t want a religious riot, so make him take it off. Jesse getting grumpier. Can’t help it.

Evening.—Before going to meeting, had better find out what Belfast chiefly famous for. Ask Collings. Replies “linen-shirts and handkerchiefs.” Try to put him in good humour by remarking that “he seems shirty.” Is there no other historical fact connected with place? “Yes,” he replies, “visit of Lord Randolph Churchill.” Wish he hadn’t mentioned latter event. Dispiriting. Reminds one of proposed National Party, with self and Randolph as sole leaders—and sole followers, too, it seems.

At Hotel—after Speech.—Great success. Felt horribly inclined to start another Home Rule plan—my fifth—but fortunately refrained. Instead of dismemberment of Empire, I offered more Members to Ulster. Ulster people saw the justice of this arrangement at once. Told ’em there were “two Irelands.” Isn’t one Ireland enough, however?

Coleraine.—A triumphal arch, with “Welcome to English Peasant Emancipators” on it. Stupid to bracket Collings with me in this way. Receive threatening letter. Reminds me of my revolver. Jesse examines it with the air of a professional gunsmith, critically. Appears quite hurt at its condition; says, “I’ve sat on it so often he doubts if it would go off now,” and recommends my carrying a “bowie-knife” instead. Am surprised at Jesse’s acquaintance with deadly weapons. Ask him what historical event took place at Coleraine. Says he doesn’t know and doesn’t care. But what’s he here for except to keep me posted up in local details? Hint to him that “I hope I may be able to offer him post of President of Local Government Board in my future Ministry.” Replies (rudely, I think) that “he’ll wait till I’m asked to form one.” Query—doesn’t air of Ulster exercise demoralising effect on English politicians? Is this the “Ulster Custom” one’s heard so much about? Randolph a case in point.

Back again.—Coleraine speech excellent, though I say it, as shouldn’t. Cheered to the echo. So was Jesse, hang him! Shan’t take him to Canada with me. Now for a study of the habits of deep-sea fish in the pages of a Natural Science Primer.


(By a Belated Oarsman.)

Come, little Maid, to the cracked piano,

The semi-grand in the coffee-room;

We’ll take your harmonies all cum grano,

For the strings vibrate like the crack of doom.

Over the lawn the flat clouds loom,

And when they lighten the rain falls faster;

Like gossips who relish a friend’s disaster

The ducks quack loud in the rain-ruled gloom.

I’ve studied the cracks in the ceiling-plaster,

And the statuettes with their stolid leer,

And the landscape visions of some Young Master,

Who viewed the world through a haze of beer.

We’ve done as much with the hostel’s cheer

As sane men may in corpore sano;

So come, little Maid, to the cracked piano.

Play us “The Battle of Prague,” my dear.

The silence clouds, like a potion shaken,

As the limp strings jar to an ancient pain;

Their light and sweetness no touch can waken,

And only the dregs of a tone remain.

The silk-sewn music with fray and stain

Swoons on the keys at the urgent stages,

And the little Maid, as she props the pages,

Just murmurs, “Bother!” and starts again.

And the streaming window again engages

The thoughts that stray from the field of Prague;

And the moping birds in their gauze-girt cages,

And the wax-work fruits of a genus vague;

And the flies that buzz like a lazy plague

Round the lone lorn jam, as it stands forsaken;

And the varnished pike in the mill-pool taken

About the year that they fought at Prague.

But twilight falls, and its folds encumber

The misty mounds of the patient trees,

And sunset cheers with a touch of umber

The puddles of steel-gray Gruyère cheese.

And, interposing a little ease,

Our frail thoughts dally with false surmises

Of a morning as brilliant as mid July’s is

With bravest sunshine and sweetest breeze.

A soothing silence the soul surprises,

For the little Maid, like a hero true,

Has fought her fight through its poignant crises,

And shown what practice can dare and do.

And, tearing the moonlight in handfuls through,

A giant arm in the cloudland sombre

Scatters the light on a world of slumber,

Through snowy craters, from gulfs of blue.

[pg 190]


(A Legend of the Grosvenor Gallery.)

The Spirit of Art glided through the streets of Modern London, seeking a resting-place. She entered the Diploma Gallery of the Royal Academy, but hurried away, affrighted at some of the terrible examples of the illustrious Forty.

“And these are the greatest English painters!” she murmured—“the countrymen of Shakspeare, Milton, and Addison, Tennyson, Macaulay, and Dickens! How is it that Painting cannot keep pace with Literature?”

It sounded like a Conundrum, and the Spirit of Art was not good at Conundrums. So she gave it up. Then she passed into other Exhibitions—there were quite a dozen in the neighbourhood at the very least. But she was unsatisfied, and came away. She paused, and considered. The Spirit of Art had one great English friend (of Irish extraction), who was a Musician.

Arthur is a clever fellow,” said the Spirit of Art to herself—there was no one else to speak to—“and if he does compose more comic Operas than Oratorios, it is, I suppose, because there is a greater demand for the former than the latter.”

From this it will be seen the Spirit of Art had, on the whole, a good head for business. “Now,” continued the Representative of the Beautiful, “I distinctly recollect that the words to one of the songs of my friend Arthur contained a pointed reference to the Greenery Yallery Gallery. I fancy, from all I have heard, that the sort of thing I want will be found in the Greenery Yallery Gallery.”

She was quite pleased at the notion. To tell the truth the Spirit of Art was rather weary of perambulating the streets of London—not even the advertisements of Buffalo Bill on the hoardings gave her lasting satisfaction.

“Let me consider,” she said, as she hovered on the threshold of the Grosvenor Gallery, “now I shall find myself amongst the grandest works of Mister Jones. I am never tired of that pale face with the pointed chin—no more is Mister Jones. This frequently-reproduced portrait of a lady is most interesting. No doubt it is a study of a chronic case of dyspepsia that must have lasted for twenty years. Then I shall see the choicest works of More and Millais, and Watts, and oh, joy! of Sir Coutts-Lindsay! This is indeed the very spot for a resting-place.”

So the Spirit of Art glided up the staircase and into the Grosvenor Gallery. For a moment she was puzzled. There was no dyspeptic lady—“no greenery” and very little “yallery.” Then she shivered, for on all sides she found immense pictures of battles and executions ghastly beyond description.

“Why, what are these?” she gasped. “What are these?”

“Catalogue, Miss?” replied a civil attendant. “Thank you, Miss,—sixpence.”

And then the Spirit of Art read that such and such a picture represented a dreadful defeat, that a pestilent hospital, yonder one a scene of torture. She found representations of war treated in the most prosaic and unbeautiful form.

She was horrified and fainted!

Then the vision, before her became more and more terrible and the entire contents of the Catalogue was unfolded before her. Dying soldiers defying vultures, mutilated Russians lying in an open grave, old men being blown from the guns! Wounds, and fire, and blood!

When she came to herself she hurried away. She thought it out.

“I must gradually accustom myself to less horrible things,” she whispered. “I will begin at once. If I were not to do this by degrees, I should go mad!” She called a hansom.

“Where to, Miss?”

“To the Marylebone Road,” cried the Spirit of Art—in these days the Spirit is a very self-assertive young person, and not at all like an unprotected female—“Baker Street Station, Marylebone Road.”

Then she threw away her Catalogue.

“I must see something less repulsive than this—I must gradually resume my normal condition. Something less repulsive! I have it! I will begin with the figures of Madame Tussaud’s—in the Chamber of Horrors!”


Congregation at Oxford, having (in an empty House), for the sake of economy, turned the old Professorship of Anglo-Saxon into one of English Literature, and having, with a view to utilising its salary, entirely suppressed the chair of Poetry, it is rumoured that the Hebdomadal Council have already in contemplation a sweeping list of curtailments in the same direction.

The Professorships of Arabic, Archæology, Astronomy, Botany, Celtic, Chemistry, and Chinese, will, it is said, also be rolled into one.

It is hoped that, by some spirited reforms in the direction indicated above, the University that, from the fashion in which it has dealt with the Chair of Poetry, appears indeed to be out at elbows, may survive the financial crisis in which it is evidently involved.

[pg 191]


Arranged for the use of the returning British Passenger at Breakfast-time. By a very Dyspeptic Contributor.

It is a glorious thing to think that one is leaving France and all foreign kickshaws behind one, and is once more approaching dear honest old England on the deck of a British steamer.

But let us come into the cabin and have a bit of breakfast before we get in.

Surely that table covered with a dirty sheet instead of a tablecloth is not prepared for our repast?

Why, this stale loaf must have been on board quite a week.

It has evidently made several passages backwards and forwards in company with this extremely remarkable sample of butter.

Why does this coffee the Steward has just brought us look like ink and sawdust, and taste like something perplexing?

The Frenchman, who has been expecting déjeuner à la fourchette, is surveying with astonishment the dish of mutton-chops they have set down before him.

It is a great pity that they are all two inches thick, and are underdone when cut.

I wonder whether he is thinking, as I am, of the clean, fresh, and trim restaurant table, the excellent café au laít, petits-pains, Normandy butter, and other “foreign kickshaws,” that he has just left behind him in France.

Though he has had to pay three shillings for his hot breakfast, he has informed me that he will wait till he arrives, and take “le lunch” on shore.

I wonder whether he is aware that, if he makes this meal at the typical Refreshment-Room, he will have to content himself with stale sponge-cakes, the day-before-yesterday’s buns, and small tins of lemon-drops.

But let us get out of the Cabin. I certainly prefer the deck of an excellent steamer to the arrangements made for providing one with breakfast down below.


“The rapid increase both of buildings and population which has taken place in the Metropolitan Police district of late years has outrun the increase which it has been possible to make to the Police Force.”—Sir Charles Warren, in his Official Reports, 1885, 1886.

“The average applications for admission to the Metropolitan Police Force now amount to one hundred per diem.” Statistics, October, 1887.

Sergeant Punch (inspecting would-be ex-Unemployed).

Sergeant Punch (inspecting would-be ex-Unemployed). “So, my Lad, you want to be a Constable! Rather enforce the Law than break it, eh? That’s right! Hem! The Force has long been undermanned. We must see if we can’t make room for you!”

Ne Plus Ulster.—Mr. Chamberlain seems to find the heart of the Irish Question in Ulster. Does he expect to find its solution there? He appears to set little store by the wishes of those not inconsiderable portions of Ireland which, as he says, “do not form a portion of the Ulster plantation.” All other parts, even of the favoured province, “though geographically part of Ulster, are not parts of what we know as political Ulster.” This certainly narrows the Irish Question. But does it simplify it? We have all heard of those who are “more Irish than the Irishmen themselves.” Mr. Chamberlain seems to be more Ulsterish than the men of Ulster, though they, to be sure, on his own showing, are virtually English and Scotch. In declining to look beyond Ulster, it may be asked whether he looks into the Irish Question at all. Altogether Irish—very!

[pg 192]


The Danvers Jewels, published by Richard Bentley and Son, and written by an anonymous author who dedicates the work to his sister “Di,” (from whom he received some assistance in the story, otherwise he would “never have said ‘Di’”) is a short and well-told sensational novelette in a shilling volume. There is a genuine vein of humour running through it, which is so artistically managed as at first to escape the reader’s attention, who becoming more and more irritated with the stupidity of the supposed narrator, gradually discovers that the story which is being recounted by a middle-aged Indian Colonel, who prides himself on being remarkably astute, and on possessing a perfectly marvellous insight into character, is being recounted by a conceited, shallow-pated old ass. I think it a fault that at the very last, by some such accident as being in an assize town and being invited to sit on the bench, he does not see the villain thoroughly unmasked, placed in the dock, and condemned to death, or at least penal servitude for life. The story, excellent as it is, seems to me to want this finish. By the way, why, for no conceivable purpose, quote on the title-page a line from the Old Testament which, as every one remembering its context and after reading the book must see, has no apparent bearing on the subject? Mistake this.

A work by "Q."A work by “Q.”

Deadman’s Rock. By “Q.” Have Messrs. Louis Stevenson and Rider Haggard combined under the signature of “Q.” to write at all events the first part of the weird and exciting Romance entitled Deadman’s Rock? If not let those two authors look to their laurels. There is much in this book to remind the reader of Treasure Island, especially the fiendish Sailor’s uncouth chaunt, “Sing hey for the deadman’s eyes, my lads,” which, however, is not a patch upon Mr. Stevenson’s “Ho! Ho! Ho! and a bottle of rum,” in Treasure Island. Then there is one line in “Q.’s” story, “And here a strange thing happened,” which must call to mind Mr. Rider Haggard’s patent of “and now a strange thing happened.” “Q.”—rious coincidence, isn’t it? But a “coincidence” is not likely to annoy Mr. Haggard.

In the first part the most impatient reader will find that he cannot afford to skip a couple of lines without detriment to the narrative, but in the second part he may skip handfuls, as the lovemaking is common-place, and time is wasted over the tragedy which is written by one of the heroes, and over the description of their life in London. But on the other hand the scene in the gambling-house is exciting and artistically worked up,—and coming immediately after this, the lovemaking is uncommonly tame,—and the scene at the Theatre is also very good, but after this there is a lull in the excitement until the end approaches, when there is one very strong situation. But the actual finish is weak. So the summing up is that the first part is first-rate, and the second part is, on the whole, second-rate. But who is “Q.”?

That is the Q. and what is the A.? Deadman’s Rock is not a good book for very nervous persons or children: for the latter Almond Rock would be far preferable.


(By an Envious and Irritable Bard, after reading “Ballades and Rondeaus,” just published, and wishing he could do anything like any of them.)

Bored by the Ballade, vexed by Villanelle,

Of Rondeau tired, and Triolet as well!


(In Bad Weather.)

Oh! I’m in a terrible plight—

For how can I rhyme in the rain?

’Tis pouring from morn until night:

So bad is the weather again,

My language is almost profane!

Though shod with the useful galosh,

I’m racked with rheumatical pain—

I think that a Ballade is bosh!

I know I am looking a fright;

That knowledge, I know, is in vain;

My “brolly” is not water-tight,

But hopelessly rended in twain

And spoilt by the rude hurricane!

Though clad in a stout mackintosh,

My temper I scarce can restrain—

I think that a Ballade is bosh!

Oh, I’m an unfortunate wight!

The damp is affecting my brain;

My woes I would gladly recite,

In phrases emphatic and plain,

Your sympathy could I obtain.

I don’t think my verses will wash,

They’re somewhat effete and inane—

I think that a Ballade is bosh!


I fancy I’m getting insane,

I’m over my ankles in slosh;

But let me repeat the refrain—

I think that a Ballade is bosh!


(With Vexation.)

I do not like the Villanelle,

I think it somewhat of a bore—

This tinkle of a Muffin-bell!

The reason why I cannot tell;

Each day I fancy, more and more,

I do not like the Villanelle!

It makes me stamp and storm and yell,

It makes me wildly rage and roar:

This tinkle of a Muffin-bell!

I look upon it as a sell,

Its use I constantly deplore;

I do not like the Villanelle!

Poetic thoughts it must dispel,

It very often tries me sore:

This tinkle of a Muffin-bell!

For this I know, and know full well—

Let me repeat it o’er and o’er!—

I do not like the Villanelle,

This tinkle of a Muffin-bell!


(In a Temper.)

A triolet’s scarcely the thing—

Unless you would carol in fetters!

If lark-like you freely would sing,

A Triolet’s scarcely the thing:

I miss the poetical ring,

I’m told that it has, by my betters!

A Triolet’s scarcely the thing—

Unless you would carol in fetters!


(In a Rage.)

Pray tell me why we can’t agree

To bid the merry Muse run free?

Pray tell me why we should incline

To see her in a Rondeau pine,

Or sigh in shackled minstrelsy?

Why can’t she sing with lark-like glee,

And revel in bright jeux d’esprit?

Where form can’t fetter or confine—

Pray tell me why?

Pray tell me why that frisky gee,

Called Pegasus, should harnessed be?

Why bit and bridle should combine

To all his liveliness consign,—

To deck the Rondeau’s narrow line—

Pray tell me why?


A Simple Clearance under Protest.

A Simple Clearance under Protest.

We learn from a report of the proceedings of the City Commissioners of Sewers last week, that those vigilant protectors of the health of our ancient City had before them a case that fairly puzzled them, and in its strangeness and difficulty would probably have puzzled even a more judicial body than they probably pretend to be. It would seem that they had received a note of warning from the eminent firm of Francis Peek & Co., that a large parcel of tea was about to be submitted to public auction which was “simple filth,” and utterly unfit for consumption.

A Commissioner stated that he was present at the Sale that morning, and that the whole quantity, consisting of 1000 Chests, had been sold, duty paid (it must have been cleared at the Custom House with or without protest), at one halfpenny per pound! The natural expectation was that the “simple filth” as it had been termed by experts, would be at once seized by the officials and destroyed, but this strange difficulty arose. The Medical Officer of Health stated that he had analyzed a sample of the tea in question, and could not swear before a Magistrate that it was unfit for use! He stated too, as a specimen of the wisdom of our legislators, that, by Act of Parliament, Tea was specially exempted from the operations of Public Analysts! So the willing Commissioners found themselves powerless to act, but referred the whole matter to their Sanitary Committee, who, we understand, will at their next meeting take tea, instead of luncheon, made from the remains of the sample, and report the result.

In the meantime Mr. Punch, ever ready to assist in a good cause, dispatched one of his City young men to make further inquiries, who reported that he had visited the Auction Mart on three successive days at lunch-time, and had asked one or two of the sharpest-looking of the crowd, as possible purchasers of the wondrous tea, to lunch with him, which they had willingly done; but, although he says he lunched them copiously, they one and all denied any knowledge of the tea sale in question.

Shepherd v. Keevil.”—Mem; Christian maxim for a Pastor or Shepherd, “Do not think eevil of your neighbour.”

Pointing finger

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Transcriber’s notes

On page 181, “influenced” was missing the letter “d”, and on page 183, “enliten” was missing its first “e”. These have been corrected.

On page 185, “Gringore” was changed to “Gringoire” for consistency.