The Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93, November 26, 1887

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93, November 26, 1887

Author: Various

Editor: F. C. Burnand

Release date: September 2, 2012 [eBook #40645]

Language: English



E-text prepared by Wayne Hammond, Malcolm Farmer,
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team


[pg 241]


Volume 93

November 26, 1887.


A Recollection of the Long Vacation.


During the Long Vacation (now happily over) I have been present at my chambers a great deal more frequently than some of the men with whom I share my rooms. In fact, I may say that I have been constantly the sole occupant of the entire set. Chuckbob, the well-known authority on International Law, has spent September and October in the Highlands, and my other friends have been on the Continent. Even Portington, my excellent and admirable clerk, has taken a fortnight's rest at Eastend-on-Mud (a pleasant watering-place not many miles from Town), where I fancy he spent his well-earned holiday in trying to get up a libel action against the Sanitary Board. It is just to say that my presence at Pump-Handle Court has not been entirely necessitated by my forensic labours. The fact is, that Jowler, a very dear friend of mine, who has some mysterious supervisorship (sanctioned by an eccentric will) over an Institution connected with the Vegetarian Movement, was recently called away, by his duties as a trustee, to Australia, to look after a number of sheep somehow affected and inconvenienced by the increase of rabbits in that favourite colony. Being thus for a season expatriated, he asked me to look after the Institution connected with the Vegetarian Movement, in his place during his absence.

"You will really find the work simple enough," he said on bidding me farewell. "You hold my power of attorney, and all you have to do is not to quarrel with the Committee of Inspection, who, as you know, can play the very dickens with us."

"But what have the Committee of Inspection to do with the place?" I asked rather anxiously, as I never like to accept responsibility, so to speak, with my eyes blindfolded.

"Oh, you will soon find out," replied Jowler. "You will pick it up as you go along. I shall soon be back—perhaps in six months."

The Institution connected with the Vegetarian Movement was within easy distance of my chambers, so I came to the conclusion that I could combine the vague superintendence it apparently required with my ordinary legal engagements. I found, on a visit to the Institution about a fortnight after Jowler had left, that all seemed to be right, and the head employé assured me that if my services were needed, he would send round to me.

"Fortunately since Mr. Jowler's departure, Sir," said the head employé, "we have seen nothing of the Committee of Inspection."

He lowered his voice to a tone of the deepest awe as he spoke of the mysterious body.

"I am very glad to have seen you, Sir," he continued; "the fact is, there may be a number of things I should like to consult you about, and I was loth to worry you."

"Oh, not in the least," I replied, airily; "consult me at any time; only too glad to give you every assistance in my power."

Upon this, I took my leave, saying as I did, to show that I really knew what I was about, that whoever had broken the hall-lamp, which I noticed was damaged, should have been made to pay for it.

On my return to my chambers, I found Portington in a great state of excitement. He had actually got a brief for me! A real brief marked with a real fee and endorsed by a real firm of Solicitors! I was actually retained! Mordaunt Jones, Brown and Snobkins! Perhaps the best firm in the profession! I was delighted!

"Portington," I observed when I had regained sufficient control over my feelings to speak calmly, "I do not think you will find the names in my fee-book?"

"I fancy not, Sir," replied Portington; "they wanted Mr. Chuckbob, only I said he was in Scotland, and persuaded—I mean told them you were in, and would be glad to look through the papers instead."

"Thank you, Portington," I answered, as I took the bundle into my own special room; "thank you, if they come for them, let me know."

"Certainly, Sir; Mordaunt Jones, Brown and Snobkins seemed most anxious to have them back."

Once alone I undid the tape and found the matter resolved itself into a most delicate point of international usage. I went to my bookshelf and hunted for authorities, and was soon deep in Mexican Maritime Law. I was searching in its statutes for one dealing with a ship detained by stress of weather in quarantine, when I was disturbed by Portington ushering in the head employé from the Institution connected with the Vegetarian Movement.

"Very sorry, Sir," said my visitor, "but we are in sad distress. We have just received twelve dozen cases of ginger-beer, when the Committee of Inspection particularly ordered that only soda-water should be supplied, and I really don't know what we shall do."

"Can they not be exchanged for the required liquid?" I asked, looking up from my work, a trifle annoyed at the interruption.

"I am afraid that is impossible, Sir. You see that the Committee of Inspection are so opposed to any alteration of procedure."

"Well, well, you must do the best you can," I replied. "You see I am very much engaged at this moment."

The chief employé, seeming greatly surprised at my lack of excitement, bowed, and withdrew. I was once more deep in my Mexican Maritime Law, when Portington put in his head.

"Suppose that opinion isn't ready yet, Sir? Mordaunt, Brown, Jones and Snobkins are waiting for it."

"Ready directly. My compliments, and they can call for it in half an hour."

I had just got to the point where I thought I began to comprehend the Mexican method of dealing with a fraudulent bill of lading, when I was again interrupted. A small boy forced himself in.

"Please you are to come round at once. The chess-boards are out of order, and want mending, and there is something wrong with the lift, between the kitchen and the dining-room, and——"

"You had no right to intrude, sirrah!" I exclaimed, with haughty impatience. "Begone!"

Murmuring something about the Committee of Inspection, "kicking up a shindy" the urchin withdrew. Again I dived into Mexican Maritime Law, and nearly got hold of the rules governing a sale of cargo for the benefit of ship-repairs. I had jotted down a line or two upon the brief-paper before me, when the door was again thrown open, and a gentleman of immense presence entered.

"I believe you are Mr. Jowler's substitute?" he began, without removing his hat. I inclined my head and made a gesture with my pen which was intended to convey to him the joint ideas that he was to take a chair and not to disturb me until I was less preoccupied. He ignored my dumb-show. "And that being the case, it is my duty to call your attention to the unsatisfactory condition of the chimney-pots of your Institution, and to mention the fact that a pane of glass in the pantry has been broken, and is still unrepaired."

"Really," I replied, "I am exceedingly busy with a matter of the greatest importance, and I must ask you to be so very kind as to call again on an occasion when my time is more my own."

The gentleman rose with an air of astonishment so profound that it nearly approached an aspect of absolute terror. He gasped for a moment, and then asked, in a bone-freezing whisper—

"Do you understand that I am a Member of the Committee of Inspection?"

"I shall be delighted to make your acquaintance on some future occasion," I replied, with that easy courtesy that I hope is one of my characteristics, and I opened the door for him to pass out.

He got up and with the same expression of profound astonishment left my chambers. Once more I dived into Mexican Maritime Law, and was only disturbed by a letter sent by hand from the Institution, which I did not open, but threw carelessly on the desk before me. I had just got to the last point in my opinion when the door was again dashed open and Jowler himself rushed in.

"Why, my dear fellow,——" I began.

"No time to explain," he cried, "Australian visit deferred. Presentiment of evil. Came back. What about the Institution?"

I gave an account of my stewardship.

"And this is a letter I got a few minutes ago," I said, when I had finished my story, handing the document to my friend who hurriedly opened it.

"Good gracious!" he exclaimed, "why it is from a Member of the Committee of Inspection complaining of the hall-lamp! Oh! what have you been doing?"

"They are all there, Sir!" cried the urchin, returning at the moment out of breath from running, "and there's a nice row at the Institution!"

"What the Committee of Inspection!" exclaimed Jowler, seizing his hat, "Oh, what have you been doing? Why the place will be ruined!" And he hurried off followed by the urchin.

The next morning I got a letter from Jowler, saying that he would never forgive me, as, by my "want of tact with the Committee of Inspection, I had ruined a widow and five small children," and, to make matters worse, I have been subsequently informed, in a satirical communication signed "Mordaunt, Brown, Jones and Snobkins," that my opinion is not one they can conscientiously adopt without further advice, "as my knowledge of Mexican Law seems to be of a superficial description."

It is a painful experience, and none the less painful because I have to add it to a number of experiences of a not entirely dissimilar character.

A. Briefless,

"The Grand Old Man" in December.—Father Christmas.

[pg 242]


From Quiet Quarters.

By-the-Sea, Saturday.

By-the-Sea, Saturday.

Dear Toby,

I have been intending to write to you for some weeks past, but, really, life passes so quickly here, with such gentle rotation of days and nights, that a week is over before I realise that I have well entered upon it. Besides, I find, in practical experience, that the writing of a letter usually involves the receipt of one; and, though I am not bound by any rule involving the necessity of reading, or even opening the letters that reach me, it is as well to avoid, as far as possible, little annoyances of that kind. I write to you because, in your case, I make an exception to the rule of my epistolary conduct, and really want to hear from you.

The occasion of this solicitude is, that I find chance references in the local weekly paper (I never see a daily) to the Irish Question, which seem to show that it is in a somewhat unusually perturbed state. I daresay if I could make up my mind to open the pile of letters that have been accumulating on my desk for the last month or so, I should be able to inform myself on the subject? But, if I once began that practice, whither would it lead me? I have found, in the course of my public life, that the last thing to do with a letter received through the post, is to open it. My correspondence, conducted in the main upon that principle, answers itself, and thus much labour, and possible friction, are saved.

From the source of intelligence already alluded to, I gather hints that the Government are "being firm" in Ireland, that evictions have been going on, that there have been conflicts between the police and the people, and that even some of my colleagues in the Parliamentary Party have been arrested. One paragraph goes so far as to mention the really interesting circumstance, that W-ll-m O'Br-n, has been cast into gaol, where he sleeps on a plank bed, and that Arth-r B-lf-r, emulating a historic political feat, has stolen his clothes whilst he was sleeping.

This thing is probably an allegory, but it serves to support an opinion I have always had with respect to the future of the Conservative Government, and which enables me from time to time to stand aside from the hurly-burly of active politics. I suppose that what the paragraphist really means by the story of stealing O'Br-n's clothes, is that Arth-r B-lf-r, as representative of Lord S-l-sb-ry's Government, is coming out as an advocate of Home Rule for Ireland. If I misread the allegory, the error has but temporary effect. If it is not true to-day it will be true to-morrow, or the day after, if only the Liberals have the ill-luck to be deprived of precedence in the opportunity. If I never stirred finger or raised voice again, Home Rule would be granted to Ireland by whatever English Party chances to be in power when the moment is ripe. The ball is set spinning, and it would be a mere accident, of no great import to me or the Irish people, whether it is the M-rk-ss or Gl-dst-ne that kicks it into goal.

Hence you will see that though it may strike a superficial observer as odd that I, of all men, should, at such a juncture, absent myself from the field of battle and hide no one knows where, the course is not so unreasonable as it appears. Why should I run the risk of burning my fingers by pulling chestnuts out of the fire, when the foremost men in English politics vie with each other in the effort to do it for me? Amongst the few people with whom I come in contact here I pass for a curate of Evangelical views, who, for private reasons, has quitted his family and congregation, and tries, ineffectually they slily think, to disguise himself by dispensing with clerical garb. I encourage this self-deception, and am left free to sit in the sun when there is any—and there is really an astonishing amount on this Southern coast in November—and when it rains I put up my umbrella. Sometimes I hear on it the patter of distant conflicts in Ireland, and open revolt in London. These echoes of wild disturbance only make the sweeter my retirement. I know that I am foolish to imperil my pastoral peace by inviting a communication from you which may confirm the vague reports I have alluded to. Still, I am a little curious to know is it really true that W-ll-m O'Br-n sleeps on a plank bed; that W-lfr-d Bl-nt, wearied of the long repose of Egyptian affairs, has had his head broken by the Royal Irish Constabulary; and that, with a refined cruelty which testifies to the innate fiendishness of the Saxon nature, the presiding Magistrate at Bow Street Police Court has ruthlessly refused to commit for trial that truculent, dangerous personage, Mr. S-nd-rs, whom I remember in the House as formerly Member for Hull?

Yours serenely,
C. S. P-rn-ll.


(With apologies to the Poet.)

"It is stated that Mr. Swinburne's new poem was cabled to New York."

Had I wist, wailed the wire in sea's hollow,

That thousands of lines I should list,

Pumped forth by a son of Apollo,

I would not have lain here, not I,

'Twixt Briton and Yankee a tie:

No messages through me should fly,

Had I wist.

Had I wist, they would make me swallow,

Huge poems all moonshine and mist,

In addition to "speeches" all hollow;

They shouldn't have cabled a thing,

They shouldn't have used me to wing,

Leagues of rhymes that the word-spinners sing,

Had I wist.

Valuable Opinion.—We understand that the Authorities have consulted Mr. Briefless, Junior, Q.C., (Queer Counsel) on the right claimed by indifferent passers-by to stand between the police and the mob, in view of the Chief Commissioner's statement that such passers-by cause the chief difficulty in quelling disturbance; The learned Counsel has given a lucid opinion to the effect that any mere sightseer may be arrested and imprisoned, unless he or she can prove the having come to the spot for a riotous or other unlawful object.

May in November.

(At the Royalty Theatre.)

Pieces French they're playing,—

Jane's a pretty player,—

Come with me a-Maying,

Gaily sings the Mayer.

The Lesson for the Day.—At Lowestoft Mr. Mundella spoke well and wisely on certain fishery questions. "With regard to outrages," said he, "in the North Sea, I counsel English fishermen to suffer wrong rather than do wrong, as then they could demand the protection of their industry by Government." Why not get the start of the Hartington and Goschen Travelling Co. (Limited), and deliver these excellent sentiments in Ireland?

"The Grosvenor 'Split,'" ought at once to be adopted by the Restaurant of that establishment as a title for a special mixed drink. Let Sir Coutts patent it.

"Special Constables."—Those belonging to the Collection in the National Gallery.

"In the Press."—Mr. O'Brien's clothes.

[pg 243]


(Poe applied.)

"Mr. Walt Whitman has just sent to Mr. Ernest Rhys, a preface and some new material for a second 'popular' volume of prose, to consist of 'Democratic Vistas' and other pieces."


Then I pacified Psyche, and kissed her,

And tempted her out of her gloom,

With the latest Walt-Whitmanish "Vista,"

Which Democracy showed as our doom;

Our unwelcome but obvious doom.

And I said, "How's it written, sweet Sister?"

"Is it bosh? Will it be a big boom?"

She replied, "'Twill illume, 'twill illume.

It is bosh, but quidnuncs 'twill illume!"

*** Mr. Poe, and not Mr. Punch's Poet, is responsible for this Cockney rhyme.

"Christmas Is Coming!"—"Tell me not in Christmas Numbers," that Christmas is coming. We wish the good old gentleman would not announce his intended arrival so long beforehand. Everybody knows, that, like one of his own Christmas books, he is "bound to appear" at a certain fixed date. Among the first of the heralds on the bookstalls is the Christmas Number of the Penny Illustrated, price threepence, and well worth the money. Mr. Latey, Junior, arranges a Christmas Literary and Artistic Banquet, and every plate has a plateful of Christmas fare. The picture entitled "Spoons" and representing two persons in evening-dress slipping downstairs—"such a getting downstairs"—in a sitting position, probably two amateur Tobogganists, is distinctly humorous. The coloured illustration, called The Christmas Ball, will be a great favourite with boys. If the Early Bird still catches the worm, the Latey one who is first in the field with this Christmas number ought to pick up the three-pennies.

Literary.—It is announced that Mr. Snodgrass has "thoroughly revised his translations from Heine." We expect next to hear that Mr. Tracy Tupman has "Englished" Catullus, and that Mr. Winkle is preparing a new edition of the Book of Sports.

Floral Appeal To November.—"Fog-get-me-not!"



Jeames I. "Very dangerous Parties these Hunemployed! Why, they're a beginnin' to denounce Hus!" Jeames II. "No!"

'Twas in Trafalgar's Square.

"'Twas in Trafalgar's Square."

Nov. 20, 1887.

Nelson (as Special Constable) sings:—

"England expects that every man

This day will go on Duty!"

The Last of the Solomonses.—The final knockdown blow was given to poor Tupper's Proverbial Philosophy by Mr. John Morley, who, in his admirable discourse on Aphorisms, described it as a "too famous volume," which "had immense vogue, but it is so vapid, so wordy, so futile, as to have a place among the books that dispense with parody." Alas! poor Tupper! Mr. Punch bids thee adieu for ever!

Will Mr. Lockyer turn his attention Eastwards, and inform us if the Corporation of the City of London is a "Self-luminous Body"? If so, couldn't it be utilised in a fog?

Describing the state of mind her Nephew was in on not being able to find a stud at the last moment to put in his shirt-front, Mrs. Ram said, "Oh, he was awfully iterated."

A Mess.—What's on the tapis in France? Grévy. M. Wilson, who speaks Latin with English pronunciation, throws all the blame on his father-in-law, and says it's a "Grévy delictum."


Or, Why They were "Sworn In."

Paterfamilias. "Because I think it's my duty, as a law-abiding citizen, to set a good example."

Mister Tom (his son). "Because I must look after the old Governor, and see he doesn't come to grief."

Mr. Brown, Q.C. "Because I'm not going to let those fellows, Jones and Robinson, think that I shirk the responsibility."

Messrs. Jones, M.D., and Robinson, R.A. "Because we don't mean to be outdone by that fellow Brown."

The West-end Young Man. "Because, you know, I think, on the whole, it's the correct thing to do."

The Primrose-League Young Man. "Because I should very much like to have a real chance of giving a Social Democrat a good whack on the head."

'Arry. "Because it's such a prime lark."

The General Person. "Because everybody seems to be doing it."

Mem. by a Hater of Premature "Christmassing."

"Christmas comes but once a year"—

But it lasts three months at a stretch, that's clear.

I should like to pass the whole quarter in slumbers,

To dodge the infliction of—Christmas Numbers!

The Great Ochipaway Chief says that he intends to continue selling his chips. But he has a log by him with which, as he has kept it for many years, he will not part on any account.


What! How did Lytton get into the chair!

The usual way—he mounted by the Stair.

The Report on the Fire at the Exeter Theatre.—"Slow, but Shaw."

[pg 244]



For the library shelves of those whom "Providence has not blessed with affluence," and who cannot afford first editions or expensive bindings, and for the working Journalist's library, the most useful books, the most handy, though not belonging to the regular "Handy Volume Series," and the best adapted to the pockets of most men, specially of the class above mentioned, are those forming Morley's Universal Library; published by Routledge and Sons, which now number about fifty-five volumes. Butler, Bacon, Cavendish, Cobbett, Dante, Goethe, Goldsmith, Thomas-à-Kempis, Sophocles, and De Quincey, are all well represented; and, following the fashion of the day, were I asked to provide "the young man just beginning active life" with a list of the best set of books for his study and perusal, I should have no hesitation in referring him to Morley's Universal Library; and I know of no more useful present at this Christmas time, or at any other time, than the neat and convenient oak cases, a guinea each, made on purpose to contain fifteen of the Morley volumes. I trust they will go on from year to year, and so continue to deserve the title first given them by Mr. Punch, of the "More-and-Morely Series," which fully expresses a constant supply to meet a growing demand.

Long expected come at last! The Henry Irving and Frank Marshall Shakspeare, Vol. I., produced by Messrs. Blackie (one of which Firm ought evidently to come out as Othello) as the Manager of the Lyceum always gets up his plays "regardless of expense." The prefaces and introductions will delight everyone who acknowledges the force of the common-sense opinion, emphatically expressed more than once in Mr. Punch's pages, that Shakspeare if acted just "as he is wrote" would not suit the taste of an audience of the present day. The taste of the modern audience is corrupted by Sensationalism and Materialism in every shape and form—and at some theatres Materialism in shape and form is one of the main attractions—and so impatient is it of anything like development of character by means of dialogue, that it would have most plays, no matter whether comedies or melodramas (there are no tragedies now, except Shakspeare's), reduced as nearly as may be to mere ballets of action. For the maxim of our audiences in this last quarter of the "so-called" Nineteenth Century, as regards the drama, is Facta non verba; before which imperious command those "who live to please," and who "must please to live," are compelled, be they authors or actors, to bow, and do their best, speaking as little as possible, so as not to give offence.

"Break, break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue,"


"Hist, Romeo, hist!"
R. & J., Act II., Sc. 2.

is the cry of any author nowadays who aims at writing a true Comedy. Mr. Irving marks clearly enough all the passages usually omitted in representation, which of themselves would make a small volume, but we are not shown the arrangement of scenes necessitated by the exigences of the stage, or rather by the taste of the audience, and so in this respect the plays remain pretty much as their author left them. Some stage-directions have been introduced, but as Mr. Frank Marshall denies that this is in any sense an "acting edition"—while Mr. Irving in his preface rather seems to imply that in some sense it is so,—I should be inclined to describe the work as "a contribution in aid of an acting edition," and I am delighted to add, a most valuable contribution it is, at least so far. Ex uno disce omnes, and if the other volumes are only on a par with this first instalment, Irving and Marshall's—it wouldn't do to put Marshall first in the Firm, because it would at once suggest, "and Snelgrove" to follow—or this Henry and Frank's edition of Shakspeare will be one of the most perfect and the most serviceable to the ordinary reader that has as yet been given to the public. In order to illustrate the Messrs. Blackie's judicious liberality, Mr. Marshall tells us that, with the view of making the work more complete by the introduction of certain explanations, "they (Messrs. Blackie) entirely recast all the notes to Richard the Second, though they (the notes, not Messrs. Blackie) had been already stereotyped." Oh, that Theatrical Managers would be as wise in their generations as were even these poor publishers, and when they see that a piece, Shakspeare's or anybody else's, is in an unsatisfactory state for representation, at once "recast it entirely," in spite of all the old "stereotyped" tie-wig objections. Mr. Irving in his preface makes a sort of apology for the luxurious extravagance of modern stage decoration. There is no necessity for this. The Stage reflects the fashion of the day, and that fashion is Materialism. Mr. Marshall's critical remarks on The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet, and Henry the Sixth, Part I., are admirable, difficult subjects being most delicately handled. He has no note on the appearance of an "Abbess," and on a scene "in front of a Priory," in the first of these plays, of which the action takes place about 300 B.C.; but I suppose that, though seldom risking anything in a case of importance, he on this occasion consulted the Dyce, and concluded that there was some "a priory" argument in favour of the existence of Abbesses three hundred years before they were invented. A genius like Shakspeare is above time and place. Mr. Marshall is of opinion (in a footnote, and I think he has here put his foot in it) that Shakspeare never descended to sycophancy for the sake of pleasing his royal patroness. I shall be curious to see what he has to say on this subject when he comes to tackle the characteristic speech given to Cranmer in the last scene of Henry the Eighth. Mr. Marshall dealing with Joan of Arc, in Henry the Sixth, notices how Shakspeare halts between two opinions, but decides as a courtier and a man of business would have done. The courtier remembers that Joan was not the only heroic virgin who had cheered her troops on to victory, but that the masculine Queen Bess had also mounted a cock-horse, like the lady of Banbury Cross, and had encouraged her soldiers with brave words at Tilbury Fort. Where the full-flavoured British Queen had succeeded, evidently the humble Gallic peasant maid must fail, at least, on the stage. If Gloriana was to be the pride of Old England, La Pucelle must be held up to Gloriana's subjects as a vile impostor, and a witch. Shakspeare would not allow sentiment to interfere with business. Most of Mr. Gordon Browne's illustrations are charmingly designed and executed, and the prefaces, introductions to Shakspeare's family (managed by F.A.M., Master of the Ceremonies), and critical remarks, ought to satisfy the most exacting of Shakspearian students.

"He bears him like a portly
R. & J., Act I., Sc. 4.

Prince Lucifer (Macmillan & Co.) by Alfred Austin. I do not wish to make an ostentatious—or rather, in this instance, Austin-tatious— display of my unpoetic nature, but I cannot understand why Alfred the Less chose this name of Lucifer for his hero. The title, for advertising purposes, certainly arrests the eye. Of course, as Alfred the Less would say, in his light Lucifer manner—

"Lucifer," I own to liking; | Names are nothing, if not striking.

And Lucifer is nothing to speak of, if not intended to serve a striking purpose. A second title might perhaps have assisted the public to an explanation, Lucifer; or, The Love Match. Prince Lucifer suggests something naughty, and worse—or naughty in werse—for there is nothing to assure us beforehand that Mr. Austin's "Prince of Darkness is a gentleman" who wouldn't shock our religious or moral sentiments on any account, not even on his own. But though the book could not, perhaps, be recommended by Mr. Podsnap to the "Young Person," yet I should carefully consider the intelligent capacity of the Young Person before presenting her with such a specimen of "light and misleading" literature as Prince Lucifer, to judge it only from its title, might Austinsibly be. It contains some of Mr. Austin's best work, and when, in this foggy weather, I call for "Light! More light!" I shall be perfectly satisfied if they bring me Mr. Austin's new patent Lucifer.

Your Own Baron de Book Worms.

Albert Hall Concert, Wed., Nov. 16.

With Patti, and Santley, and Lloyd,

The attraction was great, and it drew

An audience muchly annoyed

By a fog they could scarcely see through.

"Big House"—it was choke-full ... of fog,

Which kept a good many away.

Too bad, for a "dead-head" is Fog,—

Comes in free. Mister Fog doesn't pay.

A Confessor's Costume.—Under a system of prison discipline admitting of no distinction of prisoners, Mr. W. O'Brien, confined in Tullamore Gaol, complains that he has been deprived of the clothes which he prefers to the prison uniform. Some sympathy is due to a misguided gentleman divested of decent habiliments; but the grievance which he has injudiciously brought upon himself is one for which he will sooner or later, at least if he pleases, be enabled to obtain redress.

L. C. & D. v. S. E.

Says Watkin, "This, Forbes,

Makes us open our orbs!"

"Your orbs," Forbes replies,

"And your pockets likewise."

[pg 245]


With the fall of the leaf, and the first touch of fog in the atmosphere, it has been the time-honoured practice of the "Gargoyle" Club, ever since its establishment eighteen months ago, to resume the sittings, temporarily suspended during the Summer. The "Gargoyles" are, I should explain, an assembly of earnest, thoughtful young men, who arrange to meet upon one evening in the week for purposes of mental friction, and the discussion of the social questions of the day. We have a President, an Honorary Secretary, a ballot-box, a balance-sheet, a printer's bill, and, in short, everything handsome about us. It is the custom to consume tobacco, in some form, during our meetings—except in the case of a member who is actually upon his legs addressing the house, when etiquette, and indeed convenience, require him to abstain for the time being. It is, perhaps, this rule which restricts several of us (including the writer) from expressing our sentiments in any sustained form. For myself, indeed, I am the victim of a diffidence at present unconquerable; it costs me an inconceivable effort to say even as much as "hear-hear," and accordingly I listen and learn, making copious notes for future edification, and coming away on each occasion with a strong flavour of tobacco, and the consciousness that, intellectually speaking, the evening has been by no means wasted. These notes I am now enabled, by the express sanction of a majority of the members (who considered it only right that some suggestive crumbs from our feasts of reason should be conceded to the outer world) to communicate through the medium of Mr. Punch. We could, perhaps, have preferred a journal with a higher reputation for seriousness, but the truth is that the daily papers declined, by common consent, to report our proceedings, on the plea that they were "not of sufficient public interest;" and we therefore decided to waive the obvious disadvantages of association with a paper of whose tone we do not always or entirely approve, in consideration of placing ourselves in touch with a section of the public who are too little apt to give any serious attention to improving topics.

The Editor, somewhat autocratically, has reserved the right of condensation and selection, although it has been pointed out to him that—without adding a single extra sheet to his number—ample space could be afforded for a full report (which I would undertake to furnish) of our debates were the simple expedient adopted of temporarily discontinuing the Cartoon in our favour. Popular as we cannot but think such a step would be, we gravely fear that it will not be taken—unless some pressure is brought to bear from outside. It is something, perhaps, even to have gained as much as we have; something that, amidst the shrill squeak and frivolous chuckle of Punch, will be heard from time to time the deeper, graver notes of the Gargoyle Club. We are not enemies of fun; we only think that there may be many, like ourselves, who consider it possible to have too much of it. The Editor, we are glad to admit at once, seems quite to recognise the sincerity of our desire to raise the tone of his periodical, and is willing to allow us to try the experiment—though he expresses a doubt whether these contributions will have quite the effect we anticipate. We shall see. In the meantime, I must preface my first notes, taken last Session, by a short sketch of

Pinceney, our President.

Pinceney possesses a mind, perhaps the most comprehensive in all Paddington. I have known him—I wish I could say intimately—now for over nine months, and I can confidently assert that I have never yet heard him confess to ignorance of any department of human knowledge, of any branch of modern thought! In intellectual stature he towers miles above us all, and weekly increases that altitude under our very eyes by drinking two bottles of some sparkling beverage composed of phosphates. He is coldly tolerant of the world's failings, and is understood to confine himself to a fish diet. He speaks little, but that little falls with immense weight. Pinceney is not genial, or, indeed social of manner—he suffers us, but not gladly—listening to each speaker with conscientious attention, as if it was always possible that he might utter something not immeasurably below contempt before he sat down. He has a little bell by which he warns the wanderer, and paralyses the prolix, and his preliminary caress of this bell is a rebuke in itself. It would be too much to say that Pinceney is popular amongst his fellow Gargoyles; he neither courts nor desires popularity. Indeed, he ranges somewhat too much apart, and goes home alone by the Underground the moment his duties are concluded. But he is greatly respected, and if we feel, as we sometimes do feel, that his standard is rather too high and exacting, at other times the consciousness acts upon us as a decided incentive.

Our Vice-President.

Hartupp, our Vice-President, is of a very different mental calibre and disposition. He is of a warm and enthusiastic temperament, and endowed with a lava-like flow of eloquence. Hartupp is showy, but, as he would be the first to admit himself, a trifle superficial. He is at present articled to a solicitor, but he is more calculated to shine at the Bar, where fervour has a freer scope than in an office. He melts and thrills us by turns, speaking without preparation and without notes, for which he apologises in carefully constructed sentences. Altogether, Hartupp is one of our most distinguished Gargoyles. I may add that he lives at Notting Hill with his mother.

Our Honorary Secretary.

Mr. Frederick Fadell, is one of our most energetic and useful members. He is the only one (except perhaps Pinceney) who possesses anything like a working acquaintance with all the rules. He is a Barrister-at-Law, and finds his chambers very useful for preparing minutes and sending out notices relative to the business of the Club. Fadell is no great orator, though he can speak with some fluency to a point of order. What he really enjoys is superintending an election by ballot. During our debates he steals about with an air of mystery, conducting long conversations in a whisper with such members as he wishes to induce to join in the discussion. His whole existence is bound up in the Gargoyle Club, and he is deeply alive to the responsibilities of his position.

With these preliminary introductions, the Public must be perforce contented for the present. I hope, however, on future occasions, to be permitted to give some further idea of the work we are doing, and more especially of the manner in which it is performed—though the ruthless compression to which, as I have hinted above, I have reason to believe my notes will be subjected, may deprive them of much of their interest and value.


Sir,—I read a letter in the St. James's Gazette, signed "Page Hopps." The gentleman stood for somewhere, and may be standing still, were such a contradiction in terms between "standing still" and "Hopps" reconcileable. Is he an Irreconcileable? I am no politician, and don't want to be, specially just now. But such a name as "Page Hopps" must stand for something, and what struck me as a sort of Christmassy idea was, what a cheery, suggestive name "Page Hopps" really is! What a picture it conjures up of a true old-fashioned Christmas jollification, where all distinctions are obliterated, the Masses join with the Classes, and the Misses go with the Kisses, under the sprig of mistletoe. "Page Hopps!" What a delightful household! Page hops, Butler skips, Footman jumps, Cook capers, Housemaid dances, Scullerymaid slides, while

Master plays the violin,

And Missus the guitar.

We are a merry family,

We are! We are! We are!!

I drink his health, the health of P. Hopps, Hop! Hop! Hooray! in beer, of course. This comes hopping you're well.

Yours ever,

Spring Bank, Out of Bounds. A. Hoppidan.

To the Unemployed.

"Remember Mitchelstown!"

And do not join a mob.

But if you do, you're likely to

Get "one" upon your nob.

If not to get knocked down,

And squelched, you greatly care,

Remember, then, both Mitchelstown,

And eke Trafalgar Square!

Sports and Anecdotes of Bygone Days. By C. T. S. B. Reynardson. Without four initials Reynard's son ought to know by this time as much about sport as sly old Reynard himself. Illustrated, too, in colours, but not with his own brush.

The Powers that Be.

Against "One Man Power," the cry is now raised,

By moralists noted for meekness.

Perchance the new protest were more to be praised,

If directed against "one man weakness."

The partisan man is so given to glower,

At his bigger, or luckier, brother man,

One fears that this railing against "one-man power,"

Means craving the power for—another man.

Chief Item in a Gladstonian Menu.—"A Chop and Chips."

A Perfect Pandemonium.—Demon-stration in Trafalgar Square.

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Cabby. " Oh! yer thinks Seven-and-Sixpence too much, do yer, for comin' all the way up to 'Ampstead! Well—'ere I stops till I'm paid, that's all!"


As many married men have recently been sworn in as supplementary Policemen, and as ladies are usually entirely ignorant of law, it may be as well to give a list of the statutory regulations of the duties of Special Constables. Here they are:—

1. Special Constables will occasionally be expected to spend several hours every evening in the card-room of the Club in search of information.

2. Their duties may occasionally require them to pay a visit to Paris for a fortnight, or even three weeks, to study for themselves on the spot the working of the French Judicature Act.

3. It may be imperatively necessary for them to be present at the "first nights" of new pieces, when, they will be expected to take supper at the Club, so that they may have an opportunity of confidentially exchanging notes with their fellow-constables.

4. At any time they may be required not to dine at home, but, for purposes of the police, join a visit of inspection to dinners chiefly associated with bachelors.

5. Every Special Constable (if not already in possession of one) must be supplied with a latch-key, under a penalty of £20—payable by his wife.

6. It is strictly forbidden (and the offence, when proved, will entail a sentence of penal servitude for an indefinite period) for a Special Constable to give any information as to his movements to any one, inclusive of his wife.

7. It will be a part of his duty occasionally to come home with the man bringing the early morning milk.

8. Lastly, on extraordinary occasions, when it is necessary that he should be ready to return to his beat at a moment's notice, it is lawful that he should retire to bed in his boots.

Reasons Why.—The Chancellor of the Exchequer will accompany Lord Hartington to Ireland, first because he thinks that the latter's stolid style of oratory will have no effect on the impulsive Celt without a good deal of gushin'; and, secondly, because he wants to have his share of the anticipated Harty reception.


I attended the Opening Night of the Promenade Concerts at Her Majesty's on Saturday week. A crowded house; everybody in the best of humours. Mlle. Elly Warnots trilled her most brilliant "variations," Miss Florence St. John carried off the lioness's share of applause and bouquets. There was a new "Vocal valse," entitled "Laughing Beauties" in which a chorus of "ladies in costume" invited us to buy what the programme waggishly described as:—

"Sweet violets for the meek, tra, la, la, la, la,

Fond ivory for the weak, ha, ha, ha, ha, ho!"

The programme, by the way, contained one or two other similar eccentricities. Miss St. John was announced as inquiring in a song of Behrend's, "Why do your big tears fears fall, Daddy?"—hardly a fair question to be addressed to any parent. Fortunately she preferred to sing the line in a less enigmatical form, but the gifted author of Daddy, should insist on correcting his own proofs next time. Then we had a "descriptive Piece for Orchestra,"—The Bulgarian Patrol, in which the melody began faintly, and came nearer and nearer with the clank of metal, till it gradually died away again in the distance. "Oh, wot a novelty!" as I heard a street-vendor remark the other day concerning the "panorammer of the Lord Mayor's Show," he was offering to a dubious public. But the public at Her Majesty's applauded the Bulgarian Patrol as impartially as they did his Turkish forerunner.


Advice Gratis.—Young Hoffmann is Hoff! Gone from our gaze, perhaps, with a Cook's Ticket. But, anyhow, the Juvenile Phenomenal Pianist has gone. Peace go with him—let him rest. Don't allow him to get within half a mile of a piano, or he is sure to go to pieces. All work and all play will make young Hoffmann a dull Young Man. Beware, O Parents and Guardians, in time.

À propos of a certain Illustrious Sufferer.—Who shall decide when Doctors disagree? The Patient. This is the sad Moral, Mackenzie.

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Dear Charlie,

Ascuse shaky scribble; I'm writing this letter in bed.

Went down to the Square, mate,—last Sunday,—and got a rare clump on the 'ed.

Beastly shame, and no error, my pippin! Me cop it! It's too jolly rum.

When a reglar Primroser gits toko, one wonders wot next there will come.

It wos all Bobby's blunder, in course; Mister Burleigh and me was "mistook."

I went jest for a lark, nothink else, and wos quietly slinging my 'ook,

Wen a bit of a rush came around me, a truncheon dropped smack on my nob,

And 'ere I ham, tucked up in bed, with a jug of 'ot spruce on the 'ob.

'Ard lines, ain't it, Charlie, old hoyster? A barney's a barney, dear boy,

And you know that a squeege and a skylark is wot I did always enjoy.

A street-rush is somethink splendacious to fellers of sperrit like me,

But dints and diakkylum plaster will spile the best sport, dontcher see.

Don't you fancy the "Hunemployed," bunkum has nobbled me; not sech a mug!

And as fer O'Brien and his breeches, I'm glad the fool's fairly in jug.

No, no, Law and Horder's my motter, but wen a spree's on 'Arry's there;

And I thought, like a lot of the Swells, I should find one that day in the Square.

Lord Mayor's Day with a scrimmage chucked in is a hopening too temptin' to miss.

More pertikler wen all in "the Cause"—Law and Horder, I mean, mate—like this.

I despises the Poor and the Spouters; to see their 'eds jolly well broke

Is fun, but a bash on one's own—well, there, somehow it spiles the whole joke.

The Perlice wos too dashed hinderscriminate, that's where it wos, my dear boy;

Wich they couldn't take me for a Paddy or 'umbugging "Out of Employ."

Wen that cop got his hand on my collar he ought to 'ave knowed like a shot,

By the Astrykan only, that I wasn't one o' the Socherlist lot.

I 'ate 'em, dear Charlie, I 'ate 'em! They wants to stop piling the pelf,

Wen that is wot every dashed one of us wants to be piling hisself.

No, Wealth is wot must be kep up and pertected, wotever goes wrong;

And to talk of abolishing Millionnaires, Charlie, is coming it strong.

They are like prize Chrysanthemums, Charlie; for, if you want them, don'tcher see,

You must nip off some thousands of buds to let one or two swell and grow free.

Jest you turn a lot loose in yer garden, and that ain't the way as they'll grow;

But if 'undreds weren't sacrificed daily to one, you would not get no Show.

That's Life in a nutshell, my bloater! All wants to be fust, but they can't;

Most on us is wasters; the game of the snide un's to be a Prize Plant.

Then you're mugged up to-rights and made muck of, but, oh, you must be a big ass,

If you fancies as daisies is dealt with like horchids, and grown under glass!

Ask Gentleman Joe. He knows better, he's finding it out more and more,

And his Radical rot about "ransom" won't turn up agen; it don't score.

"Law and Horder's" the tip I can tell yer. I'm on to it fairly for one,

And there's ony one thing I finds fault with; they do rayther bunnick up Fun!

If heverythink's on the Q.T., and a Peeler is always at 'and—

And that's Law and Horder you bet, as beknown to the rich and the grand—

It's O.K. for the 'olders of ochre, who, if they've a mind for a spree,

Can always palm-oil Mr. Peeler, and do it upon the Q.T.

But hus, Charlie, hus? I likes Horder, and likeways I'm partial to Law,

Wen it means keeping my swim all clear, and a muzzling my henemy's jaw.

Wy, nothink could easy be nicerer, then, don'tcher see, dear old pal;

But supposing that game interferes with my larks, or my lush, or my gal?

Local Hopshun, for instance, or Betting Laws, Prize Fight pervention, and such

That some mealy-mouthed mugs are so sweet on; if they cop us, life ain't wuth much.

Contrydicting myself? Oh, well, Charlie, I've sech a blarmed pain in my 'ed,

And life looks a queer sort of mix wen you boss the whole bizness from bed.

Dan the Dosser, who knows the Square well, 'aving slep in it night arter night,

Sez the Golden Calf safely railed in by the Law is a 'eavenly sight.

Acos Horder is 'Eaven's first Law, and, in conserkense, Law Earth's first horder;

The Calf may sit safely hinside, whilst Scapegoats is kep hout of the border.

I can't git the 'ang of his lingo; his patter's all picter somehow,

And wot he quite means by that Calf, mate, I dunno no more than a cow.

But the Scapegoat, that's him, I suppose, and he looks it; it's rough, as he says;

No marbles, no lodging, no grub, and that sort o' thing kep up for days!

But the Scapegoats must not kick up shindies, and stop up our streets and our squares,

That's a moral. Perhaps there is grabbers as wants to swag more than their shares.

I ain't nuts on sweaters myself, and I do 'ate a blood-sucking screw,

Who sponges and never stands Sam, and whose motto's "all cop, and no blue."

Still, this 'ere blooming Hanarchy, Charley, won't do at no figger, dear boy.

A bit of a rorty romp round in the open a chap can enjoy,

But brickbats and hoyster-knives? Walker! Not on in that scene, mate, not me!

And a bash on the nob with a batton is not my idea of a spree.

To bonnet a lot of old blokes and make petticoats squeal is good biz,

But a Crusher's 'ard knuckles a crunching yer scrag? No, I'm blowed if that is!

Let 'em swarm "in their thousands"—the mugs!—and their black and red flags let 'em carry;

But wen they are next on the job they will 'ave to look wide-oh! for


Cuttings and Slips.—The following were extracted from the Manchester Evening News, Nov. 14:—



The first one is not in a hurry; the second is, and names the day. Then or never. At first we thought it was a new form of advertising Somebody's Soap.


From a Distracted Grammarian with "To Be" in his Bonnet.

With you, O Superlative Maiden,

There can no Comparison be;

And though Grammar makes "You" Second Person,

You are first of all Persons to me.

At Present my life is Imperfect

(Not Irregular, nota bené),

But with you for Auxiliary, dearest,

How Perfect our Future might be.

Considering my Antecedents,

Your Relatives can but Agree;

And since I'm Defective in Number,

You cannot Decline me, you see.

I sigh; but by mere Interjections

My Case cannot influenced be:

Then grant the Conjunction I plead for,

And so with your Subject agree.

Among the books with which the Prison Authorities should have supplied Mr. O'Brien ought to have been a copy of "The Breeches Bible." When he comes out, will he commence a suit against the Government?


We'll state what we think of your Brummagem Joe.

He's "so English you know,"—yes, "so English, you know."

"The Sleeper Awakened!" New Cantata, dedicated to the Right Hon. Henry Matthews, the Not-Yet-Quite-at-Home Secretary.

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(Suggested by this eminent "Sporting and Dramatic" Artist's "Portia" now being exhibited on all the bookstalls.)


"Or Anybody Else. Doesn't matter. Quite a——J. E. M."

SHYLOCK; or, The Masher of Venice.

"Companion Picture to my 'Portia.' A very brilliant——J. E. M."


Dear Mr. Punch,—What Greek philosopher was it who held that Water was the beginning and essence of all things? Our modern Sanitarians appear to agree with him. At any rate, if they do not look upon water as the great essence, they declare it to be the prime essential, and present fearsome pictures of the results of any deficiency in its plentifulness and purity.

But, Sir, between the Landlord who won't put it on, and the Water Company who will cut it off, what is a poor Tenant to do? In one day I read, first, that Mr. William Christie is summoned by the Sanitary Inspector of St. Saviour's, Southwark, for obstinately refusing to provide a suitable water-supply to twelve houses in Park Street, Southwark; secondly, that the East London Waterworks Company is summoned by a Mr. Ernest Bransemer for cutting off the water at his house in Boundary Passage, Shoreditch, without lawful excuse. Looks encouraging, doesn't it? True, Mr. Kebbell, the Company's Solicitor, assured Mr. Hannay that the Company was really in the right, and that the man had suffered from the fault of his Landlord. Perhaps so, in this case. Anyhow it seems to be admitted that the man suffered, and suffered unjustly. In this case, too, the Company (said its Solicitor) had been "very good," had paid the man and settled the matter. Mr. Hannay is reported to have said, "Really!" which seems almost to imply a mild surprise. Surprised at the "goodness" of a Water Company!!! Well, it is a painful fact that the prevailing faith in the proprietors of Waterworks is much of the complexion of Sam Weller's in the "Waterworks" of the Mulberry One. Only that the Companies, as a rule, are not quite so ready to "turn it on at the main," as was the lachrymose and deceptive Job Trotter.

"The Company do not fear the Magistrate's decision," said Mr. Kebbell, loftily. "It is the trial by newspapers which follows, which is so objectionable." Doubtless: from the Company's point of view. Whether the Consumer shares that opinion may be questioned, perhaps.

Anyhow, Mr. Punch, my own confidence in the "native worth" of Water Companies and Landlords, being a plant of slow growth, which, indeed, has hardly yet appeared above ground, I should like to call attention to the dilemma which the "tub"-loving, fever-fearing Tenant is liable to fall into between the two. If this savours of that obnoxious practice, "trial by newspapers," I am sorry; but really, Sir, the Tenant has his "trials," of another sort, which are very "objectionable" indeed, and which, I fear, without the publicity afforded by the Press, neither the justice of Landlords, nor the "goodness" of Water Companies could be implicitly trusted to relieve him from. At least, such is the experience of

Yours truly,Aquarius.



A Right-thinking Radical requests information.

Hast thou seen that lordly castle,

The home of Mr. Pyne;

How round its patriot portals

The Peelers prowl and whine?

I suppose those brutal butchers,

Without the slightest fail,

Would stretch the M.P. on the rack,

And afterwards impale?

An Unfeeling Unionist answers him

Well do I know that castle,

The home of Mr. Pyne;

But of the Peelers with their rack

There's not a single sign.

The Right-thinking Radical expresses surprise at the intelligence

Indeed! But at some high casement

Surely you saw him stand,

Or out from a towering rampart

Waving a mailèd hand?

The Unfeeling Unionist rejoins

I did see him at the casement,

And he wore no armour at all,

But the Postman helps him haul the mail

Over his castle wall!

The Right-thinking Radical proceeds with his questionings

And sawest thou on the turret

How he paced to and fro,

All glorious in gold and purple,

Like a Knight of long ago?

The Unfeeling Unionist replies

He had a modern frock-coat on,

Which wasn't much of a fit;

And I think a Knight would have stopped to fight,

And not run away from a writ.

The Right-thinking Radical plies him once again

But do they not thirst, those Peelers,

To tear him limb from limb;

And level his antique castle,

If once they could get at him?

The Unfeeling Unionist ends the colloquy

That would not result from his capture;

You seem to have been misled!

It would merely entail a month in gaol,

Or perhaps, like O'Brien, in bed.

In the Standard's report of Mr. Labouchere's after-dinner speech to the members of the Eleusis Club, the warier of the two Northampton Members observed, "that we lived in critical times, when it was absolutely necessary that Radicals should hang together." Mr. Labouchere speaks trippingly, but he is not often to be caught tripping. The Conservative Standard missed an opportunity.

Latest Addition to Fairy Land.—Mr. Irish Secretary Balfour must be all over the country at once. For this he requires Seven (Land)-League boots.

The Real "Empire of the Hittites."—The prevailing passion for pugilists.

A sporting tandem-driving Doctor of our acquaintance calls his leader the Hoss frontis.

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Free Kirk Elder. "Eigh! Meenister, ah no like t'see ye Talkin' wi' yon Epeescopalian Priest!"

Minister. "Oo—I jeest offered to swap Collections wi'm, an' he said, 'Na, na! I ken your Flock ower weel!'"


Dear Mr. Punch,

As an impecunious Peer, whose entire existence consists of one long struggle to provide for the necessities of a large family, need I say that my eye chanced upon the subjoined advertisement with a sense of relief and hopefulness that words almost fail to express? I quote it for your perusal. Here it is:—

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR SONS.—Journalism.—Mr. David Anderson, 222, Strand, W.C., Author of Scenes in the Commons, &c., from 1879, a principal Leader Writer, Special Correspondent, and Critic of the Daily Telegraph, INSTRUCTS a limited number of YOUNG MEN in the practical and literary branches of Journalism. Prospectus free.

An ordinary trained Journalist earns from £300 to £1000 a year.

That, Mr. Punch, is the question I have been asking myself for ever so long—"What on earth am I to do with my sons?" And this Mr. David Anderson, with a message that seems almost too good to be true, comes like the radiant genius on to the scene, and says, "Send them to me, your Grace, and I'll soon put 'em in the way of making from £300 to £1000 a year. What do you think of that?" What do I think of it? Well, all I can say is that it sounds to me like an Anderson's Fairy Tale!

Why, there's my elder son, the Marquis, just opened a market gardening business at Tooting in a small way, and though he drives his cart up to Covent Garden twice a week himself, I know he's not making a good thing of it. Plantagenet, my second, I'm not ashamed to own it, shoulders a butcher's tray; Bertram is a linen-draper's assistant in the Tottenham Court Road; and Algernon is, faute de mieux, loafing about railway stations, following cabs, in the hope of picking up a stray sixpence now and then for carrying the luggage upstairs when they arrive at their destinations. Poor boy! I had always meant him to have a Commission in the Guards, but hard times have rendered that project impossible—and he has come to this!

With one hundred and seventy farms on my hands, the whole of my property mortgaged, my house in Belgrave Square given up, and my establishment confined to a couple of floors in a back street in Islington, the family has, I need hardly say, to accept its altered fortunes with equanimity. But, if Mr. David Anderson is to be trusted, surely a brighter prospect opens before us! How he manages his instructions "in the practical and literary branches of journalism," is to me a mystery. How does he teach his "limited number" of pupils to report—say, an inaudible speech? Then there is their practical training for a crowd. Does he lead them at the present moment, to Trafalgar Square, and teach them, in the event of a collision with the police, to continue their labours up a lamp-post? Again, how about initiating them into the work of a correspondent mounted on the field of battle? Would their experience on a hired cab-horse let loose in the midst of a procession of the Unemployed afford the many useful experiences in this direction? Then, how about the leader-writing? I do not say that the journalist, like the poet, need necessarily be born one, yet for all that, the art of literary composition is not one that can be readily acquired by anybody.

Take my own case. I have written a lever du rideau in the shape of a farce, a light thing that plays only an hour and three-quarters, and though I have submitted it to seventeen managers in succession, I have never been able to induce one of them to try it even at a matinée. I have also written a pantomime and left it, endorsed with my title at the stage-door of a leading Metropolitan Theatre, from which however, notwithstanding that I have made repeated applications for it in person, I have never yet been able to succeed in getting it returned. But journalism is, I am aware, distinct from dramatic literature, and this inspires me with confidence. Indeed I shall lose no time in communicating with Mr. David Anderson and placing my four sons unreservedly in his hands. Even if they did not as "trained journalists" succeed in realising that brilliant level of £1000 per annum, with which his advertisement so alluringly concludes, they might possibly touch the figure half-way, and draw their modest five hundred a-piece. Need I say, my dear Mr. Punch, if they did, how they would restore the fortunes of a falling house, and in so doing, gladden the heart of yours hopefully,

A Duke in Difficulties.

The Too-Complete Letter-Writer.—M. Wilson.

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(A Cosmos Story.)

Chapter I.

Mr Noman Luckier, the eminent astronomer, was walking in his garden. Suddenly he was staggered by a sharp blow on the head. Something fell at his feet. It was not his head. He picked it up. It was a meteoric stone. This set him thinking.

"Here," said he, as he rubbed his newly-acquired phrenological development with one hand and held the meteoric stone in the other, "is a solid, ponderable body, which I can handle, examine, and analyse, and it comes to me," continued the eminent scientist, extending his arms and looking round him, then directing his gaze upwards, his eye dilating with the grandeur of the discovery,—"it comes to me direct from the Cosmos!"

Chapter II.

There was a chuckle from behind the neighbouring hedge, and, as the Philosopher returned to his sanctum to write a paper on the "Spectra of Meteorites," a small boy stepped cautiously out into the road, and hurried down the lane.

"Ooray!" muttered the small boy to himself; "the old gent don't know my name. What did he say about 'Crismas'?" And he vanished into space.

Chapter III.

The Philosopher, with aching head, sat down to write, and penned these words,—

"Cosmical space is filled with meteorites of all sizes, flying about with immense velocities in all directions."

"Good Heavens! or, rather, Bad Heavens!" exclaimed a simple-minded visitor, to whom he read this statement, "why, 'Cosmical space' must be uncommonly like a proclaimed district in Ireland, or Trafalgar Square during a Socialist riot."

The Philosopher perceived that he was not in the presence of a sympathetic mind, and regretted having invited the visitor to lunch.

Chapter IV.

After lunch, Mr. Noman Luckier resumed his work. The simple-minded friend followed him into his study, seated himself in the most comfortable chair, lit a cigar, and produced from his pocket a handy-volume edition of Pickwick. Oddly enough he commenced reading the concluding portion of Chapter XXXVIII. of that immortal work, which records how an elderly gentleman of scientific attainments suddenly observed certain extraordinary and wonderful phenomena, which he immediately concluded "it had been reserved for him alone to discover, and which he should immortalise his name by chronicling for the benefit of posterity. Full of this idea, the scientific gentleman seized the pen" and began writing "sundry notes of these unparalleled appearances ... which were to form the data of a voluminous treatise of great research and deep learning, which should astonish all the atmospherical wiseacres that ever drew breath in any part of the civilised globe." Subsequently, after a sharp shock which "stunned him for a full quarter of an hour," produced by Sam Weller's fist, the scientific gentleman retired to his library, and there composed a masterly treatise which "delighted all the Scientific Associations beyond measure, and caused him to be considered a light of science ever afterwards."

The simple-minded friend, having finished his cigar, replaced Pickwick in his pocket, and, smiling gently, stole out of the study on tiptoe, leaving Mr. Noman Luckier profoundly absorbed in his "Preliminary Notes."

The boy, whose name was not Cosmos, is still at large,—and so is Cosmos, very much so.


Dear Mr. Punch,

A very intelligent threadbare man, evidently something of a scholar, has just put me in possession of a manuscript of incalculable importance. It is a drama called Piccoviccius, evidently of the Elizabethan era, though brought into harmony with modern diction and orthography by a later hand. A careful perusal of this priceless survival makes it certain that Shakspeare was not only familiar with it, but that he drew very largely from it even to "cribbing" the names of many of the characters bodily. This is not so remarkable, considering the very slight right Shakspeare has, in the opinion of the best critics, to the authorship of his own plays, as the fact that Dickens also had studied Piccoviccius, and founded upon it his Pickwick Papers, with an effrontery almost worthy of the Swan of Avon himself. Here is a slightly-edited selection from the First Act, so your readers can judge for themselves.

Yours, bursting with importance, Roderick Tweddle.

P.S.—I have just founded a Piccoviccius Society. The subscription is £2 2s., paid in advance. Members can read their own papers at any time, and have them printed, at a reduced price, in our "Transactions."

Scene from Act I. Romeo's Garden in Kent. Romeo, Bernardo.

Ber. News, news, my Romeo! The world's upso down.

Duke Piccoviccius hath broke the law,

Is under guard, and will be banished.

Rom. Banished? Great Heaven!

Ber. Banished, certainly As eggs dissemble not their property.

Rom. But why, how, when and where? What did the Duke?

Ber. Thou knowest the scheme he long had pondered on,

To go among his people, like themselves,

As went through Bagdad's streets the Caliph wise.

Rom. Yea, I remember; and the hour arrived,

When, having delegated his main pow'rs

To Jingulus, and the Exchequer's charge

To careful Dodson and to subtle Fogg,

He, with no rites of State observ'd, set forth

With Tupman, Snodgrass, Winkle, in his train;

Tupman, who to experience in love

Still superadds the ardour of the boy;

Snodgrass, the poet-treasurer of thought,

And singer of an unexpressive song,

And Winkle, Nimrod's peer. These four set forth,

Due to return the seventh day from hence;

But I that selfsame hour came hitherward,

And since have heard no news of Court at all.

Ber. Thus then I briefly tell thee what hath pass'd.

There came last week with 'plaining to the Court

A comely widow, who made oath that one

Who sojourned as a lodger in her house

Had promised marriage, but had gone away;

Left her, and left his promise unfulfill'd.

Guided by her, the officers had gone

To seize the culprit, and had found 'twas none

But Piccoviccius, whom she claim'd with tears.

So he and those three lords were strait convey'd

Unto the Court, and put to interrogatories,

When this preliminary was advanced:—

The Duke had lodging in Bardella's house—

So is the widow named; and on a day

Came these lords, usher'd by Bardella's son,

Unto his chamber, but on the threshold stay'd

Still as Lot's wife, in mere astonishment.

For there their staid and reverend leader stood,

Silent as they, supporting in his arms

The buxom widow, in a swoon of bliss.

Thus had they stood, confounded and amazed,

Till life returning gave Bardella speech,

But that the urchin, in a filial frenzy,

Butting like petulant kid, assailed the Duke,

And with the puissance of his puny arms

Avenged imagined injury. Then they,

Roused by the pious howlings of the boy

And agonised appeals of whom he smote,

Bore off the pigmy valour, and the mother,

Reviving, led away. The Duke averr'd

That, breaking to her of his new-found wish

To take into his service one Wellerius,

A shrewd and faithful henchman, she at once

Through rapid stages of affection ran,

And threw herself, in fine, upon his neck,

And thus was found, he speechless with surprise,

They, after, silent, striving to believe.

Rom. It is a tale incredible and bald.

Ber. Why so thought many; but this Jingulus

Is all compassion for the widow's case.

Dodson and Fogg, his seconds in the realm,

Albeit unuséd to the melting mood,

Do keep turned on, sans intermission,

Salt pity's main. The people whisper change,

And what they whisper they are fain to make.

The nobles huddle in uncertainty,

Like sheep that meet a cart, the dog behind.

On the Rialto, ere I left this morning,

The hoarse-voiced makers of the books, whose leaves

Are I. O. U.'s to ruin, vainly laid

Long odds upon the widow.

Rom.'Tis not death?

Ber. Nay, only banishment. Whoever breaks

A promise made to wed, to exile goes.

Rom. Will not the widow take a forfeiture?

Ber. It cannot be. There is no power in Brentford

Can alter a decree established.

Besides, the very object of the law

Is to prevent the payment of a price

For feelings wounded. The stern punishment

Makes flighty wooers careful, and restrains

The plots of scheming spinsters, who derive

No personal advantage from their suit.

Rom. Then am I shent!

But here the plot thickens, and we are plunged into the Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, As You Like It, and A Winter's Tale, with a strong infusion of Dingley Dell, and the Fat Boy floating round, like a materialised Ariel. I ask, Who are the plagiarists?

R. T.

Pointing finger

NOTICE.—Rejected Communications or Contributions, whether MS., Printed Matter, Drawings, or Pictures of any description, will in no case be returned, not even when accompanied by a Stamped and Addressed Envelope, Cover, or Wrapper. To this rule there will be no exception.

Transcriber's Note:

Alternative spellings were retained.

Punctuation was made consistent.