Infomotions, Inc.Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, October 4, 1890 / Various



Author: Various
Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, October 4, 1890
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): pheasant; tally; baron; punch; rally; gloves; prize
Contributor(s): Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853- [Translator]
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Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 12,211 words (really short) Grade range: 9-11 (high school) Readability score: 59 (average)
Identifier: etext12306
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October 4, 1890, by Various

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, October 4, 1890

Author: Various

Release Date: May 9, 2004 [EBook #12306]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PUNCH ***




Produced by Malcolm Farmer, Punch, or the London Charivari, William
Flis, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.





PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 99.



October 4, 1890.




MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.

NEW SERIES.--IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT.

This age has been called an Age of Progress, an Age of Reform, an Age
of Intellect, an Age of Shams; everything in fact except an Age of
Prizes. And yet, it is perhaps as an Age of Prizes that it is destined
to be chiefly remembered. The humble but frantic solver of Acrostics
has had his turn, the correct expounder of the law of Hard Cases
has by this time established a complete code of etiquette; the
doll-dresser, the epigram-maker, the teller of witty stories, the
calculator who can discover by an instinct the number of letters in
a given page of print, all have displayed their ingenuity, and have
been magnificently rewarded by prizes varying in value from the mere
publication of their names, up to a policy of life insurance, or a
completely furnished mansion in Peckham Rye. In fact, it has been
calculated by competent actuaries that taking a generation at about
thirty-three years, and making every reasonable allowance for errors
of postage, stoppage _in transitu_, fraudulent bankruptcies and
unauthorised conversions, 120 per cent. of all persons alive in Great
Britain and Ireland in any given day of twenty-four hours, must have
received a prize of some sort.

Novelists, however, have not as yet received a prize of any sort,
at least as novelists. The reproach is about to be removed. A prize
of L1000 has been offered for the best novel by the Editor of a
newspaper. The most distinguished writers are, so it is declared,
entered for the Competition, but only the name of the prize-winner is
to be revealed, only the prize-winning novel is to be published. Such
at least has been the assurance given to all the eminent authors
by the Editor in question. But _Mr. Punch_ laughs at other people's
assurances, and by means of powers conferred upon him by himself for
that purpose, he has been able to obtain access to all the novels
hitherto sent in, and will now publish a selection of Prize Novels,
together with the names of their authors, and a few notes of his own,
wherever the text may seem to require them.

In acting thus _Mr. Punch_ feels, in the true spirit of the newest
and the Reviewest of Reviews, that he is conferring a favour on the
authors concerned by allowing them the publicity of these columns.
Sometimes pruning and condensation may be necessary. The operation
will be performed as kindly as circumstances permit. It is hardly
necessary to add that _Mr. Punch_ will _give his own prize in his own
way, and at his own time_, to the author he may deem the best. And
herewith _Mr. Punch_ gives a specimen of--


NO. I.--ONE MAN IN A COAT.

(_BY_ ARRY O.K. ARRY, _AUTHOR OF "STIGE FICES," "CHEAP WORDS OF A
CHIPPY CHAPPIE," ETSETTERER._)

    [PREFATORY NOTE.--This Novel was carefully wrapped up in
    some odd leaves of MARK TWAIN'S _Innocents Abroad_, and was
    accompanied by a letter in which the author declared that
    the book was worth L3000, but that "to save any more blooming
    trouble," he would be willing to take the prize of L1000 by
    return of post, and say no more about it.--ED.]


CHAPTER I.

It was all the Slavey what got us into the mess. Have you ever noticed
what a way a Slavey has of snuffling and saying, "Lor, Sir, oo'd 'a
thought it?" on the slightest provocation. She comes into your room
just as you are about to fill your finest two-handed meerschaum with
Navy-cut, and looks at you with a far-away look in her eyes, and a
wisp of hair winding carelessly round the neck of her print dress. You
murmur something in an insinuating way about that box of Vestas you
bought last night from the blind man who stands outside "The Old King
of Prussia" pub round the corner. Then one of her hairpins drops into
the fireplace, and you rush to pick it up, and she rushes at the same
moment, and your head goes crack against her head, and you see some
stars, and a weary kind of sensation comes over you, and just as you
feel inclined to send for the cat's-meat man down the next court to
come and fetch you away to the Dogs' Home, in bounces your landlady,
and with two or three "Well, I nevers!" and "There's an imperent
'ussey, for you!" nearly bursts the patent non-combustible bootlace
you lent her last night to hang the brass locket round her neck by.

POTTLE says his landlady's different, but then POTTLE always was
a rum 'un, and nobody knows what old rag-and-bone shop he gets his
landladies from. I always get mine only at the best places, and
advise everybody else to do the same. I mentioned this once to BILL
MOSER, who looks after the calico department in the big store in the
High Street, but he only sniffed, and said, "Garne, you don't know
everythink!" which was rude of him. I might have given him one for
himself just then, but I didn't. I always was a lamb; but I made up my
mind that next time I go into the ham-and-beef shop kept by old Mother
MOSER I'll say something about "'orses from Belgium" that the old lady
won't like.

Did you ever go into a ham-and-beef shop? It's just like this. I went
into MOSER'S last week. Just when I got in I tripped over some ribs of
beef lying in the doorway, and before I had time to say I preferred my
beef without any boot-blacking, I fell head-first against an immense
sirloin on the parlour table. Mrs. MOSER called all the men who were
loafing around, and all the boys and girls, and they carved away at
the sirloin for five hours without being able to get my head out.
At last an old gentleman, who was having his dinner there, said he
couldn't bear whiskers served up as a vegetable with his beef. Then
they knew they'd got near my face, so they sent away the Coroner and
pulled me out, and when I got home my coat-tail pockets were full of
old ham-bones. The boy did that--young varmint! I'll ham-bone him when
I catch him next!


CHAPTER II.

Let me see, what was I after? Oh, yes, I remember. I was going to
tell you about our Slavey and the pretty pickle she got us into. I'm
not sure it wasn't POTTLE'S fault. I said to him, just as he was
wiping his mouth on the back of his hand after his fourth pint of
shandy-gaff, "POTTLE, my boy," I said, "you're no end of a chap for
shouting 'Cash forward!' so that all the girls in the shop hear you
and say to one another, 'My, what a lovely voice that young POTTLE'S
got!' But you're not much good at helping a pal to order a new coat,
nor for the matter of that, in helping him to try it on." But POTTLE
only hooked up his nose and looked scornful. Well, when the coat came
home the Slavey brought it up, and put it on my best three-legged
chair, and then flung out of the room with a toss of her head, as much
as to say, "'Ere's extravagance!" First I looked at the coat, and then
the coat seemed to look at me. Then I lifted it up and put it down
again, and sent out for three-ha'porth of gin. Then I tackled the
blooming thing again. One arm went in with a ten-horse power shove.
Next I tried the other. After no end of fumbling I found the sleeve.
"In you go!" I said to my arm, and in he went, only it happened to be
the breast-pocket. I jammed, the pocket creaked, but I jammed hardest,
and in went my fist, and out went the pocket.

Then I sat down, tired and sad, and the lodging-house cat came in and
lapped up the milk for my tea, and MOSER'S bull-dog just looked me
up, and went off with the left leg of my trousers, and the landlady's
little boy peeped round the door and cried, "Oh, Mar, the poor
gentleman's red in the face--I'm sure he's on fire!" And the local
fire-brigade was called up, and they pumped on me for ten minutes, and
then wrote "Inextinguishable" in their note-books, and went home; and
all the time I couldn't move, because my arms were stuck tight in a
coat two sizes too small for me.


CHAPTER III.

The Slavey managed--

    [No, thank you. No more.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _His Reverence_. "DINNER, 7:30. I'LL GIVE YOU A QUARTER
OF AN HOUR'S GRACE!"

_His Irreverence_. "THEN COMMENCE AT 7:30, AND I'LL BE THERE AT
7:45!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FAVOURITE TOOL OF RAILWAY COMPANIES.--A Screw-Driver!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "C'EST MAGNIFIQUE! MAIS--"

_Mr. Bull_ (_Paymaster_). "WELL, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT?"

_Mr. Punch_ (_Umpire-in Chief_). "FINE RIDER--FINE HORSE! BUT--AS A
CAVALRY SOLDIER--HAS TO LEARN HIS BUSINESS!"]

    ["How then about the British Cavalry of September, 1890? A
    spectator who has taken part in modern regular war, and has
    watched the manoeuvres, said one day to me when I accosted
    him, in an apologetic tone, 'I have hitherto done your Army
    injustice, I will not do so again; I had no idea how well
    your officers and your troopers ride,--they are very fine
    horsemen.' There he stopped; I waited for more, but he had
    ended; his silence was a crushing criticism, unintentionally
    too severe, but very true.... I assert, therefore, that at
    this moment, our Cavalry is inefficient, and not prepared
    for war."--_The Times Military Correspondent_.]

AIR--"_TALLY-HO!_" (_FROM THE BALLIOL SONG-BOOK._)

  "Of all the recreations with which mortal man is blest"
  (Says BALLIOL's Song) "fox-hunting still is pleasantest and best."
  A Briton in the saddle is a picture, and our pride,
  In scarlet or in uniform at least our lads can _ride_.
    Away, away they go,
    With a tally, tally-ho!
  With a tally, tally, tally, tally, tally, tally-ho!

  But riding, for our Cavalry, is, after all, not all.
  To lead the field, to leap a fence, to bravely face a fall,
  Are well enough. And first-rate stuff from the hunting-field may come,
  But something more is wanted when Bellona beats her drum,
    And calls our lads to go,
    With a rally, rally-ho! &c.

  Good men and rattling horses are not all that England needs;
  She wants sound knowledge in the men, and training in the steeds.
  Scouting and reconnaissance are not needed for the fox,
  Nor "leading in big masses" for the furious final shocks,
    When away the troopers go,
    With a rally, rally, ho! &c.

  But when a squadron charges on the real field of war,
  Courage and a good seat alone will not go very far;
  Our lads must "know their business," and their officers must "lead,"
  Not with cross-country dash alone, but skill and prudent heed,
    When away the troopers go,
    With a rally, rally, ho! &c.

  War's field will test the Cavalry, or clad in blue or red;
  In all things they must "thorough" be, as well as thorough-bred.
  "Heavy" or "light," they'll have to _fight_; not such mad, headlong fray,
  As marked for fame with pride--and shame--that Balaklava day,
    When away our lads did go,
    With a rally, rally, ho! &c.

  Eh? "Inefficient," Mr. BULL, "and not prepared for war?"
  That judgment, if 'tis _near_ the truth, on patriot souls must jar.
  And _Mr. Punch_ (Umpire-in-Chief) to JOHN (Paymaster), cries,
  "You'll have to test the truth of this before the need arise
    For our lads away to go.
    With a rally, rally-ho!" &c

  And since that Soldier's incomplete for _Duty_ unprepared,
  Although he's game to dare the worst that ever Briton dared,
  To supplement our trooper's skill in saddle, pluck and dash,
  You must have more manoeuvres, JOHN, and--if needs be,--_more cash!_
    Then away away we'll go
    With a tally rally-ho!
  And never be afraid to face the strongest, fiercest foe.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: JOURNALISM IN FRANCE. JOURNALISM IN ENGLAND. (A
Contrast.)]

       *       *       *       *       *

HAD HE SUCCEEDED!

(_A POSSIBLE PAGE IN FRENCH HISTORY THAT PROBABLY WILL NEVER BE
WRITTEN._)

The General-President had been established at the Elysee for
some three months, when his _aides-de-camp_ found their labours
considerably increased. At all hours of the day and night they were
called up to receive persons who desired an interview with their chief
and master. As they had received strict orders from His Highness
never to appear in anything but full uniform (cloth of gold tunics,
silver-tissue trousers, and belts and epaulettes of diamonds) they
spent most of their time in changing their costume.

"I am here to see anyone and everyone," said His Highness; "but I look
to you, Gentlemen of the Ring, I should say Household, to see that I
am disturbed by only those who have the right of _entree_. And now,
_houp-la!_ You can go."

Thus dismissed, the unfortunate _aides-de-camp_ could but bow,
and retire in silence. But, though they gave no utterance to their
thoughts, their reflections were of a painful character. They felt
what with five reviews a day, to say nothing of what might be termed
scenes in the circle (attendances at the Bois, dances at the Hotel de
Ville, and the like), their entire exhaustion was only a question of
weeks, or even days.

One morning the General-President, weary of interviews, was about to
retire into his _salle-a-manger_, there to discuss the twenty-five
courses of his simple _dejeuner a la fourchette_, when he was stopped
by a person in a garb more remarkable for its eccentricity than its
richness. This person wore a coat with tails a yard long, enormous
boots, a battered hat, and a red wig. A close observer would have
doubted whether his nose was real or artificial. The strangely-garbed
intruder bowed grotesquely.

"What do you want with me?" asked the General-President, sharply. "Do
you not know I am busy?"

"Not too busy to see me," retorted the unwelcome guest, striking up a
lively tune upon a banjo which he had concealed about his person while
passing the Palace Guard, but which he now produced. "I pray you step
with me a measure."

Thus courteously invited, His Highness could but comply, and for some
ten minutes host and guest indulged in a breakdown.

"And now, what do you want with me?" asked the General-President when
the dance had been brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

"My reward," was the prompt reply.

"Reward!" echoed His Highness. "Why, my good friend, I have refused
a Royal Duke, an Imperial Prince, a Powerful Order, and any number of
individuals, who have made a like demand."

"Ah! but they did not do so much for you as I did."

"Well, I don't know," returned the General-President, "but they parted
with their gold pretty freely."

"Gold!" retorted the visitor, contemptuously, "I gave you more
than gold. From me you had notes. Where would you have been without
my songs?" He took off his false nose, and thus enabled the
General-President to recognise the "Pride of the Music Halls!"

"You will find I am not ungrateful," said the Chief of the State, with
difficulty suppressing his emotion.

His Highness was as good as his word. The next night at the _Cafe
des Ambassadeurs_ there was a novel attraction. An old favourite was
described in the _affiches_ as _le Due de Nouveau-Cirque_.

The reception that old favourite received in the course of the
evening was fairly, but not too cordial. But enthusiasm and hilarity
reached fever-heat when, on turning his face from them, the audience
discovered that their droll was wearing (in a somewhat grotesque
fashion) the _grand cordon_ of the Legion of Honour on his back! Then
it was felt that France _must_ be safe in the hands of a man whose
sense of the fitness of things rivalled the taste of the pig whose
soul soared above the charm of pearls!

       *       *       *       *       *

SCOTT-FREE; OR, RAVENSWOOD-NOTES WILD.

ACT I.--A grand old Castle in the distance, with foreground of rude
and rugged rocks. Around the rugged rocks a quaint funeral service.
HENRY IRVING, "the Master" not only of _Ravenswood_, but the art of
acting (as instanced by a score of fine impersonations), flouts the
veteran comedian, HOWE; and, Howe attired? He is in some strange
garb as a nondescript parson. Then "Master" (as the _Sporting Times_
would irreverently speak of him) soliloquises over Master's father's
coffin. Arrival of _Sir William Ashton_. Row and flashing of steel
in torchlight. Appearance of one lovely beyond compare--ELLEN TERRY,
otherwise _Lucy Ashton_; graceful as a Swan. Swan and Edgar. Curtain.

[Illustration: MR. IRVING MAKING HIS GREAT HIT. THE BULL'S-EYE!

After such a hit,--"there is no cause for fear now!"]

ACT II.--Library and Armoury. Convenient swords and loaded
blunderbusses. _Lord Keeper Ashton_ appears. Quite right that there
should be the Keeper present, in view of _Lucy_ subsequently going
mad. Young _Henry Ashton_, the youth GORDON CRAIG, a lad of promise,
and performance, has the entire stage to himself for full two minutes,
to show what he can do with a speech descriptive of some pictures.
Master alone with Keeper, suggests duel. Why arms in Library, unless
duel? Fight about to commence according to Queensberry rules, when
Master sees portrait. Whose? _Lucy's_? "No," says Master; "not to
be taken in. I know LUCY'S picture; it was done by WARD." The Keeper
explains that this is a portrait, not of the author of _The History of
Two Parliaments_, and _Fleecing Gideon_, but of his daughter _Lucy_,
which has never yet been seen in any exhibition or loan collection.
"Oho," says Master, "then I won't fight a chap who has a daughter
like that." Ha! Mad bull "heard without"--one of the "herd
without,"--Master picks up blunderbuss, no blunder, makes a hit and
saves a miss; i.e., _Lucy_. What shall he have who kills the bull
with a bull 'it? Why, a tent at Cowshot, near Bisley.

_Next Scene_.--Wolf's Crag. Grand picture--thunder--music--Dr.
MACKENZIE--Mr. MACINTOSH--"the two MACS"--doing excellent work
in orchestra, and on stage--storm--Miss MARRIOTT admirable as old
Witch--red light in fire-grate--blank verse by MERIVALE, and on we
go to

ACT III.--A Scene never to be forgotten--the Mermaiden's Well
(quite well, thank you), by HAWES CRAVEN, henceforth to be HAWES
McCRAVENSWOOD. Pines, heather, sunlight, and two picturesque lovers,
Master and Miss, exchanging vows. Master gloomy, Miss lively. Miss
promises to become Missus. Enter Master's future Modern Mother-in-law.
Intended to be vindictive, but really a comfortable and comely body.
Might be _Mrs. McBouncer_ in _McBox and McCox_. Naturally enough, off
goes Master to France.

[Illustration: What Mr. Mackintosh ought to have done. "Balancing the
Feather." An entertainment on the sands.]

ACT IV.--Another splendid scene. Magnificently attired, _Hayston
of Bucklaw_ attempts to raise a laugh. Success. _Mrs. Mac Bouncer_
coerces _Lucy_ in white satin to sign the fatal contract that will
settle Master. Ah! that awful laugh--far more tragic than the one
secured by _Bucklaw_! It is _Lucy_ going mad! She has already
shown signs of incipient insanity by calling Mr. HOWE, otherwise
_Bide-the-Bent_, a "holy Father,"--much to that excellent comedian's
surprised content. Contract signed. Return of "Master." _Denoument_
must be seen to be appreciated. Here McMERIVALE bids Sir WALTER
good-bye, and finishes in his own way. Last scene of all, and the
loveliest. The earliest rays of the sun shining on the advancing tide!
_Caleb_ picks up all that is left of "Master"--a feather! With Miss
ELLEN, Master HENRY, McMARRIOTT, McMERIVALE, MACKINTOSH, MACKENZIE,
and HAWES McCRAVENSWOOD, here is a success which the advancing tide of
popular favour will float till Easter or longer, and will then leave a
new feather in the cap of Master.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN EMPEROR'S WILL.

    [The German Emperor is an accomplished Sportsman. He appears
    to be able to bring down his birds at will.--_Daily News_.]

  Would you like to be an Emperor, and wear a golden crown,
    With fifty different uniforms for every single day;
  To make the nations shudder with the semblance of a frown,
    And, if BISMARCKS should oppose you, just to order them away?
              With your actions autocratic,
              And your poses so dramatic;
  Yours the honour and the glory, while the country pays the bill,
              With your shouting sempiternal,
              And your Grandmamma a Colonel,
  And the power--which is best of all--to shoot your birds by will.

  Then the joy of gallopading with a helmet and a sword,
    While the thunder of your cannons wakes the echoes from afar.
  And if, while you're in Germany, you happen to be bored,
    Why, you rush away to Russia, and you call upon the CZAR.
              With your wordy perorations,
              And your peaceful proclamations,
  While you grind the nation's manhood in your military mill.
              And whenever skies look pleasant
              Out you go and shoot a pheasant,
  Or as many as you want to, with your double-barrelled will.

  You can always flout your father, too--he's dead, but never mind;
    He and all who dream as he did are much better in their graves.
  And you cross the sea to Osborne, and, if Grandmamma be kind,
    You become a British Admiral, and help to rule the waves;
              With Jack Tars to say "Ay, Ay, Sir!"
              To this nautical young Kaiser,
  Who is like the waves he sails on, since he never can be still.
              Who to every other blessing
              Adds the proud one of possessing
  A gun-replacing, bird-destroying, game-bag-filling will.

       *       *       *       *       *

"HATS OFF!"--MR. EDWARD CROSSLEY, M.P., is to be congratulated on
a narrow escape, according to the report in the _Times_ last week.
During service in the Free Church at Brodick, some portion of the
ceiling gave way, Mr. CROSSLEY was covered with plaster--better to be
covered with plaster before than after an accident--and "_his hat was
cut to pieces_." From which it is to be inferred that "hats are much
worn" during Divine service in the Free Church, as in the Synagogue.
And so no fanatic can be admitted who has "a tile off." How fortunate
for Mr. E. CROSSLEY that this ancient custom of the Hebrews is still
observed in the Free Kirk. Since then Mr. CROSSLEY has bought a new
tile, and is, therefore, perfectly re-covered.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

[Illustration: Reviewing.]

The Baron says that he has scarcely been able to get through the first
morning of _The Last Days of Palmyra_, which story, so far, reminds
him--it being the fashion just now to mention Cardinal NEWMAN's
works--of the latter's _Callista_. And _a propos_ of _Callista_ let me
refer my readers to one of the best written articles on the Cardinal
that I have seen. It is to be found in _Good Words_ for October, and
is by Mr. R.H. HUTTON. The Baron is coaching himself up for a visit
to the Lyceum to see _Ravenswood_, of which, on all hands, he hears
so much that is good. What a delightful scene where _Caleb_ steals
the wild-fowl from the spit, and the subsequent one, where _Dame
Lightbody_ cuffs the astonished little bairn's head! "As fresh to me,"
protests the Baron, "laughing in my chair, as I have been doing but
a minute ago, as it was when I read it, the Council and Kirk-session
only know how long ago!" And this farcical scene was considered so
"grotesquely and absurdly extravagant" by Sir WALTER's contemporary
critics (peace be to their hashes! Who _were_ they? What were their
names? Who cares?) that the great novelist actually explains how the
incident was founded on one in real life.

Now to my books. Gadzooks, what's here? Another volume of _Obiter
Dicta?_ By one author this time, for if my memory fails me not, the
previous little book was writ by two scribes. Well, no matter--or
rather lots of matter--and by AUGUSTINE BIRRELL, who represents
_Obiter_ and _Dicta_ too. With an unclassical false quantity anyone
who so chooses to unscholarise himself, can speak of him as the
_O'Biter_, so sharp and pungent are some of his remarks. Ah! here is
something on LAMB. For me, quoth the Baron, LAMB is always in season,
serve up the dish with what trimmings you may, but, if you please, no
sauce. Size and shape are the only things against friend _Obiter_.
It is not what this sort of book ought to be, portable and potable,
like the craftily qualified contents of a pocket-flask, refreshing on
a tedious journey. Had _Obiter_ been the size of either _The Handy
Volume Shakspeare_, or of Messrs. ROUTLEDGE'S Redbacks--both the
Baron's prime favourites--the Baron would have been able to dip
into it more frequently, as he would into that same pocket-flask
aforementioned.

"Next, please!" BLACKIE'S _Modern Cyclopedia_. Vol. VII., so we're
getting along. I'll just cast my eye over it; one eye, not two, says
the Baron, out of compliment to the Cyclops. This Volume deals with
the letters "P," "R," "S," and any person wishing to master a few
really interesting subjects for dinner conversation will read and
learn up all about Procyon, Pizemysi, and Pyrheliometer, Quotelet,
Quintal, and Quito, Regulus, Ramazan, Rheumatism, Rhynchops,
Rum-Shrub, and Rupar, Samoyedes, Semiquaver, Sahjehanpur, Silket,
Sinter, and Size. When it is known what a gay conversationalist he is,
he may induce some one to put him up for a cheery Club, where he will
be Blackie-balled. Still, by studying the Cyclopedia carefully, with a
view to being ready with words for charades and dumb-crambo during the
festive Christmas-tide, he may once again achieve a certain amount of
popularity, on which, as on fresh laurels, he had better retire.

"Next, please!" _How Stanley Wrote his Darkest Africa_. By Mr. E.
MARSTON. A most interesting little book, published by SAMPSON LOW
& Co., illustrated with excellent photographs, and with a couple of
light easy sketches, by, I suppose, the Author, which makes the Baron
regret that he didn't do more of them. "Buy it," says the Baron.
The Baron recommends the perusal of this little book, if only to
understand the full meaning of the old proverbial expression "Going on
a wild-goose chase." The author is a wonderfully rapid-act traveller.
He apparently can "run" round every principal city in Europe and see
everything that's worth seeing in it in about an hour and a half at
most. In this manner, and by not comprehending a word of the language
wherever he is, or at all events only a very few of the words, he
continues to pick up much curious information which probably would be
novel to slower coaches than himself.

Interesting account of JOSEF ISRAELS in the _Magazine of Art_; but his
portrait makes him look gigantic, which JOSEF is in Art, but not in
stature. Those who "know not JOSEF," if any such there be, will learn
much about him, and desire to know more. "Baroness," says the Baron,
"you are right: let Hostesses and all dinner-givers read 'Some Humours
of the Cuisine' in _The Woman's World_." The parodies of the style
of Mr. PATER, and of a translation of a Tolstoian Romance in _The
Cornhill Magazine_, are capital. In the same number, "Farmhouse Notes"
are to The Baron like the Rule of Three in the ancient rhyme to the
youthful student,--"it puzzles _me_." It includes a few anecdotes of
some Farm'ous Persons; so perhaps the title is a crypto-punnygraph.

All Etonians should possess _The English Illustrated Magazine_
(MACMILLAN'S), 1889-90, for the sake of the series of papers and
the pictures of Eton College. There is also an interesting paper on
the Beefsteak Room at the Lyceum by FREDERICK HAWKINS. Delightful
Beefsteak Room! What pleasant little suppers--But no matter--my supper
time is past--"Too late, too late, you cannot enter here," ought
to be the warning inscribed over every Club or other supper-room,
addressed chiefly to those who are of the Middle Ages, as is the
mediaeval

BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.

       *       *       *       *       *

FASHIONS IN PHYSIC.

    [The President of the British Pharmaceutical Conference lately
    drew attention to the prevalence of fashion in medicine.]

  A fashion in physic, like fashions in frills:
  The doctors at one time are mad upon pills;
  And crystalline principles now have their day,
  Where alkaloids once held an absolute sway.
  The drugs of old times might be good, but it's true,
  We discard them in favour of those that are new.

  The salts and the senna have vanished, we fear,
  As the poet has said, like the snows of last year;
  And where is the mixture in boyhood we quaff'd,
  That was known by the ominous name of Black Draught?
  While Gregory's Powder has gone, we are told,
  To the limbo of drugs that are worn out and old.

  New fads and new fancies are reigning supreme,
  And calomel one day will be but a dream;
  While folks have asserted a chemist might toil
  Through his shelves, and find out he had no castor oil;
  While as to Infusions, they've long taken wings,
  And they'd think you quite mad for prescribing such things.

  The fashion to-day is a tincture so strong,
  That, if dosing yourself, you are sure to go wrong.
  What men learnt in the past they say brings them no pelf,
  And the well-tried old remedies rest on the shelf.
  But the patient may haply exclaim, "Don't be rash,
  Lest your new-fangled physic should settle my hash!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR!"--Professor JOHN TYNDALL wrote to T.W.
RUSSELL last week commencing:--"Here, in the Alps, at the height of
more than 7,000 feet above the sea, have I read your letter to the
_Times_ on 'the War in Tipperary.'" Prodigious! "7,000 feet" up in the
air. "How's that for high?" as the Americans say. How misty his views
must be in this cloudland--and that the Professor's writing should be
above the heads of the people, goes without saying.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

FEMALE ATHLETICISM.--If Ladies go in for "the gloves," not as
formerly by the coward's blow on the lips of a sleeping victim--often
uncommonly wide-awake--the noble art of self-defence can be taught
under the head of "Millin-ery."

       *       *       *       *       *

"CHANGE OF AIR--WANTED," by a party much broken up, a new tune to
replace the "_Boulanger March_!" If the new tune cannot be found, we
can at least suggest a change of title for the old one. So, instead
of "_En revenant de la Revue_," let it be "_En revant a la Revue_."
It should commence brilliantly, then intermediate variations, in which
sharps and flats would play a considerable part, and, finally, after a
chromatic scale, down not up, of accidentals, it should finish in the
minor _rallentando diminuendo_, and end like the comic overture (whose
we forget--HAYDN'S?), where all the performers sneak off, and the
conductor is left alone in his glory.

       *       *       *       *       *

The British Fire Brigade representatives took with them a dog, to be
presented to President CARNOT. Why only one dog? Two fire-dogs are to
be found on the hearth of every old French Chateau. Why only half do
it?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ADDING INSULT TO INJURY.

_Brown_ (_whose prize St. Bernard has just snatched a fillet of Veal
from a Butcher's slab_). "HI! COME AND TAKE YOUR CONFOUNDED MEAT AWAY
FROM HIM! _HE'S EATING THE SKEWERS!_"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEATH AND HIS BROTHER SLEEP."

_QUEEN MAB_.

    [Major MARINDIN, in his Report to the Board of Trade on
    the railway collision at Eastleigh, attributes it to the
    engine-driver and stoker having "failed to keep a proper
    look-out." His opinion is, that both men were "asleep, or
    nearly so," owing to having been on duty for sixteen hours
    and a-half. "He expresses himself in very strong terms on
    the great danger to the public of working engine-drivers and
    firemen for too great a number of hours."--_Daily Chronicle_.]

  _Who_ is in charge of the clattering train?
  The axles creak, and the couplings strain.
  Ten minutes behind at the Junction. Yes!
  And we're twenty now to the bad--no less!
  We must make it up on our flight to town.
  Clatter and crash! That's the last train down,
  Flashing by with a steamy trail.
  Pile on the fuel! We must not fail.
  At every mile we a minute must gain!
  _Who_ is in charge of the clattering train?

  Why, flesh and blood, as a matter of course!
  You may talk of iron, and prate of force;
  But, after all, and do what you can,
  The best--and cheapest--machine is Man!
  Wealth knows it well, and the hucksters feel
  'Tis safer to trust them to sinew than steel.
  With a bit of brain, and a conscience, behind,
  Muscle works better than steam or wind.
  Better, and longer, and harder all round;
  And cheap, so cheap! Men superabound
  Men stalwart, vigilant, patient, bold;
  The stokehole's heat and the crow's-nest's cold,
  The choking dusk of the noisome mine,
  The northern blast o'er the beating brine,
  With dogged valour they coolly brave;
  So on rattling rail, or on wind-scourged wave,
  At engine lever, at furnace front,
  Or steersman's wheel, _they_ must bear the brunt
  Of lonely vigil or lengthened strain.
  _Man_ is in charge of the thundering train!

  Man, in the shape of a modest chap
  In fustian trousers and greasy cap;
  A trifle stolid, and something gruff,
  Yet, though unpolished, of sturdy stuff.
  With grave grey eyes, and a knitted brow,
  The glare of sun and the gleam of snow
  Those eyes have stared on this many a year.
  The crow's-feet gather in mazes queer
  About their corners most apt to choke
  With grime of fuel and fume of smoke.
  Little to tickle the artist taste--
  An oil-can, a fist-full of "cotton waste,"
  The lever's click and the furnace gleam,
  And the mingled odour of oil and steam;
  These are the matters that fill the brain
  Of the Man in charge of the clattering train.

  Only a Man, but away at his back,
  In a dozen ears, on the steely track,
  A hundred passengers place their trust
  In this fellow of fustian, grease, and dust.
  They cheerily chat, or they calmly sleep,
  Sure that the driver _his_ watch will keep
  On the night-dark track, that he will not fail.
  So the thud, thud, thud of wheel upon rail
  The hiss of steam-spurts athwart the dark.
  Lull them to confident drowsiness. Hark!

  What is that sound? 'Tis the stertorous breath
  Of a slumbering man,--and it smacks of death!
  Full sixteen hours of continuous toil
  Midst the fume of sulphur, the reek of oil,
  Have told their tale on the man's tired brain,
  And Death is in charge of the clattering train!

  Sleep--Death's brother, as poets deem,
  Stealeth soft to his side; a dream
  Of home and rest on his spirit creeps,
  That wearied man, as the engine leaps,
  Throbbing, swaying along the line;
  Those poppy-fingers his head incline
  Lower, lower, in slumber's trance;
  The shadows fleet, and the gas-gleams dance
  Faster, faster in mazy flight,
  As the engine flashes across the night.
  Mortal muscle and human nerve
  Cheap to purchase, and stout to serve.
  Strained _too_ fiercely will faint and swerve.
  Over-weighted, and underpaid,
  This human tool of exploiting Trade,
  Though tougher than leather, tenser than steel.
  Fails at last, for his senses reel,
  His nerves collapse, and, with sleep-sealed eyes,
  Prone and helpless a log he lies!
  A hundred hearts beat placidly on,
  Unwitting they that their warder's gone;
  A hundred lips are babbling blithe,
  Some seconds hence they in pain may writhe.
  For the pace is hot, and the points are near,
  And Sleep hath deadened the driver's ear;
  And signals flash through the night in vain.
  Death is in charge of the clattering train!

       *       *       *       *       *

"WHAT TO DO WITH OUR GIRLS." (_Paterfamilias's answer_.)--Give them
away! (Matrimonially, of course.)

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "DEATH AND HIS BROTHER SLEEP."--Shelley.

(_See Major Marindin's Report to the Board of Trade on the Railway
Collision near Eastleigh._)]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE CAUSE" AND THE EFFECT.

Mr. ---- moved, "That this Mass-meeting pledges itself to support the
efforts of Messrs. ---- & Co.'s men, by joining the Union, and further
pledges itself to take all legal efforts to prevent anyone obtaining a
job there so long as the dispute lasts." The resolution was carried by
acclamation.

_Coroner_. How is it the child's father cannot get work? _Witness_.
Because he has no Union card. _Coroner_. Then if men do not belong
to the different Trades Unions they must starve.--_Coroner's Inquest
Report_.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ALL VERY VINE!

(_WITH ACKNOWLEDGMENTS TO THE WHITE KNIGHT IN "THROUGH THE
LOOKING-GLASS."_)

    ["One of the most interesting exhibits (at the Royal
    Horticultural Society's Grape and Dahlia Show at Chiswick)
    were clusters of grapes with the scent and taste of
    strawberries and raspberries, as grown in Transatlantic
    hothouses."--_Daily Paper_.]

  I'll tell thee everything I can;
    There's little to relate:
  I met a simple citizen
    Of some "United State."
  "Who are you, simple man?" I said,
    "And how is it you live?"
  And his answer seemed quite 'cute from one
    So shy and sensitive.

  He said, "I make electric cats
    That prowl upon the leads,
  To prey upon the brutes who raise
    Mad music o'er our heads.
  I also make all sorts of things
    Which much convenience give;
  In fact, I'm an inventor spry,
    And that is how I live.

  "And I am thinking of a plan
    For artificial hens,
  And automatic dairy-maids,
    And self-propelling pens."
  "Such things are stale," I made reply,
    "They're old, and flat, and thin.
  Tell me the last thing in your pate,
    Or I will cave it in!"

  His accents mild took up the tale:
    He said, "I've tried to make
  A sirloin out of turnips, and
    A vegetable steak."
  I shook him well, from side to side,
    To stimulate his brain;
  "You've got some newer dodge," I cried,
    "And that you must explain."

  He said, "I always willingly
    Do anything to please.
  What do you say to growing grapes
    That taste like strawberr-ees!
  They're showing off at Chiswick now,
    As I a sinner am,
  Some big black Hamburgs which, when pressed,
    Taste just like raspberry jam."

  So now whene'er I drink a glass
    Of wine that seems like rum,
  Or peel myself an orange that
    Reminds me of a plum,
  Or if I come across a peach
    With flavour like a bilberry,
  I weep, for it reminds me so
  Of Chiswick's Grape and Dahlia Show,
  And that 'cute man I used to know,
  Who could at will transform a sloe
  Into a thing with the aro-
  -ma of all fruits known here below,
    From apricot to mulberry.

       *       *       *       *       *

NATIVE GROWTH.

According to a case about oysters--instead of a case, it ought to have
been a barrel--heard before Mr. Alderman WILKIN,--and as the case may
be still _sub-Aldermanice_, we have nothing to say as to its merits
or demerits,--it appears, that in September, 1889, the price of Royal
Whitstable Natives was 14s. per 100; i.e., 1s. 3d. for a baker's dozen
of thirteen. Though why a baker should be allowed "a little one in,"
be it oysters or anything else, only Heaven and the erudite Editor of
_Notes and Queries_ know. But, without further allusion to the baker,
who has just dropped in accidentally as he did into the conversation
between _Mrs. Bardell_ and _Mrs. Cluppins_, when _Sam Weller_
joined in, and they all "got a talking," it is enough to make any
oyster-lover's mouth water--no doubt the worthy Alderman's did
water,--did water "like WILKIN!"--to hear that while everybody,
including the worthy Alderman aforesaid, was paying 2s. 6d., and 3s.,
and even 3s. 6d. for real Natives, some people were gratifying their
molluscous tastes at the small charge of One Shilling and Threepence
for thirteen, or were getting six oysters and a half--the half be
demm'd--for sixpence. Long time is it since we paid 1s. 3d. for Real
Royal Natives. They may have left Whitstable at that price, but they
never came to our Wits' Table at anything like that figure. Still,
to the truly Christian mind it is pleasant, if not consoling, to know
that some of our fellow-creatures, not generally so well-favoured
as ourselves, should have been able to take advantage of the most
favoured Native clause in the Oyster Season of 1889.

*** By the way, in answer to a Correspondent, who signs himself "AN
ARTFUL DREDGER, WHO WISHES TO LIVE OUT OF TOWN," we beg to inform him
that "Beds" is _not_ a county specially celebrated for oysters.

       *       *       *       *       *

BREAKING A _RECORD_ ON A WHEEL!

  Break, break, break!
    On thy "Safety" swift, oh, "crack!"
  And I would that my tongue could utter
    My thoughts on the cyclist's track.

  Oh, well for MECREDY, the "bhoy,"
    That "records" for him won't stay;
  And well for OSMOND and WOOD
    That they break them every day.

  And the "Safeties" still improve,
    And their riders develope more skill;
  And it's oh! for the records of yesterday!
    To-morrow they'll all be nil!

  Break! break! break!
    On thy wheels, oh, S.B.C.!
  But the grace of KEITH FALCONER, CORTIS, and KEEN,
    Will they ever come back to me?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHIC PEST.]

       *       *       *       *       *

LOST HAIRS-AT-LAW.

"SEQUEL to a Breach of Promise Case" is the heading to a paragraph
in the _Daily Telegraph_, recording how _Turner_ v. _Avant_ was heard
before Mr. Commissioner KERR, who adjourned the case for three weeks,
because, as Mr. AGABEG, the Counsel for the Plaintiff, observed,
without agabegging the question, they couldn't get any information
essential to the proceedings as to the whereabouts of the Miss HAIRS,
who, after failing in her action against Sir GEORGE ELLIOTT, M.P.,
gave up minding her own business, which she sold, and retired to the
Continent; and Plaintiffs also wanted to know the present address of
a certain, or uncertain, Mr. HOLLAND, somewhile Secretary to the Avant
Company. Odd this. Not find Hairs in September! Cry "_En Avant_!"
and let loose the harriers!--a suggestion that might have been
appropriately made by the Commissioner whose name alone, with respect
be it said, should qualify him for the Chief Magistracy in the Isle of
Dogs. In the meantime the Plaintiffs have three weeks' adjournment in
order to search the maps and find HOLLAND.

       *       *       *       *       *

TITLED MONTHS.--In the list given by the _Figaro_ of those present at
Cardinal LAVIGERIE'S great anti-slavery function at Saint Sulpice was
"_un ancien ministre plenipotentiare le Baron d'Avril._" What a set
of new titles this suggests for any creation, of new Peers in England!
Duke of DECEMBER! Earl of FEBRUARY! Of course, the nearest title
to Baron D'AVRIL with us is the Earl of MARCH. The Marquis of MAY
sounds nice; Lord AUGUST, Baron JULY; and, should a certain eminent
ecclesiastical lawyer ever become a Law Lord, there will be yet
another British cousin to Baron d'AVRIL and the Earl of MARCH in--Lord
JEUNE.

       *       *       *       *       *

NO MORE LAW OFFICERS!--"An Automatic Recorder on the Forth Bridge"
was a heading to a paragraph in the _St. James's_ last Saturday. The
announcement must have startled Sir THOMAS CHAMBERS, Q.C. Heavens!
If there is one Automatic Recorder in the North, why not another in
the South? Automatic Recorders would be followed by Automatic Common
Serjeants, and--Isn't it too awful!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: RATHER A LARGE ORDER.

_The Herr Professor_. "ACH--BEST MISS ROSY, VILL YOU KINDLY TURN ME
OVER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

LOOKING FORWARD.

(_EXTRACT FROM "THE DAILY PRIZE-FIGHTER," SEPTEMBER 24, 1900._)

Yesterday morning LOO BOBBETT and BEN MOUSETRAP had an interview
with Mr. PHEASANT, the Magistrate presiding in the North-West London
Police Court. The approaches to the Court were crowded from an early
hour. Amongst those in the street we noticed BILLY BLOWFROTH, and SAM
SNEEZER, the well-known pot-boys from "The Glove and Wadding" and
"The Tap o'Claret" Hotels, SHINY MOSES, AARON ISAACS, and SANDY the
Sossidge (so-called by his friends on account of his appearance),
the celebrated bankers from the West-end of Whitechapel, and a large
gathering of the _elite_ of the Lambeth Road. Inside the Court the
company was, if possible, even more select. Mr. TITAN CHAPEL, the
proprietor of the Featherbed Club, was the first to arrive in his
private brougham, and he was followed at short intervals by the Earl
of ARRIEMORE, Lord TRIMI GLOVESON, Mr. TOOWITH YEW, Mr. BRANDIC OHLD,
Mr. SPLITTS ODER, Mr. GINCOCK TALE, and Mr. ANGUS TEWBER, with a heap
more of the best known patrons of sport in the Metropolis. Little
time was cut to waste in the preliminaries, and it was generally
acknowledged at the end of the day that no prettier set-to had been
witnessed for a long time than that which took place at the North-West
London Police Court. We append below some of the more salient portions
of the evidence.

_Inspector Chizzlem_. I produce a pair of gloves ordinarily used at
London boxing matches. [_Produces them from his waistcoat pocket._

_Mr. Pheasant_ (_the Magistrate_). Pardon me. I don't quite
understand. Were the gloves that you produce to be used at this
particular competition?

_Inspector Chizzlem_. No, your Worship. These are one ounce
gloves. The gloves with which these men were to fight are known as
"feather-weight" gloves.

_Mr. Pheasant_. Ah, I see. Feather-weight, not feather-bed, I presume.
(_Loud Laughter, in which both the accused joined._) Have you the
actual gloves with you?

_Mr. Titan Chapel_ (_from the Solicitor's table_). I have brought
them, Sir. Here--dear me, what can I have done with them? I thought
I had them somewhere about me. (_Pats his various pockets. A thought
strikes him. He pulls out his watch_.) Ah, of course, how foolish of
me! I generally carry them in my watch-case.

  [_Opens watch, produces them, and hands them up to Magistrate_.

_Mr. Pheasant_. Dear me!--so these are gloves. I know I am
inexperienced in these matters, but they look to me rather like
elastic bands. (_Roars of laughter. Mr. PHEASANT tries them on._)
However, they teem to fit very nicely. Yes, who is the next witness?

_The Earl of Arriemore_ (_entering the witness-box_). I am, my noble
sportsman.

_Mr. Pheasant_. Who are you?

_The Earl of Arriemore_. ARRIEMORE'S my name, yer Washup, wich I'm a
bloomin' Lord.

_Mr. Pheasant_. Of course--of course. Now tell me, have you ever boxed
at all yourself?

_The Earl of Arriemore_. Never, thwulp me, never! But I like to set
the lads on to do a bit of millin' for me.

_Mr. Pheasant_. Quite so. Very right and proper. What do you say to
the gloves produced by the inspector?

_The Earl of Arriemore_. Call _them_ gloves? Why, I calls 'em
woolsacks, that's what I calls 'em. [_Much laughter._

_Mr. Pheasant_. No doubt, that would be so. But now with regard to
these other gloves, do you say they would be calculated to deaden the
force of a blow; in fact, to prevent such a contest from degenerating
into a merely brutal exhibition, and to make it, as I understand it
ought to be, a contest of pure skill?

_The Earl of Arriemore_. That's just it. Why, two babbies might box
with them gloves and do themselves no harm. And, as to skill, why it
wants a lot of skill to hit with 'em at all.

  [_Winks at Lord TRIMI GLOVESON, who winks back._

_Mr. Pheasant_. Really? That is very interesting, very interesting
indeed! I think perhaps the best plan will be for the two
principals to accompany me into my private room, to give a practical
exemplification of the manner in which such a contest is generally
conducted. (_At this point the learned Magistrate retired from the
Bench, and was followed into his private room by LOO BOBBETT. BEN
MOUSETRAP, and their Seconds. After an hour's interval, Mr. PHEASANT
returned to the Bench alone_.) I will give my decision at once. The
prize must be handed over to Mr. MOUSETRAP. That last cross-counter
of his fairly settled Mr. BOBBETT. I held the watch myself, and I
know that he lay on the ground stunned for a full minute. (_To the_
Usher.) Send the Divisional Surgeon into my room at once, and fetch an
ambulance. The Court will now adjourn.

  [_Loud applause, which was instantly suppressed._

_Mr. Pheasant_ (_sternly_).> This Court is not a Prize-Ring.

       *       *       *       *       *

"A STRUGGLE FOR LIFE" AT THE AVENUE.

[Illustration: Alexander the Less and the preux Chevalier.]

First of all, the title of the piece is against it. _The Struggle for
Life_ suggests to the general British Public, unacquainted with the
name of DAUDET, a melodrama of the type of _Drink_, in which a variety
of characters should be engaged in the great struggle for existence.
It is suggestive of strikes, the great struggle between Labour and
Capital, between class and class, between principal and interest,
between those with moral principles and those without them. It
is suggestive of the very climax of melodramatic sensation, and,
being suggestive of all this to the majority, the majority will be
disappointed when it doesn't get all that this very responsible
title has led them to expect. Those who know the French novel will
be dissatisfied with the English adaptation of it, filtered, as it
has been, through a French dramatic version of the story. So much
for the title. For the play itself, as given by Messrs. BUCHANAN
and HORNER,--the latter of whom, true to ancestral tradition, will
have his finger in the pie,--it is but an ordinary drama, strongly
reminding a public which knows its DICKENS of the story of _Little
Em'ly_, with _Vaillant_ for _Old Peggotty_, _Lydie_ for _Little
Em'ly_, _Antonin Caussade_ for _Ham_, and _Paul Astier_ for
_Steerforth_. Perhaps it would be carrying the resemblance too far to
see in _Rosa Dartle_, with her scorn For "that sort of creature," the
germ of _Esther de Seleny_. Mix this with a situation from _Le Monde
ou l'on s'ennuie_, spoilt in the mixing, and there's the drama.

[Illustration: The Avenger.]

For the acting--it is admirable. Miss GENEVIEVE WARD is superb as
_Madame Paul Astier_, and it is not her fault, but the misfortune
of the part, that the wife of _Paul_ is a woman old enough to be his
mother, with whose sufferings--with her eyes wide open, having married
a man of whose worthlessness she was aware,--it is impossible to feel
very much sympathy. She is old enough to have known better. Mr. GEORGE
ALEXANDER'S performance of the scoundrel _Paul_ leaves little to be
desired, but he must struggle for dear life against his--of course,
unconscious--imitation of HENRY IRVING. Shut your eyes to the facts,
occasionally, especially in the death-scene, and it is the voice of
IRVING; open them, and it is ALEXANDER agonising. No one can care for
the fine lady, statuesquely impersonated by Miss ALMA STANLEY, who
yields as easily to _Paul's_ seductive wooing as does _Lady Anne_
to _Richard the Third_. After Miss WARD and Mr. ALEXANDER, the best
performance is that of Miss GRAVES as _Little Em'ly Lydie_, and of Mr.
FREDERICK KERR as _Antonin Ham Caussade_,--the last-named enlisting
the genuine sympathy of the audience for a character which, in less
able hands, might have bordered on the grotesque. The comic parts
have simply been made bores by the adapters, and are not suited to the
farcical couple, Miss KATE PHILLIPS and Mr. ALBERT CHEVALIER, who are
cast for them. If this play is to struggle successfully for life, the
weakest, that is, the comic element, should at once go to the wall,
and the fittest alone, that is, the tragic, should survive. Also,
as the play begins at the convenient hour of 8.45, it should end
punctually at eleven. The only realistic scene is in _Paul Astier's_
room, when he is dressing for dinner, and washes his hands with real
soap, uses real towels, and puts real studs and links into his shirt,
and then suddenly reminded, as it were, by a titter which pervades
the house, that there are "ladies present," he disappears for a few
seconds, and returns in his evening-dress trowsers and nice clean
shirt, looking, except for the absence of braces, like a certain
well-known haberdasher's pictorial advertisement. It is vastly to the
credit of the management that all the articles of _Paul's_ toilet,
including Soap(!!), are not turned to pecuniary advantage in the
advertisements on the programmes. But isn't it a chance lost in _The
Struggle for Life_ at the Avenue?

       *       *       *       *       *

CITY VESTRIES AND CITY BENEFACTIONS.

I have lately had the distinguished honour conferred upon me of being
unanimously elected a Vestryman of the important Parish of Saint
Michael-Shear-the-Hog, which I need hardly say is situate in the
ancient and renowned City of London. I owe my election I believe, to
the undoubted fact that I am what is called--I scarcely know why--a
tooth-and-nail Conservative, no one of anything approaching to
Radicalism being ever allowed to enter within the sacred precincts
of our very select Body. Our number is small, but, I am informed, we
represent the very pick of the Parish, and we have confided to us
the somewhat desperate task of defending the funds entrusted to us,
centuries ago, from the fierce attack of Commissioners with almost
unlimited powers, but with little or no sympathy with the sacred
wishes of deceased Parishioners.

Our contention is that wherever, from circumstances that our pious
ancestors could not have foreseen, it has become simply impossible to
carry out literally their instructions, the funds should be applied
to strictly analogous purposes. For instance, now in a neighbouring
Parish, I am not quite sure whether it is St. Margaret Moses, or
St. Peter the Queer, a considerable sum was bequeathed by a pious
parishioner in the reign of Queen MARY, of blessed memory, the income
from which was to be applied to the purchasing of faggots for the
burning of heretics, which it was probably considered would be a
considerable saving to the funds of the Parish in question. At the
present time, as we all know, although there are doubtless plenty of
heretics, it has ceased to be the custom to burn them, so the bequest
cannot be applied in accordance with the wishes of the pious founder.
The important question therefore arises, how should the bequest be
applied? Would it be believed that men are to be found, and men having
authority, more's the pity, who can recommend its application to the
education of the poor, to the providing of convalescent hospitals, or
even the preservation of open spaces for the healthful enjoyment of
the masses of the Metropolis! Yet such is the sad fact. My Vestry,
I am proud to say, are unanimously of opinion that, in such a case
as I have described, common sense and common justice would dictate
that, as the intentions of the pious founder cannot be applied to the
punishment of vice, it should be devoted to the reward of virtue, and
this would be best accomplished by expending the fund in question in
an annual banquet to those Vestrymen who attended the most assiduously
to the arduous duties of their important office. JOSEPH GREENHORN.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANOTHER TERC-ISH ATROCITY.

(_BY A SCEPTICAL SUFFERER._)

    [An Austrian physician, Dr. TERC, prescribes bee-stings as a
    cure for rheumatism!]

  How cloth the little Busy Bee
    Insert his poisoned stings,
  And kill the keen rheumatic pain
    That mortal muscle wrings!

  Great Scott! It sounds so like a sell!
    Bee-stings for rheumatiz?
  As well try wasps to make one well.
    That TERC must be a quiz.

  Rather would I rheumatics bear
    Than try the Busy Bee.
  No, Austrian TERC, your cure _may_ work!
    But won't he tried on _me_!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

"IL IRA LOIN."--Great day for England in general, and for London in
particular, when AUGUSTUS GLOSSOP HARRIS,--the "Gloss-op"-portunely
appears nothing without the gloss up-on him,--popularly known by
the title of AUGUSTUS DRURIOLANUS, rode to the Embankment with
his trumpeters,--it being _infra dig._ to be seen blowing one
himself,--with his beautiful banners, and his footmen all in
State liveries designed by LEWIS LE GRAND WINGFIELD, he himself
(DRURIOLANUS, not LEWIS LE GRAND) being seated in his gorgeous new
carriage; Sheriff FARMER, too, equally gorgeous, and equally new, but
neither so grand nor so great as DRURIOLANUS The Magnificent. Then
followed "the quaint ceremony of admission." Not "Free Admission," by
any means, for no man can be a Sheriff of London for nothing. There
were loud cheers, and a big Lunch. _Ave Caesar!_

       *       *       *       *       *

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.

       *       *       *       *       *








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