Produced by Malcolm Farmer, William Flis, and the Online Distributed
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
December 13, 1890.
MR. PUNCH'S PRIZE NOVELS.
NO. IX.--THE CURSE OF COGNAC.
(_By_ WATER DECANT, _Author of "Chaplin off his Feet," "All
Sorts of Editions for Men," "The Nuns in Dilemma," "The
Cream he Tried," "Blue-the-Money Naughty-boy," "The Silver
Gutter-Snipe," "All for a Farden Fare," "The Roley Hose,"
"Caramel of Stickinesse," &c., &c., &c._)
[Of this story the Author writes to us as follows:--"I can
honestly recommend it, as calculated to lower the exaggerated
cheerfulness which is apt to prevail at Christmas time. I
consider it, therefore, to be eminently suited for a Christmas
Annual. Families are advised to read it in detachments of four
or five at a time. Married men who owe their wives' mothers
a grudge should lock them into a bare room, with a guttering
candle and this story. Death will be certain and not painless.
I've got one or two rods in pickle for the publishers. You
wait and see.--W.D."]
GEORGE GINSLING was alone in his College-rooms at Cambridge. His
friends had just left him. They were quite the tip-top set in Christ's
College, and the ashes of the cigarettes they had been smoking lay
about the rich Axminster carpet. They had been talking about many
things, as is the wont of young men, and one of them had particularly
bothered GEORGE by asking him why he had refused a seat in the
University Trial Eights after rowing No. 5 in his College boat. GEORGE
had no answer ready, and had replied angrily. Now, he thought of
many answers. This made him nervous. He paced quickly up and down the
deserted room, sipping his seventh tumbler of brandy, as he walked. It
was his invariable custom to drink seven tumblers of neat brandy every
night to steady himself, and his College career had, in consequence,
been quite unexceptionable up to the present moment. He used playfully
to remind his Dean of PORSON's drunken epigram, and the good man
always accepted this as an excuse for any false quantities in GEORGE's
Greek Iambics. But to-night, as I have said, GEORGE was nervous with a
strange nervousness, and he, therefore, went to bed, having previously
blown out his candle and placed his Waterbury watch under his pillow,
on the top of which sat a Devil wearing a thick jersey worked with
large green spots on a yellow ground.
Now this Devil was a Water-Devil of the most pronounced type. His
head-quarters were on the Thames at Barking, where there is a sewage
outfall, and he had lately established a branch-office on the Cam,
where he did a considerable business.
Occasionally, he would run down to Cambridge himself, to consult
with his manager, and on these occasions he would indulge his
playful humour by going out at night and sitting on the pillows of
This was one of his nights out, and he had chosen GEORGE GINSLING's
pillow as his seat.
* * * * *
GEORGE woke up with a start. What was this feeling in his throat?
Had he swallowed his blanket, or his cocoa-nut matting? No, they
were still in their respective places. He tore out his tongue and his
tonsils, and examined them. They were on fire. This puzzled him. He
replaced them. As he did so, a shower of red-hot coppers fell from his
mouth on to his feet. The agony was awful. He howled, and danced about
the room. Then he dashed at the whiskey, but the bottle ducked as he
approached, and he failed to tackle it. Poor GEORGE, you see, was a
rowing-man, not a football-player. Then he knew what he wanted. In
his keeping-room were six _carafes_, full of Cambridge water, and a
dozen bottles of Hunyadi Janos. He rushed in, and hurled himself upon
the bottles with all his weight. The crash was dreadful. The foreign
bottles, being poor, frail things, broke at once. He lapped up the
liquid like a thirsty dog. The _carafes_ survived. He crammed them
with their awful contents, one after another, down his throat. Then he
returned to his bed-room, seized his jug, and emptied it at one gulp.
His bath was full. He lifted it in one hand, and drained it as dry
as a University sermon. The thirst compelled him--drove him--made
him--urged him--lashed him--forced him--shoved him--goaded him--to
drink, drink, drink water, water, water! At last he was appeased. He
had cried bitterly, and drunk up all his tears. He fell back on his
bed, and slept for twenty-four hours, and the Devil went out and gave
his gyp, STARLING, a complete set of instructions for use in case of
STARLING was a pale, greasy man. He was a devil of a gyp. He went into
GEORGE's bed-room and shook his master by the shoulder. GEORGE woke
"Bring me the College pump," he said. "I must have it. No, stay," he
continued, as STARLING prepared to execute his orders, "a hair of the
dog--bring it, quick, quick!"
STARLING gave him three. He always carried them about with him in case
of accidents. GEORGE devoured them eagerly, recklessly. Then with a
deep sigh of relief, he went stark staring mad, and bit STARLING in
the fleshy part of the thigh, after which he fell fast asleep again.
On awaking, he took his name off the College books, gave STARLING a
cheque for L5000, broke off his engagement, but forgot to post the
letter, and consulted a Doctor.
"What you want," said the Doctor, "is to be shut up for a year in the
tap-room of a public-house. No water, only spirits. That must cure
So GEORGE ordered STARLING to hire a public-house in a populous
district. When this was done, he went and lived there. But you
scarcely need to be told that STARLING had not carried out his orders.
How could he be expected to do that? Only fifty-six pages of my book
had been written, and even publishers--the most abandoned people on
the face of the earth--know that that amount won't make a Christmas
Annual. So STARLING hired a Temperance Hotel. As I have said, he was
a devil of a gyp.
The fact was this. One of GEORGE's great-great uncles had held a
commission in the Blue Ribbon Army. GEORGE remembered this too late.
The offer of a seat in the University Trial Eights must have suggested
the blue ribbon which the University Crew wear on their straw hats.
Thus the diabolical forces of heredity were roused to fever-heat, and
the great-great uncle, with his blue ribbon, whose photograph hung in
GEORGE's home over the parlour mantelpiece, became a living force in
GEORGE GINSLING went and lived in a suburban neighbourhood. It was
useless. He married a sweet girl with various spiteful relations. In
vain. He changed his name to PUMPDRY, and conducted a local newspaper.
Profitless striving. STARLING was always at hand, always ready
with the patent filter, and as punctual in his appearances as the
washing-bill or the East wind. I repeat, he was a devil of a gyp.
They found GEORGE GINSLING feet uppermost in six inches of water in
the Daffodil Road reservoir. It was a large reservoir, and had been
quite full before GEORGE began upon it. This was his record drink, and
it killed him. His last words were, "If I had stuck to whiskey, this
would never have happened."
* * * * *
"IT IS THE BOGIE MAN!"--BLACKIE'S _Modern Cyclopedia_. Nothing to do
with the Christy Minstrel Entertainment, but a very useful work of
reference, issued from the ancient house of publishers which is now
quite BLACKIE with age. We have looked through the "B's" for "Bogie,"
but "The Bogie Man" is "Not there, not there, my child!" but he is
to be found in that other BLACKIE's collection at the St. James's
Hall, which Bogie Man is said to be the original of that ilk.
_Unde derivatur_ "Bogie"? Perhaps the next edition of BLACKIE's
_still-more-Modern-than-ever Cyclopedia will explain_.
* * * * *
PARS ABOUT PICTURES (_by Old Par_).--At the Fine Art Society's Gallery
I gazed upon the pictures of "Many-sided Nature" with great content,
and came to the conclusion that Mr. ALBERT GOODWIN was a many-sided
artist. "Now," said I, quoting SHAKSPEARE--_Old Par's Improved
Edition_--"is the GOODWIN of our great content made glorious." O.P.,
who knows every inch of Abingdon, who has gazed upon Hastings from
High Wickham, who is intimate with every brick in Dorchester, who
loves every reed and ripple on the Thames, and has a considerable
knowledge of the Rigi and Venice, can bear witness to the truth of the
painter. There are over seventy pictures--every one worth looking at.
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Sweater_ (_to Mr. Punch_). "NO USE YOUR INTERFERING.
BUSINESS IS BUSINESS!"
_Mr. P._ "YES, AND UNCOMMONLY BAD BUSINESS, TOO, FOR _THEM_. COULDN'T
THE LARGE FIRMS TAKE A TRIFLE LESS PROFIT, AND PUT A LITTLE PLEASURE
INTO THE BUSINESS OF THESE POOR STARVING WORKERS?"]
["Business!" cries the Sweater, when remonstrated with
for paying the poor Match-box makers twopence-farthing or
twopence-half-penny a gross, whilst his own profits reach
22-1/2 to 25 per cent.--_Daily News_.]
_PUNCH TO THE SWEATING SHYLOCK._
Eh? "Business is business"? Sheer cant, Sir! Pure gammon?
Of all the inhuman, sham Maxims of Mammon,
This one is the worst,
For under its cover lurks cruelty callous,
With murderous meanness that merits the gallows,
And avarice accurst.
Oh, well, I'm aware, Sir, how ruthless rapacity
Loves to take shelter, with cunning mendacity
'Neath an old saw;
But well says the scribe that such "business" is crime, Sir,
And such would be but for gaps half the time, Sir,
'Twixt justice and law.
Bah! Many a man who's sheer rogue in reality,
Hides the harsh knave in the mask of "legality."
When 'tis too gross,
Robbery's rash, but austere orthodoxies
Countenance such things as modern match-boxes
Nine-farthings a gross!
From seven till ten, and sometimes to eleven,
For "six bob" a week. Ah! such life _must_ be heaven;
Whilst as for your "profit,"
That's bound to approach five-and-twenty per cent.,
That Sweaters shall thrive, let their tools be content
With starvation in Tophet.
To starve's bad enough, but to starve and to work
(Mrs. LABOUCHERE hints), the most patient may irk;
And the lady is right--
Business? On brutes who dare mouth such base trash,
_Mr. Punch_, who loves justice and sense, lays his lash,
With the greatest delight.
He knows the excuses advanced for the Sweater,
But bad is the best, and, until you find better,
'Tis useless to cant
Of freedom of contract, supply and demand,
And all the cold sophistries ever on hand
Sound sense to supplant.
A phrase takes the place of an argument often.
And stomachs go empty, and brains slowly soften,
And sense sick with dizziness,
All in the name of the bosh men embody
In one clap-trap phrase that dupes many a noddy,
That--business is business!
Business? Yes, precious bad business for them, Sir,
Whose joyless enslavement _you_ take with such phlegm, Sir,
Suppose, to enhance
Their small share of ease, such as you, were content, Sir,
To lower a trifle your precious "per cent.," Sir,
And give _them_ a chance!
* * * * *
[Illustration: SOFT SAWDER.
"BUT I DON'T CALL THIS A FASHIONABLE 'AT!"
"IT WILL SOON _BECOME_ SO, MADAM, IF _YOU_ WEAR IT!"]
* * * * *
[Illustration: A Christmas Masque.]
In _Camp and Studio_, Mr. IRVING MONTAGU, some time on the artistic
staff of _The Illustrated London News_, gives his experiences of the
Russo-Turkish Campaign. He concisely sums up the qualifications of a
War Correspondent by saying that he should "have an iron constitution,
a laconic, incisive style, and sufficient tact to establish a safe
and rapid connecting link between the forefront of battle and his own
head-quarters in Fleet Street or elsewhere." As Mr. IRVING MONTAGU
seems to have lived up to his ideal, it is a little astonishing to
find the last chapters of his book devoted to _Back in Bohemia_,
wherein he discourses of going to the Derby, a Hammersmith
_Desdemona_, and of the _Postlethwaites_ and _Maudles_, "whose
peculiarities have been recorded by the facile pen of DU MAURIER." But
as the author seems pleased with the reader, it would be indeed sad
were the reader to find fault with the author. However, this may be
said in his favour--he tells (at least) one good story. On his return
from Plevna to Bohemia, a dinner was given in his honour at the
Holborn Restaurant. Every detail was perfect--the only omission was
forgetfulness on the part of the Committee to invite _the guest of
the evening_! At the last moment the mistake was discovered, and a
telegram was hurriedly despatched to Mr. MONTAGU, telling him that he
was "wanted." On his arrival he was refused admittance to the dinner
by the waiters, because he was not furnished with a ticket! Ultimately
he was ushered into the Banqueting Hall, when everything necessarily
One might imagine that Birthday Books have had their day, but
apparently they still flourish, for HAZELL, WATSON, & VINEY publish
yet another, under the title of _Names we Love, and Places we Know_.
The first does not apply to our friends, but to the quotations
selected, and places are shown by photos.
Of many _Beneficent and Useful Lives_, you will hear "in
CHAMBERS,"--the reader sitting as judge on the various cases brought
before him by Mr. ROBERT COCHRANE.
_Unlucky_ will not be the little girl who reads the book with this
name, by CAROLINE AUSTIN.
_Everybody's Business_, by ISMAY THORN, nobody likes interference, but
in this case it proved the friend in need.
_Chivalry_, by LEON GAUTIER, translated by HENRY FRITH, is a chronicle
of knighthood, its rules, and its deeds. To the scientific student,
_Discoveries and Inventions of the Nineteenth Century_, by ROBERT
ROUTLEDGE, B.S., F.C.S., will be interesting, and help him to discover
a lot he does not know. Those who have not already read it, _A Wonder
Book for Girls and Boys_, by NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, will have a real
treat in the myths related; _Tanglewood Tales_ are included, and these
are delightful for all. _Rosebud_, by Mrs. ADAMS ACTON, a tale for
girls, who will love this bright little flower, bringing happiness all
_Holly Leaves_, the Special Number of _The Sporting and Dramatic_, is
quite a seasonable decoration for the drawing-room table during the
My faithful "Co." has been reading _Jack's Secret_, by Mrs.
LOVETT CAMERON, which, he says, has greatly pleased him. It has
an interesting story, and is full of clever sketches of character.
_Jack_, himself, is rather a weak personage, and scarcely deserves the
good fortune which ultimately falls to his lot. After flirting with a
born coquette, who treats him with a cruelty which is not altogether
unmerited, he settles down with a thoroughly lovable little wife, and
a seat in the House of Lords. From this it will be gathered that all
ends happily. _Jack's Secret_ will be let out by MUDIE's, and will be
kept, for a considerable time--by the subscribers.
Girls will be the richer this year by _Fifty-two more Stories for
Girls_, and boys will be delighted with _Fifty-two more Stories for
Boys_, by many of the best authors: both these books are edited by
ALFRED MILES, and published by HUTCHISON & Co. _Lion Jack_, by P.T.
BARNUM, is an account of JACK's perilous adventures in capturing wild
animals. If they weren't, of course, all true, _Lyin' Jack_ would have
been a better title.
_Syd Belton_, unlike most story-book boys, would not go to sea, but he
was made to _go_, by the author, Mr. MANVILLE FENN. Once launched, he
proved himself a British salt of the first water. _Dumps and I_, by
Mrs. PARR, is a _par_ticularly pretty book for girls, and quite on a
par with, her other works. METHUEN & CO. publish these.
_Pictures and Stories from English History_, and _Royal Portrait
Gallery_, are two Royal Prize Books for the historical-minded child;
they are published by T. NELSON AND SONS, as likewise "_Fritz_" _of
Prussia, Germany's Second Emperor_, by LUCY TAYLOR. _Dictionary of
Idiomatic English Phrases_, by JAMES MAIN DIXON, M.A., F.R.S.E., which
may prove a useful guide to benighted foreigners in assisting them to
solve the usual British vagaries of speech; like the commencement of
the Dictionary, it is quite an "A1" book.
"Dear Diary!" as one of Mr. F.C. PHILLIPS's heroines used to
address her little book, but DE LA RUE's are not "dear Diaries," nor
particularly cheap ones. This publisher is quite the Artful Dodger in
devising diaries in all shapes and sizes, from the big pocket-book to
the more insidious waistcoat-pocket booklet,--"small by degrees, but
"Here's to you, TOM SMITH!"--it's BROWN in the song, but no
matter,--"Here's to you," sings the Baron, "with all my heart!" Your
comic gutta-percha-faced Crackers are a novelty; in fact, you've
solved a difficulty by introducing into our old Christmas Crackers
several new features.
This year the Baron gives the prize for pictorial amusement to LOTHAR
MEGGENDORFER (Gods! what a name!), who, assisted by his publishers,
GREVEL & CO., has produced an irresistibly funny book of movable
figures, entitled _Comic Actors_. What these coloured actors do is so
moving, that the spectators will be in fits of chuckling. Recommended,
says THE BARON DE BOOK-WORMS.
* * * * *
"WHERE IGNORANCE IS BLISS."
ARGUMENT.--EDWIN has taken ANGELINA, his _fiancee_, to an
entertainment by a Mesmerist, and, wishing to set his doubts at
rest, has gone upon the platform, and placed himself entirely at the
Mesmerist's disposition. On rejoining ANGELINA, she has insisted upon
being taken home immediately, and has cried all the way back in the
hansom--much to EDWIN's perplexity. They are alone together, in a
Morning-room; ANGELINA is still sobbing in an arm-chair, and EDWIN is
rubbing his ear as he stands on the hearthrug.
_Edwin_. I say, ANGELINA, don't go on like this, or we shall have
somebody coming in! I wouldn't have gone up if I'd known it would
upset you like this; but I only wanted to make quite sure that the
whole thing was humbug, and--(_complacently_)--I rather think I
_Ang._ (_in choked accents_). You settled that?--but _how?_... Oh, go
away--I can't bear to think of it all! [_Fresh outburst._
_Ed._ You're a little nervous, darling, that's all--and you see, I'm
all right. I felt a little drowsy once, but I knew perfectly well what
I was about all the time.
_Ang._ (_with a bound_). You knew?--then you _were_ pretending--and
you call that a good joke! _Oh!_
_Ed._ Hardly pretending. I just sat still, with my eyes shut, and the
fellow stroked my face a bit. I waited to see if anything would come
of it--and nothing did, that's all. At least, I'm not aware that I did
anything peculiar. In fact, I'm _certain_ I didn't. (_Uneasily._) Eh,
_Ang._ (_indistinctly, owing to her face being buried in cushions_).
If you d-d-d-on't really know, you'd bub-bub-better-not ask--but I
believe you do--quite well!
_Ed._ Look here, ANGIE, if I behaved at all out of the common, it's
just as well that I should know it. I don't recollect it, that's all.
Do pull yourself together, and tell me all about it.
_Ang._ (_sitting up_). Very well--if you will have it, you must. But
you can't really have forgotten how you stood before the footlights,
making the most horrible faces, as if you were in front of a
looking-glass. All those other creatures were doing it, too; but, oh,
EDWIN, yours were far the ugliest--they haunt me still.... I mustn't
think of them--I won't! [_Buries her face again._
_Ed._ (_reddening painfully_). No, I say--_did_ I? not really--without
_Ang._ _You_ know best if it was without humbug! And, after that, he
gave you a glass of cuc-cod-liver oil, and--and pup-pup-paraffin,
and you dud-drank it up, and asked for more, and said it was the
bub-bub-best Scotch whiskey you ever tasted. You oughtn't even to
_know_ about Scotch whiskey!
_Ed._ I can't know much if I did _that_. Odd I shouldn't remember it,
though. Was that all?
_Ang._ Oh, no. After that you sang--a dreadful song--and pretended to
accompany yourself on a broom. EDWIN, you know you did; you can't deny
_Ed._ I--I didn't know I _could_ sing; and--did you say on a broom?
It's bad enough for me already, ANGELINA, without _howling_! Well, I
sang--and what then?
_Ang._ Then he put out a cane with a silver top close to your face,
and you squinted at it, and followed it about everywhere with your
nose; you _must_ have known how utterly idiotic you looked!
_Ed._ (_dropping into a chair_). Not at the time.... Well, go on,
ANGELINA; let's have it all. What next?
_Ang._ Next? Oh, next he told you you were the Champion Acrobat of
the World, and you began to strike foolish attitudes, and turn great
clumsy somersaults all over the stage, and you always came down on the
flat of your back!
_Ed._ I _thought_ I felt a trifle stiff. Somersaults, eh? Anything
else? (_With forced calm._)
_Ang._ I did think I should have _died_ of shame when you danced?
_Ed._ Oh, I _danced_, did I? Hum--er--was I _alone_?
_Ang._ There were four other wretches dancing too, and you imitated
a ballet. You were dressed up in an artificial wreath and a
_Ed._ (_collapsing_). No?? I _wasn't_!... Heavens! What a bounder I
must have looked! But I say, ANGIE, it was all _right_. I suppose? I
mean to say I wasn't exactly vulgar, or that sort of thing, eh?
_Ang._ Not vulgar? Oh, EDWIN? I can only say I was truly thankful
_Mamma_ wasn't there!
_Ed._ (_wincing_). Now, don't, ANGELINA it's quite awful enough as it
is. What beats me is how on earth I came to _do_ it all.
_Ang._ You see, EDWIN, I wouldn't have minded so much if I had had the
least idea you were like _that_.
_Ed._ Like that! Good Heavens. ANGIE, am I in the habit of making
hideous grimaces before a looking-glass? Do you suppose I am
given to over-indulgence in cod-liver oil and whatever the other
beastliness was? Am I acrobatic in my calmer moments? Did you ever
know me sing--with or without a broom? I'm a shy man by nature
(_pathetically_), more shy than you _think_, perhaps,--and in my
normal condition, I should be the last person to prance about in a
gauze skirt for the amusement of a couple of hundred idiots? I don't
believe I did, either!
_Ang._ (_impressed by his evident sincerity_). But you said you knew
what you were about all the time!
_Ed._ I thought so, then. Now--well, hang it, I suppose there's more
in this infernal Mesmerism than I fancied. There, it's no use talking
about it--it's done. You--you won't mind shaking hands before I go,
will you? Just for the last time?
_Ang._ (_alarmed_). Why--where are you going?
_Ed._ (_desperate_). Anywhere--go out and start on a _ranche_, or
something, or join the Colonial Police force. Anything's better than
staying on here after the stupendous ass I've made of myself!
_Ang._ But--but, EDWIN, I daresay nobody _noticed_ it much.
_Ed._ According to you, I must have been a pretty conspicuous object.
_Ang._ Yes--only, you see, I--I daresay they'd only think you were
a confederate or something--no, I don't mean that--but, after all,
indeed you didn't make such _very_ awful faces. I--I _liked_ some of
_Ed._ (_incredulously_). But you said they haunted you--and then the
oil, and the somersaults, and the ballet-dancing. No, it's no use,
ANGELINA, I can see you'll never get over this. It's better to part
and have done with it!
_Ang._ (_gradually retracting_). Oh, but listen. I--I didn't mean
quite all I said just now. I mixed things up. It was really whiskey
he gave you, only he _said_ it was paraffin, and so you wouldn't drink
it, and you _did_ sing, but it was only about some place where an old
horse died, and it was somebody else who had the broom! And you didn't
dance nearly so much as the others, and--and whatever you did, you
were never in the least ridiculous. (_Earnestly_). You weren't,
_Ed._ (_relieved_). Well. I thought you must have been exaggerating a
little. Why, look here, for all you know, you may have been mistaking
somebody else for me all the time--don't you see?
_Ang._ I--I am almost sure I did, now. Yes, why, of course--how stupid
I have been! It was someone very like you--not you at all!
_Ed._ (_resentfully_). Well, I must say, ANGELINA, that to give a
fellow a fright like this, all for nothing--
_Ang._ Yes--yes, it was all for nothing, it was so silly of me.
Forgive me, EDWIN, please!
_Ed._ (_still aggrieved_). I know for a fact that I didn't so much as
leave my chair, and to say I _danced_, ANGELINA!
_Ang._ (_eagerly_). But I _don't_. I remember now, you sat perfectly
still the whole time, he--he said he could do nothing with you, don't
you recollect? (_Aside._) Oh, what stories I'm telling!
_Ed._ (_with recovered dignity_). Of course I recollect--perfectly.
Well, ANGELINA, I'm not _annoyed_, of course, darling; but another
time, you should really try to observe more closely what _is_ done and
who _does_ it--before making all this fuss about nothing.
_Ang._ But you won't go and be mesmerised again, EDWIN--not after
_Ed._ Well, you see, as I always said, it hasn't the slightest effect
on me. But from what I observed, I am perfectly satisfied that
the whole thing is a fraud. All those other fellows were obviously
accomplices, or they'd never have gone through such absurd
antics--would they now?
_Ang._ (_meekly_). No, dear, of course not. But don't let's talk any
more about it. There are so many things it's no use trying to explain.
* * * * *
HOW IT'S DONE.
(_A HAND-BOOK TO HONESTY._)
NO. VII.--SELLING A HORSE.
SCENE I.--_A Horse-Sale. Inexperienced Person, in search of a
cheap but sound animal for business purposes, looking on in
a nervous and undecided manner, half tempted to bid for the
horse at present under the hammer. To him approaches a grave
and closely-shaven personage, in black garments, of clerical
cut, a dirty-white tie, and a crush felt hat._
_Clerical Gent_. They are running that flea-bitten grey up pretty
well, are they not. Sir?
_Inexperienced Person_. Ahem! ye-es, I suppose they are. I--er--was
half thinking of bidding myself, but it's going a bit beyond me, I
_C.G._ Ah, plant, Sir--to speak the language of these horsey
vulgarians--a regular plant! You are better out of it, believe me.
_I.P._ _In_-deed! You don't say so?
_C.G._ (_sighing_). Only too true. Sir. Why--(_in a gush of
confidence_)--look at my own case. Being obliged to leave the country,
and give up my carriage, I put my horse into this sale, at a _very_
low reserve of twenty pounds. (_Entre nous_, it's worth at least
double that.) Between the Auctioneer, and a couple of rascally
horse-dealers--who I found out, by pure accident, wanted my animal
particularly _for a match pair_--the sale of my horse is what _they_
call "bunnicked up." _Then_ they come to me, and offer me money. I
spot their game, and am so indignant that I'll have nothing to do with
them, at _any_ price. Wouldn't sell dear old _Bogey_, whom my wife
and children are so fond of, to such brutal blackguards, on _any_
consideration. No, Sir, the horse has done me good service--a sounder
nag never walked on four hoofs; and I'd rather sell it to a good,
kind master, for twenty pounds, aye, or even eighteen, than let these
rascals have it, though they _have_ run up as high as thirty q----,
_I.P._ Have they indeed, now? And what have you done with the horse?
_C.G._ Put it into livery close by, Sir. And, unless I can find a good
master for it, by Jove, I'll take it back again, and _give it away to
a friend_. Perhaps, Sir, you'd like to have a look at the animal. The
stables are only in the next street, and--as a friend, and with no
eye to business--I should be pleased to show poor _Bogey_ to anyone so
sympathetic as yourself.
[_I.P., after some further chat of a friendly nature, agrees
to go and "run his eye over him."_
SCENE II.--_Greengrocer's yard at side of a seedy house in a
shabby street, slimy and straw-bestrewn. Yard is paved with
lumpy, irregular cobbles, and some sooty and shaky-looking
sheds stand at the bottom thereof. Enter together, Clerical
Gent and Inexperienced Person._
_C.G._ (_smiling apologetically_). Not exactly palatial premises for
an animal used to _my_ stables at Wickham-in-the-Wold! But I know
these people, Sir; they are kind as Christians, and as honest as
the day. Hoy! TOM! TOM!! TOM!!! Are you there, TOM? [_From the shed
emerges a very small boy with very short hair, and a very long livery,
several sizes too large for him, the tail of the brass-buttoned coat
and the bottoms of the baggy trousers alike sweeping the cobbles as
he shambles forward_]. (_C.G. genially_.) Ah, there you are, TOM, my
lad. Bring out dear old _Bogey_, and show it to my friend here. [_Boy
leads out a rusty roan Rosinante, high in bone, and low in flesh,
with prominent hocks, and splay hoofs, which stumble gingerly over the
cobbles._] (_Patting the horse affectionately._) Ah, poor old _Bogey_,
he doesn't like these lumpy stones, does he? Not used to them, Sir.
My stable-yard at Wickham-in-the-Wold, is as smoothly paved as--as the
Alhambra, Sir. I always _consider_ my animals, Sir. A merciful man is
merciful to his beast, as the good book says. But _isn't_ he a Beauty?
_I.P._ Well--ahem!--ye-es; he looks a kind, gentle, steady sort of a
creature. But--ahem!--what's the matter with his knees?
_C.G._ Oh, nothing, Sir, nothing at all. Only a habit he has got
_along of kind treatment_. Like us when we "stand at ease," you know,
a bit baggy, that's all. You should see him after a twenty miles
spin along our Wickham roads, when my wife and I are doing a round
of visits among the neighbouring gentry. Ah, _Bogey, Bogey_, old
boy--_kissing his nose_--I don't know what Mrs. G. and the girls will
say when they hear I've parted with you--if I do, _if_ I do.
_Enter two horsey-looking Men as though in search of
_First Horsey Man_. Ah, here you are. Well, look 'ere, are you going
to take Thirty Pounds for that horse o' yourn? Yes or No!
_C.G._ (_turning upon them with dignity_). _No_, Sir; most
emphatically _No!_ I've told you before I will not sell him to you
at _any_ price. Have the goodness to leave us--_at once_, I'm engaged
with my friend here.
[_Horsey Men turn away despondently. Enter hurriedly, a
_Groom_. Oh, look here, Mister--er--er--wot's yer name? His
Lordship wants to know whether you'll take his offer of Thirty-five
Pounds--_or_ Guineas--for that roan. He wouldn't offer as much, only
it happens jest to match--
_C.G._ (_with great decisiveness_). Inform his Lordship, with my
compliments, that I regret to be entirely unable to entertain his
_Groom_. Oh, _very_ well. But I wish you'd jest step out and tell his
Lordship so yerself. He's jest round the corner at the 'otel entrance,
a flicking of his boots, as irritated as a blue-bottle caught in a
_C.G._ Oh, _certainly_, with pleasure. (_To I.P._) If you'll excuse
me, Sir, just one moment, I'll step out and speak to his Lordship.
[_Exit, followed by_ Groom.
_Horsey Person_ (_making a rush at I.P. as soon as C.G. has
disappeared, speaking in a breathless hurry_). Now lookye here,
guv'nor--sharp's the word! He'll be back in arf a jiff. _You buy that
'oss!_ He won't sell it to _us_, bust 'im; but you've got 'im in a
string, you 'ave. He'll sell it to _you_ for eighteen quid--p'raps
sixteen. _Buy_ it, Sir, buy it! We'll be outside, by the pub at the
corner, my pal and me, and--(_producing notes_)--we'll take it off
you agen for _thirty pounds_, and glad o' the charnce. We want it
pertikler, we do, and you can 'elp us, and put ten quid in your own
pocket too as easy as be blowed. Ah! here he is! Mum's the word! Round
the corner by the pub! [_Exeunt hurriedly._
_Clerical Gent_ (_blandly_). Ah! _that's_ settled. His Lordship was
angry, but I was firm. Take _Bogey_ back to the stable, TOM--_unless_,
of course--(_looking significantly at Inexperienced Person_).
_Inexperienced Person_ (_hesitating_). Well, I'm not sure but what the
animal would suit me, and--ahem!--if you care to trust it to me--
_Clerical Gent_ (_joyously_). Trust it to _you_, Sir? Why, with
pleasure, with every confidence. Dear old _Bogey_! He'll be happy
with such a master--ah, and do him service too. I tell you, Sir, that
horse, to a quiet, considerate sort o' gent like yourself, who wants
to _work_ his animal, not to wear it out, is worth forty pound, every
penny of it--and cheap at the price!
_I.P._ Thanks! And--ah--what _is_ the figure?
_C.G._ Why--ah--eighteen--no, dash it!--sixteen _to you_, and say no
more about it.
[_Inexperienced Person closes with the offer, hands notes
to Clerical Gent (who, under pressure of business, hurries
off), takes Bogey from the grinning groom-lad, leads
him--with difficulty--out into the street, searches vainly for
the two horsey Men, who, like "his Lordship," have utterly
and finally disappeared, and finds himself left alone in a
bye-thoroughfare with a "horse," which he cannot get along
anyhow, and which he is presently glad to part with to a
knacker for thirty shillings._
* * * * *
[Illustration: TRIUMPHS OF THE FUNNY MAN.
_Hired Waiter_ (_handling the liqueurs_). "_PLEASE_, SIR, _DON'T_ MAKE
ME LAUGH--I SHALL SPILL 'EM ALL!"]
* * * * *
WRITE AND WRONG.
As so many private letters are sold at public sales nowadays, it has
become necessary to consider the purport of every epistle regarded,
so to speak, from a _post-mortem_ point of view. If a public man
expresses a confidential opinion in the fulness of his heart to
an intimate friend, or proposes an act of charity to a cherished
relative, he may rest assured that, sooner or later, both
communications will be published to an unsympathetic and
autograph-hunting world. Under these circumstances it may be well
to answer the simplest communications in the most guarded manner
possible. For instance, a reply to a tender of hospitality might run
_Private and Confidential. Not negotiable._
Mr. DASH BLANK has much pleasure in accepting Mr. BLANK DASH's
invitation to dinner on the 8th inst.
_N.B.--This letter is the property of the Writer. Not for publication.
All rights reserved._
Or, if the writer feels that his letter, if it gets into the hands
of the executors, will be sold, he must adopt another plan. It will
be then his object to so mix up abuse of the possible vendors with
ordinary matter, that they (the possible vendors) may shrink, after
the death of the recipient, from making their own condemnation
public. The following may serve as a model for a communication of this
character. The words printed in italics in the body of the letter
are the antidotal abuse introduced to prevent a posthumous sale by
_Private and Confidential. Not to be published. Signature a forgery._
DEAR OLD MAN,--I nearly completed my book. _Your nephew,
TOM LESLEIGH, is an ass._ My wife is slowly recovering from
influenza. _Your Aunt, JANE JENKINS, wears a wig._ TOMMY,
you will be glad to learn, has come out first of twenty in
his new class at school. _Your Uncle, BENJAMIN GRAHAM, is a
twaddling old bore._ I am thinking of spending the Midsummer
holidays with the boys and their mother at Broadstairs. _Your
Cousin, JACK JUGGERLY, is a sweep that doesn't belong to a
single respectable Club._ Trusting that you will burn this
letter, to prevent its sale after we are gone,
I remain, yours affectionately,
_N.B.--The foregoing letter is the property of the Author, and, as
it is only intended for private circulation, must not be printed.
Solicitors address,--Ely Place_.
But perhaps the best plan will be, not to write at all. The telegraph,
at the end of the century, costs but a halfpenny a word, and we seem
to be within measurable distance of the universal adoption of the
telephone. Under these circumstances, it is easy to take heed of the
warning contained in that classical puzzle of our childhood, _Litera
* * * * *
A QUESTION OF TASTE.
_Mr. Punch_. Well, Madam, what can I do for you?
_Female_ (_of Uncertain Age, gushingly_). A very great favour, my dear
Sir; it is a matter of sanitation.
_Mr. P._ (_coldly_). I am at your service, Madam, but I would remind
you that I have no time to listen to frivolous complaints.
_Fem._ I would ask you--do you think that a building open to the
public should be crowded with double as many persons as it can
_Mr. P._ Depends upon circumstances, Madam. It might possibly
be excusable in a Church, assuming that the means of egress were
sufficient. Of what building do you wish to complain?
_Fem._ Of the Old Bailey--you know, the Central Criminal Court.
_Mr. P._ Have you to object to the accommodation afforded you in the
_Fem._ _I_ was not in the Dock!
_Mr. P._ (_dryly_). That is the only place (when not in the
Witness-Box) suitable for women at the Old Bailey. I cannot imagine
that they would go to that unhappy spot of their own free will.
_Fem._ (_astonished_). Not to see a Murder trial? Then you are
evidently unaccustomed to ladies' society.
_Mr. P._ (_severely_). I do not meet _ladies_ at the Old Bailey.
_Fem._ (_bridling up_). Indeed! But that is nothing to do with the
matter of the overcrowding. Fancy, with our boasted civilisation--I
was _half_ stifled!
_Mr. P._ It is a pity, with our boasted civilisation, that you were
not stifled--_quite!_ (_Severely._) You can go!
[_The Female retires, with an expression worthy of her proper
place--the Chamber of Horrors!_
* * * * *
[Illustration: IN DIFFICULTIES!
Distressed Hibernia. "If your tandem leader turns vicious, and kicks
over the traces,--where are you?"]
* * * * *
[Illustration: TAKING IT COOLLY.
_Old Gent_ (_out for a quiet ride with the Devon and Somerset_).
"CONFOUND THESE HARD-RIDING YOUNG RASCALS, THEY'LL BE SMASHING MY HAT
ONE OF THESE DAYS!"]
* * * * *
(_COMPILED A LA MODE._)
I have so often been urged by my friends to write my autobiography,
that at length I have taken up my pen to comply with their wishes. My
memory, although I may occasionally become slightly mixed, is still
excellent, and having been born in the first year of the present
century I consequently can remember both the Plague and Fire of
London. The latter is memorable to me as having been the cause of my
introduction to Sir CHRISTOPHER WREN, an architect of some note, and
an intimate friend of Sir JOSHUA REYNOLDS, and the late Mr. TURNER,
R.A. Sir CHRISTOPHER had but one failing--he was never sober. To the
day of his death he was under the impression that St. Paul's was St.
One of my earliest recollections is the great physician HARVEY, who,
indeed, knew me from my birth. Although an exceedingly able man,
he was a confirmed glutton. He would at the most ceremonious of
dinner-parties push his way through the guests (treating ladies and
gentlemen with the like discourtesy) and plumping himself down in
front of the turtle soup, would help himself to the entire contents of
the tureen, plus the green fat! During the last years of his life he
abandoned medicine to give his attention to cookery, and (so I have
been told) ultimately invented a fish sauce!
I knew HOWARD, the so-called philanthropist, very well. He was
particularly fond of dress, although extremely economical in his
washing bill. It was his delight to visit the various prisons and
obtain a hideous pleasure in watching the tortures of the poor
wretches therein incarcerated. He was fined and imprisoned for
ill-treating a cat, if my memory does not play me false. I have been
told that he once stole a pockethandkerchief, but at this distance of
time cannot remember where I heard the story.
It is one of my proudest recollections that, in early youth, I had
the honour of being presented to her late most gracious Majesty, Queen
ANNE, of glorious memory. The drawing-room was held at Buckingham
Palace, which in those days was situated on the site now occupied
by Marlborough House. I accompanied my mother, who wore, I remember,
yellow brocade, and a wreath of red roses, without feathers. Round
the throne were grouped--the Duke of MARLBOROUGH (who kept in the
background because he had just been defeated at Fontenoy), Lord
PALMERSTON, nick-named "Cupid" by Mistress NELL GWYNNE (a well-known
Court beauty), Mr. GARRICK, and Signor GRIMALDI, two Actors of repute,
and Cardinal WISEMAN, the Papal Nuncio. Her Majesty was most gracious
to me, and introduced me to one of her predecessors, Queen ELIZABETH,
a reputed daughter of King HENRY THE EIGHTH. Both Ladies laughed
heartily at my curls, which in those days were more plentiful than
they are now. I was rather alarmed at their lurching forward as I
passed them, but was reassured when the Earl of ROCHESTER (the Lord
Chamberlain) whispered in my ear that the Royal relatives had been
lunching. As I left the presence, I noticed that both their Majesties
were fast asleep.
I have just mentioned Lord ROCHESTER, whose acquaintance I had the
honour to possess. He was extremely austere, and very much disliked by
the fair sex. On one occasion it was my privilege to clean his shoes.
He had but one failing--he habitually cheated at cards. I will now
tell a few stories of the like character about Bishop WILBERFORCE,
THACKERAY, Mrs. FRY, PEABODY, WALTER SCOTT, and Father MATTHEW.
[No you don't, my venerable twaddler!--ED.]
* * * * *
THE LARGE CIGAR.
You lie on the oaken mantle-shelf,
A cigar of high degree,
An old cigar, a large cigar,
A cigar that was given to me.
The house-flies bite you day by day--
Bite you, and kick, and sigh--
And I do not know what the insects say,
But they creep away and die.
My friends they take you gently up,
And lay you gently down;
They never saw a weed so big,
Or quite so deadly brown.
They, as a rule, smoke anything
They pick up free of charge;
But they leave you to rest while the bulbuls sing
Through the night, my own, my large!
The dust lies thick on your bloated form,
And the year draws to its close,
And the baccy-jar's been emptied--by
My laundress, I suppose.
Smokeless and hopeless, with reeling brain,
I turn to the oaken shelf,
And take you down, while my hot tears rain,
And smoke you, you brute, myself.
* * * * *
[Illustration: PARNELL'S PARLIAMENTARY PUPPETS. THE STRINGS IN A
* * * * *
[Illustration: LORD'S IN DANGER. THE M.C.C. GO OUT TO MEET THE ENEMY.
"Sir EDWARD WATKIN proposes to construct a Railway passing through
Lord's Cricket Ground."]
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.
_House of Commons, Monday, December 1._--Tithes Bill down for Second
Reading. GRAND YOUNG GARDNER places Amendment on the paper, which
secures for him opportunity of making a speech. Having availed
himself of this, did not move his Amendment; opening thus made for
STUART-RENDEL, who had another Amendment on the paper. Would he move
it? Only excitement of Debate settled round this point. Under good
old Tory Government new things in Parliamentary procedure constantly
achieved. Supposing half-a-dozen Members got together, drew up a
number of Amendments, then ballot for precedence, they might arrange
Debate without interposition of SPEAKER. First man gets off his
speech, omits to move Amendment: second would come on, and so on, on
to the end of list. But STUART-RENDEL moved Amendment, and on this
[Illustration: Osborne Ap Morgan.]
Not very lively affair, regarded as reflex of passionate protestation
of angry little Wales. OSBORNE AP MORGAN made capital speech, but few
remained to listen. Welshmen at outset meant to carry Debate over to
next day; couldn't be done; and by half-past eleven, STUART-RENDEL's
Amendment negatived by rattling majority.
Fact is, gallant little Wales was swamped by irruptive Ireland.
To-day, first meeting of actual Home Rule Parliament held, and
everybody watching its course. This historic meeting gathered in
Committee-room No. 15; question purely one of Home Rule; decided,
after some deliberation, that, in order to have proceedings in due
dramatic form, there should be incorporated with the meeting an
eviction scene. After prolonged Debate, concluded that, to do the
thing thoroughly, they should select PARNELL as subject of eviction.
"No use," TIM HEALY said, "in half-doing the thing. The eyes of the
Universe are fixed upon us. Let us give them a show for their money."
PARNELL, at first, demurred; took exception on the ground that, as
he had no fixed place of residence, he was not convenient subject
for eviction; objection over-ruled; then PARNELL insisted that, if
he yielded on this point, he must preside over proceedings. TIM and
the rest urged that it was not usual, when a man's conduct is under
consideration upon a grave charge, that he should take the Chair.
Drawing upon the resources of personal observation, Dr. TANNER
remarked that he did not remember any case in which the holder of
a tenure, suffering process of eviction, bossed the concern, acting
simultaneously, as it were, as the subject of the eviction process,
and the resident Magistrate.
Whilst conversation going on, PARNELL had unobserved taken the Chair,
and now ruled Dr. TANNER out of order.
House sat at Twelve o'Clock; at One the Speaker (Mr. PARNELL),
interrupting SEXTON in passage of passionate eloquence, said he
thought this would be convenient opportunity for going out to his
chop. So he went off; Debate interrupted for an hour; resumed at One,
and continued, with brief intervals for refreshment, up till close
upon midnight. Proceedings conducted with closed doors, but along the
corridor, from time to time, rolled echoes which seemed to indicate
that the first meeting of the Home-Rule Parliament was not lacking
"I think they _are_ a little 'eated, Sir," said the policeman on duty
outside. "Man and boy I've been in charge of this beat for twenty
years; usually a quiet spot; this sudden row rather trying for one
getting up in years. Do you think, Sir, that, seeing it's an eviction,
the Police can under the Act claim Compensation for Disturbance?"
Promised to put question on subject to JOKIM.
Long dispute on point of order raised by NOLAN. TIM HEALY referring
to difficulty of dislodging PARNELL, alluded to him as "Sitting Bull."
Clamour from Parnellite section anxious for preservation of decency
of debate. Speaker said, question most important. Irish Parliament
in its infancy; above all things essential they should well consider
precedents. Must reserve decision as to whether the phrase was
Parliamentary; would suggest, therefore, that House should adjourn
five weeks. On this point Debate proceeded up to midnight.
_Business done_.--In British Parliament Tithes Bill read a Second
Time; in Irish (which sat four hours longer), None.
_Tuesday_.--Cork Parliament still sitting upstairs in Committee Room
No. 15, debating question of adjournment. We hear them occasionally
through open doors and down long corridor. Once a tremendous yell
[Illustration: Caleb Balder(Glad)stone finding all that was left of
the lost Leader, P-rn-ll.]
"What's that?" I asked DICK POWER, who happened to be taking glass of
sherry-wine at Bar in Lobby.
"That," said RICHARD, "is the Irish wolves crying for the blood of
PARNELL," and DICK, tossing down his sherry-wine, as if he had a
personal quarrel with it, hurried back to the shambles.
Quite a changed man! No longer the _debonnaire_ DICK, whose light
heart and high spirits made him a favourite everywhere. Politics have
suddenly become a serious thing, and DICK POWER is saddened with them.
"I take bitters with my sherry-wine now," DICK mentioned just now in
sort of apologetic way at having been discovered, as it were, feasting
in the house of mourning. "At the present sad juncture, to drink
sherry-wine with all its untamed richness might, I feel, smack of
callousness. Therefore I tell the man to dash it with bitters, which,
whilst it has a penitential sound, adds a not untoothsome flavour in
anticipation of dinner."
Even with this small comfort ten years added to his age; grey hairs
gleam among his hyacinthine locks; his back is bent; his shoes are
clogged with lead. A sad sight; makes one wish the pitiful business
was over, and RICHARD himself again.
All the best of the Irish Members, whether Cavaliers or Cromwellians,
are depressed in same way. Came upon SWIFT MacNEILL in retired
recess in Library this afternoon; standing up with right hand in
trouser-pocket, and left hand extended (his favourite oratorical
attitude in happier times) smiling in really violent fashion.
"What are you playing at?" I asked him, noticing with curiosity that
whilst his mouth was, so to speak, wreathed in smiles, a tear dewed
the fringe of his closed eyelids.
"Ah, TOBY, is that you?" he said, "I didn't see you coming. The fact
is I came over here by myself to have me last smile."
"Well, you're making the most of it," I said, wishing to encourage
[Illustration: The Last Smile.]
"I generally do, and as this is me last, I'm not stinting measurement.
They're sad times we've fallen on. Just when it seemed victory was
within our grasp it is snatched away, and we are, as one may say,
flung on the dunghill amid the wreck of our country's hopes and
aspirations. This is not a time to make merry. Me country's ruined,
and SWIFT MacNEILL smiles no more."
With that he shut up his jaws with a snap, and strode off. I'm sorry
he should take the matter to heart so seriously. We shall miss that
_Business done_.--Irish Land Bill in British Parliament. Cork
Parliament still sitting.
_Thursday_.--Cork Parliament still sitting; PARNELL predominant;
issues getting a little mixed; understood that Session summoned to
decide whether, in view of certain proceedings before Mr. Justice
BUTT, PARNELL should be permitted to retain Leadership. Everything
been discussed but that. Things got so muddled up, that O'KEEFE,
walking about, bowed with anxious thought, not quite certain whether
it is TIM HEALY, SEXTON, or JUSTIN McCARTHY, who was involved in
recent Divorce suit. Certainly, it couldn't have been PARNELL, who
to-day suggests that the opportunity is fitting for putting Mr. G.
in a tight place.
[Illustration: Weighed down with Thought.]
"You go to him," says PARNELL, "and demand certain pledges on Home
Rule scheme. If he does not consent, he will be in a hole; threatened
with loss of Irish Vote. You will be in a dilemma, as you cannot then
side with him against me, the real friend of Ireland; whilst I shall
be confirmed in my position as the only possible Leader of the Party.
If, on the contrary, this unrivalled sophist is drawn into anything
like a declaration that will satisfy you in the face of the Irish
People, he will be hopelessly embarrassed with his English friends;
I shall have paid off an old score, and can afford to retire from the
Leadership, certain that in a few months the Irish People will clamour
for the return of the man who showed that, if only he could serve
them, he was ready to sacrifice his personal position and advantages.
Don't, Gentlemen, let us, at a crisis like this, descend to topics of
mere personality. In spite of what has passed at this table, I should
like to shield my honourable friends, Mr. TIMOTHY HEALY, Mr. SEXTON,
and that _beau ideal_ of an Irish Member, Mr. JUSTIN McCARTHY,
from references, of a kind peculiarly painful to them, to certain
proceedings in a court of law with respect to which I will, before I
sit down, say this, that, if all the facts were known, they would be
held absolutely free from imputation of irregularity."
General cheering greeted this speech. Members shook hands all round,
and nominated Committee to go off and make things hot for Mr. G.
_Business done_.--In British House Prince ARTHUR expounded Scheme for
Relief of Irish Distress.
_Friday_.--A dark shadow falls on House to-day. Mrs. PEEL died this
morning, and our SPEAKER sits by a lonely hearth, OLD MORALITY, in his
very best style, speaking with the simple language of a kind heart,
voices the prevalent feeling. Mr. G., always at his best on these
occasions, adds some words, though, as he finely says, any expression
of sympathy is but inadequate medicine for so severe a hurt. Members
reverently uncover whilst these brief speeches are made. That is a
movement shown only when a Royal Message is read; and here is mention
of a Message from the greatest and final King. Mrs. PEEL, though the
wife of the First Commoner in the land, was not _une grande dame_. She
was a kindly, homely lady, of unaffected manner, with keen sympathies
for all that was bright and good. Every Member feels that something is
lost to the House of Commons now that she lies still in her chamber at
* * * * *
THE DRAMA ON CRUTCHES.--A Mr. GREIN has suggested, according to some
Friday notes in the _D.T._, a scheme for subsidising a theatre and
founding a Dramatic School. The latter, apparently, is not to aid the
healthy but the decrepit drama, as it is intended "to afford succour
to old or disabled actors and actresses." Why then call it a "Dramatic
School?" Better style it, a "Dramatic-Second-Infancy-School."
* * * * *
DEATH IN THE FIELD.--If things go on as they have been going lately,
the statisticians who compile the "Public Health" averages will have
to include, as one important item in their "Death Rates," the ravages
of that annual epidemic popularly known as--Football!
* * * * *
"JUSTICE FOR IRELAND!"--The contest on the Chairmanship of the Irish
Parliamentary Party may be summed up:--PARNELL--Just out, McCARTHY
* * * * *
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.