Questo sito usa dei cookie per migliorare la vostra esperienza di navigazione. Continuando la navigazione accettate l'uso dei cookie (Altre informazioni)
Home Page - Autori - Audioletture
a cura di Valerio Di Stefano - Concordanze - DVD-ROM
Aree linguistiche: Italiano - English - French - Deutsch - Spanish - Portuguese
Miscellanea: Appunti di informatica libera - Punch, or the London Charivari - Holy Bible
Guide Linux - GNUtemberg - Liber Liber - Wikipedia for Schools - PortaLinux - OldSoftware
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 102, May 21, 1892
Release Date: January 14, 2005 [eBook #14695]
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI, VOL. 102, MAY 21, 1892***
"She-Pantaloons? seedy? Now, do we look like it?"
The speaker was a tall, robust maiden with fair hair; on her knee was an edition (without notes) of the Anabasis of Xenophon, and by her side was Liddell and Scott's Lexicon, in which she had just been tracking an exceptionally difficult—but, let me hasten to add, a perfectly regular—Greek verb to its lair. There were a considerable number of roseate specimens of English womanhood in the library of Girnham College, where, with some natural diffidence, I had ventured to put the rather delicate question to which I received the above reply.
For I had been much troubled in my soul about Sir JAMES CRICHTON BROWNE's recent deliverances with regard to the injurious physical effect of the Higher Education upon women, and, as a devoted—if hitherto unappreciated—admirer of the Fair Sex, I felt I had a theoretical interest in the question, and was bound to verify Dr. BROWNE's views. The most obvious way of satisfying my anxiety was to go to Girnham myself and ask the lady students what they thought about it, and so I did.
"I quite agree," I said, mildly, as I unwound my comforter, "that your course of studies seems to suit you remarkably well. Quite a bevy of female admirable CRICHT—!"
The effect was immediate; an unmistakable rush of lexicons—or were they Todhunters?—hurtled around my devoted head from the fair hands of disturbed and ruffled girlhood.
"Pray don't mention that person again!" said my fair-haired interlocutor, and I thought I wouldn't.
"Well, but," I began, with heroic daring, as I laid aside my respirator, "as to weak chests now?"
I was interrupted by a paroxysm of coughing, which I tried to explain, as my young friends thumped my back with unnecessary zeal, was, owing to my having imprudently ventured out without my chest-protector. As soon as I was able, I feebly hazarded the suggestion that, for growing girls, the habit of stooping over their books seemed calculated to induce weakness in the lungs—but their roars of merriment at the idea instantly convinced me that any uneasiness on this score was entirely superfluous.
"You certainly all look remarkably well," I observed, genially, "particularly sunburnt and brow—"
Here there was a roar of quite another kind. I endeavoured to protest, as I got behind an arm-chair and dodged a Differential Calculus and a large glass inkstand, that I hadn't meant to allude to the obnoxious Physician at all, but had merely intended to convey my hearty admir—
"I know what you're going to say!" interrupted the fair-haired girl, vivaciously. "And you had better not."
As she spoke, she raised me from my seat by the coat-collar with no apparent effort, and deposited me on the top of a tall bookcase, from which I found myself compelled to prosecute my inquiries.
"Nature has been very bountiful to you—very much so, I am sure," I murmured, blinking amiably down upon them through the spectacles I wear to correct a slight tendency to strabismus. "Still, don't you—er—find that your eyes—"
I got no further; I thought some of them would have died!
"How about the effect of learning on your looks, now?" I next inquired. "Is it true that classical and mathematical pursuits are apt to exercise a disfiguring effect? Not that, with such blooming faces as I see around me—er—if you will allow me to say so—"
But they wouldn't; on the contrary, I was given to understand, somewhat plainly, that compliments were perhaps ill-advised in that gathering.
"Are you—hem—fond of athletics?" was the question I put next from my lofty perch. "Do you go in for games at all, now?"
"Of course we do!" said the fair-haired girl, affording a practical demonstration of the fact by taking me down and proceeding with her lively companions to engage in the old classical game of pila or σφαιριστικη, the recreation in which Ulysses long ago found Nausicaa engaged with her maidens. On this occasion, however, I represented the pila, or ball, and although, in justice to their accuracy of eye and hand, I am bound to admit that I was seldom allowed to touch the ground as I sped swiftly from one to the other, still I felt considerable relief when, on my urgent protestations that I was fully convinced of their proficiency in this amusement, they were prevailed upon to bring this pastime to a close.
"We are breaking the rule of silence in this room," said the fair-haired one. "And you do ask such a lot of questions! But, as you seem curious about our athletic pursuits, come and I will try to show you."
I crawled after my guide without a word, inwardly reflecting that I was sorry I had spoken, and heartily cursing (though without pronouncing it aloud) the very name of that eminent Physician, Dr. CRICHTON BROWNE. She took me first of all to a field where a bevy of maidens were engaged in a game of hockey.
"We are keen on hockey," said my guide, and, as she spoke, a girl, flushed and radiant, caught me across the most sensitive part of the shin with a hockey-stick. No need to ask her if she felt well. I limped away, and, in another part of the field, saw a comely and robust maiden practising drop-kicks, utterly regardless of the fact that I was looking on. I received the football in the pit of my stomach, and the name of CRICHTON BROWNE died on my lips.
My guide smiled as she saw that I had taken in the scene that was being enacted under my very nose.
"Do you play cricket?" she asked, with something like pity in her eyes. I did not—but I was by this time in such condign fear of this young Amazon that I was really afraid to admit my total ignorance of the sport. She made me wicket-keep for her, without pads, for an entire hour, at the end of which I readily assented to an invitation for further exploration.
We went through endless passages to an endless gymnasium, and every now and then I came across an Indian club or a dumb-bell, wielded by energetic female athletes. I should have liked to ask them whether they felt well, but I realised—only just in time—that the question would have been an impertinence.
"Are you getting satisfied?" said my unwearied guide, with another of her smiles, "or, do you still think we are a puny misshapen race?"
"Quite satisfied!" I replied, faintly, as I endeavoured to unclose a rapidly discolouring eye, "in fact, I begin to discredit that alarmist cry—"
Before I could complete the sentence, I found myself executing an involuntary parabola over some adjacent parallel bars. My young friend's brows had contracted into a frown, although she waited politely for me to pick myself up.
"I thought we agreed not to mention that name!" she said, coldly.
I felt that any attempt to explain my innocence would be received with quiet scorn. "I—I should like to ask you just one thing more," I said, desperately, as I lay on my back, "I am really entirely converted—quite ashamed. I do hope you won't think me—er—inquisitive—but I have been so often told—it has been so constantly asserted—" I found myself bungling horribly in my desire not to offend.
"Pray go on," she said, "we try to be simple and sincere, and we are always ready to satisfy an intelligent inquirer."
"Well," I said, desperately, "people do say that you all wear—er—blue stockings. But I am sure," I added quickly, "that it is not true" ...
It was too late. When the friend who had smuggled me into the building came to my rescue, he asked me, rather noisily, "if I was feeling well?" I replied that I was not, and that I did not think I ever should again. And I never have.
[A West-end hosier advertises suits of Pyjamas in his window as "the latest styles in slumber-wear."]
All hail, O hosier; deem me not absurd
That I should thank thee for so apt a word.
'Tis thus that Modesty our language trims:
Where men say "legs" she softly whispers "limbs."
And, while they fume and rage in angry pother,
Stills the big D—— and substitutes a "bother."
Speaks not of "trousers"—that were sin and shame;
"Continuations" is the gentler name.
Turns "shirts" to "shifts," and, blushing like the rose,
Converts the lowly stocking into "hose."
Thus thou, my hosier, profferest me a pair
Of these, the latest style of slumber-wear.
Miss Certainage (who has been studying Schopenhauer, and has come to the conclusion that there is nothing but sorrow in life, sadly). "AH, MAJOR, I'M SURE I SHALL DIE YOUNG!"
Ethel. "OH NO, AUNT DEAR, I'M CERTAIN YOU WON'T!"
Oh where, oh where is my little wee fund?
Oh where, oh where can it be?
With the pence cut short and the pounds cut long;
Oh where, oh where can it be?
I've travelled about with my little wee fund—
It used to pay for me;
But now it's gone I'm lorn and lone;
Oh where, oh where can it be?
I want to stump through Switzerland;
On the 24th proximo.
To Germany, Sweden, Norway, and
To Denmark I want to go;
I've held out my hat to every flat,
And begged over land and sea,
Humanity dunned, but I have no fund—
Oh where, oh where can it be?
If ever you see a stray bawbee
Whenever, wherever you roam,
Oh, tell him the woe that troubles me so,
And say that it keeps me at home.
I may mention that what you do, like a shot
Must be done to be useful to me;
At once send a cheque to save us from wreck,
Or the Army will go to the D!
From Forty-Two to Ninety-Two!
A full half-century of story!
And now, our Century's end in view.
May's back once more in vernal glory,
And with it brings your Jubilee,
(Punch came to his one year before you!)
"Many Returns," Ma'am, may you see,
And honoured be the hour that bore you!
Good faith! it scarcely seems so long
To us old boys, who can remember
The tale, the picture, and the song
We pored o'er by the wintry ember;
And how our young and eager eyes
Were kept from childhood's easy slumbers
By the awakening ecstasies
Of cheery coloured Christmas Numbers.
We loved great GILBERT, Glorious JOHN!—
Sir JOHN to-day, good knight, fine painter!
Our eyes dwelt lingeringly upon
His work, by which all else showed fainter.
His dashing pencil "go" could give
To simplest scene; a wondrous gift 'tis!
How his bold line could make things live
In those far Forties and old Fifties!
And humorous "PHIZ" and spectral READ,
Made us alternate smile and shiver.
Ah! ghosts, Ma'am, then were ghosts indeed,
Born of the brain and not the liver.
You shared our LEMON and our LEECH;
Our BROOKS for you ran bright and sunny.
May you live long, to limn and teach.
Be graphic, genial, sage, and funny!
We like you well, we owe you much,
True record, blent with critic strictures,
And culture of the artist touch
Through half a century of pictures.
We wish you many gay returns
Of this May day! You're brighter, plumper
Than then; and Punch, who envy spurns,
Drinks your Good Health, Ma'am, in a bumper!
"ORME! SWEET ORME!"—Orme is still off solid food, and is kept alive entirely by Porter. It is the opinion of the best informed that "Porter with a head on" will pull him through. Smoking is not permitted in the stable, but there is evidence of there being several "strong backers" about.
Mr. John Hare, Lessee of the Garrick Theatre, in his evidence before the Theatres and Music Halls Committee, described himself, according to the Times Report, as having "been for about thirty years an actor, and for fifteen years a manager." This gives him forty-five years of professional life, and saying, for example, that he commenced his career as an actor at twenty, then his own computation brings him up to sixty-five If this be so, then Mr. JOHN HARE, with his elastic step, his twinkling eye, his clear enunciation, and his energetic style, is the youngest sexagenarian to be met with on or off the stage; and it is probable that when he reaches the Gladstonian age he will be more sprightly than even the Grand One himself.
In answer to a question put by Viscount EBRINGTON, Mr. EDWARD TERRY gave it as his opinion that "if officers"—he was speaking of the army not the police—"were prouder of their uniforms, and did not take the earliest opportunity of divesting themselves of them, the uniform would be more respected." He ought to have put it, "would be uniformly more respected." But how about the man inside the uniform? But why should a soldier wear his uniform when off duty any more than a policeman when off duty, or any more than a barrister should wear his wig, bands, and gown, when not practising in the Courts? There is one person who should always wear a distinctive uniform, and that is a Clergyman, who is never off duty. Perhaps this is already provided for by the Act of Uniformity.
Mr. JOHN HOLLINGSHEAD, after expressing his opinion that Mr. IRVING had been "seeing visions,"—which of course is quite an Irvingite characteristic,—proposed to put everything right everywhere, and be the Universal Legislator and Official Representative of Everybody. Salary not so much an object as a comfortable home, a recognised official position, and "No Fees." (The Commission still sitting may perhaps dissolve itself, and appoint the last witness as Sole Theatrical and Music Hall Commissioner, with no power to add to his number.)
House of Commons, Monday, May 9.—House dealt with just now after manner of Horticultural Exhibition at Earl's Court. Laid out as three acres, through which JESSE COLLINGS might be expected to lead the cow. But, as SQUIRE OF MALWOOD (a great authority on stock matters) says, the esteemed quadruped is dead, abandoned by its protector at time of disruption of Liberal Party. Exists now only in the form of carcass, to be found rather in butchers' shops than on quiet pastures. Pity, this. Difficult to imagine any better arrangement for what theatrical people call "properties" than the cow—probably with a blue ribbon round its neck—led through three acres of green meadow by JESSE COLLINGS, in clean smock-frock, with a crook in his hand.
Dr. CLARK says they don't drive cattle with crooks. But that's a detail. CLARK sure to contradict in any case.
Things very quiet to-night; quite pastoral. Only one outburst; that arose when FOSTER accused CHAMBERLAIN of saying the thing that is not. CHAMBERLAIN hotly rose, and appealed to Chairman to say whether the Doctor-Baronet was in order. COURTNEY said, since he was asked, he must say he thought not. So FOSTER changed the prescription. CHAPLIN much gratified at this speedy close of rupture that threatened progress with Bill. Presided over discussion with urbanity that was irresistible.
"Reminds me," said WILFRID LAWSON, looking across at Right Hon. Gentleman seated on Treasury Bench, with deeply-bayed shirt-front, and head closely bent over copy of Bill, "of a motherly hen gathering its brood under its wings, and trying to make things comfortable all round. Sometimes, when one of the brood grows a trifle importunate, the motherly expression on the expansive face sharpens, and the chicken is pecked at. But, on the whole, little to disturb the serenity of the coop."
Never before thought of CHAPLIN as an old hen. But, really, with the place permeated with agricultural and farm-yard associations, LAWSON's idea not so far out of it as it might appear to the domestic circle at Blankney Hall.
At half-past eleven those Scotchmen came up again. Upset the henroost, devoured what was left of the cow, dug up the verdurous three acres, and till two o'clock in the morning harried the Commissioners under the Scotch University Act. Business done.—In Committee on the Small Holdings Bill.
Tuesday.—Don't know what we shall do when WIGGIN leaves us, as he threatens to do after Dissolution. Not much here just now, but sometimes his face seen in House or Lobbies, piercing surrounding gloom like what SWIFT MACNEILL distantly alludes to as "the orb of day." Only WIGGIN could have thought of the little divertissement that for a few moments raised depressed spirits of House this afternoon. Resumed at morning Sitting (so called because it takes place in the afternoon) discussion of Small Holdings Bill. SEALE-HAYNE,—whose reputation as a humorist still lingers a tradition in the playing fields at Eton, but whose subsequent political career has subdued his vivacity,—moved Amendment. Something about compensation for cow-sheds. COBB airily addressed the Committee; and CHAPLIN whispered a few confidential remarks across Table.
Curious how this "eminent authority," as the MARKISS calls quite another personage, has lost his voice since Bill got into Committee. Seems so awestruck by enormity of his responsibility, not inclined to raise his voice above whisper. Effort to catch purport of his remarks completed depression under which Committee sinking. Went out to vote as if they were conducting CHAPLIN to a too early funeral. Then it was that an idea dawned on the mind of the wanton WIGGIN.
"I'll show 'em sport, TOBY, dear boy," he said to me in passing. "I'll give their spirits a leg up!"
Forgotten about this in passing through Division Lobby; coming back startled by angry roar. COURTNEY on his feet solemnly shouting "Order, Order!" like minute-gun at sea. Nothing came of this; excitement increased; COURTNEY crying "Order, Order!" in sterner voice. Looked about for explanation, and lo! there was the waggish WIGGIN with his hat cocked well on one side of his head, waddling down the floor of the House past the Chair. You may do almost anything in the House of Commons but walk about with your hat on, and here was WIGGIN, not only doing it, but persisting in the offence, smiling back innocently on the increasing circle of Members roaring at him, and COURTNEY, with increasing stridency, shouting "Order!" behind his back. Having got nearly to the Bar, the wily WIGGIN, affecting to wonder what all the row was about, turned round and found himself pierced through and through with the flaming eye of outraged Chairman. Pretty to see how, all of a sudden, it seemed to flash upon him that he was the culprit, and that it was his hat at which Members, like so many WILLIAM TELLS, were persistently tiring. The sunset face flushed deeper still; with quick movement the wayward WIGGIN removed his offending hat, and, bowing apologetically to the Chair, went forth with quickened pace.
Excellently done; took in the whole House, including Chairman. But WIGGIN's benevolent intention secured, and, if only temporarily, spirits of House jubilantly rose. Business done.—In Committee on Small Holdings.
Wednesday.—Municipal Corporations Act, 1882 (Amendment) Bill first Order of Day. Doesn't seem to promise anything exciting; Debate, however, not gone far before discovery made that it hides a deep design. Wouldn't think, looking at FORWOOD as he sits at remote end of Treasury Bench, that he had anything to do with Hecuba, or Hecuba [pg 245] with him. Only suspicious thing about him is, his extreme desire to keep out of sight. When SPEAKER took Chair he was standing at Bar surveying House, and wondering when it would be made. As soon as MATTINSON rose to move Second Heading of Bill, FORWOOD. so to speak, went backward, and planted himself well in shadow of SPEAKER's Chair.
Turns out in course of interesting Debate that, though the speech on moving Second Reading is the voice of MATTINSON, the Bill is the Bill of FORWOOD, whose interest in the political affairs of Liverpool is said to be extensive and peculiar. NEVILLE puts it in another way. "Whenever," he said, "any political manipulation is afoot in Liverpool, be sure the Secretary to the Admiralty will not be far away."
At first, FORWOOD affected indifference to proceedings. "His Bill! s'elp him, never seen it before. 'L'pool.' What's that?" But as Debate went forward, and gentlemen opposite insisted on dragging him in, he finally yielded, and taking off coat, "went for" other side. Rev. SAM SMITH interposed with charming story about a gentleman whom Liverpool Tories had appointed Chairman of Watch Committee, "he being solicitor to the two largest publicans in Liverpool." That didn't at first sight seem much to point, supposing even the united cubit measurement of the worthy tradesmen exceeded twelve feet. But Reverend SAM went on to explain what he meant was that, "between them, they owned about 120 public-houses." Curious movement in Strangers' Gallery as of involuntary smacking of many lips, FORWOOD said this (which he daintily alluded to as "an allegation") had been denied. SAM, couching the retort in clerical language, said in effect, "You're another!" whereupon Ministerialists roared, "Oh! oh!" and FORWOOD, now thoroughly roused, proceeded to show that SAMUEL and his Liberal allies were the real Gerrymanders, and that he, FORWOOD, was the spotless advocate of the true interests of the Working-Man.
House began to look askance on S.S. Never suspected him of being a man of that kind. Glad when painful discussion came to end. Bill read Second Time; but jubilation of promoters suddenly chilled by TIM HEALY, of whom no one was thinking at the moment, stepping in and adroitly putting spoke in wheel of Bill, by moving to refer it to Select Committee; which, being translated, means it will get no Forwooder this Session.
Business done.—TIM HEALY puts FORWOOD's clock back.
Friday.—EDWARD WATKIN home from honeymooning trip. Pleased to find his Bill giving the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway direct access to London passed all its stages in the Commons.
"It's a new way to London, good TOBY," he said, when I congratulated him on the double event. "Some gentlemen who faint in St. John's Wood objected on what I believe are called æsthetical grounds. But there are several big towns between here and Sheffield wanted the short cut, and I determined they should have it. Things looked bad last Session, and perhaps some fellows would have given up. I have a little way of never giving up, and it's astonishing how far it'll carry you. We're not through the Lords yet,—though, as you say, we are through their cricket-ground. But you'll see, before twelve months are over, I'll bring a train straight from Sheffield into our own station in London, and if you only live a little longer, you shall come with me on the first trip from Charing Cross to Paris under the Channel Tunnel. Everything, TOBY, cher ami, comes to the man who won't wait."
Business done.—Small Holdings Bill practically through Committee.
April 2, 1894.—The County Council at yesterday's meeting discussed the proposed new Tramway from Westminster Bridge to the Round Pond, through the Abbey, St. James's Park and Rotten Row. Deputations from all the artistic and archæological Societies presented petitions against it, but the Council refused to read them. Deputations from the Institute of Architects and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings also attended to give their views on the partial demolition of the Abbey, but they quarrelled so much amongst themselves that it was necessary to eject them, in order to prevent a free fight in the Council Chamber. Three Labour Candidates were then received, the Council standing respectfully, and stated that at least twenty-seven persons residing in Southwark would benefit by the direct route to Kensington Gardens. It was at once resolved that the Tramway should be made.
May 2, 1901.—Yesterday an immense Demonstration of Working-Men was held in Hyde Park to protest against the extension of the Tramways. Mr. JOHN SCALDS presided, and observed in his speech, "What is the good of taking the Working-Man from his own door to a park, if there is no park at the other end, only asphalte and tramlines and some stumps of trees cut down? What is the good of taking him to Westminster Abbey, if Poets' Corner has been made into a tramcar-shed? Besides, now the Working-Man is so much richer, and pays no rates or taxes, he does not want trams. They are only fit for the miserable Middle Class, and who cares about them?" This was greeted with loud shouts of, "Down with the Council!" and the vast assemblage marched with threatening cries and gestures towards the recently completed County Council Offices. Our readers are aware that this sumptuous building, which cost over two millions, occupies the site where St. Paul's Cathedral formerly stood. It was found, however, that the Council had suddenly adjourned, and that all the officials had fled. The workmen accordingly entered, and, having voted Mr. SCALDS to the chair, unanimously resolved that all the Tramways should be removed and the Parks replanted and returfed. It was decided that nothing could be done to replace the Cathedral or the Abbey, but it was resolved that the following inscription should be placed on the ruins at Westminster:—"To the lasting disgrace of the English Nation, this Building, together with the other beautiful and interesting parts of London, was ruined, for the sake of some impossible and imbecile schemes, by an assemblage of the most Despicable Dolts that ever lived."
The Minister. "WELL, JANET, HOW DID YOU LIKE YOUR NEW DOCTOR, DR. ELIZABETH SQUILLS?"
Janet. "WEEL, SIR, ONLY PRETTY WELL. YE SEE, SIR, DR. ELIZABETH ISN'T SO LEDDYLIKE AS SOME OF OUR AIN MEN DOCTORS!"
MIXED.—Under the heading "A Tragic Affair," it was recently stated in a paragraph, how "a Lady had been shot by a discharged Servant." It would have been better if the Servant, on being discharged, had gone off and injured nobody.
Effie (who can't make her sum come right). "OH, I DO WISH I WAS A RABBIT SO!"
Maud. "WHAT FOR, DARLING?"
Effie. "PAPA SAYS THEY MULTIPLY SO QUICKLY!"
Noble Owner (watching the Favourite out for exercise).
Ah! don't look so bad, ARTHUR, after his spin!
They are asking all round if he'll run, if he'll win.
They would like much to know, I've no manner of doubt.
Why, there isn't a Bookie, a Tipster, or Tout,
Not to mention an Owner, or Trainer, or Vet,
But desires the straight tip—which I wish they may get!
If they knew he'd been "nobbled," they'd greatly rejoice;
Then they'd back other cracks—Dissolution for choice—
With a confident mind. "Nobbled!" Ah! were they able
To get at his groom, or sneak into his stable,
How gladly some of them would give him a dose!
That's right, ARTHUR; watch him, my lad, and—keep close!
Trainer. Ay, ay, Sir! They will not get much out of me, Sir!
A still tongue to Tipsters and Touts is a teaser.
They're awfully curious about t'other horse;
Dissolution, you know. Try to pump me.
Noble Owner. Of course!
Very natural, you know, I should be, in their case.
If they knew that this nag couldn't win the big race,
Or was not meant to run, then their course would be clear.
[Espies Stranger approaching.
Hillo! Not too near, ARTHUR! (Aside.) Whom have we here?
Polite Stranger (insinuatingly).
Beg pardon, my Lord! A bit out of my track.
Missed my way. But—ahem!—is that really the "crack"?
Why, he looks cherry ripe—at a distance. I've heard
All sorts of reports—gossips are so absurd!
But—would you mind telling me—has the Great Horse
Been really—got at? Entre nous, mind!—
Noble Owner (drily). Of course!
Dissolution's shy backers would much like to know.
But—tell them who sent you to ask—it's no go!
[Exit, leaving Polite Stranger planté là.
Thou shalt not steal! That's a command
Which grips us with an iron hand;
And "he who prigs what isn't his'n,
When he is cotched shall go to prison!"
So runs the Cockney doggerel, clear
If ungrammatical, austere,
With not a saving clause to qualify
Its rigid Spartan rule, or mollify
Theft's Nemesis. Thou shalt not steal!
At least,—ahem!—well, all must feel
That property in thoughts and phrases,
The verbal filagree that raises
Flat fustian into "oratory,"
And makes the pulpit place of glory,
Such property is not so easy
To settle, and a conscience queasy
O'er picking pockets, oft remains
Quite unperturbed while—picking brains!
A Sermon is not minted coin;
It you may borrow, buy, purloin,
In part or wholly, and yet preach it
As your own work. Who'll dare impeach it,
This innocent transaction? Not
Your "brethren," save, perchance, some hot
And ultra-honest (which means "rancorous")
Parsonic rival. "How cantankerous!"
The reverend Assembly shouts.
It mocks at scruples, flames at doubts,
Hints at the stern objector's animus,
In the prig's praises is unanimous.
Oh, Happy Cleric Land, where unity
Breeds such unquestioning community
Of property—in Sermons! True it
Strikes some as queer; but they all do it,
If one may trust advertisement,
And an Assembly's calm content
At what to the Lay mind seems robbery.
Steal? Nay! But do not raise a bobbery,
If hard-up preachers glean their shelves
And take the credit to themselves.
How wise, how good, how kind, how just!
And how the poor Lay mind must trust
Those who so skilfully reveal
The meaning of "Thou shalt not Steal!"
"REGRETS AND GREAVES."—But for a recent trial, who of the outside public would even have guessed that the unromantic and quite Bozzian name of "Mr. and Mrs. TILKINS" meant the clever musician, Mr. IVAN CARTEL and the charming and accomplished actress and soprano, Miss GERALDINE ULMAR? The TILKINSES are to be congratulated on their winning the recent action of Tilkins v. Greaves with the award of one thousand pounds damage, which is the price the transmitter of scandal to the New York World has had to pay for his industry.
POLITE STRANGER. "I BEG YOUR PARDON, SIR: WOULD YOU KINDLY INFORM ME IF HE'S BEEN—'GOT AT'?"
NOBLE OWNER. "H'M!—AH!—WOULDN'T THE BACKERS OF DISSOLUTION LIKE TO KNOW!"
Most Cookery-Books are bosh. I have read them all—from the 'Αρχιμαγειρος of FRANCATELLIDES (1904 B.C.) to the Ayer Akberi: or Million Recipes of RUNG JUNG JELLYBAG, compiled in Sanskrit, Pali, Singhali, Urdu, Hindustani, Bengali, and the Marowsky language, for the "Kitchens measureless to man" (see COALRIDGE), of the Golden Dome of Kubla Khan; from Mrs. GLASSE to Dr. KITCHENER; from UDE to ALEXANDRE DUMAS; from CARÊME to Mrs. MARKHAM (who is said to have adopted the pseudonym of "RUNDELL" for her culinary mistress-piece); and from Miss ACTON (who was also the distinguished authoress of Austen Fryers, Pies and Prejudice, Sense and Saltcellars, &c.) to SOYER. The only modern culinary manual which (with one exception) is worth anything is by Mrs. DE SALIS, whose name has a happy affinity to that of The Only Trustworthy Authority as a Cookery-Bookerist, and whose immortal contributions to mageiristic lore are appearing weekly in Sal—— (Here the M.S. is firmly scored out by the Editorial blue pencil; but, faintly legible, is, "circulation, 2,599,862-3/8.") From this "Golden Treasury" of gormandising I have been permitted to cull a few recipes. Here are two or three for scholastic bed-room suppers. The first will be invaluable in Seminaries for Young Ladies:—
Saucissons en Petite Toilette.—Purchase your sausages on the sly, and keep them carefully in your glove-box, or your handkerchief case till wanted. Prick them all over with a hair-pin before cooking. Sprinkle them lightly with violet powder, and fry in cold cream (bear's grease will do as well) on the back of your handglass over the bed-room candle. If the glass gets broken, say it was the housemaid, or the cat did it. Turn with the curling-tongs. When done to a rich golden brown, put your sausages on a neatly folded copy of S—— (Editorial blue pencil again), and serve hot. Thin bread and butter, plum-cake or shortbread may accompany this appetising dish, and a partially ripe apple munched between each sausage will certainly give it a zest; but it would perhaps be as well not to eat too many chocolate creams afterwards.
Soufflé de Fromage de Hollande.—This is a very favourite dish for the dormitory in Young Gentlemen's schools. Procure, on credit, a fine Dutch cheese, keep it carefully in your play-box or in your desk; but don't let your white mice get at it. Before cooking in the dormitory, you and your young friends can have a nice game of ball with the merry Dutchman, only refrain from trying his relative hardness or softness by hammering the head of MUGG, the stupidest boy in the school, with it. Now cut up your cheese into small dice and carefully toast them on a triangular piece of slate, which you will cause "GYP Minor" to hold over a spirit-lamp. When, as the slate grows hotter, "GYP Minor" will probably howl, box his ears smartly, and the cheese will thus become a "soufflé," or rather "soufflet." Serve à la main chaude, but I must indignantly protest against the practice of some youths of eating peppermint drops with this "plat." A bath bun is much better. Beverage, gingerbeer or a little ginger wine.
Tournedos à la Busby.—It is a very astonishing thing that I never could persuade school-boys that this is a most succulent, scholastic supper-dish, exceptionally brisk and pungent in its flavour. Perhaps their aversion to it is based on the fact that the tournedos is usually served very hot indeed towards the conclusion of the repast by the Rev. Principal. It is accompanied by a brown sauce made of a bouquet de bouleau full of buds and marinaded in mild pickle.
Curried Rabbit.—Proceed to Ostend and procure a rabbit; honestly if possible, but procure it. Pinch its scut or bite its ears, and when it exclaims, "Miauw!" it is not a genuine rabbit, but a grimalkin in disguise. Some cats are very deceitful at heart. Bring your rabbit home, and then send to the nearest livery stables and borrow a curry-comb, then proceed to curry your rabbit. If Bunny resists, hit him over the head with the comb. He will possibly run away to rejoin his brethren at Ostend, or in New South Wales; but at all events you will have the curry-comb. One can be good and happy without returning the things you borrow. See my "Essay on Books, Cartes-de-visite, and Umbrellas," in the next number of Sala's J—— (Editorial blue-pencil again.)
Potage à la Jambe de Bois (Wooden-leg Soup).—Procure a fine fresh wooden-leg, one from Chelsea is the best. Wash it carefully in six waters, blanch it, and trim neatly. Lay it at the bottom of a large pot, into which place eight pounds of the undercut of prime beef, half a Bayonne ham, two young chickens, and a sweetbread. To these add leeks, chervil, carrots, turnips, fifty heads of asparagus, a few truffles, a large cow-cabbage, a pint of French beans, a peck of very young peas, a tomato cut in slices, some potatoes, and a couple of bananas. Pour in three gallons of water, and boil furiously till your soup is reduced to about a pint and a-half. As it boils, add, drop by drop, a bottle of JULES MUMM's Extra Dry, and a gill of Scotch whiskey; then take out your wooden leg, which wipe carefully and serve separately with a neat frill, which can be easily cut from the cover of Sala's Jo—— (Editorial blue pencil again), round the top. The soup itself is best served in a silver tureen, or in a Dresden china punch-bowl. The above obviously is intended neither for school-boys nor school-girls, nor is it meant for the tables of the wealthy and luxurious. It is emphatically a Poor Man's Dish, otherwise it would never have found a place in the cookery column of that essentially popular periodical, Sala's Journal. Hurrah! the Editor has gone out to "chop," and there was no blue pencil to mar the last touching allusions. N.B.—Circulation, eight millions, nine hundred and thirty-three thousand, two hundred and sixty-one and a-half. Guaranteed by five firms of Magna Chartered Accountants.
Mr. STUART RENDEL, having stated at Llanfair-Caerecinion that "a day with Mr. GLADSTONE was a whole liberal education," the London School Board has at last decided to alter the present system completely. After many days' deliberation, it has been arranged to hire the Albert Palace and Mr. GLADSTONE for a week. It is estimated that during six days, all the children now in the London schools can, in detachments, be squeezed into the building and spend a day there with the Right Honourable Gentleman. Seats will be provided on the platform for the Members of the Board, as this instruction would be a great benefit to many of them. At the end of the six days the present work of the Board will be finished, and it will adjourn for ten years, when another week in the society of the Grand Old Educator will again suffice for the needs of the rising generation. The numerous Board Schools will therefore become useless, but it is not proposed to demolish them, as experience has shown that they are sure to fall down of their own accord before long. The sumptuous offices of the Board will be converted into a Home for Destitute Schoolmasters.
We have reason to believe that Mr. GLADSTONE, after fulfilling his engagement at the Albert Palace, will make a tour in the provinces, and later on will have classes for journalists and other literary men, whose style, in many cases, would be vastly improved by two minutes, or even less, in the same room with him.
"A jolly place," said he, "in times of old.
But something ails it now: the place is curst."
A residence for Tory, Whig or Rad,
Where yet none had abiding habitation;
A House—but darkened by the influence sad
Of slow disintegration.
O'er all there hung a shadow and a fear,
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said as plain as whisper in the ear,
The place is Haunted!
There speech grew wild and rankly as the weed,
GRAHAM with TANNER waged competitive trials,
And vulgar bores of Billingsgatish breed
Voided spleen's venomed vials.
But gay or gloomy, fluent or infirm,
None heeded their dull drawls, of hours' duration.
The House was clearly in for a long term
Of desolate stagnation.
The SPEAKER yawned upon his Chair, he found
It tiring work, a placid brow to furrow,
To sit out speeches arguing round and round,
From County or from Borough.
The Members, like wild rabbits, scudded through
The lobbies, took their seats, lounged, yawned—and vanished.
The Whips like spectres wandered; well they knew
All discipline was banished.
The blatant bore,—the faddist, and the fool,
Were listened to with an indifferent tameness.
The windbag of the new Hibernian school
Railed on with shocking sameness.
The moping M.P. motionless and stiff,
Who, on his bench sat silently and stilly,
Gawped with round eyes and pendulous lips, as if
He had been stricken silly:
No cheery sound, except when far away
Came echoes of 'cute LABBY's cynic laughter,
Which, sick of Dumbleborough's chattering jay,
His listeners rambled after.
But Echo's self tires of a GRAHAM's tongue,
Rot blent with rudeness gentlest nymph can't pardon.
Why e'en the G.O.M. his grey head hung,
And wished he were at Hawarden.
Like vine unpruned, SEXTON's exuberant speech
Sprawled o'er the question with the which he'd grapple;
PICTON prosed on,—the style in which men preach
In a dissenting chapel.
Prince ARTHUR twined one lank leg t'other round,
Drooping a long chin like BURNE-JONES's ladies;
And HARCOURT, sickening of the strident sound,
Wished CONYBEARE in Hades.
For over all there hung a cloud of fear,
A sense of imminent doom the spirit daunted,
And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,
The House is Haunted!
Oh, very gloomy is this House of Woe,
Where yawns are numerous while Big Ben is knelling.
It is not on the Session dull and slow,
These pale M.P.'s are dwelling.
Oh, very, very dreary is the gloom,
But M.P.'s heed not HEALY's elocution;
Each one is wondering what may be his doom
After the Dissolution!
That House of Woe must soon be closed to all
Who linger now therein with tedium mortal,
And of those lingerers a proportion small
Again may pass its portal.
There's many a one who o'er its threshold stole
In Eighty-Six's curious Party tangle,
Who for the votes which helped him head the poll
In vain again may angle.
The GRAHAMS and the CALDWELLS may look bold,
So may the CONYBEARES, and COBBS and TANNERS;
But the next House quite other men may hold,
And (let's hope) other manners.
They'd like to know when this will close its door
Upon each moribund and mournful Member,
And who will stand upon the House's floor
After, say, next November.
That's why the M.P.'s sit in silent doubt,
Why spirits flag, and cheeks are pale and livid,
And why the DISSOLUTION SPOOK stands out
So ominously vivid.
Some key to the result of the appeal
They yearn for vainly, all their nerves a-quiver;
The presence of the Shadow they all feel,
And sit, and brood, and shiver.
There is a sombre rumour in the air,
The shadow of a Presence dim, atrocious;
No human creature can be festive there,
Even the most ferocious.
An Omen in the place there seems to be,
Both sides with spectral perturbation covering.
The straining eyeballs are prepared to see
The Apparition hovering.
With doubt, with fear, their features are o'ercast;
SALISBURY at Covent Garden might have spoken,
But, save for Rumour's whispers on the blast,
The silence is unbroken.
And over all there hangs a cloud of fear,
The Spook of Dissolution all has daunted,
And says as plain as whisper in the ear,
The House is Haunted!
Husband. "OH, SIR JOHN, SO GLAD YOU HAVE CALLED!—AND SO KIND OF LADY DASHWOOD TO HAVE ASKED us TO HER PARTY!—BUT WE ARE QUITE IN A FIX WHEN TO COME, BECAUSE THE CARD SAYS 'EARLY AND LATE.'"
Sir John. "OH, I THINK I CAN TELL YOU. SEND YOUR WIFE VERY EARLY INDEED, AND YOU CAN COME AS LATE AS YOU LIKE!"
Husband (who does not quite see it). "THANKS! THANKS! VERY MANY THANKS!"
"Upon what principle," one of my Baronites writes, "do people collecting a number of short stories for publication in one volume, select that which shall give the book its title?" Of course I know, but shan't say; am not here to answer conundrums. After interval of chilling silence, my Baronite continues, "Lady LINDSAY has brought together ten stories which A. & C. BLACK publish in a comely volume. She calls it A Philosopher's Window, that being the title of the first in the procession. I have looked through the Philosopher's Window, and don't see much, except perhaps a reminiscence of A Christmas Carol. There are others, far better, notably 'Miss Dairsie's Diary.' This is a gem of simple narrative, set in charming Scottish scenery, which Lady LINDSAY evidently knows and loves. There is much else that is good. 'The Story of a Railway Journey,' and 'Poor Miss Brackenthorpe,' for example. All are set in a minor key, but it is simple, natural music."
Any woman, my dear young girls, can marry any man she likes, provided that she is careful about two points. She must let him know that she would accept a proposal from him, but she must never let him know that she has let him know. The encouragement must be very strong but very delicate. To let him know that you would marry him is to appeal to his vanity, and this appeal never fails; but to let him know that you have given him the information is to appeal to his pity, and this appeal never succeeds. Besides, you awake his disgust. Half the art of the woman of the world consists in doing disgusting things delicately. Be delicate, be indirect, avoid simplicity, and there is hardly any limit to your choice of a husband.
I need say nothing about detrimental people. The conflict between a daughter and her parents on this point—so popular in fiction—very rarely takes place. It is well understood. You may fall in love with the detrimental person, and you may let him fall in love with you. But at present we are talking about marriage. Never marry a man with the artistic temperament. By the artistic temperament one means morbid tastes, uncertain temper and excessive vanity. It may be witty at dinner; it must be snappish at breakfast. It never has any money. In its dress it is dirty and picturesque, unless under the pressure of an occasion. It flirts well, but marries badly. I have described, of course, rather a pronounced case of artistic temperament. But it is hardly safe to marry any man who appreciates things artistic, because, as a rule, he only does it in order that people may appreciate his appreciation; and after a time that becomes wearisome.
Do not marry an imperial man. The young girl of seventeen believes in strength; by this she means a large chin and a persistent neglect of herself. She adores that kind of thing, and she will marry it if she is not warned. It is not good to fall in love with Restrained Force, and afterwards find that you have married Apathy.
The man whom you marry must, of course, have an income; he should have a better social position than you have any right to expect. You know all that—it is a commonplace. But also he must be perfectly even. In everything he should remind you constantly of most other men. Everything in him and about him should be uniform. Even his sins should be so monotonous that it is impossible to call them romantic. Avoid the romantic. Shun supreme moments. Chocolate-creams are very well, but as a daily food dry toast is better. Seek for the man who has the qualities of dry toast—a hard exterior manner, and an interior temperament that is at once soft and insipid. The man that I describe is amenable to flattery, even as dry toast is amenable to butter. You can guide him. And, as he never varies, you can calculate upon him. Marry the dry-toast man. He is easy to obtain. There are hundreds of him in Piccadilly. None of them wants to marry, and all of them will. He gives no trouble. He will go to the Club when he wants to talk, and to the theatre when he wants to be amused. He will come to you when he wants absolutely nothing; and in you—if you are the well-bred English girl that I am supposing—he will assuredly find it. And so you will both be contented.
Do not think that I am, for one moment, depreciating sentiment. I worship it; I am a sentimentalist myself. But everything has its place, and sentiment of this kind belongs to young unmarried life—to the period when you are engaged, or when you ought to be engaged. The young man whom I have described—the crisp, perfect, insipid, dry-toast man—would only be bored by a wife who wanted to be on sentimental terms with him. I remember a case in point. A young girl, whom I knew intimately, married a man who was, as a husband, perfect. They lived happily enough for three or four years; she had a couple of children, a beautiful house, everything that could be desired. And then the trouble came. She had been reading trashy novels, I suppose; at any rate, she fell in love with her own husband. She went in daily dread that he would find it out. I argued with her, reasoned with her, entreated her to give up such ruinous folly. It was of no use. She wrote him letters—three sheets, crossed and underlined. I warned her that sooner or later he would read one of them. He did; and he never forgave her. That happy home is all broken up now—simply because that woman could not remember that there is a time for sentiment and a time for propriety, and that marriage is the time for propriety. The passions are all very well until you are married; but the fashions will last you all your life.
I have no more to say on the choice of a husband. It is quite the simplest thing that a young girl has to learn,—you must find a quite colourless person, and flatter him a little; his vanity will do the rest. And when you are married to him, you will find him much easier to tolerate than a man who has any strong characteristic. Do not get into the habit of thinking marriage important; it is only important in so far as it affects externals; it need not touch the interior of your life.
I have received several letters. ELLA has had poetry sent to her by her fiancé, and wishes to know if this would justify her in breaking the engagement. I think not. She can never be quite certain that it is the man's own make; and, besides, plenty of men are like that during the engagement period, but never suffer from it afterwards. The other letters must be answered privately.
Have you heard the Yankee threat to suppress the Cigarette?
Ten dollars tax per thousand—as the French would say, par mille—
Is the scheme proposed, forsooth, to protect the Yankee youth
From poisons just discovered in his papier pur fil!
Such things might well have been in staring emerald green,
Or even in the paler tint that's christened "Eau-de-Nil,"
But it simply makes one sick to imagine arsenic
Is lurking in the spotless white of papier pur fil!
Strange the smoking French survive! Surely none should be alive;
Fair France should be one mighty morgue from Biarritz to Lille,
If there's also phosphorus, bringing deadly loss for us,
In Hygiene's new victim, luckless papier pur fil.
Yet some Frenchmen live to tell they are feeling pretty well;
From dozing Concierge at home to marching Garde Mobile,
You might safely bet your boots that, with loud derisive hoots,
They'd scout the thought of poison in their papier pur fil.
Then how foolish to conclude that, because they hurt the dude,
Smoking all day in the country, half the night as well en ville,
After dinner Cigarettes, two or three, mean paying debts
Of nature, or mean going mad, from papier pur fil!
SIR,—I am going to start a Caravan! It's all the go now, and nothing like it for fresh air and seeing out-of-the-way country places. What's the good of Hamlet with all the hamlets left out, eh? We shall sleep in bunks, and have six horses to pull us up any Bunker's Hill we may come to. I intend doing the thing in style, like the Duke of NEWCASTLE and Dr. GORDON STABLES, No gipsying for yours truly! I've been calculating how many people I shall want, and I don't think I can get on comfortably without all the following (they'll be my following, d'ye see?):—
1. Head Driver; 2. Understudy for Driver; 3. Butler; 4. Footman; 5. Veterinary Surgeon; 6. Carpenter (if wheel comes off, &c.); 7. Handy working Orator (to explain to people that we're not a Political Van); 8. Electrician (in case horses go lame, and we have to use electricity); 9, 10, 11. Female Servants.
The Servants will have to occupy a separate van, of course. They'll be in the van and in the rear at the same time! I'll let your readers know how we get on. At present we haven't even got off.
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.
***END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI, VOL. 102, MAY 21, 1892***
******* This file should be named 14695-h.txt or 14695-h.zip *******
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will be renamed.