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MR. PUNCH IN THE HIGHLANDS

PUNCH LIBRARY OF HUMOUR

Edited by J. A. Hammerton

Designed to provide in a series of volumes, each complete in itself, the
cream of our national humour, contributed by the masters of comic
draughtsmanship and the leading wits of the age to "Punch", from its
beginning in 1841 to the present day.

* * * * *

MR. PUNCH IN THE HIGHLANDS

[Illustration]

[Illustration: THRIFT

_Highlander (he had struck his foot against a "stane")._ "Phew-ts! - e-eh
what a ding ma puir buit wad a gotten if a'd had it on!!"]

* * * * *

MR. PUNCH IN THE HIGHLANDS

[Illustration]

AS PICTURED BY

CHARLES KEENE, JOHN LEECH, GEORGE DU MAURIER, W. RALSTON, L. RAVEN-HILL,
J. BERNARD PARTRIDGE, E. T. REED, G. D. ARMOUR, CECIL ALDIN, A. S. BOYD,
ETC.

_WITH 140 ILLUSTRATIONS_

PUBLISHED BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE PROPRIETORS OF "PUNCH"

THE EDUCATIONAL BOOK CO. LTD.

* * * * *

The Punch Library of Humour

_Twenty-five volumes, crown 8vo, 192 pages
fully illustrated_

LIFE IN LONDON
COUNTRY LIFE
IN THE HIGHLANDS
SCOTTISH HUMOUR
IRISH HUMOUR
COCKNEY HUMOUR
IN SOCIETY
AFTER DINNER STORIES
IN BOHEMIA
AT THE PLAY
MR. PUNCH AT HOME
ON THE CONTINONG
RAILWAY BOOK
AT THE SEASIDE
MR. PUNCH AFLOAT
IN THE HUNTING FIELD
MR. PUNCH ON TOUR
WITH ROD AND GUN
MR. PUNCH AWHEEL
BOOK OF SPORTS
GOLF STORIES
IN WIG AND GOWN
ON THE WARPATH
BOOK OF LOVE
WITH THE CHILDREN

[Illustration]

* * * * *

NORTHWARD HO!

SCOTSMEN - Highlanders and Lowlanders - have furnished Mr. Punch with many
of his happiest jokes. Despite the curious tradition which the Cockney
imbibes with his mother's milk as to the sterility of Scotland in
humour, the Scots are not only the cause of humour in others but there
are occasions when they prove themselves not entirely bereft of the
faculty which, with his charming egoism, the Cockney supposes to be his
own exclusive birthright. Indeed, we have it on the authority of Mr.
Spielmann, the author of "The History of _Punch_", that "of the accepted
jokes from unattached contributors (to Punch), it is a notable fact that
at least 75 per cent. comes from north of the Tweed." As a very
considerable proportion of these Scottish jokes make fun of the national
characteristics of the Scot, it is clear that Donald has the supreme
gift of being able to laugh at himself. It should be noted, however,
that Mr. Punch's most celebrated Scottish joke ("Bang went saxpence"),
which we give on page 153, was no invention, but merely the record of an
actual conversation overheard by an Englishman!

In the present volume the purpose has been not so much to bring together
a representative collection of the Scottish humour that has appeared in
_Punch_, but to illustrate the intercourse of the "Sassenach" with the
Highlander, chiefly as a visitor bent on sport, and incidentally to
illustrate some of the humours of Highland life. Perhaps the distinction
between Highlander and Lowlander has not been very rigidly kept, but
that need trouble none but the pedants, who are notoriously lacking in
the sense of humour, and by that token ought not to be peeping into
these pages.

Of all Mr. Punch's contributors, we may say, without risk of being
invidious, that Charles Keene was by far the happiest in the portrayal
of Scottish character. His Highland types are perhaps somewhat closer to
the life than his Lowlanders, but all are invariably touched off with
the kindliest humour, and never in any way burlesqued. If his work
overshadows that of the other humorous artists past and present
represented in this volume, it is for the reason stated; yet it will be
found that from the days of John Leech to those of Mr. Raven-Hill. MR.
PUNCH'S artists have seldom been more happily inspired than when they
have sought to depict Highland life and the lighter side of sport and
travel north of the Tweed.

* * * * *

MR. PUNCH IN THE HIGHLANDS

SPORTING NOTES

[Illustration]

The following are the notes we have received from our Sporting
Contributor. I wish we could say they were a fair equivalent for the
notes he has received from _us_, to say nothing of that new Henry's
patent double central-fire breech-loader, with all the latest
improvements, and one of Mr. Benjamin's heather-mixture suits. Such as
they are we print them, with the unsatisfactory consolation that if the
notes are bad they are like the sport and the birds. Of all these it may
be said that "bad is the best."

_North and South Uist._ - The awfully hard weather - the natives call it
"soft" here - having rendered the chances of winged game out of the
question, the sportsmen who have rented the shootings are glad to try
the chances of the game, sitting, and have confined themselves to the
whist from which the islands take their name. Being only two, they are
reduced to double dummy. As the rental of the Uist Moors is £400, they
find the points come rather high - so far.

_Harris._ - In spite of repeated inquiries, the proprietress of the
island was not visible. Her friend, Mrs. Gamp, now here on a visit,
declares she saw Mrs. H. very recently, but was quite unable to give me
any information as to shootings, except the shootings of her own corns.

_Fifeshire._ - The renters of the Fife shootings generally have been
seriously considering the feasibility of combining with those of the
once well-stocked Drum Moor in Aberdeenshire, to get up something like
a band - of hope, that a bag may be made some day. Thus far, the only
bags made have been those of the proprietors of the shootings, who have
bagged heavy rentals.

_Rum._ - I call the island a gross-misnomer, as there is nothing to drink
in it but whiskey, which, with the adjacent "Egg", may be supposed to
have given rise to the neighbouring "Mull" - hot drinks being the natural
resource of both natives and visitors in such weather as we've had ever
since I crossed the Tweed. I have seen one bird - at least so the gilly
says - after six tumblers, but to me it had all the appearance of a
brace.

_Skye._ - Birds wild. Sportsmen, ditto. Sky a gloomy grey - your
correspondent and the milk at the hotel at Corrieverrieslushin alike
sky-blue.

_Cantire._ - Can't you? Try tramping the moors for eight hours after a
pack of preternaturally old birds that know better than let you get
within half a mile of their tails. Then see if you can't tire. I beg
your pardon, but if you knew what it was to make jokes under my present
circumstances, you'd give it up, or do worse. If I should not turn up
shortly, and you hear of an inquest on a young man, in one of
Benjamin's heather-mixture suits, with a Henry's central-fire
breech-loader, and a roll of new notes in his possession, found hanging
wet through, in his braces in some remote Highland shieling - break it
gently to the family of

Your Sporting Contributor.

* * * * *

A PIBROCH FOR BREAKFAST.

Hech, ho, the Highland laddie!
Hech, ho, the Finnon haddie!
Breeks awa',
Heck, the braw,
Ho, the bonnie tartan plaidie!
Hech, the laddie,
Ho, the haddie,
Hech, ho, the cummer's caddie,
Dinna forget
The bannocks het,
Gin ye luve your Highland laddie.

* * * * *

The Member for Sark writes from the remote Highlands of Scotland, where
he has been driving past an interminable series of lochs, to inquire
where the keys are kept? He had better apply to the local authorities in
the Isle of Man. They have a whole House of Keys. Possibly those the
hon. Member is concerned about may be found among them.

* * * * *

[Illustration: ON THE HILLS

_Deer Stalker (old hand, and fond of it)._ "Isn't it exciting? Keep
cool!"

[_Jones isn't used to it, and, not having moved for the last half-hour,
his excitement has worn off. He's wet through, and sinking fast in the
boggy ground, and speechless with cold. So he doesn't answer._

]

* * * * *

[Illustration: 1) MR. BUGGLE'S FIRST STAG.

AT THE FIRST SHOT MR BUGGLE'S FIRST STAG LAY PRONE.]

[Illustration: 2) ELATED WITH SUCCESS MR B. RUSHED UP AND SEATED HIMSELF
ASTRIDE HIS VICTIM]

[Illustration: 3) BUT ALAS IT WAS ONLY SLIGHTLY STUNNED, AND PROMPTLY
ROSE TO THE OCCASION.]

[Illustration: 4) SO DID MR B.]

[Illustration: 5) THE LAW OF GRAVITY PROVED TOO STRONG WHEN A LUCKY SHOT
FROM THE KEEPER]

[Illustration: 6) PLACED MATTERS UPON A SATISFACTORY FOOTING ONCE MORE.]

* * * * *

[Illustration: MY ONLY SHOT AT A CORMORANT.

Here she comes!]

[Illustration: There she goes!]

* * * * *

FULL STOP IN THE DAWDLE FROM THE NORTH.

(_Leaves from the Highland Journal of Toby, M.P._)

"Here's a go", I said, turning to Sark, after carefully looking round
the station to see if we really were back at Oban, having a quarter of
an hour ago started (as we supposed) on our journey, already fifteen
minutes late.

[Illustration]

"Well, if you put it in that way", he said, "I should call it an entire
absence of go. I thought it was a peculiarly jolting train. Never passed
over so many points in the same time in my life."

"Looks as if we should miss train at Stirling", I remark, anxiously. "If
so, we can't get on from Carlisle to Woodside to-night."

"Oh, that'll be all right", said Sark, airy to the last; "we'll make it
up as we go along."

Again sort of faint bluish light, which I had come to recognise as a
smile, feebly flashed over cadaverous countenance of the stranger in
corner seat.

Certainly no hurry in getting off. More whistling, more waving of green
flag. Observed that natives who had come to see friends off had quietly
waited on platform. Train evidently expected back. Now it had returned
they said good-bye over again to friends. Train deliberately steams out
of station thirty-five minutes late. Every eight or ten miles stopped at
roadside station. No one got in or got out. After waiting five or six
minutes, to see if any one would change his mind, train crawled out
again. Performance repeated few miles further on with same result.

[Illustration]

"Don't put your head out of the window and ask questions", Sark
remonstrated, as I banged down the window. "I never did it since I heard
a story against himself John Bright used to tell with great glee.
Travelling homeward one day in a particularly slow train, it stopped an
unconscionably long time at Oldham. Finally, losing all patience, he
leaned out of the window, and in his most magisterial manner said, 'Is
it intended that this train shall move on to-night?' The porter
addressed, not knowing the great man, tartly replied, 'Put in thy big
white yedd, and mebbe the train'll start.'"

Due at Loch Awe 1.32; half-past one when we strolled into Connel Ferry
station, sixteen miles short of that point. Two more stations before we
reach Loch Awe.

"Always heard it was a far cry to Loch Awe", said Sark, undauntedly
determined to regard matters cheerfully.

"You haven't come to the hill yet", said a sepulchral voice in the
corner.

"What hill?" I asked.

"Oh, you'll see soon enough. It's where we usually get out and walk. If
there are on board the train any chums of the guard or driver, they are
expected to lend a shoulder to help the train up."

Ice once broken, stranger became communicative. Told us his melancholy
story. Had been a W.S. in Edinburgh. Five years ago, still in prime of
life, bought a house at Oban; obliged to go to Edinburgh once, sometimes
twice, a week. Only thrice in all that time had train made junction
with Edinburgh train at Stirling. Appetite failed; flesh fell away;
spirits went down to water level. Through looking out of window on
approaching Stirling, in hope of seeing South train waiting, eyes put on
that gaze of strained anxiety that had puzzled me. Similarly habit
contracted of involuntarily jerking up right hand with gesture designed
to arrest departing train.

"Last week, coming north from Edinburgh", said the hapless passenger,
"we were two hours late at Loch Awe. 'A little late to-day, aren't we?'
I timidly observed to the guard. 'Ou aye! we're a bit late,' he said.
'Ye see, we had a lot of rams, and we couldna' get baith them and you up
the hill; so we left ye at Tyndrum, and ran the rams through first, and
then came back for ye.'"

Fifty minutes late at Killin Junction. So far from making up time lost
at Oban, more lost at every wayside station.

"I hope we shan't miss the train at Stirling?" I anxiously inquired of
guard.

"Weel, no", said he, looking at his watch. "I dinna think ye'll hae
managed that yet."

This spoken in soothing tones, warm from the kindly Scottish heart.
Hadn't yet finally lost chance of missing train at Stirling that should
enable us to keep our tryst at Woodside. But no need for despair. A
little more dawdling and it would be done.

Done it was. When we reached Stirling, porters complacently announced
English mail had left quarter of an hour ago. As for stationmaster, he
was righteously indignant with inconsiderate travellers who showed
disposition to lament their loss.

"Good night", said cadaverous fellow-passenger, feebly walking out of
darkling station. "Hope you'll get a bed somewhere. Having been going up
and down line for five years, I keep a bedroom close by. Cheaper in the
end. I shall get on in the morning."

* * * * *

MERE INVENTION. - Up the Highlands way there is, in wet weather, a
handsome cataract, the name whereof is spelt anyhow you like, but is
pronounced "Fyres." There is not much water in hot weather, and then art
assists nature, and a bucket or so of the fluid is thrown over for the
delectation of tourists. One of them, observing this arrangement, said
that the proprietor

"Began to pail his ineffectual Fyres."

[This story is quite false, which would be of no consequence, but that
every Scottish tourist knows it to be false. Our contributor should
really be more careful.]

* * * * *

[Illustration: "Where can that confounded fellow have got to with the
lunch-basket?"]

[Illustration: Here he is, remarking, confidentially, that "that
ginger-peer is apout the pest he ever tasted."]

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Cockney Sportsman._ "Haw - young woman, whose whiskies do
you keep here?"

_Highland Lassie._ "We only keep McPherson's, sir."

_C. S._ "McPherson? Haw - who the deuce is McPherson?"

_H. L._ "My brother, sir."]

* * * * *

[Illustration: During Mr. Spoffin's visit to the Highlands, he found a
difficulty in approaching his game - so invented a method of simplifying
matters. His "make-up", however, was so realistic, that the jealous old
stag nearly finished him!]

* * * * *

[Illustration: HIS IDEA OF IT

_Native._ "Is 't no a daft-like place this tae be takin' a view? There's
no naething tae be seen for the trees. Noo, if ye was tae gang tae the
tap o' Knockcreggan, that wad set ye fine! Ye can see _five coonties_
frae there!"]

* * * * *

[Illustration: TOURING IN THE HIGHLANDS

"Hullo, Sandy! Why haven't you cleaned my carriage, as I told you last
night?"

"Hech, sir, what for would it need washing? It will be just the same
when you'll be using it again!"]

* * * * *

[Illustration]

* * * * *

FROM OUR BILIOUS CONTRIBUTOR.

_To_ MR. PUNCH.

MY DEAR SIR,[A]

Embarking at Bannavie very early in the morning - _diluculo surgere
saluberrimum est_, but it is also particularly disagreeable - I was upon
the canal of the Caledonians, on my way to the capital of the Highlands.
This is the last voyage which, upon this occasion, I shall have the
pleasure of describing. The vessel was commanded by Captain Turner, who
is a remarkable meteorologist, and has emitted some wonderful weather
prophecies. Having had, moreover, much opportunity of observing
character, in his capacity of captain of boats chiefly used by tourists,
he is well acquainted with the inmost nature of the aristocracy and
their imitators. Being myself of an aristocratic turn of mind (as well
as shape of body) it was refreshing to me to sit with him on the bridge
and speak of our titled friends.

[Footnote A: We perfectly understand this advance towards civility as
the writer approaches the end of his journey. He is a superior kind of
young man, if not the genius he imagines himself. - _Ed._]

Fort Augustus, which we passed, is not called so from having been built
by the Roman Emperor of that name, quite the reverse. The next object of
interest is a thing called the Fall of Foyers, which latter word is
sounded like fires, and the announcement to Cockneys that they are going
to see the affair, leads them to expect something of a pyrotechnic
character. It is nothing of that sort. The steamboat is moored, you rush
on shore, and are instantly arrested by several pikemen - I do not mean
soldiers of a mediæval date, but fellows at a gate, who demand fourpence
apiece from everybody landing in those parts. Being in Scotland, this
naturally made me think I had come to Johnny Groat's house, but no such
thing, and I have no idea of the reason of this highway robbery, or why
a very dirty card should have been forced upon me in proof that I had
submitted. We were told to go up an ascending road, and then to climb a
dreadfully steep hill, and that then we should see something. For my own
part, I felt inclined to see everybody blowed first, but being
over-persuaded, I saw everybody blowed afterwards, for that hill is a
breather, I can tell you. However, I rushed up like a mounting deer, and
when at the top was told to run a little way down again. I did, and saw
the sight. You have seen the cataracts of the Nile? It's not like them.
You have seen a cataract in a party's eye. It's not like that. Foyers is
a very fine waterfall, and worthy of much better verses than some which
Mr. Burns addressed to it in his English style, which is vile. Still,
the waterfall at the Colosseum, Regent's Park, is a good one, and has
this advantage, that you can sit in a chair and look at it as long as
you like, whereas you walk a mile to Foyers, goaded by the sailors from
the vessel, who are perpetually telling you to make haste, and you are
allowed about three minutes and fourteen seconds to gaze upon the scene,
when the sailors begin to goad you back again, frightening you with
hints that the captain will depart without you. Precious hot you come on
board, with a recollection of a mass of foam falling into an abyss. That
is not the way to see Foyers, and I hereby advise all tourists who are
going to stop at Inverness, to drive over from thence, take their time
at the noble sight, and do the pier-beggars out of their fourpences.

The stately towers of the capital of the Highlands are seen on our
right. A few minutes more, and we are moored. Friendly voices hail us,
and also hail a vehicle. We are borne away. There is news for us. We are
forthwith - even in that carriage, were it possible - to induct ourselves
into the black tr × ws × rs of refined life and the white cravat of
graceful sociality, and to accompany our host to the dinner of the
Highland railwaymen. _We_ rail. We have not come six hundred miles to
dress for dinner. Our host is of a different opinion, and being a host
in himself, conquers our single-handed resistance. We attend the dinner,
and find ourselves among Highland chieftains plaided and plumed in their
"tartan array." (Why doesn't Horatio MacCulloch, noble artist and
Highland-man, come to London and be _our_ tartan R.A.?) We hear wonders
of the new line, which is to save folks the trouble of visiting the lost
tribe at Aberdeen, and is to take them direct from Inverness to Perth,
through wonderful scenery. We see a programme of toasts, to the number
of thirty-four, which of course involves sixty-eight speeches. There is
also much music by the volunteers - not, happily, by bag-pipers. We
calculate, on the whole, that the proceedings will be over about four in
the morning. Ha! ha! _Dremacky_. There is a _deus ex machiná_ literally,
a driver on an engine, and he starts at ten. Numbers of the guests must
go with him. _Claymore!_ We slash out the toasts without mercy - without
mercy on men set down to speak and who have spoiled their dinner by
thinking over their _impromptus_. But there is one toast which shall be
honoured, yea, with the Highland honours. _Mr. Punch's_ health is
proposed. It is well that this handsome hall is built strongly, or the
Highland maidens should dance here no more. The shout goes up for _Mr.
Punch_.

I believe that I have mentioned to you, once or twice, that I am an
admirable speaker, but upon this occasion I surpassed myself - I was in
fact, as the Covent Garden play-bills say, "unsurpassingly successful."
Your interests were safe in my hands. I believe that no person present
heard a syllable of what I said. It was this:

[It may have been, but as what our correspondent has been pleased
to send as his speech would occupy four columns, we prefer to leave
it to immortality in the excellent newspaper of which he sends us a
"cutting." We incline to think that he _was_ weak enough to say
what he says he said, because he could not have invented and
written it out after a Highland dinner, and it was published next
morning. It is extremely egotistical, and not in the least
entertaining - _Ed._]

Among the guests was a gentleman who owns the mare who will certainly
win the Cesarewitch. _I know this for a fact_, and I advise you to put
your money on _Lioness_. His health was proposed, and he returned thanks
with the soul of wit. I hope he recollects the hope expressed by the
proposer touching a certain saddling-bell. I thought it rather strong in
"Bible-loving Scotland", but to be sure, we were in the Highlands, which
are England, or at all events where the best English spoken in Scotland
is heard.

We reached our house at an early hour, and I was lulled to a gentle
slumber by the sound of the river Ness. This comes out of Loch Ness, and
in the latest geographical work with which I am acquainted, namely,
"Geography Anatomiz'd, by Pat. Gordon, M.A.F.R.S. Printed for Andr.
Bell, at the Cross Keys and Bible in Cornhill, and R. Smith, under the
Royal Exchange, 1711", I read that "towards the north-west part of
_Murray_ is the famous _Lough-Ness_ which never freezeth, but retaineth
its natural heat, even in the extremest cold of winter, and in many
places this lake hath been sounded with a line of 500 fathom, but no
bottom can be found" (just as in the last rehearsal of the artisans'
play in the _Midsummer Night's Dream_), but I believe that recent
experiments have been more successful, and that though no lead plummet
would go so deep, a volume by a very particular friend of mine was
fastened to the line, and descended to the bottom in no time. I will
mention his name if he is not kind to my next work, but at present I
have the highest esteem and respect for him. I only show him that I know
this little anecdote.

There were what are called Highland games to be solemnised in Inverness.
I resolved to attend them, and, if I saw fit, to join in them. But I was
informed by a Highland friend of mine, Laidle of Toddie, a laird much
respected, that all competitors must appear in the kilt. As my own
graceful proportions would look equally well in any costume, this
presented no difficulty, and I marched off to Mr. Macdougall, the great
Highland costumier, and after walking through a dazzling array of Gaelic
glories, I said, mildly, "Can you make me a Highland dress?"

"Certainly, in a few hours", said Mr. Macdougall; but somehow I fancied
that he did not seem to think that I was displaying any vast amount of
sense.

"Then, please to make me one, very handsome", said I; "and send it home
to-night." And I was going out of the warehouse.


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