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Punch, or the London Charivari

Volume 105, October 21st 1893

_edited by Sir Francis Burnand_

* * * * *



* * * * *


(_From our Correspondent on the Spot._)

_There or Thereabouts, Saturday._

I hope you will not believe all you hear. I am told that the messages
are tampered with, but this I trust to get through the lines without
difficulty. It is being carried by a professional brigand disguised as
a monk.

First let me disabuse the minds of your readers about the blowing up
of the hospital. It is quite true that the place was sent spinning
into the air. But the patients were put to the minimum of
inconvenience. They were removed from the wards without being called
upon to quit their beds. They went somewhere after returning to the
ground, but where I do not know. Some of the local doctors say that
the change of air (caused by the explosion) may have done them good.
It is not impossible.

I am glad to be able to contradict the report that the Stock Exchange
and the apple-stall at the corner were both bombarded. This is a
deliberate falsehood. The Stock Exchange, it is true, was razed to the
ground, but the apple-stall escaped uninjured. This is an example of
the reckless fashion in which reports are circulated.

Then about the burning of the city. It is certainly true that the
place was set alight in two hundred places at once. But the day was
cold, and I think it was only done because the troops wanted to warm
their hands. You must not believe all you hear, and it is unwise to
impute motives before receiving explanations. The people here are
warm-hearted and sympathetic, and the soldiers (as a body) are the
mildest-mannered persons imaginable.

And the report about the blowing-up of the bridges. Here again there
has been gross exaggeration. The bed of the river, in spite of reports
to the contrary, was left undisturbed. Only the stone-work was sent
spinning, and yet some reporters insist that everything was blown into
smithereens! Reporters really should be more careful.

And now I must conclude, as my brigand, disguised as a priest, is just

As a parting request, I would urge upon my stockbrokers to buy. We
are sure to have a rise presently, and I predict this with the
greater confidence as I know that the house in which I am writing is

* * * * *

[Illustration: WASTED SWEETNESS.


* * * * *

The _P. M. Magazine_ goes in for discussion of Bi-metallism. Sir JOHN
LUBBOCK writes about "The Case for Gold," and Mr. VICARY GIBBS, M.P.,
about "The Case for Silver." Considering the relative value of the
metals, the case for gold ought to be out and away the stronger of the
two, impregnable, and burglar-proof, so that it could be advertised
thus: "It's no use having gold unless you have Sir JOHN LUBBOCK'S
'case for gold' to keep it in."

* * * * *


_A Fable for Pseudo-Philanthropists._

_Philanthropist Press-Man._ "OH STOP, STOP, MISTER LION! WAIT A BIT!

_Leo (curtly)._ "_LOOK AT HIS TEETH!_"]

[Mr. RIDER HAGGARD (writing to the _Times_) remarks that a
considerable section of the English Press seems to be of opinion that
LOBENGULA is an innocent and worthy savage, on whom a quarrel is
being forced by the Chartered Company for its own mercenary ends.
He suggests that the appearance of an armed Matabele impi in Mayfair
might alter their views.]

"Behemoth is big and black, and monstrous-mouthed and toothfull,
But to say he is carnivorous were cruelly untruthful!"
So quoth the Querulous Quillman, or Pen-armed Philanthropist,
Whose intellect seems ever in a sentimental mist.
Now Leo, little given to read books on Natural History,
Was watchful of Dame Nature's _facts_. "It seems to me a mystery
My querulous Press Porcupine," observed the wary Lion,
"That what you've set your heart on, you can never keep clear eye
_Look at his teeth!_" "Oh, nonsense!" cried the Querulous
Quillman, quoting
From a book on Big Mammalia, to which he'd been devoting
All his odd moments recently. "Those tusks may look terrific,
But the monster's graminivorous, and pleasant, and pacific.
They're solely meant for cutting grass! Huge uppers and big lowers,
Though threatening as ripping-saws, are harmless as lawn-mowers.
As weapons of offence they're seldom used, so here 'tis stated,
'Unless the creature's wounded sore, or greatly irritated.'
He is innocent and worthy, this Titanic-jawed Colossus.
Those gleaming tusks won't 'chump' you, he won't trample us, or
toss us,
Unless we interfere with him. He likes to stand there grinning,
With those terrible incisors, in a way which mayn't be winning,
Still, _'tis but his style of smiling_, and it's not his fault,
poor fellow!
If his maw's a crimson cavern, and his tusks are huge and yellow."

Behemoth meanwhile snorted in his own earthquaky fashion,
And yawned, and lashed and trampled like a tiger in a passion.
By the gleaming of his optics, and the clashing of his tushes,
He _seemed_ to be preparing for the Ugliest of Rushes.
Quoth Leo, "Good friend Porcupine, you _may_ be quite prophetic,
And I a bit 'too previous.' Your picture's most pathetic;
But I've seen your pachydermatous Poor Innocent when furious,
And for a gentle graminivorous creature, it is curious
How he'll run amuck like a Malay, and crunch canoes and foes up,
With those same tusks, which might have made a Mammoth turn his
toes up.
So if you please, friend Porcupine, your quills I shall not trust
To meet those spears, which hate would wash - in blood, 'ere they
should rust again.
Mere quills won't quell an Impi, or make Behemoth good-neighbourly.
Leo must guard this spot, where British enterprise and labour lie,
The Monster seems to meditate attack, if _I_ may judge of him,
So let _me_ have the first slap at, whilst you keep on scribbling
fudge of him!


It may appear superfluous to point this fable's moral;
But - teeth that could crush chain-mail seem scarce shaped for
mumbling coral!

* * * * *

[Illustration: A WEIGHTY PROSPECT.

_The Captain (who has just been giving a spin to his last purchase,
for his Wife's inspection)._ "GOOD GOER, AIN'T HE? AND A FULL

_Young Wife (as yet somewhat innocent in horsey matters)._ "OH,

* * * * *


(_From our Youngest Contributor._)

MY DEAR MR. PUNCH, - This is about the last letter you will receive
from me. I know it is, as all will soon be over! And I shall be glad
of it. I can't last out until the Christmas holidays. Who could with
such food? Why, it would make a dog cough!

It's no use learning anything. Why should I, when it will be all over
almost directly? What's the good of Latin and Greek if you are going
to chuck it almost at once? And mathematics, too! What use are they if
the end is near? It's all very well to cram, but what's the good of it
when you know you won't survive to eat the plum pudding?

There's no news. There's never any news. SMITH Minor has got his
cap for football, and SNOOKS Major is going up to Oxford instead of
Cambridge. What does it matter when the beef is so tough that you
might sole your boots with it? And as for the mutton! Well, all I can
say is, that it isn't fit for human food, and the authorities should
be told about it. As for me, I am passing away. No one will ever see
me more. For all that, you might send me a hamper. Your affectionate


* * * * *


["Astronomy has become a deservedly fashionable hobby with young

My love is an astronomer,
Whose knowledge I rely on,
She'll talk about, as I prefer,
The satellites of Jupiter,
The nebulous Orion.

When evening shades about us fall
Each hour too quickly passes.
We take no heed of time at all,
When studying celestial
Phenomena through glasses.

The salient features we descry
Of all the starry pattern;
To see with telescopic eye
The citizens of Mars we try,
Or speculate on Saturn.

To find another planet still
If ever we're enabled,
The world discovered by her skill
Triumphantly be labelled.

The likeness of the stars elsewhere
By day we view between us,
We recognise the Greater Bear,
I grieve to say, in TOMKYNS _père_,
And close at hand is Venus!

In fact, the editorial note
Above, which is of course meant
To lead more ladies to devote
Attention to the stars, I quote
With cordial endorsement!

* * * * *

"IN THE NAME OF THE PROPHET!" - Which is the right way of spelling the
name of the Prophet of Islam? Is it MOHAMMED? MAHOMET? MUHAMMED?
or MAHOMED? Are his followers Mohammedans? Mahommedans? Mahometans?
Moslems? Mussulmen? or Muslims? Perhaps, to adapt _Mr. Mantalini's_
famous summary, and merely substituting "all" for "both," and "none
of 'em" for "neither," we may say "So all are right, and none of 'em
wrong, upon our life and soul, O demmit!"

* * * * *


(_A Story in Scenes._)

SCENE IX. - CHARLES COLLIMORE'S _Sitting-room at Keppel Street,
Bloomsbury_. TIME - _Saturday afternoon_.

_Mrs. Cagney_ (_the landlady, showing_ Mr. TOOVEY _in_). Oh, I thought
Mr. COLLIMORE had come in, Sir, but I expect him in every minute. Will
you take a seat?

_Mr. Toovey_ (_sitting down_). Thank you, I'm in no hurry - no hurry at
all. (_To himself._) CORNELIA wished me to put a few questions quietly
to the landlady. I suppose I'd better do it while - - (_Aloud._) Hem,
I hope, Ma'am, that you find Mr. COLLIMORE a - an unexceptionable
lodger - in all respects?

_Mrs. Cagn._ (_crossing her hands stiffly in front of her_). Mr.
COLLIMORE conducks hisself as a gentleman, and treats me as a lady,
which is all _my_ requirements.

_Mr. Toov._ Quite so - very satisfactory, I'm sure, but - does he keep
fairly regular hours? Or is he at all inclined to be - er - fast?

_Mrs. Cagn._ (_on her guard_). I can't answer for the time his watch
keeps, myself. I dessay it goes as reg'lar as what most do.

_Mr. Toov._ No, no; I was referring to his habits. I mean - does he
usually spend his evenings quietly at home?

_Mrs. Cagn._ You'll excuse _me_, but if you're arsking me all these
questions out of mere himpertinent curiosity - -

_Mr. Toov._ I - I trust I have a higher motive, Ma'am. In fact, I may
as well tell you I am Mr. COLLIMORE'S uncle.

_Mrs. Cagn._ (_to herself_). The old fox! So he's trying to ferret out
something against him, is he? Well, he _won't_ - that's all. (_Aloud._)
If you _are_ his huncle, Sir, all I can say is, you've got a nephew to
be proud on. I wouldn't wish to let my first floor to a steadier or
a more industrious young gentleman; comes in punctual to a tick every
night of his life and 'as his dinner, and sets studyin' his book till
'alf-past ten, which is his bed-time. I don't know what more you want.

_Mr. Toov._ (_to himself_). This is really very satisfactory - if I
could only believe it. (_Aloud._) But do I understand you to say that
that is his invariable practice? Occasionally, I suppose, he goes out
to a place of amusement - such as a music-hall, now?

_Mrs. Cagn._ (_to herself_). Well, he may; and why not? He don't get
into no mischief, though light-'earted. _I_ ain't going to give him
a bad name. (_Aloud._) Lor, Sir, don't you go and put such ideas into
his 'ed. Bless your 'art alive, if he knows there _are_ such places,
it's as much as he does know!

_Mr. Toov._ (_testily_). Now, now, my good woman, I'm afraid you're
trying to deceive me. I happen to know more about my nephew's tastes
and pursuits than you imagine.

_Mrs. Cagn._ (_roused_). Then, if you know so much, whatever do you
come 'ere and ask _me_ for? It's my belief you ain't up to no good,
for all you look so respectable, comin' into my 'ouse a-pokin'
your nose into what don't concern you, for all the world like a
poll-pryin', sneakin' Russian spy!

_Charles_ (_entering behind her_). Hallo, Mrs. CAGNEY, what's
all this - who's a Russian spy, eh? (_Recognising_ MR. TOOVEY.)
What - Uncle! you don't mean to say it's _you_?

[Mr. TOOVEY _stands stricken with confusion_.

_Mrs. Cagn._ I may have spoke too free, Mr. COLLIMORE, Sir, but when
a party, as is elderly enough to know better, tries to put under'and
questions to me about where and 'ow any o' my gentlemen pass their
hevenins, and if they go to the music-'all and what not - why, I put it
to you - -

_Charles._ All right, Mrs. CAGNEY, put it to me some other time; you
didn't understand my uncle, that's all - you needn't stay. Oh, by
the way, I'm dining out again this evening. Tell CAGNEY to leave the
chain, as I may be late. (_After_ Mrs. C. _has retired_.) Well, Uncle,
I'm afraid your diplomacy hasn't had quite the success it deserved.

[Illustration: "Mr. Collimore conducks hisself as a gentleman, and
treats me as a lady."]

_Mr. Toov._ (_sheepishly_). I assure you, my boy, that I - I was not
inquiring for my own satisfaction. Your Aunt is naturally anxious to
know how you - - But your landlady gave you an excellent character.

_Charles._ She didn't seem to be equally complimentary to _you_,
Uncle. "A Russian spy," wasn't it? But really, you know, you might
have come to me for any information you require. _I_ don't mind
telling you all there is to tell. And surely Aunt knows I've been to a
music-hall; why, she pitched into me about it enough last Sunday!

_Mr. Toov._ I - I think she wanted to know whether you went frequently,
CHARLES, or only that once.

_Charles._ Oh, and so she sent you up to pump my landlady? Well, I'll
tell you exactly how it is. I don't set up to be a model young man
like your friend CURPHEW. I don't spend all my evenings in this
cheerful and luxurious apartment. Now and then I find the splendour of
the surroundings rather too much for me, and I'm ready to go anywhere,
even to a music-hall, for a change. There, I blush to say, I spend an
hour or two, smoking cigars, and even drinking a whisky and soda, or
a lemon squash, listening to middle-aged ladies in sun-bonnets and
accordion skirts singing out of tune. I don't know that they amuse
me much, but, at all events, they're livelier than Mrs. CAGNEY. I'm
dining out to-night, at the Criterion, with a man at the office, and
it's as likely as not we shall go in to the Valhalla or the Eldorado
afterwards. There, you can't say I'm concealing anything from you. And
I don't see why you should groan like that, Uncle.

_Mr. Toov._ (_feebly_). I - I'd rather you didn't go to the - the
Eldorado, CHARLES.

_Charles._ There's ingratitude! I thought you'd be touched by my

_Mr. Toov._ (_to himself_). I _can't_ tell him I was thinking of going
there myself! (_Aloud._) You will show your devotion best by keeping
away. The less young men go to such places, my boy, the better!

_Charles._ Not for _you_, Uncle. You forget that it's the humble five
bob of fellows like me that help to provide your next dividend.

_Mr. Toov._ (_wincing_). Don't, CHARLES, it - it's ungenerous and
undutiful to reproach me with being a shareholder when you know how
innocently I became one!

_Charles._ But I _wasn't_ reproaching you, Uncle, it was rather
the other way round, wasn't it? And really, considering you _are_ a
shareholder in the Eldorado, it's a little too strong to condemn me
for merely going there.

_Mr. Toov._ I - I may not be a shareholder long, CHARLES. Unless I can
conscientiously feel able to retain my shares I shall take the first
opportunity of selling them.

_Charles._ But why, Uncle? Better stick to them now you have got them!

_Mr. Toov._ What? with the knowledge that I was profiting by practices
I disapproved of? Never, CHARLES!

_Charles._ But you can't _sell_ without making a profit, you know;
they've gone up tremendously.

_Mr. Toov._ Oh, dear me! Then, do you mean that I shouldn't even
be morally justified in selling them? Oh, you don't think _that_,

_Charles._ That's a point you must settle for yourself, Uncle, it's
beyond me. But, as a dutiful nephew, don't you see, I'm bound to do
all I can in the meantime to keep up the receipts for you, if I have
to go to the Eldorado every evening and get all the fellows I know to
go too. Mustn't let those shares go down, whether you hold on or sell,

_Mr. Toov._ (_horrified_). Don't make me an excuse for encouraging
young men to waste precious time in idleness and folly. I won't allow
it - it's abominable, Sir! You've put me in such a state of perplexity
by all this, CHARLES, I - I hardly know where I am! Tell me, are you
really going to the Eldorado this evening?

_Charles._ I can't say; it depends on the other fellow. But I will if
I can get him to go, for your sake. And I'm afraid I ought to go and
change, Uncle, if you'll excuse me. Make yourself as comfortable as
you can. Here's to-day's _Pink 'Un_, if you haven't seen it.

_Mr. Toov._ I'm not in the habit of seeing such periodicals, Sir. And
I must be going. Oh, by the bye, your Aunt wished me to ask you to
come down and dine and sleep on Monday next. THEA will be back, and I
believe Mr. CURPHEW has got a free evening for once. Shall I tell her
you will come, CHARLES?

_Charles._ Thanks; I'll come with pleasure. But, I say, Aunt doesn't
want to give me another lecture, I hope? After all, she can't say much
if you've told her about those shares, as I suppose you have.

_Mr. Toov._ N - not yet, CHARLES. I have not found a convenient
opportunity. There, I can't stay - good-bye, my boy.

[_He takes his leave._


SCENE X. - _In the Street._

_Mr. Toovey_ (_to himself_). I'm afraid CHARLES has lost every
particle of respect for me. I wish I had never told him about those
wretched shares. And what _am_ I to do now? If I go to this Eldorado
place, he may be there too; and, if he sees me, I shall never hear the
last of it! And yet my mind will never be easy unless I do go and see
for myself what it really is like. That young CURPHEW expects me to
go. But I don't know, I do so dread the idea of going - alone, too!
I should like to ask somebody else what he thinks I ought to
do - somebody who is a man of the world. I wonder if I went to see
LARKINS - he won't be in his office so late as this, but I might
catch him in his chambers. It was all through him I got into this
difficulty; he ought to help me out of it if he can. I really think I
might take a cab and drive to Piccadilly, on the chance.

[_He hails a Hansom, and drives off._


* * * * *


When we have two original plays like PINERO'S _Second Mrs. Tanqueray_
and GRUNDY'S _Sowing the Wind_, we may congratulate ourselves that
they do _not_ "do these things better in France." _Mrs. Tanqueray_ is
a life-like tragedy, and _Sowing the Wind_ a life-like comedy. It was
a pleasure to congratulate Mr. ALEXANDER at the St. James's on his
choice of a piece, and of the company to suit it, especially on the
engagement of Mrs. PATRICK CAMPBELL for the heroine; and now it is
equally pleasant to congratulate a _confrère_ in literature, Mr.
COMYNS CARR, on having made so eminently successful a _début_ in
theatrical management, as he has done in choice of the piece and of
the company to play it.

[Illustration: A Portrait from M-Emery. Emery Powder and polish'd

It is a canon of comedy-construction that from the first, the audience
should be let into the secret of the _dénouement_, but that they
should be puzzled as to the means by which that end is to be achieved.
This play is an excellent example of the rule. Everybody knows who the
heroine is from the moment of her appearance; but as to how she, the
illegitimate daughter, is to be recognised and acknowledged by her
father, this is the problem that no one except the dramatist, in
the course of four acts, can solve. It is a very clever piece of
workmanship. In these modern matter-of-fact realistic days, fancy
the awful danger to any play in which a father has to discover his
long-lost child! The strawberry mark on the left arm, the amulet,
the duplicate miniature of the mother - these ways and means, and many
others, must occur to the playgoer, and must have presented themselves
at the outset to the author, flattering himself on his originality, as
difficulties almost insuperable because so stagey, so worn threadbare,
so out of date.

Over these difficulties Mr. GRUNDY has triumphed, and with him triumph
the actors and the stage-manager; as, for the most part, except when
there is a needless conventional "taking the centre" for supposed
effect, the stage management is as admirable as the acting and the
dialogue, which is saying a great deal, but not a bit too much.


_Mr. Brandon Thomas Brabazon_ (_to Cyril Maude Watkin_). "I know that
face. I've seen it on the hoardings."

_Watkin_ (_faintly_). "It won't wash!"



Mr. BRANDON THOMAS and Miss EMERY have never done anything better. The
former with his peculiar north-country "burr," and with his collars
and general make up reminding many of the G. O. M., whilst Mr. IAN
ROBERTSON as the wicked old Lord is not unlike the pictures of the
Iron Duke when Lord DOURO. Mr. EDMUND MAURICE, as representing the
slangy, sporting, about-town Baronet of the Tom-and-Jerry day, is
a kind of _Goldfinch_ in _The Road to Ruin_, with a similar kind of
catchword, which I suppose, on Mr. GRUNDY'S authority [though I do not
remember the expression nor the use of the word "chuck" in _Tom and
Jerry_ - the authority for Georgian era slang] was one of the slang
phrases of that period. For my part (a very small part), I am inclined
to credit Mr. GRUNDY with the invention of "smash my topper," and of
the introduction of "chuck it" into eighteenth century London slang.

Admirable are the quaint sketches of character given by Miss ROSE
LECLERCQ and Miss ANNIE HUGHES. Manly and lover-like is Mr. SYDNEY
BROUGH. In the dramatic unfolding of the plot, faultlessly acted as
it is, the audience from first to last are thoroughly interested.
Here and there, speeches and scenes would be all the better for some
judicious excision. When you are convinced, further argument weakens
the case, and I confess I should like to hear that ten minutes' worth
of dialogue had been taken out of the parts played by Mr. BRANDON
THOMAS and Miss WINIFRED EMERY. But this is a small matter - a very
small matter. To sum up, it is good work and good play, and so the new
manager and lessee is at this present moment a Triumphal CARR.

* * * * *

[Illustration: Portrait of the Great Duke of Wellington, when Marquis
of Douro, by Mr. Ian Robertson.]

* * * * *

_Q._ Why was there at one time a chance of the _Times_, which has
always been up to date, ever being behind time? - _A._ Because formerly
there was so much _Delayin!!_

* * * * *


* * * * *

Nulli Secundus.

(_By a Lover of the Links._)

Lyttleton asks - great cricketer, for shame! -
If Golf - Great Scot!!! - is quite "a first-class game."
Well, if first-class it cannot quite be reckoned,
'Tis that it stands alone, and hath no second!

* * * * *

[Illustration: A PROTEST.


* * * * *


["France turns from her abandoned friends afresh And soothes


Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, October 21st 1893 → online text (page 1 of 2)