Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, March 25, 1893 online

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Volume 104, March 25th 1893

edited by Sir Francis Burnand

[Illustration: THE PANGS OF MATRIMONY!!!

_Casual Acquaintance._ "HEAR YOU'RE TO BE MARRIED, MR. RIBBES.

* * * * *


_A Story of Defiance not Defence._

There was once a Battalion of Volunteers with its full complement of
field, company, and non-commissioned officers, and rank and file. And
according to experts the Regiment was a most valuable addition to the
national defence. One day a General, covered over with gold lace and
wearing a cocked hat, rode up to the Colonel and called him out.

"Colonel," said the General, "we are thinking of giving over your
command to a C.O. of a Dépôt Centre. It won't interfere with you much
and give you less to do. You may still call yourself Colonel - not that
I call you so myself. I mean off parade."

But the Colonel did not seem to see it, and so he sent in his papers
and rode away.

Then the General from the War Office called up the two remaining Field

"Majors" said he, "it seems to us we can help you a good deal by
appointing a Major from a service battalion as Adjutant. Then you
can rank beneath him, and he can look after you and the two half
battalions you each of you are supposed to command. You may still call
yourselves Majors - not that I call you so myself. I mean off parade."

But the Majors did not seem to see it, so they sent in _their_ papers

Then the General from the War Office called up the Company Officers.

"Gentlemen," said he, "we shall continue the snubbing, of which you
have had so much experience. You will do all sorts of new work, and
go to all sorts of fresh expense in the near future. Not that it will
increase your dignity - not a bit of it. However, you may still call
yourselves Captains and Lieutenants - not that I call you so myself. I
mean off parade."

But the Company Officers did not seem to see it, so they sent in their
papers and marched away. Then the General from the War Office called
up the rest of the Regiment.

"Now, Non-commissioned Officers and Men," said he, "you have no one to
command you, and no one to pay for your marches out, prizes, and
the rest of it. But don't let that bother you. You may still call
yourselves Soldiers - not that I call you so myself. I mean off

But the remainder of the Regiment did not seem to see it, so they sent
in _their_ resignations, and vanished.

Then the Officer from the War Office rode towards Pall Mall.

"It won't interfere with me much," said he, "and give the Department
less to do. And I can still call myself General - though I scarcely
deserve the title, either on or off parade!"

* * * * *


["Why should not women take the B.A. degree?... Unfortunately the
older Universities have resented every attempt at breaking down their
cherished exclusiveness." - _From an Article in "The Contemporary
Review" for March._]

Despotic Dons' dominion
Still subjugates us all,
They scoff at our opinion,
Our purposes miscall;
Will no deliverer appear,
And is it vainly, as we fear,
We hold our meetings every year
Within St. James's Hall?

Our wrongs, if brought to knowledge,
Would surely move your hearts,
Degreeless from her College
The Wrangler-ess departs;
And shall not too the maids, who can
Give all the usages of [Greek: an],
As well as any living man
Be Bachelors of Arts?

Persuasive or abusive
We fail our point to gain,
Disgracefully exclusive
These ancient seats remain:
But yet a future we foresee
When Women will the rulers be,
And Men will beg a Pass-degree,
Will beg, and beg in vain!

* * *

P.S. - The pith of our petition
Is seldom understood,
It is not all ambition,
Though this, no doubt, is good;
But, speaking frankly, we declare
The point for which we really care
Is just to gain the right to wear
That _most_ becoming hood!

* * * * *



[Illustration: _Being the Dream of an angry "Brother Bung" after
attending the Meeting at St. James's Hall, and trying to soothe
himself with a dip into Dickens._]

["He" Lord BURTON, "asked why this drastic, this dishonest, this
catchpenny, this gerrymandering Bill should have been brought in?....
They had heard much of late about the Nonconformist Conscience, which
was said to be the backbone of the Liberal Party. He firmly believed
that the Bill had been brought forward to suit the Nonconformist
Conscience, to pander to the hypocritical self-righteousness, and the
sham respectability of a certain class." - _Lord Burton, at the St.
James's Hall Meeting, on the Direct Veto Bill._]

* * * * *

Mr. WITLER, the elder, gave vent to an extraordinary sound, which,
being neither a groan, nor a grunt, nor a gasp, nor a howl, nor a
hoot, nor a hiss, nor a shout, nor a shriek, yet seemed to partake
in some degree of the character of all these inarticulate laryngeal
exercises. It was a big vocal blend, and a stentorian; it made him
pant and turn apoplectically purple in the face, it shook the house,
and very nearly "brought it down."

Mr. WITLER'S "wocal wagaries" (as his son called them) when he _was_
roused, were something tremendous, earthquaky, appalling!

Mr. SWIGSLOP STIGGINS, a leading Shepherd of the Nonconformist
Rechabite Flock, unwarned by this nondescript sound, which he
understood to betoken remorse or repentance, in fact, an awakening of
the "Nonconformist Conscience," in a somewhat unlikely quarter,
looked about him, rubbed his hands, wept, smiled, wept again, and
then mechanically uttering a guttural "Hear! Hear!" (as though he were
listening, in the House of Commons, to the jocund HARCOURT, or the
jocular LAWSON, or the robustious T. W. RUSSELL, or the astute CAINE)
and then, walking across the room to a well-remembered pigeon-hole,
took thence an official-looking scroll, sat down, formally unfolded
it, cleared his throat, and began with pompous complacency to read
aloud its title, preamble, clauses, and provisions, compulsory
regulations, and peremptory prohibitions to the apparently
semi-asphyxiated Mr. WITLER.

The elder Mr. WITLER, who still continued to make various strange
and uncouth attempts to appear indifferent, offered not a single
word during these proceedings; but when STIGGINS stopped for breath,
previous to a second reading, he darted upon him, and, snatching
the scroll from his hand, first buffeted him briskly about the
head therewith, and then threw it into the fire. Then, seizing the
astonished gentleman firmly by the collar, he suddenly fell to kicking
him most furiously, accompanying every application of his boots to Mr.
STIGGINS'S person with sundry violent and incoherent anathemas,
such as - "Blatant Barabbas!" - "Bumptious busybody!" - "Unblushing
bandit!" - "Barefaced spoliator!" - "Hypocritical humbug!" - "Iniquitous
inquisitor!" - "Fanatical faddist!" - "Self-righteous sneak!" - "Sham
saint!" - "Jerrymandering JEREMY DIDDLER!" - "Pragmatical
pump!" - "Little Bethelite Boanerges!" and "Nonconformist

"SAMMY," said Mr. WITLER, "put my cap on tight for me!" SAM dutifully
adjusted the cap more firmly on his father's head, and the old
gentleman, resuming his kicking with greater agility than before,
tumbled Mr. STIGGINS through the bar, and through the passage, out
at the front door, and so into the street, the kicking continuing the
whole way, and increasing in vehemence rather than diminishing every
time the boot was lifted.

It was a beautiful and exhilarating sight (_to "the Trade"_) to see
the water-drinker writhing in Mr. WITLER'S grasp, and his whole frame
quivering with anguish as kick followed kick in rapid succession;
it was a still more exciting spectacle (_to Bungdom all round, from
boisterous_ Lord BURTON _to the humblest rural Boniface_) to behold
Mr. WITLER, after a powerful struggle, immersing Mr. STIGGINS'S head
in a horse-trough full of water, and holding it there until he was
half suffocated.

"There!" said Mr. WITLER, throwing all his energy into one most
complicated kick, as he at length permitted Mr. STIGGINS to withdraw
his head from the trough, "send any vun o' them villainous Vetoists,
from burly Sir VILLIAM BARABBAS hisself down to the pettifoggingest
Local Hoptioniser in Little Peddlington, _here_, or to St. James's
'All, or the Alhambra, or elseveres in public meeting or privit pub,
and I'll pound him to a argymentative jelly fust, and drownd him in
public-speritted opinion arterwards!"

"SAMMY" (added Mr. WITLER, puffing and perspiring freely), "help
me in, and fill me a stiff glass o' Speshal Scotch; for I'm out of
breath, my boy!"

* * * * *


_Mistress_ (_to Housekeeper, after "the Young Person" has left the


* * * * *

VERY NATURAL. - Mrs. R. pays great attention to the Parliamentary
debates, and listens attentively while her Nephew reads the speeches
as reported in _The Times_. Last Thursday he was in the midst of the
discussion on the Welsh Liquor-Traffic Bill, and came to this: "Mr.
LLOYD-GEORGE, whose opening remarks were interrupted by a Count - - "
Whereupon his Aunt exclaimed, "How very rude! What was the Count's
name? And how does a Count come to be in the House of Commons?"

* * * * *


(_Translated from the Original Norwegian by Mr. Punch._)


_On the right, a smart verandah, attached to_ Dr. HERDAL'S
_dwelling-house, and communicating with the Drawing-room and
Dispensary by glass-doors. On the left a tumble-down rockery,
with a headless plaster Mercury. In front, a lawn, with a
large silvered glass globe on a stand. Chairs and tables. All
the furniture is of galvanised iron. A sunset is seen going on
among the trees._

_Dr. Herdal_ (_comes out of Dispensary-door cautiously, and
whispers_). HILDA, are you in there?

[_Taps with fingers on Drawing-room door._

_Hilda_ (_comes out with a half-teasing smile_). Well - and how is the
Rainbow-powder getting on, Dr. HERDAL?

_Dr. Herd._ (_with enthusiasm_). It is getting on simply splendidly.
I sent the new Assistant out to take a little walk, so that he
should not be in the way. There is Arsenic in the powder, HILDA, and
Digitalis too, and Strychnine, and the best Beetle-killer!

_Hilda_ (_with happy, wondering eyes_). _Lots_ of Beetle-killer? And
you will give some of it to _her_, to make her free and buoyant. I
think one really _has_ the right - when people happen to stand in the
way - - !

_Dr. Herd._ Yes, you may well say so, HILDA. Still - (_dubiously_) - it
_does_ occur to me that such doings may perhaps be misunderstood - by
the narrow-minded and conventional.

[_They go on the lawn, and sit down._

_Hilda_ (_with an outburst_). Oh, that all seems to me so foolish - so
irrelevant! As if the whole thing wasn't intended as an Allegory!

_Dr. Herd._ (_relieved_). Ah, so long as it is merely _allegorical_ of
course - - But what is it an allegory _of_, HILDA?

_Hilda_ (_reflects in vain_). How can you sit there and ask such
questions? I suppose I am a symbol, of some sort.

_Dr. Herd._ (_as a thought flashes upon him_). A cymbal? That would
certainly account for your bra - - Then am _I_ a cymbal too, HILDA?

_Hilda._ Why yes - what else? You represent the Artist-worker, or
the Elder Generation, or the Pursuit of the Ideal, or a Bilious
Conscience - or something or other. _You_'re all right!

_Dr. Herd._ (_shakes his head_). Am I? But I don't quite see - - Well,
well, cymbals are meant to clash a little. And I see plainly now that
I ought to prescribe this powder for as many as possible. Isn't it
terrible, HILDA, that so many poor souls never really die their
own deaths - pass out of the world without even the formality of an
inquest? As the district Coroner, I feel strongly on the subject.

_Hilda._ And, when the Coroner has finished sitting on all the bodies,
perhaps - but I shan't tell you now. (_Speaks as if to a child._)
There, run away and finish making the Rainbow-powder, do!

_Dr. Herd._ (_skips up into the Dispensary_). I will - I will! Oh, I do
feel such a troll - such a light-haired, light-headed old devil!

_Rübub_ (_enters garden-gate_). I have had my dismissal - but I'm not
going without saying good-bye to Mrs. HERDAL.

_Hilda._ Dr. HERDAL would disapprove - you really must not, Mr.
KALOMEL. And, besides, Mrs. HERDAL is not at home. She is in the town
buying me a reel of cotton. _Dr._ HERDAL is in. He is making real
Rainbow powders for regenerating everybody all round. Won't _that_ be

_Rübub._ _Making_ powders? Ha! ha! But you will see he won't _take_
one himself. It is quite notorious to us younger men that he simply
daren't do it.

[Illustration: "My - _my_ Pill-Doctor!"]

_Hilda._ (_with a little snort of contempt_). Oh, I daresay - that's so
likely! (_Defiantly._) I know he _can_, though. I've _seen_ him!

_Rübub._ There is a tradition that he once - but not now - he knows
better. I think you said Mrs. HERDAL was in the town? I will go and
look for her. I understand her so well. [_Goes out by gate._

_Hilda_ (_calls_). Dr. HERDAL! Come out this minute. I want
you - awfully!

_Dr. Herd._ (_puts his head out_). Just when I am making such
wonderful progress with the powder! (_Comes down and leans on a
table._) Have you hit upon some way of giving it to ALINE? I thought
if you were to put it in her arrowroot - - ?

_Hilda._ No, thanks. I won't have that now. I have just recollected
that it is a rule of mine never to injure anybody I have once been
formally introduced to. Strangers don't count. No, poor Mrs. HERDAL
mustn't take that powder!

_Dr. Herd._ (_disappointed_). Then is nothing to come of making
Rainbow powders, after all, HILDA?

_Hilda_ (_looks hard at him_). People say you are afraid to take your
own physic. Is that true?

_Dr. Herd._ Yes, I am. (_After a pause - with candour._) I find it
invariably disagrees with me.

_Hilda_ (_with a half-dubious smile_). I think I can understand
_that_. But you did _once_. You swallowed your own pills that day at
the _table d'hôte_, ten years ago. And I heard a harp in the air, too!

_Dr. Herd._ (_open-mouthed_). I don't think that _could_ have been Me.
I don't play any instrument. And that was quite a special thing, too.
It's not every day I can do it. Those were only _bread_ pills, HILDA.

_Hilda_ (_with flashing eyes_). But you rolled them; you took them.
And I want to see you stand once more free and high and great,
swallowing your own preparations. (_Passionately._) I _will_ have you
do it! (_Imploringly._) Just _once_ more, Dr. HERDAL!

_Dr. Herd._ If I did, HILDA, my medical knowledge, slight as it is,
leads me to the conclusion that I should in all probability burst.

_Hilda_ (_looks deeply into his eyes_). So long as you burst
_beautifully_! But no doubt that Miss BLAKDRAF - -

_Dr. Herd._ You must believe in me utterly and entirely. I will
do anything - _anything_, HILDA, to provide you with agreeable
entertainment. I _will_ swallow my own powder! (_To himself, as he
goes gravely up to Dispensary._) If only the drugs are sufficiently

[_Goes in; as he does so, the_ New Assistant _enters the
garden in blue spectacles, unseen by_ HILDA, _and follows him,
leaving open the glass-door._

_Senna Blakdraf_ (_comes wildly out of Drawing-room_). Where is dear
Dr. HERDAL? Oh, Miss WANGEL, he has discharged me - but I can't - I
simply _can't_ live away from that lovely ledger!

_Hilda_ (_jubilantly_). At this moment Dr. HERDAL is in the
Dispensary, taking one of his own powders.

_Senna_ (_despairingly_). But - but it is utterly impossible! Miss
WANGEL, you have such a firm hold of him - _don't_ let him do that!

_Hilda._ I have already done all I can.

[RÜBUB _appears, talking confidentially with Mrs._ HERDAL, _at

_Senna._ Oh, Mrs. HERDAL, RÜBUB! The Pill-Doctor is going to take one
of his own preparations. Save him - quick!

_Rübub_ (_with cold politeness_). I am sorry to hear it - for his sake.
But it would be quite contrary to professional etiquette to prevent

_Mrs. Herd._ And I never interfere with my husband's proceedings. I
know _my_ duty, Miss BLAKDRAF, if _others_ don't!

_Hilda_ (_exulting with great intensity_). At last! Now I see him
in there, great and free again, mixing the powder in a spoon - with
jam!.... Now he raises the spoon. Higher - higher still! (_A gulp
is audible from within._) There, didn't you hear a harp in the air?
(_Quietly._) I can't see the spoon any more. But there is one he is
striving with, in blue spectacles!

_The New Assistant's Voice_ (_within_). The Pill-Doctor HERDAL has
taken his own powder!

_Hilda_ (_as if petrified_). That voice! _Where_ have I heard it
before? No matter - he has got the powder down! (_Waves a shawl in the
air, and shrieks with wild jubilation._) It's too awfully thrilling!
My - _my_ Pill-Doctor!

_The N. A._ (_comes out on verandah_). I am happy to inform you
that - as, to avoid accidents, I took the simple precaution of filling
all the Dispensary-jars with Camphorated Chalk - no serious results
may be anticipated from Dr. HERDAL'S rashness. (_Removes spectacles._)
NORA, don't you know me?

_Hilda_ (_reflects_). I really don't remember having the
pleasure - - And I'm _sure_ I heard a harp in the air!

_Mrs. Herd._ I fancy, Miss WANGEL, it must have been merely a bee in
your bonnet!

_The N. A._ (_tenderly_). Still the same little singing-bird! Oh,
NORA, my long-lost lark!

_Hilda_ (_sulky_). I'm _not_ a lark - I'm a Bird of Prey - and, when I
get my claws into anything - - !

_The N. A._ Macaroons, for instance? I remember your tastes of old.
See, NORA! (_Produces a paper-bag from his coat-tail pocket._) They
were fresh this morning!

_Hilda_ (_wavering_). If you insist on calling me NORA, I think you
must be just a little mad yourself.

_The N. A._ We are all a little mad - in Norway. But TORVALD HELMER is
sane enough still to recognise his own little squirrel again!
Surely, NORA, your education is complete at last - you have gained the
experience you needed?

_Hilda_ (_nods slowly_). Yes, TORVALD, you're right enough _there_. I
have thought things out for myself, and have got clear about them. And
I have quite made up my mind that Society and the Law are all wrong,
and that I am right.

_Helmer_ (_overjoyed_). Then you _have_ learnt the Great Lesson, and
are fit to undertake the charge of your children's education at last!
You've no notion how they've grown! Yes, NORA, our marriage will be a
true marriage now. You will come back to the Doll's-House, won't you?

_Hilda-Nora-Helmer-Wangel_ (_hesitates_). Will you let me forge
cheques if I do, TORVALD?

_Helmer_ (_ardently_). All day. And at night, NORA, we will falsify
the accounts - together!

_H. N. H. W._ (_throws herself into his arms, and helps herself to
macaroons_). That will be fearfully thrilling! My - _my_ Manager!

_Dr. Herd._ (_comes out, very pale, from Dispensary_). HILDA, I _did_
take the - - I'm afraid I interrupt you?

_Helmer._ Not in the least. But this lady is my little lark, and she
is going back to her cage by the next steamer.

_Dr. Herd._ (_bitterly_). Am I _never_ to have a gleam of happiness - ?
But stay - do I see my little SENNA once more?

_Rübub._ Pardon me - _my_ little SENNA. She always believed so firmly
in my pill!

_Dr. Herd._ Well - well. If it must be. RÜBUB, I will take you into
partnership, and we will take out a patent for that pill, jointly.
ALINE, my poor dear ALINE, let us try once more if we cannot bring a
ray of brightness into our cheerless home!

_Mrs. Herd._ Oh, HAUSTUS, if only we _could_ - but why do you propose
that to me - _now_?

_Dr. Herd._ (_softly - to himself_). Because I have tried being
a troll - and found that nothing came of it, and it wasn't worth

[HILDA-NORA _goes off to the right with_ HELMER; SENNA _to the
left with_ RÜBUB; Dr. HERDAL _and_ Mrs. HERDAL _sit on two
of the galvanised iron-chairs, and shake their heads
disconsolately as the Curtain falls._


* * * * *


(_Professor Virchow - vide Daily Paper._)

Life's a cell and all things show it.
I thought so once, and now I know it.

_Gay_ (_up to date_).

* * * * *


Why are the Tories so eager to discuss Black-edged Envelopes, and
Black-lead Pencils? - Because they belong to a Stationary Party.

* * * * *


(_A Poser for "Patriots."_)

["Our Trade is our Politics." Motto of the Licensed
Victualler, as publicly avowed at a recent "great Meeting."]


DEAR Bung, that frank but huckster-like avowal
Is made continually, behind the bar.
It _means_ - though rather "laid on with a trowel" -
A Trade with Public Spirit quite at jar.
The "mercenary politician," making
A pocket-business of a patriot's task,
Recently put your Press in a great taking;
But sordid selfishness here doffs all mask!
Which with a patriot's conscience plays most tricks?
Which most the venal virus has betrayed, -
The man who makes his Trade his Politics,
Or he who makes his Politics his Trade?

* * * * *


_BURDETT'S Official Intelligence for_ 1893 is just out, a promising
young thing in its twelfth year. It is a little early to talk of the
holidays, but my Baronite, regarding this thin Vol. of 1783 pages,
says he cannot help thinking with what pleasure the City merchant,
or his clerk, hastening to the seaside, will pack it up with his
collar-box. Every year the monumental work increases in value, by
reason of accumulated information. To the tired City man, scaling some
Alp, gliding in well-found yacht over silver seas, or prone in bosky
dell, there can be nothing more soothing or delightful than to take
his "BURDETT" out of his waistcoat-pocket, and read it through from
first page to last.

For _The Tragedy of Ida Noble_ the Baron tenders his grateful
thanks to W. CLARK RUSSELL. It starts well, and the excitement is
artistically sustained. At the close of every chapter _Oliver_,
the reader, is perpetually "asking for more." A capital story of
adventure, where all, including the reader, are "quite at sea" until
the very last chapter. On nearing the middle of the book, the question
will occur to everyone experienced in such matters, "Does the hero
marry the heroine?" Now this, being a lady's secret, will not be
revealed by THE BARON DE B.-W.

* * * * *

The Plea of the Party Man.

(_On either side._)

"THERE'S _no_ Obstruction!" - Why, then, all this ruction?
"When _we_ obstruct, who dares to call't Obstruction?"
To dam a deluge, stop a bolting horse, -
That is obstruction, of a sort, of course;
_Our_ sort, in fact! But theirs on t'other side?
That's quite another matter. They can't hide
The cloven foot of malice, the false faitours!
Not obstruct _them_? As well say not hang traitors!

[Illustration: Obstruction.]

* * * * *


In the Agony-Column of the _Times_ we now see daily the following

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, March 25, 1893 → online text (page 1 of 3)