Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 105, August 26th 1893 online

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Produced by Punch, or the London Charivari, Paul Marshall,
Malcolm Farmer and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at


VOL. 107.

DECEMBER 1, 1894.


As over London Bridge I went
A constable I spied:
His head upon his breast was bent,
Against the parapet he leant,
He gazed upon the stream intent,
And as I passed he sighed.

"What ails thee, officer?" I cried
In sympathetic tone.
"What sorrow in thy soul is bred?
Nay, never shake thy mournful head,
But tell me of thy woes instead -
Thou shalt not weep alone."

He eyed me for a moment's space
In half-suspicious doubt;
But reading not a single trace
Of aught but pity in my face,
He told me of his hapless case
And poured his sorrows out.

"Time was, not many months ago" -
His voice began to quiver -
"When, in a stately march and slow,
The tide of traffic used to flow
In floods as full as that below" -
He pointed to the river.

"From early dawn to dewy night
It still blocked up the way:
The creaking wain, the hansom light,
The gaudy bus, in colours bright,
The gilded coach, the buggy slight,
And e'en the donkey-shay.

"Amid the throng I took my stand,
I watched them come and go.
Anon the serried lines I scanned,
Anon I raised a warning hand,
And lo! at my supreme command
The flood forgot to flow!

"The bus, the cab, the coach, the fly,
Were motionless and still.
In all the crowds that passed me by
Was no one of degree so high
That dared my sovereignty defy,
Or disobey my will.

"The hansom hasting on her way
Paused when she heard my call.
The coster checked his donkey-shay,
The gartered lord his prancing bay -
All, all were subject to my sway,
My word was law to all.

"Alas! alas! 'tis thus no more!
Gone is my pride and power!
Where thousands passed in days of yore
Across the bridge, we've scarce a score,
For now the tides of traffic pour
Round by the busy Tower.

"And I am left to mourn alone
The glories that are fled.
None heed me now - alas! not one!
My life is lived! my day is done!
_Othello's_ occupation's gone -
Ah! would that I were dead!"

He ceased. The manly voice broke down.
I could no longer stay,
But, as I hurried off to town,
I pressed upon him half-a-crown,
And joyed to see the hopeless frown
Die for a while away.

* * * * *


_Eton Boy (who has come to see his Brother at Harrow)._ "I SAY, THESE

_Harrow Boy (gloomily)._ "I WISH TO GOODNESS THE GOV'NOR HAD SENT _ME_

* * * * *

"THE RAIDERS." - Sure as _our_ Raiders know, just one hundred and nine
persons, suspected of resorting to the Albert Club, in Bolt Court,
Fleet Street, for the purposes of betting, - much as their betters do
elsewhere, - were arrested by the police and walked off to Bridewell.
Ominous names for the locality! As they weren't sufficiently "fleet" to
run away they couldn't "bolt," and so were all "caught!"

* * * * *


What's this? Discoloured, left by chance
Within this dusty letter-rack -
Dear me! The programme of a dance
Which I took part in ten years back!
"The Towers, Rigden," at that date
The Denvers' house. Sir CHARLES has flitted
Since then to some secluded State
Where creditors are not admitted.

There's not, observe, a single blank;
Behold what energy was mine
Ten years ago! I used to rank
A waltz as something quite divine;
All night its mazes I pursued -
At least (this statement more precise is)
With but a pleasing interlude
For mild flirtation, "cup," and ices.

And then, my partners - twice, I see,
I danced with FLORENCE SMITH, who's wed
Sir CROESUS since, and "ETHEL V." -
Ah, poor Miss VIVIAN, yes - she's dead.
"Miss JOHNSON" - I remember _her!_
She told me man was quite demented,
A Sarah-Grand-Philosopher
Before "New Women" were invented.

And others follow. Though I'm sure
I'm fairly certain as to them,
Here is a mystic signature,
For who, in wonder's name, was "M."?
I danced with her four times! My word,
What said her chaperon judicial?
"MAY"? "MARY"? "MURIEL"? It's absurd,
I _cannot_ construe that initial!

I wonder, vaguely, where we met,
And how it was we came to part,
And whether I have left her yet
A permanently-injured heart;
Well, faded programme, you may go,
To tear you up at once were better;
But yet - I'd greatly like to know
The meaning of that mystic letter!

* * * * *

Parliamentary Aspiration.

(_By Jeremy Micawber Diddler._)

Of the (£)300, grant but three, I'll make a shape for paid M.P.

* * * * *


"My empty friends, I see you were all drunk last night. This _can_ not
occur again!"]

* * * * *


(_A Misappropriator's Apology._)

My dear Miss B., I cannot rest by day,
At night I never sleep, - or not for long.
The reason is, it grieves me much to say,
I've done what I'm afraid you'll think is wrong.

I've stolen something - don't, I beg you, laugh,
For I'm a thief - I trust I do not _look_ it.
You missed when I went off a photograph?
Prepare for a surprise, 'twas I who took it!

How did I do it? Well, the day I left
I got down early - half an hour or more
Before you knew it. That's why you're bereft
Of that one photograph from out your store.

Yes - I have sinned, and suffered on the rack
Of agonised remorse, although I trust I
May be forgiven. I'll send the portrait back
If that's the only way. But tell me - must I?

* * * * *

"QUITE A LITTLE 'OLIDAY." - Last Saturday the _Times_ notified one
"HENRY HOLIDAY" officially in "editorial" type that, as regards the
"calumny refuted," everything having been explained, apologised for,
and generally settled all round, they meant to give the subject a
complete holiday, but that as regarded the gentleman of that name who
wrote to say "he wasn't satisfied," the _Times_ must treat _him_ as a
"_Dies non_."

* * * * *


["Mr. GLADSTONE has become an honorary member of the Guildford
Microscopic Natural History Society." - _Daily Papers._]]

* * * * *


SCENE - _Jones doing Honeymoon Driving Tour in Ireland. His Leader has
just got one of the reins under his tail, and is lashing out



* * * * *


If you want a receipt for that Popular Mystery
Known to the world as our own Grand Old Man,
Take all the Titans and Crichtons of history,
Rolling 'em all into one - if you can.
With - but mere catalogue moveth man's malison,
Be _all_ Biography "taken as read";
Then, if you've lumped the Divine and Philosopher,
Sophist, and Casuist clever to gloss over,
Orator, Essayist, Scholar and Bard,
Best Swordsman or "Pug" who e'er fenced, smote, or sparred,
Toppers too many by far to enumerate.
Melt them all down to a splendid conglomerate; -
_Then_ you will find your ingenious plan
Misses nine-tenths of our own Grand Old Man.

Yes! GILBERT'S Heavy Dragoon, though a paragon,
Was not a patch on our own Grand Old Man.
Dulcet as hydromel, tart as fresh Tarragon;
Homeric in wrath in the scrimmage's van,
Horatian at home and at ease, - _merum nectar_,
(As SCALIGER said of that sweet Ode to Pyrrha,)
Fierce as ALONZO the Brave's fiery spectre,
Or mild as a lute or the lark's tirra-lirra!
Male CLEOPATRA, whom "age cannot wither,"
Whose wondrous variety custom can't stale,
All round the Universe, hither and thither,
Rambles his genius, aged but hale.
Jam and geology, pious "apology"
For tiny flaws in the arms of theology.
Anti-Besantine attacks on Theosophy;
_Obiter dicta_ on Art and Philosophy;
HUXLEY-defiance on errors of Science,
And - -
Ah! What is this? Why an optic appliance!
Not MILTON'S great optic tube, nor Lord ROSSE'S,
But - something to peer at a microbe's proboscis.
A marvel of high-polished glittering brasses,
And soft-winding screws, and adjustable glasses;
A small world of wheels as a galaxy shiny,
Admitting the gaze to a world yet more tiny
Of butterfly down and midge-stomachs and wings!

Well, WILLIAM, old friend, 'tis the day of small things,
Most of the matters on which prints are topical,
Strike a large intellect as - Microscopical!
Jove - or Achilles - the world now delivers
To myrmidons ant-like who swarm, fume and fuss.
Parties seem split into sections and slivers,
Each of which bellow, "The first place for Us!"
Mutually angry and all-round abuse-full.
So you may find your new instrument useful,
To - shall we say - gauge the New Leaders' authority,
Or look at that small, dwindling Liberal majority?

* * * * *


Since PAGANINNI, fingers never wrought
Such marvels in the mystic realm of sound
As his who from the ringing keyboard brought
A world of wondrous wizardry, which bound
E'en ignorance in an astonished rapture.
That world is closed, whose magic "sesame"
He only held, where he alone could capture
The spirits of strange woe and witching glee,
And set them sounding in dull human ears.
Music whose memory moves our smiles and tears.

* * * * *

New Nursery Rhyme.

(_On the New (Nursery) Art._)

Hey! 'Tis a riddle,
A do and a diddle,
A fad, and a lunatic lune;
A scrawl and a smudge,
And in fact arrant fudge,
To be kicked to Art's limbo - and soon.

* * * * *

Monetary Multum in Parvo.

Do not spend your life in _spending_;
_Borrow_ never, promptly _pay_;
_Save_ - but not with toil unending;
_Give_ - but wisely - what you may:
He who lends himself to _lending_,
Gives himself away.

* * * * *

The Journalistic Jettatura.

IBSEN is angry that some Paul Pry
Has "blown the gaff" on his _Evil Eye_.
Personal prattle and egotist bounce,
These great IBSEN may well denounce.
Not to bewitch, but to swagger and spy,
Is the basilisk task of _our_ "Evil I."

* * * * *


(_A Story in Scenes._)


SCENE XXXII. - _In the Elizabethan Garden._ TIME - _About_ 11 A.M.; LADY
MAISIE _and_ UNDERSHELL _are on a seat in the Yew Walk_.

_Lady Maisie_ (_softly_). And you really meant to go away, and never
let one of us know what had happened to you!

_Undershell_ (_to himself_). How easy it is after all to be a hero!
(_Aloud._) That certainly _was_ my intention, only I was - er - not
permitted to carry it out. I trust you don't consider I should have
been to blame?

_Lady Maisie_ (_with shining eyes_). To _blame?_ Mr. BLAIR! As if I
could possibly do that!! (_To herself._) He doesn't even see _how_
splendid it was of him!

_Und._ (_to himself_). I begin to believe that I can do _no_ wrong in
her eyes! (_Aloud._) It was not altogether easy, believe me, to leave
without even having seen your face; but I felt so strongly that it was
better so.

_Lady Maisie_ (_looking down_). And - do you still feel that?

_Und._ I must confess that I am well content to have failed. It was
such unspeakable torture to think that you, Lady MAISIE, _you_ of all
people, would derive your sole idea of my personality from such an
irredeemable vulgarian as that veterinary surgeon - the man SPURRELL!

_Lady Maisie_ (_to herself, with an almost imperceptible start_). I
suppose it's only natural he should feel like that - but I wish - I _do_
wish he had put it just a little differently! (_Aloud._) Poor Mr.
SPURRELL; perhaps he was not exactly - -

_Und._ Not _exactly!_ I assure you, it is simply inconceivable to me
that, in a circle of any pretensions to culture and refinement, an
ill-bred boor like that could have been accepted for a single moment
as - I won't say a Man of _Genius_, but - -

_Lady Maisie_ (_the light dying out of her eyes_). No, _don't_ - don't
go on, Mr. BLAIR! We were all exceedingly stupid, no doubt, but you
must make allowances for us - for _me_, especially. I have had so few
opportunities of meeting people who are really distinguished - in
literature, at least. Most of the people I know best are - well, not
exactly _clever_, you know. I so often wish I was in a set that cared
rather more about intellectual things!

_Und._ (_with infinite pity_). How you must have pined for freer air!
How you must have starved on such mental provender as, for example, the
vapid and inane common-places of that swaggering carpet-soldier,
Captain - THICKSET, isn't it?

_Lady Maisie_ (_drawing back into her corner_). You evidently don't
know that Captain THICKNESSE distinguished himself greatly in the
Soudan, where he was very severely wounded.

_Und._ Possibly; but that is scarcely to the point. I do not question
his efficiency as a fighting animal. As to his intelligence, perhaps,
the less said the better.

_Lady Maisie_ (_contracting her brows_). Decidedly. I ought to have
mentioned at once that Captain THICKNESSE is a very old friend of mine.

_Und._ Really? _He_, at least, may be congratulated. But pray don't
think that I spoke with any personal animus; I merely happen to
entertain a peculiar aversion for a class whose profession is
systematic slaughter. In these Democratic times, when Humanity is
advancing by leaps and bounds towards International Solidarity,
soldiers are such grotesque and unnecessary anachronisms.

_Lady Maisie_ (_to herself, with a little shiver_). Oh, why does
he - why _does_ he? (_Aloud._) I should have thought that, until war
itself is an anachronism, men who are willing to fight and die for
their country could never be quite unnecessary. But we won't discuss
Captain THICKNESSE, particularly now that he has left Wyvern. Suppose
we go back to Mr. SPURRELL. I know, of course, that, in leaving him in
ignorance as you did, you acted from the best and highest motives; but
still - -

_Und._ It is refreshing to be so thoroughly understood! I think I know
what your "but still" implies - why did I not foresee that he would
infallibly betray himself before long? I _did_. But I gave him credit
for being able to sustain his part for another hour or two - until I had
gone, in fact.

_Lady Maisie._ Then you didn't wish to spare _his_ feelings as well as

_Und._ To be quite frank, I didn't trouble myself about him; my sole
object was to retreat with dignity; he had got himself somehow or other
into a false position he must get out of as best he could. After all,
he would be none the worse for having filled My place for a few hours.

_Lady Maisie_ (_slowly_). I see. It didn't matter to you whether he was
suspected of being an impostor, or made to feel uncomfortable, or - or
anything. Wasn't that a little unfeeling of you?

_Und._ Unfeeling! I allowed him to keep my evening clothes, which is
more than a good many - - !

_Lady Maisie._ At all events, he may have had to pay more heavily than
you imagine. I wonder whether - - But I suppose anything so unromantic
as the love affairs of a veterinary surgeon would have no interest for

_Und. _ Why not, Lady MAISIE? To the Student of Humanity, and still
more to the Poet, the humblest love-story may have its
interesting - even its suggestive - aspect.

_Lady Maisie._ Well, I may tell you that it seems Mr. SPURRELL has long
been attached, if not actually engaged, to a maid of mine.

_Und._ (_startled out of his self-possession_). You - you don't mean to

_Lady Maisie._ That _is_ her name. How very odd that you - - But
perhaps Mr. SPURRELL mentioned it to you last night?

_Und._ (_recovering his sang-froid_). I am hardly likely to have heard
of it from any other quarter.

_Lady Maisie._ Of course not. And did he tell you that she was here, in
this very house?

_Und._ No, he never mentioned _that_. What a singular coincidence!

_Lady Maisie._ Yes, rather. The worst of it is that the foolish girl
seems to have heard that he was a guest here, and jumped to the
conclusion that he had ceased to care for her; so she revenged herself
by a desperate flirtation with some worthless wretch she met in the
Housekeeper's Room, whose flattery and admiration, I'm very much
afraid, have completely turned her head!

_Und._ (_uncomfortably_). Ah, well, she must learn to forget him, and
no doubt, in time - - How wonderful the pale sunlight is on that yew

_Lady Maisie._ You are not very sympathetic! I should not have told you
at all, only I wanted to show you that if poor Mr. SPURRELL _did_
innocently usurp your place, he may have lost - - But I see all this
only bores you.

_Und._ Candidly, Lady MAISIE, I can't affect a very keen interest in
the - er - gossip of the Housekeeper's Room. Indeed I am rather surprised
that _you_ should condescend to listen to - -

_Lady Maisie_ (_to herself_). This is really _too_ much! (_Aloud._) It
never occurred to me that I was "condescending" in taking an interest
in a pretty and wayward girl who happens to be my maid. But then I'm
not a Democrat, Mr. BLAIR.

_Und._ I - I'm afraid you construed my remark as a rebuke; which it was
not at all intended to be.

_Lady Maisie._ It would have been rather uncalled for if it had been,
wouldn't it? (_Observing his growing uneasiness._) I'm afraid you don't
find this bench quite comfortable?

_Und._ I - er - moderately so. (_To himself._) There's a female figure
coming down the terrace steps. It's horribly like - - But that must be
my morbid fancy; still, if I can get Lady MAISIE away, just in case - -
(_Aloud._) D - don't you think sitting still becomes a
little - er - monotonous after a time? Couldn't we - -

[_He rises, spasmodically._

_Lady Maisie_ (_rising too_). Certainly; we have sat here quite long
enough. It is time we went back.

_Und._ (_to himself_). We shall meet her! and I'm almost sure it's - -
I _must_ prevent any - - (_Aloud._) Not _back_, Lady MAISIE! You - you
promised to show me the orchid-house - you did, indeed!

_Lady Maisie._ Very well; we can go in, if you care about orchids. It's
on our way back.

_Und._ (_to himself_). This is too awful! It _is_ that girl PHILLIPSON.
She is looking for somebody! Me! (_Aloud._) On second thoughts, I don't
think I _do_ care to see the orchids. I detest them; they are weird
unnatural extravagant things. Let us turn back and see if there are any
snowdrops on the lawn behind that hedge. I love the snowdrop, it is so
trustful and innocent, with its pure green-veined - - _Do_ come and
search for snowdrops!

[Illustration: "Do come and search for snowdrops!"]

_Lady Maisie._ Not just now. I think - (_as she shields her eyes with
one hand_) - I'm not quite sure yet - but I rather fancy that must be my
maid at the other end of the walk.

_Und._ (_eagerly_). _I_ assure you, Lady MAISIE, you are quite
mistaken. Not the _least_ like her!

_Lady Maisie_ (_astonished_). Why, how can you possibly tell that,
without having seen her, Mr. BLAIR?

_Und._ I - I meant - - You described her as "pretty," you know. This
girl is plain - distinctly plain!

_Lady Maisie._ I don't agree at all. However, it certainly is
PHILLIPSON, and she seems to have come out in search of me; so I had
better see if she has any message.

_Und._ She hasn't. I'm _positive_ she hasn't. She - she wouldn't walk
like _that_ if she had. (_In feverish anxiety._) Lady MAISIE, shall we
turn back? She - she hasn't seen us _yet!_

_Lady Maisie._ Really, Mr. BLAIR! I don't quite see why I should run
away from my own maid!... What is it, PHILLIPSON?

[_She advances to meet_ PHILLIPSON, _leaving_ UNDERSHELL
_behind, motionless._

_Und._ (_to himself_). It's all over! That confounded girl recognises
me. I saw her face change! She'll be jealous, I _know_ she'll be
jealous - and then she'll tell Lady MAISIE everything!... I wish to
Heaven I could hear what she is saying. Lady MAISIE seems agitated....
I - I might stroll gently on and leave them; but it would look too like
running away, perhaps. No, I'll stay here and face it out, like a man!
I won't give up just yet. (_He sinks limply upon the bench._) After
all, I've been in worse holes than this since I came into this infernal
place, and I've always managed to scramble out - triumphantly, too! If
she will only give me five minutes alone, I _know_ I can clear myself;
it isn't as if I had done anything to be _ashamed_ of.... She's sent
away that girl. She seems to be expecting me to come to her.... I - I
suppose I'd better.

[_He rises with effort, and goes towards_ Lady MAISIE _with a
jaunty unconsciousness that somehow has the air of stopping
short just above the knees_.

* * * * *



Between nose and nose a strange contest arose
Concerning the smells from a brewery.
Some thought them like Eau de Cologne, whilst their foes
Denounced them as sickly and sewery.
'Twixt the Rhine, which (see COLERIDGE) washes Cologne,
And that sweet "Cologne water" that scents it,
How now shall the difference truly be known?
Strange comparison! Reason resents it!
Oh! what _is_ an odour, and what is a "stink"?
(As the outspoken schoolboy will dub it.)
If man's nose is asked to decide, well, I think,
In puzzlement pure man must - rub it!
If the fragrance of "grains" will to some suggest drains,
And to others bright Bendemeer's roses,
Sanitation's big problem a puzzle remains,
Since it all seems a question of noses.

* * * * *

GROVE?" that was the question. The answer to the inquiry was, "Who but
PARRY?" Whereupon HUBERT PARRY was appointed. Now, all music at the
College, of whatever nationality, will be taught _à la mode de Parry_.

* * * * *



Some people are disposed to deny to Mr. GLADSTONE a sense of humour.
They will surely reconsider their judgment in view of the fact that the
late PREMIER made the author of _Work and Wages_ (LONGMANS) a
Lord-in-waiting to the QUEEN. The volume contains in handy form a
series of addresses and papers spoken and written by Lord BRASSEY
during the last quarter of a century. They disclose profound knowledge,
not only of the principles that underlie the connection between Work

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 105, August 26th 1893 → online text (page 1 of 3)