Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 109, July 6, 1895 online

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* * * * *

SMALL BY DEGREES AND BEAUTIFULLY LESS. - Our excellent contemporary
the _Northern Whig_ allows a correspondent to call attention to the
nuisance of cycling in Malone Park. Apparently our "fellow-subjects
of the sister kingdom" have followed the lead of "the beginners of
Battersea," and "made themselves a source of annoyance to the majority
of people resident in the locality." If "the nuisance" is permitted,
the correspondent suggests the Park will soon be deserted. When this
happens, the cyclist can appropriately alter his ride (by cutting off
a letter) around Malone to Alone.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Zerlina Patti accompanied by her Squire on the

Another two "turns" and PATTI is off. Delightful to see and hear her
as _Zerlina_ in immortal Opera _Don Giovanni_. "_Patti Patti_" with
"_Batti Batti_," "_La ci darem_," and all old friends admirably given
and heartily encored. After one of the encores MAGGIE MACINTYRE walks
off suddenly as if in search of lost pocket-handkerchief. In most
serious moments ever a twinkle in MAGGIE'S eye, and twitch at the
corners of MAGGIE'S mouth, as if giving audience clearly to understand
that she is "only purtendin'."

Second Act. Enter PATTI; sings, pauses; wonders; sings note, like
nightingale summoning mate; pauses; again wonders. "Some one had
blundered!" BEVIGNANI beaming but bothered. "He cometh not," they
said. Exit PATTI, shrugging shoulders. Curtain drops. Very short Act.
Audience, amused, applaud. Curtain up again. BEVIGNANI brightens.
Re-enter PATTI with merry _Masetto_, who privately explains that for
a few moments he had lost his voice and had been looking for it.
Fortunately, voice found; in chest; quite safe. Surely a little
modern dramatic polish might be used to furbish up utterly idiotic
old-fashioned stage-business of this ancient Italian Opera? Eh, Signor

In the trio at end of Act II. somebody got off the line, and audience,
determined that they would be better for a little more practice,
called Ma'am ADINI, Miss MAGGIE, and Master BROZEL before the curtain,
and then made them go through their exercise once more. Nothing like
practice, to make perfect.

The Statuesque _Commendatore_ to be highly commended as represented
by aristocratic MANNERS. New Italian Opera proverb "Manners makes the
Commendatore." PATTI at premium. Royalty Restored to Box. Brilliant
night. Crammed, jammed house.

_In Lobby._ - Much agitation among ancient Opera-goers on hearing
report that MARIO is to sing here on Saturday afternoon. "MARIO!" they
exclaim; "impossible!" Not at all: it turns out that _this_ "MARIO" is
a character in a new Opera by "ALICK MACLEAN" (pretty name, but nicer
if it were "A WASH MECLEAN"), entitled _Petruccio_ (not SHAKSPEAR'S
_Petruchio_), in which one _Mario_ is "_Elvira's little brother_;" and
so, possibly, he was quite an infant when sister _Elvira_ was cruelly
treated by _Don Giovanni_. Also in this new Opera appears "_Elvira's
mother_." In fact, it is rather lucky for _Don_ that he has gone below
with Stony _Commendatore_ to Stony Stratford, or elsewhere, as
the talented _Elvira_ family, with whom is associated _Rubino_, a
gentleman "formerly betrothed to _Elvira_," would make it rather too
hot for him.

_Tuesday._ - GLÜCK'S _Orfeo_. "Gen'lm'n," if overtaken with wine, as
was _David Copperfield_ on a notable occasion, would say, "G'luck t'
you," that is, could any gentleman in such state be possibly admitted
to Covent Garden, and could dare to address JULIA RAVOGLI, admirable
as _Orfeo_, _Cavalleria_ to follow.

_Thursday._ - Madame SEMBRICH nice as _Violetta Traviata_, "were
t'other dear charmer away!" Very hot night. MANCINELLI must for once
have wished himself a non-conductor? Result, MANCINELLI Melted.

_Friday._ - _Adelina Zerlina Patti-cake_ and the Im-Maurel _Don G._
Why not in such hot weather give opera with ice in it; PATTI in skates
"_en Patti-neuse_."

_Saturday._ - Welcome to Madame ALBANI, our _Valentine_ in what
WAGSTAFF calls "_Lay Hug-me-nots_." "Not bad title," he explains;
"after crowd of ecclesiastics in swearing scene, pleasing to find
two principal characters are 'lay': not 'lay-figures' but lovers not
permitted by hard Fate either to embrace each other or any opportunity
of eloping together; so '_Hug-me-not_' curiously applicable." So far,
WAGSTAFF. Strong cast this with GIULIA RAVOGLI as _Urbano_ the page of
music, MELBA as _Margherita_ the Queen with the top-notes in her
air; JUPITER-PLANÇON as _Marcel_, TAM AGNO as _Hug-me-not Raoul_, and
ANCONA as _Conte de Nevers-say-die_. Conducting orchestral army to
victory, Marshal MANCINELLI is Merry and Meritorious.

* * * * *


["Who may describe a small boy's passion for his bat?" - _Daily News._]

_Jemmy Bilkins, aged Thirteen-and-a-half, loquitur_: -

I've won it, BILL, I've won it! And it's pooty nigh full size!
Leastways, anyhow, it _looks_ it. O, I tell yer, it's a prize.
Yaller-backed, BILL, and cane-'andled, and its got a sort o' feel,
As yer swing it wot reminds yer of a STODDART _or_ a STEEL.
Last Saturday as ever wos I turned out afore six,
And practised in our back yard, wiv three lumps o' deal for
Young POLLY she bowled to me, and I drove 'er, and I cut,
And "swiped over the Pervilion" - which I mean our water-butt.
POLL can do a fair round-armer _for_ a girl and no mistake,
And she'll 'ave you, middle-stumpo, if yer don't look wide awake.
'Twos the day of our School Match, BILL, and our gaffer, Mister
'Ad promised a cane-'andler to the boy as made top score.
Oh I tell yer I meant 'aving it, if _practisin'_ would do,
But _my_ bat 'ad split a lump off, and it seemed to 'it askew.
'Ow _can_ yer "keep a straight bat" when your bat itself aint
But we did our level best, BILL, me an' POLLY.
At our _fate_
Out at Petersham I tell you as we done the thing to rights,
None o' yer 'at-an'-coat piles for the wickets, as is sights
A cricketer cocks snooks at, when 'e knows the _real_ game.
No penny injy-rubber and a club! Though, all the same,
Wiv a second-'and stripped tennis-ball, a little on the lop,
Or even a ha'penny woodeny, an' the chump end of a mop,
And my jacket on a stick for stump, I've 'ad a lot of fun,
And wiv such on Gosling Green, BILL, I fust larned to 'it an' run.
But to-day we did it different. Real stumps was pitched O. K.,
We'd a scoring-sheet, _and umpire!_ We'd a red new ball to play,
As it seemed a sin to slog at, 'cos it took the pooty out;
But I tell yer we forgot that wiv the fust good 'it and shout.

Lanky STEVE 'e made that 'it, 'e did. It scooted past long slip,
At forty mile a hour or so. That STEVE _can_ make 'em skip.
He tops me by a 'ed, too, and I feared he'd cop the bun.
Yus, I thought the Bat was his'n when he'd piled up twenty-one!
_I_ wanted fanning, BILLY, when I ups and takes my block,
And the ball came thunderin' at me like a little earthquake shock.
Seemed heverywhere, yet nowhere, if you understand me, BILLY.
And pitched just in that orkud spot as always knocks yer silly.
Coming off the pitch like pickles, as though aiming at yer heye;
But I pulls myself together for a volley, an' let fly.
And fust thing I knowed I heard it busting 'ard agin the fence;
And I felt I'd scored a boundary, and the cheering wos emense.

Then BILLY I lammed into 'em! They came as easy then
As little POLLY'S easiest lobs. BILLY, they called _hus_ "Men!"
"The next man in wos BILKINS" the reporter sez - that's me! -
"An' e's a young phernomenon, a infant W. G.
Who piled his quarter-century in fair Doctorial form!" -
Just fancy! But them scribbling chaps _can_ pile it thick and warm.
I won that Bat 'owever with a score of twenty-five,
And POLLY - in the Press-tent! - wos the 'appiest girl alive
While as for _me!_ O BILLY, when I drawed it from the baize,
Caught the whiff of the fresh willow! - well the world looked all a
If "the Doctor" feels much 'appier when _his_ Testimonial comes -
Well, though 'e's the pet of England, me a urchin from the slums,
I jist guess he'll hunderstand me! Ony wish I'd got a bob
To send the _Telygraft_, BILL. I should soon be on the job.
_Ain't_ GRACE a 'Oly Stunner; and the Pride o' the Pervilion?
Well I 'ope 'is Testymonial will run up to a Million!!!
And when _he_ makes his next "Century" may _I_ be there to see! -
Wich the Master says he'll take me, now I'm called "Young W. G."

* * * * *

HOW TO FIX THE HAPPY DAY. - _Q._ When's the best day for a wedding?
_A._ Why, of course, "A _Weddin's day_."

* * * * *

[Illustration: UNLUCKY SPEECHES.



* * * * *


(_A Dialogue Pastoral and Sartorial._)

SCENE - _A Boudoir._ PRESENT - _A Lady and her Modiste._
TIME - _The passing hour._

_Modiste._ No, Madame, it is utterly impossible for you to wear silks
and satins. They have quite gone out.

_Lady._ But hasn't alpaca come in a little?

_Modiste._ Scarcely. It may be used for divided skirts at Battersea
Park, but it is not really recognised.

_Lady._ Then what am I to wear?

_Modiste._ Flowers, Madame, flowers. Of course they should be fixed on
foundations, but they are the only materials used at the present time.

_Lady._ Are they not rather expensive?

_Modiste._ Well, no. I shall not charge more for them than velvet or
brocade. And, of course, if you choose to wear your dresses more than
once, your maid can get them renovated with new flowers at an almost
fabulous reduction.

_Lady._ I do not think a gown ever looks well when worn a second time.

_Modiste._ Quite so, Madame; quite so. Well, would you like a charming
dress of pink hyacinths, with bishop's sleeves of Gloire de Dijon
roses? The skirt would be of variegated lilac.

_Lady._ But could you get the material for the floral combination?

_Modiste._ Oh dear yes, Madame! Since the fashion for real flowers has
come in we are supplied daily from all parts of the world, and have a
large stock always at hand on the premises. Why, our greenhouses are
the finest in London. Will you want any other costume to-day?

_Lady._ Only one for a small dance to-morrow. I want something cool
and quiet.

_Modiste._ You can scarcely do better than wear a costume _d'Eden_,
or as it is facetiously termed in England, "a dress for EVE." It is an
arrangement in oak leaves and apples _à la mode de la première femme
du monde_.

_Lady._ Very well. Let me have it home by eleven.

_Modiste._ You can depend upon my punctuality, Madame. If you are
careful not to dance too much it will last until 2 A.M., and permit of
your partaking of supper. I would not say this with confidence of
all the gowns I turn out, but in this instance you will find leaves
stronger than flowers. And now, Madame, permit me to take your

[_Scene closes in upon mysteries of the toilet._

* * * * *


(_A Strange Fragment dealing with a Mystery._)

Every important question that could be considered had been thoroughly
examined and decided. The delegates, who had come from North, South,
East and West, had expressed their satisfaction with everything
they had seen in London. As for the British Empire generally, their
admiration knew no bounds. "It was magnificent." "It was beautiful."
"It was grand." And yet when they prepared to take their departure
there was a shade of disappointment upon their expressive

"I wish I could have understood it," said one.

"It would have been a triumph of ingenuity to have comprehended it,"
observed another.

"The queries of the Egyptian Sphinx were the easiest of conundrums in
comparison," added a third.

And others chimed in to the same effect. But to the very last the
delegates tried their best to solve the problem. At length the company
departed. The hall in which the great assembly had been held was
empty. There was one striking object in the deserted apartment. It was
a book - a yellow-covered book. Evidently it had been much read. But,
in spite of the fingering, there was no distinct evidence that the
full meaning of its contents had been grasped by anyone.

In the quiet of the night the moonbeams illuminated the title-page.

The volume that rested so securely with its knowledge carefully
concealed between its paper covers was _Bradshaw's Railway Guide_.

* * * * *

WHO WOULDN'T BE AN ALDERMAN? - I have often wished to be an Alderman,
and, after reading the following extract from the _Birmingham
Daily Gazette_, I have fixed upon West Bromwich as the scene of my
aldermanic labours. It must be glorious to joke with such ease: -

"A WEST BROMWICH ALDERMAN'S JOKE. - Yesterday morning when the
West Bromwich guardians entered the Board Room at the West
Bromwich Workhouse, the blinds were all drawn, and as a
consequence the room presented a very gloomy appearance. The
business was about to be commenced, when Alderman R. WILLIAMS
objected to the blinds being lowered. He inquired whether
their lowering had a political significance, and whether the
house was in mourning for the death of the Radical Government.
If his assumption was true he considered they should
not commence the business until the blinds were raised
(_Laughter._) Two of the largest blinds were then raised, but
six others were allowed to remain down."

* * * * *



* * * * *

[Illustration: OMNISCIENCE.


_Mary Elizabeth Jane_ (_the smart new Parlourmaid who knows
everything_). "YES, SIR. _CAMBRIDGE_, OF COURSE!"]

* * * * *


Some of us like our English short, others prefer it expanded. Some of
us, for instance, might say that "NERO fiddled while Rome burnt."
But this bald statement is obviously quite unsuited to the decorative
instincts of the age, for in the _Daily Telegraph_, only last week, I
read that "a notorious Roman Emperor is credited with the performance
of a violin solo during the raging of a serious conflagration in
the heart of his capital." The omission of NERO'S name gives to this
sentence a delicate parliamentary flavour, which brings it absolutely
up to date.

* * *

But what a noble example it is! Henceforward, for instance, if it
should ever fall to my lot to write about HENRY THE EIGHTH of England,
I shall feel a mere fool if I state that he married seven wives. No,
no. A British monarch, celebrated in the books of the historians as
the Eighth, and hitherto the last of his name, is reported, on
the authority of the Ecclesiastical registers of his time, to have
entertained so warm and overpowering an affection for the connubial
condition commonly known as matrimony, as to have entered into it with
a comparatively light heart on as many occasions as would equal the
sum total of predecessors bearing his name who have supported the
burden of the crown of these realms. For a very slight increase of
salary I am prepared to double the length of this sentence without
adding a single fact to it.

* * *

Here, too, is a delightful extract from a gorgeously illustrated
volume issued by a firm of house-agents in praise of what they very
properly term "an imposing structure in red brick." "It is difficult,"
they declare (and after reading their description one can well believe
it) "to conceive a more replete Town Mansion, embodying such artistic
and delicate schemes of decoration, one where wealth has wrought such
a revelation of harmonious and fitly fitments, or where the studious
consideration of the minutest detail contributing to health, enjoyment
and comfort has been more completely manifested. This, combined with
its advantageous position removed from any main thoroughfare with its
accompanying turmoil, renders it a perfect dwelling and an idealistic
London Home."

No more by White Star or by Guion
I leave my native land to roam.
I've purchased and I occupy an
Idealistic London Home.

Last year my London I to quit meant;
But now, with all an owner's pride,
I gaze upon each fitly fitment,
And, lo, desire for flight has died.

Place me where schemes of decoration
Give both to Art and Health increase,
Where Wealth has wrought a Revelation -
I ask no more, I rest in peace.

* * *

Next let us contemplate a pure gem of descriptive English from a
sporting contemporary. It occurs in an account of the athletic contest
between Cambridge University and the United Hospitals: -

Scarcely a cloud flecked the blue heaven yesterday afternoon,
and a dazzling sky burnished the Stamford Bridge grounds into
an acre of reflected sunshine. What a pleasant spot the tryst
of the premier athletic club on which to hold athletic revels!
It was not to be expected that the people would show a front
at the carnival. So much to do nowadays, what with cycling at
Hurlingham, and the Beauty wheel show on the Row in Battersea
Park. Equal to the occasion though proved many English girls,
and it was pleasing indeed to note their presence in the
pavilion and enclosures. Bold as Britannia as a rule in this,
the nineteenth century. And don't forget this, innocent as
a posy all the while.... Think of this now. W. MENDLESON
(C.U.A.C.), but by birth a New Zealander, figuratively
speaking, gazed on the ruins (long jump ruins, of course) of
Britishers at Stamford Bridge. It was with a quickened pulse
that one watched the Hurdle Race. 'Pon our soul 'twas a
difficult problem to solve a few steps from home to tell
which would win, PILKINGTON or LOWE. The flag went up for the
visitor from the banks of the Cam. Nevertheless, no one can
assert but that the medical banner remained hoisted at the
truck in honour of their representatives. Gallant seconds!...
Of course H. A. MUNRO gave us a taste of his quality in the
Three Miles. Verily he ran as though able to keep up pacing
from sunrise to sunset. 'Twas a glorious victory that
he gained. Neither must the plucky bid made by HORAN be
forgotten. Ah! if he had only been MUNRO! But he wasn't, so
there was no use in thinking about that.

How melancholy are these might-have-beens. If NAPOLEON had only been
WELLINGTON. But he wasn't. So there was no use in thinking about that.

* * *

HENLEY Regatta, I understand, is to be an international festival
this year. A Dutch crew has entered for the Thames Cup, but it is not
stated that they carry a broom in their bows. Nor is it to be inferred
that they will make a clean sweep of the prize. Besides many English
crews they will meet a crew from France. Then from Toronto come four
Argonauts sailing not for the Golden Fleece, but for the Stewards'
Challenge Cap; and from Ithaca, N.Y., eight modern Trojans,
undergraduates of Cornell University, have set out intent on the
capture of the Grand Challenge Cup. To all of them _Mr. Punch_ extends
the right hand of good fellowship, though, being British to the
backbone, he cannot wish for their triumph over his own gallant
oarsmen. And amongst these he especially welcomes Mr. C. W. KENT, the
Hero of Leander, who, having four times stroked his crew to victory,
is once more seated on the slide of honour to defend possession of the
Grand, - KENT, the pride of joyous Moulsey, whom at his birth the
Fates endowed with the triple gifts of cunning, resource and courage,
bidding him wield an indomitable oar in undefeated crews. As when
a fox, emerging from the tangled covert - - But I cannot pursue the
Virgilian method any further. Let the event next week speak for
itself. Here's luck all round, and may the best crew be an English
one. In any case, may the best crew win.

* * *

The gentlemen from Cornell have brought over with them, in addition to
their boats and oars, a terrible battle-cry, "Cornell, yell, yell, I
yell Cornell." Manifestly the members of the London Rowing Club cannot
model themselves on this, for to cry, "London, done, done, I'm done,
London" would, I trust, be as inappropriate as it would certainly be

* * *

My recent investigations into the condition of some of our great
provincial cities lead me to the depressing belief that something is
always wrong with some of their streets. Here, for instance, is "NEMO"
writing to the _Manchester Guardian_ to complain that "on Saturday
evening the Bury New Road was filthy, whilst the odour was equal to
that of the Ship Canal, but different. Formerly there seemed to be an
effort made to have the road brushed up on Friday ready for Saturday
and Sunday, when thousands of well-dressed and happy people - Jew and
Gentile - promenade it on their way to breezy Kersal Moor." But why,
may I ask, should there be no well-dressed and happy Christians
promenading on their way to Kersal Moor? It may be that they have
followed "our local representatives," who, "NEMO" suggests, "are
enjoying their holidays, or are immersed in golf," which I take to be
a delicate euphemism for bunkered.

* * * * *

A LATE-AT-NIGHT RIDDLE. - _Q._ Why is it probable that the supper
provided by the Royal Academicians for their guests at their _soirée_
would be chiefly or entirely vegetarian? _A._ Because all the dishes
are "R. A. dishes."

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE TRUE TEST.

_First Screever_ (_stopping before a Pastel in a Picture-dealer's


_First Screever._ "AH!"

[_Exeunt ambo._

* * * * *


Is it well to temper justice with jokes? This important question has
been settled in the affirmative in many courts of law, but it has
been left for his Honour, Judge EDGE, to use his own name (instead of
somebody else's) in the playful manner requisite to excite "laughter
in the Court." A solicitor recently took upon himself to argue with
his Honour in the Plymouth County Court a question of costs in respect
of a case heard some months since. He conducted his argument with
much warmth and inaccuracy. This combination of bad law and bad temper
enabled the Judge to score an easy victory. "Stand down," said his
Honour; "if you play with edged tools you must pay for it." Thus
triumphed the Law and the Judge, and once more "unquenchable laughter
arose amongst the blessed gods" up in the gallery.

* * * * *

The British earthquake has been sadly neglected. Therefore Mr. CHARLES
DAVISON, M.A., F.G.S., of Birmingham, is writing a _History of the
British Earthquakes of the Nineteenth Century_. With a view to add to
the completeness of this work, he has appealed to the readers of the
_Western Daily Mercury_ for "notices of British earthquakes, either
past or future, of any kind and from any place whatever." He specially
desires to become acquainted with earthquakes "of which descriptions
appear in the local press, or entries are made in private diaries."
All local papers should at once start a special earthquake
column - "Earthquakes Day by Day," or "Yesterday's Earthquakes" - and
writers of diaries would do well to dive into the past. There are so
many remarkable phenomena not otherwise recorded. Here is one. "Dined
with BROWN last night. Insisted on walking home, instead of taking
BROWN'S advice and a cab. Had not gone far when strange thing
happened. Pavement suddenly upheaved and hit me violent blow on
forehead. Fell prostrate. Taken home in dazed condition by friendly
policeman. No time to observe affect of earthquake on adjoining


Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 109, July 6, 1895 → online text (page 2 of 3)