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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 109, November 2nd, 1895 online

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"Why, SNOOKS," I said, "don't you remember me? What on earth are you
doing?"

SNOOKS'S face fell somewhat. "Oh, it's you, is it? I thought it was
a customer. You see that I've taken the _Author's_ advice, and am
managing my own affairs."

"Indeed? And how in the world - - "

"Hush!" the novelist interrupted. "Here are some customers." And as he
spoke four or five people entered the drawing-room, and marched up to
the counter.

"A nice novel, Madam," said SNOOKS, just like one of Messrs. MARSHALL
AND SNELGROVE'S young men. "Certainly. Kindly step this way, please.
Here is my _Love's Dilemma_, very sweet, I assure you. Yes, only
four-and-six cash. Thank you.... Can I show you anything, Sir? This is
in the latest style - _The Decree Nisi_ - or I could write you something
to order, if you prefer it.... Hymns, Madam? No, I am afraid I've none
in stock, would a devotional sonnet do? Of course, I could make
any number you require at the shortest notice.... Thank you,
seven-and-sixpence change. They shall be delivered to-morrow morning.
Evangelical, I think you said?... To suit a young lady - _not_
advanced? Certainly, Sir; I can offer you my _Milk and Mayblossom_,
published at six shillings; reduced to half-a-crown.... You didn't
like _Murder and Sudden Death_, Sir? Well, I _am_ surprised, it's one
of my favourite productions; but I can sell you a rather milder blend,
if you prefer it."

And so the conversation went on, until all the customers had been
satisfied, and SNOOKS wiped his heated brow and turned to me. "There,
you see how it works; splendid system, isn't it? No trouble with
publishers or booksellers, entirely a ready-money trade, done over the
counter in one's own drawing-room."

"Then all these books are your own work?" I asked.

"Of course; you don't suppose I'm fool enough to sell other people's
goods? Of course I keep a large ready-made stock, and turn out others
to order as required. And, as you're here, do just buy - - " At this
point I fled.

* * * * *

N. B. IN N. B.

If you'd make them feel "Big Pots,"
Then by all means call them "Scots."
If you'd make their tempers hottish,
You may coolly call them "Scottish."
But, if wise, be on the watch
That you _never_ call them _Scotch!_
True it is that BOBBY BURNS
Uses all these terms in turns.
(Such, at least, appears the boast
Of the northern _Yorkshire Post_.)
But if _you_ essay the three
You'll soon find you're not - R. B.

* * * * *

SPORT PER WIRE.

[An international revolver match by cable is arranged to take
place shortly between English and American teams.]

"Good morning," said a representative of _Mr. Punch_ to the Chief
Umpire of a well-known Telegraphic Agency; "I have come to ask if
you would kindly favour me with some details of your new Sporting
Department."

"Certainly," he replied. "It has a great future before it. We intend
to revolutionise sport in all its branches."

"For instance?"

"Well, as it's in season, take Football. In fact, I've just finished
umpiring in an Association match between England and America, which,
in my unofficial capacity, I'm happy to say we've won - for a change."

"Where was it played?"

"Why, at this desk, of course. You see, _we_ cable over to the
Associated Press full particulars of the imaginary kick-off, and they
look it out in the Code - which doesn't generally take more than ten
minutes - and wire back their return kick (also imaginary), with name,
age, weight, and address of the kicker. This is generally repeated
as a security against the risk of error. The charge for repetition is
one-half the charge for transmission, any fraction of one penny less
than a halfpenny being reckoned as one halfpenny, according to the
admirable wording of the Post Office rules."

"And then?"

[Illustration]

"We wrangle for the rest of the time. This is quite in keeping with
the modern spirit of football, the game now having developed into a
kind of Hibernian debating society."

"But how was it you won to-day?"

"Oh, we had the last word before 'Time' was called, which enabled our
Sporting Editors to prove conclusively that the first kick scored a
goal, and was not 'offside.' Our American colleagues, however, have
appealed to the Central International Committee of Football Referees,
so that the wires will be kept warm for the next half-year on the
subject in the most sportsman-like manner."

"Capital! And have you any other telegraphic developments?"

"Oh yes! There's our Ladies Inter-Varsity Stay-at-Home Hockey
Contest - that's played over there in the corner every afternoon by
sixpenny telegram. The Dramatic and Novelist Editors attend to that,
in order to acquaint themselves with the workings of the feminine
mind. The Golf Department is in charge of the Scottish Editors. They
have an anxious time of it, as most of the language used is not fit
for transmission, and bunker them badly.... That's the River Editor,
hard at work in that arm-chair, rowing against Yale by cable. And
there you see our Racing Authority, busily engaged over a Horseless
Derby with the French Staff.... My Second-in-Command is now arranging
the Corbett-Fitzsimmons fight, which will take place at last by
telegraph on opposite sides of the Atlantic.... We do a bit of Comic
Volunteer Man[oe]uvres as well, but I'm sorry to say that our Shouting
Editor, whose idea of humour is somewhat noisy, has just broken the
telephone with one of his ejaculations.... But I must ask you to
excuse me now, as I have a billiard tournament, a yacht race, and a
cricket match with all Australia to manage simultaneously, and the
spectators - I mean newspaper readers - are getting impatient."

* * * * *

REWARD OF MERIT. - SIR FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., M.P., having been
_M.P._owered to appear for the _M-P_-ire before the L. C. C.
licensers, and having successfully scored all his Imperial Pints, is
to be decorated with an Order [not admitted after eight], and allowed
to practice at any of the Bars of the Empire. The restriction of "No
Fees" is not in accordance with Imperial practice.

* * * * *

[Illustration: COMPENSATION.

_The Future Bridegroom._ "WELL - IN ANOTHER WEEK I SURRENDER MY
LIBERTY!"

_The Future Bride._ "AND I GAIN _MINE!_"

[_They dissemble their joy._
]

* * * * *

THE OLD DOCTRINE NAMED AFTER MONROE.

(_A New Yankee Song to an Old Yankee Tune._)

Air - "_Old Rosin the Bow._"

I'm the Yankee, to whip all creation,
And _own_ all creation al-so;
If rivals should seek explanation,
I tip them the name of MONROE;
I'll tip them the name of MONROE,
The doctrine called after MONROE;
And 'tisn't surprising that I should keep rising
Whilst holding that doctrine MONROE!

Of the universe _I_'ll be director,
That's quite in accord with MONROE;
And if there's no room for the others,
The others, of course, have to _go_,
When I tip them the name of MONROE,
The doctrine named after MONROE;
Though to them abhorrent, with me it is current,
Then hurrah for old Snap-up MONROE!

From the President's chair it was stated,
Like rooster our Eagle will crow;
And if lesser fowls kick up shindies,
We'll tip 'em the name of MONROE,
The magnanimous name of MONROE,
The doctrine named after MONROE;
O'er world-wide dominions a-waving its pinions
Our Eagle will squeal - for MONROE!

Thus I'll blow myself out, and my fixings
From ocean to ocean shall go,
And from pole to pole also; all hemispheres
Pan out for me, - ask MONROE!
Ask octopus-handed MONROE!
The doctrine - improved - of MONROE!
Some folk think his way hard, but I shall tell BAYARD
To stick to the text of MONROE!

Our ambassador must be - in London -
A smart go-a-head plenipo,
And, if SALISBURY does cut up didos,
Must tip him the name of MONROE;
Explain to him Mr. MONROE,
And the doctrine called after MONROE.
Then, if things look squiffy, buck-down in a jiffy,
And drop - for the present - MONROE!

* * * * *

THE MUSIC HALL AS OTHERS WOULD SEE IT.

(_With compliments to those it may concern_)

The _entrepreneur_ had conducted, the visitor here, there, and
everywhere. He had shown the stage, the auditorium, and the tea
and cake-room. Every feature of the reformed scheme had been duly
explained.

"No singing allowed in the entertainment?" queried the visitor.

"None at all," was the reply; "we consider that music is a mistake.
Of course same songs are good, but as others are bad it is better
to prohibit them altogether, and thus escape the risk of a mistaken
choice."

"And no dancing?"

"Of course not. That would be entirely contrary to our principles. If
people require exercise they can walk or run."

"But how about the poetry of motion? How about the grace of movement?"

"We desire to have nothing to do with either," returned the
_entrepreneur_. "You see our object is to have an entirely new
entertainment, and consequently we reject all items, that have figured
in other programmes."

"Well, well," murmured the visitor; "you may be right. But I should
like to see the result. I will wait until the performance is given,
and judge for myself."

"I am sorry I cannot assist you to carry out this scheme," declared
the Manager of the Progressive Music Hall, "because we are not going
to have an entertainment."

"No, of course not. Of course it won't be an entertainment in the
usual sense of the word. It can't naturally be an entertainment - I
should have said a performance."

"But we give neither entertainment nor performance."

"Why not?"

Then came the answer, which was more convincing than
surprising - "Because, my dear Sir, we can't get an audience!"

* * * * *

THE NEW HOTEL ON THE EMBANKMENT. - Our Dear _Daily News_, in a recent
note, says that the "Hôtel Magnifique" (as it ought to be called,
reminding us as the D. _D. N._ justly observes of the _Hôtel
Splendide_ in Paris) has been already styled by its proprietors _The
Cecil_. "The Cecil!" - "There is only one in it," observes bluntly a
certain well-known comedian, quoting the song "_There's only one
in it, that's me!_" And pleased is ARTHUR CECIL with the gratuitous
advertisement. But _The Cecil!_ Good name for club, not for
hotel. _The Sarum_ sounds too ecclesiastical; so we return to _The
Magnificent_, which can be familiar in our mouths as "_The Mag._"
"_Omne ignotum pro magnifico._"

* * * * *

"Odd notice!" observed a short-sighted man, who had been cursorily
inspecting a card stuck up in a Restaurant's. "What is?" inquired his
friend. "Why this," was the short-sighted one's reply, pointing to the
notice; "'_No charge for changing plates._' Who ever heard of - - "
But here his friend broke in, "Why, you noodle, you've been reading a
photographer's advertisement!"

* * * * *

[Illustration: A SIMPLE DEFINITION.

MASTER JOHNNY BULL. "MONROE DOCTRINE! WHAT _IS_ THE 'MONROE
DOCTRINE'?"

MASTER JONATHAN. "WA-AL - GUESS IT'S THAT EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE
BE-LONGS TO _US!_"]

* * * * *

[Illustration: A NICE DISTINCTION.

_Porter._ "TRAIN'S AWA, MAN. YE SHOULD HAE RAN FASTER."

_Passenger._ "RAN FASTER! DOD, 'A RAN FAST ENEUGH, BUT 'A SHOULD HA'E
STARTIT SOONER."]

* * * * *

ANOTHER CONFERENCE OF WOMEN WORKERS.

(_Not held at Nottingham._)

SCENE - _The garish but unsavoury "Saloon Bar" of a "South-side
Pub." A group of "Daughters of Toil" sipping and gossiping._

_Laundress_ (_throwing down newspaper_). Wot's this 'ere National
Union of Women Workers there's so much cackle about?

_Step Girl_ (_sullenly_). Dunno, I'm sure. _We_'re not in it, anyhow.

_Workman's Wife._ Ho no! _We_ ain't women workers, I suppose, _we_
ain't!

_Laundress._ Then I should like ter know where they find 'em. (_Sips
"white satin" and sniffs._)

_Shop Girl_ (_to Sempstress_). 'Ere Miss MIVVINS, you're no hand of
a scholard, and know all erbout everythink. Wot _is_ this Nottingham
Goose Fair, anyhow?

_Sempstress._ Well, it is not a goose fair, exactly EMMA - not in the
sense of the old song, at any rate. Seems to me it's a meeting of
ladies of title, who don't know what work is, to talk about women of
no title who have to do it. (_Sighs._) But I suppose they mean well,
poor dears.

_Young Machinist_ (_pallid and cramped_). Well, Miss MIVVINS, no doubt
as they do. But oh dear me, what good are they going to do the likes
of us? My knees crackle, my back aches, and my head swims. Thanks,
yes, I don't mind if I do. (_Drinks._) Ah! that warms and straightens
one out a bit! But if, as you say, these ladies don't know what work
is, one of 'em should do _my_ little bit at the warehouse for a week.

_Laundress._ Ah! or mine, at the wash-tub.

_Workman's Wife._ Or mine at the wash-tub _and_ all over the shop as
well, as I 'olds is the 'ardest of all, seeing as how it ain't _never_
done.

_Sempstress_ (_mildly_). Ah, yes; but you have _your_ husband and
children for company, whereas I - - Oh, the long, dreary loneliness of
it!

_Tailoress._ Lookee 'ere, Liz, don't you talk about the old man being
_cumpny_, not till you know wot sich "cumpny" is. _You_ never got
a black heye like this; and do you 'appen to know 'ow a kick from a
'obnailed 'ighlow feels in the ribs?

_Sempstress_ (_gently_). Well, no, my poor soul; and perhaps I'm
ungrateful to grumble.

_Flower Mounter._ Yes; but what might these topping Nottingham
Lydy-Workers talk about when they _do_ meet?

_Sempstress._ Well, you see - -

_Laundress._ 'Old 'ard a minnit, LIZ. Before you begin, let's drink
up and 'ave another all round. Torkin' 's dry work, as I dessay the
Nottingham spouters found it.

[_They toss off, and replenish._

_Sempstress_ (_continuing_). Well, I see, one of their papers is on
"The Ethics of Work."

_Step Girl._ Lor! wot's that, Miss MIVVINS?

_Sempstress_ (_hesitating_). Well - you see - I suppose it means the
_morals_ of work, or something o' that.

_Laundress._ _Morals_ of work! Might as well talk o' the morals of
misery while you 're erbout it. The less I 'ave to do, the better I
like it - that's _my_ moral.

_Shop Girl._ Not much morals about work nowadays, SARAH, if _I_'m any
judge. Piling up work and cutting down prices, with the halternative
of the streets if yer strikes - that's about the "morals" of _our_
firm. And if you torked to our Boss about these 'ere Nottingham
notions, _'e_'d "moral" you!

_Semptress._ Another lady, I see, with _such_ a pretty, poetic-like
sort of name, talks about "The Responsibility of Refinement."

_Workman's Wife._ Ah, well, we ain't got none, so that can't consarn
us, can it?

_Shop Girl_ (_tartly_). I say, you speak for yerself, Mother MATTHEWS.
Of course, that means refinement in _dress_, and - well we don't _all_
wear a pancake 'at with a 'aporth o' green feathers dobbed on to it!
(_Sniffs, and adjusts her own "high-up" hat with ambitious "hortridge"
plumes._)

_Workman's Wife_ (_sharply_). Now look you 'ere, Miss STUCKUP, if I
'adn't more "refinement" in my little finger than wot you 'ave in
your 'ole five foot nothink, my old man 'ud swop me off for a ragman's
black doll, 'e would, so there!

_Voice from the Bar._ Now then lydies, a _leetle_ less noise there
_if_ you please!

_Sempstress._ I see here's another talks of "Home Life," and another
of the "Morals of Money Spending."

_Workman's Wife._ Haw! haw! haw! Morals o' money spending, indeed! If
these 'ere torky lydies 'ad got as little money to spend as _we_ 'ave,
and as many mouths to fill with it, 'tisn't the _morals_ on it as 'ud
trouble 'em. When the wealthy 'uns begin to patter of morals to us
poor trash, they mostly mean _meanness_, I reckon.

_Young Machinist._ Right you are, Mrs. MATTHEWS!

_Sempstress_ (_sadly_). And as to "Home Life," - ah! how many of them
know that to some of us it only means a painful "Home _Death_?"

_Laundress._ Oh, come, I sy, Miss MIVVENS, you'll give us all
the 'orrors if you tork like that! While there's life - _and_
liquor - there's 'ope, _I_ sez. So let's 'ave another kind love all
round, and then we must see about - -

_Sempstress._ "Home Life" and the "Ethics of Work" again, as the
"Women Workers" say at Nottingham.

_Workman's Wife._ But not in the New Cut - no fear!

_Voice from the Bar._ Now then, time, gentlemen, please!

_Exeunt._

* * * * *

THE CYCLE AND THE CAMERA.

The Cycle and the Camera
Were resting side by side,
When suddenly the Cycle ask'd,
"Why is it you don't ride?"

"Why _not?_" exclaim'd the Camera,
Taking a secret "shot."
"To do so is considered
As easy just as 'pot.'"

"But now I come to think again,"
The Cycle cried, "I guess,
Although the notion isn't bad,
I like it less and less.

"You see, of reputation I
Have still a _little_ left.
And if I went about with you,
Of _all_ I'd be bereft.

"Of 'spoony' folk you are the dread;
You '_take them_' reckless-lee;
You 'spot' the spouse delinquent when
He's out upon the spree.

"In fact you do a _heap_ of things
You ought to leave undone."
The Cam'ra murmur'd musingly,
"I have a _heap_ of fun!"

* * * * *

"AN EMPIRESARIO." - Mr. GEORGE EDWARDES.

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE MARKIS O' S-L-SB-RY, AS NEW LORD WARDEN OF CINQUE
PORTS, REVIEWS FORCES AVAILABLE FOR DEFENCE.

WALMER, OCTOBER, 1895.]

* * * * *

"THE 'PINERIAN' SPRING" AT THE COMEDY.

Mr. PINERO is temporarily Ibsenised. "_What will become of them?_"
should have been the sub-title, if not the single title, of his new
play at the "C. C. C.," or COMYNS CARR'S Comedy Theatre. Instead of
"_What will become of them?_" Mr. PINERO calls it _The Benefit of the
Doubt_, which is supposed to be a quotation from the Judge's summing
up in the Divorce Court in the case of _Allingham_ v. _Allingham_.
_Mrs. Allingham_ has sued for a divorce in consequence of her
husband's misconduct with _Mrs. Fraser_; the misconduct was not
proved, but the Judge was so severe on the conduct of _Mrs. Fraser_
that there is for her, as far as her husband, friends, family, and
Society generally are concerned, no benefit whatever to be obtained
from the existence of the doubt in question. Such is the cheerful
subject Mr. PINERO, in Ibsenitish vein, has chosen, and he has written
a series of dramatic scenes artistically developing his characters
by the most natural dialogue possible, but not, as it seems to me, by
means either most natural, or most probable. The great situation of
the piece is brought about by a gentleman (in the best sense of
the word, as far as we can judge up to this point) permitting his
infernally jealous wife - there is no other epithet for her except
"infernally" - to conceal herself on purpose to overhear a conversation
between himself and her supposed rival! Analogous situations in broad
farce and farcical comedy are frequent and permissible: but surely
not in a drama of real life. But then, I remind me, that this drama is
Ibsenitish; which does make a difference.

[Illustration: _Mr. P-n-ro_ (_making up after the portrait of Ibsen_).
"Ah! I think I'm getting uncommonly like him."]

The play is far too long, but it is admirably written and admirably
acted. The dramatist intends most of his leading characters to be
repulsively sordid, vulgar, and selfish, and those who are not so
are amiable, but weak. The first heroine, perfectly played by Miss
WINIFRID EMERY, is a fast member of a fast family as badly brought
up as _La famille Benoîton_, the vain, frivolous mother being
well portrayed by Miss LINDLEY; and the second heroine, admirably
represented by Miss LILY HANBURY, is simply an odious, jealous shrew,
and the prospect of happiness in a "place unmentionable to ears
polite" would be more probable than any happiness for a husband with
a wife like this. With neither heroine is sympathy possible. Another
splendid comedy performance is that of Miss ROSE LECLERCQ, as the
Bishop's wife, a character whose original is to be found in ANTHONY
TROLLOPE'S _Barchester Towers_, from which I will quote a specimen
passage, and ask those who have seen _The Benefit of the Doubt_
whether it does not sum up in brief Mr. PINERO'S characters of _Mrs.
Cloys_ and her husband the Bishop: -

"What did you say about it, Bishop?" asks _Mrs. Proudie_ of
her husband.

"Why," replies "her little man," "I said that I thought that
if, that is, should I - should the dean die - that is, I said I
thought - - " As he went on stammering and floundering, he saw
that his wife's eye was fixed sternly on him.

And these, with the stage directions, are the _Right Rev. Dr. Cloys_
and _Mrs. Cloys_ of "St. Olpherts," and not of "Barchester" - that's
all. And this _Mrs. Proudie-Cloys_ serves as a _Dea ex machinâ_ coming
forward to offer temporary relief to the hard, austere husband _Mr.
Fraser_ (also a good performance by Mr. J. G. GRAHAME), from his very
trying wife. The Bishop is, oddly enough, a mere "lay" figure; and is
"left till called for" at the last moment.

Having already said that the acting all round is of first-class
quality, it will be superfluous to single out Mr. LEONARD BOYNE
for special praise. Yet he deserves it. Had the author given this
character an Irish title, the combination would have been perfect. Mr.
CYRIL MAUDE, as the fussy, empty-headed M.P., adds another finished
picture to his eccentric portraitures; but Mr. PINERO might have
refrained from adding to this personage's eccentricities one which
originated with Mr. CHARLES WYNDHAM'S _Headless Man_, whose system
of _memoria technica_, and recalling things by initial letters, Mr.
PINERO seems to have borrowed, in order to complete _Sir Fletcher
Portwood's_ equipment for the stage. It is as well to note this, lest
by unconscious cerebration Mr. PINERO should, in some future piece,
develope _Sir Fletcher_ into another _Mr. Hedley_, and refer to _Sir
Fletcher_ in this piece as his original.

[Illustration: "Bedad then, 'tis Misther Shawn Allingham!"]

The only pleasant scene is where, in the Second Act, two club "pals,"
_Denzil Shafto_ (Mr. J. W. PIGOTT) and _Peter Elphick_ (Mr. STUART
CHAMPION) appear, the latter with a banjo; both coming to cheer up
their unhappy friend _Misther Allingham_. These two lighten up the
gloom of the Second Act for a brief space, and then are heard no more;
yet the scene in which they strut their short ten minutes on the
stage is one of the best imagined, and best stage-managed as regards
"business," in a piece where every detail has been considered and not
a point lost. For acting, for dialogue, for character (granting these
to be what the author of their being has made them), this unpleasant
play ranks with the best of the dramas from, what _Mrs. Malaprop_
might term, "The Pinerian spring." And the end? Nothing; a blank. The
audience look at one another and say, "Well - and then?... What next?"
It is a highly-finished play without a finish. It belongs to the
new order of dramas classified under the heading of the "The Problem
Play." Whether these will pay, or not, is another problem of which the
author and manager may find a satisfactory solution.

* * * * *

A Toiler to a Twitterer.

BARD MORRIS sings: - "For this of old is sure,
That change of toil is toil's sufficient cure."
Ah me! You ought to add, oh bard omniscient,
"Provided always that the pay's sufficient."

* * * * *

COPYRIGHT, AND ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL. - Mr. HALL CAINE, author,
addressing a deputation from the Dominion, is said to have remarked
that "he felt assured of help from them, as they were _Hall
Caine-aidians_."

* * * * *

QUITE NATURAL. - A composer who had taken rooms in certain mansions
in Victoria Street has given them up, as he found himself writing
everything in A Flat. Most monotonous.

* * * * *

The "Hook of Holland" ought to catch some large fish. What is it
baited with?

* * * * *

HOW KIPPER SLEW THE NEW FOREST HORNET.


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