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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
VOL. 62.
FEBRUARY 3, 1872.


=PRIVATE SCHOOL CLASSICS.=

(_Letter from a Lady._)

[Illustration]

DEAR MR. PUNCH,

THOUGH you love to laugh, and we all love to laugh with you, I know that
you are kindness itself when an afflicted woman throws herself upon your
sympathy. This letter will not be quite so short as I could wish; but,
unless you have my whole story, you will not understand my sorrow.

My boy, JOHNNY, is one of the dearest boys you can imagine. I send you
his photograph, though it does not half justice to the sweetness and
intelligence of his features; besides, on the day it was taken, he had a
cold, and his hair had not been properly cut, and the photographer was
very impatient, and after eight or nine sittings, he insisted that I
ought to be satisfied. I could tell you a hundred anecdotes of my boy's
cleverness, but three or four, perhaps, will be enough.

[_More than enough, dear Madam. We proceed to the paragraph that
follows them._]

His father, I regret to say, though a kind parent, does not see in
JOHNNY the talent and genius which I am certain he possesses. The child,
who is eleven years and eleven months old, goes (alas, I must say went)
to a Private Academy of the most respectable description. Only twelve
young gentlemen are taken, and the terms are about £100 a-year, and most
things extra. The manners of the pupils are strictly looked after; they
have no coarse amusements; and, to see them neatly dressed, going
arm-in-arm, two and two, for a walk, was quite delightful. I shall never
see them again without tears.

My husband was desirous that JOHNNY should have a sound classical
education, and we believed - I believe still - that this is given at the
Private School in question. One evening during the holidays, my husband
asked JOHNNY what Latin Book he was reading. The child replied, without
hesitation or thought - "_Horace_." "Very good," said his father, taking
down the odious book. "Let you and me have a little go-in at _Horace_."
I went to my desk, _Mr. Punch_, and, as I write very fast, I resolved to
make notes of what occurred, for I felt that JOHNNY would cover himself
with glory and honour. _This_ is what occurred. Of course, I filled in
the horrid Latin, afterwards, from the book, which I could gladly have
burned.

_Papa._ Well, let us see, my boy, suppose we take Hymn number xiv. You
know all about that? _Ad Rempublicam._ What does that mean?

_Johnny._ O, we never learn the titles.

_Papa._ Pity, because they help you to the meaning. But come, what's
_Rempublicam_?

_Johnny._ I suppose it means a public thing. _Rem's_ a thing, and
_publicus_ is public. [Was not that clever in the dear fellow, putting
words together like that, _Mr. Punch_? Will you believe it, his Papa did
nothing but give him a grunt?]

_Papa._ Go on.

_O navis, referent in mare te novi
Fluctus. O quid agis?_

_Johnny._ O, navy, referring to the sea. I have known thee.
What will the waves do?

[I thought this quite beautiful, like "_What are the Wild Waves
Saying?_"]

_Papa._ Ah! Proceed.

- - _fortiter occupa
Portum. Nonne vides_ - -

_Johnny._ Bravely occupy the door.
You see a nun.

_Papa._ A nun, child. What do you mean?

_Johnny._ A nun is a holy but mistaken woman, Papa, that lives in a
monastery, and worships graven images. [You see he had been
_beautifully_ taught.]

_Papa._ But what word, in the name of anachronisms, do you make a nun?

_Johnny._ _Nonne._ O, I forgot, Pa, that's French. [Instead of being
pleased that the child knew three languages instead of two, his Papa
burst out laughing.]

_Papa._ Try this: -

_Et malus celeri saucius Africo,
Antennæque gemant? ac sine funibus
Vix durare carinæ
Possint imperiosius
Æquor?_

_Johnny._ And celery sauce is bad for an African,
And your aunts groan though there is no funeral,
And they could not be more imperious
If they had to endure a sea-voyage.

_Myself._ Darling! Why don't you say something to encourage him, TOM?
It's delightful.

_Papa._ Yes, it's encouraging. Go on, Sir.

- - _non tibi sunt integra lintea;
Non di, quos iterum pressa voces malo._

_Johnny._ You have no large pieces of lint.
Do not die, though they again press you to say apple.

_Papa. Nil pictis timidus navita puppibus
Fidit!_

_Johnny._ No sailor is frightened at the dogs in a picture he sees.

_Papa._ _Fidit's_, he sees, eh?

- - _Tu, nisi ventis
Debes ludibrium, cave._

_Johnny._ If it wasn't for the wind,
You ought to play in a cave.

_Papa._ Ha! Well, here's the last; we may as well go through it.

_Myself._ Papa! don't be so cross.

_Papa._ Mind your letter-writing, will you? [But _I wasn't_
letter-writing. I was making notes.]

_Nuper sollicitum quæ mihi tædium._

_Johnny._ Lately a solicitor was a great bore to me.

_Papa._ [To do him justice, he recovered his good-humour and roared.]

A great bore, was he? They _are_ bores sometimes. Now then -

_Nunc desiderium, curaque non levis._

_Johnny._ I do not care for the light of the stars.

_Papa._ Hang it, JOHNNY, how do you get at "stars" in that line?

_Johnny._ _De_, of, _siderium_, dative, no, genitive plural of _sidus_,
a star, Papa, and _levis_ is light.

_Papa._ Finish. _Interfusa nitentes
Vites æquora Cycladas._

What do you make of that? "With an infusion of nitre the vines are equal
to Cyclops" - is that it?

_Johnny._ I think so, Papa dear. The Cyclops were great giants, who
poked out the eye of Achilles with a hot stick, for throwing stones at
their ship.

_Papa._ Go to bed!

_Johnny._ What for, Papa?

_Myself._ Yes, what for, TOM? I'm sure the dear fellow has done his best
to please you.

_Papa._ You are right. It is I who ought to be sent to bed. All right,
JOHNNY. Let us have a game at the _Battle of Dorking_ - get the board.
That's good fun. But £100 a-year, and _sollicitum_, a solicitor, isn't.
However, we'll alter that.

And, dear _Mr. Punch_, he gave notice the very next day that JOHNNY
should not go back to the Private School, and is going to send him to a
College, to be starved, fagged, beaten, knocked down with cricket-balls,
trampled down at football, and taught to fight.

Believe me, yours,

AN UNHAPPY MOTHER.

* * * * *

=True Thomas of Chelsea.=

IT was MR. CARLYLE who first revealed the existence of Phantasm
Captains, which many people refused to believe in, and laughed at the
notion of. What do they say now that a Board of Captains in command over
Captains and Admirals too is called by its own Secretary a Phantom
Board? Surely that THOMAS of Chelsea is a true Seer, and long since saw
through Simulacra which have, in truth, at last been discovered to be
transparent Shams.

* * * * *

[Illustration: "THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STARE."]

* * * * *

EVENINGS FROM HOME.

_MR. BARLOW, with MASTERS HARRY SANDFORD and TOMMY MERTON, visits
ASTLEY'S THEATRE, to see the Pantomime of "LADY GODIVA."_

"THIS," exclaimed HARRY, "is an exhibition which affords me, and indeed
appears to give to a vast number besides myself, the greatest
gratification.

_Tommy._ I see, Sir, that _St. George_ appears in this story with _Lady
Godiva_; pray, Sir, who was _St. George_?

_Mr. Barlow._ There have been, my dear TOMMY, various opinions on this
interesting subject, and some honest folks have sought to identify the
celebrated personage in question with a Butcher, who served bad meat to
the Christians in Palestine, while others have gone equally far towards
proving that he was no Butcher, but an Arian Bishop of Alexandria.
Whether Butcher, or Bishop, it was for a long time most difficult to
determine.

_Harry._ But pray, Sir, why did not the antagonistic parties bring the
case into a Court of Law so as to obtain a decision.

_Mr. Barlow._ Your own experience, HARRY, will, doubtless, one of these
days furnish you with sufficient reason for the persons interested not
having given employment to the gentlemen of the long robe. There was no
claimant to the title living, and there was nothing beyond a title to be
claimed; for, whether on the one hand (with EUSEBIUS) revering him as a
Saint, or, on the other (with GIBBON) abusing him as "the infamous
GEORGE," both sides admitted the object of their contention to have been
long since deceased. He is, however, the patron Saint of England, and
owes his great reputation in modern times to managers of Theatres at
Christmas, and writers of extravaganzas and of Pantomimes, to whom his
history is invaluable, as affording marvellous opportunities for great
scenic display, and spectacular effect, while the Saintly Knight himself
seldom fails to find an admirable representative in either a young lady
of considerable personal attractions (as here at ASTLEY'S) or in some
eccentric and grotesque gentleman like one of the lithsome PAYNES, or
the agile MR. VOKES, whose extraordinary feats, with his legs, we have
already witnessed at Drury Lane Theatre. I confess, however, that I do
not perceive by what process _St. George_ has been brought into the
comparatively modern legend of _Lady Godiva_.

_Harry._ It seems to me, Sir, that you intended us just now to remark
some diverting jest in your use of the words "feats" and "legs," which
TOMMY, I fear, has failed to comprehend.

_Mr. Barlow._ Indeed, HARRY, you are quite right, and I trust that both
you, and TOMMY, will be able to utter such pleasantries yourselves with
a full appreciation of their value. I regret to notice that MISS
SHERIDAN, who, with much discretion, performs the part of the _Lady
Godiva_, is suffering from cold, and is, consequently, a little hoarse.
This is natural at ASTLEY'S.

Then, turning to TOMMY, and smiling in his usual kind manner, MR. BARLOW
said, "My dear TOMMY, although you have not yet mastered the amusing
puns which I made in my recent discourse, you can, it may be, tell me
why MISS SHERIDAN resembles a pony?"

TOMMY, whose whole attention was now given to the scene, expressed his
intention of at once renouncing all attempts at solving this problem.
Whereupon MR. BARLOW cheerfully replied that MISS SHERIDAN so far
resembled a pony, inasmuch as she was, unfortunately, on that evening,
"a little hoarse." HARRY laughed at this sally, and, indeed, considered
his beloved tutor a prodigy of wit and ingenuity; but it was otherwise
with TOMMY, who remained silent and depressed during the greater part of
the entertainment; and, indeed, it was not until the very effective
Transformation Scene that TOMMY'S unbounded pleasure and admiration once
more found vent in the most unqualified applause, in which the entire
audience joined.

_Harry._ These expressions of delight remind me of the story you read to
me the other day, Sir, called _Agesiläus and the Elastic Nobleman_. As
TOMMY has not heard it I will - -

But at this moment a vast assemblage of children on the stage, habited
as soldiers, commenced the National Anthem at the top of their voices,
which for the time put an end to further conversation.

On quitting the theatre, TOMMY, who from having been in a state of the
greatest elation had once more resumed the sober and saddened aspect
with which he had listened to his tutor's discourse during the play,
took HARRY aside, and declared to him, with tears in his eyes, that from
that day forward he would never rest till he had made himself thoroughly
acquainted with all the jokes in the English language, and had perfected
himself in the art of constructing new ones.

"Your determination, MASTER TOMMY," replied his young friend, "reminds
me of the story of _Darius and the Corrugated Butcher_; but, as I am too
fatigued to-night to remember its main features, I will defer the
recital of it till to-morrow morning."

TOMMY evinced a great curiosity to know whether there were in this tale
any puns, upon which he might at once exercise his intelligence, but on
HARRY'S repeating his promise, he allowed him to go to bed without
further question.

Being thus left to his own resources, TOMMY MERTON, in pursuance of his
new resolution, went to the book-shelves and commenced a search which
was not destined to be altogether fruitless.

MR. BARLOW had scarcely been in bed two hours, when he was aroused from
a most peaceful and refreshing slumber by a loud hammering and knocking
at the door of his chamber. Unable to imagine what had happened, and,
indeed, fearing lest the premises should have unfortunately caught fire,
he was on the point of gathering together such articles of clothing as
he considered strictly necessary, when TOMMY burst into the room
half-undressed, and bawling out, "I've seen it! I've seen it!"

"What have you seen?" asked MR. BARLOW.

"Why, Sir," answered TOMMY, "I had a mind to discover, before I went to
bed, what you meant by your two jokes at Astley's. So, Sir, I got down
your book of _Joseph Miller's Jests_, a dictionary, and a grammar; and I
find that the fun you had intended lies in the similarity of
pronunciation in the case of the substantive _horse_ and of the
adjective _hoarse_, and also in _feat_ and _feet_ possessing a like
sound."

"Well," said MR. BARLOW, pausing, with a boot-jack in hand, "you are
indeed right. And if you will approach a little nearer - - "

But TOMMY, anticipating the purport of his revered tutor's invitation,
had speedily withdrawn himself from the apartment, being careful at the
same time to lock MR. BARLOW'S door on the outside.

"To-morrow," said MR. BARLOW quietly to himself as he returned to his
bed - "To-morrow we will talk over these things."

He now perceived that he was in a condition of unwonted restlessness;
and it was not until he had twice repeated to himself the story of _The
Laplander and the Agreeable Peacock_, that he fell asleep.

* * * * *

=Doctors in Court.=

MEDICAL men, experts and others, in the witness-box, are unfortunately
apt to use technical terms for which there are no equivalents in plain
English. For this pedantry the Judge usually snubs them. Quite right.
There are no hard words or phrases, of which the use, by Judges or
Counsel, is sometimes unavoidable, in Law.

* * * * *

[Illustration: AFTER THE PARTY.

_Mater_ (_aroused by the Horse pulling up_). "WHIT'S THE MATTER,
GUIDMAN? - ONYTHING WRANG?"

_Pater_ (_bringing his Faculties to a Focus_). "LET US JUST CONSUDER THE
RECENT CIRCUMSTANCES. WAS OOR JOHN IN THE GIG WHEN WE STARTET FRAE
ARDRISHAIG?"]


[Illustration: "OOR JOHN" _WAS_ IN THE GIG - _WHEN THEY STARTED!_]

* * * * *

OWLS THAT IS NOT HORGANS.

MR. PUNCH has - need he say it? - the profoundest admiration for the skill
and zeal of the great Healers who have conducted H.R.H. the PRINCE OF
WALES out of the region of bulletins. But he hopes that should any
member of the Royal Family again need medical advice (which good fortune
forefend for many a long day), no name belonging to a member of the
illustrious trio may be signed to the _affiches_. It was not for _Mr.
Punch_ to complain while bulletins issued, but now all else is
happiness, he makes his moan, or rather (as MR. ROEBUCK says Birmingham
is always doing) makes his howl. How many thousand idiots have sent _Mr.
Punch_ jests on the names of the Doctors, he cannot say, but the changes
have been rung, _ad nauseam_, on a "Jennerous diet," a "Lowe fever," a
"bird of good omen - a Gull," until - - But not one goose was gratified;
ha! ha! Fire, not vanity, was fed. Still, _Mr. Punch_ has suffered; and
therefore he begs leave to suggest that all the three Doctors be raised
to the Peerage. They have richly deserved it, and so has SIR JAMES PAGET
(whose name happily does not help the small wits); but _Mr. Punch's_
comfort is the thing to be considered. N.B. He likes to give those who
are "blest in not being simple men" an occasional peep - as thus - at the
circumjacent world of donkeyism.

* * * * *

MRS. MALAPROP has lately been studying Latin, with success. But, as a
good Church-woman, she cannot hold with the rule _Festina lentè_. She
disapproves of feasting in Lent.

* * * * *

GUILDED LADIES.

LADIES, look at this proposal to promote what some of you may call the
millineryennium: -

"A Guild of Ladies is proposed to be formed to promote modesty
of dress to do away with extravagance, and substitute the
neatness and sobriety suitable to Christian women."

A guild formed to promote the sobriety of women ought to have SIR
WILFRID LAWSON for a patron, and should be supported by every
Teetotaller now living in the land. But the sobriety here mentioned is
that of dress, not drink; and total abstinence from finery and flummery
of fashion is doubtless the chief aim of the promoters of the guild.
Well, if they succeed in reducing even chignons to reasonable
dimensions, they will deserve the thanks of every one afflicted with
good taste; and if they further are successful in reducing the enormous
bills which ladies owe their milliners, they will earn the heartfelt
gratitude of many a poor husband, who can ill afford to pay them. All is
not gold that glitters, but we may guess there is true metal, and not
merely specious glitter, in these Guilded Ladies.

* * * * *

=French and British Budgets.=

M. THIERS has been censured by some of our contemporaries for his fiscal
policy of seeking to impose heavy duties on raw materials. At any rate,
however, France will not be saddled (like an ass) with an Income-tax; so
the taxation to which that country will be subjected, will be
comparatively light, even if it should have the effect of making
butchers' meat as frightfully dear there as it is in England.

* * * * *

=A TEMPERANCE HOSPITAL.=

[Illustration: G]O to! The anti-alcoholic manifesto lately put forth by
the two hundred and fifty first-class Doctors is already producing the
effect which a demonstration, fortified with names some having handles
to them, seldom fails to produce on a portion of the generally
intelligent British Public. It has caused "a movement." The _Daily News_
announces that: -

"A movement has been started to establish a hospital in London
'for the treatment of diseases apart from the ordinary
administration of alcoholic liquors.'"

The object of the movement does not appear from the words in which it
is stated quite so clearly as the thinking persons who may attach
importance to it must desire. Do not, in fact, most Doctors, as it is,
treat diseases "apart from the ordinary administration of alcoholic
liquors?" Are not all patients but those labouring under diseases of
debility, as a rule, enjoined by their medical attendant to abstain,
totally or comparatively, from wine, beer, and spirits? In hospitals,
where this abstinence can always be enforced, the treatment of diseases
apart from the ordinary administration of alcoholic liquors is
especially usual. Do the enlightened promoters of a movement for the
establishment of a hospital, whereat diseases shall be so treated still
more especially, mean to say that, in that new institution alcohol, in
diseases in which it has hitherto been wont to be ordinarily
administered as a tonic or stimulant requisite for their cure, shall not
be given - and if so, why? Because alcohol is a poison? Then why stop at
alcohol? Why not also proscribe, instead of prescribing, opium, henbane,
hemlock, deadly nightshade, arsenic, and prussic acid; and indeed - for
what active medicine is not a poison in an over-dose? - nearly every
article in the _Materia Medica_?

Truly the great Two-Hundred-and-Fifty Against Alcohol, themselves even,
leave some room for question as to their meaning when they proclaim that
"it is believed that the inconsiderate prescription of large quantities
of alcoholic liquids by Medical Men for their patients has given rise,
in many instances, to the formation of intemperate habits." Believed by,
and of whom? By the Two-Hundred-and-Fifty Doctors of their Profession at
large, or by Society in general of it, including them? One would like to
know who the believers are, in order to be enabled to appraise the
belief, and it would also please one to be informed whether or no the
belief includes a confession, which the Two-Hundred-and-Fifty make for
themselves. Did you, gentle reader, in the course of your experience,
ever happen to meet with a victim of the Bottle who dated his
intemperance from taking port wine or brandy, prescribed for him when
convalescent, for example, from typhus fever?

One can indeed understand and appreciate the advice that "alcohol, in
whatever form, should be prescribed and administered with as much care
as any powerful drug," and peradventure this will create another
movement, a movement of a speculative nature, for the manufacture of
graduated physic glasses, of various sizes, to replace the sherry,
champagne, hock, and claret glasses now in use at table: a minim-glass
to be the new glass for liqueurs and brandy. This practical improvement
in Social Science may be shortly introduced by some of our leading
medical men at their own tables. And when they exhibit alcohol, in
whatever form, perhaps, in future, they will always take care to combine
it with something very nauseous; gin, for instance, with the most
horrible of bitters. This will effectually prevent the administration of
alcohol from originating the formation of intemperate habits.

Doubtless, on the whole, the Two-Hundred-and-Fifty have spoken wisely;
but the echo of their speech in some quarters has sounded like cackle,
and the "movement," which their utterance has set on foot among
gregarious persons, very much resembles the march of an analogous kind
of birds, under leadership, across a common.

* * * * *

RURAL INTELLIGENCE.

SPLICINGHAM.

INTERESTING EVENT. - On Thursday the 25th inst. this pretty little
village was early astir, and thrown into a state of pleasurable
excitement, it being the nuptial morn of MISS SELINA SUNNISMILE,
daughter of MR. SUNNISMILE, gardener and florist, with MR. ROBERT
GRUBBINS, pork-butcher, both of this parish. The parents of the happy
couple being held in high esteem, triumphal arches were erected, decked
with appropriate mottoes, and the front of the bride's residence was
festooned with early cauliflowers and other floral ornaments which her
father had purveyed. The choral service terminated with the _Wedding
March_ of MENDELSSOHN, performed on the harmonium by MR. JOSEPH THUMPER
with his accustomed skill. An elegant _déjeûner_, consisting of
pork-pies, pickled herrings, trotters, tripe, and wedding-cake, was then
done ample justice to by a select party of guests; the bride's health
being drunk in bumpers of champagne, expressly made for the occasion
from her father's famous gooseberries, which gained a prize last summer
at the exhibition of the Splicingham Pomological Society. After this
affecting ceremony, the happy pair departed, in a shower of old
slippers, on a trip to the metropolis, to spend their honeymoon.

WOBBLESWORTH.

LITERARY ENTERTAINMENT. - The second of the series of Halfpenny Readings
was held last Tuesday evening at the Literary Institute, the REV. MR.
MILDMAN being voted to the Chair. It will be noticed from the programme
that something more than mere amusement is the aim of these small
gatherings; and, as a means towards the better education of the country,
we need hardly say we wish them all manner of success: -


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 62, Feb 3, 1872 → online text (page 1 of 3)