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PUNCH ***




Produced by Punch, or the London Charivari, Malcolm Farmer,
Wayne Hammond and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
at http://www.pgdp.net






Punch, or the London Charivari

Volume 107, August 25, 1894

edited by Sir Francis Burnand




TO A SURREY HOSTESS.

(_A Parodic Vote of Thanks to a Town Matron, who took a House in the
Country._)

[Illustration]

LADY CLARA SHERE DE SHERE,
Through me you now shall win renown;
It nearly broke my country heart
To come back to the dusty town.
In kindliest way, you bade me stay
And nothing better I desired,
But Duty with a great big D
Called far too loud, and I retired.

Lady CLARA SHERE DE SHERE
I wonder if you'll like your name!
Oh! how you all began to chaff
And laugh the moment that I came.
Yet would I take more for the sake
Of your dear daughter's girlish charms.
A simple maiden not yet four
Is good to take up in one's arms.

Lady CLARA SHERE DE SHERE,
Some newer pupil you must find,
Who, when you pile his plate sky-high,
Will meekly say he does not mind.
You sought to beat my power to eat,
An empty plate was my reply.
The cat you left in Grosvenor Square
Is not more hungry now than I.

Lady CLARA SHERE DE SHERE,
You sometimes took a mother's view,
And feared lest winsome DOROTHY
Should learn too much from me - or you.
Indeed I heard one bitter word
That scarce were fit for her to hear;
Our language had not that repose
Which rightly fits a SHERE DE SHERE.

Lady CLARA SHERE DE SHERE,
The marriage bells rang for the Hall.
The flags were flying at your door;
You spoke of them with curious gall.
How you decried the pretty bride
And swore her dresses weren't by WORTH,
And gaily went to church to stare
At her of far too noble birth.

Trust me, _Clara Shere de Shere_,
The man I saw who's rather bent,
The grand old gardener at your house
Prefers the bride of high descent.
Howe'er that be, it seems to me
'Tis all important what one eats.
Milk pudding's more than caviare,
And simple food than coloured sweets.

CLARA, CLARA SHERE DE SHERE,
If time be heavy on your hands,
And there are none within your reach
To play at tennis on your lands,
Oh! see the tennis court is marked,
And take care that it doesn't rain,
Then stay at Shere another month
And ask me down to stay again.

* * * * *

A VOICE FROM "THE UPPER SUCKLES."

MY GOOD MR. PUNCH, - I notice that in spite of all London being out of
town, a number of persons have been holding, or propose holding, a
meeting condemnatory of the House of Lords. I fancy, regardless of
the close of the season, the site chosen has been or will be Hyde
Park. Perhaps, under these circumstances, you, as the representative
of the nation - equally of the aristocracy and the democracy - will
allow me a few lines' space in which to express my sentiments.

My good Sir, I am considerably past middle age, and yet, man and boy,
have been in the House of Peers quite half-a-dozen years. I cannot
say that I was added to the number of my colleagues because I was an
eminent lawyer, or a successful general, or a great statesman. I
believe my claim to the distinction that was conferred upon me, - now
many summers since, - was the very considerable services I was able to
afford that most useful industry the paper decoration of what may be
aptly termed "the wooden walls of London." When called upon to select
an appropriate territorial title, I selected, without hesitation, the
Barony of Savon de Soapleigh. Savon is a word of French extraction,
and denotes the Norman origin of my illustrious race. Not only was I
able to assist at the regeneration of the "great unwashed," but also
to do considerable service to the grand cause with which my party in
politics is honourably associated. I was able to contribute a very
large sum to the election purse, and having fought and lost several
important constituencies, was amply rewarded by the coronet that
becomes me so well, the more especially when displayed upon the
panels of my carriage.

You will ask me, no doubt (for this is an age of questions), what I
have done since I entered the Upper Chamber? I will reply that I have
secured a page in _Burke_, abstained from voting, except to oblige
the party whips, and, before all and above all, pleased my lady wife.
And yet there are those who would wish to abolish the House of Peers!
There are those who would do away with our ancient nobility! Perish
the thought! for in the House of Peers I see the reflection of the
nation's greatness.

[Illustration]

But you may ask me, "Would I do anything to improve that Chamber?"
And I would answer, "Yes." I would say, "Do not increase its numbers;
it is already large enough."

It is common knowledge that a gentleman of semi-medicinal reputation,
who has been as beneficial, or nearly as beneficial, to the proprietors
of hoardings as myself, wishes to be created Viscount Cough of Mixture.
Yet another of the same class desires to be known to generations yet
unborn as Lord Tobacco of Cigarettes; whilst a third, on account of
the attention he has paid to the "understandings" (pardon the
_plaisanterie_) of the people, is anxious to figure on the roll of
honour as "Baron de Boots."

My good _Mr. Punch_, such an extension of the House of Peers merely
for the satisfaction of the vanity of a number of vulgar and puffing
men would be a scandal to our civilisation. No, my good Sir, our
noble order is large enough. I am satisfied that it should not be
extended, and when I am satisfied the opinions of every one else are
(and here I take a simile from an industry that has given me my
wealth) "merely bubbles - bubbles of soap."

And now I sign myself, not as of old, plain JOE SNOOKS, but Yours
very faithfully,

SAVON DE SOAPLEIGH.

P.S. - I am sure my long line of ancestors would agree with me. When
that long line is discovered you shall hear the result.

* * * * *

BYGONES.

[Illustration]

The midsummer twilight is dying,
The golden is turning to gray,
And my troublesome thoughts are a-flying
To the days that have vanished away,
When life had no crosses for me, love,
But Proctors and bulldogs and dons,
And I used to write sonnets to thee, love,
In the dreamy old garden of John's.

By Jove! What a time we just had, love,
That week you were up for Commem.!
The dances and picnics - egad, love,
How strange to be thinking of them!
How we laughed at the dusty old doctors,
And the Vice with his gorgeous gold gown,
And you thought it a shame that the Proctors
Were constantly sending me down.

We danced and we dined and we boated,
Did the lions all quite _comme il faut_,
And I felt a strange thrill when you voted
Old JOHNNIE'S the best of the show.
I remember your eager delight, love,
With our garden and chapel and hall -
And oh, for that glorious night, love,
When we went to the Balliol ball!

There is very poor pleasure in dancing
In a stuffy hot ball-room in June -
And the Balliol lawn looked entrancing
In the silvery light of the moon.
I fancy the thought had occurred, love,
To somebody else besides me,
For I managed, with scarcely a word, love,
To get you to smile and agree.

We sat on the Balliol lawn, love,
And the hours flew as fast as you please,
Till the rosy-tipped fingers of dawn, love,
Crept over the Trinity trees.
A stranger might say he had never
Heard trash in a vapider key;
But no conversation has ever
Been half so delicious to me.

I seemed to be walking on air, love;
And oh, how I quivered when you
Snipped off a wee lock of your hair, love,
And said you were fond of me too.
I clasped it again and again, love,
To my breast with a passionate vow.
There ever since it has lain, love,
And there it is lying just now.

- But my heart gives a horrible thump, love,
I find myself gasping for air,
For my throat is choked up with a lump, love,
Which surely should never be there.
And I sadly bethink me that life, love,
Won't always run just as we will -
For you are another man's wife, love,
And I am a bachelor still.

* * * * *

Common (Gas) Metre.

"Light metres" there are many,
The lightest of the lot
Is what is called "the Penny-in-the-Slot!"

* * * * *

EMBARRAS DE RICHESSES.

["The Bank Return shows considerable additions to the reserve and
the stock of bullion." - _"Times," on "Money Market."_]

Richer Old Lady you'll not meet,
Than this one, of Threadneedle Street.
Nicer Old Lady none, nor neater,
But, like the boy in _Struwwelpeter_,
That whilom chubby, ruddy lad,
The dear old dame looks sour and sad;
Nay, long time hath she seemed dejected,
And her once fancied fare rejected.
She screams out - "Take the gold away!
Oh, take the nasty stuff away!
I won't have any gold to-day."

This Dame, like Danaƫ of old
Has long been wooed in showers of gold,
By Jupiters of high finance;
But, sick of that cold sustenance,
Or surfeited, or cross, or ill,
The dear Old Lady cries out still -
"Not any gold for me, I say!
Oh, take the nasty stuff away!!
I _won't_ have any more to-day!!!"

And on my word it is small wonder,
For in her spacious house, and under,
Of bullion she hath boundless store,
And scarcely can find room for more.
Filled every pocket, purse, safe, coffer,
And still the crowds crush round and offer
Their useless, troublesome deposits,
To cram her cupboards, choke her closets.
What marvel then that she should say -
"Oh, take the nasty stuff away!
I won't have any more to-day!!"

The poor Old Lady once felt pride as
A sort of modern _Mrs. Midas_;
For all she touches turns to gold
Within her all-embracing hold;
Gold solid as the golden leg
Of opulent _Miss Kilmansegge_,
But, like that lady, poor-rich, luckless,
She values now the yellow muck less,
Though once scraped up with assiduity,
Because of its sheer superfluity.
It blocks her way, it checks the breath of her;
She dreads lest it should be the death of her.
With bullion she could build a Babel,
So screams, as loud as she is able, -
"Not any more, good friends, I say!
For goodness gracious go away!!
I _won't_ take any more to day!!!"

They beg, they pray, they strive to wheedle
The Old Lady of the Street Threadneedle.
The cry is still they come! they come!
Men worth a "million" or a "plum,"
The "goblin," or the "merry monk";
Constantly chinketh, chink-chank-chunk!
In "Gladstone" or in canvas bag;
But sourly she doth eye the "swag,"
Peevishly gathers round her skirt,
As though the gold were yellow dirt.
Crying, "Oh, get away now, _do_!
I'm really getting sick of you.
The proffered 'stuff' I _must_ refuse;
I have far more than I can use.
I've no more need or wish for money
Than a surfeited bee for honey.
Money's a drug, a nauseous dose.
At cash the Market cocks its nose.
'Tis useless as the buried talent,
Or the half-crown to a poor pal lent;
As gilded oats to hungry nag.
Away with bulging purse and bag!
They are a bother and a pest.
I _will_ not store, I _can't_ invest.
With your 'old stocking' be content,
_I_ can't afford you One per Cent.
Bullion's a burden and a bore.
I cannot do with any more!
Not any more for me, I say
Oh, take the nasty stuff away
I _won't_ have any gold to-day!!!"

* * * * *

[Illustration: EMBARRAS DE RICHESSES.

_The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street._ "GO AWAY! GO AWAY WITH YOUR
NASTY MONEY! I CAN'T DO WITH ANY MORE OF IT!"]

* * * * *

[Illustration: ON THE SAFE SIDE.

_Brown._ "BY GEORGE, JONES, THAT'S A HANDSOME UMBRELLA! WHERE DID YOU
GET IT?"

_Jones._ "I DECLINE TO ANSWER UNTIL I'VE CONSULTED MY LAWYER!"]

* * * * *

THE NEW AIR.

(_To an Old Tune._)

O RAYLEIGH now, this _raelly_ strange is
This New Nitrogen!
Air that into water changes
Seem not new to men,
(All our atmosphere this summer
Has been "heavy wet,")
But sheer solid air seems rummer,
More Munchausenish yet!
New things now are awfully common;
And it seems but fair,
With New Humour, Art, and Woman,
We should have New Air.
"Lazy air," one calls it gaily;
Seasonable, very!
Will it quiet us, dear RAYLEIGH,
Soothe us, make us merry?
Still the flurry, cool the fever,
Calm the nervous stress?
If it be so, you for ever
_Punch_ will praise and bless.
Will the New Air set - oh! grand Sir! -
Life to a new tune?
Lead us to a Lotos-Land, Sir,
Always afternoon?
One per cent. seems rather little!
Can't you make it more?
When 'tis solid is it brittle?
Liquid, does it _pour_?
RAYLEIGH? No? You don't say so!
What lots of funny things you know!

* * * * *

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BAD GERMAN BAND AND A BEATEN CRICKET
TEAM. - One fails to play in time and the other to "play out time."

* * * * *

LYRE AND LANCET.

(_A Story in Scenes._)

PART VIII. - SURPRISES - AGREEABLE AND OTHERWISE.

SCENE XIII. - _The Amber Boudoir._ Sir RUPERT _has just entered._

_Sir Rupert._ Ha, MAISIE, my dear, glad to see you. Well, ROHESIA,
how are you, eh? You're _looking_ uncommonly well! No idea you were
here!

_Spurrell (to himself)._ Sir RUPERT! He'll have me out of this pretty
soon, I expect!

_Lady Cantire (aggrieved)._ We have been in the house for the best
part of an hour, RUPERT - as you might have discovered by
inquiring - but no doubt you preferred your comfort to welcoming a
guest who was merely your sister!

_Sir Rup. (to himself)._ Beginning already! (_Aloud._) Very
sorry - got rather wet riding - had to change everything. And I knew
ALBINIA was here.

_Lady Cant. (magnanimously)._ Well, we won't begin to quarrel the
moment we meet; and you are forgetting your other guest. (_In an
undertone._) Mr. SPURRELL - the Poet - wrote _Andromeda_. (_Aloud._)
Mr. SPURRELL, come and let me present you to my brother.

_Sir Rup._ Ah, how d'ye do? (_To himself, as he shakes hands._) What
the deuce am I to say to this fellow? (_Aloud._) Glad to see you
here, Mr. SPURRELL - heard all about you - _Andromeda_, eh? Hope you'll
manage to amuse yourself while you're with us; afraid there's not
much you can do _now_ though.

_Spurr. (to himself)._ Horse in a bad way; time they let me see it.
(_Aloud._) Well, we must see, Sir; I'll do all _I_ can.

_Sir Rup._ You see, the shooting's _done_ now.

_Spurr. (to himself, professionally piqued)._ They might have waited
till I'd seen the horse before they shot him! After calling me in
like this! (_Aloud._) Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, Sir RUPERT. I wish
I could have got here earlier, I'm sure.

_Sir Rup._ Wish we'd asked you a month ago, if you're fond of
shooting. Thought you might look down on Sport, perhaps.

_Spurr. (to himself)._ Sport? Why, he's talking of _birds_ - not the
horse! (_Aloud._) Me, Sir RUPERT? Not _much_! I'm as keen on a day's
gunning as any man, though I don't often get the chance now.

_Sir Rup. (to himself, pleased)._ Come, he don't seem strong against
the Game Laws! (_Aloud._) Thought you didn't look as if you sat over
your desk all day! There's hunting still, of course. Don't know
whether you ride?

_Spurr._ Rather so, Sir! Why, I was born and bred in a sporting
county, and as long as my old uncle was alive, I could go down to his
farm and get a run with the hounds now and again.

_Sir Rup. (delighted)._ Capital! Well, our next meet is on
Tuesday - best part of the country; nearly all grass, and nice clean
post and rails. You must stay over for it. Got a mare that will carry
your weight perfectly, and I think I can promise you a run - eh, what
do you say?

_Spurr. (to himself, in surprise)._ He _is_ a chummy old cock! I'll
wire old SPAVIN that I'm detained on biz; and I'll tell 'em to send
my riding-breeches down! (_Aloud._) It's uncommonly kind of you, Sir,
and I think I can manage to stop on a bit.

_Lady Culverin (to herself)._ RUPERT must be out of his senses! It's
bad enough to have him here till Monday! (_Aloud._) We mustn't
forget, RUPERT, how valuable Mr. SPURRELL'S time is; it would be too
selfish of us to detain him here a day longer than - -

_Lady Cant._ My dear, Mr. SPURRELL has already said he can _manage_
it; so we may all enjoy his society with a clear conscience. (Lady
CULVERIN _conceals her sentiments with difficulty._) And now,
ALBINIA, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go to my room and rest a
little, as I'm rather fatigued, and you have all these tiresome
people coming to dinner to-night.

[_She rises, and leaves the room; the other ladies follow her
example._

_Lady Culv._ RUPERT, I'm going up now with ROHESIA. You know where
we've put Mr. SPURRELL, don't you? The Verney Chamber.

[_She goes out._

_Sir Rup._ Take you up now, if you like, Mr. SPURRELL - it's only
just seven, though. Suppose you don't take an hour to dress, eh?

_Spurr._ Oh dear no, Sir, nothing like it! (_To himself._) Won't
take me two minutes as I am now! I'd better tell him - I can say
my bag hasn't come. I don't believe it _has_, and, any way, it's a good
excuse. (_Aloud._) The - the fact is, Sir RUPERT, I'm afraid that
my luggage has been unfortunately left behind.

_Sir Rup._ No luggage, eh? Well, well, it's of no consequence.
But I'll ask about it - I daresay it's all right.

[_He goes out._

_Captain Thicknesse_ (_to_ SPURRELL). Sure to have turned up, you
know - man will have seen to that. Shouldn't altogether object to a
glass of sherry and bitters before dinner. Don't know how _you_
feel - suppose you've a soul _above_ sherry and bitters, though?

_Spurr._ Not at this moment. But I'd soon _put_ my soul above a
sherry and bitters if I got a chance!

_Capt. Thick. (after reflection)._ I say, you know, that's rather
smart, eh? (_To himself._) Aw'fly clever sort of chap, this, but not
stuck up - not half a bad sort, if he _is_ a bit of a bounder.
(_Aloud._) Anythin' in the evenin' paper? Don't get 'em down here.

_Spurr._ Nothing much. I see there's an objection to _Monkey-tricks_
for the Grand National.

_Capt. Thick. (interested)._ No, by Jove! Hope they won't carry
it - meant to have something on him.

_Spurr._ I wouldn't back him myself. I know something that's safe to
win, bar accidents - a dead cert, Sir! Got the tip straight from the
stables. You just take my advice, and pile all you can on _Jumping
Joan_.

_Capt. Thick. (later, to himself, after a long and highly interesting
conversation)._ Thunderin' clever chap - never knew poets _were_ such
clever chaps. Might be a "bookie," by Gad! No wonder MAISIE thinks
such a lot of him!

[_He sighs._

_Sir Rup. (returning)._ Now, Mr. SPURRELL, if you'll come upstairs
with me, I'll show you your quarters. By the way, I've made inquiries
about your luggage, and I think you'll find it's all right. (_As he
leads the way up the staircase._) Rather awkward for you if you'd had
to come down to dinner just as you are, eh?

_Spurr. (to himself)._ Oh, lor, my beastly bag _has_ come after all!
Now they'll _know_ I didn't bring a dress suit. What an owl I was to
tell him! (_Aloud, feebly._) Oh - er - very awkward indeed, Sir RUPERT!

_Sir Rup. (stopping at a bedroom door)._ Verney Chamber - here you
are. Ah, my wife forgot to have your name put up on the door - better
do it now, eh? (_He writes it on the card in the door-plate._)
There - well, hope you'll find it all comfortable - we dine at eight,
you know. You've plenty of time for all you've got to do!

_Spurr. (to himself)._ If I only knew _what_ to do! I shall never have
the cheek to come down as I am!

[_He enters the Verney Chamber dejectedly._

SCENE XIV. - _An Upper Corridor in the East Wing._

_Steward's Room Boy_ (_to_ UNDERSHELL). This is your room, Sir - you'll
find a fire lit and all.

_Undershell (scathingly)._ A fire? For me! I scarcely expected such
an indulgence. You are _sure_ there's no mistake?

_Boy._ This is the room I was told, Sir. You'll find candles on the
mantelpiece, and matches.

_Und._ Every luxury indeed! I am pampered - _pampered_!

_Boy._ Yes, Sir. And I was to say as supper's at ar-past nine, but
Mrs. POMFRET would be 'appy to see you in the Pugs' Parlour whenever
you pleased to come down and set there.

_Und._ The Pugs' Parlour?

_Boy._ What we call the 'Ousekeeper's Room, among ourselves, Sir.

_Und._ Mrs. POMFRET does me too much honour. And shall I have the
satisfaction of seeing your intelligent countenance at the festive
board, my lad?

_Boy (giggling)._ Lor, Sir, I don't set down to meals along with the
_upper_ servants, Sir!

_Und._ And I - a mere man of genius - _do_! These distinctions must
strike you as most arbitrary; but restrain any natural envy, my young
friend. I assure you I am not puffed up by this promotion!

_Boy._ No, sir. (_To himself, as he goes out._) I believe he's a bit
dotty, I do. I don't understand a word he's been talking of!

_Und. (alone, surveying the surroundings)._ A cockloft, with a
painted iron bedstead, a smoky chimney, no bell, and a text over the
mantelpiece! Thank Heaven, that fellow DRYSDALE can't see me here!
But I will not sleep in this place, my pride will only just bear the
strain of staying to supper - no more. And I'm hanged if I go down to
the Housekeeper's Room till hunger drives me. It's not eight yet - how
shall I pass the time? Ha, I see they've favoured me with pen and
ink. I will invoke the Muse. Indignation should make verses, as it
did for JUVENAL; and _he_ was never set down to sup with slaves!

[_He writes._

SCENE XV. - _The Verney Chamber._

_Spurr. (to himself)._ My word, what a room! Carpet all over the
walls, big fourposter, carved ceiling, great fireplace with blazing
logs, - if this is how they do a _vet_ here, what price the _other_
fellows' rooms? And to think I shall have to do without dinner, just
when I was getting on with 'em all so swimmingly! I _must_. I can't,
for the credit of the profession - to say nothing of the firm - turn up
in a monkey jacket and tweed bags, and that's all _I_'ve got except a
nightgown!... It's all very well for Lady MAISIE to say "Take
everything as it comes," but if she was in _my_ fix!... And it isn't
as if I hadn't _got_ dress things either. If only I'd brought 'em
down, I'd have marched in to dinner as cool as a - - (_he lights a
pair of candles._) Hullo! What's that on the bed? (_He approaches
it._) Shirt! white tie! socks! coat, waistcoat, trousers - they _are_
dress clothes!... And here's a pair of brushes on the table! I'll
swear they're not _mine_ - there's a monogram on them - "U.G." What
does it all mean? Why, of course! regular old trump, Sir RUPERT, and
naturally he wants me to do him credit. He saw how it was, and he's
gone and rigged me out! In a house like this, they're ready for
emergencies - keep all sizes in stock, I daresay.... It isn't "U. G."
on the brushes - it's "G. U." - "Guest's Use." Well, this is what I
call doing the thing in style! _Cinderella_'s nothing to it! Only
hope they're a decent fit. (_Later, as he dresses._) Come, the
shirt's all right; trousers a trifle short - but they'll let down;
waistcoat - whew, must undo the buckle - hang it, it _is_ undone! I
feel like a hooped barrel in it! Now the coat - easy does it. Well,
it's _on_; but I shall have to be peeled like a walnut to get it off
again.... Shoes? ah, here they are - pair of pumps. Phew - must have
come from the Torture Exhibition in Leicester Square; glass slippers
nothing to 'em! But they'll have to do at a pinch; and they _do_
pinch like blazes! Ha, ha, that's good! I must tell that to the
Captain. (_He looks at himself in a mirror._) Well, I can't say
they're up to mine for cut and general style; but they're passable.
And now I'll go down to the Drawing Room and get on terms with all
the smarties!

[_He saunters out with restored complacency._

[Illustration: "I say, you know, that's rather smart, eh?"]

* * * * *

SOCIETY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LITERATURE


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