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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOLUME 93.

* * * * *

JULY 9, 1887.

* * * * *

[Illustration]

OPERATIC CONFUSION.

I went on Saturday to hear the three operatic novelties so liberally
provided for us on the same night by Messrs. MAPLESON, LAGO and HARRIS.
I do not mix my liquors, and I endeavour, as a rule, to keep to the same
lyrical drama throughout the evening; nor is it my fault if a good dose
of strong BEETHOVEN, sweetened with GOUNOD and flavoured with MEYERBEER
had, on the occasion in question, a somewhat confusing effect on my
brain. At Her Majesty's, LILLI LEHMANN was all right as _Leonora_: not
_Leonora_ of _La Favorita_, but _Leonora_ the favourite wife of
_Manrico_ - no, not of _Manrico_, but of another personage who, like the
unfortunate _Trovatore_, has to be rescued by his loving spouse from the
tyranny of a powerful baritone; whether VERDI'S _Count di Luna_ or
SHERIDAN'S _Pizarro_, I cannot just now call to mind. Mlle. LEHMANN is
not only a fine singer, but also a serious dramatic artist; and the
public was deeply impressed by her performance. She is a LEHMANN with
all the earnestness of a good clergyman; not that she had taken orders
as I (Box No. 70) had done.

From Her Majesty's Theatre, I drove in a rapid Hansom to Drury Lane. I
had told the cabman to take me to the Royal Italian Opera, and I was
about to remonstrate with him for conveying me to the wrong house, when
he promptly explained that there were now two Royal Italian Operas, one
at Covent Garden, the other at Drury Lane. New source of confusion!
"Confusion worse confounded!" as MILTON observes.

"How far have they got?" I inquired as I entered the theatre.

"_Valentine's_ death scene," replied my friend.

"_Valentine_ does not die, my dear fellow; _Valentine_ only faints," I
answered, I was thinking of course, of the new dramatic soprano, Mlle.
SANDRA, in _Les Huguenots_.

"You are evidently not an Opera-goer," I continued, "or you would know
that no one dies in this work, except, of course, in the last Act. But
that is always left out."

"Wrong again!" exclaimed JONES, with an amused look. "AUGUSTUS HARRIS
restores the last Act. See his prospectus."

"Well, never mind that. Is _Ella Russell_ singing the part of _Queen
Margaret_ as well as ever?"

"I did not know that _Margaret_ was a Queen. I always thought she was of
humble origin. The part in any case is being played by Mlle. NORDICA."

Determined to be no longer the victim of mystification, I wished JONES
good-bye, and hurrying in, found the curtain down. Afraid now to ask
what was being played, I waited patiently for the next Act, and when at
last the curtain went up, I found to my astonishment that some
representation entirely new to me was taking place. Will-o'-the-Wisps on
a dark back-ground. That was all I saw. I asked myself whether I had
gone mad, or whether the Drury Lane Pantomime was being played a little
earlier than usual. Then the dark scene gave place to a scene of great
brilliancy. There was a throne at the back of the stage, and again my
thoughts reverted to the _Huguenots_, and I fancied I could recognise
_Queen Margaret_. But her features were not the features of ELLA
RUSSELL. Besides, ELLA RUSSELL does not dance, not at least on the
Operatic stage; and this lady did.

"This is HELEN," said a gentleman in a stall on my right to a lady by
his side. Here was at least a clue; and when at the same moment the
baritone DE RESZKE stepped out of a group attired in the garb of
_Mephistopheles_, I said to myself that the performance had been
changed, and this was the last Act of BOÏTO'S _Mefistofele_, with new
details, or at least details that I had not noticed when the work was
performed at Her Majesty's Theatre and at Covent Garden. Now dancing
began in earnest, and I wondered much at the never-failing ingenuity of
Mr. AUGUSTUS HARRIS, who with a score of first-rate singers in his
Company, had nevertheless found himself compelled (probably at five
minutes' notice,) to change an Opera into a _ballet_. It reminded me of
a certain operatic Manager, who, being suddenly deprived of the services
of most of his vocalists, announced in his programme, that in
consequence of the departure of his principal singers, the music of _Don
Giovanni_, would be "replaced, for that night only, by lively and
expressive pantomime."

When, however, _Mephistopheles_ DE RESZKE and _Faust_ DE RESZKE both
began to sing, I saw that my supposition was untenable.

"What you have seen," said JONES, who meanwhile had come in, and who now
occupied a seat on my left, "is not _Mefistofele_ at all. It is GOUNOD'S
additional Ballet Scene for _Faust_. 'Dramatic _Divertissement_' it
ought to be called. Beautiful grouping, picturesque costumes,
magnificent scenery, delightful dance music! But you ought not to have
missed the new _Valentine_. That was a great mistake." I looked at my
watch. "Time enough for the new _Valentine_ even now," I reflected; and
I went over as fast as I could to Covent Garden.

Here there was a new _Valentine_ surely enough. A Russian lady, I was
told. Not a bit like the Russian ladies one has seen in _Fedora_, the
_Pink Pearl_, the _Red Lamp_, and other dramatic misrepresentations of
Russian life. But Mlle. SANDRA, or Mlle. PANAEFF, or whatever her name
may be, was not playing the part of a female Nihilist. She was
impersonating a well-bred, Catholic young lady of the Sixteenth Century.
JONES subsequently informed me that it was not Mlle. SANDRA'S
_Valentine_ that I ought to have seen, but VICTOR MAUREL'S, at the other
house.

* * * * *

NOTE AT THE GUILDHALL. - Now we know what the City Marshal has to do. We
saw him in his warlike costume, bareheaded, marshalling the carriages of
the Great Personages on their departure, and capitally he did it. Not a
single name was pronounced incorrectly. Everybody came up to time, and
got away comfortably. On these occasions, the City Marshal is a sort of
Glorified Linkman.

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE LATEST FROM LORD'S.

_Land Bill._ "WELL, ANYHOW, YOU CARRIED YOUR BAT." _Crimes Bill._ "YES;
BUT YOU'LL FIND THE BOWLING AWFULLY HOT."]

* * * * *

SCENE - _The Cricket Field. The Bell has rung for the Second Innings._
Mr. LAND BILL _is just going to the wickets, and pauses to exchange a
word or two with_ Mr. CRIMES BILL, _who has had so long an innings in
the earlier part of the match_.

_Crimes Bill (taking it easy on his bat)._ Hello, L. B. my lad,
you're going in?

_L. B. (buttoning his gloves nervously)._ Ye - e - s. Captain's orders!

_C. B._ Well, I hope you'll win.

_L. B._ I'll do my best; can Cricketer do more?

_C. B._ No. But, by Jove! you'll find it hard to score.

_L. B._ What? Bowling killing?

_C. B._ Beastly! Talk of "shying"?
CROSSLAND'S a lamb to HEALY.

_L. B._ Ah! that's trying.
But then they haven't got a SHAW, Sir, surely?

_C. B._ No; but, by Jingo! they have more - a MORLEY!
Straight on the middle stump. And then old GLAD
Breaks awful, right and left, and shoots like mad.
I say they ought to be disqualified
For unfair bowling.

_L. B._ Humph! that game's been tried;
But Umpire doesn't always seem to see it.

_C. B._ Ah! Umpires are such funkers.

_L. B._ Well, so be it.
Must do my best. What sort of wickets?

_C. B._ Crumbling.
Must meet the ball with a straight bat; no fumbling,
Or out you go!

_L. B._ And how's the fielding?

_C. B._ Dicky!
'Tis there you'll have the pull that wickets sticky
Or cut up, through the influence of weather,
Can't neutralise. _They're never all together._
Some run like hares, some throw in like a Krupp;
But what they fail in is in "backing up."

_L. B._ Thanks be! I see my chance then. If they're loose
In fielding I can slog 'em to the doose.

_C. B._ But don't take liberties, my lad. No jumps
In for a drive; they're always on the stumps.
And then their wicket-keeper's like a cat.

_L. B._ Well, anyhow _you_ carried out your bat,
Despite the lot of them. Can "_crack_" do more?

_C. B. (significantly)._ Yes! - I kept up my stumps, but
_could not score_!
A "Not out, nothing" may be meritorious,
And very useful, but 'tis hardly glorious,
A stolid SCOTTON'S worth his salt, at need;
But, after all, he's not a GRACE or READ.
_You_'ll have to hit, as well as guard your wicket,
If you'd be popular. Blocking is not Cricket!

_L. B._ Humph! no, not quite. My orders are to score
And bring the House down.

_C. B._ That will cause a roar
When you take back your bat to the Pavilion.
A Cricketer must smite to please the Million.

* * * * *

ROUTLEDGE'S _Jubilee Guide to London_, is good, not only for such a
"high old time" as the Jubilee Week, but for the next three years or so
until the streets are re-named and a few new thoroughfares opened up.
The illustrations are excellent. There is only one objection to this
Guide as a companion, and that is it is rather too large. No Guide to be
useful should be bigger than the Handy-Volume Shakspeare size,
originally started at 85, Fleet Street. Some of the French Guides, not
the regiment, but the little books, JOANNE'S Series, are models in this
respect.

* * * * *

PHILIPS' _Handy Volume Atlas_ is about the right size. "The World," it
is often said, "is a small place;" but for all that, it does not go so
easily in a tail-coat pocket, where Mr. PHILIPS' _Atlas_ can be
conveniently carried. It is an invaluable companion for everyday
newspaper reading. _Happy Thought_ for Travellers, to whom this little
volume is recommended, "PHILIPS on his way through the World."

* * * * *

[Illustration: WHAT OUR ARTIST HAS TO PUT UP WITH.

_Our Artist (showing his last and most important Picture, the work of
years)._ "YES, I SHOULD LIKE TO _EXHIBIT_ IT; BUT I DON'T WANT TO _SELL_
IT, YOU KNOW - AT LEAST NOT TILL TIMES ARE BETTER."

_Friend._ "WELL, WHY NOT SEND IT TO THE EXHIBITION, AND PUT A
PROHIBITIVE PRICE UPON IT - SAY TWENTY POUNDS?!"]

* * * * *

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING.

(_Meteorological forecast for the Month._)

_6th._ - Queen's Weather continues. Raspberry crop fails. Strawberries
sold by auction in Covent Garden Market, and fetch two guineas each.

_13th._ - Queen's Weather still continues. All the grass in Hyde Park
turns brown, and suddenly disappears. Vegetables generally sell at
famine prices. Riot of Dukes attempting to secure a bundle of late
asparagus from a fashionable West End greengrocer's, suppressed by the
police.

_17th._ - Queen's Weather as settled as ever. Great drought commences.
London Water Companies cut off their supply. Five o'clock tea in
Belgravia made from boiled soda-water. Apollinaris supplied in buckets,
for washing purposes, at the rate of twenty guineas the dozen pint
bottles.

_21st._ - Queen's Weather showing no signs of departure, fifteen
umbrella-manufacturers go through the Bankruptcy Court, and commit
suicide. Dust in London becomes intolerable. A Nobleman in Mayfair has
Piccadilly watered with BASS'S India Pale Ale.

_27th._ - Queen's Weather established. The Thames runs dry between
Vauxhall and Westminster. The SPEAKER gives a garden-party in the bed of
the river. _Café noir_, made of ink, served as a refreshment.

_31st._ - Queen's Weather still continuing, seventeen ginger-beer
manufacturers who have become _millionnaires_ are raised to the
Peerage. The LORD MAYOR goes off his head, and, imagining that he is the
Old Pump at Aldgate, is removed, by general consent, to Colney Hatch.

* * * * *

FLOREAT MASCHERA!

A GREAT deal of curiosity has been expressed about the Gray's Inn _Maske
of Flowers_, which has puzzled a number of people. The better informed
have replied, when asked, "What _was_ it?" "Oh, don't you know what a
Maske is? Why _Comus_ was a Maske, don't you know?" To save time and
temper, _Mr. Punch_ begs to inform all inquirers that: -

1. "Gray's Inn" is the Inn where the poet GRAY always stopped when he
came to town. It has always been associated with Poets.

2. This _Maske of Flowers_ is not Mr. CYRIL FLOWER, M.P.'s.

3. It is highly improbable that the Benchers of the Four Inns of Court
will appear in Fancy Costume at four o'clock in the morning, and
serenade the occupants of the Western Face of Gray's Inn Square from the
Gardens.

4. The Maske is not so called from everybody in Gray's Inn appearing in
"big heads."

5. The LORD CHANCELLOR is not introduced as Harlequin, and does not
dance a _pas seul_ with "Mr. SOLICITOR," founded upon some of the more
intricate steps of the _pavan_, or peacock's strut.

6. That it is not the duty of the Master of the Revels to teach the
Masters of the Bench how to execute with spirit a Morisco.

Having said what the Maske will _not_ be, _Mr. Punch_ goes a step
further - and stops, thinking it will be better to reserve particulars
until after the Performance.

* * * * *

EVERY Etonian ought to go to the Gaiety and hear Mr. MERRIVALE'S new
piece, of which Mrs. BROWN-POTTER is the heroine. Why ought every
Etonian to do this? We forgot to mention that the name of the play is
_Civil Warre_. (If it isn't so spelt, it ought to be.)

* * * * *

ROYALTY AT THE PALACE.

[Illustration: Cockney notion of A-making.]

A HARD-WORKING three weeks has H.R.H. had of it. Morning, noon, and
night, here, there, and everywhere. _Mr. Punch_ was glad to see that
H.R.H. took his advice, given last week, and immediately visited the
Crystal Palace. The Fireworks were first-rate. The Prospect was
brilliant. Good omen for the C.P. If the B.P. could only get to the
C.P. in twenty minutes from Victoria, by Palace trains every twenty-five
minutes after a certain time in the afternoon, the future chances of
prosperity for the Palace would be considerably increased. By the way,
we thought we noticed some people, who had nothing to do with the
fireworks, speaking to the Lighters - the de-lighters - while in the
execution of their duty. If so, this ought to be stopped, and a notice
put up, - "You are requested not to speak to the Man at the (Catherine)
Wheel."

* * * * *

JILLS IN OFFICE.

SCENE - _Portion of a Stationer's Shop, used as Post Office. Two Young
Ladies (let them be distinguished as_ Miss CROSS and Miss ORTY)
_discovered behind wire-screen. At opening of scene, the public is
composed exclusively of the gentler sex, and the demeanour of_ Miss C.
and Miss O. _though firm, is not positively forbidding. Lady Customers,
having despatched their business move away, leaving the coast clear to
three_ MILD MEN, _who advance to screen with a meekness designed to
propitiate. Instant transformation in both_ Miss C. and Miss O., _who
gaze at them through screen with air of visitors at the Zoo who are not
fond of animals_.

_First Mild Man (with apologetic cough)._ Oh, good-day! [_Slight pause._

_Miss Cross to Miss Orty (in continuation of an interrupted anecdote)._
Yes, I said it to him just like that - it made me so wild!

_Miss Orty._ I shouldn't have taken any notice if it had been me.

_First M. M._ Can you oblige me with six stamps, if you please?

[Miss Orty, _without looking at him, opens drawer, tears off six stamps,
and tosses them contemptuously underneath the screen_.

_Second Mild Man._ Oh, I beg your pardon, I just called in to
inquire - - (Miss C. and Miss O. _regard him stonily, which has effect
of disconcerting him to some extent_). I - I ... there were some books I
sent off by Parcels Post from this Office the other day ... you may
remember it? - they were all in white wrappers. (Miss C. _and_ Miss O.
_wear the resigned look of people who feel themselves in for a dull
story_.) Some of my friends, er - I have been given to understand, that
two of the parcels have - well, failed to arrive as yet.... Could you
kindly - -

_Miss O. to Miss C. (with lifted eyebrows)._ Know anything about the
books?

_Miss C. shakes her head in scornful repudiation, whereupon Miss Orty
selects a printed form, which she jerks towards Second M. M._ Fill up
that, and send it in to the Postmaster-General.

_Second M. M._ But are you quite sure they have not been mislaid _here_?
You see they are small books, and it struck me perhaps - er - -

_Miss O._ Any remarks you have to make can be put in the form.

_Second M. M._ Quite so - but if you could only tell me - -

_Miss O._ Can't do any more than I have done. (_To First M. M._) I gave
you your stamps some time ago, didn't I?

_First M. M._ Oh, yes - yes, I had the stamps, thank you. But - but (_with
manner of man who is compelled to enter on a painful subject_) there was
my change - I - I gave you half a sovereign.

_Miss O. (with cold suspicion)._ Don't remember it. You should have
spoke about it at the time - but of course, if you say you haven't had
it - I suppose - -

[_Deals out his change as if it was more than he had any right to
expect._

_Second M. M._ One moment - am I to leave this form with you?

_Miss C._ No. Send it to the General Post Office in the regular
way - they'll attend to it. You'll find all the directions there if you
take the trouble to look.

_Second M. M._ Thank you _very_ much. Good morning.

[Miss C. _and_ Miss O. _naturally take no notice of this piece of
familiarity, and_ Second M. M. _departs crushed, and gradually realises
that he is slightly annoyed_.

_Third M. M. (presenting a telegram)._ Will you send this off at once,
please?

_Miss Orty (takes the form, and runs a disparaging eye over it, rather
as if it were an unwelcome love-letter from some detested adorer)._
"Post mortem's" _two_ words.

_Third M. M._ I have no objection - but it's rather important. I want it
delivered, and _soon_.

_Miss O._ You must put the address more full than "Rumbo," then.

_Third M. M._ But the telegraphic address is registered "Rumbo."

_Miss O. (who seems to consider_ "Rumbo" _somewhat too frivolous_).
Well, if you like to leave it so, I can _send_ it - it's at your risk.
(_She leaves the form on the counter._) Eightpence-halfpenny.

_Enter_ Footman, _with parcel_.

_Footman._ How much to pay on this, Miss, please?

[Miss Cross _takes it reluctantly, slaps it down on scales with infinite
contempt, flings in weights, and then tosses a stamp and label to_
Footman, _with the brief remark, "Fourpence," spoken aggressively_.
Footman, _after paying his fourpence, and gazing from stamp to label in
a hopeless manner, opens his mouth twice, and withdraws, too intimidated
to ask for further instructions_.

_Miss C. (still occupied with her anecdote)._ I _should_ laugh if he
came again next Sunday, just the same - shouldn't you?

_Miss O._ I'd let him see I wasn't going to put up with it, I know!

_Miss C._ Oh, he'll find out he won't have things all his way.
(_Perceives_ First M. M. _evidently awaiting her leisure_.) Was there
anything else you were waiting for?

_First M. M._ Er - yes. Can you let me have a Postal Order for
six-and-sixpence?

_Miss C. (with decision)._ No, I can't!

_First M. M. (surprised)._ But surely - - !

_Miss C._ Give you two - one for five shillings, and one for
eighteen-pence, if _that_ will do?

_First M. M._ Of course, that's what I meant!

_Miss Cross._ It's not what you _said_ - you said _a_ order. (_Makes out
the orders with much disdain._) Three-halfpence to pay.

_Second M. M. (returning)._ Oh, I quite forgot - will you kindly cash
this order for me?

_Miss O._ Not till you've signed it.

_Second M. M._ Bless my heart, I quite forgot it ought to be signed!
Could you oblige me with a pen for one moment?

_Miss O._ There's a desk over there for all that.

_Second M. M._ I - I thought if you would let me sign it here, it would
save time - the desk is occupied at present I observe.

_Miss O. (dabs a pen in the inkstand, and pushes it disdainfully through
the wire net-work.)_ Give it back when you've finished with it.

[_She is apparently alarmed lest it should be secured as a Souvenir._

_Enter_ Imperious Customer, _and approaches screen with lordly air_.

_Imperious Customer (blusterously)._ Here you - one of you, let me have a
penny stamp, and a packet of thin post-cards, and two half-penny
wrappers, will you? and look sharp!

_Miss C. and Miss O. (becoming instantly all smiles.)_ Certainly, Sir.
(_They vie with one another in activity._) Postcards in that drawer ...
I'll get the wrappers - ninepence-halfpenny, Sir, and thank you. Good
morning, Sir.

[_Exit_ Imperious Stranger _snatching up his purchases and ignoring
parting smiles from behind the screen_. Mild Men _store up the lesson
for use on future occasions. Scene closes in_.

* * * * *

How's That?

"THE A B C of Cricket you must get,"
Says a great Critic, "if you would succeed."
_Punch_ then presumes 'tis by that Alphabet
A Cricketer may learn to (WALTER) READ!

* * * * *

COINS OF THE REALM. - 'ARRY remarks that the Tories are led by a "Bob"
(CECIL), the Parnellites can boast the possession of a "TANNER," whilst
the Liberal Unionists make the most of their "JOEY."

* * * * *

ON THE JAR. - The French have a proverb, "_il faut qu'une porte soit
ouverte ou fermée_." This evidently does not apply to the Sublime Porte,
which seems generally "neither one thing nor t' other."

* * * * *

IT was settled at the last meet of the Coaching Club that Mr. EATON,
M.P., the new Peer, is to be crowned not with laurels, but with his own
bays.

* * * * *

THE BARD AT HENLEY.

(_A Reminiscence._)

[Illustration: Retirement after the Jubilee Fortnight.
"Far from the Madding Crowd."]

OH, Friday was lovely! The Bard who now sings
Saw Princes, Princesses, a Duke, and two Kings,
His Indian Highness, called RAS KUTCH THAKORE,
NAWAB GAFFER JUNG and several more.

They saw the best racing, then went to lunch with
The Closuring Commoner, our Mr. SMITH.
'Twas Jubilee Weather! the Course was well kept!
Oh, champagne! and Oh, headache! I sighed - and then slept.

I awoke, to find all my companions gone,
And I, like the Rose, was left blooming alone.
So I plunged in the freshening stream - down, down, down
I dived, and I dived, then I came up - to town.

* * * * *

A CASE AGAINST THE POLICE. - This was Miss CASE, who being arrested by a
Constable, was Miss-taken for somebody else. Gallant JOSEPHUS
CHAMBERLANIUS of the Orchid Squad has come to the rescue, and the
"MATTHEWS-at-Home" Secretary granted an inquiry. Before this paragraph
appears, the Public may be in possession of the truth. Justice must be
done, or the young woman may become Case-hardened. But whatever the
result may be, the Magistrate should study and get by heart, _Newton's
Principia_.

* * * * *

GARDEN, LANE, AND MARKET.

[Illustration: Note from "Mr. G." to Madame Albani.]

"MR. G." - the upper G. - went to hear _Puritani_ on Thursday night. Of
course he called on Madame ALBANI, and sang a few of the songs just to
give "Signor G." a hint. When the First Act was over, and the Closure
was moved by the Act-drop descending, Mr. G. went into the Lobby, and
voted with the Government of Covent Garden. Mr. G. was seen to be
several times in animated conversation with Mr. HALL, who was decorated
with a Covent Garden Order, and was wearing a _Shirtcollerado
Gladstonensis_ in his button-hole. It is, we believe, quite untrue that
Mr. HALL has refused to take office - box office - in the next Liberal
Cabinet; but whether he will be made an Extra Knight or not is still
uncertain. Mr. GYE is very Earnest about it, and at present we can say
no more except that the performance of _I Puritani_ was first-rate, as
naturally it would be, with ALBANI, enthusiastically received, GAYARRÉ,


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 93, July 9, 1887. → online text (page 1 of 3)